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.

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