Blog: Around the world in 254 days, Navy's women sailors near home
By Amitabh Pashupati Revi
Six Indian Navy women officers are knocking on home’s door eight months after setting sail to circumnavigate the globe. The all-women crew of the ‘Navika Sagar Parikrama’ is just a day away from returning to shore in Goa. The lady officers led by Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi are the first ever Indian all-women crew to sail around the world. The expedition with Lieutenant Commanders Pratibha Jamwal, Swati P and Lieutenants Aishwarya Boddapati, S Vijaya Devi and Payal Gupta has covered 21,600 nautical miles in the Made in India sailing vessel INSV Tarini. They sailed across four continents, three Oceans, visited five countries and crossed the Equator twice.
The INSV (Indian Naval Sailing Vessel) Tarini and her crew will be welcomed home on Monday two hundred and fifty four days after she set sail on the 10th of September, 2017. She will be flagged in by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba on the 21st of May 2018 in Goa.
In eight months, since they set off, the crew has sailed from Goa to Australia, New Zealand, the Falkland Islands, Cape Town, Mauritius and back home.
The experiences of the crew exemplified perfectly by the last few days at sea seeing the crew escorted home by a shark whale and her babies.
The sailing vessel is named after the Tara-Tarini hill shrine in Ganjam district of Odisha. In Sanskrit, Tarini means boat and savior. Tara-Tarini is the traditional patron deity for sailors and merchants of ancient Odisha. The deity is worshipped for safety and success at sea. And safely and successfully is what these six ladies of the Indian Navy have accomplished in their journey sailing around the world in 254 days.
In the words of Lieutenant Aishwarya Boddapati, "Just a slight dose of vitamin 'Sea' and everything else dissolves. You need to see it to know it. Until, then, lost in thoughts, we wander further into the sea."