In 2002 we did a wonderful trip to South Africa with a safari to Ngala Ngala Private Game Reserve on the edge of Kruger Park, then a drive along the Garden Route from Port Elizabeth following the southern coastline covering Plettenburg Bay, Knysna, George, Mossel Bay and then inland to Stellenbosch. During this trip we met up with friends who were also touring the area and did a bungee jump from the Gourits River train bridge and than an amazing freefall skydive with Skydive Cape Town just north of Cape Town.
We planned a free fall skydive with our friends with a parachute/skydiving school called Skydive South Africa just north of Cape Town. This proved to be an incredible highlight of our trip. I had always wanted to parachute so this was to be a tandem freefall jump from 10,000ft then open the parachute before landing.
It was a very small Cessna plane so we had to take it in turns to be be flown up to the jumping zone at 10,000ft along with the instructor we were connected to plus a cameraman who was going to record still photos plus video of the jump.
Sally was first up as she squeezed into the small plane ready for the takeoff.
Sally was ecstatic on her landing so next up was Denis who looked nervous, probably due to the instructor tightly adjusting his crotch strap.
Denis had a nice soft landing aptly using his instructor as a landing pad.
Lawrence nervously had a few fags before his jump and looked decidedly nauseous as he prepared himself for his big moment.
After Sally, Denis and Lawrence had completed their jumps it was my turn. My wife looked on with a large smile on her face as she had elected NOT to do the jump – probably making a quick call to the insurance company to up the policy!
I did the lonely walk out to the plan waving my wife goodbye. We quickly took off and as we slowly made our way up to 10,000ft the instructor clearly laid out some brief instructions building confidence in me as he stated “Don’t grab me …. you grab me … and we both die!”
At the jump zone we edged out onto the small step beneath the wing strut and then did a somersault as we exited the plane. We stabilised using a small drogue chute and then had about 15-30 secs of free fall as we plummeted down. The view was incredible with Table Mountain in Cape Town clearly visible and Robben Island in the bay.
The instructor had me do a few manoeuvres as we dropped with the cameraman beside us also in free fall taking photos and film.
We pulled the parachute as the warning alarm went off and there was a sharp tug on the crotch strap as we rapidly slowed our descent. It was then very quiet after the loud rush of air from the free fall and the instructor allowed me to guide the parachute for a few turns.
I made a text book landing just stepping down onto the ground without even falling ….. what an absolutely wonderful experience …. I just wanted to immediately go back up and do it again.
That evening we were staying at our hotel in Cape Town the Skydive Cape Town delivered a finalised and full edited video (on VHS tape!) to our hotel and this captured the whole event so well.
Passionate Photographer …. Lost in Asia
Stuart Taylor of HighlanderImages Photography has been making images for over 30 years and can offer a diverse range of photo imaging services with a focus on Asia and a documentary/photojournalistic style. These services include planning and executing a photo shoot on location but importantly all the post-processing and image preparation needed for the specific finished media format required by the customer. Stuart’s experience and knowledge in all of these aspects make HighlanderImages Photography a one-stop-shop for a comprehensive and professional image production service.
Stuart can be available for a variety individual assignments or projects and he specialises in areas such as photojournalism, commercial, architectural, real estate, industrial, interior design, corporate, urbex, adventure, wilderness, and travel photography.
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