It was a day before I flew back to India and time to do my first tandem skydive. Again, surprisingly I was calm. My slot was at 12pm. I timed it well so that I have time to digest breakfast and have enough time left to reach hotel on time for lunch. I took some tourist pamphlets at my hotel, Embassy Suites – La Jolla. After skydive, I thought I would go whale watching or explore San Diego city. The plan was all tentative.

I took Uber to GoJump Oceanside and filled the required forms. Then I was told that there is wait time of about 2 hours! Apparently, they didn’t get some clearance. So I had to wait. The wait was longer than 2 hours but in the end, it was all worth it!

For some reason, I was feeling very calm when it was time to board the plane. I had booked the deluxe media package; that means I get videos and pictures from two perspectives. Apart from the tandem skydiver who dives with me, another skydiver should join us to take video and pictures from the outside. Both of the skydivers, Adrian and Amy, are very good and professional.

Just before boarding the plane, Adrian asked if I am ok jumping first. I said ok. This was a very good decision. Being “Last In First Out” ensures that we sit at the plane door. With the door open, I got the best views! I could see Santa Catalina Island and two other islands nearby! When I was a kid, I was told not to put hand out of a moving vehicle. But that day, I put hand out of a flying plane!

The best seat while skydiving

View in the beginning of the flight

The wind started getting cooler as we gained altitude. The entire flying time was about 25 minutes. Adrian showed me some interesting places from up above; a military base, some colourful fields. Somewhere far, I could see some stunning mountains. In the hindsight, I liked the views slightly more than the dive itself. During the last 5 minutes of the flight, Adrian closed the door. After reaching the altitude of 13,000ft, it was time for us to jump! Even now, I was calm and cool. I wonder if something was wrong with me.

In this picture you can see the islands far away on the left. From the plane, the view was way better.

The skydive was very beautiful. With stunning sunny views around, I took an eyeful of everything around. In sheer joy and excitement, I was telling loudly to Adrian while still in air that I was so glad I didn’t skydive in Dubai over artificial ecoUNfriendly island that looks like a mutilated spider and is built by abused poor trapped labourers. In fact, that was the reason why I didn’t plan my skydive in Dubai despite it being very close to India. I didn’t want my first skydive to be over such a heartless and soulless scenery.

While descending, Adrian asked if I would steer the parachute. I said I just want to enjoy scenery and asked him to steer. It during this steering, that I got scared. After landing, we boarded bus and got back to office. I got my pictures and left with good memories. Trip to San Diego would have been so empty if not for this skydive!

The staff is very friendly and super professional. Safety is their top priority. I highly recommend GoJump Oceanside. They have two more branches in Vegas and Santa Cruz. Definitely worth trying!

As I got the entire media package, I was offered a complimentary t-shirt. I opted for the t-shirt with a small image of USA flag on it. I wanted to keep the t-shirt as souvenir and fond memory. In my heart, I was saying, “Thanks America, for such a beautiful first skydive!”

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