What is seasickness?
in your inner ear detect and respond to movement. In normal
circumstances, these fluids help you maintain your balance. On a
rolling boat, the erratic stimulation sends confusing and
contradictory messages to
brain, which may respond with motion sickness or seasickness. Symptoms
are worst in a close room, when the visual message to your brain
("we're not moving") contradicts the motion felt by your inner ear
("we sure are moving!").
who's ever been seriously seasick knows what a miserable feeling it
is. Given the risk of enduring that all week, why would anyone spend
a week on a boat?
answer is, a few simple steps will keep you from getting seasick.
However, it's easier to prevent it from occurring, than to get rid
of it once you're on a roiling boat. Here's what you should know about
Are you susceptible?
everyone will get seasick in heavy seas, if they haven't taken steps
to prevent it. Some people are more susceptible in the occasional
swells that are more typical on a dive boat; others are less so.
you never feel nauseous on a plane, even in turbulent weather, you're
probably less susceptible. If you've been aboard boats in choppy water,
or in small airplanes in rough air, without feeling nausea. can read
a newspaper in a moving, slightly bouncy car, you're less susceptible
But before starting a week-long vacation on a live-aboard boat, even
scuba divers who feel they're unlikely to get seasick will usually
take preventive measures. Why risk letting anything interfere with
a great week?
most people, a simple over-the-counter medication such as Dramamine
(available in both standard and non-drowsy formulations) or TripTone
is all that's necessary to avoid any symptoms of seasickness. To be
on the safe side, start taking it ten or twelve hours before heading
out to sea.
The next step up is a prescription skin patch, which releases a small,
steady dosage of scopolamine into your body. You'll need to discuss
with your doctor whether this is suitable for you. With a patch, you
needn't worry about forgetting to take a pill on schedule.
approaches can be used to supplement, or replace, the common drugs
suggested above. Our advice, if experimenting with any of these, is
to try one it on a short trip, before committing to it for an entire
people have reported success with wrist bands, which apply pressure
to an acupuncture point.
considerable anecdotal evidence that ginger will prevent seasickness.
It can be taken in various forms. Ginger powder is the purest source
(different studies have recommended 1 to 4 grams); or try gingersnap
cookies, ginger root, or pickled ginger from an Asian market. Ginger
should be ingested at least several hours in advance.
hydrated. Drinking lots of water before you set sail.
oatmeal or crusty bread is thought to minimize the likelihood of
nausea. Avoid greasy foods.
While on the boat
of your time on a live-aboard dive boat, you're likely to be in fairly
calm water. But if the boat hits choppy water, you can do several
your eyes on the horizon.
in the fresh air, and avoid any discomforting odors.
toward the middle of the boat, where motion is less severe.
read or do other close-up work.
on lemon drops or other hard candy may be helpful.
in! If you're on a pitching boat, getting ready to dive, your best
course may simply be to get in the water and below the waves.