Now we all know that when your boat is wallowing in the slow, corkscrew swells and tea-duty forces you below, it is only a matter of time before your body reacts. When you are deprived of the horizon, the movement disturbs your inner ear, upsetting your natural sense of orientation and (in two thirds of cases) causing intense nausea.
However, by using tinted fluid in the frames to create an artificial horizon, these ‘Boarding Ring’ glasses are designed to be “a visible internal ear”. The idea is that the self-levelling of the fluid enables your eyes to transmit the same data to your brain as your inner ear, thereby removing the sensory conflict that causes motion sickness in the first place.
According to the manufacturer, tests with the French Navy have shown that in 95% of cases, just six minutes is effective in the treatment of the symptoms of seasickness. Better still, other than crippling shame on the part of the wearer, there are no side-effects at all. You can wear them over regular glasses and with a price of less than 50 quid, you can pull them out of your First Aid Kit like a wand from a wizard’s pocket whenever a crewmember turns green.
Keeping it old-fashioned
Now this all sounds very promising, but when I’m not actually helming a boat, I still believe in the merits of a good quality gin and tonic. This happy, glass-mounted medicine also provides you with an effective representation of the natural horizon – and in addition to the combined stomach calming effects of quinine and carbonation, the alcohol does a great job of muting the sensory conflict. Remarkably, quinine also helps you put up a very stern defence against muscle cramps and malaria – and the fact that it tastes great and happens to resonate with historical maritime significance only adds to its allure. Certainly, these spectacles are worth a look, but now as ever, the humble G&T remains the world’s greatest maritime panacea.
Of course, if we’re on the topic of things that look absolutely insane, take another look at Alex Thomson’s mast walk video. Or perhaps the destruction is more your thing? Try watching: Ship breaks in two: amazing video.