On Skydiving and Other Crazy Pursuits

Life here’s been looking even more up recently. The hot Australian sun has been beating down upon us through that hole in the Ozone Layer, frying us alive, and I’ve been crazy busy with all sorts of outdoor pursuits. Let me start at the beginning.

Perhaps the most insane thing I’ve done recently was a spontaneous sky diving trip. I was in the resource centre the other day (blogging, not working of course), and my friend suggested it. Like the adrenaline junkie I am, I said hell yes! Year abroads are for these types of crazy things, right? We booked it before we chickened out, and a couple of days later we embarked on the three hour drive to Jurien Bay. Surprisingly, I wasn’t scared in the least, despite my friend’s horror story of her breaking her tail bone sky diving… but maybe it was because I was really out of it as I’d had to get up at seven (I haven’t done that in years- thank god for late lectures!). It still didn’t hit me when several naps later, we arrived. We hung around for a bit, finally became somewhat apprehensive at the sky diving videos they were showing, and filled out some forms which highlighted that “there was a risk of death”. Comforting.

As they didn’t have enough instructors, we split into two groups of two, and my plucky friends chose to go first. I can’t decide whether this was more or less scary, as the waiting was killing me. But in no time at all, we were at the beach watching our friends transform from tiny dots in the sky to recognisable faces, and breathed a sigh of relief when they landed safely. Two down, two to go. No deaths yet. We hopped in the bus to the plane, and were rather surprised when we saw the size of the plane. It was miniscule and rickety, which wasn’t very reassuring. Ah well, I guess we were jumping from the sky so if the plane crashed we’d just jump out, right?

The views were utterly stunning, and soon I decided that we were probably at the height of our jump. Turns out we were only 1,000 feet up…1/14th of the way there. Oh dear god. The plane kept rattling and I was sure we were about to plummet to our deaths there and then, but I had a resolve of steel by this point. There was nothing I could do now except jump (and possibly fall to my death). My mother’s warnings kept echoing in my ears. She told me never to do this as “people die from this type of thing”. I was so desperate to prove her wrong (like the great daughter I am!)

Soon, my ears were popping and we were above the clouds. We shuffled over to the edge of the plane and…fell. That was without a doubt the most terrifying bit. In about five seconds I’d got used to the sensation of falling (or maybe we’d hit terminal velocity- help me out, physicists?) and it felt like I was merely hovering with someone blowing a freezing cold jet of air into my face. It was pretty spectacular, not gonna lie. My cheeks were numb, my ears were numb, everything was numb. But I was sky diving! Another thing to tick off my bucket list. All too soon (although apparently it was a minute later), the parachute jolted us back into reality and we drifted lazily towards a sign on the beach that said “don’t miss!” The landing was soft, and I was alive! Success.

We watched the videos back later and mine was honestly the most hideous thing I’ve ever seen in my life. My cheeks were flapping the whole time (I didn’t even know that was possible), and most of the video was taken up by my preoccupation with the amazing view, and the sky diving guy yanking my head back up to look at the camera. Whatever happened to just enjoying an experience? It was one of the best five minutes of my life…and $400 I’ll never get back. It was certainly worth it though, and luckily I didn’t splash out an extra $150 on the video/photos. Total rip off! And I certainly never want to see my video again! 
sand-dune-lines-black-and-white

We spent the rest of the day napping (again), and woke up only when we were back in Lancelin. The others were desperate to go sandboarding, and I dragged my exhausted body from the car and trekked across the white sand dunes. Their startling brightness and the biting wind woke me up instantaneously. We were atrocious at sandboarding, and rather too tired (and unfit) to keep walking up the incredibly steep dunes. I soon settled at the top of the dune and watched my friends slog the board up the dune, reach the top, try to stand up on the board, and fall over immediately. We gave up twenty minutes later, totally spent from the day’s activities.

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