The Honokaa High School Jazz Band is on its 2018 Oahu semester tour . The band is playing at several venues over the next few days. Last night (April 19) they played at Centerstage at the Ala Moana Center. Under band director Gary Washhburn, the band wows crowds with their renditions of popular jazz, pop and rock tunes. The band showcased their virtuosity by covering popular standards such as “Route 66,” “Cry Me a River,” “Moondance,” “The Closer I Get To You,” and several others. Washburn has written music for the band. They played two of his upbeat, toe-tapping, instrumental compositions which showcased the talents of various members on keyboards, drums, sax and brass.
March 31 of this year marked the tenth year since the closure of Aloha Airlines after more than 60 years of business in Hawaii. It was a sad and painful time for its owners and employees, and a blow to Hawaii’s traveling public to see a long time kama’ainabusiness go belly-up.
Surely Aloha Airlines demise was attributed to several factors including a bad economy, high fuel prices, outdated equipment and predatory pricing by Mesa’s GO! Airlines subsidiary which itself also closed down some years later.
My memories of Aloha Airlines go back to my youth when my parents used to take my sister and I to Hilo Airport just to see the airplanes come and go at the terminal. This was in the old days, long before security became a major issue and obstacle to access by non-passengers.
In the old days Aloha Airlines flew a variety of aircraft including the DC-3‘s that they started up with (long before I was born), the Fairchild / Fokker F27, Vickers Viscount and BAC-111 jet. In time they would standardize on the Boeing 737.
As a boy growing up on the Big Island, I rarely got a chance to fly. When we did, my parents always flew us on Hawaiian Airlines.
It was not until my college years that I finally got around to flying on Aloha. I usually flew to the Big Island of Hawaii’s airports in Kona and Hilo, as well as to Honolulu and once to Lihue, Kauai. Aloha Airlines also flew to Waimea-Kohala. I flew on Aloha’s Boeing 737-200 aircraft except maybe for one or two times on the newer 737-400 that Aloha had in passenger service for a short time.
One of my most memorable Aloha Airlines flight was one coming into Honolulu from the Big Island. While coming into Honolulu our flight had to abort its first landing attempt after another plane was spotted on the runway.
Flights on Aloha were pleasant experiences. They were on time, the personnel were courteous and helpful and the Boeing 737-200 aircraft were clean, even though by the start of the new century, they were considered “aging” and nearly obsolete.
Aloha was one of the last airlines in the Hawaii market that offered paper flight coupon packs (around 2004) in packets of six. These were very popular in the 1980s after being initially offered by upstart (and long gone) Mid-Pacific Airlines, a discount carrier. Soon after both Aloha and Hawaiian were forced to offer them. Flight certificate booklets were very popular with the public as they allowed people to take an inter-island flight on almost any day and time. They were convenient.
In the long run, the airlines hated the coupons since people stocked up on them and rarely ever flew at the published and more expensive per trip flights. The advent of online booking changed everything in favor of the airlines. Coupons were quickly discontinued.
The last time I flew on Aloha Airlines was back in November of 2006 during the height of the fare war instigated by Mesa/GO! Flights were being sold for as little as $2 each way. It was a definite money loser for the local airlines. The public loved them. I remember buying 4 different flights for a week of travel on three different airlines, flying at about $9 per trip. Once on GO!, once on Hawaiian and I think twice on Aloha.
That was the last time. A trip to Hilo and back.
Less than two years later, Aloha declared bankruptcy after GO!’s predatory pricing, high fuel costs, aging aircraft and a downturn in the economy forced the airline to go out of business.
Today the carcass of Aloha Airlines lives on in Aloha Air Cargo, which was the firm’s cargo business that was bought out by another company after Aloha Airlines closed in 2008.
Aloha Airlines is now a memory that many people hold with fondness.
Seasonal high tides this month are once again being billed as King Tides. What is happening is that the afternoon and evening high tides are impacting several places on Oahu with surf that is penetrating further inland than usual. I think it is a seasonal thing.
King Tides make for great picture taking opportunities as we see here.
Date Day Time Pred High/Low
2017/06/24 Sat 03:57 AM 0.75 H
2017/06/24 Sat 09:29 AM -0.39 L
2017/06/24 Sat 04:52 PM 2.58 H
2017/06/25 Sun 12:04 AM -0.02 L
2017/06/25 Sun 04:53 AM 0.72 H
2017/06/25 Sun 10:15 AM -0.28 L
2017/06/25 Sun 05:38 PM 2.48 H
2017/06/26 Mon 12:54 AM -0.04 L
2017/06/26 Mon 05:53 AM 0.71 H
2017/06/26 Mon 11:04 AM -0.11 L
2017/06/26 Mon 06:24 PM 2.32 H
2017/06/27 Tue 01:43 AM -0.03 L
2017/06/27 Tue 06:59 AM 0.74 H
2017/06/27 Tue 11:56 AM 0.10 L
2017/06/27 Tue 07:10 PM 2.11 H
Photos by Mel taken 6-23-2017 at Ala Moana Beach Park / Magic Island.
The Polynesian Voyaging Society is hosting a three day exhibition and open house for Hokule’a at the Hawaii Convention Center. The exhibition started on Sunday June 18 and runs through today, June 20 finishing at 5:00 p.m.
The highlight of the exhibition is seeing the Hokule’a up close and getting a chance to climb aboard the fabled vessel for a few minutes. This is being done online as well as at the convention center on the second floor. Media reports have stated that the online reservations are filled. As luck would have it, I was able to reserve a space in person and got to board Hokule’a for a short time after waiting in line for about 45 minutes yesterday.
The pictures from this visit and the event, which includes a number of educational, ecological and scientific exhibits on the second floor. Access to the exhibits are free. The only paid events are the lectures being presented by a number of people in the sailing, Hawaiian and intellectual community.
Hokule’a tied up near the Hawaii State Convention Center.
Hokule’a arrives at Magic Island, 6-17-2017. Photo by Sonny Lapenia.
Visitors onboard Hokule’a.
The wait in line to board Hokule’a was about 45 minutes.
On board Hokule’a for a 10 minute stay. Solar array for some of the 21st century electronics.
One of the Hokule’a crew members talking about the round the world voyage.
This weekend, starting yesterday, high tides in Hawaii are supposed to be unusually high. According to Wikipedia, “King tides are simply the very highest tides. They are naturally occurring, predictable events.”
Higher than normal high tides are impacting areas in Waikiki, Ala Moana and Mapunapuna where the shoreline is very close to the ocean. The so-called King Tides are impacting low lying areas around resorts and businesses, causing some flooding.
For many people it is a chance to go to the beach and actually enjoy the waves whether in the water or not. It presents photographers with a good opportunity to snap pictures of waves, people, beaches and maybe some destruction. 🙂
My friend Lisa and I ventured out to Queen’s Beach in Waikiki yesterday and recorded our impression of King Tide with photos and for the first time with our very first, unintentional podcast. You can listen to that by clicking on the link below:
While King Tides are attributed to “predictable events” some people and the media are giving them more attention connecting the phenomena to “global warming”. I think the jury is still out on this one.
So let us ask. King Tides… is it part of global warming? Leave us a comment.
More photos of tides, beaches and Waikiki on our Flickr site.