Monday, November 12, 2018


12 November 2018: If any of our readers have read Sea History Magazine, the voice of National Maritime Historical Society, they are likely aware of the plight of the Scottish-built iron clipper ship, Falls Of Clyde, rusting and decaying in Honolulu, Hawaii. She has been featured in that periodical in the section entitled "Ships of a Lee Shore" as well (I believe) in a feature article. The harbor management deemed her a hazard and was threatening to sink her offshore as a reef. I have been aboard her (before the harbor authorities closed her to the public) and she is an impressive vessel. Efforts repeatedly failed to generate sufficient cash to get her back to Scotland where she was built. Now, courtesy of BBC print, we bring you the update and the good news that she may well be saved!


A Clyde-built ship is to return home after years spent as a visitor attraction in Hawaii.

Built in 1878 in Port Glasgow, the Falls of Clyde is currently moored in Honolulu harbour.

A group campaigning to bring the ship back to Scotland said it had agreed a deal with a Dutch company to collect it in February next year.
The plan is to restore the Falls of Clyde and use it as an education and training vessel.

The Save Falls of Clyde campaign hopes a mooring can be secured in Greenock near to where it was built.

The Falls of Clyde transported sugar from Hawaii to America's west coast during the early part of its life before being converted into a bulk oil tanker.

Welcome flotilla
The plan is for the Falls of Clyde to be transported by a heavy lift ship, leaving Honolulu in February and arriving back in the Clyde in April where it will be greeted by a flotilla of small boats. 

The ship, the first of eight iron-hulled, four-masted vessels built by Russell and Company for the Falls Line, was named after a series of waterfalls in Lanarkshire.

During the late 1960s the ship returned to Hawaii where it had spent much of its working life, and where it was hoped it would be fully restored. 

However, it is now in a poor state of repair, and in 2008 it was suggested the ship might have to be scuttled.
Later that year, the ship's long-time owner, the Bishop Museum, agreed to sell it to a non-profit group which wanted to restore it.
The Save Falls of Clyde campaign to return the ship to Scotland was formally launched in 2016. 

That is good news for all the folks who worked tirelessly to generate funding to return/restore the ship and we hope the plan, as stated above, comes to fruition. I suspect there will be more to tell our readers as February draws nigh!

Until next time, 
                                     Fair Winds, 
                                           Old Salt


Sunday, November 4, 2018


4 November 2018: As promised in our last posting, no wrecks today! In fact here is the cutting edge of scientific technology - water based - (we are a Maritime blog, after all!) and something that might help humanity. Courtesy of NOAA, we offer the following piece.

NOAA and Saildrone, Inc. launched [last spring - ed] the first batch of 11 unmanned sailing vehicles  as part of NOAA’s expanding use of the cutting-edge technology to advance fisheries, weather and climate science.
Saildrones powered by wind and the sun’s rays, have traveled about 50,000 miles on NOAA missions — about twice the distance it takes to circumnavigate the earth — since the partnership began in 2014. Each year, Saildrone Inc. refines these vehicles for data collection with NOAA scientists who have helped integrate 18 sensors into the drone. These sensors are capable of collecting measurements such as air and water temperature, wave height, salinity, carbon dioxide concentration, fish abundance and the presence of marine mammals.

“The saildrone is an amazing device and provides us with an array of information, in some cases information that hasn't been readily available,” said Jessica Cross, NOAA oceanographer who is using the saildrone to study how the Arctic Ocean is absorbing carbon dioxide and becoming more acidic. “Last summer, two saildrones journeyed north through the Bering Strait for the first time. We’re headed back to the Arctic this summer to learn more about rapid environmental changes occurring here.” 

What can saildrones do for science? Here are three missions taking place this year:

1. Gain a better understanding of West Coast fisheries
New this year will be fish acoustic surveys using saildrones in waters from Vancouver Island, Canada, to San Diego, California. NOAA Fisheries will launch five saildrones to gather essential data on fish populations, including sardines, anchovies and hake, one of the most valuable fisheries on the West Coast. Four of these saildrones will duplicate the path of NOAA Ship Reuben Lasker to compare data taken by a sensor that uses sound waves that bounce off the backs of fish to record the abundance of fish, and test whether saildrones can help improve the efficiency and accuracy of fish stock estimates. These estimates are used to make decisions on fishing rules and limits.  
2. Monitor change in the Arctic
Four saildrones will leave from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, for the Chukchi Sea to study the effects of ocean acidification on marine species as well as the distribution of Arctic cod. Arctic cod is a major food for seabirds, ringed seals, narwhals, belugas and other fish.
“We are trying to unravel the puzzle of what happens to young Arctic cod that are so abundant in the summer on the Chukchi Sea shelf but then mature into comparatively few adult fish by the next year,” says Alex De Robertis, NOAA Fisheries biologist.
3. Track weather in the tropical Pacific
Two saildrones will glide 2,000 miles to the tropical Pacific Ocean in September to survey ocean and atmospheric data, including changes in ocean temperature and ocean carbon dioxide concentrations. Collecting data in the area of the Tropical Pacific Observing System (TPOS) of moorings, saildrones will provide high-resolution data that augments our understanding of how the weather-maker called El Niño develops in this region. The saildrone research is part of the broader effort to advance TPOS, which is our nation’s early warning system for El Niño and underpins U.S. weather forecasting.

Now that is "human helping technology" in our opinion. And as with so much, help from the sea. Hope you enjoyed this. As more is released by NOAA, we will try to update this story.

 Until next time,
                                              Fair Winds,
                                                          Old Salt