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How To Prevent SeaSickness

Seasickness is a form of motion sickness that affects some boat riders, and it is NO fun at all!

If you are considering a trip out to Channel Islands National Park, keep in mind that there is about an hour to an hour and a half of sea travel to get to Santa Cruz Island. If you know you are susceptible to seasickness, there are things that you can do to help prevent an episode. Here are a few suggestions to help you avoid seasickness on our kayak tours:

  1. Rest. Before you even board the ferry, try to get a good night’s sleep. A well-rested body is better able to handle the stressors associated with sea travel.
  2. Stability. Avoid sitting inside the galley on the ferry ride out to the island. Instead, try to sit outside on the back of the boat. This is the calmest section and helps you stay close to the water line for a smoother ride. (Avoid going in the bathrooms! People tend to think this is a safe spot, but the small room will just make things worse!)
  3. Sit. Do not stand. Standing will have your body in a constant state of trying to maintain balance.
  4. Focus. Keep your eyes focused on the horizon or on a stationary object that is off in the distance.
  5. Don’t read. Reading or looking at your phone for an extended period will have your eyes moving and stimulating signals that can trigger a sudden onset of motion sickness.
  6. Eat. Don’t travel on a full or empty stomach. If you start to feel ill, eat some crackers and a carbonated beverage to settle your stomach. You can also ask one of the Island Packers crew members for a ginger chew.
  7. Hydrate. Dehydration while traveling can aggravate motion sickness. Drink plenty of water.
  8. Dramamine or Bonine. Take over-the-counter medication for motion sickness or an over-the-counter antihistamine, especially if you are a person that knows you are susceptible to motion sickness. These medications can make you drowsy or cause other side effects, so use them with caution.
How to prevent sea sickness

Think you’re ready to take on kayaking at the Channel Islands? Join us on one of our incredible tours exploring sea caves on the Channel Islands: our Sea Cave Kayak Tour.

If you have any personal experience/tips on avoiding sea sickness, please list them in the comments section below.


Henry Killingsworth

I appreciate the tip you shared about resting before getting on the water so that you don’t get seasick. My wife and I are going to be going on a private boat charter soon. I don’t want to get sick, so I will have to make sure that I get plenty of rest before we go.

Connie Myers

Ive been boating since I was a child and have always taken dramamine several hours before getting on board. It has worked well.


My husband’s boss chartered a fishing vessel near Boston for his staff and I went also. It was a bumpy 90 minute ride to where we were going to fish. We, along with several other people got very seasick. It was a long day!! We didn’t carefully read the instructions to take Dramamine before bed and again in the morning. We only took it 30 minutes before we left. We’re going to follow those instructions!


We enjoyed a 6 hr off shore fishing charter in Florida and I was concerned about seasickness, having experienced it in the past. I believe the captains advice to take medicine before bed and then again the morning of, an hour before departure, made a big difference. I plan to do the same for this ferry ride to Santa Cruz island.


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