The trip on the President Cleveland of the American President leaves from San Francisco to Honolulu by way of Los Angeles was a most pleasant one.
We sailed from San Francisco Bay at 11 o'clock in the morning of March 22, 1953. It was a very beautiful day, sunny and pleasant. A great crowd was at the dock to see the ship off, the outline of the city's skyline from the bay side was a sight to remember.
We arrived in Los Angeles at breakfast time and had a session with the press boys and the photographers.
Dave Noyes, Anna Roosevelt, her son and husband came aboard and stayed for luncheon. We had a most pleasant visit. The evening of the 23rd the Wine and Food Association gave a dinner aboard which was a very pleasant affair.
We sailed at noon on the 24th for the beautiful islands in the center of the Pacific.
Not a good sailor, I spent the first day out in bed but recovered on the second day and enjoyed the whole cruise from that day on.
Many very agreeable people were on the ship, most of them on board for the whole trip around the Pacific; Japan, Formosa, Hong Kong, Manila, Japan and then Hawaii and home.
We arrived off Oahu early on the morning of March 29th. It was a lovely day. Diamond Head and then Honolulu with the Pali in the background, rainbows, clouds, sunshine and a beautiful city all in one scene.
We docked at 8 A.M. amid a noisy reception. Officials of all ranks were present. Admiral Radford, Commander in Chief of the Pacific escorted us off the ship and to our destination. Photographers, newsmen and numerous reception committees came aboard and covered us with leis and smothered us with questions and flashbulbs.
We finally boarded cars and were escorted through the crowds by the Hawaiian police, and over the Pali to Kenowa Bay where Mr. Pauley met us. We boarded the Admiral's launch and arrived at Coconut Island where Mrs. Pauley and all the children met us and escorted us to the beautiful house on the hill.
Admiral Radford returned to Pearl Harbor and we began one of the most pleasant vacations we ever experienced. A grand dinner was ready for us and four Hawaiian girls danced the historical dances of ancient Hawaii for us, explaining the meaning of each movement in the lore of the wonderful people who had inhabited the Islands before Captain Cook came and spoiled the situation.
We went to our quarters after the grand midday dinner took a nap, put on vacation clothes afterwards and went to the swimming hole after which we had another dinner a pleasant evening under the palm trees and went to bed at ten o'clock.
I was up early as usual and walked over and around the island. I found afterwards that there are 10,000 coconut palms, hibiscus, oleander, orchids and all sorts of plants and beautiful flowers which bloom all year around. There was the wreck of the old Seth Parker which was a famous Oceanographic Cruise Ship and the remains of a zoo (just the pens) which a former owner had maintained.
The University of Hawaii and the University of California maintain a fish experiment station on the island now and Mr. Pauley furnishes the endowment for it. It is a most interesting plant.
A couple of days after we arrived we let the press boys come over and look things over. The picture men had a field day and after that one time they let us enjoy ourselves.
After we had been on the island a few days I sent word to Admiral Radford that would like to visit the Island of Hawaii and see the great volcano Mauna Loa. The Admiral sent me a C47 in charge of two fine Navy Commanders and we were airborne at 7 A.M. It is a 200 mile flight from Oahu to Hawaii. The weather was perfect. I had a good view of Molokai the leper island and at an elevation of 11,200 feet saw the Island of Maui with its 10,500 foot extinct volcano. The Navy men told me that we had the first clear day in two years at that time of day. The weather was perfect when we arrived at Hawaii. We flew over the saddle between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. These volcanoes are snow capped and rise to heights above the sea level of 13,800 and 13,700 feet respectively. The sea at a distance of 3 miles out is 18,000 feet deep so that from base to top these volcanoes are more than 32,000 feet high!
We landed at Hilo at about 10:30 and they gave us the usual all out reception. We drove around the city and then to the Interior Dept's building in Volcano Park where Dr. McDonald showed some pictures of the eruptions of Mauna Loa in 1949 and 1950. These pictures are remarkable in color and show just what happened. Looking at them and with the explanations of Dr. McDonald I felt as if I were witnessing the eruption.
He told me that more than 600 million cubic yards of lava had over flown the side of the volcano and gone down to the ocean in a molten river. Thousands of fish were killed and a great many new varieties from the depths came to the surface. They were still hunting for scientific names for some of them when I was there. We had a luncheon at the Volcano House, an Interior Department Hotel which is run by a Mr. Lycurgus. He is 93 years old and he told me he claimed to be a son of the Spartan King. He entertained us royally and showed his picture gallery with a lot of distinguished people in pictures shaking hands with him, playing cribbage with him etc.
After lunch we drove on around the Island to the Navy Air field on the west side of it. We passed various lava flows which were pointed out to me and the dates given to me.
We passed a house in a little town where Mark Twain spent some time after he was fired from a Sacramento, Calif. Paper.
When we arrived at the air field it was raining and I mean it was pouring down. A couple of Hawaii native ladies thanked me for the rain. They said that Peli the Goddess of the Great Volcano was weeping because I was leaving! But they severely needed the rain. They said that Peli was happy when I came and gave us clear weather and sorry when I left hence the rain.
On the flight back to Konawa Bay we took off in the terrific rain and in ten minutes were in sunshine. We saw a school of whales below us off Mau. The navy men said that meant good luck. Well we landed safely in time for dinner.
The Governor, Mr. King invited us to a st
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