Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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* Report News

 

Slump in steel industry sends the Ryerson to early lay-up

10/31 - 6 p.m. special report - The Edward L. Ryerson was expected to spend the rest of the season delivering taconite to Lorain, Oh. Due to the recent idling of blast furnaces at steel mills around the lakes she will head for an early lay-up.

They Ryerson is expected to depart Lorain Friday night or Saturday and head upbound to enter lay-up at Fraser Shipyard in Superior, Wisconsin.

It is unknown what the 2009 season will hold for the Ryerson, her future sailing will depend on demand in the steel industry.

Reported by: Greg Warner

 

American Republic first to lay up

10/31 - Toledo - American Republic, which was headed to Toledo's Ironhead Marine to replace a scored stern thruster shaft, was ultimately directed by the company to lay up for the season.

The vessel was scheduled for several more stone loads this season, but that business has dried up. American Republic is operated by American Steamship Co.

 

Port Report - October 31

Goderich - J. Stuparyk
Thursday was a busy day in the port of Goderich, Ont., with Algoway loading salt, Federal Kumano loading grain, Ojibway loading soy beans and the Cuyahoga anchored out on the lake. Earlier, the Canadian Transfer was loading salt at Sifto.

 

Lake's water levels down
Lower-than-average water makes pulling boats difficult

10/31 - Port Clinton, Ohio - Recent winds have forced water levels lower along the North Coast while pushing levels at the east end of the lake higher.

Water levels in Lake Erie's Western Basin fluctuate naturally according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers meteorologist Keith Kompoltowicz, of the Detroit office. The main source of the lake's water, about 80 percent in fact, is the Upper Great Lakes and the five states and two provinces that drain into them.

"The lake level fluctuates between 13 and 14 inches a year," said Kompoltowicz. He added lake levels began 2008 slightly below long-term averages, peaked in May and June and is now slightly below average. Kompoltowicz said the Corps monitors water levels daily through a network of meters in Toledo and Fairport Harbor as well as two locations on the Canadian side of the lake.

When the wind blows from the west, he said, water levels in the Western Basin are affected dramatically. "The difference between water levels in Toledo and Buffalo can vary as much as 15 or 16 feet," said Kompoltowicz. He pointed out that the geographical orientation of the lake itself runs from southwest to northeast, with prevailing lake winds coming from the southwest.

Brenda Culler, ODNR Division of Coastal Management spokeswoman, said the heavy west winds moving water from one side of the lake to the other is called a wind set-up event. "It happens because the Western Basin is so shallow," she said.

Residents and boaters have probably noticed extremely low water levels in the area during the past week. Many boat owners have been unable to pull their boats from the lake because of the water levels. Others have been unable to head out to the lake to fish. Ottawa County shores have grown since the west wind came, and rock outcroppings on the lake that are normally under water are clearly visible. In addition, shallow areas on the Sandusky River are now visible, since the lake level directly affects the level of its tributaries.
But Culler said that won't last long. As soon as the west wind subsides, she said, the water will return from the east end of the lake in what Culler called a seiche -- a sudden oscillation in a body of water. "It's like a big tub," explained Culler, saying the water will flow back and forth in the lake until it eventually settles. While the lower than usual water levels create minor problems for anglers and duck hunters in shallow areas, it generally doesn't affect commercial vessels.

"We haven't had any problems at our dock," said John Crawley, materials performance manager at LaFarge in Marblehead, Ohio. Crawley said the water levels around the Marblehead loading docks are deep enough to accommodate all the ships that come in. Occasionally though, he said they do load the ships a little lighter if the water levels are lower. "If the east wind blows hard," Crawley said, "they'll snap their lines." Crawley said heavy east winds will force some ships to pull out, anchor between Marblehead and Kelleys Island and return when the winds subside.

From the Port Clinton News Herald

 

Shippers, port officials criticize scaled-back dredging

10/31 - Duluth - Great Lakes dredging plans for fiscal year 2009 are considerably less ambitious than in 2008, prompting criticism from the shipping community.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to award 12 dredging projects in 2009, compared with 39 in 2008. The agency is working with a proposed presidential budget of $16 million versus the $27 million it received for dredging in the Upper Great Lakes during fiscal year 2008. “The fiscal year 2009 dredging program represents a significant reduction from our efforts in fiscal year 2008. However, we still feel that we can maintain minimum functional channel requirements across the Great Lakes system,” said Wayne Schloop, chief of operations for the corps’ Detroit District, in a news release issued Wednesday.

But Jim Sharrow, facilities manager for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, said: “We are concerned that this budget would fall short of what we need to catch up with the dredging backlog that has developed in the system over the years.” “What’s being proposed is clearly inadequate. It wouldn’t begin to meet the needs of commerce,” said Glen Nekvasil, vice president of corporate communications for the Lake Carriers Association, an organization that represents the operators of U.S.-flagged vessels on the Great Lakes.

As channels become shallower, lakers often are forced to lighten the loads they carry, decreasing the efficiency of the system.

Sharrow contends the corps really needs to dedicate as much money for dredging in 2009 as it did in 2008 to make headway against shoaling that has occurred in the Great Lakes and the waterways that connect them. The Lake Carriers Association reports that 17 million cubic yards of material would need to be removed to get the St. Lawrence Seaway System back to the “project dimensions” at which it was to be maintained. The corps currently plans to dredge 1.175 million cubic yards of material from the system in 2009.

The projects on tap in 2009 include dredging 120,000 cubic yards of material from the Twin Ports’ waters. “That amount of dredging would be acceptable for holding our own in this harbor,” Sharrow said, adding that his concerns are larger: “We have a large system, and vessels need to be able to traverse it. If some part is being shorted, it affects the overall health of shipping.” Sharrow said he remains hopeful that Congress will see fit to appropriate more money for dredging throughout the Great Lakes than President Bush’s administration has budgeted. That’s what happened in 2008.

From the Duluth News Tribune

 

Updates - October 31

News 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 Sault Ste. Marie went askew and blocked boat traffic until 3:40 p.m., on 11/2/84. 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.

 

Coast Guard announces change in TWIC compliance date
for all Great Lakes ports

10/30 - Cleveland - The U.S. Coast Guard announced Monday that December 1, 2008, is the new compliance date for implementation of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) for owners and operators of facilities located within the U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port Zones of Buffalo, N.Y., Duluth, Minn., Detroit and Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., and Lake Michigan.

In accordance with the requirements of the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) and the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act (SAFE Port Act), the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) serve as an identification card for all personnel requiring unescorted access to secure areas of MTSA regulated and facilities. To obtain a TWIC, an individual must successfully pass a security threat assessment conducted by Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

The original October 31, 2008, compliance date for these facilities was extended due to a power outage at a Transportation Security Administration facility that has delayed the activation of some TWICs. TWIC activations nationwide have been rescheduled to begin again the week of November 10, 2008, at which point workers on the Great Lakes, and at ports with compliance dates on or before December 1, 2008, will be able to activate their TWICs. Activation for all other ports will be available nationwide later in November.

TWIC program pre-enrollment and status checks are still available nationwide and those workers requiring a TWIC are encouraged to enroll as soon as possible. The final compliance date for all licensed and documented merchant mariners and vessel operators who are required to have a TWIC remains April 15, 2009.

Updates on TWIC activation and rescheduling can be found at www.tsa.gov/twic. Additional information and a framework showing expected compliance dates by Captain of the Port zone is available on the U.S. Coast Guard's Homeport Web site at http://homeport.uscg.mil/twic. Captain of the Port zone maps with ports annotated are available on that Web site under General Information, COTP Zone Maps. You may also call 1-866-DHS-TWIC (1-866-347-8942) or 1-877-MTSA-AID (1-877-687-2243, Option 1) for more information.

USCG News Release

 

Not a happy ending for U.S. Steel
Blames gloomy outlook on slumping economy, declining demand

10/30 – Hamilton, Ont. - A "volatile global economic climate" will cut results at U.S. Steel in the final months of the year, the firm said yesterday. The gloomy outlook comes despite record third quarter earnings that more than tripled over the same period last year.

The owner of the former Stelco reported the most profitable quarter in its history with earnings of $919 million US. That's up from $269 million during the third quarter of 2007and $668 million in the second quarter of this year. But a turn in the steel markets as a result of the global economic crisis has prompted the Pittsburgh firm to cut steel production.
U.S. Steel CEO John Surma, who declined to provide specifics, said the company is "operating well below the rates we operated at ... during that last quarter." "We expect to continue to operate at reduced production levels, corresponding with customer order rates."

The company had decided to shut down one of two blast furnaces at Great Lakes, near Detroit, for maintenance through the end of the year, Surma said. He did not comment on U.S. Steel Canada, formerly Stelco, where a Hamilton blast furnace has already been shut down for a period of six to eight weeks, according to sources.

A slowing global economy combined with the credit crisis has weakened demand for cars, appliances and construction. Steel buyers are struggling to get loans to buy steel or are opting to use up existing inventories instead. The slump has in turn caused prices and demand for steel to fall at a rapid rate. "It was a very abrupt slowdown, unlike any we've seen," Surma said.

Demand and prices for flat-rolled steel – which helped drive profits in the third quarter – have softened in North America and the company expects shipments to decline in the fourth quarter. Based on "very weak market conditions," U.S. Steel also expects results to decline substantially at its European operations. Results for its tubular division are expected to be comparable to the third quarter. Customer inventories are declining, Surma said, opening the possibility that steel consumption and orders will recover by the end of the year or early in 2009.

But with the U.S. dollar gaining strength, imports have risen in the U.S. even as demand plummets, said Chuck Bradford, a New York-based steel analyst. "Things look very bleak for steel in 2009," he said. "The signs are not very good economically." Sal Tharani, an analyst with Goldman Sachs expects "a sharp deterioration in U.S. Steel's earnings in the next few quarters due to falling prices and demand, a significant deterioration in Europe, and its relatively fixed cost structure."

U.S. Steel shares rose 14 per cent to close at $35.20. In the last 52 weeks, the stock has ranged from $30.48 to $196.

From The Hamilton Spectator

 

Layoffs looming at two Iron Range steel mines
Cliffs Resources says layoffs must accompany production decrease

10/30 - Duluth - The effects of a slowing economy are finally coming to roost on the Iron Range. Cliffs Resources said Tuesday it will immediately cut production at Northshore Mining and United Taconite by a combined total of about 300,000 tons per month. That will reduce the plants’ combined monthly output by more than 30 percent.

A statement from Cliffs said “workforce adjustments” will need to be made as it throttles back production at the mines, but spokeswoman Maureen Talarico said she could not say how many people would be laid off. “The details have not been finalized yet,” she said.

While specifics were lacking, speculation swirled through the mining community Tuesday. “There are rumors that it could be up to a 25 percent cut,” said John Rebrovich, the subdirector of United Steelworkers District 11. As a union, the United Steelworkers represents most of the 516 people employed at United Taconite in Forbes and Eveleth, where Cliffs plans to idle one furnace. Another 561 people are employed at Northshore in Babbitt and Silver Bay, where Cliffs said it will shut down two furnaces. Northshore is the only non-union taconite producer on the Iron Range.

Together, Northshore and United have an annual capacity of 11.5 million tons. Both had been running full tilt until this month. In fact, Northshore invested about $40 million to bring a long-idle furnace back on line in March, boosting the facility’s capacity by about 800,000 tons and creating 30 new jobs.

The latest change of gears has been jarring to say the least, according to Rebrovich. “We’ve seen plenty of ups and downs before, but we’ve never seen things go to hell in this short a period of time,” he said. Demand is weakening, the dollar is getting stronger and making U.S. steel more expensive, and micro-mills that process scrap metal are providing stiff competition. Cliffs’ largest single pellet buyer, Arcelor Mittal, recently announced plans to cut its production by up to 15 percent in light of reduced demand for its steel.

Barring a rapid improvement, analysts anticipate cuts at other area mines.

Rebrovich said there’s concern about possible production cuts at U.S. Steel’s Minntac mine in Mountain Iron, the state’s largest taconite operation. U.S. Steel also owns the single-line Keetac plant near Keewatin, but the multiline Minntac has more flexibility to adjust production without a costly shutdown.

While U.S. Steel would not respond to direct questions Tuesday about the outlook at its Minnesota mines, chief financial officer Gretchen Haggerty talked about production levels Tuesday in a quarterly earnings report. “We expect a decline in fourth quarter results mainly due to softening demand and prices for flat-rolled products in North America and Europe, and we expect to continue to operate at reduced production levels, corresponding with customer order rates,” Haggerty said.

The restructuring and consolidation that the U.S. steel industry has undergone in recent years may better position it to withstand the current downturn, according to Donald J. Gallagher, president of Cliffs’ North American Business Unit. “Today, the domestic steel and iron ore industries are better positioned than in the past to weather downturns such as this, and while we regret having to take this action, production and demand must be balanced to meet customer needs and to ensure the continued health of the business,” he said in a statement about Cliffs’ cutbacks issued Tuesday.

From the Duluth News Tribune

 

Saginaw River among '09 dredging projects

10/30 - Detroit – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, plans in 2009 to award contracts for a dozen maintenance dredging projects for rivers and harbors in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. “The fiscal year 2009 dredging program represents a significant reduction from our efforts in fiscal year 2008. However, we still feel that we can maintain minimum functional channel requirements across the Great Lakes system,” said Wayne Schloop, chief of operations for the Detroit District.

In 2008, the Detroit District awarded contracts to dredge 39 projects. Some of the contracts awarded in 2008 were a direct result of the Congressional Omnibus Appropriations Bill, which provided for a much more comprehensive dredging program. Maintenance dredging shoaled material is required in many of the harbors and rivers in order to keep shipping lanes open for local commerce and recreational boaters. If the river isn’t dredged, water depths decrease and commercial vessels must transport lighter loads, leading to more river trips by vessels and increasing the cost of transportation, goods and materials.

Here are the Corps’ planned 2009 dredging projects for the Upper Great Lakes:
Detroit River, Mich. 200,000 cubic yards
Duluth, Minn.-Superior, Wis. 120,000 cubic yards
Grand Haven, Mich. (outer harbor) 50,000 cubic yards
Grand Haven, Mich. (inner harbor) 30,000 cubic yards
Green Bay, Wis. 160,000 cubic yards
Holland, Mich. (outer harbor) 35,000 cubic yards
Ludington, Mich. 40,000 cubic yards
Monroe, Mich. 70,000 cubic yards
Ontonagon, Mich. 45,000 cubic yards
Rouge River, Mich. 80,000 cubic yards
Saginaw, Mich. 300,000 cubic yards
St. Joseph, Mich. (outer harbor) 45,000 cubic yards

From WNWO TV-24 Toledo

 

Port Reports – October 30

Lorain -
Edward L. Ryerson remained at anchor off Lorain, Ohio, Wednesday. She is expected in port Thursday after a saltwater vessel departs the Jonick Dock, where the Ryerson is due to unload. This is the first of several planned trips to the port.

 

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 side wheel "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.

On 30 October, 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.

 

St. Marys Cement Plant in Charlevoix to lay off 80 as of Dec. 1

10/29 - Charlevoix, Mich. - St. Marys Cement Plant in Charlevoix announced Thursday that it would be laying off about 80 percent of its hourly workforce by Dec. 1. The plant currently employs 100 hourly and 27 salary workers. The company currently employs two vessels, including the historic St. Marys Challenger, delivering powdered cement to its plans around the lower Great Lakes.

Steve Gallagher, vice president of human resources for St. Marys Cement Group, said their corporation anticipates the lay-off will last for one month. "This is a temporary lay-off," he said. "We anticipate in early January we'll start bringing people back and we'll be bringing back most if not all."

Gallagher said this decision was made as a result of the slowing economy.

"It¹s economics driving this decision, there¹s a lack of demand for our product and we have excess inventory. Charlevoix¹s (problem), in part, is linked to the construction industry," he said. "It¹s in no way a reflection of people who work at the plant, we have great employees."

Gallagher said the situation in Charlevoix mirrors what is happening at several of their other locations. Both the company¹s cement plants in St. Marys and Bowmanville, Ontario, are experiencing lay-offs similar to Charlevoix, and the corporation is ceasing operations at its plant in Dixon, Ill. Gallagher said this is the first major lay-off their company has experienced in 20 years.

From the Petoskey News Review

 

Canadian steel makers cut output as economy slows

10/29 - Two steel makers are slashing Canadian production as the credit crisis spills over into the broader economy and deals yet another blow to the country's battered manufacturing sector.

Essar Steel Algoma Inc. in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., is shutting a blast furnace it just brought back online in August. And people familiar with the situation said U.S. Steel Canada, a unit of United States Steel Corp. of Pittsburgh, will shut a blast furnace at its Hamilton plant later this month for a period of six to eight weeks.

"In two weeks, all their customer base collapsed," said a person with knowledge of U.S. Steel Canada's plans. "They have had customers say we can't get financing to pay for this." U.S. Steel operates one blast furnace in Hamilton and another at its Lake Erie Works in Nanticoke, Ont.

It's not clear whether the production cuts at the two steel makers will lead to temporary layoffs and thus ripple further through the economy.

From the Globe & Mail

 

ArcelorMittal optimistic despite bad economic news

10/29- Hamilton - ArcelorMittal expects profits and cash flow to rise in the final six months of the year, despite the global slowdown and falling demand.

"Despite the current financial crisis, the Chinese economic slowdown and the strong destocking taking place on steel markets, we are pleased to expect profitability improvement in the second half of this year," said ArcelorMittal CEO Lakshmi Mittal. Raw materials for steel-making are carried to ArcelorMittal plants by Great
Lakes vessels.

Analysts say steelmakers are in for some tough times as the roiling markets and deepening credit crunch take their toll. Demand for steel has been on a steep slide since the summer months, when production rates and prices were at record levels. Some large steel buyers are struggling to borrow money to buy steel while others are opting to reduce existing inventories. "When the credit markets dried up, steel buying came to a halt," said Mike Willemse, a senior industry analyst for CIBC World Markets.

The price for hot rolled coil has already plunged to $780 US from the record high of $1,070 in July. Those prices could drop as low as $600 per ton by 2009, Willemse said, cutting close to the average break-even cost of making steel. "It'll be a rough year, ­ not a disaster, but rough," Willemse said.

Companies are responding by cutting production. ArcelorMittal Dofasco announced plans late last month to scale back production in the second half of the year, with CEO Juergen Schachler citing "tough economic times and unexpected weakness in the North American manufacturing sector."

Globally, ArcelorMittal has said it will cut production by 15 per cent to meet demand. China's steel association has reportedly said some of its steelmakers were prepared to cut production by 20 per cent. "I think fundamentally, steel is OK but the customers are in big trouble," said Chuck Bradford, a New York-based steel analyst. "They are running into substantial financial difficulty."

From The Hamilton Spectator

 

Port Reports - October 29

Toledo - Bob Vincent and Jim Hoffman
The American Republic looks to have entered winter layup. Both anchors are down, the walkway back aft is permanent, and she is also pumped out. The Republic is at the same place where she was for the '06-07 winter lay up, the former Interlake Iron Dock adjacent to Ironhead Marine (Toledo shipyard). This would be the first laker to tie up for the winter; an early layup could be a reflection of a downtown in the economy.
On Tuesday, CSL Niagara was loading grain at Andersons "K" Elevator. American Republic is in for the season. Both anchors are down and walkway back aft is permanent. She is also pumped out. She is at the same place where she was for the '06-07 winter lay up, former Interlake Iron Dock adjacent to Ironhead Marine (Toledo shipyard). The salt water vessel Starlight and the tug Karen Andrie with her barge were at The Midwest Terminal Dock. Saginaw arrived at the Midwest Terminal Dock Tuesday afternoon and is unloading a cargo of oats that was loaded at Thunder Bay, Ontario. When finished unloading she will proceed over to the CSX Coal Docks Wednesday morning to load coal. The American Valor is anchored in western Lake Erie northeast of the Toledo Ship Channel due to low water levels. When the water levels rise she will then head inbound for the Torco Ore Dock to unload ore.
The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Docks has the Saginaw due in Wednesday, Herbert C. Jackson due in Thursday, Kaye E. Barker and H. Lee White on Saturday followed by the Mckee Sons due in Sunday.
The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock has the American Valor, Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin and Charles M. Beeghly due in Wednesday depending on water levels for the western basin of Lake Erie.

Hamilton - John McCreery
The J. W. Shelley arrived in Hamilton Harbor just before sunrise on Tuesday. She was in ballast from Baie Comeau and headed to pier 25 to load a cargo of soy beans at JRI for delivery back to Baie Comeau. This is her first trip into Hamilton as the Shelley. The Canadian Miner arrived mid-morning with ore from Port Cartier for delivery to Dofasco. Her next tentative port is Thunder Bay. She was followed in by the Hamilton Energy.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Sam Laud arrived at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City Tuesday evening to unload. She was expected to be outbound late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.

 

Updates - October 29

News 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 mile off Thunder Bay Island. The skipper and his crew, consisting of his wife and three sons aged 10 to 18, abandoned in the yawl. They all suffered from exposure to the wind and waves, but luckily the FRANK H. PEAVEY (steel propeller freighter, 430 foot, 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, which 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.

 

Port Reports - October 28

Saginaw River - Stephen Hause
The tug/barge Olive L. Moore/Lewis J. Kuber and the motor vessel Manistee paid return visits to the Saginaw River on Monday. The Moore-Kuber were unloading at the Wirt Stone Dock in the afternoon while the Manistee traveled up the river to the GM dock at Saginaw. Both vessels have been frequent visitors to the river this season, with the Moore/Kuber arriving three dozen times and the Manistee at least 16 times.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
The salt water vessel Starlight, and the tug Karen Andrie with her barge, were at the Midwest Terminal Dock. The American Republic was at the Ironhead Shipyard. CSL Niagara was at Andersons "K" Elevator loading grain.
The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Docks has the Saginaw due in Wednesday morning, Herbert C. Jackson due in Thursday afternoon, Kaye E. Barker due in Saturday afternoon followed by the McKee Sons and Arthur M. Anderson due in Sunday morning. The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock has American Valor due in Tuesday morning followed by the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin and Charles M. Beeghly due in Wednesday.

 

Updates - October 28

News 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 McKEE 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 McKEE 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 October 28, 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 October 28, 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 October 28, 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.

 

Fall winds, heavy seas send vessels to anchor

10/ 27 - Across the lakes, gale warnings are up sending ships to seek shelter or hold at their docks.

Lake Superior is forecast to have gale force winds Monday afternoon, with winds building to 40 knots and seas 10 -14 feet. Lake Michigan has gale warnings through Monday morning, winds building to 35 knots and seas 12 -16 feet. Gales are also forecast on Lake Huron through Monday evening, winds building to 25 knots and seas 6 -10 feet. Lake Erie has gale warnings through Monday morning and low water level warnings. Winds are expected to build to 35 knots and seas 5 - 10 feet.

In this type of weather ships generally run alternate routes. Edward L. Ryerson departed Superior after midnight Sunday morning and is running a course along the north shore of Lake Superior, which offers protection, rather than run the open lake course. About 11 p.m. Sunday the James R. Barker reported winds of 35 knots on western Lake Superior. The American Mariner entered Thunder Bay on Superior's north shore about mid night to wait out the storm.

About 5:30 a.m. the John J. Boland anchored in eastern White Fish Bay in Goulais Bay to wait out the north westerly winds. Monday morning a weather buoy in eastern Lake Superior reported winds from the north north west at 25 knots with gusts over 31 knots and seas running over 10-feet. Farther west in Lake Superior the Stannard Rock lighthouse recorded sustained winds of 39 knots and gusts to 43 knots.

The H. Lee White reported winds of 32 knots off Harbor Beach on Lake Huron, while the American Valor was at anchor off Alpena.

Off Sandusky, Ohio, in Lake Erie, several vessels anchored to wait out the weather and low water. The Joyce L. Van Enkevort, Roger Blough, Herbert C. Jackson and Edwin H. Gott are all on the hook. At 10 p.m. the Blough reported winds of 22 knots. Farther west, the Algolake and the Agawa Canyon are at anchor in the Colchester Reef anchorage, waiting for the weather system to pass before continuing eastbound. The American Republic anchored in Lake Erie, northeast of Toledo, her destination. Traffic at the east end of Lake Erie Sunday evening included the following vessels taking shelter behind Long Point: tug Sea Service, Halifax, Algowood, Canadian Progress, Algoeast, Spruceglen, Algosoo, Kaministiqua, James A. Hannah and tug Anglian Lady.

The westerly winds will likely cause a seiche effect, where the wind and low pressure push the water from the western basin to the eastern side of the lake. This will cause water levels to fall in western Lake Erie and rise at Buffalo. As the wind diminishes the water sloshes back to the western basin.

Sunday afternoon the water level in Lake Erie's western basin had dropped. Gibraltar, Mich., was at 2.2 inches above chart datum, having dropped over a foot since Sunday morning. Toledo was at minus 7.8 inches, having dropped from over plus 9 inches Sunday morning. On the opposite end of the lake, Buffalo's water level had risen to 37 inches above chart datum at 3 p.m., at 8 a.m. Sunday morning, the level was 17 inches above datum.

Visit this link for water level information and  this link for weather buoys

 

Essar Steel Algoma issues lay-off warning

10/27 - Sault Ste. Marie - Two weeks after announcing production cutbacks in the wake of a dramatically slowing global economy, Essar Steel Algoma in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., has dropped the other shoe: a notice went up last Thursday in human resources and internal bulletin boards informing all employees "there is potential at some point in the future for temporary layoffs," spokesperson Brenda Stenta confirmed Friday.

No actual layoffs have been announced as of Friday for the workforce of approximately 3,500. Notice is required under the Employment Standards Act before actual layoffs take effect. Much of Essar's raw materials are delivered by Great Lakes freighters.

The company is "doing everything we can to keep people working," Stenta said. For example, internal employees have replaced all outside contractors on projects such as the rebuilding of the No. 5 reheat furnace. Some of those are from the approximately 80 new workers hired to commission, operate and maintain the No. 6 blast furnace, which was idled two weeks ago just two months after being started back up to achieve ambitious goals to nearly double steel output by the end of next year.

But in that short time period, the market for commodities across the world has virtually dried up, precipitated by the housing and financial sector meltdown in the United States. "The order books are soft. There aren't a sufficient number of orders to run at full production," Stenta said.

Essar issued another memo to employees later Friday. Stenta stressed the steel market "is a very cyclical business. We've been here before, and we remain optimistic that the markets will recover in the months ahead."

The Sault Star

 

Port Reports - October 27

Duluth - Glenn Blaszkiewicz and Dan Ross
USS Freedom arrived at the Duluth entry at 12:30 p.m. Sunday. About 1,000 people were on hand, cheering as the ship arrived. This was an exciting event for boat watchers. The crowd was enormous for a late October day with snow in the forecast, and parking areas in Canal Park were jammed

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The tug Kurt Luedtke was tied to the Cargill Pier with her engines running early Sunday afternoon. She appeared to be back in town to take her scows and barges to Saginaw. It looked like they were ready to go, however the rough lake is keeping them in port for the time being. A fierce wind blowing at the harbor sent breakers blasting over the seawall on Sunday.

Cleveland and Fairport Harbor - Dave Merchant
Dredge #16 and tug Kurt Luedtke were tied up at Cleveland Friday afternoon. Ryba has brought in a bigger dredge to Fairport, a Lima 2400 (built by Lima Loco Works). The 2400 swings a massive bucket, and has four to choose from. Previously they had a large hydraulic excavator working there.

Chicago - Dan Fletcher
On Sunday, Kaye E. Barker was backing her way down the Calumet River heading out to open seas on Lake Michigan. She passed 95th Street at about 9:10 p.m. Anchored out in the lake were the salties Stolt Kite, Federal Yukon, and Isolda.

 

Updates - October 27

News Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated - Henry Ford II

 

Today in Great Lakes History - October 27

On this day in 1979, the MESABI MINER delivered her first cargo of coal to Port Washington, Wisconsin. The 21 foot draft restriction of the harbor limited the cargo to 39,000 tons.

While in tow of the tug MERRICK on October 27, 1879, the NIAGARA (wooden schooner, 204 foot, 764 gross tons, built in 1873, at Tonawanda, New York) collided with the PORTER (wooden schooner, 205 foot, 747 gross tons, built in 1874, at Milwaukee, Wisconsin) which was in tow of the tug WILCOX at the mouth of the Detroit River. The PORTER sank but was salvaged and repaired. She lasted another 19 years.
The PAUL THAYER was christened on October 27, 1973, at Lorain, Ohio. Renamed b.) EARL W. OGLEBAY in 1995 and MANITOWOC in 2008.

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

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

The FRANCIS E. HOUSE was laid up at Duluth on October 27, 1960, and remained idle there until April, 1966, when she was sold to the Kinsman Marine Transit Co., Cleveland and renamed c.) KINSMAN INDEPENDENT. She was scrapped at Santander, Spain in 1974.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Seaway traffic resumes at Cote Ste. Catherine Lock

10/26 - 2 p.m. Update - Seaway traffic has started to move in the area of the Cote. Ste. Catherine Lock. Mandarin has cleared the lock.

10/26 - Noon Update - The St Lawrence Seaway at Cote Ste. Catherine lock Quebec, is still under repairs after a downbound vessel hit the arrestor boom and cable at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Originally, shipping was estimated to resume late Saturday night, but high winds and heavy rains may have delayed the reopening of the lock. The Seaway has advises vessels that the lock should return to service at 1:45 p.m. Sunday.

Meanwhile shipping continues to back up around the South shore canal. The salty Mandarin was still in the lock, but it is not known if this was the ship that hit the cable. The tug Commodore Straits, with two barges, is secured at the lower lock wall. The up bound Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin is holding in the St. Lambert Lock, and the up bound J. W. Shelley and Canadian Miner are anchored in front of the old Vickers complex at Montreal. Down bound delays include Algoisle, Canadian Provider, Annalisa, Pilica, secured above the Cote Ste. Catherine lock, with Canadian Ranger going to anchor at Pointe Fortier, Quebec, on Lake St Louis.

Reported by Ron Walsh and Kent Malo

 

BBC Elbe hits Menominee River bridge

10/26 - Menominee - Friday afternoon the saltwater vessel BBC Elbe struck the Ogden Street Bridge on the Menominee River between Menominee, Mich., and Marinette, Wisc. The BBC Elbe was being towed into port stern first by the Selvick Marine tug Jacquelyn Nicole.

The vessel hit the Marinette side of the raised draw span as well as the Marinette concrete abutment and south west bridge dolphin. After the Elbe got through the bridge, it got stuck in the mud bank off the Waupaca Foundry dock wall for a short time before the ship and tug were able to free the Elbe to make its way over to K&K to unload wind turbine towers.

The BBC Elbe is on its 14th trip to Menominee this season. State officials plan to look over damage and inspect the bridge closer on Monday morning.

Scott Best

 

Port Reports - October 26

Soo -
The USS Freedom departed the Soo Carbide dock and was clear of the MacArthur Lock by 4:30 p.m. Saturday. It had arrived at 1:15 p.m.

Seaway - Ron Walsh
At 10:30 a.m. Saturday, a down bound vessel hit the arrestor wire at the Cote St. Catherine Lock, temporarily bringing shipping to a halt. The Mandarin was still in the lock late Saturday, but it is not known if this was the ship that hit the cable. Shipping is not expected to resume before midnight Saturday. Late Saturday evening, the tug Commodore Straits with two barges is secured at the lower lock wall. The up bound Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin is holding in the St. Lambert Lock, and the up bound J. W. Shelley was anchored in front of the old Vickers complex at Montreal.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
On Saturday, Canadian Navigator was unloading ore at the Torco Ore Dock and H. Lee White was loading coal at the CSX Docks. The salt water freighter Starlight and an Andrie tug/barge unit were at the Midwest Terminal Dock.
The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Docks has the Saginaw and Herbert C. Jackson due in Wednesday.
The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock has the Philip R. Clarke due in Saturday evening, American Valor Monday morning followed by the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin on Tuesday morning.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The CSL Tadoussac called on the Essroc Cement Terminal on Saturday to unload clinker. She was ready to depart late Saturday evening.

 

Capt. George Robert Johnston passes away

10/25 - Toronto - Capt. George Robert Johnston died at St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Ont., on October 16, 2008. He was 73. Johnston became a captain for the Great Lakes fleet of Misener Transportation at age 29; he achieved Commodore of the Feet in the late status 1970s. He retired in 1994 due to ill health.

Capt. Johnson is survived by his wife Cecile, brother Clarence, a son and daughter and three grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at The Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 63, 490 Ontario St., Collingwood, Ont., November 6, at 1 p.m.

Courtesy Chatterson Funeral Home

 

Updates - October 26

News Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated - Henry Ford II

 

Today in Great Lakes History - October 26

On October 26, 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 October 26, 1882, the sunken schooner-barge NELLIE McGILVRAY 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 August 28, 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, 1,600 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., McNamara 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 October 26, 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 October 26, 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.

 

USS Freedom departs Marinette, heads for upper lakes ports

10/25 - Marinette - The USS Freedom departed Marinette Marine, Marinette, Wis., at 7:32 a.m. CDT Friday bound for Duluth. The naval vessel is expected to arrive at Sault Ste. Marie late Saturday morning, where she is expected to stop at the Carbide Dock. Freedom will then depart for Duluth.

After Duluth, the 378-foot ship will return to Wisconsin in early November for a one-week stay prior to commissioning on November 8 at Milwaukee. Following the commissioning, the USS Freedom will leave for Norfolk , Va., and a five-month Post Delivery Availability. Final acceptance trials are set for next May, then the ship will leave for Florida and ultimately its home port in San Diego.

The ship was designed and built by an industry team led by Lockheed Martin, with Marinette Marine as one of the builders.

 

Port Reports - October 25

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The salty Mandarin departed Redpath Sugar at 6:30 Friday morning, assisted by two Group Ocean tugs, which returned to Hamilton when their job was done.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Luedtke dredging operation seems to be done. The tug Kurt Luedtke apparently has taken the #16 derrick boat and the pump barge Lucille up to Saginaw since there was no sign of them Friday morning. The only equipment left was three of their dump scows tied up at the Cargill Pier.

 

Historic steamboat may be on last cruise

10/25 - Cincinnati - The great paddlewheel turned the Ohio River water to a froth as the Delta Queen steamboat, a floating National Historic Landmark, departed Cincinnati, Ohio, on its final scheduled voyage this week. The Delta Queen is the last running steam-driven, paddle-wheeled overnight passenger boat.

The boat is a throwback to the 1800s and the era of Mark Twain, when thousands of steam-driven paddle-wheelers plied the Mississippi River system. The Delta Queen is the last of those operating as overnight passenger boats on U.S. waterways, giving riders a 19th-century experience on cruises complete with the carnival-like sounds of the steam-whistle calliope.
But it will dock permanently if Congress doesn't grant a safety exemption. It left Cincinnati on Tuesday on a 10-day cruise down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to Memphis, Tennessee, where it will unload what could be its final passengers.

"There are so few really authentic things left. Everything is a re-creation or a tied up old dusty museum," said Vicki Webster, leader of the grassroots Save the Delta Queen Campaign. "The Delta Queen is a breathing part of history and we have to keep as many of those as we can." The frequent riders and steamboat aficionados are being punished, Webster insists.

The Delta Queen will go out of service if Congress does not grant the ship another exemption from a 1960s federal law, the Safety at Seas Act, which bans boats made largely out of wood because of fire hazards. The current exemption, which expires at the end of October, has been given to the ship nine times over 40 years.

Supporters of the boat, which has roamed the nation's waterways since 1927 and helped the Navy ferry survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor to San Francisco hospitals in 1941, are hopeful the ship will not play its famed calliope for the last time.

A grassroots campaign is gaining traction and the support of high ranking politicians. House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement he would work with Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, to try to get an exemption granted if the House returns for a lame duck session to address economic issues following the election. Supporters, including several mayors, agree with Webster that granting an exemption to the Delta Queen would be a way to help stimulate the economy
without it costing taxpayers a dime.

Lee Powell, director of the Mississippi Delta Grassroots Caucus said the boat provides economic opportunities. By docking and unloading nearly 200 passengers up to a dozen times a year, the Delta Queen helps to pump money into small cities along the heartland's rivers that are not normally tourist destinations.

Helena, Arkansas, which Mark Twain wrote in Life on the Mississippi "occupies one of the prettiest situations on the river," could suffer if the boat ceases operation.
"There are places in Helena that are essentially at virtually the levels of a third world country," Powell said. "They were impoverished before and now with the economic suffering, to choke off one of the good things they have is ridiculous."

The fight ahead is not uncharted territory for the Delta Queen, which fought down to the wire in 1970 to be given the exemption. Rep. James Oberstar, a Minnesota Democrat who heads up the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has refused to support the exemption, claiming the boat, with a steel hull but largely wooden superstructure, is a fire hazard. Webster, who says she is "seething with anger" about the complaint, said the ship is outfitted with state-of-the-art fire safety equipment and a full fire crew on board.

"The heat detectors are so sensitive in the rooms if you take a shower and forget to close your bathroom door, the heat detectors go off," Webster said. "It's ridiculous. You literally could not have a fire on the boat because it would be put out in seconds."

Webster says the fight with Oberstar amounts to a labor dispute and that Oberstar is bowing to the Seafarers International Union which represented the boat's employees before it was bought by Majestic America Line. Oberstar and the union have both denied those accusations, but Webster insists simple politics are getting in the way of saving a national treasure. "They're holding her hostage," Webster said. "That's like punishing a child because his parents are bickering or tearing down the Statute of Liberty because of a dispute between the owners of the land and the snack shop."

From CNN

 

Updates - October 25

News Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated - Henry Ford II

 

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 October 25, 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 October 25, 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 October 25,1874.

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 October 25,1866, 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 six. 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 October 25,1833, 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 October 25,1887, 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.

 

Steel mills idle blast furnaces, could signal downturn in shipping

10/24 - Across the Great Lakes and around the world steel producers are cutting production as orders for steel have fallen off due to the credit crisis.

"Steel buying has almost stopped all around the world due to a rapid economic deterioration, falling demand and deepening financial crisis," Sal Tharani, an analyst with Goldman Sachs, said in a recent note to investors.

Even after the current credit crisis is resolved, steelmakers will still have to contend with a slowing global economy, Tharani added. He predicts 2009 will be one of the toughest periods the steel industry has faced in several years.

Steel mills are served by Great Lakes freighters, which transport the raw materials needed to produce steel. A steel maker's contracts with shipping companies are for a set amount per season but can change when demand changes. The current slowdown in the steel market is likely to have negative effects on the shipping industry.

Steel prices - which hit record highs of $1,070 US per ton in the summer - have already fallen under $800 US a ton. "We believe that by the end of year, some 25 per cent of (U.S.) productive steel-making capacity will be idled, reflecting a quick response to a seeming tipping point in global steel economics," independent steel analyst Michelle Applebaum said in a note to clients in early October.

U.S. Steel in Canada is planning to shut its Hamilton blast furnace for up to eight weeks and in the U.S. cutting production by 250,000 tons at three of its mills in October and November. Essar Steel Algoma Inc. is shutting down a blast furnace that was brought back online in August at Sault Ste. Marie. Severstal is cutting its October production by 30 per cent at its operations in the U.S. including the former Ford Rouge Steel mill in Dearborn, Mich.

ArcelorMittal has said it will slash production by 15 per cent across its global operations and is idling four blast furnaces in the Great Lakes region. The idling will take place at the company's Burns Harbor, Indiana Harbor and Cleveland facilities taking an estimated million tons per month out of the market. One of the furnaces at the Burns Harbor facility was planned to be shut down for re-lining, that outage began two weeks ago.

Paul Gipson, president of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 6787 noted that as recently as a week ago, "you had people working overtime. This came quickly. I've never seen anything happen this fast. I mean it. It's like the banks told our customers 'No more money.'" Indeed, Gipson attributed the ramp-down specifically to the credit crisis. "Most of the industry's customers operate on credit," he said. "Now they're telling us 'No more orders.' They're going to empty out their warehouses and inventory."

By way of example, Gipson cited a drop in auto sales of 30 to 34 percent now. "The Big Three's sales have all dropped dramatically," he said. "But sales of all steel products have plummeted. And the price of steel is beginning to fall too."

Gipson expects the ramp-down to last at least 90 days. "I think we're going to be fine," Gipson observed. "It's just that there's a lot of scared money out there. Banks have got money but they're not lending money to other banks . . . I think it's going to take at least three months to get back to where it was.

ArcelorMittal issued the following statement Monday: "ArcelorMittal is selectively reducing capacity in certain markets in order to adapt supply to current demand. This is a temporary measure in response to the global economic slowdown ... and the resulting decrease in steel demand. We are continuously monitoring the situation in light of global developments and will update the market when we announce (third quarter) results on Nov. 5."

On the Great Lakes, Central Marine Logistics operates three vessels for ArcelorMittal ­ Wilfred Sykes, Joseph L. Block and Edward L. Ryerson.

 

St. Lawrence Seaway workers approve three-year contracts

10/24 - St. Catharines - Three tentative agreements covering St. Lawrence Seaway workers have been approved by a combined 81 percent of union members. The ballots cast last week averted a strike that threatened to shut down a critical shipping route that connects the U.S. Midwest and Canadian Prairie provinces with the Atlantic Ocean.

The Canadian Auto Workers union says the contracts provide raises of 9.25 per cent spread over three years and cost of living protections. Seaway workers also get one new paid holiday each February, up to 10 new paid days off each winter and increased shift premiums. The deals cover employees in supervisory, operations, maintenance and headquarters jobs.

The Seaway operates 13 locks that are needed to lift and lower ships as they travel the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River system.

Canadian Press

 

Bay Shipbuilding readies John Sherwin for new life as a self unloader

10/24 - Sturgeon Bay - A Great Lakes shipping company is adding capacity to its fleet through the reactivation of a cargo ship that has been in long-term lay-up since 1981 – and Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Wisc., is expected to do the work to get it back into service.

Late this summer, Ohio-based Interlake Steamship Co. announced its intention to modify the steamer John Sherwin, turning it into a self-unloading ship and giving the 806-foot-long freighter new diesel engines with lower emissions. "We had a customer who wanted some more capacity brought on-line and we're able to do that with the Sherwin," said Interlake president Mark Barker. "It's nice to get her going. She's a good ship and it's always nice when you can add capacity and grow the fleet."

The Sherwin was built in 1958 and was lengthened by 96 feet in 1973, according to information from Interlake. The vessel had been in long-term lay-up in Superior since 1981, but was moved to Chicago in 2006 where it was used for grain storage. In August the Sherwin was towed to Sturgeon Bay. "The interesting thing for us is the market allowed this to happen," said Patrick O'Hern, vice president and general manager of Bay Shipbuilding Co. in Sturgeon Bay.

O'Hern said the Sherwin project is divided into several phases including: Adding self-unloading equipment, new heavy-fuel engines from Bergen, a Norwegian company, and an automated engine control system and a new propeller and reduction gear.

Reactivation of the ship; upgrading of the pilothouse, industry and Coast Guard dry dock inspection, and replacement of hull steel as needed. "After being laid up for 27 years you can imagine many systems need inspection and repair," O'Hern said. "It's roughly a 20-month project and most of the boats we've been building recently are completed in less than a year." Bay Shipbuilding had almost 700 people working there in September, a number that can increase during the winter when many of the ships from the Great Lakes fleet make their way to the facility for winter repairs.

The Sherwin is one of two major jobs Bay Shipbuilding is carrying out for Interlake over the next two winters. The company is also installing new Bergen engines into the 806-foot Charles M. Beeghly, which is expected to arrive in Sturgeon Bay on Nov. 24, O'Hern said. Work on that vessel is expected to be done in early May.

Most of our building activities in the last eight years have been for the oil barge market and the Beeghly and Sherwin both come from the Great Lakes markets," he said. "Just the resurgence in the commodities our Great Lakes customers carry — coal, iron ore and stone — is very refreshing and very encouraging."

The rebuilt Sherwin is expected to enter service in early 2010, Barker said. "We're very excited about it," he said. "She'll be very efficient … and the engines that are going in will exceed current (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) standards for engine emissions." The cost of the project was not disclosed by Interlake.

"If the Beeghly is the anchor to winter 2008 and 2009, the Sherwin is the anchor to all of 2009," O'Hern said. "We have another boat to build next year, so the Sherwin and hull 770 will be the bulk of business in 2009. "It's pretty good to have that in today's economy."

From the Green Bay Press-Gazette

 

Port Reports - October 24

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Thursday at the Upper Harbor, Philip R. Clarke unloaded coal, and then loaded ore. The visit was her fourth of the season and second in October.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
The tug Samuel De Champlain with the barge Innovation finished unloading cement at the Lafarge Dock and departed Thursday afternoon. The salt water vessel Starlight and the tug Sea Service with the barge Energy 6506 were at the Midwest Terminal Dock. The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Dock has the John J. Boland due in Friday, H. Lee White on Saturday followed by the Saginaw and Herbert C. Jackson due in Wednesday. The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock has the John J. Boland and CSL Assiniboine due in Friday, Philip R. Clarke and Canadian Navigator due in Saturday, followed by the American Valor due in Sunday.

Ludington -
On Thursday at noon, the Sam Laud arrived in Ludington and lightered approximately 6000 tons of stone at the Great Lakes Materials Dock before continuing south to discharge the remainder of her cargo at St. Joe. On Friday, the Cuyahoga arrived in Ludington at 9 a.m. to deliver trap rock at the same dock.

 

Saltwater visitor delivers heavy load to Seaway Terminal

10/24 - Port Huron - A crowd gathered early Thursday to view Port Huron’s first saltwater visitor in about eight years. “People were out here before the sun was up,” said Paul Maxwell, a spokesman for Acheson Ventures.

The MV Enchanter, a heavy-lift ship registered in Belgium, arrived at the Seaway Terminal – owned by Acheson – at about 7 a.m., he said. The ship transported two large electrical transformers from Holland across the Atlantic and up the St. Lawrence Seaway to Port Huron. Crews have until 1 p.m. to unload them.

The transformers will be transported to ITC Transmission Company’s Bunce Creek Station in Marysville where they will be installed in May, said Steve Molter, a senior engineering technician for ITC. “We’re updating the entire transmission system in Michigan,” said Molter. “This helps the reliability of the electrical grid here in Michigan.”

ITC, based in Novi, owns and maintains the electrical transmission system in Michigan.

From the Port Huron Times-Herald

Pictures in the News Photo Gallery

 

Milwaukee Coast Guard gets swifter boat

10/24 - The U.S. Coast Guard station in Milwaukee is getting a sleeker, faster boat to use for search-and-rescue efforts. One of the first Response Boat-Mediums that recently rolled off the assembly line arrived this week in Milwaukee. The $2.5 million, 45-foot-long boat will replace the Coast Guard’s 41-foot response boats here and in other parts of the country.

The Coast Guard contract for 180 Response Boat-Mediums will be split between Marinette Marine Corp. and Kvichak Marine Industries in Kent, Wash. The first 10 boats are being constructed by Kvichak while Marinette Marine, which is ramping up for construction at its Green Bay facility, is scheduled to build the 11th and 12th. Continued construction after the first dozen boats are completed is contingent upon testing. Assembly takes eight weeks.

The first three boats were delivered to Coast Guard stations in Oregon, Virginia and Florida, and Wisconsin’s was delivered this week. The Response Boat-Medium being tested on Lake Michigan will be the only one in the Great Lakes region so testing can be done in varying weather conditions, said Milwaukee Station Coast Guard Cmdr. Joe Malinauskas. “We’re very excited to get it. It’s packed with new technology and new capability we’re looking to use on Lake Michigan,” said Malinauskas.

The Response Boat-Medium will replace 25-year-old utility boats that are being phased out because of escalating maintenance costs. The new boats feature better electronics, more speed and power and more crew comforts such as heat, air conditioning and more seating, said Bryan Martin, field crew coordinator for Kvichak Marine Industries.

Featuring air bladders in the window seals and watertight doors, the Response Boat-Medium has the capability of overturning and righting itself in roughly seven seconds. The current boats can’t do that. Top speed for the old boats was 25 knots while the new boats can travel as fast as 43 knots. They’re also more maneuverable. “The response time has been cut in half,” said Martin.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 

Detroit River cruise ship sets sail after setbacks

10/24 - Windsor - After overcoming insurance and refitting challenges, the tour boat Senator set forth on its maiden voyage from Windsor, Ont., Monday evening.

The city's newest river cruise vessel was originally scheduled to start offering public lunch, brunch, dinner and sightseeing cruises earlier this month. But due to complications, the first cruises would be offered this weekend, ship co-owner Bill Thompson said Monday. "We would have preferred to have started by the end of September but there were some issues beyond our control that needed addressing before we could get started," said Thompson. "Now we're ready to go and I think people are going to enjoy the experience."

The Senator will be docked at the city marina on the far east side between cruises and pick up passengers at the foot of Ouellette Avenue. Passengers on Monday's inaugural cruise included city councilors and employees from the Ontario Ministry of Tourism information centers, who are in Windsor for a convention.

The Senator had been offering cruises in the Ottawa area the past few years until it was acquired recently by Thompson and business partner Andrew Stanton, president of Hike Metal Products in Wheatley. The 80-foot vessel can carry a maximum of 140 passengers.

From the Windsor Star

 

Updates - October 24

News Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated - Henry Ford II

 

Today in Great Lakes History - October 24

On October 24, 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 October 24, 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 October 24, 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 October 24, 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 October 24, 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 October 24, 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.

 

Oswego considered for major Lake Ontario container port

10/23 - Oswego, N.Y. - A Canadian shipping company is looking to bring container shipping into the Great Lakes as early as 2011 and plans to make Oswego, N.Y., the only American container port on Lake Ontario. Oswego would become one of the first container shipping ports anywhere on the Great Lakes, and the proposal could double the number of cargo vessels using the port.

Container shipping - using standardized cargo boxes that can be transferred from ship to truck or train - is the most widely used type of shipping in the world. Great Lakes ports have traditionally been used for bulk shipping, for unpackaged commodities such as grain, iron ore or cement.

Under the plan, Oswego would be linked to the $300 million Melford International Terminal under development along the Strait of Canso in Nova Scotia. The strait links the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canada and the Atlantic Ocean. Once operating, the Nova Scotia terminal would be the closest North American container port to Europe and the Suez Canal. It would cut a day off the trans-Atlantic voyage for shippers who have been using container ports in the New York City area.

At Melford, the containers, large boxes called 20-foot equivalent units or TEUs, would be loaded onto smaller container ships which would take the cargo through the St. Lawrence Seaway and into the Great Lakes. The containers can hold almost every kind of consumer goods. Once unloaded at Oswego, the containers would be dispersed by rail and truck, said Jonathan Daniels, Port of Oswego Authority director. Representatives from Melford will be in Oswego Nov. 3. The Port of Oswego Authority would decide whether to go ahead with the project.

Currently there is no container shipping on the Great Lakes and no port in the five-lake system can handle containers, said Collister Johnson Jr., administrator of the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. The Seaway corporation also is looking to establish container ports in Cleveland, Toledo, Ohio, and Detroit, Johnson said.

The Great Lakes did not attract container shipping in the past because the Seaway is closed to shipping in the winter and many of the ocean-going container ships are too large for the Seaway locks. However, the Melford terminal and rising fuel costs have made container shipping on the Great Lakes competitive, Daniels said.

Installing a container operation at Oswego would cost between $3 million and $3.5 million, Daniels said. It also would require an additional staff of seven workers and other longshoremen to handle the cargo, Daniels said. The port has 12 full-time workers and uses a pool of about 40 longshoremen who work when a ship is in.

In 2007, 85 cargo vessels stopped at Oswego. More than 1 million tons of cargo were handled at the port, including 182,000 tons of international cargo. The container operation could accommodate two to three ships a week during the season, which roughly lasts from April to November, Daniels said. The container site would be set up on 15 acres on the east side of the port. Additional equipment, such as cranes, also could be needed, depending on the type of container ships stopping at Oswego.

Container volume worldwide is expected to double in the next 10 to 15 years, and ports in the United States and around the world are already close to or at capacity, said Gary La Point, assistant professor of supply chain management at the Whitman School at Syracuse University.

The country's main ports at Long Beach, Los Angeles and Oakland, all in California, and in New York City have no room to expand, he said. The U.S. needs to relieve the stress either by getting goods through Canadian ports such as Prince Rupert, Vancouver or Montreal, or through eight new ports being developed in Mexico, La Point said.

Placing a container port in Oswego would certainly relieve the capacity problem, La Point said. "They must have figured out that it's still less expensive to do that rather than deal with the congestion (at the ports)," he said. Since most goods are now shipped by container, during the peak container shipping season from June to November, Oswego's port would receive containers with just about any kind of goods imaginable, such as clothing, electronics and food, La Point said.

Courtesy Syracuse Online

 

Port Reports - October 23

Alpena/Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
The tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation loaded cement at Lafarge on Monday. They left port and anchored out in the bay Monday and part of Tuesday to wait out the weather before heading down Lake Huron. The Alpena is expected to return Wednesday night. American Victory tied up at Stoneport Wednesday morning to take on cargo, while the Arthur M. Anderson arrived off the dock later in the day and waited at anchor until the American Victory departed.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Manistee was back again on Wednesday with a split load for the Bay City and Saginaw Wirt Stone docks. She was unloading in Saginaw during the evening and was expected to be outbound late Wednesday or early Thursday morning.

 

Updates - October 23

News Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated - Henry Ford II

Weekly Updates have been added

Trip Raffle Page 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 October 23,1887, 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 October 26, she was broken up by the waves.

The CARL GORTHON, was launched October 23, 1970, for Rederi A/B Gylfe, Hsingborg, 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 October 23, 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 October 23, 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 October 23, 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.

 

Ferry Chi Cheemaun docks in winter home

10/22 - Owen Sound - Trips on the Chi Cheemaun were down about seven percent this summer compared to last.

The Big Canoe steamed into Owen Sound, Ont., harbor Monday, where it spends the winter. Captain Kerry Adams says European visitors seemed as plentiful as ever but overall numbers were down. Even so, Adams expects it will be business as usual next year.

Abut 600 people were on board the Chi Cheemaun for the annual autumn run from Tobermory, Ont., to Owen Sound. The vessel will head back north next May.

From CKNX radio

Photos in the News Photo Gallery

 

Port Report - October 22

Toledo – Jim Hoffman
The tug Michigan with the barge Great Lakes, and the tug Sea Service with the barge Energy 6506, were at the Midwest Terminal Dock Tuesday. The tug Invincible with the barge McKee Sons finished unloading cargo at the Midwest Terminal Dock and departed Tuesday afternoon. The Saginaw finished unloading stone at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock and proceeded over to the CSX Coal Dock early Tuesday afternoon to load coal. Saginaw finished loading coal and departed from the CSX Dock Tuesday evening. Calumet arrived at the CSX Coal Dock late Tuesday morning but had to wait for the Saginaw to load coal first. When Saginaw left the Calumet shifted up the dock to load coal. The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Dock has the John J. Boland due in Friday followed by the H. Lee White on Saturday. The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Dock has the Algosteel due in late Tuesday night. The John J. Boland due in Thursday. The CSL Assiniboine due in Friday followed by the Phillip R. Clarke on Saturday.

 

Lakes iron ore trade up 8-plus percent in September

10/22 – Cleveland - Iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 6.5 million net tons in September, an increase of 8.2 percent compared to a year ago. The trade also outperformed the month’s 5-year average by nearly 9 percent.

Despite the increases, the iron ore trade continued to struggle with the inefficiencies inherent with lack of adequate dredging. The largest iron ore cargo in September – 66,761 net tons – still represented only 92 percent of the record cargo carried in 1997, a period when water levels
allowed for near full loads.

For the year, the Great Lakes iron ore trade stands at 45.6 million net tons, an increase of 9.8 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments also are ahead of the 5-year average for the first three quarters by nearly the same margin.

More information is available at www.lcaships.com

Source: Lake Carriers’ Association

 

Goderich considering re-claiming land near harbor

10/22 - The town of Goderich, Ont., is going in a new direction in its search for more industrial land. Administrator Larry McCabe says council has authorized staff to look into the possibility of accessing funding from the Build Canada fund. That that funding would be used to reclaim land in the North Harbor.

McCabe says it has not been determined how much land would be re-claimed, but they have at least two industries interested in locating in the harbour. McCabe says re-claiming land in the harbor would also provide opportunities for expansion for industries already there. McCabe says they'll work closely with the Goderich Port Management Corporation as well as current users of the harbor as they proceed with the reclamation project.

From CKNX radio Goderich

 

Updates - October 22

News Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated - Henry Ford II

Weekly Updates have been added

Trip Raffle Page 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 West 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. 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 October 21, 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 October 21, 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.


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Today in Great Lakes History - October 22

On October 22,1903, 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 October 22, 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.

On 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 October 22, 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 October 22, 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

 

Gale warnings slow river traffic

10/21- Port Huron - Gale warnings posted for Lake Huron at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday sent six boats to either docks or anchorage in the St. Clair River.

At 5 p.m. Joseph H. Thompson and Jr. were tied up in Marysville, while Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 was at anchor in the river. Further south, Michipicoten, Quebecois, and Buffalo were anchored north of Marine City.

The NOAA weather forecast for Port Sanilac for Tuesday afternoon included N/NE wind between 13 and 23 knots, with gusts as high as 30 knots. Waves 8 to 12 feet subsiding to 4 to 7 feet. For Wednesday, Northeast wind between 10 and 16 knots, with gusts as high as 22 knots. Waves 4 to 7 feet.

 

Plans change for Great Lakes Feeder Lines

10/21 - Halifax - Great Lakes Feeder Lines, an Ontario company hoping to start a scheduled container service into Halifax, has changed its plans for its vessel Dutch Runner.

The original plan was to have the 84-metre-long vessel provide a scheduled container cargo service between Halifax, Montreal and Toronto, but demand has taken the service in a different direction, company president Aldert van Kieuwkoop said Tuesday. The company is now providing unscheduled cargo service between Halifax, Newfoundland and St-Pierre-Miquelon.

"That is where the demand has taken us," van Kieuwkoop said. The line had hoped to develop a feeder business up the St. Lawrence River for the major ocean carriers calling on the Port of Halifax. However, building that business is going to take time, the president said.

"We haven’t given up on the Halifax, Montreal, Toronto run. . . . What we have found is the response of the container lines has been reasonable. But when it comes down to actually booking containers, they were apparently tied into rail for longer-term commitments and the rates they were throwing at us were very low. So it is a no-go area for us."

Dutch Runner, which can carry up to 250 containers and has roll-on roll-off capability, made its first call at Halifax in late July and is back in Halifax this week loading cargo for St-Pierre, the capital of St-Pierre-Miquelon.

van Kieuwkoop said he has mixed thoughts about the fact that his original plan has not taken hold. "We are pioneering. So as you pioneer, you obtain more information. . . . You pick out the market that serves you best. We are a small company just starting. So we have to generate cash flow and we have been able to do that in the break bulk, project cargo and some containers."

Halifax Chronicle Herald

 

Port Reports - October 21

Sturgeon Bay - Jeff Birch
The stack of the steamer John Sherwin has been removed, apparently to allow work in the engine room. The Sherwin is in the beginning stages of a refit at Bay Shipbuilding that will see her return to service in 2010, after a multi-year lay up.

Calumet River - Tom Milton
On Sunday evening, Wilfred Sykes was backing up the Calumet River under the 100th Street bridge bound for KCBX south dock. The John J. Boland was at Carmeuse at 106th Street.

Hamilton - John McCreery
Ojibway passed through the Burlington Piers at 8 a.m. Sunday, arriving from Windsor in ballast. She docked at James Richardson presumably to load grain; this may be her first trip into Hamilton under her new name. Meanwhile, Federal Weser was at Pier 14W unloading wire coils.

Goderich - Jacob Smith
On Sunday, Upper Lakes’ Montrealais came into port and loaded a split load of soy beans, while the Algoway loaded at the Sifto salt dock. Algolake was waiting out in the lake to load salt.

Saginaw River - Stephen Hause
Manistee delivered a split load on Monday to the Wirt Stone Docks in Bay City and Saginaw. The vessel arrived early in the morning and was outbound from Saginaw late in the afternoon. This was the Manistee's fourth visit to the Saginaw River in eight days.

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Working vessels were lining up early Tuesday in the Twin Ports, with Lee A. Tregurtha leading the procession through St. Louis Bay as it departed the CN/DMIR ore dock loaded with taconite pellets. Close behind was American Century, departing Midwest Energy Terminal with coal destined for the power plant at Silver Bay, Minn. As soon as the vessel left the dock, its place was taken by Paul R. Tregurtha, which was loading for the Detroit Edison plant in St. Clair, Mich. Around the corner at the port terminal, the James R. Barker was fueling at the Murphy Oil depot. It was expected to wait most of the day for its turn at Midwest Energy Terminal, where it was to load for the WE Energies plant at Presque Isle, Mich., near Marquette.

 

Stone slump adds to U.S.-flag lakers’ dredging woes in September

10/21 - Cleveland - A 12-percent drop in limestone cargos offset increases in iron ore and coal and held U.S.-flag cargo movement on the Great Lakes in September under 11 million net tons. Weak demand from the construction industry has kept the stone trade sluggish all year. Stone loadings in U.S. hulls are down 1 million net tons compared to the same point in 2007.

Although rising water levels partially offset the chronic lack of dredging in the spring and summer, the Lakes begin their seasonal decline in September, and as a result, light loading increased. The largest iron ore cargo was only 66,761 net tons. The largest coal cargo was 67,444 net tons. Had these vessels been able to carry full loads, they would have delivered more than 70,000 net tons.

For the year, U.S.-Flag carriage stands at 74.1 million net tons, a slight increase (298,000 net tons) compared to a year ago, but down about 1 percent (or 617,000 net tons) from the 5-year average for the first three quarters.

More information is available at www.lcaship.com

Source: Lake Carriers’ Association.

 

Updates - October 21

News Photo Gallery updated

Weekly Updates have been added

Trip Raffle Page 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 10 years and was conducting his first trip as Captain. The "Black Friday" storm also claimed the MERIDA, D. L. FLYER, and MARSHALL F. BUTTERS.

On October 20, 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 October 20, 1916, MERIDA (steel propeller bulk freighter, 360 foot, 3,261 gross tons, built in 1893, at West 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 October 20,1863, 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 October 20, 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 October 20, 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.

 

Late season start for Saginaw River dredging

10/20 - Saginaw - Delayed most of the summer, a navigational dredging project is expected to begin by mid-November in the upper Saginaw River. With approximately $1.9 million from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the effort will save more than 100 jobs at about 18 businesses that depend on the waterway for shipping.

In April, the project was on the rocks as the state Department of Environmental Quality felt the dredging spoils disposal site required a slurry wall. Army Corps leaders in Detroit, however, said a $5 million clay pit built to hold river spoils on the Bay-Saginaw county line was "adequate."

The state relented in May. Luedtke Engineering Co. of Frankfort was to begin clearing the navigational channel in September -- the first comprehensive dredging on the river since the mid-1990s. But Luedtke is finishing jobs in Buffalo and Cleveland, company officials said. Dock owners are still pleased that something will be done.

"It's fantastic," said William "Billy" Webber of the Saginaw River Alliance, leader of a group of dock businesses that invested more than $3.3 million in the dredging site in Zilwaukee Township and Bay County's Frankenlust Township. Webber owns Sargent Docks & Terminal Inc., with offices in Saginaw and Essexville also in Bay County. He said other states would have loved to have gotten their hands on the river funds had the mid-Michigan effort fell through. "The main thing is we wanted to stay in business," Webber said. Many of the dock workers make $10 to $15 an hour with medical benefits.

"Ships like water (not sludge), what can I say," Webber said.

Luedtke will dredge some 212,000 cubic yards of silt. The company likely won't finish the job until the spring, said Angie Mundell, project manager for operations for the U.S. Army Corps Detroit District. "A lot of things could factor into it, like whether or not we have a mild winter or not," she said.

"Luedtke has said they plan on working through December."

Webber just wants the work to begin. "I really want to thank the lawmakers who worked across the aisles, both Democrats and Republicans," he said. 

Reported by: The Saginaw News

 

Congressman wants new icebreaker for the Twin Ports

10/20 - Duluth - Congressman Jim Oberstar indicated Friday that he will advocate for the construction of a new, beefier icebreaker that could more capably serve the Twin Ports than the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alder.

“We need a better class of vessel, and we also need the Coast Guard to do a better job of deploying the Mackinaw,” he said, noting that the Great Lakes’ largest icebreaker was unavailable for crucial service in the St. Marys River last year because it had been stationed in Lake Erie and Ontario where ice conditions were much less an issue. “The Coast Guard admitted they did not do very good job of scheduling,” Oberstar said.

Additional icebreaking assets would enable the Coast Guard to respond to what could be the growing needs for service on the Great Lakes.

In the Twin Ports, maritime shipping could become a year-round endeavor if Essar Steel begins transporting slab steel via water. The company recently began construction of a $1.6 billion mill just north of Nashwauk and plans to supply much of its output to steel customers downlake. Essar is still an estimated five years away from production, according to Jim Sharrow, facilities manager for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. He said a new Coast Guard icebreaker could reasonably be designed and built within three years, but winning Congressional authorization for such a project would likely add to the required lead time. Oberstar doubts there’s a need for another Great Lakes icebreaker quite as big as the 240-foot Mackinaw.

“Twenty years ago I’d have said yes,” he said. “But the advent of global climate change is lessening the thickness of the ice.”

Oberstar suggested the Coast Guard consider a vessel only a bit larger than the 225-foot Alder.

Sharrow said the Alder was designed to continuously break up to 14 inches of ice in forward motion. However, the vessel’s sides and stern are weaker than its hull, limiting the ship’s effectiveness and maneuverability in ice. Sharrow, a marine architect, previously suggested the vessel — whose primary mission is buoy-tending, not icebreaking — could be reinforced and retrofitted with a more ice-resistant propulsion system that would make it better suited for service in the Twin Ports. But Sharrow welcomed Oberstar’s suggestion that another dedicated icebreaker be launched for Great Lakes service, particularly in light of the prospect for year-round steel slab movements on Lake Superior. He said modest-sized Finnish-design ice breakers have proven themselves to be quite capable vessels and could serve as a model for the Coast Guard. These rudderless vessels are propelled by Azipod systems, which rely on large, shaft-mounted electric motors that can be turned in virtually any direction. These ships are able to break ice with the bow or stern equally well. He estimated that the cost of building such an icebreaker about the size of the Alder would likely run between $50 million and $60 million.

By comparison, the Alder, launched in 2004, cost about $29 million to design and build; and the Mackinaw, launched in 2005, cost about $110 million.

Oberstar said he has asked Coast Guard Maritime Affairs Subcommittee staff to evaluate its current icebreaking capabilities on the Great Lakes and expects to receive a report during Congress’ next session.

Reported by: Duluth News Tribune

 

Port Reports - October 20

Southern End of Lake Michigan - Steve B.
Sunday was a busy morning on the south end of Lake Michigan. St. Marys Challenger arrived in Calumet Harbor around 8:30 a.m. for a trip down the Calumet River to Lake Calumet. She picked up the tug Zuccolo on the stern for assistance up the river. The James R. Barker was upbound on the lake after departing Indiana Harbor. She passed the Wilfred Sykes, which was inbound to Indiana Harbor for the Mittal #6 East Dock about 9:30 a.m. The John J. Boland arrived at Calumet Harbor at noon, where she turned and backed up the river unassisted to Carmeuse at 106th Street to unload stone.

Saginaw - Todd Shorkey
The tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber were outbound from the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City on Thursday after unloading there during the day. On Friday, the Manitowoc was outbound from the Bay City Wirt Dock and on Saturday, the Manistee was outbound from the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee.

Buffalo - Brian W.
Sunday morning the dredge operation had shifted to a position inside the Watson Basin, just off the Central Wharf.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes and John McCreery
Ojibway arrived at 8 a.m. Sunday morning going to Pier 25 to load grain at JRI Elevators. After loading she will head to Sorel. The Group Ocean tugs Omni Richileau and LaPrairie arived at 7 p.m. Federal Weser was at Pier 14W unloading wire coils.

Toronto - Dave Robinson
The saltie Mandarin was docked at Redpath on Sunday but unloading had not started.

 

Pulp mill hopes to have floating dock on Lake Superior

10/20 - Buchanan Forest Products says its plan to build a floating commercial dock on Lake Superior to ship pulp from its Terrace Bay mill could be in operation next spring.

"We want to get this going as soon as possible, but I can't give you an exact date because a number of things still have to fall in place," Buchanan spokesman Hartley Multamaki said Thursday.

The company, which took over the Terrace Bay mill from U. S.-based Neenah Paper two years ago, plans to use the dock to transport pulp to U. S. customers along the Great Lakes.

The mill, which produces about 1,000 tonnes of pulp a day, employs 420 people. The proposed floating dock, to be made of steel, still has to be approved by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources. So far, Buchanan has built a road through property it owns that will allow trucks to bring pulp down to the proposed docking area.

Multamaki said that in addition to saving the company money on trucking costs, transporting its pulp by barge is simply a more environmentally friendly way of getting its product to market. The company-owned barge, about the size of a soccer field, can carry about 5,000 tonnes of pulp per load and is towed or pushed by a tug.

"Our handling costs will be reduced, but this is also a lot better than burning a whole bunch of diesel fuel on the highways," Multamaki said.

Mayor Mike King commented earlier that the dock project is another sign of Buchanan's long-term commitment to the pulp mill, the town's major employer.

The floating dock is the first phase of a two-part project that's to include a breakwall to protect the dock from Lake Superior's swells. A $45-million cogeneration plant expected to eliminate the pulp mill's hydro bill is to become operational in a couple of weeks, Multamaki added.

Reported by: The Canadian Press

 

Marinette Marine to Build Coast Guard Ships in Green Bay

10/20 - Green Bay - Shipbuilder Marinette Marine is expanding on the banks of the Fox River.  The company known for building large military warships will now build small, fast, 45-foot aluminum Coast Guard boats in Green Bay.

The old K & K warehouse on Green Bay's west side is undergoing renovations at a cost of two- to four-million dollars. Then Marinette Marine expects to begin building the Coast Guard boats -- 15 a year -- by the beginning of 2009.

Company officials explained that because the ships it builds in Marinette now are made of steel, it couldn't build the aluminum boats at the same facility, leading to Marinette Marine's expansion to Green Bay. "To mix steel and aluminum production in the same facility is not a good thing because you run the risk of contamination of the aluminum product," VP/GM Richard McCreary explained.

Mayor Jim Schmitt says when Marinette Marine was looking for a place to build the aluminum boats, Green Bay was able to offer the company exactly what it was looking for.  "I think you have a location that's pretty much ready to go. It was, as you may know, Northwest Manufacturing years ago. It's set up. The cost of making it work for them was within their budget," Schmitt said.

The mayor also said, "We have the workforce that could support that type of industry. Through their analysis, they decided to make the commitment here in Green Bay and we're just delighted with that."

Marinette Marine says about ten workers can expect to be hired by the end of this year. "It will be a slow startup. We only anticipate about ten by the end of the year and then maybe fifty by the end of 2009," McCreary said.

Reported by: WBAY TV

 

Coast Guard to conduct boarding exercise on Lake Erie

10/20 - Cleveland - The U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Security Response Team will conduct a boarding exercise October 24 on Lake Erie with the 225-foot Coast Guard Cutter Hollyhock. This will be an exercise to test the MSRT's response capabilities on the Great Lakes. This is not a live-fire exercise, but will include the use of simulated munitions.

The MSRT is the Coast Guard's only counter-terrorism force with advance interdiction capabilities. Officially established in May 2006,  training for the unit began in November 2004. The members are trained in maritime security, law enforcement boarding procedures, force protection and environmental hazards response within a tactical law enforcement operation.

Rear Adm. Peter V. Neffenger, Commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District, explains "the role of this exercise is to assure the Great Lakes community that we are always ready to provide security for the critical infrastructure of the Great Lakes and its ports, waterways and coastal areas."

Reported by: USCG

 

Updates - October 20

News Photo Gallery updated

Weekly Updates have been added

Trip Raffle Page 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.

 

Port Reports - October 19

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
Saturday morning before 11 a.m., the Cuyahoga arrived at the Alpena Oil Dock. Once the lines were secured, it unloaded a cargo of road salt, adding to the pile that will be loaded into semi-trucks to haul away. The Cuyahoga departed around 2:30 p.m.

Toledo- Jim Hoffman
The USCGC Hollyhock departed from the Midwest Terminal Dock and was outbound Saturday morning. The Catherine Desgagnes finished loading coal at the CSX Dock and departed Saturday afternoon. J. W. Shelley finished loading grain at the ADM Elevator and departed early Saturday evening. The tug Michigan with the barge Great Lakes were at the B-P Dock loading cargo and were expected to depart Saturday evening. The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Docks has the Herbert C. Jackson and American Mariner due in Sunday, Manitowoc due in Monday evening, followed by the Saginaw Tuesday morning. The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock has the American Mariner due in Sunday afternoon, Atlantic Huron Monday morning, followed by the Algosteel on Tuesday morning.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Quebecois departed at 9:30 a.m. Saturday for Clarkson to load cement for Duluth. The bunkering ship Hamilton Energy arrived at 11:30 a.m. from Port Weller. The tug Sea Service and barge Energy 6506 departed at 1 p.m. from Pier 11. The tug Karen Andrie and barge A397 departed at 3 pm. The Federal Wesser arrived at 7 pm., going to Pier 14.

Soo - Roger LeLievre
Fog delayed vessel traffic for the second morning in a row. With the St. Marys River closed from the Locks to the Mud Lake Junction Buoy, Joseph H. Thompson and Michipicoten tied up at the locks, while the American Mariner was anchored in Hay Lake. The fog lifted around 10 a.m., and those vessels proceeded downbound. Other morning down bounders included the Philip R. Clarke and the cutters Biscayne Bay and Katmai Bay, headed for an unknown destination. The Alpena locked down in the early afternoon, followed by CSL Tadoussac and American Republic. Upbound traffic was sparse, with American Valor, Canadian Ranger and Pilica heading for Lake Superior. Downbound late in the evening were Cason J. Callaway, Edward L. Ryerson and Algontario.

Milwaukee - Peter Groh
At 5 p.m. Saturday, the tug G. L. Ostrander and barge Integrity were inbound to Lafarge. The St. Marys Conquest arrived at 5:45 a.m. and proceed to St. Marys Cement. At 3 p.m. they backed down the river and turned around in the inner harbor and headed to the lake. Her next port of call is Waukegan, IL.

 

Updates - October 19

News Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated - Henry Ford II

 

Today in Great Lakes History - October 19

At 2 a.m. October 19, 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 60 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 October 19, 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 to traffic 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 October 19, 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 October 19,1876, 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 a.m. when they were rescued by the tug VULCAN.

On October 19, 1873, JOHN F RUST (wooden schooner-barge, 161 foot, 347 gross tons, built in 1869, at East 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.

 

Falling water levels trim coal loads in September;
Limestone trade sluggish

10/18 – Cleveland - With water levels on the Great Lakes starting their seasonal decline, the amount of coal vessels could carry each trip was impacted accordingly. Over the course of the month, a vessel moving coal from Superior, Wisconsin, to Nanticoke, Ontario, saw its load fall from 67,444 tons early in the month to 66,545 tons by the end of September. With water levels now receding, the need for dredging is even more acute.

The coal trade did register a small increase in September. Loadings at all Great Lakes ports totaled 4.2 million tons. The largest increase came in loadings on Lake Superior. Shipments from Superior, Wisconsin, and Thunder Bay, Ontario, increased by 16 percent compared to a year ago. For the year, the Great Lakes coal trade stands at 28.1 million tons, a slight increase compared to a year ago. The trade is 2.7 percent off the 5-year average for the first three quarters.

Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 3.8 million tons in September, a decrease of 3.6 percent compared to a year ago. The market force at work was weak demand from the construction industry. For the year, the Lakes stone trade stands at 24.2 million tons, a small decrease from the same point in 2007, but more than 2.3 million tons behind the 5-year average for the first three quarters.

Source: Lake Carriers’ Association

 

Port Reports - October 18

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
CSL Laurentien was east bound on Lake Erie for Lackawanna, N.Y., at 11 a.m. Friday, out of Nanticoke, Ont. The tug Kurt Luedtke was docked at the Cargill Pool Elevator Pier on the Outer Harbor taking on fuel from a Noco tanker truck Friday morning, and the #16 derrick boat was dredging just inside the reach of the City Ship Canal between the Connecting Terminal elevator and General Mills.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
An American Steamship Co. boat arrived in Milwaukee's inner harbor Monday at 7 p.m. with coal for WE Energies, leaving about 4 a.m. Tuesday. Agawa Canyon backed upriver with salt for the bulk cargo dock in the inner harbor at about 10:30 a.m. Thursday (departing at dusk), and Wilfred Sykes brought cement clinker for St. Marys Cement at about 6 p.m. Thursday.

Hamilton – Eric Holmes
Friday saw the Quebecois arrive at 10 a.m. with iron ore pellets for Dofasco. After discharging her cargo, the Quebecois will go to St. Lawrence Cement in Clarkson to load cement for Duluth. The saltie Annalisa arrived at 11:30 a.m., going to Pier 14. The CCGC Limnos arrived at noon, going to the Canada Centre for Inland Waters in Burlington. The tour boat Mariposa Belle from Toronto arrived at 12:15 p.m., going to the Heddle Dry Dock for her five year survey. The McKeil tug Jarrett M and barge departed at 8 p.m. for Kingston. The tug Sea Service and barge Energy 6506 arrived at 8:30 p.m.

Menominee - Dick Lund
The USCG Mackinaw came back to its roots in the Menominee River when it docked at Menominee North Pier Lighthouse on Friday. The ship was opened for tours from 2 p.m. through 4 p.m. The lighthouse was also opened for tours during the same time; it is the first time the lighthouse has been opened to the public since the City of Menominee took over ownership of the structure. Visitors were allowed on the first three levels of the lighthouse, which has pretty much been stripped of any interior furnishings. The top level of the lighthouse, where the light is still operating and maintained by the Coast Guard, was not available as part of the tour because it is only reachable by climbing a vertical ladder. The lighthouse's exterior was newly painted, thanks to the generosity of a local resident.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
CSL Niagara finished unloading ore at the Torco Dock and departed Friday morning. About one half hour later, Kaye E. Barker finished loading coal at the CSX Dock and departed. Both vessels met the inbound J. W. Shelley which was bound for the ADM Elevator to load grain. The Shelley arrived at the ADM Elevator around 3 p.m. Friday afternoon and should be loading grain through Saturday. The tug Michigan with the barge Great Lakes were at the B-P Dock. The USCGC Hollyhock has been at the Midwest Terminal Dock during the past week.
The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Dock has the Catherine Desgagnes due in Saturday morning, American Mariner and Herbert C. Jackson due in Sunday, Michipicoten and Manitowoc due in Monday followed by the Saginaw due in Tuesday. The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock has the American Mariner due in Saturday, Atlantic Huron due in Monday followed by the Algosteel due in Tuesday.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
Manitowoc arrived at Lafarge Thursday on a cool fall morning. It unloaded a cargo of coal. The tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity also came into port during the afternoon on Thursday to tie up under the silos.

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
Agawa Canyon arrived at the Verplank dock in Holland at 7:30 Friday morning to unload a cargo of salt from Goderich. It departed early in the afternoon. Later, at about 5:30 in the afternoon the Calumet arrived at the DeYoung power plant dock to deliver coal from KCBX in Chicago.

 

Archeologist thrilled at discovery of remnants of first Welland Canal

10/18 - St. Catharines - On Thursday at 9 a. m., Jon Jouppien's team of diggers set out to uncover the Lake Ontario entrance to the first Welland Canal. They quickly hit the bull's-eye - twice - exposing timber beams and supports of the east and the west walls of the channel.

Jouppien, a heritage consultant and archeologist, was elated. By late morning, the excavators sported giant smiles, and words like "monumental" and "historic" were being used to describe the discovery. "My work here proves that the canal is in Lakeside Park," Jouppien said as a backhoe clawed into the Port Dalhousie earth.

"This is a piece of nationally important history," said Jouppien, a Niagara Falls resident. "It is critically important to the military and economic history of the early days of the province. "We didn't expect it would be in this fabulous state of preservation." As he spoke, a member of the team shouted excitedly from the east-side dig: "Hey! We've got some lock wall fragments here." The excavation site is in a grassy area at the northwest corner of Lakeside Park.

Jouppien - who is conducting the excavation for the provincial Ministry of Culture - said historical documents show the canal at that location is 13.8 metres wide and 2.25 metres deep. "What's intriguing is we've measured it and we're getting a span of 53 feet (15.9 metres)," Jouppien said. "We're testing the historic documents people have always used, but this is the real story," he said.

The canal opened in 1829 after five years of construction. It was filled in as successor canals were built. "This is a chapter in history," Jouppien said. "We can say that first canal is right here in Port Dalhousie, in Lakeside Park." Jouppien will report back to the City of St. Catharines "so they can use the data we're finding here ... to do cultural resource management of the park," he said. That means if there's future work underground, the city will know the exact canal dimensions so the remnants aren't damaged, he said.

In a few days, the excavation site will be filled in again "for safety reasons and also preservation," Jouppien said.

"Isn't that beautiful?" said St. Catharines Regional Coun. Bruce Timms when told about Thursday's discovery. Timms is leading an effort to get all four Welland canals declared a heritage corridor. In December, the National Historic Sites and Monuments Board will decide if it will recommend the designation. The final decision rests with the federal environment minister. "It's great news to find that and have visual evidence that will build our case with the heritage board," Timms said. "One of the keys to designation is ... is there enough visible evidence to tell the story of the canal?"

In August, another team partially unearthed a lock from the second Welland Canal near the recreational path along Twelve Mile Creek in St. Catharines. That effort also provided visual evidence to support a potential federal designation. City of St. Catharines heritage planner Kevin Blozowski said Thursday's news was "wonderful." "We're going to be looking forward to Jon's report with some anticipation," Blozowski said. "He'll provide recommendations about how the city can preserve and tell the story of the (first Welland Canal)."

Blozowski said he won't comment on what the city might do until he reads Jouppien's report. "We don't know the value of this," Jouppien said. "It would be a great, great resource for the city to exploit."

From the St. Catharines Standard

 

Great Lakes Maritime Center draws more than 100,000

10/18 - Port Huron - The Great Lakes Maritime Center at Vantage Point has recorded 128,444 visitors between June 1 and October 1 this year. Research assistant Frank Frisk reports that "the flow of visitors is pretty consistent, no matter the weather.”

 

Updates - October 18

News Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated - Henry Ford II

 

Today in Great Lakes History - October 18

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

On October 18,1876, 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.

 

Port Reports - October 17

Owen Sound - Ed. Saliwonchyk
It was busy Thursday morning at the Great Lakes Grain Elevators in Owen Sound, Ont. Montrealais, on her first visit to Owen Sound, was taking on a load of grain. In the meantime, a number of trucks were bringing in grain while the salt delivered in the early morning hours Tuesday by the Cuyahoga is about 60 percent hauled away.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
The Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin was loading grain at Andersons "K" Elevator on Thursday. Tug Michigan with the barge Great Lakes were at the Midwest Terminal Dock.
The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Coal Docks has Kaye E. Barker due in Friday, Catherine Desgagnes due in Saturday, American Mariner and Herbert C. Jackson due in Sunday followed by Michipicoten and Manitowoc on Monday. The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock has the CSL Niagara, due in Friday, followed by the American Mariner due in Saturday.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski and Dan Sweeley
Maumee was at the Sand Supply Co. landing Thursday afternoon, departing stern first around 4 p.m.

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Under a brilliant red sunrise, vessels working in the Twin Ports on Thursday morning included Joseph H. Thompson and tug unloading salt at the Cutler-Magner dock in Duluth, James R. Barker loading taconite pellets at the CN/DMIR ore dock, St. Clair loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal and Phillip R. Clarke fueling at the Murphy Terminal before loading at CN/DMIR.

Rochester - Tom
The Stephen B. Roman finished unloading early Thursday morning at the Essroc Terminal in Rochester. N.Y., departing about 5 a.m. for Picton, Ontario.

 

Updates - October 17

News Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated - Henry Ford II

 

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 October 17, 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 October 17,1871, 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 October 17, 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 October 17, 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.

 

New name, new logo for Cleveland-Cliffs

10/16 - Cleveland - After 117 years, Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. is no more. The company today officially switches to its new name - Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.

The change wasn't a slight against Cleveland - which will remain the headquarters - but a reflection of the company's evolution, spokesman Steve Baisden said. "We're no longer only a North American iron ore player," said Baisden, director of investor relations. The company is now global and diversified into coal. Its new name explains what the company does, but is flexible enough to cover the possible expansion into other minerals in the future, Baisden said.

The company's ticker symbol, CLF, and common shorthand reference, Cliffs, will remain the same. The new blue and green logo is meant to suggest a cliff and its reflection in the water. The old logo included a maritime flag, a reminder of the days when the company owned a fleet of Great Lakes shipping vessels.

Cliffs announced its plans for the name change earlier this year when it told shareholders it planned to purchase Alpha Natural Resources, an Appalachian coal mining company. The merger requires a shareholder vote in mid-November to proceed, but Cliffs decided not to wait that long to change its name.

Earlier this month, Cliffs shareholders rejected an attempt by Harbinger Capital Partners, a New York hedge fund that opposes the acquisition, to increase its 15 percent stake in Cliffs. On Tuesday, Cliffs said it has adopted a shareholder rights plan that would protect against unwanted takeover bids. The plan gives shareholders the right to buy discounted shares when an investor acquires 10 percent or more of the stock. An investor that already owns at least 10 percent and increases its holdings will also trigger the plan, the company said.

Cliffs' new name fits into a company rebranding strategy regardless of what happens with the Alpha deal, said Baisden, the spokesman. The Cleveland-Cliffs name dates to 1891 and the merger of Cleveland Iron Mining Co. with Iron Cliffs Co. A major transformation began in 2000 when Cliffs' board members decided to pursue growth and diversification into other raw materials, including types of coal, used in steel making.

In 2005, Cliffs bought into an Australian iron ore company called Portman Ltd. Acquisitions in the U.S., Brazil and elsewhere in Australia followed. With the Alpha deal, the company will have 8,900 employees around the world and expected 2009 revenue of $10 billion. Cliffs plans to keep its headquarters in downtown Cleveland. New corporate offices should open next month on the 33rd and 34th floors of the former BP Tower at 200 Public Square. The existing offices at 1100 Superior Ave. will be used for the iron ore unit.

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

Port Reports - October 16

Buffalo - Dan Sweeley
Canadian Olympic was loading coal at the Gateway Terminal in Lackawanna, N.Y., on Wednesday afternoon.

Montreal - Mac MacKay

At about 8 a.m. Wednesday, Algoma's newest tanker was westbound off Cape Race, Newfoundland. Algonova, newly built in Turkey, is destined for Montreal.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
The tug Invincible/barge McKee Sons arrived at Lafarge Tuesday afternoon and unloaded a cargo of coal. Wednesday morning the Samuel de Champlain/barge Innovation was under the silos. The research vessel Spencer F. Baird was tied up in the Thunder Bay River on Wednesday.

Marquette Lee Rowe
Lee A Tregurtha brought coal to Marquette on Wednesday, then took on ore. Michipicoten arrived under a bright moon for ore.

 

Updates - October 16

News Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - October 16

On this day in 1950, the JOHN M. McKERCHEY 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 October 16,1855, 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., refloated, repaired and renamed d.) THALASSA DESGAGNES.

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

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

The WILLIAM G. MATHER of 1925 was towed from her Cuyahoga River berth on October 16, 1990, by the Great Lakes Towing tugs IDAHO and DELAWARE. She was placed next to the 9th Street Pier of Cleveland's North Coast Harbor and now serves as a marine museum.

On October 16, 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 October 16, 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 October 16, 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.

 

Port Report - October 15

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The American Republic was outbound very early Tuesday morning after unloading at the Bay Aggregates dock overnight. Tuesday afternoon saw the Manistee inbound, calling on the Sargent dock in Essexville. She completed her unload, turned off the dock and was outbound Monday evening.

 

Lakes visitor Federal Kivalina refloated after cargo lightered

10/15 - The 37,000–dwt Fednav Ltd. bulker Federal Kivalina has been refloated after grounding off Norway last week. The Hong Kong-flagged vessel went hard aground at Arsundoya off Kristiansund on October 6, with 35,000 tonnes of aluminium oxide on board.

It was freed on Saturday after its 180 tonnes of bunkers and main cargo had been removed. It was also carrying 40 tonnes of diesel and 30 tonnes of oil products. The vessel is managed by Anglo-Eastern Shipmanagement Ltd.

 

Updates - October 15

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

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

The C. H. McCULLOUGH 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 October 8. 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 October 15, 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 October 15,1871, 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 October 15, 1900, the wooden 186 foot freighter F. E. SPINNER was sunk in a collision with the steamer H. D. COFFINBERRY in the St. Marys 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.

 

St. Lawrence Seaway, union deal averts strike

10/14 - St. Catharines - A tentative agreement has been reached between the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. (SLSMC) and 445 unionized employees, an official with the SLSMC said Tuesday.

"Negotiators for both sides were able to reach a deal late Monday evening," Andrew Bogora, the communications officer for the SLSMC, confirmed.

Details of the new agreement were withheld until the three-year deal is communicated to union members. The union said members will vote on the agreements over the next 10 days.

The SLSMC and its workers had been in a position to deliver 72 hour notice of lockout or strike, respectively, last Friday. The workers have been without a contract since April 1.

It's expected any strike or lockout action would have paralyzed the movement of commodities along the St. Lawrence Seaway.

 

Life-and-death operation saves crew as ship breaks in two
More details revealed

10/14 - Gibraltar - In a major life-saving operation, all 31 crew of the Liberian bulk carrier Fedra, which went aground Friday at Gibraltar, were rescued by dawn on Saturday. It was an all-night operation involving a helicopter and an improvised rescue system involving a giant crane and cage.

The 35,000 tonne ship, in ballast, hit the rocks off Europa Point on Friday in severe weather conditions. It later broke in half, not far from where another wrecked vessel, New Flame, has been for over a year in a salvage operation. The conditions were described as "frightening." After the ship had hit the rocks, the crew were asked to go on deck for the daring rescue operation as heavy seas pounded the vessel.

Five were initially rescued by a helicopter from Spanish maritime service but it had to abandon the rescue given the difficult weather conditions. Titan Salvaging, which is working nearby salvaging the New Flame wreck, brought a crane to the top of the cliff and with a man basket they were able to lift the remaining 11 crew members from the Fedra. While doing so, part of the cliff washed into the raging sea as the vessel pounded the cliffs below, causing the Titan crew working the crane to flee for their lives. They returned and were successful in rescuing the seaman from the doomed bulk carrier foundering on the cliff.

Police, fire brigade, army, port - everyone was there in the all-night operation. Chief Minister Peter Caruana was also at the scene, later congratulating everyone for a job well done. The mosque was used as the headquarters of the operation. By dawn Saturday the remaining crew had been lifted off the stricken vessel and all were taken to hospital initially and later housed in a local hotel.

 

Port Reports - October 14

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Sunday morning saw the bunkering ship Hamilton Energy depart Pier 24 at 12:15 p.m. for the Port Weller anchorage. She returned to port at 8:30 p.m. The CSL Tadoussac arrived at 3 p.m. just as the fog rolled in. She went to US Steel with iron ore pellets from Superior. On Monday, Montrealais departed at 7 p.m. from Dofasco heading to Thunder Bay. The tugs Evans McKeil and Jarrett McKeil arrived, towing the barge Niagara Spirit at 9 p.m.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
At approximately 9:00 a.m. Monday morning, under her own power, the Adam E. Cornelius backed her way out of the Buffalo River and into the Outer Harbor. There, she swept her bow around and made her way out onto Lake Erie, leaving the harbor at approximately 9:30 a.m. LaFarge's Innovation barge, pushed along by the Samuel de Champlain, entered the inner harbor at 10:40 a.m. and made her way up the Buffalo River at 10:50.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
On Monday, CSL Assiniboine finished loading grain at the Andersons "K" Elevator and departed Monday evening. Meanwhile the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin was inbound the Toledo Ship Channel bound for Andersons "K" Elevator to load grain. Algosar was at the B-P Dock loading cargo. Calumet was loading a fine grain type of coal cargo at the Midwest Terminal Dock. The tug Sea Service and barge Energy 6506 were at the Midwest Terminal Dock.
The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Docks has the American Mariner due in late Monday evening, Herbert C. Jackson and Kaye E. Barker due in Friday, Catherine Desgagnes due in Saturday followed by the American Mariner on Sunday. The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Dock has the CSL Niagara due in Friday, American Mariner due in Saturday followed by the Atlantic Huron due in Monday.
The Capt. Henry Jackman is due into the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock on Tuesday.

 

Updates - October 14

News 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 six boats 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.

 

Seaway continues to operate as negotiations continue

10/13 - St. Catharines - The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. and the Canadian Auto Workers, which represents workers on the Seaway's 13 locks between Lake Erie and Montreal, continued to meet over the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend with no agreement reached, CAW national representative Mike Menicanin said. But there is still no notice of a strike.

"We'll continue to negotiate until we get (an agreement) or it's obvious we can't get one," Menicanin said Monday. "We're still bargaining and working toward an agreement."

Seaway workers already have a strike mandate and can strike on 72 hours' notice. In the event of a strike, the union has no plans to picket or interfere with vehicular traffic on bridges, Menicanin said. "The union has made it absolutely clear that is not our intention," he said. "If we have a dispute, it'll be with the St. Lawrence Seaway, not with the public."

Key issues in the dispute include pension improvements and wage increases, as well as proposed technical changes that could result in job cuts.

The St. Catharines Standard

 

Cargo ship smashed to pieces minutes after crew saved

10/13 - Straits of Gibraltar - The crew of a cargo ship was plucked to safety as their 35,000 tonne vessel snapped in half after smashing against rocks in the Strait of Gibraltar. The Liberian-registered Fedra had been dragging her anchor in a Force 8 gale on Friday afternoon.

Despite earlier efforts of two tug boats to hold the ship clear of land, its anchor broke and the stern of the vessel smashed against rocks at Europa Point - Europe's most southerly spot. Defying extreme winds, a Spanish maritime rescue helicopter airlifted five men from the bow of the 24-year old bulk carrier as it lay pinned by pounding waves at the base of cliffs in Gibraltar. But the savage weather played havoc with the helicopter’s engine, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing with men still left stranded on deck, according to maritime and transport news portal Lloyd's List.

In small groups throughout the night, Gibraltarian rescuers hauled up wet, shivering and terrified crew members. At one point, with 11 men still on board, the operation had to be suspended as the storm intensified. "We thought we were going to lose them," one exhausted rescuer told Lloyd's List. "But at around 7 a.m., we had a small weather window. 'We knew this was the only chance they had."

By mid Saturday morning, the Fedra had been ripped apart by the sea, torn in two close to the crew's accommodation quarters. Both sections of the ship remain trapped against the cliffs, heaving and hammering violently in the pitching seas. The men, mostly Filipino sailors, were treated in hospital but were later released and taken to a local hotel.

The Fedra is 24 years old and is owned by Fedra Navigation SA.

From the London Daily Mail

Click here for pictures.

 

Port Reports - October 13

Saginaw River - Stephen Hause and Todd Shorkey
Manistee entered the Saginaw River on Sunday afternoon, traveling up to the GM dock at Saginaw. The vessel arrived at the dock early in the evening and was expected to be outbound during the night.
The American Republic was inbound late Sunday night headed for the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City. She is expected to be outbound Monday morning.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
Catherine Desgagnes finished unloading cargo at the Midwest Terminal Dock and departed Sunday evening. CSL Assiniboine was loading grain at Andersons "K" Elevator. Mississagi was loading grain at the ADM Elevator and is expected to depart late Sunday evening. Algosar was at the B-P Dock. The tug Sea Service, with the barge Energy 6506, was at the Midwest Terminal Dock. The Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin was inbound the Toledo Ship Channel Sunday evening bound for the Torco Dock to unload ore.
The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Docks has the American Mariner due in Monday afternoon, Kaye E. Barker due in Thursday evening, Herbert C. Jackson, Catherine Desgagnes, and American Mariner due in Saturday followed by the Manitowoc due in Monday.
The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock has the CSL Niagara due in Thursday, American Mariner due in Saturday followed by the Atlantic Huron on Monday.

Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Sunday the tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort/barge Great Lakes Trader was loading at Stoneport. The Algomarine was waiting at anchor nearby for its turn to take on cargo.

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
The Wilfred Sykes arrived in Holland mid-afternoon on Sunday and delivered stone to the Verplank dock. It departed at 7:00 p.m., reportedly heading to Indiana Harbor to take on a cargo of slag for delivery to Milwaukee.

 

Union says it is shutting Toledo training center

10/13 - Toledo - The union representing licensed ship officers is closing its Toledo training center and moving all classes to a similar facility in Florida. October 4 was the last day of courses at the American Maritime Officers' Simulation, Training Assessment, and Research (STAR) Center in the union's Great Lakes headquarters on the Maumee River, according to the union Web site.

"The consolidation of the two schools at the site in Dania Beach [Fla.] will provide a significant savings in operating costs to the Safety and Education Plan and maximize efficiency in operations while affording AMO members and contracted companies the benefits of sharing best practices and access to broader training opportunities," the Web site notice read. An answering service for the union's Toledo office said yesterday evening that no person was designated to receive media inquiries after hours.

Information about how many union staff were affected by the closing was not available.

Union trustees made the decision to close the Toledo center after "a thorough review of the operating costs of STAR Center in Toledo, the training requirements on the Great Lakes, and the availability of space at STAR Center in Dania Beach," the Web site said. The closing follows by just five years the union's $10 million outlay to build a 60-room dormitory at Water and Walnut streets to house visiting mariners while they received training here. Union officials estimated at the time that between 1,000 and 1,500 union members received training in Toledo annually.

The STAR Center facility includes a ship's bridge simulator, engine room simulator, radar room, Global Marine Distress Safety System room, and multipurpose classrooms.

From the Toledo Blade

 

Updates - October 13

News 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 October 13, 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, 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.

 

Federal Kivalina to be Refloated

10/12 - The Hong Kong-registered cargo ship, Federal Kivalina, which ran aground at Årsundøya off Kristiansund, Norway on Monday is being prepared to be refloated.

Her cargo was 35,000 tonnes of aluminum oxide, plus she carried 40 tonnes of diesel, 180 tonnes of bunker oil and 30 tonnes of other petroleum products. The discharge of bunker oil is finished, according to the Norwegian Coastal Directorate (Kystverket). The discharge of the aluminum oxide is going on.

The vessel can be pulled off on Saturday according to the plan. The 200-metre long Federal Kivalina was built in 1999 and is is owned by Anglo East Management.

 

Port Reports - October 12

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
Manistee finished unloading salt at the A.R.M.S. Dock Saturday morning and proceeded down river to the CSX Coal Docks to load coal, finishing and departing Saturday afternoon. The tug Sea Service with the barge Energy 6506, Algosar, and the Catherine Desgagnes were all inbound the Toledo Ship Channel Saturday evening. Algosar was bound for the B-P Dock while the Desgagnes and the Sea Service/Energy 6506 were headed for the Midwest Terminal Dock.
The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Docks has the American Mariner due in Monday afternoon followed by the Kaye E. Barker Thursday evening. The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock has the CSL Niagara due in Thursday evening.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Saturday, Algoisle departed Pier 25 (JRI Elevators) with grain for Port Cartier at 4:15 p.m. Thalassa Desgagnes also departed at 4:15 p.m. and headed down Lake Ontario. The tug William J Moore and barge McCleary's Spirit departed at 4:30 p.m. for the Welland Canal.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Manitowoc called on the Saginaw River early Saturday morning, unloading at the Bay City Wirt dock. She was followed by the Indiana Harbor who called on the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville. Manitowoc turned off the dock and was outbound for the lake late in the morning. The Indiana Harbor backed out to Light 12 to turn and head for the lake during the afternoon.

South Chicago - Tom Milton
Arthur M Anderson departed the Calumet River, Saturday afternoon, after loading coal at KCBX.

 

Updates - October 12

News Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated - Henry Ford II

 

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 October 12, 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 eight 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.

 

Seaway talks move ahead

10/11 - Contract talks to avert a threatened strike that would shut down the St. Lawrence Seaway system continued for the fifth day in Montreal Friday and were planned to continue through Canada’s Thanksgiving weekend.

"Progress is being made on some of the key issues," Andrew Bogora, spokesman for the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. "It is possible that they will continue through Saturday and Sunday." "Both sides remain earnestly negotiating at the table," Bogora said.

The key issues in addition to wages and benefits are plans by the Canadian agency, responsible for operation of 13 of the 15 locks and channels in the Seaway, to introduce new technology that could replace up to 150 workers of the 445 employee members of the Canadian Auto Workers union. These include automated mooring of vessels at locks, and laser scanning of the position of ships as they enter locks, replacing union spotters.

A strike can be called on 72 hours' notice anytime after Friday Oct. 10.

Reported by: Journal of Commerce

 

Port Reports - October 11

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Luedtke #16 dredge rig was working in the Buffalo River off the Lake & Rail Elevator Friday morning. The tug Kurt Luedtke was shuffling the scows between the dredge site and the pump-out barge on the Outer Harbor. The discharge crew was reporting some trouble clearing out the scows due to heavy wooden debris that was slowing down the process at 8:30 a.m.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
Wilfred Sykes came in early Friday morning with a load for Verplank's dock in Ferrysburg. It departed around noon.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Algoway arrived late Thursday night, going upriver to unload at the Buena Vista dock in Saginaw. She was outbound Friday afternoon after waiting for the upbound tug barge Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber to clear. The Moore and Kuber lightered at the Bay City Wirt dock before heading up to the Saginaw Wirt Dock to finish unloading. The pair were outbound Friday evening.

Toronto - Clive Reddin
Algoma Central's Peter R. Cresswell came into Toronto harbor this afternoon and berthed in the ship channel to off load a cargo. A popular Toronto ship watching spot, the Waterside Bistro and Sports Club, has been closed. Apparently the city of Toronto and the owners of the club could not reach an agreement to extend the lease to April 2009. The site is to be turned into parkland.

Chicago - Dan Fletcher
On Friday, Algomarine arrived on the Calumet River at 3:45 p.m. heading upriver to the Morton salt dock. Sam Laud left port heading north. The Orfea left and was heading to Thunder Bay. The American Spirit was about 30 nautical miles off-shore heading north. The Anderson was in Gary, and the Burns Harbor and Isadora were in Burns Harbor. Edward L. Ryerson came into Indiana Harbour a little after 10 p.m.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Thursday morning the tug G. L Ostrander and barge Integrity tied up at Lafarge. Also out in the bay on Thursday morning was the U. S. Coast Guard vessel Hollyhock, working on buoys.
Friday afternoon brought two more cement carriers, the tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation and the Alpena. The Innovation loaded under the silos first while the Alpena tied up at the coal dock to wait.

 

CNR to rejuvenate its ore car fleet

10/11 - Duluth - The Canadian National Railway announced Thursday its intentions to rejuvenate the aging fleet of ore cars it uses to serve taconite plants on the Iron Range. The railroad said it will purchase 232 rapid-discharge ore cars and will refurbish 500 cars now in service as part of a long-range plan. New cars should begin arriving in January 2009, enabling CN to retire some of its oldest cars.

The railroad already has begun to retrofit some of its ore cars with new wheel assemblies (called trucks), couplers and brakes. Outlet gates on these older cars also are undergoing repairs.

CN currently operates a fleet of about 2,200 ore cars. The company aims to place additional orders for new ore cars in the coming three to five years, enabling it to retire more old cars in the future. The railroad also intends to refurbish another 500 cars next year.

CN purchased the Duluth Missabe & Iron Range Railway Co. in 2004 as part of a $380 million deal that also included the purchase of the Great Lakes Fleet.

From the Duluth News Tribune

 

New Detroit River tour boat arrives in Windsor

10/11 - Windsor - Interior and exterior renovations delayed its arrival by almost two months, but the Senator, Windsor's latest river cruise vessel, will make its maiden voyage along the Detroit River this weekend.

Operated by Rose City Cruises, the 23-meter boat is capable of carrying 140 passengers and will operate a variety of cruises leaving from the foot of Ouellette Avenue.

"I'm excited and relieved that we are finally in the water and able to provide this type of experience once again," said ship owner Bill Thompson, who piloted the Pride of Windsor on the Detroit River from 1995 to 1997.

"We would have liked to have been here in September but as long as the weather holds, we can keep sailing into late November because of the upgraded life-saving equipment we've installed," said Thompson.

The Senator has been docked at Wheatley's Hike Metal Products, whose president Andrew Stanton is Thompson's business partner, undergoing refitting.

Included in the refitting is installation of new carpeting, furniture, electronics, lighting, sound system, ship-to-shore radio, a ship positioning and charting system, radar, food services, a heating system for winter cruising, life rafts and Internet connectivity.

The Senator had been operating as a cruise vessel in the Ottawa area for the past 16 years. Thompson, meanwhile, recently returned to Windsor to be closer to family after spending the past decade operating private yachts in Florida.

Thompson's vessel will be docked at Lakeview Park Marina between cruises and will pick up passengers at the foot of Ouellette.

Cruises will take passengers along the Canadian shore as far as Peche Island, west along the U.S. shore to the Ambassador Bridge and then back into Canadian waters for its run back to Dieppe Park.

In addition to regular cruises, Thompson is planning a series of themed events including Mardi Gras, Caribbean Odyssey, Fiesta Mexicana, Parrot Head Escape and Halloween.

From the Windsor Star

 

Updates - October 11

News Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated - Henry Ford II

 

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 Parisienne 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 October 11, 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 amidships 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 October 11, 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 October 11, 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.

 

Seaway workers could strike

10/10 - Today is the date set by unionized employees of the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation to begin a possible strike with 72 hours' notice. As of Friday morning, no announcements had been made by either side as they continue negotiations.

If a strike is called, ships transiting the waterway will be allowed to complete their transit, according to a Seaway spokesman.

"Our intent would be to make sure (everything in) transit ... would be vacating the system," said Jean Aubry-Morin, acting regional vice-president for the corporation.

The corporation and the Canadian Auto Workers are trying to reach a new collective agreement and avoid a strike that could close the waterway. Final negotiating efforts began on Monday with a week-long session aided by two mediators. Seaway workers have not gone on strike since 1969.

Another company spokesman has said ocean vessels were briefed on Sept. 28, so they could enter and leave the seaway before today. Other seaway users were updated on the situation Tuesday.

The union, which represents 445 employees, is seeking wage increases and pension improvements. The CAW is also concerned about proposed technical changes, including a hands-free mooring system for ships that could mean job cuts. Last month, the union received a strike mandate from its members.

Any strike or lockout action would essentially paralyze movement of commodities along the St. Lawrence Seaway and effect ports across the Great Lakes. Fall is an important time of year for the waterway because manufacturers stockpile materials and grain is shipped out.

More than six million tonnes of western Canadian grains and oilseeds move through the seaway each year. The harvest this is year is reported to be the largest Prairie crop in almost 10 years. Without the seaway, it would be impossible to move a significant portion of the crop to market as there is not sufficient capacity in other export corridors to take up the slack.

 

Twin Ports having weak year for grain shipping

10/10 - Duluth, Minn. - It's been a weak year for grain shipments out of the Twin Ports, and the threat of a strike that could shut down the St. Lawrence Seaway has dock operators on edge. The Twin Ports have managed to export relatively few shiploads of grain so far this year.

Ron Johnson, trade and development director for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, said that even if a strike is averted, this season is likely to go down as the Twin Ports' weakest ever for grain shipping. Last year, the port loaded about 3 million tons of grain, mostly onto oceangoing ships. This year, Johnson said, it may be lucky to load 2 million tons. "Our grain business has been terrible — probably the lowest I've ever seen," said Chuck Hilleren, president of Guthrie-Hubner Inc., a Duluth ship agency that often works with salties.

Even if a strike is averted, Hilleren said the mere threat of a disruption has taken a toll on saltie traffic in the Great Lakes. "I'm sure some business has been put on hold as a result," he said. However, Hilleren said the strike threat isn't solely to blame for the downturn in grain shipments. He pointed to both exceptionally high freight rates and commodity prices this shipping season.

Johnson said rates have been high for several reasons, including a drop in steel imports into the Great Lakes due to weakness of the U.S. dollar. Without the traditional inbound cargo, shippers have raised rates for outbound rates for grain. Also, Johnson said the demand for ships to serve growing markets in India and China has pushed up freight rates for the Great Lakes.

Workers who operate Canadian locks in the St. Lawrence Seaway System have been without a contract since April. They could announce a strike within 72 hours of a Friday midnight Eastern time deadline, and a strike could paralyze the seaway. Contract talks have bogged down over issues of compensation, pensions and plans to partially automate the locks.

From the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune

 

Updates - October 10

News Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated - Henry Ford II

 

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. General Orlando M. Poe, in charge of the Soo Locks, 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 October 10, 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 October 10, 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.

 

Sydenham River dredging nearly complete

10/9 - Wallaceburg - Dredging of a stretch of the Sydenham River in Wallaceburg, Ont., is about three quarters complete. The area has been boomed off where dredging is taking place near the Bruinsma dock and the old Canada & Dominion Sugar Co. wharf. When completed this will enable tug and barge service to resume after a one year lapse.

During 2007 the water levels were low, forcing cancellation of the service. It is expected shipping of agricultural products will be underway once the dredging is completed. The tug Radium Yellowknife was on the Wallaceburg-Toledo route in 2006 when corn was shipped.

Reported by Al Mann

 

Port Reports - October 9

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The tug/barge Undaunted/PM41 came in early Wednesday afternoon with a load for Verplank's Dock in Ferrysburg.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The saltie Bluewing arrived in port Tuesday morning assisted by Groupe Ocean tugs which came over from Hamilton. Algosteel arrived in port from Goderich in the morning to unload at the salt dock.

Twin Ports - Al Miller
After sitting out a day of rain, Adam E. Cornelius was loading at General Mills elevator in Superior on a sunny Tuesday morning, while Federal Saguenay remained at nearby CHS berth 1. Canadian Progress was loading at Midwest Energy Terminal with coal bound for Nanticoke. American Integrity was fueling before proceeding to Midwest Energy Terminal to load for the Cobb plant in Muskegon.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
The Upper Harbor was busy on Wednesday. James R. Barker unloaded coal into the hopper, and Philip R. Clarke loaded taconite for the second time this season. The tug/barge Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder was anchored off the Upper Harbor with a load of limestone waiting for the Barker to finish her unload.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
On Wednesday, Kaye E. Barker was at the Torco Ore Dock unloading ore. When finished she will then proceed over to the CSX Coal Docks to load coal early Thursday morning. The salt water vessel Widgeon was at the Midwest Terminal Dock and the tug Samuel De Champlain with the barge Innovation was at the Lafarge Cement dock unloading cement. Cuyahoga finished loading grain at the ADM Elevator and was outbound Wednesday afternoon.
The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Docks has the Kaye E. Barker due in Thursday, Herbert C. Jackson due in Friday, Manistee due in Saturday, followed by the American Mariner on Monday. The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock has Charles M. Beeghly due in Thursday followed by Phillip R. Clarke on Friday.

 

Negotiations continue as Seaway braces for strike

10/9 - Hamilton - A strike looming among unionized workers at the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Welland Canal could effectively shut down transportation in and out of Hamilton harbor.

Negotiations continued yesterday between the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation and the Canadian Auto Workers, which represents 445 employees. The workers have been without a contract since April. Workers gave their union a mandate to strike on 72 hours' notice anytime after Friday.

There have been reports that some ocean-going freighters have fled for fear of being stranded, and the Shipping Federation of Canada has warned that a strike could seriously hurt the Canadian economy. If a strike materializes, "It does effectively shut the system down," said Brent Kinnaird, spokesperson for the Hamilton Port Authority.

It would mean port tenants would be unable to ship products by water, which would hold up supplies such as coal and iron ore shipped from Ohio and used in steel making. Terminals along the port also handle grain and other agri-products, salt, sand, fertilizer and liquid bulk goods. "We understand that the two major domestic fleet operators (Canada Steamship Lines and Seaway Marine Transport) are looking at strategically positioning vessels along the system to keep it functioning," Kinnaird said.

Haulers are also increasing the frequency of port calls to stockpile inventories of bulk raw materials, he said. Both U.S. Steel Canada and ArcelorMittal Dofasco were tight-lipped about the impacts of a potential strike on their operations. "We've been aware of the possibility of a strike impacting the St. Lawrence Seaway operations for some time," said U.S. Steel spokesperson Trevor Harris. "We've taken appropriate steps to mitigate any potential impacts on our operations."

ArcelorMittal Dofasco gets nearly all of its raw inputs by water and would only say, "We are watching it carefully as the largest shipper in the Great Lakes."

The Seaway says the chief sticking point in negotiations is a plan to introduce a new mooring system for vessels that would use machines to secure the ships to locks, rather than rope lines pulled by dock workers. "No existing employee will lose their jobs because of any new work rules or technology," said Andrew Bogora, spokesperson for the Seaway. Instead, dock workers will be retrained to maintain the new equipment. Bogora said the equipment would allow the Seaway to handle more ships because many aren't equipped to be secured by ropes.

Mike Menicanin, a national representative with the CAW, says the technology is an unproven "experiment." "We think they are heavily banking on this to reduce manpower." He said the union has not seen a guarantee come to the bargaining table that jobs won't be lost. He said workers are also seeking better wages, pensions and benefits. "We've been bargaining since December 2007 and we didn't receive any proposals from the company on economics until (Monday). We have a lot of work to do."

About 700 ships a year come into Hamilton harbor. About 550 are from Canada and the United States and arrive in Hamilton via the Welland Canal, which links Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. The remainder are from overseas and use the St. Lawrence Seaway from the Atlantic Ocean to come to Hamilton. The port authority would take a financial hit from a strike of any duration. It earns revenue from charging tariffs on ships entering the harbour and a tonnage fee for berths.

From the Hamilton Spectator

 

Updates - October 9

News Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated - Henry Ford II

 

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 Industries, 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 to her formal christening at Thunder Bay, Ontario. Sold off the lakes and renamed b.) LADY HAMILTON in 1995. Brought back to the Lakes as VOYAGEUR PIONEER in 2006. Renamed KAMINISTIQUA in 2008.

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.

 

Lack of icebreakers on Lake Michigan could disrupt winter deliveries

10/8 - Milwaukee - Hundreds of millions of dollars in Great Lakes commerce, including shipments of road salt, could be disrupted this winter because of an inadequate fleet of U.S. Coast Guard icebreakers, according to advocates for the vessels. If we have another difficult winter, like the last one, shipments of everything from coal to steel could be delayed or even stopped because there aren’t enough ice-breaking ships, say several maritime groups, including the Lake Carriers Association, based in Cleveland.

It’s an important issue for Wisconsin, because millions of tons of cargo a year are moved on Lake Michigan. About 15% of the deliveries are made between Dec. 15 and April 15, a period generally considered the “ice season” on the Great Lakes.

Lake Michigan is 307 miles long and 118 miles wide. It covers 22,300 square miles and boasts more than 1,640 miles of coastline. But the Wisconsin side of the lake is home to only one 140-foot Coast Guard icebreaker, the USCG Mobile Bay docked in Sturgeon Bay. Even during a mild winter, the icebreaker isn’t always available when it’s needed, according to Port of Green Bay officials.

“We definitely had some issues last year,” said Dean Haen, port director and president of the Wisconsin Commercial Ports Association. “Just looking at it from Green Bay’s perspective, there have been times when we haven’t had our icebreaker available to us because of mechanical problems or it was reassigned” somewhere else, Haen said.

Last winter showed how a lack of icebreaker ships could affect the shipping industry, Jim Weakley, president of the Lake Carriers Association, said in recent testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives. Three shipping companies alone reported more than $1 million in ice damage to their vessels. On March 28, two ships collided in the Straits of Mackinac after one of them became stuck in the ice 15 miles west of the Mackinac Bridge.

On March 30, the lower St. Mary’s River was about 90% covered with ice up to 24 inches thick. It was the second largest ice cover on the river in 12 years, according to the National Weather Service. Ice problems were widespread from Wisconsin to Ohio.

“Due to a lack of capacity, capability and reliability by both the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards, much of the Great Lakes and connecting channels remained abandoned to the elements. Lives were unnecessarily risked when the U.S. Coast Guard failed, because of inadequate resources, to answer the call,” Weakley testified.

Part of the problem is that many Great Lakes icebreakers have aged to the point where they’re less reliable. Some of the ships are more than 40 years old, and parts are no longer made for them. The Coast Guard does what it can to keep the ships going, including providing meticulous maintenance.

“But we have had to literally fabricate parts and pieces by welding and getting scrap metal, and just putting them together. That’s what we had to do,” said Coast Guard Petty Officer William Mitchell, stationed in Cleveland. “Most other ships in the government would have been gotten rid of a long time ago, but we have kept these going.”

Some of the largest icebreakers are among the most unreliable vessels in the Coast Guard, according to Weakley, a recently retired Coast Guard officer who served 16 years on the Great Lakes. “They are prone to leaking oil from their propellers and other engineering failures,” Weakley said. “These repairs are being made during critical icebreaking operations. . . . More operational days have been lost by the aging 140-foot-long (ships) and the unreliable 225-foot-long (ships) than anyone could have imagined.”

In 2005, the Coast Guard replaced its largest Great Lakes icebreaker, the Mackinaw, with a new 240-foot ship given the same name. Replacing the 60-year-old vessel was a big step that cost more than $80 million and took about 15 years of government wrangling. The Mackinaw, stationed in Cheboygan, Mich., can clear a path through the thickest of ice jams. But it’s generally available only for areas where ice is the worst, and it can’t be in two places at once.

Heavy ice in the northern sections of the Great Lakes can disrupt shipping and delay deliveries of raw materials and finished goods throughout the United States. The Lake Carriers members alone move more than 115 million tons of cargo a year. “With each cargo, we deliver iron ore for steel production, limestone and cement for construction, coal for power generation . . . and jobs,” Weakley said. “Without adequate U.S. Coast Guard resources, particularly icebreaking capacity, the gears of this economic engine could come to a grinding halt.”

The Great Lakes are an integrated transportation system. “You can’t just take care of one or two locations, or even five locations, and say that’s enough,” said Steve Fisher, executive director of the American Great Lakes Ports Association.

What’s needed is another 225-foot Coast Guard ship that can do double duty as an icebreaker and buoy tender on Lake Michigan, and another 140-foot icebreaker assigned to Duluth, Minn., for duty on Lake Superior, according to Weakley and others. “It would have a tremendous impact on the Great Lakes shipping industry’s ability to meet the needs of commerce,” Weakley said.

Several members of Congress have backed the need for another icebreaker, including Rep. Tom Petri, (R-Wis.). “Just as we need reliable snowplows for the roads, we need reliable icebreakers for the Great Lakes,” Petri said in a written statement. “The people who operate commercial ships on the lakes are sounding the alarm, and they are right that the economy of our region would be harmed if lake traffic were to be iced in, so I am in favor of replacing the antiquated icebreakers,” he added.

But for now the Coast Guard isn’t asking for another Great Lakes icebreaker. One reason is that it’s not supposed to be a tow-truck service for every ship stuck in the ice. “We just clear the shipping channels enough to allow a minimized amount of goods to move through the Great Lakes in the winter. It’s not supposed to be equal to summertime shipping,” said Petty Officer Mitchell.

The Port of Milwaukee has its own small icebreaker, for the harbor, but it relies on the Coast Guard to keep the main shipping channels clear. When ships can’t reach the port because they’re stuck in the ice elsewhere, it hurts communities that need road salt, coal and industrial goods such as steel and machinery. “When the ships are unavailable, it hurts all of our communities,” Haen said.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 

Port Report - October 8

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber were inbound Tuesday night, calling on the Sargent dock in Essexville.

 

Updates - October 8

News Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated - Henry Ford II

 

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.

 

Lakes visitor Federal Kivalina aground off Norway

10/7 - Federal Kivalina, a regular visitor to the Great Lakes, went aground on rocks near the Kristiansund on the West Coast of Norway on Monday. No one was injured and there is no sign of oil leakage.

Rescue crews are preparing to transfer 35,000 tons of alumina, destined for Seoul, to another vessel. The transfer is expected to take several days. The Norwegian Coast Guard is on the scene and reports the situation is under control. Sources indicate that as many as three ballast tanks may be compromised. The vessel is believed to be salvageable.

Pictures and video can be seen in the Norwegian-language Tiden Krou.

Reported by Helge Gloppen

 

Port Reports - October 7

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The ATB McKee Sons/Invincible came in about 10 p.m. on Sunday night with a load for Meekhof's D & M dock next to the Power Plant on Harbor Island in Grand Haven. It was gone before dawn Monday.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The tug/barge Olive L. Moore and Lewis J. Kuber called on the Saginaw River early Sunday morning with a split load. The pair stopped at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City first, then moved upriver to Saginaw to finish at the Buena Vista dock. They were headed back outbound Sunday evening. CSL Tadoussac was inbound Sunday afternoon calling on the Essroc dock in Essexville. She completed her unload and was outbound early Monday morning.

 

BoatNerd Tops 14 Million

10/7 - Early Monday evening over 14,000,000 visits had been recorded to the main page of the Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping home page. The counter was started as the page was launched in 1995. The 14 millionth visitor passed without noticing the counter.

It is interesting to note that the first month the page was live in 1995, 590 visits were recorded. This counter was started as the page was launched in 1995 and topped one million visits in October 2000, two million in November 2001, three million in September, 2002, four million in June, 2003, five million in February, 2004, six million in October, 2004, seven million in June, 2005, eight million in December, 2005, 9 million in June, 2006, 10 million in November 2006, 11 million in May 2007, 12 million in November, 2007 and 14 million in April 2008.

The site represents a huge time commitment by the staff of volunteers and we would like to thank to all the viewers and contributors for making the web site what it is today.

In 2006, Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, Inc. was organized as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit to support the BoatNerd site.

 

If Seaway workers strike, Port of Erie could be locked out

10/7 - Erie, PA - The Port of Erie might soon lose its water route to the Atlantic Ocean.

Canadian lock workers are threatening a strike that could shut down the St. Lawrence Seaway, the inland waterway that connects the Great Lakes to the Atlantic. "It could affect us a bit," said Tod Eagleton, dock operations supervisor for Erie Sand & Gravel, which serves as the stevedore for the Port of Erie.

Most affected could be Erie's biodiesel producer. "It's a cause of concern in that we base our price on (shipping from Erie)," said Mike Nobel, director of operations and sales for Lake Erie Biofuels.

Nobel and Chris Peterson, director of finance for Lake Erie Biofuels, said they believe there is a good chance St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. and its union lock workers will resolve their issues before a work stoppage, which now could come anytime after Friday.

Lake Erie Biofuels hopes to send at least two more shipments of its biodiesel fuel to Europe before the Great Lakes shipping season ends in December. A strike on the St. Lawrence Seaway would complicate that. Peterson said a shutdown of the St. Lawrence Seaway would not halt the company's overseas shipments, but it would change how it gets there and what they'd have to charge. Lake Erie Biofuels contracts to ship out of Norfolk, Va., during the winter months when it cannot ship out of Erie, and that option is still available now, Peterson said.

Peterson said the company would prefer not to have to ship at all. "We would love to handle it locally, but the infrastructure is not there yet," Peterson said. "We would much rather sell it here, ... but the terminal infrastructure is not set up yet to handle the product." Until there is a local market, the company expects to ship its biodiesel to Europe in tankers filled with anywhere from 1.5 million gallons to 3 million gallons. Jim Berlin, chief executive of Logistics Plus in Erie, said other than Lake Erie Biofuels shipments, any strike at the Seaway would not likely have a big impact in Erie.

GE Transportation has used the Port of Erie to ship locomotives, but company spokesman Stephan Koller said no such shipments are planned this fall. GE also has the ability to ship locomotives out of the port at Philadelphia, and has done that when availability and costs have warranted it, Koller said.

Of the 34 vessels that have arrived in Erie this season, seven have been international ships, Eagleton said. Those consisted of six tankers and one cargo ship delivering 775 tons of equipment bound for a mill in New Castle.

Limestone is the biggest volume cargo that comes into Erie, and Ray Schreckengost, executive director of the Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority, said a shutdown of the Seaway would not impact that type of Great Lakes cargo. Salt shipments from upstate New York might be affected, but salt has already been stockpiled at the local docks, he said.

Glen G. Nekvasil, vice president of corporate communications for the Lake Carriers' Association, said a shutdown of the Seaway would not have a great effect on the freighter owners his group represents. "We do have a few ships that go through the Welland Canal, but this (strike) would not be a major, major development for us," Nekvasil said.

St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. issued a statement that a vote by its 445 unionized employees gave their union a mandate to strike on 72 hours notice at any time after Friday. Work-rule flexibility associated with the introduction of new technology is reported to be the sticking point in the talks.

From the Erie Times-News

 

Frank Crevier estate sale planned

10/7 - Algonac - Starting Thursday the estate of Frank Crevier will go up for sale.

Frank Crevier was a renowned maritime artist, historian and collector. Sale items will include his prints, books, memorabilia and other various things from the Great Lakes Shipping industry.

This will be a two part sale starting at 8 a.m. Thursday, 365 Dixie Blvd. Algonac, Mi.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - October 07

On October 7, 1968, the NORMAN P. CLEMENT was damaged in a grounding off Britt, Ontario. The Canadian boat was towed to Collingwood for repairs. However, while in dry dock, an explosion occurred on October 16, that injured 11 workers and further damaged the hull. Rather than repair her, the owners had the CLEMENT towed out into Georgian Bay where she was intentionally sunk on October 23, 1968.

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 October 7, 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 October 7, 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 October 7,1873, 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 October 7, 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.

 

Port Reports - October 6

Soo -
Sunday evening the American Steamship Co. 1,000-footer American Spirit was tied up at the Carbide Dock in Sault Ste. Marie. The crew of the Spirit had lowered the stern anchor onto a small tug and barge moored to the vessel. The reason for the work is unknown, but noises from the operation indicated that the tug crew was attempting to remove the anchor from it's chain. By 6 p.m. the Spirit was upbound. headed for the Poe Lock.

Halifax - Mac MacKay
McKeil Marine's newest barge, Niagara Spirit, left Halifax Sunday afternoon, in tow of the tug Evans McKeil. The barge has a large flat deck area and prominent breakwater forward. The barge arrived in Halifax on Thursday from the U.S. in tow of the tug Miss Lis.

Hamilton - John McCreery
The Michipicoten arrived in the Port of Hamilton on Sunday at 6 p.m. with an ore cargo from Superior for discharge at Stelco. She was followed in just after dark by the Frontenac which was also headed to Stelco . The Frontenac was coming from Ashtabula probably with another ore cargo. Michipicoten replaced her fleet mate Robert S. Pierson which has recently been the carrier on this run.

 

Updates - October 6

News Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - October 06

On October 6, 1893, DAVID STEWART (3-mast wooden schooner, 171 foot, 545 gross tons, built in 1867, at Cleveland, Ohio) foundered in a gale off Pigeon Bay, Ontario, on Lake Erie. She crew clung to the frozen rigging for 14 hours until saved by the fish tug LOUISE of Sandusky, Ohio. The STEWART was carrying iron ore at the time of her loss.

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

The bow section of the barge PRESQUE ISLE arrived Erie, Pennsylvania, on October 6, 1972. The section was towed from Defoe Shipbuilding at Bay City, Michigan, by the tugs MARYLAND and LAURENCE C. TURNER. The total cost to construct the tug/barge 1,000- 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 October 6, 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 October 6, 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.

 

Port Reports - October 5

Menominee - Scott Best
On September 27, the tug Victory and barge James L. Kuber made a stop in Menominee to replace a generator. The pair arrived around 3 p.m., and by 9 p.m. they were assisted out of the river by the tug Jacquelyn Nicole Selvick.

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
Calumet arrived in Holland on a foggy Saturday morning and delivered stone to the Verplank dock.

 

Updates - October 5

News Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

Special Welland Gathering 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 October 5,1876, 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 7 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 West Bay City, Michigan, by West 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 October 5,1889, 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 October 5,1877, 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 October 5, 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 October 5,1904, 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.

 

St. Lawrence Seaway workers' strike near deadline

10/4 - Vancouver - Steamship lines, steel mills, grain exporters and even the oil sands are bracing for a potentially serious rupture in Canada's transportation network as workers on the St. Lawrence Seaway near a critical strike deadline. The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. or its 445 unionized employees can deliver 72-hour notice as early as Oct. 10, a possibility serious enough that some ocean-going freighters have already fled for fear of being stranded and the Shipping Federation of Canada has begun petitioning Ottawa to intervene.

A work stoppage would bring shipping through the Seaway - a vital international artery for the movement of iron, coal, wheat and other goods - to a halt. "If we are struck . . . the system will go down," Richard Corfe, the waterway's president and chief executive, told a Vancouver maritime conference this week.

Represented by the CAW, the workers have been without a contract since April 1 as they duel over the Seaway's bid to modernize its operations. Though workers have job guarantees and the Seaway has promised no layoffs, it is seeking to install new systems that would replace some lock workers with robots. The union has fought that effort, saying tests of the hands-free mooring technology have been a "dismal failure." "We realize as a union that changes are coming. But we want them to prove to us that it works and that it's safe," said Jim McGrath, chairman of CAW Local 4212, who said the union is "striving very hard to get an agreement."

A last-ditch negotiating effort will begin on Monday, when the two sides begin a week-long session with the help of two mediators. Though Seaway workers have not walked out since 1969, Corfe said in an interview this time may be different. "We're closer to a strike this time around than we have been ever in my career - and I've been with the Seaway for 25 years," he said. "The difference this time around is this is a fork in the road for us. We either accept that we're not going to put new technology in and live with a 19th-century system, or we stay with the times."
Corfe said "we're very confident we'll be able to get through this issue," but those who depend on the Seaway have already begun shaking up their plans. The system typically contains 30 ocean-going vessels at this time of year. By Wednesday, only 18 remained, as ship owners removed their vessels to avoid having their $20,000-a-day carriers stranded. Others, such as Canada Steamship Lines, are preparing to position vessels at either end of the Seaway.

Contingency plans have quickly been drafted across the country - from Hamilton steelmaker ArcelorMittal Dofasco, which receives nearly all of its raw inputs by water, to western wheat farmers, who are bracing for potential payment delays. Seaway cargo volumes have risen by 10 per cent in recent weeks, as customers stockpile goods, while grain handlers such as Richardson International Ltd. have begun seeking out other options including trucking and rail transport, or shipping through the West Coast.

"People are on pins and needles, watching this very closely," said Jean-Marc Ruest, Richardson's vice-president of corporate affairs. Observers say a prolonged strike could cause the entire Great Lakes industrial complex to slow, and bring serious problems much farther abroad. "People I've gotten calls from are worried that if ships with project cargo for the tarsands don't get in on time, that will shut down a project for year," said Shipping Federation of Canada president Michael Broad.

Economic impact of St. Lawrence Seaway includes; $6.2 billion worth of goods moved per year on Seaway, between 3,800-4,000 ship transits per year, 282 days of operation a year, 11.9 million tonnes of iron ore moved in 2007, 7 million tonnes of wheat moved in 2007, and 3.2 million tonnes of coal moved in 2007.

From the Montreal Gazette

 

Port Reports - October 4

Buffalo - Dan Sweeley
Wednesday, the American Mariner was in Lackawanna, N.Y., unloading stone at the Gateway Terminal. She left the harbor heading into strong winds at 4 p.m. At the same time her fleetmate, Adam E. Cornelius, was unloading grain at the General Mills elevator in Buffalo.

Duluth/Superior - Al Miller
Edgar B. Speer departed Duluth just before 7 a.m. Friday, followed shortly by the tug W. N. Twolan pushing an empty barge. At the same time, Robert S. Pierson (ex-Wolverine) was arriving in Duluth to pay a rare call to the CN/DMIR ore dock to load taconite pellets. In port, the CHS grain terminal in Superior was loading J. W. Shelley in berth 1 and Quebecois in berth 2.

Toledo – Jim Hoffman
The Canadian Transfer arrived at Andersons "K" Elevator to unload potash on Friday. She finished unloading and was outbound Toledo late Friday afternoon. Shortly afterwards the CSL Laurentien was inbound Toledo bound for Andersons "K" Elevator to load grain. The American Mariner finished loading coal at the CSX Docks and was outbound Friday evening. The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Docks has the Saginaw and Herbert C. Jackson due in Saturday, Algosoo due Monday followed by Kaye E. Barker on Wednesday. The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Dock has the Algowood and CSL Assiniboine due in Saturday, the H. Lee White on Sunday followed by the Kaye E. Barker on Wednesday. Maritime Trader was inbound Toledo late Friday evening, bound for the ADM Elevator to load grain.

 

States sue EPA over water releases from ships

10/4 - Albany, NY - Nine states sued the Bush administration Thursday over federal rules on water dumped from ships, claiming there is an illegal loophole that could hurt fisheries and contaminate drinking water. The states contend that an administrative ruling could allow the transfer of polluted or contaminated water by ship from one body of water to another where it would do harm. For example, they claim salt water from the ocean could be dumped in the Great Lakes under the June federal decision.

Suing the EPA are New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Washington and the Canadian province of Manitoba. At issue is regulation of water discharges from ballast and other sources on vessels large and small.

State officials said that if the federal action is allowed to stand, ships and boats could carry sediment-laden water into clear drinking water reservoirs, water containing chemicals could foul sources for farm irrigation and warm water could be pumped into cold-water habitats, threatening trout. The states' action also targets invasive species contained in ballast that could destroy lakes and rivers.
Benjamin Grumbles, EPA assistant administrator for water, said Thursday that agency officials had yet to see a copy of the challenge. "The EPA takes this issue very seriously and will continue to use all our clean water tools to protect the nation's streams and rivers from potential impacts from water transfers," Grumbles said.

The Catskill Mountains Chapter of Trout Unlimited and Hudson Riverkeepers are among the environmental and sport groups supporting the states' effort. "We need strong measures to protect our waters, not illegal rules that make the problem worse," said Jim Murphy, a lawyer for the National Wildlife Federation.

From the Associated Press

 

Small Harbors Coalition wants money for dredging

10/4 - Bay City - While Wall Street is looking for a bailout, small harbors in Michigan are looking for a dig out.

Members of the Michigan Small Harbors Coalition met this week at the Doubletree hotel and conference center in downtown Bay City to discuss their own financial crisis: A lack of designated federal funding to improve decades-old infrastructure and clear silt from shallow harbors in the Great Lakes. About 70 people attended, most from Michigan, adding a couple of signatures to a resolution now signed by 38 communities and four statewide organizations. The list includes Harrisville, East Tawas, Au Gres, Sebewaing, Caseville and Port Austin.

The problem is that dredging and infrastructure improvements made by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are funded by earmarks, rather than an annual appropriation, said Chuck May, chair pro tem of the coalition. Earmarks have been assailed as pork in this year's presidential campaign. May begs to differ. "So many of our channels were put in 100 years ago and basically so many of them haven't had any attention since then," May said.

The coalition wants to see a budgeted line item for improvements and dredging in federally authorized harbors. "The communities that these ports anchor include millions of people ... we're talking about people who deserve better than they're getting," said May, who lives on Portage Lake near Manistee.

May said members have been working with federal legislators including U.S. Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow and U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak on the need for regular funding. The coalition plans to use the resolution to make its case in Washington, D.C., as part of Great Lakes Day in February, a lobbying event organized by the Great Lakes Commission.
"It's a pittance," he said. "It is peanuts for the dredging." He said an annual appropriation of $10 million would be sufficient for the Great Lakes, but more costly catch-up work would be needed in the beginning.

For more information on the coalition and its resolution, see <http://www.miseagrant.umich.edu/harbors> .

From the Bay City Times

 

Steamboat sailors meetings scheduled in Ashtabula

10/4 - Ashtabula - If you were an employee of a steamship company, worked aboard a ship or worked at one of the many Great Lakes docks, you are invited to come and be a part of a “steamboaters” roundtable discussions to be held on October 14 in Ashtabula.

The Great Lakes Marine & Coast Guard Memorial Museum (aka the Ashtabula Marine Museum) members have again scheduled a time and place for you to have a place to gather and discuss working for the shipping companies. All steamboaters in Western Pennsylvania, Ashtabula and Lake counties or any other location, are invited to come have some fun and share thoughts and memories with others.

The roundtable will be held on Tuesday, October 14t at 1 p.m., at the Ashtabula Marine Museum, 1071 Walnut Blvd., Ashtabula, Ohio. Coffee and donuts will be provided. There is no charge, but donations are welcome. For additional information, call the museum at (440) 964-6847 and ask for Jack.

A second gathering will be held Nov. 5 at the local Harbor-Topky Library - 1633 Walnut Blvd., Ashtabula, Ohio, at 1 p.m.

Ashtabula Marine Museum news release

 

Updates - October 4

News Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

Special Welland Gathering gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - October 04

On October 4, 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 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 October 4,1877, 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 October 4, 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.

 

Tug spills fuel in Seaway

10/3 - Wolfe Island – On Wednesday, the Tug Florence M reportedly leaked diesel fuel into the St. Lawrence River on the north side of Wolfe Island, Ontario.

One of the engineers had begun transferring fuel in to a day tank but left it unattended and forgot about it. The tug was docked at Dawson's Point on Wolfe Island to discharge wind turbine components when the spill was discovered.

Efforts were made by the crew to contain and recover the fuel. The tug Seahound was working with the Florence M.

Investigations are underway by Transport Canada and the Ministry of the Environment.

 

Port Reports - October 3

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Vessel traffic in the Twin Ports early Thursday morning included Edgar B. Speer fueling at the Murphy terminal before proceeding to the CN/DMIR ore dock to load. Quebecois was unloading cement at St. Lawrence Cement. The tug W. N. Twolan and barge were unloading wood pulp at the port terminal. Asiaborg was loading at the Peavey elevator in Superior and Joe Block was completing its load at Hallett Dock 5.

Alpena and Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
Tuesday evening the G. L Ostrander/barge Integrity were in port at Lafarge. Out in the bay waiting for a clear dock was the Samuel de Champlain/barge Innovation. Once the Integrity cleared, the Champlain headed in with the Manitowoc following behind. Manitowoc tied up at the coal dock Tuesday night. The Herbert C. Jackson was loading at Stoneport on a cold and windy Wednesday.

Halifax - Mac MacKay
McKeil's newest barge acquisition was due to arrive in Halifax on Thursday. Arriving in tow of the US-flag tug Miss Liz, the barge Niagara Spirit will be docked at pier 9C. The tug Evans McKeil is still in port after arriving with the Exiderdome No.1 and Ivory Coast on September 30.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
Mississagi at Andersons "E" Elevator, and the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin at Andersons "K" Elevator, finished loading grain and were outbound from Toledo late Wednesday evening. Halifax finished loading coal at the CSX Dock and departed Thursday evening. The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Docks has the American Mariner due in Friday, Saginaw and Herbert C. Jackson due in Saturday followed by the Algosoo on Monday. Ore boats scheduled into the Torco Dock are Algowood and CSL Assiniboine due in Saturday, followed by the H. Lee White on Sunday, Canadian Transfer and CSL Laurentien are due in Toledo on Friday.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
Canadian Navigator made a rare visit to Toronto on Thursday with a load of salt, which she discharged during the day and departed in the late afternoon for the Welland Canal.

 

A lift for lighthouses: Measure would rescue states' historic beacons

10/3 - Port Huron - Michigan's U.S. senators have introduced legislation that could provide grants to preserve historic Fort Gratiot Lighthouse and other crumbling lighthouses. The bill would tap into a funding source that predates the nation - a tax on every ton of cargo shipped into the United States. A similar tax - a penny per ton of cargo entering Boston Harbor - was used in 1716 to build the first lighthouse in the American colonies.

The United States taxes foreign shipping at 2 cents per ton to pay for lighthouse maintenance. The U.S. Coast Guard, however, is divesting itself of lighthouses that are becoming obsolete because of modern navigation systems. The new legislation, introduced by Democrats Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, would establish a pilot program, run by the Secretary of the Interior, that would allow states and nonprofit groups to apply for competitive grants for restoration projects. The pilot program would be budgeted for $20 million a year for three years.

"It would mean we would have a pretty significant source, not only of funds to restore the site, but to develop the tourism aspect of it as well," said Dennis Zembala, president of the Port Huron Museum.

The lighthouse and associated buildings remain Coast Guard property. The museum and the city of Port Huron are pursuing a title to the five-acre site. This year, the Coast Guard closed the interior of the tower to tours because of structural integrity concerns. The building, completed in 1829, is the oldest lighthouse in Michigan.

"We're still waiting for the review by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality of the last environmental report that was done by the Coast Guard and the General Services Administration," Zembala said. "When we get that report, we will be able to move forward in affecting the transfer of the property to the city and the museum."

Zembala said the lighthouse's current woes - the 86-foot tall tower has several exterior cracks and bricks have fallen out in several places - are likely because of sandblasting that removed the surface of the bricks. Without the surface, the bricks absorbed water, leading to chipping when the water froze, he said.

Jennifer Radcliff of Clarkston, a member of the Michigan Lighthouse Fund, said there are other lighthouses in worse shape -- but not one that spends as much time in the public spotlight. "The risk with Fort Gratiot is the tower and the softness of the brick and the poor decisions the Coast Guard made with the coating on the bricks," she said. "The tower is really at risk as much as any lighthouse on the Great Lakes.

"There are a couple that are in worse shape, but none that are in reach of the public and none where there is so much history and none where there are other buildings that could be used (as part of a museum complex)." The legislation, Radcliff said, would direct part of the 2-cent lighthouse tax to its original purpose -- maintaining lighthouses.

"We felt the right thing is, if you own the lighthouses and are using taxes to care for them, that's fine," she said. "But if you no longer own the lighthouse and someone else is caring for them, some of the revenue should come with ownership." The program would divide the funding among the states based on the number of lighthouses; Michigan, with about 120, has the most in the nation. Radcliff said that while smaller communities may be happy to get title to historic lighthouses, they're often not able to pay for restoration.

From the Port Huron Times Herald

 

Updates - October 3

News Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

Special Welland Gathering gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - October 03

On October 3,1887, 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 October 3,1887, 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 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 October 3, 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 October 3,1887. 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.

 

Rigel Shipping sells its three Canadian tankers

10/2 - Reliable sources are reporting that Rigel Shipping Canada has sold its three tankers under Canadian flag to Quebec's Groupe Desgagnés. It was learned today that Desgagnés is the buyer of Emerald Star, Diamond Star and Jade Star. The sale has been rumored for some time.

The ownership of Emerald Star has already been transferred to Desgagnés, the other two will follow in 1st and 2nd quarters of 2009. There is no word immediately of renamings, or if the vessels are going to be absorbed in the Desgagnés fleet or operated as a subsidiary. The working contracts of both officers and crew will be transferred with the vessels until their expiration.

Reported by Bruno Boissonneault

 

Port Reports - October 2

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
Mississagi was loading grain at Andersons "E" Elevator. Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin was loading grain at Andersons "K" Elevator. Tug Invincible with the barge McKee Sons finished unloading cargo at the Kuhlman Dock and departed Wednesday morning and headed down bound the Maumee River bound for the CSX Coal Docks to load coal. McKee Sons finished loading coal and departed from the CSX Docks late Wednesday afternoon. Shortly afterwards, Canadian Progress arrived at the CSX Docks to load coal. The tug Michigan with the barge Great Lakes were at the B-P Dock, and the tug Wilf Seymour with her barge was at the Midwest Terminal Dock.
The revised schedule for coal boats due in at the CSX Docks has the Halifax due in Thursday, American Mariner and Saginaw due in Friday, Herbert C. Jackson due in Saturday, followed by the Algosoo due in Sunday.
The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Ore Docks has the Algowood and CSL Assiniboine on Saturday followed by the H. Lee White on Sunday.
The Canadian Transfer is bound for Toledo with a load of potash loaded at Thunder Bay, Ontario and should be arriving here in the next several days. She has been at the Shipyard at Thunder Bay, Ontario for the past several weeks undergoing survey/repairs and this is first trip out from the shipyard.

Halifax - Mac MacKay
The exhibition barge Exiderdome No.1 arrived in Halifax late in the evening of September 30. Ivory Coast towed the barge in, with Evans McKeil acting as untethered escort. Once inside the harbor, the local tug Point Valiant secured the barge and Ivory Coast worked around into he stern notch. Evans McKeil than came in and assisted in berthing the barge at Purdy's wharf.

 

Update on Lake Superior outflow

10/2 - Detroit - The International Lake Superior Board of Control, under authority granted to it by the International Joint Commission, has set the Lake Superior outflow to 2,050 cubic metres per second (m3/s) (72.4 thousand cubic feet per second (tcfs)) for the month of October. This is the outflow recommended by the regulation plan for the month of September and is a decrease from the September outflow, which was 2,250 m3/s (79.5 tcfs).

The October outflow will be released by discharging about 1,926 m3/s (68.0 tcfs) through the three hydropower plants and passing most of the remaining flow through the control structure at the head of the St. Marys Rapids. The gate setting of the control structure will be maintained at the existing setting equivalent to one-half gate open (four gates open 20 cm, or about 8 inches each). There will be no change to the setting of Gate #1 that supplies the Fishery Remedial Works.

This past month the water supply to the Lake Superior basin was below its long-term average for September, while that of the Lakes Michigan-Huron basin was above average. Lake Superior is currently 16 cm (6 inches) above its chart datum level. The level of Lake Superior is expected to fall in October. Currently, the Lake Superior level is about 17 cm (7 inches) below its long-term average beginning-of-October level, but is 30 cm (12 inches) above the level recorded a year ago.

This past month the level of Lake Superior fell by 3 cm (1 inch), while on average the level falls by 2 cm (1 inch) in September. The level of Lakes Michigan-Huron fell by 2 cm (1 inch) this September, while on average the level falls by 6 cm (2 inches) in September. The level of Lakes Michigan-Huron is now about 32 cm (13 inches) below its long-term average beginning-of-October level, and is 26 cm (10 inches) higher than it was a year ago, and 16 cm (6 inches) above chart
datum. The level of Lakes Michigan-Huron is also expected to decline in October.

The Board continues to monitor conditions both on Lake Superior and downstream and will advise the International Joint Commission accordingly on those conditions. Additional information can be found on the Internet at: http://www.ijc.org/conseil_board/superior_lake/en/superior_home_accueil.htm or, at http://www.lre.usace.army.mil/glhh

US Army Corps of Engineers news release

 

Updates - October 2

News Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

Special Welland Gathering 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 October 2,1901, 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 14t 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 McKeil 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 October 2,1888, 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 Mackinaw; 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.

 

Sarah Spencer Freed

10/1 - The tug Jane Ann IV with barge Sarah Spencer arrived at the dock in West Windsor sometime Wednesday with the assistance of tugs from Great Lakes Towing. By 3 p.m. the barge was offloading its cargo of stone.

At 4:30 p.m. the tug Stormont was reported upbound from the Truck Ferry Dock to assist the Sarah Spencer in departing the dock.

On Tuesday evening the Canadian Enterprise arrived about 7:30 p.m. to take on cargo from the barge in hopes of freeing the Sarah Spencer. The Enterprise completed the unload about 2 a.m. Wednesday morning and moved down river to unload at another Windsor dock.

The Enterprise complete unloading and headed upbound around 11a.m.

On Monday morning the tug and barge grounded about 200 feet off the Southwestern Sales Aggregate dock in East Windsor. Tugs attempted to pull the vessel free on Tuesday but were unsuccessful.

Photos in the News Photo Gallery, and the next gallery

 

Port Reports - October 1

Montreal - René Beauchamp
One of the newest vessels in the Canfornav fleet, the Wigeon, is expected to arrive in Montreal Wednesday for Seaway inspection. Then she will go to Toledo. The vessel called in Montreal earlier this year but did not go in the Seaway.
Expected in Montreal on October 10 is the Danish tug Lucas towing the cable-laying barge Henry P. loading from Denmark. From Montreal they will go to Kingston to lay a cable from there to Wolfe Island.

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic Tuesday morning included Charles M. Beeghly fueling at the Murphy Oil terminal before proceeding to the CN/DMIR ore dock to load, Asiaborg unloading wind turbines at the port terminal, and Hans Lehman loading grain at CHS 2 in Superior.

Fairport Harbor - Dave Merchant
The tug Kurt Luedtke was tied up in Fairport Tuesday afternoon, but there was no sign of Derrick 16.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ tug Cheraw took the derrick boat McCauly up the Buffalo River to the foot of Smith Street for some quick dredge work on Monday. They removed a small amount of debris to allow the police department to retrieve some abandoned vehicles from the bottom. As far as I know it was the first time that this particular pair have been up the river and it was also the first time that the CSX River Bridge was lifted for vessel traffic in a few months.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
Ojibway finished loading grain at the ADM Elevator and departed early Tuesday afternoon. Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin was loading grain at the Andersons "K" Elevator.Tug Michigan with the barge Great Lakes were at the B-P Dock. The tug Salvor with her barge finished loading coal at the CSX Dock and departed late Tuesday afternoon. Shortly afterwards, H. Lee White arrived at the CSX Docks to load coal.
The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Docks has the Canadian Progress, the tug Invincible with the barge Mckee Sons, and the Halifax due in Wednesday followed by the American Mariner and Saginaw on Friday.
The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock has the Algowood and CSL Assiniboine due in Saturday followed by the H. Lee White on Sunday.

 

Coast Guard adjusts cargo sweeping rules

10/1 - Traverse City, Mich. - The U.S. Coast Guard is allowing Great Lakes freighters to continue sweeping dry cargo residues overboard, but has tightened rules dealing with the practice.

For many years, ships have used high-powered hoses to wash their decks after loading or dropping off cargo in port. They're believed to wash 1 million pounds of coal, iron ore and other material into the lakes every year. The shipping industry says cargo sweeping does no harm, but environmental groups want it stopped.

In a rule published Monday in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard allows shippers to continue sweeping but encourages them to find ways to discharge less waste material. The rule also sets new reporting and record-keeping requirements and designates sensitive locations where sweeping is off-limits.

From the Chicago Tribune

 

Malfunction underscores need for second Poe-sized lock

10/1 – Cleveland - A malfunction of the Poe Lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, on Sept. 24 has illustrated the pressing need for Congress to appropriate the funds to build another lock capable of handling the largest U.S.-Flag Great Lakes freighters.

Although the vessel delays totaled only about three hours, had the problem been more severe, cargo movement on the Lakes would have slowed to a trickle. U.S.-Flag Lakers whose length and/or beam restrict them to the Poe Lock represent 70 percent of U.S.-Flag carrying capacity. “The Poe Lock that connects Lake Superior to the lower Great Lakes is the single point of failure that can cripple Great Lakes shipping,” said James H. I. Weakley, President of Lake Carriers’ Association. “

In 2007, the Poe Lock handled nearly 65 million tons of cargo. Without that lock, America’s steel industry is cut off from its major source of iron ore. Without that lock, Great Lakes basin utilities are denied access to clean burning low-sulfur coal. There just aren’t enough ships that are small enough to transit the MacArthur Lock to make up for loss of Poe-class vessels.”

The need for a second Poe-sized lock was recognized as long ago as 1986. The Water Resources Development Act of that year authorized construction, but a lengthy debate over funding followed. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Congressman James L. Oberstar (D-MN), the funding logjam was broken last year when Congress authorized construction at full Federal expense. “We were lucky this time,” said Weakley. “There was unusually light traffic and the Corps was able to respond quickly.

Nonetheless, the Poe Lock is nearly 40 years old. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers does a fantastic job of maintaining the locks at the Soo, but mechanical problems are inevitable as the infrastructure ages.

Great Lakes shipping is the raw materials lifeline for America’s industrial heartland. We must twin the Poe Lock as soon as possible. $17 million has been appropriated to begin in-depth design work and build coffer dams, but in total, the project will cost more than $340 million and could take as much as 10 years to complete. Every day we wait puts America’s economy at risk. The railroads don’t have the rolling stock to haul the cargo that moves on the Lakes. Even if they did, ships burn less fuel and produce fewer emissions than trains (and trucks). Loss of the Poe Lock won’t just hurt the economy, it will harm the environment.”

More information is available at www.lcaships.com.

Source: Lake Carriers’ Association

 

Updated Local Notice to Mariners

The USCG District Nine Local Notice to Mariners is now available for download at this link.

 

Updates - October 1

News Photo Gallery updated

Historical Perspective Gallery updated

Special Welland Gathering gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - October 1

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 October 1,1888, 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 October 1, 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 October 1, 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 October 1,1869, 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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