Mark Atwood (fallenpegasus) wrote,
Mark Atwood

"What does a skydiver call the first cloudy day after five days of blue sky?"



I woke this Saturday morning, looked outside, and cursed the sky.


Then I cleaned myself up, and headed to Capitol Hill for a hair cut, and then hooked up with jezel for awhile. I bought a book that I had read good things about. It's like R.Crumb, only interesting, and not ugly and drug-addled.


It looked like the sky was opening up, so I took a chance, zipped back home, put in my contacts (need to wear contacts so I can wear my skydiving goggles, I'm not interested in breaking my new $400 glasses with a helmet and pair of "glasses friendly" overgoggles), and drove down to the dropzone.

Gloria! The sky was mostly open. Turns out it had opened up about an hour before, so they were airlifting jumpers as fast they could safely turn the Otter around. Since today was an "other Saturday", there were a bunch of AFF Level 1 students that needed to be dropped, plus apparently a bunch of 4-way teams were there practicing for the Nationals.

I talked a bit with Tom and Jay about my problems with turning, and we decided that making a coaching video would be helpful. My JM this time was Keri. She's jumped me before, but never as my main.

My dive stank. I did the exit wrong, and pulled her out with me. I had lousy form, an asymmetrical body position, my legs kept flapping around, I was holding my legs too close together, etc etc etc. When she let go of me, I started to spin. She stopped the spin a couple of times, but every time she let go, it happened again, and the more I tried to fix it, the worse it got. I've never spun before. I was very proud that I wasn't a spinner. Sigh.

Strangely, I never got scared.

The view was great. There was a thin transparent spotty cloud layer at about 9000 ft, and it was very fun to see it actually expanding and moving across the ground due to my vertical motion. At the altitudes I'm playing at, and as busy as I am supposed to be, one doesn't actually notice the ground getting bigger and closer, it's just too far away and moving "too slowly".

Anyway, after all this semi-controlled rolling around, at 6000 ft, I decided that I wasn't going to save this dive, and I was out of sky. I waved, and pulled. By this time I was tumbling ass over shoulder, and I was half expecting to either get to play the role of the tip in a game of "crack the whip" (BANG!), or even worse, get tangled. Best case, I was thinking, the canopy was going to linetwist. But even thinking all that, I wasn't scared. I figured that it would almost certainly stop the spin, and if it was a real mess, I still had plenty of time and plenty of sky to pull the S.O.S. handle under my left arm.

None of that was necessary. It was one of the most comfortable openings yet. Canopy was a near perfect SSS. (Square, Stable, Steerable). Found my target, rode it down, and planted my butt neatly in the grass. And sat for a few seconds cussing at myself.

When I got back to the packing bay, the crowd was already having a good time watching my video. Boy, did I stink. Probably scared the piss out of Keri. But like all the AFF guys, she's good and she's professional. And nobody got hurt, and I know just what to do next time to be better. (Hold my knees APART.)

I wanted to go up again, but just ran out of room on the manifests before sunset. So I hung up that awful ugly peach jumpsuit I have to wear, packed up my skyshoes, and my goggles and helmet, and drove away, to come back again soon.


On the road, I chatted a bit with jatg, since my phone had (mistakenly) told me that she had tried to call, and then with elfs, as he had called and had invited me over.

As I was approaching their neighborhood, I saw a woman and little girl walking alongside the road. Brain process was: "Sexy lady. Love that long long hair. Wait. That looks like Omaha. That is Omaha!" Since the horn on the Jeep is one of the many things that don't work, all I could do was wave.

Dinner was homemade hamburgers with a yummy tomato, avocado, and cilantro veggie relish. Tasty! I need to bring some Atwood Chili Sauce down for them to try sometime.

Then we all bundled in front of the TV to watch my video. It was even worse that I remembered. Then several games of 4-card Go Fish were played, with Kouryou-chan and Yamaarashi-chan as well. After the girls were tucked into bed, we big people all sprawled out on the floor and played a couple of rounds of Give Me The Brain. Much fun.

Then I peeled myself off the floor, wished everyone a good night, and hauled myself home to hydrate the cat.

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