1, 2, 3..... Bungee

Trip Start Sep 01, 2010
Trip End Jun 18, 2011

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

'A massive shout out and thank you to all my past colleagues at Fugro and especially Niels, Andrew and Mark for simply the best possible leaving present ever, it beats the pants off scaling Mt Fugro .... if you haven't seen the pics, don't ask Health & Safety would have a field day.'

As you may have noticed if you have read any of our previous blog entries, they all appear to have been written by Hayley. Basically I am not the most descriptive, nor coherent person when it comes to writing and I easily get distracted, meaning it takes me half a day just to write one paragraph and so I normally just shout random events from the day to Hayley and she attempts to form some sort of structured content from it that makes sense for me to upload along with a few pics.  Well today I am determined to write this entry by myself even if it is now Sunday and it has taken me four days to get this far.

We arrived at A J Hackett's main booking office at about 9:30 this morning, in the middle of
Queenstown and presented them with the gift certificate that I had received from work to do the
Nevis Bungee Jump.  I expected to be told that I would need to book for in a couple of days time, only to my surprise to find that there was an available place in 15 min, followed by the daft question, "would you like to do it".....Duh yeah.  All that was left was to sign my life away on all of their disclaimers, check that my travel insurance would pay out, (not that there is much point, not like I'm gonna be making much of a claim if it goes wrong) and got weighed in, (this is prior to probably loosing close to a stone sitting on the loo).  The jump site is about 30K out of town and on private land, with a closed access road, so we ended up paying a bit extra for Hayley to come and watch and ride the cable car/basket over to the launch platform.  As she is the main recipient of my life insurance she was more than happy to come along for the ride, until she remembered that she is terrified of heights.  I'm stood there telling her that it's OK, she can do it, one step at a time.  So much for being there to support me, she was terrified and she's not even the one jumping. 

Anyway we climbed onto the shuttle bus from town with two other jumpers from the UK and drove for about 35min to the site.  The last 10min of the journey was a thrill in itself as we went off road and climbed a mountain at 45 degrees, doing handbrake turns around the muddy corners, until we reached the summit and could see the launch site appearing ahead of us.  I am not sure who was more nervous me or Hayley.  Before I knew it I was re-weighed (like I said, to check how much we had crapped out on the journey), fitted into a harness and ever so slightly castrated, making sure that the harness was a snug fit.  The platform that you do the jump from is suspended in the middle of a canyon, supported only by a series of cables fixed into the walls of the two facing mountains.  Because of this the only way to get out to it is in a glorified shopping basket that is connected to one of the supporting cables.  This is the part of the day that Hayley had been dreading, like I mentioned she isn't great with heights and god only knows how she got on the planes coming out here, if she she could have flapped her arms in the aisles in the aim of helping the plane to fly she would have.  But all that said all-in-all she wasn't that bad and we both got clipped into the cable car and made our way out to the platform fairly smoothly.  As you arrive you realise just how much the whole platform is swaying in the wind and spot the tiny ledge that you have to balance on with both your legs tied together....'sugar' or words to that effect.  Before I knew what was happening I was on the platform, my legs were being tied together and lucky me, my name was at the top of the list out of the three of us jumping.  It had been my plan to watch someone else jump first, but before I knew what was happening I was sitting in what looked like an old dentist's chair and the bungee cord was being attached to my legs.  I felt surprisingly calm at this stage, even if Hayley was in hysterics behind the safety barrier as I shuffled my way over to the edge.  This was the hardest part of the whole jump, standing on the edge of the platform as the wind rocks the whole thing side to side, while I am stood there trying to keep my balance with nothing to hold on to.  At the same time I'm stood there bewildered looking out at the horizon ahead and half listening to some safety thing about 'on the second bounce, pull the red cable out of your feet to self-right'.

....3...2...1 and like a lemming I jump.  No hesitation, arms stretched out, simply the biggest
adrenaline kick I have ever experienced, no rollercoaster has ever come close.  Everything is in
slow motion and then bang it hits me like a ton of bricks, I am totally airborne, both my feet
have just felt the platform and for a split-second I can hear Hayley scream from behind me.  What the feck am I doing!  I have never felt adrenaline change into pure fear so quickly as I spend the next eight seconds hurtling towards the ground.  Your natural reaction is that 'I am falling and this is generally not a good thing to be doing'.  You are going against every natural instinct and until you feel the bungee cord kick in behind, you forget that your feet are tied securely to it.  The adrenaline returns, the fear goes away and the cord reaches its full extent with me still looking face down at the river below me, before being shot back up skyward.  It is at this stage that I vaguely remember something about pulling a red cord on my second bounce, so I do.  Strange I am still upside down, I'll pull a bit harder.... still upside down.  As I grab the cord with both hands and really give it a good yank, there is a moment of panic as I realise that there are actually two red cords attached to me and one of them is my safety cord.  But not to worry, I had the right one, the bold just got a little jammed and I self-right enjoying the view as I get winched back up to the platform to meet a very pale looking Hayley.

How was the experience as a whole?  Incredible, one of the most defining thing that I have done
in my life and an adrenaline kick like none I have ever experienced.  Would I do it again?  In
the blink of an eye, but maybe I'll try a few other things before I do, the world is a big place
after all and there are plenty of other things for me to do.
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Maria on

I can't believe it! My heart was in my mouth and you didn't even stop to think but immediately nonchalantly threw yourself off the platform on the count of three. Well done!!!! Dad says did you get his message saying 'Awwwwesommmme!!!'
Love you lots. xxxxxxx

lisa on

bonkers, bonkers, bonkers - loving hayleys running commentary sh*t, f@ck, ha ha !!!

Haze on

You must be nuts!! watching u on that platform is enough to make me feel ill.
Lots of love to u both, dont need to say have a good time do I. xx haze

Niels Jensen on

Excellent! But can I ask you guys to put back the video with Tom Jumping?
Staff at work want to see him fly :)

Jordan on

Fair play Tom, I really couldn't do something like that if my life depended on it !! Well done, hope all is going well for you both :)

MAC on


rach on

well done tom watched while we were away ! are you stark raving bleeding bonkers or what xxxx

tomandhayley on

Hey, Video should still be up there, think its the first image on the left in with the text. Got an official video to upload at some time in the future which looks nuts coz the film it from above and from a camera mounted on the mountain. But its in vob format at the moment so when I get round to converting it I'll upload it and give you a shout. Went to Albert St in Dunedin ystrday 'the steep one' Hayley really didnt like it.

stephconway on

This made my feet sweat with nervousness just watching the video! I sooo wanna do this when if I get to NZ, I bet it won't be anywhere near as good in Oz!

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