Tag Archives: Honolulu

Lāhainā Noon

Photographers are encouraged to take advantage of the golden hour shortly after sunrise or shortly before sunset, when the light is soft and golden. Photos taken here during the golden hour showcase the wonders of Hawaii’s beaches, volcanoes, and wildlife.

Taking that as my cue, I feature one of the wonders of Hawaii in these photos. No, it’s not concrete lamp bases, which can be found in most, if not all, states. Nor is it the golden hour. But only in Hawaii can you find a concrete lamp base like this one. It’s a sunny day. Those rectangular shadows are from the lights at the top of the lamp pole. But where’s the shadow of the concrete base? There isn’t one, because these photos were taken at Lāhainā Noon.

Lāhainā Noon, a name thought up by the good folks at the Bishop Museum, occurs when the sun is directly overhead on its apparent passage north and then south again, before and after the summer solstice. This phenomenon occurs in places located between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. Hawaii is the only U.S. state in tropics and so is the only place in the country to see this.

The timing of Lāhainā Noon varies from place to place, depending on latitude. It occurs twice a year, the first time in May as the sun appears to head north, and then again in July as it dips south again. These photos were taken yesterday in Kawaihae, but where I live in Hawi, Lāhainā Noon occurred two days ago. The last place on the island to experience it will be South Point, the most southerly point in the U.S.A, on July 27.

The bottom photo shows the Sky Gate sculpture in Honolulu. This sculpture, designed by Isamu Noguchi, casts a wavy shadow most of the time, but twice a year, at Lāhainā Noon, the shadow is perfectly round. The sculpture wasn’t particularly well-received initially, but now people visit from all over the world (when that’s possible) to see it do its thing.

For more information about Lāhainā Noon go here.

Posted in response to Becky’s July Squares challenge theme of ‘Perspective.’ See more responses here.

SV Kwai in harbor

I saw this interesting-looking vessel tied up alongside the wharf at Kawaihae harbor for a week or more in the first half of January. When I searched for information about the boat, I learned that it’s the Sailing Vessel Kwai, a cargo vessel operating between Hawaii and Kiribati and the Cook Islands in the Pacific.

I’m not sure what it was doing in Kawaihae. The boat had been in Honolulu earlier in the month, on completion of its 51st voyage. Their 52nd voyage left Honolulu on January 24. Perhaps they were picking up cargo or doing maintenance in between these dates.

According to the first blog from Voyage 52 (here), the boat returned to the west side of the Big Island to search for a ghost net. A ghost net is a large clump of fishing nets that can be very destructive to ocean life and that will eventually wash up on shore somewhere being equally problematic when it does so. This net was estimated to be 50 feet long and deep by 70 feet wide.

A tracker had been attached to the ghost net so that it could be retrieved by a larger boat but, according to the blog post, when SV Kwai reached the area, only the tracker was found and retrieved. I haven’t heard or seen anything else about the net, so it is either still floating in the ocean or has washed up somewhere.

For more information about Sailing Vessel Kwai, go to svkwai.com. For more information about the ghost net, go here.

Honolulu day trip

This week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Day Trip.’ (See more responses here.)

Any trip on the Big Island could qualify as a day trip, as everything can be reached and returned from in a day. But a common day trip in Hawaii is a visit to one of the other islands. This might be for work, for medical reasons, for some other kind of appointment, or simply for pleasure.

These photos are from my last trip to Honolulu. An early flight from Kona Airport and a late afternoon return gave me plenty of time to conduct my business and have a wander around downtown.

The top photo shows the entrance to the Hawaii State Capitol building. To the right is Kawaiaha’o Church, constructed between 1836 and 1842, and considered the main Protestant church in Hawaii. Below is one of Honolulu’s large office buildings, somewhat screened by a generous amount of palms and other trees.

Abstracts: State Capitol in Honolulu

This week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Design.’ (See more responses here.) For this, I’m posting photos of the Hawaii State Capitol building in Honolulu. Opened in 1969, it’s a relatively recent structure. Some of the design features of the building are striking because they represent elements of the state.

In the photo to the left, the reflecting pool, surrounding the building, represents the Pacific Ocean. The columns resemble royal palm trees, and the conical structure, the base of one of the legislative chambers, is the shape of the volcanoes that formed the island chain.

The bottom photo shows how the building is open to the elements, and reflects life in Hawaii where many activities happen outside. On the right is one of four kukui nut trees, the state tree, which represent the four main counties.

The top photo is a view of a segment of the open roof and the walkway that encircles the upper level of the building. I like the strong lines and colors of this view.

Medivac plane at Upolu

One quirk of living in Hawaii is that it’s not unusual for people to have to fly for medical treatment. There aren’t a lot of specialists on the Big Island. Typically, they’ll visit once or twice a month. But the bigger issue is that expensive pieces of medical equipment are mostly on Oahu. Need an MRI? You might have to go to Honolulu.

For scheduled appointments, people generally take commercial flights, but some conditions, and most medical emergencies, require a medivac flight.

Upolu Airport, which is basically a runway with few facilities, is used by these medivac aircraft on a regular, if not frequent basis. These photos are of one such plane awaiting a patient, then heading down the runway and into the air, bound for Honolulu.

A walk through downtown Honolulu

The Mission Memorial Building was built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Protestant missionaries in Hawaii, something of a mixed blessing for the locals.
The lovely red brick Hawaiian Brewing Company building.

This week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Photo Walk.’ (See more responses here.) I thought of a few options, but my visit to Honolulu last year seemed to fit the bill. After I’d conducted my business there, I spent the rest of my time on a photo walk through downtown.

I’ve posted some photos from this walk before. To see them just scroll to the bottom of the page and click on ‘Honolulu’ in the tags.

The Sky Gate sculpture was built to celebrate the celestial event known as “Lahaina Noon,” which is when the sun is directly overhead and vertical objects cast no shadow. This occurs twice a year in Hawaii, usually in May and July. In the case of this sculpture, the wavy top casts a perfectly round shadow on the ground.
The art deco entrance to the Honolulu Fire Department headquarters complex.
These water fountains at the Hawaii State Capitol building are shaped like hibiscus blooms, which are the state flower.
Two contrasting tower buildings with a plane flying overhead.
A woman in red enters an elevator at the Hawaii State Capitol building.
Little Bo Peep has sheered her sheep apparently.
Huge banyan trees in the grounds of ‘Iolani Palace.
‘Iolani Barracks housed the Royal Household Guard.
‘Iolani Palace was the home of Hawaiian royalty until they were overthrown by American businessmen backed by the U.S. military.
This was something of a mixed blessing for the locals.

Hawaiian Dredging Building, Honolulu

hawaiian dredging building honolulu

hawaiian dredging building honolulu windowThis week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Window.’ (See more responses here.) I thought I’d post some photos from my trip to Honolulu last year since the city is full of interesting buildings and is window rich.

This one is the Hawaiian Dredging Building. It was built in 1929 for the Pacific Commercial Advertiser, which later became The Honolulu Advertiser. That newspaper ceased publication on June 6, 2010 when it was merged with The Honolulu Star-Bulletin and became The Honolulu Star-Advertiser. For most of its history the building was known as the News Building or the Advertiser Building.

The Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co. purchased the building in 2016 and, following an extensive renovation, made it the company’s headquarters and renamed it the Hawaiian Dredging Building. The distinctive mosaic window above the entrance is a notable feature of the building.

hawaiian dredging building honolulu front

Island hopping

Mokulele plane landing at Kona

Honolulu AirportIn Hawaii, it’s not unusual for people to commute between islands. Many medical professionals are based in Honolulu, but have offices on the Big Island which they visit on a weekly basis. The same can be said for other professionals: lawyers, scientists, engineers and the like. Politicians and government officials go back and forth on a regular basis.

But it’s not just professionals. Skilled tradespeople might work on any of the islands, commuting on a daily or weekly basis. Highway construction crews likewise move from island to island depending on where and what projects are being worked on. Musicians and other artists are regular island hoppers. The list goes on.

There’s one mode of transport for all these people and that’s air travel. There are no inter-island ferries. The Hawaii Superferry operated from 2007 to 2009 but was suspended when the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that a second environmental impact statement was required. One concern with a ferry is the increased risk of spreading invasive species and diseases of plants and animals.

Hawaiian Airlines is the biggest operator in the islands, with the lion’s share of the inter-island business. It operates from its hub in Honolulu, but also offers direct flights between the other islands. The photo to the left shows the distinctive tails of a couple of its planes at Honolulu Airport.

Smaller airlines have also offered inter-island routes. These include Aloha Airlines, Go! Airlines and Island Air. These three ceased business in 2008, 2014, and 2017 respectively. Currently, the only other island airline is Mokulele Airlines, though it doesn’t fly to Kauai. They service some smaller airports and operate smaller planes such as the one above, coming in to land at Kona Airport.

Posted in response to this week’s Sunday Stills challenge is on the theme of ‘Transportation or Commute.’ (More responses here.)