A skydive was always something we’d said we’d do and when people asked our plans for Australia we regailed them with hopes of a roadtrip, Christmas in Sydney and extreme sports. Now that the skydive was actually upon us, it was seemingly the most stupid idea we had ever had.
Our dads had bought us our skydives for Christmas and thereafter it started to seem a bit more real. That’s when youtube came into play and we started to consider what was indeed going to happen. It looked utterly terrifying and we were choosing the highest tandem jump (14,000ft) with 60 seconds of freefall, with an incredible view over the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns. Though whatever the view, trust me, when you’re falling from a plane, those 60 seconds are the slowest minute of your life.
But hey, it was a once in a lifetime adventure, everyone said how amazing it would be and it was a present from our dads – it was surely a good idea and extremely safe:
We arrived in Cairns and booked our dives with Skydive the Reef Cairns (100% safety record) for the following morning at around 10am. After a light and anxiety-ridden sleep we tried to have some breakfast and get ready. Sarah’s approach was far more excited than mine, with an every-three-minute exclamation of “Can you believe we’re about to jump out of a plane?!” I, however, had appeared to lose all ability to smile or speak and so dressed silently.
We were collected by a very enthusiastic instructor and joined others on the bus to be taken to the airport to meet our fate.
Everyone at the office was extremely friendly (in spite of weighing us) and ensured that we put on parachute pants if desired and watched the safety DVD. However, our jump was delayed two hours and thus allowed for some considerable nerves to set in. Sarah was chilling out as though jumping out of planes was just what happened sometimes, whilst I lost all words and blood from my face.
Our time arrived and we were introduced to our partners. Unfortunately for my instructor, Damien, this was around the time that I rediscovered my voice and due to either nerves or adrenaline was unable to shut up for the entire flight and fall. Apparently after around 9,000 jumps, Damien had never known anyone talk so much. I personally don’t remember it being that bad…
Sarah, a complete adrenaline junkie, was in her element and calmly chatted to the other divers aboard the small propellor plane. There were 9 pairs in total whilst my partner and I were at the front of the plane next to the pilot. Yes, we were the last to jump… It was around the time that all these pairs jumped before me that I understood that there wasn’t really any way I could now back out. I was strapped to someone who jumped out of planes four times a day. Who was this man?! The last one to go, I can honestly say I was terrified.
The first few seconds of falling are strange and nothing like I’ve ever felt before. It’s fast. So fast. But I was determined to keep my eyes open, I was doing this once and I had to make it worth while. When I felt Damien grab my wrists to spin me in midair I relaxed – he was obviously calm and hadn’t just realised he’d left his rucksack back in the plane.
It was outstanding. I was so nervous but this was one of the best experiences of my entire life, and incredibly, the freefall was the best part. Just try to keep your mouth shut, my tongue half fell out and I couldn’t get it back in.
Once the parachute opens you can really take in the view and relax a little, although I did forget that last bit.
Our instructors let us steer our parachutes a bit which was a lot tougher than it looks; meanwhile the landing was smooth and easy.
Never before have I had so much adreniline pumping through my body and after talking non-stop for the last 30 minutes, I completely passed out on the bus ride back to base.
Everyone who we jumped with was loads of fun and we went to the shop together to collect our pictures and DVDs a few hours later (though I was initially given the wrong one – so do check!). Sarah and I couldn’t have had more different approaches to it and I had no idea just how much I would love it. Even the most nervous of people should give it a go. The instructors were incredibly professional and I felt about as safe as I could given the situation!
Loved reading about all your travelling adventures!
My dream is to do this in a few years also – just wondering if you did it all independently or travelled with specific companies? Just need some guidance as I have no idea where to start haha! X
We feel your pain – it’s so daunting when you’re setting out! So far we haven’t travelled with any companies, but have sometimes used them as a reference for routes and places to go. You’ll find that working out plans and routes on your own works out far cheaper than with a tour group, but then again they can be a great way to make friends in your initial few weeks, and we know several people who have really taken a lot from their experience with travel companies. If you have any more questions or would like any advice, email us any time: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks! C&S x
thanks – thats such great help!! I’ll be in touch shortly! hope youre having a lovely trip still and look forward to reading the rest!! X
This has brought back great memories of my skydive. It’s such an amazing feeling, but I was so terrified just before jumping out of the plane!
We re-watch our videos all the time, the fear on our faces just before the jump say it all! Thanks for visiting, C&S x
Haha i was definitely on the side of being the cool cucumber when i did my 15000ft jump in new zealand. But im a huge adrenaline junkie. Kudoos for doing it despite being terrified!