Superferry Returns Stranded Passengers and Cars

Michelle Valera
Michelle Valera
Mike Manthey
Mike Manthey

HONOLULU (KHNL)  --  The Hawaii Superferry made a trip to Maui Saturday, not to resume service, but instead to reunite dozens of stranded travelers with their cars and their homes.

It's been almost two weeks since the Superferry's inaugural voyage.  Customers say the company's been very accommodating, but they can't fix everything.

Mike Manthey spent the last two weeks on Oahu with friends, but he's ready to head back to Maui.

"Oh yeah, ready to go home," said Manthey. "Maui no ka oi."

However his extended vacation has been far from ideal.  He came over on the Superferry's inaugural trip, to bring his motorcycle to Oahu to the state's only BMW repair shop.  But after numerous protests and court orders, the Alakai and Manthey, were stuck.

"Wasn't very good," said Manthey. "I got laid off my job because I couldn't make it back, and I didn't want to leave my motorcycle over here."

The courts granted this one trip to the Valley Isle, so stranded travelers could get home, or get their vehicles.  But it hasn't been a bad experience for everyone.

"It actually hasn't been much of a burden cause they accommodated the car, so it was like normal, just getting around," said Michelle Valera.

"I was a little upset about it, but I don't sweat the little stuff," said Manthey.

About 60 people left Honolulu; about 40 cars are coming back.

But the big question -- if the Superferry resumes service, will these people come back to use it?

"Absolutely," said Valera.

"Yeah, if the prices would go down a little bit," said Manthey.

As the Alakai heads out, we'll all have to wait and see if this will be her last voyage.

A hearing is scheduled for Monday in a Maui circuit court to determine whether to extend a temporary restraining order for Kahului Harbor.

It's not known when the Superferry will resume service to Kauai, but a hearing is scheduled in Lihue on September 18.