Mumbai: A naval officer Saturday became the
first Indian ever to circumnavigate the globe solo on a sail
boat when he steered into the Mumbai harbour after his arduous
effort 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 Donde`s 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 Navy`s daunting
`Sagar Parikrama` project.
The Vice President described it as a momentous occasion.
"It is an occasion that makes every Indian happy, proud and
willing to emulate. I think that would be the greatest tribute
to what Commander Donde has done. It was a long awaited first
and it was done very well."