My wife was at a physical therapy appointment for a foot injury.
Another lady was there with her hand in the hot whirlpool
soothing a wrist ailment. After a while the therapist went
over and asked the woman how she was doing.
"I'm not feeling very well," she replied.
"What's wrong – does your wrist still ache," said the therapist.
"Oh, no" said the woman, "I just feel dizzy, I think I'm getting sea sick."
The water whirling around in the tank was making her dizzy. Sounds
funny, but seasickness plagues a lot of people and it is a surefire
way to ruin an otherwise great day on the water. Everyone will
get seasick eventually. It's just a matter of when and under what
conditions, even on flats-boat fishing in a saltwater lagoon. You
would be surprised at how rough conditions can get. It is no place
you want to feel sick. Once with a party off shore in the Gulf of
Mexico, my entire crew and fishing party were very sick from high
seas and a blue sky that turned down right nasty. I've never been
sick while operating a vessel, but have felt the affects of seasickness
once back in port. It is that feeling that you are still moving with
Seasickness is as a form of motion sickness -- the movement of a boat
on a fluid sea disturbs the organs of balance located in the inner
ear. Symptoms are nausea and vomiting, dizziness, headache, pallor
and cold perspiration. It may be prevented by eating lightly,
avoiding fatty and spicy foods, or by staying in fresh air instead
of in a stuffy cabin.
The Medical College of Wisconsin offered some useful tips: Prevent
or alleviate seasickness on a boat by facing forward or seeking areas
with minimal motion. Take medication at least one hour before embarking;
over the counter medications like Dramamine or Bonine can be effective
for short trips. A prescription medication called Transderm-Scop is
available as a patch worn behind the ear for up to 3 days. It's
recommended for longer voyages, especially for people who are more
sensitive to motion sickness. It is popular with sport and commercial
fishermen. Another remedy includes wristbands that have buttons.
These are placed on the "pressure point" (like acupuncture points)
just below the wrist. I can attest to their effectiveness on open
and rough seas. I always carry these wristbands in my bag, just in case.
Don't forget about safety. In most places your captain is licensed
by the United States Coast Guard to operate a passenger vessel and
certified in CPR and First Aid. The captain will ask if you can swim.
So don't be embarrassed if you can't because he is responsible for
your well being while on the water. Wear your life jacket. Guides
on Mosquito Lagoon here in Florida are required by Law to carry a Type
I PFD (Personal Flotation Device) for each adult and child under the
age of 16. This life jacket is unmistakably an Offshore Orange Jacket
and is not your typical water skiing type jacket (Type III-PFD).
They must also carry a Type IV FD plus day and night signaling devices.
If the guide operates services in Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
or Canaveral National Seashore in Florida, they are required to have
and display a green Incidental Business Permit decal on their boat
located near the numbers below the bow (issued by the Department
of the Interior).
If you have any other concerns about boating please inform your captain,
particularly if this is your first time on a flats boat. Flats boats
run in very shallow water, but they usually run across open water and
across deeper water to get to the flats. If the conditions are rough,
the flats boat handles better running over the tops of the waves. Now
this can be a little disconcerting for some people. Running slow in
heavy waves can be very bumpy and often times wet. If you have a bad
back or other aches and pains, tell your captain. He wants you to
have a safe and enjoyable day.
Other considerations for guaranteeing a terrific time include bringing
sun screen (I recommend a minimum 15 SPF or higher (45 for your nose,
ears, and feet if you go barefoot). Bring polarized sunglasses.
These will help you see into the water and protect your eyes from UV
rays. Wear light, loose clothing and pack a light windbreaker or
rain jacket. Always wear a hat. Lastly, wear boat shoes or
non-marking shoes. Guides don't like soles that leave black marks
because it is impossible to remove the spots after the sun has had
a chance to bake it into the white deck.
If you are going on an all-day trip, remember to take some water
and a light snack. Soft drinks are ok. Beer and wine has no place
on the water. Most captains will not allow alcohol or drugs on
their boats. You want to be alert so you can appreciate the natural
beauty of the coastal salt flats.
Have a great day. Bring a camera for some breathtaking scenery
and that monster fish you've always wanted to catch.
Capt. Doug Sinclair has relocated from New Smyrna Beach, Florida to
Grantsboro, NC. He specializes in fly-fishing and light tackle charters.
Doug charters the Coastal Carolina area of New Bern or Oriental.
Catch him on the web at
www.flyfishacademy.net or call him at (252) 745-3500.
Doug is also a Sponsor here on FAOL.