Tarangini @ Malta
INS Tarangini departed the base port, Kochi, India on 10 January 2007 and has called at Djibouti, Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), Alexandria (Egypt), Valletta (Malta), Algiers (Algeria), Casablanca (Morocco) and Las Palmas (Spain) covering over 8500 nautical miles. She participated in the 'Tall Ships Challenge Series 2007' comprising Sail Virginia, Sail Rhode Island, Sail Boston, etc organised by the American Sail Training Association (ASTA) on the Atlantic Coast of North America. A total of eight officers, 44 sailors, 300 Indian naval cadets and 25 foreign cadets took part in this ambitious voyage as the ship called at 23 ports in 16 countries en-route. This vessel affords the budding officers of the Indian Navy a first hand experience of life onboard a sailing ship and also broaden their horizons about the cultures, traditions and customs of foreign lands. Visits to foreign ports, interaction with foreign navies and naval personnel has strengthened the belief in the Indian Navy's robust system of training and functioning. Only 27 navies of the world operate sail training ships including 15 in Europe, five in Latin America and three in Asia.
A sailing ship is the natural training ground for naval personnel and provides an excellent platform for a sound grounding in basic seamanship. It teaches initiative and methods to harness it to one's best advantage. The main value of sail training in this era of information age lies in its unique ability to foster the somewhat old-fashioned virtues of courage, comradeship, esprit de corps and endurance - necessary ingredient for a strong character. Sailing platforms are ideal to provide first hand experience of the vagaries at sea to cadets embarking on a naval career. All sailing manoeuvres require experience of the basic elements of marine environment namely wind, sea and weather. They also need nicety of judgment and that indefinable quality of 'sea sense', which a sailing ship demands. The principal qualification for command or any other position of responsibility at sea requires strength of character and a good deal of sea sense. Sail training imparts all these virtues. These images were taken out by ship spotters in late February / early March 2007, while the vessel was at the Valletta Grand Harbour in Malta - a nation in the Mediterranean Sea - and served as one of the rest & recuperation stops for INS Tarangini and her crew.
When INS Tarangini did finally arrive for the 'Tall Ships Challenge Series 2007' competition on the Atlantic Coast of North America, it was reported by ship spotters that she had negotiated through extremely bad weather and turbulent sea states. Some of the photographs in this album illustrate what 'appears' to be superficial damage she endured during her journey. It is certainly a testament to the ship's crew and her commanding officer, for bringing her to the competition under such challenging conditions. Brings a whole new meaning to the adage - Bash On Regardless! Teen Jai to our men & women in white!
Images © Anthony Vella and Stephen J Borg