Highs from 4000ft above

27 04 2009

(Long Loooong post :P)

Our lovely cheerleader :D

Our lovely cheerleader :D

The date was 25th April 2009. On this day, 2 very sane risk takers went on a road trip to Segamat, Johor to literally throw themselves out of a plane. Lee Nah, our cheerleader/ photographer/ videographer and future ‘plane jumper’ came along to witness the drama first hand.

It was the perfect day to jump. The sun was shining bright, the sky was clear and the wind was ‘just right’ for amateur jumpers. 

Soon it was time for Lenny and I to suit up and tempt fate by plunging from a single propeller plane 4000ft above.  So with our suits up; altimeter – checked; walkie-talkie radio – checked; helmet – checked; goggle – checked and of course Parachute bag ON, we took our steps of faith to the plane.

All geared up and ready to go!

All geared up and ready to go!

Lenny was to jump first followed by me. 

As we were walking to the plane:

Lenny: (starts praying aloud for God’s protection over us)
Land Master: (over the radio) ‘Jumper #1, if you can hear me, raise your hand’.
Lenny: (continues praying – obviously oblivious to the Land Master’s voice)
Land Master: (over the radio) ‘Jumper #1, raise your hand!’.
Esther: (thinking in my head) (Lenny, he’s asking you to raise your hand)
Lenny: (continues praying)
Land Master: (over the radio – screaming frantically) ‘Jumper #1, raise your hand!!’
Lenny: (ends prayer still oblivious to the screams)  ‘Amen’.
Esther: Lenny! He’s asking you to raise your hand!!
Lenny: Oh is it? (and he raises one hand)
Esther: …. 

Thank God the Land Master did not walk over and say ‘Apasal degil sangat ni?!’

The yellow thingy are the static line cables and chords

The yellow thingy are the static line cables and chords

Once we reached the plane, we both hooked on our parachute’s static line chord to the static line chord attached to the plane. It is absolutely vital that the static line chords are securedly attached for the Parachute to successfully deploy after 3 seconds. Failing which, we would have said our last prayers and see you in heaven.
(Just Kidding, there’s always the Reserve Parachute :) )

The Jump:

1st Jump: 

Exit position - on 'Go!' we are to jump backwards into a 'Belly-to-earth' position

Exit position - on 'Go!' we are to jump backwards into a 'Belly-to-earth' position

Plane Exit:
We both stumbled. Whatever theory we were taught at class just vanished from our minds. We did not scream neither did we count the way we were taught which was “1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 2, 3, Check‘. In short, when the Jump Master shouted ‘Go!’, we just threw ourselves backwards and let gravity take its course. Thank God everything went well and we only encountered a common minor malfunction which was the ‘Twist’. 

The ‘float’ in the air: Each jumper experiences different ‘float’ time in the air, depending on our weight and the wind condition. The heavier you are, the faster you reach ground. I’m not light but during my first jump, I was actually stationery at 4000ft for several minutes. I kept staring at my Altimeter and it kept saying 4000ft. The spectators below thought I was never coming down. After awhile I gave up and tried looking for Lenny who jumped before me. When I found him, my first reaction was ‘WAH! Lenny is so far away!!’. The wind had blew him over some residential houses and over the radio, I could hear the Land Master directing him closer to the landing zone.

The Landing: Lenny had a good landing where he landed on his two feet. Me, on the other hand, struggled with the brakes coz my arms were already hurting from fighting the wind in mid-air. 

My landing went something like this:

Land Master: Ok good good, now, Full Brake! Full Brake!
Esther: (seeing the ground rushing up, frantically pulls only till like 3/4 brake) *Splat* (landed flat on my belly) 
Sigh. Weak arms.

My Belly-to-Earth landing :P

My Belly-to-Earth landing. Can see my legs and head? :P

Kuhan's distorted feet

Vicknes' distorted feet

As we were resting and waiting for our next jump, Vicknes and Premala did their jumps. Vicknes, unfortunately, did not land well and dislocated his ankle. After witnessing that, Lenny and I had to rest even longer as we needed time to wash that negative image out of our minds. It’s scary leh!

2nd attempt:  

Plane Exit: Was determined to do the exit right and had our mind set on it. But somehow, just somehow, when you are in position outside the plane, you just do not have the time or the reflex to do it right. We once again stumbled. And according to the Jump Master, I hit my head against the plane’s wing. Thank God for helmets. 

That's the toggle (brake) that I'm pulling. Altimeter shows I'm below 3000ft

That's the toggle (brake) that I'm pulling. Altimeter shows I'm below 3000ft

The ‘float': This time I jumped first and very quickly I dropped to 3000ft. Both of us had our cameras tucked away in our jumpsuits and were told that we could only take photos above 3000ft and against the wind. Since I felt that I was falling pretty rapidly, I had to pull the brakes and snap photos at the same time. Not an easy task! And while I snapped, over the radio came the voice of the Land Master saying ‘Jumper #2, you’re going too far off, come back, come back!’. I tried looking up to see what was Lenny up to this time. And true enough he seemed to have flown a fair bit off course. (Apparently his walkie-talkie failed and he could not hear the Land Master’s commands. Either that, or he was too engrossed taking video of his surroundings :P . Thank God he was wise enough to know when he’s too far off and turned back).

Bird Eye View from 2800ft above

Bird Eye View from 2800ft above

The Landing: Again, Lenny’s landing was smooth and he landed on both feet. Me, this time round, decided that I don’t want to end up like Kuhan and so I lifted my legs up and landed on my butt. You can say it was a ‘soft landing’ :) 

So we both successfully completed our jumps. I loved every part of the jump, even the landing which was pretty challenging. But the best part was the float in the air. It was really quiet and serene up there. And the air was sooo cooling!

Honestly, jumping off the plane, I felt no fear nor was the adrenaline rush as great as a ‘Space Shot’ ride at Genting. One thing I’m sure of; if you have Bungee Jumped, this will be a breeze :)

For what it’s worth:

Sky Diving lesson and Jump: RM 1,250
Road trip to Segamat: RM 200
Overall Experience: Priceless

We will definitely be jumping again – hopefully soon. Free fall jump is our goal. So if you are keen, perhaps we could go together :)





And I wonder…

23 04 2009

I am trying to update this blog. Yesterday I wrote a couple of entries midway and decided to just hit the ‘Save Draft’ button. I can’t seem to get my thoughts straight and I get the feeling that words alone are boring.

I need something more creative… or at least inspiring…





Resurrected

21 04 2009

My blog that is…

Somehow I felt the desire to capture life in a weblog once again. Decided the quickest way would be to just resuscitate this existing blog of mine that has been dead for more than a year.

To kick things off, I updated my ‘Ongoing Entry’ on my ‘Before-30′ list.

When I wrote that list about 1.5 years ago, on my mind was merely stuff that I wish to accomplish and do before turning 30. As how things would usually go, I tend to forget about the list and move on. Little did I know… things were actually slowly unfolding according to the list. I’m just amazed :)

So with this re-launching of my blog, let’s see how long I can stick to it before abandoning it again.
Cheers!





I’m Back!

4 02 2008

My last blog entry dates back to 28 October 2007!! Finds it kinda hard to believe how time flies!! It seemed like not long ago that I lost my car. Oh well, 3 months is not that long I guess…

Anyway, lots have happened in that 3 months.

Of course I no longer have a car and will not be buying one anytime soon, at least not this year. I once again feel the inconvenience of living in Malaysia and not having a car. It sure does limit my mobility. And at times like this, I wished I’m living in Singapore.

The reason I won’t be buying a car this year is because I’ll be based in Thailand most of the time. Well, if the project goes on schedule, I’ll be in Thailand about 3/4 of the year or maybe less. Will see how it goes.

Life in Thailand is really great. Apart from being away from my friends and family, I really can’t complain about anything else. The allowances are good, the accommodation is great, the food is fantastic, the people are interesting, the shopping is heavenly (not designer la) but oh I just thought of something I can complain about. The AIR!! It’s just soooo polluted! gosh… long term there will definitely shorten my life hehe…

Anyway, I’m just too lazy to blog these days or months :P

I basically just upload photos on Facebook as it is really much simpler.
Esther Foong's Facebook profile
Am on a break till Sunday the 10th, on which I’ll be heading back to the Land of Smiles :)

Sawadeeka and Laew phob gan mai!





The demise of a loved one

28 10 2007

To those who knew him, to those who traveled near and far with him and to those who have seen him through thick and thin. It’s now time to let him go.

As I bid farewell to my beloved SLK 2594, would appreciate your little acts of condolences. The ambassador of Wah Lai Toi will soon leave us for good.

dsc01458.jpg

Make no mistakes my fellow comrades, the demise of SLK was not of my doing. Instead, it was the irresponsible action of a 19 year old who had no sense of direction in the state of Melaka that caused SLK to be classified as ‘total loss’. (Yes, it does not seem bad enough to be classified as ‘total loss’ but I’m praying it will be :P ) This 19 year old who was hungry as a ghost at 6.30am decided to go hunting for food in the town of Melaka. Little did this 19 year old realized that the road this 19 year old was on, was in fact a one-way street and this 19 year old was heading in the wrong direction! And coming right up to SLK was a STORM! SLK vs. STORM. SLK could only scream in horror as both SLK and STORM collided.

The idiotic 19 year old survived with 32 stitches on his hand. But sadly, SLK’s injuries was more severe. Whether or not SLK will be classified as a ‘total loss’, SLK will not return to me. SLK has served me for almost 4 years and I will never forget the ups and downs we have gone through together. Just like you will always remember your first love, Small Little Kelisa was my first car.

*sobs sobs* Emotions running uncontrollably. How do you bid farewell to someone so dear?
How? How? How?

*

*

*

Ahh ok cut the crap. It’s all perfect timing. It’s time for a Toyota. Vios? Altis? or Camry? LOL. JK.

Let’s be silent for 1 minute as a sign of last respect to my faithful friend.





Bitten by the travel bug

27 10 2007

Traveling really spoils you.

I’m now struggling with the after-effect of the travelbug syndrome. It makes me lazy. It makes me nostalgic. It makes me detest returning to the normalcy of life.

Worse still when upon touch down at LCCT, I received a call from my superior that I have to settle something this weekend and have it ready by Monday. Sucky way to end 8 days of awesome travel eh?

Nevertheless, life goes on and this is reality. Will definitely cook up a better entry on my travels to Hong Kong, Macau and Kota Kinabalu upon receiving the other half of the photos from my travel buddy. (Realized I did not write an entry on the 30 hour famine camp as informed. Am just too lazy heh).

Till next weekend,
Ciaoz.





FLY

17 10 2007

2 more days! Yea yea yea!!
There’s no denying! I’m born to be a globe trotter! I’m born to trail the earth… to every nook and cranny… to every igloo and teepee… to every river and valley… and to my bed where I shall continue to dream.

I’m a citizen of the world. My world is flat.

p.s.: Awhile ago I got a SMS from AirAsia notifying me of the FOUR HOURS DELAY of my flight from Macau to KK. Damn. I’m not sure if I should commend them for their 8 days early notice or to scream at them for screwing up my plans.

That said, I’m glad I paid peanuts for the air tickets of this trip. So I shall bite my tongue and :) and I shall not let this delay spoil my excitement. Woohoo!!!!

I lurrrve October!! So much buzzzzz…








Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.