Flying over the Napali Coast

Winging it over the Napali Coast. Photo by David Lansing.

I have hiked along the Napali Coast from the end of the road on the North Shore to Hanakapiai Beach and I have zipped along the coast in a Zodiac but the only real way to get the big picture and see how formidable that stretch of Kauai’s coast really is is by hovering over it in a helicopter.

The trouble is that often the Napali Coast is socked in with clouds and you only get glimpses of its beauty. But the weather on our flight was magnificent. In fact, Isaac said before we took off that the conditions were a nine out of a possible ten. “One of the very, very rare days.”

And he was right. Everything was crystal clear, there was little wind, and the colors of both the sea and the landscape just popped out at you. The only thing that would have made the flight better is if I’d been able to sit in the front of the chopper with better sight lines for shooting. As it was, I had to contend with the glare from a narrow side window and the constant elbow action of the grandma sitting next to me who was constantly pushing herself across my seat to get a better view of the scenery below us. I couldn’t blame her. I would have done the same.

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  1. Allan’s avatar

    I wonder how many helicopter crashes they have each year?

  2. david’s avatar

    What a horrible thing to say. I’d fly in a helicopter rather than ride a horse any time.

  3. Angeline’s avatar

    Beautiful photo! Each day of your posts brings me closer to my getting there….16 days and counting! Thanks for some great posts.

  4. Fred Harwood’s avatar

    So, are you doing the canyon, or not?
    Allan, from time to time.
    A great ride is on a sail cat up the west coast, which, as David knows, is au naturel, and a diving experience (the air does not give it all up).

  5. Allan’s avatar

    Yeah, I’m not crazy about riding horses either. In the last decade I’ve been on a horse twice. Parker, the horse in Bermuda, turned into a bucking broncho. I held on for the first three jumps into the air, but not the fourth.

    As for helicopters – HM The Queen is prevented from traveling by helicopter. It’s not considered safe enough. The only time she ever traveled by helicopter was to visit the Regans at their ranch. Heavy rain washed out a road. The Palace was not keen, but relented that once.

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