Supporters of the Houston Maritime Museum took a Love Boat Cruise on the Houston Ship Channel on Thursday.
Museum Director Diane Lipton welcomed the crowd aboard Kirby Inland Marine’s M/V Observer and thanked the sponsors of the event. Listen (4 minutes, 37 seconds)
Love Boat Captain Stubing (played by Niels Aalund) and Burt Reckels, an internationally renowned model builder and miniaturist, presented a special award to Captain Robert Thompson, presiding officer of the Houston Pilots, in recognition of the pilots’ support of the museum.
Reckels, who made a replica of an ancient fishing boat in a large light bulb, explained that fishermen were the first pilots. Listen (1 minute, 8 seconds)
“They knew the ports, they knew the tides, they knew where the rocks were," he explained. “So when the merchant ships approached the port, the fishermen raced out there. The first guy there got the contract to bring the vessel in.”
Like modern day pilots, the fishermen boarded the merchant ship on a ladder dropped from the deck of the larger ship.
The photos to the left were provided by Larry Lipton.
The Houston Maritime Museum features ten galleries of model ships, themed on Modern Warships, the Modern Merchant Marine, Sailing Ships and Steam Power, Ships in Bottles, Great Lakes Vessels, Convict Models, Ancient Chinese and Middle East, History of Navigation, Voyages of Discovery, Ocean Liners, Port of Houston, Sailing Warships, and the Offshore Energy Industry.
The museum, currently located at 2204 Dorrington Street in Houston, will move to a new facility at the Port of Houston in 2014. For more information on the Houston Maritime Museum Click Here