This whole blog is divided in three parts, a short introduction of what seasickness is, the journey from the end of the Kiel-Canal to Borkum and our trip from Borkum through the English Channel.
Seasickness is caused by the conflict of the input from our eyes and by what our organ that is responsible for the balance is transmitting us. Our eyes see another position in relation to the floor than the responsible organ for balance does. You can get used to it through more time at sea. Overall it is no “real” sickness, it is more a reaction to confusing signals from sensory organs. The reaction to it is different for all of us, you often have a headache or have to vomit.
The first part of our journey was quite calm, and we had some small waves in the Elbe but no one got seasick here. It started as soon as we left the river Elbe, towards the North Sea, the waves were short and high and especially in the engine room and in the cargo hold it was shaking heavily and several of us got seasick, some for the first time in their life.
During the time I was awake no one had to vomit and, in the morning, I heard the story of two students that had to vomit. I talked to one of them and he told me that he had been a little bit seasick during the night, but had had no problems besides a little headache. He went to bed and he was feeling better. However, as soon as he stood up, he noticed an urge to vomit and ran to the deck. After he was done vomiting, he ate some rusk and again, he had to vomit. This cycle of eating and vomiting continued; five times. After he was done again only a little headache was left.
The trip after we left Borkum was a whole different story. As soon as we left the harbour the waves were around four meters high and as long as I was lying, I had no problem. But during our watch I was sitting on one of the starboard chests on the poop deck. I felt bad and to make matters worse, several of us had vomited by that point and I had to watch. And then it started, I threw up. After I was done only a combination of the taste of the grapefruit and the “normal” taste after you have vomited remained. I also ate some rusk and that’s when I learnt you should eat more than some rusk. Vomiting was rather painful then unpleasant, however, luckily it was my last time so far.
Overall the mood was quite bad, because only few of us are/were able to go the engine round and the safety round. The current record is held by a student, with eleven times in two days, but several crew members also had to vomit. Now we are all getting more and more resistant to seasickness and the overall mood is getting better, too. Hopefully we won’t have any more huge problems with seasickness in the future.