With Friends Like These…

I recently ran across this quote by Graydon Carter, who is the editor of Vanity Fair:

“Arrogance, ignorance, and incompetence. Not a pretty cocktail of personality traits in the best of situations. No sirree. Not a pretty cocktail in an office-mate and not a pretty cocktail in a head of state. In fact, in a leader, it’s a lethal cocktail. Our president and his administration were arrogant during the lead-up to the Iraq war in that they listened only to those who would tell them what they wanted to hear. They were ignorant in the lack of scholarship and due diligence they brought to the matter of how the invasion would be received by those being invaded. And they were incompetent at almost every level in the execution of the war and its aftermath.” — from “Three Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Although it was written in reaction to the political landscape of 2007, I found that it resonated with me when thinking about the current situation that Falls of Clyde is in. (Replace “war” with “preservation efforts.”)

Should the people currently running the Friends of Falls of Clyde organization chance to come upon this post, I would challenge them to take a hard look at themselves and admit that the act of honest introspection is way overdue.

Arrogance, ignorance, and incompetence.

Deadly, indeed, should Falls of Clyde be sentenced to an ignoble fate on their watch.

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Change is Needed – Comments on the Latest from the Friends of Falls of Clyde

The following is a message that was recently posted on Facebook by Bruce McEwan, the president of the Friends of Falls of Clyde (FFOC):

“Friends of Falls of Clyde met with the Deputy Director of Harbors Division today. He wants a commitment as to when we will complete our fundraiser for the drydock cost of $1.5 million. We have asked for the year 2016 to complete our fundraiser and get the ship into drydock. He is taking our request ‘under advisement,’ but we will not know the exact timing until we hear from him. The message is clear, we MUST meet our goal as soon as possible. While we have grant applications pending and some to submit, we need to show that we have grassroot support from individual donors. Supporters need to donate now to show that this is an achievable and worthwhile goal. Go to Indiegogo or directly to our website ate [sic] http://www.friendsoffallsofclyde.org.”

Those of you who follow my blog, know of my past involvement with the FFOC and understand how much I love the ship and want to see her restored to her former glory. It’s been about a year since I resigned from the FFOC board and it has been an interesting (and distressing/depressing) time as an outsider looking in.

Mr. McEwan says the “message is clear.” Indeed, it is. The FFOC board has not learned from past missteps and continues to tread the same path.

A project on the scale of preserving and ultimately restoring the Falls of Clyde takes time, commitment, and passion. Has the FFOC board been doing all it can?

Supporters are being called on to step up. What are the board members doing to step up their game? Where is their presence in the sailing ship/historic ship communities? What are they doing to network and to learn what it takes to dry dock a ship like Falls of Clyde, given the fact that NONE of them have the practical experience needed?* What is the board doing to gain more local waterfront support?

There appears to be no PR or marketing plan. What effort is there to really win grassroots support? How is the new Indiegogo campaign going to be different from the last one? What is the compelling message that will inspire people to reach into their pockets, AGAIN, to give hard earned money to the organization? How is the call for action being spread outside of Facebook and the organization website? Social media can be a powerful tool if used correctly.

The FFOC needs to do a better job of reaching out and informing people. Don’t assume that the general public knows what is happening. I run into people on the waterfront who ask me what is going on and get emails and other forms of e-messages from folks looking for more information.

Why is there no steady/weekly presence on the ship? People have commented to me that they never see anyone doing any work on board the ship. I have to agree. I am at the harbor on a weekly basis, and rarely see anyone. Basic maintenance is important. More effort should be made to do it. After I left the organization, a board member bragged to me that they had a number of volunteers lined up? Where are they? If the board members can’t be bothered to spare time for the ship, how can they ask others to do the same? Board members, how much of a priority is the ship in your lives?

There are technical issues that still haven’t been addressed. Also, it would be a good idea to learn how to do the basic technical stuff and not rely on others. Just saying.

There are two words that come to mind that describe the current board. I won’t say them at this point. However, I will say that it is painfully obvious that it is time for fresh blood, new ideas, and people who are willing and able to sacrifice time and put in the effort to save the ship.

Time is running out.

(I feel like a broken record.)

*They should be reaching out to the folks at South Street Seaport and scheduling a visit to observe the work being done on Wavertree.

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:

Kawika

“Walking Away from Rainbows”

Many years ago while attending college in the Philadelphia area, my favorite radio station was WMMR. I used to listen to the Morning Zoo with John DeBella. One year, the program was broadcast live from London for about a week and featured various guests stopping by the studio.

The band GTR had recently released its first (and only) album and guitarists Steve Howe and Steve Hackett were two of the musical guests.

If I recall correctly, when the subject of his departure from Genesis (just before the band became hugely popular) came up, Steve Hackett replied that sometimes one has to walk away from rainbows, even though they are beautiful. For some reason, that’s stuck with me throughout the years.

He subsequently recorded the instrumental piece “Walking Away from Rainbows.” In an interview posted on Innerviews, when asked about it, he said:

“I think everyone gets the feeling at some point that it’s time to move on from whatever situation….There’s a feeling of sadness, but there’s also a feeling of resolve.”

I recently decided to walk away from my own rainbow…Falls of Clyde. It was a hard and painful decision.

I spent six years of my life doing what I could for her, often alone. While I grew increasingly frustrated and angry, I hung in there…for her. I shed blood, a lot of sweat, and tears for her. I was one of her crew and she was my ship. I loved her. Still do.

I am disappointed, but not in myself. I worked hard and I know I did my best. I can hold my head up high.

I am sad, but not for myself. I am sad for her.

That’s all I’ll say.

Diligence

It is important to do what is right, not what is easy or convenient.

“‘What will people say?’ is pretty nearly always a very shabby question, but one which too many public men ask themselves when hesitating as to how they shall act, forgetting that the only questions ought to be, ‘What is really and truly right? what will men of experience and virtue think? or, what shall I have eventually to say to my own conscience on the subject?'”—Captain Basil Hall, RN from Fragments of Voyages and Travels (Volume II, Series II)

Tool Rant

The power tools that were stolen from the ship haven’t been replaced, which is a bit of a pain when one wants to do work.

The thief left the grinders…possibly because they were disassembled and the various lock nuts and wrenches were mixed together in a box and he couldn’t find them. They were fine back in 2010. I should know, I used one of them to cut through most of the welds on the spars.

So, what’s a girl to do?

Buy new tools!

Since I paid for them (angle grinder and random orbit sander) out of my own pocket, they stay with me. In a perfect world, I would happily donate them to the ship. However, people are people and they don’t really take care of stuff that doesn’t belong to them. I don’t relish the thought of getting hurt by a poorly maintained tool.

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:

frame

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.

Grace:

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:

Honolulu

Maui in the distance:

Maui in the distance

Maui in the Honolulu Harbor channel:

Maui

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.”