Indian Navy ship, led by all-women crew, reaches Cape Town (File Photo)
An all-women crew leading the Indian Navy Sailing Vessel (INSV) Tarini on Friday docked at a port in Cape Town in South Africa, during the last phase of its maiden voyage to circumnavigate the globe, the Navy said.
The expedition is being covered in five legs, with stop-overs at Fremantle in Australia, Lyttleton in New Zealand, Port Stanley in Falklands, and Cape Town in South Africa.
After reaching Cape Town, the vessel has covered the first four legs of its voyage.
The crew encountered rough seas and extremely cold temperature coupled with stormy weather conditions, making the circumnavigation highly daunting, the Navy said in a statement.
The vessel's passage through the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic oceans so far, has witnessed winds in excess of 60 knots and waves up to 7 metres high.
This is the first-ever Indian circumnavigation of the globe by an all-women crew.
The vessel is skippered by Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi, and the crew comprises Lieutenant Commanders Pratibha Jamwal, P Swathi, and Lieutenants S Vijaya Devi, B Aishwarya and Payal Gupta.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had flagged-off INSV Tarini from Goa on September 10.
The vessel has covered 1,75,00 nautical miles from Goa, crossing the equator on September 25, Cape Leeuwin, the southernmost part of Western Australia, on November 9, and Cape Horn of Chile on January 19 this year.
The indigenously-built INSV Tarini is a 56-foot sailing vessel, which was inducted into the Indian Navy earlier this year and showcases the 'Make in India' initiative on the international forum.
"The expedition titled Navika Sagar Parikrama is in consonance with the national policy to empower women to attain their full potential. It also aims to showcase Nari Shakti on the world platform and help in transforming societal attitudes and mindset towards women in India by raising the visibility of their participation in challenging environs," the Navy said.
The crew has also been collating and updating meteorological, ocean and wave data on a regular basis for accurate weather forecast by India Meteorological Department, as also monitoring marine pollution on the high seas.
They would interact extensively with the local populace, especially children, during the port halt to promote Ocean sailing and the spirit of adventure.
INSV Tarini is likely to depart Cape Town on March 14 and return to Goa in April, on completion of the voyage.