Oceans of Hope, the 67-foot yacht undertaking the first circumnavigation with a working crew of people living with multiple sclerosis (MS), has departed Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on the latest leg of a 33,000-nautical mile global voyage.
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler was dockside at the Bahia Mar Marina this morning, wishing the MS crew Godspeed on their ongoing journey around the world. Before tossing the docking lines to Oceans of Hope founder and Captain Dr. Mikkel Anthonisen and the crew, Mayor Seiler shared a few words of encouragement.
“The ocean has a way of inspiring people,” said Mayor Seiler. “I think it makes you think bigger. Some might say I am in a wheelchair, but I am not handicapped. I am in a wheelchair, but I am not restricted. Harry has changed thousands of lives, inspiring and empowering people.”
Mayor Seiler speaks of Harry Horgan, the co-founder and President of Shake-A-Leg Miami, a non-profit organization which owns and operates Impossible Dream, a purpose-built, accessible 60 foot catamaran which takes disabled and disadvantaged people out on the water in South Florida. With Oceans of Hope arrival in Florida, and Shake-A-Leg’s decades of serving the community, the two organizations connected and discussed the future. Horgan commented on the day’s activities.
“We are thrilled to work together today, and in the future, with Oceans of Hope. Our mission at Shake-A-Leg Miami is to use the marine environment to improve the health, education, and independence of people with disabilities, disadvantaged youths and their families. Oceans of Hope is doing just that, specifically for people living with MS around the world. We look forward to hosting joint programs here in Florida for years to come.”
Today both Oceans of Hope and Impossible Dream are hosting MS patients for an experience under sail. Oceans of Hope will then continue her circumnavigation bound for the Panama Canal, while Impossible Dream will make the much shorter trip from Fort Lauderdale to its home base in Miami.
The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation (MSF) was also well represented today, with co-Director Alan Segaloff wishing the crew well and sending off Oceans of Hope, complimenting his organization’s generous support which has been provided since this international program arrived a few weeks ago.