Oceans of Hope sailed around the world with a crew of people living with MS and is this year visiting Scotland and hosting an event at Leith Harbour.

Oceans of Hope’s around-the-world trip was a life changing endeavor for all participants living with MS, changing the perceptions of what they are able to do, even though they are living with a disabling disease. To more about their sailing initiative read our previous exclusive interview with Mikkel Anthonisen, founder of Oceans of Hope.

Go sailing with Oceans of Hope

On Sunday, August 18th 2019 Oceans of Hope will be taking local people living with MS for a sail on the Firth of Forth departing from Port Edgar Marina and arriving at Ocean Terminal, Port Leith.

If you are interested you can also visit them at Ocean Terminal, Leith Harbour on Monday, August 19th:

  • 10:00hrs-15:00hrs – Yacht open to visitors, berthed at Ocean Terminal, close to “Brittannia”
  • 15:00hrs-18:00hrs – Reception for invited guests Unit RU65, Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre. If you would join us for this event, please email cliff.davies@hotmail.co.uk as places are limited. Speakers will be from the organisations listed below talking about living with MS and MS research and support.

Associated partners for this event are:

MS Brain Health, Anne Rowling Clinic, European MS platform (EMSP) and the MS Society Scotland.

MS is also an existential disease

“MS is a neurological disease, but it is also an existential disease. Out of nowhere it hits people in the prime of their lives. To many this results in a loss of identity and fear of the future. As such, MS reminds us all that we do not know what tomorrow may bring and that we are dependent upon one another.“ – Founder of Oceans of Hope, Dr. Mikkel Anthonisen

Strong communities, empowerment  – meaning and hope

Aboard Oceans of Hope it is proven every day that being part of a strong community enables the MS crew to regain their identity and dare to take up challenges both individually and as part of a community they belong to. This creates the feeling of “yes, I am good enough, yes I can still do it!”

Founder of Oceans of Hope, Mikkel Anthonisen, explains: “MS disconnects people from themselves and the outer world by blocking the senses and inhibiting motor skills. Aboard Oceans of Hope we experience how an empowering environment reconnects people with MS to themselves, to other people, to nature and to life. As we all know, this is a general and valuable human experience. We are all vulnerable, but we are always worthy of love and belonging. When we realize this, we can accomplish amazing things – like sailing across oceans together.”

Iben Skydt lives with MS and was crewing aboard Oceans of Hope during the 2014-15 circumnavigation.  She has joined the crew on the voyage across the North Sea from Denmark to Scotland. Iben adds: “Being part of Oceans of Hope gave my life with MS a new dimension. I was reminded that even though MS had changed my life completely, I could still take up challenges, both physically and mentally. With Oceans of Hope I have regained an inner strength I thought was lost.”

 MS crew-member from Edinburgh, who was part of the global circumnavigation and our host in Edinburgh, Cliff Davis is looking forward to welcoming Oceans of Hope to his hometown: Sailing is a great activity for people with Multiple Sclerosis because it levels the playing field. On a boat everybody staggers a little, nobody is completely steady on their feet. When I heard about Oceans of Hope I jumped at the chance to be involved.  It is, then, a huge thrill to be welcoming the big orange boat to Edinburgh.”

Pilot research study on board

This summer a pilot study is being conducted on board. The aim is to try and pinpoint why and how people with MS benefit so much from being part of Oceans of Hope. Furthermore, the aim of the study is to see if and how they can transfer experiences on Oceans of Hope to the everyday life of people with MS and maybe even to our healthcare system and our society in general. Learning from the existential wisdom that MS provides to us all – that we need to live our lives together creating possibilities, meaning and hope. The research project is supported by Trigon Foundation.

Follow the journey

Read more on www.oceansofhope.org and follow Oceans of Hope and their visit to Edinburgh on https://www.facebook.com/OceansofHope/ See also their study in the journal Disability and Rehabilitation: “I can do more than I thought I could”, analysing blogs from their global circumnavigation.