I love Birthdays. Mine, yours ... any of them, they're all great (such a good reason to celebrate truly).
For the past few years I've noted that my trend's been to include tons of friends and cross things off the bucket list. Like in 2010 a crowd of friends flew to Newfoundland for 5 days. There was such a collection of old and new friends, that we dubbed the vacation "East Coast Blend on the Rock". So awesome. St. John's hasn't been the same yet haha.
In 2011 I took off to Ireland to explore all four corners and reunite with dear friends. On the date of the actual Birthday, I climbed the 7 stories of the Blarney Castle to Kiss the Blarney Stone and spend the night partying in local pubs thereafter in Killarney with 14 new pals who had signed up for the 3 day Paddy Wagon tour. What wonderful memories.
So, what should I do for 2012's big day? ... I know. :) Let's go skydiving.
My friends, Heather and Devin decide to join me (those crazies lol). We contact Moncton Skydive 3 weeks before. Their regular season isn't open yet but they found us a pilot who's willing to take us up. Sweet. Now we watch the weather and if conditions are perfect, we'll jump Friday night at 5pm. We all decided that we'd like to do the tandem jump. This has us strapped to an experienced jumper who'll be in control the entire time (including the landing) and will give us an opportunity to free fall at a height of 10000 feet about the earth. Incredible.
We booked. We waited. We committed ourselves to the 2 hour road trip and night in a hotel on the booked date. One hour before 'go time' we phoned Louise (at Skydive Moncton) to make sure the conditions were good and the pilot was still eager to take us up. She confirmed. Nothing but blue sky and limited wind. It was at this moment we realized that "OMG, WE ARE JUMPING FROM A PLANE IN LIKE ONE HOUR". ... the room fell a little silent. More of a reflective, excited state and not a feared or anxious one.
Once there, we met Serge who signed us up (waiver's and witnesses), told us what to expect and how it'd work and provided us with about 30 minutes of training. Then it was a coin toss (okay, not really ... Birthday Girl goes first lol) to get suited up and in about 20 minutes from that moment, we were standing at the plane ready to board. Derrick, who had jumped before, would be joining me in the sky, along with his expert tandem skydiver, Mike. Including the pilot, let's just say there's not much wiggle room in the plane with six people.
The highlights of the training are, keep your head up and don't forget to breath. When the door to the plane opens, it WILL NOT suck you out. Don't hang onto the sides of the plane (you'll see I did do this in my video). You are securely fastened to your diver and should something happen your parachute is set to deploy at-so-many (forget the exact distance) automatically. You will step out of the plane. On the count of three you will arch yourself when you start free fall. "1, 2, 3" ARCH (head back, bend your knees, try to get your feet to your butt...the wind does help with this). Don't panic. If you can't breathe, tilt your head back further and stare out into the horizon.
Earth, Water, Air, Sky and me. Jumping out of a plane at 10000 feet. Free falling to 5000 and having that parachute yank you back up so you can float...drift back to land. There's nothing like it!
It's like flying. No...not really. It's like falling. No...not really. It's amazing. It's surreal. It's one of the most profound things I've done to date.
Thanks Skydive Moncton (special thanks to Louise for coordinating), my tandem skydiving expert, Joey. Serge for taking pics and video. My friends Heather and Devin (and your skydiver experts and vid/pic jumpers) for deciding to jump with me (amazing Birthday)!! And to the weathermen for dreaming up the best forecast ever and it coming true. :)
Weekly Survey Question: Would you say you're adventurous? 43% of you said yes, try any things once. That's awesome. If you haven't tried skydiving, you must put it on your list! I still can't describe in words how very very cool the experience is. www.skydivemoncton.ca
Share your comments, your stories, your travel advice etc. in the section below (comments or reaction section) and give your answer to the weekly survey (top right of this blog page). No sign up necessary, just a simple click :) A little shy?! Why not EMAIL me?
(be sure to check out Your Adventure Map (at the top of this page) so you can read all previous adventure posts leading up to this one).
Here's my jump
... you can't tell till the very end exactly how excited I am!!
Heidi's Jump (via Blogger)
My friends, Heather and Devin's skydive experience. All the same...all different. Amazing. Thanks Skydive Moncton!! Awesome.