August - November 2000
Honolulu Harbor Festival, Nov. 11
It’s being touted as the biggest event in Honolulu Harbor since King
Kalakaua’s Regatta Days.
Members of the maritime community together with government agencies
are organizing what they hope will become an annual Honolulu Harbor
Festival, scheduled this year for November 11.
The day-long event on the harbor waterfront will be anchored by the
Hawaii Maritime Center and Aloha Tower Marketplace, with other activities
planned within the harbor basin. There will be exhibit booths for marine-related
businesses; entertainment; lectures on global climate changes and other
marine issues; a tug boat hula contest; and tours around the harbor
with stops at various businesses along the way.
The festival concept was first floated at an informal meeting at Gordon
Biersch Brewery Restaurant, explains Bob Krauss, a founding member of
the all-volunteer event committee. “We wanted to get people to
recognize the economic impact of the harbor as well as share the cultural
value of the harbor’s history,” Krauss said. “Everyone is cooperating
so we can put Honolulu Harbor on the map.”
The Hawaii Tourism Authority has committed $8,000 to the event; nine
businesses and individuals have contributed another $8,500; and $8,000
of in-kind support has been pledged by maritime interests.
For a donation of $1,000, businesses may become sponsors of the event
and get a free booth at the Harbor Festival “trade show.” Call Terry
White at (808) 599-3788 or Bob Krauss at (808) 525-8073 for booth information
or other ways to contribute or participate in the festival.
Kaumalapau Harbor ownership transferred to state
Hawaii State Transportation Director Kazu Hayashida signed an agreement
on July 10 in which the state will take over the privately built and
operated Kaumalapau Harbor on the island of Lanai. The transfer of ownership
opens the way for federal assistance to reconstruct the harbor’s breakwater
and make it safer for barge calls.
Damage in the last two decades from hurricanes Iwa and Iniki and other
storms has made the breakwater less and less effective in protecting
the harbor against rough ocean conditions. A regular schedule of barge
calls with fuel and commodities has been difficult to maintain.
Chevron, the sole supplier of gasoline and diesel to the island for
many years, stopped service to Lanai at the end of 1996 due to safety
concerns and the liability imposed by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.
Since then, the Lanai Oil Company purchased a 115-foot fuel barge and
contracted with American Workboats to make the deliveries.
“The lack of protection from the ocean conditions makes it difficult
for fuel and cargo carrying barges to navigate into the harbor and makes
it challenging even to load and offload cargo from a barge at berth,”
The Dole Company originally built the breakwater in the late 1920s
on land leased from the state. The lease requires the lessee – now the
Lanai Company, a Castle & Cooke subsidiary – to maintain the breakwater.
The price tag for the needed reconstruction is estimated at $15 million.
Recognizing that a safe, operational harbor was vital to the livelihood
of Lanai residents, the state, Castle & Cooke and the Lanai Company
initiated discussions with the goal of transferring the harbor into
the state’s commercial harbor system. It was anticipated that the state
ownership would open the way for federal assistance in reconstructing
The agreement is the result of long and complex negotiations that included
resolving issues relating to the surface and subsurface conditions of
the harbor fast lands and the cost issues relating to the state acquiring
the land and local cost-sharing of the anticipated federal project.
State facilities feel pressure as more
and bigger cruise ships head for Hawaii
by Mele Pochereva
Governor Ben Cayetano’s recent veto of Senate Bill 2303 earlier this
year was a disappointing, though not completely unexpected, blow to
the maritime industry’s effort to fund much-needed improvements to passenger
ship facilities around the state.
The bill would have pumped millions of dollars into facility upgrades
by earmarking 15% of the public service company taxes paid by domestic
cruise lines – American Hawaii Cruises and United States Lines – for
such projects. With projected PSC tax revenues of $420 million during
the 25 years the law would be in effect, 15% would go a long ways towards
financing the estimated $87 million required to meet the needs of Hawaii’s
growing cruise market – at no cost to Hawaii taxpayers.
Bill Thayer, president of Waldron Steamship Company, which handles
about 80% of the international cruise ship calls to Hawaii, says more
than anything, the governor’s veto means a loss of time in addressing
the needs of the industry. “We now have to go back [to the Legislature]
again next year,” he says.
The state Department of Transportation is planning a meeting with industry
representatives in August to finalize priorities and prepare for next
year’s legislative session.
“We’re working earlier and smarter and more as a team, with industry
and government looking at new alternatives for the cruise industry,”
said Thayer, adding that representatives from international cruise companies
also have made a commitment to get more actively involved in supporting
Hawaii’s cruise industry.
Why the urgency?
“We’ve been told by the international cruise lines that Hawaii is coming
close to ‘critical mass’ in terms of available space to serve them,”
Thayer explains. “We could reach that point as soon as 2003.”
He says that ships are getting bigger each year and in the next five
to six years, 60 new cruise ships will be built. “This is not replacement
tonnage, it’s new tonnage,” he points out. “Hawaii has a definite opportunity
to take a substantial percentage of this growth.”
In February, 2001, Hawaii will welcome its first Panamax-class cruise
ship, Celebrity Cruise Lines’ Infinity. Two more of these new, 965-foot,
“mega-liners” will call in the Islands next October.
Ian Birnie, Big Island district manager for the DOT Harbors Division,
says Hilo Harbor has 155 cruise ship calls scheduled for 2001, including
105 weekly calls by the two inter-island vessels, Independence and Patriot.
They will bring a record-breaking 170,000 passengers into Hilo. Already
there are several potential date conflicts next year, Birnie says.
Hilo Harbor has only one pier long enough to accommodate the
largest liners. Next May 3, the 915-foot Vision of the Seas is scheduled
to call at Hilo, the same day that the United States Lines’ Patriot
arrives. Birnie says at the end of August, the Patriot is scheduled
to stop at Hilo en route to Australia, where she has been chartered
as a “floating hotel” for the Summer Olympics.
“We’ll take a look and see if she’ll fit at Pier 3,” said Birnie. If
not, Vision of the Seas will have to be turned away since Patriot has
the prior booking. Similar conflicts are anticipated later next year,
Nawiliwili Harbor faces similar traffic problems with space for only
one large cruise ship at its main Pier 1-2. The DOT plans to request
funding next year to extend the pier.
Funding challenges notwithstanding, DOT-Harbors is moving forward with
cruise ship-related projects on three islands, spending close to $17
million in funds appropriated for facility improvements (see insert).
Small boat harbors under pressure, too
As DOT-Harbors grapples with space and cost issues, the state agency
in charge of Hawaii’s small boat harbors is planning upgrades to better
accommodate tendering vessels at Kailua-Kona, Lahaina and Kikiaola on
With approximately 2,200 passengers aboard the new Panamax vessels,
for example, tendering facilities at Kailua-Kona and Lahaina harbors,
which are shared with small commercial boat operators, will be further
Howard Gehring, acting administrator of the Division of Boating and
Ocean Recreation, said the agency is spending $4.065 million to plan
and complete repairs on a portion of the existing pier at Kailua-Kona,
which is used by tendering vessels and others. He says, following input
from the community and cruise ship representatives, additional work
could start in the current fiscal year to provide more and better facilities
for bigger tender boats.
At Lahaina Harbor, approximately $130,000 is available to upgrade the
loading dock to make it more resilient for tender use. Work is expected
to begin in October. Gehring says that although there are no funds for
a dedicated tender dock at this time, the state may get federal funds
for inter-island ferry facilities that also could accommodate tender
boats and other transient vessels.
The state also has released $1.7 million in capital improvement funds
to cover its share of a $6.5 Corps of Engineer project at Kauai’s Kikiaola
small boat harbor. Work could begin in early 2001 and includes realignment
of the breakwater, dredging the channel and harbor, and putting in a
small pier for recreational vessels and possibly more tour boats.
This is the first phase of a Kikiaola Harbor Master Plan developed
by the community. Gehring says Kikiaola will not be able to accommodate
tender vessels until Phase II is completed. With an additional
$2.7 million appropriated, but not yet released, Phase II includes additional
dredging, loading dock upgrades and tendering facilities.
Proponents of the plan say Kikiaola could take some of the pressure
off Nawiliwili Harbor by providing Kauai with a much needed second port-of-call
for passenger ships.
“The bottom line is, we’re working hard with the cruise ship industry
to meet their needs while getting input from the community and other
harbor users,” said Gehring.
Cruise ship projects in progress
A 1998 study of Hawaii’s cruise ship facilities by Leo A. Daly Inc.
said an estimated $87.1 million in commercial harbor improvements would
be required in the coming years to accommodate a growing cruise ship
The Department of Transportation–Harbors Division provided the following
update of cruise-ship related projects now in progress.
Pier 1C extension: 300 linear foot extension will allow two cruise
vessels of 800-plus feet in length to berth simultaneously. Estimated
cost: $10 million, harbor revenue bonds. Bids being evaluated. Estimated
completion: May 2002
Passenger ship terminal at Pier 1A: A 6,776 square foot enclosed passenger
holding area and exterior baggage claim area for the homeporting of
the SS Independence. Cost: $981,000, harbor special funds. Under construction.
Estimated completion: November 2000.
Breasting bollards at Pier 1: Additional berthing bollards to accommodate
cruise ships. Cost: $339,400, harbor special funds. Under construction.
Estimated completion: December 2000.
Pier 1 shed modifications: Renovate shed to improve passenger waiting
area, flow of passenger service vehicles and container handling. Under
design. Estimated cost: $3.5 million, harbor special funds. Estimated
completion: March 2003.
Pier 2 passenger terminal: New two-berth cruise ship terminal now in
planning stage. Functional analysis concept development underway to
determine scope and cost. Estimated design cost: $2 million, harbor
special funds. Construction to be funded with harbor revenue bonds.
Estimated construction completion: January 2003.
Maui prepares to welcome the SS Independence
by Paula Gillingham Bender
Construction began July 10 at Kahului Harbor’s Pier 1 in anticipation
of it becoming the home port of the cruise ship SS Independence.
“We’ve started work to build a new passenger terminal inside the existing
Pier 1 shed,” said Scott Cunningham, Maui district manager for the Department
of Transportation-Harbors Division. “This is a fairly large project.
It even requires the building of new offices for the stevedoring company.”
According to Cunningham, this is a fast-track project to be completed
by mid-November. Approximately $1 million was allocated by the state
to fund the terminal’s makeover. American Hawaii Cruises, which under
its parent company American Classic Voyages Co., operates the Independence,
is plunking down substantial funding for gangways and other facilities
at the harbor.
Although he had no concrete figures to share, Gordon Shenk, AHC’s vice
president of hotel operations, said the mooring of the vessel at Kahului
Harbor will have a ripple effect on Maui businesses.
“We’ll obviously be making use of Maui for our needs and that goes
for purchasing, transportation, the use of longshoremen and hotel partnerships,”
Shenk said. “Also, Maui is a popular pre- and post-cruise destination
with our guests. This allows us to position ourselves where they won’t
have to fly in and out of Honolulu to cruise with us. With direct flights
to Maui, the lift is there.”
Stephanie Ackerman, staff vice president of corporate and government
affairs for Aloha Airlines, said no plans were being made just yet to
add more flights to Maui because of the Indy’s relocation.
“Right now, we don’t see any kind of trend happening with lift.
But clearly, if and when the demand is there, we will make sure we put
in the necessary lift to meet that demand,” Ackerman said. “Right now
it’s difficult to predict the kind of traffic it will generate.”
Said Keoni Wagner, senior director of corporate communications at Hawaiian
Airlines, “We don’t have any plans at the moment to change our Maui
schedule in relation to the Independence. We feel our capacity to Maui
is quite good and sufficient. But, we obviously will be watching that
market closely. If there is an opportunity to increase capacity, we
will likely do that.”
Charlene Kauhane, manager of public relations for the Maui Visitors
Bureau, said that with both the Independence and United States Lines’
Patriot cruising the Island chain, there should be a steady stream of
vacationing voyagers taking the time to sightsee, rent cars and eat
at local restaurants.
“With the Independence accommodating more than 1,000 passengers, that
means an additional 120,000 visitors per year to Maui,” Kauhane said.
“Those passengers will stay one or two nights at our hotels.
“People think we’re not in support of the cruise industry because it
competes with hotels. It does not. There are activities, jobs, rental
car agencies and restaurants that will get extra business. And so will
the hotels when people visit for pre- and post-cruise stays,” Kauhane
The Maui Visitors Bureau is excited because also starting in November
will be direct flights from Dallas via American Airlines. That, along
with the TWA’s direct flights out of St. Louis, marks the second flight
east of the Rocky Mountains to fly directly to Maui.
“From what I hear, the TWA flight is always sold out, Kauhane said.
“We expect [the same] with the Dallas flight, especially since American
Hawaii Cruises is working with American. Hopefully, for the first-time
visitor who does take the cruise, they’ll return to the island and stay
in a hotel.”
“Boat Day” welcome planned
Both Cunningham and Kauhane claim that Maui is beside itself with the
news of the Independence homeporting there. On Nov. 11, Kahului will
host the grandest of boat days to welcome the ship to its new home.
Conducting boat days long before Aloha Tower Marketplace revised its
own welcoming schedule, Kauhane assures that it will be a day to remember
for the lucky passengers and crew members who set sail that day.
According to Shenk, the appeals of taking a cruise are many.
“It has substantial value, we offer convenience and comfort, and we
offer family packages,” he said. “There’s the luxury of only having
to unpack once. And we help take care of children on board with youth
activities. More and more value can be expected.”
To accommodate those vacationing voyagers who wish to extend their
Maui stays with pre- and post-cruise plans, American Hawaii Cruises
has established partnerships with several hotels.
“Our primary properties include the Outrigger Wailea and the Maui Prince
in Wailea,” said Lei Fountain, AHC’s vice president of destination services.
“In Kaanapali, we have partnerships with Embassy Suites, the Sheraton
Maui and the Hyatt.”
Fountain said that about 40 percent of American Hawaii Cruise passengers
plan pre- and post-cruise stays.
“For the Indy, which carries between 900-1,000 passengers on a weekly
basis, that means about 400 passengers end up staying longer,” Fountain
Job recruiting under way
Under Fountain, whose office is in Honolulu, a destination services
division will be established on Maui. Fountain is eager to hire full-
and part-time employees to serve as pier check-in staff, airport greeters
A recent job fair at Aloha Tower Marketplace’s Pier 11 on July 8-9
was conducted in anticipation of staffing needs for the company’s new
ship, the MS Patriot, and to beef up the staff of the Independence.
American Hawaii Cruises recruited for just about every type of position
imaginable: administration, front office staff, management, a controller,
guest relations, food and beverage staff of all levels, porters, gift
shop and excursion staff, launders and entertainers. It is looking to
fill every position that a top-notched, land-based hotel would need,
and then some – seamen, boatswains, mates, engineers and marine maintenance
Maui’s gain of the Independence does not exactly translate into Honolulu’s
loss. There will be a short lapse between the Indy’s move to Kahului
on Nov. 11 and launching of the Patriot’s inter-island service from
Honolulu Harbor a month later on Dec. 9. Add to that the fact that American
Classic Voyages has begun construction of the first of two 1,900- passenger
liners, to be completed in 2003, with the second expected to be completed
in 2004. (See accompanying story).
Once completed, the two ships, which will be operated in Hawaii, will
be the largest ever built in the United States.
These new ships, the recent refurbishment of the Independence, and
construction projects at various harbors, comprise the nearly $1 billion
investment American Classic Voyages is making in Hawaii.
Chicago-based American Classic Voyages is the parent company of American
Hawaii Cruises and United States Lines.
Philip Calian, chief executive officer of American Classic Voyages,
spoke July 6 at the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting.
According to Calian, the cruise industry has grown at a compounded
rate of 9% per year over the past 30 years. Despite that, only 6 million
Americans have actually been on a cruise – out of a potential market
of 46 million. While only 1% of Hawaii visitors cruise, 22% of the visitors
to the Caribbean cruise and 44% of Alaska’s visitors take a cruise.
There’s growth potential here in Hawaii, and American Hawaii Cruises
wants to be ready for it.
Construction begins on largest U.S.-built cruise ship
American Classic Voyages Co. launched construction on June 30 for the
largest U.S.-built cruise ship, which will sail exclusively in the Hawaiian
Islands. The vessel is being fabricated at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula,
Miss. as a result of the U.S.-flag Cruise Ship Pilot Project Statute
passed in 1997.
It is one of two 72,000-ton passenger ships to be built for Hawaii
service under a contract between AMCV and Ingalls that has a potential
value of $1.4 billion. The contract includes an option to build a third
The first ship is expected to go into service in 2003, with the twin
vessel completed the following year. Each will accommodate 1,900 passengers
and will sail under the banner of AMCV subsidiary United States Lines.
United States Lines also will introduce the 1,212-passenger MS Patriot
(formerly Holland America Lines’ Nieuw Amsterdam) in Hawaii on December
A tale of two tunnels: State project afloat while city plan sinks
by Paula Gillingham Bender
Dead in the water. That appears to be the prognosis for the City and
County of Honolulu plans for the Sand Island Scenic Parkway. It was
just a few months ago that the city announced its intent to expand the
project, which sported an estimated price tag of $450 million.
Those in the maritime industry are relieved, however, that the state’s
plans to raze the Sand Island bridge over the Kalihi Channel and sink
a tunnel in its place are still on the drawing board.
The city’s three-mile parkway project included expanding the Sand Island
Bridge from four to six lanes if the state’s proposed tunnel did not
materialize. Also included was a second tunnel at the mouth of Honolulu
Harbor, linking Sand Island with Fort Armstrong, and an offramp from
the H-1 Freeway.
The City Council had approved the Transportation Services Department’s
requests for environmental impact statements to the tune of several
hundred thousand dollars. Sand Island Scenic Parkway, including
the tunnel, was to be designed and constructed over five years. To pay
for the project, city Transportation Services Director Cheryl Soon had
looked at various funding strategies.
Despite several efforts to reach her during the week of July 17th,
Hawaii Ocean Industry’s calls to Soon were unanswered.
David Atkin, a project consultant with Parsons Brinckerhoff, said the
city project was “indefinitely postponed,” and referred all questions
to Toru Hamayasu, the Transportation Services Department’s Chief
Said Hamayasu, “You can’t really say the city proposed the [Fort Armstrong]
tunnel. It was really just in discussion. It’s in the very preliminary
This was a surprise to Clint Taylor, manager of public affairs and
business development for CSX Lines. Since 1996, Taylor has been involved
with the development of the Oahu Commercial Harbors 2020 Master Plan.
According to Taylor, after a time, Soon’s city program was designed
to blend with the 2020 plan. Taylor said 2020 meetings included all
segments of Hawaii’s maritime industry, including cargo operators, passenger
cruise ships, fishing boats, ship repair firms, ocean tourism companies
and ocean research organizations.
“We sat around the table with the state departments – including Harbors,
boating and the Hawaii Community Development Authority through 1995-96
and signed off on a plan in March 1997,” Taylor said. “We determined
that the most important thing for the harbors was to have sufficient
container yard space so Hawaii’s economy could grow.”
Opening Kalihi Channel to ship traffic was another priority project
identified by the maritime community.
Kalihi Channel study underway
Still in the preliminary study stages by the Army Corps of Engineers,
plans are to dredge Kalihi Channel deep enough to place a prefabricated
tube that’s big enough to convey heavy commercial traffic. A similar
project was completed in Austin, Texas, with much success according
One of the reasons the Sand Island bridge is not a drawbridge is that
it would slow down, if not halt traffic. And building a bridge high
enough for ships to pass under it is out of the question. The bridge
is too close to the airport and nothing can be built higher than 150
feet from the ground there.
As proposed in the Oahu Commercial Harbors 2020 Master Plan, the tunnel
will transform Honolulu Harbor into one with both an entrance and an
exit. Ships would enter through Fort Armstrong Channel, the mouth of
Honolulu Harbor. Instead of having to turn around, the ships could exit
through Kalihi Channel.
Improvements to Honolulu Harbor – proposed by either the state or the
city – are welcome.
“From my perspective, both as chairman of the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce
maritime committee and as an employee of the maritime industry, it doesn’t
make sense to have only one access,” said Kraig Kennedy, executive vice
president at McCabe Hamilton & Renny Co. Ltd. “More than 98% of
[the state’s] commerce depends on that harbor. To not have a second
entrance is a concern. We have gone on record on that point.”
Agreeing with Kennedy, CSX’s Taylor said Honolulu’s “cul-de-sac” harbor
is an invitation for disaster. There’s the turning basin in front of
Aloha Tower Marketplace. The major cargo piers, Piers 51-53, are at
the other end of Kapalama Channel. Ships have to wait out in the ocean
for a chance to come into the harbor. And for CSX , whose largest ship
is 917-feet long, there’s another problem.
“That ship has to turn around in an 1,100-foot diameter turning basin.
When it gets windy it is really hairy,” Taylor said. “We do it. But
it is sometimes a tricky maneuver. And dangerous, too.” There
are other safety concerns, as well.
“If an accident or a terrorist act were to occur at the front of the
harbor, Hawaii couldn’t receive ships and we would starve,” Taylor said.
“From a security and survival standpoint, and an improved traffic-flow
standpoint, a tunnel under the Kalihi Channel is necessary.”
Fred Nunes, engineering program manager for the state Department of
Transportation-Harbors Division, said the state’s plans are just in
the preliminary stages and that studies by the Army Corps of Engineers
are just now getting underway to evaluate the feasibility of building
an underwater tunnel.
A second study is investigating the widening and reconfiguration of
the Kalihi Channel turning basin.
Na Wahine O Ke Kai (Women of the Ocean)
by Monica M. Madrigal
Who are Stephanie Moana Doi, Jennifer Coffey, Donna “Kahi” Kahakui,
and the late Rell Sunn — And why should your daughter know who they
are? They are, respectively, the first female navigator of the
Hokule’a, the captain of Trilogy I, the long-distance paddler, and the
first female lifeguard in Hawaii.
From navigating Hokule’a, sailing catamaran tours, paddling a one-person
canoe from the Big Island to Oahu to being the first female lifeguard,
these are the women who helped pave the way in Hawaii for young girls
to participate in non-traditional careers and sports.
As the Hokule’a recently celebrated its 25th anniversary by sailing
7,500 miles with female navigators on board for the first time, it is
a good time to reflect on how far women in non-traditional careers have
come in Hawaii. These women are Hawaii’s “women of the ocean.”
Sailing is not just “a man’s world” anymore, no ma’am! Of the
50 some odd boat charter companies on Maui, there are only a handful
of female captains. Until as recently as ten years ago, female
captains in the boating industry were almost unheard of.
Captain Jennifer Coffey of Trilogy Excursions is one of them.
Just what does it take to be a licensed female captain in Hawaii?
For starters, it takes 727 days at sea and a series of written tests
with the US Coast Guard. It also takes courage to be one of the
only women in a predominantly male profession and not be intimidated.
Out of 30 test takers, Captain Jennifer was the only female applying
for her 100 ton license. “It didn’t bother me to be the only female
applying for my license,” says Jennifer. “Since I’m the only daughter
of five children, I’m used to being the only girl competing with the
boys. I was always included in the sports my brothers played and
the rough-housing that went along with it. Growing up with them
taught me early on that I could do anything they could do. It
doesn’t take a lot of muscles to be a good boat handler; just some talent,
finesse, and knowledge of the vessel.”
Jennifer Coffey is not the only captain in her family; her husband,
Jeremiah, is also one. She was originally hired by him as crew.
She says, “I feel really lucky to have someone be my teacher who’s been
in the business for 15 years. He is a great inspiration to me
and has helped me become a good captain.”
As one of the senior captains for Trilogy, you can find Captain Jennifer
Coffey sailing Trilogy’s most prestigious tour, the Discover Lana’i
Adventure. She sails to Lana’i four days a week aboard the 65-foot
sloop-rigged catamaran, Trilogy I. It is not unusual for her to
get numerous compliments a day from passengers who have enjoyed their
trip to Lana’i with their humorous and knowledgeable captain. “Her love
for the ocean and for her job really shine through in her wit and humor,”
says visitor Amy Moynihan.
The year 2000 not only celebrates a new millennium, it is also a celebration
of Hawaii’s culture and the extraordinary women of the islands who are
making their way in non-traditional careers and sports because
of their love and respect for the ocean and for what they do.
Monica Madrigal is the public relations director for Gilbert &
Associates on Maui.
One fast lube
What Crowley Marine Services originally planned as a 21-day ABS drydocking
on the West Coast for its American Salvor became a compressed 11-day
maintenance and repair job in Hawaii when the 213-foot salvage vessel
was unexpectedly summoned for a job at Midway.
The Salvor had been in American Samoa, removing 9 fishing vessels that
went aground some years ago during a hurricane. On its way back to Portland,
Oregon, the ship made a stop at Kalaeloa/Barbers Point Harbor only to
find that it required internal structural repairs before it could leave
When the U.S. Coast Guard asked Crowley to help with an urgent salvage
job at Midway, the company initially had to turn it down. The Navy’s
USS Salvor also was unavailable, however, so the request went back to
Crowley. Given a two-week window to complete the maintenance and
repair work, the company moved its scheduled drydock to Marisco with
an accelerated 11-day timetable. The work included 11,000 pounds of
internal steel repairs, tail shaft work, an overhaul of the two main
engines, sand-blasting and painting the hull, said John Stewart, Marisco’s
This was the first time a Crowley vessel had been docked in Hawaii
in a long time, according to the company. Marisco “performed well and
at a reasonable cost, competitive with West Coast pricing,” said a company
official who supervised the job.
The American Salvor’s unique capabilities have brought Crowley Marine
several salvage jobs in the Pacific Basin recently. It is equipped with
special winches that have the capacity to produce a million pounds of
pull, allowing it to literally drag a ship off the reef. The vessel
also has its own helipad and decompression chamber, and can support
a large number of salvage divers and support crew.
Proposed safety regs for commercial fishing vessels could impact Hawaii’s
In recent months, the U.S. Coast Guard conducted “listening sessions”
across the country to present and receive feedback on a draft Commercial
Fishing Vessel Safety Action Plan. The plan was developed in response
to an alarming number of casualties recently experienced by the commercial
fishing industry nationwide.
Among the action plan’s recommended changes to the safety rules:
Improved enforcement of required emergency preparedness drills
Mandatory fishing vessel safety examinations to evaluate structural
and watertight integrity
Mandatory training based certificate program (which is now voluntary)
Hawaii was not originally included in the seven scheduled sessions,
but the Hawaii Operational Safety Team (HOST), with help from the local
Coast Guard District 14, held its own session on July 13 to present
local feedback. Of key concern to local interests is the “uniqueness”
of Hawaii’s fishing community, which includes many recreational/part-time
They may only occasionally sell their catch, explains Bill Mossman,
director of the Hawaii Boaters Political Action Association, “but are
swept into the commercial fishing category by merely selling one fish,
and therefore must also comply with these rules.”
Of the 15,481 vessels registered in the State of Hawaii, 13,900 are
registered under the category of “pleasure,” notes Mossman. It is estimated
that 13,000 of these recreational vessels are involved in subsistence,
part-time commercial or full-time commercial fishing. Only 1,700 have
declared their commercial intent by purchasing commercial marine licenses,
according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.
The other 11,300 fish mainly on a subsistence basis, with as many as
10,000 fisherman occasionally selling part of the catch to make “expense
“Those fishermen, who were brought up in a society that always allowed
the sale, trade or barter of part of a recreational catch, take exception
to the Coast Guard enforcement effort that essentially forces them to
become commercial if they sell but one fish, and punishes them for practicing
their traditional rights,” Mossman says. “Being forced into the commercial
category would require them to meet the same standards developed for
the full-time commercial fishermen.”
While improved safety rules are understandable given the hazards associated
with operating heavy-duty equipment on stereotypical commercial vessels
– trawlers, longliners, seiners, draggers, etc. – the casualty rate
for Hawaii’s recreational/part-time fishing vessels is historically
It is hoped that these vessels will be provided an exemption from these
regulations, allowing fishermen a limited sale of their catch while
maintaining a recreational vessel status.
The following information is provided by the USCG Marine Safety Office
6/6/00 PEARL & HERMES ATOLL.
The fishing vessel Swordman I grounded on the SE corner of Pearl
& Hermes Atoll, located approximately 90NM SE of Midway Atoll.
All five crewmembers onboard were rescued with no injuries, but the
vessel was considered a total loss. An unknown amount of diesel
fuel leaked into the ocean. Salvage and clean up operations were
completed, awaiting removal of vessel off of reef.
7/14/00 PACIFIC OCEAN.
The USS Denver and USNS Yukon collided approximately 180 NM west
of Oahu while preparing to refuel at sea. The Denver, an amphibious/troop
transport ship, was approaching the Yukon, a Military Sealift Command
(MSC) tanker, to take waiting station prior to the operation. The Yukon
was hit on the starboard aft side along the flight deck and hull by
Denver’s bow. Both vessels received extensive damage. The
Denver’s bow had a gaping hole from the waterline to 25 ft high and
approximately the same distance towards the aft. The hull of the
Yukon was penetrated and seriously buckled from aft of the superstructure
and along the entire flight deck. The Denver was fixed temporarily
and sailed back to its homeport in San Diego. The Yukon, homeported
at Pearl Harbor, is currently undergoing repairs. The Yukon has a crew
of 60 civilians and 20 Navy personnel. The US Navy and Coast Guard
are still investigating the cause of the accident.
International Marine Debris Conference. Hawaii Convention Center, Honolulu.
Sponsored by NOAA’s Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine
Sanctuary, the conference aims to examine the sources, impacts and solutions
for dealing with derelict fishing gear in the Pacific. Registration
information: (808) 875-2317 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Beach Preservation Conference. Royal Lahaina Resort, Maui.
Experts on coastal erosion, beach restoration and resource management.
Sponsored by American Shore and Beach Preservation Assn., UH Sea Grant
College Program, and others. Information: Rob Mullane (808) 984-3254
or email email@example.com.
Monthly Hawaii Operational Safety Team (HOST) meeting. 1-4 pm. Club
14 on CG Base Sand Island. Contact: Lt. Mark Willis (808) 522-8264,
CEROS Information Exchange. The National Defense Center of Excellence
In Ocean Sciences sponsors this informational meeting to prepare companies
for submitting research proposals for the upcoming year. 9 am - 1:30
pm. Ilikai Hotel, Waikiki. FREE. For reservations call Jacquie Brewbaker
(808) 327-4310 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Transportation of Hazardous Material training course. Sponsored
by National Cargo Bureau Inc. 8 am–4 pm both days. Fee. To register,
call: (808) 836-7799.
Transportation of Hazardous Material training course. Sponsored by National
Cargo Bureau Inc. 8 am–4 pm both days. Fee. To register, call: (808)
Marine and Coastal Zone Management Advisory Group (MACZMAG) meeting.
9-11 am. State Office Tower Rm. 204. Contact: Susan Feeney (808) 587-2880.
Monthly Hawaii Operational Safety Team (HOST) meeting. 1-4 pm. Club
14 on CG Base Sand Island. Contact: Lt. Mark Willis (808) 522-8264,
To have your meeting or event listed, please send information to
the editor at least four weeks prior to publication.
Anne Stevens was named general manager of NORTON LILLY HAWAII
INC./KERR NORTON MARINE, the largest US-owned ship agency. The former
Coast Guard officer joined the company in 1996 and was promoted in 1999
to the position of marine manager. Stevens spent 12 years in the Coast
Guard, including a tour in Hawaii in search-and-rescue operations before
moving to the private sector. She is an active member of the local
maritime community and serves on board of directors of the Hawaii Operational
Safety Team (HOST).
MATSON NAVIGATION COMPANY promoted J. Keahi Birch to the newly
created position of manager, safety and environmental affairs, Hawaii.
She will be responsible for the development and administration of the
safety and environmental programs for the company and its subsidiaries
in Hawaii. Birch joined Matson Terminals, Inc. in 1993 and most recently
held the position of supervisor, ship planning.
Fourteen employees of EXPEDITIONS, the passenger ferry service between
Lahaina, Maui, and Manele Harbor on Lanai, have purchased the company,
a year after its owner and CEO Craig Newnan passed away. The new corporate
officers are Bill Caldwell, vice president and fleet operations
manager; Nancy Hoffner, secretary and management director; Ken Christopher
, treasurer and chief engineer; and Steve Knight, president and
general manager. The ferry now carries more than 10,000 passengers a
month, making five round trips daily.
Wikiwiki Ferry starts Pearl Harbor trials
The state Department of Transportation launched the second phase of
its intra-island commuter ferry demonstration project in July with service
between Pearl Harbor’s Middle Loch and Honolulu Harbor. The first phase
provided service between Kalaeloa/Barbers Point Harbor and Honolulu.
The second phase began with service from Middle Loch at 6:30 a.m.,
arriving at Aloha Tower at 7:30 a.m. with a return ferry departing Aloha
Tower at 5:15 p.m. A shuttle service also picks up and drops off passengers
at various points on both ends of the ferry route.
At press time, the DOT was still negotiating with the Navy to
move the Pearl Harbor pick-up site to Iroquois Point beginning August
7. The new location, which would require a floating dock, provides a
shorter commute time to Aloha Tower and would allow two morning departures
and two afternoon returns.
Passengers have been riding free until August 4, after which time a
one-way ticket will cost $1.50. The service is tentatively scheduled
to run through September.
The year-long, $4 million project, which began last October in partnership
with Pacific Marine, is aimed at studying the economic viability of
a ferry system to help alleviate commuter traffic between Leeward Oahu
and downtown Honolulu.
Public access boat ramp opens at Ko Olina
The Ko Olina Community Association opened a new public access boat
launch ramp at the new Ko Olina Marina on July 11. The ramp, which is
part of a $1 million improvement project at Ko Olina’s lagoon 4, is
open daily between sunrise and sunset. Thirty stalls, together with
new showers and restroom facilities are available for boat ramp users.
Overnight parking is available for vehicles with trailers.
A reservation system has been implemented to insure trailer parking
availability. Boaters should call (808) 679-1050.
The 270-slip Ko Olina Marina on Oahu’s west shore opened in March and
accommodates boats up to 150 feet in length. Facilities include a full-service
fuel dock, marina store, utilities and other amenities.
Jones Act auto carrier to be built for Hawaii/W. Coast trade
The Pasha Group and Van Ommeren Shipping (USA) LLC have signed a $70-million
contract to build a modern, Jones Act Pure Car and Truck Carrier (PCTC)
that will serve the Hawaii/West Coast trade. The Maritime Administration
confirmed a Title XI financial guarantee to construct the new vessel,
which will be built at Halter Marine’s shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss.“Based
on our research,” said George W. Pasha, IV, president and CEO of Pasha
Hawaii Transport Lines LLC, “there is widespread support in the Hawaii/Mainland
Roll On-Roll Off shipping community for a Pure Car and Truck Carrier-type
vessel in this trade. The vessel also will be enrolled in the military’s
Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement, and will be eligible to carry
Department of Defense-sponsored vehicles and rolling stock.”
PHTL is a joint venture between The Pasha Group, a California-based
automobile handling and logistics company, and Van Ommeren, a Connecticut-based
The 13,000-DWT vessel will be able to carry more than 4,000 automobiles,
buses, trucks, and/or other large and oversize Ro/Ro type traffic. The
new vessel’s design will incorporate a total of 10 decks, with three
hoistable and three strong decks, and a 100-ton stern ramp.
New CSX container chassis for Hawaii
CSX Lines is spending $1 million to purchase more than 130 new Hyundai
chassis that will be delivered to the company’s Sand Island container
terminal this September. The purchase will increase CSX’s chassis
fleet by more than 10 percent.
“Hawaii has experienced an economic turnaround over the past 12 months,
with container volumes increasing over the previous year after eight
years of economic stagnation,” said Brian Taylor, vice president and
general manager of CSX Lines’ Hawaii/Guam division.
Just the Facts: Hawaii’s Fishing Future
The recent federal court ruling affecting Hawaii’s longline fishery
has caused many to wonder if Hawaii has or should have a future in commercial
fishing. Like most emotional issues, the controversy has created more
heat than light. Consider these facts:
1. Hawaii’s longline fleet currently lands 28 million pounds of fish
annually, of which approximately 12 million is exported to the mainland,
Japan and Europe.
2. Honolulu ranks 5th in the nation in value of landings.
3. The longline industry provides 2,000 jobs and over $150 million
each year to the state’s economy.
4. The Hawaii longline fleet represents only 3% of the Pacific-wide
fishing activities and about 6% of the fishing efforts in its designated
area of operations.
5. The Hawaii fleet is the most heavily regulated longline fleet in
the Pacific. Current rules include:
A statewide limit of 164 longline fishing permits
No fishing within 50-75 miles of the main Hawaiian Islands
No fishing within 50 miles of the northwest Hawaiian Islands
Mandatory satellite vessel tracking
Mandatory federal logbooks
Mandatory observer coverage
Mandatory participation in protected species workshops
Mandatory seabird mitigation by using special baits and poles to
Maximum vessel size that is not larger than 100 feet
Should the Hawaii longline fleet be shut down as a precaution to protect
endangered Pacific sea turtles? Consider the facts:
1. The plaintiff and defendant in the present case are on the record
in court as agreeing that total closure of the Hawaii fleet will have
no measurable effect on the future of Pacific sea turtles.
2. Responsible scientists agree that closure of the Hawaii fleet
will actually have a negative effect on turtles for two reasons. One,
valuable data and research provided by Hawaii’s fleet will be lost and
two, the foreign fleets filling the void will likely produce higher
3. In the Hawaii fleet’s area of operation, foreign longliners outnumber
Hawaii vessels by a 16 to 1 ratio! These vessels are not affected by
U.S. law or any equivalent of the Endangered Species Act.
4. Currently, $3 million worth of Pacific pelagic research is supported
by data from the Hawaii fleet. In addition, the National Marine Fisheries
Service is building a $40 million lab facility at the University of
Hawaii dedicated to research in our region.
It seems that no one likes extractive industry, but they want the products
it creates. Don’t drill holes in the permafrost, just fill up my SUV.
Don’t chop down trees, just build my house. Don’t mine coal, just keep
me warm. Don’t go longlining, just give me the ahi.
Extractive industries are usually dominated by a few large corporations
with resources to convince the public of their stewardship. Fishing
is a group of small business people who work very hard to make Hawaii’s
seafood industry a success. They are independent, highly focused and
highly skilled, but with a limited knowledge of how the public perceives
Should fishing have a future in Hawaii? Without a doubt. Its benefits
to the state far outweigh the negatives.
Will fishing have a future in Hawaii? Not without a concentrated effort
by the industry to educate the public while working with government
and conservation groups to reduce negative impacts on the environment.
Jim Cook is president of Pacific Ocean Producers and immediate past
chairman of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council.
Hawaii Ocean Industry provides this space as a forum to express viewpoints
on Hawaii’s ocean industry.