Thursday, March 21, 2013
Some lucky people like me have never been sea sick – touch wood. I talked to a King Crab crew chief from Alaska and he told me when it gets bad enough on the wrong boat, in the wrong place, almost everyone at the very least tosses their cookies until they get acclimatized. If your a newbie and conditions are really bad you might be sick enough to be immobilized wanting to die. If your an old salt and first trip of the season you might heave a few times before you settle in.
When we crossed the gulf stream at night from Lauderdale to West End Bahamas a number of years ago by 36’ sail boat my wife was so sick lying on the cabin sole that she could not move the entire night crossing from the time we entered the stream until the light came up the next morning when the wind shifted and the waves died down. As one can appreciate, a disabled crew can develop into a dangerous life threatening situation in the right conditions. Mind over matter will not cure someone who is truly sea sick. If the wave conditions persist it may take them days or even a week to adjust.
If you are planning to cross a wide body of water even in Ontario ... such as Lake Ontario, Lake Simcoe or Georgian Bay/Lake Huron there is something you need to be sure about. You can’t always predict or control the weather, but you can control who crews the boat. Every Captain should screen crew based on the trip and challenges the crew will potentially face. It just doesn’t make sense to get out there in a blow and try to attend to crew so sick they can only vomit on the floor of the cockpit while you wrestle Mother Nature and fight for the safety of the boat. You can’t be a Doctor and a Captain and do both under extreme conditions. Choose wisely or pass on the trip ... because you need to be sure that core crew help has sea legs and insure the safety of the vessel and crew.
We carry all the popular motion ease store bought cures on the boat. We also carry heavy duty prescription drugs for such an occasion ... and we have the ever tasty popular ginger candies. These cures need to be taken in advance of the onslaught of sea sickness. And guess what, none of them work in bad conditions, except the prescription drugs which will knock you off your feet almost like sea sickness itself, but without the vomiting. They basically allow one to wake up intact when it’s all over.
So think about it next time you head off with a boat full of people heading from say Midland to Tobermory. Nobody plans an accident - and that is why it’s an accident. Here is a LINK to a Blog that offers some advice that may be useful.