Steve Rodrigues and a band of loyal volunteers are keeping KALAKALA afloat, but the Coast Guard wants him to move her, concerned that the rusting former ferry could sink in the Hylebos Waterway, Tacoma.
Rodrigues bought KALAKALA in 2003 when she was berthed on Seattle’s Lake Union. After complaints that she was an eyesore, he moved her to Neah Bay, Again she was asked to leave. KALAKALA found a safe mooring in Tacoma but the ferry began sinking. Rodrigues rescued her again got her on an even keel, but now has lost his lease.
The Coast Guard has also demanded the move concerned that she could go down in the Hylebos Waterway and disrupt commerce. A deadline has been set, January 1st, after that a daily fine maybe imposed of $32,000 per day.
Ever hopeful, Steve Rodrigues is looking for investors, failing that the ship could be sold for as little as one dollar, but with the condition to restore the KALAKALA and not sell her on for scrap.
MARTIN COX - Founder and publisher of MaritimeMatters, inspired by maritime culture and technology growing up in the port of Southampton. He works as a photographer in Los Angeles, and his works has been exhibited in LA, San Francisco, New York, London and Iceland. Martin is the co-writer of the book “Hollywood to Honolulu; the story of the Los Angeles Steamship Company” published by the Steam Ship Historical Society of America. The Los Angeles Maritime Museum has commissioned artworks and collected his photographs.