I'm answering more of your questions regarding the upcoming Puerto Vallarta 2012 race (PV 2012). We're at the starting line on Friday March 2nd at 11:55am. We'll post tracking links so you can watch our progress.
How are you training and preparing?
I am preparing physically by running and doing more yoga. I'm not taking on any hard training which could give me any chance of getting hurt, so nothing severe but mainly eating and sleeping well. I am already in good shape physically, but after Transpac, I learned the best preparation is making sure I get food and water for me. The rest of the crew loves the freeze-dried food that comes prepackaged but I hate the freeze-dried stuff; I just can't eat it. On Transpac 2011, I had prepared food in a cooler with dry ice and it evaporated sooner than we thought so the food went bad.
This race I have snacks coming out of my ears: String-cheese, cool flavored Yoplait yogurts, cinnamon graham crackers, prunes, peanuts (very good for protein), dried slivers of apple, hard boiled eggs, cling peaches, Triscuits, granola bars, oatmeal with cinnamon and maple syrup for breakfast, and the great staple of the ocean, the most important food known to sailors - peanut butter and jelly. When nothing else works, every sailor can eat peanut butter and jelly. Protein. Sugar. Good to go.
I am also very prepared for the cold. The rest of the crew has a lot of muscle to keep them warm but I'm bringing a million layers. The cold is something you have to deal with because if you get too cold then you can't function.
What do you hope to accomplish?
I hope to WIN! Plus I'm looking forward to having a different crew than during Transpac 2011, gelling together as a team and practicing for next year's Transpac.
What fun parts of the race are you looking forward to?
Many times during the trip, if there is a squall or if someone gets sick then there are horrible moments and you ask yourself why am I here? But when you cross the finish line and it's all behind you, then you have a million great stories to tell.
In the first Cabo race, Sam, my good friend and crew member, got up every morning, stuck his head into the cockpit, and said, "Where am I?" It's hilarious becoming familiar with all the quirks of the people you are on the boat with. Everybody has quirks. Dave is very tall, so he can't sleep in a bunk. Instead, he spreads out the sails below and falls asleep on them. Fortunately, these guys don't snore and if they do, I go over and pinch a toe -- that usually stops it.
I'm looking forward to the crazy funny things people say in the moment. When you get home everybody disbands and does their own thing and we see each other here and there. But, when you are out on the middle of the ocean, you feel intensely close. It's a wonderful feeling because you count on each other, depend on each other, and support each other. I find myself very touched. There is always some point in a race when there is a lull, when we sit and talk and people say crazy things and humor comes out of nowhere.
The world becomes a 47-foot boat, totally separate from the rest of reality.
What is your main role on the boat?
I'm the main driver and also the safety nag.
We take four hours shifts in the boat: four hours on, four hours off. You're supposed to sleep or eat when you are off, but I usually sleep four hours and then stay awake the rest of the time. I like driving for other people so they can get the things done they wouldn't get done if they were driving.
I'm also the safety "nag" because I'm always making sure everyone has their life-saving equipment on, their life vest on. And if it's blowing or bouncy, then I make the guys tether in. I am ultimately responsible for them and if something happens then we might not be able to get them back, especially if we are in the middle of the ocean in bad weather.