It was time to do what is what is possibly the cheapest skydive in the world for £50, I was to be taken up to 12,000 feet and jump out of a perfectly normal airplane. I can honestly say I was not that scared at the moment, After getting suited up and in the tandem harness I had a look at some people coming down and thought “that does not look too hard”.
The plane taxied back to the hangar and we all got in sitting in front of our jump master who we would be connected to for hopefully the whole duration of the jump!. After pushing onto the runway we accelerated hard and being such a small plane it was a pretty quick take off and we were off and climbing and for the first time since being on planes I thought well if there is a problem and it crashes we can just jump out.
So we are gaining altitude pretty quick and taking in the views all around Taupo and up towards the Tongariro National Park considering what you get for your money it’s a pretty good deal a 10 minute flight would probably cost what this whole thing has.
All the jumpmasters start checking there various gauges and watches and then start buckling us all up at the shoulder and tightening out leg harness to them also, I know the time is near and I am unsure what to what expect in the next few minutes. I am at the front of the plane so I know I will be the second to last to leave so I can see everyone go first, is that a good thing or not I cannot tell you it happened so quickly, The harness are secure and the pilot gives the green light, we are good to go.
Ok the next few moments are pretty surreal the cameraman for Katie who has paid for a video has just pulled himself out and hangs onto the side and then Katie is on the edge and they are out followed by the next two people then all of a sudden I am shuffling towards the buffeting winds that are coming through the side of this plane door at 12,000ft and travelling at god know what speed, Sherdian shouts in my ear “ok hold onto your harness and dangle your feet over the edge, When I tap your shoulder you can spread your arms out” Ok that’s all the instruction I need as we are getting to the last two feet of the sanctity of metal and flying machine before I am thrown out of a plane.
The next 10 seconds was slow motion I am dangling over the edge of the plane door my feet are hanging out and I am suddenly thinking I hope my trainers are tied up enough!!, the view is amazing and I cannot get over how high I am before I can collect my thoughts Sheridan pushes his weight forward and we are out the air hits me and Sheridan maybe showboating but def. wanting to give himself some entertainment as he says it has lost its rush tumbles numerous times I am looking at the ground then the sky then the ground then the sky. Its intense I feel a little bit queasy for a second as I try to catch my breath but its gone this really does take your breath away. We flatten out and I get the tap on my shoulder arms are out like I am doing a deco stop , legs up in the air perfect postion and the noise from the wind is deafening we are falling quicker and you are aware of it but the ground seems so far away impending death does not seem a big fear, then at 5000ft that’s 45 seconds after we jumped out the chute goes out and it becomes quiet and peaceful I was expecting to be jerked back into the air but it does not happen like that you are aware of slowing down and that’s all. As we cruise I can for a few moments appreciate the scenery before Sheridan is spinning the chute round and banking hard left to right its good fun.
As we get closer to the ground I check that all my bodily parts are still here and can’t wait to be on solid ground, we swoop in over the hangar and I pick my feet up and we land without a problem, Another boring tandem jump for some but the biggest rush I had was the first couple of moments you are on the edge looking out and then all of a sudden you are sent tumbling and spinning in the air and then to be honest it gets kind of repetitive the first part is the fear factor I guess and once that’s done well that’s it.
After that everything I did that day seemed less adventurous but I did take the opportunity in the hostel to watch Lord of the Rings The Fellowship, sad maybe but I will watch all three whilst in NZ. The following day we were headed to Wellington and that’s where I would be parting company with Siobhan, I am not going to make it to the South Island even though I really want to I just do not have the time.
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