Editor's Note: In honor of National Fishing and Boating Week (NFBW), boats.com will be rerunning some of our favorite articles about boating fundamentals. If you're new to the scene, or just thinking about jumping in, this is the place to be; we'll arm you with all the info you need to find the perfect adventure, choose the right gear, know the ropes, and get out there on the water. This story was originally published on boats.com in September 2012.
Being seasick stinks, and as the old saying goes, the only sure-fire cure for seasickness is to hug an oak tree. But if you’re a seasickness sufferer who loves the boating lifestyle, all is not lost. You can always turn to Dramamine, Scopolamine, and Bonine, right?
Well, maybe. Seasickness occurs when the inner ear tells the brain that the body is moving, but the eyes are fixed and stable, telling your brain that the body should be stable, too—so the gray matter reacts with confusion, hence the nausea. There are a few things you can do to modify your boat so that it rolls less, but even so, Navy research has shown that just one percent of the population does not get motion sickness at all, 10 percent rarely have a problem, and the rest of us have a chance of getting sick every time we board a boat—no matter how stable it may be. And unfortunately, those same navy studies have shown that drugs are only “moderately” effective.
So, what else can you do about it? There are some unusual remedies and homeopathic solutions, which seem to work for significant numbers of people. Here are five seasickness fixes that could work for you:
1. GO BAREFOOT
Remove your shoes, and leave your feet exposed. Why would this matter? Who knows? But in some studies, it’s been shown to ease those queasy feelings in nearly one third of the sickies onboard.
2. TAKE A BATH
Jumping overboard and floating next to the boat (when conditions allow, obviously) is a near sure-fire way to stop the seasickness. It allows your brain to merge the motions it feels with what the eyes see, and as long as you tread water, you’ll feel great. The down-side? Most people get sick again, as soon as they climb back onto the boat.
3. ROOT OUT THE PROBLEM
Chewing on ginger root is a seasickness cure that dates back to the time of the Vikings, so it’s worth giving it a shot. No ginger root handy? There are several ginger-based drinks on the market, which supposedly help ease seasickness.
4. BAND TOGETHER
Pressure on your wrist is also supposed to help with seasickness, and you can find “pressure point” wrist bands in any well-stocked nautical supply store. For a short term fix, apply pressure with your opposite thumb and forefinger.
5. LET IT FLY
Most people who suffer from seasickness feel a lot better after they heave-ho, so swallow your pride, hang your head over the side, and set your last meal free. Added bonus: you’ve just created a chum slick - keep your eyes peeled for fish!