Well this is something that Jane has been wanting to do for years… I on the other hand prefer to preserve life not to test it to see if it’ll break. Although I must confess I loved every minute of it… a precursor to a Skydive??? I don’t think so!!
We got strapped in at the back of the boat, and the minute they released the line we shot up on our thousand foot line. Its a fantastic sensation to be dangling from a parachute while being pulled across the bay by a boat – and the view was spectacular, we could see for miles down the keys, and though we were on the Gulf side of the water, we could see the Atlantic to the east. You can just lean back on your harness and enjoy! Coming in to land was just as much fun as the boat guys landed us deftly on the back of a boat (they dipped our legs in the water first for a laugh) but we landed perfectly! Great fun – I’d recommend this to anyone.
Afterwards we went to the pub and sampled the Key West brew, well more than sampled actually. As a rule we never drink on an afternoon, but the bar faced west, the sun was going down slowly, and the mood was chilled after all our parasailing excitment…and the beer was great. So just this once we broke our rule and had a boozey afternoon…
We booked a dive/snorkel trip as we wanted to get out on the water and see the reefs, but it didn’t turn out so well. The water was too rough – so the previous afternoons drinking was probably not a good idea. Anyway, the weather at 7am was wet but warm and the water looked calm enough in the bay side, so off we went out to the ocean side for our dives. As soon as we hit the ocean side the difference in the swell was immediate. We had been told that there may be 3 foot waves but we didn’t expect 6 foot swells. The captain decided to abandon the original dive site, as he said he could probably make it over there but couldn’t guarantee safety. So we did 180 and moved to a different site.
We geared up for the dive (minus wetsuit as the water was 27 degrees) and jumped in. The water was indeed warm, but because of the rough sea I was constantly fighting the swell. And to make matters worse the swell had made the visibility really bad so you didn’t really see a great deal. I’d had enough by this point and headed back to the boat 10 minutes early, to find Jane in the the throes of sea-sickness (she never gets sea sick). And within 30 minutes of being back on board after the first dive I too was hurling over the side. This immediately put me off a second dive and I just lay down waiting for it all to be over. It was still an interesting morning with a good captain… but to be honest they should have cancelled the dives, and the fact that they sent Jane out to snorkel alone with up to 6 foot swells…well not professional.
We hit the edge of a storm on the way back and got soaked by lashing, and very cold, rain, but it was cool to experience – the beginning of the hurricane season – it was great to get back to the resort and have a hot shower.
We are getting ready to leave for home. it feels really odd to be packing for the last flight…the Keys have been great, a good ending to a fantastic year, but this is sign off time, see you all back in Britain!