The first all-women crew that embarked upon a historic, record-setting circumnavigation of the globe by sea, has now returned after an uber successful voyage. The six naval officers, who journeyed aboard INSV Tarini, returned to India on Monday.
This journey, titled ‘Navika Sagar Parikrama’, which kickstarted on September 10 last year, was undertaken over the span of eight eventful months, or 254 days. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was a part of the grand send-off the six received before they set out, and will now be greeted and congratulated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
The expedition, carried out in the 56-foot sailing vessel which was made in India, and has been in the Indian Navy since February 2017, concluded at Goa Harbour, in a world record as Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi Lieutenant Commanders Pratibha Jamwal, P Swathi, and Lieutenants S Vijaya Devi, B Aishwarya and Payal Gupta, set a record for being the first ever all-women crew to have accomplished this feat.
A circumnavigation is only considered complete when it meets the following criteria: crossing the Equator twice, crossing all longitudes, as also the three great capes - Cape Leeuwin, Cape Horn and Cape of Good Hope. This path-breaking expedition, captained by Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi, met all these requisites – as over 22,000 nautical miles were clocked spanning five countries Australia, New Zealand, Falkland Islands (UK), South Africa and Mauritius, stopping at all their ports, namely Fremantle, Lyttleton, Port Stanley, Cape Town and Port Louis respectively - thus securing them a spot in the history books.
“We knew at the very start of this voyage that we had a daunting task ahead. However, the many challenges we encountered brought in a new found strength from within, which we ourselves never knew we were capable of. Our close bonding helped us overcome those difficult times,” Skipper Lt Commander Vartika Joshi said, according to a press release on their official site.
Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff said, “The grit and determination displayed by these young women officers would definitely encourage future generations to take on daunting challenges and strive for success.”