Jumping out of a plane!

Trip Start Sep 23, 2004
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Saturday, March 8, 2008

Work hard, play hard. After an intense few weeks at school, Jill and I were off on a girl's weekend to Taupo. We drove down after school on Friday night, a gorgeous drive. We made good time and managed to complete the trip in the light. We had dinner at the Irish pub, followed by one of the most hilarious nights out ever- topped only by the following evening. Cheesy bars and clubs with wonderfully cheesy music filled with cheesy men and their cheesy chat up lines. Lots of cheese and lots of fun.

The next day was gloriously blue. It was perfect for our planned adventure. Tandem skydiving! Jill's expected fear failed to arrive. She had had nightmares- not about jumping, not about falling, but that her instructor who she was going to be tightly strapped to would be a skinny pimply youth.

Her fears were unfounded, however, and we both felt confident as we boarded our little plane and spiralled up into the sky. It was Jill's first jump. As it was my second, I'd decided to extend myself and went for the 15000 foot jump. One minute in free fall! We'd also both splashed out on photographers for the occasion. Jill jumped first, as I was given oxygen to suck to help me cope with the further gain in altitude in an unpressurised cabin. The door slid open, she and her dive master slid forward, a woosh and they were gone into space. Not a scream. The same was not true for the other girl who was going up with us; she jumped next and the yell was bloodcurdling. Then the door was closed and we gained more altitude.  It was my turn. We moved forward, I dangled over nothingness. We tipped forward and tumbled out into freefall. I arched my back and bent my knees. Did I scream? Don't be silly!

I was more aware this time, and didn't experience even the mild disorientation of my first jump. It was exhilarating. The air roared in my ears as I plumetted downwards. I could see the mountains; Tongiraro, Ruapehu, Ngaruhoe. The intense peacock blue of the lake below. The Eastern Cape, all the way to Whakatane and beyond. Was that smudge over there White Island? The photographer was fun but the level of interaction required to make good video distracted from the view.  Eventually he spiralled away from us and headed down to land. Our parachute opened and we banked and twirled and turned, dancing in the air over sparkling water. Too soon, it was time to land, but our pictures and video were soon ready, and they were worth having! Not looking elegant in my helmet and lurid jumpsuit, but the excitement I felt was plastered across my face.

The buzz lasted all the way back to town, all the while we sat by the lake with Lindauer and olives. We buzzed as we wandered round the smoking fumeroles of the Craters of the moon, and went out again to dance the night away and tell anyone who would listen that we'd jumped out of a plane. The next day, a soak in the hot pools and a wonderful massage were relaxing, but we still buzzed all the way home. Reunited with computers, we could watch our DVDs over and over... Jumping out of a plane is fun. But how do I top 15000 feet? Maybe the next one will be a solo jump.....
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