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HAWAIIAN SHIRTS AND THE VACATED ISLANDS


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Aloha Shirts and the vacated island I found a great article for fifty fun facts about Hawaii at a Seattle paper (link), it mentions Kahoolawe as having the color gray as its official color, and that gray does not appear on Aloha shirts (beg to differ). It got me to wondering about some of the other Hawaiian islands, the ones you can't or won't visit.

 

Kahoolawe is Hawaiian for "the one that was taken away". It is all of 45 square miles of desert sitting in Maui's rainshadow surrounded by the Pacific. It is presently uninhabited, is reserved as a site for the preservation of native Hawaiian culture and was used as target practice by the US Navy (and its allies) for decades. You may be able to volunteer to do work on Kahoolawe as part of the restoration project.

 

Then there is Niihau, off the west coast of Kauai. It is privately owned and its shores are vigilantly guarded. Landings are unwelcome.

 

Molokini is offshore south and east of Lahaina harbor on Maui. It is a partially sunken volcanic cone, and the crater is tipped so that it is full of water. It is a top diving spot, but going ashore is a criminal offense.

 

Nihoa is an island about the size of a football stadium about 120 miles north and west of Honolulu. It is uninhabited, is covered with archaeological sites, and has some species such as the Nihoa finch that exist only there. Landings are by state permissions only, and protection against biological contaminations are vigorously enforced and extreme. For example, no cardboard. It sometimes contains worm eggs of a sort that may violate the existing Nihoa environment.

 

Lehua island, located north of Niihau is another island you will probably not only never see, but never set foot on. It is a seabird nesting reserve. It is a sunken volcanic caldera like Molokini.

 

Kaula lies about 23 miles west and north of Niihau, and is a semicircular cliff edged island. It is about 160 acres, was used for target practice like Kahoolawe (and Molokai for that matter), and is considered sacred. No landings.

 

Manana is a 63 acre island off the coast of Oahu (also called Rabbit Island) and is also a seabird sanctuary. No landings.

 

Na Molulua are two islands off the coast of Oahu you can set foot on. Just a short kayak trip through the home of sharks and you're there.

 

Mokolii off the coast of Oahu is known as "Chinaman's Hat Island" due to its upswept shape. Open to the public dawn to dusk, all 12.5 acres of it.

 

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