Ever since I started skydiving, I wanted to become a CReW dog… I used to love watching them fly and I visioned myself as one of them flying through the skies.
As recently as 3 months ago, I had signed up for a CReW camp at Parachutisme Atmosphair, but was denied by the instructor as I wasn’t experienced enough for his comfort. I took the refusal in stride and kept my head up as I knew I would be able to try it at some point soon.
For quite some time, I had been speaking to Nicolas Huard, one of the DZOs at Parachutisme Voltige about doing it as it is the best DZ in my area to learn it and he himself is a CReW dog =D. You should have seen the look in his eye and the eyes of all the other instructors at the DZ when I said that I wanted to learn. I got high fives all around and nothing but smiles… I knew I was in for the time of my life.
The day had come, I was 3 jumps away from my 100th, the skies were cloudy, but had many blue holes, so I took the risk and ventured to the DZ (which is about an hour and a half drive from my place). I figured, I can’t jump if I’m not at the DZ, so I’m going. “Jump or no jump, I’ll be there!” I said to myself.
I got to the DZ at 9:30 am, the first load had gone in the air, an hour later than planned as the skies were quite cloudy by now. My hopes were shattered for the moment, as it was clear enough to skydive, but not enough for CReW (For those of you who don’t know what CReW is, it stands for Canopy Relative Work. Basically, canopy formations). So I kept on waiting, and waiting, and waiting. 4 hours had passed, and I was still waiting, so I decided “what the hell” I’m gonna go get some skydiving done, this isn’t going to be a wasted day! I decided to work on my freeflying. I asked Philippe Thibodeau (the local freefly skygod) for some tips, and I get in the air to work on my sit flying. My new Deepseed Vyper hadn’t arrived yet, so I wore one of the school’s jumpsuits. Needless to say, I had fun flying, but I wasn’t very stable haha. 😀
After a couple of attempts at freeflying, I grounded myself. I wasn’t going to pass 100 doing practice, that’s for sure! This IS a special jump after all.
Come 5 pm, things are looking dire. The DZ is in full swing, tandems everywhere, load after load of tandems go up, Nicolas was replacing one of the tandem masters who hadn’t made it in to work that day. I was starting to feel the disappointment getting to me as I felt that jump slipping away (Especially since next weekend, I’ll be at the Tokaya Chicks Boogie, and I know I’ll be jumping there… Although, a 100th jump with a bunch of skydive chicks would be fun, the idea didn’t mean as much to me as a CReW jump did… Is there something wrong with me?)
At 6:30 I look to the sky and there’s not a cloud in sight… Perfect for a CReW jump!!! But the last 2 loads are already manifested and I’m not on them… And to make matters worse: Nicolas is still set as a tandem master!!! My hopes are shattered, at this point, I figure, I might as well just stick around and have a few beers with everyone before heading home, someone else surely paid for some for some reason or another haha.
Mario comes to save the day! No! Not this mario!
Mario is another one of the DZOs, he pulled me to the side and said “I’m not going to let the tandems get in the way of your 100th, I’m going to replace Nicolas on the last load so you can do your jump!”
The shine returned to my eyes, my smile instantly appeared! Mario had made my day! Nicolas brought me to the side to start the briefing:
Ok, I absolutely HAD to post this picture as we look like complete tools but I find it quite funny!
After the briefing, we headed to the plane to get things rolling.
We started off with Simond exiting and popping, I was to wait 2 seconds then jump and pop 3 seconds after then Nicolas to follow me.
As you can see, Nicolas and I are fairly far after only a couple of seconds delay.
Now, explaining the rest of the jump would take ages as it lasted a good 8-10 minutes. So here’s a video that Simond filmed.
Overall, this was THE BEST time I have ever had skydiving. I have now found my 2 passions in the sport. Big ways and CReW. I spoke to Nicolas about starting coaching to learn it and practice more and more, he said he’d be very happy to teach me, so I’m hoping that by this time next year, I’ll have a bit more experience on my belt. And don’t worry, you’ll all get to read about it!
I want to thank Nicolas Huard and Simond Gingras for being a part of my 100th jump and helping make it a reality. I also want to thank Mario for having thought of me and helped make it possible. And I would like to thank Voltige 2001 for being my home DZ and a great overall place to have fun!
Saturday, I’ll be heading to the Tokaya Chick’s Boogie, so keep your eyes open for my next article!
Till then, blue skies everyone!