The Navy’s famous sailing vessel Mhadei, skippered and crewed by an all-women crew of naval officers for the very first time, entered Chennai Port today, after participating in the International Fleet Review 2016. The sail boat had left Visakhapatnam on 09 Feb and is scheduled to make stops at Chennai and Kochi ports enroute before reaching her home port at Goa.
Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi, a Naval Architect, was appointed as the first woman Skipper of Mhadei on 08 Feb just prior to her return voyage. The boat is crewed by Lieutenants P Swathi, Pratibha Jamwal (Air Traffic Control specialists), Vijaya Devi and Sub Lieutenant Payal Gupta (both Education officers). The sixth member of the crew, Lieutenant B Aishwarya is an Engineer and is expected to join the boat next month.
The women officers are training to form an all-women crew that would attempt to circumnavigate the Globe next year. Mhadei will remain at the Ports of Chennai (13-16 Feb) and Kochi (23-26 Feb) on her return journey. She will eventually return to Goa on 02 Mar. This is the first all-women crew to man any ocean-going sailing boat of the Navy. All the crew members are volunteers and are driven by their passion for adventure and a love for sailing and the seas.