The day of my skydive (Thursday 24th) came around a lot quicker than I had anticipated. I awoke to find the skies blanketed by a mass of grey cloud and I feared that once again, my sponsored jump would be put on hold. However, after checking the forecast, I was encouraged by the assurance of clear blue skies come afternoon and so we set off on our journey toward Chatteris Airfield in Cambridgeshire.
I expected that, at some point, my nerves would kick in but surprisingly I felt remarkably calm and at ease. After all, today was about fulfilling my promise and raising the vital funds for the BUAV, who fight for the countless number of animals that suffer every day in the name of “research”.
Following our two-hour journey, we arrived and indeed the sun was breaking through. The skies were blue, the plane was being fuelled and the first jumpers were suited and ready to go. A rush of adrenaline surged through me…
“Today was the day that I would take to the skies”
A lot of waiting was involved, especially considering that I was the last person to jump that day. Whilst I did manage to catch a few rays of sun that afternoon (and go to bed that night looking very much like a tomato), neither myself nor my family had prepared for the long-haul and we were all beginning to feel the hunger pangs come late afternoon. Unfortunately, we had to just grin and bear it on this occasion and settle for some fizzy drinks from the on-site vending machine. A group of us were called in for the initial training around 3pm and a few hours on, with adrenaline still brewing, my appetency eventually subsided. With the plane taking off every 40 minutes (on average), the number of people still waiting to jump was gradually dying down. Over half of the original number of people had now left the airfield and I knew my turn was nearing.
I was called in to get suited up and ready to take off around 6pm. The sky was still a perfect azure blue and the sun was low in the western sky. I was introduced to my instructor and my cameraman and given a brief recap on the safety guidelines.
I can’t even remember what was going through my mind as I waited to board the aircraft, but oddly enough, I don’t think it had anything to do with planes, parachutes, or skydiving.
As we ascended to 12,000 feet, I remember laughing and joking around with the others. They continually asked “Are you nervous yet” and “Let’s see your hands. Are you shaking?”, but to my instructors surprise, once we had arrived at our two-mile high destination, I seemed to be the first one edging towards the door…
From this point on, I’m not sure what else I can say, other than to allow the pictures to speak for themselves…
The experience was just phenomenal. Jumping from such a height and then free-falling for over forty seconds was pure ecstasy. I descended approximately 8,000 feet before the parachute opened. I was totally awe-stricken by the stunning scenery beneath my feet.
Nothing is comparable.
I must have looked absolutely ridiculous, as it proved to be near impossible to make a normal face with all the air billowing into me and pinning my skin back!
After coming into land, my only desire was to go back up again. The feeling of euphoria stayed with me for the rest of that evening and I decided that I would certainly embark on another jump in the near future.
I had one of the best moments of my life that day and once again, I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has supported me through this and helped me raise the money for the BUAV. I am still in the process of collecting sponsorships, but overall I have managed to raise a fantastic £322!
If, like me, you would like to see an end to animal testing once and for all, why not consider donating to this brilliant organisation. Just visit their website or give them a call on 020 7700 4888 – they would be thrilled to hear from you!
I am hoping to get a video of my jump posted on Vegan Kid in the next couple of days, so do keep coming back. If you are subscribed to Vegan Kid, I shall be sending you an email to let you know when this is online!
With the sun still shining today, I hope you all enjoy the rest of week ahead!