On Saturday 24th September Jacqueline Shephard took part in a parachute jump from an airfield in Norwich in memory of her son Neill.
The Skydive/Tandem Parachute jump was totally AMAZING! I had such a brilliant day weather wise it just couldn’t have been better. Not a cloud in the sky and a gentle breeze. We got to the heliport for 9.00 as instructed and I was whisked off for my ten minute ‘training’ session. i.e. cross your arms and ankles, do as you’re told and enjoy! I was completely determined to enjoy the experience right from the start and didn’t feel at all nervous. A jumpsuit appeared at my feet, next thing I know I’m stepping into a harness and walking to the plane!
We flew out over Lowestoft and as it was such a clear day I could see right round the coast – Gt Yarmouth harbour and the outline of the coast stretching north. It was absolutely beautiful – even the the normally grey North Sea looked a stunning azure blue. Not quite Indian Ocean but pretty impressive.
A few more instructions from my tandem mate before they opened the roller shutter door and the first pair disappeared out of the side. We were second so I didn’t have time to to worry about it before the tap on the shoulder and the bum shuffle to the doorway. So there I am – dangling outside, while he prepares himself and that’s it – OUT! We tumbled over but it was great, still no nerves.. another tap on the shoulder, into freefall position and enjoying the view! Wow! Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!!
A few more photos and all too soon the cameraman gave a wave and fell away whilst our parachute was released and we travelled back up again. What follows is peace and tranquillity, a bird’s eye view of my beautiful native county of Norfolk. The different colours and contours of the fields below me and a beautiful clear blue sky above me. There was even a crop maze configured like a goddess’s head which was pretty awesome. It’s quite emotional and spiritual.
It’s all over so quickly, the descent seemed to take no time at all and I could see my family waiting for me on the ground. The landing was easy – just had to let him do all the work!
I think I was still up there for rest of the day and even now it’s nice to remember how wonderful the experience was. Such a privilege to defy nature, go somewhere and see something from a perspective that we humans are not supposed to see. In half an hour I realised a dream, celebrated what would have been Neill’s 30th birthday and raised in excess of £600.00 for the CRY charity. Quite humbling really.