The Dumbass Chronicles – Sea Sick

Updated: August 3, 2013


By Scuba Steve

When you’re a bullet proof E-2, there is nothing that you can’t do. Leadership needs to live up to you, not the other way around, right? In this type of position, looking stupid is the last thing that you need.

I was in this position at one time. Since I kicked boot camp’s ass, going out to sea to interdict those that threaten the security of our homeland was going to be a walk in the park.

Unfortunately, most Coast Guard boats are not very large in size. Out at sea, they ride like a canoe stuck in the perfect storm. Initially, this was not of great concern because I was such a beast and didn’t realize that sea sickness does not discriminate. This is something that I would soon gain a much larger respect for.

Shortly after getting underway, all the “boots” and those that typically get sea sick were handed puke bags. They weren’t much different from the ones you see in airplane seat pockets, except these were plastic and not waxed paper. Convinced that I was not going to need this, I simply slipped it into my back pocket and went about my business. It wasn’t long until the pitching and rolling of the vessel caused me to feel ill. I did what any certified bad ass would do; I pretended I was good to go. This was another mistake that I would learn the hard way. Seasickness is not something that you can hide because it causes a person to literally turn greenish in color accompanied by profuse sweating, nausea, headache, and drowsiness. I chose the drowsiness as my best weapon to avoid looking weak.

Looking tough should have been my last concern as making myself puke would have made me feel better. Furthermore, it is not looked down upon to do such a thing. Instead I placed my hope in my body’s ability to adapt and overcome. I thought that I would soon get used to it and begin to feel better. This usually takes a day or two, a piece of knowledge that nobody shared with me. To my dismay, my idea of adapting and overcoming was in severe disagreement with my body’s version of the same. It was not long before I began to succumb to the sickness of the sea.

orange-beach-sea-sick-fishingOut of nowhere, completely unwelcome and unexpected was a serious pain in my gut. The type of pain that leaves no room to doubt the impending onslaught of a messy, wet, high velocity crap. This created the same feeling inside of me as an incredibly serious, ethical dilemma. Should I unleash the fury of my ass on the toilet and try not to puke, or should I puke and hope that I don’t shit myself? If anyone has been in a similar situation, you know the weight that your decision carries. Let’s just say that shitting myself was not instrumental to maintaining my unrivaled confidence and high stature. After all, I had recently graduated boot camp and would not let anything stop me now.

As my condition deteriorated my mental strength, I headed toward the head to take a dump. I cleaned the toilet seat off, ensured that there was toilet paper and confidently sat down. Being that I was in the very front of the boat, holding onto the toilet with one hand was essential to staying on it. This area was generally referred to as the anti-gravity chamber because you literally catch flight. As I began to pee out of my ass, the pressure was so great that it created an instant back splash from the toilet water below. Stuck between feeling relieved and knowing that I now have to take a shower, another sharp pain presented itself. Gripping the toilet, preparing for round two I felt a sudden urge to throw up. Possibly because I have shat all over the place and now have poop water dripping from my scrotum, it was all one lovely situation at this point. Quickly running out of options, I grabbed the puke bag out of my pocket. Without hesitating, I opened the bag, continued my fecal attack on the toilet and violently vomit simultaneously. Within about five seconds it became readily apparent that there was a hole in my puke bag. Sitting in a state of defeat, I watched sadly as warm vomit spilled onto my boots and the floor below. Tears were about to become a part of this liquid nightmare.

At this point, I was really hoping that I would soon wake up from a bad dream. I am supposed to look like a bad ass but was covered with poop and puke. I had enough toilet paper for a regular to semi-messy poop. Not enough for the spray and pray, ricochet, splatter shit! Plus I then had to clean my boots and figure out if I could work the chunks out of my uniform pants.

In the end, it didn’t work out that great. Yes, this story stuck around for a while and it was a favorite at my unit. The shower was not as satisfying as I was expecting either.

You’ve been warned! Inspect any vomit receptacle for holes or any other signs of weakness.





  1. Sean Killian

    August 3, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Amen Brother! I remember that feeling on a 47′ MLB. I blew my guts all over the Gulf of Maine. Semper Paratus

  2. oldSquid

    August 3, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    speaking from experience… worst part of being seasick is the realization that you ARE going to live…muhahahahahah!!!!

  3. ET1(SS) Princess

    August 3, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Transitting in from the Iron Sea to Faslane Scotland we attempted to surface in one of the roughest storm fronts that Neptune has bestowed upon me. The boat was taking 50-60 degree lists… easily. It was so bad that we could not get our snorkel above the surface of the ocean long enough to take a suction on the low-pressure blower, and as a result, could not surface. The skipper than had the brilliant decision to perform an EMBT blow to blast us up to the surface. It worked. Then the rolls changed to 70 degrees.

    Submarines were not designed to float…

    I sat with a buddy on crews mess with our coffee mugs and legs locked under the mess tables. We weren’t going anywhere and as long as our arms remained the gimbals of our mugs, we wouldn’t lose any java either (the j is silent).

    Soon after we surfaced, shit started to fly everywhere and anywhere. Dozens of bowls, cups, utensils, plates, flew out of their stowage from the scullery and began flying all over the galley. A big 300lb sailor flew from the coffee mess to the other side of crews mess where he landed on the bulkhead. As my buddy and I began to exchange looks of “holy f***” a large assortment of knifes and other sharp objects flew out of the scullery like something out of Carrie, and proceeded to pass by our heads at the speed of light and pierce into bulkhead… beside the gorilla. This was soon followed by about 25 gallson of “bug juice” tidal waving into a chief who was sitting behind us at the chief’s table. It looked like he was hit by a rainbow colored tidal wave of unicorns.

    It was at this moment, with 3-4 inches of bug juice sloshing around the deck, the gorilla trying to pry untensils out of the bulkhead when he was being thrown back against that side during the swells (trying to not land on them), and the sea state not changing that by buddy and I decided to retire to our racks and “strap” ourselves in. Being the experienced submariners that we are we already had said straps in place built into our racks so that we wouldn’t fall out even if the boat rolled completely over.

    A FANTASTIC trick to play on nubs who do not have their “sea legs” is to stand in front of them and hang from something in the overhead while the boat rocks back and worth. This way you swing with the boat while they are trying to stand still. The effects on the face of the victum is both hilarious and satisfying.

    • D M Waggoner

      August 3, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      We either need to keep this to ourselves, or decide to charge admission. There aren’t enough ships and boats to accommodate the surge when everybody finds out. My suggestion, is that we charge admission. The more absorbent ant the better. Everybody will pay a fortune for a pair of balls. I can see exquisite retirement and ruling the world in our future, shipmates. Whaddaya think? Heh Heh Heh

    • [email protected]

      August 4, 2013 at 1:47 am

      I am sorry but if your boat took a 70 degree roll you capsized, I was in the Navy for more then 22 yrs and yes was close to taking 47 degree rolls but never 50 or greater that you state, I just have to raise the bullshit flag and say your sea story stinks and if there was any truth to it you skiper would have lost his command.

      • Surface Doc

        August 4, 2013 at 2:53 pm

        Hey Bill, doesn’t sound like any of those 22 years were in submarines. RTFQ, shipwreck.

      • ET1(SS) Princess

        August 4, 2013 at 3:01 pm

        Call your bullshit flag. Submarines can roll farther than surface ships since they are “ROUND.” Makes them a little harder to capsize.

        And skippers don’t lose their commands unless they get hit by another ship (i.e. the USS Hartford), an undersea mountain (i.e. the USS San Francisco), or claim to be a dead Navy SEAL (i.e. the USS Pittsburgh)

        Other than something short of those three, what happens underway stays underway.

        So they may not have been ’70 degrees’ but you obviously miss the point of a ‘Sea Story’. You must have made a boring sailor both while in and even more now that you’re out.

        • Andrew

          August 5, 2013 at 10:42 am

          The ’47 MLB that he was riding on is a surf boat, it’s designed to roll over 180 and self-right itself. Nothing bullshit about it.

  4. D M Waggoner

    August 3, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Heh Heh Heh

  5. BigRedOne

    August 5, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Out f—— standing. As an Army guy, I can appreciate a good seamen story now and then for variety…thx RangerUp. Bonus greatness when a story in the comments section is even more hilarious than the main article.

    No sea legs to blame, just good ol’ Army chow when this one time out at tank gunnery I bent over in the latrine to puke while pissing (nomex suit at ankle defilade) and fired out a rope of brown liquid at the same time, on accident. Backblast area not clear.

    Thank God a serviceable mop bucket was nearby, and no nosey Joe lurking around at 0-dark-thirty.

  6. Hotel1

    September 18, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    MARDET USS Little Rock (CG-4)
    Standing post after questionable midrats and crossing the Atlantic back to Philly in Sept.
    LONGEST four hours of my life.
    And, you can’t abandon a SAS post.

  7. EM

    October 8, 2013 at 2:12 am

    Many years in the Navy have taught me one thing, you can’t trust a man who’s never shit himself. V/R

  8. ENG4

    December 9, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    Spent many a time calling ralph on the big white phone while on the CGC Cape Wash (WPB 95310) in the late ’70s.

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