by sam on 1st January 2015 8 comments
We have flown 45 minutes back to the island of Oahu for our last few days of the trip, to our last accomodation, a cottage in Ewa Beach, just outside Honolulu.
When we landed a couple of days ago the rain was torrential...apparently unheard of on this side of the island...so much so we could barely see the ocean 10ft in front of us, but now it has cleared up, we have found out what a beautiful little spot we have got here.
We can see Honolulu airport, Pearl Harbour, and Waikiki Beach from our little veranda.
USS Arizona Memorial over the top of the wreckage
We have been to Pearl Harbour, looking at the memorial there at the visitor centre. Pearl Harbour was unexpectedly bombed by 187 planes on the morning of 7th December 1941, followed by another 167 planes an hour later. Everyone of the battleships and defender ships in harbour that day were destroyed and most sank, one capsized. 350 planes that were on the ground there were also destroyed.
The USS Arizona was a battleship with 1770 crew on board, it exploded when it was hit by a second torpedo and sank immediately killing everyone of its crew, and not one was able to be recovered. The ship remains where it sank, and the memorial has been built widthways over it to enable visitors to walk over it like a bridge and see the full length of it.
The crystal clear, warm waters and the shelter from the wreckage have also proved to be a great ground for some of the most vivid coral and fish that we have seen on this trip to breed, you can see this from the platform too.
Mr Jimmy Lee, a Pearl Harbour witness
We had the opportunity to meet a man called JImmy Lee while we were there, he was a witness to the bombings, as an 11 year old boy who lived on the edge of the harbour he saw very thing. He thought it was all a big training exercise to begin with, as he was so unaccustomed to real "war action" there at that time, until the first ship exploded. We could have listened to him talking to us for hours. It must have been just horrific, how a child of Freys age deals with seeing something like that is beyond me.
Last night was New Years Eve, we spent it at the cottage, as it overlooks the bay of Waikiki where we were told there is an amazing firework display. We needn't have worried too much.... Private fireworks are illegal all year round except for 8pm-1am on NYE ...they go CRAZY for them! Thousands of dollars must have been spend on these shows in every other garden. As we are in a residential area, we were surrounded by a truly spectacular display from all of the neighbours. Was very weird knowing that everyone at home had celebrated 12 hours before though, more so than Christmas Day bizarrely.
We spend this morning visiting Kailua on the opposite side of the island, supposedly the most turquoise beach in the world. We have seen some awesome beaches and this one was definitely up there with the prettiest. It also happens to be holiday home to Barack Obama, who is currently on Christmas vacation...
We had keeping our eyes out looking for him and his family but didn't see anything, but this evening, on the local news, they said that he spend the day snorkelling on the other side of the island (exactly where we are going tomorrow!) and then had shave ice this evening in his home town (like a slush puppy) in the cafe next door to the one we had lunch into day!!
Sad Hawaii 5-0 fans!
This afternoon we spent looking at locations where our favourite TV programme Hawaii 5-0 is filmed. We managed to see the Supreme Court, which is used as the front for the 5-0 headquarters; we saw the Y shaped building, Ilikai suites, where Jack Lord had his penthouse in the original series, is used in the start of the opening credits of the modern series too; and the spot on the sea front where Kamekona's shrimp truck is parked. We saw a few other little places too that were familiar. Sadly no viewings of the new Steve Mcgarrett himself, but it was pretty fab to walk where he has walked hehe ;-)
Happy new year guys! Enjoy the last few days of your epic trip! Can't wait to see you all.
Catching up with your amazing travels and adventures. Looks fantastic.
Love your pictures.
Stalking the President eh!!! Book'em Danno!!
Wow that all looks amazing!! Cannot believe what a wonderful experience you have all had. It just looks AMAZING!!! X
Wow. What an adventure guys!! So happy for you all and all the lovely memories you have made as a family but glad you are now home. See you soon :-) xxxxx
I wondered if you had rubbed shoulders with Jenson Button as he got engaged on Hawaii over New Year or were you keeping that one quiet?! Looks fantastic. Hope you have a good trip home. Xx
thankyou all, we have loved Hawaii, even if the weather has been pretty pants quite a lot of the time. Looking forward to lots of catch ups soon xx