ANTARCTICA

10 SIMPLE STRATEGIES FOR NOT TOSSING YOUR COOKIES WHILE CROSSING THE DRAKE PASSAGE

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Apr. 25 - 2015
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Crossing the Drake Passage ~ that span of ocean between the southern tip of South America and the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica ~ can be as calm as a mid-Summer breeze or as volatile as being inside the spin cycle of a washing machine.

10 Simple Strategies

Even though you may not want to, eat.  An empty stomach is a recipe for disaster on the high seas.  If the thought of food makes you queasy, just try soda crackers as they help neutralize stomach acid.  Also, drink ginger ale or ginger tea as they can be a good anti-nausea remedy.
  1. Stay hydrated – (but avoid alcohol) being even moderately dehydrated can make being sea sick feel way worse.
  2. Book a cabin located mid-ship as this will be the most stable. Furthermore, book a room with a window or porthole.  Ideally you do not want to be in any enclosed space if you’re sick, but if you have to be, look out at the horizon.
  3. Keep your eyes on the horizon, preferably up on deck where you can breathe fresh air.  A great place to keep you eyes on the horizon & your mind busy is the bridge, chatting up the Captain or the navigation staff.  Many people swear by this.
  4. Do not lie down during the day, unless you’re on meds that knock you out! If you absolutely have to, lay on your back with proper head support.
  5. Don’t eat greasy or acidic foods.  You need to eat moderately the day before departure and during the crossing, but greasy and/or acidic foods won’t do you any favors.
  6. Avoid caffeinated beverages as they are diuretics and will make it harder for you to stay hydrated.
  7. Stay busy. But keep in mind that “busy” is relative. You want to do things that will keep your mind off of your symptoms, but not engage in things that will increase your visual/inner ear disconnect.  Therefore listening to music with your eyes closed = good, reading = bad.
  8. Secure everything in your room.  Even if the waters are calm when you go to bed, you don’t want to be woken up by your belongings flying across the room when the weather takes a midnight turn.  Trust me, it’s no fun cleaning up when you’re semi-conscious and the boat is being tossed wildly.
  9. Avoid other people who are very ill.  Seeing other people sick when you are on the brink is an almost surefire way to end up with your head in the nearest rubbish bin.
  10. Of course it’s always advisable to visit your doctor prior to departure to get advice on pharmaceutical options, but in the spirit of experiencing the Drake crossing in all of its splendor, try out the above tips…and be sure to report back on how it all went!




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