... I just leave her on the helm and she'll come good..Even to the point of eating lunch.
I also believe that giving someone a task that keeps them in the cockpit can help stave off mal de mar. Being in the cockpit helps keep the horizon in view at all times.
I was on a 50' sailboat with 2 young teenagers and other crew as we started pounding into some 40 knot gusts on the LI Sound and 5' + seas. The poor young ones were awakened by the bashing of the boat and barely got out of their bunks without retching. They both loved handling the wheel in spite of the spray and wind and the cool which kept them rotating for a lot of it - again, they were engaged in the handling of the boat which gave them something more important to focus on then their queasiness.
While the teens were conning the boat I took up a position in the main cabin and gave myself a few jobs: #1 keeping a hand for myself at all times, #2 looking out the port holes frequently to have an idea where we were near the coast, #3 handle the gear that was being thrown about by the motion of the boat - custodian of the cabin, #4 assist in food prep for those in the cockpit and #5, have a conversation with another crew member and sneak a few visits to the cockpit, sea and sky for variety.
Five foot and much bigger waves/swells are common on our oceans and in my limited ocean or blue water experience I have still not experienced sea sickness yet, knock wood. On the one ocean voyage I did of 400 nm. I found that at night the loss of horizon in my vision and deciphering what I was hearing more difficult then anything. I had jobs to do. I cooked a pasta dinner for us on our way past St. Thomas heading towards TCI when the owner asked if I was willing. I was quite game and left him at the wheel. I really do think that having a task or mission, if you will, is what helps keep the brain from going down the sea-sickness spiral.
I have not yet retched, puked, blown my cookies in a North Atlantic storm because I have not been there yet. I may be one of the last to succumb to a vomit infused hull caught ass out in such conditions. I can only hope I don't end up there with 30 meter waves.
It really is so subjective and different for everyone.
Tryin' to keep my chow down,