Two years ago I began the challenge of living one of my dreams: Sailing Challenge for Multiple Sclerosis (SC4MS). The challenge entailed sailing solo across the Atlantic Ocean from Nieuwpoort, Belgium to Cape Town, South Africa. Why Cape Town? This city was fortunately enough my home at the age of twelve for a period of three years. My mission? To put Multiple Sclerosis on the map and raise money for this as yet incurable disease. My father has MS.
I started by drafting a “To Do” list of most important requirements. At the top of that list: ‘communication’! Sailing solo across the Atlantic Ocean covering 15.000km on board a 6.5 meter boat i.e. not much longer than a bath tub with pretty much the same comfort is not without risk. To be able to reach Cape Town I knew I would have to flirt amongst others with the roaring forties (latitude 40 degrees south), known for its vivid storms and mountainous seas.
Communication an important safety & success factor
Communication was thus not only important to keep in touch with my family. It would also be vital to receive detailed weather forecasts. In other words, reliable communication would be an important safety and success factor. Finding the right communication partner was critically important. From my experience as a sailor and navigating officer in the merchant navy, Radio Holland was an obvious choice and thus it was more than logical to knock on their door.
I remember vividly my first meeting with Radio Holland introducing SC4MS. Welcomed by Kevin Michielsen and Eddy Dhondt, I told them of my plan. There are but a few companies which agreed to participate from the very beginning – and this without me even having a boat! Radio Holland Belgium (RHBE) was one of those very companies. They proved to be keen to find and deliver the most appropriate communication solution.