Diving Into the Sky

12 Sep

For my 64th birthday I wanted to give myself a lalapalooza present. So, I decided to go skydiving.

I picked a place north of here and went out on a Tuesday morning. We arrived early, before the pilots and the divers and waited in a tin pavilion for everyone to arrive.

Waiting to jump

The weird thing was, I didn’t feel a bit nervous. I talked with a 20-something Swedish teacher who said she had bungee jumped at 16 with no fear and now she was scared of today’s jump. I told her that fear of this kind of daredevil exploit peaks at about 50 and then starts going in the opposite direction so by the time you’re my age it’s a little like being 16 again.

Harnessing up

This is called “Tandem Jumping” because you jump harnessed to an experience skydiver. My partner was Riener.

Riener and me

When everyone was harnessed up, we climbed (3 sets of jumpers) into a little prop plane that would take us up to 5000 feet. The views extended from Cape Point all the way up the west coast including Cape Town and Table Mountain. Such a great way to see the ground we have covered in this three months.

Practicing

We (My co-jumpers were two Israelis.) were sandwiched in the belly of the plane. When we reached 5000 feet, we tumbled pair by pair out the open door of the plane.

Diving

The free fall is 35 seconds, then the chute opens. The wind is loud when you are in free fall. But, when the chute opens, it is silent as you float down to earth.

Riener showed me some tricks like “the roller coaster” where I pulled on one parachute strap and we spiraled in a corkscrew down…down…down.

Flying through the air is stupendous fun.

A soft landing

The landing was in sand and we landed standing up, so much more gentle than I had imagined.

I did it! And I felt pretty darned good.

14 Responses to “Diving Into the Sky”

  1. Ursula Freer September 12, 2012 at 7:41 pm #

    I see you through different eyes: ADVENTUROUS!
    I am so impressed!

    • Jill September 12, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

      I would love to be an adventurer. I must get a new hat though. Something more like Indiana Jones’ fedora. J

      • Neil Freer September 12, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

        No fedora, blow off when you jump and doesn’t work with earphones. Try jump equip section on http://www.sportys.com/pilotshop/ can see you in slick soft helmet , very pro………..hey, Dana gonna jump?

  2. Maryl September 12, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

    Well, Jill, you are a much braver person than I am but I do have to admit it looked like fun and much safer going tandem. Maybe I’ll think about it for my 70th…NOT. By the way, here’s a pre-September 22nd HAPPY BIRTHDAY wish!

    • Jill September 12, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

      I must say it was really fun and especially fun to jump with two Israli’s with a German partner. I love traveling.

  3. Lara Simmons September 12, 2012 at 6:11 am #

    Wow! What a brave woman you are! Happy early birthday! Congrats on the big jump. I’m so impressed.

    • Jill September 12, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

      Wish you all could have been there. Would love to have seen Opal and Delilah’s reactions. J

  4. obie September 12, 2012 at 3:50 am #

    way to go jill!
    better you than me. I’m just past 50 so the fears still there!

  5. Nancy Lehrhaupt September 12, 2012 at 3:45 am #

    Holy shit! you awesome!!!

    • Jill September 12, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

      Why, thank you Miss Nancy. J

      • Neil Freer September 12, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

        Hey Nancy…………….in polite company it’s spelled shite…………even if it is holy………..I just had this brillflash……..when those two miscreants finally return to boring home base here Jill could jump into the community garden………think Obie would agree to that ehehehehe?

  6. Neil Freer September 12, 2012 at 3:07 am #

    Beautiful!! I’m an Aries, air person, have an instrument rated private pilot’s license and love to fly……..but jumping doesn’t appeal to me. But seeing someone else enjoy the air that way is really thrilling. You go!! Think you want to learn to go solo??

    • Jill September 12, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

      Nope. I think that was it for me. If I had my own plane and my own parachute now that would be a different story.

      • Neil Freer September 12, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

        ehhh….but but but how would you jump if you were flying your own plane………….pretty expensive unless it was a total emergency…………………

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