Honolulu, Oahu, HAWAII
28 Jan 2007
|By the time Lesley and I awoke the ship had docked in Honolulu. The trip from San Francisco had been uneventful apart from some miserable weather which made our sleeping quite fitful.
The famous [or infamous] Pacific "long swell" certainly tests the ships stabilisers! In spite of this the old lady made good a speed of 27 knots.
As we looked across Honolulu harbour we were met by a flotilla of small boats which included two small submarines and a surface vessel used to take the QE2 passengers on their excursions.
The Americans sure know how to make people feel welcome. Before we were ready to disembark the refuelling barge came alongside together with an environmental vessel towing a floating boom in case there was any unplanned spillage. The operation was quite impressive.
The trip to the USS Arizona memorial museum was very powerful and quite emotional. We could not have missed the experience or the opportunity to pay our respects to the serving naval ratings or rangers who manned the museum.
Each entrance ticket had on its reverse side a picture and a profile of a serving sailor, marine or airman who was killed on 7 December 1941 and who had posthumously been awarded a medal.
There were a few tears shed by members of our party and this was done discretely and humbly. No one needed to say a word. The list of names [many members of the same family] on the memorial said it all.
By contrast the second part of the day was an anti climax with visits to other parts of the city and culminating in an abortive trip to 'Comp USA' which I shall explain shortly.
Lesley bought a dress and I bought a shirt with the obligatory garlands for the next fancy dress ball. The computer/internet system on board is unreliable and expensive. We therefore decided to buy a laptop so that we could work offline. We were impressed with Comp USA at first but when it was pointed out that the new system 'Vista' was about to be released on the 30th there was very little left for us to purchase. When we finally decided to buy we were told after a half hour wait that the last laptop had been sold.
Thank you all for your emails. The novo virus is now under control and we are fine. We are both enjoying our adventure enormously.
We can truly say in our journal that we have experienced storm, tempest and now pestilence. Before returning to the ship we enquired where the best restaurant to eat dinner was. The reply was the QE2, so we dined on board.
The restaurant was quiet so we had chance to chat to Lorenzo who looked after the table next to ours. He had attracted our attention because he was significantly older than all the other members of staff and I had speculated he had waited on table for a long time, that his wife had died and the job prevented him from being lonely.
Lorenzo told us he had been working on board ship since 1982 that he had two children and one had just made him a grandfather. He did not mention a wife!
When asked if he hoped to have more grandchildren he said this "The future is a mystery, the present a gift, and the past history."