Ever thought of doing something to pump your adrenalin? You normally do the booking, wait for the booking time and then mentally prepare for it won’t you? Well that’s what I thought I’d be doing. This morning when I packed some lunch and drove towards Kaiteriteri in the Abel Tasman region, little did I know I’d come back in the evening with a second sky dive under my belt. After spending the entire day at one of my most favourite towns in NZ, Kaiteriteri I thought I’d drive back to Nelson to rest up for the evening. On the way whilst passing through Motueka, I saw a sign post that said Sky Dive Abel Tasman. The last couple of days I had been thinking about doing it, but wasn’t sure if I was in the mood to spend $700 on it, yes that’s the price including paying for the cameraman.. But the day was so amazingly blue and clear that it played in my mind about doing the dive anyway. I looked up the weather forecast and it did look good for the next day as well, so I booked myself an early morning slot and thought I’d come back for it the next day. Before I headed off to Nelson, I thought it was probably a good idea to check out the place and if there were any jumpers today; so I drove to the site which was at Motueka Airport.
As expected, given that it was such an awesome day, there were plenty of jumpers waiting to board the plane. I watched them gear up, pack up and take off. And about 20 minutes later, they were all back on ground post their jumps. All of them were jumping from about 9000ft. After watching them I went to the counter to check out some videos; and the operator asked me if I was jumping to which I responded positively but that it was lined up for tomorrow. And he goes “Oh why don’t u do it now we have a space in the plane?” And I went “Ah Sure why not!!”. There was one other jumper who was all geared up and ready to board. So I had to quickly dash to the car, to change into my trousers and also wear my shoes, as jandals aren’t allowed 🙂 I came back in an appropriate attire for the jump and within 2 mins I was all packed up in the sky dive suit. Because it was my second jump, apparently I didn’t need too much of a brief as they do for the first timers. My tandem jump master, told me to follow the 3 step process of “Fold your legs, Raise your chin and Fold your back” before we jumped and that was all I needed.
The other jumper was all boarded and ready. When I reached the plane and saw I was the last one to get on, I realised that I’d be the first one to jump off !! Now that got my heart pumping..And to my surprise there was only one other jumper who was also jumping off at 17000ft. In my last jump in Queenstown, as bizzarre as it sounds, there were stops along the way where people jumped off at 9000, 12000, and then Me at 15000. Where as this one was just the two of us and our tandem masters, along with our camera men !! Wow.. It was so sudden and unreal ! It took a good 15 mins or so for us to reach the jumping altitude, and along the way we were being shown all the landmarks and also being briefed about what all we should be doing. When we reached about 15000ft, we were given oxygen masks for a few mins until we reached the jumping height. That’s cuz unlike commercial airliners there sky dive planes aren’t depressurised and at such altitudes your body can get devoid of oxygen. It was all happening so quickly that I didn’t know if I had to get scared or be excited or just be emotionless. Either way I was looking forward to leaping out as soon as I could 🙂
And before I knew it, my tandem master opened the door and that’s when the reality kicked in. There was no time to get scared or react. My cameraman jumped off and before I could even think, we were off the plane !! And oh my god.. What an experience that was…A free fall for a good 75 seconds. And when you free fall at such speeds, which is around 200km per hour, you don’t really fall but you float.. A different kind of float however. Remember the words by Buzz Lightyear in the Toy Story? “It’s not flying, it’s falling in style” and that’s what it felt like.. Although it was soo cold, so bloody cold up there that I could feel the chill in the air all the way up to my brains !! But I did manage to keep my smiles as much as I could and posed as long as the cameraman was around. And once he was rushed away to wait on the ground and grab my landing footage, it was time to enjoy the bird’s eye view of everything I could see, as far as my eyes literally could. At around 3000ft from the ground, when the tandem master opens the parachute, it’s still a faster descent than you’d expect. He then does a bit of tour guiding’ up in the sky telling where everything is, it’s as easy as having a conversation face to face but only about 1 kilometer up in the sky 🙂
The view of both North and South Islands, Snow Covered Southern Alps, Abel Tasman & Nelson Lakes National Parks, Golden Bay & Takaka, Kaiteriteri and even Marlborough sounds, is just incredible. While it was different to the Queenstown jump in terms of what you get to see, any word used to describe is just not going to be enough. So I’ll hold off doing that. It definitley is something that needs to be experienced to understand what it feels like. No matter how many stories you hear, how many videos you watch or how many photos you see, unless you do it you just won’t know it..
So there you go, that was something not expected at all but at the end of it, it couldn’t have been any better. Just like certain things in life eh. Some times we all come across incidents that we do not plan for and are very unprepared to face. And when it does happen, it’s always about the choices we make at that point. We can choose to be overwhelmed by it and question ourself as to “Why Me” or we can choose to face it with our heads high above shoulders and go “Come on Life, throw me whatever curveballs you want to. I shall duck when I need to but whack it out of the park every other time” The longer you prepare for something, the longer you have to wait for it to happen with some anticipation. But when it happens suddenly you’ll have no time to get emotional and just have to react with positivity !! And that’s what makes Life a bliss !! Adios everyone, meanwhile here are some pics from the jump as well as the video link 🙂