Stop 8: The Mokulua Islands
Just off-shore from the town of Lanikai, the twin Mokulua Islands have been important to Hawaiians before western people reached Hawaii. Stone adzes were produced here for shaping wood, since the rock is very dense due to the fact that the islands are packed with dense dikes that formed along the rift zone of the Koolau Volcano.
Lazy people often take a power boat out to "The Mokes" so that they can go fishing or swimming with the fantastic Pali cliffs in the background. However, it is far more rewarding to take a canoe out here -- or even to brave the 40 minute swim against the currents to enjoy the wonderful sandy beach on the northern of the two islands.
Strong currents flow between the two islands, but this often makes for a popular surfing site or canoe adventure. Here we see the southern of the two islands from the beach on the north island.
It's easy to imagine the growth of the old Koolau volcano as one inspects all of the intrusive dikes on the western side of the North Moke. Each one of the dark linear features seen here were formed by magma forcing its way to the surface in a manner identical to the activity that is now seen along the East Rift Zone of Kilauea volcano on the Big island.
It's actually quite challenging to walk around each of these small islands. Not only are people banned from walking inland because it is a bird sanctuary, but also the shoreline frequently has all these amazing rock walls and indentations that force you to get your feet wet -- just watch out for the surf if you make this trip!
From here you can continue on to Stop 9 on the ground.
Return to Southeast Oahu Virtual Field Trip
Author: Peter Mouginis-Mark
Copyright by P. Mouginis-Mark
Curator: Lori Glaze