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Aerial Pictures of the Hawaiian Island of Lanai

Narrative

Whenever I fly between the Hawaiian Islands I like to book flights on Mokulele Airlines because of the small single prop airplanes that they fly.  One of the islands that I was able to get some pretty good photos of recently from the air was of Lanai:

Aerial Picture of Lanai

The Hawaiian island of Lanai has not been high on my list to visit because of its reputation for being the playground for the mega-rich.  For example 98% of the island is owned by billionaire Larry Ellison, the founder and chairman of Oracle.  Also Bill Gates had his secret wedding on Lanai back in 1994.  Plus just looking at pictures of Lanai it does not look as interesting or scenic as the other islands in Hawaii anyway.  With that said I was glad I had a chance to take a look at Lanai from the air.  As I looked down on the island it appeared that most of the island was not heavily vegetated:

Aerial Picture of Lanai

What it did have a lot of was long narrow canyons that extended down to the ocean:

Aerial Picture of Lanai

The center of the island was relatively flat which is where the historic Dole Pineapple plantation was located:

Aerial Picture of Lanai

James Dole bought most of the island in the 1920s to expand his booming pineapple business that had begun on Oahu.  A few years later Lanai would end up growing an incredible 75% of the world’s pineapples.  However, the pineapple industry in Hawaii would eventually decline and the Dole Company ended up selling their land on Lanai to various buyers before ending up in the current ownership of Mr. Ellison.  The only land that Mr. Ellison did not own was the few private homesites in the small village of Lanai City that I could see below me:

Aerial Picture of Lanai

Lanai City

Lanai City is a historic plantation town that no longer has a farm to support.  Now the residents of this village mostly work at the resorts and other businesses sustained by the tourism industry:

Aerial Picture of Lanai

From the air Lanai City looked like quite a nice place to live, but with a population of just over 7,000 people, I would think this a town where everybody knows everyone else’s business:

Aerial Picture of Lanai

As the plane flew over Lanai, I could see the island of Molokai across the channel from it:

Aerial Picture of Lanai

Eventually I could also see the 10,023 foot summit of the Haleakala volcano on Maui sticking up out of the clouds as well:

Aerial Picture of Lanai

The eastern coast of Lanai appeared to be a bit more lush and it was likewise heavily eroded with long narrow canyons that extended down to the ocean:

Aerial Picture of Lanai

Here is a closer look at those canyons before the plane completed its flight over the island:

Aerial Picture of Lanai

Conclusion

Overall, flying over Lanai did not really create any additional interest for me to want to spend the money to travel there compared to visiting other Hawaiian islands I went to spend more time exploring.  At some point though I will make my way over to Lanai and who knows maybe I will run into one of its famous billionaires?

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