I wrote this little piece about what to do on Aruba and in there mentioned Sky-diving. I received a posted reaction and several mails on the item of sky-diving. It appears that lot's of very sane people do it. SOOOO. I went out to the Aruba Sky - diving place to take a look.
Drove up and there were at least 6 people inside looking at a DVD. It was of one of them during his jump. You could tell who the two heroes were. They were a little puffier around the chest, and everyone looked at them with a new found respect or fear - (not sure which).
So, this is the drill.
They pick you up and take you to their location and run you through a basic sort of a What-to-do-and-how-to-do-it exercise and then into a van with a shute or harness strapped on and off to the airport. At this point on the DVD you could see that this was not something that these guys were 100% sure they wanted to do. Kind of a hero/macho/scared/ look on their faces. Sort of a John Wayne at the Alamo. Anyway they get to the airport and then are asked to go through the drill again and ............. into the plane they go.
Mind you, we are not talking pressurized cabin aircraft here. What you see as the ceiling is the outside skin kind of an aero-plane ( I think that is the right word for it) during the climb to proper altitude, there is one thing that is very noticeable. SILENCE. Anyway, they get to the height and are buckled and strapped and tied and belted in to the instructor and they lean out of the window. Now comes the Holy ----- Look. They lean forward and off they go. First thing that came out of the novices mouth was "MY GOD THIS IS INSANELY BEAUTIFUL." Then followed by "WOW, LOOK - THE ISLAND IS ACTUALLY SMALL. WOW - WOW WOW WOW WOW" After overusing the word WOW, there are other comments but WOW stuck in my mind.
Then the chute opens and there is a thud sound. they start to float and the novice gets to pull the handles that guide the chute. He does it and then (you guessed it) "WOW" As they near the ground stillness comes back into play however this chute lands about 15 yards from the office site and when it flares it reminded me of a stork landing -- Big wings, gangly but soft as a feather landing. Nice.
The novice unbuckles, sits on the grassy area and (yep) "WOW"
He is in a heaven that is his alone.
They sell the DVD (everyone buys) but the memories are not for sale.
Charles, you are a very good observer and you put everything so nicely into words. Well done!
So, thanks for the imaginary trip to the skies.
I was always wondering how it would feel to jump out of one of those little planes and dive down from the skies. But, I have to admit, I'm completely, absolutely chickened out!
My admiration to everyone who has done it. I would LOVE to be able to try it out as well. But I cannot handle going fast DOWN! If it's straight like in a car or on a bike or horse, no problem. If it's up like in an airplane, no problem. But down? Now way! It's just now for me.
If you do it, I certainly look forward to another well written and super exciting story!