“WE would normally tell you not to worry about sharks, but after last week’s sighting we can’t say that anymore,” said Mark from Pirate Parasailing, as we sped out to sea in a sunshine yellow powerboat.
It was only one blue shark, sighted just weeks before off Fuengirola beach, and they rarely attack humans. But from my own viewpoint aboard the Magie Ann, watching couple after couple shoot 200 metres skywards over the sea, it’s fair to say I was more than a little apprehensive about my latest Olive Press adventure.
And the ominous skull and crossbone parachute made the prospect of my maiden parasailing voyage even more daunting.
Despite a reassuring speech from the Pirate Parasailing team – and my own unsubstantiated bravado – I would be lying if I didn’t admit to having clammy hands and a pumping heart.
In reality, my apprehension was falsely placed. The most worrying part of my journey was holding on to Pirate Parasailing boss Kevin’s camera as I dangled perilously high above the ocean.
Setting off from Fuengirola port, kitted out with life jacket, helmet and harness, I watched my fellow parasailers float up into the sky two at a time.
Among the group were a British couple ‘celebrating’ their engagement, clearly confident about making it through to the wedding!
But as boss Kevin explained, “Parasailing is for everyone and every occasion.
“We’ve taken everyone up from three-year-old toddlers to 90-year-old pensioners,” he added.
“We have even taken a blind man up and we cater for those with physical disabilities as well.”
Saved for last, I sat on the back of the boat, strapped into the giant parachute. After posing for a quick snap, the ropes were loosened and I was up and away.
Take-off was surprisingly smooth and, as advertised, it really was ‘effortless excitement’.
One minute later I was 200 metres above the Mediterranean sea, looking across Fuengirola with breathtaking views as far as the mountains of the Guadalhorce Valley.
As the wind blew through my curly locks and the Magie Ann became nothing but a speck in the ocean below me, it was the silence that struck me most.
The noise of the power boat’s engine and the shrieks of tourists having fun on Fuengirola’s glorious beaches were well out of earshot as I flew like a birdman over the coast.
Kevin had kindly (and somewhat unadvisedly) loaned me his camera. Determined it wouldn’t meet a watery end, I clung on for dear life – tricky, with outstretched arms – as I attempted a selfie.
Despite the playful breeze gently rocking my parachute, the ride was smooth and much more relaxing and enjoyable than I could ever have imagined.
The only disappointment was when the ropes began to roll in and my trip into the blue yonder turned into a gentle skyfall. I could have stayed up there for hours.
One final surprise was the ‘walk on water’ (Jesus it was cool.) before I was reeled back onto the boat like a slippery wet fish and deposited safely back on dry land.
Having notched up over 47,000 ‘flights’ between them, you’ll be in safe hands with experienced boss Kevin and his two trusty accomplice parasailing ‘pirates’, Mark and Danyl.
Offering solo, couple and triple flights, with room for 10 people aboard the Magie Ann, there’s even a champagne flight for parasailers looking for more intoxicating excitement.
But how to pop a cork and drink while dangling from a parachute? Perhaps that’s one for my next Olive Press adventure!
For more information call Tel: 699 953 947/ 633 244 599 or visit www.parasailingfuengirola.com
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