Before we left Richmond, I checked the VSA website to see if the weather was going to be good for Saturday. The local weather was supposed to be sun with winds of 9 MPH - perfect! I also tried to use Weather.com, but West Addison wasn't a city listed in their database.
When we showed up at VSA, it was absolutely beautiful, but the winds were stronger than predicted. As we approached the manifest building, Heather came outside to greet us. She chatted with us while we completed our waivers. Shortly thereafter, Ole showed up to check them out and to give us a DZ briefing. Just as he was finishing, my brother, Joe, and his girlfriend Jacque showed up. They had expressed an interest in doing tandems, but it seemed as though they might have changed their minds.
While we were waiting to get in the air, Matt took some pictures around the drop zone. One of the tandem instructors, Dan, was headed out to get some lunch from the store and asked if we needed anything. That was so nice!
I asked Matt to take a picture of us (Joe, Jacque & me) and he took a series of 8 pictures. In every single one of them, my brother was making a strange face. I picked the best one to share.
As you can see in this picture, my hair is also a good indication of the wind speed and direction. It didn't seem like the winds were going to die down. In fact, the forecast said they would continue to grow stronger as the day went on.
We put our names on the white board to manifest for load two. Another jumper visiting from New Jersey (Kevin) was also manifested for load two. We decided to do a three way freefly jump with him, but we needed at least one more jumper to put up the plane.
I went to ask a local female jumper if she would like to come with me, but the winds were not favorable so she declined. Eventually, Ole and Cameron manifested and shortly thereafter we were at the plane ready to go and the pilot Jeff was waiting for us to board the 205.
Jeff flew over the drop zone at 5 K so we could check out the landing area. The blue trap over the packing area made it easy to stop! While we were climbing to altitude, I talked to Cameron about traveling adventures. When it was time to leave the plane, Matt climbed out first. I followed him holding onto the strut and Kevin left from inside the door. Our exit was a little wonky, but Kevin and I got together quickly.
After visiting me, Kevin motioned that we should fly over to Matt. I was struggling with the fall rate and moving forward.
Although Kevin has less than 600 jumps, he had a great body position and his freeflying skills were excellent - far better than mine. As soon as we've finished with the states, we need to invest in some tunnel time!
It was so windy! I spent most of my time facing away from the drop zone, but I did manage to get this picture of the landing area and Lake Champlain. My landing was perfect and I turned quickly and pulled in my brake line. I also put one foot on my slider and started daisy chaining my lines. When I got closer to the slider, I picked up my foot and my canopy caught the air. It was impossible to get under control! Eventually, one of the local guys came over to my rescue. Thank you mysterious stranger! I never got your name.
We gathered up our gear and loaded the car. I pulled out a box of SIS socks to give to the local girls and went to the office to pay. Heather was so excited about the socks and so was another local woman - Katie. I was thrilled to discover they are both "sock" people. Yay!
Heather looked through the t-shirts to see if she could find one to fit me, but my chest is to large to squeeze into a medium tank top. I asked about buying one of the other shirts and Ole said we could have it as a gift from them. Sweet! I love the skydiving community!
The people at Vermont Skydiving Adventures couldn't be nicer! I wish we would have had more time to stay. I'd love to recruit one of the local women to be a delegate for The Pink Mafia Sisters, but they had never heard of us! How is that possible? After we finish with the 50 states, I would love to come back to VSA and do some initiations!
Before we left the DZ, Heather and Katie gave us some lunch suggestions. My brother was starving and so were we. We decided to drive over to 3 Squares Cafe in Vergennes, VT.
Until next time VSA!