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Reinventing my abilities – Blog by Peter

OoH Jul 27, 2015, by Peter Daudeij in Yacht

Today we are close to our arrival in Singapore. Upon writing this blog my idea was to give an insight into the voyage from Darwin to Singapore and my experiences with 'MS challenges'.

It was my intention to mention that my behaviour concerning my MS has changed a lot the last years and in particularly the last months. Since my diagnosis in the fall of 2012, I have been challenging myself based on a 'top-down' approach by doing as 'much' as possible. This might be considered both as brave and irresponsible having in mind the damage you might be doing to yourself with such a horrible disease as MS. Applying as a crew member on Oceans of Hope came as a chance to challenge myself with a 'bottom up' approach reinventing my abilities. A unique voyage in a challenging and supportive environment outside our daily MS struggles, misunderstandings and presumed boundaries.

I'm just now realizing that this sounds very contradictory. Doing as much as possible was preparing breakfast to myself just over two years ago. Sheer panic, relapses, lack of insight into MS’ effect on my condition both mentally and physically (both my own and in my social environment) took away all my energy and ability to work things out. I remember my latest trip to Darwin as though I just look like a normal healthy traveller. However I felt like I was crawling when walking through the airports and transit in Singapore. Fatigued to the bone, in the middle of the night, struggling with symptoms and with no expectations.

Today we are sailing towards Singapore and I'm realizing that my 'bottom-up' thoughts ended up in travelling 14000km from the Netherlands to Darwin to embark on the OOH, now 4 weeks ago.

My possessions were just a hostel booking, loads of luggage and the names of my fellow crewmembers from New Zealand, Australia and Denmark.

Concerning the aim of changing perceptions of MS; it worked out, at least for me! It is not easy, but we are working 24/7 as a successful crew on a racing yacht heading for Singapore. It is a great achievement and I’m both grateful, humble, and proud!

Report from Bosun Bertram:
The wind is dying and our boat speed is coming down to 5-6 knots on our northwesterly heading. We are trying to wait off with taking down the spinnaker for as long as possible before we surrender ourselves to putting on the engine. Right now we have approximately 350 nautical miles left to Singapore - and so we are enjoying our last days at sea with the searing sun challenging how long you can wait till the next cooling saltwater shower and little wind to cool us off.

Local time onboard is 15:00 and our current position is 1,51.63S , 108,28.68E

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