My mid-April escape to the Gulf shores with family presented a pretty epic opportunity to cross a number of things off of the wanderlist. First up: parasailing.
I’ll admit – I’m not much of a beach bum. I loved the fine sugar sand and relaxing sun of Clearwater Beach, but seaside lounging all day everyday is not entirely my jam. When dad arrived halfway through our trip and we casually tossed around the idea of parasailing. On my way to the beach house, the cabby had explained a bit of the chaos surrounding parasailing in Clearwater. “Last year, they ran a guy into a hotel,” he told me.
After a bit of Googling to reveal the truth of the story, it took a little more convincing than usual to get me on board. A few drinks into our early morning pirate cruise and those reservations quickly dissipated. We walked to the boat dock next door and signed up for the following morning with Chute Em Up Parasailing.
Just like that, we were in the air.
We watched a handful of family groups go before us and I was, admittedly, a little nervous stepping into the harness. We were by far the oldest pair in the collection of parents and kids – but my dad is somehow the one that always gets sucked into the extreme activities off the ground. This one wasn’t going to be any different.
We sat on the back of the boat and waited for lift off as the captain sped up. In no time at all, we were floating.
The line stretched and stretched from the back of the boat. We sailed higher and higher like a kite in the breeze. Floating high above the water, we were both surprised to realize just how quiet parasailing could be. The wind on the boat had been so loud while cruising loops along the shore. But hooked to the sail and tethered behind – it was peaceful.
My best comparison was the the floating part of skydiving. More than once, I’ve bailed from a plane. That initial leap and free fall is loud, cool and loaded with adrenaline. But once the chute opens and you’re lightly hanging above the world – everything is calm. This was that.
My Virb camera died shortly after take off – so the video and photos from the sky are minimal. To be fair, it’s for the better. Those are the moments you need to let go of technology and enjoy the experience in front of you.
As the line pulled us back toward the boat, we settle closer and closer to the water. I’d been avoiding the peek directly down – I don’t do heights – but it was eventually unavoidable. We were sitting in the water. The salty ocean splashed into our face. We bounced along until the chute pulled us high once again and we continued to make our way toward the boat deck.
The whole experience was awesome. It wasn’t nearly as terrifying as I’d originally expected, but also not quite as extreme as I thought it might be too. I think the Zen-factor in the air definitely had something to do with that. All-in-all – I loved every minute and would absolutely give it a go over and over again. Genuinely an awesome way to view the coast and fun way to add some energy to those lazy, warm beach days!
Our Clearwater Beach Family VacationWith Mamah, Grandpa Dave, siblings and the nieces all in tow – we took a flight down to Florida for a week along Clearwater Beach. It was simply stunning. See the trip