We are in Honolulu, but I'm still on the cruise ship. More later.
A curiously diverse weather day began with a visible shower front approaching the ship from part of Honolulu. I observed this eating breakfast, but by the time I left to join the tour of Oahu scenic sights, the weather switched to become glorious - sunny, rather warm (82-84 F), and humid.
Two important facts I learned today pertain to Diamond Head Crater and the Punchbowl Crater. Both were post-formative volcanic blasts, that is volcanic eruptions of significant magnitude to create two highly visible craters. Diamond Head is called Le'ahi, which means wreath of fire. Kind of appropriate for a volcanic crater, don't you think? Punchbowl is now a national military cemetery, sort of the Arlington National Cemetery of the West.
Vulcanism created the Hawaiian Islands many millennia ago, shaped how they kook today, and continue to evolve as part of Hawaiian culture and existence. Throughout both Kauai and Oahu a casual observer can see the steep hillsides, many of which were former lava tubes, see the valleys form a ground level where soil gradually accumulated to allow human settlement, observe changes in island typography and animal/bird interrelationship based upon which new species were imported, for what purpose, and who retains control and responsibility for new plant species being folded into the native flora. A great deal of well intended compromises were made on one animal, bird, etc. Humans being humans, deals were cut for either money and/or for logical business reasons (to raise profit by eliminating some animal pest with no real understanding of taking such a course. Others in the remainder of interest or power wanted no change in the status quo. The problem is that almost none of them knew enough to make such decisions. More on that topic some other time.
I saw sites where Hollywood liked making pictures in certain locales, such as the torrid sex affair between Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr. In this scene, they are attracted to each other and become entwined on some lonely coastline. The beach romance scene was filmed at a place called Halona Blowhole Lookout, and it's not an easy climb down to the beach as you'll see from the picture I took. I've often wondered how movie producers/directors find various places to film parts of their productions. I mean this place, while known to locals, certainly wouldn't have jumped off the map to me. Must be a whole job category unto itself.
From this point on, if you already read the uncompleted update for the 4th, I eliminated whatever I wrote hereafter because I was tired and alas, seem to be getting sick (and that sucks!!).
So, I'll continue. My tour stopped in Diamond Head Crater, which is huge, but I only included one picture because after all how many pictures can I take of a long dormant, very wide, and now grassed over terrain? Nonetheless, it was worth seeing because of knowing the amount of work the US military did to make it a usable installation, especially at the start of WW II. Public access began in 1976 when the state took over and made it a state park (good move).
Prior to arriving at the Halona Blowhole Lookout, I took in the vistas of Hanauma Bay that had an extensive amount of snorkelers enjoying a protected environment. Those of us on the tour could easily see some of the pools where rocks formed a protective barrier to the surf. I've included several pictures from that vista. There is also one photo of the world famous Native Hawaiian Wildlife, the term being told to us by our tour guide, which are just chickens. I remain amazed at how a semi-domesticated animal could become such a pest throughout Oahu and Kauai. A last photo is of a bird I never saw before, identified as a South Pacific Cardinal. The bird has a red head, and the picture was taken as close as I could get because the little critter kept jumping around.
Okay, before beginning the return to Honolulu, we briefly stopped on the outskirts of Waimanalo Bay. There are two reasons you should be familiar with this town's name. First, and admittedly this is being a bit dated, this is where the outside scenes of Magnum PI were filmed on the Robin Masters estate. The second reason is of more recent vintage and certainly more important, at least as of 7 or so years ago. This town is the birthplace and where President Obama spent his childhood. That fake hullabaloo raised by right wing factions of the Republican Party about whether Obama was eligible to hold the office or not may come back to bite them if I correctly heard that Republican Senator Ted Cruz from Texas was allegedly born in Canada. Admittedly, I have paid this scant attention thus far, but if it's true, we could have another round in US politics about "birther" stuff. Oh God help us!!
Anyway, there is a photo of Rabbit Island just off Waimanalo Bay, and I bet you can deduce why it is called that without any more assistance from me. I also took a photo of a nice looking outrigger canoe. I've never been in one of them, and would like to do so at some time in the future.
Finally, we finished the tour at a place called Pali Point. The place has great views of Honolulu. We were warned not to wear hats of any kind or else we probably would lose them due to the winds there. This place is also famous because close by is where the last battle of unification of all of the Hawaiian Islands took place. King Kamehamea from the big island (Hawaii) wanted to unite each of the hitherto separate island kingdoms under his rule, and he succeeded. Thus, you'll see his name all over the place.
In case you may be interested, part of the title for this update comes from the Kevin Costner film "Waterworld" where people are always in search of dry land. I am now headed for the dry land in Canada. Thanks for reading.