Thunder Storm

We’ve been having a spell of unsettled weather with periods of heavy rain and thunder. So I was surprised to find the water buckets on the ship bone dry.

I did notice what looked like water in the aft peak, which was curious and worrying. I check the area every week and it’s been stable (dry) since we shifted the water out to one of the tanks two years ago.

I decided to go down into the area to have a closer look. It was frustrating to find the work lights didn’t work. Meh. I had to go get a flashlight. Since I was by myself, I was very careful and stayed in a fairly safe place.

Perched on a stringer looking down:

water in aft peak

Yup. That’s water.

Looking back toward the access ladder and hatch:

aft peak

It turns out that the water may be from our pump project PVC piping. I was talking to Paul about something else and casually mentioned the water. He said when he had done work in the area, some water did flow out from the line. Whew.

Still, I may go and check on it later on this morning.

I found another square nut in the aft peak to add to the collection:

aftpeak souvenir

The collection:

the collection

Lights in the lazarette visible through deck prism:

deck prism

I like to think of myself as the “ship menehune.” I take care of all the stuff that needs to be done but isn’t very obvious.

Power cable to ship running over pier railing:

cable to ship

I put chafing gear where it runs aboard the ship. I neglected to do the pier end. Took care of it yesterday.

chafing gear on cable

I didn’t have my bag o’ useful stuff, so I couldn’t sew it closed. I just used a constrictor knot with an additional knot to secure it. Good enough for the time being.

A bit of a twist to the usual ship spotting photos:

LEGO Maersk

(The LEGO store at Ala Moana Shopping Center)

Nippon Maru

The Nippon Maru is a fairly frequent visitor to Honolulu, but she’s usually berthed at a pier that isn’t open to the general public. :(

Mahalo to Captains Tom Heberle and Ed Enos of the Hawaii Pilots Association for the opportunity to get a closer look at the ship! There’s nothing like seeing such a grand lady get under way and head out to sea.

On the way to the pilot station, I came across this amusing typo on a bit of trash by the side of the road:

Don't Crash

Crashing would not be good!

Outside the gate:

Pilots sign

Captains Ed Enos and Paul Pollock on Honolulu:

Capts Ed Enos and Paul Pollock

view of Nippon Maru

Nippon Maru 1

Nippon Maru 2

Mamo assisting:

Nippon Maru 3

Getting ready to go aloft:

Nippon Maru 4

Nippon Maru 5

Yards manned:

Nippon Maru 6

Waving goodbye to people on the pier with cheers of “Aloha”…very nice!

Nippon Maru 7

Nippon Maru 8

Nippon Maru 9

Tira Lani assisting:

Nippon Maru 10

Passing Aloha Tower:

Nippon Maru 11

Can’t really see it in the photo above, but the cadets were waving their hats in greeting to the crew on board Hokuho Maru at Pier 8 (to the right of Nippon Maru’s bow).

The obligatory rigging shot:

Nippon Maru 12

Chafing gear:

Nippon Maru chafing gear 1

Nippon Maru chafing gear 2

Captain Enos disembarking:

Capt Ed Enos

Aloha Nippon Maru. A hui hou!

Nippon Maru 13

Special thanks to Paul!

Lunch, Fish, and Ships

I had the day off, so I decided to go to the harbor to have lunch on the pier and do some ship spotting.

The gate to the pier has seen a bit of use (and abuse) over the past few years. When I arrived at the ship, it was looking quite wonky:

wonky gate

Natural wear and tear or someone messing with it? Hm.

Lunch consisted of miso soup and a spicy ahi poke/ikura bowl:

spicy ahi and ikura

While waiting for the photographic target of the day, I dawdled about at the end of the pier.

Hoku Ke‘a passed by, towing a barge:

Hoku Kea

A couple of Hawaiian cleaner wrasses have set up cleaning stations near the edge of the pier. They are quite popular. The most striking customers today were a school of omilu and my old friend, the crocodile needlefish.

Cleaner wrasse on the “port” side:

cleaning station

Finally, NYK’s Dione Leader left the harbor:

Dione Leader

I didn’t do any work on the ship today, as I am anticipating a long day on Saturday. I did go aboard briefly to fetch a large zip-tie to do a quick repair to the gate.

All’s well on the tween deck:

tween deck

I walked over to Pier 9 to have a look at Kaiyo Maru. I was pleased that I was able to add a couple more photos to my idea files.

I was awed that someone took the time to put Turk’s heads on the chafing gear. Very nice touch!

turk's head chafing gear

chafing gear

With the plan to turn Aloha Tower Marketplace into dorms, I thought I’d take a photo of the fish tiles by the restroom before they go away:

fish tiles

Speaking of going away, there will be no New Year’s fireworks, according to a PBN article pointed out by Captain Ed Enos. I know the displays are quite expensive, but…

Leaving the area, ran across a couple of Harbor Police cars. One of the two:

harbor police car

Good to see them! Keep the shady characters away…

Maintenance with a Twist

Saturday was a quiet day. I like quiet days. I can think about things while doing stuff on the ship.

Based on the severity of the thunderstorm and accompanying rain that hit the island on the previous Sunday, I had expected that I would be lugging around a lot of full rain buckets. To my delight, I found that most of them were empty. (Another board member beat me to it.)

I did find a few with water in them. The one in the lazarette had the most:

water bucket

Before leaving the area, I took a self-portrait:

in the lazarette

Not sure why…I usually try to avoid cameras. Just amusing myself, I guess.

On deck, there were a few new things to deal with.

I found a rock on the starboard side near the ladder up to the poop deck. I don’t remember seeing it there before, so someone must have thrown it aboard recently. It wasn’t a very happy rock, as it had split into two pieces. The smaller piece was a few feet away.

rock on deck

The weed that was growing on the fo’c’sle head was bothering me, so I tried to remove it. It was too tough to pull out, so I just cut it. It will sprout up again, no doubt. The one in the fo’c’sle was easier to handle.

weeds from deck

Another day, a new set of measurements. Six points this time—three on each side of the ship.

While looking for good locations to take the measurements from, I noticed that the electrical cable supplying power to the ship, was getting a little chafed where it crossed the top of the bulwark. Note to self: Work on chafing gear if Paul approves.

The view from the fo’c’sle head is great. I saw a bunch of police cars and officers:


My first thought was that they were filming an episode of Hawaii Five-O (they’ve filmed in the area before), but they were the real deal. I don’t know what was going on.

After the police left, I was sitting on the anchor, minding my own business and contemplating life, when I saw a gentleman and a very young girl feeding fish. What’s wrong with that you ask? They were standing in a rather dangerous area between a set of the ship’s mooring lines and a metal barricade (visible in the photo above). There are barricades there for a reason.

I got a chance to use my hailing voice (ha!) and politely asked them not to stand there.

Here’s another view:

don't stand here

They were standing just to the left of the lines, at the edge of the concrete. It wasn’t a rough day, so the lines weren’t moving a whole lot. Still…

The rest of the day was uneventful.

Shonan Maru’s chafing gear and rat guards:

Shonan Maru chafing gear

Shonan Maru chafing gear bollard

Shonan Maru rat guards

Manoa turning in front of Aloha Tower:


Pump Repair – Part 2

Time to replace the impeller on the other pump.

pump patient

Having worked on its twin last Sunday, we thought that this one wouldn’t take so long. Not so. The old impeller was stuck…really stuck…on the shaft to the motor.

Maybe some heat will help?


The wood block method to knock it loose suggested by the manufacturer did not work. Or maybe we were just interpreting the vague instructions incorrectly?

Anyway…try again using old caulking tool?

try again


impeller off

It’s a relief to have both high volume pumps set up and working again:

pumps set up

Many, many thanks to Paul for his time!

One of our submersibles needs tending to. I guess I’ll tackle that myself next time.

Kagawa Maru chafing gear:

Kagawa Maru chafing gear

Long way from home:

long way from home

The sign of things to come:

sign of things to come


Aside from the opportunity to work on a one-of-a-kind, National Historic Landmark ship, there are some additional perks to slaving away on board FOC.

Big mahalo to Captain Ed Enos for giving the okay for one of the volunteers to ride out with him in the pilot boat yesterday morning. Also, thanks to Paul for being so gracious, as usual!

Early morning, with partial rainbow:

partial rainbow

Tug of the day…Pacific Challenger taking the fuel barge Ne‘ena over to Pride of America:

Pacific Challenger

Not the greatest photo (bad angle), but here’s Captain Enos getting ready to go aboard MELL Stamford:

Capt Enos from pilot boat

Need to work on my action shots!

Anyway, while I’m thinking about it, a short aside. Mariana Express Lines Ltd. (MELL) is based in Singapore. It makes sense for the company to have a ship named “Stamford.” Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles is considered the “Father of Singapore.”

MELL Stamford at sea:

MELL Stamford from Kawika

leaving MELL Stamford

A visit to Kewalo Basin before returning to Honolulu Harbor.

Tiger 9 and shipyard buildings:

Tiger 9 Kewalo

Treasure Seeker, the pirate-theme ship:

Treasure Seeker in Kewalo

Matson cranes:

Matson gantry pair

MELL Stamford in the harbor:

MELL Stamford in harbor

MELL Stamford port side

MELL Stamford at Pier 51

Rat guards:

MELL Stamford rat guards

Different view of one of the Horizon Lines cranes:

Horizon crane

Bridge to Sand Island:

bridge to Sand Island

Also in port is Pacific Tracker:

Pacific Tracker port side

Pacific Tracker stern

More of her later.

The fun of zipping about on board Kawika came to an end and it was back to Pier 7.

B&W study of a wooden boat on the pier:

wood study

Yes, it does rain at the harbor.

puddles on deck

Fortunately, the puddles evaporate quickly in the hot sun:

port side hot day

Part of the aft bulkhead of port tank #5 that was obscured by old wood shelving:

bulkhead exposed

Aftpeak…still scary, but stable:

scary but stable

Birds need to go elsewhere to s(h)it:

bird poo on rail

Kaiyu Maru at Pier 8:

Kaiyu Maru

Kaiyu Maru’s colorful chafing gear:

Kaiyu Maru chafing gear

Up on Aloha Tower for a different view.

Can’t see the bird poo at this distance:

FOC poop deck

Pacific Tracker again:

Pacific Tracker from Aloha Tower

Detail of aft dome:

Pacific Tracker ball detail

Rat guards and lots of line:

Pacific Tracker rat guards

Whale bus!

whale bus

Back to street level and more rat guards at Pacific Tracker’s bow:

Pacific Tracker rat guards 1

Alien face?

Pacific Tracker bow

Finally, something to add to my fish spotting list. A saddleback butterflyfish (with friends):

saddleback butterflyfish

Today’s Star of the Harbor…

…was ARC Gloria. Nice to see so many people interested in the ship.

But first, a bit about FOC. Maintenance as usual. Thought I’d have to pump some of the ballast water between tanks, but things hadn’t changed much from last week.

The trend of things appearing on the deck is growing slightly alarming. The seeds/nuts were harmless. Last week, there was a dead fish. This week there was a dead chick:

dead chick

Wonder what I’ll find next week?

B. Ace arriving:

B Ace

Fukushima Maru backing up to Pier 8:

Fukushima Maru

Fukushima Maru‘s chafing gear:

Fukushima Maru chafing gear

Back to Gloria. As I mentioned, a lot of people showed up to have a look at the ship.

I posted a photo of the ship the last time she was here, so I don’t want to repeat that.

Oh, all right. Here’s the obligatory rigging shot:

obligatory rigging shot

I was much more interested in details this time around.

Chafing gear. I like the use of the Columbian flag colors (repeated around the ship):

chafing gear

Figurehead detail:

Gloria figurehead

Turk’s heads on a boom:

turks heads boom

More turk’s heads protecting a rail:

turks heads

Slightly faded, but nice whipping:


I’m afraid that my coils of line on FOC are super boring, having examined the ones on Gloria.

fancy coils 4

fancy coils 1

fancy coils 2

fancy coils 3

Lots of bits to shine!

Mainstay ferrule:


Block with nice crest:

block detail


ladder detail

Plate on the fife rail with the name of a line:
cargadera mayor

Deck prism:

deck prism

Detail from port side of windlass:

detail port side of winch

Saved this one for last:

tarred seine twine

It made me smile. :)

The Barbarians Are Attacking!

I found some new, interesting things on the deck this morning during my visual inspection of the ship.

Paper darts:

paper darts

After a week of wind and rain, it was nice to see the sun again:

along the port side

Even with all the rain (runoff), the harbor water was amazingly clear:

clear and calm water

I thought the rain was going to keep me in my cabin:

various things on desk

But, I was happy to be able to do some varnishing and other work on deck.

Kagawa Maru was at Pier 8. I posted a pic of the ship’s chafing gear before, but here’s another one because it’s attractive:

Kagawa Maru chafing gear

The cloth cover on one of the fenders amused me:

Crayon Shin-chan fender cover

If you look carefully, you can see it’s Crayon Shin-chan and Shiro. :D

Celebrity Century’s rat guards:

Celebrity Century rat guards

Mikioi crew member throwing a line up to Capella:

line to Capella

Capella was fueling Celebrity Century.

Yesterday Gangway

As Sonangol Rangel was leaving, Hokuho Maru was arriving at Pier 9.

Hokuho Maru arriving Sonangol Rangel leaving

Pilot boat Kawika and Hokuho Maru:

Hokuho Maru and pilot boat

Lowering gangway:

Hokuho Maru lowering gangway

Chafing gear:

Hokuho Maru chafing gear

Rat guard:

Hokuho Maru rat guard

No weights to help hold it in place.

Satsumaseiun Maru was at Pier 8. Chafing gear:

Satsumaseiun Maru chafing gear

I arrived at FOC a little later than I usually do. The main task for the morning was to help move the old gangway aft, to make room for a new gangway. Unlike Hokuho Maru, we don’t have a boom on board, so it was all muscle power.

Looking down stepping from the ship to the gangway. Mind the Gap!


Thought I’d rope off the steps leading to the (now empty) gangway area…just in case.

just in case

Detail of the pier. A combination of different textures:

pier detail

“It’s Not Your Grandma’s Piano…”

Yesterday started off with a visit from the pilot boat. At first I thought it was Paul, but it wasn’t.

pilot boat by FOC

Paul did arrive at the ship a little bit later to do more work on the pump system:

more work on pump system

While the wood bits on the ship are not pieces of fine furniture, it’s easy to get obsessive about sanding and varnishing. I’m not an expert, but I try to do the best I can within reason.

More sanding:


Before and after sanding and cleaning:

before and after

Yes, the deck itself is in poor condition, but there’s not much I can do about that.

View aft:

view aft

Unfortunately, the shipping schedule wasn’t posted, so I was caught off guard by Horizon Pacific:

Horizon Pacific passing by

I dashed off the ship and on to the pier to get some pics.

Mikioi at the stern:


Leaving the harbor:

Horizon Pacific

Umesato at Pier 8:


After leaving FOC for the day, I went to have a closer look to see if Umesato had any things I could add to my collection (idea source) of rat guard and chafing gear photos.

Strong, but ugly plastic chafing gear:

Umesato chafing gear

Worn line and worn mat:

Umesato mat and worn line

Rat guard:

Umesato rat guard

More chafing gear:

Umesato hull chafing gear

(Sun) Settsu: