Four thousand miles, accompanied by piracy threats and hundreds of fishing boats (with or without navy personnel), and we needed a break. After spending a night at a very choppy anchorage outside the Gateway To India in Mumbai, we were all desperate to get ashore and chill the hell out.
What better place than the Royal Bombay Yacht Club? Being attendees of the Vasco Da Gama rally we were all granted temporary visitors passes to this bastion of colonial elitism.
The club house itself is in prime Mumbai location, right by the Taj Palace hotel and The Gateway to India and is a very old building dating back to the times of British rule. The paint on the walls is 150 years old too but don’t let that put you off. This was luxury personified, with the best showers since Turkey (yes, that’s 4,000 miles we’ve traveled to find showers that match those of Turkish marinas), a most excellent restaurant, a gentleman’s bar like something out of the scene in The Shining where Jack Nicholson chats to an imaginary barman tending to his every whim, and an air conditioned library so cold one’s nose grew icicles.
So, the general daily timetable would be to get ashore, enter the yacht club, sit in the library to cool down, wait until lunch before eating some of the best curry dishes ever served in the most sumptuous surroundings, before beginning one’s day of shopping or sightseeing.
We should, at this point, thank Marine Solutions, sponsors of the Vasco Da Gama Rally in India. They smoothed things for us whilst in Mumbai and Raj, the main contact, excelled himself in ensuring we had a pleasant stay. Marine Solutions put on water taxis and were responsible for getting us in to the yacht club, amongst the other services they provided. Thank you Raj and team!
Entry into the Royal Bombay Yacht Club is by invite only. It is rather exclusive and unavailable to the hoi polloi; permission to photograph its beautiful colonial interior is granted by the club secretary only. Unless you are me and, with complete disregard for bureaucracy, set up the tripod and camera and snapped away. (I should add that I did receive permission to photograph the interior but since my application for permission to do so was not recorded in triplicate it was probably void.)
Here, then, is a short slideshow of the very exclusive Royal Bombay Yacht Club.
Click on the first thumbnail to begin, use the << and >> buttons to scroll through and then click any image to exit the slideshow.[nggallery id=14]