Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: somewhere south of civilization
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Re: Mal de mer
In over 5 decades at sea, I have only known 3 people who remained seasick for more than 3 days at sea. One was a crew member who I allowed (at the suggestion of the others on board) to remain in her bunk for the duration of the voyage. I have little doubt this would not have been the case had she actually taken the helm and realized that we, not the ocean, was in control of the vessel.
The other person I sailed many thousands of miles with and he refused to allow his seasickness (pretty bad) to interfere with his love of sailing. He ate and drank normally and when necessary, he'd go to the rail and do that thing, never making an issue of it or a comment.
The only other person ever met who never got over his seasickness underway I did not sail with but met in a port in the SoPac. He also refused to allow the sickness to affect his enjoyment, but he sustained himself on bananas, saying that they tasted the same coming up as they did going down.
From my observations of hundreds of seasick people, the vast majority of them do not get sick until the land falls below the horizon, so I have concluded that it is more about an unfamiliar and uncomfortable environment than actual motion sickness. Other than those mentioned above EVERY SINGLE seasick person I have had aboard on a crossing has almost gotten over the malady after being on the helm for an extended period (4 on 8 off (physically steering) were the standard watches for a crew of 3) and understood the the vessel was not at the mercy of the sea, but completely under their control as helmsperson.
Others may disagree, but these are my personal observations.
"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
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