Monday, January 25, 2016

Fanning Island, Kiribati

Fanning Island was our first stop outside of the USA.  The island is said to be sinking and that its residents will need to evacuate at some point in the future.  Dave and I look at it and figure eroding is a better term for the island as many of these islands were created by volcanic rock.

The island, however, is not about the land but about the people.  We disembarked the tenders and were greeted by adults and children singing.  At school the children were learning some basic English phrases as many of them ran up to us and asked 'What is your name?"  They waved and smiled and made our stay very enjoyable.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Kona, Hawaii

In Kona we used the public bus to take us to Kahalu'u Beach Park (aka Turtle Beach).  It was more of a black rock beach vs. the sandy beaches we are used to.  Once in the water the name did not disappoint and we did see turtles.  At one point one of the turtles swam right next to me and despite my trying to keep a polite distance from him he showed no fear and kept swimming closer.  For a while we swam side by side of each other and I reached out and touched his shell.  


Friday, January 15, 2016

Honolulu, Oahu (Part 4)

On our second day in Honolulu we discovered that weather in Hawaii was not always picture perfect.  We began our day with a climb to the top of the Diamond Head trail.  The overcast weather turned out to be a blessing as it kept the temps cooler for our walk.  At the top we were able to get contrasting views of the shoreline to one side and views of the city from another.  Following our walk we intended to drive along the coastline up to the northern shore.  We made it around the scenic southeastern end and were on a drive northward when the clouds opened and torrential rains fell.  The rains were so heavy that roads quickly flooded blocking the highway. With great reluctance we turned around and headed back to the city.


Honolulu, Oahu (Part 3)

For our overnight in Honolulu we found a luau to participate in at the Waikiki Aquarium.  We weren't sure what to expect, but were treated to a great date night.  We toured the aquarium and saw species of fish we had never seen before.  Our favorite was the unicorn fish which, as you'd expect, had a horn on its head.  From there, we enjoyed a beautiful sunset stroll along the boardwalk before taking our seats for the show.  Great fun!


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Honolulu, Oahu (Part 2)

From the Arizona memorial we traveled to the National Cemetery of the Pacific where we were stunned by the sheer size. The memorial is enormous.  As you climb the steps you pass stone wall after stone wall which list the names of those lost during the wars.  On the top level are maps of the major conflicts,  You can't help but be impacted by the scale of loss.  Then as you turn to depart down those same steps and see the stunning view of the city and Diamond Head in the background.


Honolulu, Oahu (Part 1)

Our first day in Honolulu was a somber one.  We began the day with a trip to the Arizona memorial.  The memorial was crowded but the attitude subdued especially as the ferry left the dock and headed to the Arizona.  There we were able to see parts of the ship exposed above the water and watched as oil would periodically surface after seeping from the vessel.  One wall of the memorial lists the names of those lost.  It is a humbling site.


Monday, January 11, 2016

Nawiliwili, Kauai (Part 2)

Just when we thought the views from the helicopter couldn't get any better we approached the Kauai coastline and were stunned by the sights.


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Nawiliwili, Kauai (Part 1)

In Kauai we took a helicopter tour.  It was amazing!  And if you think these photos of the interior of the island are great wait until you see the coastline!


Sunday, January 3, 2016

Lahaina, Maui

In Maui, we took the public bus to Whaler's Village and enjoyed the beach.  The water was murky following a storm but that didn't prevent us from enjoying the coral or sea turtles.

After a swim, we stopped by a beach bar and sampled some of the local drinks.