Oceans of Hope is now in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with less than 1,800 nautical miles left to Bermuda, where she will make a quick stop before continuing on her way to Boston, USA. The Bosun reports that the atmosphere of calm reflection remains and because of this he almost forgot to tell us about a dramatic moment on board.
He said, “The yacht is 12 days into her first oceanic crossing and the crew is performing excellently. As mentioned yesterday, the atmosphere on board is very relaxed - actually so relaxed that I even forgot to mention that we had a slight incident. Two days ago as we were running about 9 knots downwind with the gennacker, suddenly a big tear ran through the sail, and only half of it was still hanging from the mast. [The gennaker is a sail used when sailing downwind, and is a cross between a genoa and a spinnaker.]
That the situation was quickly dealt with is testament to the skill and confidence of the crew, as Bertram said, "It could have developed into a situation, but everyone remained remarkably calm. People came steadily to the cockpit, put on their lifelines and went on deck to sort it out."
For MS crew member, Luisa Matias from Portugal the past few days have been particularly challenging. She joined the boat in Lisbon and tells us in today’s blog about the personal challenges and triumphs of being part of the Oceans of Hope team.
"These past three days have been for me like the waves and the boat when there is no wind: slowly dragging from one side to another. It has been so hard to keep up with the daily tasks. I felt the need to sleep more, but ironicaly it became the hardest thing to do, even after lying down. All my being is still functioning at high speed and the mind seems unstoppable. It leaves me completely drained."
However, the recent full moon exerts a powerful force on Luisa and gives her pause for self-reflection, “ I feel that my very being is trespassed by her soft and permanent light. If it can be described, it is a most peaceful and feeling of belonging within that makes me feel connected to all that exists. But at the same time, all the good and bad parts of my life come up, without judgement but also no fooling around here. It is my own mirror. I need to be prepared to face it."
She remembers her dream since being diagnosed with MS ten years ago, "to change the face of MS in Portugal" and that thanks to Oceans of Hope "it has exceeded even [her] wildest dreams. People [have] started to recognise the yacht's story and MS became more visible. Together we are changing face of MS around the world."
Her musings end on a very positive note: "It has been a very exhausting but really fun journey to embrace and so worth it. All my efforts are now coming back in such an amazing way. I feel life is rewarding me: what goes around comes around... Mother Nature is with us and we can trust each other. We all feel safe, connected and ready to keep up the journey!"