Updated: Sep 15
Imagine flying 600 feet or better yet, 1200 feet above a mass of water, with the ocean beneath you? Imagine the thrill, especially if you do not know how to swim like me, just in case anything goes wrong and you have to swim to safety.
I had never gone parasailing. It looks like fun but is it safe?
Can you have fun parasailing if you fear heights? How does it feel like looking far into the unending horizon of crisp blue waters beyond what the eyes can see?
Welcome to my first parasailing experience over the warm waters of Gulf of Mexico.
I love the ocean and I’ve always wondered what it felt like flying above the ocean from a boat. However, I had reservations because I do not know how to swim just in case I had to swim to safety. So, on my honeymoon, I challenged myself to get on a boat and just DO IT!
We are in Marco Island, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, rated 4th best island by Travel Advisor by 2014, and voted number one island in the U.S.
Despite it’s grace and glamour I wasn’t sure how safe I was trusting my safety to a boat pilot. So, like every millennial, I visited dear old Google to read about the safety of the watersport.
A recent study published in Forbes say each year about three to five million people parasails depending on the parasail operator since there are no federal guidelines that establish specific training.
Parasail Safety Council reveals that in the last 30 years, there has been 70 deaths, 1,800 injuries and up to 170 million parasailing rides. Statistically speaking, it is very safe.
Apart from wearing a life jacket, here are a few things to look out for;
· Ropes- do not parasail if the towline looks worn out, dirty or faded. It should look pristine coz good operators change it often.
· Check the weather. Do not parasail in high winds or when storms are nearby.
· You’re better off sitting on the gondolas than hanging from a harness.
· Sunscreen. Yes, you need that.
Despite marking off the safety measures I was still nervous as we rose up the sky, leaving the whole world beneath us.
I could not bring myself to look down 1200 foot below. I was holding on to the harness like my life depended on it. I decided to look at the horizon and Alas! The calm sea filled my soul with a strange sense of tranquility. The sparkling white reflection against a blue sky with dancing lights on the water was soothing to my edges, like art. Watch video here: https://youtu.be/PBuUBBpccNg
The island where the resort was situated; s small world with happy faces. The sky dotted with white clouds allowed me to see something simple from a different perspective. I wanted to cry. How could I possibly take all this in?
The air was fresher than anything I have ever inhaled. I let myself get carried away in this unforgettable moment.
The pilot gracefully lowered us and dipped our feet, the water below tickling and warm. I wanted a second dip but only got one. We were then lowered on to the boat amidst cheers from fellow adventure seekers.
Parasailing in Marco island, Florida goes down as one of the best experiences I have had with nature. Of all the things I wish for you, I want you to know and love the ocean. Tell me about your parasailing experience. And if you’re afraid of doing it, I hope this video gives you a little push to fly like a bird.
Sharon Kiprono is also a writer at https://sharonkiprono.medium.com/ Lived in the US for two years; sharing my journey with the world; embracing change.
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