M A I N   N E W S

Tarangini sails home from world cruise
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Kochi, April 25
Amidst resounding cheers and crackling fireworks, the
Navy’s training ship, INS Tarangini, docked at its home port here today after completing a 15-month cruise circumnavigating the globe and setting a record of sorts.

The President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, boarded the “tall ship” as sail boats are referred to in the Navy at the approach to the Kochi harbour and sailed the last few miles of the voyage.

Later, addressing officers, sailors and their families, the President said history showed that the wars fought by the Europeans for establishing their rule in India  was carried out through seas routes. Stating that the Navy had a unique role in war as well as peace in safeguarding sea communication as well as marine resources, the President added that the Tarangini voyage would ensure that in future there would not be any subjugation of Indian territory or dangers to our sea economic activity. “Thereby, the Indian Navy has proclaimed a message of peace,” he said.

Stating that the voyage re-established the tradition of sea voyages set by Columbus, Dr Kalam said, “Columbus discovered a new Continent whereas you have travelled through all continents and won the hearts of the people.”

The ship received a rousing welcome at all ports it berthed. During its voyage, it also trained 19 officers and sea cadets in seamanship from friendly countries, including the USA, Britain, France, Italy, Australia, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Mauritius.

The three-masted Tarangini, the first Indian Naval ship to circumnavigate the world, traversed a total of 34,000 nautical miles over 358 days. It called at 37 ports in 18 countries enroute. It also took part in the tall ship races held in the Great Lakes by the American Sail Training Association. The sip came first in three of the four races. Besides being declared as the overall first, the ship also received the prestigious prize for “promoting the maximum friendship among nations”.

The ship had been flagged-off by the Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Madhvendra Singh, from this port. It was then captained by Commander Shaukat Ali. Thereafter, Cdre P. Garg and then Cdre Mukul Asthana took charge at various legs.  A total of 300 officers and 60 sailors embarked on the voyage at various legs.

Sailing through the Arabian Sea, the ship crossed through the Suez Canal, and passed through the Mediterranean and entered the Atlantic to reach North America. Thereafter it cut through the Panama Canal to traverse the Pacific and the south east Asian waters. The final leg of the voyage was through the Indian Ocean.

The countries on the ship’s itinerary included Dijbouti, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Spain, the USA, Britain, Canada, Pureto Rico, Panama, Ecuador, Samoa, Fiji, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore and Srilanka.

The voyage, however, was not all fun. Despite navigational aids like the GPS, cadets learnt navigation the “sailor’s way”, determining the ship’s position through sextant, compass and astro-navigation, by getting a fix on the stars and the sun. Then there were miles of rigging to be

handled for controlling the sails. Storms and rough seas added to the challenge.

Diplomacy, however, was the voyage’s hallmark. “During a halt at Fiji, the country’s three former and present prime ministers, Mahendra Chaudhury, Maj-Gen Rambouka and L. Qarase came abroad. “The visit only led to their sorting out their differences, But it was perhaps the only time on any ship where three prime minister were present on the same occasion,” Cdre Garg said.

Another touching story at Fiji was when a person came aboard, kissed the deck and started weeping. On being asked, he said that he was of Indian origin and it was for the first time that a ship from his home country had come there.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |