Thursday, December 27, 2007


Does ongoing cancellation mean Superferry just isn't viable in Hawaii?

by Larry Geller

I believe this is the third day in a row. Clipped from the Superferry website:

Cancelled Again

If Saturday''s schedule is canceled too, it will probably kill many people's New Year vacation plans. And I wonder how many people/dogs/vehicles are stranded on Maui?

Only those going to/from Maui are affected because the Superferry has not resumed trips to Kauai. They're afraid of the reaction they'd get. Maybe Kauai folks can rest easy for a while. If Maui is a "test run" for full service, the ferry will have to deal with passengers stranded all over the place should they expand beyond the current schedule. Maybe they'll wait a bit longer before testing the Kauai waters.

Newspaper reporters get paid for their time, bloggers don't. A paper would be doing a great service if it would keep track of daily passenger loads, passenger (dis)comfort, and rate of cancellations.

After all, the papers gave the Superferry a big boost and were its biggest cheerleaders. The least they can do is keep track of their team's performance.

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Yes, the thrill of being stranded by HSf clearly outlined here....

Grounded Superferry Leaves Family Stranded and Frustrated

Updated: Dec 27, 2007 07:08 PM

By Leland Kim

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Harsh weather conditions have grounded the
Hawaii Superferry for a second day.

It will stay docked at Honolulu Harbor at least through
Friday, leaving stranded passengers scrambling to find a way
to come back home.

The Florence family, for the most part, had a good trip to

It wasn't until the ferry service was canceled that they
started feeling all alone on the Valley Isle.

The Florence family was looking forward to taking the
Superferry to Maui for Christmas.

"Because the trip over was real exciting, it was fun, the
boys had a great time, we had a beautiful sunrise going over
Diamond Head going out, we have pictures of it, just
gorgeous," said Katrina Florence.

They enjoyed the trip so much, they were telling everybody
about it.

"We've been going around touting to the local establishments,
the Superferry was so great. We're going to do this again.
It's just so convenient to bring your own car."

But when harsh weather conditions grounded the Alakai, their
happy mood was quickly replaced by a growing sense of

"The only other option that we were presented when we called
the reservation line, is simply we can reimburse your return
voyage or book you on another return voyage. That's it."

They couldn't find anyone who could tell them what to do with
their stranded vehicle.

"It's kind of like families traveling with cars beware
because you can't control the weather and the ship may not be
able to travel and if you have a car, you're stuck."

They've been trying to get Superferry employees to help them
since Wednesday, but Katrina's husband John has had no luck
in getting answers.

"It's just amazing. John called back and he goes, 'I can't
believe I've heard nothing from you.'

So, the Florence family is flying back to Oahu Thursday, but
John may have to make an unplanned trip back to Maui.

"And John expects to fly back this weekend to get the car and
take it over to the ferry, and come back on the ferry with it
because we haven't been told otherwise to do anything else."

Superferry executive says the Florence family's experience is

They say it has a contingency plan, and stranded passengers
can leave their cars at port, and make arrangements to pick
them up at a later date.

The AP wire story on this says, "The cancellations were the first since the Superferry restarted its Maui service on Dec. 13." but, in fact, service started Dec 1.

It was canceled Dec 1-6, then canceled again Dec 7-12. And now canceled Dec 26-28 and most likely the 29th also.

So we have it operating only 13 days out of 28.

Now, the new 1/3 of a billion dollar plan to build cruise ship and superferry docks on the west side of Kahului Harbor is in the EIS process.

When I asked, "What will happen to the $40,000,000 barge (or 1/2 or 1/3 of $40 million) the consultant didn't know.

I think that we just threw away the cost of the barge because it can't handle the surge at pier 2 (which DOT knew - I was in meetings with them when we discussed the danger of putting anything at the end of pier 2 with the pilots and harbor users).

Army Corps of Engineers says even with the new breakwater, the surge on the west side can't be eliminated so I guess they can't use the barge there either.

The only purpose of using the barge vs a fixed dock was so Lingle could claim (wrongly, it turns out) that she didn't have to do an EIS.

What a fiasco! What a horrible waste of our money! This is what happens when you ram something through without proper planning. Can anyone say EIS?

Karen Chun

Both good comments here. You know it is not like all of this was not foreseeable.

Aloha, Brad

i guess we've been had. overwhleming support my ass. what does sen. will espero have to say about the support for this ferry system now? the burden has been placed squarely on the backs of taxpayers. ouch, hand me a barf bag!

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