About 5 hours ago, I jumped out of a plane attached via hooks and straps to another man. My face flapped for about a minute during the freefall and my eyes were classic Asian slits. I have photos to prove this. I had massive apprehensions about skydiving and I still think it’s kinda nuts but it’s also pretty damn awesome. Bit pricey and all but y’know, whatevs.

My girl’s friend came to stay with us and she had the similarly dastardly inclination as my girl to wanna skydive. So we did. 4 of us drove down to Wollogong with a mandantory stop at Maccas for brekkie. The comapny that does skydives is called Skydive The Beach and that’s mostly because they’re located at North Wollongong beach. Total damage for me was like $370. No small sum. It gets discounted if you’re a student/tourist or if you’re doing repeat visits with friends or something but anyway, it’s not the kinda thing you’d do just every weekend y’know.

We pay up and board a bus where we’re shuttled to the nearby airfield. Along the way, we fill up indemnity forms and stuff. The plane we would fly was bright blue and we loaded up 8 parachutists and their instructors packt like sardines in a crushd tin box. The flight up was really quick and you get a beautiful view of the oceanside. Everything looked like it was in slomo. I kept staring at the white waves crashing on the beach and they seemed to take forever to do so. Of course, at 14000 feet where we were going, everything was small and real distances were probably much larger than what I could imagine. It had this eerie calm to it, like I was some kinda spectator watching the world at large. It’s so much different to a commercial jet which only affords a brief glimpse in cushioned seats with LCD displays and chicken or fish.

Once we neared 3 miles from the destination, which was back at the beach, we got strapped up tight (I sat up on my instructor’s knees whilst he attached the harnesses before he rebriefed me on what to do. Not long after, they pulled the door open and the first girl put her legs out the plane. A split second later, she was gone. I wondered if I’d ever see that person again. It was like wtf ru serious? 3 more girls jumped out before the four of us. My good mate would be the last. He’d suffer having to watch everyone go. I went after our Japanese friend. My girl followed right after me.

I dangle my legs out the plane for maybe 1 second before my head is propped against the instructor’s shoulder and we’re out. It’s insane. I can’t believe I just fell out of a plane. That first instant is kinda mindblowing. Logically, you think you can’t survive. You understand you have a parachute and all but you see the ground swelling up before you. The air rushes around with the loudest swooping sound ever. I also happened to have a cold the night before so my sinuses got shot up into my brain. It hurt. A lot. The first 5 seconds I just felt helpless and terrified. The fear turned into exhilaration and mild panic. I didn’t think of any what ifs… but I realized that this could be it. Half a minute in, I was focusing on looking around and screaming on the top of my head even if I could barely hear myself. I had a 4 sec freefall before when I jumped off a few storeys into a giant cushion but this was a whole different league, never mind level. It was epic.

After a minute of freefall and my interminable swearing, the man latched around my back pull the chute cord and we heaved what felt like upwards rather suddenly and everything slowed down. Woah. No more flap flap flappy face. I could hear the instructor and myself. I calmed down. I steered a little before we swerved tightly around towards the landing zone.  The swerving feels a bit like a rollercoaster’s G-forces around tight corners. I stare at the scenery and look up to see my friends swirling around.Eventually, I tuck up legs up and we land softly on the ground.

I’m ALIVE!!!

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