Australia and New Zealand Lecture Tour 2008
As always, Laura and I
managed to create some memorable transcending fear experiences in our
month-long trip to Australia and New Zealand. Here are some of the highlights:
Lake Taupo, New
Zealand: Jan 24th-31st, 2008
Made several full-altitude
freefly jumps over the crystal blue lake surrounded by volcanoes and hot
rivers. Swam in one of the hot rivers later that day. Made some friends among
the Maori children hanging out there. They wanted to know if it was "mean" back
where we come from, in Washington D.C. Shocked, we said, actually, quite the contrary, it was quite
nice. Our audience looked completely baffled. Apparently, "mean" carried the
opposite meaning: "nice" or more similarly, "bad" in American pop culture.
We also had to learn to drive all over again, another scary experience that we filmed and have cut together a short video that we know you will love. And, yes, we also have video of the incredible jumps, too!
Already LIVE on our
Transcending Fear YouTube Channel: Http://www.youtube.com/BSGermain
Coolum Beach, Australia Feb 5-8th , 2008:
Body Surfing and Rock
Climbing. Careful bouldering on the slippery rocks in the rain, we waded in the
tide-pools, exploring the ebb zones of the volcanic boulder-field adjacent to
Surf was up on
this volcanic beach-break. We coated ourselves with sun-screen as much as
possible to protect against the ozone hole, and braved the 2-3 meter waves.
Here is what we learned.
1) Do not try to catch yourself on the bottom.
3) Take a deep breath before you go under water.
4) If it is not your wave dive under and through it.
5) When you decide to go for it, commit totally.
` 6) Make your body into the board.
6) Be ready to roll with it when the ride is over.
*Common side effects include: Knee Pain, Sunburn, Bloodshot Eyes, and a bathing suit full of sand.
Toogoolawah, Australia Feb 8-13th, 2008:
13,000 foot hop-n-pops in
the clouds, 2 way formation flying Yes, it's legal to fly parachutes in clouds
in Australia! This is a dangerous thing to do, so we remained
on the edges of the clouds. In the core of the more dense clouds was intense
turbulence the thrashed some of us around to the limits of the system. This is
a parachute test pilot's dream, but not a pleasant ride at all.
Flying in clouds also
opens the door for some off-field landings, but due to good planning combined
with a healthy dose of luck, everyone landed on the airport. I have to admit, I
was completely exhausted. Haven't gotten that drilled by turbulence in quite a
Melbourne, Australia Feb 15th, 2008:
Got a last minute call from tour organizer Darren Griggs that they needed me to be the Master
of Ceremonies for a skydiving Relative Worker's Assn Annual Ball on a
yacht tour of Melbourne
This was Transcending Fear at its best, only a day to prepare for the big event.
I have no idea what I am going to say. No
worries, they said, someone had a suit that they were pretty sure would fit me.
We had to scramble to find a stunning dress for Laura, and shoes for both of
us. Flew into Melbourne, got changed, and the taxi showed up to take us to
the Ball. We managed to keep it all together and the event was a success.
All in all this was an incredible journey that we both would recommend. The countries are incredibly beautiful is so many ways, and the people we met were delightful.
We got to hang out with a great many people down under, and have come to the conclusion that they are a very cool culture. They are mellow at heart and ready to laugh more than most. They drink heartily and eat too many gas station meat pies, but they are another shining reason why I will continue to ask the aliens to abstain from blasting our planet to make way for a space highway. Thank you Australia, and New Zealand, for giving us hope that the human spirit is still alive.
--Brian Germain, March 1st, 2008