Last July, I wanted to do something special for my birthday.
So I convinced my friends to go parasailing! The perfect California adventure.
The sensation of falling is not quite so much fun, which is why skydiving has never interested me. Hang gliding would be an option, but it requires some real training. Parasailing, on the other hand, requires no particular skills. The desire to fly is enough!
We all felt giddy as we launched our boat from Balboa Pier. This was really happening! Our guides from Catalina Parasail had given us some serious life preservers. Sitting on the edge of the boat, strapped into a harness with two of my friends, I had a brief moment of “flight fright.”
But the fear disappeared as soon as the parachute lifted us up into the air. The sensation of flying was so much more gentle than I had expected it to be! It was almost hypnotic. Twelve hundred feet in the air, we glided peacefully (and noiselessly) above the water. We also had a panoramic view of Newport Beach. It was breathtaking.
On our way back down, the guides thought it would be funny to dunk us in the ocean before bringing us back to the boat. This came as a surprise! Swooping down into the water like a pelican, I felt like I was hugging the Pacific. It was one of the best moments of the trip.
We finally landed back on the boat with a little thud. It was time to compare notes with our other friends. “Did you sing up there?” one of them asked. “Oh no!” I exclaimed. “I forgot! I yelped some high notes when we first launched, but they were unintentional.”
To make room for the next group of parasailors, we transferred into a smaller boat. But as we made our way back into the harbor, the outboard motor died. And while we were waiting to get ‘rescued’ by a dinghy, the conversation turned to opera. Our guide mentioned that he really likes the Ride of the Valkyries.
My friends happily explained that they had brought an opera singer along. They asked me to sing Brünnhilde’s Battle Cry as entertainment while we waited. My high C’s bounced off the surface of the water. We saw some people on the shoreline spin around in confusion. Because of the accoustics of water, it was hard for them to tell where the sound was coming from. We all laughed together, imagining a new staging of the Ring Cycle where the valkyries arrive on parasails instead of stallions.
I love to sing while I’m out in nature. It gives me a feeling of pure freedom. And I really like that feeling. It’s why I still chase my wildest dreams, like flying.
All in all, it was a perfect day: fun, friends, and parasailing! I even got to sing on the water. I have not yet planned my next birthday adventure, but I welcome your suggestions!