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:
The 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.
Captains Hill and Enos:
Aloha Tower and office buildings:
Lowering a boat during a drill:
Some of the Matson gantry cranes on Sand Island:
The tug Mikioi working at the bow:
Mokihana safe and sound at Pier 52:
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.