Hello Friends and Family,

O‘ahu, Hawai‘i, 1973, Part 4

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

The days of my O‘ahu trip went by too fast. Therefore on my last full day on the island, not knowing when I might be back, I decided to rent a car and tour the areas outside Honolulu. It was interesting to discover that on the Windward side, the waves are big— really big — because they have been traveling thousands of miles with no obstacles. When the wave hit this large lava outcropping, you would feel the impact as well as hear it.

Other coastal spots provided additional splendid views that would entice me to visit again — sooner rather than later.

The map provided by the rental car company showed this beach just below Diamond Head Crater. It was not very busy and occupied mostly by locals — it became one of my favorite stops anywhere on O‘ahu. Since that time, I have seen this beach as a setting on any number of my favorite Hawai‘i television shows.

From a lookout alongside Diamond Head Road, I could point my camera in any direction and obtain a record shot. Ain't it pretty?

Speaking of Diamond Head Crater, here it is as seen from Kapiolani Park. Known as Leahi (brow of the tuna) in Hawaiian, the crater was named Diamond Head by 19th-century British sailors who thought they discovered diamonds on the crater's slopes. These "diamonds" were actually shiny calcite crystals that had no value.

By the way, Kapiolani Park is one of the favorite attractions of local residents for walking, jogging, tennis, basketball, baseball, lacrosse, rugby, archery, and picnicking. It also offers the Honolulu Zoo, Waikiki Shell, and the Waikiki Aquarium.

Because I enjoy viewing fish (and because I had an aquarium at home, albeit freshwater), a visit to the Waikiki Aquarium was a necessity. Here we see a couple of Kikakapu (Raccoon Butterflyfish). When you visit Hawai‘i bring a mask and snorkel (or rent them) — you can see these beauties off just about any beach.

Another tank held a Lau Ipala (Yellow Tang) and three Naso Tang.

Here we see a Crown-of-Thorns starfish. According to Wikipedia, "Acanthaster planci, is a large starfish that preys upon hard, or stony, coral polyps (Scleractinia). The crown-of-thorns starfish receives its name from venomous thorn-like spines that cover its upper surface, resembling the biblical crown of thorns. It is one of the largest starfish in the world." They feed on living coral and have devastated coral beds in many parts of the world.

After touring O‘ahu, I returned the rental car and went back to my room in the Rainbow Tower just in time to catch the fading twilight just after sundown. Beautiful. The area below is the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor whose daylight photos I shared earlier, as well as the ocean beyond.

Here is more of the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor plus hotels, high-rise condos, and office buildings.

And I loved the view of the tiny island in the lagoon just below the hotel. The decorative lighting was the figurative icing on the cake.

The next day we all climbed aboard our charter jet to return to Minnesota. I was lucky to be on the left side of the aircraft and able to catch a view of the Rainbow Tower, the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor, the lagoon, Waikiki Beach — all that had been my playground for the last ten days.

A bonus! Diamond Head Crater — which I saw only from outside the crater. Mentally, I put it on my bucket list to hike the interior (you can see the trails even in this photo). Sadly, it is still on my bucket list — I must return.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com