Island Life in Hawaii: Whale Watching and Hālona Blowhole

star_honolulu_IMG_4391After hiking Diamond Head, we were ready to get on the water and do some whale watching. After reviewing numerous options we decided on the Star of Honolulu. They have several tours available and we chose the premier whale watch cruise and lunch.

We (Merri Beth, Zander, Coco, my mom, and I) drove from Waikiki to Aloha Tower Marketplace, found some parking, and made our way to Pier 8. After we checked in, we had a few minutes before they started boarding the boat so we decided to walk around the pier area to enjoy the beautiful view. Once we boarded, we settled in at a table and waited for further instructions from the crew.

The Star of Honolulu features a 60’ high observation deck with a 360° view. The whale activities have a Certified Naturalists onboard, a keiki (child) program, and the package includes lei making, hula dance lessons, and ukulele lessons. We also got the Taste of Hawaii buffet that included items such as citrus miso glazed white fish, Lomilomi Salmon, tofu poke, and much more!

After going over some safety instructions, the whale program started and Zander was selected as one of the volunteers to help with the start of the program to show how long whales can grow in length (using ropes). Merri Beth took Coco and Zander to the kids program while mom and I headed out to the deck to start looking for whales.

star_honolulu_01We cruised along the southern shore of Oahu, heading east toward Diamond Head and into the whale sanctuary. I made my way to the top deck, where MB and the kids joined later. We were doing out best to look for whales, but we weren’t in luck today.

After about an hour of looking at the water and enjoying the fabulous views of Honolulu, Waikiki, and Diamond Head, we went inside the cabin for lunch. The food was really good and everyone enjoyed the taste of Hawaii buffet.

The activities started after lunch. We started off at the lei making class. Which was awesome. Each of us made our own lei out of purple and white orchid flowers. Next was hula lessons. MB, Coco, and I put on some grass skirts and lei’s and followed the instructions. Zander decided he wanted to try his hand on the ukulele.

The activities wrapped up as we made our way back to port. The Star of Honolulu has a whale guarantee, and since we didn’t see any whales, we got a voucher to come back on a future cruise.

Watching the Hālona Blowhole

halona_blowhole_IMG_4423After our disappointing but fun whale watching excursion, we headed to the eastern part of the island to see the Hālona Blowhole. We drove along Ala Moana Blvd to Waikiki, then took Kalakaua Avenue to Diamond Head Road. We stopped off at one of the lookouts to check the surf and my mom was still looking for whales.

We drove around Diamond Head, eventually finding our way to highway 72, the Kalanianaole Hwy, which took us by Hanauma Bay and eventually to the Hālona Blowhole.

The blowhole is located at Hālona Cove, just south of Sandy Beach Park. The parking lot was packed with tourists and the winds were strong out of the east. The swells were rolling in, which is perfect for the blowhole to spray out water like a geyser on the incoming swells.

We enjoyed spending some time on the overlook at Hālona Cove and watching the blowhole activity. I even got a some video with the GoPro (which I’m still working on).

Happy Hour with Liquid Aloha

On the way back to Waikiki, we stopped at Kona Brewing for happy hour. The brewpub is located at the Koko Marina Center. We got a table overlooking the marina and ordered some beers that we can’t get back home. We sampled some fine beers like Duke’s Blonde Ale, Black Sand Porter, Hula Hefeweizen, and the Lavaman Red Ale. We also ordered some pu-pu’s (appetizers) for the table.

Before we left, we decided to get some takeout food for dinner back at our place. We ordered some pizza’s, sandwiches, and salads. Unfortunately, no to-go beer. No worries, we had some Longboard Lager stocked in the fridge.

And that’s a little bit from our second full day in Hawaii. Enjoy the pictures.

Picture from the Star of Honolulu

Pictures from Hālona Blowhole

About Shibby

Jason Hibbets is a senior community architect at Red Hat which means he is a mash-up of a community manager and project manager for Opensource.com--a publication and story-telling platform for open source communities. At night, he wears a cape, and is a captain for the Open Raleigh brigade, as well as a co-chair for NC Open Pass. Jason is the author of a book called The foundation for an open source city--a resource for cities and citizens interested in improving their government through civic hacking. While writing the book, he discovered his unknown super power of building communities of passionate people. Jason graduated from North Carolina State University and resides in Raleigh, NC with his wife, two kids, two border collies, chickens, lots of tomato plants, and a lazy raccoon somewhere in an oak tree. In his copious spare time, he enjoys surfing, running, gardening, traveling, watching football, sampling craft beer, and participating in local government--not necessarily in that order, but close to it. You can follow him on Twitter: @jhibbets
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3 Responses to Island Life in Hawaii: Whale Watching and Hālona Blowhole

  1. Pingback: Island Life in Hawaii: Hiking Diamond Head | hibbets.net blog

  2. Pingback: Island Life in Hawaii: Arrival | hibbets.net blog

  3. Pingback: GoPro Pictures from Snorkeling in Hanauma Bay | hibbets.net blog

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