Sick of being Sick of the Ocean

( Photo courtesy of the America's Cup website)

My breakfast went into the ocean
My dinner went into the sea
My supper is all in commotion
Oh, bring back my dinner to me
-- From The Scout Jamboree Book (1929)

These days, when I think of oceans, I think of sailing. The America's Cup, the sailing world's most prestigious regatta, commences next month. Its prelude, the Louis Vuitton Cup, has already begun.

How do I know this? Because mine Alfie loves sailing, and he's all caught up in it again. He's renewed his subscription to Sailing World. He's watching the kids' progress at swimming lessons with a keen eye, no doubt dreaming of the day he teaches them to sail. I think he's rooting for Larry Ellison's BMW ORACLE Racing team to win because the winner gets to host the next event. The prospect of having the next America's Cup held at the Golden Gate Yacht Club here in San Francisco is enough to make him pee in his pants.

How unfortunate for Alfie that I am not a sailor. I don't know starboard from port and I can only tie one kind of knot. I frequently refer to boats as ships, and vice versa. But worst of all, I get seasick. I cannot stay on a boat for longer than ten minutes without feeling queasy. The boat doesn't even have to be at sea. Recently we were at a boat show, touring the inside of a medium-sized powerboat. Just being below deck, feeling the boat sway with the motion of people going in and out of the boat, made me nauseous. I love the ocean, yes. But only when I'm standing on the beach.

Alfie has always had a sneaking suspicion that my seasickness is a bit like hypochondria; it's all in my mind. I expect it to happen, therefore it does. But I swear it's not. It has something to do with the inner ear, not my mind. Believe me, I've tried. I've gone out on sailboats, speedboats and powerboats. I've travelled by ferry several times, once overnight. All with the same result.

His retort: so why don't you puke when you go on love roller coasters that twist and turn? You know, I honestly don't have an answer to that. Rides that go round and round, like carousels or the caterpillar, make me nauseous, but I'm fine on roller coasters.

If anyone has an explanation, I'd love to find out. Because I really would love to be able to sail. I'd love to understand the longing he feels when he looks at a photo of a sailboat out on the ocean, in the middle of all those waves. I'd love to be able to feel the swell of the waves beneath my feet and taste the ocean spray on my face without feeling like I'm going to be tossing my cookies at the next swell.

For more thoughts on the Ocean, click here.
Share this :

14 comments, leave yours here:

~Kathryn~ said...

no ocean rides for me either .. i like my feet firmly planted when possible !!!

sognatrice said...

I don't really get seasick, but then again I wouldn't *really* know as I've only been "at sea" a handful of times. I don't enjoy being out in the middle of nowhere with no land in sight--I'll probably write more about this when I do my post ;)

Oh, and btw, carousels get me sick too where as roller coasters don't.

angel said...

heh heh, i dunno if i get seasick- i've never been on a boat or a rollercoaster (coz i'm a chicken)- and this was very funny!

gautami tripathy said...

Sailing is another aspect of the sea. I have never sailed in the sea and desire to do so someday.

Best of luck with yours!

Crafty Green Poet said...

I've enjoyed several trips in small boats and on ferries. I feel queasy sometimes inside a boat but if I'm on deck I'm fine umless it gets really rough. Sorry you get so seasick!

Unfolding Rose said...

i can sense your frustration! i don't get sea-sick, but I was introduced to sailing early quite on in life. My problem was always the fear of capsizing (I can swim well, so there's no explanation for my fear either!)! Thanks for your comment on my post

Self Taught Artist said...

great poem you found, love it!
I felt sick just reading about your feeling sick.

paris parfait said...

The first time I went sailing, I felt seasick when I went below deck; but on deck I was fine and I love sailing (or being a passenger on a sailboat; don't know the tricks of sailing). Maybe if you eat bread you won't feel seasick? Good luck!

Tammy said...

I won a sailing gold metal for the disabled but only on lakes. Try calm water and work your way up. Good luck!

Regina Clare Jane said...

I can't even go on a swing without feeling nauseous! I wish I knew something to tell you but it all depends for me. I was once sailing around on a catamaran somewhere up in Alaska and we got caught up in some storm- and I didn't get sick then... it was weird because we were really rocking and rolling! Other times, like I said, I can't even get on a swing...
Oh, well...
BTW- the little ditty was so funny!

Bohemian Mom said...

I've never been to the ocean but I did get sea-sick on a ferry ride across the lake!
Great post!

Heart of Rachel said...

I'm sorry that you often feel sea sick. Many people experience it.

I usually drink Bonamin (Dimenhydrinate) before getting on board a boat. It is an over-the-counter drug in the Philippines used to prevent motion sickness. It works for me.

I just wanted to share this but I don't necessarily recommend it for you because I'm not a doctor. It works for me but I'm not sure if it works for everyone.

I hope that someday you find ways to enjoy sailing with your husband. Take care!

sognatrice said...

Me again, just letting you know you've been tagged for a meme :)

Frances said...

I can so relate - two minutes on a kiddie swing or a fast elevator and I am green and queasy!
Waving at you from New York,
Frances