Before going to the Officer’s Club for Sunday Brunch, we traveled up the mountain to overlook Oahu’s Kaneohe Bay. This gave us a great view of the bay, the Marine Base and Coconut Island.
From this advantage point, we could also see Coconut Island or Mokuoloe. It is a 28 acre island that originally was 12 acres. In the early 1930s an heir to the Fleishman yeast fortune, doubled the island with coral rubble, sand, and earthen landfill. The island later became a rest and relaxation station for U.S. Navy flyers during WW II. In 1947 a group purchased the island and convert it to an exclusive resort club and hotel. Then from the 1950s to the 1980s, Edwin Pauley, a Los Angeles businessman, used the island for a family summer get-aways.Â In mid 1980s a Japanese real estate investor owned half the island, while the University of Hawaii owned the other half. The Pauley Foundation granted a gift of $9.6 million to the University to purchase the private half of the island and to build new laboratories on it.
The island is now completely owned by the state and is the facility for the Hawai`i Institute of Marine Biology, part of the University of Hawaii. It is the only laboratory built on a coral reef, except for Heron Island, Lizard Island and a number of labs in the South Pacific, outside of America.
This is the island that was used for the opening sequence of the TV program Gilligan’s Island.Â The same island was used for the movie South Pacific.