“Why the heck am I doing this” is all I had been thinking after waking up at 5.30 AM on that warm morning in July. Promising myself that everything would be OK, that I wouldn’t die, that this was an adventure and that I would remember this day for the rest of my life. I was so right about all of this – forgetting your first ever skydive is close to impossible. If you still have doubts and questions about Skydive Australia or about jumping from an airplane in general, keep on reading and I’ll give you some insight in what happens!
I did my skydive in Mission Beach – Australia (14.000 ft) with Skydive Australia often referred to as Jump the Beach.
The day before
I arrived in Mission Beach the day before my skydive around 5PM. I stayed at Scotty’s Beach House, which I can recommend to everyone! Most of the people staying at the hostel are there for the same reason as you – falling to death and all that, or they are there for their seasonal work. Either way, I immediately made some friends, went out for dinner, and actually kind of forgot about what was waiting for me the day after. Everything was really great, until I was lying in bed around 12PM and remembered that I would be jumping out of a plane in less than 8 hours.
Because of my body stressing out about everything, I tried catching up with some people at home. Due to the time difference with Europe nighttime was the best chance of actually talking to someone. You should know that I didn’t tell anyone about my skydive, I knew that most of my family would freak out about it. So I thought it would be better to ask for forgiveness than “permission”. My mom however, is always really curious about where I go and what I’m going to be doing there. So explaining to her what I was doing in Mission Beach? Kind of hard since there is nothing here, and googling the place would immediately let her now what I was up to. So I just told her “Mom, what do you think I’m doing in Mission BEACH, going to the beach of course!!”. I guess she believed me and told me that I should really try to sleep some more..
So after sleeping a tiny bit I woke up around 5.30AM, pick up would be around 6AM and then off to the skydive centre. The bus from Skydive Australia picked me and another girl up from the hostel, so that we would be on time for our early morning jump. After arrival I still didn’t realise what was about to happen. It actually only started settling in when I had to fill out a bunch of papers about safety, contact persons, and all the other official stuff that you get when you’re about to jump out of a plane. The safety briefing started after all the paperwork, this is just a video that shows you what is about to happen.
With the safety briefing out of our way, me and my group – we were with 8 of us, are lead downstairs where we would be meeting our jumping partner, tandem buddy, or whatever you want to call them! Here we get a small repetition of what will be happening and what positions we should be in, not very interesting since we all just saw it on the tv, but I guess still necessary for our safety?
Next step is our harness (if that is how you call it?) but I guess you all know what I mean right? Our tandem buddy puts it on properly, pulling it way too tight in some places! I went to the beach the day before – being in Mission BEACH and all that.. And ended up with a massive sunburn on my derriere, that harness wasn’t feeling to great there. But it was all for a good cause because now we are all ready to jump!! My buddy grabbed his GoPro (more about how and what to choose for videos later on) and we made a “nice” little introduction for my video. Seriously, no one can ever see the intro to my video, I look like a nervous wreck that is about to burst out in tears! After all of that is done, we are brought to a little van that will bring us to the airport. Everything from there to the plane is kind of a blur for me, I just remember that the bus was really full and the ride way too short!
Arriving at the tiniest airport you’ll ever see, we are brought to the plane and are put in it. Seriously, you didn’t even have time to bail out. Which for me was very good, being a terrible overthinking I bet I would have been able to talk myself out of it! In the plane we had to sit in a very awkward positions. We were all back to back and all the jumpers were sitting half on the the lap of their buddies. This was the moment that I realised what was happening, I was in a plane that was getting higher and higher. The prettiest views you can ever imagine are passing by, but all I could think about was “oooooh my gosh I’m gonna die, what am I doing, seriously WHAT ARE YOU DOING”. Before you know it you are at 14.000 ft ready to jump. Thank god I wasn’t the first to go out, I don’t think I could have handled it. I was the fourth, but you all jump within a minute, so in the end it doesn’t really matter what position you have.
We were sitting on the edge, my buddy pushed my head back one last time, I started talking to myself again, this time aloud and then we went. I flew, I fell, I was a bird!! A falling bird, but seriously, I flew! It was the best thrill I have ever had. You get such a rush of adrenaline. I don’t think I can even explain how good it is, you really have to do it, to believe me about how good this was! After only 50 seconds of falling the parachute was pulled and we are floating down to the beach. You remember that sunburn? By now I was dying, because of the hard pull when the parachute came out! Still the feeling of freedom and happiness was so much more. I can’t even really tell you how long you float around, I do know that it is never long enough! When you get closer to the beach your buddy tells you that you have to practice the landing a bit. This means that you have to put your hands behind your knees and pull them up to your chest. Apparently if you don’t do this you can break your legs. I must have looked ridiculous though, trying to put my legs behind my head, hanging of a parachute, against a guy that I met 20 minutes before. The landing was all good, no broken legs, just a lot of left over adrenaline!
After arrival on the beach I was literally shaking. This shaking didn’t stop for another 2 hours, there was just so much adrenaline rushing through my body! The landing place is only a few hundred meters from the skydive centre, so after a short walk we were able to take off our harness and go upstairs to wait for our video or photo material. Everyone was so excited, we talked for about an hour, there was one older gentlemen in my group. During our little talk he told us that he just turned 50, and that jumping out of his plane had been on his bucket list since his teenage years. He just now had the opportunity to do it, since he never went travelling before, or lived nearby a place to do it. After about an hour everyone got their video material and went back to their hostel. I ended up lying by the pool the rest of the day, on my back of course, didn’t want my buttocks to burn even more! After the adrenaline rush settled a little bit I was so tired, it felt like I just ran a marathon!
Should you get a video or photographs?
To be honest, this answer is kind of easy – yes!! yes you should. Especially if it is your first time doing a skydive, you will want to show this to friends and family at home. I would have even done it if it meant spending my last savings on it. Seriously, every so often I re-watch my video and go back to this amazing day. Another thing is that Skydive Australia only uses the best equipment, the footage is high quality and just looks really good! There are several packages you can choose from (just photos – with a GoPro on your buddies arm, photos and a video – with the GoPro on your buddies arm, only a video -with that same GoPro, but there is also the option to let somebody else jump with you and make photos of you and your buddy, this can also be combined with the GoPro footage). It all just really depends on how much you want to spend. It can be a bit pricy to be honest, but it is definitely worth it in the end, I promise you!
After going to bed early, it was still a struggle getting up the day after. Another early morning to make it to the bus that would bring me to my next stop, Townsville. Funny thing is, on the bus I met two amazing and friendly people, they actually made me change my mind about my plans. I decided to go to Magnetic Island instead of moving on immediately. Waiting for the ferry to the island I met one of my skydiving group members. I ended up hanging out with these 3 for the next few days on Magnetic Island. Some of my best moments in Australia are thanks to them!
I want to thank Skydive Australia for the most amazing experience ever!!
*All the photo’s in this post are taking from the video of my skydive – this is why the quality isn’t as good as normal.