As Oceans of Hope continues her global voyage to change perceptions of multiple sclerosis, the Atlantic crossing is proving a more relaxed experience for her crew than the initial stages of the journey. The boat is now three days from Madeira and fast approaching the ‘point of no return’ on the leg from Europe to America.
The Bosun reported that, “As we get further away from shore, the daily life on board Oceans of Hope continues. Every single meal is still being enjoyed in the cockpit, often in baking sun. The different chores of the day are put on hold, with either a shower on deck with some mandatory sun bathing to follow, or maybe a nap in the hammock before your next duty of ocean-watching, sail-reefing, coffee-drinking exhaustion.”
For Oceans of Hope Sailing Sclerosis project founder, Mikkel Anthonisen, the calm of Atlantic crossing is a cause for self-reflection, telling us in today’s blog that, “Sailing at night sharpens our senses and brings us in contact with a deep feeling of being. It reminds us of both the fragility and the greatness of ourselves. Being on the big blue ocean in a small sailing boat instinctively brings people together, especially at night. We depend upon one another.”
He explains that this part of the journey requires mental resilience rather than physical strength, “Crossing the big blue ocean is not really about physical exhaustion. It is more about facing yourself and your fears – also in the mirror of others. It is about persistence and endurance. We have to keep on going and live our lives – also through the night.”
He continues by describing the humbling power and beauty of the Atlantic, “And crossing the big blue ocean is more than anything an intense feeling of being alive: travelling slowly but persistently, up and down the long ocean waves; feeling the power of the wind; watching the flying fish escaping an unknown threat; seeing the swiftly playing dolphins, with their childish charm, inviting us to applaud to their skills and superiority in this element. The many shooting stars - remind us of our even greater smallness and allow us to make a wish.”
The Bosun ended by summing up the the more laid back on board attitude for us, saying, “As a matter of fact the crew seem to be taking the whole life at sea idea more than well – ‘Another day at the office’ is probably one of the most used phrases onboard, if it isn't ‘I'm just gonna take a quick nap’. The pace is slow on Oceans of Hope - no one is in a hurry. After all the effort the crew has put into getting to sea, they are now rewarded with the steady rhythm of an oceanic crossing.”