And so it came to pass, the year that was, yielding to the year to be. May good luck and a bright future shine upon you in 2018.
Here are some of the last photos shot this year for the Hawaii Files Blog, most of which can be viewed at our Flickr site. First off, the last sunrise of 2017, shot today (December 31) at Magic Island / Ala Moana Park. This location as well as Diamond Head Lookout, Waikiki Beach and Kahala are some of the our favorite locations to shoot sunrise pictures and sunsets.
One of the major public events of 2017 was the arrival of Polynesian Society’s sailing canoe Hokule’awhich completed a three year around-the-world trip in June. Thousands of people turned out for the vessel’s arrival on Magic Island and the open house event held at the Hawaii State Convention Center.
The total solar eclipse of August 21 was a huge naturally occurring spectacle that dazzled many on the U.S. mainland. Here in Hawaii rain clouds almost cancelled out the partial eclipse that early morning viewers caught in various places around Hawaii. The photos below were shot from Kahala Beach Park.
The First Hawaiian Auto Show that occurred in March 2017 never fails to attract thousands of people to check out the latest model cars as well as unforgettable classics. The Hawaii Files was there to capture some images.
Attractions on Hawaii’s beaches are plentiful. A seal coming ashore to rest or nurse a pup always brings out photographers and beachgoers to observe these rare and mostly elusive animals. Kaiwi shown below spent a morning at Waikiki much to the delight of observers who were kept at a distance.
You can view all of our Hawaii Files Photos, many of which are not covered in this blog on our Flickr website.
So what’s up with this large sinkhole crater at the Diamond Head end of the Ala Moana Beach Park access road? The hole manifested itself as a shallow pothole on September 13. City & County of Honolulu officials closed the Diamond Head end of the access room late that afternoon to motorists. The road has been closed ever since. No one with a motorized vehicle can access this stretch of roadway. Entry and exit into Ala Moana Beach Park by motor vehicle can only be gained from the Ewa end of the access road.
The access road’s sidewalk is still accessible by bicyclists and pedestrians. Good for the walkers and runners who frequent one of Honolulu’s most popular parks.
As these photos show, the sinkhole started as a small depression. City engineers decided the depression was a larger problem. So they decided to dig in and today this is what we have. A large rectangular shaped hole in the middle of the road filled with stagnant water.
I’ve heard guesstimations that the city will take at least a month to get the hole filled and the roadway repaired. Hopefully the process can be accelerated. We’ll see. No one is holding their breath on when the city will fix the hole. Most government projects take longer than anticipated. Furthermore no one knows how much will it cost to fix the hole. We’ll see.
Until then, happy walking in through the Diamond Head end. Your vehicle is not welcomed.
UPDATE: As of 9:30 am this morning the water in the hole has been filled up with new gravel. It is quite possible the whole thing will be fixed by Monday if not earlier.
The less than humble beginning of the Ala Moana Beach Park access road sinkhole.
As of September 21 the sinkhole was huge and filled with stagnant water.
The first roadblock on the access road just outside the Waikiki Yacht Club. Perhaps the rich people who go there may push the city into completing the repairs sooner rather than later.
This detour sign is not for motorists as the roadway is blocked several yards away from this area.
The road is closed from the Diamond Head entry of the Magic Island parking lot to the Diamond Head entryway on Ala Moana Boulevard.
We’ll follow up with progress and more photos of the sinkhole. Hopefully it will be gone soon.
By Melvin Ah Ching, Editor & Publisher, The Hawaii Files Blog
As solar eclipses go, yesterday’s partial one in Honolulu was adequately good. The Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017 was a huge phenomena and event throughout the continental United States as the path of totality traveled eastward in a narrow 70 mile wide band from the Oregon coast to the tip of South Carolina. Much of the continent had a good partial eclipse that covered most of the sun.
In a solar eclipse, the moon’s shadow blots out the sunlight as it passes between the sun and the Earth. During totality that shadow blocks out nearly all sunlight except for a narrow band around the perimeter that creates a remarkable and unforgettable view. Solar eclipses are rare occurrences that track within small and varied regions of Earth’s surface. Within the eclipse’s band, many areas get a partial eclipse while totality only occurs within a smaller zone.
Millions of people on the U.S.continent witnessed and captured images of the eclipse going into and out of totality including the 2 minute long phase of full shadowed coverage.
In Honolulu, my friend Lisa Davidson and I awoke early and trekked to the Waialae Kahala Beach Park an hour before sunrise to secure a good viewing spot that I scoped out the day before. Anticipating the eclipse, which started near Hawaii, Lisa and I both photographed the changing light around us as night receded into the new day. The rising sun was going to be in the eclipse process. I had to be prepared for that.
We were set. We waited. Talked. Photographed. The sunrise was pretty, but the clouds were getting in the way. I was wondering if the clouds would pre-empt my eclipse view.
Eclipse times for Hawaii from timeanddate.com.
Sunrise in Honolulu was at 6:11 am. Moonrise was 2 minutes earlier at 6:09am. The eclipse began at 5:50am before the sun rose. Everything was in motion for a good eclipse except for the clouds.
It was not until 7:16 am that I caught my first fleeting glimpse of the sun poking through the clouds. I fired the Canon for a continuous burst of images as the clouds slowly broke and the sun revealed its new face for a few moments. And then the clouds rolled back in.
I got a few images but I wanted more. My wish came true as the clouds slowly blew away and the eclipsed sun appeared again as I fired more frames off with the camera. I got my 20% or probably a little less than that. It was better than nothing and certainly better than the 10% that I got during last year’s eclipse from Magic Island.
I snapped more photos in the next 15 minutes of the waning spectacle.
Lisa was thrilled as she was able to see the eclipse through my camera’s LCD screen and the protective filters that allowed us to view the show with our own eyes. She was very thankful that I shared these moments with her.
One of Lisa’s most mystical experiences was viewing a total solar eclipse when she was nine, living in New Hampshire. “The intense darkness in the middle of the day fueled my fascination with astronomy and science fiction. I’ll never forget how all the birds suddenly went silent.”
By 7:30 in the morning the Hawaii eclipse was over. The sun was out, the day was bright and life would continue as it always does.
It turns out that this year’s solar eclipse is the last one to be visible in Hawaii until April 8, 2024, when another total eclipse will be viewable in the continental United States. The next total solar eclipse occurs in the southeastern Pacific Ocean and over the South American countries of Chile and Argentina on July 2, 2019.
Photos by Mel unless indicated.
This is one of the best shots I got of yesterday’s solar eclipse. Investing in a screw on solar lens filter is worth the money!
The beautiful but sunlight blocking clouds over Koko Head
Catching a live video stream while waiting for clouds to depart.
The beautiful Hawaiian sunrise and clouds blocked the sun for nearly 40 minutes after the eclipse began.
Watching a live stream from Oregon as we waited out the clouds.
You can get a decent shot out of your cell phone camera if you put one of those protective eye safety filters in front of your camera lens. Lisa did that and it got her this picture with the tiny sun chopped slightly to the bottom left.
Solar eclipse view from Ontario, Canada. Keith Watson Photography.
Totality, August 21, 2017 – Kansas, United States. Michael Watson, photographer.
International Space Station in transit ahead of the moon. NASA. You can also see sunspots in this excellent photo.
KHON TV’s McKenna Maduli reports on the eclipse from Waialae Kahala Beach park not too far away from where we were. There are 3 clips embedded in this video composite.
This is Kaiwi, a Hawaiian Monk Seal who took time out this morning to rest on the shoreline of Queen’s Beach in Waikiki. She is known to NOAA animal officials who monitor the endangered species. The seal was born in 2016 at the Ka Iwi area of Oahu island.
Kaiwi has frequented the Waikiki area in the past, most recently in July during the time that another female monk seal named “Rocky” gave birth and nutured her pup on Kaimana Beach near the Waikiki Natatorium.
People are reminded to keep their distance away from the Hawaiian Monk Seal. It is a violation of several federal laws to go near or harass a monk seal.
Needless to say the seals do attract a crowd as they did this morning. NOAA officials were quickly dispatched to the scene to establish a secure zone around the seal. Many people including I hung around for a while to get pictures. The photos accompanying this piece were shot between 7:00 and 9:00 a.m. in the morning.
Many people attended this past weekend’s 10th Annual Hawaii Geek Meet, which bills itself as “a fun, casual, family-friendly, grassroots gathering for people who are curious and have a passion that they love to share.” Geeks include coders, gadget lovers, designers, makers, artists and probably most of all, fans like you and I. There is a bit of geek in all of us.
This annual picnic was a fun, family oriented venue where people checked out an assortment of “geeky things” such as games, Star War characters, lego blocks, radio broadcasting, cosplay, coding, nerf battles, drone technology and more. It was also an opportunity to meet some interesting people and network. Interesting stuff to see if you want to have fun and just be “out there”.
Ellen from Drone Services Hawaii and a new, small drone.
What’s up with these license plates? Perhaps striking the rainbow design?
Getting ready for a nerf gun battle.
Gamers were there touting Shakesperian readings of the Star Wars story.
Look directly at the image of the sun on this clever device.