Saturday, December 20, 2014


After slightly more than 14 months undergoing a refit at Donjon Shipbuilding & Repair in Erie, YANKEE departed Erie at 1645 on Saturday bound for her new assignment on the ocean. The tug, owned by a partnership between Donjon Marine and Seacor, is reportedly going to work in the trade lanes between Florida and Puerto Rico. What sort of work that entails remains to be seen; however, the lack of a raised pilothouse after the refit indicates it likely won't be pushing barges, but rather towing. Her refit including repowering and refurbishment of the tug's accomodations.

YANKEE backing away from the West Slip this afternoon.


Outbound for the channel.

Another view.

Side view. The 1977-built tug is now owned by Seajon II, LLC, a partnership between Donjon Marine and Seacor. Seajon LLC owns the KEN BOOTHE SR/LAKES CONTENDER.

The tug is without the large upper pilothouse it carried for most of it's career while it pushed oil barges.

Stern view.


YANKEE as she appeared on arrival in Erie on October 9, 2013.


Saltwater ship PALMERTON is expected in Erie, in ballast from Duluth, at 2200 on Monday to load locomotives.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

McKEE SONS Departs

After nearly two years in layup in Erie, McKEE SONS and tug INVINCIBLE slipped their mooring lines at 1520 on Tuesday afternoon and backed away from the West Slip, bound for Muskegon, Michigan. After being on charter from the McKee family to Grand River Navigation since 2000, GRN is returning McKEE SONS to her owners and terminating the charter when the vessel arrives in Muskegon, Michigan later this week. INVINCIBLE, owned by Grand River Navigation, will be taken to Sturgeon Bay for modifications and will eventually push the barge LEWIS J. KUBER, replacing tug OLIVE L. MOORE.

McKEE SONS at dock on Tuesday morning.

Linehandlers slip the last mooring line as McKEE SONS prepares to head outbound.

Backing away from the dock.

Another view. The barge's bow thruster was reported to not be working.


Rounding the Mountfort Terminal in the rain. The locomotives on the dock are consigned to Vale Mining in Brazil.

Lining up for the channel.

Another view.

Between the piers.

Close up.

Tug INVINCIBLE provides the power.

Stern view.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

McKEE SONS/INVINCIBLE to Depart; YANKEE Set to Leave; Miscellaneous News and Notes

After almost two years in long-term layup in Erie, McKEE SONS and tug INVINCIBLE are set to depart Erie as early as Sunday or Monday. The tug will take McKEE SONS to Muskegon, where she will come off of her charter to Grand River Navigation and be returned to her owners, who are based in Muskegon. GRN, which owns tug INVINCIBLE, is reportedly taking the tug to Sturgeon Bay, WI for modifications to push their barge LEWIS J. KUBER.

YANKEE has been out on sea trials this week and will be leaving Erie before the Seaway closes, perhaps as early as this week.

Locomotives are on the Mountfort Terminal and set for shipment before the Seaway closes at the end of the month.

Tug VAC is currently in port at Dobbin's Landing. HOLLYHOCK was in port replacing the summer buoys yesterday.

Monday, December 1, 2014


Tug DEFIANCE and barge ASHTABULA arrived in Erie at 1300 on Saturday with a cargo of stone from Marblehead. The duo docked at the Old Ore Dock to unload before departing later Saturday night for Sandusky to load a coal cargo. This is the duo's first visit to Erie since coming to the Great Lakes in 2012.


Another view.

Passing the lighthouse.

Close up of the barge.

Stern view.

The barge was built at Sturgeon Bay, WI and the tug at Marinette, WI, and the duo operated on saltwater for 30 years before coming to the Great Lakes.

Another view of the unit.

Turning for the Old Ore Dock.

Lining up for the dock.

Unloading later in the afternoon.

Another view.

Saturday, November 29, 2014


Tug DEFIANCE and barge ASHTABULA, with stone from Marblehead, Ohio, are due in Erie at 1215 this afternoon. This is the duo's first visit ever to Erie since coming to the Lakes to operate for Grand River Navigation in 2012.

Friday, November 14, 2014


MANITOWOC is expected in Erie at around 1400 on Saturday with a load of stone from Calcite.

Friday, November 7, 2014


Great Lakes Towing's tugs WASHINGTON and VERMONT returned FARRELL 256 to Erie on Thursday, nine days after OHIO took the barge to Buffalo. The tow, with WASHINGTON on the bow and VERMONT on the stern, entered Erie harbor at around 1200 and docked the barge, with it's cargo of lock gates from the Black Rock Lock in Tonawanda, NY, at Donjon Shipbuilding & Repair.

Fishing tug DORIS M outbound.

Another view of the DORIS M.

Stern view.

The tow approaches the piers with WASHINGTON in the lead.

WASHINGTON straightening out for the channel.


The lock gates on the barge.

Side view of the tow.


Another view of the gates.

Tug VERMONT was recently reassigned from Detroit to Buffalo, replacing NEW JERSEY, which had been there for years. NEW JERSEY is now stationed in Toledo.

Stern view of VERMONT.

Stern view.

Passing the Coast Guard Station.

VERMONT breaks free of the tow.

Coming alongside the barge.

WASHINGTON breaking free of the barge as the approach the Parade Street slip.


Lining up for the slip.

Tugs outbound.

VERMONT outbound.

Side view.


Stern view of VERMONT.

Stern view of WASHINGTON.