The plane keeps getting higher, as too does Jules’ adrenalin. This is like nothing else you will ever do.
The industrial city of Wollongong has an excellent range of beaches, lagoons and other waterways. They range from sheltered and calm for children and non-swimmers to surf beaches to suit accomplished board riders. Lake Illawarra is used for many watersports windsurfing, sailing, fishing and prawning are popular activities.
Wollongong also has the right conditions for skydiving. Skydive the Beach is run by Tamara Prowse and Anthony Boucaut. They have been jumping for a number of years and whilst in Mexico experienced jumping over a beach and reefs on the east coast, landing on white sands. They decided to start their own business closer to home and in 2003 won Best Tourism Attraction Award for the Illawarra.
They have two aircraft and have completed more than 12,000 tandems at North Wollongong, and Tamara assures us that even though she has a fear of heights, somehow leaping from an aircraft just isn't scary.
Jumpers arrive at Stuart Park in North Wollongong and complete some necessary paperwork. Then it's into a funky jumpsuit and onto the bus for the short ride to the airport. There is a short briefing, questions are answered, everyone is fitted with a harness and boards the plane.
Depending on weather conditions and traffic control the climb to height takes around 15-20 minutes. The "two mile" call is given by the pilot and the plane manoeuvres to the drop position over the beach.
Jumpers exit and freefall for 35 to 45 seconds, the instructor activates the parachute and once it is open there is a five to seven minute canopy ride over the beach to land on the grass beachfront or the beach itself, depending upon the wind.