A sailing expedition from Kochi to Androth Island in Lakshadweep and Minicoy group of islands and back is being undertaken by Offshore Sailing Club, Kochi under the aegis of Southern Naval Command. The aim of the sailing expedition is to inculcate a spirit of adventure, hone nautical skills and foster ocean sailing amongst young Naval personnel.
The Indian Naval Sailing Vessel ( INSV) Bulbul was flagged off from Naval Base, Kochi on 23 Dec 20 by Rear Admiral Antony George, Chief of Staff, Southern Naval Command. INSV Bulbul is a 40 foot, LC-40 design racing- cruiser capable of independent ocean voyages across the world. The vessel has been built in India under the ‘Make in India’ project by M/s Ultra Marine Yatch Pvt. Ltd, Puducherry.
Team Bulbul comprises mixed crew of six officers skippered by Captain Atool Sinha, an Asian Games medalist with over 22,000 nm of ocean sailing experience. The five member crew includes two women officers, the senior most being Rear Admiral Arti Sarin, Command Medical Officer, Southern Naval Command. The officer has volunteered to participate in the expedition to encourage women officers to participate in adventure sports and ocean sailing. Lt Cdr Tulika Kotnala, the second woman crew is an ATC officer who is an ocean sailing expert. She recently participated in the Bay of Bengal Sailing Expedition covering over 4500 nm. Captain US Charan, an aviator, is a recreational sailor. SLts Aviral Keshav and Ojhas Kulkarni are upcoming yatchmen, who are on their maiden ocean sailing voyage. The expedition will culminate on 28 Dec 20 at Kochi, after covering a distance of 400 nautical miles.