Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hawaii Superferry - Bye Bye Kauai!

Original Post: 8/27/2007

Needless to say, I never made it to Kauai. Here's a first-hand account about what happened.

Loading the superferry

My car amongst many others

We left Honolulu harbor on time at 3pm. I thought that the loading process was quick and efficient. I entered the Superferry cabin and found everything to be new and state of the art. Flat screens were everywhere. Snack bars and soveneir shops were newly stocked.

The journey to Kauai was beautiful and scenic. I took countless photos of Honolulu harbor as we were leaving. The ride was smooth (if you were sitting down). Walking around deck while the ship is moving took some getting used to, but I soon got it down.

During our voyage, we heard stories of people in Kauai protesting the arrival of the superferry. Apparently, some surfers had formed a human barrier in the water to prevent the ferry from entering the harbor. We were expecting the same thing today with the expectation that the Coast Guard would provide safe entry into the harbor.

We were mistaken.

As we approached the entrance of Nawiliwili harbor a tugboat greated us. We knew that we would not be able to enter any time soon. We quickly noticed that the water was filled with surfers and canoe teams blocking the harbor entrance. We floated near the entrance of the Harbor for 3 hours watching canoe teams making rounds in front of the harbor. The Coast Guard, (clearly out-manned) frantically chased the much more agile surfers and paddlers all around the Harbor.

Anxious spectators

"Sunset at Nawiliwili" picture featured on KITV4 News - Morning Edition. Taken with a Canon Rebel (300D) with 85mm L-series lens

At about 9pm, the decision was made to return to Honolulu. Everyone on board was disappointed but knew that nothing could be done. We arrived in Honolulu at midnight, just in time to view the lunar eclipse from the ships vehicle hold.

Many people have asked me if I would go on the Superferry again. The answer is a resounding YES! Here are the reasons why:

1) I will recieve my $20 back
2) Free food while I was on board (sandwiches and drinks)
3) I got to stay at a hotel for a night when we arrived back to Honolulu (Ohana Honolulu Airport Hotel)
4) We were promised 5 ROUND-TRIP tickets for future Superferry cruises!

Not to mention that the crew were friendly and courteous including one of the owners of the Superferry who was also on board. I really admired that he walked around the ship talking to customers, taking care of hotel arrangements and addressing people's concerns. He even stood by the exit ramp while our cars were unloaded back in Honolulu.

I don't think this will be my last blog about the Hawaii Superferry!

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