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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Shoebox is Empty

13-11-12-2000-sagarparikrama2-1The Captain of a warship had given me a gift wrapped shoebox a day before I left harbour. When I opened it at sea, I saw that it contained an enormous number of butter cookies which tasted so delicious that I would make meal of it at times. The shoebox is empty now. So are the bananas and potatoes and cucumbers and cabbages. Fresh provisions are dwindling and all I am left with are some apples, oranges and tomatoes.

_DSC0008Fresh provisions somehow seem to have replaced themselves with a lot of bugs though. I can’t find names for them and there are many!

The boat has been sailing pretty well since the last post on Sunday. We crossed the Indian peninsula and the decision to head closer to land and towards Palk Bay seems to have paid off. That area kept up with its reputation and winds picked up to a breeze of 15 knots and more at times. We have been cruising along ever since at speeds bottoming at 6 knots. Yesterday was a good day because we did 145 miles in 24 hours- almost thrice of what we were averaging in the lulls.

On the flip side, it has been squally and it promises to remain so. That has robbed me of some sleep. More often that not, I am waking up at odd hours shortening sails and riding out 25 knot guts. The sun has been blanketed out for most part of the day and it is all very gloomy. The sea is short and the swells are making good work of flapping the sails every now and then.

IMG_3070DSC08370Passing Sri Lanka reminds me of the only time we had called at Colombo. The year was 2009 and the Mhadei had just been inducted into the navy. That had been her first oversees port of call. We had sailed in to carry out some work on our sails that had come from North Sails, New Zealand. Sri Lanka, unknown to many of us, boasts of the world’s largest North Sails factory. It was a pleasant trip with pleasant memories and a learning experience for us as first time crew. She had evoked so much curiosity that she made friends of almost all who came in touch with her.

Yesterday was Deepawali. It became more of a Holi when the day announced itself with a squall dissipating right overheard.  There was enough rain and I took bath- a good omen I would say. People later pointed out that it was more of an Abhyangasnana.. Breakfast was pre cooked Halwa that Defence Food Research Laboratories had supplied and did it taste delicious! I did not carry a lamp with me, so just lit the stove so that there would be some light. Happy Deepawali to one and all! May there be an abundance of light in your lives all year around.

Up next- Picking the Line. The Equator is only one and half day’s sail but I have other plans.

27 comments:

  1. Its good to know about the speed of Mhadei, Thanks to God and hope from Him that the entire voyage flows Smooth and Safe; especially in the tough sailing areas.

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  2. Goodluck to you Sir. Wishing you a very Happy Deepavali. May the gods & goddess of sea give you the strength and courage to successful complete your endeavour.

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  3. It should be fair sailing from here on I hope.

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    Replies
    1. For a few more days yes, but after that I am going to be visited by hell. Predictions- 7 m swell and 35 knot winds

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    2. You are one of the Best Organizers and can handle any situation by making correct decisions as per your past experiences.

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  4. Dear Commander;
    May the heavens choicest blessings be showered upon you.
    Dr Padmanabhan Mumbai India

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  5. Have you crossed the Equator.The first geographical marker in your spectacular effort? Wish you the best as you head towards Cape Leeuwin,the next landmark and the first of the great southern capes on your journey.all the very best.Dr Padmanabhan Mumbai India

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  6. Have you crossed the Equator? Wish you the very best as you head towards Cape Leeuwin,the second geographical marker in your spectacular journey.With best wishes Dr Padmanabhan Mumbai India

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    Replies
    1. Dear Dr. Padmanabhan,

      You can also catch his latest updates on https://twitter.com/abhilashtomy

      He has tweeted, it will take another 10hrs to cross...

      So it can be predicted around 5:00 am IST, he says hello to the Equator.

      Best Regards,
      Owais.

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    2. Thanks Sayed!

      I crossed the equator 5 minutes after your predicted time.
      You could also follow the voyage on facebook:
      www.facebook.com/www.mhadei.co.in

      Click on the link and hit a "like" and dont forget to tell your friends about it!

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    3. Hahaha :) Next time I will be accurate if I get confirmed data regarding the wind speed, weather conditions, etc.

      Got some problems over FB, will soon be joining you after its fixed.

      Already notified many and will keep updating the masses.

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  7. Thank you very much Mr Sayed.I am a technophobe,and hence was only following this blog.I shall try and register on twitter and get his updates.thanks once again.It is undeniable that Cdr Tomy has GUTS!!!All we can do is wish him well,and pray for his safe and smooth return to Mumbai

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    Replies
    1. Dr,
      You could also try logging on to Facebook on www.facebook.com/www.mhadei.co.in and hit a like there. I put up shorter and immediate updates there.

      Regards

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    2. Dear Dr.

      I missed to tell you the facebook updates, also you can subscribe to sagarparikrama2 on Youtube to get video updates.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PlvMtpfD-M&feature=plcp

      Lastly thanks for the support.

      Sincerely,
      Muhammed Owais
      Mumbai.

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  8. Dear Commander,
    Congratulations on crossing the equator.I am looking forward to your crossing the equator again on your return.
    And looking forward to the privilege of shaking hands with you,on your return,if you would allow me!!!
    Cape Leeuwin,here I come!!!!!!
    Mr Owais thanks for the courteous reply
    Dr Padmanabhan
    Mumbai India

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    Replies
    1. Dear Dr.,

      You are most welcome.

      Best Regards,
      Owais

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  9. Southern hemisphere should be giving you better winds. Hope u r able to complete the trip ahead of schedule

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    Replies
    1. Yes sir! I am already getting good winds. Been about 20 knots today

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  10. Dear Admiral of the Fleet Abhilash Tomy:

    For me,you are Admiral of the Fleet.

    For you have attempted what no Admiral of Indian Navy has ever done
    with best wishes always,

    Dr Padmanabhan
    Mumbai India

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  11. Dear Dr

    I dont have a fleet. I just have a boat and I am doing just fine without the upgradation in rank.

    Best wishes

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  12. Dear Lt Cdr
    I was one of the students from Navy Children's School to come to the Gateway of India to bid you farewell. It was a proud moment for me and my friends as we were the only class from the whole school to witness such a special moment and we all were in tears by the end of it. Some of us even said that we would join the Indian Navy and become like you. We could not wish u luck as you were in a hurry but now I am writing to you to wish you good luck and a safe return.
    Hopefully will be there to welcome you as well.
    Best regards.

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    Replies
    1. Well, thank you very much. Why would you be in tears! This voyage could be yours. All you need is a boat.

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    2. Dear Abhilash Bhai,

      These tears are nothing but love and affection and above all we are very much concern about this unassisted, single handed, one man sail across the globe.

      As correctly written by Dr Padmanabhan, you are the Admiral of the Fleet, the fleet of Indian dreams.

      Your brave attempt without halts has not only marked a history as the first Indian but also upgraded the ranks in our eyes.

      Again wish you all luck and ask God to protect you always !!

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    3. Dear Lt Cdr
      Those tears symbolize happiness, pride and fear of the unknown though we know that you are going to be absolutely fine because of your courage and very fine supporting team.
      Wish you good luck once again!!
      Best regards.

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  13. Dear Lt.Cdr:
    Would it be possible for you to give your exact longitude/lattitude position,occasionally on facebook/twitter,so that your well wishers could know,exactly where you are on the world map?
    with best wishes,
    Dr Padmanabhan
    Mumbai India

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    Replies
    1. My position is regularly updated on Facebook on pictures of Google map that are posted by Mandar or Cdr Donde. Would you need the exact lat and long?

      Regards

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