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Oceans of Hope 2022 recap

December 19, 2022 | Event, Life with MS, MS Voice

We have enjoyed working with Oceans of Hope for a number of years, assisting with advertising their challenges and ensuring people with Multiple Sclerosis take full advantage of the wonderful opportunities they provide. We are thrilled to see the smiling faces in the photos and videos of everyone on board as they work together on their journey and disembark as a team with new skills and lifelong friends.

Robert and Ingrid  have provided the following information from the recent Oceans of Hope Challenge.

Robert and I would like to thank MSNZ again for your support spreading the word of Oceans of Hope Challenge NZ. Over the last 4yrs you have helped us give over 120 people with MS the chance to gain their self-confidence and a sense of empowerment.

This year 23 participants sailed from Auckland to Opua, Bay of Islands from 28th November to 5 December on Steinlager 2. We were excited to have participants old and new from Australia and UK join us again, now travel restrictions have changed.

Steinlager 2 set off sail on a lovely morning and sailed to Kawau Island, where they went ashore to see Mansion Bay House and were greeted by pheasants while they looked around the extensive surroundings. Onto Great Barrier Island where they went ashore to Smokehouse Bay for a BBQ tea. Sailing for 9hrs to Tutukaka they encountered 2 storms and rough waters. Very exhausted sailors after coping with rain, hail, thunder, wind, and lightening got through it unscathed which is great. On to Oke Bay where they stopped for a walk round Robertson Island and stayed for a lovely lunch. Finishing their journey in Opua on Friday late afternoon.

We are all unsure of the unknown so when Bridget said “I’m newly diagnosed and hoping to get a whole lot of knowledge and I guess acceptance for what I’ve got but also the fact, that’s not scary” it is a powerful comment and hope that our Challenges can take away some of the scary feeling.

Ronnie who sailed with us last year, set herself some personal challenges this time. One being, she was going to climb the steps to get out of the water herself so when she was offered the sling to help her from the dingy onto the boat she said to Jo, the Skipper, “no, I think I will do this myself” and she did! She said we need to challenge ourselves and with determination and encouragement you can do anything.

I thought I would share her post:

Recently I had the unique privilege of stepping outside my comfort zone (cooking, cleaning & dishes ) & sailing for 5 intrepid days, with a magnificent motley crew aboard Peter Blakes Steinlager 2.
23 naval ratings (with various degrees of MS & sparkling personalities) & a kind competent crew of 5 belonging to the NZ Sailing Trust. Setting sail from the Tiny Village of Auckland, (via duct). We sailed through sun & storms over 5 dashing days to arrive at the opulent Opua, in the Bay of Islands. We cooked, cleaned and dish washed whilst sharpening our nautical skills. Along the way we encountered a silent sleek shark, a wonderful pair of wayward whales & coming into the Veronica Chanel a pod of dazzling, dancing dolphins, ever the eager playmates. The whole experience was such a stimulus that I just wanted to turn around (go about) & do it all over again.

Thank you again for all your help and we look forward to working together for our next Oceans of Hope Challenge NZ sailing on the Tall Ship South Passage, which will sail around Manly, Australia.

Ingrid and Robert

Images and video clips of their journey can be seen on Facebook:

If the above seems like something you might be interested in being a part of, why not take a look at their next challenge taking place in Athens! They would love more people from the Southern Hemisphere to join their flotilla!