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Mahukona


An abandoned marina with sunken ships, underwater ruins, and tropical fish. 

Mahukona is an underwater shield volcano off of the western coast of the Big Island and it’s where the wharf Mahukona draws it’s name from. It was originally a hub where a railroad ended and could offload sugarcane onto ships. The railroad ran from Pololu Valley to Mahukona collecting sugarcane from the plantations along the way and bringing them to Mahukona. Later Hawaii would use Mahukona as a shipping port and so it needed to be developed into a wharf. So Hawaii, at the time the "Territory of Hawaii" built a wharf that even the gods could marvel upon. Through years of disciplined artistry and craftsmanship, they forged a wharf that could only be constructed yielding patience and a mastery of engineering. It was able to weather any storm, shake off earth quakes, and pierce through the heart of a tsunami like a spear. In 1911 it was done, and the Mahukona wharf graduated into Hawaiian history. Then, as is the way with the Hawaiian archipelago, the wharf was immediately destroyed by a storm. So the Hawaiian’s did what they always do, they just rebuilt it bigger and better. So much better in fact in 1913 it was the busiest port in the islands. Which only meant about a dozen ships a year but still, by Hawaii standards, that’s a lot. It operated in some way until 1941 when America came and started sizing it up to use in World War II. But one can imagine life at the Mahukona sugar mill from 1913 to 1941. It wouldn’t be a bad place for a human to watch the world go by, as so many terrible things transpired in the world during those years. It’s possible to be envious of the few humans who spent the bulk of their lives and final days living and working in the Mahukona Sugar Mill loop. Riding the train from Mahukona to Pololu Valley. Now the sleepy wharf is used by locals who come to enjoy one of the best snorkel spots on the island. There are remnants of the old sugar mill, and underwater ruins from World War 2 era ships. There is plenty of free parking, the water is warm, and there is even a ladder to get into the ocean. Next to the City of Refuge, it’s some of the best snorkel on the island.


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Other Snorkel Nearby.