Monday, September 30, 2013

Donjon's New Tug Due

Donjon Marine has recently purchased a new tug from Kirby Corporation and will be bringing the tug to their shipyard in Erie for a refit. Tug YANKEE, a 7,200-horsepower twin screw tug, departed New York early Sunday bound for Erie, where she should arrive sometime in mid-October.

YANKEE has had an interesting life. She began life as PYE THERIOT for Theriot Offshore, designed to handle anchors for North Sea oil rigs. Later she became LORETTA J. for Marathon Petroleum, fitting to handle a large oil barge along the Gulf of Mexico and east coast of the United States. The tug and her barge were eventually sold to Eklof Marine, with the tug becoming YANKEE, and then to K-Sea Transportation. In 2011, Kirby Corporation acquired K-Sea and the YANKEE. YANKEE is excess to Kirby's needs, however, and was recently sold to Donjon.

Rumors persist as to Donjon's plans for the tug; apparently she is to receive conversion to an articulated tug here. The tug stopped in Portland, Maine earlier this afternoon due to water leaking into the rudder post.

YANKEE in K-Sea Transportation colors. Photo from

Next Hopper Barge Emerges

The newest hopper barge for Sterling Equipment is now out of drydock and moored at the north face of Donjon Shipbuilding & Repair. The barge, pushed by HERBERT P. BRAKE, should be departing sometime soon.

I will update when I learn more.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


VICTORY/JAMES L. KUBER, with stone from Cedarville, is expected to arrive Erie at 2200 on Thursday.

FRONTENAC's drydocking will be occurring in about three weeks, after Donjon Shipbuilding finishes the final hopper barge for Sterling Equipment. HERBERT P. BRAKE, which is currently on shore at Donjon, will be taking the barge out of Erie prior to FRONTENAC's arrival.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Luedtke Dredge Equipment Visits

Luedtke Engineering's tug KRISTA S., towing two barges, 1000' feet of dredge pipe and assisted by the small tug GRETCHEN B., arrived in Erie on Friday night and moored at the Mountfort Terminal to wait weather for the weekend. The quartet of tugs and barges departed this morning around 0900 bound for Buffalo. The tugs are taking the equipment from Harbor Beach, Michigan to Buffalo for a dredging project.

KRISTA S. frequently stops in Erie while traveling Lake Erie with dredge equipment and was last here in April 2012. The smaller tug GRETCHEN B., a former U.S. Army ST tug, was last in Erie for Luedtke in 2003 while working a project at Coast Guard Station Erie.

I will hopefully have an update on Donjon Shipbuilding and the FRONTENAC tomorrow.

KRISTA S. leads the tow out of the harbor.

Close up.

The two barges will be used in the dredging operation.

Another view.

The tow between the piers.

Close up of Luedtke's crane barge.


Stern view.

Part of the 1,000' of pipeline being towed.

Stern view of the tow.

GRETCHEN B. following the tow outbound.

Side view.

Stern view of the entire convoy.

PERCA follows the tow outbound.

Stern view.

August 31: KIMBERLY ANNE pushing two barges, one containing tug ANDREW J., outbound Erie. ANDREW J. capsized and sank in Lock 4 of the Welland Canal earlier that week and was on its way back to Detroit.

Another view.

Close up of ANDREW J., looking none the worse for spending a couple of days on the bottom of a lock chamber.


Stern view of the ANDREW J.


Stern view of the tow.

ALGOMARINE at the Mountfort Terminal on September 6.

Another view.

BAIE COMEAU upbound in the Welland Canal on September 17, bound for Thunder Bay, Ontario to load coal. BAIE COMEAU is the fourth and final newbuild self unloader in the Canada Steamship Lines fleet and is on only her second trip in this photograph.

Stern view as the BAIE COMEAU heads upbound from Lock 7 and toward Lake Erie.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


PEACEMAKER and LYNX departed Erie today around 1430 bound for Buffalo. The two ships will be open for tours in Buffalo this weekend. U.S. Brig NIAGARA returned to her dock at the Erie Maritime Museum today around 1530.

Donjon Update

With winter layup only a few months away, Donjon Shipbuilding & Repair is busy finishing up tasks and looking forward to what the company hopes will be a good winter season.

Chivers Construction is beginning work at this time on replacing the Holland Street dock wall; the $5 million project is expected to be completed by next spring, though the east side of the slip is expected to be completed by mid-January to allow Donjon to dock vessels there.

Donjon's tug HERBERT P. BRAKE is expected to return to Erie on Sunday or Monday to pick up the third, and final, hopper barge being built for Sterling Equipment.

Perhaps the best news for Great Lakes shipping comes with the news that Canada Steamship Lines' FRONTENAC, which has spent all summer in layup at Sarnia due to a lockout at the U.S. Steel plant in Nanticoke, Ontario, is expected to arrive at Donjon on September 21 for a five-year survey. There had been some question as to the future of the 1967-built FRONTENAC, the oldest self-unloader in the CSL fleet, due to the arrival over the past year of four new self-unloaders built in China for lakes service. Those four are, in order, BAIE ST. PAUL, WHITEFISH BAY, THUNDER BAY and BAIE COMEAU.

Return to Erie Shipping News for updates.

Brig NIAGARA Due Back

U.S. Brig NIAGARA is expected to arrive Erie around 1600 today. LYNX will be getting underway from the Erie Maritime Museum and headed outbound shortly.

Saturday, September 7, 2013


This morning at 1105 FRIENDS GOOD WILL called on the radio requesting a tow after having gone aground in 7.5 feet of water in Presque Isle Bay. Lakeshore Towing Services quickly answered the call and immediately dispatched tug DON HENRY to the scene. DON HENRY hooked up and began pulling the vessel, which has a draft of 8.9 feet.

DON HENRY, however, made very little progress toward freeing the 55-ton sailing ship, and the decision was made to call for the company's other tugs, LOW BIDDER and FLATTOP. After all three tugs were on scene and hooked to the tow, FRIENDS GOOD WILL was easily pulled free of her grounded position and got underway for Dobbin's Landing. The passengers who had paid for a 90-minute sail got much more than they bargained for today.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


ALGOMARINE, with stone from Bruce Mines, Ontario, makes a rare visit to Erie when she arrives in Erie at 0330.

This afternoon around 1400 PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II got underway from Dobbin's Landing and headed out into Lake Erie. The rest of the tall ships followed PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II out, and the ships proceeded to line up behind U.S. Brig NIAGARA. NIAGARA led the parade inbound beginning at 1600, escorted by the Erie Power Squadron and local law enforcement. A surprise visitor to the rear of the parade was Coast Guard Cutter MORRO BAY (WTGB-106), which just visited Erie last week.

Of note, ST. LAWRENCE II did not make the parade due to weather on Lake Erie delaying the vessel in Port Colborne, Ontario yesterday. ST. LAWRENCE II is upbound on Lake Erie at this time, expected at Long Point at 2300, and should arrive Erie sometime tonight.

PEACEMAKER, STV UNICORN, NIAGARA, and SØRLANDET are docked at the Convention Center and expected to be joined by ST. LAWRENCE II. PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II and LYNX are at the Erie Maritime Museum, and FRIENDS GOOD WILL, APPLEDORE IV and HINDU are docked at Dobbin's Landing to conduct day sails over the weekend. MORRO BAY is moored on the north face of Dobbin's Landing. The tall ships are docked and open for tours this weekend. Visit Tall Ships Erie's website for more information on tickets and a schedule of events.


Stern view of the ship, commanded by an Erie native.


Stern view of the LYNX. Note the huge American flag flying.

NIAGARA passes the crowd on the South Pier.

Stern view of the NIAGARA.

PEACEMAKER departing.

Stern view of PEACEMAKER.

Two vessels originally built in Erie, ENVIRONAUT and LADY KATE, meet in the channel.

Slowly making her way through the channel, APPLEDORE IV prepares to head out and fall into line.

APPLEDORE IV heads out of the piers under full sail.


Stern view.

HINDU outbound following FRIENDS GOOD WILL.

Stern view.

NIAGARA leads the parade into the channel.

Side view of the 1988-built NIAGARA.

Stern view.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire's 2004-built LYNX follows the NIAGARA inbound.

Stern view.

PRIDE OF BALTIMORE is the third ship in the parade.

1988-built PRIDE OF BALTIMORE is the flagship of Maryland and homeported in Baltimore.

PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II fires a cannon shot at the North Pier while inbound.

FRIENDS GOOD WILL, of South Haven, Michigan, is the next ship in the parade.

The 2004-built topsail sloop fires a cannon while passing through the channel.

The small schooner HINDU, built in 1925 and homeported part of the year in Provincetown, MA and part of the year in Key West, follows FRIENDS GOOD WILL inbound.

Stern view of HINDU.

STV UNICORN, built in 1947, follows HINDU inbound.

Stern view of UNICORN. Crewed by an all-female crew, the gaff-rigged topsail schooner calls Bridgeport, Connecticut home.

PEACEMAKER is the next ship in the parade.

Side view of the 1989-built barquentine.

PEACEMAKER, of Brunswick, Georgia, has an interesting history, having been built in Brazil by Italian boatbuilders.

APPLEDORE IV inbound. The vessel was built in 1989.

APPLEDORE IV hails from Bay City, Michigan.

Stern view.

1927-built SØRLANDET, the oldest full-rigged ship still in operation, is the last of the tall ships in the parade.

Close up of the only sailing ship in the parade to not be under sail. SØRLANDET is homeported in Kristiansand, Norway.

Stern view of SØRLANDET.

MORRO BAY brings up the rear of the flotilla.

Close up of MORRO BAY. At one point last year there was talk of a Navy frigate attending the ceremonies; however due to the budget sequester that didn't happen this year.

East Erie County Fire/Rescue Marine 1 inbound following the MORRO BAY.

Lakeshore Fire/Rescue 509 following the MORRO BAY inbound.

Stern view.

UNICORN, PEACEMAKER and NIAGARA at the Convention Center this evening.