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|
|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.