Gigantic Waterfall Hole

by Jim Van Marr


On or about June 1975, on an afternoon helicopter ride with Jack Harter, out of the Kauai Surf Hotel, Na'wili'wili, we were flying west of Kapa'a and heading toward Wai'ale'ale, hoping to go over the ridge of the volcano to Waimea Canyon and on to the Na'Pali Coast area.

We hit an incoming squall with heavy winds and rain with limited visibility! Jack said, "Hang on, we are going to 'Drop Down' into the crater!"; meaning the interior of the "Volcano!"

How wild is that?!

This happened so fast! One minute bouncing around like a feather in the wind! Then smooth as glass inside a "Big Tube" rotating around with the exterior lights on in the halo, looking at the sides and walls of the volcano!

These hard lava walls with long hanging green vegetation and water starting to slide down the sides of this "Gigantic Waterfall Hole"!

I was spell bound!

And looking down through the plexi-bottom of the copter, when Jack said, "I've only had to do this a few times! And are you O K?!"

"Yes," I replied as Jack explained that as we were rotating and slowly descending we could see the reflection of the copter in the bottom of the pool in the volcano at the bottom below!

He said this is possibly the "Highest Waterfall in the World" from the top to the bottom of the crater when it is at this condition of extremely heavy rain!

Could it be one of the longest falls!? I don't know for sure, but I would like to find out.

All I know is that I made another trip with Jack a couple years later and there wasn't a cloud in the sky that day. Clear as a bell!

Real strange for Kauai I guess!

All the Best,
Van Marlin

Go to Kaua'i's Waterfalls By Helicopter

Comments for Gigantic Waterfall Hole

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Feb 03, 2009
Sounds Like A Wild Ride!
by: World of Waterfalls

I know our chopper rides in Kaua'i were far less adventurous. I wonder if the chopper companies still plunge into the crater these days (or do they violate the clearance requirements for safety reasons?).

In any case, I can only imagine what it must've been like to experience the Wai'ale'ale Crater in heavy rain (since ours were more or less under rather "dry" conditions). Must've been crazy with veins of waterfalls for sure!

I doubt the waterfalls in the crater would qualify for World's "Tallest" or "Longest" (due to longevity reasons), but sure would be cool to experience firsthand.

Thanks for sharing!

Do you have any photos of from that flight?

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