Up, up and away!

Feb 07, 2013, 00:53 IST | Dhara Vora

Finally, Mumbai's water sport junkies can rejoice. Putting its mostly untapped shoreline to use, night parasailing has now commenced so one can soak in the city from a height, across its stunning night sky. Dhara Vora buckled up for a high-rise adventure over the Arabian Sea

The Queen’s Necklace, especially after dark, is one of the most beautiful sights that Mumbai can boast of, on par with Paris’ Eiffel Tower or The London Eye over River Thames.

Step 1> Once in the boat, one we had to put on a lit LED life jacket.

We got a chance to view this stunning spectacle at night, from a different, elevated angle with a little help from the organisers of the city’s night parasailing activity. This water sport activity is conducted at the H2O Water Sports Complex at Girgaum Chowpatty, and offers the adventurous a spectacular view of the city from a height.

Sky ward
The journey began by signing a mandatory form, which doesn’t exactly help settle the butterflies in one’s stomach… “The form does not mean there are chances of you getting hurt; it’s mandatory. For extra precaution, a rescue boat will travel with us all the time,” Amal Majmudar, Manager at H2O assured us.

Step 2> After wearing the jacket and harness, we were connected to the sail in the air, with an automatic winch (pulley) on the boat. PICS/Sameer Markande

The wind speed was also checked before we start — if it’s too windy, there are chances that your adventure will have to be postponed to another day. Paperwork done, we wore our life jackets and headed for the speed boat, which can’t be missed, thanks to the LED light strips stuck all over it. Once the boat left the shore, the sea appeared blacker and rather foreboding.

We calmed our nerves by clutching on to the life jacket, every now and then checking if the rescue boat was nearby. Six to seven trained instructors accompanied us. We changed from our life jacket to an LED-lit one (memories of Amitabh Bachchan’s outfit from Sara Zamana in Yaarana brought a smile) and were attached to a harness of our lit sail, which was connected to the automatic winch (like a pulley) that draws in or releases the sail.

City with a view
All strapped up and away from the shore, the sail was slowly released till we reached a height of over 200 metres. Once up, all that was beneath and behind us was the black sea, and welcoming us ahead was the curve of Mumbai’s familiar skyline. Up in the air, we found it surprisingly silent, we couldn’t but marvel at the Maximum City.

Step 3> The attendants slowly manoeuver the winch and adjust the height of the sail according to the speed of the boat and the wind.

As our time in the air was near its end, we were pulled towards the boat by the attendants who encouraged us to not hold on to our harness as we wouldn’t fall, “Titanic jaise, madam!” they yelled from below; we had experienced enough adventure. Once down, the attendants pulled the sail back deftly on to the boat, and we sailed back to the city buzz; our pulses racing, after a memorable high.

At H2O Water Sports, near Charni Road Station, Marine Drive.
Call 23677546/ 23677584

Check list

> It isn’t ideal if you’re afraid of heights.
> Couple parasailing is offered too; it depends on the wind speed for the day, as it’s tough to handle the weight of two people on the harness.
> The trip lasts for approximately 30 minutes
> The activity is offered till 10 pm so it makes for a fun post-work plan
> Carry a small camera to capture the city from the sky. Attach a camera strap; balancing it with the wind isn’t easy.
> YOU PAY: Rs 2,500 (solo); Rs 3,500 (couple). 

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