Of Pilots and an Awesome Day Out

I remember being struck by a painting titled “First Come, First Served” by Richard Brydges Beechey, who was an officer in the Royal Navy. It depicts three pilot cutters speeding through a fairly rough sea towards a waiting ship. In those days, the pilots competed for work. The first one to reach the ship would be the one who got the job.

Throughout history, the knowledge and skills of pilots have ensured that vessels were able to maneuver safely in or out of a port or through hazardous stretches of water.

Most people are unaware of the difficult, and, sometimes dangerous, job that pilots all over the world do every day.

***

I was quite excited when I found out that I was able to go out on a pilot boat with Captain Ed Enos.

My day started at the Hawaii Pilots office at Pier 19 in Honolulu Harbor, where I was met by Captain Enos. While we were waiting until the time came to head out, he explained how they monitored the positions of the vessels and coordinated operations with the harbor traffic control in Aloha Tower and the tug companies.

After boarding the pilot boat Kawika, we sped across the harbor and out to sea to meet MV Mokihana. (Sorry, no pic!) We climbed aboard and went forward to the bridge, where Captain Enos introduced me to Captain Jim Hill.

Awesome. That’s the word that comes to mind to describe the whole experience. It was fascinating to watch (and listen to) Captain Enos and the crew of Mokihana at work.

The following are some pictures I took as we entered the harbor.

The view over the bow:

view foreward

The view aft:

view aft

Of course I had to get a shot of Pier 7 and Falls of Clyde. We have a great view of the vessels passing by from the poop deck of the Falls. It’s interesting to see things from the “other side” so to speak.

pier 7 and FOC

Captains Hill and Enos:

Captains Hill and Enos

Aloha Tower and office buildings:

Aloha Tower

Lowering a boat during a drill:

boat drill

Some of the Matson gantry cranes on Sand Island:

gantry cranes

The tug Mikioi working at the bow:

Mikioi at bow

Mokihana safe and sound at Pier 52:

MV Mokihana

As I said, awesome!

Thanks to Chris Woolaway and Bruce McEwan for arranging things. Special thanks to Captain Ed Enos, Captain Jim Hill and Captain Bob Lamb.

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One comment on “Of Pilots and an Awesome Day Out

  1. Buck says:

    Great post. So nice to see Falls of Clyde from that angle. Harbour pilots are underappreciated, especially in bad weather.

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