Mumbai: On January 10, 1987, a group of 11 army men achieved a rare feat few Indians had accomplished before by completing a historic voyage across the world in a 37-ft sailing yacht.
Twenty-five years later, the crew -- led by then Major K S Rao (who subsequently retired as Lieutenant General) -- relived the moment as they set on a ceremonial sail on the same foot-sailing yacht Trishna, which was bought from an English businessman in Gosport, UK, in 1970.
"It is a very emotional moment for us. This is actually the first time that we all are meeting together after the expedition. We had get-togethers before, but not all could be present," retired Lt Gen Rao said.
"How the expedition changed us I cannot say, but we surely matured a lot. Someone became religious, someone very aggressive," he said.
The expedition, which overcame several hurdles while covering a distance of 30,000 nautical miles (54,000 kms), had set sail from Mumbai on September 28, 1985 and reached the Gateway of India after 470 days.
Vice-Admiral D K Joshi, chief of the Western Naval Command, said the expedition had inspired several youngsters to undertake similar adventures.
"The expedition was undertaken by 11 young officers who were not sea-professionals. That to my mind, is a great achievement. It also provided inspiration to many. What's also commendable is that Trishna is still sail-worthy after 40 years," he said.
Vice-Admiral Joshi also said that the Navy was planning a solo non-stop expedition across the globe.
"Commander Dilip Donde had earlier taken a solo circumnavigation across the world. However, it had stops in between. But this one would be a non-stop journey," he said.