Ferry service startsNewlyweds Rich and Leslie Pittore of New York watched with tears in their eyes as the Maui Princess pulled away from Pier 9 at 7:30 a.m. today with a near capacity load of passengers.
between Maui and Oahu
Sea Link of Hawaii gets underway
because airlines were shut down
By Helen Altonn and Gary Kubota
They had hoped to be among them but were turned away because they had too much luggage.
"We just made reservations this morning for the ferry," Pittore said, adding that they weren't told only one bag was allowed.
"We paid for a taxi to get here (from a Waikiki hotel). Now we're stuck. Maybe down the road we'll laugh about it but now it's a little stressful."
Sea Link of Hawaii started the Oahu-Maui ferry service because of the commercial airline shutdown after Tuesday's terrorist attacks against the Pentagon and World Trade Center.
The Maui Princess left Lahaina about 10:30 last night and unloaded 39 passengers here about 4:30 a.m.
"We're very grateful to have an opportunity to get home," said Oahu resident Linda Coble, a former TV newswoman visiting Maui on behalf of the Rotary Club.
The ship left Honolulu this morning with nearly 149 passengers, its licensed capacity.
Andy Kurtz, captain for the trip back to Maui, said another ship was scheduled to arrive about noon to pick up more passengers and other ferries may be added if airlines aren't fully operating and there is a demand.
Also turned away was Jim Swanson of the Big Island, production manager for Staging Solutions, overall contractor for Rhema Services, a sound audio company.
Eight in their party were due at the Grand Wailea to put on a show Friday for a corporate event.
"We're going to make a mad dash to Kewalo Basin to see if we can charter a fishing boat," Swanson said.
"Good luck," said Lovitt. "Those are not the smallest seas out there. This is one of the boats on Maui that can make the trip."
Ferry passengers Scott and Alison White, Toronto honeymooners, had hoped to get to Maui Tuesday after one day on Oahu. "We won't get to see as much of Hawaii as we wanted, " White said. "Saturday we're going to Australia, hopefully."
Patty Keau, who works for Hawaiian Airlines, ran up just as the ferry was preparing to leave. She came here for business and had been stranded since Sunday. The gates were opened to let her aboard.
All passengers were asked for identification and their bags were hand-searched for weapons or other contraband materials.
One way fares to or from Honolulu are $79.50 per person, including tax and fees, adult or child. One way fares between Maui and Molokai are $42.40 adult and $21.20 child.
The schedule calls for two round-trips a day to depart Honolulu at Pier 9 near the Aloha Tower at 7 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.
The ship is to leave Lahaina at 10 p.m. and 7:30 a.m.
People are asked to make reservations and check in 30 minutes before departure.
For more information and reservations, please call Island Marine at (808) 667-6165, toll free at (800) 275-6000 or visit www.molokaiferry.com.