Commander Dilip Donde – First Indian Solo Circumnavigator

The teenagers have been getting more press, but Zach, Mike, Jessica and Abby are not the only intrepid solo circumnavigators out there.  On Saturday,  Commander Dilip Donde sailed into Mumbai,  completing the first recorded solo circumnavigation by an Indian.

Navy commander first Indian to circumnavigate globe solo

Commander Dilip Donde, who embarked on the voyage on August 19 last year on INSV (Indian Naval Sailing Vessel) Mhadei, approached the finish line as his boat, ceremonially escorted by a fast-attack craft of the Indian Navy along with speedboats and two tugs operating their water canons, touched base back in India at the Sunk Rock Light House here.

Vice-President Hamid Ansari along with Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Kumar Verma and Donde’s family members, who were on board INS Delhi, anchored at the finish line, witnessed the historic moment and gave him a rousing reception. He was later received by them on INS Mysore.

“Having completed the voyage, I am feeling great. I could not have done it without this fine boat. I was quite convinced that anybody can do circumnavigation in a boat like this. The credit goes to Mhadei,” said Donde.

The Vice-President described it as a momentous occasion. “It is an occasion that makes every Indian happy, proud and willing to emulate. I think that would be the greatest tribute to what Commander Donde has done. It was a long awaited first and it was done very well.”

“Donde has shown that skill, determination and courage can achieve what is considered to be immensely difficult, if not impossible. So far, 175 people across the world have managed to finish such task,” Ansari said.

“Spirit of adventure and innovation are two things one needs to focus on,” he said adding no nation in the history of the world can become great unless these two qualities come together, not occasionally or sporadically but continuously.

The 42-year-old officer covered 21,600 nautical miles sailing in the seas to achieve the milestone. Congratulating Donde, Admiral Verma said, “This is indeed a new beginning. Donde has shown professional competence, courage and his will to conquer. He was able to rise to all the challenges thrown at him by the sea. It’s a great achievement.”

Dhonde, an NDA alumnus and trained diver in the Navy, volunteered for project ‘Sagar Parikrama’ and also trained with the legendary Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to sail solo and non-stop round the world in 1968-69.

Thanks to Alaric Bond for passing the article along.

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10 Responses to Commander Dilip Donde – First Indian Solo Circumnavigator

  1. Pingback: How To Find A Cheap Cruise On A Budget | Travel Cruises

  2. Gayatri Barabde says:

    I read all articles about you written in maharashtra times. Apratim!!! I would like to read about your experience more.

  3. Dear Dilip, I am not able to see the latest developments on your website,If you are coming to vileparle ,as invited by CKP Mandal on 11th july 2010 vist my place at Navsamaj,Gujearati society road,vileparle east.The road is on google map but the landmark is state bank of india.My tel no 26172731,which I have no hesitation to make public.

  4. Atul P Donde says:

    It was a great evening at Dombivali to see you personally. We are realy proud of you. Your achievemnets are certainly un comparable. It is important that youths of this country should get inspirations from achievers like you. Media, Schools, collage and every person who gets opportunities to interact with the younger people should advertise such achievements to them. Our youths are not interested in constructaive things, they are mad after glamour industries and games like cricket. unfortunately they do not shine there also, they are just the viewers or watchers

  5. Jai Chavan says:

    Dear Commander Dilip Donde,

    You should now get down to write a book.

    You are great.

    Yours faithfully,
    Jai Chavan

  6. Ajay says:

    Hi Sir,
    Can i get the contact number/email of Commander Dilip Donde?
    Regards, Ajay

  7. ripsywilliam says:

    Hats off to you sir, you are great.
    I really want to meet such type of person. Can I contact you?

  8. De Captain says:

    Nicely done. Very interesting story.

    I circumnavigated in 2006 aboard a 41′ sailboat. I wrote pretty extensively about the experience at

    De Captain

  9. Mrs.Triveni R.Naik says:

    Yesterday I got the golden chance of hearing your interiew taken by Shri.Shriram Kelkar(Sanjivani Parivar). Interview was very insperiable for youth. Your experience with your voyage was great. Youth should take inspiration from you.