Preventing Seasickness at the Gas Station

On our way to Bangtaboon to see whales, we will stop at a gas station to stock up several foods and drinks for the trip.

“Please take these with water. It will kick-in and take effect in around half an hour,”  one of us will say.

Don’t be surprised if we offer drugs to you at the gas station!

No, we aren’t dealing in a shady business by handing out small yellow drugs to our passengers…It simply is a precaution for seasickness.

Chances are, a lot of you will inevitably experience this.

What is seasickness?

It happens when our inner ear (known as vestibular apparatus) and eyes send out signals, affecting part of the brain that controls our sense of balance. Our brain becomes confused, because it sees objects that are normally still suddenly becoming mobile.

This is exactly what happens when you are on our vessel. It happened to several people, including me on our June 22nd trip.

Brain: The world is stable.

Inner ear: NO IT’S NOT!!!

Brain: YES IT IS!

(barfs)

So yeah you get the idea. They argue with each other until what happens is you feel nauseous and end up vomiting.

Who gets it?

Everybody. Anyone who has a normal inner ear balance can suffer from sea sickness.

Research by Dr. Timothy Hain, an expert on motion sickness found that:

Nearly 100% of humans will vomit in rough seas, and about 7% passengers at sea report vomiting during a journey (Lawther and Griffin, 1988).

Women are more sensitive to motion than men, by a ratio of about 5:3 (Cheung, B. and K. Hofer, 2002).

Women are more sensitive to motion around the times of their menstrual cycle (Glunfeld and Grety, 1996). This may be due to interactions between migraine and motion sickness.

Although we schedule our trip on the best season to see whales, the sea is at times unpredictable.

Be ready to take a precaution to avoid being seasick, as it may potentially ruin your pleasant experience to see these wonderful creatures!

What are the telltale signs?

1. Sleepiness

2. Yawning

3. Cold sweat

4. Fatigue

5. Nausea

6. Upset stomach

7. Headache

8. Dizziness

9. Vomiting

10. Pallor (an unhealthy pale appearance)

If you have any of these symptoms, you are more or less experiencing seasickness.

That explains why we will always be offering over-the-counter drugs, known as ‘Dramamine’, or in n Thailand as ไดเมนนีน (Dị men nīn) as part of our seasickness remedies at the gas stop.

Why do we offer this at the gas stop?

Because it typically takes around 15 to 30 minutes for it to take immediate effect, and by the time we reach our destination, you will be ready to face the battle against seasickness for the rest of the day.

However, be aware that it may make some people feel sleepy. 

 Again, we would like to emphasize that we leave this completely optional.

There are other ways to possibly remedy seasickness, which we will explain to you in the next update!

 

About the author

Pairat Temphairojana (Pai) is working as a journalist in Thailand. It was in 2009 when he first saw blue whales in a whale-watching tour in Alaska – and upon hearing that such majestic creatures like the Bryde’s whales is populating in the gulf of Thailand, he did not hesitate to join as a whale-watching guide in Thailand. He believes that having proper standards and regulations for a safer whale watching activities in the gulf of Thailand is necessary and can lead to a more sustainable tourism for the locals living in the region. Pai will be regularly joining us on board as a field observer and a reporter on our frequent visits to the Gulf of Thailand.

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