by Peter Schaller
Skydive Baldwin hosted the latest roving Diamond Quest Camp, with some 13 attendees. The number sure wasn't bad luck in regards to the weather - 50s at altitude and 80s on the ground, light winds and nary a cloud to be seen. Okay, so the gorgeous Otter wasn't always available, but that had to be due to the dozens of RW types who kept manifest so busy! A pair of C-182s an a Beaver kept canopies in the air.
The jumpers were a broad cross-section of skills, from first CRW (yes, the beer was there) to 2 DQ trainers: Joe O'Leary & Peter Schaller. The weekend started with a long wait on Delta (again!) out at the International Airport. While this delayed the start, the Friday evening seminar was lively and the new training tape was a big success, despite the audio glitches. Over half of the participants already had Prodigies, so it was a quick action to get the rest set up using the Demos from Flight Concepts International.
Saturday dawned and the sun shown down upon a series of dirt dives. "Practice on the ground like you'll perform in the air." Echelon discipline was a big key as always, and by the third dive, the concentration was on the setup points. As the day drew to a close, one last jump in the twilight well after sunset in this northern DZ resulted in a gorgeous 6-way box. Multiple wedges and kites were made both days, and there were a bunch of folks earning their "wings".
Sunday's last jump before I left encountered turbulence about 2000' above break-off, forcing a breakdown while the formation was incomplete. A row 3 wing collided with his still-incoming lock-up, which resulted in the only wrap of the weekend. This is a strong reminder that the skydive isn't over until everyone is safely on the ground. It also points out the criticality of proper break-off procedure, even on smaller formations. When the wrapped jumper had difficulty breathing, the lower cutaway and used his reserve, noting that it was nice to have discussed this situation during Friday's seminar!
Another great seminar, and the fried cheese curds were great, too!