Yesterday the new crew arrived to join Oceans of Hope for the next stage of the voyage. Jacob Wolsing, Jens Thomsen and Mikkel Farver flew in from Denmark to take their place alongside Tine Perlt and Luisa Matias on board the 20-metre yacht which is due to arrive in Boston, USA, on 8 September.
Nearly 40 people visited Oceans of Hope yesterday during the public open day to find out more about the campaign to change perceptions of MS and show what can be achieved when people living with a chronic disease are given the opportunity to face their own personal challenges.
In the evening the founder of the Sailing Sclerosis Foundation and the Oceans of Hope campaign, Mikkel Anthonisen, was the guest speaker at an event organised by SPEM – Sociedade Portuguesa de Esclerose Múltipla. He presented a framed photo of Oceans of Hope and her crew to the President of SPEM, Fatima Pavia, and the Executive Vice President, Manuela Duarte Deves, to thank the organisation for their support in the lead up to and during the stopover in Lisbon.
Today is the final preparation day for the crew ahead of the departure from Marina Parque das Nações in Lisbon tomorrow morning.
Those preparations include shopping for the food that will be necessary to sustain the crew in their voyage across the Atlantic. Think how full your supermarket trolley for your weekly family shop is when you reach the checkout. Now imagine just how many trolley-loads they’re going to need to feed the nine people on board who could be at sea for up to five weeks. That’s a lot of food! And there are no supermarkets in the middle of the ocean, so if they run out of something they will have to go without until they come ashore.
Oceans of Hope will leave Marina Parque das Nacoes on Saturday 2 August at 10.15am, accompanied by two smaller yachts with local people with MS on board. The flotilla will sail towards the Ponte 25 de Abril (25th of April Bridge) past the waterfront square, Praça do Comércio, from where the great Portuguese explorers Vasco da Gama and Pedro Alverez Cabral set sail in the 15th and 16th Centuries.
The pioneering spirit of those mariners of the Age of Discovery will resonate with the crew setting sail in their wake on board Oceans of Hope more than 500 years later.