Keeping the crew safe – Pat McGregor
When you’re on a crazy journey across the Bering Strait on a Sea-Doo, there’s a strong possibility of a medical emergency happening along the way. Anything from a cut finger from changing out a head gasket to hypothermia can pose a problem for the crew. Luckily Boise, Idaho native Pat McGregor is on board for his second season of Dangerous Waters to keep the crew safe and in good health. Take a look at what he has to say about his role in the show.
Q: This is the second journey for you. What do you think will be the biggest role for you this year on the team?
A: Well, last year and this year I’m the medic, so I’m in charge of repairing anybody if they get hurt, stitching them up, keeping them from bleeding out.
Q: Do you have professional training, or is this just something where you know more than everyone else?
A: I’m going to nursing school right now, so it seemed like a fit for me to carry all the medical supplies and be administering that type of care. Hopefully that doesn’t happen, but if it does I’ll have the means to get everybody back on their ski as fast as possible.
Q: What’s the backstory between you and Steven? How did he convince you to come along with him?
A: It was pretty easy. He called me up and mentioned that there was a spot as a cameraman driver at first. I accepted and at the time I wasn’t really doing much. I was going to school and had some time on my hands so I took the job. Someone else was cast for my position but he couldn’t make it for medical reasons. I got bumped up to a talent role for the first season. After that experience, I was stoked to come back up here and do Season two
Q: So what kind of hobbies do you have outside of these crazy travel adventures?
A: Right now I’ve got a two-year-old so my hobbies are driving her around on my mountain bike and going on walks. Before my daughter, I liked to go skiing, snowboarding and surfing if I’m near the ocean. My folks live in San Clemente, Calif. so I used to go more often. Now I live next to several lakes in Idaho where I spend time motor boating and wakeboarding. I like to be out in the sun and near the water.
Q: You’ve done a fair amount of travel and watersports. Does this tie into the things you did when you were younger?
A: Yeah, I’ve been on the water quite a bit. My favorite lake is Lake Shasta up in Northern California. It’s a great lake to go wakeboarding and waterskiing because it’s got a lot of protection and a lot of fingers in it, so the water tends to be really calm. I want to explore more lakes though. There are several in Idaho that I want to look at and there’s Lake Powell that I have always wanted to go to. I’m hoping when we get back maybe I’ll take the family on a houseboat trip.
Q: Did you have something as a kid that inspired you to get involved in this type of adventure?
A: I never really dreamed that I was going to be on this type of adventure. I always liked doing this type of thing but I didn’t think I’d be able to make a career out of being an adventurer. It all came out of the blue. To be honest, it wasn’t something that I had on the list at all. I was actually going back to school to get my nursing degree and trying to solidify a career and this kind of sideswiped those plans. However it was a welcome sideswipe. I’m still hammering out some pre-reqs for nursing school so that’s still an option.
Q: What kind of emotion do you feel taking off on a 5,700 mile journey to places you’ve never been?
A: Speaking for myself, I tuck away my emotions until the day of the departure. The number one issue is that I’m cold. This year we’re starting out in an icebox. People get irritable and stressed in the cold and when there’s not enough food it increases the stress level.
Q: Do you think you guys will run into any ships with missiles and guns pointed at you when you’re crossing international waters?
A: We’ve heard lots of different stories from natives in Alaska. We even heard something about a guy with a 50 caliber rifle that just sits up in a satellite station.
Q: So what do you do if somebody starts shooting at you?
A: Last year I was in a super big panic leading up to this portion of the expedition. I stressed about it and by the time we got to it I thought, “how exhilarating!” What’s the worst that could happen? It would just be another notch in the adventure. I mean, hopefully you don’t die, but what if you did get shot at? Being able to catch it on film and just continue on your journey would be epic! It sounds crazy, but it seems like if we make it unscathed, the stories will be amazing.
Q: How do you cope with going off and doing these unknown things and being away from your family for an extended period of time?
A: We try to keep in contact with Skype. I really miss and love my daughter. I’m a good father and I think it breaks her heart that I’m out here doing this. I don’t think she understands … she’s too young. She just knows that her daddy’s gone. She asks about me all the time and that’s tough. So we try to Skype and it works out.
Q: What’s keeps you motivated as you’re going through these trials and tribulations?
A: It’s easy to get down on these expeditions … it is. But you’ve got to keep reminding yourself that this is something bigger than you and that it’s awesome. I always have to remind myself how awesome it really is. You get stressed and start thinking about how things are going wrong and you stop taking in the natural beauty of your surroundings. But, if you force yourself to be grateful of all your surroundings it brings you back up.
Q: What kind of stuff are you carrying in your gear pack, the essentials to get you through?
A: We carry a lot of gear, actually more gear than you would expect. Several dry bags filled mostly with outerwear and base-layers. And we carry food, of course, a lot of extra mechanical gear, film gear and fuel. It’s really important to keep things dry, so we have our dry bags and we’re lucky to have a relationship with OtterBox. The dry boxes keep our cell phones and computer supplies dry. There’s a perfect size box that I use that fits my wallet and my cell phone, two items that were completely saturated several times last season, and I’m pretty confident that I’ll be high and dry this year with the equipment we’ve got.
Q: Is there something you want your daughter to see and be inspired by when she sees that you’re doing something big?
A: Yeah, I want her to see how important it is to get outside and challenge yourself. She’s already heading in that direction, but I want her to see what we’re doing. She’s just a bit over two but she already loves adventuring. I’ve got this really neat seat that sits just behind the handlebars on my mountain bike that I built for her. She’s got her own handlebars that come up over my handlebars. It’s sweet and everybody loves it! I take her out bike riding and hiking and swimming quite a bit. I have family members that are just graduating from high school and they typically just sit around glued to Facebook not saying a word to the rest of the family. I can’t have that and that’s what I’m worried about
Q: What’s the next big adventure? Where do you go from here?
A: After this season, we head out from where we leave off. Other than the show here, I don’t know. Nursing school is definitely on the list. I really want to make it my career. If I get anything else along the way from the show I’m certainly grateful and will take it, but as for a career nursing will be my next big step.
With OtterBox as the official technology protector for the adventurers of the Dangerous Waters crew, they’ll test the limits of protection using all the new Pursuit Series dry boxes to keep their gear safe.
Throughout the summer we’ll have stories from the road, exclusive behind-the-scenes videos and we’ll introduce you to more of the team over the next several weeks. You can also get in on the action by following us on Twitter using the #OtterWaters hashtag, following our Dangerous Waters Blog page and becoming a fan on Facebook. Stay tuned for more info!