Mumbai: On January 10, 1987, a group of
11 army men achieved a rare feat few Indians had accomplished before - completing a historic expedition across the world in
a 37-ft sailing yacht.
Twenty-five years later, the crew -- led by then Major K
S Rao (who subsequently retired as Lieutenant General) --
relived the moment as they set on a ceremonial sail on the
same foot-sailing yacht Trishna, which was bought from an
English businessman in Gosport,UK, in 1970.
"It is a very emotional moment for us. This is actually
the first time that we all are meeting together after the
expedition. We had get-togethers before, but not all could
be present," retired Lt Gen Rao said.
"How the expedition changed us I cannot say, but we
surely matured a lot. Someone became religious, someone very
aggressive," he said.
The expedition, which overcame several hurdles while
covering a distance of 30,000 nautical miles (54000 kms), had
set sail from Mumbai on September 28, 1985 and reached the
Gateway of India after 470 days.
Vice-Admiral D K Joshi, chief of the Western Naval
Command, said the expedition had inspired several youngsters
to undertake similar adventures.
"The expedition was undertaken by 11 young officers who
were not sea-professionals. That to my mind, is a great
achievement. It also provided inspiration to many. What`s also
commendable is that Trishna is still sail-worthy after 40
years," he said.
Vice-Admiral Joshi also said that the Navy was planning a
solo non-stop expedition across the globe.
"Commander Dilip Donde had earlier taken a solo
circumnavigation across the world. However, it had stops in
between. But this one would be a non-stop journey," he said.