I never knew the call of open waves can be so enchanting, until I was offered a chance to get out on the water yesterday. An experience that we had never anticipated to happen, came towards us in a sail boat made by Mr. Joe Nejedly, the president of Sailing Club of Cochin and the former World Championship sailor who can be called the godfather of Sailing sport in Kerala. A jovial person with an immense passion for sailing and the love to share his sailing experiences.
It was during one of such loose talks that he asked us whether we would like to go on a sail. He might have read the answers from our faces because he called out to Mr. Joseph who was going out for a sail, to take us for a short voyage. The white double-hulled boats with multi-coloured sail, was designed by Mr. Joe himself, to ensure that it gives the secure feeling that you wouldn’t fall off the vessel that easily. This boat called GO-Cat (named after his grandsons) provides adequate safety to beginners learning the basics of sailing.
Wearing the life jacket, thrilled about the experience we stepped on the sail boat escaping the familiar feeling of solid ground beneath our feet. We sat at the back leaning on the square platform that connects the two hulls, so that the main sail can be maneuvered easily according to the direction of the wind without injuring our head.
“There’s something romantic of being in command of your own boat with the vast water body stretched out in front of you, and that’s where these experiences come in” Mr. Joseph started sharing his experiences in sailing and explaining the maneuvering process as the wind steered us away from the shore.
An ex-software engineer, Mr. Joseph had been sailing here for three years. And the experience he had was evident in the ease with which he managed to steer the sail to catch up with the unpredictable wind.
The feeling of being able to harness the power of the wind, something that is bestowed to us by nature, to sail, was indeed a great feeling. Mr. Joe encourages people to leave their mobile phones behind. So that there is no interference of hustle and bustle of city life while floating with the swaying backwaters. I felt as if I was becoming part of the serene backwaters, experiencing her moods and allowing her to influence me with her divine charm.
As we went deeper the waters were offering a breath-taking view. Joel preferred to get hands on the sail, while I just sat back and relaxed as the experienced skipper along with his new trainee took care of it all. We spent almost 45 minutes floating in the swaying waters, along with the tips and stories of sailing from Mr. Joseph. “We may not be able to control the wind, but we can always direct the sail. Remember that young sailors” said Mr. Joseph merrily as we were pulling the boat to the shore. But it was only after we left the place that I realized the depth of his words, the advice about life he had to give, simple yet profound “We can’t control the wind, but we can direct the sail!