The feeling of seasickness starts as an uncomfortable lurching in the stomach, a slight dizziness, and a heightened sensitivity to any nasty boat fumes wafting through the air. Despite a truly heroic effort to force his stomach contents to remain in their rightful place, the victim soon finds himself leaning over the railing trying to be as inconspicuous as possible as he donates his last meal to the sea.
Seasickness is terrible, but it happens to the best of us. Here are tips on how to avoid alienating the rest of the dive group when the inevitable arises.
Vomiting Politely on the Dive Boat:
If you happen to be on the boat when seasickness strikes . . .
- Acknowledge That You Are, Indeed, Seasick:
The moment you start to feel nauseated, take action! Move to an appropriate position on the boat and prepare for the worst. Don’t try to act tough — the only thing worse than vomiting during a dive trip is vomiting on the deck or in the cabin.
- Stop, Think, and Barf:
If the boat is moving, take a moment to position your head so that you are vomiting with – not into – the wind. If you release your breakfast into the wind, chances are that it will blow right back at you and you will get to experience it not only for a second, but a third time.
- Location, Location, Location:
If you acknowledge seasickness early and note the direction of the wind, you will have time to position yourself so as to avoid spewing all over the deck and other divers. Move as far back on the dive boat as possible, and onto the lower deck if there are multiple outdoor levels on the boat Beware the dreaded cross breeze and try to position yourself so that your spewage moves away from the boat.
- Take Aim!:
If the dive boat is picking up or approaching divers, take note of their position. If divers are coming up a ladder or waiting to board the boat, stagger to the opposite side of the boat before liberating your stomach contents. Similarly, if divers are boarding the boat from the back, try to note the current and aim your projectiles so that they float with the current away from the other divers (not into them) It’s no fun to surface from a dive to find a floating present drifting towards you as you wait for your turn to board the dive boat.
- Assure Everyone that You Are Okay – If You Are:
Judging from your greyish colour and the fact that you are wobbling around the dive boat in rather unpredictable patterns, other divers may begin to wonder if you are about to die. Assure the divers around you that you are simply seasick and miserable — and that you are not experiencing decompression sickness, sunstroke etc. If you do have symptoms of aliments other than seasickness, be sure to alert the boat crew or dive guide, so that they can take appropriate steps.
The Take-Home Message about Vomiting on a Dive Boat:
Most divers will be sympathetic to a seasick diver who feels the need to vomit on the dive boat. Following these few simple guidelines will ensure that a diver’s seasickness does not become a problem to the other divers (and boat crew) on the dive trip