Thursday, December 31, 2009

Skydiving

For our birthdays, Cara and I got our first jumps from Jennifer. Here are some pictures from that adventure.

On a sunny Sunday, November 30th we got to Skydive the Ranch in Gardiner, NY (a bit south of New Paltz). After about 30-45 minutes of training, we were suited up and ready to go. That's Cara behind me, also in yellow.
We sit on long benches in the plane with our instructors behind us. That's Cara to my right.
Cara jumped first. In a tandem jump you are strapped to the chest of your instructor. The person just below Cara and her instructor is a cameraman.
Then I went.

Part of our present was the accompanying pictures and videos, taken (for me) by a woman with a video camera and a digital still camera on her helmet. The instructors were all very friendly and made sure we faced the camera for the minute of freefall that we had.
You can't hear a damn thing so everything is coordinated with hand signals. You are told when to put your arms out, when to reach back and find the ripcord so you know where it is when it comes time to pull it, then put your arms back out again, then you signal off to the photographer that you are going to pull the cord. I was too busy waving to the camera and John, the instructor, could not get me to finally pull the ripcord, so he did. I just felt a sudden deceleration and then we started floating. You can see this in the video below that he gives up trying to move my arms.
The diver with the camera landed first and got us as we landed. I landed on my butt and not 30 seconds later, Cara came in on her feet. Her instructor was nicknamed "Batman".


Of course I'd do it again, and I will this spring. Chris wants to go, and so does Ken. Cara is rounding up some friends, too. Wanna join us?

Here are the videos.

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