Very Fortunate

As I’ve noted in previous posts, I consider myself quite fortunate that I’ve been able to get a glimpse of a world most people don’t give much (or any) thought to. It is my sincere hope that Hawai‘i residents who stumble upon this blog gain a little bit of insight into what goes on at the waterfront and more appreciation of the men and women who work there.

Along the starboard side of outbound (from Honolulu Harbor) Horizon Spirit. View from the pilot boat on the way to pick up the pilot, Captain Tom Collins, who is on board the ship:

alongside Horizon Spirit

The pilots have the important task of guiding ships into, within, and out of the commercial harbors in Hawai‘i.

Captain Collins disembarking from Horizon Spirit:

Capt Collins Horizon Spirit

Horizon Spirit headed off to California:

Horizon Spirit bow

From Horizon Spirit it was straight to an offshore anchorage job.

Captain Collins going aboard the tanker Future Prosperity:

Capt Collins Future Prosperity

Hull detail. From left to right: load line marks (old and new), Plimsoll lines (old and new), draft marks.

Future Prosperity draft marks Plimsoll

Future Prosperity approaching the anchorage:

Future Prosperity anchorage

Later on, it was out to meet inbound MELL Sudong.

Unfortunately, some photos don’t turn out the way you want them to.

Captain Tom Heberle preparing to go aboard as seen through spray on the window of the pilot boat:

ship through spray on window

I didn’t like this shot at first, but it’s growing on me.

Back in the harbor, a brief peek at FOC. Very grainy. The street lights reflected in the spray make the scene seem a little magical:

golden lights

The illuminated square on the main mast is video being projected on to a sail. Movie night on the ship.

MELL Sudong safely moored at Pier 51:

Mell Sudong

View along the pier, waiting for Captain Heberle:

view along the pier

That was it for the evening for me. But work in the harbor continued on…

Mahalo to Captains Tom Heberle and Tom Collins. Special thanks to Paul. A pleasure, as always, gentlemen.

Pre-Party Ship Spotting

Friday was FOC’s 136th “birthday.” Before heading over to the party at the pier, I did some ship spotting.

Nakue towing containment boom:

Nakue and boom

The “resident” (I assume) female ‘iwa flying low over the water to snap up a morsel:

iwa low over water

Tug and barge traffic:


Prominent Ace arriving:

Prominent Ace arriving


Prominent Ace detail

Keoki passing by:

Keoki passing Prominent Ace

As for FOC, I was sad to see that there was no ship lei… At least she had some decorations at the bow courtesy of the ship fairy.

Honolulu Harbor – Then and Now

Honolulu Harbor, ca. 1880 (Hawaii State Archives Digital Collections)

Honolulu Harbor old

Honolulu Harbor, 29 November 2014 from Mokihana

Honolulu Harbor today

ETA: Photo is best match to what I have on hand. A better/more correct angle and distance would be from somewhere on Sand Island.

Away From Land

My land-based existence proved to be a bit of a downer this past Saturday. It wasn’t the best way to end a busy week.

As usual, I sought solace at the harbor.

I left the house early (still dark) Sunday morning because a ship I wanted to see was supposed to leave at 0700.

“Here comes the sun, and I say it’s all right…”


Fresh air, calm sea, clear sky, quiet pier. How can one not feel at peace?

peaceful harbor

I even had a little friend to keep me company for a little while!


0700 came and went. No Seiyo Pioneer. Hm.

That’s okay. There was the tanker Hai Soon 39:

Hai Soon 39

Since it was such a nice day and I wasn’t ready to head home, I went to Kewalo Basin.

I was sad to see that the old Fisherman’s Wharf restaurant had been reduced to a few piles of rubble:

Fisherman's Wharf rubble

I guess it was really showing its age, but still…

I still didn’t want to go home, so I asked if I could ride along on the pilot boat for the afternoon Matson job (Manoa arrival).

Needs a bit of rust-busting:

needs some paint

This trip was a bit special as Manoa was sporting a Christmas tree!

Manoa with Christmas tree

(Yes, she was carrying a shipment of trees.)

A closer look at the tree:


Mikioi at the bow:




Turning the ship:

Manoa stern

I got to see Seiyo Pioneer after all:

Seiyo Pioneer

Pi‘ilani at the stern with the crew on the ship waiting to lower the line:

Pi‘ilani and Seiyo Pioneer

Leaving the harbor behind:

Seiyo Pioneer hull looking back

Pilot ladder set up on the port side, taken from pilot boat Kawika with Captain Fikes Mauia at the wheel:

view from Kawaika

Mahalo to Captains Tom Heberle and Al Dorflinger. Special thanks to Captain Mauia for making the good shots possible and for the interesting conversation.

A side note—Captain Mauia also rescued this shearwater that he saw in the water in the harbor. It was unable to get airborne.


Good job!

ETA: Please see the graphic below from the Hawai‘i Wildlife Center for information about how you can help save downed seabirds.

Carrying On

I’m slowly coming to terms with a decision that I recently made. (More about that in a future post.) Bottom line, life goes on.

Saturday started off with a bit of ship spotting.

Research vessel Sikuliaq, arriving:


And having to move out of the way along with Satsumaseiun Maru:

moving out of the way

Due to the late departure of Mokihana:




I went over to the ship to meet with a potential volunteer.

Stayed at the harbor to have a chat with a friend, then went out for a ride.

Maui inbound at twilight:

Maui inbound

It’s a different world at night:

night view

Waiting for Pilot 16:

waiting for pilot 16

Honolulu, back at the pier:

Honolulu goodnight

All’s well. Goodnight!

Mahalo to Captain Ed Enos and Paul.

Cuauhtémoc Arrival – Honolulu Harbor

Monday was grand!

I took the day off from work to catch the arrival of the Mexican navy’s sail training ship, Cuauhtémoc. I was very fortunate to be allowed to do this from Foss’ Mikioi, the tug scheduled to assist the ship.

Although it was still hot, humid, and hazy, it was lovely and calm out on the water.

Heading out, we were escorted by a pod of spinner dolphins:

spinner dolphins

I will never get tired of seeing a sailing ship at sea. They are things of beauty.

Some views of Cuauhtémoc offshore:

Cuauhtémoc offshore

Cuauhtémoc stern

Cuauhtémoc approaching harbor

Passing the sea buoy, with Diamond Head in the distance:

Cuauhtémoc passing sea buoy

As the ship neared the harbor, the crew went aloft to man the yards:

climbing aloft

Entering the harbor:

Cuauhtémoc entering the harbor

Yards manned:

Cuauhtémoc manning the yards

top of the main mast

tip of bowsprit

Captain Ed Enos was the pilot:

Captain Enos and officers

There was some confusion as to the time the ship was supposed to arrive at the pier, so we had to kill a bit of time in the harbor.

As a result, the crews of the Shin Oita Maru and Miyagi Maru at Pier 9 and the visitors on board the cruise ship Oosterdam, got a good look at the ship:

Oosterdam and Shin Oita Maru

I got in some ship spotting.

Oosterdam at Pier 10:


High Endurance heading out:

High Endurance

Tug Pi‘ilani and pilot boat Kawika:

Kawika and Piilani

Crew members hauling the line from Mikioi aboard the ship:

hauling line aboard

Captain Kea Makekau carefully maneuvering Mikioi, per instructions from Captain Enos, to gently push the ship alongside Pier 8:

Capt Kea Makekau Mikioi wheelhouse

We returned to Pier 21. I was happy to get a peek at Mikioi‘s engine room before going ashore. :D

After saying goodbye to new friends, I walked over to Aloha Tower.

Oosterdam‘s rat guards and bulbous bow:

Oosterdam rat guards

Oosterdam bulbous bow

Cuauhtémoc‘s crew attending to the figurehead (of Cuauhtémoc), part of preparing the ship to receive visitors:

attending to figurehead

One of Cuauhtémoc‘s rat guards:

Cuauhtémoc rat guard

Finally, I went over to Pier 7 to have a brief look at my ship. Poor girl. Forlorn…

Mahalo to Rick Wilson and Captain Whit Olson of Foss Maritime/Young Brothers. Also, thanks to Captain Ed Enos. Special thanks to Captain Kea Makekau, who made the photos possible!

Still Humid

I will be glad when the unpleasant conditions go away. At least it was slightly cooler today, since it was cloudy.

I mustered up enough energy to sweep the fo’c’sle (in addition to the usual weekly tasks). It’s amazing how much dirt and miscellaneous debris ends up in there.

After leaving the ship, I decided to get some exercise and walked over to Pier 38.

Tanker High Endurance:

High Endurance

It was odd to see the end of the pier looking a bit…empty.

looks a bit empty

A notice taped to a storage container provided an explanation:

pier out of service

Looking forward to the arrival of the Mexican Navy sail training ship, Cuauhtémoc, on Monday morning!