Weekend? What Weekend?

As I mentioned in the previous post, work’s been keeping me busy. I ended up going to the office this past Saturday. That’s the first time in a long time that I didn’t make it down to the ship. :(

Thanks to a friend, I did get over to Pier 38 to pick up late lunch/early dinner and snap a ship photo.

Gulf Jumeirah:

Gulf Jumeirah

I made up for Saturday on Sunday.

There was activity on the pier (surprise!), as an underwater survey was carried out. I helped a wee bit at the start by providing some line from the ship, then retreated to the tween deck to work with Paul. He took care of the suction line to the aftpeak. I felt bad for not being very useful.

The ship was listing a fraction of a degree to starboard, so we ran the pumps until she was back on an even keel.

Short Video of Pumps

It’s quite satisfying to hear them working smoothly. There didn’t seem to be much hope for them a couple of years ago:

sad pump

pumps need work

I’ve been tasked with getting samples of the hull (wrought iron). Hm. Wasn’t sure where to even begin going about it! After talking to a few people and with timely help from Paul, I now have a sample from a hull plate and a frame to send off for analysis.

hull sample

I’m still frustrated by what’s going on, but I’ll do what I can for the ship.

“I get by with a little help from my friends…”

Lovely End to a Long, Unhappy Week

The past week was another unhappy, long, and stressful one. Still unhappy for the same reasons. I’m not sure what to do, if anything, about it all. Walking away from a tough situation is not in my character, but it’s so damn tempting.

Yesterday wasn’t a typical Saturday. I arrived at the ship at my usual time. However, I didn’t stay very long as I had made a last-minute appointment to see a doctor for something that was bugging me.

Near the ship, a trumpet fish was floating head down, trying to be stealthy:


Maybe hiding amongst some debris will help?

spot the trumpetfish

A young crocodile needlefish was having better luck at looking stick-like;

pretending to be a stick

A good-sized omilu (wrasse for scale) visiting the cleaning station at the end of the pier:

omilu with cleaner wrasse

I managed to get some shots of MTM Antwerp arriving before I had to dash off for my appointment:

MTM Antwerp

Since it was such a nice day, I decided to return to the harbor area. I walked from Aloha Tower to Pier 38.

Malolo flying:

flying malolo

I picked up some tarred seine twine at POP:


Mmmm…poke bowl from Nico’s for lunch:

POP purchase and lunch

I have to admit, it was a nice change of scenery.

It seems the fish are making a comeback from the molasses spill. Here’s a juvenile sailfin tang:

juvenile sailfin tang

I also saw a large crocodile needlefish, two barracudas, and a nice school of something…could have been aholehole.

A couple of ‘a‘ama were facing off on the rocks:

‘a‘ama crab conflict

(The one on the right won.)

I was there in time for another ship-spotting opportunity. Symi was shifting from Matson’s pier to Horizon’s.

Symi moving from Matson to Horizon pier

Needed three tugs (Pi‘ilani, Mamo, and Mikioi – not in photo above), due to engine trouble, I understand.

So close and yet so far…

so close and yet so far

Honolulu approaching the pier.


I wasn’t expecting a ride, but was offered one. Gladly accepted!

YB barge Kala‘enalu:

YB barge Kala‘enalu

Fishing boat Princess Jasmine at sea:

Princess Jasmine at sea

Captain Lenny Stenback and Maui:

Capt Stenback Maui

Back in the harbor and trailing behind another YB barge, Ha‘aheo:

following Ha‘aheo

Nothing like a nice day in pleasant company to raise one’s spirits!


Mahalo to Captains Sinclair Brown, Lenny Stenback, and Paul!

Unhappy Week

Yeah. It was bad.

I really considered whether things are still worth the frustration and bad feelings. Up to now, I’ve always said “yes” without hesitation. Now, I’m not so sure.

One thing that came out if it, was a clear indication and understanding of where I stand. It’s not in a good place. I don’t like it. However, there is nothing I can do about it. I can’t change people. I can only change myself and the way I think.

I take comfort in the support of friends and those who know and understand old ships (you know who you are). That support is precious and I thank you. It’s kept me from walking away.

Anyway…enough doom and gloom.

A mishmash of things today.

Another rivet bit to add to the collection:

another rivet part

It’s not a recent occurrence, as it was in a pile of debris. (Wow, odd angle, my hand looks stunted.)

The frame where it probably popped off from:


NEWS! It’s noted on the Friends of Falls of Clyde website, so I can finally say something here. Dry dock is happening soon. Yes. That’s the plan anyway. Nothing is firm yet.

With that in mind, there are things to do.

One of my projects is seeing that the pumping system is in order and completed. It works as it is now, but we still need to extend the line to the two #1 tanks and the pump room.

I took an inventory of what we have on hand:

PVC inventory

Paul arrived at the ship and said something that made me laugh. Laughs have been in short supply lately, so that was quite nice. Discussion, a walk through the ship, and he was on his way.

I finished the small project that I was working on, which was to replace the stretched-out bungee/”Posted – No Trespassing” sign combo:

old and new no trespassing signs

Purely cosmetic, but I do take pride in making the ship as presentable as possible given the circumstances.

no trespassing

I actually nodded off for a bit in my chair on the ship. After that, I didn’t feel like doing anything else. Time to go.

Mokihana was leaving, so I went to the end of the pier to watch.

Saw something curious stuck to the wall (next to a nice healthy wana):

nudibranch eggs

A bit of Googling…Nudibranch eggs? That would be cool. I like nudibranchs.


fairy tern

Grace and steel:

grace and steel

For a change, I decided to head over to Kaka‘ako Waterfront Park.

Lots of ‘a‘ama, popular rock:

popular rock

Olivine basalt:

lots of olivine

A marbled blenny, I think?

marbled blenny

I like blennies too.

A series of photos from a different perspective (see Making a Day of It for the view from the pilot boat)…

Mokihana in the distance, on the way to California:

Mokihana in the distance

Honolulu headed out to Maui:


Maui in the distance:

Maui in the distance

Maui in the Honolulu Harbor channel:


Maui in the harbor:

Maui different angle

Tug of the day, Noho Loa:

Noho Loa


“On a sailing ship to nowhere, leaving any place.
If the summer change to winter, yours is no disgrace.”

Catching Up

I’ve been busy, so I’ve fallen behind again!

Last Wednesday, I had lunch by the ship. The gangway was screeching horribly. Again. I did what I could with the WD-40. I got a suggestion regarding a new material to try, so I passed that on to the board member in charge of fixing the problem.

Saturday was relatively uneventful. The main concern was the high winds predicted for the weekend. I made sure that everything on the weather deck was secure in addition to my usual tasks.

I found a rivet head in the lazarette:

rivet head

One more to add to my collection, unfortunately.

Here is where it came from (dark spot on angle iron):

former location of rivet head

After I left the ship, I accompanied a friend to Kane‘ohe to secure her boat:

checking on boat


You can’t tell by looking at the photo, but it was gusty.

It wasn’t really windy at my house overnight, which was a surprise. However, it was still quite windy at the harbor on Sunday.

I had intended to do a bit of ship spotting, check on the Falls, and drop some stuff off at the pilots’ office. Ha! It turned from just a morning to an all-day outing, as I ran into Paul, who was at work on the pilot boat.

Phoenix Alpha, the photographic target:

Phoenix Alpha at Pier 2

Phoenix Alpha crew dealing with the mooring lines:

Phoenix Alpha crew

When we got back to Pier 19, Paul noticed that one of the mooring lines securing the ex-Superferry barge, Kupa‘a, had failed. The line was in pretty poor shape and had chafed against the hull of the barge. Hm.

Out to R.J. Pfeiffer. Captain Al Dorflinger climbing aboard:

Capt Dorflinger RJ Pfeiffer

Back at Pier 19 again, we saw that more of the lines holding the barge had failed and it was starting to swing away from the pier. Scary!


Paul reported the situation, but it took a while for someone to show up. In the meantime, he attended to things before the situation got worse:

Paul securing barge

Mikioi headed over to Phoenix Alpha:


R.J. Pfeiffer and Manoa:

RJ Pfeiffer and Manoa

Kwai loading cargo, getting ready to leave:

Kwai loaded with cargo

R.J. Pfeiffer detail (I like the colors in this shot):

RJ Pfeiffer detail

Phoenix Alpha heading out of the harbor:

Phoenix Alpha leaving

Captain Tom Collins leaving Phoenix Alpha:

Capt Collins

So hard to get decent night action shots without using a flash!

Screenshot from MarineTraffic of the pilot boat’s track for the day:

Pilot boat track

Mahalo to Captains Tom Collins and Al Dorflinger. Special thanks to Paul, as usual, for the longer-than-expected, but fun day.

Sunday in the Park

There’s a small public park by Piers 5 and 6. I chose it as the location for my Sunday ship spotting.

I had some time to kill due to a change in the shipping schedule, so I stopped by FOC first. I did a little bit of maintenance and picked up some spare line for a small project:

line for small project

New project:

small project

No, I’m not doing anything to the silly gangway…just fixing the sign on the platform.

First ship of the day, Marguerite Ace:

Marguerite Ace

frame 133 and tug

Marguerite Ace crew

I wasn’t going to stick around for the arrival of Overseas Anacortes (already have pics of her), but I found enough things to amuse me and it was a nice day.

They fixed one range marker. I think it’s time to attend to the other one on Pier 7:

range marker Pier 7

A lot of sea grapes means more bird gifts on FOC:

sea grapes

Speaking of birds, here’s a cute zebra dove couple preening:

cute dove couple

Another zebra dove with a twig:

dove with twig



Copies of this notice were attached to a couple of the trees by Pier 5:

don't feed the seals

It would be pretty cool to see a monk seal by FOC.

On the on the other side of the same coconut tree, a bunch of trophies:


The elongated skull at the top is interesting. It looks like it’s from a large trumpetfish.

Busy tugs (Nokea, Mary Catherine, Kokua):


Mary Catherine


Mikioi with Overseas Anacortes passing by:

Mikioi with Overseas Anacortes

Overseas Anacortes turning:

Overseas Anacortes

Before I left the harbor, I went to Pier 11 to have another look at Polar Star.

Rat guard!

Polar Star rat guard

Rainy Days and…Saturdays

Hanging around…but not frowning.

A quick look around the ship before heading to Pier 9 to get pics of USCGC Polar Star:

USCGC Polar Star

Earlier in the year, the icebreaker was asked to aid in operations to free the ice-bound ships Akademik Shokalskiy and Xue Long before conditions improved and they managed to free themselves.

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star stands down from Antarctic rescue

Satsumaseiun Maru crew looking on:

Satsumaseiun Maru crew looking on

Mikioi assisting:

Mikioi at bow Polar Star

Back on the ship, I spent part of the time tidying up the fo’c’sle.

There was dirt and debris from the fo’c’sle head plywood project that hadn’t been cleaned up. :(

fo'c'sle dirt

Like the muck in the waterways, it was bothering me.

Soooo…I took care of it:

fo'c'sle cleaned 1

fo'c'sle cleaned 2

As usual, there was the temptation to have a closer look at things in the area.

One of the port hawseholes:

port hawsehole

Got some different views of things by sticking my fancy phone out through the hawsehole.

Bottom edge of trailboard with the part of the “D” and the “E” in “Clyde”:


Part of the hull and the towing cable:

hull and towing cable

Draft marks:

hull draft marks

After measuring the ullages, I was ready to go, but it started raining. I decided to stay on the pier and wait until the rain abated a bit.

Mokihana was turning off of Pier 7.

Rain water pouring from a scupper:

water from scupper

(The pic looks grainy because of the rain.)

Mokihana’s stern looking rather ghostly as she headed out of the harbor, and a fishing boat, less so:

ghostly Mokihana and fishing boat

The rain eventually stopped and it was time to go.

Unquiet Lunch

I went down to the pier to have lunch (spicy ahi and ikura – yum). It was a fine day except for the horrible sound the gangway was making. :( It was doing the “dying elephant” again. I took care of it, grudgingly.

I stayed to watch Maunawili leave:


She was a bit behind schedule and it looked like containers were being loaded on to the ship up to the last minute.

The Navatek seemed to be listing to starboard:

Navatek list

I was pleased to see a wandering tattler looking for a snack at the end of the pier:

wandering tattler 1

There is a good-sized ‘opihi on the wall at the upper left.

wandering tattler 2

The “peeling” range marker has been fixed:

range marker fixed

Maybe one day, the gangway will be fixed. :P


Rain. :(

Although it was already 0800, it was dark enough for the Aloha Tower lights to remain on:

what happened to the sun

I took advantage of the water on deck and did a bit of…er…swabbing. ;) I also did the usual rainy day drill of checking and moving buckets around.

A bit of news early in the week disturbed me. I still feel uneasy about it, but there’s nothing I can do…except spend time with the ship.

Yes, I talk to the ship and to those who have gone before. My non-ship friends will think it’s crazy, but those of you who love and care about old ships will understand.


Shifting a pile of dirt and rust in the lazarette, I found these old-style square nuts (nod of thanks to my FB friends):

square nuts

Better lighting from hatch:

square nuts better lighting

One of the things I love about working on the ship is that I am always learning new things. I never really noticed the square nuts before, but there are a lot of them.

In situ on a frame:

nut on frame FOC

Just for the heck of it, I took a look at some of my pics from Balclutha. What do you know…

nuts on frame Balclutha

For attaching the cargo battens, I assume?

Looking up at the deckhead:

more square nuts FOC

And on Balclutha for comparison (with lovely COATS mark):

more square nuts Balclutha

Frames on the starboard side:

starboard frames

Planking cut away near the aft bulkhead of starboard tank #5:

tween deck planks cut

Ends of planking:

ends of planks

Moving forward, just aft of the mizzen mast:

where pumps used to be

I’d seen these holes before, of course. However, the lightbulb went on this time.

Were the pumps located on the weather deck above, before the ship was converted into a tanker?

Again, going to a photo taken on board Balclutha:

Balclutha pumps

Something that may be unique to FOC, one of the pipes leading to the mizzen mast:

pipe into mizzen mast

Forward to the main mast and its spigot:

spigot in main mast

Quite odd.

Looking aft along the tween deck, with the main mast at left and a water tank at right:

looking aft

The deck under the water tank is really dodgy. There are holes, through which you can see into port tank #2:

port tank #2

Our lovely ballast water…sediments stirred up a bit.

Forward to the boiler room.

Rivet detail from another water tank:

water tank rivets

A peek into the Scotch boiler:

boiler interior

As the day went on, the weather improved.

On the weather deck, I took this photo of what was left of one of the yard arms that had been sawed off:

yard arm

Okay, back to the world outside…

Lost hardhat floating by:

lost hardhat

Hachinohe Maru, the wood chip ship, still at Pier 1:

Hachinohe Maru

By coincidence, the home port of Aomori Maru, the Japanese ship that was at Pier 8, is Hachinohe.

Aomori Maru

I was surprised to see a red pencil urchin in the water at the end of the pier:

red pencil urchin

New Sailing Star, winner of the unique ship name of the day contest, was leaving the harbor:

New Sailing Star

New Sailing Star leaving

The Navatek got stuck behind New Sailing Star:

Navatek behind New Sailing Star

It was like watching a sporty car following a slow moving truck.

heading out

This made me laugh:

anole on skull

I guess the silly skull thing is good for something after all.

My usual stroll around Aloha Tower…

Aomori Maru chafing gear:

Aomori Maru chafing gear

Not unexpected, but still a bummer…the sundry store is gone:

sundry store gone

Falkor at Pier 11:


American Contender detail:

American Contender detail