Its 30 December 2012 and we all are ready to say goodbye 2012! Yatris on train didn’t know that their new year will end up with a big surprise trip to a Indian Navy Ship. Every yatri is damn excited after our visit to Visakhapatanam dock because almost everyone of us have been on a Naval ship for the first time in life. It was INS Shakti! INS Shakti, the second of the two fleet tankers built by Fincantieri Shipyard of Italy for the Indian navy. 36000 HP, dual engine huge ship! Today we have 4 such ships and around 170 ships in total with Indian Navy. INS Shakti has RADAR range of 120 kms with speed of 21 nautical miles. It can carry 15,000 tonnes of liquid cargo (water, ship and aircraft fuel) and 500 tonnes of solid cargo (victuals and ammunition). The modern cargo handling facility on board the ship enables transfer of heavy solid cargo via a 30 tonne capacity deck crane, and simultaneous fueling of multiple ships at sea. It also had AK630 guns of 4 km firing range though it isn’t a war ship. INS Shakti takes 15 officers and 220 others for various roles when goes into sea for sailing. This visit is making me nostalgic and remind me of Liverpool dock I visited last year. Watching UK navy medals, big hangers, ship models, some precious things like boarding pass of Einstein and original items from Titanic are also kept in the Liverpool Maritime Museum. Watching big ships, neatly dressed navy officers and listening to those horns is altogether different feeling.
It was surprising as well as overwhelming experience for all of us to board on the ship and see its functions. Talk to dashing Navy officers raised spirits of yatris as they were requested to talk on leadership. We could easily see the proud on face of the captain of the ship. It was very obvious that he was really enjoying what he is doing. Now I am sure everyone will boastfully tell their parents and friends about how they went on a Navy ship and no doubt tonight there will be hundreds of posts on Facebook about this experience 🙂