Pulling into the dock at Honolulu the following day, we once again headed out to retrieve our rental car. During our visit last summer there was one escapade that Alan had missed experiencing. While visiting in the little town of Haleiwa, we had seen advertising for ‘Shark Cage Tours’, but no openings were available in the time we had available. Phoning the North Shore Shark Adventures on our arrival, Alan secured a spot on the 11 AM boat. After a mad dash through Honolulu traffic and onto the highway, we were headed up to the North Shore. Only going 3-4 miles offshore, the shark boat goes to an area frequented by crab fishermen (who leave traps full of bait to attract crab). Of course, this bait also entices sharks to the area. An eight foot cubed cage is anchored in these waters, and the boat links up with the cage to deposit five ‘victims’ at a time down into the cage and the shark infested waters. For about 20 minutes, each group takes turns swimming down into the cage (with mask and snorkel) to view the 8-12 foot Galapagos sharks. Alan was thrilled but exhausted on his return. Fighting the currents, waves and the body’s natural tendency to float upward, it was a workout to stay submerged, but worth it. One more thing checked off his bucket list.
Lunch was now a priority, so we headed further up the Kamehameha Hwy. to Sunset Beach to revisit Ted’s Bakery. Our mouths were watering while waiting for our number to be called. Outstanding pork and chicken barbeque are just part of the reason for the popularity of this restaurant. Offering a variety of cream pies, there are very few customers leaving the counter without a slice of pie in hand. Chocolate/coconut is the most popular.
The attraction is the historical home of numerous past Chiefs and High Priests, with cultural and archaeological sites located throughout the valley. Beautiful botanical gardens, featuring 5000 different plants from around the world, grow in the shadow of the surrounding mountains. Waimea Waterfall is a draw for many. A relatively short, three quarters of a mile, trail leads through the gardens up to the falls. Visitors are allowed to swim in the pool under the falls, under the watchful eye of 2 lifeguards.
After one last stop in Haleiwa for a Hawaiian shaved ice, we started back into Honolulu. Rain and rush hour traffic challenged us, along with a non-functioning GPS. Luckily, we remembered just enough of Honolulu, from last year, to weave our way back through the city to drop off our rental car. Requesting a taxi to the dock, we realized after being delivered to the wrong cruise ship, that we didn’t know which dock. At big ports this can be important, so that won’t happen again!