X MARKS THE SPOT
STAR-BULLETIN / 1997
Mokolii island, commonly known as Chinaman's Hat, is seen from Kualoa Beach Park.
Photogenic isle is in walking distance
How many photographers have cannily juxtaposed their subject so that the person in the foreground seems to have Chinaman's Hat atop their heads? Plenty. Despite the vaguely insular name, this volcanic tuft really does look like a broad-brimmed straw hat.
A kind of excess spatter created by the Kualoa ridge on the Windward side of Oahu, the island is smaller than you think it is, and closer too. You can actually walk out to it across the reef during low tides -- wear old tennies -- or kayak across. The opposite side has a tiny beach framed by jagged rocks and is pounded by open-ocean waves, so stay out of the water. The reef between the island and shore, however, teems with life.
The peak can be climbed within half an hour, provided you don't mind being eyed suspiciously by nesting birds. Once atop, the view is spectacular.
The Hawaiian name is Mokolii, or "little lizard."
"X Marks the Spot"
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