Monday, May 31, 2010

Back Home!

This blog is way overdue and my sincere apologies to all the readers for such a long delay. It is amazing how hectic life can become once you finish a trip such as this and just when you badly need a long break!

   We reached Mumbai and completed the circumnavigation at 0030 hrs on 19 May, exactly 09 months after setting off. Till the afternoon of 18 May we were heading for Africa instead of Mumbai, thanks to light Northerly winds. Luckily by about 1330 the wind backed and freshened up allowing us to sail straight towards Mumbai harbour. The uncertainty of the ETA proving once again that "Sail Boats do not have ETAs, they have destinations and that they go towards a destination and not to a destination". Owing to the uncertainty of the ETA even 12 hrs before arrival, making arrangements for a formal welcome proved difficult. We thus quietly slipped in the Naval Dockyard, from where we had started 09 months back, and were received by close family, friends and the top brass of the Western Naval Command. We slipped out again at first light on 22 May to make a formal entry and were received in right royal style by the Vice President of India Shri M Hamid Ansari, the Chief of the Naval Staff, the Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, Western Naval Command and a host of other dignitaries. It was good to be back home! The celebrations unfortunately were marred by the news of a horrific air crash of an Air India aircraft that morning at Mangalore. 
     The week after arrival went in a whirlwind of press briefings, interviews and most importantly in making sure that Mhadei is well looked after and cared for. She has taken me around the world safely without any major complaints, has been the most forgiving & trusty companion through moments that I cannot share with anyone else and has earned all the TLC I can shower on her and more! Thus though the trip is over, the work goes on till we manage to put some system in place for her upkeep and utilization in the future.

         Ending this with some photos and links of our arrival. Also a big thanks to all the readers of the blog for the support extended by them which came in very handy in keeping up the morale of the crew throughout the trip!

And the most important and cherished! A link to Sir Robin Knox-Johnston's blog on becoming the 175 th  member of the exclusive Solo Circumnavigators' Club! I can't think of a greater honour than being personally welcomed by Sir Robin to this elite club! 


Anonymous said...

Dear Dilip Done!

Welcome back to India!

So nice to have read your blog, that you are back home safe, and to read about your welcoming celebrations.
It has been very nice to read about your adventures on the seas.
I wish you all the best for the future.
My best regards,
Ingrid Petersson, Tyreso, Sweden

workerbev said...

Dear Cdr Donde Sir, a very sincere and heart-felt congratulations on completing your circumnavigation journey. You encountered a myriad of problems which you handled with sheer determination and experience. You got through the roughest of weather and also enjoyed coffee on the deck in the mornings. Last but surely not least, you enjoyed a swim in the deep, unknown phantoms of the ocean. That is a memory that, if it were me, would definitely last a lifetime or two. That took guts also!!

I have been following you for what seems like forever, but only since Dec 09 when Jessica introduced you to us. I will be forever grateful to her for that as I have now been studying more on India, its people, way of life, religion, morals, holidays, etc. It is so very interesting. Now, of course, I want to visit this marvelous country that I knew next to nothing about. You are definitely a great ambassador for India and the Indian Navy - and (LOL) for 40+ year old men! You can take the world by the horns now, you can accomplish anything your heart desires. God be with you throughout your life and guide you to what He has purposed for your life in the future. From an ex-US Air Force veteran, living in Tasmania, Australia, Beverly Penney

H.  Amsterdam; Netherlands said...

Hi again ...

... and maybe for the last time on this blog. CONGRATS!!, simply awesome. Thank you for the comments and hyperlinks. I'm sure you'll miss Mhadei; pic or video, she sure looks majestic every time around.

Whatever your future endeavors, Dilip, ALL THE BEST.



PS: You didn't open my virtual welcome card. Fish it out of your GMail spam box (would think landed there); it's from

Anonymous said...

Hi Commander, Well done. You may be aware that an Australia young woman (Jessica Watson aged 16) has just done the same thing. How would you compare (if indeed you can) what you achieved with what she has?
Best Wishes

Anonymous said...

Commander Donde: Congratulations
on the completion of your voyage around the world. I have been following your journey through the internet and I want to say thank you for taking us along.
I am happy to hear that you enjoyed your home coming. Again, congratulations for your accomplishments and best wishes for a happy and successful future.

Joe Springfield VA USA

Vaibhav said...

Thank you very much for the virtual trip around the world!
It was pleasure to check your blog everyday morning for updates.We are going to miss it!

All the best for all your future plans!


Rishi said...

Welcome Home sir..

Congratulations !!

ben said...

Hello Dilip,

how fortunate seeing family and friends prior to the official welcome. I'm sure they gave you an added lift to get you through the past two weeks. I suspect time will not be your own for a while to come yet tho.

So pleased to see Mhadei's getting plenty of TLC. She certainly has been a tireless companion and justifiably deserves a worthy retirement and her place in history beside you.

How fitting a welcome for you Dilip. The calibre of officialdom was testament to the importance and respect your nation is willing to bestow upon individuals with, as your Vice President-Shri M Hamid Ansari said,...”the spirit of adventure, and the spirit of innovation". You certainly possess these qualities and hope others take them on board in a bid to follow their own dreams.

Again I extend my heartiest congratulations to you and your exceptional crew. (Kua tukuna ano e ahau taku mihi nunui atu ki a koe me ou kaitaurima motuhake)

I'm sure your journey will be inspirational to all of your countrymen and an exemplary hallmark for future generations.

Thanks for having us aboard Dilip. So pleased most of us were able to emit a wee bit of sunshine during the dark times.

Take care my friend.

Ben (Qld)

ps; condolences to the families of those who perished on Air-India flight IX-812

manav musings said...

Congratulations Cdr,
It was so fascinating to read your blog. I just wonder how it was actually while in the boat.

You also tested my patience by not filing the blog for days

My daughter is a student in Naval Sailing club, Colaba.
Welcome and congrats again.

Anonymous said...

Dear Commander Donde,

thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to at least virtually share your experiences. Congratulations to your achievement and to the great seamanship you haven been showing throughout the whole voyage. It was a pleasure to read your blog with all its remarks and observations, both wise and full of good humour. And I really do hope that Mhadei will be a source of joy and inspiration to others to follow you.

Horst / Bremen /Germany

Anonymous said...

Dear Cmdr Donde,

Welcome back to you and Mhadei. It was wonderful being along with you on your travels.

Here's wishing you a well-deserved rest and plans for the next mountain you want to climb.

Warm regards

Anonymous said...

Dear Dilip,

Though the blogs, including the last shows such a modesty we know this has been a great feat. We are absolutely proud of you both- Dilip and Mhadei.

Meeta- Milind, Goa

Anonymous said...

Welcome home, Dilip.

I have enjoyed travelling with you since I was directed to your blog by Jessica. Thanks for sharing with us.

Melbourne, Australia

abhimanyu said...

Dear Cmdr Dilip,
It was a pleasure following your journey. You make us proud. A country as ancient as ours and we did'nt have a circumnavigator till mhadei and you decided to venture out.
I hope you publish your journey as its inspiring. A tribute to the human spirit.

Wish you the very best

Anonymous said...

Bravo Cdr Donde!

Please accept the warmest wishes of all those you met whilst in Christchurch. We have the fondest memories of your visit and hope that we may meet again.

Fantastic to see your achievement.

Warmest Regards

Don Rae: International Market Manager – India & South/South-East Asia, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, Christchurch, New Zealand

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

हाय Dilip & Mahdei,

A perfect ending to a unique journey!
No doubt we will hear more about you and your sailing voyages in the future. And when you do, you will find your readers at the ready to follow once again!

Take good care of Mahdei and yourself.

बिदाई Dilip & Madhei!

Anonymous said...

We followed you everyday and loved your blogs. Glad you are home safe!!! From Seattle:)

Toni McLean said...

Well done Dilip, congratulations.
What an adventure and an achievement for you. Hopefully there will be many more of your countrymen and women to follow in your wake.

It's been a pleasure to follow your journey, thanks to Jessica. Perhaps you could pop over to Australia and catch up with her, maybe sail a Sydney to Hobart with her when she turns 18! I suspect you're over 18 so no problems there for you to compete!

Good luck in your future ventures.

Best wishes

Attri said...

Cdr Donde

Congratulations on your huge achievement and entering an exclusive club of extreme adventure sport. What a charming way of explaining where you had slipped away after declaring hundred miles to go and not appearing until 22nd. The ceremonial reception by none other than 2nd supreme commander of Indian armed forces is well deserved.

You have opened the gateway for many more Indian sailors inspire and gun for the oceans.

Look forward to your next voyage, single handed or accompanied by sailors under guidance and training.

God bless.

Lalit Attri
fm Chandigarh

SaltyDog said...

Commander Donde,

Welcome home and congratulations. It really has been a fun and very inspiring adventure for all of us to follow. Thanks you so much for communicating with us throughout your voyage. It is really fantastic to see your name on the list of solo circumnavigators on Sir Robin Knox-Johnston's blog. Very impressive, Dilip. I wish you the very best in the future and when you decide to take another spin around the globe, I'll be here to follow along again.

With warm regards,

From Seattle, WA, USA

Anonymous said...

Hi Dilip,
Congratulations on your wonderful achievement. Glad you got the welcome you deserved. I have enjoyed following your blog.
All the best for your future.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dilip,
Congratulations on your wonderful achievement. Glad you got the welcome you deserved. I have enjoyed following your blog.
All the best for your future.

Evie from Bendigo said...

Hello Dilip,

Congratulations on your successful voyage, it is such a pity your celebrations were mared by such a tragic event as the air crash.

I wish you and your family every happiness for the future.
Are you writing a book of your adventures and will it be released in Australia? I do hope so.

Again congratulations

Evie Neilson

Anonymous said...

well,looks like not many people cared about that might just sit down and watch the simpsons

Old Iron said...

Thanks for the update, videos and Photos.

Glad you back home and safe!!

All the best

Debashis Mukherjee said...

Well done. Bravo Zulu!

P said...

Congrats Sir,
A very heartfelt congratulations from the fraternity of all Eagles (Ex-Echos).
You proved the age old adage - "When the going gets tough, the tough gets going."
Look forward to more such achievements from you.

Anonymous said...

Welcome home!!!! Followed you whole trip. Amazing!!!
Warm Regards
Jerry Rocker
s/v Sarah J
Glenmoore, Pennsylvania

Scott said...

Congratulations on safely completing your voyage! I'm so glad to have been able to keep up with you since around Cape Horn. Good luck with whatever life brings your way in the near future.

Scott, Denver, Colorado, USA

Shane Stables said...

Dear Sir,

Congratulations on completing your journey. I have been regularly monitoring your progress since we met in Australia last year. I hope you enjoy your next posting in training the next generation of young sailors. I am enjoying married life and the challenges that brings! Kindest regards, Shane Stables, Perth Australia.

kalika said...

Hi commander sir! kalika Bapat here.tumhala bhetun khup anand zala. anhi MHADAI khup awadali. tumchyashi bolun bara vatala. paratatana asa zanhavala ki mi kahi bawalhat prashna tar vicharle nahi na.punha ekada blog vachala. tumache anubhav khup molache. punha bhetanhyachi apeksha ahe!

Anonymous said...


issac said...

Hi Cdr Donde,

Nice to know that you have done it! A gr8 achievement and another feather on your sea cap. Was not in touch after Goa, and came to know this from PHIL POSTS.



Ajay said...

Hello Sir,
I am Ajay, and now a days in Hong Kong. I want to contact you over the phone or email, if possible. My email is :

Thanks a lot! Ajay

m said...

Dear Cdr Donde
सह्याद्री वर तुमची मुलाखत पहिली.आपला e mail contact मिळाला तर बरे होईल
मुकुंद पटवर्धन

Tony said...

Dear Cdr Dilip Dhonde,

Hats off to you, comrade! I am a 2nd Officer in the Merchant Navy, and the sea has provided me bread and butter for the past 10 years.

You have made India proud, and I salute your bravado. I have experienced the weather at Cape Horn, and it was nerve-wracking, even on board a 150,000 tonner suezmax tanker!!!

I just loved your modified Beaufort Scale.... gives a much better perception than the actual Beaufort Scale. Will forward the same to my fellow seafarers.

Once again, I salute you, Commander! Aapne Bharat ka naam roshan kar diye!

Jai Hind