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  • Ed Snell

Preventing Seasickness


No list of considerations for making your Maine Charter Fishing Trip a success would be complete without a discussion of sea sickness. Sea sickness is caused because your brain's balance sensors become confused and it reacts as though you've been poisoned. You feel miserable. Vomiting, nausea, fatigue and malaise are the top symptoms, and take it from someone who as experienced all of those symptoms, if it doesn't ruin your trip, it's going to come close.


There are several pharmaceutical and homeopathic remedies, in my experience, not all are created equal. Let's start with big pharma, Bonine, Dramamine and the generic versions thereof work very well, in my experience, provided you take them far enough in advance. For most people 30 minutes prior to departure is enough, though for some, its best to start taking it the night before. As far as the homeopathic remedies go, ginger works well; wrist bands that push on pressure points don't. A significant cause of sea sickness is mental, so as hard as it might be, it's best not to focus on it. Also, you might experience some placebo effect from wrist bands.

I recommend medicating with Dramamine or Bonine unless you've been out on small boats in exposed waters before. Sometimes people think because they rode the Staten Island Ferry, or went on a cruise without getting sick, that they don't get seasick at all. This couldn't be further from the truth. Your trip is expensive, and the medication is cheap.


One main difference between a party boat, where you buy a ticket and fish along side strangers and a charter boat, where your party is the only one on board, is that if you become severely seasick and no longer wish to continue your trip, the Captain will bring you back. That said, most, if not all fishing charter operations will not issue a refund for a trip terminated due to seasickness or any other type of discomfort.


Some people don't like the drowsy side effects of the sea sickness medication. This can be overcome with excitement from catching fish and caffeine. Most brands offer a non-drowsy formula, however it does make them less effective.


One of the highest rated medications for preventing sea sickness is a scolpolamine patch. It's a prescription medication, so you'll have to talk to your doctor to get it, but I've heard good reviews. It might be a good idea to try the medication before you're on the boat, to see how it affects you.


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