Skydiving and getting lost in a farmer’s field

13619847_10153785574821045_3525803638273061271_n

It was my birthday, my mom had agreed to try her first skydive, it was beautiful and warm out – I was pretty freaking pumped.


My mom would be doing a tandem with the instructor who taught me to skydive. Coincidentally, he is also the instructor I desperately do not want to disappoint. At the time I had just over 100 jumps and he offered to let me jump with my first tandem.  I would follow them out of the plane and hang out during the skydive.

13782012_10206598240103893_7046629384961263248_nThere are lots of reasons why this is difficult for a newer skydiver, but the main ones are: tandems fall slow because of the drogue, it is really bad to hit the drogue and general safety around tandem skydiving. It takes some time to be allowed to skydive with a tandem.

While my mom was gearing up, the instructor said, “well aren’t you jumping with us to?” Insert me reverting to a child, “Really? Me? I can come to?”

I hustled off to put on my jumpsuit and my friend, who was also my mom’s videographer on this jump, told me to wear a baggy jumpsuit to slow to the tandem’s speed (the drogue makes tandems fall slow). On went my old purple RW jumpsuit that I really dislike (but hey I picked it up for $60 online). As I pulled it on, I realized I WOULD BE JUMPING with my first tandem.

My friend reminded me to deploy high and NOT track too far, as tandems are the last out of the plane (meaning farther from the dropzone). We geared up and I receive a last reminder to stay the f*** away from the drogue.

13775588_10206598243663982_6930780208025552683_nIn the plane, I was nearly as excited as my mom.  The door opened to blinding sunshine and blue skies. My mom’s tandem and my friend moved towards the door. I jumped last to stay a safe distance on exit.

I dived out and caught up quickly. I flew over and managed to stay on level for most of the skydive! We reached the tandems deployment altitude and off they went under canopy. Success!

I started tracking, as I patted myself on the back for not screwing up the skydive. I continue to track, as we were still high…see the problem here? In a whoosh, I was under canopy and looking at a pair of windmills. In hindsight I was quiet high above, but at the time it was disconcerting.

13769344_10206598251744184_160732136645832763_nI pull on my rear risers to try and hold some altitude, while watching my mom’s tandem fly to the dropzone. I see my friend/videographer working to get back; at least I was not the only one far away.  After about 30 seconds, I realized there was no point in trying with a forest to cross — a potential hazard if I didn’t make it back.  I scanned the fields below and elected to land in plowed field to my right.  It looked like the flattest and safest landing area.

A glance forward showed my mom’s tandem hanging in the air above the dropzone. It appeared that they were watching me land. My friend was just landing – she didn’t track so far away.

I turned into the wind and prepared to land on the unfamiliar ground. My landing was a soft stand up with only a farmer to see. I gathered up my parachute and looked for a way out.  There was a dirt path in front of me, so I jumped a ditch and headed that way. I waved towards the farmer as an apology for my uninvited arrival. He was unfazed and went about his work – apparently a side effect of living near a dropzone.

13718726_10206598292545204_2222584429618289466_nIn my mind this was the most logical route, but the walk down the dirt path towards the house was REALLY long. I was in my huge ugly purple jumpsuit lugging a parachute.

It also happened to be one of the hottest days of the year. And I didn’t take a cellphone, so I couldn’t call the dropzone.  As I trudged along I was wishing for my last off-landing the winter before – who knew I would be missing winter jumping!

I was sure someone from the dropzone would turn up once I was near the road. To my dismay after a few minutes of sweating at the side of the road I had not seen anyone, so I decided to start walking in the right direction. A local stopped and asked if I need a ride back to the dropzone. YES!!

She looked nice, like she probably would not kill me, so in I jumped in with all my gear. 13614943_10206598302985465_6495955830579968837_nAnd there was air conditioning!

I told her all about my mom’s first skydive. I said thank you and off she went.  My mom was waiting, fairly unconcerned as they had seen me land and excited to tell me about the experience.  It was a success!

It turns out the owners had been driving around looking for me closer to the road I landed near, so we missed each other.  The owner/pilot nonchalantly told me to remember to deploy higher and track less next time I jump with a tandem.  It looked like no one, but I, was concerned with my inability to reach the dropzone.

skydive

The dot is where I was supposed to land. The X is where I landed. The circle with an X is where I deployed my parachute. If you go south from the X you will see the road I walked down towards the main road. 


I hope you enjoyed my misadventure. It turned out to be a great experience for my mom and it is a quirky little story to remember the day by. Although it turned out safely, there are always good lessons to take away:

  • Deploy higher with tandems
  • Track less with tandems
  • Watch where I am in free fall
  • Jump with a cell phone
  • At least I am confident I can land safely!

 

3 Comments on “Skydiving and getting lost in a farmer’s field

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Cheaper than Therapy

7 months lone travel around the world

There and Back Again... a Gecko's Tale

For those that want to know the ins and outs of the Dec Blakey 16/17 season, read on! Instagram: dec.blakey Facebook: Dec Blakey Skype: declan.blakey Email: declanblakey@hotmail.co.uk

Day Day's Life

A dose of love, happiness and sometimes a little sarcasm

Of Wonders & Wanders

A gypsy scribbler's musings & ruminations

Amr Monjid

A traveler, life experimenter, programmer, cycler, blogger, and soon a skydiver

Territory Mama

~ shop small ~ play large ~ travel often ~

a broad life

one life. three continents. endless possibilites.

Brave Explorer

A Badass Human Guide to Backpacking and All Things Nature

endless blue sky

a collection of travel stories by Amritta

Your mountain is waiting

Un día sin risa es un día perdido

Autumn Peal Media

DIY Video Production and Photography

The Campervan Man

One Man, One Van and No Plan.

hikeminded

Hiking. Photos. MYOG. Ultralight Gear. Thoughts. Out in the woods.

David's Photography

Casual Photographer

Channel Island Chick

Running, reading, and random things in between

Daniel Otis

journalist / photographer

quietwalkblog

Life Expanding

Olympus Mountaineering

Outdoor Adventures in Greece

Magazu Travelling

on my own little adventure

Something to Ponder About

Writing about Travel, Traditional Art, Food and Wisdom

About Photography, Outdoor Fun, Food, Music, and Other Stuff.

Bulldog's all about enjoying life. A dash of Sports and Politics thrown in for flavor.

the4yearitch

some kind of pilgrimage

hiwaymapby Natkritta

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” — Albert Einstein

Himadri Negi

A girl in the city with her heart in the mountains

Unhidden America

Discover. Experience. Share.

%d bloggers like this: