“Not against the wind!“ This was the advice that the Ex-Kusis gave us before our departure from Kiel. It was a really good advice. The first signs of seasickness appeared in the Channel between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. Before I start sharing our experiences with seasickness with you, I want to explain what seasickness is in general and why it appears. Seasickness is an irritation of the middle-ear, caused by what the eyes see and what the sense of balance feels.
Passing the Biscaye was probably one of the hardest times of the trip so far. During your watch, you were likely to see a lot of green faces running from here to there. Poor people puking, but thank God – not against the wind. Lying in your room became one of the most terrible times of your day and you were lucky if you were able to sleep. Any colour could be found: from corpse-white to forest-green, there was a big variety on board. The ones who didn’t suffer from the “moving“ conditions, helped where they could and motivated the poor victims of seasickness. It couldn’t be avoided that even the strongest sailors got at least a little seasick sometimes but in general, there were only a few of us who weren’t part of the “green community“. The most unpopular things for seasick people were the machine room, the generator room and working in the galley. Oh my God. Seeing and preparing food while your already eaten food wants to escape your stomach is one of the most feared things here. The highscore was puking 19 times and some of the pupils even slept with their puking-bags under their pillows. Sad thing. “Cleaning the ship“ actually didn’t make the whole thing better because the smell of the pissoir or standing in the “cargo“ (the most moving part of our good old ship Thor Heyerdahl) and cleaning the walls for example, isn’t really great for those who had to do those unpleasant tasks while being sick. But everyone was really nice and helpful and did his best to make us feel better. After sailing six days through the Biscaye with strong winds and hard ship movements, there was finally a sigh full of pleasure going all around the ship. The last victims were still suffering, but generally everything got better. Faces turned from an ugly green to a healthy red again and people who couldn’t even stand up before, jumped around happily. Every one of us was glad that we survived this hard time as a team, even if the healthy part of us KUSis had to do most of the work while the part which was seasick couldn’t do anything but looking at the horizon. The hard part of seasickness isn’t that you have to throw up; the hard part is that you can’t do anything against the suffering of your poor little stomach. When you are sick at home, you can read a book or watch a movie. You can relax and do your homework or eat something. But if you are seasick, you have to close your eyes and the only interesting thing you can do is listen to music (and even that doesn’t really improve your health). Your mood changes fast, too. Sometimes you are happy and awake and other times you are sad and tired and you can’t influence your situation.
I was seasick, too. But not as strong as some of the others. Nobody knows what will be the highscore at the end of our trip but as you have already heard, there’s no stomach on board which can be trusted. Furthermore after enjoying our time away from the sea, it’s unfortunately possible to get seasick again. Now back to the Ex- Kusis advice: one of us (who didn’t want to be named here) didn’t remember their wise words. The only reaction to this action was a big “Yuck!!!“ from all the people who saw this mistake. This wasn’t really yummy but during our time here on board we all have to deal with situations such as those. Even after Tenerife some pupils got seasick again. Also the teachers and the crew were affected. But our group on the ship is great and everybody who needs help gets help. So wherever you are here on the Thor is a helping hand that gives you love when you are seasick and overtakes every single one of your jobs.