Dwight Watt Internet Article #97

#97 - Parasailing 10/25/2003

#97 - Parasailing (Watt Thoughts)

In September I went on a cruise to the Bahamas with a group from Heart of Georgia Technical College where I teach.. While on the cruise the Vice President of Administrative Services and her family at supper two nights talked me into going parasailing on the last day.

It was a very unique and fun experience. Remember I have some fear of heights (and had that bad fall last December) and I can barely swim. If you had ever been parachuting I would tell you it is like the drift to earth once the parachute opens. Here is the story.

1. The boat runs at a high speed. I got splashed on several times waiting my turn.

2. You get on the back platform on the speed boat ( I think 14 were on board) and they fasten you to the chute. You go up in pairs. A lady from Columbia SC and me went up as we were only non couples on the boat. She and I both said we were scared before and apologized to each other of what we may say. Turns out we both greatly enjoyed it and had a good conversation.You sit there attache to rope and metal bar in the strap contraption fastened around your waist and between legs. You are barefoot and wearing life preserver. Then they start releasing rope.

3. You suddenly realize you are no longer sitting on boat but in that sling. You continue to rise. Except for one brief adjustment, it was smooth as silk riding up to sky and I had no fear of height. Height sensation like in plane. You sit back in the harness and are comfortable.

4. You don't feel like you are hardly moving. No wind hardly and quiet and beautiful view. Next time I will take a throw away water proof camera up. You are out on about 400 foot rope and up about 100 feet. It is absolutely wonderful calm. You can see forever.

5. Then your 6 minutes is up way to soon (well except for the sunburn my feet were trying to start working on) and you gradually come down and you step on boat as you come in. Not a drop of water on me.

When I parachuted (in college one time) the stepping out on wing was easy. However when I let go of plane and the next 6-7 seconds was forever and scary as anything. However when chute opened it was wonderful the drift down. Parasailing has the good parts for me and left out the bad.

I am truly glad that the board member talked the VP and her family into parasailing and that they talked me into it also. It seemed expensive when I signed up, but it was well worth the money, and I hope to do it again one day.


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