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Leaving on a jet ski

Beach Adventures offers activities such as jet skiing, shore fishing, deep-sea fishing and floater rides Photo: Special Arrangement   | Photo Credit: mail pic

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The newly-launched Beach Adventures offers adrenaline junkies in Chennai a chance to channel their inner James Bond

A bumpy ocean, bullets liberally flying past, a well-sculpted actor whizzing across on a jet ski (either chasing or being chased by the bad guys) — think Roger Moore, Hrithik Roshan and Aamir Khan, who have all led us through elaborate action sequences. More often than not, they’ve been intense and entertaining. And so, when jet skis recently began operating in the bay here, it was our turn to channel our inner Bond... James Bond.

Beach Adventures that launched earlier this year on East Coast Road offers a clutch of activities, such as jet skiing, shore fishing, deep-sea fishing and floater rides.

They’ve got two shiny new jet skis imported from Canada. Parked by the beach, the bright water scooters look all-important, with curious people hovering around them.

“Saturdays and Sundays are when most clients come in. This weekend, we are getting a corporate group of 30,” says Benedict Nirmal, who started Beach Adventures along with B. Sathya Narayanan. The latter turned his passion for jet skis into a business. After three years of riding around Dubai, Malaysia and Thailand, it was time to do the same in Chennai. He revs up the scooter and I hop on behind him. “The sea is very choppy today. Normally, we never operate when the sea is rough. Every morning, we check the conditions and accordingly approve or cancel bookings,” he informs. The team also checks with local fishermen about the sea and weather conditions. The skis have a panic button, a front camera and an emergency torch, just in case there is a crisis. There’s also a motor-driven catamaran that’s stationed, while one of the team members keeps a constant eye on the jet skis.

The waves hurl themselves at us as I hold on tight. Further in, they give way to swells which look rather bad-tempered. Up goes the ski and it’s a quick drop down. This certainly is fun! We go in 10 km into the sea — that’s the distance permitted by the Coast Guard. “We don’t usually exceed 4 km. Also, these 1500 cc machines can go up to 90 kmph, but we don’t go beyond 60,” says Sathya Narayanan. Clients are not allowed to ride on their own — they can, however, do so after four hours of training and understanding the technique and conditions.

We zip back to the shore, and as dusk sets in, an ATV ride awaits. Helmets on, seat belts strapped, I get into the vehicle next to Sundar G. of OffRoad Sports. He has been driving ATVs for seven years now, and almost has the confidence of Lewis Hamilton, as he hits the accelerator and breezes across the sands, down the dunes, and then takes a sharp turn into the woods. As in Robert Frost’s poem, the woods are indeed lovely, dark and deep. It’s a narrow trail, but he manoeuvres expertly, even as the vehicle speeds at 100 kmph. No wonder, there are clients who come just to ride along with Sundar. The trail opens out into a picturesque clearing — a calm pond and bright green grass all around. Too bad, you’re not allowed your phones and cameras. As the sun sets, the woods get darker, except for the ray of light from the vehicle’s headlights. My heart beats faster, louder. The wind races against us and tries to steal my helmet. I grab onto it with one hand. Ten minutes later, we are back at the starting point, panting. Sundar sits calm as another excited client hops on.

For details, log onto: www.beachadventures.in

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2017 10:42:34 PM | http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/leaving-on-a-jet-ski-check-out-the-newlylaunched-beach-adventures/article8381463.ece