After another rough night sailing from the Big Island to the island of Oahu, we arrived at the port in Honolulu in the early morning. We were welcomed with a beautiful rainbow.
Our goal today was to take the city bus from the port to Waikiki Beach to get Bill a shirt at Hard Rock Cafe. We then wandered around the area looking for a food truck on the beach that had garlic shrimp. When we were on Oahu in 2014 we found a roadside stand on the North Shore of the island that had the best garlic shrimp that Bill had ever tasted. Unfortunately this time around, we didn’t find any garlic shrimp on Waikiki. To show you how wonderful the crew of Holland America are, that evening on the ship one of the chefs stopped by our table. He asked how our day in Honolulu had gone. Bill casually mentioned that he was disappointed he never found any garlic shrimp. The chef immediately pulled out his notebook and made a note to have garlic shrimp especially made for Bill the next night. He said just tell the waiter. Sure enough, the next evening Bill told our waiter, and sure enough the garlic shrimp was prepared for him. How nice is that!
We had a great view of Diamond Head from Waikiki Beach and even from the ship.
In 2014 we rented a car and spent a week on the island of Oahu. The following pictures are from that visit.
Diamond Head is the most recognized landmark in Oahu. The actual name of the volcano is Le’ahi. It is believed to have been formed about 300,000 years ago during a single brief eruption. The broad crater covers 350 acres with its width being greater than its height. The southwestern rim is highest because winds were blowing ash in this direction during the eruption. Since the eruption the slopes of the crater have been eroded and weathered by wind, rain, and the pounding sea.
Diamond Head got its nickname because in the late 1700’s, Western explorers and traders visited Le’ahi and mistook the calcite crystals in the rocks on the slope of the crater for diamonds. Imagine their disappointment when they discovered it was not diamonds! Because of its panoramic view, Diamond Head has been used over the years as a site for coastal defense. Most pictures of Waikiki will have Diamond Head in the background.
The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific is otherwise known as the Punchbowl. The cemetery is located in the Punchbowl Crater, an extinct volcanic tuff cone that was formed 75,000 to 100,000 years ago. The Hawaiian name is Puowaina which means “Hill of Sacrifice” because the area was first used as an altar where Hawaiians offered human sacrifices to pagan gods. In 1948 Congress approved funding to make it a national cemetery as a permanent burial site for the remains of thousands of World War II servicemen.
It is a very lovely, peaceful setting with beautiful views of Honolulu and Diamond Head.
How does one even begin to write about Pearl Harbor, such a hallowed place? The USS Arizona Memorial is built over the sunken hull and honors the 1,177 crewmen who died. The memorial was dedicated in 1962 and the hull is a tomb for over 900 sailors who died inside.
Also nearby is the USS Oklahoma honoring 429 sailors who died when the ship capsized, as well as the visible hull of the USS Utah Memorial commemorating its 58 dead.
Bill took a tour of the Battleship Missouri Memorial which was docked nearby. The USS Missouri was launched on January 29, 1944, and is the last U.S. battleship ever built. She is three football fields long and towers over twenty stories tall. Most importantly, after joining the battle of Okinawa, she became the site of the Japanese surrender on September 2, 1945.
The attack on Pearl Harbor killed 2,400 people and sank or damaged 21 vessels and 323 military planes.
The North Shore area of Oahu is made up of beautiful beaches with dramatic mountains towering above the shore. This area is famous for its “pipeline” waves, the massive waves you see at the beginning of the tv show “Hawaii 5-0”. It is a surfers paradise. We saw larger waves than we had seen on other parts of the island, but the massive pipeline waves usually occur during the winter months.
Nuuanu Pali State Wayside Overlook which at an elevation of 1,200 feet had amazing views of Oahu from a stone terrace on the edge of cliffs. The Hawaiian word “pali” means cliff. This area is of historical importance to the Hawaiian people because on these cliffs in 1795 is where King Kamehameha won a battle that united Oahu under his rule. The battle was fierce and during the battle hundreds of soldiers lost their lives, including some who were forced off the edge of the sheer cliffs.
The statue is of King Kamehameha the Great (1756-1819), perhaps Hawaii’s greatest historical figure. There are four statues of the King; this one in downtown Honolulu, on the Big Island at his birthplace, another in Hilo, and in Washington, DC.
We sailed out of Honolulu at 11:00 PM, so no whale watching on our last sail away in Hawaii.
Next up: eight days at sea as we sail towards Guam, including crossing the International Date Line. What day is it????