It’s our first day in Hawaii. We’re having a wonderful time exploring Kauai’s gorgeous north shore. Life could not be better!
Then Sue gets a phone call, which begins something like, “Hi, this is Robin. I’m afraid something broke on the biplane you’re supposed to be going for a flight in tomorrow and, unfortunately, we won’t be able to get the spare part for a couple of days. The good news is, we can still offer you a flight in our Cessna, instead…”
Occasionally, things simply can’t be helped. And although we were naturally a little disappointed, a flightseeing trip is still a flightseeing trip. And anyone who’s familiar with my brother, Bisckits, will know he’d jump at the chance to fly a paper aeroplane powered by a rubber band, if that’s what was on offer. So we were determined to see the positive side of the situation, and accepted Robin’s alternative.
Our pilot, Nick, wheeled out the beautiful, bright red, reproduction WACO YMF-F5C biplane, called Snoopy 2. It even has a Snoopy ‘Red Baron’ logo on the tail (although we all know that Snoopy actual flew a Sopwith Camel against the Red Baron).
And in-keeping with our mode of transportation, after helping Rich and Sue into the spacious front cockpit, Nick presented them with authentic leather helmets and matching goggles. Bisckits was soooo disappointed they don’t make them to fit Ses. And for once, even I rued the fact I’m only 3½ inches tall!
Nick climbed into the pilot’s cockpit behind us and begin his pre-flight checks. The engine roared into life and off we taxied. It’s really difficult to concentrate on writing this post, just remembering how exciting it was, sitting beside the runway with Nick doing his engine runs.
The tower gave Snoopy 2 permission for take off and we trundled onto the runway. Nick revved up the engine, released the brakes and we were off. The tail lifted first, then there was that familiar lurch in the stomach, as the main undercarriage left the ground.
Bisckits shouted with delight and, for the first time ever, we were flying in a biplane!
The Garden Isle of Kauai was spectacular from the air, with its fertile red-brown soil and lush green vegetation, surrounded by a ring of brilliant blue ocean and coral reefs. There was barely a cloud in the sky. Except over Mount Wai’ale’ale at the island’s centre, of course. But then, it is supposed to be the wettest spot on Earth!
Our route essentially took us clockwise around Kauai, with Nick telling us all about the sights over which we flew…
I’m sure the Cessna flight would have been extremely enjoyable. Yet there was something extra-special about our adventure in Snoopy 2. Perhaps it was the feeling of closeness you got from the open cockpit. The sensation of the wind in your face when you peeked out from behind the windshield. Or maybe it was because being in a biplane, even a reproduction, added a sense of history and nostalgia to the flight.
What I do know for sure, is that it was the absolutely perfect vantage point from which to get a feel for the whole of Kauai. And a great way to help plan the rest of our time on the island.
I’m entering this post for several of this week’s blog challenges:
Then, last but by no means least, Ailsa from Where’s My Backpack? has given us Work as this weeks theme. And while this was a once in a lifetime adventure for us, flying around the skies of Kauai is just another day at the office for our pilot, Nick.
And if that’s not enough for you, there are now three Jaspa’s Journey novels to enjoy as ebooks! Perfect for Kids 8 – 80!