Clinging by my fingernails to the bench fastened to the deck on our Galapagos boat tour, another massive wave pounded sea water on me. I really did not recall this adrenaline pumping, sea sickness adventure being featured in the brochure. Nor did it contain any tips on how to prevent sea sickness.

How to prevent sea sickness

“After visiting the dramatic volcanic Bartolome Island of the Galápagos group you will be treated to a delicious lunch of fresh fish and vegetables.

Then setting sail for your hotel on Santa Cruz Island continue the thrill of a lifetime as your watercraft attempts to stay upright. Enjoy watching fellow travelers turn various shades of grey and green while clinging for their very lives to supplied railings at no extra charge.”

No I must have skimmed over that part of the tour description.

It had been a marvelous day of stunning vistas, astounding snorkeling and the sighting of a Galapagos penguin. The 90 minute boat ride to Bartolome Island had been relatively smooth sailing.

Galapagos penguin

Come the afternoon, under deceiving sunny skies, the gods of the Galapagos seas took on the Trade Winds in a game of how-many-tourists-can-you-dump-off-a-boat?

Unless you are visiting our blog for the first time, you will know Dave and I are always seeking adventure. However this highly active game of tossing passengers about like flopping fish while trying to not toss their lunch came as a big surprise.

We should have known when our guide instructed all at lunch time that everyone should take their sea sickness medication as it could be a bit “rough” on the journey back. The bay we sat in barely showed a ripple.

No need to tell me twice though. My tips on how to prevent sea sickness have come through multiple less than pretty experiences.

Bartolome Island Galapagos

Usually the consumption of anti nausea medication puts me into an open mouthed, drooling state of unconsciousness where I look like the leader of a wild gang of bobble head dolls.

The antidote for such coma like behavior I learned this day is to ride on a watercraft attempting to pitch one overboard into the sea.

Add fellow fun seekers sprawled face first on nearby tables frantically grasping edges as anchors. Complete the scene with two gentlemen lying under one’s seat, arms wrapped around the base of my bench and occasionally in desperation, my ankle.

The colors of their faces made me think should they slide off my leg and into the sea it would be a merciful ending. Clearly they had not picked up any tips on how to prevent sea sickness prior to departure.

Sea lion on Galapagos Island

After a very long ninety minutes, the group of salt water soggy passengers weaved and wobbled off the boat. In various states of steadiness, all were accounted for.

When asked if that was an unusually rough crossing the crew just shrugged and declared it to be a usual day.

Perhaps an update to the brochure is in order.

How to Prevent Sea Sickness

 Always carry anti nausea medication when traveling.

Don’t be fooled by what looks like a “calm” day. Be sure to consult your health care provider before taking medication as often the side effect of turning into a zombie is possible.

Face forward and gaze at the horizon if at all possible.

At the very least catch glimpses in between the splashing and sprawling about.

Use acupressure wrist bracelets

These cloth,typically grey colored bands, are available at pharmacies and travel stores. If the bracelets don’t hold off the sea sickness demons, at least you can use the cloth to wipe the saltwater from your eyes.

Fresh air can ease seasickness

As the passengers inside the cabin took turns falling off chairs, I was far happier outside with the wind blowing in my face. I was not quite as keen on the buckets of sea water but it did seem to ease my nausea.

Bartolome Island Galapagos

Attempt to sleep

If you are able to fall asleep you may avoid the sea sickness completely. This can be challenging to relax enough to have a nap should one believe they are about to have an unceremonious dump in the ocean.

Other seasickness remedies

Try ginger in raw or tablet form, eat small amounts of bland or non fatty food. Distraction with deep breathing or meditation can be helpful. One passenger commented that she would surely be sea sick if she wasn’t so focused on survival. Indeed fear can be a powerful distractor.

Any other remedies to add?