How to stop seasickness

Salsa af Stavsnas
Ellinor Ristoff Staffan Ehde
Fri 21 Sep 2012 06:44
It is funny how many tricks people know how to avoid seasickness. It is ginger, lemon, garlic etc etc.
Seasickness is a serious problem, because it can whipe out an entire crew. The most dangerous thing at sea is not the boat, it is the humans abilities to cope with hard wave movements and seasickness. If you get seasick you might end up sitting doing nothing while the boat is taking the beating and you might loose your rig because there is to much sail or even run aground since you just don't care. So no wonder everybody is trying to think out ways to avoid it, the most efficient is to stay ashore, of course.
What most seams to agree upon is that seasickness is a result from two signals in the brain that are not coordinated. Thus your ear is telling the brain we are rocking and the eye tells that we are not. This is why there is a problem down in the boat where everything appears to be still and it is not.
Ellinor can get rid of her seasickness by just going up on deck and she prefers to steer the boat when it is really bad weather. That is a very good way of treating the problem since the horizon is a very important reference and the signals will coordinate again.
Andreas has a very strange way of beating his seasickness, he will come up on deck, look at the horizon and demand sausages with bred and ketchup. First time we did not believe him, but it actually works. To such a degree that after five sausages he can go down again and play with lego or something similar. Erika does not have any problems as long as she is not in the forward cabin when the boat is going against the waves, but then even I can feel a hiss in the stomach.
Actually the movement in the boat can be very different in different places in high waves. As said, in the bow it can be a movement that goes from zero to six meters in a couple of seconds, like a fun ride in an amusement park. The problem is that it is not so fun after a few minutes. But if you move backwards in the boat to the aft cabin, that movement is almost gone. Actually Hallberg Rassy scores the best in a scientific test about how boats behave in waves.
My trick to avoid seasickness have not been known, not even to me. I used to call it that I have to concentrate. But on what? I could not tell. I just knew that if I did not concentrate when I went down I could feel the seasickness coming.
A while ago it occurred to me what that was; I let the ear tell the eye what to see (sea).
This means that when I'm down in the boat I look at an imaginative horizon through the hull. That horizon might not be true, but it does not matter as long as the brain is happy. It is a way of "relaxing" and letting just one sense command. So normally when I step down in the boat I can fell seasickness coming, but then I start seeing the horizon and it disappears.
Well what we learned is that whatever you use or what you do, the brain can get accustomed to the waves after three days on the sea. But then there is problem when you step ashore, especially if you step into a small room without windows (or it is dark).