One of the best forms of cure for seasickness when sailing a sailboat is for the skipper to give up the helm to the ailing crew member. Strange and unnatural as it may seem this will usually work within 3-4 minutes. Why? Well you’ve always heard that a seasick person should concentrate on the horizon – and my dad always made me do this when he and I would go out fishing on his 16 foot cuttycabin in New Zealand. We’d sit out about 4 miles all day on anchor riding the swells up and down up and down. Uhw making me sick now. Seasickness is a nauseous reaction from imbalance in the inner ear with what your seeing from the surrounding environment and the body becomes confused. Concentrating on the horizon reduces that confusion. However, what is even better about sailing is that there is other stimulus inputs when controlling the helm. Not only are you concentrating on the horizon but you’re having to use your motor skills to control the boat. The brain activity defocuses from the confusion of the inner ear and concentrates on the job at hand.
This is an almost guaranteed form to instantly remove seasickness. Now there are other things you can do as well like the watch shocker, some drugs, patches and the age old tried and true ginger. I still go back to New Zealand to go fishing every year and one of the things my sister always has on her boat are ginger snap cookies (Ginger nut biscuits as they are called in Kiwiland). If you’re into natural, then ginger is a good place to start.
Here is a link to some great Ginger tea saschets that you can take on the boat to cure seasickness:
If you’re wanting to learn to sail and are afraid of becoming seasick – we can almost guarantee that when you’re behind that helm – you’re probably not going to suffer like you think. Come on – lets get out sailing. And skippers, stop being greedy with the helm and give it up.
We wrote the crew course because of quite a few instances when running my sailing company. Often a spouse of a member would call up and ask for private lessons with out her husband on board. And so becoming a marriage counselor seemed to be part of the job. Actually it really turns out to the age old issue that spouses shouldn’t be teaching sailing to each other (or golf or driving). And many times a spouse doesn’t necessarily want to know all the details.
On several of these occasions – the spouse just wanted to know how to hold the boat on a straight course because her husband kept on yelling at her when she wasn’t. The issue came about becasue he had tried to show her to use the wind meter to keep the boat straight. Well that’s just impossible – you’re always going to overshoot and do s turns all the way because the meter lags in time with reality. I simply covered the meter and had her get her head out of the boat and keeping a straight course via points on land – tehn taught her how to make adjustments when the wind changed. Simple!
On another occasion a husband wanted me to teach his wife about man over board – its a fairly indepth and funny sailing story but in essence, he was worried about her being about to get back to him if he went over board.
Often times a captain of a boat likes to play the “I have knowledge and you don’t” game and gives instructions but won’t say why. This decreases the enjoyment that crew members are having.
So we’ve given the knowledge back to crew members. The knowledge in the qualified crew member course is enough to understand the whats, whys and hows of sailing. It will increase your enjoyment on a boat and also working with other crew members and understand the captain’s barking orders.
And – what if the captain does fall over board – how will the crew effectively gain control of the boat and get back to the captain – or perhaps they don’t want to :).
Funny Video of a guy learning to sail
He should have used Nauticed – Online sailing courses.
Learning finer details of sail trim
Welcome to the first Sail Trim Post. Please feel free to comment or add new posts to this blog on anything concerning trimming those sails and getting the most out of the wind.
Skippering a sailboat
This is the first blog post for the Skipper course and we encourage everyone to post their comments about general leadership, operations of a modern sailboat and general learning to sail topics. Also feel free to let us know about the NauticEd Skipper Course and it can be improved and expanded.
My first comment and blog about Skippering is that it is the most excellent opportunity to be a good leader. Inherently, you’re put into a position of ultimate command and now is not the time to blow it in front of family and friends. Good leadership is subtle – in fact if you do it right – no one will know that they were actually lead once they get off the boat.
Leadership is also about confidence. One time when out with a father and his two girls, the girls were experiencing quite high levels of anxiety every time the sailboat heeled over and it was becoming obvious that they were not having a good time. This is really bad because if we’re all trying to get new people into sailing then scaring the heck out of children is not a good place to start. So I made a deal with them – I said “hey girls – every time you are getting worried about something – you look into my eyes. If you see me scared and worried then you can also be scared, but if you see me happy and smiling then you should do the same – how about that?”. They immediately calmed down and ultimately they all had a great day and the father went on to buy a boat some time later.
Confidence comes from knowledge and experience and so the more learning you do about handling situations the more confident you’ll be and the better leader you’ll become.
So – welcome to the NauticEd Skipper course. Here we’ll cover a wide range of topics about operating a sailboat and leadership is certainly one of them. There is also a good discussion on leadership in the Bareboat Charter Clinic where it is vitally important – you’re taking friends and family out for a week and you want them to still be friends and family when you come back.