About Phillip

Phillip Cairns is a beekeeper in St. John's, Newfoundland, who writes about beekeeping at mudsongs.org.

7 Replies to “Sea Sick?”

  1. It’s like trying to read on a long bus ride, there’s the diesel fumes and the movement. You just start feeling like you have an upset stomach and get cold with the sweats, and when it persists long enough or the movement gets bad enough you puke yer cod cheeks and toutons over the side of the boat. Then you feel fine.

    I don’t normally get sea sick. I think I’ve only ever thrown up once and that was during a particularly rough night when I was sailing around on one of the tall ships for a few weeks. Wasn’t a big boat to handle the movement well. I have felt a little green on a couple of other times, but not bad.

  2. Most of the people who read this blog live in watery provinces, so I assumed everyone’s been on a boat more than a few times. But only Pender’s been seasick? And I don’t think what he describes is full blown seasickness.

    I got seasick on a whale watching boat out around the bay. It’s a first for me and probably the last as long as I’m not tied to a camera operator again. I was working with a small ENG-type film crew, working as the sound mixer / boom operator. We were getting footage for a NL tourism ad. ENG-type type work means I have to following the camera operator, staying behind him and following his every move — make sure I have the boom mic pointed towards whatever he’s shooting, and to make sure he doesn’t trip over the cables that are connecting my mixer to his camera. It can be tricky business at the best of times, but it’s a recipe for nausea on a small boat rocking on the open seas.

    When I follow a camera operator, it’s fast reactive work. I follow HIS movements. I don’t pay attention to much of what’s going on around me. Which is why I got seasick. I wasn’t paying attention to the movement of the boat and therefore I wasn’t reacting to it like I normally would. I wasn’t keeping my balance at all. My equilibrium got messed up within minutes of starting to run around the boat (while also trying not to get in the way of paying customers, trying not to hit them with my boom pole, etc.).

    I managed to hold my lunch for about 20 minutes. Then I went to the washroom and puked. I didn’t feel better after I puked. I sat there sweating, trying not to pass out while my head felt like it was rolling like a ball on the waves, trying to fight the motion of the boat, and none of it help. Every movement of the boat made me feel worse. I didn’t leave the bathroom for two hours.

    I wasn’t just sick to my stomach. My head was messed up. I was dizzy and had no sense of balance. I thought when I got out of the washroom, I would need someone to help me stand up and get off the boat. But once the boat headed into shore at full speed (the tour was over), the effect of the waves disappeared as the boat skimmed over the water. I was then able to stand up and say hello to the world.

    I didn’t feel so hot after I got on the land either. My stomach was torn up from puking and heaving on the waves. I was able to eat a little pea soup later on, but I didn’t have much of an appetite.

    Under normal circumstances, I don’t think I would have got seasick. I’ll never do ENG-type film work on a boat again, though.

    Seasickness isn’t just nausea. It also includes an almost-vertigo-like dizziness and loss of equilibrium. Puking doesn’t make it any better.

    I would hate to be seasick on a 12-hour boat ride.

  3. I ocassionaly would get a little sick in the first twenty minutes out on the lobster boat..but not always…slight nausea..feel like may throw up….curiously the worst was on a sailboat ride from halifax to chester….lasted about an hour…then fine….sail boats do not move like lobster boats….but on other sails from bedford basin out to the harbour approaches would do that frequently and no problems….I have gotten far sicker on airplane rides to calgary or vancouver…jesus I hate being on commercial flights….yet in smaller airplanes….ie 2 or four seaters no problems….

  4. I take the ferry ride to and from Newfoundland at least twice a year. Otherwise, I don’t spend much time on boats. I am in the habit of taking a couple of Gravol before I board, mostly to help me sleep, but partially as a precautionary measure against seasickness. I have occasionally forgot to buy the Gravol an the voyage across was uneventful from that perspective.

    However, just over twenty years ago, I took the ferry from Argentia to North Sydney, known to Newoundlanders as the “long boat” because it’s a longer ferry ride than the Port Aux Basques ferry. It was on the Ambrose Shea and it was the final time that boat was going to make that crossing. We ran into quite a storm during the crossing with rain and high winds. The waves crashed over each side of the boat as it was tossed about the ocean’s surface. I started turning green after the sun set and I couldn’t keep a visual perspective on the horizon. I got sick… worse than any hangover and worse than any bug I have ever had. I remember bouncing off each wall of the corridor as I headed to the washroom to puke my stomach out… I leaned over the first sink in a row of about 6 or 8 and the boat tipped. As I was thrown across the bathroom, I puked in all 8 of the sinks. What a fukkin’ mess. I remained ill, eventually only dry heaving bile and blood. I could not find comfort at all during the whole trip across.

    Phil described it well. It’s not just a nausea. You are totally messed up in the head. Disoriented, dizzy, just miserable. Once on solid ground, the feeling didn’t completely go away. It was two days before I felt somewhat back to normal. Ugh…

  5. Ok, I agree, it doesn’t sound like I’ve ever been really “sea sick” although I did throw up, which I thought was all there was to it.

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