A: During the 10 stops I’ll be a mile out, but I’m trying to stay away from boat traffic and shipping lanes. I’ll be about two miles out on average.
A: On training rows, I’ve done three-day trips, 30 miles a day. But that was under good conditions, when I had a good night’s sleep and ate well.
Q: What’s your biggest concern?
A: It gets mind numbing; I wonder where my mind will go when I haven’t seen anyone for two weeks. And when I do, it will be short and brief. But my biggest concern is that I make it a successful fundraising and awareness event and allow ROW to shine. These women (I work with) are so inspiring. I’d hate for it to be all about me.
Q: What do you do during storms?
A: I’ll store loose material and fasten the oars to the boat. Then I’ll deploy a “sea anchor,” an underwater parachute that prevents backward drift and minimizes the fall between waves. I’ll take cover in the rear cabin. The boat is designed to withstand 30-foot waves and will self-right if I capsize.
Q: Will you bring music?
A: Yes, tons of it! In fact, I need suggestions. Please send me some!
Q: What about injuries? What is your most vulnerable body part?
A: My butt can get really sore. I can also get blisters, sunburn, bruises, rashes, pulled muscles and swollen joints. I’ll have bug repellent, but flies are a major issue. I’ll have an extensive medical kit on board and am certified in First Aid. I can rest for minor injuries, but if there’s an emergency I’ll activate the EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon).
Q: How will you sleep?
A: I sleep inside the 19-foot boat. There are two air- and watertight cabins and I have a ventilator for fresh air. There’s a 6-foot-long sleeping cabin at one end and a food storage cabin at the other. The cabin inside is 4 feet wide and gets narrower as you get closer to the bow. My head is near the front of the boat and my feet close to the window, in front of my rowing station. I’ve slept in it on Wednesday night for the last two weeks.
Q: How did it go?
A: It’s getting better. The first time was completely terrifying with all the different noises: hearing the water hit the hull, waking up with the ducks outside. I sleep out in the lake; it’s scarier in the harbor because there are some weird people. The boat does get attention when I’m out there; I think motorboats don’t understand that I don’t have a motor and they can wake me. It’s always a little scary with motorboats coming at me; they have giant motors and my boat is so tiny. The marine police gave me a ticket on St. Patrick’s Day for disorderly conduct.
Q: Seriously? What happened?
A: I was on the river when they turned it green. (When she contested the ticket) the judge threw it out; I think the police officer just liked writing tickets.
Q: You’ll be using the old “bucket and chuck it” routine. Can you get in trouble for peeing in Lake Michigan?
A: Yes, but I doubt I will. Can you imagine the ticket?