Happy Day!

With the sun comes another opportunity. And a much better one, at that!

I found out that Valrossa was leaving this morning, rather than last night. So, I got my photos after all.


Valrossa bow

Valrossa stern

I was surprised to see the new pilot boat, Puakea, in use. She’s cute!


Marine debris being collected:

collecting marine debris

Fishing boat St. Damien:

St Damien

The water in the harbor was back to its normal, calm state.

Here is the wall at the end of Pier 7 for comparison with the photo from Saturday:

back to normal

Part of Kulamanu’s boat is now in the water:

boat needs help

How long before it breaks loose and becomes a hazard?

Niolo with barge Noa:

Niolo with Noa

One of these tugs does not belong:

one does not belong

It’s Noke:

Noke with Horizon Enterprise

Pi‘ilani at the stern of Horizon Enterprise:

Piilani with Horizon Enterprise

Horizon Enterprise headed to the Horizon Lines terminal:

Horizon Enterprise stern

American Emerald’s hull and bumper detail:

American Emerald hull and bumper detail

Nunui’s deck:

Nunui deck

Plans Go Awry

Despite a forecast of nasty weather (rain, strong wind), I decided to go to the harbor to catch the arrival of the tanker Valrossa.

rough weather

While waiting, I wandered along Pier 9.

Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth was at Pier 10/11.

Spray from the swells beating against her stern:

surge Queen Elizabeth

Mat protecting the hull of Hokuho Maru:

Hokuho Maru mat

Hoku Ke‘a:

Hoku Ke‘a

Honolulu taking the pilot out to Valrossa:

Honolulu headed out

I watched Falls of Clyde rolling at her berth at Pier 7.

Port side of the ship:

FOC port side swell

Sigh. Poor girl.

Large swell hitting the wall at the end of Pier 7:

wave makai side Pier 7

Valrossa was approaching the harbor, when I heard a loud “bang” from FOC. Oh-oh. That didn’t sound good. I hurried over to the ship.

Oh great. Problem with the gangway. Again.

FOC gangway problem

Although I haven’t had much to do with the ship (by choice) since I resigned from the organization, I notified the board members and waited until one of them showed up. I could have left then, but I stayed to help.* So much for photos of Valrossa.

The weather improved over the course of the afternoon. I was pleased to get some nice shots of Queen Elizabeth as she left the harbor.

Queen Elizabeth detail

Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth bow

Mikioi assisting:

Mikioi Queen Elizabeth

passenger silhouette

Blocky stern!

Queen Elizabeth stern

The Star of Honolulu and Navatek I were floating around in the harbor. I assume this was because it was too rough for them to do their normal off-shore dinner cruises?

Star of Honolulu:

Star of Honolulu

With Queen Elizabeth gone, Hokuho Maru was preparing to shift to Pier 10.

Getting ready to remove gangway:

Hokuho Maru gangway


Hokuho Maru fender

Pulling away from Pier 9:

Hokuho Maru pulling away from pier

*Big mahalo to Rick Wilson and the crew of Pi‘ilani (Captain Jeff Page, Chris Vincent, and Bruno Fonoti-Ulufale) for answering the call. You guys are awesome!

Pumps and Bullets (!)*

Saturday didn’t start out very well.

I left my ditty bag at the bus stop on the way down to the ship. Fortunately, I realized it almost immediately and got off at the next stop. I would have been really bummed if it had disappeared.

I caught the next bus and made it to the harbor about 20 minutes later than usual. When I got to the pier, I spoke to the fellow who is in charge of the HMC building regarding the fact that the alarm on the ship had gone off the night before. I was rather concerned when he told me he had found bullet casings (from a .22 caliber firearm, so I’m told)* on the Kulamanu (ex-Rella Mae) side of the pier.

I walked along the pier with him and sure enough, I saw a couple, which I picked up.

bullet casings

(Not sure if this was related to the alarm. We spoke to one of the HECO guards later on, who said he hadn’t noticed anything suspicious.)

Anyway, I noticed that a new rig to haul plywood aboard the ship had been set up. I was rather puzzled by this, since there was a working boom (the one Brush and I put together) already set up slightly aft. Seems like extra work… But hey, whatever. It’s not something I’m involved with.


I walked along the ship’s side of the pier to see if there were any bullet casings. I didn’t notice any.

By that time, Jamie, one of our naval architect friends had arrived for a meeting about the pumping system. There is still some work we have to do, so we wanted to discuss the plan for the rest of the system. Paul arrived a little while later to complete the triumvirate. We ran one of the pumps and discussed our options and priorities.

It was a good meeting and I’m rather pumped up (ha ha) to finish the work.

After Jamie and Paul left, I did a few minor things. I’ve not been feeling well, so I wanted to take it easy.

Nothing appeared to be out of place, which was good considering the problems we’ve had with intruders.

I removed the baubles from the bow and stern:

bucket of baubles

I found it interesting that they were all partially filled with water. They have small openings at the tops, but I would never have guessed that rain water would find its way inside.

Rotten wood around margin of fo’c’sle head:

rotten wood deck margin

Some of the plywood in place:

plywood over old deck

I decided to leave early to go home and get some rest.

*ETA: I’ve been informed that they are not bullet casings after all. Whew! That’s a relief.

Humpback Whales in the Harbor – Follow Up

I managed to get down to Honolulu Harbor in time to catch a glimpse of the two humpback whales before they left. I’ve seen whales out at sea, but never expected to see them in the harbor.

When I arrived at Pier 7, Thomas C was just turning in the basin. I took a photo for my ship archive. I didn’t realize I captured a whale as well (at right, just beyond the stern of the ship)!

Thomas C and whale

The Navatek I happened to be leaving at that time.

Navatek leaving

For some reason, the whales really liked the ship! They swam up to her and surfaced right at her bow, just off Pier 7.

Navatek and whale

whales just off Pier 7

The crowd at the corner of Piers 8/9:

whale watching

After having a look at the Star of Honolulu, the whales followed the Navatek I out of the harbor. Yay!

whale and Star

whale following Navatek

Navatek leaving with whale

The passengers on Navatek I certainly got their money’s worth today.

Mikioi and Tira Lani passing by Lurline:

Mikioi and Tira Lani

I saw a photo, taken earlier in the day, of the whales in the water between the Star of Honolulu and FOC. Wish I had been there at the time!

Catching Up

Real life has been keeping me busy, so I wasn’t able to write an entry for last weekend. Time to catch up!

There was some excitement at the ship last Saturday. When I arrived in the morning, it was clear that there had been trespassers on the ship. It seems that they went aboard some time after the concert at Aloha Tower Marketplace. I called the Tower and the Harbor Police were dispatched to the ship. I spoke to the officers and filled out a report. Fortunately, no damage seemed to be done.

That pretty much disrupted my plans for the day. I decided to leave the ship earlier than I normally do and return the following day.

Sunday proved to be a better day. Since the weather has been more moderate lately, it was quite pleasant sitting on the deck in the salon and working on my chafing gear project. As you can see, it’s the same design as the previous one.

chafing gear in progress

Fast forward to yesterday. I spent most of the day on the ship with the naval architect who is advising us. One thing he is working on is updating the drawings of the ship. It’s quite exciting to see what he has done so far. The new drawings will be a great tool for the organization on so many different levels. We also discussed photo documentation of the ship and have started developing a system for recording information.

tween deck detail

We spent some time in the pump room again. I find the area really interesting. I just wish it was in better condition for exploring on my own (two people required for safety reasons).

Base of foremast:

base of foremast

Looking up through hatchway:

sky from pump room

One thing that is interesting is the acoustics. Contrary to what one may think, some sounds from outside are magnified. Voices and noises from the Star of Honolulu sometimes seem as if they are coming from inside the hull of the Falls.

There was a sparrow perched on the wire rope stay (just visible as a small blip in the photo above), directly above the hatchway. Its chirps were quite loud. Before I actually saw it, I wondered where it was because it sounded like it was only few feet from where I was standing. Weird.

A break for lunch at Gordon Biersch. Two of the crew members from Hakurei Maru No. 2, which had arrived earlier in the morning, were on the pier operating radio controlled cars. (Sorry, no photo.)

On the way back from the Marketplace, we were discussing the trim of the ship when I spotted this young wedge-tailed shearwater in a drainage area on the pier near the ship:

young shearwater

(Sorry about the crappy cell phone pic. The good camera was on the ship.)

handle with care

We picked him up, put him in a box, and took him to the Humane Society.