When we had the pre-sailing briefing for Sea Term with the 4/C cadets, the topic of winter weather and sea sickness was brought up. I warned that the seas are mighty no matter what sea or season your may be sailing. A few cadets murmured that they wanted rough weather - and I warned them to be careful what you ask for!
Thursday morning's cool temperatures did not go away, and a cold, front-driven
westerly wind came up with a furry. As we departed the Tampa area the sea and
swell was right on our head, causing a dramatic pitch of the ship. Some
sailors prefer the pitch, as it is more predictable and cause less movement of
ship's equipment and supplies. But if you live in an area far forward or aft,
the elevator ride can be discomforting. Beginning at about 1500 yesterday the
inexperienced cadets learned what the sea's force can do to a ship - and to
their equilibrium. We had many cases of sea sickness.
The circumstance of the weather did not modify our routine and the
evening "pre-Captain's" inspection took place right on time. The Commandant of
Cadets reported to me that often a cadet standing for inspection would
rush into the head to relieve themselves of the nausea. Not a pretty sight,
and certainly not for those with weak stomachs.
We are still heading West but the wind has veered to the North, giving the
Kennedy a much less vigorous ride. That is good - the lesson of sea sickness
does not need repeating for too long. Most of those cadets (and a few crew
members) that were sick will overcome the sense of nausea, and will learn to
cope with the ship's motion. This is a fact we have learned over the years.