Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

Copyright Boatnerd.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

* Report News

Second of two grounded barges pulled free

10/31 - At 8:40 a.m. Saturday, the BIG barge, grounded in the Seaway near Alexandria Bay, N.Y. since last Sunday, came free of the shoal and the fleet of tugs entered the channel. Commodore Straits, Radium Yellowknife, Bowditch and Maple Grove were all together and heading up stream toward Clayton, N.Y. A similar barge was released Friday.

Saturday morning the river was closed at Alexandria Bay while the effort to remove the BIG barge from the shoal was underway. Radium Yellowknife, Bowditch and Maple Grove were all working together to pull the barge off the rocks. Maritime Trader was anchored at Prescott waiting for the channel to be reopened.

Shortly after freeing the barge from the shoal, Radium Yellowknife departed downbound. Commodore Straits, Bowditch, and Maple Grove took the barge into a small but deep-water bay on the north side of the shipping channel, due west of the grounding site. There the tow for Clayton was made up. Once this operation was completed, the river was reopened for navigation for ships waiting at anchor. Freighters Beluga Family and Maritime Trader pulled their hooks and proceeded up bound. At approximately 11:20 the tow arrived at Clayton.

Ron Beaupre

 

Algoisle, Canadian Prospector scrap tows nearing destination

10/31 - On Saturday, the tug Ionion Pelagos refueled at Ceuta, Spain, in North Africa, while the tug Golfo de Bengala babysat Algoisle in the Mediterannean Sea. After refueling, Ionion Pelagos returned to the Algoisle and resumed the tow to Aliaga, while the Golfo de Bengala returned to Ceuta, Spain.

Saturday afternoon the tug Simoon and Canadian Prospector should be around 404.9 n miles between the Island of Malta and the western end of Crete. They are due at Aliaga, Turkey, Nov. 5.

 

Updates -  October 31

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards 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.

 

Barge salvage effort in Seaway successful

10/30 - 9 a.m. update - 8:40 The BIG barge came free of the shoal and the fleet of tugs have entered the channel. Commodore Straits, Radium Yellowknife, Bowditch, and Maple Grove are all together and heading up stream towards Clayton, N.Y.

Saturday morning the river was closed at Alexandria Bay while the effort to remove the BIG barge from the shoal was underway. Radium Yellowknife, Bowditch, and Maple Grove were all working together to pull the barge off the rocks. Maritime Trader was anchored at Prescott waiting for the channel to be reopened.  

Original report - Efforts continue to free the second of two barges grounded in the St. Lawrence Seaway near Alexandria Bay, N.Y. At 4:30 p.m. Friday, the tug Radium Yellowknife secured barge BIG 546 at Prescott Elevators. Shortly afterwards, Radium Yellowknife departed upbound light tug to Alexandria Bay to assist Commodore Straits and Bowditch in removing the second BIG barge from the shoal.

The Commodore Straits was pushing the barges carrying soybeans downriver toward Massena when they grounded about 5:30 a.m. Sunday. The tug and barges were just outside the shipping channel near shallow waters outside of Comfort Island.

Ron Beaupre

 

Port Reports -  October 30

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
With peak winds reaching 55 knots and the water level dropping over two feet, to a minus 25.68 inches, the Saginaw River was a pretty lonely place on Wednesday. That changed on Thursday as the weather improved and traffic started moving again. Calumet called on the GM dock in Saginaw, Thursday morning to unload. She was back outbound for the lake during the early evening. Walter J. McCarthy Jr. was inbound during the afternoon with coal for the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville. She backed out into the bay to turn and head for the lake late in the evening Thursday.

Toledo, Ohio - Jim Hoffman
American Mariner was unloading ore at the Torco Dock Friday. Algosoo was loading coal at the CSX Dock with Robert S. Pierson at the number two dock waiting to follow to load coal. The tug Mary E. Hannah with her barge were at the B-P Dock. The tug Barbara Andrie with her barge were at the old Interlake Dock. The tug Cleveland with the barge Cleveland Rocks remain at the Ironhead Shipyard. Saginaw was unloading grain at the Kraft Elevator. Cedarglen was at Anderson's K Elevator loading grain. Canadian Transfer was at the Kuhlman Dock/Anderson's E Elevator area. The next scheduled coal boats due in at the CSX Docks will be Michipicoten on Saturday, Calumet on Sunday followed by Kaye E. Barker on Monday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Dock will be CSL Assiniboine and Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin on Saturday followed by Kaye E. Barker on Sunday. The next scheduled stone boat due in at the Midwest Stone Dock will be Canadian Navigator on Saturday.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
Shortly before 5 p.m., Algoway emerged from behind the old power plant. She called the Charles Berry Bridge at 5:10, cleared past the bridge at 5:47 and tied-up at 9th Street at 6:12 p.m. She only had to wait for one train to pass, but once she cleared the bridge another train showed-up. She wasn't detained by that train due to her dock location.

 

Tugz International enters purchase agreement for HandySize Tug

10/30 - Cleveland, Ohio - Tugz International LLC, an affiliate of The Great Lakes Group, has entered into a purchase agreement for a new, HandySize, 2,800 hp tug with Red Cape Marine Corporation of Puerto Rico.

The tug is a new class of tugboats being constructed in The Great Lakes Towing Company’s Great Lakes Shipyard in Cleveland, Ohio. The tug departed the yard on October 23 bound for St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. The tug will be used in the Caribbean in the intra-island movement of a 30,000 bbl oil barge. The tug purchase price is confidential.

A new, more powerful HandySize 3,200 hp tug is now under construction at the Great Lakes Shipyard facility, Cleveland, Ohio, for delivery in April, 2011.

The HandySize Class tugs are advanced, environmentally-friendly and were designed for harbor and coastal towing in collaboration with Jensen Maritime, Seattle, Wash., renowned U.S. naval architects. The HandySize design fills the market niche in the 2,000-4,000 hp tug market for harbor work, fireboats, and construction operations as well as for coastal towing operations.

Great Lakes Group

 

Great Lakes Towing president named "Man of the Year"

10/30 - The Maritime Port Council of Greater New York/New Jersey and vicinity, Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO, has announced that Ronald C. Rasmus, President & CEO of The Great Lakes Towing Company, The Great Lakes Group, and Tugz International LLC, Cleveland, Ohio, and its affiliate, Puerto Rico Towing & Barge Co., San Juan, P.R., has been named Management "Man of the Year" along with Richard L. Trumka, President of the National AFL-CIO, who will receive the Paul Hall Award of Merit, and the Honorable Donald M. Payne, Congressman from New Jersey, who will be receiving this year's Government "Man of the Year" Award.

The Port Council consists of 43 affiliated unions, representing some 500,000 members in the Greater New York/New Jersey Area. The awards will be presented at the New York-New Jersey Annual Maritime Port Council's Dinner at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers on 52nd Street and Seventh Avenue in New York City on Saturday.

Great Lakes Group

 

Billions on the line for shipbuilding in Canada

10/30 - St. Catharines, Ont. - It's a new government policy that could be a goldmine for St. Catharines' dry docks.

Called the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, the plan will see $30 billion worth of new ships purchased from Canadian shipyards over the next 30 years. It's the largest federal procurement ever in Canada.

"We're really encouraged the federal government is committed to renewing the fleet," said John Dewar, a vice-president of Upper Lakes Marine and Industrial Inc., which owns the Seaway Marine and Industrial Inc. dry docks in Port Weller.

"Finally, they're moving ahead on shipbuilding programs that have been dormant for decades." Unfortunately, there's a big wrench in the works for Seaway Marine.

Dewar said the plan categories and criteria are such that his firm could be shut out of these rich contracts.

The conundrum plays out this way.

There are three parts to the federal strategy: large and small ship construction and finally repair, refit and maintenance projects. For the large ships, the feds are looking for a single relationship with two Canadian shipyards — one for combat and the other non-combat.

That process will take place through a competition.

Acquiring smaller ships and refits, repairs and maintenance will be done through separate competitions among Canadian shipyards. Seaway Marine and Industrial was among five Canadian shipyards to be shortlisted for the large vessels on Oct. 8.

So far, so good.

The problem, said Dewar, is the criteria for larger ships could effectively shut his company out when winners are announced next spring. First of all, construction of combat vessels is extremely technically complex and costly.

Arctic/offshore patrol ships, which are part of the combat stream, will cost around $3 billion to $5 billion for six to eight ships. There will also be at least 15 Canadian surface combatant vessels built— the replacement for the navy's frigates and destroyers.

That program alone will demand "just a huge amount of financial resources and it isn't really the marketplace for our shipyard," Dewar said.

However, Seaway Marine has a successful history of building large non-combat vessels in the 1,000- to 10,000-tonne range.

The problem with the latest policy is the government wants one yard to build all these big ships. The heaviest ships in that non-combat category — the joint support ships and polar icebreaker — are too wide to navigate the St. Lawrence Seaway. So here, too, Seaway Marine is essentially shut out.

"We can qualify for this, but can't possibly win it, as the big ships can't physically fit through the Seaway," Dewar said.

Meanwhile, the small-ship program is for vessels under 1,000 tonnes and will be done through open competition.

The shipyards selected for the larger ships aren't eligible.

Dewar said there's little information about what's in this category, but many are marine search-and-rescue boats that are too small-scale for a shipyard.

"We'd have a hard time competing against boat-builders who already specialize in this," Dewar said. "And most of those contracts have already been awarded."

The final category — repair, refit and maintenance — will be open to shipbuilders as requests for proposals. However, Dewar said any winner of a large-ship program will likely have major overhead costs covered by the contract, so they could underbid other firms in future bids.

Dewar said 30 percent to 40 percent of Seaway Marine's work is through government contracts, so getting business from this procurement strategy is critical.

The docks have recently employed anywhere from 60 to 200 people.

Scoring a new contract for just one 1,000- to 5,000-tonne ship every two years would mean additional work for up to 300 people.

A representative of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, which represents most of the workers at the shipyard, could not be reached for comment.

St. Catharines MP Rick Dykstra said he's familiar with the dry dock's issues. But as the strategy covers three decades, it's too early to pin down "how it's going to work its way out," he said.

Some of the larger shipbuilding yards on the east and west coasts "are going to obviously do the big builds," Dykstra said. "There's also so much subcontract work involved that special and separate attention is being paid to how it will be allocated."

Dykstra said he's confident Ontario and Seaway Marine will play "a large and significant role" in the procurement strategy as it rolls out.

There are still ways to make the process more fair for St. Catharines, said Dewar. The first is to change the threshold for open competitions of non-combat ships to any vessel 5,000 tonnes or below.That's something Seaway Marine could get a fair shake at, as these boats would fit through the Seaway.

The single large ship categories would then include all combat and non-combat ships more than 5,000 tonnes.

Another suggestion is any yard that wins the large-ship contract would then be ineligible for refit, repair and maintenance work.

Dewar also suggests a decent amount of sub-contractor work go to Ontario shipyards, through established regional benefits programs. "It would be unfair that the largest procurement of any kind in Canada is going to be denied to industry in Ontario because of the constraints of the St. Lawrence Seaway," he said.

David Oakes, economic development director for the City of St. Catharines, shares Dewar's concern.

"If we're able to change the (category) thresholds and allow them to build the smaller tonnage ships that would fit through the canal, it would provide a significant amount of new employment," he Oakes said.

Securing the contracts would also allow the dry docks to beef up its infrastructure on the ship repair side, he added.

In the meantime, Dewar continues to voice his concerns with federal authorities. So far, he's getting some hopeful vibes: "I'm confident in the long run, things will be resolved satisfactorily."

St. Catharines Standard

 

Clipper board still seeking permanent home for old Muskegon-to-Milwaukee ship

10/30 - Muskegon, Mich. - Walking through the brightly painted interior spaces of the SS Milwaukee Clipper and listening to some of Capt. Robert Priefer’s seemingly inexhaustible wealth of stories, it’s easy to imagine what it was like to be aboard on one of its many Muskegon-to-Milwaukee sailings.

Imagine, for example, the view over the bow from a seat in the Club Lounge, where anyone could be a VIP by coughing up an extra 50 cents. Or picture having a boozy chat with Frances Langford at “her” end of the Marine Lounge’s Horshoe Bar. Priefer remembers the swing-era singer as one of a number of celebrities to have sailed aboard the Clipper, from famed war correspondent Ernie Pyle to TV wrestler “Gorgeous George.”

Priefer signed on as a deck hand in 1941, the year the remodeled former cruise ship Juniata began plying the Muskegon-to-Milwaukee route. He served as the Clipper’s captain from 1959 until its last voyage in 1970.

Priefer remains a tireless overseer and promoter of the ship through the non-profit SS Milwaukee Clipper Preservation, Inc., as well as a repository of much of the ship’s long history.

Even at 88, he remembers just about all of it.

“He’s a treasure, actually,” says Dr. Ray Hilt, who stepped down as president of the Clipper’s board of directors about three months ago but remains vice president at the insistence of the man now at the helm, T.J. Parker.

Today, Parker and the other board members are focused as much, or more, on the ship’s intended future as a museum devoted not only to its own history, but that of the entire Great Lakes shipping industry.

But it probably won’t happen until the “Queen of the Great Lakes” can find a permanent home for itself.

Having spent nearly 13 years in a “temporary” location at the old Grand Trunk dock in Lakeside as a guest of Andrie Inc., the Clipper’s moving day is long overdue. And in fact, the lack of a permanent mooring has hampered the restoration in a number of ways. But after several unsuccessful attempts, board members are renewing their push to get the Clipper docked permanently somewhere along the Muskegon Lake shoreline.

Much of the new impetus comes from Parker, who views the Clipper’s value to the community as incalculable, both for its history and the role it can play in Muskegon’s future.

Parker, of Norton Shores, is relying on his engineering background to help the group overcome difficulties that have kept the board from landing a lasting home for the Clipper. Among the challenges they now face are complying with city building and fire codes and landing a site with sufficient water depth, accessibility and parking.

“We have to find how to make this work,” he says, “and not think about what will prevent us from making it work.”

Parker is convinced it can be done. And in fact, the Clipper board is making some advances since its bid for a shift to its old home at the Mart Dock fell apart over zoning issues in May 2008.

“We see some interest in the Milwaukee Clipper docking at a downtown Muskegon site,” Parker said. “We’re excited and encouraged by the positive attitudes we’re seeing among people who can make a difference.”

“There is more than one option available,” according to Parker.

On the plus side, the Clipper has been receiving steady inflow of restoration funds through wide-ranging private donations and an annual auction, which generated $14,000 this year. However, the lack of a permanent site also makes it ineligible for U.S. Interior Department grants it could otherwise obtain as a National Historic Site.

It also has a devoted band of 50 or so much-appreciated volunteers who have supported the effort both on shipboard and behind the scenes, as well the Andries’ willingness to give the Clipper group plenty of latitude.

“We are so grateful to our volunteers,” said Parker, “and to the Andries for their continued support — and their patience.”

The need for a new site intensified recently when the Andrie firm began to store equipment on their Lakeside site, and, for security reasons, began limiting public access. That, in turn, greatly limited the ability to offer public tours, a significant source of restoration funds.

Ultimately, Parker and other board members hope that once a new permanent site is found, the Clipper will become a community asset offering both Muskegon and Great Lakes maritime history as well as a place for special events.

The Clipper has had its hull, superstructure and stack repainted to original colors, many interior spaces restored and its art deco lounge furniture and murals refurbished so it is already is presentable enough to support such events.

But much work remains, and more volunteers will be needed for the future, said Jim Plant, the board’s first president. He helped put the volunteer program together after the Clipper returned to Muskegon in early December 1997, following a failed attempt to convert it to a floating casino in Hammond, Ind.

And, according to Plant, the group continues to seek written memories from people who have sailed aboard the Clipper, as well as photographs, published articles and the like.

All of it will add to the long-running Milwaukee Clipper’s legacy, one that its backers hope will endure for many years to come.

As Priefer says proudly, “This is the last passenger ship afloat on the Great Lakes, and possibly the country. It has to be saved.”

Muskegon Chronicle

 

Updates -  October 30

Public Gallery updated
Discussion Boards updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  October 30

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

On 30 October 1870, JOSEPH A. HOLLON (wooden barge, 107 foot, 158 gross tons, built in 1867, at E. Saginaw, Michigan) was in tow of the tug CLEMATIS (wooden tug, 179 tons, built in 1863, at Cleveland, Ohio) in a terrific gale on Lake Huron. The barge broke free and drifted off. The waves washed completely over her and the captain was swept overboard. Her cabins were destroyed. The next day the wife of the mate and another crewmember 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 a 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

 

Weather keeps a few vessels at anchor

10/29 - Although vessel traffic was slowly returning to normal on the Great Lakes after a powerful storm swept the region Tuesday and Wednesday, some vessels remained at anchor Thursday night. Kaye E. Barker, St. Clair, Burn Harbor and CSL Tadoussac were anchored in the lee of Whitefish Point, while the Alpena was west of Mackinac Island.

 

Port Reports -  October 29

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic quickly got back to normal after the first big storm of the season began to ease on Wednesday. By late that afternoon, the Edgar B. Speer could be seen motoring away into the mist toward Two Harbors. During the storm’s height, the weather station at Rock of Ages Light at Isle Royale recorded sustained winds of 68 mph with gusts to 80 mph. On Thursday morning, Mesabi Miner was almost done loading at Midwest Energy Terminal, with James R. Barker due at the dock at midday. Stefania 1 was loading at Peavey elevator in Superior and Fivelborg was loading at General Mills in Duluth. Cason J. Callaway was unloading at CN ore dock before shifting to Hallett 5 to load for Gary. Thursday, vessels delayed by the storm began to depart. Joseph L. Block left port about noon, passing John G. Munson, which was loaded and taking on fuel at the Murphy Oil terminal. Nearby was Algolake, which reportedly was loaded with coal but remained docked at the Duluth port terminal.

Port Huron - Frank Frisk
USCG Mackinaw passed upbound Thursday, returning to her home port.

 

Powerful winds change water levels on Lake Michigan, Fox River

10/29 - Milwaukee, Wis. - The powerful sustained winds this week pushed water levels three feet lower Wednesday on the south side of Lake Winnebago and the Fox River. On the north end of Lake Michigan in the Upper Peninsula, the water level rose about 20 inches.

Such fluctuations, called seiches, are normal parts of the interaction between changing air pressure and bodies of water. But such a pronounced, measurable seiche is rare, according to WTMJ-TV meteorologist Brian Gotter.

"Obviously, this was a record-breaking storm, so you have this measurable difference in a large area," the forecaster said.

The National Weather Service office in Sullivan took note of the seiche Wednesday when a Green Bay city employee noticed a drop in the level of the Fox River as he crossed the Highway 172 bridge in Green Bay. "He could see sand bars well out into the river," weather service meteorologist Tom Kieckbush said.

Then they received reports of measurements. Lake Winnebago was about 18 inches higher on the north end and had the 3-foot drop on the south side. The weather service measured the 20-inch increase for Lake Michigan at a station Port Inland, Mich.

Small seiches form during thunderstorms and other events with either driving winds or a major change in air pressure. At their worst, they have the potential to damage anything in their path, Gotter said.

It seems the area escaped damage from this seiche. Water levels had returned to normal Thursday afternoon, according to the weather service.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 

Court ruling sinks Hamilton Harbor’s Farr Island

10/29 - Hamilton, Ont. - A last-ditch attempt to block the sinking of an artificial gravel island in Hamilton Harbor now home to a colony of migratory cormorants has failed.

Environmental and animal activist AnnaMaria Valastro had asked a federal court for a temporary injunction to halt the sinking of Farr Island, a former hydro tower platform owned by the Hamilton Port Authority. The HPA wants to turn Farr into an enlarged artificial shoal to create spawning beds for lake herring and whitefish, which have disappeared from the western end of Lake Ontario. The 30-metre-by-35-metre cobble island is a quarter of a kilometre straight out from the mouth of Burlington’s Indian Creek.

Federal Court Judge Judith Snider denied Valastro’s injunction request on Oct. 19 for two key reasons.

The first was that Valastro had not launched any court action or application against the sinking, which is “a prerequisite to an interim injunction,” Snider ruled. Secondly, Snider decided Valastro had not shown there would be “irreparable harm” if the injunction was denied.

“The irreparable harm alleged by Ms Valastro is that the cormorants that would otherwise nest and breed on Farr Island would lose their habitat,” the judge said in a written decision. Valastro’s injunction application “is not supported by any expert reports … Ms Valastro is a very knowledgeable citizen, but not a scientist or an expert.” Valastro, an animal-rights activist from London, Ont., and co-director of environmental advocacy group PeacefulParks.org, had argued losing the island would mean double-crested cormorants would lose a nesting site and be forced to move elsewhere.

“The evidence before me is that, while the cormorant population in the Great Lakes region was decimated in the 1960s and 1970s, to a low of 135 nests, cormorants have made an amazing recovery,” Snider wrote.

“As of 2005, it was estimated that there were about 113,000 nesting cormorants; they are not an endangered or at-risk species. Indeed, the evidence shows that the rapid population growth has resulted in public concerns regarding the impact to the environment.”

Valastro said that, as a self-litigant at court, she didn’t realize her case would have several legal tests to be eligible for an injunction. “It was a very difficult process.… The federal court isn’t really for members of the public unless somehow they are under arrest,” she said. The port authority’s environmental manager, Marilyn Baxter, said the project is set to resume. “We’ve got to get everybody lined up, but we expect to have everything finished by the end of the year.”

The HPA told the judge that it cost $87,000 to fight Valastro’s injunction request, and asked the judge to award them $50,000 in court costs.

But in an unsubtle rebuke of HPA’s lawyers’ billing, Snider wrote that “costs of $50,000 to oppose a motion that was clearly without merit are far in excess of any reasonable costs award … I am not prepared to award any costs to the HPA.”

Phase 1 will turn the artificial island, which sits in about two metres of water, into three shoals about a metre below the surface. Phase 2 will create a new fourth shoal about 15 metres away. To regrade Farr Island, a large excavator on a barge parked on the island’s deep side will scoop off the top of the cobble mound, swing 180 degrees and drop the material into about three metres of depth to create a shoal 35 metres long and 15 metres wide. Then the excavator will dig a trench in the original island down to the harbor floor, effectively turning the original island into two shoals. In Phase 2, new rock will be positioned about 15 metres away farther out into the harbor to create a new 70-metre-long and 15-metre-wide artificial shoal.

Project manager Farhad Salehi said the work should be finished by year’s end, barring storm delays. The Hamilton Spectator

 

Coast Guard evacuates injured man from Beaver Island

10/29 - Cleveland, Ohio – A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew from Air Station Traverse City, Mich., was en route to evacuate a 54-year-old man who reportedly crashed his car on Beaver Island, Mich., Thursday evening. Injured was Gordon Heikka, hometown unknown.

The Traverse City air crew was preparing to return to the air station in their HH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter after responding to another incident near Keweenaw, Mich., when they were diverted to medevac Heikka.

Heikka was reportedly in stable condition but first responders don’t know the full extent of his injuries and wanted him to be evaluated at a hospital. There isn’t a hospital on Beaver Island.

The aircrew expected to arrive at Beaver Island at about 9 p.m. and planned to bring Heikka aboard to fly him to Air Station Traverse City, where EMS will be waiting to transfer him to a local hospital.

 

Seaway Notice: Self-spotting systems will be used

10/29 - Mariners are advised that beginning the first week of November, the self-spotting system will be utilized for qualified vessels in the Canadian deep locks from Montreal to Lake Ontario. The lock operators will continue to provide the final mooring position via radio communication on initial contact and, if qualified, the captain/pilot will be invited to rely on the vessel self spotting system for position information. For non-qualified vessels, verbal instructions via radio will be provided as per established procedures.

 

Updates -  October 29

Public Gallery updated
Discussion Boards 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.

 

Some ship traffic moving Wednesday as strong winds kept others at anchor

10/28 - Although high winds continued around the Great Lakes region for the second day, some traffic began moving Wednesday.

Since the anchorage above Port Huron was full, the saltie Puffin headed upbound late Wednesday morning and onto Lake Huron. Ziemia Lodzka departed the anchorage upbound about 3 p.m., and the tug Invincible / barge McKee Sons passed upbound through the rivers and into Lake Huron about 4:30, leading many from the anchorage upbound. Joseph H. Thompson followed the McKee Sons shortly before 5 p.m. Shortly before 6 p.m., CSL Tadoussac departed the anchorage followed by Atlantic Huron and H. Lee White. John J. Boland, Roger Blough, Canadian Olympic followed by Julietta were upbound in the lower St. Clair River. Olive L. Moore and Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder, Maumee and Palembang were upbound on Lake St. Clair. Presque Isle departed the anchorage at 7 p.m. followed by Cuyahoga. Walter J. McCarthy Jr. entered the Huron Cut upbound about 8:20 p.m. after unloading at St. Clair. Canadian Olympic went to anchor about 8:40 while the other vessels continued upbound onto the lake. About this time, Paul R. Tregurtha arrived downbound.

At 11 p.m. Wednesday, vessels remaining at anchor above Port Huron included Canadian Progress, Algowood, Canadian Olympic, Algosar, John B. Aird and Sam Laud. In the Straits of Mackinac, Philip R. Clarke, Algomarine, Joyce L. Van Enkevort and Pathfinder, Robert S. Pierson, Alpena and tug Samuel De Champlain and barge Innovation were at anchor. Karen Andrie, Lee A. Tregurtha, American Mariner Buffalo, Frontenac, Kaye E. Barker and Palau were anchored in the lower St. Marys River, with Algorail behind Drummond Island and Michipicoten behind St. Joseph Island. St. Clair, CSL Laurentien and Burns Harbor were stopped in the upper St. Marys River.

Wednesday was slow at the locks, with only two boats locking through. American Integrity passed downbound about 3 a.m. American Mariner departed its anchorage above the locks about 8:30 a.m. and St. Clair moved to spot where the Mariner was anchored. Mariner was down through the locks about 10:20 a.m. and headed for the anchorage off Detour.

On Western Lake Erie, American Republic remained anchored off Huron, Ohio. Elsewhere on the lake there was some traffic moving. John J. Boland and Gordon C. Leitch departed Toledo about 1 a.m., the Boland anchored of Colchester while the Leitch continued on. Algoway departed Toledo about 4 a.m. Canadian Transfer and CSL Niagara departed the anchorage off Toledo about 10 a.m., with the Transfer upbound to the Detroit River and Niagara headed into Toledo. Irma and John D. Leitch headed upbound to the Detroit River while Arthur M. Anderson was downbound heading to anchor in the lake.

 

One of grounded barges in Seaway freed

10/28 - One of the two barges that ran aground in the St. Lawrence Seaway Sunday was reported free on Wednesday.

Around 8 p.m., the tug Commodore Straits was listed as westbound with a barge above the Thousand Islands Bridge. The tug Bowditch was close behind. Salvage operations were still in progress on the other barge, with the tug Maple Grove in attendance, and ships were advised to pass at the slowest safe speed and are not allowed to meet in that area.

The Commodore Straits was pushing the barges carrying soybeans downriver toward Massena when they grounded about 5:30 a.m. The tug and barges were just outside the shipping channel near shallow waters outside of Comfort Island.

Ron Walsh

 

Port Reports -  October 28

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Vessel traffic in Duluth slowed Tuesday and Wednesday as a powerful storm swept across Lake Superior. In the Twin Ports waiting out the storm warning, Algolake, Mesabi Miner and Cason J. Callaway remained docked at the Duluth Port Terminal Tuesday into Wednesday morning; American Spirit loaded at Midwest Energy Terminal and then remained at the dock; Fivelborg remained docked at General Mills; Joseph L. Block was loading at the CN ore dock while John G. Munson was tied up at the dock waiting for its turn. Out on the lake, Edgar B. Speer spent the night at anchor rather than trying to make Two Harbors. It was joined by another laker overnight. Other vessels in Duluth-based Great Lakes Fleet also were affected Tuesday, including Edwin H. Gott, which anchored off Gary; Presque Isle, which anchored off Port Huron; Roger Blough, which stopped loading in Conneaut because of the weather; and Philip R. Clarke, which anchored in the Straits of Mackinac rather than taking on northern Lake Michigan on its way to Buffington.

Toledo, Ohio - Jim Hoffman
Gordon C. Leitch finished loading grain at Andersons K Elevator and departed very early Wednesday morning. Algoway departed from the Kuhlman Dock Wednesday morning bound for Lorain to unload salt. CSL Niagara was at the Torco Dock unloading ore. The tug Barbara Andrie with her barge were at the B-P Dock. The tug Cleveland with the barge Cleveland Rocks remain at the Ironhead Shipyard. The next scheduled coal boats due into the CSX Docks is Arthur M. Anderson, presently anchored in western Lake Erie near West Sister Island, with an unknown eta at this time, Algosoo on Thursday, Robert S. Pierson on Friday followed by Lee A. Tregurtha and Michipicoten on Saturday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Dock will be the American Mariner on Friday, followed by the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin, Kaye E. Barker and CSL Assiniboine on Saturday. The next scheduled stone boat due in at the Midwest Stone Dock will be the Canadian Navigator on Saturday. Presently there are no grain boats in port.

Halifax, N.S. - Mac Mackay
Algoma Spirit arrived in Halifax Wednesday morning. The ship will undergo some repairs and is expected to raise the Canadian flag within a day or two.

 

Updates -  October 28

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards 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.

 

Tuesday’s storm sends much of lake fleet to anchor

10/27 - You might call it the gales of October. On Tuesday morning, ships were already filling anchorages around the lakes and were joined by others throughout the day as winds were forecast to meet or surpass the storm which sank the Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975.

The barometric pressure at Duluth Tuesday bottomed out at 28.35 about 11:30 a.m. One vessel anchored off lower Lake Michigan reported a wind gust of 66 mph. In comparison, when Hurricane Earl reached Category 3 strength in the Atlantic at the end of August, its central pressure was recorded at 28.20 inches.

American Century and Edgar B. Speer were anchored off Duluth - Superior.

CSL Laurentian, American Mariner and Burns Harbor were on the hook in the upper St. Marys River. Between Raber Bay and Maud Bay in the lower St. Marys, Karen Andrie, Lee A. Tregurtha, Algocape, Buffalo and Paul R. Tregurtha waited at anchor, while Kaye E. Barker, Palau and Frontenac were anchored above DeTour. Michipicoten was tucked in behind St. Joseph Island off Bruce Mines while Algorail sought shelter behind Drummond Island. Wilfred Sykes, which had been anchored in the lee of Mackinaw Island, got underway at midday, heading into Cedarville to load, taking the spot Frontenac had vacated.

Robert S. Pierson, Samuel de Champlain, Algomarine, Joyce L. Van Enkevort were all hunkered down near Bois Blanc Island southeast of the Straits. Federal Power was in Hammond Bay just north of Rogers City. Calumet came through the Straits eastbound about 5 p.m. and continued downbound to load at Calcite. Indiana Harbor and Charles M. Beeghly were on the hook in Green Bay, behind the Door County peninsula.

In southern Lake Michigan, the tug Victory and barge James L. Kuber were anchored off Burns Harbor, Ind., Edwin H. Gott was off Gary, Ind., and Manitowoc was stopped off South Chicago.

H. Lee White, Atlantic Huron, Presque Isle, Joseph H. Thompson, Algosar, Ziemia Lodzka, Algowood, Sam Laud and Brant all sought shelter above Port Huron, however Brant departed around 2 p.m. for Goderich to load. Olive L. Moore arrived downbound, crossing Lake Huron and heading for Detroit. In Western Lake Erie, American Republic was anchored off Huron, Ohio, while Canadian Transfer and CSL Niagara were stopped northeast of Maumee Bay.

Open lake forecast for the region are included below:

Lake Superior: Southwest storm force winds Wednesday to 55 knots, turning to northwest gales Thursday. Waves subsiding to 12 -17 feet on Wednesday.

Lake Michigan: Southwest storm force winds Wednesday to 60 knots, turning to westerly gales Thursday. Waves over 20 feet, subsiding to 10 -14 feet Thursday.

Lake Huron: Southerly gales to 35 knots Wednesday, diminishing to westerly 30-knot wind. Waves building to 7 - 13 feet Wednesday.

Lake Erie: South winds Wednesday to 30 knots, building Thursday to westerly 35-knot gales that diminish to 30-knot winds in the afternoon. Waves 8-11 feet. Westerly gales predicted for Thursday may cause a seiche effect, dropping water levels on the eastern end of the lake and raising levels on the western side, further delaying shipping.

Lake Ontario: Wednesday, southwest winds to 25 knots, building to 30 knots Thursday. Waves 3- 5 feet building to 8-11 Thursday.

 

Sugar Islander II returns to service after crash

10/27 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. - “Things could have been a lot worse,” said Executive Director Chuck Moser of the Eastern Upper Peninsula Transportation Authority, crediting the captain of the Sugar Islander II for making the best of a bad situation a week ago Monday afternoon.

The crash, which Moser pegged at approximately 12:18 p.m., remains under investigation with some recently installed electronic throttle and gear controls seeming to be the leading culprits. “They were checking it out,” said Moser of the company that had put in the equipment. “It was sending out a code we couldn’t explain.”

Moser said the captain had the ferry lined up perfectly, “He was square as he should have been,” but the vessel did not slow down.

“These things can happen,” said Moser. “He didn’t do anything wrong – he mitigated it just by being a good operator.” Moser was unable to estimate the speed of the ferry at the time it crashed into the dock over on the Sugar Island side.

“It caused a pretty good jolt,” he said by way of explanation. “I think eight vehicles were damaged.” Moser said the Sault Ste. Marie Police Department and Chippewa County Sheriff Deputies responded to the scene in the wake of the accident. From all accounts, those aboard the Sugar Islander II escaped unscathed with the complaints limited to one individual suffering from a sore back and a second complaining of a sore shoulder.

There were two small fractures well above the water line on the vessel that needed to be re-welded in the wake of the accident. The ferry has since returned to service.

Sault Ste. Marie Evening News

 

Port Reports -  October 27

Toledo – Jim Hoffman
Canadian Progress finished unloading ore at the Torco Dock and departed Tuesday morning. Federal Asahi finished loading grain at the ADM elevator and departed Tuesday morning. Cuyahoga finished loading coal at the CSX Docks and departed Tuesday afternoon, meanwhile John J. Boland arrived at the CSX Docks to load coal. Algoway finished unloading salt at the Kuhlman Dock and is presently waiting out the weather before she departs. Gordon C. Leitch is loading grain at Anderson's K Elevator. The tug Cleveland and barge Cleveland Rocks remain at the Ironhead Shipyard. The tug Barbara Andrie and her barge are at the B-P dock. Canadian Transfer and CSL Niagara are anchored in Lake Erie near West Sister Island for weather/low water conditions. It is unknown when they will arrive at Toledo. Around noon, several railroad bridges and highway bridges crossing the Maumee River were closed to navigation due to the severe storms and strong winds passing through the area. The next scheduled coal boat due into the CSX Docks will be the Arthur M. Anderson on Wednesday weather permitting. The next scheduled ore boat due into the Torco Dock will be CSL Niagara.

 

Crews study Port Huron lighthouse for structural integrity

10/27 - Port Huron, Mich. - Experts preparing a report on how much rehabilitation the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse needs got one of their first looks Monday behind the 181-year-old structure's bricks.

Ilene Tyler, an architect from Quinn Evans, and Tom DePas, with MIHM Enterprises, a contactor specializing in historic restoration, spent a portion of the afternoon in a cherry picker, removing select bricks from the lighthouse and peeking behind them.

Overall, officials are trying to determine if the lighthouse's problems are "structural or superficial," said Dennis Delor, spokesman for St. Clair County Parks and Recreation. Determining that will provide a guide for how much money is needed to reopen the structure -- and other buildings that comprise the Fort Gratiot Light Station -- as a tourist attraction.

Specifically, Tyler and DePas were trying Monday to figure out exactly what is between the lighthouse's exterior bricks and interior support, which also is brick. The support -- built in 1862 when the height of the lighthouse was extended from 62 to about 85 feet -- literally is an interior wall that, at least in some places, is about 8 inches from the outside brick.

Delor said officials believe much of the space between the exterior and interior walls is hollow. But, by removing some bricks, they hope to find out if there are some support beams, something that's important to know when it comes down to the structure's strength.

Crews will continue peeking behind bricks for much of this week. Then, they will take the information -- along with laser scans of the lighthouse completed earlier this month -- and start working on a rehabilitation report, which will update one prepared in 2006.

Mark Brochu, director of county parks and recreation, said the goal is to hire companies to do the rehabilitation this winter and have work start in the spring.

Port Huron Times Herald

 

Upper Lakes Shipping’s George F. Bain dies

10/27 - George F. Bain, the former Vice President for Planning and Development for Upper Lakes Shipping, died Oct 21 of natural causes. His accomplishments included the conversions/construction of Northern Venture, Hilda Marjanne, Red Wing, Cape Breton Miner and Ontario Power. After he left ULS, he joined the Ports, Pipelines and Shipping department of The World Bank in Washington, D.C. He travelled around the world, including a three-year assignment in Jakarta, Indonesia, and worked on various projects in Pakistan and India.

 

Updates -  October 27

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  October 27

On this day in 1979, the MESABI MINER delivered her first cargo of coal to Port Washington, Wis. 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, Wis.) 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 snowstorm 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.

 

Storm may beat 1975 gale that doomed Edmund Fitzgerald

10/26 - Chicago, Ill. - A storm stronger than the one that sank the freighter Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975 is expected to slash across the Midwest Tuesday whipping waves as high as 27 feet.

A line of severe thunderstorms driving wind gusts of 50 miles (80 kilometers) per hour will arrive in Chicago before 10 a.m., said Andrew Krein, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Romeoville, Illinois.

The storm will be a cyclone, with projected central pressure, a measure of its strength, forecast to be 28.35 inches. That would make it the second most severe system to strike the Great Lakes, according to the weather service.

The Edmund Fitzgerald sank on Nov. 10, 1975, in Lake Superior about 17 miles north-northwest of Whitefish Point, Michigan. The Edmund Fitzgerald storm had a central pressure of 28.95 inches. The strongest storm recorded in the lakes was the “Great Ohio Blizzard” of January 1978, which had a central pressure of 28.05 inches.

The pressure at Duluth Tuesday bottomed out at 28.35 about 11:30 a.m.

In comparison, when Hurricane Earl reached Category 3 strength in the Atlantic at the end of August, its central pressure was recorded at 28.20 inches.

Great Lakes cyclones aren’t like hurricanes, however, Krein said. The storms gather their energy from the Jet Stream and the upper atmosphere, while hurricanes draw their power from warm ocean waters and have the strongest winds wound tightly around the core.

Krein said the storm also isn’t likely to produce a lot of rain. Aside from the heavy thunderstorms that arrive with the first blast of wind, the weather will be drier and breaks may appear in the clouds.

The blue sky shouldn’t deceive anyone, he said. The storm will last at least two days and will cause a problem for ships.

In advance of the storm, the weather service has issued a high wind watch from South Dakota to Ohio. A watch means sustained winds of as much as 40 mph are possible. In addition, a high wind warning, meaning gusts of 75 mph are possible, has been issued for parts of northern Illinois and Wisconsin, according to the weather service.

Open lake forecast for the region are included below:

Lake Superior
Storm warning Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday, winds building to 55 knots, waves 22 - 27 feet.

Lake Michigan
Storm warning with winds building Tuesday 50 - 60 knots, waves building to 20 - 25 feet through Wednesday.

Lake Huron
Gale warning and storm watch through Wednesday. Winds building to 40 knots waves building to 18 feet.

Lake Erie
Gale watch through Tuesday, wind building to 35 knots Tuesday, waves building 9 - 12 feet by Thursday. Heavy westerly gales predicted for Thursday may cause a siech effect dropping water levels on the eastern end of the lake and rising on the western side, further delaying shipping.

Lake Ontario
The system will weaken and pull northeast but still bring 30 knot winds on Wednesday with waves building to 6 - 8 feet.

Tuesday morning ships were all ready filling anchorages around the lakes and were joined by others through out the day.

Off Duluth - Superior the American Century and Edgar B. Speer were anchored.
In the upper St. Marys River in Waiska Bay - CSL Laurentian, James R. Barker and Burns Harbor in Rabar Bay, American Mariner in Pendills Bay, St. Clair in Goulais Bay. James R. Barker departed upbound around 3:30 p.m. American Integrity was heading east bound hugging the upper peninsula of Michigan. In the lower St. Marys - Lee A. Tregurtha, Buffalo, Karen Andrie, Kaye E. Barker, Paul R. Tregurtha, Palau and Algocape. Michipicoten was tucked in behind St. Joseph Island off Bruce Mines and Algorail behind Drummond Island. In the Straits west of Mackinaw City - Alpena and Philip R. Clarke. Around Bois Blanc Island below the Straits - Wilfred Sykes, Robert S. Pierson, Samuel de Champlain, Algomarine, Joyce L. Van Enkevort. Frontenac departed Port Dolomite about 3 p.m. heading for the anchorage off Detour, the Sykes left the anchorage and headed into load. Federal Power was in Hammond Bay just north of Rogers City. Calumet came through the Straits east bound about 5 p.m. and continued on downbound to load at Calcite.
In Green Bay behind the Door County peninsula - Indiana Harbor and Charles M. Beeghly.
In southern Lake Michigan the tug Victory and barge James L. Kuber were anchored off Burns Harbor, Ind., Edwin H. Gott off Gary, Ind. and Manitowoc off S. Chicago.
Above Port Huron the H. Lee White, Atlantic Huron, Presque Isle, Joseph H. Thompson, Algosar, Ziemia Lodzka, Algowood, Sam Laud and Brant. Brant departed around 2 p.m. for Goderich. Olive L. Moore arrived downbound crossing Lake Huron and heading for Detroit.
In Western Lake Erie the American Republic was anchored off Huron, Ohio and the Canadian Transfer and CSL Niagara north east of Maumee Bay.

Bloomberg

 

Barges remain stuck in Seaway

10/26 - Alexandria Bay. N.Y. — Two barges that were grounded in the St. Lawrence Seaway were still stuck on Monday.

The Commodore Straits, a 130-foot tugboat, was pushing the barges carrying soybeans downriver toward Massena when they were grounded about 5:30 a.m. The tug and barges are just outside the shipping channel near shallow waters outside of Comfort Island.

Visible from the shore at Keewaydin State Park, the front of the barges appeared to be tilting on one side, indicating the other sides of the barges were pushed into the shallow water, making it dangerous to navigate, police said.

The tugboat did not appear to be aground.

The U.S. Coast Guard responded to the scene early Sunday, and no injuries were reported, nor were there any reported spills. The scene is being monitored by Coast Guard personnel. State police and the Alexandria Bay Fire Department also responded.

A safety advisory for vessels to reduce speed while traveling between Cape Vincent and Eisenhower Lock in Massena has been issued.

The barges went aground in one of the most treacherous sections of the river known as the American Narrows. Comfort Island is near the west end of the narrows, a tight-fitting section of the channel. Over the years, it has been the site of many accidents.

One of the most notable accidents was the Roy A. Jodrey, which sank in November 1974. The Jodrey, a 640-foot Canadian freighter that was hauling iron ore, split in half and rested at least 160 feet deep. The wreck claimed the life of a diver who was exploring it in June 2008.

Police determined the area is safe and open to boating traffic, though the incident remains under investigation.

Watertown Daily Times

 

John D. Leitch freed from grounding at Buffalo

10/26 - Buffalo, N.Y. - The John D. Leitch became stuck Monday heading into Buffalo. At about 6:30 a.m. the Leitch became lodged in mud and shoaling at the Buffalo Harbor's outer north entrance.

Officials from the Buffalo Coast Guard Station, which is situated beside the entrance, investigated the incident and determined no leaks of cargo or fuel occurred, averting environmental concerns, according to Coast Guard Operations Specialist First Class Mary Patterson.

The G-tug Washington came out to help later that morning and pulled the Leitch stern first in a northern direction successfully freeing the ship around noon. The Leitch then went back out onto the lake and anchored off Buffalo Harbor. Monday evening she had reentered port and was unloading behind the BBC Greenland at Gateway Metroport.

The vessel was loaded with 28,000 tons of road salt from Goderich, Ont.

Buffalo News

 

Port Reports -  October 26

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
Manitowoc crossed the pier heads at 8 p.m. Monday headed upriver for Verplank's Dock in Ferrysburg with a load of stone. The tug Prentiss Brown and the barge St. Marys Conquest are tied up at the St. Marys Terminal, also in Ferrysburg. They will remain in port until the threat of high winds is over.

Toledo, Ohio - Jim Hoffman
Gordon C. Leitch was loading grain at Anderson's K Elevator. Federal Asahi was loading grain at the ADM Elevator. Cuyahoga was unloading grain at the Kraft Elevator. The tug Cleveland remains in drydock at the Ironhead Shipyard while the barge Cleveland Rocks remains docked at the small slip near the drydock area. Barbara Andrie with her barge was at the B-P Dock. Atlantic Huron was at the Torco Dock unloading ore. H. Lee White finished loading coal at the CSX Dock and departed Monday afternoon. Shortly afterwards, Sam Laud arrived at the CSX Docks to load coal and was expected to finish loading and depart Monday evening. The next scheduled coal boats due in at the CSX Docks will be Arthur M. Anderson, John J. Boland, Cuyahoga, and Algosoo on Tuesday followed by Robert S. Pierson and Michipicoten on Wednesday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock will be the Canadian Progress due in late Monday evening, CSL Niagara on Tuesday followed by the American Mariner on Wednesday. The next scheduled stone boat due in at the Midwest Stone Dock will be the Canadian Navigator on Friday. Vessel delays are expected at the various dock sites at Toledo due to the intense storm causing gale and storm warnings to be posted around the Great Lakes during the next several days. Low water levels on the western basin of Lake Erie will also cause delays for ore vessels scheduled into the Torco Dock.

 

Shipping traffic nearing pre-recession levels

10/26 - Superior, Wis. - A significant increase in demand for raw materials in the Great Lakes so far this year is being hailed as a strong indicator of a recovering economy.

Increases in grain shipments combined with more demand for iron ore and coal from last year is nudging Great Lakes shipping closer to levels before the recession began two years ago.

St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation Administrator Terry Johnson in Washington says overall demand for Great Lakes commodities is up 20 percent from last year. Despite the increase, overall shipping in the Great Lakes is still 10 percent behind its five-year average.

“Last year was a horrible year. It was a horrible economy,” says Johnson. “We often reflect the economy, how it’s going. The economy has improved, we’ve improved. It’s a much happier time than it was last year.”

Adele Yorde with the Duluth Seaway Port Authority says an increase in consumer confidence and drought conditions in Russia are boosting the shipping numbers. Russia is one of the world’s largest exporters of grain and has a ban on exports because of wildfires and drought. With a better than average growing season in the U.S., Yorde says grain shipments are up 89 percent from last year and 15 percent up compared to the five-year average.

“This year, all things lined up well for international shipping for the U.S,” Yorde says. “What happens next year? The climate conditions around the world might have a different picture come 2011.”

Because of the increase in demand for grain, 18 more ocean-going ships have loaded in the Twin Ports from last year. And iron ore shipments in all Great Lakes ports are up 62 percent.

Superior Telegram

 

177-year-old Buffalo lighthouse to reopen in 2011

10/26 - Buffalo, N.Y. - A 177-year-old lighthouse on the Buffalo waterfront will reopen to the public next year for the first time since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The 44-foot-tall, octagon-shaped lighthouse is located on U.S. Coast Guard property on the city’s Lake Erie waterfront. Public access to the 1833 lighthouse was prohibited for security reasons after 9-11.

The Buffalo News reports that the Coast Guard is returning several acres around the lighthouse for public use and will fund improvements to the property that are expected to be completed in November 2011. The reopening of the lighthouse is part of an ongoing effort to revitalize Buffalo’s waterfront and make its shoreline more accessible to the public.

Boston Herald

 

Nuclear waste shipment halted due to threat of water contamination

10/26 - A plan by North America’s largest nuclear power plant to ship a load of radioactive waste through the Great Lakes has been beached by Canadian officials who fear the prospects of disastrous water contamination.

Bruce Power, based in Ontario, hoped to haul 16, 100-ton scrapped generators with radioactive components, each about the size of a school bus, to Sweden for recycling. Critics say approval of the unprecedented shipment could turn the Great Lakes into a “highway for extremely hazardous cargo.” The plan appeared to be a done deal until a diverse opposition group forced the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to hold a recent public hearing.

“I’m very proud of the initiative,” said Sarnia, Ontario’s Mayor Mike Bradley, who opposed the plan and sent a clarion call out to U.S., Canadian and indigenous leaders living in communities along the Great Lakes, urging them to take a stand. “This is a very loose coalition of people. There’s no grand alliance; we haven’t even had a meeting. We just voiced our concerns. The CNSC staff is supportive of this, but there were enough questions raised, that we now have an extra 30 days.”

Macomb Daily

 

Updates -  October 26

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

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.

 

Leitch stuck in Buffalo

10/25 - 7 p.m. update - The John D. Leitch became stuck Monday morning in the outer harbor at the entrance to the Buffalo River. At about 6:30 a.m. the Leitch became lodged in mud and shoaling at the Buffalo Harbor's outer north entrance.

Officials from the Buffalo Coast Guard Station, which is situated beside the entrance, investigated the incident and determined no leaks of cargo or fuel occurred, averting environmental concerns, according to Coast Guard Operations Specialist First Class Mary Patterson. The Great Lakes Towing tugs Washington and New Jersey pulled the vessel back out into Lake Erie at about 12:35 p.m. Monday evening she was unloading behind the BBC Greenland at Gateway Metroport.

The vessel is loaded with 28,000 tons of road salt from Goderich, Ont.

Buffalo News

 

Commodore Straits aground

10/25 - Monday morning the barges remain hard aground. The Maple Grove was on scene Sunday, but salvage efforts have not begun.

Original report from Sunday: U.S. Coast Guard personnel are on scene and monitoring the grounding of the 100-foot tug Commodore Straits, which ran aground while pushing two barges in the St. Lawrence Seaway near Keewaydin State Park in Alexandria Bay, N.Y., at about 5:30 a.m. Sunday. Although both barges are taking on water, no pollution or injuries have been reported, and the area has been determined safe for maritime traffic to pass at reduced speeds.

After the Coast Guard was notified, a 25-foot Response Boat-Small and crew from Station Alexandria Bay, N.Y., immediately dispatched to monitor the situation. Response personnel from Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Messena, N.Y., were en route. The New York State Police and the local fire department were notified as well. Coast Guard personnel remain on scene with the tug and barges. Personnel from Sector Buffalo are broadcasting a safety message over the VHF-FM radio advising vessels to reduce speed while transiting between Cape Vincent, N.Y., and Eisenhower Lock in Messena. The barges, Big 503 and Big 551, are both loaded with soybeans.

USCG and Ron Beaupre

 

Port Reports -  October 25

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
Manitowoc came in early Sunday morning with a load of stone for Meekhof's D & M Dock, upriver from the power plant on Harbor Island. At noon the barge St. Marys Conquest and tug Prentiss Brown docked at the St. Marys Terminal in Ferrysburg with a load of cement.

Owen Sound, Ont. - John G. Mackay
On Saturday, Ojibway was at the Owen Sound elevator loading grain.

 

Stormy weather forecast for this week

10/25 - Duluth, Minn. - A storm this week is expected to whip Lake Superior into a lather and bring driving rain plus possibly snow to the Northland.

Come Tuesday and Wednesday, we could see east winds “well over” 40 mph, according to Kevin Kraujalis, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service station in Duluth. On the other side of the system comparable winds are expected out of the west/northwest.

Rains tapered off Sunday, as a low pressure system slid out of the area. But it will be closely followed by what looks to be a much stronger low pressure system that will settle in Monday night.

“We’ve got a low pressure system that we expect to deepen and strengthen over Duluth this week,” said Kraujalis. “This looks like it will be one of the top big storms of the season. It’s definitely one to watch,” he said.

The system is shaping up as a formidable force, prompting some comparisons to the Armistice Day Blizzard and the Nov. 11, 1998 storm. Forecasters predict winds from the approaching storm will produce 17-foot waves on Lake Superior.

By Wednesday or Thursday, the precipitation could change to snow if temperatures dip low enough. But with soil temperatures still at about 42 degrees, Kraujalis said: “It would have to come down steady for a while to accumulate.”

Duluth News Tribune

 

Economy in the dumps? Not on Lake Superior

10/25 - Duluth, Minn. - Two reports came out last week demonstrating the resurgence in shipping from Great Lakes ports, including the Port of Duluth-Superior.

With three months to go before ice closes the shipping season, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority reports tonnage shipped so far up 25 percent from the same period the year before. As a whole, St. Lawrence Seaway cargo shipping is up 18 percent over the same period. The Seaway includes ports across the Great Lakes from Duluth to Montreal.

Shipping figures include cargo coming and going. Some of the Seaway tonnage includes steel imports from Romania and South America. There's also some wind turbines moving along the lakes from Quebec to Indiana.

In Duluth, the lion’s share of tonnage traditionally goes to taconite shipping. The small mostly-iron pellets are heavy, and a lot of them move through Duluth and Superior docks.

When you consider a 25 percent increase in tonnage, remember that taconite shipping skidded to a virtual halt around the early summer of 2009. Since then, the demand for taconite from steel mills has slowly edged upward, reopening Iron Range taconite mines, and restoring much of the taconite movement by ships. Taconite shipping alone is up 69 percent over last year's dismal figures.

But the real story in Twin Ports shipping is grain. Grains shipments to ships through Duluth and Superior elevators is running 89 percent over the same period last year. It's also up 15 percent over the five-year average. In September alone, according to the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, the port experienced a 123 pecent increase in outbound grain shipments; primarily durum wheat and spring wheat going to Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

Much of that grain demand is blamed on shortages in Russia and a Russian ban on grain exports from that country.

Although not necessarily connected, employment figures just released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development show the Duluth-Superior metropolitan market gaining over 1,000 jobs between August and September, at a time the state as a whole lost almost 10,000.

Minnesota Public Radio

 

Updates -  October 25

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  October 25

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

On 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.

 

Cleveland close to becoming U.S. home base for international container service

10/24 - Cleveland, Ohio - Cleveland could become the first international container service operating on the Great Lakes as soon as next spring, giving the city's shipping industry and economy a big boost.

A deal between Port of Cleveland officials and Canadian owners of two feeder vessels is currently in progress, said Will Friedman, CEO of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, and both sides are anxious to sign an agreement.

Stan Shumway, managing partner of the Great Lakes Feeder Lines based in Montreal, was in Cleveland Friday to show off one of the transporting vessels, the Dutch Runner, as part of a demonstration of how easily sizeable containers can be placed on and off a ship.

"They'll be bringing their container service from Montreal to Cleveland and back...something no port on the Great Lakes has at this time," Friedman said. "It will be a new service, one of importance to companies wishing to move their good in containers."

Friedman said the containers will be moved on a regular schedule weekly. He said it will be a more economical way to get goods to Montreal, where they can be moved to bigger ships and sent anywhere around the world.

Friedman and Shumway said the containers hold "anything and everything" from foods, liquor and wine from Europe - particularly imported products from Italy, Spain and France - to goods manufactured in the United States going to overseas markets.

"The potential for this new service will mean a lot to our community," Friedman said. "It's all about making this transportation option available which will lower company costs and create more jobs. We'll do everything we can do drive down transportation costs and hope in the spring to see their vessels on a regular basis."

Friedman could not say how many jobs or how much of a financial boon the service will generate, but he did say the city already has existing equipment and manpower in place to get the operation started.

"It's an exciting economic opportunity for the port, the region and the state," he said. "Simply put, Cleveland would be the first city on the Great Lakes that will have a pin on the global map when it comes to container service."

John Baker, an official with the International Longshoremen's Association, said his organization has "been fighting for years" to bring a transaction like the Cleveland-Montreal service to fruition.

Shumway, whose company has been operating along the St. Lawrence Seaway since May 2008, said he is anxious to open up a second U.S. port. Great Lakes Feeder Lines began shipping to and from Oswego, N.Y. in July 2009.

He also said his company analyzed all the ports available in the Great Lakes Region and decided only two would be feasible - Chicago and Cleveland.

"We chose Cleveland as the port we'd want along the Great Lakes because of its easier access," Shumway said. "Cleveland makes more sense to use because you'd have to go around Lake Michigan to get to Chicago. We think this deal with Cleveland will generate a lot of business."

Both sides said ocean carriers will provide a more cost effective and environmentally friendly alternative to truck and rail transportation.

Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

Ballast water rules in New York could reduce cargo on Lake Michigan

10/24 - Portage, Ind. - New ballast water rules for ships could block 50 to 70 percent of the cargo going through the Port of Indiana in Burns Harbor, shipping industry representatives say.

But without stricter standards, non-native species will continue to invade the Great Lakes with a potentially devastating impact on fisheries, according to environmentalists.

At the center of the debate are rules that state environmental regulators in New York formulated in 2008. They will require ocean-going vessels passing through New York to disinfect their ballast water to avoid bringing in invasive species starting January 2012. Ships take in ballast water for stability when they aren't full, and discharge the water - and living organisms in it - as cargo is loaded at a port.

The problem is, New York's water quality standard is so high that no available equipment can achieve it, said Steven Fisher, executive director of American Great Lakes Ports.

"It's cleaner than the tap water in your home. We're talking about ridiculously clean water. They want that installed by January 2012. There is no technology known to man that can be installed to meet that goal," he told the Ports of Indiana Commission at a Portage meeting Thursday. "Commerce into the Great Lakes needs to be maintained. We cannot allow one state to choke off commerce to the entire Great Lakes."

The impact on Northwest Indiana could be significant. Some 50 to 70 percent of the shipments to Burns Harbor are international and have to go through New York, said Jody Peacock, spokesman for the Ports of Indiana.

The Burns Harbor port brought in $146.5 million in state and local taxes and $1.559 billion in income in 2009, according to a recent study by Martin Associates.

Josh Mogerman, spokesman for the Natural Resources Defense Council, acknowledged that existing technologies would need to be "modified or tweaked" to reach the standard. He said international standards already exist, but that states like California, Michigan and New York felt that standard was inadequate and adopted stricter ones.

"They feel it's necessary to force a change in industry behavior. The thing that spurs technological advance is a market. The market is created by putting these rules in place. They're not going to invest money in this research and develop this equipment until these rules are in place," he said. "States and groups in support of this are confident there'll be technology in place in time for these deadlines."

The 2012 deadline is for new vessels only. Existing vessels would have until 2013 to comply and could get waivers if technology is unavailable, he said. Fisher countered that businesses aren't sure the extension will be granted.

"You literally have someone with their hands around the neck of the shipping industry and you don't know if they're going to take it away," he said.

Mogerman said the government spends hundreds of millions of dollars annually dealing with invasive species already here. Ballast discharges are blamed for bringing in the majority of invasive species since the St. Lawrence Seaway opened, including zebra mussels, quagga mussels and round gobies.

Fisher said regulations put in place in 2006 have been good enough to keep new aquatic invasive species out.

The shipping industry and port officials appealed New York's rules to the state's Supreme Court, but lost.

Fisher said he's hoping some state attorneys general would consider fighting New York's "crazy requirements."

"I think the trick is for us to try to bring pressure from the states farther west that may be affected by this and try to convince them to stand back from this. We've got 14 months to do that," he told the commission. "We can use the months of November and December to engage our own governments. Impress upon them that this law is unworkable and it's going to negatively impact Indiana."

Post Tribune

 

Port Reports -  October 24

Stoneport and Calcite, Mich. - Daniel McNeil
Great Lakes Trader was loading at Saturday Stoneport. Herbert C. Jackson was expected Sunday, followed by the John J. Boland. Calumet is due Tuesday. Loading at Calcite on Saturday was the James J. Kuber followed by Joseph H. Thompson. Due Sunday was Cason J. Callaway, followed on Monday by the Presque Isle and a return visit by the Kuber on Wednesday. American Mariner is expected Thursday.

 

Updates -  October 24

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

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 Lifesaving crew rescued the 2-man crew in the surfboat 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.

 

Shipping swings make Port of Green Bay numbers hard to gauge

10/23 - Green Bay, Wis. – Despite a fast start, the 2010 shipping season in Green Bay has shown signs of a slowdown, underscoring some of the uncertainty of predicting cargo loads over the last few seasons.

"Since 2008, things have been so volatile and there have been huge swings that just aren't normal," said Dean Haen, manager of the Port of Green Bay. "2008 was a great year, and then it just stopped in November and 2009 never started until June."

The shipping season historically runs from late March or early April through December.

Traffic on the lakes can be one of the leading indicators of the overall economy, and like the rest of the country in 2009, the industry slogged through a slow season that showed some promise in the closing months of last year.

"This year started like gangbusters, and it's slowly petering out," Haen said. "We're usually a very stable, consuming port bringing in raw materials … but the ability to forecast is really getting hard."

The port posted a year-over-year increase in cargo in September with 262,079 tons of material passing through the facility last month compared with 199,915 tons in September 2009.

Green Bay's year-to-date tonnage total is up about 6 percent from the same time in 2009 with just shy of 1.2 million tons in the books.

In the big picture, cargo as a whole dipped from August to September, according to a monthly report from the Ohio-based Lake Carriers Association.

The amount of cargo moved by U.S.-flagged ships on the Great Lakes in September dipped 6.3 percent from August, but remained well above 2009 levels.

Ships carried 9.3 million net tons of cargo last month, a 33.7 percent increase from September 2009.

The September 2010 number is still about 10.8 percent less than the five-year average, according to the association.

So far this year, 62.8 million tons of cargo have been moved by U.S. ships on the lakes. While that's 9 percent less than the five-year average to date, it's an increase of 47.5 percent from a year ago when the nation was in the depths of recession. Iron ore cargos are reported up 113 percent, coal is up 8 percent and limestone cargos are up 28 percent.

The St. Lawrence Seaway is reporting an uptick in cargo — helped by strong American grain exports and increased iron ore and steel activity — in a monthly report issued Wednesday.

The seaway reported total year-to-date shipments reached 22.9 million metric tons from March 25 through the end of September, an increase of 18 percent over the same period in 2009.

Year-to-date shipments of iron ore for 2010 are up 62 percent to 7.2 million metric tons while American grain shipments have increased by 36 percent to 1.3 million metric tons, according to the report.

"The story at the port remains the movement of grain," Adolph Ojard, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, stated in the report. "In September alone, we experienced a 123 percent increase in outbound grain shipments."

Haen said so far this month the Port of Green Bay has seen quite a few ship arrivals, which could bode well for cargo totals.

"October has been fairly busy," he said. "If you look at the big picture, 2005, 2006 and 2007 were big tonnage years. 2008 and 2009 were very similar for total tonnage, and I would have to bet 2010 is going to be more similar to 2008 and 2009.

"We're not going to soar back to where we were," Haen said. "There used to be a pattern from month to month to month. More recently it's more volatile swings and you're busy, or you are not."

Green Bay Press Gazette

 

Port Reports -  October 23

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Lee A. Tregurtha arrived at the Upper Harbor Friday afternoon on one of her infrequent visits for ore this season.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
Manitowoc unloaded at Lafarge on Friday and was seen backing out into the bay after 1 p.m. Alpena was also in port on Friday, taking on cement under the silos. It departed by late afternoon, heading for South Chicago.

Toledo, Ohio - Jim Hoffman
Richelieu was loading grain at Anderson's K Elevator. The tug Samuel De Champlain with her barge Innovation were unloading cement at the Lafarge Dock. The tug Sea Eagle II with her barge St. Marys Cement II were unloading cement at the St. Marys Cement Dock. The tug Cleveland is now in drydock at Ironhead Shipyard undergoing repairs. The barge Cleveland Rocks remains docked in the small slip near the drydock area. Joseph H. Thompson was unloading ore at the Torco Ore Dock. The next scheduled coal boats due into the CSX Docks will be the H. Lee White, Saginaw, and Philip R. Clarke on Saturday, Sam Laud on Monday followed by Cuyahoga, Algosoo, and John J. Boland on Tuesday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Dock will be the Atlantic Huron on Monday followed by the CSL Niagara and Canadian Progress on Tuesday. The next scheduled stone boat due in at the Midwest Stone Dock will be the Canadian Navigator on Wednesday.

 

Coast Guard ends search for missing Canadian freighter crew member

10/23 - Alexandria Bay, N.Y. - After a 25-hour search of Lake Ontario for a missing crewmember from a Canadian-flagged freighter, U.S. Coast Guard rescue crews ended the search about 2:30 p.m. Thursday.

The Nova Scotian crewmember, Gary Carlton, 59, had last been seen aboard the 730-foot Canadian Provider about 4 a.m. Wednesday on the lake, about 11 miles north of the port of Rochester. The freighter's crew discovered Carlton was missing when the vessel was near Alexandria Bay, N.Y., and contacted the Coast Guard about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Coast Guard crews on boats and aircrafts from stations in Rochester, Oswego, Alexandria Bay, Detroit, Cape Cod and Elizabeth City, N.C., searched an area of about 3,150 square miles before suspending the search. Canadian Coast Guard crews also assisted.

"The Coast Guard suspends a search-and-rescue case when a missing person cannot be located and only after the search area has been saturated with a maximum number of assets, resources and crew efforts," Capt. Stephen Torpey, Ninth Coast Guard District Incident Management Branch chief, said in a statement.

A Coast Guard C-130 transport plane involved in the search had to make an emergency landing at Greater Rochester International Airport on Thursday morning, said airport director Dave Damelio.

The operator of the plane initially thought the plane had lost an engine, but the cause of the problem was a fuel leak, Damelio said. The plane landed safely about 9:30 a.m. None of the six people on board were injured.

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

 

Initial Soo replacement lock construction contracts complete

10/23 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced the completion of two contracts that initiated construction of the proposed new “Poe-sized” lock at the Soo Locks, located on the St. Marys River in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

TAB Construction Company of Canton, Ohio, completed the installation of two coffer dam cells at the Soo Locks as the first step in creating a replacement lock at the Soo. The contractor used the $3,184,534 contract to complete construction of a cofferdam at each end of the Sabin Lock to allow for dewatering as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers prepares for future construction. The cofferdams were constructed, in simple terms, by driving steel sheet piling, in a circular pattern, into bedrock then filling the cells with stone material.

In addition, Kokosing Construction Co., of Fredricktown, Ohio deepened the downstream approach channel for the proposed new lock with a $7,068,525 contract. The work was completed by Kokosing’s Durocher Marine Division of Cheboygan, Mich. During the excavation process of the downstream approach, a combination of about 71,000 cubic yards of bedrock and overburden material was removed. Blasting was necessary to remove the bedrock material. The excavated material was placed in designated areas on the northwest pier, just past the International Bridge on Soo Locks property.

“With the completion of these contracts we move forward in beginning the replacement lock project using the funds that Congress has provided,” said John Niemiec, the Corps’ project manager for the replacement lock. “We look forward to receiving future funds which will be utilized to move this project to completion.”

Key sectors of the U.S. economy depend on Great Lakes shipping with many commodities flowing through the locks. In 2008, 8,461 vessels passed through the Soo Locks, carrying 80.6 million tons of cargo, mainly iron ore, coal, stone and other bulk products.

WDEF News 12

 

Updates -  October 23

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards 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.

 

Port Reports -  October 22

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic was light Thursday, with Presque Isle department DMIR ore dock in the morning with iron ore pellets and James R. Barker arriving to load coal at Midwest Energy Terminal. Stewart J. Cort was expected later in the day at BNSF ore dock in Superior.

Toledo , Ohio - Jim Hoffman
Great Lakes Trader finished unloading ore at the Torco Dock and departed late Thursday afternoon. \Richelieu arrived at Andersons K Elevator to load grain Thursday evening. The tug Cleveland and the barge Cleveland Rocks remain at the Ironhead Shipyard. The next scheduled coal boats due in at the CSX Docks will be the Saginaw on Friday, Philip R. Clarke and H. Lee White on Saturday, Sam Laud, John J. Boland and Cuyahoga on Monday followed by Algosoo on Tuesday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Dock will be Joseph H. Thompson on Friday, Atlantic Huron and Canadian Progress on Monday, CSL Niagara on Tuesday followed by American Mariner on Wednesday. The next scheduled stone boat due in at the Midwest Stone Dock will be Canadian Navigator on Wednesday.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
Algoway arrived around noon Thursday, but with a west wind around 14 mph, she took close to three hours to arrive at the Jonick Dock to unload. Although the crew reported they would leave about 7 p.m., at about 7:20 they cancelled the departure due to wind gusts of 30 mph.

 

Grant for converting Badger from coal to diesel rejected by federal government

10/22 - Ludington, Mich. - A federal transportation grant application by the city of Ludington to convert the S.S. Badger cross-lake ferry from coal to diesel power was unsuccessful, officials announced Wednesday.

Ludington’s $14 million request for special federal stimulus money for new engines for the Lake Michigan Carferry operation was not among the 42 projects funded nationwide. The city’s request to provide new diesel engines for the historic coal-powered steamship was among nearly 1,000 grant applications totaling $19 billion.

The U.S. Department of Transportation had only $600 million in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery funds. The only Michigan project among the 42 funded was for a major bridge reconstruction in Ann Arbor, which received $13.9 million.

Ludington sought the federal funds to assist Lake Michigan Carferry in solving its coal ash issue with the Badger. The Badger has been dumping its coal ash in Lake Michigan for more than 50 years. Environmental regulators traditionally allowed the practice on the historic passenger-and-vehicle ferry that operates between Ludington and Manitowoc, Wis.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency permit to discharge the coal ash expires at the end of the 2012 sailing season. Lake Michigan Carferry officials will need to either find another propulsion system for the Badger or construct a collection system on the ferry so the coal ash can be properly disposed of in a landfill.

“Repowering the vessel was the best option for meeting the EPA’s environmental mandate,” said Lake Michigan Carferry spokeswoman Lynda Matson, in a prepared statement. “We will now pursue other options to ensure the continuation of carferry services.”

Ludington City Manager John Shay said city officials were “disappointed” in not being funded.

“We felt this was important enough to try for the grant,” Shay said. “The city will continue to do what we can to support the carferry.”

The city of Ludington’s support for repowering the Badger through its federal grant application prompted strong opposition from the Lake Express high-speed ferry system operating between Muskegon and Milwaukee. The company, along with leaders in Muskegon and Milwaukee, objected to using federal tax dollars to support a private, for-profit business, causing unfair competition.

Lake Michigan Carferry and its supporters in Ludington and Manitowoc argued that the community’s interest is having the Badger successfully operating. Cross-lake ferries are Ludington’s historic symbol and a major economic contributor to the city’s summer tourism industry.

Some have speculated that without the federal transportation grant, the Badger’s operations might end. Shay dismissed such speculation in an August interview with The Chronicle, saying the company intends to be in business for the next 50 years.

“We have every indication from the company that they will explore other options,” Shay said. “They will do everything humanly possible to stay in business.”

The Ann Arbor bridge project is a reconstruction of Stadium Drive over State Street — a key transportation link for the University of Michigan and its adjacent football stadium.

Atlanta received the largest grant — $47.7 million for a streetcar project. The $600 million in funds were spread to all types of transportation improvements, including maritime uses. The Port of Miami received $22.7 million for rail access, the Port of Los Angeles $16 million for a railyard and the Port of Providence, R.I., $10.5 million for electric cranes.

Muskegon Chronicle

 

Coast Guard fines Great Lakes freighter for failure to report grounding

10/22 - Detroit, Mich. – Coast Guard Sector Detroit is reminding mariners of the importance of immediately reporting commercial vessel marine casualties, following a $5,000 civil penalty issued Thursday to a commercial vessel owner who failed to report the vessel running aground months prior.

Timely notification to the Coast Guard ensures that appropriate corrective actions are taken for the marine casualty, proper oversight is given for any repairs or injuries, and adequate safety measures are in place for continued operations.

June 1, 2010, the 670-foot U.S. flagged cargo ship Herbert C. Jackson failed to appropriately report to the Coast Guard damages resulting from the ship's running aground in the Saginaw River near Bay City, Mich.

The grounding went unreported for 121 days until an internal ballast tank survey by the crew uncovered the full extent of the damage. After the report was made to the Coast Guard, personnel from Marine Safety Unit Toledo, Ohio, completed a thorough inspection of the damage, a review of the repair plan, and an investigation into the accident.

Following the vessel’s departure from Bay City June 1, the crew noticed a vibration. June 23, they hired divers to inspect the propeller. The Coast Guard became aware of the grounding in late September, when the freighter’s crewmembers were doing a routine cleaning of the ship’s ballast tanks, noted structural damage to the hull bottom, and notified the Coast Guard of the damage.

The vessel owner not only failed to report the marine casualty immediately to the Coast Guard, which is required by federal law, but also failed to notify the Coast Guard of damage and extensive repairs to the propeller caused by the grounding.

Reportable marine casualties require immediate notification to the Coast Guard followed by a written report submitted within five days of the initial notification. Marine casualties required to be reported to the Coast Guard include: unintentional groundings, loss of propulsion or steering that reduces the maneuverability of a ship, any occurrence that affects a ship’s seaworthiness, loss of life, an injury that requires professional medical treatment beyond first aid, more than $25,000 in property damage, and an occurrence involving significant harm to the environment, such as an oil spill.

Detroit News

 

Appeals court reverses judgment in case of injured crewman

10/22 - A $1.6 million judgment awarded to a Great Lakes sailor In May 2008 has been reversed by the Court of Appeals in the State of Minnesota.

Daniel Willis had asserted claims, mainly against the DM&IR dock owner and the Indiana Harbor Steamship Co., owner of the motor vessel Joseph L. Block. The case has been remanded to the trial court in St. Louis County to retry the liability and apportionment of negligence issues against all parties.

On August 27, 2004, while working as a crewman on the Block, Willis said he was injured on a dock in the Duluth harbor owned by Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range Railway Co. Willis was handling one of the Block's mooring lines used to secure the vessel when he slipped on the dock and fell. He testified that at the place where he fell the dock was covered by a slime of water and limestone, and that his knee hit both the dock and taconite pellets that were obscured by the milky limestone mixture. Willis eventually was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis stemming from the injury to his knee.

Read the case here

 

Seaway Notice: Anchor lost in main channel below St-Zotique anchorage

10/22 - A stern anchor has been lost above buoy D5 in the main channel on Lake St Francis. The reported position can be seen at this link. During the search and recovery period, we are asking that mariners do not transit over the position given and do not meet, or exceed 10 knots, the area a half-mile above and below D5.

Maisonneuve Region

 

Dossin Museum to observe maritime disasters in November

10/22 - Detroit, Mich. - The Detroit Historical Society’s Dossin Maritime Group hosts its annual remembrance for sailors lost on the inland seas Nov. 10 at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum.

This annual event starts at 6 p.m. and honors the memory of all those lost on the Great Lakes. This year’s remembrance will also focus on the Lady Elgin, which sunk after being rammed by a schooner on Lake Michigan in the early morning hours of September 8, 1860. The evening’s activities will include a lantern vigil at the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald anchor, ballads with Lee Murdock, a color guard escort of the memorial wreath to the Detroit River for receipt by a flotilla of Great Lakes vessels, and a special program with award-winning author Valerie van Heest, who recently completed her book on the Lady Elgin.

In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Dossin Museum, an additional weekend of programming has been added. On Saturday, November 6 the museum will host a special daylong symposium that focuses on the Lady Elgin. Speakers will include maritime historian Patrick Labadie of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary; Brendon Baillod, historian and president of the Wisconsin Underwater Archaeological Association; and Sharon Cook, a descendant of both one survivor and two victims of the Lady Elgin sinking who has participated in dives down to the wreck site. Also participating will be shipwreck historian Valerie van Heest, local marine artist Robert McGreevy introducing his new paintings of the Lady Elgin, and Great Lakes balladeer Lee Murdock with his recordings.

On Sunday, November 7, members of the Livonia Amateur Radio Club will conduct their annual broadcast observing the 35th anniversary of the sinking of the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald from the Dossin Museum from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

See www.detroithistorical.org for more details, the events on the 6th and 10th will be made available as a live webcast for those unable to attend in person.

 

Updates -  October 22

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

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.

 

Coast Guard crews search for missing freighter crewmember in Lake Ontario

10/21 - 3:30 p.m. update - U.S. Coast Guard crews have ended their search of Lake Ontario for a missing crewmember of a freighter at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Coast Guard crews searched for about 25 continuous hours, over an area of about 3,150 square miles, before suspending the search.

“The Coast Guard suspends a search and rescue case when a missing person cannot be located and only after the search area has been saturated with a maximum number of assets, resources and crew efforts,” said Capt. Stephen Torpey, Ninth Coast Guard District Incident Management Branch chief. “We make this decision with great care and deliberation.”

The crew of the Canadian Provider contacted the Coast Guard at about 1:30 p.m., Wednesday and reported the Nova Scotian crewmember, Gary Charlton, 59, hadn’t been seen aboard the vessel since about 4 a.m.

Coast Guard rescue crews from Station Oswego, N.Y., Station Rochester, N.Y., Station Alexandria Bay, N.Y., Air Station Detroit, Air Station Cape Cod, Mass., and Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., aided in the search. Canadian coast guard air and sea assets also searched for the missing man. The Coast Guard can resume a search if credible information is received that persons reported missing have survived.

Original report - Coast Guard rescue crews were searching Wednesday evening for a missing crewmember from the freighter Canadian Provider that was transiting Lake Ontario.

The crew of the Provider contacted the Coast Guard at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday and reported the Nova Scotian crewmember, Gary Charlton, 59, missing.

Coast Guard rescue crews aboard 47-foot motor life boats from stations Oswego, N.Y., and Rochester, N.Y., a 25-foot response boat-small from Station Alexandria Bay, N.Y., an HH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter from Air Station Detroit, and an HU-25 Guardian fixed-wing aircraft from Air Station Cape Cod, Mass., were searching for Carlton.

Also aiding in the search are Canadian coast guard crews aboard a C-130 long-range surveillance plane and a rescue helicopter from Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Trenton, Ontario, and four search and rescue vessels.

By 10 p.m. Wednesday, the man had not been found. A Canadian Coast Guard aircraft, Rescue 327, is dropping flares ahead of a SAR vessel. The CCGC Cape Hearne is also searching between Main Duck Islands and Cape Vincent. No sightings have been reported. Some of the search vessels are reporting that they will need to refuel in a few hours.

Ron Walsh

 

Tugs free grounded Algoma Guardian Wednesday

10/21 - St. Zotique , Que. - The tugs Ocean Hercule and Ocean Jupiter released the Algoma Guardian about 7:30 Wednesday morning; the Guardian was towed to the St. Zotique anchorage. It is unknown why the vessel went aground Tuesday afternoon, however the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. reports there is an anchor in the north side of the channel in the area where the vessel grounded.

The Groupe Ocean tugs Ocean Jupiter and Ocean Hercule assisted in freeing the Guardian. At 4 p.m., Ocean Jupiter departed the Guardian for Sec. 57 Port of Montreal, leaving Ocean Hercule with divers at the anchorage with Algoma Guardian. Ocean Hercule will transport the divers to the lost anchor, place a marker, then head to Valleyfield and drop off the divers. According to Group Ocean, Algoma Guardian will not need an escort.

Andrew Bogora, a spokesman with the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp., said the ship began floating out of the main shipping channel toward the Quebec municipality of St. Zotique, east of the Quebec-Ontario border just after 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

"We do understand that they had some mechanical issue which led the vessel to come off course and to come against the edge of the shipping channel where the river is somewhat shallower," he said. "Consequently, the vessel ran aground."

He said the freighter is registered to Seaway Marine Transport, located in St. Catharines, and the vessel's grain cargo, bound for Port Cartier, is intact.

"Once the divers conduct their inspection, then they will have a better idea as to what may need to be done for the ship to resume its trip," said Bogora.

Officials with the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. and Transport Canada are investigating.

Kent Malo, Ron Beaupre, CBC

 

Port Reports -  October 21

St. Marys River
High winds Wednesday sent Canadian Transport and Arthur M. Anderson to anchor in the lee of Whitefish Point. Algosar was on the hook above DeTour.

Sugar Island - Soo Evening News
Sugar Island residents endured delays on Monday as necessary repairs temporarily shut down ferry service. The Drummond Islander III was brought up to convey folks back and forth across the St. Marys River until the repairs were completed.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
American Republic arrived at Lafarge around 6 a.m. on Wednesday. It unloaded coal and remained at the dock due to weather conditions. The tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation were expected in port Wednesday night.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The tug Zeus and tank barge Robert F. Deegan called on the Dow Chemical dock late Tuesday night. The pair remained at the dock as of 9 p.m. Wednesday night. Also still at the dock was the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. at Consumers Energy. She had arrived on Tuesday morning to unload coal. Calumet was inbound Wednesday afternoon with a split load. She stopped at the Bay City Wirt Stone dock to lighter before continuing upriver to the Saginaw Wirt dock to finish Wednesday night.

Hamilton, Ont. - Eric Holmes
Tuesday, Algoma Guardian departed Pier 25 (JRI Elevators) at noon with a cargo of soya beans for Port Cartier. Tug Victorious and barge John Carrick arrived at 12:30 p.m. The saltie Greenwing arrived at 6:30 p.m. and went to anchor to wait its turn to load at JRI Elevators. Canadian Olympic arrived at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Captain Henry Jackman departed at 5:30 a.m. for Meldrum Bay. Canadian Olympic followed at 6 a.m. for Sandusky. Maritime Trader arrived at 8 a.m. and went to anchor to wait for the Federal Mattawa to depart JRI Elevators. Algocape arrived at 8:30 a.m. with iron ore pellets from Port Cartier for Dofasco. The Federal Mattawa finally departed at 1:30 p.m. with soya beans for Sorel. This allowed the Maritime Trader to shift from the anchorage to Pier 25. Tug Victorious and barge John Carrick departed at 5:30 p.m. for the canal. Federal Power departed at 5:45 p.m. for Detroit.

 

Year-to-date Seaway cargo shipments up 18 percent

10/21 - Cargo shipments through the St. Lawrence Seaway continue to rebound on the back of strong American grain exports and iron ore and steel activity, along with an uptick of new business and trade routes.

The St. Lawrence Seaway reported that total year-to-date shipments reached 22.9 million metric tons from March 25 to September 30, an increase of 18 percent over the same period in 2009. Year-to-date shipments of iron ore for 2010 is up 62 percent to 7.2 million metric tons compared to last year, while American grain shipments have increased by 36 percent to 1.3 million metric tons.

In September, these numbers were boosted by a 68 percent surge in American grain shipments to 604,000 metric tons compared to the same month in 2009. Iron ore increased in September by 5.7 percent and general cargo (which is comprised of steel slabs, coils and project cargo like wind power components) rose by 17 percent compared to the same month in 2009.

Adolph Ojard, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority noted that the Port of Duluth-Superior continued to enjoy robust grain shipments. “The story at the port remains the movement of grain. Grain year-to-date is up 15 percent over our five-year average, while grain year-to-date is up 89 percent over the same period in 2009,” he said. “In September alone, we experienced a 123 percent increase in outbound grain shipments.”

This season, the Seaway saw steel imports from Romania and South America arrive at new markets in the Great Lakes; quartz stone shipments from Canada’s Maritime Provinces to Hamilton; and bulk material from Japan to the Great Lakes to be used in construction projects.

Canada Steamship Lines also recently signed a new four-month deal to ship wind turbine components from the Port of Gros-Cacouna on Quebec’s South Shore to Burns Harbor, Indiana. The five loads, which will be completed in October, are bound for a wind farm in Bloomington, Ill. The shipment removes 400 trucks from the highways between Cacouna and Chicago, the equivalent of 700,000 truck-kilometers or 17 times the distance around the Earth.

“This is the first time we transported wind turbine components on deck as well as in the cargo holds. We used every available space in the ship,” said Tom Brodeur, vice-president of marketing for Montreal-based Canada Steamship Lines, a division of The CSL Group. “This new business, which benefitted from the Seaway’s tolls incentives program, was not only a win for CSL but also for the Seaway and adjoining communities. There are clear environmental benefits of taking trucks off the road and using marine transportation, which has a much smaller carbon footprint.”

“This year, the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor received the largest project cargo shipment in our port’s 40-year history,” said Port Director Peter Laman. “The shipment included more than 130 wind turbines carried on 11 ships for a project in Illinois. We’ve devoted about 20 acres of our outdoor storage area to wind equipment and we also just handled our first export shipment of wind turbines that are being transported from Iowa to Nova Scotia.”

Marine Delivers

 

Mackinac ferry rivals rock the boat

10/21 - Mackinaw City, Mich. - Two Mackinac Island ferry companies have made waves by offering to team up and offer lower fares and provide year-round service in exchange for a 20-year monopoly that might kill a third ferry firm. The proposal by Arnold Transit Co, the island's longest-running ferry service, is fueling controversy here and in St. Ignace, where the ferries operate. Many store owners worry that giving exclusive ferry routes to Star Line Mackinac Ferry and Arnold and forcing Shepler's Mackinac Island Ferry out of business could damage them and the region's tourism industry. The idea appears to be getting a better reception on the island, where some residents and city officials are focused on the promise of lower ferry ticket prices that they hope will attract more tourists.

The issue was expected to come to a head Wednesday, when the island's City Council had scheduled a meeting for the three ferry companies to discuss their proposals.

Arnold wants an "exclusive franchise agreement" that would match Arnold with Star Line to carry passenger and freight traffic and treat the merged operations like a public utility. The companies would drop the price of a round-trip ticket $2 from the current $24.

Arnold also offered to sell its docks to the government of the northern Michigan tourist destination, but retain sole use of them while still paying for their upkeep at no cost to the city.

"This is something the city wants," said Arnold spokeswoman Emily Palsrok. "The ball's in their court now."

Shepler's, which warned of a conspiracy between some island officials and Arnold in a federal antitrust suit it filed two weeks ago, wants to maintain access to docks on the island and get a 20-year agreement to continue providing ferry service along with other competitors.

Stores in Mackinaw City and St. Ignace say keeping Shepler's afloat would help maintain a healthy tourism industry. Shepler's is located near a business district of fudge stores, restaurants and gift shops in Mackinaw City, where the docks for Arnold and Star Line are a half-mile south. If passengers can only ride Arnold and Star Line to the island, several Mackinaw City shops fear they will close.

Mackinaw City Kite is doing fine now, owner Lisbet Bryan said, but "all it takes is a little nudge to push many businesses over the edge. The economy is already bad," she said, "and when so many of us are just getting by, that would be disastrous."

Mackinaw City officials also have said the town would lose $140,000 annually in pier leasing fees if Shepler's dies. A greater concern to the region is that Shepler's demise would mean the loss of 150 jobs that could translate into fewer gas and restaurant purchases on the mainland. Officials from Detroit's Bayview Yacht Club, which holds a popular yacht race to the island each summer, also have jumped into the controversy, saying they will consider moving the race's finish line from the island to another location if Shepler's doesn't get to keep its routes. The race annually attracts 220 sailboats and 2,500 sailors and provides a $25 million economic boost, according to a Comerica Bank study commissioned by the yacht club.

"Everything's up for grabs if they do that," said club commodore Bruce Burton, who plans to oppose Arnold's plan at today's meeting along with other club members. But some island businesses hope the cheaper ticket prices encourage more tourists to visit.

"It's setting a precedent," said Jack Landres, who owns Victorian Summer Gallery. "It's telling people, 'Hey, we're doing everything we can to make this less expensive.' "That argument resonates with Sharon Franz, who works in Mackinaw City but struggles to afford the high ticket prices.

"If the prices weren't so high, I could afford to take my family," she said. "They can't keep going up and up and up."

Other passengers contend the promised $2 round-trip price cut is not large enough to justify the effects of losing Shepler's and fear a drop in customer service.

While Shepler's staff will walk to her car and greet her, Arnold's employees "sit in chairs with their feet up and point," said Elizabeth Brown, who owns the Pavillion marketplace mall across the street from Arnold in St. Ignace. She said Arnold's service used to be good, but has "eroded" during the past 15 years.

The controversy started last year when some passengers complained about a constant increase in ferry ticket prices, which have risen 55 percent to $24 today from $15.50 in 2001. Franchise fee revenue to the island still is up slightly this year compared with the same time last year, according to island officials, who won't release exact figures.

Since current contracts with the three ferry companies expire in March, the island asked each to submit new bids and said it would consider allowing only one to continue operating as a public utility. Under a city ordinance upheld in a 1984 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Mackinac Island controls the fares, schedules and number of boats that travel to and from the island.

So the island could choose to provide only one ferry service without creating a monopoly, said Michael Cavanaugh, an attorney for the island.

The three ferry companies carry an average of 16 percent of the capacity of their boats, according to Arnold's proposal. But Arnold and Star Line operating under a new company called Northern Ferry Co. would provide more effective service by streamlining the number of trips currently provided by the three ferry firms to ensure fuller boats as well as lower gas and overhead costs, Arnold argues.

James Wynn, a Petoskey attorney who bought Arnold in June, has been looking to buy and consolidate Mackinac Island ferry companies. Wynn approached Shepler's "many, many times" in the past several years, said Edmond Koester, an attorney for Shepler's. The company signed a letter of intent with Wynn in May 2009 to begin negotiations but backed out before a purchasing agreement was reached, he said.

The move angered Arnold, which argues Shepler's was obligated to sell.

Star Line also said it listened to offers from Wynn. But company members "voted unanimously: We're never going to be for sale," owner Tom Pfeiffelmann said. Instead, the company later joined Arnold in a plan to form Northern Ferry because it foresaw the creation of a one-ferry service and "we wanted to save our own skins," Pfeiffelmann said.

If the city rejects its proposal, Star Line will continue to operate on its own, Pfeiffelmann said. But if the city approves an exclusive agreement, which was not mentioned in Star Line's one-page proposal, the joint venture would allow the two companies to continue operating independently, while leasing their fleets to Northern Ferry Co. The public would notice few changes, Palsrok said.

"You'll see an Arnold boat, and it will be labeled as an Arnold boat," she said. "You'll see a Star Line boat, and it will be labeled as a Star Line boat."

The Detroit News

 

Updates -  October 21

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards 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.

 

Coast Guard crews search for missing freighter crewmember in Lake Ontario

10/20 - 5:30 update - Coast Guard rescue crews are searching this evening for a missing crewmember from the Canadian Provider transiting Lake Ontario today.

The crew of the Provider contacted the Coast Guard at about 1:30 p.m. and reported the Nova Scotian crewmember, Gary Carlton, 59, missing.

Coast Guard rescue crews aboard 47-foot Motor Life Boats from Stations Oswego, N.Y., and Rochester, N.Y., a 25-foot Response Boat-Small from Station Alexandria Bay, N.Y., an HH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter from Air Station Detroit, and an HU-25 Guardian fixed-wing aircraft from Air Station Cape Cod, Mass., are searching for Carlton.

Also aiding in the search are Canadian coast guard crews aboard a C-130 long-range surveillance plane and a rescue helicopter from Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Trenton, Ontario, and four search and rescue vessels.

 

Algoma Guardian runs aground in Seaway, blocks channel

10/20 - 9 a.m. update - The tugs Ocean Hercule and Ocean Jupiter released the Algoma Guardian about 7:30 Wednesday morning, the Guardian was towed to the St Zotique anchorage. It is unknown why the Algoma Guardian went aground. Seaway reports there is an anchor in the North side of the channel, this is where the Algoma Guardian went aground.

Original report - At approximately 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, the downbound Algoma Guardian, heading for Port Cartier, Que., ran into difficulty 1.9 nautical miles from the entrance to the Beauharnois canal. So far there's no word what caused the vessel to completely block the channel across from the anchorage at St. Zotique. The Seaway suspended shipping in that area. Group Ocean was sent two tugs, Ocean Jupiter and the Ocean Hercule, to the scene; they depart Montreal Tuesday evening.

Kent Malo and Ron Beaupre

 

Twin Ports shipping season heads into home stretch

10/20 - Duluth, Minn. – The port of Duluth-Superior is heading into the final three months of the 2010 shipping with maritime leaders anticipating a strong finish. Recent tonnage reports indicate a 25 percent overall increase in YTD shipments, plus a robust grain trade that has already posted an 89 percent increase over last years figures.

Through September, over 26.5 million short tons of cargo have moved through the Twin Ports. When the bottom fell out of the economy in 2009 and steel production slowed, shipments of raw materials dropped dramatically. But a critical demand for iron ore and coal on the Lower Lakes drove sharp increases early in 2010. Through the first three quarters of this navigation season, iron ore shipments through Duluth-Superior continued to rebound and, while still lower than peak levels of 2008 and five-year averages, indicate a 69 percent improvement over last year mirroring increased pellet activity across the Great Lakes.

But the grain surge remains the top story for this port. Up 15 percent over five-year averages, year-to-date shipments rose 89 percent over the same time last year. In September alone, the port experienced a 123 percent increase in outbound grain shipments. Those cargoes primarily durum wheat and spring wheat headed to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East nearly doubled in response to shortages created by a Russian ban on grain exports this year.

“During a single week last month, we had 17 ships loading grain and/or at anchor waiting for a berth to open up,” noted Adolph Ojard, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. “Grain from farmers’ fields in the Dakotas and Minnesota feeds people around the world. This surge is a valuable reminder of the key role played by our inland port and the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway in the global marketplace.”

Duluth Seaway Port Authority

 

Port Reports -  October 20

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Sunrise on Tuesday found Michipicoten at anchor off the Lower Harbor waiting for a clear dock at the Upper Harbor which had Mesabi Miner unloading coal and Great Lakes Trader loading ore.

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
Manitowoc delivered a load of coal to the Board of Light and Power plant on Harbor Island about 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Gary, Ind. - Brian Z.
Upper Lakes' Canadian Transport was unloading ore fines at the U. S. Steel mill in Gary on Monday. Also, Manistee arrived for a cargo of coal fines at 2 p.m., docking south of the Transport. After a lengthy unload, the Transport departed at 6 p.m. and Manistee moved north to load. Loading of the Manistee was completed early Tuesday morning and she departed for Charlevoix, Mich.

Saginaw, Mich. - Todd Shorkey
The tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons called on the Saginaw River on Monday, unloading at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City. She was followed by her fleet mate Calumet, which traveled all the way upriver to unload at the Lafarge Stone dock in Saginaw. Both vessels were outbound later in the day Monday. Tuesday morning saw the arrival of the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr., which called on the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville to unload. She remained at the dock as of 8:30 Tuesday night.

 

Yankcanuck listed for sale

10/20 - The small Canadian bulk carrier Yankcanuck, owned by Purvis Marine of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., has been listed for sale on the Marcon International Inc. web site. Built in 1963, the Yankcanuck spent the 2009 season in layup and so far has not run in 2010. No price was listed.

 

Great Lakes may see radioactive generators

10/20 - Ottawa, Ont. - The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission wants more information before ruling on whether Bruce Power can ship 16 radioactive generators through the Great Lakes and along the St. Lawrence.

Environmentalists, First Nations and residents along the proposed route are concerned about shipping the school bus-sized steam generators from Owen Sound to Sweden for recycling.

The commission wants more data on the environmental impact assessment, emergency plans, and the amount of radioactivity allowed in shipments. It’s encouraging the 79 participants in hearings last month in Ottawa to file written submissions by November 22.

Bruce Power has said a person would have to stand beside one of the generators for a few hours to receive the same amount of radiation given off by a chest X-ray.

The Canadian Press

 

Updates -  October 20

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards 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 or 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 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 that 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.

 

Port Reports -  October 19

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
No ore left Marquette on Monday, but three vessels visited the harbors. At the Upper Harbor, Joseph H. Thompson unloaded limestone into the hopper early in the day, and Mesabi Miner unloaded coal into the hopper in the evening after being at anchor waiting for the Thompson. At the Lower Harbor, Joyce L. VanEnkevort and Great Lakes Trader unloaded limestone at the Shiras Dock.

Toledo, Ohio - Jim Hoffman
Monday, the Maumee finished unloading salt at the City of Toledo Dock and departed Monday afternoon. Federal Maas finished loading grain at the ADM Elevator and departed late Monday afternoon. The tug Samuel De Champlain with the barge Integrity were unloading cement at the Lafarge Cement Dock, while the tug Cleveland with the barge Cleveland Rocks remain at the Ironhead Shipyard. The tug Mary E. Hannah with her barge were at the B-P Dock. The next scheduled coal boats due in at the CSX Docks will be the CSL Laurentien and American Mariner on Tuesday, Kaye E. Barker on Wednesday followed by Saginaw and John G. Munson on Thursday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Dock will be Great Lakes Trader on Thursday followed by H. Lee White and Joseph H. Thompson on Friday.

 

Updates -  October 19

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

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.

 

Port Reports -  October 18

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
After a four-day turn around, Kaye E. Barker was back at the Upper Harbor Sunday evening for another load of ore.

Holland, Mich. - Bob VandeVusse
Manistee arrived in Holland late Sunday evening. She tied up at the James DeYoung power plant shortly after 10 p.m. to deliver coal.

South Chicago, Ill. - Brian Z.
Arthur M. Anderson loaded coal Saturday at KCBX Terminal in South Chicago. The Anderson departed at 4:30 pm with 19,000 tons of coal and was followed by Lower Lakes' Manistee. Manistee loaded a blended coal cargo for Holland, Mich. Algosoo arrived at Morton Salt early Sunday morning to add to the growing pile of road salt.

Aliaga, Turkey
The Agawa Canyon scrap tow arrived in Aliaga Sunday morning.

 

Updates -  October 18

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

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.

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.

 

Port Reports -  October 17

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Algorail was outbound the Saginaw River on Thursday after unloading at the Saginaw Lafarge dock. The tug Karen Andrie, with her barge Endeavour, were outbound from the Bit-Mat dock in Bay City after unloading there overnight. On Friday, Calumet was inbound during the evening, traveling upriver to unload at the GM dock in Saginaw. She was expected to be outbound early Saturday morning.

Toledo, Ohio - Jim Hoffman
Saturday, CSL Assiniboine finished unloading ore at the Torco Dock and departed Saturday afternoon. John J. Boland was loading coal at the CSX Docks. The tug Sea Eagle II and barge St. Marys Cement II were at the St. Marys Cement Dock unloading cement. The tug Cleveland with the Cleveland Rocks remain at the Ironhead Shipyard. Federal Maas was loading grain at the ADM Elevator. The next scheduled coal boats due in at the CSX Docks will be the American Mariner and CSL Laurentien on Tuesday, Kaye E. Barker on Wednesday followed by the Pathfinder and John G. Munson on Thursday. The next scheduled ore boats due in at the Torco Dock will be Great Lakes Trader on Thursday followed by H. Lee White and Joseph H. Thompson on Friday.

Hamilton, Ont - Ted and Ian Wilush
Gordon C. Leitch was loading grain Saturday via conveyor at Pier 10-5 via a new conveyor and hopper, which is loaded by a long line up of trucks. It looks like a slow operation, the vessel has to shift back and forth because of the limited length of the pier. The vessel was recently refit and put back in the grain trade.

Aliaga, Turkey
The Agawa Canyon scrap tow continues to close in on Aliaga and was expected to arrive on Sunday.

 

Canadian government won’t keep U.S. Steel open

10/17 - Hamilton, Ont. - Canada’s Industry Minister says there’s nothing the federal government can do to convince U.S. Steel to keep its Hamilton plant open.

In an interview after a funding announcement for McMaster University Friday, Tony Clement said the Pittsburgh-based steelmaker is free to do whatever it wants with the former Stelco plant.

“At this point obviously U. S. Steel is beyond the undertakings that it made with the Government of Canada,” he said. “Those undertakings ended some time ago now, they were for a period of time that has now expired, so they can make decisions, good, bad or indifferent, according to their own timetable and their own responsibilities.”

When U. S. Steel was allowed to buy Stelco in 2007, it was required to promise the federal government it would maintain jobs and production for three years. That deadline has now passed.

Within a year of making that agreement, the company shuttered the Hamilton plant for several months, citing collapsing demand for steel. Work from Hamilton was transferred to plants in the United States. The federal government has sued over that closure, seeking penalties estimated at about $15 million today.

The company essentially shut down the Hamilton plant again last week when it turned off its last functioning blast furnace, stopping the production of steel. Earlier this week, it asked a provincial conciliator for a “no board” report – the action that starts a 17-day clock ticking toward a legal strike/lock-out position.

Hamilton Spectator

 

Updates -  October 17

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

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.

 

Port Reports -  October 16

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Duluth boatwatchers did a double take Friday afternoon when they spotted the Federal Pioneer loading at the former Cargill B1 berth. Cargill sold the elevator a couple years ago to a hedge fund, which recently sold it to another buyer. Federal Pioneer is the first vessel to load at the elevator in several years. Elsewhere in port, Roger Blough was due at BNSF ore dock in Superior, Walter J. McCarthy Jr. arrived late in the afternoon to load at Midwest Energy Terminal and Indiana Harbor was expected in the evening to load at Midwest Energy Terminal.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Friday afternoon at the Upper Harbor, Herbert C. Jackson unloaded western coal from Superior into the hopper.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
Alpena returned on Thursday from Whitefish, Ont., and was tied up at the coal dock. It may load under the silos over the weekend. The G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity were in port early Friday morning. The tug Mary E. Hannah along with a barge were anchored in the bay off Alpena on Friday.

Aliaga, Turkey - Bill Bird
The Agawa Canyon scrap tow is expected to reach Aliaga this weekend, likely Saturday.

 

Proposed New York ballast law fought by Canada

10/16 - Washington D.C. - State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine, under fire in his back yard for opposing New York's ballast water regulations, has an ally to the north — the Canadian government.

The government of Canada has asked the U.S. State Department to intervene in New York's implementation of the ballast regulations, which would require ships stopping in or passing through New York waters to be outfitted with ballast treatment systems far more advanced than international shipping standards recommend.

New York's regulations "could have the effect of shutting down access to the St. Lawrence Seaway" unless shipping companies are granted exemptions promptly, warned Heather Grant, director general of the North American Policy Bureau at Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

The regulations are set to take effect in January 2012, although shipping companies have applied for extensions and industry representatives say the rules probably cannot be enforced.

Ms. Grant wrote to the State Department on Aug. 16. The State Department has yet to reply but has told Canadian officials that several agencies, including the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp., have been asked to sign off before an answer is sent, said Paul Arvanitidis, transportation counselor at the Canadian Embassy in Washington.

Ballast water, which ships carry to provide balance, is a major source of invasive species entering the Great Lakes from foreign waters. And while ships are required to take on saltwater ballast at sea to reduce the threat, industry sources agree that on-board treatment systems may ultimately be the best weapon.

The Canadian government asked how the federal Clean Water Act applies to ships that cross U.S. waters without plans to discharge ballast water, and for more information about how New York will grant exemptions for existing vessels — exemptions that state officials have put off since promising more details in August, the American Great Lakes Ports Association reported.

Canadian officials also asked the U.S. government to help identify available treatment systems that could meet the standard in New York's regulation, which is 100 times greater than standards recommended by the International Maritime Organization for existing ships, and 1,000 times stronger for vessels to be built after the law is implemented.

"Our efforts to date have not been successful in identifying such technology," Ms. Grant wrote.

Ms. Grant also asked the State Department to consider referring the issue of ballast standards to the U.S.-Canada International Joint Commission, which advises the countries and helps set policies for their shared waters.

At the heart of Canada's concern is the prospect that New York's regulations will discourage shippers from using the Seaway or shut them out entirely because they cannot meet the standard for numbers of organisms found in ballast water. The St. Lawrence is the entry point for all ocean-going vessels coming into the Great Lakes, meaning New York's regulations affect ship-borne trade from New York to Minnesota.

"This could significantly disrupt and/or increase the cost of transporting industrial inputs such as iron ore and grain to the industries of the Great Lakes region, and thereby lead to the disruption to sectors of the economy that employ thousands of people in our respective countries," Ms. Grant wrote.

Even if the rules are not enforced at the implementation date — the state does not have a system in place for inspecting ships, and the U.S. Coast Guard has told shipping groups it will not enforce state laws — ships may be effectively barred by insurance policies that prohibit violating regulations, the U.S. Great Lakes Ports Association reported.

Echoing complaints from the shipping industry, the Canadian government said it supports ballast water standards to prevent the spread of invasive species and believes measures already in place have reduced the number of new species entering the Great Lakes. No new species have been reported since 2006, Ms. Grant wrote.

But supporters of New York's regulations, written by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, point to the threat from invasive species and the government's slow response.

Save the River, the Clayton environmental group, has been especially critical of Mr. Aubertine, D-Cape Vincent, for questioning the DEC's policy. On Wednesday, Save the River Executive Director Jennifer J. Caddick wrote to Mr. Aubertine, pointing to the damage invasive species cause and his district's heavy reliance on tourism. Changes in the ecosystem have led to botulism outbreaks and to the fouling of local beaches by algae, including at Wilson's Beach in the senator's home town, she wrote.

"From a strictly economic perspective, your opposition to the State of New York's ballast regulations hardly seems to benefit jobs in your district," Ms. Caddick wrote. "The importance of tourism to the economy of upstate New York far outweighs that of commercial shipping. In fact, in Oswego County there are more than twenty times as many jobs supported by tourism than by the Port of Oswego." Without tougher standards, Ms. Caddick warned, companies will not develop the types of systems capable of stopping the threat of invasive species. "We have seen time and again that the shipping industry will not clean up their act until forced to by government regulatory action and public pressure," she wrote.

Watertown Daily Times

 

City expects to know aquarium expenses soon

10/16 - Port Huron, Mich. – City officials are expected to know within a month how much it will cost to build and operate an aquarium in Port Huron.

As the numbers are crunched, City Manager Bruce Brown is looking for ways to finance the multi-million-dollar venture. Whoever foots the bill, he said, would become the aquarium's owner, with Marinescape Ecoaquariums paid as a contractor to operate the facility.

The City Council on May 10 approved a one-year contract to develop an aquarium with Marinescape. In the contract, the city agreed to pay the New Zealand company $100,000 to complete a feasibility study and agreed to "guarantee" that enough people would visit for the aquarium for it to break even each year.

Brown said there's no chance the city would foot the construction bill and become the owner -- which means being responsible for any profits or losses. But, he said, the aquarium would be a "publicly financed building."

Brown declined to discuss from which "sources" he hopes to draw money. Gary Fletcher, the city's lawyer, said there are a number of options, including creating an authority similar to the one operating McMorran Place.

Initial estimates called for the aquarium to cost $18 million to $20 million, Brown said. Now, the facility could cost $25 million, he said.

There have been changes since the project started.

The aquarium first was planned for the old YMCA property at Beers and Fort streets. That plan fell through when officials realized utility lines ran across the land. As part of the Marinescape contract, the city paid $10,000 for an option to buy the YMCA property. The option expires Dec. 31.

The newest design puts the 64,100-square-foot aquarium on the Black River at Desmond Landing. Officials with Acheson Ventures, which owns Desmond Landing, asked that its Maritime Center be incorporated into the design as a condition of providing land, Brown said. The center is to be 3,800 square feet -- space Brown summed up as a place for people to watch ships.

While part of the feasibility study will spell out costs associated with the project, another section will address how many people likely are to visit the facility each year.

To make the project feasible, officials must ensure that between 400,000 and 450,000 people come through the gates annually, Andrew Hearn, a consultant with Marinescape, told the City Council on Monday. And all signs point to Port Huron meeting the goal, he said.

Marinescape's figures show 6 million people live within 100 miles of the city, and officials are assuming about 15% of those people will visit the aquarium each year. Canadians were not included in the estimate.

In an e-mail to the Times Herald, Hearn said officials would like construction to start in spring 2011. The building likely would be ready to open in 14 months, he told the City Council on Monday.

As Marinescape works on a development plan for Port Huron, it continues to hash out plans for an aquarium in Cleveland. The projects would be Marinescape's first in the Western Hemisphere.

According to a website dedicated to the Nautica Aquarium in Cleveland, that facility is expected to attract 320,000 to 480,000 people each year. The aquarium would be part of a larger 125,000-square-foot complex with restaurant and banquet facilities along the Cuyahoga River and would cost $9 million to open in an existing waterfront building, according to reports from the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Marinescape has partnered with a private investment company on the deal. An opening had been planned for this summer, but Hearn, in an e-mail to the Times Herald, said financing still is being secured.

In the Blue Water Area, city officials have praised the aquarium idea as key to reinvigorating tourism. However, Dr. Chris Bonar, chief veterinarian for the Dallas World Aquarium in Texas, warned that aquariums aren't the kind of attractions that turn cities around on their own.

Bonar, a veterinarian for Cleveland Metroparks Zoo until earlier this year, has worked for 10 years to bring an aquarium to Cleveland. He is president of a nonprofit group raising money and is not connected with Marinescape's plans.

"The whole concept has to be part of a mixed-use development. It's not just about a building with fish in it," he said, noting that people visit zoos and aquariums as a form of "social engagement."

"You can't just plunk an aquarium down in an urban area in need of renewal."

Port Huron Time Herald

 

Great Lakes Commission’s Albert Ballert dies at 95

10/16 - Livonia, Mich. – Albert G. Ballert, 95, a true friend of the Great Lakes, died Oct. 5 in Livonia, Mich. Dr. Ballert found his calling in life through his research with the Ann Arbor-based Great Lakes Commission, beginning during it's inception in 1956 and continuing as Director of Research emeritus"through 2006 – 50 years in all. He authored numerous publications, newsletters and checklists relating to the ships and their cargo, water levels and precipitation. His work became his mission, his passion and his hobby. Dr. Ballert visited every port and community along the entire Great Lakes and Seaway coastline, accumulating an extensive body of photographs from his visits. Many a person heard him declare he was " the luckiest man in the world " to have such an interesting vocation. Funeral services were held Oct. 8.

 

Updates -  October 16

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards 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.

 

Updates -  October 15

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards 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.

 

Port Reports -  October 14

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel action Wednesday included Cason J. Callaway arriving early to unload coal at Hallett 5 dock. After that it was expected to go to BNSF ore dock to load. BBC Volga and Sunflower E were both docked at the Duluth port terminal to unload wind turbine parts, J.W. Shelley was loading grain at Peavey in Superior and Federal Miramichi was loading at HSC grain terminal in Superior. St. Clair and Herbert C. Jackson were both due later in the day to load at Midwest Energy Terminal.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Wednesday afternoon at the Upper Harbor, Kaye E. Barker arrived to load ore while fleetmates Dorothy Ann and Pathfinder unloaded limestone into the hopper.

Toledo, Ohio - Jim Hoffman
Algoway finished unloading stone at the Midwest Stone Dock and departed Wednesday morning. Saguenay was loading grain at Andersons K Elevator. The tug Cleveland with the barge Cleveland Rocks were at the Ironhead Shipyard. The tug Barbara Andrie with the barge A-390 were at the B-P Dock. The Daniella and Beluga Frequency were unloading cargo at the Midwest Terminal Overseas Dock. The Beluga Frequency was expected to depart Wednesday evening. Mississagi was unloading grain at the Kraft Food Elevator. Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin finished loading coal at the CSX Docks and departed Wednesday evening. The next scheduled coal boats due in at the CSX Docks will be the Calumet, Saginaw, and Michipicoten on Thursday, John J. Boland and Kaye E. Barker on Saturday followed by the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin on Sunday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Docks will be John D. Leitch on Friday followed by CSL Assiniboine on Saturday.

 

Updates -  October 14

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards 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 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 were the captain, his wife and three children. A few crewmembers 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 towline 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.

 

Lakes iron ore trade up 69 percent in September

10/13 - Cleveland, Ohio - Iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 5,354,545 net tons in September, a 10-percent decrease compared to August, but a 69-percent improvement over a year ago. Nonetheless, loadings were still 7.5 percent below the month’s 5-year average.

September loadings at U.S. ports increased 59 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments from Canadian ports were up 167 percent.

Year-to-date the Lakes ore trade stands at 39 million tons, an increase of 102 percent compared to the same point last year. The end-of-September total is also within striking distance of the 5-year average for the first three quarters. Shipments from U.S. ports are up 104 percent compared to a year ago. Loadings at Canadian ports are 88 percent ahead of last year’s pace.

Lake Carriers' Association

 

Port Reports -  October 13

Hamilton, Ont. - Eric Holmes
Tuesday the saltie Harbour Clear departed at 7 a.m. Tugs Omni Richelieu and LaPrairie departed at 8 a.m. for Toronto and returned to port at 5 p.m. Captain Henry Jackman arrived at 11 a.m. with stone for Pier 12 W. The City of Toronto ferry Sam McBride arrived at 11:30 a.m. Her sister ferry Thomas Rennie arrived at 4:30 p.m. Both went to the Heddle Marine Dry docks. Varnebank departed at 5 p.m. with a part cargo of ferro manganese for Chicago.

 

U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mobile Bay to host annual ghost ship

10/13 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. - The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay, home ported in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, will host its annual haunted ship attraction this October. During the event, guests will be ushered through various haunted rooms throughout the ship and barge. Treats will be available for the kids.

Ghost Ship 2010 will be held on Wednesday, October 27. Times will be 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. for the younger children and 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. for older kids and adults. The ship is located at Sawyer Park Pier, just south of the Maple-Oregon Street Bridge in Sturgeon Bay.

 

Updates -  October 13

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards 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-masted 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

 

Limestone trade up 16 percent in September

10/12 - Cleveland, Ohio – Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 3,461,606 net tons in September, an increase of 3.6 percent compared to August, and 16 percent better than a year ago. However, the trade was down 10.7 percent compared to the month’s 5-year average.

Loadings at U.S. ports were up 342,000 tons compared to a year ago. Shipments from Canadian docks increase by 135,000 tons.

Year-to-date the Lakes limestone trade stands at 20.5 million net tons, an increase of 25.2 percent compared to a year ago, but a decrease of 15 percent compared to the 5-year average for the first three quarters. Loadings at U.S. ports are up 28 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments from Canadian docks are 15.4 percent ahead of last year’s pace.

Lake Carriers' Association

 

Great Lakes coal trade up 32.5 percent in September

10/12 - Cleveland, Ohio – Coal shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 3,648,453 net tons in September, a decrease of 6.8 percent compared to August, but an increase of 32.5 percent compared to a year ago. Compared to the month’s 5-year average, loadings were down 7.4 percent.

Shipments from Lake Superior rose noticeably from a year ago 35 percent and were on par with the month’s 5-year average. Loadings in Chicago increased by 145 percent compared to a year ago and all but equaled the month’s 5-year average. The coal trade out of Lake Erie increased 13.6 percent compared to a year ago, but was nearly 20 percent off September’s 5-year average.

Year-to-date coal shipments stand at 22.3 million tons, an increase of 8.6 percent compared to a year ago. The better measure is the 5-year average, and in that regard, 2010 loadings are 18.7 percent off the pace.

Lake Carriers' Association

 

Port Reports -  October 12

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
Wilfred Sykes came in around 11:30 p.m. Sunday with a load of slag for Meekhof's D & M dock just upriver from the power plant on Harbor Island in Grand Haven. It was gone by 3 a.m. Maumee was expected at Verplank's Dock in Ferrysburg Monday afternoon.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
G.L. Ostrander and barge Integrity were in port on Sunday morning. Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation were expected early Tuesday morning to load at Lafarge. Alpena has been tied up at the coal dock since October 8; it is scheduled to shift over to the silos and load cement on Tuesday.

Saginaw, Mich. - Todd Shorkey
Manitowoc arrived overnight, calling on the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee to unload. She was outbound for the lake Monday morning. Inbound Monday morning was the tug Olive L Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber with a split cargo. The pair stopped at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City before heading upriver for the Saginaw Wirt Stone dock. The Moore & Kuber were expected to be outbound late Monday or early Tuesday morning.

St. Clair River – Roger LeLievre
A busy fall day on the river included the following passages. Upbound: Algomarine, Algosteel, H. Lee White, Dutch Runner and Canadian Navigator. Downbound: Kaye E. Barker, Peter R. Cresswell, Canadian Transfer, American Republic, tug Drummond Islander II with the dredge Arthur J and stern tugs Tammy and Madison, Mississagi, Edwin H. Gott and Algosar.

Toledo, Ohio - Jim Hoffman
On Monday, the saltie Barbro was loading grain at the ADM Elevator. Algowood was finishing loading grain at Anderson's K Elevator and was expected to depart Monday evening. Saguenay arrived at Anderson's E Elevator Monday afternoon; she will proceed to Anderson's K Elevator to load grain when Algowood departs. The tug Cleveland and barge Cleveland Rocks remain at the Ironhead Shipyard. The Federal Rhine and the heavy lift vessel Daniella were at the Midwest Terminal Dock. Robert S. Pierson was loading coal at the CSX Docks. The tug Kathy Lynn and related dredging equipment finished their dredging project on the Maumee Bay ship channel and departed from Toledo Monday afternoon. The tug Kurt Luedtke and related dredging equipment were dredging the ship channel near light 30 Maumee Bay, several miles north of the Torco Ore Dock. The next scheduled coal boats due in at the CSX Docks will be the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin and Calumet on Wednesday followed by Michipicoten and Saginaw on Thursday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Docks will be the CSL Niagara on Tuesday, Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin on Wednesday followed by the John D. Leitch on Friday. The next scheduled stone boat due into the Midwest Stone Dock will be Algoway on Tuesday.

 

Transporting submarine HMCS Ojibwa a challenge

10/12 - Port Burwell, Ont. – That submarine hasn’t even arrived in Port Burwell yet but the local community is already climbing on board.

Individuals and companies are coming forward daily, anxious to roll out the welcome mat for HMCS Ojibwa.

“People want to get on board,” said Ian Raven, curator of the Elgin Military Museum, which landed the decommissioned diesel-electric sub and plans to move it to Port Burwell from Halifax harbour.

“It’s very refreshing to have them approach us and say we want to be part of this project,” Raven said Wednesday, adding that companies also are offering their services and supplies.

With a grant of $1.9 million from the federal government, the military museum plans to convert the 45-year-old Oberon-class submarine into a lakefront tourist attraction. A sister sub, the Onondaga, attracted 91,000 visitors to its new dry-land perch in Rimouski, Que., last year.

Ojibwa is expected to arrive by barge after a trip up the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.

Raven said technical details are being worked out by engineers, who are looking at the load-bearing properties of its lakeside location and designing an appropriate cradle. As their reports are being completed, all eyes are watching the weather.

“We’d be happier to see more months of warm weather, but we have to work with what we have,” Raven said, expressing concern an early freeze-up and closing of the seaway might delay Ojibwa’s arrival. And the deadline for spending the $1.9 million grant is March 31.

“Weather is going to play a huge part in how and when we move it,” he said.

The navy has not yet released Ojibwa, which was decommissioned in 1998 and faced the scrap yard, but Raven said only a few details need to be agreed upon before it does. Fundraising has begun to help mount and showcase the submarine alongside a museum and Raven said strong local support proves obtaining Ojibwa was a sound decision.

He promised the public will be alerted when the boat is on the move to its new home.

The London Free Press

 

Coast Guard hears from missing boaters

10/12 - Cleveland, Ohio - Three boaters reported missing just after midnight Sunday are safe in Put-in-Bay. U.S. Coast Guard boats and helicopter, along with Canadian aircraft, searched western Lake Erie Monday for them after they were reported missing from Sheffield Lake.

The Coast Guard said the boaters are Roy Counts, Mary Counts and Renee Keys. The trio called the Coast Guard around 11 a.m., saying where they were and there were no injuries.

The Coast Guard was notified at about 12:30 a.m. Monday via a 911 call concerning the missing boaters. It was reported that passengers on a 26-foot recreational vessel with a black and gold hull had not returned to Sheffield Lake.

The Coast Guard directed the immediate launch of search crews aboard a 33-foot SPC-LE from Station Marblehead, a 25-foot Response Boat from Station Lorain, a 45-foot Response Boat from Station Cleveland Harbor, and an HH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter from Air Station Detroit.

Coast Guard were assisted by a Canadian C-130 search and rescue aircraft from the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Trenton, Ontario.

WKYC-TV

 

Updates -  October 12

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

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 and is now slated for scrapping.

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.

 

Port Reports -  October 11

Toledo, Ohio - Jim Hoffman
Algosoo finished loading coal and departed from the CSX Docks Sunday morning. Several hours later, the H. Lee White arrived at the CSX Docks to load coal. Herbert C. Jackson finished unloading ore at the Torco Ore Dock and departed Sunday evening. The saltie Barbro was loading grain at the ADM Elevator and Algowood was loading grain at Anderson's K Elevator. Manistee was unloading salt at the City Dock. The tug Cleveland with the barge Cleveland Rocks was at Ironhead Shipyard and the Federal Rhine was unloading cargo at the Midwest Terminal Overseas Dock. The next scheduled coal boats due in at the CSX Docks will be Robert S. Pierson on Monday, Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin and Calumet on Wednesday followed by the Michipicoten, John J. Boland and Saginaw on Thursday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Dock will be CSL Niagara and Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin on Wednesday followed by John D. Leitch on Friday. The next scheduled stone boat due in at the Midwest Stone Dock will be Algoway on Tuesday.

Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
American Mariner was on Lake Erie Sunday heading for Buffalo. She is expected in port about 5 a.m. Monday for General Mills.

Rochester, N.Y. - Tom Brewer
Stephen B. Roman departed Rochester about 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon in ballast for Picton, Ont.

 

$35 million being invested at Port of Toledo

10/11 - Toledo, Ohio - You've probably noticed a lot more orange barrels lately -- part of the economic stimulus funding Toledo has received. There are six extra road projects in the Glass City funded by the feds.

But there are other stimulus-funded improvements now in motion you may not know about: a total of $35 million dollars involving about a dozen projects at the Port of Toledo.

The strategy behind it gives new meaning to the term "putting your money where your mouth is."

The $35 million in federal stimulus funding is going to the mouth of the Maumee Bay -- where the port is being shored up for shipping.

The fresh pavement along Front Street may right now resemble the "road to nowhere." But economic development leaders hope it leads to prosperity and new jobs. New roads, rail line updates, and other infrastructure improvements all are part of the plan. So are two new giant cranes, put into service for the first time this week unloading a cargo ship.

Most of the sites you see on the map is property the port authority bought over the past decade -- now part of the largest land mass port on the Great Lakes.

"Northwest Ohio has a number of these types of properties that need assistance,” said Matt Sapara, port authority director of operations and property development. “Quite honestly, the private side isn't going to redevelop them and put them back in the stream of commerce."

By the time all the stimulus cash is spent, the Port of Toledo will be able to load and unload lake freighters and sea-going ships faster than anyone else, anywhere else -- capable of sending all kinds of cargo across the U.S. or around the world by ship, train, or truck.

"That'll be ready to go, we're optimistic, by the end of 2011," Sapara said.

The port's experiencing a bit of its own economic recovery already. Through the end of August, 50 more cargo ships than last year passed through the port. But the total is still sinking well below the levels of the 2007 shipping season.

"We're all still in the early stages of redevelopment efforts on those assets, but pretty far along in terms of getting them to end users," said Sapara.

WUPW

 

Consumers Energy responds to deadline extension involving new coal-fired power plant near Bay City

10/11 - Hampton Twp, Mich. - Consumers Energy is on track to submit information to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment regarding a permit for a $2.3 billion coal-fired power plant on the shores of Saginaw Bay.

The DNRE was supposed to make a decision on the permit by Oct. 10, but Consumers was granted an extension to submit additional information.

"We needed additional time to complete work requested by the MDNRE and they agreed to extend the date to Oct. 26 and we are on track to submit the information prior to that date," said Mary Gust, a spokeswoman for the Jackson-based electric company.

Gust said the additional information involves hydrological analysis for draining.

“That is an outstanding issue that we’ve been addressing with them and we want to make sure the data we submit meets the requirements they have specified," Gust said.

Cathy Sleight, an analyst for the DNRE in Bay City, said the Oct. 26 deadline should be the last extension given to Consumers involving the permit for excavation and dredging.

In August, Consumers’ proposal included the excavation/dredging of about 7 acres — formerly thought to be about 6.2 acres — of wetlands and to fill or relocate about 5,000 feet of drains as part of the construction for a proposed 830-megawatt expansion to its Karn-Weadock facility on the Saginaw Bay in Hampton Township, according to Sleight.

In July, a public hearing was held regarding the permit and many in-attendance were against issuing the permit because Consumers deferred the project in May.

Consumers officials said the decision to put off the project was made because of reduced customer demand for electricity and forecasted lower natural gas prices, among other factors.

"We are hopeful they will issue the permits," Gust said. "We do want to have our permits in place because if market conditions change and we determine it is in the best interest of our customers we would resume our plan.”

Gust said about 285 acres of the Karn-Weadock Complex’s 2,400 acres are wetlands.

The company also plans to create 10 acres of wetlands on the property for the seven or so it is affecting, according to Gust.

Consumers Energy announced plans to build the new plant at its Karn-Weadock Generating Complex in 2007 and received its air permit for the project from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality in December.

Bay City Times

 

U.S Steel: The end of an era?

10/11 - Hamilton, Ont. – Like grieving relatives waiting by the bedside of a gravely ill loved one, Hamilton has been holding a death watch for the former Stelco operations. Every gasp, we fear, may be the last for the company that defined Hamilton for a century.

Is it really time to write Stelco's obituary?

"It may very well be, " muses McMaster business professor Chris Bart.

"The basis for any business decision is 'where can we make some money?' If U.S. Steel sees the economics of Stelco aren't delivering the profits and quality they want, then there are only two questions to answer: Can the problems be fixed and, if not, where else can that work be done?"

It's not news to anyone in Hamilton that the former Stelco plant doesn't do well in that equation. Formerly known as Hilton Works, the steel mill is badly outdated and has suffered for decades from toxic labour-management relations. The situation has only been exacerbated by Stelco's tortured journey through bankruptcy protection in 2004 and the heavy-handed tactics of U.S. Steel since 2007.

"Stelco has had this sad history of lower productivity and efficiency than Dofasco, all made worse by a history of toxic labour relations, " Bart said. "U.S. Steel seems to have decided it's not worth trying to turn that around."

Not everyone is as pessimistic about the future. Veteran steel analyst Chuck Bradford says there is a place for the Hamilton plant in U.S. Steel's future - but not until the economy recovers and demand for steel returns.

"You don't buy something like Stelco just to shut it down, " he said. "The trouble is that plant only makes slabs and that makes you vulnerable to the effects of the economy.

“Slabs are the last thing the company needs right now, " he added.

Advocating for the Hamilton plant, he said, is the fact its cold rolling and coating operations are important to the Lake Erie plant – long lauded as one of the most efficient steel operations in North America.

Bradford's own prediction is that the Hamilton plant will remain silent at least through the winter unless there is a sharp upturn in the struggling auto industry.

Peter Warrian, of the University of Toronto, places the start of Stelco's decline in 1954 when it was displaced by Dofasco as the innovation leader in the Canadian industry.

"The story of the steel industry in most of the 20th century is the story of (Stelco), its emergence and leadership. The story of the past 25 years was largely the story of the displacement of Stelco by Dofasco," he wrote in a report commissioned this year by the Canadian Steel Producers' Association. "The tipping point between Dofasco and Stelco came in 1954. Technology and organization decisions at that point were the DNA of competitive challenges not fully realized until the 1990s."

It was in 1954 that Dofasco became the first steel producer in North America to install a new piece of technology – the basic oxygen furnace. Until that point its steel was made from scrap in a few small open hearths and electric furnaces. Stelco, however, clung to the older technology until well into the 1970s.

Equally important, Warrian notes, is that in addition to technology, Dofasco also modernized its organizational structure. Where Stelco worked under a rigid hierarchy with communication flowing mostly from the top down, Dofasco adopted a matrix that allowed for horizontal communication and for cross functional teams working on specific problems.

In addition, when Dofasco put its money into continual upgrade at its historic site, Stelco "bet the farm" by pouring its new technology investments into a greenfield site in Nanticoke it called the Lake Erie Works.

That decision left the company with "a fundamental technological imbalance" in the steel production flows.

"The combined outcome of all these developments were two: First, Dofasco became a learning steel company and the most profitable integrated steelmaker in North America. Second, Stelco ... wound up on the pathway to CCAA because it was on a fundamentally different learning curve."

Stelco's slide into protection under the Companies Creditors Arrangements Act ended in 2004. It emerged from that cover a little more than two years later.

Since the 1980s, the Stelco story has been one of struggle and trouble. From hourly employment of 14,000 in the 1980s the ranks have thinned to less than 1,000 in Hamilton today and about the same number at Lake Erie.

The purchase by U.S. Steel in 2007 was supposed to mark a new future for the company. There was talk of investing $100 million in the Hamilton plant and the company promised to employ an average of 3,105 workers (2,790 if the bar mill was sold) and increase production by 10 per cent to 4.35 million tons a year.

That agreement was made before the 2008 collapse of the North American economy. Within a year of signing the deal, U.S. Steel had shut down its Canadian operations and laid off 2,190 workers. In August of last year it locked out the entire workforce of the Lake Erie plant to back up its demand for a two-tiered pension system that gives new hires a pension vulnerable to shifts in the investment markets. Veteran staff got to keep the defined benefit scheme. The same issue is now a major stumbling block in negotiations with Hamilton workers.

The Canadian government responded with a lawsuit seeking financial penalties now estimated to be about $15 million. Interventions by Welland-based Lakeside Steel could mean a forced sale of the company. The United Steelworkers have also intervened, seeking lost wages.

While the federal lawsuit makes its snail-like journey through the courts, workers in Hamilton wonder if their fate is to be the "second team" of U.S. Steel, called into play only when steel prices are high and the company's American plants are at capacity.

Today, those factories are operating at about 70 per cent.

Hamilton Spectator

 

Updates -  October 11

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  October 11

On this day in 1923, the HENRY STEINBRENNER, of 1901, collided with the J. McCARTNEY KENNEDY at 4:20 p.m. off 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.

 

Port Reports -  October 10

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. - Wendell Wilke
American Courage remains in layup, and the tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes are in temporary layup at the channel wall dock. The tug Invincible and McKee Sons are at Berth 9 and the research vessel Lake Guardian is on the dry dock.

Green Bay, Wis. - Wendell Wilke
Saturday the tug Prentiss Brown and barge St. Marys Conquest were at the St. Marys Cement dock unloading. Mid-afternoon the Maumee was downbound in the Fox River, heading for Georgia Pacific.

Indiana Harbor, Ind.
American Spirit arrived at ArcelorMittal mid-morning Saturday to unload taconite. Wilfred Sykes was unloading limestone at two different docks within the Mittal works, and was scheduled to load slag for Grand Haven, Mich., once the unload was completed.

St. Clair, Mich. - Ryan Melon
The Ohio-based Jet Express II stopped at the St. Clair Inn Saturday; the high-speed ferry was on a special sightseeing cruise through the river system starting from Port Clinton, Ohio. The catamaran hull does not throw off a large wake, so she was exempt from the speed limit normally observed in the rivers. She was noted running in the 30 -knot range entering Lake St. Clair.

 

Updates -  October 10

News Photo Gallery
News Photo Gallery II
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  October 10

On this day in 1891, the SUSAN E. PECK collided with the schooner GEORGE W. ADAMS above the Soo Locks. The PECK, loaded with wheat for Buffalo, sank in a matter of minutes and completely blocked the navigation channel. 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.

 

Port Reports -  October 9

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Presque Isle was at the DMIR ore dock overnight Thursday into Friday morning unloading limestone. Quebecois was unloading cement Friday at St. Lawrence Cement, BBC Volga was unloading wind turbine components at the Duluth port terminal and Eemsborg was loading at General Mills elevator in Duluth. Buffalo and Edwin H. Gott were due late in the evening.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
On Monday the Maumee called on the Saginaw River, traveling up to the Wirt Stone dock in Saginaw to unload. Thursday saw the arrival of the Michipicoten, for a rare visit, calling at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City, followed by the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr., calling on the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville. Both vessels were outbound later in the day Thursday. Friday saw the tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber call on the Saginaw River with a split load. The pair lightered at the Bay City Wirt stone dock before continuing upriver to finish at the Saginaw Wirt stone dock. They were expected to be outbound late Friday night.

With September in the books, the vessel passages are still down from both last season and long term. There were 16 commercial vessel passages in September, seven less than the same time frame in 2009. Looking at the past six years, the average for the month is 29 vessels, so the Saginaw River is down 13 passages verses the average. Looking at the year to date, there have been only 102 commercial vessel passages in 2010. This is down 17 passages for the same time period last season and 71 less vessels based on the long term average for the end of September. Hopefully we will start to see a fall rush this season, but supplies on the docks look pretty well full for this time of year.

St. Clair River -
Friday's traffic on the St. Clair River included the salties Flinterstream and Heloise downbound in the early afternoon, while upbound was American Century followed closely astern by the Frontenac. Gordon C. Leitch was also downbound in the mid-afternoon hours after loading from the Cargill Grain Elevator in Sarnia. She is now heading to Quebec City to unload. Late afternoon the Paul R. Tregurtha was upbound followed later by the tug and barge John Spence and Niagara Spirit. In Sarnia, Calumet remains laid-up at Sarnia's North Slip at the North End of the Dock.

Toledo, Ohio - Jim Hoffman
The Barbro was loading grain at the ADM Elevator Firday, tug G. L. Ostrander and barge Integrity were at the Lafarge Dock unloading cement. The tug Cleveland with the barge Cleveland Rocks were at the Ironhead Shipyard. The tug Mary E. Hannah with the barge A-410 were at the BP Dock loading cargo. the Federal Rhine, Federal Katsura, and the tug Salvor with the barge Lambert Spirit were unloading cargo at the Midwest Terminal Overseas Dock. The next scheduled coal boats due in at the CSX Docks will be the Algosoo on Saturday, H. Lee White Sunday, Robert S. Pierson Monday, Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin and Calumet on Wednesday followed by the John J. Boland, Michipicoten, and Saginaw on Thursday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Dock will be the Algosoo on Saturday, Herbert C. Jackson Sunday, CSL Niagara Tuesday followed by the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin on Wednesday. The next scheduled stone boat due in at the Midwest Stone Dock will be the Algoway on Tuesday. The tug Kurt Luedtke and related dredging equipment continue to dredge the ship channel several miles north of the Torco Dock. The tug Kathy Lynn and related dredging equipment continue to dredge the ship channel across from the CSX Coal Docks.

Halifax, N.S. - Mac Mackay
Algoma Discovery became a Canadian ship on Friday. The ship arrived in Halifax on Thursday and tied up at pier 31 for the change over from the Bahamas flag. She is now registered in St. Catharines and will soon join Algoma Guardian, which was reflagged to Canada in Halifax earlier in the year.

 

Coast Guard continues oil spill cleanup in Cheboygan, Mich.

10/9 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – The Coast Guard is continuing cleanup efforts in Duncan Bay, Mich., today, three days after officials were notified of a heavily oiled beach in Cheboygan State Park.

Three large ground water monitoring wells were dug Friday morning in the area where the oil originally impacted the beach. The wells were placed on the beach to ensure the beach area is clean. The water will be tested throughout the week to ensure the health of the public is protected.

The cause of the spill is still under investigation.

The Coast Guard is carefully monitoring the Duncan Bay area with shoreline assessment teams to ensure the area is safe and there is no additional oil that warrants cleanup.

The cleanup effort is 90% complete, and the Coast Guard is working to ensure Cheboygan State Park is made available to beach goers, fishermen and duck hunters once again. The beach is used frequently in the spring, summer and fall months for outdoor recreational activities.

A safety zone, which was put in place Thursday to protect the public from the spill, was lifted as the cleanup effort has been successful and moved quickly.

 

Updates -  October 9

News Photo Gallery (we are behind on the updates, please continue to send in your pictures)
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  October 9

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. AFRICA broke up in the storm, all 11 of her crew were lost. SEVERN went ashore near Bradley Harbour and broke up. The crew were rescued by a fish tug from Stokes Bay.

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

 

U.S.-Flag Laker Cargos Up Almost 34 Percent in September

10/8 - Cleveland - U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) carried 9,370,979 net tons of cargo in September, a decrease of 6.3 percent from August, but an increase of 33.7 percent compared to a year ago.

This Septembers float was, however, 10.8 percent below the months 5-year average.

Iron ore cargos in September increased 81 compared to a year ago. Coal loadings were up 17.5 percent. Limestone cargos increased 11.4 percent.

Year-to-date U.S.-flag cargos stand at 62,815,403 net tons, an increase of 47.5 percent compared to a year ago, but 9 percent behind the 5-year average for the first three quarters of the year. Iron ore cargos are up 113 percent. Coal is 8 percent ahead of last years pace. Limestone cargos are up 28 percent.

Lake Carriers' Association

 

Port Reports -  October 8

Marquette and Munising, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Traffic on a busy Thursday evening at the Upper Harbor included Manitowoc loading ore and Mesabi Miner unloading coal. Herbert C. Jackson was at anchor waiting for a clear dock. Earlier in the day, Manitowoc unloaded coal in Munising.

St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, Mich. - Herm Phillips
Activity at St. Joseph and Benton Harbor has been busy lately. Wednesday morning the Cuyahoga was in followed on Thursday morning by the Mississagi, who was unloading at the Ireland and Lester dock while fleetmate Maumee waited outside the piers. Around noon Mississagi departed and the Maumee proceeded to the Consumers dock to unload. Maumee departed in the afternoon bound for KCBX South Chicago.

 

Coast Guard continues oil spill cleanup in Cheboygan

10/8 - Cheboygan, Mich. - Pollution investigators and marine inspectors from U.S. Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., continued to respond Thursday to the scene of an oiled beach at Cheboygan State Park in Cheboygan.

Contracted cleanup crews are on scene, and affected areas of the beach remained closed to safeguard the public.

Thursday afternoon six barrels, totaling about 80 percent of contaminated sand, had been removed from the beach. Workers have also removed 20-30 bags of oiled debris.

The original area of contaminated beach was estimated to be 25 by 300 yards. According to pollution investigators, the substance appears to be weathered/used heavy oil.

A Coast Guard Auxiliary aircrew, flying out of Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Mich., conducted an overflight of the affected area at 9 a.m. and showed no visible sheen or signs of further discharged oil in the water. The Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay is enforcing a safety zone in Duncan Bay to protect the public.

“We are pleased with the progress of the cleanup,” said Capt. Joseph McGuiness, the federal on-scene coordinator and commander of Sector Sault Ste. Marie. “The spill should not have happened in the first place.”

The cleanup is moving smoothly and swiftly due to the multi-agency cooperative effort of National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Cheboygan State Park Service, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, and the Environmental Protection Agency, said McGuinness.

 

Fall brings increased marine freight movement in Thunder Bay

10/8 - Northern Ontario Business staff - Shipping and freight passing through the Port of Thunder Bay increased slightly in September over the monthly totals recorded last year.

Cargo statistics recorded by the Thunder Bay Port Authority show 541,297 tonnes came over the docks last month. It's an improvement over the 525,694 records posted in September 2009. Grain cargoes moved in September alone are down with 371,812 tonnes compared to 375,978 tonnes posted during the same month last year. But coal cargoes for September edged up to 130,812 tonnes, compared to 101,336 tonnes last year.

Overall, cargo statistics for 2010 through to the end of September are down from last year's cumulative totals.

This year's numbers show 4,428,415 tonnes through the port since January, down from 4,783,329 tonnes during the first nine months of last year.

Grain and coal are the primary products that move through the Lake Superior port followed by potash, dry bulk, liquid bulk and various general cargoes that move through Keefer Terminal.

Western Canada potash cargoes have more than doubled this year with 210,160 tonnes moved up to Sept. 30 compared to 103,580 tonnes during the first nine months of 2009.

Overall vessel numbers in the port have also dipped from 250 recorded through through September of 2009, to 239 ships so far this year.

 

Seaway Marine gets $6 million repair contract

10/8 - Seaway Marine and Industrial Inc. has clinched a major contract to refit the Canadian Coast Guard ship Cape Roger.

The work, estimated at $6 million, will sustain jobs for more than 80 workers at the Port Weller shipyard.

A Friday release from parent company Upper Lakes Marine and Industrial Inc, said Seaway Marine won by a narrow margin over shipyards in Quebec and Atlantic provinces.

"We're certainly proving that we can be competitive against any of the yards in Canada, because we're winning these contracts," said John Dewar, a vice president with Upper Lakes.

Cape Roger arrived Friday and is scheduled to be delivered back to the Coast Guard by mid-March.

The ship was built in 1977 in Pictou, N.S. and modernized in 1996.

It is currently used for search-and-rescue operations and fisheries patrol in Newfoundland and Labrador.

It will undergo replacements or updates to its helicopter, bow-thruster, galley structure, alarm and monitoring systems and many auxiliary machinery systems.

Cape Roger will enter its dry dock on Wednesday and remain there until the middle of December.

It will then be refloated and taken below Lock 1 to complete the project so the dry docks are available for commercial work on the laker fleet.

Canal Marine and Industrial another Upper Lakes company in St. Catharines will be doing the electrical work.

The contract follows a $1 million refit of the Canadian Coast Guard ship Martha L. Black by Seaway Marine between the middle of July and September.

The Coast Guard ship Samuel L. Risley was also at the dry docks earlier this summer for repair work after grounding.

St. Catharines Standard

 

Special showing of November Requiem scheduled for Saturday

10/8 - The Rogers City Community Development Authority (CDA) is hosting a special showing of the Emmy Award winning documentary November Requiem on Saturday at the Rogers City Theater beginning at 7:30 p.m.

November Requiem tells the story of the ill-fated Carl D. Bradley, a limestone freighter lost on Nov. 18, 1958 to a fierce Lake Michigan Storm. Of the 33 men who perished aboard the ship, 23 of them came from a single northern Michigan community, Rogers City. The film tells the story of the maritime tragedy from the perspective of the towns families and the entire community struck down by tragedy on that night.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  October 8

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.

On October 8, 2000 the tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 departed Calumet Harbor loaded with pig iron for Marinette, WI. under favorable conditions and were later caught by the heavy weather. During the storm the 5,000 tons of pig iron and the barge's four pieces of heavy loading equipment were washed into Lake Michigan. Both the tug and barge suffered damage in the incident.

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

 

Coast Guard responds to oil on beach at Cheboygan

10/7 - Cleveland, Ohio - Pollution investigators and marine inspectors from Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., responded Wednesday at the scene of an oiled beach at Cheboygan State Park in Cheboygan, Mich., and a sheen in Duncan Bay reported to the Coast Guard Tuesday.

Contracted cleanup crews were en route, and state park rangers have closed off affected areas of the beach to safeguard the public.

Marine Pollution Control, the contracted oil spill response organization, and Sector Sault Ste. Marie's response trailer were expected to be on scene Wednesday to begin cleanup operations.

The area of contaminated beach is estimated to be 25 by 300 yards. According to pollution investigators, the substance appears to be weathered/used heavy oil.

An aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Mich., conducted an overflight of the affected area at about 7 p.m. and was scheduled to perform another at first light Wednesday. The sheen in Duncan Bay was reported to be about 5 by 300 yards.

There are two vessels in the vicinity, one anchored and one aground. Investigators plan to take samples from both vessels to determine if either is the source of the discharge.

Wednesday the St. Ignace Based Cutter Biscayne Bay was anchored near the entrance to the bay to enforce a safety zone. The only vessels allowed in the bay are those that are going to or coming from the Duncan Bay Boat Club.

This is in the same area that the tug Jenny Lynn remains sunken along with the former William Hoey and the grounded Boise Blanc Island ferry.

The cause of the pollution is under investigation.

Brent Michaels and USCG

 

Port Reports -  October 7

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
After loading ore during the night, Saginaw departed the Upper Harbor at sunrise on Wednesday. Charles M. Beeghly was expected later in the afternoon.

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
Tuesday afternoon the St. Mary's Challenger came in with a load of cement for the St. Mary's Terminal in Ferrysburg. It departed by morning. About 5 p.m. Wednesday the Wilfred Sykes delivered a load of slag to Verplank's dock in Ferrysburg. It departed Wednesday evening.

Toledo, Ohio - Jim Hoffman
The Manistee finished unloading cargo at the Kuhlman Dock and departed early Wednesday morning, she was bound for Marblehead, Ohio to load a stone cargo. The Federal Ems was at the ADM Elevator loading grain. The Federal Katsura and Federal Rhine were at the Midwest Terminal Overseas Dock unloading cargo. The Robert S. Pierson was unloading stone at the Midwest Stone Dock. The next scheduled coal boats due in at the CSX Dock will be the Canadian Olympic on Thursday and Algosoo on Friday. The H. Lee White was rescheduled to load coal on Sunday, followed by the Robert S. Pierson and CSL Laurentien on Monday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock will be the Algosoo on Friday, Herbert C. Jackson on Sunday, Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin on Tuesday, followed by the CSL Niagara on Wednesday. The next scheduled stone boat due into the Midwest Stone Dock will be the Algoway on Monday.

Hamilton, Ont. - Eric Holmes
Wednesday the Captain Henry Jackman departed at 6 a.m. for Goderich. Hamilton Energy arrived at 9 a.m. after bunkering in Port Weller. John B Aird departed at 10:30 a.m. for Two Harbors. The schooner Kajama arrived from Toronto at 12 noon for the Heddle Marine dry dock. The tugs Omni Richileau and LaPrairie departed at 5:30 p.m. Tug William J Moore and barge McLeary's Spirit departed at 5:30 p.m. in ballast for Quebec City. Tug John Spence and barge Niagara Spirit departed at 7 p.m. for the canal.

 

Panel wants options for raising Great Lakes levels

10/7 - The U.S. and Canadian board that oversees Great Lakes issues has rejected a recommendation from a group of scientists to just learn to live with artificially low water levels caused by dredging on the St. Clair River near Detroit.

The International Joint Commission instead wants the board of experts that evaluated the causes behind the low water levels in Lakes Michigan and Huron to recommend options for raising lake levels - perhaps by as much as 20 inches.

The Joint Commission's International Upper Great Lakes Study Board released a report last year that said the water loss caused by dredging was not significant enough to explore some type of restoration project. The river channel was last dredged in the early '60s as part of the St. Lawrence Seaway project to allow freighters to sail into the upper Great Lakes.

Then the Joint Commission got an earful from residents around the region during a series of public hearings.

"Basically, it's in response to the public comments," Joint Commission spokesman Frank Bevacqua said of Tuesday's announcement to explore some type of restoration project on the St. Clair River, which connects the upper lakes to downstream Lakes Erie and Ontario.

Those comments flowed in after the Study Board concluded that the 1960s St. Clair dredging project permanently lowered the lakes' long-term average by about 4 to 5 inches.

That 4- to 5-inch-drop is in addition to an estimated 16-inch loss tied to previous dredging and mining projects on the St. Clair River.

What do those numbers mean?

Go down to the shore of Lake Michigan today and it is as much as 21 inches lower than it would be had no dredging occurred on the St. Clair.

And how much water is that?

The City of Chicago takes 2.1 billion gallons from Lake Michigan each day, and that has caused a 2-inch drop in Lakes Michigan and Huron.

Study was limited

In their recommendation to do nothing about the water loss, leaders of the Study Board pointed out that they were told by the Joint Commission to look only at the water loss tied to the 1960s dredging, and that 4 to 5 inches "wasn't a significant enough amount" to warrant some kind of fix.

The Study Board also concluded that climate change was likely a bigger driver in lower lake levels.

Joint Commission member Sam Speck said Tuesday that the commission doesn't disagree with the scientific conclusions of the Study Board.

"We're simply saying, perhaps we need to look more broadly at what might be appropriately done to address this water loss," he said.

The Joint Commission is asking the Study Board to explore the consequences of raising the lakes' average levels under four different scenarios: 10 centimeters (3.9 inches); 25 centimeters (9.8 inches); 40 centimeters (15.7 inches); and 50 centimeters (19.7 inches).

Speck said the Joint Commission wants the Study Board to also begin to look at what type of structure would be needed to recapture the lost water. Some solutions offered during the public hearings this year included underwater turbines or inflatable devices that could throttle flows in low water years and allow for increased conveyance during high water years.

"The Commission looks forward to hearing from the Study Board how different measures might affect flow regime and whether such measures might potentially achieve the restoration scenarios," the Joint Commission wrote to the Study Board in an Aug. 17 letter.

"This is essentially a preliminary look," Speck said Tuesday. "Depending on what the recommendations are, it will take considerably more follow-up before any direct action will be taken."

The erosion issue first surfaced after a Canadian shorefront property owners group, worried about persistently low water levels, hired an engineering firm. Its 2004 study claimed the 1960s dredging project had scraped away a hard river bottom and that, in turn, unleashed an uncontrollable - and ongoing - riverbed erosion problem that was essentially draining the lakes.

The Joint Commission responded by hiring the Study Board to explore that theory and, if needed, look into what it might take to restore water levels.

The Study Board ultimately found that the dredging did lower lake levels, but it said it uncovered no evidence of ongoing erosion.

The Study Board said at the time it released those findings that it might recommend some type of structure on the St. Clair, depending on what the second phase of the study revealed. That phase, now ongoing, is looking at expected impacts of climate change on the lakes, as well as water level issues on Lake Superior.

Not waiting

Speck said the Joint Commission decided it doesn't need to wait for the results of that study.

"It's good news," said Mike Murray, staff scientist for the National Wildlife Federation.

Murray said his group hasn't reached a conclusion as to whether a restoration project on the St. Clair is a good idea, but the water level situation is alarming enough to begin exploring its pros and cons.

Any project to capture more water for Michigan and Huron would have obvious downstream consequences for Lakes Erie and Ontario.

It might also be problematic if lake levels rebound. Michigan and Huron have historically fluctuated by as much as 6 feet, and if some type of permanent structure were installed in the river, it could cause big problems for lakeside cities such as Milwaukee and Chicago if water levels again climb toward record levels.

"We've said from the start, you need to be careful - you need to consider both the upstream and downstream impacts, and it seems like the (Joint Commission) directive recognizes that," Murray said.

The Canadian property owners who first called on the Joint Commission to look into the issue said they were also encouraged by Tuesday's announcement, though they are not expecting any bulldozers to show up on the banks of the St. Clair River anytime soon.

"We're not waving the flag in the air saying we're getting remediation. We are in a process that is getting us closer to that," said David Sweetnam, executive director of Georgian Bay Forever.

He also said a river restoration project must be accomplished in a manner that is sensitive to how it affects others on the lakes.

"If we're going to have success, we're going to have to have consensus, and the main message we want to get across is that we want some type of result that won't give us high-high water levels or low-low water levels," he said. "There is a happy median there."

Of course, that happy place depends on where you live on the lakes, and what you value them for.

Some conservation groups fear any dam-like structure could ultimately result in the lakes being managed for economic rather than ecological benefits.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 

Updates -  October 7

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  October 7

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.

 

Algoisle heads for scrapping

10/6 - Montreal - Algoisle departed Montreal under tow of the Ionion Pelagos bound for scrapping in Aliaga, Turkey. The tow expects to arrive around November 10. The name of Algoisle was cover by paint and a white strip was added on the bow at the water line in case the vessel takes on water. The logo on stack were covered by black paint. Tug Vigilant 1 was the steering tug on the stern.

Kent Malo and Michel St-Denis

 

Port Reports -  October 6

Marinette, Wis. - Dick Lund
The Federal Miramichi entered the Menominee River around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. The ship was loaded with pig iron for Marinette Fuel & Dock. This is the first large load of pig iron to arrive at the dock since the Rosaire A. Desgagnes in May 2009. All other pig iron loads have been handled by the Pere Marquette 41 and the smaller Desgagnes ships (Catherine, Amelia, and Melissa). The Federal Miramichi was assisted into port by two G-Tugs from of Green Bay, the Texas and Indiana.
Marinette Fuel & Dock had to do a quick clean-up of the dock area, as the Catherine Desgagnes was at the dock Monday and the pig iron they delivered had to be removed to the storage piles at the facility before the Federal Miramichi arrived early Tuesday morning.

Toledo, Ohio - Jim Hoffman
The Manitowoc finished loading coal at the CSX Dock and departed Tuesday morning. Shortly afterwards the Great Lakes Trader arrived at the CSX Docks to load coal. The Trader finished loading coal and departed during the late afternoon. The Maritime Trader finished loading grain at the ADM Elevator and departed during the early afternoon. Meanwhile the Federal Ems was inbound Toledo Ship Channel bound for the ADM Elevator to load grain. The Federal Katsura was at the Midwest Terminal Overseas Dock unloading cargo. The USCGC Bristol Bay with her barge were docked near the Lafarge Cement Dock. The tug Cleveland and barge Cleveland Rocks were at Ironhead Shipyard. The tug is docked at the riverfront dock area of the yard while the barge is docked in the small slip between the Shipyard and the old Interlake Dock. Speculation has the two units up for sale to a potential buyer. The tug Kurt Luedtke and related dredging equipment were dredging the ship channel in Maumee Bay several miles north of the Torco Dock. The tug Kathy Lynn and related dredging equipment were dredging the ship channel in Maumee Bay between the CSX and Torco Ore Dock. The tug Prairieland and related dredging equipment were dredging the main slip at the CSX Docks when there are no boats loading coal. The Federal Rhine was inbound Toledo Ship Channel late Tuesday evening. unknown which docksite she is bound for. The next scheduled coal boats due into the CSX Docks will be the H. Lee White on Wednesday,followed by the Canadian Olympic on Thursday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco dock will be the Algosoo on Friday. The Herbert C. Jackson on Sunday, followed by the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin and CSL Niagara on Monday. The next scheduled stone boats due into the Midwest Terminal Stone dock will be the Robert S. Pierson on Wednesday followed by the Algoway on Monday.

Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
The H. Lee White departed Buffalo at 8 p.m. Tuesday in ballast and bound for Toledo.

Hamilton, Ont. - Eric Holmes
Tuesday the tug Avenger IV and barge departed at 11 a.m. for the canal. Algolake arrived at 12:30 p.m. with coal from Sandusky for Dofasco. Hamilton Energy arrived at 2:30 p.m. after bunkering in Toronto. Captain Henry Jackman arrived at 6:15 pm. with iron ore pellets from Duluth for Dofasco. Algocape departed at 6:15 p.m. from Dofasco for Goderich. The tug William J Moore and barge McLeary's Spirit arrived at 6:30 p.m. with jet fuel from Quebec City for Pier II.

 

Fuel to be drained from grounded tug in Lake Michigan

10/6 - Chicago, Ill. - A tugboat that ran aground on rocks about 100 yards off the coast of Glencoe, Ill. Saturday is no longer leaking fuel, but about 2,000 gallons must be removed from the vessel, officials said.

Three crew members from the tugboat were rescued by helicopter Saturday when the boat and two barges became lodged against the rocks and took on water north of Chicago, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Waves that day in Lake Michigan were about nine feet, according to Glencoe officials. No crew members were on the barges, which are used to hold construction materials.

The amount of fuel spilled into Lake Michigan is not known at this time, but it was a "minor leak" said Glencoe's Deputy Police and Fire Chief Alan Kebby. He said there are no environmental concerns at this time. Officials had previously estimated that the tug boat held 3,500 gallons of fuel, but that estimate has since been reduced.

"So far our water system hasn't been compromised and it's being closely monitored," Kebby said.

High winds and eight-foot waves delayed the cleanup until today. After the fuel has been removed, cranes will raise the ships off the rocks, officials said. That process will be completed in the next few days.

Chicago Breaking News Center

 

New tariff-free ships seen as Prairie farmers' gain

10/6 - A federal decision to remove a 25 per cent tariff on new foreign-built vessels is expected to help Prairie grain growers maintain their ready access to the St. Lawrence Seaway.

While ripped by others as potentially harmful to Canada's shipbuilding sector, the government's decision, announced Friday, "has made the purchase of new lakers more economically feasible," Canadian Wheat Board CEO Ian White said in a release.

About 75 per cent of CWB grain exports through the St. Lawrence port region arrive at transfer elevators on laker vessels, the board said.

A typical laker can haul 26,000 tonnes of wheat, about the same capacity as 300 rail cars, the CWB said. "New lakers in Canada's fleet will help to ensure that farmers continue to have access to this important transportation corridor."

The St. Lawrence, White said, is "a strategic gateway for Prairie farmers sending their grain to markets in Europe, Africa and South America."

According to Bruce Bowie, CEO of the Canadian Shipowners Association, Canada's shipping fleet is aging, "and as we approached the need for vessel replacement, it was clear that the 25 per cent duty had become a huge impediment to fleet renewal."

Duty removal, the Ottawa-based association said in its own release, "will encourage new marine transportation initiatives in Canada to take advantage of the underutilized marine highway and relieve congestion currently experienced on ground-based modes of transport."

According to federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty on Friday, the new duty remission framework will lower costs by waiving the tariff on imports of all general cargo vessels and tankers, as well as ferries longer than 129 metres.

Remitting the tariff is expected to save shipowners $25 million per year over the next 10 years, the government said.

"Further rationalization"

As well, Flaherty said in his release, "numerous stakeholders," including ag industry representatives, noted during public consultations last year that the duty costs on imported vessels are passed on to Canadian producers and users through increased shipping rates.

In public consultations last year, the government said, proposed duty relief received support from provincial governments, marine industry associations, vessel operators, port authorities and representatives of the energy, agriculture and steel industries, among others.

The move was telegraphed in March in Flaherty's budget, which called for eliminating "all remaining tariffs" on manufacturing inputs and machinery and equipment being imported into Canada, with most tariffs to be removed that month and some to be gradually eliminated by Jan. 1, 2015.

But the federal NDP's shipbuilding critic, Nova Scotia MP Peter Stoffer, on Monday blasted the government's move as "a reckless and irresponsible decision which can only hurt Canada`s long-term interest in maintaining a vibrant and independent capacity for shipbuilding with the high-quality job(s) and expert services that it creates."

Stoffer said the domestic industry could be further developed to build "competitively-priced" domestic cargo vessels, tankers and ferries.

"I fear that this decision will lead to the further rationalization of the industry, meaning that only select regional shipyards will remain viable," he said.

Farm Business Communications

 

Port of Oswego Hangs in the Balance

10/6 - Washington, D.C. – The Port of Oswego Authority could be forced to close if New York moves forward to enforce unworkable rules governing the treatment of ballast water carried by commercial vessels on the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Local government officials and marine industry executives met in Oswego for a tour of the Port facility and to hear remarks from the Port Executive Director and the Administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation. They addressed the onerous new regulations, which would effectively block maritime commerce from transiting the St. Lawrence Seaway, cutting off access to/from U.S. and Canadian ports on the Great Lakes.

The rules require that by January 1, 2012, commercial vessels operating in New York waters must have ballast water treatment equipment that can meet a water quality standard 100 times greater than that established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), an agency of the United Nations. Additionally, vessels constructed after January 1, 2013, must have equipment that meets a standard 1000 times higher than international standards. No technology exists anywhere in the world to achieve this goal.

These regulations inexplicably apply to all ships whether or not they discharge ballast water. The marine industry has collaborated with the U.S. and Canadian governments to ensure strong protections against the introduction of invasive species. All vessels entering the Great Lakes region must comply with the most stringent ballast management regulations in the world. Foreign vessels are required to pump out their ballast water while still at sea and flush any empty tanks with ocean water.

Since these rules were put in place in 2006, there have been no new discoveries of aquatic nuisance species entering the Great Lakes via ballast water.

Jonathan Daniels, executive director of the Port of Oswego Authority, said: “As the first U.S. port of call on the Great Lakes, the implications of these standards are disastrous. The Port directly employs 100 people and has a wider annual economic impact of more than $6 million.”

Daniels continued: “The Port of Oswego is one of the most productive ports in North America with nearly 150 vessels and more than 1.1 million tons of cargo moving through the Port on an annual basis. Thirteen companies depend on the Port as part of their domestic and international logistics chain. International clients and cargoes span the globe from Brazil and the Netherlands, to Russia and Indonesia. The thought of closing the port because our home state issued these regulations is inconceivable.”

Terry Johnson, administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, concurs, “The benefits of the Port of Oswego cannot be taken for granted. After 400 years as a center of trade, commerce into and out of this port is going to come to an end in just 15 months.”

“As the people of Oswego and central New York struggle to pull out of the recession, create jobs, and support their families, it is unfortunate that the NY Department of Environmental Conservation is working against them. I call on the State of New York to rescind these foolish regulations and work cooperatively with other Great Lakes states and the federal government to protect the environment without crashing the economy and putting more Americans out of work.”

Marine Delivers

 

Seaway Notice no. 11 AIS water level data transmission

10/6 - The Seaway announced Tuesday the in support of vessels using a draft optimization tool, the water level data being transmitted via AIS will be based on actual readings, as currently done, or based on readings of adjacent sensors, in the event of problems with the primary sensor. The AIS water level message type will display ‘act0’ when the level is from the primary sensor and ‘est1’ when the level is estimated using data from adjacent sensors. The AIS version message has been changed to 4.1 from 4.0 to reflect this modification.

 

Updates -  October 6

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  October 6

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.

 

Port Reports -  October 5

Toledo, Ohio - Jim Hoffman
On Monday the CSL Assiniboine was loading grain at Anderson's K Elevator and the Maritime Trader was at the ADM Elevator loading grain. The tug Cleveland and barge Cleveland Rocks were at the Ironhead Shipyard, USCG Bristol Bay and barge were docked near the Lafarge Cement Dock. The next scheduled coal boats due in at the CSX Docks will be the CSL Laurentien late Monday evening. The Manitowoc and Great Lakes Trader due in Tuesday. The H. Lee White due in on Wednesday followed by the Canadian Olympic on Thursday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Dock will be the Algosoo on Saturday followed by the Herbert C. Jackson. The next scheduled stone boat due into the Midwest Stone Dock will be the Algomarine on Tuesday.

Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
Manistee unloaded sand in Buffalo early Monday. It arrived at 11:30 p.m. Sunday night and departed at 6:45 a.m. Monday morning. A few more loads are expected this year.

Montreal -
The Algoisle is expected to be towed from port Tuesday by the tugs Ionion Pelagos and Vigilant 1. This the last of the three vessel to be towed from Sec. 56, More lakers are expected to be scrapped now that the Canadian Government dropped a 25% duty on foreign built ships.

 

Seaway fell short of expectations

10/5 - Undersized, underused and under fire for unleashing an onslaught of devastating biological pollution into the Great Lakes, the Seaway could reverse its declining relevance if it were to reposition itself as a modern nautical highway to move goods regionally.

That would require promoting new cargo flows in the elaborate system of locks, dams and channels that tamed the tumbling St. Lawrence River so ocean freighters could sail upriver, around Niagara Falls, and into the upper Great Lakes.

The original idea behind the Seaway when it opened in 1959 was to provide a direct nautical link between the Great Lakes and cities around the globe so places such as Milwaukee and Duluth, Minn., could blossom into booming international ports.

It didn't work out.

One big reason is the Seaway locks were built too small to accommodate the world's modern freighter fleet. The Panama Canal was already a half-century old when Seaway construction started in 1955, but the designers opted to build the Seaway locks to match the size of the much smaller Welland Canal, which opened as a bypass around Niagara Falls in 1932.

The Panama Canal locks are 1,000 feet long, whereas the Seaway locks are 766 feet long.

It also doesn't help that the Seaway closes down for about three months each winter because of ice - a huge competitive disadvantage compared with rail and trucks for businesses that need year-round service.

The result is that overseas shipping in the Great Lakes today is a boutique industry that relies on a fleet of pre-World War II-sized ships known as "salties," that typically bring in foreign steel and haul out Canadian and U.S. grain.

While shipping within the Great Lakes and along the St. Lawrence Seaway remains a critical component of the region's economy - historically hauling more than 200 million tons of cargo a year - the overwhelming majority of that cargo is carried on a fleet of Great Lakes vessels that never sail across the ocean.

Those local "lakers" haul mostly ore, stone and coal between regional ports.

The overseas salties account for just a sliver of Great Lakes shipping; last year they hauled just over 5 million tons. They hauled 6.8 million tons the year before and an average of about 10.7 million tons a year since 2000.

Yet it is this handful of ships traveling into the lakes from overseas ports that are responsible for the majority of Great Lakes species invasions - and the billions of dollars in damage they've caused - in recent decades.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley sees opening the Great Lakes to overseas vessels as a failed experiment.

"Everybody thought access to the sea was so important for global cities," he says. "But access to the world is through technology and through airports. It's not water."

There could be a brighter future for the Seaway.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers acknowledges the Great Lakes shipping industry is at a "tipping point," and that it will "either flounder or flourish in the next several decades."

For it to flourish, the Corps says, the Seaway is going to have to develop new markets.

There should be plenty of opportunities; the Corps reports that truck and rail traffic in the region is expected to double by 2050, and it says that opens the door to moving more cargo on ships sailing between Great Lakes ports. The Corps also suggests that the vastly under-utilized Seaway could be developed as a nautical highway to transport cargo between the East Coast and Great Lakes.

The Corps specifically has its eye on using Seaway ships to bring in high-value finished goods unloaded from super-sized container ships at East Coast ports.

Containerized freight is a market the Seaway has been largely unable to tap because modern ocean-crossing container vessels are too big to even poke their bows into the Seaway locks.

That idea is not incompatible with a plan floated by conservation groups in 2007 to ban vessels sailing directly into the Great Lakes from foreign ports as an emergency measure to deal with the ballast problem.

The shipping industry scoffed.

But reinventing the Seaway in this manner might just offer salvation.

And it might deliver on the long-lost promise of the Seaway: to bring the world to Great Lakes ports.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 

Wet September brings Lake Superior up

10/5 - The level of Lake Superior rose a half-inch in September, a month the big lake usually goes down a half-inch, according to the International Lake Superior Board of Control.

Ample rainfall in September across most of the lake’s watershed helped reverse the usual seasonal trend and slightly reduced the lake’s current deficit. Superior sits 12 inches below its Oct. 1 average and eight inches below the Oct. 1 level from last year.

Meanwhile Lakes Michigan and Huron dropped their usual two inches in September and sit 13 inches below their Oct. 1 long-term average and seven inches below the Oct. 1 level last year.

Duluth News Tribune

 

Updates -  October 5

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  October 5

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.

Upbound with a load of limestone on Lake Superior on October 5, 1965, the PETER A B WIDENER reported broken steering gear and possible damage to steering mechanism and screw after encountered gale force winds and high waves near Isle Royale. Fleetmates HENRY PHIPPS and HENRY ROGERS responded to the vessel, and dumped oil on the 10-foot seas to calm them. The USCG WOODRUSH arrived from Duluth, and towed the vessel to Duluth.

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, John Decator, Jody Aho, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

U.S. Steel shuts down Hamilton operations

10/4 - U.S. Steel Canada is shutting down its Hamilton blast furnace indefinitely starting Monday, citing poor market conditions and slumping demand.

The Pittsburgh-based steel giant said the estimated 300 to 400 people affected will be shuffled to other parts of their steelmaking operations, including coke ovens and galvanizing lines.

The news has raised concerns that it’s another blow for the city’s once booming industry that gave it the moniker “steel town.”

Trevor Harris, a spokesperson for U.S. Steel Canada, formerly Stelco, said he didn’t know when operations would start up again. “I can’t speculate on when market conditions would improve enough to necessitate a restart,” he said.

Rolf Gerstenberger, president of the United Steelworkers Local 1005, raised concerns that Friday’s announcement has a familiar ring to it.

“In 2008 they did the same thing. They shut the blast furnace down on Oct. 26 and said they’re not laying anybody off, and then, three weeks later they started laying people off because you can only find so much busy work,” he said.

In addition, the company and unionized workers could be approaching a strike or lockout in the next month — something that has Gerstenberger questioning the timing of Friday’s announcement.

Talks have been going on since May, and, according the Gerstenberger, the company was supposed to be coming back to the table with a new proposal. But instead, last week, the company asked for a provincial conciliator — considered a last-ditch effort in negotiations.

Gerstenberger said he wouldn’t rule out the idea that the announcement is strategic. “They’ve got their official reason, they’re saying business is slow,” he said. “But they could do it to just pressure us, because they don’t want to negotiate.

“That’s what happens when you let foreign companies come in and take over,” he added, referring to the acquisition of Canadian company Stelco for more than $1 billion in 2007 by U.S. Steel. “It doesn’t matter what it means to the people in Hamilton or Canada.”

For their part, the steel magnate disagrees. “I think we’ve demonstrated a long-term commitment to the Canadian market,” said Harris, adding he cannot comment on current labour negotiations.

There’s also the task of actually shutting down a blast furnace, considered the heart of steel making. “The furnace is designed to run for 10 years without being cold idle,” said Gerstenberger, adding each time you shut down a blast furnace you risk permanent damage.

Harris said the company will be consulting with experts.

U.S. Steel is in the midst of a court battle with the federal government over promises it made under the Investment Canada Act when it acquired Stelco.

Ottawa says the company broke its production and employment undertakings when it idled most of its Canadian operations — which include the Hamilton plant and another facility in Nanticoke, Ont. — in early 2009.

The company doesn’t dispute that it broke two of the 31 promises it made. However, it said it was justified in doing so because the recession left it with no choice.

Christopher Bart, professor of strategy and governance at McMaster University, said U.S. Steel has been losing out to companies like Hamilton-based ArcelorMittal Dofasco in the last few years.

“It has been bad management and leadership that have brought them to this state,” he said.

Hamilton Spectator

 

Port Reports -  October 4

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Sunday at sunset, Robert S. Pierson arrived at the Upper Harbor to load ore.

 

Updates -  October 4

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  October 4

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.

 

Canadian Prospector scrap tow

10/3 - Montreal - After a long term lay-up at Montreal the tug Simon departed with the Canadian Prospector Friday morning at 6 a.m. for scrapping in Turkey. The name of Canadian Prospector was cover by paint and a white strip was added on the bow at the water line in case the vessel takes on water. The stack and logo were covered by black paint. It was a day with fog and heavy rain. Tug Vigilant 1 was the steering tug on the stern.

Michel St-Denis

 

Port Reports -  October 3

Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
English River departing about 7 p.m. Friday evening.

Hamilton, Ont. - Eric Holmes
Saturday the Canadian Navigator arrived at 6:30 a.m. Rebecca Lynn and barge arrived at 7:30 a.m. John D. Leitch departed at 7:30 a.m. for Nanticoke in ballast. John Spence and barge Niagara Spirit arrived at 9 p.m.

Rochester, N.Y. - Jake Vanreenen
Stephen B. Roman departed Rochester around 8 a.m. Saturday morning.

 

Canadian import duty on foreign-built ships sinks

10/3 - The Canadian Government removed the 25 per cent import duty on foreign-built cargo ships Friday, regarded as a major barrier standing in the way of Great Lakes shipowners renewing their fleets.

The waiver was announced by federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty in St. Catherines, Ontario. He said the move will save shipowners $25 million a year over the next decade.

The Canadian Shipowners Association and the Chamber of Marine Commerce had been waiting for the Cabinet decision to lift the duty since early this year, saying it inflates the cost of modernizing ageing Canadian fleets.

The industry reacted swiftly, saying the move "paves the way for an exciting new era of investment in the Great Lakes fleet... with wide-reaching economic and environmental benefits."

It has long argued the duty adds more than $10 million to the cost of an average Seaway-size ship built overseas - - the average age of a Canadian-flag ship operating in the Great Lakes region is 38 years.

It is not economic to build ships in Canada or operate them on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway trade because the tax increased hauling rates.

"Canadian shipping companies can now rebuild their ageing Great Lakes fleets with the newest state-of-the-art vessels being designed," said Gerry Carter, CEO of Montreal's Canada Steamship Lines, part of the CSL Group Inc., and operating 18 vessels on the Great Lakes-Seaway system. "The waiver will also help to reduce our environmental footprint and provide more jobs".

Allister Paterson, CEO of Seaway Marine Transport, operating 30 ships in the Great Lakes, said the import tax has stood in the way of new ship orders for three decades. Much of the Canadian fleet is nearing retirement and "the waiver will speed much-needed investment."

Bruce Bowie, president of the Canadian Shipowners Association, said new energy-efficient vessels will help shipowners compete with other modes of transportation and bring new business to the Great Lakes region.

"More than $10 million per new cargo ship will go back to business instead of going into government coffers and that spells more competitiveness, more jobs and ultimately lower costs to shippers and consumers," said Stephen Brooks, vice-president of the Chamber of Marine Commerce.

The industry says the adjoining eight U.S. states and two Canadian provinces host 100 million consumers, besides a variety of industries, and the region has a combined annual output of $4.3 trillion. Marine shipping provides a highly efficient route to and from these markets and it delivers the raw materials manufacturers need. About 200 million tonnes of cargo is traded annually on the Great Lakes-Seaway system.

The Montreal Gazette

 

Algoma President comments at press conference announcing duty removal

10/3 - Algoma President and CEO Greg Wight’s comments at press conference announcing new tariff measures for shipping and duty removal. Minister Flaherty’s announcement Friday regarding the elimination of the 25% import duty will go a very long way towards making fleet renewal a reality for Algoma Central Corporation and other Canadian vessel owners and operators, many of whom are represented here today.

Renewal of our fleet, which on average is over 36 years old, has been the number one priority for Algoma for several years.

Our joint project team has been working in conjunction with a leading vessel designer for almost two years to develop an innovative vessel design which when built, will result in a new series of vessels that will carry more cargo, at higher speeds and with improved fuel efficiency; resulting in significantly reduced emissions per tonne-mile of cargo moved. In short, these vessels will be considerably more efficient while at the same time they will have a significantly reduced environmental footprint.

We hope in the next few months to be able to announce the culmination of this significant effort with a sizable new vessel order of “next generation” Canadian flag bulk carriers. These ships would join the Seaway Marine Transport fleet, our domestic dry bulk vessel operating partnership with Upper Lakes Shipping.

This announcement is not only very important; it could not come at a more opportune time. Fleet renewal has become a critical issue for Canada’s marine transportation industry at a time when the demand for improved environmental efficiency has never been greater. Fleet renewal is necessary in order to maintain safe, reliable and efficient transportation services for the many industries and shippers that depend upon us to deliver their raw materials and finished products. These industries represent the foundation of our economy; steel, construction materials, agricultural products, energy and petroleum products. Fleet renewal will bring increased operating efficiency and improved environmental performance which not only better serves our customers but also better serves the needs of all who rely upon our shared waterways.

The vessel that you see outside is Algoma’s newest product tanker, the AlgoCanada. This vessel commenced operations in January, 2009. In addition to the added safety of its double hull, IMO II design and ice class capability, this ship includes state of the art technology and cargo handing capabilities and the latest environmental and safety features. Algoma searched the world for the best fit to meet these requirements and we found it offshore. When this ship came into Canada we were required to make a $7.6 million duty payment. This payment hurt the competitiveness of marine transportation in Canada and hurt our economy by raising the transportation cost for refined petroleum products. With today’s announcement this disadvantage will be corrected. Thank you Minister Flaherty. Fleet renewal will send a strong message to our employees and others that provide service to our industry that we are positioning ourselves to be a leader in environmental responsibility and sustainable transportation.

While Algoma and others continue to work on making fleet renewal a reality, with today’s announcement this job becomes a lot easier. This is a great day for the Canadian marine industry and its employees. I would like to thank the two industry associations, the Canadian Shipowners Association and the Chamber of Marine Commerce, who have worked diligently to tell our very compelling story. I would also like to thank the many stakeholders in the marine transportation

 

Toledo port hopes for top harvest after toxin in corn

10/3 - Months after a naturally occurring fungus put a damper on bulk grain sales from the port of Toledo, port officials say the infected grain is largely gone and they are preparing for what they hope will be a better harvest.

Vomitoxin was found in the corn harvested in the region a year ago during an unusually wet and cool harvest season. A naturally occurring mold known in corn as "Gibberella ear rot," vomitoxin can cause vomiting and more commonly a failure to feed in swine and poultry. As a result of the outbreak, grain shipments fell dramatically this year through the Port of Toledo. The port had shipped 264,835 tons of grain during the first eight months of 2010, down 44 percent from the same period a year ago.

But officials with the port's largest grain handler said the infected grain has been sold, and growing conditions this fall seem to point to a more promising crop.

"Last year's vomitoxin-impacted corn crop is substantially gone, consumed by processors and feeders in the U.S. and internationally that had the right circumstances to utilize the crop," said Joe Needham, vice president and general manager of grain for The Andersons Inc. "This year's corn crop appears to be unaffected by vomitoxin or other quality challenges, and is being harvested from the field at much lower moistures, which will enable farmers and elevators to handle it more quickly and for a longer time."

The fungus, which is prevalent in the Great Lakes region, presents some danger to humans and cattle, but most dramatically can affect the feeding of swine and some poultry, agricultural experts said.

While grain shipments remain lower from the region, the Port of Toledo itself has seen shipments rebound through the first eight months of 2010 to just under 6 million tons, up 28 percent over 2009 levels.

Most of that growth was concentrated in shipments of iron ore and coal, as opposed to agricultural products, port officials said.

Toledo Blade

 

Coast Guard rescues 3 after tugboat Kristin J. runs aground near Glencoe, Ill.

10/3 - Cleveland, Ohio – The U.S. Coast Guard rescued three people from the tugboat Kristin J. near Glencoe, Ill., at about 11:30 a.m., Oct. 2, 2010, after the tug, having run aground on Glencoe Shoal earlier in the day, began taking on water.

Rescue crews aboard an HH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Mich., were deployed after the Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan received a distress call via VHF-FM radio channel 16 at about 9 a.m.

The helicopter crew removed all three people from the vessel without incident and brought them safely to shore.

The crew of Kristin J. originally reported grounding the vessel at about 12:30 a.m., but were not in any danger until hours later when the vessel began taking on water.

There have been no reports of pollution from the tug. The vessel is not posing a threat to maritime navigation, and the crew is coordinating commercial salvage to recover it.

 

Updates -  October 3

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  October 3

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.

 

Toledo Update

10/2 - Toledo, Ohio The Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin finished loading grain at Anderson's K Elevator and departed early Friday morning. The Robert S. Pierson finished loading coal at the CSX Docks and departed that morning. Federal Miramichi arrived at the Midwest Terminal Overseas Dock Friday morning to unload cargo. It was a short unload time as she departed from this dock Friday afternoon. The Isolda was loading grain at ADM Elevator.

The American Republic finished her repairs and departed from the old Interlake Iron Dock Friday afternoon. The tug Cleveland with the barge Cleveland Rocks were at the Ironhead Shipyard. Friday evening the Calumet arrived at the Midwest Terminal Overseas Dock to unload cargo. Algowood arrived at the Torco Ore Dock to unload ore. The Mapleglen was inbound the Toledo Ship Channel for the Anderson's K Elevator to load grain.

The next scheduled coal boats to arrive at the CSX Coal Docks will be the Kaye E. Barker on Saturday. The CSL Laurentien and Manitowoc on Monday, Great Lakes Trader Tuesday, H. Lee White Wednesday, Canadian Olympic Thursday followed by the CSL Laurentien on Friday. The next scheduled ore boats due in at the Torco Ore Dock are the Herbert C. Jackson and Algosoo on Friday. The next scheduled stone boats due into the Midwest Stone Dock will be the Algomarine on Monday followed by the Canadian Navigator on Sunday. The tug Kathy Lynn and related dredge equipment were dredging the ship channel across from the CSX Coal Docks. The tug Kurt R. Luedtke and dredging equipment were tied up at the Lakefront Dock. Jim Hoffman

 

Essar Steel reaches interim agreement with ore supplier

10/2 - Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. - Essar Steel Algoma announced Friday that it has reached an agreement with its iron ore pellet supplier, Cleveland Cliffs, setting an interim price commencing October 1, 2010, for the provision of iron ore pellets.

The interim price and agreement shall remain in effect until certain arbitration proceedings between the parties are finally determined.

Essar Steel Algoma is pleased to have been able to reach this agreement with Cleveland Cliffs.

A member of the Essar Group, Essar Steel Algoma Inc. is based in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

As a fully integrated steel producer, the company derives its revenues primarily from the manufacture and sale of hot and cold rolled steel products including sheet and plate.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  October 2

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 cutter’s 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.

 

Port Reports -  October 1

Silver Bay, Minn. - Benjamin Larson
Silver bay has been busy this week, American Integrity came from Superior with coal for North Shore Mining while fleet mate Burns Harbor loaded for Toledo on Tuesday. She was followed by the Richelieu which loaded for Hamilton on Wednesday. The Stewart J. Cort made her first appearance in Silver Bay Thursday loading for Gary.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Kaye E. Barker arrived at the Upper Harbor just after sunrise on Thursday and loaded ore.

South Chicago, Illinois - Brian Z.
Lower Lakes' Manitowoc called on the Beemsterboer Thursday to load petroleum coke. Manitowoc arrived at 7:45 a.m. after backing her way down the Calumet River from Lake Michigan. The St. Mary's Challenger was making her way to unload a cement cargo at the 130th St. dock. Loading was completed on the Manitowoc at 5:30 p.m. and she departed for Thorold, Ontario.

Toledo, Ohio - Jim Hoffman
The tug Sea Eagle II and barge St. Marys Cement II finished unloading cement at the St. Marys Cement Dock and departed Thursday afternoon. John G. Munson finished loading coal at the CSX Docks and departed Thursday morning. American Mariner followed, they finished loading coal and departed late Thursday afternoon. Michipicoten then followed the Mariner loading coal. She is expected to depart late Thursday evening. The Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin was loading grain at the Anderson's K Elevator. The Isolda was at the ADM Elevator loading grain.
The tug Cleveland and the barge Cleveland Rocks were at the Ironhead Shipyard. The American Republic arrived at the old Interlake Iron Dock late Thursday afternoon. Unknown if she is in for repair work or layup.
The next scheduled coal boats due in at the CSX Docks will be the Robert S. Pierson on Friday, Kaye E. Barker on Saturday followed by the Great Lakes Trader, CSL Laurentien and Manitowoc on Monday. The next scheduled ore boat due into the Torco Ore Dock will be the Algowood Friday. The next scheduled stone boat due in to the Midwest Stone Dock will be the Algomarine on Sunday.

 

Seaway issues notice on water levels in South Shore Canal

10/1 - Diving operations at St. Lambert weir bridge will be in progress up to mid-November. During this period, the water levels in the reach between St. Lambert and Cote Ste. Catherine locks will be maintained lower than standard operating levels. However, the water levels in the South Shore canal reach will be maintained above alert levels at all times.

Mariners are requested to navigate with caution in this area during this period and to advise the Operations centre if they have any peculiar observations on vessel maneuverability.

 

Updates -  October 1

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards 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.

 



News Archive - August 1996 to present


Return to Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping

Comments, news, and suggestions to: moderator@boatnerd.net

Copyright Boatnerd.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Due to frequent updates, this page will automatically reload every half hour