Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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Michigan Gov. Snyder supports new Soo Lock

10/31 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder called for Congress to provide the funding necessary to complete construction on a new Soo Lock in his much-anticipated speech on infrastructure Wednesday, but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers does not expect any additional funding for the project in the near future.

“We always appreciate any support we can get,” said project manager John Niemiec in a phone interview from Detroit. “He can put pressure on Congress and twist some arms, whereas the Corps can’t lobby for projects.

“We’ve had support from the governor’s office for a long time, from Gov. Engler to Gov. Granholm to Gov. Snyder now.”

Snyder said in his speech the construction of the new lock was essential to “ensure the economic vitality of the region. “As importantly, this construction project will create thousands of jobs in the Eastern Upper Peninsula over the life of the project,” he said.

Snyder toured the Locks during his visit to Sault Ste. Marie in August. Rep. Frank Foster (R-Pellston) said Thursday in a phone interview that Snyder had many questions for Locks officials on what they needed to continue construction.

“He is very convinced this is key to the rest of the state going smoothly,” Foster said. “We gave him all the numbers about the locks, the shipping stats, the impact of the economy. This is every bit as important as the bridge in Detroit for the state. I am very happy he prioritized that and put that in his special message on infrastructure,” he added.

The Corps broke ground on the expansion project in June 2009 with a $17 million cofferdam and dredging project. But, since then, Congress has not authorized enough funding to continue major work on the new lock. Just over $1 million was authorized for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, and the Corps is not anticipating additional funding in the 2012 budget.

The funds needed to continue the construction of the new lock, which would have the same dimensions as the Poe Lock, would be between $40 and 50 million a year, according to Corps estimates.

The new lock has slipped on the priority list of the Great Lakes Commission because of the lack of funding, said Dave Knight, special projects manager for ports and navigation.

“We still strongly support the project, but we’ve been discouraged by the budget picture of the last two to three years,” said Knight, who Snyder’s public support of the project was surprising. “We haven’t been very active on this front because the Corps budget is stretched so thin” due to higher priorities, such as dealing with the Asian carp problems in Chicago. “I wish I could be more encouraging to (Snyder).”

Congress first approved the new lock to replace the seldom-used Sabin and Davis locks in 1986 but did not fund the project. More than 70 percent of the cargo going through the locks moves through the Poe Lock, which is the only lock on the St. Lawrence Seaway that can handle 1,000-foot freighters.

Critics of the new lock say it is a make-work project that does nothing except create 100 percent redundancy, which is exactly what supporters of the new lock are hoping for in the event of the catastrophic failure of the Poe Lock, which would paralyze shipping on Lake Superior.

Soo Evening News


Port Reports -  October 31

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Stephen B. Roman departed the Essroc dock in Essexville, early Sunday evening, turned and headed for the lake.

Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
Sunday the tug Krista S. was busy running scows up and down the river. The small tug Karl E. Leudtke was also active on the upper river.

Toronto, Ont. -
The CanForNav saltie Chestnut was unloading at the Redpath plant Sunday.


Marinette Marine’s work for Navy bolstering local economy

10/31 - Marinette, Wis. – Paul Miller, manager of the Sherwin-Williams paint store in Marinette, has been asked the same question many times: How many gallons of paint does it take to cover a U.S. Navy combat ship?

Answer: 35,000 gallons in 80 colors including primers and various coatings. The local paint store is supplying all of the paint for the Navy's littoral combat ships being built at Marinette Marine Corp. It is one of dozens of area businesses benefiting from the shipbuilding program, which could pour billions of dollars into Wisconsin's economy over the next 15 years.

Typical for a government contract, it takes more time to do the paperwork than it does to mix and deliver the paint for a combat ship. Miller isn't complaining, though, since the Navy work is the biggest project his paint store has ever undertaken. He declined to give a dollar amount but said "it's a very good percentage of our business."

Marinette Marine is putting the finishing touches on the USS Fort Worth, a combat ship that's scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in 2012.

Thursday, the shipyard had a keel-laying ceremony for the USS Milwaukee, a littoral combat ship that will be delivered to the Navy in 2014, followed by the USS Detroit in 2015. It takes about 36 months to build each ship.

The Navy wants to buy 55 of the high-speed ships, costing about $400 million each, over a period of 15 years.

For the initial 20 ships, the work has been divided between Marinette Marine and Austal USA in Mobile, Ala. Both shipyards already have built two of the vessels, including the USS Fort Worth, which has finished its sea trials, and the USS Freedom, which is stationed in San Diego.

The work has created an economic boomlet in northern Wisconsin and southern Alabama, where several thousand people are employed in the shipyards and area businesses have benefited from the payroll dollars and supply contracts.

Marinette Marine employs about 700 hourly paid workers and expects to double that in the next two years. Including administrative jobs, the company has been hiring 50 people a month.

More than 700 suppliers in 43 states are being used to provide thousands of items for the combat ships, from bolts and fasteners to engines and enormous watertight doors.

Oldenburg Group of Milwaukee has been chosen to design and build cranes, small-boat launch systems, lift platforms and hatch covers. Production will be done in Rhinelander and Iron River, Mich., while engineering and contract administration will be done in Kingston, Mich.

The value of the Oldenburg contracts could exceed $200 million and will support 100 new jobs in Wisconsin and Michigan, according to the company. Some of the manufacturing could take place in Glendale.

Fox Valley Metal-Tech in Green Bay is doing a lot of work on the combat ships, including building the masts, steel doors that are 14 feet high and 18 feet wide, hatches on the helicopter deck, ladders, shelving and other components.

Kahlenberg Industries in Two Rivers is building the ship horn and sound signaling system for the vessels. It has been making ship whistles and horns for about a century. Almost every ship on the Great Lakes has a Kahlenberg horn, including the S.S. Badger ferry that runs between Manitowoc and Ludington, Mich.

Overall, this is the largest shipbuilding program in the history of Marinette Marine, which has been building vessels in Marinette since the early 1940s. The company was acquired by Italian yacht-maker Fincantieri in 2008.

In addition to combat ships, Marinette Marine is building an Alaskan fisheries research vessel and a ship for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It has built U.S. Coast Guard boats and is competing for contracts to build Navy hovercraft vessels that would replace landing-craft carriers.

Fincantieri is spending $73.5 million to upgrade the shipyard for the littoral combat ship program.

The 3,400-ton warships, 377 feet in length, are built from 32 modules that are assembled at the shipyard. "It's like building a prefabricated house, one room at a time," said Marinette Marine CEO Chuck Goddard.

The company, working under defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp., has a preference for local suppliers when it's economical and practical to use them. It helps to have them close by, should there be supply chain issues.

"Our plan is to get really good at building littoral combat ships so that we will be in a position to win the next round" of contracts, Goddard said.

To cash in on Marinette's shipbuilding and work at other area boat builders, businesses have formed the North Coast Marine Manufacturing Alliance. The group traveled to Racine recently to recruit skilled workers for shipyards and their suppliers.

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College is building a maritime industry training center so that companies aren't stealing employees from one another. Several high schools also are training people for welding jobs.

About half of the combat ship supply chain is within 60 miles of Marinette, said Jerry Murphy, executive director of New North Inc., a regional economic development group in De Pere.



Updates -  October 31

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery


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.


Port Reports -  October 30

Calcite and Cheboygan, Mich.
Arthur M. Anderson and American Mariner were at Calcite on Saturday, and the tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes was at Cheboygan.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
Four vessels were moving on the Saginaw River on Saturday, starting with the Algorail, which had arrived Friday night to unload at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee. Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber arrived early Saturday morning, also unloading at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee, making the dock once the Algorail had departed to turn at Sixth Street and head for the lake. The Moore-Kuber were outbound during the early afternoon Saturday. Manistee was inbound later in the morning, calling on the GM dock in Saginaw to unload. She was outbound Saturday evening. Finally, Stephan B. Roman called on the Essroc Cement dock in Essexville to unload. She was expected to be outbound sometime on Sunday.

Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
English River was unloading at LaFarge Saturday and departed Saturday night. The dredge tug Krista S. was taking a scow up the river in the afternoon.


Updates -  October 30

News Photo Gallery


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


Port Reports -  October 29

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Saginaw loaded ore and departed Friday morning.

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
Manitowoc came in early Thursday evening with a load of stone for Meekhof's D & M dock next to the Power Plant on Harbor Island. She had departed by Friday morning.


Cruise ships bypassing Green Bay

10/29 - Green Bay, Wis. – Green Bay city leaders are hoping to attract cruise ships in the Great Lakes to the port of Green Bay. They even used the promise of cruise ships to get $335,000 in federal funding to improve its downtown waterfront park.

That was six years ago and still no cruise ships. And none of the added benefits that come with cruise ships.

Cities with a port can generate money through traffic on the water. Cargo ships to the Port of Green Bay pay fees to come and go. Cruise ships would do the same, but also bring with them money-spending tourists.

"We're trying to diversify and grow the port in anyway possible and a real way to get the community connected to the port is the idea of a cruise ship showing up and passengers disembarking and spending their money in our community," said Dean Haen, director of the Port of Green Bay.

Haen says Brown County has had cruise ships on the opportunity radar as far back as 1999. "We've been trying to entertain cruise ships for some time," said Haen. “We're not talking about those Caribbean Cruise ships, but scaled-down, Great Lakes cruise ships that carry up to several hundred passengers. Such cruise ships currently make seasonal stops in places like Sturgeon Bay, Sheboygan and Bayfield on route to and from Chicago, Detroit and Duluth.”

Cruise ship operators say sailing the Great Lakes is a big draw for European visitors.

"It would be great to drop 100 to 150 passengers off downtown," said Greater Green Bay Visitors and Convention Bureau President Brad Toll. "They're all going out and probably shopping and getting something to eat."

In 2005, cruise ships were still a part of the port's strategic plan. Cruise ship visits, the report stated, would increase visibility, economic development and a possible revenue source.

The idea caught the attention of city leaders too. The same month the Brown County Port's Strategic plan came out, the city applied for a Homeland Security Grant to upgrade Leicht Park along the Fox River. The application was for funding to meet federal security standards to bring in cruise ships and other maritime vessels.

"We knew we had to do some type of lighting and railing along there it was fortunate for us that there was some Homeland Security and what we we're trying to do fit what they had money for so actually got to do it in a pretty enhanced way," said Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt.

The federally-funded Homeland Security upgrade cost taxpayers $335,000. It paid for improvements to the park including concrete security barriers, security fencing and lighting, with the understanding that cruise ships would be docking here.

Schmitt acknowledges the intention of the grant was to bring the park up to federal standards in order to bring in cruise ships.

The Le Levant, a French cruise ship, is the only one that has pulled into the Port of Green Bay since all this came up. And it didn't dock at the security-enhanced Leicht Park because it wasn't there at the time.

In September 2004, the Le Levant pulled up to K and K Warehouse at a cargo dock after being diverted from Manitowoc due to safety concerns.

The ship's captain at the time, Roger Van Damme, explained it was an exciting opportunity to come and explore Green Bay. "They were only in for a day," Haen said. "It was unplanned so the public really couldn't fully appreciate the passengers and the visit of that vessel."

But Haen says the visit offered Green Bay a glimpse of what they the future of cruise ships could be like in Green Bay. Leicht Park was completed and dedicated in 2006, and while it has hosted the Tall Ships Festival, no cruise ships have docked here.

And still Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt makes no apologies for seeking the federal funds based on bringing in cruise ships. "Anybody would go for the most they can, which is what we did, and we received, and I think it looks awesome and serves the purpose they asked for," said Schmitt.

"So no apologies for taking the money and not delivering on cruise ships?" we asked Schmitt. "Oh no, none," he said.

The Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the area's chamber of commerce tell us they support efforts to land Green Bay on the list of destinations for cruise ships in the Great Lakes.

"It may not be geographically the most convenient place for them," said Fred Monique, vice president of the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce.

But it was clear the initial suggestion back in 1999 didn't inspire a lot of hope. "We were very eager for it to happen, but I wouldn't say we were overly optimistic," said Monique.

And yet Schmitt believes the time may be right now.

"I think it's an attractive port right now and I'll admit a few years ago it wasn't, and if you're going to stop somewhere you want to have these tourists, these customers, to have a nice walkable experience and we can offer that starting this year," said Schmitt. "So I think we'll elevate our emphasis to get more cruise ships or at least get it started in the next couple years."

As for the Homeland Security dollars spent on Leicht Park, a Homeland Security representative declined to comment, but did say in general these days funding is tighter and more targeted.

The Port of Green Bay director did meet recently with a representative of a small start-up cruise ship company that has been in the business before. Haen says the talk is optimistic, but he is far from booking any cruises to the Port of Green Bay just yet.

Fox 11 News


Edison Inn gets new owner; county to build convention center

10/29 - Port Huron, Mich. – The Thomas Edison Inn and surrounding property in Port Huron is getting an upgrade. Officials and developers gathered at the Inn at 4 p.m. Thursday to announce several areas of development on 15.5 acres off Thomas Edison Parkway.

The project, which will be done in two phases, is estimated to cost about $27.8 million.The Thomas Edison Inn will be renovated into a Hilton Garden Inn and a new 40,000-square-foot convention center will be adjoined to it. The inside of the inn's restaurant will be completely redone to become a Twisted Rooster restaurant.

A Baker College facility to house a new culinary arts program also will be built during the first phase of the project. Student housing is expected to be built near the culinary institute during the project's second phase.

"It's going to mean hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue to our community," said Bruce Brown, Port Huron city manager. The project will be paid for with public and private funds, Brown said.

Bill Kauffman, administrator for St. Clair County, said the county is expected to issue 30-year bonds in the amount of $9 million to build the convention center, to purchase land at the site and to purchase 11,000 square feet of meeting space at the inn. He said the bonds would be reimbursed with revenue from the convention facility, a financial commitment from the city of Port Huron and funding from the Blue Water Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The city will contribute revenues generated from the inn's tax increment finance district, Brown said. The district generates about $85,000 to $125,000 annually.

Brown said he and Kauffman began talking about the project with developers from JB Real Estate Development and John Weiss, president and chief executive officer of Design Plus in Grand Rapids, in May.

Floor-by-floor renovations to the inn are expected to start after Jan. 1, 2012, said John Wheeler, partner in JB Real Estate Development and Orion Construction, also in Grand Rapids. Hotel and restaurant renovations will be complete by July 2012 and the convention center will be complete by May 2013, Wheeler said. The Baker College facility will be finished by November 2012.

Marci Fogal, president of the Blue Water Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the hotel renovations and new convention center will allow the area to draw in larger conferences. Fogal estimated a conference with 500 attendees staying for two nights would generate $336,000 in the area.

Brown said the project could enhance the future of McMorran Place, but the downtown Port Huron facility will not become a convention center.

He said if McMorran is ever significantly restored, it would complement the planned hotel and convention center. "McMorann is a different kind of a facility than a convention facility. They attract different groups. They attract different venues," Brown said.

Port Huron Times Herald


St. Clair River Council hears plans for power facility

10/29 - Port Huron, Mich. – Members of the public and the St. Clair River Bi-National Public Advisory Council heard plans Thursday night from a company proposing to put a hydrokinetic power facility in the St. Clair River.

Tim Smith, chief executive officer of Current Connection, LLC, in Troy kicked off the council's meeting at the Community Foundation Resource Center in Port Huron with his presentation of the company's proposed in-river turbine hydropower project.

"Our goal is to create jobs in the state of Michigan," Smith said.

The proposed farm would be 396 turbines -- capable of producing up to 20 megawatts of electricity -- placed in the river from the Blue Water Bridge stretching 300 yards south and 40 yards wide on the U.S. side, Smith said.

The turbines would not be hard-anchored to the riverbed but would float 10 feet off the bottom and would be installed about 30 feet off of the U.S. shore. Each turbine would be about 13 feet in diameter. Smith assured those at the meeting the turbine farm would be outside commercial shipping lanes.

Though there is no hard timeline for the project, Smith said there is progress being made in terms of impact studies on the environment and the river's headwaters.

Cathy Johnson and local diver Greg Lashbrook did the environmental impact study, and submitted it to the environmental engineering firm Tetra Tech for review.

"We did not draw any conclusions from our report -- we strictly provided from a consulting firm what is there," Johnson said, referring to staging and spawning grounds for sturgeon, shipwrecks, Native American structures, existing man-made structures and cross-currents.

Current Connection is in the process of developing underwater generators for the project with Smith's business connections in Australia, Smith said. Smith's primary business is his automotive parts manufacturing company, Osirius.

The turbine units would be made of carbon-reinforced, polypropylene plastic, Smith said.

Current Connection will not be asking for local, state, national or international funding for the project, Smith said.

Patty Troy, BPAC U.S. co-chairwoman, posed several questions to Smith about how the farm of hydro turbines would affect the environment and people as they jump off of the walkway at the Thomas Edison Parkway to swim in the St. Clair River.

Impact of the project on the sturgeon-spawning habitat under the Blue Water Bridge in the St. Clair River was a concern for many of the attendees at the meeting.

"We don't believe there is impact and if there is, and if we have to shut (the farm) down for a period of time to have no impact, we would," Smith said.

Fort Gratiot resident and commercial diver Brian Martin drilled Smith with questions about recreational divers exploring shipwreck sites in the St. Clair River with the installed facility.

Smith explained the area would be restricted from use by scuba divers, for safety reasons.

"With any change, there is some impact," Smith said.

Judy Ogden, first vice president of the Blue Water Sportfishing Association, said she was concerned about the impact of the hydro turbine farm on the recreational fishery, as many migrating fish species in addition to the sturgeon pass through the St. Clair River.

"This doesn't seem like a very good location," Ogden said. "It's such a narrow strait."

Many public attendees left the meeting after the presentation by Current Connection. Other items discussed during the BPAC meeting were an update on Michigan Sea Grant's habitat restoration project in the Middle Channel of the St. Clair River -- which will start late this year or early 2012. BPAC members also discussed removing an impairment on the river -- added costs to agriculture and industry because of years of pollution -- pending proper studies.

Port Huron Times Herald


Captain Guy St. Marseille passes away

10/29 - Captain Guy St. Marseille, retired pilot, Great Lakes Pilotage Authority, died peacefully at his residence on October 25 at the age of 85 years. He was a veteran of the WWII Royal Canadian Navy, past Director of the Great Lakes Pilotage Authority, past President of the Upper St. Lawrence River Pilots, and past President of the Federation of St. Lawrence River Pilots. A Mass of the Resurrection with Commendation and Farewell will be celebrated in St. Francis de Sales Roman Catholic Church in Cornwall, Ont., today at 11 a.m.


Great Lakes Historical Society: Raffle nears 750 tickets sold

10/29 - The Great Lakes Historical Society and the Steamship Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship have sold just under 750 raffle tickets in its push to create the National Great Lakes Maritime Museum in Toledo, Ohio. The Luck of the Lakes Raffle, which features four freighter trip experiences including the Paul R. Tregurtha, St. Marys Challenger, Wilfred Sykes, and Saginaw, is the most extensive of its kind. Other cash prizes total $25,000.

Raffle tickets can be ordered using the form from the BoatNerd listing, or can be purchased by phone at 440-967-3467 extension 6. Tickets are $100 for this limited raffle. The drawing is November 5 at the Toledo Club in Toledo, Ohio.


Updates -  October 29

News Photo Gallery


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.


Salvage company removing possible contaminants from former Canadian Miner

10/28 - Sydney, N.S. – Fire extinguishers, batteries and other potential threats to the environment are now being removed from the wreckage of the Miner that sits on the shores of Scatarie Island. The provincial government hired Dutch salvage company Mammoet to begin the latest operation on board the vessel, which broke free of a tow line last month while being hauled to a European scrapyard.

It does place a priority on removing items of environmental concern and other items that could end up on the island or in the marine environment, said Dan Davis, spokesman for the Department of Natural Resources. There is a lot of different material coming off the ship, but the primary focus, the most important thing, is to get items containing chemical contaminants off the vessel.

Rough seas prevented work from being carried out Wednesday but efforts were expected to resume Thursday. When the job is complete, Mammoet will seal all doors and hatches to prevent future entry.

During the operation, the Canadian Coast Guard is monitoring for oil pollution, according to a spokesperson, but there have been no signs of any contaminants to date. When the salvage company’s work is finished, the coast guard’s current round of monitoring will end. Cost for the operation has been estimated between $250,000 and $400,000. The province continues to negotiate with federal counterparts to share that bill.

The project does not, however, include removal of the vessel from the shores of Scatarie. Previous estimates for salvage and removal have been as high as $24 million. The province wants the federal government to remove the ship.

Transport Minister Denis Lebel recently said Transport Canada’s role is to ensure waterways provide safe navigation and are free of ship-source pollution. The Miner, they determined, is not polluting the marine environment and is not a hazard to navigation.

Cape Breton Post


Port Reports -  October 28

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Thursday afternoon at the Upper Harbor, Paul R. Tregurtha unloaded western coal into the hopper.

Soo, Mich. - Nathan Gregorich
The Algoma Transfer unloaded salt in Sault Ste. Marie, Mi on Wednesday at the Carbide Dock.

Toledo, Ohio
CSL Niagara arrived Thursday afternoon at Anderson’s Kuhlman grain elevator. She is expected to load about 1,100,000 bushels of soybeans. Kaministiqua left the same elevator Tuesday night, also loaded with soybeans.


Great Lakes Shipyard appoints two new managers

10/28 - Cleveland, Ohio – Great Lakes Shipyard has appointed John McClure as Quality, Safety and Environmental Manager and Troy Williams as New Construction Manager.

The shipyard is in the final phase of a four-phase expansion project. In this phase, 40 new, local, full-time jobs will be created in the next six months. Additionally, 36,000 on-site construction hours (equivalent to 4,500 man days of employment or 17 jobs) will be involved in the construction of a new 67,000 square foot, 72-foot high, multi-purpose, all-weather, covered and enclosed facility that will permit year-round shipyard production. The company’s goal is to support 100 sustainable local full-time employees.

McClure was born and raised in Northeast Ohio and graduated from Hiram College, Hiram, Ohio. He previously held safety, quality, operations and business development positions with various organizations within the aviation and distribution industries, as well as with NASA Glenn Research Center. Williams is a graduate of the University of Louisiana, Lafayette, La. His prior work experiences include drilling rig new build, repair, and upgrade positions as Project Construction Manager for ENSCO Drilling and as Senior Project Manager for Transocean Drilling. He also worked for R&R Marine Shipyard as their Offshore Division Operations Manager.


24th annual Gales of November tickets still available

10/28 - Duluth, Minn. – Tickets are still available for Duluth’s two-day maritime educational and networking event of the year, Gales of November.

Activities begin on Friday, Nov. 4 at Grandma’s Sports Garden with a joint luncheon with the Duluth-Superior Propeller Club. The keynote speaker, Cathy Wurzer, the senior anchor and host of Morning Edition at Minnesota Public Radio, will present “Tales of the Road-Highway 61.” Friday afternoon provides various tour options including a mini Canal Park Art Walk, a tour of the Lake Superior Maritime Collections at the University of Wisconsin - Superior, and a behind-the-scenes tour at Great Lakes Aquarium. The day concludes with an Opening Gala reception sponsored by Lake Superior Magazine, at the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center in historic Canal Park.

Saturday, Nov. 5 events, all held at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center, begin at 8:30 a.m. The day is filled with maritime related educational presentations, a mini trade show, fun maritime activities area, a silent auction, and an opportunity to enter to win the Cruise of a Lifetime raffle. The raffle drawing will take place at 5:30 p.m. at the Gales of November closing on Saturday.

Tickets to Gales of November are required. Details and registration information can be found at


Updates -  October 28

News Photo Gallery


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.


Port Reports -  October 27

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The tug Olive L. Moore  and barge Lewis J. Kuber were back at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City. The pair arrived on Wednesday and were still unloading as of 10 p.m. They were expected to depart overnight and head for the lake.


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.


Lower Lakes Towing's latest now registered in Canada

10/26 - Lower Lakes Towing Ltd of Port Dover, Ont., has registered the 1972-built bulk carrier Tina Litrico under the Canadian flag. The ship was registered in Nanticoke October 25. It is unknown when the vessel, currently on saltwater, will be making its way into the Lakes.

Mac Mackay


Port Reports -  October 26

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
The Canadian Coast Guard cutter Griffon spent the morning off Buffalo. They appeared to be doing some aids to navigation work, around 11:30 a.m. they came right up to the harbor entrance.

Seaway - Stephen Trenton
Tuesday morning Algobay anchored in the St. Lawrence River near marker 153 after breaking a steering line while traveling up bound in the Brockville Narrows. By 2:40 p.m. she had been given clearance to proceed and, after giving notice to Seaway Iroquois, began preparations to depart her anchored position. An interesting note is that the Algobay was anchored only a few miles from the location where a steering problem resulted in her grounding in July 2010


Canadian Coast Guard vessel Pierre Radisson returns from Arctic missions

10/26 - Quebec City, Que. - The Hon. Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, has welcomed the return from the Arctic of the icebreaker CCGS Pierre Radisson and its 40-member crew.

"We are proud to welcome back another of Canada's arctic vessels, CCGS Pierre Radisson," said Minister Ashfield. "CCGS Pierre Radisson's area of operations included Churchill, Manitoba, Iqaluit, Nunavut, Frobisher Bay and the Hudson Strait, demonstrating a strong presence in these economically strategic areas of Canada's Arctic.”

The Radisson left Quebec City on July 28. Its 13 weeks in the Arctic enabled its crew to pursue a number of missions, including search and rescue, icebreaking, assistance to commercial shipping and maintenance of navigational aids and navigable waters. As well, the vessel served as a platform for marine science research.

Over the next few weeks, the Canadian Coast Guard will put the Radisson through its annual servicing schedule to prepare it for the upcoming winter icebreaking season on the St. Lawrence River and Gulf.


Filmmaker will share his experience with the wreck of the Fitzgerald

10/26 - Saginaw, Mich. – The Edmund Fitzgerald sank in November 1975 in Lake Superior, and remains the largest ship to have sunk in the Great Lakes. Saginaw’s Ric Mixter gathered 16 years of research to produce a comprehensive documentary on the ship. Mixter spoke with workers who put the freighter together and the first expedition leaders who found the 29 crew members’ remains.

The Saginaw Valley State University History Club is hosting a viewing at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 1 in the Regional Education Center’s Ott Auditorium. Mixter is the leading producer on Great Lakes shipwrecks documentaries for PBS. This event is free and open to the public.


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.


Port Reports -  October 25

South Chicago - Brian Z
Adam E. Cornelius was back at KCBX Terminals Sunday afternoon loading coal. The Adam E. followed Lower Lakes' Calumet, which also loaded at KCBX. This was the second trip for the Cornelius to Muskegon, with one more scheduled on Tuesday.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben and Chanda McClain
On Monday night the Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation loaded cement at Lafarge. The Calumet also arrived at Lafarge Monday night and tied up at the dock to unload coal. The research vessels Spencer F. Baird and Grayling are tied up in the river.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
After a period of six days without any boats, there were two arrivals on the Saginaw River early Monday. First in was Manistee, who traveled upriver to the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee to unload. She was followed by the Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber, who called on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City to unload. Both Manistee and the Moore-Kuber were outbound Monday afternoon and headed for the lake.

Hamilton, Ont. - Eric Holmes
On Saturday, Algoma Olympic arrived at 9:30 a.m. with iron ore pellets from Point Noire for Dofasco. Vega Desganges arrived at 9:45 a.m. with jet fuel from Quebec City. Hamilton Energy departed at 10 a.m. for bunkering in Port Weller. Federal Power departed at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Vega Desganges departed at 7:30 a.m. for Montreal. Federal Katsura departed at 4 p.m. Algoma Progress arrived at 7 p.m. with coal from Ashtabula for Dofasco.

Rochester, N.Y. - Tom Brewer
The tug Evans McKeil, pushing the barge Metis, departed Rochester Monday morning.


New York offers ballast compromise; shipping advocates balk

10/25 - The state of New York does not appear to be bowing to pressure from a group of Great Lakes governors, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, to back off on its plan to adopt the region's toughest ballast discharge laws for overseas ships visiting the Great Lakes.

All overseas vessels sailing into the Great Lakes must pass through New York state waters, and in 2013 New York had planned to begin requiring ships to install water treatment systems in their vessel-steadying ballast tanks in order to kill unwanted hitchhikers making their way into the lakes from ports around the globe.

This did not sit well with Walker and fellow governors Mitch Daniels of Indiana and John Kasich of Ohio, who in September sent a letter to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo asking him to back off on the law. They fear it could harm overseas traffic, a sector of cargo flow that in recent years has accounted for less than 10 percent of the tonnage that moves on the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes.

Great Lakes states like Wisconsin are pursuing weaker ballast rules developed by the International Maritime Organization, or IMO, that allows for a certain number of species of a certain size to be discharged from the ballast tanks, and ships would not have to meet that requirement until 2016.

New York had proposed standards that are 100 times more stringent than the IMO rules for existing vessels and 1,000 times more stringent for ships built after Jan. 1, 2013.

The problem, according to Walker and the other governors, is that technologies do not yet exist to accomplish what New York is pursuing. They fret that New York's rule will affect the whole Great Lakes region because it covers ships that are only passing through New York waters. Any ship visiting ports such as Milwaukee, Toledo or Gary, Ind., must first travel through New York waters on its journey up the St. Lawrence Seaway.

But the head of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation makes it clear he doesn't buy that argument in a letter sent Oct. 20 to Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Lisa Jackson. He points to research that shows at least one such treatment system already exists that exceeds the IMO standards by 100 times and the potential for up to 10 others to exceed IMO standards by 1,000 times.

"Indeed, the treatment technology to address harmful organisms transported in ballast water is well-established," wrote Environmental Commissioner Joseph Martens. "Ballast water treatment systems employ disinfection chemicals coupled with flocculation filtration, technology familiar to anyone knowledgeable in the basic mechanics of existing drinking water or waste water treatment facilities."

But New York is apparently willing to compromise, and give ships until 2016 before it requires them to adopt a standard that is 100 times as stringent as the IMO standard. It had earlier proposed the law take effect in 2013. To speed up the protections for the lakes, New York is offering to give any ship that voluntarily installs a system that exceed IMO standards by 10 times by June 2014 a pass on its 100 times IMO requirement -- until 2026.

The EPA is set to release its own national ballast standards next month, and Martens said New York will back off its earlier proposal if the EPA adopts the compromise proposed by New York. He said he prefers a single national rule to provide uniformity for ship operators.

"A national approach to this ballast water issue is clearly preferable to a plethora of potentially conflicting state standards," Martens wrote. "New York is willing to abandon its current deadline and standards in deference to the aforementioned nation-wide approach."

Shipping advocates apparently aren't biting on the offer.

"As long as the State of New York seeks regulations that are technologically impossible to comply with, there will be a stand-off on this issue," said Steve Fisher, executive director of the American Great Lakes Ports Association. "In July 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concluded that there are no systems that can meet the standard being promoted by the State of New York ... Similarly, the Wisconsin DNR evaluated this issue and came to the same conclusion."

But Martens said New York has done its own evaluation and state regulators don't buy that argument.

Thom Cmar, an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, called the New York offer good news.

"The shipping industry has been pushing for the weak and inadequate international standards to be established as the only standards they will ever have to meet," he said "We already know treatment ... systems can do better than the international standards, and they are going to keep improving over time. Whatever standards are created to protect the Great Lakes need to reflect that and drive the development of better technology over time."

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Nation's third littoral combat ship successfully completes builder's trials

10/25 - Marinette, Wis. - A Lockheed Martin-led industry team completed builder's sea trials for Fort Worth, the nation's third littoral combat ship.

The trials – a coordinated effort between the U.S. Navy and the Lockheed Martin team including Marinette Marine Corporation (MMC) – were conducted in the waters of Green Bay and Lake Michigan. They included operational testing of the vessel's propulsion, communications, navigation and mission systems, as well as all support systems.

"Successful completion of Builder's Sea Trials means we are on track for the Navy's Acceptance Trials, putting us a big step closer to getting the Navy the ships it needs," said Joe North, vice president of littoral ship systems for Lockheed Martin's Mission Systems and Sensors business. "We support the Navy's effort to grow their fleet affordably and effectively."

The rigorous trial period included maneuverability tests; high-speed runs; power and navigation system checks; rescue boat launch and recovery; and tracking exercises, as well as other ship and system evaluations.

Following the successful completion of Builder's Sea Trials, Fort Worth returned to MMC to prepare for Acceptance Trials. LCS 3 will be delivered to the Navy next year and its home port will be San Diego, Calif.

Fort Worth, the second Freedom variant ship in the LCS program, was christened in December 2010. It is more than 96 percent complete and remains on cost and on schedule. LCS 3 is being constructed with 30 percent fewer production hours as a result of lessons learned from designing and building LCS 1, USS Freedom.

The team began construction on LCS 5, the future USS Milwaukee, in August.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation's 2010 sales from continuing operations were $45.8 billion.

PR News


Annual Lost Mariners program at the Dossin Museum Nov. 10

10/25 - Detroit, Mich. – The Detroit Historical Society’s Dossin Maritime Group hosts its annual remembrance for sailors lost on our inland seas Wednesday, November 10 at 6 p.m. at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum. The date marks the 36th Anniversary of the loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald in the waters of Lake Superior. Elmer Dunn, a member of the crew of the freighter William Clay Ford, which left safe harbor that fateful night to search for any survivors of the Fitz, is scheduled to be on hand for the event.

This year’s Lost Mariners Remembrance will also focus on the Keystone State, once the second largest passenger vessel on the Great Lakes. Marine artist and historian Robert McGreevy will present the story of the Keystone State, which went down with its entire crew in Lake Huron exactly 150 years ago, on November 10, 1861, on its way to be fitted out for Civil War service.

The evenings’ activities begin with a lantern vigil at the Edmund Fitzgerald anchor, followed by a performance by Great Lakes balladeer Lee Murdock, a color guard escort of a memorial wreath to the Detroit River for receipt by an honor flotilla of Great Lakes vessels, and McGreevy’s program. Nineteen international maritime agencies are participating in this year’s event. For more information visit In addition, the event will be made available as a live webcast for those unable to attend.


Reserve now for Keweenaw Star cruise 2012

10/25 - BoatNerd is again sponsoring a three-day, two-night trip from Charlevoix to the Soo and return aboard the Keweenaw Star July 13-15. This promises to be a superb freighter-chasing, lighthouse-viewing trip. This trip sold out in 2011 and reservations are already coming in for 2012.

The cruise will leave from Charlevoix on Friday the 13th, travel up Lake Michigan, through the Straits, across the top of Lake Huron and up the St. Marys River to the Soo. We will pass lighthouses at Skillagalee, Grays Reef, White Shoal, Waugoshance, St. Helena, Round Island, Martin Reef and DeTour Reef. A continental breakfast and lunch will be served on board. After arriving at the Soo, we will have dinner and spend the night at the Kewadin Casino.

Saturday will start with the breakfast at the casino, after which we'll reboard the Keweenaw Star to travel through the Soo Locks and up the St. Marys River as far as Ile Parisienne light and back to the Soo. We should see plenty of freighter traffic, plus the lighthouses at Point Iroquois, Gros Cap and Isle Parisienne. Lunch will be on board the Keweenaw Star. We will again enjoy dinner and stay the night at the Kewadin Casino in the Soo.

Sunday will start with the breakfast at the casino, after which we'll reboard the Keweenaw Star for the return trip to Charlevoix, with lunch on board.

Package includes: Three days cruising aboard the Keweenaw Star in the shipping lanes and past a number of lighthouses, lunch on board the boat, two nights at the casino in the Soo, two dinners and breakfasts at the casino, and $30 cash to spend in the casino.

Package cost is $500 double occupancy, or $550 single. In order for everyone to have plenty of room on the boat, we are limiting the cruise to the first 60 reservations. A minimum of 40 passengers are needed in order for the trip to take place.

Call the Keweenaw Star at 231-237-9365 and make your reservation today. Don’t be left behind in 2012.


Updates -  October 25

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery


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.


Port Reports -  October 24

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
John B. Aird and Michipicoten loaded ore Sunday morning at the Upper Harbor while Algosoo waited at anchor for a clear loading dock.


Marinette Marine's second littoral combat ship is faster than first boat

10/24 - Marinette, Wis. – The second littoral combat ship built at Marinette Marine Corp. in Marinette is showing slightly faster speeds in ongoing builders sea trials on the bay of Green Bay and Lake Michigan. LCS 3, the future USS Fort Worth, is nearing completion and is expected to be delivered to the U.S. Navy next year.

Rough weather on the water earlier in the week held up testing, Rear Adm. James Murdoch said Thursday during a discussion with media members in Washington, D.C. Testing was expected to resume Friday or today.

"With that longer underwater hull, the ship is a little more efficient, and just operating on the diesel engine alone, she's about a knot faster … than USS Freedom," he said. "And we're probably one to two knots faster on the gas turbine (engines) alone than Freedom was."

LCS 3's underwater hull structure has been lengthened compared with the USS Freedom, increasing fuel capacity by 10 percent and enhancing performance.

Murdoch is the first program executive officer for the Littoral Combat Ship Program and is in charge of keeping the program on track and getting the ships and mission equipment into the fleet. The littoral combat ships built at Marinette Marine have a top speed listed as "40+ knots," or in excess of 46.1 mph.

Most of the ship's systems can be tested in the Great Lakes, but some of the radar system and identification systems cannot. Those systems need to be tested 100 nautical miles offshore under Federal Aviation Administration mandates.

"Everything I can test and demonstrate in the Great Lakes, I will," said Murdoch, who said he hopes to deliver LCS 3 on cost and possibly slightly ahead of schedule next year. "Then we really get into the serial production of (LCS) 5 and 6 and the following ships."

With potential budget cuts looming, Murdoch said success in an austere fiscal environment boils down to a few factors. "You have to get the shipbuilders to build the ships to the quality and the cost that they got under contract to do," he said. "That, first and foremost, is what we are setting out to do."

The 10 ships built by the Lockheed Martin-led team are being constructed at Marinette Marine Corp. in Marinette. A competing design of the littoral combat ship from Austal USA is being built in Alabama. Lockheed Martin and Marinette Marine delivered the first-in-class USS Freedom in 2008.

"I think we did a very good job addressing problems that we saw emerge during construction of the first two ships, and we made appropriate changes to (LCS) 3 and 4," he said. "I'm very confident the design is good."

Both littoral combat ship designs have been the center of some congressional scrutiny. The Austal vessel suffered corrosion issues last summer, and the USS Freedom had a six-inch crack appear in the hull in late winter. Issues on both vessels have been corrected, Navy officials said in the summer, noting "technical issues" aren't out of the norm on first-in-class ships.

Murdoch said the Navy has made changes with water jet propulsion systems with both vessel types to mitigate corrosion. It also is looking at potential improvements to the stern ramp door seals on USS Freedom and improved visibility on the bridge of that vessel and follow-on ships.

Work is also ongoing on other design changes and mission packages.

"I don't think the cracking issues or corrosion pose any risk to the acquisition strategy … we answered both those concerns promptly and have good measures in place to addresses both those areas," Murdoch said. "I'm sure there will be refinements to (the designs) that we'll make to them elsewhere throughout these ships."

The Navy has said it would like to acquire 55 littoral combat ships.

Green Bay Press Gazette


Canada's national shipbuilding procurement strategy: New capabilities for Arctic

10/24 - The Canadian government recently announced the results of the bidding process to construct vessels for the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. Canada plans to spend $33 billion on 28 large combat and non-combat vessels over the next 30 years. As part of that procurement the Royal Canadian Navy is slated to receive six to eight Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (A/OPS).

The Canadian Coast Guard is to receive a new Polar-class icebreaker, the CCGS John G. Diefenbaker, in 2017 giving the agency increased coverage in the Canadian Arctic and allowing it "to operate during three seasons in the Arctic, over a larger area and in more difficult ice conditions than is currently possible." The vessel will be 120-140 meters in length, carry 100 personnel, and provide accommodation for 25 additional people, e.g. scientists and researchers. Construction on the vessel is scheduled to begin in 2013 and the Coast Guard anticipates final acceptance for late 2017. It will be the largest and most powerful vessel ever owned by the Canadian government.

The Arctic Institute


Updates -  October 24

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery


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.


Port Reports -  October 23

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons and Kaye E. Barker loaded ore at the Upper Harbor on Saturday. McKee Sons unloaded coal early Saturday morning in Munising before making the short trip to the Upper Harbor.

St. Clair, Mich.- Denny Dushane
Boatwatchers were treated to a steady stream and parade of traffic on the St. Clair River on Saturday, as more than a dozen vessels, mostly downbounders, crowded the St. Clair River. The parade of traffic got started early in the morning with Lee A. Tregurtha and Paul R. Tregurtha, which had a split cargo of coal for the St. Clair Power Plant. After the two Tregurthas, John J. Boland was next, followed a short time later by the tug and barge John Spence and Niagara Spirit. Traffic continued steady in the morning with Great Republic followed by Algoma Navigator. At about lunchtime, Algowood departed upbound from the Shell Oil Fuel Dock, and later her fleetmate Algoma Discovery was downbound. Traffic slowed until late afternoon, when Algomarine was downbound. Traffic picked up as by suppertime, as there were four downbounders all within 30 minutes of each other. American Integrity, Herbert C. Jackson, St. Clair and James R. Barker all rounded out the busy day of traffic by 6 p.m. The Barker had a split cargo of coal for the St. Clair Power Plant, following the Paul R. Tregurtha's load.


Ziemia Chelminska sold for scrap

10/23 - Several industry watchers and reporting agencies have announced the sale for scrap to India of Polish Steamship Co.'s Ziemia Chelminska. Built in 1984 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she was one of six sisters, all of which sailed for Polsteam their whole careers. The "Ziemia" sisters were among the most frequent oceangoing visitors to the Great Lakes - Seaway system until about five years ago. The Chelminska is currently eastbound in the Indian Ocean, having passed the coast of South Africa over the last few days. She is showing a destination of Kakinada, India in about three weeks. The Chelminska's five sisters all appear to be actively trading around Europe and the Mediterranean at the moment, but with a slew of new Lakes-capable vessels entering Polsteam's fleet, their days may be numbered as well.


St. Clair County falls short on business boost from shipping

10/23 - Port Huron, Mich. – When it comes to economic benefits from shipping on the Great Lakes, St. Clair County misses the boat.

A report released last week and funded by the shipping industry claims cargo shipping in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River navigation system supports 227,000 jobs and pumps billions into the U.S. and Canadian economies. The report says shipping by water saves about $3.6 billion a year in comparison to overland transport costs.

Michigan received about $3.8 billion in business revenue and $182 million in state and local taxes in 2010. The two major Michigan ports are Monroe and Detroit, though there are 43 commercial ports across the state.

Freighters glide by U.S. communities on the St. Clair River: While Sarnia has a port of call, Port Huron does not – likely thanks to the numerous refineries that line the Canadian coast.

"Because the ports in the county are relatively dormant, increased shipping on the Great Lakes is having little impact on our area. The port in Sarnia also has little impact," said Dan Casey, chief executive officer for the Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County. "Without substantial investment in infrastructure at our ports, I don't see many opportunities to benefit from increased shipping."

Marci Fogal, president of the Blue Water Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, said freighters aren't a huge draw for tourists to Port Huron. "They may not be coming here for the freighters -- but once they get there, that's what it's all about," Fogal said.

Ships haul a variety of bulk materials on the Great Lakes, their connecting channels and the St. Lawrence River. Among them are iron ore, coal, stone, salt, sugar, grain, steel, wind turbine parts and heavy machinery.

Any commercial vessel more than 300 tons requires a licensed pilot on board for specific waterways. Throughout the 2,300 miles of the system, from the Atlantic to the western Lake Superior port of Duluth, Minn., about 17 piloting changes are required -- and the Lakes Pilots Association, Inc. in Port Huron gets a piece of the pie.

More than 160 million metric tons of cargo moves each year on the waterways.

Capt. Dan Gallagher of the Lakes Pilots Association said the business staffs 10 full-time pilots in addition to pilot boat operators and drivers. Add support staff of secretaries, dispatchers, legal counsel and accounting firms, Gallagher said the impacts "really add up."

"We don't run an 8-5 operation," Gallagher said. "We have someone here all the time." Cargo ships are vastly important, Gallagher said, because of their enormous capacity. "Marine is the only way to go," Gallagher said.

An average 1,000-foot ship can haul about 65,000 tons of cargo, Gallagher said, whereas an average semitrailer can haul between 15 and 20 tons.

Environmental groups, however, question the benefits versus the costs of international shipping, specifically in terms of invasive species.

James Clift, policy director of the Michigan Environmental Council in Lansing, said a study paid for by Great lakes United and conducted by University of Notre Dame researchers put annual costs from invasives in the Great Lakes Basin at $200 million.

"First you have every single business that has a water intake valve has to treat that intake on a regular basis to get the zebra mussels and quagga mussels off of it," he said.

State and federal agencies throughout the basin also spend annually to control sea lampreys in order to maintain recreational fisheries, he said. Casey said that the predominant shipping carriers in St. Clair County are truck, air and rail -- in that order. "The primary drivers of economic activity in (St. Clair County) are manufacturing and healthcare jobs. Short-sea shipping is not used locally to move manufactured goods," he said.

The report found ocean ships -- known as "salties" -- contribute much less to the regional economy than the fleet of U.S. and Canadian ships lake freighters.

About 61 million tons of freight moved through Michigan ports in 2010 -- 88% of which was on U.S. flag vessels, according to the report.

Even so, transoceanic vessels provide a crucial direct link between the Great Lakes region and overseas ports, said Steve Fisher, executive director of the American Great Lakes Ports Association and project manager for the report.

The industry-funded report -- the first to document the economic impacts of the cargo shipping industry through the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes -- was done by Martin Associates, an economic consulting firm in Lancaster, Pa.

Fisher called the study "long-overdue." "We've got a dredging crisis on the Great Lakes," Fisher said, explaining how harbors are not receiving federal funds for dredging projects by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The report will be used by lawmakers to justify spending money on dredging projects, Fisher told the Times Herald in a phone call from Capitol Hill.

"Investing in our ports is investing in American manufacturing," Fisher said, noting cargo ships transport many of the raw materials used in the Detroit's auto industry. "If we're going to have good, paying jobs in the Midwest, we're going to have to keep the infrastructure maintained."

Port Huron Times Herald


DeTour Reef Light celebrates 80 years

10/23 - Drummond Island, Mich. — The DeTour Reef light was completed in 1931. For eighty years it has stood guard a mile offshore in northern Lake Huron, at the far eastern end of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It was built on the old Watson coal dock and then towed out.

The DeTour Reef Light rises 83 feet above the water and marks a dangerous reef to help guide ship traffic from and to Lake Huron and Lake Superior via the St. Marys River.

The crew mixed 600 sacks of cement every day, along with sand and gravel. The bottom part of the lighthouse was built of wood like a double box, 60 feet on the outside and 40 feet on the inside with concrete all around. There was 26 feet of water where the base was set.

At one point there were 35 men working on the lighthouse. Names familiar to DeTour and Drummond Islanders alike – Rae McCulloch, Alvin Shaw, Clifford Bailey, Bill Anderson, Joe Kemppainen, St. Onge, Joe Martell, Joe Lemieux, Alfred Lemieux, Ernie Wilkie, Jewell LaMere, Arthur Miller, Junior Sims, and Ted Tellefsen, to mention a few.

The late Alfred Lemieux kept the mixer aboard the barge Elm going. Captain Taylor was in charge and one day Lemieux said that he thought it was too rough to take the Elm out to the lighthouse. The captain said not to worry, if a hole was punched in the side they’d fix it. The seas were really rough and a hole was punched in the side of the concrete form. Just like the captain had said, they fixed it — but not before a large amount of concrete ran out and into the lake.

The barge that hauled the cement to the site was about 125 feet long and 50 feet wide. It would be loaded at night and head out to the light in the morning. The structure was built for the Lighthouse Service and was turned over several years later to the Coast Guard. Part of the DeTour Reef Light was taken from the first light built in DeTour on Lighthouse Point, about ¼ mile in from the crib.

During the light’s construction there was one fatality. A man from Cheboygan was drowned. He was rolling timber and was hit in the head. It knocked him over and caused the drowning.

The DeTour Reef Light, which would change the course of ships over its many years of operation, would also change the lives of its builders. One poignant example was the life of a young man who traveled to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to work on the project. He met the girl he would marry at the 4th of July baseball game in DeTour. His name was Ted Tellefsen and the girl was Joy Bailey from nearby Drummond Island. Joy and Ted raised six children, Ted Byron, Mary Jean (Ledy), Joy Anne (Cameron), John Warren (Carol), Thomas Arden (Rosanne) and Jewel Beth (Wamsley).

The construction of the DeTour Reef Light that began in 1929 was completed in 1931. It was lit for the first time on November 7. Remember the reference to the incredible amount of concrete the crew mixed everyday? Some of the concrete was mixed in wood boxes that had tin bottoms. They were 6 to 8 feet long with planks on either side.

My uncle, Pat Newell, a young fellow in 1931, remembers making sail boats out the boxes that were used to mix the concrete in. He said there were six or seven boxes and told of Norm Dyer, Glen Shaw, Merlin Kelly, Vern McGuire and himself installing a seat on the back and making sails from canvas. Pat recalled having a lot of fun sailing them in the millpond, (site of the present marina).

Today the DeTour Reef Light is still an important part of marine life and would be missed if it wasn’t in view as we travel across the ferry. Its preservation is due to dedicated workers who have worked diligently to “save the lighthouse.”

The DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society (DRLPS) held its first meeting at the Fogcutter in DeTour in January 1998, and what they have accomplished in those short years is amazing. The founders of the organization were, Bob Jones, James Charles, Jeri Baron Feltner, Barb Snider and Richard Moehl.

After 12 years of dedicated volunteer effort, the DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society received the deed and ceremonial key to the DeTour Reef Light from the Federal Government. Over the years, the society has received recognition many times. The most recent honor was when Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States, designated it as one of the nation’s newest Preserve America Stewards. The DRLPS was the first in Michigan to receive the award.

Current officers are President: Ann Method Green; Vice President: Sandy Wytiaz; Treasurer: Charles E. Feltner; Secretary: Janelle Dudeck; Directors: G. Dennis Bailey, David Bardsley, Clifton E. Haley, Russ Norris and Brian Nettleton. Founding Directors Emeriti: Jeri Baron Feltner and Dick Moehl and Honorary Director, Jim Woodard. John and Sunny Covell are Co-chairpersons for tours.

Soo Evening News


Updates -  October 23

News Photo Gallery


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.


Dry docks in Port Weller presses ahead for more work

10/22 - St. Catharines, Ont. – The workers have seen it before. Seasons of frenetic ship repair and refitting activity at the dry docks in Port Weller. Then other times, like this summer, when activity was almost dead in the water.

Wednesday's news that Seaway Marine and Industrial will not be part of main contracts in a $35 million federal shipbuilding program comes as another big worry. The Upper Lakes Group facility was part of a bid with Chantier Davie Canada of Levis, Quebec and SNC-Lavelin for one of the massive multi-ship contracts.Those combat and non-combat deals went to shipyards in Vancouver and Halifax.

The drive to generate new work in St. Catharines has never been greater.

"I'm still not happy with the decision that was made," said John Marsala, 42, chief union steward for the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers local which represents almost 130 hourly docks workers. "But there are things on the table that we can hopefully get as work there.

"We've proven time and time again we can build ships and repair them," Marsala said, pointing as an example the 2003-2004 White Rose project which produced a $20-million oil-processing module for a Newfoundland oil field. "We're a pretty good team here," he said.

A $2-billion contract to build dozens of smaller federal vessels will also be awarded later to other Canadian shipyards. Some of those deals could go to St. Catharines. The company is also set to bid for the refit of the Canadian navy destroyer Athabasca. It also sees a traditional winter surge in mostly bulk carrier refitting and repair work that can see dockyards numbers, including contractors, swell up to 150 to 200.

Seaway Marine has had many ups and downs in its 65-year-old history.

Seaway is the successor company to the Port Weller Dry Docks, which was part of Canadian Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd. and purchased by Upper Lakes Group in 2007. This, after CSE restructuring efforts failed as it emerged from bankruptcy protection.

The 65-year-old docks had employed as many as 300 people or more, in recent decades. Its last full shipbuilding contract was for the Lake Erie ferry Jimaan in the early 1990s. It has since focused on ship repair, refit and conversion work and specialized manufacturing. Had it gotten a share of the latest $8 billion-plus non-military contract, it could have meant 500 jobs in coming years and money pouring into the area. There are now just three Boilermaker union members on site counting parts, painting and other tasks.

John Dewar, Upper Lakes Group vice-president of strategic services, said management will redouble efforts to "realign" the yards and get more work. That could include future industrial fabrication in St. Catharines, though he wouldn't specify.

"We intend to press forward on a commercial basis (for both shipyards, including Davie)," he said. "We're committed to doing that." Remember Port Weller has the only "full-size, full service station on Highway H20", covering St. Lawrence Seaway's Montreal-to-Thunder Bay shipping, he added.

"It's an essential service to the marine transportation industry," Dewar said. "So it has to survive."

St. Catharines Standard


Port Reports -  October 22

South Chicago - Brian Z.
After a stormy two days with huge waves and high winds, American Steamship's Adam E. Cornelius finally made the dock at KCBX Terminals to load. The Cornelius arrived mid-day to load a blend of Western coal for Muskegon, Michigan.


Search suspended for missing Sandusky boater

10/22 - Cleveland, Ohio – The U.S. Coast Guard, Royal Canadian Air Force and other response agencies were searching Lake Erie Friday near Lakewood, Ohio, for a missing boater whose vessel was located at anchor in Lake Erie that morning. Missing is Michael Leslie, 43, of Sandusky, Ohio.

Leslie’s wife reported him missing at 7:17 p.m., Thursday, stating that he is an inexperienced mariner who ordinarily does not boat in the dark. She said he left from Sandusky Yacht Club.

A U.S. Coast Guard boat crew aboard a 45-foot Response Boat – Medium from Station Cleveland Harbor located Leslie’s 31-foot cabin cruiser about one mile north of Lakewood at 9:15 a.m. Friday. Rough weather made it unsafe for the RB-M to get close enough to transfer crewmen to Leslie’s boat to check on him so three search and rescue technicians aboard a Royal Canadian Air Force CC-130 Hercules airplane that was assisting with the search parachuted down from the aircraft, swam to the vessel, and climbed aboard. The technicians reported no one was aboard the vessel.

It is not known if Leslie went into the water, but as a precaution the U.S. Coast Guard is coordinating search efforts as though he did.

Involved in the search was a 45-foot Response Boat – Medium from Station Cleveland Harbor; a 41-foot Utility Boat from Station Lorain, Ohio; a 47-foot Motor Life Boat and a 33-foot Special Purpose Craft – Law Enforcement boat from Station Marblehead, Ohio; a 41-foot Utility Boat from Station Toledo, Ohio; an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Detroit; an HC-130 Hercules airplane from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C.; a Royal Canadian Air Force CC-130 Hercules airplane from Trenton, Ontario; and members of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Customs and Border Protection.

The Coast Guard suspends a search and rescue case with extremely great care and deliberation. After a probable search area is saturated several times with a maximum number of assets, resources and crew effort, and a person missing is still not located, a decision is made to suspend a case.


Updates -  October 22

Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - new pictures in the Cliffs Victory, Scott Misener, and George M. Carl galleries.


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.


Great Lakes coal trade down 7 percent in September

10/21 - Cleveland - Shipments of coal on the Great Lakes totaled 3.4 million net tons in September, an increase of nearly 15 percent compared to August, but a decrease of 7 percent compared to a year ago. The trade was more than 10 percent off the 5-year average for September.

Loadings at Lake Superior ports topped 2 million tons for the first time this year, but still represented a decrease of 6.5 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments from Lake Michigan terminals rose 40 percent, but loadings at Lake Erie docks slipped 21.6 percent.

Year-to-date, the coal trade stands at 19 million tons, a decrease of 14.7 percent compared to a year ago, and even more, 26.1 percent, when compared to the 5-year average for the first three quarters.

Lake Carriers Association


Waves from Lake Michigan flood parts of Chicago

10/21 - Chicago, Ill. – Large waves were forecast to reach 24 feet early Thursday after high winds and rain caused Lake Michigan to flood parts of Chicago. Winds of more than 40 miles per hour caused water to batter areas near the lake Wednesday.

The National Weather Service predicted waves would reach 18 feet Wednesday night and as high as 24 feet by 4 a.m. Thursday. The weather buoy is southern Lake Michigan recorded a maximum wave height of 19 feet about 5 a.m. Thursday morning with wind gusts topping 42 knots.

A high wind warning remained in effect until 10 a.m. Thursday near the lake, the Sun-Times reported, while a flood warning remained in effect until 4 p.m. Thursday, by which time waves were expected to gradually subside to less than 15 feet.

Fox Chicago


Port Reports -  October 21

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Twin Ports boatwatchers were able to see three GLF boats Thursday, with Presque Isle unloading at the CN ore dock, Cason J. Callaway tied up at the ore dock waiting for its turn to unload stone into the hopper, and the John G. Munson at nearby Hallett5 loading petroleum coke. Elsewhere Cedarglen was loading at Midwest Energy Terminal and Algolake was anchored out on the lake waiting for its turn at the CN ore dock.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Herbert C. Jackson loaded ore Tuesday evening and remained secured on the north side of the ore dock Wednesday morning waiting for winds to calm on Lake Superior.


Waterspout spotted over Lake Michigan in Sheboygan

10/21 - Sheboygan, Wis. – A waterspout over Lake Michigan was spotted by two people Wednesday morning southeast of Sheboygan, the National Weather Service said.

Morgan Brooks, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sullivan, said local dispatchers in Sheboygan took calls at 9:20 a.m. and 9:27 a.m. from people reporting the waterspout. Web cams posted near the Sheboygan harbor were unable to capture an image of the waterspout, she said.

"No pictures, unfortunately," Brooks said. "We were looking at the web cams hoping to capture something, but we didn't get it." The cameras could have been pointing away from the area where the waterspout occurred or weren't close enough to get a picture of it, Brooks said.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration defines a waterspout as a "funnel which contains an intense vortex, sometimes destructive, of small horizontal extent and which occurs over a body of water," according to Joseph Golden, a waterspout expert with the agency.

Brooks said waterspouts are like tornadoes over water, but added that, "Waterspouts typically aren't as strong, they don't move as fast and sometimes there's hardly any rain around it. They can last up to a few minutes."

Thursday’s forecast included a wind advisory until 10 a.m., with gusts as high as 50 mph. Rain was likely in the morning, along with winds from the north between 25 and 35 mph.

Sheboygan Press


Saginaw Bay water levels up to 25 inches higher than normal

10/21 - Essexville, Mich. – The U.S. Coast Guard is hoping water levels in the Saginaw Bay have topped off in the ongoing wind and rainstorm covering the region. “Right now, our water level is at 38.5 inches above the mean level,” said Seaman Kamille Girad of U.S. Coast Guard Station Saginaw River in Essexville on Thursday. “Compared to a normal day, that’s about 20-25 inches above normal.”

Girard said the level has declined since peaking above 40 inches Wednesday. “Hopefully, it’s going to still drop,” she said. Winds were at a sustained 34 knots, with gusts at 42.9 knots, Girard said.

The Coast Guard has not had to participate in any water rescues since the storm began. “We hope everyone is going to stay off the water,” Girard said, adding that a gale warning is in effect until 4 p.m. Thursday.

Bay City Times


Maritime Academy of Toledo educates community leaders

10/21 - Toledo, Ohio – Officials with the Maritime Academy of Toledo met with area community leaders Wednesday and stressed that more has to be done to call attention to job opportunities in the maritime industry, ahead of a predicted shortfall by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Representatives from Toledo City Council; the Board of Community Relations for the City of Toledo; and the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority received a briefing from Renee Marazon, Superintendent of The Maritime Academy of Toledo.

The briefing came a day after the Great Lakes maritime industry released the results of a year-long study that showed the entire Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway navigation system supports some 227,000 jobs – 28,000 of those in Ohio alone. The study also showed that the 227,000 jobs contributed $14.1 billion in annual personal income, $33.5 billion in business revenue, and $6.4 billion in local purchases; and added $4.6 billion to federal, state/provincial, and local tax revenues.

“Ohio will see more maritime jobs develop in the near future as shale deposits in eastern Ohio are utilized for natural gas. Maritime-related transportation of that resource will occur on both coasts in Ohio. We are already behind the curve when it comes to developing this area of the maritime workforce,” Marazon warned. Additionally, Maritime Academy of Toledo officials also presented numbers from Bureau of Labor Statistics that predicted a 15-percent job growth in the maritime industry by 2018 – higher than the national average for other careers. At the same time, the BLS warns that we, as a nation, are not educating enough people to meet that need.

“We asked for the opportunity to meet with area leaders to shine some light on the need to educate more people for jobs in the maritime industry,” said Marazon. “We have the ‘perfect storm’ developing in the maritime industry. The industry is faced with baby-boomers retiring, coupled with regular employee turnover. That, along with the fact that our maritime institutions are not graduating enough people to meet the need, presents a serious problem for the maritime industry – especially when it comes to officer positions.”

As part of the briefing, Marazon presented information on resources with the City of Toledo that are available to position the city as a leader nationally in maritime job retraining. “The City of Toledo has the resources and the technology already in place to become a leader in maritime job retraining and job creation,” she said. “In 2003, the American Maritime Officers (AMO) Union constructed a $10 million building on Water St. Along with that, they placed radar, navigation, bridge, and engine room simulators on the second floor of One Maritime Plaza. In the years between 2003 and 2008, between 1,000 and 1,500 maritime professionals annually came to Toledo for job retraining and re-certification. In 2008, the AMO consolidated its operation in Florida, and left Toledo. However, the AMO left behind a state-of-the-art building and the simulators – both being utilized by The Maritime Academy of Toledo.”

Marazon also explained that The Maritime Academy is already U.S. Coast Guard certified to offer required Basic Safety Training courses to not only students, but adults looking to enter the maritime industry. “In addition to the Basic Safety Training courses, we have courses available that will help people get jobs in the cruise line industry. These are jobs in administration, accounting, crew purser, and other trades necessary to meet the employment demands aboard cruise vessels. This is an industry that continues to grow with upwards of 25 new cruise ships expected to launch by 2015. Each cruise ship needs between 800 and 1,500 employees to operate effectively. We are working on partnerships with the cruise lines to train prospective employees,” she said.

The briefing was presented as part of Maritime Education Awareness Week at The Maritime Academy of Toledo. On Monday, the Great Lakes Maritime Academy, based in Traverse City, Mich., visited the school to meet with students about educational and career opportunities. At that time, John Berck, Director of Admissions, and Captain Mike Surgalski, announced that the Great Lakes Maritime training vessel State of Michigan will make its first-ever stop in Toledo in late May 2012. The purpose of the ship’s visit is to give area residents an opportunity to tour the vessel and learn about maritime careers.

Maritime Education Awareness Week continues on Friday, Oct. 21, when Mr. Rodger Norcross, Chief of the Watercraft Division from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, will visit the school to review its program and speak with students on the benefits of maritime opportunities.

Marine Link


Updates -  October 21

News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - new pictures in the Amoco Illinois gallery


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.


Lake Michigan storm bringing big waves, high winds

10/20 - The southern section of Lake Michigan could see waves of 25 feet or more later on Wednesday with wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour prompting shore line warnings from southwestern Michigan into Wisconsin.

Warnings for storm-forced winds extended to parts of Lake Huron into Thursday morning with forecasts for a lesser impact up into Lake Superior, the National Weather Service said.

Gale force winds of up to 45 miles per hour already were pushing waves of up to 10 feet onto the shore in the Chicago area by midday, forcing the park district to close part of a lake front jogging and cycling path.

"We expect those speeds to build across the rest of the lake through the afternoon all the way up to northern parts of Michigan and Wisconsin toward the Upper Peninsula of Michigan all the way across the lake," said Mike Bardou, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in the Chicago area.

Conditions like these are seen typically about twice a year and the forecasts for winds, waves and flooding are similar to a storm that struck in late September, Bardou said.

On Wednesday, waves on the southern part of Lake Michigan were expected to reach 14 to 18 feet in the afternoon and build into the evening. Winds are expected to reach nearly 60 mph with gusts up to 65 mph possible into the evening, he said.

The weather service issued a gale warning for the southern half of Lake Huron early Wednesday, expanding to a warning for storm-level wind gusts possible as far north as Presque Isle, Michigan from Wednesday evening to Thursday morning.

Wind gusts could reach more than 60 mph on parts of Lake Huron with 23-foot waves expected and up to 28-feet possible, the weather service said. On Lake Superior, wind gusts of more than 40 mph and waves of up to 17 feet are forecast.

Boats around the lakes were altering course or stopping to wait out the weather. Wilfred Sykes and Joseph L. Block were off Escanaba; Arthur M. Anderson was at Green Bay; Cason J. Callaway was in Duluth along with Presque Isle, John G. Munson and Walter J. McCarthy, Jr.; Algolake was anchored off Duluth; American Integrity was taking the northerly course across Lake Superior passing Thunder Bay; John. J. Boland was anchored in the upper St. Marys River; Algosoo was tied up at the lower pier below the locks; H Lee White was off Detour and Mesabi Miner was off St. Ignace. Fleet mates Samuel de Champlain and G.L Ostrander and barges were anchored off Bois Blanc Island, and Joseph H. Thompson was on the hook in Detroit River at the Belle Isle Anchorage.

Other boats at anchor or at docks:
Algoma Navigator at the Export Dock, Soo Ont.; Herbert C. Jackson in Marquette; CSL Laurentian at the Government Dock in Sarnia; Sam Laud in the Detroit River south of the Ambassador Bridge; Philip R. Clarke west of Long Point in Lake Erie; Manistee in Cleveland; Algoma Enterprise at Nanticoke; Algoma Guardian, Maccoa, Torrent and Federal Hunter in Hamilton Harbor; Frontenac near Amherst Island off Kingston; Ojibway and William J. Moore south of Cape Vincent, Lake Ontario.

Weather readings are as follows: Southern Lake Michigan weather buoy, 8:40 pm. north wind-33 knots, gust-38.9 knots, waves-12.8 foot. Weather Buoy north of Port Austin in Lake Huron: Northeast Wind-31.1 knots, Gust-38.9 knots, Seas-11.2 feet. Weather Buoy Mid-Lake Erie, ENE Wind-31.1 knots, gust-38.9 knots, Seas-6.9 feet.

Reuters, BoatNerd staff


U.S.-flag lakers' cargo up 7.6 percent in September

10/20 - Cleveland, Ohio – U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters carried 10.1 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in September, a decrease of 2.7 percent compared to August, but an increase of 7.6 percent compared to a year ago. The September float was also virtually tied with the month’s 5-year average.

Iron ore cargos for the steel industry increased 16.3 percent compared to a year ago. Limestone cargos for construction, steel production, and environmental uses rose almost 5 percent, but coal for power generation and steel production was largely unchanged from a year ago.

Through September U.S.-flag cargos stand at 65.2 million tons, an increase of 3.8 percent compared to the same point in 2010. Iron ore has increased 10.3 percent and limestone cargos continue to slowly climb over last year’s levels, but coal is down by 6.2 percent.

Compared to the 5-year average for the first three quarters, U.S.-flag cargos are down 1.6 percent.

Lake Carriers Association


Port Reports -  October 20

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic Wednesday morning included John G. Munson slowly steaming up St. Louis Bay to the C. Reiss Inland dock to unload coal and James R. Barker fueling at the Murphy terminal before proceeding to Midwest Energy Terminal to load. Indiana Harbor was loading at BNSF ore dock and Cason J. Callaway was expected later in the day to load at the CN ore dock in Duluth.

Muskegon, Mich. - Greg
Alpena departed her temporary layup berth in Muskegon on Wednesday and was outbound the Muskegon channel about 1 p.m.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
After spending more than 24 hours at anchor on the Saginaw Bay, Algorail was able to safely enter the river Tuesday morning, traveling up to Saginaw to unload. She was back outbound late Tuesday. Wednesday evening saw the Saginaw Bay/River with water levels higher than plus 50 inches above datum and winds sustained above 40 knots, gusting to nearly 60 knots.

Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
The tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes arrived from the Welland Canal to wait for the weather to calm down before heading west on the lake. Waves were up to six feet and the wind was coming from the east instead of the west, making the protected area off Buffalo an ideal place to drop anchor. Phillip R Clarke was anchored in the lee of Long Point, just west of the landmass before heading across the lake to Ashtabula.

Toronto, Ont. - Frank Hood
Hamilton Energy was in Toronto at 5 p.m. Tuesday refueling Stephen B. Roman. Algoma Provider left Toronto over the weekend.


Halifax Shipyard big winner in $33-billion Canadian shipbuilding announcement

10/20 - Ottawa, Ont. Irving Shipbuilding of Halifax has won the largest piece of a $33-billion federal shipbuilding program announced Wednesday. Irving will become the prime contractor for the navy’s new warships. The decision gave Irving $25 billion in combat ship construction, while Vancouver-based Seaspan Marine Corp., picked up $8 billion in federal contracts for non-combat ships.

Another $2 billion for smaller vessels is to be allocated later to another shipyard yet to be chosen. The decision itself was announced by Francois Guimont, deputy minister of the Public Works Department The financially troubled Davie shipyard of Levis, Que., the country’s oldest shipbuilder, was left out of the program, but will be eligible for the smaller portion to be come.

The Irving decision is expected to be a boon for the hard-pressed Nova Scotia economy, which has struggled in the wake of disappointing returns from its offshore natural gas sector. In Halifax, Mayor Peter Kelly said the contract will create about 4,000 jobs in Nova Scotia.

“This is indeed a proud moment for our municipality, for our province and for everyone who worked so hard to prove that ships do start here, home to Canada’s east coast navy,” Kelly said in a statement. He said the contract represents the biggest economic opportunity for the province since the navy was established in Halifax more than a century ago.

The federal government has tried for years to flatten out the boom-and-bust cycles of the shipbuilding industry, which has struggled since the last major warship project ended in the 1990s. The complex evaluation process gave the most weight to a shipyard’s existing capacity and its plans for executing the work, said senior government officials who briefed the media before the announcement.

While the decision establishes a special relationship with the selected firms, it will now be up to the federal government to deliver on decades worth of individual contracts. It is perhaps the biggest uncertainty in the deal, especially given Ottawa’s deficit woes.

Peter Cairns, of the Canadian Shipbuilders Association, said the deal contains protections for the yard in case future governments get cold feet, but trying to plan decades’ worth of work is fraught with uncertainty.

“In every contract the government writes it always reserves the right to do what it considers is best for Canada, said Cairns. Is there an iron-clad guarantee? Is there something you can take to the bank? There is no guarantee, but then again there are the other protections that companies have, like pursuing through the courts.”

Replacement of the navy’s 30-year-old tribal-class destroyers, which act as command and control ships for task forces, was named a top priority by the head of the navy as far back as 2006. Yet the first ships launched under the new National Shipbuilding Program will likely be six Arctic offshore patrol ships, fulfilling a long-standing promise by the Conservatives to beef up Canada’s presence in the Far North.


NOAA study points to less water loss in future Great Lakes levels

10/20 - Ann Arbor, Mich. – Studies of future climate change scenarios on the Great Lakes have pointed to falling water levels, but a new NOAA study gives a more optimistic outlook.

Scientists at the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) in Ann Arbor, Mich., have devised a new approach to modeling future water levels. Their work, now available online in the Journal of Great Lakes Research, predicts either a smaller drop or an actual rise in lake water levels under varying climate change scenarios.

The impact of climate change on Great Lakes water levels is a critical question for the region’s economy and environmental resources, as well as for one of the nation’s key shipping corridors.

“Even small drops in lake water levels create problems for shipping and navigation, hydroelectric energy production, and recreational boating,” said Brent Lofgren, Ph.D., a GLERL scientist and lead author of the study. “While there are still many unknowns about how climate change will unfold in the Great Lakes region, our results indicate less loss of water than earlier studies.”

The researchers used a different method than previous studies to account for how water evaporates into the atmosphere from the soil and plants in the drainage basin that surrounds the lakes, a variable known as evapotranspiration. Earlier studies used air temperature alone to estimate this variable. The new GLERL study uses an “energy budget-based approach” to better reflect the balance between energy coming in from the sun and energy given off from the Earth, which drives evaporation.

This approach also better represents the influence of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere on evaporation. The scientists applied this approach to computer models that predict lake levels and crunched various climate change scenarios.

“The models show lower loss of water to vapor, meaning that more water is staying in the Great Lakes basin,” explained Lofgren.

While greenhouse gases add a small influx of energy to the land surrounding the lakes, they are much more effective at raising the temperature by hindering energy from leaving.

The study, “Effects of using air temperature as a proxy for potential evapotranspiration in climate change scenarios of Great Lakes basin hydrology,” can be found online.


Aliaga scrapyard featured in CNN news spot

10/20 - The scrapyard in Turkey where many lakers have met their end was recently featured on a CNN news spot. Click here to view


Pilotage applicants sought

10/20 - Lakes Pilots Association, based in Port Huron, Mich., is seeking applications from those interested in future employment as a U.S. registered pilot on foreign vessels in District 2 of the Great Lakes. Lakes Pilots provides pilotage service in all the waters and ports from Port Huron, MI to Buffalo, N.Y., excluding the Welland Canal. Applicants must hold a U.S. Master, Mate or Pilot license with at least 24 months licensed service or comparable experience on vessels or integrated tugs and tows, of 4,000 gross tons, or over, operating on the Great Lakes or Oceans. Those applicants qualifying with ocean service must have obtained at least six months of licensed service or comparable experience on the Great Lakes. A complete list of requirements may be found in CFR Title 46, Shipping, Part 401, Subpart B. Anyone interested must first apply to the Director of Great Lakes Pilotage in Washington, D.C. for a preliminary review to determine eligibility. Once approved, applications will be forwarded to Lakes Pilots Association and reviewed as positions become open.

Applications and Information can be obtained at this link


For more information contact:
Director of Great Lakes Pilotage
US Coast Guard
2100 2nd St SW
Washington, D.C. 20593-7580
(202) 372-1537

Lakes Pilots Association
P.O. Box 610902
Port Huron, MI 48061
(810) 984-2541


Luck of the Lakes freighter trip drawing nears

10/20 - Vermilion, Ohio – The Great Lakes Historical Society and Steamship Col. James M. Schoonmaker’s Luck of the Lakes Raffle will close on November 4 at 5 p.m. All proceeds benefit the Society’s effort to create the National Great Lakes Maritime Museum in Toledo, Ohio. Christopher Gillcrist of the Great Lakes Historical Society stated that with three weeks remaining approximately 700 tickets had been sold. The raffle features trips on a vessel from Interlake Steamship, the Wilfred Sykes, the St, Mary’s Challenger, and the Saginaw. Additionally, cash prizes are also available. Tickets can be purchased by downloading the form from the Boatnerd website at this link. The drawing will take place on November 5 at the Toledo Club in Toledo, Ohio. The winner need not be present.


Updates -  October 20

News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - new pictures in the Amoco Illinois, George M. Carl, Raymond H. Reiss, and Reiss Brothers galleries.
New Video on our YouTube Channel


Today in Great Lakes History -  October 20

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.


Great Lakes iron ore trade up 19.5 percent in September

10/19 - Cleveland, Ohio - Iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 6.4 million tons in September, a decrease of 2.3 percent from August, but an increase of 19.5 percent compared to a year ago. September loadings also were up 15.1 percent compared to the month’s 5-year average.

Shipments from U.S. ports totaled 5.6 million tons, an increase of nearly 29 percent compared to a year ago. Loadings at Canadian ports were virtually unchanged from a year ago.

Through September the iron ore trade stands at 43.1 million tons, an increase of 10.5 percent compared to a year ago, and 11 percent better than the 5-year average for the first three quarters.

Shipments from U.S. ports are up 11.8 percent compared to a p year ago and 14.9 percent ahead of their 5-year average. Loadings at Canadian ports are marginally ahead of last years pace, but 13.4 percent below the 5-year average for the January-September timeframe.

Lake Carriers’ Association


Salvage company to start work on Miner

10/19 - Halifax, N.S. - A salvage company has been hired by the Nova Scotia government to remove loose items from a ship grounded off Cape Breton. The province’s Natural Resources Department says in an email that Mammoet Salvage will also seal all doors and hatches to prevent anyone from getting inside.

Mammoet Salvage has already removed fuel and oil from the vessel. The former Great Lakes freighter was being towed to Turkey as scrap when it ran aground on Scatarie Island on Sept. 20.

The provincial government says it will cost between $250,000 and $400,000 to do the work, and take from seven to 10 days. The work on the extensively damaged bulk carrier is expected to begin Thursday.

The Natural Resources Department also says an oil sheen likely from the ship’s engine room was spotted on the water Monday. Transport Canada estimates the sheen amounts to about five litres of oil that will be soaked up with absorbent booms. More than 10,000 litres of oil and waste water have already been removed from the ship, which has been heavily damaged by waves since it became stuck on the island’s shore.

Cape Breton Post


Oil from U.S. Steel spilled in Detroit River

10/19 - Ecorse, Mich. - An unknown amount of oil spilled into the Detroit River from an outfall at U.S. Steel-Great Lakes Works at about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, possibly due to a heat exchanger shutting down, said Kandi Bokma, Coast Guard Detroit Sector.

The leak was fixed and a boom — a plastic covering that envelops the oil to stop it from spreading — was deployed, she said. The leak was at U.S. Steel’s location at 100 Quality Drive.

A spokesman for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Chicago office said the leak did not appear to affect the river and it has been contained. The EPA did not go to the scene, he added. Bokma said a Coast Guard pollution investigator was sent to the scene but authorities had not heard back from them yet.

Ecorse News-Herald


Detroit man gets prison in hoax Coast Guard call

10/19 - Detroit, Mich. – A Detroit man was sentenced to 30 months in prison for making a hoax call about a capsized boat to the U.S. Coast Guard, costing the government roughly $53,000 in search and rescue efforts.

Craig Sanders, 32, who pleaded guilty to making the false distress call in June, also has been ordered to pay $53,306 in restitution to the U.S. Coast Guard. He was sentenced in Port Huron, before U.S. District Judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff.

According to U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade's office, Sanders called the Coast Guard on March 11, stating, " boat capsized. I was the only one wearing a PFD (Personal Flotation Device); I made it ashore, my family didn't."

Sanders also stated that his boat was in Lake Erie and that he could not find his buddy, authorities said. As the Coast Guard tried to get more information, Sanders abruptly terminated the call, they said. The Coast Guard initiated an eight-hour search and rescue mission that included units from Toledo and Marblehead, Ohio, as well as a helicopter from the Air National Guard Base.

"Fake distress calls are no laughing matter. We will pursue hoax callers to the fullest extent of the law," said Rear Adm. Michael Parks, the 9th Coast Guard District commander.

Added McQuade: “We hope that prosecutions like this one will deter others from making false reports to the Coast Guard so that the Coast Guard can instead focus on real emergencies.”

Detroit Free Press


Great Lakes-Seaway shipping adds $16 billion to Canadian economy

10/19 - Ottawa, Ont. - Cargo shipments to ports on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway navigation system generate $34.6 billion of economic activity and 227,000 jobs in Canada and the U.S., according to a new study. That breaks down to 98,000 jobs and $15.9 billion in economic activity in Ontario and Quebec.

The study, which is the first to reveal the economic value of the entire bi-national Great Lakes-Seaway System and its more than 100 ports, was simultaneously unveiled today by the Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation in Ottawa and by U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation John D. Porcari in Washington, D.C.

Terrence Bowles, president and CEO of the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, said: “The economic benefits of Great Lakes-Seaway shipping are far-reaching. Not only is marine shipping creating jobs in Canadian communities, but marine-related industries and employees are contributing significantly to the general prosperity of Canadian society by providing $4.6 billion in personal income. In addition, North American farmers, steel producers, construction firms, food manufacturers and power generators depend on the 164 million metric tons of iron ore, coal, stone, salt, sugar, grain, steel, wind turbines and machinery that are delivered by ships every year to keep their businesses running.”

Canadian shipping executives said that the new data would help inform government policymakers, particularly New York State regulators that will in 14 months’ time be enforcing stringent new ballast water treatment standards for ships transiting the St. Lawrence Seaway that scientists have said are currently technologically unachievable. The study shows that New York State’s incoming ballast water regulations for ships transiting the St. Lawrence Seaway could impact 72,000 jobs and $10.7 billion of economic activity in the two countries. Canada would be the most severely affected with the potential loss of 55,000 of those jobs and $8.5 billion of those business revenues in Ontario and Quebec.

For the past year, the Canadian government and the marine industry have been working together to discuss their concerns with U.S. officials.

“Canada and the United States share a mandate to protect our waters from invasive species while facilitating safe and clean marine transportation,” said Mr. Pierre Poilievre, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. “This study underscores the importance of an internationally compatible approach to managing ballast water discharges in the waters we share with the United States.”

Despite the Great Lakes-Seaway having the most stringent regulations in the world to prevent introductions of invasive species, New York State’s regulations will require all ships transiting its waters to install treatment equipment to sterilize its ballast water to a standard that is 100 to 1000 times international standards. Scientists working for the U.S. government and the State of Wisconsin have both concluded that no technology currently exists to achieve this standard. As all ships must sail through New York waters to pass though the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Great Lakes, the regulations would effectively choke off all trade through the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Greg Wight, chief executive of Algoma Central Corporation, the largest Canadian ship operator on the Great Lakes-Seaway system, said: “The Canadian government has been very supportive in helping industry discuss these concerns with U.S. regulators. And politicians from other Great Lakes states that would be harmed by New York’s rules have also been campaigning against them. We also know that the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will in November be coming out with a proposed national standard for ballast water treatment. We are hopeful that recent scientific evidence and today’s economic numbers will convince New York to rethink its legislation and work with industry and U.S. and Canadian governments to come up with harmonized, science-based regulations that will protect the environment and the economy.”

St. Catharines-based Algoma Central and Montreal-based Fednav Limited are among a number of domestic and international shipowners that have recently committed more than $1 billion to bring a new generation of super-efficient, environmentally-friendly vessels to the Great Lakes-Seaway System over the next three years.


Port Reports -  October 19

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
John J. Boland arrived Tuesday afternoon at the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock to unload western coal from Superior. Her arrival was delayed three days by high winds on Lake Superior.

Calcite, Mich. - Denny Dushane
The loading dock in Calcite will have a busy week ahead with several vessels scheduled to load. Among the vessels due to load at Calcite this week are the following: James L. Kuber on October 19 for the South Dock, on October 20 no vessels scheduled. For October 21 three vessels are due to load at Calcite with the American Courage at the South Dock, while the Manitowoc and Robert S. Pierson will load at both the North and South Docks respectively. On October 22 the John J. Boland is due to load at the South Dock, and finally, on October 23, Calumet and John G. Munson both are due to load at the North Dock in Calcite.

Stoneport, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Vessels scheduled to load at Stoneport in the upcoming days are the following: A boat to be determined later for October 20 followed by the Great Republic and the Joeseph H. Thompson on October 21. For October 22 there are two vessels, the Manistee and the Great Lakes Trader, both scheduled to load at Stoneport. On October 23 the Lewis J. Kuber is due to load at Stoneport, with the Presque Isle rounding out the list for October 24.

Toledo, Ohio - Denny Dushane
The Port of Toledo will have a busy week ahead with several vessels due to arrive in port. Due to load at the CSX Coal Dock: McKee Sons and Michipicoten on Wednesday, H. Lee White on Thursday followed by James L. Kuber on Saturday. Due to arrive at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock is Algoway on Thursday followed by Algoma Navigator also on Thursday. There are four vessels due to arrive on Thursday to unload at the Torco Ore Dock: John B. Aird, Great Republic, Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin and John J. Boland while McKee Sons is due to unload at Torco Dock on Saturday.


Detroit-Windsor passenger ferry considered

10/19 - Detroit, Mich. – The head of the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority said Monday that passenger ferry service between Detroit and Windsor could begin next year if details can be resolved.

John Jamian, executive director of the authority, told the Free Press editorial board that major hospitals that employ lots of nurses and other staffers who live in Windsor were surveying their work forces about their desire for a ferry service. If those surveys show sufficient demand, and if Windsor authorities can find dock space and nearby parking for commuters, ferry service might begin by mid-2012, he said.

"I think it's something that's going to happen, and I think it's going to be very positive," Jamian said. "We're waiting for the results of the survey to make sure if we do proceed, it's 100% support," he said. "It's not where we're going to build it and hope they come."

The port authority opened its new waterside headquarters near the Renaissance Center this year. Facilities include a new dock capable of handing a Great Lakes cruise ship of up to 400 passengers. The opening of the port authority dock last July immediately revived talk of a passenger ferry between Detroit and Windsor.

Jamian said any ferry service would carry passengers only, not vehicles. Once passengers from Windsor arrive in Detroit, they would catch a shuttle bus to their employer's location or ride public transportation. He envisions the service running year-round.

Detroit Free Press


Ships added to fleet of research vessels

10/19 - Smashing a bottle of champagne is part of today’s ceremony welcoming two new Great Lakes research vessels to the U.S. Geological Survey’s fleet. The ships, the R/V Muskie and the R/V Kaho, replace older vessels on Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, continuing research on predator and prey fishes, and surveying the lakes for fishery and ecosystem health.

The boats are smaller than others in the fleet – they’re only 70.8 feet while others are more than 100 feet. That makes them better for testing near shore ecosystems. Christening is at the Sandusky Yacht Club in Sandusky, Ohio. A public open house follows from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Great Lake Eco


Site near Buffalo lighthouse due to become a new park

10/19 - Buffalo, N.Y. – About seven acres of land near the historic Buffalo Lighthouse should become a new Erie County park soon, County Executive Chris Collins announced Monday.

Meanwhile, Rep. Brian Higgins joined representatives from the U. S. Coast Guard, the Buffalo Lighthouse Association and the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. to celebrate the completion of Phase I of a $6.1 million federal project to improve public access to the waterfront adjacent to the lighthouse. Benches, lighting and security fencing were installed.

County management of the area known as “the grove” is expected to begin in November, after an agreement is signed for the Coast Guard to turn the property over to the county and the County Legislature approves. The Lighthouse Association will continue to manage the lighthouse.

“Our plan for this space next year will be to improve the basic appearance of the property, as well as add safety fencing, benches, picnic tables and swings,” said Parks Commissioner Jim Hornung.

Hornung also plans to clear trees and weeds along the water and build a comfort station with restrooms and a warming station. He said money for the park will come from an increase in the parks allocation in the 2012 county budget and possible Niagara River Greenway funding.

Buffalo News


Sole survivor of the Daniel J. Morrell shipwreck to tell his story in Fairport

10/19 - Dennis Hale has no idea why he was the only survivor when the lake freighter on which he was a watchman was torn in two by gale force winds and sank to bottom of Lake Huron. The water was 44 degrees, and the air was 33 on that day, Nov. 29, 1966.

Hale, then 26, was thrown into the water, along with 28 other crew members who fought to find something to hang onto amid 35-foot waves from the storm that had battered the ship for several hours. It was the middle of the night, and he’d been awakened by a loud bang, followed in short order by a general alarm.

“It was just eight minutes from the time the alarm went off until I was in the water,” he said. “Since I’d been asleep, I was barefoot and in my undershorts. I threw on a life jacket and a pea coat over it.” “I wasn’t in the water very long because four of us crawled aboard a life raft,” he recalled. About 14 hours later, the other three men were dead, but Hale remained alive another 24 hours until being rescued by a passing ship.

He’ll tell his story, which has passed into Great Lakes history and made him into something of a celebrity, at 7 p.m. Thursday in the community room of the Fairport Harbor Public Library. He’ll have his self-published autobiography, “Shipwreck,” on sale that evening for $19.95.

No one had heard of post-traumatic stress disorder in the 1960s, but the tragic accident has since defined life for the 72-year-old Hale. “I went to counseling for a while, because I couldn’t stop thinking, ‘Why me?’” he said.

Hale in demand as a speaker at lighthouse and maritime festivals and his book, which was published last year, is selling briskly. “The process of writing it was cathartic,” he said. “It took me a couple of years because it was pretty intense and I had to keep putting it away. Sometimes it feels like it all was yesterday.”

Meet Dennis Hale and hear his story at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Fairport Harbor Public Library, 335 Vine St. No reservations are accepted and there is no charge. Seating is first-come, first-seated.

News Herald


Capt. Ratch Wallace dies aboard Canadian Empress

10/19 - Captain Ratch Wallace passed away unexpectedly October 16 while aboard the Canadian Empress on the St. Lawrence River at dockside in Coteau Landing, Que. Cremation has taken place. He will be greatly missed by his family and all those who served with him in the marine industry in Kingston, Muskoka, Toronto Harbour and the Great Lakes. Two years ago he retired as a vice president from B.C. ferries. With a long marine career, including 12 years in total with St. Lawrence Cruise Lines, he touched the lives of all those around him and died doing what he truly loved. A donation in his specific honour can be made to the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston. A memorial service will be held this Sunday at 3 p.m. aboard the Canadian Empress at Crawford Wharf in Kingston.


Updates -  October 19

News Photo Gallery


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 towline 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.


Lakes limestone trade up slightly in September

10/18 - Cleveland, Ohio – Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 3.5 million net tons in September, a decrease of 6.7 percent from August, but an increase of 2.4 percent compared to a year ago. September loadings were 4 percent off the month’s 5-year average.

Shipments from U.S. quarries increased 10 percent compared to a year ago and were only marginally below the month’s 5-year average. However, loadings at Canadian quarries were off more than 22 percent compared to a year ago and 8.5 percent below September’s 5-year average.

Through September the limestone trade stands at 19.7 million tons, a decrease of 3.9 percent compared to the same point in 2010, and a drop of 13 percent compared to the 5-year average for the for the first three quarters.

Lake Carriers Association


Port Reports -  October 18

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Sunday the Mississagi was able to get into Lafarge after being anchored out in the bay due to the strong winds. It unloaded product into the storage hopper and finished in the afternoon. The Mississagi remained at the dock for a while after unloading, but departed in the evening. Sunday night CSL fleetmates Frontenac and CSL Tadoussac arrived in the bay to anchor and remained there on Monday. The Buffalo joined them on Monday night.


Responsibility for Miner remains unclear

10/18 - Halifax, N.S. – Premier Darrell Dexter says no one wants to be responsible for a badly damaged ship that’s been stranded off Nova Scotia for nearly a month. Dexter has been pushing the federal government to accept responsibility for the Miner, which ran aground off Cape Breton on Sept. 20 while being towed to a scrapyard in Turkey. But on Monday, he conceded it’s a job no ones particularly keen to take on.

“We’re in the same boat the federal government’s in nobody wants to sign up for liability,” Dexter said Monday at an unrelated news conference attended by federal Environment Minister Peter Kent. “You have a boat that’s owned by a company incorporated in the Marshall Islands that has no assets other than that boat. So we don’t have anybody to go after.”

The 230-metre bulk carrier now sits on Scatarie Island, a provincial wilderness management area. All attempts to pull the former Great Lakes freighter off the rocks have failed, and the ship has become increasingly damaged by rough seas. Dexter has said the province is the innocent victim of a towing mishap and shouldn’t be responsible for the wreck.

He said Monday that discussions continue with Ottawa to resolve outstanding issues, including how and when the vessel can be cut up and removed from the area. The ongoing talks have been a sore spot for Dexter, who has criticized the federal government as being elusive and noncommittal when it comes to the freighter.

Kent said issues of responsibility and liability are still being debated. “My colleagues in Fisheries and Transport are certainly engaged with the premier and the province with finding proper solutions and remedies,” said Kent, “who was in Halifax to sign a joint agreement with Dexter to designate Sable Island as a national park. We recognize there is an issue that needs to be resolved.”

Cape Breton Post


Rochester developer makes offer on used ferry

10/18 - Rochester, N.Y. – The man who wants to bring a fast ferry back to Rochester said he’s made a purchase offer on a used vessel. Harper Sibley – a descendant of the famous Rochesterian who founded Western Union and a partner in a resort in the Bahamas– said he hopes to hear back within two weeks on his purchase offer. If accepted, Sibley believes he can have the boat running from Rochester to Toronto in the spring.

Sibley would not reveal any details about the ship, but said it is “not too far away.”

When we last talked to Sibley, he was shopping for a 150-passenger ship. But he said he now wants a 300-passenger ferry to capitalize on peak weekend traffic. “We’d be turning away a lot of people,” Sibley said, estimating demand to be 1,000 passengers on a busy summer weekend. He noted the Spirit of Ontario – Rochester’s first ferry – was sold out when there were big events in Toronto.

The Spirit of Ontario carried 700 people and was deemed too large for the market. It lost millions of dollars before folding in 2005.

Sibley needed $3 million to launch operations and said he has “most of it, but not all of it.” He said he will be able to buy the boat and bring it to Rochester, without the remaining money. He believes investors will come on board once they see the ship here.

Sibley said he has preliminary approvals on both sides of the lake to start service. “The heavy lifting has been done” by the previous ferry service, he said. Officials in Rochester and Toronto confirm meeting with Sibley, but said there are no plans right now to resume service.

“We have not had any confirmation of a boat purchase or if Mr. Sibley has all of his investors in place. Our position is if Mr. Sibley can find the private investment and capital needed to start a ferry service, then we will provide the boat with a place to dock, as long as the operation requires no public subsidy and no taxpayer dollar investment. Is the plan realistic? Certainly,’ said Rochester spokesman Gary Walker in an email.

“Obviously we know the federal government is not going to be investing in ferries anymore in Rochester, but I certainly think it’s a good idea,” said Rep. Louise Slaughter, who has met with Sibley. “I have to know more before I say I’m optimistic but I’m certainly interested that he’s doing it.”

Sibley’s operation would run seasonally. There would be no cars on the ferry. The trip would take two and a half hours, the same as the previous ferry. One-way tickets would be $35 to $50. Sibley said he has the wherewithal to pull this off.

“I think you have to be optimistic to do something as crazy as bringing this back to Rochester."



New group's plan: Link Detroit to Halifax, future mega-ships

10/18 - Detroit, Mich. – A new nonprofit wants to transform Detroit's logistics assets into an inland port linked by rail to the deepwater facility in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to take advantage of the newest generation of massive cargo ships.

Organizers of the Great Lakes Global Freight Gateway say Halifax is one of just two ports on the East Coast – the other is Newport, Va. – that can handle the "Ultra Post-Panamax" container ships that will ply the seas by 2014.

The group believes it can convince logistics providers, maritime operators and manufacturers that it's cheaper and faster to ship goods to the Midwest through the Detroit-Halifax link.

"In the end, they all want the lowest price," said Michael Belzer, an economics professor at Wayne State University and CEO of Great Lakes Global Freight Gateway. "Detroit has never sold itself as an inland port before. It has all the assets."

Goods would arrive by mega-freighter in Halifax and then be shipped the 1,300 miles to Detroit via Canadian National Railway Co. trains (and CN's tunnel in Port Huron). From there, they would be offloaded for truck shipping locally and to the Midwest.

The process would be reversed for Michigan goods shipping out.

The project's selling point is the claim that moving containers between Detroit and Halifax, rather than through other ports, can reduce shipping costs by $250 to $930 per container, and shipping time can be cut by between three days and two weeks, depending on point of origin, said Belzer, whose group will create a business plan for the effort and recruit management to implement it.

Trade industry sources were estimating shipping costs to the U.S. East Coast earlier this year at $3,240 per 40-foot container.

Halifax is the first North American port on Atlantic Ocean trade routes from Europe and India, he said. The port has been investing in infrastructure to boost its cargo handling capacity, and CN has been marketing its operations there, as well. The effort also seeks to increase cargo movement through Montreal, which is a busier port than Halifax but unable to handle larger ships.

The freight initiative's goal is to create $11 billion in new economic activity for this region, along with 210,000 new jobs over the next decade. It wants to boost the number of cargo containers moving into Detroit by rail by 1,000 percent in the next four years.

To reach those numbers, Detroit would need $5 billion in new infrastructure -- everything from a new tunnel and bridge across the Detroit River to cranes and train yards -- to handle the cargo containers, Belzer said. That cost would be assumed by private industry as it builds expanded intermodal rail yards and other facilities to handle the cargo growth that the nonprofit intends, he said.

"If we had the (cargo) volume, there would be a rational business demand for more infrastructure," he said.

It also includes the proposed $2.1 billion New International Trade Crossing bridge in Detroit.

Key to the initiative is going on trade missions to market the inland port concept overseas, Belzer said, and targeting the new big ships.

"You have to get out and meet with customers and figure out what their needs are," he said. His group would pay to piggyback trade missions with local governments and industries, and its immediate goal is to be funded and have full nonprofit status within a year.

Goods that Belzer envisions being shipped through Detroit include chemicals, auto parts and raw materials for the auto industry, and agricultural products from soybeans (headed to Japan) to cherries (headed to East Asia).

The initiative has applied for federal nonprofit status and funding from the Michigan Economic Development Corp., Belzer said. The organization currently operates with volunteers and private donations, he said.

Other project officers include Thomas Linn, chairman emeritus of Detroit-based Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone PLC, and Roger Lane, former manager of contracted labor and services for Detroit Edison Co.

The group held a stakeholders meeting at the Westin Hotel at Detroit Metropolitan Airport on Oct. 11 to introduce the effort. Participating were the Port of Halifax, Wayne County and the Michigan Economic Development Corp., Business Leaders for Michigan, along with logistics companies and trade unions.

Tom Jones, senior vice president and general manager of supply chain solutions at the Novi office of Ryder System Inc., which contracts logistics services to firms such as Van Buren-based Visteon Corp., isn't familiar with the details of the gateway initiative, but isn't surprised about it because the region has a heavy emphasis on logistics.

"There is a tremendous amount of logistics talent in the area because of the auto industry. It's a big deal for automotive, so they've really focused on it and done a great job," he said.

The freight gateway project is allied with the Detroit Regional Chamber's TranslinkeD initiative, which is aimed at mapping the transportation, distribution and logistics assets in metro Detroit, northwestern Ohio and southwestern Ontario. TranslinkeD is aimed at growing jobs in those industries and promoting the area as a hub nationally and internationally.

Halifax is one of the few ports that don't need dredging to accommodate the new mega-cargo ships, which need water 50 feet deep.

The ships are called "Ultra Post Panamax" – Panamax being the industry term for the largest ships that can navigate the Panama Canal.

The biggest cargo ships today are too big for even a forthcoming canal expansion, which calls into question their likelihood of using Halifax as a regular port.

Also, most of the very largest ships are on pure Europe and Asian trade routes and don't often serve the east coasts of the U.S. and Canada. And many shippers are looking for a blend of local cargo delivery and long-range shipping. Nova Scotia itself is a small market for trade goods; fewer than 1 million people live in the peninsular province.

"On the East Coast, in a lot of the U.S. ports, you have the combination of the ability to service not only the Midwest but also local markets with those containers," said Christopher Gillis, the suburban Washington, D.C.-based editor of Jacksonville-based American Shipper trade magazine.

He said Halifax has been marketing itself for some time as a port option.

"Halifax has a lot of potential, but it's probably going to be a big job for them to attract that level of carriers to the port on a regular basis," he said.

The large container ships typically deliver cargo to several ports because few ports can handle an entire delivery of shipping containers. Cargo trains are usually about two miles in length, and each mile has about 400 shipping containers.

Ships and trains deal in cargo measurements known as TEUs and FEUs -- Twenty/Forty Foot Equivalent Units. These refer to the corrugated steel intermodal shipping containers, generally 20 or 40 feet long.

Now, the canal can handle ships carrying up to about 5,000 TEUs, and the expansion will boost its capacity to 13,000-TEU ships.

A Halifax port spokeswoman, who declined to give her name, said the harbor now handles ships carrying 5,000-7,500 TEUs.

The canal is too narrow to handle the Triple-E class of the Maersk E Series of mega-container ships from Denmark's A. P. Moller-Maersk Group -- the sort of ships the Great Lakes Global Freight Gateway says it wants but that sail mainly between Asia and Europe.

Moller-Maersk earlier this year awarded South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. Ltd. a $1.9 billion contract to build 20 of the Triple-E class vessels with delivery starting in 2014, according to shipping industry reports. The 1,300-foot ships will be able to carry 18,000 TEUs and are designed to be more economical for shippers by using a combination of freight volume and fuel-efficient slower speeds.

Moller-Maersk's current eight E Series ships carry 14,770 TEUs and are also too large to navigate the canal. Its smaller ships service Halifax.

An 18,000-TEU ship can require up to 40 trains. CN runs one train a day now from Halifax, said Mark Hallman, the railroad's director of communications and public affairs. He said cargo volume details about that train are proprietary.

The $5.3 billion Panama Canal expansion adds a third set of locks that will more than double its cargo container vessel-size capacity when complete in 2014. The expansion, approved by Panamanian voters in 2006, will permit vessels of with a cargo capacity up to 13,000 TEUs.

The need to expand the canal has been largely driven by U.S. imports from China.

The logistics industry is split on whether the new locks will siphon much cargo from West Coast ports. And how much would bypass other ports to reach Halifax is unknown.

"There's an ongoing debate about whether Asian traffic will switch to the East Coast, with some experts believing there could be some shift in traffic away from the West Coast," said John Taylor, an associate professor of supply chain management and director of supply chain programs at Wayne State. "Halifax may gain some traffic, but they could lose some traffic, as well."

Also, the trans-Atlantic is not as big a market as the trans-Pacific when it comes to shipping, American Shipper's Gillis said. Still, other East Coast ports are in a race to lure the new ships, according to trade industry reports. The Port of New York-New Jersey is spending $2.3 billion to dredge its harbor so that it can handle them.

The Port of Baltimore is spending $105 million on a massive new terminal to handle the mega-freighters, and the Port of Savannah is seeking a similar amount to deepen its harbor.

Florida ports in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Jacksonville have begun, or plan to begin, similar dredging projects.

Halifax handled 2.7 million cargo containers in 2009, according to the most recent statistics available from the Alexandria, Va.-based American Association of Port Authorities, a trade group of 160 port authorities in North America.

That amount ranked Halifax third among Canadian ports after Vancouver (19.2 million) and Montreal (11.2 million).

Thirteen U.S. ports handle more containers, led by Long Beach at 30.1 million, according to the AAPA. Halifax was closest in container traffic to New Orleans, which dealt with 2.8 million.

Halifax has two container terminals, one of which has a pair of cranes designed for Super/Ultra Post-Panamax containers, and it services 11 shipping lines. CN's facility at the port handles 150 TEUs daily.

Calgary-based Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. runs cargo between Montreal and Detroit via the 100-year-old rail tube below the Detroit River. CP doesn't link to Halifax, however.

Another issue is the size of the tunnel.

The increasingly used 9-foot-6-inch shipping containers are known as "high-cube" and are newer than 8-foot-6-inch freight boxes. The units of both heights are typically 20 to 40 feet long and are used to ship products and raw materials over long distances via ship and rail.

The old rail tunnel can't handle two high-cube containers stacked.

An investment partnership called the Continental Rail Gateway is trying to build a $400 million new tunnel near the old one. The coalition is in the environmental assessment process required to allow it to construct a larger rail tunnel that could accommodate double-stacked 9-foot-6-inch cargo containers and some new generations of multilevel rail cars used by shippers and auto manufacturers.

The primary investors in the tunnel project include Canadian Pacific, Toronto-based Borealis Infrastructure Management Inc. (the $47 billion investment arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System) and the Windsor Port Authority.

The current rail tunnel, along with the land needed for a new tube, is also owned by Borealis and Canadian Pacific. Backers of that effort have said that $21.5 billion of the $137 billion in U.S.-Canadian trade that moved through the Detroit-Windsor corridor in 2008 was via rail, according to the most recent numbers available.

Now, only the $200 million, 6,129-foot-long freight and passenger train tunnel built by Canadian National in 1994 underneath the St. Clair River between Port Huron and Sarnia, Ontario, can handle the largest trains.

The inland port effort also plays off the $445 million Detroit Intermodal Freight Terminal project. CSX, Norfolk Southern, Canadian Pacific and Canadian National are jointly developing the consolidated terminal near Wyoming Avenue and I-94 that is designed to accommodate existing and future freight demands.

The project, launched in 2001, got its federal environmental approval in 2010 and is now in the design phase.

Crain's Detroit Business


Books about Collingwood Shipyards now available

10/18 - Collingwood, Ont. – Twenty-five years after the Collingwood Shipyards closed, a Craigleith, Ont., man has produced not one, but two, ways of keeping this former industry’s memory alive. George Czerny, a former Collingwood resident, has produced two books about the historically-significant shipyards and is launching them to the public simultaneously at an on-line bookstore.

One book, “The Collingwood Shipyards,” carries stories and 67 photographs in 48 pages. The stories range from how the unique sidelaunches were done, to Czerny’s personal experiences during sea trials aboard one ship and riding another ship in during a side launch.

The second book, “A Salute to Sidelaunchings,” is a “slimmed down” 20-page version of “The Collingwood Shipyards” book and focuses strictly on sidelaunchings, using photographs from the first book. It carries no feature stories and “sticks to the basics of side launchings through photographs,” said Czerny.

Czerny says he got the idea for his books while thinking about a unique souvenir for Collingwood. He has photographs which have been made into cards featuring the former Collingwood Shipyards but decided to do something that would be a tribute to those who once worked at the shipyards, as well a “then and now” chronicle.

Both books are available from Czerny, or from an on-line bookstore, in the history section, at


Updates -  October 18

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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.


Gale warnings continue in effect across the lakes

10/17 - The National Weather Service has issued gale warnings until 5 p.m. Monday for the Great Lakes and as far east as Long Island Sound. On Lake Superior, winds are expected to be sustained at 35 knots from the west with gusts up to 45 knots. The largest significant waves will be 18 feet with a maximum height of 27 feet possible.

Northern Lake Michigan and Green Bay can expect sustained winds of 30 knots with gusts up to 40 knots, and waves from 9 to 13 feet. From Sturgeon By to Pentwater, the wind will be 45 knots from the west, with waves of 16 feet up to 24 feet.

Northern Lake Huron can expect sustained winds of 29 knots from the west with gusts up to 36 knots. Significant waves are expected to run 10 feet with a potential maximum of 14 feet by 5 p.m. Monday.

Western Lake Erie is forecast to have 15 to 25 knot winds out of the southwest, increasing to 30 by Monday morning. Waves are expected to build to 4 to 6 feet by Monday morning. Eastern Lake Erie is expected to have winds 25 to 35 knots by sunrise Monday, with waves 7 to 10 feet building to 10 to 15 feet.

Lake Ontario could see west winds of 25 to 35 knots with gusts up to 40 knots by 10 p.m. Monday. Waves are expected to be 8 to 13 feet


 Port Reports - October 17

Menominee, MI - Dick Lund
On a very windy Sunday, Pere Marquette 41 and Undaunted arrived at KK Integrated Logistics to load rock for a Chicago marina project. The duo joined the tug Zeus, with its barge already loaded with the larger rocks (up to 20 tons each), and the tug Donald C, with its two barges loaded with smaller rocks (still several tons each). Both have been waiting for several days for the wind to die down before they can depart. The winds in Menominee for the past 4-6 weeks have almost always held any tug with barges in port for a day or more. Pere Marquette and Undaunted, being an integrated tug and barge, hopes to depart after they are finished loading unless the wind picks up further, or switches direction.

Lorain - Phil Leon
Cuyahoga came into Lorain sometime Sunday morning. She cleared the outer harbor light at 2 p.m. and headed back east.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Sunday, the saltie Maccoa arrived at 10 a.m. from Toronto followed by the tug LaPrairie at 10:30 a.m. Maccoa found it too difficult to dock with the high winds so went to the Hamilton anchorage and then shifted to Pier 25 when the winds died down. The tug Sea Eagle II and barge St. Marys Cement II departed at 10:30 a.m. for Bowmanville. Canadian Transport arrived at noon after cleaning holds in the lake. Also at noon Montrealais, Captain Henry Jackman and Pineglen all hoisted anchor and departed the Burlington Bay anchorage and headed down the lake. John D Leitch departed the anchorage at 3 p.m. for Dofasco in Hamilton.


 Essar Steel Ltd. begins construction of Minnesota iron mine

 10/17 - Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. - The picturesque little town of Nashwauk, Minn., is going through some big changes. On Tuesday the first beams of what will be an Essar Steel Ltd. taconite mine and iron ore pellet production plant were erected.

There are currently 250 contractors in the town of nearly 1,000 people, but by the time construction of the pellet production warehouse hits full swing there could be as many as 1,200 contractors working on it. The target to begin production of iron pellets is winter 2012.

Essar's long-term plan for the site includes construction and operation of a direct reduced iron plant and steel facility when market demand warrants it.

Soo Toda


Multi-million dollar waterfront project in Toledo moves forward

10/17 - Toledo, Ohio - It's full steam ahead for a multi-million dollar project along the Toledo waterfront. The National Great Lakes Maritime Museum is set to open its doors within the next 18 months. The entire project will cost about 6.1 million dollars. Grant money from the Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission is expected to cover the cost. A feasibility study shows that tens of thousands of people will visit every year, bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In 1911 the Col. James M. Schoonmaker loaded coal for its maiden voyage from the very spot it is now docked as a museum ship. The freighter was later known as the Willis B. Boyer, but it has undergone a massive restoration and has been re-christened under its original name. The freighter is going to be relocated to the site of new maritime museum in the marina district.

About $3.5 million will be spent to dredge the Maumee River and create access to the freighter at the museum site. Paul LaMarre III, the Manager of Maritime Affairs for the Toledo Lucas County Port Authority and the executive director of the Schoonmaker, said "I'm very blessed to be able to help preserve this history and do it within the port of Toledo and hopefully bring a younger audience into appreciating it as well."

About 1.5 million of the grant money will be used to build the largest public maritime park in the Great Lakes region and the Great Lakes Historical Society will move its museum from Vermillion, Ohio to the Toledo Maritime Center. LaMarre said about $1.2 million will also be spent on indoor exhibits at the new site, "Within the building itself there will be the finest exhibits within the entire Great Lakes. The exhibits will take you from the days of the canoe to the one thousand foot freighters that ply the waters now. The Great Lakes Historical Society has the finest collection of marine artifacts in the Great Lakes region and they'll be displayed throughout," he explained.

$4.9 million from the Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission was slated for the original marina district project. Mayor Mike Bell, with city council's approval, will ask to re-direct the money to the maritime museum project. Councilman D. Michael Collins expects council to vote next Tuesday in favor of authorizing the mayor to do that.

In addition to the $4.9 million dollar grant from the Cultural Facilities Commission, the city of Toledo will also apply for another $1.1 million in grant money. Work on the new museum site will get underway next spring. It's expected to open in the spring of 2013.

13ABC Toledo


Updates -  October 17

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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.


Weather still keeping vessel traffic at a standstill

10/16 – Sunday morning update – A few vessels have changed location overnight, but strong winds persist across the Great Lakes. Winds on Lake Superior are 25 knots with gusts to 31 knots and waves of 9.2 feet.

Tim Dool has joined the group in Thunder Bay, and Mesabi Miner is in behind Isle Royale. Edgar B. Speer has worked his way down the St. Marys River and is part of the vessels group above DeTour along with James R. Barker.

In Lake Huron, Adam E. Cornelius is upbound near Rogers City and Calumet is downbound off Harrisville, while Algorail has found shelter in Saginaw Bay. James L. Oberstar has left the Rouge River and is upbound above Port Huron. American Integrity has left Zug Island and is upbound near Algonac.

In Lake Erie, Lee A. Tregurtha has made her way into Toledo and Cuyahoga has joined Philip R. Clarke off Sandusky. Sam Laud is headed into Cleveland.

In southern Lake Michigan, American Mariner has pulled into Burns Harbor and Wilfred Sykes is headed north along the western shore off Chicago. Stewart J. Cort is off Sheboygan headed south. McKee Sons has moved into Charlevoix a the cement plant, while St. Marys Challenger waits down in Grand Traverse Bay.

Over on Lake Ontario, Algowood and CSL Assiniboine have left Hamilton and are headed to Port Weller

10/16 – Late Friday evening there was very little vessel traffic moving on the Great Lakes as heavy winds continued to blow out of the WNW. The weather buoy in Lake Superior off Caribou Island was reporting winds of 27 knots with gusts up to 33 knots and waves of 12.1 feet.

In the Twin Ports, H. Lee White, John J. Boland, Medemborg and American Century were tied up while Mesabi Miner was slowly making her way along the north shore. Manitoba, Algoma Prospector, Algoma Spirit and Robert S. Pierson remain in Thunder Bay. Kaye E. Barker is still at Marquette and Paul R. Tregurtha is anchored in Waiska Bay in the upper St. Marys River. Cason J Callaway has moved to Goulais Bay for better protection. Edgar B. Speer remains in the lower St. Marys River off 7 Mile Road, while the group above DeTour includes John G. Munson, Presque Isle, Algolake, Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. and Algomarine.

The weather buoy in mid-Lake Huron was reporting 33-knot winds with gusts up to 40.8 knots and 14.4-foot waves. Calumet was seeking shelter off Cheboygan, and Mississagi and Adam E. Cornelius were anchored in Thunder Bay off Alpena. The anchorage above Port Huron included Frontenac, Algoma Transfer and CSL Tadoussac.

The Detroit River had a lot of stationary vessels, including Richelieu in the Belle Isle anchorage, G.L. Ostrander at LaFarge, St. Clair and America Integrity at Zug Island and Hon. James L. Oberstar in the Rouge River. Below the Rouge River were Wigeon, Michipicoten, Cuyahoga, Federal Yoshino, and Catherine Desgagnes.

In western Lake Erie, Stephan B. Roman and Lee A. Tregurtha were joined at anchor by Sam Laud, and Philip R. Clark was off Sandusky. Buffalo and Manistee were waiting out the weather in Cleveland, and CSL Niagara, James Norris, Cedarglen and Algoma Enterprise were maintaining their positions behind Long Point.

Lake Ontario weather had not improved any with 35-knot winds, gusts up to 44.9 knots and waves as high as 13.1 feet. The anchorage off Hamilton was temporary home to John D. Leitch, Pineglen, Algowood, Capt. Henry Jackman and Montrealais. Inside the harbor, CSL Assiniboine and Algoma Transport remained tied to the dock. Melissa Desgagnes stayed off Oakville and Algoma Provider was staying in Toronto, while Peter R. Cresswell was anchored behind Prairie Eden Point.

On Lake Michigan, American Mariner, Burns Harbor and Roger Blough remained off Chicago and McKee Sons was still behind Beaver Island


Port Reports - October 16

Duluth/Superior – Al Miller
Vessel traffic in the Twin Ports on Saturday included Mesabi Miner loading taconite pellets at the CN ore dock and John J. Boland loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Kaye E. Barker loaded ore Friday afternoon into the evening and remained at the ore dock Saturday morning.  Early in the afternoon, she backed away from the ore dock and dropped anchor inside the Upper Harbor to wait for winds to subside on Lake Superior

Stoneport – Dan McNeil
Loading at Stoneport on Friday was the Great Republic. No boats were due for Saturday. Due in at 6 a.m. Sunday is Arthur M. Anderson. Due Monday at 7 a.m. is Joseph H. Thompson.

Alpena – Ben & Chanda McClain
The barge Integrity and tug G.L Ostrander were in port on Thursday taking on cement at Lafarge. Friday morning the Calumet tied up at Lafarge and unloaded product into the storage hopper. It departed before noon. Mississagi arrived off Alpena around 5 p.m. on Friday and went to anchor.

Toledo – Dan McNeil
Boats due in Toledo at the coal dock are McKee Sons on Monday the 17th followed by H. Lee White on Tuesday the 18th. On Wednesday, the 19th Michipicoten is due to load coal followed by the Cason J. Callaway on the 20th and James J. Kuber on the 21st.
Due in at the Midwest stone dock is Algoma Navigator on the 18th and Algoway the 19th. CSL Laurentien is due at Torco on the 16th followed by John B. Aird and John J. Boland on the 19th followed by Rt. Hon Paul Martin on the 19th. Great Republic is due on the 20th with ore from Marquette.

Buffalo – Brian Wroblewski
The gale-force winds were whipping the lake into a frenzy Saturday. The dredge operations were suspended and all thee tugs were tied up at the Cargill Pool Elevator Pier hiding from the wind.

Hamilton – Eric Holmes
On Saturday, Algowood was departing for the canal and Sandusky at 9:30 a.m., but decided to join the other vessels at anchor due to the wind. Algoma Transport was arriving at 11 a.m. for Dofasco. Algosea remained anchored off Bronte and the Melissa Desgagnes was anchored of Clarkson both at Petro Canada facilities.


Updates -  October 16

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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.


Gale force winds send boats to shelter

10/15 - 8:30 am Update - Early Saturday morning, Lake Superior weather buoys were reporting winds at 33 knots with gusts to 42 knots, and waves at 15.4 feet. More vessels have gone to anchor as a result of the continuing conditions. In the Twin Ports, H. Lee White and John J. Boland were hovering off shore, while inside the harbor Mesabi Miner and American Century remained tied up. Manitoba, Algoma Prospector, Algoma Spirit and Robert S. Pierson were staying put in Thunder Bay. Kaye E. Barker is in at Marquette and Paul R. Tregurtha is anchored in Waiska Bay in the upper St. Marys River. Presque Isle has joined the group anchored above DeTour.

Karen Andrie has joined Stewart J. Cort near St. Ignace. Further down Lake Huron, Adam E. Cornelius is off Alpena with Mississagi. Catherine Desgagnes is maintaining a position in the Detroit River, and Cedarglen has joined the group behind Long point. Off Chicago, American Mariner is also on the hook.

Near Hamilton, on Lake Ontario, John D. Leitch, Pineglen, Capt. Henry Jackman and Montrealais are anchored off shore, while inside the harbor CSL Assiniboine, Algowood and Dara Desgagnes remain at the dock. In the Welland Canal, Algosoo is tied up at the stone dock in Port Colborne.

10/15 -Original Article - Winds that registered as much as 31 knots, with gusts up to 35 knots, were creating waves as high as 8.5 feet on Lake Superior Friday night. Weather buoys on the other lakes were reporting almost equal conditions.

Cason J. Callaway was on the hook in Whitefish Bay and Edgar B. Speer was anchored in the lower St. Marys River. Just above DeTour Village were Algolake, Walter J. McCarthy and John G. Munson. Stewart J. Cort was anchored northwest of Mackinac Island. In Lake Michigan, McKee Sons was in the shelter of Beaver Island, and Roger Blough and Burns Harbor were lying off Chicago. St. Marys Challenger was moving slowly while hugging the western shore below Manitowoc.

Mississagi was anchored off Alpena and further south, St. Clair, Algoma Transfer, CSL Tadoussac, Frontenac and Joseph H. Thompson were clustered just above Port Huron.

Lake Erie was host to Stephan B. Roman off Southeast Shoal, Philip R. Clarke was off Sandusky, Buffalo was staying in Cleveland, and Long Point was providing shelter to CSL Niagara, James Norris and Canadian Enterprise.


Firefighters called to submarine at Port Maitland scrapyard

10/15 - Port Maitland, Ont. – At around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday morning, a fire inside the Olympus, a decommissioned submarine once used by the Canadian Department of National Defence, broke out as workers from Port Maitland's Marine Recycling Corporation were inside. No injuries were reported and as of 3 p.m., the Haldimand County Fire Department was busy extinguishing the fire inside.

Ontario Provincial Police and Haldimand Firefighters from Dunnville, Byng, Moulton and Jarvis were called to the smoky scene after a worker inside was cutting material with a grinder when a stray spark ignited pieces of wood covered in a cloth-like fabric nearby.

"The interior of the sub is teak wood and cork, so it's fairly flammable," said OPP constable Mark Foster. "The company had been taking all the precautions to avoid this kind of thing, but sometimes things like this happen."

Foster said the workers inside tried to put out the flames with fire extinguishers, but when that didn't work, decided to vacate the sub and called 911. At one point, firefighters from six different Haldimand fire stations spent parts of the afternoon fighting the blaze, using 12 fire trucks.

It wasn't until 24 hours later when Haldimand Fire Chief Rob Grimwood declared the fire completely extinguished. No injuries were reported and the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Labour were called in to assess the situation.

"Safety for our workers is the first thing," said Wayne Elliot, director of business development for Marine Recycling Corp. "From there, they made sure there would be no more unnecessary damage to the environment outside."

Elliot said the slipway was boomed off to prevent any potentially harmful chemicals or substances from entering the Grand River, even though most of the hazards had been removed from the sub prior. "The Ministry of Environment said they were satisfied with our preparedness,” he said.

The configuration of the sub made battling the blaze complicated.

"It was in the top of the submarine casing and firefighters couldn't get on board to fight it. We had to be concerned with stability as well. With all the water coming on board we had to make sure the vessel wasn't getting too heavy in the water or leaning too much to one side," said Elliot. "I'm happy with all of the training we've done to prepare for something like this and the fire services did a great job."

Elliot went on board the decommissioned submarine Thursday morning using portable air monitoring equipment. "We got as far as we could towards the engine room before the alarm on the monitor went off warning us to not go any further," said Elliot, adding damage to the aluminum walkways was "extensive".

As of Friday Elliot said the company hasn't been able to assess the damage, but is expecting the only real loss to be time. With the fire, Elliot said changes will be implemented when they begin working on recycling both 1,250-tonne Oberon class submarines at the Port Maitland shipyard.

"Any grinding work will now be considered as 'hot work' much like welding or using a torch and any flammable material in an adjoining space will be wet down … One thing is to be sure, we are certainly going to prepare so something like this doesn't happen again."

Dunnville Chronicle


Nova Scotia, federal government discuss sharing costs of cleanup from MV Miner

10/15 - Halifax, N.S. The province of Nova Scotia has entered into discussions with the federal government to share costs associated with removing the remaining contaminants from the grounded bulk carrier on Scatarie Island.

The premier’s office confirmed late Friday the discussions involved an estimated $200,000 price tag for the latest cleanup associated with the stranded MV Miner. They are awaiting a federal response to that request.

It wasn’t immediately known which contaminants would be removed with that money, though. In an earlier interview with the Cape Breton Post, Premier Darrell Dexter discussed his concerns that the ship’s paint might be lead based. He also worried there might be asbestos on board and that potentially dangerous metals could be in the ship’s electrical system.

Earlier, the Canadian Coast Guard contracted a private company to remove more than 10,000 litres of marine diesel oil, lubricants and oily wastewater from the vessel. Meanwhile, people are being advised to stay away from the grounded bulk carrier.

Karen White, a spokeswoman for the provincial Environment Department, says the 230-metre freighter has become a bit of a tourist attraction. White says the province has no reports of people actually getting on the ship, which is grounded on the shore. But she says the ship isn’t safe to board and could break up at any time.

The MV Miner was being towed to Turkey as scrap when the line to a tug broke and it went adrift. The vessel has been grounded on the island for three weeks and has been extensively damaged by waves.

Cape Breton Post


 Seaway workers ratify contract

10/15 - Cornwall, Ont. – The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) has announced that its unionized employees, members of the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union, have ratified a three-year labor agreement covering a period extending from April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2014.

The agreement provides for annual wage increases of 2 percent. However, in the last two years of the contract, the agreement provides for either the negotiated 2 percent or 50 percent of the CPI rate, whichever is greater. The contract includes a lump sum payout to discontinue the practice of paying separation and retirement gratuities, and streamlines aspects of the job classification system providing the Corporation with greater flexibility.

Terence Bowles, President and CEO of the SLSMC, congratulated the groups on reaching an agreement. “By working together, we reached a fair settlement that contains our costs and ensures a sustainable future for our organization and our employees. Moreover, our customers can continue to look forward to reliable service in the years ahead” said Bowles.

St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation


S.S. Keewatin coming home to Port McNicoll in 2012

10/15 - Port McNicoll, Ont.  - A piece of Canadian maritime history is finally coming home. Skyline International Development Inc. has announced an agreement to purchase and repatriate the S.S. Keewatin to her original home in Port McNicoll. Details of the project were unveiled for Tay Township Council Wednesday night.

The Keewatin - crown jewel in the Canadian Pacific Railway's once-mighty Great Lakes Steamship fleet - was purchased in 1967 and converted into a marine museum by the family of entrepreneur R.J. Peterson in Douglas, Mich. Skyline's agreement with Peterson follows four years of negotiation to relocate the Keewatin from Saugatuck, Mich., where she has been docked since 1967.

The Edwardian-era vessel, launched July 6th, 1907, was retired in 1966 after spending almost 60 seasons ferrying passengers from Port McNicoll, to Port Arthur (Thunder Bay) on Lake Superior. Skyline chairman and president Gil Blutrich said he thrilled "to return the world's last Edwardian passenger steamship to the people of Tay Township and Canada.

"As a passionate maritime history enthusiast, I became interested in the Keewatin's remarkable history, its preservation and importance to this beautiful part of the country decades ago. I believe the Keewatin will deliver both tourism dollars and wonderful memories to the community for years to come," he observed.

The ship has been purchased by Skyline Development and will be donated to the R.J. and Diane Peterson Great Lakes and S.S. Keewatin Foundation, which will operate and maintain the vessel as a maritime museum. The Keewatin will be moored in a new waterfront park in Port McNicoll -- mere steps from the original location where it was originally tied. The park will feature a replica of the town's original train station and surrounding English Royal gardens.

Eric Conroy, author of the book "A Steak In the Drawer," which details his experiences working on the Keewatin as a 17- year-old, says the Keewatin "is truly is one of a kind." Conroy, a long-time Keewatin volunteer who worked alongside Blutrich to negotiate her repatriation, will chair the R.J. and Diane Peterson Great Lakes and S.S. Keewatin Foundation.

"This announcement is particularly important for me because it brings my earliest memories of the Keewatin full circle. There are many people in our community who have a decades-long connection to Keewatin and wish to share that passion with their children," he said.  "My focus now is on building a cross-generational volunteer organization to ensure this Edwardian treasure remains an important part of our lives," he said.

Tay Mayor Scott Warnock is confident the vessel will become one of the area's most important tourist attractions. "We feel the S.S. Keewatin and the planned park development on Port McNicoll's waterfront could attract hundreds of thousand of tourists each year," he said. "While she spent most of her life transporting passengers and cargo to ports across the Great Lakes, Keewatin is now poised to deliver major economic and cultural benefits to Tay Township and the entire region."

Dredging of the Kalamazoo River -- funded by the R.J. and Diane Peterson Great Lakes and S.S. Keewatin Foundation -- is currently underway to allow the vessel to be towed to the mouth of Lake Michigan, where Blutrich will meet Peterson in June, 2012, to officially hand over the vessel. From there, S.S. Keewatin will be towed to Port McNicoll, where restoration work will be completed to return the ship to her original early 20th century grandeur.

Built by the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company in Scotland as Hull No. 453, the Keewatin, along with her sister ship S.S. Assiniboia, were the first Great Lakes ships to boast radar. The 350-foot long Keewatin carried 288 passengers with a crew of 86, and cruised at a top speed of 14 knots.

Constructed five years before the ill-fated voyage of RMS Titanic, Keewatin features many of the same design and construction features of her ill-fated cousin. She boasts a quadruple expansion steam engine and "Scottish" boilers, as well as a grand staircase, Edwardian dining saloon, hand painted Italian glass and oak trim throughout. Strict fire codes and faster modes of transportation made the wood-cabined vessel largely obsolete by the mid- 1960s.

Midland Free Press


All too soon, ore dock will be only a memory

10/15 - Ashland, Wis. – The deathwatch has begun. Loved ones have little more than two years to say goodbye to a dear old friend. Demolition work has started to take down the ore dock, a majestic Ashland icon and symbol of this city on Chequamegon Bay for nearly 100 years.

The old girl won’t go quickly or easily. But she will go, according to Ray Hyde, director of public works for the City of Ashland, who said demolition work began on Sept. 26.

Hyde said the project to tear down the ore dock is being handled by Veit Disposal Systems, a Minneapolis-based company. “Work has begun,” Hyde said. “There is a two-year limit on the permits. They do believe that it will take probably most of those two years, and in fact there may be an extension.” Hyde said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the city issued the permits.

“It most certainly has been an emotional issue,” Hyde said. “I certainly understand everybody in town and their attachment to the ore dock. After all, the high school teams are called the Oredockers.

“But a lot of safety issues are involved with the dock,” Hyde explained. “That’s the reason the Corps has required that it comes down.” The ore dock has been falling down on its own, making it a beautiful, but dangerous historic landmark. “A lot of the concrete is spalling off,” Hyde said. “Chunks of that are starting to fall. Spalling is a term used when concrete starts to fracture and then chunks start to fall off.

“A lot of that is caused by the rebar inside starting to rust and rust expands greatly and the pressure busts the concrete off.  A lot of the timbers are rotting away and that leads to support issues. So there are a lot of safety issues,” he said.

Made with steel and concrete, the ored ock was built in 1915 by the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad. It was the third dock of its kind to be built in Ashland and, the last one standing

Hyde said the demolition of the ore dock, which is 1,850 feet long, has been scheduled in three phases. “The first two are the approach trestle, which is coming down right now, and then the metal and the upper structure that’s above the base,” Hyde said. Hyde said phase 3 would be the removal of the base, but those permits have yet to be issued.

During the demolition Hyde said the odor from creosote “will be overpowering at times.” “I don’t really believe that there’s a safety issue there,” he said. “But we’ve noticed it a lot since they’ve been breaking these timbers up.”

Hyde said he was somewhat concerned because the city’s water intake is not too far to the east of the ore dock. “The flow of the bay is to the east,” Hyde said.  “So I’m very concerned about anything that might be stirred up in that water and make its way to our water intake.”

Hyde said Wisconsin Central Ltd., a subsidiary of the Canadian National Railway, would be doing water testing and monitoring throughout the demolition, checking for contaminates such as asbestos, lead-based paint and harmful sediments from the lake bottom.

The Ashland Daily Press


St. Clair, Mich., monthly coal record set

10/15 - As of September 30, a new monthly record was set for the number of coal deliveries in a one-month period to the Detroit Edison's St. Clair Power Plant, as there were 19 shipments or deliveries by vessel. This number also surpasses 18 shipments or deliveries of coal by vessel during the month of July.

 The month of May 2011 also saw 17 shipments of coal or deliveries by vessel, making the months of May, July and September very busy months for coal shipments and deliveries to the St. Clair Power Plant for the 2011 shipping season. The month of October is also shaping up to be another busy month thus at the St. Clair Power Plant as the utility begins to stockpile coal for the upcoming winter months.

Leading the way among vessels is the Paul R. Tregurtha with 29 visits to the power plant as of September 30, with 15 of those loads being split loads for the Monroe Power Plant. The Walter J. McCarthy Jr. has seen the fewest visits for the season with only three and one of her loads was also a split cargo for the Monroe Power Plant.

Denny Dushane


2011 Seaway saltwater vessel transits update

10/15 - As of September 30, the total amount of saltwater vessels, or "salties," transiting the St. Lawrence Seaway at the Eisenhower Lock totaled 174 vessels, making 253 transits into the St. Lawrence Seaway system for the 2011 shipping season.

Of the 253 transits by vessel for the 2011 season, this is down 6 transits from the 5-year average of 260 during the time period of March-September 2006-2010. Also the 253 transits for 2011 is also up from 239 transits or 14 transits more than the same period during the 2010 shipping season.

There were 53 transits in March-April, 52 transits in May, 45 in June, 35 in July, 36 in August and 32 transits for the month of September by saltwater vessels at the Eisenhower Lock for the 2011 shipping season. Also, of the 253 season transits by vessel from March-April through the end of September, this is well below the highest total of 336 transits during the same period in the 2006 season. During the 2006 season, the March-April period alone saw 71 transits.

As of September 30, the total number of new salties entering the St. Lawrence Seaway for the first time under their present names at the Eisenhower Lock for the 2011 season totaled 52 vessels.

Of the 52 newcomers, four have been renamed. Alaskaborg is now the Jose Maria Espana and registered in Panama, Beluga Fusion was renamed BBC Steinhoeft while at Toronto on March 28 and registered in Liberia, SCL Leman was renamed Nirint Neerlandia from Switzerland and the BBC Brazil was recently renamed Thorco Celebration on September 29. Since September 30, three more newcomers were expected to enter the Seaway in October, as the Deo Volente of the Netherlands, SE Potentia of Singapore and the Torrent of Cyprus were all expected to make appearances in the seaway system.

Denny Dushane


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.


Miner won't be moved until spring: Dexter

10/14 - Halifax, N.S. – Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter says there’s “no chance” a bulk carrier that has been stranded off Cape Breton for more than three weeks will be removed before next spring. Dexter says with winter approaching, the extensively damaged Miner will likely remain where it sits on Scatarie Island, a provincial wilderness management area.

He says he will continue efforts to have the federal government accept responsibility for the vessel, but adds the provincial government is now considering removing contaminants and ultimately the ship itself. Dexter says that will cost millions of dollars because the 230-metre long vessel will have to be cut up into pieces to be salvaged.

The ship was being towed by a tugboat to a Turkish scrap yard when it broke free in rough seas and ran aground on Sept. 20. All subsequent attempts to pull the former Great Lakes freighter off the rocks have failed.

Cape Breton Post


Port Report - October 14

Cleveland - Jake Kniola
The Adam E Cornelius was unloading at the CBT and the its fleetmate, Buffalo, arrived for its shuttle route


Updates -  October 14

News Photo Gallery


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.


Politicians grapple with Canadian Miner responsibility

10/13 - Cape Breton – On Wednesday, Cape Breton-Canso MP Rodger Cuzner joined federal New Democrat leader Nycole Turmel who echoed Dexter’s stance that the grounded ship former Canadian Miner must be removed.

“I like what the premier has done to date,” said Cuzner. “I think his actions on seizing the tug were astute and necessary and, in my conversations with his office last week, it was felt that would be the attention-getter here.”

Cuzner believes the Canadian Coast Guard has done its job of monitoring the situation closely and limiting any environmental risk potential associated with the ship. Now it’s time for Transport Canada to take on the file. “I intend on Monday to have that personal conversation with (Transport Minister) Denis Lebel,” said Cuzner. “I’ll see him at question period and I’ve got a relationship with him.”

Last week, the Nova Scotia government filed a statement of claim in Federal Court accusing the tug’s owners of negligence. The claim says if the ship breaks up, the cost of salvage and cleanup could hit $24 million. The claims have yet to be proven in court and the tug’s owners — Pellas Shipping Co. and Interport Marine Inc. of Greece — have yet to file a statement of defence.

Mark Butler, a policy director with the Ecology Action Centre, said he was concerned about the potential for long-term environmental harm to the area around the ship. “This isn’t going to create an environmental catastrophe, but in the local area there might be contamination from the vessel,” Butler said.

The stranded ship continues to attract the attention of concerned fishermen and curious citizens, including Harry MacInnis who zoomed out to the Scatarie on Sunday in his 18-foot Crestliner. After snapping some photos, his conclusion is that the ship must be scrapped in place.

“The ship is so flimsy after the beating it took,” said MacInnis who scrapped ships at Sydport at one time. “I can’t see her ever floating again. I think they want to scrap it there.”

Among the most noticeable damage, he said, was a hole large enough to drive a tractor-trailer through “She hit the rocks coming in. It must have spun her around because the hole is facing the ocean. You would think the hole would be on the land side but it is not. I guess that’s why she’s locked in there.”

Cape Breton Post


Port Reports -  October 13

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Fleet mates Hon. James L. Oberstar and Lee A. Tregurtha visited the Upper Harbor ore dock on Wednesday.

Muskegon, Mich. - Herm Phillips
Around sunrise on Tuesday, the steamer Alpena arrived at the West Michigan Mart Dock in Muskegon with a storage cargo and began a temporary lay-up.

Toronto, Ont. - Frank Hood
Mississagi was in Toronto overnight Tuesday to Wednesday with a load of salt. Maccoa and English River are both docked in Toronto.


We Energies could shut down, update Michigan plant that gets coal from Superior

10/13 - Marquette, Mich. - A Michigan power plant that receives 1.75 million to 2 million tons of coal a year by boat from Superiors Midwest Energy Resources could close in 2017 or be refitted to be fueled by natural gas.

The Mining Journal of Marquette reports the Presque Isle Power Plant in Marquette could be retired as a Wisconsin-based utility looks to comply with proposed federal pollution regulations. We Energies spokesman Brian Manthey said Tuesday that no final decision has been made, but the Milwaukee-based utility needs to look at alternatives, which take years to develop.

The news neither surprises nor upsets Midwest Energy Resources President Fred Shusterich.

“This is just reality,” he said. “You are looking a myriad of options as you go forward to comply with new federal regulations. That could be switching from eastern to western coal, from solid fossil fuels to natural gas, retiring plants. It all becomes an economic analysis on costs. This doesn’t upset me at all.”

Midwest Energy’s Superior terminal has an annual capacity of 25 million tons. Shusterich expects to ship around 14 million to 15 million tons of coal this year, in large part because Ontario Power Generation reduced its orders from 8 million tons to about 300,000 tons this year. OPG is working to phase out the use of coal to produce electricity by the end of 2014, investing in electric and nuclear generation and testing the use of biomass fuels in plants that were formerly fueled with coal.

“Midwest Energy is responding to changes in the North American market by entering new markets. We are exporting 350,000 metric tons to Spain and Rotterdam this year,” Shusterich said. “And we just signed a deal for three years for close to 2 million tons a year to Rotterdam.

“In fact, I am going to Spain on Friday to meet with a bunch of potential buyers at a world coal conference,” he said. “That’s where we see the growth market in the next five years – off shore.”

Superior Telegram


Historic tugboat Reiss heading to Holland once its out of Kalamazoo Lake

10/13 - Holland, Mich. – The tugboat that has been stuck in the mud of Kalamazoo Lake for about five years and in the shadow of the museum ship Keewatin for more than 40 years moved a little about 20 feet Tuesday. Owners righted the tug that was listing because of sediment buildup with the goal to pull it out of the mud this fall. Steve Horn, of Clearwater Marine LLC on South Shore Drive in Holland, is one of the owners of the tug. The current owners acquired the vessel about a year ago.

The boat got stuck in the muck of Kalamazoo Lake about five years ago after it was purchased by the Northeastern Maritime Historical Foundation. Horn plans to restore the tugboat to its original state. “I thought it would be a real good piece for the community,” he said.

The tug was launched in 1913 in Cleveland and named the Q.A. Gillmore, after a Union general in the Civil War, according to information from the Northeastern Maritime Historical Foundation. The tug plied the waters around the Ohio city until it was sold to the Reiss Steamship Co. in 1932 and renamed Reiss. It went into service at Green Bay, assisting ships into the coal dock.

R.J. Peterson, owner of Tower Marine in Douglas, purchased the tug and brought it to Douglas in 1969, docking it next to the 1907 Great Lakes steamship Keewatin. The Keewatin is expected to be moved in June to the city of Port McNicoll in Ontario. The area around the 350-foot Keewatin is expected to be dredged this fall so the ship can be rotated and its bow pointed toward the channel. The lake will be dredged so the big ship can be towed out of the harbor.

Horn wants the tug out of the lake by this fall, but could wait until the dredging is complete around the Keewatin. The coal-powered steam engine in the tug remains in working shape, said Horn. The boat will have its name changed back to the Q.A. Gillmore.

The Holland Sentinel


LSSU uses historic freighter Valley Camp for overhaul study

10/13 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. — A decommissioned Great Lakes freighter that now serves as a museum piece is the proving ground for engineers seeking improved ways to update large-scale industrial equipment. The 95-year-old ore carrier Valley Camp now serves as a museum ship in Sault Ste. Marie.

Engineers in a Lake Superior State University project have been scanning the Valley Camp's engine room, with the goal of making a high fidelity, three-dimensional digital rendering of the facility. The university says senior engineering students are creating the model for an industrial client that seeks to "prototype a way of “virtualizing” the maintenance, repair and overhaul of oversized industrial machinery.

The school says technicians are using a state-of-the-art scanner from Leica to take in 360-degree views of the ship's mechanical areas.

Associated Press


Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw crew to hold open house

10/13 - Cheboygan, Mich. — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw is scheduled to hold an open house, allowing members of the public to tour the ship and speak with members of the crew, at the ship's homeport on Saturday. The cutter's crew will be available for visitors from 9-11 a.m. and from 1-4 p.m.


Employment opportunities at Lower Lakes, Donjon

Lower Lakes - Great Lakes Ships Masters
We are looking for competent, practically skilled Ships Masters and 1st Mates with a minimum certification of Master Local Voyage for Inland waters Class 1 to join our team. Thorough knowledge of the Great Lakes system of harbours, rivers and pilotage requirements west of St. Lambert is a must. Applicants must possess a good work ethic and the ability to work in a fast paced environment. Strong interpersonal and communication skills are a prerequisite, as is a leadership style based on mutual respect of all Officers and Crew within a proactive, team oriented work environment. Candidates must be bondable, possess a valid passport and will have all applicable certificates and Transport Canada medical in good order. The candidate will demonstrate strong managerial and leadership skills.

If you are a leader that is looking for a change, we offer a very competitive wage and benefit package, positive work environment and an industry leading leave system. Consideration will also be given to candidates that are looking for part time or training work.

Lower Lakes - Marine Engineers
We are looking for competent, practically skilled Marine Engineers with 1st and 2nd Class Motor TCMS certification to join our team. Canadian Great Lakes dry bulk experience or related experience , a good work ethic and the ability to work in a fast paced environment are considered prerequisites for this position . Strong interpersonal and communication skills are a must, as is a leadership style based on mutual respect of all Officers and Crew within a proactive, team oriented work environment. Candidates must be bondable, possess a valid passport and will have all applicable certificates and Transport Canada medical in good order.

If you are a leader or potential leader that is looking for a change, we offer a very competitive wage and benefit package, positive work environment and an industry leading leave system with a Month On, Month Off work rotation on a year round basis.

Applicants who meet the job requirements for these positions are encouraged to send a resume and cover letter to: Personnel Manager, Lower Lakes Towing Ltd. PO Box 1149 517 Main Street, Port Dover, ON Ph: (519) 583-0982 Fx: (519) 583-1946, email:

Donjon Shipbuilding & Repair Erie, Penn.
Our Shipyard is accepting applications for the following positions. If you have proven experience in these areas or an educational background that complements your qualifications, we are interested in you.
*Production Manager
*Safety Officer
*Project Manager
*Welding Superintendent
Our services include Shipbuilding, Drydocking, Ship Repair and Vessel Repowerings. We offer a Competitive Compensation Package including Medical/Dental Plans, a 401K Plan, a Profit Sharing Plan, Life and Disability Insurance. E-Mail Resume to


Capt. Charles F. Lampman passes away at Sault Ste. Marie

10/13 - Capt. Charlie Lampman of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., lost his battle with leukemia on Thursday, September 29 at the age of 63. Capt. Lampman had been an International Shipmasters’ Association member for over 26 years, joining Detroit Lodge No. 7 on March 26, 1985. In January 1990, when his work with the U.S Army Corps of Engineers brought him to Sault Ste. Marie, he transferred his membership to Twin Sault Lodge No. 22 and was a member of Lodge No. 22 at the time of his death. He attended many ISMA conventions over the years and was also a board member of the Great Lakes Captains’ Association. He will also be remembered as one of the captains on the tour boat LeVoyageur for the annual BoatNerd Soo Locks/Freighter chasing cruises held during Engineers’ Weekend. Arrangements were handled by C.S. Mulder Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Sault Ste. Marie. A more detailed obituary will be published closer to his memorial service in the spring.


Updates -  October 13

News Photo Gallery


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


Canadian Miner: As hull breaks up, questions arise about who is in charge of wreck

10/12 - Halifax, N.S. - In the three weeks since an empty bulk carrier ran aground off Cape Breton, the premier of Nova Scotia says he has yet to get a straight answer from Ottawa about who is in charge.

Darrell Dexter said Tuesday his officials have been talking to the coast guard and Transport Canada but neither of those federal agencies has committed to offering any direction, even though the matter is within federal jurisdiction.

"The fact of the matter is that the ship itself is a potential source of harm to the fishing grounds there," Dexter said. "This issue is: who in the federal government is going to provide direction? ... We are talking to all of the departments, but as of yet we have not received a reply."

Meanwhile, recent photos of the former Canadian Miner show a badly damaged starboard side with large sections of steel plate and at least one hatch missing, leading to speculation that the vessel is in no shape to be towed off the rocks.

Even though all of the diesel and oily bilge water have been removed from the MV Miner, Dexter said the 230-metre ship remains a threat because it is probably coated in lead paint and contains electronic gear that could contaminate the surrounding water.

"There are questions for the federal government in terms of when are they going to engage on this very important issue," he said. "We're having difficulty getting a clear response from federal officials."

Earlier in the day, a coast guard spokesman said the agency ­ a branch of the Fisheries Department ­ had relinquished its status as lead agency to Transport Canada because the threat of a spill has passed. On Saturday, coast guard crews reported seeing some "minor sheening" at the stern of the vessel, indicating a spill of some kind.

"The engine room was identified as the source of this sheening," the coast guard said in an email. "A boom was placed inside the engine room to contain and collect the sheening. The exterior sheen dissipated."

As well, the coast guard said an inspection Tuesday by a Transport Canada aircraft found no sign of oil pollution. Transport Canada could not be immediately reached for comment.

The huge ship was being towed by a tug to a scrapyard in Turkey when it broke free of its towline in rough seas and ran aground on Scaterie Island on Sept. 20. Efforts to remove it have failed and the provincial government has filed a statement of claim seeking compensation from the tug's owner for the costs of salvage and any environmental cleanup.

Meanwhile, federal officials were expected to conduct some inspection flights Tuesday.

About 10,000 litres of marine diesel oil, lubricants and oily waste water have been recovered from the vessel, and there have been reports the water and island appear to be free of any mess, aside from the ship itself.

Huffington Post


Great Lakes Shipyard begins construction on workboat for Milwaukee

10/12 - Cleveland, Ohio – At Great Lakes Shipyard, the laying of the keel recently marked the start of construction on a 60-foot workboat for the Port of Milwaukee. The city of Milwaukee awarded the contract in June 2011. The vessel is scheduled for completion by the end of this year.

Designed by Jensen Maritime Consultants, Seattle, Wash., the vessel’s capabilities will include general harbor work, icebreaking, salvage and dive operations. The stem and hull shape will be strengthened to optimize performance in ice, and it will be powered by a single 405 HP Cummins QSK11 Tier II diesel engine.

Great Lakes Shipyard


Port Reports -  October 12

Lorain, Ohio – Phil Leon
American Mariner arrived in Lorain Tuesday morning about 8:45 and tied up at the Jonick dock to unload.

Stoneport/Calcite/Cedarville, Mich. – Dan McNeil
Stoneport: Monday saw the Algorail loading. Due Wednesday is the Herbert. C Jackson. Due Thursday is Joseph H. Thompson. Friday has Great Republic, Arthur M. Anderson Algorail and Calumet all due to load. Nothing is scheduled for the 15th. Due Oct. 16 is the Joseph H. Thompson.
Calcite: Tuesday saw American Courage and Saginaw visit. Due for the Wednesday are H. Lee White and Algosteel. Due Thursday is Cason J. Callaway. Due Friday are Adam E. Cornelius, Calumet and the James L. Kuber.
Cedarville: Monday saw the Pere Marquette load. Due on the Wednesday is Lewis J. Kuber. Due Thursday is Presque Isle, making a rare appearance. Nothing else is due till Oct. 19 when Arthur M. Anderson loads.


Updates -  October 12

News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - new pictures in the Amoco Illinois, George M. Carl, Raymond H. Reiss, and Reiss Brothers galleries


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.


Hull gash in grounded Miner worries fisherman

10/11 - Scatarie Island, N.S. - A lobster fisherman in Nova Scotia is warning that a gash in the side of a grounded bulk carrier is now a major hole, but the coast guard says there is no threat to the environment.

The damaged Canadian Miner has been sitting near Scatarie Island off Cape Breton for three weeks. The Canadian Coast Guard has been monitoring the ship from the mainland. But Ken Wadden, a local fisherman, went to check out the ship for himself on Sunday.

"The whole side of the ship is gone, completely gone," he told CBC News on Monday. "You only got to get another wind like we had the other day and the whole side is tore off the front."

Wadden said the ship seems to be intact above the waterline, but below, there's not much left. "You can smell oil off the boat when you're getting close to her. And with the crack that's into her, that boat is not going nowhere," he said.

The ship, formerly known as the Canadian Miner, was being towed to Turkey to be scrapped when a line snapped on Sept. 20. The carrier ended up near Scatarie Island, an area east of Cape Breton known for its shipwrecks.

Wadden, like other lobster fishermen in the area, is worried about his livelihood. "I was talking to one of the older guys yesterday. When there's always a ship goes to shore, it takes three or four years for the lobsters to come back around it," he said.

While the coast guard confirms there are several large holes on the starboard side of the vessel, it said Monday there is "no observed impact" to the marine environment. The coast guard said all the fuel and waste on board — more than 10,000 litres of marine diesel oil, lubricants and oily wastewater — have been removed from the ship.

A boom was placed to contain a "minor" sheen of oil inside the engine room, the coast guard said. It will be inspected and removed later in the week.

Joe LeClair, superintendent of the coast guard's environmental response in the Maritimes, said crews assessed the shoreline Saturday and found no evidence of oil pollution. The coast guard attributed any stench of oil to the process of removing the last of the oily waste.

On Friday, the Nova Scotia government detained the Hellas, the Greek tugboat that was towing the Miner, after filing a $15-million claim. The province estimated it would cost nearly $25 million to remove the ship if it could not float.

Wadden expects it will be quite an endeavor to move the Miner.

"You would not believe your eyes. And you expect that thing to float! She's about 40 feet high. Just think about it in your own mind — a house stood up on end, 40 feet, and there's not a bit of plate on it from the top to the bottom," he said.



Canada’s flagship icebreaker marooned off Cambridge Bay

10/11 - Cambridge Bay, NU – A red and white icebreaker — a symbol of Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic — has been stuck in the same position in waters off Cambridge Bay since Sept. 27. The vessel, a member of the “Heavy Arctic Icebreaker” fleet, is the largest vessel and the flagship of the Canadian Coast Guard’s icebreaker fleet.

But if the Louis St-Laurent was called upon right now to defend Arctic waters at the western end of the Northwest Passage or to assist a vessel in distress, the icebreaker’s crew would have to rely on their wits — not their mobility — to respond. That’s because the 111.5-metre ship can’t move.

A propeller nut on the middle propeller of three “backed off approximately six inches” on Sept. 19, Brian LeBlanc, regional director fleet for the Canadian Coast Guard in the Arctic, said in an email Oct. 8.v “The cause of this problem is being investigated by the Canadian Coast Guard,” LeBlanc said in the email, in which he emphasized there is no risk to the environment. But the breakdown means the Louis St-Laurent has been stuck since Sept. 27 near Cambridge Bay, within sight of a popular seaside area for cabins known as Akulailgok or “gravel pit” in English.

Repairs are currently underway to fix the problem, but the pace will depend on the weather, LeBlanc said.

The repairs are likely to be tricky. The huge central propeller is fixed to a long shaft about 20 metres long. Each one of its bearings helps the icebreaker cope with ramming through thick ice. Local residents say divers and others involved in the repair job will be lucky to get out before sea ice — already overdue — starts to move in.

The approximately 100 scientists and crewmembers on board were able to complete previously planned work on the continental shelf mission before the breakdown, LeBlanc said. The scientists departed Cambridge Bay via air charter Sept. 29 during a scheduled crew change.

However, a blog from that survey posted on the Transport Canada website says the breakdown did stop scientists from gathering seismic information, which is important for Canada’s defense of its offshore boundaries under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

“Three-quarters of the way through the voyage we also encountered difficulty with the ship’s centre shaft propeller, and that prevented us from doing further seismic work,” reads the Sept. 29 blog entry.

Under UNCLOS, Canada can claim offshore territory beyond the 200-nautical mile limited if seismic mapping can prove by 2013 that its seabed is actually an extension of the Canadian land base, the continental shelf.

For the moment, only about 48 crewmembers, along with divers and other repair workers from the Vancouver-based underwater maintenance experts, Subsea Solutions Alliance, are on board.

LeBlanc couldn’t say how much the propeller repairs are likely to cost.

After the repairs are completed, the Louis S. St-Laurent “will assume normal operations in the Eastern Arctic,” LeBlanc said. At this time of year, this usually consists of escorting resupply vessels.

The Louis St-Laurent is supposed to leave the Eastern Arctic — at the other end of the Northwest Passage — on Nov. 15 for St. John’s, Newfoundland, its home port, LeBlanc said.

It’s not the first time this aging icebreaker’s propellers have broken. Last year, Louis St-Laurent had to stop for repairs on one of its propeller shaft bearings. In 2000, the propellers were completely replaced.

“The cold reality is that it is not unheard of for the propellers and associated parts to simply break down because of the severe stress they are placed under,” said Rob Huebert, associate director of the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary, in an email comment. “An icebreaker is probably the only ship that needs to constantly go forward and backwards at high revs.”

That puts tremendous stress on the propellers, he said.

When you factor in that the propellers also directly hit the ice at times, “it is surprising that this does not happen more often,” he said.

The Louis St-Laurent, named after Canada’s 12th prime minister, was built in 1967. Five huge diesel engines provide the power for three shafts and propellers and can produce up to 29,000 horsepower of power for breaking through thick ice. The ship is due for decommissioning in 2017, when the new $750 million, 140-metre icebreaker, the John Diefenbaker, is expected to be delivered.

Nunatsiaq News


Updates -  October 11

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery


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

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Sunday afternoon at the Upper Harbor, James R. Barker arrived to unload coal and Cason J. Callaway to load ore. Callaway's trip was her first after repairs in Sturgeon Bay for bow damage.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. - Jim Conlon
Cason J. Callaway left Bay Shipbuilding early Saturday morning after repairs were completed to her damaged starboard bow.

St. Joseph, Mich. - Greg Barber
Sunday just after 10 a.m. the Cuyahoga entered St. Joe with another load of salt.

Sandusky, Ohio - Dan McNeil
Due Sunday was the Herbert C. Jackson, followed by Lee A. Tregurtha and Manitowoc. Algowood is due Monday.


Updates -  October 10

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery


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. 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.


Tug crew discusses attempts to move Miner

10/9 - Sea swells were as high as five metres with stiff winds from 20-30 knots the night the former Canadian Miner broke free of its towline and drifted to the shores of Scatarie Island. The stormy conditions are those typically experienced by the crew of the Greek-owned Hellas tug, the vessel that was towing the former Great Lakes bulk carrier across the Atlantic Ocean that night.

“It was a storm but we are used to that,” said Ernesto Llamado, one of 11 crewmembers of the tug. “Before the storm was coming we decided we had a good line but the chain was broken.”

Llamado speculated the tugs motion up and down through the swells caused the towline to scrape against the tug’s bow, leading to the broken line. “We have (possibly) sharp on the ship and all that moving. Crew observed the broken line from the aft of the tug and immediately began tracking the MV Miner until it rested on Scatarie. We recovered the broken line but the weight is big,” he added.

The Hellas crew would later try unsuccessfully several times to remove the vessel after the initial Sept. 20 incident. Stormy conditions over the past week have added to the difficulty of those attempts.

“I was down under the water and saw the half was sitting on the rocks. The bow of the ship is moving closer to the shore.”

In spite of those frustrating setbacks, the crew remains confident they can still remove the vessel once weather conditions allow them to get closer to the ship. Full fluid removal is also expected to aid those efforts. The Canadian Coast Guard said a Dutch salvage company has already removed 6,000 litres of marine diesel and another 3,000 litres of oily waste water from the ship but there is more waste water onboard. Also standing in the way of another attempt to move the ship is an affidavit filed with the Federal Court by the Province of Nova Scotia that secured the arrest of the Hellas.

The tug is required to remain at the dock in Sydney harbor until some insurance questions are settled.

Cape Breton Post


Port Reports -  October 9

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Kaye E. Barker unloaded limestone at the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock on a windy and warm Saturday evening.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber called on the Saginaw River early Saturday morning, unloading at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City. Once finished, the pair left the Bay Aggregates slip and was outbound for the lake.


Public invited to free open house at Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City

10/9 - Traverse City, Mich. — The public is invited to attend a free open house at U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The purpose of the open house is to highlight the air station’s missions, equipment and highly-trained personnel who serve the Great Lakes region, as well as to celebrate the achievements of 100 years of naval aviation.

The Centennial of Naval Aviation will bring with it several Coast Guard aircraft rarely seen in northern Michigan, including the HC-130 Hercules airplane, the HU-25 Guardian airplane and the newest fixed-wing aircraft in Coast Guard inventory, the HC-144 Ocean Sentry.

Rain or shine, members of the public are invited to meet: active-duty Coast Guardsmen; members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the service’s volunteer component; and first responders from the Grand Traverse community. Visitors can also get an up-close look at rescue equipment and learn firsthand why Coast Guardsmen are often referred to as the Great Lakes Guardians. Rescue demonstrations at 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. using the air station’s MH-65 Dolphin helicopter will showcase the aircraft’s unique capabilities.

Pizza and drinks will be available for purchase with all proceeds benefiting air station morale activities. This free event is open to the public and will be completely handicapped accessible.


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.


Salvage of stranded Miner could cost $24M if it breaks up

10/8 - Halifax, N.S. — The salvage and cleanup costs associated with removing a bulk carrier stranded off Cape Breton could hit $24 million if the ship breaks up, the Nova Scotia government says in an affidavit filed with the Federal Court.

Duff Montgomerie, deputy minister of the Natural Resources Department, filed the affidavit to secure the arrest Thursday of the Greek-owned Hellas, a tug that was towing the MV Miner (formerly Canadian Miner).

The ship broke free and ran aground off Scatarie Island, a provincially designated wilderness management area, on Sept. 20. It was on its way from Montreal to Turkey, where it was supposed to be scrapped. Repeated attempts to free the ship have failed, and the Canadian Coast Guard spotted additional damage to the hull on Thursday.

In the affidavit, Montgomerie says salvage of an intact ship would cost between $400,000 to $600,000, but that could increase to $24 million if it were to break up.

The Canadian Coast Guard says a Dutch salvage company has already removed 6,000 litres of marine diesel and another 3,000 litres of oily waste water from the ship, but there is more waste water onboard.

A provincial spokeswoman said the coast guard was planning another aerial inspection Friday afternoon, weather permitting.

The Nova Scotia government has also filed a statement of claim against the tug owners for $15 million, or the amount it will cost to remove the ship from the rocks and clean up the area. The claims have not been proven in court and the ship's owners have 30 days to file a statement of defence.

The statement of claim also says if the tug owners fail to pay up, the ship should be sold and the money awarded to the province. On Thursday, Premier Darrell Dexter said he would make sure the stricken vessel is quickly removed if the current salvage operation gets bogged down in red tape.

Dexter said he was concerned the salvage operation, which is largely within federal jurisdiction, could be delayed further because of arguments over who will pay the bill. In addition, he said that he wants the matter dealt with immediately because the grounded ship sits in a sensitive lobster-fishing area.

“Environmental damage is an unacceptable result that can lead to long-term damage," Dexter said.

Government spokeswoman Karen White said the province was negotiating with the lawyer for the tug "to protect provincial interests" in the event the environment is affected.

"Our primary concern is that the vessel is removed safely," said White. "We're looking for some assurance that any cost incurred by the province, if we require any financing for additional salvage efforts or environmental restoration, that they be available."

White said department of natural resources staff landed on Scaterie Island Friday. They took photos of the ship and confirmed there is a large hole in the side of the vessel. It does not appear to have breached the opposite side of the ship, she said.

Staff inspected the island for debris from the ship, but found none. They found a patch of hard tar about 800 metres east of the ship, but concluded it had been there before the ship grounded.

The Canadian Press, CBC


Toledo to vote on Great Lakes Maritime Museum Park

10/8 - Toledo, Ohio – Two pieces of legislation have been placed on Toledo City Council’s agenda to create a partnership between the city, the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority and the Great Lakes Historical Society to develop a National Great Lakes Maritime Museum Park along the banks of the Maumee River in East Toledo.

The museum would include historical exhibits inside the existing Maritime Center, moving the Schoonmaker Museum Ship down the river to a space next to the center and the creation of a park between the ship and the old ACME plant.

The project would be paid for by a $4.9 million grant from the Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission. Work on the park is expected to begin in the summer of 2012, with a projected completion date of June 2013.

“[The park would be] the largest maritime park on the Great Lakes, which highlights multiple artifacts, interpretive paneling, [and] signage, leading people through the experience of the Great Lakes,” said Paul LaMarre III of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.



Port Reports -  October 8

Cedarville & Port Inland, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Calumet loaded at the Cedarville stone dock on October 6. Other vessels due to load at Cedarville was the Wilfred Sykes October 7, Joseph L. Block on October 9 and the Lewis J. Kuber following the Block also on October 9. Vessels scheduled to load at the stone dock in Port Inland, on October 7 are the Joseph L. Block followed by the McKee Sons also on October 7. On October 8 both the Block and Sykes are due back in to load at Port Inland's stone dock.

Calcite, Mich.- Denny Dushane & Dan McNeil
Two vessels both loaded and departed from the Calcite Stone Docks early in the morning on October 7. The Lewis J. Kuber departed at 6 a.m. followed a half hour later by John G. Munson. James L. Kuber was at the South Dock as the Munson cleared. In the coming days, the docks at Calcite will be busy with the following vessels scheduled to load: Buffalo on October 7 for the South Dock. On October 8 three vessels are scheduled to load with the American Courage arriving for the South Dock and the H. Lee White for the North Dock and in the evening the Philip R. Clarke arriving for the South Dock. On October 9 the John J. Boland is due for the South Dock and on October 10 the Saginaw is schedule to load at Calcite with the American Courage rounding out the lineup on October 11.

Stoneport, Mich. - Denny Dushane & Dan McNeil
A rare and possibly first time ever visitor loaded at the Stoneport Dock on October 7 as the Peter R. Cresswell was scheduled to depart from the dock at 11 a.m. Also due at Stoneport on October 7 was the tug and barge combo Joseph H. Thompson as well as the Sam Laud for a late evening arrival. Other vessels due to load at the Stoneport dock in the coming days are the following: Manistee for an early morning arrival on October 8 and on October 9 Algorail and the Presque Isle. The Presque Isle will be making her first visit to Stoneport this season. Due for Columbus is the Manistee and finally on October 11 the tug and barge combo Joseph H. Thompson are due back again to load.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Stephen B. Roman called on the Essroc dock in Essexville on Monday, September 26th. Indiana Harbor was in on Tuesday, calling on the Consumers Energy Dock in Essexville. Wednesday saw the Mississagi calling on the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee, followed by the Olive L. Moore – Lewis J. Kuber, calling on the Lafarge Stone Dock in Saginaw on Thursday, September 29th.

Traffic picked up again on Monday, October 3rd, with the Olive L. Moore Lewis J. Kuber back on the Saginaw River. Unloading on Thursday was a trio of vessels: Manitowoc unloaded at the GM Dock in Saginaw, American Century unloaded at the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville, and Olive L. Moore Lewis J. Kuber unloaded at the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee. Friday saw the return of Manitowoc, which unloaded at the Lafarge Stone dock in Essexville. Manistee was also inbound on Friday, unloading at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee.

For the month of September, there were 19 commercial vessel passages, up three from the same time period in 2010. For the year to date, there were 100 vessel passages, just below the 102 recorded in 2010. Looking at long-term numbers, September 2011 was 19 passages below the five-year average of 38. For the year to date numbers, 2011 fell to 47 passages below the five-year average of 147.


New Canfornav vessel Torrent expected in Montreal

10/8 - The saltwater vessel Torrent of Cyprus registry and built in 2010 for the Canfornav Inc. fleet is expected to arrive in Montreal on October 12 on her first visit to the Great Lakes. Torrent is coming from Lithuania and is bound for Hamilton, Ont. The Torrent joins 11 other new built vessels of her class and size for the Canfornav fleet in the past three years that have all visited the Great Lakes-Seaway system. She also has another sistership, the Labrador built in 2010, that has yet to visit the Great Lakes-Seaway system. Thusfar, the Torrent's sisterships Andean, Barnacle, Blacky, Brant, Chestnut, Maccoa, Mottler, Ruddy, Shoveler, Tufty and Tundra have all visited the Great Lakes-Seaway System since the 2008 shipping season. All vessels are 185 meters in length and 23.7 meters in width.

Denny Dushane


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, Wis., 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.


Storm damages Canadian Miner, grounded at Scaterie Island

10/7 - The former Canadian Miner that's been stuck on rocks near eastern Cape Breton for two weeks was damaged by Thursday's storm.

Keith Laidlaw of the Canadian Coast Guard said crews flew over the ship at 11:30 a.m. Thursday and saw a 15-metre wide hole on the stern and a hole on the side near a cargo hatch. That will make floating it difficult, he said. "It has actually blown the cargo hatch off the vessel," he said. "It means the ship is sustaining some damage. How severe it is, we can't speculate right now."

The Coast Guard's environmental response branch is keeping an eye on the ship through binoculars from Main a Dieu. "It looks nasty out there. The seas are actually breaking over the top of the ship, the deck is completely awash probably about 40-foot waves," Laidlaw said.

The owner was talking to a Dutch salvage company about removing the remaining oil and floating the vessel, prior to Thursday's storm damage. Several attempts to remove the Miner have failed, but Mammoet Salvaging were able to remove 6,000 litres of engine oil and diesel before the storm hit.

Laidlaw expects the salvage team to return to the ship Friday. It would take ten days to do the work, he said. "We hope to have the salvage company back out there to remove the remaining 3,000 litres of product. Then there is no longer a threat from pollution," he said.

The province said Thursday it may step in to help move the carrier. Premier Darrell Dexter said he was open to talking with a different company about removing the vessel if the Dutch firm is not able to do it.

"What we want people in Cape Breton to know, what we want the fishermen there to know, is that their government is paying attention to what is going on in this matter. And we are acting as expeditiously as possible to make sure it's resolved," Dexter said.

"I'm not ruling out anything, including taking on the job if necessary." The premier said he is confident the Coast Guard is safely monitoring the situation.

Picture showing the damage to the Miner

CBC News


Port Reports -  October 7

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
A busy Thursday morning at the Upper Harbor found Algocape and Great Republic at the ore dock with Lee A. Tregurtha at anchor waiting to load.


24th Annual Gales of November celebrates, explores Lake Superior maritime heritage

10/7 - Duluth, Minn. – Mark your calendars and register now to attend the 24th annual Gales of November, the Lake Superior Marine Museum Association’s annual maritime conference and fundraiser.

The two-day educational, fundraising and networking event begins Friday, November 4 with a joint luncheon with the Duluth-Superior Propeller Club at Grandma’s Sports Garden. The luncheon’s keynote speaker, Cathy Wurzer, the senior anchor and host of Morning Edition at Minnesota Public Radio, will present Tales of the Road-Highway 61. Friday afternoon provides various tour options including a mini Canal Park Art Walk, a tour of the Lake Superior Maritime Collections at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, and a behind-the-scenes tour at Great Lakes Aquarium. The day concludes with an Opening Gala reception, sponsored by Lake Superior Magazine, at the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center in historic Canal Park.

Gales of November festivities resume at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 5 at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center. The day is filled with maritime related educational breakout presentations, mini trade show, an interactive maritime activities area, silent auction, and an opportunity to win the summer 2012 Cruise of a Lifetime raffle on the 1,000-foot Edwin H. Gott. Saturday’s keynote luncheon presentation, A Look Beneath the Surface, will feature the Executive Director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, Adolph Ojard.

Tickets to Gales of November are required. Immediate Gales of November details and registration information can be found at


Authorama will return to Maritime Center Nov. 19

10/7 - Port Huron, Mich. – The 3rd Annual Marine Authorama will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19 in the Great Lakes Maritime Center in Port Huron, Mich. Featured at the public event will be Dennis Hale, author of "Shipwrecked: Reflections of the Sole Survivor" and only survivor of the Daniel J. Morrell freighter; Roger LeLievre, author of "Know Your Ships;" a representative for Robert McGreevy, author of "Lost Legends of the Lakes," and Paul Beesley, marine photographer, author, and maker of marine calendars. Also, various BoatNerd gear, such as hats and T-shirts, will be for sale, as well as a variety of books and DVDs. Admission is free.


Updates -  October 7

News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - Amoco Illinois gallery 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.


Port Reports -  October 6

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
American Courage arrived late Tuesday evening at the Upper Harbor to load ore and departed before sunrise on Wednesday. Fleet mate John J. Boland arrived Wednesday morning for ore.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic included St. Clair, Great Republic, Algocape, Lee A. Tregurtha, American Integrity, SE Potentia and Michipicoten. Downbounders included Paul R. Tregurtha, Federal Weser, Biscayne Bay and American Courage.

St Joseph/Benton Harbor, Mich. - Herm Phillips
Cuyahoga passed through the piers at St Joseph about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday with a load of salt for the Consumers Dock in Benton Harbor. She departed early afternoon and headed back up the Lake.

Saginaw River - Dan McNeil
Inbound early Wednesday, American Century went to Consumers Power in Essexville to unload coal. Also inbound early Wednesday morning was Manitowoc with a load of coal for the GM dock in Saginaw. She was outbound around 10 a.m. She slowed down in Bay City to allow for the inbound Lewis J. Kuber. The Kuber unloaded in Zilwaukee and was outbound around 9:30 p.m.


Iron Range may get new taconite plant

10/6 - Duluth, Minn. – Magnetation Inc. on Tuesday sealed a $297 million deal with Ohio-based steelmaker AK Steel to expand operations on the Iron Range, including a potential new taconite production plant in Itasca County.

Under the joint venture, Magnetation Inc., based in Nashwauk, will own 50.1 percent of a new company, called Magnetation LLC, with AK Steel owning 49.9 percent. Magnetation employs about 100 people on the Range. The partnership could boost that anywhere from 200 to 400 people, said Matt Lehtinen, Magnetation Inc.s vice president.

Magnetation has a relatively small iron ore concentrate plant in operation in Keewatin that makes high-grade concentrate from waste products left by old natural ore mines. Using iron ore tailings eliminates the need for traditional drilling, blasting and excavating, cutting costs. The process also recycles what had been considered waste rock.

A second waste recovery concentration plant is under construction in Taconite. Another Magnetation effort near Chisholm supplies Mesabi Nugget with the concentrate it needs to make iron nuggets. And two additional waste ore recovery plants, in Coleraine and Calumet, are planned using the AK Steel investment. The expansion could boost the number of Magnetation employees from 100 to 200 by the end of 2012, Lehtinen said.

But the new company already has plans to process all that concentrate into taconite pellets at a newly constructed taconite plant between Coleraine and Grand Rapids, Lehtinen said. That plant would employ at least 200 additional people, with all the pellets headed to AK Steels two blast furnaces in Middletown, Ohio, and Ashland, Ky.

AK Steel officials said in a statement that the new plant would satisfy about 50 percent of AK Steels current iron ore pellet requirements, at a cost substantially below the current world market price.

At 3 million tons annual capacity, the new plant would be about the same size as the Minorca Mine operation in Virginia, Lehtinen said. This is a huge development for our company and for the Iron Range, Lehtinen said. His father, Larry Lehtinen, is considered the driving force behind Magnetations growth and success.

But Magnetation LLC hasnt decided to build the plant in Minnesota, Lehtinen said, and is considering Ohio and other Midwest areas. Lehitnen said the decision will be based on available locations, cost and how fast permits can be approved. Under the deal, AK will invest $100 million immediately in Magnetation efforts, nearly $50 million next year and another $150 million between 2013 and 2016.

Craig Pagel, president of the Iron Mining Association of Minnesota, said the announcement is another example of the continued growth in Minnesotas mining industry thanks to strong global demand. Taconite prices remain at their highest ever, production is strong, six existing plants are operating at capacity and Minnesota taconite is being sold and shipped to Mexico and China. Meanwhile a new taconite plant is under construction in Nashwauk by Indias Essar Steel.

We have at least 200 years of supply of iron ore here in Northeastern Minnesota, that we know of, so supply is not an issue, Pagel said. This (announcement) shows how the Iron Range is now tied to this global world of steel production.

AK Steel also announced an investment Tuesday in a Pennsylvania mining operation that produces the coal used in steelmaking.

These investments represent significant steps in AK Steels top strategic initiative to further vertically integrate through increased ownership of steelmaking raw materials, said James L. Wainscott, chairman of AK Steel, in a statement. They give AK Steel a clear plan for increasing raw material self-sufficiency, and will provide us with both a financial hedge against global market price increases and low-cost steelmaking inputs for our own consumption.

Magnetation Inc. earlier this year announced a joint venture with Cargill to market Magnetations ore recovery technology on a global basis.

Duluth News Tribune


Centuries-old cannon pulled from Detroit River

10/6 - Detroit, Mich. – A centuries-old cannon found by the Detroit Police Department’s dive team is out of the water and headed to a new home Wednesday, thanks to the help of a tow truck company.

It went into a cannon bath at the Historic Fort Wayne in Detroit to help preserve the metal from rust, Detroit Historical Society curator Joel Stone said.

Historians plan to check out the condition of the cannon, which was pulled from the Detroit River, and it’s expected to be displayed down the road at either the Dossin Great Lakes Museum in Detroit or the Detroit Historical Museum.

Divers found the cannon during a training exercise in July. The cannon, believed to be more than 200 years old, was located 20 feet underwater behind Cobo Center. An attempt to pull the cannon out last month was foiled by bad weather and poor underwater visibility. Divers found the cannon again in September and moved it so it would be easier to bring up today.

B & T Towing in Detroit used a crane to pull it up and it was then transferred to a tow truck.

The company often works with police to remove submerged items like cars, boats and safes from the water. “This is our first cannon,” B & T Towing owner Gasper Fiore said.

It was the fifth cannon removed from the river in the last three decades. The four other cannons are believed to be British and French. One was found in 1984, two in 1987 and one in 1994. Two are on display at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum in Detroit, and the other two are at Historic Ft. Wayne, also in Detroit.

How they got in the water remains a mystery.

“I haven’t found the smoking gun,” said Stone, who is looking for information that explains how they got in there. One theory is that the British were moving some of the cannons down the Detroit River to Ft. Malden in Amherstburg, Ontario, and they went overboard or the boat sunk in 1796, he said.

Detroit Free Press


Highlander Sea: another schooner in port

10/6 - Gloucester – Amid concrete, metal boats, cranes and cables, to the untrained eye, an old wooden schooner might seem out of place. But, accompanied by several other schooners and situated in an historic art colony, the schooner Highlander Sea should feel right at home.

Highlander Sea, formerly known as the Pilot, sailed its way from Port Huron, Mich., to Gloucester last week and arrived Friday afternoon to the Gloucester Marine Railways, where it will be stored through the fall and winter.

The Railways, at end of Rocky Neck Avenue, is a shipyard that's served the fishing fleet of New England since before the Civil War — yet another, and more prominent, reason the Highlander Sea will fit in fine, according to Viking Gustafson, general manager of the Railways and a 14-year veteran of the company.

The schooner, which was built in 1924 by John F. James in Essex at a length of 154 feet, was originally intended to pilot other ships into harbors, as its first name suggests. It carries six crew members and can effectively carry 10 guests.

It's presence at the Railways, however, is not for a restoration project, unlike like Gloucester's Schooner Adventure — the made-in-Essex vessel that was built two years later in 1926, said Gustafson.

"This thing is the real deal," she said. "It's not only old and made of wood, it's working and can travel around the world. It really is old; and it really does sail."

According to Gustafson, the newly arrived schooner is being offered for sale by Northrop and Johnson Yacht Brokers in Boston — priced at $2 million on — and is scheduled to soon be hauled out of the water onto land at the Railways.

"When they originally called to see if we had space for it, we didn't," said Gustafson. "But we just had to make room," she added with a chuckle.

She said that she couldn't resist lending her hand to allow the "serendipitous nature of bringing three Essex-built schooners here (the Railways) at the same point."

Gustafson said that another schooner, the Roseway, will soon join the Adventure and the Highlander Sea early this month. The Roseway, built in Essex in 1925, will unite the three sister ships, each of which were produced one after another.

Gustafson said that, while the modern-day schooners Ardele and Thomas E. Lannon sit across the harbor — also built in Essex, partly in celebration of history — the Adventure, Roseway and Highlander Sea are, in fact, parts of history itself.

In the Highlander Sea's 87 years, it's been assigned various home ports. Its original owners, the Boston Pilots Association, used the ship to guide other ships into Boston Harbor. "Every ship that came into Boston by sea back in the day was escorted by these pilot schooners," said Gustafson.

The ship was then purchased by four men who planned to sail it around the world in the 1970s. Then it was used for marine biology classes in California after 1976. The ship was re-christened Highlander Sea in 1998 when it was bought by Fred Smithers of Secunda Marine Service in Nova Scotia.

Dave Brown, director of marine operations for Acheson Ventures, which now controls the schooner, said that it was time to seek new opportunities for the vessel.

Gustafson said the Highlander Sea was commercially used in the Great Lakes for years, but that she thinks the owners believe it would be "more culturally conducive to the appreciation of those in this area, and they were excited to relocate it."

Because of the depleting status of the fishing industry, said Gustafson, the schooner's presence will also draw interest in the company.

"Here, we're a combination of art, history, and science," said Gustofson. "Schooners are art; how we take boats out of the water is an art and a science. And we don't do it too differently from the way it's been done since we began."

Gloucester Times


Great Lakes Cruising Club expands on-line school

10/6 - Following last year's successful launching which drew over 500 registrants, the Great Lakes Cruising Club School has expanded its webinar curriculum for 2011-12. Great Lakes recreational boaters may now choose from over 30 on-line tutorials conducted by experienced GLCC-accredited sail or power boating colleagues and specialists. Cruising Club membership is not required.

Live, on-screen presentations with visual aids provide an opportunity for participants to interact with the instructor and each other-a virtual classroom. Sessions typically run from 60-90 minutes, and only require a computer with speakers, browser and a reasonable-speed internet connection.

This year's topics include introductions to several favored Great Lakes cruising areas, navigation skills, negotiating locks, boat and engine maintenance, women's forum, energy management, fiberglass repair basics, weather, writing for the boating market, the Trent-Severn waterway, provisioning, cruising with pets, marine photography and more. For further information and a listing of subjects and instructors go to

Feedback by 2010-11 enrollees has been enthusiastic, endorsing the content and effectiveness of on-line learning, instructor qualifications, ease of interaction and low cost. There are no tests.

If you register and miss a live presentation you can access a recording of your webinar for six weeks. Or, within that period you can still register and view the recording.

The GLCCSchool is sponsored by the Great Lakes Cruising Club, a non-profit organization founded in 1934, with a membership exceeding 2500 U. S. and Canadian boaters (


Help wanted at Lower Lakes Towing

10/6 - Great Lakes Shipmasters
Lower Lakes Towing is looking for competent, practically skilled Shipmasters and 1st Mates with a minimum certification of Master Local Voyage for Inland waters Class 1 to join our team. Thorough knowledge of the Great Lakes system of harbors, rivers and pilotage requirements west of St. Lambert is a must. Applicants must possess a good work ethic and the ability to work in a fast paced environment. Strong interpersonal and communication skills are a prerequisite, as is a leadership style based on mutual respect of all Officers and Crew within a proactive, team oriented work environment. Candidates must be bondable, possess a valid passport and will have all applicable certificates and Transport Canada medical in good order. The candidate will demonstrate strong managerial and leadership skills.

If you are a leader that is looking for a change, Lower Lakes Towing offers a very competitive wage and benefit package, positive work environment and an industry leading leave system. Consideration will also be given to candidates that are looking for part time or training work.

Applicants who meet the job requirements for this position are encouraged to send a resume and cover letter to: Personnel Manager, Lower Lakes Towing Ltd. PO Box 1149 517 Main Street, Port Dover, ON Ph: (519) 583-0982 Fx: (519) 583-1946, email both: &

Marine Engineers
Lower Lakes Towing is looking for competent, practically skilled Marine Engineers with 1st and 2nd Class Motor TCMS certification to join its team. Canadian Great Lakes dry bulk experience or related experience , a good work ethic and the ability to work in a fast paced environment are considered prerequisites for this position . Strong interpersonal and communication skills are a must, as is a leadership style based on mutual respect of all Officers and Crew within a proactive, team oriented work environment. Candidates must be bondable, possess a valid passport and will have all applicable certificates and Transport Canada medical in good order.

If you are a leader or potential leader that is looking for a change, Lower Lakes Towing offers a very competitive wage and benefit package, positive work environment and an industry leading leave system with a Month On, Month Off work rotation on a year round basis.

Applicants who meet the job requirements for this position are encouraged to send a resume and cover letter to: Personnel Manager, Lower Lakes Towing Ltd. PO Box 1149 517 Main Street, Port Dover, ON Ph: (519) 583-0982 Fx: (519) 583-1946, email:


Updates -  October 6

News Photo Gallery


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

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic Tuesday included Presque Isle loading at the CN ore dock and Herbert C. Jackson loading grain at the CHS terminal in Superior. Paul R. Tregurtha was due later in the day to load coal at Midwest Energy Terminal.

Green Bay, Wis. – Scott Best
Tuesday was a busy day for the Port of Green Bay. Arthur M Anderson arrived with a load of coal for the C Reiss Dock and departed around 5:15 p.m. on a nice fall evening. Also in port were the Catherine Desgagnes unloading pig iron at Fox River Dock and the St. Marys Conquest unloading at St Marys Cement.

Saginaw River - Dan McNeil
Lewis J. Kuber arrived in the Saginaw River early Monday morning, headed for the Bay City Wirt Stone Dock to lighter, then moved up to the Saginaw Wirt Dock to finish her unload. She was outbound from the Sixth Street turning basin by 7 p.m., going back to Stoneport for another load.

Welland Canal - Michel Gosselin
The tug Atlantic Salvor is travelling through the Welland Canal, pulling the crane barge Farrell 256 with the help of Ocean Golf. The destination for the tug and barge are Erie, Pa. Afterward, Ocean Golf will be headed downbound in the canal toward Hamilton.


Divers to try again to retrieve old cannon from Detroit River

10/5 - Detroit, Mich. - Members of the Detroit Police dive team will try again Wednesday to retrieve a cannon that fell into the Detroit River in 1796. Police expect the operation to get underway at 11 a.m. from the Riverwalk behind Cobo Center.

The team spotted the cannon in July during a training exercise. Officers tried to retrieve it Sept. 7 but were foiled by bad weather, high winds and poor visibility.

This will be the fifth cannon removed from the river in the last three decades. One was found in 1984, two in 1987 and one in 1994. Two are on display at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum in Detroit and the other two are at Historic Ft. Wayne, also in Detroit. Exactly how they got into the water remains a mystery.

Plans are for the latest cannon to be given to the Detroit Historical Society.

Detroit Free Press


Historical groups take over 3 Michigan lighthouses

10/5 - Washington, D.C. – Three Michigan lighthouses have been transferred from the federal government to historical groups that intend to preserve the structures.

Transfer of the South Haven South Pierhead, Middle Island and Waugoshance lighthouses "will help ensure that the lighthouses are well-cared for and their history is kept alive for generations to come," U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a press release Tuesday.

The Historical Association of South Haven will take over the South Haven South Pierhead lighthouse, a 37-foot-tall cast iron structure built in 1903. It marks the entrance from Lake Michigan of the city's harbor on the Black River.

Middle Island Light, a brick tower 71 feet tall, marks shallows in Lake Huron between Presque Isle and Thunder Bay. It will be transferred to the Middle Island Lightkeepers Association Inc., which has leased the tower from the U.S. Coast Guard for more than 20 years.

The Waugoshance Lighthouse, in Lake Michigan, is a brick and iron structure built in 1870 west of Mackinaw City. The Waugoshance Lighthouse Preservation Society will take it over.

The transfers were made under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act, which was enacted in 2000, according to the release. The act lets the Coast Guard dispose of structures it no longer is using while guaranteeing they'll be preserved for public use.

Detroit News


Updates -  October 5

News Photo Gallery


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.


Strike averted at St. Lawrence Seaway

10/4 - St. Catharines, Ont. – The St. Lawrence Seaway has averted a strike that could have crippled one of North America's busiest shipping routes. The tentative agreement was reached ahead of a noon strike deadline on Monday and after the union gave its 72-hour strike notice on Friday.

The Canadian Auto Workers union says it turned back key concession demands by the St. Lawrence Seaway and is unanimously recommending members approve the three-year agreements by five locals.

"We've negotiated economic improvements as well as improvements to other structural sections of the collective agreement," CAW national representative Mike Menicanin said in an interview. He said the seaway backed down from key demands concerning pension plans for new hires and health premiums.

It wanted new hires to be subject to defined contribution rather than defined benefit pension plans. It also initially demanded workers pay a portion of health premiums that would have cost the average worker $170 per month, he said.

Terms of the three-year collective agreements for three locals will be disclosed after workers vote on them in the coming 10 to 12 days.

Terence Bowles, president and CEO of the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp., said the deal "will allow ships to continue transiting the waterway without interruption."

The private, not-for-profit company had said Friday that the Seaway would be closed to all traffic in the event of a strike. The Seaway serves some of the most important industrial cities in Canada and the U.S. and provides a route for the export of grain and other commodities.

It also allows for large freight ships to travel between the Atlantic Ocean and the five Great Lakes -- serving some of the most important industrial cities in Canada and the U.S. and providing a route for the export of grain and other commodities.

The Seaway is also highly sensitive to competition from numerous other options, including the trucking industry and various other ports on the East Coast. The management company is responsible for the movement of marine traffic through the Canadian Seaway facilities, which includes 13 of the 15 locks that lift and lower ships between Montreal and Lake Erie.

In Ottawa, Labour Minister Lisa Raitt applauded the tentative agreement that averted the seaway's first strike in 43 years.

"Negotiated agreements are in the best interest of the organization, employees, businesses and the Canadian economy," she said in a new release. With the global economy still being very fragile, she said the government was committed to protecting Canada's economy and Canadian jobs.

Last week, Raitt threatened back to work legislation as she had with two unions at Air Canada earlier this year, and legislated striking Canada Post workers back to work, citing the impact that the job actions would have on the economy.

Although the agreement won't necessarily please all members, Menicanin said it was a good deal in the face of the intervention of the federal government. Menicanin said the intervention was a distraction but had no impact on negotiations or the deal reached. He said the union was "flabbergasted" by the "bombs" dropped by the minister.

"Once we got over this unwanted complication, we got back to the task at hand and that was try and settle a contract, which we have been doing quite successfully for over 40 years without the help of the minister of labour."

The Canadian Press


Port Reports -  October 4

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Hon. James L. Oberstar loaded ore Monday morning at the Upper Harbor. Fleetmate Mesabi Miner was also in port, unloading coal into the hopper.

St. Marys River
A slow day saw Algoma Guardian and Roger Blough upbound and Ojibway downbound. U.S. Coast Guard cutters Biscayne Bay and Katmai Bay were conducting exercises in the lower river in the vicinity of Lime Island. As night fell, James R. Barker, Walter J. McCarthy Jr. and Hon. James L. Oberstar were downbound above the locks.

Menominee Marinette - Scott Best
Sunday was a busy day on the Menominee River, with the salty Team Bremen departing just after 7 a.m. with assistance of the Selvick Marine tugs Jimmy L and Jacquelyn Nicole. Team Bremen had unloaded at the K&K dock. Just before 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon the LCS 3 USS Fort Worth arrived back after spending most of the weekend on Lake Michigan and Green Bay undergoing builders’ trials. She was assisted back to the dock at Marinette Marine by the Selvick tugs Jimmy L and Jacquelyn Nicole.

St Joseph, Mich. - Herm Phillips
Shortly after dawn on Sunday the tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation entered the piers with cement for Lafarge. They departed before dark for Alpena.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
American Mariner arrived around 8 p.m. Sunday.


Salvage plan for stuck ship to be studied

10/4 - A Dutch salvage company will present its plan Monday on how to re-float a bulk carrier that is stuck near Scatarie Island, off the coast of Cape Breton. More than two weeks ago, the Canadian Miner was being towed to a scrapyard in Turkey when the line broke and it ran aground.

Mammoet Salvaging pumped out 6,000 litres of diesel fuel over the weekend. It also removed the ship's bilgewater — excess water that does not drain off the side of the deck.

Mike Voigt, director of maritime services for the Canadian Coast Guard, said federal and provincial officials will meet to review the salvage plan. He said the salvage company has a good reputation.

Voigt also said it's too soon to comment on reports that the hull of the 230-metre vessel is punctured.

"I think this is a bit premature to go there. We don't really know what the full status is of any kind of punctures in the hull. Obviously, our preoccupation is any kind of pollution, which we've been focusing on making sure the owners get that [fuel] off," he said. "So, at this point, we really want to see the salvage plan and work with our colleagues in other departments to find a solution that the owner will implement."

Three attempts to re-float the vessel have failed.

Fishermen in the area are worried about pollution should the ship break up, but according to Transport Canada both its bilge and main fuel tanks were cleaned before it left Montreal. Inspectors gave it what they call a 'green passport' which experts say means any environmental damage, if the worst were to happen, would be minimal.

CBC News


Dry September sends Lake Superior down

10/4 - An unusually dry early autumn caused the level of Lake Superior to drop two inches in September, a month when the big lake usually remains unchanged, the International Lake Superior Board of Control announced. Lake Superior sits 12 inches below the long-term average for Oct. 1 and is one inch lower than the level at this time last year.

Lakes Michigan and Huron dropped four inches in September, a month they usually drop just two inches. The lakes sit 14 inches below their long-term average and two inches lower than Oct. 1 last year.

Lower-than-normal water levels can cause problems for recreational boat access and force Great Lakes freighters to carry less than full loads of cargo.

Duluth News Tribune


Return to Canada planned for historic steamship Keewatin

10/4 - Port McNicoll, Ont. – A plan has been launched to bring a significant piece of Port McNicoll’s history back to town. A foundation has been put in place to repatriate the S.S. Keewatin, a 104-year-old steamship that cruised the Great Lakes for nearly 50 years. The vessel has spent more than four decades in Douglas, Mich., as a museum and tourist attraction.

Tay Township Mayor Scott Warnock told The Mirror the idea has yet to come before council for discussion, but he believes the return of the Keewatin is an exciting possibility.

“Such a great part of the history for the municipality is attached to that ship. There are still generations living in this community that worked on that boat, so, from that point of view, it’s really exciting,” he said. “To have it as part of our community would be wonderful.”

Warnock said bringing the ship back has been discussed since 2007.

“I had the chance to go to Michigan for the 100th anniversary of the ship, and there was talk about it back then, but the municipality is not involved in this. It just happens to be something that would happen within the municipality,” he said, adding the ship was decommissioned in the mid-1960s after serving as an integral part of Great Lakes shipping for many years.

“When it was running at its peak, that’s when Port McNicoll was at its peak. It was all tied in together. When it was running and making the trips across the lakes, Port McNicoll was a thriving community. It would be an opportunity to recapture some of the past glory of Port McNicoll.”

Eric Conroy is the man tasked by Skyline International Development Inc. to bring the ship home. In addition to his nearly 30 years in fundraising (he has raised nearly $2 million a year for the Toronto Santa Claus Parade) and 15 years as a volunteer on the ship in Michigan, he also worked on the vessel as a teenager and penned a book about his experience.

Conroy said a not-for-profit foundation has been established consisting of people from the area who will manage the vessel upon its return. He said his involvement in the project came about after Skyline officials somehow learned about his book.

“Out of the blue, (they) phoned me and asked if I thought we could get this ship and move it to Port McNicoll,” he said, adding he has already secured a commitment from the current owner of the ship. “It’s my job … to make sure it’s seaworthy, get it out of 45 years of silt in the harbour, get it to Port McNicoll and tied to the dock, and organize the museum and everything that goes with it.

“The chances of it happening are 97 per cent … but we still have a 2,000-mile voyage on the end of a tow rope.”

The challenge, he noted, is that the Keewatin has been grounded in the Kalamazoo River for 45 years. “When they brought it there in 1967, the Army Corps of Engineers had dredged it out so it was easy for them to get it in and park it. The river has not been dredged in 45 years. Right now, it’s sitting in about four feet of water and the rest is mud. We had to get dredging permits, find someone who could handle the job, work with environmental people down there, etc.”

Dredging the river has already started, with the remainder expected to take place in March. The hope is to have the Keewatin in Port McNicoll by June.

“It’s important to bring it back because that’s where it belongs. It’s a huge piece of Canadian history. We think it will be a huge tourist attraction. It’s five years older than the Titanic. To be able to bring this ship back … it’s absolutely remarkable,” he said. “The Martyrs’ Shrine gets 100,000 visitors in the summer alone, so it’s a viable thing once it gets here.

“It will be place where people can have fundraisers, find employment, volunteer. It really is an interesting proposition.”


Ford Capt. Don Erickson to give final presentation on Fitzgerald disaster

10/4 - The Harsens Island St. Clair Flats Historical Society will be hosting Malcolm McAdam and Capt. Donald Erickson of the SS William Clay Ford, who left safe harbor with his ship and crew on November 10, 1975 and went in search of survivors of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Capt. Erickson is 85 and he has indicated that he will be making his last public presentation to a group that will gather at the Harsens Island Lions Club on October 8 from 4-5:30 p.m. The public is invited. Please RSVP to: 248-770-2103 with number in your party


Updates -  October 4

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - new pictures in the Amoco Illinois gallery and updates to the Scott Misener's Master's list.


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.


St. Lawrence Seaway strike averted

10/3 - 7 a.m. update - The St. Lawrence Seaway is back in operation and ships are moving Monday morning. Several ships are now transiting the Seaway. A tentative deal was reached overnight and a new 3 year contract will be presented to the workers at a later date.  

Original report - Sunday evening the orderly shutdown of the St. Lawrence Seaway had begun. Richelieu was ordered to anchor at Wilson Hill. Quebecois and Federal Miramichi have anchored near Prescott. Capt. Henry Jackman will soon join them. The passenger ship c. Columbus will secure in the north slip at Prescott Elevators. If and when the contract dispute is resolved, they will receive notification to resume their trips.

Negotiators continued working Sunday to prevent the strike that would officially shut down the St. Lawrence Seaway as early as noon on Monday. Close to 500 workers, who are members of the Canadian Auto Workers union, are scheduled to walk off the job if a deal isn't reached between the union and the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation.

Negotiations on three collective agreements began in May, and the latest round of talks began on Sept. 19.

Ron Beaupre


Fuel unloaded from ship stuck in Cape Breton

10/3 - Cape Breton, N.S. – A Dutch salvage company is removing 6,000 litres of diesel fuel from a grounded ship near Scatarie Island in Cape Breton, N.S. Mammoet Salvaging, which is removing the diesel fuel, is also taking bilgewater — excess water that does not drain off the side of the deck — out of the vessel.

"Earlier in the week we had given the vessel's owners an order to remove the fuel, because of course [the] Coast Guard's first concern is any risk to the marine environment," said Joe LeClair, a Canadian Coast Guard spokesman, on Saturday.

The coast guard expected the salvage company to submit a plan to move the ship by Sunday. Three previous attempts to budge the carrier have failed. LeClair said after the fuel removal the salvage company will submit a new plan to move the ship. Any proposals will have to be reviewed by various government departments, he added.

Some local fishermen are worried if the carrier doesn't move soon, it may never get back to sea. The ship's hull is already punctured in three places. Fisherman Brian Wadden said he worries storm swells might shift the ship, causing more punctures.

"A lot of weight involved. If she takes all of her weight in one point, she is going to punch herself, you know what I mean?"

Adam Sharpe fishes in the area, and watched the last failed attempt to move the stuck ship. Now he's starting to think it'll never leave. "They got a hurricane supposedly coming, and that's the thing about down there usually this time of year coming in the fall we get a lot of northerly, northeast winds, and it's a hellhole down there," Sharpe said.

CBC News


Port Reports -  October 3

St. Marys River
Sunday traffic was delayed by morning fog. When it lifted, American Spirit and Frontenac headed downbound from the Nine Mile anchorage, followed by Kaye E. Barker and John Spence, with her barge, Niagara Spirit, both of which were delayed at the locks. Other downbound traffic included Great Republic and CSL Tadoussac. Upbound Sunday were Algoma Discovery, Saginaw, Hon. James L. Oberstar, Paul R. Tregurtha, Presque Isle, Herbert J. Jackson, Manitoba and Gordon C. Leitch.


Updates -  October 3

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - new pictures in the Scott Misener, Leecliffe Hall and Kinsman Enterprise galleries. New gallery for October the Amoco Illinois.


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. .


Fuel removal begins from Canadian Miner

10/2 - Sydney, N.S. - Fuel removal has begun from the Canadian Miner, which ran aground on Scaterie Island, 11 days ago.

Joe LeClair, superintendent of environmental response with the Canadian Coast Guard Maritimes region, said representatives from international salvage company, Mammoet Salvage, hired by the carrier’s owners, were on the scene again Saturday continuing to assess the situation. They also began to remove fuel.

“They assembled all the pumps, hoses, everything they need to remove the fuel, and they spent most of the morning hooking that equipment all up and they’ve recently started removing the fuel from the vessel,” said LeClair, late Saturday afternoon. LeClair, who is in regular contact with Mammoet officials, said he expected that process would go fairly quickly and hopes it can be completed before the weather deteriorates later this weekend.

After the fuel is removed, the next step will depend on the final results of the salvage company’s assessment.

“Mammoet anticipate completing their assessment today and we hope to have their plan probably tomorrow some time and then that plan will then be circulated to government departments for input and comment, and we hope to have a meeting with them on Monday to talk about what they found and what their suggested way forward is,” said LeClair.

The Miner was being towed by a tug Sept. 20 when a line broke and it ran aground on the small island off Cape Breton. It was being towed to Turkey for scrapping.


Port Reports -  October 2

St. Marys River
Due to Friday's storm, there was no unbound traffic in the river Saturday. Downbound traffic included Joseph H. Thompson, Joseph L. Block, Kaministiqua, Anglian Lady and barge, American Integrity, Michipicoten, Lee A. Tregurtha, Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder, Great Lakes Trader and Indiana Harbor.


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.



Seaway receives strike notice for Monday

10/1 - Cornwall, Ont. - The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) was served with a notice by the Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) Friday of its intent to begin a strike action on Monday at noon. The CAW represents the Seaway’s 475 unionized employees.

If the unionized workers proceed, the St. Lawrence Seaway will be closed to all traffic. A contingency plan provides for the orderly shutdown of the system in the event of a labor interruption.

Negotiations will continue with a federally-appointed mediator in an effort to reach an agreement with unionized employees. The mediator has been working with the parties throughout the latest round of negotiations, which began on Sept. 19.


Fall storm delay shipping around the lakes

10/1 - While some traffic was on the move Friday, many vessels remained at anchor waiting for an early fall storm to blow itself out.

Edwin H. Gott was anchored in Bete Grise Bay off the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula. Lee A. Tregurtha was on the move, coming along the north shore of Lake Superior Friday evening.

Kaye E. Barker and Ojibway spent Friday at anchor in Goulais Bay (Ojibway departed in the early evening) above the locks due to high winds and waves. Great Republic, Algoma Progress and Manitowoc were at anchor north of DeTour. John D. Leitch was anchored off Cockburn Island in Northern Lake Huron.

Stewart J. Cort, Catherine Desgagnes and Arthur M. Anderson were anchored in the Straits area. Edgar B. Speer waited out the weather on Lake Michigan in northern Green Bay off Little Summer Island. The winds and waves cancelled the sailings of the Lake Michigan carferries; Badger remained in Ludington and the Lakes Express in Milwaukee.

In southern Lake Michigan the H. Lee White was at KCBX. St. Marys Challenger was at the Sheds. Hon. James L. Oberstar and Wilfred Sykes were in Indiana Harbor. American Courage was at Gary while Burns Harbor waited at her namesake port.

The tug Victory and barge James L Kuber were anchored off Alpena as was the Buffalo, while Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber were anchored in Saginaw Bay.

St. Clair River was full from Sarnia to Marine City with the Algoma Transfer, Adam E. Cornelius, Cedarglen, Algolake, Peter R. Cresswell, Robert E. Pierson all at anchored or tied up for the night.

Sam Laud, Algosoo and Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin were anchored in the Detroit River. The Colchester Anchorage in Western Lake Erie was full with the Philip R. Clarke, John B. Aird, American Mariner and Sea Eagle II. Algomarine was behind Long Point.

A 23-foot wave was recorded by Lake Michigan's mid-lake southern buoy Friday – the highest since readings began in 1981. The buoy, about 50 miles west-southwest of Holland, takes readings from March into November each year, and is shut down each winter, National Weather Service meteorologist Bob Dukesherer said.

"That's the highest wave I've seen," Dukesherer said. Winds are subsiding gradually today, so the 23-foot record is likely to stand, Dukesherer said. The previous record was a 20.3-foot wave in November 1998, he said.

Friday’s wave was recorded at 4 a.m. with a wind speed of 51 mph, the National Weather Service said. Gusts over 60 mph were recorded along the Michigan shoreline. Winds were gradually subsiding Friday, so the record is likely to stand, he said.

In southern Michigan, some nearshore waves topped 17 feet. The buoy off Bridman, near Warren Dunes State Park, recorded a peak wave of 17.6 feet, the NWS said.

Waves at shorelines can vary significantly depending on wind direction and topography, Dukesherer said. It was a northerly wind today, he said. "It really depends on where you are at, the wind direction, and whether you're protected by any points to the north."

The high winds built behind a low-pressure system and storms that moved through Michigan late Thursday. A funnel cloud appeared over Lake Michigan near Ludington at 5:35 p.m. Thursday, the NWS said. It reached from a cloud halfway to the water's surface before dissipating.

On Southern Lake Huron wind and waves were building Friday, at 3 p.m. the weather buoy was reporting gusts to 40 knots and waves at 16 feet.

The Grand Rapids Press


Ophelia to bear down on grounded Canadian Miner

10/1 - Cape Breton – Bad weather, expected to bear down on Scaterie Island Sunday night, will likely delay moving a grounded bulk carrier, according to the Canadian Coast Guard.

The owners of the Canadian Miner have flown in a team of salvage experts to assess the stranded ship. They spent most of the day Friday at Scaterie Island, where the bulk carrier has been stuck since Sept. 20.

Now Ophelia, a Category 3 storm, is expected to skirt the Cape Breton coast overnight Sunday. Divers were in the water Friday to inspect three cracks that have developed in the hull of the ship.

The coast guard said the first priority is to remove more than 6,000 litres of diesel fuel from an interior tank. They hope that will get done before Ophelia's winds and three-to-four metre high waves hit this weekend, conditions the Canadian Coast Guard said will probably delay the salvage operation.

Fishermen in the area are worried about pollution should the ship break up, but according to Transport Canada both its bilge and main fuel tanks were cleaned before it left Montreal. Inspectors gave it what they call a 'green passport,' which experts say means any environmental damage, if the worst were to happen, would be minimal.

Joe LeClair, with the Canadian Coast Guard, said they need to see a plan from the ship's owner before they will know when the next attempt to free the decomissioned carrier will happen. The ship was being towed to Turkey to be scrapped. It went aground on the rocky shores of Scatarie Island when the tow line attaching the ship to the ocean-going tug towing it broke.



Port Reports -  October 1

St. Marys River
Walter J. McCarthy Jr. and Federal Weser were upbound Friday evening while Irma was downbound.

Stoneport, Mich. - Dan McNeil
Due at Stoneport Saturday is the Philip R. Clarke followed by Lewis J. Kuber and the John G. Munson. Due Sunday are Lewis J. Kuber and the John J. Boland.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
The Buffalo went to anchor off Alpena early Friday morning to wait out the weather. The tug Victory and barge James L. Kuber were not far behind the Buffalo and also went to anchor in the bay. The Alpena loaded cement at Lafarge on Friday and took a delay for weather also but departed in the evening for Green Bay, Wis. The G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity departed Lafarge early Thursday morning after loading cement at Lafarge. The Manitowoc arrived off Alpena Thursday evening and turned around out in the bay to back in stern first into Lafarge. Once Manitowoc tied up it began unloading coal.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W. English River was in port Friday unloading bulk powdered cement at the LaFarge Terminal on Ohio Street.


Coast Guard rescues kayaker after his craft capsizes in Lake Michigan

10/1 - Cleveland, Ohio – A Coast Guard Station Sheboygan, Wis., boat crew rescued a kayaker after his kayak capsized and he was unable to re-right it this afternoon in Lake Michigan. The kayaker is a 28-year-old Sheboygan man. His name is not being released.

The radio watchstander at Coast Guard Station Sheboygan received a call at 1:20 p.m. from a civilian who reported seeing the man in the water, just south of Station Sheboygan.

Prior to launching a boat crew aboard the station's 41-foot Utility Boat, the command there had to get a waiver from Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan, their parent command, due to the fact that the on-scene weather exceeded the UTB's traditional operating parameters. Traditionally, the UTB is authorized to launch with conditions up to 30-knot winds and 8-foot waves. On-scene weather at the time was 25-knot winds, but waves of 8-10 feet.

Once authorized to launch, the UTB crew got on scene, about one mile south of Sheboygan's breakwall, and found the man straddling his partially submerged kayak. He was wearing a lifejacket and wetsuit.

The boat crew took the man and his kayak aboard the UTB and transported him back to Station Sheboygan, where he was met by awaiting EMS from the Sheboygan Fire Department.

Although he was only in the 58-degree water an estimated 30 minutes, the man was already showing signs of hypothermia.

Due to the weather conditions, the station's officer-in-charge, Chief Petty Officer Robert Downs, operated the UTB. Downs is a qualified surfman, the Coast Guard's extreme weather coxswains. Although Station Sheboygan is not considered a "Coast Guard surf station," one that requires assigned surfmen, Downs maintains this qualification from a previous assignment.

Petty Officer 3rd Class James Myjak, stationed in Sheboygan since July 2010, was also on the UTB crew. Although he's been involved in many rescues as a smallboat crewman, Myjak recently qualified as a coxswain, or smallboat operator. He appreciated the opportunity to watch Downs in action.

"Every time I go out on a case with him, he teaches me some new things that he's learned throughout his career," said Myjak.


“Ships of the Great Lakes” filmmaker to speak Saturday at Whitefish

10/1 - Leonard Brown, independent filmmaker and historian, will speak at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum this weekend.

Brown’s program will detail the work that went into his latest documentary series focused on “Ships of the Great Lakes.” Beginning with a brief history of shipping on lakes, the program will guide museum guests through a myriad of ship subjects, including the former Oglebay Norton Steamship Co., self-unloading vessels, dining on board, the Great Lakes Maritime Academy, storms on the lakes, Coast Guard ice breaking and the effects of shipping on American economy.

Jim Spurr, President of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society explained, “If you ever wondered what life is like on the ships…you’ll love this program.”

There is an admission fee to attend the program, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 1.

Sault Ste. Marie Evening News


Updates -  October 1

News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - new pictures in the Scott Misener & Leecliffe Hall galleries


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.


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