So here's the deal . . . , my sneaky girlfriend has been planning this for 4 months, even the kids knew about ( yes, they're good at keeping secrets ) So for 4 months Jac's has been telling that for my birthday she would take me to this great secret surfing spot south of Sydney, that she swears I have never surfed before. The closer it came to my birthday she would get me to check the long range surf swell forecast and kept saying " Oh you're going to get a good surf, you will be getting barreled for sure " So I was thinking, it has to be pipe down near Jervis bay or something. So for 4 months she's been telling me as well, that you know, it's not a big present, I just want you to have a good surf etc...etc..., so I was totally suckered into thinking I was going to be going surfing and was really looking forward to finding out where this magic secret surfing spot was that she was going to take me to. Already planning future trips to this spot again if I had a good surf there. I did find it strange however, that the night before, I find out that the kids will be taking the day off school as well to come with us ( there goes the romantic idea of the two of us on some secluded secret surfing spot ) Anyway, we had to leave early in the morning and are driving to Sydney, across the harbour bridge, and the whole time Jac's is a bit stressed out with all the traffic, and it taking so long to deal with this peak hour traffic ( before we left, I was still occupying myself with watering the garden, thinking, well, the secret surfing spot is not going anywhere ) Once we were on the highway south , and the traffic was smooth, I though why don't we stop at the Bulli Pass lookout , great look out , could show the kids Wollongong. A flat resounding no was the reply from Jac, she was a bit stressed for time as she has me booked in for lunch at this great restaurant down there, and she just wants me to be able to have a good surf before lunch ( A restaurant, a good restaurant, so close to a secret surfing spot, weird ) Well, to cut a long story short, when she took the Wollongong exit, I was sort of thinking, well , no secret spots down here, and when we got to North beach and I saw the swell coming in ( small ) I was already resigning myself to having a mediocre surf, but thought not to complain about it as Jacs went to so much trouble to bring me to this " great, secret surfing spot " right on the main beach ( I was thinking, Jac's clearly does not understand the secret part of a secret surfing spot ) But then she just blurted out , you're not going surfing, you're going skydiving !! Huh, what .. ? But, ...but ... well, why did we bring the surfboard ? I was shell shocked, and 5 minutes later I was in my spiffy outfit. ( that's why Jacqui was so stressed, as she had me booked din for a 9 am jump, and we were running late, they actually called her, just as we parked the car ) So, the above photo, is me, about 15 minutes later after finding out, still a bit shell shocked, like yeah, this is really happening, always wanted to do it, but never got around to looking into it , let alone booking it. So it was weird, because this is it, you are doing it now, no time to wind yourself up about it , you know a week or even a day before, no this is happening now. After this shot , we went on a bus, and drove about 20 minutes south of Wollongong to an airport where a plane was waiting for us. So me very brief instructions and on the plane we went, Dan was my "teacher/tandem jumper" When we got to the airport I was amped, still somewhat apprehensive , but still amped, YEEEEEAAAAAAHHH, let's do this . . . . . .! ! ! !
On the plane ( very cramped) not a fancy plane with seats, just the empty space for us to sit on the floor and get ready to jump ( don't let that smile fool you, I'm still a bit apprehensive/nervous, but also really keen to do this, I mean , it is now 9 thirty or so , and still have not had a coffee, and just found out 30 minutes I'm jumping out of a plane at about 35 thousand feet , wooohoooo )
I'm so glad Jacqui has booked me in on the jump at Wollongong, as opposed to Bilpin/Richmond/Windsor/Bankstown areas. The view would just have been some cow paddocks, now I get the best view of the coastline, and yes, I was frothing not to be able to have my own camera and take some shots ( maybe next time )
Just look at the view ( and yes, if i took the pics with my canon it would look a lot better )
Right on top of Wollongong now, I AM AMPED TO DO THIS NOW , bring it on !!!! The landing zone will be just on the left of frame, dark rectangle shaped area on the beach just to the left of the headland sticking out /\
Here we go, second one to go out , man this is gonna be a big buzz
Oh my, we are so high I'm thinking, look at it , I'm just checking out the height
This is about the time, you see me as a black dot in the photo in the previous post
I'm loving this , I don't use the word hardly ever on my blog , but FAAAAAAARK, this is awesome
Heading straight down
Fark, look at the view ! ! ! ! !
In this photo , and the next , you can actually imagine me mouthing
Now the real fun starts
I get to " fly" spin and turn , but the smallest of hand movements
I'm having fun
And now the chute opens
That free-fall was a blast, but we still got a way to go down yet
And in this part , there is still a lot of fun as well, as we maneuver the chute in tight circles giving a spiraling downwards feel as we descend
And by pulling on the strings on the chute, we do such tight turns that we end up parallel to the ground, so we are nearly perfectly face down to the ground underneath us, what a buzz !!!
The park on the left on the beach is where we are aiming for
But not before I get a go at pulling the strings, oh man, this is so much fun, and look at the view, all that darker area as you look north, is the Royal National park south of Sydney, what a glorious day to be doing this
There is still a lot of pull on those strings to get a good turn in, and I'm just so fixated with looking around at the ground beneath me, never been on this height and not be going at 600 or so km an hour
nooooooo, it's over already !
That was such a buzz, and stoked to have done with the very chilled and fun Kiwi Dan, who , I'm sure , put in a few extra turns in for me. How do I know this ? Because we were the second out of the plane, but about the 6th to land, as we were " surfing " on the way down !!!!
So here's the gang back on ground, Jac's took pics as I was coming down. Jac's happy to see me in one piece and not splattered on some patch of grass
So guys, have you got such an amazing girlfriend that can pull of such a big surprise for your birthday. As I found out later, Jacqui was so stressed about it, especially the last 2 days, she had restless nights of sleep, worrying that I might find out , ha :-)