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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Up Up and Away

See that little dot in the air? That's me and my tandem partner, Chuck.

My family chose to do a jump over Memorial Day weekend. With my daughter Sparky being home, it was time for a little family adventure. She was the only one who hadn't gone sky diving yet and was game to try.

If you haven't attempted this before, it's a kick. None of us are certified, so we go as a tandem jump, which means we are each VERY securely attached to a jump master who is in charge of us getting down safely.

We fly up in a Twin Otter and then pitch out the plane's roll up door at 14,000 feet doing somersaults as we go. I fall through the air at over 100 mph on my stomach with a bit of a back arch- think "modified Superman". Then it's a free fall until 5,000 feet and the parachute is opened.

This time, we exited the plane with a big cumulus cloud right below us. It was a very different feeling. I have always flown in airplanes and wondered what it would be like to be standing on that cotton-like fluff. Well to be honest, it's kind of cool and damp. Very refreshing on a warm day. And as we broke through the cloud, all of a sudden, I could see the bright green pastures, tree tops and other surrounding landscapes.

When Chuck opened the parachute, he let me steer and take us in circles. Pretty easy. Pull on the left if you want to go left. The corkscrews were not my favorite part...I prefer floating and chatting. When you've slowed down that much, it's easy to converse with your partner. Folks who know me well, are aware I ask a lot of questions. Chuck answered all of them.

Our mini adventure ended quickly. We landed just right and after being detached from Chuck and the chute, I headed over to meet the rest of my family members who landed shortly after me. Lots of discussion and comparing notes and then off to our favorite watering hole for our final tradition- an adult beverage called a kamikaze. What a perfect ending.