Oceans of Hope is experiencing first-hand the diligence and resolve of those entrusted to protect the environmental ecosystems of the Galapagos Islands. Following the bright, saffron-colored hull of Oceans of Hope arrival in Puerto Ayora yesterday afternoon, the crew set forth with their established plans for inspections required to be cleared into the Galapagos National Park. A somewhat complex process, this involves working with a local agent, immigration authorities, port officials, and those working for the National Park, including divers that inspect the hull using underwater video.
Although the crew was initially told they were cleared to enter the park, an hour later word came back that there was a concern over some barnacles on the bottom side of the 67-foot yacht. The crew was somewhat surprised since they did their own underwater inspection just weeks ago while in Panama. Showing full respect for the authorities and any possible concern that exists for the delicate marine life of the Galapagos, Oceans of Hope immediately made plans to temporarily depart the area, in the process engaging two specialty divers to join the crew to rectify any concern over the condition of the hull.
"This is an example of the constant challenges you are bound to meet when sailing around the world,” said Dr. Mikkel Anthonisen, Founder and CEO of Oceans of Hope. “In this case the number one priority is of course to follow the instructions of the authorities to protect the unique environment of these islands from invasive species. To experience how the team deals with situations like this makes me proud - always thinking about possibilities and finding solutions when facing obstacles."
The current crew members who live with multiple sclerosis will get the treat of staying on land for a couple nights in Puerto Ayora, but not before preparing the boat for the forthcoming crew who will join the ongoing global circumnavigation in a couple days. It will be a great chance to explore the Galapagos from a different perspective, while the hull of Oceans of Hope is completely prepared to meet any and all standards required by the Galapagos authorities.
Never a dull moment on our grand adventure! Thankfully, we have an excellent crew with ample experience in acting and moving nimbly and swiftly to resolve unexpected situations, which are of course quite common when sailing around the world. We will keep you informed as this exercise is complete and Oceans of Hope returns to the Galapagos National Park for the upcoming welcome to a new MS crew, who will sail as scheduled to the next port of this global initiative to educate, motivate and inspire those living with MS and all those that live on this delicate planet with them. We will continue our mission to change the perceptions of people living with MS with the help of many.
You will hear more news as we move ahead!