Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


USCG BRISTOL BAY and buoy barge CGB 12001 arrived in port this morning at 0800 and moored at Coast Guard Station Erie so the barge could load the summer buoys that have spent the winter on the North Pier after their removal last fall by the cutter HOLLYHOCK. BRISTOL BAY's crew spent the day removing the unlighted winter markers and replacing them with the summer buoys before mooring at Station Erie at 1700 to unload the winter buoys. BRISTOL BAY departed at 2100 for Dunkirk, New York.

Deck barge WITTE 1402 was shifted backwards today at Erie Shipbuilding. I'm not sure if this is to facilitate work on the WITTE 1402 or to allow tugs access to the deck barge SUE B., but with the New York State Barge Canal opening on Thursday, the newly built barges should be leaving port sometime in the near future.

BRISTOL BAY and CGB 12001 inbound.


Side view.

Stern view of the pair.

Crane on CGB 12001 lifts buoys 12 and 14 onto the barge.

Buoys 12 and 14 secured on deck.

Monday, April 28, 2008


Below is video of KAREN ANDRIE/A-397 departing Erie last Wednesday with an assist from the skilled professionals at Lakeshore Towing.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Historical Arrivals: April 27

April 27, 2003: PHILIP R. CLARKE arrives with salt from Fairport Harbor for the Mountfort Terminal.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


After unloading at the Mountfort Terminal for a couple of hours last night, H. LEE WHITE shifted to the Old Ore Dock and unloaded the remainder of her cargo there before departing ths morning at 0800 bound for Toledo, Ohio to load coal at the CSX coal dock.

The WHITE is the third stone vessel of the new season to visit the port, and the sixth overall.

WHITE unloads at 0600 this morning.

Overhead view.

At dock after the sun has risen.


Finished unloading.

Departing the Old Ore Dock.

Outbound in the morning sun.

Stern view.

Friday, April 25, 2008


H. LEE WHITE, with stone from Calcite, Michigan, is now inbound Erie and should be tied up at the Mountfort Terminal by midnight. After unloading, the vessel should be out at dawn tomorrow bound for Toledo, Ohio to load coal.

An Erie Shipping News FAQ

I figured that since I have some time this evening, I'll answer a few of the questions I receive as comments either on here or from my readers via email.

Q: Is shipping biodiesel by water efficient?
A: Honestly, I don't know much about the specifics of it. But I'd imagine that it must be, since Lake Erie Biofuels has done it once before and is making plans to do so again within the next month or so. As far as how much money they're making, I really couldn't give you a good answer without making something up off the top of my head, and I really don't want to do that.

Q: Are there any restrictions on pleasure boaters now that the commercial shipping season is in full swing?
A: No, but your safety is your own responsibility, and for most people should be common sense. If you're out in a 16' boat and see a 730', fully loaded freighter coming at you, who do you think has the right-of-way? Not you, that's for sure. Any vessel with restricted manoueverability has the right-of-way, meaning that other traffic should yield to it. That's commercial traffic ranging from 1000' long freighters to Lakeshore Towing's tug FLATTOP pushing a barge. Anything engaged in making money generally has the right-of-way. Generally, give the bigger vessel room to manouever. Vessels under sail have the right-of-way over powered vessels, but that doesn't mean that a ship has to yield to your sailboat. Although I will say that what seems like common sense to me, and to most of my readers, doesn't necessarily apply to some of the pleasure boaters I've seen. Some don't yield for anything, and put their own safety in peril when they don't.

Q: Where do you get information on vessel arrivals and departures, and what's going on around the harbor?
A: A variety of sources are responsible for arrival and departure information, including several websites and also the AIS computers that ships over 300 GT are required to carry. This information is freely available to anyone with a receiver capable of picking it up. And yes, those are perfectly legal. As far as harborfront happenings, I'm fortunate enough to have great sources from Lakeshore Towing and Erie Shipbuilding. Thanks guys.

Tomorrow I hope to start posting video from the happenings of the past couple of weeks.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


MICHIPICOTEN departed Erie last night at 2230 hours bound for Marblehead, Ohio to load stone. With her departure, the last of Erie's layup fleet has departed.

This leaves Erie Shipbuilding's docks quite empty, so what's next for the company? They have two more deck barges to build and delivery of the ones currently moored in the West Slip should begin sometime in May.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


After spending the morning preparing to depart Erie Shipbuilding, KAREN ANDRIE and A-397 got underway from Erie Shipbuilding at noon today, with the tug pushing the barge as Lakeshore Towing's tugs FLATTOP and DON HENRY stood by. The two were on hand to assist the ANDRIE before the tug-barge's departure.

KAREN ANDRIE and A-397, along with FLATTOP and DON HENRY slowly made their way into the channel, and around 1250 hours this afternoon the two tugs moved in as the ANDRIE approached the North Pier to set the barge alongside. ANDRIE intended to tow the barge on the open lake, and decided to switch to pull mode in Erie harbor. As the barge A-397 does not have a bow thruster, FLATTOP and DON HENRY were on hand to push the barge alongside the North Pier and held it there as ANDRIE unhooked from the barge and shifted around to the bow. Having taken up a tow line on the barge, KAREN ANDRIE and A-397 departed at 1400 this afternoon for Toledo, Ohio.

I erred in mentioning yesterday that both the ANDRIE and A-397 had received a new coupler system this winter while in drydock. Only the tug KAREN ANDRIE received the JAK coupler system. This occured so that the ANDRIE can be mated with a new barge that Andrie has on order for delivery this November from a shipyard in Mississippi. When this occurs, barge A-397 will be transfered to tug BARBARA ANDRIE, and BARBARA ANDRIE's barge, A-390, will likely be scrapped.

MICHIPICOTEN is now the last remaining member of Erie's layup fleet. Today the vessel was conducting fire and boat drills in preparation for her departure, which will likely be sometime before the end of the week.

Lakeshore Towing continued to dredge at East Avenue today. The company has another day or two worth of work there, two days of dredging work in the East Canal Basin and will then be working at Shades Beach in Harborcreek for about two weeks.

As I was about 90% finished with this entry at 2005 hours this evening, MANISTEE gave a 15-minute security call inbound for the Mountfort Terminal with salt for Fairport Harbor. The vessel was tying up by 2100 and should be unloaded by around 0300.

Lakeshore Towing Service's towboat TITAN is outbound the piers ahead of the A-397 and ANDRIE.

ANDRIE, assisted by FLATTOP enters the channel.

The flotilla of tugs and a barge.

Closer view of the convoy.

FLATTOP alongside the stern of the A-397.

DON HENRY pulls ahead of the A-397.





FLATTOP pushes on the A-397 to bring it closer to the North Pier.

DON HENRY joins the fun.

TITAN passes the ANDRIE and FLATTOP.

Tug KAREN ANDRIE begins to back out of the barge.

Out of the barge.

KAREN ANDRIE manouevers around the barge.

Coming ahead.

Side view. Note the door below the pilot house is open and can

KAREN ANDRIE comes alongside the barge.

ANDRIE takes the tow line.

ANDRIE and A-397 preparing to leave.

Pulling away from the pier.



Stern view of the KAREN ANDRIE.

Stern view of the barge.


FLATTOP and DON HENRY depart the South Pier bound for East Avenue.


Stern view with Lake Erie Biofuels in the background.

MANISTEE inbound.

Framed by the lighthouse and a buoy.

Close up.

Stern view.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

MAUMEE in Port; MICHIPICOTEN Ready to Go; ANDRIE Out on Sea Trials

MAUMEE arrived in port at 0030 this morning and moored at the Mountfort Terminal with a cargo of salt from Fairport Harbor, Ohio. The vessel unloadied throughout the night and finished as the first rays of dawn peaked over the horizon at 0555 this morning. MAUMEE's crew quickly cast off and departed the Mountfort Terminal, slowly worked her way into Presque Isle Bay and turn on hard starboard wheel to line up with the channel. The Lower Lakes Transportation-owned, 1929-built classic the proceeded slowly through the channel and into Lake Erie on a gorgeous morning more typical of late May than mid-April, bound for Cleveland's Cargill Salt dock to load.

Meanwhile, across the harbor, MAUMEE's Canadian fleetmate, Lower Lakes Towing's MICHIPICOTEN, is in the final stages of fitout at Erie Shipbuilding and this morning the vessel was waiting on inspection from Lloyd's of London and various government agencies. If all goes well the vessel will be departing today or tomorrow.

MICHIPICOTEN was drydocked for the rebuilding of a piece of machinery in the tail shaft, located at the stern near the propeller. This work was supposed to have been done when the vessel received its five-year survey at Bay Shipbuilding in December; however, Bay Shipbuilding, the largest shipyard on the Great Lakes, did not have the capability to do the work, resulting in Erie Shipbuilding winning the contract. Hopefully, the completion of this work will lead the Lower Lakes fleet to do more business with Erie Shipbuilding.

Fit out work continues on tug KAREN ANDRIE and barge A-397. This afternoon at 1555 the ANDRIE departed Erie on sea trials, returning an hour later after completion of them. A-397 received her five-year survey, along with the Hydraconn coupler system installed on the tug and barge over the winter, while in drydock.

An article in today's Buffalo News indicates that scrapping on the LANSDOWNE is almost complete and the remains will be moved later this week to facilitate scrapping. The two rail cars on the stern have been saved by the Illinois Railway Museum.

MAUMEE completes its turn this morning.

Lining up for the channel.

Entering the channel as the sun rises.

MAUMEE in between the piers.

The bow of the MAUMEE approaching the Erie Pierhead Lighthouse.

Stern view.

Another view.

Into Lake Erie.

KAREN ANDRIE preparing for sea trials.


With the A-397.

MICHIPICOTEN fitting out.

Another view, taken from the public dock.