After sailing around the globe for 254 days, spending 194 days at sea and covering a distance of 21,600 nautical miles the all-women crew onboard INSV Tarini on Monday returned to Goa.
The expedition ‘Navika Sagar Parikrama’ the first-ever Indian circumnavigation on an Indian-built sailboat, INSV Tarini, aimed at promoting women empowerment aligned with the Government of India’s thrust for ‘Nari Shakti’ led by Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi. The expedition began on September 10, 2017 visiting five countries and enroute touching four continents, crossing three oceans, three major capes – Leeuwin, Horn and Good Hope– and crossed the Equator twice before reaching INS Mandovi boat pool at Verem.
The other crewmembers include Lieutenant Commander Pratibha Jamwal, Lieutenant Aishwarya Boddapati, Lieutenant Patarapalli Swathi, Lieutenant Sh Vijaya Devi and Lieutenant Payal Gupta.
The expedition was completed in six legs– Leg I (Goa– Fremantle, Australia), Leg II (Fremantle – Lyttelton), Leg III (Lyttelton– Falkland), Leg IV (Falkland– Cape Town), Leg V (Cape Town– Goa) which covered over 21,600 nautical miles.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who flagged-off INSV Tarini from INS Mandovi boat pool, Verem in September was here in Goa to flag in the voyage along with Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba and the family members of the six women crew members.
The INSV Tarini is a 55-feet sailing vessel, which has been built indigenously, was inducted into the Indian Navy earlier last year, thus showcasing the ‘Make in India’ initiative on the world forum.
Expressing her feelings on completing the successful global voyage, the skipper Joshi quoting a Rudyard Kipling poem said, “If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, And treat those two impostors just the same, If you can fill the unforgiving minute, With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it.” She further added that her team had to face strong winds of more than 60 knots and high waves of up to 8 meters and the vessel also encountered rough seas, high stormy conditions and severely cold temperatures, which made the expedition challenging for the crewmembers.
Vartika spoke about one of the big challenges encountered before they crossed Cape Horn. “The waves kept coming one after the other. It was bad and we had not seen anything like this before,” said Joshi though she added that the crew was prepared for the impending storm. “We cut down our sail and hand-steered the boat for 16-17 hours at a stretch and cut down all our power sources and automatic steering. We divided ourselves to keep a watch, three on deck and three taking rest. During the night, it would get disorienting as there was no clear sky. We used to listen to the sounds of the wave and then keep the boat steady.”
Acknowledging the courage and appreciating the dedication of the young female crewmembers, Sitharaman said: “I feel honoured to receive them and humbled before them for their achievement. Today girls have made history not only for themselves but for the Navy and also the maritime history of the world. It not the girls achieving, its youngsters from India achieving and it should be more for men and women and it’s not just for women of this country. Navika Sagar Parikrama is something that we can be proud of for generations to come,” she said.
Sitharaman further urged the youth to be ready to face the challenges and show the commitment, the dedication that Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi and her team has shown to the world.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba said that grit and determination displayed by the six women crewmembers of INS Tarini would definitely encourage future generations to take on daunting challenges and strive for success.