Lanai IslandIle de Lanai
For the best feeling of seclusion, make some off-roading on your way to the best natural wonders of the island.
It was my forth journey to the Pacific Ocean, where I visited the island of Maui, which I had previously cruised to and fro to take snaps. However, this year I had the opportunity to explore one of the remote isles west of Maui, Lanai. It is the 6th biggest of the Hwaiian Isles and one of the least densely inhabited.
There is a little over 3,000 people, most of them in the plantations that make up Lanai Downtown, and the term "city" means a few central houses on the island that can hardly classify themselves as "city". The whole island has only three cobbled streets, the remainder is crossed by a largely unpaved net of gravel road.
Lanai was once known as "Pineapple Island". By 1922, the pinapple typcoon James Drummond Dole bought 98% of Lanai and the island exported 65,000 tonnes of pinapple annually until 1930, which corresponds to about 75% of the world's pinapple. For almost 100 years Dole had a whole island because it was planted with plantation cover and the only humans who were living there were from Dole.
Many years later, around 1985, the estates were relocated to less costly locations and the island was taken over by David Murdock, a multimillionaire who acquired the shares of Dole Foods in Lanai. Lanai has been struggling to re-invent himself for 20 years, and in 2012, Larry Ellison, a founding member of Oracle, purchased Lanai from Murdock.
Larry is now planning multimillion dollars renovation, constructing estates and transforming Lanai into an internationally recognized ecological sustainability city. I still notice how you can buy an entire island today. In Hawaii there are not thousand of empty isles swimming in the sea, there are only 8 of them.
Arrived at 4 a.m. before dawn to make some coffe and set off to take a 6 a.m. boat departing from Lahaina, a small historical city southwest of Maui. It' only a 45-minute drive, so most folks take a full excursion to Lanai in the mornings, to remain in Manele Bay (where the boat arrives) and then drive back to Maui in the afternoons.
There are only two (or three) Lanai properties, one in the same Manale Bay ($660 per night) by the sea and the second in Lanai City. We' re packed with crates of groceries, beverages, gas lights, utensils, pots, sleepingbag, all the''comando''' equipment that is planned on this island in the jungles right on the shore, before it will probably be very difficult to go there in a few years' time.
The Lanai "City" escarpment behind Igor. Panoramic views to the west part of the island Maui and Lahaina in the centre. Panoramic views of Lanai and the island Maui in the back. West part is on the lefthand east Maui with Haleakala summit on the right. The Lanai Island is very small and does not have many "unique" sights besides the enjoyment of being outdoors.
However, one of the most realistic images is the picture of a wreck from the Second World War, which is situated in the Kalohi Canal between Molokai and Lanai. The Keomuku is on the eastern bank of Lanai. Today Keomuku is deserted and some call it a spook city. The old Club Lanai. A luxurious club on the eastern shores of Lanai Island for many years, it was shut down in 1996 and is now totally forsaken.
From one or two of the island as well as from Maui, visitors were taken here by boat to drink and celebrate. Strangely enough, there is very little information about exactly what the Lanai was. I' ve just found a chance Lanai Reunion Facebook page where I took the picture to the right of the illustration of the whole splendour of the Lanai Reunion team.
Over 60 mile from Lanai City and about half an hours to Keahiakawelo (Garden of the Gods), Polihua is a 2 mile long sandy shore across the Molokai Canal. This place alone was really a worthwhile travel. We are on our way back after two day drive around the island to take the boat to Maui before sundown.
And, last but not least, a photograph of me photographing Lanai scenery.