We had an early start to get No.9 crossed off the list...the skydive!! We got up at 6.15 to get to cairns for 8 to meet the skydive company. James drove us down to Cairns where we met the bus with 'Tandem Cairns' and then we had another hour long drive to the drop zone! Miranda napped most of the way and I had to wake her for the safety video. Instructions were all quite basic, cross your arms, tilt your head back and lift your hips....a bit like James signature move we were discussing the day before ;) haha!!
We had quite a wait at the house they had next to the grass runway and landing zone, as the second group were circling for 45 mins before they could jump due to the rain. There were 2 groups before us so we watched them all open their shoots and come into land, most managed a standing landing rather than a sit down one. We were quite glad to be in the last group as it meant not waiting around after the jump to leave and we missed the circling in the plane, one of the girls felt really sick while she was up there before she jumped, don't think she will be doing it again.
Then it was our turn, we had put on the trousers over our shorts to protect our bums in case of a sit down landing and waited to be called by our instructor. I had a Swedish man called Christen, who turned out to be a compete joker. He was quite cute and his nickname is 'Cupcake' as he is so sweet....aww!!! Miranda was with the Japanese guy who gave us our second safety briefing and said at the end if we didn't understand anything he said because his english wasn't great, to ask our instructor but if we has him it was tough as he would say the same thing!! We think his name was Tang or Tao, but he was great too.
They harnessed us up and double checked we knew what to do, all the time Cupcake was reassuring me by saying he had bad eye sight so I'd have to point out the landing point, he didn't know his left and right, he had only landed 2 tandems before etc. it actually made me feel quite relaxed and calmed my nerves a little getting into the tiny plane.
We climbed in with one girl on front of us who was supposed to jump at 10,000 feet but was treated and jumped at 15,000 feet with the rest of us. Cupcake was still joking around in the plane pretending to attach my clips to him with a rubber band, asking Miranda if I was a close friend and would she mind if anything happened to me and when I said that this was another thing on my list he replied 'I thought you were suppose to survive a bucket list!!'. It did make me hesitate when he actually asked me to do anything as I thought it was more of his joking around, like getting me to sit on his lap to do up my harness tighter when no one else seemed to be being strapped up this way.
As we were sat side by side they asked which wanted to go first, we hadn't spoken about this so they made us do rock, paper, scissors at 15,000 feet while the guy was opening the door in front of us!! We got the same thing the first 3 times then I lost so Miranda watched me fall out of a plane, she said it was quite surreal and in a flash it was her turn. She also hadn't let on that her legs were shaking and she got really nervous while we were doing rock, paper scissors as I was the more nervous one before we got in the plane!
It was the most bizarre thing putting your legs out of a plane with your arms crossed, leaving your life in the complete control of a stranger but it was absolutely amazing!! The first 60seconds were free fall at 200km per hour and all through clouds, they were actually quite painful at times and felt spiky on your skin and face. I remember seeing the plane after falling out of it so must have gone upside down but it all happened so quickly, we spun around a lot and it felt like my cheek was in my ear as we spun round.
The jokes didn't even end while Cupcake opened the parachute, he tugged the rope and we slowed down and he pretended or maybe actually needed to tug again saying 'This parachute doesn't seem to want to open!'. At this point we were almost clear of clouds and swooshed forward and started circling. I could see the ocean and mountains and miles of farms, Christen did say the names of some of the things but I was just getting my breath back as the free fall literally took my breath away I don't remember them. Before I knew it I was being asked to lift my legs ready for a sit down landing, Miranda had already landed so waved me in.
It was such an amazing experience, I can't imagine how scary it would have been if there were no clouds for a first jump, as I couldn't see the ground after 8,000 feet. I definitely want to do another one, when there are clear skies, it was such a buzz and one I will never forget. I did ask Christen how many jumps he had actually done once we landed and he had done 102 tandems including me and over 1,500 in total, so relatively few compared to the guy who James went with at over 10,000!
We got out harnesses off and took some pictures, looking very wet from the clouds and waited for the bus back to Cairns. The next group were Asian and one girl was dressed ready for clubbing, pleather leggings and a red dress with a sheet panel at the boobs and back!! Hilarious!!
We got to Cairns and found the 'Rattle and Hum' on the esplanade and got a couple of pints. I had a Great Northern lager as I want to try as many different beers/ales. James, Debbie and Paul came to meet us and we had a walk around the boardwalk and look in the night markets before heading home for a chilled night in, BBQ and wine.
An awesome day I'll never forget and I'm so glad Miranda moved out here and we could jump together :) The pictures are not our best but we had just been soaked by clouds, but I did get a sneaky one of the Asian girl who massively dressed up!!
Love Nikki xXx