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Old 09-01-2013, 12:30 AM   #1
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Sea sick

This summer my girlfriend and I headed south from Boston in my MarineTrader 43, things where going great when we stayed on the inside. As soon as we went outside into some waves she would get sea sick. We bought a bigger boat at the end of summer; a Hatteras MY 53, stabilized. She was fine as long as we were on the inside, when we crossed the gulf, again she was violently ill all day and most of the night. We Tried sea bands and over the counter pills, nothing seemed to help. Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. She really enjoys this boating "thing" other than the open water issue of sea sickness.
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Old 09-01-2013, 01:30 AM   #2
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And you wonder why I've stayed within the SF estuary while on small boats? (Fifty-something-foot boats are small.) I'll happily ride a nine-hundred-footer in the open seas.
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Old 09-01-2013, 02:04 AM   #3
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Old 09-01-2013, 05:26 AM   #4
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In my experience, 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, is their efforts to fight the motion rather than to wedge themselves in some comfortable place and just 'go with the flow', so their muscles are not constantly sending confusing signals to the brain. That is why I don't advocate the traditional advice of going topsides and getting in "fresh air and where they can see the horizon". Firstly, the air up there is no fresher, and being on their feet, even holding a rail, just magnifies the need to try and fight the motion, usually accompanied by heaving up over said rail.
Anti-emetics can help a little, but adopting the above approach, and just getting sea miles under the wheels, so to speak, seems to be the most successful way.
As a medico, that is how I advise people who come out with us, and it works. I also practice it myself when things get really rough, as I don't have a cast iron stomach myself, unlike my father who was one of those who never got seasick.
Taking him out fishing was a delight, as if anything it was sometimes me who had to quit fishing for a bit and have a brief lie down.
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Old 09-01-2013, 06:39 AM   #5
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I am sure you will try all the medical remedies. Next time you are crossing the gulf put her at the helm. It anchors her, requires her to look outside the boat and keeps her mind occupied. Any one of these may reduce the tendency for seasickness.

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Old 09-01-2013, 06:46 AM   #6
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Usaually people who get seasick fall into 2 groups.

Some that adjust to it...a very distasteful way of getting there and usually only people who HAVE to go by choice of job.

The other group really never gets over it, but copes with drugs. One of the most successful is the Scopolamine patch (prescription with some nasty side effects) and the other is a combo approach of an antihistamine and something else I can't remember (also prescription I think)

Most people don't have luck with all the "other" types...but some do so it's hard not to try them...some include all forms of ginger including ginger ale, acupressure bands, over the counter meds, wrist buzzers for lack of a better description...etc, etc..none of these work on everyone or all the time...so they get lumped into the "snake oil" category by most experienced people that go to sea.

Having gone to sea with thousands of people on USCG Cutters I pretty much heard of and saw the results of every known "possible cure" .
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bay Pelican View Post
I am sure you will try all the medical remedies. Next time you are crossing the gulf put her at the helm. It anchors her, requires her to look outside the boat and keeps her mind occupied. Any one of these may reduce the tendency for seasickness.

Marty
This is the best cure, let her drive, works every time!
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:59 AM   #8
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If it were only true.....it would save a lot of jobs and relationships...
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:19 AM   #9
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..... apart from it becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy in those who suffer it, and therefore not only expect it but almost look for it............
That was me about 20 years ago. I looked for it and expected it and it didn't disappoint. I tried everything under the sun with no success. Putting on miles at sea, while at the helm, seemed to be the solution and, of course, a desire to do the cruising thing.
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:19 AM   #10
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Only known cure for seasickness "Sit under an apple tree"
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:50 AM   #11
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I have had issues with sea sickness all my life so I can give you my experiences first hand. Without a doubt being at the helm underway is the best place to be if you are not on medication. For me the Scopolamine patch and especially the Scopolamine pill cant be beat. unfortunately the pill is no longer available as they no longer manufacture it. I prefer the pill as you can wait and use it if you feel the onset of sea sickness as it works quickly. I find that I run unmedicated far less as you can wait and see what conditions are before taking it where the patch you need to have it in place for several hours for it to take effect. You can also manage the dose unlike the patch which is much stronger than I need and increases the side effects significantly. (dry, dry mouth and nose. blurred vision) On the patch or pill I can work on deck, in the engine room and fish in just about any sea condition. I have read that you can have a compounding pharmacy make the pill and is what I will be checking into for next year as my supply of pills is dwindling. The pill or patch is by prescription only.
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Old 09-01-2013, 11:44 AM   #12
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While we are on the subject of Mal De Mer, here is more . . . .

All in your head? Maybe:
NASA Mind Training Tackles Motion Sickness : Discovery News : Discovery News

OK, you just knew this one was coming:
Medical Marijuana Motion Sickness Treatments | Cannabis Symptom Relief

ReliefBand:
ReliefBand: Best Motion Sickness Remedy Yet

Actually, I have had pretty good luck with ReliefBands both in the air and on the water. I bought enough for the crew and passengers and have yet to see anyone who did not experience a reduction in symptoms or total relief from motion sickness. I first heard about them from an astronaut and did some of my own research. I still thought they were "snake oil" until I saw them work first hand. Placebo? Maybe. Mind-over-matter? Perhaps. Who cares if they work?

Initially, they were available without a prescription and had replaceable batteries. A few years ago, they were pulled from the market and replaced by a "prescription-only" version marketed for various illnesses where a reduction in nausea was desired. They greatly increased the price and made them single-use. Sometimes you can find the originals, new or used, on eBay.

All I can say is do your own research, and if you like what you see, give them a try. They worked for my guests and even me a time or two.

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Old 09-01-2013, 01:22 PM   #13
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Ginger root and ginger ale.
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Old 09-01-2013, 02:39 PM   #14
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We carry bottles of Reid's Ginger Beer for makin' "Dark and Stormys." Works like a charm.
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Old 09-01-2013, 03:20 PM   #15
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I've only been seasick once . . . after an all-nighter of heavy eating and drinking, as we were leaving Narragansett Bay for Bermuda at sunrise. The first few swells had me projectile vomiting like I was auditioning for the part of a cannon in "Master and Commander." Every other time I've felt a twinge, scopolamine has worked like a charm.
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Old 09-01-2013, 05:05 PM   #16
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I highly recommend her asking her doctor for a prescription for Zofran. It is an anti nausea drug for chemo patients. Start taking it the day prior. We had one crew member who would get really sick and that was the only thing that helped him. It was recommended to me by a friend who is a pharmacist and who gets violently ill if she does not take it. Give it a try!! Oh I should mention nobody I know who's tried it had any noticeable side effects.
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Old 09-01-2013, 08:47 PM   #17
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Anchored fishing near a reef, vomit is handy as a burley to attract fish .
A friend takes the usual over counter medication, curls up in the saloon and dozes while we are offshore, and copes fine.
Racing on a sailboat as forehead hand, I often felt lousy down below packing the spinnaker as we bashed to windward, but was fine instantly back on deck.
Another friend brought and nibbled onboard a knob of fresh ginger. Not a great success, ginger tablets are better.
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:13 PM   #18
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Had a filter plug while crossing the Straits of Georga in rough seas. Decided to change the filter out while we continued the crossing on the other engine.

Everything was fine until I cracked that filter canister open and dumped the filter and diesel into a pan. The combination of those diesel fumes, 100 degree engine room, and rocking and rolling in a windowless space just about did it for me!!

I had that new filter on and primed in record time and was out of there!! Probably took 20 minutes to regain my composure afterwards.
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:21 PM   #19
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Quote:
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This is the best cure, let her drive, works every time!
Only true if she can wedge herself comfortably in a helm chair so she can ride with the movement of the vessel, (not dissimilar in a way to a good horse rider, totally in synch with the animals movement) - so it is on a boat, rather than fighting it all the time, so standing at the wheel in these conditions a real no-no. See my post above for more detailed reasons. I'm sure Walt would agree on that if he thinks carefully about what worked for him.
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:28 PM   #20
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I highly recommend her asking her doctor for a prescription for Zofran. It is an anti nausea drug for chemo patients. Start taking it the day prior. We had one crew member who would get really sick and that was the only thing that helped him. It was recommended to me by a friend who is a pharmacist and who gets violently ill if she does not take it. Give it a try!! Oh I should mention nobody I know who's tried it had any noticeable side effects.
Yes, from experience with patients post chemo, Zofran is quite effective and well tolerated as an anti-emetic, and certainly worth trying, for seasickness if you can get it. It is prescription only in most countries I would expect. Preferably taken as well as trying the tactics I outlined above until confidence is gained, if it is someone likely to be going boating often. For the occasional sailor just going along for the ride - whatever works, I guess.
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