Discovering Seasickness On My Travels

Travel is great in that it exposes you to new experiences that you wouldn’t normally have in your everyday life and takes you to all the far flung places of our earth. It is here outside of our comfort zones, that we discover something about ourselves.

I normally don’t take ferries in my day to day life. So on one particular trip, I discovered that I actually get seasick. When I was in Marseille, I booked for a boat trip to the beautiful Calanques. This particular trip occurred when I was in my mid 20s and as with anyone in their 20s, getting sick was the last thing that would cross my mind. The day was perfect, clear blue skies and light winds which was great to get the contrasting shots of the grey rocky formations against a deep blue sky.

The boat (more of a ferry) was decent sized as you could imagine. Filled with tourists and families I eyed an outdoor seat that would allow maximal fresh air and un-interrupted views.

Before we had even reached the Calanques, I wanted to get off the boat and onto land. I really wasn’t feeling so good and didn’t predict that being on a boat would be such a problem and had nothing on me to ease the nausea. Either way, I had to wait until we were back in Marseille to get off.

Upon arriving in the Calanques, the seas were less choppy and we actually stopped within so that everyone had time to enjoy the surroundings and take pictures. I got a slight reprieve and mustered the energy to take my shots, mostly to prove that I had been here. Needless to say, I was so happy to get back to land and like magic, the seasickness was one.

It would find me again in a few years in New Zealand on the ferry crossing the Cook Straits from the North Island to the South Island. I thought to myself that I surely would not get sick on this ferry ride. After all, this ferry was large enough to be carrying cars and caravans across so it had to be quite stable and I would feel little rocking. Boy was I wrong.

Once we left the Wellington area and were left unshielded by any sort of the land, there were huge swells tossing our “huge and heavy” ferry. Again, after not expecting the ferry ride to be such an event, I didn’t have any remedies with me. I tried standing outside looking at the horizon however this only appeared to make things worse getting to see the swells. I found refuge at the back of the boat in the middle until we arrived within the safety of land on the South Island in Picton.

Since these experiences, I have steered away from boating adventures knowing the consequences. I just don’t think my inner ear and stomach can handle it.

Have you discovered that you suffered from seasickness whilst on your travels or when you had least expected? Or any other allergies or ailments that surprised you?

18 thoughts on “Discovering Seasickness On My Travels

  1. So sorry your visit to the Calanques went poorly. I visited via sailboat a few years ago-spectacular memories. I hope you get a chance to try again on a sunny and calm day.

    1. All the memories have come flooding back after reading your post. I think it makes getting into Picton so much nicer with lovely views too! Have you been on a cruise? I don’t think I could it now after all my boating experiences.

      1. I have only been on short ferry cruises through the Swedish archipelago and across the Baltic to Talliin, from Norway to Sweden, and from Denmark to Germany. Short trips and calm seas. Nothing like NZ.

  2. So sorry you’ve been sidelined by seasickness, but it happens to many people. We didn’t experience any of this when we took a boat trip to the Calanques, but when we were on a small boat from the mainland of Maine to Monhegan Island, we both became a bit queasy — not so much from the waters but from being so close to another passenger who was sick!!!

  3. The crossing from Wellington to Picton can be a little choppy! Think the worst crossing I have had was from Hull in England to the Hook of Holland. There was a wee cinema on board and I just sat in there and concentrated on a film to help but it wasn’t pleasant at all!

  4. ThingsHelenLoves

    I’m lucky that I don’t get nauseous at sea, but if its very rough I do get weirdly dizzy. I’m told it’s something to do with the inner ear. I was once on a very rough over night sailing from Stavanger in Norway to North East England and it took me a full day to right myself…love the ferry experience but maybe I’m just a fair weather sailor!

  5. I empathise with you as I am prone to motion sickness (boats, planes, cars).

    I did discover something strange, though. When I was a young adult, I just had to go on a live aboard diving trip: 5 days on a sailing boat in Phuket. I think youth makes one a little rebellious and blasé about one’s shortcomings. As expected, I was miserable for the 1st 24 hours, as I puked out my guts into the sea. But miraculously, it stopped after that.

    The sea legs gradually wore off but the reaction to motion is less severe. A strange way to exercise de-sensitization!

  6. O dear … I’m also no natural on the ocean (rather give me a lagoon or river 😃). On a recent trip on the Red Sea, we had to “motor” on high speed – in rough sea – back to Hurghada (reason: all tourists had to leave Egypt because of Covid).
    I did drink seasick tablets (but was still with my head in a bucket!) The chef of the yacht supplied me with many ice packs and lemon slices to sip on (and my husband hold my hand ☺️) … oh, how I wish I had sea legs!

      1. I’m not sure whether the lemon slices work … thinking back, I must admit, I was not that nauseous after sucking on the lemon slices, but still pretty uncomfortable … maybe I should just stay on dry (drier) ground … 😉

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