Monday, January 22, 2007

Macau III – The Jump

In continuation of Macau II, having already been bungee jumping 3 times and sky diving once, I was pretty eager to try out the Sky Jump. Actually when I looked into the AJ Hackett services in Macau a few months ago, they were not offering bungee jumping as yet so that was not even an option at the time. I came to Macau with the intention of trying something different. A Sky Jump is what I would define at a very controlled freefall. A harnessed jumper is tied to a cable that streams out of the mechanism pictured below. It some sort of gas powered real that controls the rate at which the jumper falls. It is pretty damn big so I felt secure. The cable however was not as thick as I would have imagined but it was some solid metal.


Before getting out on the platform Charlie (from Ohio) made sure I was well strapped up. The crew at the center was awesome. Their chilled out nature and calm demeanor would not permit any nervous jumper to get freaked out. They were focused on their work and still very friendly. For a first timer jumping can be a very intimate experience so it is advisable to patronize a reputable center. I was more excited than nervous really, and the guys there actually advised me to go for the bungee. They had just recently started the service and the experience was supposed to be phenomenal. But I was really keen on experiencing a Sky Jump. All strapped I stepped up to the edge of the rig and looked down to the ground below.



I can’t say if I really felt any fear at that point as I am quite comfortable with heights, and I knew I had a whole team of people to make sure I was safe. But I did start to feel the rush. Right when you are at the edge and there is a person behind you counting down for the jump, there can be no hesitation, do or die! I love the place my brain goes to at this point, it is like everything shuts down and I am just me. I fell forward and my heart skipped a beat. That falling feeling is the most amazing thing, and just as I felt the rush, it stopped. I fell only 5 meters maybe and came to a dead stop. It was actually a planned stop. All jumps stop there for a photo op before continuing a controlled fall the ground below. I was actually very curious how I would feel hanging there so far above the ground, from a string. That is something I have seen people do on Fear Factor a number of times and I did not know how I would react.



It was pleasant hanging out there off the edge of the building. I wish it was a clearer day and I could enjoy the view, but it was satisfying enough to just hang there. As I mentioned before, when skydiving the harness was extremely uncomfortable. I could not wait to get out of the chute once the freefall was over, but in this case I was very comfortable. The straps went over my shoulders, around my waist, and between my legs. Hanging there from a single cable I felt like my whole body was supported. None of limbs felt weighted or restricted and none of the straps were cutting into my flesh. So after hanging there for about 30 seconds I commenced to fall towards the ground. It was like a pleasant ride to enjoy the fresh air and the view. The rush was over quickly but none the less it was an experience. In retrospect I probably would have enjoyed the bungee a lot more. I did not feel a real adrenaline rush because just as my heart lurched it stopped from going straight to my throat. There was no exhilarating feeling of falling. And as always it always feels like it is over too fast. What I really would want to try is something like base jumping where the safety is slightly uncertain. That way you are relying on your own setup. But the Sky Jump was worth the effort and the trip for the experience of it. I even got a little certificate after the jump, but I lost it already. I went back up to the top of the tower to retrieve my back pack and return the nifty jump suit I had on. I contemplated doing the bungee because I felt short of the fix I needed but after much deliberation I decided to save that for my next trip. I returned to the base of the jump and planted myself at the conveniently located Madeira Café. From there I could watch the other jumpers while I sipped on a big glass of Jack and Coke.



The Madeira Café would actually be a cool place to stop before your jump and pay up for a few drinks so that when you drop you can walk over and have a shot and a smoke right away. But you can’t carry anything on the way down so that is why it would be better to make a plan before you climb up. They have a great menu for food as well. My mission was a success and looking back, that is probably the most exciting experience I have had in the last month here in China. The next time you are in the area, I would highly recommend, ‘Getting High in Macau’…

6 comments:

Shan said...

WICKED!!!! And you totally deserved the drink after :D

AmitD said...

damn dude... another on my list of to do's.

kubolo bway said...

sweet!

Avi said...

Amit, Ill save the bungee experience for when you get your ass out here.

Anonymous said...

nod of approval

AmitD said...

Am there for sure... count on it.