Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tips to Avoid Sea Sickness

A major problem for people on the boats at Mavericks was sea sickness. It can strike anyone at anytime; young or old, fit or fat, male or female. Just because you've been in rough seas twenty times, doesn't mean the 21st time won't see you hung over the rear railing like a limp rag doll. Sea sickness is perhaps the worst feeling on the face of the earth... I've heard stories of people offering $5,000 to a boat captain to make him PLEASE head back to shore, people needing to be physically restrained to keep them from jumping ship and have witnessed first hand a friend huddled for 6 hours under a yellow tarp, begging us to feed him to the sharks at the Farallons. While not fool proof, this list has kept me lucky enough not to have been sick when many of my friends with equally strong stomachs have fallen.
  1. Get a good nights sleep the night before you get on a boat.
  2. Don't drink alcohol the night before you sail: a few too many drinks will leave your stomach a bit too prone toward queasiness.
  3. Drink plenty of water before, during and after a boat trip: hydration is the first thing to go when sea sickness strikes.
  4. Take the meds! Some people complain that Bonine makes them too sleepy... take the meds and have a little nap. It doesn't take much to get past the urge to sleep and being a touch tired is FAR superior to being ill.
  5. Don't mix your meds. Resist the urge to try it all at the same time. Mixing a patch with a pill with a shock bracelet and two pressure points can often overwhelm your system and have the opposite effect to the intended outcome.
  6. Have a good protein intense breakfast. Scrambled eggs are great - maybe skip the hot sauce though.
  7. Don't listen to your friends. Everyone has that one friend who thinks it's soooo funny to remind you how sick you will be.... don't listen to him, he's not really your friend.
  8. Mind over matter. Don't obsess over how sick you are afraid you are going to get. If you THINK you'll get sea sick you usually will.
  9. Don't look down - keep your eye to the horizon.
  10. Ginger has a great calming effect on the stomach. I've found an Australian Gingerbeer (non-alcoholic) called Bundaberg to be perfect. It's not as thick and syrupy as it's American counterparts and it's just the thing for a wobbly tummy.
  11. If you are taking photographs especially with a long lens, keep both eyes open. The magnification of the lens will only serve to exaggerate the motion of the boat and make you sicker faster.
  12. If you start to feel ill, lay down. Getting your center of gravity as low as possible and canceling one axis of movement can be just the thing to keep you from heading into full blown sea sickness.
Any other tips out there that have worked for you? Please share them!

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