What did you do this weekend?
I spent Saturday afternoon sailing sedately around Toronto’s Harbour and Islands.
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.
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.
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.
Then, all of a sudden, I was watching Shiloh, Phyllis and their entourage dropping away from the door of 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.
And we were flying!
Grab his hand and he’ll spin you around….
The feeling of rapid deceleration when the parachute was pulled is indescribable. Suddenly it was so quiet, as we floated serenely above the world.
Pull in one direction really hard and you’ll spin and spin and spin!
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.
Bend your knees. Lift your feet. Gently sit down.
Thanks to everyone at Skydive Burnaby, especially our instructor, Sam, and photographer, Nick (who gets credit for the video and aerial shots).
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!