Part 7: Helicopter Flight Over Kauai (Part 2)


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The Trip

Part 2 of this segment started at the Na Pali Coast and continued back to Lihue.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

Our flight path (for reference).

Our first view of the Na Pali Coast was breathtaking.

As we floated over the ocean we could see the sand and rocks below the crystal clear surface.

Looking west we could see massive headlands that prevents on-foot travel along the beach.  But, look carefully in the center of the photo above and you can see a trail through the brush.

At the bottom center of the photo above is a huge sea cave.

The sea cave had a huge open portal.

The beach area is at the end of the so-called 11-mile Na Pali Trail.

Another arch carved by the pounding surf.

The cliffs are sheer and there is no path up.

Some campers set up on the beach.  Great except for high tide; hope they checked the tide chart!

The pilot swung away from the coast a bit to provide a better view of the rugged terrain.  The helicopter blade is visible in the photo above.

The coastal water is azure blue.

The chopper headed away from the coast area and back toward the mountains.

As we headed toward higher altitude, the clouds came back making light scare and photos hard.

The northern escarpments had huge cliff faces with waterfalls as well.

As we headed back over the mountains Kathleen got the shot of Hanalei Bay above with my Leica M8 with 35mm Voightlander lens.  A very respectable photo given a fully manual camera and "only" 12mp.  Keep in mind my first digital camera had 1mp and my current has 42mp!

This cliff face was covered with waterfalls.

This falls was taller than the field of view of the lens at 24mm.

Note the alcove at the bottom of the falls.

A nice large pool that is totally inaccessible.

It rained overnight providing plenty of water for the falls, although this was just a small trickle.

This valley, like every valley, had a good-sized river.

As we got higher into the mountains the clouds were covering the tops of the peaks.

Another narrow alcove carved by the running water.

The flow of water created a large amphitheater in the cliffs.

The clouds were closing in fast.

A multi-stage drop for this creek.

The lower falls are based on ground water with the upper falls being based on surface water.

Only the really steep areas are free from heavy vegetation.

This fall had multiple steps.

A slight bit of motion blur due to the slow shutter speed demanded by the deep shadows.

The verdant valley floor was only punctuated by the river.

The low light resulting in a slow shutter speed combined with the vibration of the chopper made this photo a bit blurry

Getting the landing strut in the photo was unavoidable.  These pools were quite shallow.  Note the debris between the two falls.

Plenty of water in this stream.

One of the tallest ones we have seen all day.

Four very tall waterfalls.

We flew right into this alcove.  Fortunately, the winds or this side were pretty calm.

This set of cliffs was alive with waterfalls.

Wailua Falls on the Wailua River (which we saw the previous day via vehicle).

A shot of our hotel: Kauai Beach Resort.  The dark areas are covered parking areas.

The helicopter trip exceeded my expectations.  I took over 500 photos and it took hours just to cull the set to the photos show in Part 6 and 7.  The culling is typically the most time consuming part and this time was no exception.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2016, all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.