Meet Joelle M.L.A. Aoki, the friendly new harbormaster at the Manele Small Boat Harbor on Lanai, Hawaii. We went to investigate what changes Larry Ellison has made to the island since he purchased a 97% stake of it in 2012. On the waterfront we met Joelle, who was hard at work cleaning up the neglect and transforming the slice of paradise into a functioning and well-managed marina.
The 24-slip harbor has gone unmanaged for four years. Its future was in question until July 7, when Hawaii House Bill 1032 was vetoed by Governor Ige, putting a stay on privatizing the harbor. That could have put the marina management into the hands of Larry Ellison through the Pulama Lanai company. So it remains a state facility and Joelle is keeping a great sense of humor as she serves eviction notices to the rodents, wasps and lizards that had taken over her office.
The docks and facilities are adjacent to the Maui ferry terminal and are in great condition. The tour boats that serve the Four Seasons resort also dock here. They stay busy wowing visitors with trips to Puu Pehe/Sweetheart Rock and the leeward Lanai shore. It’s a beautiful harbor with a fascinating history. If you’re planning a visit to Lanai by boat please check with Joelle at firstname.lastname@example.org.