Holiday Ship Spotting

While other people were at the beach or the park for the 4th of July holiday, I was at the harbor. Yeah, ship nerd with no life. :P

It’s a good thing that I checked the schedule when I woke up, as things had changed. I would have been very sad had I arrived at the harbor at the time I had originally planned to.

I made it just in time to catch Horizon Reliance (a rare daytime opportunity):

Horizon Reliance

Mamo at the bow:

Mamo Horizon Reliance

Mikioi at the stern:

Mikioi Horizon Reliance

Leaving the harbor:

Horizon Reliance heading out

Not the best photo of Clipper Skagen, but I like the view of the Wai‘anae range in the background:

Clipper Skagen

USCGC Rush dressed for the holiday:

USCGC Rush dressed

A trio (parents and youngster?) of fairy terns soaring gracefully over the water:

trio of terns

Mamo and Mikioi heading out to the next job (tanker Morning Haruka in the distance):

next job

Morning Haruka at the Horizon terminal:

Morning Haruka

Stern lines:

Morning Haruka mooring lines

Longshoremen taking care of things on the pier:


Attempting to set up the rat guards:

Morning Haruka rat guard fail

It was rather gusty so he couldn’t get them in place on the lines. He ended up just leaving them hanging loose.

Mikioi again:


And Mamo:


Captain Al Dorflinger boarding the pilot boat:

Captain Dorflinger



On to another tanker, Jag Lalit:

Jag Lalit offshore

Approaching the anchorage (D):

Jag Lalit bow view

Anchor lowered:

Jag Lalit anchor lowered

Different view of the bow:

Jag Lalit bow

Captain Sinclair Brown disembarking:

Captain Brown

A hearty thanks to all the mariners working during the holiday.

Mahalo to Paul and Captains Dorflinger and Brown.

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.

More Ship Spotting

More time on the pilot boat!

On the way out of the harbor, the Coast Guard working on a buoy:

Coast Guard working on buoy

Captain Ed Enos getting ready to go aboard Coral Bay:

Capt Enos Coral Bay





Mega yacht Vava II

Vava II

(Just a small fraction of what it cost to build this yacht would be nice to help FOC.)

Jean Anne

Jean Anne

Coral Bay at the pier:

Coral Bay

Coral Bay rat guards:

Coral Bay rat guards

Hachinohe Maru, a wood chip ship:

Hachinohe Maru

Thanks to Captain Ed Enos!

Another Saturday at the Harbor

I bought more baubles for the ship:

more baubles

I found something new on the deck. A maraschino cherry + ants!

maraschino cherry

(No, it wasn’t from our party.)

The Coast Guard folks were doing some sort of drill:

Coast Guard boats

Some of the additional baubles on the poop deck rail.

baubles poop deck rail

(Yeah, the varnish needs work.)

Having nearly slipped down the gangway on a couple of occasions, I was happy to help put on the non-skid material:

non skid

At the end of the pier, a beautiful electric blue…something. Omilu, I think?

mystery fish poss omilu

Spot the crocodile needlefish:

crocodile needlefish

Anole peeking out from a capstan on the pier:

Anole in capstan

Structure at Pier 19…home of the whale buses:

pier 19 home of whale bus

I asked if I could tag along with Paul on the pilot boat.

Here’s Paul on board Honolulu:

Paul pilot boat

Passing by USCGC Polar Star, an icebreaker:

USCGC Polar Star

I’ve been testing out the fancy phone camera. It’s certainly handy, but the image quality can’t quite compare with the old Nikon.



Celebrity Century leaving:

Celebrity Century


alongside Celebrity Century

Preparing the pilot ladder:

pilot ladder ready

Pau for the evening:

Paul with Honolulu

Mahalo to Paul, Captain Barry Solywoda, and Captain Lenny Stenback.

Brief Visit

I spent about an hour at the harbor this morning doing a bit of ship spotting.

Kawika zipping by after taking the pilot out to the Chinese research vessel Hai Yang Liu Hao:


Hai Yang Liu Hao arriving in the harbor with a rainbow:

Hai Yang Liu Hao

Also arriving was USCGC Sequoia:


The deck crane says “Black Pearl of the Pacific.” Wonder if the other two buoy tenders (Walnut and Kukui) have words on their cranes as well?

Not a ship, but fun. Green whale bus!

green whale bus

Sunday Adventure

Another pleasant afternoon off the south coast of O‘ahu.

In previous posts, I touched on my fondness for looking at things from different perspectives. This post continues on with that.

Hello R.J. Pfeiffer!

RJ Pfeiffer

I’ve seen the Pfeiffer in the harbor (and had the honor of piping for her, oh, what seems like a lifetime ago), but it’s pretty cool to see her out at sea.

There goes Kawika after taking the pilot out to the ship:


Heading into the harbor:

RJ Pfeiffer heading in

The USCGC Kittiwake was speeding along but slowed down…


Uh oh. For a few moments, we wondered if we had violated some maritime rule we didn’t know about. Glad to see the ship go on her way into the harbor. We headed off toward Diamond Head.

Mystery bird:

what bird

And it’s actually in focus! Too bad it was so far away and heading away from the boat, so no ID.

All good things must come to an end and it was time to return to the Ala Wai.

A little while back, my friend went on a trip. When she returned, she found she was playing host to a new family: Unexpected Guests

The youngsters came back to visit:

the youngsters linger

Level horizons courtesy of Photoshop.

Back to the Old Grind

Yesterday started with my usual walk around the ship to make sure all is well.

No dead things, but the birds are still bringing their snacks aboard:

more bird gifts

Close up of collection:

bird gift collection detal

The morning was a perfect one for work on deck. Overcast, but no rain, and a nice cool breeze.

Back to sanding and varnishing on the fo’c’sle head:


Taking a break:

from the fo'c'sle head

Happy corals and yellow tangs.

Weed growing by the port cathead:


First coat of varnish much later in the day:

more varnish

Shame the rest of the deck is in such poor shape. :(

One of our volunteers has done a superb job creating order out of chaos in the tool room and area behind the “cage”:

tool room

tween deck

It’s so much better than what it was and I’m very happy!

Kaye, we found your name tag:

Kaye name tag

An imperfect view of the outside world:

porthole glass damage

Speaking of the outside world, life in Honolulu Harbor goes on.

Double vision:

double vision

Mana‘o going to pick up some people:


And heading out, passing Horizon Pacific:

heading out

In the background to the left is Manoa, which arrived a short time later:

Manoa arriving

Looks like someone messed with one of Kulamanu’s lines:

line in water



Challenge Premier leaving:

Challenge Pioneer

A group of pics of Horizon Pacific as she was leaving Pier 1 and turning around to head to Pier 51:

Horizon Pacific and tugs

Horizon Pacific turning


Horizon Lines

Sun setting behind the Wai‘anae range. Time to go home!


Melancholy Reflections

When I arrived at the pier this morning, some old graphic panels in the maritime museum had been moved and were visible through the glass panes facing the ship. Seeing them made me sad. Aside from the Falls and a few displays in Aloha Tower, what (or who) remains to tell the stories of an important part of Hawai‘i’s maritime history?


I spent some time in the aftpeak with the student who is working on the photography project. It was soothing to hear the sound of the moving water on the other side of the hull (we were below the waterline) and the old girl “talking” as she rocked gently. The visual aspect, was another story. While fascinating in its own way, it is quite sobering.


On a lighter note, the birds continue to leave gifts on the deck. A new type of nut/seed:

mystery nuts

Can anyone ID?

Lunchtime for the Coast Guard folks on duty:


Detail of a part of a barge:

barge detail

Holiday Ship Spotting

Rather than spending my holiday sitting at home in front of the computer, I returned to the harbor.

The Coast Guard ships were looking very sharp, dressed with flags. Here’s USCGC Rush:

USCGC Rush with flags

The usual barge traffic. Some boats on Ho‘omaka Hou:

boats by boat



“O STAR” no more! The painters were busy painting on the rest of the letters (a bit crooked) in her name:

O Star no More

Tosakaien Maru rat guard:

Tosakaien Maru rat guard

Despite the blustery wind, it was a nice day, so I decided to go walking. Instead of one of my usual routes toward ‘Ewa, I went to Kaka‘ako Waterfront Park.

A different view of Mindoro Star. The painters were definitey busy:

Mindoro Star

Some kids were jumping into a fenced off drainage canal. Not a good idea. Who knows where the run-off is coming from!

drainage canal

Cranes left at the Ehime Maru memorial:

cranes at Ehime Maru memorial

After basking for a while in the sun on top of one of the hills, I continued on to Kewalo Basin.

Did I mention it was (and still is) windy?


I was sad to discover that Kula Kai was gone. I looked around, but didn’t see her anywhere.

Her berth, next to the modern sampan Nisei, is now occupied by Betty H:

No Kula Kai

I hadn’t heard any news of her removal. A quick Google doesn’t turn up anything. She was in very poor shape, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they finally got rid of her.

Another vessel in sad shape is Vida Mia:

Vida Mia in sad shape

She needs a lot of TLC and varnish!

Here’s some info on her from WoodenBoat magazine’s website: Vida Mia