INSV Mhadei that earned fame as the vessel to have successfully undertaken the first solo voyage of circumnavigation by an Indian in an indian-built boat visited the Indian Naval Academy (INA) at Ezhimala here on its way from Goa to Langkawi (Malaysia) and Phuket (Thailand) with a crew of three.

The 56-foot sloop formally known as ‘Van de Stadt Tonga 56’ yacht which would cover a total distance of 5,000 nautical miles (9,260 kms) during its voyage anchored off the Ettikkulam Bay of the INA on March 19 and departed on March 23, a press release by the INA here said.

The next halt of vessel would be Kochi and Port Blair. The voyage was aimed at providing hands on experience in ocean sailing to a large number of Indian Naval personnel, it added. The crew for the present voyage from Goa to Langkawi includes Leading Seaman Mohammed Izhar Alam, Lieutenant Vishal Sharma, and the skipper Lieutenant Commander Abhilash Tomy.

The vessel was built in Dewar, Goa, by Ratnakar Dandekar of Aquarius Fiberglas Pvt. Ltd. for the Indian Navy. Inducted into the Indian Navy on the February 12, 2009, the sloop was conceived by one of the Vice Admiral (Retd.) M.P. Awati with an aim to create history by having an Indian-built yacht skippered by an Indian to undertake circumnavigation under sail, the release noted.

Commander Dilip Donde of the Indian Navy made a history of yachting in the country when on May 19, 2010 he had successfully completed the voyage, touching only four ports en-route. He became the first Indian and 175th person in the world to achieve the feat.

In November 2010, INSV Mhadei had taken another long voyage from Goa to Rio de Jeneiro . On his return sail, the vessel had only a single stop at Cape Town for refit.

The release said that the next voyage of the vessel planned as a non-stop solo circumnavigation of the glob under sail was tentatively scheduled to be held at the end of this year, the release added.

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