That Time I Thought I Was Going to Die Parasailing

I should’ve climbed out of the boat when Captain Ron’s doppelgänger had me sign my life away on that little piece of paper, but I didn’t.

“You’ll be fine,” he said. “We make sure we take you far enough out to sea.”

Captain Ron
Far enough for what? I should’ve thought. But not a single alarm went off in my brain.

Why? I’ll blame it on the blue drink.


We were on vacation in St. Thomas and I couldn’t just sit there on the beach and relax. NOOOO. I wanted excitement and action.

So, after our second day of lounging around on the sand, my husband and I looked into fun island activities.

“How about parasailing?” Justin asked.

“Sounds great!” I exclaimed.

Truthfully, I had no idea what parasailing was, but it sounded leisurely and fun. I thought perhaps it would include me sipping a special island cocktail on a boat, letting my hair get tousled in the salty breeze.

Boy, was I was wrong.


“Why am I signing this?” I asked. The contract mentioned things about death and injury. DEATH! What?! “Are you sure this is safe?” I asked Captain Ron.

“Dude we do this all the time. You should be fine.”

“Should?” I asked. “Well that’s relieving.” Justin and I were new parents. We had a four-month-old daughter at home and all I could think about was leaving her parentless.

Despite my fear, I signed the contract. After that, Captain Ron suited us up with strappy, blue contraptions that went over our shoulders and under our butts. Then he attached some ropes to what looked like a parachute.

The only things that would be keeping me from the sharks were a thin piece of fabric, some rope and a couple of buckles.

“Crap!” I said. “Do we have to do this?”

“We’ll be fine, Danielle,” said my husband. But I think he was trying to convince himself more than me, judging by the crackle in his voice.

“Sit down, legs straight out in front,” said Captain Ron. I listened and quickly assembled myself on the boat floor. The boat accelerated and before I was ready to fly, we were airborne. At first, it was alright. We were hovering just above the boat and the ocean sparkled like a blanket covered in loose diamonds.
“This is nice,” I said as I looked around at the green Caribbean Islands. I liked the way they sliced between the waves.72347_1673462715545_4468506_n

The boat accelerated again, and I felt a
pang of nausea. Suddenly we went from comfortably high to OMFG. The boat wasn’t more than a dot below us. The rope seemed so impossibly thin and possibly frayed, and I was certain it would rip at any second.
Clearly, I was having the time of my life.

Actually I hated it.

I thought I was going to vomit and die from choking on my puke midair just before my rope had a chance to completely unravel and send me plummeting to the ocean below where I would, instead, be savagely ripped to death by the sharks I couldn’t see.


“Smile for the camera,” my husband said. I squinted my eyes and opened my mouth to expose my teeth, but it didn’t resemble a smile.

“Try and have a good time,” said Justin.

“But I’m terrified!” I whimpered.

“Just try,” he repeated. I tried. And I tried. And it didn’t happen.

Instead, I closed my eyes and waited for it all to be over while I whined like a puppy dangling over a pit of hungry lions.

“Hey,” said my husband. “He’s lowering us. You can open your eyes now.”

I opened my eyes and saw that we were definitely being lowered. But we were also coming in fast and hot. The boat was getting bigger and bigger. The ocean waves were getting closer to the tips of my toes; it didn’t seem like we’d make it. I braced myself, because there was no way this would be a Southwest Airlines clap-your-hands kind of landing. No.

We skidded.

To. An. Abrupt. Stop.

My ass slammed against the boat floor and left bruises for days.

“Sorry about the rough landing, dudes,” said Captain Ron.

I was so happy to see solid-ish ground that I didn’t care about my sore bottom.

“No worries,” I said. I’d had enough excitement and action for the rest of the trip. “Just get me off this boat and give me another blue drink.”

Categories nonfiction, UncategorizedTags , , , , , , ,

22 thoughts on “That Time I Thought I Was Going to Die Parasailing

  1. Thanks for the Monday morning laugh! Between Captain Ron and your smile, omg! 🙂 I’m glad you survived and turned your awful experience into a great post. I don’t like parasailing either.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can laugh about it now, but it was seriously awful.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is awesome, and I’m glad you lived to tell the tale – the idea of parasailing terrified be BEFORE I read your post… Favorite line (in between laughs): “We were hovering just above the boat and the ocean sparkled like a blanket covered in loose diamonds.” Thanks for sharing your experience and for the laughter (trust me when I say I’m laughing with you and not at you.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks 🙂 you can laugh at me. My face says it all, I think. It was scary, but good material six years later.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I so enjoyed your post!😂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great story! You made me want to write about my own parasailing experience, but I’ll save that for another week. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. brockbuildersteel March 28, 2017 — 2:20 am

    Nothing like falling out of the ski tube and physically crashing, and tumbling on and on upon the (Hard like concrete) surface of the water because the ‘Speed boat was going at an excessive speed, it took forever for my body to stop tumbling upon the suffice and finally sink into the water; and it took me hours to dig my suit of my southern Orifice’ but damn if wasn’t the best weekend I ever had. I love extreme sporting.

    ‘As for the Sharks ripping you into tar – tar’ and devouring you, that never would have happened. They would have tasted that ‘Blue Curacao’ alcohol and blew you right out. They hate the stuff’ and so you would have been fine and ok’ Dude. :).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. theroselensadventures March 28, 2017 — 2:51 am

    Love it, Very funny! Great story and description and that picture says a million words!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My husband gets the credit for that. He took hundreds of pictures during that vacation. Of course it was before smart phones had such great cameras.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great job conveying how terrified you were! The sharks and the falling and the puking…I always wanted to go parasailing but now maybe not so much. 🙂 I was curious if your husband got to try it and what he thought!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wait, I see it was a two-person deal. 👍


    2. Thanks, Ruby! Yeah we were together up there. He enjoyed it, which is way more than I can say for myself 🙂


  8. Man, the beginning of your essay is great and super strong. I love the picture, too. You had a nice style going on in this essay; it flowed well and I enjoyed it much.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Note to self… no parasailing. I can’t believe that your husband was taking pictures! The picture of your face is the perfect exclamation point to the climax of your story.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. heheh I’m glad you didn’t die. ❤ I still want to go parasailing! hahaha I'm a bit of a planner, though, so I research the safest stuff before I go out and do it. lol Must be so liberating to just decide to do something and then do it, though. Loved the images, both written and provided. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is exactly why I sit under an umbrella and read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. From now on, that’s where I’ll be 🙂


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