Oceans of Hope left Portsmouth in a stiff westerly breeze yesterday afternoon and that, combined with the tide going in the opposite direction, made for a fairly bumpy start to the leg from Portsmouth to La Rochelle. Today, things have calmed down and the crew is enjoying a more leisurely sail south across the English Channel towards the Channel Islands and a planned whistle-stop pit stop in Guernsey.
Last night Jens Als Andersen reported they had decided to pick up a mooring overnight near Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight to allow the crew to get a good night’s sleep and get re-accustomed to the movement of the boat and recover from an early bout of seasickness.
“We had a spectacular sunset last night and a wonderful morning going out,” Jens added.
Sailing around the world, facing Mother Nature in all her moods, is not easy for anyone and seasickness can strike even the strongest and most experienced sailors.
Tessa van den Berg, the Dutch crew member on board explains that it provides an added layer to the challenge for people with MS.
“Being on shore for quite a while we are not used to this anymore. Our bodies are confused. Our balance has completely gone. One after the other gets seasick. We need to be on deck, to breathe the fresh air but in some cases even that is not enough. It is a bumpy ride!”
Enduring the lows, however, makes the highs seem even more special. After turning around to run with the wind and tide, stomachs settle and a sense of calm is restored.
“We slowly start to breathe normally again. After an hour or two the cliffs called The Needles come back into sight and it is a beautiful sight. On our portside the sun shines goodbye for this day. She is stunningly copper coloured, giving the sky a more intense blue colour and paints the clouds above her pink. After all the seasickness this makes it all worthwhile. We silently take in the beautiful pastel coloured painting.”
Oceans of Hope is due to arrive in La Rochelle, France, on Thursday afternoon.