How To Avoid Motion Sickness on A Boat When You Go Fishing, Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Sailing or Surfing

By December 26, 2015 Blog

Whatever your activity might be boating, sailing, scuba diving, fishing or snorkeling being at sea any length of time requires stamina, a clear mind and presence of mind with your equipment and surroundings at all times. These motion sickness tips do work if you don’t cheat.

Failure to preparing the night before is a setting yourself up for fret and frustration while being at sea. This scenario could have been could have been avoided “IF” you take time to prepare.

The following is my short check list of things to manage the night before. (there is a long one)

  • Make Sure You Get a Good Night’s Sleep.
  • Make Sure to Take the Motion Sickness Pill before you go to bed.
  • Make Sure You Eat Breakfast and Take Snacks and Fluids with you.
  • Make Sure You Try to Eliminate Your Colon Chamber before going to Sea.
  • Make Sure You Take Water, Food, Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Towels and Dry Clothes.

Each and every one of the five things are mandatory to insure a safe and secure time aboard a boat at sea no matter the activity whether fishing, scuba diving, sailing, wake boarding or snorkeling.

Make sure you get a good night’s sleep.

Being mentally, physically and emotionally fatigued can and does lead to motion sickness. Being well rested allows you to combat the elements with a clear mind and rested body. Alcohol the night before you sail is not recommended because it interrupts sleep patterns and makes one dehydrated. Another motion sickness precursor is dehydration.

Make sure you take any motion sickness medication before you go to bed at night.

You will need to take another dose of Dramamine or Bonine when you eat breakfast. You must take a minimum of two doses to work well. Just like one antibiotic pill doesn’t cure an infection. One dose of anti-nausea drugs takes at least two doses spaced apart to work according to plan. If you plan to go on a boat in the afternoon, still eat breakfast with meds, eat lunch with meds too. Never go to sea hungry.

Make sure you eat breakfast in the morning before going to sea.

A common myth about sea travel is, “if I have an empty stomach, I won’t have anything to throw up.” Having an empty stomach does not prevent motion sickness. In fact, it makes the feeling of it worse.
You need fuel in your body to keep warm when you are swimming, snorkeling or scuba diving. Never get close to hypoglycemic or “low blood sugar” while exercising or in or around the ocean.

Make sure you evacuate your colon chamber before going to sea.

Typically, most commercial boat heads (that’s what the toilet is called on a boat) are disgustingly dirty and smell like No.1&2. The odor along with the pitching motion and possibly a whiff of engine fumes can and does lead to Motion Sickness. Better to prevent it by managing that in advance. My suggestion is eat breakfast with a strong cup of tea or coffee, which should make your bowels move so you don’t have to go while aboard the boat.

Make Sure Take Plenty of Water, Food, Towels, Sunscreen, Sunglasses and Dry Clothes.

If you start to feel woozy it’s usually at the end of your trip when you are tired and meds have worn off from your ocean activity. Still try and do these things while underway.

* Stand up; hold onto something with one hand. Sit though if you feel faint.

* Get into the wind and let fresh air hit you in the face and look at the horizon. (or waterline)

* Do not look down. Get back in the water if you are able due to less thrashing effect

* Important that you are upwind of the gasoline/diesel fumes of the boat.

Take at least 2 gallons of water per person per day. Ask anyone who’s gone diving with me they can vouch that I take a gallon of water on board, even though dive boats have water, I don’t chance that they could run out and often they do with many people on board.

If you follow my rules about preparing the night before you go cruising aboard a sea faring vessel you will thoroughly enjoy your boat ride more and the activity for which you hitched a ride, whether sailing, scuba diving, snorkeling or fishing.

For more information on this article, tips or techniques or anything related to scuba diving please direct your questions directly to me at

Laura Parke, RN, PADI and SDI Master Scuba Instructor, Author, Speaker and Recreational Scuba Diving Expert at Private Scuba

This article can be republished if my bi-line and credits are given accordingly.

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