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Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Swift Passage

<p>At about ten in the morning of the 23rd we cast off from our spot under Mt Dilli. The crew was in by half past nine and all that stopped us from sailing out was the approval to sail which too came at the appointed hour.</p>
<p>About half an hour after leaving our berth I decided to check on the engine and realised that the leak at the flange of the sea water cooling pump had worsened warranting me to shut off the engine in almost nil winds to affect repairs. I used a sealant that would do the job in a couple of hours. In the meantime rather than drift aimlessly I decided to train the crew in rigging and handling the gennekar. </p>
<p>It turned out to be a wise decision. Not only did the crew put the gennekar up for the first time, the boat also picked up some unexpected speed. Soon sea breeze picked up and we forgot all about the engine. By noon we were pacing south easterly towards our destination at nothing less than eight knots. The crew too enjoyed the feel of speed and silence of a trailing propeller.</p>
<p>It had been an interesting stopover at INA. While I had planned the the stop with the aim of giving exposure to cadets by taking them out sailing the ground reality that I faced when i reached had been quite different.</p>
<p>The hexagonal meet was in full swing and those who were not busy competing were away on their mid term hike. I did nothing for the first two days other than go swimming and re anchor after the anchor dragged once. I did go out to meet Cdr Mahesh and witness the triangular regatta and ended up seeing a very impressively built Naval academy. I had hoped to call on the commandant but both he and his deputy had their hand's full and they did not give appointment.</p>
<p>There were a few known names in the base although I could not meet any. Cdr Bagchi and Kohli were among them. In turn I ran into Capt Patil who was Cdr Ops in Hansa and is now serving under Cmde Azad in Bangalore.</p>
<p>On the last day INA asked me to take the commandant of NDA out sailing to which I gladly agreed. He had in tow a Commodore, a Captain and a Colonel along with ladies. Lt General Jatinder singh seems to have thoroughly enjoyed the sail for I was later told that it took a lot if effort to pluck him out of the boat. He was replaced with 18 cadets of NDA, NEC and INA- a bunch that turned out to be inquisitive beyond any measure. They too enjoyed the sail- or so I could make out from their faces.

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