Seasickness

This posting is mostly due to the horrific weather we’ve been experiencing this trip to sea. A number of people have been suffering with this affliction this swing and I thought I’d explain a little about it.
If you havn’t experienced seasickness then you need to know one thing and if you have had it then you will agree… SEASICKNESS IS A PAIN WORSE THAN DEATH!!! It is a horrible, crippling sickness that is unrivalled by any other medical condition known to man. It can reduce the biggest, strongest, manliest man to a quivering, sweating, vomiting, desperate mess.

The real cause of seasickness or ‘ motionsickness’ is in the brain, it receives conflicting signals; while the eyes show a world that is still, our body, and in particular the equilibrium sensors located in our ears, send signals of a moving environment. This discordance causes the mind to send the whole body a general alarm signal, an order if you will; to stop all activities, in particular the most complex of all: the digestion process.

So not only are sufferers reduced to mere shadows of their former selves, but they become incapable of keeping down any food or water often for days. Bread is probably the only thing I find I can keep down, but even then it’s usually temporary.
As a sailor, a deck officer in particular, it can be incredibly embarrassing. Seasickness quickly prevents you from doing your work correctly and hugely affects concentration. I  have on a number of occasions been relieved by the Captain and sent below deck to suffer alone in a dark cabin. Even then the ship is pitching and rolling so as much, no matter how much you need to you can’t actually sleep, eventually you just pass out from sheer exhaustion.
Many famous people in history have been fellow sufferers, of particular note; none other than Lord Admiral Nelson, the British naval hero who first went to sea at the age of 12. He was said to be a chronic sufferer who never got over it, and was miserably seasick for the first part of every voyage. Others include:

Christopher Columbus and his men.

Charles Darwin; also a chronic sufferer

Julius Caesar and his military, there are many stories of vomiting recruits and sea sick horses.

And also surprisingly … Lawrence of Arabia is said to have become sick while riding a camel … Also referred to as ‘the ship of the desert’

 

The cure?
Simply there isn’t one.
There are hundreds of ‘cures’ than can be found in the shops and online but nothing really works completely other than riding out the storm,  after three days or so of feeling like you are about to die, you finally start to regain your senses and feel better until you eventually feel 100% again as if nothing happened.
Until the next storm.
Spence
This entry was posted on Thursday, September 27th, 2012 at 1:37 pm by The Mariner. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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Comments (4)
  1. Ian says:

    I think you are wrong Spence. There is a cure for sea sickness – sit under an apple tree!

    Secondly I always advise people to take a spoonful of Jam. It does not stop you being sick but makes everything taste sweeter when it comes back up!

    Finally I can empathise a bit. Back in the 80’s I was on a Maersk Anchor Handler that had a terrible motion that made many people sick the first time in a good blow. We got caught stern to on a rig shift on the bridle in a storm and after 24 hours I became so sick I was unable to work for 3 days.

    They say there are two stages of sea sickness. The first stage is when you are frightened you are going to die. The second is when you become afraid you are not going to die! I got to the second stage on that trip for sure.

    Ian.

    • All absolutely valid points, seasickness has had me at stage 2 way too many times, I’m currently looking to see if there is anywhere suitable to put an apple tree on board right now, the North Sea is as energetic as ever!

  2. I say that sea sickness comes in different ways with everyone such as the apple tree. I actually try to focus on one spot as a focal point which helps, but that is just me. Much luck guys.

  3. I am not sure if anything would work out for me, I just get sick no matter what, but maybe I should get the spoon of jelly to at least stop the smell. lol

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