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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

"Super Ferry Rebound..." 'Bettejo Dux' (Classic Wednesday)

Bettejo Dux, a resident of Kauai for over forty years, is an award winning writer, columnist, novelist, peace and environmental 
activist who knows, and loves Kauai with a passion that shows up in her work.


Above photo; Bettejo signs her novella for a fan at her recent book signing
and 84th birthday bash at Birdies in Kalaheo.


Super Ferry Rebound

Here we go again. I’d like to spend a moment or two on the Superferry. I’ve lived on Kauai for 45 years and sailed our channels many, many times. The Kaiwi Channel between Oahu and Maui. The Ka’ie’ie Waho Channel between here and Oahu. Been seasick too many times to count and that was in an open boat. I could sit on deck and throw up.

“Just a note that the channels between the Hawaiian Islands are the worst in the world and great care and planning is necessary for a safe sail,” was a quote from that time in 2005.

My guess would be that those who support this ferry idea have never sailed or motored or kayaked or canoed or dipped a toe in any of these channels.

Our channel, Ka’ie’ie, other than the Alenuihaha Channel — great billows smashing—it is one of the fiercest channels in the state. I’ve never sailed the billows — which racing yachtsman called, “Ali as in jolly, Nui as in phooey, Ha Ha as in crutch”— but I’ve been out in the middle of Ka’ie’ie when it reared up. Out of nowhere. Twenty-five foot seas and winds like spooky, wild horses on a rampage. If my husband had not been an excellent yachtsman, we’d have sunk, never to have been heard from again.

I’d like to talk structure. The Superferry is nothing but a dolled-up troop transport. It also comes in handy to move Stryker tanks, and we need some of those in Waimea to protect us.

This vessel is completely enclosed. One is locked in a space full of people, many of whom are first timers in the channel and will be vomiting. There will be vomiting, and vomiting is catching in an enclosed area. You can’t escape. There’s nowhere to go. Should a fellow passenger vomit on your shoes or in your lap it’s not going to make for a pleasant three-hour journey. Even if you’ve taken seasick pills.

Passengers on a voyage from Oahu to Maui called it the “barf barge.” The thing had to be scrubbed and scraped and stink refreshed after docking before any one could make another voyage. Most passengers refused ever to board again. They flew back home and waited for their cars to return.

We need a ferry. A slow boat from island to island. With an open deck. Maybe cabins. A dining room and bar. No cars. Or troops. Or Strykers. How do you think people got island to island before there were planes?


Great tourist attraction. Think about it.



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7 comments:

KimoRosen said...

Bettejo, FYI, The cruise ships and most modern ferry boasts have state of the art stabilizers which make seasickness much less off a problem. Sea sickness these days is almost unheard of on the large cruise ships.

Bettejo Dux said...

Not true.

Bettejo Dux said...

Try a troop transport, Kimo. Ever been on one? Cruise ships can also avoid fought seas. When you cross these channels you cross these channels. Ever crossed these canals by boat?

Bettejo Dux said...

Further, Kimo, you'd be trapped in a space with six hundred people. No way out. They'd be sneezing, coughing, farting, breathing and throwing up all around you. No way out. I've seen you panic in Birdie's. If the damn thing makes it, and I'll fight to stop it, and you make the journey, I'll hope with my wildest hopes you live through it. New column Controversy. Think you'll like it. pajama pajama

Chester "Unc" Lau said...

US gov is giving away surplus military hard wares ,ie.Furguson ,Mo. how about 5 surplus Super air craft Carriers ,they are able to sail the 7 seas !!!

Chester "Unc" Lau said...

Bettejo has good points about sea sickness ,the US can fly men to the moon,The US can solve problems only if we put our heads & money in the right place .

Bettejo Dux said...

2nd hand. they sell them on used air craft lots. wanna buy one?