We’d gone down to the Cark Drop Zone to see if we could do some sky diving there; it was shut!
So we settled for an inspiring walk out onto the beach (Morecambe Bay sands) at Humphrey Head. I recognised the name but wasn’t sure why until we saw the chalk left on the rock by boulderers. Back at home we checked out the routes – mostly short and hard – but I think it’ll be a great place to go back to for some low level traversing and other fun bouldering. But beware…
I’ve decided that I’m not very good at skydiving! Watching the DVD of my AFF jumps again after getting back from my second session trying to pass the AFF course (check here for the first), it is clear that when my instructor (Andy) passed me and wrote the following in my log book…
“I passed you because of your good altitude awareness and excellent canopy control.”
He meant something more like…
“Your jumping is awful, but I’m sure you will pull the parachute in good time to stop you killing yourself! Oh, and you are excellent at canopy control.”
Ah well, it is fun what ever! Even the awful smell of aviation fuel and the curdling ride to 13500 feet started to become more of a prompt to build excited anticipation for the adrenaline pumping free-fall. By the end of these two days in Ocaña I’d passed my AFF (just) and completed three more solo jumps, bringing my jump total to 16. Now that really shows my complete lack of aptitude for skydiving. The AFF course should be just seven jumps – it took me 13!
Great fun – go for it – “Arch and Relax”!
Next? Well, the plan has always been to learn to skydive so that I could move on to BASE… I hate all that walking down hill after a long climb. At least Paula’s words as we left the DZ made me feel a little more confident that I’ll get to become a BASE jumper; “at least you don’t have to get stable before pulling the parachute on a BASE jump”.
On our last morning in Spain (after learning to skydive, check this) we explored the beautiful “Royal City” we were staying in, Aranjuez.
The weather looked wet for our planned trip to Scotland to bag the three famous sea stacks. So, plan ‘B’ was invoked! Learning to skydive has been on the agenda for ages and ages, except other stuff (like good weather and climbing) has always got in the way… So, late Friday evening we booked a flight to Madrid, insurance, a hire car, and (most importantly) an Accelerated Free Fall (AFF) sky diving course with the Freefall University at Ocaña. All of this wasn’t cheap, but learning to jump out of an aeroplane at 13000 ft, plummet towards earth at 130 mph, and then land safely using your parachute (a bloody big sports kite) isn’t going to be easy (and therefore cheap) to learn is it!
Skydiving is everything you’d expect – difficult to learn, scary (jumping out of a perfectly serviceable aeroplane), an amazing adrenaline rush, and one of the most awesome experiences I’ve ever had!
Special thanks have to go to our instructor Andy – it was brilliant, you’ll see us again soon – “Arch & Relax”!
Check out Laetitia’s level 6 here…