At Work Another day in paradise for agile island tug
Professional Mariner|September 2020
At Work Another day in paradise for agile island tug
Capt. Curtis Iaukea steered Tiger 21 toward Hono-lulu Harbor on a postcard-perfect Hawaii afternoon. The job awaiting them was straightforward: shifting a Sause Bros. barge a few hundred yards from one berth to another.
Casey Conley

The 3,600-hp Joseph Sause made up to Hilo Bay’s starboard hip before Tiger 21 arrived. The Sause tug would provide the muscle on the sternward transit. Tiger 21 would handle the barge’s bow on the run between Pier 28 and the fuel terminal at Pier 30.

“My responsibility is to pull the (bow) so we come evenly off the pier,” Iaukea explained. “(Joseph Sause) can only really control one side. They need me to control the opposite side of the barge.”

The 4,400-hp Tiger 21 is one of more than a dozen Tiger tugs that P&R Water Taxi has built at its shipyard in Kewalo Basin, just west of Waikiki in downtown Honolulu. These nimble tugs, designed by P&R owner Charlie Pires with help from a Hawaiian naval architect, work in all of Hawaii’s commercial ports. P&R also has a contract to handle Navy ships in Pearl Harbor.

This was the first time Iaukea had done this particular job since transferring from Pearl Harbor about six months earlier. He conferred with deck hands Micah Kama and Micah Makekau Keaupuni while the tug headed to Honolulu Harbor.


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September 2020