Monday, March 29, 2010

PRESQUE ISLE Video; Harbor Activity; List of Tall Ships Taken Down

Below is video of the PRESQUE ISLE departing Erie on March 19, 2010 at 1400 hours.

With Spring upon us, Erie's harbor is beginning to awaken to commercial activity. Last week Lakeshore Towing began dredging the Old Ore Dock to finish the project that was started last winter. This week the company is beginning the replacement of Dock D at Perry's Landing Marina. In mid April the company will be dredging at Lampe Marina.

At the request of the organizers of Tall Ships Erie, I have taken down the tentative list of vessels scheduled to be here for that event, which I posted on March 21. I will release that information if the organizers tell me that I may do so.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Port Authority Seeking Bids for Rail Siding into Shipyard

Erie Western-Pennsylvania Port Authority is now seeking bids on the installation of a 3,000 foot long rail siding to cross the Bayfront Parkway into Donjon Shipbuilding and Repair's facility. This is the same siding that was talked about for several years for Erie Shipbuilding but never seemed to get built. The line would connect to CSX's tracks on the south side of the Parkway, which winds up to CSX's Erie yard and the mainline. The bayfront trackage also services the Mountfort Terminal and Erie Coke Corporation and is generally serviced on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Video: EDGAR B. SPEER Departing Layup

Below is video of the EDGAR B. SPEER departing layup last Friday. I will post video of the PRESQUE ISLE tomorrow or Thursday.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Breaking: Ships of the Tall Ships Erie 2010 Festival

Tall Ships Erie, a festival of tall ships being held September 9-12 in Erie this year, has yet to release the list of vessels participating. However, at this time I can confirm the following vessels will be in attendance:

HMS BOUNTY, homeport: Greenwich, New York
PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II, homeport: Baltimore, Maryland
ROALD AMUNDSEN, homeport: Eckernförde, Germany
PLAYFAIR and PATHFINDER, homeport: Toronto
UNICORN, homeport: St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

I will continue to follow this and add more vessels (supposedly there are seven vessels scheduled) as the information becomes available to me.

Note that HMS BOUNTY is the 1960-built vessel used in the 1960 MGM version of Mutiny of the Bounty starring Marlon Brando. Both BOUNTY and PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II have visited Erie in the past.

Please note that although all of these ships have confirmed their appearance on their websites, the official party line from Tall Ships Erie is that because they're afraid that this information getting out early could upset their sponsors and ruin "their day in the sun" this information has not been officially confirmed.

Friday, March 19, 2010


After just over two months of work in port, both EDGAR B. SPEER and PRESQUE ISLE departed Erie today. After several delays, SPEER ended up departing before the PRESQUE ISLE at around 1300, bound for Two Harbors, Minnesota to load iron ore.

SPEER saluted the crowd of about 100 people, including representatives of WICU-TV, WJET-TV, and the Erie Times News, gathered on hand to watch the departure.

Around 1345 PRESQUE ISLE departed the Mountfort Terminal, and exchanged salutes with a number of motor vehicles on the dock. The PRESQUE ISLE turned in Presque Isle Bay and departed outbound, also saluting the dwindling number of onlookers as it departed the port to begin another season. The PRESQUE ISLE is bound for Duluth to load iron ore.

I will post video of these departures tomorrow or Sunday.

EDGAR B. SPEER testing its unloading boom prior to departure.

PRESQUE ISLE at the Mountfort Terminal this morning.

EDGAR B. SPEER in Presque Isle Bay.

Turning for the channel.

Passing its fleetmate PRESQUE ISLE, which is about 30 minutes from leaving the Mountfort Terminal at this point.



Stern view.

At the end of the channel.

Another view.

Passing the lighthouse.

Next destination: Two Harbors, Minnesota.

Local motor yacht ENDLESS ENDEAVOUR inbound from the lake. The yacht's owner reports windrows of five to six feet of ice in the lake.

PRESQUE ISLE departing the Mountfort Terminal.

Turning into the bay.

Turn almost complete.

Lining up for the channel.

Approaching the piers.

In the channel.

Stern view.

Next destination: Duluth.

See you next winter, if not sooner.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


NEAH BAY remained in port today and will likely depart tomorrow with the PRESQUE ISLE, currently scheduled to leave, bound for Duluth to load iron ore, around 0800. EDGAR B. SPEER, bound for Two Harbors to load iron ore, is scheduled to leave between 1100 and 1200.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

SPEER, PRESQUE ISLE set to depart; NEAH BAY in port

PRESQUE ISLE and EDGAR B. SPEER are both preparing to depart their winter berths in Erie on Friday. PRESQUE ISLE should be departing sometime around 0800 and the SPEER will follow the PRESQUE ISLE up the lake when SPEER departs sometime between 1100 and noon.

U.S. Coast Guard icebreaking tug NEAH BAY arrived in Erie this afternoon and is docked at Dobbin's Landing. At this time, I'm not sure when they plan on leaving.

NEAH BAY at Dobbin's Landing this evening.

Another view.


With the PRESQUE ISLE in the background.

Monday, March 15, 2010

SPEER, PRESQUE ISLE to Depart Friday

Engine room crews on the EDGAR B. SPEER and PRESQUE ISLE reported to their vessel on Friday to begin the fit out process. Although work remains to be done on both vessels, they are both scheduled to depart on Friday morning for Lake Superior to load iron ore. I will update as I learn more. The departure on this date will allow the two to be among the first vessels to pass upbound through the Soo Locks when they open on Sunday, four days ahead of schedule.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sabotage Attempt on DAY PECKINPAUGH

Police in Waterford, New York have charged a former New York state employee with criminal mischief and grand larceny after he stole a state vehicle and opened sea valves in an attempt to flood and sink state museum and former Erie Navigation Company cement carrier DAY PECKINPAUGH.

Guy Pucci, a maintenance worker on the PECKINPAUGH who was fired on February 25, was charged after employees arriving at work on Monday discovered the 89-year-old PECKINPAUGH sitting lower in the water than normal and called police. An investigation proved that the sea valves on the vessel had been left open and it was sitting several feet lower in the water than normal. Crews were able to pump the vessel out, and police arrested Pucci and are holding him on $5,000 bond in the Waterford jail.

DAY PECKINPAUGH laid up in Erie on May 5, 2005, barely two months before leaving to become a museum.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Winter Layup Update

Winter layup work continues on both the PRESQUE ISLE and EDGAR B. SPEER. The cofferdam on the PRESQUE ISLE has been removed and fitout should begin shortly on the vessels, which should sail later this month.

Below are photos of the vessels in layup taken on February 20.

EDGAR B. SPEER at the Old Ore Dock.

Another view.


SPEER. Note the cranes over the stern of the vessel.

Another view of the SPEER.

PRESQUE ISLE at the Mountfort Terminal as the sun fades.

Another view.


Resting at the dock.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Ships that Paasch Built, Part 1: ANTHONY J. CELEBREZZE

Ships that Paasch Built will be an occasional series documenting the vessels built by former Erie shipbuilder Paasch Marine.

1961-built ANTHONY J. CELEBREZZE, named for the 49th Mayor of Cleveland and the fifth U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare who served under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, as well as on the U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, is the Cleveland Fire Department's fireboat. The 61-foot long vessel was delivered from Paasch Marine on October 20, 1961 and was built at a reported cost of $85,000. Today a vessel of this size would cost well over $1,000,000.

The CELEBREZZE is stationed at Station 21 on Carter Road along the banks of the Cuyahoga River.

ANTHONY J. CELEBREZZE upbound in the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, bound for Lake Erie, last Thursday.

Another view.

Passing under the Columbus Road bridge after waiting for the passage of tug/barge DOROTHY ANN/PATHFINDER.

Stern view.

Also in Cleveland on Thursday running shuttles from the lakefront's Cleveland Bulk Terminal to Mittal Steel, laden with taconite pellets, was Interlake Steamship's tug and barge DOROTHY ANN/PATHFINDER.

DOROTHY ANN/PATHFINDER entering the Cuyahoga River at 1400 on Thursday afternoon.

Another view in the ice-covered mouth of the river.

Stern view preparing to pass under the Norfolk Southern Railroad bridge.

Turning in the winding river at Columbus Road.

Rounding Collision Bend and the home of the CELEBREZZE, not visible on the left of the frame behind the bridge support.

Passing under the open, out-of-service West 3rd Street Bridge.

Close up.