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Will sipping seawater make you sick?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.


tropical wuss
Sep 16, 2002
Hi all,

I am about to embark on my first saline excursion ever (Puerto Vallarta, Mexico), and I need some advice. I've always equalized hands-free by contorting-tensing my neck/throat muscles, and if need be, swallowing (fresh water). The old pinch and blow method has never worked well for me. For years I have aided my swallowing/equalizing by taking sips of the water. Don't misunderstand, I'm not guzzling down the lake, I just let enough in to wet the back of my throat (probably less than a milliliter). I have never gotten sick from this in fresh water (as I am usually well below the thermocline when I'm finally forced to swallow repeatedly). If I do this in the ocean, am I going to get sick?

sipping sea water

No problem, urirdnea, it takes a whole lot of salt water to make you sick.

You are in for a treat, life in the ocean is pretty neat,
How was the trip?

Unirdna, you never posted upon your return about your trip. Was it fun? Where did you stay? Meet any interesting people?

The bit you get in the bottom of the snorkel constantly getting into my mouth makes me sick. So much so that i changed to the Impulse II snorkel, and bought a size bigger wetsuit so that it doesnt squeeze my throat .

These two things make me feed fish.


Unirdna, how was the trip to Mexico? You never responded. Me and some buddies are thinking of going, but I'm interested to hear how your trip went.
Hey ya hat. Sorry I didn't see your previous post.

Here's how things went in Mexico. Since I'm sure you're concerned primarily with the diving conditions, I'm not going to get into resorts, night-life, cruises, etc etc. All you need to know is that if you want to do it, it can be done.....it's only a question of how much you're willing to pay ;).

We stayed in Puerto Vallarta. It's in the 2nd largest bay in the world (the Canucks have the biggest I think :)). Puerto Vallarta is on the Pacific coast. We went in late March - early April.

Our first dive trip was to Los Arcos national park. There are a few dive shops in PV; we used Chico's Dive Shop (www.chicosdiveshop.com) exclusively. All the guides were very helpful and courteous (and spoke English fluently - a little of a downer for me actually since one of my favorite things to do on vacation is to work on my Spanish). Los Arcos was a little bit of a let-down for me. Since the trip could be done in a half day, there were piles and piles of family snorkelers in the area. Since my girlfriend can only snorkel (and she proved to even need some work on that :blackeye), I stayed in the shallower areas with her. I didn't have a fit though, because the vis was only 12 feet that day. The water was a little chilly (about 72 F). Most of the snorkelers we coming out of the water within an hour. We stayed warm in our shorties for a couple hours before the cold got to us. If you have a 3mm suit, that would be perfect for hours and hours. I wish that I would have brought my 5mm pants. Since I was dropping down, going though thermoclines, the shorty wasn't enough. There was one thermo at about 30 feet (temp dropped to 64) and another at 70 feet (temp dropped to 50). I only ventured below 70 feet a couple times because the cold was just too much (even with my 3mm hooded vest on under my shorty). So if you want to go deep, I recommend at least a full 3mm suit.

On my next two dives, my lady stayed back at the resort and ordered nachos and pineapple drinks by the pool....so I was free to dive without having to worry about her ocean panick attacks. These dives were much better. I went on full day scuba tours (but of course I only used the tanks my momma gave me). The water clarity was much better at Las Mariertas and the other place I can't remember than at Los Arcos. And the place wasn't constantly getting buzzed by drunken party boats either. Vis was 25+ feet and was as good as 40 in a couple spots. Most of the rock/sea life was at 50 feet, so it made the diving more fun for me. And being the only freediver onboard made buzzing the scuba tandems a constant source of entertainment :)).

There are no spearfishing tours (I don't know if that's something that would interest you - why don't you fill out your profile so all of us on DB know who the heck you are ;)), but if you tell the clerk at chico's that you want to talk to the "short, stocky guide who spearfishes amberjacks", he may be willing to take you out. He offered to take me out on my final day of vacation, but then a cruise shipped docked, tourism picked up, and we lost our boat to the snorkel tours....bummer :waterwork.

K, at the risk of rivaling IYA for the title of "mr. long post", I'll wrap this up. If you have any specific questions, I'll be happy to answer. I'll keep my eye on the thread.

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