From the Tower…Mostly Matson

Matsonia stuck at Pier 10 (better that than out at sea)…poor girl. I went to have a look at her.


Matsonia bow

Matsonia garage

Matsonia at Pier 10

Matsonia detail

It’s rare to see a Matson stack towering over Pier 10 these days.

There was quite a bit of traffic while I was up on Aloha Tower.

Mokihana leaving a little late:




Mokihana leaving

Passing JRS Canis with Maui waiting off shore:

Maui JRS Canis and Mokihana

Mikioi Pi‘ilani Mokihana





Maui with Mokihana in the distance:

Maui Mikioi Mokihana Pi‘ilani


Maui turning

Nice to see the Coast Guard cutter Morgenthau again (back from shipyard in the Bay Area):

Morgenthau and runway

USCGC Sherman with Jag Laxmi in the distance:

Sherman and Jag Laxmi

Kokua with Mauna Loa:

Kokua Mauna Loa

Mikiala II:

Mikiala II

Going to assist Moana Holo with Maka‘ala:

Mikiala II Moana Holo Maka'ala

Last…the dorms are close to becoming a reality.

soon to be dorms

Crazy. :\

(shakes head and walks away)


Still Catching Up – Friday Off (September 12)

Spent the day off from work down at the harbor looking at ships.

It was nice seeing a female ‘iwa soaring around:


First ship of the day was Eagle Express:

Eagle Express bow

Eagle Express

Mamo at the bow:

Mamo with Eagle Express

I had some time to kill before the next ship arrived, so I decided to go up to the observation deck of Aloha Tower.

The HPU dorm project continues. Workers re-roofing the buildings:

working on roof

One of the Superferry barges has disappeared:

two Superferry barges

Miss Benedetta anchored offshore:

MIss Benedetta offshore

Honolulu Harbor channel with Nord Steady in the distance:

Nord Steady approaching harbor

Nord Steady:

Nord Steady

Mamo again:

Mamo Nord Steady

Bow close ups are always fun:

Nord Steady bow

Noke and Namahoe (looked like a photo shoot):

Noke Namahoe



Moving a catamaran out of the dry dock:

catamaran out of drydock

Last ship of the day, BBC Bulgaria:

BBC Bulgaria

Harbor rock with a face:


Kind of reminds me of the kodama in Princess Mononoke


The day started off with a cheerful song from a male house finch:


Asian Jasper from the pier:

Asian Jasper

It was business as usual on the ship…nothing interesting to report.

Before I left the harbor, I stopped to watch Manoa arriving.

Bow shots are always fun:

Manoa bow

With Aloha Tower Marketplace deserted, the birds have taken the opportunity to nest. Here are more house finches (male and two babies):

male finch

baby house finches

There was a trench near the Pier 10 area:


I was intrigued by the red bricks that seemed to have come from the trench:



Light, Shade, and Ghosts

After the horizon gazing of yesterday, I spent time today looking inward.

As part of my regular inspection routine, I usually check the aft- and forepeak areas and the pump room. Confession time…I’ve been lazy and have neglected the forepeak and pump room for a while. Bad, really, as they should be checked every week for any changes. There’s no excuse for not doing it, as it just involves opening the forward hatch cover or connecting an extension cord from the outlet in the boiler room to the string of lights in the area above the pump room to provide light.

The string of lights illuminates the tween deck level and forepeak, but not the pump room. The hatch provides general illumination on the tween deck level and down into the pump room, but the forepeak is usually pitch black and requires a flashlight to see anything.

I chose the hatch option today and got a surprise when I went below.

bow ports

Normally hidden and unnoticed in the dark, the upper bow ports were lit by the sunlight that was streaming down through the hatch and was being reflected forward by the bulkhead separating the upper pump room area from the boiler room. It was a Newgrange moment!

Here is a shot of the entire area taken later on in the day for comparison:

forward part of tween deck

The bow ports are back in shadow again.

More details.

Deck (needs sweeping):


I can’t remember if I’ve posted about this before, but these marks are something Brush noticed during the last survey:

marks on plate

So far, they’ve only been found on plates along one particular strake on the starboard side. No idea what they mean, if anything.

I figure I should mention the ghost(s). Oooooooo. Some time ago, I was talking to someone who had volunteered on board in the past and he told me of spooky things (voices, touch) he and someone else had experienced while working in this area at night.

At one point, some people scouting locations for a ghost hunter program visited the ship. Oddly enough, from what I understand, they said they picked up voices in the same area. Oooooooo.

I also heard that ice used to be kept in the forepeak during the ship’s sailing days and sometimes bodies would be stored there. Now, I’m not so sure about that. I guess a body could be kept, if it was someone really important. Otherwise, why not just a burial at sea?

I have had a couple of strange experiences, but they are things I can explain away. The ship has a very light and benign air…at least during the day. I’m a chicken when it comes to the dark, so I don’t think I’ll be spending any time here alone at night.

Leaving the pump room area, a valve handle on the boiler room side of the bulkhead:

valve handle

I hadn’t noticed the black mark above the handle before. Caused by steam escaping a long time ago?

I made up a new ullage form, which I think works quite well:

new ullage form

Oops, I wrote down the wrong date.

Some life at Aloha Tower Marketplace!

Challenge Nation participants

It turns out that it was the people who had participated in the Challenge Nation urban scavenger race. Looks like fun!

Humid = Unproductive

Can we have the trades back again?

Swept the fo’c’sle and picked up random bits of stuff off the weather deck.

Dead gecko:

dead gecko

I also found a bird head on the pier. Ick. What is it with all the dead stuff, as of late?

Location of the hole (bottom of the two) from the hull sampling. Ship vampire.

hull sample

Masts! Rigging! Nice to see the Robert C. Seamans at Pier 9:

Robert C. Seamans

Two spiffy, blue boats belonging to Naviera Integral arrived in the morning.

Don J Ragland:

Don J Ragland

Don Luis:

Don Luis



Pi‘ilani and Mamo for Manoa arrival:

Pi‘ilani and Mamo

More cars! Jupiter Spirit:

Jupiter Spirit

Manoa from Aloha Tower:

Manoa from Aloha Tower

Go Mamo!

Mamo churning up the water

Mikiala II and Mikioi all pau with Jupiter Spirit:

Mikiala II and Mikioi

Sad to see Aloha Tower Marketplace all boarded up:

boarded up

Sunday Checkup

I went down to the harbor again on Sunday to have a look at the aft peak to make sure things were okay. As far as I could tell, there was no change.

Some general sights…

Vava II back in the harbor, this time at Pier 9:

Vava II Pier 9

Work at Aloha Tower Marketplace is beginning. A lot of the area is boarded up:

Aloha Tower Marketplace

Hooters, the Star of Honolulu office, and Gordon Biersch are still open along the side facing Pier 8:


Everything else looks sad and empty.

Pump Progress

More progress on the pump system this week.

On Tuesday, I got out of work early. I travelled into town, ate lunch, and then went down to the harbor to check on the ship.

I found two ladies looking at the ship from the gate area. I had a nice chat with them and gave them a quick tour.

Paul was on board working to get more of the PVC set up for the emergency discharge line (which, hopefully, will never be used). After the ladies left, I did what I could to help him. Trying to do stuff like this in office attire is no fun.

emergency discharge

Yesterday (Saturday), we did more work on the emergency discharge line. It involved going down into one of the tanks. Shhhhhh! Fortunately, the set-up drill was a familiar one, having been into the tanks myself.

starboard tank 4 set up

The newest member of the FOC Tank Club:

into the tank

Work on the weather deck:

connecting more PVC

Out through a scupper:

pipe on weather deck

(Yes, the deck needs a good cleaning. It’s on my list.)

View from the pier:

view of pipe from pier

After we were done for the day, I did my usual stroll around Aloha Tower.

Nippon Maru’s masts visible in the distance:

Nippon Maru masts

I went to the Aloha Tower sundry store to get something to drink. Most of the remaining shops are being pushed out by the HPU dorm project. I asked the lady behind the counter about their status. Unfortunately, she said that they had to leave too. That makes me unhappy.

She did say that there are plans for a merchant area, so they may be back. I hope so.

Pacific Venus rat guards:

Pacific Venus rat guards

Pacific Venus at Pier 10:

Pacific Venus

Marine creature sticker art:

sea creature sticker

Pirate Toby jug in a window downtown:

pirate Toby jug