Flying past the Na Pali coast line is such an amazing experience. Now I love helicopters and I’ve certainly never been a nervous flyer in a helicopter but I don’t mind admitting I was extremely nervous in all but possible the last 15mins of this flight.
We flew in an open door Hughes 500 which is an extremely quick and nimble helicopter and heaps of fun. What got me though was that as we climbed up the huge mountains we started to get battered around by the winds screaming across the ridges. It wasn’t a light bit of turbulence we were quite literally thrown around, so much so that at one stage I stopped shooting and hung onto my seat with both hands. The other awesome part of the ride was that once we made it over the ridge, we’d get a massive shove by those winds which had now become tailwinds and we just rocketed away from the ridge.
It was doubly intense because not only did we shoot past the mountain ridge at speed we did it with a 4000ft drop below us. The mountains in Hawaii are so steep and don’t have an gentle slopes on them, so one minute you are just making it across the ridge and then the next minute you have a massive drop right below you.
Those helicopter pilots really knew their stuff and were edging deep into canyons and weaving their way right up next to waterfalls. It was easily the most crazy and exciting helicopter ride I’ve ever had. If you ever make it to Kauai and you want a new thrill in your life, go for an open door flight past the Na Pali coast line, oh and don’t forget to take some photos in amongst all the excitement.
Here it is, the infamous Waimea Bay, the traditional home of big wave surfing as this is where it all started. It is also the place where I’ve been four times now and never seen a wave over 4ft high! Two day before I arrived here there were 20ft waves thumping through and a couple of days after they were thumping through again. Never mind, one day I’ll be there when the huge waves come through.
When there aren’t huge waves crashing onto the beach its almost perfect for families. The water is crystal clear and there are some cool rocks to jump off into the water. There is nearly always heaps of space on the beach as well. I still remember the first time I ever saw Waimea Bay it was in a really corny 80’s movie called North Shore. The movie was about some newbie who learnt how to surf in a wave pool in Arizona, he won a competition in the wave pool and then used the money to fly to Hawaii.
In true typical Hollywood style he goes from being a wave pool champion to a big wave competition surfer within a matter of months. Has anyone else seen the movie?
Little did I know that less than 2yrs after watching that movie I would be paid by the Australian taxpayer (I was in the defence force) to go and visit Hawaii for almost 3mths.
Its an iconic Hawaiian spot and if you ever get the chance to go for a swim there, you should do. Who knows you might even be able to send me a shot of the big waves as they are crashing onto the shore while I’m not there. 🙂
After almost 12mths in the planning I was finally able to stop off at Kauai, Hawaii on my annual visit to Houston and its something I’ll never forget. Kauai has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth. Each day I found myself waking up before sunrise of course and wondering what visual delights would unfold before me that day. I was never disappointed with what I saw at all. The funniest thing about Kauai for me was all the chickens but that is another story for another time. On this particular day I caught up with Kauai photographer Scott Tylor and we managed to get to some awesome out of the way places and also managed to meet the ‘Duke’ some whacked out guy who kept telling us he was the island’s best surfer.
This beach is called Anini Beach and people like Julia Roberts and Slyvester Stallone own homes here and for good reason. Its stunning. Definitely a place I’d love to take the family back to so that the boys can play and splash in the shallows. We were just about to leave Anini Beach when we spotted these really cool patterns in the water, we quickly unpacked our cameras and started shooting them for the next 30mins. Talk about heaps of fun!
What do you guys think of the patterns?