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Published: June 13th 2017
Geo: 21.3069, -157.858
Thursday 19/03/09 Honolulu - Hawaiian Islands Temps Air 27°C Sea 29°C
Arrived to a hazy start and a slow and very careful approach into the harbour, it's certainly the narrowest of entrances and the tightest we've encountered, with very little room for manoeuvring or error. The berth by the road side with the ship literally facing on to the road, you can go to the foreword observation deck and look into the cars as they travel just below and some couple of hundred metres in front of you. We had the inevitable problems and delays caused by having to negotiate American Immigration. I'm sure the whole process must have a detrimental impact on visitor numbers, for myself after my last couple of experiences I'd never planned to visit the states again, and had serious reservations about these two legs of the cruise just because of entering American territory. However I must confess other than there weren't enough customs officers to process us fast enough to make the most of our stop, in general the officers were efficient, friendly ( that's a first) and welcoming, what a welcome change.
We'd booked a short excursion to see the
sights of Honolulu visiting the famous Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head Crater, and Hanauma Bay where as we looked down into the crystal clear waters below us we watched a ray lazily swimming about on the sandy bottom of the bay, such a beautiful natural sight. From there we visited the Halona Point Blow Hole which is reached via the scenic winding road through the stratified volcanic cliffs, funnily enough after all the storms and high winds we've experienced today was becalmed, so the blow hole was little more than a puff from the ocean. Our final visit was to the Pali Lookout which gives stunning views over Kaneohe Bay and out to the Pacific Ocean and is framed by mountains and lush emerald green fields.
On our return to the harbour which is as I said alongside the pavement, there was a small throng of people looking over the wall into water so we went to investigate (one of these days we'll get caught out as there'll be nothing there, just someone taking the Mickey out of a gullible public, you can imagine the scene) anyway there was the most fantastic sight. There in the water not 6' below
us was a small coral ledge with a multitude of tropical fish from small and large angel fish of all colours, a small type of puffa fish, as well as plenty of assorted fish of all different species, colours, and sizes; you could see as much here as I've seen in any glass bottomed boat or semi submersible. There was also a machine (just like the old bubble gum machines for those with a good memory) for dispensing fish food, 10 cents for a small handful, and there were plenty of children getting the food to feed the fish, which resulted in a feeding frenzy and a glorious spectacle of colour, speed, acrobatics, and out and out bullying, that's the fish not the kids!
Having walked around the harbour area on our way back to the ship we popped into a fantastic small microbrewery next to our berth, where I sampled their extra malt black beer, it was marvellous but at 11% strength I only had the one. Linda was drinking mocktails and having finished the first the next one was free, how about that. I tried to get my black beer replenished free as well but to
no avail, oh well if you don't ask you don't get.
Our dining table for the evening meal is right at the back of the ship, which makes life interesting when the weather's rough as we're at the extreme end of the pendulum effect, meaning that pouring your soup in your ear is always a distinct possibility in bad weather, ha ha. Anyway tonight we were treated to the beautiful sight of Honolulu all lit up and slowly but surely fading into the distant, ah.
Friday 20/03/09 At Sea Temps Air 27°C Sea 28°C
Comforting news on the telly this morning they were reporting a volcano and underwater earthquake in the Pacific Ocean near Tonga, oh well why not we had just about everything else, realistically it's now miles behind us (he says confidently) although we're still travelling along the ring of fire on route to San Francisco, so we'll be alright when we get there won't we? I was going to say I'll feel safer once we're through the Panama Canal, but I have a knack of opening my mouth only to put my big foot in it don't I?
Saturday 21/03/09 Temps Air 18°C Sea 19°C
Hells bells what happened, someone's turned the thermostat down the temperatures dropped 10o C here it's only 18o C brrrr, everyone's walking around in sweaters, fleeces, and trousers, and to cap it all there's a rumour that there's snow in San Francisco at the moment so I'll be checking the weather on line after I've posted this.
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