BEACH TANDEM JUMPS
Jump from 6,000ft - 15,000ft
7 days a week
Arrive at Ramblers and meet the friendly instructors - my new best friend for the next 2 hours!
Learn a thing or two about what I am in for next - head back, arch, smile, relax... Did he just say relax? Yeah, right!
Harness up to look and feel the part - where's my parachute?
Keep an eye on the Instructor as he does a "gear check" - marvel at the technology and thank God there are 2 parachutes and an automatic-opening device.
Meet my other newfound friend, the skydiver-driver (pilot) and climb all over his lovely plane practising "the exit"
Board our custom skydiving aircraft (without any seats!) and enjoy the smell of jet fuel and the feeling of anticipation.
Taxi down the runway and wonder what on earth I am doing, wave to the big jets and the people in the Tower.
Power on, race up the runway and feel the plane lift off the tarmac - we're flying!
OMG, the view is fantastic and it's only 500ft, there's 13,500ft to go, what's that in metres? Over 4,100!
Mudjimba Island looks so exotic... the colours of the Maroochy River inlet and Twin Waters waterways are textbook "azure blue"... Maleny & Montville hinterland have such lush green rainforests and rolling hills... I've never noticed that huge lake near Noosa (Lake Weyba)... there's the Noosa Everglades they all rave about... I can see all the way to Double Island Point and Fraser Island, that wasn't in the brochure!... the people really do look like ants... I wonder how long it would take to walk from Noosa National Park all the way down that beach to Coolum?... Mt Coolum is a lot bigger than I expected, I reckon we could land our parachute up there... OMG, that's right, I'm about to jump out of a perfectly good aeroplane! Am I crazy? Don't forget to breathe... Are we there yet? 7,000ft, half way...
His altimeter is reading 13,000ft, time to get ready, no time to think about it now - pull this tight, that tight, 4 points of attachment - it's getting a bit up close and personal.
It's "jump run", the door opens, it's loud! The air is fresh! He sticks his head out the door to check the "spot", we're a mile out, he's smiling - he's actually enjoying that!
It's time to go apparently, I'm not really ready, my mouth is dry, I can't tell him, we're at the door, my legs are in the breeze, I'm looking out into the blue yonder, OMG, WHAT AM I DOING??, Head back, Ready, Set, Goooooo, aaaarrrrgghhhhhhhhh...
My screams turn to laughter almost instantly! This is sensational, fantastic, wonderful, exhilerating, I've run out of words, I can't believe how good it is - this IS seriously fun - I feel ALIVE, don't let it end, his altimeter reads 12,000ft, YES, 7,000ft of fabulous freefall to go, oh wow! Yahooooooooo...
Turn 180 degrees, there's Noosa! Turn 90, there's Coolum - I can see my car! Turn a couple of 360s fast, ooh that was fun, do it again!
Look down, there's lots of sailboats out there, gee the ocean is huge, I can see the curvature of the earth, the endlessness of the horizon line, I am LOVING this!
Here comes a puffy little cloud, there goes the puffy little cloud, we just whizzed past it. How fast are we going? What's terminal velocity speed? Over 220kms/hr - that's me - a gravity powered body pilot, wooh yeah!
I don't feel like I'm falling, it feels like I'm flying!
He waves, it's nearly time to go, I don't want this freefall to end, 5,000ft, time to open the parachute, I hope it opens, please let it open...
It opens! Hooray, it's beautiful and it's open! The world stands still. It's so quiet, except for my screams of joy and laughter and disbelief and happiness. I thank my new best friend 20 times, I really mean it. I will never forget him. It really is peaceful up here. I can feel my heart pounding.
The view literally takes my breath away, what a sight, OMG there's WHALES! Or are they sharks?
I don't want this to end, 3,000ft, 3 more minutes, a few spirals, weeeee, I take the "steering toggles" and turn the parachute myself, that feels gooood, I could totally do this again, I might do the course! Did I just say that?
He "stays upwind" of the landing area while I wave and scream to my support crew on the ground, the beach looks amazing, here we come...
Legs up, let him land this thing, we're going to land on the target, it's just like driving a car, touch down, stand up, too easy! What was I worried about?
Hooray for me, hooray for him, hooray for you, hooray for life, love and the universe! Let's celebrate!
I wonder how long this buzz will last? Weeks! Sign me up for that course... only about $40 a jump once I am qualified hey? That's me!!
Back to the Clubhouse all smiles and reliving my jump to the manifest girls who relate to exactly how I'm feeling and like my new windswept hairdo. Harnesses off and plonk on the lounges and submerge into the giant beanbags, take a breath and recollect in a happy state of bewilderment.
The footage fires up on the big screen, the giggles begin! The build up to raucous laughter starts. All the emotions are captured, the build up, the door opening, hair going wild, on the edge, from fear to exhilaration faster than a drag race! My cheeks are flapping, my earlobes curled, my smile is uber wide and the laughter is raucous! What a blast to relive it!
Tea, coffee, water, juice - all complementary to whet your whistle! Even beer if you buy a stubby holder! Yep, free beer, wow!