We set sail a couple of days ago and it felt glorious! Still have some rust to knock off, but the enjoyment I get is more polished than ever. I was able to take the tiller for a while and although I am clearly no expert, I can't wait for the next opportunity.
I volunteered to write the first blog of this leg of Oceans of Hope's Tahiti to Samoa journey because I realized something yesterday. For the first time since I was diagnosed with MS I forgot I have MS.
When we first arrived on her, Mikkel made it very clear this is not their boat – it is our ship. That one little statement gave us the responsibility to make sure we lived up to her name.
Hope is something that MS patients find in short supply sometimes. There are days where we go to bed hoping tomorrow won't be as bad as yesterday. As many of you reading this may or may not know there are days where just getting out of bed can be more of a disappointment than a blessing. Hope becomes finite at that point, please let my foot have feeling today, please let the pain in my legs stop.
My parents sent me a link to the Sailing Sclerosis website, and I hadn't even read beyond the first page before I was searching for the application. I was in a bad state at that point, both mentally and physically. I didn't want to wake because I was tired of fighting only to lose before I ate breakfast. Soon as I read there was a boat named Oceans of Hope, I had hope. Hope for the future, hope for a life with MS.
I want to thank Sailing Sclerosis for saving my life, or rather showing there is still a life to save.
Day one at sea was tough but a fabulous one and there wasn't a moment where MS held me back or caused me to miss a second of Hope.
Report from Bosun Bertram:
Sailing to Mo'orea in gorgeous conditions with our new crew: Kevin, Maria, Todd, Marie, Beth and Jan. Great first day after preparing and provisioning and now we have started the journey from Tahiti to Samoa. Great sailing until we neared Mo'orea and discovered that the gear in the throttle had broken - we were not able to power the propeller! However, with quick thinking and calm action we manually steered the engine and brought Oceans of Hope to a safe anchorage, where we had marlin on the grill and a glass of redwine with the sunset.