First-Ever Indian Circumnavigation of the Globe by Proud Women Naval Officers – Navika Sagar Parikrama
Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, Hon’ble Raksha Mantri flagged-in INSV Tarini at 1615 hours on 21 May 2018 on completion of it’s maiden voyage of circumnavigating the globe. The Navika Sagar Parikrama expedition was flagged-off by Nirmala Sitharaman from Goa in September 2017.
This is the first-ever Indian circumnavigation of the globe by an all-women crew. The vessel is skippered by Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi, and the crew comprises Lieutenant Commanders Pratibha Jamwal, P Swathi, and Lieutenants S Vijaya Devi, B Aishwarya and Payal Gupta. The vessel has covered 22,300 nautical miles since her departure from Goa on 10 September 2017 and has met all criteria of circumnavigation, namely crossing the Equator twice, crossing all Longitudes and the three great capes namely Cape Leeuwin, Cape Horn and Cape of Good Hope.
The crew and the vessel encountered rough seas, extremely cold climate coupled with stormy weather conditions on numerous occasions during the voyage, which made the task of circumnavigating the globe highly daunting and challenging.
The vessel also witnessed winds in excess of 60 knots and waves up to 7 metres high, whilst crossing the Pacific Ocean. The expedition christened ‘Navika Sagar Parikrama’, is in consonance with the national policy to empower women to attain their full potential and showcased ‘Nari Shakti’ on the world platform to help change societal attitudes and mindset towards women in India by raising visibility of their participation in challenging environs. The expedition was covered in six legs, with stop-overs at 5 ports: Fremantle (Australia), Lyttleton (New Zealand), Port Stanley (Falklands), Cape Town (South Africa) and Port Louis (Mauritius). In addition, the crew also collated and updated meteorological, ocean and wave data on a regular basis for accurate weather forecast by India Meteorological Department and reported marine pollution on the high seas. They interacted extensively with the local populace, especially children, during the port halts to promote ocean sailing and spirit of adventure.
Let’s salute the ladies for their courage. They have proved once again that women dare to accomplish big missions. There is nothing in the world that can be a hindrance to women for achieving great things. The society’s mindset overlooks women’s achievement, giving much importance and hype only to men. The time has come that we give equal opportunities to both genders so that our nation can progress.