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Water Sports

Windsurfing, paragliding, jetskiing, or just swimming, water sports is yet another reason why people come back to Goa again and again. John Lucas, an Englishman, who first came to Goa in the early 70s like thousands of other westerners on a spiritual journey, found his heaven here in Goa. Being a keen windsurfer, the next time he came back to Goa, he had with him, his board and rig. And the trend for water sports in Goa was set.

Today there are a number of water based sports and activities available in Goa. The best season for enjoying water sports in Goa is from October to May when the skies here are cloudless and blue, and the waters fairly placid.

Windsurfing
Windsurfing is a unique blend of surfing and sailing, which requires the surfer to adjust his strength and balance to the changing patterns of wind and water.

Windsurfing trainers and experts alike claim Dona Paula bay to be the ideal location for beginners. The prevailing winds and the calm sea, ensure almost lake-like conditions. The morning breeze is light and steady — just right for learners; while stronger winds that set in during the afternoons offer a perfect challenge for the more experienced.

Dinghy Sailing
A pleasant change from windsurfing is dinghy sailing, often referred to as ‘beer and sandwich’ sailing. With the winds in Goa, so gentle most of the time, this particular sport offers its participants much time to relax.

Dinghies are available for hire at the Cidade de Goa and the Taj Holiday Village. Instructors are available for beginners.

These 15-odd feet long crafts hold three to four people comfortably. The Zuari estuary at Dona Paula is an excellent learning area - its calm waters being the kindest Goa has to offer. With two sails and side decks to sit upon, dinghy sailing is as much fun as windsurfing and it is not necessary to be either agile or youthful to enjoy this form of sailing.

Scuba Diving
While diving in Goa is not exactly world class due to limited to visibility underwater (generally in the region of 6 to 12 metres), there is an amazing amount of marine life as well as hard coral which continues to amaze even the most experienced divers. Fishlife includes Barracudas, Damsels, Snappers, Sweetlips, Groupers, Sweepers, Sergeant Majors, Angelfish, Butterflyfish, Parrotfish, Bannerfish, Wrasse, Sharks, Tangs, Mullets, Tuna, Batfish, Scorpionfish, Lionfish, Rock Cod, etc. Other marine life includes Sea Cucumber, Blennies, Gobies, Turtle, Lobsters, Cuttlefish, Shrimps and Nudibranchs. Corals of the Table, Brain, Staghorn, Sea Whips, Gorgonian Fans, etc variety abound.

Woebeggong and Reeftip sharks, Shovel Nosed and Sting Rays, Nurse Sharks as well as Dogfish are spotted occasionally. The warm waters also teem with playful Bottlenose Dolphins although they are shy of divers.

In addition to the above, Goa is blessed with a large number of shipwrecks which include Spanish and Portuguese galleons, World War II wrecks as well as many merchant ships. Very few of these have been found and explored. There are reportedly around 1,000 wrecks along the coast of Goa. Even allowing for gross exaggeration, that still leaves a lot of ships waiting to be found and dived on by lucky, daring divers!

Due to the shallow depths of the continental shelf which limits diving to a maximum of 24 metres, the risk of Decompression Sickness is minimal.

Goa makes a great holiday destination. Make your holiday even better by exploring the underwater world of Goa which very few people have experienced.

Water Skiing
For the speed-lovers Goa offers the thrills of venturing into the sea on speedboats. The high-class speedboats which are available in some places, can achieve speeds of up to 30-40 miles an hour.

These craft, which can carry between six to eight people, are available at the Cidade de Goa, Bogmallo Beach Resort, and Taj Hotels. They can be conveniently used for sightseeing as well as water-skiing.

Angling
The beaches of Goa offer a varied and plentiful, almost inexhaustible, supply of seafood, still fairly cheap and absolutely fresh.

The Agonda beach in Canacona, which lies a short distance from the more famous Palolem beach is a popular spot for angling. Soormai, salmon and mullet are frequent catches.

Parasailing
High fliers amongst the speed lovers can opt for parasailing. Both the Taj and Bogmallo Resort hotels provide the necessary equipment for this enthralling sport.

There’s a rope about 300 feet long attached to the parasail harness at one end and to the speedboat at the other.

When the boat speeds off on the water, the parasailor just takes one or two steps and he is lifted into the air, the parasail lifting behind him.

Water Scooter
Water scooters accommodate two people on a ride.

This action sport provides all the thrills of a motorbike with the softness of an ocean instead of hard tar road beneath the feet.

They are readily available at Dona Paula jetty, Cidade de Goa, Majorda, and Candolim beach.

Swimming
The most common water sport is swimming, although it is least mentioned in the media. The waters around the Goan beaches are warm and almost always safe.

Swimming can be enjoyed by the young, the old, the infirm, the affluent and the budget traveller alike. There are life guards at all Goan beaches, so check with them about the status of the sea, before you jump in.

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