Sea Sickness Causes and Remedies

by Fareed Uddin

Reading the comments in quite a few posts recently, it is evident that we have quite a few newbies with us as well as some experienced anglers too who are unaware of how to avoid or at least minimize sea sickness.

Let me tell you from my own experiences and a bit of research from the internet. When I started to go fishing out into the sea I got sea sick a lot of times. There were times I barfed and vomited so much that there was nothing left in my stomach to throw up, and the only thing coming out was yellow green enzymes of the stomach. Yucky! Isn’t it? Well that’s the truth. When I became used to the conditions a bit more, I became less and less sea sick. But, the condition never finished completely. It always came back in rough sea conditions. Thoughts of stopping going out to sea fishing never came to mind though 🙂 Then came a time a new team-mate told me some medication to get rid of the nausea situation. Now thanks to Allah Almighty it almost never happens.

So here are some pointers of do’s and don’ts:

  • SLEEP The most common cause of sea sickness is lack of sleep! Yes it seems implausible but that’s the truth. So get good sleep before going out to sea. If you feel sleepy on the boat, try to get a nap, even if it is for half an hour.
  • SINUS ISSUES If you have permanent flu stuck in your skull like sinus problems it helps, you are less likely to get sea sick (again seems comical but truth again), but if that same flu is running and dripping you are more likely to get sea sick 🙂
  • OILY AND FRIED STUFF Avoid bazaar fried stuff, oil/ghee rich food just before going. Many of us have a practice of eating hefty breakfast with “parathas” and stuff when going out to sea, that is a big no-no if you are prone to sea sickness. On the other hand, you also must not go on empty stomachs, that also is a no-no. Eat healthy, eat what you do regularly. If you are used to eating parathas and fried stuff, then it’s no problem.
  • GINGER is a proven herbal medication with lots and lots of benefits. It has been proven to minimize sea sickness all over the world. So eat some raw ginger half to one hour before climbing aboard your boat. If you are averse to eating raw ginger, then there are many alternatives; ginger paste with some flavor, ginger jams, ginger pickles, ginger + lemon pickle dried and so on There are even ginger capsules and tablets available on some medical stores (but that is overdoing it J ). You can keep whatever takes your fancy with you on the boat and take a spoonful whenever you feel slight nausea.
  • MEDICINE Gravinate (Dimenhydrinate – generic name), is really a magical drug for sea sickness. Take 2 tablets (no, 1 tablet does not have the same effect) at least half hour to one hour before climbing aboard and you are almost certain to not get sea sick for the trip but those who are more likely to get sea sick it works for quite a bit of time, say 5-6 hours. For me it works for the whole trip. Yes, I have made it a habit of gulping down 2 of those before every trip, whatever the sea conditions. Why should I take the risk of getting sea sick when I can avoid it completely by taking 2 tablets, more so, Gravinate does not have any side effects. (Though some people say that it makes you a bit drowsy, but I have never felt that so I disagree.)
  • FUEL FUMES Diesel/Petrol fumes are very good at making you sick very quickly, avoid them at all costs, be it from the boat engine or from the generator.
  • UP/DOWN Looking downwards for long periods of time on the boat and then looking up at the sea makes you nauseous most of the times but it fades away don’t worry.

I hope I have covered most of the areas to be discussed, but if I have left out anything that someone feels should be included feel free to say so.

I wish everyone safe and happy fishing trips all the time.


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