29 Jul 2007

Diving, like opening champagne or changing a wheel, is one of those skills that you have to have, or sooner or later you're going to get burned.

Still, in most cases you won't be burned in front of Guinness World Record judges and a TV helicopter.

We'd been given a flier on the Zadar Millenium Jump, but everything but the name was in Croatian, so we didn't pay much attention. Once we found the best but of the beach roped off, though, it became a challenge, and we snuck in through a beachfront restaurant.

We'd expected to be kicked out before the main event, but instead were asked, "So, are you jumping with us?" by a friendly official. He pointed out a spot shoulder-to-shoulder with 1500 Croatians and tourists, and explained that as he ran past and tapped us, we were to jump "by the head" dominoes-style into the water.

Directly below us, a metre down, was concrete. A foot out from there was deep sea. But a one metre drop with a possibility of a concrete landing if you really, really screw up is not a good place to learn to dive.

So I jumped with my arms out but my feet down and hoped it was good enough for television. I wasn't the only one.