Sky diving with Sky Dive Playa in Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, Mexico
You might ask yourself, why would anyone want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane? A military mission perhaps? It's a question that's been asked countless times and one that was running through my mind as I sat perched on the edge of the Cessna 182's open door. The simple answer was, because I wanted to (I'll do just about anything for Locogringo) and beacuse I figured I would survive it and then could cross it off my list of things to do before I die. And you know what? It was way cool!
Gary and I are always looking for new things to experience here in the Riviera Maya so we can bring you new ways to spice up your vacation. Granted, skydiving is probably the most outrageous option we've come up with so far but if you're into it, what better place to do it than just off the beach in Playa del carmen, with an incredible view of Playa's white street grid, the blue Caribbean, cotton ball clouds, and the Yucatan's green jungle carpet rolling off to the west?
Ok, I'll do it
Once I decided to go for it I found out that conditions need to be just right for the jump. Obviously, there can't be any storms in the vicinity but more than that, the wind needs to be from the east (on-shore) in order to insure that the wind is not working against you when you're trying to land on the beach.
I jumped with Sky Dive Playa, located just around the corner from Señor Frogs, by the ferry dock in Playa del Carmen. Sky Dive Playa is owned by Michel Alvarez who was to be the pilot for my jump. These guys have been doing this for years with a perfect safety record, and they are fully trained and licensed by the United States Parachute Association (USPA).
My day started with a full briefing and choreographed rehearsal of getting through the door, and proper free-fall body position. Raul was my jumpmaster. He has somewhere around 5000 safe jumps and exudes confidence and knowledge. He kept it simple for me; briefing me only on what I needed to know to make a safe jump tandem with him. That means he has the parachute (actually two: a primary and a emergency chute) and you don't. I was clipped tight to him. This is not a course in how to free fall. A tandem jump with a jumpmaster is comparable to an introduction to scuba diving session where you get the basics in order to experience what skydiving is like. I have to say, it's one of the most amazing things I have ever done.
getting ready to fly
Michel, the owner of Sky Dive Playa, was our pilot
One small step and...