Saturday, after four days sailing, not all of it in calm seas, we stopped at Hilo on the big island of Hawaii. This was my third visit to this island. The first two times I visited the volcanoes National Park and the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. This time, I decided to visit Hilo itself. The Farmer’s Market was on, and I enjoyed seeing all of the local fruits, vegetables and other produce of the island (photo). Hilo has been hit by many tsunamis, five between 1946 and 1964. They are overdue for another. There is very little left of the original town, mainly due to the 1946 and 1964 tsunamis. The area worst hit has been off limits to development since. I visited the Pacific Tsunami Museum to get some insights as to what Hilo had been like before these tsunamis and the steps they are now taking to provide adequate warning in the likely event of another. The museum is primarily made up of artefacts associated with the personal stories of survival by some of the citizens. There are also scientific exhibits describing just how tsunamis are formed. A 20 minute video tells the story of the devastation wreaked on Hilo in the words of some survivors. The first missionary, Rev. David Lyman, settled in Hilo in 1839. His original house is still standing (photo) and forms part of the Lyman Museum. This museum is a very modern museum that tells the story of the volcanoes that formed the island of Hawaii, the flora and fauna that now inhabit it, and the culture of its indigenous inhabitants. It is affiliated with the Smithsonian and the exhibits are very well done. The Rev. Lyman’s church was the Haili Church (photo) and this is the oldest Church in Hawaii. You will find a blog post about my previous visit to Hilo in February 2012.
On Sunday we arrived early in Honolulu on the island of Oahu. This is my fourth visit and I had hoped to hike up Diamond Head with a tour from the ship. However, it was cancelled due to lack of participants. I took the easy way up and took the Hop-on Hop-off trolley instead. The trolley wound its way through Waikiki, passing the beaches (photos) and many hotels. We made a few stops to see the surfside of Diamond Head ( photo), the crater (photo) and then another view from an outlook (photos). I spent some of the rest of the day doing the other trolley routes though I did not get off to visit anything. For a description of my previous visit to Pearl Harbour, see the blog post for February 2012, and for a description of the historical centre, November 2010. Our next stop on Saturday will be Majuro, Marshall Island.