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Old 08-06-2008, 15:51   #1
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Sea legs to land legs

Just got back in from a day sail. Winds out of the south at 20 knots gusting to 30. It was a great day to sail. It takes me and the wife about 5 min to get our sea legs and we don't have any issues with getting our land legs back. However after the sail today we both sat down at our own computers at the same time and both noticed we still felt like we were on the boat after looking at the computer screens. Weird. We normaly don't feel like we are still on the boat even after spending days on it.
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Old 08-06-2008, 16:43   #2
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Just got back in from a day sail. Winds out of the south at 20 knots gusting to 30. It was a great day to sail. It takes me and the wife about 5 min to get our sea legs and we don't have any issues with getting our land legs back. However after the sail today we both sat down at our own computers at the same time and both noticed we still felt like we were on the boat after looking at the computer screens. Weird. We normaly don't feel like we are still on the boat even after spending days on it.
Depending on how long you are aboard and in what conditions, it can take days or a week or two to adjust back to land. When we moved off the boat for a while this past fall, it took about a week, I think.

Some people after spending a long time in very rough conditions become "land sick" the moment they leave the boat for a while.

Interesting stuff.
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Old 08-06-2008, 18:40   #3
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It certainly varies for me -- some times I feel the land rocking for days, and other times not at all. I kind of like it, since if I close my eyes I get to pretend I'm back on the boat (although I do remember waking up in a hotel bed in Honolulu, holding the edge of the mattress in a death-grip and convinced that I was about to be pitched onto the floor). What is strange to me is that after a long passage I sometimes feel completely solid once on shore, but then motion starts up a day or two later.
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Old 08-06-2008, 20:32   #4
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I've had times where I get "Land Sick" so bad that I'm about to barff on the docks but back on the boat, I'm fine... The wife says its "Pay-Back" time for laughing at her while she had her head over the side..
She used to feel bad for being sick the first day out on a long trip but we stopped into the West Marine's book store, in Sausalito, a couple years ago and while talking to the woman who ran the place, The woman told her to be grateful as when she went out for a long passage, she was sick for the first FIVE days. The wife dosen't feel so bad anymore......
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Old 09-06-2008, 02:23   #5
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I've had times where I get "Land Sick" so bad that I'm about to barff on the docks. but back on the boat I'm fine...
Your brain, while at sea, is confronted with conflicting information from your eyes, your feet and your inner ear about where the horizon is and where the deck is. These inputs are no longer to be trusted in this regard. So your brain decouples these stimuli.

When you get back to land, your brain still has these senses decoupled, and these independent, multiple sensory attacks can once again lead to conflicting interpretations. It is this conflict of interpretation (Tetris effect ?) that feels like a rocking motion.


Randyonr3 may sometimes be experiencing a mild form of Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MdDS, or disembarkment syndrome), French for "sickness of disembarkation".
In MdDS, the symptoms* may persist for a month (or more), and possibly many years. This differs from the very common condition of "land sickness" (sea legs) that most people feel for a short time after a motion event such as a boat cruise.

* The symptoms most frequently reported include: a persistent sensation of motion usually described as rocking, swaying, or bobbing; difficulty maintaining balance; extreme fatigue; difficulty concentrating ("brain fog"); dizziness, headaches and/or migraine headaches, confusion, and anxiety. Many patients also describe ear symptoms such as hyperacusis, tinnitus, "fullness", pain, or even decreased hearing. Cognitive impairment ("brain fog") includes an inability to recall words, short term memory loss, and an inability to multi-task.
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Old 09-06-2008, 02:38   #6
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....
In MdDS, the symptoms* may persist for a month (or more), and possibly many years. This differs from the very common condition of "land sickness" (sea legs) that most people feel for a short time after a motion event such as a boat cruise.

* The symptoms most frequently reported include: a persistent sensation of motion usually described as rocking, swaying, or bobbing; difficulty maintaining balance; extreme fatigue; difficulty concentrating ("brain fog"); dizziness, headaches and/or migraine headaches, confusion, and anxiety. Many patients also describe ear symptoms such as hyperacusis, tinnitus, "fullness", pain, or even decreased hearing. Cognitive impairment ("brain fog") includes an inability to recall words, short term memory loss, and an inability to multi-task.
Well that explains it, I am suffering from late onset MdDS, must have happened after that first longish trip of a couple of weeks about 20 years back. The symptons are really kicking in lately.

Maybe it will sudside when I get the current boat back in the water.

Apart from that, the land used to rock when having a shower for a few days after returning from a trip of more than a few days.
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Old 09-06-2008, 03:55   #7
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I certainly have MdDS as well after living aboard for years.

Last winter on land, I noticed my sense of balance was off. It always felt like I was walking around on the boat.

However (luckily), once I started moving in any way other than walking, my balance was fine. So fortunately, my snowboarding wasn't affected!
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Old 09-06-2008, 04:57   #8
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I get it to...sometimes quite strongly. I have found the best cure is to get straight back on board (in some sunny climb with a gentle breeze blowing and the call of the local birds, whilst a waft of barbeque something sooths my nostrils and .....
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Old 09-06-2008, 05:17   #9
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I've experienced the same reactions as Paul E. I'll wake up in the middle of the night in my bed at home, thinking I'm still on a mooring or an anchor and jump up to check the lines. After sailing through a 4 day low pressure system, I would wake up in bed, thinking the ceiling was the cabin sole...weird, but I kind of like it...but then, I'm weird...

I've woken up from a dead sleep, thinking that my neighbors yellow driveway lights were shore lights and I'm still on the boat......I never get sick, though...if anything, upon realizing that I'm actually home...I feel disappointed, wishing I were back on the boat!!...
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Old 09-06-2008, 10:26   #10
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Trouble sleeping is definitely one of the symptoms. After 2+ years of cruising it took us about a month to get used to a bed that didn't move plus no creaking, groaning, wind generator noise, wave slaps, etc.
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Old 09-06-2008, 20:12   #11
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I still think may have had something to do with the computer screens. We were both fine until looking at them.
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Old 09-06-2008, 22:25   #12
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It was most certainly the computer screen or rather the visual concentration that brought on your symptoms. The eyes compensate for the over or false stimulation of the inner ear and proprioceptive system and as noted above the brain is trying to create order out of the input signals it is receiving. Just as a mild imbalance in our eyes adds to the sensory conflict of motion sickness, ocular input is important for the recovery. (patching one eye markedly decreases sea sickness)

If you would look up frequently from the screen and stare at the horizon, the effect would be mitigated to a great extent. Or if you want to increase the stimulation and motion effect, stare at a rotating drum with stripes on it. (Caution, may induce a fish feeding episode.)

Unfortunate student of Sea Sickness

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Old 10-06-2008, 08:17   #13
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I have been getting a version of MdS lately. It's the Mal de Suds version. Same symptoms, room spinning etc. and in severe cases you will end up only "seeing" the ceiling for a brief period before blacking out. Usually you'll wake up hours later with a thick tongue and bad breath.
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Old 12-06-2008, 07:53   #14
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Nice to know I'm not the only one who gets that weird feeling. It usually happens when I'm back at work after being on the boat all weekend and sit down to work at the computer. Also I've noted it happens when I take a shower. Standing under the water, with your eyes closed, and I could swear the whole shower is swaying!
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Old 12-06-2008, 14:05   #15
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I only get it when I lay down in bed and close my eyes after a cruise. Between that and the fact that my pillow smells like the boat after a day or two, makes it easy and pleasant to drift off to sleep.
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