Most people I know found it rather amusing that I wanted to learn how to sail a boat, considering I am yet to learn how to drive and am really scared of fish. I felt that sailing had nothing to do with either of those things and now that I have successfully completed my course I couldn't agree more.
Founded in 2004 by Shakeel Kudrolli, Aquasail is one of Mumbai's premier sailing and aqua sports company. Aquasail Yachting Academy has several courses on offer, I enrolled in their Learn To Sail course in January this year. My husband learned of Aquasail through a work colleague and in spite of 'word-of-mouth' being their only promotion, the classes are all full.
I decided to take up Sailing as a leisure activity (as much as I love it, there is only that much time I can spend inside shops) and through the trial session realised that its exhilarating to be on a 25 feet boat with an open cockpit racing on water with the view of Gateway.
With regards to what the 10 sessions long course entails I am going to spare you the technical jargon. In short, by the end of the course you will be skilled to sail a keel boat within harbour limits with ease by yourself. The beauty of sailing is that each time you set out feels different due to the varying weather conditions. Given the force of the wind it can be physically challenging as well. The more you sail, the more comfortable you will get and sailing is very addictive.
If like me you are worried about the strange creatures swimming in the sea... well the water is so dirty you can't see a thing inside. But be prepared to see worse; half naked men bathing in the open on fishing boats and floating dead rats. Besides the one off sights that will make you cringe, the activity is very safe (the boat doesn't tip over due to the heavy keel) and you don't need know how to swim to be able to sail.
I highly recommend doing the course with a friend because the class consists of two students, an instructor and a crew member on the boat. Each student takes turns as the helmsman and crewman and its helpful to know the other person because Sailing depends a lot on teamwork and communication.
The best part about doing the course with Aquasail has been their experienced team of International instructors. For different sessions you may have different instructor. For most of my classes I had a great instructor from the UK, James. His love and passion for sailing was quite infectious. He really made everything feel easy. Also, The Aquasail boats are very well maintained and their size is well-suited for beginners.
My only complaint with Aquasail has been with regards to scheduling. If you work and can only make it on Sundays; be prepared that you will not be penciled in each week and it may take you over 3 months to complete the course. Nonetheless, its a fantastic experience and its amazing to be out on the water. Post the course you can actually rent out the boat and take up to four of your friends for a sail. Given my skills on the road, let's see how many people agree to come out with me. :-)
I cleared my assessment this Friday and overnight long distance sailing is next on my agenda.