So I got seasick today.... - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 54 Old 09-17-2016
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Re: So I got seasick today....

Actually motion sickness is a bit more complicated. Blind people can get it. But sensory input is weighted. We are strongly visual but retain the complex vestibular wiring of our tree swinging antecedents. When there's a conflict in input you're more likely to be sick. Inputs include ( but not limited to) proprioception, vestibular and visual. Hence tactics that put one out of the running help. Normally your eyes track then saccade when you are moving. Otherwise you would feel the world bounce up and down when you walk or not be able to grab a moving object if moving. You are blind during the saccades. Finding a non moving object at distance and stare mitigates this effect. Standing while holding onto something on the boat while moving your torso to keep your head non moving and level helps. There's a whole bunch of input from your neck involved in balance and proprioception that then is more in harmony with visual and vestibular input.
Interestingly reading is one of the worse things you can do. Followed by going into the head to puke. Ask people harness, to be safe, then puke to leeward. If they go below its to lie down period.
Decreasing sensory input helps as well. Lying down and relaxing decreases input from many systems. Especially good in center of the boat.

s/v Hippocampus
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post #32 of 54 Old 09-17-2016
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Spending today dragging out safety stuff ( storm jib, JSD etc.) making sure it's in good shape and deployable. Cruiser friends stopped by. We chatted about boats not floating as well in the Great Lakes but also about waves. They are uppers and sail from here to the islands now but in the past mostly on Michigan. They say there's no d-mn difference. It's totally bogus to say waves on the Great Lakes or how boats respond to them is any different. Variance in viscosity is so small as to not matter. Wave no different off shore in the ocean or the lakes once depth sufficient. Totally bogus to say there's any difference.
Did you ask them why they figured commercial vessels have a seperate set of load lines for fresh water?
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post #33 of 54 Old 09-17-2016
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Re: So I got seasick today....

Interesting thread.

Contacts vs. glasses stood out to me. I changed from wearing contacts to wearing only glasses last winter and I don't remember being sea sick wearing glasses. Not even a twinge.

One of my worst episodes was sailing the day after eating hot wings and downing a swimming pool-sized margarita the night before. I don't think I'm tempted to see if I can recreate that now that I wear glasses.

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post #34 of 54 Old 09-17-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: So I got seasick today....

How much does diet effect getting sick? I remember having cotton mouth, and not eating or drinking much for around 4-5 hours, more out of fear of going below...

What foods should I stay away from, besides apparently hot wings and pool sized drinks...LOL..thanks for that one Donna??


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post #35 of 54 Old 09-17-2016
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Re: So I got seasick today....

Excess stomach acid can make one feel quesey. A quick efficient vomit can help it to go away. Getting old (73next month) also feeds the quick motion onset of sea sickness, especially down below when it is hot and choppy. So, what is the temperature aspect? Age seems to be connected with balance issues, like I no longer just jump up from laying on the couch; sit first, then stand. Some of it surely is blood pressure related, having to do with blood vessel ability to handle surges. But what about the ears? I can't imagine being down below staring at a screen to navigate when it is choppy and bouncing around. I guess everyone's milage will vary on thus one.
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post #36 of 54 Old 09-17-2016
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Re: So I got seasick today....

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Originally Posted by Slayer View Post
I helped someone sail his boat from Nantuket to Portsmouth NH this week. We left Thursday afternoon and into the Pollock Rip which was flowing into 5 foot seas. Pretty bouncy. I was fine until I had to shimmy up the mast a bit to deal with a small rip in the main and then out on the boom when the sail got caught in the boom furler. I think it was the exaggerated motion while hanging onto the mast, plus focusing my eyes on a small area where my brain could not detect any movement that got me sick when I came down. One theory for the cause of seasickness is that the inner ear detects motion that the eyes don't see. So the brain assumes there is poison in your body and tries to expel it. When you look at the horizon your eyes confirm what your inner ear feels, thus assuaging the brain. Anyway, I tried to hold it back, then succumbed to 3 or 4 violent, thankfully dry, heaves. I then focused on the horizon for a bit and an hour or so later felt better. That night we had an incredibly rolly ride and I felt great.
That's a good explanation for sea sickness. Earlier on I had balance/Vertigo issues from an inner ear problem of some sort and I'm more sure footed on a boat than on dry land most days. Go figure. I did get seasick one time after smoking a Cigar so I don't smoke and boat anymore.
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post #37 of 54 Old 09-17-2016
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Re: So I got seasick today....

I did the Harvest Moon Regatta in 2010 on this Pacific Seacraft, "Rhapsody". The owner, his British friend and I were the three oldest aboard and we didn't get seasick. The three other crew were much younger, and all went down sick early on.


I have been deep sea fishing on the Gulf of Mexico for many years. Plenty of people of all ages get sick on those charters. My son got sick the first time I took him out. My wife has suffered from motion sickness since childhood, but gets by with Sea-Band (wrist bands) these days.

Either you are prone to seasickness or you are not....I'll believe that until the day I get seasick.

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post #38 of 54 Old 09-18-2016
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Re: So I got seasick today....

Proper hydration is important before the symptoms and life threateningly important after the pukes set in.
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post #39 of 54 Old 09-18-2016
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Re: So I got seasick today....

Yes as stated in above post " boats don't float as well" so load lines are different. Simple physics due to change in density. But the difference in viscosity is so marginal that wave behavior is the same.
Yes any unilateral vestibular pathology will increase risk.
Smell is a common trigger as are a multiplicity of drugs so the cigar well may be a trigger.
Yes people's thresholds are different and for some quite high but given the right set of circumstances everyone can get sick. The prior posts outline some of the common reasons for increased risk. From what I understand there is early work outlining the genetics of risk as well.

Given puking in a space suit or a hard hat diving can ruin your whole day as can having a warships crew down for the count can make you dead so there is a literature concerning this subject. The brain stem wiring concerning this is in large measure worked out. I've just been citing my membrance of prior reading of some of those studies. I'm unaware of studies demonstrating risk diminishing in senescence. It may not have been studied given it has little concern to likely funding agencies e.g. military. It makes sense as neurons die otolithic sensitivity would decrease but don't recall a citation to that effect. Do recall citation stating during adulthood before senescence risk is flat. Eighth cranial nerve has two divisions - auditory and vestibular. One would expect decreased neural density in advanced age in this nerve. Hence, even with intact peripheral vestibular function one could suppose the gain of the system to be decreased.

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Last edited by outbound; 09-18-2016 at 02:07 AM.
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post #40 of 54 Old 09-18-2016
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I am not sure a roughly 2.5% in water density is negligible. 1/40th change in density would be equivalent to adding 500 lbs of weight to a 20000 lb boat. Not a huge deal, but should be a perceptible change in bouyancy.

The reason the change may not be perceived is the change from fw to brine to saltwater is a gradual one especially on a slow moving sailboat.

Not only is their a 1/40 th (very roughly) decrease in the bouyancy of your vessel, the change in water surface tension changes causing fresh water waves to break earlier, relatively speaking.

The difference is maybe not as extreme as some would have you believe, but it is a perceptible difference.
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