The year was 2006, when a commander of the Indian Navy- Dilip Donde, was chosen to sail around the world as part of the Sagar Parikrama project. The commander set sail from Mumbai in 2006 and successfully finished his trip in 2010, becoming the first Indian to complete a solo, unassisted circumnavigation of the globe under sail. But Donde no more wants to sniff the sea winds alone and hence his new sailboat Antara made a quiet splash in the waters at the Gateway of India in Mumbai, having finished one of her first long voyages, on the route between Goa and Mumbai.
Antara is an India-built, Dutch-designed sailboat and is also India’s first personal craft which has been registered with the Directorate General of Shipping as a vessel that is certified to sail anywhere in the world for pleasure and personal use. Made for sailors, by a sailor, Antara is built for people who want to experience life at sea and not just set off on a joyride. Once onboard, Captain Donde ensures you are no longer a guest, you’re a part of the crew. You are encouraged to learn the ropes and how to helm, read navigation charts, set the sails and read the winds, all under the expert guidance of Captain Dilip Donde and Antara’s First Mate, Sucheta Jadhav. This makes Dilip Donde India’s first circumnavigator who calls sailing with people a “new challenge”.
If you’re a beginner, you can give it a try by ailing from Mumbai to Goa, which can be planned over three to five days, depending on how much time you wish to spend at sea. A few beachy hops en route can be arranged or you can even pull the sails down and go for a swim in the ocean. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even sail on long trips to Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Maldives, Mauritius and beyond. Fitted with navigation trackers and radio equipment, the boat is fully equipped to stay safe and comfortable out at sea.
Those slightly nervous about sailing the high seas can rest assured knowing they’re in perfectly capable hands. A retired Naval officer, Captain Dilip Donde is one of India’s most legendary sailors. After circumnavigating the world solo in four years, Donde has trained the next 7 Indian circumnavigators as well as the crew of INSV Tarini, the first all-woman Navy crew from India to sail around the world. Antara’s trusty First Mate, Sucheta Jadhav, is also an accomplished sailor herself; she crewed in the 2017-19 Clipper Round the World Race where she sailed across the South Atlantic, from Punta del Este to Cape Town.
So, if you were looking for an adventure at sea, here’s your golden opportunity. Go grab it!