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The world of flatfish is vast, varied and confusing. There are 11 families, 500 species of flatfish and 130 of them are native to America. Soles, flounders and halibut are familiar to most of us, but there are also dabs, plaice, brill, tonguefish
and turbot. One thing they all have in common are two eyes that will migrate soon after birth to one side of the head, while all other fish have one eye on each side of the head. Other fish swim upright, while Flatfish live and swim horizontally. Throughout their lives, flatfish hug the bottom disguised on one side looking like sand or gravel and their bottom half is white and appears to be ‘sky’ when seen from below. Thus they escape most predators. Flatfish feed by lying in disguise on the bottom, half embedded in the sand from where they ambush passing prey. Also they feed by scavenging ‘bits’ of food that remain after other fish have been attacked by predators. Alive or dead, the teeth of a flounder are razor-sharp. Dangerous to you, the angler, while the fish is alive and dangerous also, to the person who cleans the fish.
Your dilemma, do I match the hatch, or experiment by mixing and matching various baits, natural and artificial to enjoy more and very often fare better?
If you could see the way flatfish feed as they gracefully move along, invisible to predators, agile and fast, their bodies like one big fin capable of quick bursts of speed, if you’ll click the link in this paragraph you’ll see a perfectly adapted fish.
A man hooked a fish. The fish was still in the man’s landing net as he raised it dripping and shining in his hand. It was a fluke and the bait was a ‘cocktail.‘
Match the hatch makes sense to theorizing anglers, but your prey simply reacts to movement, or a scent that seems familiar and says ‘Yum, Yum’, available and ‘Delicious Food’. What do jigs, spoons and spinners imitate? I say worry not about matching the hatch, worry more about learning to fish your baits perfectly and placing them where fish are. For sure you’ll catch more fish by doing that, than by fishing in the wrong place with perfectly painted crank baits or life-like soft plastic minnows.
The variety of frozen fishing baits includes anchovies, clams, coon striped shrimp, crab bait, crawfish, herring, octopus, prawns, sardines, shad, smelt, squid and more. Purveyors are easy to find on-line.
With a drop-shot rig your weight is attached to the very bottom of your line, while your hook lies horizontal and perpendicular to your leader, about 10 inches above the sinker. With a drop-shot rig your bait ‘automatically’ undulates, propelled by water movement, so you n-e-v-e-r have to jiggle anything, just lift to set the hook.
I consider the following video to be an excellent tutorial. Although it fails to specify flatfish, the principle embodied here is valid for virtually all species that feed on the bottom.
For best results, your weight needs to bounce off the bottom.
One hook or ‘two’ may be similarly attached to your leader
BUCKTAILING BIG FLUKE (SUMMER FLOUNDER)
Here are a few tips to catch Big Fluke with Bucktails….
Bucktail Selection: Everyone asks what size bucktail works best. Bigger is better, when conditions warrant. Think 4oz and 8oz., because fluke (all flatfish) feed on the bottom and of course you need to go down to their ‘strike zone’. Deeper water and faster drifts require heavier jigs. We recommend combining lures and live bait. All jig colors produce, but you can’t go wrong with Green/Chartreuse or white/glow.
The recommended 20-30 lb. test braid. Braid cuts through water like a knife with little resistance, letting you hold the bottom better. Braid also lets you feel the structure of the bottom better than mono, in addition because it doesn’t stretch you’ll feel the bites better and then you’ll easily set the hook by simply lifting. A 12 lb. mono shock ‘leader’ should be used.
New Lures Stack the Odds In Your Favor. Over the last few years many new types of lures have come along and a lot of them are ‘real fluke killers’ when combined with bucktails. First one that comes to mind is “GULP”. Gulp Swimming Mullet, Shrimp, Twister tails, and the new belly strip, are what anglers have had the most success with – consistently. Use them right on the bucktail or above, as teasers.
LIVE BAIT – The ‘best’ baits are always changing. What they want today they won’t sniff tomorrow. So if possible take a big selections of fresh baits aboard. Try Big Smelts, Sandeels, Sardines, Whole Squid and Big Strip baits. Some of our favorite strip baits are Bluefish, Mackerel and Squid but the hottest strip baits last year were False Albie, tuna and mahi skins.
The most important tip is KEEP IT BOUNCING, most of the time you will be fishing rough bottom such as rocks and reefs, where there is a higher concentration of keeper fluke. If you just drag your bucktail on the bottom you will spend most of your day stuck and re-rigging. The second essential tip is be in the strike zone. You should feel your bucktail making contact with the bottom as you bounce it.
Go Deeper!!! With higher size restrictions you may have to go deeper than in the past in order to put keeper fluke on ice. In deeper waters from 45-75 ft. around rocks and reefs fluke average a lot bigger. The fish always have been in these areas but when the size limit was smaller we rarely had to go that far to put together a nice catch of keepers. Nobody is happy about the regulations, but we’ll learn to make the best of it. So if next time you’re out and the ‘catchin’ is good, but the keepin’ is slow head, a little deeper, fish around some structure and try bouncing some Bucktails – you won’t be disappointed!
“The Kayoss Rig”
Amazingly simple and very effective
1.- Fin Strike 557 Fluke Rig (With two tied hooks)
The Package Includes…
Shinny Spinner, Red Beads, tri-connector with sinker connector, a 36 inch Leader and twoHi-Lo tied hooks. Simple to use, just tie on to the end of your line and attach a sinker to the connector, then add bait to the 2 hooks and send your rig down to the bottom.
The Fin Strike 557 Fluke Rig is available on-line @ $2.39 – $2.90
2.- Berkley Gulp Swimming Mullet, 4”/10cm chartreuse (this color works well). This is a scented bait that looks, feels and tastes alive. You attach it to the top hook and thread it through the mouth. On the upper hook, your ‘Gulp’ serves as an effective teaser, because it always remains ‘horizontal’ in the water on your line.
3.- Two little ‘spearings’ or ‘sardines’ need to be treaded right through the eye onto the rig’s lower hook.
The weight you attach will vary with conditions and depth. You need to reach the ‘strike zone’ on the bottom which is where flounder feed.
One more thing: whether you fish this rig from a boat or from the shore, to be successful you need MOVEMENT. Either natural MOVEMENT induced by drifting, fostered by REELING or produced by JIGGING.
Now you’re good to go, with a setup fluke just can’t resist, which is your “Kayoss Rig“.
Watch the video (above).
Want to learn more fishing tips, tricks and techniques? Get our e-book below: [wpdm_package id=’3169′]
Today, scent is key to catching your true share of flounder. Unless you use scented baits at this time, you’re not going to catch as many fish as you would if you did use scent. The catch ratio between those who use scent and those who don’t varies between 5:1 and 10:1. During the 1950s & 1960s, every open boat angler boarded with a huge ‘potato sack’, or purchased one on board. There were no limits, or size regulations then, but today, supply of game fish is less, and scent ‘definitely’ will help you to catch more fish and to enjoy your day.
Fish are simultaneously attracted to familiar aromas and repulsed by even ‘tiny’ amounts of unfamiliar smells that inevitably stick to human hands, gloves, rods and reels, including but not limited to tobacco, cosmetics, sun block, motor oil, lubricants and many more. You need to attract fish by presenting ‘familiar’ aromas that resemble fish food, fish oils, your prey smelled before.
Your Objective In Using Scent Is Two Fold: cover unwanted odors normally transferred to bait through touch and to apply scents that induce a fish’s to feed.
To this end, many scents are manufactured and sold as liquids, gels or powders. Some anglers make their own, and all fishing scents can work well. Liquid scents may be sprayed, if the temperature is above freezing and its not too windy. Gel scents stick like glue to lures, and can last for 20 – 25 casts. Gel stinks up your hands and everything else it touches, but washes off eventually. When it is no longer ‘visible’ on your lure or hook, it’s time to reapply more gel. “Hatchery Powder” – the way you use “Hatchery Powder” is to ‘roll’ your bait in the powder. Initially, pour a little powder (these are ground pellets, fed to fish in fish hatcheries) on your hand, or better, into a plastic cup. Then roll your bait in the powder and finally, hook up your bait by just rolling it in the powder.
Some anglers very much prefer ‘pre-scented lures’, because when chomped, scent continues and fish that bite don’t let go! In addition, artificial bait is never nibbled off your hook, while the only disadvantage of ‘pre-scented lures’ is that they cost more than good ‘unscented lures’ which may be treated with gel.
The most famous ‘pre-scented’ baits are made by Berkley Gulp. In the absence of a “Burkey Gulp”, scent can be applied to excellent, reasonably priced plastic, metal and wooden lures.
Fishing scents do four things.
1.- Provide an ‘area’ scent to bring fish near your hook.
2.- Convert a lure or bait from being an inert object to an article that feigns life and smells good to a fish.
The trade name of an aromatic putty-like gum that generates very visible bubbles when submerged. The bubbles are easily seen as “Fizzards” effervesce, release ‘shad oil’ and leave a scent which attracts fish and triggers an urgent biological urge for them to feed.
4.- Powder (fish food) is composed of ground pellets that fish nurseries use as feed. To use, roll your bait in this powder and then hook it as usual.
Best place to see New York Harbor. American Veterans Memorial Pier 69th Street Pier, Brooklyn, NY =======================================================
There are many varieties of FLATFISH that breed all around the world.
Flounder pictured on a postage stamp from the Soviet Union.
Flounders, flukes, halibuts, turbots, place and many varieties of sole.
Each of these fish are born with one eye on each side of its head. Both eyes migrate to one side of the head within two months following birth. Some species face their left sides upward, some face their right sides upward, and others face either side upward. Flatfish can live up to 42 years. Male halibut live to 27 years while female halibut sometimes live ’till age 42 and can weigh as much as 500 pounds or 226.79618 kilograms. Most ‘large’ halibut are about 80 pounds or 36.28739 kilograms.
Here, a ‘turbot’ hides in the sand. Its top side looks like sand while its obverse is white. From below the white side looks like sky and fools most predators.
Two eyes on one side is a practical arrangement, as typically flatfish hide in the sand and only emerges to dine when food passes.
When fishing for flatfish your job initially is to find them as they lay in wait secreted in the sand waiting for food to pass by. Present attractive bait physically close to their hiding place, jiggle that bait to pretend life, for flatfish won’t strike lifeless objects. This process takes patience, because flatfish don’t troll for food, nor aggressively grab and run with bait. In a few words… present your bait, jiggle it gently so it looks alive, retrieve slowly while continuing to keep your bait animated. Expect flatfish to follow bait for quite a while, even up to the surface, so no matter what, don’t give up and slowly keep jigging.
How To Filet And Skin A Flounder
Step by Step.
1.- Begin with a very sharp and flexible ‘filet knife’ and a fish that is ‘iced or cold’, because it’s difficult make a smooth cut through a fish that’s not cold. In the two videos that follow you’ll see two different types of filet knifes, strait and curved,both are excellent – you choose.
If you don’t have a good very sharp ‘filet knife’, for sure, your incisions will tear the flesh and you’ll wind up with an unattractive, wasteful end product!
2.- Make a clean cut on one side from gill to tail. Then, work your knife down along the rib cage.
3.- Cut around the head to the same depth.
4.- Pull off your right and left filet. Then turn the fish over and repeat similarly on the other side.
5.-Part II • Skin your filets.
a) Don’t ‘scale’ your fish, because scales supply needed strength and rigidity that will hold its flesh together.
b) Turn your knife at a 30º to 40º. Begin at the tail and start separating flesh from skin. Slide your knife gently back and fourth at that angle. After separating just a little bit grab hold of the skin, pull it up a little and keep cutting.
c) Result – four perfectly skinned fillets.
d) Extra Little Bones – just trim them off, or pull them out with pliers.
HALIBUT are the largest of all flatfish and commonly found from Alaska to Baja California in Mexico, and within a broad arc of the temperate North Pacific Ocean, extending from Hokkaido, Japan and the Sea of Okhotsk, to the southern Chukchi Sea and ending at Point Camalu, Baja California, Mexico. They are bottom dwellers and live in waters to a depth of 1200 meters or 3,937.0079 feet.
• Halibut are the largest of all flatfish. ‘Some’ measured 8 feet long, weigh 500 pounds, may live more than 40 years!
ANCHORAGE — What might be the largest Pacific halibut ever documented was pulled from the Bering Sea off St. Paul Island Sept. 5 by the crew of the fishing boat “Miss Mary”.
What A Catch! It may be the biggest Pacific Halibut. Crew members of the Miss Mary, from left, captain Pat Davis, Barry Davis, and crewmen “Aki” and “The Kid,” got this halibut in the Bering Sea. Photo: / Associated Press
The 8-foot, 2-inch behemoth was estimated at 533 pounds — based on its length, according to crewman Barry Davis of Anchorage, who provided photographs of the fish taken aboard the longliner skippered by his brother, Pat, from Seattle.
No official records are kept on the size of commercially caught halibut in Alaska, but the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Wildlife Notebook Series says the “largest ever recorded for the Northern Pacific was a 495-pound fish caught near Petersburg.”
The International Pacific Halibut Commission pegs the largest fish at 8 feet and an estimated 500 pounds, caught in 1974.
After the monster latched onto one of a string of hooks, the crew spotted what appeared to be a bus coming up from a depth of about 210 feet.
“It took all five of us to get it on board,” Barry Davis said. “We weren’t going to let him go.”
• Halibut have small scales embedded in the skin.
• The upper side of the fish tends to look like the ocean bottom. The underside is lighter, resembling the sky as seen from below. This protective coloring helps the fish hide from predators and prey alike.
• Halibut spawn during the winter months. Most spawning takes place off the edge of the continental shelf in deep waters of 200 to 300 fathoms.
• Male halibut become sexually mature at 7 or 8 years of age. Females attain sexual maturity at 8 to 12 years.
• Females lay 2-3 million eggs each year, depending on the size of the fish. Fertilized eggs hatch after about 15 days.
• Free-floating eggs and larvae float for up to 6 months and are transported up to several hundred miles by deep currents of the North Pacific. As the larvae grow they become lighter, rise nearer to the surface and migrate to the shallower waters, floating on the surface currents.
• Larvae begin life in an upright position with eyes on both sides of their head. When they are about an inch long, the left eye migrates over the snout to the right side of the head, and the color of the left side fades.
• When young halibut are about 6months old, they settle to the sea floor, where the protective coloring on their “eyed” side effectively camouflages them.
• Most young halibut ultimately spend from 5-7 years in rich, shallow nursery grounds, as in the Bering Sea.
• Generally, young halibut are found close to shore, and older, larger individuals in deeper water near the edge of the continental shelf. However, in the summer months, larger halibut move towards shallower water.
• Halibut up to 10 years of age migrate often in a clockwise direction east and south throughout the Gulf of Alaska.
• Older halibut don’t migrate as much. These older fish often use both shallow and deep waters over the annual cycle. However, they have much smaller “home ranges” than younger, more migratory fish.
• Halibut live quite a long time, but their growth rate varies depending on locations and habitat conditions.
• Females grow faster and live longer than males. The oldest recorded female was 42 years old and the oldest male was 27 years old.
• Larval halibut feed on plankton.
• Halibut ― juvenile and adult ― do not appear to be popular items on the menus of many fishes, although juvenile halibut have been found in the stomachs of adult halibut, Pacific cod and sand sole.
• Because they are strong swimmers, halibut are able to eat a large variety of fishes. In fact, halibut will feed on almost any animal they can fit in their mouths including: sand lance, octopus, crab, salmon, hermit crabs, lamprey, sculpin, cod, pollock and flounder.
• Juvenile halibut probably establish wide-ranging movement patterns, actively searching for areas of high prey (crustaceans and small fishes) abundance.
• Many adults establish small, home ranges where they wait for large fish or invertebrates to swim by. However, sometimes adult halibut leave the ocean bottom to feed on pelagic fish, such as sand lance and herring.
• Female halibut are bigger than the males. Few males reach 80 lbs in weight.
• The Atlantic halibut is a right-eyed flounder.
• Predators: In the North Pacific, the halibut’s only common predators are the sea lion, certain whales, the salmon shark and man. In the Atlantic, halibut have been overfished and for the most part the Atlantic Halibut fisheries are closed, however fish farms operate in Canada, Norway, the UK, Iceland and Chile.
I get ‘sea sick’ and ‘motion sick‘ and ‘I fish’. Here are a few tips that can help you as they have helped me.
Seasickness, while not fatal, displays real symptoms, such as nausea, stomach cramps and vomiting. Motion sickness or seasickness is thought to be caused by visual disorientation resulting from being on an ‘object in motion’ which competes against the natural inclination for balance. Some folks become seasick by ‘suggestion’ and simply convince themselves that being on a ship will make them ill. For those who can forget about seasickness, it’s often smooth sailing.
One of the most widely recommended remedies for seasickness is “Transderm Scop”, a patch applied behind the ear at least eight hours before exposure which can be effectiveness for up to three days. Available only by prescription, the “Scop” is ‘preventive’ for seasickness, ‘but not a treatment’ for seasickness. When seasick victims can exhibit side effects such as dry mouth, blurry vision, drowsiness and dizziness.
Over-the-counter drugs for seasickness used both to deter and/or treat seasick symptoms are Dramamine, Meclizine and Benadryl. and on some boats these are available gratus. The most common side effect of taking Bonine and Benadryl is drowsiness and ‘alcohol’ will exacerbate these side effects.
Editor’s note: For seasick kids, a less potent versions of both Benadryl and Bonine exist. It is strongly advised that you consult a doctor before ingesting new medications.
Stronger, more effective prescription drugs for seasickness can be prescribed by a physician. These include Promethazine and Ephedrine, which when taken together produce quick results as well as potential side effects such as sleepiness. Other options includes suppositories, administered by the ship’s physician, which work magic for some people suffering from seasickness.
If you don’t like to take drugs, for seasickness natural remedies for seasickness include Ginger and Green Apples.
Some swear that by applying a
Sea-BandWristbands alleviates and or prevents seasickness: Put them on the minute you embark. They are an easy-to-wear, acupressure-inspired product which prevents seasickness, uses plastic beads that press against the Nei-Kuan pressure point located on the palm side of the wrist to alleviate and prevent seasickness. They curb nausea and vomiting without any side effects, come in both adult and children’s sizes and can even be used by pregnant women. Sea-Bands are available without a prescription at major drug stores.
Ginger… studies have found it alleviates nausea from seasickness / motion sickness. The root can be taken in various forms, including powder, tea, pill and candy. Some swear that eating ‘green apples’ help with nausea associated with seasickness.
A Few More ‘Seasickness’ Tips
To acclimate yourself to shipboard life and avoid seasickness, it’s advisable to spend as much time as possible out on deck, using the horizon as a point to maintain your equilibrium.
Booking an outside cabin in the middle of the ship may also help you to avoid seasickness — the natural balance point, is another option to help you to avoid seasickness. Having a window will also give you a consistent view of the horizon point (unless you find yourself in stormy waters, the sea splashing against your window).
Stabilizers provide the smoothest ride possible.
Top Tips To Avoid Seasickness.
1 SeasickRemedies are highly individual. Some people should simply sleep; others cannot bear going below. The effectiveness of seasick medications varies. “Stugeron” to treat seasickness, cannot be purchased in the United States, gets a lot of votes, but may knock you flat, so experiment ashore.
2 How will you vomit when seasick? Leaning over the side can be dangerous. But, so can rinsing a bucket on the end of a line. We give our children beach buckets, which are cheap and flexible. Some people recommend biodegradable dog-poop bags.
3 Don’t start a passage with a hangover. In fact, don’t drink alcohol for two days before you cast off!!!
4 Keep munching, ‘especially’ when you think you are seasick and can’t. Try dry crackers, plain fruits and raw vegetables. Chew more carefully and eat more slowly than you would on land.
5 Everyone knows it’s better outside than below. But at some point you need to get inside to catch a break from the sun and wind. The cabin sole has the least motion of all—put some cushions down and get cozy.
6 Watch carefully for dehydration, especially with children who are seasick. However when seasick, replace lost fluids.
7 There may be a psychological component to seasickness, in which case it’s best to muddle through. Keep performing your duties and try to distract yourself.
8 Don’t feel guilty! Even famous sailors get seasick. Lord Nelson did. And remember: there is an end!
9 Relief Band Explorer, worn like a bracelet or a watch, the ReliefBand prevents seasicknessuses gentle electrical signals to stimulate a specific nerve in the underside of the wrist. There are five levels of stimulation; adjust the dial to the highest level that feels comfortable. By stimulating the body’s nervous system in this fashion, the ReliefBand can be used to relieve seasickness, nausea and vomiting symptoms associated with motion sickness.
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NEUROWAVE MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES ReliefBand Voyager Motion Sickness Aid
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I discovered ‘excellent’ advice on ‘seasickness’ from Captain John Konrad, founder and CEO of “gCaptain” and author of the book “Fire On The Horizon”. John is a USCG licensed “Master of Unlimited Tonnage” and has sailed a variety of ships from ports around the world.
1. Fool Yourself – Believe it or not (your choice) but 99% of seasickness is mental. Even the most stalwart mariner begins to feel queazy at times… but quickly solves the problem by telling themselves “I don’t get seasick!”. Repeat it 3 times in the mirror before departure. And make sure you say it with conviction!!
2. Look at the Horizon – When a ship is riding to a heavy sea everything is moving. The only thing that is stationary is the horizon and looking at it will often reset your internal equilibrium.
3. Follow your nose – Motion sickness is often caused by bad smells. Even pleasant smells, like a girlfriend’s perfume, can often send you for the railings. So if you smell anything strange, move into fresh air fast. And be sure to keep your living area clean… a dirty room or body is a quick way to invite odor.
4. Other people – One sure-fire way to get seasick is to watch other people getting sick. Like a schoolyard cold, motion sickness is very contagious. Avoid other seasick people at all cost.
5. Watch what you eat – One of the reasons people get seasick on ships is that they over-eat. When the waves hit, greasy, high-fat foods swirl around your stomach like water in the head. Alsoavoid sugar which can make you light-headed and dizzy.
6. Chew gum and eat sweets – Hey didn’t I just say to avoid sugar?
Yes but some people swear by it, others think just the repetitive motion of chewing helps and is most effective with sugar-free gum because it helps relieve symptoms.
7. No booze – Alcohol can make you sea-sick on dry land, the effects are worse in open ocean so avoid drinking at all costs.
8. Eat Only Saltines – An old sailors myth is, when the seas get rough, eat only saltines.
Personally I think a full and healthy diet helps prevent seasickness. but others swear by eating just saltines.
9. Drink Only Lime Juice –
Like the saltines, some old salts swear by drinking only lime juice in a storm, claiming it helps contract your stomach. Some think this is bogus, but if you are going to try it, be sure to avoid all dairy, because the mixture of lime and cheese might be a great flavor for a dorito but, in real life, the combination creates curds in your stomach. Ouch!
Whether you chew it, suck on it or dilute it in tea, ginger has long been a favorite home remedy for motion sickness. Give it a try and, if you ‘believe’ it works (see rule #1) most probably it will!
11. Carrot juice, apricot juice, citrus, prunes, mints, black horehound, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme….
there are a 101 plants that are reported to help cure seasickness. We can only suggest you try them in small amounts.
12. Aroma-therapy – get a fine mist sprayer and fill it with distilled water, lemon oil, cedar wood oil, dill oil, lavender oil, and a few drops of spearmint. Then spray it lightly on your face.
13. Over The Counter Drugs – Dramamine and Bonine are the two most common seasickness remedies. These are available over-the-counter at most drug stores and contain antihistamines which makes some people drowsy so, if your at sea to work, make sure to look for the non-drowsy versions.
14. Ambien – One cure for motion sickness is to sleep through it but getting to sleep is hard when you feel miserable. Ambien will knock you out no matter what your state is. Just be sure to take it well before you start vomiting (medicine needs to be in you to feel better). And, if you can’t get a prescription for it, try it’s over-the-counter relative Benadryl, another antihistamine which will knock you out! Warning; These drugs are powerful so don’t expect the ship’s alarm to wake you if she starts to sink!
15. Wrist Bands –
16.Acupuncture: If the band doesn’t work you can try actual acupuncture needles but, be warned, sharp objects and moving ships are not a safe combination.
17. The Patch – Scopolamine patches are worn behind the ear and look like small band-aids but contain small amounts of medicine which secretes into you skin. They are the most popular prescription drug for seasickness and they also come in pill form. The great thing about the patch is that it continues working even after you start to throw-up. But, be warned, prolonged use of the patch – for weeks at a time – can lead to hallucinations!
18. Kid’s Medicine – If Dramamine and Scopolamine leave you with bad side effects then try Stugeron (the brand name for cinnarizine) which reportedly works even after you have started feeling dizzy.
19. Change Heading – Sometimes a ship will get into a harmonic rhythm which drives certain people crazy. This is easily fixed by either changing the ship’s course or speed…. that is, if the captain lets you!
20. Don’t get pregnant – Many women are fine aboard ships in all weather conditions…. that is until they have their first child. So if you are female and plan on taking a world cruise be sure to do it before you have children. The worst part – sea-sickness has been the cause of many pregnancies by women who unknowingly threw-up their birth control pills.
21. Close your eyes – Many doctors believe that seasickness is actually your brain getting confused by too many mixed signals. So start to shut these signals down by removing smells, tastes hearing and vision. For the last two earplugs and eye patches may help.
22. Ask an astronaut – “NASA” has done extensive research on the causes and treatments for motion sickness.
One tested treatment is to wear special LCD shutter glasses that create a stroboscopic vision of 4 Hz with a dwell of 10 milliseconds.
23. Autogenic-Feedback Training Exercise – AFTE is a six-hour training program developed by NASA which is reportedly an effective method for enabling people to control voluntarily several of their own physiological responses to a variety of environmental stressors. Not sure what that means? Neither am I but I’m sure google can help.
24. Avoid Books and Computer Screens – Reading, whether on a device or paper, is a sure-fire way to get you sea-sick. But if you must be sure to read small portions at a time with frequent breaks to look up towards the horizon. If using a computer try a program that reads the text out-loud to avoid fixing your eyes on the screen.
25. Buy a program – With names like “The Puma Method” and “Nevasic” a mixture of doctors and hacks offer their training programs for a price. Some are DVD sets and others comes as cheap iPhone apps. Some surely work and others are a scam but all promise to relieve your pain in a few easy steps.
26. Saline Drip & O2 – Between sweating, vomiting and forgetting to eat or drink seasickness can quickly dehydrate you worsening your condition fast. So, for some, a trip to the ship hospital results in an IV and an 02 mask which hydrate and oxygenate the patient making then quickly feel better. But a far simpler solution is to drink water and get fresh air before you get dehydrated.
27. Hammock – A hammock strung fore-to-aft will let you lay motionless while the ship rolls beneath you. It won’t remove all motion (you still feel the up and down heave of the ship) but it does reduce the rolls.
28. Be A Burrito – If the hammock doesn’t work for you try wedging lifejackets under your bed to create an acute angle between the mattress and the wall, then climb in. This essentially turns your matteress into a burrito shaped shell, pinning you against the wall and preventing you from rolling in your bed.
29. Get In The Water – While this is impossible on most ships, if you are on a dive boat or on a cruise ship with a swimming pool you can reduce the water’s motion by submersing yourself in it! This works best when you are fully underwater with a SCUBA set.
30. Stay In The Middle – A ship balances at it’s center so that is the place where motion is least pronounced. The bow and stern should be avoided at all cost.
31. Get To Work – Dinghy sailors rarely get seasick and this is because their is too much work to be done by the small crew to notice the bad weather surrounding them. Free your mind and body with work or exercise to avoid getting sick.
32. Hair Of The Dog – In Britain new sailors are called Greenies for the color their skin takes when the ship starts rolling. Many people get terribly seasick in the beginning of their careers but become old salts after battling their first major – week long – storm.
33. Lay Down – Some say that lying down prevents histamine from reaching the brain, decreasing nausea. Try laying on your back to prevent your stomach from being pushed into the deck by your body weight.
34. The “Navy Cocktail” – This remedy consists of a heavy dose of both ephedrine and phenergan taken orally and was reportedly used by both the US Navy and NASA astronauts. We can’t suggest taking either without seeking a doctor’s advice.
35. Roll With The Punches – Fighting the roll of a ship can quickly cause fatigue which can lead to seasickness. Try to roll with the ship instead of stiffening up and fighting the motion (as most newbies unconsciously do).
36.Ice Water – Immerse your feet in ice water. We are not sure if this is a wive’s tale or real cure but I know of at least one sailor who swears by it.
37.Drink Coke or Avoid Coke or Seltzer –
Some people swear that Coke helps prevent sea-sickness others say that it causes it. Some also say that any carbonated beverage will help quite the stomach but that ginger beer works best.
38. Get a medical diagnosis, because some people with symptoms don’t have sea-sickness at all. They have ‘VERTIGO’ or food allergies or other medical conditions that, once cured – reveal themselves to be the true culprit(s).
39. Steer The Ship – Taking the helm keeps your eyes on the horizon (2), allows you to change heading (19) and keeps you busy (30) but mostly it gives you a feeling of control over the elements and can be a fast cure to sea-sickness.
40. Clean Your Ears – if wax builds-up in your ear it can lead to motion sickness.
Don’t ever use Q-Tips to clean your ears, because that is DANGEROUS. Instead, seek help from an ear doctor called an ‘Otolaryngologist’.
41. Lean Back – Keeping head movements to a minimum may help you reduce the number and complexity of inputs to your brain. To do this recline your chair slightly resting your head.
42. Pull The Trigger – Don’t sit around fearing the sickness, but go ahead and tickle your throat by sticking your fingers way down inside. Some sailors swear by it!
43. Removing Part Of Your Brain – A university study (Hoffer, 2003). found that by removing the nodulus section of a dog’s brain effectively prevented motion sickness. It’s also thought by some that children under 2 are immune from motion sickness because this part of the barin has yet to develop. Loss of inner ear function and lesions in the cerebellar nodulus may also work but…..
44. Monitor your breathing – Hyperventilation can lead to lightness of head and induce many of the symptoms of seasickness. Take deep, controlled breaths and stay calm to prevent hyperventilating.
45. Always Puke To Leeward –
If you feel like you might throw up, then go topside and puke to leeward. This is important!
46. Take a Chill Pill – Doctors don’t always do as suggested. I sailed with a doctor once who prescribed Scopolamine to all his patients but, for himself, he preferred Valium. Diazepam , lorazepam and klonazepam are all reported to work but, be carefull, these meds are sedating and can be addictive.
47. Decongest –
Stuffed and runny noses play havoc on the inner ear so, some suggest, vapor rub or chili powder, or decongestant to clear the nasal passages.
48. Get Some Rest –
Sleep deprivation magnifies the occurrence of motion sickness because, according to US Navy research, it interferes with the vestibular system ( located in small cavities hollowed out of bone within each ear) habituation process. In the maritime environment, this is often a compounded problem since the sleeping conditions aboard a vessel. The solution? Get plenty of rest before the storm arrives.
49. Be Friendly – Some studies have suggested that motion sickness tends to be greater in introverts (Kottenhoff & Lindahl 1960) this may partly be due to their being slower adaptors (Reason & Graybiel 1972).
50. Know the enemy –
But what is motion sickness? Sometimes the best prevention is knowledge so, to answer the question, motion sickness is a generic term for the discomfort and associated vomiting induced by a variety of motion conditions aboard ships, aircraft, vehicles, on swings or amusement park rides, in zero gravity environments (e.g. space), and elevators. Actually, the term “motion sickness” is somewhat of a misnomer from two perspectives. First, it can be induced in the absence of motion as during a virtual reality simulation, and secondly, sickness implies that it is a type of disease, when in fact it is a perfectly normal response of a healthy individual without any functional disorders (Benson 1999). Although the symptoms and physiological responses are consistent for all motions, seasickness varies with the individual.
What causes motion sickness? Most research suggests that motion sickness is caused by the vestibular apparatus (located within the inner ear, the vestibular apparatus provides the brain with information about self motion) sending signals that do not match the sensations of motion generated by visual or kinaesthetic (awareness of the position and movement) systems, or what is expected from previous experience. Said simply, it’s caused by sensory mismatch, the brain gets confused by too many unexpected inputs.
We shall leave you with this note from Dr. Timothy Hain, an expert on motion sickness. He writes of some interesting sea-sickness facts:
Motion sickness is the nausea, disorientation and fatigue that can be induced by head motion. The first sign is usually an unhealthy pale appearance. Yawning, restlessness and a cold sweat forming on the upper lip or forehead often follow. As symptoms build, an upset stomach, fatigue or drowsiness may occur. The final stages are characterized by nausea and vomiting.
Horses, cows, monkeys, chimpanzees, birds and sheep have been reported in scientific publications to show motion sickness. Rats, unfortunately I suppose, do not vomit so cannot serve as experimental subjects.
According to research, nearly 100% of (human) occupants of life rafts will vomit in rough seas. 60% of student aircrew members suffer from air sickness at some time during their training. For vertical motion (heave), oscillation at a frequency of about 0.2 hz is the most provocative. Motion at 1 Hz is less than 1/10th as provocative. About 7% of seagoing passengers 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 Gresty, 1996). This may be due to interactions between migraine and motion sickness.