Tag Archives: travel

Port 2 Honolulu — National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific


National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific

National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific

Lisa and Al Fittipaldi joined Ursula and me for a ride that would take us high above the towering buildings of Honolulu.  Exiting the bus we still had a bit of a hike to our destination.  Along the way we would find spectacular views of Honolulu and Diamond Head.

The view from the Punchbowl

The view from the Punchbowl

Honolulu and Diamond Head

Honolulu and Diamond Head

The sun was settling low on the horizon by the time we reached our objective.

Entrance to the Memorial

Entrance to the Memorial

This is a trip Ursula has wanted to take for quite some time, and we finally made it.  We were in Punchbowl Crater, home of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific

National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific

The photos below are captioned, so additional words are unnecessary and distracting from this solemn place.  Bearing that in mind, below is today’s photo gallery.  Click on any image below to enlarge and start today’s slide show.

 

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Port 2 Honolulu — USS Arizona Memorial


USS Arizona's final resting place

USS Arizona’s final resting place

It’s a short hop, or sail in this case, from Hilo on the Big Island to Honolulu on the island of Oahu.  Ursula and I have been to Oahu too many times to count, as had our frequent cruising companions Lisa and Al Fittipaldi, so this excursion planned by Ursula would forsake the usual in favor of memorializing.  As Al Fittipaldi is retired U.S. Navy (who says Air Force and Navy can’t mix?) Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial seemed a natural.

Ursula (center) with Lisa and Al Fittipaldi

Ursula (center) with Lisa and Al Fittipaldi

For those unfamiliar with World War II history, the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor signaled the entry of the United States into this catastrophic conflict that would eventually involve over 100 nations around the globe.  This conflict in turn lead to a very dangerous nuclear-armed  Cold War that lasted another 44 years, the effects of which we still live with to this day.

USS Arizona Memorial

USS Arizona Memorial

The 26-year-old USS Arizona (BB-39) was blown apart by the Imperial Forces of Japan early that Sunday morning, sinking where she was berthed at the U.S. Naval Station Pearl Harbor.  She took with her 1,177 lives, the vast majority of which were left entombed in the sunken remnants of the ship.

USS Arizona Memorial

USS Arizona Memorial

Visiting the memorial, which straddles the remains of the USS Arizona, is a solemn experience.  Bear in mind that lines are long, so if you decide to take this memorial trek make sure that you make advance reservations.

USS Arizona gun turret

USS Arizona gun turret

Beneath your feet and protruding beyond both sides of the memorial is the rusting hulk of a once might battleship.

USS Arizona

USS Arizona

That battleship to this day still bleeds.  Watch for black oil breaking on the surface of the water and spreading out into a multicolored sheen.

USS Arizona still bleeds oil

USS Arizona still bleeds oil

Inside the memorial you’ll peer down directly over the ship:

USS Arizona Memorial

USS Arizona Memorial

And you’ll come to the wall containing the names of those who lost their lives that day:

USS Arizona Memorial

USS Arizona Memorial

Back ashore after a brief motorboat ride you’ll find two interesting exhibits.  The first is the USS Bowfin (SS-287), a Balao-class submarine that survived nine patrols during the war.

USS Bowfin

USS Bowfin

The other exhibit is the USS Missouri (BB-63), one of four Iowa-class battleships that marked the largest and the last of this class of ships used by the U.S. Navy.  The USS Missouri’s most famous moment occurred on September 2, 1945, when representatives of Empire of Japan stood on her decks and signed the Instrument of Surrender that brought World War II to conclusion.

USS Missouri — the "Mighty Mo"

USS Missouri — the “Mighty Mo”

Our tour of Oahu military memorial sites is far from over.  On Wednesday we head to the Punchbowl.

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Port 1 Hilo — Macadamia Nuts and a Black Sand Beach


Richardson Beach

Richardson Beach

I mentioned that there was a second commercial stop, this one after the Akatsuka Orchid Gardens.  That would be the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory and Tour.

mauna-loa-10-22-2015-6-15-16-pm

Not exactly a photo stop, but certainly a tasty one as you can see from the bag of goodies Ursula is holding below:

Mauna Loa Factory

Mauna Loa Factory

For a more photo-worthy destination we headed west back to State Road 11, north just past Hilo International Airport, and then east to Richardson Beach and Richardson Ocean park.  It’s about a thirty-minute drive.

Richardson Beach

Richardson Beach

The attraction here is the black sand beach and the lava rock extending out into the ocean.  You can get some pretty impressive shots here.  But make sure you also head away from the shore for opportunities such as this:

Richardson Ocean Park

Richardson Ocean Park

Today’s photo gallery will finish up this, our first port of call on that 28-day cruise around the Pacific.  Next we’ll stop in Honolulu, but not your standard beach tour.  We’ll be viewing the Arizona Memorial and the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in the Punch Bowl Crater instead.

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