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Crew Members


Payal grew up in the quaint town of Dehradun surrounded by mountains only served to make her appreciate all the more ‘the first sighting of the Ocean,’ many years later when she was in her early twenties. By then she had already set her heart on a job in the Indian Military, a career that she has had to put on hold after seeing a Facebook posting for Indian sailors to audition for Maiden. Payal has had to return to India to get permission to leave the Navy and set out on what she sees as a great adventure. The 33-year old is one of the most experienced seafarers on board having clocked up over 40,000 nautical miles and has already taken part in a Circumnavigation as part of a mixed crew in the Navika Sagar Parikrama Project. Payal’s infectious enthusiasm and air of innocence was reflected in her first encounter with the Circumnavigation project, scarcely understanding what the term meant as she listened to a senior officer talk to other officers while she was assisting at a Republic Day Parade event in Delhi. It was only when it was explained to her by colleagues that the senior officer was looking for volunteers that she rushed forward with a hastily ripped-out sheet of A4 paper with her name scribbled on it and handed it to him. She got the post. At the different ports of call round the world, Freemantle, Lyttelton, Port Stanley and Cape Town she gave educational talks on ‘Women Empowerment.’ The experience has made her eager for more. “I still get goosebumps,’ thinking back to her last time battling the storms in the Southern Ocean. Payal also happens to be a good cook so she will be sure to make even the driest of supplies in the galley flavorsome.