28 March 2011
Puffin is tied up in Spanish Well and its crew is comfortably and contentedly ruminating on the day ahead. Overhead a buzzing sound has become quite apparent. It looks like a parasail. But a close look shows no towline to a boat below but instead we see a little engine tied to a lawn chair and someone sitting in it, or so it seems. (banner picture). For someone like myself not comfortable with heights, I would ask why anyone would tie a motor to his back, sit on a bucket of gasoline, cling to a little sports parachute and convince himself he's having fun.
In the event that something goes wrong, there is a large likelihood of not being home for supper!
I tried to imagine the takeoff. One runs pell mell across a lawn somewhere, chased by a lawnmower motor with a propeller and hopes for the best? Or does the little seat have wheels under it like a shopping cart and you carom down pavement hoping to be aloft before you tip over or meet one of the area's ubiquitous golf carts.
And the landing.... As you coast in and land, are you running like a hamster on a wheel because you forgot to turn the engine off?
I have several qualifiers for a sport to be truly fun, aside from being safe. And one is that you should look reasonably cool doing it. This doesn't cut it.
I look up and I don't see fun. I see all the things that can go wrong at 500 ft and the pain that inevitably ensues from a fall from there. But I am nonetheless fascinated.