Skydiving over the southern tip of Africa
One of my greatest adventures was something I never thought I would do.
Throughout the week in Cape Town, a lot of my fellow Semester at Sea-ers went skydiving in addition to the safer options of safaris and shark diving. Now, this is something I never thought I would do. It was the eve before our last day in Cape Town before and my friend Kelly in passing mentioned she wanted to go skydiving. It must have been the atmosphere, or probably the drinks, but I agreed and set my alarm to wake up early so we could go. In the morning, I went to Kelly’s room and banged on the door until she woke up, and we went! To this day, it is still one of the most spontaneous things I have ever done.
We pulled up to the airport for Skydive Cape Town and began signing our life away in paperwork and getting suited up. I got my video camera duck tapped to my hand so I could film the journey. The little plane started climbing in height and for some reason, I wasn’t scared yet. Kelly jumped before I did, so I watched her scooch her butt to the edge of the plane and as her guide leaned with her out of the plane, it looked like she got sucked out of the plane. That is when I started to get nervous.
As I sat on the edge of the plane, with my legs dangling thousands of feet above the African continent, I told my guide “you’re going to have to push me out,” and he did. He leaned hard enough to push me out of the plane and we were free, free falling (yup, singing Tom Petty). The only part that gave me that roller coaster feeling, was that first half of a second when you go from sitting on the edge of the plane to falling. The falling wasn’t scary. It felt riding top down in a convertible.
Once the shoot opened, I helped steel from left to right, and I could see Kelly in the distance doing the same. But beyond the exhilaration of the skydive, it was the view that was one of the most stunning things. It still gives me chills thinking about it. We were now floating down to the southern tip of Africa, and the view of Table Mountain was indescribable. So often you look at the shapes of countries on a map or a globe, but here I was seeing it outside of a plane – right in front of me.