Monday, May 20, 2019 | Last Update : 04:07 PM IST

Around the world in 254 days

THE ASIAN AGE. | RADHIKA VSHISHT
Published : Mar 8, 2019, 12:08 am IST
Updated : Mar 8, 2019, 12:08 am IST

Maritime odyssey INSV Tarini's six-member women crew circumnavigated the globe sailing new records.

Indian Navy’s first all-women crew of Indian Naval Sailing Vessel (INSV) Tarini
 Indian Navy’s first all-women crew of Indian Naval Sailing Vessel (INSV) Tarini

Who knew that six women with different culture and beliefs would come together to make our nation proud!

With this background, Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi (skipper) along with crew members Lt. Commander Pratibha Jamwal, Lt. Commander Aishwarya Boddapati, Lt. Commander P Swathi, Lt. Commander S Vijaya Devi and Lieutenant Payal Gupta successfully completed the 254-day voyage of circumnavigating the globe. Aboard their sailboat, INSV Tarini, the women set out from Goa on September 10, 2017 and returned on May 21, 2018 only after completing more than 21,600 nautical miles. Their sojourn encompassed touching five countries, crossing the equator twice, and sailing across four continents and three oceans.

Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba hailed the all-women crew of Indian Navy's sailing vessel Tarini, calling them a “role model” for the youth.

“Navika Sagar Parikrama is the first circumnavigation of the globe by an all women crew of India. The Indian Navy believes in fostering the spirit of adventure as a means of nurturing leadership qualities and developing a sense of purpose, determination, and courage in our personnel. The ‘Navika Sagar Parikrama’ was envisaged in consonance of this philosophy of challenge and spirit of adventure.” Sunil Lanba added.

When asked how difficult the journey was, the team skipper Vartika Joshi said, “There was a lot of apprehension in this journey, anything which is a first for the country. So definitely there challenges in the beginning but with good planning and executions and a lot of hard work went into it, we were able to have it done successfully. It is very satisfying feeling to comeback on land, where there is entire nation was waiting for you and was supporting with well wishes.”

According to the team, INSV Tarini the sailboat is none other than the seventh member. The boat, which was named after Tara Tarini Temple (located near Ganjam District, Odisha) is the second sailboat of the Indian Navy. “Tarini is our seventh team member. She is not just a boat but is our companion and there is saying ‘you take care of the boat and it takes care of you’. So that is what we experienced during our voyage. We have learnt to live in those confined spaces and to get along with the team over the span of three years,” Lt Commander Pratibha Jamwal said.

On asking what were the biggest challenges in whole expedition Lt. Commander Aishwarya Boddapati said “The seas and weather are the biggest challenge when we go on such expedition. There were many moments when we felt the seas were over powering us. But when you are out there, the sea is going to rule on you or ruling the sea it depends on how under control you are.”

When being asked what inspired them, the team replied, “We think we were all driven by the fact that we wanted to explore the world.  And we went to embark on new adventure. We wanted to get high on adventure. We did not want fears to come in our way while going around the world. When we were deciding we realised whatever decision we would make, we would not like to regret. That drove us to this mission.”

“When we joined this expedition, first thing we were told was to leave our genders back. So that is what we did. We stopped thinking about it. Circumnavigation in itself is a difficult journey and you really do not need to add gender to it. Many inspired us, not just women. Our mentor, Commander Abhilash Tomy, was the first Indian to circumnavigate the globe,” they said.

The crew roughed it out in the sea during the toughest of weather conditions, yet stayed firm on their mission. Their heroic feat has inspired millions across the globe, especially girls back home in India.

As part of the ongoing #GirlsWhoSailed initiative and with the aim of taking this inspiring story to the whole world, National Geographic India has embarked itself on a special journey. As a mark of honour to the gumption of the women sailors, the channel will be featuring an exclusive documentary on International Women’s Day.  Set to premiere on March 8, the film titled, 'Tarini' narrates the adventures of INSV Tarini at the sea. It chronicles every difficulty that the vessel faced during the expedition that was very aptly named ‘Navika Sagar Parikrama’.

Tags: insv tarini