We live in Hawaii but since Cameron was born and Johnnie deployed, I really haven’t gotten out to experience any of the “paradise” that people think this island is. Tourists who come here usually only see the best parts. Those who live here see the everyday reality of awful traffic, graffiti, homelessness, and houses crammed together with laundry hanging off the balconies. Luckily all of that is surrounded by views of the mountains, glimpses of blue water, and a lot of rainbows. Unfortunately it’s far too easy to go days, weeks, or even months without touching foot in the sand or even relaxing outside in the sun!
Last week, Cameron and I joined friends for a Whale Watching cruise. Floating off the coast of Waikiki, I was reminded of the beauty that surrounds me here even if I can’t see it every day. Sure, whales are great, but I really went on this cruise simply to get out of the house, to do something new, to spend time with friends, and to experience some of the paradise that this island has to offer. It was a beautiful day and we had a really great time.
We went on the 2.5 hour Premier Whale Watch on the Star of Honolulu cruise line. You can purchase tickets for this cruise with or without a buffet lunch which adds an additional $16. We did eat the buffet lunch and in our opinion, it wasn’t worth the $16. It is a pricey cruise (like everything else here) but if you can prove you are military or Kama’aina (local) then you can get a 20% discount if you ask for it.
The Star of Honolulu offers a “Whale Guarantee” so that if no whales are spotted on your cruise, you get to cruise again for free until whales are sighted.
Posing with my friend and our babies (who are about 2 months apart) for the obligatory and way overpriced tourist photo:
The water was an insane shade of blue!
Downtown Honolulu and Diamond Head Crater:
There were 3 floors of tables and chairs with plenty of room for everyone to spread out. The top deck (4th floor) had the largest open area with some lounge chairs but it was really windy up there!
The buffet lunch and activities were all on the 1st floor of the boat. The activities were geared towards children and included lei making, hula dancing lessons, and an ukulele lesson.
Cameron really seemed to enjoy the sights and sounds and was eventually lulled to sleep by the rocking of the boat just in time for us to eat lunch.
So did we actually see whales? Yes, but it was rather anticlimactic. A few spouts, a few humps, and a few flukes (tails), all a good distance from the boat. We didn’t see anything close to the amazing photos that adorn the company’s brochures but it was still neat to see whales nonetheless. I only had a 24-105mm lens on my camera so the photos below are very cropped and pixelated but you get the idea.