10 Tips about how to Prevent Seasickness
How to avoid becoming a one-man chunder cannon
This article started with Shrek suggesting we write a couple of articles about topics we know about and are qualified to write on. “That seems logical,” I say to myself. I start thinking about hunting techniques for pelagics, gun choices, basically all the cool stuff in the world of spearfishing. He then say’s “why don’t you write about sea sickness?” Thanks mate… so anyway here are my tips to prevent seasickness.
As you might have already guessed, I’m not a doctor, but I am an expert at throwing my stomach contents over the side of a boat in as little as 10 knots. Many a time I’ve sat on the back of a boat with teary eyes, a snot bubble pulsing from a nostril and vomit blending in seamlessly with my Italian designed camo wetsuit all the time cursing my good mate J-lo who I can still hear saying “you don’t need sea sick pills mate it’s going to be flat”.
One of the problems with getting sea sick is that generally you’re not going to get too much sympathy from blokes you consider mates (good mates like Champ). When you get sick on a boat you pretty much just have to ride it out looking like a scene from the exorcist while all your mates have a great day diving. And if they don’t have a great day diving they have a great day watching you throw a semi digested service station pie all over yourself. Sometimes the skipper has something similar to a conscience, takes pity on you and he calls it a day. If this happens it’s not a good thing! I repeat It’s NOT A GOOD THING!
You’ve just caused the crew to cut short the most important day of the week.
Allow me to elaborate, as I’ve been this guy a few times. It’s midweek and pretty much every spearo is already thinking about shooting fish on the weekend. They’ll then go on to spend painful hours with their wives and girlfriends looking at house improvement products they don’t care about, all the while laying the foundations for the argument that is “why they should go spearing for the fourth weekend in a row”. Friday finally comes around and they’ve resisted the temptation of drowning beers all night so they can drag themselves out of warm beds at ungentlemanly hours. They chip in for fuel and head on out with hopeful anticipation and HEY PRESTO! It’s time to go home because you’ can’t hold your sausage and egg McMuffin down in a slight breeze.
So here’s what I do to avoid becoming a chunder cannon.
Here are my 10 Tips to Prevent Seasickness
No.1. Keep a really good eye on the weather forecast.
Get as much information on the conditions as you can, so you can decide whether you should go or not. I often turn down really rough days because I know I’m not going to enjoy myself.
No.2 Take your seasick pills early.
They work better if you take them a couple of hours earlier. They don’t work at all if you can’t keep them down.
No.3 Gear Up Early
Get your suit on and gear up before you get on the boat or out of the harbor. Nothing gets you sicker faster than being head down in your dive bag while the boat is rocking.
No.4 Stay At The Stern
To prevent seasickness, stay at the stern of the boat, and stay low and central. Not only will your spine thank you but it’s also the least rough part of the boat.
No.5 Get In The Water ASAP
Get in the water as quick as you can, leave boat duties to those made of tougher stuff. The longer you spend on the rocking horse the more likely you’ll get sick.
No.6 Focus on the Horizon
Focus on the horizon or land. This doesn’t seem to work for me but it’s something everyone suggests so I chucked it in (no pun intended).
No.7 Stay positive
Try not to focus on getting sick. A study was conducted on two Israeli Navy crews on the same day. One crew was told that the conditions were horrible and they would all likely become seasick. The other crew was told the opposite and guess what? Both crews experienced the conditions they were told to expect despite being out in exactly the same style vessels on exactly the same day.
No.8 Lookout for Early Warning Signs
Learn the early signs of getting sick. I start to burp and get gassy. This is the signal for me to go into damage control.
No. 9 No Night Before Brews
Refrain from getting on the firewater the night before.
No.10 Tough it out.
The last two times I’ve been out I’ve been sick. So I just had a spew and kept on diving. I got straight in first at every spot and kept going. I shot a few fish and lasted out the whole day. I plan on doing this more often in the hope of getting over it.
Here are some follow up tips to prevent seasickness from the Noob Spearo Community
*Seek professional Medical advice first!
Dr Doug Peterson has invented a method to overcome his own seasickness issues titled the P-MAV Seasickness Prevention Manual, you can find a copy here on Amazon
For more information and/or laughs you can listen in to our interview with Simon Trippe where we talk more about seasickness and get his tips.
Thanks for reading my tips on how to prevent seasickness and if you have some tips of your own please leave them in the comments below!