An all-female crew of Indian sailors will embark from Lyttelton port tomorrow as they continue their quest to sail around the world.
The INSV Tarini is crewed by six women from the Indian Navy. They have already covered 7800 nautical miles from Goa in India, crossing the equator on September 25, according to a statement from the navy.
The Tarini had stopped off in Fremantle in Australia before arriving in Lyttelton on November 29 for repairs and to top up supplies.
Tomorrow it will set off on the third leg of the journey for Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands, followed by Cape Town in South Africa.
The crew expect to arrive back in Goa in April 2018.
As part of the expedition the crew have been monitoring and reporting on marine pollution on the high seas, and are collecting meteorological and ocean data for India's weather forecasting service and researchers.
Speaking before setting sail from Goa, skipper Lt. Commander Vartika Joshi said the journey would be a great boost for India's women.
"But, as we are going as sailors and we as sailors have seen that the sea does not discriminate between genders," she said.
"It is always gender-neutral and we have realized that gender does not play a role in sailing."
A statement from India's navy said the the expedition is part of a national drive to "empower women to attain their full potential".
"It also aims to help discard the societal attitudes and mindset towards women in India by raising visibility of their participation in hallenging environment."
Lieutenant Tim Keating, Chief of the NZ Defence Force, has wished the sailors "fair winds and following seas" as they embark on the rest of their journey.