Seasickness

Moderator: GreenLake

Seasickness

Postby KingsTransom » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:11 am

I went on a club sail today, on one of their boats. Got ill in spite of wearing Sea Bands, which have always helped in the past. This will be the second time in seven sails this season, the common factor being more chop (just 2-3') than wind (~6 knots). Once we got moving faster due to the iron wind, I felt much better. I've been perfectly fine in rougher water, but with much more wind. My windsurfing has never caused problems, but has always been on smaller lakes with smaller waves and no chop. While all my Sunfish sailing has been on Lake Michigan, those boats are small enough to move with the water, making for less confusion between inner ear and vision.

When I feel fine, I want to sail all over the Great Lakes, when I'm ill, I wonder why I choose to do this. I've never tried Dramamine nor Bonine, preferring to avoid drugs if possible. It is frequently possible, but by the time I know it is not, it's too late for the drugs to help. I'm beginning to wonder if I should just take the stuff as a matter of course, or at least when the conditions seem to warrant it - hard to know before you go. I've read all the usual stuff, like tke the helm or keep busy, look at the horizon or buildings, and to those things I have added moving at the waist to keep my head more or less level instead of moving with the boat. Certainly helps, but sometimes not enough.

Is seasickness just the driver in a weeding-out process, leaving those less prone to enjoy sailing while the rest take up more stationary activities?
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Re: Seasickness

Postby jeadstx » Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:53 am

When I sailed the Texas 200 in June, my crew was fine in the inter-coastal waters, but when we got out into the swells in Gulf of Mexico on the first day he got seasick. Redecorated my port side for the next 7 hours. He got better quickly during the near capsize when I got washed overboard and he had to take control of the boat. Then once he was back in the inter-coastal waters he was fine again. Rest of the trip was in the inter-coastal and he was fine.

Also had a woman that crewed for me racing my DS II a few years ago. She would get some mild seasickness sometimes. One of the other racing sailors suggested saltine crackers (absorbs stomach acid) and ginger snap cookies (ginger helps somehow, I forget why). I would bring both along, seemed to work. Either it worked or she got used to the boats motion or both.

John
1976 Day Sailer II, #8075 - Completed the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Texas 200
1952 Beetle Boat Swan Catboat
Early Rhodes 19
1973 Mariner 2+2, #2607 - Completed 2014, 2015 and 2016 Texas 200
1969 Day Sailer I, #3229
Fleet 135; Canyon Lake, Texas
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Re: Seasickness

Postby KingsTransom » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:18 pm

I ate some nuts & ginger cookies before the trip. Eating right before the trip may have added to the problem, though it was about an hour and a half later that I fell ill.

The shoreline of Chicago is all straight wall feature, except for a few short stretches of beach. Those walls reflect waves as opposed to beaches, where the breaking waves loose most of their energy. This may explain the chop - there are no propagating waves, the water just bobs up and down in seeminly random places. From the air an interference patten may be visible, but on the water it just looks random. All of my Sunfish sailing was out of Long Beach Indiana, and I don't remember any such chop. I might try launching east of Gary, Indiana, where the shore is predominatly beach. I'm also looking for smaller lakes not too far from home.
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Re: Seasickness

Postby GreenLake » Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:04 pm

Lakes with lots of motorboat (or ship) traffic will have wave action from wakes, which can be very chaotic and if a small amount of wind waves are added can pile up dramatically. If wind also waves get reflected that only adds to the confusion.

2-3' is not normal wave height for the wind speed you mentioned.

If you are sailing upwind, and have enough wind to power the boat, the sails will actually dampen any roll. That stabilization makes a difference.

While you can find a number of suggested remedies, your better option might be to find a different lake.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Seasickness

Postby Shagbark » Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:37 pm

Kingstransom,

Where do you splash a DS in Chicago? I've been looking for a ramp but they all seem to be on the wrong side of a bridge. As far as going east of Gary, I don't believe you'll find a ramp until you get to Michigan City. If you find one, let me know. If only I was computer savvy , I would start a reference site for trailer sailors in the IL, IN, MI area, if only...

Shagbark
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Re: Seasickness

Postby KingsTransom » Thu Sep 22, 2016 12:57 am

Shagbark,
For Lake Michigan, I looked at chicagoharbors.info. The harbors with boat ramps are Burnham, Diversey, and 31st Street. I had planned to launch out of Burnham. For the Indiana harbors, I looked at satellite views of the shore in Apple Maps. The Hammond Marina has a single ramp into a very crowded harbor. One would probably have to motor out. Moving farther east, there is a ramp at Jeorse Park, though I could not find information online about access or fees. There's a ramp by Ogden Dunes, but the bridges over the Little Calumet keep the sailboats out. That's all until Michigan City.

boatus.com has a site for boat ramps. Enter your zip code, and it gives you a list.

Where do you sail? Let me know if you want to sail.

GreenLake,
Lake Michigan wave action will continue for about 12 hours after a storm, splashing around like a big bath tub.
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Re: Seasickness

Postby GreenLake » Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:42 pm

KingsTransom wrote:Lake Michigan wave action will continue for about 12 hours after a storm, splashing around like a big bath tub.


Sure, on a body like that you get swell, like on an ocean. But the longer after the wind, the longer (and more shallow) the waves should be. However, fresh water waves are steeper for like conditions, so there's that.

With swell, of course, you have the waves but not the wind, or waves in a different directions than the wind.

Can't really advise you on the seasickness, because I've never been in a condition where it feels like I might get it (except playground swings; the few times I've tried them as an adult, I didn't like that sensation).
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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