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    January 2010
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Jumping Into 2010 With Skydive Hawaii

So I just got back from another adventure filled trip to Oahu.

Oahu's North Shore

This time I did something that I never thought I would ever do in my entire life… and that is jumping out of an airplane in midair.

BANZAI!!!

I had an opportunity to go Skydiving for free with Skydive Hawaii and I wasn’t gonna let my fears say no to this, despite the fact that I could have died doing this activity… and people have.

I was planning on doing this the very last day of 2009, however, Oahu had a mean storm come in that day and the winds were too much and so we weren’t able to jump on that day.

January 1st, 2010 a Perfect Day for Skydiving

Which when I tweeted it out… that it got canceled, I almost had to laugh when people tweeted me back that I would get to live to see the end of the year.

Part of the Contract

So I celebrated New Years Eve in fear of dieing the next day skydiving. Anyone that knows me… knows that I have a weak stomach when it comes to heights and this really is kind of out my character.

One of Many Skydive Hawaii Vans

The Skydive Hawaii van picked me up from the Waikiki Resort Hotel on  January 1st, 2010 at 10:00 in the morning and we made our way out to the North Shore.

Parachuters on the North Shore

We then watched a short video that was available in both Japanese and English.

Watching a video on what we were about to do

Before signing away our lives.

My Group of Brave Folks

They let us know that we could go outside and that our names would be called when they were ready to gear us up.  In the meantime… I spent my time watching the packers packing the chutes!

Packing a Chute

When I later had the opportunity to ask the owner about the chutes and why the instructors were not packing their own chutes, he let me know that it was because the instructors have confidence in the packers and it allows them more time in the actual air w/ clients.

Professional "Packers"

I was surprised to hear that the Skydive Hawaii folks were giving me a full package which meant that someone else would risk their life just to take pictures and video of me jumping!

It was my turn to jump and we climbed into the plane… my guts saying its still not to late to back out of this.

At the point of no return

Part of the thrill of this whole experience was the plane ride in itself.  I can’t believe I was sitting right next to the door that was wide open the entire flight!

Holding on for dear life!

And we took off…

Taking Off

And we climbed…

View over airfield

Higher and Higher…

Gaining Altitude

I was feeling quite nervous almost like I was gonna get sucked out of the plane as we kept getting higher and higher.

Northern Tip of Oahu

When we reached 13,000 feet, it was time to get strapped in and ready to jump.

Time to go

We rocked once to the left and then back to the right and  just flew out of the plane!

Out the door

We must have done a free fall for at least 20 seconds.

I'm falling!

The whole time I’m sure I was cussing up a storm!

Instructor puts us into a spin!

After the instructor did a few cool tricks with me like spinning me around a few times and doing some other crazy stuff… He finally tapped me on my shoulders and told me to put my arms out.

Whoo Hoo!

Then that’s when it was really cool and felt like I was actually flying!

Oh me... this is too fun! But my face is getting smushed to my brain!

I had pretty much forgotten about the cameraman when all of a sudden out of nowhere in midair he showed up right in my face.

Now I'm flying!

Of course throwing a “Shaka” at 200 mph is not the easiest thing to do.

Hardest "Shaka" I ever through

I was doing my best to hang in there… but I really started having weird thoughts… Like oh crap… I hope the chute actually opens!

Still fun... but praying the chute will open

I don’t know how long we were free falling… but I began to get a bit scared and started calling for the instructor to pull the rip cord already!

I'm actually yelling at the top of my lungs to pull the cord... and if he couldn't hear me... I was also motioning for him to pull the damn cord already! I'm sure he hears that all the time... but the ground started approaching very fast... and that chute still wasn't open!

The instructor had an altimeter watch on so he knew when was the right time… and despite me yelling and begging for him to pull the cord… it still took awhile for him to hear me dangit!

Finally the Rip Cord is Pulled

The instructor pulled the rip cord and the parachute opened up!!!

It's Open!

I was immediately relieved to know that chute was open!

At this point... I know I'm gonna live... Just now worried about the landing!

From here on down… it was just a beautiful glide down.

Smooth Sailing

I didn’t know where the cameraman went that was shooting pictures of me… nor did I care at that point… as I was feeling pretty “high” on life!

What a view!

The instructor did a few loops in the air which really got my stomach churning.

Loops!

As we got closer to the ground… it really seemed like we were speeding up and I was prepared for the worst!

Preparing for landing

Getting ready to land

But what I feared the most… doing a face plant or something, simply did not happen and we had a clean landing with both of us on our feet running.

A Perfect Landing

I have never been so happy to touch ground after a plane ride in my life… I received the following certificate of proof of my first jump… which by the way could be used as verification if I ever wanted to jump again that I have done it before… because you know what… EVERYTIME you jump out of an airplane… it is marked as an important day… Even if it’s your 17,214th jump!

First Parachute Jump Certificate Courtesy of Skydive Hawaii

I’d like to thank Skydive Hawaii for this opportunity of a lifetime… (as well as my instructor “JC” for keeping me alive).  I’d also like to thank the Cameraman and Videographer (however, I can’t find the video on this disk) that risked his life taking shots of me.

I’d also like to thank Go! Mokulele Airlines for the travel accommodations and the Waikiki Resort Hotel for the room accommodations and gift package upon arrival.

Oh… and case you are wondering what happened to the photographer/videographer mentioned above.

He ended up landing a few blocks away at the Mokuleia Polo Fields!

The Cameraman's landing at Mokuleia Polo Fields a few blocks away from the intended landing spot!

Happy 2010 everyone… Glad I made it back and will begin to blog again soon.

Next Oahu trip… Jan 24th – 29th.

4 Responses

  1. […] If you want to see pictures from my first jump that I took on the the first of the year, you can click here. […]

  2. Those pictures are awesome! My favorite one is the one in the air near the top of this post. Good stuff, Damon.

  3. You’re looking a bit green there in a few pictures. Looking forward to the video. I bet you cussed even more than on the zip line. Glad you made it home with all the proper number of pieces… and no broken bones!

    Take me with you if you go a next time… after my broken arm heals… oh, and now my broken toe.

    • *cough* Mom… No.. Nope… No Ways… Sorry… won’t take you with me the next time. I love you too much to possibly lose you in a parachuting accident!

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