Mumbai: Lieutenant Commander Abhilash Tomy of the Indian Navy on Thursday began his solo circumnavigation across the globe, setting sail on Indian Naval Sailing Vessel (INSV) Mhadei.
During his journey, the 33-year-old naval aviator will travel 21,600 nautical miles or 40,000 kilometres and remain at sea for about six months.
The vessel was flagged off from the Gateway of India here by Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Naval Command, for Sagar Parikrama-II, a solo circumnavigation of the globe.
"The circumnavigation of the globe will be unassisted, solo, non-stop and under sail," an Indian Navy official said.
The 56-feet sail boat, handed over to the Indian Navy on February 12, 2009 is fitted with state-of-the-art navigation and communication equipment, and is named after river Mhadei, the origin of river Mandovi.
Lieutenant Commander Abhilash Tomy will sail Mhadei south of all the great capes -- Cape Leeuwing, Cape Horn and Cape of Good Hope and cover a distance of 21,600 nautical miles, cross the equator twice and will finish the voyage at Mumbai.
To reclaim India`s glorious maritime history, Vice Admiral Manohar Awati, who retired as Commander-in-Chief of the Western Naval Command, had proposed that a solo circumnavigation of the globe under sail must be carried out.
The Indian Navy had accepted the proposal and permission of the Ministry of Defence was obtained in 2006.