Is the fear of being seasick keeping you ashore?

Underway at sea
Underway at sea

Seasickness occurs when a boats rocking movement causes conflicting motion information to be sent to the brain resulting in nausea and vomiting. The balance organ in the inner ear is responsible for passing this movement information to the brain to help it maintain body position and balance. Some people are more susceptible to seasickness than others, but, given the right circumstances anyone can become seasick.

Steps you can take to avoid the severity of seasickness

  1. Prior to departure. Avoid heavy meals and alcohol; increase your water intake to 2-3 litres per day; start appropriate medication at least 24 hours before departure (Kwells, Ginger Tea, Berroca and Vitamin C)
  2. Whilst underway. Maintain a steady fluid intake, even if you are feeling fine; eat small amounts of food regularly such as, crackers and crystalised ginger; minimise time below deck. Don’t’ go below to cook or do some chart work. Staying in fresh air helps.
  3. If you start to feel queasy take the helm and steer the boat. Fix your gaze on the horizon, on shorelines, clouds or the stars, to provide you with a stable reference point.
  4. Dress appropriately, wear more clothing than you need rather than less. Feeling cold or too hot can make your feel worse.
  5. Have a 2 litre plastic container with a tight lid or strong paper bags on board which can be used on deck and below for those going to vomit. Keep hydrating. Prolonged vomiting can cause dehydration, anxiety, confusion and shock.
  6. Be positive and believe in a rapid recovery. In most cases boaters recover from the effects of seasickness in 1-3 days. The more you go boating the easier it should get!

Skippers remember, the responsibility for the safety of your vessel doesn’t go away if you’re seasick. A continual watch for hazards, other vessels, navigation and weather monitoring must be maintained. Helping others get over seasickness as quickly as possible must be the focus and responsibility of all on board. If seasick crew or passengers ask to be left alone, saying they don’t feel like drinking or eating anything. Stay with them. Leaving them alone is a mistake as it is important to ensure they keep sipping fluids and regularly eating small amounts. If you are concerned head home or radio for assistance.

Movies On board


Having a stock of nautical themed movies on board for cold rainy days, when all you want to do is huddle in the cabin, is a great way to entertain the family and reduce cabin fever.

Here’s our pick of the top nautical movies:

Captain Phillips
Starring Tom Hanks this movie is based on the true story when pirates hijack an American cargo ship for the first time in two hundred years.

Master and Commander
Starring Russel Crowe, based on the historical novel written by Patrick O’Brien and set during the Napoleonic Wars, this movie tells the story of a British Navy captain who pushes his ship and crew to their limits in pursuit of a formidable French war vessel around South America.

Starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, this blockbuster movie tells the story of the sinking of the ocean liner  RMS Titanic after hitting an ice-berg in the mid-Atlantic on its maiden voyage to New York.

Dead Calm
A thriller starring Nicole Kidman and Sam Neil and filmed around the Great Barrier Reef.  When a couple rescue a stranger from a crippled schooner and bring him aboard their yacht an intense battle of cat and mouse, life and death unfolds.

Perfect Storm
A disaster drama movie starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg tells the story about the crew of the “Andrea Gail”  which got caught in the 1991 Perfect Storm.

The 1991 Perfect Storm, also known as the Halloween Nor’easter of 1991, and (especially in the years immediately after it took place) as The No-Name Storm, was a norwester which absorbed another hurricane and ultimately evolved back into a small unnamed hurricane late in its life cycle. The initial low pressure area developed off Atlantic Canada Atlantic and forced southward by a ridge to its north, it reached its peak intensity as a large and powerful cyclone. The storm lashed the East Coast of the United States with high waves and coastal flooding, before turning to the southwest and weakening.

Under Seige
An action movie starring Steven Seagal as a former Navy SEAL who must stop a group of mercenaries, led by Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Busey, on the U.S. Navy battleship, Missouri.

Starring Jeremy Irons this movie tells the story of John Harrison’s 40-year quest to solve the problem of keeping time at sea and the means of measuring longitude. During the 18th century sailors had no accurate time pieces available to help them determine a position of longitude, which often resulted in ships being lost at sea or broken up on rock shoals and reefs.

Starring Kenneth Branagh and Matt Day, this is the story of leadership, courage, determination and endurance experienced by Ernest Shackleton’s expedition of 27 men who dreamed to be the first to cross Antarctica.

Starring Matthew McConaghey, Harvey Keitel and Jon Bon Jovi this action packed movie is set beneath the seas. When a German U-boat is found crippled in the mid-Atlantic the US Navy realises it is a race against time to capture the Enigma (on board morse decoder) before a German reconnaissance mission did.

The Guardian
An action- adventure movie starring Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher which takes you inside the world of a US Coast Guard rescue swimmers.

Add to our picks by leaving a comment.

Captain Cook, Explorer or Maritime Nutritionist

Captain Cook
Captain Cook 1728 – 1779

The life of a British Navy sailor during the 17th century was risky, but not due to combat. During the Seven Years
War 184,899 sailors were recorded as being in service to the British Navy. Of these 133,708 died of illness, mostly scurvy, while only 1,512 died in combat. The casualties were high because at the time medicine practice was not advanced and no one knew anything about nutrition. This was a problem for sailors as ships had become advanced enough to be away from port for long periods of time. As a result sailors lived on preserved meats, biscuits, and water only. No one knew what ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) was and its connection between acidic food and the disease scurvy. A near breakthrough came in 1747 when surgeon James Lind tested several remedies and found that lemon juice was the only effective treatment.

Fresh fruit, vegetables and sauerkraut

Captain Cook knew about Lind’s findings and as a result he took steps to change the diet of his crew. He realised that certain foods if eaten prevented scurvy. When his ship stopped anywhere that grew fresh fruit and vegetables, he bought supplies aboard to feed his crew. However, because there were sometimes weeks between stops, he had to come up with another plan. Cook knew that sauerkraut, (pickled cabbage) had been shown to prevent scurvy so he, brought lots of sauerkraut on his voyages. Being pickled this allowed the sauerkraut to keep for long periods of time without turning bad. Cook’s crew were out to sea for longer periods of time than any sailors before them. Yet, not one of his sailors died of scurvy. He proved that certain foods could prevent scurvy, and smart sea captains after him followed his example and took sauerkraut, fruit, and vegetables on their voyages.

Mrs Cook’s Book or Recipes for Mariners in Distant Seas 

Wife of Captain James Cook, Elizabeth Cook had many opportunities to hear about the voyages undertaken taken by her famous husband. She began writing down her thoughts in the form of a wonderful collection of 18th century recipes which are still used by sailing cooks today.

French Toast

Poor Knights Pudding

Elisabeth Cook wrote, Mr Cook was partial to this recipe, which is easy to make and oft served in our home. When he was sailing off the land of New Zealand (November 1769) he sighted some islands which made him think of this delicacy, which he sorely missed, and so he gave them the name of Poor Knights Islands.

Take 4 slices of bread
2 eggs
1 small spoonful of sugar, well crushed
A small spoonful of cinnamon, ground
6 or 7 ounces of milk

Beat well the eggs, the milk, the sugar and the cinnamon all together. Cut the bread into quarters; cutting off the crusts is best. Pour the mixture over the bread and leave it to soak for 3 minutes. Heat some oil in a pan, ready for frying. Drain the bread and slid carefully into the pan, then fry until golden brown on both sides. Sprinkle over this the sugar and the cinnamon. Some prefer to use a little sweet white wine instead of the milk. And some may add a little preserve such as strawberry jam to flavour the dish, in that case using it instead of the sugar.

Did you recognise the recipe?  A favourite breakfast of many boaters and a great way to use up stale bread. It’s, “ French Toast”, also known as eggy bread or gypsy toast.

A great deck-side read for a sunny afternoon, Mrs Cook’s Cookbook can be purchased from Boat Books Australia.