Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Word from the lakes has Lower Lakes Towing sending two of their vessels to Erie for layup at Donjon Shipbuilding and Repair later this month or early in January.

KAMINISTIQUA will be at Donjon for her five year survey, and OJIBWAY will be here for unspecified repairs. Neither vessel has wintered at Erie before.

These are in addition to EDWIN H. GOTT and ROGER BLOUGH, which will winter in Erie at Erie Sand & Gravel's docks.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


MANISTEE arrived in Erie at 0500 this morning, turned in the harbor and docked at the Mountfort Terminal at around 0630. The vessel spent the morning unloading salt from Fairport Harbor and departed at 1220 hours this afternoon.

Saturday, December 21, 2013


MANISTEE, loaded with salt from Fairport, is expected in Erie tonight around 2330.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


In a preview of winter layup, ROGER BLOUGH arrived in Erie this morning at 0245, in ballast from Conneaut, and docked at the Mountfort Terminal to undergo repairs. BLOUGH had a couple of small leaks that needed repairs. The vessel departed today at 1400 bound for Lake Superior and another ore cargo.

Surprisingly this year, PRESQUE ISLE will not be spending the winter in Erie. BLOUGH and EDWIN H. GOTT are reported to be the two vessels spending the winter here from Great Lakes Fleet.

BLOUGH at the Mountfort Terminal this morning.

Another view of the 858' long BLOUGH.

J.S. St. JOHN inbound. This is one of the latest trips the vessel has made in recent memory.

Stern view.

St. JOHN approaches the Old Ore Dock.


BLOUGH starts to move away from the Mountfort Terminal around 1345 this afternoon.

Moving away from the dock.

BLOUGH lines up for the channel.

Close up.

Stern view.

Passing the lighthouse.


Friday, December 6, 2013

Thursday, December 5, 2013


ROGER BLOUGH is expected in Erie tonight or early in the morning for repairs. The repairs are only expected to take a few hours and the ship will be back underway in the afternoon.

Watch Erie Shipping News for updates.

Monday, December 2, 2013


ALGORAIL arrived off of Erie this morning around 1030 with her second load of salt from Windsor delivered to the port this season. The ship turned outside of Buoys 1 & 2 and backed into the harbor to dock at the Mountfort Terminal.

After unloading, the 1967-built ALGORAIL departed at 1700 this afternoon bound for Windsor to load another salt cargo.

ALGORAIL backing into Erie at Buoys 3&4.

Another view.

In the channel.

Bow view.

ALGORAIL turns toward the dock.

Another view.

ALGORAIL moves toward the dock.

Starboard side view.

Backing into position.

Docking at Mountfort Terminal.

Finished unloading and ready to depart.

Moving away from the dock.


Close up.

Stern view.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


After two days of floating in the flooded graving dock at Donjon Shipbuilding & Repair waiting on weather, FRONTENAC began warming her engine this morning in preparation for departure. The 1967-built bulk carrier had been on the blocks at Donjon since October 23 for her five year survey. With the survey complete it's time for the FRONTENAC to get back to work.

At around 0945, the day's window of opportunity for weather opened and the ship began moving slowly out of the graving dock into Erie harbor. After leaving the dock the ship, which had drafts of only 15'6" forward and 18'3" inches aft, began to ballast as it headed outbound. FRONTENAC departed at 1015 this morning bound for Ashtabula, Ohio to load. 

However, unable to get into Ashtabula this afternoon, the FRONTENAC is currently downbound for The anchorage behind Long Point to wait out weather. The vessel's crew reported winds of up to 45 knots. FRONTENAC's first two trips will be from Ashtabula to Quebec City, and she will then return to Hamilton to load ore from the shuttered US Steel plant there and take it to Quebec City.

FRONTENAC in the graving dock this morning, starting to work her way slowly forward.

Turning the corner around the Mountfort Terminal.

Picking up speed, FRONTENAC lines up for the channel.

Another view. 

Another view of the 729' long bulk carrier.

In the channel.

Stern view. Note the amount of water being kicked up by the vessel's propeller.

A view with the pierhead lighthouse.

Outbound for Ashtabula. Note the waves on the lake.

Monday, November 11, 2013

FRONTENAC Ready to Emerge

FRONTENAC is positioned in the graving dock at Donjon Shipbuilding and Repair and will reportedly be emerging from drydock tomorrow. 

I will provide updates as I am able.

One Hundred Years since the Great Storm

This week marks the one hundred year anniversary of the Great Storm of 1913, responsible for more lost ships and mariners than any blow in Great Lakes history. The storm began on November 7, 1913 on Lake Superior and over the next few days buffeted all of the Great Lakes. 

Lake Huron received the worst of the blow. Eight vessels went down there, of thirteen total that went down on the Great Lakes.

On Lake Erie, LIGHTSHIP 82 was blown off station off of Buffalo, New York, taking six lives. Around 250 lives were taken in the blow. 

 November is a bad month for shipwrecks on the lakes. The most recent, EDMUND FITZGERALD, went down November 10, 1975 with the loss of 29 lives on Lake Superior. 

The thousands of mariners lost over 300 years of navigation on the lakes are gone, but never forgotten.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


FRONTENAC is now floating in the drydock at Donjon Shipbuilding & Repair, and will likely be departing when the wind dies down.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

ALGORAIL Delivers Rare Load

Paying her first visit to Erie since 2006, ALGORAIL arrived in Erie this morning at 0400 and docked at the Mountfort Terminal. The 1968-built classic brought to port a rare load of salt from Windsor, Ontario. This is the first load of salt from Canada delivered to the port in at least twelve years.

After spending the morning hours of a beautiful late October day unloading, ALGORAIL departed the Mountfort Terminal at 1030 this morning, turned in the harbor and was outbound at 1100. The vessel is headed for Lake Huron and will be stopping at Imperial Oil in Sarnia for fuel for her Fairbanks-Morse engines.

ALGORAIL unloading at 0815 this morning.

Swinging the boom in and preparing for departure.

Departing the dock.

Turned, ALGORAIL heads out.

Passing one of the many fishing boats out this morning.

Another view.

Between the piers.

Stern view.

Picking up speed, ALGORAIL heads through the channel.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

FRONTENAC Arrives, is Drydocked; WITTE 2301 Emerges

At 0745 this morning, Lakeshore Towing's tugs LOW BIDDER and DON HENRY, along with towboat TITAN, entered the graving dock at Donjon Shipbuilding & Repair and hooked up to newly built hopper barge WITTE 2301. A few minutes later, with DON HENRY on the stern and leading the tow, the trio emerged from the dock and moved the barge to the West Slip, moored across from McKEE SONS. By 0915 the tow was complete and the barge was moored at the dock.

FRONTENAC departed Nanticoke shortly before 1000 this morning after unloading taconite pellets and arrived in Erie at 1300. After a short stop at the Mountfort Terminal while the dock at Donjon Shipbuilding & Repair was prepared, FRONTENAC turned in the harbor and backed into the graving dock at 1530 today.

FRONTENAC's drydocking is different than the previous few drydockings at Donjon - VICTORY/JAMES L. KUBER, barge A-390 and THALASSA DESGAGNES have all been drydocked bow-in. This is the first drydocking done for FRONTENAC's owner, Canada Steamship Lines, in Erie since the winter of 1996-97 when MANITOULIN, JEAN PARISIEN, and LOUIS R. DESMARAIS were drydocked here. Of note, MANITOULIN has been scrapped and the other two vessels have been renamed since then; FRONTENAC, however, has carried the same name since being built in 1967.

LOW BIDDER works WITTE 2301 west toward the slip in the rain this morning.

Coming around tug INVINCIBLE.

LOW BIDDER and DON HENRY line the WITTE 2301 up for the dock.

LOW BIDDER leading the tow.

WITTE 2301 is similar to the three hopper barges built for Sterling Equipment this summer.

Passing a mooring line to the dock.

DON HENRY holds the stern off the dock.

FRONTENAC inbound.

Another view between the piers.

This is believed to be 1967-built FRONTENAC's first visit ever to Erie.

The vessel is here for her five-year survey.

Passing the Coast Guard Station.

Stern view.

Approaching the Mountfort Terminal.

Close up.

FRONTENAC docks at the Mountfort Terminal.