Unlike most charter-boat captains, Jason Hall sees dollar signs in the sky, rather than in the water. The Put-in-Bay Parasail owner loads his boat with up to six customers every hour. Idling beyond the harbor, Hall straps a parasailor into a nylon harness attached to a parachute, which slowly lifts on a towline to as high as 300 feet.
For 15 minutes, parasailors can gawk at the Lake Erie landscape below. When time's up (or a hand signal indicates a parasailor's decision to come down sooner), they're lowered to the boat deck. "You don't want to sit up there for more than 15 minutes," advises Hall. "It's like a climbing harness, but it doesn't give you a wedgie."
Hall follows a couple of rules: He won't sail if it's raining or if the wind is blowing more than 20 miles an hour. His slowest time of the summer is during the Memorial Day weekend. "That's a party crowd," says Hall. "Parasailors aren't the people going to bars drinking, wearing beads, and carrying on, that's for sure." That makes this the ideal time to beat the rush. Put-in-Bay Parasail is open daily from 11 a.m. to dusk, starting Saturday and running through September 5, on the Boardwalk Restaurant Dock on Bay View Avenue in Put-in-Bay. Rate is $70. Reservations are recommended; call 419-285-3703. -- Cris Glaser
The zoo scores with a pair of celebratory programs.
Don't the gods who designate National (Fill in the Blank) Days ever get together over bagels and coffee and talk about their schedules? It's kinda hard celebrating both, say, National Chips and Salsa Day and National Dead Puppy Day during a limited 24 hours. Luckily, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has found a way around this potentially weekend-ruining problem. It's lined up festivities for both International Migration Bird Day and Plant Conservation Day at the park on Saturday. The former features games, workshops, and demonstrations revolving around our flying, feathered friends. The latter includes gardening tips, guided tours, and a plant sale. Everyone goes home happy. It all happens from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the zoo, 3900 Wildlife Way. Admission is $9, $4 for kids. Call 216-661-6500 for more information. -- Michael Gallucci