Friday, March 18, 2011

QUICKLY! .... to the leeward side!

We had lots of different nationalities yesterday and luckily Anne Japan is back so we had both a Japanese instructor and Fran our Italian instructor to greet them. Just a thought but have you ever found you tend to laugh when other people laugh even though they’re speaking a different language and you have no idea what they said!

One of GUE Tech divers got sea sick yesterday on a boat dive. It was that bad that unfortunatly he ended up not doing the dive. This interested me because I have seen many people with seasickness including marine biologists and divers. Is this an occupational hazard for divers or is it just a small percentage that will always have this problem?

I did a bit of reading about it and it turns out it can affect up to 90% of people and it can affect anyone at anytime. It also means that anyone who regularly dives could go on a live-aboard for a diving holiday for a week and be ill the whole time, even if they’ve never been sea sick before, which would be terrible because live-aboard holidays don’t exactly come cheap.

So how do we solve this problem?

Fran gets sea sick a lot. She said there are medications that help. Viv never used to get sea sick but now she gets it really bad and apparently none of the medications work for her. If anyone has any suggestions for her I’m sure she’d appreciate it! There are lots of theories about what causes it though so I guess it’s hard to cure something if you don’t know what’s causing the problem in the first place.

One of the main theories is that when you go below deck or look at things on the boat which are rocking with you (like when you are setting up equipment), you are feeling the motion but not seeing it. This sends contradictory messages to the brain which interprets it as a poison that is affecting your balance (for example what alcohol does) and the brain makes you sick to get rid of the poison. This is a clever and plausible idea but not really something that would easily be cured.
One piece of advice I’ve found that doesn't involve taking medication, is to look at the horizon with your peripheral vision, apparently if you look at it directly it doesn’t work, I can’t imagine this being easy, it would be like trying to subtly eye up someone in a bar without them realising, so your there ...... on the boat kitting up you gear, feeling sick, and trying to eye up the horizon at the same time, maybe someone should try it and see if it works?!

Alan says chocolate is the answer and he thanks all the Italians for all the chocolate they brought for him yesterday! Yes there was a LOT!

1 comment:


    Mythbusters did a test on this - and it seems that Ginger Pills (little less pharmaceutical than some drug) - seems to help cure it.

    Otherwise I have also heard of the corner-of-eye-on-horizon trick.

    -Stefan Stokkebæk