Suffers from spontaneous karaoke syndrome, inexplicable shyness, random golf swings/cricket shots, bad puns & attention deficit disor hey there's a bear! Visit my page at www.facebook.com/StuartAJohn
Published October 14th 2011
Sometimes the best things in life last the shortest time. If you don't believe me, think of the most boring thing you've ever done. Was it watching the grass grow; listening to Uncle Bill tell the story about how he was almost bitten by a brown snake out west of Mudgee; or test cricket? Seems to go forever doesn't it?
Alternatively, you could do what I did and jump out of a plane.
Of course if you're going to jump out of a plane, you may as well do it properly and jump out of a plane over Australia's third largest city before landing on a beach.
Fortunately, here in Brisbane a company called Jump the Beach do exactly that. They run their skydives out of Redcliffe, landing on one of the peninsula's many sandy stretches.
It was bright and early on a gorgeous Tuesday for the drive out to Redcliffe and my morning "quickie". Once there the staff got us to go through the paperwork before being introduced to the men and women who would literally have our lives in their hands once the plane door opened. My tandem was Englishman Phil, who strapped me into my harness before Teresa took us through our positions in the air, as well as telling us to look up when we jumped out of the plane.
Time then to jump on the bus and have that small quirt of adrenaline start to kick in. We jumped on-board the plane at Redcliffe Airport and quickly had a birds-eye view of Caboolture (home of Keith Urban for most of his childhood years), Lakeside Raceway (home of Queensland motor racing for many years), and Kallangur (home of my father for the last few).
Then, around 11,000 feet above the Redcliffe Peninsula, the door opened.
Phil and I were the last to jump, which I've decided is quite possibly the worst spot when you're scared of heights. We edged across to the open doorway in time to catch a glimpse of Moreton Bay directly below me (did I mention I'm scared of heights and depths?) before Phil pushed us off into the abyss below.
Theresa's suggestion to look up was good advice.
The sight of the plane apparently shooting off into the skies gave way to sheer exhilaration as we dropped through the skies, accelerating at 9.81m/s/s until Phil pulled the cord and the parachute slowed us right down. This gave me the chance enjoy a 360 degree view of the peninsula before drifting down to the beach for a soft landing.
While drifting to the ground was pleasant enough and lasted a few minutes, without doubt the best part was the sheer thrill of the freefall. Watching the plane disappear upwards; the ground start rushing towards you; the feel of the air pressing against your face to make it contort in that weird way you can only get on the ground when you put your hands in those new-fangled hand dryers: this couldn't have lasted more than 60 seconds, and yet it was one of the experiences of my life.
Yep, you can live for a long time and play it safe.
Me? I'll take the 60 seconds of excitement and adrenaline thanks.
dont do it ! me and my mate paid around $350 each for a 12:30pm booking. got there at 11:30am jut incase. on arrival they told us tht our booking has been pushed back an hour. we walked around until 1:30pm, went back signed some forms then got told to come back in another hour. so yet again, we continued to walk around redcliffe trying to entertain ourselves. at 2 we received a text saying we now have to wait til 3:30pm. we were furious! but we had no other choice so we jst waited. finally went back at 3:30pm after hours of waiting only to find out that they said no more people can skydive today due to the wind and we were told to re-book for another day. we asked for a refund but we were told that they cant refund us with an annoying little grin on their face. do not waste your money on these people!
By Anonymous Saturday, 21st of January @ 11:56 pm
* Paid for 14 000 everyone jumped at 10 000. Waited all day.
* Not offered any refreshment, just a lolly
* Little instruction given.
* Rapidly pushed out of the plane.
We arrived at 10:30 and saw a group putting on their harnesses and being instructed on the jump. They were the 6:30 group. The day was bright and clear no wind in the morning. We were signed up and told to come back at 12:30, then rang at 11 and told to come back straight away, then 5 mins later told there were delays and to come at 12:00. Arrived at 12:00 and were put into harnesses. The 6:30 group arrived back at this time. We sat around til 2 in the harness. Through out that time we were told that we could jump and then not a few seconds later told we were not jumping. Yes no Yes no... talk about frustrating. Throughout the day people were still arriving and being signed up even though there was no chance they were going to jump. No refunds given. I understand about safety, and that sometimes it is unsafe to jump because of weather conditions, but signing people up at 3 pm when 2 groups before have still not jumped is wrong. One of the instructors apologized about the weather and said that in the last few months they were lucky to get one group to jump all day, and that was usually the first group. I was furious as had rung and asked about the jump and was told emphatically that we would land at around 12 12 30 if we arrived at 10:30. No mention that they had so many delays or cancellations. We eventually left but were called back to say we were good to go. We scrambled into our harness and with no education bustled into the bus. We paid for 14 000. Jumped at around 10 000. What a rip off. There was no attempt to divide the group in the plane between those jumping at 10 000 and 14 000. We just got pushed out the plane possibly because of weather conditions. When we got our certificates they said 14 000 and others said 11 000 although we all jumped at 10 000. The video was a rip off $130 for mostly cloud shots and the instructor badgering
'how do you feel" on the way down just let me enjoy the ride!