November 25, 2007
Most of the time when I refer to ‘diving’, it’s the type that occurs below sea level. But not this time. This time it refers to above
sea level – thousands and thousands of feet above sea level, to be exact.
I would have never thought to have this be the place that I would first experience skydiving if it wasn’t for Alex telling me that
he and his friends went one weekend. I always knew that I wanted to do it somewhere a bit different than just doing it near
San Francisco – and if Dubai doesn’t fall into the ‘a bit different’ category, then I don’t know what does!
I made my appointment when I arrived here and this morning took me to the UAQ Aeroclub to jump out of an airplane.
All of the formalities (putting on the outfit, being briefed on what to do and signing my life away) took no time at all. The man
attached to my back was Eugene – a Russian man with over 11,000 jumps completed. He was all business – something I was
very much appreciating in this situation.
Once air traffic control gave us the go ahead, the little plane took me, Eugene (the man who I was trusting with my life) and
Yenny (the videotaper) up into the air. And as we had just lifted off the runway, guess what I saw? Camels near the sea! How
cool is that?
We were flying in the air for quite some time. The color of the Arabian Sea was stunning…especially with the natural sand
islands scattered around in fun patterns. On the other side of the sea was nothing but sand dunes. I was seeing this a bit as a
bonus built-in sightseeing flight.
We were then at the correct altitude and it was about time to position ourselves. But here’s the weird thing – I never got
nervous. Not even a tinge of a butterfly in my stomach. Am I missing some gene in my body? This was bizarre to me. I kept
waiting to get nervous but it never happened. I really spent most of my time up in the air laughing and saying how beautiful it
Yenny was the first to drop out of the plane and then Eugene and I followed.
OH MY GOD was this amazing! Eugene had us flipping around while I tried to remember to keep my back arched and my legs
bent back. I really the cold wind moving against my face. I remember laughing. And I remember using the f-word to describe
how cool it was. Eugene released the parachute and after a few seconds of being pushed upwards, we were now coasting down
looking at nothing but sea and dunes. I couldn’t shut up about how ‘f-ing amazing’ the whole thing was. Eugene was laughing at
me. He said I did a great job (I am sure they say this to everyone). Then he asked me if I liked roller coasters. I told him that
of course I did. I just thought it was a general question. Nope. Instead, it was his cue to have us head downward at a steep
angle at a high speed. Ohhhh, it was great!
I followed my directions for landing and then it was over. It was only at that point when I had a bit of adrenalin running
through me. One of the instructors who was on the ground was saying that because there was no wind in the air today, she
could hear me laughing all the way down.
After getting my video made, and receiving my t-shirt and certificate, I was on my way.
A new goal has now come to my mind – I want to skydive once in every continent. Of course, this would have been much
better if I realized this 1½ years ago. But I’m in no rush – I have lots of time.
|Looking out from the plane.