He’eia Pier in Kaneohe, Hawaii is a small boat dock located in a protected harbor on the north-east side of Oahu. On an average week, He’eia Pier is the launching pad for small fishing vessels and double-man kayaks. However, during late summer, He’eia Pier turned into the home of a hulking sailing ship that cast a pale over the bay with its dark tones. He’eia Pier in small town Windward Oahu was the home port for the Queen Anne’s Revenge, one of the main characters in the forthcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
Not only did the Queen Anne’s Revenge consume much of the small harbor area, but the cast and crew of Pirates exponentially increased the population on and around He’eia Pier. Word of the production quickly spread, and although filming only lasted a few weeks, most Windward Oahu movie fans had the chance to take view the production in person. The security staff did establish a cordon around the live filming area, but were otherwise laid-back. The crowd of fans was similarly polite and mindful.
A fishing buddy often invites a group of us onto his boat during lazy afternoons. Fishing off Windward Oahu is a relaxing time for me filled with drinking beer, eating poke, and watching other guys catch fish. However, this summer, our planned fishing trips were canceled in favor of hanging out near the production of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
The entire Pirates of the Caribbean cast and crew were generous towards fans and very respectful of the environment. Somewhat surprisingly, there was almost no difference in traffic around Kaneohe during the weeks of filming. Once production had wrapped, there was no indication that a major motion picture had just been filming in our small town.
In addition to the activity surrounding the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides at He’eia Pier, members of the cast frequented the neighborhood bars and restaurants during the evenings. Johnny Depp, clearly the biggest star of the movie, probably went to half of the bars and nightclubs on the island during the two months of Oahu filming. His entourage was hard to miss at Apartment 3 and he was surrounded by both security and fans as he walked toward Pearl in Ala Moana. Many of the less-famous cast members were easy to find around town, but I never did have the pleasure of taking a picture with Penélope Cruz.
Thanks to perfect weather, beautiful venues, and generous incentives, dozens of major films have been shot around our small town in the past few years. It’s always a blast to see another filming in person and watching a movie is a lot more exciting when you can identify a scene that you viewed live during the shoot. If seeing the Queen Anne’s Revenge in person was any indication, you’ll love Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. While you’re watching Johnny Depp and his pirates, be sure to lookout for He’eia Pier.