The very first port of call on our 69-day cruise is Honolulu, Hawaii. It is hot, beautiful, bursting with life and vegetation, and for some reason, very calming. You just don’t feel stressed here. While Honolulu is the biggest city in Hawaii, there is no feeling of rushing or busy-ness. We spent some time in the Moana Surfrider Hotel, opened in 1901 as Waikiki’s first hotel, and affectionately known as “The First Lady of Waikiki.” Rooms back in 1901 cost the pricey sum of $1.50!!! We rocked on rocking chairs on the front porch (free to anyone who can snatch one) and feasted on an Açaí Bowl – highly recommended as a cooling, delightful snack (see photo below). The music playing over the loudspeaker was old-timey Hawaiian, but the effect was very calming.
Waikiki Beach was the same as always – filled with sunbathers on the beach and surfers in the water. Bare feet and surfboards were everywhere. The city is beautifully landscaped and very welcoming, with “Aloha” greeting us wherever we looked.
Mike went diving in the early morning hours, with his destination a ship intentionally sunk off the coast in 1999. The Sea Tiger is a 150-foot former Chinese merchant ship, which sits upright at a depth of about 100 feet. It is just a few miles off shore and takes just about five minutes to get there from Kewalo Basin Harbor. Mike saw quite a few white-tip reef sharks swimming around and an enormous (5-foot-long) sea turtle taking a nap inside the ship. It is easy to see why Hawaii remains a dream and goal for so many people. Enjoy the photos!
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