So, I say farewell to my fabulous host Ali at Manuel Towers, she’s very sweet and puts out a mini Christmas cracker for me!! I will take that with me I think. Another wonderful breakfast and then I hit the road off to Perth… well Fremantle to get the ferry to Rottnest (Rotto as they call it over here!).
Today I am jumping out of a perfectly sound airplane at 15,000ft and hopefully landing back on Rotto on the beach! This isn’t my first tandem skydive, I have done a couple so I do know what to expect. Its the highest I have done though so I am really looking forward to enjoying every second.
At 15,000ft you get 66 seconds of freefall and then about 5 minutes under canopy until landing. But first, before all that I have to get the sealink ferry. The nice thing about booking with Geronimo is the ferry is included, you get a free beer for after and free bus round the island so its not a bad package to be honest.
Our skydive is a little delayed this morning, so after landing on the ferry I grab my bike hire and a quick soft drink and then head over to the airport, only 10 minutes walk from the ferry terminal its perfect really. I get checked in, and its not long before I meet Glenn, he will be my skydiver for today.
Well there is no messing about, straight in the harness after signing the waiver! It is at this point I am debating do I need to pee… I mean, you don’t want to be caught short, and I get the feeling now I am in the harness that this is it.! I think I am fine, sure it will be ok. Although it might help if Glenn actually remembered my name!! A few jokes about me reminding him of an ex that he wasn’t fond of… hmmm, think that is supposed to give me a sense of fear… sure!
Some video footage and photos captured, a brief safety chat and we are in the plane. Goggles placed on my face and pulled really really tight… they even steam up as we are heading up. I have decided to go last, I think that’s best really, plus a bit more comfortable. Its all about the video footage, and photo’s, lots of whoops, and awesome, and thumbs ups, lol… It takes a while to get up to 15,000ft so its taking in the scenery. Rotto is certainly stunning as we look over the island.
And now its time to prep, I sit on Glenn’s legs… hoping I am not crushing him!! get strapped in tightly and again, hoping I don’t need to pee…! Then we are ready, the pilot shouts doors open and we are out. 2 people in front of me, and then me. Legs over the side and hanging out, head back, a quick smile for the camera and we are rolling and rolling… well I did ask for that!!! Its just amazing the feeling and taking in the sky and ground beneath you, then we are free falling and spinning and I am pretty surprised at the amount I take in this time its just a stunning view, I can understand why people would do this again and again and again!
66 seconds later, and the canopy opens and I get to steer, and spin us round. I am a bit surprised by how much pressure you need to apply to maneuver the canopy to get to where you need to. As we get closer to where we are landing Glenn takes over again. Legs up and a perfect landing (better than my mission beach body drag 20 years ago, yay!). Then its the last bits of pics and video footage and the bus ride back to the airport to pick up my bike and stuff.
The whole experience gets your blood running and its just hard to explain how you feel during and after really, just have this amazing feeling and sense of being alive.
I spend a bit of time on the island, go for a bike ride, chill on the beach, take some photos, see loads of quokka’s, takes me back to when I did this 20 years ago as a backpacker!! Then a quick glass of wine, and then I get a boat ride back to Fremantle from a friend of a friend so to speak, one of the crew I have been travelling WA with has a friend with a boat. They have caught some crayfish and so I am heading back on the small motor boat for a crayfish salad dinner before crashing.
It has to be said the boat journey is a lot scarier than skydiving!! We are bombing it upwind, bouncing all over the place and I am simply hanging on for dear life!! thankfully make it in one piece just about, to be dropped off basically somewhere along the jetty with a ladder… not really supposed to stop there but I manage to grab the ladder and crawl under the bars and get up on to the side without falling in!
Needless to say the Adrenalin wears off, and the tiredness of the day sets in. Its one last night in Perth before heading to Sydney tomorrow afternoon and the start of racing training for 2 weeks. I am looking forward to catching up with old friends and meeting the newbies!