On a Wicked Diving Komodo Liveabord, time spent in boat travel is a necessity in order to reach the best dive sites. If you suffer from sea sickness, this can be a nightmare! Fortunately, we have compiled some of the best ways to prevent seasickness for divers. Follow these tips and ensure that your liveaboard is smooth and enjoyable.
Why do we get seasick?
Motion sickness is thought to occur because of conflicting signals received by our senses. While our surroundings may appear static, such as when you are below deck or looking down at your dive gear, the body and specifically the inner ear senses the movement of the boat. This inconsistency can lead the brain to suspect that it is hallucinating from ingesting a toxin and nausea at sea and/or vomiting is the body’s way of expelling it.
Best Ways to Prevent Seasickness for Divers
While pharmaceutical companies market a wide array of sea sickness medications, most have side effects like drowsiness and are inappropriate for scuba diving. Here is what you can do to prevent seasickness, maximize your time diving and keep your stomach settled:
- Get some fresh air and keep your eyes on the horizon. Since your eyes acknowledge the sway of the boat, incongruencies diminish.
- If possible, stay on deck and avoid confined places down below as this is where seasickness gets triggered most readily.
- Stick to fresh and healthy food that does not upset the stomach to begin with. Avoid oils, dairy, spicy food and sugar since it can make you light headed and dizzy. An old sailors myth is, “when the seas get rough, eat only saltines”. Salty crackers are a great snack to coat the stomach and carbonated drinks help settle any nausea. Ginger is also an excellent anti-nausea remedy, chew it, suck on it or dilute it in tea.
- Avoid alcohol as it dehydrates your body and makes it more prone to seasickness. Drink lots of water (or coconut water is better yet). Above all, stay hydrated!
- Sea bands are sold in most pharmacies and work by stimulating the acupuncture point on the wrist that is known to counter nausea.
- Choose a seat and stick with it: in the middle and facing the front is ideal as ship’s center has the least amount of motion.
- While we may want to support each other, it is best to stay away from other sufferers as it might trigger your own reaction!
- Aromatherapy – get a fine mist sprayer (or use an oil diffuser if you have access to power) and fill it with distilled water, lemon oil, cedar wood oil, dill oil, lavender oil, and a few drops of spearmint. Then spray it lightly on your face.
- Try closing your eyes, this diminishes all those mixed signals getting sent to the brain.
- Avoid other smells and when they arise get yourself facing into fresh, salty air as soon as possible.
- Keep your ears clean as wax build up can cause sea sickness.
- Keep your head up and avoid reading or looking at a computer screen.
- Tell yourself that you don’t get seasick as least three times before departure. Fool yourself because sometimes it is all in our heads!
Know any other tips we have forgotten? We would love to hear them! For more useful tips, check out this PADI article about how to prevent seasickness.
If it happens, know it is temporary and shall pass swiftly so that you can get back to enjoying why you are out there in the first place! Fortunately our liveaboards are comfortable and well equipped with all you need should you experience seasickness, but it doesn’t hurt to come armed with some knowledge!