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.