I’ve never owned a boat and have lived in coastal communities most of my life. Short rides in tidal creeks or even fishing in rivers are enjoyable as long as I can see land.

Offshore? That’s a totally different and not enjoyable experience for me! In my advancing years, I’ve just learned to politely say “NO!” to that opportunity.

I don’t care how many times somebody tells me to just “focus on the horizon,” I’m soon advising them to just “focus on my backside” as I’m leaning over the rail. Being seasick is no joke. Maybe the only thing worse is being around people who aren’t.

And forget the patches, pills and equilibrium wrist bands. The last time wrist bands were suggested, I used them to wipe my mouth the first time I called Ralph and the second time I yelled “Buick.”

The motion of the ocean

I love a sunset at Folly Beach. A boat ride in the Tail Race Canal or kayaking in Shem Creek are terrific ways to enjoy the Lowcountry. Coburg Creek is another lovely spot. The problem begins when you leave the inner sanctum and pass the jetties headed to the great abyss of the Atlantic Ocean. Nobody in their right mind should do that, no matter how big the boat.

My upper lip is starting to sweat just talking about it.

The brain can get really confused when the eyes indicate the world is still although the body is sending clear signals that it isn’t. Once the body is out of balance, everything else soon will be.

Here are some of the “supposed” cures:

Stay low in the boat, near the stern, for a smoother ride. (Yeah, right. Tell me how that works for you.)

Take deep breaths (but don’t confuse this with hyperventilating; there’s time for that later).

Drink plenty of water (pretty sure this helps when flushing the system).

And maintain a positive state of mind. (Some of us are very positive bad stuff is about to happen.)

No sickness like seasickness

I’ve been on shrimp trawlers, high-end fishing boats, Coast Guard cutters and cruise ships. For me, there’s one common denominator. Once we lose sight of land, you’re going to see a very different side of me. It’s been a few years since I’ve been “that way.” The reason? I don’t put myself in that position anymore! Everybody always says it’s really just short-term discomfort. If it’s you, it’s the longest day of your life. The condition is not fatal. You just wish it was.

I certainly hope this hasn’t ruined your Monday morning. I’m here to help. God love the people who must leave the docks for a living. They find a way to fight through those feelings.

The harbor pilots, shrimp boat captains, charter boat businesses … hey, good on you and your constitutions. And I haven’t even factored the smell of diesel fuel into this conversation.

For those who share these same concerns, we need to be stronger. It’s OK to say “no, thank you” without being called a wimp when invited offshore. There’s no shame in recognizing the difference between a nice, peaceful troll in the harbor versus bobbing and weaving in 8-foot swells.

If you can, stand up and be heard. If you can’t stand yet, then wipe the sweat from your lip, get some fresh air and tell everybody else on board to “give you a moment.”

I’m just sayin’ …