A number of years ago, when I was a member of the local pipe band, my first official solo gig was to play the pipes during a memorial service.

What does this have to do with a maritime blog, you ask?

The service was held on board a tug. At sea.

I didn’t get to savor the experience of being on a tug for the first time, as I was doing my best to play while fighting my nerves, trying to keep my balance after we left the relatively calm waters of the harbor, and hoping that I wouldn’t get seasick.


As noted in my previous post, the four-masted barque Kaiwo Maru arrived off the south shore of O‘ahu on Sunday afternoon. Having looked at the ship schedule, I knew she was supposed to shift from the offshore anchorage to Pier 10 in Honolulu Harbor on Monday morning.

Normally, I would have asked permission to ride along with the pilot on board the pilot boat for the job. This time I decided to see if I would be allowed to go out on a tug instead. As you probably guessed by now, the answer was “yes.” 😀

Kaiwo Maru approaching the harbor channel:

Kaiwo Maru

Kaiwo Maru stern

While I was happy (but also slightly sad at the same time) to see Kaiwo Maru, I was excited to be on board Mikioi.

view from Mikioi

Pi‘ilani also on the job:


Captain Steve Baker, who was the pilot, along with one of the ship’s officers:

Captain Baker

The crew (cadets) along the rail at the bow:

Kaiwo Maru crew shaka

Chafing gear:

Kaiwo Maru chafing gear

Line passed from Pi‘ilani to Kaiwo Maru:

line passed

Photo, courtesy of Rick Wilson, of Pi‘ilani and Mikioi helping to maneuver the ship into position under the direction of Captain Baker:

©Rick Wilson used by permission

Captain Kevin Lokits at work in Mikioi’s wheelhouse:

wheelhouse view

Backing the ship toward Pier 10:

to Pier 10

Pilot boat Honolulu, waiting:


Kaiwo Maru at Pier 10. Job done, time to go:

Kaiwo Maru at Pier 10


I really enjoyed my time on board Mikioi! I always like watching the tugs at work. It was great to see things up close.

A big mahalo to Rick Wilson and Michael MacDonald of Foss Maritime/Young Brothers for the opportunity. A special mahalo to Captain Kevin Lokits and Emory Carrick for being gracious hosts.


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