Saturday, January 31, 2015

MARTIN Arrival Cancelled

PAUL J. MARTIN had a destination change overnight and will winter in Port Colborne instead.

Friday, January 30, 2015


RT. HON. PAUL J. MARTIN will be arriving at first light on Saturday for winter layup.


RT. HON. PAUL J. MARTIN got underway last night from the Belle Isle Anchorage in Detroit bound for Erie, escorted by CCGS SAMUEL RISLEY. RISLEY took the MARTIN, as well as ALGOCANADA (bound for Nanticoke) as far as Southeast Shoal before GRIFFON took over the escort at 0100 this morning. At this time the trio is off of Painesville, Ohio on a course for Long Point. It's likely GRIFFON will escort ALGOCANADA to Nanticoke before bringing the MARTIN to Erie. At this time, it seems likely that MARTIN will arrive in Erie tomorrow.

Stay tuned for updates.

Tug PRESQUE ISLE has separated from her barge for the winter for ballast tank work on the barge.

GRIFFON inbound on Thursday morning. GRIFFON's arrival is the first time since January, 1996 that a Canadian Coast Guard cutter has broken ice in Erie. In that instance, SAMUEL RISLEY broke ice for Algoma's SAUNIERE to bring in a cargo of salt.

GRIFFON easily breaks through the harbor ice.

Stern view.

GRIFFON heads into the bay.

THUNDER BAY approaches the piers.


Another view. Note the boarding ladder already prepared on the port side.

Close up of the 2013-built freighter.

A wave from the crew, who are no doubt happy to be in port after four days at anchor.

A watchful eye in the wheelhouse.

Stern view.


In Presque Isle Bay with GRIFFON breaking a track for the ship.

GRIFFON approaches the West Slip.

Backing into the slip, GRIFFON uses her wheel wash to help break ice.

Close up of GRIFFON.

Coming to a stop in the slip, GRIFFON throttles up to head out.

Another view.

GRIFFON turns as THUNDER BAY heads in.


GRIFFON departs as THUNDER BAY lines up for the West Slip.

Entering the slip.

Coming alongside the dock at Donjon Shipbuilding & Repair.

MARTIN Delayed

Rt. HON. PAUL J. MARTIN has been delayed by ice and will not be arriving this afternoon; the vessel is still west of Cleveland.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

THUNDER BAY (Finally) Arrives

Canadian Coast Guard ship GRIFFON arrived on station with the THUNDER BAY on Wednesday night at 2030 hours, and dropped anchor in the ice near the beset laker. After completing a crew change in Port Colborne yesterday, GRIFFON's first assignment was to break out Erie harbor at daylight and allow the 2013-built laker, which had been waiting since Sunday for assistance, to dock for winter layup at Donjon Shipbuilding & Repair.

GRIFFON and THUNDER BAY got underway this morning around 0730 and were inbound through the channel, in front of a large crowd of onlookers, at around 0930 for the West Slip. After GRIFFON broke open the harbor and slip, THUNDER BAY docked on the east side of the West Slip and was secured for the season by 1130 hours.

THUNDER BAY, built in 2013 at Chengxi Shipyard in China, is one of six Trillum Class lakers built for Canada Steamship Lines since 2012. The ship, the first of the Trillium Class ships to visit Erie, is completing a long first full season on the Great Lakes, having only sailed about five months during the 2013-14 season. THUNDER BAY had been scheduled to dock at 1700 on Sunday, but the Great Lakes Towing tug NEW YORK, ordered to sail from Ashtabula, couldn't break free of the frozen harbor there, forcing the ship to wait for icebreaking assistance.

RT. HON. PAUL J. MARTIN, a fleetmate of THUNDER BAY, is expected later this week. The ship transited the St. Clair River yesterday and is currently at anchor in the Detroit River awaiting icebreaker escort across Lake Erie.

The layups of MARTIN and THUNDER BAY in Erie make Canada Steamship Lines the second most-frequent customer of Donjon in terms of vessels, behind the combined fleet of Lower Lakes Towing and Grand River Navigation. Since October 2013, FRONTENAC, CSL LAURENTIEN, ATLANTIC HURON, CSL NIAGARA, and now THUNDER BAY and PAUL J. MARTIN have undergone work at the yard.

Photos will follow tomorrow.


THUNDER BAY, assisted by GRIFFON, is now proceeding toward Erie harbor. RT. HON. PAUL J. MARTIN stopped at Belle Isle anchorage in Detroit last night with no ETA for Erie.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


With icebreaker escort, both THUNDER BAY and RT. HON. PAUL J. MARTIN should be arriving in Erie tomorrow morning.

Watch Erie Shipping News for better ETAs and live updates.

Monday, January 26, 2015

GRIFFON Expected

Canadian Coast Guard Ship GRIFFON is currently escorting two ships across Lake Erie to Port Colborne. When finished, the ship is expected in Erie tomorrow to aid THUNDER BAY inbound.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


Tug NEW YORK was unable to get out of Ashtabula today due to ice in order to break open Erie harbor for THUNDER BAY; therefore THUNDER BAY will be required to wait for Coast Guard assistance on Tuesday before entering Erie for winter layup. She will likely enter at the same time as RT. HON. PAUL J. MARTIN, which is on it's way down Lake Huron bound for Erie for layup.


THUNDER BAY will be arriving at 1700.

Saturday, January 24, 2015


THUNDER BAY is currently showing a destination of Erie, expected at 1300 Sunday.

I will post a further update in the morning.


PRESQUE ISLE arrived in Erie around 2100 last night and tied up for the winter at the Mountfort Terminal. THUNDER BAY should arrive on Sunday. Keep watching Erie Shipping News for updates.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

BLOUGH Arrives; Two Still to Come

Assisted by tug NEW YORK, ROGER BLOUGH arrived in Erie at 0800 Wednesday morning and, after battling the ice in Presque Isle Bay, backed into the Old Ore Dock for winter layup. BLOUGH was all secure around 1215 on Wednesday afternoon.

PRESQUE ISLE is expected to arrive as early as Friday morning. The ship began unloading in Conneaut at 0800 this morning following CASON J. CALLAWAY's departure from the port. THUNDER BAY arrived in Conneaut this morning around 0430 to load it's final coal cargo of the season; this will put THUNDER BAY in Erie on Friday night or Saturday morning.

NEW YORK races out to break ice for the BLOUGH.

Another view.

NEW YORK rolls as she hits plate ice at speed.

Stern view.

BLOUGH with the NEW YORK breaking ice.

NEW YORK turns to head back in.


Another view. BLOUGH spent 24 hours cleaning tanks off of Erie harbor before heading in Wednesday morning.

Passing the lighthouse.

Close up.

BLOUGH's pointy bow makes her a good icebreaker.

Close up of ROGER BLOUGH's short shuttle boom in it's cradle. .

Stern view.

Heading into Presque Isle Bay.

In the bay.

NEW YORK makes a pass into the Old Ore Dock.

Turning the other direction. BLOUGH took nearly three hours of battling the ice to get into the slip.

NEW YORK in the slip.

Overhead view.

Approaching the dock.

PATHFINDER in drydock.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Assisted by tug NEW YORK, ROGER BLOUGH arrived in Erie at 0800 this morning and, after battling the ice in Presque Isle Bay, backed into the Old Ore Dock for winter layup. BLOUGH was all secure around 1215 this afternoon.

PRESQUE ISLE is expected to arrive on Friday.

Photos will follow.

Photo caption.

Monday, January 19, 2015


ROGER BLOUGH should be arriving sometime after daylight tomorrow morning for winter layup. I will provide a better ETA if I receive one.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Layup Updates

ROGER BLOUGH is downbound in the Detroit River and expected in Conneaut tomorrow, and will likely arrive in Erie for winter layup sometime Monday. Keep checking back for updates.

PRESQUE ISLE will arrive later in the week. THUNDER BAY reportedly has three trips between Conneaut and Nanticoke with coal left before winter layup.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

PATHFINDER Moved into Drydock

Tug NEW YORK began icebreaking operations at 0700 on Wednesday morning in preparation for barge PATHFINDER to be moved into drydock. After several hours of breaking work, NEW YORK entered the drydock at Donjon Shipbuilding & Repair at 1100 and emerged with a section of new barge, which it moored in the West Slip. At the same time, DOROTHY ANN backed PATHFINDER away from the West Slip into Presque Isle Bay. The duo stood by awaiting for NEW YORK to emerge from the drydock, at which time DOROTHY ANN pushed her barge into drydock.

Once the barge was inside the tug backed away from the barge and stood by in the bay until the drydock gate was closed, at which time DOROTHY ANN moored on the north side of the shipyard, where it will spend the winter before getting underway for the 2015 season in March.

PATHFINDER is the first Interlake Steamship Company vessel to be drydocked at Donjon since PAUL R. TREGURTHA was put into drydock for inspection after a 2012 grounding.

DOROTHY ANN laying alongside the West Slip on Wednesday morning.

NEW YORK beginning icebreaking operations.

NEW YORK is covered in ice from her trip down the lake from Ashtabula.

Another view of the 1913-built tug.


Breaking ice alongside the PATHFINDER.


Another view.

DOROTHY ANN/PATHFINDER backing away from the West Slip later in the morning.

Another view.


Coming around to line up for the drydock.

Bow view.

NEW YORK emerges from the drydock.

Turning for the West Slip.

With PATHFINDER in the background.

In the West Slip.

Stern view.

DOROTHY ANN pushes PATHFINDER into drydock.

NEW YORK returns from the slip.

DOROTHY ANN backing out.


This photo captures the contrast between the 1999-built, 7,200 HP Z-drive DOROTHY ANN and the 1913-built, 1,250 HP single-screw NEW YORK.

DOROTHY ANN turns circles in the bay waiting for the drydock gate to be put back into place.