Log entry: EXIT GOOD (SLIPPED TO THE LEFT AS I SETTLED), 360 DEGREES RIGHT, 360 DEGREES LEFT, TURNED TOWARD AIRPORT (90 DEGREES RIGHT), TURNED PERPENDICULAR TO JUMP LINE (90 DEGREES LEFT), TRACK WITH WIDE DELTA, SOME HEAD TO TOE BUFFET, NO SIDE TO SIDE BUFFET, STRAIGHT, NO TURN, NEUTRAL ARCH, 180 DEGREES RIGHT, TRACK WITH WIDE DELTA, ROLLED SHOULDERS FORWARD, MORE BUFFET, SLIGHT LEFT TURN, WAVE OFF AT 4,000′, PULL AT 3,500′, GOOD CC, LANDED PAST TARGET, NO RADIO.
Since I didn’t have any instructor with me, I made that log entry. I went up in the twin otter with ten other divers. Then, I waited until they had all jumped, then waited another five seconds. Then, I jumped. I was all alone. It was awesome. I stabilized, then did a 360 in each direction. Then I turned toward the airport. During the AFF training, you do not ever jump anywhere near anyone else. However, since I was only five seconds behind the guy in front of me, I could catch up with him. So, after AFF, you cannot track forward unless you are tracking perpendicular to the “jump line”. The jump line is an imaginary line drawn through all of the divers in the air. Since I wasn’t close enough to anyone to actually see them, I had to know where the jump line was. I had checked the flight path before take off and knew that the plane was headed straight out from the airport. Which means that if I faced the airport and turned 90 degrees in either direction, I’d be perpendicular to the jump line. So, once I was facing the airport, I turned 90 degrees left. Then, I tracked for a little while. I haven’t figured out the balance point for a track yet, so I rocked a little. Then, I turned 180 degrees and tracked again. I waved off at 4,000′ and pulled at 3,500′. Although I had landed a few times already without instruction, this was the first time I landed without even having a radio. It was no problem, and I landed a little ways (35, 40′?) past the target. This jump was especially nice since I left the plane at sunset. It was twilight by the time I landed. What a beautiful view! This jump made my eighth jump seem boring and uneventful. (Ever heard that before?) I was amazed at how long it seemed I was in the air. When you jump alone, you don’t have to pay attention to anyone else, and your perception of time slows down because you are paying more attention to the dive itself.