Without even a second to reconsider and my legs hanging outside the plane, my instructor starts the countdown; one, two, three... and I'm flying through the clouds.
You can't really explain the experience of tandem skydiving until you actually experience it for yourself. Believe me, in my anxiety and fear beforehand, I attempted to gather as much information as possible. No amount of feedback will prepare you for what to expect. Leave your information, thoughts and fears behind and go for the drive up to Skydive Nagambie, approximately 1.5 hours north of Melbourne CBD.
To try and alleviate your fear, Skydive Nagambie is renowned for its safety record, if that's what you're worried about. From speaking with my very friendly and reassuring instructor, they haven't had a major accident in 25 years. They go through a very detailed briefing prior to your jump so that you'll know what to do, however, there's very little that you do need to do as the instructors take care of it all. Also, don't worry I already asked, they have a total of 3 parachutes and automatic chute opening mechanisms, in case the first 2 fail and/or your instructor passes out, highly unlikely by the way.
Now for the fun facts, here you get to tandem skydive at 14,000 ft, the highest in Victoria, which allows you to freefall for approximately 60 seconds. Most places jump at 10,000 ft and for approximately 30-40 seconds, but you would definitely want the free fall to last longer, as the 60 seconds really fly by. You free fall in excess of 200 kph and then gently float down to the ground for approximately another 5 minutes at 5500 ft above ground, as you soak in the views of Nagambie. The instructors are all professionals; my instructor has completed over 3000 jumps. To top it off they do a great job at keeping you calm and entertained at the point when you want to just back out.
Now that you are prepared to take the next step and have the experience of a lifetime, here are some basic preparation steps. It's best to book prior to your jump before you leave, they will also be able to advise whether the weather forecast will be appropriate for jumping. On the morning of the jump, it's best to call the centre prior to departure to check that the weather is still good. Wear light, comfortable clothing and warm long sleeve tops in the winter as it gets very cold up there, and wear well fitted shoes. Have a light meal before jumping. You will need approximately 4 hours for the day, the jump itself won't take that long, but you may need to wait for your turn as the plane fits only 17 people. The cost to tandem skydive is $385, group specials are available. Video and photos are available for an extra $140. I highly recommend this, as you'll be glad you captured every moment of this thrilling adventure. It's great fun to watch back at yourself beaming after you've completed the jump. The camera man also does a fantastic job at capturing every moment.
It doesn't matter what your situation in life is, whether you are male or female, tandem skydiving should be experienced by everyone. You haven't lived life until you've done tandem skydiving. I made the decision to go skydiving to face my fear of heights, but instead I conquered my fear of flying. Whatever your motivations are, if any, face your fear and do it anyway because it is truly an experience like no other and one you will never forget.
Rubbish there has been fatalities there 2 in 2005 alone. Three parachutes is false also. The first small one is a drogue which only pulls out the main parchute and there is a reserve parachute. So only 2 canopies (parachutes that your life depends upon)