It wasn’t until I saw my first Hawaiian sunset that it dawned on me — this was the first time in my life that I had ever seen the sun set over water with no obstruction. Crazy when I thought through it. Growing up in Ohio, there are not many locations where you can see the sun set all the way over the water. I have only vacationed to the atlantic ocean in the continental US, and never the Gulf in Florida or west coast. When visiting the Caribbean, we happened to stay in Ocho Rios on the east side of Jamaica, Nassau on the east side of the Bahamas, and Riviera Maya on the east side of Mexico.
We frequently saw the sun setting while on our boat this past summer, but the treeline always blocked the sun’s final moments of the night. The picture below is of the sun setting over Alum Creek on our last day of boating this year (October 30th).
Coincidentally, in Hawaii, we stayed in locations where we saw the sunset every night we were there. And I was in sheer awe. Very few things are as much pure eye candy as a Hawaiian sunset. Our our first night, we drove through the mild northwest mountainous section on the way to our hotel. We stayed in Maui for four nights and took in every bit of this view all four nights:
The most unique aspect of the view from Maui is that you get the added benefit of the sun setting right aside of the small mountainous island of Lanai. On our final night in Maui, we went to an authentic luau (Feast at Lele). One of the best parts of the luau is that you had the entertainment in front of you and sat on the beach while the sun was setting behind. Very beautiful in both directions (the picture with our Leis was taken shortly after we arrived at the luau).
This was my favorite view of the sunset. Picturesque with a bright orange sky and several boats on the horizon during our one night stay here. We ate at a restaurant on the beach for supper that night and slowly watched the sun go down. Our waiter told us that she has worked at the same restaurant for 25 years and sees the sun setting every night she works. I’m not going to lie, I was a little jealous of her job.
As the pictures above depict, Waikiki beach is very busy and it does not slow down until well after the sun has set. In the third picture, we are a mere silhouette to the right of the frame with the sun slowly dropping behind us.
North Shore (Oahu)
Our final stop also provided many beautiful sights. While we were on the northern shore of Oahu, there were mountains directly west-southwest that created a nice backdrop as the sun set. On top of these mountains were noticeable radar domes wherein lies a large piece of United States history. On December 7, 1941 at 7:02 AM; the early radar at Opana point detected hundreds of planes to the north. The men working the early radar station immediately relayed this information to Lt. Kermit Tyler in the information center at Fort Shafter on Oahu. He reasoned that the planes must have been a group of B-17 bombers flying in from the west coast that morning and advised the radar crew not to worry. Approximately 30 minutes later, the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and the entire island of Oahu had begun. No one had been alerted.
We found that there was a large contingent of surfers every night right at sunset. It was great entertainment watching them as the sun was setting just behind them.
The first picture below depicts Opana point (to the left of the frame). Fortunately, our view of the sun was not blocked by Opana as the sun set just to the north.
Again, by sheer coincidence, our plane departed Honolulu at the exact time the sun was setting and we were able to take in one final Hawaiian sunset from our seats on the plan as we departed.