MANITOU entered Conneaut harbor at 1524 today and is currently working on docking the SPEER. Assuming the SPEER begins to unload at 1700 today, and unloads for twelve hours, that should put the SPEER in Erie sometime after daylight tomorrow, possibly after 0800. No word yet on whether the MANITOU will return to Erie tonight or wait and return with the SPEER tomorrow. There is also no word as to whether the MANITOU will stay in Erie after the SPEER arrives or take off for Sandusky and Ashtabula to assist the CASON J. CALLAWAY; however, with ice on Lake Erie being extremely heavy due to several weeks of sub-freezing temperatures, it's likely the MANITOU will depart and return later this week with the PRESQUE ISLE and CALLAWAY.
MANITOU had arrived in Erie at 1500 yesterday and broke open the ice in the harbor, which will - in theory, as ice has a mind of its own - allow the SPEER to turn and back in to the Old Ore Dock. The MANITOU's presence will allow for the SPEER to back in, as compared to two years ago, when the ROGER BLOUGH was forced to pull into the Old Ore Dock after receiving inadequate ice breaking from the USCGC NEAH BAY. Since then Great Lakes Fleet has preferred to pay the bill for the private icebreaking services of Malcolm Marine.
Please check back on Erie Shipping News, or, as I wrote in a post below, check out our Twitter page. Both will be updated as the news happens and will allow viewers to see the SPEER's arrival.