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Old 23-07-2018, 20:18   #1
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Has your Sea Sickness sensitivity changed?

I guess what I'm asking of you experienced cruisers...

Is sea sickness something that your body/brain acclimates to over time with more time spent on the water? Or do most people retain the same sensitivity levels regardless of how many hours they put in on the water?

i.e. when you were just getting started with cruising did you have a lot worse sea sickness (or a higher rate of occurrence) than what you experienced today?
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Old 23-07-2018, 20:49   #2
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Re: Has your Sea Sickness sensitivity changed?

Probably, I think ? Avoid triggers like exhaust or fuel fumes and finicky work like watch repair in sloppy conditions.
Then again I know a guy who's been a highly rated dinghy racer for 50 years who gets deathly ill on a cruising boat when not racing.
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Old 23-07-2018, 21:21   #3
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Re: Has your Sea Sickness sensitivity changed?

Definitely for both my wife and I over 100,000 miles. I would occasionally feel queasy when I started cruising, but now I feel fine in very rough weather. My wife has progressed from throwing up at the start of every passage to getting sick less than the average sailor.

In addition, most people who get seasick start to feel better after 2 days into each passage.
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Old 23-07-2018, 21:34   #4
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Re: Has your Sea Sickness sensitivity changed?

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Definitely for both my wife and I over 100,000 miles. I would occasionally feel queasy when I started cruising, but now I feel fine in very rough weather. My wife has progressed from throwing up at the start of every passage to getting sick less than the average sailor.

In addition, most people who get seasick start to feel better after 2 days into each passage.
Good to know, thanks!

I'm usually okay on the water but had an offshore fishing excursion once during the winter off the coast of the FL Keys and swell was big & choppy and I was MISERABLE.
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Old 23-07-2018, 23:45   #5
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Re: Has your Sea Sickness sensitivity changed?

boatingnewbie,

Everyone's different. I got motion sickness as a child. As an adult, it is no great surprise that I am still susceptible to it, and often medicate against it. For me, it is jerky motion that bothers my body, and so, unlike donradcliffe, I will get seasick, even though my body has learned a lot of things to do to help it. For me, the only "cure" that has had minimal side effects is cinnarizine HCl, or Stugeron, available over the counter in England, and a few other places, and I'm told, but don't know, via internet, from Canada.

If you research the studies of the astronauts and airsickness, you'll learn a lot.

Ann
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Old 24-07-2018, 00:17   #6
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Re: Has your Sea Sickness sensitivity changed?

I spent much of my life on the water, boats and ships. Initially I got sea sick, but got over it depending on conditions in 1-3 days. Now at 70 it hasn't bothered me in about 40 years.
A remedy I recommend on my boat is Dramamine the night before leaving. It makes you drowsy, you get a good nights sleep, and the next day the ocean doesn't bother you. So far no guest has gotten sea sick since the 1970s. And then only one who didn't follow recommendations.
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Old 24-07-2018, 00:55   #7
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Re: Has your Sea Sickness sensitivity changed?

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I spent much of my life on the water, boats and ships. Initially I got sea sick, but got over it depending on conditions in 1-3 days. Now at 70 it hasn't bothered me in about 40 years.
A remedy I recommend on my boat is Dramamine the night before leaving. It makes you drowsy, you get a good nights sleep, and the next day the ocean doesn't bother you. So far no guest has gotten sea sick since the 1970s. And then only one who didn't follow recommendations.
Great tip, thank you! If it's a multi-day passage do you recommend someone take the Dramamine every night before bed? Or only that 1st night?
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Old 24-07-2018, 02:07   #8
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Re: Has your Sea Sickness sensitivity changed?

It is a good idea to "dry run" meds ashore before trusting them at sea. Not with reference to the mal de mer cure, but to asses side effects. For instance, for me Dramamine is roughly equivilent to whacking myself in the head with a big mallet. It renders me helplessly drowsy. If taken as one leaves shore, it is possible that you will not be seasick...or conscious!

The Scopalamine patches used to work well for me, but gave me truly lurid dreams when at rest... enough so that when I woke, it was hard to regain sleep.

But back to your query: yes, I have become much less susceptible to m de m over the years. My regime now is if we have been in shelter or ashore for a while I will take one Stugeron well before departure, and usually that sets me up for the whole passage.

Some folks are not so lucky. I used to go to Bikini atoll as part of a radiological assessment team. We would travel from Kwajaline (sp?) to Bikini on a 110 foot research vessel that rolled a lot. Our group leader would be vomiting before we left the lagoon and would be hors de combat until ashore once more. Poor guy... had to go, but knew he would be miserable for two days each way, and no cure was ever found for him (and he looked damn hard for one!)

Truly, sea sickness and ciguaterra are the banes of cruiserdom...things we could do without!

Jim
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Old 24-07-2018, 08:19   #9
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Re: Has your Sea Sickness sensitivity changed?

affirmative: in may case it was frightened and not aware of the situation. Since I got rid of it. No Problem. OK I would not work in the Engine Room at force > 5 Bft.
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Old 24-07-2018, 08:29   #10
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Re: Has your Sea Sickness sensitivity changed?

I worked offshore tugs for 36 years. I got seasick regularly especially in the early years in rough weather and the boats were smaller then. Over the years it got better but still when really rough had to take Marazine once a day. The 50 mg per tablet ones until weather calmed down. Funny thing is I have never got worse that very slightly quesy when sailing. Must be the different type of motion.
I hear the Stugeron is good tho have not tried it myself. I would say it gets better with age as I believe seasickness is caused by the inner ear and associated with balance hence with age less balance less nausea. Just my own theory.
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Old 24-07-2018, 08:32   #11
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Re: Has your Sea Sickness sensitivity changed?

I'm about to retire as an Occupational Therapist working with children who often had difficulty with vestibular function for balance skills. It is generally considered that the fluid in the semi circular canals of the inner ear becomes thicker with age. As such the thicker liquid sends a stronger and more abrupt signal to the cilia, hair like fibers that will sense the movement of the head, and send that information to the brain stem.
I know as I got older and would being doing a lecture, I would demonstrate a movement exercise to the students that could be used to provide children with balance training through sensory movement input.
Is seems as I got older, the more basic movements called "Astronaut Training" would make me dizzy. I learned to have a lecture assistant do the work while I did the talking and not fall over!
So I believe we would be more sensitive as we age to seasickness, but we all have learned to adjust through medication, diet, avoiding smells and staying up on deck, or below with your eyes closed. You want to avoid the discrepancy between visual input and vestibular input, which causes the body to shut down until the discrepancy resolves itself.
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Old 24-07-2018, 08:35   #12
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Re: Has your Sea Sickness sensitivity changed?

Valoid suppository ... best . I used to get seasick all the time. Left South Africa in January. Have not been seasick since . Liveaboard.
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Old 24-07-2018, 08:35   #13
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Re: Has your Sea Sickness sensitivity changed?

Yes it gets better. But I still find if I am on shore fore a while I get sick when I go back on the boat. Saying that it is many years since I threw up but I do usually find that for the first 3 days back on board I am dozy and disinterested, don't want to eat and can't be bothered to keep tidy. Best remedy is sleeping on board. Go anchor somewhere with some motion for a couple of days before a trip and you will get your 'sea legs'. Also a good time to do all the sorting you did not get around to in port.
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Old 24-07-2018, 08:37   #14
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Re: Has your Sea Sickness sensitivity changed?

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Originally Posted by Calif.Ted View Post
Then again I know a guy who's been a highly rated dinghy racer for 50 years who gets deathly ill on a cruising boat when not racing.
Dingy sailing is not done in ocean swell conditions and has absolutely no relationship to movement of a yacht on the ocean. In my youth, for several years I sailed dinghies in all seasons, in some very rough weather and never felt sick. But I was very seasick my first few times on the ocean.

Best way to get over seasickness is to go on an ocean cruise of at least 3 days at sea without going ashore. This can be very uncomfortable for most folks. Use Dramamine or Scopalomine or whatever works for you. Start 4 hours before you enter the ocean, and slowly taper it off after a couple of days.

Above all, don't be ashamed to be puking when all your shipmates tell you they are feeling great. Some people think they are superior to you and don't mind making fun of you for being seasick. Ignore them, seasickness is no indication of your ability as a crewman or skipper. It just happens.

And as you get older, your sensitivity to motion decreases. Just like all your senses, your sense of balance, which is what causes motion sickness, becomes less acute.
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Old 24-07-2018, 08:55   #15
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Re: Has your Sea Sickness sensitivity changed?

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Originally Posted by Gary Matthesen View Post
I'm about to retire as an Occupational Therapist working with children who often had difficulty with vestibular function for balance skills. It is generally considered that the fluid in the semi circular canals of the inner ear becomes thicker with age. As such the thicker liquid sends a stronger and more abrupt signal to the cilia, hair like fibers that will sense the movement of the head, and send that information to the brain stem.
I know as I got older and would being doing a lecture, I would demonstrate a movement exercise to the students that could be used to provide children with balance training through sensory movement input.
Is seems as I got older, the more basic movements called "Astronaut Training" would make me dizzy. I learned to have a lecture assistant do the work while I did the talking and not fall over!
So I believe we would be more sensitive as we age to seasickness, but we all have learned to adjust through medication, diet, avoiding smells and staying up on deck, or below with your eyes closed. You want to avoid the discrepancy between visual input and vestibular input, which causes the body to shut down until the discrepancy resolves itself.
I politely disagree. As you become older, all your senses become less acute, therefore yes, you can lose balance, but what that is telling you is that the inner ear is less sensitive than when you were young. There is less signal of the motion back to the brain, therefore the brain does not feel the motion as much. As such, it may be more difficult for the brain to form corrective responses to avoid losing balance.

If there is age-related thickening of the fluid of the inner ear, perhaps what is happening is that being thicker, the fluid cannot respond as rapidly to the sea motion, again that would cause less acute sensitivity and less signal of motion to the brain.

I am 71 years of age so I do have experience in effects of aging. I am much less sensitive to sea motion than when I was young. But I don't have any training in physiology, so these are just a semi-educated sailor's thoughts on the subject.

My own experience shows that being on deck in view of the sea will not help very much if at all, with sea sickness. What does help, other than drugs or actively steering the boat, is to lie prone, on your back. This "disconnects" the inner ear (probably related to position of the cilia and the fluid in that orientation). And of course, stay low and near center of the boat.
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