Waikiki, Hawaii – April 29, 2009

White sands, blue seas, palm trees, and people line the beaches of Waikiki
White sands, blue seas, palm trees, and people line the beaches of Waikiki

Blog entries were piling up on my computer like snow in a storm. They still are as I write from the ship on the 6th of May. But in Waikiki I found a place where I could access free Internet and upload a couple of entries. That’s all the battery I had on my little, old PowerBook G4.

The place that offered free Internet? The local Mac store. We were wandering in search of a wireless hotspot and didn’t like the high prices we were being quoted. Then a young woman with a Mac laptop pointed us toward the Mac store, and we were in business. We checked e-mail, and then Robin went off to look around Waikiki while I uploaded to the blog.

Fish swimming in the pond of the International Marketplace
Fish swimming in the pond of the International Marketplace

While we were wandering in search of a hotspot, we stopped by the International Marketplace. At the waterfall and pond where a small sign announces the location, we stopped to watch some well-fed fish. They’re used to tourists so ignored all the bodies looming over them, cameras in hand.

Robin standing beside the fish pond
Robin standing beside the fish pond

A big banyan tree casts a canopy of shade over the market, making it a welcome oasis on a hot day. I had Robin stand by the fish pond to show the scale of some of the big tree’s many trunks.

The International Marketplace is a colourful place to pick up tacky tourist items from dozens of small vendors. Given the sameness of the offerings in stall after stall, I suspect they all buy from the same wholesaler.

A boogie boarder nearing the end of a successful ride
A boogie boarder nearing the end of a successful ride

For a while we watched the boogie boarders along Waikiki and Kuhlo Beaches. Dozens of them bobbed out in the surf, waiting for the right waves. Then they’d mount their boards, judge their entry into the wave, and make a wild dash to shore.

Robin particularly wanted to show me the spot because it’s where he first tried boogie boarding. He’d brought his band on a concert tour. Always ready for an adventure, he was disappointed when not one of the teens was willing to even try the sport. Didn’t stop Robin, of course.

This canoeist repeatedly rowed out to catch a wave, then rode it back to shore
This canoeist repeatedly rowed out to catch a wave, then rode it back to shore

Another wave rider paddled out to the surf and rode it back repeatedly as we watched. He was in an outrigger canoe. His only passenger was a happy dog.

The familiar shape of Diamond Head rose in the distance. Seeing it for the first time in my life, I wanted to be on top of it, to check out the view from that height, to get a sense of its girth from close up. And next day, that’s exactly what we did.

Diamond Head is one of Hawaii’s most familiar icons
Diamond Head is one of Hawaii’s most familiar icons
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