Thursday, April 17, 2014

First Ship Arrives; ATLANTIC HURON Drydocked for Emergency Work

The first vessel of the 2014 season arrived in Erie today at 0300 and docked at the Old Ore Dock. AMERICAN COURAGE, loaded with stone from Marblehead, opened Erie's 2014 shipping season with her arrival. COURAGE's arrival comes one day earlier than the first arrival of the 2013 shipping season, which was opened April 18, 2013 with the arrival of VICTORY/JAMES L. KUBER with stone from Calcite.

AMERICAN COURAGE's unload was stopped for about an hour at 0900 this morning to allow for welding work on the vessel's unloading system. After a long unload, AMERICAN COURAGE finished unloading and departed Erie for Ashtabula, where the vessel is currently loading a coal cargo, at 1400.

A surprise visitor, arriving in ballast from Cleveland at 0630 this morning, was ATLANTIC HURON, arriving for Donjon Shipbuilding & Repair. The vessel arrived off of Erie at around 0400 and waited for The Great Lakes Towing Company's tugs RHODE ISLAND and NEW YORK to arrive before entering the channel through thick ice flows pushed in by high winds over the past few days. ATLANTIC HURON anchored in Presque Isle Bay to pump ballast (the vessel needed to get to around 13'8" forward draft and around 16' aft) before proceeding stern first into the graving dock for rudder repairs.

After anchoring, ATLANTIC HURON's master decided to postpone the drydocking operation due to strong southerly wind gusts, which he reported at the time were sustained at over 20 knots and gusting as high as 30 knots. At that time RHODE ISLAND and NEW YORK proceeded to dock at the West Slip, with NEW YORK mooring outboard of RHODE ISLAND.

After a delay of a little over an hour, the tugs began turning ATLANTIC HURON at 1025 this morning and the vessel began backing into the graving dock, with RHODE ISLAND standing by the port side and NEW YORK on the starboard side to assist if needed.

This is the third ship in the Canada Steamship Lines fleet to undergo work in Erie in the past six months; FRONTENAC was drydocked for survey here last October and CSL LAURENTIEN spent the winter undergoing repairs. There is no word at this time how long ATLANTIC HURON's visit might last.

By 1120 the tugs had been released and departed for their home base in Ashtabula. This is the second time this year that these tugs have worked at Donjon; in January they assisted the KAMINISTIQUA and tug YANKEE into drydock as well as moving barge WITTE 2302 to Dobbin's Landing.

Arriving at the port of Erie yesterday were nine locomotives manufactured by GE for shipment to South America. The units are part of an order of 50 that will be shipped through Erie over the course of the season in five loads of ten locomotives. The first shipment should be departing the port soon. These are the first units to be shipped since a load of several locomotives sent to England aboard BBC COLORADO during December, 2011.

RHODE ISLAND leads ATLANTIC HURON and NEW YORK into Erie harbor at daybreak this morning.

RHODE ISLAND turns to break a large plate of ice.

Backing and ramming.

Canada Steamship Lines' ATLANTIC HURON proceeds inbound.

Another view.

Close up of the 1984-built freighter, which was rebuilt with widened side tanks at Port Weller Drydocks in 2003.

Stern view of the convoy.

ATLANTIC HURON passes the Mountfort Terminal under a waning moon.

The new GE locomotives wait for their ride.

Stern view as ATLANTIC HURON enters the harbor. This is believed to be the vessel's first career visit to Erie.

AMERICAN COURAGE unloads this morning as ATLANTIC HURON passes astern in Erie harbor.

ATLANTIC HURON lets the anchor go.

The anchor falls.

At anchor, taken from Ore Dock Road.

RHODE ISLAND leaves ATLANTIC HURON and races for the West Slip.

NEW YORK follows.

RHODE ISLAND pushes on the port bow of the ATLANTIC HURON to turn the vessel.

Backing into the dock.

A closer view. A few minutes after this photo was taken ATLANTIC HURON would be into the graving dock and the tugs would be released.

The tugs depart.

HODE ISLAND with Great Lakes Towing Fleet Captain Jeff Stabler in the window.

Stern view


Stern view.

CLN 1801.

Rear view.

COURAGE, finished unloading, begins to back away from the Old Ore Dock.

One of the large ice flows in Erie harbor.


AMERICAN COURAGE hits the large ice flows in the channel.

Close up.

Stern view.

AMERICAN COURAGE passes the lighthouse.

Clearing for Ashtabula.

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