We will return to my exploits in Northern Italy next week, but today wanted to share an adventure I am very proud of – specifically because I had major trepidation about it. From the video above you have surmised that it has something to do withy flying and you might wonder: why is this special? I fly all the time all over the world! Yes, readers I love to fly – IN AN AIRPLANE. I have even flown in “puddle-jumper” 4 and 5 seaters between islands of Costa Rica and Hawaii. I haven’t even minded when children had to be first shooed off landing strips before our lands could touch ground. But there is a vehicle (honestly two – one for later posting) that has always given me the jitters:
Not sure where this fear came from – but conquering this fit right into my goal of stretching beyond my comfort zone – so when a fabulous opportunity came up to take a 30 minute ride around New York – it felt like Kismet. On a beautiful October morning with butterflies in my stomach I met my friend at the NY Heliport on Pier 6 in lower Manhattan. The butterflies quickly turned to adrenaline fueled excitement as the chop chop chop of departing and arriving helicopters filled the skies over my head:
Now this is not a simple buy a ticket, get on and go – a bit of nervousness is understandable – we must go through an pre-flight instruction including donning a life jacket and familiarizing oneself with the various operations – although we have all gone through the instructions given on a plane – it is more vivid when you are already wearing the jacket and realize that there are no flight attendants on board to help. The six-seater helicopter also has to be carefully loaded to make sure weight is even distributed. Unfortunately my friend ended up in a rear facing chair so her view was often after the fact – but honestly no less exhilarating. Even getting to the helicopter is intricate – as there are strategically placed lanes of access noted on the ground on the Pier 6 landing strip – which must be strictly adhered to avoid decapitation from the whirling blades of an arriving or departing copter. There was NO urge this time, as I sometimes get on a journey, to go off the prescribed path.
Onto the landing strip we go to our designated helicopter – doesn’t it look tiny?
Boarded, our headphones on, we lock ourselves in and take a deep breath and off we go – let me tell you – the bank of a helicopter is in no way similar to that of a plane – that and the wind gusts added a little disorientation to the butterflies, adrenaline and whatever else was now coursing through my system:
I soon get my air legs and sit back and enjoy the incredible views with a unique perspective – here are some of the more iconic – starting first with our beautiful Statue of Liberty:
No I didn’t suddenly become a daredevil – the outside airborne shots of our helicopter were provided by the tour service.
Here is lower Manhattan including the Freedom Tower – truly an awesome sight:
This is what it looked like passing by – courtesy of my friend Lenore – thanks! I took out the sound of the chopping blades:
The Lower West Side including ferry docks:
Heres the George Washington span over on the New Jersey side:
And this, I think needs no introduction:
a couple of New York Bridges – can you guess which ones and what this island is?
A peek at the Intrepid – can you see the fighter jets on board?
I even managed to get a shot of the propeller of the helicopter:
The thirty minutes flew by (pun intended) – and soon we were back on terra firma with a local journey experienced and another fear conquered. Here is my landlubber view of the Brooklyn Bridge – not bad:
it has been a great day – now still on my bucket list: