Updated: Jan 23
When I tell people that we operate sailing charters, many immediately jump to, “I could never do that…I get seasick.” Well, guess what? I DO TOO. That’s right, I basically live on my 47-foot sailing catamaran, and I get seasick.
When we first picked up Kuma Too, we motored out of the marina for a 56-hour sail, and I was hurling over the side of the boat within an hour. I knew I got seasick though; I just hadn't found the right remedy yet. I had been sailing for years and absolutely loved it; seasickness wasn’t about to discourage me.
If you scour the internet, there are countless options to avoid seasickness. Everyone is different, so it will take several tries to find the right solution for you. Remedies range from physician prescriptions to ginger root. We keep a few options on board for guests and my go-to solution.
I avoid taking pills as long as possible, so my least favorite choice for seasickness is any type of medication. I have never used the Scopolamine patch, so I cannot speak knowledgeably to that; however, there are people that swear by it. It does require a prescription, so when off cruising to exotic destinations it’s not a viable long-term option.
Kuma Too is always stocked with Dramamine. Dramamine (and off-brand) works for me in minimal sea conditions, but I only use it as a last resort. There are more negatives than positives with Dramamine: it must be taken prior to getting on board; does not work well once symptoms appear; has side-effects (even less-drowsy makes one drowsy); and because it’s an over-the-counter medication, it has a limit to how much can be taken safely.
Dramamine brand does make a ginger tablet that is a good secondary option. It’s all-natural ginger, so there are no negative side-effects. For me, it only works on day sails with minimal seas, but if guests start feeling a little queasy, this does usually help.
We also keep sets of Sea-Bands on board Kuma Too. Sea-Bands are great because they help any type of nausea, not just motion sickness. These are bands worn around each wrist with a ball that applies pressure to the Nei-Kuan acupressure point. Because nothing is absorbed into the body these were my first choice. Although, they do work in moderate seas, their tightness started to get itchy eventually and almost felt like a bruise after 3 days. A good option for a day sail but not for a long passage.
Ginger root is great natural option and can be picked up cheap at any local market, plus you’ll have ginger on board for cooking! Anything containing ginger, such as gum or candy, is good to keep on board too. It has no side-affects and can be taken at any time without limitations. I like having ginger tea in the morning to supplement my other remedies, but I found ginger alone wasn’t strong enough for me.
My go-to solution for seasickness is MQ Patch. It is an all-natural patch worn behind the ear. Advertised as “100% herbal relief,” it’s ingredients include safflower, datura flower, cinnamon bark, and frankincense among other things. These patches last up to three days and can be changed out immediately because there are no side-effects. They even work if nausea has already set in. With these patches, I can cook, clean, read, and most importantly work the sails and man the helm with no issues in almost any sea state.
My biggest piece of advice is do not let sea/motion sickness stop you from doing something you love. Keep trying until you find the right fit for you. To learn about charters on board Kuma Too, visit www.SailingKumaToo.com
Until next week, Happy Sailing!
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