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From a child’s perspective - Blog by Mikkel

OoH Mar 31, 2015, by Mikkel Anthonisen in Yacht

For the last couple of weeks we have had a very young crew member on board Oceans of Hope. Miel, my eleven-year-old daughter, has joined us for our trip around the French Polynesia. She has been a sparkling touch to our experience of this remote oasis in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean. Her spontaneity and unsophisticated way of meeting the awesome nature and rich marine life has been inspirational to us all.  Seeing the world – or I should say re-seeing – the world from a child's perspective makes it hit home how profound an experience our journey around the world is. What a wonderful world this is!

Imagine arriving at an atoll in the middle of the big blue Pacific Ocean after many days at sea. Suddenly a very low island appears behind the surf of the corals. Palm trees seem to be shooting up from the ocean itself, the sandy beaches barely above water. Carefully, we navigate through the pass into the atoll with the sun behind us high in the sky to create the best conditions for the necessary visual piloting around the columns of coral that have been the destiny of many strong ships and sailors in their search for survival and the good life. Finally, we’ve passed through Heaven’s Gate and a sigh of relief rises deep down from our souls as calmness and balance slowly replace the underlying tension and concentration that is an inevitable friend of the sailor at open sea. As the water changes from deep blue to crystal turquoise inside the atoll we let the anchor go at four fathoms – and soon we follow it into the water with masks and snorkels and are met by fish and corals of all colours. Sharks majestically seem to survey their game preserves, fortunately they don’t consider us a threat or a potential delicious dinner. Miel intuitively relates positively to nature and animals with her unspoiled naivety. Her reaction when we dinghied ashore to the palm beach was marvellous. She could not believe her own senses, to think that a place like this actually exists in real life and not only on manipulated photos and in movies! She impulsively ran back and forth yelling and smiling with her hands in the air. Like a new born foal on a meadow.

The child's perspective helps us all distinguish between the important and the less important. We are all children of this planet. We must live our lives to the best of our ability – no matter what destiny awaits us. We must apply ourselves on our journey and appreciate our dependence upon each other in our quest for the good life. The same motivation that has guided seafarers for hundreds of years: From the first peoples who arrived from Asia to populate the French Polynesian islands to the Europeans colonizing the islands half a millennium later.

Now it is our turn. Oceans of Hope is circumnavigating our blue planet to create awareness and change the perception of MS. Moreover, we believe that we are showing a way for us to be together as human beings by valuing inclusion and putting emphasis on the fact that we are all imperfect and vulnerable, but we are always worthy of love and belonging. These are big words but it is actually quite banal. It is the way parents look at their children and the way we all want to be met. It is about trying to create a good life for everybody – while we are here – and to make sure, within our ability, that we pass on this wonderful blue planet as intact as possible to future generations.

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This article was written by

Mikkel Anthonisen

Founder, doctor and skipper