Seasickness is an age-old problem - in fact there are references to seasickness as far back as Ancient Greece.
Why Do We Get Seasick
We can suffer motion sickness when we go boat diving because we stand on a moving platform. The sensation befuddles the brain.
Our central nervous system receives data from two areas. Our inner ear (balance) and from our senses (pressure and sensory receptors in our joints, muscles and spine). The CNS gets confused by the mismatch of information. "My feet say that I am stationary on solid ground, yet my eyes and ears tell me that I am rocking and rolling." The result? One disorientated brain and subsequent vomiting.
Seasickness or motion sickness can occur when travelling in car, on a train, plane or ship. Many of us are familiar with the symptoms: from not feeling very well, through to cold sweats, feeling dizzy, increased saliva, a headache, vomiting and drowsiness.
Some of us cope really well in most sea conditions, whilst others are more sensitive to it, and only need to experience a ripple or two before 'chundering for England'. It has also been recorded that motion sickness is more common in women and children aged 2 - 12 years old.
When The Remedies Don't Work
There are a plethora of solutions out there, but they don't always work for everyone suffering from 'mal de mer'. Divers can generally distract themselves from feeling ill by getting engrossed in a task, ie building their set. However once the diver has completed kitted up, and they are waiting to jump in the water and they are thinking about the dive, seasickness can wash over a diver.
"I noticed that it is not always physically possible for a diver to make it to the rail to be sick when you are wearing a set out of doubles or a rebreather, and you've donned your stages", stated Martin Parker, Managing Director of AP Diving. "I sail regularly and I also dive, and know that you don't always have time to get a bucket passed to you. The obvious solution was to develop a personal expedition grade sicksick bag, and I'm proud to say that this is available from today.
AP Diving manufacture their expedition grade seasick bags from 200D Polyurethane. The nature of the bag's use means that it needs to be flexible and durable. They 'radio frequency' weld all of the seams - this is a superior solution to gluing and ensures good fluid retention within the bag. The last thing you want is for the bag to break and spill over a diver or the deck of a boat.
"When you feel the urge to chunder / hurl, you need to be able to quickly identify our seasick bag, hence it is brightly coloured in bright yellow or red" stated Martin Parker. "The wide opening gives good access and we have designed our bags so that they can be rolled up and secured to any diver.
The bag is quite lightweight, weighing in at 322 gm / 11 oz, hence it doesn't gobble up luggage allowance for travelling divers.
Post dive, the bag is easy to clean. Empty the contents either into the sea, or down a land based toilet. AP state they have designed the inner fabric so that it is easy to hose off. Once washed, AP suggest that you give the bag a rinse with a solution containing a cap full of disinfectant to three pints of water. Rinse again in fresh water, then peg it on a line to dry out.
Incidentally this piece of equipment has two uses, it can also act as a delayed surface marker buoy.