Very Much Appreciated!

After a few rough weeks, it was wonderful to be allowed to tag along with Captain Enos on the Horizon Reliance job. There is nothing like being out on the water.

On board Honolulu:

Capt Enos on Honolulu

Horizon Reliance:

Horizon Reliance

I love the lines of these old LASH ships!


sunset Piilani



P & R boats in the harbor:

P&R boats

Horizon Reliance turning in the basin:

Horizon Reliance turning basin

The Admiral’s Barge (from Pearl Harbor) hauled out on PSI’s dry dock:

Admiral's Barge hauled out

Had a rough week too?

long day

Thanks to Captain Ed Enos and Paul. Feel much better.


Out to Manulani

Captain Ed Enos capturing some video:

Capt Enos video

On the port side of Manulani, approaching the pilot ladder:


Waiting for the Dawn and an Ending

Thanks to a heads up from Captain Ed Enos, I was able to make it down to the harbor to catch the final journey of Pacific Shipyards International’s (PSI) dry dock Kāpilipono.

In “better” days:

13 06.09 PSI lg drydock 01 sm

Resting on the bottom after she sank last year:

Kapilipono down

I arrived at the harbor while it was still dark.

Japanese training ships Tosakaien Maru and Hokuho Maru at Pier 9:

Tosakaien Maru Hokuho Maru

The cruise ships usually arrive early in the morning. Here’s Ruby Princess:

Ruby Princess

Not the greatest photo, but here comes the sun (and I say it’s all right):


Tying up Ruby Princess at Pier 10/11:

shore gang mooring lines

Clear and calm water (Tosakaien Maru bow):

Tosakaien Maru bow

Fellow photographer on board Ruby Princess:

getting the shot from Ruby Princess

View down the channel:

morning light

After a bit of a wait, Kāpilipono appeared, towed by Manuokekai and assisted by Mamo and Mikioi.

Passing the Matson gantry cranes:

passing by Matson gantry cranes

Manuokekai Kapilipono


The tugs were joined by Hoku Loa before passing Aloha Tower. At this point I was very lucky to be invited to hop on the pilot boat.

The Coast Guard making sure everything is all right:

Coast Guard boat

Mikioi on the port side:

Mikioi assisting

Captain Enos up on the dry dock wall:

Capt Enos

Leaving the harbor with Ruby Princess and Aloha Tower in the background:

Kapilipono Ruby Princess Aloha Tower

heading out of the harbor

Manuokekai ahead:


Hoku Loa astern:

Hoku Loa

One could not have asked for a better day. Sunny, clear, and calm.

Aloha, Kāpilipono:

towing out to sea

She was towed 12 miles offshore and scuttled.

Meanwhile, life continued on in the harbor.

Miyagi Maru, waiting offshore while Kāpilipono was being towed out, was finally able to enter the harbor:

Miyagi Maru

Kwai at the pier, almost ready to leave with a load of cargo:

Kwai stern detail

Containers being unloaded from Matson’s Haleakala:


Ocean Pathfinder arrived with a barge:

Ocean Pathfinder

Ice for the fishing boats:

ice for fishing boats

Literally, a cool job.

Moving containers:

moving containers

containers on barge

Mahalo to Captain Enos, Captain Collins, and Paul.

Peace Ark

The PLA Navy’s hospital ship Peace Ark arrived at Pier 9. She visited the harbor a few years ago, but I didn’t get any good photos of her that time.

Peace Ark arrival

Crew manning the rail:

crew along the rail

Captain Tom Heberle was the pilot:

Capt Heberle officers and film crew

Heaving line ready:

ready with heaving line

Bending the heaving line to the mooring line:

bending heaving line to mooring line

Lowering the gangway:

lowering the gangway

Officers disembarking:

officers going ashore

If you look carefully, the female boatswain’s mate at the left of the photo is piping them ashore.

Traditional lei greeting:

welcome with lei

Putting rat guards on the lines, but a bit too low down to do much good I think:

rat guards

Captain Heberle on board Honolulu:

Capt Heberle Honolulu

At the Harbor on a Pleasant Day

I did a search of my photos and found that I didn’t have any pictures of Riasu Maru. So it was off to the harbor this morning…

Kokua with Haleakala:

Kokua Haleakala

After the terrible weather we’ve been having (and the tsunami scare), one would think there would be a work party on board Falls of Clyde checking on things and taking advantage of the nice weather. I guess not. Sadly, I’m not surprised. It’s freaking depressing. Poor girl…slowly dying from neglect.

Falls of Clyde

She’s also listing slightly to port and is a little bit down by the stern. Does anyone care? Hello Friends of Falls of Clyde?

Riasu Maru approaching Pier 9:

Riasu Maru

Throwing a heaving line:

heaving line

The pilot on board Riasu Maru, Captain Sinclair Brown:

Captain Brown

Returning a heaving line:

returning heaving line

I had a nice chat with this gentleman. He used to be an agent and was just helping out this morning. As usual, I wasn’t thinking and neglected to get his name.

Hoku Loa and what looks like a submarine in the distance:

Hoku Loa

Captain Brown heading off on Kawika:


Very Fortunate

As I’ve noted in previous posts, I consider myself quite fortunate that I’ve been able to get a glimpse of a world most people don’t give much (or any) thought to. It is my sincere hope that Hawai‘i residents who stumble upon this blog gain a little bit of insight into what goes on at the waterfront and more appreciation of the men and women who work there.

Along the starboard side of outbound (from Honolulu Harbor) Horizon Spirit. View from the pilot boat on the way to pick up the pilot, Captain Tom Collins, who is on board the ship:

alongside Horizon Spirit

The pilots have the important task of guiding ships into, within, and out of the commercial harbors in Hawai‘i.

Captain Collins disembarking from Horizon Spirit:

Capt Collins Horizon Spirit

Horizon Spirit headed off to California:

Horizon Spirit bow

From Horizon Spirit it was straight to an offshore anchorage job.

Captain Collins going aboard the tanker Future Prosperity:

Capt Collins Future Prosperity

Hull detail. From left to right: load line marks (old and new), Plimsoll lines (old and new), draft marks.

Future Prosperity draft marks Plimsoll

Future Prosperity approaching the anchorage:

Future Prosperity anchorage

Later on, it was out to meet inbound MELL Sudong.

Unfortunately, some photos don’t turn out the way you want them to.

Captain Tom Heberle preparing to go aboard as seen through spray on the window of the pilot boat:

ship through spray on window

I didn’t like this shot at first, but it’s growing on me.

Back in the harbor, a brief peek at FOC. Very grainy. The street lights reflected in the spray make the scene seem a little magical:

golden lights

The illuminated square on the main mast is video being projected on to a sail. Movie night on the ship.

MELL Sudong safely moored at Pier 51:

Mell Sudong

View along the pier, waiting for Captain Heberle:

view along the pier

That was it for the evening for me. But work in the harbor continued on…

Mahalo to Captains Tom Heberle and Tom Collins. Special thanks to Paul. A pleasure, as always, gentlemen.

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.”