First, let me say straight out that this is not a scientific article, based on any extensive research. It is, rather, based on nearly 30 years of going to sea, watching people get seasick, and getting seasick myself. I have read most of the articles on how to prevent seasickness and frankly, a lot of them have it wrong, or at least partially wrong.
Seasickness is caused mainly by the fact that your eyes and your inner ears (your balance center) are telling your brain two different things. Your brain gets confused, you get dizzy, you get sick. MYTH: What you have to eat has less to do with your getting seasick than is touted.
That said, a secondary cause of seasickness is the contents of your stomach sloshing about in an uncontrolled fashion. To lessen this effect, eat mild food, in small amounts and drink lightly.
MYTH: DRINK A LOT OF WATER
While you want to keep your body well hydrated, drinking a lot of water or other fluids will make matters worse than better. A lot of fluid in your gut just adds to the sloshing effect aggravating the stomach. Slip water slowly, a little at a time.
MYTH: GO TO THE BACK OF THE BOAT
While the rear center of the boat moves the least, lessening the effects of motion sickness, it is also extremely open to engine exhaust. Engine exhaust and other bad odors will make your sick quick.
TRUTH: GET FRESH AIR
There are three best quick cures for seasickness. The first is simple fresh air. Not only does getting out in fresh air clear the nostrils of offensive odors, the act of watching the horizon and the sea deconfuses some of the screwed up messages the brain is taking in.
TRUTH: GET OFF THE BOAT
The second quick cure for sea sickness is to get off the boat. It sounds obvious but not always practical. But on a dive boat, that is just what we are suppose to be doing! If you can do so safely, get ready for your dive and get in the water. You’d be surprised how quickly you feel better. If you’re still queasy once in the water, remember to throw up into your regulator. Don’t worry, it can take that kind of abuse.
If you find it just too difficult to suit up, just jump in the water and swim a bit first. This is just as, if not more, effective.
TRUTH: GO TO SLEEP
Since you were a baby, your body’s natural reaction to rocking is to go to sleep. It is a great preventative for seasickness. Just the act of closing your eyes short-circuits part of the confusing signals the brain is receiving. Get horizontal, close your eyes and try to get some sleep. This is the third cure for sea sickness.
The best cure for seasickness is prevention. Here is a short list of Do’s and Don’ts:
DO get plenty of rest. Fatigue accentuates seasickness.
DO NOT read, watch television or focus on any other activity that forces you to focus your eyes on one point for any length of time.
DO set up as much of your dive gear as possible while dockside.
DO avoid others onboard that boat that are getting sick.
DO seek the best place on the boat for the ride which is generally the lowest point of the boat, closest to the center. This point will move the least. My favorite place in amidships on deck for the fresh air (or below in my bunk asleep).
DO eat soda crackers at the first sign of sea sickness. Your stomach should not be empty and soda crackers not only absorb excess fluid to prevent sloshing in the stomach, the soda in the crackers calms excess acid.