A boat zips along through the water, trailing behind it an open parachute elevated to almost a quarter-mile in the air. This isn't a scene from a spy movie, but rather a scenic parasailing tour from California Parasail, whose lines can lift patrons up to 1,200 feet above the crystal blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. As parasailers relax into their harnesses and take in breathtaking panoramic views, they can also take comfort in knowing they're in safe hands??all captains hold a US Coast Guard license and all crew members adhere to the practices of the Water Sports Industry Association. They operate runs throughout Avalon and Catalina Island, as well as Balboa Island, Newport Beach, and Long Beach, allowing patrons to glimpse views of different coastal areas and befriend cumulus clouds with varying regional dialects.
Just off the coast of Southern California in the waters surrounding Catalina Island resides an underwater civilization as awe-inspiring as the city above. To see it, the experienced divers of Diving Catalina outfit explorers of all skill levels to swim over the marine landscape, leading journeys into the protected Casino Point Underwater Dive Park and the kelp forest. In addition to guiding tours, Diving Catalina also rents snorkeling equipment and leads classes that range from introductory dives to advanced, postcertification scuba training to become the next Aquaman.
Daily parasailing trips at Island Water Charters bestow the gift of flight to wingless humans, who float over Catalina Island at heights of 600 feet. Groups of parasailers climb aboard a 31-foot Ocean Pro boat and set sail for an adventure through sea and sky. After the crew secures visitors in their life vest and harness, a massive parachute lifts them skyward. Jaws drop at spectacular views and the opportunity to take a bite of fresh cloud meat, and people can request to be lowered to dip feet in the water while trolling along behind the boat. After their hang time comes to an end, fliers are safely returned to the boat to watch their friends soar through the great blue yonder.
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Free street parking after 6 p.m. and all day Sunday
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Films and Concerts
Recommended Age Group: All Ages with parental guidance
What is one fun, unusual fact about your business?
The Warner Brothers believed a glamorous picture palace should be a place of escape, a place where dreams come true. They built three lavish art deco picture palaces in Beverly Hills, Huntington Park, and San Pedro. The Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro, the first sound-equipped theatre in the South Bay, opened to the public on January 20, 1931, with a star-studded gala premier. Jack Warner christened it "The Castle of Your Dreams," created by its chief architect B. Marcus Priteca and designer A.T. Heinsbergen.
What?s your favorite part of your job?
Engaging and inspiring our community through the arts.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
In the mid-1990s, we saved the Warner Grand Theatre, a spectacular 1931 art deco movie palace and cornerstone of the town's revitalization. (Plans were to turn it into a swap meet.) Today, we promote and preserve this beautiful theater while also presenting events and educational experiences at the Theatre and at the Grand Annex, our cabaret-style venue down the street.
The vessel, Shoreliner, is no stranger to the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Originally built in 1960s to speedily shuttle ferry passengers to and from Catalina Island, Greg Watson Sr.?a seasoned captain with 35 years of seafaring experience?purchased the vessel in 2013 and completely refurbished it to better provide a luxuriant experience for private parties as well as tour groups. The 65-foot, aluminum-hulled vessel slices through the water at a cruising speed of 14 knots, leaving the coastline behind while as many as 130 guests can enjoy the views from the indoor seating section, the upper-deck seating, or the bow or stern areas. For private parties, the Shoreliner features two flat-screen televisions and a DVD player in its main salon, as well as a fully stocked bar that can help keep spirits high throughout the cruise. The crew also offers educational cruises in the form of two-hour, whale-watching tours, which give invaluable insight into the local marine life while providing opportunities for passengers to actually see gray whales, blue whales, bottlenose dolphins, and even hitchhiking mermaids depending on the season.
Instructors at Pacific Sailing's ASA-certified sailing school teach a variety of students the basics of navigating coastal waters and instruct students in specialized types of sailing or in the students' greatest areas of interest. Captains lead group and private lessons that cover basic keelboat sailing, basic coastal cruising, bareboat chartering, and coastal navigation?providing the skills necessary to unfurl and tie a sail or navigate using electronics, the light of the stars, and directions from a well-traveled seagull. The instructors conduct their lessons and lead skippered day sails, sunset sails, and overnight trips at the helm of Colgate, Hunter, Catalina, Irwin, and Beneteau sailboats.