Trishna (yacht)

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Trishna on the high seas.jpg
Yacht Trishna begins its epic circumnavigation.
Flag of India.svg  India India
OwnerSapper Adventure Foundation
Operator Indian Army Corps of Engineers
Port of registry Mumbai, India
Builder Nautor's Swan
ChristenedGuinevere of Sussex
In serviceYes
Homeport Mumbai
IdentificationBOM 109
General characteristics
Class and type Swan 37
Tonnage10.5 tonnes
Length36 ft 6 in
Beam10 ft 9 in
Draught6 ft 1 in
Sail planSloop

Trishna is a Swan 37 yacht belonging to the Corps of Engineers of the Indian Army. The name Trishna means “to thirst for” in the Sanskrit language. [1] The 1970-vintage boat, earlier known as Guinevere of Sussex, was purchased in 1984 from the United Kingdom. The yacht has since been used for long distance ocean sailing and training. The first of the yachts' journeys after it was acquired was its voyage from Gosport to Mumbai, India. Subsequently, the yacht embarked on its most notable voyage, the circumnavigation of the globe from 1985 to 1987. This was the first such achievement by an Indian crew. [2] In subsequent years, the yacht has been used for international cruises primarily in the Indian Ocean region and is currently still operational.



The Indian Army Engineers have been in the forefront of adventure activities in the Country, whether on land, sea or air. They have been the pioneers in Ocean Cruising in India. [3]

The Sapper Adventure Foundation had sponsored a sailing expedition from Bombay to Bandar Abbas, Iran in 1977 [4] in an 20-foot 1909-vintage wooden Seabird [5] Class sailboat Albatross to test the sailing capabilities of the sailors of the Corps of Engineers and a precursor to the circumnavigation of the globe by the Sappers on Trishna. The 68-day 7,000 km voyage to Bandar Abbas was one of the early major ventures by the Corps. [6]

Purchase of boat and sail from Gosport, England to Bombay, India

[7] The planning for the circumnavigation commenced in early 1980s and finally took off in 1984 when a team of officers from the Corps of Engineers flew to the U.K. to buy a boat and sail it back to India. Limited funds dictated the Sapper Adventure Foundation to opt for the purchase of a second-hand sailboat for the venture. After an extensive survey of the second-hand boat market in the U.K., the 1970-vintage Swan 37 boat Guinevere of Sussex was shortlisted, which was based at Brighton. [8] After purchase of the yacht, it was sailed by the crew to the Joint Services Sailing Center, Gosport, U.K., now known as the Joint Services Adventure Sail Training Center, [9] where it underwent minor repairs and partial essential re-fit to make it sail-worthy for the voyage back to India. The crew also underwent sail training, which was organised under the aegis of the Royal Engineers . Major Ron Gravels, ex-Royal Engineers, was engaged and he undertook a month-long sail training program for the crew on the Solent, English Channel crossings to Cherbourg culminating in a sail to the ports of Guernsey and Alderney in the Channel Islands. [10]

Trishna entering Gibraltar harbour Trishna - The First Indian Circumnavigation 23.jpg
Trishna entering Gibraltar harbour

Trishna set off on her first long distance voyage from the Joint Services Sailing Center, Gosport, U.K. on 12 October 1984. With the onset of winter, the crew had a rough passage, especially in the Bay of Biscay, Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. With halts at Alderney (14 October), A Coruña (20 October), Lisbon (26 October), Gibraltar (1 November), Ibiza (7 November), Malta (17 November), Iraklion (24 November), Port Said (1 December) through the Suez Canal to Port Suez (7 December), [11] Port Sudan (15 December), Aden (30 December), Salalah (10 January 1985), Muscat, Oman (19 January) and Bombay (1 February 1985). [12] [13] [14]


The team to sail the boat back from Gosport, United Kingdom to Bombay, India consisted of the following members: [8]

Maj A. K. Singh was handicapped. His leg had been amputated above the knee after a hang gliding accident in 1981. [15]

Voyages by Trishna

Note: The Goodwill Sailing Expedition 1994-1995 was the first occasion when a lady member, 2/Lt. Deepanita Dass, was included as a crew member in any Indian sailing expedition. [19]

Silver Jubilee Anniversary

The Indian Army Corps of Engineers celebrated the silver jubilee of the historic completion of the First Indian circumnavigation on 10 January 2012 by again sailing Trishna across Mumbai harbour to the Naval Sailing Club, Colaba, Mumbai, the place from where she had set off on its journey in 1985. [24]

Gallery: Gosport-Bombay 1984-1985

Gallery: Goodwill Sailing Expedition 1994-1995

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