India’s all-female, round-the-world sailors to head home from Cape Town

By AT editor - 7 March 2018 at 7:07 am
India’s all-female, round-the-world sailors to head home from Cape Town

Their journey began in Goa, India, on September 10 when the Indian Navy launched “Navika Sagar Parikrama,” an all-female expedition with six naval officers and a mission to circle the globe aboard the 17-meter INSV Tarini.

The crew led by Lt. Cdr. Vartika Joshi has served as ambassadors of women’s empowerment as they stopped in five ports that most recently included Cape Town – the last of their calls before heading home to Goa, and where they met with Mayor Patricia de Lille. But along the way they’ve also had other priorities, including collecting meteorological and ocean data for further research, and observations on marine pollution affecting the high seas. 

Life on the INSV Tarini also showcases the use of environmentally friendly renewable energy, while promoting the “Made in India” initiative, since the sailing ship was built at a shipyard in Goa. What’s been exciting for fans of the Navika Sagar Parikrama mission is to watch its progress in real time, read updates on the crew and their activities, and take pride as they visited South Africa or New Zealand.

Along the way, the crew has posted on blogs and social media to keep followers up to date. Lt. Aishwarya Boddapati has described seeing the aurora lights in December, celebrating a crewmate’s birthday at sea, visiting dignitaries, and basking in the beauty and power around her.

“We really want women to … do whatever they want,” said Lt. Cdr. Patrapalli Swathi in an interview with CapeTalk radio. “The navy gives you an ocean of opportunities.”

It wasn’t all smooth sailing. The vessel’s passage through the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic oceans has seen winds in excess of 60 knots and waves up to 7 meters high. The Indian Navy said the experienced crew has encountered extremely cold temperatures as well as the storms and rough seas.

They’ve successfully met the challenges so far, and they’re expected to be back in Goa by April 10.

Image: Indian Navy

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