We woke up to another beautiful view looking out our lanai here at the Grand Wailea resort.
After a quick early morning walk thru the hotel grounds, we went to get our car. As we had an 8:15am helicopter checkin near the airport we skipped breakfast and picked up our rental car from the hotel valet at 7:15am.
The half hour drive to the airport was not bad, although compared to the calm of the resort, it was ‘rush hour’! DOS did the driving and it’s funny, at home he always uses his GPS, but here in Maui he just knows where to go after flying here for so many years.
We checked in with Blue Hawaiian Helicopters right on time and after the mandatory ‘weigh in’, (they don’t call it that, but stepping onto the mat we know what that means from our Alaska helicopter trip); all for safety, weight, and balance of course. DOS had researched the helicopter options, and Blue Hawaiian was by far the best in terms of longevity, safety, equipment used, destinations, and customer service – we were immediately impressed when we walked in the door! They had even phoned us the day before to confirm, and remind us to wear dark colored-clothes so they won’t reflect back in the glass – nice photo tip.
We were divided up into groups of six, and watched the mandatory safety video which was quite extensive, and explained the use of seat harness, water vest, headsets, boarding and de-boarding the helicopter etc. Blue Hawaiian uses top notch, state of the art Eco Star helicopters, which have lots of windows, (side and ceiling) and a slightly raised rear seat, offering everyone a wonderful view. There is a microphone each 2 passengers share, which allows you to communicate with the pilot and each other to ask questions, make comments etc. The whole journey is video-taped, and you can buy the DVD at the end of the trip; no pressure what soever. We of course bought the video, even though I videoed much of the trip as well.
Since we didn’t leave until 9:15am (promptly), we chatted with our four fellow flyers, who were traveling together as a family from British Columbia (parents, daughter and her husband). When we finally did board, the parents were seated in the front, and DOS and I, and the other couple were seated in the back seat. Again, since the backseat was elevated, we all had terrific views. Our pilot was Glenda, and she was absolutely delightful, friendly, warm personality, and of course a fantastic pilot. She immediately put everyone at ease, and her flying style was so ‘gentle’ (she made it look so easy!) we were not scared, even flying so close and just over the majestic mountaintops.
Our one and a half hour trip was supposed to touch down for 20 minutes with refreshments, however it was foggy at the two landing sites so we ended up flying the whole hour and 30 minute trip. DOS and I both agreed that was actually preferable, as the trip was not interrupted, and we probably saw more that way.
We saw many waterfalls and places that were only accessible by air. We could even see the zagged roadway to Hana, with its hairpin turns along its windy path.
I took mostly video on the flight, while DOS took lots of photos. I will post some of the video footage I took when I can download and edit it. After we had completely encircled the island, and an hour and a half later, we safely touched down where we started. We thanked Glenda for such a memorable journey and had our photo taken with here in front of the helicopter.
‘Twas an awesome helicopter ride over Maui. Thanks for making it so special Glenda!