Sunday, May 23, 2010

LAND AHOY - Naval officer first Indian to orbit globe solo

A naval officer became the first Indian ever to circumnavigate the world solo on a sail boat on Saturday when he steered into the Mumbai harbour after an arduous voyage spanning a little over nine months. Commander Dilip Donde, who embarked on the voyage on August 19 last year on INSV (Indian Naval Sailing Vessel) Mhadei ,approached the finish line as his boat,ceremonially escorted by a fast-attack craft of the Indian Navy along with speedboats and two tugs operating their water canons, touched base back in India at the Sunk Rock Light House here. Vice-President Hamid Ansari along with Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Kumar Verma and Dondes family members,who were on board INS Delhi, anchored at the finish line, witnessed the historic moment and gave him a rousing reception. He was later received by them on INS Mysore. Having completed the voyage, I am feeling great. I could not have done it without this fine boat. I was quite convinced that anybody can do circumnavigation in a boat like this. The credit goes to Mhadei, said Donde. It gave me a big kick, he said after he returned to the city after the 276-day voyage, as part of the Navys daunting Sagar Parikrama project.

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