CarolinaFest 2011 through Buckland’s Lens

By: Brian Buckland

If a friend asked you if you wanted to travel to rural South Carolina for a long weekend in the near 100 degree heat, put on a black jumpsuit and run around in the sun, you might think they weren’t the best friends in the world.  But when that friend tells you that’s CarolinaFest 2011, you grab that jumpsuit and run out the door!  Which is exactly what I did.  I just got back a few days ago and it was a fun time for sure, oh yeah, and there were some great jumps in there too!  Let me tell you a little bit about it.  If you’d like to SEE MY FULL POST CLICK HERE.

The best story times are the ones with pictures.  For starters, I found out early on that Simon had his tube tied.  I didn’t know he could do that, but it’s better safe than sorry!  That guys naked half the time as it is so why not play safe!  And then there was Mel.  She must have been pissed off at something cause she was throwing out the “C” if you know what I mean.  Maybe I missed a shot or something, I guess I’ll just have to try harder next time.  Or maybe she was just trying to give Simon a “C” for the top of his tube?  Not sure…

Then there was the time that my helmet flew off on opening.  Yikes….talk about all sorts of badness.  Can you imagine what my face would look like if I lost all of that expensive camera gear?  Well, lucky for my quick reactions, because when my helmet DID fly off my head, I managed to grab it at just about full arms reach away from me.  So as soon as I realized I had it securely in my hands, I did what any good photographer would do, I spun it around to catch the astonishment on my face!  When I told Angela about it later, she had the same reaction!

I told Amy about a SkyHook I just saw in action and she was like, ‘What’s the big deal?’ and getting up an in my face and stuff.  Back off Chmelecki!  It’s just a SkyHook!  But man, to see it up close and personal, it was like an instant reserve canopy!  Giddyup!

Well, that’s about it for my wrap up on CarolinaFest 2011.  If you’d like to SEE THE ENTIRE GALLERY CLICK HERE.  I hope you enjoyed my story.  To leave you I will ask you a question.  What do you get when you throw a party, tell everyone to wear a pink costume, provide 3 Margarita machines full of booze, and tell the winners that they get either a free golden Cypres or 20 jumps with 20 pack jobs?  Not sure?  Well, let me show you what you get.   The 20th Anniversary Cypres Pink Party.   Hope you enjoy!

Lunar Eclipse Tonight!

If you can stand to lose a few hours of sleep tonight, turn your peepers skyward and watch a total lunar eclipse unfold. Although you can probably watch this from your own backyard, we think that a dropzone would provide a fantastic lunar eclipse viewing point, and if you are at the DZ anyway, why not get a rig on and make a night jump.
Scientists say that although the moon will be entirely in Earth’s shadow, it probably won’t disappear from sight, but rather turn a coppery red color. Exactly how dark it will get remains to be seen, as it is possible that there still may be a cloud of ash lingering about, compliments of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption last summer.

And just to give you a reference as to what lunar eclipse does not look like, we have included this photo from Nik Daniel – an unknown (to us) jumper setting up for a landing at Skydive Arizona, Eloy, AZ.

A-license to… ?!

Becoming a licensed skydiver is a pretty big deal – it signifies a milestone on a journey that started when you got that crazy idea in your head that jumping from airplanes was not just a good idea, but something super fun.
Once the student training is over, getting that much coveted A license (from USPA at least) signifies that you may jump without supervision, you have been cleared to pack your own main parachute and are allowed to take part in simple group jumps and have at least 25 jumps under your belt.
Before you put in your application, you have to check off all the requirements listed on the A-License proficiency card and received the signature AND official stamp on your proficiency card.
And this is where some dropzones get a little stamp-happy. Those of you that follow your favorite dropzones on Facebook have no doubt seen quite a few foreheads sporting that A-license stamp, but Skydive Palatka, FL recently got a little bit more creative…

Thanks to Andrew Eden (butt on the far left) from Australia, who started his AFF on August 21 and got stamped on September 5th for submitting this photo.
Congrats to Andrew, Beth and Clifford – and by all means do let us know when you send in for the B-license…. we expect another photo!!