Oceans of Hope in Lisbon

As soon as I learned about the Oceans of Hope project, I wrote a little post about it and followed the journey on Twitter waiting eagerly for the boat to reach Lisbon. They arrived on Monday 28th and are leaving Saturday.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to participate in most of the activities they arranged along with our national multiple sclerosis association because I was working, but I managed yesterday to go to an informal talk with a neurologist and a nutritionist. Then the captain of the boat, Mikkel Anthonisen, who is a sailor and neurologist in Denmark, introduced the project and invited us to visit the boat.

I was surprised at how small the boat is, both from the outside and inside. My mother was with me and at a certain point she had to go out because she was feeling claustrophobic. There will be 6 people with ms on board for the Lisbon-Boston route, which will take a month with very few stops across the Atlantic Ocean. There will also be a doctor, a cameraman and two assistants on board, and everyone will take turns and do everything with no exceptions.

I told one of the crew members I don’t think I could ever do something like that. Besides the fact that I have no experience whatsoever with sailing, crossing an entire ocean will probably take large amounts of energy and strength that I definitely lack. I can barely carry my shopping bags when I go to the supermarket, I can’t imagine pulling ropes and carrying equipment and holding the wheel like they will do.

But I enjoyed the experience very much. Though I’m not into “inspirational stuff, like look-at-us-if-we-dream-we-can-do-whatever-we-want” I could definitely feel the good vibes and the excitement because everyone was in such a good mood. I was also very happy to meet and talk to some of the crew and other fellow MSers who attended the talk and visited the boat as well. I didn’t take many pictures because I was so engaged in the moment. They honestly didn’t turn out that well either, but here’s a little taste.

The view of the marina from the esplanade where everyone gathered for the talk. Oceans of Hope is at the left, on the back, the bright orange one.
The view of the marina from the esplanade where everyone gathered for the talk. Oceans of Hope is on the left, in the back, the bright orange one.
One of the tents set up to promote the project.
One of the tents set up to promote the project.
Before we stepped on the boat for the visit. The back of the head you see on the right is my mother's, who kept moving around with excitement and didn't even notice I was trying to take pictures. :D
Before we stepped on the boat for the visit. The back of the head you see on the right is my mother’s, who kept moving around with excitement and didn’t even notice I was trying to take pictures. 😀

The official website for the project is keeping everyone updated. You can see the pictures in the gallery, read the latest news and also blogs by the crew members, and check in real time the position of the boat. I will be staying tuned.

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