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Dealing With Motion Sickness

A Message from Fleet Surgeon: Caroline Kornutik

Motion sickness while boating can ruin a perfectly good day on the water for all involved. How do you know if you or your guests will be seasick or not? If you experience motion sickness in a car or on planes, it’s likely you may experience seasickness too. Some sea states with a lot of rolling of motion can make a person feel seasick e.g beam seas or large swells. When sailing downwind, the presence of following seas, yaw and reduced apparent airflow can potentially trigger sea sickness. Diesel Fumes can also be a trigger so keep mind when motoring. Here are some preventive measures that may help:

Sea Sickness

Avoid heavy or greasy meals beforehand and avoid snacking while under way. For those who are prone to motion sickness, pressure point wrist bands which work using acupressure can help. I always have these on our boat. Over the counter medications should be taken in advance, before getting on the boat. Follow manufacturers recommendations for dose and timing. Be aware some of these medications can cause drowsiness so use with caution if having to drive or operate equipment afterwards. For those who prefer to use natural remedies try ginger which can help. If you or a guest do get seasickess encourage frequent sips of water to maintain hydration. Stay in the fresh air and avoid going down below for any extended length of time. I have found it helpful to keep an eye on the horizon. For shorter trips, the good news is once the person gets on land again the seasickness usually ends quickly. For longer trips when it’s not possible to get to land, it’s important to keep the person hydrated, stay in shade, sipping water, or even some sort of sugary drink to keep their energy up.

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