It was always part of the plan – do a skydive in Australia. We were pretty lucky that prices and weather conditions were decent at Sydney, which was our last destination before leaving Australia. Doug opted out of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity because he was too scared – loser. It cost $275, through Sydney Skydivers, and I had tried not to think about it from the Monday of booking through to the Friday we did it – purely due to nerves.
We arrived at 10:30 at the shop in town and did all the paperwork that said its not their fault if we die. We noticed that Ashton Kutcher, Ke$ha and Michael Schumacher had all used this company before, so if its good enough for them, it’s good enough for us.
As we were chilling in the sofa’d waiting area, in walks Caggie Dunlop from Made in Chelsea and it turned out she was on the same skydive as us – unlucky Doug. As we chatted throughout the day we learnt that her chaperone was a tall and sexy guy called Isaac – definitely a potential new man crush.
I was shocked at how little training was needed when we arrived. We kitted up and literally got shown like three skydiving positions in under 2 mins… And that was it. The jumping out position, the free falling position and the lifting-your-legs-up-so-they-don’t-snap-on-landing position. I was expecting to be fannying about on my chest on a skateboard for a while.
The small plane, which must have fitted no more then 15 people, took off on grass and took 15 minutes to climb to the 14,000ft height we’d be jumping from. A few individual training divers went out at other heights leading up to the 14,000ft mark. Seeing other people jumping out of a plane at 4,000 feet with basically nothing but backpacks on, with the ground still visible, really got the blood flowing. What was even scarier though, was knowing that me and Quinn were the two closest to the door and that one of us would be going out of the plane first out of our group.
Our respective tandem diving instructors decided Quinn was to go first and that we would have a race to the bottom. Brilliant, nothing to settle the nerves like knowing the person in charge of your life intends to free fall for longer than normal to win a race with his compadre. Quinn’s time was now and he shuffled over to the doorway. As his instructor shoved them both off the side of the plane and into a mid-flight backflip, Quinn could be content in knowing that if he died the last face he saw was the lovely Caggie.
I was up pretty much straight afterwards and there is no feeling I’ve ever felt like having your legs dangling out of an aeroplane being blown around while down in the clouds. I took the jumping out position and next thing I know, I’m hurtling towards the floor at a million miles an hour and it felt like i’d left my intestines in the plane. The weird ‘losing your stomach’ feeling went after about seven seconds and after that I was in the second of our three positions, spinning round in quite a controlled manor. It was totes amazeballs….maybe even better.
After, what felt like no time at all (but was actually 30 seconds of free fall), the parachute opened and I was floating around below the clouds and taking in the scenery. My instructor told me to remove my goggles and pointed it the Blue Mountains in one direction and Sydney city centre in the other. Next, he put the toggles in my hand and said it was my time to steer! I thought maybe he was depressed and wanted an out at first, but actually they’re easy to steer and I was throwing out swooping, circling turns all over the shop. He took the helm again and soon we are drifting slowly down past the skydive shack that said ‘Steve’s sexy’ on the roof and landed with a perfectly executed legs up position.
I won the falling race when Quinn pottered down about 15 seconds later and we’d both survived falling out of plane (along with Caggie and Isaac). We both intend to do it again in Thailand, it as the most surreal experience of our lives, but absolutely amazing.