I mentioned in my last post that you could also go parasailing at Orient Beach. Now before you read this, go into your kitchen and pour yourself 5 or 6 shots of rum and hammer them down. That will get you in the same state that we were in when we decided it would be a good idea to be towed behind a giant motorboat in high winds while dangling from a parachute.
Our friends had gone and said it was awesome, so my wife and I decided to give it a shot. We walked down to the parasailing shack and the young French guy with a cigarette dangling insouciantly out of the corner of his mouth gladly took our uncouth American dollars and gave us a little paper ticket. He waved us vaguely in the direction of the water, and said that someone would be arriving soon with a waverunner to bring us out to the boat. So down to the water we walked, awaiting our ride.
A few moments later we see the Jet Ski approaching, and on it is The Coolest Dude In The Known Universe.
Black as midnight, lithe as a panther, this guy has muscles I didn't even know existed, and exactly zero percent body fat. He is an Island God, and I could almost hear my wife's knees go weak. His hair is shoulder-length corn-rows with beads on the end, and he is wearing silver wrap-around shades. He is a reggae super-hero. A Black version of Predator. He is Lenny Kravitz Cool combined with Seal's natural grace. Dangerous looking.
He nods, and motions for us to jump on. No smile, no words. He just sits there on the idling Waverunner, exuding raw, unadulterated cool.
My wife somehow beats me to the Waverunner, even though she can't swim. I am still not sure how she managed it, but I seem to remember barely dodging a well-aimed elbow to the neck. I lamely jump on behind her and hold on to her waist, and I swear I can actually feel my testicles shrinking to little whiteboy raisins.
In retrospect, I blame the French. My theory is that they purposely hired this guy to make all of us pale white guys feel grossly inadequate. Then they sit at their booth, smoke their unfiltered Gaulois Blonde cigarettes, and laugh their smug little French laughs at our expense.
We ride out to the boat and jump onto the platform. The boat is manned by two more young frenchmen. They hook us up to the side by side harness, and explain what is going to happen. There is a pretty stiff breeze, and the parachute is out behind us. They signal for us to get ready, and explain that we will be lifted from our sitting position on the platform of the boat and immediately rise into the sky.
They launch us.
Instead of up, we slide straight back at roughly 1000 mph, and suddenly I get hit in the ass with a baseball bat. To explain what happened, I drew this helpful picture:
Both of us yelled, "OW! MY ASS!" at exactly the same time. As we were being whisked away from the boat, one of the Frenchman yells "Sooreee!" but I could tell what he was really thinking was "Hah! Every single time. Stupid, stupid Americans."
Once we stopped rubbing our asses, we started looking around. It was truly beautiful. You could see straight down into the water right to the bottom, and you could see three other islands when you looked out. I confess I spent a fair amount of time looking at the frayed knot in the nylon rope that was actually holding our harnesses and parachute to the boat, but I figured that if it snapped we'd just plummet to our deaths and drift out to sea. No big deal.
It was a short ride, but pretty fun, excluding the tumor-sized lump on my ass.
My back still hurts.