Their average age is 27. And none had sailed the vast oceans before being selected for the first all-women circumnavigation. The six members - Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi, Lieutenant Commander Pratibha Jamwal, Lieutenant Commander Swathi P, Lieutenant Aishwarya Boddapati, Lieutenant Shougrakpam Vijaya Devi and Lieutenant Payal Gupta – all learnt to sail in the three years leading up to September 10 2017.
On that day, INSV Tarini and her crew were flagged off by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who welcomed them after their seven-month journey as they docked in Goa on Monday. This is the first time that an all-women Indian crew has circumnavigated the world. During their near 23,000-nautical miles journey, the crew stopped their 56-ft sloop, named after Tara-Tarini, the patron deity for sailors and merchants, at four ports – Freemantle in Australia, Lyttelton in New Zealand, Port Stanley on the Falkland Islands and Cape Town in South Africa.
Glimpses from the circumnavigation: