Interisland travel in Hawaii has always been quick and expensive. Well, now you can take the slow boat and it’s cheap. On Sunday, the $95 million dollar Hawaii Superferry made its maiden run with a rushed launch for the three-hour voyage to Maui-the first ever passenger ferry service between the islands. And here’s the best part – all for the whopping price of $5.
Legal problems had threatened to beach the manta ray emblazoned ship, so the company moved up the debut two days with more than 500 passengers and 150 cars aboard. Choppy waters and strong winds had foiled previous attempts at interisland ferry services with much smaller ships. But even with the calm seas, the ship was swaying and that had some passengers wishing they had gone Greyhound.
Before Sunday, the only way to travel among the islands was with the highly competitive local airlines who are now engaged in a fare war. The ferry sold out its first voyage in 30 minutes on Saturday. The launch was originally set for Tuesday with fares of $240 for a passenger and a car, but was moved up after the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that the state should have required an environmental review before the ferry started service. Three environmental groups have sued, concerned that the vessel could collide with humpback whales, spread invasive species, create long traffic delays and skyrocket the price of chocolate covered macadamia nuts. More than 19,000 people have signed up to take advantage of the $5 fare thru September 5th. I say, Kauai not?
Today’s photos feature the lovely golden sands of Sunset Beach on the north shore of Oahu. In winter time, Sunset Beach is a beast and is known for its big wave surfing. Located just up the road from the dangerous waves of Pipeline and Waimea, Sunset is the home of the Triple Crown of Surfing, one of the premier events on the pro surfing tour. These shots were taken in the summer time, when the waves are calm, the beach is empty and the water temperature is in the low 80′s. That’s when I like to stage my Triple Crown of Relaxation.
The horizontal surfing shot was taken from the porch of our rental house at Sunset, and for a boy from Jersey, this oasis in the middle of the South Pacific is a dream come true. So that’s it for today, tune in next time when we’ll take a look at the British rocker Bryan Ferry, the much-traveled Staten Island ferry, and my kid’s personal favorite, the tooth ferry. Aloha, mahalo and enjoy a peak at this slice of paradise.