Mal de Debarquement syndrome


After 24 hours on the water, I got off the boat to go to the store for more supplies; most importantly, more Dramamine. I stopped by the marina bathroom on the way. It wasn’t long after I sat down that everything started rolling like I was still on the boat. I lost equilibrium and almost fell off the toilet. It felt like the ground was undulating. like an earthquake; Mal de Debarquement syndrome! You feel like you’re swaying and rocking even though you’re not, you can’t shake the feeling that you’re still on the boat.

I braced myself with my arms on the walls of the stall but It only got worse, I started to feel like I was now going to be sick. Not good! It would be a tough, unpleasant maneuver in this small toilet stall with multiple biological expulsions going on simultaneously. I did the math, the geometry just didn’t work.

Luckily things calmed down and the floor stopped moving enough for me to start to slowly walk to the store. It was fine when I was moving, but when I stopped things got weird.

I started wobbling around gathering supplies. It was early morning and the few people around kept their distance. Funnily enough, I don’t think it was because of the pandemic – I was definitely not looking my best after spending the night barfing off the deck of the boat. I had six layers of clothing on and with MDD syndrome I was stumbling down the aisles. It was only a matter of time before someone called the local authorities.

The night before I couldn’t wait to get off the boat. Now I couldn’t wait to get back to sailboat Liberty.

Categories: East coast sailing - November 2021 | Leave a comment

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