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The Little Optimist - The Ocean Voyage

The Little Optimist - The Ocean Voyage

Personal message

"I know ME as an adult would have helped ME as a kid to believe in myself sooner, dream bigger and reach for more quicker. I believe I can do this for thousands of sick and needy children. Help the LIttle Optimist and I to Inspire them! " - Greg Bertish

Having spent nearly 200 days in hospital in 2006/7, I was misdiagnosed, operated on, had IV drips 24/7, and at stages was offered no hope or cure. I used visualisation, optimism and my passion for the ocean and life to overcome, survive and get out of hospital. I was lucky, I had something to live for!

This may not be the case for many sick and scared children. Through my work with The Children’s Hospital Trust, I discovered these kids often have no passion or no desire to get well and leave hospital. They have very little to fight and live for. They face going home to broken families, one meal a day, and no passion or dream to inspire them to get better and survive. We need to change this!

An Little Optimist Project

I have partnered and am working with the Children’s Hospital Trust to help create awareness and raise funds for a new ICU.  I am using the little 8 foot Optimist “bathtub” sailing dinghy to inspire children & patients to get better and get out of Hospital. I want to inspire these kids and people to be positive, to be optimistic, to never give up and to believe that they too can do anything they desire and want, no matter what challenges they face.

As a long time sailor, lifesaver and big wave surfer & rescue PWC operator, I am  also working closely with NSRI & Save Our Seas  to promote ocean safety and ocean conservation.

(Part 1) The Ocean  Adventure: (March 2016) To boldly go where no Optimist has gone before!

200km in the open ocean, in the tiny Optimist Kids dinghy, representing the 200 days I spent in hospital.

From Cape Hangklip, across False Bay , around Cape Point, Past Cape Town, up west Coast to Langebaan Lagoon.

This amounts to 200km in the open ocean, along one of the wildest and most dangerous coastlines in the world! The longest, most dangerous open ocean voyage taken on by a little Optimist. The approximate duration will be 5 to 8 days.

I need to complete the ADVENTURE to implement the rest of the Project, the Kids Story book (already written), and the Great Optimist Race & Sailing program/the school for sick, recovering and poor children. With these combined Projects I aim to raise over R500 000 for the Childrens Hospital Trust , and create & donate 5000 kids books, and start a Sailing School/program to poor & sick kids.

To read more about the Little Optimist Project, please visit my website.

In order to complete this journey my little boat and I need some shoreside support in the form of:

  • Safety Equipment
  • Safety Support
  • Sail and boat Chidlren's Hospital branding
  • Sail and rigging spares & modification
  • Boat modification
  • Logistics and travel expenses
  • Food, hydration, support assistant
  • Accommodation for land support (driver/ assistant)

All Company donations over R5000 and who request Branding, will have their names or Logos appear on the Little Optimist or her sail and of course a mention/logo on our website.



  • Apr 19, 2016 - R 3 000.00
  • "Go get them Greg!" - Gary van Rooyen

  • Mar 28, 2016 - R 3 200.00
  • "go Greg & little optimist- thanks friends for the support to this creative cause - special people doing special things AlOha" - Derek 50 & SA friends Wig Out Party

  • Mar 17, 2016 - R 10 000.00
  • "finally getting round to admin....." - anonymous

  • Feb 16, 2016 - R 1 000.00
  • "Keep up the good work Greg. Good Luck!" - Charles Didcott

  • Feb 15, 2016 - R 500.00
  • "Lets share the vision of "the Little Optimist"!" - Erwin (Swerve)

  • Feb 14, 2016 - USD $ 64.98
  • "At your back buddy, like wind in that sail..." - Derek Hawaii Ohana

  • Feb 05, 2016 - R 1 000.00
  • "Good luck for your adventure, such a worthy cause, you have all our support!" - Virtual Concierge Services

  • Feb 04, 2016 - R 1 000.00
  • "Be safe !" - The Pinheiro Family

  • Feb 02, 2016 - R 1 500.00
  • "Good luck" - Mandy

  • Feb 02, 2016 - R 3 182.89
  • "You have our support" - Mother and father-in-law

  • Jan 26, 2016 - R 1 000.00
  • "Good Luck!" - P Marais

Donate to this charity


Donations to date

R 66 010.30

Fundraising target

R 75 000.00

Funds raised offline

R 34 595.00

The Little Optimist Trust

The Little Optimist Trust  Logo


The Little Optimist Trust's mission is to offer hope and inspiration to marginalised kids, to help them SURVIVE and THRIVE.

Our main beneficiaries are vulnerable children, be they marginalized economically or have compromised health.