Seasickness – a must have experience

Date: 23rd of October
Position: 53°59,570’ N, 8°13.372’ E

We all knew it would happen at some point of our journey…and today was this day. It all started harmlessly: In the morning, our captain Detlef had already told us that it was going to be a hard and tough day on our way to Helgoland trough the North Sea. The galley duty was prepared, all things were stored seaworthy and we were ready!

Everybody (especially me) was amused and found it really funny when the ship slowly started swinging. We staggered around the tables, slid from one side to the other on our bench during breakfast and had the fun of our life.

But after some time, I realized that more and more faces were getting pale. The seasickness began. In the hope that it will stop, we went outside on deck: But of course, that just helped a few of us.

It was so great to see that everybody supported each other. We helped where we could help: We handed everyone bags and tissues and just tried to get the best out of this situation. Beside these simple and nice works, my group was also responsible for steering the ship. This meant that we needed people for the look out, for the helmsmen, the galley duty and for the safety and engine round. Several people were already seasick, and it was getting worse… in the end, all but four people of my watch were seasick (me included).

On the one hand it was funny for me to see how fast you could get seasick… but on the other hand it wasn’t that cool to feel like you could vomit at any time.

So, I have a collection of first-hand tips which maybe could help you as well – just in case you get seasick.

First of all, my favorite: sleeping!

For me, the best way to ignore this feeling of seasickness was sleeping. Just close your eyes, enjoy how the ship glides through the waves and breathe every time the ship goes up and down- unfortunately, this just helped a few students.

A second method is to focus on other things than seasickness. If you have the chance to get up and do something, do it. It was way better to help people outside with setting and packing sails and distributing food rather than just feeling sick all the time. It’s like: If you’re really busy with things that you have to do, you don’t have any time for seasickness. (The problem was: most of us were not even able to stand on our own feet, so it was hard to take such a job).

And the third method we were told by the board doctor was to look at the horizon. This also helped a lot of people but not me. It just made all worse.

Anyways, we had a lot of jobs to do… for example the engine round, where we have to check if our beautiful engine Olga is bringing us forward. Or the safety round to make sure that neither water nor fire is in the ship… These two activities were the toughest because we couldn’t stay outside, instead we had to be in a really warm and stuffy room. (These jobs were only taken over by people who felt really, really well).

To sum up you could say that three quarters of all students got seasick- in contrast to us, most of the teachers and the crew felt healthy. The other quarter was all busy with distributing food like salt sticks, rusks and stock (a kind of soup). Moreover, they nearly forced us to drink and hydrate. But as you can imagine this wasn’t a simple job – nobody wanted to drink or eat because of being seasick.

And last but not least they tried to cheer us up. The motto was: laughing is the best medicine!

All in all, I would say it was a nice day with a lot of laughs and jokes. Although the day was quite a challenge, I think we made the best out of it and that we have developed a real sense of community. Nevertheless, I’m still looking forward to our next adventure on the sea (without seasickness though)