I have 3 tandems and 2 AFF jumps under my belt (what little I can see under my belt) - All at Skydive Palatka. I ended up there simply because I called a random Tandem Master out of the yellow pages to arrange one tandem jump - to overcome a lifelong fear.
My intent was to jump one tandem and never go back. The tandem master was a super gentleman who made the experience safe,calm and enjoyable. 15 seconds into my first freefall and I was addicted. After 2 more tandems, and a 4th aborted due to clouds-with the aircraft door already open- I decided to start the AFF program. During the transition, my jump master purchased the Drop ZOne and it is, as of this week, under new ownership - I have shown up twice and been unable to jump due to safety reasons (clouds and high winds), but the new owner, knowing my extreme desire to jump and my inability to jump weekends, arranged to teach me the AFF class alone on a weekday and get a second instructor and pilot just so I could make that first AFF jump. He was much too busy to do this, but didn't put me off - he made it happen. I did very poorly but landed safe and recieved the feedback I needed to improve on my second jump.
Everyone that jumps there is friendly, cooperative, and eager to help newbies such as myself. I have yet to meet anyone there who has any ego issues.
I was extremely impressed when I asked a question to a very experienced jumper while packing his chute and the reply was, "listen to your instructor - don't listen to me."
The greatest thing about learning to jump here (aside from the top notch staff) is that air traffic is very limited and there are plenty of good landing spots even if you are spotted poorly or the winds change.
The down side is the current difficulty in arranging jumps on weekdays - but under the new ownership - and more planes - that will change.
Williston is much closer for me, and easier to get a weekday ride- but Art, Jeff, Jessica, Tammy and the other regulars make it worth the wait and the extra gas.
It may take me 100 jumps to get a class A, but with Arts patience and Jeffs honesty, I will get there. Safely.
Oh, yeah- you have to go off site to get hot food (unless you bring something to cook) but its only a few blocks.