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Travel Blog #173 - Parasailing on Maui with UFO Parasailing

Our Parasail check in point became visible as we were walking on the sands of Kaanapali Beach. The check in location came in the form of a few beach umbrellas with the words UFO Parasail printed on them. We walked up to the stand and checked in, while we were giving them our information I kept catching myself gazing at the high flying Parasails that were flying behind their tow boats on the horizon. The check in woman was very informative. She gave us a general idea of how the flight was going to go and then went over the different photo and video packages that she had available for purchase. Once we were done checking in we made our way to the waters edge. From there it took only a few short minutes before our raft met us on the beach. The crewman who was loading the boat gave us all a warm smile before he invited us onto the boat. We all hopped on the raft that ferried us out to the larger boat that we were going to be parasailing from.

As we stepped on to the larger boat

As we stepped on to the larger boat a mixture of excitement and fear overcame me (and from the looks on their faces I think the rest of the group too). In total our group had ten passengers. There were three couples, a mother and son, and my coworker Jr. and myself. None of us had ever done a parasailing trip before. As the boat slowly made its way into deeper waters the two crewman explained how the parasail works. They went over how to take off and landing was going to go as well as what we should do in the event of an emergency. They showed us that a giant winch brings the parasail up and down. The winch is anchored with very heavy-duty hardware to the middle of the boat. On the aft of the boat there was a huge platform that was constructed to take off and land on from. The crew made it a point to give us statistics on how strong everything was. It was comforting to know that the parasail was designed to be as safe as possible. In the worst case scenario (the towline snaps) the chute of the parasail is designed to act as a parachute, slowing you down enough to avoid injury as you hit the water. The employees seemed to be very in tune with their equipment and well trained. My level of nervousness had gone down considerably from when I first boarded the boat.

Once our boat reached the spot where we were going to start flying the excitement levels of everyone on the boat began peaking. They crew launched the enormous sail from the back of the boat and within seconds it was gracefully floating up in the air behind the boat. Then the crewman moved into position to harness up the riders on the landing pad on the back of the boat and then motioned for the first couple come to him. The crewman reached down under our seats for appropriate sized life jackets for them. After they put on their life jackets they were put into their harnesses. Their harnesses resembled the climbing harnesses that they use on the zip line tours that had straps that went around your legs, waist and under your behind. This harness attached to the parasail so that you could comfortably relax in a seated position. As the couple made their way to the back of the boat their large grins stretched across their faces. Once attached to the parasail the couple was asked sit down into the harnesses. As soon as they did the crewman flipped the switch on the winch and then the fun really started.

As the winch slowly let the couple

As the winch slowly let the couple into the air, smiles became visible on everyones faces and they saw what they were about to experience. The couple on the parasail went higher and higher until you couldnt even make out their faces anymore because they were so far away. Everyone on the boat that was watching was silent, looking up in awe as the couple was pulled around behind the boat hundreds of feet in the air. Once they made their way back in we all anxiously waited for our own turns riding the parasail. In groups of two everyone went on their parasail flight until it was eventually my turn.

They called my name and then we were fitted with our life jackets and harnesses. Once our harnesses were on we were sent to the back of the boat to get strapped onto the parasail. Once I was all strapped up a wave of excitement passed through my whole body. Before I knew it we were was up in the air with about 1200 of tow line separating us from the boat. With my feet dangling high up in the air the excitement began to wear off as I felt my body begin to relax and I began to pay more attention to the view. The boat was so far away that it looked like nothing more then a speck of sand in the distance. While we were up in the air it was completely silent and peaceful. As we gazed back on the beautiful island of Maui we tried to spot a whale or dolphin in the waters below. Unfortunately we werent that lucky on this trip. Eventually our time was up and we began to make our decent back down to the boat. Once we landed the crewman got all of our gear off of us. A few minutes after that we pulled back alongside the ferryboat and were transferred back onto it to be escorted back to the sand where we had begun. Our experience with UFO Parasail was a great; it was definitely a fantastic way for us to spend the afternoon.

Travel Blog - Articles #170 to #179

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