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I don’t have the time to write up a full post today, but I just want to write a quick thank you to everyone at Skydive Gananoque! Will, Tom and Michelle are excellent hosts and I have to say that I consider them a GIFT to the skydive community. If you’re a fun jumper, you know what I’m talking about when I say that it’s frustrating going on a trip somewhere, wanting to get some freefall action, arriving at the DZ to find out that it’s a tandem factory or one of those places that “fly when we feel like it”.

Everyone at Gan was excited to get into the sky and just have some fun!

Lucie (One of Skydive Addiction’s newest members who I look forward to reading) hit her 100th jump over the weekend (Video of the pieing to come). And Will was nice enough to organize the load for a 15 way.

Since it was day 1, some of us got to go up for a Tandem Refresh with the tandem masters. (A tandem refresh is done every year for everyone with a tandem master rating. Basically, what it consists of is the tandem master takes an experienced skydiver up for a tandem to make sure that he still is able to fly and knows what he’s doing and also to brush off the cobwebs.)

As a skydiver, I can say that it’s a very exhilarating feeling and brings back the whole adrenaline rush from your first time! You now know what’s going on, but you don’t have control over it as you aren’t piloting the canopy. I was in good hands, but it’s still a different experience. It was quite fun, I must say!

I’ll have a full article of our trip up later this week along with pictures and some videos.

In the meantime though, here’s a picture of our campfire: Yes, that’s right, we didn’t use logs, we used an entire tree for our fire!
Thank you Will for making it possible by using the tractor to bring us all the wood we needed to keep this fire going (Video to come as well)


Blue ones in the meantime!


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Tunnel time: Best way to clear your sinuses

So I managed to get in a good 10 minutes of tunnel time on Monday… Just enough to remind me how addictive it is haha!

We did some 3 person belly flying, started off with level control and working on mantis flying to warm up.

The next 2 minutes were spent doing doughnuts (You go into a circle holding hands, then everyone turns to their right and touches the person next to them on the leg, then go back into a circle holding hands, repeat on the left)

After this, we worked on our lateral movement by moving side to side in formation and working in a few rotations to get as many points as possible.

The last 2 minutes were spent doing more doughnuts to work on our control as we had a bit of trouble keeping level during our rotations. I ended up hitting the wall and hurting my knee :(, thankfully that was my last 2 minutes in the tunnel as I was limping for a bit.

Overall, it was a great time. I noticed a steady improvement in my flying, going back in the next few weeks to work on some more belly flying, then I plan on buying an hour and learning to fly mantis 100%.


9 more days and we’ll be on our way to Gananoque for the season open. We’re about 10-15 people heading down if not more, looks like it’ll be quite the fun weekend!
I’m very excited to get on that King Air! Thanks again to Will for getting me all the info about the DZ, there will be a review of our visit as soon as we get back!


PS: I’ll be adding a new section for people who don’t know how to skydive and would like to learn to as soon as we finish with our website update so keep posted!


Blue ones!


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Brushing off the cobwebs

I’m going to  be heading to do some tunnel time at Skyventure next week to brush off the cobwebs, grease the joints and just have some laughs with my friend Luc who was with me on the trip to PST last month.

Important note for those of you who live in the Montreal area: Skyventure is raising their prices as of April 1st 2012. It is a significant price increase, so for those of you who want to get their tunnel time, get it ASAP.

Also, Mike and I are working on a redesign of Skydive Addiction, we have a new logo in the works and we’ll possibly change things up a bit. If any of you have any suggestions, please drop me a line here.

Blue Skies,

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Follow-up post!

So Will at Skydive Gananoque was nice enough to get in touch with me, I got permission to tell you all where we’ll be.
Hopefully some of you will get to join us for the opener!

For those of you that won’t, well as always I’ll have a review of my stay as well as a bunch of pictures. (But seriously.. Come jump with us)
SIDE NOTE: If you’re not a licensed skydiver, but still want to join us, they have tandems CHEAP!!!!! Book one, it’ll make me smile to see you experience it! (No I’m not paid to say this)

We’ll be heading down on the 30th, partying the night before, waking up at the break of dawn, taking FULL advantage of our day there and our night by the campfire.
Anyone who reads this, come up to me and I’ll gladly hand you a beer from the case I’ll be buying… To find out why I’m buying, you’ll have to ask me in person when I open it for you.
There’s no guarantees that I’ll be wearing the winging beauty crown again, but I’m sure there will be plenty of others to entertain you all.

Blue ones everyone! See you in 25 days!


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So we’re once again planning a road trip…

This time, we’re headed to Ontario again, not PST, but somewhere on the way.
I haven’t gotten permission from the DZO to divulge the name or info yet, so once that happens, I’ll write up a follow up.

We’re gonna be another group of about 10 people headed down for the season opening March 31st.
I’m quite excited for that as it’s not only day 1 of the season in Ontario, it means that there’s only a month before day 1 back home!!!!


In the meantime, I’ll leave all of you with a funny video I came across a while back that was filmed by the person who taught me how to skydive: Daniel Paquette.

It’s called Mr Control. (Sorry that it’s in French, but you get the idea)


Hope you enjoyed the giggles,

Blue ones!


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My 100th Jump – By Normande

Another great piece by a friend of mine that she had written but never published:

My 100th skydive

Written by Normande M. C.

Translated by Adam A.

July 21st 2009.

For the past 2 days I had been working at my front flips, back flips and barrel rolls with nothing in sight but my 100th jump.

15 minutes before the jump, I was told that we were going to do something special for my 100th…. a Four-Way.

“Uhhh.. I’ve never done anything more than a 2…”
“I’ve been training for my RW”
“I have things that I need to work on…”
“A four?”
“Screw it, I’m confident! I’m gonna take full advantage of this opportunity!”

Above, were the things that ran through my head soon after being told what we were about to do.

Next came the briefing, ah, not as bad as I though, I can do this.

I just need to perform a smooth exit,
keep my heading and speeds in check,
keep an eye on my altitude and open at 4500 as planned.
And the most important: Have fun, smile and savor the beautiful moment I’m being offered.

Back on the ground, I find my friends from the sky.

An unforgettable moment.

This was my 100th jump.

This was my moment.

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An inspiring story.

So my friend Manon is a great writer. Her boyfriend Luc is a skydiver and he introduced her to the sport a short while ago.

This is her story:

Homage to my man

Written by: Manon Corbeil
Translated by: Adam A

Well, well! Those of you who know me know quite well that sometimes I need to write to clear my mind…

My new friends however, don’t know this about me… Tonight, It’s to them that I dedicate this as I feel like I’m about to explode and it just has to come out!!

And who’s responsible this time?

Yep… Again him… I already owe him so much from the last three years…

How did it start you ask?

The birds… That passion developed itself very early during my adolescence when I lived in the beautiful town of Dorval. A classmate pointed out that in Dorval we could easily identify over 200 different species of birds… I figured he was lying until one day I actually started paying attention to those same birds! To their singing, their silhouettes, the way they fly… Their actions.. With time I managed to recognize and even identify them with ease and also, as incredible as it may seem. I managed to feel exactly what those birds feel during flight!

I hear you all saying: “She’s fucked in the head!”  Uhhh yeah, I admit it, I must be and I won’t hide it. I do however remain convinced that I was a bird in another life – Most probably an eagle – I’m very happy to believe this.
I was always comfortable with the idea that I was a bird in my past life and I never had any difficulty accepting the fact that my present life was to be that of a human and that flight was impossible…Therefore, the desire to find myself as free as the wind between the earth and the sky was always quite present deep down inside of me and I must admit that I was extremely pulled towards hang gliding at a certain point in my life.
Circumstances and obligations of day to day life often have the unwanted effect of pushing our dreams aside, until one day we finally convince ourselves that these dreams are to remain dreams and that desire ends up becoming nothing but fantasy… An unfulfilled fantasy. With the years that pass we finally tell ourselves that these dreams or fantasies are simply “not for us” and we find all the good reasons to finally reject the idea and simply scrapping all those dreams that never became a reality…
It’s crazy how our perspectives can change from that moment when we decide that things are “accessible”!In my case, I only needed one person to convince me so!! That everything is possible!!! That as long as the desire is there, anything is possible!!!
This same person convinced me, more often than I’ve had to convince him and for multiple reasons, that we can. That if we simply want it enough, we can accomplish all of our desires!!
How can I even begin to show how much I appreciate this person? I pump all the love that I am able to find inside of my heart out and give it entirely to this person, because he is mine and I love him deeply with a love in it’s realest and purest form.

Where was I? Oh yeah… Flying… Like a bird…

My man… He’s a skydiver. He’s been one for a long time, and for reasons that differ from my own but have just as deep an effect, he found himself obligated at a certain point in his life to put this passion of his aside…
It was only in August 2010 that he had the initiative to give me a thank you gift – for helping him with some difficult renovations – that gift was the gift of a tandem skydive at Voltige.

A dream, that dream, the one that I had pushed away deep down inside me and closed beneath a bunch of different experiences finally came back to surface! I was given the chance to FLY!!! Me? I couldn’t believe it!
But… That day… I felt… I savored… I flew.. The sky!!! It was…. magical! Extraordinary!! A sensation that I can’t even begin to describe… You have to live it to understand it!
But then the days passed… Then the months… Winter arrived… I finally came back to earth..
Come spring 2011, he’s in need. His vital urge to “jump”… I can’t comprehend it…
I decided to accompany him during one of his days at the drop zone… And then… That was it! A mechanism went off inside of me… I want to “understand” I want to “live it”!
But, I remained silent for weeks because deep down inside of me “it’s just not for me”… Then one day, it just turned off… And I repeated to myself:It’s crazy how our perspectives can change from that moment when we decide that things are “accessible”!I want to become a skydiver! It’s finally clear! I’m 43 years old and I don’t care!
August 18th: I started my wind tunnel training with Philippe.August 20th: I was doing my theory school with the marvelous Gina. I had the intention of doing my first jumps the same day… Unfortunately, it was too windy and I had to wait until August 27th for that to happen.

4 jumps in the same day! All accompanied by my mentor Gina!
Those 4 jumps were incredibly meaningful to me… I accomplished a dream… I felt like I had achieved a step towards being myself, way farther then I had ever thought. Never would I have believed that I could do 4 jumps in the same day! I succeeded at them all on top of that!

Gina knew how to take care of me regardless of how fearful she knew I was. She knew how to convince me that I could do it, she knew just the right words to say.. I owe her enormously! Surely I was a huge challenge for her! Bravo and thank you Gina!

Then came Richard’s turn to accompany me in the sky for a jump. It was cloudy, but we decided to go anyway. It was a beautiful jump… Beautiful until the moment I was to open my parachute…. A little moment of panic in my eyes, I couldn’t find the pilot chute handle…. Richard saw it in my eyes and quickly came to my rescue. Thankfully, I managed to find the handle… Phew!

Next came my first solo jump… I absolutely needed to do it the same day as my last accompanied jump because the last one didn’t go too well (stupid pilot chute!) I couldn’t permit myself to make things worse.. Once again, this jump was into the clouds… And regardless of all that happened, I had the joy of experiencing this all alone for the first time in the magnificent sky above Joliette..

A week past between this jump and the next…. Just enough time for that famous fear to ingrain itself inside me again. In my opinion, it will always be present and I will now have to learn to “deal with it”. This time, it was Annie who “kicked my butt” because truthfully, as soon as I got to the drop zone, I didn’t want to jump at all. Just like Gina did, she knew exactly the right words to convince me to jump!

All these solo jumps… What more can I say but: WOW! Pure happiness!

This super long text to finally thank a bunch of great people…

Everyone at Voltige truly is perfect!

Thank you Richard for my Tandem… Thank you Philippe for the wind tunnel… Thank you Gina for… For everything! (You know what I mean) Thank you Mario, Olivier and Daniel for the radio assistance (And the hugs)… Thank you Annie for the kick in the butt and for your inspiration (Your pictures and videos) thank you Dino for being my cameraman during my exam… Thank you Manifest girls for your patience (My millions of calls and all)

Thank you everyone at Voltige! You are amazing! Thank you to all my new skydiver friends!!!

But most of all… Thank you Luc, my man… All this is thanks to you! I love you!


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Winter jumps at PST

So first off, I’d like to give a HUGE thank you to Adam Mabee at Parachute School of Toronto for the ENORMOUS hospitality he showed us at PST.

Not only were we welcomed with open arms, he made sure that we got into the sky even when mother nature wasn’t 100% cooperative. The wind conditions were perfect, but cloud ceiling wasn’t very much so….
We got several hop and pops done, some emergency exit practice and luckily I even managed to get in on one of the two loads that got to 9.5k (We had a blue hole opened up for us for about an hour on the Sunday).

Long story short, Adam was a great host, and I honestly look forward to going back to PST again.

So Friday evening around 4:30 pm, we head off from Montreal for a 7 hour drive to Toronto.
We were to be the last ones there, leaving Montreal with somewhat disappointing weather (There was a pretty big snowfall while we were on our way), that left me kind of worried that we wouldn’t get to jump if conditions stayed this way. But as we got closer and closer to our destination, things got greener and greener…
To put things simply: There was no snow after the Quebec/Ontario border.

Now, we’re beginning February in Canada… One would expect to see some white… But seriously, there was nothing at all.

At this point I’m thinking “What the hell kind of a winter jump is this gonna be? I’ll be landing on grass”

But we continue on our way regardless. Obviously we’re not here for snow, we’re here to jump off planes.

Around 11:30 PM, we arrive at the hotel, everyone’s been drinking, we’re last to arrive. The others has stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings and managed to get us sponsored. We would have to skydive while wearing their kid’s crown, in exchange, we’d get 50 wings. For those of you who don’t know, B.W.W. has a hot wing challenge where you have 5 minutes to eat 10 of their hottest wings (200 000 – 350 000 scoville) – More on that later.

So we get drunk and head to bed around 2:30 AM like good skydivers. ( We can sleep on the plane right? 🙂 )

At 7:30 AM, we get up and head out for breakfast then on to the DZ.

We arrive around 10 AM.

The DZ is just opening up, they’re pulling their Cessna 182 out of the hangar (The 206 had just gotten a new engine, so they’re going easy on it for a bit).
I walk in to see this:

Put a smile on my face, even though Adam hates it for being tacky.
I manifest myself on the first load to 4500 feet to get a quick hop and pop done and to simply work off the rust since my last skydive.
While on the load, that beautiful blue sky you see in the picture earlier proceeds to disappear and we’re told that the ceiling is at about 5000 at the moment.
Worked for this load, but later on, it kept creeping lower, and lower, and lower, and lower…
Luckily, Adam kept us warm with a nice fire:

Needless to say, the ceiling never went back up and stuck around 3000-3200 feet.
Adam made sure that our time wasn’t wasted and let those of us who were comfortable do some emergency exit practices:
We may not have gotten full altitude, but we did have a great time.

That night, we went back to B.W.W.

With our pictures from the day as proof:


 We of course got our hot wings…And yes, I proceeded to eat them in less than 5 minutes… Tears, runny nose, burning fingers and all…. I will not go into details about how my poor colon felt the next day.

So Sunday morning, we headed back to PST for some more action. We had convinced Adam to open early so that we could get as many jumps in as possible before heading back.
We were greeted by gray skies and a ceiling of 5000 in the morning. So once again, hop and pops.
I got on the 3rd load, attempted to do a mini track jump with one of the girls, but ended up back-flipping unintentionally on the way out and simply tracking on my own.
After that jump, I decided to sit out for a bit to warm up while the others jumped more.
I’m super glad I did, because Adam came in to announce that there was a hole that opened up.
Before he even got further than the word “hole” to tell us how high we could go, myself and 2 others were running to the whiteboard to put our names on the next load.

We got up to 9.5k, I got to do some head down, and I had triumphed at what I had set out to do: Get a full altitude winter jump done at PST.

All was well until about 500 feet, when I realized that I was coming in to land on a patch of ice. I figure “time to slide on my butt”, I proceed to do so, but then slide another 20 feet past the ice right into the mud.
Those wings + my muddy backside have won me the nickname “Shitty pants” at the DZ for quite some time.

Hopefully Adam and the others at PST enjoyed the laugh at my expense.


Once again, I’d like to extend a HUGE thank you to Adam and the peeps at PST for being so welcoming and so nice to this group of crack-headed skydivers from Quebec.
I have to say that of all the Drop Zones I’ve visited, this is by far one of the ones that is MOST fun jump oriented. Adam is a true saint in the sport, he runs the school for the love of the sport and not for the money.
Rentals at 12$ if you pack them yourself are by far the cheapest I’ve ever seen for any canopies at all. (You’re jumping Sabers if you go for the sport canopies)

If ever you’re in the area, be sure to stop in for a fun jump or two, and as Adam constantly says “Just don’t fuck up”.


Blue skies everyone! (More pictures from PST on our facebook page and here)

Adam A!

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You’re never too old to skydive!

A friend of mine who happens to be a Francophone skydiver from Quebec only took up the sport a few years ago.

She’s someone who impresses me. She has her motorcycle license, she has her skydiving license and she’s just an overall “bad ass” woman.

She gave me permission to post an article that she wrote up for Canpara (Canadian version of Parachutist)

This is the article:

Skydiving in your early 50s?
Written by Normande Cournoyer
Translaled by Gaëlle Vercollier

Yes, it is possible. ln 2004, around the end of the summer, I was
looking for a special project to undertake the following year. As
I was reading the paper one morning, an article really caught
my attention. A woman in her eighties had done a tandem skydive.
Suddenly, I remembered I had been having a recurring dream for a very
long time. I was flying off into the sky and it was always very pleasant.
June 11,2005, was the first tandem, a memorable day spent in total
euphoria. While taking Lebeau Road in Farnham which leads to the
Nouvel Air site, a song by Natasha St-Pier was playing on the radio:
To each their own story (Chacun son histoire) with the following lyrics:
“Taking off, flying, Burning one’s wings, To go through the sky, To
write one’s story … )” What a coincidence! I was far from thinking it was
the beginning of a beautiful adventure.

Well, yes, five weeks later, I was in the air for a second tandem.
Believe me, a third one almost occurred.

Seeing my need for adrenaline, one of my close friends suggested I
take some skydiving lessons. This idea was eating at me because I was in
my early fifties. After some research, information given by people in the
circle and encouragement given by a person who started skydiving at
47, I decided to follow the PAC program in the summer of 2006. I told
myself that I would regret it if didn’t give it a try.

Unfortunately, I was unable to complete my training in 2006 for
various reasons: difficulties, lack of available time and whims of Mother
Nature. One Friday morning, my heart wasn’t really into skydiving.
While going to Nouvel Air, I made a stop to have coffee and think
about what was best for me. While looking at the paper, I read a quote
by Nicholas Macrozo who belongs to the world of Canadian athletics:
“Sornetimes, you have ta take a step back in order to take two forward.”
I had just found my answer. I was stopping everything for now. My
solution was to go to a vertical wind tunnel.

On three occasions I found myself in the New Hampshire wind
tunnel with amazing instructors from Nouvel Air (Martin and Vincent
Lemay and Mario Prévost). Results followed one progress after another.
This past 16th of July, Solo certified, I was flying on my own in
Farnham’s sky.
From the time I made the decision to go on a tandem up until my
Solo certification, my journey had faced obstacles. Fortunately, the main
difficulties were encountered during the winter. Before the tandem,
I had a crow’s-foot tendonitis, the following year, surgery on the big
toe, and to top it off, last winter, tendonitis in both shoulders, I didn ‘t
find that one funny… With perseverance and hard work, I was able to
get back into shape. What is marvelous is that my physical condition is
better than it ever was.

Skydiving for me is to be in a new dimension: feeling of freedom,
of space around oneself, feeling the control of my body on the air.
While being safe, it’s the search for new feats. To fly off into this bluish
dimension is pure pleasure.

Presently, my objective is to continue having fun while progressing.
Who knows, maybe the A license? Only the future will tell.
I am proud to be a new skydiver in her early fifties. It’s the
achievement of a dream and a big challenge. I just had to believe in it
and face the encountered obstacles and provide the necessary energies.
My motto: “The only challenges lost ahead of time are the ones not
taken up. There wouldn’t be anything worse than to resign to defeat
without finally having tempted to be victorious”.

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Skydive Varadero

So I just got back from Varadero Cuba…
Absolutely had to pop into the local DZ to check it out and hopefully to do a few jumps with the locals…
Turned out it’s a tandem factory, but they’re fairly welcoming to other skydivers. Weather didn’t permit us to jump on the day of my visit, so we played dominoes together…
(I snapped some photos, but haven’t developed them yet)

The DZ is actually owned by the government there, they fly a 20 seat soviet chopper (didn’t get to snap any photos of it though)
Depending on wind conditions, you either land on their badly maintained field or on the beach in front of your hotel.

Equipment-wise, they’ve got the standard canopies/containers (American brands, but bought through Europe).

The staff is extremely welcoming, but the facilities need work… There’s only about 15-20 skydivers that live in the area, the rest are all tandem tourists.
A jump ticket is 25 CUC (+ – 30$), they go up to 11000 feet.

Weather never ended up permitting me to jump, so my friends and I decided to rent some scooters and go to town on our 5th day. We got into an accident and I sprained my ankle… Karma of course came into play and the following days were perfect for skydiving… I sat next to the pool watching planes fly by.
Needless to say, that part sucked.

Hope you’re all having a very blue off season!