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Feeling Green? Here’s How To Avoid Getting Seasick While Whale Watching

If you’re like me, you love getting on the water. I have memories of boat rides out on the Gulf Coast, catching glimpses of manatees in the water, and many summers at camp swimming and kayaking. Sometimes, though, boats and I don’t get along. 

If this sounds all too familiar, but you want to go whale watching or enjoy other activities at sea, here are some tips for enjoying your time on the water without feeling like you’re going to have a technicolor yawn.

What Causes Seasickness?

how-to-avoid-seasickness
Image by Russell Underwood

Seasickness is a type of motion sickness that happens when your brain cannot make sense of the information it’s getting from the eyes, ears, and body. Seasickness specifically is caused by a conflict in the inner ear when your balance mechanism doesn’t function properly. If you suffer from other forms of motion sickness, like in a car or on a plane, unfortunately, there’s a higher chance you will struggle on a boat as well.

Ways to Avoid Seasickness

how-to-avoid-seasickness
Image by Francesco Riccardp Iacomino

The Princess Monterey Whale Watching website recommends the following ways to prevent getting seasick:

  1. Eating bland foods the night before and the day of the tour. You should also avoid alcohol, as it can sometimes bring on seasickness, even if you have not experienced it before. You should also avoid coffee before your cruise and drink plenty of water. If you’re feeling sick, try drinking some ginger ale and/or eating ginger candy and crackers.
  2. Stay in the fresh air. If you are feeling sick, avoid going to the bathroom. If possible, head toward the back of the boat. If you need to come inside, try to get to the middle of the boat toward the bottom decks, as the swaying of the boat will be less impactful there.
  3. Make sure you are well-rested, as it will help prevent seasickness in those who haven’t experienced it before. Keep over-the-counter medication on hand, such as Dramamine, and avoid other people on the boat who seem to be green around the gills. 
  4. If you struggle with nausea in general, you might try adding acupressure wristbands to your routine, as they place pressure on pressure points in your wrists that help relieve nausea. It’s worth a shot before getting a boat.
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