Skydiving has been my hobby of choice for quite a few years now. I did my first freefall jump on my birthday back in 2003, and since then have progressed slowly, doing about 130 jumps over the years.
Progress has been slow compared to many of the people at the club I go to, I think partly due to financial reasons, but mainly due to other distractions. Alot of people that started jumping long after me are now way beyond me in terms of number of jumps, and ability, because once they got started they got hooked, and all money and most weekends are then dedicated to skydiving. They are almost always there every time I visit the club.
I have never been like this. I really enjoy the sport, and the thrill is beyond compare, but once I have been for a weekend, I feel satisfied for a couple of months, and often don’t feel the urge to go back for quite a while. It is almost like I have had the fix of adrenaline that I needed.
But because of my recent travels it has now been about 8 months since I last jumped, and have been keen to get back in the air. My last jumps were in July last year, and I wrote about that here, and before that, because of ALife4Sale, my previous jumps were in February 2008.
So, with only four jumps in the last twelve months, I approached this weekend with a lot of excitement, and more than a little trepidation.
So, with my reserve parachute re-packed (it has to be done every six months), I packed my gear and headed east out of Perth to York, where the dropzone is situated.
The next morning, after a quick refresher training session I was on the first load heading for 14,000 feet! I was a little nervous as the plane climbed higher, but as soon as the door was open, and I climbed out, the nerves all went away and I loved every second of it!
The rest of the day was brilliant. I did four more jumps, including at the end of the day, my first ever 8-way, eight people in freefall together. There were quite a few of us who were relativley inexperienced, and it was a bit of a mess, but great fun!
I did two more jumps on Sunday morning, almost wiping out a friend in freefall on the first one, a bit of a lesson there!
All in all, a brilliant weekend. I had my video camera on my helmet for all the jumps, and the following video is just a few highlights from the weekend. There is also some footage from another cameraman, who filmed the 8-way from above (thanks Doug). In his footage I can be seen in the bright red suit joining the formation fifth.
But I still have plenty of time yet. More to follow soon, I imagine…