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George Row

Let the Dance Begin

Pat Rooney

Chinaman's Hat as a Border

O‘ahu, Hawai‘i, USA

18 March 2006, noon local

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© 2006 Pat Rooney, All Rights Reserved.

Caption

Geologically – and often otherwise – the most profound of borders are created by islands. Mokoli‘i Island, more popularly known as Chinaman’s Hat, makes a fun example of this as a VR panorama.

Covering a bit more area than a football field, this volcanic cone towers over 60 meters (200 feet) above sea level. Kualoa Regional Park, on the major island of O‘ahu, forms a point and a beautiful place to take in the profile of the island, just half a kilometer away. Its shape from shore looks like a coolie's hat, hence the nickname. If you don't know the island you do have to see the profile to understand it – find the hotspot on the shore to see a panorama from below.

Today Mokoli'i is officially a bird sanctuary. In Hawaiian legend, Hi‘iaka, goddess of lightning, defended herself by defeating a giant mo‘o (lizard) and then severed its tail which she tossed into the ocean. It became Mokoli‘i Island, which means little dragon.

What can you see? Moli‘i Pond is in the park to the left of the point. Some of the mountains of the Ko‘olau Range are visible, but the tall ones disappear into the clouds. To the left of the point, as the island stretches into the distance, starts Kāneʻohe Bay, the other end of which is bordered by the pronounced Mokapu Peninsula, now a Marine base.

What can you not see? The example of a border is best if you point straight down and zoom out until you see the entire island. The large screen version opens like this by default. But what you see then is just the tip of the island from five feet above the geological marker. You see only a small stretch of the actual shore, like where the waves are crashing. Nearby high peak Pu‘u Ka‘aumakua, above and to the left of the dark mountain, is hidden, but click the hotspot for a panorama made from the peak looking at this island on a clear day.

Check one of the satellite images in the links below to see the shape of the island's shore.

Additional Caption: Behind the scene : how this panorama was made ▼


Check here for more panos by Pat.

Click here to see more pictures of the island.

Location

Pacific Ocean / USA-Hawaii

Lat: 21° 30' 34.84" N
Long: 157° 49' 47.09" W

Elevation: 64 meters, 210 feet

→ maps.google.com [EXT]

Precision is: High. Pinpoints the exact spot.

OpenStreetMap: © OpenStreetMap contributors

Equipment

Canon 300D with 10-22mm.

Behind the scene : how this panorama was made

If you're adventurous and willing to cross a border or two, you can walk to the island at low tide. Surfboards and kayaks are good too. A bit more adventurous and you might climb to the top for this view. I took a bodyboard and a backpack lined with plastic carrying a bunch of pano gear. Worked better than I expected; just took a long while to pack and unpack.

I've been thinking of doing this panorama for the better part of a year, but never seemed to muster the energy to make the drive and the swim with all my equipment wrapped up water-safe. The equinox theme of borders generated all that I needed, though the weather, torrential for an entire month already, would have to cooperate. I decided to go through with it when Saturday, March 18 turned out to be a break between storms. I spent the better part of the day on the island, taking several panoramas and exploring, as it was my first visit.

The idea was to get an entire island into the panorama. I knew that, as a spherical panorama, the island would only be a little piece of the whole picture, and likely not so striking on its own, but swimming about the picture makes up for it, as you get a great sense of what it's like to stand on the top of this small, tall island.

The large screen version opens in a very wide view looking straight down, showing the whole island. Reflections of the clouds on the water make radial lines around the island. But zoom in for some detail too.

See an odd study between the wide panoramic view and a satellite image here.
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