Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama body surfs at Sandy Beach. Sen. Obama is in Hawaii for a vacation with his family.
Obama bodysurfs at Sandy Beach
U.S. Sen. Barack Obama bodysurfed today at Sandy Beach today, a place he frequented as a teen-ager growing up in Honolulu.
The presidential candidate was photographed shaking hands with bodyboarders, catching a few waves and paying homage to his late mother whose ashes were scattered off East Oahu.
Besides going to Sandy's, Obama went to Hanauma Bay with family and friends.
Obama left his Kailua rental at 7:54 a.m. today, in his last full day of a week-long vacation. The motorcade, which included five cars and two police vehicles, arrived at a rainy Hanauma Bay at 8:29 a.m. Mayor Mufi Hannemann greeted the party.
Obama, who wore his favorite White Sox cap, a gray T-shirt and black shorts on the excursion, carried a large Macy's shopping bag filled with beach gear.
Obama was accompanied at Hanauma Bay by his daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, and long-time friends Marty Nesbitt and Eric Whitaker, who have been with him in Hawaii throughout his vacation. His wife Michelle was not present.
PHOTOS BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
Obama throws a lei into the ocean from the south Oahu point where he scattered his mother's ashes.
At 10:56 a.m., Obama left Hanauma Bay leaving most other members of his entourage, including his daughters, behind. By now, the sun was shining.
Obama's motorcade stopped at a point near Halona Blowhole nearby so that he could pay his respects to his late mother S. Ann Dunham, who died in 1995.
Obama, who was accompanied by his former high-school pals Greg Orme and Bobby Titcomb and a secret service agent, walked down to the spot where his mother's ashes were scattered. Waves rose up out of the water as Obama pulled apart a white lei and dropped petals into the surf. About 30 Hawaii residents and visitors watched from behind a lava stone wall. Nearby a wave-runner circled in the water and two fishermen cast their lines.
Just minutes after Obama turned from the point, a wave engulfed the spot where he had been standing. Some gawkers gasped.
As Obama departed the point at 11:05 a.m., some watchers clapped.
PHOTOS BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
Obama, center, shakes hands with people as he body surfs at Sandy Beach during vacation in Honolulu.
"We're kind of excited to see him," said Mary Karagiannis, an Oahu visitor from San Francisco, Calif. "We had read he was here visiting his family. It's a small world."
Obama, Orme and Titcomb then stopped at Sandy Beach Park, a favorite Honolulu bodysurfing spot. Obama and Orme took off their shirts and promptly dove into a wave. After surfacing, Obama shook hands with nearby swimmers. Obama bodysurfed and joked around with friends for about half an hour.
Journalists traveling in the media pool relished their first shots of Obama in the surf during this vacation. About 20 people stood on the beach and gawked as the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee played in his home surf. Some sunbathers and swimmers seemed oblivious to his visit.
At 11:37 a.m., Obama left Sandy Beach to return to Hanauma Bay where he reconnected with other friends and family members. He arrived at Hanauma Bay a few minutes away and the entire motorcade departed at 12:01 p.m. Shortly after the motorcade began moving, it started to rain again.
The motorcade returned to Obama's Kailua rental about a half-hour later.
Before 2 p.m., Obama's motorcade left the Kailua rental and headed to the USS Arizona Memorial. Obama was accompanied by about 24 other people, including his wife Michelle, and his daughters.
The memorial's chief historian, Daniel Martinez, escorted the group across the white bridge that straddles the sunken hull of the ship. He also led them into the shrine room in which the names of the sailors and Marines killed on board the Arizona are inscribed.
Afterward, Obama posed for photos with the six sailors who manned the ferry that took his group to the memorial from the visitor's center. One of the sailors gave him a gift of U.S. Navy coins.
"Thank you very much for your help," he told the sailors while shaking their hands.
While the family visited the site, another ferry load of passengers was allowed to board.
One family was so distracted by the commotion surrounding Obama that they lost track of their 6-year-old daughter. When it was determined that she had inadvertently taken an earlier ferry, her family was allowed to catch a ride with Obama's private group.
Tourists took pictures of the Illinois senator.
John Bertrand, a teacher from Ontario, Canada, shot a video after hearing a group of about 40 people chanting "Obama, Obama."
"I'll be able to show to my students that I saw him in person," he said.
Obama's entourage left Pearl Harbor at about 3:30 p.m., an hour after arriving.
The Obama family went from Pearl Harbor to visit the senator's 85-year-old grandmother Madelyn Dunham in her Makiki apartment.
About 5:30 p.m., the family left Dunham's apartment. It is not known if they will pay another visit to Dunham before leaving Hawaii; however, this visit was the longest of the vacation.
Obama's motorcade returned to the Kailua rental, where they will eat dinner.
Media pool report by Allison Schaefers
The Associated Press and Star-Bulletin reporter Robert Shikina also contributed to this report.