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Old 28-12-2011, 14:58   #1
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Monitoring sea sickness

It seems that my wife will get sea sick on the first 3 days of a passage no matter what we do. After 3 days she does come good. I am concerned about managing sea sickness for anyone on board. My question is for those who have done day hopping up a coast. If someone is succeptible to being sick for the first 3 days on a passage, what happens if we day hopped up the coast for 3 days, staying in a protected anchorage overnight? From your experience, does this count or does the 3 days start again each time you leave protected waters and head out to sea?
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Old 28-12-2011, 15:13   #2
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Re: Monitoring sea sickness

I doubt if there's a definative answer to this. I sometimes used to feel a little queazy sitting in our old boat in a marina. The diesel/bilge smell was part of that. After a night aboard I'd be fine.

But at sea I had to stay above deck as much as possible. After a few days aboard I'd be fine if conditions were good, but if it was a bit lumpy I had to really make sure I kept looking toward the horizon a smuch as possible.

Then I sailed on a cat - the difference was amazing, I could go below and cook a meal in 20 knots against tide, no problem at all. However others have reported the opposite.

So it's very probably something you'll just have to "suck and see"

I do find that the longer I'm on a boat, the more motion I can handle though. Anchoring in good spots probably help more because you'll get a good night sleep than for any other reason. Being tired is a real seasickness trigger.
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Old 28-12-2011, 15:27   #3
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Re: Monitoring sea sickness

Two things, first I've found that you need to start taking any seasickness med. early- before you leave the dock. For me, that means if we are leaving Friday AM, I start taking the Dramamine Thursday AM. It makes a huge difference. Second, when one is real bad for a period of time, the big danger is from dehydration, which can actually make the seasickness worse and last longer. Here's a link for making an electrolyte drink from items on board that can make a ton of difference, you just have to keep trying to keep it down. Seasickness is no fun, anything you can do, such as going easy the first few days, easing off on extreme heeling, not running the engine, bearing off so you aren't bashing, can help some.
http://theboatgalley.com/rehydration-drink/
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Old 28-12-2011, 15:36   #4
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Re: Monitoring sea sickness

You also need to eat a little. Trail mix with M&M's is a good start. Just eat 1 M&M. Then some nuts. It helps a lot...
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Old 28-12-2011, 16:18   #5
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Re: Monitoring sea sickness

I start with having my seasick prone guests stay overnight in the boat the day before. If they are really prone then start the meds too. Smooth sailing helps, as does frequent stops for anything. I will not go out in Bluewater with someone already quezy...
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Old 28-12-2011, 16:38   #6
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Re: Monitoring sea sickness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eleebana View Post
My question is for those who have done day hopping up a coast. If someone is succeptible to being sick for the first 3 days on a passage, what happens if we day hopped up the coast for 3 days, staying in a protected anchorage overnight? From your experience, does this count or does the 3 days start again each time you leave protected waters and head out to sea?
I haven't been scientific about this, but I believe my wife's seasickness clock is reset when we are in a calm anchorage. But it's kind of.. fuzzy. She seems more immune than if we had just departed from a marina.
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Old 29-12-2011, 08:28   #7
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Re: Monitoring sea sickness

Starting meds early (24 hours before departure) is HUGE for me -- and I do much better if I'm at the wheel (I think because it gives me something to do). I've been known to take the boat off the autopilot/wind vane just for that purpose!

Don't ask someone prone to seasickness to read charts, cruising guides (or anything else) or keep a really sharp eye on the radar . . . all will aggravate the problem.

Also, make SURE that someone who is susceptible wears their tether -- it's very easy to get disoriented and lose your footing or miss a handhold when queasy.

Gingersnaps are good to eat -- ginger is a natural remedy (not in place of meds, but as a snack they're not likely to make it worse).

Whether a stop re-sets the time . . . for me, sometimes yes, sometimes no. I just keep taking the meds until I'm really feeling good -- it seems to depend tremendously on the wind and wave direction, swells, etc.
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Old 29-12-2011, 09:19   #8
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Re: Monitoring sea sickness

I am curious if one may never get over getting seasick. I spent two weeks on a dive boat in the Bahamas and was sick the first night and than fine until the second week and I got sick again really bad. I have heard that some people will never get over being sick. I truly hope this is not the case for me and it may have been something I ate that morning.
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Old 29-12-2011, 09:22   #9
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Re: Monitoring sea sickness

The best medication for sea sickness, bar none, is pot. Unfortunately, it's illegal most places I've been and you might lose your boat because of it -total madness!
Most people get over it in 2-3 days. I used to take off to the fishing grounds a couple of days before the season started and roll around out there, get sick and get over it before I had to do any work - what a way to make a living! I loved it!(still do)
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Old 29-12-2011, 10:17   #10
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Re: Monitoring sea sickness

I've found that I am susceptible for the first day or two of a passage before I get my sea legs. However, taking a few days off at anchor or dock does not reset my clock and I am not sick upon returning to sea. The previous advice is good - get on the medication a day before you set out. (This will also reveal any unpleasant side-effects to the meds while there's still time to postpone the trip).

Personally, I'm a fan of Cinnarizine sold under the brand name Stugeron. It's an over-the-counter medication not sold in the US, but I've been able to purchase it online through a Canadian pharmacy who shipped it to the US with no problems. I would imagine it's available at pharmacies Down Under. Unlike Dramamine, it does not make me drowsy. On a recent delivery with 15 foot seas, the crew who took Stugeron were fine, but those who did not were chumming the fish for the first 24 hours.

Safe travels,
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Old 29-12-2011, 10:43   #11
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Re: Monitoring sea sickness

Greg,
Each persons affliction with seasickness is different. For me it is both how many days I've been out on this trip as well as how long I've not been out before the trip. Either way, I need to keep fed, keep liquified, keep my temperature not too hot or too cold -- all these make a lot of difference for me. In the end, my vote is for Stugeron, works great for me.
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Old 29-12-2011, 11:26   #12
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Re: Monitoring sea sickness

Time on the boat makes a difference. Also each ocean has it's own pattern. I never got sick on the Pacific, but my first time offshore in the Gulf I did. Take the pills before going on the boat, and sleep on the boat the night before. These things work for my wife. (also seasickness has a big mental component, if you feel well rested and secure you're less likely to get it).
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Old 29-12-2011, 16:01   #13
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Re: Monitoring sea sickness

Practical sailor also voted for Stugeron as the best. My advice is to read the contraindications carefully, as I have heard of problems with it. It can't be worse than being seasick....
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Old 30-12-2011, 06:13   #14
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Re: Monitoring sea sickness

You never can tell about sea sickness.

I was seasick only once in my life, on a small boat out fishing in the Delaware Bay in choppy conditions. Never since. My wife turned green (really!) the first time she sailed, and would get very queasy simply stepping on the boat in a slip. Transderm Scop worked for her, but made her queasy after she got off the boat. Then we chartered a sailboat for a half day whale watching trip in Maui. She did fine and never experienced mal de mer again, even on some extremely rough passages. On the other hand, a good friend who has sailed coastal and offshore all his life with no problems, suddenly began to experience seasickness in his early 60s, and nothing seemed to help alleviate it. It's a strange illness.
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Old 30-12-2011, 07:26   #15
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Re: Monitoring sea sickness

I was once told blue chocolate smarties can help!!
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