Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hawaiian vacation, day 3

Due to requests that I re-start my vacation series, I now present my summary of our trip to the islands. For those who haven't read my past vacation archives, they can be found here.

We had a pretty spectacular view of the ocean, overlooking the island of Lanai in the distance:

Nice, huh? I sat out there a lot, drinking beer & mai-tais and reading CME. Doing work-related stuff isn't so bad when ETOH and a great view are in the mix.

Watching birds all over the balcony (they're on the lookout for PBJ crumbs) gives you pause to realize that these are the last of the therapods - the biological line that once included the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex. Sue must be spinning in her display case to see her descendents trying to steal french fries.

The view is interesting. The town of Lahaina is known primarily for its history as a major whaling center, but forgotten in there is more modern stuff.

The view above, toward the island of Lanai, is over a body of water called Lahaina Roads. This is actually one of the world's best sheltered deep water anchorages, surrounded by 4 islands (Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and Kahoolawe). In the years prior to, and during, World War II, the U.S. navy used it as a back-up base to Pearl Harbor. Ships that needed repairs or supplies went to Pearl, while those that were ready and just awaiting orders anchored in Lahaina Roads.

This was such a common practice that, during the Pearl Harbor attack, Japanese planes and a submarine scouted Lahaina Roads to see if there were any major American ships there, so they could redirect a squadron to attack them, too. There weren't any that morning (purely by chance) which was lucky for the Americans. Lahaina Roads is a few hundred feet deep, and ships sunk there would have been beyond recovery, while at Pearl Harbor most were raised and repaired.

Here's some pics of the same view, 70-80 years ago.

Cruisers, destroyers, and the carriers Wasp, Saratoga, and Lexington

U.S.S. Lexington

Lexington, 3 battleships, and some freighters

Lexington & Saratoga at center, 5 battleships at right, scattered cruisers & destroyers

I look out over it, and imagine the same view in early 1944, when carriers were stopped there on the way from the west coast to the front, and imagine this peaceful sea completely filled with warships being prepared for battle.

Hard to believe.


Anonymous said...

Hey, as long as Craig's Hair is okay, he'll be okay!

How was school supply shopping this year? I know it's one of your favorite things to do.

What was the most outrageous item on the kid's list this year?

Have a great Wednesday!

Anonymous said...

Yes!! We want to hear about school supply shopping! :)

clairesmum said...

i'm enjoying the Hawaiian vacation series. the pictures today about WWII era and the contrast in modern times brought back thoughts of my late FIL, who was a career Navy man and spent a lot of time in the Pacific in WWII.

gloria p said...

Lahaina reminded us very much of old New England whaling towns.

Ignore Anon I and II. They are jealous of your Paradise vacation. There will be plenty of time for a school shopping blog when you run out of Maui stories.

Anonymous said...

Did Craig go in the water, or did he want to keep his hair dry? It would be a shame for a kid to go to hawaii and not try surfing.

elliott said...

Beer? What happened to a good old rum & Diet Coke?

Anonymous said...

Neat to see the pictures. The Lexington pictured is now a museum in Corpus Christi,TX. Neat place to tour.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

The Lexington pictured was sunk at the Battle of Coral Sea in 1942. The one in Texas was named in her honor.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I almost forgot how different
things were years ago. Back then,
everything was so black and white.

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