Perhaps, Regan Rodricks of Blue Bulb is right when he says, “Even if you have lived in Mumbai your entire life, you’ve never seen the city until you’ve seen it from the sea.”
While going about our daily chores, embroiled in the complexities of our lives, we often forget to notice the most beautiful part about the city we reside in. You might pass by the sea on your daily commute to work, but how many times do you stop to notice it? Sailing can give you the platform to explore the sea, and view Mumbai from a totally different perspective.
On the rise
Sailing companies say that the activity has been available in India for many years, but only a few have had access to it. “The sailing season lasts for eight months, from October to May. It’s closed during the rainy season. Over the years, the demand has caught on. At present, there are around 600 sailing boats or yachts registered with the Mumbai Harbour,” says Jimmy Nadar of the Gateway Sailing Club.
Long considered an elitist hobby, sailing companies are now trying to take this leisure activity to as many people as possible.
Currently, you can go on a two-hour sailing trip starting at Rs 1,500 per person (sometimes even less if you are part of a big group), while a longer one can cost you slightly more, at Rs 3,000.
“If you have good equipment and instructors, then they can make your first sailing experience a memorable one. We get people to steer the boat, manoeuvre it and get a basic understanding of sailing. People get fascinated by how powerful the wind can be. We also make it interesting and relaxing, so that the overall experience suits different kinds of people. In just an hour, we give people a crash course in sailing,” says Zia Hajeebhoy of Aquasail India.
Age no barAge is not a consideration while going sailing. Nadar says that anyone above the age of five is permitted. Rodricks adds that he has seen even infants accompany their parents. Knowing how to swim is not a prerequisite either.
“We take very young kids onboard — as little as two. Beach sailing — short little sails in beach dinghies — is something kids and adults can enjoy alike. So, anyone from two to 92 can go sailing. It’s never too early or too late,” says Hajeebhoy.