The Island of Lana`i
For years, Lana`i was known as the "Pineapple Isle". During the years when I was growing up on Lana`i, the pineapple plantation dominated both the land and the way of life here. Unfortunately, it became too expensive to grow pineapples here and production was phased out. I say "unfortunately" because the Lana`i pineapples were the juiciest, sweetest, best-tasting pineapples grown in Hawai`i.
For a while after the phase-out, there are still a few small fields sufficient to supply Lana`i but unfortunately, those are now gone as well. However, I understand that the same strain is now being grown on Maui —
look for those labeled "Maui Gold".
Some of my fondest childhood memories are riding horses on the rugged but beautiful Munro Trail. There are special spots where one can see Maui and Molokai across the channel — wonderful places for a picnic lunch. Today, the trail is still unpaved and, even with a 4WD vehicle, the going is rough. Also, it helps to have someone to act as a guide — it is easy to get lost or, at least, confused about where you are.
On the desolate windward side of Lana`i we find Keomuku Reef, also known as "Shipwreck Beach". Many ships have run aground here and their rusted hulks are readily visible. Pictured here is a WWII Liberty ship made from concrete which was towed to this location and scuttled. As you stroll along the seashore, you may encounter nautical items from the various wrecked ships that have washed up onto shore.
We on Lana`i are lucky to have Hulopoe Beach — one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Hawai`i. When I was growing up, it seemed like most of the families on the island would be here on the weekend — funny, it hasn't changed much in that respect. Swimming and surfing is good here but the snorkeling is great — in fact, you can sometimes see dolphins and whales out in Manele Bay. The bay is now a protected marine habitat.
Of course, no day in paradise would be complete without a beautiful Lana`i sunset. We may be biased but we think that Lana`i has the most beautiful sunsets in the world.