Days like these make all the hard work worthwhile… anchored in a beautiful spot not far from Cascais, on the west coast of Portugal.
“After 25 hours of sailing from Porto with both perfect sailing weather the whole day and night, as well as a morning of motoring, we have now anchored right outside Cascais, where we will spent the afternoon with bathing, sun tanning and a delicious lunch is being prepared in the background right now,” writes Bertram Christensen, explaining that the photos accompanying Tessa’s blog today and this report were taken yesterday evening as they had dinner in the sunset, where a school of dolphins joined in.
The perfect conditions have provided the opportunity for Oceans of Hope’s crew members to take stock of what they have learned during their voyage.
Tessa van den Berg joined the yacht in Amsterdam and will say goodbye in Portugal.
Her blog today is a moving account of the things she has discovered about herself and how she has overcome the challenges and found an inner strength that she didn’t know she had.
“Standing at the wheel that makes me realise the parallels between sailing and coping with my disease,” she writes. “Everybody is different, as is every boat. There is no strict manual; you have to trust your feeling that your body will tell what is good for you. You can only follow the stream. Do not fight it. It seems to be the best way to go forward. Keep trust that the wind will take you, maybe not in the direct route but eventually you will find your destination.
“And if wind stands for 'life' that might be the same for living with MS. Keep faith and a path will be found. Maybe not the route you had initially planned, but still, any path will lead to somewhere.”
Oceans of Hope’s voyage has been life changing for more than just those on board.
Tessa adds, “I have also seen how this yacht has changed perspectives in the lives of people with MS and their relatives, even after just a short taster sail. It is amazing and I would not have believed it had I not have seen it with my own eyes.”
As the team arrives in Cascais, where they will spend the next five days working on Oceans of Hope to get her ready to take on her first transoceanic crossing, skipper Kristian Bo Echwald Hansen reports, “Portugal has been good to us; coming from Porto to Cascais we have had great sailing weather with 16 knots (8m/s) of breeze and clear skies. The night was filled with stars and of course we were accompanied by dolphins every now and then."
Oceans of Hope will arrive in the Marina Parque de Nações on Monday 28 July and will set sail for Boston, USA, on 2 August.