Sunday, August 28, 2011

Getting High over Door County, Wisconsin

No, not that type of getting “high.”

High as in adrenaline rush and altitude which simply translates into skydiving and what better way to do my first skydive than over the 4th of July weekend!

Some people look to the sky for fireworks on the 4th of July...I fall out of it!

Along with my friend, Mary, and her sister Susan, we chose to go with an outfit called Skydive Door County located in scenic Sturgeon Bay. The location would provide a picturesque drop-zone of the Door County peninsula.

After a thirty minute instructional period I was outfitted with a harness, goggles and tons of encouragement that everything would be fine.

Aboard the very small Cessna plane, I was treated to scenic views of Green Bay and Lake Michigan. After fifteen minutes of sitting in a very cramped position, I was ready to jump out of the plane with or without a parachute (unbeknownst to me that would foreshadow things to come).

Once they opened the door the real adventure began.

After an exhilarating forty-five second free fall period, my tandem instructor pulled the parachute ripcord (which I was supposed to do but free falling over one hundred twenty miles per hour I kind of forgot to do so).

“Oh sh*t!” my tandem instructor yelled out.

I went from all smiles to what the hell is going on back there?

Apparently the main parachute didn’t deploy properly and my tandem instructor tried in vain to correct the problem to no avail.

“Get back into free fall position (arched back and my heels touching his buttocks...I know that last part sounds weird but it saved my life)!” screamed my tandem instructor.

He then jettisoned the main chute and we had to free fall again for a brief period before he deployed the reserve (and last parachute). So I had two free falls for the price one!

After a somewhat relaxing canopy ride down back to earth we let out a collective sigh of relief upon touching ground.

In the hanger he thanked me for remaining calm. I asked how often that happens and he said maybe one out of three thousand jumps. He added that in his over ten years in skydiving this was only the second time it has ever happened. Lucky me!

Would I do it again?

In a time I would pack the parachute myself and bring an extra one just to be sure!

Adios from over 10,000 feet from scenic Door County!

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

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