The team of Six Indian Navy women called Tarini, the first Asian team to circumnavigate the globe in eight months, interacted with Mount Carmel college students.
It was a part of National Geographics’s #GirlsWhoSailed initiative, ahead of International Women’s Day.
Just like the sail, the crew comprising Lieutenant (Lt) Commander Pratibha Jamwal, Lt Commander Aishwarya Boddapati, Lt Commander P Swathi, Lt Commander S Vijaya Devi and Lt Payal Gupta, was lead by Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi (skipper).
“We never lost hope and never wanted to quit. We faced resistance from our parents and concerned senior colleagues. They said we might never return. But we proved them all wrong,” said the women crew.
“This is the message we want to give everyone, especially women…that we are equal. Capabilities are important. The sea does not know male or female. It will not differentiate. Nothing in the world can stop us, if we decide,” they added.
A film ‘Tarini’ has also been made chronicling their journey known as ‘Navika Sagar Parikrama’.
On September 10, 2017, the team took off from Goa. Their gruel voyage of 254 days covering 21,622 nautical miles ended on March 21, 2018.
The team recounted their two storms of 20 hours each. The worst being the one they encountered in the Southern Hemisphere, close to Antarctica, called the Graveyard of Ships. The speed of the storm was 200 kmph against boat’s speed of 6-12 kmph.
The crew recollected their experience in temperatures of 45 degree Celsius, 15 degree Celsius, zero degree Celsius and -7 degree Celsius.
They recalled how they cut Chocowalnut cake when they crossed the Equator at 4.50 am, as a ritual to King Neptune, and sang Happy Equator song (reprised version). They recollected how they would touch earth each time they landed on ports and some lighter moments of fights and birthdays.
Lt Commander Swathi said unlike solo circumnavigations, they had each other. The team drew inspiration from their trainer and first solo (2009) circum-navigator Dilip Done.
“But it was difficult to leave families and others behind on this long voyage, especially for me as I was the only one who was married. We not only built a bond among ourselves, but also with the boat as we saw it getting built from a price of wood,” she said.