Ella Bayes has been giving her family the run-around for more than 100 years - first her parents and now her own descendants.

The 104 year-old possibly set a New Zealand record yesterday when she went parasailing in the Bay of Islands.

Keeping an eye on her thrill-loving mother was Lynda Brown, who said her mother had been up for adventure all her long life.

Ella Bayes, 104, right, shares a lovely moment with fellow Jane Mander resident, and parasailer, Dorothy West, 100.
Ella Bayes, 104, right, shares a lovely moment with fellow Jane Mander resident, and parasailer, Dorothy West, 100.

It was Ella's first parasail, a birthday treat for turning 104 last week.

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To add to the story of heroic old age, there were two centenarians on the water, although not in the air.

Ella was joined aboard the parasailing boat by fellow Jane Mander rest home resident, 100-year-old Dorothy West, who is an old hand at parasailing behind a Flying Kiwi boat, having done it a few months ago when she turned 100.

In fact, it was Dorothy's experience that got Ella thinking she should give it a go.

Flying Kiwi crewman Felix Foelsche gives Ella Bayes and Lynda Brown a briefing while Dorothy West (in blue) watches on. Photo/John Stone
Flying Kiwi crewman Felix Foelsche gives Ella Bayes and Lynda Brown a briefing while Dorothy West (in blue) watches on. Photo/John Stone

It's a bug that is running rife around the Whangārei retirement and rest home complex. In the past year, 30 Jane Mander villagers have parasailed with the company.

Twelve residents, among them some living independently to some in fulltime care, travelled to Paihia yesterday to watch the fun.

Before getting aboard the boat Nauti Kiwi, Ella said she'd ''slept perfectly well'' the night before, her biggest concern being whether the wet weather would clear.

It did, the sun breaking through the clouds just as Nauti Kiwi nosed out of the dock.

''It was wonderful,'' a beaming Ella said when the boat returned. ''I loved it, and I'd do it again.''

Brown was also along for the ride, helping the slightly hard of hearing adventurer answer questions.

''It was fun. It's never been on my bucket list but Mum inspires me to do these things,'' Brown said of the experience.

Ella's bucket list has already had hot air ballooning and gliding ticked off it; mother and daughter doing the latter at Byron Bay, Australia, for a 95th birthday present.

Ella said there is no reason healthy people can't make the most of life, whatever their age.

''I say give it a go, give anything ago,'' the 104 year-old great grandmother said.