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.


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:


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:


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


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).


Independence Seaport Museum – Part 1


Aside from visiting the alma mater, there are ships and a maritime museum I had to see.

A short bus ride took me from my lodgings in the city to Penn’s Landing. The day started off with a short walk along the riverfront while while waiting for the Independence Seaport Museum to open.

Light poles that look like masts:

mast-like light poles

View of the Moshulu, Olympia, and Becuna (tucked behind Olympia) in the basin:

Moshulu Olympia Becuna

The Independence Seaport Museum exhibits were of both personal and professional interest. I have to say that I really enjoyed the time I spent there. Here are some highlights.

Independence Seaport Museum building

I loved the woodcut print graphics that were part of the Rescues on the River exhibit, which covered various maritime disasters along the Delaware River:


My local pilot friends will be happy to see that their colleagues are recognized in the exhibit (as first responders along with the Philadelphia Fire Department, Philadelphia Police Department, U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers):

Pilot info

Carpet map of the Delaware River passes under a replica of the Ben Franklin Bridge:

carpet map

Model of the Five Fathom Bank lightship (United States Lightship LV-79):

Five Fathom Bank lightship model

model making

Workshop on the Water, the museum’s boat shop:

boat making

Tools of the sailmaker’s trade in the Tides of Freedom: African Presence on the Delaware River exhibit:

tools of the trade

I have to admit I smiled when I came across this Worthington reciprocating pump. It was like meeting up with an old friend:


I really liked this timeline design from Patriots & Pirates:

creative timeline

Model of a shipyard:

shipyard model

Ship from interactive game about pirates:

interactive game ship

Photo op:

photo op

This “Tattoo-a-Tron” was pretty cool:


You can sit down and choose a design to have “tattooed” on your arm.

Hello Sailor: The Sailor Icon in Pop Culture featured various images of sailors:

Hello Sailor

This was part of the Community Gallery Series, in which the museum works with guest curators to create exhibits.

I found this model of the brig, Elizabeth Watts, quite interesting:

sailing tanker Elizabeth Watts

Text from the label in the case:

“The first vessel specifically constructed for the carriage of oil, her hull was subdivided into eight tanks and two of her lower masts were hollowed to allow for expansion and to keep the oil pressurized. On her maiden voyage, she carried 901 barrels of rock oil and 428 barrels of coal oil…”

More to come about Becuna and Olympia in Part 2.