Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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* Report News


Algowest on Final Trip

01/31:
The Algowest is one its final trip of the late season. The Algowest is expected to arrive at Ojibway Salt in Windsor, Ontario to load for Chicago. The current schedule calls for the West to arrive on the afternoon of Feb. 3. After unloading in Chicago the West is expected to proceed to Owen Sound, Ontario for lay-up.

Early season snow has kept fleet mates Algowest and Capt. Henry Jackman busy in the salt trade late into the season.

The final vessel that is still sailing in the Algoma fleet is the Sauniere. It is due in Montreal, Quebec Thursday to unload and then enter lay-up at Section 25 on Friday night.

Reported by: Philip Nash




Detroit River and Lake Erie Action

01/31:
Tuesday the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon ended her ice breaking duties in the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers. She arrived for winter lay-up at the Coast Guard base in Amherstburg, Ont.

Up river, the Capt. Henry Jackman was entering the Rouge River with a cargo of salt from Goderich. After unloading at the Motorcity Materials Dock she was expected to head upbound stopping in Sarnia for fuel.

The Canadian Transport was downbound headed for Conneaut and another load of coal. She was expected to stop at Sterling Fuel in Windsor. The Mackinaw was scheduled to meet her at Pelee Passage in western Lake Erie.

Reported by: Dave Wobser and Philip Nash




Ice Breakers

01/31:
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay assisted the Capt. Henry Jackman into the Goderich, Ont. Inner Harbor Monday. The Biscayne Bay also conducted preventative ice breaking in the vicinity of Goderich. The Cutter Neah Bay conducted three vessel assists in eastern Lake Erie.

The Cutter Bramble developed a problem with their shaft seal while working off Ashtabula, Ohio. The Cutter Neah Bay was expected to tow the Bramble back to Cleveland on Tuesday morning. The Bramble was waiting in the ice 15 nautical miles north northwest of Ashtabula.




Today in Great Lakes History - January 31

MANZZUTTI was launched January 31, 1903 as a) J.S. KEEFE.

January 31, 1930 - While the Grand Trunk carferry MADISON was leading the way across Lake Michigan to Grand Haven, she was struck from behind by her sister ship GRAND RAPIDS.

Data from: Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Ice Breaking Update

01/30:
The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon is expected to enter lay-up on Wednesday after a busy winter of ice breaking. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay will take over the Griffon's ice breaking duties in the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers.

The Mackinaw will be heading home after completion of the Conneaut to Nanticoke coal shuttle in Lake Erie.

The Arthur M. Anderson was downbound Monday morning to load. The Anderson has one more trip from Conneaut to Lambton, then three trips Conneaut to Nanticoke before heading to Sturgeon Bay for lay-up.

Reported by: Dave Wobser




Canadian Voyager Unloaded

01/30:
Monday crews were busy unloading the Canadian Voyager in Toronto at the Redpath Sugar Dock. Each season a few vessels enter lay-up with a storage cargo of sugar that is used over the winter. The Voyager picked up the 24,000 tons of sugar at the end of the season in Montreal. The sugar originally came from Australia.

Voyager at Redpath Sugar Dock at the foot of Jarvis Street in downtown Toronto.
Bucket taking a 3 ton bite of sugar.
View from behind pilot house.
Caterpillar being lowered into hold.
Evening the load.
Shot from stern of Voyager. Seaway Queen lashed to the side of Canadian Trader. Bow shot of Canadian Mariner, she'll be unloading her cargo at Redpath next month.

Reported by: Bill Bird




Kobasic Departs

01/30:
The tug Erika Kobasic and her barge departed Erie, PA. at 2:55 p.m. Monday destined for Milwaukee. The tug and barge were assisted through the ice by the tug Manitou. The cargo aboard the barge will be sent to Alberta from Milwaukee. Crews on the tug expected no problems transiting the ice in the Detroit River but were concerned about the conditions in the Straits of Mackinac.

Reported by: Jeff Thoreson




Roger Stahl Ice Breaking

01/30:
Gaelic Tugboat's Roger Stahl spent Super Bowl Sunday, breaking ice for the Lee A. Tregurtha in Ashtabula, Oh. and then sailed back to Conneaut to break ice for the Canadian Transport. The Stahl reported heavy ice between the two ports.

The severity of the ice has been changing daily with the wind. Monday the Tregurtha was scheduled to load in Ashtabula and the Progress for Conneaut.

Today the Capt. Henry Jackman is scheduled to unload salt in Detroit on the Rouge River. She will be assisted into the river by the Gaelic tugs William And Patricia Hoey

Reported by: Gaelic Tugboat Company




Sturgeon Bay Lay-up

01/30:
Below are images of Sturgeon Bay's lay-up fleet taken Saturday.

American Mariner and Joseph L. Block.
Another view.
Mariner, Block and bow of Pathfinder.
Bow view of Buffalo.
Sykes and Herbert C. Jackson.
Burns Harbor and Presque Isle.
Tug Rebecca Lynn and barge.
Mobile Bay and Barge.
Tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder.
Dorthy Ann with barge Pathfinder opposite the Wilfred Sykes.
Ryerson.
Selvick tugs.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle




Ice Forecast

01/30:
Ice Hazard Bulletin for the Great Lakes issued by the Canadian Ice Service of Environment Canada at 1700 UTC Monday 29 January 2001.

Ice warning issued starting early Tuesday morning for strong ice pressure along the coast between Long Point and Port Stanley.

Lake Ontario....Mostly open water except for fast ice in the Bay of Quinte and in sheltered bays of the Prince Edward County. 6 to 9 tenths new lake ice along the northeastern shore with embedded strips of thin and medium lake ice. Fast ice in the St Lawrence Seaway.

Lake Erie...Consolidated thick and medium lake ice near Buffalo and in Lake St Clair except for drifting medium and thin lake ice in the Detroit River. In the western basin 9 plus tenths thick and medium lake ice except for 3 to 6 tenths new lake ice along the western shore. 9 to 9 plus tenth medium and thin lake ice over the rest of the lake with up to 3 tenths thick lake ice in southern sections except 4 to 9 tenths new and thin lake ice west of 8150w and along the northern shore west of Erieau and northeast of Long Point.

Lake Huron and Georgian Bay...9 to 9 plus tenths medium and thin lake ice right along the southern and eastern shores. 8 to 9 plus tenths new and thin lake ice along the western shore. 9 plus tenths medium and thick lake ice in the entrance to the Straits of Mackinac and 3 to 7 tenths medium and new lake ice in the approaches. 9 plus tenths medium and thin with some thick lake ice in most of central North Channel and in northeastern Georgian Bay. Fast ice in the St Marys River and elsewhere in the north channel and along the northeastern shore of Georgian Bay and in Saginaw Bay. Open water elsewhere.

Lake Superior...Fast ice in Black and Nipigon Bays. Fast ice in most of Thunder Bay except 2 to 5 tenths new with some medium and thick lake ice in the southern section and in the approaches. Along the southern shore 6 to 9 tenths thin and medium lake ice changing east of Keweenaw Bay to 2 to 5 tenths new with some thin lake ice. 7 to 9 tenths thin and medium lake ice in Whitefish Bay. open water elsewhere.

Lake Michigan...10 tenths fast thick lake ice in southern Green Bay south of Sturgeon Bay...In Big Bay de Noc and in Little Bay de Noc. 10 tenths of medium and thick lake ice in green bay from Sturgeon Bay north to Chambers Island. 7 to 9 tenths of medium...Thin and new lake ice in remainder of Green Bay. 7 to 9 tenths of medium...thin and new lake ice east of a line from Cross Village Mi to Naubinway Mi. 3 to 5 tenths of medium...Thin and new lake ice in belts and strips from Beaver Island north and east to the above mentioned line. 1 to 3 tenths of new lake ice along the shore from Gills Rock southward to Milwaukee. 7 to 9 tenths of thin and new lake ice near the shore from Milwaukee southward and around to Michigan City. 9 to 10 tenths of thin and new lake ice along the shore from Michigan City northward to Grand Haven. Remainder of Lake Michigan is free of ice.

Click here for the St. Lawrence River Forecast.

Note: this report is offered for entertainment and should not be relied on for navigation. Please consult Canadian Ice Service for current conditions (subscription necessary)

Area coverage is expressed in tenths
1-3/10's---very open drift ice
4-6/10's---open drift ice
7-8/10's---close pack ice
9-9+/10's--very close pack
10/10's---compact
10/10's---frozen together - consolidated

When ice reaches 6/10's or greater, ships can no longer traverse between floes.

Fast ice--ice fastened to the shore (frozen all the way across)

New Lake Ice----recently formed less than 2 inches (5 centimeters) thick.
Thin Lake Ice---2 - 6 inches (5 - 15 centimeters) thick.
Medium Lake Ice- 6 - 12 inches (15 - 30 centimeters) thick.
Thick Lake Ice--12 - 28 inches (30-70 centimeters) thick.
Very Thick Ice--greater than 28 inches (70 centimeters thick).





Today in Great Lakes History - January 30

ELMDALE was launched in 1909 as a) CLIFFORD F. MOLL.

The CHIEF WAWATAM was held up in the ice for a period of three weeks. On January 30, 1927, she went aground at North Graham Shoal in the Straits. She was later dry-docked at Great Lakes Engineering Works in Detroit where her forward propeller and after port wheel were replaced.

January 30, 1911 - The PERE MARQUETTE 18 (II) arrived Ludington on her maiden voyage.

On 30 January 1881, ST. ALBANS (wooden propeller passenger/package freight vessel, 135', 435 t, built in 1869 at Cleveland) was carrying general merchandise, flour, cattle and 22 passengers in lake Michigan. She rammed a cake of ice that filled the hole it made in her hull. She rushed for shore, but as the ice melted, the vessel filled with water. She sank 8 miles from Milwaukee. The crew and passengers made it to safety in the lifeboats. Her loss was valued at $35,000.

On 30 January 2000 crew began the removal of the four Hulett Ore Unloaders on Whiskey Island in Cleveland.

Data from: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Jackman Stuck in Ice

01/29:
Sunday morning the Capt. Henry Jackman was beset in ice approximately 5 miles west of the Mackinaw Bridge. The Jackman is returning from a Lake Michigan port to load salt in Goderich, Ont. The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Katmai Bay was en route to their position and was expected to be on scene about 3:00 p.m. The Katmai Bay has been working Operation Taconite in the Straits of Mackinac and St. Marys River, she escorted the Algoeast through the St. Marys River on Friday.

Reported by: Brian Kloosterman and Philip Nash




Tug Arrives

01/29:
The tug Erika Kobasic, of Escanaba, MI, arrived in Erie, PA. to retrieve the Dawe's Marine Towing barge that has been in Erie since early December. She came in at dusk Sunday and moved through ice that was at least 18-inches thick in the harbor and on the lake.

One of the largest crowds for boatwatchers in Erie, second only to when the John W. Brown departed, was on hand to watch the Kobasic. Earlier in the day, three Erie police units were dispatched to clear the ice of fishermen in anticipation of the arrival of the Kobasic.

Reported by: Jeff Thoreson




Toledo Update

01/29:
The Wolverine was taken off the Toledo Shipyard drydock on Friday and was towed out to the Torco Dock by the "G" tugs Illinois and Louisiana. She is tied up behind the Courtney Burton.

Crews at the shipyard crews are preparing the drydock for the next vessel which may be the Armco. The barge Kellstone I remains in drydock with the tugs Frank Palladino and James Palladino tied up at the Riverfront dock. It is unknown when the tugs will tow the barge to Sandusky, Ohio.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Updates

01/29:
Many new updates to the Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Web Site.

Click here for the latest updates and pictures





Today in Great Lakes History - January 29

The BUCKEYE (2) was launched January 29, 1910 as the straight decker a) LEONARD B. MILLER.

JOHN P. REISS was also launched this date in 1910 .

January 29, 1987 - The BADGER almost capsized at her dock due to a broken water intake pipe.

On 29 January 1953, RICHARD M. MARSHALL (steel propeller freighter, 643', 10,606 gt) was launched in Bay City, MI at Defoe's shipyard (hull #424). Later she was named JOSEPH S. WOOD (1957), JOHN DYKSTRA (1966), and BENSON FORD (2) (1983). She was scrapped in 1987 at Recife, Brazil.

Data from: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Lake Erie Update

01/28:
Saturday the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Bramble was down bound headed to Detroit Group for supplies. She has been assigned to Lake Erie for the next week and will be running with Operation Coal Shovel during the month of February.

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon was working track maintenance in Lake St. Clair and the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay was upbound at Belle Isle. The Mackinaw was working in Western Lake Erie.

The Arthur M. Anderson is expected to head upbound today for the Lambton Power Station on the St. Clair River. Saturday the Anderson was making arrangements for an ice breaker to meet them at South East Shoal in Western Lake Erie. With the season set to begin in mid-March, it is beginning to look like Lake Erie will see year-round shipping.

Reported by: Dave Wobser




Today in Great Lakes History - January 28

SELKIRK SETTLER was launched January 28, 1983

At 4:00 am on 28 January 1879, the ferry SARNIA was discovered to be on fire while lying at Fitzgerald's yard in Port Huron. All of the cabins were destroyed although the fire department had the fire out within an hour. About $3,000 damage was done. She was in the shipyard to be remodeled and to have a stern wheel put in. Arson was suspected.

On 28 January 1889, the Port Huron Times announced that the Toledo & Saginaw Transportation Company went out of business and sold all of its vessel and its shipyard. The shipyard went to Curtis & Brainard along with the PAWNEE and MIAMI. The BUFFALO, TEMPEST, BRAINARD and ORTON went to Thomas Lester. The C. F. CURTIS, FASSET, REED and HOLLAND went to R. C. Holland. The DAYTON went to J. A. Ward and M. P. Lester. The TROY and EDWARDS were sold, but the new owners were not listed.

Data from: Joe Barr, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Coast Guard rescues stranded ice fishermen

01/27:
Coast Guard crews using a helicopter and a hovercraft Thursday rescued 21 fishermen from ice on Lake Erie after an ice bridge broke apart and left them stranded more than a mile from shore. Petty Officer Paul Lentini said the Coast Guard believed everyone who had been fishing was rescued, but he said authorities were still searching the ice Thursday just east of Toledo toward the Lake Erie islands. Lentini said most of the lake is covered by ice, but that the ice was unstable and shifting.

Andy Socie of Grosse Isle, Mich., said he and other anglers did not realize they were cut off from land until a Coast Guard helicopter landed and rescuers told them the bridge had broken.

Reported by: Rex Cassidy and Al Miller




Seaway to start new ballast tests

01/27:
The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. recently announced that ballast water chlorine treatment trials on ships in the St. Lawrence Seaway would begin this spring. If the treatment is found to be effective, chlorine treatment will become mandatory for all vessels entering the lakes system. Ballast water from foreign ports can carry non-indigenous aquatic creatures that may harm the local ecosystem if they are flushed from the ballast tanks of a ship.

The measure is in response to a controversial bill introduced last February in Michigan that called for all ships entering Michigan waters to sterilize ballast water. A redraft of the bill is expected to be introduced sometime this year. The original bill called for ballast water standards to be at a higher quality level than drinking water.

Industry interests say that sterilizing ballast water is not technologically feasible and would all but shut down the shipping industry.

Vessels take on ballast water to maintain stability during loading and unloading. In the process, aquatic creatures are inadvertently pumped into the tanks, only to be discharged later when the tanks are emptied in foreign ports.

Since 1993, foreign ships entering the lakes are required to exchange any ballast water on board.




Today in Great Lakes History - January 27

In 1912, the Great Lakes Engineering Works' Ecorse yard launched the steel bulk freighter WILLIAM P. SNYDER, JR.

The LEON FALK, JR. closed the 1974 season at Superior by loading 17,542 tons of ore bound for Detroit.

January 27, 1985 - The CITY OF MIDLAND 41 had to return to port (Ludington) after heavy seas caused a 30-ton crane to fall off a truck on her car deck.

On 27 January 1978, ALLEGHENY, the training vessel of the Great Lakes Maritime Academy (built in 1944 at Orange, Texas as a sea-going Naval tug) capsized at her winter dock at Traverse City, MI from the weight of accumulated ice. She was recovered but required and expensive rebuild and was sold and renamed MALCOLM in 1979.

On 27 January 1893, Charles Lonsby and Louis Wolf purchased the 161 foot wooden steam barge THOMAS D. STIMSON for $28,000. The vessel was built in 1881 by W. J. Daley & Sons at Mt. Clemens, Michigan as a schooner and was originally named VIRGINIUS. She was converted to a steamship in 1887.

Data from: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




EVTAC gets insurance needed to stay open

01/26:
Minnesota's EVTAC Mining Co. has obtained the fire and property insurance it needs to continue operating its taconite plant in Forbes and mine in Eveleth.

Under an agreement with the Minnesota Department of Commerce, EVTAC will pay a $1.8 million annual premium for the two-year policy. The agreement means EVTAC -- which was in danger of closing next week -- will remain open and its 485 workers will stay on the job.

After two major fires in two years, the company was considered a high insurance risk and its current carrier wouldn't renew its policy. Without new fire insurance, EVTAC would not have been able to secure a $40 million line of bank credit to continue operating.

Even though the plant will remain open, Vice President Chuck Williams said EVTAC needs to keep its production costs at less than $35.68 per ton on a month-by-month basis.

If EVTAC can't keep its costs down, Williams said the company's three owners -- Rouge Steel, A-K Steel, and Stelco -- could still consider a closing the plant.

EVTAC still has about 88 million tons of taconite reserves, approximately enough for 21 more years of operation, according to Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Minerals and Lands Division statistics.

Reported by: Al Miller




Coal in Ashtabula

01/26:
Ashtabula, OH. has temporarily reopened its coal loading facilities. The Gaelic Tugboat Co. tug Roger Stahl departed Conneaut for Ashtabula, OH. after breaking ice for the Lee A. Tregurtha outbound on the night of the 24th. Thursday morning the Stahl broke ice for the Canadian Transport and was expected to assist the Canadian Progress into port last night.

The Roger Stahl will then return to Conneaut to assist the Lee A. Tregurtha and the Canadian Olympic. The Roger Stahl was deployed to Ashtabula and Conneaut on January 1st to break ice for the vessels on the coal run from the Ohio ports to the Canadian power plants on Lake Erie and the St. Clair River.




Conneaut Activity

01/26:
According to the P & C Dock the coal loading and icebreaking activities in Conneaut are to continue through the end of January or possibly longer. Icebreakers are busy in port with the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley working inside the Conneaut break wall this past week. The G tug Triton and Gaelic tug Roger Stahl are busy icebreaking within Conneaut Harbor and have been at the P & C docks since about the first of the year. Employees at the dock are working hard to maintain a steady supply of coal for the power plants. The ice in the area is described by locals as the worst ice conditions in 25 years.

Below are images taken Sunday and over the past few weeks.
Arthur M. Anderson departing the P & C docks Sunday evening loaded with coal.
Heading out to Lake Erie, Lee A. Tregurtha is waiting to enter with Samuel Risley breaking ice by the Conneaut lighthouse.
Samuel Risley breaking ice in Conneaut Harbor.
Roger Stahl breaking ice inside the P & C docks.
Callaway backing into the P & C docks on her last trip of the season, Triton is breaking ice.

Report and pictures by: Thomas Naykki




Sykes Arrives

01/26:
Thursday morning the Wilfred Sykes entered Bay Shipbuilding and tied up on the face of the Steel Dock. She was assisted by tugs from Selvick Marine breaking ice at the berth. The engine room crew will have a very short turn around time this winter as she is expected to be one of the first boats to depart lay-up. The Wilfred Sykes joins her fleet mate Joseph L. Block for the brief lay-up.

Ice being flushed away from dock.
Tug Jimmy L. standing off while Ice is being flushed.
Bow Shot of Sykes.
Stack.
Fleet mate Joseph L. Block.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle




Anderson making another trip in winter coal trade

01/26:
Arthur M. Anderson was scheduled to depart Ashtabula early on Jan. 25 with another load of coal for Courtright, Ontario. It was due at the Lambton Generating Station late on the 25th.

Reported by: Al Miller




Duluth port authority moves toward new warehouse

01/26:
The Minnesota Department of Transportation has given preliminary approval to a $3.2 million grant that would fund construction of another 100,000 square feet of warehouse space at Duluth's public port terminal.

After losing much of its general cargo business in the late '80s, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority hired Lake Superior Warehousing Co. in 1991 to redevelop and manage its general cargo business. The company manages three enclosed structures and a half-million square feet of open storage. Today, the warehouses are filled with products such as steel coils and bagged wood pulp.

If the grant receives final approval, the additional warehouse space would supplement 256,000 square feet of existing indoor storage that has been overflowing in recent years.

Despite growing volume, the warehousing business does not generate enough money to privately fund additional construction. Public funding is justified, port officials say, because the storage business provides employment for up to 40 warehouse workers paying a wage of $17.50 to $20 an hour plus benefits. It also generates work for operators of 8,000 trucks and haulers of 1,600 rail cars.

Reported by: Al Miller




Today in Great Lakes History - January 26

The keel for the CLIFFS VICTORY (a. NOTRE DAME VICTORY) was laid on January 26, 1945.

THOMAS F. COLE was launched January 26, 1907 by the Great Lakes Engineering Works, Ecorse, MI. as Hull #27.

J.F. SCHOELLKOPF, JR. was launched January 26, 1907 as a) HUGH KENNEDY.

The THALASSA DESGAGNES entered service for Le Groupe Desgagnes on January 26, 1994.

ST. LAWRENCE NAVIGATOR was launched in 1967 as a) DEMETERTON.

On 26 January 1898, the CITY OF DULUTH (wooden passenger/package freight vessel, 202', 1310 gt, built in 1874 at Marine City, MI as a passenger vessel) was carrying passengers, corn, flour and general merchandise from Chicago to St. Joseph, MI during a late season run when she struck an uncharted bar in a storm inbound to St. Joseph. She was heavily damaged and driven ashore 350 feet west of the north pier where she broke up. The Lifesaving Service rescued all 24 passengers and 17 crew members using breeches' buoy.

Data from: Steve Haverty, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Block Cancels Trip

01/25:
The Joseph L. Block was expected to close the season in Escanaba, MI. Wednesday morning but her final trip was cancelled. The Block instead sailed for winter lay-up at Bay Ship in Sturgeon Bay, WI. and arrived Wednesday morning. Escanaba will begin the 2001 - 2002 shipping season sometime in mid-March.

The Block's fleetmate, the Wilfred Sykes was expected to arrive at Bay Ship early this morning for lay-up.

Reported by: Central Marine Logistics and Sandy Chapman




Sturgeon Bay Update

01/25:
When the Joseph L. Block arrived at Bay Ship she entered berth #9 at Bay Shipbuilding. The Block will remain at this dock until the Paul R. Tregurtha's repairs and the 5 year survey are completed.

Once the Tregurtha is clear of the dry dock, the Block will enter for her 5 year survey. After the survey she will return to Berth #9 for the remainder of winter lay-up.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle




Algoma Fleet

01/25:
Two of Algoma Central Marine's fleet continue trading on the lakes. The Algowest took a break from the salt trade to load coal for the Lambton generating station on the St. Clair River. She was expected to arrive Wednesday afternoon.

The Capt. Henry Jackman was in Goderich, Ontario Wednesday loading salt for Milwaukee. The Jackman is expected in Milwaukee Friday morning.

The final vessel running in the Algoma fleet is the Sauniere. The vessel has been trading on the St. Lawrence River and Atlantic Ocean.

Reported by: Philip Nash




Chief Engineer Alfred W. Orr

01/25:
Flags were lowered to half mast on the Wolfe Islander III Tuesday, January 23, 2001 for former Chief Engineer Alfred Orr.

A Great Lakes sailor all of his life, Fred's motto was "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" This was also his legacy, for up until recently Fred could be seen checking things over "his" boats in Kingston harbor, the Island Queen and the Island Belle, ensuring himself that everything was just right. A small thing like a triple by-pass heart operation wasn't going to sideline him for too long. "Maybe for a little bit," he remarked last Friday, "I gotta get back to work soon. Spring's comin'' Indeed, Fred just celebrated his 82nd birthday on January 16.

Retiring as Chief Engineer on the Silver Isle in the mid 1970's Fred took a job as Engineer with MTO aboard the new Wolfe Islander III and worked there until he again "retired" in 1984. But he came back, again and again. Something needed to be repaired... someone had no relief... and then the tour boats "got him".

Even Chief Engineers need rest though, and quietly, Fred probably laid his wrenches down, peeled off his well faded coveralls - but he'd keep them within reach... for if something needs fixin' out there...

Reported by: Brian Johnson




Today in Great Lakes History - January 25

On January 25, 1988 L’ORME NO.1 was involved in an accident at Ultramar Refinery near Quebec City when attempting to tie up during foggy weather. She struck the dock and the impact started a fire that extensively damaged the wharf and the forward section of the ship.

Scrapping on the E. J. BLOCK began at Port Colborne on January 25, 1988.

The JOSHUA A. HATFIELD was launched January 25, 1923.

The W.C. RICHARDSON (2) was launched January 25, 1908 as the a) WAINWRIGHT.

On 25 January 1890, ALEX NIMICK (wooden propeller, 298', 1968 gt) was launched at W. Bay City, MI. She was built by J. Davidson (hull # 30).

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Final Load Expected

01/24:
The Joseph L. Block is scheduled to arrive in Escanaba, MI. about 9:00 a.m. this morning to load the final cargo of the season. Her cargo of taconite will be the last load shipped from the Lake Michigan port for the 2000 - 2001 season. The Block will proceed to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin after unloading to lay-up for the season.

Escanaba will begin the 2001 - 2002 shipping season sometime in mid-March.

Reported by: Jim Grill




Commerce Department to probe steel dumping

01/24:
The U.S. Commerce Department will investigate whether iron ore and semi finished steel imports are threatening national security, a move that could result quotas and tariffs on these goods.

The investigation, decided in the final days of the Clinton administration, was requested by Reps. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., and Bart Stupak, D-Mich. Although President Bush is reviewing President Clinton's flurry of last-minute regulations, the steel investigation is not a regulation and will go forward, Oberstar said, citing a conversation he had with a Commerce Department official.

"There is no industry more fundamental to our national defense than steel," Oberstar said. "It got us through two world wars and Korea and Vietnam. The iron ores of Minnesota and Michigan were the primary sources."

But Bruce Bartlett, a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, a free-market-oriented think tank in Washington, said the national security argument was simply a pretext.

"National defense is the last refuge of the protectionists," he said. "The wars of the future won't be fought with steel; they will be fought with electronics. The U.S. steel industry isn't going to disappear. We can easily meet the need."

Oberstar said his concern was primarily for the taconite industry, the raw material needed to make steel. `We are at risk if the domestic steel industry has to depend entirely on foreign-subsidized slab steel to produce its high-end product," he said. "Look at the cutbacks happening in the iron industry in Minnesota." More than 2,000 of the Iron Range's 5,600 taconite workers will be out of work in February, cutbacks the industry blames on cheap foreign steel imports.

Under the investigation, known as a Section 232 case, the Commerce Department has nine months to determine whether a national security threat is posed by the iron ore and semi-finished steel imports. If the department finds one, it can propose remedies to the president such as quotas and tariffs on imports.

Reported by: Al Miller




Ice Breaking

01/24:
The Mackinaw was returning from Cheboygan Tuesday. The big icebreaker was passing downbound at Port Huron about 10:20 a.m. and will be working the ice on Western Lake Erie and the Detroit River. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay suffered a fuel line problem while underway in Western Lake Erie and moored in Toledo, Ohio, for repairs Monday. The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon provided ice breaking assistance on southern Lake Huron and the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley assisted vessels on western Lake Erie.

Reported by: Brian Kloosterman and Ron Locke




St. Clair Traffic

01/24:
Tuesday morning the Capt. Henry Jackman was upbound at the Lake St. Clair Crib Light heading to load salt in Goderich, Ontario for Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

She was followed later in the day by the Arthur M. Anderson. The Anderson was carrying coal and docked at the Lambton power station on the St. Clair River at 2:30 p.m. She expected to be at the dock for about 10 hours and then will head back to Conneaut, OH. to load.

Reported by: Ron Locke and Philip Nash




Toledo Update

01/24:
Toledo remains busy with tug and barge units moving products. The tugs Mary E. Hannah with barge and the tug James A. Hannah, acting as an escort, have been visiting the Sun Oil Dock on a regular basis for the past several weeks.

The tug John Spence and barge Mcasphalt 401 were coming to the B-P Dock to unload cargo on a regular basis.

The Wolverine and barge Kellstone I are still on the dry docks at Toledo Shipbuilding. The tugs Frank Palladino and James Palladino remain tied up at the Riverfront Dock of the Shipyard.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Minnesota Iron & Steel to wait on financing

01/24:
Minnesota Iron & Steel Co., which proposes building a new mining and steel making complex in northeastern Minnesota, says it won't seek financing until after next year because of current market and economic conditions.

`It's a ticklish time because of the steel industry being in so much trouble," John Lefler, MIS president and chief executive officer, told the Duluth News Tribune. "But MIS is not dying. We continue to move forward, although it will be at a slower pace."

MIS officials had planned to secure financing this year to build a new taconite plant, direct reduced iron plant, and steel making facility at the site of the former Butler Taconite plant west of Nashwauk.

But near-record steel imports, rising natural gas costs and a slump in steel prices have sent nine domestic steel makers into bankruptcy. Rather than seek financing this year, MIS will instead wait until the second quarter of 2002, said Lefler.

"We have a plan to take the next year-and-a-half to get plans into place and early next year go out for financing," Lefler said. "The truth is that it should be done now. I think the Iron Range and the nation need to take the next step forward in technology, but the financial markets aren't investing in new steel facilities."

Reported by: Al Miller




EVTAC seeks state financial help

01/24:
EVTAC Mining Co. officials and local state legislators are talking with the Minnesota Department of Commerce about a plan that might provide the taconite company with desperately needed fire and property insurance. "We're getting some help from the Department of Commerce," Chuck Williams, EVTAC vice president of internal and external affairs, told the Duluth News Tribune on Monday.

Williams said last week that EVTAC would run out of cash Jan. 29. And after two major fires in roughly two years, the taconite plant's insurer will no longer insure the company. Without new insurance by Feb. 1 -- and a $40 million line of credit -- EVTAC is in danger of closing, Williams said. Details surrounding the Department of Commerce role weren't finalized Monday.

Reported by: Al Miller




Today in Great Lakes History - January 24

The JOHNSTOWN (2) was launched January 24, 1952.

SPRUCEGLEN was launched January 24, 1924 as a) WILLIAM K. FIELD.

The steel barge MADEIRA was launched on January 24, 1900.

In 1988, while under tow of tug EVEREST, the ENDERS M. VOORHEES encountered force 9 winds, parted her towline and went aground and subsequently broke in two at Profitis Elais, Kythnos Island (Thermia) in the Cyclades between the Mirto and Aegean Seas. She was on her way to Turkey for scrapping at the time.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Mackinaw in Cheboygan

01/23:
The Mackinaw's departure from the Detroit area to her homeport of Cheboygan, MI. was described by the U.S. Coast Guard as a "mid-patrol break". The big icebreaker arrived on Friday and will under going repairs to an engine while in her home port.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay has been working in the Detroit area. Over the weekend the Neah Bay escorted three vessels from Maumee Bay in western Lake Erie to Grassy Isle in the Detroit River and then returned to Cleveland. Saturday she assisted two vessels from the East Outer Channel to Toledo.

Reported by: Chad Michaels




Jackman Slowed by Ice

01/23:
The Capt. Henry Jackman arrived in Goderich, Ont. Sunday night but had difficulty getting to the dock due to ice, it was a very slow procedure.

The Jackman planned to depart at 7:00 a.m. Monday morning with a load of salt for Detroit. The Jackman expected the ice to make it difficult to depart Goderich.

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon was prepared to finish assisting the Canadian Olympic early Sunday morning in the St. Clair River and then proceed to Goderich to assist the Jackman if required.

Reported by: Philip Nash




Anderson Busy

01/23:
Arthur M. Anderson remains active in the winter coal trade. The vessel was scheduled to depart Conneaut on Jan. 22 and arrive at the Lambton power station on the St. Clair River, early today.

Reported by: Al Miller




Trader in Lay-up

01/23:
The barge Great Lakes Trader entered lay-up in Escanaba on Jan. 15. The barge, pushed by the tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort, began her first season on the lakes in June loading at Escanaba.

The self-unloading barge was built for Great Lakes Marine Leasing, with the barge operated by Van Enkevort Tug and Barge of Escanaba. Measuring 740-feet long by 78-feet wide, the Trader is the 16th largest carrier on the Great Lakes. It was built by Halter Marine in New Orleans.

Reported by: Sandy Chapman




Ice Rescue

01/23:
Last week the crew of the Madeline Island Ferry Lines' "Nichevo" came to the rescue of an Illinois man this morning that had fallen through thin ice while snowmobiling on Lake Superior south of Bayfield, Wisconsin.

The lone victim had clung to the edge of the ice for forty five minutes as the rescue progressed. The victim had attempted to cross new ice that was disguised by a covering of fresh snow when he fell into the water. The ice was not strong enough for the victim to pull himself out and he was only able to cling to the edge of the ice.

The rescue took place just off the shore from the Bayfield Coast Guard Station. Wet suit clad personnel from the station were attempting to reach the victim from shore ice when the 65 foot Nichevo arrived on the scene, about one-half mile south of the vessel's normal track to Madeline Island. The ferry was able to inch up to the victim and pass a man overboard pole under his shoulders as he clung to the edge of the ice. In his weakened condition the victim was unable to assist in his own rescue. Several ferry passengers assisted the ferry crew in hauling the large man aboard.

The ferry crew used a man overboard rescue device invented by Gary Russell, Managing Director of the Madeline Island Ferry Lines. The device is a long aluminum pole with a plastic covered wire noose at the end that is slipped under the victim's shoulders and automatically cinches tight as the victim is hauled aboard. The Russell family is no stranger to ice tragedies. Gary Russell's grandfather and two others died when his boat was crushed and capsized by flow ice as he and four other were rowing mail and provisions from Bayfield to Madeline Island in April of 1915.

Madeline Island residents have watched the prospects of a good ice crossing to the mainland dwindles through the month of January. Sub zero temperatures through December had forecast an early end to ferry traffic. The ferry line had set a date of January 1 to cease operations when warmer than normal temperatures set in. Ice between Madeline Island and Bayfield that formed in December abruptly blew out on strong northeast winds early last Sunday morning.

In an average year the Island's two hundred residents benefit from ice thick enough to support car and light truck traffic across the two and a half mile channel for roughly 50 days beginning in mid-January. Last year the ice road was open only thirty days. In 1997-98, the El Nino winter, ferry traffic ran all winter, the first time ferry travel to Madeline Island was uninterrupted by freeze up.

Reported by: T. W. Eldred




Ice Breaking Report

01/23:
U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers assisted 115 commercial ships, spending 400 hours assisting and performing preventative ice breaking from mid to late December.

The ice breaking at the close of the season was focused in two trouble spots : The first is the Livingstone Channel, Detroit River, St. Clair River, and Lake St. Clair area. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutters Mackinaw, Neah Bay, the Canadian Coast Guard Ships Samuel Risley and Griffon have been breaking ice to keep commercial traffic moving. USCGC Bristol Bay is in for major engine repairs after extensive ice breaking in late December.

The second trouble spot was the Straits of Mackinac and the St. Marys River. USCGC Katmai Bay, Biscayne Bay and Mobile Bay were battling quickly freezing ice that was clogging the shipping lanes. They were also performing ice breaking and track maintenance. As the shipping season closed, the USCGC Sundew was maintaining tracks in Duluth-Superior Harbor and Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada for similar work.

Some are calling the early freeze at the end of 2000-2001 shipping season the worst in 25 years. The National Ice Center uses the term "Freezing Degree Days" to measure the likeliness and speed that ice forms on waterways.

The number of freezing degree days is determined by the number of degrees below freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit) each day's average air temperature is. For example: if local temperature is 30 degrees, that would be tallied as two freezing degree days.

The following comparisons of current and normal freezing degree days is provided for various points along the Great Lakes this season through Dec 26, 2000:

Freezing Degree Days

Location 2000-01 Normal
Duluth, Minn. 897 555
Muskegon, Mich. 232 76
Marquette, Mich. 599 274
Alpena, Mich. 407 181
Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. 503 327
Detroit 246 67
Green Bay, Wis. 612 284
Toledo 339 70
Milwaukee 434 157
Cleveland 230 33
Chicago 438 86
Buffalo 232 65


Reported by: Sandy Chapman




Cleveland Report

01/23:
The Lake Carriers' Association has posted the Season-End Cleveland Harbor Report on their web site.
Click here to visit




Ice Forecast

01/23:
Ice Hazard Bulletin for the Great Lakes issued by the Canadian Ice Service of Environment Canada at 1700 UTC Monday 22 January 2001.

No ice warning expected for the next 36 hours.

Lake Ontario....Mostly open water except for fast ice in the Bay of Quinte and in sheltered bays of the Prince Edward County. 6 to 9 tenths new lake ice along the northeastern shore with embedded strips of thin and medium lake ice. Fast ice in the St Lawrence Seaway.

Lake Erie...Consolidated thick and medium lake ice in most of the western basin and near Buffalo and in Lake St Clair except for drifting thick and medium lake ice in the Detroit River. 9 tenths thick and medium lake ice in northeastern section of the western basin. east of 8120w to Long Point 9 plus tenths medium and thin lake ice except 5 tenths new lake ice right along the northern shore and embedded 3 tenths of thick lake ice along the southern shore. West of 8120w generally 7 to 9 plus tenths thin lake ice. East of Long Point 1 to 4 tenths new lake ice except 9 plus tenths mostly medium lake ice along the southern shore. 9 tenths new and thin lake ice in Long Point Bay.

Lake Huron and Georgian Bay... Along the eastern shore 6 to 9 tenths new lake except 9 plus tenths thin with some medium lake ice right along the coast between Grand Bend and Point Clark except fast ice right along the coast. 4 to 8 tenths new lake ice along the western shore. In the entrance to Saginaw Bay 7 to 9 tenths thin and new lake ice. 7 to 9 plus tenths medium and thin lake ice near the Straits of Mackinac. 9 plus tenths medium and thin lake ice in most of central North Channel and in northeastern Georgian Bay. Fast ice in the St Marys River and elsewhere in the North Channel and along the northeastern shore of Georgian Bay and in Saginaw Bay. Open water elsewhere.

Lake Superior...Fast ice in Black and Nipigon Bays. Fast ice in most of Thunder Bay except 6 to 9 tenths new with some medium and thick lake ice in the southern section and in the approaches. Elsewhere in Thunder Bay 9 plus to 10 tenths mostly thin lake ice in the northern section and bands of 4 to 9 plus tenths thin and new with some medium lake ice along the southern shore and into Whitefish Bay. Open water elsewhere.

Lake Michigan...10 tenths fasted thick lake ice in southern Green Bay south of Sturgeon Bay...In Big Bay de Noc and in Little Bay de Noc. 10 tenth of medium ice from Sturgeon Bay north to Chambers Island. 9 to 10 tenths of medium thin and new lake ice from Gills Rock to Summer Island. Covering the western shoreline of central Green Bay and the area just north of Chambers Island has 3 to 5 tenths of new lake ice. Gills Rock to Pt. Detour 3 to 5 tenths of medium and thin lake ice in belts and strips exiting Green Bay. Open water from Garden Peninsula to Scott Point. 7 to 9 tenths of medium thin and new ice north and east of Garden Island to Mackinaw Bridge. Open water along the shore from Milwaukee to Grand Haven. 8 to 10 tenths of thin and medium lake ice in the harbors of Ludington and Grand Haven. Remainder of Lake Michigan is ice free.

Click here for the St. Lawrence River Forecast.

Note: this report is offered for entertainment and should not be relied on for navigation. Please consult Canadian Ice Service for current conditions (subscription necessary)

Area coverage is expressed in tenths
1-3/10's---very open drift ice
4-6/10's---open drift ice
7-8/10's---close pack ice
9-9+/10's--very close pack
10/10's---compact
10/10's---frozen together - consolidated

When ice reaches 6/10's or greater, ships can no longer traverse between floes.

Fast ice--ice fastened to the shore (frozen all the way across)

New Lake Ice----recently formed less than 2 inches (5 centimeters) thick.
Thin Lake Ice---2 - 6 inches (5 - 15 centimeters) thick.
Medium Lake Ice- 6 - 12 inches (15 - 30 centimeters) thick.
Thick Lake Ice--12 - 28 inches (30-70 centimeters) thick.
Very Thick Ice--greater than 28 inches (70 centimeters thick).





Today in Great Lakes History - January 23

The GEORGE A. STINSON struck a wall of the Poe Lock at Sault Ste. Marie, MI on January 23, 1979. The damage was estimated at $200,000.

The rail car ferry GRAND HAVEN sailed on her first trip as a roll on/roll off carrier from Port Burwell on January 23, 1965 loaded with 125 tons of coiled steel bound for Cleveland and Walton Hills, OH.

January 23, 1980 - Protesting the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, workers refused to unload the Russian freighter KHUDOZHNKI PAKHOMOV docked at Dow Chemical in Ludington.

Data from: Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Hibbing Taconite announces production cut for 2001

01/22:
Trouble in the iron ore industry continued last week when Hibbing Taconite Co. announced that it will shut down for six weeks beginning Jan. 28 and another four weeks next summer.

The shutdowns will cut the company's 2001 taconite pellet production from a projected 8 million tons to roughly 6.7 million tons. Nearly all of Hibbing Taconite's 670 hourly workers will be laid off during the shutdowns. About 180 salaried employees will remain on the job.

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., manager and 15 percent owner of the taconite plant located near Hibbing, Minn., said the shutdowns are not expected to total more than 10 weeks. "There's some hedging in that 10 weeks," said David Gardner, a Cleveland-Cliffs spokesman. "What we're saying is we don't expect it to exceed that."

Hibbing Taconite ships its pellets through the BNSF dock in Superior. The dock is served primarily by Bethlehem Steel's Stewart J. Cort and Burns Harbor as well as a variety of Canadian vessels. The cutback of 1.3 million tons of pellets means a significant reduction in vessel trips.

Virtually all Minnesota taconite plants are reeling from the steel industry's downturn.

  • LTV Steel Mining Co. in Hoyt Lakes, Minn., closed permanently several weeks ago. Whether its production is made up elsewhere on the Iron Range depends on whether parent company LTV Steel emerges from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
  • Last week, a vice president of the EVTAC taconite plant near Eveleth, Minn., said his plant might close by the end of the month if it can't secure insurance and bank loans.
  • National Steel Pellet Co. in Keewatin, Minn., laid off 22 workers earlier this month.
  • In early January, Northshore Mining Co. in Silver Bay and Babbitt, Minn., cut its projected production by 700,000 tons this year.
  • U.S. Steel's Minntac plant recently announced a production cutback.
  • Cleveland-Cliffs officials said they are evaluating production levels at the Empire and Tilden mines in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Announcements on those mines are expected soon.

John Brinzo, Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. chairman and chief executive officer, said in a news release that business conditions have deteriorated significantly in recent months.

"Adverse market changes have made this action necessary," Brinzo said. "... We must, somehow, overcome all the barriers to progress. Most important of these barriers are record levels of unfairly traded steel imports, a slowing economy in the United States and Canada, low steel prices and a strong U.S. dollar."

"I expected a bit of a slowdown, but this is just snowballing," Peter Kakela, Michigan State University professor and industry analyst, told the Duluth News Tribune in Friday's edition. "The big scare for me is what's happening at EVTAC. It was down for about a month with the (Oct. 13) fire and that was kind of a forced outage that should have soaked up some of the downturn. Now, if they're having real financial problems, it's scary."

Kakela said if EVTAC were to shut down for a month or more for inventory adjustment, it might never re-open. Shuttering a plant in the winter could be a sign of how cash-starved some steel companies are, he said.

Reported by: Al Miller




Conneaut Remains Busy

01/22:
Sunday afternoon was a busy day in Conneaut Harbor. The Coast Guard was breaking ice in the outer harbor for departing Lee A. Tregurtha. The G tug Triton was breaking ice inside P & C Dock while the Arthur M. Anderson was backing into coal dock to begin loading. The Canadian Olympic is tied up at the stone dock waiting to enter coal dock. The Gaelic Tugboat Co. tug Roger Stahl was at the stone dock for icebreaking duty.

Conneaut will remain busy as vessels keep a steady supply of coal moving to Ontario Hydro in Nanticoke on Lake Erie and Lambton on the St. Clair River.

Reported by: Tom Naykki




Escanaba Activity

01/22:
The Joseph L. Block arrived Sunday to load. The barge Great Lakes Trader was still at the dock Sunday after arriving on Saturday. The ore dock schedule last week called for the Wilfred Sykes to load today and the Block on Tuesday.

Reported by: Sandy Chapman




Tregurtha Moved

01/22:
Early Sunday morning the Paul R. Tregurtha was moved "dead ship" out of Berth 15 into the turning basin at Bay Ship in Sturgeon Bay, WI. The barge Presque Isle and Burns Harbor were moved just enough to allow the Tregurtha to be slid out and the Presque Isle and Burns Harbor to be pushed to the wall at Berth 15.

Tugs from Selvick Marine broke the three Ships loose from the ice and then broke a track for the Tregurtha to move out into the turning basin and to be pulled back into the Graving Dock. The Tregurtha is going into the Graving Dock (dry dock) for her 5-year survey and for repair of damage to the forepeak, which occurred when it grounded a few weeks ago.

Tug Jimmy L. going after bow tow line.
Tregurtha slides down the Presque Isle and Berth 15.
Tugs working on the stern of Tregurtha.
Tugs lining up the 1000-footer for the graving dock.
Tug Bay Ship takes over for town into dock.
Tugs holding against the 10 to 15 knots wind.
Close up view.
Into the dock.
Close up.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle




Ice Clogs Water Intake

01/22:
A local radio station reported that a suburb of Cleveland had its water intake plugged by ice. An icebreaker from the Coast Guard was expected to clear the intake. In other news, the U.S. Coast Guard reported that the Mackinaw was heading to her homeport of Cheboygan, MI. It was unknown why or for how long the icebreaker would be in its homeport. The Cutter Neah Bay was en route to western Lake Erie to assist vessels.

Reported by: Rex Cassidy




Quebec Port Authority posts positive results for 2000

01/22:
Quebec Harbor official’s reports that 16 million tons of cargo was handled in 2000 almost the same tonnage as in 1999. 2.5 million tons of dry bulk including clinker, nickel, manganese, copper and others. Liquid bulk (chemical & petroleum products) amounted to 450,000 marine tons. 100,000 tons of general cargo (granite, pulp, paper). Some 2 million tons of export grain were handled at the Bunge of Canada Grain Terminal.

It was a record year for crude oil imports with 10 million tons arriving at the Ultramar Refinery Terminal in St-Romuald.

As for cruises, over 36,000 cruise ship passengers touched shore in 2000 during 61 ship calls resulting in a slight increase over 1999 regardless of Premier Cruises bankruptcy which resulted in the cancellation of 6 calls by the cruise ship Rembrandt.

The projections for 2001 for the cruise ship industry look pretty good as 60 calls have already been confirmed. Norwegian Cruise Line will return 9 times to Quebec, seven ships will be calling for the first time namely the Grandeur of the Sea with a capacity of 2,450 passengers.

In order to enhance the cruise ship business, Port Authority announced last October, the development of its Cruise Ship Terminal at Pointe-a-Clarcy with a grant of 19.2 million $ Can. from the Federal Government.

Reported by: Frederick Frechette




Saltie News

01/22:
The December edition of Marine News reported the sale for scrapping of several salties that have visited the Seaway and Great Lakes. One vessel traveled the Seaway under two names. This was Agamemnon that also sailed under the name Protoporos and arrived under the name Freedom K. at Alang, India to be scrapped on Sept. 27, 2000. Others were Acacia that arrived at Alang on Oct. 1, 2000 under the name Asian Jade, Alexander II arrived at Alang under the name Azalea, Plesetsk arrived at Alang on Sept. 23, 2000 under the name Nasia, Jalagouri’s demolition commenced at Alang on June 14, 2000 under the name Veer Savarkar, Vishva Parijat arrived at Alang, on Sept. 26, 2000, Norse Transporter to unspecified breakers with demolition begging in 1994. Finally, the Antonis Gianis H. was delivered to Bangladesh breakers at Chittagong where she had arrived on August 4, 2000 and placed under arrest.

Reported foundered was the tug Keta V. Owned by Verreault Navigation Inc., she grounded on Oct. 3, 2000 at Eastern Head at the approaches to Liverpool, N.S. She subsequently sank two days later.

Extracts from my new book "Seaway Ships". Recorded was the renaming of 14 salties that traded on Great Lakes ports in 2000. Only one was renamed while in the Seaway/Great Lakes. The Dutchman Lindengracht becoming the Canadian Umiavut in June at Valleyfield, QC. Umiavut reverted back to the Dutch flag on Oct. 27 but retained her name Umiavut. Another reflagging involved the Barbados-flag Anna Desgagnés hoisting the Canadian flag on June 29 at Côte Ste. Catherine in the Seaway. She too reverted back to her previous registry later on.

Thirteen ships were renamed outside the Lakes and amongst them, five came back under their new names before the end of the 2000 season. Those five ones were Federal Oslo, Solveig, Thorshope, Thorsriver and Ulloa which came back respectively under the names Yarmouth, Spar Ruby, Lykes Winner, Lykes Energizer and Toro.

The eight others were Calliope, Darya Kamal, Kopalnia Ziemowit, Lamda, Margaretha Green, Merweborg, Sun Bird and Thorslake renamed respectively Alexander K., Rio Glory, Arklow Dusk, Thalia, Coral Green, MSC Bothnia, Industrial Horizon and Lykes Inspirer.

The Millenium Harmony is expected to revert back to her previous name of Clipper Harmony sometime in 2001.

Following a major mechanical breakdown, one vessel was sold to shipbreakers in India, probably Alang. The B26 type Chios Charm arrived in India on Dec 8. according to information from Jeff Cameron. She had departed the Davie Industrie shipyard at Lévis on Nov. 15, giving Pakistan as her destination.

Another vessel that suffered a major breakdown in 2000 was Millenium Yama. The ship was on the St. Lawrence River below Quebec City and heading for Cleveland in April when the breakdown occurred. She was taken undertow to Quebec City, was not repaired, and her trip to the Lakes had to be canceled. The vessel was sold and renamed Mill but was still at Quebec City at the beginning of 2001. She had logged two trips to Great Lakes ports in 1999.

Reported by: René Beauchamp




Ice Pictures

01/22:
Pilot and photographer Don Coles was flying over the St. Clair and Detroit River System Saturday and sent in the pictures below. All photographs are available for purchase. Don's company, Great Lakes Aerial Photos, is available for hire for any aerial photography need.

Griffon escorting Hannah tugs and barge in the lower St. Clair River.
Close up of the Griffon.
Barge and tugs.
Canadian Transport stuck in the Livingstone Channel.
Side view.
Stern.

Click here for many new aerial views of Great Lakes Freighters




Updates

01/22:
Many new updates to the Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Web Site.

Click here for the latest updates and pictures





Government and industry team up for conference

01/22:
The Coast Guard is providing an open forum discuss technological, environmental, industrial and recreational issues that are being faced in the Great Lakes today and in the future at the Sheraton Cleveland City Center in downtown Cleveland on January 31, from 8 a.m. till 4 p.m.

The forum will feature more than 300 senior managers representing recreational, commercial and environmental interests from the United States and Canada.

"Marine Community Day is the Coast Guard’s most significant partnering event of the year," said RADM. James D. Hull, commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District.

This year’s featured guest speaker will be Mr. David Collenette, Minister of Transportation in Canada. Mr. Collenette will be speaking at 3 p.m.

Marine Community Day has grown out of the annual Industry Day traditionally held in Cleveland on the last Wednesday of January. This year’s theme is "Great Lakes, partnering for excellence."




Today in Great Lakes History - January 22

The c) WOODLAND (b. JENSEN STAR) was sold to International Capital Equipment of Canada and cleared off Lakes from Montreal January 22, 1991 under the Bahamian flag with the modified name to d) WOODLANDS .

The GOLDEN HIND was sold on January 22, 1973 to Trico Enterprises Ltd., Hamilton, Bermuda (Quebec & Ontario Transportation Co. Ltd., Thorold, Ont., mgr.)

January 22, 1913 - The SAINTE MARIE (2) was launched.

Data from: Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Detroit River Delay

01/21:
At noon on Saturday the Canadian Transport was sailing downbound in the Livingstone Channel. The vessel slowly moved down the channel and finally came to a stop approximately three boat lengths from the mouth of the channel. At 2:00 p.m. the Transport was stuck with the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon en route to assist. The Transport was later freed and is expected off Conneaut, OH. at 5:30 a.m.

Reported by: Bob Saunders and Rob Cioletti




Last Load for Escanaba?

01/21:
Local news reported last week that the ore docks in Escanaba, MI. were expected to close for the season on Friday, Jan. 19. Saturday the Wilfred Sykes and barge Great Lakes Trader were loading what is expected to be the final loads. The Joseph L. Block loaded on Friday and report to the Coast Guard that the vessel was making 7 knots through the ice. The Block and Sykes are expected to arrive in Sturgeon Bay, WI. for winter lay-up around Jan. 24. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay was expected to assist in the area.

Sykes and Trader loading.

Reported by: Sandy Chapman




Today in Great Lakes History - January 21

On this day on 1959 gale force winds and ice at Buffalo, NY caused the steamer Mac GILVRAY SHIRAS to break lose from its moorings and on the way down the Buffalo River collided with the MICHAEL K. TEWKSBURY and severed her moorings. Both vessels crashed into the Michigan Avenue Bridge causing millions of dollars in damages.

On 21 January 1895, CHICORA (wooden propeller passenger/package freight vessel, 199', 1123 gt, built in 1892 at Detroit) was bound from Milwaukee for St. Joseph on a mid-winter run. She foundered with little trace. All 25 on board were lost. The ship's dog was found wandering on the beach by St. Joseph, MI a few days later. A well organized search for the wreck continued until mid-June. Many small pieces of wreckage were washed ashore in the Spring.

On January 21, 1978 the Multifood Elevator #4 at Duluth, MN caught fire and collapsed onto the deck of the HARRY L. ALLEN which was laid up beneath the elevator. Her pilothouse was destroyed by fire. Severe warping and cracking of her plating occurred when cold water was poured onto her red-hot deck.

Data from: Brian Wroblewski, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Burns Harbor Moved

01/20:
The 1000-foot Burns Harbor was refloated Friday morning from the Graving Dock, at Bay Ship in Sturgeon Bay, WI. Tugs from Selvick Marine broke ice and assisted in the move.

The Burns Harbor will be rafted outboard of the Presque Isle, while the Graving dock is reblocked for the Paul R. Tregurtha. The Tregurtha is expected to enter the Graving Dock early Sunday morning.

Burns Harbor bow in dry dock.
Stern view as the Burns Harbor is moved from the dry dock.
Another view.
Close up.
Paul R. Tregurtha waits.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle




Interesting Transit

01/20:
On Friday afternoon, the tug Mary E. Hannah was upbound in the St. Clair River pushing the 360-foot loaded tank barge Hannah 5101. Fleetmate and nearly identical tug James A. Hannah was pushing on stern of the Mary. This made for a speedy trip up the river for the 5101.

The James has been assisting the Mary and barge through ice in the lower Detroit River and Lake Erie.

Reported by: George Lee




Salt Trade

01/20:
Algoma's Algowest and Capt. Henry Jackman remain busy in the salt trade. Heavy snow this season has created high demand for salt around the lakes. Mines in Goderich, Ont. and Windsor, Ont. remain busy shipping salt to Milwaukee, Chicago and Detroit.

In Detroit, the Gaelic Tugboat Co. is running a daily barge from Ojibway Salt in Windsor to Detroit.

Reported by: Philip Nash




Detroit Traffic

01/20:
Thursday evening the Algowest departed upbound from the Ojibway salt dock in Windsor at 7:00 p.m. headed to Milwaukee. The Canadian Olympic was downbound at Belle Isle at 7:35 p.m. bound for Conneaut. The Arthur M. Anderson reported upbound at Grassy Island in the lower Detroit River at 8:00 p.m. The Anderson was not far behind the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon that had been doing track maintenance in the lower river.

Reported by: Rob Cioletti




Today in Great Lakes History - January 20

NORDIC BLOSSOM was launched January 20, 1981 as the a) NORDIC SUN.

On January 20, 1917, American Ship Building's Lorain yard launched the steel bulk freighter EUGENE W. PARGNY.

January 20, 1911 - The ANN ARBOR NO. 5 made her first trip into Kewaunee.

On 20 January 1923, CHOCTAW (steel propeller packet, 75', 53 gt, built in 1911 at Collingwood) burned at her dock at Port Stanley, Ontario.

On 20 January 1978, HARRY L. ALLEN (formerly JOHN B. COWLE, built in 1910) burned at her winter lay-up berth at Capital 4 grain elevator dock in Duluth. She was declared a total loss.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Ice Conditions

01/19:
Daytime temperatures reaching above freezing the past week have significantly improved ice conditions in the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers. Unescorted vessel traffic is now possible but the Coast Guard vessels remain active in case problems develop.

Wednesday the Cutter Mackinaw conducted three vessel assists in the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers. Katmai Bay assisted the Algoeast through the St. Mary's River. No detailed reports were available for the Griffon or Risley.




Seaway Recap

01/19:
The St. Lawrence Seaway officially closed for the season on December 26, 2000, with the passage of the downbound ship, Jade Star, through the St. Lambert Lock near Montreal, Quebec, at 1.01 hours. The Seaway opened its 42nd shipping season on March 27 and remained open for 275 days in 2000.

“This season’s results are similar to last year’s, in terms of revenue and commodity movements,” said Guy Véronneau, President of The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation. “We have maintained the healthy level of traffic typical of the last five years, despite low water levels in the Great Lakes and reduced grain shipments.“ Mr. Véronneau also commented on the Seaway’s ongoing modernization program. “We upgrade some aspect of our operations and facilities each year,” he said. “This year we successfully tested a new automatic vessel identification system, which will be fully operational for the 2002 season.”

For the third year in a row, the Corporation has surpassed its business plan targets and has continued to work closely with maritime interests in the Great Lakes basin to plan strategies for the future of the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway System.

Estimated combined cargo passing through the Welland Canal and the Montreal/Lake Ontario sections of the system was approximately 46,000,000 metric tonnes, 1.4 percent lower than in 1999. Steel took first place this year among commodity shipments, with cargoes amounting to 4.6 million metric tonnes - up 18.3%, thanks to substantial shipments of imported steel through the waterway. Grain, which rebounded somewhat last year, was down 6.2%. Other commodities associated with the steel industry, iron ore and other bulk cargo, declined by approximately 1%.

Estimated cargo traffic on the Welland Canal alone was 37,000,000 tonnes (1.5% or 560,000 tonnes less than last year), while traffic on the Montreal/Lake Ontario section was 36,000,000 tonnes (1.3% or 480,000 tonnes less than in 1999).

The St. Lawrence Seaway System closes during the winter to make way for a substantial maintenance program on its 15 locks and connecting channels. Next year’s Seaway navigation season will begin March 23 - the earliest opening date on record.

The Port of Montreal remains open during the winter months to accommodate traffic on the St. Lawrence River.




Today in Great Lakes History - January 19

On 19 January 1824, the Welland Canal Company was incorporated to build the first Welland Canal.

January 19, 1927 - The Grand Trunk carferry MADISON was christened with a bottle of Wisconsin milk. She entered service in March of 1927.

CLARENCE B. RANDALL (2) was towed to Windsor on January 19, 1987 for scrapping.

Data from: Joe Barr, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Minnesota's EVTAC plant may close

01/18:
A top official of the EVTAC taconite plant near Eveleth, Minn., warned Jan. 17 that the plant may close by the end of the month if it can't get bank loans and insurance.

Speaking to state lawmakers in St. Paul, EVTAC Vice President Chuck Williams said the company cannot get insurance after two fires at the plant in the past two years. Without insurance, it cannot get bank loans necessary to meet its payroll. He said that without state assistance, the plant will close Jan. 29, putting 500 people out of work.

The fires, the most recent in October, contributed to $5 million in operating losses in 2000. The company produced 3.9 million tons of taconite pellets, far short of the 4.2 million tons it was projected to make.

Even if EVTAC gets the help it needs to stay in operation, the plant's owners have ordered that it operate on a month-by-month basis until April. If it fails to meet its costs during those months, the owners will close it, Williams said.

EVTAC's major stockholder is a subsidiary of Rouge Steel Co. in Dearborn, Mich. Canadian-based Stelco in Hamilton, Ontario, and AK Steel in Middletown, Ohio, are other major holders. EVTAC ships pellets through the DMIR ore dock in Duluth.

Reported by: Al Miller




DMIR Railway to lay off workers

01/18:
The Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range Railway confirmed Jan. 17 that it will lay off 50 to 100 employees because of recent cutbacks in the taconite industry, according to a Duluth TV station.

Reported by: Al Miller




Soo Update

01/18:
The Algoeast arrived in the Soo Harbor Wednesday afternoon escorted by the US Coast Guard Cutter Katmai Bay.

The icebreaker had been working in the lower river Monday and Tuesday on track maintenance. The West Neebish Channel in the St. Marys River is now closed so ice can establish a roadway or ice bridge, across to Neebish Island.

Reported by: Jerry Masson




The Abegweit Ferries

01/18:
The Canadian National Railway/Marine Atlantic ferry Abegweit (built at Saint John in 1982) was sold recently as the Accrued Mariner and is registered at Freeport, Texas.

The previous Abegweit (built at Sorel in 1947) arrived under her own power at Chicago in 1983 where she became the floating clubhouse "Abby" of the Columbia Yacht Club.

Reported by: Norman Eakins




Centers of Excellence key Component to Marine Industrial Strategy

01/18:
St. Catharines, Ont. (January 16, 2000) - Canada’s marine industrial strategy should take advantage of regional expertise to develop “centers of excellence” targeted at niche markets, according to a submission presented today to Industry Canada’s Marine Industrial Panel by Canadian Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd.

The panel, made up of industry and labor representatives, is touring the country to advise Federal Industry Minister Brian Tobin on a marine industrial strategy that will revive Canada’s ailing shipyards and competitively position the industry to compete in the face of widespread international subsidies.

“The key to success is innovation,” said Alan Thoms, President of Canadian Shipbuilding and Engineering (CSE). “Canada’s marine industrial strategy should build the climate for innovation by building on the strengths of the country’s regional expertise.”

Focusing primarily on the rejuvenation of the Great Lakes fleet, the niche Thoms sees for CSE’s shipyard in St. Catharines, he said, “The goal is to produce a production run of identical vessels creating production efficiencies between 20 and 30 percent.”

According to Thoms, the proposed Centers of Excellence have three components:

  • A Research and Development tax credit program to design the next generation of self-unloading Great Lakes Vessel that will be more fuel efficient, lighter, with larger capacity and substantially reduced environmental emissions.
  • A focused training program aimed at improving the skills and efficiency of existing and new employees as technological improvements are brought to bear on new ship builds.
  • An Infrastructure Partnership Program for shipyards to up-grade their facilities to exploit the niche opportunities.

These measures along with other financing measures aimed at shipowners will “significantly up-grade the Canadian Commercial fleet, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, open new global markets, and provide thousands of highly-paid, skilled jobs,” Thoms concluded.

Established in 1883, Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering Ltd. (CSE), one of Canada’s premier shipbuilding and repair companies, is the parent company of Port Weller Dry Docks, the only remaining Canadian shipbuilder on the Great Lakes.

Reported by: Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering




Life of a Ship Keeper

01/18:
Their boilers are cold and their engines silent, but life remains aboard the Great Lakes freighters now laid up for the winter.

From Duluth to Montreal, men and women called ship keepers are working - and in many cases living - aboard the idle vessels. In Sturgeon Bay, Wis., home of the busy Bay Shipbuilding yard, vessels typically are laid up 70 to 90 days, Todd Thayse, customer services manager at Bay Shipbuilding, told the Door County Advocate.

"Seventy percent of the companies have one ship keeper per ship, but some of the larger companies have half a dozen ships in dock at one time. They typically hire a crew of four or five 'watch people' who make the rounds of the ships, putting in an eight-hour day," said Thayse.

Among the ship keepers is Larry Meers, who keeps watch over the Edward L. Ryerson, now in long-term lay-up.

"It's not a job for somebody who gets lonely," he said. Because the ship is docked near downtown Sturgeon Bay, Meers is able to spend many of his off-duty hours at the home he and his wife bought in Sturgeon Bay 20 years ago.

Ship keepers perform many tasks. So many, in fact, that the job requires 40 to 48 hours of work spread over seven days. The job includes simple chores like cleaning and changing light bulbs, but it also requires someone knowledgeable enough to ensure the vessel’s safety.

"I'm constantly looking for little problems you wouldn't expect,” Meers said. “I watch for leaky valves; watch the lines to maintain even pressure. You watch for electrical fires, and you watch the bilge."

Meers recently found an unexpected leak. Using skills gained during his years in the Navy and Merchant Marine, he started the process of pumping out the bilge.

Other daily chores aboard the Ryerson include turning the shafts on the pumps, watching the mooring lines to make sure they're not too loose or too tight, checking for leaks, and checking the bubbler systems that reduces ice buildup along the vessel’s hull.

Meers also has been painting and cleaning the ship. Among his projects was the painting of a boiler that stands three stories tall. With its nooks and crannies and nuts and bolts, he needed more than six weeks to pressure wash and paint the entire structure.

"It occurred to me while I was in some of those tight places, that if I had a heart attack back there, nobody would ever find me," Meers said. He said that one of his major problems was interrupting his painting or other projects to answer the telephone. "I finally found an answering machine at a rummage sale, and that solved the problem," he said.

Reported by: Christine Nickerson and Al Miller




A Unique View of Lake Erie in Winter

01/18:
The University of Toledo has an interesting feature on their web site showing satellite images of the ice cover on western Lake Erie.
Click here to view

Reported by: Dave Wobser




Today in Great Lakes History - January 18

The was refloated on January 18, 1967. On December 16, 1966 while loading at Montreal, the CABOT rolled over on her side and sank. The CABOT's stern section sails today as the b) CANADIAN EXPLORER .

The MONDOC (3) had her Canadian registry closed on January 18, 1979. The vessel had been renamed b) CORAH ANN and sold to Jamaican company.

National Steamship Co. was incorporated January 18, 1906.

L. P. Mason and Company of E. Saginaw, Michigan sold the steam barge PORTER CHAMBERLAIN (wooden steam barge, 134', 257 gt, built in 1874 at Marine City, MI) on 18 January 1888 to Comstock Brothers and L. & H. D. Churchill of Alpena, Michigan.

Data from: Joe Barr, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Anderson still operating

01/17:
Arthur M. Anderson remains in operation, making short hauls on the lower lakes after all its fleetmates have laid up for the season. The vessel arrived at the Marblehead Lime in Detroit on Jan. 16. It was scheduled to depart Marblehead early on Jan. 17 and proceed to Conneaut, where it will load coal for delivery to the Lambton Generating Station on the St. Clair River, on Jan. 18.

Reported by: Al Miller




Ice Breakers Remain Busy

01/17:
Icebreakers remain busy on Lake Erie and the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers assisting the vessels still running. The U. S. Coast Guard's "Operation Coal Shovel" covers the Detroit River, St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie and Lake Huron using the Cutter Mackinaw and Neah Bay. The Canadian Coast Guard Ships Griffon and Samuel Risley are also working the area.

Friday the Mackinaw conducted three vessel assists on Western Lake Erie, then moored in Cleveland. Cutter Neah Bay got underway to assist one vessel between carrying coal from Ohio to Nanticoke. Saturday the Mackinaw conducted one vessel assist in Western Lake Erie, Cutter Neah Bay assisted two vessels near of Ashtabula, Ohio. Sunday the Mackinaw was busy with three vessel assists on Western Lake Erie. Then on Monday the Mackinaw conducted three vessel assists in the Detroit River. No detailed reports were available for the Griffon or Risley.

The Cutter Mobile Bay has been assigned to work with Operation Coal Shovel and is expected on Thursday. The Cutter is based out of Sturgeon Bay, WI.




GLF, Edgar B. Speer earn certifications

01/17:
USS Great Lakes Fleet and MV Edgar B. Speer were recognized Monday for meeting international quality, safety and environmental standards.

Great Lakes Fleet was certified for meeting the International Organization for Standardization's 9002 quality standards. The ISO 9002 certification was the result of a24-month effort by the fleet's 350 employees, said Adolph Ojard, fleet general manager.

The Edgar B. Speer became the first U.S.-flag Great Lakes bulk carrier to receive a safety management certification from the American Bureau of Shipping. The certification indicates the Speer complies with rigorous safety and quality standards.

"This was a major undertaking that required a significant commitment of both human and financial resources," Ojard said. "ISO 9002 certification is an important step because it means that our quality assurance efforts will be recognized in the marketplace.

Great Lakes Fleet, based in Duluth, is 100 years old this year. The fleet traces its roots back to the Pittsburgh Steamship Company, which was created in 1901 as part of the formation of the United States Steel Corporation.

Reported by: Al Miller




Harsher Weather Takes Toll On Lake Erie Coal In December

01/17:
That arctic blast that attacked the Great Lakes region in December impacted coal loadings at Lake Erie ports. Shipments from Toledo, Sandusky, Ashtabula and Conneaut totaled 2 million tons, a decrease of 5.6 percent, this despite strong demand for steam coal from a Canadian utility. Through December, Lake Erie coal loadings stand at 22.2 million tons, an increase of 6.5 percent compared to the same point in the 1999 navigation season.

Coal has continued to move from Lake Erie in January, but as of today (January 16), Toledo and Sandusky have completed their seasons. Coal loadings should continue from the other ports for the rest of the month.

Reported by: Lake Carriers Association




Today in Great Lakes History - January 17

The PHILIP D. BLOCK was launched at Lorain, Ohio, by American Ship Building in 1925.

Tanker GREAT LAKES was launched in 1963 as the a) SINCLAIR GREAT LAKES.

JOHN E.F. MISENER (2) was float launched in 1951 as a) SCOTT MISENER (2).

January 17, 1902 - The PERE MARQUETTE 2 ran aground at Ludington.

PERE MARQUETTE 19 grounded in limited visibility on January 17, 1916 two miles south of Big Point Sable, MI 600 feet off shore. The captain made three unsuccessful attempts to find the Ludington Harbor entrance and on the turn around for the fourth attempt she grounded.

Data from: Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Busy Day for Conneaut

01/16:
Conneaut remained busy Monday with three ships in port that Monday. The Canadian Progress was loading, the Arthur M. Anderson was at the stone dock waiting her turn to load and in front of her was the Canadian Olympic. Behind the group was the Gaelic Tugboat Co. tug Roger Stahl and at the Ore Dock was the G tug Triton. The Lee A. Tregurtha was expected to have a long wait when she arrived at 3:00 p.m.

The Roger Stahl was heard talking to her and they said at that time no dock space was left. Three boats in Conneaut at the same time, all waiting for the coal dock, is very rare at any time of the year.

Conneaut will remain busy as vessels keep a steady supply of coal moving to Ontario Hydro.

The Anderson, Olympic and Roger Stahl.
The Progress loading.

Reported by: Jeff Thoreson




Shipping Continues in Detroit

01/16:
The tugs William and Patricia Hoey assisted the Capt. Henry Jackman into the Rouge River stern first on Monday afternoon. The Jackman was heading to the Osborne Salt Dock to unload a cargo from Goderich . This is the second of four salt trips.

Temperatures above freezing have left the Detroit River mostly ice free, however cooler temperatures are expected in the next few days.

Jackman is met at the entrance to the Rouge River.
Approaching the vessel.
Working her bow.

Reported by: Gaelic Tugboat Company




Heavy Ice

01/16:
Harsh ice conditions in the East Outer Channel and lower Livingstone Channel hampered the transit of the tug Mary E. Hannah and her barge Monday. She had to be assisted by her fleet mate, the tug James A. Hannah and the U.S. Coast Guard's Mackinaw.

Reported by: Joseph Provost




Oil Slick in Genesee River at Lake Ontario

01/16:
Approximately 200 gallons of fuel oil has leaked into the Genesee River at its mouth, where it flows into Lake Ontario. The source of the spill is a sunken tug that has been at the Port of Rochester for quite some time.

Crews have placed oil containment booms around the area where the Cheyenne II sank and hope to salvage the vessel some time this week. This tug may be resting on its side or her cabins could have been ripped off. Nothing is protruding above the water and the Genesee River is not very deep.

Reported by: Pat Carey, Gerry O. and Jason LaDue




Sarnia Lay-up

01/16:
The Saginaw has joined her fleet mate Cuyahoga at Cargill Elevator. They are moored stern to stern only a few feet apart.

Reported by: George Lee




Southdown Terminal Expansion in Ferrysburg

01/16:
The construction of new twin cement silos at the Southdown dock in Ferrysburg, MI. is proceeding at a rapid pace. Local media reports that crews were recently able to complete the pouring of the 97 foot tall structures in 4 days. This created an entirely new skyline for motorists on the US-31 bridge over the Grand River.

Both of the silos will be up to 115 feet tall once the bucket elevators are installed. The combined capacity will be 6400 tons of concrete mix, which will give the dock the ability to unload an entire vessel.

Southdown hopes to have the silo operational by the spring.

Reported by: David Swain




Industrie Verreault shipyard selected for conversion

01/16:
Last week the Journal de Quebec reported that Industrie Verreault of Mechins in Quebec has been selected by Karlsen Shipping of Halifax, a division of Polar Star Expeditions of Norway, to complete the conversion of a former Swedish icebreaker into an adventure cruise ship at a cost estimated to be several million dollars can. The Polar Star ( 86.5 meters) was built in Finland in 1969 and was used by the Swedish army as a training ship. Industrie Verreault won the contract over eight bidding shipyards seven of which were European. Work on the Polar Star began two weeks ago and is expected to be completed by the end of May 2001.

The conversion work requires the setting-up of three decks capable of receiving 50 double cabins to accommodate 100 passengers along with a large dining area, a resting and reading room and a large conventional lounge. Work will also include the usual paint job and mechanical maintenance.

The Polar Star will offer cruises in the Arctic and Antarctic oceans. The first cruises are scheduled for this coming June at a cost of 10,000.00 $ US for a 10 days duration. These cruises are so popular that berths on the Polar Star have been already booked for a year in advance.

Industrie Verreault is part of a marine consortium, Groupe Maritime Verreault founded in 1991 and specializing in ship repair and construction and dredging. The business began in 1956 under Capt. Borromee Verreault as a dredging company but has grown into a very successful and competitive industry under the capable direction of Capt. Verreault`s daughter, Mrs Denise Verreault.

The shipyard is located app 450 km east of Quebec City at Les Mechins QC, on the south shore of the St-Lawrence River, in the Gaspe Peninsula and half way between Montreal and Halifax.

Reported by: Frederick Frechette




New Web Site

01/16:
Central Marine Logistics has opened their new web site. Click here to browser for more information on the company.




Ice Forecast

01/16:
Ice Hazard Bulletin for the Great Lakes issued by the Canadian Ice Service of Environment Canada at 1700 UTC Monday 15 January 2001.

No ice warning in effect for the next 36 hours.

Lake Ontario....Mostly open water except for fast ice in the Bay of Quinte and in sheltered bays of the Prince Edward County. 9 plus tenths thin and medium lake ice in the eastern end of the lake into the St Lawrence Seaway. 2 to 6 tenths new lake ice along the northeastern and southern shores.

Lake Erie...Consolidated thick and medium lake ice in the Eastern Basin and near Buffalo and west of Point Pelee and in Lake St Clair except for drifting thick and medium lake ice in the northern section of Detroit River. West of a line between Port Burwell and Cleveland 9 plus tenths new and thin lake ice. East of that line to near Long Point 9 plus tenths thin and medium lake ice. Further east 4 to 8 tenths new lake ice except 8 to 9 plus tenths new and thin lake ice along the shore.

Lake Huron and Georgian Bay... A band of 8 to 9 plus tenths thin and new with some medium lake ice along the eastern shore and within 10 to 15 miles of the southern shore of the lake except fast ice from 10 miles east of Sarnia to 15 miles northeast of Point Clark. 8 to 9 plus tenths new lake ice along the western shore to Saginaw Bay then a few strips of new lake ice further north to the Straits of Mackinaw. 8 to 9 plus tenths thin and new with some medium lake ice in the entrance to the Straits of Mackinac and in most of central North Channel. 8 to 9 plus tenths mostly thin lake ice in northeastern Georgian Bay. Fast ice in the St Marys River and elsewhere in the North Channel and along the northeastern shore of Georgian Bay and in Saginaw Bay. Open water elsewhere except ice free in the central section of the lake.

Lake Superior...Fast ice in Black and Nipigon Bays. 9 tenths medium and thin lake ice in Thunder Bay except for fast ice in the eastern end and along the western shore of the bay. There is a band of 4 to 9 plus tenths thin and new with some medium lake ice along the southern shore from 20 miles east of Duluth to Manitou Island. 4 to 7 tenths new and thin lake ice in Whitefish Bay. Ice free over the central portion of the lake and mostly open water elsewhere along the shores.

Lake Michigan...10 tenths fasted medium and thick lake ice in southern Green Bay south of Sturgeon Bay...In big Bay de Noc and in Little Bay de Noc. 9 to 10 medium and thick lake ice from Sturgeon Bay to Chambers Island. 8 to 10 tenths of medium...Thin and new lake ice in remainder of Green Bay from Chambers Island to Escanaba and eastward to Washington...St Martin and Summer Islands. 2 to 4 tenths of medium...Thin and new lake ice belted out of Green Bay and into Lake Michigan around Washington...St Martin and Summer Islands. 1 to 3 tenths of thin and new lake ice near the shore from Point Detour to Seul Choix Point. 8 to 10 of new...Thin and medium lake ice north and east of a line from Seul Choix Point to Beaver Island and across to just north of Little Traverse Bay. 1 to 3 tenths of new and thin lake ice near the shore from the northern tip of the Door Peninsula southward to Milwaukee. 2 to 4 tenths of new and thin lake ice near the shore from Milwaukee southward to Michigan City. A band of 8 to 10 tenths of medium...Thin and new lake ice near and along the shore from Michigan City around to Holland. 9 to 10 tenths thin and medium lake ice in the harbors of Alumet...Milwaukee...Kenosha...Ludington and Grand Haven. Remainder of Lake Michigan is ice-free.

Click here for the St. Lawrence River Forecast.

Note: this report is offered for entertainment and should not be relied on for navigation. Please consult Canadian Ice Service for current conditions (subscription necessary)

Area coverage is expressed in tenths
1-3/10's---very open drift ice
4-6/10's---open drift ice
7-8/10's---close pack ice
9-9+/10's--very close pack
10/10's---compact
10/10's---frozen together - consolidated

When ice reaches 6/10's or greater, ships can no longer traverse between floes.

Fast ice--ice fastened to the shore (frozen all the way across)

New Lake Ice----recently formed less than 2 inches (5 centimeters) thick.
Thin Lake Ice---2 - 6 inches (5 - 15 centimeters) thick.
Medium Lake Ice- 6 - 12 inches (15 - 30 centimeters) thick.
Thick Lake Ice--12 - 28 inches (30-70 centimeters) thick.
Very Thick Ice--greater than 28 inches (70 centimeters thick).





Reboot

01/16:
Portion of this web site may not be available for short time this morning about 8:00 a.m. as the web server will be down for a disk upgrade.




Today in Great Lakes History - January 16

The COLONEL JAMES PICKANDS was launched in 1926.

In 1987 the DETROIT EDISON (2) was at Brownsville, Tex. for scrapping, she was raised after being scuttled by vandals.

On her way to the cutters torch, the deadship ASHLAND was anchored off Bermuda in 1988 when she dragged her anchors and was swept onto rocks. She suffered massive bottom damage but the tow continued.

On 16 January 1909, TECUMSEH (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 200', 839 gt, built in 1873 at Chatham, Ontario) burned to a total loss at her winter berth at Goderich, Ontario.

On 16 January 1875, the Port Huron Times printed the following list of vessels that were total losses in 1874: Tug IDA H. LEE by collision in Milwaukee.
Tug TAWAS by explosion off Sand Beach.
Steamer W. H. BARNUM by collision in the Pelee Passage.
Steamer TOLEDO by partially burning at Manistee.
Tug WAVE by burning on Saginaw Bay.
Tug DOUGLAS by burning on the Detroit River
Steamer BROOKLYN by explosion on the Detroit River
Steamer LOTTA BERNARD by foundering on Lake Superior.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




More Conversions for Port Weller Dry Docks

01/15:
Port Weller Dry Docks is expected to announce this week that it has signed a contract to rebuild the center section of Atlantic Huron to a width of 78-feet during the winter of 2001/2002. This conversion will be different than the forebody replacement of the Louis R. Desmarais. The original hull will be used in the widening but retain the unloading gear, this will increase the cargo capacity by about a 1000 tons.

A similar announcement regarding the conversion of an Upper Lakes Group (ULG) vessel is expected to be made in the near future. If converted, the unknown ULG vessel will mostly likely be a full SeawayMax conversion with the forward section of her hull removed and fitted with a new section forward of the engine room and rear accommodations.

This vessel would join the Louis R. Desmarais, presently under going conversion at Port Weller, the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin and CSL Niagara as part of the Canadian SeawayMax fleet. Each hull replacement is expected to add at least 25 years of service life to the respective vessel. The dimensions of the vessel will increase to 740 feet in length, 78 feet in width and 48 feet in depth.

Reported by: Roger Tottman




Golden cane presented to Greek Captain in Quebec City

01/15:
Following an old marine tradition dating back to the mid 19th century, Quebec City Harbor authorities presented on Jan 8th 2001, the Golden Headed Cane to Captain Karamanis of the Greek tanker Cap Romuald as a result of being the first Trans-Atlantic ship to reach Quebec harbor in 2001. The tanker , with a load of 910,000 tons of crude oil from Norway docked in the evening of Jan 7th at the Ultramar Refinery Terminal. The Cap Romuald had been expected earlier but encountered very rough weather and sea conditions during the Trans-Atlantic crossing.

Reported by: Frederick Frechette




No Ice Problems in Kingston

01/15:
As winter sets in on the eastern end of Lake Ontario, ferry services report no ice problems so far. At Glenora and Amherst Island, tracks are being established on their respective routes as well as Wolfe Island and Howe Island. The Amherst Islander remains on standby for icebreaking duties if needed.

Reported by: Brian Johnson




Toronto Lay-up

01/15:
Below are images taken on Friday of Toronto's lay-up fleet.

Algoisle after moving from Redpath Sugar Friday morning.
Canadian Venture and Canadian Mariner.
English River.
Toronto fire boat Wm. Lyon Mackenzie lowered into the harbor. The Mackenzie was under going work and sailed out on a trial run in the harbor.

Reported by: Ted Siuda




Saginaw River Season Roundup

01/15:
More than 330 visits by at least 45 different vessels were recorded during the 2000 - 2001 season on the Saginaw River. The visitors represented 14 Great Lakes fleets, including American Steamship Company, Oglebay Norton Marine, Algoma Central Marine, Inland Lakes Management, Black Creek Shipping and the Interlake Steamship Company.

The most frequent visitor to the Saginaw River during the season was American Steamship Company's Buffalo, with 27 trips recorded. In all, nine ASC vessels logged more than 80 visits to docks along the river, including calls by 1000-footers Walter J. McCarthy Jr. and Indiana Harbor.

Five Oglebay Norton vessels logged 68 visits for the fleet, and three Algoma Central ships called a total of 42 times. Interlake Steamship's Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder made 23 visits. The Frontenac, Sam Laud and Wolverine also all visited the river more than 20 times.

The highlight of the season was the first visit by the newly named steamer Saginaw on April 5. The Saginaw visited her namesake river 17 times during the season.

Unusual visitors included the salt-water tanker Stolt Aspiration in June, the Yankcanuck, the Halifax and the Navy minesweeper USS Defender.

Absent during the season were vessels from the USS/Great Lakes fleet, which had been seen frequently in previous seasons. Only the Myron C. Taylor represented USS/GLF with a single visit during the year.

Nearly 20 docks and terminals along the Saginaw River receive shipments of stone, cement and cement clinkers, salt, coal, petroleum products and chemicals.

Saginaw arriving at the Front Range on its first trip April 5, 2000.
Another view of the vessel.

Reported by: Stephen Hause




New Web Site

01/15:
Central Marine Logistics has opened their new web site. Click here to browser for more information on the company.




Ice Forecast

01/15:
Ice hazard bulletin for the Great Lakes issued by The Canadian Ice Service of Environment Canada at 1700 UTC Sunday 14 January 2001.

No ice warning in effect for the next 36 hours.

Lake Ontario....Mostly open water except for fast ice in the Bay of Quinte and in sheltered bays of the Prince Edward County. 9 plus tenths thin and medium lake ice in the eastern end of the lake into the St Lawrence Seaway. 3 to 7 tenths new lake ice along the northeastern and southern shores.

Lake Erie...Consolidated thick and medium lake ice in the eastern basin and near Buffalo and west of Point Pelee and in Lake St Clair except for drifting thick and medium lake ice in the northern section of Detroit River. West of a line between Port Burwell and 10 miles west of Cleveland 9 plus tenths new and thin lake ice. East of that line to long point 9 plus tenths thin and medium lake ice. East of long point 3 to 6 tenths new lake ice except 8 to 9 plus tenths new and thin lake ice along the shore.

Lake Huron and Georgian Bay... A band of 8 to 9 plus tenths thin and new with some medium lake ice along the eastern shore and within 10 to 15 miles of the southern shore of the lake except fast ice from 10 miles east of Sarnia to 15 miles northeast of Point Clark. 8 to 9 plus tenths new lake ice along the western shore to Saginaw Bay then a few strips of new lake ice further north to the Straits of Mackinaw. 8 to 9 plus tenths thin and new with some medium lake ice in the entrance to the Straits of Mackinac and in most of central North Channel. 8 to 9 plus tenths mostly thin lake ice in northeastern Georgian Bay. Fast ice in the St Marys River and elsewhere in the North Channel and along the northeastern shore of Georgian Bay and in Saginaw Bay. Open water elsewhere except ice free in the central section of the lake.

Lake Superior...Fast ice in black and in most of Nipigon Bays. 9 tenths medium and thin lake ice in Thunder Bay except for fast ice in the eastern end and along the western shore of the bay. There is a band of 6 to 9 plus tenths thin and new with some medium lake ice along the southern shore between Duluth and the Keweenaw Waterway. 2 to 7 tenths new and thin lake ice in Whitefish Bay. Ice free over the central portion of the lake and mostly open water elsewhere along the shores.

Lake Michigan...No data available today.

Click here for the St. Lawrence River Forecast.

Note: this report is offered for entertainment and should not be relied on for navigation. Please consult Canadian Ice Service for current conditions (subscription necessary)

Area coverage is expressed in tenths
1-3/10's---very open drift ice
4-6/10's---open drift ice
7-8/10's---close pack ice
9-9+/10's--very close pack
10/10's---compact
10/10's---frozen together - consolidated

When ice reaches 6/10's or greater, ships can no longer traverse between floes.

Fast ice--ice fastened to the shore (frozen all the way across)

New Lake Ice----recently formed less than 2 inches (5 centimeters) thick.
Thin Lake Ice---2 - 6 inches (5 - 15 centimeters) thick.
Medium Lake Ice- 6 - 12 inches (15 - 30 centimeters) thick.
Thick Lake Ice--12 - 28 inches (30-70 centimeters) thick.
Very Thick Ice--greater than 28 inches (70 centimeters thick).





News Reporters Wanted

01/15:
We would like to invite anyone interested in reporting from their area to send in reports for this news page whenever they see anything interesting. Reports can be sent by e-mail or by using a form if the sender does not want credit.

If you would like credit your name (or company name) will be listed on the news page and we can also add links to any web sites you like. This is also a good way to link more traffic to a web site.

If you become a regular contributor we can create an About the Author web page about you.

News Reporters are given full credit (if desired) for any information submitted. The credit line can also include any links to outside web sites and we can create an "About the Author Page."

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Today in Great Lakes History - January 15

FORT YORK was launched January 15, 1958.

In 1917 the ANN ARBOR NO. 6 left Ecorse for Frankfort on her maiden voyage.

On 15 January 1873, A. Muir began building a wooden 3-mast schooner ("full sized canaler") at his shipyard in Port Huron. Fourteen men were employed to work on her, including master builder James Perry. The schooner was to be the exact counterpart of the GROTON, the first vessel built at that yard. The vessel's dimensions were 138' keel, 145' overall, 26'2" beam and 11'6" depth.

On 15 January 1886, the tug KITTIE HAIGHT was sold to Mr. Fisken of Toronto for $3,900.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Mackinaw Docks in Cleveland

01/14:
Saturday the Mackinaw was docked at the lakefront salty docks in Cleveland. The crew received orders to depart about 1:00 p.m. and planned to get underway at 4:00 p.m. They did not know if they were heading back to the Conneaut/Ashtabula area or west to Detroit. The crew did seem to be in high spirits and glad to be doing something besides clearing the Livingston Channel.

Reported by: Rex Cassidy




Three More to the Wall

01/14:
As expected Saturday, three vessels from Great Lakes Fleet arrived for lay-up in Duluth and Superior. Edgar B. Speer arrived first, docking at the Duluth port terminal. Edwin H. Gott arrived about midday, docking at the former Cargill C dock, now under redevelopment. Cason J. Callaway arrived in early afternoon for Fraser Shipyards.

Reported by: Al Miller




Twin Ports Lay-up Report

01/14:
The arrival of four GLF boats over the weekend marks the end of the shipping season in the Twin Ports and the finalization of this year's rather photogenic local lay-up list. It includes:
Fraser Shipyards: John G. Munson (in drydock), Elton Hoyt 2nd, Charles M. Beeghly, Reserve, Cason J. Callaway, Philip R. Clarke

Duluth port terminal: Edgar B. Speer, Roger Blough, Indiana Harbor

Cargill D (adjacent to port terminal): Adam E. Cornelius

Cargill C (adjacent to port terminal): Edwin H. Gott

Midwest Energy Terminal: James R. Barker

Hallett 5 (adjacent to DMIR ore docks): Walter J. McCarthy Jr. (outer end of dock) and H. Lee White (inner end of dock).

Superior Muncipal Dock (opposite Fraser Shipyards): John Sherwin (inactive)

Coast Guard Station Duluth: Sundew

Reported by: Al Miller




Cort's Lay-up

01/14:
The Stewart J. Cort arrived at the lay-up dock in Milwaukee at the Kinickinick River Basin adjacent to the Advance Boiler Works at 9:45 p.m. Tuesday. The deck gang completed most of their tasks at the end of the day Wednesday and was dismissed January 10 at noon.

Reported by: Bradley T. Upham




Work in Marinette

01/14:
Marinette Marine is continuing to work on the USCG Spar and USCG Maple, the Maple was launched in early December at their dock in Marinette, WI. The Spar is nearly completed but may have to wait until early spring before completing her sea trials and tests due to thicker than normal ice in the river and on the bay. The Stack was just installed on the Maple this week.

Spar and Maple at dock.
Spar
Maple

Reported by: Scott Best




Lakes Visitor Grounds

01/14:
A visitor to the Great Lakes found itself in trouble while en route to Russia. Loaded with alumina from Venezuela, the saltie grounded in the Orinoco River. Two local tugs were able to refloat the vessel at high tide and no damage was reported.

Reported by: Matt Miner




Today in Great Lakes History - January 14

Scrapping began on the CHICAGO TRIBUNE January 14, 1989 by International Marine Salvage in Port Colborne, Ont.

January 14, 1920 - The Grand Trunk carferry GRAND HAVEN was fast in the ice three miles out of Grand Haven.

Data from: Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Last Through the Soo

01/13:
Friday evening the Philip R. Clarke was passing 9 Mile Point as the vessel made her way through the brash ice in the St Marys River to the Poe Lock. The lockmaster greeted the Clarke by saying we have been waiting for you. The Clarke is unofficially the last ship to transit the Soo Locks signaling the closing of winter navigation. Departing the lock upbound the Philip R. Clarke blew a master salute to which the lockmaster responded with a gracious thank you.

The Soo Locks are officially open until midnight Sunday but no ship traffic is expected. Due to the heavy ice at the end of the season many vessels are all ready in lay-up.

The 2001 navigation season for the locks will begin with the opening of the Poe Lock on March 25. The MacArthur Lock will re-open later in April.

The Clarke's fleet mate Cason J. Callaway was upbound in the St Marys River escorted by the Katmai Bay Friday afternoon heading for lay-up in Superior, Wisconsin.

Image from the Soo Locks Live Cam
Callaway below the Poe Lock shortly after 2:00 p.m.

Reported by: Jerry Masson and Rod Burdick




Lake Erie Coal

01/13:
The Mackinaw spent a most of Friday morning clearing a path for the Lee A. Tregurtha through ice 4 miles north of Ashtabula, OH. The Tregurtha was headed for Conneaut, OH. to load where it navigated the harbor stern first through ice and a dense layer of fog.

After reaching the harbor the Tregurtha was assisted into port by the tug Roger Stahl. The Mackinaw maintained ice breaking communications on channel 10 and reported that it was "headed back west."

Conneaut will remain busy as vessels keep a steady supply of coal moving to Ontario Hydro in Nanticoke on Lake Erie and Lambton on the St. Clair River. Today the Canadian Progress is scheduled to load. Sunday will see the Arthur M. Anderson and Canadian Transport followed by the Arthur M. Anderson again on Tuesday.

Pictures by Brian Schaft
Backing into the harbor.
Closer look.
Smoke billowing from her stack, she backs into port.

Reported by: Brian Schaft and Jeff Thoreson




Mobile Bay Returns Home

01/13:
The U.S. Coast Guard WTGB-103 Mobile Bay returned to her homeport of Sturgeon Bay Friday after spending several weeks away from Sturgeon Bay on ice breaking duty. Family and Friends welcome the 140-Foot Icebreaking Tug home.
Name on Gangway.
Mobile Bay shows her teeth.
Close-up.
On a warm foggy day at her berth view from across the Bay.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle




Lay-up List Updates

01/13:
The 7th Annual Winter Lay-up List has been updated.

Click here to visit the 7th Annual Winter Lay-up List





Today in Great Lakes History - January 13

On January 13, 1970 the lower engine room and holds of the SEWELL AVERY accidentally flooded sinking her to the bottom of Duluth Harbor causing minimal damage other than an immense cleanup effort.

January 13, 1909 - The PERE MARQUETTE 17 was freed after her grounding the previous December.

Data from: Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Demand For Coal Keeps Boats Moving

01/12:
Demand for coal at the Ontario Hydro power plant in Nanticoke will keep a few vessels running into February as they carry coal from Conneaut and Ashtabula, Ohio. The Lee A. Tregurtha was expected to enter lay-up Thursday in Detroit. After unloading at Rouge Steel Thursday night, she sailed downbound to work a Lake Erie coal shuttle from Conneaut, OH. to Nanticoke. The Lee A. will continue this shuttle into early February. Vessels in the Upper Lakes Group (ULG) also remain active, Canadian Olympic, Canadian Progress and Canadian Transport continue to battle the ice. The ULG boats are expected to continue running and then enter lay-up as fleet mates fit-out early to take over the trade.

The Canadian Coast Guard was expected to temporarily lay-up some of the icebreakers in mid January but will now run them indefinitely.

Thursday morning the Mackinaw was assisting the Canadian Transport as she headed to Conneaut. The Gaelic Tugboat Co. tug Roger Stahl and "G" tug Triton were also working in the area. Thursday afternoon the Mackinaw was heading to meet the downbound Arthur M. Anderson at Southeast Shoal and escort her to Conneaut. Thursday night the Mackinaw, Griffon and Samuel Risley were coordinating efforts to assist the Gemini, Lee A. and Transport.

Map of Western Lake Erie

Reported by: Dave Wobser and Jeff Thoreson




Closing of the Soo Locks

01/12:
The Soo Locks will close at midnight Sunday. Due to the heavy ice there may not be much traffic on the final day. Four vessels are expected to head upbound before the closing, The Edgar B. Speer passed upbound Thursday evening, Edwin H. Gott and Cason J. Callaway expected today and the Philip R. Clarke on Saturday.

The 2001 navigation season for the locks will begin with the opening of the Poe Lock on March 25. The MacArthur Lock will re-open later in April.

Image from the Soo Locks Live Cam
Speer in the Poe Lock shortly after 6:00 p.m.

Reported by: Jerry Masson and Mike Cleary




Tregurtha Enters Lay-up

01/12:
The Paul A. Tregurtha was expected to arrive in Sturgeon Bay for winter lay-up Wednesday but high winds in delayed the 1000-footers arrival until Thursday morning.

The Tregurtha waited until the tugs Jimmy L., Mary Page, and Susan L. broke the ice around the Presque Isle at Berth #15 and moved the barge Presque Isle away from Berth 15, making room for the Tregurtha to slide against the dock. She will remain at the dock until the Burns Harbor is refloated from the 1000-foot graving dock to be rafted outboard of the Presque Isle. The Tregurtha will then be placed into the dry dock.


Pictures by Vic DeLarwelle
Tregurtha backs in
Susan holding off while Tregurtha backs.
Presque Isle being moved away from #15.
Tregurtha entering Berth #15. Bow of Presque Isle (left) and Burns Harbor in dry dock (right).

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle and Paul A. Graf




Twin Ports Report

01/12:
The next few days will be Duluth's last busy weekend of the season. The James R. Barker is due in port early Jan. 12 to lay-up at the Midwest Energy Terminal and Edgar B. Speer is due late the same day to tie up at the Duluth port terminal. On Jan. 13, Edwin H. Gott is due at the Duluth piers about 8:30 a.m. for lay-up and Cason J. Callaway is scheduled to follow late that night to lay-up in Fraser Shipyards. Philip R. Clarke is scheduled to arrive off Duluth early on Jan. 14 but wait until daylight arrives to enter Fraser Shipyards.

Reported by: Al Miller




Welland Canal and Hamilton Update

01/12:
Below are images of vessels at lay-up in Hamilton and the Welland Canal. The Gordon C. Leitch, Algosoo, and Algocen can be found in Hamilton Harbor, little more than a boat-length from the Queen Elizabeth Way. There appeared to be work ongoing on all three.

Algosoo.
Algocen.
Gordon C. Leitch.

At Port Weller Dry Docks, the Louis R. Desmarais and Tadoussac are in place for their refits. Both have their booms removed and the Desmarais has her new forebody in position.

Desmarais and Tadoussac at Port Weller Dry Docks.
Desmarais' old forebody sitting alongside the dry-dock wall and on the bottom as the canal between Locks 1 and 2 has been drained.
At the other end of the canal in Port Colborne the McKee Sons waits for spring.

Reported by: Bill Bird




Toledo Lay-up, Worth the Trip

01/12:
Courtney Burton bow first Torco Dock
Buckeye bow first Torco Dock directly across from Courtney Burton
Earl W. Oglebay stern first Torco Dock directly behind Buckeye
St. Clair stern first CSX Ore Dock
Armco stern first CSX #1 Dock directly across from St. Clair. Will go into drydock when Wolverine comes off for 5 year survey/misc. repairs
American Republic stern first CSX #2 Dock
George A. Stinson stern first CSX #2 Dock directly astern of the American Republic
Columbia Star stern first T.W.I. Dock
Oglebay Norton bow first T.W.I. Dock directly behind Columbia Star
Mesabi Miner bow first T.W.I. Dock in front of Oglebay Norton
Saturn bow first Interlake Iron Dock
John J. Boland stern first Interlake Iron Dock in front of Saturn
Wolverine in drydock Toledo Shipyard when she comes off the drydock she will be towed over to the Torco Dock and will tie up directly astern of the Courtney Burton
Barge Kellstone I in drydock Toledo Shipyard
Tugs Frank Palladino/James Palladino are at the riverfront dock of the Shipyard waiting to take the barge Kellstone I back to Sandusky. Ohio for lay-up.
Joseph H. Frantz bow first Hocking Valley Dock
Willis B. Boyer (museum ship) stern first City Dock
"G" tugs located at Great Lakes Towing Company tug base at the Hans Hansen Dock are the Illinois, Louisiana and Montana
Railroad carfloats: Manitowoc/Roanoke/Windsor are rafted together side by side at the CSX Dock "Frog Pond" area.

Buckeye and Courtney Burton at Torco.


Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Stone Trade Done; Down 1 Percent For Season

01/12:
The Great Lakes stone trade ended on January 7, 2001 when Manitoulin Island loaded the last cargo of the season. Preliminary totals show that U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes ports shipped 38,052,683 net tons during the 2000 navigation season, a decrease of 1 percent compared to 1999.

The decrease is largely the result of the harsh weather in December. Loadings at both U.S. and Canadian ports dropped significantly. With its comparatively high moisture content, stone is very susceptible to freezing, hence the decreases reported below.

Click here for a table showing preliminary tonnage




Today in Great Lakes History - January 12

The CHI-CHEEMAUN was launched January 12, 1974.

The GRAND HAVEN was gutted by fire on January 12, 1970 during scrapping operations at the United Steel & Refining Co. Ltd. dock at Hamilton, Ont.

MENIHEK LAKE was launched January 12, 1959

On January 12, 1973, the VENUS (2) had an engine room explosion shortly after unloading at Kipling, MI, (near Gladstone, MI) on Little Bay De Noc causing one loss of life.

On 12 January 1956, ANABEL II (probably a fish tug, 62 t, built 1928) was destroyed by fire at her winter lay-up at Roon S.S. Co. dock at Sturgeon Bay, WI.

January 12, 1911 - The ANN ARBOR NO. 5 hit the rocks close to the south breakwater when entering Manistique harbor, tearing off her starboard shaft and wheel.

The wooden steam barge O. O. CARPENTER (127.5', 364 gt) was sold by the Jenks Shipbuilding Company on 12 January 1892 to Mr. H. E. Runnels and Capt. Sinclair for $26,000. The vessel had been launched at Jenks yard on 13 May 1891.

Data from: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Season Ends for Marquette

01/11:
The shipping season in Marquette came to an end Tuesday night when the Canadian Transfer departed Marquette for the Soo with about 13,000 tons of ore. The Canadian Transfer was expected into the Soo early Wednesday morning and after unloading was heading for Thunder Bay to lay-up.

Officials at the ore dock report that shipments of taconite pellets were up for the 2000-2001 sailing season. In 1999-2000 7.06 million tons of pellets we ships from the ore dock. During the 2000-01 season, the number jumped to 7.5 million tons.

One vessel on the regular run between Marquette and Algoma Steel was the Canadian Transfer. She loaded in Marquette 114 times in 2000 taking just over 13,000 tons a trip to Algoma Steel at the Soo. She carried about 1.5 millions tons or 20% of Marquette's total tonnage.

Now that the season is over, the ore dock will be filled with ore for winter storage and maintenance work will begin. The Soo Locks will close at midnight Sunday and shipping resumes out of Marquette around mid-March. The last few years, Marquette has had vessels in and out of Marquette prior to the locks opening. Normally, these are vessels from Duluth bringing in coal or the Algoma vessels making the shuttle to the Soo.

Transfer loading this summer. Rod Burdick

Reported by: Art Pickering, Rod Burdick, Robert Oom and Roger LeLievre




Gemini Stuck

01/11:
High winds and heavy ice have trapped the tanker Gemini in Buffalo's Inner Harbor Wednesday. She was stopped in the middle of the turning basin, just below the Buffalo Skyway Bridge. Local news channels have covered the story since she arrived on Tuesday evening from Nanticoke. The Gemini has been in radio contact with Great Lakes Towing and the Buffalo Coast Guard Base.

Two G tugs were busy breaking ice in the Buffalo Ship Canal and then shifting the Kinsman Independent about a half of a boat length down the General Mills dock that morning. This was done to line up the forward hatches with the marine legs at the Frontier Elevator. The legs than began their dip of the hold around 11:00 a.m. unloading part of her storage cargo.

Gemini stuck in Buffalo.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski




Lake Erie Ice

01/11:
The Canadian Olympic, headed for Ashtabula, became stuck 27 miles from the Ashtabula piers Wednesday night at about 9:20 p.m. and called the tug Roger Stahl for icebreaking assistance. The vessel was reported to be stopped in the ice, caught in a pressure ridge that would only allow the vessel to turn circles.

Reported by: Jeff Thoreson




Soo News

01/11:
Wednesday the James R. Barker was passing Mission Point in the St. Marys River, upbound for Superior, WI. and her lay-up berth at Superior Midwest Energy Terminal. The vessel checked down to take on supplies from the supply boat Ojibway. The Canadian Transfer was departing Algoma Steel for her lay-up berth at Thunder Bay.

Reported by: Jerry Masson




Toledo Update

01/11:
Under bright sunny skies Wednesday morning the U.S. Coast Guard Heavy Icebreaker Mackinaw escorted the Mesabi Miner to Toledo where she docked at T.W.I. for winter lay-up. She moored in front of the Oglebay Norton. This year will be the first time ever that Toledo has four 1000 thousand footers in for winter lay-up. Three of the footers are located at the T.W.I. Dock: they are the Columbia Star, Oglebay Norton, and Mesabi Miner. The fourth 1000-footer the George A. Stinson is located a short distance away at the CSX #2 Dock. The Mesabi Miner was assisted into the Dock by the tug Illinois, meanwhile the Mackinaw departed Toledo for the lower Detroit River/Western Lake Erie area to assist other vessels as needed.

The tug John Spence with her barge Mcasphalt 401 was unloading cargo at the B-P oil Company Dock. The pair will be in port for several days before she is ready to depart. The tanker Saturn is tied up in front of the John J. Boland at the old Interlake Iron Company Dock.

The Wolverine and barge Kellstone I remain in drydock while the tugs Frank Palladino and James Palladino are tied up at the riverfront dock of the shipyard waiting to take their barge Kellstone I back to Sandusky, Ohio for winter lay-up. Shipyard crews will need the water level to reach plus 15 inches in the Maumee River in order to remove the barge from drydock.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Today in Great Lakes History - January 11

The steamer ROBERT S. McNAMARA, under tow reached her intended destination of Santander, Spain on January 11, 1974.

On 11 January 1962, ARCTURUS, formerly JAMES B. WOOD, was under tow of the Portuguese tug PRAIA GRANDE on the way to Norway to be scrapped when she foundered off the Azores at position 46.10N x 8.50W.

January 11, 1911 - The ANN ARBOR NO. 5 arrived Frankfort on her maiden voyage.

On 11 January 1883, the Port Huron Times reported that a citizens' committee met to help Port Huron businesses. "A. N. Moffat decried the taxation of vessel property. High taxation of vessel property had driven much of it away from Port Huron. He cited the case of Capt. David Lester of Marine City who came to Port Huron a few years ago to live and would have brought here one of the largest fleets on the Great Lakes, but when he found what taxes would be, returned to Marine City."

Data from: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Nanticoke Remains Busy

1/10:
Early Monday morning the Halifax departed the Long Point Bay anchorage for winter lay up in Port Colborne. The Canadian Transport also bound for lay up in Port Colborne followed her shortly after. The Transport had just off loaded her final load of coal. Her berth on the west wall was then filled by the Mesabi Miner with coal for Ontario Power.

The Gemini departed at 2:00 p.m. from the Esso dock, bound for Buffalo with a load of gasoline. Long Point Bay for the most part is open.

Reported by: Dave Otterman




More Lay-ups

1/10:
Walter J. McCarthy Jr. became the last American Steamship Co. vessel to lay-up for the season when it arrived in Duluth shortly before sunrise on Jan. 9. By 7:30 a.m., the vessel was proceeding up St. Louis Bay bound for its lay-up berth at Hallett 5. Not far away, the Charles M. Beeghly was docked in Fraser Shipyards with its pilothouse shutters already in place. The Beeghly came into port early Jan. 9.

Reported by: Al Miller






Soo Update

1/10:
Tuesday the Lee A. Tregurtha tied up at the Carbide Dock assisted by the tug Missouri. The Tregurtha is reported to have a problem with one of its two boilers. It is unknown at this time how long repairs will take.

Docked on the south wall of the MacArthur Lock was the Arthur M. Anderson waiting for daylight assistance from the Coast Guard downbound.

Upbound was the Elton Hoyt 2nd is on its last trip to Superior WI to load for Nanticoke.

Reported by: Jerry Masson




Unusual load for MV Artic in Quebec City

1/10:
Federal's Arctic, a Port Weller Dry Docks built ice-strengthened bulker and world highest ice-classified commercial vessel, is chartered on a regular shuttle between Quebec City and Deception Bay (Nunavuk). Normally, the big red bulker brings down mining products to Quebec and goes back up with general cargo for populations of this very isolated area. But on Tuesday morning, Artic went on to Ultramar's terminal in order to load a very unusual cargo of petroleum products. The vessel will deliver her petroleum cargo to Deception Bay.

Reported by: J.F. Boutin




Jackson in Lay-up

01/10:
The Herbert C. Jackson entered a Bay Ship in Sturgeon Bay, WI. on the evening of January 8. Below is an image of the Jackson at Bay Ship Berth #3.
Jackson in lay-up

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle




Toledo Update

1/10:
Tuesday evening the U.S. Coast Guard Ice Breaker Mackinaw escorted the tanker Saturn and the tug John Spence with her barge into Toledo. The Saturn was headed for the old Interlake Dock/shipyard area while the Spence and her barge were headed for the Sun Oil Dock.

The barge Kellstone I remains in drydock and the tugs Frank Palladino and James Palladino were at the Riverfront Dock of the shipyard waiting to take the barge back to Sandusky, Ohio for lay-up.

The Wolverine remains in drydock undergoing her 5 year survey. When her survey is finished she will be towed out to the Torco Dock and will tie up behind the Courtney Burton. The Armco will then be towed from the CSX Dock and placed in drydock for several weeks undergoing her 5 year survey and miscellaneous repairs.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Today in Great Lakes History - January 10

ONTADOC (2) was launched January 10, 1975 (b MELISSA DESGAGNES)

On January 10, 1977 the CHESTER A. POLLING (b MOBIL ALBANY) broke in two and sank off the coast of Massachusetts.

January 10, 1998 - Glen Bowden, former co-owner of the Michigan-Wisconsin Transportation Company (MWT) died.

Data from: Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history






Tregurtha Grounds

1/09:
Sunday night the Paul R. Tregurtha was downbound in the St. Marys River, preparing to enter the West Neebish Channel when she grounded. The 1000-footer suffered minor hull damage and flooding in the forepeak. The Tregurtha freed her self and waited for the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Katmai Bay to finish clearing a track for her to proceed. With the assistance of Katmai Bay and Mobile Bay, the vessel was able to continue her journey.

The U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Offices cleared the Tregurtha to sail for the Detroit Edison Coal Dock in St. Clair River to unload. After unloading she will sail to Sturgeon Bay, WI. for winter lay-up.

Reported by: Jerry Masson




Ice Action from the Air

01/09:
Pilot and photographer Don Coles was flying over the St. Clair and Detroit River System Monday and sent in the pictures below. All photographs are available for purchase. Don's company, Great Lakes Aerial Photos, is available for hire for any aerial photography need.

Samuel Risley working in ice.
Samuel Risley breaking ice in the East Outer Channel. The lower end of the Livingstone Channel can be seen at the top of the picture.
The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon working the ice in the mouth of the St. Clair River.
Algowest loading salt at Ojibway in Windsor.
Canadian Olympic downbound St. Clair River north of power plants.
Canadian Progress upbound on the St. Clair River.
Elton Hoyt 2nd upbound on Lake St. Clair.
Sarnia's lay-up fleet.

For more aerial views click here




Jackson Enters Lay-up

01/09:
Under a bright moon and 10 degree temperatures, the Herbert C. Jackson entered a Bay Ship in Sturgeon Bay, WI. the evening of January 8, assisted by several Selvick tugs. Ice in the slip had previously been broken up by the tugs in anticipation of the Jackson's arrival.

Reported by: Paul A. Graf




Picture Request

1/09:
Next week I will feature a story on the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley. I am looking for a close up of the ship, showing a 3/4 view or a bow view.
If you can help please e-mail




Today in Great Lakes History - January 09

BAIE COMEAU II was laid up on January 9, 1983 at Sorel, Que. and was sold the following April to Progress Overseas Co. S.A., Panama.

January 9, 1977 - The last survivor of the PERE MARQUETTE 18 disaster, Mike Bucholtz, died.

Data from: Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Gemini in Buffalo

1/08:
The U.S. Coast Guard Neah Bay was sailing to Buffalo from the Detroit area on Sunday. The 140-Foot Icebreaking Tug will escort the Gemini back into Buffalo from Nanticoke this morning. Neah Bay will remain in the area and take the Gemini back out Tuesday.

The tugs Mississippi and New Jersey employed every trick in the book to break ice for the Gemini's outbound trip on Sunday afternoon. Both tugs were seen "Booming" the ice into the river's corners to make way for the tanker on her way down from Mobil Oil. This is done by lining up the tugs in a "V" formation and dragging the ice away from the center of the channel. This old tactic was successful and the tow down the creek went well.

They picked up the tow around 1:00 p.m. with one tug on a bow line on the hip and the other one going ahead to break ice.

Gemini proceeded through South Park Bridge backward before turning at the old Republic Steel Basin. Gemini then headed out bow first and cleared the river at 3:30 p.m. bound for Nanticoke.

In other Buffalo news, the Kinsman Independent will be shifting docks sometime early this week. Tugs will be required to break up the heavy sheet of ice in the City Ship Canal and move the vessel.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski




Automation for the Callaway

1/08:
During lay-up this winter the Cason J. Callaway will receive a new automated system to run her 48-year old steam power plant. The vessel's steam propulsion machinery and all auxiliary machinery will be automated with the latest in engine room management technology. The vessel's supply engine room, bridge & ballast control systems will be automated.

G. R. Bowler Inc. will provide a Siemens Moore Process Automation, Advanced Process Automation and Control System (APACS) to perform all control, monitoring, alarm, trending & logging functions. The systems are built in accordance with U.S. Coast Guard and American Bureau of Shipping rules for ACC type certification. Safety through use of ABS type-approved and tested hardware as well as redundancy in systems architecture are key elements of APACS.

The Captain will have direct control of all propeller commands and will no longer need to rely on the use of a Chadburn to convey these commands to Engineers in the engine room. The new technology will allow the vessel to operate with a one-man engine room watch.

Savings due to reduced fuel consumption and revised manning will be realized. Also, the capital investment cost for the APACS machinery management system will be significantly lower than for diesel re-powering. The owners will retain the lower maintenance cost of the steam turbine, as well as lower stack emissions of steam power.

The question over the last decade for the aging vessels in the Great Lakes fleet has been whether to re-power with diesel engines or save the existing old reliable steam plant by increasing it's efficiency.

The efficiency comparisons of diesel over steam have been carried out using one-sided data. The modern diesel power has been compared to the original 50-year-old equipped low technology steam plant. A new more economical answer has been found in modern innovative engine room management of the existing steam plants.

Click here for more information




Lay-ups and News

1/08:
The remaining active vessels of Great Lakes Fleet are making their final trips of the season. Edgar B. Speer is due in Gary on Jan. 9th and then will lay up in Duluth on the 12th; Edwin H. Gott was scheduled to depart Two Harbors on Jan. 7, unload in Gary on the 10th and lay up in Duluth on the 13th; Arthur M. Anderson is due to load in Two Harbors on Jan. 8 and arrive in Conneaut on Jan. 11; Cason J. Callaway is scheduled to load at Two Harbors on Jan. 8, unload in Gary on Jan. 11 and then lay up in Superior on Jan. 14; and Philip R. Clarke is due into Conneaut Jan. 10 and then in Duluth on Jan. 13 to lay up.

Indiana Harbor was scheduled to arrive in Duluth late on Jan. 7 to lay-up at the port terminal. Walter J. McCarthy Jr. is due in Duluth on Jan. 9 to lay-up at Hallett Dock 5.

Reported by: Al Miller




Sarina's Lay-up Fleet

1/08:
The Calcite II, George A. Sloan and Myron C. Taylor have been joined by several other vessels for winter lay-up. The Algomarine is at the south end of the North Slip, the Cuyahoga at Cargill Elevator, Algolake at the Government Dock, and Algonova at the Sydney Smith dock. Canadian Coast Guard ship Griffon was stopped in Sarnia behind the Algolake.

The barge McAllister 132 is "shoehorned" in the east end of the harbor with her tug W.N. Twolan alongside. Tug Menasha is alongside the Twolan. Over the winter, the Twolan's Stork-Werkspoor main engines will be overhauled.

Sunday, the Sarnia based Gordon's Marine tug Menasha will transport divers to the Shell fuel dock in Corunna to determine if there is any underwater damage after the Kaye E. Barker hit the dock a short time ago.

Reported by: George Lee and Jamie Kerwin






Soo Update

1/08:
Sunday the Paul R Tregurtha was stopped in heavy ice near Sawmill Pt in the St Marys River downbound. The Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay broke ice and was escorting the 1000-footer downriver. Canadian Olympic was given permission to get underway from the Soo Locks were she was asked to wait until the river was clear.

After the Olympic clears the Katmai Bay will escort the Stewart J. Cort downbound. The James R. Barker was expected to proceed downbound on her last trip of the season with a load for Indiana Harbor. After unloading she will turn for her winter berth in Duluth. The Algosteel and the Canadian Transfer were unloading at Algoma Steel.

Reported by: Jerry Masson




Cruise Ships for Buffalo

1/08:
According to an article in the Buffalo News there will be regularly scheduled cruises from the Port of Buffalo for the first time in 40 years during the 2001 season. American Classic Voyages will bring the brand new cruise ship Cape May Light to Buffalo from Quebec on July 14. She will make several 7-day trips from Buffalo to Quebec through August 25. The ship has 112 staterooms with a total capacity of 242 passengers. She and her sister ship Cape Cod light are currently under construction at Atlantic Marine in Jacksonville, Florida for a cost of over $30,000,000.

If the cruises are popular there is talk of bringing back the old Buffalo-Cleveland-Detroit-Chicago run last seen on the South American in the 1960's. At this time Buffalo no longer has a passenger ship terminal. Prospective sites for embarkation include the Gateway Metroport in Lackawanna, the old Port of Buffalo Terminal on the lakefront, and the Visiting Ship's Pier at the Erie Basin. The Metroport and Port Terminal have their drawbacks since they are located in heavy industry areas while the Visiting Ship's dock has relatively shallow water at 23 feet.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski




Injury on the Louisiana

1/08:
The tug Louisiana was assisting the Oglebay Norton and the Columbia Star as they were preparing to lay-up at the TWI docks for the winter.

A worker in the Louisiana's engine room either passed out and fell or fell and then passed out.

The tug suspended its work with the freighters and proceeded to the dock, where it was met by Toledo fire department crews and a Lifeflight helicopter. the worker had regained consciousness, but was taken to Toledo Hospital for treatment. No more information was available at the time of this report.

Reported by: Loren Curtis




Toledo Update

1/08:
The Oglebay Norton and Columbia Star arrived early Sunday for winter lay-up at the T.W.I. Dock. The Oglebay Norton arrived first with the Columbia Star arriving around 1:00 p.m. The Star backed down the river to dock stern to stern with the Oglebay Norton. The John J. Boland arrived in Toledo and is at the old Interlake Iron dock next to the Toledo Ship Yards. The George A. Stinson arrived and "parallel" docked behind the American Republic at the CSX coal docks. There are currently three 1,000 footers in Toledo with a fourth scheduled to arrive at T.W.I. It should be an impressive sight to see all the footers docked all in a row.

The tugs Illinois and Louisiana assisted them into the dock. No other vessels were in port at the time of this report.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman and Scott Ousky




Sunday at Conneaut

1/08:
Sunday the Canadian Progress was in port loading coal. She departed in the early afternoon and headed up the lake. The ice breaking tug Roger Stahl was assisting the vessel with ice breaking duties. The Great Lakes Towing Co. tug Triton was also in Conneaut but did not seem to have a crew onboard, she was tied up at the ore dock.

Reported by: Mike Madigan




Ice Forecast

01/08:
Ice Hazard Bulletin for the Great Lakes issued by Environment Canada from Canadian Ice Service in Ottawa at 1700 UTC Sunday 7 January 2001.

No ice warning in effect for the next 36 hours.
Lake Ontario...Ice free except open water along the shore. Fast ice in the Bay Of Quinte and in sheltered bays of the Prince Edward County. 9 plus tenths thin lake ice in the eastern end of the lake into the St Lawrence River. 3 to 7 tenths new and thin lake ice along the southern shore west of Sodus Bay.

Lake Erie...Consolidated thick and medium lake ice in the western basin and in Lake St Clair except for drifting thick and medium lake ice in the shipping channel. East of the western basin... 7 to 9 plus tenths new and thin lake ice extending to about 30 miles east. Becoming mostly 8 to 9 plus tenths mostly thin and new lake ice with some medium lake ice to a line between Long Point and Erie. 8 to 9 plus tenths new and thin lake ice within 3 to 8 miles of the north shore from Port Burwell westward and from Port Stanley westward. East of a line from Long Point to Erie 6 to 9 plus new ice within 5 to 10 miles of the north and south shores and in eastern sections. Elsewhere open water. East of a line between Port Colborne and Silver Creek 10 tenths medium and thick lake ice.

Lake Huron and Georgian Bay...Ice free over the central portion of the lake. From the southern part of Lake Huron and within 7 to 12 miles of the eastern and western shores 7 to 9 tenths new. from 12 miles northeast of Point Edward to 20 miles north of Oliphant 9 plus thin and new ice within 2 to 5 miles. Some strips of new and thin lake ice along the southern shore of Manitoulin Island. In the northwestern end of the lake west of Cheboygan 8 to 9 plus tenths thin with some medium lake ice. In the north channel 9 plus tenths thin and medium lake ice except 6 to 9 tenths thin and new lake ice north and northwest of Cockburn Island. Open water in most of Georgian Bay except fast ice along the northeastern shore and 6 to 9 plus tenths new and thin lake ice with some medium lake ice in the northeastern section. Fast ice in St Marys River and Saginaw Bay with some thin and medium lake ice drifting in the shipping channel.

Lake Superior...Ice free over much of the lake. Open water near the lake shore with patches of new and thin lake ice in sheltered bays. Fast ice in most of Black Bay and western Nipigon Bay. 9 plus tenths thin lake ice in eastern Nipigon Bay and in southern Black Bay. 9 plus thin and medium lake ice in the northern end of Thunder Bay with 4 to 8 tenths thin and medium lake ice in the rest of the bay. Fast ice in extreme northeastern Thunder Bay. A narrow band of 6 to 9 plus tenths thin and new lake ice with some medium lake ice along the southern shore between Duluth and the Keweenaw Waterway. 9 plus tenths thin and new ice with some medium first year ice along the eastern shore of Whitefish Bay otherwise isolated strips of thin and new lake ice.

Lake Michigan...No data available.

Click here for the St. Lawrence River Forecast.

Note: this report is offered for entertainment and should not be relied on for navigation. Please consult Canadian Ice Service for current conditions (subscription necessary)

Area coverage is expressed in tenths
1-3/10's---very open drift ice
4-6/10's---open drift ice
7-8/10's---close pack ice
9-9+/10's--very close pack
10/10's---compact
10/10's---frozen together - consolidated

When ice reaches 6/10's or greater, ships can no longer traverse between floes.

Fast ice--ice fastened to the shore (frozen all the way across)

New Lake Ice----recently formed less than 2 inches (5 centimeters) thick.
Thin Lake Ice---2 - 6 inches (5 - 15 centimeters) thick.
Medium Lake Ice- 6 - 12 inches (15 - 30 centimeters) thick.
Thick Lake Ice--12 - 28 inches (30-70 centimeters) thick.
Very Thick Ice--greater than 28 inches (70 centimeters thick).





Today in Great Lakes History - January 08

JOHN HULST was launched in 1938 for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.

On 8 January 1877, the tug KATE FELCHER burned at East Saginaw. Her loss was valued at $3,000, but she was insured for only $2,000. She was named after the wife of her owner, the well known Capt. James Felcher of E. Saginaw.

In 1939 several tugs helped release the grounded CHIEF WAWATAM, which had been aground since January 3.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Ice Update

01/07:
Ice conditions continue to delay shipping on Western Lake Erie, Detroit River, and St. Clair River.

The heavy ice field below the Ambassador Bridge in the Detroit River has made turning into the Rouge River hazardous. Even with assistance of commercial tugs vessel have become stuck while making the 90-degree turn. The Coast Guard recommended that vessels make daylight transits with icebreaker assistance, by Saturday night conditions had begun improved. The transits through Livingstone Channel in the lower Detroit River remain difficult with deep brash ice filling the narrow channel. Traffic between Lake Huron and Lake Erie was limited to one-way through most of the St. Clair River-Detroit River system. This restriction changes with the ice conditions.

Working in the area is the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley and Griffon. The U.S. Coast Guard has the Mackinaw and Neah Bay working in the area. The Bristol Bay remains out of service due to a major engine break down. The Canadian and U.S. Coast Guards work as a team, pooling the vessels to assist where they are needed.

In the Straits Of Mackinac, St. Mary's River and Lake Superior the U.S. Coast Guard Cutters Biscayne Bay, Katmai Bay, Sundew and Mobile Bay are working to keep traffic moving. Last week the Biscayne Bay was assisting vessels through the Straits of Mackinac, the tracks through the ice are not holding adding to the difficult conditions. The Sundew was working in Thunder Bay, Canada. The Biscayne Bay, Katmai Bay and Mobile Bay were working in the St. Marys River. The Mobile Bay joined operations in the St. Marys after working in Green Bay, WI.

On Thursday the Lee A. Tregurtha became stuck in the ice field in the Detroit River while making her turn into the Rouge River. It took the assistance of the Mackinaw to free her. The scene was repeated Friday as the Kaye E. Barker tried to enter the Rouge to unload and enter lay-up. She was assisted by the Gaelic Tugboat Co. tugs William Hoey and Patricia Hoey, the Neah Bay and possibly the Mackinaw. After unloading at Rouge Steel Saturday she shifted in the slip and entered lay-up.
Map of the area

Reported by: Dave Wobser




Downbound Convoy

1/07:
Friday the Columbia Star and Oglebay Norton went to anchor above Buoys 11 and 12 in lower Lake Huron to await Coast Guard ice breaker assistance on there trip to Toledo for winter lay-up. They were under way Saturday afternoon with the Oglebay Norton leading and the Columbia Star right behind. Following the Star was the Mesabi Miner and the 730-foot Canadian Enterprise. The Miner and Enterprise are downbound for Nanticoke.

Friday night the Columbia Star finished unloading and fueled at Imperial Oil in Sarnia. The vessel then crossed the river and docked at the Port Huron Marine Terminal around 5:00 p.m. for what may have been an inspection of the steering system. She departed that night to go about 17 miles beyond Buoys 11 and 12 in Lake Huron for the night.

Restrictions on two-way traffic in the St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair have been lifted. The Coast Guard advises large vessels not to pass in the area of South East Bend (below Light 23 on this map). The upbound tug John Spence with a barge waited below the Lake St. Clair Crib Light for the 1000-footers to clear.

The 1000-footers passage through the Livingstone Channel in the lower Detroit River may prove to be difficult. The vessels are powerful but they are traveling unloaded and their round bows will make transit difficult through the ice choked channel.

Saturday evening the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley asked the Norton and Star to wait above Fighting Island in the Detroit River as they assisted the Capt. Henry Jackman upbound through the Livingstone Channel. The will start the downbound convoy through the Livingston taking the 1000-footers through one at a time.

Last night the Mackinaw was assisting the Risley and it was reported that the Jackman was moving only a boat length in the lower channel before becoming stuck again. The Jackman was clear of the Livingstone shortly after midnight and the Samuel Risley was escorting the vessel upbound to meet the Oglebay Norton for the downbound transit. The Mackinaw stayed behind to work the track.

When the Oglebay Norton and Columbia Star arrive at Toledo they will tied up at the T.W.I. Dock for winter lay-up.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman, Andrew Severson, Linda Stoetzer and Jamie Kerwin




Lay-up in Milwaukee

1/07:
The Southdown Challenger arrived in Milwaukee for the 94th lay-up of its career on Saturday night. The Donald C. Hanna broke and flushed ice for the Challenger at the Southdown dock. Three hours later the tug Jacklyn M. and barge Integrity arrived at the Lafarge dock for winter lay-up.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde






Soo Update

1/07:
Saturday an unusual passage was seen at the Poe Lock. The Mobile Bay escorted the upbound Lee A. Tregurtha to the lock. The 140-foot icebreaking tug proceeded into the lock followed by the 826-foot Tregurtha. Both vessels were locked through and proceeded upbound.

The Indiana Harbor was upbound in the lower St. Marys River with the cutter Katmai Bay and the Paul R. Tregurtha was downbound following the Stewart J Cort.

Friday the Algoma Central tanker Algonova departed the Government dock downbound at the Soo escorted by the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mobile Bay. The Mesabi Miner locked through the Poe Lock downbound that afternoon on her last trip of the season. Also passing through on her last trip was the Canadian Enterprise. She was downbound on her 83rd trip this year.

Image below from the Soo Locks live cam.
The two vessels departing the Poe.

Reported by: Jerry Masson




Detroit Update

1/07:
Saturday at 8:35 a.m. the Algowest was waiting in the ice off Nicholsons for the Samuel Risley to escort them downriver. Upriver the Charles M. Beeghly was beginning the turn into the Rouge River with assistance from the Mackinaw and the tugs William and Patricia Hoey. Once the Beeghly entered the Rouge the tugs headed up to their dock, the Rouge River is reported to be free of ice. The Kaye E. Barker finished unloading early Saturday morning and started preparations for lay-up at Rouge steel. The Beeghly departed Saturday night with one tug and had no problem turning upbound in the Detroit River. She is bound for Supeior, WI.

Image from the WDIV Live Cam
Kaye E. Barker passing Detroit.

Reported by: Rob Cioletti, Samuel D. Buchanan and Dave Wobser




Toledo News

1/07:
Saturday morning two vessels entered lay-up in Toledo. The John J. Boland arrived stern first at the old Interlake Iron Dock by the Shipyard, she was assisted into the dock by the tug Illinois. The George A. Stinson went into the CSX #2 Dock stern first behind the American Republic, the tug Louisiana assisted her into the dock.

The Coast Guard closed the Livingstone Channel to all navigation at for a time Saturday morning due to severe ice conditions. It was opened after icebreakers worked to area to restore a track.

The tugs Frank Palladino, and James Palladino remain at the Riverfront Dock of the Shipyard, while their barge Kellstone I remains in drydock. Low water on Lake Erie is making it impossible for the shipyard crews to remove the barge from the drydock. + 15 inches of water is needed for this to happen. It is unknown when the water levels will rise enough to permit the crews to remove the barge from drydock.

No other vessels were in Port and there were no new lay-ups to report at the time of this report.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Welland Canal Lay-up

1/07:
Below are recent pictures of vessels at lay-up on the Welland Canal.

Tadoussac and Desmarais in dry dock.
Desmarais' new hull before it was moved into dry dock.
Sarah Spencer in Port Colborne with McKee Sons in background.
Stern view Spencer.
McKee Sons.
Stern View.
Petite Forte.
CSL Niagara .
Former passenger ferry Aquarama in long term lay-up in Buffalo.

Reported by: Jeff Thoreson




Today in Great Lakes History - January 07

On January 7, 1970 the e) ONG., former CONGAR (1) had her Canadian registry closed .The tanker had been sold for use as a water tender at Antigua in the Lesser Antilles.

Data from: Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Mariner Arrives

1/06:
Thursday evening the American Mariner arrived enterance to Sturgeon Bay Ship canal. Due to high winds of 25 to 40 Knots Gusting North West the Mariner waited in Lake Michigan over night and enter through the ship canal Friday morning. She will winter at Berth #5 next to the Barge Pathfinder. The Mariner was assisted by Selvick Marine tugs breaking ice in the berth and working the track.

She joins fleet mates Buffalo and Sam Laud. Other ships already in winter lay-up are the Burns Harbor, Presque Isle, and Pathfinder. An additional nine vessels are expected to round out this seasons lay-up fleet. The Edward Ryerson remains tied up at the PBI/city dock. In addition to the inspections and maintenance that will be performed on these ships, the local yard continues construction on a 325 foot suction dredge, Liberty Island, being built for Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company of Oak Brook, IL. The second boat under construction is an 83-foot passenger ferry for Shoreline Marine of Chicago, scheduled for completion in the summer of 2001.

Pictures by Vic DeLarwelle
Jimmy L. from Selvick Marine working track for Mariner.
Working track off stern of Ryerson.
Bow American Mariner passing the stern of the Ryerson.
Stern passing.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle and Paul A. Graf




Midwest Energy Resources sets record

1/06:
Midwest Energy Resources in Superior increased its coal shipments for the eighth consecutive season and set a tonnage record, the company reported Jan. 4.

The dock shipped 16.5 million tons of low-sulfur western coal through Dec. 31. That's a 1.9 percent increase over the previous year even though freighters couldn't carry as much tonnage each trip because of low water levels on the lakes.

Fred Shusterich, president of Midwest Energy Resources Co., told the Duluth News Tribune that the dock increased its tonnage by handling more vessels. Additional vessels became available later in the shipping season as taconite shipments slumped.

The coal dock transfers coal from Wyoming and Montana from trains to Great Lakes freighters. A division of Detroit Edision, it sends about 10 million tons of coal each year to Detroit Edison power palnts. It also ships coal to the Wisconsin Electric power plant in Marquette and to the Ontario Power plant in Nanticoke.

One customer that will be question next season is the LTV power plant in Taconite Harbor, Minn. The plant usually orders 700,000 tons of coal annually from Midwest Energy Resources.

The coal dock's tonnage will climb a bit more this season. On Jan. 5 it was loading Paul R. Tregurtha while Canadian Olympic lay at anchor off Duluth waiting for the dock. Canadian Olympic currently is the last vessel listed on the dock's loading schedule. James R. Barker is due there Jan. 12 for layup.

The increased tonnage at Midwest Energy Resources means that coal is challenging taconite as the leading cargo for Duluth-Superior. According to the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, shipments of coal and taconite pellets each totaled about 13.2 million tons through Nov. 30, 2000. That represents 80 percent of the tonnage handled in the Twin Ports. Grain represents about 16 percent of this season's cargo in the ports, with the rest consisting of stone, salt, wood pulp and general cargo.

Reported by: Al Miller




Twin Ports Report

1/06:
A few vessels remained active Jan. 5 in western Lake Superior. Canadian Olylmpic departed Midwest Energy Terminal -- possibly the last vessel of the season to load there. James R. Barker was scheduled to arrive at Taconite Harbor as the last boat of the season there. In Duluth, Adam E. Cornelius arrived to lay up at the former Cargill C dock, now owned by the Duluth port authority.

Also expected to lay up in Duluth this season is Indiana Harbor. It's scheduled to arrive Jan. 7 at the Duluth port terminal.

Reported by: Al Miller




Today in Great Lakes History - January 06

While undertow heading for scrap, the HARRY R. JONES went aground at Androsan, Scotland on January 6, 1961 and it wasn't until February 15, that she arrived at her final port of Troon, Scotland.

January 6, 1999 - The Dow Chemical plant in Ludington announced a plan to close their lime plant, eliminating the need for Great Lakes freighter to deliver limestone.

Data from: Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Questions remain about LTV's effect on shipping

1/05:
LTV Steel Mining ceases operation today, and its passage along with the recent Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing of parent company LTV Steel raises many questions that could affect next year's Great Lakes shipping season.

Union officials said the plant has about 1 million tons of taconite pellets stockpiled. Some of the plant's workers are expected to be recalled in the spring to ship these pellets. If the plant had closed Feb. 24 as earlier expected, this stockpile would have been as high as 1.8 million tons.

Although the taconite plant is closed, LTV currently plans to keep its 225-megawatt power plant at Taconite Harbor operational. The Duluth News Tribune reported the plant will be placed on stand-by with "appropriate manning." This plan receives numerous cargoes of coal each season brought by vessel from Midwest Energy Terminal in Superior. Part of the economic incentive in the trade, however, was that vessels could carry the coal cargo into port and leave with a taconite cargo. That option will disappear early in the next season when pellet stockpiles for shipment are exhausted.

Under Minnesota law, LTV must mothball the taconite plant for one year in case another company wants to purchase the facility. Cleveland-Cliffs, which manages the taconite mine and processing plant, has an option until March 31 to take over the plant's assets and liabilities. Cliffs officials said they're still assessing whether to exercise that option. A Cliffs spokesman said LTV might have legal power to cancel the option under its Chapter 11 filing.

The fate of LTV Steel also could affect shipping. Cliffs and LTV signed a contract last May under which Cliffs is to provide more than 50 million tons of taconite pellets to LTV over the next 10 years. However, under Chapter 11, LTV could now cancel that contract.

Such a cancellation would be felt throughout the Lake Superior iron regions. Some of the production was expected to come from Northshore Mining Co. in Silver Bay and Babbit, Minn., or at Hibbing Taconite near Hibbing, Minn. These plants ship from Silver Bay and Superior, respectively.

In addition, LTV owns at 25-percent share of Cliffs' Empire Mine in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Last week, Cliffs Chairman John Brinzo said a decision by LTV to cancel its ore contract would have "significant" impact on Cliffs and possibly the Empire Mine. The mine can ship from Marquette or Escanaba.

Efforts have been made in Minnesota to attract a new user to the LTV taconite facility, possibly in areas such as manufacturing semi-finished steel slabs, iron nuggets or pig iron. However, no buyers have been found.

LTV Steel Mining Co. was Minnesota's second-oldest taconite operation. In its 43 years, workers there produced and shipped 328 million tons of taconite pellets.

Reported by: Al Miller




Louis R. Desmarais Update

1/05:
Ice in cables on the south gate of the dry dock delayed the move of the Desmarais' former forebody Wednesday for several hours. The forebody was moved to the extreme south end of tie-up wall above Lock 1. The tugs Lac Como, Progress and James E. Mcgrath then hooked up to Hull 79 and swung her around from the fitout berth until she was lined up to enter the dock. Heavy ice made the movements very slow and it wasn't until 1:30 a.m. Thursday morning that the new hull was secured in the deep dock.

The tugs then proceeded back across to the tie-up wall to bring the old forebody of the Desmarais back to its winter berth alongside the fitout berth. The draining of the level between Locks 1 and 2 will mean the old forebody will rest on the mud until spring. Plans are to load the scrap steel from the Tadoussac conversion into the forebody. The forebody will then be towed away once the 2001 navigation season begins.

About 5:00 p.m. Thursday the tugs James E. Mcgrath, Progress and Lac Como departed Port Weller Dry Docks for the winter. The Lac Como was used to pull free the frozen upper gates of Lock 1 and then the trio continued down through the lock.

Reported by: Barry Andersen and Jason Junge




More bad news for lake Shippers

1/05:
As workers at LTV Steel Mining Co., shut down the mine and plant Jan. 4, two other Minnesota taconite producers announced production cutbacks.

North Shore Mining, owned by Cleveland-Cliffs, said it will shut down one pellet furnace for at least nine months, cutting production by 700,000 tons. North Shore Mining's pellet plant and dock are located in Silver Bay.

U.S. Steel's Minntac plant, Minnesota's largest taconite producer, said it will cut production by 450,000 tons in January and February. Minntac's customers include the Geneva, Utah, steel mill which recently filed for bankruptcy as well as mills on the lower Great Lakes. Much of Minntac's pellet productions is shipped through Two Harbors.

Reported by: Al Miller




Alpena Enters Lay-up

1/05:
The cement carrier Alpena entered lay-up in Cleveland on Wednesday. The vessel fought heavy ice from the lower Detroit River to Cleveland. She was escorted by U.S. and Canadian icebreakers through most of her trip. Once off Cleveland she was assisted through the very heavy ice and into the Lafarge dock by Great Lakes towing tugs.

Pictures by T.Z.
Alpena arrives.
Tug Washington on her bow.
Now working around her stern.
Close up.
Washington breaking ice.
Washington and Idaho breaking ice in the flats.
Close up on the river.
Bow view of the Idaho.
Stern view of the Idaho.
Idaho at work.
Washington on the outer harbor.
Video of the tug breaking ice. (1.5 meg)

Reported by: Nathan Niatering




Mariner Closes Shipping Season In Muskegon

1/05:
The 730-foot American Mariner arrived in Muskegon Wednesday night at 8:10 p.m. She had been in radio contact with the U.S. Coast Guard Grand Haven Station since 5:30 p.m. The Coast Guard contacted the ship and told informed them that they could not enter Muskegon Lake until the ice fishermen were notified and cleared away from the shipping lanes on the lake.

At 7:00 p.m. the Mariner called in her one hour security call and the Coast Guard gave her the OK to enter the Lake upon arrival. At 7:40 p.m. the Mariner said it was 30 minutes from the breakwall and the Andrie tug Mary Beth contacted her to inform her that the shipping channel should be cleared out enough for her and that the tug would wait in Muskegon Lake in case the ship needed assistance. The 200-foot wide track through the ice was plenty of room for the Mariner to passed through Muskegon Lake with no problem and dock at the B.C. Cobb Plant around 9:45 p.m. to unload coal.

The Mariner departed the B.C. Cobb Plant at 8:15 a.m. Thursday morning. She passed through icy Muskegon Lake swiftly with no problems. She passed through the channel at 9:10 a.m. ending the 2000 - 2001 shipping season in Muskegon.

American Mariner departs.
Stern view.
Heading out to Lake Michigan.

Below are images of the Buffalo's visit to the port on Monday
Heading into port from Lake Michigan.
In the shipping channel.
Close up of the ice on her bow.
Heading to Muskegon Lake.
Close up of stern.
On the lake.

One of the last visitors to Muskegon was the barge Integrity on Tuesday.
Integrity at the Lafarge Dock.
Close up of the ice on her bow. Ike Stephenson

Reported by: Scott Golin




Burns Harbor Arrives

1/05:
On Tuesday the Burns Harbor came into the outer Bay and lay in the ice over night. Wednesday tugs from Selvick Marine and the U.S. Cost Guard Mobil Bay went out to the outer bay and broke Ice around the 1000-footer so she could turn around to enter the bay and dry Dock stern first. She backed down the Bay about three miles to Bay Ship for dry docking.

Backing across the bay.
Backing with the Mobil Bay.
Close up.
Into the dry dock.
Backing into the dry dock.
Presque Isle along side the dry dock.
The tug is dwarfed by the 1000-footer.
Another view.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle




Soo Update

1/05:
Thursday the Katmai Bay and cutter Mobile Bay worked the shipping lanes of the lower St Marys River. Upbound vessels included the James R. Barker and Edwin H. Gott. Downbound was the Kaye E. Barker, Oglebay Norton and Charles M. Beeghly.

The Elton Hoyt 2nd locked through late Wednesday night into Lake Superior and the tanker Algonova is planning to depart the Canadian Soo today.

The James R. Barker waited for the Kaye E. Barker to clear the Poe Lock. The James R. Barker is named for the President of The Interlake Steamship Company and the Kaye E. Barker is named for his wife.
Below are images form the Soo Locks live cam.

James R. waiting below the locks.
Kaye E. in the Poe.
Kaye E. passes the James R.

Reported by: Jerry Masson and Mark Hansen


Port of Montreal joins select one-million container club

1/05:
The Port of Montreal reported recently in a press release having handled for the first time one million containers in 2000. Only 50 ports throughout the world, 12 of which are in North America can match this achievement. The number of containers, the first of which transited in 1967, has doubled since the half-million mark of 1986 .

The Port of Montreal is the leading North American container port on the North Atlantic route. The Port is accessible all year round and many container shipping lines offer regular weekly service namely Canada Maritime, Cast, Hapag-Lloyd, Maersk Sealand, NYK Line, OOCL, P&O Nedlloyd and Senator Lines and Oceanex in the domestic market.

The Port is equipped with 15 dockside gantry cranes and aside of being a major container port, Montreal is also a multifunctional port handling in all some 20 million tons of highly diversified cargo.

The Port of Montreal creates some 17,600 direct and indirect jobs and generates business revenues of 1.7 billion (C) annually.

Reported by: Frederick Frechette




Today in Great Lakes History - January 05

The keel was laid January 5, 1972 for the ALGOWAY (2).

The wooden tug A. J. WRIGHT caught fire on 5 January 1893 while laid up at Grand Haven, Michigan. She burned to the water's edge. Her loss was valued at $20,000. She was owned by C. D. Thompson.

Data from: Joe Barr, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Immediate shutdown of Hoyt Lakes Plant

1/04:
LTV Steel Mining Co. said Jan. 3 that it was closing its Minnesota mine and taconite plant immediately, nearly two months ahead of schedule, the Associated Press reported.

The company said ``continued difficult conditions in the steel market'' and the need to cut costs related to LTV Steel's recent Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing required the earlier shutdown.

LTV officials blame the closing on an influx of cheap foreign steel, lower steel prices, and lower demand for its products. All that adds up to a reduced demand for the taconite pellets produced at the plant.

On May 24, 2000, LTV announced it would close the mine and plant in summer 2001. On Dec. 6, the company moved the shutdown date to Feb. 24. The company mined taconite ore in Hoyt Lakes, Minn., and shipped taconite pellets from Taconite Harbor, located on Lake Superior's North Shore.

Officials with the United Steelworkers of America said Tuesday they anticipated the early closure of the 43-year-old taconite plant. Earlier this week, the mine and processing plant began turning away deliveries, including a trainload of bentonite used in the pellet-making process. Managers also began shutting down the pellet furnaces Tuesday.

With all of LTV Corp. in financial danger, the company last week filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a Youngstown, Ohio, court. The company continues to function under short-term financial backing from Chase Manhattan Corp.

Peter Kakela, a professor in Michigan State University's resources development department, estimated that LTV would save $2 million to $3 million a week by closing the plant, even if it continued to pay its work force through Feb. 24.

Reported by: Al Miller and Roger LeLievre




Hull Floated

1/04:
The undocking of the old forebody of the Louis R. Desmarais and repositioning the new forebody got underway about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. The old hull was on the tie-up wall above Lock One around 8:00 p.m. The tugs Lac Como, Progress and James E. McGrath had spent the morning breaking ice.

The operation was stalled this afternoon because the gates to the deep dry dock were frozen in place and it took a lot of effort to free them. More ice was being cleared around 9:00 p.m. with the new forebody expected to be in position by midnight.

Reported by: David Bull




Soo Update

1/04:
Downbound Wednesday were the Columbia Star and Algomarine. The upbound U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Katmai Bay was working in the ice to escort the Algonova and open the track for the Stewart J. Cort, Paul R. Tregurtha and Canadian Olympic.

The Canadian Navigator departed Algoma Steel at 3:00 p.m. making room for the Algomarine's last trip of the season to Algoma. The Canadian Navigator is on her last run into Algoma Steel and will go back up the lake to her winter port of Thunder Bay.

Reported by: Jerry Masson




Twin Ports Report

1/04:
Roger Blough went into lay-up Jan. 3 at the Duluth port terminal. The vessel arrived in port Tuesday to undergo repairs for a five-foot crack suffered at the Soo.

H. Lee White arrived in Duluth on Jan. 3 to lay-up at the Hallett 5 dock.

The DMIR ore dock in Duluth is done for the season. Its last vessel was Indiana Harbor on Dec. 31. The Two Harbors dock is scheduled to ship at least through Jan. 8. The lineup there includes: Edgar B. Speer, Jan. 5; Edwin H. Gott and Philip R. Clarke, Jan. 6; Arthur M. Anderson, Jan. 7; and Cason J. Callaway, Jan. 8.

Reported by: Al Miller




Today in Great Lakes History - January 04

On January 4, 1978, the IRVING S. OLDS was involved in a collision with the steamer ARMCO while convoying in heavy ice in the Livingston Channel of the lower Detroit River. The OLDS hit a flow of heavy ice, came to a complete stop and the ARMCO, unable to stop, hit the OLDS' stern.

In 1952 the carferry SPARTAN was launched.

Data from: Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Blough in For Repairs

1/03:
GLF's Roger Blough was docked at the Duluth port terminal on Jan. 2 to undergo repairs for a five-foot crack it suffered, reportedly when it struck a pier at the Soo.

A Duluth TV station showed video of the vessel with water pouring from the crack, which was well forward on the port side.

Workers from Fraser Shipyards were repairing the damage. The vessel was scheduled to be under way again Jan. 3, bound for Two Harbors to load taconite pellets.

Reported by: Al Miller




Bethlehem Completes Sale and Leaseback of Stewart J. Cort

1/03:
Bethlehem Steel Corporation announced that it completed a sale and leaseback of the 1,000-footer Stewart J. Cort, with a group of investors arranged by and including General Electric Capital Corporation (GECC). The transaction will provide approximately $30 million of additional liquidity to Bethlehem Steel.

Built by the Erie Marine Division of Litton Industries, Erie, Pa., the Stewart J. Cort is a self-unloading vessel used by Bethlehem to transport iron ore pellets from Superior, Wis. to the company's Burns Harbor Division in Burns Harbor, Ind. Bethlehem also operates the 1,000-foot Burns Harbor.

Bethlehem Steel Corporation is the nation's second largest integrated steel company with revenues of about $4 billion and shipments of about nine million tons. Its 14,500 employees work primarily in three major divisions - Burns Harbor, Ind., Sparrows Point, Md. (with plate mills in Coatesville and Conshohocken, Pa.), and Pennsylvania Steel Technologies, Steelton, Pa., and at its corporate headquarters in Bethlehem, Pa. The corporation is a leading supplier to the North American automotive and construction industries, and is the largest supplier of plate products on the continent.

Reported by: Al Miller




Ice Breaking Update

1/03:
Low temperatures near 0 degrees continued to make shipping difficult on Western Lake Erie and the Lower Detroit River. Early Tuesday morning the Mackinaw was working Western Lake Erie and the Detroit River. The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley arrived to assist in the area on Monday morning.

Monday evening the Mackinaw was assisting the upbound Paul R. Tregurtha, while the Risley was breaking a track in the Maumee Channel for the Gemini's departure from Toledo. The Tregurtha's trip from Western Lake Erie through the River System took about 31 hours.

Early Tuesday morning the Samuel Risley had stopped in Western Lake Erie for the night. A call from the upbound Canadian Olympic had the vessel back in action before her engines had cooled.

The track in the lower Livingstone Channel had frozen over night and the Canadian Olympic, traveling high out of the water in ballast, proved no match for the ice. The Risley spent the morning clearing the ice as the Olympic slowly made progress upbound. The Mackinaw returned to the lower river and slowly backed down the Livingstone Channel to assist. The heaviest areas of ice are below the lower entrance to the channel and past the first set of lights in the channel where the Adam E. Cornelius was stuck on Sunday.

Once clear of the Livingstone the Mackinaw escorted the Olympic upbound. She had planned to dock in Detroit or Windsor to complete repairs to an engine.

The Risley turned and made several passes through the Livingstone Channel and out onto Western Lake Erie to break a track in the hard ice. She returned to the upper entrance of the Livingstone Channel and assisted the Canadian Transport downbound. The Risley's track maintenance made this an easy trip. Once the Transport was clear the Risley turned on Lake Erie and headed for the top of the Livingstonee Channel to escort the Alpena down.

The Alpena made the trip down with out incident. Once onto Lake Erie she was met by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay. The Neah Bay will escort the Alpena into Cleveland where ice conditions are reported to be very difficult.

The James R. Barker arrived upbound and followed the Risley through the channel and into the upper Detroit River. The Barker made good time and was passing Zug Island by midnight. The Risley then assisted the Saginaw into the Ojibway Salt Dock in Windsor.

Ice in the upper river is now heavy all the way up to the Ambassador Bridge. The Risley will wait overnight backed into the Ojiway Anchorage across from Zug Island. She is expected to get underway about 4:30 a.m. and make a quick stop in Windsor about 5:00 a.m. Depending on traffic, the Risley is expected to head downbound for track maintenance in the Livingstone Channel and Western Lake Erie, then dock in Windsor about 11:00 a.m. for a crew change.

Map of the area

Reported by: Paul Beesley and K. Borg




Soo Update

1/03:
Tuesday morning the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Katmai Bay was escorting the Canadian Enterprise upbound in the St. Marys River. Downbound vessels were the George A. Stinson, Cason J. Callaway, Lee A. Tregurtha, Indiana Harbor, Arthur M. Anderson and the Algosteel. The Charles M. Beeghly was at anchor in Whitefish Bay.

Reported by: Jerry Masson




Season Ends for Grand Haven

1/03:
On December 28 the barge Southdown Conquest and tug Susan W. Hannah arrived for the Southdown Cement Dock. The arrival marks the end of a very busy 2000 shipping season for the Lake Michigan Port. First time visits for the 2000 season included the CSL Niagara on May 15, the Saginaw on July 21 and the tug Joyce VanEnkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader on September 6.

Reported by: David Swain




Twin Ports Report

1/03:
Oglebay Norton was loading its final load of the season Jan. 2 at the Midwest Energy Terminal in Superior. The dock currently has vessels scheduled only through Jan. 4. The lineup includes: Walter J. McCarthy Jr. , Mesabi Miner and Canadian Enterprise, all on Jan. 3; and Paul R. Tregurtha and Canadian Olympic on Jan. 4. James R. Barker is scheduled to lay-up at the dock on Jan. 11.

The vessels still operating for Great Lakes Fleet all have at least one more trip to make before the end of the season. They're all due back in Two Harbors this week to load.

Reported by: Al Miller




Integrity Visits

1/03:
At noon Tuesday the tug Jacklyn M. and barge Integrity were at the Lafarge Cement. The Integrity was an interesting sight for downtown drivers with her bow and anchors covered in ice. She docked at Lafarge at 1:00 a.m. and was scheduled to depart at 2000.

Reported by: Scott Golin and Ike Stephenson




Toledo News

1/03:
The tanker Gemini was at the B-P Oil Company Dock Tuesday. There were no other vessels in port and no new winter lay-ups at the time of this report. Several vessels are due in for winter lay-up during the next several days depending on ice conditions around the Lakes.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Today in Great Lakes History - January 03

While on the North Atlantic under tow for scrapping, the ASHLAND parted her towline but was tracked by U.S. Coast Guard aircraft and was retrieved by her tug on January 2nd, 1988 some 300 miles off course.

In 1939 the CHIEF WAWATAM ran aground on the shoals of the north shore near St. Ignace.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Buffalo in Muskegon

1/02:
The Buffalo entered Muskegon Monday at 3:30 p.m. She was headed for the B.C. Cobb Plant to unload coal. A tug owned by Andrie was ahead of her breaking up the new ice that had formed in the shipping channel. A crowd of at least 75 people was there to watch the Buffalo pass.

The barge Integrity and tug Jacklyn M. were expected that night. The American Mariner was expected on Tuesday.
Check back Thursday for pictures

Reported by: Scott Golin




Barge Moved

1/02:
Sunday the Presque Isle was removed from Dry Dock at Bay Ship and placed at Berth #15 for winter Lay-up. It was a cold day and the move took 14 hours. Selvick Marine Tugs assisted breaking ice and flushing ice from Berth #15, as well as pulling the Presque Isle out of dock. This maneuver was to open the dock for the incoming Burns Harbor.
Check back Thursday for pictures

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle




Soo Update

1/02:
The US Coast Guard cutter Katmai Bay was expected to escort the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. upbound to the Soo Locks Monday while the Coast Guard cutter Biscayne Bay works the lower river. She was performing track maintenance for the expected arrival of the upbound Mesabi Miner that afternoon.

Reported by: Jerry Masson




Toledo News

1/02:
The Courtney Burton and St. Clair arrived for winter lay-up on Saturday 31 Dec. The Burton is directly across from the Buckeye at the Torco Dock, the same position as last year. The St. Clair is tied up at the old CSX Ore Dock directly across from the Armco. The Middletown has shifted over to a different lay-up dock, she is now at the old Lakefront #3 Dock in stern first. The Earl W. Oglebay arrived for winter lay-up at the old Lakefront #2 Dock Monday morning and is docked stern first behind the Buckeye.

The Columbia Star and Oglebay Norton are on there last trips of the season. Both vessels are to load coal in Superior, Wisconsin for delivery to the power plant in St. Clair, Michigan. Once finished unloading coal both vessels will be heading to Toledo for winter lay-up.

This should happen within the next several days depending on the weather and ice conditions that they will encounter on there downbound trip from Lake Superior. Several more vessels are due in port for Winter lay-up during the next several days.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Today in Great Lakes History - January 02

While on the North Atlantic under tow for scrapping, the ASHLAND parted her towline but was tracked by U.S. Coast Guard aircraft and was retrieved by her tug on January 2nd, 1988 some 300 miles off course.

The 3-mast wooden schooner M. J. CUMMINGS was launched at the shipyard of Goble & MacFarlane in Oswego, NY. Her owners were Mrs. Goble & MacFarlane, Daniel Lyons and E. Caulfield. Her dimensions were 142'6´x 25'2" x 11'6", 325 tons and she cost $28,000.

January 2, 1925 - The ANN ARBOR NO. 7 was launched. She was sponsored by Jane Reynolds, daughter of R.H. Reynolds, marine superintendent of the railroad.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Ice Update

1/01:
Traffic in the Detroit area was light Sunday as many vessels are entering lay-up. The U.S. Coast Guard Ice Breaker Mackinaw was working in the lower Detroit River and Western Lake Erie. The Mesbia Miner and Adam E. Cornelius passed upbound through the troublesome Livingstone Channel Sunday morning. The Cornelius became stuck but the Miner was able to continue on. The Mackinaw spent Sunday afternoon working with the Cornelius. About 5:15 the Mackinaw and Cornelius were making progress near the Hole in the Wall in the Livingstone Channel.

Waiting downbound at Zug Island was the James R. Barker. Once the Cornelius had cleared the Mackinaw returned to work the Livingstone Channel. Her original plan was to escort the Barker through the channel and then take a convoy that included the Cornelius and Andrie tugs and barge across Lake St. Clair.

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon was working the lower St. Clair River. The Samuel Risley stopped in Sarnia Sunday morning for a crew change and to take on supplies.

The area of the Livingstone Channel is difficult to photograph from land. Below are images taken late Sunday afternoon.
A picture of the area with description.
The Mackinaw on Lake Erie below the Livingstone.
The Cornelius in the lower Livingstone Channel.
As the sun sets the Mackinaw works with the Cornelius.
The Hole in the Wall, an opening in the Livingstone Channel.
Map of the area

Reported by: Paul Beesley




Munson Enters Lay-up

1/01:
John G. Munson steamed into Duluth about 1:30 p.m. Dec. 31 to begin its winter lay-up at Fraser Shipyards in Superior. The vessel had no trouble proceeding through the broken ice in Duluth harbor. Before its arrival, a tug from Great Lakes Towing was breaking ice in the front channel.

John G. Munson entering Duluth ship canal.
Closeup of the bow.
Stern view.
Munson proceeding up front channel in Duluth.
Closeup of the bow.
Video of Munson in Duluth ship canal.

Reported by: Al Miller




Hull to be Floated

1/01:
The old forebody of the Louis R. Desmarais is scheduled to be removed from the Port Weller Dry Dock and the new one put in on January 3.

Reported by: Roger Tottman




Soo Update

1/01:
Ice continued to cause problems in the St. Marys River Sunday. The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Biscayne Bay was called to assist the Canadian Progress stopped in the ice at Sawmill Point in the St. Marys River that morning. The cutter Katmai Bay was upbound escorting the tanker Algonova through the ice to the Soo. Upbound vessels included Arthur M. Anderson, Canadian Navigator, Columbia Star and the Canadian Progress. the Joyce L. VanEnkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader were docked at the Carbide Dock in the Soo Harbor and were expected to depart after 7:00 p.m. downbound and will meet the cutter Biscayne Bay in the lower river.

Reported by: Jerry Masson




Roger Stahl To Depart

1/01:
The tug Roger Stahl is scheduled to depart the Gaelic Tugboat Company yard in Detroit for Ashtabula, OH. at 10:00 a.m. today.

The tug will conduct icebreaking duties in Ashtabula, Conneaut and other Lake Erie ports. The tug is expected to remain in the area for a month or longer.

Reported by: Gaelic Tugboat Co.




Mapleglen Enters Lay-up

1/01:
The Mapleglen arrived in Owen Sound Harbor on Dec. 30 around 11:00 p.m. Sunday morning she was unloading a partial load of grain. After unloading she was expected to move to the East Wall and lay-up.

In other port news, the Agawa Canyon is scheduled to arrive in port but as of Sunday evening she had not arrived.

Reported by: Cecil Rawn and Mike Bannon




Busy Day in Milwaukee

1/01:
The last day of 2000 was a busy one in the port of Milwaukee. As the Algowest unloaded a partial load of salt in the outer harbor, the G-tug Arkansas was assisting the Herbert C. Jackson to the Greenfield coal dock. The Arkansas broke up the 3 to 6" of ice in the outer harbor so the Jackson could turn and then back to the coal dock. The Algowest then did the same, backing to the inner harbor's mooring basin to complete their unload of salt. All this under clear, sunny skies. The Jackson still has two more loads of coal from Chicago for Milwaukee.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde




Conquest Remains

1/01:
Sunday the barge Southdown Conquest remained in Ludington. The tug and barge arrived over night Saturday to wait out the weather on Lake Michigan, the barge was waiting in the ice in Pere Marquette Lake.

In the ice.

Reported by: Max Hanley




Minnesota taconite producers may see slump in first half of 2001

1/01:
Minnesota taconite plants produced nearly 47 million tons pellets in 2000, but this year's production may fall below 39 million tons because of an anticipated steel industry slowdown in the first half of the year, according to a story in the Dec. 31 Duluth News Tribune.

A slowing national economy, devastating steel imports and low steel prices are expected to cause a slump in steel production. That means less demand for taconite pellets and, subsequently, less demand for Great Lakes vessels to carry them.

Officials at several of Minnesota's taconite producers said this year they expect to produce the same tonnage or greater than in 2000. However, others are uncertain.

``It will be a difficult year, at least at the beginning,'' David Gardner, a Cleveland-Cliffs spokesman, told the newspaper. ``The whole economy is slowing down. From a production standpoint, we will certainly be looking at fewer tons.''

Gardner said Hibbing Taconite probably will produce fewer than the 8.2 million tons it turned out in 2000, but no decision will be made until later this month. USX's Minntac plant, which produced 14 million tons, hasn't yet predicted how much tonnage it will turn out in 2001. The plant's No. 3 production line, which produces about 12 percent of Minntac's annual pellet production, remains idle.

Complicating the picture even further is the scheduled Feb. 24 closure of LTV Steel Mining Co. in Hoyt Lakes, which produced 7.8 million tons of pellets last year. LTV Steel was expected to buy pellets from other Cliffs-operated plants, but the company raised doubts about that when it filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings last week.

Steel imports were expected to total 38.7 million tons in 2000, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute in Washington, D.C. That would be the second-highest annual import total. Imports from the Ukraine are up 119 percent, China 112 percent, India 92 percent, Turkey 69 percent and Taiwan 33 percent.

However, one noted analyst of the taconite industry said recent trade cases against some steel imports and low taconite pellet inventories could lead to an improved market in the second half of 2001.

``Things kind of tapered off at the end of this year,'' Peter Kakela, a Michigan State University professor, told the New Tribune. ``But (pellet) inventories aren't as bad as they were back in 1998 and 1999 and the mines have been able to do a lot with these little cutbacks. With LTV going down and the EVTAC fire, there's been a whole series of adjustments that could tighten things up. I think the ones that are operating will be operating flat out.''

Officials at several Iron Range plants say they plan to operate at capacity this year. For example, National Steel Pellet Co. set another world record in 2000 for one-line taconite production with 5.4 million tons, and the plant manager said the plant will produce the same amount this year.

Reported by: Al Miller




Cleveland Update

1/01:
Saturday the tug James A. Hannah with a barge were docked along the Clark Street pier. The David Z. Norton is in lay-up at the stone docks. Crews are preparing the vessel for the winter.

James A. Hannah at dock.
Close up of tug.
Stern view.
David Z. Norton at her lay-up dock.

Reported by: B. Schaft




Lay-up List Updates

1/01:
The 7th Annual Winter Lay-up List has been updated.

Click here to visit the 7th Annual Winter Lay-up List






Happy New Year






Today in Great Lakes History - January 01

On January 1, 1973, the Paul H. Carnahan became the last vessel of the 1972 shipping season to load at the Burlington Northern (now Burlington Northern Santa Fe) ore docks in Superior. Interestingly, the Carnahan also opened the Superior docks for the season in the spring of 1972.

On 1 January 1930, HELEN TAYLOR (wooden propeller steam barge, 56', 43 gt, built in 1894 at Grand haven, MI) foundered eight miles off Michigan City, IN. She was nicknamed "Pumpkin Seed" due to her odd shape.

January 1, 1900 - The Flint & Pere Marquette Railroad merged with the Chicago & West Michigan and the Detroit, Grand Rapids and Western Railroads to form the Pere Marquette Railway Co.

On 1 January 1937, MAROLD II (steel propeller, 129'. 165 gt, built in 1911 at Camden, New Jersey as a yacht) was siphoning gasoline off the stranded tanker J. OSWALD BOYD (244', 1806 gt, built in 1913 in Scotland) which was loaded with 900,000 gallons of gasoline and was stranded on Simmons Reef on the north side of Beaver Island. A tremendous explosion occurred which totally destroyed MAROLD II and all five of her crew. Only pieces of MAROLD II were found. Her captain's body washed ashore in Green Bay the next year. At time of loss, she was the local Beaver Island boat. The remains of the BOYD were removed to Sault Ste. Marie in June 1937.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




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