I’ve always been tempted to skydive but have never had the courage or the money to see it through. Why would anyone really want to fling themselves out of an aeroplane at extreme heights??? Well, the day came when I decided that it would be a good idea. It all feels like a distant dream now, but I’m going to try and recapture the moment for you:
It was Australia Day and, being at a hostel, the music was going and drinks were flowing. Syd went to the bar to buy us some beers and he returned, telling me he’d entered us in a raffle, which I forgot shortly after. Later on that evening, after a bit of table-dancing and a few water-pistol fights, we were all brought together in a circle to draw the raffle. The prizes were:
- Two for One Skydiving
- Two for One White Water Rafting
“Who wants to pick the ticket out of the hat?” said the hostel manager.
My hand shot up! So, there I was, in the middle of the circle, dipping my hand into the raffle (held well above my head, so I couldn’t see). And whose name popped out? Sydney! Neither of us have ever won anything in our lives. I was thrilled! It was a sign – we had to do the skydive, whether we had planned to or not!
Thursday arrived more quickly than expected. The butterflies began as soon as I woke up. We were picked up by Altitude Skydive at 9am by Mossy and his dog, Crasher. After filling out some paperwork in the office and being strapped up in our gear, we headed off to the airport with a Scottish man, named Ian (who Syd would be jumping with) and Mossy (my skydive instructor).
The feeling before getting to the aeroplane is one of excitement. As soon as you see the tiny aircraft you are about to jump from, the nerves kick in. Except not for Syd. His nerves don’t kick in until we are high up in the air! Flying up, the landscape is undoubtably beautiful, but as the door swings open, sheer terror kicks in and suddenly, your body tells you “NO! Don’t stick your legs out of a moving aeroplane at 14,000 feet over the ocean! What are you doing??? Don’t do it!!!” But, you are strapped so close and tight to the instructor that there is no turning back. And, into the jump position, three, two, one and you’re off!
I’ve never screamed so hard in my life. I screamed for a good while in terror before taking some deep breaths and finally getting used to the sensation of free falling in the air through the clouds. And then, looking around, you could enjoy the beauty around you, spread out like an aerial picture, with all the green fields of sugar cane, the mountains, clouds, reef and all the islands – Hinchenbrook Island and Dunk Island, amongst others, floating magically below.
And then, another moment of panic when the parachute opens and the pace drops. Finally, you are floating more gently through the sky, enjoying 360 degree views of this magical part of the world. In the distance, I could see Sydney floating along too and I was pleased we were both safe. I was able to have a short go at steering the parachute and Mossy then treated me to some dizzying parachute spins, which had my head spinning. Meanwhile, Syd was enjoying his own adventure:
As we approached the beach, we could see the little white dot of Crasher, the dog, speeding towards Syd’s parachute, which had already landed in the sand. Legs up and approaching the beach, we skidded into the sand and that was it!
It was over and I was still laughing out of adrenalin. It was, without a doubt, the most scary and beautiful thing I’ve ever done in my life! I think once is enough though, because if you appreciated that kind of thrill too often, I think you might come to take it for granted and I don’t want to spoil the beauty of the world for myself. But I would definitely recommend it to anyone. It is 100% worth all the money and all the nerves and we were lucky enough to do it half price in one of the best places in the world! Brillliant! Thanks Altitude Skydive!
NOTE: ALL PHOTOS FOR THIS POST ARE THANKS TO ALTITUDE SKYDIVE MISSION BEACH, 2016