Its the first chance i get to jump since before xmas 😀 and i have a beer fine before i even get to the drop zone 😀 its early, just gone 8am, and ill be on the first lift. Its cold, but, over cristmas, i stocked up on thermal layers, so under 2 layers of thermals, normal tracksuit, thick hoody and a jumpsuit, im toasty warm. its nice to see everyone again, and a few things ive been asking about on the forums about equipment have been explained to me, then, its time to board the plane. I dont know if im scared, or excited, but i like it, i have a jump planned out in my head, and ill be the 3rd one to jump.
On the climb to jumping height i enjoy the views, the plane goes around at 7000 feet to let out a ‘ground rush’ jump, and from here i think about what im going to practise on the way down, mainly thinking about my landing and canopy ride. 11,000 feet, goggles on, and a few mins later, people are leaving, then, its my turn, and the feeling from earlier is completley gone, and without an hesitation i dive out of the door and curl up into a ball, im flying again, this is awesome :D. i do a few backflips, and a bit of tracking, before deploying my parachute at ~ 3,500 feet.
the canopy seems to be taking a very long time to open, im watching it all unfold, its following the usual steps that i see, but it just seems to be taking for ever to get fully inflated. a little worried that i may be experiencing my first malfunction, i check my altimeter, as im aware that im not falling at full speed, and im just above 3,000 feet. I reach for the steering toggles, knowing that flaring them sorts out the ‘end cell closure’ issues, which this looks like a double whammy version, and at the same time looking where my emergency handles are, just in case. I flare the toggles, and the canopy fully inflates, i do another 2 just for good measure, and make my way to the holding area.
I plan out where i want to land, try to get a feel for the wind, and then at 1000 feet, start my descent to the landing area, and i already know im not going to get to the point i want to reach. I’ll still be on the landing area, but, ill be about 100 yards short of my intended ‘target’. I get lined up into the wind, come in to land, then flare slightly too high, so land with a slight bump, roll it off, and feel awesome about my first jump of 2014 😀