Side Trip to Oahu:
After a wonderful week on Kauai, we flew to Honolulu for a one day
layover. Then, back to Phoenix for a SOWERs ministry, which we'll
cover in a week or two.
We had 18 hours on Oahu: 8 to sleep and 2 to eat leaving 8 hours for
a visit. Kevin at Alamo car rental gave us some great tips for a
short visit. First off to Laniekea Beach on the North Shore where
the green sea turtles love to sun themselves by day and sometimes
moon themselves by night.
This guy or girl went for a dip and came back for a portrait. Nice
shell! The turtles are roped off but you can get within 10 feet.
Then off to the Banzai Pipeline at Ehukai Beach. Only one surfer
here wanted to watch this dude's ride. The rest have turned their
backs on him.
This guy catches a nice wave and everyone else better get out of his
way. No big pipeline during our short visit, perhaps another day.
Pete has wanted to visit the Pearl Harbor Pacific National Monument
for decades. Most of our Hawaii adventures have been on Maui. You
can books flights through Honolulu, but they never allow enough time
to see the memorial. So this day worked out great. There are many
things to see at the memorial and it would take a day or two to do
them all. Most important to us was to give honor to those buried on
the USS Arizona. This tour is free, just get your tickets early in
the day before they run out. Before visiting the memorial you get
to watch a 20 minute movie of the attack on Pearl Harbor. It is
totally moving and shows the devastation that our forces and
civilians endured. The attack was the turning point for the US. FDR
was trying to stay out of the war, but this was too much.
While the counts vary, the death toll on December 7th, 1941 was
around 2,400 including 68 civilians. The heaviest casualties of the
90 minute attack were on the USS Arizona. Only 335 survived the
bombing of the USS Arizona with 1,1,77 killed. Of those 942 are
entombed here to this day.
The USS Arizona Memorial was dedicated in 1962 with a total cost of
$500,000. In 1961 Elvis Presley, after a two-year tour of in the US
Army, performed at Pearl Harbor raising $50,000 for the Arizona
The seven windows along each side of the memorial signifies December
, 1941. The total of 21 windows is a symbol of a 21 gun
salute to honor the fallen soldiers. For a small fee you can tour
the USS Missouri Battleship seen through the window. The Missouri is
one of the 8 battleships crippled by the attack. 10 other ships were
also damaged. Amazingly many of the ships were returned to service
The deck of the memorial floats perpendicular to the hull of the
Arizona. You can view ship from directly above or out the side
windows. Oil from the ship has been slowly seeping out since 1941.
The turret is the only portion of the ship above water. The hull and
the bodies lay in 40 feet of water.
The shrine at the end of the deck lists each of the 1,177 Navy and
Marine veterans who died on December 7, 1941.
Back at the dock there is so much more to see and learn at the Pearl
Harbor Pacific National Monument. Ever been in a submarine? The USS
Bowfin Submarine is available for tours.
With a few hours left, we toured Honolulu city to check it out. Unlike Maui and Kauai, this island is busy! Lots of skyscrapers and
plenty of traffic. But also filled with hundreds of resorts, shops
Famous Diamond Head. This is a typical photo you might see of this
landmark. We are not environmental wackos, but . . .
it was disappointing to see the "Hotel Nose" on this extinct
volcano. Given more time we would have hiked to the peak. It takes
90 to 120 minutes each way.
While Honolulu and its suburbs is huge and busy, it is very cool to
have Kuhio Beach on Waikiki, right in town. Just a hundred feet from
great restaurants you can surf, sail, suntan and play volleyball.
The views from Tiki's Bar and Grill are easy on the eyes.
There is much more to see and do here but our eight hours were
Aloha again and mahalo for traveling with us.
Love, Pete, Ellen and Mandy (now home with us in Phoenix).