The big day is finally here. You’ve been eagerly awaiting your big charter fishing adventure for weeks, maybe even months. However, shortly after leaving the dock, you start sweating and feeling nauseous. What started out as an exciting adventure quickly becomes a miserable experience – you can’t wait to be back on dry land.
This story is all too common, especially for those who rarely get out on the ocean.
Sea sickness, and motion sickness in general, occurs because your brain is confused. While your feet are on a solid surface, the rocking and rolling around on the waves dramatically affects your sense of balance and equilibrium. Effects can range from sweating and dizziness to nausea and vomiting. While the vast majority of cases are not dangerous, excessive vomiting can lead to dehydration.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent yourself from ralphing, barfing or otherwise blowing chunks when out on your fishing charter.
The following tips are sponsored by the cape canaveral offshore fishing charters company
Ofishal Business Charters
800 Scallop Dr., Slip B3, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920
Before your trip…
1. Get a good night’s rest – be sure you get a full night’s sleep and do not drink alcohol the night before. A hangover is a surefire way to getting sick onboard.
2. Eat a light breakfast – while you shouldn’t skip out on the first meal of the day, you should avoid greasy foods and take it easy on the coffee.
3. Take an over-the-counter medication or natural supplement – there are several medications available for motion sickness like Dramamine, Bonine or even an antihistamine like Benadryl. If you prefer to avoid synthetic mediations, ginger pills have been found to help. It’s best to take these meds the night before your trip.
When you’re out there…
4. Look out over the horizon or at the shore – if you start feeling a little queasy, don’t start looking at your smartphone or the newspaper. Go out on deck and look at something stationary like the horizon or any buildings or trees onshore if you’re close enough.
5. Stay out in the fresh air – many charter boat patrons simply go inside the cabin at the slightest hint of sea sickness, but you shouldn’t. Staying out in the fresh air but away from smells like fish bait and engine fumes can help alleviate your symptoms. Bad odors are worse when you’re feeling nauseous.
6. Close your eyes – this will signal to your brain that you are not moving, which can alleviate nauseous symptoms. However, always remain standing since lying down only exacerbates any nausea.
7. Move to the center of the boat – many charter boat fishermen start out by riding up at the bow of the boat. However, this is the most unstable place you can be, so move to the center where there is less rocking and rolling.
8. Wear a wrist strap (a.k.a. anti-nausea band) – available in many drug stores, these bracelets utilize traditional Chinese acupuncture to alleviate nausea.
If all else fails…
9. Get it over with – many fishermen, including yours truly, feel better after throwing up. Don’t be embarrassed; it happens to the best of us. Just make sure you’re downwind from other patrons on the boat.
10. Get out more often – of course, the best way to prevent sea sickness is to build up your sea legs. Getting out a little more often will help get your body used to being out in the topsy-turvy environment of the Gulf and Atlantic.
Don’t let a bout of sea sickness ruin your big day out on the water. Taking preventative measures ahead of time can reduce the chance of you being miserable while all of your friends are having fun and catching fish.