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Old 02-02-2012, 20:09   #1
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3 Non Sailors and Seasickness

I am getting ready to reposition my boat. It is currently in San Diego and I need to get her North to SF Bay. At my 30th High school reunion I met up with three of my good buddies from HS and organized a trip for March. Turns out that March is the only time I have to bring the boat North too. They are all non-sailors though they used to go out with me a little on my Dad's boat during high school and college. I plan on single handing the boat from SD to Dana Point and then meet up with them there. We'll head over to Catalina ( Avlaon) and then up to Two Harbors and from there to Ventura. From Ventura to SF I have a seasoned crew of friends to take the boat North.

One of my HS friends says that he always gets seasick. He needs Bonnie or else he is seasick. He really wants to go on the trip. It rarely gets rough from SD to Catalina. From Catalina to Ventura it can be rough but usually is not. My advice to him was this -- get a prescription for scopolamine (sp?) patches. Try one on land to make sure you don't have adverse reactions. Then put one on the night before we leave and change it out in the middle of the four day trip.

Does anyone else have any ideas?
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:24   #2
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Re: 3 non sailors and seasickness

HUNDREDS of ideas! Do a search here for "seasickness" and you will find dozens of threads with so many different ideas it will make your head spin.
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:42   #3
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Re: 3 non sailors and seasickness

Isn't the idea to NOT have a head spinning situation?
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:45   #4
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Re: 3 non sailors and seasickness

denveredOn is correct. However, you made a very good suggestion about trying these medications well ahead of time. I am in healthcare, most recently pharmaceutical research, and many people use Transderm-Scop (scopolamine) without any issue. Others, like me, cannot tolerate it. It has antihitaminic effects and it does dry you out. Most patients complain of extreme thirst. I get so dry I can hear, yes hear, my eyes blink. NO KIDDING! However, I have red hair and I an Irish fair skinned with light eyes, so I would be more sensitive to this. Also, is can make you photophobic (light sensitive), so good sunglasses are important. Some physician sailors suggest applying it on your hip and hot behind the ear to lessen this and the dilation of the eye(s).

Sea sickness is so rough to deal with, but it doesn't keep me off the water. Suggestions:
1. No alcohol the night before or on sail day one.

2. Day one ... drink Gatorade-type drink only.

3. Do not eat four hours before sailing and then, only have light carbohydrates that are easy to digest. Do not eat again until after your first night's sleep .... and just have the hydration beverage for calories and nutrition on sail day one. Again, do not eat on day one.

4. Stay on deck and do not go below for anything, except the head -- and if there is some way to make to elsewhere -- do it. LOL (I love to be the hostess and get drinks and food for everyone and I have had to give that up!)

5. Stay active, sailing, on the boat -- at the helm is best.

6. Use Bonine, Dramamine, Scopolamine, or whatever works. If you use Bonine or Dramamine, take it the day before you sail and again two hours before getting on the boat and continue to take it through the days you need it.

7. Ginger works for a great deal of people, including me. Start eating is 2 hours before the sail and through the sail. You can buy candied ginger candy online or at Asian stores (online is easier) and Alton Brown has a great recipe online for making it (easy).

Finally, I know this seems like a lot ..... but most people (including me) are fine after the first night of sleep. My husband and I have started leaving later and sailing a half day on day one, sleep, and then I am good to go. When I violate my own plan above .... it is not a good day on the s/v Vanora.

I hope this helps. Believe me, I understand!

Have fun!
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:07   #5
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Re: 3 non sailors and seasickness

I think the more you think about it, the more likely you are to get seasick. Take a Bonine the night before you sail, and then re-dose yourself every 24 hours and don't think about it. Seasickness is often a self-fulfilling prophecy.
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:26   #6
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Re: 3 non sailors and seasickness

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I think the more you think about it, the more likely you are to get seasick. Take a Bonine the night before you sail, and then re-dose yourself every 24 hours and don't think about it. Seasickness is often a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Ahhh, spoken like someone who has never been sea sick. I can explain the pathophysiology if you like.
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:44   #7
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Re: 3 non sailors and seasickness

A delivery is no place for someone prone to seasickness. Take him out on a daysail where you can cut things short once the vomiting begins.

Some people are just not meant to do deliveries.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:08   #8
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Re: 3 non sailors and seasickness

There are some people whose nervous systems are such that they just can't get accustomed to the motion. Although they are small in number, if your friend is one of them, then the trip is just going to be misery from start to finish. The one suggestion I haven't heard so far is the Relief Band Relief Band Premier | Relief Band with Carrying Case and Accessories

They aren't cheap, but they have been developed with some actual science behind them and function much like a TENS unit. Like everything else, they don't help everybody, but we keep one on board just in case we have one of the unlucky few. They have been pretty effective for people where the usual remedies don't do it. I've used it myself a couple of times when encountering just the wrong conditions after being on land for quite awhile. For me, about 15 minutes did the trick and then I was fine. We had one guest who was quite sensitive (getting sick on the quite placid Sea of Abaco), and after about a half-hour, she was OK.

But, I agree with Bash -- find out before doing the delivery!

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Old 03-02-2012, 09:11   #9
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Re: 3 non sailors and seasickness

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Ahhh, spoken like someone who has never been sea sick. I can explain the pathophysiology if you like.

I've actually been seasick, airsick, carsick, and just about anything else inbetween. I've found that the more time I spend thinking and hoping I don't get seasick, the more inclined I am to get seasick. I'm only offering suggestions based on what works for me. Your mileage may (and clearly does) vary.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:16   #10
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Re: 3 non sailors and seasickness

Only 1 sure cure for sea sickness

Stand under a tree!
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:32   #11
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Re: 3 non sailors and seasickness

I agree with Bash as well. Having people aboard that are prone to sea sickness is a bad idea on anything more than a day trip. I've had to deal with all levels of sea sickness from "Oh, just let me toss my cookies and I'll be fine" to "I don't give a damn what your plans were, who you are, or what you say, get me back to shore at all costs" Oh and if you bring ginger aboard, cookies or the candied kind, I'll eat em all up in the first two days. I just love that stuff.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:37   #12
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Re: 3 non sailors and seasickness

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I agree with Bash as well. Having people aboard that are prone to sea sickness is a bad idea on anything more than a day trip. I've had to deal with all levels of sea sickness from "Oh, just let me toss my cookies and I'll be fine" to "I don't give a damn what your plans were, who you are, or what you say, get me back to shore at all costs" Oh and if you bring ginger aboard, cookies or the candied kind, I'll eat em all up in the first two days. I just love that stuff.
I'm "prone to seasickness" and manage it just fine with all the normal techniques that everyone knows. Eat well, be healthy, find a medication that works for you (Bonine for me), and figure out the natural way to solve it as well (for me it's a a few hour's sleep underway, after that I'm fine). I've gotten more than a few eyebrow raises from other captains who when asking students "who gets seasick" I raise my own hand as well.

In regards to the trip, Catalina to the mainland LA area is ~25 miles. You can motor that in five hours easy, otherwise you're on a nice beam reach. Half the time you're in the lee of the island anyway, so the swells drop off when you're 5-10 miles from the island.

Even if he's violently ill, which he probably won't be, it's five hours. He'll deal with it. Worst case scenario just tell him to take the ferry over and meet you which is 1 1/2 hours.

The only caveat is that in March you can still catch the occasional southwester although this winter has been very mild. If you catch actual weather, and you'll see it in the forecast a week ahead of time (it won't sneak up on you), then maybe wait it out on shore. If you have the nerve and experience those are a great way to get blown up to the islands from San Diego. Otherwise you'll be motoring towards 289 degrees on the compass like everyone else, mad that your sailing adventure is starting with ten hours of motoring.

In short: no worries. Short distances, lots of options, predictable weather.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:40   #13
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Re: 3 non sailors and seasickness

On last year's Caribbean cruise we had a series of visitors. On the boat I had both scop patches and bonine. What works is very individual - There were some who got seasick wearing a patch but who felt better after eating bonine. There were others for whom bonine didnt work but the patches did. An MD sailor I know said that you should pick one or the other but not both.

My (admittedly small) sample would seem to indicate three things

- the patch works for more people than the bonine did (but thats not universal or even necessarily true in a larger sample)

- the advice above to start whichever cure you are using WELL AHEAD OF TIME is something to take to heart

- the advice to avoid heavy dinners and alcohol before leaving is also something to really pay attention to. If you are meeting old high school buds then tell them the blow-out get-together party will be at the END not the BEGINNING of the trip

Good luck!

PS - you might want to stock up on plastic buckets
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:57   #14
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Re: 3 non sailors and seasickness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Intentional Drifter View Post
There are some people whose nervous systems are such that they just can't get accustomed to the motion. Although they are small in number, if your friend is one of them, then the trip is just going to be misery from start to finish. The one suggestion I haven't heard so far is the Relief Band Relief Band Premier | Relief Band with Carrying Case and Accessories

They aren't cheap, but they have been developed with some actual science behind them and function much like a TENS unit. Like everything else, they don't help everybody, but we keep one on board just in case we have one of the unlucky few. They have been pretty effective for people where the usual remedies don't do it. I've used it myself a couple of times when encountering just the wrong conditions after being on land for quite awhile. For me, about 15 minutes did the trick and then I was fine. We had one guest who was quite sensitive (getting sick on the quite placid Sea of Abaco), and after about a half-hour, she was OK.

But, I agree with Bash -- find out before doing the delivery!

ID

ID -- I tried something similar, but not the same with no help at all. But, it sounds like this has been something beneficial for you and your guests. I will take a look at it. Thanks for the suggestion.

Darby
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:09   #15
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Re: 3 non sailors and seasickness

@ Bash -- I really wouldn't call this a delivery. It is a weekend cruise that starts in one place and ends in another. As RH said it is a short trip 25 to 30 miles to Catalina and my friend can take off from there by ferry or helicopter. Hopefully he will feel fine with some type of seasickness medication. I didn't realize the Bonine lasts for 24 hours. He has had good experience with it so maybe that is the way to go. @ Tellie I don't want to tell him not a good idea. Worst case scenario is that he has to get back to the mainland on his own. @ID I'll look into getting those bands. @ SCk5 I like to use plastic garbage bags instead of buckets. They don't spill as easily. A trick from my ocean racing career.
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