Thursday, November 29, 2007

Gales of November keep PETITE FORTE in Erie

PETITE FORTE and barge ST. MARY'S CEMENT remain tied up at the Mountfort Terminal waiting weather. The unit arrived there at 1745 hours Wednesday and will likely remain until the wind calms. The PETITE FORTE takes shelter for the slightest of winds, however, and it's possible the tug and barge may be in port for several days, judging by the forecast.

The tug and barge aren't the only ones seeking refuge from the weather. Currently, there are six vessels anchored across Lake Erie behind Long Point. The ALGOPORT, ALGOSEA, VOYAGEUR PIONEER, MARIA DESGAGNES, CSL NIAGARA and tug WILLIAM J. MOORE are all in the anchorage at Long Point Bay.

The PETITE FORTE and ST. MARY'S CEMENT have been frequent visitors to Erie to wait weather in the past. On November 8, 2005, while downbound from Cleveland to Bowmanville, Ontario in ballast, the unit anchored outside of the channel here seeking shelter from the stormy waters of the lake. On her return trip to Cleveland, on November 13, the vessel arrived at the Mountfort Terminal and spent more than 24 hours there.

PETITE FORTE and ST. MARY'S CEMENT at the Mountfort Terminal Thursday morning.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

DAVIKEN departs; Tug PETITE FORTE inbound for weather

DAVIKEN finished unloading at the Mountfort Terminal this morning, departed and turned in the harbor, proceeding outbound at 1115 this morning. The vessel, which is still loaded with more than 22,000 Metric tonnes of cargo, is next due in Windsor, Ontario. The vessel will anchor in the Ojibway Anchorage of the Detroit River opposite the port when she arrives tonight.

Tug PETITE FORTE and barge ST. MARY'S CEMENT are due in Erie tonight at 1745 hours to wait weather. The barge is loaded with powdered cement from the St. Mary's Cement facility in Bowmanville bound for Cleveland, Ohio. I'm not sure how long they'll be in port, but judging from the weather forecast she may be here a while.

DAVIKEN departs the Mountfort Terminal to turn in Presque Isle Bay. Note the equipment she unloaded sitting on the dock.

DAVIKEN proceeds outbound.

Departing Erie.

Close up.

Stern view.

Passing the Erie Pierhead Light.

At the lighthouse, DAVIKEN turned sharply to port before re-aligning with the channel.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

High winds delay unloading of DAVIKEN

Unloading of the DAVIKEN, which began at 0700 this morning, was delayed later Tuesday due to high winds. The dock crews will try again on Wednesday to unload the vessel so she can depart for Windsor, Ontario.

DAVIKEN is loaded with about 23,500 tons of steel products and project cargo on this inland voyage, about 700 of which will be deposited at the Mountfort Terminal. This cargo, bound for the Accuride plant in Erie, consists of press parts manufactured by Schuler SMG in Waghäusel, Germany and loaded onto the DAVIKEN in Antwerp, Belgium as part of Fednav's FALLine (Federal Atlantic Lakes Line) Service to the Great Lakes. This cargo represents part of Accuride's $25 million investment in its aluminum wheel business.

Erie is not a regularly scheduled stop for the Fednav vessels, so this call is an unusual one for the DAVIKEN.

Of note, the DAVIKEN's near-sistership and fleetmate SANDVIKEN visited Erie twice in 1992 while named PETKA. On her first visit that year, July 29, 1992, the PETKA ran aground in Presque Isle Bay while turning to dock at the Codan Corporation (now the Mountfort Terminal).

The DAVIKEN, ironically enough, arrived in Erie 15 years later, to the day, she arrived as MALINSKA. Her last visit came November 26, 1992 when MALINSKA docked at Codan.

Fednav's FALLine is quickly wrapping up its 48th season of Great Lakes service with the scheduled November 30 sailing of the FEDERAL WESER from Bremen, Germany for Hamilton, Ontario with nearly 21,000 tons of steel products.

DAVIKEN at dock on Tuesday morning.

Part of the DAVIKEN's cargo on the dock in Antwerp. Photo (and much of the information in this report) courtesy of Fednav's FALLine team.

Another view of the cargo.

Monday, November 26, 2007


The first overseas visitor of the 2007 shipping season arrived on Monday afternoon when the DAVIKEN, arriving from Antwerp, Belgium via Montreal, entered the channel at Erie. Low visibility and constant rain greeted the vessel's crew as DAVIKEN docked at the Mountfort Terminal.

As the crew threw lines over to the longshoremen waiting on the dock, the crew gathered at DAVIKEN's stern experienced some difficulty, as they required five tries to successfully land a line on the dock. The crew on the bow landed the line on the first try.

Unloading will begin on the vessel when crews report to work at 0700 on Tuesday, and the DAVIKEN should depart later in the day on Tuesday for Windsor, Ontario.

DAVIKEN inbound.

In the channel.

Close up.

Stern view.

Turning to dock at the Mountfort Terminal.

DAVIKEN docks.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

BOLAND Arrives; DAVIKEN Update

JOHN J. BOLAND arrived in Erie at 1415 this afternoon, loaded lightly with stone from Stoneport. The BOLAND turned in the harbor and docked at the Mountfort Terminal to unload.

DAVIKEN is currently westbound through Lake Ontario and due to enter the Welland Canal later this evening, bound for Erie. Currently the vessel is expected at Lock 8, the southernmost lock of the Canal, at 0645 Monday morning. This means that without any unexpected delays, the vessel should arrive in Erie at 1145 Monday morning.

JOHN J. BOLAND inbound. Note the small plane above her, which circled the harbor several times while the BOLAND was inbound.

Another view.

The BOLAND enters Erie harbor.

BOLAND turning in Presque Isle Bay.

Heading to the Mountfort Terminal.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


JOHN J. BOLAND, with stone from Stoneport, is due in Erie at 1330 Sunday afternoon.

DAVIKEN is now due in Erie at 0830 on Monday morning.


AMERICAN COURAGE is now inbound to tie up at the Mountfort Terminal, where she will unload one hold of stone from Calcite before shifting to the Old Ore Dock. With a quick unload the COURAGE could be finished unloading and depart before dawn.

Friday, November 23, 2007

WOLVERINE Arrives; COURAGE Due; Miscellaneous News

WOLVERINE finally arrived in Erie at 1730 yesterday afternoon, turning in the harbor and docking at the Mountfort Terminal at 1900 with stone from Meldrum Bay and Bruce Mines. The WOLVERINE spent the rest of the evening unloading and departed for Marblehead, Ohio at 0045 hours this morning.

AMERICAN COURAGE, with stone from Calcite, is due in Erie at 0130 on Saturday morning.

DAVIKEN is currently unloading part of her cargo at Montreal, and is expected to depart for Erie sometime on Saturday, and if weather and and the availability of Seaway pilots cooperates, should arrive here on Monday or Tuesday.

An article in the Erie Times News today quotes Port Authority Executive Director Ray Shreckengost as saying that the Port of Erie is on pace to have one of its best seasons in years.

Lakeshore Towing staff has spent the past several days working on the installation of a new breakwater at Perry's Landing Marina. The $244,000 breakwater was constructed by Great Lakes Towing Company of Cleveland, based on a design by Erie Shipbuilding Director of Engineering John Chapman.

And finally, tug TENACIOUS has finally cleared the Welland Canal pushing the WITTE 4003. The TENACIOUS will take the barge as far as Quebec City.

WOLVERINE docking on Thursday night.

Another view.

The new breakwater at Perry's Landing Marina.

FLATTOP and barge 502 alongside the breakwater.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


As of 1430 WOLVERINE was approximately 18 miles northwest of Long Point and preparing to head across the lake. She should arrive in Erie sometime around 1830 tonight.

Gales of November delay WOLVERINE; DAVIKEN Update

WOLVERINE has not yet arrived in Erie, and a rough Lake Erie is the cause of the delay. The vessel has no ETA as of this time due to weather.

DAVIKEN is approximately 215 nautical miles from Montreal and should arrive there sometime late tonight to unload before heading to Erie.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


WOLVERINE, with stone from Drummond Island, Michigan, is due in Erie at 0840 tomorrow morning.


TENACIOUS and WITTE 4003 departed Erie Shipbuilding at 0430 this morning, bound for the Welland Canal and eventually her new home in New Jersey.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

TENACIOUS/WITTE 4003 Scheduled to depart Wednesday; DAVIKEN due in Montreal for Erie; Final Voyage of the CALUMET; Erie Shipping News turns One

This morning the tug TENACIOUS shifted from her berth in front of the WITTE 4003 and turned around, securing in the notch of the barge and lashing up to it. The crew of the tug TENACIOUS reports that they are waiting on paperwork and expect to depart sometime on Wednesday.

JAMES A. HANNAH and barge HANNAH 5101 passed on waiting weather in Erie, choosing to press on toward her final destination of the Nicholson Dock in Detroit (Ecorse), Michigan, in ballast from Tracy, Quebec. The duo had spent all day Sunday and much of Monday waiting weather in Port Colborne, Ontario so the crew probably decided it was better to keep going.

Bahamian-registered bulker DAVIKEN is due in Montreal, Quebec at around 0500 on Friday. After unloading for a day, she'll sail for Erie, where she'll arrive sometime on Tuesday, November 27 with cargo from Antwerp, Belgium.

Former Erie visitor CALUMET arrived at Wharf 12 of the Welland Canal in Port Colborne, Ontario, on Monday morning so that employees of her owner, Lower Lakes Towing Company, can remove equipment from the 1929-built vessel before it heads for the scrapper's torch in Port Colborne.

One year ago today I launched Erie Shipping News. Since that first post, I've added 203 more, along with more photos than I'm willing to count right now. And along the way I've met a lot of great people. I'd like to thank everyone who has made this possible for me: Eric Guerrein and his staff at Lakeshore Towing, Ned Smith and the staff at Erie Shipbuilding, and Rich Pompeani and his staff at Great Lakes Electrical Services, along with every other contributor and viewer of this blog. And lastly, I'd like to thank my family for their constant support and encouragement.

TENACIOUS secured in the stern of the WITTE 4003.

Bow view of the WITTE 4003 and TENACIOUS

Stern view.

A crane from Erie Shipbuilding lifts one of the chains on the bow of the WITTE 4003 onto the deck of the barge.

CALUMET, downbound out of Lock 8 of the Welland Canal, passes the JAMES A. HANNAH and barge on Monday.

The classic CALUMET.

Stern view of the CALUMET.

A short distance north of Lock 8 in the Canal, the CALUMET turns around to head back upbound to Wharf 12.

Heading to the layup dock.

Stern view of the CALUMET.

Letting off steam from the winches and machinery and pumping off ballast for the last time.

This is the last dock the CALUMET will ever secure to under her own power.

Three other vessels in the Welland Canal on Monday have previously called on Erie. The upbound ALGONORTH visited Erie on July 8, 1997, when it docked at the West Slip for a tour by the governors of Great Lakes states. The conference, held in Erie that year, was hosted by then-Governor Tom Ridge and the ALGONORTH was here to show off a prototype ballast water filtering system.

The tugs DONALD C. HANNAH and JAMES A. HANNAH have both waited weather in Erie in the past. The DONALD C. HANNAH was the most recent one, having last visited Erie on December 30 and 31, 2004, when it docked at the Mountfort Terminal.

JAMES A. HANNAH waiting at Wharf 12.

Stern view.

DONALD C. HANNAH pushing a barge upbound at Allenburg, Ontario.

ALGONORTH upbound.

Monday, November 19, 2007


Ryba Marine's tug TENACIOUS is inbound Erie at this time bound for the shipyard. Dump scow WITTE 4003 is completely ballasted and appears ready to leave.

For the past hour the TENACIOUS has been in radio contact with the tug JAMES A. HANNAH. The HANNAH, westbound on the lake pushing the empty tank barge HANNAH 5101, is considering entering Erie harbor to secure at the Old Ore Dock to wait winds that are gusting up to 40 mph on Lake Erie tonight.

This is not the tug TENACIOUS's first visit to Erie. On November 22, 2005, the tug stopped in Erie to wait weather while on her delivery trip from Philadelphia to Cheboygan, Michigan. The tug was in port for six days on that occasion.

TENACIOUS tied up at the Old Ore Dock on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2005.

Stern view on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2005.

TENACIOUS, with her pilothouse down, at dock on Saturday, November 26, 2005.


Tug TENACIOUS is due in Erie at 1700 Monday evening.

CALUMET departed Cleveland at 2000 Sunday night, in ballast for Port Colborne, where she will be scrapped. A sad end for a classic lady of the lakes.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Historical Arrivals: November 18; Former Erie Visitor May Have Sailed Her Last

Historical arrivals for November 18:

1948- HARRY YATES arrives in ballast from Buffalo for the Pennsylvania Railroad Coal Dock, where she loads a cargo of coal for a return trip to Buffalo.

Lower Lakes Transportation's CALUMET, a frequent Erie visitor under that name and also in her previous life as USS Great Lakes Fleet's MYRON C. TAYLOR, hit a wall in the Old Riverbed of the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland on Friday, causing damage to her hull. The 79-year-old vessel, due for her five-year inspection this winter, may have sailed her final days as a powered ship.

Monday, November 12, 2007

CROW departs Saturday, taking PAV 103 with it

Tug CROW, after a week in port, departed Erie early Saturday morning with the third of six deck barges under construction at Erie Shipbuilding, the PAV 103, in tow. The tug, which is too high and, with the barge, too long for the Erie Canal section of the New York State Canal System, arrived in Port Colborne, Ontario after dark on Saturday afternoon and secured at Wharf 16 of the Welland Canal.

After undergoing inspection by St. Lawrence Seaway authorities on Sunday morning, the tug pushed the barge downbound through the Welland Canal on Sunday, bound for Oswego, New York. At Oswego, the tug would enter the New York State Barge Canal bound for Albany, New York.

The PAV 103 came out of drydock only three weeks after the completion of PAV 102. The three remaining deck barges, PAV 104, PAV 105, and PAV 106, will likely be completed by Erie Shipbuilding and remain in Erie over the winter, as the New York State Canal System is scheduled to close for the winter on Thursday. This means that delivering the remaining deck barges would require tugs to take them through the St. Lawrence Seaway, around Canada, and into New York harbor and up the Hudson River to Albany. This would be a long, expensive voyage for the barges.

CROW and PAV 103 secured above Lock 7 of the Welland Canal on Sunday morning, awaiting dowbound transit.

Close up of the CROW.

Stern view of the tug and barge.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

CROW Moves, CSX Suffers Derailment on Bayfront Track

On Tuesday, the tug CROW moved from her position north of the WITTE 4003 and is now moored south of the barge, facing north in the West Slip.

Wednesday afternoon at 1500, as the train was backing into the rail siding leading into the Erie Coke plant, the CSX local train suffered a derailment of one engine and two empty coke cars. The train tripped the signal at West 6th and the Bayfront Connector, delaying traffic for almost an hour until the signal was fixed.

CROW tied up in the West Slip on Wednesday.

Bow view.

CROW and the WITTE 4003.

CSX engine 6097 derailed aside of West 6th Street.

Another view. Note how far off the rails the empty coal hopper is.