Who Needs Aeroplanes?

What did you do this weekend?

I spent Saturday afternoon sailing sedately around Toronto’s Harbour and Islands.

IMG_4255Then yesterday, everything went a bit crazy!

If you’ve read my first book, The Great Migration, you’ll know I was a little anxious about flying to begin with. But who wouldn’t be nervous swooping across the Serengeti on the back of a vulture?! (My brother, Bisckits, that’s who!)

However, being friends with Rich and Sue, over the years I’ve grown used flying, much to Bisckits’ enjoyment. Together we’ve flown in all sorts of aircraft, from biplanes to helicopters with no doors.

10 - Just incase you'd forgotten we're in a biplane!But yesterday, Sue, Bisckits and I took it one step further. Literally!

Anyone who visits this blog semi-regularly (or who’s read Jaspa’s Waterloo) will be familiar with my friend Phyllis. Well, Ed and Shiloh are to Phyllis, what Rich and Sue are to me. Yesterday was Shiloh’s birthday (Happy Birthday, Shiloh!), and she’s developed a distressing habit of doing crazy things to celebrate. And Sue has developed an even more distressing habit of joining her!

In 2011, it was the EdgeWalk around the top of the CN Tower, 1168 feet above the streets of Toronto.

Sue, Shiloh & KimThis year it was skydiving!

We Ses weren’t allowed to do the EdgeWalk (thank goodness), but Bisckits and Phyllis jumped (pun intended) at the chance to join Sue and Shiloh this time around. You’d expect that from Bisckits, given the original prologue from The Pride of London (which I published as a ‘Deleted Scene’ here on my blog a couple of years ago).

Yet somehow, I got roped it, too.

Being ‘Big Jessies’, as Gravee put it, Rich and Ed sensibly stayed firmly on the ground. (Although, to be fair to, Rich did a parachute jump way back when, and I didn’t see Gravee volunteering to accompany us either!)

I clearly remember arriving at Skydive Burnaby, located less than half a mile from the north shore of Lake Eire in Southern Ontario. After that, everything is a bit of a blur. Sue and Shiloh signed their waivers, trained on how to exit the aircraft, what to do in flight, and how to land.

IMG_4272Then, before I had chance to regret my decision, we were on our way to the aircraft.

IMG_4279IMG_4294I had lots of time to rethink the wisdom of this latest adventure on the climb to 15,000 feet. Especially once people started leaping out into nothingness.

Gravee and Portia watching for the intrepid skydivers

Gravee and Portia watching for the intrepid skydivers

Then, all of a sudden, I was watching Shiloh, Phyllis and their entourage dropping away from the door of the plane.

IMG_0012

Shiloh and Phyllis leaving the plane

Shiloh and Phyllis leaving the plane

And then it was our turn!

It all happened so fast. We’d been moving up the bench as the people in front of us exited the aircraft, and suddenly there was no one else left.

IMG_0017One…

Two…

And we were flying!

IMG_0019Never before had I experienced such total sensory overload.

IMG_0021The roar of the air as we fell through it, the view of the Earth stretched out beneath us, and trying to remember all the things we’d learned at the safety briefings.

IMG_0027Look at the photographer!

IMG_0032Smile for the camera!

Fist Bump!

Fist Bump!

Grab his hand and he’ll spin you around….

'Chute deployed in 3...

‘Chute deployed in 3…

Then WHAM!

... Now!

… Now!

Our photographer, Nick, drops away as our parachute starts to open

Our photographer, Nick, drops away as our parachute starts to open

The feeling of rapid deceleration when the parachute was pulled is indescribable. Suddenly it was so quiet, as we floated serenely above the world.

IMG_4321Then it was Sue’s turn to steer. Pull left and you’ll go left, pull right and you’ll go right.

Turn left...

Turn left…

That's me, Sue and Bisckits on the right, with Shiloh and Phyllis on the left

That’s me, Sue and Bisckits on the right, with Shiloh and Phyllis on the left

Our plane's already beaten us down!

Our plane’s already beaten us down!

Pull in one direction really hard and you’ll spin and spin and spin!

Spinning!

Spinning!

All too soon it was clear we were nearing the end of our adventure and it was time to concentrate on the instructions for landing.

Coming in to land, with Shiloh and Phyllis in the background

Coming in to land, with Shiloh and Phyllis in the background

Bend your knees. Lift your feet. Gently sit down.

Touchdown!

Touchdown!

Hey Shiloh! You forgot your photographer!

Hey Shiloh! You forgot your photographer!

Woo Whee!

Top Gun Shot  ("And then we went like this...")

Top Gun shot
(“And then we went like this…”)

IMG_4415Can we go again?!

Thanks to everyone at Skydive Burnaby, especially our instructor, Sam, and photographer, Nick (who gets credit for the video and aerial shots).

This post is linked to this week’s Which Way Challenge from Cee of Cee’s Photography and Friztext’s A to Z Challenge, which this week is ‘j’ (for ‘jump’, in my case).

While you’re contemplating what it would be like to plummet through clear blue skies, why not sign up and follow my continuing Journeys here at Jaspa’s Journal (on WordPress or Bloglovin’), or through my website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr?

And if that’s not enough for you, there are now three Jaspa’s Journey novels to enjoy as ebooks! Perfect for Kids 8 – 80!

Jaspa's Journey Logo (Bigger Bucket)

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About Jaspa

Star of my own award-winning adventure novels, Jaspa's Journey. Geocaching addict & F1 fan. Adventure Journeyer & blogger extraordinaire. Check out my website: www.jaspasjourney.com And don’t forget to download the books and see what the buzz is all about!
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14 Responses to Who Needs Aeroplanes?

  1. JF says:

    Fantastic! I’d love to try it!

  2. Cee Neuner says:

    Such great fun and extreme adventure. Thanks for participating 🙂

  3. frizztext says:

    “J” for Jaspa’s Journey Journal = triple JJJ-quality!

  4. cyardin says:

    Awesome! Giddy up! You’re lucky that you got some great pics too.

  5. Sue Slaght says:

    That looks fantastic! Good for you and you have definitely inspired me to keep it on the bucket list. 🙂

  6. Max510 says:

    Terrific !
    Great Jump for a little giraffe

  7. Wooowwww! This is incredible. You’ve got nerves of steel to do this. Loved the pictures n the article

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