Usually on Father's Day we all have some sort of family commitments. Well today, I had my own. Piled into my mate's two door Holden Astra we made our way to Wollongong. Leaving before dawn, we had an appointment with the heavens. Sky diving, over the beach.
With the obvious expectation of nerves and death talk we were all pretty excited. Rigged up and ready to go we head to the local airport. Ten minutes down the highway one of the instructors announces that the plane is currently out of action and we will be delayed for an hour. It seemed like an standard joke for new jumpers but I couldn't pick a smile from any of the other instructors. However they were excited because they got the chance to have breakfast. So back we headed for a nervous snack at the local coffee shop.
Eventually we get notified, reattach harnesses and we are off. Arriving at the airport the twin propeller starts without a problem. The plane takes a maximum of ten jumpers. In our case five instructors and five first timers. Sitting facing the tale we reach 14,000ft in 20 minutes. During which my instructor, Tim, is getting touchy feely with my straps making sure all is in order.
Watching the first member of our party disappear I was next out within 10 seconds. On my knees facing the door Tim got me out before I knew it. Then I must of blacked out or closed my eyes because I don't recall seeing the plane disappear. Likely it was just so quick. Quickly realising what's going... I'm free falling.
A really odd sensation that I didn't feel like I was falling. Just a lot of air being pushed against my face. Extending my right hand out puts me into a right spin, pull it back in, straighten up. Surreal. All good things come to an end, Tim opens the chute. With a whiplash like force enough to say good buy to future Father's Days.
Slowing down for the beautiful cloud cover. I see a my silhouette against the clouds below with a rainbow affect. It's not often you cast a shadow on a cloud. Making hard bank turns with the parachute pulls an unexpected number of G's. With the last left turn I actually land first with a nice bum skid. Back on my feet and slightly nauseous Tim shakes my hand and says "Welcome to Sky Diving".