Former docent and education specialist at the Hawaii Maritime Center, Jeanie Ainlay, relates a story that one late night she was aboard the Falls of Clyde and heard a tune being whistled somewhere on the ship. Thinking she was the only one aboard, she began to wonder if there might be a ghost lurking somewhere. She went down to the tween deck and the sound grew louder. As she moved forward she came to the site where a puka in the hull was the source as the wind blew through it. She took a piece of chewing gum and plugged the hole, wondering if this was the only source of the noise. From then on she was keen to follow up on strange sounds.
Did you know that the Falls of Clyde has been used in two movies. She was used as the ship on which Father Damien sailed to Kalaupapa, Molokai in the movie about his work with the Hansen’s disease patients. More recently she was used in the film Princess Kaiulani as the ship the princess sailed on to go to boarding school in England. It is always interesting that camera work can make the scenes seem whatever the photographer and director want it to look like.
Did you know that Falls of Clyde was mentioned in a 2005 story by Toby Swanson titled Mixed Plate and Noodles. Here is the excerpt from the book:
Kimo stayed with an auntie for a few months and learned the ukulele in rapid fashion…One day a friend told him of the great fun it was to work on a sail-driven ship, and there was pay, too. So he covered some of his tattoos with uncomfortable clothing for the interview, and the next week he was a full time deck hand on the Falls of Clyde.
The ship was built in 1878 in Glasgow, Scotland, becoming important and famous to the Hawaiians. During the plague of 1900, the ship kept Hilo supplied when the port at Honolulu was under quarantine. It would ultimately circle the earth six times, round Cape Horn twelve times, voyage to India eleven times and across the Pacific eleven times, all under sail. The ship hauled groceries , sugar and eventually was also used as an oil tanker. Additionally, adventurous passengers were often taken on board.
Scuttlebutt was the basis for originally bringing the Falls of Clyde to Honolulu. Scuttlebutt is gossip or rumor, which turned out to be very important in this case. Drake Thomas, a Maui resident, was a crew member aboard the barketine California sailing out of Kewalo Basin on tourist sailings. He heard from friends in California that Falls of Clyde was to be scuttled for the purpose of a breakwater in Canada.
After discussing the situation with friends and finding little interest, Drake decided to call the newspaper and soon he was being applauded for his efforts to raise the knowledge of the ship’s situation. That recognition came from Bob Krauss of the Honolulu Advertiser. With Krauss’s interest stimulated, the result was a partnering with John Wright of Bishop Museum and the famous one million penny drive to bring the Falls of Clyde to Honolulu.
Did you know that for several years the Falls of Clyde was used as the venue for a reenactment of the Boston Tea Party that took place on December 16, 1773. Here are some pictures of one of the events.