Expedition for Circumnavigation of the Globe

Navika Sagar Parikrama is the first-ever Indian circumnavigation of the globe by an all-women crew. They will begun their voyage from Goa, and expect to return to Goa in March 2018, after completing the circumnavigation.

Issue: 4 / 2017By Rear Admiral Sushil Ramsay (Retd)Photo(s): By Indian Navy
The crew of INSV Tarini with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Chief Minister of Goa Manohar Parrikar and Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba

Navika Sagar Parikrama is a project conceived for the women officers of the Indian Navy to circumnavigate the globe on board Indian-built sail boat, Indian Naval Sailing Vessel (INSV) Tarini. This is the first ever Indian circumnavigation of the globe by an all-women crew. INSV Tarini is the sister vessel of INSV Mhadei. The project was designed to promote the spirit of adventurism in the Indian Navy through oceanic sailing expeditions. The decision to assign this expedition to an all women officers of the Indian Navy was considered essential to promote ocean sailing activities in the Navy while depicting the thrust of Government of India for ‘Nari Shakti’.

The circumnavigation expedition is not new to the Indian Navy, as the first Indian solo circumnavigation was undertaken by Captain Dilip Donde, Shaurya Chakra (Retd) from August 19, 2009, to May 19, 2010, onboard the Indian built vessel, INSV Mhadei. Thereafter the first Indian non-stop solo circumnavigation was undertaken by Commander Abhilash Tomy, Kirti Chakra from November 10, 2012, to March 13, 2013.

The crew of INSV Tarini comprises Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi, Lieutenant Commander Pratibha Jamwal, Lieutenant Commander P. Swathi, Lieutenant Aishwarya Boddapati, Lieutenant Vijaya Devi and Lieutenant Payal Gupta. The allwomen crew have trained extensively for the ongoing expedition. They have sailed approximately 20,000 nm onboard INSV Mhadei and Tarini as part of training, which included two expeditions to Mauritius during 2016 and 2017, and a voyage from Goa to Cape Town in December 2016.

INSV Tarini sailing in Arabian Sea

INSV Tarini, is a 55-foot sailing vessel which was built by Aquarius Shipyard Private Ltd, Goa. Tarini was inducted into the Indian Navy on February 18, 2017. The vessel has sailed approximately 8,000 nm till she set sail. Navika Sagar Parikrama would be covered in five legs with stop-overs at four ports for replenishment of ration and essential repairs as necessary. The estimated dates for the voyage are as follows:

  • Goa to Fremantle (Australia): September 10, 2017-October 12, 2017
  • Fremantle (Australia) to Lyttelton (New Zealand): October 25, 2017-November 16, 2017
  • Lyttelton (New Zealand) to Port Stanley (Falklands): November 23, 2017-December 28, 2017
  • Port Stanley (Falklands) to Cape Town (South Africa): January 10, 2018-February 8, 2018
  • Cape Town (South Africa) to Goa: February 21, 2018-April 4, 2018

The Bon Voyage

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman flagged-off INSV Tarini at Goa from INS Mandovi Boat Pool on September 10, 2017. The flag-off ceremony was attended by Manohar Parrikar, Chief Minister of Goa, Admiral Sunil Lanba, the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral A.R. Karve Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command, Vice Admiral R. Hari Kumar, Controller, Personnel Services, Integrated Headquarters, Ministry of Defence (Navy) besides other senior naval retired and serving officials and civilian dignitaries.

During the ceremony at Goa, the Defence Minister said, “This is a historic day for the country, which will be marked in the navigation history of the world, and globally our women are going to stand out for something which most navies of the world would not have even thought of.” She further added, “For this initiative I appreciate the Indian Navy and the mentors for inspiring, motivating and training these brave and courageous women.” She expressed her absolute pleasure for being present at the momentous occasion and felt honoured to be amongst the crew and wished them a successful voyage.

The Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba expressed satisfaction at continuation of the legacy of Indian Navy’s Ocean Sailing Expeditions which commenced in 1988 with expedition ‘Samudra’. This was followed by first solo circumnavigation by Captain Dilip Donde (Retd) and non-stop circumnavigation of the globe by Commander Abhilash Tomy resulting in India joining a select group of nine nations which have achieved such feats. He said that the present circumnavigation by an all women crew is an extension of the above efforts and reflection of the Government’s efforts at Women Empowerment – ‘Nari Shakti’.