Name: Ajay Bajaj

Age: 59

Hometown: Born and raised in Dehradun, India, in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains near Tibet; Bajaj is an Australian citizen who has lived in Swanzey since 2018.

Family: Wife, Chitra Akkoor, an associate professor of communication at Keene State College; children by a previous marriage: daughter Nandini Bajaj, an attorney in Canberra, Australia; son Gautam Bajaj, a banker in Sydney

Occupation: Served at sea on merchant vessels for 35 years; Bajaj is a master mariner, an international credential qualifying him to navigate, control or even captain any ship in the world, regardless of size, in any ocean, under any conditions; currently teacher in charge, maritime studies, at Northern Sydney Institute in Australia

Education: Elementary and high school at St. Joseph’s Academy in Dehradun, founded in 1934 by the Society of the Brothers of St. Patrick of Ireland, a Catholic missionary order; maritime training

Side note: According to Bajaj, all ships can sail using GPS, but the U.S. Navy now requires that all its vessels also carry a sextant, an old-time manual navigation device that determines location by using the sun and stars. The reason: GPS technology can also be used in reverse by enemies to locate your ships.

Question: Any advice for others from a long-time seafaring man?

Answer: “You need to laugh. It’s the small things in life that make a difference.”

To see a video of Bajaj instructing students in a marine simulator, go to