My exams were over; the school year had ended. New term would begin in a week and I wanted to make the most of the short time I had. Something else besides binge-watching Netflix, hanging out with friends, or lazing away the time- I needed to something different but I wasn’t sure what to do.
Luckily, a family friend made us an offer we couldn’t refuse: a day out in a sailboat over the ocean. We straight up accepted, after all what could be better than a healthy dosage of Vitamin Sea?
As we left for the Bombay harbor, I realized there was a lot to learn. I began by asking our guide plenty of random questions that conveyed my ignorance about sailing. Of course I knew that the oars were just in the boat for backup and no I didn’t just call dibs on using the smaller one. The name of the boat we were sailing in was the Ibis who stretched 20 ft long.
Out between the array of various boats that dotted the docks, I climbed into our sailboat and sat meekly while our guide expertly began to open the mast and white sail. The boat caught a breeze instantly and after yanking and sliding of various ropes, headed into the green blue sea. Every now and then, the main sheet of the boat would need to be tightened to regulate the wind it was receiving. The boat would lean to one side, at such an angle that I could easily skim my fingers across the sea.
Not that I’d want to though, as the harbor was packed with speedboats, yachts, and those big travel boats that left fumes in the sea as they churned up garbage from the depths below. The sun was overhead and glinted off the waves which made them shine and sparkle. When the breeze changed, or buoys blocked our path, the mast was adjusted (we all had to duck) and we would begin to pull and tug at the ropes, twisting them around the grooves of the boat.
Our voyage was going well until a gust of wind blew my family friend, Uncle Ravi’s hat off. The sailing expedition had now become a mission to retrieve the hat before it was lost to the waves. Desperation set in as we made turn after turn but sure enough, a soaking hat was pulled out of the waves a few minutes later. I was even lucky enough to spot a dolphin a couple minutes later and two faux sea turtles that turned out to be plastic bags.
After passing miles of buoys and lighthouses, we turned around. The sun had been overhead when we started but was now sinking slowly into the horizon. I clambered off the boat to recover my sea legs and possibly get a glass of water- not salty if you’d please.