Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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* Report News

Tucker Arrives

The tanker Capt. Ralph Tucker arrived at the Morterm Dock in Windsor Wednesday afternoon under escort of the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley. It is believed that the Tucker will remain in some type of lay-up until severe ice conditions in the Straights of Mackinac and northern Lake Michigan lessen.

Capt. Ralph Tucker downbound.
Another view.
Close up approaching the dock.
Docked at Morterm.
Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley clearng the dock for the truck ferry.
Breaking ice off the dock.
Close up.
McKeil tug Stormont gets ready for another ice breaking session at the Detroit-Windsor truck ferry operation.
Doug McKeil laid up for winter near the Tucker.

Reported by: Eric Stapleton

AK Steel offer for National now includes pellet plant

On Thursday AK Steel raised its offer for bankrupt National Steel Corp. by $100 million, and included the National Steel Pellet Co. in the bidding.

AK Steel and U.S. Steel both made offers in federal bankruptcy court earlier this month to buy National Steel, but neither offer included NSPC. AK Steel's revised offer provides hope for the Minnesota taconite plant, which faced a possible shut down if not included in any purchase of National Steel assets.

The judge presiding in the National case set Feb. 6 for a hearing on AK Steel's new offer. Meanwhile, U.S. Steel said it remains interested in acquiring National.

National Steel Pellet Co. is one of the most efficient taconite producers in the Great Lakes region. Much of its production is shipped through the BNSF ore dock in Superior.

Reported by: Al Miller

Local Coast Guardsmen to Deploy

Active duty and reserve Coast Guardsmen from around the Great Lakes region have received orders to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Port Security Unit (PSU) 309, based in Port Clinton, Ohio, will be sending 117 of its members to join with the more than 500 Coast Guard active duty and reserve personnel who are also being deployed.

PSU 309 is a component of the U.S. Naval Warfare Command, it provides waterborne and land-based protection for shipping and critical port facilities in support of U.S. and allied naval forces throughout the world. The specific dates of departure, duration and destination of the deployment are not being disclosed for operational security reasons.

Numbers by state
New York-2
Outside the Ninth Coast Guard District-20

Reported by: Scott Bronson

Cliffs reports big loss, but predicts better 2003

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. on Wednesday reported a fourth-quarter loss of $65.6 million, resulting largely from write-offs on properties in Michigan and Trinidad. However, the company predicted better pellet sales will improve results for 2003.

"The year 2002 was full of challenges, but it was also a remarkable year in which decisive actions turned adversity into opportunity," said John S. Brinzo, chairman and CEO. "We have been profitable on an operating basis the last two quarters, and the stage has been set for a profitable 2003."

For all of 2002, Cliffs reported a loss of $66.4 million, compared with a $19.5 million loss for 2001. The year's losses included a $52.7 million noncash charge to write off some assets at the Empire Mine in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and a $5.2 million loss to discontinue Cliffs' investment in a hot briquette iron plant in Trinidad.

But amid the gloomy report are signs that this year will be better, Cliffs said.

Iron ore pellet sales in the fourth quarter of 2002 were 4.5 million tons, up from 2.7 million tons in 2001. Sales for the year were 14.7 million tons compared with 8.4 million tons in 2001.

Company officials expect a strong market for iron ore pellets this year will enable Cliffs to produce a company record of 20 million tons.

In Minnesota, production at Hibbing Taconite is projected to be 8.3 million tons and 4.8 million tons at Northshore Mining Co. in Babbitt and Silver Bay. In Michigan, production is predicted to hit 8 million tons at Tilden Mine and 6.2 million tons at the Empire Mine.

"We are starting 2003 with a much-improved outlook and a full order book," Brinzo said. "While we still have significant challenges as we work to increase profit margins and improve the competitive position of our mines, our business fundamentals are solid."

Cliffs owns and manages Northshore Mining Co. and is part-owner and manager of the Empire and Tilden mines, both in Upper Michigan, and Hibbing Taconite. It manages the Wabush Mine in Newfoundland.

Reported by: Al Miller

Soo & St. Ignace Lay-up

Below are images from Sault Ste Marie, Ont. and St. Ignace, Mi. taken last week.

Norgoma at Bondar Park, Soo, ON.
Yankcanuck at the Purvis Marine Dock.
barge PML Salvager.
Stern view.
tugs Avenger IV & Reliance.
Algonova's bow showing previous name.
tug W I Scott Purvis.
tug Anglian Lady.
Another view.
Wilfred M Cohen at the Purvis Dock.
Remains of the Vandoc at the Purvis West Dock.
Another view.
Quedoc bow.
Stern view.
Engine room.
Another view.
Straits of Mackinac II.
Stern view.
Mackinac Express, Island Express and Straits Express.
Mackinac Express.
Stern view of hull.
Island Express.
Straits Express.
Close up of her hull.
Shelpers Nicolet.
Sheplers Sacre Bleu.
Arnold's Mackinac Islander in St, Ignace.

Reported by: Mike Nicholls

Montreal Lay-up

Below are recent images of Montreal's lay-up fleet.

The former Windoc with Algosound rafted on the outside.
Oakglen with the Mapleglen rafted to her.
The Cecilia Desgagnes against the wall and the Amelia Desgagnes on the outside. There are personnel working on board the Desgagnes ships and that is the reason for the smoke from the stack of the Cecilia.

Reported by: Kent Malo

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

Good News - Bad News for Steel

The steel industry Tuesday reported both good news and bad news for the U.S. taconite and Great Lakes shipping industries.

The good news came as U.S. Steel Corp. reported its fourth-quarter net income in 2002 was $12 million, a dramatic improvement from the net loss of $174 million it reported for the same quarter a year ago. The fourth-quarter earnings pushed the company's 2002 profit to $62 million, compared to a net loss of $218 in 2001.

Thomas J. Usher, U.S. Steel chairman, attributed the company's profitability to improvements in its flat-rolled domestic steelmaking business, good performance of the U.S. Steel Kosice steelmaking facility in the Slovak Republic, and cost-cutting efforts.

U.S. Steel's domestic steelmaking facilities produced about 11.5 million tons of raw steel in 2002 compared to about 10 million tons in 2001. Those mills operated at a 90.1 percent utilization rate compared with 78.9 percent in 2001.

U.S. Steel owns and operates the Minntac Mine in Mountain Iron, Minn., an iron ore plant that is North America's largest producer of taconite pellets. Most of those pellets are shipped out of Two Harbors, Minn., aboard vessels of Great Lakes Fleet.

However, bad news for the domestic steel industry came as the Commerce Department reported that U.S. companies imported more steel in 2002 than in the previous year, despite steep tariffs imposed last March on certain kinds of foreign-made steel.

Nearly 2.5 million tons of steel were imported to the United States in December, according to the Commerce Department. That would make 2002 the fourth-highest year for steel imports.

Reported by: Al Miller

Disabled Container ship Salvaged

A salvage vessel was towing a disabled Finnish container ship off Newfoundland on Tuesday morning, as the gale that forced abandonment of the vessel subsided.

The Camilla, a 436-foot freighter, was the site of a dramatic airlift last Friday of 16 crew members by a Canadian Coast Guard search-and-rescue helicopter from St. John's. The rescue took place after the vessel lost engine power and was adrift in heavy seas southeast of Newfoundland.

The deep-sea tug Kegoria had a line on the freighter by early Tuesday, after the crew of Secunda Marine's Ryan Leet -- a Canadian salvage boat -- was able to get on board to secure the tow lines.

The Camilla, built in 1981, belongs to the fleet of Lundqvist Rederierna, a company based in Mariehamn, Finland. The vessel was not in any immediate danger when it asked for the evacuation.

Reported by: Dave Mossberg

Five cruise ships to visit lakes this summer

Despite recent setbacks to the Great Lakes cruise ship industry, five vessels are scheduled to tour the lakes this summer.

The vessels are all familiar to the lakes: Grande Mariner, Niagara Prince, Georgian Clipper, Nantucket Clipper and Le Levant. Missing is the C. Columbus, which is staying away from the lakes this season to work the Mediterranean Sea.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer compiled a list of prices and itineraries for the cruise ships:

--The 183-foot Grande Mariner and 175-foot Niagara Prince, owned and operated by American Canadian Caribbean Line of Rhode Island, will offer 15-night cruises between Rhode Island and Chicago through the Great Lakes, Erie Canal, Hudson River and Long Island Sound, with prices beginning at $2,655 per person. Also offered are eight-night cruises on Lake Superior, starting at $1,840 per person, while six-night Lake Michigan cruises begin at $1,135.

-- Georgian Clipper, a small Canadian ship that sails only on Georgian Bay and the North Channel, will offer six-night cruises for $1,349, four-night cruises for $899, and three-night cruises for $599.

--The upscale 207-foot Nantucket Clipper will make 14-night voyages between Quebec City and Chicago, with calls at Niagara Falls, Ont.; Mackinaw City and Northport in Michigan; and Sturgeon Bay and Manitowoc, Wisc. Rates start at $4,280.

--The sleek Le Levant will return to the lakes with several seven-night cruises between Toronto and Milwaukee or Chicago, with ports of call at Traverse City, Mackinac Island and Port Huron, Mich.; Niagara Falls, Ont.; and Cleveland. Like the other four ships, Le Levant will offer onboard lectures on topics such as Great Lakes history and wildlife. Weeklong cruises, including one night's pre-cruise hotel stay in Toronto or Chicago, are $3,995 to $5,595 per person.

Noticeably absent from the Great Lakes cruise scene this year is the Columbus, the 472-foot German cruise ship that revived cruising on the Great Lakes when it began sailing here in 1998. But that's not a sign of bad times, Tom Conlin, founder of Great Lakes Cruise Co., is quick to point out.

"We had good loads last year," he told the Plain Dealer. The absence of the Columbus this year is not a result of fears that it couldn't be filled. The ship was offered a five-month charter in the Mediterranean, which has a longer season than the Great Lakes, making it a lucrative deal for the owner, Hapag-Lloyd. "We hope to have it back here in 2004," says Conlin.

Cruises can be booked through Great Lakes Cruise Co., 1-888-891-0203; For general information on Great Lakes cruising, check the Web site for Cruising the Great Lakes at

Reported by: Dave Sherman

Lake Michigan High Speed Service

Planning continues for a proposed high-speed ferry service across Lake Michigan. Grand Rapids-based LEF Corporation plans to begin service as early as April from St. Joseph to Waukegan. IL. and Chicago.

LEF owner Douglas Callighan, a British engineer with ties to hovercraft and ferryboat industries, is bringing a successful idea in the UK over to the US. The service will be called FAST-KAT.

The first service will be passenger only using the 300-passenger Voyager III. The trip will leave St. Joseph for Waukegan, a voyage of just under two hours, and then an hour trip to Chicago.

In 2004 the service would expand to a 500 passenger ship that will also carry vehicles. Additional ports would be serviced as customer demand dictates. Callighan said his ultimate goal would be to introduce hovercraft service which would enable year round service.

This would most likely affect the Lake Michigan Carferry Badger negatively, especially if ports north of St. Joseph are brought into the service.

Reported by: Scott Spencer

Cleveland hosting public meeting on Maritime Security

The U.S. Coast Guard will hold a public meeting on Maritime Security Thursday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Sheraton Cleveland City Centre. The meeting will discuss the implementation of specific elements of the recently passed Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA) as it relates to the International Ship and Port Facility Code (ISPS). Also to be discussed are recent amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).

Many of the requirements in the MTSA directly align with the international security requirements adopted this December during a Diplomatic Conference on Maritime Security at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) with broader application for domestic vessels and facilities. The meeting will include discussion on issues such as:

Port Security Committees and Port Security Plans.
Vessel Security Assessments and Plans.
Vessel and Company Security Officers.
Facility Security Assement and Plans.
Facility Security Officers.

Reported by: Scott Bronson

Picture Delays

I'm back up to speed with my e-mail and should catch up on the pictures later this week, sorry for the delay. Please continue to send along the pictures and news reports.

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

U.S.-Flag Carriage Down Again In 2002

U.S.-flag Great Lakes vessels hauled 101.3 million tons of cargo in 2002, a slight decrease compared to 2001. Even the one gain - 1.2 million tons of iron ore - is misleading. During 2001, LTV Steel, the nation's third largest producer, was continually reducing its iron ore requirements as it limped toward bankruptcy and then closure. ISG relit those blast furnaces in mid 2002, so the upturn reflects a resumption of production at those facilities in Ohio and Indiana. In reality, the 48.2 million tons of iron ore moved in U.S. bottoms in 2002 represent a decrease of 24 percent compared to 1997. It was in that year that foreign steelmakers, facing contracting markets in Asia, began dumping their excess production in the United States. Since then, more than 30 American steelmakers and steel processors have filed for bankruptcy. Roughly half of those companies will never melt iron or mold steel again.

The U.S.-flag coal trade was essentially unchanged in 2002. Reduced demand for eastern coal offset an increase in loadings of western, low-sulfur coal.

Shipments of limestone decreased slightly and reflect both reduced demand for fluxstone from steelmakers and slack orders for aggregate from the construction industry. The 8 percent fall-off in cement cargos likewise relates to the general sluggishness that characterized the Great Lakes basin construction industry in 2002.

A quartet of U.S.-flag lakers never operated in 2002. The EDWARD L. RYERSON and ELTON HOYT 2ND owe their idle status to steel's woes. The small self-unloaders RICHARD REISS and JOSEPH H. FRANTZ were victims of the slowdown in aggregates shipments.

Several other U.S.-flag lakers were delayed in their return to service. The mid-sized self-unloaders BUCKEYE and COURTNEY BURTON did not sail until June. The AMERICAN REPUBLIC did not resume operations until early July. Even the 1,000-footer JAMES R. BARKER remained inactive until late June.

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association

Owen Sound Lay-up

Owen Sound's lay-up fleet remains bust with activity. The Capt. Henry Jackman is docked on east wall of the harbor north of the cement silos.

Pictures by Ed Saliwonchyk
Jackman in lay-up.
Stern view at the dock.
Close up.
Bow view.
Repairs on the Algoway continue under cover and protection from the elements.

Pictures by David Shearman
Wide view across the harbor.
Close up of the bow.

Reported by: Ed Saliwonchyk and David Shearman

Workers readying tall ship for spring sailing

Crew members of the tall ship Highlander Sea are putting in long weeks this winter to ensure their vessel is ready to set sail in April.

The Higherland Sea, a 154-foot Grand Banks topsail schooner, is at Port Huron's Seaway Terminal undergoing an overhaul. Acheson Ventures, the development company formed by Port Huron businessman and philanthropist Jim Acheson, last year bought the 79-year-old schooner from its Canadian owners and plans to operate it out of Port Huron this season.

Until April, workers are putting in 50-hour weeks to prepare the vessel for sailing. Blocks, booms and gaffs are being repaired and varnished, and both of the vessel's diesel engines have been removed for overhauling.

The ship's engine room is being redesigned to provide more crew space and to better balance this ship. Workers hope to have that project finished by the time the engines are returned next month.

The ship in November was dry-docked in Toledo, Ohio, where workers fixed leaks in its propeller seal and sea cocks.

Reported by: Bill Jackson

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

Jackman Enters Lay-up

Monday afternoon the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley broke open a track through the ice in Owen Sound Harbor. She was followed in by the Capt. Henry Jackman arriving for winter lay-up. The Jackman was originally scheduled to operate into February but the predicted mild minter turn to sever ice conditions as temperatures remain below freezing and high winds make some ports unreachable.

Risley blasts through the ice. Ed Saliwonchyk

Reported by: Ed Saliwonchyk and David Shearman

High-speed Lake Ontario ferry nearing reality

Year-round ferry service between Canada and the United States appears to be closer than ever to reality.

The ferries -- three catamarans that can carry more than 250 cars and 1,000 people -- are ready. Their dock can be built in time for a spring 2004 launching, said William F. Wilkinson, president of the Toronto-based International Fast Ferry Corp.

"We think the time for a ferry service has come," Wilkinson said. "Now the casino is in, we believe the traffic is there. We'll have boats in and out of Porter every hour on the hour from dawn until midnight."

Wilkinson said his company has the financing in place for the $150 million project but is waiting to hear back on its application for $40 million in tax credits from New York. He described meetings with officials and elected representatives in Albany last week as encouraging. The ferry ride across Lake Ontario would cost $35 for vehicle and driver each way, and $21 for walk-on passengers. The 28-mile trip would take 40 minutes, less half the time it takes to drive the congested Queen Elizabeth Way, the only direct route between Niagara Falls and Toronto.

Free shuttle buses provided by the Seneca Niagara Casino would whisk passengers from the Porter dock to the downtown casino, about 20 minutes away. Motorists would have a quick and direct route via the Robert Moses Parkway.

Between running the boats and operating the dock facilities, the company would employ between 500 and 1,000 people, Wilkinson said.

Reported by: Chris Jackson

Toledo Update

The Middletown remains in dry dock at the Shipyard. On Monday morning the USCGC Bristol Bay escorted the tug John Spence and her barge to the B-P Dock. Meanwhile the Bristol Bay continued breaking ice upriver as far as the I-280 Bridge by the Hocking Valley Docks. She then turned around and headed back down river.

It is unknown if she will stay in Toledo until the John Spence is ready to sail or if she will continue on with her ice breaking duties on the western end of Lake Erie and the Detroit River area.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman

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

Jackman Unloads, Mackinaw Stops for Supplies

The Capt. Henry Jackman arrived in Detroit early Sunday morning to off load a cargo of salt. The Jackman spent three and a half days carrying the cargo, part of which was destined for Conneaut, Ohio. Ice conditions across the lakes have become severe. On Southern Lake Erie ten days of sustained winds has plugged port entries with ice fields that are almost impassable for even the mightiest of ice breakers.

The Jackman's was escorted by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw. After escorting the Jackman up the Detroit River, the Mackinaw docked off Joe Louis Arena to take on supplies and give the crew a much needed rest and the opportunity to watch the Super Bowl.

The Mackinaw was expected to depart Detroit Sunday night or Monday morning. Once upbound, the big ice breaker is scheduled to enter a planned maintenance period in its home port of Cheboygan, Mi. The vessel could be tasked to work Northern Lake Michigan and the Straits of Mackinaw but it is unlikely with the Capt. Ralph Tucker heading for lay-up.

The Capt. Henry Jackman departed the Rouge River Sunday afternoon with help from the Gaelic tugs Carolyn Hoey on her bow and the Patricia Hoey on the stern. The Jackman was escorted upbound by the Canadian Coast Guard Cutter Samuel Risley. Additional salt cargoes from Goderich have been cancelled and the Jackman is headed for winter lay-up in Owen Sound, they are expected to arrive late Monday afternoon.

Pictures by Ken Towne
Jackman unloading in the Rouge.
Close up.
Upbound off Belle Isle heading for lay-up.
Mackinaw docked behind Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

Reported by: Kenneth Borg, Ken Towne and Gary Angel

Montreal facing low water level

Below-average precipitation in most of the Great Lakes basin has left the Port of Montreal facing its lowest water levels in 40 years, the Montreal Gazette reported Tuesday.

Much of the Great Lakes region has been without significant snowfall this season, and much of the snow that has fallen has been "lake effect" snow that draws much of its moisture from the lakes. Precipitation and water supplies were well below average in December for all of the Great Lakes except Lake Erie.

In Montreal, port officials said levels in the past week have fallen to 24 centimeters below the level considered for optimal functioning of the port. The last time levels dipped this low was the mid-1960s.

"It's not a question of safety or of ships being unable to come into the port, but it is a question of larger ships being unable to use their full capacity" Michel Turgeon, director of communications for the Montreal Port Authority, told the Montreal Gazette.

He said every 30 centimeters of water below minimum levels means 130 fewer containers in every large ship coming in and out of the port.

"We are taking it seriously enough that we have invested $9 million in selective dredging," to remove shoals in some parts of the river and make the channel deeper, Turgeon said.

Jean Morin, an Environment Canada researcher and expert on the St. Lawrence River, said low levels can cause higher costs for purifying drinking water, lower hydro-electric power output, and threats to certain plant, fish and animal species.

Reported by: Marc Ackerman

Weekly Updates

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Picture Delays

I'm back up to speed with my e-mail and should catch up on the pictures early this week, sorry for the delay. Please continue to send along the pictures and news reports.

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

Jackman Heads for Detroit

Four days after her trip began, the Capt. Henry Jackman was expected to arrive in Detroit early Sunday morning to unload their cargo of salt. After unloading the Jackman is expected to depart Detroit and head for lay-up. Temperatures in the region have remained below freezing for more than a week, this has caused heavy ice to build across the lakes. High winds have caused the ice to pile up creating windrows that can be several feet thick.

The cargo of salt was loaded in Goderich, Ont. as a split load going to Conneaut, Oh. and Detroit. The Jackman was escorted to Conneaut by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw. When the two ships arrived in Conneaut Friday they found heavy windrows of ice blocking the harbor. The Mackinaw worked most of Friday evening to break through the ice but progress was slow. Saturday morning it was determined that running the Mackinaw in these conditions could result in damage to the machinery that could take it out of service, a price too high for just one cargo of salt.

The Mackinaw and Jackman headed back across Lake Erie Saturday encountering difficult conditions in western Lake Erie. The Mackinaw was expected to stop for the night in Detroit for supplies and depart Sunday morning upbound.

The Mackinaw is scheduled to enter a planned maintenance period in its home port of Cheboygan, Mi. The Mackinaw has been released from Operation Coal Shovel, icebreaking on the lower lakes, but may be tasked to join Operation Oil Can in the Straits of Mackinac and northern Lake Michigan.

Pictures departing Saturday: Brad Webster
Heading west bound.
Jackman off the light.

Pictures arriving Friday by: Jeff Thoreson
Mackinaw working her way into Conneaut Friday.
Mackinaw and the Jackman.
Close up of the Mackinaw.
The Jackman heading back out.
Another View of the Mackinaw. Note how far she is listing to starboard.
Mackinaw backs past the lighthouse.
The ice field in Conneaut Harbor.

Reported by: Dave Wobser, Jeff Thoreson and Brad Webster

Tugs Turned Back in Manistee

Two were turned back Friday evening in an attempt to break a path for the Capt Ralph Tucker into Manistee, Mi. The Andrie towing tugs Barbara Andrie and Maribeth Andrie arrived around 11:15 p.m. to attempt to break a path through Manistee's channel.

The Barbara was first to attempt, coming abeam of the North pier, before waiting for the Maribeth to follow. The Maribeth was reporting three-inch ice on the windows and a lot of frozen spray, allowing for poor visibility. This was evident as the Maribeth came close to the South breakwall before turning back out to Lake Michigan.

The Barbara then also gave up and both vessels proceeded upbound for Frankfort, MI to wait out the weather. Six-foot seas, and 25 knot winds buffeted the attempt. It is unknown when the tugs may return or if the Coast Guard will be called in to break the thick ice in the harbor.

The Capt. Ralph Tucker retreated from the Manistee area. The vessel left her Manistee anchorage Saturday morning and headed back up to the Manitou Passage where she will stay until Monday.

Weather forecasts for the next few days don't appear too good for icebreaking, with 6 to 9 foot waves predicted for the next two days.

Reported by: Chris Franckowiak

Hollyhock Launch

On a cold, gray and windy day the USCG Hollyhock hit the water about 10:40 a.m. Saturday. Even though the launch was closed to the general public, there was a good crowd at Marinette Marine and about 50-75 people watched from the K&K property in Menominee. The tugs Erika Kobasic and Krystal (Escort II) were on hand to assist with the launch, while the USCG Mobile Bay was also in port. All three left Menominee shortly after the launch as snow began to fall.

On the ways prior to launch.
Christening about to begin.
On her way into the water.
Righting herself after launch.
Wide view.
In the snow an hour after launch.

Reported by: Dick Lund and Lee Rowe

Mackenzie Departs Belgium

The Mackenzie departed the port of Antwerp around noon on Saturday for the last time under her current name.

She departed from the Euro container terminal, but it is unclear why she was at the container terminal. The Mackenzie had no containers on deck and she was also riding high in the water.

She was assisted by two tugboats out of the harbor, this frequent Antwerp visitor said goodbye in rainy weather as it is unclear if she will return.

The Mackenzie was in port for repairs at the Antwerp Ship Repair yard. The vessel expects to sail for Canada in February when she will join the CSL Fleet.

Mackenzie departs. Dirk de Smedt

Reported by: Chris Rombouts

Replica Ship Destroyed by Fire

A replica of a sailing ship was destroyed by fire Saturday morning. The Le Grande Hermine was moored in Jordan Harbour just west of St. Catharines. It had become a southern Ontario landmark and was well known to boatwatchers heading to the Welland Canal. Police say it was almost certainly the work of an arsonist.

Le Grande Hermine in 2001 Mike Nicholls

Reported by: Bill Bird

Quebec Harbor reports a 17% increase in business for 2002

The Quebec Port Authority has announced excellent results for 2002. The Harbour had suffered a set back in the 2001 season with certain bulk cargoes. In 2002, the tonnage handled shows an increase of 17% over 2001 - 17.9 million tons over the 15.3 million tons registered for 2001. These results are the highest increase recorded over the past ten years.

This unprecedented growth is explained by the arrival of new trading such as kerosene and iron ore. During 2002 the harbor consolidated its position as leader on the St. Lawrence River for solid bulk and liquid cargoes in transit for the Great Lakes Ports.

In the cruise ship business, the harbour handled 66,000 passengers in 2002 over the 49,000 for 2001. The largest cruise lines of the world are now frequent visitors to the Quebec. The cruise ship terminal at Quebec, built at a cost of 19.2 M$CAN, was inaugurated last September and proved to be a valuable asset.

The first ocean-going ship to enter the Quebec Harbour in 2003 on January 3 was the 810 feet (247m) Greek oil tanker Cap Laurent (147,436 dwt) carrying a full cargo of Algerian crude oil for the Ultramar Refinery.

Respecting a tradition dating back to 1835, the Port Authority presented to Capt. Panagiotis Vandoros the gold cane for his achievement.

Reported by: Frederick Frechette

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

Jackman Arrives, Finds Wall of Ice

The Mackinaw and Capt. Henry Jackman arrived off of Conneaut, Oh. at 3 p.m. Friday, after an ice covered trip down the lakes from Goderich.

The pair found a wall of ice blocking passage into the port. 30 knot winds Thursday night pushed ice from Lake Erie into the harbor entrance. The ice has piled up and formed an ice plug stretching 600 feet into the harbor. The ice was reported to reach the bottom of the channel at some points and is piled up to six feet above the water level and higher in some areas.

The Mackinaw turned into port first while the Jackman waited off shore. The Mackinaw entered the ice field lining up for the piers and hit the ice at full speed. The Mighty Mac made less than half a ship length before she was brought to a halt by the ice. The Mackinaw then tried to back out but was stuck in the ice.

The ship was rocking from side to side on her next attempt to back off. The Mackinaw has a heeling and trimming system which allows the ship to rapidly shift water from tanks on one side to the other. With normal ice conditions this feature is not used, indicating the ice plug at Conneaut is severe. The rocking motion appears to have worked and the Mackinaw freed her self.

For the next six hours the Mackinaw made multiple passes on the ice field including breaking relief tracks. As the sun set the Mackinaw was backing into port to use her propellers to break away the ice field and wash it out to the lake. After six hours of work, running the equipment at full power, the Mackinaw was only able to break a track about 300-feet into the ice plug.

About 9 p.m. Friday night the Mackinaw stopped for the night and reported to the Jackman that they will wait until morning to decided on their next move. Saturday morning the Mackinaw backed into the ice plug to check conditions. As soon as the Mackinaw's stern hit the ice plug it came to a halt. After discussing conditions with the Jackman arrangements were made to return to Detroit where the entire cargo will be unloaded.

The Capt. Henry Jackman is loaded with salt from Goderich.

Mackinaw working her way into Conneaut.
Mackinaw and the Jackman.
Close up of the Mackinaw.
The Jackman heading back out.
Another View of the Mackinaw. Note how far she is listing to starboard.
Mackinaw backs past the lighthouse.
The ice field in Conneaut Harbor.

Reported by: Jeff Thoreson

Second offer for National Steel doesn't include taconite plant

AK Steel Corp. has joined the bidding for bankrupt National Steel Corp., but, like an earlier bid from U.S Steel, this offer doesn't include the National Steel Pellet Co. in Keewatin, Minn.

AK Steel of Middletown, Ohio, on Thursday offered $1.025 billion to acquire most of National's steelmaking assets. National Steel, based in Mishawaka, Ind., has been operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since March 6.

Left out of the bidding is the taconite mine and plant of National Steel Pellet Co., which is one of the most efficient taconite producers in North America. Some of the company's pellets are shipped to National mills by rail, but most are sent to the BNSF ore dock in Superior, Wis., for shipment by lake freighter.

Excluding the 36-year-old taconite plant from the bidding raises questions about its future. Tom Peluso, National Steel Pellet Co. general manager, said AK's decision doesn't mean the taconite plant will close. It's still possible to supply AK with taconite pellets should AK win the bidding war.

Of eight Minnesota taconite plants that operated in 1978, only six remain. Employment within the industry has fallen from 16,132 in 1978 to about 4,200.

Reported by: Mike Delaney

Launching new Great Lakes cutter

Hollyhock is the first addition to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Great Lakes fleet in more than 20 years. On Saturday the Marinette Marine Corp. (MMC) will launch the U. S. Coast Guard cutter Hollyhock.

Hollyhock was built to replace cutter Bramble, homeported in Port Huron, Mich. It is part of plan to replace the Coast Guard’s World War II era 180-foot cutters.

Hollyhock is a 225-foot Juniper Class seagoing buoy tender with icebreaking capabilities. It is the 14th cutter of a planned fleet of sixteen to be built by MMC in Marinette. MMC also built fourteen 175-foot Keeper Class coastal buoy tenders for the Coast Guard. In October 2001 MMC was award the contract to build an icebreaker to replace the Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw ‘the Great Lakes Icebreaker’.

Mrs. Beverly Silva, wife of Rear Admiral Ronald Silva, is the cutter’s sponsor. Rear Admiral Ronald Silva, the Ninth Coast Guard District Commander, will be the keynote speaker.

Hollyhock will be homeported in Port Huron. The cutter is scheduled to be delivered to the Coast Guard in September 2003 and should arrive at its homeport a few weeks later.

Principal Characteristics
Full Load Draft.....................13'
Buoy Deck Area..............2875 sq. ft
Crew:...............................6 Officers, 34 Enlisted
Main Engines....................2 x CAT 3608 (Low Emission) 3100 Bhp @ 900 rpm
ReductionGear/Prop.........Singleshaft, 10 ft diameter, Bird Johnson Controlable Pitch propeller
Crane...............................20 ton hydraulic 60 ft boom
Machinery Plant................Automated control w/ dynamic positioning and FDDI network

Reported by: Paul Roszkowski

River Prepared for Launch

The Erika Kobasic with the small tug Krystal (Escort II) in tow arrived at Marinette Marine Friday afternoon. A short time later the USCG Mobile Bay entered the Menominee River. They began the job of breaking the ice in front of Marinette Marine Corp. preparing for Saturday's launch of the USCG Hollyhock. The Mobile Bay docked behind the Erika Kobasic. The Kobasic, with propeller turning, flushed the ice back to the Mobile Bay, who also had her propellers and bubblers going, to flush the ice downriver. The two worked until after dark clearing an opening for the Hollyhock, which had some of her "launch banners" in place.

USCG Hollyhock on the ways .
Erika Kobasic, with Krystal alongside, & USCG Hollyhock .
Close-up of Erika Kobasic & Krystal .
Close-up of Krystal .
Mobile Bay in the Menominee River.
Close-up of bow breaking ice.
More ice-breaking activity.
Mobile Bay's bubblers kick up spray and ice.
Mobile Bay off the stern of the Erika Kobasic flushing ice.
Mobile Bay prop wash flushes ice downriver.

Reported by: Dick Lund

Ice Rescue Training

The United States Coast Guard, Station Saginaw River, has been hosting USGC Personnel from around the country, some from as far away as New York and Maine, for three days of ice rescue training/practice. This training started on Wednesday and ended today with two HH-65 helicopters from Stations Traverse City and Detroit participating in rescue drills on the Saginaw River. Many hoisting drills were held for the rescue swimmers and other personnel.

Coast Guard helo coming in for a hoist.
Making the hoist.
Heading for shore.
Flying by Station Saginaw River.
One helo on deck with another coming in.

Reported by: Todd Shorkey

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

Jackman Heads to Conneaut

The Capt. Henry Jackman passed downbound through the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers early Thursday morning. The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley escorted the Jackman to the lower St. Clair River where they were met by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw.

Mackinaw took over the escort and proceeded through the rivers and across the heavy ice in Western Lake Erie. The Mackinaw originally planned to escort the Jackman to South East Shoal and then meet tugs from the Great Lakes Towing Company who would continue the escort to Conneaut, Oh. Heavy ice in Ashtabula, where the G Tugs are based, prevented them from leaving port. The Mackinaw is now expected to escort the Jackman to the dock in Conneaut, Oh.

Thursday evening the Mackinaw stopped for repairs about 30 miles North East of Cleveland. The Jackman continued on a short distance but decided to wait for the Mackinaw.

Both vessels stopped for the night in the ice and were expected to continue their trip Friday morning. The Mackinaw will take up the lead about 7 a.m. Friday morning and the Jackman should arrive in Conneaut late Friday afternoon.

After the Jackman unloads part of the cargo of salt in Conneaut, they will return upbound under escort of the Mackinaw to finish unloading in Detroit. From Detroit they are expected to return to Goderich for another load of salt for a Lake Michigan port.

Mackinaw stopped at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit Wednesday evening. N. Schultheiss
Images of the Mackinaw down bound Monday. Don Detloff
Downbound of Algonac State Park, St. Clair River.
Close up.

Reported by: Barry Hiscocks and Rex Cassidy

Launch Still on for Saturday

The launch of the USCG Hollyhock at Marinette Marine remains on schedule for 10 a.m. Saturday morning. This launch has been closed to the general public. The launch can normally be viewed from across the Menominee River from the grounds of the truck parking lot at K&K Warehouse. It is possible that the lot may be closed during the event.

The river is coved with heavy ice and local tugs are expected to break the ice prior to launch.

On Wednesday employees of Marinette Marine Corp. walked out on strike after rejecting the company's latest contract offer.

Reported by: Dick Lund, Scott Best

Tucker Waits to Enter

The Capt. Ralph Tucker arrived at Manistee Wednesday morning and found considerable ice built up in the river since her departure last Friday. It was quickly decided that it would be difficult to break out the ice at a speed that she could safely transit the river, which has several sharp turns and a number of lightly constructed recreational boating docks. It was decided to wait until Friday to make the transit with the assistance of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay from Sturgeon Bay.

The Tucker departed about 11 a.m. to anchor at South Manitou Island and await the arrival of Coast Guard. Her transit of the Straits of Mackinac also required Coast Guard assistance. The last significant ice breaking in Manistee was in the 1980's by the Adam E. Cornelius on her last trip as a powered vessel.

The Ludington Daily News reported the arrival on Wednesday of the tug Mark Hannah and barge E-63 at that port from Chicago to load calcium chloride. The vessel found ice in the outer harbor and spent hours breaking ice to reach the Dow Chemical pier.

Reported by: Steve Harold

Great Lakes water levels falling again

Great Lakes water levels are falling again following months of little precipitation and cold weather that has encouraged evaporation.

"Levels will be down a bit from last year," Marie Strum, water resources engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Detroit, told the Detroit News. "It's been very dry in the (lakes) Michigan-Huron basin the past six months."

After dropping to their lowest levels in 35 years in the spring of 2001, all the Great Lakes except Superior rose last year - but were still below normal.

But lakes Huron and Michigan are seven inches lower than at this time a year ago.

"We had very dry conditions this past year in Lake Huron and Michigan and that's why the levels dropped so quickly," Strum said. "The low precipitation and evaporation is the reason."

Lakes St. Clair and Superior are down two inches, Lake Erie one inch and Lake Ontario, eight inches, the Army Corps said. The region around western Lake Superior has received relatively little rain and snow since September. Mild temperatures through early January kept ice from forming on the lake and sped evaporation.

Falling lake levels have a significant economic impact on the Great Lakes region. Freighters must carry lighter loads and recreational boats face a greater chance of damage.

Reported by:

Algonova Arrives

The Algonova was upbound early Thursday morning through the frozen St. Marys River escorted by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Katmai Bay. The convoy arrived in Soo harbor by noon and the tanker made her way to the Purvis Dock through light brash ice while the cutter returned to base for refueling.

Reported by: Jerry Masson

Salties sold for demolition

The following vessels, all visitors to St. Lawrence Seaway/Great Lakes ports under at least one name were sold a few months ago to be broken up according to the December edition of "Marine News" published by the World Ship Society. In brackets next to the name of the vessel is the year the ship transited the St. Lawrence Seaway for the first time bound for the Lakes.

The German Liberty ship Ali S was beached at Alang, India 11/10/2002. In the Seaway trade as Heide Leonhardt (1970).
The Santa Fe class Aliana Princess was beached at Alang 17/10/2002. In the Seaway as Aegis Ionic (1983).
Asha Manan was beached at Mumbai, India 19/9/2002. In the Seaway as Bright Melbourne (1981).
Atlantis Joy (1998) was beached at Alang 10/10/2002.
Bayram Abi was beached at Alang 5/10/2002. In the Seaway as Cenk (1984).
Kabirdas (1981) arrived at Kolkata, India 22/1/2002.
Sinega was beached at Alang 22/10/2002. In the Seaway as Kapitan Zamyatin (1994).
A vessel sold for demolition four years ago is Younglly. Demolition commenced in India 27/7/1999. In the Seaway under her three original names: Tokyo Venture (1975), Busan Star (1983) and Kaptan Guven (1986).

Reported by: René Beauchamp

Picture Delays

I'm having trouble downloading picture attachments with my e-mail, sorry for the delay. Please continue to send along the pictures and I should have it straightened out soon.

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

Jackman Departs

After a short weather delay the Capt. Henry Jackman departed Goderich Wednesday about 5 p.m. under escort of the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley. The Jackman is loaded with salt for Detroit, Mi. and Conneaut, Oh.

Below freezing temperatures have caused heavy ice to build rapidly across the region. The Risley will escort the Jackman to the lower St. Clair River where the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw will take over. They expected to meet about 1 a.m. Thursday morning. The Mackinaw will escort the Jackman through the rivers, and through the heaviest ice in western Lake Erie to Pelee Passage. From there private tugs will escort the Jackman to Conneaut.

Mackinaw stopped at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit Wednesday evening. N. Schultheiss
Images of the Mackinaw down bound Monday. Don Detloff
Downbound of Algonac State Park, St. Clair River.
Close up.

Reported by: Barry Hiscocks

Strike Could Delay Launch

About 700 employees of Marinette Marine Corp. walked out on strike Wednesday after rejecting the company's latest contract offer, the Marinette Eagle Herald reported.

Members of Boilermakers Local 696 last Saturday voted almost unanimously to reject the company’s contract offer. They told the newspaper they would go on strike when their contract expired at midnight Tuesday even if they had reached a tentative agreement with their employer.

"The company is asking for concessions and the membership is unanimously against the concessions the company has proposed," Springer told the newspaper.

Union and company officials met Monday with a federal mediator, and further talks were likely. Marinette Marine did not comment.

The strike leaves the planned Saturday launch of the USCG Hollyhock in question.

Reported by: Dick Lund, Scott Best and Wendell Wilke

HMS Detroit Seized

The future of the HMS Detroit, which was seized by police while under construction in Amherstburg, is plagued with questions as the new year begins.

The Canadian government awarded a $700,000 Millennium grant in 1998 to start construction on the replica tall ship. Amherstburg pitched in another $710,000 in 2001.

Then, however, police seized the uncompleted vessel when a conflict arose over how much is owed the builders of the hull, Hike Metal Products of Wheatley, Ontario.

Hike says it is owed $323,000 by the not-for-profit group Project HMS Detroit. The group counters that the amount owed is actually much lower, but has not released any figures.

The dispute has raised questions about whether the project is still viable, and whether project directors can raise the $3.5 million needed to complete the vessel. An article published in the Amherstburg Echo newspaper said it is unlikely the project can proceed without the federal or provincial governments contributing more money.

The article raised the possibility that federal aid could push the vessel to completion so it could be docked at Fort Malden as a boost for the tourist trade there.

Reported by: Gerry O. and T. Parker

Montréal, Varennes and Verchères Traffic

KAVO DELFINI arriving Montréal, Jan.14.
BUCCANEER upbound off Varennes for Montréal, Jan.16.
Wide view.
PYTHEAS down bound from Montréal to Belledune, Jan.17.
P&O NEDLLOYD AUCKLAND downbound from Montéal with the moon in the background, Jan. 21.
P&O NEDLLOYD AUCKLAND approaching Verchères on a very cold morning -10 F Jan. 21.
CANADA SENATOR off the Verchères dock, Jan. 20.

Reported by: Marc Piché

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

Launching new Great Lakes Cutter

On Saturday, January 25 at 10 a.m. the Marinette Marine Corp. (MMC) will launch the U. S. Coast Guard cutter Hollyhock.

Hollyhock was built to replace cutter Bramble, homeported in Port Huron, Mich. It is part of plan to replace the Coast Guard’s World War II era 180-foot cutters.

Hollyhock is a 225-foot Juniper Class seagoing buoy tender with icebreaking capabilities. It is the 14th cutter of a planned fleet of sixteen to be built by MMC in Marinette. MMC also built fourteen 175-foot Keeper Class coastal buoy tenders for the Coast Guard. In October 2001 MMC was award the contract to build an icebreaker to replace the Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw ‘the Great Lakes Icebreaker’.

Congresswoman Candice Miller (R-10-MI) is the cutter’s sponser and keynoter speaker during the launch ceremony. Rear Adm. Ronald Silva, the Ninth Coast Guard District Commander, will also be speaking.

Hollyhock will be homeported in Port Huron. The cutter is scheduled to be delivered to the Coast Guard in September 2003 and should arrive at its homeport a few weeks later.

Reported by: Paul Roszkowski

Port Colborne Traffic

The Canadian Transport arrived through heavy ice Tuesday to lay up at Wharf 18, the fuel dock. Suprisingly, a McKeil tug with the barge Salty Dog departed Wharf 19 Tuesday morning escorted by the USCG Cutter Bristol Bay through heavy ice heading upbound. Progress appeared to be very slow. The conditons proved to be too much for the tug and barge and they returned to Port Colborne. The Bristol Bay continued east headinf for the Detroit River.

Heavy ice contnues to build on Lake Erie. Coverage on the lake is reported to be over 90 percent.

Reported by: Chris Wilson

Jackman in Goderich

The Capt. Henry Jackman arrived at the salt mine about noon Tuesday. The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley cleared a path through the ice and into the inner harbor for the Jackman. Once there local tugboats were waiting to escort the Jackman to the dock.

The Risley docked on the north side of the mine and will wait to escort the Jackman out after loading. The salt will be delivered to Detroit and Conneaut.

Reported by: Lisa Stuparyk

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

Jackman Continues

The Capt. Henry Jackman continues to operate late into the season as ice builds across the lakes. The Jackman was escorted up the Detroit River, Lake St. Clair and lower St. Clair River Monday by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw.

The Jackman was traveling unloaded from Buffalo to load salt in Goderich, Ontario. It is believed to be loading a split load for Detroit and Conneaut. The Jackman is the last member of the Algoma Fleet operating this late in the season.

The Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw is expected to remain in the Detroit area for much of the week.

Reported by: Barry Hiscocks

Roman in New York

After unloading a partial cargo of cement on Sunday the Stephen B. Roman departed the Essroc terminal in Rochester (Charlotte), NY on the Genesee River. The Roman then moved to the turning basin where it encountered a solid sheet of ice in the basin. The ice prevented her from turning around.

After several attempts of backing and trying to find broken ice the small tug Bluewater, owned by Lee Ludwig of Sodus Bay, NY, was called in for assistance. The tug made several passes eventually breaking up the ice. This allowed the Roman to complete her turn and head downriver, back into Lake Ontario.

This was reported to be the Roman's last trip of the season.

Reported by: Jason LaDue and Tom Brewer

Integrity Enters Lay-up

Sunday the cement barge Integrity and tug Jacklyn M. entered lay-up in Milwaukee. The pair ended a long season that was marked by occasional trouble with the tug's new engines.

Lay-up fleet in Milwaukee.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde

Viking Rests in Menominee

The Viking I remains docked at K & K warehousing in Menominee, MI. No work has been started on the planned conversion to a barge. The vessel was towed from Erie, Pa. last week and will be converted to a barge used to haul wood pulp.

Viking I docked on Monday. Dick Lund

Reported by: Scott Best and Dick Lund

Ferry Service Ends

Ferry service between Bayfield, WI and Madeline Island ended on Sunday. The last two ferries to operate, Island Queen and Nichevo II, are laid up at the ferry terminal in Bayfield.

The two larger ferries, Madeline and Bayfield, were laid up earlier at the Municipal dock in Bayfield. The fish tug Thomas C. Mullen laid up on Thursday, Jan. 16.

Reported by: Harvey Hadland

Toronto Report

Unloading of the Algocape's storage load of sugar began Monday morning at the Redpath Sugar dock. The vessel was shifted into the berth Sunday afternoon after McKeil's harbor tugs broke the ice in the Redpath slip. It took several hours to get the Algocape moored.

The McNally Construction Co. tug R.C.L. Tug 11 went into Blockhouse Bay (Toronto Island lagoons) Monday morning. McNally has a shore-based crane dredging at Gibralter Point, on the island near the water filtration plant, as part of the deep-water cooling project for downtown Toronto.

On Saturday night the island ferry Ongiara, while attempting to break ice around the Ward's Island dock, went aground off the island. The firetug Wm. Lyon Mackenzie came to assist and pulled the ferry out of the mud. The Mackenzie now goes out each morning to break a track through the ice for the island ferry. The island airport ferry Maple City continues to service the airport.

Reported by: Alan Parker

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

Mississagi Enters Lay-up

The Mississagi entered lay-up in Sarnia Saturday night, ending a busy season. The Mississagi entered dry dock in December for her 5-year survey. Instead of sailing for lay-up after departing the dry dock, the Mississagi returned to service for a few late season trips carrying salt from Goderich.

On her last trip the Mississagi encountered heavy ice as temperatures well below freezing have caused the ice to form rapidly across the lakes.

Pictures by Marc Wright
Mississagi at Cargill.
Close up.
Another view.
Saginaw and Griffon.
Saginaw, Halifax and Algolake.
Halifax in the North Slip.
Conveyor assembly on the dock next to the Agawa Canyon.

Reported by: Marc Wright and T. Parker

Detroit's Columbia Will go to New York

On January 8 the National Trust Loan staff and the National Trust Loan Committee voted to transfer ownership of the historic Bob-lo boat Columbia to a New York based preservation group. This organization has plans to restore her and return her to service on the Hudson River.

In a letter dated Jan. 8 to the Detroit-based group, The Friends of the Bob-Lo Boat Columbia, Krista Kendall of the National Trust Loan Funds wrote that a New York-based maritime preservation group represents the Columbia's "best interests."

Kendall wrote that "there was a concern that a strong preservation rehabilitation ethic may not prevail throughout the project. Columbia is a National Historic Landmark thereby affording Columbia national significance."

She also said that adequate funding to rehabilitate the ship had not come from the Detroit area, and that the Detroit group may lack the resources to pay the high costs associated with preserving the vessel.

"The strong outpouring of support for the Friends of the Bob-Lo Boat Columbia effort, as demonstrated by e-mails and phone calls received by the National Trust Funds staff, and the impact of removal of Columbia from the Detroit region have made this an especially difficult decision," Kendall wrote. "However, based on Columbia’s deteriorating condition and the concerns expressed above, the Loan Committee has decided that pursuing transfer of ownership to the group in New York City will give Columbia her best chance for survival and stable on-going stewardship."

The Columbia will remain at the Great Lakes Steel dock in Ecorse Michigan until the spring. The vessel is then expected to be towed to Toledo, where she will undergo extensive repairs to insure her safe passage to New York.

Bob-Lo Steamers Home Page

Reported by: James Belisle

Steel tariffs 'rejuvenating' U.S. producers

Recently announced buyouts of bankrupt Bethlehem Steel and National Steel Corp. are signs that controversial tariffs are helping the ailing U.S. steel industry, analysts say.

When President Bush imposed tariffs of up to 30 percent on steel imports last year, he announced that the goal of the measure was to "facilitate positive adjustment to competition from imports." With the announcement last week that U.S. Steel would buy National Steel, and the pending takeover bid for Bethlehem by International Steel Group, the tariff policy appears to be on the verge of success.

Charles Bradford, president of Bradford Research, a metals consultancy, told the Financial Times of London that "a monumental change is occurring" that will improve the cost-competitiveness of the integrated steel mills.

With three or four strong steel companies, he said, the industry will be able to drive a harder bargain in negotiations with customers, helping to sustain steel prices that were at historic lows before the tariffs.

But trade lawyers and steel market analysts are less sanguine that the deals will do anything to ease international tensions over trade in steel. In the short run, they say, the problems could even get worse.

Richard Cunningham, a lawyer with Steptoe & Johnson, which represents Corus, the UK steel producer, said, "This is an industry that has always (gone), and will always go, back to the well for more import protection if the economy softens and imports are either steady or rising. You shouldn't expect the result of this will be peace in steel trade."

Integrated steel producers are the most important customers to U.S.-flag Great Lakes fleet. Much of the tonnage carried on the lakes consists of taconite pellets, limestone and coal used by intergraded steel mills to produce iron and steel.

The Bush administration, in deciding to impose tariffs on steel imports in March, said that protection would give the industry "breathing room" to adjust to low-cost import competition. But past bouts of protection, including "voluntary" restraints on imports in the 1980s, have done virtually nothing to achieve that goal.

The comprehensive nature of the current Bush tariff program, however, changed the dynamic. In addition to the tariff protection, Bush demanded conspicuous restructuring, as well as moving aggressively to assume a portion of the onerous retirement costs for former steelworkers. A provision quietly tacked onto last year's trade bill could provide billions of dollars to cover health care expenses for retirees.

Wilbur Ross, chairman of International Steel Group, which was created in February last year with the acquisition of bankrupt LTV, said of the tariffs: "It was very important. In our case we made the commitment to buying LTV a week before the Bush announcement, and we did it because it appeared to us that he would do something significant . . . We would never have made this bid without it."

Following the imposition of tariffs in March, spot prices for hot-rolled steel rose from a low of $220 per ton in January 2002 to nearly $400 by July. Perhaps more importantly for US steel companies, the tariffs disrupted many of the relationships between U.S. steel buyers and foreign steel makers, forcing the customers to scramble for alternatives.

Both the companies and the Steelworkers used the opportunity to make what promises to be radical change in the work practices governing the steel industry.

In its negotiations with ISG, the US steelworkers' union agreed to tear up a 750-page labor agreement, eliminating a host of restrictive rules that had sapped productivity. ISG in turn agreed to eliminate several layers of management bureaucracy, turning over most of the day-to-day operations of its steel plants to employees.

If such an agreement can be negotiated with U.S. Steel and other integrated producers, analysts agree the result is likely to be a handful of companies that are far more competitive with low-cost imports.

Reported by: David Anderson

Port Colborne Lay-up

Below are images taken on Sunday of Port Colborne's lay-up fleet.

CSL Tadoussac.
Canadian Progress.
Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin & Algowood.
Algowood stern.
Martin's stern.
Close up.

Reported by: Chris Simpson

Sturgeon Bay Museum Offers Tug Boat Talk

Local tugboat operators will explain history and day-to-day operations of their small, sturdy vessels in a free presentation titled "Tugboats: work horses of the harbor" at the Door County Maritime Museum at 7 p.m. Tuesday January 21. The Talk features employees of Selvick Marine and Towing in Sturgeon Bay and is sponsored by the Maritime Friends Speakers Series.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle

Ghost Ships Festival

The 2003 Ghost Ships Festival will be held Saturday, March 15 and Sunday, March 16, 2003 at the Clarion Hotel and Convention Center in Milwaukee. This year, we have expanded to two days, adding a Sunday show from 9AM - Noon and we have reserved the entire convention center. There will be a cash bar and buffet running throughout the show and we have added socialization rooms where people can relax and talk. We have a bang-up slate of presenters and authors, and we will have more booths and displays than ever. As in the past, we will have the largest raffle anywhere in the scuba world, sporting hundreds of items.

Our presenters are as follows:
Joyce Hayward
Ric Mixter - Safe Ashore - The 1940 Armistice Day Storm
Wes Oleszewski
Harry Zych
Steve Radovan
Larry Boucha
Jeff Gray - Thunder Bay Marine Sanctuary
Bob Gadbois
Kimm Stabelfeldt - Dive on the William Young
Dennis Hale - Sole Survivor of the Daniel J. Morrell
Pat & Jim Stayer
Cris Kohl
Georgeann & Mike Wachter v Sean Jones - Port Washington Shipwrecks
Brendon Baillod

The following authors will be signing books:
Wes Oleszewski
Kimm Stabelfeldt
Cris Kohl
Robert Myers - Shipwrecks of Berrien County
Georgann & Mike Wachter - Erie Wrecks, West/East
Pat & Jim Stayer
Steve Harrington - Divers Guide to Michigan
P.J. Creviere - Wild Gales & Tattered Sails
Dennis Hale - Sole Survivor
To order tickets and to get more information, visit:

Weekly Updates

The weekly updates have been uploaded.
Many new pictures and features including new shots of the Vermontborg grounding:

Click here to view

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

Viking I Tow Arrives

The Viking I tow arrived in Menominee, Mi. passing the North Pier Lighthouse around 5 a.m. Saturday. The tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort left the tow and continued up the Menominee River to break a track in the ice all the way up to K&K Warehouse. About 7:30 a.m. the tow reached the inner harbor and prepared to pass through the Ogden Street (Menekaunee) Bridge.

An ice encrusted Olive L. Moore led the way while the Joyce L. Van Enkevort brought up the rear. After passing through the bridge, the Olive L. Moore led the way to the K&K Warehouse East Dock, where the Viking was eventually tucked in directly behind the crane ship William H. Donner. After the Viking was secured, the two tugs headed back out into Green Bay and back to Escanaba.

Viking I will be converted to a barge in Menominee to haul wood pulp from Marathon and Thunder Bay to K&K Warehousing in Menominee.

Tow arrives Saturday morning. John Krueger

Pictures by Dick Lund
The tow reaches the inner harbor with the Olive L. Moore leading the way.
An ice-covered Olive L. Moore.
Track in the ice near K&K Dock broken by the Joyce L. Van Enkevort.
The Viking 1.
Joyce L. VanEnkevort brings up the rear.
Olive L. Moore heads up river past the bridge.
Viking 1comes through the bridge.
Viking 1 is through the bridge.
Stern of Joyce L. VanEnkevort.
Viking 1 at the K&K East Dock.
Close-up of Viking 1.
Olive L. Moore and Viking 1 at dock.
The Viking 1 tucked in behind the William H. Donner.
Viking 1 pilothouse close-up.
Viking 1 later in the afternoon.

Reported by: Scott Best, Dick Lund and John Krueger

Vermontborg Pulled Free

Salvage crews were successful in refloating the stranded Vermontborg Saturday night. In preparing for the effort crews shortened the and the tip of one of the propeller blades was been cut off. A hole in the hull near the engine room was patched with several sheets of 5 mm steel plating.

Two tugs and a Guernsey work boat were offshore Saturday afternoon rigging the towline. Floats were attached to the line carrying it out to sea and the waiting tugs.

Click here for pictures of the grounded Vermontborg Updated with new pictures from Saturday

Reported by: Richard Lord

New Chairman at Algoma

The Board of Directors of Algoma Central Corporation announced Jan.16 that it had elected Radcliffe R. Latimer to the position of Chairman of the Board on the resignation of The Honourable Henry (Hal) N.R. Jackman from that position. Mr. Jackman remains a Director of the Corporation.

Reported by: Ed Schipper

Risley Escorts the Tucker

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley was in the lower Detroit River upbound in the Amherstburg Channel about 9:30 p.m. Saturday night. The Captain Ralph Tucker was about a half hour behind with a load of brine for General Chemical.

Both vessels moved easily through the ice. During the winter the Amherstburg Channel sees very little traffic as upbound and downbound traffic use the Livingston Channel.

Pictures of the escort on St. Clair River Saturday afternoon by Don Detlloff
Risley leads the way past Marine City.
Another view.
Close up.
Stern view.
Downbound at Algonac St. Park.
Close up.

Reported by: David Cozens and Don Detlloff

Jackman Struggles into Buffalo

The Capt. Henry Jackman struggled for two hours Saturday afternoon working through the ice to reach the Lackawanna Slip. The Cutter Bristol Bay was escorting the Jackman but it still took over two hours because of the ice that was packed by the wind. The Jackman reported they would be departing around 3 a.m. Sunday. The Bristol Bay headed to the Buffalo Coast Guard Station wait for the Jackman's departure.

Reported by: Michael Madigan and Michael Madigan, Sr

Green Bay Tonnage

The Green Bay shipping season has officially ended. The season began with the arrival of the Great Lakes Trader on March 29 and ended with the John G. Munson departing on December 30. Total port tonnage for the 2002 season was 1,866,867 metric tons which was a 5% drop from 1,962,155 in 2001.

Cargo that increased in tonnage this year was coal, limestone and pig iron while decreased cargo was cement and salt. There were 164 ship arrivals which is down 11% from 2001's 185 arrivals. Traffic and tonnage are both expected to increase in 2003 due to the continued use of the new Northeast Asphalt terminal and the reopening of the K&K dock.

Reported by: Jason Leino

Sarnia Lay-up

Below are images taken last week of Sarnia's Winter Lay-up Fleet.

Agawa Canyon at the Sidney E. Smith Dock.
Another view.
Calumet and Maumee at the Government Dock.
Stern view.
Close up.
Saginaw at Cargil.

Reported by: Marc Wright

Toledo Lay-up

Below are images of Toledo's lay-up fleet taken Saturday

Adam E. Cornelius.
Buckeye and museum ship Willis B. Boyer.
Buckeye's bow thruster.
Courtney Burton.
Ste. Claire.
Stern view.

Reported by: Roger LeLievre

Toronto Lay-up

Below are recent images of Toronto Winter Lay-up Fleet.

Pictures by: Craig Ritchie
Anchor on the dock.
Canadian Provider.
Canadian Mariner.
Pilot house.
Stern view.
Stephen B. Roman.
English River.
Pier 35 (left to right) Stephen B. Roman, Seaway Queen and Canadian Venture.
Charter yacht Yankee Lady.
McKeil tugs Atomic and Glenevis located in the Turning Basin Channel.
Elsie D.

Pictures by: Ted Siuda
Close up.
Close up of bow.
Anchor down.
Anchor pocket.
Bow thruster.
Stern view.
Close up.
Canadian Miner.
Stephen B. Roman.

Reported by: Craig Ritchie and Ted Siuda

Name Change for Familiar Visitor

The saltwater vessel Great Laker, a frequent visitor to the Great Lakes, was renamed Kolguev on Dec. 25, 2002. She now sails under the Russian flag.

Rumors of a rename followed the vessel during her most recent trip to the lakes last fall.

Great Laker enters Lock 8 on the Welland Canal last May.

Reported by: Roger LeLievre

Today in Great Lakes History - January 19

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

The DAVID M. WHITNEY (steel propeller freighter, 412', 4626 gt) was launched on 19 January 1901 by the Detroit Ship Building Company (hull #138) in Wyandotte, Michigan for the Gilchrist Transportation Company of Cleveland, Ohio. She lasted until 1969 when she was scrapped in Spain when she was named BUCKEYE.

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, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, 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

Viking I Arrives

The Viking I tow arrived in Menonimee, Mi. Saturday morning after spending serveral days battleing ice. The tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort came into the harbor first to break ice in the Menominee River about 6 a.m. She then went out and took up the stern line behind the Viking 1. The barge Great Lakes Trader was dropped off in Escanaba. The Olive L. Moore, loaded down with ice from stem to stern, took the bow line and the tow passed through the Ogden Street (Menekaunee) Bridge about 7:15 a.m. The tow then proceeded up river to the K&K Warehouse Dock, where they tucked in behind the William H. Donner. The Donner had been moved to the dock late last year. At 9 a.m. the Joyce L. and Moore were heading home to Escanaba, MI.

Original Report
Last night the Viking I tow was expected to arrive off the Menominee Break Wall between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. Saturday morning but could be delayed further by ice. At mid night there was no sign of the tow from Menominee. The Joyce L. will lead the tow and do the majority of the ice breaking. The Olive L. Moore will act as the trailing tug controlling the tow from the stern. Heavy ice has delayed the arrival into Menominee. The ice in Green Bay is estimated to be up to 12-inches thick in some spots. The tugs will dock the Viking I behind the William H. Donner at K&K warehouse. They intend to bring the tow through the bridge, even if it is still dark outside. Check back for updates Viking I will be converted to a barge in Menominee to haul wood-pulp from Marathon and Thunder Bay to K&K Warehousing in Menominee.

Reported by: Scott Best , Dick Lund and John Krueger

Effort to refloat Vermontborg fails again

Another effort to refloat the stranded hull of the Vermontborg failed Friday morning when a tow line snapped, the Guernsey Press reported.

Salvage officials said they might try to refloat the vessel again Friday night if a new tow line could be attached before high tide.

The Vermontborg's hull was being towed from a Romanian shipyard to a Dutch yard for completion when it broke free Jan. 3 and stranded on the La Capelle reef near the UK island of Guernsey. Because the vessel stranded during a particularly high tide, it has proven difficult to refloat.

Salvors were hopeful that Friday's attempt would succeed because the tide was expected to be relatively high.

"The conditions were quite good - the ship became light and started to move," said harbor master Captain Robert Barton. "The tugs took up their positions and started to shorten the tows so they had better control over it. As the main tow rope started to take the strain, it came up very taut because of the swell and possibly because it may have been caught on the rocks somewhere."

"There was a very loud crack and, once the main tow had gone, it was not really safe to continue the salvage operation because, if the other tow line had parted as well, the vessel would have been out of control," he said.

Attaching a new tow line was proving difficult Friday because of high winds and surf.

Click here for pictures of the grounded Vermontborg

Reported by: Richard Lord

USCG Launch Set for next Saturday

The USCG Hollyhock is set for launch on Saturday, January 25, 2003. With below freezing temperatures, ice has been rapidly developing in the Menominee River. The tug Erika Kobasic usually assists in ice breaking and the launch. They will be aided by the arrival of the Viking I tow sometime on the 18th, which will break a path in the ice at least as far as K&K Warehouse.

USCG Hollyhock on the ways at Marinette Marine.
Another view.

Reported by: Dick Lund

Work Progressing at Port Weller

Crews at Port Weller Dry Dock are keeping busy this winter with work on the Atlantic Huron and the museum ship Haida. The Atlantic Huron is undergoing a mid life refit at the ship yard, when finished, it will look similar to the Leitch and Algoville as opposed to the CSL Tadoussac.

The Haida is in for repair and maintenance work before heading to its new home in Hamilton.

Atlantic Huron in dry dock.
Atlantic Huron and Haida.
Close up of the Huron.
Old side tanks cut away.
Old tank that was removed.
Cutting on the hull.
Close up in the dry dock.
Another view.
Wide view.
Close up of bow.
Close up.
View down the side.
Another view.

Many section of the Welland Canal have been drained for the winter as crews perform various maintenance projects.

Empty canal.
View from Lock 2.
Scaffolding at Lock 2.
Inside Lock 2.
Above Lock 2.
Canal below the sky way.
Another view.
Close up.
Looking north.

Reported by: Alex Howard

Your Picture on the Cover

Author Wes Oleszewski is about to release his tenth book of true adventures on the Great Lakes, "True Tales of Ghosts and Gales" and he is looking for a cover picture. This is your chance to have your picture on the cover of Wes' next book! That's right, dump out those shoeboxes, empty those file folders and rifle through your collection to find your very best "lakeboat in heavy weather" picture. The photos will be judged by Avery Color Studios- Wes' publisher- and the winner will have their image and name on the cover of Wes' next book. Plus, Wes will be appearing with the winner at a Boatnerd "Gathering" where they will both autograph copies of the book together.

We are looking for dramatic images of waves bursting upon Great Lakes freighters- the kind of picture that will make the average book store shopper feel seasick and in total fear of the awesome power of the lakes.

The following are the rules of the contest:
Only photos of lakeboats in heavy weather will be considered.
Photos may be new or old, however, persons submitting the photos must have the right to publish the image and proof there of.
Photos must be of high quality and suitable for publication.
Both amateur and professional photographers may enter.

Please e-mail your photo to

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, used in the interim as the stern section of the b) Canadian Explorer, now sails as the stern section of c) Canadian Transfer.

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

Viking I Tow Reaches Straits of Mackinac

01/17 10:30 a.m.
Friday afternoon the tow reported that they would arrive off the Menominee Break Wall Friday night if the bay was clear of ice. Heavy ice in Green Bay may delay the arrival some time early Saturday morning.

Original Report
Friday morning theViking I tow was making slow progess in Northern Lake Michigan between the straights and Northern Green Bay in heavy ice.

The tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader continues to lead the tow. The Van Enkevort was expected to stop at Escanaba, about 60 miles north of Menominee to drop off the barge. The tug will then meet the tow to enter Menominee.

They are now expected to arrive late Friday night or early Saturday morning. Crews had not decided if they would attempt to dock if they arrive during the night or wait until morning to enter the Menominee River. Check back for updates

Viking I will be converted to a barge in Menominee to haul wood-pulp from Marathon and Thunder Bay to K&K Warehousing in Menominee.

Reported by: Scott Best, Dick Lund and Dave Wobser

Mackinaw Working the Lower Lakes

Thursday the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw was working the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers. With the closing of the Soo Locks the Mackinaw is now taking part in "Operation Coal Shovel ." Operation Coal Shovel covers the Detroit River, St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie and Lake Huron, including the Saginaw River.

Heavy ice is beginning to slow shipping in the lower St. Clair River and northern Lake St. Clair. Thursday evening the tug James A. Hannah and barge 5101 became stopped in the ice just below the St. Clair Cutoff. Traveling unloaded for Port Huron, the barge became stuck and the tug tried repeatedly to back and ram through the ice. Behind the James A. Hannah were the Canadian Transport and Susan W. Hannah with barge Southdown Conquest.

The Mackinaw was upbound a few hours behind the group and proceeded as fast as they could to assist the group through the ice.

The downbound Mississagi, heading for the Rouge River in Detroit, stopped in the lower St. Clair River and waited for the small convoy to clear the ice choked channel. The Mackinaw arrived on scene and escorted the group upbound. Once clear of the heavy ice the Mackinaw turned down bound and continued to maintain the track through the ice. The big ice breaker stopped for the night near the south end of the Cutoff Channel, waiting to escort traffic downbound on Friday.

Pictures by Andy Severson
Mississagi passing Port Huron.
Close up.
Stern view.

Reported by: Andy Severson and Brian Kloosterman

Beeghly Enters Lay-up

The Charles M. Beeghly arrived off Lake Michigan Thursday morning. The Beeghly entered winter lay-up at Berth #9, Bay Shipbuilding.

Wednesday the crews at Bay Ship shifted the John J. Boland over to the center of the berth and rafted to her fleet mate St. Clair. This move allowed room for three ships in Berths 8 and 9. This also allowed for the bow of the Beeghly to be ballasted down exposing her propeller. The ship yard will complete repair work on the propeller this winter.

Bay Shipbuilding's lay-up fleet is ready for the winter with the exception of the Joseph L. Block. The Block will make a few more late season trips before wintering lay-up.

Heading for Bay Ship .
Close up.
Passing the Ryerson.
St. Clair and John J. Boland rafter together.
Backing into Berth 9.
Wide view.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle

Salvors Attempt to Free Vermontborg

Salvage workers are expected to make another attempt today to refloat the hull of the Vermontborg, a partially completed vessel stranded for two weeks on a reef in the English Channel.

The Vermontborg was being towed from one shipyard to another for completion when it broke free Jan. 3 and stranded on the La Capelle reef near the UK island of Guernsey.

"We will pressurize the ballast tanks to see how much movement there is and will test all the equipment on Thursday evening. The plan is to attempt a refloat on Friday morning at high water", Salvage Master Captain Henk Smith told the Guernsey Press News Paper. "Because of the rocks, we want to refloat her and if there is not enough movement, we will wait until the next high tide so we don’t damage her."

If today's effort fails, Smith is confident of getting the vessel off La Capelle reef either at the weekend or before the last of the pending spring tides on Wednesday.

Receiver of Wreck Richard Kirkpatrick said the salvage team had produced a plan on how it intended to take the vessel off. He is confident the salvors will get the job done.

"They are a professional firm and when the tide gets near to the same sort of tide as when it went ashore, they will have a very good chance of getting it off," he said.

Large numbers of people are still flocking to the west coast for a glimpse of the 453-foot container ship hull but they are not getting in the way of salvors. A team from local firm Maximum Security is in the area to stop people from getting too close to the Vermontborg.

Click here for pictures of the grounded Vermontborg

Reported by: Richard Lord

Work Progressing on the Cuyahoga

Progress on the Cuyahoga was moving at an exceptional pace until cold weather slowed the progress. Below freezing temperatures slowed the power washing in the port tunnel. Earlier in the week crew were removing conveyor parts that will be sand blasted, primed, and painted. Heaters have been placed in the two entrance holes cut in the hull.

Crews at work.
Conveyor parts taken off.
Raised from the tunnel.
View on deck.
Work crew inside.

Reported by: Ted Coombs

Twin Ports Report

The Twin Ports received its last boats for layup Jan. 16 when Edwin H. Gott and Presque Isle arrived in port.

The Gott arrived at the Duluth port terminal early in the morning to fuel before tying up for the winter at Garfield D. The Presque Isle arrived in port early in the morning to load a partial cargo of taconite pellets at the DMIR ore dock. The partial load takes the strain off the tug-barge connection during the long layup. After loading, the vessel proceeded to the Duluth port terminal to lay up.

The ports' final winter layup count this season is 15 boats:
George A. Stinson at Elevator M in Superior (viewing access from U.S. 2/Second Street)
John G. Munson, Cason J. Callaway, Armco, Philip R. Clarke, Arthur M. Anderson and Kaye E. Barker in Fraser Shipyards (viewable from old Main Street, just off U.S. 53/Second Street) Elton Hoyt II and John Sherwin are laid up at the old Municipal Dock near the shipyard.
Edgar B. Speer, Roger Blough, Edwin H. Gott, Presque Isle - Duluth Port Terminal. (viewing access off I-535)
Walter J. McCarthy Jr - Garfield C
James R. Barker - Midwest Energy Terminal (viewing access from DNR boat landing beneath Blatnik Bridge)
American Mariner, Indiana Harbor - Hallett 5 Dock (next to DMIR ore dock. Viewing access of I-35)

Reported by: Al Miller

Goderich Update

The Mississagi quickly returned to Goderich after her last trip and was loading salt mid-morning. By early afternoon she had departed and the Capt. Henry Jackman had replaced her at the salt mine dock. The Jackman was loading for Buffalo, NY this trip. The Samuel Risley remains in port, and with very cold temperatures forecasted, the ice will be only getting thicker.

Reported by: Lisa Stuparyk

Cotter Breaks Ice

Wednesday the Buffalo fire tug Edward M. Cotter was breaking ice in the Outer Harbor for the expected arrival of the Capt. Henry Jackman.

Cotter breaking ice.
Close up.
Passsing the lighthouse.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski

Hamilton Lay-up

Below are pictures of the James Norris, Gordon C. Leitch and the Algosoo in Hamilton Thursday morning.

Close up.
Kort nozzle.
Canadian Prospector.
James Norris with fueling vessels in the back ground.
James Norris.
Another view.
Gordon C. Leitch.

Reported by: Chris Simpson

Port Everglades Florida Update

The Port was quite busy with passenger ships on Monday. Below are photos taken during the first part of the week.

OceanBreeze, former Southern Cross at berth 4 loading passengers.
Melody of Mediterranean Shipping is the former Atlantic at berth 25.
Gulfwind unloading stone at berth 29 .
Seabulk Corporation corporate office and harbor tugs.
Carrie B., Ft. Lauderdale based harbor tour boat.
Carnival Legend outbound Monday evening.
Carnival Legend is a twin ship to Costa Atlantica, right down to the water slide.
Rotterdam is Holland American Line flagship.
Coral Princess departing Monday night.
Coral Princess rocket assist units on the stack.
Yacu Puma inbound with containers for berth 16.
Cosette inbound with used cars, yep, used cars for berth 21.
Tug Z-One owned by Great Lakes Group.
Spar Three inbound with cement for berth 15.
Mexico Express inbound with containers.
Olympia Voyager inbound Wednesday morning, twin to the Olympic Explorer.

Reported by: Bill Hoey

Marine Community Days

Rodney B. Mott, president and chief executive officer of International Steel Group Inc. will be the speaker at an event adjunct to the annual Marine Community Days conference in Cleveland January 29, 2003.

Mott was named as ISG's first CEO when the company was formed in 2002 to acquire the steelmaking operations of LTV Corp. ISG has since entered negotiations to purchase additional steelmaking capacity from Bethlehem Steel, a move that would make the Cleveland-based company the largest integrated steelmaker in the country.

Mott has over 30 years of management experience in the metals industry. Prior to assuming leadership of the International Steel Group, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Pechiney Rolled Products North America, a division of Pechiney S.A.

He will be the keynote speaker at the Admiral's Dinner, an event hosted by Great Lakes/Seaway Review Magazine, sponsored by Great Lakes marine transportation interests and held in conjunction with the U.S. Coast Guard's annual Marine Community Days at the Sheraton Cleveland City Centre January 29 and 30.

Headlining the Marine Community Day agenda will be the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, Admiral Thomas Collins, and John Adams, Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard.

For registration information on the Admiral's Dinner and Marine Community Day, contact David L. Knight or Tina Burch at 800-491-1760.

Annual Industry Days

The Great Lakes Captains Association's annual Industry Days will be held January 23-25, at the Holiday Inn, Traverse City, Michigan. As in past years, the event will feature programs for working Great Lakes mariners, including such topics as safety, and security, licensing, weather, firefighting, crew training, drug testing, insurance and regulatory updates. For more information concerning these activities and more, please contact GLCA President, Jack Cork at 906-632-3891, or e-mail at

Fund Raiser for Museum Ship Norgoma

The Marine Heritage Centre cordially invites you to the 2003 fundraising Kickoff. The group has many initiatives underway for 2003 and would like to share their vision and goals for constructing a new centre and restoring the M.S. Norgoma . As a result the group can tell the river story and the significant role the St Marys River has played in Canadian History with the community.

This vision has been kept alive by a small number of dedicated volunteers. The challenge face is to bring about this major development and add a significant marine attraction to the water front. In order to achieve our goals the centre needs significant support and volunteer participation.

Find out how your contribution can be instrumental in supporting local culture and economy, the Marine Heritage Centre invites individuals interested to join the group for a fundraising wine and cheese reception. The reception will be help Friday, January 17th from 3 pm to 5 pm in the Auditorium Room, Bush Plane Museum.

Please call (705) 256-7447 or e-mail for more information.

Norgoma at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

Reported by: Jerry Masson

Today in Great Lakes History - January 17

NORTHERN VENTURE closed the Welland Canal for the season as she passed downbound for Hamilton with coal in 1975.

In 1978 the CLIFFS VICTORY, JOSEPH H. FRANTZ, WILLIAM G. MATHER, ROBERT C. NORTON, CRISPIN OGLEBAY and J. BURTON AYERS formed a convoy in the Detroit river bound for Cleveland.

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.

On 17 January 1899, the GERMANIA (wooden propeller freighter, 136', 237 gt, built in 1875 at Marine City, MI) caught fire and burned to the water's edge at Ecorse, Michigan. The previous day, Norman Reno of Ecorse did some painting inside the cabin and it was presumed that the stove used to heat the cabin may have caused the blaze. The vessel was in winter lay-up at the rear of the home of Mr. W. G. Smith, her owner.

Data from: Max Hanley, Brian Bernard, 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

Viking I Tow Continues on

The Viking I tow spent the early morning hours of Wednesday battling heavy ice in western Lake Erie. The tug Olive L. Moore took up position as the bow tug with the Port Huron based tug Manitou trailing the tow. The tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort lead the way, breaking ice ahead of the tow in the notch of the barge Great Lakes Trader.

The tow passed the Detroit River Light shortly after noon on Wednesday. The tow continued upbound across Lake St. Clair where heavy ice slowed the progress. The Joyce L. continued to lead the tow and allowed the Mississagi to pass. Mississagi was upbound from Detroit heading to load in Goderich.

Late Wednesday night the tow reached Port Huron and continued upbound onto Lake Huron. The trip will now be through open water until they reach the Straits of Mackinac. Ice has been building in the Straits and was reported to be as thick as 6 to 12 inches in some places.

The tow expected to arrive in Menominee, Mi Friday morning. Weather and ice conditions may delay the arrival.

Viking I will be converted to a barge in Menominee to haul wood-pulp from Marathon and Thunder Bay to K&K Warehousing in Menominee.

It last operated in 1982. After laying up for several years in Sturgeon Bay the Viking was sold to a Canadian company. She traveled under her own power to Port Stanley were she was planned to operate in a cross Lake Erie service.

The planned service never materialized and the Viking I was move from Port Stanley to Erie, Pa. in 1996. The move drew much attention as it was moved out of port in the middle of the night, under the pretense of repossessing the vessel. Upon arriving in Erie the crew was cited for making the trip with out radar, gyrocompass and not having a pilot licensed for the Great Lakes.

The carferry remained docked in Erie and had not moved until the start of the tow on Tuesday.

Pictures by Dave Wobser
Great Lakes Trader & Joyce L. Van Enkevort.
Ice on Trader's bow.
Joyce L. close-up.
Viking passing Joe Louis Arena.
Viking tow under the Ambassador Bridge.

Pictures by Mike Nicholls
Close up of the Olive L. Moore.
Close up of Manitou. Andy Severson
Headed for Lake St. Clair.

Olive L. Moore in 1976. Dick Wicklund
Olive L. Moore in 1973. Wendell Wilke

Reported by: Norm Barton, Dave Wobser, Andy Severson, Ken Borg, Barry Hiscocks, John Marn, Wes Ball , Don Hilliker

Tug and Barge Last Through Soo Locks

The Soo Locks close at midnight Tuesday ending the shipping season. It was made official as the Lockmaster announced over VHF radio, "the shipping season is now closed", and this was followed by a US Coast Guard acknowledgment.

The final down bound transit of a commercial vessel was the Purvis Marine tug Reliance and barge PML 9000 on Wednesday. The barge is loaded with steel coils from Algoma Steel and was expected to stop at the Purvis Marine Dock in the Soo Harbor.

Closing the locks for upbound traffic was the Edwin H. Gott who locked through shortly before midnight on Tuesday.

The 2003 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 the spring.

Pictures by B. Barnes
Reliance upbound to pick up the barge.
Close up.

Reported by: Mike Cleary

Block Heading For Milwaukee

The Joseph L. Block was scheduled into Indiana Harbor Thursday evening. After unloading she will move over to KCBX (Lake to River Terminal) to load coal for Milwaukee, arriving late on Friday. The Block is expected to make four more trip this season, all running Escanaba to Indiana Harbor before laying up.

Reported by: Mike Garvey

St. Clair Enters Lay-up

Wednesday morning at day break the St. Clair arrived off Lake Michigan via the ship canal, heading for winter lay-up at Bay Ship Building, Berth #10.

As the St. Clair was passing through the Michigan St. Bridge the bow hit hard ice on the north side of the bridge, bringing the St Clair to a dead stop.

With the ship half way through to draw the St Clair could not move even at full power. The open draw delayed vehicle traffic for about 30 minutes while the tug Jimmy L. was called to the scene from Berth #10 at Bay Ship where it was breaking ice.

The position of the St. Clair created an interesting problem for the tug crew. The span on the bridge is 139-feet and there is not enough room to allow a tug to get through with the ship stopped in the middle. The Jimmy L. had to break out the bow to allow the St. Clair to move, instead of breaking all the way around. Once the ice was broken the St. Clair moved on arriving at Bay Ship.

As the St. Clair was stopped, the USCG Mobile Bay was preparing to depart the City Dock, to head out for ice breaking on Green Bay. Thick ice had former around the Mobile Bay and the cutter used its bubbler system to help loosen the icy grip.

Passing the Ryerson.
Ice on the bow.
Dead stop in hard ice.
Full power and still not moving.
Jimmy L. working the ice on the bow.
Backing into berth .
Bubbler system helps free the Mobile Bay. The USCG ice breaking "tugs" use a system that forces compressed air from the keel to bubble up around the hull.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle

Buckeye Enters Lay-up

The Oglebay Norton steamer Buckeye arrived at Toledo around 10:00 am Wednesday morning. She was escorted by the "G" tug Idaho up river to the City Dock at International Park adjacent to the museum ship Willis B. Boyer. By 4:00 PM the shutters were on the pilothouse windows, but steam was still up as lay up work proceeded. Several parked cars appeared to be waiting for sailors to disembark.

Buckeye will spend the winter nose-to-nose with the Boyer. This is the first time in many years that working boats have wintered in downtown Toledo. They have been considered "unsightly" by past mayors in light of the restaurant development that has taken place in International Park. Years ago, the area would be clogged with laid up boats, including the Cliffs Victory which spent many winters in Toledo.

Pictures by Dave Wobser
Buckeye stern.
Buckeye and Boyer.

Reported by: Dave Wobser and Jim Hoffman

Saginaw River Update

The tug Mary E. Hannah and her barge made their second visit of 2003 to the Saginaw River Wednesday afternoon. The pair was escorted by the USCG icebreaker Mackinaw. Mackinaw took the tug and barge as far as Light 1 of the Entrance Channel, just south of Au Gres.

The Mary Hannah unloaded 1.5 million gallons of fuel oil from Toledo at the Triple Clean Liquifuels Dock in Essexville.

Reported by: Stephen Hause, Lon Morgan and Todd Shorkey

Twin Ports Report

Cason J. Callaway, John G. Munson and Philip R. Clarke paraded into Duluth late Jan. 14 and early Jan. 15 for lay-up. All three proceeded to Fraser Shipyards in Superior, with the Callaway occupying the large drydock.

Roger Blough arrived at sunrise Jan. 15 to lay-up at the Duluth port terminal. The Arthur M. Anderson was expected at the shipyard Wednesday night and the Presque Isle will load a partial cargo at the DM&IR Docks in Duluth, then proceed to Berth 1 at the Duluth Port Terminal.

The final lay-up for the Great Lakes Fleet Vessels will be the Edwin H. Gott about 7 a.m. Thursday. The Gott will stop at Murphy Fuel and then move to Garfield D for lay-up.

Reported by:

Toledo Update

The Oglebay Norton arrived at the T.W.I. Dock very early Wednesday morning for winter layup. On the way to the City Docks for winter layup, the Buckeye encountered delays at the CSX Railroad Bridge. The bridge could not open due to a stuck switch on the railroad track causing a train to remain on the bridge for a long period of time. Within the half hour work crews from the CSX Railroad were able to free the switch and the train was able to proceed. Once the train cleared the CSX Railroad Bridge the Bridge was able to open and let the Idaho and Buckeye pass through. Due to the bridge delay and ice conditions on the Maumee River it took several hours for the Buckeye to be able to make the City Dock.

The Reserve is due into the T.W.I. Dock for winter lay-up in the next few days depending on ice conditions on western Lake Erie. The Middletown remains in drydock at the Shipyard. The tugs Mary E. Hannah with her barge and the tug Karen Andrie with her barge are operating out of Toledo on a weekly basis, however with rapidly developing ice in the western basin of Lake Erie the tug and barge units may end the season.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman

St. Lawrence River Traffic at Verchères

Lowlands Patrasche downbound from Montréal to Sorel, Jan.11.
Océan Intrépide clearing ice off the Contrecoeur dock for The Lake Erie, Jan.11.
Another view.
At speed.
Close up.
Another view.
Lowlands Patrasche passing Lake Erie off Contrecoeur, Jan.11.
Océan Intrépide heading out to assist Lake Erie, Jan.11.
Lake Erie maneuvering to dock at Contrecoeur, Jan.11.
Close up.
Maersk Perth downbound from Montréal to Europe, Jan. 12.
Algoport downbound from Montréal to Sorel for lay up .

Reported by: Marc Piche

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 dead ship 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.

In 1978 the CANADIAN CENTURY and NORTHERN VENTURE depart Toronto for Hamilton with coal after laying up at that port due to the bridge tenders strike which closed the Burlington Lift Bridge to navigation.

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, Brian Bernard, 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

Ice Delays Viking Tow

01/15 4 p.m. Update
The Viking tow spent the early morning hours battling heavy ice in western Lake Erie. The tow passed the Detroit River Light shortly after noon today. About 215 p.m. the tow passed under the Ambassador Bridge with the Joyce L. moving ahead of the tow. The Olive L. Moore was pulling the Viking I with the tug Manitou trailing the tow. The Joyce L. was ahead of the tow to break ice on Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River.

Check back for updates

The tow made good progess from Erie until about 2 a.m. Wednesday morning when the towed passed through South East Shoal in the Pelee Passage on Lake Erie. At short time later the tow started to have trouble moving through the ice and the Joyce L. Van Enkevort took the lead. At 3 a.m. the tow was moving slowly through the area stopping at times. The Malcolm Marine tug Manitou was downbound off Detroit about 3 a.m., heading to assist the tow.

Before the ice delay the tow expected to reach the Detroit River light at 6:30 a.m. and off Detroit about two hours later, passing through the River System in day light hours. The actual time the tow reaches the river is unknown. Check back for updates.

The Viking I was towed from Erie, Pa by the tug Olive L. Moore Tuesday morning. The tow departed about noon on her trip to Menominee, Michigan for conversion to a barge. Despite the weather, many boatwatchers and other curious spectators were on hand to bid farewell to one of the few remaining car ferries on the lakes.

Once out on the lake, the tow was met by the tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort, who took up the stern of the tow.

Considered an eyesore by many in the Erie community, the vessel was ordered to have left Erie by October 31; however the owners did not have it out until after the sale was complete. Sometime within the next month the former rail float Lansdowne will be moved to the spot where the Viking sat. The Lansdowne is being converted to a floating restaurant and will be permanently moored where the Viking was docked

Some boatwatchers were surprised that the vessel was finally towed. Ever since its arrival in Erie in October, 1996, the Port Authority has made many requests that the Viking be moved from port.

It is expected to take five days for the vessel to get to Menominee depending on the weather. The Moore is towing the Viking using steel cables 2 inches thick and capable of with standing 10,000 tons of pressure.

Picture by Jim Thoreson
Olive L. breaks ice.
Stern view.
Returning to dock.
Another view.
Tow comes around the Mounfort Terminal.
Tow proceeding outbound.
Another view.
Close up of the Viking.
Another view.
Stern view of the Moore.
Stern view of the Viking.
Tow outbound.

Pictures by Roman Kloecker
Small group gathers to see the tow off.
Close up of Viking I.
Close up of Olive L. Moore.
Heading for Lake Erie.

Away from the dock Tuesday morning. Rich Seidel
Olive L. Moore in 1976. Dick Wicklund
Olive L. Moore in 1973. Wendell Wilke

Reported by: Jeff Thoreson, Roman Kloecker, Norm Barton and Dave Wobser

Last Through the Locks

With the official closing of the Soo Locks Wednesday night, the final upbound vessel was expected to be the Edwin H. Gott who locked through upbound shortly before midnight on Tuesday.

The last downbound vessel appears to be the tug and barge Joseph H. Thompson Jr. passing through about 10 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Poor weather and rapidly developing ice caused many vessels to cancel their last trips and enter lay-up a few days early.

The 2003 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 the spring.

Reported by: Jerry Masson and Mike Cleary

Operation Taconite Begins

The U.S. Coast Guard initiated Operation Taconite on Monday morning. Operation Taconite covers ice breaking operations on Lake Superior, the St. Marys River and Straits of Mackinaw. The ice edge above the locks is reported to extend all the way out to Gros Cap.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw arrived on Tuesday and was working with two smaller cutters to break ice in the St. Marys River.

The day started with the downbound Joseph H Thompson stopped for the night above the locks. Tuesday morning the tug and barge were unable to break free and the tug was disengaged from the barge's notch. The tug broke ice around the barge and after an hour they were underway only to be slowed by ice again.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Katmai Bay locked upbound Tuesday morning to assist the Thompson and open a track in the ice to the locks.

The Algosteel went to anchor near Gros Cap Monday night waiting for water levels to rise in the upper pool. Tuesday morning the Steel was met by the Purvis tug Adanac who escorted it into Algoma Steel.

The upbound Arthur M Anderson also anchored overnight and was assisted by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay. Joining the convoy upbound was the Anglian Lady with a barge, followed by the Algonova.

Tuesday the Algosteel had a change of plans after unloading and will winter at Algoma Steel in the Canadian Soo. Heavy ice in the river would have made the trip downbound very difficult, the Algosteel was originally schedule to lay-up in Owen Sound.

Pictures by Capt. John M. Chomniak
Anderson upbound below the locks.
Above the locks.
Close up.

Pictures by Bonnie Barnes
Arthur M. Anderson upbound off Mission Point.
Close up.
Bow view.
tug Anglican Lady and Barge .
Close up.

Pictures by Scott Best
Below the Poe Lock.
Close up.
Upbound above the lock.
Another view.
Profile passing.

Reported by: Jerry Masson, Brian Kloosterman and Capt. John M. Chomniak

Boland Enters Lay-up

The John J. Boland arrived at Bay Ship in Sturgeon Bay, Wi. late Tuesday afternoon for winter lay-up. The Boland arrived from Lake Michigan through the ship canal. The tug Jimmy L broke ice in Berth 15 minutes before the John J. Boland arrived

Passing stern of Ryerson.
Stern passing.
Michigan Street Bridge.
Backing into Berth #9.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle

Halifax Enters Lay-up

The Halifax finished a busy season Tuesday by delivering coal to the Ontario Hydro Lambton Generating Station at Courtright, Ont. Once empty she headed up the St. Clair River to the anchorage just north of the Blue Water Bridges to clean out the holds. Once clean up was complete the Halifax made the short trip downbound to the North Slip in Sarnia for winter lay-up.

Reported by: Barry Hiscocks

Twin Ports Report

A heavily iced Indiana Harbor arrived in Duluth early Jan. 14 for winter layup. The vessel docked at Hallett 5 behind the American Mariner, which laid up there Jan. 9. George A. Stinson also was due Jan. 14 to layup at one of the old docks near Elevator M in Superior.

Several vessels from Great Lakes Fleet were expected to arrive during the evening for layup at Fraser Shipyards in Superior.

Pictures by Kent Rengo
George A. Stinson at the old Elevator M dock in Superior. This is the first time this dock has been used for winter lay-up.
Wide view.
Close up of bow.
Edgar B. Speer at the St Lawrence Cement Dock.
Kaye Barker at Fraser Shipyard in Superior.
Walter McCarthy is sitting in one of the old Cargill slips next to the Port Terminal.
John Sherwin and the Elton Hoyt tied up together.
J.B. Ford low in the water with a cargo hold full of cement.
Armco at Fraser Shipyard in Superior.
Inner harbor showing the Indiana Harbor and American Mariner in the Hallett 5 slip next to the DM&IR ore docks and across the harbor the James Barker is tied up at the Midwest Energy terminal in Superior.

Reported by: Al Miller

Algomarine closes Thunder Bay

The Algomarine has officially closed the shipping season in Thunder Bay, with her arrival at Keefer Terminals for winter lay-up. After a delay on Eastern Lake Superior due to high winds and freezing spray, the Algomarine arrived and entered through the south breakwall entrance along the path carved in the ice by the tug Point Valour.

She tied up at Keefer at 9 p.m. ending a below average season for Thunder Bay.

Overall cargoes in the Port were down this season with grain being at an all time low. Many elevator workers were not called back to work this year, forcing them to find other employment. Vessels traffic in the port of Thunder Bay was also down overall from last year. The Algomarine's arrival puts the total number of vessels wintering in Thunder Bay at six. Down one from last winter's layup fleet. The Algorail, Canadian Transfer and Canadian Olympic are at Pascol Engineering. While the Pineglen, Atlantic Erie and the Algomarine are at Keefer Terminals.

Reported by: Rob Farrow

Season Ends in Marquette

Marquette's shipping season unexpectedly ended Tuesday with the announcement that the Algomarine will not make its last voyage to Marquette due to bad weather. The Algomarine had been anchor just off Whitefish Bay waiting for better weather before heading out. But high winds, rough seas, heavy snow, and fog lead Algoma officials to cancel the last trip to Marquette.

With that announcement, Marquette's 2002-2003 shipping season officially came to an end. The Joseph H. Thompson was declared the last vessel to depart Marquette for the season when she cleared the port on Monday.

LS&I officials reported on local media that the 2002-2003 season was much better than last year. Ore dock crews loaded 1 million metric tons more than last shipping season making this a very successful season.

Canadian National Railway, which operates the Escanaba ore dock, announced that they are projecting a 35% increase in vessel traffic for Escanaba's 2003-2004 shipping season. All in all shipping in and out of Michigan's Upper Peninsula appears to be on the increase.

Reported by: Art Pickering and Lee Rowe

Mississagi in Goderich

The Mississagi loaded salt Tuesday and was aided through the ice by the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley. This is the Risley's first visit to Goderich this winter and many residents turned out to watch her clear a path for the departing Mississagi Tuesday evening.

The Samuel Risley then docked near the grain terminals, it appears that the Risley may be in port for the night.

Pictures by Grant Culbert
Mississagi arrives.
Risley leads the way to Lake Huron.
Risley stopped for the night.

Reported by: Lisa Stuparyk and Grant Culbert

Beeghly Visits the Rouge

The Charles M. Beeghly arrived in Detroit Tuesday morning with a final load of taconite for Rouge Steel. The Beeghly finished unloading and entered the Detroit River Tuesday evening. She is headed upbound to Sturgeon Bay, WI for lay-up. Charles M Beeghly inbound the Rouge River at the Fort Street Bridge.
Ice on deck.
deckhand hosing the snow off the deck.
Beeghly's Boom mounted Christmas Tree.
Charles M Beeghly at the Dix Avenue Bridge.
Another view.
She will be fueled in the slip while unloading.
Diamond Jack tied up for the winter at Gaelic Park.

Reported by: Mike Nicholls

Today in Great Lakes History - January 15

In 1978 the upbound McKEE SONS, LEON FALK Jr, WILLIAM P. SNYDER Jr, A. H. FERBERT and CHAMPLAIN became stuck in heavy ice outside Cleveland Harbor. Eventually they were freed with the help of the USCG icebreaker NORTHWIND and the USCG tug MARIPOSA.

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, Brian Bernard, 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

Olive L. Moore and Viking Depart

01/14 1 p.m. Update
The Olive L. Moore departed Erie, Pa. with the Viking in tow Tuesday morning 1130 a.m. The pair are heading upbound for Menominee, Mi. Weather will dicate the tow's progress but they expected to arrive in Menominee on Friday.

The tow is expected to reach South East Shoal in Lake Erie about 2 a.m. Wednesday morning, if weather does not delay the tow it should pass through the Detroit-St. Clair Rivers during day light hours.

Once out on the lake, the tow was met by tug the Joyce L. VanEnkevort, which was going to take up the stern and assist the Viking the rest of the way. A hole had been cut in the Viking's stern for the Joyce L. VanEkevort.

Pictures by Roman Kloecker
Small group gathers to see the tow off.
Close up of Viking I.
Close of Olive L. Moore.
Heading for Lake Erie.

Original Report
The Olive L. Moore arrived in Erie sometime Sunday night, and throughout the day Monday crews were preparing the vessel for tow. At noon the anchors went up and the tow prepared to leave, but could not because of a rough weather on Lake Erie and strong winds. It is unknown when the tow will depart for Menominee and the anchors were dropped.

The weather forecasts high winds throughout the week, making it impossible to determine a departure time for the pair.

Pictures by Jeff Thoreson
Viking I.
Olive L. Moore tied under the bow of the Viking.
Viking and the Moore.
Worker climbs down from atop the Viking's pilothouse.

Pictures by Dave Wobser
Olive L. Moore & Viking.
Another view.

Reported by: Jeff Thoreson, Roman Kloecker and Dave Wobser

Oglebay Norton Company Acquires Erie Sand & Gravel Company

Oglebay Norton Company today announced that it has completed the previously announced acquisition of Erie Sand & Gravel Co., located in Erie, PA. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Erie Sand & Gravel Company operates a dock, a Great Lakes Flag vessel, a readymix concrete facility and a trucking company that distributes construction sand and aggregates in the northwest Pennsylvania/western New York region. Erie Sand & Gravel Company will be accounted for as part of Oglebay Norton's Great Lakes Minerals segment.

Included in the acquisition was the self unloader Richard Reiss. It is unknown how the vessel will be used in the Oglebay Norton Fleet.

Michael D. Lundin, Oglebay Norton Company president and chief executive officer said, "We are excited to add Erie Sand & Gravel to our Great Lakes Minerals segment's portfolio of docks and distribution centers. We now have a foothold in northwestern Pennsylvania from which we can expand our Great Lakes strategy and strengthen our leadership position on the Lakes."

Sidney E. (Sandy) Smith, III, Oglebay Norton Company vice president and general manager of Erie Sand & Gravel Company, added, "We are looking forward to contributing to the continued success of Oglebay Norton Company. As part of the Oglebay Norton family, we can now make available an expanded range of products and service customers more efficiently."

Reported by: Oglebay Norton

Cleveland Cliffs Increases Ownership

Cleveland Cliffs, Inc. has increased its ownership in the Empire Mine and expects it to operate at capacity this year, the company said in a press release Monday morning.

In an agreement with partner Ispat Inland Steel Company, CCI has increased its ownership of the Palmer-based mine from 35 percent to 79 percent, the company said.

The agreement, announced Monday morning, was effective Dec. 31. Ispat’s share of the Empire now is 21 percent; Ispat previously owned a 40 percent share. The move is expected to better position the mine for the future, said John Brinzo, CCI chairman and chief executive officer.

The transaction is a step toward combining the Tilden and Empire mines, a plan which is being studied in an effort to create a more efficient and cost competitive mining operation, Brinzo said.

Combining the two mines could also extend the Empire’s economic life, which recent studies have set at about 10 years without the combination, he said.

Additionally, CCI has entered a 12-year sales agreement with Ispat Inland, designating Cliffs the sole supplier of Ispat’s pellet requirements above and beyond what they receive from the company’s remaining interest in the Empire and the Minorca Mine, which is wholly owned by Ispat. Sales to Ispat Inland this year are expected to be at least 1.3 million tons, according to CCI. The Empire also is expected to produce 6.2 million tons this year, compared to the 3.7 million tons produced at the mine in 2002, Brinzo said.

Reported by: Ed Schipper and Lee Rowe

Lorain Pellet Terminal Move

Preliminary dismantling has started on the Lorain Pellet Terminal in anticipation of the move to Cleveland's Whiskey Island. Two cherry pickers and several workers were removing sheet metal skin from the rail car loader Monday.

Covers of the exposed (above ground) conveyors are being removed, and it looks like they are getting ready to take off the rubber conveyor belts and roll them up. The dividers that separated the different grades of pellets are being totally disassembled and piled in a pile on the ground.

Pictures by Dave Wobser
Ship Loader.
Rail Car Loader.

Reported by: Al Doane and Dave Wobser

Last Trip Up

Monday night the Arthur M. Anderson was the only ship in the St. Marys River. She went to anchor in the lower river for the night . The rest of the fleet heading for lay-up in the Twin Ports were at anchor in Whitefish Bay.

The Roger Blough was making very slow progress as it headed back upbound for Lake Superior Monday afternoon. Temperatures have remained below freezing causing ice to rapidly develop in the St. Marys River. About 1 p.m. the Blough was slowly passing the old A.B. MacLean Dock at Algoma Steel almost to Big Point.

The Soo Locks officially close for the season on Wednesday, January 15. The Presque Isle may be the last vessel to lock through, late on Tuesday or early on Wednesday.

Reported by: Jerry Masson and Mike Cleary

Twin Ports Report

Edgar B. Speer arrived in Duluth about 7 a.m. Monday for winter lay up. The vessel docked at the Duluth port terminal alongside the St. Lawrence Cement Terminal.

The Roger Blough, Cason J. Callaway, John G. Munson and Philip R. Clarke are all possible arrivals for Tuesday.

George A. Stinson also was expected to arrive in Superior late Monday or sometime Tuesday for layup.

Monday afternoon the Presque Isle was passing off Kenosha, Wi. on her way to lay-up in Duluth.

Pictures by John C. Monefeldt
Presque Isle off Kenosha.
Another view.

Reported by: Al Miller

Twin Ports Lay-up

Below are images of the lay-up fleet taken over the weekend.

Armco at Fraser Shipyards.
Kaye E. Barker also at Fraser Shipyards.
American Mariner at the Hallet Dock #5, next to the DM&IR Docks in Duluth.
Close up.

Reported by: Glenn Blaszkiewicz

Marquette Update

The Algosteel and Joseph Thompson loaded taconite at Marquette on a snowy and blowing Monday. The warm water from the Presque Isle Power Plant caused a cloudy vapor around the Thompson. The Algomarine and a return of the Algosteel are expected if the weather cooperates. That will close the shipping season for Marquette.

The Algosteel will not be returning to Marquette for a final trip as earlier scheduled. The Algomarine is at anchor, waiting for better weather so she can come in for the last load of the season.

Pictures by Lee Rowe
Algosteel loading.
Another view.
Joseph H. Thompson loading.
Close up.

Reported by: Lee Rowe & Art Pickering

Bay Ship Lay-ups

The Columbia Star arrived in Sturgeon Bay Monday after spending the night in the ice off Green Island. This is the same area that delayed the Paul R. Tregurtha Sunday. Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay came out of Sturgeon Bay and made several passes around the Star and broke her free of the ice.

Once free the Star proceeded to Sherwood Point where she turned to enter Sturgeon Bay stern first. The graving dock was flooded while the Star backed down the bay.

Once at the gate to the graving dock the little tug Bay Ship took the stern to pull the Star in over the bottom sweep. The bottom sweep removes the ice from the hull prior to pumping the dock dry.

The blocks at the bottom of the graving dock are laid out well in advance of the ships arrival based on vessel blue prints. The process of draining the dock and clearing ice can take three to four hours.

Sunday the Paul R. Tregurtha ran into the heavy ice ridge near Green Island in Green Bay. The thousand footer spent about six hours breaking free. The USCG Mobil Bay and Selvick tug Jimmy L. assisted in the break the Tregurtha out of the ice. Tugs from Selvick Marine and Bay Ship broke the ice next to the Mesabi Miner at Berth #15 so the Paul R. could be rafter to the Miner.

All in all it took about seven hours to move from Green Island to the Sturgeon Bay Ship channel, about 5 miles. The Paul R. Tregurtha was running on only one main engine. A bad clutch was blamed for the down engine.

Pictures by Vic DeLarwelle, Carl Grota
Sam Laud at Berth #10.
Icy bow.
Lee A. Tregurtha & Herbert C. Jackson Rafted together on Steel Face Dock .
Stern view.
Wide View from west side of Bay.
Paul R. on the bay.
Coming in off from Green Bay.
Free of the ice Mobile Bay off bow of Paul R. Tregurtha.
Mobil Bay laying in the ice after freeing Paul Tregurtha.
Entering Sturgeon Bay off Sherwood Point sun set.

Columbia Star in ice ridge off Green Island.
Coming in.
At Sherwood Point.
Tug Mary Page holding bow.
Backing up to graving dock.
USCG Mobile Bay passing by Mary Page.
Close up.
Backing in.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle, Carl Grota and Nels Anderson

Goderich News

With the assistance of three tugs, the Captain Henry Jackman arrived Saturday at Goderich to load salt. Thick ice in the harbor kept the tugs DOVER, DEBBIE LYN and DONALD BERT busy clearing a path for the incoming Jackman. Even with the tugs assistance the Jackman was forced to back up on several occasions and make a hard push forward in order to break through the ice. She made the dock about 2:30 p.m. and the three harbor tugs continued to work the ice in the inner harbor.

She loaded for Burns Harbour, Indiana, and was due to arrive early Monday. Adverse conditions on the lakes may slow her down.

Pictures by John Harris
Teakglen and Frontenac locked in frozen harbor.
Capt. Henry Jackman entering the frozen channel at Goderich.
Tug Debbie Lyn breaking ice.
Jackman's bow breaking through the ice.
Stern view .
Harbor tugs working the ice for incoming Jackman.

Reported by: Lisa Stuparyk and John A. Harris

Toledo Update

The Oglebay Norton was due into the Torco Ore Dock to unload ore late Sunday evening. Once finished unloading ore she will proceed to the T.W.I. Dock for winter lay-up. The Buckeye was due into the Torco Ore Dock late Monday afternoon to unload ore, once finished unloading ore she will enter lay-up.

The Middletown remains in drydock at the Shipyard for survey and miscellaneous repairs. There are several tug and barge units from the Andrie Fleet and Hannah Fleet operating out of Toledo on a weekly basis.

Classic views of Great Lakes Shipping
Robert C. Norton scrap tow with the tug Otis Wack handling the tow outbound Maumee Bay.
W.W. Holloway at the end of career approaching the C&O Coal Docks to load coal for Monroe, Michigan delivery. Soon after she would return to Toledo and layup in the "Frog Pond" area where she remained for several years before being sold for scrap.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman

Port Colborne Lay-up

Below are images taken Monday of Port Colborne's lay-up fleet.

Sarah Spencer and Jane Ann IV.
Close up.
Canadian Progress.
Close up of bow.
Stern view.
Rudder and prop.
Salty Dog No. 1.
Comeaudoc scrapping.
Algogulf at IMS.

Reported by: Alex Howard

Ferries between Quebec and Lévis report increase in passengers

The Société des Traversiers du Québec (STQ), a provincial government agency operating eight ferry services in the Province of Québec , report a record performance for its Quebec City- Lévis ferries in 2002 with 1, 601,178 passengers -, an increase of 5.5 % over last year. Another increase noted was in cyclist using the ferries. In 2002, 83,155 bikes were tabulated , 18,000 over the previous year , no doubt the result of the many new bike lanes developed in the city and along the St. Lawrence River

The STQ employs 400 workers and its operating HQs is located in Quebec City.

Earlier last year, the STQ announced the modernizing of its two Quebec City-Lévis ferries , the Alphonse Desjardins and the Lomer Gouin , at a total cost of 9.3 million $ Can. The contract was awarded to the Groupe Ocean. The upgrades will provide for a larger and more functional modernized pilot house, a complete overhaul of the electrical systems, better accommodation for the passengers and bow thrusters to facilitate the docking especially during the winter season. Most of the work is done in the Quebec Harbour and at Groupe Ocean's shipyard at Ile-aux-Coudres when dry-docking is required.

Currently the back-up-ferry Félix-Antoine-Savard is replacing the Alphonse Desjardins as work continues on the latter.

Alphonse Desjardins last Fall as crews were working on Pilot House.
Félix-Antoine Savard in St. Charles River.

Reported by: Frederick Frechette

Lakes Visitors in Belgium

The Lake Ontario was inbound in the port of Antwerp Saturday morning at first light. She reportedly came from Duluth.

The Mackenzie has been moved to the Antwerp Ship Repair yard. They were replacing some plates on her bow and also doing repairs on deck. The vessel expects to sail for Canada in February when she will join the CSL Fleet.

January 4 was a busy day for lakes visitors at Antwerp. The Ziemia Zamojska was unloading grain from Thunder Bay at the elevator.

The Canmar Honour was docked at an unusual spot and was completely empty. The Kapitan Vodenko was also in port. Peonia was outbound Jan. 4 on the Western Schelde River in Antwerp.

On December 15 the Kariba arrived in Antwerp after ramming and sinking the TRICOLOR in the British Channel. The Kariba limped back under her own power where she arrived about 3:00 a.m. Dec. 15. After inspection they unloaded all the containers at the Noordzee terminal. Several days later she was moved to the docks of Antwerp Ship Repair to wait for a decision where it will be repaired.

Lake Ontario leaving the Zandvliet Lock. (The green ship in the back of the lock is the Madeleine Rickmers).
Close up.
Stern view.
Mackenzie at the ship yard.
Close up.
Another view.
Hull plate replaced.

Kariba shows heavy damage.
At the dock.
Close up.
Wide view.
Close up.
Tricolor in better days.

Reported by: Chris Rombouts

Port Everglades Florida Update

The ships continue to flow in and out of the port. Below are photos taken over the weekend

Summit departs Friday evening for sea.
Maran Mearsk outbound with a heavy load of containers.
Former Soviet passenger ship Island Adventure makes three trips per day, three miles out as a casino ship.
Gas turbine powered tanker Arizona Voyager is the former Chevron Arizona.
Century is out for sea Saturday evening.
The new Olympia Explorer inbound Sunday morning.
Monarch of the Seas & Golden Princess departing Saturday evening.
Zuiderdam outbound Saturday evening.
Discovery Sun makes one round day trip per day to Freeport Bahamas.
Tanker Seabulk Mariner inbound with product.
Bulk Carrier Emerald II has unloaded her cargo of cement.
Tanker Neches is backed into her berth with two tugs.
Maasdam outbound Sunday evening.
Costa Atlantica outbound Sunday.
Water slide on the Costa Atlantica.
Enchantment of the Seas outbound Sunday.
Grand Princess outbound Sunday.

Reported by: Bill Hoey

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.

In 1977 the CANDIAN MARINER laid up at the Consol Fuel dock in Windsor after her attempt to reach Port Colborne was thwarted by heavy ice off Long Point.

On Jan 14, 1978 the JAMES R. BARKER departed the Soo Line ore dock in Ashland, Wisconsin, where she had been laid-up since August 7, 1977 due to the Iron ore miners strike.

Data from: Max Hanley, Brian Bernard, 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

Olive L. Moore Heads for Erie

The tug Olive L. Moore was downbound Sunday departing Port Huron early that morning. The tug is heading to Erie, Pa. to tow the Viking to Menominee, Mi. The Moore expected to arrive in Erie early Monday morning.

It is unknown when the tow will depart, but it is expected as soon as the weather allows.

Livingstone Memorial Light at the head of Belle Isle. Mike Nicholls
Olive L Moore downbound at Belle Isle Coast Guard. Mike Nicholls
Another view. Mike Nicholls
Olive L. Moore in 1973. Wendell Wilke

Reported by: Mike Nicholls

St. Marys River Traffic Stopped

Stopped in the ice overnight in the lower St. Marys River last night was the downbound Buffalo, Reserve and the upbound John G Munson. Weather was deteriorating in Lake Superior and the St. Marys River with white outs reported at Johnson’s Point.

The trio will remain stopped overnight waiting for daylight transit.. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Katmai Bay is working the area and stopped overnight at Lime Island to assist in the morning.

In the upper river reports are heavy ice flows starting to thicken and tighten a grip on passing ships. Edgar B Speer and Roger Blough were at anchor in Whitefish Bay Sunday. The Blough pulled anchor and returned to the Soo to wait at the Carbide dock until the storm passes.

Traffic in the river Sunday was an impressive ten downbound vessels and five upbound.

Reported by: Jerry Masson

USS Lay-ups

All vessels of Duluth-based Great Lakes Fleet are expected to arrive in Duluth or Superior for layup over the next three days.

Edgar B. Speer is scheduled to be first in, arriving on Jan. 13 to tie up at the port terminal. Edwin H. Gott was due to depart Conneaut Sunday evening and is expected in Duluth on Jan. 15. Roger Blough was waiting for weather Sunday at the Soo and is tentatively expected to arrive in Duluth late on Jan. 14 or early on the 15th. Presque Isle is due at Duluth on Jan. 15 and reportedly will load its usual partial cargo of taconite pellets at the DMIR ore dock before laying up in Duluth.

All four of the fleet's smaller boats are expected to lay up at Fraser Shipyards in Superior. Arthur M. Anderson was expected to depart Gary on Sunday and is due at the yard on the 15th. Cason J. Callaway, Philip R. Clarke and John G. Munson are all expected to arrive at the shipyard on Jan. 14.

Reported by: Al Miller

Troubled taconite plant lands orders

Troubled EVTAC Mining Co., which was facing the New Year with an empty order book, says it has landed two pellet contracts that will keep it operating through May.

Plant officials say EVTAC, located near Eveleth, Minn., secured a contract to produce 1.4 million tons of pellets for Stelco and another to make at least 100,000 tons for AK Steel. EVTAC officials are pursuing additional tonnage with Stelco, AK Steel and other steelmakers.

EVTAC is saddled with production costs that are slightly higher than several other taconite producers. That has prompted its owners -- Stelco and AK Steel -- to purchase some of their pellet tonnage elsewhere. Without additional orders, the plant will be forced to shut down later this year.

EVTAC ships its pellets through the DMIR ore dock in Duluth.

Reported by: Al Miller

Company says passenger-only ferry to connect Michigan and Illinois

A Michigan company says it will begin a passenger-only ferry service this spring between St. Joseph, Mich., and the Illinois cities of Waukegan and Chicago.

LEF Corp. in Grand Rapids said it will begin service in April using a 108-foot catamaran capable of carrying 300 people. Service is expected to continue through mid-fall. The vessel will not carry vehicles.

The high-speed former whale-watching boat Voyager III will be based in St. Joseph. After landing passengers in Waukegan, it will continue south to Chicago. From there it will return to Waukegan and then cross back to St. Joseph. The cross-lake portion of the trip is expected to take less than two hours.

``The ferry will have a major impact on west Michigan and people in Illinois and how they choose to travel,’’ Gayle Evans, spokeswoman for LEF Corp., told The Herald-Palladium newspaper on Thursday. ``The problem of traveling the south corridor of Lake Michigan is getting worse and worse.’’

Company officials told The Muskegon Chronicle more details will be released in the coming weeks.

The Voyager III was built in 1999. It currently is operating as a ferry in the New York City Harbor.

Reported by: Doug Fairchild

Marquette Update

The Algosteel and Joseph Thompson arrived at the Marquette ore dock on Sunday, but will begin loading on Monday. The Thompson arrived at the dock just as the wind speed picked up. Blustery weather on the lake may keep further shipping from continuing this season. The Thompson may likely be the last boat through the locks.

Algosteel at the dock.
Another view.

Reported by: Lee Rowe and Art Pickering

Your Picture on the Cover

Author Wes Oleszewski is about to release his tenth book of true adventures on the Great Lakes, "True Tales of Ghosts and Gales" and he is looking for a cover picture. This is your chance to have your picture on the cover of Wes' next book! That's right, dump out those shoeboxes, empty those file folders and rifle through your collection to find your very best "lakeboat in heavy weather" picture. The photos will be judged by Avery Color Studios- Wes' publisher- and the winner will have their image and name on the cover of Wes' next book. Plus, Wes will be appearing with the winner at a boatnerd "Gathering" where they will both autograph copies of the book together.

We are looking for dramatic images of waves bursting upon Great Lakes freighters- the kind of picture that will make the average book store shopper feel seasick and in total fear of the awesome power of the lakes.

The following are the rules of the contest:
Only photos of lakeboats in heavy weather will be considered.
Photos may be new or old, however, persons submitting the photos must have the right to publish the image and proof there of.
Photos must be of high quality and suitable for publication.
Both amateur and professional photographers may enter.

Please e-mail your photo to

Annual Industry Days

The Great Lakes Captains Association's annual Industry Days will be held January 23-25, at the Holiday Inn, Traverse City, Michigan. As in past years, the event will feature programs for working Great Lakes mariners, including such topics as safety, and security, licensing, weather, firefighting, crew training, drug testing, insurance and regulatory updates. For more information concerning these activities and more, please contact GLCA President, Jack Cork at 906-632-3891, or e-mail at

Weekly Updates

Many new updates including new pictures of the Vermontborg grounding, a video passing through the Soo Locks and much more.
Click here to view

More News & Pictures

I ran out of time Sunday night and will continue Tuesday with more news & many pictures. Sorry for the delay.

Today in Great Lakes History - January 13

After lightering 3,000 tons of coal, the BENSON FORD was refloated in 1974 and proceeded to the Toledo Overseas Terminal to be reloaded.

In 1979 the USCG tug ARUNDEL is beset by windrowed ice at Minneapolis Shoal in Green Bay. Strong winds piled the ice on her stern and soon she had a 25 deg. list. The crew feared that she may sink and abandoned the tug, walking across the ice with the help of a spotlight onboard the ACACIA which also became beset by the heavy ice. The MACKINAW, SUNDEW and a USCG helicopter were dispatched to the scene, but northwest winds relieved the ice pressure and the crew was able to reboard the ARUNDEL.

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, Brian Bernard, 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

Viking Move Update

Saturday night the tug Olive L. Moore was docked at the Malcolm Marine dock in Port Huron. The tug is downbound heading for Erie, Pa. to tow the former carferry Viking I from Erie.

The Viking I was reported to have been sold to K&K Warehousing of Menominee, Michigan, who plans to cut the carferry down to a barge and use it to haul wood pulp. In August, 2002 the company purchased the old Detroit River train ferry barge Manitowoc to use as a dock and to lighter salties visiting the Lake Michigan port.

The Olive L. Moore last operated in early January 2000 with the barge McKee Sons. It entered a multi year lay-up when the push tug for the barge was changed to the Invincible.

Weather continues to dictate the schedule of the tow and continues to cause delays.

Viking I in lay-up at Erie
Close up.
Another view.
Wide view.
Tug Olive L. Moore in lay-up. Scott Best

Reported by: Jeff Thoreson

Many Vessels Seeks Shelter in Thunder Bay

The port of Thunder Bay saw a flurry of activity as high winds blew in on Friday. Five infrequent visitors to Thunder Bay, came in for the safety of the bay and anchored along the north shore. Lined up with their bows facing shore were, St. Clair, Buckeye, Buffalo, John J. Boland and Earl W. Oglebay. The winds continued into Saturday but by 5:30pm, all five boats had departed and continued on their way. First to depart was the John J. Boland, she lifted her anchor and headed out at around 10:30 a.m., followed by the Buckeye at 10:55 a.m., the Earl W. Oglebay at 11:10 a.m., the St. Clair at 1 p.m. and finally the Buffalo at 5:30 p.m.

The only other activity in Port was a visit by the USCG Sundew, who was busy breaking ice around the North and South breakwall entrances. Harbor ice was reported to be 2" to 4" in thickness.

The Algomarine was scheduled to arrive but may have been delayed by the high winds. She will be the last lay-up of the Season and will bring the winter layup count to six, down one from last year. Other winter lay-ups are: at Pascol - Algorail, Canadian Transfer and Canadian Olympic. At Keefer - Pineglen and Atlantic Erie.

Pinglen at Agricore United "s" taking her last load before returning for lay-up.
Canadian Transfer in Pascol drydock.
Frontenac arriving to load at Agricore United "a".
Frontenac landing a Crew member at AU"a".
Buckeye at anchor for weather.
Buffalo at anchor for weather.
John J. Boland at anchor for weather.
Earl W. Oglebay at anchor for weather.
USCG Sundew breaking ice.
USCG another view.

Reported by: Rob Farrow

More Sturgeon Bay Lay-Ups

Saturday morning the Lee A. Tregurtha arrived in Sturgeon Bay from Lake Michigan. The Lee A. Tregurtha is tied to the Steel Face Dock for winter Lay-up.

Fleet mate Herbert C. Jackson followed the Tregurtha on Saturday arriving through the Ship Canal for winter lay-up at Bay Ship.

Rounding out the day was the Sam Laud. The tug Jimmy L. greeted the vessels and proceeded to Bay Ship to break Ice in the slips.

It is unusual to have three ships arrive in port with in a matter of hours, all looking for berth space free of ice. Wednesday when the Mississagi and Calumet departed from Bay Ship, there was open water from Bay Ship to the lake, Saturday morning there was 3 to 4 Inches of ice in the Bay.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle

Marquette Report

After a long delay, the Charles M. Beeghly made it to Marquette with her load of coal on Saturday. She will unload, then move to the north side of the dock to take on ore. The Algomarine arrived for a load of taconite but had to tie up to the north side of the dock until the Beeghly finished unloading, then move to the south side of the dock for her load. Expected in Sunday are the Joseph Thompson and Algosteel.

Pictures by: Lee Rowe
Beeghly unloading.
Algomarine docked.

Reported by: Lee Rowe & Art Pickering

Conneaut Update

Halifax was loading coal in Conneaut Thursday night.

Close up.

Reported by: Dave Merchant

Montreal Lay-ups

Below are recent pictures of the lay-up fleet in Montreal.

CSL Niagara.
Another view.
Deck view.
Wide view.
Aird, Nanticoke and Ferbec.
Algoville stern.
Canadian Miner.
Bubblers for Algocen.

Reported by: Laurent Cote

St. Lawrence River Traffic at Verchères

Tuloma ex Solta unloading at Sorel-Tracy berth 19, Jan. 6.
Nobility ex-Kalisti approaching Ste. Anne de Sorel, Jan. 6.
Waban-Aki passing Nobility, Ste. Anne de Sorel, Jan. 6.
Nobility ex-Kalisti downbound from Montréal to Mexico, Ste. Anne de Sorel, Jan. 6.
Stern view.
Tuloma ex-Solta upbound off Verchères from Sorel to Montréal berth 27, Jan. 9.
Canmar Courage carries the Golden headed cane downbound off Verchères from Montréal to Antwerp, Jan. 9.
Lykes Runner downbound from Montréal to South Africa, Jan. 10.
Lykes Runner stern view off Verchères, Jan.10.
Madeleine statue, famous landmark of Verchères seen by many lake mariners, Jan.9.

Reported by: Marc Piché

Port Everglades Florida Report

During the past few days there have been some very interesting vessels in port. Here are some photos of special yachts, container ships, and passenger vessels.

QE 2 departs on her world cruise.
Yacht Capella C, looks like a conversion from a commercial vessel.
Stern view of Capella C.
Icebreaking yacht Turmoil, written up in "Captains Log" magazine.
Oceana backing into berth 3.
Dawn Princess, one of the last large passenger vessels with open bridge wings.
Container ship El Yunque visits Port Everglades every Friday.
Summit at berth 25 on Friday.
Container ship Radepoort bunkering at berth 27.
Container ship Box Hamburg landing at berth 32.
Ro-Ro Crowley Senator at berth 33C.
Crowley Senator stern view.
Island Service G&G line container ship in the port of Dania.

Reported by: Bill Hoey

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.

The new EDWIN H. GOTT departed Sturgeon Bay in 1979 for final fit out at Milwaukee.

Data from: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Brian Bernard, 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

Oglebay Norton Ends Season for Duluth-Superior

The Port of Duluth-Superior’s last outbound cargo vessel of the season occurred earlier than anticipated due to inclement weather.

Oglebay Norton Services Company’s Oglebay Norton departed under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge at 3:55 a.m. Friday, while high winds and waves on Lake Superior caused American Steamship Company’s American Republic—originally scheduled to become the Port’s last outbound vessel January 13—to cancel her call.

The Oglebay Norton departed Duluth’s Missabe & Iron Range Railway (DM&IR) taconite facility with about 56,960 metric tons of iron ore pellets destined for Toledo, Ohio. The American Republic, also scheduled to visit the DM&IR, turned around in White Fish Bay Friday afternoon and passed back through the Soo Locks, proceeding downbound to Cleveland, Ohio for winter berthing.

The Port’s final outbound cargo vessel last season was Bethlehem Steel Corporation’s Stewart J. Cort on January 8.

With the Soo Locks closing at midnight January 15, the Port’s last vessel movement of the 2002 season is scheduled the next day (January 16) with the arrival of Great Lakes Fleet, Inc.’s, Presque Isle at the DM&IR for a partial load of iron ore pellets. She will then shift to her winter berth at Duluth’s Clure Public Marine Terminal, bringing the total number of vessels wintering in the Port to 15 (tentative schedule attached). The Soo Locks will open again on March 25.

The Marshall Islands-flag Lake Ontario brought the Port’s 2002 St. Lawrence Seaway navigation season to a close with a December 17 departure from Duluth’s AGP Grain Limited with about 10,000 metric tons of wheat and 15,000 tons of soybeans for Antwerp, Belgium.

The St. Lawrence Seaway system officially closed for the season at midnight on December 26. Its 2003 opening is scheduled for March 25.

Reported by: Lisa Marciniak, Duluth Seaway Port Authority

Viking Move Delayed

According to local media, the tugs heading for Erie, Pa. to tow the former rail ferry Viking I have been delayed by weather. Reports state that the Viking could be towed out on Sunday, at the earliest. The exact date and time will depend on weather.

Reported by: Jeff Thoreson

Vermontborg remains stranded

Salvors this week failed to free the stranded Vermontborg from rocks in the English Channel, so the partially completed vessel will remain in place until possibly next Friday.

The new hull, which could work at least part of the year on the Great Lakes, was being towed to a shipyard for completion of its upper works when it broke free in high winds and drifted onto La Capelle Reef off the Island of Guernsey, U.K.

The latest effort to pull the hull off the rocks failed Thursday when a towing bridle snapped. Salvors were timing their effort to coincide with a 7.7-meter high tide, which they had hoped would help them refloat the vessel.

One of the chains attaching the ship to the towline broke as the Belgian tug Boxer tried to pull the Vermontborg free. Hundreds of onlookers on the headland heard a loud crack as the bridle parted.

"If you don’t try you don’t win - you have to go for it. I hope to go for it again next Friday," said salvage master Henk Smith.

Vermontborg, which is high and dry at low tide, is stable on the reef. Salvors hope to refloat the vessel Friday, when an 8.2-meter tide is predicted. The vessel grounded during a 9.2-meter tide, and the next tide that high isn't forecast to occur until Jan. 21.

A salvage effort could be moved forward if a southwesterly storm were forecast, if a line can be set up with a tug and if the tides made it at all feasible. Meanwhile, workers will continue patching and lightening the Vermontborg.

The 138-meter hull was being towed from the builder’s yard in Romania to the Netherlands for fit out. After breaking its tow from the tug Suzanne-H, the Vermontborg ran aground early last Friday.

Pictures by Richard Lord (Copyright R&LLLOrdC2003)
Vermontborg aground.
Another view.
Bow view.
High & dry.
Close up of damage.
Another hole.

Reported by: Richard Lord, Dick Lund and Ian Moignard

Munson at Anchor

The loaded John G. Munson was anchored off the Milwaukee breakwall Friday due to strong North West gales on Lake Michigan. After unloading in Gary, IN they are due next at Fraser Shipyard in Superior, WI for lay-up.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde

Marquette Report

The Reserve and Great Lakes Trader are loaded but continue to be tied up at the Marquette ore dock while the Charles M. Beeghly, Algomarine, and Algosteel are anchored near Bette Griss in the Keweenaw Peninsula. Bad weather continues to interfere with the final days of shipping.

Pictures by: Lee Rowe
Reserve docked.
Great Lakes Trader on the North side of the dock.

Reported by: Lee Rowe & Art Pickering

Goderich Update

Thursday evening the Mississagi was in port loading at the salt mine for Conneaut, Oh. They loaded in less than ideal conditions with blowing snow and dropping temperatures.

The Capt. Henry Jackman loaded salt for Chicago on Tuesday and departed mid-afternoon through a light layer of ice. According to an article in the Signal Star newspaper, the salt mine expects ships until at least the end of January, and possibly, if mild conditions continue, even longer than that.

Reported by: Lisa Stuparyk

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.

In 1970 the IRVING S. OLDS was the last ship of the season at the Soo Locks as she followed the PHILIP R. CLARKE downbound.

In 1973 the ROGER BLOUGH collided with the PHILIP R. CLARKE after the CLARKE encountered an ice pressure ridge and came to a stop in the Straits of Mackinaw.

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, Brian Bernard, 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

Canadian safety board recommends better emergency planning to handle future Seaway accidents

Improved emergency planning and training for Seaway management and communities along the waterway are needed to handle accidents such as the collision involving the freighter Windoc and the Allenburg Bridge, Canada's Transportation Safety Board said Thursday.

The Windoc, traveling from Thunder Bay to Montreal with a cargo of wheat, was passing beneath the Allenburg Bridge on Aug. 11, 2001, when the bridge's span began to descend. The span struck the vessel, destroying its wheelhouse and funnel. The vessel went adrift, caught fire and ran aground. No one was injured but the ship was declared a total loss and the busy Welland Canal was closed for two days.

In issuing its final report on the accident, the TSB made five recommendations:
-- The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. should reassess and clearly identify safety-sensitive positions in its organization in which incapacity due to impairment could result in direct and significant risk of injury to the employee, others or the environment.

-- While keeping within the Canadian Human Rights Commission's Policy on Alcohol and Drug Testing, the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. should establish programs and policies which are pro-active and promote early detection of impairment and safety risk of employees occupying safety-sensitive positions by management, supervisors or peers and which provide an effective mechanism for remedial action.

-- The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. should conduct, in collaboration with the other appropriate authorities and organizations, exercises to respond to vessel-related emergencies that may within the Seaway, including the Welland Canal.

The TSB investigation found that local emergency response agencies had never conducted a joint exercise to simulate a coordinated response to a major vessel-related emergency within the Welland Canal. TSB Chairman Camille Thériault noted that the canal is a critically important waterway, with more than 3,000 vessels passing through in a typical year. Many carry petroleum and other chemical products, which could cause serious damage to populated areas nearby.

--Canada's Department of Transport should ensure that overall preparedness is appropriate for responding to vessel-related emergencies within the Seaway. Theriault said that since commercialization of the Seaway and the turnover of day-to-day operations to the Corporation, Transport Canada has provided little, if any, oversight of emergency plans, training and exercises.

--Finally, the TSB urged Transport Canada to ensure that physical and administrative defenses are in place to ensure that Seaway bridges are prevented from coming into contact with transiting vessels.

Board members said "backup monitoring systems" are needed for lift bridges on the Seaway, otherwise "competence of the bridge operator remains the sole line of defense against accidents." The TSB noted that some lift bridges under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Coast Guard use infrared technology to detect the presence of vessels beneath them.

In its report, the TSB noted that its investigation had turned up several safety problems along the Seaway which had prompted it to issue four Marine Safety Advisories. The board praised the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, Transport Canada and the local fire departments for their quick response in addressing many of the safety issues raised.

With the release of the report the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation released an update on actions taken to improve waterway safety.
Click on the link below to view the release titled "St. Lawrence Seaway Improves Safety in Wake of Windoc Incident"

Click here to read the full text of the TSB report
Video of the collision MPEG, 24MB located on the TSB web site
More information on the Windoc Accident

Viking Expected to be Towed from Erie

According to U.S. Coast Guard Station Erie, an ice advisory has been issued for the Erie, PA. harbor for two tugs arriving on Friday to tow the Viking to Menominee, Michigan for conversion to a barge. A representative with the Coast Guard confirmed the move Thursday evening, but the exact time frame for a move was not known.

This type of move can easily be delayed by weather. Lake effect snow and strong winds are forecast for the weekend.

Reported by: Jeff Thoreson

U.S. Steel to buy National Steel

U.S. Steel Corp., the largest U.S. steelmaker, said Thursday it will purchase bankrupt National Steel Corp. for about $750 million.

The purchase will include National Steel plants in Canton Township, Ecorse and River Rouge, Mich.; Granite City, Ill.; and Portage, Ind. National Steel, based in Mishawka, Ind., had about $2.5 billion in sales in 2001. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy March 6.

U.S. Steel and National Steel both operate taconite plants on Minnesota's Iron Range. However, U.S. Steel has announced its intention to sell its Minntac plant, the largest producer of taconite pellets. So its purchase of National Steel raises serious questions about the future of the smaller and struggling National Steel Pellet Co. in Keewatin, Minn.

Media reports in Duluth said that National Steel Pellet Co. was not included in the purchase agreement, which would spell serious trouble for that plant. If not purchased by another company, NSPC would have to either compete on the open market or close. While the plant is regarded as one of the Iron Range's most efficient -- selling its pellets below the benchmark price of $30 a ton -- it would be burdened with substantial "legacy" costs in the form of pensions.

Minntac is the major shipper of pellets through the DMIR ore dock in Two Harbors. National Steel Pellet Co. is one of two plants to ship pellets through the BNSF ore dock in Superior.

With the purchase, U.S. Steel could increase its production capacity by as much as 40 percent and see a combined annual cost savings of about $170 million within two years of the purchase, company officials said. Savings will come from a reduction in redundant overhead, transportation costs and an improved labor contract, company officials said. Under the deal, U.S. Steel would also assume about $200 million of National's debt.

Part of the money to be spent on buying National apparently came from last year's sale of the transportation company that included a major stake in its former USS Great Lakes Fleet. U.S. Steel announced last fall that it would get an infusion of $500 million from the sale of its coke mills, iron mines and transportation company. The money was expected to be used for buying other steelmakers, either in the beleaguered U.S. industry or in Europe, where it could avoid crippling legacy costs.

The deal is the second big merger in the steel industry this week. On Monday, International Steel Group, an industry newcomer forged just last year from the remnants of bankrupt LTV Corp., agreed to buy bankrupt Bethlehem Steel Corp. for $1.5 billion, creating the country's largest steel maker.

Reported by: Al Miller

Change of Orders, White Enters Lay-up

On Thursday the H Lee White stopped below the Detroit River Light waiting for new orders. She was headed upbound from Cleveland and was planning to fuel at Sterling Fuel in Windsor.

While upbound on Lake Erie their office called and directed the crew to wait for new orders. The new orders were received and the White turned downbound for lay-up in Toledo. As they proceeded down bound the vessel called Sterling Fuel and cancelled the order, just another day in late season shipping.

The H. Lee White was inbound the Toledo Ship Channel early Thursday afternoon and docked at the Old Interlake Iron Company Dock just north of the Shipyard for the winter.

H. Lee White stopped below the light.

Reported by: Mike Nicholls and Jim Hoffman

Twin Ports Report

The Barkers' are taking up residence in the Twin Ports. James R. Barker laid up Wednesday night at Midwest Energy Terminal while Kaye E. Barker arrived Thursday at Fraser Shipyards to lay up. By the end of the afternoon, the vessel's pilothouse already had been shuttered.

Fraser could be among the most photogenic layup spots on the lakes this winter. The Armco and Barker already have arrived, and early reports say all the classic lakers from Great Lakes Fleet -- Anderson, Callaway, Clarke and Munson -- will berth there as well.

Reported by: Al Miller

Marquette Update

The Algosteel loaded and left Marquette on Wednesday, but then anchored because of the weather. The Reserve loaded, but remained tied up at the dock. The Great Lakes Trader began loading Thursday. The Algomarine and Charles M. Beeghly are expected in when the weather clears, possibly late Friday.

Reported by: Lee Rowe and Art Pickering

St. Lawrence Seaway & River News

Laid up in Montreal since Nov.13, Anna Desgagnés departed Wednesday for overseas. Several days before her departure the Canadian flag on her stern was replaced by the one of Barbados and Bridgetown became her new port of registry. Each winter, this vessel is reflagged when trading on the international market.

Still operating on the St. Lawrence River is the laker Algoport which was at the Magdalen Islands Thursday afternoon loading salt. Remaining in service also is Sauniere which was upbound from the M.I. off Pointe des Monts Thursday en route to Trois-Rivières. Both vessels are scheduled to go to Sorel-Tracy for winter lay up later this month. They will dock on the Richelieu River astern or alongside Algonorth.

Remaining at the Verreault shipyard at Les Méchins in the drydock is Stellanova which collided with Canadian Prospector in the Seaway on Oct.12.

The cypriot-flag Nogat which touched bottom and was holed on Dec.14 in the Prescott area of the Seaway is in the Halifax graving dock since Dec. 27. According to the Port of Quebec, the ship was initially scheduled to be repaired at Levis by the Davie Industries shipyard.

Reported by: René Beauchamp

Gaelic Tugs Return to Detroit

On Thursday the Gaelic Tugs Patricia and Susan Hoey returned to Detroit from Toledo.

Patricia Hoey outbound the Maumee River.
Toledo Light and Patricia Hoey.
Another view.
Toledo Light.
Patricia Hoey in Western Lake Erie.
Patricia and Susan Hoey.
Engineer Tim on Patricia Hoey.
Detroit River Light.
Patricia Hoey and Detroit River Light.
C.C.G.S. Griffon at the Coast Guard Station Amherstburg.
Bob-Lo Island ferry Courtney O at the Bois Blanc Island Dock.
Capt Ralph Tucker tied to the Ocean Hauler tied to the Northcliffe Hall.
Alpena and Patricia Hoey.
Alpena downbound at the Livingstone Channel Crossing.

Reported by: Mike Nicholls

Toledo News

The Middletown remained in the drydock at the Shipyard for survey and repairs.

On Thursday there were four vessels scheduled into the Torco Ore Dock to unload ore. They are the Buckeye on Saturday. The Oglebay Norton on Sunday. The American Republic on Monday, followed by a boat to be named later on for Wednesday, January 15 .

The following vessels were in port Thursday. The David Z. Norton at the south side of the Torco Dock. The Courtney Burton, Saturn, and the former Boblo passenger boat Ste. Claire at the Lakefront Docks. The Wolverine (CSX#1), and the Adam E. Cornelius (CSX#2) are at the CSX Coal Docks. The railroad car floats Roanoke and Windsor at the CSX Docks "Frog Pond" area. The H. Lee White at the old Interlake Iron Company Dock. The Middletown in drydock at the Shipyard. The Joseph H. Frantz at the Hocking Valley South Dock, and the museum ship Willis B. Boyer at the City Docks.

There will be several more vessels arriving for winter lay-up during the next week.

Middletown in Dry Dock. Eric Bucks
Classic views of Great Lakes Shipping.
Peter Robertson of the Republic Steel Fleet upbound the Keweenaw Waterway near the North entrance headed for Lake Superior.
William P. Palmer inbound Duluth, Minnesota.

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. In 1974 the W.C. RICHARDSON was towed from her winter berth in Toledo to assist in lightering the grounded BENSON FORD.

On Jan 10, 1978 the tanker JUPITER became stuck in 3 to 5-foor ridged ice off Erie, Penn. The USCG tug OJIBWA is sent from Buffalo to free her, but she too became beset in the ice 3 miles from the JUPITER’s position.

On 10 January 1898, Alexander Anderson of Marine City was awarded a contract to build a wooden steamer for A. F. Price of Freemont, OH, Isaac Lincoln of Dakota, and Capt. Peter Ekhert of Port Huron, MI. The vessel was to be named ISAAC LINCOLN and was to be 130 feet long and capable of carrying 400,000 feet of lumber. The contract price was $28,000. Her engine and boiler were to be built by Samuel F. Hodges of Detroit. The vessel was launched on 10 May 1898 and her cost had increased to $40,000. She lasted until 1931 when she was abandoned.

Data from: Max Hanley, Brian Bernard, 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

Windoc Report Release

01/09 11 a.m. update
The Canadian Transportation Safety Board released their report on the August 11, 2001 accident involving the Windoc in the Welland Canal. The report was presented to the public this morning during a press conference in Thorold, Ont.
Click here to read the report
Video of the collsion MPEG, 24MB located on the TSB web site
More information on the Windoc Accident

Reported by: Alexander Paterson and Ken Potter

Soo Warehouse to Close

The Great Lakes Transportation LLC, owner of the Great Lakes Fleet, has confirmed sale of its ship chandlery warehouse on East Portage Avenue in Sault Ste. Marie. The property ­ and the supply boat Ojibway ­ has been sold to MCM Marine, which operates an adjacent small drydock.

"Exiting the chandlering business allows us to concentrate our energy and focus on the needs of our core bulk-transport customers," Great Lakes Fleet vice-president Elliott Hughes III said in a statement printed in Wednesday's Sault Evening News. He said business had fallen off in recent years as the number of ships operating on the lakes has declined. The warehouse serviced vessels operated by the once-vast U.S. Steel (Pittsburgh Steamship Co.) fleet and the Interlake Steamship Co. At one time those two fleets totaled more than 100 vessels. Now they operate just 16.

Warehouse employees were given layoff notices in late December. McM Marine partner Joe McCoy told the newspaper a third party may take over operation of the Ojibway and the warehousing operation, but he did not identify that party.

The supply operation has been active on the Soo waterfront for 100 years

Supply boat Ojibway.

Reported by: Ed Schipper, Jerry Masson, Jack Storey and Roger LeLievre

Mississagi and Calumet Depart

Crowds of boatwatchers were drawn to Sturgeon Bay Wednesday as the Calumet and Mississagi departed Bay Ship early Wednesday afternoon. As the ships were refloated the Mississagi was towed to the Steel face dock, where the main engine was started and warmed up. The Calumet was then towed out and departed for winter lay-up in Sarnia.

Shortly after the Calumet was clear of the Michigan St. Bridge, the Mississagi was ready to depart for Goderich. Both proceeded through the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal into Lake Michigan. The Mississagi is expected to make several late season trips from Goderich to Detroit with salt before entering lay-up.

Pictures by Vic DeLarwelle
Bow of Calumet prior to refloat Tuesday.
Selvick Tug Fleet warming up engines prior to assist.
Selvick tugs helping Mississagi out of dock.
Crew member putting on hatch clamps.
Mississagi being towed to steel face to start engine and Ballast.
Boatnerds Scott B. and Jason L. photographing the Action.
Calumet displaying Name and new paint.
Heading out to lake.
Mississagi heading for canal about 30 min behind Calumet.
Name and new paint. (note anchor).
Out to Lake.

Pictures by Scott Best.
Calumet and Mississagi in the graving dock.
Calumet outbound through Michigan St. Bridge.
Close up in Ship Canal.
Turning on the power heading for Lake Michigan.
Passing "Big Red".
Mississagi at steel face dock.
Mississagi in the ship canal.
Another view.
Stern view.
Sykes in layup at Bay Ship.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle and Scott Best

Flooding Delays Vermontborg Refloating

Plans to pull the stranded Vermontborg free Wednesday were delayed when salvage crews found the vessel too heavy to pull free due to flooding.

‘We made good progress yesterday and managed a lot of things, but there was more water than we originally thought and that delayed things,’ Capt. Henk Smith told the Guernsey Press News Paper. ‘On Thursday morning we have the same tide as Wednesday evening, so there should not be a problem,’ added Capt. Smith.

The salvage team will today concentrate its efforts on emptying the vessel’s tanks and pressurizing the double-bottom ballast tanks with air. Roger Evans, contracts manager for Smit Salvage’s commercial department, said: ‘We have to push out as much water as possible to get her off.

‘The shaft tunnel and half the bulkhead have been closed off to stop water coming in. There is still in going work to de-ballast the vessel. ‘The job itself has been OK but you always get problems along the way. There was a lot more water in it than we at first thought. We have been pushed a bit by the falling tides so we need to work quickly,’ said Mr. Evans.

Two tugs, the Anglian Prince and Boxer will be involved in the operation. One will pull the Vermontborg off the rocks and, once it is afloat, the other will tie up to the stern.

Crews from Smit Salvage and Klyne Marine Services worked all day yesterday to prepare for the refloat and more equipment was dropped on board. ‘We spent all morning pumping the water out of the engine room because there is a hole between the engine room and the aft hold.' Several holes have been pierced in the outer hull. The inner hull is intact, although the rocks have caused some damage.

‘The outer hull is 5-feet below the inner hull, but when you are down below and walking on the floor of the ship, you can feel the bumps. It took a heavy beating.’

Once it is free, the Vermontborg will be towed to a shipyard in Harlingen, in the north of the Netherlands, for repairs.

Pictures by Richard Lord (Copyright R&LLLOrdC2003)
Vermontborg aground.
Another view.
Bow view.
High & dry.
Close up of damage.
Another hole.

Reported by: Richard Lord, Dick Lund and Ian Moignard

ISG-Bethlehem deal would help taconite producer

International Steel Group's proposed purchase of bankrupt Bethlehem Steel probably would be good for a major producer of taconite pellets, the Duluth News-Tribune reports.

Cleveland-based International Steel Group has offered $1.5 billion to purchase Bethlehem Steel, which owns two-thirds of Hibbing Taconite. The taconite mine and plant, located near Hibbing, Minn., would be included in the purchase, which also would include steel mills in Burns Harbor, Ind., and Sparrows Point, Md.

While Bethlehem has been trying to sell Hibbing Taconite, new owner ISG likely would want to keep the plant to feed the furnaces at Burns Harbor.

"If ISG buys Bethlehem and operates Bethlehem's blast furnaces, they will need Hibbing Taconite," Peter Kakela, Michigan State University professor of resource development., told the News Tribune. "It looks like Burns Harbor would need everything that they can get from Hibbing Taconite."

Another point in the taconite plant's favor is that Cleveland-Cliffs owns 23 percent of it and manages its operation. Cliffs last year signed a 15-year agreement with ISG to supply taconite pellets to the steelmaker's mills.

Hibbing Taconite is the primary plant to ship pellets through the BNSF ore dock in Superior, Wis.

Reported by: David Flint

Ralph Tucker at Amherstburg

The Capt Ralph Tucker is unloading at the General Chemical Dock in Amherstburg. The dock now has the ADM Vegetable Oil Barge (Northcliffe Hall) and the Ocean Hauler. The original inside barge sank and the Northcliffe is tied up right over the wreck.

Pictures by Mike Nicholls
Capt Ralph Tucker unloading alongside the Ocean Hauler which is alongside the ADM Vegetable Oil Barge.
Another view.
Former Northcliffe Hall docked at ADM summer 2002.
Close up of former name.
Another view.
Three ferries wintering in Leamington, ON.
Amherst Islander in Leamington.
Pelee Islander in Leamington.
Jiimaan in Leamington.
Close up.

Reported by: Mike Nicholls and David Cozens

Superior seeking new look for area near museum boat

Architects working for the city of Superior will soon begin developing plans for revamping the north end of Barkers Island near the museum boat Meteor.

The area near the Meteor, the only surviving whaleback, currently is occupied by several small shops and a large parking lot. The new plans will include a new boardwalk with lighting, a charter fishing dock and a redesigned parking area.

City councilors this week approved a $120,000 contract for plans for the site. Construction is expected to cost about $1.4 million.

Reported by: Dave Pierce

November Tonnage

Total waterborne commerce at the Port of Duluth-Superior through November exceeded last year’s level by six percent, while vessel traffic climbed by seven percent, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority reported Wednesday.

Year-to-date cargo totaled 35.5 million metric tons compared with 33.7 million tons in 2001—when shipments were negatively impacted by a lakes-wide deterioration of iron ore shipments and low water levels.

Strong western coal and iron ore shipments boosted this year’s vessel calls through November to 1,010 compared with 941 last year. Total cargo exceeded the five-year average of 34.2 million metric tons by four percent.

Total international trade of 11.8 million metric tons showed an increase of 12 percent from the 10.5 million tons reached during the same period in 2001. Domestic trade of 23.8 million tons represented a three percent increase from the 23.1 million tons reached last year.

The Port’s three principal cargoes of coal, iron ore and grain equaled 92 percent of total commerce. Coal contributed 42 percent with 14.94 million metric tons (six percent above last year’s level). Iron ore nearly mirrored that figure with a 42 percent contribution of 14.87 million tons (16 percent ahead of 2001). Grain shipments of 2.8 million tons equaled eight percent of total commerce (19 percent behind last year).

Great Lakes shipping will continue through Duluth-Superior until the seasonal closing of the Soo Locks January 15.

Reported by: Lisa Marciniak, Duluth Seaway Port Authority

Runaway barge caused $100,000 in damage

A runaway barge loaded with steel coils and scrap iron caused about $100,000 in damage Dec. 17 along the St. Clair River in Port Huron, the Port Huron Times-Herald reported.

Purvis Marine's 151-foot tugboat Reliance was pushing the 400-foot barge south when a towline broke beneath the Blue Water Bridge. That stretch of water is known for its swift current where Lake Huron flows into the St. Clair River.

City officials said the barge scraped about 200 feet of concrete sidewalk above the Pine Grove Park sea wall and hit two spring pilings. It then struck an outflow pipe flap gate at Rawlins Street before hitting the decks of three riverside homes.

Officials from Purvis Marine Ltd. of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, were unavailable for comment, the newspaper reported. City Engineer Robert Clegg said Port Huron has been assured by Purvis that the company will work with the city to repair the damage.

Reported by: Frank Frisk and Ed Schipper

Twin Ports Report

The DMIR ore dock in Two Harbors is scheduled to load its last regular cargo of the season today when Presque Isle arrives. The vessel is due back at Two Harbors on Jan. 15 to load a partial cargo before proceeding to Duluth for winter layup.

In Duluth, the DMIR loaded Buckeye on Wednesday. The dock is scheduled to load Oglebay Norton on Jan. 9 and American Republic on the 10th. No vessels are currently scheduled beyond that, so it's likely to be the last boat of the season.

At the other end of the harbor on Wednesday, Columbia Star and St. Clair were due to load at BNSF ore dock. The John J. Boland was expected to follow, closing out the season at the Superior ore dock.

In Superior on Wednesday, Canadian Enterprise closed out the season at Midwest Energy Terminal. Following the Canadian Enterprise's departure, James R. Barker was due to dock at the terminal for winter layup.

Duluth's port terminal will be surrounded by the biggest vessels of Great Lakes Fleet this winter. Edwin H. Gott is due to lay up there on Jan. 14, Roger Blough is due at the terminal on Jan. 12 and, as previously reported.

Edgar B. Speer is due there Jan. 11. Presque Isle also is scheduled to layup in Duluth, and it usually docks at the port terminal. Also from Great Lakes Fleet, John G. Munson is scheduled to lay up in Fraser Shipyards on Jan. 13.

Reported by: Al Miller

Marquette Update

The Algosteel finished her load of taconite at Marquette on Wednesday, while the Great Lakes Trader/Joyce Van Enkevort waited out in the harbor for her turn at the dock. The Reserve tied up to the south side of the dock to wait for her load which was to begin on Thursday. The Algosteel left during high winds. Other ships expected were delayed because of the winds and were tied up at different points on the lake. High winds are expected to continue through Friday, which can affect the final loads at the ore dock.

Pictures by Lee Rowe
Great Lakes Trader anchored off port.
Reserve docked on the South side.
Close up of bow with trains above.
Great Lakes Trader loading.
Bow view.

Reported by: Lee Rowe and Art Pickering

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.

In 1974 a combination of wind and ice forced the Benson Ford from the shipping channel, running aground.

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

ISG offers $1.5 billion for Bethlehem

As expected, International Steel Group this week offered to buy bankrupt Bethlehem Steel's mills and other property for $1.5 billion.

ISG said it expects negotiations to be completed by Jan. 17. The offer would then have to be accepted by the Bethlehem Steel board and approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Bethlehem owns more than 62 percent of Hibbing Taconite Co., a major Minnesota producer of taconite pellets. Bethlehem has been trying to sell its share of the plant for more than a year. In addition, the company operates the ore carriers Burns Harbor and Stewart J. Cort.

Robert S. Miller Jr., Bethlehem's chairman and chief executive officer, said reviewing ISG's proposal could take several weeks but that he hopes to reach an agreement.

"A combination of Bethlehem and ISG would create a formidable new competitive player in the steel industry, with 16 million tons of annual shipment capacity," Miller said.

Neither ISG nor Bethlehem Steel officials would immediately comment on whether job cuts would be necessary at the Bethlehem plants.

Bethlehem Steel filed for bankruptcy protection Oct. 15, 2001. The company has been negotiating with potential buyers or joint-venture partners as well as attempting to reorganize the business.

Bethlehem operates steel mills at Burns Harbor in northwest Indiana and Sparrows Point near Baltimore, with smaller operations in Coatesville and Conshohocken, Pa. Its plant along the Lehigh River in Bethlehem hasn't produced steel since 1995.

Reported by: Scott Spencer

Sturgeon Bay Departures - Update

The Mississagi and Calumet are expected to depart the graving dock at Bay Shipbuilding some time Wednesday. Crews are on board the vessels and the graving dock is expected to be flooded early Wednesday morning. It is unknown if they will depart later that day or remain at Bay Ship for additional work. The Calumet will head to Sarnia for winter lay-up but the Mississagi is expected to make a few late season trips in the salt trade.

In addition to a 5-year survey both vessels received sand blasting and a new coat of gray paint. The tandem dry docking is believed to be a first for two ships this size.

Reported by: Pat Thomas

Iron Ore Trade Up 14.6 Percent In November

Shipments of iron ore from U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes and Seaway ports destined for Great Lakes basin steelmakers totaled 5.2 million gross tons in November, an increase of 14.6 percent compared to the corresponding period last year. On a season-to-date basis, the Lakes/Seaway ore trade stands at 46.2 million gross tons, an increase of 2.7 percent. Computed on a calendar-year basis, the trade totals 47.6 million gross tons, an increase of 3 percent.

Shipments of iron ore from Canadian ports in the Seaway to other North American destinations increased 72 percent to 338,000 gross tons in November. For the year, this segment of the ore trade has increased more than doubled 3.2 million gross tons.

All-rail deliveries of iron ore in North America fell 23.2 percent to 370,000 gross tons in November. Year-to-date, all-rail shipments stand at 7.7 million gross tons, a decrease of 16.8 percent.

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association

Vermontborg Refloating

Salvors may attempt to refloat the grounded freighter Vermontborg Wednesday morning at high tide according to the Guernsey Press News Paper.

The new vessel, which is destined to work at least part of the year on the Great Lakes, was being towed to a shipyard for completion when it broke free in high winds and drifted onto La Capelle Reef off the Island of Guernsey, U.K in the English Channel.

Smit Salvage’s Captain Henk Smith told the paper that good progress had been made Monday in patching the vessel's damaged hull. He planned to have workers pump water from the ship Tuesday in preparation for refloating it on this morning's high tide. "The bottom is damaged severely but the tank top of the vessel is okay. The water was entering the engine room via the shaft to the propeller but we closed this today and there is no water entering the boat now," said Capt. Smith.

"She is still very heavy on the rocks and I don’t think there will be a lot of damage if she has to stay there for a few days more - but we don’t envisage that," he added.

The ship, which weighs nearly 3,000 tonnes, will literally be pulled off the reef. An indication of the difficulties facing the salvage team came from Roger Evans, contracts manager in Smit’s commercial department. Tuesday crews were working to remove 200 tons of ballast water and pump the compartments with compressed air to aid in refloating.

"We cannot get within 500 meters of the boat so we have to attach a floating tow rope equivalent, if not stronger, than steel wire," he said. "We need one steering tug to stop the ship from veering off sideways and the other will be pulling. There will be a bridle attached to the bow section."

On Monday, a helicopter carried pumps and generators to the stricken vessel. Special equipment, including Dynema wire tow rope, which combines strength with buoyancy, was delivered by the tug Anglian Prince, after being shipped from the company’s warehouse near Rotterdam.

The tug is owned by Klyne Marine Services, which is carrying out the salvage operation in conjunction with Smit Salvage. Another tug, The Boxer, was due to arrive from Belgium earlier Tuesday and would assist with steering during the refloating operation.

‘We have to work quickly and we have got good connections to set things up quickly. You can’t mess about if you want to get it off or you will have to wait for the next spring tides," Evans warned.

Pictures by Richard Lord (Copyright R&LLLOrdC2003)
Vermontborg aground.
Another view.
Bow view.
High & dry.
Close up of damage.
Another hole.

Reported by: Richard Lord, Dick Lund and Ian Moignard

No Winter Break for Cuyahoga

The Cuyahoga arrived in Port Stanley Monday for winter lay-up and a frenzy of activity began. Crew members hurried to cover the wheel house windows and then departed for home.

A crane then arrived to remove the port conveyor belt and remaining crew began cutting out rollers and beams from the port tunnel conveyer track. The entire tunnel will be sand blasted, painted, with new rollers and conveyer belt being installed.

The company doing the sand blasting will cut a hole into the port side of the Cuyahoga to take in the needed equipment, a common practice for winter work.

Cuyahoga in lay-up at Port Stanley.
Close up.
Bubbler keeps the stern free from ice.
Work on the conveyor rollers.
Another view.

Reported by: Ted Coombs

Lakes Stone Trade Down 1.6 Percent In 2002

Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 36,247,998 net tons in 2002, a decrease of 1.6 percent compared to 2001. The year-end total reflects two problems that plagued the trade from beginning to end - continued weakness at integrated steelmakers that impacted demand for fluxstone and a sluggish construction market that reduced demand for aggregate. 2002 Great Lakes Limestone Shipments

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association

Twin Ports Report

Midwest Energy Terminal is scheduled to load its last vessel of the season today when the Canadian Enterprise arrives to load for Nanticoke.

Both ore docks are busy for a few more days. On Tuesday, the George A. Stinson backed up St. Louis Bay and into the DMIR ore dock loading berth. Across the harbor, Indiana Harbor was loading at BNSF ore dock. Two Harbors also is busy, with the Edwin H. Gott due there Tuesday night when the winds subside, to be followed by the John G. Munson. Arthur M. Anderson and Philip R. Clarke both due there today.

More vessels are coming in to roost in the Twin Ports. Edgar. Speer is scheduled to lay up at the Duluth port terminal on Jan. 1. Roger Blough is due in Conneaut today to unload its final cargo of the season, then it is scheduled to lay up at the Duluth port terminal on Jan. 12.

Reported by: Al Miller

Marquette Update

Tuesday was another busy day at Marquette. On Tuesday the Lee A. Tregurtha took on a load of taconite while the James Barker brought a load of coal. When the Lee A. departed, the Algosteel, which had been waiting in the harbor along with the Herbert Jackson, came to the dock. The Jackson will come in for a load of taconite after the Barker leaves.

Expected later on Tuesday was the Reserve, because of the line-up at the dock she probably won't load until Thursday. The Charles M. Beeghly is expected with a load of coal, then will pull out into the harbor to let the American Mariner load ore before she returns to the dock for taconite herself.

The dredge Gallagher and tug were also in the harbor to pick up a buoy.

Pictures by Lee Rowe
Lee A. loading.
Lee A., Herbert C. Jackson and Algosteel waiting off shore.
James R. Barker unloading coal.
Close up.
Dredge Gallagher pulling buoys.
Close up.
Algosteel waiting.
Crewman lowered to the dock.
Tying off the Algosteel.
Ready to load.
Workers cleaning the dock.

Reported by: Lee Rowe and Art Pickering

Montreal Pictures

Below are images taken at Montreal's Old Port Tuesday.

Algoville, Canadian Miner, Quebecois, Algocen. in the background the John B. Aird and Nanticoke.
John B. Aird.
Algoville, Miner, Quebecois, Algocen. Looking West.
Close up.
Another view.
Algoville, Miner, Quebecois, Algocen.
Quebecois stern from walkway in Old Montreal.
Looking east.
CSL Laurentien, Lady Franklin and CSL Niagara.

Reported by: Laurent Cote

LCA's Ryan Retires On January 15

George J. Ryan will end his 20-plus year career as President of Lake Carriers' Association on January 15, 2003. As such, he retires as one of the longest serving President's in the Association's 123-year history. Succeeding him is James H. I. Weakley.

"George's contributions to the U.S.-Flag Great Lakes fleet are immeasurable," said James R. Barker, Chairman of The Interlake Steamship Company, one of the largest U.S.-Flag operators on the Lakes. "He safely navigated the industry through the economic tribulations of the mid-1980s when America's steel industry, Great Lakes shipping's largest customer, teetered on the brink of extinction. When it appeared the Jones Act would be sacrificed in a U.S./Canada trade agreement, it was George who awakened a slumbering U.S. merchant marine to the danger and led the effort to save our Cabotage laws. He rallied the industry again in the mid-1990s when another threat to the Jones Act arose, but through his dynamic leadership, Congressional support overwhelmed the law's opponents and the requirement that cargo moving between two U.S. ports be carried in vessels that are U.S.-owned, U.S.-built, and U.S.-crewed will be secure for years to come."

Ryan was appointed President of LCA on January 1, 1983. He previously was Director - Great Lakes Region, Maritime Administration, a position he assumed in 1975 when he opened the Region Office in Cleveland. Ryan came to the Great Lakes from the American Embassy in London, where he served from 1971 to 1975 as Maritime Administration Representative for the United Kingdom and Scandinavia.

Prior to joining MarAd, Ryan was associated with Grace Lines, where, after serving as a ship's Captain, he was Assistant Port Captain, Safety Director, and Manager - Supporting Services - Marine Division.

Ryan graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point in 1957, and was awarded a Master's Degree from the School of International Affairs, Columbia University, in 1964. As an officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve, he served on the guided missile cruiser USS CANBERRA and in several U.S. Naval Reserve units.

Ryan is a Great Lakes Commissioner from the State of Ohio, and a member of the American Bureau of Shipping, The Propeller Club of the United States, the National Cargo Bureau, and the National Waterways Conference. He is Chair of the Board of Visitors of Great Lakes Maritime Academy. He has been an officer of the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force and the Maritime Cabotage Task Force since the organizations were founded in 1992 and 1995 respectively.

In 1974, Ryan was awarded the Department of Commerce's Silver Medal for his outstanding work for the Maritime Administration. In January 1999, the U.S. Coast Guard awarded him its Meritorious Public Service Award. Northwestern Michigan College appointed him a Fellow of the College in 1999, and the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Forum named him Person of the Year for 2000.

Born in Philadelphia, Ryan and his wife, Cornelia, will remain in the Greater Cleveland area following his retirement.

Lake Carriers' Association represents 12 American corporations operating 58 U.S.-Flag vessels exclusively on the Great Lakes. These vessels carry as much as 125 million tons of dry- and liquid-bulk cargo each year. Major commodities moved include iron ore for the steel industry, coal for power generation and limestone for the construction industry.

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association

Windoc Report Release Date

The Canadian Transportation Safety Board will release their report on the August 11, 2001 accident involving the Windoc in the Welland Canal. The report will be released to the public on January 9 during a press conference in Thorold, Ont.
The full report will be available on the Transportation Safety Board's web site, check back for updates

Reported by: Alexander Paterson

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.

In 1974 the Benson Ford became beset by ice in Western Lake Erie.

Jan 8, 1976 the Leon Falk Jr. closed the season at Superior, Wisconsin after she departed the Burlington-Northern ore docks.

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

Sturgeon Bay Departures

The Mississagi and Calumet are expected to depart the graving dock at Bay Ship later this week. The Calumet will head to Sarnia for winter lay-up but the Mississagi is expected to make a few late season trips in the salt trade.

In addition to a 5-year survey both vessels received sand blasting and a new coat of gray paint.

Reported by: Pat Thomas

Marquette News

The Algomarine and Joseph Thompson loaded at Marquette on Monday. The Herbert Jackson brought a load of coal, but returned to wait in the harbor while the H. Lee White takes on a load of taconite.

The Lee A. Tregurtha arrived on Monday, but will begin loading on Tuesday. The Algosteel is expected to replace her at the dock. Also in the lineup over the next few days is the Reserve, a return of the Algomarine, the James Barker with a load of coal, and the American Mariner. Strong winds on Monday may change some of the schedules.

H. Lee White loading.
Close up.
Jackson anchored in the harbor.
Lee A. Tregurtha arrives on the North Side of the dock.
Lee A. riding high out of the water.
Another view.
Top of pilothouse almost level with dock office.

Reported by: Lee Rowe

2002 Saginaw River Season

Change marked the 2002 shipping season on the Saginaw River as water levels recovered, business shifted from major fleets to smaller operators, and new docks opened.

Commercial vessels entered the river 330 times during the season, with more than 40 different vessels representing 17 Great Lakes fleets. The number of vessel passages were down notably from the 2001 season, when 385 visits were recorded. In 2002, however, water levels averaged about 10 inches above the previous year, permitting ships to make fewer trips to fulfill contracts. The number of ships calling in 2002 was virtually the same as during the 1999 and 2000 seasons.

Highlighting the season was the first visit ever by the classic steamer Wilfred Sykes. The Sykes' arrival on a cold and rainy day in early April drew boat watchers from around the region. The Sykes quickly became a familiar sight on the river, returning two dozen times during the season to deliver stone products to the Wirt docks in Bay City and Saginaw.

Also becoming a regular visitor during the season was the tug-barge Joseph H. Thompson. The Thompson, seen only rarely in the past, paid 20 visits in 2002. Another tug-barge combination, the Joyce L. Van Enkevort/Great Lakes Trader, arrived 30 times to become the most frequent visitor in 2002. The Great Lakes Trader entered service during the 2000 season and began calling at docks on the Saginaw River last season, when it logged 16 trips.

At a combined length of almost 845 feet, the Joyce L. and Great Lakes Trader is by far the largest vessel to negotiate the narrow channel winding 20 miles up to Saginaw. Once there, the tug must detach from the barge in order to turn for the outbound transit-a maneuver at which the crew has become proficient.

Lower Lakes Towing and Lower Lakes Transportation, one of the Great Lakes' newest fleets, increased is share of the trade to become the leading fleet on the river. The six LLT vessels, led by the Invincible/McKee Sons with 24 visits, called a total of 75 times during the season. Last season, LLT vessels logged about 50 visits.

Two fleets that dominated traffic on the Saginaw River in past years were relatively minor participants in 2002. Ships of the American Steamship Company totaled fewer than 30 visits, down from more than 75 in 2001. Only about a dozen trips were logged by vessels of the Oglebay Norton Marine fleet, which had also called about 75 times last season at the Wirt docks.

Algoma Central Marine maintained their share of the shipping, with 34 visits recorded by the Algorail, Agawa Canyon and Algoway. For Interlake Steamship, the Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder and the Herbert C. Jackson together logged about 20 trips. Upper Lakes Shipping's Canadian Transfer logged eight visits.

In the cement trade, the Alpena, J.A.W. Iglehart, Paul H. Townsend and Jacklyn M/Integrity carried more than 20 loads from the Lafarge plant at Alpena to the terminal in Saginaw. Canadian Steamship Lines' CSL Tadoussac delivered a dozen loads of clinkers from Picton, Ontario, to Essexville, with several more loads brought in by the Frontenac.

More unusual visitors included the Algoma Central tanker Algoeast, which called at the Marathon-Ashland dock in February. The heavy-lift ship Jumbo Spirit, from the Netherlands, delivered machinery to the Dow dock in April. The Purvis tug Atlantic Cedar with barge PML 9000 delivered equipment to Consumers Energy in May. The tug-barge Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 paid two visits during the summer months.

During the season, the Bay Aggregates dock near downtown Bay City was relocated to a new location in Bangor Township closer to the mouth of the river to allow for waterfront development. The new location may be more accessible to freighters, which no longer need to negotiate a series of railroad and highway bridges, but it is much less accessible to boat watchers.

At virtually the same location, the new Bit-Mat facility began receiving regular shipments of product by tug and tank barge, primarily the Rebecca Lynn. Twenty docks along the Saginaw River receive shipments of stone, cement and cement clinkers, salt, coal, petroleum, chemicals and agricultural products. The shipping season starts in early April and continues until mid or late-December, with occasional deliveries of petroleum products by tanker or barge during the winter months.

Wilfred Sykes, upbound on April 22, became a regular visitor.
Great Lakes Trader unloads at Saginaw Rock on May 14, on one of 30 visits.
Invincible/McKee Sons, outbound on April 4, visited 24 times.
Sam Laud delivers one of the last loads to the old Bay Aggregates dock on April 13.
Herbert C. Jackson at the new Bay Aggregates dock on November 2. This dock is much less accessible to boat watchers.
Heavy lift ship Jumbo Spirit at the Dow dock on April 25.
Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 upbound on a rare visit June 19.
Algorail at the Buena Vista Dock on August 9.
Joseph H. Thompson outbound from Saginaw on May 15.
Rebecca Lynn with barge at Bit-Mat dock on September 16.
Paul H. Townsend upbound through ice with a final load of cement on December 5.

Reported by: Stephen Hause

Rouge River Traffic


Kaye E Barker inbound the Rouge River at the Jefferson Street Bridge bound for Rouge Steel.
Close up.
Barker at the Conrail Bridge.
Stern view.
Barge Marysville and tug Carolyn Hoey inbound through the Dix Avenue Bridge heading for the Rouge Steel Slip to fuel the Kaye E Barker.
Carolyn Hoey.
Stern view.

Reported by: Mike Nicholls

Toledo tonnage falling for second year

Declines in grain and coal shipments are driving Toledo's port tonnage below 11 million tons for the second straight year according to an article in the Toledo Blade.

Through November, Toledo's three riverfront grain elevators handled 1.2 million tons of grain, a 36-percent drop over last year. Coal tonnage amounted to a little over 4 million tons, about 2.5 percent behind last year's record low tonnage.

One bright spot in Toledo is iron ore tonnage. The 2.4 million tons shipped through November is considerably above last year's pace. Tonnage is expected to increase even more next season because AK Steel, which receives much of its ore through Toledo, has switched suppliers from Minnesota to Labrador. This will mean a change in vessel traffic with many more Canadian vessels arriving to unload.

A recent report said Toledo's iron ore tonnage is likely to increase to between 3.1 million and 4.1 million tons next season because of AK Steel's switch. AK Steel's mills in Kentucky and Ohio had been receiving some Minnesota ore by train, but no all-rail route exists from the Labrador mines to the Midwest.

Reported by: Bill Stevenson and Jim Hoffman

Partially Built Vermontborg Suffers Damage

As reported last week Wagenborg's new Vermontborg ran aground on La Capelle reef off the Island of Guernsey, U.K in the English Channel. The vessel broke free from its tow Thursday morning. Wagenborg or the "Borg" fleet ships are a common site on the lakes during the shipping season.

According to the Guernsey Press winds on the night of January 2/3 reached 51 knots (59 mph) in a west-north-westerly direction. The Vermontborg hull has been holed in several places. The hull is sustaining minor damage on each high tide as the bottom of the hull rubs on the bottom. There are a few minor scraps and punctures to the hull and two larger holes.

Reported by: Richard Lord and Martin Kasparic

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

Miner Enters Lay-up

The Mesabi Miner arrived in Sturgeon Bay Sunday Morning for winter lay-up. The 1000-footer arrived from Lake Michigan passing through the Ship Canal heading to Bay Shipbuilding and her winter lay-up Berth 15.

The tug Jimmy L. was working at breaking up the Ice in Berth 15 next to the Graving dock where the Mississagi and Calumet are receiving there final sand blasting and a new coat of gray paint on there hulls.

The pair are expected to be refloated this week and sail to Sarnia for winter lay-up.

Passing through the Ship Canal.
Passing through the Bay View Bridge.
Off the stern of the Edward Ryerson.
Wide view of aft house.
Passing through Michigan Street Bridge.
Backing into Berth #15.
Tug Jimmy L. passing down side of Miner to keep the ice out of Berth #15.
Calumet and Mississagi in dock getting sand blasted and new paint.
Close up of bow of Calumet The Gray and Black Stripe of GLF has been sand blasted off and a new coat of gray applied.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle

First Visit to Saginaw

The Saginaw River received the first commercial cargo of 2003 when the tug Mary E. Hannah and her tank barge arrived Sunday morning. The pair were unloading at the Triple Clean Liquifuels Dock in Essexville during the day and into the evening hours.

Tug Mary E. Hannah & barge unloading at Triple Clean Liquifuels. Todd Shorkey

Reported by: Stephen Hause, Lon Morgan and Todd Shorkey

Visibility at the Soo

Downbound traffic Sunday night caused concern for the American Republic and other vessels with visibility reduced to a mile and a half at times during a light snow squall. Ice reports are favorable with no reported problems in the St. Marys River. Water levels in the Rock Cut have been favorable holding at a steady plus nine inches.

Also downbound in the river Sunday night was the Paul R Tregurtha . Upbound is the Indiana Harbor, George A Stinson and John G Munson, who had permission to come up the downbound channel at Pipe Island.

Reported by: Jerry Masson

Tilden Mine Tops 7 Million

The Tilden Mine in National Mine set a level in 2002 of more than 7.85 million tons, only the fourth time the annual production level has topped 7 million tons during its 28 years of operation, according to Cleveland-Cliffs, Inc., manager and part-owner of both the Tilden and Empire mines.

The previous record was set in 1980 when the mine produced 7.37 million tons.

Mike Milnar, Tilden’s general manager told the Journal Ishpeming Bureau. “All the employees at the Tilden Mine played an important part in reaching this record production,” “In fact, mine employees have worked hard over the past several years to put Tilden in a position to become a very efficient operation,” Milnar said. “Reaching this record tonnage in 2002 is a good indication that we are moving in the right direction.”

The Empire Mine’s annual production level was slightly more than 3.6 million tons in 2002, said Dale Hemmila, CCI spokesman. That figure is less than previous years.

Hemmila said CCI is satisfied with the Empire Mine’s production levels, “considering the Empire was shut down during the first quarter of the year.”

“It’s a real reflection of the quality of work of the employees at the Empire,” he said.

The Empire’s full-capacity level was redefined from 8 million tons to 6 million tons a year after the mine reopened in April. It had been idled since late November 2001 when LTV Corporation, a 25 percent owner of the mine, asked a federal bankruptcy court for permission to prepare its steel operations for sale. Meanwhile, CCI continues to remain optimistic that an operating plan for the current year will soon be in place at the Empire, Hemmila said. “Cliffs and Ispat Inland, Inc. have been working very hard together for the past several months to come up with an operating plan for this year,” said Hemmila of the mine’s remaining partners. “The negotiation process is complex, but we hope to have an operating plan soon.”

Reported by: Ed Schipper

Sarnia Lay-up

Maumee in lay-up.
Stern view.
Another view.
Algolake in the North Slip.
Close up.
Agawa Canyon passing.

Reported by: Marc Wright

Record Day at Port Everglades

A total of eleven large cruise ships were in Port Everglades Sunday and the port transferred more passengers today then anytime in the past. Below are some photos taken Sunday afternoon and evening.

Tanker Seabulk Mariner departing Berth 7 bound for sea. The large number of cruise ships can be seen in the background.
Holland American Lines oldest ship Noordam bound out for sea.
Research vessel and former Korean War U.S. Army T boat Retriever.
Costa Victoria departed berth 21 for sea.
With new white hull paint job Millennium is outbound for sea.
Grand Princess departs berth 3 for sea.
Maasdam has departed berth 26 for sea.
Carnival Legend and her twin Costa Atlantic can be seen to the left.
Five masted sailing cruise ship Wind Surf has the sails set bound for sea.

Reported by: Bill Hoey

Today in Great Lakes History - January 06

While under tow 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.

In 1973 the JOSEPH H. THOMPSON ran aground at Escanaba after departing that port.

Data from: Max Hanley, Brian Bernard, 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

Algoway Lay-up

The arrival of the Algoway for winter lay-up last week came a few days early after the vessel was damaged on one of its final trips.

Algoway arrived in Owen Sound with a hole in its bow above the water line Wednesday. The damage was caused when the vessel struck the dock at Meldrum Bay where it was to load for Windsor, Ontario. Instead of loading the Algoway proceeded directly to Owen Sound and lay-up. The 5-foot wide hole was above the water line, exposing a ballast tank. The damage will be repaired over the winter.

Expected to join the Algoway in port for lay-up are the Algosteel and Capt. Henry Jackman. The carferry Chi-Cheemaun is already in winter lay-up at the west harbor wall.

Pictures by D. Shearman
In lay-up.
Bow view.
Damaged area.
Close up.
Prop and rudder.

Pictures by Ed Saliwonchyk
Another view.
Close up.
Chi-Cheemaun in Lay-up.

Reported by: D. Shearman and Ed Saliwonchyk

First Ship of 2003 for Manistee

For the second year in a row the tanker Gemini was the first vessel of the year in Manistee, Michigan. The tanker arrived Manistee at 8 p.m. Friday. She was headed to the General Chemical dock to load 8,000 tons of brine for Amherstburg, Ontario.

The vessel arrived Manistee last year on January first, and Captain Riley Messer was presented a hackberry cane, crafted by local resident Ken Jilbert. A similar cane was presented to the vessel Saturday morning.

Reported by: Chris Franckowiak

Risley Aids in Recovery

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley assisted local law enforcement Friday with the recovery of a car from the Owen Sound Harbor floor. In December tug Susan W. Hanna and Southdown Conquest reported striking a submerged object along the east harbor wall.

Friday morning divers took to the water and attached a line from the Risley's 15-tonne crane to the car. The 1960's era car was lifted from the water and placed on land.

The circumstances surrounding the cars sinking remain a mystery but the harbor is once again clear of obstacles.

Risley in Owen Sound.
Close up.

Reported by: D. Shearman

Agawa Canyon in Toledo

On Friday morning the Agawa Canyon arrived at Toledo with a load of salt for the Kuhlman Dock. The Gaelic tugs Patricia and Susan Hoey assisted her to the dock.

Tug Susan Hoey waiting for the Canyon to arrive.
David Z Norton and Courtney Burton laid up at Torco.
Agawa Canyon arriving off the Torco Dock.
Agawa Canyon arriving at the Kuhlman Dock.
Agawa Canyon with Susan Hoey in the foreground.
Susan Hoey approaching the ADM Dock to tie up.
Deckhand Joe and engineer Rich on the Susan Hoey.
Deckhand Joe on the Susan Hoey .
Susan Hoey departs for the home Dock.
Willis B Boyer Christmas lights.
Another view.

Reported by: Mike Nicholls

Twin Ports Report

The vessels of Duluth-based Great Lakes Fleet are all getting ready for their last runs, which will consist of taconite cargoes for nearly all of them. Edgar B. Speer loaded in Two Harbors on Saturday and is due at Gary on Jan 7; Edwin H. Gott is due at Two Harbors on the 7th to load for Gary; Presque Isle is due at Two Harbors on the 9th; Roger Blough is expected at the DMIR dock in Duluth today and then is due at Conneaut on Jan. 8; Arthur M. Anderson is due at Gary today and then returns to Two Harbors on Jan. 8; Cason J. Callaway is due at Lorain today and is back in Two Harbors on Jan. 8; John G. Munson is due back at Two Harbors on Jan. 7. The only vessel in the fleet not carrying taconite is Philip R. Clarke, which is due in Chicago on Jan. 6 and then returns to Windsor on Jan. 8.

Weather on western Lake Superior has been mild, with little ice on the open water and relatively thin ice in the harbors. However, temperatures are expected to drop sharply to more normal levels later this week, which may complicate the final loads. Most or all of the GLF vessels are expected to winter in the Twin Ports.

Reported by: Al Miller

Marquette Update

The Kaye Barker and Algosteel both came in to the ore dock in Marquette on Saturday. The Barker began loading that afternoon, but the Algosteel will wait to begin until Sunday morning. On Sunday the Algomarine is expected along with the Joseph H. Thompson. The lineup for Monday may include the H. Lee White, Lee A. Tregurtha, Herbert C. Jackson, and a return of the Algosteel.

Pictures by Eric & Sandy Chapman
Kaye E. Barker.
Close up.
Wide view.
Through the dock.

Pictures by Lee Rowe
Algosteel and Kaye E. Barker.
Algosteel close up.
View through the dock.
Kaye E. loading.

Reported by: Lee Rowe and Eric & Sandy Chapman

Beeghly in Escanaba

With no snow on the ground and little ice in the bay, it does not look like early January in Escanaba. The Charles M. Beeghly loaded taconite under clear blue skies on January 4. Her holiday decorations still shine bright.

Reported by: Rod Burdick

Welland & Hamilton Lay-ups

Pictures taken Saturday.
Haida and Atlantic Huron at Port Weller Dry Docks.
Close up Atlantic Huron.
New side tanks for the Huron.
CSL Tadoussac at Port Colborne.
McKee Sons in Hamilton.
Montrealais and Lorena 1.
Canadian Navigator.

Reported by: Neil Walsh

Port Everglades Florida Report

The port has been very active with ships and tug barge units transporting containers, cement, steel, oil and gasoline. On the weekends many cruise ships are in port to drop off and pick up passengers. Friday included the brand new Coral Princess, Rotterdam, Crystal Symphony, Silver Cloud and Queen Elizabeth 2. On Saturday seven more cruise ships appeared, and Sunday expects ten more.

Queen Elizabeth 2 departing berth 21.
The brand new Coral Princess during USCG inspection at berth 2.
The new Zuiderdam inbound for berth 26.
Golden Princess backing into berth 2.
Madison Mearsk loaded with about 4,000 containers departs berth 31.
Century at berth 18.
Achilles under charter to Fednav inbound with cement for berth 14.
The 1954 built OceanBreeze is the former Southern Cross departs berth 3.
Drydock ship Dock Express 12 departs with a load of yachts from berth 29.

Reported by: Bill Hoey

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.

In 1970 the PETER REISS broke her tailshaft while backing in heavy ice at the mouth of the Detroit River.

1976 CHEMICAL TRANSPORT cleared Thunder Bay, closing that port for the season.

Data from: Joe Barr, Brian Bernard 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

Golden Cane at Montreal

Friday a ceremony was held at the Montreal Port Administration building honoring the first ships of the New Year to arrive. Each year a The golden headed cane is given to the master of the first oceangoing vessel to arrive in Montréal.

For 2003 the honor was bestowed upon Capt. Ashwani K., engineer of the container vessel Canmar Courage which crossed the eastern limit of the Port of Montreal at Tracy the morning of January 1.

The Golden headed cane tradition dates back to 1840 and Friday's ceremony was the 39th since the Port of Montreal started yearlong operations. Container ships regularly win the coveted cane (17 times since 1981) as they keep the port busy during the winter months.

Pictures by Marc Piché
Capt. Engineer and the ports management employees.
Another view with the pilots who brought the ship in.
Canmar Courage arrives January 1. Sylvain Giguère
Canmar Courage on a trip in April, 2002.
Stern view.

Reported by: Marc Piché

Armco Enters Lay-Up

Armco arrived Friday at Fraser Shipyards in Superior for layup. It's the second vessel to tie up in the Twin Ports for the winter.

Midwest Energy Terminal now expects to end its season Tuesday. The remaining vessels of the season are scheduled to be Canadian Transport loading today, Algowood loading Sunday and Canadian Enterprise taking the last cargo on Tuesday. All three vessels are destined for Nanticoke.

Several more vessels are scheduled to call at the DMIR and BNSF ore docks in Duluth and Superior. Among them are Joseph H. Thompson, due at BNSF on Sunday, and Roger Blough, due the same day at DMIR.

Reported by: Al Miller and Eric Bonow

Partially Built Vermontborg on the Rocks

Friday Wagenborg's new Vermontborg remained aground on La Capelle reef off the Island of Guernsey, U.K in the English Channel. The vessel broke free from its tow Thursday morning. Wagenborg or the "Borg" fleet ships are a common site on the lakes during the shipping season.

The partially complete ship was constructed at the Daewoo-Mangalia Ship Yard in Romania. It was under the tow of the tug Susanne H heading for the Dutch Ship Yard Volharding for completion when the tow line parted.

The grounding took place during a very high tide and the next tide of similar height is not until mid-month. A salvage contract has been awarded to refloat the hull and salvage crews are heading to the scene, expecting to arrive on Saturday morning.

Picture of the grounded hull (Guernsey Press)

Reported by: Martin Kasparic

Marquette Update

Trading Spaces is the name of the game at the Marquette ore dock lately. The Kaye E. Barker brought coal, then pulled out so the Adam E. Cornelius could load ore. The Barker then returned for her turn to load. The American Mariner loaded on the north side of the dock, then gave her place to the Algomarine. The Algosteel, Joseph Thompson and H. Lee White are expected in the lineup.

Pictures by Lee Rowe
Kaye E. Barker unloads.
Cornelius loading.
Bow view.
Stern view.
Algomarine loading.
American Mariner on the North Side of the dock.
Algomarine and Cornelius anchored in the harbor.
Algosteel loading earlier this week.
H Lee White on Dec. 31.

Reported by: Lee Rowe and Art Pickering

Goderich Update

The Cedarglen continued unloading at the Goderich Elevators Friday. Crews on the Frontenac are preparing the vessel for winter lay-up

Cedaglen unloading.
Close up.
Teakglen currently used for storage.

Reported by: Grant Culbert

Clarke Unloads

After anchoring out to wait for the wind to settle down, Philip R. Clarke was unloading at the lime plant in Fairport Thursday evening. Pictures by Dave Merchant
Another view.
Close up.

Reported by: Dave Merchant and Greg Stephens

St. Lawrence River Traffic at Verchères

P & O Nedlloyd Auckland downbound at reduced speed from Montréal, Dec. 30.
Kopalnia Borynia downbound from Montréal, Dec. 30.
Stern view.
BBC Ecuador downbound from Montréal, Dec. 29.
Stern view.

Reported by: Marc Piché

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

Water Levels Delay Traffic

Low water levels in the Rock Cut at Barbeau, Mi. in the St. Marys River delayed traffic Thursday. The water level at the Rock Cut was at a minus 10 inches below datum Thursday evening, causing the downbound Buckeye to tie at the lower lock piers after locking through.

The water level was reported to be as low as minus 12 inches Thursday morning causing many vessels to go to anchor.

Click here to view the water gauge

Reported by: Jerry Masson

ISG's Ross to bid for Bethlehem Steel

The company that resurrected parts of LTV Steel Co. says it will make an offer for part or of Bethlehem Steel.

Wilbur Ross, chairman of International Steel Group, said his company will make its offer Monday. However, the offer probably won't be high enough to provide much money for Bethlehem's unsecured creditors and none for stockholders, he said.

Bethlehem Steel, which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2001, owns much of Hibbing Taconite near Hibbing, Minn. The plant ships taconite pellets through the BNSF ore dock in Superior. Bethlehem carries its pellets aboard the 1,000-footers Stewart J. Cort and Burns Harbor.

Ross is a longtime investor in troubled companies who formed ISG after purchasing bankrupt LTV Corp. last spring. He signed a 60-day agreement -- which expires Monday -- to negotiate exclusively with Bethlehem Steel concerning a possible merger.

Both ISG and Bethlehem have said a contract the United Steelworkers of America announced Dec. 23 with International Steel Group bodes well for a potential ISG-Bethlehem deal.

The agreement, soon to be submitted to workers for a ratification vote, ties workers' pay and benefits to the company's profitability. It was hailed as a way to control costs.

Reported by: Al Miller and Andy LaBorde

Algoway Arrives

The Algoway backed into Owen Sound harbor Thursday morning at daybreak. The Algoma Central self-unloader tied up on the west wall north of the Great Lakes Elevator. Preparation for winter lay-up began shortly after 9 a.m.

The CCGS Samuel Risley was tied up on the east wall late that afternoon.

Algoway at the lay-up dock. Ed Saliwonchyk

Reported by: Torben Hawksbridge, Peter Bowers and Ed Saliwonchyk

Maumee Enters Lay-up

The Maumee arrived at the east end of Sarnia's Government Dock about 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning. She will winter at this dock. Passing down bound that morning was the barge Sarah Spencer and tug Jane Ann IV, heading for lay-up in Port Colborne.

Reported by: Barry Hiscocks

Equipment Arrives in Lorain

Thursday morning a very long semi-truck and trailer arrived carrying a large rubber tired crane. The truck stopped on North Broadway to unload the crane which then drove into the yard of the Lorain Pellet Terminal. This is the first stage first stage of dismantling the pellet loading equipment that will then be shipped to Cleveland.

Once dismantled the terminal is expected to be moved in pieces by barge to the Cleveland water front.

Reported by: Al Doane

St. Lawrence Seaway & River News

Arriving in Montreal Wednesday for winter lay up was Nanticoke at the Marc Drouin pier, section M4 a few yards from Ferbec at section M2. Already back in service, sooner than expected, is Algocatalyst which was at Sorel-Tracy.

Lakers still in service east of Montreal are John B. Aird and Algoport, also Saunière. Earlier Thursday afternoon, John B. Aird was passing Quebec City bound for Contrecoeur to unload iron ore. From there, she will go to Montreal for winter lay up at section M6. Algoport was passing the Gaspe coast bound for Quebec City to unload road salt and Sauniere was at the Magdalen Islands to load salt destined to Quebec City.

The ferry Trans-St. Laurent linking St. Siméon and Rivière-du-Loup collided with the wharf at Rivière-du-Loup Thursday cutting short her season by three days. Four people were slightly injured and the bow door was damaged enough to take the vessel out of service. Before the mishap, she was expected to arrive at Quebec City for wintering on January 6.

According to reports, a recently acquired tanker will be seen making the occasional trip on the St. Lawrence River. Coastal Shipping Ltd. of Newfoundland bought the Finnish tanker TIIRA in December and was renamed TUVAQ. This 11,290 grt. vessel was built 26 years ago at Rendsburg, Germany.

In researching his annual publication "Seaway Ships" René Beauchamp has found that 250 different foreign-flag freighters transited the St. Lawrence Seaway in 2002. This figure includes 58 new names. 38 ships transited for the first time under their current name and 20 had previously transited under at least one other name. Since their Seaway transits, 8 vessels were renamed following a sale, charter, etc, etc. That includes the Fraser, renamed Spruceglen in December.

The others include: Bremon now Linden (Turkey), Hea now Ahmad S. (Syria), Hope I now Hope (Croatia), Neva Trader now Trader (Georgia), Oak now Dora (Malta), Palawan now Fret Meuse (Antigua & Barbuda) and Sichem Malene now Sichem Pandora (Isle of Man).

Two other well known salties which plied the Seaway for several years until 2001 were also renamed last year. Luckyman, in the Seaway from 1987 to 2001 was renamed Tolmi (Cyprus) and Solta was renamed Tuloma (Malta). Solta was a regular since she was built in 1984. Tuloma will arrive at Sorel-Tracy tomorrow to load grain, perhaps the grain that had been unloaded by Nogat.

Reported by: René Beauchamp

Water Level Drops in Western Seaway

Thursday Lake Ontario was 9 cm above chart datum, this is a drop of 2 cm in the last week and 29 cm below the level of last year. Lake temperature off Prince Edward County is 3 C.

Reported by: Ron Walsh

Another Busy Day in Marquette

The Kaye Barker brought a load of coal to the Presque Isle Power Plant in Marquette's upper harbor on Thursday, then had to back out while the Adam Cornelius took on a load of taconite. When the Cornelius finishes, the Barker will then come in for her turn at getting a load.

The American Mariner took on a load of taconite on the other side of the dock, while the Algomarine waited out in the harbor. Expected in the next few days are the Algosteel, Joseph Thompson, H. Lee White, and a return of the Algomarine.

Reported by: Art Pickering and Lee Rowe

Goderich Update

The Goderich harbor was busy Thursday with three boats docked. The Capt. Henry Jackman had been docked at the salt mine since sometime Tuesday afternoon. She was loading for Burns Harbor and did not depart until noon Thursday.

The Agawa Canyon was quickly moved into position shortly after the Jackman departed. The Jackman passed a south-bound ship as she headed north up Lake Huron, likely another vessel heading into Goderich.

Thursday morning the Cedarglen was docked at the grain terminals with so much ice on the forward deck that crewmembers were seen banging it off the hatch covers with large sledge hammers.

The Cedarglen will take on a partial unload of wheat at Goderich Elevators. This is the latest arrival of the season for the elevators that anyone can recall in the last 40 years. The Frontenac was also due in Thursday evening for winter lay up on the inner north wall.

Reported by: Lisa Stuparyk and Dale Baechler

Welland Canal Lay-up

Below are images taken on Thursday

CSL Tadoussac at Wharf 16.
Stern view.
John D. Leitch at Wharf 6.
Another view.
Work continues at the scrap yard.
Tug Welland.
Close up.
Stern view.

Reported by: Alex Howard

Today in Great Lakes History - January 03

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

Jan 3, 1971 BEN W. CALVIN ran aground at the mouth of the Detroit River after becoming caught in a moving icefield.

In 1972 the TADOUSSAC clears Thunder Bay for Hamilton with 24,085 tons of iron ore, closing that port for the season.

Data from: Joe Barr, Brian Bernard , 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

End of an Era, Last Load from Lorain, Ohio

Tuesday at 8 a.m. the American Republic cleared the Lorain Lighthouse and disappeared into the fog heading for Cleveland with 22,026 tons of ore pellets. This load was the last load of ore pellets from the Pellet Terminal at the mouth of the Black River in Lorain outer harbor, ending an era of over 100 years of ship loading and unloading.

The American Republic was a fitting last ship as she was built to be used on the Lorain to Cleveland shuttle. The captain gave the dock crew a fitting send off as they pulled away with a few good blasts of the Republic's horn.

Many residents in Lorain will be happy to see the end as their will no longer be red dust covering the area, but it is a blow to local boatwatchers. For years almost every freighter on the lakes has either loaded or unloaded sometime at the Lorain terminal site. In 1948 a new B & O Rail Road state of the art coal loading terminal opened on the site at a cost of $4,000,000. 32 years later this facility was torn down to make way with the arrival of a $7,000,000 Iron Ore Pellet Shuttle Terminal. The last trip Tuesday, 22 years later, signified the end of an era.

In next two weeks the loading machinery will be dismantled and hauled away for relocation on Whiskey Island on the Cleveland Lakefront. The City of Lorain will take ownership of the 19.1 acre site. It has not been announced if the site will be used for recreation or for modern waterfront housing, but the city government promised it will no longer be used for industrial purposes and could be 2004 until development starts.

Reported by: Ned Gang, Al Doane and Jeff Broski

Busy Day in Owen Sound

New Year's Day brought an unusual sight to the Port of Owen Sound, two ships at one time in the harbor. The CSL Frontenac was unloading grain at the Great Lakes Elevator that morning using the newly installed hopper.

The Algoway spent several hours Wednesday morning maneuvering in the Owen Sound bay. It appeared to make multiple attempts to back into the harbor. A strong 40 kpm northeast wind was blowing but the vessel may have been maneuvering to allow room for the Frontenac to depart. The Algoway departed the inner bay before noon. In late afternoon, with increasing winds, the Algoway was slowly moving further out in the bay. The Algoway is expected to enter lay-up in Owen Sound.

New bollards were installed this fall on the west side of the harbor, to the north of the Great Lakes grain elevator.

Pictures by Torben Hawksbridge
Algoway backing on the bay.
Close up of the bow.
Close up of stern.
Wide view.
Frontenac unloading.

Picture by Ed Saliwonchyk
Panoramic of the Frontenac unloading.

Reported by: David Shearman, Torben Hawksbridge, Mike Bannon and Ed Saliwonchyk

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

Dofasco to reduce its ownership in Quebec mine

Canadian steelmaker Dofasco Inc. announced in December that it and equal partner Caemi Mineracao e Metalurgica SA of Brazil will undertake a "significant" restructuring of Quebec Cartier Mining Co., to reduce their ownership positions.

Quebec Cartier, one Canada's largest iron ore producers, employs about 1,800 people at its mine, railway, pellet facility and port operations in Quebec. Ore from the mine is shipped down the St. Lawrence Seaway to steel mills on the Great Lakes.

Dofasco said the decision on restructuring was reached in an agreement in principle with third parties, which it did not name.

"This restructuring is designed to fund the further development of the mine, which will sustain the company's ability to operate competitively in an increasingly global iron-ore market," Dofasco said in a statement.

The two owners have been trying to sell Quebec Cartier, which has been operating at a reduced level during difficult market conditions, but depressed prices in the iron ore market made a sale difficult, analysts have said.

Dofasco said that under an agreement with the third parties, both Dofasco's and Caemi's ownership positions will be reduced as a result of the contribution of new capital to the operation. The steelmaker said all other parties will support mine development, and Dofasco's support will not be greater than C$34 million ($22 million) between now and 2010.

Dofasco also said its current iron ore supply contracts with Quebec Cartier will stay in place.

Reported by: Ron Kramer

Marquette Update

The Algomarine loaded taconite in Marquette on Tuesday, then tied up in the harbor waiting for weather on the lake to improve. The H. Lee White and Algosteel, with her Christmas lights still brightly lit, tied up to the dock to await loading which will take place on Wednesday. The Lee A. Tregurtha and American Mariner are expected in when the weather allows.

Reported by: Lee Rowe

Lake Erie Report

The following ships were in port on the south shore of Lake Erie Tuesday.

Buffalo: Tugs Ruby and Jaclyn dredging near the museum ships. Fire tug Edwin M. Cotter was in the outer harbor. Since there was little ice in the harbor, it looked like it was practicing close quarters maneuvering near several docks.

Dunkirk: Fish tugs Mary S II and Horizon tied up.

Erie: Fish tugs Pilgrim, Big Tony, Environaut, Jo-Ann M and Doris M. tied up. No activity on the Viking, which still has its bow anchor in the water. J.S. St. John boarded up for the winter.

No ships in Conneaut or Ashtabula in the early afternoon.

Fairport: Three sandsuckers laid up for the winter. The headframe at the salt mine was active, hauling a skipload of salt out of the mine about every 2 minutes.

Cleveland: Barge St. Mary's Cement and the ship American Republic tied up near the St. Mary's dock. The American Republic was tied up in the river Saturday as well, but at a different location.

Toledo: Cuyahoga departing the Cargill dock about 8 pm with the assistance of the tug Illinois. Middleton apparently placed in the drydock

Reported by: Tom Hynes

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

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