The End?

The dreaded day has finally come. DOT Harbors has revoked the permit allowing Falls of Clyde to remain at Pier 7.

While this action taken by Harbors is no surprise, it’s still painful to think about. It’s the nail in a coffin built by arrogance and ignorance.

There’s not much I can say that I haven’t already said over the past couple of years.

Old friend, you certainly deserve better. You have been lucky all these years, but it seems your luck has finally run out.

Thirty days.


Oh, long I stood gazing there, sad to be told
How all men neglected her, now she grew old;
And my heart just to see her with pity was sore
For her, once so lovely, now lovely no more.

I marked the thick grime on her main-deck forlorn,
I marked the poor masts of her, woeful and shorn;
And all of my thought was that sure it was shame
To see such an end of that clipper of fame.

Moshulu (1904)!

Moshulu starbd side

One reason for visiting Philly was to have a look at another one of the five remaining Clydebuilt sailing ships, Moshulu (ex-Kurt).

For an account of her re-rigging, check out Jamie White’s site: TheSquareRigger.

It’s strange to see her repurposed as a restaurant, but it’s good to see her nonetheless.

As a designer and traditionalist, I’m not crazy about the font (University) they’ve chosen for her name:

Moshulu fo'c'slehead

Moshulu blue side

What I found really odd was how the ship was painted. Her starboard side (facing the river) was painted in traditional style. Her port side (facing the pier) was painted blue. Very weird.

Windows cut in the hull:

windows cut in hull

What’s wrong with this picture?

should be red

Looks like frames marked for some sort of survey?

Moshulu frames marked

Freeing port:

freeing port

Always looking for practical ideas when checking out historic ships.

Here, this spout keeps the water from a scupper from running down the side of the hull and leaving those ugly streaks:

spout at scupper

It’s attached with c-clamps, I’m guessing for ease of maintenance/replacement.


Moshulu rudder

Moshulu stern

stern view

Since it was dinner time and I wanted to have a look around, I decided to have a meal on board.

If you’re familiar with these types of ships, there are enough details that it is fairly easy to imagine what this tween deck area (facing aft) used to look like:

Moshulu interior

Don’t normally do food pics, but here’s my fancy dessert:

my fancy dessert

(Hey, I’m on vacation…I can splurge right?)

After I had finished eating, I asked the maitre d’ if it was all right to look around.

Emerging on deck, looking aft at a hatch:


Ladder up to the midships deck:

midships deck and charthouse

I went forward to the bow.

Up on the fo’c’sle head:

fo'c'sle head

Note the deck crane, rather than the old catheads, to help raise and secure the anchor on deck. (Same thing on Peking.)

lighthouse detail

A peek into the fo’c’sle. The windlass looks nice.

windlass in fo'c'sle

Ship’s bell. And…oops. What’s wrong with this picture?

bell and proofreading needed

For the ship geeks who look for such things, here’s the manufacturer’s stamp (Lanarkshire Steel Co Lt Scotland) on a beam:

manufacturers stamp

Hatch just aft of the fo’c’sle:

line on hatch

Looking aft along the deck:

along the deck from just fwd of foremast

Bulwark stays (different style from those on FOC) and rail:

bulwark stays and rail

Freeing port:

freeing port inboard

Mr. ‘I‘iwi perched on the rail:

Mr ‘I‘iwi on the rail

Looking up at the rig from the foremast:

looking aft at the rig

Back up on the midships deck:

midships deck

Mainmast shrouds, detail (seizing, eye, thimble, bottlescrew):

seizing thimble bottlescrew

Small bitts on top of bulwark:


Ship’s wheel (in need of some repair) just forward of the chart house:


I didn’t go aft to the poop deck because there were some people gathered around the area and I didn’t want to disturb them.

Going below again, I came across a small gallery of images. I didn’t expect the ship to be a museum, but it was nice to see a nod to the ship’s past.

historic photos

Reproduction of a drawing showing the ship’s sail plan and rigging:

drawing of Moshulu

And, something rather unexpected, but pleasing to see:

can't escape FOC

It seems I just can’t get away, can I?

Note: For those of you interested in life at sea on board Moshulu, pick up a copy of Eric Newby’s The Last Grain Race (1956).

Delaware River Ship Spotting

I wanted to have a look at the Moshulu (currently a floating restaurant), but the ship wasn’t open until dinner. I killed some time by walking along the river.

This was the closest I got to the SS United States:

SS United States stacks

Bulk carrier Imperial Eagle on the New Jersey side of the river:

Imperial Eagle

The battleship New Jersey at Camden:

Battleship New Jersey Camden

The wooden-hulled barkentine Gazela (1901), not ready to sail:


The tug Jupiter (1902):

tug Jupiter

Jupiter name

Gazela and Jupiter are operated by the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild.

Ride the Duck tour:

Ride the Duck

Cape Cod:

Cape Cod

James R Moran:

James R Moran

Discovery Coast pushing a barge:

Discovery Coast with barge

Last…not a ship, but a young ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis), I believe:


Independence Seaport Museum – Part 2

After leaving the museum building, I walked over to where the submarine Becuna and the cruiser Olympia are berthed.


I don’t have a huge interest in submarines, but I still enjoyed walking through Becuna while trying to imagine what it must have been like to work and live in such confined spaces.

Torpedo tube:

torpedo tube

Abstract wires and tubes:

abstract parts

Note: Becuna is a Balao-class sub like Bowfin (Pearl Harbor) and Pampanito (San Francisco), which I’ve seen.

Standing on Becuna, looking forward:

standing on Becuna with Olympia

I took more photos on board Olympia (another ship that needs help). I’m not familiar with the ship, so please drop me a note if I’ve got something wrong.

Olympia 01

Attractive circular skylight:

Olympia skylight

Officers’ mess room:

Olympia mess room

Hatch and access ladder (off limits):

down below

Builder’s plate:

builder's plate Union Iron Works

Top of an engine:

Olympia engine

prevent wear



Union Iron Works on machinery:

part of ash hoist machinery

I was fascinated by the ash hoist:

ash hoist

Metal scuttlebutt:


Printing press for producing ship publications:

printing press



Looking along the deck toward a gun:


Captain’s quarters:

Olympia captain's quarters

Independence Seaport Museum – Part 1


Aside from visiting the alma mater, there are ships and a maritime museum I had to see.

A short bus ride took me from my lodgings in the city to Penn’s Landing. The day started off with a short walk along the riverfront while while waiting for the Independence Seaport Museum to open.

Light poles that look like masts:

mast-like light poles

View of the Moshulu, Olympia, and Becuna (tucked behind Olympia) in the basin:

Moshulu Olympia Becuna

The Independence Seaport Museum exhibits were of both personal and professional interest. I have to say that I really enjoyed the time I spent there. Here are some highlights.

Independence Seaport Museum building

I loved the woodcut print graphics that were part of the Rescues on the River exhibit, which covered various maritime disasters along the Delaware River:


My local pilot friends will be happy to see that their colleagues are recognized in the exhibit (as first responders along with the Philadelphia Fire Department, Philadelphia Police Department, U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers):

Pilot info

Carpet map of the Delaware River passes under a replica of the Ben Franklin Bridge:

carpet map

Model of the Five Fathom Bank lightship (United States Lightship LV-79):

Five Fathom Bank lightship model

model making

Workshop on the Water, the museum’s boat shop:

boat making

Tools of the sailmaker’s trade in the Tides of Freedom: African Presence on the Delaware River exhibit:

tools of the trade

I have to admit I smiled when I came across this Worthington reciprocating pump. It was like meeting up with an old friend:


I really liked this timeline design from Patriots & Pirates:

creative timeline

Model of a shipyard:

shipyard model

Ship from interactive game about pirates:

interactive game ship

Photo op:

photo op

This “Tattoo-a-Tron” was pretty cool:


You can sit down and choose a design to have “tattooed” on your arm.

Hello Sailor: The Sailor Icon in Pop Culture featured various images of sailors:

Hello Sailor

This was part of the Community Gallery Series, in which the museum works with guest curators to create exhibits.

I found this model of the brig, Elizabeth Watts, quite interesting:

sailing tanker Elizabeth Watts

Text from the label in the case:

“The first vessel specifically constructed for the carriage of oil, her hull was subdivided into eight tanks and two of her lower masts were hollowed to allow for expansion and to keep the oil pressurized. On her maiden voyage, she carried 901 barrels of rock oil and 428 barrels of coal oil…”

More to come about Becuna and Olympia in Part 2.

Visiting Mary A. Whalen

In June 2014, I met Carolina Salguero of PortSide NewYork when she was here in Hawai‘i. It was very nice to see her again when I made it over to Red Hook to have a look at her tanker, Mary A. Whalen.

Mary A Whalen name

Carolina gave me a tour of the ship and talked about the projects in progress on board. I admire her efforts on behalf of the ship and the waterfront and her dedication to keeping the surrounding community involved.

Red Hook gantry cranes, looking toward Manhattan:

gantry cranes Red Hook

It was fun meeting ship’s cat, Chiclet. Here she is on deck, checking out Mr. ‘I‘iwi:

Chiclet meets Mr. ‘I‘iwi

Carolina securing the gangway:

Carolina raising gangway

Mary A Whalen

I wish I had more time to explore the neighborhood, but I had a train to catch.

Mahalo Carolina!

New York Ship Spotting

My previous post covered South Street Seaport Museum’s barque, Peking.

I would have liked to see Wavertree as well, but she is currently having work done in dry dock:

Wavertree sign

The lightship known as “Ambrose” (United States Lightship LV-87), is also a really interesting vessel to check out:

Ambrose lightship

In waters where it was impossible or impractical to build a lighthouse, lightships were stationed to guide ships.

Peeking out from behind Ambrose, in the above photo, are the masts of the schooner, Lettie G. Howard.

On Peking’s port side is the museum’s barge Progress and its other schooner, Pioneer:

Pioneer work barge Peking

Since it was such a nice day, I decided to ramble south along the waterfront.

Coast Guard boat speeding along:

USCG boat

Morgan Reinauer and barge passing the Brooklyn Bridge:

Morgan Reinauer Brooklyn Bridge

Morgan Reinauer

B Franklin Reinauer and Robert Burton with barges:

Robert Burton B Franklin Reinauer

I eventually wound up at the Staten Island Ferry’s Whitehall Terminal. (Side note: I learned about the death of Prince via a TV in one of the shops in the terminal.)

I decided to take a ride on the ferry. How could I pass up an opportunity to get out on the water for free?

Castle Williams, an historic building on Governors Island:

Castle Williams Governors Island

Rockaway, a sludge (ick) tanker:

Rockaway sludge tanker

Guy V. Molinari, one of the ferries, headed toward Manhattan:

Guy V Molinari ferry

One of the seagull escorts:


Stuyvesant, a dredger:


Tanker Alpine Hibiscus:

Alpine Hibiscus

Brendan Turecamo:

Brendan Turecamo

Ferries at the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island:

ferries at Staten Island terminal

I was fascinated by these wood piles:

piles 1

piles 2

Looking toward Manhattan:

Manhattan skyline from Staten Is

Tangier Island:

Tangier Island

Margaret Moran:

Margaret Moran

Tanker Bright Dawn:

Bright Dawn

On the trip back to Manhattan, I took the obligatory shot of the Statue of Liberty:

Statue of Liberty

One World Trade Center and surrounding buildings:

One World Trade Center building

Evening Light and barge:

Evening Light and barge

Schooner Clipper City:

Clipper City

Back to Whitehall Terminal:

Whitehall Terminal


ferry ramps

Battery Maritime Building (historic ferry terminal):

Battery Maritime Building