Commander Dhonde rounds Cape of Good Hope in last leg of solo circumnavigation

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New Delhi, Apr 7 (ANI): Indian Navy commander Dilip Donde, who is on a solo round-the-world sailing mission 'Sagar Parikrama', has rounded the Cape of Good Hope enroute to the final leg of his voyage.

With a distance of 6500 miles to go, the last leg from Cape Town to Mumbai is also longer than any other leg of the project.

Commander Donde at the helm of Indian Naval Sailing Vessel (INSV) Mhadei on Tuesday rounded the Cape of Good Hope. He sailed out from Cape Town, South Africa on April 3, for the final leg of the global solo circumnavigation venture.

He was seen off by the enthusiastic local community and well wishers that had gathered to bid farewell to her on the long passage to Mumbai.

Addressing the gathering, Commander Donde shared the plans of his daunting voyage.

He mentioned that on leaving the Cape Town he planned a wide berth to the Cape of Good Hope, the seas around which are so treacherous that in maritime circles it is commonly known as the graveyard of ships.

Commander Donde intends to sail south until hitting the 40 degree latitude, also known as the roaring 40s for the gale force winds that blow in the region, before turning north east.

The final leg to Mumbai comes with a posse of new challenges for the expedition.

As per the rules of global circumnavigation, the vessel should start and end in the same Port, crossing all the Meridians (Longitudes) at least once and the Equator at least twice.

Commander Donde had initiated circumnavigation from Mumbai post in April 2008.

Sailing from 40 degrees South to 20 degrees North would also ensure a wide variety of sailing conditions - from the roaring 40s in the south to the frustrating doldrums close the equator, the steady trade winds and the not very comfortable monsoons.

The Indian Navy has expressed concern over increasing instances of piracy as Far East as Maldives, but said it will not to leave anything to chance as far as Mhadei's security is concerned.

The final leg of the circumnavigation will also see the name of INSV Mhadei being added to the list of volunteers for the South African Weather Services when she deploys two weather buoys at designated locations along her track. (ANI)

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