sea sickness

Recently experienced seasickness in 3 foot or so swells. reading up on it I am hearing all kinds of conflicting theories on how to avoid it.

some of the things that I appparently was doing pretty much invite seasickness such as having two very large cups of coffee an nothing else and drinking a lot of water but nothing solid in the stomach when i went out.

I hear ginger cookies or even raw ginger would be good.

I am looking for natural remedies no dramamine or other pills.

what works for others?

ginger taken before the trip
candied ginger or two cups of stout ginger tea.

keep your eyes on the horizon as much as you can. Experienced padders can get seasick training (or training others) to perform rescues because they are looking down so much.

Some paddlers use therapy bands on their wrists. A little pressure node goes at a certain point.

A good meal an hour or two before hand Light on the coffee at all times. Again these are not advice for all paddlers just advice for those with the tendency to get seasick.

ginger gum
made by the company that makes the sea bands worked this summer when I was paddling over in the San Juan Islands. The wake from the boats produced large swells that really make me sick. It won’t work as well as Dramamine, etc but at least I did not get sick.

That is why I don’t do any ocean paddling anymore just protected waters. It is really a shame but I can’t take the medication either.

that stuff just makes me dopey. Well more than normal I mean. Coffee is a problem as I was born in Brazil (from US parents…hence the nickname) and was practically weaned on the stuff. It’s my only vice! (yeah right)

will make a conscious attempt to lay off the coffee now for when I go out to the ocean. will get some ginger drops and gum and cookies.

I probably need to have a very light meal prior to going out and do crackers etc during the trip…a couple of ginger cookies would probably be helpful too.


Wrist Bands
Find them at the drugstore with the Dramamine.

Wear them on your wrists per the instructions.

They work well for some folks, not so well for others, but they don’t cost much and they don’t make you dopey(er).


Wrist bands
I get depilating seasickness on oceans, never on inland lakes. Adrenaline cures it for me, but we don’t always want to punch a hole in the bottom of the boat. I tried the ear patches, made me think I was watching my life go by from above (only 10-15’ above). Once after a week on a boat in the Keys we anchored in Key West and went ashore in the morning for breakfast – I got land sick, I had never heard of land sick. 8am and I’m lying in the gutter heaving my guts out- on pavement. Old people with fat ankles would walk by and make nasty comments about drinking all night and paying the price. I was so sick I couldn’t even make appropriate hand gestures.

Those wrist bands really work for me! On salt water, I always have one pair on and two pairs as spares, been thinking about making up some stealth ones out of a couple LiveStrong bracelets.

Motion sickness in 3’ swells?
Do you get motion sickness riding in a car or amusement park rides? You might have inner ear problems if you get seasick in 3’ swells. Try going out and playing in small waves as often as you can and concentrate on the horizon not on the motion of the boat.

i feel your pain …
i get green riding backwards in a train, in the back of a car if i read, on merry-go-rounds and yes, in the ocean if it’s rough enough. i’ve tried the ‘bands’, ginger, and other folk remedies as well as pills such as ‘bonine’. nothing works for me but scopalomine in pill form. you take one … it lasts for 4 hours … works in 10 minutes and has no other side effects, at least for me. i never go out on the ocean without 'em.

Coffee addiction
Yeah - I’ve got a bad quad espresso habit going - or Cafe Cubano.

I never indulge before paddling though. I found that high caffeine level messes with balance AND any queasiness. I haven’t gotten full blown sea sick - but when I first moved to a skinnier boat the caffeine would really mess with me. Probably harder to separate out at more normal levels for regular coffee or pop, but at the levels I drank it was obvious what was doing it.

Ginger should help - but strong ginger. The candied stuff Peter mentions - and the tea - and Jamaican style Ginger beer (the intense stuff - regular Ginger Ale probably not). Should be able to find ginger capsules too.

Full stomach helps some, hurts others. Not hungry/not stuffed’s a good bet. The harder your exertion the less comfortable you’ll be with food in your gut.

Looking down at the deck and water nearby can really aggravate it too. When I first got a GPS I looked at it a lot - and that was not good. Another reason to keep the deck pretty clear. Less to look at/check.

almost never get sea sick. Actually very surprised that it happened. Hopefully it was a one time thing. I went out the folowing day at Oleta and had no symptoms but again it was not rough at all.


A sailor
friend of mine swears that Karo clear syrup taken before the trip will prevent motion sickness. The best advice I got was from Pat Healey, the sailing coach for the US Naval Academy. His solution was bananas and ice cream, beacuse it tasted the same coming up as it did going down.

Full belly and empty bowels
…Sorry to be indelicate. I’m extremely prone to motion sickness, and find that I have to do many things together to avoid it. A Gravol before heading out is a must, as is a full belly. I snack on Rice Krispie squares and water as I travel, and eat a huge lunch like a roast beef sub. Keeping my eyes on the horizon definitely helps. I carry candied ginger and very strong mint gum, the gum seems to work best for settling a roiling stomach. It’s a curse, for sure, but you can overcome it if you keep trying.

Same taste coming up as going down
Well, there is that flavor issue, plus sharks aren’t atracted to bananas and ice cream - while other vomit can make pretty effective chum…

sea sickness
I was a seaman for about 8 years and never had a problem with sea sickness, I actually used to laugh about people with that problem until …………

We were cruising the fjords of Norway and had to come out from one before entering the next, it was rough that day.

I just arrived on the bridge and started working on the perfect combo - espresso/cigarette on an empty stomach. The next 10 minutes have been the worst of my life. I started to feel something strange going on with my stomach, cold sweat started to appear, legs didn’t feel very solid either.

I ran out to get some fresh air, sat down for a moment and it went away as fast as it came.

Sorry I can’t give you any good advise, I have seen people trying ginger, pills, bands, chewing gums, anchovies, etc. and nothing really worked. If you can, just stay away from coffee and put something dry in your stomach before paddling.

Looking at the horizon and not at something close to you is a good advise.

Compass Location
Nothing original here given some of the recommendations in prior posts, but do you have a compass mounted fairly close to you on the deck? If yes try moving it further forward, looking up and down a lot will aggravate things.

Given the right conditions, almost anyone could get queasy bobbing around long enough in 3’ plus swells or waves. I have a rock solid stomach, have never experienced full motion sickness, but once in a while a very long paddle and a tight neck gasket seems to cause a slight discomfort even for me.

when I say
seasickness I guess what I meant was a nauseous rolling feeling. Nothing really extreme but it was certainly the onset. I was able to distract myself from it (one of the reasons I rolled) and it pretty much came and went.

I don’t think I was at the hurling stage and all there would have been was coffee bile and water anyway.

Karo syrup
You might be onto something there. I remember when Coca Cola syrup was prescribed for nausea, back before the days of pre-mix soda fountains.

I’m no doctor, but I wonder if having a heavy carbohydrate slug in your stomach has a calming effect?


Transdermal patch
Does that have same side effects as dramamine pills?

I’ve never had seasickness so I wish I could say.

You obviously don’t get sea sick
it’s not necessarily the height, but the frequency.

I feel your concern
I get sea sick (motion sick). Dramamine works well, but you tend to feel veerry slepy at the most inopportune moments: forcing yourself to stay awake (i.e. actively kayaking) can cause you to become sea-sick.

I’m currently trying ginger tablets - 2x550mg 2-3 hours before paddling, then another 2 about 3 hours or so later. Plus, cut down on the coffee on the morning of the paddle (try to have 1 cup max), and eat something - not a lot. Caffine is an appetite suppressant. You will have to find the right food that works for you, but If it’s going to be a couple of ours before I see water I’ll have a macdonalds egg mcmuffin and orange juice (this is when I’m preparing for an instructor-led trip), plus the ginger tablets. Apparently they are also pretty good at combatting the queaziness once it starts, but I havent been there yet.

I’m going to try that patch: but the side effects that it lists don’t really lend themselves to kayaking (dizziness, disorientation, hallucinations!!).

I know some people do come down on those that get sick; they haven’t been there. Luckily, it can be short lived: sit’ll take me about 1-2 hours to fully recover (the strength), once on the sand (usually less).