On Thursday, I checked the weather at least two dozen times. The weekend did not look promising: rain and wind. Oh no!
When I was cleaning up the dinner dishes, I received an email changing the Friday start time from 8 to 9. Since we'd already committed to staying in a hotel, we packed the car and headed down to Suffolk. Our friend, Terry, offered to split a hotel room with us. Sweet! We'd wake up 15 minutes from the DZ. It was about 9:30 when we arrived and it wasn't long before we went to bed. I drifted off to sleep trying to imagine 100 canopies in the air.
Morning came entirely too fast because I didn't sleep very well. After a quick shower, we went down to the lobby for breakfast. It wasn't bad and it was free! We got to the DZ on the early side and took our gear to the hangar.
After we checked in, we went to see where we'd be in the formation. We'd be side by side on the CASA - C-13 and C-14. Along with the formation base, we'd be leaving from the lead plane.
Our day started with a group meeting and a safety briefing. Skydive Suffolk is located on an airport with over 700 acres. For the most part, the airport is free of obstacles - giving us plenty of real estate for landing.
Most of the day was spent practicing. We needed to memorize our places in the formation. The formation was divided into 8 pieces. Even though Matt and I were together on the plane, we would end up in different sections. I'd be going to the left as I exited the plane and he'd be headed toward the right side.
We lucked out because one of the people on our plane had a neon green jump suit. It was very clear to see where to go in relationship to him. We practiced with our jumpsuits on and eventually added our gear. We also talked about using oxygen. Our exit altitude for the jumps would be 18,000 feet. They would turn the oxygen on at 12,000 and we'd continue to wear it until we left the plane.
Before we started practicing, I was a little nervous. The thought of skydiving with over 100 people was overwhelming. Once we started walking through the jump, I felt so much better. Instead of thinking about the entire formation, I needed to concentrate on being in my spot in lieu of worrying about everyone.
The weather on the east coast was crappy and not all the planes had arrived. Since there was no chance we'd jump, we were released before around 2:30. Shortly thereafter, it started pouring rain and the landing area quickly turned into a massive puddle. Ugh.
While we were standing around watching the torrential rain, the organizer announced that we could leave our gear in the hangar over night. Leaving the gear behind would definitely save time in the morning, but it felt like leaving one of kids with a new babysitter - a little scary. We talked about it for a while and eventually we headed out into the rain without our gear.
Matt and I went back to the hotel. After a shower together, we decided to grab an early dinner. Terry & Jens joined us at Amici's. Great company and delicious food - awesome! Since the rain had stoppped, we sat outside on the patio. Before we left, the sky was mostly clear. It turned out to be a beautiful evening.
After dinner, we stopped at Wal-mart to grab some food for Saturday and a few other supplies. When we got back to the hotel, we watched the end of Jurassic World and turned the TV off at 9:00 PM.
Our start time for Saturday was 7:30 with gear on. I set my alarm for 6:15 AM. I didn't want to be late!