INSV Mhadei, with Cdr Dilip Dhonde at the helm completed over 14,000 Nm of voyage and arrived Port Stanley, Falkland Islands today. Cdr Dilip Dhonde had sailed from Christ Church New Zealand on 12 Dec 09 and travelled about 5000 nm (9000 Kms) in the third leg of his voyage.
INSV Mhadei, the 56 foot sloop was flagged off from Mumbai on 19 Aug 2009. The Indian Navy’s project ‘Sagar Parikrama’ which literally means ‘circumnavigation by sea’ in Hindi is the first such attempt by an Indian.
This is a feat often compared to conquering of Everest yet ironically one that requires greater mettle and much longer time. It is an exercise that tests the human limits of endurance and tenacity and is a challenge like no other. The perils of the capricious sea and the vagaries of the unpredictable weather in a lonely sailboat become the canvas where this Herculean challenge to the human spirit unravels. So punishing are the demands of an adventure of this magnitude that less than 300 people the world over have succeeded in it till date, with this being the first ‘Indian’ attempt. On Mhadei, during the voyage, Commander Dilip Donde will cover about 21600 Nms (38,880 kms) under sail.
Mhadei is likely to start the next leg of her voyage on 29 Jan 2010. The next port of call and the last en-route halt will be Cape Town, South Africa.