Surfboard Direct Action Against Hawaii SuperFerry Raises Questions About Transport Choice

The recent arrival of an 850 passenger and 280+ car ferry to Kauai was not embraced as an alternative to “island hopping” flights between the islands, but actually halted and turned away at the mouth of the Lihue harbour by dozens of adults and kids on surfboards and kayaks,. and their supporters on shore in a kind of populist marine direct action.

I read this and thought, ‘what if I was in Hawaii and needed to get to another island?’  I don’t fly- without a ferry I’d have to hitch on a sailboat or something.

But this particular ferry begins to look like serious overkill the more you look at it. Too big and too fast for the Hawaiian islands, especially Kauai, the western garden isle which has an especially laid back vibe and fragile ecosystem. I doubt the superferry is any more efficient (per passenger) than a plane– it’s probably very much worse. Plus it kills whales.

Nevertheless, from reading about this, I’m left with a nagging question of why there isn’t a slower, simpler public ferry- perhaps run on solar, or wind energy, carrying bicycles and getting people off those damn island hoppers, what are essentially wasteful short haul flights.

Why the environmental groups aren’t matching their protests to halt the superferry with calls for viable, low impact water transport and an alternative to inter-island flights. Maybe by outrigger canoe?

Kauai’s brave residents aren’t yet blockading the airport in Lihue, but the damage caused increasingly by high altitude carbon emissions will soon ensure that whales (and all of us) will find ourselves inhabiting an uncertain future- even a terrifying unpredictable world rather than the mostly stable paradise we take for granted today.

Oh well let’s worry about it later. For now….pass the pina coladas and the tanning butter! OK… In all fairness, there is in fact a tide of discontent rising in Hawaii as it is in Bristol and North America and anywhere else people are paying attention to the fact that we have to move on this issue.

Like, um… yesterday people.

4 responses to “Surfboard Direct Action Against Hawaii SuperFerry Raises Questions About Transport Choice

  1. Well done, great blog and great posts!!!

  2. Actually we DO use outrigger canoes to go from island to island! No really…but as a sport as Sundays Moloka’i to ‘Oahu “Na Wahine O Ke Kai” showed.

    The channels between the islands are treacherous. We do have interisland ferries between Maui, Lana’i and Moloka’i. Even at 72 feet, the Island Princess, can be somewhat alarming when the surf is up near Moloka’i.

    Sea sickness has always been a problem with previous interisland ferries and all which have tried to ply the longer distances between the major islands (Big Island, Maui, ‘Oahu and Kaua’i) have gone bankrupt.

    I thought it was funny that the TV news was reporting on all the sea sick Superferry passengers on one of the flattest days of the year — when we were holding outrigger canoe races with kids as young as 7 years old.

    The neighbor islands have had cruise ships foisted on them and are experiencing jammed roads and unbearable traffic as a result of sometimes 4 cruise ships per day visiting our islands. With 3,000 people per cruise ship that adds 10% to our population and these people all get into cars and spend the whole freakin’ day driving around!

    So when ‘Oahu-centric Dept of Transportation tried to add another bunch of traffic to our islands in the form of the Superferry, we all snapped. As my husband (a Hawaiian born on Maui) says, “I feel like I’ve been pushed into one little corner of my island by all these people.”

    If the Superferry resumes service before they do an EIS, we won’t have any bargaining position to get funds to help with the problems it will bring us – like even more traffic unloading directly ino our most clogged downtown intersection.

    We want and EIS and we want real mitigation measures for the problems we’ve identified.

  3. Приветствую всех!
    У меня такой вопрос,кто что интересное подскажет буду признателен.
    Мы с друзьями собираемся поехать в круиз по просторам России и ближнего зарубежья месяца на два на своих машинах,но не как не можем согласовать маршрут,если у кого уже был опыт такого путешествия,может,что посоветуете.Девчонок с собой не берем,думаем,что во все городах России с этим не будет проблем,если у кого будут рекомендации и в вопросе отдыха с девушками тоже буду признателен.

    С уважением Сеньчик

  4. Приветствую всех!
    У меня такой вопрос,кто что интересное подскажет буду признателен.
    Мы с друзьями собираемся поехать в круиз по просторам России и ближнего зарубежья месяца на два на своих машинах,но не как не можем согласовать маршрут,если у кого уже был опыт такого путешествия,может,что посоветуете.Девчонок с собой не берем,думаем,что во все городах России с этим не будет проблем,если у кого будут рекомендации и в вопросе отдыха с девушками тоже буду признателен.

    С уважением Сеньчик

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