‘SICK’ DAY OUT
Youngsters used to use the word ‘sick’ to describe something that was good. Like they owned a ‘sick’ car or caught a ‘sick’ wave out in the surf. Being sick on a boat, however, is certainly not good, as anyone who suffers from seasickness will testify.
It is a topic I sometimes raise during recreational skipper’s ticket courses, not because I have a morbid fascination in watching other people squirm at the thought of bringing up their breakfast all day, but rather I am fascinated at the Aussie male and female bravado, when they are feeling like absolute crap on a boat and won’t tell anyone. Nobody wants to spoil everyone else’s good day out, but can they really enjoy themselves if you are chucking over the side or moaning on the deck all day. I guess it is no surprise if the skipper announces at the start of the day that if you get seasick, then bad luck, because he or she is not turning back.
A good skipper will realise that they are responsible for the crew and will try to read the signs early. People may stop talking, stop fishing, perhaps go pale and the first yawn is often another giveaway. Naturally, the curried prawns the night before with two bottles of red, bacon and eggs for breakfast and three hours sleep could bring even the best of us undone. Dairy products for breakfast is another beauty for creating a berley trail later.
So what can you do? I have heard of many remedies and preventions and perhaps none on their own will cure this dreadful malaise. Commercial fishermen reckon a serious three to four continuous days on the high seas will cure most, but for the recreational fisherman, this is not an option and by the time you go fishing again three months later, you have to start all over again. Ginger gets a good rating and that includes ginger beer, ginger biscuits and even ginger seasick tablets. Some other tips include really basic stuff like no greasy foods, make all your fishing rigs the night before, get others to undo any messy tangles on the boat ( or use the knife ), get out in the open air while underway and NEVER go under the cabin, especially if the seas are moderate to rough. Considerate skippers will not drive around in circles looking for the exact fishing spot with outboard fumes all through the cabin, will troll into the wind, might even think about pulling the anchor early and moving on, even when the fish are biting or better still, how about getting the “sickie” to skipper the boat BEFORE they get worse, because then they are occupied and looking toward the horizon constantly.
All the above sounds easy, but how about this for a theory to avoid seasickness and I reckon all boaties will love it. Firstly, adrenalin is a great natural drug and if it is surging through your body, rarely will you get seasick. The best way to get that adrenalin surge on the boat is to be catching fish all the time. So how do you maximise this? The best way is to have the best boat, best fishing gear, best bait and go as often as possible, so you get better. The better you get, the more you keep going, the more fish you catch, the more adrenalin rushes you get, the less seasick you get. Guess I better head to the tackle shop!