Well, I've seen lots of posts about "my wife uses X" or "I once had a crew who was sick Y days"
I'm more interested in knowing from people who get sea sick and are still able to run the boat day in and day out. I mean I know I can 'do it' I never missed a watch on that 12 day run, but I also spent a night in the hospital in San Diego, and I'd rather not ever do it again
I think my 12 day thing was montezuma's or something like it, but I'm not sure. On this most recent trip, I've been sick every single time we've hit open water. But fine the rest, and I was thinking after 20 days of small motion on a boat a little big motion on day 22 would not affect me but that doesn't seem to be the case.
Now, having said all that, I'm on a big boat. On the plus, it's got mass and stabilizers etc. The downside is that my cabin is 15 or 20' off the water so the motion is amplified, and I have not spent hardly any time at the helm.
But the whole thing has kinda knocked the wind out of my sails if you'll excuse the pun. I'm wondering if I shouldn't pursue a different life's dream.
I am going to be bluntly honest with you. Please take it as such.
You need to make sure you can handle that boat thoughtfully before singlhanding. As many know, I end up SH (single Handing) a LOT offshore or passages. I personally believe you are a lot less of a liability being sleepy or not being able to focus through binocs than puking and dehydrated.
I ask ANYONE gonig on a passage with me how sea sick prone they are. 48 hours.... you ain't going. Meet me there on the plane. I cannot SH and take care of you and be responsible for me too and the boat and the kids. That does not work for me. I know of NO experienced sailor who would dissagree with that who has had a really MS person on board.
Now, that being said, I have personally used: Scopolamine, Valium, Phenegren, Ginger, and Pepermint. Valium and Phen do not bother me like most people. My uses were for somethin completely different (one was a kidney stone... ugh), but the effect were the same. With Phen, I get a tad bit sleepy, but still fairly alert.
Try the scopolamine first. It is a partch behind the ear. Eash cheesy. It may make you a little fuzzy headed, it may not. The ral issue with Scope is the ability to focus on small objects (reading a book, small writing on maps, focusing on small items through binocs). Start with it on land first. It isn't like this stuff is crack cocaine or something (grin). Try it. THen try it on the boat on a short run. Do be aware, that Scope does not stop after you take off the patch. I would guess you will have the effects for circa 6 hours afterwards. Be careful with it around kids. It is absorbed through the skin, so just picking it up will put it in your blood stream. But again, I don't think scope is a big deal at all and I cruise with kids. I take my safety and caution to a whole different level.
Phen can come in a suppository and also ODT and oral. It is not a big deal either. Try it land based first but put yourself in a position where you are doing something that requires some thinking (play a video game for example). I think you will find the drug side efects are mild. Check with your doctor on this, but I think the dosage for phen is 25-50 mg for adults, and 12.5 for kids. Phen is not addicitive too and worse case scenario you get sleepy - but it did not do that to me. THe ODT (orally dissolving tabs) are good because they cannot be thrown up and the suppositoruies the same.
Another good trick is eating and keeping a full stomach when sailing. That helps me and the kids. Keep lots of snacks like crackers and cheese. Toast is also good. Avoid spicy stuff. We actually fix several meals and put in freezer/fridge ahead of time because cooking at sea is a PITA. SOo there is another good hint. Also, drink LOTS of gatorade. It hydrates and the taste always helps us. Not too sweet but not too bland. Hydration at sea plus sea sickness is seerious business.
Ginger is not my drug of choice. Makes me burp and that always reminds me of the puking ginger smell and well... there you go. My wife swears by it. Each tot heir own. Point is that everyone has to find what works for them. SHe also wears a patch as do I for long runs. Better safe than sorry.
Get a bucket lined with multiple bags. I use a 5 gallon bucket. This is important because you can get the vomit out of sight and smell. ALso, nothing more dangerous than SH and puking over the side of the boat. When you are puking and sea sick, you are not thinkin straight.
SIgns of sea sick include lethargic, being quiet, no interest in looking around or doing things, watering mouth. The lethargic and lack of interst in doing anythin is th first sign that proceeds getting sick. Know the signs so that you have time to take a med to help through it. It can also be as simple as not going down below, getting a good breeze flowing through the cockpit, steering the boat, and splashing water in your face, or eatin something. Keep your stomach full.
I would not give up on sailing. However, I also would not go to sea (esp as a SH) knowing I was highly susceptible to being sea sick and could not get over it. Find your way around it. I have never met anyone that could not find a way around it. What that is for you, only you can tell.
All the best on your future adventures!!!