Time for me to start catching up around here. Â The last few weeks have been a blur of jumps leading up to my recent 300th, but before I get ahead of myself, let me start with where the the story last left off…
The Inaugorial Jump for Diabetes at Canton Airsports in Ohio! Â I’d been looking forward to this weekend and a chance to really come down and get to know a new dropzone after having had a brief introduction a few weeks previous. Â And as expected, I came away with a lot of new skydiving friends that I’ll be looking forward to jumping with again. Â At first take Saturday morning, things weren’t looking to well. We had expected a Caravan to be flying loads by 10AM, so after waking up to get there bright and early, we were disappointed to hear the Caravan had been delayed due to maintenance and would not be arriving until 2PM.
So with 4 hours to spare, we had time to plan the best ever four-way dive. Â Then someone asked to join, so we planned the best ever five-way dive. Â Then someone asked to join… and yes, we went to a 6 way then 7 way, before finally settling on an 8 way before the plane finally arrived at almost 5PM!! Â The finally dive started with a BFR (Big Fucking Round) then with two going into a two way base, with four people sidebodied off the base, with two stingers on either side, next point the stingers come into the be the base, the satelites turn 90’s to sidebody the new base, and the old base backs out to be the next stingers! Â It’s a fun dive when it goes well, lucky for us that day it’s also fun when it doesn’t go well! Â Luckily that video I forgot to turn off so I didn’t upload it.. it’s one for the personal archieves!
Next was a three way cat fly-arounds with Ashley and Fuzzy. Â Log book entry says simply enough “Exit Good”. Â This shows why you need to keep positive pressure on a grip (don’t pull/hang on it) else when you let go of the grip, you’ll fly off backwards!
Next up was a fun two-way with Ashley, basically, the goal was just to play keep way, and no – she never caught me 🙂 Â Of course today, now wearing her booties for a few jumps, she seems to think she could catch me.. that will be a jump for another day!
The next morning started with a fun five-way with me, Ashley, and a few new guys we had met there, Dennis, John, & John. They each easily outnumbered me in jumps and experience, and I think both me and Ashley were able to learn a lot from the dives we did that day with them. Â In the first one, I know we had a dive plan, but Ashley was determined to come onto my side of the formation at exit, so the rest of us did a bit of improv to keep the rest of the jump going.. spider, round, open accordian… who says it has to be slot specific anyway!
After the previous success – aww shit, I showed you the video, didn’t I? Â We decided to increase our odds by adding three more into the mix, enter Fuzzy, Dave, and Don. Â Now I won’t name names.. but found it rather funny (actually hilarious really) that the ONLY person that went low on this jump, was the 50 jump wonder who swore he needed five pounds of lead to keep up with us.. Â As an extra challenge to myself, as the group exits, you can hear my turn and give a two count before I followed.
Next we decided to downsize again and tried to be serious. Â Down to just Me, Ashley, Dennis, Fuzzy, John, & John. I think we did a lot better. Â The spider exit came off the door so well, I actually went low anticipating I’d have to catch up with a tumbling mess, but once I got back into the formation (on the second attempt – first try I almost came up under the formation, I had to back out and come up a second time) we got a three way donut, each with a single whacker, then the donuts released and we flew each donut/whacker pair into the reverse with the previous whacker become part of the next donut (yes, I know this probably sounds really confusing for my non-skydiving audience – more reason to come jump and learn!) then we got into a round before breakoff.
After that success (yes, we finally had a success!) we decided to debrief and try the same jump again, which once again, went off much better. Â The next exit didn’t go quite as smoothly, and by time the formation built I was on the wrong side of it, none the less, I think we had a good jump, and a good end to a great weekend of jumping.
This post would note be complete with out mentioning Rich Simenc. Â The Jump for Diabetes was of course hosted by Canton Airsports, but it was the brainchild of Rick – he spent many months organizing and recruiting venders, supporters, donators; he sold raffle tickes, 50/50 tickets, and jumped his a** of (as he had many people donating on a “per jump” basis).
All in all, after the prizes were paid out, he was able to make close to a $5,000 donation to the American Diabetes Association. Â I salute your efforts Rick and as you know, I among many have already volunteered to both attent and assist in the 2nd Annual Jump for Diabetes next year – just let us know when, where, and what you need us to do!