Easter weekend seemed like an ideal time to go and try to achieve a skydiving goal, but I hadn’t taken into account the fact that the dropzone out at York had organised a big weekend event covering the whole four days, and people had arrived from all over the country to jump there.
The place was packed, and when I arrived on Saturday morning, the manifest board was already filling fast, so I put my name down for one of the empty slots on a load scheduled for about an hour later.
I tracked down the other jumpers on the load, but they were all doing stuff beyond my level of ability, so I was going to have to jump alone, which was a shame, as I much prefer jumping with others.
The jump went okay, and I had fun doing a couple of summersaults and spins, but under canopy it was pretty windy, and I was buffeted about a bit. I misjudged the approach for landing, and went a bit far downwind, and got caught in the turbulence from some trees as I neared the ground.
The parachute got pushed over hard to the right, and dropped quickly, and I thought I might end up in one of the trees, but I managed to keep control, and gently steered to the left, and managed a well-controlled gentle landing.
I was pretty proud of my reactions under a bit of pressure, as things could have ended much more painfully! A couple of the others had also had trouble near the ground, and a few of us elected not to jump anymore until the winds dropped off a bit.
However, there were a lot of more experienced jumpers still happy to keep jumping, and it wasn’t long until it was announced that all loads for the rest of the day were fully booked!! And it wasn’t even lunchtime!
My plan had been to do a few more jumps during the rest of the day, and then in the bar in the evening I hoped to round up a few people to do a nude jump the next morning. But with a whole afternoon to hang around, and no jumping slots available, I decided to give up and head for home, and use the time a little more productively.
Maybe next weekend, when things are a little quieter at the dropzone!