By the Sea, By the Sea, the Beautiful Sea.


On my first Panama Canal trip, we could see huge waves breaking as we came out of the locks on the Atlantic side. Our boat, the Jason, was small but seaworthy, although minutes later that was hard to believe.

As Jason rolled, I was on deck, in the middle of the ship, with my eyes fixed firmly on the horizon. I had also been told not to let my stomach get empty; a dry chicken sandwich was the recommended space filler. An order desk was just inside an adjacent door. I asked the crew member for a dry chicken sandwich.

He said, ‘Just a minute.” opened a drawer in his desk, bent his head, and treated me to a cascade of his last several meals.

I ran for the rail. It took awhile before I could even be in the same room as a chicken sandwich.

So, how to prevent seasickness? First piece of advice; don’t get a patch. The patches contain scopolamine, a drug used as a truth serum during the days of WWII. Older people can get very confused with this drug seeping into their blood, and the vacation winds up as pretty much of a blur. Some older people simply fall down. Newlyweds should think twice about the consequences of going within 100 yards of truth serum.

Then there are the pills, Dramamine and Meclizine. They settle the stomach somewhat, but mostly just put you to sleep.

I have tried ginger capsules that can be bought at any health food store. No side effects, and even some doctors recommend them. Do they work? I have no idea. I took it once on a World Cruise when it was getting rough, but the waters calmed before the capsule dissolved. I did, however, dream about Thai food. By the way, some travelers even use ginger to ward off jet lag; two capsules before and two after the flight. Add peppermint for good measure.

There is a school of thought that says to put your feet in ice water. Have fun Formal night.

A recent article in the LA Times talked about the efficacy of wristbands that apply pressure to certain points on the wrist, and thus, it is said, stop motion sickness. I haven’t tried them, but, hey why not? At least the wristband won’t interfere with your drinking.

Motion sickness is a conflict between your senses. A fluid filled canal in your inner ear that controls your sense of balance tells your brain that your body is moving. Your eyes, staring at the ceiling, tell your brain the only movement you’re liable to make is toward the nearby bucket. The best thing to do is tell your inner ear to just be quiet. Motion Eaze works on the inner ear. If this stuff doesn’t satisfy, you can get your money back. A few drops behind each ear when symptoms begin, and you can laugh at others as they weave towards the rail. No side effects either, and if people scoff at you, tell them to stick it in their ear. Now, if they only mixed it with an alluring perfume that would be the perfect product for those single parties at sea.

Be assured, that on the new mega ships, there is hardly any discernable motion, so seasickness will not be likely to strike. Never the less, it is a good idea to be prepared, because when it hits, it is truly miserable. Incredibly sea sick, I once lay in a bunk on a fishing boat and accidentally jammed a hook completely through my thumb. I just stared at it.

Last bit of advice, stay in some kind of shape. Remember, if your systems out of whack, your meals may come back.


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