Dear friends of Oceans of Hope and Sailing Sclerosis
On a bright and sunny day in mid November Oceans of Hope entered the heart of Copenhagen and she finally came home after seventeen months of sailing around the world. More than 300 friends and family members greeted us at the quayside and it was time to reunite with our loved ones. 2015 has been a fantastic year.
We have sailed the Caribbean, crossed the Pacific, visited New Zealand and Australia, battled the Mediterranean Sea, celebrated the circumnavigation in Barcelona and finally we have sailed the last cold leg back home to Denmark getting Kronborg Castle on our starboard side.
In 2015 we have travelled around more than two thirds of the planet and we have made many friends across the world. Many hellos – and many goodbyes.
For me personally it is always difficult to say goodbye. Both to all of the fantastic MS crewmembers and other people I have met during the journey. It has been especially hard to say goodbye to our excellent Team Oceans of Hope: Jens, Trine, Kristian, Bertram, Josh, Meaghan, Dorthe, Liv and Josefine. This project could never have been done without your unquenchable efforts to always exceed expectations whenever the going got tough. So many people I meet with experience in sailing projects are acknowledging that the Oceans of Hope project was completed on schedule with no major breakdowns, no injuries and on budget – and, very importantly, at the same time achieving what we had set out to do: Changing the perceptions of MS and what it is like to have a chronic and disabling disease. I can only say that this accomplishment owes its success to having the best team possible! And even though you are not engaged 24/7/365 in the project anymore, you are all still involved in Sailing Sclerosis and helping out when and where needed. This again just shows the incomparable team spirit you all carry in your hearts. Thank you!
We are also saying goodbye to our sponsors and supporters. Both those who have contributed with free supplies, major discounts and sponsorships. Also the many yacht clubs and MS associations around the world who have willingly been available with both their network and facilities everywhere we have been. I thank you deeply for believing in our project.
I especially want to thank our main sponsor and Official Partner, Biogen. Without your financial support we would never have left the harbour. It has been a pleasure to work with you. All around the world we have met enthusiasm, friendliness and professionalism from Biogen staff involved in the project.
Now it’s time for anchorage. The winter will be used for dialogue and contemplation. The dialogue with the municipality, health care institutions, patient advocacy organisations, sailing associations and potential new sponsors has already begun and I am looking forward to continuing this work in the new year. During the first weeks of next year we will announce our activity plan for 2016.
So let me emphasize that we are actually not saying goodbye. We are merely saying: See you soon everybody! The Oceans of Hope project sailing around the world is only the end of the beginning of the many adventures to come and to the many important intentions we want to put into action.
In this spirit I wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!