I had an amazing treat to the end of another three day stint of being couch and bed ridden. I was feeling quite a bit better on Thursday and just rested for most of it, plus a short (tee hee – like she is) visit with my mother. It was a huge relief when I woke up on Friday morning to far less weakness than I had earlier in the week, plus my nerve pain was substantially better. The plan for that day if I felt decent and the weather was clear was to fly the arduous 9 minute flight from St. Catharines to Welland and do a tandem skydive. The stars must have aligned as both those stipulations were met yesterday! Woot! We took off from St. Catharines around 9:30 and landed in Welland less than 10 minutes later. I was the only one scheduled through Niagara Skydive to go up for 10:00.
Just before we started the training, instructor and videographer Rob wanted to show me this new magic trick he learned. He claimed he can cause someone to levitate from the semi-prone position by using only his mind! It didn’t work but at least he tried.
Then I suited up:
My most excellent tandem master Péter was extremely thorough when getting me into my harness (which was very comforting!)
After doing the training and suiting up, the pilot, my tandem master, videographer Rob and a jumper in a wing suit climbed into the Cessna 210. I decided to make a big dorky face on the walk over:
We had a smooth flight over Niagara Falls on our way up to 12,000′. It was quite nice to be able to see it from the right hand side of the plane (the scenic circuit is clock-wise), as I’m usually flying over it in the left seat. By the time we got up to around 9,000′, the wingman and myself both had chattering teeth from the cold. Once up to altitude, it was around -2 degrees. I don’t think the tandem master actually needed to hook our harnesses together, as I was pretty much frozen to him. However, I heard the hearty *click* of us being safely linked together. I’m glad it was the sound of steel and not just some Velcro. Soon after, the door went up and our camera dude climbed out onto the wing strut. As he did, we scooched over to the door and dangled our legs beside him.
Since I was experienced with aerobatics, he suggested we do a few flips on exit. I gladly agreed, since I can’t seem to do anything in a normal fashion! So on his signal, off we tumbled. Yuppers, three awesome somersaults! I remember seeing a flash of the plane during one of them. Pretty neat! Péter nicely got us stopped and we enjoyed a free fall down to 5000′. Rob followed us down and got some great shots and video. Then Péter deployed the chute. All went quiet and we got to enjoy the view, while dangling over Welland. I then began the process of thawing my teeth, as I smiled way too much during the free fall.
I always wondered what those altitude-losing spins felt, as they seem to be quite quick. I got my wish as Péter spun us down for a bit. I have a great video of this that Mike took and I will share it in my next blog (soon!) I was then allowed to guide us down to probably about 1000′ or so. I could see Vyctor from above and he looked adorable, as did Mike! Hehe! I yelled “Hi Mike!” and waved, which will also be shown in my next blog. I didn’t think he would hear me from up there but he could hear us talking from around 2000′.
Our landing was perfect:
And a high five from Rob.
That was really fun and I’m certainly going to do it again. This was actually my fifth jump, as I did four static line jumps when I was with the Army back in 1997.
I would give anything to continue to feel like this. It’s been so wonderful for these last two days. Paws crossed tomorrow is as good!
Today’s symptoms: Considering my especially long day yesterday, I am surprised how well I feel. I have only slight weakness and just feel a bit drained and headachy. I did get the rotten MS Hug for about an hour today, but at least it wasn’t for too long. Nerve pain has been on and off for the whole day.