The One Where I Don’t Get Sea Sick On My Very First Cruise

Image by Gianluca from Pixabay

When I was about 14 years old my family went to Destin, Florida for a week. Well, technically we did that pretty much every year. When we first started going there in the early 90s there were only a handful of places to stay, even fewer things to do (you generally had to go across the bridge to Fort Walton), and that was probably for the best for my parents and their three kids. However, during this particular year, my grandmother had come to stay with us as well.

Now Nanny loved to fish. I honestly think had she lived on the coast she would have done it from sun up to sun down. So we were definitely going to do some fishing activity while we were down there, and so my parents decided to book us all on a 4 hour deep sea fishing excursion.

Side note – I get motion sick in cars. It’s not nausea though. Instead, I get bad headaches. Weirdly, I don’t get them if I’m driving, and I don’t get them if I’m in the passenger seat. Otherwise, life becomes a bit of pain. Which made family trips all sorts of fun as I couldn’t read to pass the time. At best I could listen to music with headphones on or just try to zone out.

I load up on the boat. This thing likely could hold maybe 30 people. Everyone would have a spot on the rail where they could fish until their hearts desire was full. And there I was, right beside Nanny, ready for the boat to get to the fishing spot and catch all sorts of things.

Image by gwiseman from Pixabay

The trip out there was probably 15 minutes and wasn’t too bad. Though, I felt the very beginnings of a headache, that would likely go away once the boat stopped.

Once the boat stopped moving.

On a moving ocean…

Oh, crap, the boat is never going to stop rocking, is it?

What occurred next I can only (luckily) remember through a haze of blinding pain as I spent the next 4ish hours in the middle of the boat on a cot, writhing and moaning. Because, the only thing that might make things worse would be if there was a storm out at sea. You know, where the boat gets tossed around a little bit (nothing scary, but more than I could possibly deal with).

When we finally reached land, I may have kissed the ground. And every year after, my parents would make the joke about booking another deep sea fishing excursion.


Image by Took A Snap from Pixabay

Now, I told you that story, so that I could tell you this story…

My wife and I were married back in 2002, and for our Honeymoon we were gifted a Mediterrean Cruise. We’d fly into Barcelona the morning of departure, and then it would be a week visiting various ports throughout France, Italy, and Malta. I was really looking forward to the opportunity, but my previous “boat” experience weighed on my mind. So I went and got the motion sick patch from a doctor. If you are unfamiliar, you stick it right behind your ear, and it is supposed to help with motion sickness. In addition, my dad mention a bracelet that he’d worn on a cruise which was based on pressure points along your wrist which apparently helped with the symptoms. Finally, I had old faithful, Dramamine to get me through any of the worst of it.

The flight to Barcelona was overnight, and since it was far and away the longest flight I’d ever been on, I made sure to take my Dramamine when I got on the place so that I could sleep. But, sleep on a plane is a sporatic thing for me, so I’m not sure how much rest I actually got.

Once we landed in Spain, it was early morning, and we hurried to the port in order to begin boarding. Somewhere along the way I slipped on the bracelet and put my patch on.

Getting onto the boat, the previous day’s trip, jet lag, and perhaps something else had completely wiped me out. I could barely function when we had to go to the muster stations, and by 3 or 4 when we were allowed to go back to our rooms, I pleaded with my new bride to let me sleep.

“Just give me today, and I’ll be good the rest of the week. I don’t know why I’m so tired, but I can’t…”

Luckily, she saw the poor, pitiful state I found myself in, and took pity… even though it meant missing some of the first evening activities (the big one being the first dinner). I think I finally woke up around 9ish, and when we started trying to figure out why I was so wiped and she wasn’t… we realized:


The Patch

The Bracelet

I’d over drugged myself!

I took the bracelet off. I didn’t take anymore Dramamine. I only used the patch. And the good news was that not only did I not need to sleep the trip away, I didn’t get sea sick!


I’m not sure if there is a less subtle message in all of this. Mostly, I felt like a dumbass, but I was so worried that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the trip… I nearly messed up the trip in a different way. Which feels like a very “me” thing to do.


John McGuire is the writer of the sci-fi novel: The Echo Effect.

He is also the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!

Click here to join John’s mailing list and receive preview chapters of upcoming novels, behind the scenes looks at new comics, and free short stories.

His other prose appears in The Dark That Follows, Hollow Empire, Tales from Vigilante City, Beyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at

The South American Sustainability Tour – Riders with the Storm – Part 1

Hello everyone,

This is the first entry in a new series of blogs from writer, rider, and environmentalist explorer, Michael Kristensen. He’s a native Dane riding through South America, exploring opportunities and cultural challenges to sustainable environmental practices.

His Facebook page is here.

The original blog appears here.

Every week (possibly more often) Michael will be riding through South America, remarking on his experiences, and blogging at length. We at Tessera Guild will follow him every step of the way. This week marks the very beginning of his journey, and some early challenges to his adventure, which will begin in Argentina.

Please note: these blog entries are direct from Michael. No editing. No proofing. As raw as any blog you’ll see.

Without further ado…


Sustainability Tour – Part 1 – ‘Riders with the Storm’

Sustainability, climate change and circular economy, it’s all about sharing. Sharing the resources in every sense of the word, sharing space, and sharing knowledge.
I have decided to drive my motorcycle, from Argentina all the way north through most of South America and parts of Central America.
The purpose of the trip is to find and report, about climate change and sustainability projects from the continent.
I hereby hope to help and inspire people around the world. I wish to motivate them to start their own projects or pass on the knowledge I collect and report about.
I want to pass on knowledge from person to person, company to company and Municipality to Municipality. knowledge that will change the way we think and act when creating more sustainable solutions.
The tour will start in Buenos Aires Argentina November 2019, I will blog and promote all good eco initiatives on my way north, but I need your help to be able to find these projects throughout the region.
Please if you know about people or places, I shall visit let me know, write me and email and connect me with the relevant persons.
I will also do speeches at schools or other interested institutions about climate change and the possible solutions.
It’s important for me to say I don’t do this for self-promotion, I do this because I want to try to make a difference, and help spreading the word. I am so far self-funded, my plan is to look for funding, help with this will be hugely appreciated.

Sponsors so far:

The tour will start in Montevideo Uruguay where I fly in Nov. 8 then I will take the ferry to Buenos Aires Argentina approximately November 12 and will travel as below:
Argentina 12-24 Nov.
Uruguay 25-nov-11 Dec.
Brazil 12 Dec-2 Jan. 2020
Paraguay 3 Jan -11 Jan.
Chile 11 Jan-18 Jan.
Peru 19 Jan-3 Feb.
Bolivia 3-11. Feb
Ecuador 12-19 Feb
Columbia 20 Feb-2 Marts
Panama 3-9 March
Costa Rica 10-17 March
Nicaragua 18-24 March
El Salvador 25-30 March
Honduras 31 March-4 April
Guatemala 5 April -18 April, and end in Belize approximately Ultimo April 2020 if any of you have any relevant contacts in any of these great nations please let me know
(the dates above are approximately dates and are subject to change)

Limbo in Montevideo Uruguay

I am at the moment stuck in Montevideo waiting to get my Harley released from customs. Arriving on a Friday was not the best choice, and information is sparse from the shipping company. I guess I must be patient and accept I have arrived in Latin America where most things are Manana, so I will relax and prepare for the trip ahead.

The Good the Bad(surprising) and the Ugly

The theme of my tour will revolve around the old spaghetti western The Good the Bad and the Ugly, meaning that I will find a good a bad or surprising and an ugly experience or project and write about it in more detail. My journey is mostly a lonely one, one man on his iron horse meeting all kinds of obstacles.

My first experiences noted as this:

• The good, Uruguay is a very organized and friendly country, weather this time of year is a perfect 25C 77F in the daytime and 18C 64F at nighttime. The country is very energy efficiently oriented, currently an astonishing 97% comes from alternative energy sources, such as Hydropower (60%), wind/solar power and Biofuel.
Just 10 years ago Uruguay was heavily depending on energy from the neighboring countries Argentina and Brazil (60% imports), now they have a surplus of energy and export to their neighbors. Mind you this has been done in less than 10 years without government subsidies.
Uruguay is also one of the most electrified countries in the hemisphere with a coverage of 99.4 % of all homes. The country it totally independent of fossil fueled produced energy. Their conversion to alternative energy allows Uruguay to use wind energy for base power and hydroelectric to meet peak demands.
Practically this mean that the country keeps hydroelectric reservoirs at near-maximum capacity. When needed, the reservoirs could be opened with as little as 15 minutes’ notice to meet additional demand. (

  • The bad, (surprise) there are not a lot of ecofriendly or green restaurants in the capital, as most of you probably know Uruguayans are a meat eating nation, and it shows when it comes to find vegan and vegetarian alternatives, they are sparse to say the least. The capital is also very silent, compared to other Latin American cities, the secondary roads are almost empty at all times of the day, it fells like walking in a ghost town if you walk away from the main traffic arteries. almost every building has iron bars and barbwire attached as security even-though the city has a very low crime rate in comparison to most of Latin America.

There are lots of vacant ground level stores, and the price level in the city reflex in the high living standard.
Beer prices will be my comparison tool along the way, in Montevideo a beer at a bar costs, Domestic 0.5 l (which is great) is 2,5$ and an import 0.33 l approximately 3$.

 The Ugly, Sorry Miami but once more you show your ugly crook face, the shipping company TOP Cargo based in Miami, gave me a quote for shipping my bike 3 months ago. Originally i wanted to ship it by boat, since that of course it the cheapest way to ship a bike from Florida to South America. I started 6 months ago asking for estimates, trying to be in good time, I got a quote of 1500$ and told them that I needed the bike in either Buenos Aries or Uruguay by no later than Nov. 10th.

Communicating with them was like pulling nose hair, they asked for the same paperwork over and over, copies of passport driver license and more, i must have send 10 copies to them of each document. Apparently, they don’t know how to scroll down the email correspondence! I was trying to get a date for the shipment for weeks and weeks, then suddenly I get notified that it’s too late to ship it by boat. WAUW really guys, they were kind enough to give me a quote for shipping the bike by air, which of course is way more expensive.

Now I had to pay 3000$, I had the choice to postpone my trip a month having to reevaluate my itinerary missing out on a couple of places, or pay up, I chose to pay for airfare. But that of course was not the end of their crooked behavior, they picked up the bike and took it to their warehouse a week before it was shipping out, I was ok with that and it meant that they had time to build a transportation case, as per estimate.

I am told to come to Montevideo the day after the bike was shipped out which was Nov. 7. I arrived in Montevideo Friday morning and went directly to the shipping agent here, they were very welcoming and we did the necessary paperwork with them, company name is Wave Logistic and so far seem very professional, (still don’t know when i get my bike released though)
Now that my bike is in the air i get an invoice from TOP Cargo that had increased with a 1000$ now I all the sudden have to pay 4000$ in total. I get at them and ask them why , their response was that my bike is an oversized motorcycle, and cost more to transport, they have hade the make and model and VIN number for 4 months, well knowing it is a Harley Davidson Softail heritage, which is a quite normal size HD.

Their threat to me now is that they won’t release the bike from customs before I pay up, so they hold my bike hostage so to speak. I got very upset and have been fighting them all weekend. end-result is that they offer me a DISCOUNT of 400$, which of course is not a discount but a raise in price according to their estimate. I ended up paying them because the cost of storage at the airport would cost me every day it was delayed by my missing payment. Hopefully I will have my HD in my possession tomorrow Tuesday.

the good the bad and the ugly