Rain. 😦

Although it was already 0800, it was dark enough for the Aloha Tower lights to remain on:

what happened to the sun

I took advantage of the water on deck and did a bit of…er…swabbing. 😉 I also did the usual rainy day drill of checking and moving buckets around.

A bit of news early in the week disturbed me. I still feel uneasy about it, but there’s nothing I can do…except spend time with the ship.

Yes, I talk to the ship and to those who have gone before. My non-ship friends will think it’s crazy, but those of you who love and care about old ships will understand.


Shifting a pile of dirt and rust in the lazarette, I found these old-style square nuts (nod of thanks to my FB friends):

square nuts

Better lighting from hatch:

square nuts better lighting

One of the things I love about working on the ship is that I am always learning new things. I never really noticed the square nuts before, but there are a lot of them.

In situ on a frame:

nut on frame FOC

Just for the heck of it, I took a look at some of my pics from Balclutha. What do you know…

nuts on frame Balclutha

For attaching the cargo battens, I assume?

Looking up at the deckhead:

more square nuts FOC

And on Balclutha for comparison (with lovely COATS mark):

more square nuts Balclutha

Frames on the starboard side:

starboard frames

Planking cut away near the aft bulkhead of starboard tank #5:

tween deck planks cut

Ends of planking:

ends of planks

Moving forward, just aft of the mizzen mast:

where pumps used to be

I’d seen these holes before, of course. However, the lightbulb went on this time.

Were the pumps located on the weather deck above, before the ship was converted into a tanker?

Again, going to a photo taken on board Balclutha:

Balclutha pumps

Something that may be unique to FOC, one of the pipes leading to the mizzen mast:

pipe into mizzen mast

Forward to the main mast and its spigot:

spigot in main mast

Quite odd.

Looking aft along the tween deck, with the main mast at left and a water tank at right:

looking aft

The deck under the water tank is really dodgy. There are holes, through which you can see into port tank #2:

port tank #2

Our lovely ballast water…sediments stirred up a bit.

Forward to the boiler room.

Rivet detail from another water tank:

water tank rivets

A peek into the Scotch boiler:

boiler interior

As the day went on, the weather improved.

On the weather deck, I took this photo of what was left of one of the yard arms that had been sawed off:

yard arm

Okay, back to the world outside…

Lost hardhat floating by:

lost hardhat

Hachinohe Maru, the wood chip ship, still at Pier 1:

Hachinohe Maru

By coincidence, the home port of Aomori Maru, the Japanese ship that was at Pier 8, is Hachinohe.

Aomori Maru

I was surprised to see a red pencil urchin in the water at the end of the pier:

red pencil urchin

New Sailing Star, winner of the unique ship name of the day contest, was leaving the harbor:

New Sailing Star

New Sailing Star leaving

The Navatek got stuck behind New Sailing Star:

Navatek behind New Sailing Star

It was like watching a sporty car following a slow moving truck.

heading out

This made me laugh:

anole on skull

I guess the silly skull thing is good for something after all.

My usual stroll around Aloha Tower…

Aomori Maru chafing gear:

Aomori Maru chafing gear

Not unexpected, but still a bummer…the sundry store is gone:

sundry store gone

Falkor at Pier 11:


American Contender detail:

American Contender detail


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

Once More Into the Tanks, Dear Friends…

FOC sunny morning

I took time off from “real life” to help out on board the ship for three days this past week. Representatives from JMS Naval Architects were in town to do a survey and meet with the shipyard. This survey covered the same areas (tanks, forepeak, aftpeak, pump room) as the past two done by Chris Jannini, so I felt quite comfortable with what needed to be done.

The aftpeak has remained dry since summer of last year when we pumped the water that was in it, forward into the tanks:

dry aftpeak

The numbers we put up to label the frames were still there:

frame numbers

Looking into port tank #3:

Port Tank #3

Water in the pump room:

water in pump room

Pump room looking aft toward the forward bulkhead of the first set of tanks:

in the pump room

I was pleased that I was able to get a decent photo of the inside (port side) of the chain locker by sticking my fancy phone into a hole:

port side of chain locker

It looks like a wooden bulkhead dividing the space, but I have no idea what the dark sheet-like stuff is.

I had a couple of small scares while down in the pump room. I was standing on a board that worked loose and dropped a few inches and then had a ladder slip a bit as I climbed up it (so much for thinking it was secure all this time).

On Thursday, we were able to give our visitors a closer look at part of the exterior of the hull thanks to Captain Ed Enos, who very kindly made arrangements for use of one of the pilot boats:

checking out the stern draftmarks

We also did a bit of recon (wink, wink):

checking out dry dock

Back at Pier 19:

back at pier 19

L to R: Bruce McEwan (Friends of Falls of Clyde), Jack Ringelberg (JMS Naval Architects), David Forrest (JMS Naval Architects), Captain Ed Enos (Hawaii Pilots Association)

Mahalo to Herbie!

My post wouldn’t be complete without some ship spotting!

Horizon Spirit:

Horizon Spirit

Mokihana without containers:

Mokihana without containers

Container detail:


Not the sharpest photo, but it shows Mikioi with the Foss logo:

Mikioi with Foss logo

Pi‘ilani also bears the Foss logo now. Kind of sad. The end of an era.

Celebrity Century with a few lifeboats lowered into the water:

Celebrity Century lifeboats

Back to FOC, the birds continue to leave gifts in the form of seeds. There was also some weird stuff on the deck:

ants on unknown weird stuff

Not sure what it was, but obviously the ants liked it.

FOC at sunset

Whew! A Relief…

When I arrived at the harbor this morning, I didn’t want to look at the water for fear of finding dead fish floating around the ship. It was a relief to see things pretty much as they normally are. However, that doesn’t mean that the area will not be affected by the Matson molasses spill. So far so good, but I guess we will just have to wait and see.

Business as usual for the (hungry) cleaner wrasse, seen here with a bunch of mamos:

mamos at cleaning wrasse station

A bit of rain…pretty double rainbow over the harbor:

morning rainbow

I helped out on the pier with gangway related stuff, so I didn’t spend much time on the ship today.

I should know by now that taking the ullage readings at mid-day is a pathway to heat stroke. There’s nothing like staring down into a tank and getting hit with a blast of stale, hot air while the sun is beating down on your head.

Thank goodness for the relief of the mizzen mast shadow:

mizzen shade

I noticed that the poop deck rail needs work. Must remember to order more Le Tonkinois.

Visible from the deck, this rather interesting contrail:


And, oh look, a balloon stuck on the jigger stay:

balloon stuck on stay

The source of the balloon:

Hooters balloon

Bad for sea life. Being so near to the ocean, they should know better.

Someone lost a lot of fishing line:

lost line

Lots of tug movement today. Aside from the usual tug and barge combos, a group of Kirby tugs left the harbor (no pics, camera not handy).

I was surprised to see Mamo in Foss livery:

Mamo in Foss livery

A bunch of people (looked like members of the press) on board Tira Lani:

people on Tira Lani

Interesting ship of the day, car carrier Splendid Ace:

Splendid Ace

Splendid Ace bow

Splendid Ace crew

ETA: Donated a bit to the ship via Foodland’s “Give Aloha” program today. Will probably give more before the month is out. Remember…78512.

Cautious Relief

Returning to the ship this morning after last night’s drama was a bit strange. I was (and will remain) cautious as I stepped aboard.

I have pretty decent visual memory, so I can usually spot when something’s out of place or not quite right. It was a relief to find things as they should be.

Anyway, a quiet day on the ship. Whew!

I did my usual walk around. Lots of bird poo that needs to be cleaned. 😦 Left that for another day.

I checked the tank ullages. I liked the ripples in the ballast water, so had to grab my camera and take a photo of that.

ballast ripples

I’ve posted pictures of the numbers on the steps of the ladders leading down into the tanks before. I like them, so here’s another one:

tank ladder

I was fascinated by the rivets attaching one of the bitts to the deck. They remind me of suckers on an octopus leg:

bitts rivets

I never noticed the ring on this port before:

port with ring

Even old spider boxes need camera love:

spider box detail

I haven’t swept the deck in a long time. So, crud has built up:


Bad me.

Took care of some of the stuff in the waterway and around a couple of the scuppers:

crud in bucket

Better keep up with the sweeping.

No interesting ships in the harbor today (except FOC, that is).

Termites Looking for a New Home

Work on the tween deck today. We took down some old (but not historic) wood shelving.

Friends of Falls of Clyde’s president, Bruce McEwan, making the termites unhappy:

taking down old shelving

termite eaten wood

Oh the joys of termite frass!

termite droppings

Old signage Bruce found:

old sign

Removing the shelving also opened up that particular area. It’s no longer a dark, uninviting space.

let there be light

Of course, I had to have a look around. Here’s the CLIFF manufacturer’s mark on angle iron riveted to the tank bulkhead with an interesting texture around the margins of the rivets:

CLIFF mark on angle iron

The ship’s original iron frames and beams are stamped MOSSEND. Anything stamped CLIFF is an addition.

I wanted to move the rest of the shelving to have a look at the surface of the bulkhead behind it. Oops.

heavier than it looks

It was heavier than it looked, so I had to abandon that idea. I had visions of me being squashed under it…not good.

The new gangway was making mournful sounds…a distinct improvement from the elephant trumpeting of last week. From inside the ship it sounded rather like humpback whale calls!

Port tank #2 illuminated by sunlight streaming through holes in the deck:


More rust-tea:

more rust-tea

Too lazy to empty.

The Shadow of 5:

shadow of 5

I received a lovely gift today:

FOC book

sample page

Mahalo Jenny! Beautiful work.

Elsewhere in the harbor…

Two types of rat guards on Rhapsody of the Seas:

Rhapsody of the Seas rat guards 1

Rhapsody of the Seas rat guards 2

And my old friend the needlefish, cruising around looking as toothy as ever: