Taking the Falls of Clyde Home?

Those of you who are interested in large historic sailing ships have no doubt been following what has been going on at South Street Seaport Museum. Wavertree is back from dry dock and looking splendid. (Congratulations to all involved!) Peking is being prepared for her journey back to Germany and a brighter future.

It is quite a different situation here in Hawai‘i. Time is running out for the National Historic Landmark ship, Falls of Clyde.

Lately, I have been quiet regarding the Falls of Clyde. It is not because I do not care. I have been watching and waiting to see what became of the discussions between DOT Harbors and the Friends of Falls of Clyde (FFOC). Frankly, I didn’t have much hope for the future of the ship.

I have been spending my time trying not to be angry and depressed by the whole situation and mentally preparing myself to hear bad news.

Will she be:

• Towed out and scuttled in international waters?
• Sold and broken up for scrap?
• Sunk as an artificial reef or dive site?

Nothing but sad thoughts. Until today. Today brought a glimmer of hope.

Is it possible that there is enough interest in Scotland to bring the Falls back home to the Clyde, should the FFOC’s efforts fail?

A campaign has been started to explore the possibilities, while still supporting the mission of the FFOC. The following is a Facebook post from David O’Neill, who is spearheading the effort:

This is a Glasgow and Clyde Heritage related post, I am looking for volunteers who have an interest in the Clyde Shipbuilding History, who may have skills in P.R., Media and fund raising or crowdfunding. This is a campaign to bring back and restore a Port Glasgow built ship Falls of Clyde. Built at Russell shipyard, now Ferguson Marine.

The ship is currently in Hawaii and was a museum ship up until about 8 years ago, now under threat of being sunk as an artificial reef.

Hollywood actor and Scot, Mr Brian Cox of Bourne Identity, Troy and Planet of the Apes has agreed to be our patron so hopefully this will boost the campaign.

Glasgow Nautical College are also on board and can play a part in her restoration.

Clyde Maritime Trust are also offering help to save this 138 year old ship

We will shortly be launching a crowd funding campaign, so please consider playing a part in this effort, if we succeed the plan is to rebuild her and put her back to work, as a Fairtrade Transport Vessel, Sail powered, carbon free.

Another aim is to include Community Groups and Secondary Schools across Scotland, who can send kids aboard on trips for life changing journeys to fly the flag for Scotland and Glasgows Shipbuilding Heritage.

Please share to all groups and friends you know, this will be a tough challenge, but will be worth it.

I am happy to share David’s message. I spoke with him at length on the phone this afternoon. He is walking into this with eyes wide open. He knows it will be a hard road. I fully support his efforts. I like his energy, enthusiasm, and willingness to explore all channels necessary.

While I would be sad to see the Falls leave Hawai‘i, to have her return to Scotland would be pono, since the state does not seem to care about supporting her as an important part of local maritime history.

There is hope.

Morning at the Harbor and Kaiwo Maru

I went down to the harbor to watch the arrival of Kaiwo Maru.

Workers repairing Pier 8:

fixing the pier

Naina headed out:

Naina

The observation area of Aloha Tower provides good views.

Matsonia and Mokihana:

Matsonia and Mokihana

American Challenger:

American Challenger

Kaiwo Maru approaching the harbor, with pilot boat Honolulu returning and tug Mamo waiting:

Kaiwo Maru approaching

Kaiwo Maru with Mamo at the bow:

Kaiwo Maru and Mamo

Approaching Pier 10/11:

Kaiwo Maru to Pier 10

Standing by forward:

standing by

ASD Neil Abercrombie (Tiger 1) at the stern:

Tiger 1 at Kaiwo Maru stern

Job done:

Tiger 1 Abercrombie

Traditional gear, Shonan Maru:

Shonan Maru chafing gear

Out of the blue, I was offered the opportunity to go aboard Kaiwo Maru in the evening! Some photos follow.

Double wheel at the stern:

Kaiwo Maru stern wheel

View forward from the bridge:

view from bridge of Kaiwo Maru

Looking aft along the port side:

view along port side Kaiwo Maru

The obligatory rigging shot:

rigging

Capstan detail:

Kaiwo Maru capstan

Pin rail:

pin rail

Classroom area:

classroom area

Sails stowed down below:

Kaiwo Maru sails stored below

Gangway:

Kaiwo Maru gangway

Goodnight!

Big mahalo to Monique Acosta from Transmarine for the invite! I had a wonderful time on board the ship.

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.

Rudder:

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:

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:

bitts

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

wheel

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).

Peking

Peking name stern

With Peking set to return to Hamburg later this year, I thought it would be a good time to see her while she was still in New York and open to the public.

I went on the South Street Seaport Museum’s guided tour of the ship.

While Peking is a much larger ship than Falls of Clyde and there are some obvious differences, I still felt quite at home.

I was interested to see a side port open and in use:

Peking side port

Spars (from one of the museum’s schooners), that were stored on board, were being removed through the side port:

spars removed from storage through port

Hatch aft of midships deck:

hatch

Part of the crew accommodations:

crew area

skylight

Main mast:

main mast

Beams and deckhead:

beams deckhead

Some details were all too familiar:

rust missing rivets

View forward looking at fo’c’sle area:

view forward at fo'c'sle

Foremast and buildings beyond:

foremast

Plywood covering deck:

plywood covering deck

View forward from the poop deck:

forward from the poop deck

Double wheel and “coffin” covering the steering gear:

poop deck double wheel

Interesting to see this Port Glasgow manufacturer’s plate on a winch:

manufacturer plate

Seems out of place on a German-built ship, but dates from her days as the British training ship Arethusa.

Peking name starboard

At the bow:

view from pier

Peking bow waterline

Billethead:

billethead

Peking

Nippon Maru

I took the morning off from work to watch the arrival of Nippon Maru. I got to the harbor shortly after sunrise. I love the light at that time of day.

Paradise Ace:

Paradise Ace

Harbour Loyalty and Tacoma Trader:

Harbour Loyalty Tacoma Trader

Mokihana arriving:

sunrise Mokihana

Mamo at the bow:

Mamo Nippon Maru bow

Looking along the hull from Pi‘ilani:

along the hull

Aloha Tower from alongside Pier 10:

Aloha Tower Pier 10

Kawika passing by, waiting for the pilot:

Kawika

Getting the line back:

line back

I like how the shape of the building echoes the masts:

Nippon Maru and buildings

From Nippon Maru it was over to Paradise Ace:

in the shadow of Paradise Ace

Scuppers:

Paradise Ace scuppers

Paradise Ace departing

Another view of Nippon Maru dwarfed by the buildings of downtown Honolulu:

Nippon Maru downtown buildings

Mahalo to Rick Wilson and Michael MacDonald. Special thanks to Captain Kahoekapu.

Kaiwo Maru Departure

More photos of Kaiwo Maru!

Pi‘ilani arriving at the stern of the ship (check out the new paint job):

Pi‘ilani

Pilot boat Honolulu next to Pi‘ilani, chatting while waiting:

waiting

Hello again Captain Kahoekapu!

Captain Kahoekapu

Pulling the ship away from the pier:

Kaiwo Maru away from pier

Manning the yards:

Kaiwo Maru yards manned

Passing Ile de Sein:

Kaiwo Maru passing Ile de Sein

Mikioi at the bow:

Mikioi

Mikioi and Kaiwo Maru

Setting up the pilot ladder:

setting up the pilot ladder

View from Honolulu along Kaiwo Maru’s hull:

view from Honolulu

Another lovely day!

Mahalo to Captain Tom Collins and Captain Fikes Mauia! Special thanks to Paul.

On Board Pi‘ilani – Kaiwo Maru Job

This past week was a busy one, but much better than the last.

I had a lot of fun on Tuesday! The Japanese training ship Kaiwo Maru moved from the offshore anchorage to Pier 11. I had a good view of all the action from the Foss tug, Pi‘ilani.

Before leaving the pier, I asked if I could have a look at the engine room. Pretty cool!

One of the engines:

one of Pi'ilani's engines

Another photo of Ile de Sein, as we headed out:

Ile de Sein by Aloha Tower

One couldn’t have asked for a nicer day!

Approaching the anchorage:

Kaiwo Maru offshore anchorage

Pilot boat Honolulu, heading back to the harbor after taking the pilot, Captain Ed Enos, out to the ship:

Honolulu

What a lovely sight!

Kaiwo Maru offshore

Raising the anchor:

Kaiwo Maru raising anchor

Heading to the harbor:

Kaiwo Maru with Diamond Head

like a post card

headed toward the harbor

Kaiwo Maru stern

Emory Carrick heaving a line up to the Kaiwo Maru crew:

throwing line

Some of the Ile de Sein crew having a look at the ship:

watching from Ile de Sein

Mikioi, the other tug assisting the ship:

Mikioi

I’ve always been interested in what people come up with in the way of chafing gear.

I was pleased to see a design similar to a couple I made for Falls of Clyde:

chafing gear

An old work in progress photo of one of my projects:

chafing gear in progress

(I really miss doing this sort of stuff. 😦 )

Adjusting mooring lines and putting chafing gear in place:

adjusting lines and chafing gear

Wrapping the line around the bitts:

line around the bitts

Not the best photo, but it shows a mooring line stopper in use:

mooring line stopper

Finally, putting rat guards on the lines:

Kaiwo Maru rat guard

A big mahalo to Michael MacDonald, Rick Wilson, and Whit Olson of Foss Maritime/Young Brothers! Special thanks to Captain Kamaile Kahoekapu and Emory Carrick.