Friday, August 31, 2007


Sunrise on a beautiful Friday morning found the coal-laden WALTER J. McCARTHY JR. still anchored off of Harborcreek, awaiting the ALGOMARINE's departure from the Ontario Power Generation plant in Nanticoke, Ontario. Normally ships waiting for the dock at Nanticoke anchor behind Long Point; however due to the Greenpeace protests on the ALGOMARINE the McCARTHY's captain found it better to wait on the American side of the lake before heading across to unload the ship's 62,000-ton cargo. The McCARTHY JR. got underway at around 1030 hours Friday and headed across Lake Erie.

In today's W. N. TWOLAN update, the pair is due in Erie at approximately 0800 Saturday.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

1000-Footer McCARTHY Anchors off Erie

Thousand-footer WALTER J. McCARTHY JR. of American Steamship Company, laden with 62,000 tons of coal from Superior bound for the Ontario Power Generation plant in Nanticoke, Ontario, is at anchor off of Erie tonight, awaiting the departure of ALGOMARINE from Nanticoke. Apparently today, five activists from Greenpeace boarded the ALGOMARINE in an attempt to keep her from unloading her cargo of coal from Superior. The vessel, thanks to the activists, now bears the slogan "No coal, no nuclear--clean energy." More information on this story can be found here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

W.N. TWOLAN Update

W.N.TWOLAN and McALLISTER 132 have yet to call in downbound at Harbor Beach, Michigan, meaning they will likely be arriving sometime Friday.

At around 1545 yesterday Lakeshore Towing's tug FLATTOP towed BIG TONY back to its dock in the East Canal Basin.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

AGAWA CANYON Arrives Late; W.N. TWOLAN Update

AGAWA CANYON arrived at 0645 this morning, three hours later than scheduled, with a split load of stone from Bruce Mines and Thessalon, Ontario. The CANYON backed into Erie harbor to the Mountfort Terminal, where they unloaded most of the cargo this morning. At 1230 this afternoon the CANYON shifted forward to finish unloading the rest of the cargo.

Backing in the channel.

Passing the lighthouse.

Closer view.

Bow profile.

Passing Coast Guard Station Erie.

In Presque Isle Bay.

Using the bow thruster to align with the Mountfort Terminal.


Landing a crewman on the dock.

Securing to winch to the dock.


Unloading boom out.

Watch for photos from this afternoon later tonight.

W.N. TWOLAN and barge McALLISTER 132 passed downbound at Isle Parisienne, above Sault Ste. Marie, at 0730 this morning bound for Erie with 4,907 tons of lumber from Thunder Bay. The unit should have passed through the Soo Locks sometime shortly after noon. This is about 3.5 hours behind schedule, and at this rate they should arrive in Erie sometime after daylight on Thursday morning, rather than in the middle of the night.

This will be the first non-bulk cargo shipped through the port this season.

Monday, August 27, 2007

GRANDE MARINER Featured on Action News 24

The GRANDE MARINER's visit to Erie was the focus of a story on Action News 24 at 6 this evening. According to a Port Authority official, the Port Authority "is currently in talks with people about marketing the cruise terminal" for cruise ships. In other words, it's a very safe assumption that the terminal will probably not host a cruise ship until 2009 at the very earliest. Since all of the schedules for the larger cruise ships on the Lakes are already set through 2009, it will probably be 2010 before one docks there. Otherwise, the Cruise Boat Terminal may be the most expensive U.S. Customs & Border Patrol office ever, all funded via our Port Authority.


GRANDE MARINER, widely expected to open the five-year-old Cruise Boat Terminal on Erie's bayfront, arrived in port today at 1200, an hour before schedule, and docked at West Dobbin's Landing. At this time it is unknown why the MARINER did not dock at the Cruise Boat Terminal. But remember that you heard it here first.

AGAWA CANYON is due in Erie at 0330 in the morning with a split load of stone from Bruce Mines and Thessalon, Ontario. She should still be here after sunrise.

W.N.TWOLAN and barge McALLISTER 132, with 4,907 metric tons of lumber from Thunder Bay, Ontario, are currently due in Erie at 0030 on Thursday morning. As they will be unloaded by crane, their unloads at other ports usually take a day or more, giving plenty of opportunity for photos.

Approaching Dobbin's Landing

Coming alongside

A line is thrown to the dock

Overhead view as the gangway is lowered into position

Securing the gangway into position

Fishing vessel FIRST HOPE I, of Astoria, Oregon, approaches Wolverine Marina.

Stern view of the vessel, a long way from home, in Presque Isle Bay


GRANDE MARINER arrived in Erie earlier than expected today, arriving at 1200 and docking at West Dobbin's Landing and not the Cruise Boat Terminal, as was expected. Alas, for another season the five year old Cruise Boat Terminal goes unused.

Photos and more details later this afternoon.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


According to Tom Stewart of Thunder Bay, the W.N.TWOLAN and her barge McALLISTER 132 have a cargo of Lumber and paper products for the Mountfort Terminal. This will be the first inbound shipment of lumber since September, 1995, when the tug AVENGER IV and barge CHIEF WAWATAM brought in a load for Hammermill, docking at the Mountfort Terminal.


Cruise ship GRANDE MARINER will finally open the five-year old cruise boat terminal at the foot of Holland Street at 1300 tomorrow. The terminal was built with the intention of landing visits from the largest of the Great Lakes cruise ships, such as the c. COLUMBUS; however to date that has not happened and the c. COLUMBUS will not be returning to the Great Lakes in the forseeable future, due to low water levels. Therefore, the GRANDE MARINER's four stops here in 2008 will likely be the only four vessel calls on this terminal in 2008. Makes you wonder why they built that place to begin with.

Algoma's AGAWA CANYON, with a split load of stone from Bruce Mines and Thessalon, Ontario, will be arriving in Erie at 0300 Tuesday.

W. N. TWOLAN, and barge McALLISTER 132, departed Thunder Bay, Ontario at 2000 tonight bound for Erie, where they're scheduled to arrive shortly after midnight on Thursday. At this time I'm not sure what the pair is carrying.

Monday, August 20, 2007

ERIKA KOBASIC in port, briefly

Basic Towing's Escanaba, Michigan-based tug ERIKA KOBASIC, after leaving Buffalo light tug this morning, stopped in Erie at around 1530 this afternoon, sailed into the West Slip, backed out and departed Erie for Escanaba.

At this time I'm not sure of the reason the KOBASIC was in Erie.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


After more than two days in port, PRESQUE ISLE departed Erie at around 1845 today, backing away from the Mountfort Terminal, through the channel and departing upbound for Duluth, Minnesota.

At around 1900 today Lakeshore Towing finished pumping the cofferdam dry and in the rain tug FLATTOP and towboat DON HENRY moved it to Erie Shipbuilding, where it will be lifted from the water on Monday morning.

At dock at 1450 this afternoon.

Cofferdam being lowered to the bottom of the bay.

On the bottom.

Floating free of the PRESQUE ISLE.

PRESQUE ISLE prepares to depart.

Starting to move from the dock.

Stern on

Cofferdam being pumped out.


Another view.

Close up of the tug.

Bow view.

Backing through the channel.

Passing the lighthouse.

In the channel.

PRESQUE ISLE Due to Depart

PRESQUE ISLE is due to finish repairs and depart the Mountfort Terminal at approximately 1500 today.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

BUFFALO Departs; BOLAND Arrives; PRESQUE ISLE Due for Departure Sunday

The BUFFALO finished unloading and departed Erie at 1500 today bound for the Norfolk Southern Coal Dock in Ashtabula, where she will take on approximately 15,000 tons of coal for Alpena.

At around 1900 this evening the JOHN J. BOLAND arrived in port amid a flurry of small boat activity in the harbor and docked at the Old Ore Dock to unload stone from Calcite. She should be outbound sometime during the night.

The latest word on the PRESQUE ISLE is that her departure is set for late-morning Sunday. According to her owners, Great Lakes Fleet, she has had a change of orders and will head straight to Duluth DM&IR to load taconite pellets, due there on the 22nd.

PRESQUE ISLE is the second vessel to use the port of Erie for repairs this year; the first was the JOSEPH H. THOMPSON/THOMPSON JR. in April, which unloaded at the Old Ore Dock before shifting to Erie Shipbuilding.

These two are a good sign for Erie, which, due to the placement of skilled technicians of Great Lakes Electrical Services, Erie Shipbuilding, Lakeshore Towing and ON Minerals: Erie Operation, has rebounded from being almost dead as a layup and repair port; it was once regarded that due to the lack of an ore-loading dock at this end of the Great Lakes that shipping companies would no longer use the port for winter layup or general repairs. However, this is obviously no longer the case.

PRESQUE ISLE undergoing work this evening.

BOLAND inbound.

In the channel.

A closer look at the BOLAND.

BOLAND passes USCG 47241.

Stern view.

Approaching the PRESQUE ISLE.

BOLAND passes by the PRESQUE ISLE.

Passing in the busy harbor


BOLAND's stern passes the PRESQUE ISLE.