‘All issues go through the captain’s office’

Profile – Becoming a Mariner

Doug Fisher
Pasha Hawaii, Delivery captain 
As a captain for Pasha Hawaii, Doug Fisher’s primary job involves delivering cargo from Long Beach, Calif., to Honolulu, some 2,500 miles away. Delivering a brand-new ship required a whole different set of skills. 

Fisher, 60, was delivery captain for George III, Pasha Hawaii’s new 774-foot containership that runs on liquefied natural gas fuel. The job involved overseeing sea trials and then delivering the ship from Texas to the West Coast through the Panama Canal.

“It was different from our usual work in that we had to set up the ship from the bottom up,” he said recently. “The logistics involved were unlike anything on our regular run. Prior to the first sea trial we had to requisition all the gear needed to outfit, rig and run the vessel.”

Fisher and his team also trained the crew and did what it took to pass ABS and U.S. Coast Guard inspections. “Being in command and handling George III for her first sea trial was a great experience,” he said. 

Fisher grew up in Baltimore and spent his childhood fishing and crabbing in Chesapeake Bay. He graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in 1984 and has worked as a captain for Pasha (and Horizon Lines, previously) for 10 years. The job of a ship captain goes well beyond navigation. 

“I am responsible for all operations of the ship. The navigation but also going in and out of port, the maneuvering of the vessel, weather routing and the training of the crew in emergency response,” he said. “I am also the administrator, which means I am taking care of all of the ins and outs of having a crew of 25 people. All issues go through the captain’s office.”

Fisher credited the team that included a bosun, chief mate, two delivery chief engineers and assistant engineers, along with Pasha Hawaii’s project managers, for ensuring a successful delivery for George III. “The gang we had for the outfitting and delivery of George III are the best merchant seaman in the business and it couldn’t have been done without them.” 

— Casey Conley