It was a perfect afternoon to go fly a kite off the south shore of Key West, and because it was sunny and breezy and pleasant it was also an excellent moment to have a lunch break. No surprise then when I showed up at the beach there was some parasailing underway.
Parasailing is the sort activity you just about expect to see when you look across the water from Key West. You'll see brightly colored parachutes wafting back and forth along the horizon like shadow puppets against a screen.
I ended up watching this flight as by chance I found myself observing the end of the ride, which was in reasonable range of my camera's telephoto, though at the limit of the high resolution view. The riders were winched down and the parachute caught and folded with no fuss at all, quite amazing.
It was in just a few minutes that the two passengers were coming right back to the Smathers Beach ticket office of the parasail company. Just like that it was all over, and I suspect they had a glorious ride.
And no one knows the fun they had aloft, now they are regular beach goers, back in the world.
I was actually looking for an old landmark that used to crop up when I started dispatching first responders 15 years ago. The corner of South Roosevelt Boulevard and Bertha Street used to be known as "The Ramp," because there was an actual ramp at the spot. You can still see it here:
The ramp is not really noticeable as you ride by and you can see that modern traffic would not make it easy to back a trailer up to the ramp, position it precisely and leave the tow vehicle sticking out into what has become a busy roadway.