Failure to Reach Pearl Harbor

January 8, 2015

Oahu has been amazing so far. Having left Texas when the temperature dropped below zero, I had forgotten just how good the sun can feel. Couple that with a great setup in Kailua, and things are shaping up nicely.

It’s only been two days. I emerged from the airport inappropriately dressed in a business shirt and leather jacket and found the reception to be similar to Thailand and the Philippines: warm, slightly breezy, the smell of saltwater and exhaust. I didn’t have enough energy to do anything more than eat a little and take a short walk through town before passing out. The next day, however, was filled with promise.

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A morning run on Kailua Beach.

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A hike up to the pillboxes (old military lookouts; places to safely shoot) overlooking Lanikai Beach.

My goal for the day, other than a long run, was to reach the museums at Pearl Harbor. A simple enough task, but the military bases are actually quite a ways from the center of Honolulu (though close to the airport, if you want to walk or Uber from there… is there Uber in Hawaii?) As readers of OAT know, I’m not one to shy away from public transportation.

TheBus has several routes across the island, including across the street from the USS Arizona museum. It was no problem getting there for $2.50, but I didn’t anticipate two things:

– The museums require a bag check. $3 cash.
– Although the Arizona is open for viewing until 5:00, the last boat is at 3:00 (really? two hours?)

Viewing the sunken ship is the only free exhibit at Pearl Harbor, but if you want to guarantee a slot, you have to pay $1.50 for a ticket online. Otherwise, like me, you may find the standby line too long to allow those without reservations. Not to worry, though – I have another week.

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Other things of note: homelessness is still a problem, even on a relatively small island like Oahu. Tents lined the street in front of the housing authority. I hear from locals that it’s actually more of a problem here, per capita anyway, because of the temperature climate, making it easier to survive on the street.

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I haven’t been going too crazy on my days here, mixing Internet time with reading time, but I try to do a beach run in the morning, a little work, a lazy lunch, and an afternoon hike. I’m staying with family, so my evenings are filled with whatever they’d like to do. Aloha!

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