It was at this point when I began to realize I had made a terrible travel decision.
Up to this moment, weather had prevented me from hiking on three trails, I wanted to hike, a few sunset photos I wanted to shot, and closed off a significant portion of the island to me. It made me worry about the helicopter tour I had scheduled weeks before.
It was this, my previous day’s experience, and another thought that made me do a bit of research.
Before I came to the island, I reserved a ‘door’s off helicopter’ tour. This was a big step for me. Up till last year, when I did the impromptu helicopter flight on the Big Island, I had never been on a helicopter flight. So now I reserving a flight with no door?
Here’s what happened. Last year, when I researched shooting photos from a helicopter, I came across an article that talked about shooting from a helicopter; settings and etc. But one article I found talked about how to shoot Kauai – not the Big Island. This is part of why I wanted to go to Kauai. The article talked about shooting methods and conditions in the helicopter. In the article I read, it mentioned the difference between having to shoot through the canopy versus having to shoot without any obstruction. The previous article I mentioned shooting from a helicopter with no doors – no need to worry about shooting through a canopy, which is something I had to contend with on the Big Island trying to shoot the lava. And thus about a month before I went to Kauai, I researched and booked a “door’s off” helicopter tour. I wanted to shoot pristine shots of the Na Pali Coast.
This day was the day of the flight. From what I had read online and the recommendations from the tour company, I had brought a windbreaker and pants. Also, from my other research, it occurred to me to have not one, but two cameras – one with a wide lens and one with a telephoto. Thus I rented another Nikon D750 body
I took a selfie that morning and realized what kind of nerd I was.
I showed up at the place I was told to be at but was met with long faces. There had been no flights thus far that day, I was told. There might not be any flights today, I was told. I was instructed to wait while the pilots made a call to go or no-go. I was told to wait 15 minutes before a decision was to be made. I wasn’t hopeful. That day was more rainy than any other when I was on the island.
And then it was canceled. All flights were grounded.
It was at this point in my trip when I was at my lowest. Hikes I couldn’t go on, parts of the island I couldn’t go to, and now my number one thing I wanted to do before coming on to the island. To add a cherry on top of this sundae, I re-looked at my return flight info and discovered while yes I was leaving the island on a Sunday, I actually wasn’t landing in Baltimore until 1pm on MONDAY!
Because I bought ‘steerage’ priced tickets, I couldn’t change flights and one way flights back were prohibitly expensive. I had no planned taking that Monday off. And there was this huge project at work that I was very involved with…
Feeling dejected, I visited the Opaeka’a Falls, which were sorta close by. Then, I visited Spouting Horn Park around sunset to grab some shots. After that, I called it an early night since I had to be up early for my boat right.