One question we often get at the Clipper is “Will I get sea sick?” While we can’t answer that for sure, it is a valid concern. In the last few weeks Seattle experienced lightening storms, heavy rain, dangerous winds and even a tornado. Bad weather isn’t enough to guarantee motion sickness, as it can affect people differently. So what is motion sickness? It’s the kids who are back in school, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn something new every day too.
Time for science class!
Inside each of your ears there are three donut-shaped tubes at different angles, full of little hairs. When your head moves, fluid inside the tubes is pushed around and brushes against the hairs, which sends a signal to the brain. You always know which direction is up because your brain processes these signals and knows which tube sent what information. Your sense of balance comes from matching the information your ear sends to what you other senses are feeling.
This system works well most of the time but not always. When you’re in a rocking boat, your ear feels like the world is spinning out of control while other senses don’t notice much movement at all. Researchers’ suspect this disconnect is what causes people to be motion sick.
You can relieve, or prevent, sickness by either matching what your eyes and ears perceive or shutting both systems off entirely. If you can, sit towards the front of the Clipper’s first level and watch the horizon. This will help make your brain realize you are moving and motion is to be expected. Another option is to take a nap. Your brain won’t pay attention to your ears as much if you are asleep.
If you are still worried about being sick, there are several remedies you can try. The easiest is over-the-counter medication. We sell it for 25 cents onboard and it works by helping the symptoms of motion sickness, rather than the cause. Nearly all passengers who’ve tried it said it works; the only side-effect is slight drowsiness for some people. If you don’t want to take medication, drink some ginger tea! No one knows why it works, but even the Mythbusters agree ginger will help motion sickness.
So there you have it, now you know what sea-sickness is and how to prevent it. Don’t let rougher seas stop you from enjoying a cruise on the Clipper!