Take to the skies

Imagine soaring like a bird over crystal clear waters, with views of our beautiful island and the Caribbean Sea stretching into the distance. The dream can easily become a reality when you go parasailing with one of the companies offering it off the shores of Seven Mile Beach.

Originally developed in 1962 by French engineer Pierre-Marcel Lemoigne as an Ascending-Gliding Parachute, the parasail was used to train sport parachute enthusiasts and military pilots and was even used in astronaut landing training in 1965. By 1969 it had succeeded in crossing over to the recreational arena and tourists were taking to the skies direct from beaches – a practice which has now been banned from most beaches due to safety concerns.

After years of design, testing and patenting, the first commercial winch boat parasail operation opened in 1978 in Miami. Since then, people have been parasailing worldwide, enjoying bird’s-eye views of the Miami skyline, views of Sugarloaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer in Rio, and soaring near Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House in Australia.

In Cayman, the recreational activity offers magnificent views. The white sands of Seven Mile Beach sparkle beneath you, parallel to the equally impressive spectrum of blues provided by the glistening Caribbean Sea.

Parasailers, seated comfortably and safely in a suspended harness, can look across the Seven Mile Beach corridor to the darker waters of the shallow North Sound and onwards to Rum Point on the other side of the island. If you’re lucky, you may even see some larger fish or turtles swimming beneath you.

The entire tour will take 30-60 minutes, with 10 of those minutes being spent up to 500 feet in the air.

Passengers can choose to go on their own, in a double harness or triple harness, depending on the operator, weight and wind conditions.

A quick scan of the Seven Mile Beach skyline will often show one or two parasails in flight. Two options when it comes to vendors are Parasailing Professionals Ltd. and Fantasea.

Parasailing Professionals Ltd.

T: 345-916-295300
W: www.parasailgrandcayman.com

Parasailing Professionals Ltd. offer single parasail rides for US$90, double rides for $170 and triple rides for $210, with discounts for locals and direct booking. Their pick-up boat can cover most of Seven Mile Beach. Red Sail Sports also works with Parasailing Professionals.

Fantasea

T: 345-525-507000
W: www.fantaseacayman.com

Fantasea provide parasailing for US$75 per person and also offers “observer” spots on the boat when there is space available at US$25 per person. Bookings can be made by phone or online, where guests can pick dates, times and free Seven Mile Beach pickup points.