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Seasickness: Prevention really pricey

June 23, 2017
By Capt. GEORGE TUNISON ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

I have heard it called many things, but a recent article about "Gulf Flu" and gyro stabilizers caught my eye.

Have you ever offered a captain of a party boat hundreds of dollars to go in early after paying him to take you out? I have.

Seasick on a dead calm day? That's me.

Article Photos

Capt. George Tunison

Ever spent BIG money on a Cape Hatteras marlin trip for two aboard a big luxury sport fishing boat with four off from college bikini clad mates? Larry and I did. He had a great trip sitting in the fighting chair with the mates coaching him. I spent the day inside on the couch with my close friend Mr. Bucket watching the action through the sliding glass door.

I should have known it was going to be a rough day, having gotten queasy from the diesel fumes while still tied to the dock.

As a bonus, after being deathly ill all day, on the way back in we encountered the worst wind, rain, intense lighting storm ever recorded in the area know as "The Graveyard Of Ships." I was certain we were going to die, which at this point in the day after being so intensely sick for over seven hours and now scared to death, that option surprisingly didn't really bother me that much.

Those that have never gotten sick, the ones that eat subs, hot peppers, and chocolate cake chased by a few beers, that laugh at me moaning in the shade somewhere on the deck will never understand the feeling.

I know where they are coming from as I used to be one of them. Chasing big beautiful sea trout, flounder, and giant bluefish aboard party boats in the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays was my weekend thing for years growing up. Never got sick and laughed at those that did. I didn't understand it.

Till one day.

I have no idea what changed, but something did. Now, when I lose sight of land, flat, rough, nice or bad weather, I'm toast and why I guide inshore.

Never having a boat over 25 feet, I wasn't at all familiar with stabilizers that apparently have been used on larger craft for a long time now.

If you're not familiar as well, a gyro stabilizer is a mechanism installed on the boat that counter acts the side to side rolling motion of the hull on the sea. Bad news is the price and size. The article mentioned a price tag of $30,000 installed for a G.S. for 30-36 foot boats. Whoa!

The drive is to make them smaller and less costly and could be a good investment for those that love deep sea fishing, tournaments offshore, and charter boat operators concerned with passenger comfort in mid-sized sportfishing boats.

My annual snook client was ready to catch her first tarpon. By the second day of intense fishing the score was two-to-zip in favor of the tarpon.

Her first fought down and dirty jumping twice, throwing the hook on the second high jump.

The second stayed on for 15 minutes, jumped several times and was gone. Dejected and out of time she returned to the hotel to rest for the next morning's trip back to North Dakota.

That evening, and feeling bad for her, I called and suggested we take a quick tour of all of the small overflowing streams in the Cape in hopes of cheering her up with a nice snook catch. She arrived and soon we were casting little MirrOlures in the fast water.

After a few small snook she made a bad cast hanging in the bushes.

She yanked and pulled then handed the rod to me. I yanked freeing the lure which shot past us, landed flat on the water and was instantly crushed by a 30-inch tarpon patrolling the base of the falls. Jumped once, gone.

No justice.

Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at 239-440-1621 or



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