Monterey County isn’t short on beautiful views. But the view from 18,000 feet in the sky, falling toward earth at 120mph? That is a whole new level.
That’s the experience on offer at Skydive Monterey Bay, which operates out of the Marina Airport. Skydiving from this height would normally require an oxygen tank – most “civilians” jump from just 14,000 feet. Skydive Monterey Bay can go higher, however, because the company has a Super King Air 200 airplane, which can reach 18,000 feet in just nine minutes, so no oxygen tank is required. The added height means more time in freefall, too – all in all the freefall lasts for around a minute and a half at about 120mph, an adrenaline-pumping experience. But once the parachute opens, the skydiver can really start to appreciate the views – on a clear day one can see as far as Santa Cruz to the north and Big Sur to the south as one softly returns to Earth. It’s an unforgettable experience. [DD]