Today, Patty and I returned from a nearly three week trip to the wine country of California and a cruise to Hawaii. Our itinerary is detailed on this page. And a movie will be coming soon - Patty took almost an hour of video and I came home with two hours, 58 minutes from the normal camera and the GoPro. There were four sea days on the journey west from San Francisco to Hilo, and five and a half days on the return from Nawiliwili to San Francisco, with a stop in Ensanada, Mexico.
You might ask "what is there to do on those sea days?" Well, here is what one day held. We started with a discussion of volcanology (the science of volcanos), a presentation on the tallest mountain in the world - Mauna Kea, a how-to session on digital photography, a presentation on the newest cameras from GoPro, and a talk about our upcoming stop on Maui. Each evening after dinner, we were treated to entertainment from a variety of performers, including the ship's singers and dancers doing "Production Shows", including "British Invasion", "Stardust", and "Motown". The leader of the discussion on volcanology was a professor at some university, who also had discussions on the solar system, the world, the continents and the plates that they live on and how those plates move around, the weather and other subjects. We also had talks from a Ph.D. on astromony, space travel, and the speed of light. She also discussed, and had pictures, of Japanese submarines in Pearl Harbor during the war. I had not known about these things. And then there was always breakfast and lunch to take up our time.
Our time in the state was one day each on four of the main islands. The first day had us docked in Hilo, on the island of Hawaii. The excursion today was a trip in a van to the top of Mauna Kea, the tallest mountain in the world. Some will say that Everest is the tallest, but it simply has the highest altitude. Others will say that Mauna Kea is the tallest, when measured from it's base, which is 20,000 feet below sea level. Here is what Geology.com has to say. In any case, the weather at the top was pretty cold - temperature was around 40 degrees with a 50 mile-per-hour wind. Many years, there is snow up there, so it is possible to snow ski in the morning and then water ski or surf in the afternoon. The movie shows some clips from the top of this mountain.
The second day had us anchored off of Lahaina, on the island of Maui. We did a whale-watch trip from the harbor, and saw a bunch of whales playing in the water. You'll have to watch the movie to see all of their antics. The third day had us tied up in Honolulu, on the island of Oahu. Patty had reserved a car, which we used to travel to the north shore and the town of Haleiwa. A highlight for me was a visit to Waimea Falls, just inland of the famous surfing spot Waimea Bay. You can see the falls in the movie, as well as some surfers in the bay. We ended our day with dinner and a sunset at the historical Moana Surfrider Hotel on Waikiki Beach. The fourth day had us docked in Nawiliwili on the island of Kauai. Today we had a small boat trip to the inaccessible Na Pali Coast on the northwest side of the island. This offered some spectacular scenery and a chance to swim with the fishes. Again, the movie shows some of this scenery and some of the swimming.
The movie tracks our cruise from San Francisco to the four ports in Hawaii, and the return. Stick around to the end to see real surf at Waimea Bay, and then the original "Rainbow" by Izzy.
Click here for a log of the cruise.