While it may be generally true that misery loves company, nothing makes a day out on the water more miserable than a heavy dose of old fashioned seasickness. And if you’ve never been seasick before, trust us, you don’t want to find out what it’s like. And without a doubt you don’t want to end up being one of the “comrades” when all your friends are “Mark Twains.”
“If there is one thing that will make a man peculiarly and insufferably self-conceited, it is to have his stomach behave itself, the first day at sea, when nearly all his comrades are seasick.” Mark Twain
Many a would-be sailor have had their Key West vacation fishing expedition ruined by not taking the proper precautions to ensure that they’d get their sea legs, says Captain Jamie of the Gulfstream party boat, and president of the Key West Charter Boat Association. Even the heartiest of seadogs know that there’s a list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to preparing for an ocean voyage.
We know that you’ve been looking forward to this trip all year, so here’s a list of ways you can avoid seasickness on your charter fishing trip:
1. Good Ole Dramamine: Over-the-counter motion sickness medicine really does work. But here’s a tip that they don’t always print up on the box. Take one before bed the night before your trip, and then another as directed before you actually board the boat.
2. Avoid alcohol before your trip: We know, you’re on vacation and sucking down a few cold ones is on your urgent to-do list, but try not to drink before you head to the marina. Wait until you’re out on the water and feeling great before raiding the cooler.
3. Hold the grease: Heavy, fatty foods, or spicy foods, can upset your stomach once the boat gets a rockin’. Hold off on the Lumberjack breakfast until the morning AFTER your fishing trip, and eat something light and bland the morning of your charter.
4. Watch the horizon: Sounds cliché, but it does help.
5. Move to the center of the boat: If you’re already out on the water and you start to feel a bit queasy, move to the center of the boat where there is less motion.
6. Choose a larger vessel: If you know in advance that you are extremely prone to seasickness, choose a party boat to go bottom fishing instead of a faster, more maneuverable boat like a light tackle charter boat.
7. Bring nose plugs: Again, if you are extra sensitive to feeling nauseous, bring along a pack of nose plugs. After all, this is a fishing boat and there may be strong odors that might irritate your belly.
8. Sit facing forward: Sitting backwards is a big no-no unless you’ve got an overwhelming desire to feed the fish! And get away from the stern where the diesel fumes may contribute to your feeling icky.
9. Don’t read while on the boat: While we doubt you’ve brought along your pocket edition of Don Quijote de la Mancha by Miguel Cervantes to read through on your trip, it’s still a good idea not to read anything while out on the ocean. If you get bored, put in some earphones and listen to music instead. The same goes for a computer or smart phone, leave these devices on shore at your hotel.
10. Try a pressure point wrist band: Many people swear that a Sea-Band bracelet cures seasickness better than any medication. See these Seaband reviews on Trip Advisor.
11. Bring along some crackers: Saltines and other bland crackers can help to settle your stomach if you start to feel sick.
12. Ginger: A natural remedy that can help alleviate the ills of nausea. It can be taken in powder, pills, or boiled into a tea.
13. Wear a patch: Scopolamine is one of the most successful commercial seasickness medication on the market and it’s as easy to apply as a Band-Aid
REMEMBER: If you do get sick, the best thing to do is just let her rip! The sooner you vomit the sooner you will feel better. Don’t look for a toilet or a bucket as the smell on board will make others sick as well. Just lean over the side and do your stuff. Don’t be embarrassed, it happens to everyone. (Just make sure you’re pointed downwind!)
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