In a few days, India's Navy INSV Tarini and the six women officers manning it, will arrive at Goa's shores, marking the successful completion of the first-ever circumnavigation by a crew of Indian women. One of its four calls was in the Falkland Islands.
The crew is expected to arrive at INS Mandovi on May 21 and will be welcomed by defense minister Nirmala Sitharaman when they step ashore, reports the Indian Navy.
The vessel has already entered Indian waters and is approximately 500km from Goa, but with wind speeds dropping to near zero, the 56-feet-long sloop is struggling to cover distance.
Twenty nautical miles made good in 12 hours in almost nil winds condition, Navy spokesperson Captain D K Sharma said while describing the distance covered by the crew on Monday.
The Navy is constantly monitoring the vessel from New Delhi and from INS Mandovi, Verem. INSV Tarini sailed out of INS Mandovi, the hub of the Indian Navy's adventure sailing activities, on September 10 last year.
The sloop is being skippered by Lt Commander Vartika Joshi, and the crew comprises Lt Commanders Pratibha Jamwal, P Swathi, and Lieutenants S Vijaya Devi, B Aishwarya and Payal Gupta.
The crew was expected to return last month after circumnavigating the globe and stopping at four ports: Fremantle in Australia, Lyttleton in New Zealand, Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands, and Cape Town in South Africa.
Damage to the steering gear, however, forced them to make an unscheduled stop at Port Louis in Mauritius for emergency repairs.
During the voyage, the crew has been monitoring and reporting on marine pollution on the high seas.
The expedition named, 'Navika Sagar Parikrama', is in consonance with India's policy to empower women and help discard biases towards them. (Penguin News)