|Love & Light and everything bright...|
30 May 2011
Updated May 29, 2011 - Day 2: Pokai Bay, Pipeline, Polynesian Dances
Discovering Enchanted Oahu: Beyond Honolulu
Visits to three of four island shores
FROM HAIKU, MAUI (HAWAII)
Oahu map - May 25-27 trip
(Morning view from our hotel window) (Sunset view from our hotel window)
Visit to three of four island's shores
Discovering Enchanted Oahu: Beyond Honolulu
HAIKU, Maui, May 29 - Ever had a friend with a floating ZIP code? Or one who welcomed you to his/her home by swimming to you? Ever swam to lunch in an open-air dining room? Well, all these things happened on our second day of the Oahu adventure when we went to visit a friend in Pokai Bay. And what fun it was!
But first things first. If you're like us before this trip, you might have never heard of Pokai Bay. Take a look at the map on the right. You will see it marked on the leeward side of Oahu. It is the most sheltered and the calmest beach on the island, we were told. Which was great news for Elizabeth who is not a strong swimmer. Our friends actually live on a 42-foot boat which they had sailed from Pearl Harbor to Pokai Bay for an extended weekend vacation. The awning-covered dining room where we enjoyed a light lunch was the stern of the sailboat (which you can see in the left shot).
By the way the beach is named after Chief Poka'i which means "night of the supreme one" . There is a sacred space coconut grove and heiau where ancient Hawaiians taught navigation by the stars.
"It is were the sea meets the land and the past meets the present," our friend told us. "There is a very rich history about that piece of land."
You can see in the left shot the distance that our hostess covered from the boat to shore to welcome us. When her husband arrived with a dinghy to row Elizabeth on board, I swam the same distance in the opposite direction. That was my appetizer. And we repeated the process after the lunch. That was my dessert. :-) Elizabeth got a ride in the boat. She had two main courses. :-) As I said, we had great fun all around.
The middle left shot is a zoomed photo of the boat. The middle right picture is a view of Pokai Beach looking southward. The right, a view toward the north.
As it turned out, we parked (our white car) under the biggest Keawe tree I have ever seen. Keawe are the first trees to grow out of lava fields. They look like Mesquite in the Arizona desert; normally quite scraggly. Not this giant. Take a look above...
By mid-afternoon, we had to drive back to the H1 (freeway) before turning northward on Hwy 99, heading for the Oahu north shore. It is a very pretty drive, through rolling hills and pineapple fields as you approach the coast. We did not stop this time, however, until we got to Waimea, where the world famous Pipeline surfing beach is located.
The last time we were there, it was wintertime. And the surf was high, probably 15-20 feet. This time, it was the high wind that was playing havoc with our hairs. How high? Strong enough to tear up even that warning flag in the middle shot. Even this moderate surf had carved out high dunes on the beach (middle right). And then just as I took that rightmost pictures, a high wave surprised me and soaked me almost to my waist.
Undaunted, Elizabeth had to check it out for herself. And got properly drenched as well.
The two middle shots above were taken at water level. All around it was a lot of fun again. We played around like kids on the beach.
One of the things that Elizabeth has wanted to do is visit the Polynesian Cultural Center near Laie, a small town on the northeast part of the island (see the map). Tourist traps like that are not exactly my cup of tea. But since I believe in trying anything once, I agreed to take us there.
The place is actually not nearly as bad as I thought. It is quite tastefully done, full of artifacts from various Pacific islands. Even though it was late in the day, we were able to catch a fascinating Samoan Fire Dance. Take a look...
We also had a chance to see a dance by some Samoan ladies, followed by a very funny coconut tree climbing contest..
After Samoa, we visited some of the other Pacific islands, figuratively speaking...
Some of them, such as the Fiji and Tonga village exhibits had some truly amazing artifacts, such as the rugs and quilts shown above. And then we drove back home to our hotel in Honolulu.
To be continued...