Vacation 2005
, November 8th, Vacation Day 11
The Cruise Day 7 - Hawaii Day 2 - Oahu

At 6:00 last evening we set sail for Honolulu, Oahu and arrived here at 7:15 A.M. We traveled the 185 Nautical Miles at an average speed of 16.7 Knots. Today's task was to do a tour called the "Grand Circle Island". This was an eight hour long 120 mile trip around Oahu. It started at 8:30 A.M. and we did not get back until sometime around 5:30 P.M.

Grand Circle Island Map

The map above came from the tour. I do not expect you to be able to read the printing. I will tell you what each orange highlighted location is as the tour progresses. The ship is docked in Honolulu Harbour which is the orange highlight at the bottom centre on the map. The first part of the tour took us (the tour group that is) up the road that goes northeast from the harbour to the Pali Lookout in the right centre part of the map. This was not the normal route for this tour. It normally went in a clockwise direction to the Dole Pineapple Plantation that is the upper left orange marker on the map. The route change was weather related and in the end turned out ok in the end. Here are some pictures from the first part of the tour.

Pali Lookout Composite

This is a less than perfect composite of the view from the Pali Lookout. The view is to the north northeast. Later in the day we come along the road that you can see at the far left of the image.

Pali Lookout  1

A view of the lookout itself.

After leaving here the route backtracked a bit towards Honolulu and then went northwest up to the Dole Plantation. There is only a couple of pictures from here. It is interesting that when I was here in 1993 there were some pineapple fields near here. They are gone now. Apparently Dole has almost no presence here anymore except for the this tourist oriented place.
While I was here I had a pineapple ice cream cone. Yummmmmmmy!!!!

Dole Plantation 1 Dole Plantation 2
The building head on.
A little better side view.

The route from here took us up over the north end of the island and down the east side if the island. The next stop was the Polynesian Cultural Centre where we had lunch. I guess with my trip to Hawaii in 1993 (when I took almost this same tour in the opposite direction) and three trips to New Zealand and Australia, Polynesian culture does not affect me much any more I did not take any pictures there. This next group of picture are scenes along the north and east coasts of Oahu as the tour follows the coastal highway. The next place that we stopped at is not marked on the map but is a small place where I bought some macadamia nuts for my mother. There is a group of pictures from this portion of the tour.

Surfing Beach 1 Surfing Beach 2
Some of the surfing beaches with the surf down.
Another beach shot.
East Coast 1 East Coast 2
Not a surfing beach but nice just the same.
This is the same beach as left, different angle.
Crouching Lion 2 Crouching Lion 1
Can you see a Crouching Lion?
Can you see it in this one?
Koolau Mountains 2 Koolau Mountains 1
The Koolau Mountains take 1.
The Koolau Mountains take 2.
Coffee Plant 1 Growing Coconut 1
For those many of you that love/like coffee, this is what a coffee plant looks like.
A coconut sprouting.
Chinamans Hat 1 I believe this is Mokolii Island, otherwise known as China Man's Hat.

The next stop is a Buddhist Temple called The Byodo-In Temple. It is located at Valley of the Temples Memorial Park. Here I took some pictures. On the map it is the orange highlight nearest the centre of the map just left of the east coast road. This temple was established in 1968 to commemorate the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii. Much of this information comes from a short handout they have at the temple. The quoted sections in the picture descriptions below come from this handout. The handout says that the name translates as "Temple of equality - not to discriminate". This temple is a scale replica of a temple in Uji, Japan that was constructed over 900 years ago. Here are some pictures with a bit more info about the temple.

Temple Bell Temple 1
The Bell House. This is a five foot high, three ton brass bell called bon-sho or sacred bell that was cast in Osaka, Japan. It is a replica of the original bell at the temple in Uji. That bell is over 900 years old and said to have come from India. The soft wooden log used to strike the bell is called the "shu-moku". The bell is rung before entering the temple to spread the eternal teachings of Buddha. Here is the temple. The hall is known as Hoo-do or the Phoenix Hall. This is "because a pair of the legendary birds of good omen and of Chinese origin is seen perched on both ends of the roof with their wings spread ready the fly away". The hall with the Buddha is in the centre and the wings on either end "reflects stability as well as artistic beauty".
Temple Fish Temple Buddha 1
Just about anything Japanese seem to have goldfish associated with it and this was no different. I am sure it is very significant. Here is Amida, a golden Buddha.This one is thought to be the largest figure carved since ancient times. It is more than 18 feet high.
Temple Buddha 2 Temple 2
Here, from the side, is the base of the Buddha. "The hall and all the artistry it reflects are regarded as representing the essence of the culture of the Fujiwara aristocracy." The temple from a different angle. Just to the right of the temple are some buildings one containing a shop.

After leaving the temple we headed on to the final section of the tour which included the southeast section of Oahu. The major stop here was the Halona Blow Hole. On the map above this is the right most orange highlight on the southeast side of the island. Here are some pictures from this section.

Pali Lookout From Below Southeast Shore 1
Remember the Pali Lookout from above. This is it from below. The lookout is just to the right of the valley in the notch on the rock. Now we are heading down towards the southeastern tip of Oahu. I believe this is Waimanalo Bay.
Southeast Shore 3 Southeast Shore 2
I cannot say this with certainty but I believe this is Manana or Rabbit Island. Again, without certainty, I believe this is Makapuu Point, the eastern most point on Oahu. See the lighthouse on the cliff?
Sandy Beach 1 Sandy Beach 2
This is Sandy Beach from our stop at the Halona Blow Hole.
A close up of the beach.
Sandy Beach 3 Halona Blow Hole 1
There was noticeable wave action this day.
Thanks to the wave action the blow hole was working quite well.
Halona Blow Hole 2 Halona Blow Hole 3
Here are a another one.
Thar she blows for the last time.

If this tour had run on any other day but a Tuesday there would have been one more stop. This would have been at Hanauma Bay. This is the next highlighted mark left of the blow hole on the map. Unfortunately for us it is closed for cleaning on Tuesdays so we had to miss this. So, from the blow hole we headed back to the ship in downtown Honolulu. We traveled around the base of Diamond Head, through Waikiki (but not near the beach due to traffic at 5:00 at night), and back to the ship. Here are a few pictures of this final section of the tour.

Diamond Head 1 Punchbowl 1
Diamond Head from below. This is the only picture I was able to get of it. This is the Punchbowl Crater in the distance with one of the drainage canals with an outrigger canoe in the foreground.
Gilligan's Harbour 1 Statendam Honolulu 1
The harbour in the distance was the one used for the TV series Gilligan's Island in the opening segment as they sailed out on that now famous "three hour tour". The rest of the series was filmed on sound stages in Hollywood. Due to the idiosyncrasies of Honolulu traffic we had to drive quite a distance past the ship and turn around and come back to it. It did however allow a couple of pictures that I would not have been able to get otherwise.
Statendam Honolulu 2 The Statendam nose (or bow, if you prefer) on. During the time we were away there had been some inspections going on and a full ship wide power failure that fouled up the ships computer systems for hours afterwards. We found out later in the cruise that the inspections had discovered a broken propeller blade. It had been causing the ship to pull a bit to one side. I had noticed this so this explained allot to me. They were going to fix it somewhere in South America on their next cruise. I think that the power failure was also related to these Lloyd's insurance inspections but nobody ever indicated that.

This completed the Grand Circle Island Tour. After going through those security checks, just like at an airport, I reboarded the ship and took a couple of pictures before the sun set. Here these are.

Aloha Tower Dock Area 4
The Aloha Tower. I intended to get one of these at night but never got back to take it. Downtown Honolulu from the deck of the Statendam at the dock.
Dock Area 1 Dock Area 2
Another downtown photo.
The final downtown photo.
Dock Area 3 A view looking out over the harbour as the sun sets behind the clouds.

The ship stayed in Honolulu until 12:00 midnight and then sailed the short 92 nautical miles to Nawiliwili, Kauai. I could have gone off the ship again but after a trip like todays I was too tired to do so. I had dinner at the appointed hour of 6:15 (as it was every night during the cruise) and relaxed the rest of the evening.

On to tomorrow and the Kauai Grand Helicopter tour.

Originally Created: February 19th, 2006
Last Updated: March 14, 2006