Tag Archives: Skydiving

Qualified!

Maybe the shortest post in the world.

I’m off out in a second, but before then…I went to the parachute club this morning, hoping the wind would stay down to do a practice then hopefully a registered qualifying jump.

Got on the second lift, kitted up nervously, but thought it didn’t matter if it went wrong as it was only a practice. So I did a nice dive exit, stabilised, turned right 360, left 360, checked altitude, backlooped (went slightly sideways, but it was fine), checked altitude again, waved off, turned 180, tracked for 3 seconds, stabilised, checked altitude and had loads. Since it was a practice, I had 4000ft. left to play in, so turned again, tracked a bit, stabilised, waved off and pulled at 4000ft. Nice landing, everything.

Back at the sheds, I was well happy, put my name up for a proper go, started packing, got called over by Jane, ran through the jump, she confirmed all i’d said (she was observing through the biggest binoculars known to man) and wrote in my book that that was that…QJ over, all splendid.

Then the wind got up, a student was taken off the next lift, I took his place and thus completed my first jump as a licensed skydiver. A-license, done. Bring on the next stage! Right, time to go.

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A quick, disappointing, Sunday

An odd day. I awoke reasonably early, thought i’d sack off skydiving, had breakfast then changed my mind. So I toddled off to the club, put my name down for my practice qualifying jump and waited. Got in the air about half 10, jump went perfectly, the cloud rolled in so I left to have some lunch and predictably couldn’t settle, so went back.

Now the pattern seems to be I mess up jumps in the afternoon. And today was no different.

Feeling slightly subdued now.

The first points went perfectly. Stable on exit, 360 right turn followed by 360 left, all complete by 6500ft. Backloop was ever so crisp and sharp, stable, alti on just under 6000. Waved off, turned 180 perfectly, went into the track position and started going in circles instead. Balls. So, adjusted my shoulders to no avail, knew time was passing so came out, stabilised and pulled, glimpsing my alti just under 3000ft. Too low, but not a real crime.

I thought.

I was putting turns under canopy at 2250ft, landed nicely, then the grief began. I’m being pilloried from all quarters for opening late, the lowest guess was pulling at just above 2000ft and, with me not being in the mood to argue (well, i’d once again proved to myself that when something matters to me I mess it up and fail. Can’t seem to achieve success at any of the things that would really improve my life, so I was already wondering how long my state of dejection would take to clear), I stated my case, apologised to those that matter, looked on in bemusement at the faces of those that didn’t while they made their noises, and looked forward to getting home.

So, if I can summon the spirit to face more grief, next week will be another attempt. Takes the shine off a good weekend jumping, really, as though it’s a serious thing i’m meant to be so intense about it’s beyond enjoyment until i’m an expert. Balls. When it gets that dear to me, please remind me and i’ll give up.

Oh well, exercise has just been completed, i’m going for my mile run now (legs feel a touch freer, i’ll still do just a mile, though).

Probably won’t blog tomorrow as i’ll be leaving work early to go out until late…will have to tie in Juneathon with a run to the station (0.7 miles each way…is that 0.7 miles twice, or 1.4miles that takes 6 hours?!) and a jog to catch trains…unless I run between the pubs to the restaurant. Would carrying someone between pubs count extra?

326 cars. 1 messed up QJ. 1 exciting night out to look forward to.

Not done yet…

After yesterday’s pathetic token of a Juneathon run, I thought i’d keep up the style in an attempt to repair the leg damage without messing up the run a day theory. So I got up unnecessarily early for a Saturday, put out the washing, jogged down the road and back for a mile’s effort and had breakfast.

Then left on the mountainbike for the parachute club, arriving at 8.30. Still, it’s only 2 miles away and buying the paper on the way there didn’t take long. Noticing the girl in the shop’s top appearing even tighter occupied my brain for a few minutes though, and possibly cost a minute on the journey…I wouldn’t normally comment on a young ladies’ attributes, honest, but over the past year or so they’ve come to so closely resemble a dead heat in a zepplin race it’s soon going to get difficult to get near the counter, I shouldn’t be surprised. Still, after slapping myself about the face, calling myself all sorts of wrongs and a quick pedal, it was throwing away the plane time, and what fun.

A good exit, an instant of error to spin me upside down for a bit, (when i’m a sky god i’ll practice this all the time, I reckon, it’s simply ace…who needs formations? Just spin, tumble and act like a cretin, I reckon!) a good recovery, good forward motion including turns and a textbook flight under canopy and landing mean i’m theoretically ready for qualification. But there’s a lot to pack into a Qualifying Jump (everything i’ve learnt so far, compressed into a 25 second freefall, basically), so i’m opting for a practice QJ and if that goes well, 1 jump and i’m there. Which I ought to have done this afternoon, but the clouds rolled in and as they looked settled, I came home. There’s always another day, I reckon, rather than wait too long, get a jump when i’m tired and mess it up. Don’t really want to mess them up too badly, 12000ft. is along way down after all!

All followed by the ride home (I popped back at lunch too, so 8 miles total…can I claim this as my bit of cross training?!) which included much wheelieing, many hops, two worthwhile manuals and a skid. Got to end on a skid…

Which left the lawn to mow and greenhouse to water. Nice.

A trace of rain. 1 Juneathon mile. 8 cycled miles. 333 cars.

Saturday yippee-yi-yay!

Having gone to bed tired enough to sleep for Wales last night, I awoke not quite fresh as a daisy, but feeling pretty chipper none the less. Chipper? My life, maybe i’ve regressed into a 1950’s childhood through stress!

The garden got edged, the lawn mowed, the paper bought. All by 11 o’clock. So then the bike got thrashed. Loads of crap on the roads, but millions of flies on the visor and a bit less leather on the knee sliders equals fun. Happy now.

A bike and car cleaning session to prepare myself for todays Juneathon and I was off. A steady 3.7 mile loop around the village. But why do I see 9 cars on the country lane bits and have to stop 3 times due to them being in the same place at the same time? I’ve known my timing’s been a couple of days out for several years, now, but this is surely taking it to extremes, no? 9 cars in 3 miles and 7 of them have to be in opposing directions just where I am. Oh, well. The only other excitement was having to change my pace for a squirrel to sprint from the hedge, across my path, and into a ditch so as not to step on it. No wonder there are so many of them fall prey to messers Goodyear and Pirelli each year.

Saw one lift of skydivers landing so hopefully that’s the second lift of today’s competition. Not looking too good for progression tomorrow but i’ve now 3 tickets waiting in the wallet, so soon as the day is right i’ll be making dents in the Kent countryside with the best of them!

3.7 miles, 30m35s. 362 cars.

1 week of Juneathon gone, 22.7 miles complete.

Day 2?

After removing myself from bed at an hour concurrent with unlocking a building site 3/4 of an hour away at 7 o’clock, most of the day has been spent tired. Not that there’s anything unusual in unlocking the same site, I do it everyday after all, but i’d paced myself to have today off. I needed the lie in, even if it had only been an hour. So, as Tony was in, I set up the stonemasons, sorted the essential duties and left. I had a plane to catch, after all. And i’m in tomorrow. Poo.

Now, leaving when I did, I was cursing. The sun was up and no wind meant I was driving away from an ideal chance to get a jump in, hoping i’m only 4 jumps from my skydiving “A” license. As I drove home, the cloud had rolled in as forecast but I went to the club anyway, needing a track turns brief. I got this, plus my CH1 qualification. No jumps but the last 3 have shown good enough flying skills, today I passed the written test which means when i’ve passed the track turns dive, I can do a qualifying jump as soon as I feel ready. Smart, and hopefully about 3 jumps. I could quite easily get excited.

Which is better than still not having gas (9 days and counting…I hate baths made from boiling kettles).

Jogblog’s employment news is rubbish; even the RFL and the promise of free beer and pizza for a quick finish time didn’t seem to cheer her up much. Hopefully Juneathon starting tomorrow will help. I’ve been told cross training is accepted in lieu of a run to minimise injury worries…i’m going to confirm it with the authorities before I wimp out though. So a run a day starts tomorrow. Great…

Rainfall today: Nil

May rainfall total: 75mm (82mm May 2007, 90mm May 2006)