Indian navy ship with all women crew reaches Mauritius

Port Louis (Mauritius): Indian Navy's first all women sailing team on Tuesday completed their maiden voyage in open ocean as their boat berthed at Port Louis, navy officials said. The INSV Mhadei, commanded by Lt. Cdr. Vartika Joshi, reached Port Louis around 12.30 p.m. It had set sail on May 24 on a training voyage for the all-women's team which will circumnavigate the globe next year. "The crew went through winds up to 35 knots per hour, rough sea and a swelling sea," said a navy spokesperson. "This is a huge step towards the circumnavigation next year," he said. The crew, comprising Lt. P. Swathi, Lt. B. Aishwarya, Lt. Pratibha Jamwal, Lt. Vijaya and Lt. Payal Gupta, undertook the arduous voyage through rough seas and heavy weather brought by monsoon winds in the Arabian Sea. The team would now stay at the harbour for 10 days. During their stay, they would be calling on Mauritius' President Ameenah Gurib. The boat would be open to visitors and school children and short day sorties for dignitaries. The return journey will start on June 24. Joshi and Swathi have also been part of Mhadei crew on earlier voyages. The crew has been trained by Commander Dilip Donde, India's first sailor to complete solo circumnavigation on INSV Mhadei in 2008-09. The vessel on which the team would go around the globe is presently under-construction in Goa. The yet-to-be-named boat is expected to be delivered to the Navy by February 2017.