Saturday, March 28, 2015

Recent Sights.

Though the move has dominated our last two weeks, there have been opportunities to take photos from the new (and much higher) lanai.  Here is a sampling of what we saw:

I caught the local pirate ship, Treasure Seeker heading home.  It strikes fear into all who see her barnacled hull plying the waters off Waikiki. :) 

A FedEx DC-10, ready to make what appears to be a water landing.  Not to worry.  It's really about to touch down on Runway-4R, which is about forty degrees off the reef runway, just out of the photo to the left.  Just to make this clear, here's a link to Honolulu International Airport

A lot of paddlers driving their canoes westward late in the afternoon.  Click on any of the photos for a closer view.

A Coast Guard cutter heading for port.

Michele scans the water for whales as day turns to dusk.  All those lights are on Sand Island where cargo loading/off loading operations are underway.

New moon and an unidentified planet over the harbor and airport.

P&O Cruises, Aurora, made a port call.

Aurora's passengers begin to disembark for a fun day in Honolulu.

A downtown building becomes golden at sunset.

It was another beautiful sunset on March 24th, and I'm pretty sure we enjoyed it to the fullest! :)

The south shore of O'ahu was enjoying a bump in surf level for a couple days and as the waves began to break, we saw the spray turn golden in the setting sun.  It was our first time seeing this colorful phenomenon.  The photo doesn't do justice, so I hope you can see it for yourselves someday!

Honolulu's version of "March Madness" at the park across the street from our building.  PS:  He made the shot.

Larry Ellison's super yacht, Musashi, heads out for a "day sail" around O'ahu.

One of the two tourist submarines begins its daily tow to the dive sight off Waikiki.

We just discovered we can see the Iolani Palace from the lanai!  It seems every day we discover something new, now within view from the higher floor.

Another discovery is being able to see a bit of the cruise ships berthed at Pier-2.  This is the Star Princess caught in the act of having a new radar antenna installed.  If you click on the photo and look really close, you'll be able to see a couple of technicians attaching the antenna.  Never a dull moment.

This appeared to be a late afternoon sailing regatta.

Stand-up paddlers enjoying the larger surf on O'ahu's south shore.

Michele enjoys another great sunset. 

Hope you enjoyed sharing the view.  Have a nice Sunday, everyone!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Witness To A Tragedy.

Yesterday, we enjoyed breakfast on the lanai and following the meal, took up our binoculars to look for whales and other interesting sights.  A south shore swell was predicted to produce waves from five-to-seven feet high, and plenty of surfers were there to take advantage.  While focused on these surfers just east of the entrance to Kewalo Basin, I noticed a surfboard without its rider.  Impressive waves like this would be expected to cause a lot of wipeouts, so I wasn't in any way alarmed. 

As I continued watching, other surfers began paddling toward the board and I began to suspect that something might have happened to one of their friends.  Their frenetic pace suggested something serious.  We watched as they appeared to put the person onto a board and began heading toward shore.  Soon, we lost sight of the them, but did hear an ambulance and saw it heading their way.

It wasn't until the late local news that we learned a fifty-six year old man died at 9:45 AM of drowning as a result of that incident in the surf.  His name has not be released, but we offer our condolences to his family and friends.  There have been too many drowning deaths on O'ahu this year and most have been visitors from the mainland.  Can't be too careful, especially if you don't have much experience being in the rough water with big waves.

Surfers heading toward the victim off Kewalo Basin, 0903:41AM, March 25th, 2015.  It was obvious to Michele and I, that someone was in trouble.  The photos were taken from a distance of about two miles.

Click on the photo and you'll see the surfers at the center of the image working to get the injured man on a board and head for shore.  On the right of the image you can see just how big the breaking wave is. Taken 0903:55AM, Wednesday, March 25th, 2015.

0919:08:  A tourist catamaran, the Makani Kai, heads out to sea and surfers enjoy what is considered big surf for the south shore of O'ahu.  The ocean rescue was complete at this point and from the news report the man was alive, but in critical condition as he was transported to the hospital.  At the hospital, at 0945 AM, he was pronounced dead, presumably due to drowning pending an autopsy.

Be careful out there friends!

Update:  The victim was Mr. Roy Digma, from Ewa Beach, O'ahu, Hawaii.  Again, our condolences to his family and friends.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Erin Go Bragh!

Though today might have been a celebration of St. Patrick's Day, we continued working on our relocation.  We did, however, manage to stop at dusk, prepare a festive Irish beverage and watch the sunset and festivities far below.  Earlier in the day, I managed to snap a few photos while taking a break (or two). :)  Click on any of the photos for a closer view.

We're really lucky to have three great Irish bars within walking (or crawling) distance of home.  O'Toole's, Ferguson's and Murphy's were likely very busy today, as you'd expect.  The city shuts down a few blocks of our street, Nuuanu, just for the celebration.  Music, great food and beverages, along with several thousand "Irish men and women for a day", gather to honor the Saint.  This photo was taken from our lanai high in the sky as the street party was getting under way.

Michele, celebrating with a glass of "Irish" unfiltered saki, was also watching whales.  She uses the box for "binocular stabilization".  You can barely see my green glass filled with an "Irish Mai Tai".  We got wild-and-crazy as you can clearly see. :)

Setting sun reflecting off a downtown building.

This sub cruised by in the morning.  It was whale watching, no doubt.

A parasail adventurer is hauled in by the "mother ship", as the Star of Honolulu sails by on a whale watching cruise.

The Navitek I and the tail flukes of a diving humpback whale.

A diving humpback entertains the visitors aboard the Star of Honolulu.

It was a good day.  We accomplished a lot and thoroughly enjoyed seeing a good number of whales.  Oh...and our subdued St. Patrick's Day celebration was a nice way to wrap it up.  Hope you all had a good day, too.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Moving Day

Wednesday, we received the fobs to our next home.  Still in the same building and still renting, the new place is way up on the 39th-floor.  We had no luck with our search in other neighborhoods and this one in our current building came available at just the right time, for just the right price.  The view might have had something to do with it, too. :))

We'll be fairly busy for the next couple of weeks, so there will be a noticeable lack of new posts.  Since it's an intra-building move, it shouldn't take too long before the studio is set-up and we're "at home" again.

Here are a few images taken at our new home during a break in the moving-in chores:

This photo most dramatically illustrates just how much higher in the sky we'll be.  This apartment building is located across the street from our building.  In our 18th-floor unit, it blocked part of our ocean view.  Not anymore. :)

These downtown buildings and condo towers also blocked part of our view, but not so much now.  That's Honolulu Harbor, with Sand Island beyond.  The new lanai has a knee wall, clearly visible in this photo.  It adds a sense of security when one is near the railing.  It's nearly four hundred feet down to the street and a fall that far would surely leave a mark.

Our view of the reef runway of Honolulu International Airport has improved quite a bit, too.  Must be rush hour if the number of aircraft on the taxiway is any indicator.

A FedEx DC-10 cargo aircraft is on takeoff roll, while a UPS B-747 cargo hauler waits its turn.

This is one of two parasail operators hard at work today.

What colorful sails this boat has.  It's about to zoom by one of the harbor channel marker buoys.

A fully-loaded Matson container ship departs, as the Star of Honolulu and the Navitek I head into the harbor channel on the way to their berths.  Click on any of the images for a closer view.

A zoomed view showing just how jam-packed the vessel is.  Also, if you're wondering just how big the ship is, notice the comparatively tiny tug boat just to the right of her stern. 

That's it for now.  Stay well and enjoy the weekend!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Star Of Honolulu

After living here nearly two years, it was high time we took a dinner cruise aboard the Star of Honolulu.  It just so happened that Michele was having a birthday yesterday, so it seemed like a great surprise present.  C'mon along and share our evening:

One of our many photos of the Star of Honolulu leaving the harbor for a dinner cruise.  Click on any of the photos for a closer view.  She has four decks and can accommodate 1,500-passengers.

The Star's "Welcome Aboard" committee. :) 

The "Birthday Girl", adorned in a gardenia lei, peruses the menu.  The flower on our table which looks like it came from another planet is a protea, according to Michele.

A view of Aloha Tower and Harbor Court condo tower (emerald blue) as we left our berth.

What a beautiful salad!  It was almost too pretty to eat.  The flow of the two-and-a-half hour cruise was food, food, food, along with beverages and non-stop entertainment.  A jazz combo followed the initial Hawaiian music and a Polynesian dance review--highlighting the many Pacific Island peoples and their cultures--continued even after we returned to the berth near Aloha Tower.  Interspersed with this, we took a couple of trips up to the observation deck to enjoy watching whales. 

The "Island Magic" catamaran passes by on a sunset cruise.

This is how it looked without cropping.

Diamond Head and the Gold Coast hotels and condo towers.

Diamond Head lighthouse.  If you click on this image, you will see quite a few surfers and paddlers enjoying the early evening.

Lobster, all the way from Maine, was on the menu, along with a steak. 

Cruising past Waikiki, the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, aka, the "Pink Palace of the Pacific", always stands out from the rest of the crowd.

Michele scans the water for whales.

With approximately ten thousand humpback whales in Hawaiian waters this time of year, it's hard to miss seeing them.  I got lucky with this shot as the beast dives.

Michele snapped this photo.

It was a fiery, spectacular sunset--just what I ordered for Michele's birthday! :)

Michele enjoys the view from our table.

As night fell, the giant mosaic which adorns the Rainbow Tower at Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki was even more striking.  In 1968, the tower opened with the world’s largest ceramic-tile mosaic spanning 286-feet high by 26-feet wide.  More than 16,000-multi-colored tiles are used to complete this spectacular mosaic.
Showtime!  The review is called, "My Hawaii--Beyond the Reef".  It features fantastically talented men and women who honor Pacific island cultures with their dances and costumes.  Not limited to  the stage, they danced among passengers, as you can see in this photo.

Another shot.  All of this energetic dancing and drumming continued while we eased into the berth and even for awhile after the ship was tied-up!

This segment taught us something about the Maori tribesmen of New Zealand.  The dance was meant to intimidate their enemies and after seeing it, I'm sure it did! 

I don't remember exactly where this dance originated, but the meaning was universal. 

The cruise was a lot of fun and the crew displayed exemplary Aloha Spirit to everyone--tourists, as well as, kama'aina--like us.  Mahalo to the Star of Honolulu!

Have a great week!