A Sea Of Experience...A Weekend special!

With demanding schedules of children and husband, off late, finding quality time had become so very difficult.  I was longing for a short break from my 24*7 duty. Somehow it was not working out...but the last Sunday turned out be excuse-free ...children were all hale and hearty, there were no impending exams or projects to be worked on...and most important, my ever so busy husband had a whole day free and reserved only for us!! What to do with it now? As the migrants in the dream city Mumbai, we were scouting for the places to visit for an entire day. A gud friend from town suggested a cruise...

One day cruise??? I wondered...but then it really turned out to be a perfect sail. Soon we were about to venture on to Mumbai - Alibaug exploration via sea!
As nothing was planned, we announced to the children that its going to be a Vikings day out! They were thrilled at the idea of packing their bags for a day. Thus we set out for Gateway Of India in late hours of morning on Sunday from where our Viking exploration was to begin. As we were nearing the Gateway Of India, we whizzed past many famous, old, Victorian styled buildings. We were instantly transported to the regal era! When we stepped out on to the foot path, we were welcomed by an olden day letter box!! It was standing stout with all its yesteryear's glory! As we bowed to the oldie, we were brought back to modern day India by the whistles of traffic policeman!!! 
Our first challenge was to book the tickets for the cruise ride by the catamaran. We were pleasantly surprised to get them quickly and easily. (For more details on the options to travel by a catamaran from Gateway Of India to Alibaug, please visit http://www.alibaug.ind.in/mumbai-alibaug-ferry-timings.html )Its actually a Mumbai - Mandwa - Alibaug tour. Catamaran cruise starts at Gateway Of India, Mumbai and ends at Mandwa jetty. One has to hop down at Mandwa and take a bus to Alibaug. All the cruise operators offer a combo service, i.e. cruise ticket from Mumbai to Mandwa and bus / coach/ sitara (6 seater rickshaw) from Mandawa to Alibaug. 
The cruise was to start at 12:15pm and we had almost 45 mins at our disposal. So the vikings went on exploration drive! The Taj Hotel stands with all its pristine glory watching over the seas just to the right of the Gateway Of India. We stood in silence for a while to offer prayers to all the victims of the 26/11 terror attack. As I could not see any sign of attack there on the building...I realized the spirit of Mumbai...come what may...the show and life must go on! What an indomitable spirit!!!
Soon it was time to embark on our cat (catamarans are popularly called so!) and we did it with an AHOY!!! We waved bye bye to the Gateway Of India. The sea front was dotted with small ferry boats and private yachts. The big cargo ships, as tall as 8-10 story building caught our attention too. They looked mammoth even at a distance! 
As we marched past them, we were followed by birdies...the seagulls. Here was a flock of the seagulls trying to find a catch from the sea. As our cat was sailing ahead, it was creating ripples in the sea and was thus exposing the easy prey for hungry seagulls. They had a scrumptious lunch!!! 
All the while when were watching the birds show, we could now see the shore line ahead...it was almost 30 odd minutes that we were sailing and we hardly had realised it! Like a perfect host, the Mandwa jetty was awaiting the next lot of visitors, travelers and regular commuters. Mandwa beach looked serene and clean. Behind it stood the guarding figure of the western ghats.
We then walked for almost half a kilometer to catch the bus for Alibaug. Thanks to the pleasant weather and our viking spirit, there was no scope to grudge! We were lucky to board the bus that was just about to leave. Mandwa to Alibaug is about 19Kms. The road is quite bumpy. But then who on earth had time to think about it when the path is dotted with a thick of coconut and mango trees, houses and bungalows with slanting roofs??? The Vikings were singing their hearts out all the while! AHOY!!! It only stopped with the screeching of the brakes. The bus conductor announced that it was the last stop. 
The vikings suddenly learnt that they were hungry. As the bus had the last stop near the Alibaug bus depot, finding the decent restaurant was not such a big deal. Pet puja ke baad....destination Alibaug beach!!! 
A brief ride by rickshaw took us to the seas. The sound of the waves got stronger and stronger as we neared the beach. It was the time of the receding high tides. The eager vikings then had no moment to spare and brace the beach! The beach has an impressive welcome gate. The moment one climbs the steps of the entrance, one gets the panoramic view of enormous Arabian sea with a majestic Colaba fort on to its right! To our surprise, the beach was not at all crowded by the revelers. There were groups of families, friends and lot of fun ride operators. The younger viking could not resist the charm of the camel ride and the elder one fancied riding the quad bike.  After these initial thrills, now was the time to indulge with the tides. Vikings had their best time of the day in the waters! 
The time was flying by and Vikings were in no mood to pull themselves back. After bargaining for 5 mins and then 2 mins and then for 1 min...finally Vikings were packing their bags. Soon it was the same journey in the reverse order. The vikings were too tired to listen to the calls of the returning birds. However the setting sun at the Mandwa jetty was the perfect Sayonara to our exploration! With heavy hearts and tired selves, the vikings boarded the cat. The late evening breeze played the softest music to put all of us to sleep! And before we could transport us back from our own fairy lands, the hustle and bustle of the fellow travelers brought us back to the earthly time. The same Gateway of India, this time, clad in the yellow lighting, welcomed us back. And it was just 8pm at night. The vikings truly had a sea of experience!!!

Comments

  1. What a trip felt as if I was there with you
    Very well written article nice 👍🏼 use of language
    Well done mocktailers
    👌🏻👌🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

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  2. I myself was on sail with you,enjoyed

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Dr Vaishali for a rave review!

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  3. I myself was on sail with you,enjoyed

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  4. मस्त मी पण तिथेच आहे असे वाटलं

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Vahini...next time we sure will go out for picnic together!

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  5. मस्त मी पण तिथेच आहे असे वाटलं

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  6. Aisa Break to banta hai. Well written ! Explore more in mumbai .

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    Replies
    1. Hey Milind...do suggest me some places to explore...

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  7. Very well written... the whole enjoyment and the trip of Vikings stood before my eyes. How I wish I could also experience such an unplanned short trip. ��������

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    1. Yup dear... Let's plan something when u will b visiting India...look forward to it...

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  8. Enjoyed a lot while reading this article . Now i am also planning to visit and explore new places .. 👍👍

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    1. Thanks Sophie! Do share your fotos with us:)

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  9. Wow! The mandwa jetty has improved a lot since my last visit! Ur vikings had a good experience����

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    1. Ya Sheela, you r right... Mandwa jetty is very much clean, serene. And Vikings really had the blast> M sure u can also have some...do visit the place!

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  10. Lovely read, it felt as if I was there enjoying each moment with you. Keep it up!!

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  11. Wow, so well detailed. I felt i am right there.

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