Ray  Rider   Hat   Rodeo   Dan   Roping   Livestock   cowboy

June 30, 2000 Pitt Meadows, BC

Some work colleagues and I decided to go skydiving out in Pitt Meadows, a suburb of Vancouver in 2000. It was certainly an interesting experience. I originally thought the jump would be like gently falling through the air with no discomfort. I was a little off on that one...

My tandem instructor, Paco, was a character. We were going to jump from 12,500 feet with me in front and him strapped to my back. When flying up in the plane, everything seemed normal at first, just another plane ride. Then the door opens and you hear and smell the engine, the rushing wind, the gasoline. That's when it first struck me what I was about to do.

When we waddled to the door, I crossed my arms and then he pushed us out. The first couple of seconds were a blur, all I remember was the horizon flipping by a couple of times because we tumbled when we fell out. No one told me about that part. Of course, I had a helmet strap that was flapping rapidly in the wind against my neck but I was too terrified to reach in and tuck it in. Better to leave it and deal with the pain than risk upsetting our balance as we free-fell through the air.

Finally when the parachute opened, it was a god awful yank on my body as the parachute dramatically slowed the decent. And when I was just hanging there in the harness, it cut into my arm pits and legs...no one told me about that either.

I saw a tiny dot on the ground, that was the landing mark. Hard to believe you could actually hit it since it seemed so tiny but by using the parachute handles, you could guide the chute very accurately. I could barely move once we hit the ground. A great experience but I probably won't do it again...I'm a land kind of guy as it turns out....

Me and my brave co-workers

Da plane...

Paco, the crazy tandem guy

Parachute has openned

About to land


Walking away from the landing

The final parting shot

Pacific Skydivers Ltd. - a good outfit, the folks I went skydiving with