Navika Sa­gar Parikrama

by All-Woman Crew

SP's NavalForces - - FRONT PAGE - Ñ Nirmala Sithara­man, De­fence Min­is­ter

ÒItÕs not the girls achiev­ing, itÕs the young­sters from In­dia achiev­ing. The women of this coun­try have shown that it is pos­si­ble for the young­sters, if they want to do some­thing, that they can in­deed do it, by show­ing com­mit­ment, grit and ded­i­ca­tion.Ó

The firsT ever All-WomAn Crew of naval of­fi­cers of the in­dian navy em­barked upon a unique cir­cum­nav­i­ga­tion of the globe, named navika sa­gar Parikrama on board in­dian naval sail­ing ves­sel (insv) Tarini. The unique voy­age was flagged off by De­fence min­is­ter nirmala sithara­man at Panaji on septem­ber 10, 2017. The launch of his­toric ex­pe­di­tion was wit­nessed by manohar Par­rikar, Chief min­is­ter of Goa and former De­fence min­is­ter, Ad­mi­ral su­nil lanba, the Chief of the naval staff, vice Ad­mi­ral A.r. Karve, the flag of­fi­cer Com­mandin­gin-Chief, south­ern naval Com­mand, and sev­eral se­nior of­fi­cers and dig­ni­taries.

The ex­pe­di­tion for cir­cum­nav­i­gat­ing the globe, navika sa­gar Parikrama on insv Tarini was un­der­taken by all-woman crew which was led by lieu­tenant Com­man­der var­tika Joshi and her crew com­pris­ing; lieu­tenant Com­man­ders Prat­i­bha Jamwal, swati P. and Aish­warya Bod­da­p­ati, and lieu­tenants s. vi­jaya Devi and Payal Gupta.

The crew com­pris­ing six mem­bers were put through an ex­tremely rig­or­ous train­ing course last­ing for nearly three years un­der the able guid­ance of Cap­tain Dilip Donde, the first In­dian to solo-cir­cum­nav­i­gate the globe in 2009-10 and Cap­tain Atool sinha, an Asian Games sil­ver medal­list.

The Long Route

The ex­pe­di­tion was sailed in six legs, cov­er­ing over 21,600 nau­ti­cal miles since insv Tarini left Goa ad­her­ing to the fol­low­ing itin­er­ary:

Train­ing

A spe­cialised train­ing was given to the crew to help them learn the ropes of as­tron­omy, me­te­o­rol­ogy, nav­i­ga­tion, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, sea­man­ship and read­ing weather and weather maps.

Chal­lenges

The naval team bat­tled winds up to 60 knots in the mid­dle of the Pa­cific Ocean. “It was a gru­elling test of hu­man en­durance, per­se­ver­ance and sail­ing skills to bat­tle the el­e­ments of sea and its wrath,Ó said navy spokesper­son Cap­tain D.K. sharma.

in an in­ter­view, lieu­tenant Com­man­der var­tika Joshi, the skip­per of the ves­sel re­flected on one of the big chal­lenges be­fore they crossed Cape horn, of­ten re­ferred to as Ever­est for the sea­farer. “The waves kept com­ing one af­ter the other. it was bad and we had not seen some­thing like this be­fore.Ó The crew was pre­pared for the im­pend­ing storm. “We cut down our sail. We had to hand-steer the boat for 16 to 17 hours at a stretch and we cut down all our power sources and au­to­matic steer­ing. We di­vided our­selves to keep a watch, three on deck and three tak­ing rest. Dur­ing the night, it would get dis­ori­ent­ing as there was no clear sky. We used to lis­ten to the sounds of the wave and then keep the boat steady,Óshe added.

“There was water even in­side the boat. The skip­per came float­ing; she was try­ing to make out if she was on board or in water. Lt Vi­jaya and I tried to find our way to the wheel and con­trolled the boat,Ó added lieu­tenant Jamwal.

Steer­ing Gear De­fect

on April 15, 2018, whilst the ves­sel was 160 nau­ti­cal miles north-east of mau­ri­tius, the steer­ing sud­denly dis­en­gaged, throw­ing the boat off course. on in­spec­tion it was re­vealed that the rud­der stock had slipped down from its orig­i­nal po­si­tion. Also, both con­nec­tors had bro­ken, ren­der­ing the rud­der in­ef­fec­tive to ma­noeu­vre the boat.

The crew there­after slid the rud­der back in po­si­tion, us­ing lines tied from the boom to the rud­der. The two bro­ken con­nec­tors were then can­ni­balised to make one and con­nected back to the rud­der stock, thus mak­ing one steer­ing sys­tem op­er­a­tional.

The ves­sel en­tered Port louis on April 18, 2018, with­out any as­sis­tance. spares were flown to Port Louis by the In­dian Navy for de­fect rec­ti­fi­ca­tion.

The crew man­aged their daily ac­tiv­i­ties and dur­ing the halts they pre­pared for the re­main­ing jour­ney and also stocked up the food sup­ply.

Tarini romps Home

insv Tarini en­tered Goa har­bour and came along­side ins man­dovi jetty on com­ple­tion of a his­toric global cir­cum­nav­i­ga­tion voy­age on may 21, 2018. The all-woman crew of Tarini was re­ceived at the jetty by De­fence min­is­ter nirmala sithara­man, who had also flagged them off on Septem­ber 10, 2017. Ad­mi­ral su­nil lanba, Chief of the naval staff, vice Ad­mi­ral A.r. Karve, flag Of­fi­cer Com­mand­ing-in-Chief, South­ern Naval Com­mand, se­nior of­fi­cers and en­thu­si­as­tic mem­bers from the naval com­mu­nity both serv­ing and re­tired, as well as civil­ians were present at the naval Boat Pool to wel­come insv Tarini.

it was a poignant moment for the navika sa­gar Parikrama team which in­cluded a num­ber of naval per­son­nel who worked be­hind the scenes from the time of orig­i­na­tion of the idea of cir­cum­nav­i­ga­tion by an all women crew, right through the plan­ning, im­ple­men­ta­tion and train­ing till the suc­cess­ful ex­e­cu­tion of the voy­age. The women crew them­selves were ec­static on com­ple­tion of the voy­age. speak­ing on

the oc­ca­sion, the skip­per lt Com­man­der Var­tika Joshi said, “We knew at the very start of this voy­age that we had a daunt­ing task ahead. how­ever, the many chal­lenges we en­coun­tered brought in a new found strength from within, which we our­selves never knew we were ca­pa­ble of. our close bond­ing helped us over­come those dif­fi­cult times.” It was also a time for happy re­u­nion of the crew with their fam­i­lies af­ter a pe­riod of over eight and half months.

speak­ing at the oc­ca­sion, De­fence min­is­ter nirmala sithara­man said that she is ex­tremely hon­oured and feels hum­bled be­fore the crew of team Tarini for what they have achieved. she fur­ther added that “it’s not the girls achiev­ing, it’s the young­sters from in­dia achiev­ing. The women of this coun­try have shown that it is pos­si­ble for the young­sters, if they want to do some­thing, that they can in­deed do it, by show­ing com­mit­ment, grit and ded­i­ca­tion.Ó

Dur­ing his ad­dress Ad­mi­ral su­nil lanba, the Chief of the Naval Staff said, “The grit and de­ter­mi­na­tion dis­played by these young women of­fi­cers would def­i­nitely en­cour­age fu­ture gen­er­a­tions to take on daunt­ing chal­lenges and strive for suc­cessÓ.

The Voy­age

Dur­ing her 254 day long voy­age, the ves­sel has cov­ered over 22,000 nau­ti­cal miles, vis­it­ing five coun­tries – Aus­tralia, New Zealand, falk­land is­lands (UK), south Africa and mau­ri­tius. At each of these coun­tries the crew re­ceived a rous­ing wel­come both from the in­dian Di­as­po­ras as also from the lo­cal com­mu­nity and me­dia. Dur­ing the course of her voy­age, the ves­sel has met all cri­te­ria of cir­cum­nav­i­ga­tion, viz. cross­ing the equa­tor twice, cross­ing all lon­gi­tudes, as also the three great capes (Cape leeuwin, Cape horn and Cape of Good hope). The ex­pe­di­tion was cov­ered in six legs, with halts at five ports namely; Fre­man­tle (Aus­tralia), Lyt­tle­ton (New Zealand), Port stan­ley (falk­lands), Cape Town (south Africa) and Port louis (mau­ri­tius).

The crew and the ves­sel en­coun­tered rough seas on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions dur­ing the voy­age. The ex­tremely cold cli­mate cou­pled with stormy weather con­di­tions es­pe­cially in the south­ern ocean 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 in­dige­nously-built insv Tarini is a 56-foot sail­ing ves­sel, which was in­ducted in the in­dian navy in fe­bru­ary 2017, and has show­cased the ‘Make in In­dia’ initiative on the in­ter­na­tional fo­rum.

The ex­pe­di­tion ti­tled Ônavika sa­gar Parikrama’ is in con­so­nance with the Na­tional pol­icy to em­power women to at­tain their full po­ten­tial. It has show­cased ‘Nari Shakti’ on the world plat­form and helped change so­ci­etal at­ti­tudes and mind­set to­wards women in in­dia by rais­ing vis­i­bil­ity of their par­tic­i­pa­tion in chal­leng­ing en­vi­rons.

The crew also col­lated and up­dated me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal, ocean and wave data on a reg­u­lar ba­sis for ac­cu­rate weather fore­cast by in­dia me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Depart­ment (imD), as also mon­i­tored 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 the spirit of ad­ven­ture.

A se­nior naval of­fi­cer said, “The women of­fi­cers have done the coun­try proud not only in show­ing the in­dian flag at dis­tant shores but also in demon­strat­ing the sea far­ing ca­pa­bil­ity of in­dian women.Ó

In­ter­ac­tion with Prime Min­is­ter

it was a proud moment for the crew of navika sa­gar Parikrama when they had the hon­our to meet the Prime min­is­ter nar- en­dra modi on may 23, 2018. Dur­ing the in­ter­ac­tion the crew made a pre­sen­ta­tion on var­i­ous facets of the ex­pe­di­tion, prepa­ra­tions, train­ing and ex­pe­ri­ence dur­ing the voy­age. The Prime min­is­ter con­grat­u­lated and com­pli­mented the crew on the suc­cess of their mis­sion and en­cour­aged them to share and write about their unique ex­pe­ri­ences of their ex­pe­di­tion.

In­ter­ac­tion with Me­dia

Dur­ing the voy­age the crew had an op­por­tu­nity to in­ter­act with me­dia abroad at all five coun­tries where Tarini vis­ited. How­ever, the crew re­ceived the rous­ing wel­come and ac­co­lades for their path break­ing ex­pe­di­tion by both print and elec­tronic me­dia in in­dia. Prac­ti­cally all lead­ing tele­vi­sion chan­nels most ex­ten­sively re­ported the suc­cess story of the unique mis­sion. The in­ter­ac­tion was splashed through live in­ter­views of the crew dur­ing the prime time of re­port­ing.

PHO­TO­GRAPH: In­dian Navy

De­fence Min­is­ter Nirmala Sithara­man and Navy Chief Ad­mi­ral Su­nil Lanba with the In­dian Navy’s six-mem­ber all-women crew who ar­rived in Panaji af­ter cir­cum­nav­i­gat­ing the globe in over eight months on board the naval ves­sel INSV Tarini on May 21, 2018

PHO­TO­GRAPH: In­dian Navy

A bird’s-eye view of INSV Tarini

PHO­TO­GRAPH: In­dian Navy

Ex­cited crew spot a whale shark near the ves­sel

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