Our traveling companion said that the one thing she absolutely had to do in Cancun was go parasailing—this from a woman approaching 70 years of age who had not left her home province of Quebec since she landed there from England as a child. We had both done some research prior to our trip, and I was somewhat concerned that safety standards were not as stringent in Mexico as one would expect in Canada or the United States. We decided to book our experience with Aquaworld, which has you seated in a double chair—quite different than the excursion offered along the beach, where you go up alone wearing a harness.
Our host, José, took care of all the particulars, and we were soon boarding a 25-foot boat. My friend and I were the only two who signed up for parasailing at the time, and I was surprised we did not have to wait for others to join us. We inquired about safety precautions and were told not to worry—we would be quite safe. Indeed, once we were seated, we felt quite secure.
We were shown some basic hand signals to communicate with, and once we gave the okay, we were high up in the sky. What an amazing experience—we could see for miles and miles: the entire lagoon and the long spit of land that is home to the Hotel Zone of Cancun, with all its magnificent hotels and beaches; the city of Cancun; and the lush green carpet of the surrounding jungle—all was beneath us. We could have stayed up there for hours trying to identify all the landmarks, but after about 20 or 30 minutes, we were slowly hauled back in until we rested right back on the stern of the boat. We got out of the seat and the two fellows quickly brought the parachute back in without it even touching water.
On our way back to the Aquaworld Marina, we chatted as best we could with the three Mexicans, and I asked if I could drive the boat. The driver said, "Sure," and there I was driving the boat right back to where we started, even guiding it through the relatively narrower channel of the marina’s harbour area. The captain was even going to let me back the boat into its docking spot, but I was afraid I would be purchasing a boat and pier if I missed, so I handed the wheel back to him.
I imagine that at other times of the year it must be busier and that one would spend much more time waiting for others to have their turn in the sky. As we debarked, we were encouraged to put some money in the tip jar, which we gladly did, as we truly felt these fellows did a great job at giving us a once-in-a-lifetime experience.