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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Do you know - Molokini

Do you know - Molokini
Landing on this island is prohibited, but it does not stop thousands of people fom floating around it each year. With water this amazing, who needs land.

The island is actually partially submerged top of volcanic cinder cone. What is a volcanic cinder cone?

If you make the trek to Maui, there is a good chance you will end up snorkeling around this rocky island. Better know where it is in case your boat leaves without you.

Molokini is a crescent-shaped, partially submerged volcanic crater which forms a small islet located in Alalakeiki Channel between the islands of Maui and Kahoʻolawe, part of Maui County inHawaiʻi. It has a diameter of about 0.4 miles (0.6 km), and is located about 2.5 miles (4.0 km) west of Makena State Park and south of Maʻalaea Bay. It is a popular tourist destination for scuba divingsnuba and snorkeling.The islet is a Hawaiʻi State Seabird Sanctuary.


Molokini is one of the top 10 dive spots in the world. Snorkelingscuba, and snuba tours depart from Maʻalaea Harbor and Kihei Boat Ramp.
Molokini's crescent shape protects divers from waves and the channel's powerful currents. However, experienced scuba divers will also drift dive off the 300 feet (91 m) sheer outer wall, using the channel currents to carry them along.
The crater houses a lush reef with excellent visibility as deep as 150 feet (46 m). Molokini is home to about 250 species of fish, many endemic (see Ecology below). The best conditions occur in early morning.
Because Molokini attracts many boats, the Hawaii State Division of Boating and Recreation established mooring buoys and "Day Use Mooring Rules" for Molokini to protect against damage from dropped anchors.
Its popularity has led many water-sport guides to lament that overcrowding has made the experience less attractive.


Photo showing large island (Kahoʻolawe) mostly covered by cloud, and the smaller islet of Molokini with the South Maui coast in the foreground
Aerial view of Kahoʻolawe, Molokini and the Makena side of Maui
In Hawaiʻian legend, Molokini was a beautiful woman. She and Pele, the fire goddess, were in love with the same man. The jealous Pele cut her rival in two and transformed her into stone. The woman's head is supposedly Puʻu Olai, the cinder cone by Makena Beach.


Potassium-argon dating by Yoshitomo Nishimitsu of Kyoto University indicates that Molokini erupted approximately 230,000 years ago.[4].
Archaeological evidence, primarily in the form of stone sinkers and lures, show that early Hawaiians visited Molokini to fish. They also likely harvested seabirds, eggs and feathers.
During World War II, the United States Navy used Molokini for target practice because its shape is somewhat similar to a battleship.[5]. In 1975 and 1984 the US Navy detonated in-place unexploded munitions found within the crater, resulting in the destruction of large areas of coral. This resulted in a public outcry. A thorough search and risky manual removal of unexploded munitions to deep water was carried out by volunteer divers as a result. As well, a 2006 survey found no evidence of unexploded munitions on the islet itself.
During the 1950s commercial harvesting of black coral occurred in Molokini.
In 1977 Molokini islet, the crater, and the surrounding 77 acres (310,000 m2) of underwater terrain were declared a Marine Life Conservation District (MLCD).


Molokini crater is home to approximately 250 to 260 distinct marine species. Most commonly observed among these are the Black TriggerfishYellow TangMoorish IdolParrotfishRaccoon butterflyfish and Bluefin Trevally. Due to constant exposure to park visitors and the long history as a conservation district, the fish of Molokini are extremely comfortable with the presence of nearby divers. Small Whitetip reef sharks and Moray eels are occasionally seen in the crater.
38 different hard coral species can be found in the waters of Molokini, as can approximately 100 distinct species of algae.
The islet itself is home to at least two different species of nesting seabirds: Bulwer's Petrels andWedge-tailed Shearwaters. Additionally Great Frigatebirds have been observed on Molokini islet.


Molokini islet itself is federally owned and is a state seabird sanctuary. Thus unauthorized landing is prohibited. Permission to land must be obtained both from the U.S. Coast Guard and the Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife [5]
Regulations covering the Molokini Shoal MLCD (see History above) prohibit fishing, collection or removal of specimens, and fish feeding within its bounds. Additionally, dropping anchor within the MLCD is not permitted due to the potential of damage to the coral reef. Tour boat operators have been allocated fixed mooring points instead.

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