Does the thought of this:

[Source: Loop Jamaica]
Make you want to do this:

via GIPHY

Before you blow chunks, read on below.

One of the most affordable ways to get to the Capital of Paradise is via the inter-island ferry. At $15USD ($100TTD) round trip per person, that’s a steal.

However, sometimes travelling on the inter-island ferry can make even the strongest of seamen feel seasickness.

So here’s all you should know about sea-sickness, whether you are just getting your sea legs or you’re a veteran mariner.

 

What is Seasickness?

It is that upset, nauseous feeling you get when you’re on a moving vessel.

Or

As Dr. Timothy “Dizzy Doctor” Hain describes it:

[Dr. Timothy Hair of Chicago Dizziness and Hearing. Picture Source: Daily Motion]
“The nausea, disorientation and fatigue that can be induced by head motion (while at sea).”

Sounds like misery.

But you’re going to Tobago for a getaway adventure.

And your budget told you that you HAVE to go by sea.

So what are you going to do?

Let fear get the better of you and say next time?

No eh!

 

Who suffers from seasickness?

Though it may feel that way, you’re actually not alone.

[Source: Lawther and Griffin, 1988]
According to Cheung, B. and K. Hofer, women are more sensitive to motion than men, by a ratio of about 5:3.

Also, seasickness is common in children over the age of two but many grow out of it by about 15 years.

Children under two years old seem immune to this affliction.

 

What causes motion sickness?

Let’s hear what The Dizzy Doctor has to say:

“In order for the body to determine where it is at all times, the brain combines visual information, touch information, inner ear information, and internal expectations. Under most circumstances, the senses and expectations agree. When they disagree, there is conflict, and motion sickness can occur.”

 

Is motion necessary to experience seasickness?

Actually… no.

In the absence of motion, say in a virtual reality simulation a person can get motion (and even seasickness).

 

Is it a sickness?

Nope.

Very healthy individuals have this perfectly normal response to being on the sea.

So it is not a disease and does not impair normal functionality in any way whatsoever.

 

[Source: Benson AJ. Motion Sickness. Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health & Safety]
 

Symptoms of Seasickness?

Well, it can go from:

An unhealthy pale appearance… to…

Yawning, restlessness and a cold sweating… to…

Upset stomach, fatigue or drowsiness…

And then…

At its worst…

Nausea and vomiting.

 

Can anything be done?

Below you’ll find the absolute best ways to reduce (or eliminate) your chances of getting seasickness on the inter-island ferry.

Or at least relieve the nausea and vomiting associated with it.

You will be sight-seeing ready the moment you step foot in Tobago.

[Please read before you continue]
Let’s go!
What can I eat?

I live by the mantra: food is medicine.

So what can you (or can’t you) eat before or during the trip?

  1. Gnaw on a piece of ginger.

Yep, regular old ginger.

Start chewing on a knuckle of ginger the moment you sit down … before the ferry

begins moving.

In fact, anything ginger really.

Think: tea, candy, ale.

  1. Diana Power Mints.
[Diana Power Mints. Pic Source: Diana Candy Company]
         This one I got on recommendation from a long time seaman.

According to him, this hasn’t failed him yet.

I actually have tried this and I would say yes, it does help to stave off some of the

symptoms.

If you don’t like menthol or mint flavoured things though, it may just make you feel

worse.

  1. If you must eat, eat at least one hour before you get on the fast ferry.

Make it a light meal.

Stay away from the greasy, oily, spicy and/or high-fat foods.

Sorry: No Super Deal Meal from KFC Independence Square.

  1. Say no to alcohol.

You might be thinking to yourself:

But why?

Won’t alcohol help take the edge off?

Booze will simply upset your stomach further.

In short: Don’t Do It To Yourself.

 

The over-the-counter remedies

  1. Gravol which is really dimenhydrinate (dramamine).

Cons:

  • Makes you feel loopy especially as its wearing off.
  • You should not operate heavy machinery (like a car) while you’re under Gravol’s effects.
  • It takes Gravol 4-6 hours to wear off (possibly longer in the elderly).

So driving off the Scarborough port after a 3 hour ferry ride should be a no-no. 

Pros:

  • There is a Gravol (hyper link with amazon link) made specifically for children.
  • Gravol can make you drowsy.

Thus you can blissfully sleep through any seasickness that you might encounter.

  • Gravol is easy to come by.

Most ferry riders carry it around, especially the more seasoned ones.

So make friends and ask around.

They’ll likely give you some remedies of their own that may even work better.

Also, you can even get a few loose tablets at some of the stores on the Port of Spain

ferry terminal.

  1. Motioneaze

I’ve never used this but I see many people on Amazon swearing by it.

In fact, here’s what one Amazon reviewer, Beth, had to say about MotionEaze:

[Pic Source: Amazon.com]
Click the links to purchase children’s Gravol or MotionEaze.

 

The Psychological Remedies

  1. Its all in your head

Often times, seasickness is caused by your own anxieties and fears.

Almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy (or “goat mouth” in local Trinbago parlance).

If you think you’re going to get seasick, you probably will.

Avoid those negative thoughts and keep a positive attitude.

After all, you’re heading to the Capital of Paradise!!!

 

  1. Did you get your 8 hours?

Get a good night’s rest the night before travel.

I have never been able to do this for two reasons.

I am a night owl and probably have not gone to bed early since I was a baby.

And two, I am usually always on standby which requires getting to the port at some

un-Godly hour to ensure I get on the ferry.

 

What else can you do?

  1. Get some fresh air.

Proper ventilation is key.

See if you can score a seat outdoors at the back of the vessel.

Check out this humerous blogpost on TriniParents.com about travelling on the inter-

island ferry with a baby.

Her take on the various seating locations on the fast ferry is spot on!

 

  1. Speaking of air, how’s your breathing?

Monitor your breaths.

You know the drill:

In through the nose and out through the mouth.

 

  1. Is it that time of the month?

Ladies, avoid travelling when you are on your menses.

During this time we are more vulnerable to migraines and more likely to feel the effects

of sea sickness.

Devonne Adanna Sidebar: The worst part – sea-sickness has been the cause of many pregnancies by women who unknowingly threw-up their birth control pills.

 

  1. Get yourself an eye mask and some ear plugs.

Shut down the many signals coming into your brain.

More specifically, signals from two of your sensory organs: your eyes and your ears.

These are my personal recommendations for high quality earplugs and a comfortable  

eye mask.

 

  1. DO IT AGAIN!

Repeated exposure to the stimuli will make you less sensitive.

In short, take another ferry ride.

And… another trip to Tobago!

YAAAAY YOU!

 

Already feeling sick?

  1. Salt prunes and an LLB.

This is my personal remedy.

It helps.

Try it.

[Lemon, Lime, Bitters – LLB. Pic Source: Pinterest]
[Salted Prunes. Pic Source: Pinterest]
  1. Like Nike says: Just Do It 
  • Ask for a gag bag (they’re usually located in the seat in front of you or you can ask one
  • of the fast ferry attendants to provide you with one.)
  • Put your index and middle fingers (or as many fingers as you like) in the back of your       throat.
  • Tickle.  And…
  • Let it rip… (into the bag of course).

Now doesn’t that feel better?

Do you have a seasickness remedy that works?

Share in the comments below, we’d love to hear about it.

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