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Old 09-01-2013, 09:38 PM   #21
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Regular sailors, even hotshots crewing in major offshore races can get sick initially after a layoff, there is definitely something in getting accustomed, or as Pete says, in gaining confidence.
Pete, assuming an organic cause, what is the mechanism? I always thought it was some inner ear or vestibular disturbance. It may help suffers to know.
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:40 PM   #22
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....so standing at the wheel in these conditions is a real no-no. I'm sure Walt would agree on that if he thinks carefully about what worked for him.
but this is what you wrote that I'm convinced was my problem.

"..... "the commonest case of seasickness, apart from it becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy in those who suffer it, and therefore not only expect it but almost look for it," (In other words, a lot of it is mental.)

I don't expect it anymore and have been totally fine while other guys that I've fished with on charter boats are shouting "buick" over the side.
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Old 09-01-2013, 11:06 PM   #23
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Yes, you are right Walt, the mental expectation starts the 'rot', if you like, but to answer Bruce, it appears the real physical part is overload of the balance part of the brain from the motion/position sensors in the semicircular canals of the vestibular apparatus, or inner ear mechanism, (affected mainly by gravity, and the accelerations of motion), added to by a mismatch between what the eyes are telling the brain to expect, versus what it actually receives.
It for this reason that the best way to avoid this confusing overload, which just ends up getting the stomach so churned up it just "spits the dummy", is by cutting out as much confusing signal as possible. Hence the suggestion of wedging oneself in a position where you just ride the motion of the boat, which fits with what the eyes are preparing one for, if watching, but allows the muscles to relax, and not try to adjust position with every little movement, which they otherwise try to do to maintain balance. That is why the skipper sitting up like Jacky firmly fixed in the helm chair is less likely to experience it than anyone else on board. However, wedging oneself in a corner of the saloon, or wedging oneself in a bunk, so constant muscular compensation is not required has a similar effect. This is why so many people who are seasick just want to lie down - that is the body telling them what it wants to do to try and achieve the same result - a decrease in sensory overload. So-called fresh air and looking at the horizon, if not achieving this sensory reduction, just does not work.
The various anti-emetic medications mentioned by others work to some extent, by damping down the brain's reception of this sensory overload - but at the price of often making one drowsy. Certainly not good if you are the skipper.
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:14 AM   #24
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The real bottom line is no one thing will work for everyone...

Multiple studies suggest that because most tests are done in laboratory spin chairs or hydraulic motion simulators...they never come close to the realities of being at sea. So even "experts" in multiple studies won't say all the "snake oil" things like wrist bands, ginger, etc do or don't work because they work some of the time on some of the people.

One interesting article on posture and motion sickness, if I read it correctly...seems to say that swaying with the motion or fighting it seems to have different effects, again depending on all the variables...

"Visually Induced Motion Sickness Predicted by Postural Instability" by Smart, L. James, Jr.; Stoffregen, Thomas A.; Bardy, Benoit G. - Human Factors, Vol. 44, Issue 3, Fall 2002 | Questia, Your Online Research Library

The NASA research seems to split the population up into about 1/3s. 1/3 naturally immune, 1/3 able to be acclimated by varying amounts of exposure/training and 1/3 who are always going to be somewhat affected.
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Old 09-02-2013, 09:48 AM   #25
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Funny, I pretty much never get sick when I am driving, though it can really get me if I'm not running the boat. I do the best though when I stand up, much better than sitting. I've spent a lot of time running boats from a standing position though, so I feel like I 'go with the flow" a lot better that way than sitting down locked in.

A lot of it is in your head (and by your head I mean my head). I was a fly fishing guide for 12 years in an 18' flats boat. Mostly I fished tarpon, for which in this area you anchor on the edge of a bar in open water where there is a nice drop off from say 3' to 20'. Any sort of swell will really stand up right in the best spot to fish. As long as I was on the poling platform (a 4' high platform over the transom for those of you from the PNW where there are no fish)where I spent 99% of my time I had no issues. But if I moved to the bow I was in trouble.

There is not really much motion difference between the bow and stern of a 1000 lb. 18' boat with a 6" draft in rough seas, so I know it was mental.
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:06 AM   #26
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There is not really much motion difference between the bow and stern of a 1000 lb. 18' boat with a 6" draft in rough seas, so I know it was mental.
To follow up on my experience with sea sickness.... I use to dread the possibility of getting sick & of course, I did, right on que. After feeding the fish I was fine! Same seas, more hours...no problem. I pondered this for a few years and decided (in my case anyway) that it was nerves, brought on with my preoccupation of thinking about getting sick. I tried Benadryl once but I absolutely could not stay awake! In my opinion there's nothing worse than a bad case of sea sickness. You will do anything (including jumping over the side) to get off the boat.

Although I believe it's mental, that doesn't explain why my grand son got sick on the boat when he was just a baby. It wasn't mental in his case.
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:04 PM   #27
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I have been fishing 200-350 miles offshore off the West coast of Mexico and taken friends who proclaimed to be vomit proof. Well......they weren't and I used a product sold over the counter in MX called Stugeron. It is also a chemo anti nausea med and taken in small dosed started the day before a trip it keeps my crew upright. If you have friends vacationing in MX just ask them to bring you some home. Cost is around $15 for 200 doses. Just google it and you will find recommended dosages by other boaters. For this med I have found less to be more.
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