READERS CHIME IN to use them when needed over the next four years as my wife Jan, myself, and our son Joel sailed to Turkey. I have also used them occasionally during our more recent eight-year circumnavigation. This remedy was effective for me even when I delayed taking it until I was already feeling queasy. I had previously tried most of the remedies you mentioned, except smoking pot, with either no success or unacceptable side effects. "Neither Jan nor Joel has ever suffered mal de mer. Interestingly, both of them seem to have built-in compasses and a uncanny sense of direction. I have neither. I wonder if there is a connection between seasickness and getting lost in your own backyard!" — Dave Pryde Baraka, Slocum 43 "There is some good information I found on the Coast Guard website. Their crew must act precisely in the worst of weather. Their method: Get moving. How sedentary are you? When was the last
time you did a somersault? The Coast Guard has machines with seats that mimic the rolling of high seas. Starting a couple of days before stormy weather, crewmembers spend an increasingly longer time in the chair, starting off with 20 minutes. "I suggest to seasick-prone folks to try spinning around in circles. No kidding. Remember when we did this as children and fell down laughing and couldn't walk straight. For some a few twirls will bring on that nausea. Don't throw up. Relax do it again in an hour. Try somersaults, jumping, and balancing on one foot. The idea is to get the three ear canals in each ear fluid. "Also avoid belowdecks. The guys from the Volvo [Ocean Race] say they are only on their feet or sitting when belowdecks for a maximum of five minutes. After that they are lying down with eyes closed. "Last time I was sick was on a Farallones race. The mast came down about 11 miles out. The seas were 8 to 12 feet at a short interval. After 45 minutes of
cleaning up the sails, spars and rigging while lying abeam, the close focus got the best of me. I held onto my over-easy eggs and home fries, but it was a nasty ride to home port. I was almost delirious." — Steve Sarsfield
ith such varied recommendations, we hope you found this collection of advice to be more helpful than confusing. The bottom line seems to be that if you are prone to seasickness, you should try various remedies — perhaps starting with benign techniques such as inserting a single ear plug or eating ginger snaps — until you find the method that works best for you. Because it would be a real shame to give up something that's as fun as sailing — especially out on the open ocean — for fear of losing your lunch. — latitude/andy For a more scholarly approach to this gut-wrenching subject see Dr. Kent Benedict's classic article Taming of the Spew, under "seasickness" in Latitude's online archives at: www.latitude38.com.
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email@example.com December, 2015 •
• Page 89
The December 2015 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.