I’ve decided to post another blog about Queenstown since I have spent more time in this beautiful city. It reminds me quite a bit of Banff because it is surrounded by mountains (and the fact the entire town is built on tourism). To be totally honestly, I’ve never been a huge fan of tourist cities; I feel like places that are specifically designed for tourism do not have the same good vibes that other places have. I will say that Queenstown has been a ton of fun and it doesn’t really matter if it is a tourism town or not when you are 15 000 ft in the air.
I decided to book my skydive yesterday with NZONE. I chose them because they seem to capture better pictures than their competitor and we had some good fun talking via twitter before my jump. I was only going to skydive once so I wanted to be sure that I had good images to capture my fear (ended up just capturing my huge smile). Strangely enough, I wasn’t nervous leading up to my skydive. In fact, I didn’t really feel scared during the whole ordeal. What does it say about a person when they are completely calm and collected when they jump out of an airplane? I’m not sure but it can’t be good. Anyway, I will go through the process if anyone is thinking about doing this (do it!)
I was originally supposed to skydive at 8:30 a.m. but it got pushed back to 9:30. I jumped in a shuttle bus that took me to their hangar (about 20 minutes outside of the city). There I waited for about half an hour and eventually got harnessed up. You also get to put on this really cute jump suit that are totally in style right now. Initially, the harness is put on fairly loose so that you still have mobility. Usually they have the planes go directly from the hangar but there was snow on the ground so we got back in the shuttle bus and were taken to the airport.
I got into the plane and watched as we went higher and higher. At this point I was totally calm. Higher and higher, still feeling good. Higher and higher, put on my hat, gloves, and get my goggles ready. Higher and higher, my tandem skydiving instructor (Sasha) connects us together so we can both either live or die together. Higher and higher, “oh, those mountains are looking a lot smaller now.” At 12 000 ft, the rest of the people in the plane were ready to jump so I watched five people hop out of a perfectly good airplane. Higher and higher, they give me a little tube with oxygen because, you know, we are getting to the altitude that I NEED MORE OXYGEN. At this point I am kind of just like… “Wow, crazy I need this tube for oxygen and yet I am jumping off of this plane in a matter of minutes.” I do not know what was going on in my brain but I saw the green button blink with the words “exit” written on them and knew it was my time.
Without hesitation, I started scooting down to the open door. The way you place your body when you jump out is basically wrapping your legs around the airplane with your instructor still on the plane. With NZONE, a separate jumper goes with you to capture your every moment. My camera dude’s name was Jon and he was awesome! This was the part where I thought I might begin to freak out but at this altitude everything just seems surreal… you have no real scale or perspective of anything around you. So you just hop off the plane. I have to say my favourite part of my skydive ended up being the feeling of leaving the plane. At this point you just realize that if your parachute fails it doesn’t matter because you are gonna die anyway… might as well enjoy the views.
And enjoy the views I did…
With the 15 000 ft skydive, you get about 60 seconds of freefall which is incredible. My ears did pop pretty badly and in fact now (6 hours later) they still feel kinda weird. Doesn’t matter, totally worth it.
I’ve added an imgur album so you can see more shots. My face is pretty hilarious in some because of the fast speeds you reach.
Also, NZONE just posted a YouTube video on their channel from today and I am featured in it which is kind of cool.
I would also like to mention is it my dad’s birthday today (in Saskatchewan, anyway) and to wish him well! I am super lucky to be supported by someone as amazing as him! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!