Back Water Sailing Expedition by Naval NCC Cadets, Ernakulam
Adventurous back water sailing expedition by Naval Wing NCC cadets of 7 Kerala Naval Unit NCC Ernakulam, was flagged off by Rear Admiral RJ Nadkarni, AVSM, VSM, Chief of Staff, Southern Naval Command(SNC) on 10 October 2019 from Naval Jetty at Seamanship School, Naval Base, Kochi.
The event comprises of 60 young NCC Cadets including 25 girls of 7(Kerala) Naval NCC Unit, in three “Whaler” sail boats on a 14 days long Sailing Expedition along the National Waterway No 3. The young cadets had undergone extensive training at Seamanship School in preparation for the expedition. The cadets were selected on the basis of their swimming skill, physical fitness, aptitude and willingness to participate in the long voyage.
Speaking on the occasion, Rear Admiral Nadkarni said that a “Whaler” was one of the best ways to learn practical seamanship, experience the elements and also develop camaraderie and esprit de corps. He advised the young cadets to make full use of this learning opportunity while cautioning them about safety aspects. Prior to the flag off, the Chief of Staff interacted with the crew of each Whaler. Commodore RR Aiyyar, the Ernakulam NCC Group Commander and Captain C Suresh, Commanding Officer of 7(Kerala) Naval NCC Unit, were present on the occasion.
The three whalers would first sail to Kottapuram and then proceed south to Kollam, covering a total distance of 342 km. The crew of three boats would be changed around regularly, so that all cadets get an opportunity to experience the sailing. An extensive recce had been earlier been undertaken by the staff of 7(Kerala) NCC Unit to identify potential hazards along the route. The crew is also scheduled to undertake social activities at all the places of night halt, to spread awareness about water conservation, pollution control and the menace of plastic.
This expedition is testimony to the tremendous effort being made by NCC, Kerala in shaping young students, from various Schools and Colleges of Ernakulam, so that they grow up into being responsible citizens of our country. Exposure to adventure activities such as whaler sailing would help in furthering this endeavour and enable these youngsters of NCC to gain confidence to face the challenges of the future.