It seems like the theme of the season is “Weather hold”. Once again, my plans to skydive have been thwarted by the weather.
I arrived at Parachutisme Atmosphair on Friday evening just in time for a lasagna dinner at Marquis’ restaurant on the DZ. Had a couple of beers with friends, then went to bed so I could be up bright and early to get on the plane.The staff were nice enough to lend me a camper to spend the weekend in comfort. Saturday morning, I woke up to the sound of the Caravan taking off for a 16 000 foot jump (the load was completely booked before I even finished work on Friday, so I took advantage to sleep in).
With the sound of the plane flying by, I hurried to get dressed and get myself manifested on the second load. Once manifested, I noticed that there were a bunch of people preparing for a big way and asked to join. Niklas Hemlin was load organizing and I didn’t want to miss this. This pushed me onto the 4th load for a 10 way.
The weather was looking nice, but there were still some clouds out, nothing to worry too much about. We went up and managed to get 4 very solid points done. Niklas was great at identifying peoples’ strengths and weaknesses while flying and was quick to help correct them.
After the first jump, I had myself manifested for another big way and we did our dirt dive for an 8 way…
Then it happened…
It started to rain….
Then it started to pour….
We could see the holes in the clouds mocking us but they were being blown towards us. The rain stopped. We prepared ourselves to get on the load when it happened “C and D licenses only, wind is up to 21 MPH”.
Those words tore a hole right through my chest. I had been looking forward to jumping for weeks and haven’t gotten to because of the weather and here I am, at the DZ waiting to get on the plane… What a kick in the pants!
As everyone prepared to get on the plane, the microphone blares “weather hold”. All the C and D licensed skydivers’ faces turned red as they were already geared up and ready to go. They put their gear away and I laughed at the irony.
This pattern happened several times over the next 8 hours. Needless to say, we waited a LONG time for our next big way.
In the meantime, I took advantage to converse with Niklas about life, his experiences, how he ended up living in the US. It turns out it was fairly simple: He wanted to skydive. He was born in Sweden which has similar weather to Canada. Summer time, you could skydive… When the weather permitted of course. The rest of the year just sucked. So he decided to move.
At around 5 pm, the clouds were all gone and the wind was dying down, so we prepared ourselves and got a 12 way going. Once again, we got 4 solid points and had a good time doing it.
We had just enough time to get one last jump done, just in time for sunset. Niklas decided to make us work harder on this one, a satellite formation. We all had a MUCH harder time with it (myself included), but it was a lot of fun. 3 points and nearly a 4th again. We clearly won’t be winning the world competitions with this kind of performance, but I must say that I had an amazing time doing them.
The day was followed by a steak dinner at Marquis’ which was very welcome as I was famished.
I must commend the team at Atmosphair for their organization. They set up a boogie with some of the lowest prices ever seen in Quebec (20$ + tax for a jump) and managed to pull off an amazing event regardless of the weather. My hat’s off to you guys!