An online skydiving logbook

September 9, 2007

5 or 6

I arrive early, almost an hour before the first plane goes up. Werner, another instructor, already intercepts me even before I'm out of my car. Lots of blahblah about other instructors jumping with "his" students and the world not being fair etc. Turns out I'm in the first load with him. But I still have to pack my chute, so I decide that the morning fog hasn't cleared out completely yet, and I change us to the second load. Also gives me time for a coffee first.

Only thing I remember from the first jump is that it was a level one, with a girl, and that my knee hit the plane on exit (I came from the inside and the exit was very vertical...)

Next is a level three, with the same man who held on to his PC a couple of weeks ago. I warned his level 2 instructor last week, but anyway, guess what I stressed in ground training :-) Exit is good, off the hill, stable, OK body position, I signal Werner, he releases, and fuck, I see him disappear: we are falling slow apparently. It ain't comfortable doing a two instructor jump on your own, but we (= the student and I) manage.

Next a rain front is coming over, so we have a few hours of coffee and storytelling in the bar. It takes until mid afternoon before it clears out again. By then, all the students have disappeared, or were sent home (or started drinking), but a bunch of first jumpers have finished their course: we can do them all before 8 o'clock (that's when the airport closes during weekends). I team up with Erik for the rest of the day.

First is a beautiful woman, who apparently is famous. I don't recognise her, her name doesn't ring a bell, but I am told she is a television star (did I already say she 's beautiful?). She is very open and enthusiast, she doesn't have a clue, and she makes a good jump. She is very petite, somewhere in between 45 and 50 kilo I guess, and we are falling very slow. When I try if I can go even slower, I rise some 20 or 30 cm up, above her, and guess what, I am looking straight into Erik's face: he is playing the same game. We smile, and concentrate again on the jump at hand.

Next is a girl, who took the course together with her father. He is very eager, but I think he might have pressured his daughter into something she doesn't really want. Everything goes OK, but throughout the whole thing, it feels like she is doing something she has to, it never feels like she enjoys it. I almost feel sorry for her.

Last jump of the day is a man, who specifically asked if he could jump with me (and waited an extra hour for it). He already made one jump four years ago, and apparently, I was his instructor back then: he recognises me, knows my name, but of course I don't remember him at all, I am a bit embarrassed. By then the sun is already low, and there is a tiny cloud deck between 6500 and 7000 feet. Incredibly beautiful up there above those clouds, light reflecting upwards and bouncing around, what a playground!! I don't remember much else about the jump, and in another four years, I sure won't remember the man.

At the end of the day, manifest insists I made 6 instruction jumps, instead of the 5 I remember, and they also pay me for 6. Well, if their computer says so, who am I to know better :-) None of the other instructors was paid a jump short, so let's all have some beers!

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