Showing posts with label Oahu. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Oahu. Show all posts

12/09/2015

Hawaiian Swan Song

 .......or The End Is Near...again.

With only a few weeks before my current assignment ends, Ms Darlene joined me once again for Thanksgiving here in Honolulu.


































 Virtually every year, instead of going home, Darlene often joins me at my assignment location.  Last year, it was in New Mexico where we spent the holiday in Taos at a ski lodge.  Other years on we were diving on Maui or enjoying a Subway sandwich sitting on a concrete bench in Solvang, California.

When she visited this time, the first few days were presented with rain

 















even though there were a few afternoons that gave us a few wonderful sunsets.













So as Thanksgiving day approached, we drove up to the Oahu north shore to watch the surfers at the Pipeline in the rain.















We often sat in the rockers in front of the Moana Surfrider hotel watching it drizzle on the never ending parade of tourists.
















One evening, we sat on the back porch and listened to music under the Banyan tree along with a younger military couple who were about to end their tour of duty here.
















As the weekend began to dry, we found ourselves taking the island tour again, driving around the island to see landmarks we had always enjoyed seeing, taking little side trips and eventually discovering the Vans Off The Wall 2015 surfing competition.














While the weather was great and the waves were huge, the powerful waves were so far out you really needed binoculars to see them.














We sat in the cool sand watching and I found myself always craning around sightseers trying to get a decent photo.














At that distance, by the time I blow up the picture and crop it, the details are limited but still, I enjoyed myself

That Sunday was Darlene's last day so we took one more scenic tour back to Honolulu so she could catch her flight back to Louisiana.   I miss her still.

So, a week later, this is my last weekend here and quite possibly my last post from Hawaii this year.  With that in mind, I made it back to Sunset Beach again to find the place looking about as smooth as Lake Pontchartrain.  Moving on west, I stopped off at the Pipeline again to see the wave a little bit better than Sunset but not exactly 20 footers.  It seems that when surges come in, it moves the sand bottom around which affects the wave's distance from the beach and their height.














With the waves being a bit tamer, this brought out a different crowd.














There the usual really good amateurs, some old and some young.














As a matter of fact, there were several female surfers that I had not been seeing earlier.














While some of these women took the easier waves, others took to the larger ones.














I believe there were as many women out there this time as men and definitely were not timid.














I sat a lot closer to the water this time and even got wet with a couple of rogue waves.  Fortunately, the Nikon and Samsung phone did not suffer.














As I was about to leave, I was shooting away when this girl in one of the smallest bikinis I 'd seen, walked right in front of me.  So, in keeping with the theme of another post I made a few weeks ago, I submit to you......The End is Near.


10/31/2015

October 31 - Northshore

It was storming in Waikiki this morning but had planned on going to the north shore unless the waves were crashing on the road up there.  As I made my way out of town and onto the Interstate H1 and H2 (technically, I think you have to be able to drive OUT of the state for it to be an INTERSTATE) and actually saw lightening. Oh well, what else could I do.


So, I did make it back up to the Banzai Pipeline.  Parking a couple hundred yards away from the beach park I slipped through a lesser known path to the Pipeline where I had watched the Backdoor Shootout surfing competition several years back.  Apparently, it's still ongoing.



There was a lot of misty element to the air and the sun didn't come out regularly so it was pretty hit and miss for the right light.  Red flags lined the beach but that's pretty much an every day occurrence up there.


Anyway, here's a few surfer pictures I took.








10/28/2015

Full Moon

No, it's nothing to do with some tourist in a thong.

We just had another full moon here and couldn't resist going out on the Ala Wai Canal again in hopes of taking a different full moon shot.

These are not the best in the world but I'll keep on until I get what I am hoping to achieve.


Behind the clouds more than out


Finally

 
 

The End Is Near

On Darlene's last day here, we spent time walking around in Waikiki, had breakfast at Eggs N Things and enjoyed watching the huge variety of people all over the place.

At one time, we discussed how skimpy bathing suits have become over the years and talked about how we did not see that back home.  I remarked that it wouldn't surprise me if in the near future, men would start wearing a male version of the thongs that were in such abundance here.  Ms Darlene dismissed that notion and the subject was dropped.

We made our way down the street to the Moana Surfrider hotel where you could sit out under a giant Banyan tree and have dinner, drinks or just sit under a hundred year old Banyan tree and enjoy the ambiance.


Admittedly, I have the attention span of a lightening bolt and so Ms Darlene and I decided to take one last tour up the beach before going back to our room, collect her bags and make our way to the airport.

Since I had not brought my Nikon and had played on my cell phone until the battery was down to zero, I had no way of taking a picture but that was no big deal...right?

Well, as we were making our way out onto the sand I looked up and saw this dude in the tiniest thong I'd ever seen.  Darlene had not noticed so I motioned for her to look (as discreetly as possible) in a certain direction. 

"Take the picture!", I exclaimed.  "My phone is dead and can't take it!"  She fired off this beauty.

So, our final and parting shot should be entitled, "The End Is Near".



News from Oahu

Ms Darlene has been with me over the past 9 days.  While I would be at work, she shopped, walked the beaches and pretty much found her new favorite spot in the world.


One Friday evening, we went down to enjoy the weekly fireworks at the Hilton Hawaiian Village under a clear moonlit sky.


The place was wrapped up with locals and visitors alike.  Honestly, the fireworks did not go off at the appointed time so we were headed back to the car when the place just lit up with pyrotechnics.  They had delayed setting them off because of the police helicopter nearby that had assisted in the rescue of a capsized yacht.  Fortunately there were no injuries.



Over the two weekends she was here, we pretty much kept the roads hot trying to absorb as much of Oahu as possible.


Her spots as well as mine tended to be away from the crowds checking out the beaches and fabulous scenery stopping from time to time to digest it all.
 But each evening we would return back to town and take in Waikiki Beach again and do some serious people watching. 


There might have been some shopping involved as well.




Both weekends, we were a little disappointed that the waves were not as large as we had hoped.  Last Saturday, we went up on the north shore to the Pipeline thinking it would be terrific but when we arrived, the place almost looked like a lake.   Only a few surfers were out. 


Still, the drive was great and stopped to snap a few pictures of places we'd always seen but never really stopped long enough to enjoy.  Here's a different view of Chinaman's Hat near the ranch where Jurassic Park was filmed.


We stopped in amazement to see a half dozen young men make their way down through the rocks to do some diving from the cliffs.  It was a dangerous thing to do but when you're that age, you think you're bullet proof and the world is all Disneyland.  They probably did not know, but someone was killed doing the same thing a couple miles around the island at a place called Spitting Caves.


The Blowhole has been the demise of many as well.

 

I'm really glad she was able to come over for a week and a few days.  I know she enjoyed it and I appreciated her being here with me.






10/18/2015

The Northshore Pipeline

We took a little drive up to the north shore of Oahu to see how the waves were.  For the most part, the Bonsai Pipeline was pretty tame but still, it was nice to see surfers out there.  In the late winter and early spring, the waves can be awesome and the dream of serious surfers everywhere.

A few years ago, while working here on the island, it was a favorite place of mine and visited it and the nearby town of Hale`iwa  (pronounced "Ha-lay-ee-vah") often.  You pretty much need to be looking for it to find because there are no glaring signs pointing to it saying "TURN HERE".  In other words, just Google it and click on the map.

Here's a few pictures.






10/11/2015

Oahu - Honolulu

A couple of weekends ago, before the rain, I checked out Manoa Falls here on Oahu.   From the parking lot, it's just less than a mile up to the falls through groves of bamboo and a rocky and somewhat muddy trail.


Well visited by locals and visitors alike, it's not all that difficult and little keikis (local word for children) running ahead of their parents who continued to yell at them to be careful.



Honestly, I pretended to stop a lot to be courteous and let other travelers pass on the narrow trail so I wouldn't appear out of breath.  I was grateful I had brought along my tripod to stabilize myself in fear of slipping on the rocks.  They had gotten very greasy after hundreds of muddy feet had plastered mud on them.


I won't even try to tell you it was the most outstanding thing I've seen on Oahu but it was a better venue  than hanging out with the tourists on Waikiki.


Also, on the trip back, I stopped off at a couple of waysides to get down and visit some small flowing streams.


I had planned on visiting the arboretum near there but ¾ the way down, it began to rain so I opted to speed up and visit the Treetops Restaurant adjacent to the parking lot.  The food was a so-so buffet of Asian/Fusion dishes with some good old mainland bread pudding as a comfort food.

This weekend, I took a tour around the NE side, trying to see if I could find the old Magnum PI TV show location.

Failing to find the home of Magnum and Higgins, stumbled onto several hang gliders working the cliffs.


A couple of them really got off on buzzing the half dozen bystanders positioned by the road overlooking the bay.  While looking toward the sea, you could hear a little breezy sound and look up just in time to see them zip over you.  Sometimes they approached head on.


So, after church Sunday, I felt a little guilty just sitting around at the hotel so I strolled on down to Waikiki to see if it was still there. Sure enough, it was crowded with the usual surfers coming and going, old tourists trudging around in shorts, flowered Aloha shirts and sandals with socks on them.


I know I will not get a lot of sympathy from anyone but the temperatures were in the low nineties with high humidity making the real feel at 103°.

So I headed back to the hotel to sit under the air condition until late in the afternoon when I would go out.  The light will be better for photos later...yes, that's it.  The light's better.

So just east of here is Hawaii Kai.  Nice sunset.