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Gundry Adventure

The JUMP!!!

NEW ZEALAND | Thursday, 10 April 2008 | Views [545] | Comments [3]

Getting better

Getting better

For those of you who don't know the desire to jump out of an aeroplane has been one of mine for at least 20 years. My grandfather was shot down during the war and said that parachuting was an amazing experience and that got me hooked.

'The day' arrived after a good nights sleep for me but not so for Suze!! Before I could get too excited I had to contact the company to ensure that the jump was happening as there had been no jumps for the last 4 days due to weather conditions. The first call was answered in the negative so there was no jump confirmed but a final check was being made in 30 mins. The second check was the same so we decided to try and arrange it for the next day. However this phone call was "Where are you? You are running late!!!!" Bloody Reception Staff!!!!

After the mad dash to the shop, a quick form filling session and a short instruction briefing I was on the mini-bus heading to jump site with Suze in tail in Veronica.

The drive was very amusing as the girl driving was giving a few tips and trying to get some interaction with everyone but the passengers were not in the mood to chat just focused on the crazy thing they were about to do. She tried to calm nerves by pointing out a mountain that was 6,000 ft high, saying, 'you are only jumping 2 1/2 times the height of that'!!

Upon arrival to the airfield I was feeling fairly calm, but no surprise there I guess. I just had to wait for the call to suit up, so in British tradition I had a cup of tea!! After about 45 mins and having watched a couple of safe landings I got the call. I left Suze and went through the door to get my gear. After a few minutes I guy called my name and introduced himself as Sasa my jump partner. He was from Yugoslavia and was friendly but not over chatty.

Before too long it was time to get on the plane. As I was jumping from the highest altitude in my group I had to go on first. The plane was very tiny and in total there were 8 of us, 3 jumpers harnessed to their "Master" and a couple of guys with cameras. About 10 mins on the plane flying through the mountains we had reached 12,000 ft. This was the point that the other two jumpers leapt out. I was just left with my "Master" and the cameraman............ The plane started to climb again it was almost time. Then the door opened....oh my god this was it.

I was hoping to have a few moments to compose myself at the door but, as my "Master" had said to me on the way up "You are now connected to me and where I go, you follow!", he decided it was time to go. The first thing that went through my mind was "Oh FUCK!". For that brief moment I had never been as scared in my life but 5 seconds into it the feeling of freefalling took over and it's just AWESOME. Flying through the air at about 200 kmph for about 60 seconds falling 12,000 ft. Then the parachute kicks in and you are now just floating to the ground taking in the views and seeing the everything get closer and closer. As my feet hit the ground I was just beaming with pride that I had done it and knowing that my Grandfather would have been very proud of me.

Comments

1

Just had a little read to catch up on your adventures. I'm extremely jealous now as NZ was one o my favourte places. Nigel, great work on the sky dive. I did mine up at Taupo and wanted to go back up immediately! Next time I'm going out backwards if they let me!

  Dan G Apr 11, 2008 11:23 PM

2

How increadible Nige!!! I'm so pleased that you've fulfilled the dream.

Tx

  T & Will Apr 15, 2008 4:56 AM

3

Well having read about our flying ace Nigel and his sky diving experience, I must say that it was a blessing Vernon was exchanged for Veronica. Saint Veronica was jumping with him for sure. The name "Veronica" means "bearer of victory" Very apt and very brave Nigel.

  Anna Noble Apr 19, 2008 3:42 AM

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