Land Ho! 🙂 So far this trip we have sailed 17,384 nautical miles and should be close to 20,000 when the trip ends next Sunday.
We arrived right on time and docked at Pier 2 in Honolulu; the same pier used during the world cruise earlier this year. This time I took an excursion that went to the North Shore.
As it turns out, we made a stop at the Pali lookout which was quite different from January. In January we had full sun and a beautiful view; today we had some mist and a slightly obscured view from the lookout.
We then proceeded down to the coast and turned toward the North Shore; away from the area we saw in January. The weather was nice but mixed with an occasional cloud dripping just a little bit of rain; just enough to make me pull out the camera cover three times to keep the camera dry while walking to/from a stop. Not enough to make me wet but the camera is more sensitive to water than I am.
The back side of Oahu is quite interesting and very different from Honolulu with it’s city structure and crowds of people. Here there are two lane roads, no freeways, and lots of green things growing. We made a number of stops and passed many sights of interest. A couple are illustrated here.
We stopped for a bit at the Byodu-In Temple. This temple was built in the 1960s as a memorial to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first Japanese workers that came to the islands. It models a temple in Japan (which we did not visit while I was there). Quite a beautiful setting in a multi-religion cemetery. We saw Koi (of course) but also black swans (a reminder of Perth in Australia) and dragon fish (a fish that we saw in China that grows to over 15 feet long). There was also a large bell you could ring and, with that, obtain good luck. It’s loud.
One of our other stops was at Sunset Beach, the spot where surfing contests are held and the waves break large. Many tours just drive by but we stopped for a good half hour and despite the “no swimming” signs out because of rip currents there were a number of surfers riding the larger waves (they were only about 10 feet or so today; maybe a bit less). I got several good shots and one where the surfer was just in the edge of the curl.
We had a shrimp lunch at a local ranch; shrimp farms abound on the North Shore. There were ducks and geese at the lunch area and I had to fight with one that jumped up on the table intent on grabbing my lunch. Physically had to sweep the animal off the table before it decided to bother someone else. So much for the bell’s good luck. 🙂
On the way we passed the mountains the Japanese flew over on December 7th 1941. They passed through a cut in the mountains to avoid being seen until the last minute. You can see a photo of the cut here.
It was a full day and after a quick supper there was a show by the local Halau Hula Olana Folkloric group. This is a group that trains youth in the hula and Hawaiian culture to keep that culture alive. It was a great show and I have several videos from it.
Onward now to Kauai tomorrow, then the sail to LA and the end of the circle around the North Pacific.