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.


Weekend? What Weekend?

As I mentioned in the previous post, work’s been keeping me busy. I ended up going to the office this past Saturday. That’s the first time in a long time that I didn’t make it down to the ship. 😦

Thanks to a friend, I did get over to Pier 38 to pick up late lunch/early dinner and snap a ship photo.

Gulf Jumeirah:

Gulf Jumeirah

I made up for Saturday on Sunday.

There was activity on the pier (surprise!), as an underwater survey was carried out. I helped a wee bit at the start by providing some line from the ship, then retreated to the tween deck to work with Paul. He took care of the suction line to the aftpeak. I felt bad for not being very useful.

The ship was listing a fraction of a degree to starboard, so we ran the pumps until she was back on an even keel.

Short Video of Pumps

It’s quite satisfying to hear them working smoothly. There didn’t seem to be much hope for them a couple of years ago:

sad pump

pumps need work

I’ve been tasked with getting samples of the hull (wrought iron). Hm. Wasn’t sure where to even begin going about it! After talking to a few people and with timely help from Paul, I now have a sample from a hull plate and a frame to send off for analysis.

hull sample

I’m still frustrated by what’s going on, but I’ll do what I can for the ship.

“I get by with a little help from my friends…”

Unhappy Week

Yeah. It was bad.

I really considered whether things are still worth the frustration and bad feelings. Up to now, I’ve always said “yes” without hesitation. Now, I’m not so sure.

One thing that came out if it, was a clear indication and understanding of where I stand. It’s not in a good place. I don’t like it. However, there is nothing I can do about it. I can’t change people. I can only change myself and the way I think.

I take comfort in the support of friends and those who know and understand old ships (you know who you are). That support is precious and I thank you. It’s kept me from walking away.

Anyway…enough doom and gloom.

A mishmash of things today.

Another rivet bit to add to the collection:

another rivet part

It’s not a recent occurrence, as it was in a pile of debris. (Wow, odd angle, my hand looks stunted.)

The frame where it probably popped off from:


NEWS! It’s noted on the Friends of Falls of Clyde website, so I can finally say something here. Dry dock is happening soon. Yes. That’s the plan anyway. Nothing is firm yet.

With that in mind, there are things to do.

One of my projects is seeing that the pumping system is in order and completed. It works as it is now, but we still need to extend the line to the two #1 tanks and the pump room.

I took an inventory of what we have on hand:

PVC inventory

Paul arrived at the ship and said something that made me laugh. Laughs have been in short supply lately, so that was quite nice. Discussion, a walk through the ship, and he was on his way.

I finished the small project that I was working on, which was to replace the stretched-out bungee/”Posted – No Trespassing” sign combo:

old and new no trespassing signs

Purely cosmetic, but I do take pride in making the ship as presentable as possible given the circumstances.

no trespassing

I actually nodded off for a bit in my chair on the ship. After that, I didn’t feel like doing anything else. Time to go.

Mokihana was leaving, so I went to the end of the pier to watch.

Saw something curious stuck to the wall (next to a nice healthy wana):

nudibranch eggs

A bit of Googling…Nudibranch eggs? That would be cool. I like nudibranchs.


fairy tern

Grace and steel:

grace and steel

For a change, I decided to head over to Kaka‘ako Waterfront Park.

Lots of ‘a‘ama, popular rock:

popular rock

Olivine basalt:

lots of olivine

A marbled blenny, I think?

marbled blenny

I like blennies too.

A series of photos from a different perspective (see Making a Day of It for the view from the pilot boat)…

Mokihana in the distance, on the way to California:

Mokihana in the distance

Honolulu headed out to Maui:


Maui in the distance:

Maui in the distance

Maui in the Honolulu Harbor channel:


Maui in the harbor:

Maui different angle

Boat of the day, Noho Loa:

Noho Loa


“On a sailing ship to nowhere, leaving any place.
If the summer change to winter, yours is no disgrace.”

Making a Day of It

Yes, I went back to riding around on the pilot boat.

Another Japanese ship getting ready to leave from Pier 10:

Tosakaien Maru

The people on the sailboat that cut across the channel must be related to the kayaker:

sailboat pretty close

I had fun waving to the crew on board Tosakaien Maru:

friendly Tosakaien Maru crew

Some of them took pics of us, while I took pics of them.

Captain Baker again:

Capt Baker Tosakaien Maru


Tosakaien Maru leaving



NYK container:

NYK container Settsu

It was back out again a little while later with Captain Ed Enos for Maui.

Captain Enos going aboard:

Capt Enos Maui

Out of focus (should have swapped lenses on the good camera instead of using the fancy phone) but I like the lighting:

Maui sunset

Back into the harbor again and going to tie up over at Pier 8 to pay a quick visit to FOC:

back into the harbor

Paul and I went to the ship to test out the pumping system.

Fingers crossed:

testing pumps

Success! #Paulisawesome
[There was a photo here but I was asked to remove it.]

Off again! Over to Pier 53.

Passing Chishio Maru at Pier 9:

Chishio Maru

Aloha Tower and Kagawa Maru:

Aloha Tower

Kokua and Miki Hana:

Kokua and Miki Hana

Tug of the evening, Pi‘ilani:


Waiting for Captain Enos. Maui at the pier:

Maui stern


Maui bow

back to pilot station

Kudos to everyone working late into the night to ensure that harbor operations run smoothly.

Thanks again to Captains Steve Baker and Ed Enos. Many thanks to Paul! #Paulisawesome

The Day Continues…

On to FOC!

I was supposed to help Paul on Sunday (today), but it turns out that he finished what we had planned to do, on Friday. What a guy! #Paulisawesome


discharge done

We now have gauges in the lines so we can see what sort of pressure we’re getting.

Tween deck work area:

work area


I check the angle of list every week, but I hadn’t measured the ullages in a while.

Handy ullage form, which I designed:

ullage form

I have to modify it slightly because we have a few more measurements to take now.

Tape measure into tank:

looking into tank

It usually takes little over an hour to do the ten tanks and six points along the hull.

After I was done with that, it was time to go to the end of the pier to watch Mokihana leave.

Eleu pushing at the bow:


Mokihana leaving

I caught a bit of movement in the channel in front of the ship. Looking through the lens of my camera, I saw this:

bold kayaker

This is the maritime equivalent of someone crossing the road in front of an approaching big rig.

In the water below, my needlefish friend was back for another grooming session with the cleaner wrasse.

Back on the ship…

When we were working on the pipes on the weather deck last week, I was rather embarrassed by the fact that we were kneeling in mud. Maintenance fail!



Much better:

area cleaner

In case anyone is wondering, I didn’t simply wash the crud into the harbor. It went into a bucket:

crud in bucket

Wider shot of the area:

view of area

The task of sweeping would be less frustrating if the pieces of the tops and other heavy things brought down from aloft weren’t in the way.

I had wanted to clean the fo’c’sle as well, but I was behind schedule due to my morning ride around with the pilots. Speaking of the pilots…see the next post.

Pump Progress

More progress on the pump system this week.

On Tuesday, I got out of work early. I travelled into town, ate lunch, and then went down to the harbor to check on the ship.

I found two ladies looking at the ship from the gate area. I had a nice chat with them and gave them a quick tour.

Paul was on board working to get more of the PVC set up for the emergency discharge line (which, hopefully, will never be used). After the ladies left, I did what I could to help him. Trying to do stuff like this in office attire is no fun.

emergency discharge

Yesterday (Saturday), we did more work on the emergency discharge line. It involved going down into one of the tanks. Shhhhhh! Fortunately, the set-up drill was a familiar one, having been into the tanks myself.

starboard tank 4 set up

The newest member of the FOC Tank Club:

into the tank

Work on the weather deck:

connecting more PVC

Out through a scupper:

pipe on weather deck

(Yes, the deck needs a good cleaning. It’s on my list.)

View from the pier:

view of pipe from pier

After we were done for the day, I did my usual stroll around Aloha Tower.

Nippon Maru’s masts visible in the distance:

Nippon Maru masts

I went to the Aloha Tower sundry store to get something to drink. Most of the remaining shops are being pushed out by the HPU dorm project. I asked the lady behind the counter about their status. Unfortunately, she said that they had to leave too. That makes me unhappy.

She did say that there are plans for a merchant area, so they may be back. I hope so.

Pacific Venus rat guards:

Pacific Venus rat guards

Pacific Venus at Pier 10:

Pacific Venus

Marine creature sticker art:

sea creature sticker

Pirate Toby jug in a window downtown:

pirate Toby jug

Morning Workout

No drama or any weird things today.

The morning was spent uncoiling lines on the pier, with the help of another board member, in order to measure them and then recoiling them back on their pallets.

The lines had been measured a few years ago. The measurements were written on duct tape wrapped around the lines. Unfortunately, the duct tape broke down over time due to exposure to the elements and most of the numbers were lost.

I decided to try something new. I used thin, throw-away sections of PVC from the pumping system project as labels:

measuring line

I hope they will work better than the duct tape or a tag. I took photos of the labels and lines so we have a rough visual record of the numbers.

Lines recoiled:

mooring lines

We tidied up the area while we were at it. I decided it was time to scrape up the remains of the cat.


scraping up cat remains

Despite being dried out, it still smelled funky. 😦

Scraped up and ready for disposal:


Back on the ship, I saw that more work was done by Paul on the pumping system:

assembly continues

Kicking aside bits of rust reveals more holes in the deck:

more holes

Fooling around:


Two tugs (Eleu and Pi‘ilani). I guess UH’s Kaimikai-o-Kanaloa was having problems?


Tug of the day, Eleu, in Foss livery: