Indian sailor all set to circumnavigate the globe

An Indian sailor is all set to circumnavigate the globe alone and non-stop in a sailing yacht crossing every meridian at least once and surviving on food prepared in a defence laboratory in Mysore.

Lt Cdr Abhilash Tomy, a professional pilot and an amateur sailor with Indian Navy, will cast off his adventurous journey from Mumbai harbour in November on-board naval yacht “Mhadei” and wishes to return to the same harbour by April-May, 2013 hoping for fair winds and following seas during his 22,000-nautical mile journey.

Circumnavigation of the world in sailing boats is an adventure sport, which few bravehearts attempt. More people went to space and climbed Mount Everest.

Another Navy officer, Cdr Dilip Donde was the first Indian to do a solo circumnavigation of the Earth in 2009 in 157 days. Donde, however, had an advantage. He could stop at harbours to repair the boat, stock food and meet people.

Tomy, on the other hand, plans to do something, which no other Indian has tried. His voyage would be non-stop, which means he would not touch base at any port and has to carry his entire food and water stock on-board.

“I am taking ready-to-cook foods prepared at the Defence Food Research Laboratory in Mysore besides rice and pulses, which will not be spoiled besides sea food from New Zealand,” he told Deccan Herald.

 The journey will be in the southern seas passing the Roaring Forties and taking advantage of Trade Winds to cruise. The voyage’s loneliest part will be crossing the Atlantic when the nearest land mass will be 2,000 nautical miles away.

Tough task

If the boat or its instruments malfunction, Tomy has to repair it on the high seas as anchoring is not allowed.

Globally, 17 amateur sailors did non-stop solo circumnavigation so far. The Malayali bachelor hopes to be the 18th.

So far, more than 5,000 people summitted Mount Everest and about 400 individuals travelled to space. In comparison, only 181 people did solo circumnavigation of the Earth, out of which 80 did it non-stop. Most of them are professional sailors.

The journey would not pass through any canal or strait where the engine needs to be switched on to push the boat. Also it will have to pass around Cape Leeuin, Cape Horn and Cape of Good Hope.

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