Reaching for the ground at 200 km/h

Shortly after my arrival yesterday, Fred&Co mentioned they were off skydiving today. Having enthusiastically accepted an offer to join, I found myself this morning at 7am, mildly jetlagged and ever-so-slightly hangover, riding a mini-van to a small airfield 1 hour away from Honolulu and subsequently jumping off a moving plane, 10,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean.

Among other observations, in no particular order:

  • WOOOOOOOOOT. This was absolutely awesome. Perhaps not to the point of instant addiction, like I have seen a few friends get into, but definitely to the point of doing it again next time I get a chance.
  • As a cousin of Natalie pointed out: if you are gonna pop your skydiving cherry somewhere, Hawaii is definitely one of the best place to do so; in addition to the great (and warm) weather, the view going down only adds to the awesomeness of the free fall… Cloudy mountains on one side, ocean on the other.
  • There were 4 of us jumping. I went third and, having seen Anne’s departure, assumed ours would be similar: a nice jump off the ledge, followed immediately by the regular downward-facing, arched-back position… My (otherwise rather laconic) instructor must have mistaken my lack of comments during preparation for jadedness, because he decided to go a little more special, with no notice or forewarning: if jumping off a plane is bad enough as it is, doing so with a backflip, followed by half a dozen flips and summersaults in every possible orientation of space, is enough to test the most hardened digestive system (mine definitely wasn’t at its best, but luckily held on long enough).
  • The whole time waiting at the skydiving place for our plane ride, the music playing was, I kid you not, a compilation of James Bond theme songs. I badly wanted to ask if a Union Jack parachute, with landing on skis and AK-47, was an option.
  • Did I mention: WOOOOT…?