Notes from a sailor’s life, aboard the Mhadei | india | Hindustan Times
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Notes from a sailor’s life, aboard the Mhadei

india Updated: Mar 11, 2010 18:46 IST

Commander Dilip Donde of the Indian Navy set sail on August 19, 2009, to create Indian maritime history by circumnavigating the globe on a yacht, alone. He is in the last leg of his trip — his boat, Mhadei, docked into Cape Town on Thursday, February 25, 2010 — and he aims to reach Mumbai by May-end. Here are excerpts from his blog ( but don’t get confused with references to other persons like the cook. He’s talking about himself.


Past the Horn!

Mhadei crossed the Horn (Cape Horn, the southernmost tip of the islands below South America) at about 1500 GMT on January 12, in a howling gale that seems to be going from bad to worse! Presently trying to maintain a NE course. More later...


Greetings from Port Stanley

Looks like many are wondering about our disappearance after rounding the Horn almost a week back! Apologies for not updating the blog earlier but things moved a bit too fast after the Horn. [...] We are presently berthed at Port Stanley, getting the steering and generator fixed while also pampering Mhadei by meeting her small little demands which while not critical, are best attended to when there is a little shore time. She has weathered the Pacific at a trot and deserves all the attention! [...] This is perhaps the first time an Indian boat has touched the shores of the Islands so we are quite a novelty here.


Clear Sky! After many days!

After over three days of non-stop gales, today was the clearest sky I saw since a long time. The sun was up and warm and it was great working on deck bare feet and without any woollens. Can’t remember when I did that last, probably not since leaving Australia in November! [...] It’s strange how the mind forgets the misery of the bad weather days and starts enjoying the good ones.


A year and 23,000 miles

Mhadei completed one year of service with the Navy on February 12, 2010 completing almost 23,000 Nm (nautical miles) in her brief lifetime. Not too bad for a Yacht that is the first of her kind in the country. Had she been a Naval ship the crew would have been celebrating her anniversary, maybe cutting a cake, etc. We celebrated by doing some smooth and fast sailing eating up over 170 Nm in a day! We are already at the edge of the ‘Roaring Forties’ and getting pushed north with a strong South Westerly wind. [...] Ending this with Valentine’s day greetings from the middle of South Atlantic!


Back to the Eastern Hemisphere

We crossed the Prime Meridian at about 2253 tonight and are back in the Eastern Hemisphere after a little over two months. Another great day of sailing! Little wonder that the cook finally got inspired and whipped up a delicious Rissoto con gamberi e funghi.

A nice lunch under the blue sky without wearing any woollens, washed down with a bottle of ‘Monsoon’ beer from New Zealand followed by the mandatory siesta. Can life get any better?