Thursday, May 13, 2010

500 Miles from home!

The doldrums did finally catch up with us with a couple of windless days. One night it became so bad I finally dropped all sails, lashed up the boom and went to sleep letting Mhadei drift around. The next morning turned out to be as windless so had a refreshing swim in the sea, the first time in this trip, and started sailing again once a little wind picked up by noon. Been getting light North westerly winds since then making slow but some progress.

The cooking problem has been sorted out to some extent by using warm water from the water heater which heats up water to about 60 C using the engine coolant. So idling the engine, instead of the generator, to charge the batteries and also for getting warm water once in a few days. A bit of food rationing is being resorted to as the supply of ready to eat food, which I usually used to keep for bad weather days, is limited and with the unreliable winds, predicting an ETA even 500 Nm away is a bit tricky. The ready to eat food is well supplemented by knickknacks like Cereal & chocolate bars, Billtong, crackers, canned fruit etc so really no cause to worry.  In any case the heat really kills ones appetite and what you really need is plenty of fluids which are available in plenty. The progress in the next few days should give a better idea, at least about the likely day if not the time of crossing the finish line!


Krishna said...

Dear Sir,
Good to see your post after a week. Nice to know that you are closer home and on the last lap. Welcome to the Indian waters. keep up the spirit and you would be ahore shortly. All the very best. U have made us our country India proud.

Anonymous said...

Keep it up Dilip
we are all eagerly waiting for your arrival

Anonymous said...

Dear Dilip,
Nice to read your news, and wow, go for a swim in the middle of the ocean, must become one of the great memories from this trip round the world. The Spring has at last arrived to Sweden. It's wonderful after the long winter.
I wish you a great welcome home to India.
Thank you for blogging.
Ingrid, Tyreso, Sweden

45° 31′ 0.02″ N, 73° 39′ 0.02″ W said...

हाय Dilip & Mahdei,

Good choices! :-)

Let's hope for good winds soon.


Jules GC said...

Dear Commander, thanks for the update. Swimming in the sea! Hope you were safely tethered to Mhadei, don't want her sailing off without you. I love your maps, wish the other solo sailors had the same. Good luck over the remainder of your voyage, I'm sure a wonderful hot curry awaits you.

Tom Cannard said...

Dilip, it unbelievable that you are so close now! We will miss reading your adventures and looking at your wonderful photos! Jessica is now almost home too...good timing! Abby has a ways to go and some controversy ahead of her.

Ratnakar said...

Hi Dilip,

Good to see your blog in some time.

Keep it up

Toni McLean said...

hello Dilip,
Just about there now ... maybe 4-5 days, if you have some useful breeze. The swim must have been lovely - no sharks?!

You're right about the heat, it really does kill the appetite. And on the yacht there is no escape from it.

No doubt you'll read all about Jessica's arrival home tomorrow. You won't be far behind her.

Stay safe for these last few days. It has been lovely to watch your journey as well. No doubt you've learnt a lot about yourself and reflected a lot on life over this time.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update.
Jessica Watson arrives tomorrow.
A few more days till you are
Thank you,
It has been a pleasure to
travel with you.
Richard (QLD) Aus

Rajakaka & Suhasaatya said...

Dear Dilip,
Very happy to learn that u r nearer to ur home and a swim in the deep ocean is really wonderful. From the discription Vinodaatya gave, I think, u need a good swim-bath!! Shall see u when we meet in just 2 months to go.
-Rajakaka, Suhasaatya, Ritesh, Preeti and 2 Angels from Atlanta.

Vaibhav said...

Congratulations in advance to become first indian solo circumnavigator!

Hope media will cover this event in detail!!

pracs said...


just curious how many more days left to see you back at the Mumbai gates

countdown begins.....................

Rishi said...

U will be home... ASAP

.. woopeeiii !!

Evie from Bendigo said...

Hello Dilip,

What a wonderful experience to swim in the ocean. An endearing memory that along with all the other memories you shall have of your journey. Congratulations on your voyage, you have certainly had some trials and tribulations along the way. I wish you a safe trip into harbour.

Aish said...

Glad to know sir that you are getting closer to home...

j84 said...

This is great news, Commander!
We are all eagerly awaiting ur return. In fact, in an hour from now, the WNC has called for a press briefin for the coverage on the d-day.

How was the swim in the ocean? As someone has already asked: no sharks?


kina said...

Hello Dilip,

thanks for the update, but not all plain sailing it seems. Having time for a swim says it all I think. A refreshing way to forget about it all for a while. Btw, I thought the chef to have been confined to the galley and excluded from such leisure activities :))

Anyway, pleased to see you've improvised sufficiently to make the food more palatable....nice going. Amazing how one can adapt and be creative when the need arises.

Well, the end is near and I'd imagine there's a hive of activity in Mumbai preparing for your return right now. I wonder if the Indian Navy will provide an escort for your home-coming. That would be awesome. Yes, please let us know your ETA.
Safe sailing Dilip.

Ben (Qld)

Capt Sunil Devrani said...

HI Dilip

Congratulations for such a wonderful trip around the world, I am sure you must be viewing life very differently after this great trip. You have done India proud, remember you are special ! Have a safe sailing for rest of the trip.


rash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rash said...

hello sir,
dis is rashmi from etv marathi..
jst coming from press conference n awati sir brief us abt ur circumnavigation..m thrilled n curious to see u nw..awati sir explained us ur struggle n journey in congrats sir..n really proud of u!!!would like to c ur more photos n videos...

Anonymous said...

Hello Sir,

This is Presley Thomas from Hindustan Times, Mumbai and cover defence as a regular beat. First of all I would like to congratulate you for your amazing mission, and hope all success for the last lap of your voyage.
Sir, coming to the point, I would be obliged if you could answer a few questions about your voyage. Assure you that it will not be anything controversial.
It would be simple questions for eg. What did you miss - back home - throughout your entire voyage?
I would like to do a rather light-hearted but at the same time would want to retain the seriousness of your voyage.
If you would agree to answer a few questions, you can kindly reply me back on my email address: I would sent in the questions if you agree to your e-mail address.

Thanks and Regards,

Presley Thomas
Hindustan Times
(M): +91-9892648295

Dan said...

Dear Commander Donde

The home stretch!!!

In all the excitement, please don't forget to get your camera out, take some pictures and do at least one more post, so those of us who have been following you daily, all these months, can share in your homecoming.


Dan Burch
Portland, Oregon, USA

Anonymous said...

My favorite sailors are all arriving home! Who will I follow from my boring landlocked desk? Best of luck. I have truly enjoyed your pictures, your stories and your adventures. Swimming in the deep ocean!!! Yes, I am sure you were tethered (please remember those details next time) and I am sure it was very refreshing. What a luxury. Welcome home soon as well.

Swati said...

It feels close now - even though it is no short distance. Hope you make it quickly and easily.

Anonymous said...

Hello Dilip,

u are almost there -- great show and keep it up .....and all the very best

ulhas kirpekar (F/75)

Anonymous said...

Am hoping to be there when you get hoping we are BOTH there actually... lol

next blog... HOME AHOY!!!

mom dad send their congrats....

great going....



RichieParis said...

Hello Commander Dilip!
Great job. The hot water is a brilliant idea. So you may not fire your cook, as I supposed you would.
I wish you a quick way out of the doldrums, and a triumphant arrival in Mumbai.
I just watched Jessica's arrival in Sydney, a huge and overwhelming welcome. Hundreds of boats, tens of thousands of supporters, pink carpet, prime ministers. She is now an official new Australian hero. What a (gutsy) girl!
You should become a hero too, very soon.
Happy final stretch!

vikram said...

dear dilip,
way to go. the mumbai skyline awaits after what has been a truly fantastic achievement. hope to see you soon.

sportskeeda said...

I wrote a piece on your intrepid voyage in the Sunday Times of India May 10.
Reminded me of a piece on yachtsman Gulshan Rai who sailed around the globe with wife Ujwala, Pardeshi and a tindel.
He said he sailed for inner peace. From your blogs it appears you are at peace with yourself as well. That should make you race to the finish and become a path-breaker and an exemplar for all of us Indians.
Will let you know what one skeptic said about your voyage then.
Waiting to welcome you
Am proud of you and Ratnakar and Indian ship-building. Cheers to Sunil Morajkar for making me pursue the story.

Pradeep Vijayakar Assistant Editor The Times of India
May 15

Vijay M said...

Dear Sir,

This surely must have been the amazing voyage.
Mumbai anticipates seeing new age Columbus.

Once you are back, hope you record down your experiences so that people can atleast read your expeditions sitting in their apartments.



Geet said... are clearly an outstanding adventurer, athlete, sportsman, and someone who seems spiritually advanced to undertake such a journey. I would like to wish you happy homecoming, which will be soon enough and I do hope that you can be an inspiration to the youth of our have proved well enough that where there is grit, will power and love and passion...anything is possible.....geet sethi

Madhumita said...

Dear Dilip,

While we all are awaiting for your safe arrival and also are worried about how you would manage till then with those protine bars and Sport drinks, we have already started feeling the sudden void in our lives of absence of this blog after a while!!! Hope there would be more communication from your side even after en of this great journey. The wisedome in your blogs has actually brought welcome changes in many of us. Keep it up Dilip we are absolutely proud of you!!!.... M,M,M- Ponda

in-Melbourne said...

Hi there Captain Dilip,
Well, our darling girl of the sea DID IT!! Not sure if you were able to view the coverage of Jessica sailing into the friendly waters of Sydney harbour - SIMPLY MARVELLOUS!! Following her homecoming I thought of you, for you too, the shoreline draws near. I've really enjoyed reading your succinct & informative blogs - you sure have conquered the elements & wow! I salute you solo sailors, one & all! ENJOY these last few moments of solo sailing for it won't be long before all of India gets to share in & voice appreciation of your feat, what a party it will be! I am sure family members & indeed, all whom know you must be so excited. Soon, it will your name that's recorded upon a very special page in the history of India ... enjoy the moment, sailor! Commander Dilip - Solo Sailor!!

Prabir said...

Dilip, You are right, not over till it is over. Welcome and you will be there shortly, God willing. Write-up in HT too this morning, with a photo. 22 May predicted. Great job and a very proud achievement.

Anonymous said...

Hello commander Donde!

Im very glad that you are almost home.

What a great accomplishment! Thanks for sharing your voyage with all of us. Your writing skills and the wonderful pictures that you have taken have made the read of your blog an enjoyable part of our lifes.

Best wishes Commander,

Marina from Turin

Anonymous said...

Hello Dilip,
Pleased you are making good progress now and will soon be home.
Have enjoyed reading your blogs.
Jessica Watson arrived home to a fantastic reception, it will soon be your turn. All the best.

AK said...

Hi Dilip. Have been following your journey without following your blog courtesy Yella. We are all proud of you.

wise donkey said...

all the best. hope you get the recognition, due to you.

wise donkey said...

must add, swimming in the sea seems a scary choice, sharing jules gc's thoughts on it.

Trudy said...

Hello Dilip,

You really are very close to home, keep safe and enjoy the ride. In the meantime we have welcomed solo sailor Jessica Watson home to a heroine's welcome!
Sydney sure did herself proud!

Soon it will be your turn, to receive the congratulations!

Keep safe,
Trudy, Austria/Australia

sportskeeda said...

must read
pradeep vijayakar's blog on times of india blogs on Sir Donde

R. P. Medhekar said...

Dear Commander Dilip Donde,

Congratulations on reaching the Indian waters. We are all very proud of you and hope that you arrive home safely. We await to celebrate your achievement.

Good Luck,

Raghunath Medhekar,
President - C.K.P. Mandal, Vile Parle

Jan Pace said...

Not far from home now Dilip. I bet you can't wait to see your family and friends.

Jesse Watson arrived home safely on Sunday to a heroes welcome.

You are very brave jumping into the sea like that. I'm not one for jumping in where I can't see the bottom. What a shame there weren't a few dolphins jumping around to join you.

I'm sorry that you are no longer able to cook your food. I hope that your food is food that is palatable if uncooked.

Enjoy the final few 500 kilometres. I wish you a safe voyage until you reach dry land.

Well done, you have had quite an adventure.

With warmest wishes and keep up the great work. Jan Pace (Auckland, New Zealand)

Mumbai said...

Dear Mr Donde,

I have been following your blog for some time. Good to know you are getting closer to home. Best of luck! Looking forward to meeting you.
Ashlesha Athavale

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Donde,

I have been following your blog for some time. Good to know you are getting closer to home. Best of luck! Looking forward to meeting you.
Ashlesha Athavale

abhimanyu said...

Dear Cmdr Dilip,

Eagerly awaiting your next update. You are in our prayers.


Anonymous said...

Why are you taking long from our post passing Goa till 22nd to reach Mumbai.
Beware of Laila cyclone. tell the navy to hurry up with the welcome