Expedition 2019 Diaries

Day 3. Adaptation

Day 3. Adaptation

Imagine that you are in a closed box that somebody is shaking. Or that you are shaking a Coca-Cola bottle. That is what we experience since 4 a.m. on Monday.

This is afterstorm, says chief officer Igor Plakhin. Swell beats the side and bow of the ship. When waves of different directions meet, seamen call it “chop”. We could have taken another course but we should reach the first research point of the Cola Meridian Transect on time.

- This is not real rolling, just some swell, grade 4. It is normal for the Barents Sea. – said Alexander Ishekov, doctor on Professor Molchanov.

When I asked if it normal for a half of the expedition to lay seasick unable to eat and move, he said yes. We were not ready neither psychologically, nor physically. It is important to get ready and exercise all groups of muscles, coordination and breath.

- One cannot adapt to the sea completely. A person can be seasick at any age even if they used to feel well at sea.

There are 3 periods in adaptation to different climatic conditions:

  1. Acute stage lasts 20 days. Adaptation mechanisms are launched.
  2. Long-term stage is about 6 months.
  3. Final adaptation takes up to 3 years.
They say you need to wait two or three days until you feel better.
Well, it is not definite. When you are unstable in space, your space perception, muscles, nervous and cardiovascular systems are affected. People may feel sick and generally unwell, vomit, sweat, have problems with sleep.

In a bus you experience only rolling, movement forward and back, while at sea there is also pithing (from side to side) and circular movement. Today we experience all the three types at the same time.

Medicines help to cope just with rolling for 40 minutes, and then it becomes worth. I prescribe medicines when the grade is 7 or 8. And 7 feels better than 5 because it corresponds to breating acts.

Alexander Ishekov’s advice:

  1. Try to stick to your timetable, not to sleep more than 8 hours.
  2. Eat 3 times a day, even in small amounts and choose salty, sour food.
  3. Try not to eat fat, fried and sweet food.
  4. Drink more.
  5. Have no less than 1.5 hours exercise a day.
  6. Change the objects you look at from close to far away objects. Look at the horizon and take fresh air.
  7. Do not stay all time in your cabin; you need enough room.
  8. Communicate with interesting and experienced people.
  9. Try to give your attention to work, not to feel depressive or irritated.

- Seamen feel better after a month or two. They adapt and find a motivation for being aboard. – says Alexander. – We will adapt quite easily. Besides, we are heading to the isles, we will not work in the open Barents Sea waters. Finally, 20 days is the ideal length of a flight.

Igor Plakhin said rolling would calm down at about 8 p.m. and we really felt better. By that time, we reached the first research point of the Cola Meridian Transect.


Day 3. Adaptation
Day 3. Adaptation

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Updated 26.08.2019