Flashback: Hawaii Superferry questionnaire

15 12 2008

Back in September, I went to Hawaii for a week with my family, and we decided to go from Honolulu to Maui by ferry. It’s a slow trip compared to taking a flight, but worthwhile especially if you are traveling with kids.

Hawaii Superferry

As you approach the boarding lanes, a Hawaii Superferry employee goes through the standard procedure of checking your vehicle and asking you questions about what you are taking with you. Even though you are hopping from island to island in the same state, the procedure resembles crossing the border with a neighbouring country or boarding an international flight, which makes sense in today’s world, and also for environmental reasons. So both sides engaged in this somewhat flat but polite conversation that goes like this:

“Are you carrying any firearms or ammunition?”
“No.”

“Are you taking any domestic animals with you? Any livestock?”
“No on both accounts.”

“Do you have any flammable materials in your baggage?”
“No.”

“Any plants, seeds or soil?”
“Nope.”

“What about human bones?”
“No. Wait. What???”

I know that there must be a reason for the question, some historical precedent or technical legality justifying it. But I can’t help but wonder if anyone was ever caught in the process. “Human bones? Hummm, let me see. Hey sweetheart, are those bones in your bag human?”

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5 responses

15 12 2008
Mauibrad

Yeah, they seem like weird questions. Here is the Lingle inspired document that they came from: http://www.hawaiisenatemajority.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/superferry-governor-operation-conditions-11-2007.pdf

15 12 2008
Aaron

Hey Brad, Wow, I never expected somebody from Hawaii SuperFerry to actually respond to this post. I guess I should know better, as you guys also use Twitter and have free wi-fi on board. Well done, thanks for the clarification!

16 12 2008
Mauibrad

Aaron,

Uh, yeah, actually I don’t work for them, I might be one of the last people on the planet they would hire. Notice my blog says it’s the “unofficial blog.” Anyway, I’ve got webbots monitoring everything about this company, the industry, and government related to it, and every now and then somebody poses an interesting question or makes a good observation, and I like to answer those kinds of questions.

Actually, I thought about your observation today and re-read the Governor’s E.O., and I think you have a good point that the company doesn’t need to ask those questions in the questionnaire in the manner that they are doing. Asking about bones and such seems very odd taken out of context, and anyway people here would not be transporting bones anyway. It’s more like artifacts and opihi that they could ask about and that might be attempted to be smuggled. Not to mention excessive amounts of limited resources like reef fish and limu that are allowed to be taken on the vessel.

In the case of the opihi, the Governor’s E.O. says they are not suppose to be transported on HSF, but there is no penalty for being caught with them, so why wouldn’t passengers attempt to smuggle them aboard when they can be sold on Oahu for an “average price at local fish markets of roughly $30 per pound for shelled opihi.”

Anyway, fine points like this are an example of how the Governor’s E.O. and Act 2 were not well thought out and hastily written. In 3 days we have a State Supreme Court case about all of this.

Aloha, Brad

17 12 2008
benedictedelachanal

Oi, Aaron,
it is nice to have you back in the blog world. I always read and discover so many things with your posts, even if I am lost many times!
So, blogging is passé? I am just starting to relax with the process after a year of usage…
Twitter is in. Ok, can you twitter a watercolor?
The response of Brad to your bone dilemma is exactly what I enjoy in blogging, communication, exchange.
Feliz natal e próspero ano novo!

17 12 2008
Aaron

Hi Béné,

(I liked your “oi” very much!)

Thanks, I missed blogging. I hope blogging is not passé, but I don’t mind doing it even if it is. I’m sure that when colour photograph became mainstream, some folks predicted that drawing and painting would become extinct, but you are living proof that it’s alive and well.

Yes, you can twitter a watercolour. Take a look at TwitPic! My stream is here (no watercolour, but I’m sure yours would be terrific!).

Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année!

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