Ishan Roy is India’s youngest undocumented expeditionist who is set to sail around the world. As the son of an army officer, Ishan got to travel the length and breadth of India, but always away from the big cities. In his own words: “Never settling roots anywhere, always free to roam.” Growing up in this nomadic lifestyle has shaped his perspective on life. After sailing and touching nearly all the southern ports of India, Ishan is now embarking on a global adventure: Project Anicca.
Till May I will be skippering a Leopard 39 Catamaran (Yacht) as a live-aboard, for sailing and diving trips to uninhabited islands in the Andamans. But work is on full time to raise the funds for Project Anicca which is the main focus.”
This 22-year-old is getting ready to sail from the Indian sub-continent across the vast Indian Ocean, touch Madagascar and sail around the Cape of Good Hope. Then he will cross the Atlantic Ocean, touching Panama, and thereafter take on the vast Pacific Ocean, followed by the Torres Strait. And finally, crossing the Arabian Ocean he will return home. This enormous feat will make Ishan India’s ‘youngest unassisted solo-sailing circumnavigator’, and it will also be the ‘first solo-diving expedition in the world’. Ishan who is a professional diver, and Captain of Boats at the Pondicherry Sailing Association is earning his fare for this grand expedition by doing odd jobs, while training himself physically for the voyage.
Anicca is an expensive voyage, grand totalling upto Rs. 1.5 crores. And obtaining the funds for it is Ishan’s prime aim, and it’s no easy task. He says, “Till May I will be skippering a Leopard 39 Catamaran (Yacht) as a live-aboard, for sailing and diving trips to uninhabited islands in the Andamans. But work is on full time to raise the funds for Project Anicca which is the main focus.”
At sea, you fall, you learn, you get frustrated, and you experience amazing moments. The ocean, she has all the knowledge in the world to give to those patient enough to listen.”
Passionate about sailing is an understatement, as is evident from the way this sailor unrestrainedly speaks of his love for the ocean. “Out on the sea it’s easier to understand where we stand in the grand scale of things. It’s like the invisible curtain has been lifted and you’re tearing through it with only the stars and the moon for company, at the mercy of the winds and seas, on your beloved boat. Free to go where you dare.” The sea has tested Ishan many times. “At sea, you fall, you learn, you get frustrated, and you experience amazing moments. The ocean, she has all the knowledge in the world to give to those patient enough to listen.”
A person with a soul this wild and uninhibited can turn even a Grinch into a sunbathing and diving enthusiast. Perhaps that’s the reason his family has been supportive of his life decision to be an expeditionist. In fact, his extended family mindful of his need for a proper camera, gifted him a GoPro (waterproof and action oriented) camera.
With an audaciously free spirit Ishan almost careened towards a strictly bound career in the MARCOS wing of the Indian Navy, or as a naval aviator. “Now I’m glad that it didn’t work out!”, the adventurer says.
It’s like the invisible curtain has been lifted and you’re tearing through it with only the stars and the moon for company, at the mercy of the winds and seas, on your beloved boat. Free to go where you dare.”
One would hardly believe that the unkempt young man they crossed on the beach of Pondicherry, is actually a well qualified graduate of Political Science from Hindu College (Delhi University). A self-made man, Ishan has had his ‘down-to-the dirt-moments’ literally. “There were times in Pondicherry when I was completely broke and homeless (still sailing everyday though). I remember hiding from cops as I made my way down to the beach to get some sleep. But the cops were too annoying so I relocated to the fishing harbor which was an amazing place with the fishing boats rocking with the tide under the moonlit sky, until 2 am, when the winds died out.” He recalls hopping from boat to boat, trying to find a good sleeping spot until the mosquitoes attacked again. He adds saying, “Don’t think I ever got a night of sleep there!” Such are the adventures of Ishan Roy.
Now, Ishan is doing well enough to get by. But, the funding needed to make his Project Anicca a reality is posing a challenge. Ishan Roy, who personally objects to publicity, has taken to social media and the public to raise funds, so that he may be the youngest Indian solo-diving expeditionist in the world!
Despite his broken arrows, there is plenty of hope that India will help him live his ambitious dream of sailing around the world.
To help this adventurer you can contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org.