The all-woman Indian Navy team of INSV Tarini is weeks away from creating history as it readies for the last leg of its global circumnavigation journey, or the Navika Sagar Parikrama.
It is set to leave Cape Town in South Africa on Wednesday and reach Goa in April to become the first Indian all-woman team to complete circumnavigation of the globe after travelling about 22,100-nautical miles.
INSV Tarini had reached Cape Town on 2 March, about a fortnight after it crossed the rough seas around the Cape of Good Horn.
— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) March 2, 2018
Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi is the skipper of INSV Tarini. The other crew members are Pratibha Jamwal, P Swatchi, both Lieutenant Commanders, and S Vijaya Devi, Payal Gupta, and Aishwarya Bodapati, all Lieutenants.
The mission was flagged by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman from Goa on 10 September 2017.
The crew had earlier met Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) August 16, 2017
The aim of the expedition is to promote women’s empowerment, and inspire the youth to develop an understanding of the sea.
During its mission, the crew has also been collating and updating meteorological, ocean and wave data for accurate weather forecasts by the Indian met department. It has also been monitoring marine pollution on the high seas.
On 18 January, INSV Tarini had crossed the Cape of Good Horn through the Drake Passage, considered to be the Mount Everest of sailing due to its rough waters and extreme wind conditions. The crew hoisted the Indian national flag as it crossed this stretch on its way to Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands.
#NavikaSagarParikrama #INSVTarini sets sail from Port Stanley, seen off by the Governor and the small and warm population of Falkland Islands. Next port of call Cape Town @DefenceMinIndia @nsitharaman @SpokespersonMoD @HCI_London @IndiainCapeTown pic.twitter.com/ZFO63MZ6Hj
— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) February 4, 2018
It has completed four of the five legs of its circumnavigation mission. During its voyage, it has had stop-overs at Fremantle, Australia (23 October 2017); Lyttleton, New Zealand (29 November 2017); Port Stanley, Falkland Islands (22 January 2018), and Cape Town, South Africa (2 March 2018).
The 41-day passage across the Pacific Ocean after leaving Lyttleton was particularly rough as the crew faced winds in excess of 60 knots and waves up to seven metres high. This was aggravated by extreme cold weather.
The first time a solo circumnavigation was attempted and successfully completed by an Indian was in 2009-10. The feat was accomplished by Commander Dilip Donde, SC (Retd) from 19 August 2009 to 19 May 2010 on the Mhadei.
Make In India
The indigenously-built INSV Tarini is a 56-foot sailing vessel which was inducted into the Indian Navy on 18 February 2017.
— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) February 18, 2018
It is the Indian Navy’s second ocean-going sailboat after INSV Mhadei. The all-woman crew, incidentally, trained on the INSV Mhadei, clocking 10,000 nautical miles between India and Mauritius, and Goa and Cape Town.
Inducting the vessel, senior officers of the Navy had said that they were planning to revitalise open ocean sailing.