Sand Island sojourning: Part II

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Tug boat meets a container ship off Sand Island.

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A black Bulbul watches intently.

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And traffic continues in and out of the nearby airport …

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… while canoe paddlers practice in the lagoon.

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A race is in motion offshore while a parasailor watches from above and a diver swims below a floating warning flag.

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Almost seems like they’re paddling without a canoe.

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Somebody took the time to erect a nice entranceway to the Sand Island scrub.

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It’s a raw and rugged coastline tucked away from the city.

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A few hardy souls stake their own claim.

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Can’t tell from the picture but this old tire is huge.

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“Vandalous minds.”  At least there’s not much out here to tag.

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Remains of an old antiaircraft gun emplacement.

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And an abandoned ammunition storage bunker …

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… now stores rotting remnants of some old racetrack days.

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Some bunkers have been sealed off with typical Hawaii improvisation.

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They’re now home to a big cat colony.

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Life on the edge.

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This black cat lurked in the shadows.

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Looks like he was in a bad scrap.  Poor thing.  Not too happy.

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This one looks like a tiger.  Maybe he’s the boss.

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The old observation tower looks like the bridge of a battleship …

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… that took a few hits.

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A lost soul finds some peace and a form of shelter for the day while a friend stands guard.  Sand Island is one of the ragged edges of Oahu.

 

Sand Island sojourning: Part I

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Sand Island is an unusual place.  Connected to Oahu by a drawbridge, Sand Island is a mixture of shipping, industrial, and municipal infrastructure facilities with a pretty raw coastline of tidepools and scrub.  A cattle egret hunts for lunch above.

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And a different kind of bird takes off from nearby Honolulu International Airport …

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… and flies toward Diamond Head and Waikiki for some sight-seeing adventures.

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And even bigger bird takes off toward the U.S. mainland …

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… leaving behind a world of waves and tidepools.

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They look like concrete bunkers but these are probably really part of an old breakwater or outfall pipe structure.

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And these look like giant sponges or decayed trees, but upon closer inspection they appear to be the remains of a large insulated pipe that has rusted away.

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Not too many visitors to this stretch of coastline, but somebody has been making a real effort to make it look tidy.  Dig the white coral borders along the bushes and scrub.

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And somebody even spelled out “Aloha.”  Cool!

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A natural puka worn into the shoreline by the waves.

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And more tidepools.

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Tug boats slip out of Honolulu Harbor to meet an incoming vessel.

 

 

 

The hat in the sea, and thereabouts

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Tiny Mokoli’i Island, near Kualoa, is one of O’ahu’s most interesting geographical sites.

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But nobody really calls it Mokoli’i.  Pretty much everyone just calls it “Chinaman’s Hat.”  Yes, it’s a terribly outdated term, but it’s a very old name and in Hawaii it’s said without any animosity and nobody seems to take any offense, so don’t get all San Francisco PC about it and insist on calling it “Asian Person’s Head-Covering” or whatever.

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It’s a unique and awesome place, by any name.

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Look closely above and you’ll see three attack helicopters from nearby Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

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One day, many moons ago when I was young and indestructible, I swam alone around the whole island, just because.  I wouldn’t do it today, at least not alone.  Currents and sharks, and it gets deep pretty quick on the other side.

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Must be an awesome view from up there.

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The Mokumanu Islands on the left are just past the tip of the Mokapu Peninsula on the right, where the base is located.

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Somebody left some nice white coral on a coconut tree stump.

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Behind some bushes in Kualoa Regional Park is a hidden world, a small pond with lots of wildlife.

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Two Ae’o, or Hawaiian Stilts, are hanging out.  And yes, that looks like a beer can in a paper bag floating on the water.  What a shame.

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They’re really cute!

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And have BIG mouths.

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Hunting for something.

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Looks like some kind of Molly.

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And those are Tilapia.

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I swear they look like a couple of ice-skaters!

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Just doin’ their thing.

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Great day at Kualoa and Mokoli’i.

Ku’ilioloa Heiau and Poka’i Bay

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Ku’ilioloa Heiau is a traditional Hawaiian stone temple and place of learning located on a beautiful little peninsula on the Waianae Coast, beside Poka’i Bay.

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It’s a quiet, open, breezy spot that lends itself to contemplation and reflection.

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Ku’ilioloa Heiau is said to have been a site where navigation was taught and voyagers were blessed.

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From the seaward tip of the peninsula, you can see the heiau and the Waianae Coast.

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Small tide pools form in the lava below.

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An occasional fisherman enjoys the serenity.

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The flat peninsula has some jagged edges.

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How’s this for sharp coral?  Watch your step.

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The colorful crabs don’t mind.

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Ancient lava is mixed with relatively new mangrove trees.

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The peninsula has become a place of remembrance for many people, with dozens of simple memorials installed along the shoreline.

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Some are quite rudimentary.

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Others are a bit more elaborate.

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And some are a bit whimsical.

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It’s unclear whether all the memorials are for people or also include pets.

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The elements take their toll within a few years.

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Behind every site is a story that’s important to someone.

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But each of these loving memorials is technically illegal, and they certainly seem to be proliferating.  The state government recently gave notice that it will remove them all soon.

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Poka’i Bay is a lovely place.

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Hawaiian canoes line the sandy shore.

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The breakwater makes a great hangout and diving spot.

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This girl’s a lot braver than me.

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Looks like fun!

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Another great day on the Waianae Coast.

Sea turtle surprise at Kahana Bay

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Just kickin’ back near the boat ramp at Kahana Bay when this Green Sea Turtle popped up to say hello.

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A nice surprise.  When you go looking for turtles you hardly see them sometimes.

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This one seemed pretty friendly and curious.

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Sea turtles are fun to watch but you shouldn’t try to touch or ride them.  They are threatened species protected by federal and state law.

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Bay Area interlude: Part VI

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Interesting shorebirds on Rockaway Beach in Pacifica, south of San Francisco.

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Such a nice little spot, and quite often empty.

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Rockaway is really two beaches, bisected by a motel and restaurant parking lot.

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Many of the seagulls have bright red beaks, which isn’t the case in The City as far as I remember.

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The birds seem to know something we don’t.

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And there it is: a Grey Whale breaks the surface and quickly splashes down again.

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It splashes its flukes for us a few times…

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…. and rolls around playfully.

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Looks like fun.

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Linda Mar Beach is a little further south, and has a nice bunny break for those who aren’t quite ready for Waimea Bay.

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It’s a much bigger beach with a lot more going on, but still pretty mellow.

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And it has the world’s coolest Taco Bell.  Yep, that’s a Taco Bell right on the beach.  It has huge windows and a lanai with a takeout window.  Pretty amazing that it hasn’t been turned into something swankier yet.  Just fine with me.

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Montara Beach is even further south.  It’s huge and empty.

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Lots of ice plant on the bluff above.

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And more whales!

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Thar she blows!  Just had to say it.

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Looks like a mother and calf.

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Beautiful sight.

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Time for us to migrate too as the Pacific fog creeps over the hills toward Crystal Springs Reservoir and the Peninsula.

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And five hours later I’m looking at the South Shore of Oahu, with Hanauma Bay on the right.  It’s great to be home.