Up up -- and away -- today!

Trip Start Nov 16, 2011
Trip End Nov 27, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Hawaii
Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Today began at 12:23am when I first got up to check the skies,  Holy Moses!  My jaw dropped at the panoramic sky-full of diamonds -- with the Milky Way running up and overhead.  At 2:30, the next time up, Orion's Belt was almost at zenith.  Through my little binoculars, I could clearly see the Orion Nebula, the Pleides cluster filled the view, etc.  Around 6:00am, a tiny crescent moon that looked like milk in  the bottom of a bowl was just over the horizon but in the binoculars I could see the earth-shine lighting up the whole sphere.  Not all first-class entertainment costs money.  (Although that Jack Nicklaus "Signature" golf course up the road might...)

My group of 4 passengers got our pre-flight debrief at 9:00am.  I had booked a 60-minute helicopter tour of the Island with Jack Harter Helicopters.  All the guy beside me could mutter was how 5 persons went down last week on such a tour on the island of Molokai.  After each passenger got weighed, I was assigned the left-rear seat (2 seats back, 3 forward including the pilot).  I specifically wanted a small 4-seater Hughes 500 helicopter because it has no doors.  That makes for better photos.  Because we had to completely empty our pockets before going on-board (lest one's car keys fly into the tail rotor which would make for a bad day), I put the 35mm camera back in the car trunk and opted just for video.

It was windy yet the ride was quite smooth.  I'd expected a much bumpier ride.  Sitting where I was against a no-door (!), you could lean out and look right underneath the 'copter.  Mmmm.  So I tried putting my left foot outside on the step and immediately had the wind take my leg back!  Mmmm.  Better just stay put.  

If there was only one tour to take, this is it.  I couldn't wipe the smile off my face until about 2:30, I swear.  People must have thought: "there goes that simpleton tourist from Canada" when I walked by.  But the sights were that good: 1500' waterfalls -- like a cluster of them (The Wall of Tears) cascading over the edge of a crater that is covered in black rock and jungle now; turquoise ocean pounding the cliffs or rolling in a pipeline curl onto a beach.  

After the helicopter ride, I drove up the east coast to Kapa'a, a small town.  Distances here are short: a 22 mile destination is a l-o-n-g one.  Most I do are about 8-10 miles.  This is Abe's hometown (roommate of Trevor's in Chicago) and also home to a shop I'd seen advertised which specializes in artwork of Captain Cook's ships when they landed here.  Can't say why, but Salesman Dave got Owner Theresa and told her I was interested in four pieces!  (Actually it was six.) We exchanged business cards and more, no doubt, will follow!  

Along with the divorce.  

I finished the day at Gillin's Beach, down here on the south side of the island.  I counted 5 persons on the white sand that stretched around a wide bay, and 3 sailboarders skimming the rollers just off-shore.  One in particular was memorizing how he'd accelerate up the front of a breaking wave to soar maybe 20' in the air. 

Today, though, I got higher.
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