Continuation from the last post, I took off from the Strip at The Paris Hotel at 1:00 p.m. to Jean Airport, 20 minutes drive. Since it was my first time in a desert state, everything was like so new to me. So jakun, you know. Ok, before I forget, I have to tell you guys I’m still waiting for the hotel to mail the CD of the pictures of my dive. I left the CD and DVD in the hotel.
Dawn, the lady from SinCity Sky Diving picked me up from and weaved through the horrible traffic of Las Vegas. As we were driving to the landing, Dawn pointed out where the border of California and Nevada is. Damn close.
Anyways, while Dawn was driving, I had to read and fill up the mumbo-jumbo forms, you know about the liability of what will happen if anything happens, that skydiving is a dangerous sport, blah, blah,blah times 100. Yes, the formal documents sounded so intimidating but I kept telling myself, I made the reservation the day before, and I’m not gonna pull out. Moreover, I have to put a great amount of trust on these folks. I have to say that was how I overcame my fear and the desire to really want to do it. Dawn also told me don’t let the forms I was reading intimidate me. Honestly, it did for a minute or two. I was thinking of “Darn it, I didn’t get to talk to my parents, sis, SD and her fiance before I left for my Vegas; what if I forgot my instructions while I was up there…..then I told myself, I’m just being too paranoid. I have to let that feeling go.
The only picture I have with me of the jump right now is the picture I took of the video Brad showed me after we landed and back to the office. Here you go….
I took it with my cellphone with a piss poor camera, but then it was better than nothing.
Before I was sent up to the plane, I actually had to watch some video of the forms I have already read. Then more waiting coz the crew had to check the wind conditions. While waiting for the crew to return, I was sitting on the sofa and watch the guy who specializes in cleaning, folding and whatever he has to do with parachutes. It was amazing how he fold the whole big thing into a small tiny bag.
So, after sitting about 10 mintues, Dawn came over told me it’s all go for me. Brad walked in, introduced and paid my deal, put on my sweatshirt, and the rest of the suit. I also had to remove all jewelry on me, too. Brad came over and told me he will me my tandem and instructor. Gave me the harness, buckled me up, and I had to tighten my tennis incase it comes off!! Brad walked over with a videocam and was video-ing me already. That got me by surprise. Then he gave me a bunch of instructions on what to do before the jump, at the door, during the jump and landing. I told him what if I forget, he said it’s common for jumpers. That’s why the instructors are there!
Right after that, off we went to the blue and gold color plane which you can see from the previous post. Houston, time for lift off. Since I was the only jumper, it was quite nice as I have the entire plane to myself where I was able to stretch out my legs, relax and wait, and wait. Brad was sitted next to the pilot and my back was facing him. He harnessed me up and as we got higher and higher, he tighten the harness so tight I could hardly breathe. He said that’s ok. I won’t feel anything in a bit.
It was hot in that plane with all the sweatshirt and suit I got plus harnessed up to a 200 (?) pounds dude behind me. But when the plane reached it’s jumping elevation, I could feel sweat on my forehead and I was cold!! Woohooo, it was nervousness and butterflies. I looked out the window and was just waiting for him to signal me.
Signal was given at the right spot and elevation. I opened the door and the wind was just blowing at me. If was not harnessed to Brad, I would be flying out the door!! Seriously, it was that strong. He told me to scoot out to the edge with my legs underneath the plane and holding on to my harness. The view from above 12,000 feet was spectacular. Plain view of the ground, desert and highways. It reminds me of viewing a topographic map.
The time came with a tap on my shoulder and he “pushed” me out. The feeling was just incredible. I love it so much I can do that again. Just up in the air going against the wind (damn loud though) and feeling free. Of course, all the instructions he gave me were all forgotten. He had to remind me to push my head back and hips out as soon as we were off the plane with my hands on my harness. At a certain height, I have let go of my legs that were wrapped tight to him and I had to kick his butt and let go of my hands from the harness, and that’s free falling. Oh my God, unbelieveably cool up there. I don’t know how to describe the feeling while I was falling from the sky with a 200-pound guy behind me, but I was not shaking. The butterflies disappeared. The harness was very super tight which hurts. Brad reminded me to look into the camera that I almost forgot.
About don’t know how many seconds, Brad opened the chute and dang, it was loud and i was really hanging like a rag doll. I was limped from being harnessed so tight. Yes, it was that tight. It was even tighter when the chute opened. He then slowly loosen in on both sides which was much better, but still tight that I could still feel limped!
Now for the unbelievable thing he did. He swooshed the chute to the right with a quick dive down and that actually made me threw up. (It reminded me of the show Space Cowboys where Tommy Lee Jones was flying planes and his passenger puked his lunch out!) It was so unexpected like riding on a friggin roller coaster. Once he knew I threw up, he slowly descend, which was about 10 minutes. I was able to see where California is, the Strip from a far, rolling desert hills and cars, trucks that looked like ants. The landing was a smooth one. And then I saw my puke!! On myself, yeah, laugh all you want, but we all laughed at it too coz he said all divers throw up when they do that quick dive down and I won’t be the last one either. Hahahaha, but it was still a good landing and I remember to stick my legs out and pretend I was sitting. He said some folks want to land with their legs straight out.
The puking wasn’t the best part. The best part was when I had to get off the van. The van was there to pick us up and back to the airport landing. Brad reminded me that when the van door opens, there is a step I have to watch out for, telling me to make sure I don’t miss that step. Well, as soon as I the van door opened, I stepped out and I will be damn, I missed the top step and almost fell but I caught myself. Dawn and Brad said every single jumper did that. Why? It’s the adrenalin rush in them and the feeling of what I call it – stoned! I was surprised I was still able to walk.
Got my Cd and DVD from Brad, took a picture with them and Dawn took me back to my hotel. My whole entire body still felt light and Dawn said I will probably knock out when I get to the hotel. I didn’t. I was wide awake telling my experience to the folks in the rooms and letting them watch the video.
There were a lot of marks and bruises on me from the harness, light ones, though.
Overall, I have to say it was a wonderful experience even tho I threw up. So goes my McDonald’s breakfast. I was still able to experience the moments of falling from the sky, the free fall, the feel of being so high up in the sky. Yeah, I’m nuts and I know everyone thinks I totally out of my mind to do it. Guess that’s me, I love to take risks.