San Francisco (Monday, August 11)

I had intended to swing by the SUP building (having passed it while a passenger in my friend’s car) first thing in the morning to get a closer look at it. A late start and a glance at squashed that idea.

Ooo Manoa arrival! Time to make my way back to the waterfront. (Yes, I am a sad ship geek.)

I found the solar powered MUNI bus stop shelters fascinating:

bus shelter

We need stuff like this here in Hawai‘i.

I got off the bus and waited for a cable car.

One going in the opposite direction from where I wanted to go:

cable car

I know. Touristy. But, hey, it’s fun!

Across the street from Hyde Street Pier:

across the street from Hyde St Pier

Sadly, the Park store is no longer there in the building on the corner. I remember happily stocking up on nautical books when I visited while it was still open. It’s a shame, really.

And…there’s Manoa!

Manoa Golden Gate Bridge


I’m so used to seeing her in Honolulu Harbor, it’s nice to see her in San Francisco Bay for a change. (It’s that perspective thing.)

I had quite a bit of time before my 1300 appointment at the Research Center, so I lingered to do more ship spotting.

APL Philippines:

APL Philippines

USCGC Bertholf:

USCGC Bertholf

Sirius Voyager:

Sirius Voyager

Seal (as opposed to sea lion) spotting:


On the way to get something to eat, I stopped at the Aquatic Park Bathhouse building to see if there was anything new. On the street level, some things had been moved around. There was also an exhibit on the history of the U.S. Customs Service.

The upper floor was still sadly underutilized. Apart from the radio exhibit, there was only a display of some photos related to the America’s Cup (not my cup of tea).

Some details:

wheel light fixture

Plimsoll line on pillar

davits on pillar

After lunch, it was a short and pleasant walk over to Fort Mason, for the “work” part of my trip. I went to check out what FOC materials the NPS has. I must say the three hours I was there went by all too quickly.

One of the reference photos (not the greatest because of my shadow) I was allowed to take with the fancy phone:

FOC pic sample

Building E at the Fort Mason complex:

Fort Mason Bldg E

The stern of the brigantine Galilee in the parking lot area:

brigantine Galilee

After leaving Fort Mason, I went back to Hyde Street Pier.

Crane for the work being done on the pier:

crane for pier work

Shhhhhhhh…One of the highlights of my vacation was being allowed to go aboard Eppleton Hall or “Eppie,” as she is fondly called.


frames 1

frames 2

Consett mark on frame



The familiar-looking details were strangely comforting.

CA Thayer (ongoing work):

CA Thayer


Balclutha bow

Another shot showing repairs (doubler plates) to the hull:

Balclutha repairs to hull

San Francisco and Oakland (Sunday, August 10) – Lots of Cranes

A mello day that started off in the Potrero Point area.

Sheila Ann:

Sheila Ann

USNS Wally Schirra in the BAE dry dock:

USNS Wally Schirra

Lihue laid up nearby:



crane 1

crane 2

Altered sign, should read “Public Shore”:

Pauly Shore

A former navy tug, Dekaury (YTB-178) between Piers 48 and 50:

tug Dekaury YTB-178 btwn P 48 50

Tug fenders on shore:

tug fenders

From there, it was over the bridge to Oakland.

Middle Harbor Shoreline Park is located amidst Oakland’s container terminals. It has an odd industrial feel, sort of like Sand Island State Park. It’s also a ship spotter’s dream.

Looking toward Potrero Point (spot the dry dock and Lihue) from the park:

twds Potrero Point and Hill Dogpatch area

Distinctive skyline:

San Francisco

TraPac Terminal:

Oakland Cranes

Ben E. Nutter Terminal:

Oakland cranes 1

Oakland International Container Terminal:

Oakland cranes 2

NYK Atlas at the Oakland International Terminal with Matsonia just visible through the cranes at left:

Matsonia NYK Atlas

The park is also a designated wildlife area.



Unfortunately, there are a lot of Canada geese gathered in the park:

Canada goose

A lot of geese means a lot of geese poo. Ick.

Sticker art and donuts:

sticker art

(If you look at the Google Maps satellite view of the area, you can see the donuts more clearly.)

From the park, it was on to the Oakland Museum of California. It is a very nice museum that consists of three main galleries: Art, History, and Natural Science.

Joe at Oakland Museum

Marine debris display and activity area:

Oakland Museum marine debris exhibit 1

Oakland Museum marine debris exhibit 2

There was a lot to see, but not enough time! Well worth visiting again.

Back to the Old Routine

A break from my vacation posts to note this past Saturday’s activities.

An early morning excursion…

Horizon Reliance and Tira Lani:

Horizon Reliance Tira Lani

Tira Lani:

Tira Lani with Horizon Reliance

Along the starboard side:

Horizon Reliance

Captain Ed Enos disembarking:

Capt Ed Enos Horizon Reliance

Pilot boat Honolulu:


On the way to the ship, I was glad to see the fairy tern chick had survived the bad weather:

meal time

On board the ship, it was business as usual. Having had a nice break away from it all and spending time with historic ship people did wonders for my attitude. I’m trying to be more positive about things, even though the circumstances remain the same.

While checking the tween deck, I heard a noise like someone was banging on the hull with a hammer. It didn’t take long to figure out what was causing it.

It was the thimble/shackle of the jury-rigged spring line:

jury rigged spring line

The catenary is currently too large so we have to adjust the line.

Another problem I discovered:

spring line needs help

This spring line has been taking a lot of the strain, so it’s now worn almost all the way through. It needs to be changed as soon as possible.

After I left the ship for the day, I was able to go out on another excursion.

Manoa, last seen sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge on her way to Oakland:


Mahalo to Captains Enos and Demuth. Special thanks to Paul. Cool beans!

Richmond (Saturday, August 9)

On Saturday, I went to Richmond via BART to meet up with my friend.

waiting for BART train

Anything with masts and yards will always attract my attention.


I was informed this is Kaisei.

We stopped at the Rosie the Riveter visitor center:

Rosie the Riveter visitor center

Rosie and Joe make an appearance:

Rosie and Joe

Orange tabby among the rocks on the shoreline by the visitor center:

orange tabby

From there, it was over to Richmond Shipyard #3.

Oil spill response vessel Pacific Responder:

Pacific Responder

Foss facility:

Foss in Richmond

It was sad not to see the Wapama and Lion (ex-Moctobi). However, my friend noticed the Warden Johnston, looking a bit forlorn:


The Warden Johnston was used to carry inmates, staff and their families, and officials, to and from Alcatraz.

Continuing on in the area, we went over to the Red Oak Victory. It was late, so the ship was closed. However, there was a lot to see.

Red Oak Victory

sign Red Oak Victory

The Whirley Crane is a very visible icon.

Ospreys have built a nest on it:

osprey nest on Whirley Crane

The owners of the nest, I presume:


Crane framed by buildings:

shipyard building Whirley Crane

The General Warehouse building is quite interesting.

General Warehouse back

General Warehouse front

doors General Warehouse

door handles

Some interior shots (taken through windows):



Cracks in the loading dock:

cracks loading dock General Warehouse


Back to San Francisco!

back to SF

San Francisco (Friday, August 8) – North Beach and Waterfront

After exploring the Sutro Baths, it was back to the city.

I was on a mission. I had promised a friend from back home that I would check out Specs, a place he used to visit when he worked for Matson. He was curious to know whether they still had the Matson flag that he had given them.


Unfortunately, when I got there, I found they were closed and wouldn’t be open until 1700. Bummer.

So what’s a girl, who loves books, to do? Head across the street to City Lights of course.

I was tempted to buy, but restrained myself because I didn’t relish the thought of trying to stuff books into my carry-on bag for the flight home (my SF friend had already given me one book).

I enjoyed reading the various signs on the walls:

sign City Lights

I was amused by this:

door City Lights

(Yes, I’m easily amused.)

I left City Lights and wandered down the street toward the Transamerica Pyramid:

approaching Transamerica pyramid

From there, it was a short walk to the waterfront. Starting at the Ferry Building, I headed north along Embarcadero.

Pier 7 is a public access pier, so I went out to the end to take some photos.

At Pier 3, Hornblower’s San Francisco Belle:

San Francisco Belle

Picturesque, but not really my sort of thing.

On the south side of Pier 9 was one of the pilot boats, California:


Tug Baycat, pushing a barge:

Baycat and barge

While I was out on Pier 7, I came across a couple of gentlemen who were fishing. Feeling brave and sociable, I asked if they had had any luck. Unfortunately, they hadn’t caught anything yet. He asked where I was from and of course that led to questions about the hurricanes.

On the north side of Pier 9 was the pilot boat, Golden Gate:

Golden Gate

Star Princess heading out:

Star Princess

In the water between Piers 15 and 17, there was this interesting NOAA buoy:

PMEL CO2 buoy

For more information about the buoy, see PMEL CO2 – Carbon Dioxide Program (It seems there are PMEL CO2 buoys here in Hawai‘i as well.)

In the same area, there were curious structures on some of the piles that seemed like elaborate anti-seagull devices:

art installation

I found out later on that they were part of an art installation.


art installation detail

At Pier 17, a lovely new tug, Delta Audrey:

Delta Audrey

At Pier 33, Hawai‘i-related stuff on the windows of the take-out section of Butterfly

Hawaii stickers

Hm. Looking at the menu, maybe I should have eaten there!

The obligatory shot of Coit Tower:

Coit Tower

On to the touristy Pier 39!

The famous (+ noisy, smelly) sea lions of K dock, lounging about:

sea lions pier 39

It isn’t always just peaceful slumber and bliss:

sea lion conflict



Looking out over the water, I saw a stack with familiar colors and M:

Moku Pahu

It’s Moku Pahu! (Due in Kahului soon.)

It was getting late, so I hopped on a MUNI bus:

MUNI bus

Back to Specs. It was open but I was feeling shy (probably because I was tired). So I walked in and looked around long enough to spot the Matson flag (over the bar near the door), and got a pic (not very good) of it:

Matson flag

Mission accomplished!

A few more images of the area, just because…

City Lights:

City Lights

Garden of Eden:

Garden of Eden

On Broadway:

colorful Broadway Street

San Francisco (Friday, August 8) – Sutro Baths

Ever since a brief stop at the area back in 2012, I wanted to return to have a closer look at the ruins of the Sutro Baths.

Gazing out over the area today, it’s hard to imagine the grand complex that was developed by Adolph Sutro in the 1890s.

Time, the elements, and people take their toll:

Sutro Baths

The pools were stagnant and filled with algae. Trash was scattered around the grounds and graffiti adorned the concrete walls.

The steps were blocked off, so no exploration of this area was possible. :(

cliff steps

Sad remnants:

Sutro Baths detail

Sutro Baths ruins

Crevice in rock visible from inside the tunnel in the cliff:

opening in rock


Just offshore are the Seal Rocks. The tops of the rocks are white with guano.

Seal Rocks detail

Lots of pelicans, cormorants, and seagulls.

San Francisco (Thursday, August 7)

My flight arrived at San Francisco early Thursday morning.

I had decided to use public transportation to get around the city. The first thing I had to do was to get from the terminal to the BART station. Fortunately, there was a tram:

Red Line to BART

BART train:

BART train SFO

After getting off at the Embarcadero Station, I found a nearby Walgreens and got a Clipper Card. Very useful. Also proving to be invaluable was my smartphone, Google Maps, and a public transportation app.

A short walk and street car ride brought me close to Hyde Street Pier.

Curb along the way to San Francisco Maritime NHP:

Richard Henry Dana curb

A friend and I had made arrangements to go for an afternoon sail on board the park’s schooner Alma.

While waiting, I watched work being done aloft on Balclutha:

work aloft on Balclutha

Harsh commentary from a seagull:

seagull commenting

Alma’s pennant:

Alma pennant

It was a bit blustery out on the bay, but I totally enjoyed being on a ship that actually sails (for a change).

Sailboat zipping along:


View from Alma toward Sausalito:

twds Sausalito from Alma

A peek at some Coast Guard boats in Horseshoe Bay:

Coast Guard boats

Golden Gate Bridge, with tops hidden by fog:

Golden Gate Bridge


Golden Gate Bridge detail

Time passed all too quickly and soon we had to return to the pier.

In the evening, I tagged along with another friend to Berkeley for pool and dinner.


Some details related to past posts.

FOC could use a gangway set up similar to this:


Balclutha‘s port side port:

Balclutha port side port

Starboard side port:

Balclutha starboard side port

This post wouldn’t be complete without some shipspotting.

CSCL Winter:

CSCL Winter

Tug Ahbra Franco assisting Pichincha:

Ahbra Franco assist



ETA: A bit of bad timing. Due to work on the piles, most of Hyde Street Pier was closed to the public (Mondays through Thursdays), which meant no access to the ships. Boo.