Planning for the future …Error correction from yesterday’s post…Lots of boats, now and then…

Cars and trucks can easily fit inside the ferry. Prices vary by weight as shown here at the ferry company’s website

In yesterday’s post, I’d placed a caption under an ocean view photo that sleeping accommodations weren’t available on the ferry that travels overnight from Vanua Levu to Viti Levu. 

I was wrong in my assumption that there were no cabins available after hearing from locals about passengers sitting up all night for the overnight crossing. Usually, we’ll have investigated such facts and reported accordingly.  We apologize for the error.

The ferry travels from Savusavu to Viti Levu once a day. It leaves in the afternoon, arriving at 5 am.

This was nagging at me as being inaccurate. This morning, I researched online, now able to do so with a good connection, to discover there are cabins available on the local ferry departing from Savusavu as shown below with the information available at the ferry company’s website

From what I can determine, these prices may not have been updated since 2011. Please call or check further for updated pricing:

                                                            SUVA-  NATOVI – SAVUSAVU RATES
 Suva/Natovi/SSV   VEHILCE  Suva/Natovi/SSV  RETURN
CABINS SENIBUA 1 $256.00 (Ret-$512)   TYPE 1 WAY  
  SENIBUA 2 $256.00   40 Footer $1,800.00  $2,400.00
  SENIBUA 3 $256.00   20 Footer $1200.00 $1,600.00
  SLEEPER $86.00 (Ret – $172)   12 Wheeler $825.00 $1100.00
        10 Wheeler $825.00 $1100.00
        9   Ton $675.00 $900.00
        7   Ton $650.00 $850.00
        5   Ton $525.00 $700.00
        4   Ton $525.00 $700.00
        3   Ton $490.00 $650.00
ECONOMY CLASS ADULTS $55.00 (Ret-$110)   2   Ton $360.00 $480.00
19 – 25 yrs STUDENTS – UNIVERSITY $45.00(Ret – $90)   1  Ton $365.00 $350.00
14-18 yrs STUDENTS-SECONDARY $35.00(Ret – $70)   Under 1 Ton $265.00 $350.00
6 – 13 yrs STUDENTS-PRIMARY $30.00 (Ret – $60)        
3-5 YRS TODDLERS $15.00 (Ret- $30)        
2 yrs and Below Infants FREE

Most likely, locals prefer not to bear the added expense of reserving a cabin when they’ve become used to the overnight crossing in order to visit family on the main island. The above prices are for a one-way crossing. 

As shown, the cost of transporting a car can be pricey, although many locals don’t own cars, instead, using public transportation when visiting most of the villages on this island.

When we travel to Tasmania in 2016/2017, we may decide to take the ferry from Australia with or without a rental car, depending on which proves to make more sense at the time. We have plenty of time to decide.

Many boats are moored in the harbor, some for rent for tourist’s experiences.

For now, we’re thinking down the road. We’ve located a possible rental to fill the last gap in our schedule while we’re in Sydney and will share details within a few weeks. We’re still checking out a few others possibilities and hope to make a decision soon, sharing details here.

In the past, we’ve found we prefer to be booked for a period of two years. At this point, we’re discussing possibilities once we leave the US in the summer of 2017.  For most, this seems a long way off. With our way of life, booking well in advance is a necessary element to ensure there are good options available to us. 

Sailing is a popular activity in the Fijian Islands.

We’ve definitely decided on South America as our next foray into the unknown. With an endless array of options, we’ve been drawn to the massive continent for some time. After South America we could begin repeat visits to various continents but, we’re determined to explore Asia and its vast and varied options.

Upcoming next year, we’ll have a glimpse of Southeast Asia when we tour the Mekong River, a cruise we’ve already purchased and paid in full for with a two-for-one rate. Then, of course, we’re booked in Phuket, Thailand in 2016, another country in Southeast Asia.

One of the ferry boats servicing the islands.

Way down the road, we hope to find our way back to Europe and Africa with so much more calling to us. The world is a huge place. There’ll never be a point we’ll be able to say, “We’ve seen it all.” 

We face the reality that in years to come, health issues may have a bearing on this degree of travel and simply, may be too taxing for advancing age. We often mention our first cruise outside the US on January 3, 2013, when at dinner in the main dining room we met a lovely couple, well into their 90’s, continuing to travel the world.  They were both still full of life and enthusiasm. 

Captain Cook cruise ship that tours the Fiji Islands, based out of the main island of Viti Levu.

The older couple inspired us, giving us hope that with diligent efforts for continuing good health, careful planning, and a positive state of mind, we could possibly continue on for years to come. 

We remain grateful and, hopeful, as we treasure each moment, rain or shine, each and every day. Yep, it’s raining again today. But, we don’t mind at all. The nearby baby goat is making its usual plea for attention; the nearby cow is mooing, a multitude of roosters are crowing and the birds are singing.  We don’t mind at all.

Photo from one year ago today, October 14, 2014:

With a bad cough and cold one year ago, I decided not to go to Pearl Harbor with Tom.  I’d toured it many years ago, long before I met Tom. He ended having a great experience on his own taking, his time reading every printed word without me tagging along. For more, his excellent photos of Pearl Harbor, please click here.

Pearl Harbor presented in movies and video over the years…Today’s post is #800!…One year ago, a mating lion…

Gun turrets aboard the USS Missouri.

Tom was moved by the reverence, respect and attention to detail presented at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. 

This is the armor piercing shell weighing over one ton.  To the right, is two of three packs of gunpowder wrapped in silk to avoid sparks.

Gun turrets.

Standing atop the memorial of the sunken battleship USS Arizona, the final resting place for many of the 1177 crewmen killed on December 7, 1941 when their ship was bombed by Japanese Naval Forces.

The Captain’s dining hall aboard the USS Missouri.

Captain’s dining hall seating area.

In all, the Japanese attack killed a total of 2390 people; 1990 sailors, 233 soldiers and airmen, 109 marines and 49 civilians.  Of the eight battleships in the harbor, five were sunk.  In all, 21 vessels were sunk or heavily damaged.

Shells to be shot from smaller gun turrets.
Officer’s mess hall.

After the attack, the Navy undertook a massive salvage operation and all but three vessels were returned to service; the USS Arizona, the USS Oklahoma and the USS Utah. The attackers destroyed 164 aircraft , damaging 159.

Junior officer’s sleeping quarters.
Junior officer’s lounge.

The Japanese Navy lost 55 airmen and 29 planes.  Of the five midget two-man submarines launched, four were lost and one was captured which was America’s first prisoner of war.

Junior officer’s bunks.
Officer’s mess hall.

Millions of people from all over the world come to the majestic setting to see the location where World War II  began for the United States.  It is currently the number one visitor destination in Hawaii.

Junior officer’s mess hall.
Vegetable prep area.

Having an opportunity to board “Mighty Mo,” the USS Missouri, only added to the significance and depth of his experience.  Of course, it was important that visitors take extra precautions to avoid “knee knockers” and “head bangers” when most visitors have no experience or knowledge in boarding a battleship with its many ladders and small spaces.  Tom exited unscathed.

Kitchen baked goods area.
Marine’s are on board the USS Missouri as ship’s security.  These are their sleeping quarters.

As we discussed his experience, it came to mind that there has been movies, videos, and even songs, attributed to the memory of Pearl Harbor and its tragic loss of life.  Today, we share some of those here with the following video links and a short description:

Mail room.
Executive officer bedroom.

For those World War II aficionados, you may enjoy clicking on the above links.  On YouTube some of theses movies are offered in their entirety by simply typing in  the name of the movies on their site.

Executive Officer lounge area.
View from the USS Missouri’s bridge to the memorial.

Thanks to all of our readers for sharing this powerful experience with Tom.  Although, I wasn’t in attendance on the tour, I feel the significance and powerful message portrayed in this magnificent memorial along with him as we share these details with you.

Various US military flags.
View of the port side of the USS Missouri.

Tomorrow, is our flight from Oahu to Maui at 12:45 with Hawaiian Air.  The flight time is only 39 minutes.  We’re going to love that!

The monument at the Punchbowl, which is the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

The grounds of National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific where the memorial for Hawaiian born Astronaut,  Ellison Onizuka, is located, who was killed on the Challenger in 1986.

We’ll end on a happy note with this fabulous World War II Christmas music video by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, “Christmas Without You.”

Statue of the classic Tim magazine shot of a nurse and sailor kissing at the end of
World War II.

Happy day!

Photo from one year ago today, October 15, 2013:

Contented male lion during a short break in the mating ritual.  For more photo and details, please click here.

Pearl Harbor from Tom’s perspective…He took great photos!…A year ago…The tail end of the Great Migration…

USS Missouri as taken from the launch on the way to World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.

After a fitful night of coughing, at 6:00 am yesterday morning, I decided I was unable to join Tom in the tour of Pearl Harbor. Unable to recover the portion of the fee for my attendance, I resigned myself that taking care of my health and avoiding getting others sick was more important than $89.

This is the remains of Gun Turret #3 above the water of the sunken memorial of the USS Arizona.

Disappointed, I awoke Tom in plenty of time for him to get out the door by 6:40 am for his 6:55 pick up next door at the Waikiki Aston Hotel, a less than five-minute walk from our hotel. He loaded up the cloth bag we purchase in Kenya, with the newer camera and an extra battery, his binoculars, and sunglasses.

Memorial plaque to the shipmates of the USS Arizona.

Tom has had little interest in taking photos these past few years. When he’s had to do it, he has, as in an excellent job at Pearl harbor, taking over 100 photos many of which we’ll share over the next few days.

While on the National Monument, from the opposite side, including memorials/markings for other ships that were moored during the attacks. The USS Missouri is at a distance.

With over 1.5 million websites with historical data dedicated to the tragic loss of life at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, we’ve gleaned a few facts to share with our readers. If you’re seeking additional information, if you’ll type “Pearl Harbor” into any search engine, you could easily spend years reading the most pertinent information.

From the launch, on the way to the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.

To avoid redundancy, today we’re sharing information from from this specific link. We’ve used quotation marks to indicate their content which includes two photos. (The remaining photos presented both today and tomorrow in our posts, were taken by Tom on Monday’s tour of the historic site).

Inside the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument above the sunken USS Arizona, where visitors gathered to read the memorials and take photos.
“5 Facts About Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona

At 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time (12:55 p.m. EST) on December 7, 1941, Japanese fighter planes attacked the U.S. Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, launching one of the deadliest attacks in American history. The assault, which lasted less than two hours, claimed the lives of more than 2,500 people, wounded 1,000 more, and damaged or destroyed 18 American ships and nearly 300 airplanes. Almost half of the casualties at Pearl Harbor occurred on the naval battleship USS Arizona, which was hit four times by Japanese bombers. As we commemorate the 70th anniversary of this “date which will live in infamy,” as President Franklin D. Roosevelt described it on December 8, 1941, explore five little-known facts about the USS Arizona and the attack that plunged America into war.

1. Twenty-three sets of brothers died aboard the USS Arizona.
There were 37 confirmed pairs or trios of brothers assigned to the USS Arizona on December 7, 1941. Of these 77 men, 62 were killed, and 23 sets of brothers died. Only one full set of brothers, Kenneth and Russell Warriner, survived the attack; Kenneth was away at flight school in San Diego on that day and Russell was badly wounded but recovered. Both members of the ship’s only father-and-son pair, Thomas Augusta Free and his son William Thomas Free were killed in action.
Though family members often served on the same ship before World War II, U.S. officials attempted to discourage the practice after Pearl Harbor. However, no official regulations were established, and by the end of the war hundreds of brothers had fought—and died¬—together. The five Sullivan brothers of Waterloo, Iowa, for instance, jointly enlisted after learning that a friend, Bill Ball, had died aboard the USS Arizona; Their only condition upon enlistment was that they be assigned to the same ship. In November 1942, all five siblings were killed in action when their light cruiser, the USS Juneau, was sunk during the Battle of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.
2. The USS Arizona’s entire band was lost in the attack.
Almost half of the casualties at Pearl Harbor occurred on the naval battleship USS Arizona, which was hit four times by Japanese bombers and eventually sank. Among the 1,177 crewmen killed were all 21 members of the Arizona’s band, known as U.S. Navy Band Unit (NBU) 22. Most of its members were up on deck preparing to play music for the daily flag-raising ceremony when the attack began. They instantly moved to man their battle positions beneath the ship’s gun turret. At no other time in American history has an entire military band died in action.
The night before the attack, NBU 22 had attended the latest round of the annual “Battle of Music” competition between military bands from U.S. ships based at Pearl Harbor. Contrary to some reports, NBU 22 did not perform, having already qualified for the finals set to be held on December 20, 1941. Following the assault, the unit was unanimously declared the winner of that year’s contest, and the award was permanently renamed the USS Arizona Band Trophy.
3. Fuel continues to leak from the USS Arizona’s wreckage.
On December 6, 1941, the USS Arizona took on a full load of fuel—nearly 1.5 million gallons—in preparation for its scheduled trip to the mainland later that month. The next day, much of it fed the explosion and subsequent fires that destroyed the ship following its attack by Japanese bombers. However, despite the raging fire and ravages of time, some 500,000 gallons are still slowly seeping out of the ship’s submerged wreckage: Nearly 70 years after its demise, the USS Arizona continues to spill up to 9 quarts of oil into the harbor each day. In the mid-1990s, environmental concerns led the National Park Service to commission a series of site studies to determine the long-term effects of the oil leakage.
Some scientists have warned of a possible “catastrophic” eruption of oil from the wreckage, which they believe would cause extensive damage to the Hawaiian shoreline and disrupt U.S. naval functions in the area. The NPS and other governmental agencies continue to monitor the deterioration of the wreck site but are reluctant to perform extensive repairs or modifications due to the Arizona’s role as a “war grave.” In fact, the oil that often coats the surface of the water surrounding the ship has added an emotional gravity for many who visit the memorial and is sometimes referred to as the “tears of the Arizona,” or “black tears.”
4. Some former crewmembers have chosen the USS Arizona as their final resting place.
The bonds between the crewmembers of the USS Arizona have lasted far beyond the ship’s loss on December 7, 1941. Since 1982, the U.S. Navy has allowed survivors of the USS Arizona to be interred in the ship’s wreckage upon their deaths. Following a full military funeral at the Arizona memorial, the cremated remains are placed in an urn and then deposited by divers beneath one of the Arizona’s gun turrets. To date, more than 30 Arizona crewmen who survived Pearl Harbor have chosen the ship as their final resting place. Crewmembers who served on the ship prior to the attack may have their ashes scattered above the wreck site, and those who served on other vessels stationed at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, may have their ashes scattered above their former ships. As of November 2011, only 18 of the 355 crewmen who survived the bombing of the USS Arizona are known to be alive.

5. A memorial was built at the USS Arizona site, thanks in part to Elvis Presley.

After the USS Arizona sank, its superstructure and main armament were salvaged and reused to support the war effort, leaving its hull, two gun turrets and the remains of more than 1,000 crewmen submerged in less than 40 feet of water. In 1949 the Pacific War Memorial Commission was established to create a permanent tribute to those who had lost their lives in the attack on Pearl Harbor, but it wasn’t until 1958 that President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation to create a national memorial. The funds to build it came from both the public sector and private donors, including one unlikely source. In March 1961, entertainer Elvis Presley, who had recently finished a two-year stint in the U.S. Army, performed a benefit concert at Pearl Harbor’s Block Arena that raised over $50,000—more than 10 percent of the USS Arizona Memorial’s final cost. The monument was officially dedicated on May 30, 1962, and attracts more than 1 million visitors each year.”
This is the entrance and exit to the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, closed off while tourists were inside the building. (Good photo, Tom!)

Tom explained the details of the tour with me which consisted of:
1.  An 90 minute period to tour on his own to see the vast displays on the USS Arizona Memorial located at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, National Park Service

Gangways the visitors walked to get to and from the USS Missouri.

2.  Next, he was directed to another building where a theater was located to see a documentary as to the history of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Three navy sailors aboard the launch assisted in transporting the tourists to and from USS Arizona.

3.  After the movie, the tourists exited to a launch waiting to transport tourists to the site of the sunken USS Arizona. No photos were allowed from exiting the launch until entering the memorial in order to expedite the flow of tourists. Once inside the memorial, there were no restrictions on photos.

Oil continues to leak from the USS Arizona, 73 years later. See item #3 for details on the leak in the above “5 Facts About Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona.”

4.  Returning to the launch, after a five-minute boat ride they were back at World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.

Tom walked the grounds and spotted this anti-aircraft platform.

5.  Tourists were allowed to freely roam the grounds to see other buildings, the Bowfin submarine, visit the shops and visitors centers. With time at a premium, the tour of the Bowfin wasn’t included.

Tom took this photo from the deck of the USS Missouri illustrating the USS Arizona memorial.

At this point, they returned to the bus for the 15-minute ride to the battleship USS Missouri. No photos were allowed from the bus upon entering the naval base until exiting the bus. They boarded the ship with the option of joining a tour (every 10 minutes) or exploring on a self-tour. Tom explained how he was able to imagine how life is lived in the tight quarters of a battleship.

Standing on the shore at the Pacific Historic Parks, Tom took this photo of the Bowfin submarine.

Tomorrow, we’ll share photos and videos of the USS Missouri and how it has been used over the years in movies, videos, and promotions.

Please check back tomorrow for Tom’s remaining photos of his Pearl Harbor tour.

                                            Photo from one year ago today, October 14, 2013:

Anderson, our safari guide, drove us a long way to Tanzania to see the tail end of the Great Migration, our original intent in going to the Maasai Mara in Kenya. When we’d missed the migration of over two million wildebeest by over a week, this day trip was our only alternative. Once we arrived, the flies were so bad after the dung millions of wildebeest littered the plains, we weren’t disappointed we missed the migration. The flies we flying in our mouths, noses, and eyes. For details of the wild ride to Tanzania, please click here.

Exciting photos!…Under the otherwise perfect weather in Hawaii…A year ago photo of a lion is a pecular spot…

We waited for this sailboat to cross this sunset in Waikiki Beach before taking this shot.

It’s frustrating to be sick. We both started coughing a few days ago. With the window AC blowing non-stop in this studio condo in Waikiki, being unsure how often the filter is cleaned, it was inevitable a cold or cough could kick in.

View from our lanai.

In reading this article, it’s easy to imagine how we both occasionally fall prey to colds, coughs, respiratory infections, and intestinal disorders. Since leaving Madeira, Portugal two and a half months ago, we’ve been on the move in close proximity with others, at times in unsanitary conditions.

With the arrival of the trade winds, the surf picked up.

Although we frequently wash our hands and run from anyone coughing or sneezing, we still fall prey to illness every six months or so. The last time we were sick was in Morocco from March 1 to May 15, 2014, during which time Tom was ill with a respiratory virus and I became ill with both a respiratory virus and an intestinal virus, one month apart.

Then, the surf picked up.

We were exposed to a hotbed of germs in Morocco when we walked through the souk most days, dining out two or three times per week. I got the intestinal bug from dining in a restaurant the first day we arrived, foolishly eating a seafood salad in a restaurant. I knew better. Lesson learned, no raw veggies or seafood in many countries.

Vendors selling their locally inspired wares along Kalakaua Avenue at night in Waikiki.

We aren’t certain that we picked up this recent virus from the air conditioning or if when out and about in crowds and dining out. Dining out every night adds to the risk of picking up germs and getting sick.

We didn’t know whether to laugh or be sad when we saw this cute guinea pig holding this Aloha sign as we walked along Kalakaua Avenue at night. Tom dropped a $1 in the vendor’s bucket. What a way to make a living!

Fortunately, Tom has quickly recovered, left with an occasional bout of horrible sounding coughing. Often, I’ll end up with a sinus infection after a virus and a lasting cough, that may continue for weeks. My voice sounds like Minnie Mouse and the bouts of dry coughing leave me exhausted.

A fountain display at the beach.

Last night, I decided to go out to dinner, although Tom offered to get carryout from our favorite restaurant.  Needing to get out in an effort to try to feel better, I wanted to see how I’ll do walking around in preparation for tomorrow’s Pearl Harbor tour.

Plumerias are used in the making of leis.

On Sunday as I prepared today’s post, I’m still unsure if I’ll be able to join him for the tour at 6:55 am. I’m planning on it as long as I have no fever. After four days I’m no longer contagious.

Not Tom’s burger. At Cheeseburger in Paradise, there’s this $30 burger on the menu which is free if eaten in its entirety within 20 minutes. Last night, a guy behind us ordered this but was unable to eat it in the designated time. The manager told us that approximately 20 diners each week try to eat it but usually only one is successful.

If I’m not well enough to go, Tom will go without me, taking the old smaller camera with him. I’ll be disappointed if I can’t go on the tour but, if I’ve had a good night’s sleep I may be feeling well enough to go.

Wrapping up yet another exquisite sunset on the beach.

It was two years ago this month on October 27, 2012, that we had Tom’s retirement party. We were four days away from leaving Minnesota to begin our journey, spending two months in Scottsdale, Arizona finishing up our legal, accounting, and digital requirements in order to leave the US.

It was during that retirement party that I struggled to talk to our family and friends while then too I’d lost my voice from a similar virus, again sounding like Minnie Mouse. Here’s the link to the day of Tom’s retirement party in 2012.

Hopefully, in the next few days, we’ll both be on the mend and ready to tackle the next leg of our travels. Tomorrow, we’ll be back with photos of Pearl Harbor.  

Please stay tuned.

                                           Photo from one year ago today, October 13, 2013:

In the Maasai Mara, Lions seldom climb trees. Anderson, our guide, spotted this lion sleeping n a tree with his keen eye and binoculars. Driving over rough terrain, we were able to get close enough to get several great shots. To see more, please click here.