Sea Sickness

The only “sure cure” for sea sickness is to sit peacefully under a tree until the feeling passes.


Filed under boats, cruising, Minimalist Cruising, Sail, sailboats, sailing, Small boat cruising

3 responses to “Sea Sickness

  1. The only cure for a lot of things is to sit peacefully under a tree until “it” passes. That’s why I vote early and then turn off the tv and radio. 😉

    One of the absolute delights being in Panama is that I haven’t had to see or hear one, single campaign commercial.

  2. penmanship

    Richard, in my book, you’ve got it wrong.

    The only cure is to “hug a tree.”

    Turns out, it’s very hard to hug and puke at the same time! So, it represents (IMHO) a far better pro-active answer than your wimpy, passive, simply sitting under the tree.

    Could this be the true basis of ” Don’t sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me?”

    I’ve always told the same “hug a tree” story to guests on my boat who were suffering from the affliction. It seems to be the luck of the genetic draw if you get sea sick or not. I pity those who do and am very grateful for never having found myself among them. And, I did take several of them back home – because they were guests and not customers. Plus, the Gulf Stream is only about 15 minutes off shore from the Jupiter inlet. My home about another 10 minutes. So we could dump “em on my dock and still have a day to fish.

    Will always remember the first few times I went out on a fishing head-boat in Florida – I’m originally from Michigan – the few desperate sea sick among us, offered anything to the captain to turn the boat around and go home.

    The captains of course, never did – it would spoil the day for the other 25 or so of us on board who had paid good money for the half day of bliss and tangled lines and fish and strange creatures I’d never seen before being drug up from the depths.

    I vividly remember my 13 year-old self feeling smug about not being sea sick. I now regret those feelings. But, I was a young Michigan peckerhead on vacation who didn’t know any better and figured there were more fish for me to catch that way. Less onboard competion for other lines in the water and lots more free chum = more fish for greedy little me.

    I’ve lived in Jupiter, Florida for the last 35 years …
    not too far north of where you jumped ship for Panama in Ft. Liquerdale.

    BTW, Did your ex-roomie ever get his/your car back?

    Did he repay you the big bucks you paid out as you scrambled about to send him the paperwork? I really related to that story. It reminds me of many situations in which I’ve found myself. Usually, ending up on the dirty end of the stick – like you did.

    I don’t really want to be like you when I grow up (I’m 65), but I fear I shall…

    Capt. Dan of the proud Penmanship

    Dan, I completely disagree with your characterization of simply sitting under a tree as being wimpy. It is, in fact, one of life’s great pleasures as far as I’m concerned. Not as pleasurable as being on a boat somewhere, but it’s far, far better than being somewhere there’s snow.

    I don’t think sea sickness has anything to do with the “luck of the genetic draw” since it’s a function, or malfunction, of the inner ear which we all possess. I do think, though, that a lot of people can work themselves into the condition.

    In my lifetime around boats, from an 8′ pram my dad built for me when I was seven to an aircraft carrier in a storm off of Newfoundland in February with waves breaking down on the flight deck, I’ve only lost it once. Been queasy a bunch of times but only fed the fish once. That was on a 185′ oil-supply boat in the Gulf of Mexico and the conditions weren’t all that bad, either. We were a couple of hundred miles out, returning to port in about six foot seas coming in on the quarter. The mate and I were finishing up the early morning watch. The cook was starting to prepare breakfast and the delightful aroma of bacon was wafting up into the wheelhouse. Suddenly I started to sweat profusely in spite of the nearly meat-locker cold of the place. No matter how hard I battled I finally turned to the mate and said, “Fred, there’s less than a half hour left on the watch. What I’m going to do is go outside, throw up and go lay down in my bunk if that’s all right with you.” A couple of hours later and still under the same conditions I felt fine and ate a pile of that bacon.

    It has much more to do with a specific set of conditions that upset that inner ear balance than anything else and EVERYONE is susceptible. You just haven’t hit the right combination yet, but you could some day.

    Everything worked out okay with the car. He got it back and I got my money.

    P.S., Dan…I NEVER grew up. I just got older.

    P.P.S. Thanks for reading my blog and taking time to leave a comment. Tight lines and good fishing.

  3. You know, I think you’re right about different conditions affecting different people. I’ve been very, very lucky, and mostly have escaped seasickness. The worst was a midnight departure from Honolulu that took us through the Molokai channel on our way to Kauai – I’ve always thought the darkness and the absence of a horizon made a difference. And the seas were really confused.

    But generally, in the Gulf, I never had a problem unless it was very hot with a pronounced swell. July, say, with no wind but seas coming in from somewhere. Give me a good bashing any day over that foolishness. My response was to get sleepy beyond belief – but a fifteen minute nap would fix me up. Very, very strange.

    Absolutely right, Linda. Those who have never been sea sick just haven’t gotten caught yet.

    Back in ’75 I helped a young couple bring their Outhouse, I mean Out Island, 51 from Chicago to Fort Lauderdale (thus completing my Great Loop adventure). After getting the masts re-stepped in New Orleans we waited for a propitious WX forecast before setting out to cross the Gulf to Florida. We spent a couple of days exploring New Orleans, which would become my home a couple of years later, until NOAA told us we would have 5 to 10 knot winds with 1 to 2 foot seas the next day.

    Not heeded my father’s admonition that “if you believe a weatherman you’ll believe a politician,” we set off with great expectations and got into the Gulf in the early afternoon and set all plain sail. Throughout the afternoon the wind and seas continued to increase while the WX channel kept repeating the 5 to 10 knot and 1 to 2 foot prediction in an endless loop. By nightfall it was blowing a steady 20 to 25 with the wind coming in on the port quarter and the seas had gotten up to six to eight feet. Just the conditions needed to make that plastic pig move. By midnight the anemometer was recording gusts up to 45 a couple of times and we were surfing down 12 footers. Dennis and I were doing fine but Bonnie was reduced to a green, gelatinous glob on the sole of the main cabin clutching a small plastic bucket into which her head would disappear from time to time.

    Around three in the morning and seriously reefed down, Dennis asked me what I thought we should do. I said that if it were just the two of us I’d keep going but Bonnie seemed to be getting worse by the minute. I suggested we head due north and duck into Mobile Bay until things settled down. Three or four hours later we left Dauphin Island to port and entered the calm waters of the Bay. As soon as that happened Bonnie was miraculously cured and up and about asking us if we’d like some breakfast. Dennis and I each had a cold beer and a couple of handsful of gumdrops commenting that one of the perquisites of being an adult was that no one could tell you you couldn’t have that for breakfast. The NOAA WX channel was still giving us the same old forecast that had sent us on our merry way the day before.

    As it turned out we had to stay at the Dog River Marina for the next three days until the “norther” blew itself out. The rest of the trip was sailing magazine perfect complete with dolphins playing at our bow and glorious sunsets all the way to Clearwater.