Yesterday we went skydiving. To be fair it was a tandem skydive. Which means you can let go and someone else is in charge. But it doesn’t change the sheer thrill of jumping out of a tiny plane from a height of 12000 feet. We wanted to go solo skydiving, but the sheer commitment involved in signing up for the entire accelerated freefall course is a bit much, and I think we need to tandem skydive a few more times before we can make up our minds about it. But now let me take you through the day.
The first thing with skydiving is that you need to wait. Especially in a country like England, where the skies like to crap all over your style. But the sun finally made its appearance near brunch time, and we were kitted, fitted and harnessed. We rushed into the a small aircraft. We didn’t get any photographs of us while we were up in the sky, but that’s on the cards for “next time”. Pretty soon, the aircraft had become a tiny speck in the sky. To appreciate just how tiny, take a close look at the photograph below. If you look real hard, you might see a small white speck where I’ve indicated it. That’s how high up we were.
Even as you are harnessed to the instructor, you can’t see his face in the time that you’re doing the freefall. It’s impossible to remember the exact the feeling once it’s over, leave along recreate it. You jump! And freefall. You dont feel cold. You don’t really feel anything but a loud WHOOOOOOSH! through every damn cell in your body. Since we had the stomach for it, our instructors decided to do a few spins. The freefall lasted for about 30 seconds in which we fell through some 6000 feet. The parachute was deployed. At this point, I felt a tug. It’s sharp. Remember, the speed at which we’re falling is about 120 mph. But once the parachute opens up, it’s like floating. Yet, it’s not slow. You’re swooping into the air. My guess is that Sri had far more presence of mind that I did. I almost froze for the first few seconds. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.
The parachute is incredible responsive. Sri and I both were lucky enough to get instructors that allowed us to steer the parachutes. At one point, my parachute crossed paths with Sri’s, but I was around 1000 feet above him. The parachuting bit lasts about 7 to 8 minutes. Come to think about it, the whole experience isn’t exactly time-intensive. But we were thinking about it for hours. The exact feeling of falling from the sky is incredible. It was beautiful, calming, adrenaline pumping all at once.
Wow! Wow! Wow!