Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Erie Shipbuilding Update

I have also been informed that Erie Shipbuilding is currently in talks with SEACOR Marine, an operator of offshore vessels servicing the gas and oil exploration industries and a subsidiary of SEACOR Holdings, for SEACOR to buy part of the shipyard's operations.

At this time it is unknown what SEACOR plans to do with its stake in the operation, but as SEACOR is a large operator of chemical tankers, offshore vessels, articulated tug-barges and harbor tugs, they could be interested in new construction at the yard.

Time will tell what becomes of this situation and what the future holds for Erie Shipbuilding LLC.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Erie Shipbuilding Update

Erie Shipbuilding LLC continues construction on the new 840-foot-long tug and barge unit worth $50 to $60 million dollars. Construction on the barge recently began, and the tug's hull is already in place in the drydock and is waiting on engines that have yet to be delivered.

The company, however, despite this contract, has not been immune to the recent global economic slowdown, having recently laid off more than half of its work force. The company has also cut back to just one shift.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


PETITE FORTE/ST. MARY'S CEMENT departed Erie today at around noon bound for Cleveland. After unloading, the unit departs in ballast for Hamilton, Ontario for winter layup.

PETITE FORTE/ST. MARY'S CEMENT at dock about an hour before departing on Saturday.

Another view.

Friday, December 19, 2008


PETITE FORTE and barge ST. MARY'S CEMENT, loaded with cement from Bowmanville and ultimately bound for Cleveland, where the barge will spend the winter, arrived in Erie to wait weather at 0230 this morning and tied up at the Mountfort Terminal. It is unknown at this time when the unit will get underway for Cleveland.

PETITE FORTE/ST. MARY'S CEMENT at the Mountfort Terminal on Friday.

Another view.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

HOLLYHOCK in Port to Replace Buoys; Wisconsin Dispute with Federal Goverment Could Mean Good News for Erie Shipbuilding

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter HOLLYHOCK arrived in Erie this morning at 0630 and docked at Coast Guard Station Erie to load the winter markers that have been stored on the pier since last spring. After loading them, the HOLLYHOCK proceeded into Presque Isle Bay at 0800 and spent the morning replacing the summer buoys in Erie harbor with the unlit winter markers before moving through the piers to the outer channel this afternoon.

The buoys will be left on the North Pier at Coast Guard Station Erie and will be returned to the water in early May next year.

A dispute over a ballast-water permit between the state of Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources and the federal Environmental Protection Agency could be good news for Erie Shipbuilding. New rules from the EPA requiring a permit for ballast water discharge have not been certified by the state of Wisconsin. This mans that starting December 19 any vessel entering a Wisconsin port and discharging ballast water will be in violation of the federal Clean Water act.

If that happens, two major ship repair companies, Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay and Fraser Shipyard in Superior, will not be allowed to receive any vessels for repairs. This could be good news for Erie Shipbuilding, as vessels seeking repairs would be forced to look to other shipyards for repair work.

HOLLYHOCK replacing Buoy 9 in Erie Harbor this morning.

Lifting the buoy.

Dropping it over the side.

With the buoy set, HOLLYHOCK moves to buoy 11.

Approaching the buoy.

HOLLYHOCK lifts Buoy 11 out of the water.

Friday, December 5, 2008

PETITE FORTE Waits in Port as Season's End Draws Near

Tug PETITE FORTE and barge ST. MARY'S CEMENT arrived in Erie on Wednesday at 0600, ducking in from a Lake Erie that was producing seas too high for the duo, on a voyage from Cleveland to Bowmanville, Ontario in ballast to load cement, to handle.

The pair anchored in Presque Isle Bay before moving to the Mounfort Terminal at around 1000 that morning, where they remained until noon today before departing for Bowmanville.

Due to the economic uncertainty facing this country, many vessels have reached the close of the Great Lakes shipping season. Already more than a dozen American-flagged freighters are in layup, and after unloading in Conneaut, Ohio tomorrow the AMERICAN SPIRIT is reportedly bound for Superior, Wisconsin to layup.

As far as winter layups in Erie, the PRESQUE ISLE and another of Great Lakes Fleet's vessels will spend the winter in port.

PETITE FORTE/ST. MARY'S CEMENT at anchor in Presque Isle Bay on Wednesday morning.

Monday, November 24, 2008


MAUMEE arrived in Erie last night at 2145 and docked at the Mountfort Terminal to unload salt from Fairport Harbor. The MAUMEE unloaded for several hours before departing at around 0300 bound for Marblehead, Ohio to load stone.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

KERRIA Loads, Departs

ORIENTAL KERRIA began loading at 0600 yesterday and finished around midnight, making this the shortest load time for any biodiesel tanker. ORIENTAL KERRIA departed with 600,000 gallons of biodiesel bound for Rotterdam at around 0200 this morning.

Monday, November 17, 2008


CALUMET arrived in Erie at around 1800 yesterday evening, docked at the Old Ore Dock and unloaded stone from Calcite. The vessel departed at midnight bound for Toledo to load coal.

ORIENTAL KERRIA arrived in Erie this morning at 0630, turned in Presque Isle Bay and docked at the Mountfort Terminal. At around 1030 this morning Lakeshore Towing placed the oil-containment boom around the KERRIA. Loading on the KERRIA, the first biodiesel tanker in the port in almost three months, is scheduled to begin at 0600 on Wednesday morning.

ORIENTAL KERRIA at dock in the snow on Monday morning.

Another view.

With the oil-containment boom down this afternoon.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

CALUMET Underway; KERRIA Bound for Erie

CALUMET is underway and expected to arrive Erie at around 1645 today. Whether or not the CALUMET will choose to wait off Erie for the wind to die down or will attempt to enter port at that time is unknown.

ORIENTAL KERRIA, meanwhile, is underway from Corunna and expected to arrive in Erie at around 0500 Monday morning. This ETA could change depending on weather.

Note that this time of year all ETAs are subject to change frequently due to the unpredictable nature of weather on the Great Lakes. As of 1700 CALUMET is nowhere to be found and has possibly gone back to anchor to wait for more favorable weather to enter the port.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

CALUMET Anchored; Next Biodiesel Tanker Due

CALUMET is currently anchored just east of Southeast Shoal in Western Lake Erie on the south shore of the lake. The vessel is about eight hours away and I will update when the vessel gets underway.

After the cancellation of the CLIPPER LEANDER the next biodiesel load had been in question. However, ORIENTAL KERRIA arrived in Corunna, Ontario this morning to unload. After unloading the KERRIA will sail for Erie to load biodiesel. The ORIENTAL KERRIA should depart Corunna for Erie sometime tomorrow or Monday, depending on cargo and weather conditions.

Friday, November 14, 2008


CALUMET, with stone from Calcite, is due in Erie at 1900 hours on Saturday. This will be the first stone vessel in nearly a month to visit the port.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


CLIPPER LEANDER's biodiesel load has been cancelled and the vessel is now on its way to New York City with a partial load of chemical products from Becancour, Quebec. At this time I'm not sure if the load is to be shipped at a later date or not.

Monday, November 10, 2008


ORIENTAL KERRIA has departed Clarkson, Ontario but the CLIPPER LEANDER has yet to take the dock. It is fitting on this day, the 33rd anniversary of the EDMUND FITZGERALD sinking on Lake Superior, that the LEANDER is delayed for weather. The CLIPPER LEANDER has no ETA for Clarkson at this time.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


CLIPPER LEANDER is currently at anchor off of Port Weller, Ontario; the LEANDER is there waiting on the departure of ORIENTAL KERRIA from Clarkson, Ontario. Once the KERRIA leaves the CLIPPER LEANDER will take the dock at Clarkson to unload before sailing to Erie to load biodiesel.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Next Biodiesel Tanker Expected

The port's first biodiesel export since late August will be here sometime next week. CLIPPER LEANDER is currently inbound for Mississauga, Ontario to unload and after unloading, should arrive in Erie sometime between November 8 and November 12.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Historical: October 29, 1973

On this date in 1973, the tug PRESQUE ISLE departed the Halter Marine Services shipyard in New Orleans, LA bound for Erie where the barge that the tug would be integrated with was under construction. The tug would make her way up the St. Lawrence Seaway system before arriving in Erie on November 16.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Lakeshore Towing Services Awarded Conneaut Dredging Contract

Lakeshore Towing Services on Friday was awarded a major contract to dredge Conneaut, Ohio's harbor. The project, awarded by the Conneaut Port Authority, expected to keep crews busy for most of the fall, involves the removal of around 30,000 cubic yards of sediment from around the boat launch, marina, municipal pier, and a connecting channel in Conneaut harbor. Dredging of the main shipping channel in Conneaut harbor was just completed in September by Luedtke Engineering.

Lakeshore, which tentatively plans on using tug DON HENRY, towboat TITAN and barge 401 for the project, beat out two other bidders on this project. The company is currently finishing up a project to rehabilitate Erie's water intake cribs for the Erie Waterworks.

Lakeshore tug DON HENRY, along with Marine Services of Erie's tug LOW BIDDER, working on the water intakes on Monday, October 13.

Another view. On this day, Lakeshore's barge 501 and Marine Services of Erie's crane barge were also involved, along with tug FLATTOP.

On this beautiful Monday Lakeshore's crews were busy setting concrete blocks.



Crane starts to lift another block from the deck of the barge 501.

Setting the block into the water.

The block slips under the surface.

LOW BIDDER moves away to shift the barges before setting another block.

Moving the barges.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


AMERICAN FORTITUDE arrived in Erie this morning at 0200 and docked at the Mountfort Terminal to unload stone from Calcite. After lightering the FORTITUDE shifted to the Old Ore Dock to finish unloading before departing at around 0915 bound for Calcite.

This is the FORTITUDE's first visit of the 2008 season.

AMERICAN FORTITUDE unloads this morning.

Backing away from the dock.

Rounding the Mountfort Terminal.

Turning for the channel.


Another view.

Stern view.

Passing the lighthouse bound for Calcite.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

WHITE Departs

H. LEE WHITE, after repairs and Coast Guard inspection after an accident onboard last night, shifted to the Old Ore Dock in the early hours this morning to finish unloading. The WHITE departed at 0630.

CALUMET finishes unloading on Sunday afternoon.

Another view.


Stern view.

Picking up speed outside of the piers.

H. LEE WHITE is shown while making better than 13 miles per hour about five miles northwest of Erie entrance buoys 1 and 2.

Close up.

Stern view.

Another view.

Turning for the channel.

In the channel at buoys 3 and 4.

In the channel.

Stern view.

The fall colors shine on Presque Isle Lighthouse in the midafternoon sun.

ENVIRONAUT, Gannon University's research vessel, working in Presque Isle Bay.

H. LEE WHITE unloading at the Mountfort Terminal.

Monday, October 13, 2008


H. LEE WHITE arrived in Erie this afternoon at 1400, docking at the Mountfort Terminal to unload stone from Calcite.

Around 1900 this evening emergency technicians were called to the vessel for reports of a crewmember who got his arm caught in a conveyor. EMS found it necessary to cut the man out of the conveyor. The crewman was transported to Hamot Medical Center, where he is in fair condition at this time.

Repairs are underway to the WHITE and it is unknown when the vessel will finish unloading and depart.

Photos of the CALUMET's departure and WHITE's arrival will come tomorrow afternoon.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


CALUMET arrived in Erie this morning at 0530 and docked at the Old Ore Dock to unload stone from Cedarville. The vessel departed at around 1400.

H. LEE WHITE, with stone from Calcite, is due in Erie at 1400 Monday.

Photos of all of this activity will follow on Monday.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


CALUMET is now due in Erie sometime tonight during the middle of the night, after stopping for fuel and running at slower speeds than anticipated.

Friday, October 10, 2008


CALUMET is due in Erie tomorrow at 1500. The vessel is laden with stone from Cedarville.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Historical Arrivals for October 6

1972: The bow section of Litton Industries' Hull 102, the barge PRESQUE ISLE, arrives in Erie under tow of tugs LAURENCE C. TURNER and MARYLAND. The bow section was built at Bay City, Michigan's Defoe Shipyard and would be added to the midbody of the barge under construction.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


After spending several days moored at the Erie Maritime Museum and Dobbin's Landing, sailing vessel DENIS SULLIVAN departed Erie last night for the Welland Canal and eventually, the East Coast, where the vessel will spend the winter months. During the summer, the SULLIVAN is homeported in Milwaukee.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


CALUMET, the first ship in port in more than three weeks, arrived in port this morning at 0330 with stone from Cedarville, mooring at the Old Ore Dock. The CALUMET unloaded throughout the night and into the rainy morning before departing at 1045 hours.

CALUMET unloading this morning. Photos by Jim Thoreson.

With the J.S. St. JOHN in the foreground. The St. JOHN suffered an engine breakdown last week and on Wednesday morning was towed from the Mountfort Terminal to Old Ore Dock by Lakeshore Towing's tug DON HENRY and Marine Services of Erie's LOW BIDDER.

Backing away from the Ore Dock.