Thursday, October 30, 2008

Taking Fun to the Heights: Parasailing on Sanibel Island

Now, let me start off by saying to all who know me as acrophobic, that the whole concept of being up in the air with no real anchor to the ground does not--- on the face of it---- appeal to me.

But friends of ours, Steve and Leslie, who have also rented from us, stayed on Sanibel Island with their two sons, Willy and Chris. They did go parasailing on one fine day and were able to describe the adventure in such a way, that, at the very least, I would consider it.

First, I had to be educated between the difference in parasailing and paragliding, never having done either. But as the paraglide "launch" must be from the top of a mountain or hill, I don't think any such feat could be accomplished on Sanibel.

Sanibel Island has a lot of lovely things, but there is not a hill or mountain to be found. There is not even a chance of jumping from a building on Sanibel as the building code does not allow structures any higher than the Island's palm trees.

So, as it was told, parasailing is that thing people do sitting in a seat attached to a boat. The air current as the boat speeds off lifts the seated thrill seekers into the air, up, up, up into the air.

According to my friends who had parasailed in Cancun, Mexico the Sanibel experience was less intimidating as the parasail seat sits on a platform and the launch and landing are done on the platform. In Cancun, they were launched and landed in the water, not always smoothly, according to Steve who says he nearly drowned being dragged through the water in an attempt to launch.

While Steve abstained from the parasail experience on Sanibel and took pictures from the boat instead, Leslie, Willy and Chris were given the choice of doing their "sails" individually or together. Like the loving family they are, they opted to go together, and only had raves for the experience.

So, thanks to Leslie and the boys, I have a newfound interest in the parasail experience though my fear is not totally dissipated.

And, no, it's not fear of the heights, it's the cost that makes me tremble.

In this economy, I would have to think twice if I would spend the $125 or more to take a gander at Sanibel from the air!

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