One of the advantages of Mumbai, as I’ve discovered is, that there is a lot to do in this city and it isn’t limited to alcohol, food, movies or partying.
On a warm Autumn Friday afternoon, I discovered one such thing as we headed to the Iconic Gateway of India for a sailing cruise on the Mumbai Harbour. As I walked over to the private jetty at the Gateway and stepped into the small motor boat, which would transfer us to the main Sailboat, my mind started wondering what the next few hours will be like. Will I get to see Dolphins, Porpoises, Fish? Will I get splashed all over? What happens if the boat capsizes? Is it possible to for the sailboat to capsize? How much will I need to swim to get to land – if the boat actually does capsize? Which one of my teammates don’t know swimming? I would certainly hate to lose my camera! What will happen if the wind stops blowing? It does actually happen on sea!
Ayesha, our master sailor soon addressed all these questions about the Sailboat. As it turns out the Sailboat is a marvelous piece of engineering. It consists of two sails which are the Head Sail and the Main Sail and is propelled by wind hitting the sails. While the main sail is used for propelling the sailboat, the head sail or the jib is added to increase speed, increase efficiency of the main sail and to improve handling of the boat (in most cases). To prevent the boat from capsizing, the sailboat has a ballast underneath the body which prevents it from turning over despite the trickiest of maneuvers performed by sailors. It’s only in extreme circumstances that the boat can capsize. As for wind not blowing, this Sailboat had a motor which could be installed in a few minutes and it would get us back on shore. Ayesha recalled times when they were sailing and there was no wind. They spent time playing cards on the boat and waiting for the wind to pick up before continuing their cruise. By the time this discussion got over, we had reached and boarded the main Sailboat.
My first reaction as I stepped on board was of awe. The iconic Gateway of India and the Taj Gateway lit up gloriously in the late afternoon sun and the Mumbai skyline behind us made for the perfect backdrop. Although, it was distressing to see the haze over the Mumbai skyline, being on the sea, breathing fresh sea air, the excitement of sailing for the first time and the general atmosphere of happiness more than lifted my spirits. The boat itself was beautiful with majestic sails waiting to be unfurled and take us to the sea.
In a few minutes, we were out of the main harbor and in the open sea. The cool winds of the Arabian Sea ruffling my hair, the misty ocean waters splashing me as I sat on the edge of the Sailboat and the setting sun can only be described in one word – incredible. The one ingredient which would have made the otherwise perfect evening even better would have been Dolphins and Porpoises coming by to say hi. As we continued sailing, we saw a number of historic lighthouses on the Mumbai harbor, the gorgeous skyline of Mumbai and fishing boats going about their business on the Arabian Sea.
It was quite a sight to see everyone on-board in happy spirits. Happy banter flowed and the entire group was busy enjoying the breeze and clicking pictures. If we could do something like this once every couple of weeks, I’m sure we will have way more productive days in office.
The dull grays of the skies and the ocean soon started turning to glorious Orange as the sun started getting lower on the horizon. Boats crossing the shimmer of the sun on the Ocean looked as though they were getting into “safe” home zone across the shimmer. From the open ocean to the warm, safe home zone.
Soon enough it was time for us to get back to land and bid adieu to the beautiful sights of the Sea. It turned out to be a perfect evening which didn’t involve alcohol, partying, movies or eating. It might just be an incredibly fun thing to do with family, a group of friends, or your special someone.
How/ Where to head out Sailing?
Trip 360 organizes fun sunset sailing cruises on the Arabian Sea regularly. Get in touch with Trip 360: 1800 123 6898 or mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re keen on learning sailing, check out Discover Sails – the company is run by father – daughter duo, Sunil Lobo and Ayesha Lobo who are professional sailors and more importantly are warm and welcoming people. Get in touch with them at : +91-9920886114, 91-9930194695 or mail them at: email@example.com or head over to their website: http://discoversailing.in/