Many of you will know that our National Advocacy Program Coordinator Andrew Potter has spent the last 9 weeks aboard the 67 foot sailing boat Oceans of Hope helping to raise awareness of MS. We’re thrilled to be able to share his final blog at the end of what he describes as being a ‘life-changing journey’… Over to you Andrew.
With immense gratification and also with a sense of humility I share this my final blog and my reflection of some of my experiences aboard Oceans of Hope. I have lived the absolute wonder and pleasure of having been crew from early May in Auckland. My journey has included sailing from there to Sydney, Cairns and only a couple of days ago arrived here in Darwin.
I shall return to home shortly to Tasmania, having been away for nine weeks. As luck would have it apparently I have missed a substantial winter period!
This amazing sailing opportunity I have thoroughly and wholeheartedly enjoyed. I have met and crewed with some amazing people – a range of folk from around the world. This has also included all the permanent and some of the relieving Danish crew. I have been so fortunate to meet all the team from Sailing Sclerosis. I have also experienced the prize of sailing with three different crews – 7, 8 & 9. I also had the pleasure of meeting crew 6 and thoroughly enjoyed their company, albeit briefly in New Zealand. All great people with history of their own and all of whom I will forever respect and admire and I trust enjoy a special friendship with as fellow members of the OOH Crew Family.
My entire journey has taught me so much of human spirit, commitment, determination, grace, courage and reward.
The wonder has also been mine of actively being involved in Taster Sailing opportunities for people in Auckland, Sydney, Newcastle, Southport, Cairns and Darwin. These have for me been a series of yet additional very powerful, emotional and rewarding experiences. In each of these places the joy of sailing was to behold. Laughter, smiles reward and hugs all round became the “norm” for us all involved in these. Thank you so much to you all for sharing a part of your sailing venture with us – you are all so very inspiring!
For me the entire OOH opportunity has been life changing. My family and I have lived with the challenge of MS in our world for over half my life. The opportunity of being crew for OOH feels as if I have been a prize winner of a once in a lifetime opportunity – the Oceans of Hope opportunity!
I will continue motivated, energized and entirely focused as I move positively forward together with all my team of Advocates throughout Australia, along with the great colleagues I work alongside with at MS Australia, to bear witness to and willingly to be a vehicle for positive political and social change – Oh and yes I will sail sail sail…
I look forward to the next chapter for this boat, this great boat OOH, as more lives are changed, as more people from throughout the world have an association with and continue to be moved by this strong and powerful medium.
I wish you safe passage as you complete your circumnavigation OOH. It will be with a heavy heart I bid you farewell – for now!
Warm Regards from he who so loves a shower and shave now more than ever! Thank you!