While vacationing in Ocean City, Maryland last week, I had the opportunity to go parasailing.
The term is somewhat confusing, so I will elaborate the various para- terms you are probably familiar with:
Basically, parasailing is an activity–I can’t really call it a sport–whereupon one is suspended in the air by a parachute while being pulled along by a boat down below. Who comes up with this stuff?! In this case, two people are strapped into the parachute so you can share the
fear fun. We had an option of being flown at 400 feet, 600 feet, or 800 feet, the basic difference being about 20$ per 200 feet. My family, being parasailing virgins, opted for the basic 400 foot level.
So here I am in the boat, with my son. Note how relaxed I am. I am on vacation after all, and the credit card bill won’t be due for another cycle.
Then the first mate–there were only two crewmen on board, and since this guy wasn’t driving, I assume he was the first mate. Maybe he was Isaac the bartender. Or whatever the heck Gopher was. Either way, he worked for tips, or so the sign said. I’m thinking, my life is in this dude’s hands . . . maybe I should tip him well NOW, before I’m four hundred feet above the boat!
Anyway, he handed us straps and a life vest to don. Don we now our sail apparel . . . Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la!
The strap thing wasn’t terribly complicated. But then, do I really want my life to depend on something SIMPLE? This couldn’t possibly be foolproof because fools like myself are too darned ingenious.
I manage a weak smile for the camera. It might be the last photo of me taken while I’m still alive. Are there sharks in these waters? Angry dolphins? What about vultures? Or pterodactyls?
I should have listened more carefully when they explained how to arrange the straps so that you don’t get a wedgie.
The rope tethering us to the boat didn’t look very thick. The knot looked like something I would tie–it could pop loose at any second! Worse yet, my younger son had been fighting with his brother this morning, and I think I can see him down there trying to saw through the line with a knife. Sure, he’ll get back at his brother. I’m just collateral damage! Thank God, but I think it’s just a butter knife!