By: Daysi Calavia-Lopez
Living in Florida, the beach is a rule of life. And while lying on the sand reading a book, I’ve always peeked over the pages and noticed the people on the parachutes–the people parasailing.
From a distance I couldn’t make out any faces, not any joyous expressions, or even frightened ones. But I knew it had to be fun because there was always someone high up in the air. I had to put the novel down and try it to see what parasailing was all about.
After walking with my friend across Miami Beach (from 22nd street to 9th street) through what appeared to be a sea of people–the topless women, the children building sand castles, the old men flying kites, the gay men, people with their pets, you get the picture–I finally made it to the parasailing booth.
A guy who looked like he came straight out of Baywatch sat on one of the chairs. He smiled at me and tried to pay attention to me, though it was a bit hard since the phone continuously rang: “Hello, Miami Beach Parasail.”
And finally he spoke to us, “Hey ladies would you like to try some parasailing today?” Well, I did; my friend chickened out. I handed him the cash, $75. It’s $65 in the mornings but it was way past noon.
Excitement filled all the cells in my body as I mounted the little green boat that was to take me and three other parasailers to a bit larger boat, the place where our adventure would begin.
The two guys who operated the boat helped me and another passenger, Candy, put on our life jackets and then strapped us on to the parachute.
“Sit with your legs stretched out in front of you and hold on tight to the bars,” instructed one of the guys, Mike. Candy and I looked at each other, both with clenched teeth. I closed my eyes and held on tight. One second past and we were off.
I could feel the air below my feet. I opened my eyes and screamed. The ocean was so far below me and the wind wrapped in my hair, whisking the grains of sand up, up, and away. I averted my eyes to the beach, the buildings and the people on the sand, shining vibrant and alive. This is my city. This is my beautiful, beautiful home.
“How could people live here and not play all day, every day?” I asked Candy and smiled. I wasn’t scared at all, but relaxed and content. So, that’s why people are always riding these things, I thought. Forget books! I’m all for parasailing from now on.
Miami Beach Parasail (call Captain Dan at 305- 266-4144.) isn’t the only place that offers parasailing, there are other places where you can enjoy parasailing. One of them is Extreme Parasailing-Miami Hang Gliding. They’re located at 2550 South Bay Shore Drive. Call 305-285-8978 to make an appointment. They also have another location at 18265 East State Road 80 in Clewiston, Florida.
On the other end of the state, Key Largo Parasail is located at Key Largo Resorts Marina/Holiday Inn Docks, MileMarker 100 Oceanside. Call Brad (305) 747-0032 to make an appointment.
Prices vary from $65-95. If you’re interested in extreme parasailing, you can visit Miami-Info.com. You can also find information at www.boucherbrothers.com.