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21, May, 2014

Scubafish Cure & Prevention: Seasickness

Posted in Diving News, Latest News by kimmy

Mark Twain famously described the psychological effects of seasickness as follows:“at first you are so sick you are afraid you will die, and then you are so sick you are afraid you won’t die.”

Scubafish staff have all at some time experienced seasickness, whether it be themselves, or one of their divers not quite making it and vomiting over our fins. “Sufferers” really do suffer, becoming as weak as (and often mewling like) a kitten, and the grey-greenish pallor which spreads over their faces foretells of the unpleasant events to come!



Seasickness is a sensory conflict whereby our brain and inner ear perceive movement which does not match. Our inner ear senses us moving (much like a spirit level), but our brain sees the objects around us remaining still so thinks we are not.



There are a number of remedies available if you think you may suffer from seasickness, and most are preventative as opposed to cures so take them early!

  • As strange as it sounds you are more likely to feel sick on an empty stomach so try to eat something non-greasy
  • Seasickness tablets – Scubafish carry free seasick tablets on our boats and the host will offer these out as soon as you get on the boat – don’t be shy!
  • Wristbands – there are a number of types of accupressure wristbands available commercially.
  • Ginger – many people swear by ginger root, ginger ale, ginger capsules or gum as being effective in keeping this malady at bay.
  • Patches – transdermal patches which can be worn behind your ear are also touted for the efficacy.


Treatment and Handy Hints from the crew:

  • Do not sit inside or where you cannot see the movement outside the boat (some people will struggle reading etc.)
  • Try to keep your head still and upright to minimise fluid movement in your ear canals.
  • Where possible remain in the middle of the boat near to the water-line (lower deck) where there is less movement
  • Fresh air will help
  • Avoid odours such as the engine or cooking
  • Watch the horizon and oncoming waves so that your brain can also sense movement.
  • Explain to your dive guide if you are suffering, they will try to get you in the water as soon as possible.

    Good seasickness etiquette

  • If you are going to be sick please attempt to reach either the toilet, or the leeward side of the boat (the one away from the wind).
  • Many people feel better after they have been sick, but please ensure you rehydrate!
  • Many people also feel revitalised and better if they can get in the water, since this is moving in the same way as the fluid movement in your ears.


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