High seas pen in Superferry again
Hawaii Superferry officials canceled the ship's fourth straight day of service today because of high seas, and they delayed tomorrow's schedule to allow time for the sea to calm.
"Same reason," said Terry O'Halloran, Superferry's director of business development. "The sea conditions, those are the reasons."
The National Weather Service said waves are expected today to reach about 13 feet with 34 mph winds in the Pailolo Channel between Maui and Molokai.
Sea conditions are expected to improve tomorrow with waves lowering to 10 feet and winds dropping to 29 mph, the weather service said.
The Alakai can handle about 20-foot waves, according to the operators of the Superferry.
Company officials say they had figured weather-related cancellations into their business model.
"We planned for that time to be about now in December," O'Halloran said.
While the ship has not sailed since Christmas, many of the employees continue to work.
"A lot ... of the business continues," O'Halloran said. "Most of our employees are still working hard."
Whether part-time employees are called to work depends on what their position is, he said.
O'Halloran estimated that ridership for today was "significantly lower" than normal. About 95 people and 40 vehicles were scheduled for the Oahu-Maui passage. About 20 people and 20 cars were booked for the Maui-Oahu trip.
Yesterday's cancellation affected about 240 passengers and 80 vehicles each way.
O'Halloran said today's numbers reflect the response of passengers noticing the travel alerts on the company's Web site and changing their travel dates.
Superferry officials delayed tomorrow's schedule by three hours. The ferry will depart from Oahu at 9:30 a.m. and return at 2:15 p.m.
They said the ferry will return to its regular schedule on Monday.
To check a voyage's status, visit www.hawaiisuperferry. com or call (877) 443-3779.
The Superferry resumed sailing to Maui on Dec. 13, after a court stopped the fledgling service in late August. The state Legislature passed a bill in
October to allow the ferry to resume sailing while an environmental impact study was compiled.
Company officials have yet to announce the resumption of Kauai service, which was halted by protesters in late August.