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post #1 of 31 Old 02-10-2019 Thread Starter
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Mal de mer

Okay,

Time to address the elephant in the room when it comes to my planning a live aboard life. My wife suffers from terrible sea sickness; according to her, pretty mild from my view.

What I am interested in knowing is long term do most folks eventually adapt or do many remain sick after weeks at sea?

I am familiar with most of the treatments, I am just wondering how likely is it that a person can never acclimate to the motion of the ocean.

My wife can fly and only is rarely affected in the car; usually, when trying to read or do something on her phone.

I would love to hear personal experiences from fellow forum members.

Thanks,

LPd
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post #2 of 31 Old 02-10-2019
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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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post #3 of 31 Old 02-10-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Mal de mer

Capta,

Thanks for the feed back. That kind of agrees with my perception. While not having sailed much I have done plenty of time on diving vessels. My personal observation is that too many people fight it for too long and fee much better after purging.

To that end we sometimes would use chunky soup at "fake" vomit, those fighting would be on the rail and they would typically be joined by all the others struggling and all felt at least marginally better after.

I know...we were so wrong as dive masters...

LPd
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Re: Mal de mer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lpdiver View Post
Time to address the elephant in the room when it comes to my planning a live aboard life. My wife suffers from terrible sea sickness; according to her, pretty mild from my view.

What I am interested in knowing is long term do most folks eventually adapt or do many remain sick after weeks at sea?

I am familiar with most of the treatments, I am just wondering how likely is it that a person can never acclimate to the motion of the ocean.

My wife can fly and only is rarely affected in the car; usually, when trying to read or do something on her phone.

I would love to hear personal experiences from fellow forum members.
You are describing my spouse pretty much to a tee. She has always suffered from various forms of motion sickness, including on the sea. I think her symptoms are not extreme compared to others, but she does feel it, and continues to feel it.

Over the years we’ve been seasonally cruising she has definitely improved. It usually requires a period re-learning each season, but my estimation is that there’s been a general improving trajectory. And the longer we are on the boat, the better she appears to get.

We do have our strategies for dealing with her Mal de mer. Anytime there is a twinge of its onset, she is on the helm, or in her bunk. I take over most down-below duties, regardless of who’s turn it is to make dinner or monitor the nav station (we normally rotate all duties while on the boat).

She has found that Bonamine is the most effective drug. Apparently less side effects than others she’s tried. But she mostly avoids all drugs.

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Re: Mal de mer

Get her drunk.

Serious.


Both affect the middle ear.

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Re: Mal de mer

Mark,

I'm gonna need some details. Before boarding, after boarding, pre seasick, post seasick. It won't be easy, while she isn't a tee totaler she seldom finishes a full drink. I usually finish hers and she typically drinks about half a drink. Only seen her drunk once, but, hey I'll give it a try.

LPd
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Re: Mal de mer

Great advice; rough weather and things going sideways but your drunken crew to the rescue.
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post #8 of 31 Old 02-10-2019
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Re: Mal de mer

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Originally Posted by Lpdiver View Post
Mark,

I'm gonna need some details. Before boarding, after boarding, pre seasick, post seasick. It won't be easy, while she isn't a tee totaler she seldom finishes a full drink. I usually finish hers and she typically drinks about half a drink. Only seen her drunk once, but, hey I'll give it a try.

LPd
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But if she never drinks much the correlation in her mind of being drunk to being seasick might not work.
The idea is the ears disturbance is recognised in the brain as being tipsy which it has experience to handle.

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Re: Mal de mer

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Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
Get her drunk.

Serious.


Both affect the middle ear.
My first wife never had the slightest problem with seasickness, and we sailed a lot offshore from Frisco in all kinds of weather (even in near gale force winds), until the party before we left on our circumnavigation. She got totally wasted and thereafter always had some seasickness problems for the first couple of days after a period without sailing, even day sails.
Again, this could be because we were finally heading out onto the ocean, far from land, but neither of us felt that was true. We both believed that the champers had something to do with it somehow.

"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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post #10 of 31 Old 02-10-2019
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Re: Mal de mer

I’ve always read that sea sickness and booze don’t mix. One of the ways to avoid mal de mer is to abstain from booze, especially the 24 hrs prior to leaving. At least this is what the Internet wisdom reveals.

I’ve no way to test it b/c I don’t suffer from the malady, nor do I suffer from abstaining (from booze) .
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