Hawaii West Photography by David S. Hoornstra


This shot tells you how we got to most of the places we visited on Coast Guard Cutter Kukui (WAK-186) between June 1970 and April 1972. The “Kuk” was a C-1 Liberty Ship launched in Milwaukee in 1946, the year I was born. She was just too late to serve in that war. She was modified in Baltimore for the job she did for the next 25 years: building, then supplying and maintaining the Pacific LORAN (LOng Range Aid to Navigation) stations from Hawaii to Japan. 

Most places we visited were small islands or atolls with neither harbor nor close-in anchorage, so we worked cargo via two 25-ton WWII landing craft. In this shot Kukui is actively holding station.

This gallery is sorted into sections that tell you the location, when we visited and sometimes what we did there. Details to come.

Gallery 1: Life on Kukui 1970-1972

A variety of photos, some of which were used in “The Seventh Day,” the last cruise/decommissioning book I designed and produced. Kukui is shown at her berth in Honolulu as well as off Yap, French Frigate Shoals, and Marcus Island.

Gallery 2: Liberty on Maui and the Big Island 1972

A Phillipine crew is learning our ropes to take over after Kukui is decommissioned. The volcano on the “The Big Island” is shown smoking the day before we sailed away. At sea we saw on TV that she erupted quite hugely just after we left. It was early 1972.