All-women crew sails into Port Louis
Indian Navy’s sail boat INSV Mhadei sailed into Port Louis, Mauritius, with the first all-women crew recently. The Navy’s famous sailing vessel Mhadei set sail from her home port Goa on May 24, 2016, on this historic first open ocean voyage by an allwomen crew on any vessel of the Indian Navy. Lt Commander Vartika Joshi, a naval architect, is the first woman Skipper of Mhadei. The boat is crewed by Lt P. Swathi, Lt Pratibha Jamwal (air traffic control specialists), Lt Vijaya Devi, Sub Lt Payal Gupta (both education officers) and Lt B. Aishwarya, a naval architect.
The 2,100-nm voyage was covered by the crew in 20 days passing through rough seas whipped up by the south-west monsoons. 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. Mhadei encountered winds of up to 35 kts, sea states up to 5 and a swell of up to 5 m during the onward leg from Goa to Mauritius. This adequately met the training aims of the voyage. The strenuous journey also provided the crew with an opportunity to consolidate upon their theoretical and practical training undergone thus far.
The return journey from Port Louis to Goa is slated to commence on June 24, 2016. Mhadei is expected to arrive in Goa in early July 16. The women officers are training to form an all-women crew that would attempt to circumnavigate the globe next year.