I take each jump one at a time, learn something and have a great time!

Skydive Weekend

Over this past weekend, I drove down to Orlando, Florida and on Friday, July 18th, I went and did 30 minutes in the SkyVenture Orlando wind tunnel with coach Martin from and James with whom I’ve skydived with countless times.

I was set to work on free flying and nothing else.  Martin started me out back flying, which is something I’ve never done.  I eventually got the hang of it, but still not well enough this day to put it all together.  I then shifted to my feet and tried a little sit flying in the tunnel.  Lots of mistakes and tips from Martin and I was done with my wind tunnel time.

On Saturday, I headed to Lake Wales to skydive with friend, Aaron, who lives about five miles from there.  We ended up getting in four jumps consisting of belly flying and track dives.  Getting the RW suit on,  walking around with the gear on, then jumping landing, walking back and repacking my canopy made me realize just how hot and uncomfortable Florida can be!

Jump #132
Aaron and I jumped with some of his other buddies at Lake Wales.  This was a 7way and I was suppose to dock on another jumpers foot.  I had to dive head down to catch up as I was one of the last ones out.  As I got down to the group I leveled out and waited as I did not want to dock until the middle of the formation was formed.  During my waiting time, I sank out and tried everything but couldn’t get back up.  I was simply falling faster.  I ended up hanging to the outside of the group watching them.  Tip? Well I should probably have leveled off a bit higher than the skydivers who were forming up the inside of the formation.  I could have then stepped in and down to my spot as needed.  That was good advice.

Jump #133
Another RW jump with one less person making this a 6way.  We docked, broke up the group into two 3 ways.  Each 3 way had a center skydiver with two taking side docks on him/her.  The goal was for us to spin them around and have the two center skydivers join back up.  Not only did we all do a great job, but we were able to complete all of the skydive including the big round.

Jump #134
Aaron and I decided to do a tracking dive.  We exited the plane last, flew our dive staying safely away from everyone and had a great time!  I believe this was Aaron’s first tracking dive, or maybe he said it was his pre-second? 😉

Jump #135
The last load of the day at Lake Wales was a big tracking dive.  We all exited and chased the leader who back quite well.  We were dropped off about a mile outside the airport and all had fun tracking back.  My opening was very rough, but I was able to pull it together and grab a sweet landing next to the pond!

Saturday night Aaron and I drove to Zephyrhills, FL.  When we saw it was so quiet, we continued on to Tampa and decided to grab some beers.  We had fun, drank a few beers and crashed back at the hotel before driving to Skydive City (Zephyrhills, FL).

Jump #136
Aaron and I were talking about sit flying and since Aaron is now flying camera, he decided to give it a try, as we all think its a good idea to fly multiple positions in order to ensure a good quality video is attained.  I switched between back flying and sit flying to vary my speed, trying to keep myself from falling too fast or slow as Aaron tumbled around the sky.  He actually did get the sit for a couple seconds….in a few more jumps he’ll be out flying me in the sit.

Jump #137
2way sit fly with Aaron.  This time we locked legs.  It didn’t end up too bad.  I was trying to tell Aaron to lean forward as his torso and upper legs were not 90 degrees.  I didn’t do a good job keeping things stable as I had hoped.  I’ll have to give it a go next time.

At Zephyrhills, we only did two jumps.  Partially because repacking any faster would have made me pass out from the heat.  And I had to drive back to Orlando for 30 more minutes of tunnel time.

Tunnel Session #2 – Sit Fly

I worked on my sit and back fly.  During the first 15 min. session, I wiped out hard, doing a head down and knocking my head against the side of the tunnel.  Oops!  I felt that I was getting it, but then my body said no more and I couldn’t get/keep my arms down against the air.  I was physically spent.  Next time…and before next time I’m getting on a more strict workout plan to build strength and endurance.

I drove part of the way back to Atlanta Sunday night, stopping when I grew tired, picking up the rest of the trip on Monday.

This turned out to be an excellent trip.  I was worried about the weather; afternoon showers in Florida, but both weekend days it never rained.  We were lucky I guess! 🙂


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