What a RUSH!
The day was absolutely perfect, blue skies, warm sunshine, incredible scenery and some of the greatest people I've had the chance to meet. Everyone immediately made me feel welcome and were so encouraging. We had to wait a bit for other jumpers but then it was time to go through the jump and then board the plane. My tandem master gave me instructions; scoot to the door, hang feet out, ready, set, go and then arch, arms out, eyes open etc. He taught me how to fly the canopy and then we were loaded into the plane. When the plane started to taxi down the run way I remember thinking "no turning back now."
Then we were in the air, climbing to 9000 feet. It was a calm ride and I wasn't nervous at all. Then my tandem master said it was time to move to the door. That's when the nerves kicked in. We moved to the door and he told me to swing my feet out. It was at this point that I realized I was no longer sitting on the edge of the plane but actually hanging out of it. That was a little unnerving. Then it was "ready, set, go!" and we were out.
The initial fall was a little scary but the feeling didn't last long. Soon we were free falling and the view was incredible (I managed to open my eyes). The free fall lasted for 30 seconds and then I felt the tug from the canopy opening and suddenly we were just floating 5000 feet above the ground. I got to steer the canopy and fly around for about 5 minutes.
The view was incredible and it was such a blast being up there. The landing was a little rough with a slight injury and a huge cloud of dust but I made it through. Everyone told me that I would never look at the sky the same way again and they were right. I now find myself checking the clouds and the clear sky thinking about jumping days. I think I'm hooked!