Navy’s woman power reaches Mauritius shores


The Navy sail boat INSV Mhadei — steered by an all-woman, six-member crew that will attempt to circumnavigate the world next year — entered Port Louis, Mauritius, on Tuesday.

This historic open ocean voyage by the all-women crew, the first such in Indian maritime history, is designed to help them get used to the conditions they will face during their mission.

Mhadei left Goa on May 24 led by skipper Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi, a Naval architect, and five others: Lieutenant P. Swathi, Lt. Pratibha Jamwal, Lt. Vijaya Devi, Sub Lt. Payal Gupta and Lt. B. Aishwarya.

“The 2100 Nm [nautical mile] voyage was covered by the crew in 20 days passing through rough seas whipped up by the southwest monsoon. The timing of the voyage was chosen to expose the crew to rough weather that they are likely to encounter during their attempt to circumnavigate the globe in 2017,” the Navy said.

Mhadei encountered winds up to 35 km and a swell of up to 5m during the voyage to Mauritius, the statement added.

The crew will, however, undertake their voyage aboard a new sailing vessel that is at present under construction at the Aquarius Shipyard in Goa.

The yet-to-be-named boat is expected to be delivered to the Navy by February 2017.

Return journey

During the stay in Mauritius the crew will meet the country’s President and other dignitaries.

The Mhadei will be open to visitors and schoolchildren.

The crew members will begin their return journey on June 24 and are expected to arrive in Goa in early July.

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