New Delhi | An all-women crew of the Indian Navy today sailed from Goa to Mauritius on board vessel Mhadei in their first open-ocean voyage. Skippered by Lt Cdr Vartika Joshi (a naval Constructor), the crew of Mhadei are currently training to undertake a circumnavigation of the globe next year.
The crew comprising Lt P Swathi, Lt B Aishwarya, Lt Pratibha Jamwal, Lt Vijaya and Lt Payal Gupta would be undertaking this arduous voyage through rough seas and heavy weather, expected during the monsoons, in the Arabian Sea.
This is a training voyage to expose the young crew to weather that would be faced by them during the circumnavigation in 2017, a statement by the Navy said. All the women officers are keen sailors who took to the sport after joining Navy.
The skipper, Lt Cdr Vartika Joshi, and Lt Swathi have been part of Mhadei crew on earlier voyages. The officers have undergone theoretical training in navigation, communication, meteorology and seamanship at the navy’s training schools in Kochi. Since then, the officers have been training under Cdr Dilip Donde, India’s first circumnavigator, who undertook his voyage on the same boat in 2008-09.
The all-women crew circumnavigation of the globe would be undertaken on board the new sailing vessel of the Navy currently under-construction at Aquarius Shipyard Pvt Ltd, Goa. The yet-to-be-named boat is expected to be delivered to the navy by February next year.
The navy is in the process of setting up an Ocean Sailing node at Goa to promote ocean sailing and a spirit of adventure amongst young naval officers and sailors. Mhadei and her sister vessel would be based at this node in Goa.
The exploits of this all-women crew on board Mhadei, along with accounts of their voyage and photographs, can be followed on the Facebook page ‘Mhadei’, it said.