No Refuge Today

Falls of Clyde has become my Hotel California it seems.

“You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”

I am trying to do what I can in this time of crisis, but it really sucks that it feels like I am back on the board.

I was feeling weird and stressed out about things and I had to get away from the computer and answering emails. Visiting the harbor is usually healing. Not today. As much as I tried to ignore her as I stood on the pier by Gordon Biersch, she was there over my shoulder…calling me.

I wish I didn’t care, but that would be like cutting my heart out.

Anyway, I have photos, as usual.

Work on Pier 15 has begun in earnest:

work on Pier 15

Detail of barge and workboat:

workboat and barge details

This buoy has seen better days:

buoy seen better days

Containment boom around Pier 12, which is also being repaired:

containment boom Pier 12

Shonan Maru chafing gear:

Shonan Maru chafing gear

Overseas Kythnos with Ne‘ena alongside:

Overseas Kythnos Ne‘ena

Namahoe executing a graceful spin on her way to move Ne‘ena:


Namahoe spin

Namahoe alongside Ne‘ena

On Ne‘ena:

Ne‘ena detail

You can have your line back now:

you can have your line back

Overseas Kythnos detail:

Overseas Kythnos detail

More fuel barge action. Niolo and Mikioi moving Sasanoa:

Niolo and Mikioi moving Sasanoa

Niolo towing:


Mikioi assisting:

Mikioi and Sasanoa

Maunawili arriving:

Maunawili bow


Hello to Jesse. It was nice meeting and talking with you.


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:


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:


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.

Spring Line

The main task on Saturday was to replace the worn spring line before it failed.

Only two strands left:

worn spring line

I was asked if I had a plan.


Of course I did. I had made measurements and had surveyed the lines we had on the pier for a suitable replacement last week, when I noticed the problem. I knew we needed chafing gear (which I had at the ready) and stoppers (had prepared some a while ago but they had been used for other purposes, so had to prepare a new one). If I hadn’t thought of these things, who would have?

Oh, and, yes, traditional tools rock! In the old days, sailors didn’t have fancy electric tools and they managed to get things done.

Large spike used to work shoreside bowline loose:

large spike

The “new” line with chafing gear:

line replaced

It still needs some adjusting, but I was fairly satisfied with the result.

The other spring line that runs through the same chock should probably be changed as well, as it is pretty worn.

It was too hot to do much more, so I had lunch and whipped the ends of my new stopper in the cool comfort of the deck house on the poop deck.

I wasn’t in a hurry to go home, so I hung around to take photos.

Smoke from the large brush fire:

brush fire smoke

Cute Maersk containers on Mokihana:

cute Maersk containers

Go engines! Horizon Spirit:

Horizon Spirit

The tanker, Densa Orca, was scheduled to arrive in the harbor just before sunset. I went over to the park between Piers 5 and 6 to get pics.

Mamo backing and Mikioi heading out:

Mamo and Mikioi

Unfortunately, Pride of America was scheduled to leave about the same time. Densa Orca had to remain offshore. Meh. Delay.

Mamo, Mikioi, and Pi‘ilani returning to the harbor, with Densa Orca in the distance:

tugs returning

Mamo and Pi‘ilani:

Mamo and Piilani

Egrets heading off to roost for the night:

egrets going to roosting site

Okay. Hurry up and leave already!

Pride of America

Coast Guard boat escort:

Coast Guard boat escort

Practice or some Homeland Security requirement?

Sun going down!


Mikioi heading out again:


Pride of America finally out of the harbor with Mikioi, Pi‘ilani, and Tira Lani heading out to assist Densa Orca:

three tugs and a cruise ship

As it was getting dark, I decided to go home rather than wait for Densa Orca. 😦

Thunder Storm

We’ve been having a spell of unsettled weather with periods of heavy rain and thunder. So I was surprised to find the water buckets on the ship bone dry.

I did notice what looked like water in the aft peak, which was curious and worrying. I check the area every week and it’s been stable (dry) since we shifted the water out to one of the tanks two years ago.

I decided to go down into the area to have a closer look. It was frustrating to find the work lights didn’t work. Meh. I had to go get a flashlight. Since I was by myself, I was very careful and stayed in a fairly safe place.

Perched on a stringer looking down:

water in aft peak

Yup. That’s water.

Looking back toward the access ladder and hatch:

aft peak

It turns out that the water may be from our pump project PVC piping. I was talking to Paul about something else and casually mentioned the water. He said when he had done work in the area, some water did flow out from the line. Whew.

Still, I may go and check on it later on this morning.

I found another square nut in the aft peak to add to the collection:

aftpeak souvenir

The collection:

the collection

Lights in the lazarette visible through deck prism:

deck prism

I like to think of myself as the “ship menehune.” I take care of all the stuff that needs to be done but isn’t very obvious.

Power cable to ship running over pier railing:

cable to ship

I put chafing gear where it runs aboard the ship. I neglected to do the pier end. Took care of it yesterday.

chafing gear on cable

I didn’t have my bag o’ useful stuff, so I couldn’t sew it closed. I just used a constrictor knot with an additional knot to secure it. Good enough for the time being.

A bit of a twist to the usual ship spotting photos:

LEGO Maersk

(The LEGO store at Ala Moana Shopping Center)

Nippon Maru

The Nippon Maru is a fairly frequent visitor to Honolulu, but she’s usually berthed at a pier that isn’t open to the general public. 😦

Mahalo to Captains Tom Heberle and Ed Enos of the Hawaii Pilots Association for the opportunity to get a closer look at the ship! There’s nothing like seeing such a grand lady get under way and head out to sea.

On the way to the pilot office, I came across this amusing typo on a bit of trash by the side of the road:

Don't Crash

Crashing would not be good!

Outside the gate:

Pilots sign

Captains Ed Enos and Paul Pollock on Honolulu:

Capts Ed Enos and Paul Pollock

view of Nippon Maru

Nippon Maru 1

Nippon Maru 2

Mamo assisting:

Nippon Maru 3

Getting ready to go aloft:

Nippon Maru 4

Nippon Maru 5

Yards manned:

Nippon Maru 6

Waving goodbye to people on the pier with cheers of “Aloha”…very nice!

Nippon Maru 7

Nippon Maru 8

Nippon Maru 9

Tira Lani assisting:

Nippon Maru 10

Passing Aloha Tower:

Nippon Maru 11

Can’t really see it in the photo above, but the cadets were waving their hats in greeting to the crew on board Hokuho Maru at Pier 8 (to the right of Nippon Maru’s bow).

The obligatory rigging shot:

Nippon Maru 12

Chafing gear:

Nippon Maru chafing gear 1

Nippon Maru chafing gear 2

Captain Enos disembarking:

Capt Ed Enos

Aloha Nippon Maru. A hui hou!

Nippon Maru 13

Special thanks to Paul!

Lunch, Fish, and Ships

I had the day off, so I decided to go to the harbor to have lunch on the pier and do some ship spotting.

The gate to the pier has seen a bit of use (and abuse) over the past few years. When I arrived at the ship, it was looking quite wonky:

wonky gate

Natural wear and tear or someone messing with it? Hm.

Lunch consisted of miso soup and a spicy ahi poke/ikura bowl:

spicy ahi and ikura

While waiting for the photographic target of the day, I dawdled about at the end of the pier.

Hoku Ke‘a passed by, towing a barge:

Hoku Kea

A couple of Hawaiian cleaner wrasses have set up cleaning stations near the edge of the pier. They are quite popular. The most striking customers today were a school of omilu and my old friend, the crocodile needlefish.

Cleaner wrasse on the “port” side:

cleaning station

Finally, NYK’s Dione Leader left the harbor:

Dione Leader

I didn’t do any work on the ship today, as I am anticipating a long day on Saturday. I did go aboard briefly to fetch a large zip-tie to do a quick repair to the gate.

All’s well on the tween deck:

tween deck

I walked over to Pier 9 to have a look at Kaiyo Maru. I was pleased that I was able to add a couple more photos to my idea files.

I was awed that someone took the time to put Turk’s heads on the chafing gear. Very nice touch!

turk's head chafing gear

chafing gear

With the plan to turn Aloha Tower Marketplace into dorms, I thought I’d take a photo of the fish tiles by the restroom before they go away:

fish tiles

Speaking of going away, there will be no New Year’s fireworks, according to a PBN article pointed out by Captain Ed Enos. I know the displays are quite expensive, but…

Leaving the area, ran across a couple of Harbor Police cars. One of the two:

harbor police car

Good to see them! Keep the shady characters away…

Maintenance with a Twist

Saturday was a quiet day. I like quiet days. I can think about things while doing stuff on the ship.

Based on the severity of the thunderstorm and accompanying rain that hit the island on the previous Sunday, I had expected that I would be lugging around a lot of full rain buckets. To my delight, I found that most of them were empty. (Another board member beat me to it.)

I did find a few with water in them. The one in the lazarette had the most:

water bucket

Before leaving the area, I took a self-portrait:

in the lazarette

Not sure why…I usually try to avoid cameras. Just amusing myself, I guess.

On deck, there were a few new things to deal with.

I found a rock on the starboard side near the ladder up to the poop deck. I don’t remember seeing it there before, so someone must have thrown it aboard recently. It wasn’t a very happy rock, as it had split into two pieces. The smaller piece was a few feet away.

rock on deck

The weed that was growing on the fo’c’sle head was bothering me, so I tried to remove it. It was too tough to pull out, so I just cut it. It will sprout up again, no doubt. The one in the fo’c’sle was easier to handle.

weeds from deck

Another day, a new set of measurements. Six points this time—three on each side of the ship.

While looking for good locations to take the measurements from, I noticed that the electrical cable supplying power to the ship, was getting a little chafed where it crossed the top of the bulwark. Note to self: Work on chafing gear if Paul approves.

The view from the fo’c’sle head is great. I saw a bunch of police cars and officers:


My first thought was that they were filming an episode of Hawaii Five-O (they’ve filmed in the area before), but they were the real deal. I don’t know what was going on.

After the police left, I was sitting on the anchor, minding my own business and contemplating life, when I saw a gentleman and a very young girl feeding fish. What’s wrong with that you ask? They were standing in a rather dangerous area between a set of the ship’s mooring lines and a metal barricade (visible in the photo above). There are barricades there for a reason.

I got a chance to use my hailing voice (ha!) and politely asked them not to stand there.

Here’s another view:

don't stand here

They were standing just to the left of the lines, at the edge of the concrete. It wasn’t a rough day, so the lines weren’t moving a whole lot. Still…

The rest of the day was uneventful.

Shonan Maru’s chafing gear and rat guards:

Shonan Maru chafing gear

Shonan Maru chafing gear bollard

Shonan Maru rat guards

Manoa turning in front of Aloha Tower: