Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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Port Weller Dry Docks Bankruptcy Protection Extended

10/31 - St. Catharines, ON - Bankruptcy protection has been extended again to give the parent company of Port Weller Dry Docks more breathing room in its restructuring efforts. Canadian Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd. now has until Nov. 17 to try to work out a deal with its creditors, its union and others, said Charlie Payne, CS&E's vice-president of business development.

"There's no final resolution yet on how to emerge from the (bankruptcy) protection," said Payne. At least one element has been taken care of. Payne said the union held a ratification vote Sunday and voted 134-35 to ratify a new collective agreement. The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local 680 represents the bulk of the workers at CS&E's St. Catharines shipyards. No other details on the contract were available at press time.

According to court documents, CS&E's monitor, RSM Richter, said the company's trouble is related to deals last year to build two vessel hulls for Hoekman Cargoships BV in the Netherlands and five short-sea ships for Carisbrooke Shipping Ltd. of the Isle of Wight, England.

The company reported that in early 2005 it became evident that following the completion of the Jean Parisien project, PWDD had no contracts for further building or extension of ships and would likely have to find new markets. As the Jean Parisien project neared completion, CSE was introduced to Peters. Peters is a Dutch entity that operates shipbuilding yards in Holland and elsewhere in Europe. Peters was looking for a facility to undertake the construction of:  two “short sea shipping” vessel hulls which Peters would tow back to one of its own shipyards for completion and delivery to Peters’ customer, Hoekman Cargoships BV (“Hoekman”); and five complete short sea ships for another customer of Peters, Carisbrooke Shipping Limited (Cansbrooke”).

The total value of the Dry Docks contracts was worth about $100 million.

CSE entered into building contracts with Hoekman and five single purpose Carisbrooke subsidiaries, for the construction of the short sea shipping hulls and ships at PWDD. While these types of vessels were significantly different than the traditional Great Lakes vessels built by PWDD, the company thought that with seven ships contracted for, they might expect to lose money on the Hoekinan hulls as a learning project, and thereby achieve the necessary efficiencies to become profitable during the building of some or all of the Carisbrooke ships.

As part of the overall negotiations with Peters, and in part in return for consulting services to be provided by Peters in respect of the building of the seven vessels, Peters was given 16% of the issued and outstanding shares of CSE by Upper Lakes.

In late 2005, PWDD commenced production of the first hull for Hoekman, known as “Hull 81”. As result of a variety of factors, the company’s estimate of the number of man-hours of PWDD employees which would be required to complete Hull 81 proved to be incorrect. Hull 81 requiring over double the projected man-hours to complete, CSE’s anticipated losses on Hull 81 was approximately $3,400,000 greater than expected and losses on the second hull would be approximately $1,200,000 greater than expected, and the profitability of the Carisbrooke vessels would be approximately $2,000,000 less than originally anticipated. This meant that without an immediate cash injection CSE could not continue despite the contracts in hand as CSE did not have the financial resources complete those projects.

The losses together with creditor pressure and liquidity issues, caused CS&E to start restructuring. Shipbuilding operations at the dry docks were suspended this summer, leaving its 200-plus hourly workers on temporary layoff.

A bankruptcy protection order made earlier this summer had previously been extended to Oct. 13.

From the St. Catharines Standard


Chicago Could Land Floating Museum
Non-profit group hopes to turn Coast Guard vessel into a riverfront attraction

10/31 - Chicago - Long a welcome sight to mariners experiencing trouble on Lake Michigan, the recently retired U.S. Coast Guard cutter Acacia should soon be familiar to strollers and tourists along the banks of the Chicago River. The decommissioned 180-foot icebreaker and buoy tender was donated to the state of Illinois, which is working with Chicago and the non-profit, locally based American Academy of Industry to make it into a riverfront museum dedicated to the city's rich maritime history.

Moored temporarily at Burns Harbor in Indiana, the 62-year-old Acacia is still outfitted with almost all its working gear--minus machine guns and ammunition. "The Coast Guard sailed it in here, tied off and left it with us with the engine still running and food in the fridge," academy president Dan Hecker said as he showed off the vessel on a recent Sunday afternoon after the deal was announced. The boat is to be shifted soon to a Chicago location for the winter. Both the city and the academy would like to have the ship open as a museum by next summer, Hecker said.

Hecker, 46, said he and his brother, Marty, 40, founded the academy in 1995 with the goal of turning a vessel into a maritime museum. Initially, the group boasted more than 200 members. But after years of failed attempts to find a ship, the active number dwindled to "maybe a dozen," he said. "I was beginning to give the idea up when I got a call last April from a state official asking me if we would be interested in the Acacia," Dan Hecker said.

Plans to sell the ship to an African nation apparently had fallen through, and Coast Guard officials, reviewing their options, pulled a letter from the academy from their files. By law, the Coast Guard could not convey ownership to the academy but arranged to do it through state officials.

City sees benefits
City officials see the Acacia as an asset in their efforts to spruce up the Chicago River's image and are looking at several mooring spots, said Brian Steele, spokesman for the Transportation Department. Ideally, he said, the ship would go along the river's main branch, perhaps between Clark and Dearborn.

"The concept of the ship becoming a maritime museum is a very appealing one," Steele said. "There are myriad issues that have to be settled in choosing a site for it, including easy public accessibility, making sure the ship does not disturb normal river navigation and incorporating it with city plans for a river walk."

Plans are for much of the ship to be maintained as a time capsule, showing how it worked up to the time of its retirement. "The initial primary artifact for the museum is the Acacia itself," said Marty Hecker, a Coast Guard naval architect in Maryland. "It is an exceptional ship."

Long tour of duty
The Acacia was one of the last of 39 oceangoing "180" tenders, known by their length, designed for the Coast Guard during World War II. Built in Duluth, Minn., the Acacia was commissioned Sept. 1, 1944, and named after the only Coast Guard tender ever destroyed by enemy action, sunk in the Atlantic Ocean by German torpedoes in 1942.

Manned by a crew of 50 sailors and officers, it spent most of its 62-year career based in Great Lakes ports. Before being retired in June from its last home port in Charlevoix, Mich., its main duties were breaking up winter ice for commercial shipping channels and maintaining more than 210 buoys, lighthouses and other navigational aids.

Its giant hoisting boom was used to pluck the big navigational buoys, weighing many tons, from the lake for repairs and then placing them back. The Acacia sometimes was called into rescue work, going to the aid of disabled merchant ships and pleasure boats that were foundering or run aground in stormy weather.

Some spaces in the ship--probably some of the crew bunk quarters--will be converted to areas for displaying historical artifacts, including permanent displays from the academy's small maritime collection and items on loan from other museums. "One of the nice things about the ship is that it is an excellent platform to focus on local, regional and national history," Marty Hecker said. The museum will be organized to talk about lake transportation in relation to Chicago industries and will honor civilian and military maritime veterans, he said.

Beyond displays, Dan Hecker said, he wants the Acacia to be used by youth groups for overnights, letting kids learn in detail how ships work and what life is like aboard one. He said he plans to develop a cadre of trained volunteers to keep the ship operational and seaworthy, particularly since he would like the Acacia to occasionally set sail on the lake. "With a ship like this I think we will get more volunteers than if it were a museum with just static exhibits," he said. "This is something like the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, where volunteers will get hands-on experience learning how to restore, maintain and operate the machinery of the ship."

Nautical upbringing
Like his younger brother, Dan Hecker has a good deal of professional knowledge of seagoing vessels. A mechanical engineer, he said he spent more than 10 years at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Washington state overhauling Navy vessels from small ships to submarines, battleships and aircraft carriers. The Heckers' father was a World War II veteran and submarine crewman. As teenage volunteers, they helped to restore and maintain the USS Silversides, a World War II submarine moored at various Chicago docks from 1947 until the city lost it in 1987 in a political tug of war with Muskegon, Mich.

Dan Hecker said many of the Silversides volunteers were determined to get another historic ship for Chicago as a museum and helped found the academy in 1995 for that purpose. "Normally, it can take two years or longer for a surplus ship to be conveyed to public use like this," he said, "often after the ship has been stripped of much of its gear and put in storage for 5 or 10 years. We were lucky to get the Acacia in the condition it is in."

Scott Boivin, 50, a parts manager for a Chicago manufacturer who said he served on the Acacia from 1976 to 1979 when it home-ported at Sturgeon Bay, Wis., volunteered to work with the ship when he read it was coming to Chicago. "It becomes part of your blood after you spend 2 1/2 years on a ship like this," he said. "Now I want to be a part of it and see if I can help it get going as a museum."

From the Chicago Tribune


Highway H20 Could Be a Go

10/31 - Hamilton, Ont. -- The dream of a "short sea" shipping strategy via the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway remains afloat, according to the Hamilton Port Authority (HPA). The HPA, which in 2004 began exploring the possibility of a truck-only ferry across Lake Ontario between Hamilton and Oswego, N.Y., is now looking at an Atlantic connection by establishing a weekly container cargo ferry service between Halifax and Southern Ontario via the St. Lawrence Seaway.

The service, says HPA President Keith Robson, would allow container shippers and truckers to directly bypass rail to and from Halifax and Central Canada.

Officials in Hamilton, one of the country's largest steel-producing regions located in the middle of Ontario's busy Golden Horseshoe industrial corridor, have been musing about a ferry service via the Great Lakes for years.

In an interview with Today's Trucking, Robson said the plan calls for strictly a roll-on tractor-trailer or container chassis service. He admitted that parties involved want to avoid issues that have consumed other cargo transporters like Marine Atlantic, which is constantly battling to prioritize drop-on cargo from big carriers and roll-on units from mainly owner-ops. "We've had that debate. We think it takes longer and is more expensive to have lift-on, lift-off," he says.

Up to four vessels could eventually sail the St. Lawrence to the Great Lakes. The largest ship would have capacity for about 1,050 TEUs. The HPA is currently reviewing the costs and talking to a number of shipping lines. He said that he's received interest from shippers and container haulers that like the idea of bypassing congested rail terminals in Toronto.

Robson is confident the marine service could be competitive with rail, even knowing full well that trains are much faster than boats. "Obviously, if you put a box on a train in Halifax it can be in Brampton [Ont.] in two days. But you have to get it on the train in Halifax and off in Brampton. Information coming from a lot of freight forwarders is that the average time for the whole process is a total of five days. We think we can at least match that."

Bob Gauthier, owner of Seaway Express, a small, specialized LTL carrier that sits off the St. Lawrence in Cornwall, Ont., says he's intrigued by the possibility of an H2O cargo corridor. But with no infrastructure in place in small cities west of Montreal, he wonders how he'd take advantage. "Even if the [vessel] were to make stops along the route, there's no capacity to load or unload," explains Gauthier. "The port in Cornwall is minimal at best. I would think Brockville and Kingston are the same where the infrastructure is more for tourism than an actual working port."

The plan currently calls for a direct Atlantic-Hamilton connection (perhaps a stop in Montreal). But even with such infrastructure some day in place in his backyard, Gauthier isn't sure the service would be worth investing in the winter months when the St. Lawrence Seaway is closed.

Robson admits the winter could pose a challenge. But that's where the HPA's prior blueprint for an Oswego, N.Y. service could play a part. He suggests containers could be transported from Halifax up the Hudson River to Albany, N.Y., then hauled to Oswego and loaded onto a drop trailer ferry destined for Hamilton. "We don't expect everybody to take advantage of it and it's not going to fit everybody's operations," he says. "But we think there's enough [interest] out there. Midsize companies, especially, are finding it difficult to get the attention they need to move boxes in and out."

From Today's Trucking


Toledo Marina Project Called ‘Doable’
Riverfront park, theater proposed

10/31 - Toledo - We’ve been shown plans for the Marina District before — at least three times since 2000. This plan, says developer Larry Dillin, can work. Mr. Dillin, president of Dillin Corp., has completed the master design for the Marina District and will officially pre­sent it at a news conference Wednesday morning.

The plan, which was previewed for The Blade, calls for at least $200 million of development over a 10-year period — beginning with a marina already under construction and a planned $25 million riverfront “parkway.” “It’s a doable plan. It’s an executable plan. We’re not reaching too far,” Mr. Dillin said. “This plan talks about creating community, rebuilding community. It talks about inclusiveness, not exclusivity.”

Mr. Dillin, the creator of the growing Levis Commons “urban village” in Perrysburg, was recruited by Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner this year to take over the Marina District project, and was given a Nov. 1 deadline to submit a master plan. His proposal envisions a mix of residential, entertainment, and neighborhood retail. It would include up to 1,500 residential units and 500,000 square feet of commercial space. The housing would come in a variety of typical urban forms: townhouses, condominiums, flats, and apartments, all of it market-rate.

The 125-acre riverfront site between Main Street and I-280 has been largely cleared of contamination and brought under city ownership over the last several years at a cost of about $21 million. Mr. Finkbeiner said the Marina District has the ability to make believers out of Toledo’s “doubting Thomases.” “This project will help Toledoans see a waterfront community with housing opportunities, and dining opportunities, and that is the kind of project that will keep our best and brightest feeling optimistic about Toledo’s future,” he said.

In the first visible construction of the Marina District project, the city is nearing completion on a 77-slip, full-service boat marina next to the former Toledo Edison Acme power plant and a public drive to Front Street, at a cost of $5.8 million. The boat marina will have a terminal building, to be developed by the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, for Great Lakes cruise ships up to 300 feet long to take day trips on Lake Erie or to ferry passengers to casinos in Windsor and Detroit.

Here’s some of what’s new - The "linear park” running from The Docks complex to the marina, made up of a riverfront walk, a roadway, and a strip of green space in the middle. Mr. Dillin called it a miniature version of Lake Shore Drive in Chicago — “without the fast traffic.”

A practice ice rink and a 6,000-7,000-seat amphitheater in Edison Park, the wedge of riverfront land directly south of the Craig Memorial Bridge. A lake in Optimist Park, the city-owned park on Front in front of Waite High School.

A major obstacle to Mr. Dillin’s planned development is the Toledo Sports Arena. Mr. Dillin said the parkway can be built before the arena is demolished, but the arena should be removed within two to three years so a commercial district can be developed. “I really need the Sports Arena to find a new home,” he said. The Lucas County commissioners are considering a plan to build an $80 million arena in the downtown central business district.

Whether the project will continue to be called Marina District is not certain. Mr. Dillin said his team is working on “marketing and branding.” Mr. Dillin described his plan as a 10-year project. He said he envisions beginning work on the riverfront parkway next year so that it can be used along with the marina as selling points to real estate developers.

Mr. Dillin anticipates the cost of developing the residential and commercial areas to be borne mostly by private investors. “Where I need the public dollars is the parkway,” Mr. Dillin said. Mr. Finkbeiner said that if Democrats win control of Congress and the Ohio governor’s office, U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) and Ted Strickland, respectively, will be in position to direct some funding for the Marina District, such as the money needed for the parkway.

City Council approved hiring Mr. Dillin Aug. 8 under a management agreement that calls for $65,000 to be paid to Mr. Dillin’s company for design of housing, retail, entertainment, and other uses, and for $8,500 to be paid monthly for one year, for his services in managing and developing the marina project. The Dillin Corp. would receive 4 percent of the sale price of the commercial land and the right of first refusal to develop waterfront land where the Sports Arena now stands.

The city bought the Sports Arena from Tim Gladieux last year for $5 million, but has continued to lease it to Mr. Gladieux with the understanding that he is responsible for all costs associated with the facility and the property.

The former Toledo Edison Acme power plant, which still dominates the riverfront parcel, would cost about $6.5 million to clean and make ready for development. Mr. Dillin said he has ideas for the building but is not ready to discuss them publicly.

From the Toledo Blade


Port Reports - October 31

Goderich - Dale Baechler
After a rainy, windy weekend, the channel into the harbour Monday morning was a busy one. Agawa Canyon, after finishing loading at Sifto Salt, departed and gave way to the Algosteel who took her place at the salt dock. She was followed in closely by Algoway, who went to the new harbour to wait her turn.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
After a rainy, windy weekend, the channel into the harbour Monday morning was a busy one. Agawa Canyon, after finishing loading at Sifto Salt, departed and gave way to the Algosteel who took her place at the salt dock. She was followed in closely by Algoway, who went to the new harbour to wait her turn.

Port Colborne - J. J. Van Volkenburg
Three Canadian lake boats were delayed at Wharf in Port Colborne much of the weekend. Cuyahoga, Canadian Progress and Capt. Henry Jackson lined up in a row at Wharf 16 and 17. Canadian Provider above Lock 7 in Thorold.

Lorain - Charles Mackin
Ships passing through the Berry Bridge in Lorain on Monday were, the Sam Laud {gypsum}, Canadian Progress {R.E.P.}, and the Ryerson {Jonick's}.


Updates - October 31

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 31

On this day in 1984, at approximately 10:30 p.m., the International Railroad bridge at the Soo went askew and blocked boat traffic until 3:40 p.m., on November 4. Twelve boats that were delayed up to 41 hours by the incident cost the operators an estimated $350,000.

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. The 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 Toledo's 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, Russ Plumb, 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 30

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Saturday had the James Norris arriving at 7a.m. going to Pier 26 to load slag for Saginaw. The Birchglen arrived at 6 p.m.
Sunday saw the Algosoo and the saltie Odra anchor in Burlington Bay seeking shelter from the high winds that reached 45 mph (70 km) during gusts.

Alpena -Ben & Chanda McClain
On Saturday night another vessel joined the anchored fleet in Thunder Bay, off Alpena, Michigan. Sunday morning revealed it to be the Paul R. Tregurtha anchored between the CSL Tadoussac and the Edward L. Ryerson.
Winds remained strong throughout the day, the Tregurtha was first to leave around 2 p.m. and the Anderson was departed after 5 p.m.
The Anderson was scheduled to load at Stoneport. At 7 p.m. the Ryerson was the only vessel left in the bay.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey & Gordy Garris
The tug Olive L. Moore & barge Lewis J. Kuber were outbound the Saginaw River Sunday night. The pair had arrived early on Saturday unloading at both Bay City & Saginaw Wirt docks.
The Algorail is scheduled to deliver salt to the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee this week as well as the James Norris which is scheduled to deliver slag to Saginaw this week.


GLMI Marine Mart set for December 9

10/30 - Detroit - The Great Lakes Maritime Institute is sponsoring their annual marine mart on Saturday, December 9.

The mart will feature Artifacts, artwork, books, brochures, china, photos, ship models, souvenirs and more. The location has been changed to the Grosse Pointe War Memorial, 32 Lake Shore Drive, in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan.  The hours are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and admission is $5.00 for adults and children under 12 are free.
For vendor space reservations or information Click here


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 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.


Weather Expected to Delay Shipping

10/29 - A strong storm system is expected to delay shipping across the Great Lakes this weekend.

Lake Erie was under a Storm Warning and a low water advisory that was in effect until Sunday morning.

A low pressure center over Ontario was expected to cause west winds to continue around 45 knots through the night. This will cause water levels to fall significantly in the western basin of Lake Erie as the water is pushed eastward by the wind.

At 3:30 p.m. Saturday the water level at Toledo was about 4 inches below chart datum or about 4 inches above the critical mark. The critical mark is 8 inches below chart datum. Water levels were expected to rapidly drop below the critical mark Saturday afternoon and remain below the critical mark through Sunday morning. It was possible that water levels could fall to 24 to 36 inches below chart datum Saturday night. As the winds diminish on Sunday the water levels are expected to rise above the critical mark by Sunday afternoon.

Lake Huron was under a Storm Warning as Northwest gales were forecast to increase to storm force 50 knot winds Saturday evening.

All of Lake Superior was under a Gale Warning. Whitefish Bay was under a Storm Warning with Northwest gales increasing to 45 Knots Saturday evening and to storms with 50 knot winds overnight.

Lake Ontario had a Storm Warning in effect.


Barge Service to Wallaceburg Delayed

10/29 - Repairs to pilings at the Walpole Island Bridge are delaying implementation of the barge service to Wallaceburg with the shallow draft Radium Yellowknife as tug.

Plans calling to bring in corn and export wheat are placed on hold for now.

The newly-built loading and unloading devices at the Bruinsma dock in Wallaceburg are nearly completed in anticipation of the service. It is hoped a few runs can be completed this season.

The Radium Yellowknife has already been in the area, recently docked at Sarnia elevators.

Reported by Al Mann


Port Reports - October 29

Soo - Roger LeLievre
The J.A.W. Iglehart passed upbound at the Soo Locks around noon on Saturday, then proceeded to join two other vessels at anchor in Whitefish Bay awaiting a break in the weather. The Iglehart is bound for Superior and possible
long-term lay up.
Other Saturday traffic included the downbound American Republic, Stewart J. Cort, Cedarglen and H. Lee White. The Adam E. Cornelius dropped anchor in the Hay Lake anchorage at 7:00 pm due to rapidly falling water levels at the Rock Cut, while the White and Republic went to anchor in Maude Bay in the lower St. Marys River for weather. The Burns Harbor reported upbound at DeTour at 6 p.m., and headed for the anchorage, followed by the Michipicoten.
Northwest winds picked up steadily all afternoon Saturday with intermittent rain. At 6:00 pm Soo Traffic reported winds at 30 m.p.h. and whitecaps in Soo Harbor, while the Burns Harbor clocked winds at 50 m.p.h. at DeTour.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
The Manistee was inbound the Saginaw River late Wednesday night with a split load for the Wirt Stone docks in Bay City and Saginaw. The Manistee finished unloading at the Wirt Stone dock in Saginaw around 7:30am Thursday morning and headed upstream to turn at the Sixth Street turning basin. The Manistee was outbound for the lake late Thursday morning.
The CSL Tadoussac was inbound the Saginaw River early Friday afternoon headed for the Essroc Cement terminal in Essexville to unload. The Tadoussac is the second vessel to unload at Essroc in the past two days. The Tadoussac finished unloading early Saturday morning, backed out of the river, turned at Light 12 in the Saginaw Bay Entrance Channel and was outbound for the lake. The Tadoussac is headed for Superior to load taconite.
The tug Olive L. Moore with the barge Lewis J. Kuber were inbound the Saginaw River early Saturday afternoon passing the Front Range Light at 12:50pm with a split load for the Bay City Wirt Dock and the Wirt Stone dock in Saginaw. The pair finished unloading at the Sargent dock in Essexville early Saturday evening and headed upriver to finish unloading at the Wirt Stone dock in Saginaw. The pair are expected to unload an approximate 4-hour cargo at the Wirt Stone dock in Saginaw before turning at the Sixth Street turning basin in Saginaw and heading outbound the Saginaw River Sunday morning. If the weather on Lake Huron is too rough the Moore & the Kuber will be anchoring in the shelter of the Saginaw Bay on Sunday
The Dredge Sioux continues to work dredging operations in Saginaw near the Lafarge dock and is expected to be finished in Saginaw in about two weeks with dredging the Sixth Street turning basin and about a mile stretch of river down from the turning basin.

Alpena & Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
The J.A.W Iglehart arrived in port before 10:00pm on Friday night. It took on cargo for Superior, WI where it will lay-up. The Iglehart departed before 3:00am on Saturday where it met the inbound Alpena on its way out.
The Alpena loaded cement under the silos throughout the morning and was outbound into the nasty weather by early afternoon headed for South Chicago.
As the winds increased 3 more vessels appeared in the bay seeking shelter. The Arthur M. Anderson, Edward L. Ryerson, & the CSL Tadoussac were all anchored.
The Agawa Canyon loaded at Stoneport early Saturday morning followed by Wolverine.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The 100 year old Steamship St. Mary's Challenger came into our port and docked at the St. Mary's terminal in Ferrysburg at 1pm on Friday. It was to have been a 5 hour unload of a short cargo. However, the winds arose. The captain decided to stayed in port and is still there Saturday evening. Current winds 30 mph gusting to 45.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Frontenac entered the harbour early Saturday morning and was loading at Sifto Salt. Another rainy day with still more on the way.

Toledo -
Federal Sakura remained at the ADM Elevators with CSL Niagara at The Andersons Kuhlman Facility as well. Samuel de Champlain and Innovation off loaded cement at Lafarge Corp. on Water Street. Sporatic showers and a fall of hail briefly made for a challenge to on and off loading this day.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
The G. L. Ostrander and its barge Integrity were at the LaFarge terminal early Saturday afternoon. Otherwise, the harbor was empty.

Pigeon Bay - Erich Zuschlag
Three Algoma ships and the Pelee Island ferry Jiimaan were waiting out high winds today in Pigeon Bay. Environment Canada issued a high wind warning expecting gusts up to 75-80 KM/H.


Updates - October 29

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 29

On this day in 1924, the LEONARD B MILLER collided with the GLENORCHY in the fog on Lake Huron. No lives were lost but the GLENORCHY sank and the estimated damage to the two vessels was $600,000.

The whaleback barge 127 (steel barge, 264 foot, 1,128 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 foot, 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 miles 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, 5,002 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 pieced together CANADIAN EXPLORER (Hull#71) was christened on October 29, 1983, at the Port Weller Dry Docks. She was created from the bow section of the NORTHERN VENTURE and the stern of the CABOT. The stern of the EXPLORER is now the stern of the CANADIAN TRANSFER.

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, 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. She was renamed b.) ADAM E CORNELIUS in 1989.

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, 1,406 tons, built in 1873, at Trenton, Michigan) was carrying "provisions" - 900 tons of freight plus 7,000 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, 1,159 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, 1,702 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, Russ plumb, 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.


Law Enforcement Officers Board Saltie in Ashtabula

10/28 - Ashtabula, OH - Federal and local law-enforcement officers boarded the saltie Yosemite at Pinney Dock in Ashtabula on Thursday. The Yosemite is owned by a Greek Company but registered in the African country of Liberia. It sailed into port at 6:30 a.m.

The U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Customs officers, U.S. Coast Guard, city police, including the department's Special Operations Group and police dogs, greeted the crew and immediately boarded the vessel.

"We do random boarding to ensure the safety of the vessel," said Chief Petty Officer Tim Woody of the Coast Guard in Ashtabula. "It was a great opportunity for us to work with other law enforcement (agencies) on all levels."

It was the ship's first time in a U.S. port. After two hours of checking paperwork, performing inspections and drilling with the ship's 27-man crew, officials found nothing amiss, Woody said. The ship carried titanium slag, which is a mineral, and previously had stopped in ports in Saudi Arabia and South Africa, police said.

Thursday's boarding is more routine now since 9/11.

From the Ashtabula Star Beacon


Toro Enroute to Sorel

10/28- The Toro, which went aground parallel to Cornwall Island Indian Reserve, below Snell lock on September 5, is back in action.

She left the Verreaults Shipyard at Les Mechins, Quebec Friday after having repairs done. Toro is up bound for Sorel where she will reload.

The extent of the damages is unknown at this time. It is likely that the damages were extensive as she spent considerable time in the dry dock.

Toro was on her way to Progresso, Mexico, with a full cargo of wheat when the mishap occurred.

Reported by Kent Malo


Clipper Falcon Underway Again

10/28 - Clipper Falcon was proceeding out of the Seaway Friday evening. She was down bound at Iroquois Lock on October 15 with engine problems.

The next day she went to the wall above Beauhornois Lock 4 and remained there until now.

Reported by Ron Beaupre


Port Reports - October 28

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The tug Gregory L Busch and barge Primary 1 departed at 6 p.m. on Thursday. CSX used a system of hand cranks and small electric motors to lift River Bridge and allow the tow to pass. It took an hour to 2 hours to get the bridge up.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Early Friday morning Adam E. Cornelius finished unloading limestone at the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock and moved to the Upper Harbor ore dock. After a delay, Cornelius was loading ore at sunset when James R. Barker arrived with western coal.

Soo - Roger LeLievre
Beautiful fall weather Friday at the Soo will give way to a snow/rain mix and winds gusting up to 50 m.p.h. Saturday and Sunday, according to forecasters.
Friday saw a steady parade of downbound vessels, including the Reserve, American Victory, Philip R. Clarke, Edgar B. Speer, Spruceglen, American Century and Lee A. Tregurtha. Up bounders were few and included the Saginaw, Federal Elbe and Edwin H. Gott.
The Edward L. Ryerson is expected to pass downbound in the early morning hours Saturday.

Toledo -
 Rain all day delayed shipping operations on Friday. Federal Sakura was at ADM Elevators. CSL Niagara was at The Andersons Kuhlman Facility.  They eventually sailed on Friday.
Arthur M. Anderson got underway from Midwest Terminals of Toledo at 1430hrs after working the coke breeze pile.


Two Harbors Lighthouse Point Settlement Reached

10/28 - Two Harbors, MN - For the moment, what could be “...a watershed day” for Two Harbors will remain somewhat of a mystery. News that a tentative agreement between the city and developer Sam Cave over property ownership in and around Two Harbors was announced during Monday night’s city council meeting, prompting Mayor Robin Glaser to say, “There aren’t words to say how important this is going to be.”

Details of the agreement will be made public immediately following a 5:00 p.m. closed council session scheduled for Friday at city hall. The public will have its chance after the closed session to comment before the council considers action on the agreement. City attorney Steve Overom briefed the council about the closed litigation meeting that led to the agreement.

Speculation is that the city and Cave have worked out a deal that could put much of Lighthouse Point into public ownership, perhaps ending years of contentious debate over what uses would be allowed on those lands. Still, no details of the agreement have been revealed at this point. Council president Randy Bolen said the council will meet in closed session this week with its litigation subcommittee that helped broker the deal with Cave.

Bolen then said he is hoping that details will be revealed to the public this week after the full council had a chance to review the agreement. League of Minnesota Cities attorney George Hoff, who is handling the matter for Two Harbors, will explain the proposal to both the council and the public. “We’ll try to set up meetings as soon as possible,” Bolen said.

Lake County Judge Ken Sandvik had ordered the parties to enter into a mediation session with mediator MaryAnn Short regarding one of the five lawsuits Cave had filed with the city. That took place last Friday between city administrator Lee Klein, Bolen, councilor Roger Simonson, Hoff and Overom along with Cave and Cave’s attorney Rob Merritt. The apparently binding agreement arose sometime during the marathon 13-hour session that took place in Duluth.

Bolen explained during the council meeting that the agreement likely wasn’t perfect. “The mediator said you’re not completely happy with the deal if both sides don’t feel pain,” said Bolen. Cave purchased the former DM&IR Railroad lands in late December 2002.

From the Lake County News-Chronicle


Updates - October 28

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 28

On this day in 1939, the Pittsburgh steamer D G KERR, Captain H. D. Mc Leod, rescued six men from the cabin cruiser FRANCIS J H that was disabled and sinking on Lake Erie.

On this day in 1953, the MC KEE SONS loaded her first cargo of 17,238 tons of stone at Port Inland for delivery to East Chicago. Originally built as the C-4 MARINE ANGEL, the MC KEE SONS was the first ocean vessel converted to a Great Lakes self unloader.

On this day in 1978, a new 420 foot tanker built at Levingston Shipbuilding, Orange, Texas, was christened GEMINI during ceremonies at Huron, Ohio. The GEMINI was the largest American flagged tanker on the lakes with a capacity of 75,000 barrels and a rated speed of 15.5 mph. Sold Canadian and renamed b.) ALGOSAR in 2005.

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.
The FRED G HARTWELL (Hull# 781) was launched October 28, 1922, by American Ship Building Co. at Lorain, Ohio for the Franklin Steamship Co. Renamed b.) MATTHEW ANDREWS in 1951. Sold Canadian in 1962, renamed c.) GEORGE M CARL. She was scrapped at Aviles, Spain in 1984.

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, Russ Plumb, 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.


Iglehart Heading for Lay-up

10/27 -  The JAW Iglehart was upbound on the  St. Clair River Friday heading to Superior, Wisconsin. Once in Superior the Iglehart is expected to enter long term lay-up. Capacity added by the new barge Innovation has reduced the need for Iglehart's capacity.


Port Reports - October 27

Lorain - Charles Mackin
The tug Cleveland and barge Cleveland Rocks made the trip into Lorain and went to the Terminal Ready Mix dock Thursday morning.

Grand Haven Dick Fox
The Calumet came in light Wednesday night to take a load of sand from the Construction Aggregates Dock in Ferrysburg.

Goderich - Dale Baechler & Jacob Smith
Canadian Transport loaded salt at Sifto on Wednesday. On Thursday the Nanticoke was loading wheat at Goderich Elevators.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
The Herbert C. Jackson arrived in Marquette for a load of ore on Thursday.
Both the Michipicoten and Adam E. Cornelius are expected on Friday.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
It took two hours but the NYC railroad bridge was raised to let the Gregory Busch & Primary 1 up river to Republics' old site to unload cylinders for the wind generator towers. The Busch needed the G tug Washington to assist with the barge because of wind and how high the barge sits with the large cylinders on top. Even with the second tug, they still hit the pilings at bridge on the south side coming into the bridge. The second barge should be in over the next few weeks. The first barge should unloaded over the next two days.


Updates - October 27

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Seaway Traffic Increases by 10%

10/26 - Brockville -  The amount of goods being shipped on the St. Lawrence Seaway is up about 10 per cent from last year, and managers of that system want more.

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation says there were 31.9 million tonnes of goods transported over the seaway this year, as of the end of September. Tonnage involving overseas ocean vessels was up almost 30 per cent. Andrew Bogora, spokesman for the seaway agency, said this is largely a result of steel imports from places such as eastern Europe.

Grain shipments were also up significantly, Bogora added, and this results from a large harvest last year and many exports to places such as Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Bogora noted the seaway management corporation has been offering incentives to attract products that saw little or no transport on the seaway last year. Some of the products being shipped this year that were uncommon before include wind-turbine blades and associated parts, sugar, aluminum and synthetic gypsum. So-called "new cargoes" are at 400,000 tonnes so far this year, double what they were this time last year, Bogora said. This has resulted in an additional $1 million in revenue for the management agency, bringing the total to about $75 million so far this year.

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation is a non-profit Canadian agency that operates locks and passage systems throughout the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes. It works in co-operation with the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, which is owned by the U.S. federal government. The seaway management corporation says its system of locks and channels is at about 60 per cent capacity and can accommodate much more traffic, particularly from growing markets in Asia.

The agency is promoting marine travel as having minimal impact compared to other transportation modes in terms of energy usage, environmental impact and traffic congestion. "We can almost double our capacity and almost no one will notice, and that's a very good thing because if you've got more freight moving and no one notices, I would suggest to you that means we're doing our job quite well," Bogora said.

The better fuel efficiency with marine travel, as compared to truck and rail transport, means reduced costs for customers and lower greenhouse-gas emissions, Bogora said. He said boats can transport goods with twice the fuel efficiency of trains and eight to 10 times that of transport trucks.

However, foreign marine life has made its way into North American waterways by ocean vessels, resulting in an adverse impact on domestic animal and plant species. But the seaway management corporation boasts of increased vigilance in the inspection of ballast water on ships to guard against the transportation of species between different ecosystems.

From the Brockville Recorder & Times


Vessel Changes Rumored

10/26 - It has been reported that the "Voyageur Pioneer" is due at Thunder Bay, Ontario on Sunday, November 5, 2006. There is speculation that this could be the the Lady Hamilton's new name?

10/26 - The Swedish bulk freighter Menominee is reported to have been sold to a undisclosed Canadian firm. She was built in 1967-97 as the Holmsund, and has made a number of appearances on the Great Lakes.

The purchasing firm should be known in a few days, as soon as the paper work is completed.

Menominee is a 503 foot vessel with a carrying capacity of 12,497 tons, and will be used as a bulk carrier.


Man Boards the McCarthy Jr. at the Soo

10/26 - Sault Ste. Marie - An Indian River man's search for his girlfriend came to a premature end early this morning when he was booked into the Chippewa County Jail on a trespassing charge.

Daniel G. Fairchild, 28, of Indian River was reportedly captured on one of the boats in the Soo Locks at 2:44 a.m. today when security personnel observed his unauthorized boarding. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers vessel traffic log, the 1,000-foot, Walter J. McCarthy Jr. entered the Poe Lock early this morning and temporarily gained an extra passenger before making its exit.

Chief of St. Marys River Section Kurt Bunker of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said reports were still in the process of being completed early this morning and as a result, he could not give an exact accounting of the incident. Bunker did indicate that it appears as though Fairchild had scaled a fence at the upper end of the Soo Locks to gain access to the complex.

He was quickly apprehended by security personnel after boarding the ship. "The guard crew responded pretty nicely," said Bunker of the armed guards who man this station 24-hours-a-day. Sault Police were called to the scene after security personnel collared the unauthorized visitor.

Fairchild explained that he had boarded the incoming vessel while looking for his girlfriend. The woman, according to the man's account, attends a local educational institution, but reports did not indicate his rationale for extending the search to the Soo Locks Complex. Bunker indicated there was no girl inside the restricted area, nor did any woman board the vessel ahead of Fairchild.

Bunker, a 14-year-veteran at the Soo Locks Complex, said this is the first time he could recall someone trying to board one of the passing ships, although there have been a number of incidents where crew members have attempted to abandon their posts at this location.

Fairchild was booked into the Chippewa County Jail on a trespassing charge, seemingly bringing an end to this unusual complaint.

Reported by Roger LeLievre from the Soo Evening News


Port Reports - October 26

Lorain - Charles Mackin
Several ships made stops in Lorain on Tuesday including the Agawa Canyon, Canadian Transfer and the St Clair.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel & Paul Erspamer
About noon on Wednesday the Calumet was delivering salt to the Cargill terminal in the inner harbor.
The Tatjana, previously at the heavy lift dock, has shifted to the Nidera Elevator where it is now loading.
Saltie Kent Pioneer continues loading at the Nidera elevator. The Federal Mackinac was docked at Municipal Terminal 2 in the outer harbor.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The Wilfred Sykes came in about 11 p.m. Monday night with a load for Verplank's dock in Ferrysburg.
Mississagi arrived a short time later with a load of stone for Meekhof's D&M dock on Harbor Island in Grand Haven.

Saginaw River - Stephen Hause & Todd Shorkey
The Saginaw River saw an unusual visitor on Wednesday as Canada Steamship Lines' Nanticoke arrived early in the morning at the Essroc dock in Essexville. The Nanticoke was outbound shortly after noon, backing away from the dock and out into the bay to turn. This may be the first visit by the Nanticoke to the Saginaw River anytime in the past 10 years.
The Algoway was outbound early Wednesday morning after delivering salt to the Sargent dock at Zilwaukee, followed several hours later by the Wolverine, which unloaded overnight at the Buena Vista Dock at Zilwaukee.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
The four large green barges loaded with corn were at the Midwest Terminal Overseas Dock Toledo recently. The tug Radium Yellowknife will be handling the tow of these 4 barges to Wallaceburg, Ontario. Sounds like they have a steady contract to haul corn from Toledo to Wallaceburg for the new ethanol plant that is located there.


Remembering the Fitz Program

10/26 - Cleveland - November 10, 2006 marks 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 11, 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 3:30 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.


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, 1,094 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. She was reconstructed at Port Weller Drydocks and 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 series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history.


U.S.-Flag Lakes Cargos Up 3.5 Percent in September
Two Vessels Return to Service Following Modernization

10/25 - Cleveland—Shipments of dry-bulk cargos in U.S.-Flag Lakers totaled 11.9 million net tons in September, an increase of 3.5 percent compared to a year ago. The fleet outperformed its 5-year average for September by 6.6 percent.

The growth compared to a year ago came almost entirely in iron ore. Shipments neared 5 million net tons, an increase of 6.6 percent.

Coal shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 4.4 million net tons in September. The total was essentially on par with a year ago and the month’s 5-year average. However, shipments of western coal were noticeably above a year ago and the 5-year average. The static total reflects an offsetting drop in loadings of eastern coal.

Vessels serving the coal trade (others as well) continued to light load during September. The largest coal cargo loaded during the month was 66,429 net tons. The vessel in question, a 1,000-footer, the largest working the Lakes, has a rated coal capacity of 68,500 net tons, so a
combination of falling water levels and inadequate dredging left nearly 2,100 net tons of coal at the loading dock.

Smaller vessels serving customers in confined harbors also felt the effects of lower water levels and channels in need of dredging. A 635-foot-long vessel with a designed coal capacity of 17,300 net tons carried a number of coal cargos during the month, the largest of which was only 15,600 net tons. The smallest, 13,500 net tons, equated to only 78 percent of the ship’s available capacity.

For the year, the Lakes coal trade stands at 29.7 million net tons, a decrease of 3.8 percent compared to the same point in 2005, but a slight increase over the trade’s 5-year average for the January-September timeframe

The limestone total benefited from the September 13 sailing of the tug/barge Olive L. Moore/Lewis J. Kuber. The self-unloading barge Kuber is the former steamer Buckeye. It was converted to a barge during the first three quarters of the year and immediately entered the stone trade upon leaving the shipyard in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Also returning to service was the self-propelled Lee A. Tregurtha. The vessel sailed on September 29 following completion of installation of a new power plant. These vessels add nearly 55,000 net tons of per-trip capacity to the U.S.-Flag Lakes fleet.

For the year, U.S.-Flag carriage on the Great Lakes stands at 78 million net tons, a slight increase over the same point in 2005. However, the fleet total is more than 7 percent ahead of the 5-year average for the first three quarters.

Source: Lake Carriers' Association


Port Reports - October 25

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
About 75 combined acres of empty property at the old Republic Steel Plant in Buffalo and Bethlehem Steel in Lackawanna were being used by tree removal crews during late October. Large trucks were bringing in branches to be shredded into mulch and then spread out into low rise piles to prevent possible combustion of the wood pulp due to decay. The City of Buffalo owns the Republic property while Mittal Steel was leasing their land to Erie County for $1.00 in an effort to help with the massive clean up effort following the Friday The 13th Storm. Local governments and industries were looking at plans to possibly move some of the mulch out of the area by truck, train, or ship from either site since excellent road, rail, and marine facilities exist at both places.

Unfinished electrical work at the CSX Main Line River Bridge was the reason the tug Gregory L. Busch and barge Primary #1 had to tie up at the Concrete Central Elevator Saturday morning. Power supply to the Buffalo River industrial area is being switched over from the old 25 cycle to the modern 60 Hz format, so the railroad recently decided to replace the entire electrical system at River Bridge. The bridge itself received a set of new motors, motor house, control system, and electronics. A new 8'X15' operator's shanty was custom built with windows, a heater, A/C and all the electronics inside the building. The old one was an 8'x12' stock Control Point relay "house" commonly seen along the tracks but modified with a window where one door was. This building was a pint size replacement built over the foundations for the old RB Interlocking Tower that was burned to the ground by vandals back in the late 1980's. CSX's nearby CP Draw Bridge was updated a few years ago to the new 60 Hz power supply as well. It is unknown at this time when the repairs will be complete or if the railroad will try to lift the bridge by some other means to allow the tow to pass.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
American Mariner approached Milwaukee from the south at about 3 p.m. Tuesday, carrying a load of coal which it delivered to the WE Energies yard near Greenfield Avenue in the inner harbor. Ocean bulker Kent Pioneer (reg. Monrovia, Liberia) remains loading at Nidera. Small ocean vessel Tatjana remains at the heavy lift dock.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The Algorail came in mid afternoon with a load of salt for Verplank's Dock in Ferrysburg.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
The Manistee arrived in the Thunder Bay River a little after 9 a.m. on Tuesday morning. It tied up at the Alpena Oil Dock and unloaded salt from Goderich, ON. The Manistee finished unloading by noon and departed before 1 p.m.
The Alpena made its way to Lafarge on Tuesday afternoon and pulled up under the silos at 2 p.m. to take on cargo. The Alpena was outbound in the bay before nightfall heading for Green Bay, WI.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
Blustery rain, snow, sleet, and a peek of sun greeted the Michipicoten as she made a trip to the Marquette ore dock on Tuesday.

Toledo -
Last night Federal Hunter got underway from ADM Elevators at 5:30 p.m. with a load to an eight meter draft. High winds kept the water out until late. This kept tugs Nebraska and Idaho on hold until then. CSL Laurentien also got underway from The Andersons Kuhlman Facility. In to load after them were Olympic Miracle at The Andersons and Federal Margaree at ADM at 1:30 p.m.
Pioneerland remains tending a barge below the I-280 high level bridge project over the Maumee River.

Thunder Bay -
The Chi-Cheemaun was the first vessel in several months to enter the drydock at Pascol Engineering. Arriving Wednesday, she is in for her 5-year survey and repair to her bow thruster. She will go to Sarnia for installation of new diesel engines and pilothouse engine controls.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
It was a busy day on the Saginaw River with three vessels calling on docks along her banks. The Earl W. Oglebay arrived with a split load, lightering at the Sargent dock in Essexville before continuing upriver to finish unloading at the Wirt Stone dock in Bay City. When finished, she turned in the basin at the West end of the dock and was outbound for the lake Tuesday evening.
The Algoway was inbound for the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee to unload salt. She finished her unload late Tuesday night and was preparing to turn at Sixth Street for her trip out to the lake.
The Wolverine was also inbound on Tuesday, traveling up to the Buena vista dock in Saginaw to unload. She was expected to be outbound Wednesday morning.


Updates - October 25

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 25

On this day in 1975, a 96 foot mid body section was added to the ARTHUR B HOMER at Fraser Ship Yards, Superior, Wisconsin. The HOMER became the largest American flagged freighter to be lengthened. This modification increased her length to 826 feet and her per trip carrying capacity to 31,200 tons.

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, Russ Plumb, 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 24

Goderich - Jacob & Noah Smith
The Manistee came into Goderich Monday and was waiting to load salt because of the weather.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer & John N. Vogel
Polish Steamship's Irma completed loading at the Nidera Elevator and departed in the last 20 hours.
On Monday ocean bulker Kent Pioneer was at the Nidera grain elevator in Milwaukee's inner harbor, waiting to load.
Tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation were delivering cement at the LaFarge silo on Jones Island.
Small saltie Tatjana remained at the heavy lift dock, just north of LaFarge.


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 THUNTANK 6 (Hull#309) was launched October 24, 1969, at Wallsend, England by Clelands Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., for Thun Tankers Ltd., London, U.K.. Renamed b.) ANTERIORITY in 1972. Purchased by Texaco Canada in 1975, renamed c.) TEXACO WARRIOR. Sold off-lakes in 1984, renamed d.) TRADER, e.) SEA CORAL in 1985, f.) TALIA II in 1985, g.) TALIA in 1985, STELLA ORION in 1995 and h.) SYRA in 2000.

The PHILIP D BLOCK along with the W W HOLLOWAY scrap tow arrived at 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, 1,558 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.


Voyageur Independent Hits Lock Wall

10/23 - According to local reports the Voyageur Independent collided into the lower wall at Lock # 3 Beauharnois Shipping Canal upon its approach. The vessel struck the end of the wall while upbound.

Damages are reported on the port side mid-ship section. The vessel has a tear approximately 3 inches in width over a span of seven feet long, just above the waterline.

The vessel reports no ingress of water. The vessel was in ballast.

VI moved to Lock # 4 where the vessel was inspected by a SLSA inspector and a Montreal TCMS officer. The vessel then proceeded to Valleyfield to the McKeil Company pier for temporary repairs.

Reported by Ron Beaupre


Port Reports - October 23

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The J.A.W. Iglehart arrived at 9 a.m. Sunday morning for the LaFarge Cement Plant on Ganson St. The tug Gregory L. Busch and barge Primary #1 are tied up at the Concrete Central Elevator. The large crane at the old Republic Steel Ore Dock has its boom positioned over the river, the tug and barge are likely waiting to head up to unload her cargo of windmill parts. Once the pair makes it up to Republic Steel it will be the first time since the early 1980's that a boat has discharged cargo at the old ore docks there. The last ships to use the Republic Steel Dock were American Steamship's River class boats in the mid-1980's when they hauled raw materials products out of there once the mill closed for delivery to the LTV Cleveland Works.
The American Fortitude arrived at the North Entrance at 4 p.m. and headed in bound for General Mills.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
Sunday morning Polsteam's Irma continued to load at the Nidera Elevator, it had repositioned since Saturday afternoon.
Tatjana remained at the heavy lift dock.

Toledo - Bob Vincent
On Sunday, the CSL Laurentien was waiting along Coal Dock No. 2 wall for the CSL Assiniboine to leave Anderson's grain elevator.
The Halifax finished unloading ore at Torco and shifted under the coal loader around 3 p.m. Saturday. The next ore boat will be the Adam E. Cornelius coming from Marquette, Michigan due Tuesday.
The Halifax loaded coal for Bowmanville, ON was finished by 8:00pm Saturday. The next coal boat will be the Lee A. Tregurtha for a 7 a.m. start on Monday.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The salty Seneca and Groupe Ocean tug Omni St. Laurent departed early Saturday and the cruise ship C. Columbus departed late Saturday.
Yankee Lady III was refloated Thursday afternoon at Toronto Drydock and went into its winter berth astern of Yankee Lady IV in the Keating Channel.
The tour boat Oriole went on the drydock after Yankee Lady III for it's five year inspection.
The 55-foot pleasure craft Wild Life, which was towed into Toronto late Thursday night by Toronto Drydock Co.'s tug M.R. Kane, has not been hauled out yet. It was sitting at the foot of Spadina St. awaiting a place at the Atlas crane on Pier 35.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Another rainy Sunday had the saltie Alkyon arrive at 2:30 p.m. with urea from Lithuania. After unloading she will head to New Orleans. The Cedarglen departed from Dofasco at 3 p.m.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Mississagi was inbound the Saginaw River Sunday morning carrying a split load. She stopped first at the Buena Vista dock before continuing upriver to finish unloading at Saginaw Rock Products. Mississagi was outbound Sunday afternoon. This was her second visit to the Saginaw River in the past three days.


Updates - October 23

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 23

On this day in 1949, the new Canada Steamship Line steamer HOCHELAGA successfully completed her sea trials in Georgian Bay. She departed Collingwood the next day to load her first cargo of grain at Port Arthur.

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 CARL GORTHON, was launched October 23, 1970, for Rederi A/B Gylfe, HŠlsingborg, Sweden. Sold Canadian in 1980, renamed b.) FEDERAL PIONEER and c.) CECILIA DESGAGNES in 1985. In 2000, she was used as a movie set, unofficially renamed LADY PANAMA.

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, Russ Plumb, 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.


Clipper Falcon Has Engine Problems

10/22 - The Clipper Falcon experienced engine problems as it was downbound in the Seaway on Sunday, Oct. 15.

When Clipper Falcon reached the Snell Lock early the next morning she stopped and delayed traffic for a few hours. The Canadian Miner, upbound with ore pellets, was requested to anchor below Cornwall and she rode the hook for two hours.

Radio transmissions mentioned an engine cylinder head problem with Clipper Falcon. Clipper Falcon then went down the river to above the Beauhornois Lock where she tied up on the North wall.

Unconfirmed reports suggest the owner is attempting to contract a tug to bring the ship down out of the Seaway.

Reported by Ron Beaupre



Port Reports - October 22

Menominee/Marinette - Stephen P. Neal
Spruceglen came into Menominee/Marinette sometime on Fri. with a load of pig iron

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
the tug Gregory L Busch and barge Primary #1 come in the North Entrance Saturday morning at 10 a.m. with a load of wind turbine parts.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
Late Saturday afternoon, Polsteam's Irma continued to load at the Nidera Elevator. It had been repositioned and was now loading its forward holds. The Tatjana remained at the heavy lift dock.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
The Kaye E. Barker brought coal to Marquette's WE power plant on a rainy Saturday, then took on ore.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The Wilfred Sykes backed in to port Saturday and unloaded a partial cargo of stone at Verplank's dock in Ferrysburg. Earlier it had partially unloaded in Muskegon. It was seen crossing the pier heads at 3 p.m. as it sounded the traditional salute much to the delight of the few hardy souls on the piers.


After 32 years steering the Maid of the Mist, Captain Richard Schuyler is retiring

10/22 - Niagara Falls - The obvious question for the captain of a boat that plays chicken with the Horseshoe Falls a dozen times a day or more must be, "Have you ever seen anyone go over?" But what comes out is: "Why would anyone polish jelly beans? And ... how?"

That's after Richard Schuyler, ending a 32-year career sailing on the Maid of the Mist tourist boats, lets slip that his first job was as a jelly-bean polisher at a candy company in London, Ont.

Jelly beans, it seems, come off the assembly line dull. It was the teenaged Schuyler's job to load them in their thousands into copper-lined "concrete mixers" with syrup and a little wax. They'd come out with the requisite sheen and he'd go home with crushed jelly beans "this thick on my shoes." He holds his fingers to the depth of an old-fashioned platform sole.

Okay, so has Schuyler, 65, seen anyone go over the Falls? "You bet. I've seen them do it in a barrel and survive. Not everyone does. See that convergence of water there on the right, the fast currents? If I keep that in this window here, I know I'm fine. But you get into that — it's a back eddy — and it'll suck you right in. "People have gone over the Falls in a barrel and been caught by that and held there and they've suffocated before anyone could get to them."

As he's talking, Schuyler is quite casually holding his little ship almost stationary at what looks perilously close to the towering, roaring wall of water. A terrier facing off against a pit bull of uncertain temper. The "mist" is more the rainstorm of your nightmares. It's warm and dry on the bridge and the glass muffles the shrieks of the passengers in the bows, their blue plastic slickers overwhelmed by the deluge.

"We're not as close as you think," says Schuyler. "About 100 metres. It's so big that it looks closer." The irony is that the nearer you get to the Falls, the less you can see. On a perfect day, with a north wind whipping away the spray to improve the view, some passengers complain that they're being short-changed and not going close enough.

"I've heard people say they took this trip 50 years ago and the boat sailed straight through the Falls," says Schuyler, grinning. "I tell them, `It's solid rock behind there!'" He's used to less-than-logical comments and questions. Among his favourites: Where's the United States? Which construction company built all this? Do they use special lights to make the rainbows?

The boat, like a white toy in a rambunctious toddler's tempest-tossed bathtub, turns and heads back to calmer waters. The mate, Dean Hume, recalls his first trip seven years ago. "I wondered, `What are we doing? Why are we bringing a ship into this place?' I thought I was a pretty good ship-handler but these guys were unbelievable." Schuyler can't explain how he sails with such precision. "I've been doing it for so long, I just ... do it. There's an old saying: Better to be an inch off than a foot on. You don't go too close."

He hasn't kept tally of the number of 20-minute, two-kilometre trips he's made but, with up to 22 a day in peak season, 100,000 probably isn't far off the mark. His last one, before he sails into retirement, will depart at 4:37 p.m. on Tuesday, the trip that ends the 2006 season.

Schuyler, a captain since 1989, made his first trip as a mate on May 1, 1974. "I was living in St. Catharines and it was a warm day there so I didn't wear a coat. Man, oh man, it was cold down here. I froze my butt off all day." He sailed on lake freighters before taking this job, which narrowed his horizons but let him sleep at home every night.

Over the years, his passengers have included Wayne Newton, Regis Philbin, William Shatner and Princess Diana who, in 1991, visited the bridge with her young sons, William and Harry. "Typical kids," says Schuyler. "Very curious."

Even on a dank and cloudy day, there's still a lineup for the Maid of the Mist.

"Sometimes people get a little ... what's the word? Anxious? No, overwhelmed. They don't know what to expect, how wet they're going to get. But they usually wind up loving it."

Schuyler rolls his eyes. He'd rather talk about the daredevils, such as Steven Trotter who survived two wild rides over the Falls in 1985 and '95. Schuyler recalls him, still in his barrel, telling a cop, "`You've got to arrest me.' He kept saying, `Anybody got a butt?' They were just looking at him. I said, `I think he wants a cigarette.'"

Schuyler figures any time he feels like taking a sentimental journey, he'll get to ride for free. He's hoping for an active retirement. "I'd like — eventually — to die in my sleep but not on the couch holding the TV remote. And I want to build a canoe." He knows already where not to paddle it.

From the Toronto Star


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, 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, Michigan) 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.


Public Sounds off on Coast Guard Training
Some express worry, support over live fire

10/21 - Marysville, MI - Location, environmental safety and notification of boaters were the top concerns of a large group of people that gathered Thursday to comment on the U.S. Coast Guard's plan to start firing live ammunition on the Great Lakes. The meeting, organized by the Coast Guard, was one of nine in Great Lakes cities to hear public comment on the proposal to establish 34 permanent live-fire zones on the lakes.

Several in the audience of between 75 and 100 people took issue with the Coast Guard's study showing no long-term effects from lead, zinc and other materials in the bullets or casings during a five-year period. Five years isn't enough to predict long-term effects, said Judy Ogden of Burtchville Township. The recreational boater and angler said she fears toxic materials could build up in the long term. "There's the possibility that the lead would accumulate into worms and whatever's in the bottom of the lake," she said.

Ogden and several other people at the meeting also were worried about boater notification.

The Coast Guard plan includes six zones on Lake Huron, one of which will stretch from Port Sanilac about 18 miles north to White Rock. The zones will be used several times a year for target practice. The Coast Guard plans to announce firing exercises on maritime radio two hours prior to their start. Bulletins will be issued every 15 minutes during the exercise, and a boat will monitor the perimeter of zones. Not everyone listens to maritime radio, Ogden said.

The local safety zone, which is about six miles offshore, is where charter boat captain Jeff Parker fishes. He said he hopes the Coast Guard listens to the public. "It isn't that I think they don't need to be prepared," Parker said. "They are a branch of the military. But they're used to getting what they want." Coast Guard officials did not respond to any statements made during the public meeting. They will continue to accept public opinion through Nov. 13.

After that, the Coast Guard will make a decision about establishing the zones. It's unknown when that will happen. Christine Brown of Jeddo thinks the zones are a good idea. The Coast Guard should expand the target practices to include even bigger weapons, she said. "We need to give (the Coast Guard) all the proper tools they need to do the job," she said.

Reported by Frank Frisk from the Port Huron Times-Herald


Barge Service to Wallaceburg Nears

10/21 - Norlake Transportation will be operating their tug Radium Yellowknife and barges into the inland port of Wallaceburg, Ontario beginning the week of October 23. Plans call for corn to be unloaded at the Bruinsma Dock in Wallaceburg and wheat transported out to some undisclosed location.

It is expected each trip will utilize two barges once the service is fully underway. The route, via the Chenal Ecarte and Sydenham Rivers requires passage through the Walpole Island Bridge and the Don Truan Base Line Bridge adjacent to the Bruinsma site (former Canada & Dominion Sugar Co. location.)

Last main commercial marine service to Wallaceburg came in the fall of 2003 when the tug Keewatin hauled in barges of gravel to Port Baldoon for Southwestern Sales.

Reported by Al Mann


Regional Association Recognizes Maritime Historian and Preservationist

10/21 - The Association for Great Lakes Maritime History, a regional association of over 100 maritime museums and historical societies, recently recognized the efforts of a leading maritime historian and a dedicated historic preservationist. At the Association’s recent Annual Meeting in Alpena, Mich., maritime historian and author Frederick Stonehouse of Marquette, Mich. was awarded the Association’s 2006 Award for Historic Interpretation. Dr. Charles Feltner of DeTour Village, Mich. was presented with the Association’s 2006 Award for Historic Preservation.

Frederick Stonehouse has authored twenty-seven books on Great Lakes maritime history including regional bestsellers, such as The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald and Great Lakes Lighthouse Tales. In addition to popular history books, he has also published several leading publications, such as the recently re-released book, Wreck Ashore, the U.S. Life-Saving Service on the Great Lakes.

While many have written about shipwrecks and lighthouses, Stonehouse has taken the lead in exploring many new aspects of the region’s marine heritage. His book Haunted Lakes created an entirely new genre in Great Lakes publishing. Similarly, one of his most recent books, Great Lakes Crime - Murder, Mayhem, Booze and Broads looks at an often forgotten side of the region’s marine heritage.

Stonehouse has also developed and taught several university courses on Great Lakes maritime history as ad hoc instructor at Northern Michigan University. Each year, he also makes room in his busy schedule to make presentations at conferences through the region and is an active consultant for numerous Great Lakes maritime history projects and programs.

In addition to serving as a consultant for both the U.S. National Park Service and Parks Canada, Stonehouse has been an "on-air" expert for National Geographic and History Channel. He is also a past president of the National Board of Directors of the U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association and the Marquette Maritime Museum.

Dr. Charles Feltner is an author, researcher and founding member of the DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society. Over the years, he has written several leading publications including Shipwrecks of the Mackinac Straits and Great Lakes Maritime History: Bibliography & Sources of Information.


Port Reports - October 21

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
Toronto Drydock Co.'s tug M. R. Kane returned to port late Thursday night towing the 55-foot pleasure craft Wild Life, of St. Catharines, which the Kane pulled off the beach at Port Darlington Thursday afternoon. The trawler will be hauled out at the Atlas crane to assess damages.
Stephen B. Roman was in port Thursday, and the salties Malyovita (with sugar) and Seneca (loading at Pier 51) remain in port.
Algosteel is expected in with sugar in a day or two.
The tug Omni St. Laurent arrived in port Friday afternoon and tied up at the Redpath Sugar slip aft of the salty Malyovita, which is expected to depart shortly.
The cruise ship C. Columbus arrived in port late Friday evening and tied up at Pier 51 - the now mostly unused International Ferry Terminal.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The Maumee came in light to the Construction Aggregates Dock to take out a load of sand yesterday. This vessel was inbound again Friday afternoon to take another load from the same dock, giving us a "back to back" as it unloaded down the lake and returned light for this load.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
On Wednesday, the tug Gregory J. Busch, pushing the barge Primary 1, were outbound the Saginaw River. The Primary 1, loaded with windmill tower sections, has been docked at the North star dock in Essexville since October 7th when the Busch dropped her there before continuing upriver to her dock with the tug Statesboro.
The Canadian Transfer was also inbound Wednesday unloading at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee. She was outbound Thursday morning.
The tug Olive L. Moore & and barge Lewis J. Kuber were inbound on Thursday unloading a partial cargo at three different docks. She lightered at both the Sargent dock in Essexville and Wirt dock in Saginaw before finishing at the Saginaw Rock Products dock in Saginaw. The pair was outbound Friday morning.
The Buffalo was inbound Friday morning, lightering at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City before continuing upriver to finish at the Buena Vista Dock in Saginaw. She backed downriver to turn at the Airport Turning Basin and was then outbound for the lake Friday afternoon.
The Mississagi was also inbound Friday morning, traveling upriver to unload salt at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee. She completed her unload, turned at Sixth Street in Saginaw and was outbound for the lake Friday afternoon.
The Algorail was inbound Friday evening headed upriver to unload at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee. She was expected to be outbound Saturday morning.


Updates - October 21

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 21

On this day in 1980, the converted ELTON HOYT 2nd loaded her first cargo of 1,000 tons of pellets at Taconite Harbor. After field testing her new self unloading gear, she loaded 21,000 tons of pellets for delivery to Chicago.

The Anchor Line's CONEMAUGH (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 251 foot, 1,609 gross tons, built in 1880, at W. Bay City, Michigan) and the Union Line's NEW YORK (wooden propeller package freighter, 269 foot, 1,922 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, Ontario on 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. Renamed b.) PATHFINDER in 1925, sold Canadian in 1968, renamed c.) GODERICH. Renamed d.) SOO RIVER TRADER in 1980, e.) PINEGLEN 1982. Scrapped at Port Maitland in 1984.

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 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.

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, Russ Plumb, 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.


Corps Plans to Build Island from Dredge Materials

10/20 - Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants to build an island on Lake Erie to dispose of mud and sand dredged from Cleveland Harbor and the Cuyahoga River. The muck needs to be cleared to keep the harbor and river deep enough for ships to navigate, and the current dump site for dredge material at Burke Lakefront Airport in downtown Cleveland is filling up.

It would cost about $100 million to build the 100-acre island, which must include a stone barrier because the muck is polluted with heavy metals and other chemicals and cannot be dumped directly into the lake, said Phillip Berkeley, chief of the planning services team working on the project.

A stone breakwall about a half-mile off shore but near the mouth of the river is the best potential site, Berkeley said Wednesday. The city would pay about $25 million of the cost of the island, he said. Putting the island along the breakwall fits with the lakefront plan Cleveland adopted in 2004, City Planning Director Bob Brown said. "It's not a pipe dream," Brown said. "The dredge material has to be disposed of somewhere."

The group heading a cleanup of the Cuyahoga River said more planning is needed to determine the environmental impact of the plan. "If done badly, it could be a disaster," said Jim White, executive director of the Cuyahoga River Remedial Action Plan. "If done well, it could be a big benefit."

The corps will release its final plans for the new disposal site in June, building the framework over the next few years so that the first loads of mud could be deposited in 2014, Berkeley said. The lake is between 25 and 30 feet deep near the breakwall, so the site could hold at least 20 years' worth of dredged material, Berkeley said.

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer


Cruise group wants to double St. Lawrence traffic
New approach to selling Quebec

10/20 - Quebec City - Seventy-five cruise ships carrying 100,000 passengers and crew will have visited this picturesque port city this year when the 2006 sailing season ends later this month. But those numbers may soon double - even triple - if efforts aimed at developing more quality ports of call on the St. Lawrence River and its tributaries pan out.

"Our goal is to have cruise ships in the river every day between May and October, which would mean between 180 and 200 ships a year," said Martine Belanger, cruise-market director of the Quebec Port Authority and president of the St. Lawrence Cruise Association, or SLCA. The latter is a public-private partnership that was created in 1999 to promote the St. Lawrence as a tourist destination within the international cruise-ship industry. Its two-dozen members include the ports of Quebec and Montreal, Tourisme-Quebec and the federal and provincial transportation ministries.

According to Belanger, the number of cruise ships and passengers in 2006 is comparable with the results of last three sailing seasons at the port of Quebec, which is by far the most popular cruise-ship destination on the St. Lawrence.

Montreal can't be reached by monster ships like the Queen Elizabeth II or the Queen Mary II, which was in Quebec City yesterday, because they can't pass under the Quebec Bridge. But it still will have 44 ships this year (the same number as last) carrying about 38,000 people. In all, cruise ship passengers and crews - roughly a three-to-one ratio - are expected to spend upward of $100 million in Quebec this year. That still is only a fraction of a burgeoning North America market, which saw about 7 million passengers last year, the highest annual growth rate in the travel industry.

Quebec also compares poorly with the Alaska cruise-ship industry. It attracts about 1.5 million visitors each year.

Industry stakeholders here are trying new approach to sell Quebec as cruise destination. Buoyed by a three-year agreement with the Quebec government, which is providing $220,000, the SLCA aims to diversify the drawing power of the St. Lawrence. This includes developing new stopover destinations at several maritime communities. This year, for the first time, 11 cruise ships will have visited the ports of Saguenay and Baie Comeau.

"Our industry can't just rely on the ports of Quebec City and Montreal," Belanger said. "If we want to attract more ships, we need to develop more ports of call. We figure we need about five strong ones." Other destinations might include Havre St. Pierre, Perce and the Magdalen Islands.

According to Alain Bouchard, director of operations and administration at the port in Saguenay, a relatively small, year-round facility in La Baie that handles roughly 500,000 tonnes of mostly bulk cargo annually, the advent of cruise ships has been a boon for the region. "They generate an awful lot of activity," Bouchard said."

Because the port has no suitable jetty, the ships - such as Holland-America's Sea Princess, which will pay its fourth port visit on Oct. 26, closing out the 2006 season - anchor offshore in the deep waters of the Baie-des-Ha!-Ha! The ships' tenders then shuttle passengers and crew back and forth to floating docks that were put in this year by the city, expressly for the use of cruise-ship passengers. Once on shore, passengers are taken by bus to activities they pay for in advance. This year, those included guided tours of the Saguenay area, hiking, kayaking and touring the fjord in a zodiac.

Johanne Albert, office manager of Destination Canada, a Quebec City-based tour operator that specializes in cruise ships, said Quebec City is the most popular destination for cruise ships, but smaller ports have their place. "People have to have something to do," said Albert, who applauded the ongoing construction of a new boreal interpretation centre in Baie-Comeau, which she predicted will be a major draw.

Another challenge, she added, is preparing the inhabitants of small, isolated communities to receive huge influxes of visitors. "When you bring 2,000 people to a town with only 800, that's pretty scary for them," Albert said. "They need to understand that and be prepared to accept that. If not, you've got a recipe for trouble."

Belanger agreed. "Right now we're doing a lot of talking with people in different towns," she said. "You need a marine agent, tour operator and local people who can do logistics." Belanger said a variety of activities must be developed. "You can't offer the same thing at every port. You have to have a mix."

More activities mean more ships here throughout the sailing season. Currently, 50 per cent of St. Lawrence ships do so during the fall-foliage season while only 15 per cent visit during July and August. In addition to keeping its mainstay clientele - Americans over 50 from the Eastern Seaboard - Belanger said her association members hope to attract younger couples on their first cruise.

The development of new ports of calls and activities, together with a new slogan and a logo for marketing the St. Lawrence, will be unveiled at an industry meeting in Baie Comeau on Nov. 9.

From the Montreal Gazette


Changes on Way in Navy Pier Plan
Controversial ideas appear likely to sink

10/20 - Chicago - Setting the stage for major changes to a controversial plan to remake Navy Pier, officials from the pier have begun meeting with leading Chicago architects to get their ideas for redeveloping the state's top tourist attraction.

The meetings, which occurred in recent weeks, involved such architects as Helmut Jahn, designer of the United Airlines Terminal at O'Hare International Airport; Dirk Lohan, part of the team that redeveloped Soldier Field, and Laurence Booth, designer of the Kohl Children's Museum in Glenview. According to the architects who attended, pier officials invited a rethinking of the plan by consultant Forrec Ltd. of Toronto, a designer of theme parks, water parks and other entertainment facilities.

That plan, which was unveiled earlier this year and cost nearly $385,000, has come under fire from a variety of opponents. Park advocates criticized the idea of putting aboveground parking in the pier's Gateway Park, and architects charged that the plan would make the pier seem more commercialized than it already appears to many. "The attitude was: We've got this stuff from Canada. It is what it is. Maybe something else should be done," said Booth, who led the runner-up team in a 1991 design competition that resulted in a $187 million remake of the pier in 1995 into an entertainment and convention complex.

Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority Chairman Ted Tetzlaff said: "Our hope and our plan is to fully engage the extraordinarily accomplished architecture community of Chicago so we can have every benefit of their experience and vision and dreams as we proceed." The pier authority owns and operates the pier.

While brainstorming sessions are expected to be held in the coming weeks, it remains to be seen what process will be put in place for creating a concept for the pier--and whether the architects, all strong-minded, will be able to cooperate. "The question is how do you tap the various talents in a way that's productive so you don't just end up with jousting architects," Booth said.

Pier officials commissioned the Toronto consultant's report with an eye toward making the 3,000-foot-long pier, now most heavily used in the warm months, into a year-round attraction. But some of Forrec's more flamboyant proposals, such as a floating hotel, a roller coaster and floating parking garages, now appear to be off the table.

"The closest thing to a roller coaster is trying to get the CTA to run to the end of the pier, as it did in the beginning," said John Hartray, another Chicago architect who attended the meetings. He was referring to the streetcars that used to run up and down the pier. A major issue to be discussed in future brainstorming sessions is the question of additional parking at the pier. The Toronto consultants suggested nearly doubling the pier's 1,700 parking spaces by adding a two-story, partly sunken garage in Gateway Park and placing two floating parking decks, a replica aircraft carrier and a replica steamship, on the pier's north side.

One alternative possibility is to place additional parking underground. But some architects, including Hartray, suggest that a better answer may be improved transit to and from existing downtown lots, such as those serving Grant Park and Streeterville.

The pier's image, especially as it is viewed from Lake Shore Drive and from sailboats on Lake Michigan, is also on the architects' minds. "Originally, the pier looked like a pier. Now it's not a pier. It now has a series of lumps on it. It doesn't have the majesty of a pier," Booth said, referring to such protrusions as the Skyline Stage, a fabric-tent covered pavilion that hosts performances.

Ideas expected to be discussed include replacing the pier's existing Ferris wheel, a downscaled version of the Ferris wheel at the Chicago World's Fair of 1893, with one that matches the original's size. Consideration is also being given to reworking traffic access to the pier to create more green space.

As one of the pier's major tenants, the Chicago Children's Museum, plans a move to Grant Park, thought is being given to creating satellite outposts of some lakefront museums, along with transit connections to those facilities.

From the Chicago Tribune


Euroferries Port Tab: $574,000

10/20 - Rochester, N.Y. – Euroferries, Ltd. now owes the city of Rochester $574,000 for maintaining the ferry at the Port of Rochester, according to information the city provided to 13WHAM News. The company agreed to buy the ferry and reimburse the city $6,000 a day from June 1 until the deal closes. The per-day cost has come in slightly less.

Euroferries has yet to come up with the financing, and some are skeptical taxpayers will see their money again. “A half a million dollars is a lot of money, and yes, you do worry,” said City Councilman Bob Stevenson. He added that he has faith that the city administration is diligently working on all aspects of the ferry sale.

The city will not make its sales contract with Euroferries public. A spokesman said the money for ferry maintenance is due at the closing. If the deal falls through, it’s not clear what recourse the city has to go after a company that may not be solvent. Reports from England suggest Euroferries is having trouble securing financing and is not any closer to securing docking space at the Port of Dover.

The city is talking to three other potential buyers. The city could recoup its mounting losses at the port if it sells the ferry for above the $29.8 million Euroferries agreed to pay. The city has spent $1.58 million on keeping the ferry docked from January to September. The money goes to wages for workers, administrative costs, and operating costs, which include warranties and insurance. We could have operated the ferry and had it up for sale and operated the ferry and probably lost close to the same amount of money,” said Councilman Adam McFadden.

The city lost $10 million in 10 months of its operation, far more than $6,000 a day. But McFadden said the economic benefit to the area may have offset the drag on finances. The city has a month and a half before fees really start to add up. That’s when the St. Lawrence Seaway closes and the ferry settles in for the winter. City officials say there’s still a chance the ferry could leave before then.

From WHAM-TV Rochester


Another Potential Buyer for the Fast Ferry

10/20 - Rochester, NY - There is another company that wants to make a bid for Rochester's high-speed ferry. Only this one is much closer to Rochester and wants to keep the Spirit of Ontario on the Great Lakes.

As it's been since last December, the Fast Ferry is tied up at the Port of Rochester. Now, there is new interest in the boat from the mid west. News 10NBC found it in a Michigan newspaper, the owner of a maritime container company wants to start a new ferry service across Lake Michigan and he has his eye on the Spirit of Ontario.

News 10NBC contacted Brian McCaughrin at his business near Detroit. “I think it’s a beautiful vessel, it’s unfortunate the situation it's in. I don't know, I’d like to see this thing on Lake Michigan.

McCaughrin Maritime is the latest company looking into the ferry and the only one state side. Born-Holms Traffiken, a Danish company and A-L Ships, an original ferry bidder based in Germany, have both expressed a buyer's interest. Euroferries is still the city's pick at 29.8 million dollars, but so far not a penny has been paid. The bottom line is that the ferry will probably end up in Europe, for legal reasons. The ferry was built in Australia and U.S. law prohibits a foreign built ship from operating between U.S. ports."

It's called the Jones Act, it’s one of the reasons the ferry could not transport people between the Hawaiian Islands during a stop over on its way to Rochester. Brian McCaughrin says he's tried to contact the city. His plan for a Great Lakes ferry service might take two years, but his interest in Rochester's ferry is immediate.

“A lot of people are going to think I'm a little nuts. This is a huge undertaking and God's going to bring a lot of good people and this is going to run and I'd like to see the Spirit of Ontario, we'd like to see it on Lake Michigan.” McCaughrin is a religious man. He says the idea to start a ferry service came to him one night by God. Now he's on a mission to buy the Spirit of Ontario. But the city, to this date, has maintained its support for Euroferries.

From WHEC TV-10 Rochester


Local Ship Featured in Video about Haunted Ships, Lighthouses

10/20 - Muskegon - Muskegon's very own Rouse Simmons, the schooner affectionately known own as the Christmas Tree Ship that sank 94 years ago in a raging winter storm on Lake Michigan, is among several so-call haunted shipwrecks and lighthouses featured in a new video.

Mark Gumbinger of Kenosha, Wis., who has produced numerous videos on Great Lake ship disasters and mysteries through his Southport Video, said his "Haunted Tales of the Great Lakes," is an appropriate documentary for the Halloween season. "There are quite a few stories of this type involving the Great Lakes," he said. "These range from those who swear they have recently seen the Rouse Simmons sailing on Lake Michigan with its sails in tatters, to those who have seen abandoned lighthouses light up."

Gumbinger said the Rouse Simmons was a natural choice to be included in his latest video. The schooner was once based in Muskegon and owned by lumber baron Charles Hackley. The Rouse Simmons, loaded with more than 5,000 Christmas trees, sank on Nov. 22, 1912, with a loss of 17 crew members, including Capt. Herman Schuenemann. For years after the sinking, sailors reported seeing a ghostly image of the Rouse Simmons in the moonlight -- its sails in tatters, Christmas trees glistening on the deck, as it battled Lake Michigan waves. Although ghost-ship sightings have faded with time, interest in the ship is as strong as ever.

Gumbinger said the Rouse Simmons has gained a huge following because it sank during the 1912 holiday season while loaded with a cargo of Christmas trees. He said the loss was a tremendous blow to Chicago residents who were waiting eagerly for the ship to arrive. "It really is a remarkable story about a majestic three-masted schooner, brimming with fresh-cut Michigan trees, heading ... toward Chicago, until bad weather and cold temperatures encrusted ice over the bow," Gumbinger said.

Gumbinger said the stories are told through eyewitness interviews, expert analysis, rare photos and live footage. The documentary is available in DVD for $39.95, plus $7.95 shipping and handling by calling (800) 642-9860

From the Muskegon Chronicle


Port Reports - October 20

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Amid the rain and fog of the past few days, the J.A.W. Iglehart quietly left its layup berth in Superior. It was gone on Wednesday.
In the Twin Ports on Thursday morning, what passes for today’s fall “grain rush” included American Fortitude loading at General Mills in Superior, Beluga Indication at AGP in Duluth, and Flinterduin and Nina at CHS in Superior.
Later in the day, Paul R. Tregurtha was due at Midwest Energy Terminal, and Arthur M. Anderson and Cason J. Callaway were both schedule to unload stone at DMIR in Duluth. The Anderson will then load at Two Harbors while the Callaway will load at DMIR.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
About noon on Thursday Polish Steamship's 655-foot Irma was loading at the Nidera Elevator. Also in the harbor was the saltie Tatjana at the heavy lift dock.


Updates - October 20

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 20

On this day in 1916, the whaleback JAMES B COLGATE sank off Long Point in Lake Erie with a loss of 26. The lone survivor was Captain Walter J. Grashaw who was picked up two days after the sinking. Captain Grashaw had sailed as First Mate on the COLGATE for ten years and was conducting his first trip as Captain. The "Black Friday" storm also claimed the MERIDA, D L FLYER, and M F BUTTERS.

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, 3,261 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, Russ Plumb, 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.


USCG Suspends Gun Drills on Great Lakes

10/19 - Ottawa — The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended machine-gun practice on the Great Lakes as Washington considers whether the live-fire drills pose an environmental danger to fish and a safety hazard for boats. Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay said Monday Canada is concerned about possible lead poisoning of the lakes, noting that the use of lead shot and sinkers in fishing gear is already banned.

Canada has informed the United States about its environmental worries, he said. “We're concerned most particularly in the environmental aspect.” Mr. MacKay said he is less concerned about the safety of boaters. “I have seen no report that suggests anyone is in any peril,” he said. The live-fire exercises “are not in close proximity of civilians.”

Canadian diplomats will monitor public meetings in U.S. Great Lakes cities as the Coast Guard explains its proposal to set up target-practice shooting zones.

Mr. MacKay suggested that Washington is reviewing its decision to arm Coast Guard lake boats with deck-mounted heavy machine guns. He said the previous Liberal government reached an agreement with Washington three years ago on the interpretation of the 1817 Rush-Bagot Treaty, which banned warships with cannons from the Great Lakes. The current interpretation of the treaty, one of the world's oldest arms-control pacts, would allow the Coast Guard to use its heavy machine guns in patrolling the U.S. side of the Great Lakes.

The Coast Guard believes it needs the weaponry to deter terrorists trying to enter the United States from Canada. The machine guns can fire up to 650 rounds a minute, and the Coast Guard has conducted at least 24 live-fire drills on the lakes since January, firing about 3,000 rounds of lead ammunition each time.

U.S. officials want to set up 34 live-fire practice ranges on the Great Lakes, a proposal that has alarmed many municipal officials, environmental groups and boating and fishing associations on both sides of the border.

From the Toronto Globe and Mail


Investigators Searching Debris from Two Burned Pleasure Craft

10/19 - Bay City, MI - One pleasure boat sank and another was burned to the water line early today at their docks in Wheeler's Landing, 600 Marquette Ave., Bay City firefighters said. Arson investigators were to begin searching through what was left of the boats to find evidence.

Bay City Police and firefighters were called to the marina at around midnight after Central Dispatch-911 received a call from a security guard, according to the Bay City Police.

Firefighters said a 38-foot motor craft burned and sank at its berth. It was estimated to contain about 150 gallons of gasoline in its tank and the heat and surrounding fire caused the gas tank to erupt with a steady spray of burning fuel. Two boats away, at another berth, a larger 50-foot craft also was ablaze. ''What you have here is a very large rowboat,'' said one firefighter, assessing what was left of the luxury craft.

The two boats may have been burned after being burglarized, officials said. Bay City Police Sgt. Joseph Lanava said they are seeking several ''individuals of interest'' in the case and ask anyone with information about the crimes to call police at 892-8571.

Police were attempting to locate the owners of the burned boats as well as other owners of boats moored at the marina. Fire Marshal Thomas Herek said at least eight other boats had been burglarized and it wasn't known yet if there were attempts to set them on fire.

Firefighters said the blaze threatened the marina's lighthouse and another boat that was docked in between the two burning boats. The boat and lighthouse were saved as firefighters worked to keep the fires from spreading. The firefighters had to use foam on the 38-foot craft because it had fuel aboard. Water was sprayed on the other burning craft.

Herek estimates the damage is at least $500,000.

Reported by Justin Heidtman from the Bay City Times


Port Reports - October 19

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Early Wednesday morning boat watchers in the Twin Ports saw American Fortitude unloading stone at the CLM dock in Superior, American Integrity loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal and the saltie Beluga Indication ready to load at AGP elevator in Duluth. Elsewhere in port, Great Lakes Trader was loading at BNSF and CSL Tadoussac was scheduled to follow.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber completed their unload at the Saginaw Wirt dock and were outbound for the lake on Tuesday.
Inbound on Tuesday was the Algosar, who called on the Ashland-Marathon dock in Bay City. She completed her load and was outbound Wednesday afternoon.


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. Purchased by Lower Lakes Towing in 2001, renamed c.) MISSISSAGI.

ALGOSEA, a.) BROOKNES, 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.

Michigan Limestone's self-unloader B H TAYLOR sailed from Lorain on her maiden voyage on October 19, 1923. She was renamed b.) ROGERS CITY in 1957, and scrapped at Recife, Brazil in 1988.

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. Four 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 Kelley's 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 gross 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 series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history.


Cutter Mackinaw on Way to Homeport

10/18 - Cheboygan - Warranty repairs, cosmetic work and computer updates completed, the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw has departed a Sturgeon Bay, Wis., shipyard for training and maintenance operations before setting a course across Lake Michigan to return to its homeport of Cheboygan. The Mackinaw has been gone for more than two months while undertaking the scheduled dry-dock session. The ship got underway at 1 p.m. Sunday after gale force winds subsided.

A spokesperson for the crew said that early sailing maneuvers would involve bringing the specialized azimuthing engine pods back to full operational status before continuing training sessions en route to Cheboygan. The ship will also service a few buoys along the way. “We have to break the pods back in so we'll be steaming around in Green Bay, working up the rpm's slowly and steadily until we can run normally,” said Ensign Jeannette Killen, the Mackinaw's public affairs officer. “Basically, we have to run for a couple hours at 50 rpm's, then 70 and so on.”

Killen said that once the ship's propulsion is ready to go, the crew will undergo training sessions relative to dynamic positioning and electronic chart display information systems. “This involves the conning officers - people who drive the ship - and the JOOD's,” she said, referring to the junior officers of the deck. “They are the people who stand watch on the bridge and keep logs, set up equipment, track the ship's position, record weather and lay tracklines on both paper and electronic charts.”

Killen said the icebreaker's exact date of return is uncertain at this point. “We should be pulling back into homeport at the end of the week,” she said.

The Mac will almost immediately begin more training sessions before heading out for fall buoy-tending duty.

From the Cheboygan News Tribune


Dredging Plan Raises Concerns

10/17 - Portage, IN - Environmental watchdogs are concerned over a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plan to dredge 254,000 cubic yards of contaminated material from the Port of Indiana. The sludge contains ammonia, phosphorus, copper, selenium and other solids. It would be deposited into Lake Michigan.

Tom Anderson, Save the Dunes Council's executive director, says there are too many unanswered questions about the project. His group wants a public hearing to learn more about the contaminant. Barry Sneed, an Indiana Department of Environmental Management public information officer, said Monday that the Army Corps has applied for a permit to deposit the sludge.

The project would include hydraulic dredging of the sediment from the harbor. The sludge would be deposited three-fourths of a mile north into Lake Michigan in a 50-foot- deep area, 2,500 feet by 2,600 feet. According to information provided by the Army Corps to IDEM, the disposal area should be large enough to dilute the contaminants to meet Lake Michigan water quality standards.

The purpose of the dredging is to make the harbor more navigable, after shippers complained that the sediment had begun to build up. Sneed said the Army Corps has not yet supplied details for the project. "We're not even close to issuing a permit yet," he said. "We have nothing on paper to evaluate this. We have no idea what they're planning on doing."

IDEM's Office of Water Quality published a public notice Sept. 22, announcing the project and saying it would accept public input until Oct. 13. Sneed says the type of permit the Army Corps wants does not require a public hearing. "IDEM would not have any control over that," Sneed said.

The project, which was originally planned for this fall, has been postponed until next summer to give IDEM time to review it.

From the Post Tribune


Lakes Limestone Trade Steady in September

10/18 - Cleveland---Shipments of limestone from U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes ports totaled 4.3 million net tons in September, a virtual repeat of a year ago and the month’s 5-year average.

For the year, the trade stands at 27.4 million net tons, a slight decrease from the same point in 2005, but also a slight increase over the 5-year average for the first three quarters.

Although lack of adequate dredging at many ports again impacted the trade in September, shipments benefited from the September 13 sailing of the U.S.-Flag integrated tug/barge Olive L. Moore/Lewis J. Kuber. The self-unloading barge Kuber was formerly the self-propelled steamer Buckeye. It was converted to a barge at Erie Shipbuilding, LLC in Erie, Pennsylvania, during the first nine months of 2006. By month’s end, the vessel had carried more than 125,000 net tons of limestone.

Lake Carriers' Association news release


Port Reports - October 18

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The Calumet came in light on Monday and took a load of sand out from the Construction Aggregates dock
On Tuesday morning the Cuyahoga delivered a load of stone to the Meekhof Dock by the railroad swing bridge.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The salty Malyovitza arrived at Redpath Sugar dock Monday, assisted into the slip by the Groupe Ocean tugs.  Salty Seneca has been in port for a few days at Pier 51 unloading.
The retired port Authority ferry Windmill Point was shift from its island base into the Port Authority's Keating Channel yard. The new ferry TCCA 1, which was out of service for a couple of days, returned to service Monday. The tour boat Yankee Lady III is still on Toronto Drydock for inspection, but should be refloated shortly.

Green Bay - Scott Best
Tuesday afternoon was a busy one for the port of Green Bay. First to arrive was the David Z. Norton with a load of coal for the Georgia Pacific Dock all the way up the Fox River.
The Alpena arrived at the mouth of the river just before 6 p.m. with the John G. Munson right behind her. The Alpena bound for the Lafarge Terminal and the Munson for the Fox River Dock with coal from Toledo.

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
Monday morning the Calumet delivered stone to the Brewer dock.
Tuesday afternoon fleetmate Manistee brought the season's final load of coal to the James DeYoung power plant.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
On Tuesday Polsteam's bulker Irma, which had anchored outside the harbor Monday night waiting for dock space,  was at the Nidera grain elevator preparing to load, as grain hauler semi-trailers lined up with cargo.
Tug G. L. Ostrander and barge Integrity delivered powdered cement to the LaFarge silo on Jones Island in the inner harbor.


Port Huron Transportation Show

10/18 - Port Huron - The 2nd Annual Port Huron Transportation Memorabilia Show will be held this Saturday at the Port Huron Seaway Terminal, 2336 Military St. in Port Huron. The hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Although this is a transportation show, much of the material will be Great Lakes nautical artifacts, pictures, books, postcards, art, timetables, lanterns, and much more.

Additional information is available on the Calendar of Events.

Reported by Al Hart


Capt. Luther H. Blount Dies at age 90

10/18 - Warren, Ri – Luther H. Blount, 90, of Warren, RI, died Sunday, September 24 at Rhode Island Hospital surrounded by his loving family. Founder of Blount Marine Corporation, Bay Queen Cruises and American Canadian Caribbean Line, Blount is famed as one of Rhode Island’s greatest entrepreneurs and philanthropists.

An engineer by trade, Blount is best known as a shipbuilder and cruise operator. His Warren shipyard, currently operating under the name Blount Boats Inc., has created over 300 hulls including famous NY Harbor Circle Line ferries and his industry-changing stern trawler, the Narragansett.

Known in the travel industry as the “father of small ship cruising,” he designed, built and operated a fleet of US Flag overnight expedition-style ships for over 41 years, currently operating as American Canadian Caribbean Line Inc. The line is renowned for cruising off-the-beaten path North American waterways to areas traditionally only accessible by private yacht. His Bay Queen Cruises operates several dinner boats on Narragansett Bay and has become a Rhode Island institution.

His keen interest in design led to many successful inventions including patents for thread design, adjustable pitch propellers, water conserving marine toilet, and more. He is celebrated for his remarkable retractable pilot house and bow ramp ship designs. One of his most notable inventions was a steaming process to open clams that revolutionized the clam processing industry. His most recent invention, the Blount Water Walker, a flotation aid for fly fishing, allowed him to continue the thrill of solo wilderness fishing as an octogenarian.

He was a father of five children, grandfather of fourteen, and great-grandfather of two.


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, in route to Vigo, Spain for scrapping.

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, 1,829 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 returned 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 series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history.


Green Bay Ferry Could Link Door County, U.P. in May

10/17 - Menominee - Travelers could sail across Green Bay on new ferry service from Sturgeon Bay to Menominee, Mich., as early as May, Menominee business leaders said. Robert Ruleau, owner of a Menominee commercial fishing business, said he was buying two passenger-only vessels for the ferry line, although Sturgeon Bay's city administrator said authorities in his city haven't approved the plan yet.

Another Michigan business executive is pursuing an even more ambitious idea: a third car ferry line across Lake Michigan, from the Kewaunee County city of Algoma to Frankfort, Mich. Other companies run car ferries from Milwaukee to Muskegon, Mich., and from Manitowoc to Ludington, Mich. But Brian McCaughrin, owner of a freighter line in Wayne, Mich., conceded that his concept is at least a year away from fruition. And officials in Algoma and Frankfort questioned whether it would ever happen, even though both communities would welcome ferry service.

By contrast, authorities in Sturgeon Bay and Menominee view the Green Bay ferry plan as a serious venture that could boost tourism. Ruleau said he was investing about $2 million in the ferry line and planned to hire six to 12 employees to run it. In addition to his vessels, Ruleau owns the Menominee dock that the ferries would use. He also owns the Ruleau Brothers Inc. fishery and is opening a restaurant, Catch of the Bay Fish and Chips, in nearby Marinette.

Ferry service would run from mid-May to mid-October, with up to four round trips daily at the height of the tourist season and two daily round trips in slower periods, said Ruleau and Dan Mathein, president of Menominee Business Development Corp. Adults would pay $20 one way or $35 for a round trip, with discounts for children, older adults and multiple-ride packages, Ruleau said.

Ruleau said he has bought the Isle Royale Queen III, which was shuttling tourists between Isle Royale National Park and Copper Harbor, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, until a newer vessel replaced it. The 100-passenger ferry will be delivered next week, he said. The second vessel, which will be delivered in May, is in service in Mobile, Ala., Ruleau and Mathein said. Although it is much larger, it will be licensed for 149 passengers to avoid stringent federal security rules for ferries with 150 or more passengers, they said. The 16-mile trip across the bay would take about an hour, Ruleau said.

In Sturgeon Bay, the ferries would dock at the Stone Harbor resort's 800-foot pier, although that deal hasn't been negotiated yet, Mathein said. Sturgeon Bay City Administrator Kevin O'Donnell said he knew serious talks were under way, but he considered them preliminary until a solid plan is presented to city officials. Mathein said, however, that he was "extremely confident" the ferry plan would be approved.

O'Donnell and Mathein agreed that linking Door County to the Upper Peninsula would be a tourist boon for both areas, allowing easy day trips for what would otherwise be a 200-mile trip around the bay. Ruleau said he was not projecting a passenger total, but could break even with as few as 35,000 passengers a season.

By contrast, McCaughrin said he could attract 175,000 to 200,000 passengers a year to his Algoma-to-Frankfort line without detracting from the SS Badger, which runs from Manitowoc to Ludington, or the Lake Express, from Milwaukee to Muskegon. Neither the Lake Express nor the Badger discloses exact passenger figures, but each has said that it carries about 100,000 passengers a year. McCaughrin said he could do better because his line would be closer to the prime tourist areas of Door County and Mackinac Island in Michigan. Algoma Mayor Virginia Haske and Frankfort City Superintendent Joshua Mills said they were cautious but hopeful about the plan.

Both cities might need to dredge harbors to accommodate ferries, which could require state or federal aid. Frankfort would welcome the return of ferry service, which it lost in 1982, Mills said. McCaughrin, president of McCaughrin Maritime Marine Systems Inc., said he was pursuing his ferry plan because "God woke me up in the middle of my sleep and told me to call the people in Algoma . . . This is something that God wants, and I'm just doing the paperwork."

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Port Reports - October 17

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
On Sunday Canadian Progress was docked in Milwaukee's inner harbor, loading at the Nidera Grain elevator.

Lorain - C. Mackin
On Sunday the Sarah Spencer made a trip up the Black River to the R.E.P. plant.
Early Monday morning the Ryerson made a stop at the Jonick dock.
The tug Cleveland and barge Cleveland Rocks stopped at Terminal Ready Mix, and the American Victory went upriver to R.E.P.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Monday had the Federal Oshima departing at 3 p.m. heading to the Welland Canal. The tug Annie M Dean towing a work barge arrived at 5:30 p.m. followed by the Americo Dean also towing a work barge arrived at 6:30 p.m. Both had come from doing work at the Petro Canada Piers in Bronte.
The tug Barbara Andrie and barge arrived at 7 p.m. with asphalt. The Algocape arrived at 7:30 p.m. going to Dofasco with iron ore pellets from Point Noir. After unloading she will head to Thunder Bay.
The tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes arrived at 7:45 p.m. from Toledo. Next port is Toledo after unloading.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The Rt. Hon Paul J. Martin loaded early Monday at the Norfolk Southern coal dock. She cleared Sandusky Bay before mid-day.
Arriving at the dock as darkness settled over the bay Monday was the Canadian Olympic.
Posted for overnight arrival is the American Courage.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
Sunday morning brought sunny skies and a break in the strong winds that had affected the area for three days. The Cuyahoga was seen departing the bay Sunday morning, after unloading at Lafarge overnight. The Earl W. Oglebay came in next, arriving in port at 10 a.m. It unloaded coal at Lafarge.
The Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay departed its berth in the river Sunday afternoon. The tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity tied up under the silos during the evening and took on product.
Around 2:30 p.m. on Monday the Steamer Alpena made its way into port to load for Green Bay, WI.
The American Republic and Reserve were on the schedule to load at Stoneport on Monday.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
Monday afternoon American Mariner arrived in Milwaukee's outer harbor, where (instead of proceeding to its usual destination at Greenfield Avenue) it backed into the slip at terminal 1 in the outer harbor and unloaded coal.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
On Sunday, the CSL Tadoussac called on the Essroc dock in Essexville to unload. She was outbound Monday morning, backing out to Light 12 of the Entrance Channel to turn and head for the lake.
The tug Olive L. Moore & barge Lewis J. Kuber were inbound late Monday night headed for the Wirt Stone dock in Bay City to unload. The pair was at Light 1 of the Entrance Channel around 9 p.m.

Buffalo - Brain Wroblewski
About 2:45 p.m. Monday the Herbert Jackson was coming through the North entrance. One of the G tugs was going to meet her.


Updates - October 17

News Photo Gallery updated

Special Welland Gathering Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Crash on the Mississippi

10/17 - New Orleans - A cargo ship heading down the Mississippi River struck another vessel anchored west of New Orleans on Monday, knocking a huge gash in the anchored vessel, the Coast Guard said.

The anchored ship was listing, but the hole was above the water line, and the vessel was not believed to be taking on water, said Chief Petty Officer Veronica Bandrowsky. No injuries were reported.

The vessels were the 712-foot Greek freighter Zagora, which was heading down river at the Kenner Bend area west of New Orleans, and the 737-foot Panamania freighter Torm Anholt, which was at anchor at the time of the collision.

The Torm Anholt had a 12-foot-wide, 6-foot-long gash in its right side 6 to 9 feet above the water line, the Coast Guard said. The ship listed after being struck, but the tilt may have been due to a loss of ballast, the Coast Guard said. There were no reports of damage to the Zagora.

The Coast Guard established a one-way traffic safety zone in the area, but river traffic was not halted, Bandrowsky said.

Reported by Lee Rowe from Ads by


Boyer Worth Preserving

10/17 - Toledo - The S.S. Willis B. Boyer is a living, floating connection to Toledo's past and present ties to the Great Lakes. The boat - veteran lake sailors never call them ships - will be a century old in five years, and it would be a sad commentary if Toledo and the region, a main port on the Great Lakes, can't manage to maintain the former lake-freighter-turned-museum moored along International Park on the east bank of the Maumee River.

The Boyer, longer than two football fields, was a technological wonder when it was launched in 1911. It was the biggest vessel with the largest tonnage of any lake freighter when it went into service. But time takes its toll, and the Boyer needs an operating and capital improvements budget to maintain it as the educational center and tourist attraction that it has been for nearly 20 years.

Boyer executive director Paul LaMarre III believes this is the time to call attention to the museum's problems as the Boyer's 100th anniversary approaches. The vessel belongs to the public, as does its heritage, and it's vital that we understand its importance to Toledo history, what it will take to operate and keep it, and what happens if it is lost. As one of the busiest ports on the Great Lakes, it's sensible for Toledo to establish a nonprofit group to operate and maintain it. Funds collected from admission fees, fund-raisers, donations, and rentals are not enough to cover the former Cleveland Cliffs vessel's maintenance and upkeep needs.

Mr. LaMarre's proposed $100,000 annual operating budget and $261,000 for capital improvements are modest. The marine historian and U.S. Navy veteran's ideas include making his temporary status a permanent $50,000 job, which would at least give him a measure of security. He has helped restore the boat, repairing leaks and even pumping out the hull, freeing the vessel from the river bottom and allowing it to float again.

Other cities on the Great Lakes - Cleveland and Sault Ste. Marie among them - maintain former vessels as maritime museums, and Toledo deserves no less.

The Boyer preserves this area's strong identity with the Great Lakes and lake shipping. When the Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior in 1975 - the 31st anniversary of the tragedy will be Nov. 10 - more members of the crew were from Toledo and northwest Ohio than any other area. Through the Boyer, this community honors all who died in that and other accidents on the lakes, and pays tribute to an industry that has served this region well over the decades.

It would be a poor reflection on the port of Toledo if the Boyer is allowed to deteriorate.

Editorial from the Toledo Blade


Today in Great Lakes History - October 17

On this day in 1889, the whaleback 103 completed her maiden trip by delivering 86,000 bushels of Duluth wheat to Buffalo.

On this day in 1936, the 252 foot sand sucker SAND MERCHANT rolled over and sank when a 50 mph gale swept across Lake Erie. The steamer THUNDER BAY QUARRIES, Captain James Healey, rescued three survivors and the steamer MARQUETTE & BESSEMER NO 1, Captain George Wilson, rescued four additional survivors. Eighteen crew members and one female passenger drowned in the accident.

On 17 October 1887, Henry McMorran 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 EMS ORE was launched October 17, 1959, for Transatlantic Bulk Carriers, Monrovia, Liberia. Purchased by Hall Corp. of Canada in 1976, reconstructed for lake service and renamed b.) MONTCLIFFE HALL in 1977. Renamed c.) CARTIERDOC in 1988, 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, Russ Plumb, 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.


Split Rock Beacon Lighting to Commemorate Sinking of Edmund Fitzgerald

10/16 - On Nov. 10, 1975 the Great Lakes freighter Edmund Fitzgerald was lost with her entire crew of 29 men near Whitefish Bay at the eastern end of Lake Superior.

Split Rock has been a retired lighthouse since 1969, but every November 10, at dusk, the beacon at Split Rock Lighthouse is relit in memory of those men, that famous ship, and all the sailors lost on other Great Lakes shipwrecks. Since this popular event falls on a holiday weekend in 2006, the program is being expanded to two days, with Friday’s program repeated on Saturday.

The Split Rock Lighthouse Visitor Center will open at noon on both Nov. 10 and 11 and will feature information on Lake Superior gales and shipwrecks, and a film on the tragic last trip of the Edmund Fitzgerald will be shown in the Visitor Center Theater.

At 1 p.m., both Friday and Saturday, there will be a special presentation in the theater by professor Mark Seeley of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Soil, Water and Climate and author of the Minnesota Weather Almanac. His 40-minute presentation will focus on the 1975 “Fitzgerald Storm” and the history of November weather on the Great Lakes.

The Lighthouse and Fog Signal Building will be open to the public from noon to 6:00 p.m. with costumed guides on duty to greet visitors and provide lighthouse and shipwreck information.

At 4:30 p.m., the lighthouse will be temporarily closed to allow for a brief ceremony on the lighthouse steps. The ceremony, called the “last muster”, will include the reading of the names of the men lost on the Fitzgerald and, the ringing of a ship’s bell for each name, plus a thirtieth for all other victims of Great Lakes shipwrecks. At the conclusion of the ceremony the lighthouse beacon will be lighted, the lighthouse will be reopened, and visitors may climb the interior stairs to the lantern room for a rare, close-up view of the lighted, 3rd order Fresnel lens.

The lighthouse and fog signal building will close at 6 p.m. The beacon will remain lit until approximately 6:30 p.m. The Visitor Center with exhibits, displays and Museum Store will be open from noon until 6:30 p.m. Visitors are urged to dress warmly and bring flashlights for use after sunset.

Call or email the Split Rock Lighthouse Historic Site (218) 226-6372, for more information.

From the Lake County News-Chronicle


Welland Boatnerd Gathering

10/16 - More than 40 Boatnerds and members of the Welland Canal Ship Society enjoyed each others slide on Saturday evening.

Traffic in the canal increased somewhat on Sunday with Algowood, Mississagi and an assortment of salties passing thru on a mostly sunny day.

The drawing for the door prize "basket of goodies" at the Lock Three St. Catharine's Museum and gift produced L. Drexler, of Waterloo, Ontario, as the winner. The Boatnerds were treated to complimentary coffee and doughnuts, and a video presentation, before many departed for home.


Port Reports - October 16

Halifax - Mac Mackay
Camilla Desgagnes arrived off Halifax late Sunday, in tow of Ocean Foxtrot. The northern supply freighter had a main engine failure in the high arctic Septmber  6, and Ocean Foxtrot was sent to bring her back for repairs.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Sunrise on Sunday found calmer waters on Lake Superior and Lee A. Tregurtha preparing to load a cargo of ore, her second of the week.

Rochester - Dean Croucher
The Capt. Henry Jackman got underway about 3:00 pm Saturday, October 14th, after being at anchor since sometime Friday, off the entrance of Irondequoit Bay (Rochester, NY).

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Friday evening saw the James Norris anchor in Burlington Bay due to the high winds. The refueling ship Hamilton Energy stopped at 6:15pm on it's way back from Toronto and refueled the James Norris.
Saturday the James Norris departed at 7:00 am. The saltie Songa Defiance arrived at 8:00am for Pier 12 with ammonium nitrate from Poland.
The Vega Desgagnes anchored off the Petro Canada Piers in Bronte.
The Federal Hunter departed Hamilton at 5:30 pm for Port Weller.
Sunday had the Songa Defiance departing at 5:30 am for Port Weller.
The Petrolia Desgagnes anchored off the Petro Canada Piers in Bronte at 2:30 pm to await the departure of the Vega Desgagnes.
The Ocean Groupe tug Omni Richelieu departed Hamilton at 3:00pm.
The Montrealais departed at 3:30pm.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Karen Andrie departed for Toledo with the barge A-397 in tow at 4:00PM Sunday.
The Herbert C Jackson arrived off Buffalo and went to anchor around 11:30AM. She was heading for the ADM Standard Elevator but could not come in due to a lack of power at the city's lift bridges on the Buffalo River. It is unknown at this time when the Jackson will be allowed to enter the harbor.
What might possibly be the salty Skaftafel was at anchor off Lackawanna at 11:00am Sunday morning. It had a large load of what looked to be wind turbine blades stacked high on the main deck.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The Manistee came into Grand Haven about 7:45am on Sunday. It was our first boat in two weeks, and it was three days late, having motored across Lake Michigan to anchor and wait out the winds off the Wisconsin shore. The Manistee came in bow first and stopped to unload stone at Meekhof’s D & M dock by the Board of Light and Power Sims plant on Harbor Island. When that was finished it proceeded up river to take on a load of sand at the Construction Aggregates dock. It was still loading at 3:00 pm.


Updates - October 16

News Photo Gallery updated

Special Welland Gathering Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 16

On this day in 1950, the JOHN M MC KERCHEY of the Kelley's Island Lime and Transport Company sank at 2:30 a.m. while returning from the pumping grounds with a load of sand. Captain Horace S. Johnson went down with the boat but the remaining 19 crew members were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard.

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 in 1998, and renamed b.) PETER R CRESSWELL in 2001.

The Cayman Islands registered tanker RIO ORINOCO grounded off Anticosti Island, Quebec on October 16, 1990, and was abandoned. Later she was salvaged by Le Groupe Desgagnes (1981) Inc., re-floated, 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 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, Russ Plumb, 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.


Blast Shuts Down Taconite Plant & Rail Service

10/15 - Forbes, Minn. - One worker was killed and another injured Thursday in two explosions at the United Taconite pellet processing plant at Forbes, about 55 miles northwest of Duluth, reported the Minneapolis Star Tribune and other media sources. The plant is operated by Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. and has recently seen $46 million in improvements. It is served by Canadian National's Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range Railway.

The worker was killed when an electrical panel exploded as he and a co-worker were servicing it. The panel was inside a 24- by 60-foot utility room, and witnesses reported seeing a large arc and some sort of fireball going across the room. The explosion caused extensive damage in the utility room and triggered a second explosion in a power substation outside the plant, which knocked out power to the plant and to Minnesota Power customers in a 10- to 15-mile radius around the plant.

About 430 people work at the facility and the Thunderbird Mine, 10 miles away in Eveleth, Minn. The DM&IR moves raw taconite ore from the Thunderbird Mine to the plant with several moves each day. Finished taconite pellets are transported by the Missabe Road on a daily unit train from the plant to the yard in Proctor, Minn., and down famed Proctor Hill to the Duluth ore dock, where the pellets are loaded onto lake boats. With the plant out of service, train movements were cancelled.

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, United Taconite, and the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office are investigating the explosion.

From Trains Magazine


Quebec Shipyard Sale to Norway Firm Saves Jobs

10/15 - Levis, Que. — Teco Management of Norway announced Friday it will go ahead with its purchase of Quebec's struggling Davie Industries shipyard. The Norwegian company announced in June its intention to purchase the bankrupt shipyard but in August, trustees announced it would be liquidated after Teco failed to meet the conditions for the purchase.

The company failed to deposit the required financial guarantees. Teco was given the opportunity to negotiate financial guarantees and trustee Thibault Van Houtte and Associates Ltd. said Friday the company has now done so. Trustee Patrice Van Houtte said at a news conference that his company sought out hundreds of potential buyers around the world to save the shipyard.

"We have spared no effort in finding a buyer capable of assuring the survival of the shipyard and the preservation of jobs," Van Houtte said. "Mission accomplished."

The shipyard has been in bankruptcy since 2001. Located in Levis, across the St. Lawrence River from Quebec City, it is believed to be among the oldest shipyards in Canada. The announcement puts an end to years of uncertainty for the shipyard.

Workers held out hope that the facility would be sold and granted a number of concessions during the last 10 years to keep it alive. A new collective agreement is already in place with the union representing shipyard workers. The shipyard near Quebec City employed more than 3,000 in the early 1990s. Its future has been uncertain since Dominion Bridge put it into bankruptcy in 2001.

The shipyard was founded in 1825 by George Taylor and Allison Davie. It was later owned by Canada Steamship Lines (1920-1968), Power Corp. (1968-1976), Soconav (1976-1981), Dome and Versatile (1981-1987), and MIL-Davie (1987-1996) before going into the hands of Dominion Bridge. The shipyard built oil tankers, cargo ships, trawlers, ferries, warships and oil drilling stations.

The city of Levis is providing tax credits in excess of $1 million over five years and the government of Quebec will guarantee half of a loan of $15.5 million.

From the Toronto Star


Port Reports - October 15

Lake Erie - Jim Spencer
At least eight freighters remained at anchor on Lake Erie between Sandusky and Huron at mid-day Saturday. All were waiting for strong Southwesterly winds to subside and water levels west of the Erie Islands to improve. The latest forecast predicted the winds would ease during the night as the weather system north of Lake Superior finally began to move.
Mid-morning Saturday saw the LaFarge bulk cement carrier English River enter Sandusky Bay and move to the Norfolk Southern coal dock. Inasmuch as the vessel has no ability to handle products other than bulk cement, and the freighter was enroute to Hamilton, Ont., in ballast, it was not clear why the one-time package boat was at the dock.
Shortly after docking, the captain of the Canadian registered English River was overheard discussing the Sandusky Bay entry with a second, unidentified, vessel master. According to the English River skipper, the move into the bay "wasn't a lot of fun," and he said he "wouldn't want to try it with anything bigger," than the 404-foot bulk carrier. Winds at the time, said the captain, were at 30 knots, pushing his vessel "sideways when taken on the beam in that narrow channel."

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
The tug Olive L. Moore with the barge Lewis J. Kuber were inbound the Saginaw River early Saturday morning, headed for the Bay Aggregates dock in Essexville to unload. The pair finished unloading and backed from the slip at 2:00pm, turned and was outbound the Saginaw River at the Front Range Light at 2:30pm Saturday afternoon.
The Wolverine was inbound the Saginaw River late Saturday morning, passing the Front Range Light at 11:00am headed for an undisclosed Saginaw dock to unload. The Wolverine finished unloading in Saginaw around 8:00pm and turned at the Sixth Street turning basin in Saginaw and was outbound for the lake around 9:00pm Saturday night.
The John J. Boland was inbound the Saginaw River early Saturday afternoon, passing the Front Range Light at 12:00pm headed for the Bay Aggregates dock in Essexville. She stopped at the Essorc dock across the river from the Bay Aggregates Slip to allow the tug Olive L. Moore with the barge Lewis J. Kuber to finish unloading at Bay Aggregates. Once the Moore & Kuber were clear, the Boland backed into the Bay Aggregates slip to unload. The Boland finished unloading at the Bay Aggregates dock around 8:00pm Saturday night.


Updates - October 15

News Photo Gallery updated

Special Welland Gathering Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 15

On this day in 1893, according to reports in Buffalo newspapers, First Mate Ben Lewis was washed off the decks of the JAY GOULD during a storm. A succeeding wave picked him up and dropped him back on the deck of the GOULD.

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 on 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 MC KELLAR 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, Russ Plumb, 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.


Welland Gathering Location Change

Updated 11:00 pm Friday

Due to a conflict, the Welland Gathering slide shows for Saturday night have been moved to the Howard Johnson's at the intersection of Lake Street and the QEW in St. Catharine's.

The HoJo is the same building as the Perkins Pancake House. Look for the Perkins sign.

Times remains the same - 6:00 pm both nights, slide show starts at 7:30pm.

Saturday's IMS tour info will go on as planned at 10:00 am. Bring your boots and heavy weather gear.

Watch this page for any additional updates.

Friday Report - Due to the high winds, no traffic moved in the canal on Friday, although the wind was expected to slacken at night and allow a few vessels to transit.

Several ships were tied along the canal and anchorages at both ends had visitors. Gale force winds are expected for Saturday, and could cause traffic to halt again.

In Spite of what Buffalo is calling a "Storm of Historic Dimensions", more than 50 people turned out for the slide presentations on Friday evening. Nothing like Thursday and Friday's wet snow has happened before, in October, in western New York state.


Capt. Ray H. Skelton, Past ISMA Grand President (2001), Dies

10/14 - Detroit - With great sadness we announce the death of Captain Ray Skelton, Duluth Seaway Port Authority security, environmental and government affairs director. Following a courageous battle with cancer, Captain Skelton, 63, died October 13, 2006 at his home in Duluth, Minnesota.

Captain Skelton, a former Great Lakes ship master, served as the security, environmental and government affairs director for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. He was also the foreign trade zone manager. He began his career with the Port Authority in 1990, and was the Authority’s liaison on maritime trade and environmental issues with elected and appointed officials at regional and national levels.

A native of Bay City, Michigan, Captain Skelton went to sea with the Navy Submarine Service in 1961. He saw extensive service in the Pacific Fleet until late 1964. From 1965 through 1986, he served in various shipboard capacities with American Steamship Co., Litton Industries and Columbia Steamship Lines. He received a first class pilot’s license in 1972 and a master’s license in 1976 from the Associated Maritime Officers School of Navigation in Toledo, Ohio.

He was a U.S. Maritime Industry Representative to the Transportation Research Board Marine Environment Committee, Port representative to the Arrowhead Counter Terrorism Task Force, Great Lakes Port representative to U.S. Coast Guard District 9 Security Committee, Member of the Minnesota Sea Grant Advisory Board, Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute Advisory Committee, Area Maritime Security Committee Chair Facilities Security Sub-Committee, and the Port representative to U.S. Coast Guard Port Area Committee, Harbor Technical Advisory Committee, Metropolitan Interstate Committee Transportation Advisory Committee, Chamber of Commerce Committees on Transportation, Waterfront Issues, and Government Affairs, the Habitat Creation Task Force, the Voluntary Ballast Control Committee, and was the Port representative to the American Association of Port Authorities Harbors and Navigation Committee.

He was also a member of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ruffe Task Force, Great Lakes Commission Ballast Demonstration Project, Steering Committee, Minnesota Representative to Great Lakes Regional Dredge Team and American Association of Port Authorities’ representative to U.S. Coast Guard Standing Committee on Ballast and Shipping.

Captain Skelton was past grand president of the International Shipmasters’ Association, past chairman of American Association of Port Authorities Harbors, Navigation and Environment Committee, past president of the Propeller Club of the United States-Twin Ports Chapter, a former director and instructor of the Associated Maritime Officers School of Navigation and served as U.S. ports representative on the National Research Council Marine Board Ballast Committee.

Memorial arrangements are being finalized. An announcement with these details will be provided shortly in the Duluth News Tribune at:

Captain Ray Skelton’s photo is available at:

From Detroit Lodge 7 ISMA


Port Reports - October 14

Rochester - Jim Testa
the Capt Henry Jackman anchored outside/near the Port of Rochester; as of 6 p.m. she is still there.

Detroit -
Diamond Jack's River Tours last cruise of the season will take place Sunday October 22. The Diamond Belle will depart from Wyandotte at 11 AM and cruise from Downtown Detroit to Lake Erie and return to Wyandotte at 4 PM. An on board buffet luncheon is included. Tickets are $65 by reservation only. For information call: 313-843-9376.

Sandusky & Lake Erie - Jim Spencer
Western Lake Erie was a virtual parking lot Friday night, as vessels waited for weather before proceeding. At least seven freighters were on the hook east of the Kelleys Island, between Sandusky and Huron, their lights burning brightly as darkness fell.
Published reports indicated several of the vessels had been anchored in the area for more than 24 hours.
Water levels off Toledo were being reported as being 10-inches below chart datum, or four inches below the critical mark for safe navigation.
Weather forecasters were warning ships on the lakes that the 30-knot westerlies would not diminish until Saturday morning.
Activities at Sandusky's Norfolk Southern coal dock had been brought to a standstill on Thursday by the gale force winds.


Updates - October 14

News Photo Gallery updated

Special Welland Gathering Gallery

Public Photo Gallery updated



Today in Great Lakes History - October 14

On this day in 1953, Boston Metals Company of Baltimore, Maryland, submitted a successful bid of $118,111 for six retired lakers to be scrapped by the U.S. Maritime Commission. The sixboats were the CHACORNAC, COLONEL, MUNISING, NEGAUNEE, YOSEMITE, and the AMAZON.

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, 1,432 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 Van Buren 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, Michigan. 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 Genesee, 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, Russ Plumb, 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.


Welland Gathering Location Change

Updated 4:15 pm Friday

Due to a conflict, the Welland Gathering slide shows for Friday and Saturday night have been moved to the Howard Johnson's at the intersection of Lake Street and the QEW in St. Catharine's.

The HoJo is the same building as the Perkins Pancake House. Look for the Perkins sign.

Times remains the same - 6:00 pm both nights.

There is no snow in St. Catharine's, but about 4" in Port Colborne, and the electric is out down there.

Buffalo and Fort Erie are shut down. State of Emergency. Driving ban.

Saturday's IMS tour info will go on as planned at 10:00 am. Bring your boots and heavy weather gear.

Watch this page for updates.


Bumpy Debut for Toronto Ferry

10/13 - Toronto -Wearing a white stole embroidered with gold anchor, Father David Mulholland flicked his wand, casting holy water on the carpet of the new terminal building. Next, he was to bless the boat. Behind him, a view across the channel of the island airport and the new Porter Airlines hangars, and a look at the brand new, double-decker TCCA1 ferry, glistening in the rain.

"Blessings don't guarantee success," said Mulholland, 68, of The Mission to Seafarers. "But it's a good and proper thing to say a prayer for a ship." Mulholland said that as far as he knows, never has a boat crashed after his blessing.

Then Mulholland, wearing a navy wool cap, got ready to board what would have to be one of the strangest maiden voyages he's ever taken, one on which the captain would need medical attention and a four-piece old-time band would play a few bars from the Titanic movie theme song, "My Heart Will Go On." For the oft-criticized Toronto Port Authority, and captain of the ship, it would not be the festive day that all had expected. And island airport critics would be crowing by day's end.

The boat set out, drifted west, taking it out of line with the dock on the airport side, then, seemingly misdirected, headed back toward the foot of Bathurst St.


A small group of people standing only a few metres away on the north shore, presumably anti-island airport protestors, started jeering and clapping. The ship that will soon take cars and passengers to the island airport had struck land near the Bathurst St. dock. A Port Authority official said the captain was not in position to approach the slip at the south dock, tried to reposition the boat and that's when he "bumped the dock wall" on the north side. At about 90 seconds, it was supposed to be one of the shortest maiden voyages ever. It took the TCCA1 more than 20 minutes to reach the other side.

No injuries were reported. "I survived," quipped Toronto historian Mike Filey after he got off the boat. "It was a thump. People saw it coming and they steadied themselves."

Port Authority president and CEO Lisa Raitt said afterward that when she walked into the wheelhouse after the "bump," she decided to call the police marine unit to come take a look at the captain. "We've had approximately three weeks of training on it," Raitt said. "Today's a high pressure day. Unfortunately we ended up with a medical problem in the wheelhouse. The captain is being looked at now." But when asked what caused the ship to hit land, Raitt said, "That would be the manoeuvring of the vessel by the captain."

The Port Authority said the ferry waited mid-channel for some time after the incident because it was unclear whether the arriving medics wanted to board the boat or tend to the captain on land. Raitt added that the mate, or second-in-command, took over and helped guide the ship to shore. Dirt and other scrapings hung off a front corner of the scuffed ship, which cost $4.5 million to build. The damage appeared to be superficial.

Fireworks, as planned, hissed into the air and popped to mark the arrival. But the explosions seemed incongruous as media clamoured around disembarking Port Authority officials to find out what happened.

The man believed to be the captain, whom the Port Authority would not name, looked despondent as he walked with rescue workers to a police boat. But Raitt stressed all is under control and on schedule for the launch of Porter Airlines Oct. 23. "This is a solid ferry. It's going to be a solid airline. It's going to be a great asset to the city of Toronto. I'm not disappointed by today, at all. We opened up the infrastructure on time, on budget." The boat is being touted as an important component of the Port Authority's airport access improvements, and will share the heavy load of expectation surrounding the much-publicized arrival of Robert Deluce's Porter Airlines.

A Port Authority spokesperson said the captain, who's driven boats for the TPA for more than 25 years, was home last night and "fine," but there was no word on what caused his "medical situation." "I have utmost respect and I have utmost confidence in his abilities," Raitt said.

Built in Wheatley on Lake Erie, the boat can accommodate 15 cars and the upper passenger area can hold nearly 100 people.

From the Toronto Star


Port Reports - October 13

On Thursday the Edward L. Ryerson enter Fraser Shipyard in Superior for repairs that are described as minor. The vessel was expected to depart Friday depending on the weather. The Ryerson loaded taconite at BN#5 for Lorain, Ohio.

A fall storm has brought gale force winds to most of the lakes delaying shipping. Early Friday morning a weather buoy on Lake Superior recorded 14-foot wave heights on the eastern half of the lake.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
On Thursday the St. Mary's Challenger was moored at the heavy lift dock in Milwaukee's inner harbor, waiting on weather.
In a rare visit the Earl W. Oglebay was idle, berthed at the bulk cargo dock in the inner harbor at a space usually used for unloading salt.
The tug Rebecca Lynn and barge A-410 unloaded at the inner harbor tank farm just north of Greenfield Avenue.
The cross-lake ferry Lake Express appeared to be staying in port due to weather.
A large laker with stern accommodations could be seen traveling light northbound off Milwaukee, hugging the Wisconsin shore in the strong westerly winds.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
Algomarine loaded overnight Wednesday at the Norfolk Southern coal dock. No destination posted.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Thursday had the Federal St. Laurent departing at 3 p.m. The salty Skaftafell arrived in Burlington Bay at 6 p.m. and anchored awaiting the Hamilton Energy who arrived at 6:15 p.m. to refuel her.
The Captain Henry Jackman departed Pier 23 at 6 p.m. for Prescott Ontario. The salty Antikeri departed at 6:30 p.m. CCGC Limnos arrived in Burlington at 7:00 p.m. going to The Centre for Inland Waters.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
The Cuyahoga was out in the bay Thursday morning where it decided to wait because of the weather, it went to anchor farther out and was still there come nightfall. The tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation appeared on the horizon and made its way into port on Thursday morning.
Later in the afternoon the Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay carefully arrived in the Thunder Bay River and tied up in front of the Togue. The vessels will be open for tours over the weekend in conjunction with the lighthouse festival.

Toledo - Bob Vincent
The Lee A. Tregurtha finished loading coal at 6:00 pm Thursday. She will be heading to Algoma Steel plant at the Sault Ste. Marie, ON. Next coal boat will the Wolverine early Friday morning.
Saturday, the John G. Munson coming from Detroit will be in early morning.
The Amelia Desgagnes is due Sunday morning.
At Midwest Terminal Stone Dock the Algorail is due Friday at 6:00 pm coming from Windsor, ON.
On the Ore Dock side (Torco Dock) the American Valor coming from Marquette, MI is due Tuesday October 17.
On Thursday October 19 the Halifax with a load of ore from Seven Islands.


Updates - October 13

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 13

On this day in 1893, Chief Engineer J. H. Hogan left the DEAN RICHMOND in Toledo to take care of some family business. One day later, the DEAN RICHMOND burned off Dunkirk, New York with a loss of 17 lives including the replacement Chief Engineer.

On 13 October 1909, GEORGE STONE (wooden propeller freighter, 270 foot, 1,841 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. Renamed b.) LADY HAMILTON in 1995, reported sold to Voyageur Maritime in 2006.

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, 1,207 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, Russ Plumb, 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.


Vermilion Maritime Museum Moving to Lorain, Planning Bigger Building

10/12 - Lorain- The Great Lakes Historical Society's museum will move from Vermilion to Lorain and expand four-fold, hoping to attract visitors from across the country, officials said Tuesday. The Historical Society plans a 40,000-square-foot lakefront museum with space for permanent displays, traveling exhibits, private gatherings and dock space for tall ships.

A blustery Lake Erie wind on Tuesday couldn't blow away the smiles of Mayor Craig Foltin, City Council members and historical-society leaders who signed a 50-year lease for the land at the mouth of the Black River. The $1-per-year lease contains a renewal clause for an additional 50 years. "In the past, we couldn't fathom having a world-class museum on our waterfront, but I believe it's going to happen," Foltin said, looking over his shoulder where a pellet terminal and piles of iron ore once blocked the view along the city's lakefront.

Groundbreaking for the $17 million museum could be four or five years away as the historical society tries to raise money from grants, endowments and donations. Foltin envisions visitors strolling a boardwalk near restaurants, shops and residences once the museum is built, but he still hopes for casino gambling as well. A deal with the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma to build a casino failed to materialize last year under opposition from state leaders. The Shawnees have filed a federal lawsuit.

Foltin said he'll listen if someone else, such as developer Alan Spitzer, Sam Miller of Forest City Enterprises or Harrahs Casino, steps forward with a plan.

Museum Director Christopher Gilchrest said he expects attendance to grow from 6,500 per year at the current, cramped museum to possibly 50,000. "We want to attract a national audience, but we also want people who live here to visit the museum frequently," he said.

A committee considered other lakefront cities, including Cleveland, Sandusky and other sites in Vermilion in 2004. The entire museum board viewed the site from Foltin's panoramic, seventh-floor window. By the end of the year, Lorain was clearly the favorite for the museum, Gilchrest said. "What a powerful revelation," he said. "We saw its potential as a deep-water port with a lighthouse and boating traffic close to the museum."

The historical society will have a fund-raiser Saturday, Nov. 4, at Avon Oaks Country Club. It will include a $100-per-ticket raffle for a seven- to 10-day trip on a Great Lakes freighter. For more information, call 440-967-3467.

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer


Port Reports - October 12

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
The David Z. Norton arrived at Lafarge around 6:30am on Wednesday. It unloaded carge of coal (coke) throughout the day.
Pulling in under the silos before noon was the Steamer Alpena. It took on cement for Milwaukee and departed the dock at about 3:30pm and carefully backed up to head out into the lake. Once the Alpena cleared, the David Z. Norton backed out of Lafarge and turned around to follow the Alpena out on to the horizon.
The new research vessel Spencer F. Baird is tied up in the Thunder Bay river behind the Togue.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Wednesday was a stormy day with the winds at the Burlington Piers running around 50 km ( 30 miles per hour ) from the south.
The Captain Henry Jackman arrived at 6:00 pm and decided to anchor in Burlington Bay until the winds died down. She is carrying sand for Pier 23 and after unloading will head to Prescott.
The Canadian Enterprise arrived at 7:30 pm and did enter the harbour with coal from Sandusky for Dofasco. Her next port will be Conneaut.
The saltie Transporter arrived at 8:00 pm and also decided to anchor in Burlington Bay.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
Television news reporting the new Port Authority ferry TCCA 1 went out of control today after the captain suffered a medical emergency. The other captain aboard docked the vessel. Details to follow.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
Monday saw three vessels outbound the Saginaw River, first was the tug Mark Hannah and her tank barge outbound from the Dow Chemical dock in Bay City during the afternoon, next was the tug Rebecca Lynn and her tank barge A-410 outbound from the Bit-Mat dock in Bay City in the early evening, and finally the Maumee was outbound from the Wirt Stone dock in Saginaw Monday night.
The Manistee was inbound the Saginaw River early Tuesday morning headed for the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee to unload.
The American Courage was inbound the Saginaw River late Tuesday night headed for the Bay Aggregates dock in Essexville to unload. The Courage finished unloading around 7:00am Wednesday morning, backed from the Bay Aggregates slip, turned around and headed outbound for the lake.
The tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort with the barge Great Lakes Trader were also inbound the Saginaw River late Tuesday night. The pair had a split load for the Wirt Stone docks in Essexville and Bay City.
The tug Barbara Andrie and her tank barge A-390 were inbound the Saginaw River early Wednesday morning headed for the Bit-Mat dock to unload. But at the time the Bit-Mat slip was occupied by the American Courage, so the Andrie berthed at the Essroc dock across the river to wait until the Courage finished unloading and departed. Once the Courage was clear the Barbara Andrie and her tank barge A-390 pulled across the river into the Bit-Mat slip and began unloading. The Barbara Andrie is expected to be outbound the Saginaw River for the lake Thursday morning.


Updates - October 12

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


PWDD Tour Canceled
Other Welland Gathering Events to go on

10/11 - 4 p.m. - It has been necessary to cancel the tour of Port Weller Drydock, which was scheduled for Friday, as part of the Welland Canal Boatnerd Gathering.

The company has not yet settled the differences with their union employees, therefore there is presently no production at the shipyard.

We apologize to anyone who has been inconvenienced by this change. The other events planned for the weekend at the Canal will go on as planned.

See the Gathering Page for other scheduled events.


Today in Great Lakes History - October 12

On this day in 1976, three boats discharged a record 108,379 tons of cargo on a single day at the Pinney Dock in Ashtabula, Ohio. The three boats were the JAMES R BARKER (57,305 tons), the WILFRED SYKES (20,678 tons, and the JOSEPH L BLOCK (30,306 tons).

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, Russ Plumb, 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.


PWDD Tour Canceled
Other Welland Gathering Events to go on

10/11 - 4 p.m. - It has been necessary to cancel the tour of Port Weller Drydock, which was scheduled for Friday, as part of the Welland Canal Boatnerd Gathering.

The company has not yet settled the differences with their union employees, therefore there is presently no production at the shipyard.

We apologize to anyone who has been inconvenienced by this change. The other events planned for the weekend at the Canal will go on as planned.

See the Gathering Page for other scheduled events.


Revision Sought in S.S. Boyer Funding
Put ship's finances on solid ground, director asks local officials

10/11 - Toledo - A small group of community leaders toured the Halloween "ghost ship" Ste. Claire moored in International Park yesterday, but the real scare was the news they heard on the next ship over, the S.S. Willis B. Boyer. Without a dedicated source of revenue, the museum ship could lose its director and what some believe is its best chance yet to turn the ship into a major Ohio tourist attraction.

Paul LaMarre III, the executive director of the Boyer, made a presentation during a breakfast aboard the Boyer, calling for a nonprofit organization to be established to provide an operating budget of $100,000 a year, and $261,000 in capital improvements. "My primary purpose is to try to gain greater support for our program through community and industry leaders," Mr. LaMarre said yesterday. "It's important to make the public aware that this ship really belongs to them, that it is an important part of Toledo's history, and if it is not restored properly they won't have it in the future to show their kids."

He said he's also looking for some stability for his position, noting he works six days a week under temporary status, with no benefits. He would be paid $50,000 under his proposal. "It's not that I'm looking to make more for myself, but I feel it's necessary to have a full-time director," he said. Mr. LaMarre, a marine historian and Navy veteran, was hired in June at $15 an hour as a seasonal employee, with the job to expire at the end of this month.

Denny Garvin, Toledo's director of the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Forestry, said the city cannot afford a full-time position for the Boyer. He said Mr. LaMarre has done a great job of restoring the ship, including repairing leaks and pumping out the hull to float it for the first time in years. "He's presented a challenge. We don't want to lose him," Mr. Garvin said. "He is dedicated to this ship. He wants to dedicate 100 percent of his professional time to it."

The group included members of City Council and the International Park Advisory Board as well as James Hartung, president of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. One proposal made was that the port authority take over management of the museum ship. Mr. Hartung said it is worth exploring. He said he would help spearhead a fund drive aimed at businesses along the river. Councilmen Mark Sobczak and Rob Ludeman expressed support for Mr. LaMarre's proposal.

Mr. Ludeman noted that the new I-280 span over the Maumee River, when finished, likely will draw many visitors who would be interested in touring a restored Boyer. "People will come from all over the world. They're going to want to do more than just look at the bridge," Mr. Ludeman said. Mr. LaMarre has said the Boyer is the largest and best appointed of the museum ships on the Great Lakes.

The Boyer has a new website. Persons interested in helping with plans or donations to save the Boyer, should make contact through the website.

After the Boyer breakfast, the group toured the excursion boat Ste. Claire tied up next door. The ship offers a Halloween tour called "Nautical Nightmare," based on the legend of the "ghost ship" of Boblo Island. The haunt tour, at $18 a ticket, is open Thursdays through Sundays beginning at dark, with the last tour starting at 11 p.m. Thursday, midnight on Friday and Saturday, and 10 p.m. Sunday, as well as on Oct. 30 and 31.

The Boblo Boat tour has a Web site here.

From the Toledo Blade


Green Bay Gets Grant to Move Downtown Coal Piles

10/11 - Green Bay, WI - Plans to move the coal piles along the Fox River in downtown Green Bay took a financial step forward Tuesday.

U.S. Senator Herb Kohl with Mayor Jim Schmitt announced a $227,000 federal grant. The money will be used to figure out options for moving the coal piles. The City of Green Bay will have to submit plans for the coal pile project to the federal government by the end of the year, but it will likely be several years before the move actually happens.

As much as they've been a sign of industry, business and employment, Green Bay's coal piles have also been seen as an eyesore, spreading their dust across the community that's grown up around them. Since the late 1800s, the C. Reiss Company has transported coal, and for almost as long it's kept huge piles of it on the west side of the Fox River -- an area now surrounded by neighborhoods instead of industry.

The city has talked for decades about moving the coal piles. The city wants the company to move north, closer to the mouth of the bay, but even with the federal grant money it's got a long way to go. "To have a company like this closer to the mouth of the river, I think, is the best use of the river," Mayor Schmitt said. "I think we're all encouraged this is the beginning of something important," said Sen. Kohl.

The city estimates this will eventually be a $20 million project that will take ten or more years to complete. Property has to be purchased, permits have to be applied for, dock walls have to be built. And the city, county, state and federal governments all have to play a part in pulling it off.

"It's obviously a big piece of property to relocate and reestablish somewhere else, so we really need to just work on one piece at a time," Allison Swanson of Green Bay Economic Development said.

The next step is buying a piece of property for the coal. The City says there are at least three possible sites it's looking at, including land owned right now by Exxon Mobil.

Story by Jason Allen, WBAY-TV 2 News


Coast Guard Defends Great Lakes Machine Gun Tests

10/11 - The U.S. Coast Guard’s proposal to periodically close 2,500 square miles of the Great Lakes for live machine-gun firing exercises is vital to maintaining its ability to protect the nation’s security, commanders said Tuesday. The proposal has drawn criticism from U.S. and Canadian mayors, business leaders and environmentalists from across the region.

The agency says the exercises incorporate years of experience of safely conducting live-fire tests in the nation’s coastal waters and are designed to have minimal effect on the environment and Great Lakes traffic. The Coast Guard is holding seven public hearings from Monday through Nov. 3 on the plan, and a public comment period extends through Nov. 13.

The training zone proposal follows the Coast Guard’s decision to mount automatic weapons on about 150 Great Lakes vessels as it did earlier with vessels on the East, West and Gulf coasts, said Capt. Patrick W. Brennan, commander of the Coast Guard’s Detroit sector. Live fire practice is an important part of weapons training, Brennan said at a media briefing Tuesday at the agency’s headquarters on the Detroit River. “We need to train in the environment in which we are going to fire the weapons,” he said.

Each of the 34 zones on lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario would be closed to private vessels for four-hour spans about four to eight times a year, he said. Having permanently designated training areas “provides predictability to the public,” he said. “If the Coast Guard is training, that’s where it’s going to be.”

The 60,000-member Michigan United Conservation Clubs, one of the state’s leading hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation advocacy groups, has been looking closely at the Coast Guard proposal and its effects on private boat traffic on the Great Lakes. “We would be looking for any way to cooperate on looking for a way that these things can happen, but not at the expense of the lake,” spokesman Tony Hansen said.

The schedule of hearings is as follows: Monday: Duluth, Minn.; Oct. 18: Spring Lake, Mich.; Oct. 19: Marysville, Mich.; Oct. 23: Cleveland.; Oct. 30: Rochester, N.Y.; Nov. 1: Milwaukee-Chicago area, location to be determined. and Nov. 3: Charlevoix, Mich.

From the Detroit Free Press


Port Reports - October 11

Lorain - C. Mackin
Several ships made stops in Lorain over the weekend. The Ryerson stopped at the Jonick dock on Saturday. The tug Cleveland and barge Cleveland Rocks made two stops at Jonick's on Sunday and Monday. The Buffalo and the St. Clair both made trips upriver to R.E.P.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The American Republic loaded overnight Sunday at the Norfolk Southern coal dock.
Tuesday morning the Canadian Enterprise was under the loading chute. Late in the day the Upper Lakes Shipping Group vessel was eastbound on Lake Erie beneath graying skies.

South Chicago - Brian Z.
The David Z. Norton was loading a cargo of petroleum coke Monday evening at KCBX Terminals in South Chicago. She was bound for Alpena.
The Earl W. Oglebay was due early Tuesday afternoon to load an identical cargo, also sailing for Alpena.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
Monday about 8 a.m. the American Mariner departed after delivering coal to the Greenfield Avenue WE Energies dock.
On Tuesday the small ocean bulker Tatjana (reg. Antigua) was berthed bow in at municipal terminal 3 in the outer harbor.
The saltie Persenk remained loading at the Nidera elevator in the inner harbor.

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Paul R. Tregurtha was loading at Midwest Energy Terminal early Wednesday while fleetmate Herbert C. Jackson sat at nearby CHS elevator. With intermittent rain and snow forecast for the day, it wasn’t clear when the Jackson might load. At 7:30 a.m. it still had its hatches covered. With a gale warning issued for western Lake Superior from midday Wednesday to Friday night, it wasn’t clear how vessel traffic would be affected.

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
The Agawa Canyon arrived in Holland Tuesday evening to unload 13,000 tons of salt from Goderich.

Lorain - C. Mackin
Both the Pathfinder and Buffalo made stops in Lorain Tuesday night. The Pathfinder went to the Jonick dock and the Buffalo to the gypsum dock.


DeTour Reef Light Tours Being Scheduled for 2007 Season

10/11 - DeTour, MI - The DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society has begun taking reservations for 2007 tours of the restored light station located at the mouth of the St. Mary's River. The Light offers great views of northern Lake Huron and vessel traffic to and from the Soo Locks.

Tours are typically scheduled for 8:30, 10:30, 1:30 and 3:30 on Saturdays and/or Sundays mid-June through mid-August. Reservations are required. Tour duration is about two hours including boat ride, with a maximum of six people per tour. Light refreshments will be served at the lighthouse.

Visitors must be physically capable of climbing and descending the 20-foot ladder to reach the lighthouse deck. During ascent and descent, visitors wear a safety harness that requires them to be at least 50 inches tall and weigh less than 300 pounds. For safety reasons, children under 12 are not allowed on the tour.

DRLPS also offers exciting opportunities for lighthouse enthusiast offered at the Light include a Lighthouse Keeper Program where keepers are in residence at the lighthouse for several days and assist with light maintenance and tour visitors.

More information about either program can be found at the society's website:


Updates - October 11

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 11

On this day in 1923, the HENRY STEINBRENNER, of 1901, collided with the J MCCARTNEY KENNEDY at 4:20 p.m. off Parisian Island, Whitefish Bay. The accident occurred during thick smoky weather and both boats were severely damaged.

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 mid-ship 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, Russ Plumb, 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

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Maumee was inbound the Saginaw River Monday morning, going upriver to unload at the Wirt Stone dock in Saginaw. She completed her unload and was outbound for the lake Monday evening.
The tug Rebecca Lynn and her tank barge were outbound from the Bit-Mat dock in Bay City Monday evening. The pair had arrived on Sunday to unload.

Marquette - Rod Burdick & Lee Rowe
On a cold, grey Monday, Lee A. Tregurtha made her first appearance in Marquette after repowering. She unloaded western coal from Chicago and was scheduled to load ore for the Rouge. Boatnerds from as far away as Illinois and Ohio, as well as local enthusiasts, were treated to seeing the Lee A. running again and looking fine in new paint.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Monday the Cuyahoga arrived at 9 a.m. from Cardinal Ontario in ballast and going to pier 26 to load slag for Alpena. She departed for the Welland Canal at 5:30 p.m.
The tug William J.Moore and barge McLeary's Spirit departed Pier 11 at 10 a.m. downbound. CSL Tadoussac arrived at 11 a.m. going to Stelco with iron ore pellets.
The saltie Federal Oshima arrived at 5 p.m.

Alpena & Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Saturday the American Courage backed into Lafarge with a strong wind blowing. It arrived at the coal dock around 5 p.m. and started to unload coal.
Sunday afternoon the tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation came into port to load under the silos for Green Bay.
The American Courage was out in the bay Sunday evening, returning to Lafarge. It was having some type of trouble unloading the coal and spent another night discharging the rest of the load. Monday morning it was heading out into the bay.
The tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity is expected in port on Tuesday morning, Alpena should return on Wednesday.
At Stoneport on Monday morning the tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber took on cargo followed by the Manistee. The Maumee is on the schedule for Tuesday.


Updates - October 10

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 10

On this day in 1891, the SUSAN E PECK collided with the schooner GEORGE W ADAMS above the Soo Locks. The PECK, loaded with wheat for Buffalo, sank in a matter of minutes and completely blocked the navigation channel. The steamer GENERAL ORLANDO POE estimated that 275 boats lost an estimated 825 days and 5 hours waiting for the wreck to be cleared.

On this day in 1956, two F-86 Saber Jets collided over Lake Michigan. The ERNEST T WEIR, Captain Ray R. Redecker, rescued one of the pilots (Lt. Kenneth R. Hughes) after he spent three hours in the water. The ARTHUR M ANDERSON, WILLIAM A IRVIN, and GEORGE W PERKINS participated in an unsuccessful attempt to locate the second pilot.

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, Russ Plumb, 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 9

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
The Persenk, a saltie registered in Varna, arrived in Milwaukee on Sunday morning and was loading at the Nidera Elevator when observed on Sunday afternoon. All else was quiet in the harbor.

Holland - Robert Wass
David Z Norton was at the Verplank Dock in Holland Sunday unloading sand or gravel.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
The Manistee departed from the Wirt Stone dock in Saginaw early Sunday morning but stopped briefly at the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee for fog to clear before backing downriver to the Airport turning basin to turn. The Manistee finished the turn around at the Airport turning basin at 11 a.m. Sunday morning and headed downriver to the lake. The Manistee passed the inbound tug Mark Hannah and tank barge just before Light 12 in the Saginaw Bay Entrance Channel while on her outbound transit. The Manistee was outbound the Saginaw Bay at Tawas Point at 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon headed out onto Lake Huron bound for Stoneport to load.
The Wolverine departed from the GM dock in Saginaw at 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning and headed upstream to the Sixth Street turning basin to turn around. The Wolverine finished the turn at the Sixth Street turning basin and headed outbound the Saginaw River, passing under the I-75 Bridge at Zilwaukee at 12:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
The tug Mark Hannah and her tank barge were inbound the Saginaw River early Sunday afternoon headed for the Dow Chemical dock in Essexville to unload. The pair are expected to be outbound the Saginaw River Monday afternoon.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Friday evening saw the Canadian Leader depart Dofasco at 7 p.m. headed to Thunder Bay followed by the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin departing Stelco at 8:30 p.m. going to Quebec City.
Saturday had the Canadian Transport arriving at 6 a.m. with coal for Dofasco.
The Canadian provider arrived at 8:30 a.m. with iron ore for Dofasco.
Sunday the saltie Beluga Indication departed Hamilton at 1 p.m.
The tug William J. Moore and barge McLeary's Spirit arrived at 4 p.m. going to Pier 11. Michipicoten arrived at 7:30 p.m. The Algoisle departed at 8 p.m. from Dofasco after unloading iron ore.


Tug Company Accepting Applications

Zenith Tugboat Company is now accepting applications for experienced captains with tugboat licenses of 150 gross tons or greater, as well as engineers (unlicensed) experienced with GM or Fairbanks Morse machinery.

There is one opening for a fleet engineer based on the Great Lakes. Must be willing to travel Great Lakes, inland rivers and Atlantic Ocean. Competitive wages, day rates.

There are also immediate openings for part-time crew work.

Call 218-341-9242 or send resumes to Zenith Tugboat Co., PO Box 16687,Duluth, MN 55816.


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 workers 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.'s 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.


One Rescued, Three Missing after Boat Overturns

10/8 - Grand Marais, Mich. – One man was rescued by a Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City helicopter Saturday morning around 1:45 a.m.. The man was the only person rescued from an overturned 18-foot pleasure craft that capsized in Lake Superior yesterday around noon. There were four people who entered the water after their boat capsized in heavy seas. The Coast Guard conducted an extensive search throughout the night and into the early afternoon. Three people remain missing and the Coast Guard has suspended an active search pending further developments.

The Pictured Rocks Park Service reported that the fishing vessel "Blue Heron" departed Grand Marais Marina at 9 a.m. yesterday but failed to return as scheduled at 2 p.m. The Coast Guard used four aircrews aboard two HH-65B Dolphin rescue helicopters from Air Station Traverse City, two rescue boats from Coast Guard Stations Sault Ste Marie and Marquette, a crew aboard a Canadian Coast Guard C-130 fixed-wing aircraft and numerous other vessels from other local agencies to assist in the search that encompassed 930 square nautical miles.

During the aircrew's second search, they sighted an overturned boat with one man clinging to it. Rescue Swimmer, Aviation Survival Technician First Class Shawn Sullivan, was lowered to the man, evaluated him and then assisted him into the rescue basket. Once in the aircraft, the rescued man was flown to Marquette's Sawyer International Airport and transferred to Marquette General Hospital by an awaiting ambulance. He is listed in stable condition.

USCG News Release


Port Reports - October 8

South Chicago - Brian Z.
Grand River's McKee Sons was loading a cargo of petroleum coke at KCBX Terminals on the Calumet River Friday. The loading of 17,000 tons was completed at 1:30 a.m. Saturday and a G tug was enroute to assist her through the river and out into the lake.
Also spotted Friday night was the St. Marys Challenger. She was outbound, light, assisted by the G tug South Carolina on the stern.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris & Todd Shorkey
Saturday was one of the busiest days of the season on the Saginaw River, with 6 vessels moving in the river at some point on Saturday. First was the Algorail, who finished unloading salt at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee early Saturday morning and headed upstream to turn at the Sixth Street turning basin. The Algorail passed the inbound Maumee at the Wirt Stone dock in Bay City and later passed the inbound tug Olive L. Moore and her barge Lewis J. Kuber just before Light 12 in the Saginaw Bay Entrance Channel on her outbound transit. Algorail is bound for Cedarville to load stone.
The Maumee was inbound the Saginaw River early Saturday morning with a split load for the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee and the Valley Asphalt dock in Carrollton. She stopped briefly at the Wirt Stone dock in Bay City to let the outbound Algorail pass before continuing upriver. The Maumee finished lightering at the Burroughs dock at 4:30pm Saturday afternoon and shifted up the river to the Valley Asphalt dock to finish unloading. The Maumee finished unloading at Valley Asphalt dock at 7:30pm, turned in the Sixth Street turning basin parallel to the dock and was outbound for the lake around 8:00pm Saturday night.
The Maumee met the inbound tug Gregory J. Busch and tug Statesboro just past the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee. The Maumee also passed the inbound Wolverine and the Manistee while outbound through Bay City late Saturday night.
The tug Olive L. Moore and her barge Lewis J. Kuber were also inbound the Saginaw River early Saturday morning, with a split load for the Wirt Stone docks in Bay City and Saginaw to unload. The pair finished unloading at the Wirt Stone dock in Saginaw at 10:30pm Saturday night and headed upriver to turn at the Sixth Street turning basin. After turning, the pair will fuel at the Burroughs dock and are expected to be outbound for the lake early Sunday morning.
The Manistee was inbound the Saginaw River early Saturday afternoon with a split load for the Wirt Stone docks in Essexville and Saginaw. The Manistee finished unloading at the Wirt Stone dock in Essexville around 10:30pm and waited briefly at the dock for the outbound Maumee to pass before continuing upriver to the Wirt Stone dock in Saginaw to finish unloading her cargo. The Manistee is expected to be outbound for the lake early Sunday morning.
The Wolverine was inbound the Saginaw River late Saturday night passing the Front Range Light around 9:50pm headed for the GM dock in Saginaw to unload. The Wolverine met the outbound Maumee at the Wirt Stone dock in Bay City on her inbound transit to Saginaw. The Wolverine is expected to be outbound the Saginaw River early Sunday morning.
The tug Gregory J. Busch was inbound the Saginaw River with the tug Statesboro and the deck barge Primary 1 at 6:30pm Saturday evening passing the Front Range Light. The Busch dropped off the deck barge Primary 1 in Essexville before continuing upriver to Saginaw. The Busch arrived with the tug Statesboro at the BMT Terminal in Carrollton at 10:00pm Saturday night. The Busch was returning from her journey to Duluth to Buffalo with wind turbines, with which she brought back with her the tug Statesboro, the newest addition to the Busch Marine fleet.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The annual autumnal spike in shipments from Sandusky's Norfolk Southern coal dock has gotten underway as power generating stations and steel mills beginning building stockpiles in anticipation of freeze-up on the lakes.
On Friday, the American Fortitude loaded for Munising, Mi., and the Nanticoke completed loading a departed late Friday night for an unspecified Canadian port.
Dawn broke over Sandusky Bay Saturday with the John G. Munson easing under the loading chute to take on a cargo for delivery to Ontonagon, Mi. She was joined at mid-morning by the Herbert C. Jackson and posted for a late Saturday arrival was the H. Lee White.


Updates - October 8

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


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 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, and d.) AMERICAN INTEGRITY in 2006.

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, 1,761 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, 1,095 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.


Cedarglen Has Shaft Problems

10/7 - Thunder Bay -  Thursday night about 11:30 p.m. the Cedarglen reported she had suffered a main engine failure and went to anchor about five miles west of Passage Island. She was heading downbound with a load of Wheat from Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Initially, repairs were expected to take three to four hours but the problem turned out to be more severe and tugs were called to assist. The tugs were seen departing for the vessel around 5:30 a.m. Friday morning.

The tow of the Cedarglen and the two tugs arrived back in the port around 3 p.m. Friday afternoon and the vessel was put at anchor. Repairs to the damaged part, which was an overheated bearing on the tail shaft, are expected to take at least 24 hours.

Reported by Tom Stewart


Fort Gratiot Lighthouse Transfer Nears
Port Huron hopes to control historic site next year

10/7 - Port Huron - The white surface of the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse in Port Huron is spotted with red bits of brick peeking from behind the paint, serving as evidence of the 177-year-old building's deterioration. Through the years, outer chunks of bricks forming the lighthouse's tapered, vertical exterior have broken off and fallen from the structure, which is the focal point of the six-building Fort Gratiot Light Station off Omar Street at the southern tip of Lake Huron.

This week, a team of engineers, historical architects and others have been scurrying about the complex, evaluating the condition of the lighthouse, built in 1829, and the buildings surrounding it. The team is preparing for when the city, after years of effort, gains ownership of the light station. It is now a working U.S. Coast Guard station. The city has plans to restore it.

Featured on the city's official seal, the lighthouse is the oldest in Michigan. The city could have control of the light station as early as next year, but it's been a long process. The museum and the city of Port Huron have been working since about 1997 to secure ownership of the light station, now owned by the federal government. They began a process to transfer the complex into city hands about five years ago.

When the process is complete, the museum will operate the light station as a satellite site. Similar efforts to secure ownership of lighthouses, key to preserving and marketing the state's extensive maritime history, have been going on throughout Michigan, said historians and lighthouse enthusiasts.

Quinn Evans Architects of Ann Arbor expects to have a draft of a historic-structures report for the light station completed by the end of the year. The final report, which will serve as a guiding document for restoring the light station, should be done by early next year, said Ruth Mills, a Quinn Evans architectural historian from Algonac. In addition to the lighthouse, the light station features a 106-year-old fog-signal building, the old U.S. Coast Guard station, built in 1932, a keeper's duplex, built in 1874, a garage, a single residence and an equipment building.

It could cost the city about $800,000 to restore the buildings, but a more accurate cost estimate will come with the historic-structures report, said T.J. Gaffney, Port Huron Museum curator. The city has secured a $400,000 grant to cover a portion of the cost. Of the structures, the lighthouse is to be preserved "first and foremost," Gaffney said. It is most in need of repair, Mills said.

Some of the disrepair has been caused by poor maintenance. The surface of the building has been power washed, not allowed to dry, then painted, trapping moisture in the brick. When the water freezes and expands, the brick pops off in spots, she said. Fortunately, Gaffney said, tests Thursday gave early indications the damage is not serious.

The transfer of ownership and restoration are key to establishing the light station as a tourist destination, said Jennifer Radcliff, secretary of the Port Huron Museum board and vice president of the Michigan Lighthouse Fund, a nonprofit group working to secure money for lighthouse projects.

Radcliff was a founding member of the Michigan Lighthouse Project, which is dedicated to ensuring excess Coast Guard properties are transferred into the hands of a viable stewardship group. Projects, such as the one being done in Port Huron, are happening all over Michigan, said Radcliff, who called the state's about 120 lighthouses "a collection of jewels." "From a real current point of view, our maritime offerings are one of the best ways and most valuable ways to create a diverse economy," she said. "We want the lighthouse to lead people to appreciate the whole coast in the state."

She said the goal is to make people look at, value, support and promote lighthouses as a "big part of our state economy."

In Port Hope, about 70 miles north of Port Huron in Huron County, ownership of the Pointe Aux Barques Lighthouse, built in 1857, was transferred in 2003 from the Coast Guard to Huron County. It is overseen by the Pointe Aux Barques Lighthouse Society and is the only publicly accessible lighthouse along the Lake Huron coast north of the Fort Gratiot Light Station. Since the transfer, the keepers' quarters are being renovated and there are plans to renovate the lighthouse.

In total, the society expects it will cost about $470,000, which will be paid primarily with state or federal grants, said Judy Valentine, vice president of the society's board of directors. "The lighthouses are the history of this area," she said. "They do reflect what life was like, how hard it was, and the people who survived."

People come from all over to see lighthouses, Gaffney said. More than 3,000 people toured the Fort Gratiot lighthouse this summer, even though tours are given by appointment only. The light station cannot be marketed by the museum until the city gains ownership, Gaffney said.

Tourism is important, especially with the state of Michigan's economy, he said. Kevin TeBeest, who lives in Burton, east of Flint, has traveled with his family several times to Port Huron to see the lighthouse and enjoy the nearby beach. Originally from South Dakota, he finds lighthouses "unique." He said he has seen 34 lighthouses in Michigan.

When the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse is open for tours, TeBeest said he will "definitely" visit. "My family and I find lighthouses interesting. The history is interesting," he said.

From the Port Huron Times Herald


Port Reports - October 7

Marquette - Lee Rowe & Rod Burdick
The Adam E. Cornelius made some unusual moves in Marquette's lower harbor Friday. She backed into the harbor, then pulled out rather than turning and backing up to the dock. She then anchored outside the breakwall.  She may waiting for winds to subside, before backing into the Shiras Dock with a load of limestone from Drummond Island.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
English River was back in port Friday morning.
Tugging and barging activity is still going full tilt as the Port Authority races to get its new ferry docks completed. The target date to begin service was Thursday.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
While traffic has been very slow on the Saginaw River the past few days, there was one visitor on Friday. The Algorail arrived Friday evening inbound for the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee to unload salt. She was expected to be outbound Saturday morning.

Toledo Lakefront Docks - Bob Vincent
The Kaye E. Barker finished loading coal around 7 p.m. Friday and headed out of Toledo for Algoma steel plant at Sault Ste. Marie, ON.
After the Barker the Wolverine was next to take on a load of coal for Saginaw, MI. It finished loading at 10:30 p.m. Friday.
The next coal boat will the CSL Assiniboine on Tuesday after unload a load of ore at Torco.
On Wednesday, October 11 the Saginaw is due. Lee A. Tregurtha and the Wolverine is due on Thursday.
The John J. Boland is the next ore boat at Torco, due Saturday early morning. CSL Assiniboine is due Monday October 9 from Marquette, MI. After unloading the ore, it's due on the coal side Tuesday early morning.
After the Assiniboine the next ore boat will Thursday.  CSL Niagara and the Algosteel are both due Thursday October 12.


Updates - October 7

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 07

On this day in 1939, the E G MATHIOTT collided with the steamer CORVUS on the St. Clair River. Damage to the CORVUS totaled $37,647.70.

On this day in 1958, the WALTER E WATSON, Captain Ralph Fenton, rescued the sailing vessel TAMARA on Lake Huron.

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 feet x 26 feet 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, Russ Plumb, 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.


Mittal Steel To Idle Cleveland Blast Furnace
No Employees Will Be Laid Off

10/6 - Chicago -- Mittal Steel said it's idling a blast furnace in Cleveland, along with another in Indiana.

The company said the moves reflect a drop in demand for its flat-rolled light steel products.

Mittal said no employees will be laid off.

The steel maker said the furnaces will undergo maintenance and be reactivated when market conditions allow the company to boost production again.



New Merchant Mariner Physical Examination Requirements

10/6 - Washington D.C. - The Coast Guard recently published two Federal Register notices relating to physical examination requirements for merchant mariners, based on National Transportation Safety Board recommendations issued following the catastrophic 2003 Staten Island ferry marine casualty in New York Harbor.

The first notice announces and seeks public comment on a draft Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular on medical and physical evaluation guidelines for merchant mariner credentials. The public can submit comments on the draft through November 27, 2006.

The second notice announces that the Coast Guard will require pilots of certain vessels to provide a copy of their annual physical examinations to the Coast Guard. The requirement applies to all first class pilots on vessels greater than 1,600 gross registered tons and other individuals who serve as pilots on certain types of vessels.

Among the National Transportation Safety Board conclusions were recommendations that the Coast Guard review its medical evaluation process and that pilots be required to submit the results of their annual physical examinations to the Coast Guard for review.

All materials related to these matters, including copies of the Federal Register notices and procedures for submitting comments on the Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular, have been posted to the Coast Guard's Homeport website:

To access the information from the Homeport main page, click on "Merchant Mariners" in the left column. On the next page, click "Updates" under "Medical Evaluations" in the center column. New updates and information will be posted to this website when it becomes available.

U.S. Coast Guard. news release


Lake Superior closing in on record low level

10/6 - The water level in Lake Superior is nearing its lowest point in the past century, according to the latest government data.

The water level in the world's second-largest lake dropped in September to within 2.5 inches of the record low for September, which was recorded in 1926, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "We're getting pretty close" to the record low in Lake Superior, said Carl Woodruff, a hydraulic engineer at the Corps of Engineers office in Detroit.

Water levels in lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron are expected to continue to drop in the coming months, which is typical in the fall, according to the Corps. Lake levels are largely determined by the weather: below-average precipitation and above-average temperatures in recent years have caused levels in the three lakes to plummet, according to federal data. "This past month, the water supplies to the Lake Superior basin and the lakes Michigan-Huron basin were well below their long-term averages for September," according to the latest Corps of Engineers lake levels report.

Lake Superior water levels are significant locally because Superior is a major source of water in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Lower lake levels can make shipping more hazardous. "It's affecting shoreline property owners and shippers are having to carry lighter loads because channel depths will be less than what they used to be," Woodruff said.

The Lake Michigan water level is 19 inches below average for this time of year, but is still one foot above the record low recorded in 1964, according to Corps data. The lake water level dropped 3 inches in September, an inch more than normal for this time of year, according to federal data. The Lake Superior water dropped 2 inches last month, which is double the normal decline for September, according to the corps report. Woodruff said a drought that parched the western portion of the Lake Superior basin this past summer contributed to the lower lake levels.

A new government study will attempt to sort out whether a 1962 dredging project in the St. Clair River caused Great Lakes water levels to plummet. The Corps of Engineers 44 years ago dredged the river bottom to a depth of 30 feet to accommodate shipping traffic. But the Corps neglected to place a structure on the river bottom to prevent future erosion.

Today, parts of the St. Clair River channel are 60 feet deep, which allows more water to flow out of lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron. A privately funded study released last year concluded that the 1962 dredging project "opened a bigger drain hole in the Great Lakes."

The International Joint Commission, a U.S.-Canada panel that oversees Great Lakes water levels, has authorized a government study to determine whether the St. Clair dredging project is responsible for lower lake levels.

From the Muskegon Chronicle


Port Reports - October 6

Escanaba - Rod Burdick
On Thursday, Lee A. Tregurtha was back at the ore dock loading taconite for Indiana Harbor. She departed at 5:00pm and is expected back on Lake Superior runs next week.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
Herbert C. Jackson loaded ore in Marquette Wednesday. The Jackson loaded on the north side which still uses pin knockers to load.
The John J. Boland arrived with a load of stone and then took on ore.

Twin Ports - Al Miller
A frequent caller from its days with Oglebay-Norton, the steamer Reserve was in Superior on Thursday to unload stone at the CLM dock. Once finished it was scheduled to shift across the harbor to the DMIR ore dock to load taconite pellets.
Paul R. Tregurtha arrived in Duluth at midday after hauling a load of coal to Taconite Harbor. It stopped to fuel at the Murphy Oil depot at the port terminal while waiting for Canadian Enterprise to finish loading at Midwest Energy Terminal. Once loaded with coal, the PRT is scheduled to depart for St. Clair, Mich. Indiana Harbor was due at Midwest Energy Terminal later in the day.
Elsewhere in port, CSL Tadoussac was loading at BNSF ore dock and salties Borkum was loading at AGP elevator in Duluth and Milo was loading at CHS elevator in Superior.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
American Courage was loading Thursday night at the Norfolk Southern coal dock.

Buffalo - Rene
The salty Skaftafel has left Santos, Brazil with a load of wind turbine parts for Buffalo. Skaftafel transited the Seaway in 2000 and 2001 under the name BBC Brazil.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
James Norris was in port Thursday and departed in mid-afternoon.
The tall ship Fair Jeanne, which has been in port for the better part of a week, departed for the Welland Canal late in the evening.
The tour boat Yankee Lady III was taken down the Turning Basin to Toronto Drydock, where it will be put on the dock for it's 5 year inspection.
Toronto Drydock Co.'s tug M. R. Kane departed late in the evening for the Welland Canal. It will take the houseboat Sea Gal (which was used in the 2000 movie "Exit Wounds" starring Steven Seagal) to Port Dover, where the houseboat was built as the dredge Dover Draulic in 1953.


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. Her 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.

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. She was scrapped at Port Colborne in 1985.

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


Cruise Ship to Visit Port Huron

10/5 - Port Huron - The luxury cruise ship c. Columbus is scheduled to arrive at the Seaway Terminal in Port Huron at 7:00am on Sunday.

Passengers and crew members will be touring the city and area while the vessel is docked.

The Columbus plans to depart at 8:00am on Monday.

Seaway Terminal news release


Port Reports - October 5

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
Wednesday's gales brought some unusual visitors to Thunder Bay off Alpena, Michigan. The Pineglen went to anchor around 1 p.m. and three hours later the Purvis Marine tug Wilfred M. Cohen with its barge also sought shelter from the wind.
The Alpena was due into port early Thursday morning. The tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity is also expected at Lafarge on Thursday.
At Stoneport on Wednesday the Wolverine was loading cargo but strong winds stopped the process for quite awhile. The Pathfinder was waiting nearby at anchor for its turn to dock which was expected to be after 9 p.m.
The CSL Laurentien was seen passing by Stoneport.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The American Fortitude came through the North Entrance at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday and headed up the river without assistance straight in. She departed around 4:00 am Thursday.

Muskegon - Dick Fox
The tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation was tied up along side the Mart Dock. The Paul H. Townsend remains in lay up at the same facility.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The Sam Laud completed loading and sailed from the Norfolk Southern coal dock early Wednesday. Wednesday night the Algosoo was under the loading chute at the coal dock.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Agawa Canyon was outbound the Saginaw River early Tuesday morning after unlading overnight at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee.
Inbound on Tuesday was the Algosar who called on the Ashland-Marathon dock in Bay City. Algosar was in contact with the tug Duluth for assistance in turning around and making the dock. After loading, the Algosar was outbound for the lake Wednesday morning once the inbound tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber cleared their position.
The Moore & Kuber traveled all the way upriver to unload at the GM dock in Saginaw. They were expected to be outbound Thursday morning. Also in the river on Wednesday was the tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41. The pair unloaded at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City and were then outbound for the lake Wednesday night.


Updates - October 5

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 05

On this day in 1954, the GEORGE M HUMPHREY was christened at Lorain. The HUMPHREY successfully completed her sea trials on 10/6 and carried 191,214 tons of iron ore in nine trips before laying up for the season.

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.

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, 1,484 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,Russ Plumb, 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.


Alder Sweep to Measure Cargo Deposits

October 4 - Duluth - Using sophisticated electronics, the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Alder is mapping portions of Lake Superior 300 to 500 feet below the surface. The sonar images collected by researchers aboard the Alder will be used to help assess the effects of cargo sweeping on the Great Lakes. Cargo sweeping is the practice of cleaning — usually spraying out — a ship’s holds to prevent cross-contamination of materials.

The overboard cargo adds up. Each year, about 2 million pounds of residual cargo winds up in the Great Lakes, according to federal estimates. A U.S. Department of Transportation study found that American-flagged carriers deposited about 548 tons of cargo in the Great Lakes as a result of sweeping during the 2004-05 season.

To learn about the accumulated effects of cargo sweeping, the Alder was equipped with a downrigger on Sept. 19. Suspended below this downrigger was a 5-foot-long torpedo-shaped “tow-fish” that used sonar to map the contours of the lake bottom. Researchers tried to maintain a cushion of about 100 feet between the “flying” probe and the lakebed at all times.

In addition to mapping Lake Superior’s bottom, the sonar also provides information about the density of material found there. The stronger the return signal from the bottom, the denser the material found there generally is, said Jamie Maughan, project manager for CH2MHill, a Denver-based engineering and environmental consulting firm retained to collect data for the study.

Maughan said researchers probably will devote special attention to areas with the strongest sonic rebounds, as these may be surfaces littered with materials such as taconite pellets, limestone or coal. Together, the three cargoes account for all but an estimated 1 percent of the cargo washed into the lakes through sweeping.

The Alder, based in Duluth, has proven a valuable tool for researchers because of its sophisticated global-positioning equipment and its ability to accurately hold station even in rough water. A map of the lake’s bottom emerged strip by strip, as the Alder made multiple passes over study areas. “We’re the perfect platform,” said Lt.j.g. Kenny Pepper, an officer aboard the Alder. “For us, it’s pretty much like mowing a lawn.”

The Alder focused on two mile-wide sections of the lake’s bottom: The first area, about 19 nautical miles northeast of Duluth along the established trackline for lakers outbound from the Twin Ports, measured 20 nautical miles. The second study area, about 25 nautical miles east of Silver Bay along the established trackline for vessels outbound from that port, stretched 17 nautical miles. Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Mary Sohlberg said similar sonar research will explore parts of Lake Michigan and Lake Erie this year.

In April, researchers will return to collect 2-foot-deep soil samples from the test sites. These soils will be tested for toxicity, forms of aquatic life and nutrients that could fuel algae growth. The samples will be compared with soil from less-disturbed areas.

Sohlberg said scientists plan to take a snapshot not only of the current lake bottom but to model what it will look like in the future, if cargo sweeping practices remain unchanged. She hopes to have a draft environmental impact statement completed by the fall of next year. The document will be subject to scientific peer review. Environmentalists concerned about the effects of sweeping have called for greater regulation study of the issue.

The concept of a study has been embraced by many industrial interests, too. “We’re cooperating fully,” said Glen Nekvasil, vice president of corporate communications for the Lake Carriers Association, a Cleveland-based trade organization representing the operators of American-flagged lakers. “We believe this study is important because future decisions need to be based on good, hard scientific data.” Of course, Nekvasil added that carriers are optimistic the study will verify that existing policies governing sweeping are “environmentally sound.”

Vessels are authorized to sweep their holds only in certain portions of the Great Lakes, mostly in deep water far from shore.

From the Duluth News Tribune


Port Reports - October 4

Munising -
Tuesday morning the barge Primary I was lying for weather with the tugs Statesboro and Gregory Busch. The trio was expected to depart on Thursday, weather permitting, for Saginaw.

Lorain - C. Mackin
The Canadian Progress stopped in Lorain on Monday and made the trip upriver. Also in port was the tug Cleveland and barge Cleveland Rocks going to Terminal Ready Mix early Tuesday morning.

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Twin Ports boat watchers saw a variety of action early Tuesday. The cruise ship C. Columbus was fueling at the port terminal.
Paul R. Tregurtha was loading at Midwest Energy Terminal. Algocape was preparing to resume loading at CHS elevator in Superior.
Clipper Falcon was at General Mills in Duluth. Borkum was at AGP elevator in Duluth.
American Spirit, loading at BNSF. The J.A.W. Iglehart remains in temporary lay up in Superior.

Toledo -
Federal Saguenay is at The Andersons Kuhlman Facility.

Gary Indiana - Brian Z.
The Manistee departed the Gary piers at 10:30 a.m. after unloading her cargo of taconite fines. Algowood was loaded with coke breeze and ready for departure at 6 p.m.
Holly Marine's tug the Holly Ann had a busy day shuttling barges between South Chicago and Gary. Holly Ann made two trips Tuesday and last departed the piers at 4:15 p.m.


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 gross tons, 12,830 net tons, 32,279 deadweight tons. She 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 Ro/Ro 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 Kahoshiung, Taiwan for scrapping, 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, 1,456 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.


Port Reports - October 3

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
On Sunday, the tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber called on the Saginaw River with a split load. The pair lightered at the Sargent dock in Essexville before continuing all the way up to the Saginaw Rock Products dock in Saginaw to finish. They were outbound Monday afternoon.
The Agawa Canyon was inbound Monday evening headed upriver to unload at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee. She expected to be finished around 3am and outbound for the lake around 4:30am Tuesday morning.
Vessel passages on the Saginaw River totaled 38 in September, which is the same number as in September 2005. For the year the number of vessels is down by 40 compared to last year. There have been 216 passages this year, compared to 256 in 2005.

Gary - Brian Z.
On a wild weather day, Algoma Central's Algowood was loading a cargo of coke breeze at USX Steel's east dock. Afternoon's summer-like weather quickly turned stormy with a wind switch from the north, bringing heavy rain and hail. The Algowood is expected to load 29,000 tons, destined for Port Cartier. She is due to depart sometime early evening on Tuesday.

Escanaba - Dick Lund
On Monday, the Lee A. Tregurtha was in Escanaba, MI loading ore.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Saturday the American Courage arrived in the bay around 2:00pm and proceeded to back into Lafarge. It tied up at the dock and unloaded a cargo of coal.
Later in the evening the G.L Ostrander/barge Integrity pulled in to take on cargo under the silos.
On Sunday morning a Coast Guard vessel was seen farther out in the bay. As of Monday evening it is still in the same area and appears not to be moving much.
The Steamer Alpena returned Monday morning to load cement and is expected to head back to Detroit.
Also calling on Monday at Lafarge was the Samuel de Champlain/barge Innovation.


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

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Pan Voyager loading at the elevators, Algosteel loading at Sifto Salt on Sunday.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer & Jon N. Vogel
Saturday the ocean bulker Isa from the Polsteam line (reg. Limassol, Cyprus) was docked at municipal terminal 2 in Milwaukee's outer harbor, unloading steel.
About noon on Sunday the St. Mary's Challenger remained at its terminal on the Kinnickinnic River. American Steamship's American Mariner was discharging coal at the WE Energies facility at the east end of Greenfield Avenue.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The Herbert C. Jackson loaded Sunday at the Norfolk Southern coal dock for Algoma Steel, Sault St. Marie, Ont.

Lorain - Linda Seabold
The Federal Saguenay completed unloading at Lorain's Jonick dock Sunday and was maneuvered down the Black River and out into the lake by two tugs at about 1:30 p.m. She headed east.
The tugs stuck around as waiting off the Lorain lighthouse was the Federal Seto. The tugs towed her stern-first up the river to Jonick's, passing under the Berry Bascule Bridge at approximately 3:30 p.m.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
Algorail brought in a load of salt for Verplank’s late Sunday afternoon. It came in bow first and was still unloading at 7:30pm.


Updates - October 2

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 02

On her maiden trip in 1905, the PETER WHITE grounded outside the Lackawanna breakwall. After lightering 200 tons, she proceeded to the Lackawanna Steel mill where the remainder of the cargo was unloaded.

On this day in 1979, the ELTON HOYT 2ND unloaded her last cargo as a straight decker at the Ashtabula & Buffalo Dock, Ashtabula, Ohio.

On 02 October 1901, M M DRAKE (wooden propeller freighter, 201 foot, 1,102 gross tons, built in 1882, at Buffalo, New York) and her consort MICHIGAN (3-mast wooden schooner-barge, 213 foot, 1,057 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 laid up at Manitowoc, Wisconsin. She was scrapped in S. Chicago in 1984.

The JOHN T HUTCHINSON and CONSUMERS POWER arrived at Kaohsiung, Taiwan on 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, Russ Plumb, 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 1

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey & Tim Wahl II
On a rainy Saturday, the Algoway and Calumet both called on docks along the banks of the Saginaw River. The Algoway was inbound early Saturday morning unloading at the Sargent Dock in Zilwaukee. She completed her unload and was outbound around 3:30 pm Saturday.
The Calumet called on the Sargent dock in Essexville and was due to depart shortly after the outbound Algoway passed.
The tug Duluth was outbound just ahead of the Algoway with two dredge material barges.

Burns Harbor - Tom Milton
The Pineglen was taking on corn at Cargill and the Wilfred Sykes was being loaded at Mittal Steel.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
On a damp, sometimes rainy Saturday Pan Voyager was loading wheat at the elevators. Early in the evening, Algosteel backed into the channel to load at Sifto Salt.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Saturday had the Quebecois departing at 5:30 am. The CCGC Simons departed The Canada Centre for Inland Waters in Burlington at 9:00 am. The tug Avenger IV and barge arrived at 12:00 noon. The Cedarglen departed at 4:00 pm from Dofasco Dock 1.
The Voyageur Independent arrived at 8:00 pm going to Pier 25 JRI Elevators.


Updates - October 1

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - October 01

In 1986, the HERBERT C JACKSON rescued Carl Ward and his nephew after they had been adrift on lower Lake Michigan for 80 hours.

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 feet X 33 feet 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, Russ Plumb, 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.

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