Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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GLMI and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum to host programs
remembering the loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald

10/31 - Thursday, November 10, 2005 - Night Watch for the Edmund Fitzgerald
On November 10 the Dossin Great Lakes Museum and the Great Lakes Maritime Institute will hold a special remembrance for the 30th Anniversary of the loss of the Great Lakes freighter S. S. Edmund Fitzgerald. From 4:30 - 8:00 pm that evening events will recall that sailors who sail the inland seas, are sometimes placed in peril. The events will begin at 4:30 by placing of 29 illuminated lanterns around the anchor of the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald that rests in the yard of the Dossin Museum on Belle Isle.

At 5:00 pm the Great Lakes balladeer Lee Murdock will begin a concert in the DeRoy Hall Auditorium.

At 6:30 pm Captain Donald Erickson of the Ford Fleet will recount the night 30 years prior that his crew of the S.S. William Clay Ford went into the stormy seas north of White Fish Point to search for and survivors of the lost Fitzgerald.

At 7:10 pm the names of the lost crew members will be read and ship's bells will be tolled. This will be followed by Bishop Ingalls of Mariner's Church whose ringing of the church bells is part of Gordon Lightfoot's famous ballad on the loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

There is limited seating, tickets are $25.00 for the public, Great Lakes Maritime Institute and Detroit Historical Society Members $20.00.
Click here to print the ticket order form

The event will also be webcast on GLMI, the non profit support organization of the Dossin Museum, is sponsoring the webcast and will be charged $8 for each person viewing on line, because of the large number of viewers expected, we will ask for an $8 donation to offset the costs of bringing this special program to thousands of home computers.

Saturday, November 12, 2005 - Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald
On Saturday November 12, 2005, from 12:00 to 4:30 pm, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum will be hosting a very special open house to remember the S. S. Edmund Fitzgerald. Sessions will focus on the fact that the vessel was constructed at the Great Lakes Engineering Works on the Detroit River and provided raw materials for local steel companies.

Along with workers from the Great Lakes Engineering Works, family members from the last crew of the Fitzgerald will be on hand to talk to the public and share their memories and memorabilia. In addition the public can tour the pilothouse from the S. S. William Clay Ford and meet her Captain Donald Erickson who participated in the search for the Fitzgerald on the night of November 10, 1975. This special open house comes with the cooperation of the Great Lakes Maritime Institute, the Great Lakes Steel Boat Club, the River Rouge Historical Museum, the J. W. Westcott Company, Mariner's Church, the U.S. Steel Company, and other individuals.

Numerous stations will be established in the Dossin Museum to allow the public to see historical memorabilia and talk to those who have a 'Connection to the Edmund Fitzgerald'. There will be a number of video presentations on the large screen in the DeRoy Hall Auditorium showing the launching of the Edmund Fitzgerald, and other aspects of the vessel's career, including the tragic loss on November 10, 1975.

Admission - $3.50 for adults, $2.50 for students and seniors. The various sessions will be free with paid admission to the Dossin Museum.
Click here for details:


Great Lakes Maritime Institute
Annual Marine Mart on Belle Isle
Saturday, December 3, 2005 10:00 am – 2:30 pm

10/31 - 35 Dealers – Items for everyone’s Great Lakes Interest: Artifacts • Artwork Books • Brochures China • Photos Ship Models • Souvenirs. . . and Much, Much More!
Admission $3.00 per person / adults Everyone attending will be eligible for Door Prizes!

Check at the GLMI table to see if your ticket is a winner.

Belle Isle Casino On The Strand, Belle Isle. The Casino is not a gambling establishment but used a meeting point for individuals and groups. It is located in full view of the shipping channel near the entrance of the island just east of the Scott Fountain.

More information: Dossin Great Lakes Museum, John Polacsek, (313) 297-8366


Shipwreck Bought to Light

10/31 - Barcelona, NY - It sank during a summer storm in Lake Erie off this Chautauqua County harbor on July 29, 1930, with 21 aboard. The boat took 15 lives with it; just six survived. It was front page news. After resting undisturbed on the lake bottom for 75 years, the steamboat George J. Whelan came to life Thursday for nine divers, who were clearly excited about their opportunity.

"You can dive a whole lifetime and never be the first one on [a wreck]," said Wayne Rush, who drove two hours from Port Allegany, Pa., for the dive. Rush was the first of the divers to reach the Whelan in 145 feet of water eight miles from shore. Rush and the others said the boat was in impeccable condition, with all of its portholes open. During their brief examination, they said they saw kerosene lanterns, fire extinguishers and porcelain light fixtures, more than enough to pique their interest. "Next summer, I'll be out here every chance I get," said diver Dan Kuzdale of Dunkirk.

Lake Erie has at least 1,750 shipwrecks, according to Great Lakes shipwreck historian Mike Walker. He said other estimates put the total at closer to 3,000. Only about 300 have been located, he said, and serious divers in the area are likely to have made multiple trips to most of them. "The Holy Grail for divers in the Great Lakes is a virgin wreck," he said, noting that the cold, fresh water helps preserve wrecks for hundreds of years. "That boat is literally sitting the way it went down."

A parade of names
The George J. Whelan went down, on its side, sometime around midnight on a warm summer night in 1930, ending its brief but colorful history. Built by the Craig Shipbuilding Co. in Toledo, Ohio in 1910 as one of the few steel lake boats designed for the lumber trade, it was 220 foot long and 40 feet wide. It originally was named for Erwin L. Fisher, the Cleveland manager of its owner, the Argo Steamship Corp. It got off to an inauspicious start when, on its maiden voyage in 1911, the boat collided with the S.L. Clement and sank in the Detroit River. Raised and rebuilt, it was renamed the Bayersher in 1916. During World War I, it was sold to the French government, renamed the Port De Caen, and sent to the fight in Europe.

After the war, it was returned to the United States, where it operated along the East Coast again as the Bayersher. In 1923, it returned to the lakes, where it was refitted as a coal carrier and renamed the Claremont. At the close of the 1929 shipping season, Kelley Island Lime and Transport Co. in Sandusky, Ohio, purchased the vessel. It was renamed the George J. Whelan, and converted to a sandsucker, a specially equipped boat that mined sand from the lake bottom.

Caught in squall
Limestone, not sand, was the cargo that night as it set sail from Sandusky for Tonawanda, according to accounts in The Buffalo Evening News. Mariners on the lake at the time reported that a violent squall developed at sunset. While no rain was reported, winds gusted, thunder rumbled and lake waves swelled. Survivors told investigators that the limestone in the hold shifted as the boat listed under the strain of the winds and waves. Reportedly, crew members were working below the decks to redistribute the load when a sudden gust rolled the ship onto its side. It is believed most of the 15 dead were trapped below.

All six survivors were pitched into the water, where they clung to the hull for 30 minutes before it sank. They began swimming for shore. First mate Irving Ohlemacher, who had no flotation device, stayed afloat by grabbing two other survivors who did have devices. The survivors' faint, anguished cries for help were heard by crew members on the Amanda Stone, a coal-hauler headed to Erie from Buffalo. The ship lowered its rescue boats and picked up the crew members. The words of the Amanda Stone's captain indicated just how lucky he considered them. "Unless you have sailed on the lakes, you don't know what it means to locate six men swimming around in the nighttime," Capt. Walter H. McNeill said. "The ship's searchlight and the voices of the men were all that the crew . . . had to go by to find those fellows." Ohlemacher agreed. "It was only fate that we should have been seen in that pitch darkness that surrounded us," he said. "The chances are we would have perished if we had to stay in the lake many more hours."

Seven sites proposed
The wreck was discovered by undersea search expert Garry Kozak and Captain Jim Herbert, who operates a diving company, Osprey Charters, out of Barcelona Harbor. Kozak works for Klein Associates, training the navies of a number of countries and other parties that buy Klein's sophisticated side sonar scanning equipment. Kozak came to Western New York to help search for a plane that went down in the lake in August and contacted his friend Herbert about taking another look for the Whelan.

"We had the advantage of using the latest technology, which allowed us to search an incredible area in one day," Kozak said in a phone interview from Europe. "We did over 32 square miles that day, which is unheard of." Conflicting reports about where the Whelan went down led Herbert and others to search the wrong areas. "There were seven different versions of where it was," Herbert said. "One said six miles off Dunkirk. That isn't near the shipping lane."

Herbert did more research and picked a target area. "We had an element of luck in that it truly showed up right where we selected," Kozak said. Finding the Whelan was a priority because it meets several criteria that make it desirable for divers, Herbert said. "It's a big ship, with a loss of life," he said. "It's in relatively shallow water, and not too far from the shore."

Chance to be first
For veteran divers like Rush, Michael Domitrek and Jack Papes, the chance to be the first to see the Whelan was worth using whatever excuse they could to take the day off from their real jobs. "We're going to be the first human beings in 75 years to see this wreck," said Domitrek, from Welland. "It's a snapshot of a piece of history, frozen in time."

Papes, who drove from Akron, Ohio with his equipment and underwater camera, said he, like many divers, is curious about the stories behind the wrecks. At 145 feet, the water "is dark and it's cold," Papes said. "You have to have an interest in the history to enjoy it." Judging by the smiles as the divers returned from their trip to the lake bottom, the Whelan will occupy their time underwater for quite some time. "We'll be diving the hell out of this next season," Papes said.

From The Buffalo News.


Port Reports - October 31

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Buffalo was outbound the Saginaw River early Sunday morning after unloading overnight at the Valley Asphalt dock in Carrollton. On her way to the lake, she passed the inbound tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader who were arriving with a split load. The pair stopped to lighter at the Bay City Wirt dock before continuing upriver to finish the unload at the Wirt dock in Saginaw. They were outbound for the lake late Sunday night.

While making the dock at Bay City Wirt, the VanEnkevort & Trader had to maneuver around the Calumet who was still at the dock unloading very slowly. Calumet shifted back on the dock to allow the Trader to get where she needed to unload. Then shifted back forward to resume her unload. As of 9:00 p.m. Sunday, the Calumet was still at the Bay City Wirt dock. She had arrived early Saturday morning.

The CSL Tadoussac was also outbound Sunday backing from the Essroc Dock in Essexville out to Light 12 to turn and head for the lake

Green Bay Ports - Scott Best
Saturday morning the salty Calypso arrived in Marinette, WI with a load of pig iron from Brazil. The Calypso was assisted into port in a strong cross wind by the Selvick Marine tugs Jimmy L and Carla Anne Selvick. The Calypso will remain in port unloading for the next 2-3 days. Arriving Sunday morning in Green Bay was the salty Beluga Elegance with a cargo of parts for some power plants in the midwest. Unloading operations on the Beluga Elegance should continue for the next couple of days. Also due with cargo for Green Bay in early November is the salty Global Carrier.

Buffalo - Bob
The Manistee was in town Saturday unloading at the Sand Supply Co. Landing on the City Ship Canal. This was her first trip with the new name and full GRN/LLT paint scheme.


Photo Gallery Updates - October 31

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 31

On 31 October 1888, A W LAWRENCE (wooden propeller tug, 72 foot, 51 gross tons, built in 1880, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin) blew her boiler at 2:30 a.m. off North Point near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The tug quickly sank. Four of the six aboard were lost. None of their remains were ever found. The tug MERRILL rescued the cook and a passenger. The LAWRENCE was owned by Capt. Mc Coy & Banner and valued at $5,000.

CANADIAN EXPLORER's sea trials were conducted on October 31, 1983, on Lake Erie where a service speed of 13.8 m.p.h. was recorded.

The EDWIN H GOTT was christened October 31, 1978.

On October 31, 1973, the H M GRIFFITH entered service.for Canada Steamship Lines on her maiden voyage bound for Thunder Bay, Ontario to load iron ore for Hamilton, Ontario. GRIFFITH was rebuilt with a new larger forward section and renamed b.) Rt Hon PAUL J MARTIN in 2000.

The CADILLAC was launched October 31, 1942, as a.) LAKE ANGELINE.ELMGLEN cleared Owen Sound, Ontario on October 31, 1984, on her first trip in Parrish & Heimbecker colors.

On October 31, 1966, while down bound in the St. Marys River loaded with 11,143 tons of potash for Oswego, New York, the HALLFAX ran aground on a rocky reef and settled to the bottom with her hold full of water. She had grounded on Pipe Island Twins Reef just north of DeTour, Michigan.

The CHARLES L HUTCHINSON, a.) WILLIAM C MORELAND, struck a reef the night of October 31, 1925 three miles south of Manitou Island, off the Keweenaw Peninsula, on Lake Superior.

On October 31, 1983, the SYLVANIA was towed out of the Frog Pond by the harbor tugs ARKANSAS and WYOMING. She was handed over to the tug OHIO for delivery to the Triad Salvage Co. at Ashtabula, Ohio arriving there on November 1st. Dismantling was completed there in 1984. Thus ended 78 years of service. Ironically the SYLVANIA, the first built of the 504 foot class bulkers, was the last survivor of that class. During her career with Columbia Transportation, the SYLVANIA had carried over 20 million tons and netted over $35 million.

On 31 October 1883, CITY OF TORONTO (wooden passenger-package freight sidewheeler, 207 foot, 898 gross tons, built in 1864, at Niagara, Ontario) caught fire at the Muir Brothers shipyard at Port Dalhousie, Ontario and was totally destroyed. She previously had her paddle boxes removed so she could pass through the Welland Canal, and she was in the shipyard to have them reassembled that winter.

On 31 October 1874, the tug FAVORITE was towing the schooner WILLIE NEELER on Lake Erie. At about 10:30 p.m., near Bar Point, the schooner suddenly sheered and before the tow line could be cast off, the FAVORITE capsized and sank. One life was lost. The rest of the crew clung to the upper works which had become dislodged from the vessel and they were rescued by the schooner's lifeboats.

On 31 October 1821, WALK-IN-THE-WATER (wooden side-wheeler, 135 foot, 339 tons, built in 1818, at Black Rock [Buffalo], New York) was wrecked on Point Abino, on the Canadian shore of Lake Erie during a storm. She was the first steam-powered vessel above Niagara and her frequent comings and goings during her career were very much in the newspapers in Detroit but her loss was not mentioned not at all since this steamer was virtually the only source of news from the east. Her engine was installed by Robert Fulton himself. After the wreck, it went into the steamer SUPERIOR and later ran a lumber mill in Saginaw, Michigan.

On 31 October 1880, TRANCHEMONTAGNE (wooden schooner, 108 foot, 130 tons, built in 1864, at Sorel, Quebec) was loaded with rye and sailing in a storm on Lake Ontario. She struck the breakwater at Oswego, New York head-on at about 3:00 a.m.. She stove in her bow and quickly sank. The crew took to the rigging, except for one who was washed overboard and rode a provision box from her deck to shore. The Lifesaving Service rescued the rest from the breakwater. The schooner broke up quickly in the storm.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Jody Aho, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember seriesThis is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Cutter Mackinaw closer to its Retirement Port

10/30 - Washington - The Mackinaw, a soon-to-be retired Coast Guard icebreaker that blazed shipping trails through the frozen Great Lakes for six decades, is a step closer to winning a new lease on life as a tourist attraction.

The U. S. Senate has voted to convey ownership of the Mackinaw to the city of Cheboygan, Mich., its longtime home port, and Cheboygan County after it is decommissioned next year. The House approved the measure, part of a larger Coast Guard budget bill, in September.
The Machinaw was built in Toledo in 1942.

From the The Toledo Blade


Port Reports - October 30

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
A number of vessels were moving on the Saginaw River on Saturday. The Calumet was inbound Saturday morning calling on the Wirt Stone dock in Bay City to unload. She was still at the dock as of 10:30 p.m. possibly experiencing mechanical problems. The tug Rebecca Lynn and her barge departed the Bit- Mat dock in Bay City during the afternoon after unloading overnight.

Other inbound vessels were the Buffalo and the CSL Tadoussac. The Buffalo called on the Bay Aggregates dock to lighter before heading upriver to complete her unload at the Valley Asphalt dock in Carrollton. She was expected to be outbound Sunday morning. The CSL Tadoussac was inbound late Saturday evening headed for the Essroc Dock in Essexville to unload. She was expected to be outbound on Sunday.

Buffington - Gary Clark
The  Halifax made a very rare call to Buffington Saturday with limestone. Buffington is normally served exclusively by GLF vessels.

Green Bay - Wendell Wilke
The S.T. Crapo tow was inbound Green Bay, WI. Saturday with the G tug Ohio at the bow and the G tug Indiana on the stern. The G tug Texas was standing by for assistance.


Photo Gallery Updates - October 30

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 30

On 30 October 1863, TORRENT (2-mast wooden schooner, 125 foot, 412 gross tons, built in 1855, at Newport [Marine City], Michigan) was carrying railroad iron from Buffalo to Little Bay de Noc when she foundered in a storm on Lake Erie, 10 miles east of Port Stanley, Ontario. No lives were lost.

On 30 October 1870, JOSEPH A HOLLON (wooden barge, 107 foot, 158 gross tons, built in 1867, at E. Saginaw, Michigan) was in tow of the tug CLEMATIS (wooden tug, 179 tons, built in 1863, at Cleveland, Ohio) in a terrific gale on Lake Huron. The barge broke free and drifted off. The waves washed completely over her and the captain was swept overboard. Her cabins were destroyed. The next day the wife of the mate and another crew member were rescued by the bark ONEONTA (wooden bark, 161 foot, 499 gross tons, built in 1862, at Buffalo, New York) and taken to Detroit, but the HOLLON was left to drift on the Lake. The newspapers listed her as "missing". Five days later the vessel was found and was towed into Port Elgin, Ontario. A total of four lives were lost: three were missing and the fourth was found "lashed to a pump, dead, with his eyes picked out.

"The tugs GLENADA and MOUNT MC KAY towed AMOCO ILLINOIS from Essexville, Michigan on October 30, 1985, and arrived at the M&M slip in Windsor, Ontario on November 1st. where she was to be scrapped.

The Maritimers CADILLAC and her former fleetmate CHAMPLAIN arrived under tow by the Dutch tug/supply ship THOMAS DE GAUWDIEF on October 30, 1987, at Aliaga, Turkey to be scrapped.

The ISLE ROYALE (Canal Bulk Freighter) was launched October 30, 1947, as a.) SOUTHCLIFFE HALL for the Hall Corporation of Canada Ltd. (which in 1969, became Hall Corporation (Shipping) 1969 Ltd.), Montreal.

On 30 October 1874, LOTTA BERNARD (wooden sidewheel "rabbit", 125 foot, 147 tons, built in 1869, at Port Clinton, Ohio) was carrying general merchandise from Silver Islet to Duluth when she foundered in a terrific gale off Encampment Island in Lake Superior. Three lives were lost. She was capable of only 4 miles per hour and was at the mercy of any fast rising storm.

During a storm, the schooner ANNABELLA CHAMBERS was wrecked on the islands off Toronto, Ontario on 30 October 1873. One sailor was washed overboard and lost. The skipper was rescued, but he had the dead body of his small son in his arms.

October 30, 1971 - The PERE MARQUETTE 21 was laid up due to coal strike. She never sailed again as a carferry.

On 30 October 1877, CITY OF TAWAS (3-mast wooden schooner, 135 foot, 291 tons, built in 1864, at Vicksburgh [now Marysville], Michigan as a sloop-barge) was carrying 500 tons of iron ore when she struck a bar outside the harbor at St. Joseph, Michigan while attempting to enter during a storm. She drifted ashore with a hole in her bottom and was pounded to pieces. One brave crewman swam ashore with a line and the rest came in on it.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Remembering the Fitzgerald Aboard the Mather Museum

10/29 - November 10, 2005 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald in the frigid waters of Lake Superior. As immortalized in the Gordon Lightfoot ballad, all hands -- 29 Great Lakes mariners -- were lost during this horrific “gales of November” storm. On Saturday, November 12, the Steamship William G. Mather Museum is offering special guided tours using the similarly-configured Mather to recount what did and may have happened that fateful night aboard the Fitzgerald.

Guided tours will be offered every half hour beginning at 12:30 PM with the last tour leaving at 4:00 PM. This program is recommended for high school age and older and outdoor dress is recommended since the program includes trips across open decks. There is no charge for the tour, but advance reservations are required due to the limits of tour group size and high demand. For reservations, call the Mather Museum offices at 216-574-9053 by November 10.

Due to its historic nature, the Museum has very limited handicapped accessibility. The Mather Museum is now permanently located north of the Great Lakes Science Center at 305 Old Erieside Ave.


Port Reports - October 29

Cleveland - Bill Kloss
On Thursday, Polsteam's Iryda was at the Port of Cleveland docks and the Cuyahoga was loading at Cargill Salt.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey, Stephen Hause & Gordy Garris
The Fred R. White Jr. arrived at the Saginaw Asphalt dock in Carrolltown on Friday morning to deliver a load of coal from Toledo. The White was outbound Friday afternoon, after turning in the Sixth Street Basin.

Next in, was the Canadian Transfer whom had arrived during the afternoon on Friday with a cargo for the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee. On her way upriver past Downtown Bay City, she briefly pulled over at the Old Bay Aggrates dock to let the outbound Fred R. White JR pass. She was expected to be outbound late Friday night. Both vessels caused auto extensive traffic back ups through Bay City that could line up for at least 5 city blocks inland.

Finally, the tug Rebecca Lynn and her tank barge were inbound late Friday night calling on the Bit-Mat dock in Bay City to unload. The pair were also expected to be outbound Saturday.



Photo Gallery Updates - October 29

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 29

The whaleback barge 127 (steel barge, 264 foot, 1128 gross tons) was launched by the American Steel Barge Company of W. Superior, Wisconsin on 29 October 1892. She lasted until 1936, when she was scrapped at New Orleans, Louisiana.

On 29 October 1906, the schooner WEST SIDE (wooden schooner, 138 fot, 324 gross tons, built in 1870, at Oswego, New York) was carrying pulpwood from Tobermory, Ontario to Delray, Michigan when she was caught in a severe gale on Lake Huron. There was no shelter and the vessel was lost about 25 mile off Thunder Bay Island. The skipper and his crew, consisting of his wife and three sons aged 10 to 18, abandoned in the yawl. They all suffered from exposure to the wind and waves, but luckily the FRANK H PEAVEY (steel propeller freighter, 430 foot, 5002 gross tons, built in 1901, at Lorain, Ohio) picked them up and brought them to Port Huron, Michigan.

ALGOLAKE (Hull# 211) was launched October 29, 1976, at Collingwood Shipyards, Ltd. for the Algoma Central Railway.

On October 29, 1986, the JAMES R BARKER, who had suffered an engine room fire, was lashed side-by-side to the thousand-foot WILLIAM J DE LANCEY and towed to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin for repairs.

The b.) CANADIAN EXPLORER was christened on October 29, 1983, at the Port Weller Dry Docks. The National Transportation Safety Board ruled on October 29, 1991, that Total Petroleum was responsible for the fire that destroyed the tanker JUPITER because of faulty moorings and exonerated the BUFFALO from primary responsibility.

On the afternoon of October 29, 1987, while up bound with coal from Sandusky, Ohio, the ROGER M KYES, b.) ADAM E CORNELIUS went aground on Gull Island Shoal in Lake Erie's Middle Passage and began taking on water. About 3,000 tons of coal was transferred to the AMERICAN REPUBLIC after which the KYES freed herself the next morning. Damage from the grounding required extensive repairs.

The tug portion of the PRESQUE ISLE departed New Orleans, Louisiana on October 29, 1973.

The H C HEIMBECKER's last trip started at Thunder Bay, Ontario with a load of grain bound for Owen Sound, Ontario where, on October 29, 1981, it was discovered that one of her boilers was cracked. When unloading was completed on October 30th, the HEIMBECKER proceeded under her own power to Ashtabula, Ohio for scrapping.

On 29 October 1892, ZACH CHANDLER (3 mast wooden schooner-barge, 194 foot, 727 gross tons, built in 1867, at Detroit, Michigan) was carrying lumber from Ashland, Wisconsin in tow of the steamer JOHN MITCHELL when the two became separated in a northerly gale in Lake Superior. The CHANDLER was overwhelmed and broke up on shore about three miles east of Deer Park, Michigan. Five of the crew made it to shore in the lifeboat and the Lifesaving Service saved two others, but one perished. Three years earlier, the CHANDLER stranded at almost the same spot and sustained heavy damage.

On 29 October 1879, AMAZON (wooden propeller freighter, 245 foot, 1406 tons, built in 1873, at Trenton, Michigan) was carrying "provisions" - 900 tons of freight plus 7000 barrels of flour - from Milwaukee to Grand Haven, Michigan. She struck the notorious bar off of Grand Haven in a gale and broke up. All 68 aboard survived. Her engine was later recovered.

On 29 October 1880, THOMAS A SCOTT (4-mast wooden schooner-barge, 207 foot, 1159 tons, built in 1869, at Buffalo, New York as a propeller) was riding out a storm at anchor one mile off Milwaukee when she was struck by the big steamer AVON (wooden propeller, 251 foot, 1702 gross tons, built in 1877, at Buffalo, New York). The SCOTT sank quickly. She had been bound from Chicago for Erie, Pennsylvania with 44,000 bushels of corn. Three of her crew scrambled onto the AVON while the seven others took to the yawl and were towed in by the Lifesaving Service.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes at B.G.S.U and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Edmund Fitzgerald Memorial Service to be Webcast Live

10/28 - Paradise, MI - Thirty years after the sinking of the 720-foot steamer Edmund Fitzgerald in a Lake Superior storm, relatives of the 29-man crew will gather Nov. 10 at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum to remember their loss. A special 30th anniversary memorial service will culminate with the ringing of the Edmund Fitzgerald bell and it will be seen for the first time in a live Web cast at, according to press release. The bell of this most famous Great Lakes shipwreck was recovered at the request of surviving family members in 1995 and is now on display as a memorial at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point. The Shipwreck Museum will offer its annual memorial service on Nov. 10, beginning at 7 p.m. in the museum gallery.

This service includes music, reflections and a Call to the Last Watch Ceremony during which the bell is tolled 29 times, once for each crew member, plus a 30th ring to remember all mariners lost on the Great Lakes. Featured bell-ringers are Fitzgerald surviving family members and a group of Great Lakes shipwreck survivors gathered by Dennis Hale, sole survivor of the Great Lakes freighter Daniel J. Morrell, lost on Lake Huron in 1966. A reception will be held immediately following the service at the Paradise Community Center, Highway M-123, in Paradise. An admission fee will be charged for the reception. Seating is extremely limited. Those interested in attending must contact the Shipwreck Museum toll-free at 800-635-1742 by 5 p.m. Nov. 4.

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum will open to visitors daily through Oct. 31, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and the museum complex will also be open Nov. 10, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.


DNR Withdraws Two Harbors Lighthouse Point Grant

10/28 - A $500,000 grant from the Department of Natural Resources to help the city of Two Harbors, MN buy Lighthouse Point has been withdrawn. The grant, awarded in 2004, was one of the largest under the Natural and Scenic Area grant program, program supervisor Wayne Sames said. But since buying the point may be years in the future -- if ever -- the DNR is giving the money to someone else. The DNR notified the city late last week.

The withdrawal wasn't unexpected, said Mickey McGilligan, a member of the Save Lighthouse Point campaign in Two Harbors. "We've been waiting for it," she said. The withdrawal leaves the group with even less money to try to buy the popular point. The city had had about$1.7 million in grant money to buy the land. Some of those grants had expired, and by the end of August the city had $900,000. The loss of the DNR grant reduces that sum.

The issue has been brewing in Two Harbors since Roseville, Minn.-based developer Sam Cave bought much of Two Harbors' waterfront property from the Duluth Missabe and Iron Range Railway in 2003. Cave had proposed a condominium development near the point, an area many Two Harbors residents had become accustomed to using as a city park. Two Harbors City Council has since voted to deny Cave's rezoning request.

The City Council has expressed interest in buying Lighthouse Point, but a formal resolution to do so has never been passed. Cave and the city have been unable to agree on a purchase price, though the city recently hired an appraiser, who valued the point at $5.7 million. Two Harbors City Councilor Mary Rosati said she would not support a resolution to purchase Lighthouse Point for $5.7 million, because the city simply doesn't have the money. "I hate to send money back, but we didn't have anything we could buy with it," Rosati said of the DNR grant. "And $500,000 wasn't going to pay for the point, anyway. I wish we could have used it to buy other property on the waterfront."

Save Lighthouse Point members say the grant money is disappearing because the City Council has not passed a resolution indicating an intent to buy the point. "Right now, everything is in limbo," McGilligan, said. "We have a grant writer who has been putting in a lot of volunteer time on this." The group is still in contact with Cave, and McGilligan took that as a good sign. "Most of our energy is going into getting the group organized," she said. "At the same time, we are pursuing grants and making some contacts about fundraising in the private sector."

Cave had offered to sell all of Lighthouse Point to the city in 2003 for $1.8 million. More recently, an appraiser estimated that the easement for the walking trail around the point is valued at$1.14 million. "The grant could have been used to at least buy the easement for the trail," said Paul Bergman, a Two Harbors resident who sits on the Lake County Housing and Redevelopment Authority and the Two Harbors Marina Committee. "I think the council should have taken action to use that money."

Sames said the city is welcome to reapply for the grant, though there were no guarantees that the grant would be awarded again. The Natural and Scenic Area program is funded through state bonding money and the Environmental Trust Fund of the Minnesota Lottery. Two or three other grant-funded projects have fallen through in the past 10 years, Sames said.

From the Duluth News Tribune


City of Rochester sees 6-month Ferry Loss of $4.2M

10/28 - The high-speed ferry between Rochester and Toronto lost $4.2 million through August, a progress report released Wednesday shows — far surpassing initial projections of a $725,000 deficit in its first year. The operating shortfall alone erases half of the $8 million cushion set aside for anticipated deficits in the first three years. What remains of the cushion, and what is needed long term, might not be sorted out until the ferry board releases its 2006 plan in December. "We're actually within budget on expenses," said City Councilman and ferry board President Benjamin Douglas. "So it becomes a revenue issue."

After the former operator abruptly shut down last year, city officials scrambled to retain the ferry service as an economic asset for the community. City Council created the Rochester Ferry Co. and backed a $40 million loan, which paid for the ferry and left the cushion for startup costs and expected shortfalls in the early years. Rochester Ferry Co. then hired Bay Ferries Great Lakes LLC as the manager. Engine troubles and other problems delayed startup until June 30, fueled doubts of an already skeptical public and accounted for nearly half of the $4.2 million shortfall. An important number, not included in the 13-page report, is the operating profit or loss in August, said Mark Zupan, dean of the University of Rochester's William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration.

"We have an enormous opportunity and, so far, it hasn't cost the taxpayers one red cent," Mayor William A. Johnson Jr. said, questioning what he called the media's "near obsession" with the project but acknowledging a clear plan is needed. "I just think that there's a feeling we need to send out a strong vote of confidence, and that can be conveyed with a plan for 2006."

Toronto Mayor David Miller said through a spokesman that the quarterly report was "of great interest to us here." "The ferry is an important asset for both cities," said spokesman Brendan Agnew-Iler. "The mayor of Toronto expressed hope that the short-term losses can be overcome and he reaffirmed his belief that the ferry will work in the long run." Mayor Johnson, meanwhile, said Toronto "needs to recognize it cannot continue to be receiving all this good will without putting something into it." The same goes for the state and other communities in the region. But will the early numbers be convincing?

Adding to that, Bay Ferries still sails Lake Ontario under the Bahamian flag, needing certified American pilots to hoist the U.S. flag. As a result, each trip across the lake garners a $1,200 fee. Service is scheduled to shut down in January and February. Asked whether Bay Ferries would resolve the flag issue by March, Cormier said he "can't put absolutes on it." Officials said the crossing fees are included in the $7 million in operating expenses totaled through August. The operating budget that Rochester Ferry Co. approved in June called for spending $13.2 million this year.

From the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle


Transport Canada - No further action on canal bump by Mississagi

10/28 - Transport Canada has finished investigating what caused a freighter to run into a wall of the Welland Canal in August and is not proceeding with further action. The Mississagi, which is owned by Port Dover-based Lower Lakes Towing, bumped into a canal wall just north of Allanburg on Aug. 9. The company says the 62-year-old freighter had a steering gear malfunction.

Transport Canada inspected the Mississagi following the collision and deemed it seaworthy. The vessel had also been inspected in March, as part of the federal agency’s regular ship inspections. There were no outstanding concerns or issues resulting from that inspection. The Transportation Safety Board had also previously said it was not filing a report on the incident, considering it relatively minor.

From the St. Catharines Standard


Erie Canal Passes EPA Testing

10/28 - Environmental testing inside the old Erie Canal Flight Locks, in Lockport, NY, came back negative for heavy toxins during late October. This good news will allow the State of New York to begin preparations for full restoration of the set of five original locks that are now used as a spillway for two more modern locks that sit alongside them. The first phase will involve the removal of 1,035 tons of sediment that has built up inside the old lock chambers in the nearly 100 years that they have been out of service. $2.9 million in federal and state aid has been set aside for the project that is expected to wrap up in 2007.

Local and State officials were present on the Wednesday to commemorate the 180th anniversary of the opening of the Erie Canal. School children were on hand to witness the firing of a cannon while local historians read speeches from 1825. Dignitaries boarded a canal cruise ship for a tour of the flight lock complex as the mayor of Lockport reenacted the canal's opening day ceremony.


Port Report - October 28

Saginaw River -Todd Shorkey
The Earl W. Oglebay called on the Saginaw River during Wednesday evening to unload at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City. She departed for the lake early Thursday morning.

The Fred R. White, Jr. is due at the Valley Asphalt dock in Carrollton Friday morning at 8:00 a.m.


Photo Gallery Updates - October 28

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 28

On 28 October 1891, DAVID STEWART (3-mast wooden schooner, 171 foot, 545 gross tons, built in 1867, at Cleveland, Ohio) was dragged ashore off Fairport, Ohio by a strong gale. She was stranded and declared a total loss. However, she was salvaged and repaired in 1892 and lasted one more year.

The CANADIAN PIONEER's maiden voyage was on October 28, 1981, to Conneaut, Ohio to take on coal for Nanticoke, Ontario.

The CANADIAN TRANSPORT was launched October 28, 1978, for Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd., Toronto, Ontario.

Cleveland Tankers GEMINI was christened October 28, 1978, at Huron, Ohio.

The GEORGE M CARL was launched October 28, 1922, by American Ship Building Co. at Lorain, Ohio as a.) FRED G HARTWELL (2) (Hull# 781) for the Franklin Steamship Co.

D M CLEMSON (Hull# 716) was launched October 28, 1916, at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio.

CHARLES M WHITE was launched October 28, 1945, as a C4-S-A4 cargo ship a.) MOUNT MANSFIELD for the U.S. Maritime Commission (U.S.M.C. Hull #2369).

On 28 October 1887, BESSIE BARWICK, a 135 foot wooden schooner built in 1866, at St. Catharines, Ontario as a bark, left Port Arthur for Kingston, Ontario with a load of lumber during a storm. For more than ten days, her whereabouts were unknown. In fact, a westerly gale drove her into the shallows of Michipicoten Island and she was pounded to pieces. Her crew was sheltered by local fishermen and then made it to the Soo in a small open boat.

On 28 October 1882, RUDOLPH WETZEL (wooden propeller tug, 23 tons, built in 1870, at Buffalo, New York) was racing for a tow with the tug HENRY S SILL when her boiler exploded 12 miles north of Racine, Wisconsin. She quickly sank. All three on board were killed and none of the bodies were ever found.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Most Michigan Ferries Kept Shipshape

10/27 - Mackinaw City -- Could a Lake George-style boating calamity happen in Michigan? Such a disaster appears much less likely than the sinking of the Ethan Allen, which took 19 Michiganders to their deaths in New York's Lake George. A Free Press review of cruise and ferry boat inspections found most Michigan boats in good condition, with problems corrected soon after they were identified. Furthermore, the kinds of significant structural alterations that may have contributed to the Ethan Allen's sinking would probably be challenged in the Great Lakes State.

In Michigan, ferries carry vacationers and tourists to some of the state's best tourism spots, like Mackinac and Beaver islands. Three ferry companies to Mackinac alone carry the majority of the island's 800,000 visitors each year. "I've always thought they do an exemplary job of taking care of passengers," said Sandy Thompson of Harper Woods, a Mackinac Island ferry rider. "When it's rough weather, they request that you go below. I've always felt safe." But in any accident, it's usually a combination of small problems that add up to one big disaster.

Take the case of the True North II. Two schoolchildren died when the Canadian tour boat sank in Lake Huron's Georgian Bay in 2000. A door couldn't keep high waves out, passengers couldn't get to the life jackets quickly, small changes to the hull made more water stay inside and there was only one crew member on board. Any one of those problems would not be fatal by itself, but together they were. Coast Guard regulations, which apply to all but a handful of cruise and tour boats working in Michigan, require retesting of vessels that have undergone major modifications. All passenger boats are tested for stability before initial licensing.

For instance, the Mackinac Island ferry Capt. Shepler, built in 1986, had such a test 18 months ago after its three diesel engines were replaced by two, more fuel-efficient models, and its stern received a 7-foot extension. On Thursday, a Coast Guard crew was back at the dock in Mackinaw City, conducting annual inspections on the Capt. Shepler and two other Shepler ferries. All three passed with relatively minor deficiencies, such as not having the ship's name stenciled on a life jacket. Lt. Mark Locklear, supervisor of the Sault Ste. Marie-based inspection team, said the Mackinac ferries, like virtually all of what he calls "small passenger vessels" inspected by the Coast Guard in Michigan, take safety seriously and generally do a good job. "These companies have been in business for a while; there aren't too many startups," he said. "In my opinion, this is a pretty safe industry."

Annual inspections are designed to help keep it that way. On Thursday, Locklear's team spent more than an hour aboard each ferry, checking lifesaving and firefighting equipment, engines and controls, and crawling through the ships' holds looking for cracks. One of the problems in Michigan is that the state's short boating season pushes owners to try to get as many trips in as possible to maximize profits, said Mike Thompson, a Detroit boat surveyor. That's why annual inspections are critical. Overall, the Free Press review of inspection reports indicates that most of the items cited were minor. But that doesn't mean all is well. For example, seemingly minor deficiencies -- such as dead batteries in an emergency light -- could contribute to a catastrophe.

The Coast Guard inspections are comprehensive, filling a 36-page inspection list. Inspectors check everything from proper training and safety equipment to electrical and communications systems. The crew of one boat, the River Queen, was even told: "Remove the vermin from the vessel." The vermin were removed. "My impression of the Coast Guard is phenomenal. They are quite rigorous, and I think they need to be," said Steven Rybicki, general manager of Infinity Yacht Charters in St. Clair Shores.

Some problems are taken more seriously than others. What would cause a boat to be grounded? Deficiencies in "firefighting and lifesaving are two things that will take it out of service," said Lt. Alan Moore, chief of vessel inspections at the Coast Guard station in Detroit. But "there's always stuff that gets overlooked, and that's why we go on board." In fact, Michigan's boats may well be better inspected than those in other states because most fall under the rigorous Coast Guard rules. The Coast Guard inspects all passenger boats in federally navigable waters, including the Great Lakes, the St. Clair and Detroit rivers and the Clinton River up to Mt. Clemens.

Boats carrying passengers in other bodies of water are subject to state inspections, which, depending on the state, may not be as comprehensive. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is responsible for inspections on only 16 passenger vessels designed to carry more than six people. But state officials said the Oct. 2 disaster in New York has prompted a review of Michigan regulations. Current state rules require only that vessels heed maximum load limits. For example, a license might specify that a cruise ship can carry a maximum of 29 people, but that could be for 25 passengers and four crew or 27 passengers and two crew, and so on.

State and federal regulators and boat owners all said they cannot recall a serious accident involving a Michigan passenger boat, although a near miss was recorded in Genesee County in 1993. That was when a paddle-wheeler purchased by local park operators went down on Mother's Day only two weeks after starting service on Mott Lake. Fortunately, the sinking -- with 111 people aboard -- was in about 7 feet of water and roughly 45 feet offshore. No one was hurt. The sinking was attributed to the pilot mistakenly reversing the paddle wheel and flooding the interior deck.

From the Detroit Free Press


Port Reports - October 27

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Monday night around 10:30pm the Steamer Alpena returned to its namesake port after undergoing repairs in Sturgeon Bay, WI. The Alpena loaded cement for Milwaukee.

The J.A.W Iglehart arrived at Lafarge on Tuesday night and tied up under the silos to take on cargo for Superior, WI.

On Wednesday morning the Paul H. Townsend came into port. The Townsend was at the dock but didn't start loading until later on.

The S.T Crapo along with the 'G' tugs Ohio and South Carolina departed Lafarge Wednesday morning around 9am. The tow made its way into the bay and slowly disappeared on the horizon to head back to Green Bay, WI. The Crapo was loaded on Sunday afternoon and has been tied up at the coal dock waiting for better weather conditions.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
Algosteel departed port late Tuesday night.

Cleveland - Bill Kloss
A busy day in Cleveland Wednesday. Fully a quarter of Oglebay Norton's fleet was in town with the Earl W. Oglebay at Ontario Stone, the Fred R. White at ISG and the Courtney Burton at CBT.

The Algoway was departing and the Canadian Transfer was inbound for Essroc.

Sandusky - Dave Wobser
John G. Munson was loading coal at the NS dock on Wednesday afternoon.

Owen Sound - Ed. Saliwonchyk
USGS research vessel, Sturgeon, has been moored in Owen Sound for the last few days--probably here as a result of the earthquake last Sunday.


Photo Gallery Updates - October 27

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 27

While in tow of the tug MERRICK on 27 October 1879, the NIAGARA (wooden schooner, 204 foot, 764 gross tons, built in 1873, at Tonawanda, New York) collided with the PORTER (wooden schooner, 205 foot, 747 gross tons, built in 1874, at Milwaukee, Wisconsin) which was in tow of the tug WILCOX at the mouth of the Detroit River. The PORTER sank but was salvaged and repaired. She lasted another 19 years.

The PAUL THAYER, b.) EARL W OGLEBAY) was christened on October 27, 1973, at Lorain, Ohio.

While the JAMES R BARKER was up bound October 27, 1986, on Lake Huron above buoys 11 & 12, a high pressure fuel line on the starboard engine failed causing an engine room fire, which was extinguished by on-board fire fighting equipment. Fortunately no one was injured.

On October 29th the BARKER was lashed side-by-side to the thousand-foot WILLIAM J. DE LANCEY, b.) PAUL R TREGURTHA) and taken to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

On her maiden voyage the HOCHELAGA departed Collingwood on October 27, 1949, for Fort William, Ontario to load grain for Port Colborne, Ontario.

The FRANCIS E HOUSE was laid up at Duluth, Minnesota on October 27, 1960, and remained idle there until April, 1966, when she was sold to the Kinsman Marine Transit Co., Cleveland and was renamed c.) KINSMAN INDEPENDENT.

On October 27, 1973, the HENRY LA LIBERTÉ struck an embankment while backing from the Frontier Dock Slip at Buffalo, New York and damaged her steering gear beyond repair. As a consequence she was laid up there.

The RED WING and the FRANK A SHERMAN departed Lauzon, Quebec on October 27, 1986, in tandem tow by the Vancouver based deep-sea tug CANADIAN VIKING bound for scrapping in Taiwan.

On 27 October 1869, ALFRED ALLEN (wooden schooner, 160 tons, built in 1853, at Pultneyville, New Jersey as J J MORLEY) was bound for Toledo, Ohio with 500 barrels of salt when she went on the Mohawk Reef near Port Colborne, Ontario in a blizzard. She washed free and drifted to the mainland beach where she was pounded to pieces. No lives were lost.

During a snow storm on the night of 27 October 1878, the propeller QUEBEC of the Beatty Line ran aground on Magnetic Shoals near Cockburn Island on Lake Huron. She was four miles from shore and one of her arches was broken in the accident.

October 27, 1854 - Well-known Pere Marquette carferry captain Joseph "Joe" Russell was born in Greenfield, Wisconsin.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes at B.G.S.U and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Sailor's Wife Dies

10/26 - Barbara (Versey) Zeitler – wife of Robert Zeitler who sailed for Reiss, Kinsman, and US Steel, and mother of Interlake Steamship’s marine traffic supervisor – passed away on Sunday, October23, 2005, after a lengthy struggle with cancer. Barbara was a member and President of the Berkshire School Band Tunebackers from 1977 until the present, and a member of the Great Geauga County Fair Board. She was known by many in the Great Lakes shipping industry, and loved sailing with her husband during his career on the Great Lakes.

Born April 20, 1938, in Sheboygan WI, she was the daughter of Albina (Francis) Versey of Sheboygan, and the late John Versey. She is survived by her husband Robert Zeitler of Claridon Twp, OH (whom she married January 30, 1959, in Sheboygan WI), sons David and Derek Zeitler, one daughter, Dawn Zeitler, and six grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Berkshire Tunebackers, c/o Berkshire High School, P. O. Box 365 Burton, OH 44021


Port Reports - October 26

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The tour boat Spirit of Rochester is scheduled for drydocking here today. Yesterday the tour boat River Gambler was refloated at the drydock.

Kingston - Ron Walsh
The St. Lawrence Cruise Lines vessel, Canadian Empress, arrived in Kingston at 1400 ending her 2005 season. She will be in winter layup, in Kingston's inner harbour in a few days. The Kingston and the Islands Boat line vessels, Island Queen and Island Belle, have already made their last trips of the year. The Island Star has a few trips left but will be done in early November. The inoperative ex Bob-Lo Island vessel Papoose will be moved back to winter position Friday.

The Georgian Clipper, a new vessel to Kingston, has undergone her five year inspection and will also be in lay-up in the Inner Harbour. The Senator has also arrived from Ottawa.

The Sea Prince from Rockport is scheduled to undergo repairs in Kingston Wednesday and then return to Rockport.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
By Saturday, saltie Chios Pride had shifted from its anchorage on Lake Michigan to a berth at Nidera Grain in the inner harbor. Meanwhile, Algoma Marine's Peter Cresswell returned to Milwaukee and backed into the northernmost slip in the outer harbor to load sand, using shore side cranes with clamshell scoops.

Tuesday Chios Pride had again shifted southward along the wall in the inner harbor to make room at the Nidera elevator for Canadian Ranger. The Ranger was loading grain Tuesday afternoon. Chios Pride, which had waited patiently at anchor last week for a grain berth to become available (and which is still apparently without cargo) has now backed up almost to the unloading conveyors at St. Mary's Cement.

Also Tuesday, the former U.S. Coast Guard buoy tender/lighthouse tender Maple was moored to a face pier at the Milwaukee Yacht Club, near McKinley Marina. Reports are the Maple was acquired for rehab and possible tours by a local marina owner.

Cross-lake high-speed ferry "Lake Express" routinely loaded vehicles Tuesday, into the last week of its two-crossings-daily fall schedule between Muskegon and Milwaukee. The Lake Express will move to a berth in the inner harbor after it concludes its second season of service on Oct. 31.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey and Gordy Garris
The tug Invincible & barge McKee Sons arrived late Monday night to unload her cargo at the Wirt Stone dock in Bay City. Once finished, she turned off the dock in the Wirt turning basin and was outbound for the lake Tuesday morning.

The James Norris, who had also arrived Monday evening, departed the Saginaw Rock Products dock in Saginaw, turned in the Sixth Street basin and was outbound for the lake Tuesday afternoon.


Photo Gallery Updates - October 26

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 26

On 26 October 1878, the new steamer CITY OF DETROIT (composite side-wheel passenger-package freight steamer, 234 foot, 1094 gross tons, built in 1878, at Wyandotte, Michigan) arrived in Detroit from Cleveland with 276 tons of freight, mostly iron, on deck, and no freight in her hold. This experiment was tried to see if the steamer would show any signs of "crankiness", even under a load so placed. She responded well and lived up to the expectations of her designers.

On 26 October 1882, the sunken schooner-barge NELLIE MC GILVRAY was dynamited as a hazard to navigation by the Portage River Improvement Company. She sank at the entrance to the Portage Canal in the Keweenaw Peninsula on 28 August 1882, and all attempts to raise her failed.

LOUIS R DESMARAIS was christened October 26,1977. Renamed b.) CSL LAURENTIEN in 2001.

On October 26, 1968, the R BRUCE ANGUS grounded in the St. Lawrence River near Beauharnois, Quebec Sixteen hundred tons of iron ore were lightered to free her and she damaged 65 bottom plates.

The HUTCHCLIFFE HALL and OREFAX were sold October 26, 1971, to the Consortium Ile d'Orleans of Montreal made up of Richelieu Dredging Corp., Mc Namara Construction Ltd. and The J.P. Porter Co. Ltd.

On October 26, 1924, the E A S CLARKE of 1907, anchored in the Detroit River opposite the Great Lakes Engineering Works because of dense fog was struck by the B F JONES of 1906, near her after deckhouse which caused the CLARKE to sink. No lives were lost.

On October 26, 1977, the MENIHEK LAKE struck a lock in the St. Lawrence Seaway sustaining damage estimated at $400,000.

On October 26, 1971, the ROGERS CITY’s, A-frame collapsed while unloading at Carrollton, Michigan on the Saginaw River. Her unloading boom was cut away and temporary repairs were made at Defoe Shipbuilding Co., Bay City, Michigan.

The tug ROUILLE was launched on October 26, 1929, as Hull 83 of Collingwood Shipyards Ltd.

The schooner HEMISPHERE, which was being sought by the U.S. Marshals at Detroit and the St. Lawrence River, escaped at the Gallop Rapids and has gone to sea.

On 26 October 1851, ATLAS (wooden propeller, 153 foot, 375 tons, built in 1851, at Buffalo, New York) was carrying flour from Detroit to Buffalo when she was blown to shore near the mouth of the Grand River (Lorain, Ohio) by a gale, stranded and became a total loss. No lives were lost.

On 26 October 1895, GEORGE W DAVIS (wooden schooner, 136 foot, 299 gross tons, built in 1872, at Toledo, Ohio) was carrying coal in a storm on Lake Erie when she stranded near Port Maitland, Ontario. A few days after the stranding, she floated off on her own, drifted two miles up the beach and sank. No lives were lost.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember seriesThis is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Ohio Trying to Promote Historic Shipwreck Locations

10/25 - Kelleys Island, OH - When state officials tried to mark several Lake Erie shipwreck sites as preserves two years ago, they tousled with property owners over land rights. Now the state, lake historians and underwater archeologists are hoping to mark four of the lake's zones as "underwater trailways." The routes would guide divers to historic shipwrecks without parceling off properties.

"The trailways idea is to promote Lake Erie, hopefully without making people uncomfortable," said Constance Livchak, supervisor of the Division of Geologic Survey with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. "It's not a boundary, where there's a box. A trailway is more of a guide from one shipwreck to the next."

Lake Erie has at least 1,500 shipwrecks, many dating back to the late 1800s and early 1900s when shipping traffic there was heavier. About 600 of those wrecks are in Ohio, said Chris Gillchrist, executive director of the Great Lakes Historical Society.

ODNR is vying for a three-year, $220,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to kick off the mapping plan. If the grant goes through, the state will add $63,000 to the project's budget.

The leader on the project is Dave Kelch, an associate professor and district specialist with Ohio State University's Sea Grant Extension program. He said he hopes to publish a 16- to 20-page guide to shipwrecks in four Lake Erie zones. The brochure will include photographs, historical details and coordinates that will allow divers to locate the sites with global positioning equipment.

He also wants to set up a Web site with virtual dives for surfers who don't want to get their feet wet. The plan is based on a Wisconsin program that maps out dozens of shipwrecks in Lakes Michigan and Superior. "There's a lot of support and a lot of interest in the maritime history of the Great Lakes," said Keith Meverden, a Wisconsin underwater archaeologist.

The expense of documenting each shipwreck's location and remains is high, said Gillchrist, so putting together an exhaustive database would be nearly impossible. "What we're striving for is a representation of the diversity of boats," he said, "so that as people go through these trails, they understand that passenger boats and other work boats were subject to the same forces of nature."

The Division of Geologic Survey is using sonar equipment to learn more about Ohio's wreck sites, said Livchak during an exploration of a 1911 shipwreck off of Kelleys Island.


Port Reports - October 25

Saginaw - Gordy Garris
The Saginaw River was busy on Monday with two vessels carrying cargos to different docks along the banks of the Saginaw River. First, was the Algorail arriving early in the morning on Monday and continued all the way up the river to lighter her cargo at the Buena Vista Stone dock before continuing a short distance upriver to complete unloading at the Valley Asphalt dock. She was outbound early in the afternoon.

Next, was the James Norris who continued all the way upriver to unload her cargo at the Saginaw Rock Products dock during the evening on Monday. She was expected to be outbound the Saginaw River Tuesday morning.

St. Lawrence River - Ron Walsh
The Wana Naree was still anchored with engine problems above Beauharnois. She has been there since early last Friday.


Photo Gallery Updates - October 25

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 25

On 25 October 1872, the crew of the small tug P P PRATT (wooden propeller steam tug, 14 tons, built in 1866, at Buffalo, New York), went to dinner at a nearby hotel while the tug was docked in Oswego, New York. While they were gone, the tug’s boiler exploded. A large piece of the boiler, weighing about five hundred pounds, landed on the corner of West First and Cayuga Street. A six-foot piece of rail impaled itself in the roof of the Oswego Palladium Newspaper’s offices. Amazingly, no one was hurt. The hulk was raised the following week and the engine was salvaged.

On 25 October 1888, AMETHYST (wooden propeller tug, 14 gross tons, built in 1868, at Buffalo, New York) caught fire and burned to a total loss at Duluth, Minnesota.

The ALGOBAY departed on her maiden voyage October 25, 1978, from Collingwood light for Stoneport, Michigan to load stone for Sarnia, Ontario.

The STERNECLIFFE HALL entered service for the Hall Corporation of Canada on October 25, 1947.

The HURON arrived at Santander, Spain October 25, 1973, in consort with her sister WYANDOTTE towed by the German tug DOLPHIN X. for scrapping.

October 25, 1895 - SHENANGO NO 2 (later PERE MARQUETTE 16) was launched in Toledo, Ohio. She was built by the Craig Shipbuilding Company for the United States & Ontario Steam Navigation Company and later became part of the Pere Marquette carferry fleet.

The engines of the propeller WESTMORELAND, which sank in 1854, near Skillagalee Reef in Lake Michigan, were recovered and arrived at Chicago on 25 October 1874.

ARK was built on the burned out hull of the steamer E K COLLINS as a side wheel passenger steamer in 1853, at Newport, Michigan, but she was later cut down to a barge. On 25 October 1866, she was being towed along with three other barges down bound from Saginaw, Michigan in a storm.. Her towline parted and she disappeared with her crew of 6. The other three tow-mates survived. There was much speculation about ARK's whereabouts until identifiable wreckage washed ashore 100 miles north of Goderich, Ontario.

On 25 October 1833, JOHN BY (wooden stern-wheeler, 110 foot, built in 1832, at Kingston, Ontario) was on her regular route between York (now Toronto) and Kingston, Ontario when a storm drove her ashore near Port Credit, a few miles from York. Her terrible handling in open lake water set the precedent that stern-wheelers were not compatible with lake commerce.

On 25 October 1887, VERNON (wooden propeller passenger/package-freight steamer, 158 foot, 560 tons, built in 1886, at Chicago, Illinois) foundered in a gale 6 miles northeast of Two Rivers Point on Lake Michigan. The death toll was estimated at 31 - 36. The sole survivor was picked up on a small raft two days later by the schooner POMEROY. He was on the raft with a dead body. Most casualties died of exposure. There were accusations at the time that the vessel was overloaded causing the cargo doors to be left open which allowed the water to pour in during the storm. This accusation was confirmed in 1969 (82 years after the incident) when divers found the wreck and indeed the cargo doors were open.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember seriesThis is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Seaway Iroquois Lock Suffers Power Failure

Update - Traffic was restored by early afternoon.

10/24 - 1:17 p.m. - The Iroquois lock is unable to operate due to a power failure. The latest information says they will be resuming shipping in the late afternoon, at the earliest. At 1250, the Pineglen and Royale Pescadores were tied at Iroquois Upper Wall., while the Federal Asahi and Cedarglen will be anchored at Prescott. The Algosea is tied at the lower Iroquois wall.

They do not even have power for their radio station. All traffic is being monitored on channel 12 by Seaway Eisenhower.

Reported by Ron Walsh


Governor Celebrates Shipyard in Erie

10/24 - Erie — Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell today delivered $750,000 in funding to support the development and construction of the Bay Front Convention Center, a major economic development project that is expected to create 200 jobs in Erie. Additionally, the Governor celebrated the opening of Erie Shipbuilding, LLC, a new shipbuilding and repair facility located at the Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority-owned shipyard that also is expected to create 200 new jobs. Last year, Pennsylvania offered $2 million to upgrade the vessel repairs facilities at the port, money that will be used by the Western Pennsylvania Port Authority to complete the dry dock for the new shipbuilder.

“Creating 400 new jobs in Erie is tremendous news for the city and entire region,” Governor Rendell said. “Pennsylvania is aggressively competing for new jobs and the investments we’re making are helping to produce positive results for our economy. In the last 12 months, job growth has been the largest Pennsylvania has seen in nearly five years, and we are just 7,700 jobs shy of an all-time high number of jobs in Pennsylvania - 5.7 million, which was set in 2001. “Pennsylvania is not only making investments to attract new businesses and jobs, it is creating an environment to support the growth of our companies and the revitalization of our towns and cities,” Governor Rendell added. “These two projects show how committed we are to delivering new jobs to Pennsylvanians.

“The creation of Erie Shipbuilding in the Northwest, coupled with the promise of new maritime jobs for Erie, signifies that shipbuilding is alive and well in Pennsylvania, and by supporting strong projects like the Convention Center, we are laying the groundwork for our continued economic success for years to come.” At ceremonies to celebrate the opening of Erie Shipbuilding, Governor Rendell presented the Erie County Convention Center Authority (ECCCA) with a $750,000 Infrastructure and Facilities Improvement Program (IFIP) grant for the development of the Bay Front Convention Center.

Erie Shipbuilding is a joint venture between privately held companies Van Enkevort Tug and Barge (VET&B) and K&K Warehousing that will create at least 200 new jobs in Erie. The new shipbuilding and repair facility will be located at the Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority-owned shipyard. The project was a united effort between PennPORTS, a division within the Department of Community and Economic Development, and the Erie Port Authority. VET&B has committed to build a new 780-foot self-unloading laker (barge) and four 135-foot icebreaker certified tugs, which are scheduled to go into operation in 2008. The company has also committed to converting at least four additional 780 foot-long straight deckers and self-unloading barges in the next five years. The Erie Port Authority and VET&B have entered into and executed a five-year lease with two renewable five-year options.


Port Reports - October 24

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Calumet was Eastbound on the lake through Long Point Sunday afternoon on her way to NRG in Tonawanda.

The Karen Andrie came in with her asphalt barge around 4:15 p.m. Sunday afternoon, also headed for Tonawanda.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
The Great Lakes Trader/Joyce VanEnkevort arrived in Marquette on a rainy Sunday for a load of ore. The Michipicoten was expected later on her regular shuttle run. Dorothy Anne/Pathfinder are due Monday.

Duluth - Al Miller
Late Sunday afternoon was busy in Duluth-Superior: Armco was unloading stone at CLM dock in Superior, Indiana Harbor was proceeding down the Duluth harbor channel after loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal, and Roger Blough was just leaving the DMIR ore dock with taconite pellets.

Monday morning was quieter. Montrealais was ready to load at HSC. Herbert C. Jackson was loading at Midwest Energy Terminal with coal bound for the Shiras plant at Marquette, Mich. Ziemia Zamojska was loading at AGP elevator in Duluth.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The windy weekend saw the tug Petite Forte and its cement barge sheltering at anchor in the harbor Saturday. Stephen B. Roman also arrived Saturday and the patrol boat Simmonds came in for the night. All were gone Sunday morning.

Algosteel arrived early Sunday morning and tied up at the Redpath Sugar dock. She is carrying a load of sugar which was originally slated for Canadian Ranger. This is the second self-unloader to use the new hopper facility at Redpath.


Photo Gallery Updates - October 24

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 24

On 24 October 1886, the wooden steam barge RUDOLPH burned on Lake St. Clair and was beached. She was loaded with lumber from East Saginaw, Michigan for Cleveland, Ohio.

On 24 October 1902, W T CHAPPELL (2-mast wooden schooner, 72 foot, 39 gross tons, built in 1877, at Sebewaing, Michigan) was carrying stove wood from Grand Marais, Michigan to the Soo in a severe storm on Lake Superior when she sprang a leak. She was blown over and sank 4 miles from the Vermillion Life Saving Station. The Life Saving crew rescued the 2-man crew in the surf boat and took them to the Whitefish Point Lighthouse for the night since the storm was so severe.

The c.) TEXACO WARRIOR was launched October 24, 1969, as a.) THUNTANK 6.

The PHILIP D BLOCK along with the W W HOLLOWAY scrap tow arrived Recife, Brazil. October 24, 1986.

The THOMAS W LAMONT and her former fleet mate, ENDERS M VOORHEES arrived at Alegeciras, Spain on October 24, 1987, on the way to the cutters torch. The LAMONT was one of the last bulkers that retained her telescoping hatch covers to the very end.

The NIPIGON BAY arrived Thunder Bay, Ontario on October 24, 1980, where repairs were made from damage caused by her grounding earlier in the month.

On 24 October 1855, ALLEGHENY (wooden propeller, 178 foot, 468 tons, built in 1849, at Cleveland, Ohio) was carrying general merchandise and passengers in a storm, when she anchored near the Milwaukee harbor entrance for shelter. She lost her stack and then was unable to get up steam and was helpless. She dragged her anchor and came in close to the beach where she was pounded to pieces. There was no loss of life. Her engine and most of her cargo were removed by the end of the month. Her engine was installed in a new vessel of the same name built to replace her.

On 24 October 1873, just a month after being launched, the scow WAUBONSIE capsized at St. Clair, Michigan and lost her cargo of bricks. She was righted and towed to Port Huron, minus masts, rigging and bowsprit, for repairs.

On 24 October 1886, LADY DUFFERIN (3-mast wooden schooner-barge, 135 foot, 356 gross tons, built at Port Burwell, Ontario) was lost from the tow of the propeller W B HALL and went ashore near Cabot Head on Georgian Bay. No lives were lost, but the vessel was a total loss.

On 24 October 1953, the Yankcanuck Steamship Lines' MANZZUTTI (steel crane ship, 246 foot, 1558 gross tons, built in 1903, at Buffalo, New York as J S KEEFE) ran aground south of the channel into the Saugeen River. The tug RUTH HINDMAN from Killarney pulled her free. No damage was reported.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history.


Lake Express Ends Season Early Again

10/23 - The Lake Express high-speed ferry service between Muskegon and Milwaukee had a great year with a big increase in ridership. But for the second year in a row, the ferry will cut its planned shipping season short, ending operations Oct. 31. Lake Express reports its sophomore year brought increased ridership, improved customer acceptance and a successful season of operating a new ride-control system.

Lake Express officials in Milwaukee planned their first two seasons to continue through Dec. 31. However, customer demand did not justify keeping the ship running into early winter. President Ken Szallai said Great Lakes ferry operations have historically ended operations in mid to late fall. The Ludington-based Lake Michigan Carferry's SS Badger continued operations this year through Oct. 16.

And even though the 292-foot catamaran ferry could handle the late fall and early winter conditions on Lake Michigan, "old notions" of not wanting to travel on the lake in November and December die hard, he said. Lake Express will have to do a better job of educating the traveling public of the ship's availability in November and December, Szallai said.

Although not releasing specific numbers, Lake Express officials report a 10-15 percent increase in ridership for its second season. Lake Express carried more than 110,000 passengers its first year in 2004, company officials have indicated. "Lake Express is wrapping up another great year of business," Szallai said. "But even more important than this year's business success is the fact that our customers were extremely happy with their experience aboard the Lake Express."

Internal company surveys showed that 97 percent of the riders this season say they would travel on the Lake Express again and would recommend the service to others. The ferry company worked hard on its first off season to improve operations in both terminal buildings, food service, crew relations with passengers and upgrading the premiere business class experience.

One of the largest improvements over first-year operations was the installation of $450,000 T-foil stabilization wings on the ferry's two hulls. The computerized, hydraulic stabilizers damped the ship's movement in high wind and waves. Although not eliminating seasickness on board, it significantly reduced it, ferry officials say. The stabilizers allowed the Lake Express to better stay on schedule and sail bad-weather days that kept the ferry in port the first year.

The Lake Express has been operating a two round-trip-a-day schedule since Oct. 2. Szallai said Lake Express will consider keeping its three round-trip-a-day summer schedule next year through October.

Just like motorists at the pump, Lake Express has been shocked by the rising price of fuel over the past six months. To adjust to fuel increases, Lake Express used a fuel surcharge per crossing on each passenger ticket. The charge began the season in May at $1.25 per crossing and has risen to $5 by season's end.

The Lake Express will spend the winter in Milwaukee and be put back into service April 29 next year, two weeks earlier than the 2005 season and a month earlier than 2004. Passengers can begin making reservations for the 2006 sailing season after the first of the year. The specific 2006 sail schedule and rates have yet to be announced.

Reported by Bob VandeVusse from the Muskegon Chronicle.


Historic Beacon has New Owners
Fort Gratiot Lighthouse transfers from Coast Guard to Port Huron

10/23 - A historic Port Huron landmark is staying put - and getting about $1 million in restoration efforts. The federal government Friday accepted the National Park Service's recommendation that the city of Port Huron receive ownership of the 176-year-old Fort Gratiot Lighthouse. The ownership transfer comes after about five years of work by officials in the city and Port Huron Museum, which will operate and maintain Michigan's oldest lighthouse.

"The Fort Gratiot Lighthouse is such a significant part of this community's history," said Stephen R. Williams, Port Huron Museum director. "And that historic symbol is going to keep standing now and be around for generations to come." Williams said officials would begin developing a detailed restoration plan for the lighthouse. He said early plans call for restoring the exterior to how it appeared in the 1930s or '40s. Williams said restoration would cost about $1 million, and work could start late next year.

Joel Garinger of St. Clair Shores walked Friday afternoon along the Thomas Edison Parkway. He comes up to the area about five times a year and has the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse on his list of spots to check out. "It's nice to see that they're going to preserve it," he said. "I know a lot of people who are really into lighthouses, travel all over the place to see them. This will be something special for this area."

Because improved technology has made lighthouses obsolete, the Coast Guard began transferring ownership of the lighthouses to eliminate the cost of maintaining them. In 2000, the federal government passed a law allowing municipalities and other nonprofit groups the chance to own the lighthouse if fficials could show they would restore and preserve the structures.

Port Huron City Manager Tom Hutka said the lighthouse would be a wonderful addition to the city's museum system. This is a symbol of the city and its history," he said. "And we think it's going to be an attraction that will help with our economic-development efforts


Salvagers and Michigan cut deal on sunken ship believed in Lake Michigan

10/23 - Grand Rapids - The State of Michigan and a salvaging company have agreed to work together to determine whether a 17th-century French vessel rests at the bottom of northern Lake Michigan. After more than a year of legal maneuvering, the agreement was disclosed during a hearing Thursday in U.S. District Court. What has yet to be determined is whether the wreck of the Griffin belongs to Michigan or France.

Great Lakes Exploration Group LLC, led by its president, Steve Libert, believes it may have found the ship between Escanaba and the St. Martin Islands, near Wisconsin. The precise location has not been publicly revealed because of looting concerns. The company and some state scientists will visit the site next spring and invite representatives from France and the Field Museum of Chicago to join them. Rick Robol, an attorney from Columbus, Ohio, representing the salvagers, told The Grand Rapids Press for a story published Friday that it may be possible to determine details about the wreck without bringing up pieces. For example, "there may be cannons aboard," he said. "Both sides have agreed to explore working together in an effort to identify the target," Allison Pierce, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Mike Cox, said Friday.

The Griffin -- also spelled Griffon in some references -- is considered by historians to be the first European trade ship to sail lakes Huron and Michigan. It was crudely built in 1679 in the wilderness near Niagara Falls by French explorer Robert de La Salle but sank, probably during a storm, during one of its first voyages. La Salle was not on board, but the ship went down with five or six crew members and a load of furs, said Scott Demel, an archaeologist at Chicago's Field Museum. Demel has been working on the project for a couple of years with Libert, who lives in Oak Hill, Va., but also has a home in northern Michigan's Charlevoix. "We're pretty excited and hopeful that all these parties can work together," Demel said Friday. Radiocarbon testing of an artifact found near the purported shipwreck site indicated that the item could have come from the same time period as the Griffin, he said.

Great Lakes Exploration filed a lawsuit in 2004 seeking to become custodian of what Libert believes is the shipwreck site. Trying to protect its interests, the state intervened, saying the debris found could be simply barn timber. Michigan typically has authority over abandoned ships, but France has expressed a strong interest in the Griffin. The U.S. Department of State is prepared to argue that France owns the wreck, if it is the Griffin, because La Salle was sailing under authority of a king, Robol said.

La Salle's other ship, La Belle, was discovered in the mid-1990s off the Texas coast. With approval from France, state archaeologists there recovered nearly 1 million artifacts, from human bones to muskets, and publicly displayed many of them. The Texas experience "could become a model" for Michigan if the Griffin has been located, Robol said.


Port Reports - October 23

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
Friday night, the Saginaw pass under the Michigan Street bridge at 7:40 p.m.. She had a tug behind her which had a line attached but was not performing any work.

The Karen Andrie departed for Cleveland Saturday morning with her barge at 9:00 a.m.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
The J.A.W Iglehart arrived in port Wednesday morning among gusty winds that affected the area. The Iglehart was outbound in the bay by 2:00 p.m. headed for Milwaukee and was expected to return late Saturday.

The Fred R. White Jr. brought a load of coal from Ashtabula to Lafarge on Thursday morning. The McM Marine tug Mohawk and dredge barge departed the Thunder Bay River at 7:00 a.m. on Thursday.

The St. Mary's Challenger made a rare visit to Alpena on Thursday to load cement for the Lafarge Springwells dock in Detroit. The Challenger arrived around 11:00 a.m. and was heading out into the lake before 7:00 p.m.

On Thursday afternoon the Fred R. White Jr. loaded at Stoneport, with the Algorail to follow after the White Jr.

On Friday evening the Paul H. Townsend made its way into port to take on cargo under the silos.

The G. L. Ostrander/ barge Integrity departed early Saturday morning.

The much anticipated tow of the St Crapo safely arrived in Alpena at about 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning. The "G" tug Ohio was on the bow and another tug (name unknown) was at the stern. The tow slowly and carefully made its way through the shipping channel into Lafarge where the tugs manuvered the Crapo into the coal dock slip. The Crapo remains tied up there until it is time for loading under the silos (possibly on Sunday).

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
The American Republic arrived in the Saginaw River late Saturday morning with a load of coal from Toledo, Ohio for the Saginaw Asphalt dock in Carrollton. She unloaded until 6:45 p.m. before departing into the Sixth Street Basin to turn around and head outbound for the lake. She was outbound at the I-75 bridge in Zilwaukee around 8:15 p.m. headed for the lake.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
The Lee A. Tregurtha arrived in Marquette on one of her regular runs on Friday. On her way to the dock she dropped one of her bow anchors and dragged it all the way to the dock.

Erie Canal - Jim Hastings
The Day Peckinpaugh made its way from Pittsford NY to Palmyra NY on Oct. 20 and tied up for the night just below Lock 29 on the New York State Barge Canal on its way east to become a museum. The Peckinpaugh was running on its own power with only minor assistance from the two tugs.


Photo Gallery Updates - October 23

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 23

On 23 October 1887, the small wooden scow-schooner LADY ELGIN was driven ashore about one mile north of Goderich, Ontario in a severe storm that claimed numerous other vessels. By 26 October, she was broken up by the waves.

The c.) CECILIA DESGAGNES was launched October 23, 1970, as a.) CARL GORTHON, for Rederi A/B Gylfe, Hälsingborg, Sweden.

The rail car ferry GRAND RAPIDS was launched October 23, 1926, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin for the Grand Trunk-Milwaukee Car Ferry Co., Muskegon, Michigan. She entered service in December of 1926.

WILLIAM B SCHILLER (Hull#372) was launched October 23, 1909, at Lorain, Ohio for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio.

October 23, 1953 - The steamer SPARTAN arrived Ludington on her maiden voyage. Captain Harold A. Altschwager was in command.

On 23 October 1868, F T BARNEY (wooden schooner, 255 tons, built in 1856, at Vermilion, Ohio) collided with the schooner TRACY J BRONSON and sank below Nine Mile Point, Northwest of Rogers City in Lake Michigan. The wreck was found in 1987, and sits in deep water, upright in almost perfect condition.

On 23 October 1873, the wooden steam barge GENEVA was loaded with wheat and towing the barge GENOA in a violent storm on Lake Superior. She bent her propeller shaft and the flailing blades cut a large hole in her stern. The water rushed in and she went down quickly 15 miles off Caribou Island. No lives were lost. This was her first season of service. She was one of the first bulk freighters with the classic Great Lakes fore and aft deck houses.

On 23 October 1883, JULIA (2-mast wooden schooner, 89 foot, 115 gross tons, built in 1875, at Smith's Falls, Ontario) was coming into Oswego harbor with a load of barley when she struck a pier in the dark and sank. No lives were lost.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history

Mackinaw Passes with Flying Colors

10/22 - Cheboygan - If you happened to drive past the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw this week, you may have noticed a broom attached to the ship's mast. During World War II, specifically from late 1942 to early 1943, it became customary for a broom to be tied to the shears of a submarine returning from a successful patrol, indicating that it had made a “clean sweep” or sunk everything possible. Those crews had completed their mission with flying colors. The Mackinaw breaks ice and does not submerge, yet the symbolism of the broom still holds true.

The crew of the giant icebreaker, in its final year of service on the soon-to-be de-commissioned vessel, completed a “clean sweep” of its Tailored Annual Cutter Training. The Mac will be awarded the Coast Guard “O” for overall operational readiness, and the crew earned the Coast Guard's “E” ribbon as recognition for its overall excellence.

“TACT is a two-week period of intensive drills and training designed to make Mackinaw crewmembers a more cohesive, efficiently functioning unit that can effectively respond to emergent and non-standard evolutions,” stated Ensign Beth Newton, the ship's public affairs officer. “Some of the training scenarios held on the Mackinaw included drills for man overboard, precision anchoring, engineering space fire, small boat operations and engineering casualty control exercises. Newton said a towing evolution was also performed with the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Biscayne Bay. The exercises were graded by members of the Afloat Training Group from Mayport, Fla.

The Mackinaw is spending this week underway in Lake Superior conducting area familiarization for the upcoming ice season. The ship is scheduled to visit Duluth, Minn., and Superior, Wis., Friday and Saturday for tours but had to skip a planned stop at Thunder Bay, Ont., Canada due to heavy weather. The Mac is due to return to Cheboygan Sunday. “Part of the ship's preparation for icebreaking is raising proficiency in navigating ports and waterways crucial to Great Lakes shipping,” Newton said.

From the Cheboygan Tribune


Steering Away from Seaway Expansion

10/22 - For decades, international shippers have wanted bigger locks and channels in the St. Lawrence Seaway. Earlier this month, the Seaway’s chief in Canada said expansion is off the table, at least for a generation. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s David Sommerstein reports: Only a third of the world’s shipping fleet can fit in the Seaway. Industry has long said digging deeper drafts would bring much needed commerce to Great Lakes ports.

But Dick Corfe told shippers at a conference in Toronto there’d be no changes for fifteen to twenty years. Corfe is CEO of the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, which runs Canada’s half of the waterway. "We have to work with what we have. We have the physical constraints of the locks. The ships can’t be any bigger than the locks, and we have an obligation to try and maximize the use of the system around the current infrastructure."

Corfe said the way to do that is to move goods between East Coast and Great Lakes ports by ship instead of truck or train. Corfe’s remarks come after the Army Corps of Engineers backed off a study last year that recommended expansion. Environmentalists said dredging and blasting a bigger channel would devastate Great Lakes ecology.

From Great Lakes Radio Consortium


Christening of CCGS Cape Hearne

10/22 - The Canadian Coast Guard Cutter Cape Hearne was officially christened at 11 a.m. Saturday in Portsmouth Olympic Harbour, Kingston. The sponsor of the vessel was Ms. Judith MacKenzie, a long time Kingston public servant. Her father and grandfather had a long marine career.

The 47-foot motor lifeboat is stationed in Kingston for search and rescue duties in eastern lake Ontario, Upper St. Lawrence River area. The two crews, captained by Ray Throop and Wade Buhl, have been training on the vessel since July. The vessel has been equipped with the latest electronic navigation, communication and search gear. Top speed is 26 knots.

The vessel replaces the CCGC Bittern which has been decommissioned since July.

Reported by Ron Walsh


Work Starts on Desmond Ship Watching Facility
Vantage Point Center to open in November

10/22 - Bob Babcook and his grandson, Mikey, ventured Thursday afternoon to Vantage Point in Port Huron hoping to get some goodies at Anchor Fries. They discovered the french-fry wagon and London's Ice Cream truck had closed for the season, so they enjoyed the view of the St. Clair River from their seats on the sea wall.
Next month, ship and river watchers will have an indoor view. Work started this week on a 6,000-square-foot ship-watching facility at Vantage Point, an area at the north end of Acheson Ventures' Desmond Landing project where the St. Clair and Black rivers meet.

Acheson Ventures spokesman Paul Maxwell said the building, which will be composed of six modular trailers, should be finished by the end of November. Maxwell said the building, which will feature a glass face, also can be used by organizations offering maritime events. A more permanent building will be built if everything is successful at the site, he said.

Babcook of Port Huron frequently brings his grandson to the site. On Thursday, Mikey, 2, pointed at the birds as they skimmed the water. "All this revitalization here is really the greatest thing that has happened to this town," Babcook said. "And building a place where you can watch the ships is a great idea. It'll keep people inside out of the winter weather."

Maxwell, who has declined to give a cost for the project, said while the ship-watching facility will be open in the winter, the french-fry wagon and ice-cream truck will return in the spring. "We're really just testing the waters now with the ship-watching facility," he said. "And if it's successful, like we think it will be, it could become something more permanent. We're really looking at this area as our maritime center."

From the Port Huron Times-Herald


Port Report - October 22

Prescott - Ron Walsh
The Spruceglen is westbound again. She was cleared to go at 0100 this morning. As of 1730 the Wana Naree was still anchored with engine problems above Beauharnois.

The Algosoo has been anchored in Prince Edward Bay since yesterday. As of 1730 she was still there. The Algoma list says she has coal for a Lake Ontario port.


Photo Gallery Updates - October 22

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 22

On 22 October 1903, while being towed by the GETTYSBURG in the harbor at Grand Marais, Michigan in a severe storm, the SAVELAND (wooden schooner, 194 foot, 689 gross tons, built in 1873, at Milwaukee, Wisconsin) was torn away and thrown against some pilings which punctured her hull. She sank to her main deck and was pounded to pieces by the storm waves. No lives were lost.

The tug PRESQUE ISLE completed her sea trials on October 22, 1973, in New Orleans.

On October 22, 1986, the ALGOCEN spilled about four barrels of diesel fuel while refueling at the Esso Dock at Sarnia.

The TOM M GIRDLER departed South Chicago light on her maiden voyage, October 22, 1951, bound for Escanaba, Michigan where she loaded 13,900 tons of ore for delivery to Cleveland, Ohio.

The THORNHILL of 1906, a.) ISHPEMING, grounded on October 22, 1973, just above the Sugar Island ferry crossing in the St. Marys River.

On 22 October 1887, C.O.D. (wooden schooner-barge, 140 foot, 289 gross tons, built in 1873, at Grand Haven, Michigan) was carrying wheat in Lake Erie in a northwest gale. She was beached three miles east of Port Burwell, Ontario and soon broke up. Most of the crew swam to shore, but the woman who was the cook was lashed to the rigging and she perished.

October 22, 1929 - The steamer MILWAUKEE (formerly MANISTIQUE MARQUETTE AND NORTHERN 1) sank in a gale with a loss of all 52 hands. 21 bodies were recovered. Captain Robert Mc Kay was in command.

On October 27, 1929, a Coast Guard patrolman near South Haven, Michigan, picked up the ship's message case, containing the following handwritten note:"S.S. MILWAUKEE, OCTOBER 22/29 8:30 p.m. The ship is taking water fast. We have turned around and headed for Milwaukee. Pumps are working but sea gate is bent in and can't keep the water out. Flicker is flooded. Seas are tremendous. Things look bad. Crew roll is about the same as on last payday. (signed) A.R. Sadon, Purser."

On 22 October 1870, JENNIE BRISCOE (wooden schooner, 85 foot, 82 tons, built in 1870, at Detroit, Michian) was raised from where she sank off Grosse Ile, Michigan a couple of months earlier. She was in her first season of service when she collided with the propeller FREE STATE and sank there. Her raised wreck was sold Canadian in 1871, and she was rebuilt as the propeller scow HERALD.

In a severe gale on 22 October 1873, the three barges DAVID MORRIS, GLOBE, and SAGINAW from Bay City grounded and sank off Point Pelee on Lake Erie.

On 22 October 1887, DOLPHIN (wooden schooner-barge, 107 foot, 147 tons, built in 1855, at Milan, Ohio) and G D NORRIS (2-mast wooden schooner, 128 foot, 262 gross tons, built in 1856, at Cleveland, Ohio) were both carrying lumber and were in tow of the steamer OSWEGATCHIE in a storm on Lake Huron. The tow line broke when the vessels were off Harbor Beach, Michigan. The DOLPHIN capsized and foundered. All 6 or 7 onboard perished. The NORRIS sank to her decks and her crew was rescued by the passing steamer BRECK. The NORRIS drifted ashore near Goderich, Ontario.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history.


Port Reports - October 21

Prescott - Ron Walsh
Spruceglen has been anchored, since 2:35 a.m. Thursday, at Prescott, with an overheating engine problem.

The Wanna Naree has been anchored at Beauharnois since 7:05 p.m., and she also has engine problems.

Green Bay - Jason Leino
The port of Green Bay was pretty busy Thursday morning. The Earl W. Oglebay arrived in Green Bay at 7:00 a.m. with a load of limestone from Port Inland, MI. for Western Lime.

The S.T. Crapo tow got under way at 8:30 a.m. from LaFarge. The tow was out bound Green Bay at 12:30 p.m.

The H. Lee White arrived next at 8:45 a.m. with a load of coal from Ashtabula, OH. for WPS/Fox River Dock.

Last to arrive was the G.L. Ostrander Integrity at 1400 with a partial load of cement from Milwaukee/Alpena for LaFarge.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Karen Andrie was inbound for Tonawanda with her asphalt barge Thursday evening around 6:00 p.m.

Saginaw - Todd Shorkey
Traffic remained steady on the Saginaw River on Thursday with visits from the Sam Laud and the tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader. The Laud called on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City to unload. She was outbound Thursday afternoon.

The Trader arrived with a split load, lightering at Bay City Wirt and then finishing her unload at the Wirt dock in Saginaw. The pair were outbound late Thursday night.

The tug Muskegon and dredge Buxton were also still working on a dredging project near the pump-out island in Saginaw Bay.


Photo Gallery Updates - October 21

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 21

The Anchor Line’s CONEMAUGH (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 251 foot, 1609 gross tons, built in 1880, at W. Bay City, Michigan) and the Union Line’s NEW YORK (wooden propeller package freighter, 269 foot, 1922 gross tons, built in 1879, at Buffalo, New York) collided on the Detroit River at 7:30 p.m., 21 October 1891. The CONEMAUGH sank close to the Canadian shore. She was carrying flour and other package freight from Chicago to Buffalo. She was later raised and repaired, and lasted until 1906 when she was lost in a storm on Lake Erie.

The JOHN B AIRD arrived at Sarnia, Ont. October 21, 1990, for repairs after suffering a conveyor belt fire a week earlier.

The JAMES A FARRELL and fleet mate RICHARD TRIMBLE were the first vessels to lock down bound in the newly opened Davis Lock at the Soo on October 21, 1914.

On October 21, 1954, the GEORGE M HUMPHREY set a record when she took aboard 22,605 gross tons of iron ore at Superior, Wisconsin. The record stood until 1960.

The crew on the SAMUEL MATHER was safely removed from the badly exposed steamer on October 21, 1923, by the Eagle Harbor life saving crew. She had run aground on the 19th.

It was announced on October 21, 1986, that Canada Steamship Lines and Upper Lakes Group would merge CSL's Collingwood shipyard and ULS' Port Weller shipyard and create Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering (1986) Ltd.

On 21 October 1941, AMERICA (steel tug, 80 foot, 123 gross tons, built in 1897, at Buffalo, New York) was on a cable along with the big tug OREGON off Belle Isle in the Detroit River trying to pull the steel bulk freighter B F JONES off a bar. The cable tightened, pulling AMERICA out of the water and spinning her upside down. Six of the crew of 13 lost their lives. AMERICA was later recovered. Still owned by Great Lakes Towing Co., AMERICA was renamed b.) MIDWAY in 1982 and c.) WISCONSIN in 1983.

On 21 October 1916, JAMES B COLGATE (whaleback bulk freighter, 308 foot, 1713 gross tons, built in 1892, at W. Superior, Wisconsin) was carrying coal off Long Point on Lake Erie in a storm. She struck bottom in a plunge off a huge wave in one of the worst storms ever recorded on Lake Erie -- it's called the "Black Friday Storm". Of the 26 on board, only her skipper survived. The 360 foot steel freighter MERIDA also perished in this same storm.

October 21, 1954 - Capt. Allen K. Hoxie, skipper of the MILWAUKEE CLIPPER, retired.

On 21 October 1886, W L BROWN (wooden propeller freighter, 140 foot, 336 gross tons, built in 1872, at Oshkosh, Wisconsin as NEPTUNE) was carrying iron ore from Escanaba for DePere, Wisconsin. A storm struck while she was on Green Bay. She sprang a leak one mile from Peshtigo Reef and went down in 76 feet of water. No lives were lost. All of her outfit and machinery were removed the following summer. This vessel's first enrollment was issued at Milwaukee, Wisconsin on 22 April 1873, as NEPTUNE, but this enrollment was surrendered at Milwaukee on 30 September 1880, endorsed "broken up." However she was re-enrolled as a new vessel at Milwaukee on 15 June 1880, having been rebuilt by A. L. Johnson at Green Bay, Wisconsin as the W L BROWN.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Chi-Cheemaun Engine Correction

10/20 - The original article concerning the new engines for the Chi-Cheemaun indicated that four 8-cylinder engines would be installed following the 2006 season. In fact the new engines will be four 6-cylinder Cats. The original article has been corrected.


Long Lost Steamer George J. Whelan Discovered off Westfield N.Y.

10/20 - The steamer George J Whelan capsized and sank on July 29, 1930 in Lake Erie with the loss of 15 lives. Its exact location has been a mystery, though many unsuccessful searches have been carried out for it.

Garry Kozak of Derry NH, a world recognized expert in undersea search operations, teamed with Capt Jim Herbert of Osprey Charters in Barcelona NY, to conduct a search for the Whelan remains. The team analyzed the old newspaper accounts and selected a 32 square mile area that they felt would hold the Whelan wreck.

The team assembled at Barcelona Harbor on October 13 and using the latest state of the art Klein System 3000 side scan sonar, the 32 square miles was surveyed in less than 10 hours from Capt Herbert’s research vessel “Southwind”. The Klein Side Scan Sonar is a seafloor imaging sonar and has been responsible for such finds as the Titanic, the Civil War ship Monitor, and air disasters like TWA 800, SwissAir 111, and John F Kennedy’s plane crash off Martha’s Vineyard.

The hull of the Whelan was located resting on the lake floor, lying on its port side. During the summer of 2006 Osprey Charters will be operating dive tours to this latest discovery, to explore and possibly discover the reason why the ill fated ship foundered.


Ferry Reverses Course in Midtrip
Recurrent fuel-line issue forces ship to turn around while en route to Toronto

10/20 - A recurring fuel-line problem forced the high-speed ferry to turn back midvoyage Tuesday morning with 450 people aboard. But the ship is expected to be back on schedule today. Officials are blaming rough waters and inclement weather for the mechanical problems and turnaround, leaving Mayor William A. Johnson Jr. skeptical of the current 10-month operating schedule. Further schedule cutbacks will be made Nov. 1 but the plan remains to continue service through year's end.

Johnson said first quarter numbers, to be released in the next few days, show the Spirit of Ontario should continue to crisscross between Rochester and Toronto next year. "I'm encouraged, personally encouraged" Johnson said of the overall performance. "The numbers cannot meet our projections because we did not run the full season. But what I have seen, and what I've heard, is enough to encourage us to proceed."

Officials downplayed layoffs that hit seasonal employees of the ship and an onboard caterer last month, saying the staffing changes resulted from schedule cutbacks that came one month earlier than anticipated. The ship's fuel-line problem first developed during a Sunday crossing and was blamed on high waves. It was repaired and the ferry sailed Monday without incident.

"They did have the problem (Sunday), made a repair and apparently it didn't hold," said Ed Doherty, the city's commissioner for environmental services. "They are going to replace the line." The broken fuel line left the ship with three instead of four engines, which wouldn't normally be a problem. However, with the forecast for high winds around Toronto and into the afternoon, the captain thought "they wouldn't be able to return very comfortably," Doherty said. The ship was making a special crossing Tuesday. Half the group was with a tour bus while others were regular passengers or people invited for a tourism promotion.

The ferry was an hour and 15 minutes out when it turned around. "It was much smoother than I thought it would be," said passenger Alan Accorso of Irondequoit, owner of Jan's Nutty Bavarian. "I couldn't tell the water was rough. That's what amazed me."

Mayor Johnson said the city needs to look at what months are realistic for the ship to operate. Lake Express, a high-speed ferry that crosses Lake Michigan between Milwaukee and Muskegon, Mich., runs May 14 to Oct. 2. Johnson said the city has heard part of the reason for the shortened season is rough water.

From the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle


Port Reports - October 20

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
On Wednesday, saltie Royal Pescadores (registered in Panama) loaded yellow corn at Nidera's elevator in the inner harbor. It must be fall grain rush time, because another ocean vessel was anchored just outside the breakwater, in plain view of the downtown office towers, waiting for the grain elevator berth to become available.

Meanwhile, Algoma's Peter R. Cresswell unloaded salt at dockside in the inner harbor.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The CSL Laurentian came in for the Gateway Terminal in Lackawanna on Tuesday evening. She loaded coal for Hamilton and moved down the slip this afternoon before securing for the evening due to gale force winds on the lake. The captain stayed tied up in Buffalo because the CSL Assiniboine was occupying the fuel dock in Port Colburn. The Laurentian called a tug from Buffalo and departed Lackawanna at 6:00 p.m. for the Welland Canal hoping to take the fuel dock when the Assiniboine departed around 8:00 p.m.

The Saginaw did not start unloading at the ADM Standard Elevator until Tuesday night. She was still there at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday.

The Courtney Burton was seen unloading at the General Mills Frontier Elevator on Tuesday. She departed at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
On Wednesday, the Indiana Harbor called on the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville to unload coal late in the afternoon. They expected to be outbound late in the evening or early Thursday morning



Photo Gallery Updates - October 20

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 20

On 20 October 1875, the wooden schooner F C LEIGHTON was loaded with ore when she struck a rock in the St. Marys River and sank a few miles from Detour, Michigan. A tug was sent right away to raise her.

On 20 October 1916, MERIDA (steel propeller bulk freighter, 360 foot, 3261 gross tons, built in 1893, at W. Bay City, Michigan) was heavily loaded with iron ore when she encountered the "Black Friday" Storm on Lake Erie. She sank about 24 miles east of Erieau, Ontario. All 24 onboard were lost. A few days later the wheelhouse was found floating 15 miles south of Port Stanley. 21 bodies were eventually found, but not the bodies of Capt. Harry L. Jones nor crewman Wilfred Austin. The wreck was found in 1975, by Larry Jackson, a commercial fisherman.

The SCOTT MISENER of 1954, proceeded to the Port Arthur shipyard for dry docking and repairs on October 20th, after striking bottom October 15, 1973, near Whaleback Shoal on the St. Lawrence River.

The JAMES S DUNHAM was launched October 20, 1906, for the Chicago Navigation Co. (D. Sullivan & Co., mgr.) Duluth, Minnesota. Renamed b.) LYNFORD E GEER in 1926, and c.) OTTO M REISS in 1934. Scrapped at Castellon, Spain in 1973.

PETER A B WIDENER was launched October 20, 1906, for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co. (later the U.S. Steel Corp. in 1952), Cleveland, Ohio.

The tug RESCUE was sent from Port Huron to Tawas, Michigan to release the 246 foot barge OCEAN that was grounded. After pulling the barge free, Capt. Fitch of RESCUE began towing her down Lake Huron, but the storm got so bad that he was about to turn back and run for Tawas. However, the captain of OCEAN yelled that they were all right and to go ahead down the lake. Soon the seas got the better of the barge. The tug kept with her until she was about to sink. Then the line was cut, the tug turned about, ran under her lee, and rescued her crew of 9 from the lifeboat. The barge then sank. On the way down Lake Huron, opposite Port Sanilac, the RESCUE picked up 6 men and 1 woman from the wrecked barge JOHN F RUST. In this one trip, the RESCUE earned her name by rescuing 16 persons!

October 20, 1898 - The SHENANGO NO 2 (later PERE MARQUETTE 16) was arriving Milwaukee when her steering gear failed, causing her to crash into a grain elevator which was under construction.

October 20, 1926 - The keel was laid for the twin screw lake passenger and railcar ferry WABASH (Hull#177) of the Toledo Shipbuilding Co.

On 20 October 1863, E S ADAMS (3 mast wooden bark, 135 foot, 341 gross tons, built in 1857, at Port Robinson, Ontario) was carrying 18,500 bushels of wheat on a clear night when she collided with the American bark CONSTITUTION resulting in the loss of the ADAMS. One life was lost. Neither vessel was blamed for the accident.

On 20 October 1854, JOHN J AUDUBON (wooden brig, 370 tons, built in 1854, at Black River, Ohio) was carrying railroad iron from Buffalo to Chicago when she was struck amidships by the schooner DEFIANCE on a dark night, halfway between Thunder Bay and Presque Isle, Michigan. AUDUBON was cut almost in half. Both vessels sank quickly. No lives were lost.

On 20 October 1844, DAYTON (2-mast wooden schooner, 69 foot, 85 tons, built in 1835, at Grand Island, New York) capsized and sank in Lake Erie off Dunkirk, New York in a terrific gale. All onboard were lost.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Crapo to sail again
Alpena Rudder Located and Salvaged

10/19 - The S. T. Crapo, which last operated in 1996, will be towed from Green Bay to the Alpena LaFarge dock this week, for at least one load of cement. This is being done due to the Alpena's rudder work taking place in Sturgeon Bay.

American Diving & Salvage Company, based in Chicago, delivered the lost rudder of the Alpena to the Iroquois Landing at South Chicago for shipping to Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, WI.

The rudder took two days to locate using a Klein Digital Side-Scan Sonar, in 48.7 feet of water. Bad weather allowed for review of the data for the next phase of the operation. A list of targets was made to be checked the following day, when the weather eased up. The identification was made and verified. The recovery was commenced and concluded the next day.

The rudder was loaded on to a truck early Friday and arrived at Bay Shipbuilding later that morning.

American Diving & Salvage Co. specialize in search and recovery.

Reported by Harry Zych


Chi-Cheemaun to Winter in Sarnia While Undergoing Planned Mid-Life Machinery Refit

Corrected - 10/20 - Owen Sound - The M.S. Chi-Cheemaun will not be returning to the Owen Sound Harbour for the winter. The ship arrived in Sarnia, Ontario, on Tuesday, where she will undergo the first half of a major mid-life machinery refit. The refit will not interfere with the normal ferry operating season, scheduled to begin on Friday, May 5, 2006 from Tobermory, Ontario. During the coming winter the ship will have generators, bow thruster motor, boilers and electrical components removed and replaced with new equipment. The second half of the project will take place following the 2006 ferry operating season and will see the ship’s two, 16-cylinder Ruston diesel engines replaced with four, 6-cylinder Caterpillar diesel engines.

The machinery replacement project includes a plan for mechanical redundancy designed to ensure the vessel’s mechanical reliability through the second half of its serviceable life. “There is no replacement or back-up vessel on the Tobermory to Manitoulin Island ferry route,” said Susan Schrempf, General Manager for the OSTC. “We literally have to be our own back-up vessel and the new four engine, two shaft configuration will provide us with that capability.” Contracts have been awarded to Toromont Cat (Concord) for the supply of main engines, generators and electrical components, Fulton Boiler for the supply of new boilers and, Rolls Royce for the supply of a bow thruster motor unit. Machinery removal and installation work has been awarded to Shelley Marine and Machine Inc. of Sarnia, Ontario for the first half of the project.

The OSTC regrets that the ship will not be available for any private functions over the winters of 2005/06 and 2006/07 as well as the following public events: 2005 Annual Fall Cruise from Tobermory to Owen Sound, 2005/06 Owen Sound Festival of Northern Lights, 2006 Annual Spring Cruise from Owen Sound to Tobermory, 2006 Annual Fall Cruise from Tobermory to Owen Sound, 2006/07 Owen Sound Festival of Northern Lights, and the 2007 Annual Spring Cruise from Owen Sound to Tobermory.

The OSTC is an Operational Enterprise Agency of the Province of Ontario and is administered by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines. The company owns and operates the M.S. Chi-Cheemaun passenger/vehicle ferry on the Lake Huron route between Tobermory and South Baymouth, Manitoulin Island. OSTC is also contracted to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and operates MTO owned ferries on Lake Erie.


Trade Mission Participants Highlight Passenger Shipping

10/19 - St. Catharines — The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Trade Mission delegation delivered a thumbs-up assessment of passenger cruising opportunities for Europeans looking for new and exciting vacations. The message was delivered in London today to the Passenger Shipping Association, a group of leading cruise and ferry companies operating in the United Kingdom. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation Administrator Albert S. Jacquez and St. Lawrence Management Corporation President Richard Corfe are leading a delegation of 22 American and Canadian public and private senior maritime officials from throughout the Great Lakes region on a week-long trade mission to England and Germany. The presentation by the group representing one of North America’s premier inland waterway systems seeks to generate additional interest in cruising opportunities throughout the five Canadian-U.S. Great Lakes. The world’s largest fresh water lakes stretch over thousands of miles from the headwaters of the St. Lawrence River to the port of Duluth, Minn., on Lake Superior.

“More and more vacationers who have previously tried cruises to traditional destinations are opting for new maritime vistas,” said Stephen Burnett, executive director of the Great Lakes Cruising Coalition (GLCC). “There is tremendous potential for new business to explore the Great Lakes and its 10,000 mile coast line: whether vacationers are looking for remote, unspoiled wilderness like that offered in Georgian Bay and North Channel ports or shopping on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue Million Dollar mile, the Great Lakes have cruises that cater to everyone’s desires.”

The delegation raised awareness about cruise shipping on the Great Lakes, from major metropolitan cities like Toronto, Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland to small villages sporting unforgettable marine shorelines. Historical and cultural attractions are major interests for the typical cruising enthusiast of this region. In the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System, the ports that currently see the most cruise ship activity are Duluth and Toronto. The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System has more than doubled berths in the past five years and posted a two-thirds increase in the number of vessels plying its waters. Last season, total economic revenue from cruise shipping in the Seaway System was approximately US $36 million.

“Today’s presentation by the Seaway Trade Mission delegation to the British cruising industry underscores the commitment by the Seaway Corporations, Seaway system stakeholders, and the Great Lakes Cruising Coalition to aggressively promote the Seaway and North America’s Great Lakes to an international audience,” said Jacquez. Corfe agreed that the meeting was, “…a great opportunity to market our system directly to key British CEOs and cruise industry professionals.”
“The Seaway System offers experienced and novice cruising clients a wealth of options and itineraries that permit them to discover unforgettable marine and shore vistas in a relaxed environment and a safe maritime waterway,” said Corfe. “That is why over the past few years, we have focused a segment of our trade development program on attracting cruise vessels into the Great Lakes.

The Seaway Trade Mission delegates are meeting with high level representatives of European shipping companies, government officials, international maritime organizations, bulk cargo exporters, and the cruise ship industry. This trade mission, the 28th in a series over two decades, is designed to facilitate face-to-face contact with maritime industry leaders and decision-makers to promote greater user of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System. In addition to the Administrator of the U.S. Seaway Corporation and the President of the Canadian Seaway Corporation, the 22-member delegation is comprised of the largest port and terminal operators from both countries, shipowners and operators, shipping agents, cruise industry representatives, and maritime trade specialists. The trade mission moves tomorrow to Germany where delegates meet with maritime executives in northern German ports of Hamburg, Bremen and Brake.


Iron ore shipments fall

10/19 - Iron ore shipments across the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway headed for Great Lakes basin steel mills declined 3.8 percent in July compared with a year ago. July shipments were 6.4 million tons, according to the Cleveland-based Lake Carriers' Association.

Year-to-date iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway totaled 29 million tons through July, a 9 percent decrease compared with 2004. Compared with a five-year average, shipments were 4.2 percent lower.

Reduced shipments are a result of lower operating capacity at North American steel mills, where capacity utilization rates have been at about 5 percent compared with about 95 percent a year ago.

From the Duluth News Tribune


Bramble Ghost Ship Revived

10/19 - When the Coast Guard Cutter Bramble was on active duty her crews put on an outstanding Ghost Ship each year. Now decommissioned, the Bramble is operated by the Port Huron Museum and this year will resurrect the Ghost Ship.

This event is scheduled for one night only on Saturday October 22, 6:00 pm to 9:00pm, admission is $3.00 individual, or $10.00 per family. The Bramble is located at the Port Huron Seaway Terminal 2336 Military St., Port Huron, MI.


Port Reports - October 19

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Saginaw was stopped fully loaded at the ADM Standard Elevator Monday evening. She was spotted there Monday morning and doesn't seem to have moved since. The ship was moored a little further downriver than last time, closer to West end of the dock and the boom was still aboard with no unloading happening.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Early Tuesday morning saw the arrival of three vessels to docks along the Saginaw River. The tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader were inbound first. She called on the Sargent dock in Essexville to lighter before traveling the rest of the way upriver to finish at the Saginaw Rock Products dock in Saginaw. The pair were expected to be outbound late Tuesday. The Sam Laud was inbound calling on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City. She completed her unload and was outbound around 10:45 a.m. The CSL Tadoussac was the last of the early morning arrivals calling on the Essroc Terminal in Essexville. She was expected to be outbound late Tuesday.


Photo Gallery Updates - October 19

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 19

At 2:00 a.m., 19 October 1901, the Barry line steamer STATE OF MICHIGAN (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 165 foot, 736 gross tons, built in 1875, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin) sank in sixty feet of water about four miles northwest of White Lake harbor on Lake Michigan. The crew and captain reached shore in boats with the assistance of the White Lake Life Saving crew and the tug MC GRAFF. The vessel was sailing in good weather when a piston rod broke and stove a hole through the bottom of the boat. The water came gushing in. By the time the tug MC GRAFF came and took on the crew, the STATE OF MICHIGAN was in serious trouble. She went down shortly after the tug began towing her toward shore.

On 19 October 1871, ELIZA LOGAN (2-mast wooden schooner, 130 foot, 369 gross tons, built in 1855, at Buffalo, New York) foundered in rough weather about 12 miles off Erie, Pennsylvania on Lake Erie. She was sailing from Toledo, Ohio to Buffalo, New York with a load of wheat when she sank. Captain Lawson and one sailor were lost, but the six others scrambled up the rigging and held on to the crosstrees for 42 hours until they were rescued by the schooner EMU at 6:00 a.m. on the morning of 21 October.

GEORGE A SLOAN ran aground off Bob-Lo Island in the Amherstburg Channel on October 19, 1987. She was released when she unloaded part of her cargo to the CALCITE II. SLOAN was repaired in Toledo.

ALGOSEA was christened on October 19, 1976, at Port Colborne, Ontario. She was renamed c.) SAUNIERE in 1982.

The BUFFALO was able to leave the Saginaw River once it opened on October 19, 1990. The river was closed after the tanker JUPITER exploded as the BUFFALO passed.

The KINSMAN VOYAGER was launched October 19, 1907, as a.) H P BOPE for the Standard Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio. The WILLIAM LIVINGSTONE of 1908, had the honor on October 19, 1912, of being the first vessel to navigate the opening of the Livingstone Channel named after the man who helped conceive the idea of a separate down bound channel on the east side of Bob-Lo Island in the lower Detroit River. Mr. Livingstone, President of the Lake Carriers Association at the time, piloted his namesake vessel in the channel on that historic trip. Renamed b.) S B WAY in 1936 and c.) CRISPIN OGLEBAY in 1948. She was scrapped at Santander, Spain in 1974.

The crew on the stranded WILLIAM C MORELAND was removed in gale force winds on October 19, 1910, by the Portage life saving crew.

On October 19, 1923, the SAMUEL MATHER was driven onto Gull Rock on Lake Superior near Keweenaw Point during a snowstorm and gale winds. The crew was safely removed from the badly exposed steamer on October 21st by the Eagle Harbor life saving crew. Renamed b.) PATHFINDER in 1925, sold Canadian in 1964, renamed c.) GODERICH, d.) SOO RIVER TRADER and e.) PINEGLEN in 1982. Scrapped at Port Maitland, Ontario in 1984.

The B H TAYLOR b.) ROGERS CITY sailed from Lorain on her maiden voyage on October 19, 1923.

On 19 October 1868, PARAGON (wooden schooner, 212 tons, built in 1852, at Oshawa, Ontario as a brig) was being towed up the St. Clair River by the tug WILLIAM A MOORE with a load of lumber in the company of four other barges. During a gale, the tow was broken up. While the tug MOORE was trying to regain the tows, she collided with PARAGON causing severe damage. 4 were drowned, but two were rescued by the Canadian gunboat/tug PRINCE ALFRED. PARAGON was then towed into Sarnia, but she sank there and was abandoned in place.

October 19, 1919 - The ANN ARBOR NO 4, while on the Grand Haven to Milwaukee run, got caught in a gale stretching the normal 6-hour crossing to 27 hours.

On 19 October 1876, MASSILON (3-mast wooden schooner with foretop and topgallant sails, 130 foot, 298 gross tons, built in 1857, at Cleveland, Ohio as a bark) was sailing from Kelleys Island for Chicago with limestone when she sprang a leak 20 miles above Pointe aux Barques at the mouth of Saginaw Bay. She was abandoned at about 2:00 a.m. and then sank. The crew was in an open boat until 7:00 a.m. when they were rescued by the tug VULCAN.

On 19 October 1873, JOHN F RUST (wooden schooner-barge, 161 foot, 347 gros tons, built in 1869, at E. Saginaw, Michigan) was carrying lumber in tow of the steamer BAY CITY in a storm when she broke her tow line and went ashore a few miles north of Lakeport, Michigan.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember seriesThis is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history.



Thick, oily liquid closes Maumee River

10/18 - A thick, oily substance was discovered floating on the Maumee River near the Toledo Sports Arena yesterday morning, although officials could not determine what it was or where it came from. An Ohio Environmental Protection Agency spokesman said the substance floated about a half-mile down river before being contained. Apparently, the substance was leaking from a tile, or pipe, near the arena, though because of the age of the pipe, no one was quite sure where it originated, spokesman Dina Pierce said.

As of yesterday afternoon, an estimated 2,000 gallons of the substance had spilled and had spread as far as just north of the I-280 bridge construction, she said. "I'm sure we'll be out there all night and into tomorrow," she said. "It's just a really old tile, so they don't know where it's coming from." The Coast Guard, which was notified of the substance about 9:30 a.m., closed the river to boat traffic from the I-75 overpass to the edge of Point Place. Cmdr. Mark Skolnicki, a spokesman for the Toledo station, said that the river will remain closed until further notice. He added that at least two commercial vessels would be affected by the closure. Commander Skolnicki said tests were being done to determine what the substance is.

Cleanup crews were on site from about 10 a.m. Monday. Using a floating boom, crews trapped and then vacuumed up the substance. Ms. Pierce said once a source is identified, the responsible party will be charged for the cost of the cleanup. "The good news is that we haven't had any fish killed," Ms. Pierce said.

The tug Mary E. Hannah with the barge 3610 Hannah was stopped from going down river near the Toledo CSX coal docks and the Algosoo was scheduled to come into the coal dock at midnight was delayed coming in.

From The Toledo Blade.


Port Reports - October 18

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
On Friday, the barge St. Mary's Cement II and tug Sea Eagle II unloaded at the St. Mary's terminal in Milwaukee's inner harbor.

Saturday the barge Integrity and tug G.L. Ostrander unloaded at the LaFarge Cement silo.

On Sunday, there were extended discussions as tug Barbara Andrie and its barge A-380 arrived just before the Kaye E. Barker, and these vessels coordinated their movements as both pivoted in Milwaukee's outer harbor and proceeded stern-first upriver, with Andrie going to the inner harbor tank farm to unload, and Kaye Barker delivering coal to the WE Energies coal dock.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
The Mesabi Miner brought coal to Marquette's WE power plant on Monday. The Herbert C. Jackson and Michipicoten are expected in for ore.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McLain
The Paul H. Townsend arrived in port Monday morning around 5:00 a.m. to take on cargo for Green Bay, WI. The David Z. Norton brought a load of coal to Lafarge on Monday morning also. It finished unloading by nightfall and backed out to turn around in the bay.

The J.A.W. Iglehart was in port on Friday loading cement and has since made its way up to Superior and Duluth over the weekend.

The G.L. Ostrander barge Integrity is calling on Lake Michigan ports such as South Chicago & St. Joseph.

The MCM Marine tug Mohawk and dredge barge No. 55 has been tied up in the Thunder Bay River since Friday afternoon. Also, the research vessels Togue and Sturgeon have been in the river over the weekend.

The Pathfinder was loading at Stoneport on Monday evening.

Green Bay - Sturgeon Bay
The Crapo will be towed to Alpena dock this week, for at least one load of cement. This is being done due to the Alpena's rudder work.


Photo Gallery Updates - October 18

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 18

On 18 October 1869, GERALDINE (3-mast wooden schooner, 232 tons, built in 1856, at Wilson, New York as a bark) was carrying coal from Buffalo to Detroit in heavy weather. During the night, she collided with the schooner E M PORTCH five miles below "The Cut" at Long Point on Lake Erie and sank in 5 minutes. The PORTCH stood by while the GERALDINE’s crew got off in the yawl. No lives were lost.

The ALVA C DINKEY departed Quebec City, October 18, 1980, in tandem with her former fleet mate GOVERNOR MILLER towed by the FedNav tug CATHY B.

Tragedy struck on the WILLIAM C MORELAND's fifth trip October 18, 1910, loaded with 10,700 tons of iron ore from Superior for Ashtabula, Ohio when she stranded on Sawtooth Reef off Eagle Harbor, Michigan on Lake Superior. Visibility had been very limited due to forest fires raging on the Keweenaw Peninsula and the Lake was blanketed with smoke as far as one mile off shore. The MORELAND hit so hard and at such speed that she bounced over the first reef and came to rest on a second set of rocks. The stern section was salvaged and combined with a new forward section she became b.) SIR TREVOR DAWSON in 1916. Renamed c.) CHARLES L HUTCHINSON in 1920, d.) GENE C HUTCHINSON in 1951, sold into Canadian registry in 1963, renamed e.) PARKDALE. Scrapped at Cartagena, Spain in 1970.

On 18 October 1896, AUSTRALASIA (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 282 foot, 1829 gross tons, built in 1884, at W. Bay City, Michigan) was carrying 2,200 tons of soft coal when she caught fire, burned to the waterline and sank 3 miles east of Cana Island in Lake Michigan. The Bailey's Harbor Lifesavers saved her crew.

At 8:00 p.m., on 18 October 1844, the steamer ROCHESTER left Rochester, New York for Toronto. She encountered a severe gale about halfway there. Captain H. N. Throop had the vessel put about and return to Rochester. The gale was so severe that all thought they were lost. When they finally arrived in Rochester, the passengers were so grateful that they had survived that they published a note of gratitude to Almighty God and Captain Throop in the Rochester Daily Democrat on 19 October 1844 -- it was signed by all 18 passengers.

On 18 October 1876, the schooner R D CAMPBELL filled with water and capsized on Lake Michigan about 10 miles from Muskegon, Michigan. The crew clung to the vessel's rigging until rescued by the tug JAMES MC GORDAN. The schooner drifted to the beach some hours later.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember seriesThis is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Port Reports - October 17

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Saturday on the Saginaw River saw the Algorail outbound from the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee, passing through Bay City shortly after 7am. Also in the river Saturday was the tug Muskegon towing a suction dredge and 1000' of pipe. The tug and her tow were moving between the Essroc dock in Essexville and the Confined Disposal Island just North of the mouth of the Saginaw River.

Maumee had arrived on Tuesday to unload at the Saginaw Rock Products dock in Saginaw when mechanical problems caused her to spend a few extra days in Saginaw. On Sunday, with repairs complete, the Maumee finally departed the Saginaw River heading outbound for the lake. She passed through Bay City around 6:30 on her way to the lake.

Straits of Mackinaw - Matt Lemon
Saturday, the Arthur M. Anderson took shelter in Moran Bay, near St. Ignace, followed by  Sat. night the Buffalo on Saturday night..
Sunday morning they went past Round Island Pass, to the South Passage and Lake Huron.


Photo Gallery Updates - October 17

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 17

On 17 October 1887, Henry Mc Morran and D. N. Runnels bought the engine and boiler of the tug GEORGE HAND at the U.S. Marshall’s sale in Port Huron, Michigan for $500.

The CARLTON (Hull#542) was launched October 17, 1963, at Sunderland, England by Short Brothers, Ltd., for Chapman & Willan, Ltd. Renamed b.) FEDERAL WEAR in 1975. Purchased by Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd. in 1975, renamed c.) ST LAWRENCE PROSPECTOR in 1975. Lengthened to Seaway size and renamed d.) CANADIAN PROSPECTOR in 1979.

The b.) MONTCLIFFE HALL was launched October 17,1959, for Transatlantic Bulk Carriers, Monrovia, Liberia as a.) EMS ORE. She sails today as d.) CEDARGLEN.

With an inexperienced Taiwanese crew, boiler problems and the collapse of Lock 7's west wall in the Welland Canal on October 17th, SAVIC's (CLIFFS VICTORY) departure was delayed until December 17, 1985, when she departed Chicago under her own power.

The carferry PERE MARQUETTE 19 was launched October 17, 1903.

In 1893, the FLINT & PERE MARQUETTE NO 1 was damaged by fire while in Ludington.

In 1988, the Society for the Preservation of the S.S. City of Milwaukee purchased CITY OF MILWAUKEE from the City of Frankfort for $2.

On 17 October 1871, CASCADEN (2 mast wood schooner, 138 tons, built in 1866, at Saugeen, Ontario) was carrying much needed supplies for the Cove Island Lighthouse keeper and his family who were in desperate straits. But she went ashore 3 miles below Cape Hurd near Tobermory, Ontario in a storm and was wrecked.

On 17 October 1843, the wooden schooner ALABAMA collided with a pier during a storm at the mouth of the Grand River at Fairport, Ohio and was a total loss.

On 17 October 1871, the 42 ton wooden schooner SEA HORSE stranded on Fitzwilliam Island at the mouth of Georgian Bay in a storm. She was a total loss.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history.


Forward house of Lewis G. Harriman to become cottage on St. Marys River

10/16 - Part of the forward end of the former Lewis G. Harriman has been purchased by Marc and Jill Vander Meulen for eventual use as a cottage on their property in DeTour Village, MI.

Launched in 1923 as the John W. Boardman in Toledo, she was the first vessel designed and built to transport bulk cement on the Great Lakes. In addition to carrying cement from Alpena to various terminals around the lakes, the Harriman served as a storage barge during construction of the Poe lock at the Soo and I-75 in the Upper Peninsula. After sailing for the last time in 1980, she was used as a cement storage and shuttle barge before being sold for scrap in 2003 and towed from Green Bay, WI to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

Scrapping began at the stern of the 350-foot long boat in late 2004. The move is planned to take place near the end of October.

Purvis Marine Ltd. will deliver the four-story forward structure to Detour Village by barge where Clement Brothers, Inc. will be responsible for the move onto shore. Although firmly on dry land, the Harriman's bow will look out into the St. Marys River in view of the passing boat traffic. A series of tours and open houses during restoration will be planned to permit the public to see the remaining portion of this historic vessel.


New CCG Cutter Christened

10/16 - Saturday the Cape Dundas was christened at the Canadian Coast Guard Base in Amherstburg, on the Detroit River. The Cape Dundas is another of the Cape Class vessels being placed in service at Canadian search and rescue stations on the Great Lakes. The Cape Class vessels are 47 foot motor lifeboats similar to the U.S. Coast Guard 47 foot cutters. The Cape Dundas replaces the Sora, a 41 foot SAR cutter. The Cape Dundas is a primary search and rescue vessel with an area of responsibility including the Detroit River, a portion of western Lake Erie and the Detroit and St. Clair waterways as required. On hand for the ceremony were a number of Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary members who regular provide search and rescue services in cooperation with the Canadian Coast Guard in the area served.

Reported by Les Reading


Port Reports - October 16

Erie Canal, NY - Jason LaDue
Early on Saturday, the Day Peckinpaugh left her mooring in Holley, NY and headed east on the Erie Canal. The NY Canal Corporation tugs Lockport and Pittsford were assisting as the Peckinpaugh had her main diesels running and propellers turning. Making her way through Brockport, Spencerport, and Greece, she drew some small crowds on the canal banks. Later this weekend she will clear the Rochester area on her way to the eastern sectors of the Erie Canal.

Green Bay - Wendell Wilke
Saturday seen some activity around mid-day in the Port of Green Bay as the John G. Munson was off-loading at Fox River Dock and the Earl W. Oglebay was being assisted back up the Fox River from C. Reiss Coal by the "G" tug Texas after unloading coal. The Texas assisted her as far as the turning basis north of the Main St. Bridge and then she proceeded out the river towards Green Bay waters.


Photo Gallery Updates - October 16

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 16

On 16 October 1855, SENECA (wooden propeller tug, 92 foot, 73 tons, built in 1847, at Buffalo, New York) was towing the brig LANSING past the foot of Randolph Street at Chicago, Illinois when her boiler exploded. Her skipper and engineer were killed instantly and several others were injured. The vessel was later recovered.

On October 16, 1990, the JOHN B AIRD's loop belt caught fire while loading mill scale at Inland Steel Mill, East Chicago, Illinois. Fueled by coal dust left over after unloading coal at the mill, 1,400 feet of the rubber conveyor belt burned causing nearly $500,000 in damages.

The ALGOWEST set a cargo record carrying 27,517 tons of grain down the Seaway October 16, 1982, to Port Cartier, Quebec. She was converted to a self-unloader and renamed b.) PETER R CRESSWELL in 2001.

The RIO ORINOCO grounded off Anticosti Island, Quebec on October 16, 1990, and was abandoned. Later she was salvaged by Le Groupe Desgagnes (1981) Inc., refloated, repaired and renamed d.) THALASSA DESGAGNES.

Sea trials of the MERTON E FARR were successfully completed October 16, 1920.

On October 16, 1954, the SCOTT MISENER of 1954, became the first laker to load a record 800,000 bushels of grain on the Great Lakes when she was loaded with barley at Fort William, Ontario for delivery to Port Colborne.

The WILLIAM G MATHER of 1925, was towed from her Cuyahoga River berth on October 16, 1990, by the Great Lakes Towing tugs IDAHO and DELAWARE, she was placed at her permanent station next to the 9th Street Pier of Cleveland's North Coast Harbor.

On 16 October 1912, JAMES BUCKLEY (2 mast wood schooner-barge, 161 foot, 442 gross tons, built in 1884, at Quebec City) was carrying coal and being towed by the tug WILLIAM PROCTOR in consort with the barges H B and MENOMINEE in Lake Ontario. The BUCKLEY separated from this group in a storm and was driven into the shallows off the coast of Jefferson County, New York. The tug PROCTOR delivered MENOMINEE to Cape Vincent, then returned in time to take BUCKLEY’s crew out of the rigging - hand over hand on a heaving line - before BUCKLEY finally sank.

On 16 October 1855, the brig TUSCARORA was carrying coal from Buffalo to Chicago. She anchored off Chicago's Harrison Street, but a storm dragged her in. Volunteers from shore were unable to get to the stricken vessel. A group of 9 ship captains and 4 seamen then organized a rescue party and took two new "Francis" metal lifeboats out and rescued the entire crew of eleven. By 21 October, TUSCARORA was pounded to pieces.

On 16 October 1853, PHILO SCOVILLE (2-mast wooden brig built in 1853, at Sheboygan, Wisconsin) was carrying flour, wheat, pigs and barreled fish when she encountered a gale in the eastern Straits of Mackinac. She was dismasted and drifted ashore where she was pounded to pieces. Her crew was saved by floating ashore while clinging to the floating main mast.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Port Reports - October 15

Marquette - Lee Rowe
The H. Lee White brought stone to Marquette on Friday and unloaded it through the WE Power Plant's coal hopper. She then took on a load of ore once her unloading was completed.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
On Friday the Maumee remained at the International Materials Services dock. It is expected that the Maumee should be repaired and depart sometime Saturday or Sunday headed for the lake. The type of repairs needed is unknown.

Inbound late Friday night was the Algorail who continued all the way upriver to unload salt at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee. She was expected to be outbound Saturday morning.

On Thursday was the JAW Iglehart who departed from the Carrollton Lafarge dock after unloading since the early morning hours, departing around 6:30 p.m. for the Sixth Street Basin to turn around to head outbound for the lake. She was outbound at the I-75 bridge in Zilwaukee at 7:30 p.m.


Murphy Fuel seeks Biodiesel Exemption
A state law requiring soybean oil to be added to diesel
will push freighters to fuel up elsewhere, the company says

10/15 - Duluth - A new Minnesota law requiring retailers to quit selling straight diesel fuel and switch to biodiesel - a blend containing soybean oil - is making waves in the Twin Ports. The measure has added 3 or 4 cents a gallon to the cost of diesel at the Murphy Oil marine fueling terminal in Duluth, said Dave Rectenwald, the company's manager of asphalt and residual fuel sales. Those pennies add up quickly when the tanks of a 1,000-foot laker can gulp down 70,000 to 80,000 gallons of fuel in one sitting.

"This new rule puts us at a distinct disadvantage to other fuel terminals on the Great Lakes," said Sandy Winek, a sales representative for Murphy's Duluth facility. The biodiesel requirement took effect at the end of September, and Winek said some vessels have been steering clear of refilling in Duluth. Primary competitors are in Chicago and the Ontario cities of Sarnia, Windsor and Toronto. Many freighters on the Great Lakes burn No. 6 heavy oil, not diesel, as their primary fuel.

"Diesel is not our bread and butter," Rectenwald said. But he noted, "Virtually every ship that comes here takes at least a sip of diesel." Rectenwald explained that generators and other auxiliary equipment on most vessels runs on diesel. Rectenwald said Murphy will seek an exemption from Minnesota's biodiesel requirement. Ray Skelton, director of environmental and governmental affairs for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, believes that when the Minnesota Legislature passed the law in August, lawmakers neglected to consider the effect it would have on maritime fueling operations in Duluth. "Legislators exempted the railroad and mining industries," he said. "But as usual, they never thought about the marine industry."

Not everyone believes there's sound reason for the Legislature to cut Murphy Oil any slack. Ralph Groschen, a senior marketing specialist for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, questions Murphy's assertion that adding a2 percent mixture of soybean oil to diesel would push up prices almost a nickel per gallon. "I would maybe expect to see some little surcharges initially because of investments in new equipment companies had to make to blend and handle biodiesel," Groschen said. But he said the bulk price of a 2-percent biodiesel fuel shouldn't be much different than unadulterated diesel.

Jeff Haase, an energy engineer for the Minnesota Department of Commerce, noted that the recent bulk price of biodiesel has been running below that of regular diesel in many markets. Cost isn't Murphy's only concern about biodiesel. Winek said some lake carriers are nervous about what long-term effects the fuel could have on ship engines. Groschen considers those concerns unfounded.

From the Duluth News Tribune



Lorain Seeks Return of Lighthouse Lens

10/15 - Lorain -- The Port of Lorain Foundation and the Black River Historical Society are seeking the return of the original lens that used to brightly shine from the beacon tower of the Lorain Lighthouse. Since 1984, the lens has been on display at the Charlotte-Genessee Lighthouse Museum in Rochester, N.Y., on loan from the U.S. Coast Guard until 2011, according to U.S. Rep. Sherrod Brown's, D-Avon, spokeswoman Elizabeth Thames. The two groups in 2001 enlisted the help of Brown in their attempts to reclaim the lens.

Steve Luca, chairman of the Port of Lorain Foundation, which owns the Lorain Lighthouse, said yesterday that they would like to work something out -- possibly even a trade for a different lens -- with the Coast Guard or the Charlotte-Genessee Lighthouse Historical Society to get the original lens returned. ''We'd like to get the lens back,'' Luca said yesterday as he announced the Port of Lorain Foundation's kickoff of a $3 million fund-raising campaign for improvements to the lighthouse. ''We think the lens belongs here in the lighthouse it was placed in.'' The oval-shaped lens, known as a fourth-order Fresnel lens, features glass prisms placed in a brass framework and measures about 3 feet tall and 2 feet in diameter, Luca said.

The lighthouse keeper originally placed a lantern inside the brass framework of the lens to provide light to the ships coming into the harbor, but years later, modifications were made to the lens so it could operate on electricity, said Gail Fuller, curator of the U.S. Coast Guard in Maryland. When the Lorain Lighthouse was taken out of service by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1965, the lens was removed and originally sent to a Coast Guard warehouse in Detroit, according to Lorain historian Al Doane. From Detroit, it then sat in a Coast Guard officers' lounge in Cleveland before it was loaned to the Charlotte-Genessee Lighthouse Museum, Doane said.

The lens is more than 100 years old and very rare, said Fuller. However, Doane said he didn't believe the lens was that old. ''The Lorain Lighthouse was built in 1917, and that's when the lens was installed,'' Doane said.

Fuller said yesterday that she would like to see the Port of Lorain Foundation and the Charlotte-Genessee Lighthouse Museum work something out. ''We don't want to get involved in a tug of war, but the Coast Guard could consider switching the loan of the lens to the Port of Lorain Foundation, once the loan agreement with the Charlotte-Genessee Lighthouse Historical Society ends in 2011.''

Christopher Gillcrist, executive director for the Great Lakes Historical Society's Inland Sea Maritime Museum in Vermilion, said yesterday that he supports the lens being returned to Lorain. ''Lenses are near and dear to the lighthouses that they were placed in and the people that live in the town where lighthouses are,'' Gillcrist said. ''Any connections that can be made or strings that need to be pulled are worth doing in order to bring one back to its original place.'' The museum hasn't been willing to part with the lens, said Doane, who has been trying to work something out for several years.

''I'd like to see the lens come back, but I don't know if it ever will or not,'' Doane said. ''I've been trying to get it back for several years ... but I haven't had any luck.'' Betty Fetter, vice president of the Charlotte-Genessee Lighthouse Historical Society, said she'd discuss it with the society's board, ''to see what kind of reception'' she would get.

From the Lorain Morning Journal


Photo Gallery Updates - October 15

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 15

On 15 October 1871, LA PETITE (wooden schooner, 94 foot, 122 gross tons, built in 1866, at Huron, Ohio) was carrying lumber from Alpena, Michigan to Huron, Ohio when she was caught in a terrific gale on Lake Huron. The heavy seas carried away the lumber strapped on deck. Then the vessel sprang a leak and turned on her beam ends. Capt. O. B. Smith, his wife and four other sailors rode out the storm on the wreck until found by the tug BROCKWAY. The schooner was towed to Port Huron and repaired.

On her maiden voyage Branch Lines new tanker LEON SIMARD was spotted traveling eastward on the St. Lawrence River October 15, 1974. Renamed b.) L'ORME NO 1 in 1982. Sold off the lakes, renamed c.) TRADEWIND OCEAN in 1997 and d.) AMARA in 2001.

The self-unloader WOLVERINE departed the American Ship Building Co., October 15, 1974, on her maiden voyage from Lorain, Ohio light to load stone at Stoneport, Michigan for delivery to Huron, Ohio.

HERBERT C JACKSON cleared Fraser Shipyard on October 15, 1988, after having the 1000 h.p. bow thruster motor installed from the JOHN SHERWIN. The motor from the JACKSON was later repaired and placed in the SHERWIN's cargo hold for future use.

The PAUL H CARNAHAN came out on her maiden voyage October 15, 1961.

On October 15, 1984, the JOHN O McKELLAR of 1952, was sold to P.& H. Shipping of Parrish & Heimbecker Ltd., Mississauga, Ont. and renamed b.) ELMGLEN.

Scrapping began on October 15, 1988, of the JOHN T HUTCHINSON at Kaohsiung, Taiwan by Li Chong Steel & Iron Works Co. Ltd.

The C H MC CULLOUGH JR was laid up on October 15, 1969, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

The COVERDALE (Hull#34) was launched at Midland, Ontario on October 15, 1949, for Canada Steamship Lines, Montreal, Quebec. Renamed b.) GEORGE HINDMAN in 1973 and c.) MELDRUM BAY in 1979. Scrapped at Lisbon, Portugal in 1985.

The SCOTT MISENER of 1954, struck bottom on October 15, 1973, near Whaleback Shoal on the St. Lawrence River reportedly damaging sixty of her bottom plates. She proceeded to the Port Arthur shipyard for dry docking and repairs from October 20th through the 28th.

On October 15, 1980, the NIPIGON BAY, loaded with ore for Hamilton, Ontario, grounded at the "crossover" near Brockville, Ontario on the St. Lawrence River and sustained a 100-foot rip in her bottom plates. She proceeded to Thunder Bay arriving there on October 24th where repairs were made at an estimated cost of $500,000.

The R P MASON (3 mast wooden schooner, 115 foot, 155 gross tons, built in 1867, at Grand Haven, Michigan) was bound from Chicago for Detroit when she struck a rocky reef near Waugoshance Point in the Straits of Mackinac on 8 October 1871. Water gushed in an 8-foot hole. However, she was temporarily patched and her cargo of grain, flour and meat was taken off over the next few days. The tug LEVIATHAN took her in tow, going to Little Traverse Bay, when, on 15 October, they encountered a gale near Cross Village, Michigan. The MASON broke free and capsized. 5 died and 4 were rescued. The MASON drifted ashore upside down. She was eventually salvaged and sailed for another 46 years. She ended her days when she burned in Lake Michigan in 1917.

The tug DOUGLAS caught fire near Wyandotte while going down the Detroit River and sank. The crew all jumped overboard and were saved by the steam yacht JOSEPHINE, except for John Cassidy, one of the firemen, who drowned. A few days later, plans were made to raise and rebuild the DOUGLAS.

On 15 October 1871, R G COBURN (wooden propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 193 foot, 867 tons, built in 1870, at Marine City, Michigan) was carrying 15,000 bushels of wheat, 3,500 barrels of flour and 30 barrels of silver ore from Lake Superior to Detroit. As she came down Lake Huron, she encountered a terrific gale which had driven most vessels to seek shelter. The COBURN fought the wind at Saginaw Bay throughout the night until she lost her rudder and turned broadside to the waves. Her large stack fell and smashed the cabin area and then the cargo came loose and started smashing holes in the bulwarks. About 70 passengers were aboard and almost all were terribly seasick. As the ship began her final plunge beneath the waves, only a few lifeboats were getting ready to be launched and those were floated right from the deck as the ship sank. 32 people perished, including Capt. Gilbert Demont. No women or children were saved.

On 15 October 1900, the wooden 186 foot freighter F E SPINNER was sunk in a collision with the steamer H D COFFINBERRY in the St. Mary’s River. She was raised from 125 feet of water, one of the deepest successful salvage operations to that time. She was later renamed HELEN C and lasted until 1922.

October 15, 1910 - After the sinking of the PERE MARQUETTE 18 of 1902, built at Cleveland, Ohio, the previous September, a new PERE MARQUETTE 18 of 1911, was ordered by the Pere Marquette Railway from the Chicago Ship Building Co.

On 15 October 1871, the EXCELSIOR (3-mast wooden schooner, 156 foot, 374 gross tons, built in 1865, at Buffalo, New York) was struck by a gale near Thunder Bay on Lake Huron. She sailed through the early morning hours only to sink about 4:30 a.m. Only Charles Lostrom survived. He was on the cabin roof which blew off when the vessel went down. Mr. Lostrom remained on the floating roof-raft for two days and two nights until he was rescued by fishermen near South Hampton light on the Canadian side of Lake Huron.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Jody L. Aho, James Neumiller, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Marquette looks at protecting Presque Isle's shoreline

Marquette - If the city of Marquette takes no preventative action, erosion could impact the road around Presque Isle within five years, according to experts. "The way erosion happens out there is very unpredictable," STS Consultants engineer Bill Weaver told the Marquette City Commission and the Presque Isle Park Advisory Committee at a workshop Tuesday. "You could have nothing for five years and 20 feet in one year, if you get the right kind of storm event," Weaver said. "This year, we don't expect to see those huge chunks being lost, but there could be."

STS recently completed a report on erosion at Presque Isle. The report identifies areas on the west side of the island that have the highest, high or moderate priorities for action. The area of highest priority is a 300-foot stretch about 600 feet north of the pavilion, which would take $285,000 to $345,000 to remedy. The high priority area consists of about 850 feet near Sunset Point, and would cost about $814,000 to more than $1 million. The moderate priority area is a 310-foot stretch near the pavilion, which would cost $243,000 to $371,000.

The erosion protection work would consist of large stone revetments around the priority areas. The color and shape of the rock would be compatible with the surrounding environment, and the rock would be placed as non-uniformly as possible, to make it look natural, Weaver said. The rock would be below grade and not affect the view of the lake, he said. STS engineer Mike Pond said the city would likely have to fund 25 percent to 50 percent of the costs for the work. Construction probably wouldn't start until 2007, he said. "It wouldn't require planning $100,000 in this current year budget to do it," said Bob Kulisheck, chairman of the Presque Isle committee. "It could be something that is bonded and spread over a number of years."

Mayor Tony Tollefson encouraged the committee to hold forums to inform the public of erosion problems at the island. "The community needs to really perceive this need that the dollars are worthwhile to spend," he said.

From the Marquette Mining Journal


Port Reports - October 14

Owen Sound - Ed. Saliwonchyk
For the second time in the last while, the Saginaw has come into Owen Sound to unload and load at the Great Lakes Grain Elevator. She is expected to depart Owen Sound sometime Friday afternoon.

Saginaw loading at Great Lakes Grain Elevators in Owen Sound.

Milwaukee - William Mosher
10/2 - Barge Cleveland - Terminal #3 - LoadGeneral Cargo
10/4 - Kadinger Barge B 7 - Terminal #3 - Load General Cargo
10/4 - Holly Marine Barge L-1059 - Terminal #3 - Load General Cargo
10/6 - Integrity - Discharge cement at LaFarge
10/9 - Lee A. Tregurtha - Discharge coal at Greenfield
10/10 - Integrity - Discharge cement at LaFarge
10/11 - Middletown - Discharge coal at Greenfield
10/11 - Calumet - Discharge salt at Bulk cargo dock
10/12 - Agawa Canyon - Discharge salt at Bulk cargo dock

Welland Canal
Canadian Leader and the tug Presque Isle remain in Port Weller Drydock.

Thursday afternoon traffic included CSL Tadoussac down bound, Algosteel and CSL Assiniboine up bound.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The English River was unloading at the LaFarge Terminal around 6:00 p.m. Thursday evening.


Today in Great Lakes History - October 14

On 14 October 1871, the LEVANT (2-mast wooden schooner, 91 foot, 115 tons, built in 1854, at Chicago, Illinois) was loaded with lumber when she was overtaken by a severe gale and went over on her beam ends off Sheboygan, Wisconsin on Lake Michigan. The 6-man crew lashed themselves to the vessel so as not to be washed away by the waves. Throughout the night the men died one by one. At daylight, the schooner D P DOBBINS found the wreck with floating bodies tied to it and three still alive (two of them were barely alive). One died during the rescue attempt and another died within minutes of being rescued. Only Peter J. Thornum survived.

DEAN RICHMOND (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 238 foot, 1432 gross tons, built in 1864, at Cleveland, Ohio) sailed from Toledo, Ohio on Friday the 13th of October 1893, with a load of bagged meal, flour, zinc and copper ingots. She encountered hurricane force winds of over 60 mph and battled the storm throughout the night. She was seen on 14 October 1893, off Erie, Pennsylvania, missing her stacks and battling the wind and waves. The following day, wreckage and bodies were washing ashore near Dunkirk, New York. Among the dead was the Captain, his wife and three children. A few crew members managed to make it to shore however all but one died of exposure. The only survivor was found on the beach near VanBuren Point two days later. During the search for bodies, three volunteers lost their lives. The wreck was found in 1984.

The keel to the JAMES R BARKER was laid on October 14, 1974. She was to become Interlake's first 1000 footer and the flagship of the fleet for Moore McCormack Leasing, Inc. (Interlake Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio, mgr.).

On October 14, 1983, the CHI-CHEEMAUN encountered 48-knot winds after departing Tobermory with 113 passengers bound for South Baymouth. Due to high wind and waves the captain decided to find shelter rather than to continue on or return to port. The ferry made her way around the Bruce Peninsula southeast to Dyer Bay where she dropped anchor for the night, however she had no overnight accommodations. Complimentary meals were served and activities were organized by the crew. The anchor was lifted the next morning and the ferry returned to Tobermory.

The GEORGE A STINSON departed Detroit on her maiden voyage October 14, 1978, light for Superior, Wisconsin to load iron ore pellets for delivery to the Great Lakes Steel Division of the National Steel Corp. at Zug Island in River Rouge, Mchigan. Renamed b.) AMERICAN SPIRIT in 2004.

On October 14, 1966, loaded with potash bound for Oswego, New York, the STONEFAX collided with the Norwegian salty ARTHUR STOVE and sank in the Welland Canal between Locks 7 and 8.

On 14 October 1875, it was discovered that thieves had completely stripped the canvass and rigging from the schooner FORWARDER owned by Little & Brown. The schooner was lying about three miles below Port Huron.

On 14 October 1822, APPELONA (wooden schooner, 45 foot, 37 tons, built in 1814, at Henderson, New York) was bound from Oswego for Genessee, New York when she was struck by lightning in Lake Ontario and sank about 15 minutes. All hands were injured but abandoned her for shore and all survived.

The tug NELSON burned at Chicago on Saturday, 14 October 1876. She was one of the smaller class of tugs and the damage was so great that she was not considered to be worth repairing.

October 14, 1911 - The ANN ARBOR NO 4 ran aground while enroute to Manistique, Michigan at full speed, damaging several plates. The ANN ARBOR NO 3 pulled her off.

On 14 October 1876, NEW YORK (wooden propeller freighter, 183 foot, 704 tons, built in 1856, at Buffalo, New York) was carrying lumber and towing the schooner BUTCHER BOY and barges NELLIE Mc GILVERAY and A J CORREY from Cove Island in Georgian Bay to Buffalo when they encountered a severe storm near Pointe aux Barques. The tow line parted and the NEW YORK could not regain it in the heavy seas. She then sprang a leak and the water rose rapidly enough to put out her fires. The crew (15 men and one woman) abandoned in the yawl as NEW YORK was overwhelmed and sank. The open boat was adrift for five hours when the 74 foot schooner NEMESIS came upon it. NEMESIS tried twelve times to approach the yawl in the rough seas, losing a portion of her deck load of tanbark each time that she came about, but at last she got alongside the yawl. The NEW YORK's crew managed to get aboard the NEMESIS except for Fireman William Sparks who fell between the yawl and the schooner and was lost. The other vessels in the tow all made it to Port Huron safely.

On 14 October 1883, NELLIE GARDNER (wooden schooner-barge, 178 foot, 567 gross tons, built in 1873, at Marine City, Michigan) was loaded with 39,000 bushels of corn while being towed by the steamer JOHN PRIDGEON JR in a storm on Lake Huron. The GARDNER released herself from the tow in the heavy weather to run for the shelter of Thunder Bay under sail. However, she was unable to make it, and turned back for Tawas, Michigan but struck a reef, broke in two and was wrecked 1 mile SE of Scarecrow Island. Her crew made it to shore in her yawl.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series
This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Photo Gallery Updates - October 1

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Limestone Shipments Down Again In September

10/13Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 4.3 million net tons in September, a decrease of 6.1 percent compared to a year ago. The September stone float also fell short of the month’s 5-year average by a couple boatloads. As has been the case all year, the trade is struggling in light of reduced production at Great Lakes basin steel mills and lower-than-expected demand for aggregate from the construction industry.

For the year, the Great Lakes limestone trade stands at 27.9 million net tons, again a decrease – 4.5 percent – from the same point in 2004. However, when weighed against the trade’s 5-year average for the first three quarters, shipments are up 4.9 percent.

From Lake Carriers' Association


Port Reports - October 13

Sturgeon Bay - Wendell Wilke
The tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 arrived at Bay Ship Building Tuesday afternoon. On Wednesday morning the barge was in the dry dock.

The Alpena remains at the wall awaiting dry dock space for reinstallation of her rudder.

Tug Norfolk and new cement barge were in the forward end of the large graving dock in renovation and building. The small carferry Voyageur (Shoreline Marine), formerly of the Washington Island Ferry line, was in the small graving dock. The new build barge Energy 11105 (Hornbeck) was at the fitout wall awaiting a tug for off-lakes delivery

In other news from Sturgeon Bay, Selvick Marine has renamed their tug Escort II. The new name is Cameron O.

Marquette – Lee Rowe
The Michipicoten continues her regular runs between Marquette's ore dock and Algoma Steel at the Soo. The barge Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce VanEnkevort brought stone to the lower harbor Shiras dock on Wednesday, then moved to the ore dock to take on a load. The H. Lee White is expected at the Shiras dock late Thursday, and will then move to the ore dock on Friday.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey and Gordy Garriss
The Cuyahoga made her second visit of the week to the Saginaw River on Wednesday. She arrived early in the morning to lighter at Bay City Wirt and then continued upriver to the Saginaw Wirt dock to finish her unload. Cuyahoga was outbound for the lake Wednesday evening after turning at Sixth Street.

Wednesday the Maumee departed the Saginaw Rock Products dock late in the morning after an overnight unload. Once the Maumee was ready to depart the dock she began having a mechanical problem. The Maumee was able to back up to the International Materials Services dock where she pumped out all of the water in her ballast before she could dock in the shallow water in front of the far end of the International Materials Services dock. Once docked crews began repairing the vessel.

Port Huron - from the  Port Huron Times Herald
Military jets were expected to to train along the border over the St. Clair River on Thursday. This training exercise will involve low-flying military and civilian aircraft. It is scheduled for the U.S.-Canadian border region from Detroit to Ottawa, the military said Tuesday. The air-defense exercise is in conjunction with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and its Canadian counterpart. Specifics about the training are not being released, but people can expect to see and hear low-fly aircraft, including jet fighters, throughout the day.

Buffalo – Brian Wroblewski
The Erie Canaler Day Pekinpaugh departed Lockport, NY under tow and bound for Waterford on October 11th. She had been moored below the Flight Locks since arriving from Buffalo earlier this past summer. She eventually will be restored and return to cruising the Erie Canal as a floating history museum.

The Erie County Sheriff's Dept. has taken delivery of two 31-foot Swift Boats for use on Buffalo's waterways. The Aluminum sided vessels have an enclosed pilothouse, modern electronics, and protection against small arms fire. The boats can hit speeds of 55 MPH and are durable enough to handle light ice conditions.

Both of the vessels were purchased with $500,000 of the $23 million worth of Homeland Security funds distributed to the Buffalo area for law enforcement, fire, and communication upgrades.

Their mission will include law enforcement, smuggling interdiction, port security, and marine rescue operations. The Sheriff's Marine Unit works in coordination with their Air Unit, along with the Coast Guard, Border Patrol, and State Police.

The Town of Hamburg, NY has received a state grant for $22,000 to improve the Seaway Trail Center inside the old Wanakah Waterworks on Rt. 5. The money will be used to develop a maritime room devoted to the history of shipping and ecology on the Great Lakes. The building sits on an overlook with a view of the lakefront from Dunkirk to Buffalo and on to Canada.


Photo Gallery Updates - October 1

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 13

On 13 October 1909, GEORGE STONE (wooden propeller freighter, 270 foot, 1841 gross tons, built in 1893, at W. Bay City, Michigan) was sailing from Ashtabula, Ohio for Racine, Wisconsin with cargo of coal when she stranded on Grubb Reef in the Pelee Passage on Lake Erie. She then caught fire and was destroyed. Five of the 18 crewmen were lost.

The SASKATCHEWAN PIONEER made her first trip out of Thunder Bay, Ontario with grain on October 13, 1983.

The tug GLENADA towed the BROOKDALE from Port Colborne to Newman's scrap yard at Port Maitland, Ontario the week of October 13, 1980.

On October 13, 1902, the MAUNALOA collided with her whaleback consort barge 129 on Lake Superior and sank it 30 miles northwest of Vermilion Point, which is between Upper Michigan's Crisp and Whitefish Points. The MAUNALOA had been towing the 129, both vessels loaded with iron ore, when the towline parted in heavy seas. While trying to regain control of the barge, they came together and the steamer's port anchor raked the side of the barge which started taking on water. The crew was taken off the barge before it sank.

On 13 October 1875, off Alpena, Michigan, the tug E H MILLER had her boiler explode while racing with the tug CITY OF ALPENA -- both in quest of a tow. The ALPENA, who was ahead of the MILLER when she blew up, immediately turned around to pick up survivors. The ALPENA sunk in minutes. The engineer, fireman and a boy were rescued, but the captain and cook were lost. The fireman was in such poor shape that it was thought that he would not live.

On 13 October 1877, the Port Huron Times reported that the tug PRINDIVILLE and the 2-mast schooner PORTLAND had both gone ashore at the Straits of Mackinac and been pounded to pieces.

On 13 October 1886, SELAH CHAMBERLAIN (wooden propeller steam barge, 212 foot, 1207 gross tons, built in 1873, at Cleveland, Ohio) collided with the 222 foot wooden lumber hooker JOHN PRIDGEON JR in heavy fog off Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The CHAMBERLAIN had been towing the schooner FAYETTE BROWN. The CHAMBERLAIN sank quickly. Five of the crew went down with the vessel when the lifeboat davits became fouled and they were unable to launch the lifeboat. The rest of the crew made it to shore in the other lifeboat after a 3-hour pull through the fog.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history  


Milwaukee Clipper History now part of Wisconsin Maritime Museum

10/12 - One of the largest maritime museums in the nation has added an exhibit featuring the S.S. Juniata, and the ship it eventually became, the S.S. Milwaukee Clipper. The Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc recently added the Clipper and the Juniata to its extensive car ferry exhibit. It was a Manitowoc shipyard that converted the Juniata into the Clipper in 1940. Ray Hilt, president of the S.S. Milwaukee Clipper Preservation Inc., said he recently loaned two 3-foot-long models of the Clipper and Juniata to the museum for a display highlighting the Clipper's history. Hilt hand-delivered them by taking the carferry Badger from Ludington to Manitowoc in September. "We're thrilled they are interested," Hilt said. "They're pleased. We're pleased."

The Clipper was launched in 1904 at the American Shipbuilding Co. of Cleveland, and made its maiden voyage as the S.S. Juniata in 1905. For much of its career, the Juniata carried up to 350 passengers from Buffalo, N.Y., to Duluth, Minn., with stops in Cleveland, Detroit, Mackinac Island, Marquette, Houghton and Hancock.

In 1940, the Muskegon-based Wisconsin and Michigan Steamship Co. bought the Juniata and converted it into a "streamlined ship" called the Milwaukee Clipper. As part of the Juniata's conversion, its ornate wooden superstructure was removed and replaced with steel in Manitowoc. The Clipper could carry up to 900 passengers and 120 automobiles between Muskegon and Milwaukee. The Clipper operated 39 years until the Wisconsin and Michigan Steamship Co. retired the ship in 1970.

The Clipper remained berthed in Muskegon for eight years before it was sold and towed to Chicago's Navy Pier as a floating attraction. In 1990, the ship was purchased by the Hammond Port Authority, which attempted to make it into a centerpiece attraction for its large Lake Michigan marina. The Clipper was towed to Muskegon in late 1997 after being purchased by a nonprofit group that hopes to convert the ship into a floating museum and convention center. The Clipper has been berthed at the foot of McCracken Street, where it is being restored.

Hilt said the Clipper exhibit stemmed from a tour he had of the museum earlier in the year. "I noticed they had nothing on the Clipper," he said. "I was given a contact and we went from there."

From the Muskegon Chronicle online



Weight Changes for New York State Tour Boats

10/12 -  After the tour boat Ethan Allen sank, killing 20 elderly passengers; Governor Pataki vowed to increase safety on New York water. Last week brought his first change. Sarah Wiles, of Mid-Lakes Navigation Company, heard of the change through a letter. "Saying that in light of the accident last week, they were going to take the conservative step of adjusting the number they use to calculate the weight of the average passenger," said Sarah Wiles of Mid-Lakes Navigation Company.

So now the standard weight is 174-pounds, up from 140. That means less people can get on board, which in turn could spell less business for Wiles. She’s only mildly concerned about that saying, first, her boats don't often carry a full load and, second, the state may adjust the capacity limit for certain boats in the future. "It's subject to review and we're confidant that we have very safe vessels and that ultimately the number will be adjusted back upward," said Wiles.

Wiles extracts a positive from this rule change. She hopes it encourages people to remain confidant in the tour boat industry. "The tour boat business is historically a very safe business and we're anxious to keep it that way," said Wiles. For Wiles knows capacity limits won't matter, if no one wants to get on.

Those tour boat operations that work on the Erie Canal and Lake Ontario say the new law won't affect them. They say they're governed by the federal boating laws, not those of New York State.

From News Channel 10



Tugs Snohomish and Sharon Elizabeth arrive on the Great Lakes

10/12 - On Monday, October 10th, the 1938 canaller Sharon Elizabeth arrived in Oswego via the Erie Canal, NY followed closely by the 1943 WYTM class Snohomish. The "Sno" was pushed by the tug Benjamin Elliot while the Sharon ran ahead searching for deep water and measuring bridges on the Erie Canal. The transit was a tough go, having been a long time since a tug of this size passed through. They expect to transit the Welland Canal on Thursday.

The 110-foot long Snohomish required a "haircut", cutting everything off the top of the pilothouse, including the masts and some of the smokestack, to enable her to fit under the low bridges. In addition, crews onboard had to sink the tug at several bridges and then dewater it once the other tugs dragged it through the mud, under the bridge.

The Sno is owned by the Northeastern Maritime Historical Foundation and details can be found on the website: Northeastern Maritime Historical Foundation - Snohomish WYTM 98 She is going to Ludington for a refit and will return to join the museum's fleet.

The Sharon was recently purchased by the Zenith Tugboat Company and will join its fleetmates Seneca and Sioux at Duluth. The Sharon is being redocumented and its new name will be Statesboro.

Interestingly, the 96-foot long Sharon began life in Bay City, MI, in 1938, built by DeFoe Boat & Motor Works in cooperation with the U.S. Navy, General Electric and Moran Towing. The tug, built as the Thomas Moran, was a prototype for the new "YTM" class they built during WW-II.


Port Huron 1st Annual Transportation Memorabilia Show - October 22

Port Huron Seaway Terminal (former Bean Dock), Saturday, October 22 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. The show will feature Marine, Railroad and Automobile Transportation memorabilia from dealers throughout the Great Lakes region. Items included are artwork, locks and keys, train and ship timetables, license plates, china, books, videos, photographs and more. No toy trains or die cast cars - only real railroad, ship and auto items. Sponsored by Acheson Ventures, Lake Huron Lore Society and Port Huron Museum Association. Admission $3.00. Tables $25.00, all tables are 8 feet long. -Tables will not be available at the door, and availability is subject to venue size. Information: (810) 982-0891.


Port Reports - October 12

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
Two vessels brought coal to Lafarge over the weekend. The Buffalo arrived around 10am on Saturday morning. The Fred R. White Jr came in Sunday evening around 6:30pm, backing into the slip to tie up at the dock.

The G.L. Ostrander/barge Integrity was in port Sunday morning. The Paul H. Townsend made its way into Lafarge on Sunday evening, taking on cargo delivered to Detroit. The Townsend is expected to return on Wednesday.

On Tuesday morning the J.A.W. Iglehart was under the silos loading cement. The Iglehart departed by early afternoon heading for Whitefish, ON.

The Philip R. Clarke and Joseph H. Thompson are expected to load at Stoneport on Wednesday

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Courtney Burton came in some time Sunday afternoon and spent the day at General Mills. They reconfigured the piping along the Frontier Dock to include what looks like a larger diameter flex pipe. The hoses were attached to the Burton while they unloaded. She departed at 1:30 p.m. on Monday.
The CLS Laurentian was unloading all day at the Gateway Terminal in Lackawanna and departed that evening.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Maumee, back for its second trip up the Saginaw River since Saturday, traveled all the way up to the Saginaw Rock Products dock in Saginaw to unload Tuesday evening. It is expected that she will be outbound Wednesday morning.


Photo Gallery Updates - October 12

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 12

On the night of 12 October 1871, the grain laden schooner PLOVER struck a reef near Whitefish Point on Lake Superior, put a hole in her hull and sank in deep water. Captain Jones and the crew of 8 escaped in the yawl. They spent two days making their way to Sault Ste. Marie.

The JEAN PARISIEN suffered considerable bottom damage when she ran aground near Comfort Island about a mile west of Alexandria Bay, New York. She was released October 12, 1981, and returned to service after repairs were completed at the Canadian Vickers Montreal yard.

The CLIFFS VICTORY was sold October 12, 1985, to Hai International Corp. of New York for scrapping in the Orient and transferred to Panamanian registry. Her name was changed to c.) SAVIC, utilizing the "S" from CLIFFS, the "VIC" from VICTORY and inserting an "A". All the other letters were painted out.

The JOHN A KLING sailed on her maiden voyage for the Rockport Steamship Co. (Reiss Steamship Co., mgr.) on October 12, 1922, light from Manitowoc, Wisconsin to load stone at Rockport, Michigan. Sold into Canadian registry in 1981, renamed b.) LEADALE. She was scrapped at Ramey’s Bend in 1983.

The keel was laid October 12, 1925, for the Interlake Steamship Co.’s steamer COLONEL JAMES PICKANDS.

The SYLVANIA returned to service on October 12, 1967. She sank at the Peerless Cement Co. Dock at Port Huron, Michigan in June of that year after being struck by the Canada Steamship Lines package freight steamer RENVOYLE.

The tug EDNA G remained at Two Harbors, Minnesota until October 12, 1993, when she was towed to the Fraser Shipyard at Superior, Wisconsin by the Great Lakes Towing Co. tug KANSAS. She is now on display as a floating exhibit for the city.

On October 12, 1967, the Papachristidis Company Limited’s FEUX FOLLETS entered service with the distinction of being the last steam-powered vessel built on the Great Lakes. The vessel was renamed b.) CANADIAN LEADER when it was sold to Upper Lakes Shipping in 1972.

At 3:00 a.m., 12 October 1870, the 76 ton tug ONTARIO caught fire and burned to the waterline while lying at Harrow's dock in Algonac, Michigan.

On 12 October 1901, ALVINA (wooden schooner-rigged scow-barge, 89 foot, 95 gross tons, built in 1871, at Fair Haven, Michigan) was being towed by the steamer WESTON and had a load of 700 barrels of lubricating oil. They were bound from Cleveland for Manistique. The ALVINA was overwhelmed in a storm and sank near Thunder Bay Island in Lake Huron. Her entire crew made it to shore in her yawl. Her cargo was salvaged five days later.

On 12 October 1880, TRADER (wooden propeller, 115 foot, 169 gross tons, built in 1865, at Marine City, Michigan) was carrying lumber in a storm on Lake Michigan. She was battered severely and became waterlogged. Her crew abandoned her with water up to her decks. They were saved by the schooner GUIDE in a daring rescue. A few days later, in the "Alpena Storm", her wreckage washed ashore near Holland, Michigan and she was erroneously reported as another "all-hands" victim of that storm.

On 12 October 1874, on her maiden voyage, the tug MARY passed Port Huron down bound with the bark FAVORITE in tow. The tug was owned by William Hardison of Port Huron.

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 include many other vessels with a much more detailed history



Tug Presque Isle at Port Weller Drydock

10/11 - On Sunday, the tug Presque Isle entered the Welland Canal at Port Colborne. She was light-tug. The tug Lac Como met her outside the piers and escorted her to wharf 26. The Lac Como was required to hold the Presque Isle alongside while she tied up.

The Presque Isle was then visited by a Seaway Inspector before being allowed to continue her transit to Port Weller Shipyard.

Monday saw the Presque Isle waiting below Lock 2. The Canal controllers increased the water level in the pool between Locks 1 & 2, held the inbound Petite Forte below Lock 1, then allowed the Presque Isle to continue into the drydock.

Reported by Paul Beesley



Port Reports - October 11

Sturgeon Bay
Alpena, which was rumored to have lost her rudder recently, was photographed under tow by two Selvick tugs entering the Bay of Green Bay through Death's Door yesterday. Is thought that she is enroute to Sturgeon Bay for repairs.

Buffalo - Brown Wroblewski
The Courtney Burton was seen sitting on the hook off Buffalo at about 6:00 p.m. on Sunday evening. She was waiting for the water to rise in the creek before proceeding in for General Mills. The ship was then spotted again on the Monday unloading at the Frontier Elevator at noon. She had departed by 6:00 p.m. Monday evening. A second unidentified vessel was anchored of Buffalo on Sunday.

DeTour - Kathy Kohring
The CG Cutter Mackinac(83) was in the St. Marys River, near DeTour Village all day Monday and was still anchored there Monday night as of 10:00 p.m. They were practicing some sort of drills on the deck. The crew was in their orange survival suits all near the bow performing different anchoring techniques and situations. They were giving different codes and directions to the crew on the deck.

She was flying three flags on her mast. The top one being the coast guard flag, the second one was a red and white 4 large check flag, and the third flag was orange background with red stripes running across it. They were in the area of Squaw Island and Pipe Island. She really looked impressive all decked out with all those flags and the crew topsides on the deck all afternoon doing drills of some sort.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey & Gordy Garris
The Saginaw River saw two vessels on Monday as the Cuyahoga and Buffalo both called on docks along her banks. The Cuyahoga lightered early Monday morning at the Buena Vista dock before moving upriver to finish her unload at the Valley Asphalt dock. The Cuyahoga is a very rare visitor to the Saginaw River, only visiting the river once or twice a year. She was outbound during the afternoon.

The Buffalo unloaded at the Bay Aggregates dock into the evening on Monday after arriving late in the afternoon. She was outbound for the lake late in the evening.

Kingston - Ron Walsh
The Coast Guard Cutter Cape Hearne will be christened during the morning of October 21, 2005. The event will take place at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour, Kingston, Ontario. The vessel has been in service since July.

The former Search and Rescue cutter stationed here, the CCGC Bittern, has been decommissioned and is in Prescott.


Photo Gallery Updates - October 11

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated



Today in Great Lakes History - October 11

MEDINA (wooden propeller tug, 66 foot, 57 gross tons) was launched by O’Grady & Maher at Buffalo, New York on 11 October 1890. She cost $12,000.

Quebec & Ontario Transportation's b.) BAIE COMEAU II cleared Sorel October 11, 1983, as c.) AGIA TRIAS, Panamanian registry #1355. Her Canadian registry was closed on October 12, 1983. Her mission was to carry grain from New Orleans, Louisiana. to Mexican and Caribbean Island ports. Subsequently she was renamed d.) OCEANVIEW in 1988, e.) SEA DIAMOND in 1989, f.) GOLDEN CREST in 1990, g.) ATLANTIC WOOD in 1991, h.) LONDON FURY in 1994 and i.) DONG SHENG in 1995.

Cleveland Tankers MERCURY scraped the South Grand Island Bridge in the Niagara River in heavy fog on October 11, 1974. Her forward mast snapped off, the midship mast was tilted and her smoke stack was toppled. She proceeded after the mishap to G&W Welding at Cleveland, Ohio under her own power for repairs.

Upper Lakes Shipping's WHEAT KING, under tow, arrived at Chittagong Roads, Bangladesh on October 11, 1989, to be broken up.

In 1911, the rail ferry CHIEF WAWATAM arrived at St. Ignace, Michigan and began service shortly thereafter.

On 11 October 1913, THOMAS H CAHOON (3 mast wooden schooner-barge, 166 foot, 431 gross tons, built in 1881, at E. Saginaw, Michigan) was carrying lumber in tow of the steamer C W CHAMBERLAIN. They were bound from Sault Ste. Marie to Byng Inlet. However during a storm, the CAHOON stranded and went to pieces on “Kenny Shoal” by the southwest corner of Innes Island in Georgian Bay. No lives were lost.

On 11 October 1839, DEWITT CLINTON (wooden passenger/package freight side-wheeler, 147 foot, 413 tons, built in 1836, at Huron, Ohio) foundered off Milwaukee with the loss of 5 lives. She was recovered the following year and lasted until 1851. She and her near-twin ROBERT FULTON were reportedly the first Lake steamers built primarily as freighters with relatively few passenger accommodations.

On 11 October 1866, GREAT WEST (wooden 3-mast bark, 175 foot, 765 tons, built in 1854, at Buffalo, New York) was carrying wheat in a storm on Lake Michigan when she stranded on Racine Reef. She was reported to be a total loss but she may have been recovered and then lost near Chicago in 1876. When launched, she was the largest sailing vessel on the Lakes and much was made of her beautiful lines. She was diagonally braced with iron. She stood 174 feet tall from her deck to her masthead. So if she were sailing today, although she'd be able to sail under the Mackinac Bridge, she'd be stopped at the Blue Water Bridge whose roadway is only 152 feet above the water.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history.


Port Reports - October 10

Menominee - Scott Best
Friday evening around 9:00 p.m. the Vechtborg arrived in Menominee with a load of wood pulp from Kotka Finland. Unloading began early Saturday morning and was finished early Sunday. The Vechtborg then spent all day Sunday shifting bulk-heads in preperation for loading grain in Duluth. Around 5:30 p.m. just before dark they departed the dock and turned around in the river and departed for Duluth.

Arriving just before the Vechtborg departed was the tug Krystal which will be on hand early Monday for the arrival of the (New) Mackinaw which will be returning to Marinette from Sturgeon Bay.

Due later this week in Marinette is the Chios Pride with pig iron from Brazil.

Duluth/Superior - Al Miller
Vessel traffic in the Twin Ports was fairly light on Monday. Armco arrived overnight Sunday to unload stone at the CLM dock in Superior.

Roger Blough was at the DMIR ore dock to load taconite pellets. Oglebay Norton was due Monday night to load coal at Midwest Energy Terminal.

Wolverine was expected Monday night to unload stone at the Northland Constructors dock (between Cargill and AGP elevators).



Photo Gallery Updates - October 9

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 10

On 10 October 1902, GARDEN CITY (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 133 foot, 352 gross tons, built in 1873, at Ogdensburg, New York) caught fire on the Saginaw River between Bay City and Saginaw while sailing up the river for winter lay-up. She sank four miles above Bay City near the old interurban railroad bridge.

While downbound with coal in the St. Lawrence River on October 10, 1981, the JEAN PARISIEN suffered considerable bottom damage when she ran aground near Comfort Island about a mile west of Alexandria Bay, New York. She was rebuilt with a new forebody at Port Weller Drydocks and renamed b.) CSL ASSINIBOINE in 2005.

The BROOKDALE of 1909, was towed out of Toronto on October 10, 1980, by the tug GLENADA, assisted by the tug TERRY S. She was one her way to the cutters torch at Port Maitland, Ontario.

The CHAMPLAIN with her former fleet mate CADILLAC was towed past Gibraltar October 10, 1987, heading for Aliaga, Turkey for dismantling by Cukurova Celik Endustrisi A.S.

The SAVIC b.) CLIFFS VICTORY cleared New York on October 10, 1986.

The HULL NO 1, b.) KINSMAN ENTERPRISE, being towed by the Polish tug JANTAR arrived in Aliaga, Turkey on October 10, 1989, to be scrapped there.

October 10, 1906 - The PERE MARQUETTE 5 was sold to The Barry Transportation Co. for $75,000. The PERE MARQUETTE 5 was the last of the "break-bulk" boats operated by the Pere Marquette Railway Co.

On 10 October 1905, CHARLES H BURTON (3 mast wooden schooner, 158 foot, 514 gross tons, built in 1873, at Bangor, Michigan) was carrying coal in a storm in Lake Erie when she was driven ashore 4 1/2 miles east of Barcelona, New York and broke up. No lives were lost. She had been built on the hull of the bark GLENBULAH that had burned in the Chicago fire of 1871.

On 10 October 1877, ELIZA R TURNER (wooden schooner, 156 foot, 409 gross tons, built in 1867, at Trenton, Michigan) was carrying wheat from Detroit to Buffalo when a storm drove her aground nine miles west of Long Point on Lake Erie where she was wrecked. The skipper and cook drowned, but the remaining 8 were saved.

The tug CRUSADER of Oswego burned and sank in the middle of the Straits of Mackinac about 9:00 p.m. on 10 October 1878.

On 10 October 1877, ABEONA (wooden scow-schooner, 100 tons, built in 1863, at Lambert, Ontario) was carrying lumber and shingles down bound on Lake Huron when she stranded during a storm one mile west of Port Austin where she reportedly later broke up.

In 1877, PORTLAND (2-mast wooden schooner, 118 foot, 250 tons, built in 1847, at Pillar Point, New York) stranded and went to pieces north of False Presque Isle on Lake Huron. Salvage attempts only retrieved her anchor and chain.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Another Charter Boat Tragedy

10/9 - Lewiston, NY - A charter boat captain and one of his two passengers are missing and presumed drowned after their boat got caught in a whirlpool and capsized in the lower Niagara River near the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge Saturday, authorities said. Police identified the two missing people as Steve White, 43, of Ransomville, and his passenger, Lauren Barsamian, 27, of New City. The surviving passenger, John Rice III, 36, of Harrington Park, N.J., was plucked from the water by another charter boat captain.

"The boat got caught in some type of whirlpool and the back end of it started to dip. The operator couldn't get the engine started," Lewiston Police Sgt. Frank Previte said. "What generally happens when they go up there to fish is fishermen turn their engines off and drift so that they don't scare the fish." Rice told police they were not wearing life jackets, authorities said, although the preservers were on board. White, the missing captain of the 19-foot Starcraft vessel, was apparently sucked under by the powerful whirlpool into water approximately 100 feet deep. His passengers, who had chartered the boat to fish for salmon, were able to stay above the surface and call for help.

Charter Captain Joseph V. Marra Jr. of Lewiston heard their cries and maneuvered his boat into the currents, where he reached over with help from his passengers and pulled Rice aboard. Marra then attempted to save Barsamian, but she vanished into the water. "The boat flipped upside down. They were yelling for help," said Marra, who was visibly shaken as he spoke of the rescue. "I grabbed one person and we got him in the vessel, and we tried to get the woman. We almost got her, and then she went down."

Dave Elliott, a charter captain from the Town of Niagara, described the rescue as a miracle. "Joe saved someone and put his own life on the line," Elliott said. He described the water discharge areas for the New York State and Canadian hydropower projects, located near the bridge, as "a place you don't fish." "Currents can be as fast as 25 miles per hour," Elliot said. "I saw the Starcraft boat fishing up in Devil's Hole earlier." Marra used his cell phone to alert authorities of the accident, Previte said.

Rice, the rescued passenger, was taken to Mount St. Mary's Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition Saturday night.

The accident comes as salmon fishing season is drawing large numbers of anglers to the river. Coast Guard Chief Dennis O'Connell said the accident underscores the need for boat passengers to wear life preservers. The capsized boat was recovered and taken to the Coast Guard's Niagara station in Youngstown where it will be examined, he said. The missing captain was licensed by the Coast Guard to operate a charter fishing boat, said O'Connell, who described weather conditions Saturday as more treacherous than usual because of a strong north wind. "The water temperature was in the mid-60s, and hypothermia can set in fast," he said.

The search for White and Barsamian will continue today. At one point Saturday, three helicopters from the Coast Guard, Niagara County's Sheriff's Department and Homeland Security searched for them. Several boats from various agencies also patrolled the water.


Thunder Cape Christening

10/9 - The Canadian Coast Guard Cutter Thunder Cape was christened at the Goderich SAR Station on October 7, 2005. The Thunder Cape is one of several Cape class 47 foot Motor Lifeboat SAR cutters which have recently been introduced to the Great Lakes by the Canadian Coast Guard.

The Cape class vessels are named after prominent geographical features found within the Central and Arctic Region of the Canadian Coast Guard. Thunder Cape is located near the entrance to Thunder Bay in Lake Superior.


Port Reports - October 9

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The salty Ziemia Suwalska arrived in port Thursday to take the place of M. V. Woody at the Redpath Sugar dock. Groupe Ocean tugs assisted.

On Friday the tour boat Spirit of Rochester arrived in port and went down the Turning Basin to Toronto Drydock. The tour boat River Gambler is currently on the drydock. It is scheduled to be refloated late this week.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
The Saginaw River on Saturday saw two different vessels both returning to the river for their second time in the past two days. First was the tug Joseph H. Thompson/Jr who was returning to the Saginaw River for their second time since Thursday afternoon. The pair were inbound early Saturday morning and continued all the way upriver to unload their cargo at the Burroughs-Levy dock in Zilwaukee. The pair finished their unload by 4pm and headed upriver to turn around in the Sixth Street Basin. While in the Basin the tug had trouble turning the pair around due to the strong northerly wind gusts up to 20-25mph giving way to almost 6-foot waves in the Saginaw Bay. The pair had finally had cleared the Sixth Street Basin by 5:30 p.m. and headed outbound for the lake.

On their way outbound for the lake they passed the Maumee who was also returning to the Saginaw River for their second time since Thursday. The pair were outbound at the I-75 bridge in Zilwaukee at 6:30pm. The Maumee who continued all the way up river to unload her cargo at the Saginaw Wirt dock. The Maumee was expected to be outbound the Saginaw River late Saturday night into early Sunday morning.

Milwaukee - Bill Mosher
9/28 - Integrity discharged slag at LaFarge
10/1 - Ziemia Cieszynska unloaded steel at Terminal #2
10/1 - Kadinger Marine's Barge BBL400 loaded general cargo at Terminal #3.
10/1 - Charles M. Beeghly delivered a load of coal to the Greenfield dock.
10/3 - Federal Weser bought steel and general cargo to Port Terminal #2.
10/3 - Algomarine unloaded salt at the Bulk Cargo dock.
10/3 - Fred R. White Jr. delivered a coal load to the Greenfield dock.
10/4 - Buffalo discharged gypsum at Port Terminal #1.

Green Bay -Wendell Wilke
The Manistee made her first daytime visit to Green Bay Saturday as she transited the Fox River arrived at Georgia Pacific with coal at 2:45 p.m. After she passed the LaFarge terminal, the Paul H. Townsend backed out of the slip and transited out the Fox River leaving the port.


Photo Gallery Updates - October 9

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 09

On 08-09 October 1871, NAVARINO (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 184 foot, 761 tons, built in 1870 at Manitowoc, Wisconsin) was lying at a dock when the Chicago fire swept through the city. The vessel tried to pull away from the dock and get to the safety of Lake Michigan, but the wind which was being drawn into the fire held her against the dock. She burned to a total loss; no lives were lost. Her machinery was later salvaged and used in the new propeller MENOMINEE.

The CHIMO was moved onto the Port Weller Dry Dock on October 9, 1983 where work began to cut her apart forward of her aft located pilot house and engine room. Upon completion Upper Lakes Shipping renamed her b.) CANADIAN RANGER.

The GULF MACKENZIE (Hull#435) was launched at Sorel, Quebec by Marine Indusrties, Ltd.on October 9, 1976. Renamed b.) L ROCHETTE in 1985, departed the lakes and renamed c.) TRADEWIND ISLAND in 1995 and d.) KEMEPADE in 2003.

The Pioneer Shipping, Ltd. SASKATCHEWAN PIONEER arrived in the Welland Canal on her delivery trip October 9, 1983, en route for her formal christening at Thunder Bay, Ontario. Sold off the lakes and renamed b.) LADY HAMILTON in 1995.

The JAMES DAVIDSON (Hull# 288) was launched at Wyandotte, Michigan by Detroit Ship Building Co. on October 9, 1920, for the Globe Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio (G.A. Tomlinson, mgr.)

On October 9, 1984, the PATERSON was sold to Shearmet Recycling, a Thunder Bay, Ontario ship breaker, and was broken up at their Mission River dock.

The COL JAMES M SCHOONMAKER sailed from the Great Lakes Engineering Works on her maiden voyage on October 9, 1911, to Toledo, Ohio where she loaded coal bound for Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The SCHOONMAKER was the largest vessel on the Great Lakes when she came out. For much of the decade this vessel either broke or held many bulk cargo records. Renamed b.) WILLIS B BOYER in 1969. Since 1987, the BOYER serves as a museum ship in Toledo, Ohio.

On 9 October 1820, ASP (wooden schooner, 57 tons, built in 1808, at Mississauga, Ontario) was carrying lumber and staves when she sprang a leak near Long Point in Lake Ontario. She waterlogged, then capsized. The upturned vessel was driven across the lake and finally went ashore off the Salmon River at Mexico Bay, New York and broke up quickly. 9 of the 11 onboard lost their lives. She was originally built as the British armed schooner ELIZABETH.

On 9 October 1931, CHARLES H BRADLEY (wooden propeller, 201 foot, 804 gross tons, built in 1890, at W. Bay City, Michigan) was carrying pulpwood and towing the barge GRAMPIAN. She was traversing the Portage Canal in the Keweenaw Peninsula when she ran onto a bar and stranded. The barge kept coming and ploughed into her stern. The Bradley caught fire and burned to the waterline. The wreck still lies in 6 to 17 feet of water just off the mouth of the Sturgeon River.

On 9 October 1895, AFRICA (wooden propeller steam barge, 135 foot, 352 gross tons, built in 1873, at Kingston, Ontario) was towing the schooner SEVERN in a storm on Lake Huron when she struck a reef, 15 miles south of Cove Island light on Lake Huron. She released SEVERN which rode out the storm. However, AFRICA broke up in that storm. All 13 of her crew were lost.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Port Reports - October 8

Marquette - Lee Rowe
Stormy weather caused the Herbert C. Jackson to anchor in Whitefish Bay for a while before coming in to Marquette on Friday for a load of ore. The next ship due is the Michipicoten on Sunday.

Sault Ste. Marie
Only 99 days until the Soo Locks are closed for the winter (1/15/06), 168 days until the Soo Locks are open for the 2006 shipping season (3/25/06), and 265 days until Engineers Day at the Soo Locks!!(6/30/06)

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
The Paul H. Townsend arrived in port around 7:30 a.m. Thursday morning. The Townsend took on cement for Green Bay, WI and was outbound before noon. The J.A.W Iglehart also came in on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. once its fleetmate cleared. The Iglehart loaded for Superior,WI.

The Steamer Alpena has been making stops at Lake Michigan ports such as St. Joseph and South Chicago.

The G.L Ostrander/ barge Integrity is expected to return on Sunday morning.

The Agawa Canyon brought a cargo of salt from Goderich,ON and was unloading it at the Alpena Oil Dock on a cold Friday morning. This will likely be the last load of salt for the season. The Agawa Canyon departed by 9:00 a.m. and was headed for Calcite.

The Maumee loaded at Stoneport on Friday evening. The Cason J. Calloway and Pathfinder were on the schedule for Saturday



Today in Great Lakes History - October 08

On 08 October 1871, PHILO PARSONS (wooden side-wheel steamer, 221 tons, built in 1861, at Algonac, Michigan) burned to a total loss in the great Chicago fire. She burned so completely that her remains were not located in the Chicago River until 1877. She was the vessel commandeered by Confederate raiders in a plot to capture the iron gunboat U.S.S. MICHIGAN on Lake Erie during the American Civil War. The Chicago fire destroyed many fine vessels while they were docked in the harbor. These included the new propeller NAVARINO, the steamer PHILO PARSONS, the schooner GLENBULA, the schooner ECLIPSE, the schooner BUTCHER BOY, the bark VALETTA, the schooner ALNWICK, the bark A P NICHOLS, the bark FONTANELLA, the fore-and-aft schooner STAMPEDE, the schooner N C FORD, and the schooner CHRISTINA NEILSON. The only recorded casualties among the sailors were on the ALNWICK; her mate died and the captain burned his hands severely.

The keel was laid October 8, 1976, for the 660 foot forward section of the a.) BURNS HARBOR, but was completed as b.) LEWIS WILSON FOY for the Bethlehem Steel Co., Cleveland, Ohio. Purchased by Oglebay Norton and renamed c.) OGLEBAY NORTON in 1991.

The MATHEWSTON (Hull#47) entered service on October 8, 1922. On her maiden voyage she sailed from Port Arthur, Ontario with 11,634 tons of barley and wheat. Renamed b.) RALPH S MISENER in 1954 and c.) MATHEWSTON again in 1967. Scrapped at Vado, Italy in 1970.

The Canadian registry for MENIHEK LAKE was officially closed on October 8, 1985, with the notation "sold Spain." She was scrapped at Gijon, Spain.

The WILLIAM G MATHER arrived on October 8, 1988, in tow of the Great Lakes Towing Co. tugs WYOMING and ALABAMA at the G&W Shipyard at Collision Bend in the Cuyahoga River to be refurbished.

On 8 October 1906, PASADENA (wooden barge, 250 foot, 1761 gross tons, built in 1889, at Cleveland, Ohio as a propeller bulk freighter) was carrying coal, in tow of the steamer GLADSTONE, bound for Superior, Wisconsin. The PASADENA went out of control in a gale and her skipper had the tow line cut. She was thrown against a pier near the upper entry to the Keweenaw Waterway and pounded to pieces in a few hours. Two lives were lost, but 8 made it to shore on the floating wreckage.

On 8 October 1854, E K COLLINS (wooden passenger/package freight side-wheeler, 256 foot, 1095 gross tons, built in 1853, at Newport, Michigan) caught fire and beached near the mouth of the Detroit River where she burned to the waterline. About 23 lives were lost. About 43 persons were rescued in small boats and by the steamers FINTRY and GLOBE. There was some speculation that arson was the cause. The hull was recovered in 1857, and rebuilt as the barge ARK.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history



Police say pilot flew under bridge
Witnesses saw flier take plane near water below Blue Water span

10/7 - Canadian police are searching for a pilot they said flew a single-engine plane Wednesday night under the Blue Water Bridge. Witnesses told police the aircraft, which appeared to be a green Cessna-style plane, flew north under the spans about 7:40 p.m., then headed toward Sarnia, Ontario Provincial Police Constable John Reurink said Thursday.

Only one 911 call was placed about the incident Wednesday - the caller was in Port Huron, but the call bounced to Canadian 911 - and police could not confirm the incident at the time. On Thursday, more witnesses came forward with information. "We are confident that it occurred now," Reurink said.

Police haven't been able to locate the plane and aren't sure of the plane's tail number, which will help track down the pilot. They are reviewing video from the Blue Water Bridge to see if the incident was caught on tape. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police will be taking over the investigation because it is a federal crime. Police were unsure if U.S. authorities also would investigate, but Canadian police are leading the investigation because the plane flew into Ontario. It's illegal in the United States and Canada to fly within 500 feet of a person or a structure.

Jerry O'Neill, 57, of Sarnia was near the bridge on the Canadian side with his wife Wednesday evening. He said they'd walked under the north span of the bridge when they saw the low-flying plane. O'Neill said he didn't see the plane fly under the bridge but said the aircraft was very close to the water. "You always look up to see the planes," he said. "And when you look left and it's right above the water, it was really shocking." Port Huron police also were dispatched to the waterfront Wednesday night but didn't see the plane and couldn't find any witnesses to confirm it.

The last known time a plane flew under the Blue Water Bridge was in 1995 when two seaplanes flew side-by-side underneath the bridge. It's unclear what the outcome was of that incident.

From the Port Huron times Herald


Search Continues for Toledo Shipyard partner

10/7 - The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority has not yet found a replacement to operate at the Toledo Shipyard, but officials report there is plenty of interest. Manitowoc Marine Group announced last month that it will pull anchor by the end of October. The Wisconsin-based group has been operating a ship building and repair yard at 2345 Front St. since 1992.

With public funds already committed to modernize the facility, port authority officials have confidence the shipyard won't remain empty long. More than $3 million in federal funds, $1.5 million from Toledo and $1 million from Lucas County, is available to update the facility, although officials have decided to sign a partner before investing the money.

"There are a number of local firms, a number of regional firms, and a couple of coastal firms that have contacted us," James Hartung, president of the port authority, said. County Commissioner Pete Gerken said officials hope to attract a company that would become more involved in the community. He added that those involved in rejuvenating the shipyard - including the city, county, and port authority - agreed a company should be chosen before the money is spent. "We need to do our due diligence and make sure someone is ready to come in," he said.

Mr. Hartung said that once a pool of interested parties is created, then the port authority, which leases the land, will put out a request for proposals. Ideally, he said, the chosen operator will become involved in the design of the facility.

From the Toledo Blade


Oglebay Sells Buckeye for Barge Use, Explores Sale of Marine Assets

10/7 - Oglebay Norton Company announced Thursday that its wholly owned subsidiary Oglebay Norton Marine Services Company, LLC, has agreed in principle to sell the Buckeye, a 698-ft. self-unloading vessel, for $4 million to K & K Warehousing, a privately held Great Lakes warehousing and transportation company. K & K intends to convert the vessel into an unmanned barge. The Buckeye has been idle this shipping season after suffering damage late last season. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Oglebay also announced that it has engaged Jefferies & Company, Inc. to assist it in evaluating potential transactions related to the balance of its Great Lakes fleet.

Michael D. Lundin, president and chief executive officer of the Company, commented: "These actions are consistent with our stated long-term strategy, which is to invest in growth opportunities in our core limestone and limestone fillers businesses while managing our lime, industrial sands and marine services businesses to maximize cash flow.

"The sale of the Buckeye will enable us to capture asset value that we will use to pay down debt while at the same time securing a long-term freight contract for our stone on the Great Lakes. Western Lime has been a valued and reliable long-term customer with whom we have now secured added stone supply volume for the foreseeable future."

He continued, "Regarding the decision to hire an investment banker, we believe the time is right to explore the possible sale of some or all of our fleet of Great Lakes freighters. This decision is based in part on current favorable market conditions as well as recent expressions of interest we have received. The Company has considerable capital locked up in the vessels that we would like to redeploy to pay down debt and for capital investments consistent with our strategy.

"Vessel transportation for stone continues to be important to us, and we are confident that, as part of the sales transaction, we can enter into favorable long-term contracts of affreightment for our stone with the purchasers or other third-party vessel operators as we have done in the sale of the Buckeye."

From  Oglebay Norton


Mackinaw's Arrival Likely Delayed
New Icebreaker Still Faces its Acceptance Trials
November 13 Date is Very Unlikely

110/7 - MARINETTE, Wis. - With shipbuilder's trials now complete, the new U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw has departed its pre-commissioning home of Marinette, Wis., and is now in dry-dock at Bay Shipbuilding in nearby Sturgeon Bay for bottom painting. The Mac hasn't had a spare moment to breathe, it seems, since its April 2 launch into the Menominee River, but significant delays have slowed the vessel's readiness to the point that a planned November 13 arrival in Cheboygan is now looking very unlikely.

"Everybody here wants to be in Cheboygan - yesterday," emphasized Cmdr. Don Triner, first skipper of the new icebreaker. "We're ready to take the ship, but the ship's not ready to be taken." Triner estimated Monday that the ship's ultimate acceptance by the Coast Guard won't come a moment too soon, with officers and crewmembers alike eager to begin their new assignment in Cheboygan. "Sometime between Nov. 1 and Nov. 11, it will be time to take charge of the ship," he continued. "There comes a point of diminishing returns where we won't be effective in keeping our momentum as a crew. We'll definitely be there sometime in November, I don't see any major stumbling blocks."

Triner, who was promoted to captain Saturday, said that an exact date may be easier to pinpoint in a week or so. That would please organizers of the New Mackinaw Welcoming Committee, who are working to put on a show to rival the one thrown in Cheboygan in 1944 when the original Mackinaw arrived from Toledo. Plans have been developed to throw a city-wide party, but are currently on hold until an arrival date is determined.

Triner described the bottom-painting appointment, planned to begin Tuesday, as using the same paint system that is applied to polar icebreakers. "It significantly increases icebreaking performance by reducing friction," he noted. "It's like cooking with a Teflon pan."

The ship has completed 13 long days of builders' sea trials, testing all systems and equipment. "Can you imagine what it was like to get all the computer applications we have on this ship talking to one another?" Triner mused. "We had great weather the whole time." A whole week is scheduled at Marinette after the painting is done to apply further repairs and adjustments at the shipyard. Preliminary acceptance trials are due to begin Oct. 17, when all Coast Guard crewmen will run the ship. "We'll have five days for that, two of them will be days underway at sea," Triner added. "Capt. Mike Hudson will be in charge of the operation and Capt. Jon Nickerson - a former Mackinaw captain - will be brought in from the Leadership Development Center at New London, Conn., for consultation."

Nickerson's input will be significant since he was in on the first levels of designing the new Mackinaw, basically outlining for the Coast Guard in the early 1990's what was needed to replace the aging ship that has now done the job for 61 years. "Captain Nickerson will be looking to see if the ship is providing what the plan said we needed back when they first talked about building a new ship," Triner said. "He was there in the beginning, laying the foundation for this ship."

The crew will then have two weeks of work at the "School of the Ship," receiving final training by the shipyard. "That basically involves our people learning how to turn everything on and make it work," he said. "It's learning a job onboard the ship." Triner said that crane training will commence Nov. 7, and after that the final details will dictate when the Mackinaw can leave Wisconsin for its permanent home in Cheboygan.

From the Cheboygan Daily Tribune


Maritime Trader Makes First Welland Canal Transit

10/7 - The Maritime Trader, ex Teakglen and Mantadoc, was stopped at Port Colborne for inspection until around 11:00 a.m. Thursday morning on her first downbound trip in the Welland Canal. There was also some talk that a new compass was installed and some other additions were made during the stop.

Maritime Trader is owned by Wayne Elliott, President of International Marine Salvage, of Port Colborne, and contracted to Voyageur Marine Transport Ltd., of Ridgeville, Ontario to haul grain for James Richardson. Voyageur will also be operating the Ex-Kinsman Independent, hauling grain products, when she is ready.

The Trader does not have a union crew and a small group of pickets from the Seafarers International Union were on hand as she entered Lock 7.

She cleared the Flight Locks as the sun was setting.

Photos in the News Photo Gallery .


Detroit Bridge Choices Narrowed

10/7 - Two controversial bridge routes for a proposed Detroit-Windsor border crossing have been eliminated from contention, narrowing the field to seven options. Canadian and U.S. governments are worried about congestion in the busy trade corridor, and want to build a new crossing to take pressure off the existing Ambassador Bridge and Detroit-Windsor tunnel. But Michigan residents opposed routes that would have run through the Detroit-area neighbourhoods of Downriver and Belle Isle.

The Border Transportation Partnership said yesterday that it has scratched those proposals off its list for the international construction project across the Detroit River. The bi-national group said seven options remain under consideration, down from 15 originally on the table when the partnership made proposals in June. The Downriver and Belle Isle proposals included eight variations within those plans.

“The No. 1 objective for us right now is to determine where the crossing will go,” Ontario Transport Minister Harinder Takhar said in an interview. “Options have been eliminated as we go along, so we are making some progress.” The partnership will continue its studies “to ensure that the right decision is made for the residents of southeast Michigan and every traveller who relies on safe, efficient crossings with Canada,” Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm said in a statement.

Ensuring a steady flow of heavy trucks, carrying goods such as auto parts, is crucial to strengthening Canada-U.S. trade, government leaders say. However, the prospect of extra traffic and pollution is being closely scrutinized by environmentalists and neighbourhood activists. Yesterday, Transport Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation both pledged to keep the public informed about plans for North America's busiest border crossing.

Transport Canada spokesman Mark Butler said the seven remaining options will be further reduced to a short list of perhaps three or four by the end of November, followed by public consultations expected to begin as soon as December. The timetable calls for the partnership to recommend a preferred crossing site — either a bridge or tunnel — by the fall of 2007, and construction of that project could start in 2010 and open in 2013.

One possibility is that a new bridge could be constructed next to the privately owned Ambassador Bridge, but residents on both sides of the border have complained that having two crossings so close together wouldn't be the best option. A year ago, Detroit International Bridge Co., controlled by entrepreneur Manuel (Matty) Moroun, proposed building a twin crossing next to the company's Ambassador Bridge.

Mr. Takhar said it's too early to speculate on whether the current studies led by governments will become a public-private endeavour, or involve the Detroit-Windsor tunnel, which is jointly owned by the two cities. Members of the partnership include Ontario's Ministry of Transportation, Transport Canada, the U.S. Federal Highway Administration and the Michigan Department of Transportation. “We need to get our goods moving quickly and efficiently, not only to the border but also on our highways as well,” Mr. Takhar said. “Our economy depends on efficient border crossings.”

Ottawa and the Ontario government have already allotted $300-million for various Ontario infrastructure improvements, designed to tackle Detroit-Windsor gridlock until a new crossing is built. Michigan State Senator Ray Basham praised the decision to abandon the Downriver and Belle Isle options, saying it's time to move on and scrutinize the remaining plans.

From the Toronto Globe and Mail


Port Reports - October 7

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris and Todd Shorkey
The Saginaw River was busy on Wednesday and Thursday with five different vessels moving along the banks of the Saginaw River. First was the Fred R. White Jr arriving early Wednesday morning calling on the Bay Aggregates dock in Essexville to unload. She departed from the slip backing out, turning and heading outbound for the lake by 10:00 a.m.

Next was the Agawa Canyon arriving early Wednesday afternoon with a load of salt from Windsor, ON for the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee. She completed her unload around 7:00 p.m. Wednesday evening and headed upriver to turn around in the Sixth Street Turning Basin to head outbound for the lake. She was outbound at the I-75 bridge in Zilwaukee at 9:00 p.m., headed for the lake, as she passed the Maumee who also called on the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee.

Inbound, late Wednesday afternoon was the Maumee. She continued upriver to unload at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee. The Maumee unloaded into Thursday afternoon and departed the Sargent dock around 4:00 p.m., and continued upriver to turn around in the Sixth Street turning basin. She was down bound at the I-75 bridge in Zilwaukee by 5:30 p.m.

Next on Thursday was the Barge Pere Marquette 41 and the tug Undaunted who lightered at the Burroughts-Levy dock before continuing on to finish her cargo at the Saginaw Wirt dock. The pair were expected outbound early Friday morning.

Inbound lastly, late Thursday afternoon was the tug Joseph H. Thompson/Jr. They unloaded at the Sargent dock in Essexville. Once finished, the pair turned off the dock using the Bay Aggregates dock to back into and turn for the lake.

The Sam Laud was also inbound on Thursday calling on the Bay Aggregates dock. After unloading, the Laud waited for the outbound Maumee to pass and then followed her out to the lake. Finally, the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. was inbound Friday morning for the Consumers Energy dock to unload coal. She was outbound, backing out to Light 12 of the Entrance Channel to turn and head for the lake late Friday morning.

Marquette - Lee Rowe

The Paul R. Tregurtha brought coal to Marquette's WE power plant on Thursday. Fleet-mate Charles M. Beeghly arrived later for a load of ore. The weather produced a rainbow over the breakwall light.

Photos in the News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History - October 07

On 07 October 1871, GEM (wooden schooner, 120 foot, 325 tons, built in 1853, at Buffalo, New York) was sailing up bound in a storm on Lake Erie with a load of coal. She began to leak and was run to shore in an effort to save her. However, she went down before reaching shoal water and settled with six feet of water over her decks.

The ALGOWOOD was launched October 7, 1980, at Collingwood, Ontario for Algoma Central Marine, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

The PAUL THAYER was launched October 7, 1973, for the Union Commerce Bank Trustee, Cleveland, Ohio and managed by Kinsman Marine Transit Co., Cleveland. She was built under Title XI of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970, for $12.6 million. Renamed b.) EARL W OGLEBAY in 1995.

The WILLIAM MC LAUCHLAN (Hull#793) was launched at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co., on October 7, 1926, for the Interlake Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio. Renamed b.) SAMUEL MATHER in 1966, c.) JOAN M MC CULLOUGH in 1975 and d.) BIRCHGLEN in 1982. Scrapped at Sydney, Nova Scotia in 1988.

BLACK RIVER, a lake bulk freighter was built as a steel barge in 1897, by the F.W. Wheeler & Co., she was launched October 7, 1896, as a.) SIR ISAAC LOTHIAN BELL (Hull# 118).

The HUTCHCLIFFE HALL was raised October 7, 1962, and taken to Port Weller Dry Docks for repairs. She had sunk after a collision a few days earlier.

October 7, 1923 - The ANN ARBOR No. 4 went back into service after being overhauled and having new cabins built on her main deck.

The MADISON suffered a fire on October 7, 1987, while lying idle at Muskegon, Michigan and was badly damaged.

In 1903, ADVENTURE (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 108 foot, 142 gross tons, built in 1875, at Detroit, Michigan as a schooner) caught fire while tied to the Kelleys Island Line & Transport Co. Dock. The blaze spread so quickly that those on board barely escaped. She was towed from Kelleys Island out into Lake Erie by the tug SMITH to save the dock and the adjacent schooner ANDERSON.

In a severe gale and rain/hail storm on 7 October 1858, the 247 ton schooner OSPREY approached Oswego, New York. As she was about to enter the harbor, the vessel struck the east pier broadside. Her masts and rigging were carried away and she started to sink. Capt. John Parsons got his wife and child out of the cabin to try to escape to the pier. His wife was washed overboard and drowned. Capt. Parsons held on to his child, but another wave struck the wreck and swept the child into the water. George Crine, the mate, was also swept overboard. Those three were lost, but the next wave swung the wreck about with her bowsprit over the pier and the captain and the six remaining crewmen scrambled to safety. The entire town and harbor mourned those deaths and held a dockside service two days later with many prayers and all flags at half mast. Donations were accepted for the surviving sailors since they escaped with only the clothes on their backs.

On 7 October 1873, the PULASKI was launched at the Archibald Muir yard on the Black River in Port Huron. Her dimensions were 136 x 26 x 11 feet, 349 gross tons. She was a three mast "full canaller", painted white and her private signal was a red M on a white ground bordered with blue. Her sails were made by Mr. D. Robeson of Port Huron, Michigan.

On 7 October 1886, the Port Huron Times reported that "The old side-wheel ferry SARNIA, which was a familiar sight at this crossing [Port Huron-Sarnia] for so many years, and which is said to have earned enough money in her time to sheet her with silver, the hull of which has been for some years back used as a barge by the Marine City Salt Company, has closed her career. She was last week scuttled and sunk near the Marine City Salt Works wharf."

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 include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Canadian Enterprise Damages Pittsburgh & Conneaut Dock Coal Loader

10/6 -  On Tuesday contact between the self unloader boom on Canadian Enterprise and the #1 coal loader chute at Conneaut caused extensive damage to the loader chute, traversing boom and arm. The damaged #1 Loader is stuck in the down and extended position, fouling the boat berthing area under the loader's boom and blocking freighters from loading at the #2 Loader.

Insurance Adjusters were at the site Wednesday. No plans are yet developed for clearing the freighter berthing area, effectively closing the Coal Loading Operation. Once the damaged #1 Loader can be retracted or disassembled for repairs, boats can once again be loaded using the adjacent #2 Loader. The #1 Loader was operating at the time of the accident. The operator was trimming the load in one of the Canadian Enterprise's holds when Enterprise unexpectedly traversed her unloading boom into the Loader's chute.

The Loader Operator, who rides in an elevated cab attached to the loader's boom, was not injured. The extent of damage to the Canadian Enterprise unloading boom was not known. Canadian Enterprise sailed after the #1 Loader's chute was manually forced out of the way enough for the boat to move by.


The Bonstelle Theatre Presents "Ten November"

The historic Bonstelle Theatre is proud to open its 2005 – 2006 season on Friday, October 28 with the docudrama Ten November by Steven Dietz.

On the eve of November 10, 1975, 29 men set sail toward Detroit on the S.S Edmund Fitzgerald. After 7:25 p.m. they would never be seen again. This haunting maritime tale commemorates the 30th anniversary of the tragic sinking with achingly beautiful folk songs and powerful accounts of why the Fitzgerald ended her fateful journey at the bottom of Lake Superior. “Standing on the shore you can feel it. All that remains is the lake and her stories.”

Steven Dietz is a playwright and director whose works have been produced at theatres across the country, including Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival of New American Plays, Actors Theatre in St. Paul, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. A selection of Mr. Dietz’s plays includes God’s Country, Private Eyes, Painting it Red and Foolin’ Around with Infinity.

Members of the Great Lakes Maritime Institute will be at the Sunday, October 30, 2:00 p.m. performance of Ten November and will be available to answer questions about the Edmund Fitzgerald and related events. Their display will include paintings, artifacts, (and possibly a model) of the Edmund Fitzgerald as well as informational material about upcoming events commemorating the 30th anniversary of the sinking of the Fitzgerald.

Ten November opens at the Bonstelle Theatre on Friday, October 28 with performances on October 29, November 4, and November 5 at 8 p.m. and October 30 and November 6 at 2 p.m. Tickets for Ten November can be purchased in advance by calling the Wayne State University Box Office (located at 4743 Cass Ave. on the corner of Cass and Hancock) at (313) 577-2960 Tuesdays through Saturdays from noon until 6 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased at the door at the Bonstelle Theatre, located at 3424 Woodward, beginning one hour prior to each performance. Ticket prices range from $11- $14 with discounts available for senior citizens, students, faculty and Alumni Association members. Performance information may also be obtained by visiting the theatre’s website at


Port Reports - October 6

Marquette - Lee Rowe
A warm and stormy Wednesday saw the Saginaw arrive out of the fog to go to the ore dock. In spite of the weather, she arrived right on schedule.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The salty Woody was turned end for end early Wednesday morning by the Groupe Ocean tugs Omni Richeleu and Jerry G. which came in from Hamilton and returned there when the job was finished. Stephen B. Roman finished unloading late that afternoon and departed. The Environment Ontario vessel Monitor VI made a rare visit to port Wednesday.

The Port Authority ferry Maple City was removed from service Wednesday and taken to the Port authority's Keating Channel yard for maintenance work. The back-up ferry Windmill Point went into service on the island airport run.

Hamilton - John Mccreery
The Canadian Leader entered Hamilton harbour at noon on the Wednesday. They reported a partial load of ore from Pointe Noire and after unloading at Dofasco there next destination would be the Port Weller Dry Docks.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Fred R. White, Jr. arrived early Wednesday morning, calling on the Bay Aggregates dock to unload. She was backing out of the slip, turning, and headed for the bay around 10 a.m. Also inbound Wednesday afternoon were the Agawa Canyon and Maumee. Both vessels traveled up to the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee to unload. Both were expected to be outbound late Wednesday or early Thursday morning.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
An independent film that was partially shot in Buffalo about a WWII Destroyer will open at the Market Arcade movie complex this week. The movie is called "Proud: The Men of the USS Mason" and is a period piece set in the 1940's. Shipyard scenes were filmed while construction work was underway on the new Naval Park Basin in 2002. Other segments of the movie take place on board the USS The Sullivans and the USS Little Rock which stood in for the now scrapped USS Mason. Buffalo's wintertime conditions lend authenticity to the parts of the film set in the icy North Atlantic. The movie will open nation wide later this month.

A never completed Frank Lloyd Wright design for a 4,500 square foot boat house has been given the green light for construction on the Buffalo Waterfront in the Spring of 2006. Private investments and contributions totaling $5.4 million have been secured for the pressed concrete building originally meant for the University of Wisconsin. The West Side Rowing Club, the nation's largest such club, will operate the facility set to rise along the shore of the Black Rock Canal just South of the Peace Bridge. The boathouse is seen as a potential tourist attraction due to the interest it has received over the years in the architectural press and books about Frank Lloyd Wright.

The wreckage of a plane that disappeared over Lake Erie two months ago has been found. The aircraft made a sharp left turn and then dropped off the Buffalo Radar Scopes at 9:40 p.m. on August 26 after making a sight seeing run from Prospect, PA to Niagara Falls. New York State Police divers located the wreckage eight miles Northwest of Dunkirk Harbor. Conditions at the bottom were poor with only a half foot of visibility at times due to darkness and silt. Two of the three victims of the crash were recovered and divers were to head back on October 5 to look for a third body. The US Coast Guard from Group Buffalo, State DEC, Niagara Regional Police from Canada, a Minnesota based nonprofit group, and the Texas based Equisearch organization all helped in the location efforts over the past two months. The NTSB will investigate the crash and release their conclusions some time next year.

The Beluga Endurance was busy unloading at the Port of Buffalo Wednesday around 1:00 p.m. I observed what appeared to be several security people with bullet-proof vests standing on the dock supervising the unloading of several very large pieces of equipment that were wrapped up pretty good. I couldn't tell what they were - looked to be something that was a part of something larger. The ship looked great. Tried to get on the lake side to photograph her, but they are taking down the asbestos covered pipes all along that area and they had everything roped off. Once this area is clear it will be pretty easy to see the whole slip.

Milwaukee - John Bauer
St. Marys Challenger was at her dock around noon on Wednesday


Photo Gallery Updates - October 6

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 06

On 06 October 1893, DAVID STEWART (3-mast wooden schooner, 171 foot, 545 gross tons, built in 1867, at Cleveland, Ohio) foundered in a gale off Pigeon Bay, Ontario on Lake Erie. She crew clung to the frozen rigging for 14 hours until saved by the fish tug LOUISE of Sandusky, Ohio. The STEWART was carrying iron ore at the time of her loss.

Herb Fraser & Associates completed repairs on the ALGOSOO at the Welland Dock on October 6 1986. She had suffered a serious fire at her winter mooring on the west wall above Lock 8 at Port Colborne, Ontario on March 7, 1986.

The bow section of the barge PRESQUE ISLE arrived Erie, Pennsylvania on October 6, 1972. The section was towed from Defoe Shipbuilding at Bay City, Michigan by the tugs MARYLAND and LAURENCE C TURNER. The total cost to construct the tug/barge thousand footer was approximately $35 million.

October 6, 1981, the Reoch self-unloader ERINDALE's bow was damaged when she hit the Allanburg Bridge abutment running down bound in the Welland Canal. Built in 1915 as a.) W F WHITE she was renamed b.) ERINDALE in 1976.

Scrapped at Port Colborne in 1985,In 1980, the LAC DES ILES grounded in the Detroit River just below Grassy Island, the result of a faulty steering mechanism. She freed herself a few hours later. The damage caused by the grounding ended her career.

This day in 1870, the schooner E FITZGERALD was launched at the Fitzgerald & Leighton yard at Port Huron, Michigan. Her dimensions were 135 x 26 x 11 feet.

In 1875, the MERCHANT (iron propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 200 foot, 750 tons, built in 1862, at Buffalo, New York) was carrying lumber on Lake Michigan when she stranded on Racine Reef near Racine, Wisconsin. Then she caught fire and was gutted before she could be refloated. She had stranded on that same reef twice previously. She was the first iron cargo ship built on the Lakes and the first one lost.

On 6 October 1873, JOHN A MC DOUGALL (wooden schooner-barge, 151 foot, 415 gross tons) was launched at Wenona, Michigan. She was built at the Ballentine yard in only five weeks.

On 6 October 1889, PHILO SCOVILLE (3-mast wooden schooner, 140 foot, 323 tons, built in 1863, at Cleveland, Ohio) was sailing from Collingwood for Chicago when a storm drove her into the shallows and wrecked her near Tobermory, Ontario. Her captain died while trying to get ashore through the rocks. The Canadian Lifesaving Service saved the rest of the crew. At first the vessel was expected to be recovered, but she broke up by 10 October.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Maritime Trader past Detroit
Headed to Sorel

10/4 - Update - 2:00 pm
After stopping for fuel at Sterling in Windsor, Maritime Trader is continuing her trip to Sorel, Quebec. She's now due at Port Colborne at 5:00 a.m. Thursday and allowing for about a two hour inspection, Maritime Trader should be starting down the Welland Canal about 7:00 a.m.. Lots of chances to get pictures before she gets to Lake Ontario sometime in the afternoon.

Her new schedule should put her in Sorel around 5:00 a.m. Saturday.

10/4 - 7:00 a.m. - The newly named Maritime Trader (Ex-Teakglen, Ex-Mantadoc) is enroute to Sorel, Quebec from Thunder Bay, Ontario with her first load. To the dismay of boat watchers, her passage through the Detroit-St. Clair River and the Welland Canal may be during hours of darkness.

She is estimated to pass Belle Isle, near Detroit, between 3:30 and 4:00 a.m., Tuesday night, which would put her in Port Colborne around 9:00 p.m. Wednesday.

She is scheduled to arrive in Sorel sometime around midnight Friday.



Port Reports - October 5

10/4 - Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
On Tuesday afternoon Algomarine was docked stern-to-stern with Paul H. Townsend in Milwaukee's inner harbor, almost touching as Algomarine unloaded salt at Jones Island and Townsend unloaded cement at the LaFarge silo. About 2 PM, Algomarine pulled away and departed stern first into the Milwaukee River, heading for Lake Michigan.

Meanwhile saltie Federal Weser was dockside at the northernmost municipal pier in the outer harbor, off-loading steel.

Nearby, also at the outer harbor piers, the tug Sandusky had two barges ("Cleveland Flats") loaded with wind turbine components secured by a side-tow, ready for delivery.

10/4 - Seaway - Ron Walsh
The Canadian Leader is shown as westbound in the Seaway. She was at Crossover at 5:25 p.m. and has an eta of 9:15 p.m. for Cape Vincent. At the moment she has an eta of 8:00 a.m. Wednesday for Hamilton.



Regulations Were Violated; Boat Firm's Permits Pulled

10/04 - Lake George, N.Y. -- The tour boat that carried 20 senior citizens to their deaths Sunday afternoon was required to have two crew members aboard, not just the captain, state officials said Monday in announcing that they had suspended the operating licenses for the company's five passenger boats. Authorities said the boat, the 38-foot Ethan Allen, may have capsized and sank as several factors -- another boat's wake, a jolt that threw passengers and their weight to one side of the boat, and a recent change to raise the vessel's deck -- conspired to make the boat a death trap.

The tragedy, which took the lives of 19 southeast Michigan residents and one from Toledo, was one of the deadliest U.S. boat accidents in years. Shoreline Cruises, the owner of the tour boat, was licensed to carry up to 48 passengers on the boat, plus two crew members. The license required two crew members whenever there are 21 or more passengers, said Wendy Gibson, spokeswoman for New York's Marine Services Unit that regulates the tour boats. The suspension will remain in effect until a federal investigation is concluded.

The tour boat pitched, possibly as its pilot turned it into the wake of another boat, then the passengers -- on wooden benches -- slid or were thrown across the deck toward others in their group, piling weight to one side of the boat, authorities said. In seconds, the boat capsized at 3 p.m. Twenty-six people from Michigan, one from Ontario and the boat's pilot survived. Shoreline Cruises says on its Web site that the Ethan Allen is 40 feet long. New York state regulators said the Fiberglas boat, built in 1966, is 38 feet long. It passed its last inspection in May. Weather was not a factor -- the lake was calm.

Federal authorities who took charge of the accident investigation Monday wouldn't speculate on a cause, but they said they'd look at everything. The 1-hour sightseeing cruise was one of the last stops on a weeklong fall color train and bus tour for senior citizens. They had departed from Trenton, Livonia, Warren and Whitmore Lake on Sept. 27. "At one point, the boat seemed to tilt and at that point seated in their chairs they were either thrown or slid to that side of the boat, which of course shifted even more weight which would obviously play some kind of a role in what course of action the boat was going to take," New York State Police Superintendent Wayne Bennett said.

At a news conference, Bennett said the passengers were on plastic chairs but after the boat was recovered from the 70-foot depth where it had sunk, it was clear that the vessel had secured benches. One of the surviving passengers confirmed that late Monday. Jean Siler, 76, of Trenton, said she saw a boat wake coming and that the Ethan Allen turned into it. She stood up and was either thrown or jumped into the water. She suffered broken bones in her spine, a broken finger and bumps on her head.

Dennis O'Bryan, a Birmingham attorney who practices maritime law, and another local attorney, Donald Krispin, of the Jaques Admiralty Law Firm in Detroit, both said they were surprised the boat had no crew to help the captain. "It strikes me as odd that there was only one crew on board -- the captain," Krispin said. O'Bryan said a crew member might have been able to quickly distribute life vests. No one was wearing vests, which is typical for tour boats, when the boat sank. New York authorities did not offer specifics about why the boat's deck was raised -- or when or how much it was raised. But the change could have affected its operation. Krispin said lifting the deck could be a safety concern because it "raises the center of gravity, making it more likely to capsize."

A spokeswoman for Shoreline Cruises read a statement: "Our Shoreline family is deeply saddened by the tragedy of Sunday Oct. 2, 2005. Our sincerest condolences go out to the friends and family lost and injured." Warren County Sheriff Larry Cleveland said there is no evidence to suggest the boat's captain, Richard Paris, 74, a retired state trooper, may face criminal charges. Paris has had a master license to operate a tour boat since 1986, New York officials said. His 10-year license expires in 2006. Paris' license has been suspended as part of the inquiry, a standard procedure, Cleveland said.

Paris was not given a Breathalyzer or drug test. Neither Michigan nor New York test unless drugs or alcohol are suspected, said Mary Dettloff, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Don Chace, senior controller for the Coast Guard's Sector Detroit Operations Center, said the Coast Guard would subject the captain of any vessel involved in an incident to a blood-alcohol exam and other tests. The Coast Guard oversees marine operations on the Great Lakes and other international waterways. Mark Rosenker, acting chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said Monday that the board will talk to Paris. "We will be looking at all factors. The training, human factors, the history of this particular captain and the rules and regulations he operates under," Rosenker said.

Bill Huus, a retired captain of the Ethan Allen, said when the boat was near its passenger capacity, it would sometimes list to one side, the Albany Times Union reported. "When you put 50 people on board, it's overloaded in my estimation," he said.

From Detroit Free Press


Photo Gallery Updates - October 5

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 05

On 05 October 1876, GRACE GREENWOOD (3-mast wooden schooner, 124 foot, 306 tons, built in 1853, at Oswego, New York) was carrying iron ore from Escanaba, Michigan to Michigan City, Indiana when she foundered in a storm while coming in to St. Joseph harbor for shelter. No lives were lost. She was the first vessel built by George Rogers and her launch was initially sabotaged by someone jamming a file her into the ways.

On Saturday afternoon, October 5, 1997, while passing White Shoal Light on their way to Charlevoix, the MEDUSA CHALLENGER was hit by a waterspout. The only damage reported was a spotlight on the pilothouse bridge wing lifted out of its support and crews bikes stored on deck rose vertically. The 1906, built boat was also reported to have been vibrating in an unusual manner. Another boat in the area reported wind gusts of almost 100 mph in the brief storm. That same day the Eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan was hit with a violent storm that blew down trees a foot in diameter.

The ARTHUR B HOMER, loaded with ore, was in a head-on collision, October 5, 1972, with the unloaded Greek salty NAVISHIPPER at Buoy 83 in the Detroit River's Fighting Island Channel. NAVISHIPPER reportedly had no licensed pilot aboard at the time, a violation of Maritime law. There were no injuries, but the HOMER suffered extensive bow damage up to and including part of her pilothouse.

The GEORGE M HUMPHREY was christened on October 5, 1954, for the National Steel Corp. (M.A. Hanna Co., mgr.), Cleveland, Ohio.

HUTCHCLIFFE HALL was in collision with steamer RICHARD V. LINDABURY on a foggy October 5, 1962, off Grosse Pointe Farms in Lake St. Clair. The canaller suffered a 12-foot gash on her port side forward of her after cabins and sank. She was raised October 7th and taken to Port Weller Dry Docks for repairs.

On October 5, 1967, while outbound on the Saginaw River after discharging a load of limestone at Saginaw, Michigan, the J F SCHOELLKOPF JR's steering failed which caused her to hit the west side of the I-75 Zilwaukee Bridge. The SCHOELLKOPF JR incurred little damage but the south bound lanes of the bridge were out of service for several days until repairs were completed.

The ARTHUR H HAWGOOD (Hull#76) was launched at W. Bay City, Michigan by W. Bay City Ship Building Co. on October 5, 1907, for the Neptune Steamship Co. (Hawgood, mgr.), Cleveland, Ohio. Renamed b.) JOSEPH BLOCK in 1911, and c.) GEORGE M STEINBRENNER in 1969. Scrapped at Ramey’s Bend in 1980.

On 5 October 1889, BESSEMER (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 178 foot, 436 gross tons, built in 1875, at St. Clair, Michigan) was carrying iron ore along with her consort SCHUYLKILL (wooden schooner, 152 foot, 472 gross tons, built in 1873, at Buffalo, New York) in Lake Superior. They were struck by a rapidly rising gale and ran for the Portage Ship Canal. It became obvious that BESSEMER was sinking. The two collided and went onto a reef at the mouth of the canal and they both broke up quickly. The crews were able to jump onto the breakwater. The wrecks partly blocked the canal until they were dynamited the next September.

On 5 October 1877, TIOGA (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 549 tons, built in 1862, at Cleveland) was towing two barges in a storm on Lake Erie when she caught fire. The high winds fanned the flames. Her crew escaped to the barges and were later picked up by the steamer BADGER STATE. The burned out hulk of TIOGA sank the next day in 30 feet of water off Point Pelee. This was her first year of service as a bulk freighter; she had been built as a passenger steamer and was converted in 1877.

On 5 October 1900, the lumber hooker SWALLOW was involved in a collision in the early morning hours and ended up ashore near Cherry Beach. A week later, she was lightered and freed, then taken to Detroit for repairs. She foundered in a storm one year later (18 October 1901).

On 5 October 1904, CONGRESS (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 267 foot, 1484 gross tons, built in 1867, at Cleveland as the passenger vessel NEBRASKA) was seeking shelter at South Manitou Island on Lake Michigan when she caught fire. The fire spread quickly. To prevent it from destroying the dock, a courageous tug skipper got a line on the CONGRESS and towed her out on the lake where she burned for 13 hours and then sank in 26 fathoms of water. No lives were lost.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Jody Aho,Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history



Port Reports - October 4

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The salty Woody arrived in port early Monday after sitting at anchor off Port Weller for the last week. Woody was assisted into the Redpath Sugar slip by the Groupe Ocean tugs Omni Richelieu and Jerry G., both of which returned to Hamilton afterwards.

Later in the day the tug Salvage Monarch arrived in port with the barge Radium 607 atop of which was the small workboat W. B. Indok. The barge was dropped off at the foot of Rees Street, where a new park is under construction. The workboat was subsequently offloaded and Salvage Monarch departed for the Welland Canal later in the day.

Also arriving Monday was the RCMP patrol boat Simmonds, which tied up at the fire station.

Last Friday the ferry Thomas Rennie was refloated at Toronto Drydock, after which the charter boat River Gambler went on the dock for its five year inspection.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Saturday on the Saginaw River saw the tug Invincible & barge McKee Sons call on the Saginaw Asphalt dock in Carrollton to unload coal. The pair were outbound for the lake later in the day. The Paul H. Townsend was also outbound Saturday after arriving on Friday to unload at the LaFarge dock in Carrollton.

Sunday saw the Tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader inbound with a split load. The pair lightered at the Sargent dock in Essexville before continuing upriver to finish unloading at the Saginaw Rock Products dock in Saginaw. They were outbound late Sunday night.

The tug Rebecca Lynn and her tank barge were inbound Monday afternoon calling on the Bit-Mat dock in Bay City to unload liquid asphalt. They were expected to be outbound early Tuesday.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Herbert C. Jackson came in with grain from Duluth on Sunday evening for the ADM Standard Elevator. She was still there on Monday evening, with her stern tow line drooped over the anchor but no one at the tug dock around 5 p.m. ADM has been getting a fairly regular amount of wheat all year by rail delivery. ADM normally would not get as much once the lake opened to vessel traffic in the Spring, but apparently the rail rates must be competitive with the boats. ADM has asked to run 110 car unit trains to Buffalo from CSX but the railroad does not have the room to store something that big. It currently ships in about 40 car blocks in regular freight service. General Mills also receives wheat by rail, but in a much smaller amount.

Thunder Bay - Duane Byers
Early Monday morning the Maritime Trader departed Thunder Bay after loading wheat, canola and flax seed. Her first trip under the new name and new owners is to deliver the cargo to Sorel, Quebec.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
On Saturday, salty Ziemia Cieszynska from the Polsteam line unloaded steel at the municipal piers in the outer harbor.

In late afternoon, Interlake's Charles Beeghly arrived, pivoted in the outer harbor, and headed upriver to the inner harbor to unload coal at the WE Energies Greenfield Ave. dock.


Photo Gallery Updates - October 4

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 04

On 04 October 1887, ORIENT (wooden propeller tug, 60 foot, 37 gross tons, built in 1874, at Buffalo, New York) foundered three miles west of Point Pelee on Lake Erie in a storm. She was seen going down by the schooners LISGAR and GLENFORD but neither was able to help. All six on the ORIENT were lost. She was out of Marine City, Michigan.

On October 4, 1979, the ST LAWRENCE NAVIGATOR arrived at the Port Weller Dry Docks, St. Catharines, Ontario where she was lengthened to the Seaway maximum length of 730 foot overall. A new bow and cargo section was installed including a bow thruster and was assigned Hull #66. New tonnage; 18,788 GRT, 12,830 NRT, 32,279 DWT.

The ST. LAWRENCE NAVIGATOR was renamed c) CANADIAN NAVIGATOR in 1980 and sails for ULS Corp. She was converted to a self-unloader in 1997.

The TEXACO BRAVE (Hull#779) was launched October 4, 1976, by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Shimonoseki, Japan for Texaco Canada Ltd., Don Mills, Ontario. Renamed b.) LE BRAVE in 1987, c.) IMPERIAL ST LAWRENCE in 1997, and d.) ALGOEAST in 1998.

On October 4, 1980, Bethlehem's ARTHUR B HOMER was laid up for the last time at Erie, Pennsylvania.

As a result of the collision between the PARKER EVANS and the SIDNEY E SMITH JR, four months earlier, alternate one-way traffic between the Black River Buoy and Buoys 1 and 2 in Lake Huron was agreed upon by the shipping companies. This happened on October 4, 1972

The JAMES E FERRIS' last trip before scrapping was from Duluth, Minnesota with a split load of 261,000 bushels of wheat for Buffalo, New York arriving there October 4, 1974.

The JIIMAAN, twin screw roro cargo/passenger ferry built to Ice Class 1D standards had its keel laid October 4, 1991, at Port Weller Drydocks, Ltd. (Hull# 76).

On October 4, 1982, the BENJAMIN F FAIRLESS laid up for the last time in Duluth, Minnesota. She was towed out of Duluth on her way to an overseas scrap yard on June 17, 1988.

October 4, 1940 - The Ludington Daily News reported "The Pere Marquette car ferries handled approximately 95,000 freight cars last year." (1939)

On 4 October 1877, BRITISH LION (3 mast wooden bark, 128 foot, 293 tons, built in 1862, at Kingston, Ontario) was carrying coal from Black River, Ohio to Brockville, Ontario. She was driven ashore at Long Point in Lake Erie by a storm and wrecked. She was the first bark on the Lakes to be wire rigged and she was built for the Great Lakes - Liverpool trade.

On 4 October 1883, JAMES DAVIDSON (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 231 foot, 1456 gross tons, built in 1874, at W. Bay City, Michigan) was carrying coal and towing the barge MIDDLESEX in a storm on Lake Huron. She was driven onto a reef near Thunder Bay Island and ripped up her bottom. The barge was rescued by the tug V SWAIN. No lives were lost. Financially, the DAVIDSON was the most extensive loss on the Lakes in the 1883, season. She was valued at $65,000 and insured for $45,000. Her coal cargo was valued at $8,000.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history.


21 Die As Tour Boat Capsizes on N.Y. Lake
Vessel Salvage Effort Underway

10/3 - 4:30 p.m. Up Date - Efforts are underway at this hour to raise the sunken Ethan Allen. The National Transportation Safety Board is overseeing the investigation into the cause of the crash.

Original reports indicating the passengers were from Canada have been corrected. The group was from Trenton, Michigan, a down river community near Detroit.  - From Fox News Channel

LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. - The passengers aboard a tour boat that capsized on Lake George, killing 20 people, were sitting in portable, plastic seats that slid sharply to one side of the vessel just before it flipped over, authorities said Monday. Wayne Bennett, State Police superintendent, said that investigators still do not know what initially caused the Ethan Allen to tip. But he said survivors reported that the unfastened plastic, slat benches moved rapidly to one side before the boat went over in the chilly mountain lake. "And that of course would automatically mean an even bigger shift of weight," Bennett said.

The captain of the boat told authorities it was hit by waves from at least one other vessel and turned over as he tried to steer out of them, authorities said earlier Monday. The boat flipped so fast that none of the 47 passengers could put on a life jacket. Eight people were hospitalized. There was no immediate confirmation that another boat that could have kicked up waves was in the area, and survivors were giving investigators differing versions of what happened, authorities said

Gov. George Pataki said licenses for two other boats operated by the Ethan Allen's owner, Shoreline Cruises, have been suspended while the investigation into Sunday's accident continues. He and others, however, said people should not draw any conclusions about the operator. "I do not believe there is any criminal culpability on any of the parties we have spoken with," said Sheriff Larry Cleveland.

A survivor, 76-year-old old Jeane Siler of Trenton, Mich., said she saw a wake coming and the boat turned into it. She said she stood up and was either thrown or jumped into the water, where she found herself surrounded by other passengers. "I touched something," she said at Glens Falls Hospital, where she was treated for broken bones in the spine, a broken finger and bumps on her head. "It might have been another body, I don't know."

Virgil Chambers, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council, an organization for recreational boaters, said he was not familiar with the specifics of the Ethan Allen but said investigators would probably examine how weight was distributed within the boat. "If all the people were on one side, maybe to look at something, and if the operator were to take the boat over a wave at a particular angle, it could cause the boat to roll," Chambers said. Chambers said he also expected investigators to look into whether there were any modifications to the covered, glass-enclosed craft, such as the addition of a canopy structure, that might have made the boat less stable. New York state boating regulations require a life jacket for every person on a boat, but people do not have to wear them. From Daily Republic Online

Original Article - 10/2 - LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (AP) - A tour boat carrying 49 people on a senior citizens' cruise overturned Sunday on a lake in upstate New York, killing at least 21 people, the county sheriff said. Authorities were investigating whether a large passing tour boat created a wake that caused the accident, Warren County Sheriff Larry Cleveland said.

The 40-foot, glass-enclosed Ethan Allen capsized around 3 p.m. on Lake George about 50 miles north of Albany in the Adirondack Mountains. The accident apparently happened so fast that none of the passengers was able to put on a life jacket, Cleveland said. By 5 p.m., all passengers had been accounted for. The 21 bodies were laid out along the shore, and the scene was blocked off by police with tarps. The Ethan Allen lay at the bottom of the lake in 70 feet of water.

At the time of the accident, the weather was clear, calm and in the 70s. "This was as calm as it gets," said Jerry Thornell, who has a summer home in nearby Bolton. Thornell is a former Lake George Park Commission patrol officer and a lake enforcement officer for the county sheriff's department.

Representatives of Shoreline Cruises, which operates the boat, could not immediately be reached for comment. The boat was carrying a tour group from Canada, Cleveland said. A language barrier was slowing the process of notifying victims' families. "Nothing of this magnitude has ever happened," state police Superintendent Wayne Bennett said. "It's unprecedented." Several police boats were on the water, and at least half a dozen divers were in a small cove on the west side of the lake.

Cleveland said the captain, who was well known and well liked by law enforcement officials, survived. He was the only crew member aboard.


Port Weller to Build New Ships

Two contracts worth $100 million for Port Weller Dry Docks herald a promising new direction for the 59-year-old facility, says its top manager. “The people that are coming back to work are looking forward to a steady future,” said Alan Thoms, president and chief executive officer of Canadian Shipbuilding and Engineering, the shipyard’s parent company. “This means a whole new change in direction for the shipyard,” Thoms said Friday. “This is a multi-purpose, ocean-going cargo freighter for export, not for the domestic market, which has been slow. “We see this as a start for a complete new product line for us that will hopefully continue for the next two or three years.”

The contracts are part of a strategic alliance between CSE and Peters Kampen Shipyards of the Netherlands. The work entails the fabrication in St. Catharines of two 6500 Jumbo 1A Class vessels, the outer hulls of two others and an option to build four more of the vessels. The ships have been ordered by Carisbrooke Shipping of the United Kingdom for use “on the marine highways of the European coast to move steel products, paper and other cargo,” said Willem Wester, owner of Carisbrooke, in a news release Friday.

“It’s been a long slog, but with the help of the Dutch and the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp., we pulled it off,” said Thoms. “Hopefully, this is only the start of many more things. Port Weller Dry Docks has struggled in recent years with its workforce in frequent layoff mode. Most recently, workers have been laid off for about a month, following some repair work and completion this summer of a $30-million contract to build a forebody on the Jean Parisien, a Canada Steamship Lines self-unloader that was renamed Assiniboine. There are about 30 full-time staff still working at the yard.

The new design to be built in St. Catharines is engineered by Peters Kampen. It’s a multi-purpose design widely used throughout Europe and around the world to run cargo over short distances. In a news release, Geert van Voorn, managing director of Peters Kampen, said his company studied the market in North America with the help of the Seaway for two years. It saw “enormous opportunity in short-sea shipping and feeder vessels here in North America.”

“This alliance with CSE will help both organizations capitalize on that opportunity,” said the release. “This really came about as a result of the Seaway’s Highway H2O initiative,” added Thoms. Highway H2O is a public awareness and marketing initiative of the Seaway intended to make shippers aware of the under-utilized St. Lawrence and Great Lakes waterways as alternatives to road and rail transport. Executives of the Dutch company were in Canada about 18 months ago and met with the Seaway and CSE officials including Charlie Payne, CSE’s vice-president of marketing, he said. “We’d been actively partnering since then,” said Thoms.

Aldert van Nieuwkoop, director of market development for the Seaway, was also instrumental in establishing the strategic alliance between CS&E and Peters Kampen, added Thoms. “Port Weller Dry Docks has capacity, they’re good shipbuilders, but they’ve never built these kinds of ships,” said van Nieuwkoop. “‘With the technology from Holland and modern design of Peters Kampen, it’s a good combination. He said the St. Catharines contracts are also in the interest of the Seaway as the ships are being built for Carisbrooke Shipping, which operates in the Great Lakes. “It is likely we will see these new vessels also come here in the Great Lakes carrying new and other cargoes we want to capture,” said van Nieuwkoop.

The last new ship built at Port Weller was about a decade ago — the Jiimaan ferry for the provincial government.

From the St. Catharines Standard


Port Reports - October 3

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
On Saturday, salty Ziemia Cieszynska from the Polsteam line unloaded steel at the municipal piers in the outer harbor.

In late afternoon, Interlake's Charles Beeghly arrived, pivoted in the outer harbor, and headed upriver to the inner harbor to unload coal at the WE Energies Greenfield Ave. dock.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
The Steamer Alpena arrived in port Thursday night after waiting out the weather in the Straits of Mackinac. The Alpena took on cargo for Superior, WI.

The Paul H. Townsend (also delayed by the weather) came into Lafarge early Friday morning after the Alpena cleared. The Townsend delivered to Saginaw and returned Sunday morning around 6:00 a.m.

The G.L Ostrander/ barge Integrity was under the silos at Lafarge on Friday evening.

The J.A.W Iglehart has made stops in Cleveland and Detroit over the weekend.

Last Tuesday, September 27, the Presque Isle took on stone at Calcite. The Presque Isle loaded stern first for awhile, then departed to turn around and finish the load with the bow near the end of the dock. The PI departed around 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday.

The Mississagi arrived at Lafarge Saturday evening, tying up up at the coal dock around 8:00 p.m. The Mississagi unloaded its cargo (likely slag) into the storage hopper.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The English River was unloading at LaFarge on the early Saturday afternoon.

The saltie Beluga Eternity is due in Buffalo within the next week to 10 days.

The Herbert C Jackson on the way here soon, possibly Sunday night.


Photo Gallery Updates - October 3

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 03

On 03 October 1887, EBENEZER (3-mast wooden schooner-barge, 103 foot, 158 gross tons, built in 1847, at Buffalo, New York) was driven ashore off the breakwater at Holland, Michigan during a storm. She had sprung a leak in the terrific storm, lost her deck load of shingles and struck the pier trying to get into the harbor. She broke in two but was later raised and rebuilt. She lasted until 1903.

On 03 October 1887, CITY OF GREEN BAY (3-mast wooden schooner, 145 foot, 346 gross tons, built in 1872, at Green Bay, Wisconsin) was carrying iron ore from Escanaba to St. Joseph, Michigan on Lake Michigan and having difficulty in a strong westerly gale. She sprang a leak and anchored four miles from South Haven and put up distress signals. The wind and waves were so bad that the crew could not safely abandon the vessel. She slipped her anchor and was driven on to a bar at Evergreen Point, just 500 feet from shore. The crew scrambled up the rigging as the vessel sank. The South Haven Life Saving crew tried to get a breeches buoy out to the wreck, but their line broke repeatedly. So much wreckage was in the surf that it fouled their surf boat. Soon the masts went by the board and the crew members were in the churning seas. Six died. Only Seaman A. T. Slater made it to shore. The ineffective attempts of the Life Saving crew resulted in Keeper Barney Alonzo Cross being relieved of his command of the station.

The E G GRACE was delivered to the Interlake Steamship Co., Cleveland on October 3, 1943. The E G GRACE was part of a government program designed to upgrade and increase the capacity of the U.S. Great Lakes fleet during World War II. In order to help finance the building of new ships, the U.S.M.C. authorized a program that would allow existing fleets to obtain new boats by trading in their older boats to the Government for credit. As partial payment for each new vessel, a fleet owner surrendered the equivalent tonnage of their existing and/or obsolete vessels, along with some cash, to the Maritime Commission.

October 3, 1941 - The CITY OF FLINT 32, eastbound from Milwaukee collided with the PERE MARQUETTE 22 westbound. The PERE MARQUETTE 22 headed directly for Manitowoc for repairs while the CITY OF FLINT 32 continued to Ludington where she discharged her cargo, then headed for the shipyard in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

The barges BELLE CASH and GEO W HANNAFORD, owned by Capt. Cash of East China Township, Michigan, were driven ashore on Long Point in Lake Erie on 3 October 1875.

On 3 October 1900, the steel freighter CAPTAIN THOMAS WILSON left Port Huron on her maiden voyage for Marquette, Michigan where she loaded 6,200 tons of iron ore for Cleveland, Ohio.

ARK (3-mast iron-strapped wooden scow-schooner-barge, 177 foot, 512 tons, built in 1875, at Port Dalhousie, Ontario) was in tow of the steam barge ALBION (wooden propeller, 134 foot, 297 gross tons, built in 1862, at Brockville, Ontario) on Lake Huron when a terrific storm struck on 3 October 1887. Both were loaded with lumber. Both vessels were driven ashore near Grindstone City, Michigan. The U.S. Lifesaving Service rescued the crews. The ALBION was pounded to pieces the next day and the ARK was declared a total loss, but was recovered and was sailing again within the month.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Jody Aho,Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Port Reports - October 2

Sturgeon Bay
The new hot oil barge Energy 11104 and tug Ocean Service left Saturday.

A second new barge, Energy 11105, was undocked and tied up at berth 8.

GLIB Mackinaw was dry docked for hull painting.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
The American Mariner brought stone to Marquette's Shiras dock on a beautiful Saturday, and then proceeded to the upper harbor for a load of ore.

Milwaukee - William Mosher as reported by the Port of Milwaukee
9/21 - John J. Boland discharged coal at the Greenfield Terminal.
9/22 - Algomarine delivered a load of salt to the bulk cargo dock.
9/24 - Canadian Ranger loaded soybeans at Nidera Grain.
9/25 - Integrity with cement to the LaFarge dock.
9/28 - Greenwing unloaded steel at Terminal #2.


Photo Gallery Updates - October 2

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 02

On 02 October 1901, M M DRAKE (wooden propeller freighter, 201 foot, 1102 gross tons, built in 1882, at Buffalo, New York) and her consort MICHIGAN (3-mast wooden schooner-barge, 213 foot, 1057 gross tons, built in 1874, at Detroit, Michigan) were loaded with iron ore while sailing in a strong gale on Lake Superior. The MICHIGAN began to leak and the DRAKE came around to take off her crew, but the two vessels collided. Both sank off Vermilion Point, Michigan. One life was lost. As the vessels sank, the passing steamers NORTHERN WAVE and CRESCENT CITY stood by and rescued the crews.

Upper Lakes Shipping's new self-unloader CANADIAN OLYMPIC was christened on October 2, 1976, at St. Catharines, Ontario. Her name honors the Olympic Games that were held at Montreal that year.

The TADOUSSAC (Hull#192) departed Collingwood on her maiden voyage for Canada Steamship Lines Ltd. on October 2, 1969, to load iron ore at Fort William, Ontario.

The sand sucker AMERICAN last operated in 1956, and layed up at Manitowoc, Wisconsin. She was scrapped in S. Chicago in 1984.

The JOHN T HUTCHINSON and CONSUMERS POWER arrived at Kaohsiung, Taiwan October 2, 1988, where dismantling began on October 14th by Li Chong Steel & Iron Works Co. Ltd.

On her maiden voyage October 2, 1943, the E G GRACE cleared Lorain, Ohio bound for Superior, Wisconsin to load iron ore.

The HOCHELAGA of 1949, departed Toronto October 2, 1993, in tow of the Mc Keil tugs GLENBROOK and KAY COLE for Montreal, Quebec and then to the cutters torch.

October 2, 1954 - The PERE MARQUETTE 21 sailed into Ludington, Michigan on her second maiden voyage of her career.

On 2 October 1888, OLIVER CROMWELL (wooden schooner-barge, 138 foot, 291 tons, built in 1853, at Buffalo, New York) was being towed by the steamer LOWELL in a storm in Lake Huron when she broke her towline. She rode out most of the storm at anchor, but then she snapped her anchor chains and she was driven ashore at Harbor Beach, Michigan where she broke up.

The 183 foot, 3-mast wooden schooner QUEEN CITY was launched at W. Bay City, Michigan on 2 October 1873.

The Port Huron Times reported the following shipwrecks from a severe storm that swept the Lakes over 2-3 October 1887: Schooner CITY OF GREEN BAY lost near South Haven, Michigan; the schooner-barge CHARLES L HUTCHINSON, lost near Buffalo, New York; the steam barge ALBION and her consort the schooner-barge ARK ashore near Grindstone City, Michigan; the 3-mast schooner EBENEZER ashore near Holland, Michigan; the wooden package freighter CALIFORNIA sunk in the Straits of Mackinac; the schooner HOLMES ashore at Middle Island on Lake Huron; the schooner GARIBALDI ashore near Port Elgin on Lake Huron; the barge MAYFLOWER disabled near Grand Haven, Michigan; the schooner D S AUSTIN ashore at Point Clark; and the schooner HENRY W HOAG ashore at Erie, Pennsylvania.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history.


Teakglen Renamed Maritime Trader

10/1 - For the first time in 20 years a ship was christened today here in Thunder Bay. Well, a re-christening actually. The Maritime Trader (the former Teakglen, ex Mantadoc) was refurbished by the crew at Pascol Engineering and was relaunched Saturday.

Pascol took the ship into dry dock and worked very hard to get the job done. The Maritime Trader will hit the water soon, the ship will be used to transport grain cargoes across the Great Lakes.

This smaller size straight deck bulk carrier was built as hull #187 by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., Collingwood, ON. The vessel was launched as the Mantadoc (2) on November 23rd, 1966 for the N. M. Paterson & Sons Ltd. fleet of Thunder Bay, ON.

On March 21, 2002 N. M. Paterson & Sons sold its 3 remaining operating vessels to Canada Steamship Lines, Montreal, QC thus closing its Marine Division. The Mantadoc was renamed Teakglen following CSL’s policy of naming the suffix of their bulk fleet in tribute to Tree Line Navigation Co. Ltd., purchased by CSL in 1937 (“Teak”); and the prefix “glen” in tribute to Great Lakes Shipping Company, purchased by CSL in 1926; whose vessel names included Gleneagles and Glenelg.

Remaining laid up in Montreal through most of the 2002 navigation season; the Teakglen was chartered from CSL in the early fall of 2002 by Goderich Elevators Ltd., Goderich, ON for use as a storage barge with the Willowglen which last operated December 21st, 1992. The Teakglen departed Montreal on September 29th, 2002 to load wheat in Quebec City for Goderich. She made a one way trip up the Seaway arriving in Goderich on October 5th. After arriving in Goderich, the Teakglen laid up beside the Willowglen to begin her new roll in the grain storage service business.

By January, 2004 the Teakglen's registered owners were Goderich Elevators Ltd., Goderich, ON.  By the fall of 2004 both the Teakglen and fleet mate Willowglen were listed as "for sale" as scrap or barge conversion candidates. 

From  Tom Stewart as reported by Thunder Bay Television


Port Report - October 1

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
 The tall ships Playfair and Pathfinder will arrive at US Coast Guard Station Niagara to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the French & Indian War around 2 p.m. on Saturday. They will be open for tours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday at the Youngstown Yacht Club. There is a complete listing of Niagara Region events at or call 716-745-7611 for more information.

On Friday the Atlantic Erie was east bound on Lake Erie and heading for the Welland Canal at 12:30 p.m. The dispatcher told her captain to have an eye out for the tug Karen Andrie and her barge A-397 because they were crossing through mid-lake and bound for Buffalo at that time. The Andrie had previously called in an arrival time at Tonawanda of 8:30 p.m. Friday evening.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Tuesday on the Saginaw River saw the tug Barbara Andrie & her barge outbound after unloading at the Triple Clean Liquifuels dock in Essexville. Also outbound was the CSL Tadoussac who had unloaded at the Essroc dock in Essexville.

Friday saw three vessels traveling the Saginaw River. First in was the tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader. The pair lightered at the Bay City Wirt dock before finishing her unload at the Saginaw Wirt dock. The Canadian Transfer was inbound shortly behind the Trader calling on the North Star dock in Essexville to unload potash. She turned off the dock Friday afternoon and was headed for the lake. The Joyce L and Great Lakes Trader were outbound during the late afternoon.

Inbound late Friday was the Paul H. Townsend who was headed upriver for the LaFarge dock in Carrollton. She passed the down bound Great Lakes Trader just up from the Veteran's Memorial Bridge in Bay City. She was expected to be outbound on Saturday


Today in Great Lakes History - October 01

On 01 October 1888, the ST CLAIR (3-mast wooden schooner, 156 foot, 296 gross tons, built in 1859, at Montreal as a bark) was carrying coal in a storm on Lake Huron as part of a 5-barge tow of the tug CHAMPION. She broke loose and came to anchor off Harbor Beach, Michigan. The anchor dragged and she sank near the mouth of the harbor. The crew was rescued by the U.S. Life Saving Service. However, this rescue was ill fated since all were taken in the Lifesavers surfboat and the boat was rowed 23 miles to Port Sanilac. 100 yards from shore, just a half mile from Port Sanilac, the surfboat capsized and five lives were lost. The wreck of the St. Clair was later lightered, raised and towed out into the lake and re-sunk.

The CHICAGO TRADER a.) THE HARVESTER of 1911, was laid up on October 1, 1976, at the Frog Pond in Toledo, Ohio.

Dismantling commenced October 1, 1974, on the KINSMAN INDEPENDENT a.) WILLIAM B KERR of 1907, at Santander, Spain.

October 1, 1997 - The CITY OF MIDLAND 41 was towed out of Ludington to be converted to a barge.

On 1 October 1843, ALBANY (wooden brig, 110 tons, built in 1835, at Oswego, New York) was carrying merchandise and passengers when she went aground in a storm and was wrecked just a few miles from Mackinaw City, Michigan.

The steam barge C H GREEN was launched at E. Saginaw, Michigan for Mason, Green & Corning of Saginaw on 1 October 1881. She was schooner rigged and spent her first year as a tow barge. The following winter her engine and boiler were installed. Her dimensions were 197 x 33 x 13 feet, 920 tons. She cost $70,000.

On 1 October 1869, SEA GULL (wooden schooner, 83 tons, built in 1845, at Milan, Ohio) was carrying lumber in a storm on Lake Michigan. She was driven ashore and wrecked south of Grand Haven, Michigan. The wreck was pulled off the beach a few days later, but was declared a constructive loss, stripped and abandoned. She was owned by Capt. Henry Smith of Grand Haven.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Bay City to host Tall Ships Next Year

9/30 - The tall ships are coming back to Bay City, Michigan in 2006. The Bay City Times, after all, recently signed on as the port sponsor of the event, which returns to Bay City next summer. Bay City was enthralled with the beauty, majesty and heritage of the schooners and square-riggers when they came here in 2001 and 2003.

Back then, Hagen Ford was the very capable and generous port sponsor for the Bay City stop of the Tall Ships Challenge series of races on the Great Lakes between vessels from around the world. Thousands of people flocked to Bay City to see the ships. One business downtown put a map on a pinboard and logged visitors from nearly every continent and from 48 states in 2003.

In 2001, the American Sail Training Association named Bay City the ship tour's Port of the Year for its enthusiasm and hospitality. In 2003, Chicago edged Bay City out for the honor. The ASTA that year invited Bay City to again be a port for the Tall Ships challenge in 2006. Invitation accepted.

Because we love tall ships, we love the Challenge and we love the attention they bring to Bay City. On July 20-23 next year, we'll see you all down at the seawalls.


Buffalo Waterfront Establishment About to Come Down

9/30 - The final battle in the controversy surrounding the Pier Restaurant is about to reach the end game. This property, located at 325 Fuhrman Blvd. has been the source of financial problems, ownership issues, and court actions reaching back to 1989. The restaurant was built as a Shooter's Waterfront Café on the site of Pier # 2 at the former Port Of Buffalo after bulk product operations moved to the nearby Gateway Trade Terminal in Lackawanna. Some of the old warehouse buildings were kept at the site along with a newly constructed bar and restaurant. The dock face along the #2 Slip was refaced with fresh concrete for visiting ships and the mooring of pleasure craft.

Plans were to make the large slips and piers into a marina but it was never completed. Summer time events were a big hit with fine dining, concerts, and ship tours. The summer time only business proved harder to keep operating than originally expected. A series of ownership changes took place during the early 1990's as the building became Breakers and then eventually The Pier before closing in the year 2000.

The NFTA maintained ownership of the property that the buildings were built on and took over operations at that time. Since 2002 they have been leasing the site to a private operator that has run the property as The Festival Grounds at The Pier. The lease will expire this year and the NFTA plans to raze the buildings on the site to make way for the proposed $750 million redevelopment deal signed with the Buffalo Lakefront Group.

The City of Buffalo is planning on foreclosing on the property for non-payment of back taxes totaling $2.2 million. There is also $400,000 in debt owed to Erie County along with liens against the property by banks and vendors. Previous owners and operators are playing hot potato with the large bills owed and the whole mess may end up in court to sort it all out.


October 14-16 - Welland Canal Boatnerd Gathering, Thorold, Ontario

Friday, October 14 - Evening Gathering - Raffle & Door Prizes - Canadian Corps Assoc. #22, 7 Clairmont St., Thorold
6:00 p.m. - Vendor Tables Open
7:30 p.m. - Slide Show - Bring a tray of your best to share with the group
Canadian Corps is located 3 blocks West of The Inn at Lock Seven
Note: Due to lack of activity we have not been able to schedule a tour of Port Weller Dry Dock this year.

Saturday, October 15:
10:00 a.m. - Noon - Walking tour of International Marine Salvage scrap yard. Located at south end of Welland Street - Port Colborne
Evening Gathering - Colborne Canadian Corps Assoc. #22, 7 Clairmont St., Thorold
6:00 p.m. - Vendor Tables Open
7:30 p.m. - Slide show - Joint Meeting with Welland Canal Ship Society
Featured presentation "Winter Navigation" by Greg Rudnick. Bring a tray of your best to share

Saturday & Sunday
9:00 - 5:00 - FREE Admission to St. Catharines Museum and Welland Visitors Centre - Located at Lock Three
Gift Shop offering 10% discount on selected items - Tell them you are a "Boatnerd"

Friday, Saturday & Sunday - Special Invitation
Visit the new World Headquarters of, located next to the canal, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. each day. Visit the Boatnerd gathering page for details.
Vendors who desire a table either/both night(s) - Please send an e-mail to


Coast Guard, Mounties team up
Joint effort aims to stem smuggling on waterways

9/30 - The U.S. Coast Guard and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are teaming up to catch criminals trying to smuggle items across the border by boat. The new Shiprider program pairs officers from both agencies on a single patrol vessel and allows them to stop boaters on either side of the Detroit River, Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River. In the past, the agencies could only pursue vessels on one side of the international boundary. "It allows us to have more coverage and have more eyes out there," said Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constable Angelique Dignard. "It also shows to the public unity on the water."

As part of the pilot project, which began Sept. 12 and ended Sunday, Windsor-based officers from the Mounted Police rode on the Coast Guard's 25-foot patrol boats. Coast Guard officers from stations on Belle Isle and in St. Clair Shores rode with the Mounted Police on their 24-foot vessels. Besides watching for smugglers, officers in the program performed safe vessel checks and monitored the area for reckless or impaired boaters -- one of the biggest problems on the water, according to one marine enthusiast.

They certainly need some cooperation," said Novak, 66, of Beverly Hills, who was cleaning his boat at a St. Clair Shores marina. "Most people don't know the rules of the road," said John Novak, 66, of Beverly Hills, as he was cleaning his boat at a St. Clair Shores marina. "Most figure you can get in the boat and go."

Representatives from the two agencies hope to continue the program and expand it to include the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway -- both areas where the United States and Canada share a maritime border. The waterways between the U.S. and Canada have a long history with lawbreakers, dating back at least to the days of Prohibition, when smugglers would cross the water by boat, by ice or by bridge to bring alcohol into the United States. Efforts to enforce border security have been stepped up in the last several years with the threat of terrorism.

"The lawbreakers can use the international border to their advantage," said Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District. Papp said officers have seen boaters try to smuggle in practically everything -- even a cow.

From The Detroit News


Today in Great Lakes History - September 30

On 30 September 1896, SUMATRA (wooden schooner-barge, 204 foot, 845 gross tons, built in 1874, at Black River, Ohio) was loaded with rail road rails in tow of the steamer B W ARNOLD. In a storm on Lake Huron, the SUMATRA was "blown down" and foundered off the Government Pier at Milwaukee. Three of the crew were lost. The four survivors were rescued by the ARNOLD and the Lifesaving Service. The SUMATRA was owned by the Mills Transportation Company.

The 660 foot forward section of the BELLE RIVER (Hull#716) was side launched on September 30, 1976, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin by Bay Shipbuilding Co. Renamed b.) WALTER J McCARTHY JR in 1977.

Branch Lines new tanker the ARTHUR SIMARD entered service on September 30, 1973, sailing to Montreal, Quebec to load gasoline. The GOVERNOR MILLER was towed down the Welland Canal on September 30, 1980, in tow of the tugs MALCOLM, STORMONT and ARGUE MARTIN on her way to Quebec City.

The ROBERT C STANLEY departed light on her maiden voyage from River Rouge, Michigan on September 30, 1943, bound for Two Harbors, Minnesota to load iron ore.

On September 30, 1986, the Canadian Coast Guard vessel CARIBOU ISLE struck a rock in Lake Huron's North Channel and began taking on water. The SAMUEL RISLEY arrived and helped patch the ship. The pair the departed for Parry Sound, Ontario.

On 30 September 1888, AUSTRALIA (wooden schooner, 109 foot, 159 gross tons, built in 1862, at Vermilion, Ohio) was carrying cedar posts from Beaver Island to Chicago when she encountered a gale. She was laid on beam ends and sprung a leak. She headed for shelter at Holland, Michigan, but struck a bar and foundered in the mouth of the harbor. The wreck blocked the harbor until it was removed on 5 October. Her crew was rescued by the U.S. Lifesaving Service.

On 30 September 1875, AMERICAN CHAMPION (wooden scow-schooner, 156 tons, built in 1866, at Trenton, Michigan) dropped anchor to ride out a gale near Leamington, Ontario on Lake Erie. The chains gave way and she struck a bar and sank to the gunwales. The crew of 8 spent the night in the rigging and the next day a local woman and her two sons heroically rescued each one.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Jody Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II, Father Dowling Collection, and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Canadian Leader Freed - Headed to Quebec City

9/29 - ULS's straight-decker Canadian Leader is reported to be headed to Quebec City for repairs after running aground in the St. Lawrence River. The grounding apparently happened early Monday morning near Grondine, which is located between Trois-Rivieres and Quebec City.

Reports indicate that the boat ran out of the channel due to engine failure and had received bottom damage. Water was reported in the forward cargo hold.

The Leader was freed around 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday and is headed for Quebec City under escort of several Groupe Ocean tugs. She was expected to arrive at Section 53 of the Port of Quebec, on the St. Charles River, Wednesday afternoon.

The vessel was reported to be carrying a load of Quebec North Shore iron ore headed to Hamilton, Ontario.


Port Reports - September 29

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
Three arrivals in port Wednesday: Peter R. Creswell came in at 3:00 p.m., went down the Turning Basin, turned, then tied up to unload salt from Fairport, Ohio at the Strada dock.

Two hours later Lower Lakes' Mississagi came in, turned in the Turning Basin and tied up by the Cherry Street bridge to unload salt.

Late Wednesday evening the Nadro tug Vigilant 1 and barge came in.

The Polsteam salty Isadora remains at Redpath Sugar but she is expected to depart tomorrow. The magayacht Sunrise 1 has been tied up at Pier 4 for the past two weeks and remains there today.

Friday, the island ferry Thomas Rennie is scheduled for refloating at Toronto Drydock.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Courtney Burton left Frontier Elevator around 10:00 a.m. Wednesday morning. She appeared to have had some work being done for the last day or so. Several trucks parked along side that looked to be equipped with welding equipment. The unloading boom was up but not spotted at the hopper.


Lampton Generation Station Update

9/29 - The mayor of Sarnia is convinced the local economy will be adversely affected, if the McGuinty Liberals insist on closing down the province's coal-fired generating facilities, including the Lambton Generating Station near Courtright, by the end of 2007. “I can tell you that the issue of reliability of power has been superceded by the cost today and future costs as it relates to locating industries and businesses here when we are competing with American locations or elsewhere,” writes Mike Bradley in a recent letter to Ontario Energy Minister, Dwight Duncan. He says the cost of power is now more important to potential clients than taxation, land costs and skilled labour.

Bradley asked the minister to extend the life of LGS until at least 2009 and possibility to 2011 in order to level the playing field in southwestern Ontario for those wanting to open businesses and create jobs in the area. Undoubtedly, the issue will resurface when the Windsor MPP explains his government's energy policy to members of the Sarnia-Lambton Chamber of Commerce during a luncheon speech at the Sarnia Golf and Curling Club on October 4. In the past, Duncan has not shown any flexibility in backing up the closure dates of the coal-fired operations throughout the province. But, Bradley says an extension would give piece of mind to those involved in economic development who are concerned about the potential of brown-outs and black-outs after 2007.

The ongoing battle between the builders of a natural gas-powered electrical generating station and those opposed to its construction will have its next round in Wilkesport on Wednesday. The community hall is expected to be packed with hundreds of people who are mostly in opposition to the proposed Invenergy facility. Invenergy officials appeared before St. Clair Township Council Sept. 19 to deal with an amendment to the official plan that would allow construction of the plant in Corunna, but council chambers overflowed with residents wishing to speak to the matter and it was postponed to the Wilkesport meeting, set to begin at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 28.

Andy Kitchen, a member of the one of the groups opposed to the plant, the Clean Affordable Energy Alliance, is making his opinions clearly felt. Kitchen, who works at the coal-fired Lambton Generating Station slated for replacement by two natural gas plants by 2007 (the other is to be located south of the coal plant) says the municipality will gain nothing in terms of air quality from the new plants, and stands to lose 600 jobs. He also points out that it is more expensive to produce electricity from natural gas than it is from coal.

Much of the focus at Wednesday’s meeting is expected to deal with the type of zoning the Invenergy natural gas generating plant would receive. Currently, the land is zoned Type 3 which calls for 1.6 km distance between the plant and surrounding buildings, while Invenergy officials say a Type 2 zoning, allowing for a separation of about 700 m, would be more than adequate.

Rick Robinson, Invenergy director of business management, says the company does not need the amount of land required under a Type 3 zoning. He adds the generation plant would not be a strain on the township’s water and sewer infrastructure, as some opponents claim. Robinson says the Chicago-based company was successful in response to a Government of Ontario request for proposal, and it is the province which has decreed that all coal generating stations will be mothballed. If the company’s request to council for an amendment to the official plan is not successful, he added, “We will appeal it to the OMB (Ontario Municipal Board).”


Shipwrecks Remembered is Nov. 5 in Port Huron

9/29 - The 30th Anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald is one of many presentations at this year's Shipwrecks Remembered 2005 show which will be held at Port Huron, Michigan's McMorran Place on Saturday, Nov. 5. This year's show will also feature the musical talents of folksinger and song writer Lee Murdock and exhibits from museums, marine artists, dive shops and authors. New this year is a scuba garage sale where dive shops, clubs, and individuals will have used gear for sale.

Other Shipwrecks Remembered 2005 presentations include: Tales of Great Lakes Shipwreck Pairs by Cris Kohl & Joan Forsberg, The Story of the Christmas
Schooner: The Rouse Simmons by Joyce Hayward & Dave Mekker, The E.P. Dorr, The Tug that Time Forgot by Rick & Deb Dudeck, and Chris Roth, and The North Wind by Rick Kruzel & Marshall Allan. Shipwrecks

Remembered 2005 is proud to support the Naval Cadets and the Sanilac Shores Underwater Preserve. For more information please visit:

Reported by Pat & Jim Stayer


Today in Great Lakes History - September 29

The new dry-dock arrived at the Fitzgerald shipyard in Port Huron, Michigan from Detroit on 29 September 1875. It was the rebuilt hull of the side-wheeler PLYMOUTH ROCK which had sailed in Lake Erie for the New York Central Railroad. The hull was considered "mammoth", being 335.1 feet long and 42 feet wide. PLYMOUTH ROCK was originally built in 1854, at Buffalo New York.

What is looked upon as the first step in what may ultimately result in Detroit becoming one of the centers of lower lakes traffic took place at the Zug Island furnaces of the Detroit Iron & Steel Company, on the Rouge River, when the huge clamshells were put in operation on the iron ore cargo of the CITY OF GENOA. M. Andrews, of Cleveland, in charge of the ore handling on all docks for M.A. Hanna & Co., put the finishing touches on the machinery and started the unloading, while Manager C. W. Baird, of the steel company, and other officials were also present. Mr. Andrews, while expressing himself as well pleased with the results of the work, declined to make any statement as to what he thought of the prospects of Detroit as an ore port, or as a factor in marine circles of the lower lakes.“ Detroit has all the natural advantages necessary to make it a great commercial city.,” said he, “and all that is needed is to develop them. While this has been commenced it lies with the business men of Detroit to determine how far it will be carried on and in their hands lies the fate of the city. ”To what extent the plant at Zug Island might develop Mr. Andrews declined to predict, while the officials of the company were likewise reticent and it is not a success the fault will not lie in the equipment. Reported in the Detroit Free Press on September 29, 1903.

J.H. SHEADLE (Hull#22) was launched September 29, 1906, at Ecorse, Michigan by Great Lakes Engineering Works for the Grand Island Steamship Co. (Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Co., Cleveland, Ohio., mgr.). Renamed b.) F A BAILEY in 1924, c.) LA SALLE in 1930. Sold Canadian in 1965, renamed d.) MEAFORD and e.) PIERSON INDEPENDENT in 1979. Scrapped at Santander, Spain in 1980.

Mr. Henry Ford II, 70, of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, passed away on September 29, 1987. Mr. Ford's namesake was the Ford Motor Company self-unloader.

On September 29, 1986, the Polish tug KORAL left Lauzon, Quebec with the JOHN E F MISENER and GOLDEN HIND enroute overseas for scrapping.

September 29, 1892 - The ANN ARBOR NO 1 (Hull#55) was launched for the Ann Arbor Railroad Co.

On 29 September 1872, ADRIATIC (3 mast wooden schooner-barge, 139 foot, 129 net tons, built in 1865, at Clayton, New York as a bark) was in tow of the tug MOORE along with three other barges in Lake Erie in a heavy gale. She became separated from the tow and foundered. The entire crew of 7 was lost. The wooden schooner DERRICK was used in salvage operations. On 29 September 1854, she had just positioned herself above the wreck of the steamer ERIE off Silver Creek, New York on Lake Erie when she went down in a gale. She had spent the summer trying to salvage valuables from the wreck of the steamer ATLANTIC.

On 29 September 1900, one hundred years ago, the steamer SAKIE SHEPARD was re-launched at Anderson’s shipyard in Marine City. She had been thoroughly rebuilt there during the summer.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series Detroit Free Press. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Port Reports - September 28

Marquette - Lee Rowe
Marquette harbors have seen the Wolverine, Great Lakes Trader/Joyce VanEnkevort, Michipicoten, and James R. Barker lately. The Barker came quite near a fishing boat as she departed the harbor Tuesday. The boat operators seemed in no hurry to get out of the way.


Photo Gallery Updates - September 28

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - September 28

On September 28, 1980, the BURNS HARBOR entered service, departing Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin bound for Superior, Wisconsin to load pellets.

THOMAS WILSON left Toledo on September 28, 1987, in tow of the tug TUSKER for overseas scrapping. WILSON has been laid up since December 16, 1979.

On 28 September 1891, THOMAS PARSONS (2 mast wooden schooner, 135 foot, 350 tons, built in 1868, at Charlotte, New York) was carrying coal out of Ashtabula, Ohio when she foundered in a storm a few miles off Fairport in Lake Erie.

On 28 September 1849, W G BUCKNER (wooden schooner, 75 foot, 107 tons, built in 1837, at Irving, New York) was carrying lumber in a storm on Lake Michigan when she sprang a leak, then capsized. The man to whom the cargo belonged was aboard with his wife and five children. One child was washed overboard while the wife and three children died of exposure. The schooner ERWIN took off the survivors plus the bodies.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember seriesThis is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


2005 Manistee’s Ghost Ship

9/27 - The S.S. City of Milwaukee invites you to experience media night as we unveil the 5th Annual Ghost Ship. On October 4th the ship will be hosting a special night for our media friends to be delightfully scared or down right horrified. The Ghost ship has been one of the most successful fundraisers for the historic 1930’s steamship and hoping to continue the ghoulish tradition we are sure you will find this year’s event scarier than ever.

Sections of Ghost Ship will be open for media photo opportunities in sections of the ship between the hours of 7:00 and 8:00 p.m. on October 4th.

This year Ghost Ship will begin the regular haunting season on October 7th and 8th, continuing every weekend in October and also on Sunday the 30th and Monday the 31st. The hours will be 7pm till 10pm with the exception of the 28th and 29th they will be extended until midnight. We hope to see all of you on the 4th and with your help we can make this the most horrifying and profitable Ghost ship that the S.S. City of Milwaukee has hosted so far.



September 27th Reminder

110 days until the Soo Locks are closed for the winter.

179 days until the Soo Locks are open for the 2006 shipping season.

276 days until Engineers Day at the Soo Locks!!



Low demand stifles taconite production

9/27 - A softening of the domestic steel market over the first half of 2005 has caught up to the Iron Range taconite industry. A $29 million restart of furnace No. 5 at Cleveland-Cliffs' Northshore Mining Co. in Silver Bay is being delayed and an agglomerating line at U.S. Steel's Minntac Mine in Mountain Iron will be shut down as taconite plant owners move to balance iron ore pellet production with demand.
"As previously discussed, due to recent softening in the domestic steel market, Cliffs has reduced its 2005 sales forecast by approximately 1.5 million tons," said Dana Byrne, a Cleveland-Cliffs spokesman. "Therefore, Cliffs does not need the additional capacity from Furnace 5 at this time, and has elected to delay the announced restart of Furnace 5." Environmental permitting that would have been needed to restart the furnace has been put on hold, he said. The Northshore Mining Co. project would have increased pellet production by 800,000 tons annually, required 35 new workers, and boosted efficiencies.

In addition, U.S. Steel's Minntac Mine on Saturday will shut down its Line 3 pellet-producing line due to a lack of concentrate, said John Armstrong, a U.S. Steel spokesman. The shutdown would also help U.S. Steel match pellet inventory to customer demand, he said. The smallest of five agglomerating lines at Minntac, Line 3 accounts for about11 percent of Minntac's annual production of about 15 million tons and is often utilized as a swing line to help balance pellet production with demand. Shutting down the line would help Minntac reduce its energy costs, said Armstrong. No layoffs are planned. However, some employees could be temporarily assigned to other areas of the plant, he said.

Iron ore pellets produced at Northeastern Minnesota's six taconite plants are a primary ingredient in steelmaking.
Domestic steel inventories grew larger in late 2004 and over the first half of 2005, in part due to some service centers building up steel inventories as a hedge against higher pricing, said Nancy Gravatt, American Iron and Steel Institute vice president of communications. "Raw materials inputs spiked in 2004, and during a good part of that year when prices rose, there may have been a rush to build up inventories," she said.

Domestic steel producers that registered record earnings in recent months are tempering their enthusiasm for the third quarter. U.S. Steel last week announced that the company's third-quarter earnings could be lower than projected by analysts. However, Gravatt and industry analysts say that inventories are already beginning to shrink, meaning that the steel and iron ore industries could both soon be back on track. "Steel inventories are building up and reducing (pellet) demand," said Peter Kakela, a Michigan State University taconite industry analyst. "But I'm still awfully positive about next year. I'm surprised that Minntac is shutting a line down."

Domestic steel service centers in July had about a 3.5-month supply of steel on hand after maintaining a3.1- to 3.5-month supply in every month since January, according to Metals Service Center Institute statistics provided by Michelle Applebaum Research Inc., a Highland Park, Ill., steel industry analytical firm. That compares with a 2.4- to 2.9-month supply in early 2004. But good news may be ahead for both steel and taconite producers. August steel inventories declined to a 2.7-month supply, and supplies of carbon, flat-rolled, plate and structural steel all fell, according to the research firm.
"We believe that the August inventory numbers indicate that the bottom of the domestic steel market has been reached for virtually every product line," said the Michelle Applebaum Research report. "Most products are seeing months' supply figures consistent with early 2004 levels -- levels which presaged a shortage that spring."

The American Iron and Steel Institute estimates that 691,000 tons of sheet steel will be needed to help frame 100,000 new homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Steel pilings for levees, ports and industrial facilities, along with steel to rebuild railroads, businesses and for utility poles will also be required.
Kakela said he expects 2006 to be a solid year for Northeastern Minnesota taconite producers.

From the Duluth News Tribune


Selling job required for Port Stanley ferry

9/27 - The first concrete evidence of benefit a Port Stanley ferry could bring to the region was released Monday by Royal Wagenborg, the 100-year-old Dutch marine shipping conglomerate proposing the service. The findings of a study by the Canadian Tourism Research Institute bear the imprint of the Conference Board of Canada: Potential impact of the service amounts to almost $22 million in the region, and “significant economic impact” farther afield.

In total, the ferry could lead to creation of the equivalent of almost 500 full-time jobs. But what will Port Stanley get out of it? That’s the question a number of local residents are asking -- and some already have made up their minds. They see nothing but a detriment. A few are very vocal in this conviction.
But is the glass really half-empty? As yet, there are no concrete answers to a number of concerns.
It’s frustrating but a fact, all the same. Harbour ownership is very much up in the air. Transport Canada wants to offload the facility; Central Elgin is kicking the tires but Mayor Dave Rock is adamant the municipality isn’t interested in a white elephant.

Until ownership is settled, Royal Wagenborg remains a suitor without a bride -- albeit, a very interested suitor, willing to invest $150 million with a long-term commitment. The municipality has engaged a harbour consultant; he says that, in theory, harbour ownership is a good thing because it gives the municipality -- and, by extension, the public, control of what could be a vital piece of real estate.

Mayor Rock agrees. In the harbour, he sees the possibility of economic development which will broaden Central Elgin’s tax base.

From the St. Thomas Times-Journal


Photo Gallery Updates - September 26

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - September 27

On 27 September 1877, the HIPPOGRIFFE (wooden schooner, 295 tons, built in 1864, at Buffalo, New York) had just left Chicago for Buffalo, loaded with oats, on a fine day with clear weather. The crew saw EMMA A COYNE (wooden schooner, 155 foot, 497 tons, built in 1867, at Detroit, Michigan) approaching from a long way off loaded with lumber. The two vessels’ skippers were brothers. The two schooners collided about 20 miles off Kenosha, Wisconsin. The COYNE came along side and picked up the HIPPOGRIFFE’s crew a few minutes before that vessel rolled over and dove for the bottom.

The CITY OF GENOA arrived with the first cargo of iron ore for the Detroit Iron & Steel Co., at Zug Island.

Reported in the Detroit Free Press on September 28, 1903.The H M GRIFFITH experienced a smoky conveyor belt fire at Port Colborne, Ontario on September 27, 1989. Repairs were completed there. Bow section rebuilt by Port Weller Drydocks, Ltd. in 2000, renamed b.) RT. HON PAUL J MARTIN.

The ROGER M KYES proceeded to Chicago for dry-docking, survey and repairs on September 27, 1976. She had struck bottom in Buffalo Harbor September 22, 1976 sustaining holes in two double bottom tanks and damage to three others.

The GEORGE M HUMPHREY under tow, locked through the Panama Canal from September 27, 1986, to the 30th on her way to the cutters torch at Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

The tanker IMPERIAL COLLINGWOOD (Hull#137) was launched September 27, 1947, at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. for Imperial Oil Ltd., Toronto, Ontario. Renamed b.) SEAWAY TRADER 1979, sold off the Lakes in 1984, renamed c.) PATRICIA II, d.) BALBOA TRADER in 1992.

September 27, 1909 - The ANN ARBOR NO 4 entered service after being repaired from her capsizing at Manistique, Michigan the previous May.

On 27 September 1884, WALDO A AVERY (wooden propeller, 204 foot, 1294 gross tons) was launched at W. Bay City, Michigan. Her construction had been subcontracted by F.W. Wheeler & Co. to Thomas F. Murphy.

On 27-29 September 1872, a big storm swept the lower Lakes. Here are the Lake Huron tragedies. The barges HUNTER and DETROIT were destroyed. The tug SANDUSKY rescued the 21 survivors. The schooner CORSAIR foundered off Sturgeon Point on Saginaw Bay at 4 p.m. on Sunday the 29th and only 2 of the crew survived. The barge A LINCON was ashore one mile below Au Sable with no loss of life. The barge TABLE ROCK went ashore off Tawas Point and went to pieces. All but one of her crew was lost. The schooner WHITE SQUALL was sunk ten miles off Fish Point -- only one crewman was saved. The schooner SUMMIT went ashore at Fish Point, 7 miles north of Tawas with two lives lost.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series, Detroit Free Press.This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Port Report - September 26

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
Sunday was an active day with four vessels in port. The J.A.W Iglehart was loading at Lafarge in the early morning hours on Sunday. It was outbound by 7:00 a.m., heading for Detroit.

The Algorail was also tied up in the Thunder Bay River at the Alpena Oil Dock on Sunday morning, unloading a cargo of salt. The Algorail departed from the river by 9:30am.

The afternoon saw the Steamer Alpena arrive in port to take on cement for St. Joseph, followed by the Paul H. Townsend later in the evening.


Photo Gallery Updates - September 26

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - September 26

On 26 September 1892, JOHN BURT (3-mast wooden schooner, 138 foot, 348 gross tons, built in 1871, at Detroit, Michigan) was carrying grain in a strong northwest gale. Her rudder broke and she was blown past the mouth of Oswego harbor and was driven hard aground. Two died when the vessel struck. The Lifesaving Service rescued the remaining five crew members. The vessel quickly broke up in the waves.

The car ferry CHI-CHEEMAUN cleared the Collingwood Shipyard on September 26, 1974.

The H M GRIFFITH was christened on September 26, 1973, at Collingwood for Canada Steamship Lines.

The C.C.G.S. GRIFFON (Hull#664) was launched September 26, 1969, by Davie Shipbuilding Ltd., Lauzon, Quebec for the Canadian Coast Guard.

The ROGER M KYES returned to service on September 26, 1984, she had grounded off Mc Louth Steel and ended crosswise in the Detroit River's Trenton Channel a month before. She was renamed b.) ADAM E CORNELIUS in 1989.

The BELLE RIVER was side swiped by the Liberian FEDERAL RHINE of 1977, at Duluth on September 26, 1985. Both vessels received minor damage. The BELLE RIVER sails today as b.) WALTER J MC CARTHY JR, renamed in 1990. The a.) FEDERAL RHINE was scrapped in 2000, as c.) NARRAGANSETT.

On 26 September 1914, MARY N BOURKE (wooden schooner-barge, 219 foot, 920 gross tons, built in 1889, at Baraga, Michigan) was docked at Peter’s Lumber Dock in St. Mary’s Bay, 15 miles north of St. Ignace, Michigan. The crew was awakened at 9:30-10:00 p.m. by smoke coming from her hold and they escaped. The BOURKE burned to the waterline and the fire spread ashore, destroying the dock and a pile of lumber.

At 3:00 a.m., 26 September 1876, the steam barge LADY FRANKLIN burned while moored near Clark's dock, about three miles from Amherstburg, Ontario in the Detroit River. One life was lost. This vessel had been built in 1861, as a passenger steamer and ran between Cleveland, Ohio and Port Stanley, Ontario. In 1874, she was converted into a lumber freighter, running primarily between Saginaw, Michigan and Cleveland. The burned hull was rebuilt in 1882.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II, Father Dowling Collection, and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Port Report - September 25

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Courtney Burton showed up Sunday afternoon for General Mills, she will be departing Monday evening.

The English River came in around 3:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon for LaFarge.

The Beluga Endurance was unloading cargo at the Gateway Terminal in Lackawanna Sunday morning.


Photo Gallery Updates - September 25

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - September 25

At about 7:30 a.m. on 25 September 1883, EAST SAGINAW (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 136 foot, 235 tons, built in 1866, at Marine City, Michigan) sank in Lake Huron in about 25 fathoms of water near Sand Beach, Michigan.  The crew was saved by the steamer CONNEMAUGH.  At 10:00 p.m. the previous night, the EAST SAGINAW struck a reef off Sand Beach.  She drifted and filled with water through the night.  The sunken vessel was eventually recovered and lasted until 1923.

In tandem tow, the MENIHEK LAKE and LEON FALK JR arrived at Vigo, Spain on September 25, 1985. The MENIHEK LAKE was scrapped at Vigo, and the FALK was towed to Gijón, Spain for scrapping.

The HENRY C FRICK departed Bay City, Michigan on her maiden voyage on September 25, 1905, and rammed and damaged the Michigan Central Railroad Bridge at Bay City.  Renamed b.) MICHIPICOTEN in 1964, sold for scrap in 1972, she broke in two, with the bow section sinking off Anticosti Island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence on November 17, 1972.  The stern section sank the next day.  

On 25 September 1869, COMMENCEMENT (2-mast wooden schooner, 75 foot, 73 tons, built in 1853, at Holland, Michigan) was carrying wood in her hold and telegraph poles on deck from Pentwater, Michigan for Milwaukee when she sprang a leak 20 miles off Little Sable Point on Lake Michigan. The incoming water quickly overtook her pump capacity. As the crew was getting aboard the lifeboat, she turned turtle. The crew clung to the upturned hull for 30 hours until the passing steamer ALLEGHENY finally rescued them. COMMENCEMENT later washed ashore, a total wreck.  

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

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


William G. Mather Moved to New Home

9/24 - Cleveland's landmark museum ship the William G. Mather was moved from its former home on the Ninth Street Pier to Dock 32 at the Port of Cleveland. The tow was handled for the Great Lakes Towing Company tugs Iowa and Mississippi, and went off without a hitch. The tow was completed in less than an hour, with the help of more than 25 volunteers. A crowd of several hundred gathered to watch the event.

Captain Harry "Heavy Weather" Anderson, 96, was the honorary captain for the move. Capt. Anderson served with Cleveland-Cliffs for more than 40 years, many of them aboard the Mather. In charge was Capt. Wayne Bratton of Trident Marine Corporation, and recently retired Capt. Ron Brezinski was also aboard as a guest.

After completion of the move, Holly Holcombe, Executive Director of the Harbor Heritage Society which owns the Mather, introduced several speakers in dockside ceremonies, including John Brinzo, President of Cleveland-Cliff, Inc. and Dr. Linda Abraham-Silver, Executive Director of the nearby Great Lakes Science Center. To complete the moving ceremony, the two executive directors smashed a bottle of champagne against the Mather's hull, to signify a "rechristening" in her new home. Pictures in the News Photo Gallery updated

9/20- Original Story - The popular Cleveland landmark museum ship William G. Mather, the former flagship of the Cleveland-Cliffs fleet, will be moved on Saturday, September 24 to a new home about 825 feet from its present Ninth Street Pier home to Pier 32 at the Port of Cleveland. The Tugs are ordered for 10 a.m. The Move should only take about an Hour.

Museum Director Holly Holcombe explains "the move has been contemplated for a number of years, and Pier 32 was the original location considered when the Mather became a museum in 1987." "However, operations at the Port used the space until recently."

When the Great Lakes Science Center opened in 1996 it was thought that a number of synergies could be realized between the science center and the Mather. The City of Cleveland, the science center and the museum staff, began in 2001 to develop a marketing study and strategic plan for the Cleveland waterfront. The conclusion was that all entities would benefit from the re-location of the Mather.

The new dock space is located less than 300 feet directly north of the science center and Cleveland Brown's stadium, and will have available garage and open lot parking. It is envisioned that programs can be co-sponsored to the benefit of both attractions. The first such event will be a Tall Ship Challenge named "Cleveland-Huntington Harbor Fest 2006". Other possibilities include sharing of volunteer staff and gift shops.

The Mather was built in 1925 at Great Lakes Engineering in River Rouge and retired in 1980. Often referred to as "The ship that built Cleveland", the Mather was donated to the Great Lakes Historical Society in 1987 by the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company.

The move on Saturday will be a spectator event with no riders allowed on the boat, except authorized deckhands to operated the winches. The Ninth Street Pier will be an excellent location to view the move and spectators may want to bring their own lawn chairs. The museum ship will be closed to the public for the rest of the season until the normal Spring opening date.


Buffalo Skyway Bridge May be Removed

9/24 - Local community governments including the City of Buffalo, NY, the Town of Hamburg, and others have recently gone on record supporting the effort to tear down the Skyway Bridge over the Buffalo River. These actions allow the State DOT to begin the process of studying the options for a replacement including a tunnel or a series of lift bridges. The Skyway is seen as an impediment to further waterfront development and will require millions of dollars of maintenance over the coming years.

There has been some talk of other options, none without controversy. General Mills has expressed concern over the possibility of rebuilding the Michigan St. Bridge over the City Ship Canal. They do not want a bridge to interfere with any ship docking operations at the Frontier Elevator.
Another plan would use a series of lift bridges near the current route of the Skyway. Most people feel that this would only congest the streets around the river and ruin the vistas opened by removing the Skyway. The least intrusive option seems to be an Outer Harbor Tunnel. Former Mayor James Griffon first proposed this idea back in 1989. The plan was to shift most North-South traffic to a South Towns Connector built further inland off the I-190 and heading towards Tift St. The tunnel would connect downtown to the waterfront with less traffic volume and a calmer Fuhrman Blvd. These two projects make the most sense but would be extremely costly due to the major construction work required and seem far-fetched given today's budget constraints.

As waterfront redevelopment looms on the horizon the Skyway Bridge has become the 500 pound gorilla standing in the corner that you just can't ignore. The bridge may have seemed like the best way to cross an industrial waterfront in 1955, and may be seen as an afterthought today, but it looks like we are stuck with it for some time to come. The biggest problem is that the Skyway is still the fastest way in or out of downtown Buffalo from the South and crosses a commercial waterway with 8 active docks above the bridge.

Reported by Brian Wroblewski


Sheriff's new catamaran to make work on Lake Ontario easier

9/24 - Monroe County sheriff's officials showed off the department's newest marine vessel Thursday — a 31-foot catamaran designed to handle the sometimes-rough waters and large waves of Lake Ontario. The vessel is capable of year-round operation — it has a heated cabin and dual-outboard 275-horsepower motors — and "will significantly increase our ability to provide security in the port and respond during heavy winter conditions," said Sheriff Patrick O'Flynn.

The sheriff's office has five vessels, said Lt. Steve Scott, who oversees the Marine Unit. The catamaran replaces one that was taken out of service. The sheriff's office handles enforcement of watercraft on Lake Ontario, Irondequoit Bay and other local bodies of water, as well as responding to boating accidents or boaters in distress. The Coast Guard, by contrast, oversees search and rescue missions and commercial watercraft issues. "It's the first catamaran we've had," Scott said. "It's designed to handle lake conditions in severe weather. It can move faster and handle larger waves."

The vessel is rated to withstand waves of 10 feet. The catamaran also would be able to assist the Coast Guard if there was a major event involving the high speed ferry, Scott said. But its main mission would be to monitor and assist pleasure boaters. In previous years, the sheriff's office has responded to incidents such as boats striking a pier or bridge abutments. No such events have occurred this year, said Deputy Bill Reithel, who attributed the safer summer to more educated boaters. The sheriff's office provides boater-safety classes, and state law in 2004 mandated training for jet-ski operators.

That kind of training is crucial to avoid trouble on the water, Reithel said."Everybody has a false sense of security when they're on the water — they start the boat up, hit the throttle and go," he said. "There's no brakes on a boat. Some people don't know the rules of boating, who has the right-of-way."

The catamaran's $236,000 cost was covered by a Department of Homeland Security grant

Courtesy of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle


Rochester-Toronto Ferry Reduces Schedule

9/24 - For the second time in less than a month, managers of the high-speed ferry service between Rochester and Toronto have cut back their schedule.

In a printed statement today, Bay Ferries Great Lakes announced it would cut an additional five round trips, paring the schedule down to five total trips per week, eliminating afternoon and evening departures on weekends and all travel on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Changes take effect Thursday.

The announcement follows an Aug. 29 reduction in which Bay Ferries cut two roundtrips. While Bay Ferries had planned to step down its schedule during the fall months, its initial plan was to maintain daily travel through October. Bay Ferries also is offering a series of new vacation packages and options for travel to both Toronto and upstate New York.

The city backed a loan to buy the $32 million ferry earlier this year and created the Rochester Ferry Co. to oversee operations. Rochester Ferry Co. then hired Bay Ferries to manage the ship, which re-launched June 30.

Courtesy of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle


Port Reports - September 24

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The tug Susan W. Hannah and her tank barge made a rare appearance on the Saginaw River, calling on the Dow Chemical dock in Bay City to unload late Thursday night. The pair was outbound Friday afternoon.
Inbound on Friday was the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. calling on the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville to unload coal and the Manistee, calling on the Wirt Stone Dock in Essexville. Both vessels were still unloading at the time of this report, but were expected to be outbound late Friday.

The Maumee was under the coal loader in early Saturday afternoon, while the John G. Munson was tied up astern of Maumee waiting her turn to load.


Photo Gallery Updates - September 24

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - September 24

On 24 September 1902, MOSES TAYLOR (steel propeller freighter, 416 foot, 4772 gross tons) was launched at the American Ship Building Company (Hull #320) in Lorain, Ohio for the Cleveland Steamship Company (John Mitchell & Co., managers). Miss Isabelle Mitchell christened the vessel. The ship was renamed b.) SOODOC in 1926, and lasted until 1968, when she was scrapped at La Spezia, Italy.

On September 24, 1987, the A H FERBERT went hard aground at the Cut-Off Channel's southeast bend of the St. Clair River. Six tugs, GLENADA, ELMORE M MISNER, BARBARA ANN, GLENSIDE, SHANNON and WM A WHITNEY, worked until late on the 26th to free her.

The EDMUND FITZGERALD's first cargo of taconite pellets was loaded September 24, 1958, at Silver Bay, Minnesota. for Toledo, Ohio. The rail ferry PERE MARQUETTE 22 entered service September 24, 1924.

In early morning fog on the St. Clair River September 24, 1962, the J L REISS was hit three glancing blows by U.S. Steel's SEWELL AVERY. The AVERY had lost control just below Robert's Landing and crossed the channel from the Canadian side and struck the J L REISS which was proceeding slowly by radar on the U.S. side.

On September 24, 1952, the a.) CHARLES L HUTCHINSON entered service. This vessel was renamed b.) ERNEST R BREECH when it was sold to the Ford Motor Company in 1962, and c.) KINSMAN INDEPENDENT, when it was sold to Kinsman Lines in 1988. Currently being repowered with a diesel engine in Hamilton, Ontario and renamed d.) VOYAGEUR INDEPENDENT in 2005.

On September 23, 1991, J W MC GIFFIN rescued several people in a 24 foot pleasure craft off Presque Isle State Park. The group had been disabled since the day before. They were taken aboard the MC GIFFIN and their boat taken under tow.

September 24, 1924 - The PERE MARQUETTE 22 arrived at Ludington, Michigan on her maiden voyage.

On 24 September 1902, H A BARR (3 mast wooden schooner, 217 foot, 1119 gross tons, built in 1893, at West Bay City, Michigan) was in tow of the “saltie” THEANO with a load of iron ore in a storm 30 miles off Port Stanley in Lake Erie. She broke her tow line in giant waves and foundered. THEANO rescued her crew.

On 24 September 1879, the tug URANIA was towing the schooner S V R WATSON into Sand Beach at about noon when the schooner struck the tug amidships, cutting a hole in the hull and sinking her in three fathoms of water. No lives were lost.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, James Neumiller, Jody Aho, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history



Port Reports - September 23

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Maumee was in bound Thursday evening for Buffalo and heading to the Sand Products Corp. landing on the City Ship Canal.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Sam Laud broke the silence on the Saginaw River Thursday being the first commercial traffic on the river since Monday. The Laud lightered at the Bay Aggregates in Bay City during the afternoon before heading up to Saginaw to finish unloading at the GM Dock. She finished around 11pm and made the unusual move of backing all the way down the river to the Airport Turning Basin in Bay City, rather than use the Sixth Street Turning Basin in Saginaw right near the GM Dock to turn and head for the lake.

New pictures in the News Photo Gallery.


Stonehouse, McGreevy to speak at GLMI dinner

9/23 - Author and historian Frederick Stonehouse and Great Lakes artist and historian Robert McGreevy will present a double program at the Great Lakes Maritime Institute's annual dinner Sunday, Oct. 2. The event will be at Blossom Heath Inn, 24800 E. Jefferson, St. Clair Shores, Mich.

Stonehouse will recount the bravery of the men who saved lives on the Great Lakes in "Forgotten Heroes: The U.S. Lifesaving Service on the Great Lakes." McGreevy will focus on renowned ship architect Frank E. Kirby and his famous vessels, such as the Tashmoo and Greater Detroit,in "The Ships of Frank E. Kirby."

Tickets are $30 per person, (advanced purchase only). For more information, call (586) 777-8300.


Today in Great Lakes History - September 23

On 23 September 1894, AGNES L POTTER (2-mast wooden schooner-barge, 134 foot, 279 gross tons, built in 1870, at St. Clair, Michigan as a 3-mast schooner) went aground near the south pier at Grand Haven, Michigan in a severe gale. She was being towed by the steamer CHARLES REITZ at the time. The crew was saved. Although the POTTER took a severe pounding, she was recovered later and lasted until 1906.

On 23 September 1910, BETHLEHEM (steel propeller package freighter, 290 foot, 2633 gross tons, built in 1888, at Cleveland, Ohio) was carrying general merchandise when she went ashore in a gale on the SW side of South Manitou Island in Lake Michigan. Lifesavers and the crew unloaded her over several days. Although battered by several storms while ashore, she was eventually pulled free and repaired. She lasted until 1925, when she was scrapped.

The scow WAUBONSIE was launched at the Curtis yard in Fort Gratiot, Michigan on 23 September 1873.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


House of Representatives votes to hand over the Mackinaw to Cheboygan

9/22 - Proceedings necessary for Cheboygan city and county to take over ownership of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw have started. The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously voted last week to approve the Coast Guard authorization bill, which includes a provision to convey the ship to local governments for use as a maritime museum.

The U.S. Senate is expected to consider the bill within the next two months.

The Mackinaw is scheduled to be decommissioned next year after more than six decades of service in the Great Lakes. It has always been stationed in Cheboygan.

From the Traverse City Record-Eagle


Port Reports - September 22

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
The Steamer Alpena was anchored out in the bay for at least 7 hours on Tuesday, waiting for winds to subside. The Alpena arrived at Lafarge around 3pm to load for Superior, WI and was outbound by 8pm on a calm lake.

The Paul H. Townsend is expected to return on Thursday morning. The J.A.W Iglehart is headed for Cleveland and the G.L Ostrander/barge Integrity is in Waukegan, IL.

The Cuyahoga paid a visit to the area on Wednesday morning, slowly making its way into the Thunder Bay River at 6:30am. It tied up at the Alpena Oil Dock and proceeded to unload a cargo of sand ordered by L&S Transit Mix Concrete Co. of Alpena. The Cuyahoga departed around 10:30am.

The American Mariner & Manistee are on the schedule to load at Stoneport on Thursday.

Welland Canal - John McCreery
Tuesday was a rare day for boat watchers on the Welland Canal with the Canadian Leader, Montrealais and Canadian Miner all down bound during daylight hours. To top it off the Quebecois arrived up bound from Clarkson meeting up with the Leader at Port Weller, the Montrealais above Lock Three and passing the Miner in the twin flights.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Saginaw unloading at ADM around 6:00 p.m. Wednesday evening. This was her first trip to Buffalo under her new name

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The Groupe Ocean tugs Escorte and Jerry G. arrived in port Wednesday afternoon to assist the salty Pochard out of the Redpath Sugar slip. They then went to the wall and waited for the arrival of Polsteam's Isadora, which they assisted into the Redpath slip, after which the tugs departed in separate directions. Jerry G. heading for Hamilton and Escorte bound for Oshawa.

New pictures in the News Photo Gallery.


Today in Great Lakes History - September 22

On 22 September 1942, the tug JOHN ROEN (steel propeller tug, 100 foot, built in 1895, at Camden, New Jersey for the Army Corps of Engineers) was towing the barges TRANSPORT (iron pulp-wood barge, 254 foot, 1397 gross tons, originally built as a car ferry in 1880, at Wyandotte, Michigan, converted to a barge in 1933, and CITY OF ST. JOSEPH, steel barge, 254 foot, 833 gross tons, originally built in 1890, at W. Bay City, Michigan as a side-wheel passenger/package freight steamer; converted to a barge in 1938, both carrying pulpwood, in a severe storm on Lake Superior. The barges were cut loose in the rough weather, but each one was driven ashore and wrecked near Eagle Harbor, Michigan. One life was lost from the CITY OF ST JOSEPH. Both barges were cut up in place for scrap the winter of 1942-1943.

On September 22, 1958, the EDMUND FITZGERALD entered service, departing River Rouge, Michigan for Silver Bay, Minnesota on its first trip. The FITZGERALD's first load was 20,038 tons of taconite pellets for Toledo, Ohio. The vessel would, in later years, set several iron ore records during the period from 1965, through 1969.

While in ballast the a.) ROGER M KYES struck bottom in Buffalo Harbor on September 22, 1976, sustaining holes in two double bottom tanks and damage to three others, whereupon she proceeded to South Chicago Illinois for dry docking on September 27, 1976, for survey and repairs. She was renamed b.) ADAM E CORNELIUS in 1989.

While being towed from Duluth, Minnesota by the Canadian tug TUSKER on September 22, 1980, the D G KERR rammed into the breakwater at Duluth causing $200,000 in damage to the breakwater. The tow apparently failed to make the turning buoy leaving Duluth Harbor.

On September 22, 1911, the HENRY PHIPPS collided with and sank her Steel Trust fleet mate, steamer JOLIET of 1890, which was at anchor on the fog shrouded St. Clair River near Sarnia, Ontario. The JOLIET sank without loss of crew and was declared a total loss. The PHIPPS then continued her down bound journey and collided with the Wyandotte Chemical steamer ALPENA of 1909, that incurred only minor damage.

The T W ROBINSON and 265808, former BENSON FORD departed Quebec City in tow of the Polish tug JANTAR bound for Recife, Brazil where they arrived on September 22, 1987. Scrapping began the next month.

The MATHILDA DESGAGNES was freed from polar ice in the Arctic on September 22, 1988. She was built in 1959, as the package freighter a.) ESKIMO.

September 22, 1913 - The ANN ARBOR NO 5 struck bottom in the Sturgeon Bay Canal and damaged her rudder and steering gear. After undergoing repairs at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, she was back in service the following October.

On 22 September 1887, ADA E ALLEN (wooden propeller steam barge, 90 foot, 170 gross tons, built in 1872, at Walpole Island, Ontario) caught fire while moored at Amherstburg, Ontario. She was cut loose and set adrift to prevent the fire from spreading ashore. She drifted to Bois Blanc (Bob-Lo) Island and burned to a total loss.

On 22 September 1882, Mr. H. N. Jex accepted the contract to recover the engine and boiler from the MAYFLOWER, which sank in the Detroit River in 1864. He was to be paid $600 upon delivery of the machinery at Windsor, Ontario. He succeeded in raising the engine on 12 October and the boiler shortly thereafter.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, James Neumiller, Jody Aho, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes at B.G.S.U and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

News Archive - August 1996 to present

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