Last year while visiting the resort town of Royan on the French Atlantic coast I made several friends from Royan’s school of parachuting. They invited me to see them skydiving. It was great to see them performing all sorts of acrobatics in the air. Since then I went back several times just for the pleasure of seeing my friends jumping and of course for enjoying the parties afterwards. I loved the environment; it is like a big family where everybody knows each other. Every body gets dressed and undressed in the same open hangar which also serves as a living room, parachute folding area, bicycle garage and nursery for the children.
My children too, loved the place, running around the aeroplanes, seeing the skydivers land with their colourful parachutes, playing around while waiting for their parents to jump, barbeques at the fall of dawn and much more.
Skydivers come here from all over France and Europe, some to experience the thrill of their first jump while others come to improve their skills.
That is how for more than a year I faced the temptation to skydive. I had attempted to do it a couple of times before but I always got “cold feet” at the last minute. But finally my time came and I did it. Much to my surprise all my fears had disappeared and I was very reassured about the jump as my Tandem “jumpmaster” Francis Joinville, is the best at the sport. With more than 22000 jumps under his belt, an experienced Army man, and the experience of having captained the French Skydiving team for several years I gathered that I had nothing to fear with him.
You can learn more about my first skidiving experience here.