When you are a skydiver, you quickly learn just how much winter sucks. You pile on layers and more layers. Your jumpsuit is so tight that you aren't sure you're going to be able to turn points. You keep buying gloves (hoping they will be warmer than the last pair someone recommended) only to discover there really isn't much you can do to stay warm when it's negative 30 up top. All you want is be back in the warm summer sun.
When I realized my kids would be away for Christmas break, I decided to hit the road and go to Florida. On the 26th, I dropped my kids off at the airport in DC. Afterward, I drove down to Richmond and stayed overnight with my friend Brian and his daughter, Alex. My plan was to start with Skydive DeLand and then head over to Z-Hills.
On the 28th, I arrived in DeLand. Since I was there earlier in the year, I didn't have to fill out waivers and I didn't need a drop zone briefing! Awesome. I showed them my reserve repack card and my log book and put myself on the next load. This was my first mistake. A more experienced skydiver woudl have been smart enough to ask about the winds. I was just excited that I was already in their computer system.
I did my 12th sitfly jump. I managed to get into my sit and hold it! I did cork out twice, but got back into the sit without much trouble. I deployed my canopy and flew to the same landing area I had used for the canopy control course. I flew a standard landing pattern. When I turned on final, I wasn't getting much penetration. As I flared (just like a normally do), I was completely surprised when I popped up 10 feet! What the hell? I didn't know that my canopy could do that.
I came down fast and hard on my left ankle. Ouch! Fortunately, I landed in the field with the truck waiting to take me back to the DZ. The truck driver watched me land. He told me I flared too fast and hard for the wind conditions. UGH...I forgot to check the winds!
Back at the DZ, I sat with ice on my ankle. Someone packed my rig and loaded my car. Since it was my left ankle, I was still able to drive. I put my ankle on the dash board and proceeded to go to Z-Hills.
(When I got home from the trip, I got an x-ray. Broken ankle #5)