17 Jun Skydiving in Byron Bay
You have to do at least one extreme sport in Australia- I booked the Byron Bay Skydive; it’s by no means cheap at $399 and if you want the photos it’s another $100 because they have to send someone else down to take the photos. The day we were to do it I woke up at 6:30am with a stonking hangover. I threw up one or two times before we were picked up at 7am, not through nerves but through sheer alcohol intoxication. It didn’t help that our lady driver couldn’t drive to save her life- we held on to the handles as she went over the lines on the road several times.
They are clearly prepared for the fact you may have to wait a long time- they have Giant Chess and Giant Connect Four, which kept me highly entertained. Why is it so much more fun when it’s in giant form?? It was a perfectly blue day, not a cloud in the sky, seemed like a perfect day to go jumping out of a plane to me. But there was a problem. Too much wind. We waited around for a couple of hours which gave me the chance to rehydrate and get over my headache, I was glad of it really. But as time ticked on we all wondered if we would ever get to do the Skydive. Eventually they drove us back to Byron to go lay on the beach, and they said they’d give us a call if the weather came good. I had started to think I’d got out of doing it, that I wouldn’t have to jump 14,000 feet, but then a buzzing came from my bag. It was time.
A little tip for everyone doing a Skydive, wear trainers. Otherwise you end up having to wear someone else’s stinky ones like I did. As they harnessed us up they made little jokes to leave us feeling uneasy like “oops, almost forgot to hook that on…” I had in mind a conversation I’d had earlier with my friend Jo. I always have these dreams where I’m falling, and in them I always land on the ground with a thump, and my body jolts in bed. She told me that usually you never actually hit the ground in your dream, and that if you do that’s the way you’re going to die. Thanks Jo.
I hadn’t really felt nervous before hand, but when we sat in the plane that’s when it hit me. We were doing the 14,000 feet jump since if you’re paying all that money you might as well do the highest one- but there were a couple of people doing the 8,000 feet jump. I couldn’t believe we had only climbed half way, but all of a sudden they were just SUCKED out of the plane. It was like something out of a bond movie, they opened the door and the two people were just kicked out of the plane- it actually made the sucking noise too. Oh god, I thought.
You don’t get any time to count to 10 or anything. When it’s time they get you to sit on the edge, and then, you jump. I can describe the feeling of Skydiving but you’ll never understand it till you try it. We rolly polied through the sky and my heart literally jumped out of my chest, but then, when we finally came straight the free-falling was amazing. You don’t feel like you’re falling because the air and the wind is pushing you up, but it doesn’t feel like you’re weightless either. People get addicted to skydiving, trying to make the feeling of free falling last longer each time. Usually people are too excited and the thrill too big that the feeling seems to last only a few seconds. But it was different with me- I’m so tiny I only way 45 kilos, and my tandem instructor was only a small man himself, so our combined weight was only light. So instead of free falling for one minute, it was more like two. I didn’t understand at the time, but the woman with the video camera skydiving at the same time kept holding out her hands to me. I wondered what the hell she was doing, so I held my arms out like I was flying, copying her. It turned out she was trying to get me to hold her hands so we would fall more quickly if we were heavier, but silly me didn’t realise that.
When the parachute opens the rushing wind in your ears goes away, and suddenly the world is silent. Not a bird in the sky, no people, no traffic sounds. Just silence. Then you just get to sit back and enjoy the view. The greatest thing about the Skydive is the feeling for the rest of the day afterwards- you did something you were afraid of doing.