Pamela Dixon and William Thomason asked not to be dipped too far in the water.
The pair, who came from Somerset to Atlantic City for the adventure, flew, harnessed side by side, 500 feet in the air, hanging from a parachute being towed by a speeding boat.
They stayed aloft about 15 minutes, and then quickly descended back down toward the ocean.
As they were being reeled in, their feet slipped under the water for a second before they were pulled back onto the boat’s launch pad.
Dixon and Thomason were part of a larger group parasailing along Atlantic City’s beach on a recent Thursday morning.
The trip was operated by Atlantic City Parasail, which takes more than 70 passengers parasailing every day, weather permitting. August is its busiest month.
“We’re nonstop this month,” said owner Eric Redner, as his first group of the day got off the boat and another was getting ready to board.
Redner, who grew up in Atlantic City and still lives in the resort, said he loves his job driving the boat around as tandem — a pair of parasailers — after tandem are lifted up into the air.
“I can’t complain about my office,” he said while listening to classic rock with his customers on the boat.
Redner recommends that people wear bathing suits for the ride. He gives people the option of being dipped into the ocean at the end of their ride. Regardless, with waves crashing against the side of the boat, it’s safe to say you’ll be getting wet either way.
And Redner offered a word of advice to anyone considering going parasailing during a vacation.
“Come early in the week or make a reservation early in the week so you can go,” Redner said. “We’re very weather-dependent, so there are a lot of times where we’ll have to cancel. And then if someone booked early we can push them back, and they don’t have to wait till the last minute of their vacation to go parasailing.”
Once you’re on board and ready to go up, Redner’s first mate Ian Donati will put you in a life vest and a harness attached to the parachute and then ask you to sit at the back of the boat on a matted launching pad. Redner speeds up the boat, and off you go.
In the air, a view of the entire Atlantic City beach is to your left, the open ocean to your right. It can be a little intimidating. The one thing that stands out is how quiet everything is. It’s a silent world, except for the sound of a Billy Idol song coming from the boat.
You can find a parasailing provider in just about every shore town.
Typical rates are $75 for each adult, usually flying in tandem. Rides last from 12 to 15 minutes and the boat ride itself, with as many as 12 other people, can last up to 90 minutes.
Some people take cameras with them into the sky. If they’re worried about dropping their camera — or their phone — most tours offer picture packages for an extra fee.
Pamela Dixon said she was worried while she was up in the air, and she kept a tight grip on her shoulder straps.
“I’m not a water person, so for me to be up in the air over the water was a little freaky for me,” she said. “It was actually really good once you got up there.”