Friday, December 14, 2007

Musings: Spewing Chunks

Clouds blocked my view of the meteor shower in the wee hours, but they parted for a bit this morning, and I walked home with the sun in my eyes for the first time in a long time.

Also ran into my neighbor Andy for the first time in a long time. We’re both heading out later these days because it’s so dark in the mornings, it feels a bit dangerous to walk on this narrow road.

Andy was wondering if I’d heard any scuttlebutt about what happened when Hawaii Superferry traveled finally to Maui yesterday. I had, via an email from John Tyler, who queried Karen Chun of the Save Kahului Harbor Coalition about how things went.

Chun reported: “I was VERY pleased. Despite rain and it being a work day a lot of people showed up and we made a big impact. Lots of press.

"In a way, though, I think the lawfulness worked for made Lingle look like such an idiot overreacting with all this military and police presence (1/2 of it out of sight, unfortunately)

"I think we are chipping away at HSF. Even with its 'specials.' I doubt there were very many real passengers — mostly protesters, shills (fake passengers) and SF employee friends and media. All we need to do is make sure that 'Oahu knows we'll be calling rallies at odd times to keep ridership low and get SF to quit already and do what we know they really intended all along - go be a military contractor...preferable SOMEWHERE ELSE!

"We had such good signs! And so cute...freight workers and security people were tipping me off (hey, Karen go over here....they're leaving from this gate) Even the police and DLNR are on our side. Harbor Police were not so nice and Lingle's Unified Command stayed hidden in their warehouse...the big chickens.

"Saturday should be HUGE.”

That’s the day more protests are planned, since the boat is scheduled to keep on coming. Since Chun wasn’t on the ferry, she didn’t mention anything about barfing, which seemed to be a major theme in today's media accounts of the voyage.

At the Advertiser, Dan Nakaso led with “Maccine Carter spent more than three hours vomiting aboard the Hawaii Superferry yesterday on the final day of her Hawai'i vacation and still enjoyed her trip from Oahu to Maui.”

The Garden Island, meanwhile, included this paragraph in a report by Nathan Eagle: “Workers scrubbed the carpet and wiped down the faux leather seats for those passengers who were unable to find a paper sack or make it to the bathroom in time.”

Gee, makes you want to just rush right down there and board, doesn’t it?

Apparently, not too many people did. Just “190 passengers and 60 vehicles rode from Honolulu to Kahului, and 160 passengers and 40 cars made the return voyage, arriving in Honolulu at 2:15 p.m..” according to an Advertiser report.

That’s about a quarter of its capacity, and Superferry was offering bargain rates, too.

Of course, after extensive publicity of people puking and protestors waving signs at incoming passengers, it may be even harder to fill the Superferry now.

Still you gotta feel for the folks who have to spend their work day cleaning up after passengers who lose their lunch — or worse. And yesterday wasn’t even as bad as it gets.

I think I’ll stick to the planes, and spare my stomach and the whales.


Joan Conrow said...

Mahalo to Andy Parx for sending these accounts gathered from those at demonstrations on Oahu and Maui:

Ku'e Superferry on O'ahu

Brief report - about 30 people held signs 5:30am to 6:30am at Honolulu Harbor then regrouped at the Capitol from 7:30am to 8:30am. Good line, good signs...everyone was pleased with the turnout. At the harbor we split into two groups: one group did a picket line at the SF pier entrance, another group held signs near the gate where passenger cars were parked. At the Capitol we held signs on Beretania mauka of the Capitol. I thought we had a pretty positive response from people (just a few birds). Channel 9 was the only TV station that showed up for both actions. None of the newspapers showed up. They were probably on the Superferry !!! At the pier there were two police cars and 3 officers... "cordial, doing their job."

At the capitol there were plainclothesmen, state security guards. One police officier came up to our group and asked questions. We observed 2 paddy wagons and a police car driving past us but there was no big show of force present. We ended in a circle with a pule in front of Liliuokalani's statue, a gentle rain blessed us. Mahalo nui to the Hui Puers: Ka'anohi, Pono, Pono's son, Tane, Ikaika, Dexter, Imai, Uncle George & Kyle for being there...right on! I know Pono will share photos with everyone later today. Good job everybody.

Maui On Shore at Kahului Harbor:

We got a report from Maui, about 100 + people, 40 from the East Side Hui. Some paddlers and surfers in the water. Very spirited gathering. When they saw the banner unfurl on the Vessel there were lots of cheers. Two important observations: someone noticed a big brown plume behind the vessel which they think was bad sediment being stirred up by the propulsion of the vessel. They also noticed many of the people who came off the ship got back on, returning to Honolulu.

Anonymous said...

One big question I need to ask is this, how do you know most of the
first day passengers were fake ? Did
you have access to the passenger manifest ?

I saw the video from the protests on Maui.I thought it was ultimately sickening that all those people were
being so rude to the passengers disembarking from the ferry. It not
only makes the the protesters look like morons, but also makes their concerns less creditable. They looked like to me that they are bunch of selfish whiners.

Anonymous said...

So its happening. Folks are getting sea sick and puking all over. Eeew!!! When enough of them get sick, the excitment of using the HSF will wear out quickly. I rode in one of these (they didn't call them Super but the ferry did carry lots of cars) while visiting in British Columbia and none of us got sea sick because we weren't on the open ocean and the ride was a lot shorter.

Anonymous said...

It's true that ticket sales are not going to keep this thing afloat. But let's not grow complacent and think that bankruptcy will make the HSF go away. We need to keep up the struggle, especially when Strykers start being loaded onto this thing!