My long-awaited skydive was ultimately such a special occasion that I feel it is worthy of a blog in its own right.
On Tuesday afternoon I phoned Skydive Hawaii and a Taiwanese lady called Mary (not great English) took my booking for the next morning and said I would be collected at 7am. I asked to be collected from the neighbouring hotel, the White Sands, as the Waikiki Backpackers Penthouse has no sign outside.
I set the alarm on my mobile to wake me up at 6.30am but I forgot (as I haven’t bothered to get a new US SIM for only 4 days) to alter my mobile to Hawaii time! I woke up in the morning, looked at the bedside clock & saw it was 7am. I knew it was slow so I leapt out of bed to look at my watch -7.10am!! "Yikes I’m late!!"
So I legged it downstairs 2 at a time in my pyjamas (in typical Kelly style) to the hotel reception....what a sight I must have looked, but there was no-one waiting and no-one had been looking for me. Relief. Back upstairs I called Mary, and it turns out she had slept in too!! But not knowing she was going to take 45 minutes to get to me – I quickly got dressed without washing my face or brushing my hair or having my free hostel breakfast (eggs on toast) and waited and waited for her. So, to cut a long story short I’m not looking my best on my skydive DVD or photos.
On the journey to the airstrip, I started to wonder if I was doing the right thing as Mary told me it was a very safe company & that they had only lost one person in 24 years. This was in 2006 when an instructor had a heart attack mid-jump. Although the parachute had opened both instructor and tandem passenger died when they landed in the ocean! Was I glad to see that my jump instructor was young and fit looking, although when I asked him if he was feeling ok he said he had a hangover!!
The jump itself was a really amazing experience. On the way up my photographer rolled the side door of the plane up to take a photo of me & the view...OMG I nearly fainted with fright! But the jump itself was so cool..the feeling of freefalling is like flying, you do not feel like you are plunging or out of control. We did a couple of spins, I took in the beautiful view & then all too soon the parachute was opened and I wasn’t flying any more but we did some nifty moves before coming in for a perfect landing! It was over in a flash but, once I was out of the plane, I loved every second of it.
It was only after I was safely down, someone told me that during recent jumps some of the parachutes had failed, but the reserves had opened. LOL That’s Ok then! No more heart attacks.
In true Hawaiian style, the instructors were so laid back and the views, beautiful – it really helped me to control my fear & enjoy my jump & I would definitely like to do it all again sometime.
Check out the photos – proof that I was brave enough to do it!!