Bucket-List: Sky Diving
For some reason, strapping myself to a stranger and throwing myself out of a plane has always been on my bucket-list. Naturally, such an adventurous and adrenaline fueled activity had to take place in New Zealand, albeit, not in Queens town, but rather, over Lake Taupo.
After being picked up in a obnoxiously bright yellow stretch hummer limousine, we were taken to the air strip where Taupo Tandem Sky Diving was located. In my head I had thought that I would rock-up, select my photography package, get suited up, hop in a plane and just do it.
This isn’t what actually happened…
Instead I had to wait 1.5 hours before I even got near a plane, and while I hadn’t been too nervous before, the long wait gave me more than enough time to release some butterflies in my tummy. It didn’t help that I had to watch my team mates pacing all over the place and at times laughing hysterically.
When they were FINALLY ready, I had to put a bright read and white jump-suit on and wear a sky diving soft hat that informed me (as if I didn’t already know) that I would look ridiculous with no hair. I was buddied up with a sky diving pro and off we went to board the plane.
I’m really not sure what I expected, but the interior of the plane was definitely not it. We had to straddle these long benches set either side of the plane. In hindsight I can see why as it allows for the two divers to easily become strapped together and shuffle towards the door of doom.
I wasn’t the first diver, which I am incredibly thankful for as it gave me time to watch the correct technique and run through it in my mind, but when it was finally my turn, this was the point when I realised that I was actually really nervous. While I had previously had some butterflies in my tummy, the floodgates were suddenly opened and my body shook with adrenaline. My mind went blank and my only thought as we shuffled towards the open door and I hung my legs out over the side was “it’s a bit cold, I should have brought a jumper.” Then I was being told to lead back and smile at the camera, which I did, then the next thing I knew I was falling.
I chose to dive from 15,000ft so I had a 7 second free fall, but I really don’t remember much of it. Everything was just going by in a blur and the video of me just shows me looking like a stunned deer. I didn’t really like this part, I much preferred once the parachute had been released and I was able to look around and take in the view.
As we glided closer to the ground I got to take control of our flight and twirled us gracefully closer and closer to the touch down zone.
I can testify that Lake Taupo is really beautiful in the late afternoon sunlight and that this was definitely one of my most amazing experiences. I feel pretty sure that I want to do it again, but I don’t think I’ll dive from that height again since I really didn’t like the free fall all that much.