Seasickness is an unpleasant subject, but one that can affect even the most keen and experienced yachties and sea-goers.
To make the most of your time on the water, learn what causes seasickness and read our tips to help prevent and reduce symptoms on a superyacht charter.
What causes seasickness?
We as humans have balance mechanisms within the inner ears that help perceive motion by sending signals to our brains, whether it being side to side or back and forth motion. Whilst we have that happening, we have our eyes perceiving motion as well, but being that you are on a boat; your eyes can’t see the movement, therefore, sending a different signal to the brain, eventually confusing it. The body responds to this confusion via an overflow of stress hormones, causing the unwanted symptoms of headaches, nausea, vomiting, pale skin colour, and fatigue. To date, the reason behind why others never go through the pain of seasickness while some experience it regularly or at least to some degree, remains unknown.
How to prevent seasickness?
Sail when the currents and winds are moving in the same direction.
When traveling with guests who are prone to seasickness, you should be taking into account the wind and tides. For a smoother sail, plan to set off while the tidal current flows in the direction of the wind.
Drink plenty of water before and during your sail. Avoid any acidic beverages, as this can only make things worse. Some find sparkling water, chamomile, ginger, or peppermint tea helpful.
Try to avoid going out to sea on an empty stomach, but watch the amount of food you eat! Take small meals at regular intervals, whilst avoiding heavy, acidic, or greasy meals, even the night before you sail.
Avoid or limit your alcohol consumption to two drinks per day.
Whilst underway, stay topside and central if possible.
Look forward and focus on the horizon to help synchronize the information sent to your brain from your eyes and inner ears.
Stay far away from strong or unpleasant odors.
Engine exhaust, heavy perfumes, and cooking odors can aggravate seasickness. Choose a spot where you will be exposed to plenty of fresh air.
Take a chill pill.
Enjoy the scenery, fresh air, marine life, and just the art of sailing. A big factor and cause for seasickness could be your stress levels.
Some find medications helpful.
Results can vary – medications will work well for some and not so well for others. They are most effective when taken before the first symptoms show up. Bear in mind that medications may come with side effects such as dry mouth, drowsiness, and blurred vision. Side effects can also vary from person to person.
WARNING: Consult with your doctor if you are considering medication.