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This is the first time I have met others with MS – Blog by Cathy

OoH Jul 13, 2015, by Cathy Blyth in Yacht

I felt a bit emotional when I first sighted Oceans of Hope last Wednesday and all the planning of the last three months was becoming a reality. It's been a while since I have been on a yacht and the bilge smell as I went below deck awakened a few senses from my past! My first surprise on boarding was another woman, a doctor called Lea! A very pleasant surprise at that and a lovely roommate to share our own cabin.

The day we boarded was the fist time I have spoken to anyone with Multiple Sclerosis and I found that it did not upset me as much as I thought it might. We share as many traits as we don’t share, which backs the learning that Multiple Sclerosis is a very individual disease and no two people will experience it in the same way or deal with it the same way. That has become really obvious to me and that my journey with Multiple Sclerosis will be my story only.

The heat is relentless and I have been enjoying the luxury of twice daily showers and clean clothes daily and will make the most of this until we set sail. I spend the day seeking shade, relaxing and looking at the water that I am dying to jump into but cant. Crocodiles ever present in the back of my mind!! I miss the cold Tasmanian nights where you snuggle up to go to sleep and not laying in your cot with a noisy fan blowing warm air over you.

We are all very keen to set sail, hopefully next Tuesday, and find our way to Singapore over the next 10-12 days. I expect this will be a new record for me for not touching dry land and look forward to settling into our routine at sea.

The down time waiting to sail has given me a bit of time to get to know our crew and find my way around the yacht. I am looking forward to see how she sails and am in awe of the sheer size of the winches, sheets and spinnaker pole etc. I have also had a bit too much time to think of home and want to thank my friends, family and my husband Matt for their support and encouragement.

So from Tuesday if you don’t hear from me I'll be out of range and enjoying the basics of life!

Report from Bosun Bertram:
Prepping in Darwin these days with sail changes, anchor locker checks, updating the navigational equipment and of course reorganizing the galley for the 768th time. We are taking Oceans of Hope directly from Darwin to Singapore this week – a stretch of up to 2000 nautical miles and we need the steel lady to be tip top ship shaped for the leg. Tomorrow we are doing a trial sail going through the safety equipment and procedures of the vessel, while we take the opportunity to enjoy lunch on the water. Major provisioning the next day and hopefully the weather will allow us to depart either Wednesday or Thursday.

Local time onboard is 15:00 and our current position is 12,27.9S , 130,49.46E

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