I took a spontaneous trip to California this weekend, I figured with the long weekend and all, and the amazing weather, it would be fun to go hang out in the bay and maybe do a bit of skydiving. I met up with Andy and Libby, and after hanging out in San Francisco for a little while (In and Out burgers, checking out Damian's new and almost complete climbing gym, teaching Andy how to pack his parachute) we headed out to Lodi, CA. Lodi is the most rockin drop zone I've been to yet. With $13 jumps from 13k feet and $5 jumps from 3k feet, it is the cheapest skydiving in the world, and as such is pretty crowded, even in January.
I was able to touch up my tracking and belly jumping, and managed to get 11 jumps in over the course of 2 days, not too shabby. Donning my tracking pants, (which have vents that take in air and inflate creating more surface area, I was able to do a 90 second freefall! That's 90 seconds of falling (instead of a normal average of 60 seconds) just by flattening my body and flying forward through the air. Instead of falling downward at 120 miles per hour, I was able to shape my body like a wing and reduce my downward speed to 80 miles per hour while consequentially having a forward speed of around 60 miles per hour (I was able to track about 1.6 miles horizontally during the dive). I'm pretty stoked on my tracking progress and am excited to transpose this skill into the language of wingsuit.
I also did a bunch of jumps with Andy, and one really fun High Pull with Andy and Libby. Libby just finished her AFF and is doing great. Its fun to be able to jump with such good friends and such good people. Andy did have a reserve ride though, as his main didn't deploy properly during one of his jumps. But all was well. We did a great jump right before leaving to go back to the Bay. It was just a belly jump, but Andy's altimeter ran out of batteries in the aircraft so he didn't have an altimeter! After doing several flips out of the plane, Andy and I came in to a dock so he could read the altitude off my wrist until it was time to pull. It was pretty fun. He had an excellent landing too! despite the fact that he didn't have an altimiter to guide him through the landing pattern.
We also hung out for a bit in San Francisco, and I had the opportunity to check out the Golden Gate Bridge, and do a little wire walking around that area. It was a good trip, and I'm glad I went. I got some good skydiving in, and got to hang out with some really good people. I can't wait to go back in March for Spring Break!