I was scheduled to skydive this morning, but steady rain dashed that plan (the previous two days had been overcast). We decided to take the ferry to the aquarium. The aquarium was fun, but we were a little depressed to learn that reef sharks could be up to seven feet long, and some of the little ones are aggressive. When we exited, the sun was out, so I called the sky diving place and they said to come right out, so we’re on the train now. That was something.
Phil, who also turned out to be my tandem partner, picked us up from the Liverpool about 2. It took about half an hour to get to Picton, where the Sydney Skydivers Centre is located. I had to wait for one girl to jump before I could jump. It looked fun, but I was getting a little nervous. I put on a jump suit and harness, and got goggles to go over my glasses. Phil gave me instructions on how to do the tandem jump, then we got in the plane and took off. It was very crowded in the plane with me, him, the pilot, Natasha (another girl who was jumping), and her instructor. We had to climb to 10,000 feet to jump, and as we rose through the clouds and the air got colder, I got a little more nervous. Still, I was determined to go through with it, and said nothing as Phil strapped us together.
When we were at the right altitude, they opened the door and the other two jumped. We were on our knees, and shuffled to the door. Phil put a foot on the strut, then I did, and he launched us into space. I didn’t have time for fear, to feel the cold, or even to scream for the scant few seconds we were in freefall. I could barely feel him hitting me on the shoulder in the signal to spread my arms and legs. Suddenly we bounced, and I knew that he’d opened the parachute. I could see the landing zone south of us, and I just sat back and enjoyed the magnificent view. It turns out that the reason they turn in midair is to slow down so that the wind doesn’t carry them past the landing area. It left me mildly queasy, the only bad part. It only took a couple of minutes to get close, then I tucked my knees up and he landed first, then I set down so hard I jarred my ankles. It was amazing and I think roller coasters will pale in comparison for me now.
We went to the Opera House to see if they had any standing room only tickets for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, but they were sold out. We went shopping so I could get some nice pants in case we went the next day. After we got back to the apartment so I could get the second battery for my camera, we decided to visit the AMP Centerpoint Tower to see the view and eat. The view was great, but we were too late for the restaurant. After we took the associated Sky Tour (which was quite amusing), we tried to find a place to eat, but everything in the Central Business District was closed by 10. We returned to King’s Cross, where we ended up on a side street at a place called the Iguana Cafe, where I had grilled octopus and a daiquiri like drink called a Red Corvette.
[Originally published at GoHither.Net]