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Skydiving over Monterey Bay offers an adrenaline rush and incredible views.

Good afternoon.

Personal photographer Daniel Dreifuss here. I’m not usually the type to write, but recently I had an amazing experience that needed to be shared.

Monterey County has no shortage of great views. Whether hiking or driving, this picturesque county is a sight. But the sight from 18,000 feet in the sky, falling to earth at 120 mph? It’s a whole new level.

Thursday September 30, I was woken up (as usual) by my puppy, Rio Oso Puppyface. I fed her and took her out, then got dressed and left for the marina airport. Once I arrived, I was taken to an old shed with a sign that said “Skydive in Monterey Bay. ”

That’s right, despite my colleagues’ disbelief, I was going to jump out of a perfectly good plane.

After signing some papers I was introduced to my instructor Christian Perez, a veteran who has been jumping from a plane for over 20 years. I immediately felt at ease. He was very clear on safety instructions, hand signals, and full of confidence and heartwarming words of wisdom. I was joined by three other Hollister jumpers, only one of whom had skydived before. They were as motivated and ready as I was. Christian checked our harnesses one by one, then we were ready to go.

There were 16 paratroopers in total that day and we went as a group — I was in the second jump group. When the first group got on the plane and took off, my group was loaded onto a bus and transferred to the landing pad. We saw the first group fall from the sky and float to the surface of the Earth. There were smiles, cheers, applause and laughter all around from the first paratroopers as they landed.

Perez landed with his first jumper, grabbed another parachute and I came to ask if I was ready to go. I said yes and we got on the plane. It was a clear day and the views were amazing – I could see Santa Cruz and Big Sur as we climbed to the jump height of 18,000 feet. Skydiving from this height would normally require an oxygen tank – most “civilians” jump from just 14,000. Skydive Monterey Bay can go higher, I’m told, because the company has a Super King Air 200 aircraft, which can reach 18,000 feet in just nine minutes, so no oxygen tank is needed (insert science here).

The 10 minute ride was pretty quick. Perez tied me behind my back, did some security checks, and explained how to awkwardly walk to the plane door.

And then it was time to jump! (And it’s time to prove my colleagues wrong.) We got to the door of the plane to see our videographer / photographer Joey Allen (who is a member of the Team Canada skydiving team) hanging off the side. from the plane while waiting for Pérez’s signal.

Annnnddddd we were falling… Perez put us in a fast 360 watching the sun to watch this perfectly good plane take off. We stabilized ourselves, looked up and saw Joey recording. My adrenaline was skyrocketing as we ran through the air. Overall, the free fall lasted about a minute and a half at around 120 mph.

Finally Perez gave me the signal to pull the chute. And with a light tug, the parachute opened and we slowed down. I took a deep breath, removed my safety glasses, and enjoyed the steady pace down to the floor. The views were incredible, the adrenaline rush was unreal and the experience was unforgettable.

Skydive Monterey Bay provides videos and photos for skydivers-it’s an extra, but worth it. For more information and to plan your own jump, visit their website.

-Daniel Dreifuss, personal photographer, [email protected]

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