You’re off for an adventure of a lifetime. You’ve got everything on your to-do list marked and accounted for. You put on your sunglasses, cast off and get ready to enjoy the ultimate sailing vacation. The winds are filling in the sails nicely and the boat sways against the gentle waves. One minute you’re as fit as a fiddle… the next, you’re sprawled against the rails, your eyes firmly closed and your skin a very pale shade of green. If any of this sounds familiar or if you fear it could happen to you before your very first sailing experience, fear not. There are ways and means to prepare yourself, so you’re not caught off guard, miles away from the nearest store.
Here’s our recommended health checklist to keep that queasiness at bay for the duration of your sailing trip.
Stock up on Medicinal products
If you know for a fact that you will feel ill on board, better get prescription pills so you’ll have your mind at ease. Beware of any symptoms that might affect your coordination, especially if you’re at the wheel or need to constantly be in an alert position to intervene. Dramamine and Bonine are antihistamines that don’t need a prescription but might make you feel drowsy. Anything stronger, such as Sturgeon or skin patches will have even stronger symptoms. There are also natural oils you can inhale or dab on your skin, which help counter seasickness. While not exactly medicinal, oils such as ginger, peppermint and lavender can soothe the stomach for a smoother journey ahead.
Watch your diet…
Don’t eat heavy meals when you’re at sea. Avoid too much grease or alcohol or overly generous portions. Keep your meals as simple as possible and cut down on too much alcohol. If you’re already feeling queasy, stick to dry food like plain crackers. Ginger drinks are known to help ease an unsettled stomach while some people also claim that other fizzy drinks like 7-Up can also do the trick.
Watch your movements…
Have you ever had the feeling of being sick to your stomach from reading while in a moving car? It’s mainly due to spatial disorientation when you’re focusing on something close by which gives you a sense of being still when you’re actually moving. This causes nausea and at times even vomiting. Our advice is to avoid reading, looking through binoculars or taking photos for long stretches of time. Stay on the deck where the fresh breeze and the horizon will help minimise the queasiness.
Very often you can completely avoid the uncomfortable feeling of an upset stomach during your sailing trip. As if often the case, it’s a matter of being well prepared (and well-read) before your trip. Stock up on anything you feel can come in handy. If nothing you can do is making you feel any better, make sure you stay at the railing downwind and hope it passes quickly… though we’re pretty sure it won’t get to this stage. You ‘re a born sailor after all!