A proud moment for our nation as our first ocean sailing boat INSV Mhadei returned to her homeport in Goa. It was a first all-women crew ocean voyage where a team of six young women Navy officers covered a distance of over 5 thousand nautical miles facing all the challenges like unpredictable monsoon seas and heavy winds. The voyage commenced from Goa on 24th May 2016 and returned successfully after a voyage to Mauritius on 14th June 2016.
The team successfully completed expedition when reached INS Mandovi Boat Pool. Lieutenant Commander Vertika Joshi, team leader along-with her five team members comprising Lt B Aishwarya, Lt P Swathi, Lt Vijaya, Lt Pratibha and Slt Payal Gupta were received by Vice Admiral Girish Luthra and the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command.
Vice Admiral Girish Luthra said that it was a landmark event where the team of women officers completed the first ever open voyage. He mentioned that this is a biggest achievement of our young women navy officers and this will encourage other women’s to contribute in ocean sailing in India.
The team of women crew members trained to undertake an expedition to circumnavigate the Globe which is a rare feat achieved by very few people, the number is even less than the number of people who climb Mount Everest. The First Indian to solo-circumnavigate the Globe on board Mhadei, CDR Dilip Donde, trained the young women officers.
The objective of voyage was to let the captain and her team expose to rough seas during the Monsoon season in the North Indian Ocean. This was aimed to make them prepare for more difficult conditions which are expected to be encountered in the Southern Ocean during their circumnavigation of the globe. The purpose was fulfilled as all the crew members proved that they are capable of overcoming all the threats and survive at sea.
The women crew members shifted to the new boat which was under construction at M/S Aquarius Shipyard Private Limited, Goa. The design of their new boat is quite similar to the design of Mhadei and named Tarini which is after the river boat Goddess of Goa. The foundation of the boat was laid by the Honorable Raksha Mantri Shri Manohar Parikar. Tarini was delivered to the Indian Navy before India’s first all-women crew commenced circumnavigation.
Two solo circumnavigations, one with stops by CDR Dilip Donde and the second one, non-stop by Cdr Abhilash Tomy, has been undertaken on-board Mhadei between 2009-2013.