Erie harbor awoke from it's winter slumber on Saturday and became a hive of activity, starting with the EDWIN H. GOTT's departure in the morning. GOTT began lifeboat drills at 0800 on Saturday morning, one of the final preparations before departure from her winter's rest at the Old Ore Dock.
EDWIN H. GOTT departed at 1100, bound for Two Harbors, Minnesota to load taconite pellets. Outbound, she slowed briefly to take on about three feet of ballast water for the stern of the ship. Coming around the PRESQUE ISLE, the GOTT was met by the inbound Great Lakes Towing company tug NEW YORK, inbound to assist in turning TECUMSEH around in the West Slip at Donjon Shipbuilding & Repair. GOTT blew a master's salute - three long and two short blasts on the whistle - to the PRESQUE ISLE and cleared Erie piers at about 1145 bound for Two Harbors.
NEW YORK docked at the north face of Donjon Shipbuilding in preparation for the dead-ship move of TECUMSEH, which needed to be turned around to allow dock workers access to the opposite side of the vessel.
At about 1330 NEW YORK took a stern line from the TECUMSEH, and slowly began to work the vessel backwards past INVINCIBLE/McKEE SONS and into Erie harbor. After clearing the slip, NEW YORK began to pull TECUMSEH's stern to the west. This allowed the bow to move in front of the north face of the shipyard, and lines to be connected to the shipyard from the bow of TECUMSEH. Over the next two hours, TECUMSEH was slowly winched around with assistance from NEW YORK, lined up, and walked backwards into the slip and moored next to McKEE SONS.
As TECUMSEH was being backed into the slip, PRESQUE ISLE departed the Mountfort Terminal and turned in Erie harbor. PRESQUE ISLE was outbound at 1630, departing layup for Two Harbors, Minnesota. While PRESQUE ISLE was turning, NEW YORK departed to return to Ashtabula.
EDWIN H. GOTT preparing to lower the lifeboat on Saturday morning.
GOTT's lifeboat gets close to the water. The lifeboat headed out and circled around the bow of the GOTT before turning around, heading back in and turning astern of the GOTT to be lifted from the water.
EDWIN H. GOTT's lifeboat turns around.
Lifted back into position.
About two hours later, GOTT prepares to depart the Old Ore Dock.
Slowly coming around PRESQUE ISLE.
NEW YORK inbound.
NEW YORK passes the GOTT.
NEW YORK passes astern of the GOTT and ahead of PRESQUE ISLE..
GOTT prepares to enter the piers.
Between the piers.
In a few days, EDWIN H. GOTT will be loaded with 60,000 tons of taconite pellets for a steel mill in the lower Great Lakes region.
NEW YORK backs up to the TECUMSEH.
The tug's deckhand pulls the towline down from TECUMSEH.
NEW YORK begins to pull the TECUMSEH out of the slip.
TECUMSEH comes clear of the slip.
TECUMSEH starts to swing around.
TECUMSEH's deck crew feeds a line down to the shipyard.
TECUMSEH swings around.
NEW YORK pulls the stern to the southwest.
The crew begins to winch TECUMSEH forward.
NEW YORK pulls the stern to the north to line the TECUMSEH up with the north face of Donjon.
View from Dobbin's Landing.
TECUMSEH starts to winch itself around the corner of the dock.
TECUMSEH turns in the wind. In a moment, she would be around, and come back off the dock toward McKEE SONS, necessitating the NEW YORK to pull the bow around.
NEW YORK pulling the bow to the west.
NEW YORK outbound.
Stern view. The NEW YORK is bound for her home port of Ashtabula, Ohio.
The first two vessels to depart winter layup in Erie will both probably depart on Saturday. Both PRESQUE ISLE and EDWIN H. GOTT, at this time, are expected to depart their winter berths on Saturday, bound for Lake Superior to load iron ore.
JAMES L. KUBER is currently being painted at Donjon Shipbuilding & Repair as part of its five-year survey. The KUBER is being changed to Grand River Navigation's grey paint scheme.
EDWIN H. GOTT and PRESQUE ISLE should depart winter layup sometime around March 23.
JAMES L. KUBER primed for painting on February 26.