Pacific Discovery

A Day of Discovery
I’m awake at 05:30am in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, on a volcanic mountain called Oahu.
Day 25 Thursday 16th June 2011.

The uncurtained windows are fine screens that let in the wind, the light, and rippling overlapping waves of tropical birdsong. In Sam’s Jeep we crossed Honolulu late last night on typical American freeways, then climbed up and up again the steep residential streets to two rooms dominated by windows on two sides. We had traced the city shape from its lights below us before falling into bed. Now we are drawn early from our pillows before full light to see what dawn will reveal: the green of tropical savanna covering on the half crater of Diamond Head, the style and colour of the squat wooden homes covering Manoa Valley, and beyond, the sea. Green and cardinal parakeets flutter past our window to the roof from the red and green leaf bunches of a huge mango tree.
We walk briefly on gradients hostile to hips and knees, and then drive for a brief swim by the South shore hotels. We are shown around the oceanography research lab, and learn how we measure the DNA content of micro-organisms and track the CO2 content of the water. Sam tells me more about the ocean over a National Geographic map of the Pacific Ocean floor. I realize that our “World Tour” might have been better described as a “Pacific Tour”.
Lunch, chatting, and change for dinner. A walk down the Diamond Head road and an attempt to return by beach. Attempt thwarted by narrow beach, large waves, and over-optimism. Drive home to hang sodden outfit,change for dinner again, and wind up Day 25 with Sam and Daniella at a micro-brewery for some sea food with real ale and live blues.

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