Poka Ailana or Ford Island is a 441-acre island located in the heart of Pearl Harbor. It was formerly known as Moku'ume'ume, meaning 'the Island of Games.' Ancient Hawaiians used the place for mate swapping, but this game practice was brought to an end by the Western Christian missionaries. In the following years, the island took various names and changes. In the mid-1800s, it was named 'Ford Island' in honor of a prominent Hawaii physician, Dr. Seth Porter Ford. US Navy acquired the island for a base station in 1936, but due to modernization in the naval aircraft post the war, the Air station wasn't necessary. Ford Island plays a significant role in the Pearl Harbor attack. The island today is home to numerous military residents and a National Historic Landmark.
Based on the coast of Oahu, Hawaii, Mokolea Rock is a small islet in Kailua Bay. It is also a state bird sanctuary providing nesting to various native and migrating birds. The island isn't accessible without state permission. The locals commonly call it 'Birdshit Island' due to excessive bird droppings. Shorebirds like brown and black noddies and petrels are present in large numbers on the island. It is a barren island with no vegetation and no inhabitation. It isn't a safe island to land due to heavy currents from Kailua Beach.
Mokuauia, also referred to as Goat island, lies on the northeast coast of Oahu. Unlike its name Goat Island, there aren't any goats on the island. The island consists of dunes in Laie Bay and serves as a state-protected seabird sanctuary. It also functions as a breeding center for wedge-tailed shearwaters. The three beaches surrounding the island are open for visitors. You can enjoy swimming or kayaking in the mesmerizing waters while witnessing scenic views of the surrounding nature.
The Mokes, as the locals refer to it, is a phenomenal destination to visit. It is a mile and a half away from the Kailua Beach Park off the Oahu's shore. Na Mokulua, meaning, The Twin Islands are a pair of small islets - Moku Nui and Moku Iki. Moku Nui is accessible to the visitors in the daytime, while Moku Iki is off-limits. The Mokes is home to several species of seabirds, including wedge-tailed shearwaters and red-footed bobbies. Kayaking to the Moku Nui's shore is a surreal experience, and you may spot Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles (honu) and Monk Seal as you paddle through the calm and turquoise waters.
Coconut Island or Gilligan's Island, officially Moku o Loe is a 28-acre island in Honolulu county with rich tropical beauty. However, it is usually closed to the visitors as the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) operates it for marine research. HIBM organizes occasional outreach programs for the visitors. You can experience one of the best snorkeling and kayaking adventures at Moku o Loe. You can also spot the reef corals, tropical fishes, and Green sea turtles(honu) as you snorkel in the stunning blue waters.
Manana Island, also named Rabbit island, is located ten miles off the Maine shoreline. It is referred to as Rabbit Island mainly for its rabbit's head-like structure and because Jonh Adams Cummins introduced rabbits in the Waimānalo farm. However, the massive destruction they caused to the ecosystem resulted in their eradication. The series of Honolulu volcanic eruptions resulted in the creation of Manana. The island is a state-protected seabird sanctuary, and entry without state permission is prohibited. It provides habitat to sooty terns, wedge-tailed shearwaters, Red-tailed tropicbirds, Hawaiian Monk Seals, etc. Although authorization is necessary, Manana Island is one of the most exotic destinations.
Popoia Island, or Flat Island as referred to, functioned as a fishing center in ancient times. But now, this iconic island located about a quarter-mile off the Kailua coast is a state bird sanctuary and breeding grounds for wedge-tailed shearwaters. The island is breezy and beautiful. As the interior of the island is a designated seabird sanctuary, it is not open for visitors. However, you can indulge in the calm experience of kayaking or snorkeling or swimming, or merely taking a walk on the outskirts of this little paradise.
Mokoli'i is a small basalt islet and lies one-third mile off of Kualoa Point. This islet got separated from the Oahu's basaltic ridge due to marine erosion. It is also referred to as Chinaman's Hat because of its similarity with the Asian conical hat. The land was home to many tropical species; however, the invasive non-native species affected the wildlife and plants. The island was a private property until 1970. The island today is owned by Honolulu city and is accessible to visitors. You can experience the thrill of kayaking, canoeing, or surfing here.
Moku Manu is also referred to as Bird Island because of its dense and most diverse seabird colonies. This islet is located off the Oahu coast and is a formation of debris slung from the Kailua Volcano. Similar to Manana, Moku Manu is also a state-protected seabird sanctuary. The island isn't a recommended location to land because of its unsafe beach and weather conditions. Its isolation makes it an excellent environment for nesting and rich marine life. Shorebirds like noddies, petrels, boobies, and several other migrating species are a part of the island's ecosystem.
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