I’m in the bus with half a dozen others being driven to the sky dive
airport in Tully. I want this journey to last a long time, because I
know once we’re there it will be very soon that I’ll be up I’m the
sky. Unfortunately, the cheerful driver who’s seen this a thousand
times says it will only take fifteen minutes. I begin to wonder if
I’ve got any loose ends I should tie up if the worst happens. I turn
my thoughts to my future blog entry.
We arrive at the “airport” and are told that stretch of grass that
looks suspiciously like a footy field is our runway. I sign my life
away on two forms and hope that my decision not to extend my insurance
to cover this is a gamble I’ll win. Didn’t help that a roomate told a
story yesterday of her mum breaking both her ankles doing this. Oh
well, dems the risks.
“Anyone else want to go in the first group?” the organsier shouts out.
I put up my hand, if only to get more beach time later in the day. No
point hanging around here getting nervous, either.
I meet my tandem partner and instantly forget his name. “How long you
been doing this?” I ask.
“Twenty years. 17,000 jumps”
Is this man clinically insane??!! One jump is bad enough, 100 just
silly. I don’t even want to compute his numbers. Still, right now
experience is good. Very good. I mean, he’s obviously survived that
many times, so unless he managed to kill a few jumpers on the way,
odds are I’ll be ok.
The safety lessons are over way too quickly. Bend your knees, arch
your back, and then lift your legs when landing. Pretty much it. If it
all goes wrong, then I guess I’ll just scream and flail every
appendage until I hit the water and break my neck/drown/get eaten by
shark/stung by jellyfish. Happy thoughts.
We walk to the plane, and get another shock. I’ve built bigger Airfix
kits than that!!! Somehow we squeeze about six pairs of sky divers in
it. Very cosy. We take off.
“2000 feet!” my partner tells me, happily counting down my impending
doom. 12000 feet to go. I admit the view looks good below. So many
greens. As we climb higher, it looks beautiful. The sun is hitting the
water and you can see the ringed patterns of the current. The long
sandy beach stretches as far as you can see. Wonderul. I start to get
What the heck am I doing here? I’m gonna jump out any minute and I’m
basically dead unless the guy behind me does his job. Should I be
doing this? Man, how bad would it be for family and friends if I was
to go splat?I’m sure Alli wouldn’t be too pleased, either. I know this
is one of my ambitions I wrote down when I was 15, but now I’m here
I’m really not sure. Little time for any other thoughts, though, as I
get prepped for the moment. Ohhhhhh crap….
I watch the first one go. I’m gonna be fifth of six. One by one I hear
the screams. Way too soon I’m shunted to the edge of the plane’s open
door. You gotta me shittin’ me… I feel a shove and then I’m in the
Oh. My. God!!!!!!!!
This is f**king amazing!!!!!!!!!! I’m hurtling down towards the blue
sea at some unreal speed and it feels like nothing I’ve ever
experienced!! Like the most intense roller coaster drop but 1000 times
better!!! Am I falling? This is just incredible!! How the heck do I
describe this? The wind, the sights, the sensation is absolutely
wicked!!! Cooooool! Let me fall…let me fall…
My partner taps me on the shoulder to tell me I can wave my arms
around now. I make stupid faces and hand gestures to the camera,
shouting every corny dude phrase I can think of. Suddenly, he pulls
the parachute, and we slow down. I wasn’t even worried that it
wouldn’t open, and could have happily fallen for ever, if possible.
Now everything’s different. It’s serene. No sound. Just here drifting,
watching the jumpers below me slowly spiral down. I see islands,
trees, boats, rivers, the strip of beach that is my destination and of
course the sea. Incredible. We circle for a bit, and then swing
towards the landing site. I put my legs up when told and we complete a
perfect landing. I’ve just done my first sky dive and feel
fantastic!!!!!!!!!!! Can we do that again?
Best thing I’ve ever done? Quite possibly. Most insane? Absolutely.
Another ambition ticked off today.
Friday mornings spent in meetings, or risking your life hurtling
towards the ground with just a bit of cloth between you and certain
death? Shove me out of that plane… I wanna live……..