Sunday, September 18, 2016

Travel Journal: Cliff Jumping at South Point

What do I look for in a health insurance plan? Apparently, one that covers activities such as cliff jumping. I never thought I would jump off a cliff - but now I’ve jumped off two! I sure don’t have the desire to end it all and the only other reason one would willingly jump is for the thrill of it and that’s so not like me. Alas, there are only so many things to do in Hawai’i and cliff jumping is just one of the things people do for sport around here. As terrifying as it can be, I’m not going to start sitting on sidelines now.


The first time I jumped was at South Point, which is the southern-most point in the 50 United States. It was a long dusty drive through horse and cattle fields to get to the cliffs. Adrenaline junkies in trucks and jeeps sped past us on the glorified one-way road that led to the ocean. When we got there, me and two guys and one pup, we cracked a beer and passed it around. Step one to cliff jumping: liquid courage.


I told them I was going to go ahead because I needed time to psych myself up. A couple steps away was the southern edge of the entire landmass that is Hawaii. This edge is 40 feet straight down into deep blue ocean. Dotting the edge were fishing rigs, like the kind you use to haul an 400 pound animal out of the sea. The effect was kind of ominous. I imagined the sea or some inhabitant of it getting revenge on me after my abrupt disruption of the peace.


Then I peered over and the sight couldn’t be more welcoming. Several happy people floated on the calm waters below. They jumped, they survived, and the adrenaline wasn’t even enough to keep them roused. They just floated and bobbed peacefully in the water like it was nothing at all. Step two to cliff jumping: visualize the reward.


Shortly, my friends made there way over. They wasted no time. One did a gainer, which involves running forward and then flipping backwards. The other dove head first. They did it over and over. The pup whimpered on the edge presumably because she wanted to play too. Step three to cliff jumping: FOMO.


Before I even knew what was happening, I was standing in my bikini on a little ledge with a crowd of people around me and cameras shooting video from every angle. I knew the more of a big deal I made this, the more attention and expectations would surround me. My friend started lecturing me about his phone battery draining fast. I swear, I hadn’t been stalling for more than 10 minutes. But the faces all around looked either bored, annoyed, or just as freaked out as I looked. Final step to cliff jumping: peer pressure.


I pulled my arms back and swung them forward; once, twice and on the third swing I was in the air. Two seconds later my toes pierced the water and I plummeted down into the salty blue. It was exhilarating! I mean other than the instant wedgie and deep sinus cleanse, it was such a great feeling!

10 out of 10, would play again, would recommend! I liked it so much, I did it twice!





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