In a total change of pace for the governor of Hawaii, rather than extending the 14 day quarantine rule until November 1st like he said he would, the Covid 19 pre-testing program started on October 15th allowing visitors who test negative for the virus prior to arrival get to skip any quarantine.
The very next day, they started allowing ‘6 pack’ fishing charters to resume pretty much unrestricted on the islands of Hawaii, Maui and Kauai. Boats that are licensed for more than 6 passengers are restricted to 50% carrying capacity. Oahu is under stricter regulations because of a recent spike in Covid 19 there.
Finding out what the latest regulations are can be near impossible. You can go the Department of Land and Natural Resources web site and you won’t find anything there. OK, how about the Division of Aquatic Resources? Nope, dead end. One more place to try, the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation but you will have a hard time finding any new rules there. Under “Most Current News”, nothing! There is a link above that that says “VISIT DOBOR’S COVID-19 QUESTION AND ANSWER PAGE FOR THE LATEST UPDATES ON HOW BOATING IN HAWAII IS BEING AFFECTED” (I’m not shouting, it’s all in caps on the page like nearly everything else) and even when you get to that page it would appear that there’s little to no updated information. It appears to be another dead end but if you keep scrolling down that fairly long page to about the half way mark, you will finally find the info you need. It’s almost like they’re hiding it but I’m sure it’s just pure incompetence. The order that the information is laid out on the page is really stupid.
So, while the latest “rules” are in place, we need the tourists. Locals rarely do charters because practically everyone who lives here also knows someone with a boat. Spikes in Covid 19 cases, as everyone across the country knows, means more sporadic “rule” changes. Our governor has been one of the most restrictive in the nation. The mayor of Hawaii Island has done such a poor job that he didn’t even make it through the primary elections so we will soon have a new mayor. One candidate has political experience and the other has absolutely none and the two are polar opposites on most issues. Oh what a fun time we’re living in.
Capt. Jeff Rogers