by Frank Matrone
Another successful DQ camp was held this past weekend at United Parachute Club in PA. It started out like they tend to in PA, the weather was iffy, the attendance was questionable, and I wasn't sure if I had enough Prodigys for everyone who needed one (and of course everyone wants to jump a 175).
I showed up Friday after work expecting to sit around and wait for people to trickle in and maybe have to do an RW jump (I can too). As I pulled in I noticed Laura Ausel had beat me to the DZ and thought that might be promising. Then she pointed out a large MASH unit type tent set up way down the field.
I had forgotten about a call I got a week or so ago from Gavin. He is a Canadian jumper who said he had about 350 CReW jumps and that he and some friends were interested in learning about large Diamonds. "Come down" I said, "we'd love to have you" (I was sincere but I didn't think they would make the long trek). I'm sure glad they came, I think they were too!
Gavin and Vic had the most experience although mostly confined to Parabatics, which they were gracious enough to teach Aleth and me. Trever and James were new to skydiving and CReW. I don't think any of them were in anything larger than a five stack..
Gino from FLA. stopped in on his way to Quincy (hope you get that cell sewed back on). Dan Briggs made it from MD (he won't take his Prodigy to terminal again, hey, I said I was the wrong guy to ask). Nasser and Schantz pulled in Saturday, I was happy to see them (although Nasser was in my wife's pants most of the weekend). Long Island was represented by Mal O'Conner and Steve (where have you been) Cannistra with a C. We missed Ray Sermet. Eduardo made the long drive again from Boston and this time went home with a Prodigy! Ted (I have a stupid left arm and broke my right arm) was there sans cast. He was nice enough to help a student in and out of a tree.
Lectures were held, dives were made, videos were briefed and debriefed. Four dives were made on Saturday of the progressively larger variety. We ended the day with a 14 way kite! Many cases of beer were earned. Vic and Gavin had one more thing to do Saturday. They went up on the last load, got out at five grand and wowed the crowd with Parabatics to about 100 feet.
We got one jump in Sunday between the clouds then it was time for people to head home. Of course it cleared up about an hour later.
This was a lot of fun! I think they will all be back. Our house is always available for a place to sleep. Come to the Pennsylvania base camps!!