19 October 2010 | Somewhere between Fiji and Vanuatu
The first time I got really bad sea-sickness was last year when we made an attempt for the Galapagos, planning to cross the Pacific in all of five months. There was no wind on the west coast of the Americas and we were being thrown all over the place by the swell just outside of Panama. I was violently ill. It was horrible. Jamie couldn't stand to see me so sick and so he turned the boat around and took me to land. We headed up the coast of Panama planning to cross the Pacific next year when there would be better winds in the ITCZ.
This year we made the leap and all went well. I tried taking Kwell tablets but found they made me even sicker. I was sick for the first three days of our crossing but only mildly.
Between Central America and the Tuamotus there weren't any completely protected anchorages and so going to sea again wasn't such a big deal for me because my body was already acclimatized to the rolling motion of the waves. But as soon as we began to anchor within the lagoon protected anchorages, I began to get sick when we left them.
It was in the Society Islands that I began to dread going to sea. The thing is, it's not just the sea-sickness you have to deal with but also lack of sleep. We keep watch so that someone can always tend to the sails if there is a change of wind but more importantly to prevent collision with another vessel, mostly cargo ships.
We usually do three hours on, three off during the night and it can be rather tiring on the body. Sleeping is one of those things that I love doing but am dreadful at. So even if we say we are getting three hours sleep, I tend not to fall asleep for at least the first hour, and thereafter there is so much motion that I sleep only lightly.
Jamie on the other hand can fall asleep when he chooses to and doesn't get in the least bit sea-sick. Lucky him but lucky me too for having such a travel companion. But of course these aren't the only things that make him a great companion, he is also an extremely skilled sailor, fun company and when at sea he has a glow to him which I am convinced comes from the fact that he is doing exactly what he has always wanted to do. His date scones are also a plus.
Anyway, although I kept telling myself that all these wonderful places are worth getting a little sick for, I couldn't escape the feeling of dread at going to sea as my sea sickness was getting worse.
I told Jamie of this and he suggested I try some different drugs. So I did. In Fiji I bought some tablets called 'sea-legs', active ingredient 'Meclozine Hydrochloride' and lem'me tell you, it works!
This passage is going splendidly and I have not barfed over the side once.
The moral of this story, Take more drugs.