July 10 – Wandering Through the Waikiki Area

When we walked out on our patio this morning we observed an unusual sight.  While we've heard of elephants and other animals seemingly mouring over their dead, we were amazed to watch two birds curiously standing sentinel over a bird which had apparently died over night.

Other brids we saw today included doves

some mostly white, which we'd never seen before,

a few ducks

and a red-chested or Brazilian Cardinal

During our walk, we picked up some interesting tidits about the Island of Oahu.

  • Oahu Name Means – The Gathering Place
  • Capital – Honolulu
  • Population- 991,788 and counting
  • Area – 597 square miles
  • Island Flower – llima
  • Highest Peak – Mt. Ka’ala (4.025’)

As we visited the U.S. Military Cenetery known as the "Punch Bowl", DIamond Head and Pearl Harbor, incuding a trip aboard the USS Arizona memorial (presently closed for maintenance), we do not plan to spend any time at these places. 

A little research about the island: 

The 304-year-old Kingdom of O‘ahu was once ruled by the most ancient ali'lin all of the Hawaiian Islands. The first great king of O‘ahu was Ma'lilkakahi, the lawmaker, who was followed by many generation of monarchs. Kualiʻi was the first of the war like kings and so were his sons. In 1773, the throne fell upon Kahahana, the son of Elani of Ewa. In 1783 King of Maui, conquered O‘ahu and deposed the reigning family and then made another son, king of Oʻahu.  "Kamehameha the Great" would conquer in the mountain Kalanikūpule's force in the Battle of Nu'uanu. Kamehameha founded the Kindom of Hawaii with the conquest of Oʻahu in 1795. Hawaii would not be unified until the islands of Kauai and Ni'ihau surrendered under in 1810.  Kamahameha III moved his capital from Maui to Honolulu. Oʻahu in 1845. The Iolani Palace, which we'll be visiting tomorrow, built later by other members of the royal family, is still standing, and is the only royal palace on American soil.

Oʻahu was apparently the first of the Hawaiian Islands sighted by the crew of HMS Resolution on January 19,1778 during Captain James Cook's third Pacific expedition. Escorted by HMS DIscovery, the expedition was surprised to find high islands this far north in the central Pacific. Oʻahu was not actually visited by Europeans until February 28, 1779 when Captain Charles Clerke aboard HMS Resolution stepped ashore at Waimea Bay. Clerke had taken command of the ship after James Cook was killed at Kealakekua Bay (Island of Hawaii) on February 14, and was leaving the islands for the North Pacific. With the discovery of the Hawaiian Islands came the introduction of disease, mosquitos and aggressive foreign animals. Although indirect, the simple exposure to these foreign species caused permanent damage to the Native Hawaiian people and environment.

In more recent history, the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor on Oahu on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941 and brought the United States into World War II.  The surprise attack was aimed at the Pacific Fleet of the U.S. Navy and its defending Army and Marine Air Forces. The attack damaged or destroyed twelve American warships, destroyed 188 aircraft, and resulted in the deaths of 2,335 American servicemen and 68 civilians (of those, 1,177 were the result of the destruction of the USS Arizona alone). At the time, Hawaii was not yet a state, which did not happen until 1959.

As was the case with our dinner last night, we had breakfast in an open-air restaurant where views of the waters off Waikiki were all around us.

The Place of Living Remembrance – While the Arizona Memorial and Punch Bowl Military Cemetery honor fallen military heroes, this memorial was constructed to honor and proovide a final resting place for Native Hawaiians, the remains of many which have been unearthed during redevelopment projects on Oahu.

Makua and Kila,

Waikiki Circle Hotel

Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana 'Ole (1871-1922)

Decorative waterfall

Ferry of some sort.  If you look carefully, you can spot a surfer sitting on her board and parasailer

 Indian Banyan Tree

Surfing Legend and Olympian Duke Paoa Kahanamoku (1890-1968)

Even in this paradise, homelessness remains a problem.

Aside from carrying their surf boards, there are other popular ways of moving them around.

The building architectur of many of Waikiki's hotels and banks is worth noting.

See the window washers?

There is a section of Honolulu where there are many building murals, some done by world reknown artists.  ALthough we only caught a glimpse of them during our shuttle from the airport to our hotel, we did discover a few others today.

Even the sidewalk trash recepitcles are decorated.

We stopped by to watch a free, outdoor Hula class

and look who got caught up in the swing of it!

The Brothers in Valor Memorial

The Brothers in Valor Memorial at Fort DeRussy, Oahu, commemorates the heroic lives of thousands of Japanese-Americans who served in the U.S. Military in World War II; veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the Military Intelligence Service, and the 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion.

Nearby we watched an adept city worker as he trimmed the palms in a park.

The Hawk that Soars with the Wind

The Voice of the Wind

Rising WInd

The Hawk Soars

Hawaiian Village Decorative Waterfalls

Life finds a way, even in a hunk of lava

A bus with a "whale of a tale"

We next stopped at the U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii which is housed inside Battery Randolph, a former coastal artillery battery, located a Fort DeRussy Military Reservation. The museum's collection contains some World War II armor pieces,

Pre-fabricated pillbox.  In the months before the attack on Pearl Harbor these were installed to protect U.S. airfields, other military installations and beaches around Oahu.  Once burried, the two-man crew entered through a narrow culvert pipe at the base and operated machine guns from inside.

Monarchy Cannon – One of twelve guns placed on the Punchbowl crater by the Hawaiian monarchy beginning in 1831 to defend Honolulu and first salutees.

U.S. 105mm Howitzer M3.  It came about as the need for armor to support airborne troops.  The M3 was creatd by shortening the barrel of the 105mm and mooutingit on a modified frame of a 75mm carriage.  It had an effective range of 8,295 yards.

Japanese Type 1. light-weight and mobile gun used by anti-tank units.  It fired a 3 lb. shell whichcould penetrate 3" of armor up to 500 years.

U.S. M-24 Light-weight Tank.  Used for scouting and reconnaissance in the late days of World War II.  It munted a 75mm main gun and three machine guns behine 1" of armor. The 18 ton tank with a crew of three could reach speeds of up to 35 MPH.

Jampanese light tank operated by a crew of three.- equipped with one 37mm gun and two 7mm machine guns.  Protected by only ½" of armor.  It has a six-cylindar, 110 hp air-cooled engine.  It has a speed of 30 MPH and a range of 90-100 miles

an  Ah01 Cobra Helicopter,

Speed  –  219 MPH

Weight  –  9.000 lbs.

Range  –  360 miles

Service Ceiling  –  11,400 feet

Hover Ceiling  –  9,000 feet

Armament –  varied with modifications

  • 7.62 mm multi-gum, multi-gun in the pod
  • 40 mm renade launcher
  • 2.75" rocket pods on stores pylons
  • 8 TOW antitank missles

and small arms indoors, as well as the battery itself.

14" Disappearing Rifle

The battery's main guns were scrapped prior to the inception of the museum.

Museum exhibits cover the military history of pre-Imperial Hawaii and the post-annexation history of  U.S. Army warfare in the Pacific hemisphere including World War II, Vietnam, and Korea.  The museum also includes a "Gallery of Heroes" honoring recipients of the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross.

ON the way back to our hotel, we took the "beach" route … other than having to detour around the Sheraton … where we had some great views of Diamond Head.

While it may seem boring, we again ate lunch over looking Waikiki Beach.

In several of the parks we passed through we noticed that one side of many of the palms was peppered with a great many holes.

From some reserch, this has been caused by an infestation of the coconut rhinoceros beetle.  At two and a half inches long and sporting large horns on the front of its head, the coconut rhinoceros beetle is a remarkable-looking creature, but this lumbering giant of an insect is also a devastating pest of coconut and palm trees.  Following its arrival on Palau in 1942, this critter from Southeast Asia quickly spread widely, wiping out 50 percent of the palms in the archipelago.

All around us were flowers … although mostly the yellow hibiscus (Hawaii's state flower),

the plumera (often used to make fresh leis),

and the multi-colored blossoms of the yellow poinciana tree.



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