I DID IT! SKYDIVING FROM 13000 FT
Before coming to New Zealand I have not even considered skydiving as an option. I thought that it’s reserved for those who need a lot of adrenaline in life. But after I’ve talked to other travelers who have done their first jump in New Zealand and I’ve read a bit more about it… Well, I simply changed my mind.
My first attempt to skydive was in Taupo but unfortunately the weather made it impossible. However, at this point I was already decided to jump so when we arrived at the next beautiful place where they offered tandem jumps I was ready to go. It was in Abel Tasman National Park on the Southern Island.
Before the jump you watch a video where they show you what will happen. If you’re still willing to do it you meet your jump master, you change into a jumpsuit, put all the necessary equipment on and you board the plane. During all the time the jumpmaster (the person who you do the tandem jump with) talks to you about what is happening so that you don’t have too much time to think. I’ve had the impression that once you made your decision they don’t want you to think too much so that you don’t change your mind.
When you’re in the small plane you sit on the floor in front of your tandem guy who buckles you up to his safety belts (or whatever you call them) so that you’re bound together. As soon as the plane reaches the required height the door opens and… you see the ground 4000 m below! The sensation at that moment is just amazing because you really realize what is about to happen! Then you sit on the edge of the plane with your legs sticking out and... JUMP!!!
I jumped from 13000 ft, which is almost 4000 m. During the first few moments I didn’t know what was happening. We were swirling very fast, falling with our heads down with the speed of 200 km/h and I was just trying to keep my eyes open. After a while (I have no idea whether it was 5 or 15 seconds) we reached the free fall position: belly down with hands and legs spread out and then I begun to notice things around. The views are amazing and excitement reaches the top! The free fall from that altitude lasts around 50 seconds, which is a lot!!! I remember asking my jump master about things we saw around and we even had a short conversation about the circular rainbows we saw “on the way.” When on the height of 4000 ft (~1200 m) he opened the parachute everything slowed down. It took us few more minutes to land safely on the ground and… that was it.
I must admit that I was surprised how calm I was during all the preparation time and the jump itself. It was a weird feeling as if my brain switched to a kind of a slowdown-mode. It wasn’t until Łukasz asked “How was it?” than I’ve realized what I’ve just done! I jumped out of the plane! And you know what? I want to do it again!!!