The huge ship in the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie is in Kanehoe Bay this week, shooting scenes with Hawaii’s starkly beautiful mountains as a backdrop. The bay is a sheltered area with magnificent views of the Koolau Mountain Range on the windward (eastern) side of the island of Oahu. Only a slight turn of the camera lens puts the ship at sea, with an unimpeded view of the Pacific Ocean.

The ship was referred to as the Black Pearl by many when it first arrived in Hawaii in February. However, this movie, subtitled On Stranger Tides, features the pirate Blackbeard and his ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge. In this installment of the series, Captain Jack Sparrow (defined by Johnny Depp) is searching for the Fountain of Youth. Depp filmed a special greeting for the recent Comic Con in which he managed to spend almost two minutes and reveal only that if he were going on a search for the Fountain of Youth, it would be very dangerous and he’d need a map – and perhaps a Bloody Mary. The video greeting also set the movie release date as May 20, 2011.

The pirate ship is in Heeia Kea Small Boat Harbor, located along the Kamehameha Highway opposite the Mokapu Peninsula, which is home to a Marine Corps Base. As you look at a map of the island of Oahu, the Mokapu Peninsula looks like the tail of a whale sticking out into the ocean. On the right side is Kailua Bay, ringed with a sandy beach that is perfect for kite boarding and wind surfing. President Obama stayed on this side of the peninsula in a house right next to the Marine base on his most recent trip. The left side of the peninsula is Kaneohe Bay, home to four boat harbors, including the public harbor in Heeia State Park.

If you take any of the circle island tours – either driving or on a bus – you’ll pass this area of Oahu. It’s a great opportunity to take a photo of yourself in an exotic movie location, even if the pirate ship has already sailed away.

Photo by Richard Denton.


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