Monday, June 13, 2016

Skydiving in Empuriabrava - Yessss I did it!

Up here we’re all equals.
We all float. We all feel. We are all intensely alive.

Shall we fly? Shall we jump?YESSSSSS
Jump from 4000 meters and free fall of 50 sec

Skydive Empuriabrava is the world’s most popular skydiving zone, is set in unique, natural surroundings: Empuriabrava (Girona).We drove for 150 kms from Barcelona to Empuriabrava. Its a drive of about 90 minutes. This is the same place where shooting for Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara took place. 

They have 3 packages; Silver, Gold and Platinum . We opted for Gold Tandem Package. If you book it on the venue , it costs Euro 365  that includes Tandem Jump, Pics, Video and a Tshirt. We booked it online and it costs Euro 350 (100 Euros for the Video and Pics). So Ankit, Kunal (My Brother in Law's) and we got the jump confirmation for 1st June 2 PM. We all three were nervous, however Kunal was the most vocal about it. It was in my bucket list for a long time, and I thought that If I have to do it, have got do it now. 
The instructions were not to have alcohol or heavy breakfast before the jump. Also one should not do air travel or scuba 24 hours after the jump. We reached there at 1:30  pm on 1st June. Had a quick breakfast of spanish Omlettes in Windoor. This is a indoor skydiving and wind tunnel flying. Professional practice or beginners learn to fly. We were at the reception at 2 in the afternoon. At reception, the counter staff asked us to fill up and sign the mandatory forms. This was a basic form which says that organization is not responsible for any mishap etc. Also mentioned there was ideal weight for tandem jump is 90 or less. Kunal weight was 88. Perfect. Ankit and I were overweight. Overscared. and obviously over nervous. There were few frantic calls in spanish by counter staff representative and some one from the authority. We could only understand our weight and name. Then a lady official appeared and told us that the best time for over weight Tandem jumps are between 1-2 Afternoon depends upon the wind. She asked us to wait at the reception itself. After few minutes, counter staff got the confirmation that wind condition is good and we 3 can jump together. We were happy. We got the T Shirt and all three of us were ready. They gave us a remote device and asked us to wait for the buzzer in the open area. About 2:15 PM it buzzed and it was our turn.  

Marcus was my instructor. He had jumped 7000 times. Kunal's instructor had 14,000 jumps to his credit. We felt relaxed that we are in safe hands. The person who was taking our video told me that I looked nervous. I was not at that time actually. But there was a sense of uneasiness. Our wives were busy finishing the breakfast until then. Marcus and other instructors took us through safety instructions and steps to do. It was a 5 minute training and after that we started walking towards our plane. 
We were 5 jumpers, and with each, an instructor and photographer jumps. So there were 15 of us to fit into a small plane. There was one photographer, sitting on the edge of the opened door. It was like people stand on the Mumbai Local Train door. We were smiling and chatting inside the place. And then we reached the 4000 meters altitude. Ankit to go first and then it was my turn and finally Kunal's turn. Ankit had been asked to jumped sideways . Marcus told me not to follow Ankit style. I had to jump from front. Plane door opened. I could see sky and small rectangles downstairs. Marcus had given me last minute instructions. My heart beat was fast and could hear my heart pumping. I asked him to repeat the instructions as I forgot completely. He told me now no time. Ankit just jumped.  Now it was my turn. I was on the edge and jumped. Didn't get time to think and decide whether I should jump or not. Not jumping was anyway not an option. It was a 50 sec free fall. First 5 sec, I could not feel anything. I saw underneath. After that I noticed the Video/Photographer in front of me. I was trying to recollect the steps which Marcus instructed. On time realized to smile and thumbs up for better photo. After all we paid 100 Euros extra for video. They were the life changing 50 seconds of my life. Then Marcus opened the Parachute. It was an experience of a life time. I felt still in the sky even though we were still coming down fast. Marcus told me that I did a very good job and followed the instructions perfectly. 

The view was amaaaaaazinnngngng. I could see canals, open sea, farm fields etc. Marcus and I did a landing rehearsal to bend knees. We landed smoothly. I was so excited . And immediately, Kunal landed. We were so excited. I had the muffled ears. Also my throat was dry. 

With Marcus

Bottom's UP

It was a life changing event. I am glad I did it and craving for more. Even today , when I think of the moment just before the jump, a smile comes on my face and I feel like closing my eyes and want to cherish that wonderful memory. Please share your view, comments and experiences in the comment section below.

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