Thursday, April 24, 2008

Hawaii: Post from Stacey

Hawaii (April 22)

Post from Stacey


Aloha - Hello, Goodbye

Mahaolo - Thank You


Starting our day early, entering Honolulu Harbor before sunrise, we first toured Pearl Harbor.  Since we had just come from Hiroshima and learned about the US atomic bombing in Japan in 1945, it seemed only right to visit the site of the Japanese 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, which brought World War II to American soil.  The USS Arizona Memorial commemorates all of those whose lives were lost on Oahu, December 7, 1941.  The memorial is built atop the sunken battleship which became the final resting place for 1,777 crewmen.   After 67 years, I was surprised to see the battleship leaking oil.  Oddly, a drop would float from under the memorial every minute or so, as if it was bleeding.  We also toured the Pacific Submarine Museum and the USS Bowfin submarine, launched on December 7, 1942, nicknamed the "Pearl Harbor Avenger".


After Pearl Harbor and a brief city tour, our guide dropped us off at Waikiki Beach.  We shopped a bit at the International Market and stumbled upon a coveted item that we had been searching for in Japan (the Godzilla lighter).  Then we got a tip on a Hawaiian restaurant, Ono's in Kapahulu, making our way there for a really yummy feast of kalua pig, laulau, pipikaula, lomi, rice, poi, haupia, etc.  The true hawaiian style roasted pig cooks all day in an underground oven called an imu.  The pork is so tender and flavorful whether or not its wrapped in taro leaves. 


Returning to Waikiki to people watch and play on the narrow beach after lunch, we enjoyed a beautiful sunset before heading to the ship.  Waikiki, a paradise in it's day, is still very pretty with Diamond Head in the distance.  But the beach is now a manmade version of the paradise it once was, with offshore sand retrieval, high rise hotels, and numerous breakwaters.  Beach restoration is a regular occurrence as shore erosion continues to be a problem.  Made popular by surfers, many still carry their boards to the water to catch a wave.


A very brief visit to Hawaii to refuel left many in the SAS community wanting to stay longer and pushed the "on-ship time" to its limit.  We did however, depart Honolulu on time and look forward to a smooth, 10 day voyage across the Pacific to Costa Rica. 

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