Honolulu Harbor (1836)

One of my favorite sources for old Royal Navy information is The United Service Journal. Some volumes are available for free through services like Google Books. However, there’s nothing quite like owning the actual thing.

I recently acquired another volume to add to my modest collection. Among the usual batch of interesting articles, there is one titled “Narrative of a Voyage from Valparaiso to the South Sea Islands in Her Majesty’s Ship Actaeon, Towards the End of the Year 1836.”

Actaeon arrived off O‘ahu on October 23rd. Here is the author’s (uncredited) description of Honolulu Harbor:

“We anchored in the outer roads in 15 fathoms, coral bottom, and a little after sunset. There is a long reef [that] runs along shore 18 or 20 miles, and opposite the town of Houalutire is a break in it of about a hundred yards, which is the passage for ships to the inner anchorage. There are never less than eighteen feet of water on the bar, but the most intricate part is after this is passed. A pilot came on board early in the morning, and we were towed in by the boats from all the whalers, about forty in number. We moored inside all the whalers, at not more than a stone’s-throw from the shore. There are always a number of ships here in the months of November, December, and January, when the whalers come in to refit, and replenish their provisions. The harbour-dues are heavy, and bring in a good revenue; but the harbour is gradually filling up. The bottom is muddy, and the shoals on either side of it extend out to the reef, so that the poor inhabitants, who subsist chiefly on shell-fish, such as oysters, mussels, &c., walk out on the shoals at low water to procure them. We should say the harbour is capable of containing sixty ships. It is well sheltered on all sides. The tides here are by no means regular.”


Back to the Harbor

Two Royal New Zealand Navy ships arrived this morning.

The first was the frigate, HMNZS Te Kaha:


sailors and gun

I’m not sure what this is, but it reminded me of Bender from Futurama:


I like the kiwi:


The second ship was the tanker, HMNZS Endeavour (good name):

HMNZS Endeavour

Deploying a fender:


Meanwhile, there was this stream of water. I assume it was coming from the fireboat.

stream of water

The USCG was zipping around:

Coast Guard zipping around

Nice to see a big needlefish:


After playing photographer, I went to the ship to put a second coat of varnish on the rail.

First Full Day in San Diego

The first full day in San Diego was spent at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Anyone who loves ships can happily spend a whole day there going through the ships and looking at the exhibits.

The centerpiece of the museum’s collection is the Star of India (built as Euterpe in 1863). She has a connection to Hawai‘i. Like Falls of Clyde, she once flew the Hawaiian flag. (See Under the Hawaiian Flag.)

Star of India

(Sorry, the tip of the jibboom is being cropped off by the blog software.)

She’s a lovely ship and is well-cared for by her crew.

The bulkhead behind the chain locker:

bulkhead Star of India

I wish FOC’s bulkheads were in such good condition.

The ship’s original official number and tonnage:

Star official number tons

The boatswain’s locker:

bosun's locker

Cool pump machinery on the weather deck, aft of the main mast:

pump Star of India

The salon:

salon Star of India

Interesting to note, Star of India‘s salon has a similar look and feel to FOC’s. Before FOC’s salon was stripped of items while the ship was being prepped to be scuttled at sea, that is.

The skylight:

skylight Star of India

It’s a relief to see that I’m not the only one dealing with water-related issues:

leak bucket

water on poop deck

Chafing gear on mooring line:

chafing gear Star of India

For Patrick O’Brian and Master and Commander movie fans, there is the Surprise (ex-Rose):

Surprise bow detail

stern detail Surprise


Surprise figurehead

line Surprise

wheel Surprise

My friend and I originally wanted to sail on the Californian, but decided to continue looking at the ships instead.

Californian arriving back at the pier:


Aloft, furling sails:

Californian furling sail

The museum’s headquarters are on board the Berkeley:


A new location means new birds to photograph.

Here is a rather angry looking pigeon sitting on the B-39 Russian submarine:

angry pigeon

A juvenile gull yawning:

juvenile gull

Other San Diego Bay sights…

Carnival Spirit leaving:

Carnival Spirit

The aircraft carrier USS Midway:

USS Midway

A more industrial shot of a crane on a barge:

crane on barge

I kept looking for fish, but was disappointed. I guess I’m spoiled by the clarity of the water and the variety of fish in Honolulu Harbor.

All in all, a very lovely day!

sunset through rigging

view over bay

A special mahalo to Brad H. and Dr. Ray Ashley.

A Bit of Europe in Honolulu Harbor

There was a distinctly European feel to the harbor today.

I started the day by going over to Pier 9 to have a look at Le Prairial. I had a nice chat with the fellow who was standing watch on the pier. Among other things, we talked about bagadou! (Speaking of piping, the Highland Games are going on at Kapiolani Park this weekend.)

le Prairial

Prairial crew

The Zaandam was at Pier 10.


And later on in the day, the BBC England arrived.

BBC England

French Frigate Le Prairial

French frigate Le Prairial arrived at Honolulu Harbor today and is currently at Pier 9. The ship will be open to the public, Saturday through Monday.

Surprise in Kirin Commercial

A link passed on to me by Brad of The View from the Deck:

Kirin Highball Commercial

The middle link (CMギャラリー / CM Gallery) will take you to a page where you can view the actual commercials. The link on the right (ダウンロード / Download) takes you to a page where you can download a very nice wallpaper of the ship. First there is a gateway page. Click on the left button (はい / yes) and you should get to the actual download page.

The red can is a sherry based drink and the white can is a whiskey (bourbon) based drink.

Brad was part of the ship’s crew on the day the commercial was filmed.