As I described in the article, I got a place on a boat sailing out of Darwin as part of the Darwin to Ambon race, and on to Lombok, Bali, Jakarta, and Singapore. I had grown up around powerboats all my life but had only been sailing a few times with family friends. The skipper asked me, and the four other non-sailing travelers who had volunteered, to go sailing with him every weekend for the month before we set off, and learn the basics. He made sure we were all thoroughly briefed on everything - including things like head use, fire safety, proper use of provisions etc - as well as learning to actually sail. Even experienced sailors get seasick sometimes. On that particular trip, I was the only one who didn't, including the skipper (which did mean I got sent down below a lot) but everyone's seasickness was mild and occasional. I guess a serious problem with that would have come up (excuse the pun) on our practice sessions.