After having followed the Oceans of Hope project, before it even became reality, I have finally reached my destination. I am now onboard as part of the MS crew sailing from Istanbul to Rome.
There have been some difficulties along the way. The city of departure was changed last minute from Athens to Istanbul, and we had to rebook our flight tickets. Things solved out and now we are here.
On Wednesday evening we arrived at the boat. Everyone was settled in each of our cabins and we got to meet the rest of the crew members.
We spend the first day examining and cleaning Oceans of Hope inside out. The ship is somewhat bigger than my own sailboat back home in Denmark, a Jeanneau 40.3. We left West Istanbul Marina Friday night. At this time, we have sailed 200M of the total distance of approx. 1200M to Rome. According to schedule we will arrive in Rome on the 26th of September. It seems as though we are on time.
You can’t complain about the weather. The wind is steady at a pleasant speed, 9-11 knots, and we have been cruising for sails all the way. We are planning on a short stopover in Athens. Besides from that we expect to sail to Rome nonstop.
The crew is divided in teams of two. We are on watch for three hours and off for six. When not on duty there is time for relaxation. Either with a good novel or merely enjoying the silence of the Mediterranean.
It is an extraordinary experience to be together with people who don’t ask questions about your abilities. Everyone onboard knows what it means to have MS and the restrictions it causes. For that reason we all help each other out and cooperate as a team.
One can only hope that this project, our project, will get the opportunity to live on in future for the benefit of us all.
Report from Bosun Josefine:
Dep. time Istanbul: Friday 18th September 7pm
Heading towards Athens for the past 18 hours we have been on a run with a steady NE-wind of 10-12 knots under a clear sky. To everybody’s delight we spent the night counting the stars under the Milky Way. This morning we arrived at the heavily trafficked Strait of Cannakale that runs between the Marmara and Mediterranean Seas. We are currently navigating through the strait running at approx. 9 knots by main sail only. Good times!
Local time onboard: GMT+2
Current position: 40,13.03N, 26,36.81E
Distance to Barcelona: 1850M
Speed record of the day: 11.4 knots