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Sailing - after effects

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Sailing - after effects

Old 20th Sep 2008, 23:18
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Sailing - after effects

I've been sailing today (as I do this most weekends). Despite having packed the boat away over 6 hours ago, I'm still getting that "bob up and down" sensation when I sit down or stand still. Hopefully other sailng types out there will recognise this.

This happens every time I've been on a boat for extended periods, but doesn't happen when I've been doing anything else (driving/flying/riding a bike etc) for a similar length of time.

I could understand it if it was the sort of thing you only got in the few minutes after stepping back on terra firma. Anyone know why this effect lasts so long after I've come off the water?
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Old 20th Sep 2008, 23:22
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Old 20th Sep 2008, 23:32
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I know the feeling. The strongest I felt it was after sailing non stop from Portsmouth to Gibraltar. It took 11 days, with 2 days crossing the Bay of Biscay in rather rough conditions! It took a couple days to feel steady again.
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Old 20th Sep 2008, 23:47
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I used to get it after a long train ride.
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Old 21st Sep 2008, 00:07
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It's nothing to do with having been sailing. It's the mandatory, prolonged visit made to the nearest pub immediately on stepping ashore after any long passage that causes the swaying sensation.
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Old 21st Sep 2008, 00:21
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Yes, I can definitely sympathise with this, being a salty sea dog-ess myself (actually, does that make me a salty sea-bitch?! ) I can recall many a time, having the post-sail shower after a long passage with one hand on the wall!

The only cure I have found for this is to sail daily for at least a couple of weeks at a time. Sadly not always practical in the real world though...
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Old 21st Sep 2008, 00:28
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Aye, happens here as well.

also known as tour-bus syndrome in my house.

Happens to me after either prolonged sailing, lots of long ferry crossings or a long 'bus journey. I guess that the body acclimatises to the motion and then tries to continue the 'correction' even once one steps ashore.

Always takes me a few days to get my land legs back again.
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Old 21st Sep 2008, 00:43
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Reliving personal experiences that involve a lot of motion sensation seems to be part of the brain's very oldest learning mechanisms working overtime to enhance your survival.

One tends to experience this after heavy driving, skiing, surfing and similar action-reaction activities. As a teen, I found my skiing actually improved noticeably during off-season periods, as the old noodle gradually reprocessed the edges off the clumsy bits. Never reached anything approaching greatness, however - was just too long and gangly. Credit to those off-line rehearsals for finally having achieved a modest ability to ski unstylishly through almost anything.
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Old 21st Sep 2008, 01:26
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I used to get a lot of Land Sickness when I went back onto piston aircraft for my first command. Plodding along at 8,000 feet with the tail wagging used to leave me walking to the hotel like a drunken sailor. One of 'my girls' thought I was making up to her cos I kept...erm, rubbing up against her.

"That's the daftest excuse I ever heard!!!" she said to my explanation.
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Old 21st Sep 2008, 03:19
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I spent a week in HMS Invincible as a 16-year old potential officer. Got used to the rolling of the ship quite quickly, but felt queezy when back on dry land. On the way home, had to change railway stations in London, and felt right as rain on the tube train with its steady rocking!
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Old 21st Sep 2008, 05:16
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I've always experienced this myself. I was told by a doctor that it's an inner ear thing and is considered a phase before motion sickness, which ironically, those of us who expereince this, seldom progress to the next phase.

I've learned to avoid the kitchen, after returning to dry land. Dangerous place.
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Old 21st Sep 2008, 08:10
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Blues&twos,

Yep, I get it occasionally after sailing. Not always, but sometimes it has lasted for a couple of days. Here's a link about it: Mal de Debarquement Syndrome - Welcome
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Old 21st Sep 2008, 08:28
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We big ship blue water chaps just developed what was known as the Western Ocean Roll in our gait as we wandered dry land,it were the silence that disturbed me when home on leave,no thrum of Doxfords or swish swish of screw blades or hiss of Punka louvers to lull one to sleep at night.
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Old 21st Sep 2008, 11:37
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Thanks for all the replies! So I'm not a nutcase then?

I have never had seasickness, car sickness or flight sickness even in bad conditions. In fact on a crossing from Holyhead to Ireland one stormy night on a car ferry, I was the only person sitting down in the bar tucking into a bacon and egg sandwich while all those around were being sick and going green. I've only ever felt nauseous on a small minority of fairground rides, and then only quite recently (last 10 years or so).

I don't find the bobbing up and down sensation uncomfortable, just mildly amusing. One of the things I love about sailing is the unsteady motion of the boat!
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Old 21st Sep 2008, 12:22
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I get this weird throbbing pain in my head after sailing. Apparently it's to do with not avoiding the boom as we come about.
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Old 21st Sep 2008, 17:19
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I always get that wobbly feeling too after a days sailing the beautiful Carrick Roads in Cornwall where we are based. It is however not noticable when I think of the empty feeling in the wallet having just forked out for a major engine rebuild, new suite of sails and this years marina fees.
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Old 21st Sep 2008, 18:19
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Guys I sail with just call it 'Boat Head'.

Run around the boat for a day or two, or maybe seven, get to the marina, step across umpteen rails, carrying a huge bag of wet gear, wearing knackered gloves, sunglasses on a bit of string, well you have to look the part.


Get to the bar.
'I feel really sick. Like honestly, sick'.
Then a doctor pipes up (there's always a doctor when you don't need one)
'You've boat head. It's your inner ear. Put a hand on the bar.'

All these other guys with windburn, stubble, leaning against walls, one hand on anything solid, looking ill.
Sailing, soooo glamorous.
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Old 21st Sep 2008, 18:47
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Post maritime excursion nausea

Once after seven days on a Yachet from Corfu to Naples was sick in the bathroom at home as I shaved off six days stubble, looking in the mirror. Second one, after two weeks at sea in a French submarine (no wash for 12 days) the morning after debarquement was sick in the shower as I tried to get rid of accumulated BO. On neither occasion was I sick whilst at sea. AND I've never been airsick, even though a certain red-haired flight commander on 12 Sqn did his damndest in a Buccaneer up the Spey valley.
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Old 21st Sep 2008, 18:53
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My first North Sea crossing was pretty rough (in all respects).
Twenty hours, and after ten I'd have willingly stepped off onto the smallest rock . . .
On reaching the other side I had three days of head-swimming and difficulty when lying down. It really did feel as if my brain was swishing around loose in my head bone.
Never happened again during three years of regular commuting (and some even rougher crossings). Not all boats had effective stabilisers either. I found the moderate side-to-side motion more disturbing than violent fore-and-aft up-and-down movements.
The worst for me was the smell of the fuel oil combined with rolling, so it was better to be either inside or out in the breeze rather than sheltered near a vent from below.
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Old 21st Sep 2008, 19:14
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Have a friend who did his Navy time on the Nuke Polaris boats,he reckons a lot of the crew used to toss their cookies when the hatch was cracked at the end of the patrol,they had been breathing canned air for so long the real stuff tasted foul.
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