Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Catching Up

Just realized my last post was on 28 December!  We had a guest staying with us from New Year's Day until January 6th, then we got together with my best friend and his wife, during their visit to the island.  It was a very busy time and here are the photos to prove it:

Our guest isn't a big fan of Internet exposure, so I can only show you what she saw or did.  On the morning of January 4th, she noticed this fish-like shadow in the harbor.  Click on any of the photos for a closer look.  We've never seen anything quite like it.

This is the LPG tanker, Fortunato, seen from the lanai.  The bulbous bow almost looks like it features a corkscrew, but it's just the color/shadow.

A wonderful sculpture of three Hawaiians at the entrance to the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki.

A bird stands perfectly still, waiting for just the right fish to swim by.  This was one of the many water features on the grounds of Hilton Hawaiian Village.

A panorama of one of the Hale Koa Hotel's swimming pools.

We took her to the Halekulani Hotel and enjoyed drinks, great Hawaiian music and the expressive hula dancing of the current Miss Hawaii's debut performance.

We were all touched by this sign in an art gallery window in Chinatown as we walked to Brick Fire Tavern for their fabulous true-as-can-be Neapolitan pizza and the best Negroni I've ever had.

The Japanese Prime Minister's plane on the ramp at Hickam Field.  Mr. Shinzo Abe was here late December to visit the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial with President Obama.  I never realized the Japanese had a state aircraft so similar to Air Force One.

She got to see the famous beach from the film, "From Here To Eternity".

Saturday, January 7th, 2017.  We drove over the Pali to pick-up John Parker, M.D., and his wife, Chris for a day of golf and shopping, respectively.  Jack and I stopped at the famous Pali Lookout for a small dose of history and great view before continuing to the golf course.  We've been great friends since junior high school and the visit to O'ahu was very special for us.

The good doctor's form suggests he does more than just read medical journals in his scant spare time!
This is on the driving range at Mamala Bay Golf Course on Hickam Air Force Base.  Just look at that balance and full, graceful backswing.  He hits the ball a ton, but then he's about six months younger than me, know.  He is a natural athlete, including being an All-American springboard diver at Oakland University in Michigan. 

At Mamala Bay, you always get an air show with your golf and Saturday was no exception.  Here, an F-22 Raptor returns from a training mission while we practiced.

You can tell we had a great day, and yes, I had a beer or two.  Jack really impressed me when he gobbled-up his first Spam musubi.  I thought, being a doctor, he'd reject any food item featuring Spam, but he really seemed to enjoy this popular Hawaiian treat.

Guess which leg belongs to the Hawaii resident?

Jack, on the right, with a father and son twosome who joined us, Chad and Tyler.  Diamond Head makes the 2nd-hole highly photogenic.

Best friends.  Jack played very well, as you might've suspected from the photo of his swing.  We didn't keep much of a score, but I can confirm he won.  We thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful day.

Michele and Chris spent their day wandering through Waikiki and also managed to visit the Navy Exchange.  We all met at home to catch the sunset, enjoy some umbrella drinks, then dinner on the lanai.  I prepared fettuccine Alfredo according to the genuine recipe, while Michele made a salad.  Two days later, they were on their way back to Seattle.

Some other happenings while I've been away:  On the morning of 9 January, the giant X-Band Mobile Radar departed Pearl Harbor.  It's always special to see something this huge moving across the water.

January 10th, the Nippon Maru arrived for her annual port call.  Usually, she is berthed mostly out of sight from the lanai, but not this time.  We had a perfect view of this magnificent Japanese training tall ship.

On the morning of January 14th, the ship is preparing to get underway for her return voyage to Japan.  You can see many trainees in yellow helmets receiving instructions.

One of the two tugs which would move the ship from her berth.

Crew members working on the sails prior to departure.  What a great view we had!

More crew members climbed barefoot up to the yards.  We really hoped they would unfurl the sails while still in port, since there was virtually no wind, but it didn't happen.

Imagine the confidence these young folks must gain from performing such dangerous tasks...especially if they survive!  Then try to imagine doing this while underway in heavy seas!

Here, the ship is being maneuvered back into the main harbor channel.

The Nippon Maru is nearly turned toward the harbor exit.

The crew gathered on deck as they head out.

To the left in this photo, is the Silver Whisper, of the Silversea Cruise Line.

My catching-up wouldn't be complete without some sunsets.  This was on January 10th.

A few minutes after the sun disappeared, the sky became even more beautiful.

The sunset Jack and Chris enjoyed, January 7th.

A few days after everyone departed, a low-pressure system passing north of the island chain cut-off the trade winds.  For several days, our winds came out of the south (called Kona winds here) bringing some of the volcanic smoke from Hawaii Island, aka the Big Island.  Our sunsets became very colorful and this is an excellent example.  In this shot, the only evidence that the sun is there is this amazing fire on the ocean.  We could not see the lowering sun at all.  I was very pleased the camera was able to capture this scene.

Update complete.  Have a great day and better tomorrow everyone!