A Travellerspoint blog

Day 32 - Saturday 30th May 2015

Pearl Harbour

sunny 27 °C

Woke up 6am today as we decided to make a trip out to Pearl Harbour. After breakfast we walked up to the next block and waited to catch the public bus. There are tons of tourism places here in Hawaii offering shuttle transport to and from all manner of places like Pearl Harbour. One of the tourists ambassadors that sit outside the police station on Waikiki beach told us we could get to Pearl Harbour by public bus at a grand cost of just $2.50 each. So we decided to try this, the only downside is it took just on an hour to get there.

Entry into Pearl Harbour is free, as it is a dedicated grave site. We had heard from our hotel concierge that we wouldn't be able to land and walk on the Arizona Memorial as a few days earlier the dock had been wrecked by some vessel and thus it was under repair and not allowing any one to alight there. That was a huge disappointment - standing on the memorial looking down at the sunken ship that lies underneath with over 900 people entombed would have been such a moving experience.

For anyone that doesn't know about the USS Arizona - when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour on December 7th 1941, the USS Arizona was hit by a torpedo bomb dropped by the Japanese. Upon impact the ship exploded, it was carrying thousands of barrels of oil and in an instant became a huge fireball. Many that survived were burnt badly, even if they jumped off the ship into the water as the oil was on fire on the water also.

We started our day here by hiring audio tour headsets so we could listen at all the different exhibits. We got our tickets for the vessel that takes us out to the Arizona Memorial - they still took visitors out to the site but not too close and obviously not for landing. Prior to boarding we had to sit in a theatre and listen to the story of the attack - not a single sound was heard as people were mesmerised. It brought a deep feeling of sadness to me, I was in tears from the beginning. I got goosebumps when they showed actual footage of when the Arizona was struck and burst into flames - I never knew that graphic footage even existed.

Once the short documentary was over we were ushered onto the vessel that would take us out into the harbour and towards the memorial. Right beside us was the battleship Missouri, we could see the active sailors on the top deck as we sailed past. On board our vessel was a ranger recounting some of the stories about the harbour and the various other ships that were sunk that day. Unfortunately we could not get too close to the Arizona, but could easily see one of the gun turret cylinders poking out of the water. Despite being sunk over 70 years ago the oil on board still leaks to this day, and they predict the oil will continue to leak for 40-70 more years.

After we returned back to shore we started the remaining parts of the audio tour on our headsets as we walked around and looked at the exhibits. There were several pieces of the Arizona on show along with one of the Japanese torpedo bombs that was found undetonated in the harbour. Lots of interesting stories especially the ones that detailed how the attack took place. After we finished our audio tour we walked over to see the submarine USS Bowfin, we didn't want to board and look around as by now it was hot and we'd been there several hours so far.

After exiting we walked up to the highway for the return bus, and luckily for us as soon as we got to the bus stop the bus arrived immediately. The trip back was probably just as long as the incoming one but we got talking to the people sitting around us so that kept us entertained and made the journey seem shorter. After getting back to the hotel we decided to head to the beach for a swim, it'd been a warm day and needed to cool off after our day out.

After the beach we got back and showered and headed out for dinner, the family we met at the beach yesterday had said the burgers were good at The Cheeseburger In Paradise restaurant, so we decided to eat there. We ordered a cocktail each and our main meal burgers, mine came with sweet potato waffle fries which was something different to try. After dinner we felt tired so didn't wander around the Main Street but instead headed home and watched the remaining part of 50 Shades of Grey.

Posted by Ace from Oz 02:18 Archived in USA Tagged pearl pearl_harbour _harbor uss_arizona

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