Saturday, March 14, 2009

Report from a Superferry Traveler‏

From: Dick Mayer,

This is a copy of an email which [Mayer] received from a recent Superferry traveler:

"Here's a little anecdotal information on the ferry. I took my car to Oahu on HSF a few weeks ago just to check it out. I lost a day each way on the trip.

On the way to Oahu, we were delayed leaving Maui because there was no power to the hydraulics on the barge ramp. So, vehicles were unable to be unloaded or loaded for about 45 minutes. Can you imagine how ugly sitting in a ferry vehicle hold for 45 minutes would be? You know some of those folks had their engines running...

We arrived on Oahu pretty close to on time - so they took the north shore of Molokai route, and hauled ass. I got sick even though I'd taken one "Bonine". Fortunately, I made it to the washroom before getting sick, and the woman in the stall next to me was throwing up too. Fortunately also, I had no food or drink in my stomach. I felt awful for the better part of 24 hours after that trip and mostly slept.

On the way home I took 2 Bonines and passed out on the ferry - so I didn't get sick. (They were nice enough to have someone accompany me to my car so I could bring up a blanket. Otherwise, I'd never have slept BECAUSE IT WAS REALLY COLD.) After I got home I was essentially knocked out for the remainder of the day. The reason I was able to sleep during that trip is because the ferry was so empty, there was a free bench. (It was pretty empty on the way to Oahu as well, just no benches available.)

If you think you want to sleep without ruining your neck, you have to get there early enough to claim a bench. That means you'd spend LONGER waiting in line at the harbor than you would to arrive early at the airport. You can't just drive up and get on because the vehicles are coming off the dock and the traffic would be a problem. You've got to get there at least half an hour early and wait, just like you do at the airport...

I'd hate to be on it if it were crowded and the seas were rough. Last week someone told me of a trip she took with her kids and they and many others were throwing up IN THE AISLES! She said they come around with a shop vac to clean it up. To be fair, I hear it's a "lovely trip" when the weather is good.

As much as I enjoyed having my car on Oahu (and not paying the cost of a rental) I don't plan to make the trip by ferry again. In fact, I'm flying over next week for an appointment...

P.S. I counted the cars going over to Oahu - less than 50. There were somewhat more coming back to Maui, but the main vehicle deck wasn't by any means full on that trip - maybe 70? It seems that Loves Bakery and Fed Ex have contracts with HSF. Those trucks were on both trips, and there were benches reserved for their drivers who had lunches packed at home in coolers."

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