Skydiving and sea kayaking at Byron Bay & Beyond

skydive byron bay

Well, there’s something to be said about starting your day by leaping off a plane 14,000 feet in the air.

Skydiving first thing in the morning followed by some sea kayaking action. I have to admit, I was probably the first one up and went knocking to wake some others that day. We were certainly the first boots on ground at the meeting point at the hotel lobby. Heh!

I was still half asleep when I signed the indemnity form.

byron bay skydive

The Tourism NSW and AirAsia X people were kind enough to see if they can get me into a custom solo AFF since I’ve been through the course before but unfortunately, it was too late. They only have tandem packages on the regular menu, so we all got into the tandem skydive at 14,000 feet (highest you can go in Australia) courtesy of Skydive Byron Bay.

harness

I didn’t film myself coz I had gone through all these before but Alycia did so look at her video to see what it’s like! She also wrote about her experience here.

It was a lot of fun for me since I haven’t skydived in Byron Bay before (and certainly not in autumn) but it gave me this idea about jumping out of a plane without a parachute.

Have you seen the video?

There’s actually two people who has done it before and contrary to popular belief, you don’t just need to have balls of (forged) steel to do it. You’ll need some training as well, so you can maneuver and not slam into the other person in midair.

That would probably involve a lot of dying since most people pass out when they crash into each other in midair at terminal velocity and thus would be unable to deploy their chute, much less do a tandem harness in the sky.

This is the second person to do it, I thought it was technically more difficult than Travis’ first attempt.

Terminal velocity is around 195 km/hour (it changes depending on how you shape your body and other variables – you can go faster, that’s how a person who exits the plane after you can catch up) and we got to experience that for about 60 seconds but I was talking to our driver and she happens to be getting her license so I told her I wouldn’t mind jumping out of a plane without a chute when she’s gotten her license.

skydiving student

I was being totally serious btw.

Won’t it be the ultimate rush? You’re just depending on someone else’s chute and there’s so many things that can go wrong before you hook up and do the harness. It’s mind-blowing.

The mere fact that it’s mind-blowing means I have to try it. :)

buttermilk pancakes salmon

Anyway, we headed out for lunch after that in a bright and sunny cafe (with one opt out from being sick from skydiving) – there’s nothing like having buttermilk pancakes with fresh strawberries and bananas doused with honey with a side of smoked salmon that’s equivalent to an entire family packet to get some energy for sea kayaking…

sea kayaking

…which is exactly what we did that same afternoon, to spot dolphins and whales in the sea. I was supposed to pair up with Ringo but she can’t swim and I’m not a good kayaker so I teamed up with Alycia (who could swim) instead. I reckon it’s a great thing coz me and Alycia never overturned our sea kayak (everyone else did).

sea kayaking alycia

#winning

sea kayak

Sea kayaking requires you to power over the surf (this is the most difficult part) as you head out to sea – aligning your sea kayak in a directional wedge against the incoming tide so you can go over the waves and into the calmer seas after the break.

sea kayaking group

It was a lot of fun, just rowing in tandem with Alycia and getting past the rather large incoming waves and then paddling out to sea. I never did quite figure out how to make an emergency turn in the strong tides and I nearly had a hernia pulling the sea kayak back to shore after all that but it was more fun than a barrel of monkeys and Alycia turned out to be an excellent partner. :)

I didn’t remember to bring my waterproof digicam so all the photos are from the Cape Byron Kayaks Facebook page.

…so if you’re wondering just how fun a barrel of monkeys is, AirAsia X is having their Byron Bay & Beyond promotion for just RM 599 all in to Gold Coast now.

lycra

Just remind me never to wear Lycra.

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31 thoughts on “Skydiving and sea kayaking at Byron Bay & Beyond

  1. Hahaha

    From the years of knowing you, I know you’ll do it.

    Good luck jumping from a plane without a chute.

    Life has always been too kind to you HB, take care of your life. :-P

    • Heh! Well, we’ve known each other for 13 years, and I’ve been in a lot of…er, adventures to be sure.

      I’m quite surprised I’m still alive to be honest. Lots of things could have gone wrong from my impulsive daredevil stunts, most unsupervised, but they didn’t.

      No worries Diana! I know someone up there loves me, I won’t abuse it…

      …but I’ll still jump out of a plane without a parachute come hell or high water. :)

      See ya next reunion! :)

    • Heh! Cheers bro for the vote of confidence. :)

      Hey, I’m up for doing it, next trip to Aussie then.

      First off, I need someone who’s willing to do it first – the APF would probably pull the license of whoever does it coz it’s against the rules. :x

  2. nothing like diving off a plane at 14 000 feet to get the adrenaline running first thing in the morning eh?

    Then pumping up your sugar levels with pancakes for lunch. Ahh thats life…… are u in Malaysia now?

    • Heh! Yeah Brian it’s an awesome way to start the day! :D

      Now if only I had the resources to do it every single morning. I’ll have made 365 jumps in a single year.

      Yup, that was the only time I had pancakes actually. I love buttermilk pancakes, used to eat a lot when I was in Melbourne.

      I didn’t during the Byron Bay trip though, there was so much good organic food with low food miles. Delicious stuff, I’ll have to post about that soon. :)

      Yeah, I’m in Malaysia now, unfortunately. I’ll love to go for another trip. Heh!

      • haha reading this post reminds me of one of the videos posted by freddiew on the internet about jumpin off a plane everyday like as if he’s staying in the clouds to get to work everyday.

        Organic food? hmm always found that to be a little pretentious but i totally embrace the idea and values of it but the price doesnt seem to agree with me =( GM crops FTW! for now at least.

        • Heh! That would be something eh? :)

          Well, to be honest, that was my perception too. Too artsy fartsy, all these organic foods but when I tasted and experienced it, it’s really something to learn from.

          Low food miles too – use the ingredients that’s in season instead of importing stuff which is not in season.

          Organic food is supposed to be cheap…it’s just not cheap over here for some reason. I mean if you buy it from the farms in Byron Bay, it’s cheaper than what Coles would sell you and fresher too. :)

          • yea supporting fresh local produce doesnt just keep money circulating within the community but also helps independent farmers.

            I was wondering since Malaysia is a tropical weathered country so do we actually have distinct seasonal produce?

            • Yeah, that’s what’s great about all this.

              Hmm…good question…

              To be honest, I have no idea…I mean I know durians and such are seasonal but now it fruits throughout the year with some GE modified seeds.

              I don’t think we’re big on organic stuff over here. :)

    • Hey, that’s great! :)

      There are a lot of things to do in Byron Bay – cycling around for one – found that a rather interesting way to go about. It’s winter now though but I guess you still can. The scenery there is amazing.

      You can also visit the farms around and eat macadamia nuts straight off the tree. It’s strangely delicious – you have to crack them first though.

      Of course, a visit to all the quaint towns (like Tyalgum) and just to soak up the wonderful blend of culture which is Byron Bay (they are very big on organic food).

      I did a post on the things we did over there:

      http://sixthseal.com/2011/06/the-best-of-northern-rivers-in-australia/

      …and you can always head over to:

      http://byronbayaustralia.net.au/

      You won’t find a lack of things to do around there. :)

      Enjoy your holidays Anna!

  3. man, jumping out without a chute will really be the ultimate rush, but perhaps not something i will do tho. i’ve yet to try sky diving, malaysia just isn’t the best place for doing it.

    • Yeah it would be insane right? :)

      I can feel the rush just imagining jumping out of a plane without a chute.

      Yeah, Malaysia lacks in the skydiving department, a pity coz I’m sure there’s a lot of enthusiasts here.

    • Hello Nava!

      Skydiving is actually a very safe experience. :)

      Especially tandem skydiving, there’s no need for you to do anything at all.

      If you want to get a solo AFF course, it cane be done within a week if you go for the intensive one. :)

    • Yeah bro!

      You should go for bungy jumping first, lest you reduce that experience.

      Bungee jumping is a lot of fun too, a different kind of fun. You don’t get the free fall experience though.

      Hope to see you skydiving in the future bro! :)

    • Yeah bro, it’s definately something you must try before you die. :)

      The bucket list for everyone has to include skydiving.

      It’s a lot of fun, exiting the plane, the force of terminal velocity, the experience of the free fall and the amazing views.

      I love it! :)

  4. hey my article isn’t out yet! anyway i shall let you know when that happens (hopefully very very soon) and u can link the blogpost to it. :)
    hope all’s good with u. keep us updated on when u’re doing the jump sans chute! i’d love to be there to watch. *note: watch.*

    ps: you were a great kayaking partner too! thankfully we didn’t crash into the rocks as the current was pushing us towards.

    • Oh no! Okay, tell me when your article is out, I’ll love to read it Alycia!

      Remember the autographed copy ya. ;)

      Yup, I will definately tell you when I’m doing the skydiving without a parachute thing. It’ll be fun. And dangerous. But fun above all. Heh!

      Cheers to that! I actually wasn’t very worried about crashing into the rocks, was more bothered by being swept by the strong current and having to row back to position. :x

      You were an awesome kayaking partner! Thanks for helping with the long drag up when we were done. :)

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