I jumped off the cliff and survived. After all the tom-tomming I did in my previous post ‘Go jump’ and the wonderful advice I got from all of you, I managed it. And by the way, the most innovative survival tip wasn’t actually a survival tip but a joke that someone sent me the day before. It came as an email from someone who had found my blog on Blog Adda. And this is how it goes – A man is running along and falls off a cliff – I don’t know why he falls off a cliff, he just does, OK? As he’s falling he manages to grab onto a tree about 15 feet down, growing out from the side of the cliff. Now he’s hanging there and he looks down and sees this 200 feet drop below him, but he knows he’s only 15 feet from the top of cliff. Looking up he cries out for help, “Is there anybody up there?” Much to his surprise he is heard. A voice replies which can only be that of the lord (the reverb has been turned up and there’s too much bass), “Let… go…” The man looks down at the 200 feet drop, and then looking up once more, cries out, “Is there anybody else up there?”
Without further chit chat, check out the crazy jump here on VisitBritainTV.
All these years, I thought that just living life on the edge was good enough. Its only when you leap of the edge do you truly understand the meaning of great. Or, should I say life. Yesterday’s experience has been nothing short of exhilirating. We were out coasteering and cliff jumping in the Pembrokeshire region of Wales. Guided brilliantly by Preseli Venture who have more than 21 years of experience in this field, trust was never an issue. Afterall, basic human psyche of self preservation never lets you jump from a height. It’s with the guidance of John and Libby that most of us managed to take that giant leap of faith.
So, what is Coasteering?
Put some of the craziest things together – rock climbing in sea-cliffs, diving or jumping from a significant height, swimming in swirling waters (cold most of the time) and there, you got Coasteering. I was thrilled with the climbing part and the swimming part. Just that the only way to come down from that height was to jump and that did not particularly appease me. Apart from that, you also get to swim through caves, as waves toss you around, the feeling very similar to being in a washing machine. All in all, you better like the land, you better love the sea and you better be ok flying between the two for a few seconds.
I know that sounds scary. But, I forgot to mention the most difficult task of Coasteering. Try putting on the wet suit, wet suit socks, trainers, extra padding wet suit tights like thing on top, crash helmet and buoyancy jacket using the wiggle and jump method and its the toughest warm up of your life. If you can do that, you can easily jump. Trust me on this.
Once you are all dressed up for the occassion, there is no more preparation that is required. Just follow the tips given below along with pictorial references to get you through a fantastic Coasteering experience.
Step 1 – It’s all about leaving the coast and getting into the water. Scramble along the rocks as waves crash towards you. Take the Sumo wrestler position to battle the waves. Do not get paralysed when you see the huge waves and the small cave. You are wearing a Buoyancy jacket and you will float. Just practice Ninja kicks against the rock walls so that you can kick yourself away from the wall instead of crashing on it. Screaming is aloud as long as its with excitement.
Step 2 – Get to the point where your instructor asks you to leave the water and start climbing. You may just feel like Cliffhanger a couple of times. Your hands may be stung by the barnacles in the rock. (Billions of white blistering barnacles indeed). But, keep going on. There is only one way and that is upwards. Don’t think about how you will be getting down.
Step 3 – Don’t spend too much time on the edge like me thinking about life. I completely understand if you feel the same thing I did, which is – Mind says ok, Body says No, Feet say No bloody way. Just don’t think. Count till three and jump. You can look like a chicken or a trapeze artist when you are jumping, but when you land, make it as straight as you can with your arms in attention position. Sing your national anthem if you want. (check out my attention position when I hit the water)
Step 4 – Swim around. Even better, float around. It’s over. Phew!
Step 5 – If you are in for the washing machine experience, get into the deadend cave with all your buddies and get tossed around like you are in a water roller coaster for a few minutes. When you are tired and craving for Welsh soup, start signalling to your instructors.
And, last but not the least, ensure that the guy who you assign to take the video does it well the first time around. You clearly don’t want to jump a second time. A mightly big thanks to Steve, our genius guide turned pro camera man.
I dedicate this post to the brave cliff jumpers of Australasia, the adventurous bloggers of the Great Welsh Showdown – Yuko from Japan, Aries from Hong Kong, Dongu from Korea, Anthony from Australia, Nellie, Daphne and Lorraine from Singapore.