Sea Sick – Avoidence and Dealing with the Condition

Motion Sickness / Sea Sickness Susceptibility

As the dive season swings into place we will be venturing away from inland sites and exploring the open sea. Some of us will take in shore dives and some will board a dive boat and head off from a sheltered harbour. If you are susceptable to becoming Sea Sick here are some ideas a guides on how to avoid the condition and what to do if you do start to feel a little green around the gills.

Things to help avoid being Sea Sick

Don’t drink caffeine for at least 24 hours before getting on the boat, or on the boat. If you have a high intake of caffeine you may temporarily suffer with a headache, which you won’t want if you’re feeling sea sick.

Avoid strong smells like Boat exhaust fumes, stale cabin smells, toilet (head) smells Don’t focus on objects closer that appear to be moving relative to you

Don’t focus on objects closer that appear to be moving relative to you.When traveling – keep your eyes on a fixed point on the horizon.

When traveling – keep your eyes on a fixed point on the horizon.

Drink plenty of fluids and get as much fresh air as you can . Stay in the open and not below deck.

Don’t eat greasy, heavy and acidic foods, but do eat something light an hour before the boat leaves so your stomach has something to process.

If it’s breakfast simple foods such as cereals and porridge are much better than a traditional English fry-up

Avoid excess alcohol the night before getting on the boat

Sea Sick

Things which help if you feel Sea Sick

Foods, drinks containing Ginger, Mint and Citrus

Avoid fizzy drinks

Be wary of dressings on salads as they often contain vinegar, which is acidic and also fruit juices.

Sea sickness tablets (but may need medical advice for diving effects)

Take these at least an hour to getting on the boat

Wrist bands recommended for sea sickness may help (no medication involved)

Eat Custard creams  (they don’t stop sea sickness, but they taste the same coming up as the do when eating – double enjoyment)

Eat prior to getting on the boat – it may not stop you from being ill but it will attract the fish for everybody else to see

A good night’s sleep before a boat trip will help. It’s difficult if you’re anxious about being sea sick, but it will help. Try to arrive at the boat relaxed and looking forward to the trip rather than dreading it

Once on the boat stay in a spot with plenty of fresh air and shade but make sure you don’t get too hot and take frequent sips of water to avoid dehydration and eat light snacks rather than get hungry

Stay as far away from diesel and exhaust fumes as possible, particularly when stationery as the exhaust fumes tend to come back into the boat

Prepare your equipment / Kit up preferably on shore or on board before setting off, where you can see and anticipate the boat’s movements. Don’t forget that the boat will move even when stationary, with swell  and tidal movement, particularly if people and equipment is being loaded at the same time and concentrating on loading a boat can start the onset of sea sickness.

Once underway don’t read, use binoculars or cameras for any great length of time and try to keep the horizon in sight, but don’t concentrate or stare at it. Avoid staring at things that your brain would consider normally stable.

If you feel Sea Sick whilst aboard identify the leaward side of the vessel, your buddies will thank you for it in the event you do have to throw up.


A great, friendly and knowledgable place to learn. I am very grateful they worked around my shifts, meaning anyone can do this sport. I have seen that everyone is willing to offer advice within Diving. Many people have said to me “I wish I learnt to dive when I was younger”. So hopefully, at 25 and being female, means that a new wave of divers are picking up the hobby. I am looking forward to more dives with the club and maybe aim to start the Sports Diver soon. I have started to buy some of my own kit, but there is no rush as you can rent from the club or borrow from other club members. Whilst diving can look to be an expensive sport, I have learn that if you look after the kit it can last for years (I have been diving in a 15yr old Dry Suit and you wouldn’t know it was “old”). I would recommend SISAC and this hobby to anyone and am thinking of all the places around the world to visit and dive in! Emma Williams

SISAC is a BSAC Club located in St Ives Cambridgeshire. We like to believe we are a friendly proactive club training new divers and welcoming qualified divers all year round.

Under normal circumstances we meet on Sunday nights at One Leisure St Ives (the St. Ives Recreation Centre), with theory lessons starting at 6:30PM and the pool is available exclusively for our training from 8:15PM. One Leisure St Ives Recreation Centre Westwood Road, St. Ives Cambs. PE27 6WU.  

Due to Covid 19 we have suspended all Pool training and Try Dive activities.

St Ives Sub Aqua Club is affiliated with BSAC (British Sub Aqua Club)

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