Who Owns NiihauWhose is Niihau?
Coast Napali & Niihau boat tours. The only Kauai boat tour company that offers daily excursions to the forbidden island of Niihau.
Niihau: Mysterious Bawaiian Islands
NIIHAU, Hawaii -Dites aux gens que vous allez à Niihau, et ils s'exclament invariablement, "Pas question ! Though I was in Niihau now, I can't really say I know. I have known Niihau as the Forbidden Island since I was a kid on Oahu. Riyadh Niihau is everything Oahu, Maui, the Great Island, even Kauai, are not.
There are 130 inhabitants, more or less, and they are living in the city of Puuwai. Humans make their living from the countryside, hunt, fish, grow their own fruits and veg. Since 1987 Niihau Helicopters offers half days outings. It' just that few folks know about her. As Susan Tanzman, the proprietor of Martin's Travel & Tours in Los Angeles and a Hawaii expert who knew about my romantic relationship with the Fiftieth State, one of these days phoned me and asked if I wanted to go to Niihau, I didn't hesistate to get on a flight to Kauai.
After we were cradled and briefed on security, we drove to Port Allen, where the Agusta 109A chopper was to arrive, fill up and bring us back.
On tiptoe we jumped to take a first look at the helicopter, the primary objective of which is to evacuate the inhabitants of Niihau. Oahu-born Dana Rosendal, who has been working for the firm for eight years, buckled us in and strapped us in, and we were on our way to drive the 17-mile route over the Kaulakahi Canal, which we sometimes crossed.
"The Kauai is stealing all the rain," said RoseDal. While parts of Kauai are bathed in rains (the peak of Mount Waiale is said to reach 400 inch per year), Niihau gets about a doze. It' s had been raining hard for the last two years and the country has been electrically verdant. You didn't know the country was almost as relentless as the dry parts of Southern California.
There are three fresh water ponds on Niihau, the largest on one of the island, but when we saw them that particular date - and on many occasions - from the sky, they were nothing more than mud holes. " Rossendal said in our headsets-- "They are much nicer as they are," said Rose Valley.
Here, folks make their living from the countryside. Conviction was short; the Robinsons don't want the Niihauans invading their private lives. Ah, yes, the inhabitants. "It'?s a matter of privacy," said RoseDal later. ruce Robinson "really loved these men. He always says: "It must be good for the Niihau population.
If it'?s not good for the islands and the humans he won't do. "As for the rumours that Niihauans are trapped on this country, Rosendal, who knows most of them, smiled. I' m guessing he (Bruce Robinson) wants to reduce the effects of the humans around her.
"It' not like he's the wealthy guy who owns the isle. It' more like you're the ones who are living here. By the time his wife and daughter purchased the niihauans, they consented to protect their privileges. "We turned off towards Nanina Beach on the northern bank where we would end up.
The next 31/2h we were free for swimming, snorkelling, lunching (courtesy of Niihau Helicopters who provided us sandwhiches, crisps and drinks), walking on the sand and hunting for the small Niihau shell, which makes the island' s inhabitants everlasting silence and sells them for hundred and sometimes thousand of USdolls.
On the shore line was coated with flat volcanic rock, which created tidal waters full of marine activity, and here we found the only inhabitant of Niihau we would meet. It is an extinct and absolutely lovable breed, and many of them live in Niihau. "When you see 40 of them, it's probably 120, because the balance is fishing," said Rose valley, who saw Mahina growing from a newborn.
She could grow up to 600 lbs in weight, and if no deep-sea or humans came to her, she and her 1,200 surviving relatives, who were once almost extinct, could survive up to 30 years. Returning to the sanctuary we could see Tolman (a native German who now lives in Maui) on the water.
It danced a tiki named "Hoi Kealoha i Niihau" ("Love Return to Niihau"). "Not only does tiki dance," she said to me later. "It was Niihau, and the ball on the court just took him home.