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The First Indian


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Table of Contents

Foreword; Preface; Acknowledgements; Chapter 1: A Path Less Travelled; Chapter 2: An Invaluable Apprenticeship; Chapter 3: A Suitable Boat; Chapter 4: Apprenticeship Again; Chapter 5: Finding a Boatyard; Chapter 6: Training on Old Sameer; Chapter 7: Humour in Uniform; Chapter 8: Training Boat; Chapter 9: The Eldemer Episode; Chapter 10: Training Sortie That Wasn’t; Chapter 11: A Womb for the Boat; Chapter 12: Finally, Some Sailing; Chapter 13: Robin’s First Visit; Chapter 14: The First Hurdle; Chapter 15: Our Boat Building Guru; Chapter 16: Adieu Sameer; Chapter 17: Mhadei; Chapter 18: Mhadei’s Baby Steps; Chapter 19: Colombo Calling; Chapter 20: The Mauritius Adventure; Chapter 21: Charting My Course; Chapter 22: The Final Checklist; Chapter 23: Down Under; Chapter 24: First Taste of the Southern Ocean; Chapter 25: A Little Town with a Large Heart; Chapter 26: The Everest of Ocean Sailing; Chapter 27: Hop Across the Atlantic; Chapter 28: Home Run; Epilogue; Glossary

About the Author

Commander Dilip Donde held various command, staff and instructional appointments in the Indian Navy before volunteering to undertake a solo unassisted circumnavigation under sail in an Indian built boat in 2006. He is a recipient of a number of prestigious Indian awards including the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award; the National Maritime Achievement Award; the Shaurya Chakra award; and the Macgregor Medal.


“The First Indian launches you into ‘Sagar Parikrama’, a five-year mission that built the Mhadei from scratch in India and primed it for the conquest of the ‘Everest of the Seas’, her skipper Commander Dilip Donde’s incredible voyage around the world. His account of the voyage is riveting and unputdownable. This nautical page turner drips with old-school man-versus-the-elements adventure.” (India Today) “With so many odds stacked against him, Dilip Donde’s achievement is an inspiration to anyone attempting an expedition. There are many life lessons in this candid book, but what stands out most is that besides grit, determination and strength, what one really needs to go through any pioneering journey is patience, a sense of humour and a dedicated team of supporters.” (National Geographic Magazine India) “A riveting tale of enduring conviction and grit. Cdr Donde’s evocative rendering of his intrepid path breaking voyage has the reader vicariously live through the whole experience in its measured advance, unforeseen intricacies and iridescent afterglow. The maverick seafarer, who survived bureaucratic lulls on land and daunting gales at sea, is equally adroit at telling tales.” (The Hindu) “Cdr Donde’s wry wit makes you forget just how daunting the experiences described in this book must have been. Such tales of courage and pioneering adventure are rare in our times, when there are few firsts left. For an Indian to accomplish this, given the many constraints, is even more extraordinary.” (Hindustan Times) “A solo sailor is solo, cut off from the world and outside assistance and dependent upon their own character and resourcefulness. This book is a tribute to Dilip’s determination to achieve the objective and become the first Indian to ever sail solo around the planet.” (Sir Robin Knox-Johnston) "An entertaining read." (Flying Fish) "A delight to read" (Little Ship Club)

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