Saturday, January 30, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

PRESQUE ISLE Cofferdam Installed

Lakeshore Towing Services installed the cofferdam on the PRESQUE ISLE on Monday. This will allow crews access to the propeller shaft on the vessel to replace the shaft seal.

Below, in two parts, is video of the vessel's arrival on Thursday.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Below is video, in four parts, of the EDGAR B. SPEER's arrival in Erie on Saturday.

Video of the PRESQUE ISLE will be posted tomorrow.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Great Lakes Fleet's EDGAR B. SPEER arrived in Erie at 0830 this morning and entered port for winter layup. The SPEER proceeded past the PRESQUE ISLE and into Presque Isle Bay, where the vessel turned and backed into the Old Ore Dock. The SPEER's arrival drew a crowd about half of the size of the crowd on hand to see the PRESQUE ISLE on Thursday, with most of the crowd arriving to see the SPEER back through the icy slip at the Old Ore Dock.

This is the 1981-built SPEER's first-ever visit to the port of Erie. The SPEER, with its short unloading boom, can only unload at Gary, Indiana or Conneaut, where the vessel spent yesterday unloading. Unloading at other ports requires the SPEER to unload into another ship, something that it has done on a couple of occasions. Earlier this season the SPEER travelled to Nanticoke, Ontario where it unloaded into the CSL TADOUSSAC.

I will post video of both the SPEER and PRESQUE ISLE later tonight or tomorrow; editing the video always takes more time than I expect it to.

EDGAR B. SPEER inbound.

Passing the lighthouse.

In the channel.

Stern view.

Passing the PRESQUE ISLE.

Turning into the bay.

Turning in the bay.

Overhead view approaching its winter berth.

Backing into the slip.

Alongside the dock.

SPEER pushes tons of ice backwards as it inches along the dock.

Nathan and David, budding boatwatchers, watch the SPEER.

Close to the layup dock.

Finished with engine.

Friday, January 15, 2010

SPEER Update

EDGAR B. SPEER should finish unloading in Conneaut, Ohio in the next couple of hours and depart for Erie. The SPEER is expected to arrive in port at 0600, but given delays that can and will likely happen, may arrive in Erie after daybreak on Saturday.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Malcolm Marine's tug MANITOU arrived in Erie at 0230 this morning and broke open the channel and outer harbor before docking at Donjon Shipbuilding and Repair to await wind on Lake Erie and also await the arrival of the PRESQUE ISLE for winter layup.

PRESQUE ISLE, meanwhile, spent much of the day cruising Lake Erie while the crew did cleaning and general pre-layup maintainance before arriving at the piers at 1500. As the PRESQUE ISLE arrived the MANITOU cruised through Erie harbor to break ice in anticipation of the EDGAR B. SPEER's arrival, expected at 0600 on Saturday.

PRESQUE ISLE slowly entered the channel and docked at the Mountfort Terminal in front of a crowd of about 100 people enjoying the beautiful, abnormally warm temperatures. After the PRESQUE ISLE arrived alongside the dock the MANITOU departed, saluting the one remaining onlooker on the pier, and headed back up the lake.

Local media, including the Erie Times-News and WJET TV were on hand to cover the event. However, the vessel did not, as reported by WJET, circle Presque Isle Bay before docking.

MANITOU at dock this morning. The tug's mascot, a dog named Cimarron, is on watch in front of the pilothouse.

PRESQUE ISLE passes Erie's pierhead lighthouse. Note the snowman on the North Pier. He won't be there long if the forecast, with mild temperatures, holds.

Another view.

Close up.

About 3,000 feet from her layup dock, the PRESQUE ISLE has slowed considerably.

Another view.

Lookout on the bow, fitting right in with the icy beard on the bow of the vessel, waves at the crowd.


Crowd on the pier.

Stern view.

Approaching its yearly winter berth.

MANITOU breaks ice in Presque Isle Bay.


Coming around.

Stern view.

Passing by the PRESQUE ISLE.

MANITOU passes the PRESQUE ISLE on its way out.

PRESQUE ISLE and the cofferdam.

File photo: Underneath the port propeller of the PRESQUE ISLE, March 12, 2007. This is the view once the cofferdam in the above photo is pumped dry.

Another job well done, MANITOU heads outbound.

Stern view.

I will post video of the PRESQUE ISLE's arrival with tomorrow's update. Video of the MANITOU's departure, including a salute from the tug, is below.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


PRESQUE ISLE is currently unloading in Conneaut and should be departing sometime tonight, and is due in Erie tomorrow morning sometime for layup at the Mountfort Terminal.

EDGAR B. SPEER, at the present time, is due in Conneaut at midnight on Friday, which, barring any delays, should put the vessel in Erie on the afternoon or evening of that day.

In preparation for the vessels to arrive, Erie Sand & Gravel has job postings for welders/laborers for temporary full-time positions. More information can be found on their website.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


PRESQUE ISLE passed downbound at Southeast Shoal at around 2230 hours this evening, and should be in Conneaut sometime after daylight on Wednesday. Ice is apparently a concern for the vessel as the tug MANITOU is headed down the lake, also bound for Conneaut, and possibly Erie, to assist the vessels in there.


PRESQUE ISLE is currently due in Conneaut, ice permitting, at 0600 on Wednesday to unload iron ore. The vessel will sail for Erie and arrive on Thursday morning, probably during daylight, for layup. I should have a more definite ETA tomorrow.

EDGAR B. SPEER is due in Conneaut, ice permitting, on the 15th at 0300 to unload, and then due in Erie early Saturday. This will likely change and the SPEER should arrive during daylight hours on Saturday.

Below is video of the VICTORY and JAMES L. KUBER arriving in Erie on November 21. The video is in two parts. Part one shows the duo's entrance to the port and Part two shows the vessel docking.

Part one:

Part two:

Monday, January 11, 2010


The latest update on ETAs for the EDGAR B. SPEER and PRESQUE ISLE has the PRESQUE ISLE arriving sometime on Thursday and the SPEER on Saturday. Ice in the St. Clair River has delayed traffic and is expected to delay the PRESQUE ISLE on its downbound voyage. The PRESQUE ISLE, which under normal circumstances would pass through the river sometime tonight, will now not be allowed to pass down through the rivers until sometime Tuesday, which will put the vessel in Conneaut on Wednesday sometime.

Below are photos from the winter of 2005-06. The JOSEPH H. THOMPSON/THOMPSON JR. are shown arriving on January 1, 2006; the PRESQUE ISLE on January 10, and the CASON J. CALLAWAY on January 16.

THOMPSON inbound on a rainy New Year's Day.

Stern view.

Docking at Erie Shipbuilding.

PRESQUE ISLE inbound on January 10.


CALLAWAY inbound on January 16.

Stern view.

Docked next to the THOMPSON later that afternoon.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


PRESQUE ISLE is currently underway for Conneaut and expected there during the afternoon of January 12 to unload iron ore before sailing to Erie for layup. The EDGAR B. SPEER is due to load in Superior today, and will arrive in Conneaut on January 14 to unload before sailing to Erie for layup. This will put both vessels in here by next weekend, weather permitting.

This will be the first time in ten years, since the winter of 1999-2000, that two thousand-foot long vessels have spent the winter in Erie. That year, the JAMES R. BARKER spent the winter at the West Slip and the MESABI MINER spent the winter at the Old Ore Dock.

EDGAR B. SPEER arriving in Conneaut on October 14.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Both of the vessels scheduled to spend the winter in Erie, the EDGAR B. SPEER and PRESQUE ISLE, are on their last trips of the season before laying up in Erie. The PRESQUE ISLE is due into Two Harbors, Minnesota at 1600 hours on Friday to load taconite pellets for Conneaut, where the vessel is scheduled to arrive on the 12th at noon. That should put the vessel in Erie, assuming no delays, sometime on Wednesday, January 13.

EDGAR B. SPEER, meanwhile, is due in Superior to load taconite for Conneaut on Friday evening, which will reportedly put the vessel in Conneaut next Thursday and in Erie on Friday or Saturday. All of these times are subject to change and likely will, depending on ice and weather. Last year both the PRESQUE ISLE and ROGER BLOUGH were delayed for nearly two days due to adverse weather conditions and ice.

Below is video of the HARBOUR CLOUD arriving in Erie on November 27, 2009 to load biodiesel.