#64 Springtime in O'ahu

Crazy to say, but the season is definitely changing. Winter is giving way to spring providing an occasional taste of how predictably glorious summer boating will be in Hawaii. Debbie and I have been busy with guests and some travel commitments, but are now ready to get back at it. Our goal is to explore the whole state, land and sea. After spending some time cruising around this island, I'm convinced Eliana is perfectly suited for Hawaiian waters and anchorages. I'm working through a couple modifications to our routine which I'll report on later. In the meantime, I hope you'll enjoy a few of our day trips on land! Remember to click on photos you want to enlarge. Several are hard to see the detail unless you do.

Meet Hale'iwa. I named her after the town, pronounced "Holly Eva", or just Holly for short. She has been a welcome, permanent addition to Eliana's bridge. I've noticed she is happily agreeable to everything I say!

The small town of Nanakuli in the distance.


Wintertime on the North Shore is beautiful and spectacular. Winter waves can be gargantuan. It's a surfer's paradise unless the wind is also blowing hard, then it gets too dangerous. A narrow two lane highway follows the pristine coastline all the way around. Other than a couple of isolated developments, the North Shore is still rural and beautiful.

As we drove northeast up state route 99, Kamehameha Highway, we crossed the fertile O'ahu central plateau. Then as we crested a slight rise from high elevation, a view emerged of blue sea to infinity and what appears to be a frothing white band separating water from land. Soon we arrived in historic Hale'iwa. "Hale" means house in the Hawaiian language and "iwa means Frigatebird. Don't ask, it's a long story.

Hale'iwa is nestled at the intersection of Anahulu River and Waialua Bay. The original hotel is long gone, but the town is quaint with B & B's, restaurants and a few friendly residents. The landmark to look for is the Rainbow Bridge which crosses the Anahulu River.

Hale'iwa Joe's is situated right at the small harbor and serves some of the best fish around.

The famous double arch "Rainbow Bridge" crossing the Anahulu River.

Some big waves, too messy to surf or swim due to wind.

The beaches were closed.

Diamond Head

Overlooking Waikiki is Diamond Head mountain. We love to hike, and Diamond Head boasts the most visitors each year due to it's proximity to the tourist district. We went up just to say we did it and came away more impressed than we expected. We arrived by car through a tunnel leading to the volcano's crater where the hike begins.

Diamond Head was the last active volcano of O'ahu, most think about 100,000 years ago. It's only about a mile up the trail, with the summit at 761' over the ocean and Waikiki.

The bonus for me was the artillery batteries built into the volcano rim. Apparently these were put in about 1910 for defense of Honolulu Harbor. There are a total of 5 bunker levels making up the total fire control station. They are almost invisible when viewed from the ground, but artillery would have excellent range. You have to hike through a 225' tunnel, then up 99 steps before entering the service tunnel on the lowest of the five bunkers. Very interesting.

The view of Honolulu from the rim of Diamond Head.

Artillery bunkers were almost invisible from a distance, but offered a clear shot across the leeward shore of O'ahu.

Diamond Head lighthouse is the main navigational aid approaching Honolulu. Just beyond the reef we saw Humpback whales cavorting in the water.

Manoa Falls

I may have already mentioned O'ahu's annual rainfall ranges from less than 10" / year on the Southwest side of the island, up to 280" / year in the Ko'olau mountain range on the eastern side. It's no surprise that just north of the desert like Diamond Head is the lush Manoa Valley. Within 10 minutes of driving, we were amazed at the change in climate from arid to rainforest.

Centered in the beautiful Manoa valley is the University of Hawaii's flagship Manoa campus. The town is also well known for its marketplace and farmers market since much of it is richly vegetated and has a history of sugar cane, coffee and produce of all kinds.

The head of the valley is defined by Manoa Stream which begins at the 160' Manoa Falls. I thought it would be interesting to hike up the trail to the falls, maybe a mile and a half in. Wow, the rainforest was beautiful and appropriately was raining the whole time. I got back with muddy shoes, but invigorated.

U of H, Manoa Campus.

The trailhead going up to Manoa Falls.

The trail is very muddy from rain.

The 160' Manoa Falls at the head of the valley.

Aloha Stadium Swap Meet

Every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, Aloha Stadium puts on a swap meet completely encircling the stadium. It's unbelievable, really. Venders line two sides of a track that seems to go on forever. These are the best deals in Hawaii on everything from Ukelele's to Kava Root. The facility works perfectly because it has all the stadium parking adjacent, and restrooms just inside the stadium doors. Weather's almost always nice!

Beautiful Aloha Stadium

Prospect trying out a Ukelele.

Woven wind chimes hand made entirely of shells. They were pretty neat.

Hawaiian fabrics. Debbie liked this one to make a table cloth.

Before Signing Off

We would like to thank you for following our blog. If you have questions or comments, I encourage you to follow the links below directly to our web site to post. I try to answer all questions and appreciate having your comments permanently attached.

Rick Heiniger

N7617 Eliana

Lying: Ko Olina Marina, Kapolei, HI

Mileage: 11,198 Nautical Miles


DavidPickett 4/26/2012
Love your boat! Just wondering about your outside tables. Most Nordhavns haave a variety of wood styles for their exterior tables.I noticed yours a white material. What are they made from? How are they holding up? Another question about your use of the aft section of your Fly Bridge. How do you utilize this space? I've never seen any photos of this area (or of the aft section settee/ table of the Pilothouse level for that matter.) Thanks Hi David, We requested our exterior tables be constructed with FRP and a gelcoat finish in the same color as the hull. We also requested the transom cap rail be done the same. We did it to minimize the maintenance. I keep them waxed, so they always look good. Debbie likes to put down place mats or informally a colorful beach towel in a table cloth fashion. I'll try to remember to put some photos up of our two upper aft decks on my next blog entry. We use the flybridge level aft deck for sunning or star gazing on four lounges. The pilot house level is currently configured as a large, covered lounge area but can be reconfigured as a large eating or game table with settees on both sides. I have also made a privacy screen that wraps around the back. We have had guests that actually prefer sleeping up there! Rick
Eric 4/25/2012
Love the blog - question - at what speed it your data plan for internet and phone? Did you try others to get to the right place. Hi Eric, First let me say we have to have Internet and telephone full time. Too many things depend on it. So no matter what the cost, we have to pay up. When we're moving constantly, the only way we can find to get a reliable connection is through satellite with the V7. They have metered plans or fixed rate. If we're moving, we use the fixed rate plan which gives us 256 Kb / sec, slow, but adequate and we can use it all we want. That service is about $2,000 per month. Fortunately, when we consistently have a good cellular data connection and can use a hotspot, we use that and switch to the metered plan on the V7 which is only $70 per month and works only as a backup to cellular data. Hope this helps! Rick
Kerry Kilcrease 3/29/2012
Just a short note to say you have a great blog/website and your pictures are outstanding !!! Keep up the great work.
John Zimmerman 3/19/2012
"Holly Eva", all us guys need one of these! Rick, do you have a vender contact we can order from? I am desparate for an agreeeing woman friend! Great photos and update. Thank you and happy cruising :-) Hi John, Holly came from the ABC Stores (www.abcstores.com), "The store with Aloha"! They have lots of nice Hawaii stuff. Rick
Bill Cheney 3/18/2012
SUBJECT: Untitled Rick & Debbie: It appears that you are having a great time. How long will you remain in the Hawaiian Islands? We enjoy your blog. Bill & Judy Hi Bill & Judy, Looks like at least a year. A lot to see and do plus we like it here! All the best to you. Rick
Kathy Clark 3/18/2012
Hi guys: Great update and beautiful photos! What camera are you using? Are you posting hi-res photos to your blog? I always struggle with what quality of photos to take for our blog especially when we are in areas with limited bandwidth and it takes forever to upload! I just got a new dive camera and hope to break it in over the next few weeks as we get back into cruising mode! We hope to be off to the Bahamas soon, then on to more serious cruising! Keep the updates coming..... Kathy and Bradley Shear Madness Hi Kathy, I use the Canon 7D with either a standard zoom or a telephoto zoom lens. Readers have suggested I start using a polarized filter for outdoor shots, and I think that alone has helped immensely. I'll keep experimenting with it on the standard lens. Three other accessories that have helped is a separate flash unit in low light situations, a separate microphone with wind baffle when doing movie clips and a monopod for low light, long distance shots. These accessories make a lot of difference. Downside to all this is I hate lugging it all around. I knock the resolution down to about 1 MB per photo for what I put online. You're right, though, in some places I have to reduce them even further. All the best to you and Bradley! Rick
Mr karl dietzel 3/17/2012
SUBJECT: Re: #64 Springtime in O'ahu hello rick, nice report. thank you. i know exactly what you are talking about, because my daughter is at the university of hawaii, manoa, and studies marine biology. last year/ fall, we stayed about 3 weeks there, and it was simply a dream. thanks again, and keep writing. greetings karleast bay/ california