Port Bienville, Mississippi was developed with government funding after hurricane CAMILLE devastated the area in 1969. A 12 foot channel was dredged from the Pearl River to Mullato Bayou, leading to a 900 foot dock and warehouse.
Atlas Powder had been exporting from Port Bienville for several years when I met with Pedro Cabrera, an executive with Cordemex, a government owned producer of Sisal products in the Yucatan. He asked if I was interested in providing a regular shipping service between Port Bienville and the Yucatan. I quickly incorporated Linea Peninsular. Atlas agreed to sub-charter two Danish Coasters to Linea Peninsular and weekly service to the Yucatan inaugurated in April 1984. With the development of Maquila factories beginning in 1989, a twice weekly service was introduced. The chartered ships were redelivered to their owners, three older ships sold and six Damen built coasters purchased.
The eye of hurricane KATRINA passed over Port Bienville around 9 AM Monday, September 29, 2005. I was onboard GUADALUPE with Capt. Perez, Capt. Merka on BIENVILLE and Capt. Paguntalan on JUAN DIEGO. The full impact came after the eye passed, when hurricane force winds shifted from Northeast to Southwest and the surge coming from the Gulf of Mexico found its way up the Pearl River to Port Bienville. The ships rose and incredible 14 feet and 8 foot waves rolled along the dock, bringing a wall of swamp trash smashing through warehouses and rolling hundreds of loaded containers. I managed to get a message to my family who had flown to Dallas and arrange for the same plane to land at Stennis airport in Mississippi, early Wednesday morning. There was a 8,000 foot runway and I hoped the pilot could land, pick me up along with our computer servers and take off. In the confusion following the hurricane it all came together and we landed in Panama City couple hours later. The six Damen coasters have since been replaced with larger and faster ships.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016, Captain David Humphreys passed away suddenly from a stroke at the age of 82, surrounded by his loving family. Born June 6, 1933 in Adelaide, Australia, he was the only child of Sidney and Irene Humphreys.
Captain Humphreys’ passion was the sea. He went to sea with the British India Steam Navigation Company as a cadet at the age of 16. He sailed with Canadian Pacific Passenger Lines in the North Atlantic for several years. Captain Humphreys was responsible for discovering over 4,000 square miles of Northern Greenland during a winter polar expedition documented by NBC. He also transited the Northwest Passage in Canada with his family and sailed to the North Pole with his son on a nuclear powered ice breaker.
Captain Humphreys was the founder and owner of Linea Peninsular, Incorporated. Linea Peninsular was founded in 1984 and has 4 container ships servicing the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico from Panama City, FL and Houston, TX. In that time, his vessels have made more than 8,000 crossings of the Gulf of Mexico. Captain Humphreys loved his company; he treated his staff like family and continued working up until his last day.
Captain Humphreys was a man of great faith and he generously donated to many organizations and individuals around the world.
Captain Humphreys is survived by his wife, Ioana Lelaulu Humphreys; son, David Lelei Humphreys; daughter, Pia Laloifi Humphreys; daughter-in-law, Mia Catharine Humphreys; grandchildren: Fay Celia Jones, Lyla Caroline Jones, Jordan Elyse Humphreys, Carson David Humphreys, Sidney Corinne Humphreys; and his beloved dog, Clyde. He will be deeply missed.
We wish him smooth sailing.