Recently, myself and two other staff members from the Mad Travel shop at Nomads Arts Factory, ventured out to Tyagarah Airport at 7am, as we decided it was time to jump out of a plane and see Byron Bay from an amazing birds eye view. Whilst living and working in Byron Bay we have been so lucky to experience many of the adrenalin fuelled activities on offer in Byron, from Hang-gliding to Kayaking and even learning to surf… now it was time to Skydive!
We were all nervous and yet at the same time very excited. It was a last minute decision we made at The Arts Factory 20th birthday party… a place where the most outrageous decisions are usually made.
It is still winter here in August, yet spring has come early this year, so it was a beautiful sunny blue sky day. Just standing in the lounge room watching all the DVD’s they had running with loud techno music pumping and that was nerve racking enough, let alone getting weighed, paying the life insurance, signing our lives away… it made it all very real!
We all kept each other pumped up, and made sure if one persons eyes widened the other reassured the other it was going to be awesome, “we’re doing it no matter what” we would say to each other… We put the red ski type pants on then headed to the training booth to get the lowdown on how to prepare for the exit out of the plane… OK got it!! Let’s do it!
So we each got our tandem jumper introductions. I think each of us discussed how we want to jump out and what we don’t want to do, like for me, I requested no spinning pleeease. We then headed to pile into the little plane on the runway. We took off up and onwards to the skies to get to the 14,000ft height we were going to jump from and it was no looking back or chickening out now.
The views from up there are amazing, we could see for miles and miles, my tandem jumper Craig was pointing out all the great spots, like Mt Warning, Mullumbimby, Brunswick Heads, Lennox Heads, even Surfers Paradise, and of course the Cape Byron Lighthouse. It was spectacular, however it was also hard to take in knowing full well this was not just a scenic flight that we were going to then land and discuss, we were going to JUMP out of the little roll up door. It was -8 degrees and we were all rugged up, ready to rock.
The roller door goes up, the wind hit my face, and it was jump time!… Alex was thrusted and dropped out first. That is when I think my heart skipped a beat. Then Heidi fell out and off, her and her tandem jumper did a flip and I saw Heidi’s priceless facial expression as they disappeared out and into the big blue sky. I was next, we get to the edge of the plane’s door, we sit right on the edge, my legs are dangling out and under the plane, head back, arms crossed over to keep my arms out of my Craig’s way… then we drop… oh my gosh… what an adrenalin rush… it was the most amazing feeling of my entire life… there really is nothing else like it.
Then we were free-falling for a good long 60 seconds, I was looking around at the same time trying to lick my lips to get a bit of saliva back in my mouth so I could scream and enjoy the experience!
Then it was time to pull the parachute. We just floated, stuck in mid air for a bit as the guy I jumped with had been doing this for a long time and had mastered the falling process to get the most out of it… I looked up and I could see the other jumpers way up above with their chutes out already… all slowly floating downwards, it was beautiful and I felt so free.
I got to have a go at steering us, which was pretty cool. We then floated down slowly and landed on the marked x spot, and it was all over… I jumped up with excitement hugged Craig and said thanks and was ready to do it all over again really… So much fun, I highly recommend skydiving, especially over beautiful Byron Bay, you will not regret it!