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Flying through the air with UFO Parasail

We all have that one friend (maybe you are that friend) who is willing to try anything. I am very fortunate to have a few of those- the ones who push me to the edge of my comfort zone and occasionally beyond. So when they come to visit me here on the Big Island, I try to find things that are not just the “let’s go nap and swim at the beach” kind of things. One of my favorite adventure buddies came to visit me not long after I moved here. She’s one of the best people I know so I wanted to make sure we had a great time. She’s former military and a former flight attendant, so I suggested parasailing. Of course she said yes. Darn it, I was committed. You see, I don’t really like heights, and I don’t really like the thought of being suspended over the ocean where I couldn’t touch the bottom if we fell. But I had put the challenge out there, and of course she leapt. We showed up at the King Kamehameha Hotel to check in at UFO Parasail. Signed our waivers and then were sent over to the Kailua Pier next door, where we waited for our boat to come back from a prior trip. After debarking the last guests, the crew helped us aboard and went over the safety information for the boat and for the flights. We then took off into the sea. A couple from Nebraska were the first to go up, and they survived just fine, so it was our turn next. I will admit that I got nervous when they fitted me into the harness and life jacket, but the most difficult part was sliding on my backside to get to the bar to hold on to.

Next thing I knew, we were slowly rising into the air. And then we went higher. And higher. It felt like we were 300 feet above the boat, but I’m told it was much less than that. They toured us down the Kona coast line towards Holualoa and I recognized some landmarks to point out to my friend. The air was so fresh and the sky was so clear that when we turned back towards downtown, I could just make out the top of Haleakala on Maui.

And then just like that, they dipped us into the water (this was a yes or no option- we said yes) and reeled us back in. It was exhilarating, and scary, and so much fun. So much so that I took the next adventurous friend who came to visit. We also had a wonderful time- we even saw a whale shark (so pretty!), but I probably should have given her some Dramamine before we left the dock. She too had fun, but also didn’t. It can get a little choppy out there, so if you go and have any history of motion sickness (think carnival rides) do yourself a favor and take the Dramamine. The crew were fantastic at helping her feel better and she said she would do it again (on meds). Now that is an adventurous friend.

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