Pirate ship arrives on Oahu

Pirate ship arrives on Oahu
Georja Skinner
Georja Skinner
Al Rutherford
Al Rutherford

By Duane Shimogawa bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's Hollywood in Hawaii, as the Black Pearl arrives.  That's the ship featured in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films.

It docked at Kalaeloa Harbor early Sunday morning.  State tourism leaders say it's a shining symbol of good things to come, despite being in the tough economy.

The state tourism office's phones have been ringing off the hook, as the Black Pearl cruises towards the islands.

State leaders say a lot of work went into getting the film here and the excitement of the ship is just the beginning.

Sky News Now got an exclusive look of the Black Pearl.   Traveling at 10 miles per hour, its journey took it from the Bahamas to LA and then to Kalaeloa.

"It's quite a global traverse if you will, for Hawaii to be the home berth for it is pretty exciting," State Creative Industries Division chief Georja Skinner said.

The fourth installment of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" series, "On Stranger Tides" is set to start filming this summer on Oahu and Kauai.  It's expected to steer millions of dollars into the state's economy.

Tax rebates, special hotel rates and other cost-cutting deals helped bring this movie back.

"We've really started to see the actual manifestation of what this project is going to mean for Hawaii, for our economy and also for the whole world, when they see it, they'll know Hawaii is the place," Skinner said.

The film's most recognizable figure is already causing a stir.

"I've seen a lot of movies about it, but I've never seen an actual ship," Salt Lake resident and bystander Al Rutherford said.

Others didn't know how to react when they woke up seeing it.

"I was surprised because it's a new sight to look at it, something new for me," Neighboring ship crewman Labor Day Hunkin said.

And despite losing three of the five people in the state's film office because of the budget crisis, Department of Business Economic Development & Tourism leaders feel they can still bring in big films, like this one.

"They'll be working on preps and decking her out and there's a lot of prep that goes into that and so we're grateful they're here to do that and also helping employ people here in our economy," Skinner said.

Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.