Friday, May 29, 2015


MANITOWOC, laden with stone from Cedarville, is expected in Erie at 1900 tonight. After unloading, MANITOWOC will be loading sand at the Mountfort Terminal for discharge at the North Pier for beach replenishment.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

HOUSTON Departs; KATHY LYNN Brings in Derrick Barge

After several days in port loading locomotives, HOUSTON departed this evening at 2000. The ship is carrying 15 locomotives for Indonesia.

KATHY LYNN brought a derrick barge with a crane in this afternoon at 1230 hours and moored it behind the two barges brought into port yesterday. There's still no word at this time on why the equipment is here.

HOUSTON departing the Mountfort Terminal.

Heading into Presque Isle Bay to turn.

Turn completed and heading outbound.

The 393' foot long freighter has been loading since Thursday afternoon.

Close up.

A wave from the bow.

Stern view.


KATHY LYNN and her consorts tied up this evening.

Stern view.

2014-built ALGOMA HARVESTER upbound in the Welland Canal on Sunday afternoon.

Stern view.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

HOUSTON Arrives, Loads Locomotives for Indonesia; KATHY LYNN Arrives with Barges

HOUSTON arrived in Erie at 1300 on Thursday and docked at the Mountfort Terminal. The US-flagged ship is in Erie to load 15 locomotives built at GE Transportation and bound for Jakarta, Indonesia, where they will be offloaded and pressed into service for Indonesia's state railway. These are the first of 50 class CC206 locomotives to be shipped and are due in Indonesia in September; the next 15 will be shipped next month and due in Indonesia in October, and the remainder will be delivered for freight operations in September 2016.

HOLLYHOCK was in yesterday to work on replacing the winter channel markers with the summer buoys.

Ryba Marine's tug KATHY LYNN arrived in Erie at 1300 today pushing two barges and moored the barges on the west side of the West Slip. The tug then departed upbound on Lake Erie. No word at this time as to why the two hopper scows were left in Erie.

HOUSTON rounds Gull Point on her approach to Erie.

Bow view.

The ship was built in 2005 and most recently sailed as BBC HOUSTON.

Another view.

Close up of the small ship.

The crew watches as the ship enters port.

Deck machinery.

Stern view.

Another view.

In a few moments the ship will dock at the Mountfort Terminal.

Locomotives on the dock on the Mountfort Terminal on Friday.

Another view.

Six of the units were on the southern track on the Mountfort Terminal.

A view from the peninsula on Friday afternoon.

Stern view.

Loading on Saturday morning.

The locomotive is raised.

Swinging the locomotive over the side.

KATHY LYNN passes the lighthouse.

KATHY LYNN pushing two barges inbound.

Close up.

Stern view of the tug.

The hard-working tug pushes her barges into Presque Isle Bay. KATHY LYNN is continually busy on Ryba's construction or dredging projects around the Great Lakes, and has appeared on this blog before.

Approaching the dock.

KATHY LYNN works hard to slow the barges.

Coming alongside.

Wind pushed the tow off the first time, so KATHY LYNN backed off and tried again. This attempt was successful.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


HOUSTON has anchored in the Detroit River and will likely not be arriving tomorrow. I will continue to post updates as I'm able.


HOUSTON is expected to arrive in Erie at around 1030 hours on Thursday.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

U.S. Flag Saltie Due

For the first time in many years, a U.S. flagged saltwater ship is expected to visit Erie this week. Teras Shipping's HOUSTON, in ballast out of Duluth, is expected to arrive in Erie at 0600 on Friday morning. The ship, which was built in China, is not Jones Act-compliant and therefore will be loading for an overseas port; the owner's website has the ship due in Norfolk around June 15 seeking cargo in the direction of Jakarta, Indonesia.

Jones Act-compliant ships, which are capable of carrying cargo between two U.S. ports, must be built in the USA, as well as owned and crewed by Americans, are becoming a less common site on the world's oceans. The Jones Act, which has come under fire recently from Senator John McCain, who is lobbying to let his corporate cronies sail foreign-flagged cruise ships between two U.S. ports, is designed to protect American jobs, and does well in doing so. Without the act, the U.S. merchant fleet would disappear entirely.

However, ships not built in the U.S. are allowed to be flagged here, so long as they don't load in one U.S. port and discharge that cargo in another. It's become commonplace among shipowners seeking U.S. government cargo to buy secondhand ships on the world market and reflag them U.S., or even to reflag ships they had built. Maersk has about two dozen U.S. flagged container ships; Hapag Lloyd owns five, and APL Logistics owns several registered in the U.S. These ships trade in container services worldwide; in addition, several fleets own auto carriers and general cargo ships such as HOUSTON.

Keep checking back for updates on HOUSTON's arrival.

Recent Photos, Part II

Below are photos of PHILIP R. CLARKE's departure on April 26. Photos of recent visits by JOSEPH H. THOMPSON and H. LEE WHITE will be posted this week.

CLARKE unloading after sunrise.

Another view

This is CLARKE's first visit of the 2015 season.

Letting go lines.

CLARKE starts to back away from the Old Ore Dock.

Bow view.

Turning for the channel.

At the piers.

Close up.

A wave from on deck.

Stern view.

Heading out.

Next stop: Two Harbors, MN to load iron ore.