What an absolutely incredible experience. I will try my best
to describe it, but honestly, I don’t think any words can truly do justice to
this amazing experience.
I booked the skydive a couple of days before, I had been
wanting to do one since I missed the chance at Mission Beach a couple of weeks
earlier, so I chose Byron Bay as the next best place. Once I booked it I tried
not to think about it, after all I was absolutely shitting myself!
Then I woke up at 7am ready for an 8am pick up to take me to
the dive centre. OH MY GOD!!!! My heart was already racing…Jesus I might pass
out if it continues at this rate for the next two hours until I am due to
jump!! When I was choosing what to wear I thought ‘I will wear pink today,
because it’s my favourite colour and if I die today I want to die in pink…!’ ha
They picked me up in a very cool skydive van, I might have
taken a picture of it but I was far too distracted by the fact that I was
quietly shitting myself! Lol It took around 15 minutes to drive to the dive
centre and whilst in the van they gave me a load of forms to complete, on
which, I basically singed my life away. It did cross my mind that if something
went wrong my insurance would not cover it, and that this could actually be the
last day of my life… However when I booked the skydive the travel agent lady
said to me that you are more likely to die on the journey to the dive centre
than you are jumping out of the plane….not quite sure if I believe this
I was glad that Karen had asked to come along with me, she
didn’t want to jump because she thought it was too expensive (which it was
really!) but it was nice to have her come along. When we arrived it was around
8.30am and there were already people landing! They all came back into the
centre really happy and proud of themselves, and this gave me a bit more
So we sat at the centre for around 20 minutes, watching the
parachutes coming down (the camera men were so incredibly fast it was amazing!)
before they called me over. They barely told me anything to prepare me, which
is actually probably a good thing as I would have just been even more
frightened. They gave me some trousers to wear (that actually looked pretty
cool!) and strapped me up in the harness.
There were about 6 of us and they sat us all in a circle in
the floor and made up practice the ‘jumping out position’. We would be strapped
to the instructor with him behind us and were told to put our heads back on
their shoulder and to hold onto our harness. Then after a few seconds they
would tap us on the shoulder and we were to put our head up and arms out. To be
honest, I barely took any of this in at the time, due to the fact that I was
moving on from the ‘frightened’ to the ‘petrified’ stage.
We were then taken over to a mock aircraft door. Here they
showed us the position we should get into before jumping. We should basically
hold onto our harness and put our head back ready to jump, but we should also
tuck our feet right underneath the aircraft. Oh my God, this was all starting
to feel very real now…
Then it was time! Time to get on the aircraft. Everyone got
on and me and my tandem master were last. This meant I had to sit by the door,
ahem, I mean hole in the plane. I was absolutely terrified just by the fact
that I was climbing 14,000 feet right next to an open aircraft door….and I
wasn’t even yet attached to the parachute or anything!! But then he pulled the
plastic sheet down across the door after a few hundred feet of inclination to
keep the breeze out-not for safety!
My tandem master was doing a good job of distracting me by
talking about the view and spotting whales in the ocean. It was an amazing view
to be fair. He told me that at 10,000 feet we would get strapped up. So it was
only a matter of moments….
It was a very small plane, with no seats at all, everyone
simply sat on the floor, very close together. I gathered by the fact that I was
next to the door that I would be the first out, and I was right there!
10,000feet arrived and he took around 3 minutes strapping me
up. He then repeated to me the instructions for when we jumped (this was useful
as I had forgotten due my panicked state!). Then all of a sudden, lets do it
Hayley…. And I was out……….
The moments in the lead up to the jump are rather blurry to
be honest, I guess because of high adrenaline and rapid heart rate etc. Luckily
I have a video to remember these moments….I don’t even recall saying ‘Oh My
God….’ Just as I left the aircraft…..
I was falling….at God knows what speed, but it didn’t feel
like falling at all, it felt more like flying. The winds were so strong it
pulled the skin back from my face and made me want to lick my lips because they
felt so dry from the wind. I immediately loved the sensation. I didn’t actually
realise at the time, but we spun around a couple of times when we first jumped
out, and I can see the upside down world behind me in the pictures, which looks
It felt like forever that I was falling. Most people talk
about how they wish for the parachute to open as it feels like more than 1
minute and they begin to worry, but this was not the case for me, I loved the
falling part and once I had left the aircraft I didn’t feel scared at all! It
was actually INCREDIBLE!!!!! What a sensation, I have spent so much time on
airplanes, but never have I thought about jumping out of one, it seemed
madness-but I guess that’s why it was so exciting!
So after what seemed like more than 60 seconds (but
obviously wasn’t), the parachute opened. It was gentle, not a tough pull like I
had expected. Here I said how amazing the jump had been and was so happy, my
adrenaline levels absolutely through the roof. He then gave me control of the
parachute and told me to tug hard on one side, so I did and this made the
parachute spin around in circles. It was amazing. Now we had slowed down the
pace somewhat (A LOT!!!), I could really admire and take in the views around
me. It was relaxing, calm, and beautiful. To one side there were the stunning
east coast sands, with whales jumping in and out of the deep blue ocean, to the
other there were picturesque green fields and little village streets.
It was stunning, it really was. It felt like after that fierce,
potentially dangerous freefall, we were now floating calmly back down to earth.
It was lovely. We even went through a cloud-how often can you say you do that?!?!
And the landing was the perfect ending. He told me to lift
my legs up, I did so, and we landed softy onto our bums on the grass. It was so
soft and gently, not like I had expected at all.
I was on such a high when I landed, and for the rest of the
day in fact, by now it was not even 10am! I got back and Karen had taken some
very cool pictures for me as I was leaving/returning from the dive. I was given
a very cool skydive T-shirt and a certificate to prove that I had jumped!
Perhaps I will add that to my record of achievement….! Ha ha I then waited for
my video and photo’s to be ready.
It was expensive, but I had to get the video and pictures-to
remember the experience and also as evidence! Ha ha And it was definitely money well spent. It was
so funny to watch the video. It is basically made by my tandem master holding
out a camera in front of me, and they also use those images to make still
photo’s, and they are funny!
It was the most incredible 60 seconds, quite possibly of my
entire life. I went through so many emotions this day, from being anxious to
nervous to frightened to petrified, to excited, happy, overwhelmed, and most of
all BUZZING!!! This was such a great experience, and to do it in such a
beautiful place was just amazing. I am proud of myself and you never know…maybe
I’ll get back up there and do it again someday!!! : )