Day 4, Thursday 11th June
Our sub trip wasn't until noon, but we strolled to Waikiki early. There was an alarm at the Hilton, and people were urged to 'stay where they were'. We had no idea what that was about and nobody stayed where they were. It was roasting so we treated ourselves to shaved ice from one of the stalls. But he only gave us one flavour each - were we meant to ask for several? It took me a while to realise the long things were straws - I'd been 'spooning' the ice up.
We next made our way to the Hilton pier to pick up our boarding passes and to wait for the boat to take us out to the Atlantis submarine. Here, they also handed out 'Diving Logs'. Finally, on board the Discovery, we had a talk on safety before being allowed up on deck. Wierdly, I'd read about people needing to take sea-sickness medication on this trip - but the trip was so quick, I'm amazed anybody has ever had time to feel sick, even if it gets choppy. We watched, on deck, as our sub 'Atlantis 4' surfaced! Then we had to scramble on board. It was a pretty narrow place to stand and you had to be careful as it was slippery (having just come from under the water ..) I'd been dreading the steps down into the sub - but they were OK - though I think there were more than the seven they'd stated you'd have to descend.
The inside of the sub was more cramped than I'd imagined, but it wasn't claustrophobic. As we moved into deeper water (we went 100 feet down at our deepest), the colours changed. My turquoise T-shirt went purple, for example. This is because of the colour absorption at depth. It's odd though, that when you take a photo, the colour remains the same as it is on the surface. I suppose that has something to do with the camera lens? (Not much of a scientist am I?!)
I really hadn't expected to see many fish - but we saw LOADS! The bottom of the ocean was coral and there was an artificial reef, which looked like a load of Cornish fishing baskets made into a pyramid - two sunken airplanes and two sunken ships. We saw longnose butterfly fish, pyramid butterflyfish, yellow tangs, black durgons, yellowstripe goatfish, pennantfish, snappers and many others that we probably didn't identify properly. Additionally, there were several turtles, a stingray and a couple of sharks (which I missed). Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous!
Resurfacing was a blast! We were up in about 2 seconds, amidst a billion bubbles! On the boat going back, we were offered a photo of us (taken on the pier) to buy. I would've bought it, had they not wanted $30 for it! We arrived back on dry land, happy, happy, happy. It had been an expensive trip, but, oh, so worth it!
We walked back to the Pink Plumeria, past the Hilton which was still standing, and made sandwiches for our late lunch. They were always the same - beef, ham, turkey, cheese, salad, ranch - but tasty and filling!
We wanted to go to Kailua again, so we packed up our stuff and set off. Approaching the Windward side though, the sky was black, so we turned around and drove back, instead, to Ala Moana Beach, which is a favourite with the locals, We finally found a parking spot and a decent patch on the beach. There were loads of families, camped out, having barbeques. Such a happy crowd, but I did wonder where everybody would run, should the tsunami siren go off? To one of the high rise building, I suppose. The water here was shallow to a long way out. I only paddled a little, but Paul waded out quite a way, while Terry snoozed and sunned himself and I wrote postcards. The sun was very low in the sky by the time we finally packed up and returned, briefly, to our condo.
We decided to drive back to Ala Moana to get something to eat - to the Ala Moana Center - a huge mall. We parked up (the largest car park I've ever seen) and it didn't take long to find the wonderful Makai Market Food Court, cutting through Macy's! We were spoilt for choice. There was Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Hawaiian ... even a place selling Dole Whips! We decided on the Steak and Fish Company and enjoyed steak, chicken and shrimp, with green beans and sweetcorn. It was really tasty.
We looked around the shops for a while; didn't buy anything - and returned, quite wearily, to the Pink Plumeria for David Letterman and wine.