SCUBAPRO Sunday – Sea Sickness

  Many people suffer from seasickness, especially during your first couple of times being on the water. Once you learn some of the basic tips for dealing with seasickness, it will become more natural and help you to move past having to take anything. A lot of the time, these remedies will be the easiest to implement because they require moving around on the boat.

 First stay ahead of it by taking meds before you go out on the boat. There are a variety of medications that are available to help prevent or treat motion sickness. They need to be taking 1-2 hours before you go out so plan ahead. Medicines for nausea are called antiemetic drugs. They include antihistamines such as Dramamine and scopolamine drugs, which come in pill or patch form and require a prescription.  

Focus on the horizon. By focusing, many people experience the extraordinary power of the brain to overpower the feeling of the waves. Get horizontal and close your eyes. Your ears control balance, but your eyes can deceive you. By adjusting your balance by 90 degrees from standing to laying down and keeping your eyes from paying attention to the rolling motion, your brain can work through the motion more easily.

Keep the fresh air coming. If you are sitting there with the engines running the exhaust air can start to make anyone sick, so try avoiding it as much as possible.

Move to the center of the boat. The rocking motion is typically significantly reduced where the center of gravity for the boat is more defined, so the motion will tend to not be as dramatic in the center of the boat if you are sitting there and can get into the water that will help also.  

      Eat Small Meals and Stay Hydrated. Eating smaller, more frequent treats and drinking water / Gatorade type drinks, will help by putting something in your stomach and also gives you something to do to help take your mind off it.

      Tilt Your Head Into Turns. Synchronizing your body with the motion may help reduce motion sickness. Turns and rotary motion tend to cause more severe motion sickness than travel in a linear motion.

      Look at the Horizon. Looking at the horizon will help you avoid sudden head movements. People who are prone to motion sickness tend to have more body sway while standing. Try to widen your stance to help reduce body sway. This is why people that have mTBIs tend to get motion sickness easier.

      Press on This Pressure Point. The point is located on the inner side of the forearm, about two inches (or three finger widths) above the crease of the wrist in between the two tendons.

     Ginger Root A widely used remedy for nausea, ginger root is often taken in the form of lozenges, tea, capsules, tablets, crystallized root, candies, or ginger ale.

      If you have tried all the above and you still feel sick the last thing you can try is sticking your finger in your mouth as far back as you can get it. Throwing up does help, and the bright side is it might make other people do it also. So you won’t be alone anymore.

If you get motion sickness or thing you will, remedies may be worth considering, especially if you are not able to take medication. If you are going to take meds is to try them before you step on the boat. If you have never tried it, it might make it worse if it makes you sick or sleepy. Good Luck and I hope this helps.


7 Responses to “SCUBAPRO Sunday – Sea Sickness”

  1. jellydonut says:

    Having been at sea for a decade, and seasick for the same amount of time, there are only a handful of things that actually work.

    – seeing the horizon. I do not manage to get seasick in an open boat where I can actually see around me. No problem.

    – getting horizontal. Inside a ship, this solves your problems.. If, of course, you have the time and opportunity. Your balance nerve seems to go into sleep mode when you get horizontal. 30 minutes to an hour of horizontal position and you’ll be just about reset.

    – as for seasickness medication, they might work for some. I have found that some of the usual OTC stuff like meclozine is pretty much useless and mostly makes you tired. The patches with scopolamine will give you the dryest throat of your life and make you almost as nauseous as if you were seasick. The only drug I’ve found that really works quite well and doesn’t give side effects is promethazine, well worth buying if you can get it.

  2. Robert says:

    Good tips. I would add that you can buy wristbands that have a hard plastic disc contained within them that applies constant pressure to the appropriate area on the wrist described in the article.

  3. Baldwin says:

    Give me that Zodiac and that Sig and I promise to never, never, ever blow beets. Seriously.

  4. Jeremy says:

    The plus side of ginger root is that when you throw up, it tastes like ginger ale.

  5. CapnTroy says:

    I’ve worked on the ocean almost daily for 35 years and I usually tell seasick people to hurry up & hork and get back to work, because a breakfast twice-tasted is a breakfast not wasted.

    But if you want to fight it, I’ve found that Bonine works well for most people and doesn’t really cause drowsiness. The other trick is getting on the helm…never had anybody puke while on wheel watch.

  6. PTM says:

    Growing up on the Gulf of Mexico I spent a lot of time on the water in boats and only got sea sick one time, and boy was it a doozy, we were fishing in the Pensacola Bay pass where water comes in/out of the Gulf and the waves and currents are in literally every direction. I was sitting in the back of a Boston Whaler fishing off the stern and I remembered what one old Salt told me how you know when you are well and truly and actually sea sick. You just want to die. I did not believe him.

    But he was right.


  7. Ray Forest says:

    You forgot kissing or hugging a tree. It’s also an excellent way to stop seasickness