Jumping out of a plane at 14,000 feet and free falling for 60 seconds brings on a rush that you can not describe to someone who doesn’t know what it feels like to skydive. But I can tell you it is sensational. This is the second time I’ve jumped but the nerves are still there and the excitement was perhaps even greater this time because I had an idea of what to expect.
I went to Sydney for my best friend M’s birthday – she picked me up bright and early from Sydney Airport and we went straight to Skydive the Beach in Wollongong, about an hour drive south. We were late (in true M style) and had to push the jump back but it gave us plenty of time to scope out who we would be strapped to the front of, make jokes and begin the festivities of the weekend.
After our 30 seconds of training and changing into the suits and harness (I wonder if I can get a suit dry cleaned in advance later … it weirded out my OCD side) we hopped on the minibus and drove out to board the smallest plane I’ve ever seen. I really wanted to be harnessed to Kevin (my dive person) as soon as we were in the paper aeroplane, just in case. The best part of the plane ride up to 14,000 feet was the full circle rainbow we saw.
M jumped first – I’ve never seen her look so terrified that my protective instincts must have kicked because when it was my turn to fall out I was not as scared as I thought I would be. It is very loud and cold but the rush from the 60 second free fall is enough to take your focus away from anything else except the amazing feeling of freedom, flying and falling. With head and body arched back and arms out in front it is like no other feeling.
The chute opened with a jerk that was quite uncomfortable (reads: my boobs were squashed in the harness and it hurt) but Kevin loosened something and it was all good although I was curious as to how he would “make me feel more comfortable” at 10,000 feet! You also get to take the goggles off at this point which is also awesome.
The drift down is incredible – it is peaceful and smooth apart from the twirls Kevin decided to throw in until I threatened to vomit in his face.
I had a turn at steering the chute – something I am not keen on but that I was assured was “part of the experience”. I do not want to be in charge when skydiving. The landing was smooth but the ground does suddenly rush towards you the closer you get to landing. As the ‘passenger’ I lifted my feet parallel to the ground (possibly a little early but I didn’t want to risk broken legs) then stood up as Kevin’s feet hit the ground. And that was it. Skydive accomplished.
Skydiving is one of the most amazing experiences and something I would like to do again. My brother has expressed his desire to go for his 18th birthday… Mum is going to kill me!
I don’t have any pics (although now I kind of wish I did) because last time I got them I looked at them once then hid them in the back of the cupboard for fear of anyone seeing them. Ever. Looking like a Wallace & Grommit character is not something you really want public although that may have been due the incredible fear I had at the first jump. Reckon I’ve got it sussed now though and will get pics next time…
Skydive the Beach was a great company to jump with – very professional, organised and fun. Appealing to my geek side I was excited to find them on Twitter and you can Like them on Facebook too. I would recommend them for Sydney thrill seekers.
Here is a pic from their website: