Returning from Australia, I usually preferred to go round the world rather than go back the way I came, and would sometimes stop in Hawaii and San Francisco to break the journey. I had read about a helicopter flight over Pearl Harbour, and thought it sounded better than taking several hours with a bus-load of tourists to see it on foot. The hotel told me that the big tourist helicopter flights had ceased, but I found I could charter a small one at a very reasonable rate. It landed in the grounds of my hotel to the bemusement of the watching guests, and took my friend and I towards Pearl Harbour in what seemed like about ten minutes.
We toured over the harbour, with our pilot giving a helpful commentary through the intercom. We wore headphones because it would have been too noisy to hear anyone talk. We saw the sunken USS Arizona from above, quite clear in the waters. It has been designated as a war grave with a national memorial on top.
There was a final surprise as we headed back. The pilot told us we had time left that had been paid for, so would we like to go into the volcano? Seeing our nervous glances, he explained that it had been long dormant. We readily assented, and went up the sides of it and down into the crater. Surprisingly it had been dormant so long that the inside of it was thick with vegetation, much safer than molten lava, we thought.