Summer Gigs

Walking on air: Parasailing on Florida's Emerald Coast

Hopkins students tell us what they're up to during summer break

Two years ago, my family was in Fort Lauderdale for a family wedding. We had a day to explore the beaches, and one of the things my cousin and I were destined to try was parasailing. When we called the parasailing company, we were heartbroken that they were closed (apparently due to a recent accident involving a parasailer and a wall).

today's photos are brought to you by our parasailing adventures... highly highly recommend!!

A post shared by Polly Berman (@pajberm_) on Jul 12, 2017 at 8:54pm PDT

Fast forward two years, and after much begging to go back to the beach, our family took a trip to Destin, Florida. As my grandmother described it, Destin had the "most beautiful beaches in the world." I could certainly tell why, as the area's nickname, Emerald Coast, was anything but misleading. The other beautiful thing about Destin: parasailing that wasn't closed due to a past accident.

There were my sister and I, standing on the back platform of the boat as our guide attached our harness to the parachute. He told us to relax and sit down. Moments later, our feet were dangling in the air and the distance between the water and our feet was increasing.

It's funny—while on the beach watching parasailers, I appreciated the optical illusion that the boat and the parachute were disconnected from each other. But in the harness, 500 feet in the air, I was carefully watching the rope and the boat to make sure we were still attached.

Once we reached maximum height, my sister and I sat there, taking in the beautiful views of the Gulf of Mexico (not the ocean, as our guides so fiercely reminded us). As we thought we felt more comfortable with our new surroundings, we added a little challenge: who would be brave enough to turn and look backward even though it felt like our harness might give way? (Spoiler alert: neither.)

Summer Gigs

A student-authored series highlighting the immense and unique talents of Johns Hopkins University undergrads

Before our ride was over, we enjoyed being lowered into the Gulf for what's known as the "final dip." Then, our captain expertly landed us back onto the boat platform.

The entire ride was only 15 minutes, but it was the perfect adventure to take on during the summer.

About the author

Polly Berman is a member of the Class of 2020. She is a behavioral biology major who spent time this summer in Destin, Florida, with family—the highlight being her first experience parasailing.

Have a story to share as part of the Hub's Summer Gigs series? Email Taylor Jade Powell to pitch your idea.

Posted in Student Life