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Julie K

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Hello this is my 1st post... Newbee to ScubaBoard and somewhat new to scuba diving. Special thanks to my husband who received his several years ago but couldn't dive because he didn't have a buddy. He finally convinced me to try it in a pool with his divemaster and long story short, here I am. I liked it so must that we've made the investment in our own equipment with the help of our divemaster. We tried it out for the 1st time on Friday.

History: I received my SDI open water certification in July of 2019 and did my first dive shortly after that in the Florida Keys. Unfortunately my 2nd dive was a no go because I got motion sickness and couldn't get off the bench. Of course our return to the Keys in 2020 was cancelled due to Covid. However, we have been able to keep our skills up by diving at sites around NY. There really are some nice dive locations in NY State. My favorite is the Islander Wreck off the shore in Alex Bay, great visibility even at 60 ft. We've also been able to do some local lake diving, not my favorite with sometimes 3 feet visibility but I think it's helped me gain awareness and confidence in my skills.

I am excited that we will be heading back to the Keys this Saturday which is what brought me to ScubaBoard because I was searching for recommendations for motion sickness. I'd hate to ruin it again and want to be prepared. Maybe it wont' be an issue this time since I have some more dive time on my logbook.
 

Marie13

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Welcome!

Take motion sickness meds of choice the night before AND the morning of your charters. Every charter regardless of forecast. Makes a huge difference for me.
 
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Julie K

Julie K

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Welcome!

Take motion sickness meds of choice the night before AND the morning of your charters. Every charter regardless of forecast. Makes a huge difference for me.
I already have my Dramamine packed. That was a recommendation from my divemaster.
 

Tripp

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Welcome to ScubaBoard! Let us know how the Keys go!! Cheers!
 

drrich2

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Well, the 'nuclear option' is a scopolamine patch. If you get one prescribed for you, be careful to wash your hands thoroughly after handling it, because if you touch your eye, you get a greatly enlarged pupil due to anticholinergic effects. Some people tolerate the patch well and some not so well. I don't know your medical history or what other medications you take, if any.

People use Bonine (i.e.: Meclizine), ginger, a range of things...but Scopolamine seems to be the ultimate solution for some.

The patch tends to stick pretty well underwater from what I'm told; years ago there was an oral product called Scopace, but that ceased being available in the U.S. You could still get the pill form made by a compounding pharmacy (note: most pharmacies aren't compounding pharmacies) with a prescription, and some people ordered it from outside the U.S. I don't know just how that was done.

Stay out of 'heads' (boat bathrooms) when the boat is in motion. An enclosed dark space on a moving boat can really bring it out (including your lunch). Watch the horizon so you focus on something stable.

Try to be rested up. Don't eat a big, greasy breakfast the morning before diving. Like Marie13 mentioned, start your oral medical the day before you dive; if you use Scopolamine, you may want to start sooner than that to give your body time to adjust and so you know if you get side-effects.

My Florida Keys (Key Largo) trip was in 2013; seas weren't real rough, but boat rides were a little long (maybe half an hour, IIRC?), so there is some risk if you're really sensitive.

I don't think this is going to stop your boat diving, but it it proves to be a big problem, destinations with short boat trips and/or shore diving remain options.

P.S.: It's much easier to prevent than abort motion sickness. A friend of mine years ago pretty much needed a long nap after getting motion sick to sort himself out. Definitely act to prevent it, rather than wait to see if you get it then try to fix it.
 

Jaan

Ask me about DRYFOB
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Some Good Tips Already ... watching the horizon as already listed helps a lot.
Also, don't suit up too early/get too hot (get some cold water into the suit to cool down if you're stuck waiting for your entry).
Find an operator with a good sized boat ... Some of the smaller ones flop around more in 2-3 footers or may cancel.
Windfinder.com - Wind and weather forecast Key West Airport

Enjoy your time in the Keys.
 

smackboy1

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I am excited that we will be heading back to the Keys this Saturday which is what brought me to ScubaBoard because I was searching for recommendations for motion sickness. I'd hate to ruin it again and want to be prepared. Maybe it wont' be an issue this time since I have some more dive time on my logbook.

Was in Key Largo in June and half my family got seasick. I don't suffer much but these are my tips:

- Reduce the amount of conflicting foreground-background visual sensory input. Don't look through a window or part of the boat so you see the relative difference in motion between the ocean and the boat. Look at the horizon in the direction of travel with nothing in your peripheral vision. The bow or fly bridge is the place to be. Avoid focusing on things immediately in front of you as the boat rocks. Assemble all your gear while still docked.
- Get a seat in the middle-stern of the boat. I've noticed on many boats, students and novice divers get put in positions where they are the sometimes under cover and the last to get off the hot boat. That's the worst. You want to be in the first group in the water and descending. Don't hang out at the stern during the ride sucking diesel fumes.
- Don't hang out on the surface looking at the boat and other divers bobbing up and down. Descend or at least stick your face in the water and look down.
- Don't overheat by suiting up too soon. Putting on gear can make it worse, especially bending over to put on your fins. Don't be shy asking the crew for help, that's how they earn their tips.
- Some people get nauseous underwater from a combination of seasickness, salt water, and cottonmouth. Sometimes I bring a small soft hydration bottle with me on the dive to drink. After getting back aboard drink something sweet to get rid of the salt taste.
 

Dan G

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Some great advice here for you already. I'd add to not wait until you feel sick to start the remedies others have suggested. If the seas are rough when I am in the keys I spend almost the entire boat ride looking at/near the horizon, even when I am talking to someone, as a preventative measure. A nice benefit of this is that you will be the one to spot the dolphins or turtle surfacing for air!

In the Keys there is a significant variety in the size/type of boat various dive ops have. For those without good sea legs, a 6 pack in rougher seas can be problematic compared to something a little bigger. In addition to everything you have read here, contact the your dive op and ask what boat options exist. For the first couple of days, you may want a bigger boat.
 
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Julie K

Julie K

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Thank you all for the helpful hints. Will keep much of this in mind. Will let everyone know how it goes.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/swift/

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