Paraturnee ’12: No Sleep ’til Ranua

Paraturnee 2012: 2 days, 13 airfields, 14 jumps, 1400 km.

The plan was simple enough: get on the plane, jump everywhere we can, turn around when we reach Lapland. It didn’t take long for the roster for Paraturnee (Para Tour) ’12 to fill up.

Utti, 8am. Fogged in but raring to go.

Our plan for a 8am takeoff was soon found to be mildly optimistic: the fog was thick as. Not much to do then except wait and raid the DZ video vault for “Troy“, which I hadn’t seen, and am not in a hurry to see again, although I fully subscribe to Menelaus’s credo “May the Gods keep the wolves in the hills and the women in our beds!”

Boys (and girls?) from the club next door jumping from a CASA.

The weather eventually relented and we were treated to a surprise demo from our neighbours. I had in fact not seen anyone jump a roundie before (not going to use the “f” word here).

And so it was that finally, after waiting for the fog to clear for nearly five hours, twelve intrepid adventurers (11 jumpers + Lasse the pilot) piled into OH-DZF, affectionately known as “Possujuna” (“Piggy Train”, named after a high-adrenaline amusement park ride) or simply “Possis”.

Lahti-Vesivehmaa (EFLA).

First stop: Vesivehmaa. Apinahissi (“Monkey Lift”) was nowhere to be seen, maybe it was at Jämi. Land, pack, get on the plane.

Teisko (EFTS).

Same again at Teisko (near Tampere).

Alavus (EFAL).

My second time jumping at Alavus; my second time landing off DZ at Alavus. Really should start taking prevailing winds into account one of these days. Cheers to the local farmer for thoughtfully having harvested a nice little landing strip for me among his crops. Cheers also to the Alavus club for shouting us coffee.

Menkijärvi (EFME) International Airport and its somewhat rustic tower.

A slice of Ostrobothnia from the air.

A lovely example of Finnish aviation club premises architecture at Kalajoki (EFKO).

Unfortunately we were pressed for time and couldn’t jump onto the “long sandy beaches and rolling dunes of Kalajoki Hiekat … worth seeing every season” made famous in the 70s by Tapani Kansa. The airport, such as it was, did us fine though.

Sunset load in Oulu (EFOU). Not visible in the horizon: Sweden.

We reached Oulu just before sunset. Our arrival was heralded by an awesome rainbow. If you’ve never seen one in freefall, it can be quite spectacular as you’re viewing it from above and so the horizon doesn’t get to cut it in half. Unfortunately you also tend to get hit in the face by raindrops at terminal speed in the process.

A quick pack, and those of us who weren’t happy with just 6 jumps for the day were off for a sunset load. Thanks to the joint efforts (much appreciated!) of Skydiving Club of Oulu and Skydive Oulu, we were able to enjoy sauna, beer, pizza (apparently a 60 km round trip for the driver!) and a good night’s sleep.

Paraturnee ’12 Part II

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