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I mentioned a while back that I was interested in trying out skydiving. Sandy made a mental note of it, talked to a colleague who did skydiving as a hobby, and gave me a tandem jump as a birthday present!

April 17th was the day. We drove to Monterey, about 90 minutes south of Fremont, right at the coast. The place is called Skydive Monterey Bay and is in a hangar at the Monterey airport.

First it's time for some paperwork, a short video, and conversation with other jumpers.

On the carpet in the background the chutes are being packed.

View out of the hangar to the airfield. The weather was sunny and clear, very nice.

Here we are in the air, about 18,000 feet high, a few seconds before the jump.

No turning back

After approximately 3 seconds acceleration you reach terminal velocity of about 120 mph. You don't have a "falling" feeling since there is no more acceleration. You feel like Superman flying through the air.

The jumpmaster is covering his ears. Damn, it was cold up there!

Awesome view over Monterey Bay

After approximately 90 seconds of free fall (which went by way too quickly) it's time to pull the cord.

The chute opens. That's all that matters.

Approaching the landing zone

Watch out, we're coming down

And .... touchdown.

Back on terra firma

A thank you to Terry, the camera guy

Me with the jumpmaster.

Awesome! What a feeling! It was the first time, but certainly not the last time. A great experience I can only highly recommend.

The pictures are great, but it looks better live. Click here to download the live video.

Warning: The video is ca. 160 Megabytes. Only recommended with broadband.

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