Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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* Report News

In Sandy’s wake, limited vessel traffic starts moving

10/31 - Tuesday night some traffic started moving on the lower lakes. The "neighborhoods" of ships and sailors that rapidly formed around the Great Lakes Sunday and Monday as super-storm Sandy raced westward, began coming apart Tuesday evening as captains resumed their interrupted trips.

Herbert C. Jackson picked up her hook and was bound for Dearborn and the Rouge steel mill. Weathermen were telling the captains that northerly winds on Lake Huron were beginning to drop and that the seas would soon be in the 9-foot range. On Lake Erie, the forecast was for NNW winds to drop to 20 knots overnight. H. Lee White was moving up the Detroit River to Lake Huron enroute to Indiana Harbor. More of the boats that had gone to anchor as the storm intensified Monday were expected to begin moving again during the night.

Tuesday morning traffic on the lake had all but stopped with the exception of a few vessels beachcombing, or traveling close to the north shore of Lake Superior. Westbound off Thunder Bay, Ont., were American Courage, Philip R. Clarke and CSL Tadoussac. Eastbound from Duluth were Indiana Harbor and Edwin H. Gott. Anchored in Thunder Bay were Lee A. Tregurtha, Algoma Provider, American Mariner and Roger Blough. Ziemia Lodzka and Federal Saguenay crossed Lake Superior and arrived at the Soo Tuesday afternoon and both went to anchor above the locks.

The American Spirit arrived upbound at Detour Tuesday afternoon and proceeded upbound and onto Lake Superior. Hon. James L. Oberstar departed the Nine Mile anchorage and headed downbound at 10 p.m.

On Lake Huron Tuesday morning was the saltie Elisalex Schulte, upbound mid-lake off Goderich making 2.8 knots. The vessel has been making under 2 knots north bound for the last 24 hours. It is possible they planned to anchor in the lake and when that wasn't possible decided to proceed at a slow speed into the wind. Lake Michigan had no active traffic.

At 11 a.m. the weather buoy in mid Lake Huron was reporting winds of 30 knots with waves at 16 feet. Overnight the buoy recorded a maximum winds speed of 39 knots with gusts to 45 knots and wave heights topping out at 20-feet.

In southern Lake Michigan the weather continued to build Tuesday morning. At 11 a.m. the weather buoy was reporting winds at 37 knots gusting to 49 knots with waves at 19 feet. The extremes were recorded on Tuesday when waves reached 21.7 - feet at noon and a maximum winds gust of 48.6 knots was recorded at 9:50 a.m.

Eastern Lake Ontario recorded maximum winds about 11 p.m. Monday night at 37 knots with gusts at 45 knots. Waves were just over 12 feet high. Eastern Lake Erie recorded its maximum winds about the same time Monday night reaching 33 knots with gusts to 41 knots, waves at 7 feet.

Because of its location farther west, conditions on Lake Superior are not as extreme.

Jim Spencer, Bill Philips and Great Lakes Echo


Great Lakes Towing delivers tanks to Alpena

10/31 - Cleveland, Ohio – The Great Lakes Towing Co. has completed a contract with American International Line to deliver six FRP tanks to Alpena, Mich. The tanks were shipped aboard the saltie Copenhagen, which sailed from India. The vessel arrived at the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority Dock on Oct. 23. There the tanks were then loaded onto a barge. The Great Lakes Towing tug Ohio towed the barge from Cleveland to Alpena, where the tanks were delivered to Lafarge Corporation.


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 Nov. 2. Twelve boats were delayed up to 41 hours by the incident, costing 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 to 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 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.

1885: WILLIAM T. GRAVES stranded at North Manitou Island, Lake Michigan, and was a total loss.

1911: The wooden lumber carrier D. LEUTY hit a squall off Marquette. The wooden steamer ran on the rocks off Lighthouse Point while trying to return to the harbor and was a total loss. The crew was saved and later the machinery was salvaged.

1929: SENATOR and MARQUETTE collided in fog on Lake Michigan and the former sank with the loss of 10 lives.

1952: The Swedish vessel RYHOLM was hit portside ahead of the bridge by the Swiss freighter BASILEA and beached 23 miles below Quebec City. The former had been a pre-Seaway visitor to the Great Lakes and was not salvaged until June 6, 1953. It became CARLSHOLM in 1957 and last came inland in 1967. The ship was scrapped at Aviles, Spain, as d) ARCHON in 1972.

1975: The tug JESSE JAMES operated on the Great Lakes from 1923 to 1966. It caught fire and sank as c) BALEEN about 30 miles southeast of Boston. All on board were saved.

1991: The MAHOGANY visited the Seaway in 1978 and as b) CARDIFF in 1981. It was sailing as f) PANAGHIA PHANEROMENI when in collision with the AQUILLA off Piraeus Roads. The ship was repaired at Perama, Greece, before it returned to service in January 1992.

2005: The Canfornav bulk carrier EIDER was only one year old when it ran aground near Famagusta, Chile, while inbound to load copper ore. The ship was damaged but refloated and repaired at Balboa, Panama. It was back through the Seaway in 2006 and has been a frequent caller since then.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series



Lake ships seek shelter from wind, waves generated by ‘Sandy’

10/30 - 1 p.m. update - Tuesday morning traffic on the lake had all but stopped with the exception of a few vessel beachcombing, or traveling close to the north shore of Lake Superior. Westbound off Thunder Bay, Ontario were the American Courage, Philip R. Clarke and CSL Tadoussac.  Eastbound from Duluth were the Indiana Harbor and Edwin H. Gott. Anchored in Thunder Bay were the Lee A. Tregurtha, Algoma Provider, American Mariner and Roger Blough. The Ziemia Lodzka and Federal Saguenay crossed Lake Superior and arrived at the Soo Tuesday afternoon. On Lake Huron Tuesday morning was the saltie Elisalex Schulte upbound mid lake off Goderich making 2.8 knots. The vessel has been making under 2 knots north bound for the last 24 hours. It is possible they planned to anchor in the lake and when that wasn't possible decided to proceed at a slow speed into the wind. Lake Michigan had no active traffic.

At 11 a.m. the weather buoy in mid Lake Huron was reporting winds of 30 knots with waves at 16-feet. Over night the buoy recorded a maximum winds speed of 39 knots with gusts to 49 knots and wave heights topping out at 20-feet.

In southern Lake Michigan the weather continued to build Tuesday morning, at 11 a.m. the weather buoy was reporting winds at 37 knots gusting to 49 knots with waves at 19-feet.

Eastern Lake Ontario recorded maximum winds about 11 p.m. Monday night at 37 knots with gusts at 45 knots. Waves were just over 12-feet high. Eastern Lake Erie recorded its maximum winds about the same time Monday night reaching 33 knots with gusts to 41 knots, waves at 7-feet.

Because of its location farther west, conditions on Lake Superior will not be as extreme. For western Lake Superior, waves are expected to build to 5 to 8 feet today.

Original report - Several new, but temporary, maritime communities popped up Monday as Great Lakes shipping interests began heeding weather service warnings and freighters found shelter from the massive storm moving across the northeast quadrant of the U.S.

Conditions on the lakes are expected to worsen over the next 24-36 hours, weathermen said. The storm threw into a shambles the fragile schedules boat captains are able to maintain during the final months of the shipping season. At 9 p.m. Monday, mid-lake weather buoys were reporting waves of from 12 to 15 feet on lakes Erie, Huron and Michigan with NNW winds ranging from 30 to 37 knots. NNW winds of 35 knots on Lake Superior were producing 15-foot seas, while on Lake Ontario, eight-footers were reported off Prince Edward Point at the eastern end of the lake.

Clusters of anchored vessels appeared off Kingsville, Ont., on Lake Erie's northern shore, and near St. Joseph Island, where lake boats using the St.Marys River put their anchors on the bottom. Thunder Bay, Ont., also became a popular anchorage, as did Duluth-Superior and Two Harbors.

On Whitefish Bay, the St. Clair and Federal St. Laurent were anchored in Goulais Bay while the American Courage and CSL Tadoussac continued upbound onto Lake Superior. James R. Barker was stopped above the locks and the Frontenac was tied at the locks’ west pier.

The lower St. Marys River was filling up fast. Hon. James L. Oberstar was on the hook Monday night in the Nine Mile anchorage, with the Atlantic Huron anchored in Tenby Bay. Algosar, Joyce L. VanEnkevort, Spartan, Herbert C. Jackson and Sam Laud were stopped north of DeTour, with Karen Andrie and barge at Lime Island.

In the Straits of Mackinac, the Stewart J. Cort was off St. Ignace and American Spirit was off St. Helena Island. G.L. Ostrander and barge Integrity were anchored in lee of Bois Blanc Island. Wilfred Sykes, Joseph H. Thompson and Ken Boothe Sr./Lakes Contender were anchored off Manistique.

 Algoway and Cuyahoga were anchored in Thunder Bay off Alpena.

Atlantic Erie was in the Detroit River’s Ojibway anchorage.

Swinging on the hook in western Lake Erie were Algoma Navigator, Algosoo, Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin, Walter J. McCarthy Jr., H Lee White and McKee Sons.

On Lake Michigan a handful of vessels, including Wilfred Sykes and the carferry Badger, continued to sail as the day wound down. Edgar B. Speer was anchored off Manitowoc, while other vessel remained in port. The forecast caused Lake Michigan Carferry to announce Monday it would cancel Tuesday's scheduled sailing of the Badger.

Weather forecasts warned of near hurricane-strength northerly winds over portions of Lake Superior. Sailors on lakes Michigan, Huron and Erie were being warned that north winds in the 50-to-60 knot range were anticipated into Wednesday.

The storm, maintained forecasters, should slide north and east to the Canadian Maritime provinces by Thursday night.

Jim Spencer and Bill Philips


Canadian Miner salvage gets green light

10/30 - Nova Scotia's Department of Labor has lifted the stop-work order on the removal of a derelict bulk carrier off Cape Breton's Scatarie Island. Premier Darrell Dexter says the order was lifted after the New York-based salvager, Bennington Group, submitted safety plans that were approved by department officials.

He says the department is satisfied a plan is in place to keep workers safe at the site and that there are also contingencies to safely remove any worker who may be hurt during the salvage of the M/V Miner. Dexter says the provincial approval means work can resume at the site as soon as weather conditions permit.

The department says the first phase of the salvage will see the removal of all floatable material from the ship along with the dismantling of pipes, electrical wiring and cables. The salvage company will have to submit additional engineering plans before the dismantling of the vessel's hull can begin.

The retired Great Lakes bulk carrier ran aground more than a year ago as it was being towed to be scrapped in Turkey.

CBC News


Port Reports -  October 30

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic Monday morning included salties Mandarin and Federal Power loading a CHS grain terminal, Copenhagen unloading steel at the Duluth port terminal and Pochard anchored on the lake waiting for grain berth. In a season that has seen low numbers of saltwater ships and grain cargoes, this was a welcome change. Also Monday, Great Republic was departing.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Despite high winds on Lake Superior, John J. Boland arrived late Monday afternoon at the Lower Harbor to unload western coal from Superior at the Shiras Dock.

South Chicago - Brian Z.
Arthur M. Anderson was holding the dock at Morton Salt after finishing loading coal at KCBX on Monday.


Bounty crew member found, captain still missing

10/30 - The U.S. Coast Guard said Monday night it had found a woman from the HMS Bounty sinking. Claudene Christian, 42, was located by an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter Monday evening and taken to Albemarle Hospital in Elizabeth City, N.C. Two crewmembers of the Nova Scotia-built replica vessel were missing after abandoning ship off the coast of North Carolina in high seas brought on by Hurricane Sandy.

The search for Robin Walbridge, captain of the ship, continues. The Bounty visited the Great Lakes in 2003 and 2010. Officials with the U.S. Coast Guard told CBC News the 16-member crew of the Bounty decided to abandon ship after getting caught in 5.5-metre seas off Cape Hatteras on Monday.

Three crew members were washed overboard as they tried to get to two covered liferafts, said the U.S. Coast Guard. Only one of the three members made it to the liferaft and was among the 14 people hoisted onto helicopters.

Coast guard officials said the two missing crewmembers a man and a woman were believed to be in cold water survival suits and life-jackets. They said the air search is being plotted based on wind direction and speed, and will be expanded.

Claudia McCann, whose husband Robin Walbridge is the captain of the Bounty, told CBC News her husband was one of the two missing crewmembers. The Bounty sank several hours after the evacuation.

The U.S. Coast Guard was originally told 17 people were on the Bounty, but now say 16 people were on board. Officials have spoken to all 14 survivors and say they're all "in good shape."

A U.S. Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter arrived on scene at approximately 6:30 a.m. and hoisted five people from the liferafts. A second helicopter arrived later and rescued nine more people. The U.S. Coast Guard was contacted on Sunday night after the ship began taking on water. A Hercules C-130 aircraft was dispatched to try to get the crew to safety.

"We had a C-130 on scene that was running out of fuel and experiencing a little crew fatigue, so we dispatched another C-130 to arrive on scene and relieve them," said Petty Officer 1st Class Jordan Campbell.

The Hercules C-130 remains on the scene in the search for the missing crewmember. A third MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter is on the way to assist in the search effort, said the U.S. Coast Guard. Officials with the U.S. Coast Guard said the winds in the area are sustained in the 75 km/h range.

McCann told CBC News she hadn't slept since she received word the ship was taking on water. She said her husband, Captain Robin Walbridge, was trying to get around Hurricane Sandy en route to Florida. "He was just trying to avoid it, skirt it. Skirt through it, skirt around it," McCann said earlier on Monday. "I'm sure he's devastated. Absolutely devastated. But the crew comes first and you have to save the crew."

CBC News spoke to Claudene Christian, whose daughter was a crewmember on the Bounty, Monday morning. She said her daughter Claudene had contacted her before heading out on her journey.

"She says, 'We're heading out and I just wanted to tell you and dad that I love you.' And I said, 'What are you saying that for?' And she said, 'Just in case something happens,'" Christian said in a phone interview from Oklahoma.

"She was truly and genuinely happy and loved the Bounty and loved what she was doing and wanted us to know that just in case she went down with the ship."

The replica of HMS Bounty, which launched in Lunenburg in 1960, was made famous in a 1962 movie starring Marlon Brando Mutiny on the Bounty. It has also appeared in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest starring Johnny Depp.

CBC News


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.

1918: The bulk carrier VULCAN went aground off Point Abbaye, on Lake Superior and the pilothouse caught fire and burned. The ship was enroute to Hancock, MI with coal and, after being released, was towed to Houghton, MI. The vessel was repaired and became b) VINMOUNT in 1919.

1960: JOHN SHERWIN went aground several miles above the Soo Locks and received serious bottom damage. The vessel was pulled free on November 7 and went for repairs.

1973: AIGLE MARIN, enroute to Thorold with 600 tons of ferrous chrome, went aground in the Seaway near Cornwall, ON. The tug ROBINSON BAY helped pull this small coastal freighter, a product of the Collingwood shipyard, free on October 31.

1974: JOHN O. McKELLAR of the Misener fleet went aground in the St. Marys River and had to be lightered before being refloated. It was stuck for 3 days.

1978: The Cypriot freighter KARYATIS came through the Seaway in 1973. The ship, later under the Greek flag, was damaged in a collision on the Western Mediterranean with the SPRING. The latter, as a) IRISH ROSE, had made been a Great Lakes visitor from 1956 through 1958, and was declared a total loss after the collision. It was scrapped at Santander, Spain, in 1979. KARYATIS was repaired and was later broken up at Gadani Beach, Pakistan, as e) NOURA after arrival on April 7, 1987.

1980: The wooden-hulled former coastal freighter AVALON VOYAGER II, enroute to Owen Sound for planned use as a restaurant, had pump problems, lost power and struck bottom off Cape Hurd. The anchors failed to hold. The ship drifted into Hay Bay and stranded again. All on board were saved but the ship was a total loss.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


Ships head to anchor as storm may bring up to 33-foot waves

10/29 - 3 p.m. update: Monday afternoon ships had begun to take shelter around the lakes. On Whitefish Bay the St. Clair was anchored in Goulais Bay while the American Courage CSL Tadoussac continued upbound onto Lake Superior. The lower St. Marys River was filling up fast with the Atlantic Huron anchored in Tenby Bay. Algosar, Joyce L. VanEnkevort, Spartan, Herbert C. Jackson and Sam Laud north of Detour with the Karen Andrie and barge at Lime Island. Stewart J. Cort was off St. Ignace while the G.L. Ostrander and barge Integrity were anchored in lee of Bois Blanc Island. Algoway and Cuyahoga were anchored in Thunder Bay off Alpena. On Lake Erie the Algoma Navigator, Algosoo, Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin, Walter J. McCarthy Jr. and H Lee White were at anchor west of Point PeLee. On Lake Michigan some traffic was still moving but the Edgar B. Speer was anchored off Manitowoc while other vessel remained in port.

Original Report: As Hurricane Sandy makes its way up the Atlantic on a collision course with two other weather systems that could turn it into one of the most fearsome storms on record in the United States, the Great Lakes are expected to feel the effects of the monster storm.

The National Weather Service predicts the outskirts storm now barreling up the Eastern Seaboard to push into the region, bringing rain through Wednesday.

A Lake Erie storm warning is in effect from Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning. Monday night, north gales to 45 knots becoming northwest, with storm-force winds to 50 knots overnight. Rain. Waves 16 to 21 feet. Tuesday, northwest storm-force winds to 50 knots becoming north and diminishing to gales to 40 knots in the afternoon. Rain. Waves 17 to 22 feet.

Lake Ontario storm warning in effect from Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning. Monday night, north gales to 35 knots increasing to 45 knots with possible hurricane force wind gusts to 65 knots. Rain. Waves building to 15 to 20 feet.

Lake Huron gale warning in effect from Monday evening through Tuesday evening. Monday night, north winds 20 to 25 knots with gusts to 40 knots. Gales increasing to 30 knots with gusts to 45 knot gales late. A chance of rain and snow. Waves 8 to 12 feet. Maximum wave height around 15 feet. Tuesday, north winds to 30 knots with storm force gusts to 50 knots diminishing to 20 to 25 knots with gusts to 35 knot gales late. Rain. Waves 10 to 14 feet. Maximum wave height around 17 feet.

A Lake Michigan gale warning is in effect from Monday afternoon through Wednesday evening. Monday night, north gales to 45 knots and occasional storm force gusts to 50 knots possible. Waves building to 15 to 20 feet occasionally to 28 feet. Tuesday north gales to 45 knots. Chance of showers. Waves 20 to 25 feet, occasionally to 33 feet. Tuesday night, north gales to 45 knots diminishing to 40 knots. Chance of showers and slight chance of snow showers. Waves 15 to 20 feet, occasionally to 28 ft.

Lake Superior is forecast to have gales Monday- Wednesday. Vessels are advised to seek safe harbor.

"As that storm moves inland, then we'll have the stronger rain bands come over on Tuesday and Wednesday affecting our area and also picking up the winds," said Debra Elliott, an observation program leader with the NWS station in White Lake Township.

The Detroit News


Seaway says system not shut down because of storm, monitoring wind speeds

10/29 - Cornwall, Ont. - Officials from St. Lawrence Seaway system are monitoring wind conditions as Hurricane Sandy moves closer to Canada, but have yet to shut the waterway down said spokesman Andrew Bogora.

"We have established guidelines as to wind speed, and when the guidelines are exceeded navigation is suspended," said Bogora from the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp.'s headquarters in Cornwall.

Whether traffic is suspended also depends on vessel type.

Unloaded vessels have a higher sail area than ships that are fully-loaded, said Bogora. A higher sail area means there is more area for wind to catch on a vessel. "Fully-loaded vessels are less susceptible to the wind speed." The wind speed where the seaway starts to decide whether or not to close the system, including the Welland Canal here in Niagara, is 30 knots (about 56 kilometres an hour).

"At this stage we're keeping a close eye on the wind speed and will make a decision as warranted." If the seaway system is closed, vessels will be directed to anchor and wait out the weather. Bogora said there are anchorage points off of Port Weller and Port Colborne. Vessels can also tie up in the Welland Canal along normal tie up spots and emergency locations as well.

While he didn't have an idea of the number of ships in the system at the time, Bogora said people can check at the Seaway's website

St. Catharines Standard


Western Lake Superior report

10/29 - Infrequent visitors and salties were the rule at Duluth-Superior on Sunday. Traffic included Algorail making a rare trip to the U.S. Lakehead, loading iron ore pellets under the gravity chutes at the CN ore dock while Frontenac and then Lee A. Tregurtha did the same at CN's shuttle conveyor berth. Great Republic stopped at Calumet Fuels and then delivered limestone to Hallett #5 before shifting over to CN to load iron ore pellets. John J. Boland delivered limestone to the Graymont lime plant and then loaded coal at Midwest Energy.

First-time oceangoing visitor Copenhagen was discharging structural steel at the Port Terminal and is expected to load grain at CHS during the middle of the week. Three salties were at anchor outside the Duluth entry waiting for grain cargoes, a first this fall. Canfornav's Mandarin and Pochard were in the lineup for CHS #1, while Fednav's Federal Power was scheduled for CHS #2. Mandarin and Federal Power were expected to arrive during the late afternoon or early evening in preparation to being loading at the start of the workweek on Monday morning. Pochard is due to load at CHS #1 after the Copenhagen.

Up the north shore, the Two Harbors CN ore docks loaded the James R. Barker during the middle of the day and were expecting American Century and Roger Blough later in the evening. Meanwhile St. Clair spent the early morning loading iron ore pellets at Northshore Mining in Silver Bay.

On Monday, American Courage is due at Duluth-Superior early in the morning with limestone for Graymont before heading up to Silver Bay to load. Several of her fleetmates will also be working the western lake Monday, including American Mariner loading at CN in Duluth, Indiana Harbor due at Midwest Energy in Superior, and American Century finishing her load at Two Harbors and clearing downbound in the morning. GLF / Key Lakes is well-represented on Monday as well, with Presque Isle expected to join Great Republic at CN in Duluth, Cason J. Callaway arriving later in the evening with fluxstone for Hallett #5 and then a load of ore at CN, and Edwin H. Gott joining Roger Blough at CN's Two Harbors docks.

Fednav's Federal St. Laurent is expected at the Peavey elevator in Superior on Monday evening or Tuesday after delivering cargo to the Canadian Soo. She was originally scheduled to load at Thunder Bay while Federal Saguenay was expected at Duluth-Superior for Peavey, but Fednav appears to have switched the orders for the essentially identical sister ships. Sunday afternoon the Federal Saguenay was at Thunder Bay Terminals likely loading potash for overseas export. Federal St. Laurent had yet to depart the Essar export dock at Sault Ste. Marie.

CSL's converted laker Saguenay has been in temporary layup at Thunder Bay's Keefer Terminal since mid-September. After a busy spring and summer for the Superior to Quebec coal run that trade has been quiet this autumn. CSL sent Saguenay and Richelieu into layup at Thunder Bay and Montreal, respectively, in mid-to-late September while the rest of their gearless bulker fleet has been dispatched to carry grain cargoes out of Thunder Bay or ilemnite ore on the familiar lower St. Lawrence run from Havre St. Pierre to Sorel. Now Saguenay looks to be coming out of layup, as she is due at Midwest Energy in Superior later this week to load for Quebec City. CSL ships look to be frequent callers there through the rest of the season; they have several more loads on the schedule for Quebec along with late-season stockpile-building runs for Belledune, New Brunswick.


Somali pirates release Orna, detain six crew

10/29 - Somali pirates said on Monday they have freed the Panama-flagged merchant ship Orna – a past Great Lakes visitor – after receiving a ransom of $400,000, but detained six of the crew to get more money for them.

The ship, a bulk cargo vessel with a deadweight of 27,915 tonnes, owned by the United Arab Emirates, was stopped by pirates firing rocket-propelled grenades about 400 nautical miles northeast of the Seychelles in December 2010.

Pirates said they released Orna, held at Haradheere in central Somalia, but were still holding the captain, the engineer and four others of its 19 mostly Indian crew.

"We now hold six men, including the captain and the chief engineer," pirate Mohamed told Reuters from Haradheere. The amount of the ransom for release of the ship could not immediately be verified independently.

"We have taken $400,000 and released Orna. The owners towed it with other ships," pirate Abdiweli told Reuters. "We want ransom for them, but I cannot say the amount now."

Seaborne gangs are making tens of millions of dollars in ransoms, and despite successful efforts to quell attacks in the Gulf of Aden, international navies have struggled to contain piracy in the Indian Ocean owing to the vast distances involved.

However, naval ships have intensified their crackdown, including strikes on the pirates' coastal bases, and shipping firms are increasingly using armed guards and defensive measures on vessels, including barbed wire.

This has helped to reduce the number of incidents involving Somali pirates to 69 in the first half of 2012, compared with 163 in the same period last year, the International Maritime Bureau has said.



Great Lakes author and china expert dies

10/29 - Daniel Krummes, an authority on Great Lakes ship china, died Oct. 18, 2012, at his home in California following a long illness. Krummes was a maritime-history buff and avidly collected the china used aboard steamships on the Great Lakes. He wrote and published a reference book on the subject in 1997 titled Dining on Inland Seas: Nautical China from the Great Lakes Region of North America. He was recognized as a leading expert on the china used aboard Great Lakes ships over the many years when such pieces were marked with company logos, flags or even individual ships' names.

Professionally, Krummes was the long-time director of the Institute of Transportation Studies Library at the University of California-Berkeley. He retired in 2006.


Updates -  October 29

New Video on our YouTube Channel Col. James M. Schoonmaker move.


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 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 ALGOMA 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 upbound 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.

1887: VERNON, enroute from Cheboygan to Chicago, foundered off Two Rivers, Wisconsin, in a sudden and violent Lake Michigan storm. Only one on board was saved while another 36 lives were lost.

1907: CITY OF GRAND RAPIDS, a wooden passenger steamer recently brought into Canadian registry, caught fire while stopped at Tobermory for the night while enroute from Wiarton to Manitoulin Island. The blazing ship was cut loose, drifted into the bay and sank

1917: RISING SUN stranded at Pyramid Point, Lake Michigan, in snow and the 32 on board were rescued before the ship was broken apart by the surf.

1924: GLENORCHY sank in Lake Huron, 6 miles ESE of Harbor Beach after a collision with the LEONARD B. MILLER. Dense fog mixing with smoke from forest fires were blamed for the accident. All on board were saved.

1926: TORHAMVAN, built at Midland as CANADIAN LOGGER, was wrecked off Newfoundland after going aground in fog enroute to Montreal. Area residents rescued the crew.

1929: The passenger and freight carrier WISCONSIN foundered off Kenosha, Wisconsin, with the loss of 16 lives.

1942: NORLUNA, built at Chicago in 1919 as LAKE GETAWAY, stranded in Ungava Bay, off the coast of Labrador near Fort Chimo, and was a total loss.

1951: After unloading grain at Buffalo, the PENOBSCOT was in a collision on the Buffalo River with the tanker barge MORANIA 130, pushed by the tug DAUNTLESS NO. 12. The barge was carrying gasoline and a terrible fire broke out. A total of 11 sailors, including two on the freighter, died from burns.

1959: MARISCO had visited the Great Lakes as a) MOYRA and b) HEIKA. The ship foundered in the Gulf of Laconia, off Gythion, Greece, after developing a leak in the engineroom. It was enroute from Varna, Bulgaria, to Genoa, Italy, with iron ore.

1968: GLOUCESTER CITY began Great Lakes trading in 1966. The ship was sailing as b) ST. JOHN when it put into Fort Dauphin, Malagasy Republic, with engine trouble on a voyage from Montreal to Djakarta, Indonesia. Two days later the vessel broke its moorings in a gale and was blown on a sandbank as a total loss.

1978: The Swedish freighter FREDBORG, b) FREDRIK RAGNE, a Great Lakes visitor under both names before and after the Seaway was opened, returned as c) ANASTASSIA in 1968. The vessel was towed out of Tema, Ghana, as e) GAYTA on this date in 1978 and scuttled in the deep waters of the Atlantic.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


Col. James M. Schoonmaker tow goes off without a hitch at Toledo

10/28 - Toledo, Ohio – The historic, 101-year old museum ship Col. James M. Schoonmaker was towed from its International Park dock to its new home next to the Toledo Maritime Center Saturday.

With the Great Lakes Towing Co. tugs Nebraska on the bow and Mississippi on the stern, and the Geo. Gradel Co. tug Prairieland assisting as needed, the nearly three-hour tow went without a hitch, although brisk winds were a concern.

The Great Lakes Historical Society sponsored a catered luncheon on board for local leaders and benefactors as the stately tow moved down the river. Guests were able to view and sign the ship’s original guest book, dating back to 1912.

Great Lakes Towing Co. Fleet Captain Jeff Stabler and Schoonmaker curator Paul C. LaMarre III directed the tow from the Schoonmaker’s bridge wings. All services including the tugs were donated by their respective companies, said LaMarre.

The historic Toledo-built freighter, rechristened last summer to its original name after also serving as the Willis B. Boyer, will become the centerpiece of a new National Museum of the Great Lakes set to open next year at the Great Lakes Historical Society’s new maritime center on Front Street.

Roger LeLievre


Port Reports -  October 28

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Herbert C. Jackson loaded ore Saturday afternoon at the Upper Harbor. John G. Munson was due for ore late Saturday evening.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The Interlake Fleet tug-barge combination Dorothy Ann and Pathfinder loaded overnight at the Lafarge aggregate dock. The two sailed upbound Saturday morning with no next port of call listed.


Days may be numbered for S.S. Badger

10/28 - Ludington, Mich. – If these are the S.S. Badger's last days after nearly 60 years of crisscrossing Lake Michigan with loads of vacationers and their vehicles they are far from the ship's finest.

The fate of whether the outdated coal-powered car ferry will be allowed to operate is being decided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. And while its owners wait for word, the ship, which has been a summertime staple for generations, continues to make daily trips from Ludington to Manitowoc, Wis., and back.

But summer's groups of excited children and nostalgic adults are gone, and only a fraction of the usual crowds make each trip. VIP passengers these days are the massive wind turbine parts being shipped from Wisconsin.

Officials with the Lake Michigan Carferry Service agreed to extend the ship's run this year by roughly three weeks to accommodate those shipments, meaning the end of its last season could be Friday. At that point, there will be nothing to do but wait not only for the company and its employees, but for those who have come to love the Badger over the years and treasure it as a Michigan icon.

Dan Shimel has lived all of his 59 years in Ludington years that included Badger trips as a child, and trips for his own children decades later. "The people out there who are trying to kill it ought to come and experience it because they just don't know what they're losing," he said. Shimel is among more than 24,000 people who have signed the Badger's online support petition.

The two Skinner Unaflow coal-fired engines that have driven the Badger for so many years are now the possible source of its demise. Each spring-to-fall season, those engines produce more than 500 tons of coal ash waste that is dumped during trips into Lake Michigan.

Federal regulators began cracking down on coal ash in earnest after a mountain of the material burst out of a holding area at a Tennessee power plant and into the surrounding area. That put the Lake Michigan Carferry Service squarely in the EPA's crosshairs, with the agency essentially saying: "Fix the problem by 2013, or be put out of business."

The Badger's EPA permit for dumping officially ends Dec. 19, and the company has applied for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit to allow it to continue to dump the ash while it seeks a permanent and more environmentally friendly solution.

EPA officials will say only that they are "reviewing the submissions" and offered no timetable for a final decision . The permit is not the only approach company officials are taking to try to secure their future.

They have applied to the National Park Service for landmark status and pushed for a provision in the proposed Coast Guard Authorization Act that would exempt them from the EPA's regulation. That provision has been in limbo for more than a year. The National Park Service has all but approved the Badger as a national landmark, but there may be a problem.

"In all likelihood, the hold on approval is in effect until the Badger's issues with the EPA are resolved," said Mike Litterst, a park service spokesman.

"While we're eager to recognize the exceptional historical value of the Badger, we don't want to do it without taking into account the reservations of some citizens and regulatory agencies."

Which brings the issues facing the ferry line back to where they started with the EPA.

The company declined to discuss the pending application, but in an August letter to the EPA, its vice president of navigation, Chuck Leonard, outlined Lake Michigan Carferry's plans for becoming more environmentally friendly. That, he said, includes researching the possibility of converting from coal power to natural gas or developing a new system to prevent waste from being dumped into Lake Michigan.

"We are cautiously optimistic that this new coal ash combustion system will significantly reduce the fuel we use and the ash that is generated, and allow us to store and offload it landside," Leonard wrote.

Many lawmakers are against any extension of the Badger's permit. State Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, issued a statement last week urging Congress not to allow the company to avoid regulation via the Coast Guard Authorization Act.

"The S.S. Badger wants to have its coal ash cake and eat it too," Jones said in a statement. "That's unacceptable."

That EPA's decision will impact people on both sides of Lake Michigan. Travelers looking to avoid Chicago traffic still have access to the Badger's competitor, the Lake Express which runs from Muskegon to Milwaukee. But that would likely mean little to Ludington and Manitowoc residents.

Karen Szyman, executive director for the Chamber of Manitowoc County in Wisconsin, said the Badger's presence contributes more than $14 million annually to the region's economy. "We're very fearful of what would happen," she said. "It's going to have a large impact on our community. Tourism here is a huge part of things, and we're holding out hope that this isn't going to happen. Right now, it's just a wait and see thing."

Across the lake, Ludington Mayor John Henderson predicted similar problems. "The Badger affects about 700 families 200 jobs directly and another 500 indirectly," he said.

Henderson estimated that the loss of those jobs could move Ludington's unemployment rate from 8 percent to 13 percent.

The Detroit News


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.

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

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

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.

1901: The wooden schooner JULIA LARSON sank in a gale a half-mile northeast of Grand Marais, MI. The ship was later recovered and returned to service.

1928: The newly built DEEPWATER ran aground at Sugar Loaf Point, west of Port Colborne, in fog. The ship was lightered and released four days later and went to Montreal for repairs. The vessel later sailed the lakes as b) KEYMONT and c) HAMILDOC (ii) before being scrapped at Port Dalhousie in 1962.

1939: The tug R.P. REIDENBACH, with E.A.S. CLARKE (ii) under tow at Ashtabula, rolled over and sank with the loss of 2 lives. It was refloated, became b) CONNEAUT in 1941 and was scrapped at Ashtabula about 1964.

1959: The tug BROWN BROTHERS, enroute to Port Burwell under tow of the tug LUKE, was overwhelmed by the waves and sank off Long Point with no loss of life. Originally a fish tug, the vessel served as the b) IVEY ROSE from 1946 to 1950 pushing the barge T.A. IVEY in the Lake Erie coal trade.

1964: BORGFRED, a Great Lakes visitor in 1952, caught fire in the engine room as g) GIANNIS and sank off Malta two days later while on a voyage from Romania to Algeria.

1970: WEARFIELD, a British freighter began Great Lakes visits in 1964 as the largest saltwater ship to yet use the Seaway, was blown aground at the entrance to the Soo Locks due to high winds on this date in 1970. It took over 5 hours to release the vessel. Service ended on arrival at Shanghai, China, for scrapping as f) FAIR WIND on March 15, 1985.

1979: PIERSON INDEPENDENT ran aground in the St. Lawrence near Brockville while downbound with a cargo of corn. The ship was released but then beached as it was taking on water. Temporary repairs allowed the vessel to be refloated again on October 31 and it sailed to Trois Rivieres to be unloaded.

2007: SEA MAID, a small Danish freighter, came through the Seaway in 1997 with steel for Cleveland. It was wrecked as d) OMER N. 18 miles west of Gedser, Denmark, and was dismantled in sections at Grenaa, Denmark, in 2008

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Leak in ballast tank in Atlantic Huron investigated

10/27 - Duluth, Minn. – The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of a small hull fracture reported on the Atlantic Huron, at anchor outside of the Duluth-Superior Harbor, Friday evening.

The Coast Guard is also investigating a fluorescent green discoloration reportedly resulting from the crew's efforts to determine the extent of the fracture, in the #5 ballast tank of the ship, with a dye penetrant, which has been reportedly approved for marine use.

Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Duluth personnel are responding to the incident to determine the extent of the reported damage, verify adequacy of the temporary repairs, and ensure that the dye used is in compliance with the Clean Water Act. Assisting in the response are crews from Coast Guard Station Duluth, and Sector Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

The vessel's owner is fully cooperating with the Coast Guard investigators and pollution responders.


Toledo’s historic freighter to head for new home

10/27 - Toledo, Ohio – The S.S. Col. James M. Schoonmaker is set to be towed today from its International Park dock to its new home next to the Toledo Maritime Center. The historic Toledo-built freighter, rechristened last summer to its original name after decades as the S.S. Willis B. Boyer, is to become a centerpiece of a new National Museum of the Great Lakes set to open next year at the maritime center on Front Street.

The tow is to start at about 11 a.m. and last about four hours, including passage under the Martin Luther King, Jr. Bridge, ship curator Paul LaMarre III said. The trip will be made very slowly for safety reasons.

The Great Lakes Historical Society is sponsoring a luncheon on board for local leaders and benefactors. Great Lakes Towing Co. is donating tugboat service, Mr. LaMarre said.

Toledo Blade


Seaway traffic stopped after ship arrestor hit

10/27 - Friday morning a ship arrestor at Lock 3, Beauharnois, was broken by a vessel that failed to stop while entering the lock downbound. Vega Desgagnes was secured below Lock 3 due to "the other ship hitting the arrestor." Algoma Quebecois and Algoma Guardian were waiting above Lock 4. At 5:20 p.m. there was a radio message broadcast that the Seaway workers were testing the newly installed arrestor, so it appears the problem had been corrected.

Ron Beaupre


Port Reports -  October 27

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Kaye E. Barker arrived and loaded ore Friday morning at the Upper Harbor. This visit was her second of the week.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
The Alpena was in port on Thursday loading cement for Whitefish, Ontario. The tug Ohio arrived at Lafarge on Thursday night and it departed Friday afternoon, it was reported to have delivered a barge of project cargo. The Calumet backed in to Lafarge Friday night and tied up to unload coal.

Stoneport, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Algosteel was due to arrive around 6 p.m. on Friday. Due on Saturday is the Joseph H. Thompson during the morning. For Sunday, there are three vessels due: American Courage at noon followed by Calumet at suppertime and Great Lakes Trader for early evening. There are no vessels scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. For Wednesday, two vessels are due in the morning: Joseph H. Thompson early followed by John G. Munson later in the morning. Due on Thursday, November 1 are Arthur M. Anderson in the early morning followed by a late evening arrival by fleetmate Philip R. Clarke.

Calcite, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Arthur M. Anderson loaded at the North Dock and was due to depart around 8 a.m. Friday. Also loading Friday was the Algoma Navigator, making a rare visit. She was expected to arrive at around 8 p.m. for the South Dock. Two vessels are scheduled to load on Saturday at the South Dock. Calumet is due to arrive first in the late morning followed later by Cason J. Callaway in the late afternoon. James L. Kuber rounds out the Calcite lineup Sunday for the North Dock in the early morning.

Cedarville & Port Inland, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Great Republic was due to arrive at Cedarville in the early morning Friday to load. Lewis J. Kuber is due on Saturday in the late morning. Due on Sunday is the Michipicoten in the late afternoon. Wilfred Sykes rounds out the lineup at Cedarville Monday at noon. Vessels loading at Port Inland include the Sykes due on Friday in the late afternoon, followed by the American Courage on Saturday evening. Lewis J. Kuber is due on Sunday in the morning, followed by the Buffalo, also Sunday at noon. Manitowoc rounds out the PI lineup on Monday in the morning to load.

Sarnia, Ont. - Peter Luney
Lower Lakes' new tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula arrived at the Government slip in Sarnia Friday. The pair will be christened on Saturday at the dock.

Toledo, Ohio - Denny Dushane
Lakes Contender was expected to arrive in Toledo at 2:30 p.m. Friday to load at the CSX Coal Dock. Following the Lakes Contender will be three vessels, all due Sunday to load at CSX. Due to load first is H. Lee White in the early morning. She will be followed by Catherine Desgagnes, due at 7 a.m. The Desgagnes will be pumping water for six hours prior to loading. Algosoo is also due on Sunday in the evening to load coal at the CSX Dock. Vessels due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock include John D. Leitch and Algomarine on Sunday, November 4.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin sailed from the NS coal dock at mid-afternoon Friday, bound for Nanticoke.


Cleveland tour boat hoisted from Lake Erie

10/27 - Cleveland, Ohio - For the first time in history, the Goodtime III was hoisted out of the water along Lake Erie’s shore. Every five years, the ship has to be taken out of the water for inspection, and in the past, it’s always had to make the trip to nearby Detroit where the lifts are big enough to handle it.

But since the Great Lakes Towing Company has a brand new Marine Travelift, which is the largest lift in the U.S., at their facility, the owners of the Goodtime III wasted no time in changing their business location to support the local economy.

The Goodtime III is 151 feet by 40 feet and weighs a massive 600 tons. All of the fluids, except for diesel, were disposed before Thursday’s lift. The entire process took about six hours.

“Every five years, the vessel has to come out of the water for hull inspections by the U.S. Coast Guard,” said Rick Fryan, Goodtime III general manager. “In the past, we’ve always had to go to Detroit which I’d much rather be in Cleveland.”

Captain Bruce Hudec said they’ve been waiting for years for this to happen.

“We’re excited to get our inspections here, because this is what it’s all about,” he said. “Then we’ll paint it. It’s going to look like a beauty or a brand new car.”

The painting project should take about three weeks, and then the Goodtime III will be dropped back into the water.

Click here to view video

Fox 8 Cleveland


Falling demand could idle Cliffs’ Northland mines

10/27 - Duluth, Minn. – The CEO of Cliffs Natural Resources provided a hint of what could be bad news for iron ore workers in the Northland. Speaking in a conference call Thursday with executives and analysts, Joseph Carrabba said shutting down production lines at the company’s Iron Range and Silver Bay operations is possible due to lower demand and prices for iron ore.

“With the lower prices, it’s not advantageous for us right now to ship out of the Great Lakes,” Carrabba said, according to a transcript of the call on “And we’re not shipping there to break even; we’re actually looking to make money as we do. As we said in the past, shipping, exporting out of the Great Lakes is a spot business for us. When it’s fortuitous for us, we’ll do it. And when it’s not, we won’t.”

Cliffs had revenue of $1.5 billion from July through September this year, way down from the same period in 2011, as both global and domestic demand for steel and iron ore has slowed.

The Cleveland-based company on Wednesday released its third-quarter earnings report for the year, which saw the global “seaborne” price of iron ore, including taconite pellets, fall by 36 percent due in large part to the economic slowdown in China.

When asked by an analyst from Deutsche Bank AG about the possibility of idling mines, Carrabba said it was possible.

“There’s some higher-cost lines,” the CEO said. “The smaller, older lines in North Shore — do we idle a few of those lines, as we come through? Do we take a line down in Hibbing? As you can see, the flexibility of the operation is there’s a number of combinations that we can do.”

Cliffs owns and operates North Shore Mining in Babbitt and Silver Bay and United Taconite in Eveleth and is part owner of and operates Hibbing Taconite. The Cleveland-based company also owns the Tilden and Empire mines in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula as well as iron and coal mines in Canada and Australia.

The slowdown has yet to reach production in the Northland. Minnesota’s six taconite operations entered 2012 with the highest production and employment levels in nearly a decade.

Sandy Karnowski, a spokeswoman from Cliffs’ Duluth office, released a statement on the possibilities mentioned in the conference call.

“Cliffs is currently assessing production levels for the coming year for all of its operations,” Karnowski said. “We do not typically release production estimates for individual operating facilities. At this time no final production estimates have been completed. As always, any production estimates are subject to change throughout the year based on business conditions.”

Carrabba said nothing would be changed at its Minnesota operations at least through the final quarter of the year.

“This is our heavy shipping season,” he said. “We have commitments to get product out and across the Great Lakes before they shut the locks down.”

Cliffs reached a tentative agreement with United Steelworkers at its Minnesota plants this month. Carrabba said Thursday he wouldn’t comment on the details of that deal until it was finalized.

Duluth News Tribune


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.

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 upbound 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.

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.

RED WING and 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.

1937: EASTON, of the Misener's Colonial Steamship Co., arrived at Meaford, ON with a cracked cylinder in the engine. The ship was there to load a cargo of baled hay for Fort William and bushels of apples. The trip was canceled and the vessel was sent for repairs.

1965: The Liberty ship PANAGATHOS traded through the Seaway in 1962 and 1963 under Greek registry and was back in 1965 under the flag of Liberia. The vessel ran aground off Ameland Island, 4 nautical miles from the Hollum Lighthouse, Holland, enroute from Amsterdam and Hamburg to the U.S. East Coast with a cargo of steel. The ship was abandoned as a total loss and the hull remained there until at least 1970.

1965: A fire broke out aboard the Egyptian freighter STAR OF SUEZ while upbound in the Seaway east of the Snell Lock. The ship was docked at Cornwall and the local fire company doused the blaze. The cargo of cotton in #3 hold was mostly offloaded. The ship lasted until scrapping at Split, Yugoslavia, in 1980.

1976: A fire in the bilge of the tug CHRIS M. at Toronto destroyed the ship's wiring. The vessel had become unpopular at the waterfront area but was rebuilt as the powered 3-masted schooner EMPIRE SANDY in 1983.

1982: The French ore carrier FRANCOIS L.D., a regular Great Lakes caller since 1962, struck the breakwall at Cape Vincent, NY while westbound in fog. There was heavy damage to the structure and the ship had a dent in the bow.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


Port Reports -  October 26

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Algosoo loaded Thursday at the NS coal dock for Hamilton. As she completed loading, the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin hove into view and replaced the Algoma freighter at the dock.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
American Mariner was unloading at General Mills Thursday after arriving at the Frontier Elevator on Wednesday morning.


Two men find 19th-century shipwreck in lake near Oswego

10/26 - Rochester, N.Y. – More than 500 feet below the surface of Lake Ontario, a team of determined shipwreck hunters found the final resting place of a coal schooner that left Oswego 138 years ago only to sink 20 miles out to sea.

The Shannon was discovered by former Greece resident Daniel Scoville and friend Chris Koberstein while looking for another wreck off the shores of Oswego. This is not Scoville’s first find. He and his fellow wreck hunters, including Jim Kennard of Perinton, have found more than 20 ships in Lake Ontario and elsewhere over the past decade, but this summer’s find, he said, is pretty sweet.

“For me the hobby started as a diving hobby and then it became about ‘how deep can we go?’ ” he said. “Then we decided that it would be cool to see ships no divers have seen before.”

The Shannon was last seen the night of June 20, 1874. A few hours after setting sail to deliver coal to a client in Gananoque, Canada, water came gushing through a hole in the hull. According to newspaper accounts, the captain ordered the crew to cut down the jib in hopes the Shannon would run over it and blanket the leak to slow the flow of the water.

But the last-ditch effort did not work and with the pumps unable to keep up, the crew jumped safely to a small boat just in time to see the vessel sink.

“They only had one oar, but they paddled all the way back to Oswego,” said Scoville.

Scoville and Kobertein searched the waters of Lake Ontario near Oswego for nearly three weeks in June and July using a side-scan sonar to identify potential targets on the lake bottom. They also employed a remote operated vehicle (ROV) that can dive to depths of more than 600 feet, equipped with lights video and still cameras.

Scoville, an electrical engineering graduate from the Rochester Institute of Technology, designed and built the small ROV for his underwater adventures as a senior project before his graduation in 2006. He now works for Oceaneering, a Houston company that designs and manufactures deep water ROVs.

“It has gone through some changes over time, but is essentially the same vehicle just made a little nicer,” Scoville said. “It has been down in more than 600 feet and it can go down there, unlike diving where you can only be there for a very short amount of time, and with the ROV it flies around down there and I can spend two or three hours on a shipwreck viewing everything and it is all videoed and recorded.”

Scoville works with a number of shipwreck hunters. Many of those adventures are with Kennard who has found scores of wrecks on Lake Ontario and other deep bodies of water.

The two men in 2010 found an Erie Canal boat in the mud and sediment of the Oswego River just south of Fulton, Oswego County.

In 2008 they discovered a 200-year-old daggerboard schooner about 10 miles offshore of Oak Orchard, Orleans County. In that same year, they discovered the HMS Ontario, a 22-gun British warship that sank in the lake during a 1780 storm.

Kennard, who was not on the trip this summer with Scoville, speaks to many groups around the Rochester area about his travels and hunts for shipwrecks and he said many people are not aware of Lake Ontario’s maritime history.

“All our large commodities were shipped in schooners, so schooners were our trucks 150 years ago,” said Kennard. “We look at Lake Ontario today and see pleasure boats and from here we can’t see a lot of the lake traffic, but really that was our commodity highway.”

For Scoville the fun is in the challenge of scanning the bottom of the lake looking for long forgotten wrecks, sometimes tragic, but always a reflection of the history.

“Lake Ontario has a lot of shipwrecks and they are not all that easy to find and it takes time and effort. So for me it is pretty much, find it, take pictures and tell everybody about it.”

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle


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, 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.

1900: The consort barge MARTHA sank in Lake St. Clair after a head-on collision with the E.P. WILBUR. The vessel was refloated, repaired and was last known as the grain storage barge C.S. BAND of the Goderich Elevator Company before being scrapped at Toronto in 1976-1977.

1912: KEYSTORM stranded in the St. Lawrence on Scow Island Shoal near Alexandria Bay, NY due to a navigational error in fog. After about 5 hours, the ship slid off into deep water and sank. The coal-laden freighter was enroute from Charlotte, NY to Montreal.

1915: The former wooden steamer GLENGARRY was operating as a barge when it sank at Montreal on this date following a collision with the J.H. PLUMMER. It was later pumped out only to sink again at Quebec City in 1920.

1917: PORT COLBORNE, a Great Lakes canal ship serving overseas in World War 1, was wrecked near Land's End, England, while enroute, in ballast, from Rouen, France, to Barry Roads, U.K. The hull could not be salvaged and was broken apart by the elements.

1924: E.A.S. CLARKE, anchored in the Detroit River due to fog, and was hit by the B.F. JONES (i), holed and sunk. The ship was eventually refloated and, in 1970, became c) KINSMAN VOYAGER before going to Germany for brief service as a storage barge in 1975.

1926: The first NEW YORK NEWS broke loose in a storm at Shelter Bay, QC and, without radio contact, was feared lost. The vessel was later found, with all hands safe, hard aground. The ship was refloated, repaired and survived until scrapping at Port Dalhousie as c) LABRADOC in 1961.

1961: STEEL PRODUCTS, under tow for scrapping, broke loose and stranded in Lake Erie near Point Abino, ON. The ship was unsalvageable and had to be dismantled on site.

1967: The barge WILTRANCO broke loose in a storm and was blown hard aground west of Buffalo. The hull was refloated two days later only to strand once more.

1968: R. BRUCE ANGUS was hard aground in the St. Lawrence and had to be lightered to P.S. BARGE NO. 1, a former fleetmate, as a) EDWIN T. DOUGLASS, before being released October 29.

1979: URANUS, a former West German visitor to the Great Lakes, had to be beached on the River Schelde as d) MARIANNE GEN following a collision with the EMPROS. The vessel was a total loss and was cut in pieces for removal in 1983.

2008: BALSA II first came through the Seaway in 1982. It was inbound for New Georgia, Soloman Islands, to load logs when it stranded on a reef. While refloated, the ship was detained as the area of the strand had been a marine protected site.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Defiance and Ashtabula depart on maiden voyage

10/25 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Late Tuesday evening the tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula departed Bay Shipbuilding after their renovation and conversion. Their first port of call is Brevort, Michigan, to load sand, after which she is to be christened in Sarnia in Saturday.

Wendell Wilke


Salvage company threatens to walk away from former Canadian Miner venture

10/25 - Sydney, N.S. – A salvage company is threatening to walk away from the Canadian Miner wreck after the province requested more details about its safety plan.

The province issued a stop-work order last week after concerns were raised over the structural integrity of the ship’s hull, forcing New York-based Bennington Group to hire an independent engineer to produce a safety report on the salvage plan.

Although Bennington Group believes the report is complete, the province has requested further information.

“I’m pretty sure (the premier) and his engineering team have come to a conclusion that it is not safe because they might have a safer plan. So if they can share this safe plan with me, I’ll see if I could carry that out,” said Abe Shah, Bennington Group’s chief operating officer.

“Maybe what is missing from that is a mermaid safety plan endorsed by Poseidon. I requested that from my engineers and my engineers told me something like that would not be based on facts and it is going to be hearsay. I have told them that none of the (provincial) conclusions so far have been based on facts.”

Bennington Group had entered into a joint venture with Canadian Miner owner Arivina Navigation SA of Turkey to remove the wreck from Scatarie Island for the cost of its scrap metal.

Provincial involvement has previously amounted to a series of permits allowing the salvage to begin in a wilderness-protected area. However, the stop-work order the province issued is the latest in a long list of delays Shah has cited that have pushed the beginning of the salvage from its original July 10 start.

“I’m an American company and all the way to the border I’ll be listening because in America we do believe in logic, that one logic will prevail. But I’ll be listening all the way to the border. But once I cross that line I’m only coming back legally.”

Premier Darrell Dexter said Tuesday he was unaware of Bennington’s threat to walk away from the project. “I think Mr. Shah just needs to take a look at the opportunity that is there for his company and to ensure that the thing is done safely and co-operatively with the regulatory authorities,” Dexter said during a press conference.

“We want to see it cleaned up. That’s the agreement that was made with the Bennington Group, which is that they would get it done, but it has to be done safely. We are not going to put at risk the lives of workers on that vessel to have it done.”

A statement issued late Tuesday, Labour Minister Marilyn More said Bennington has been aware of government’s requirements for the salvage “since Day 1.” More said staff worked through the night to review the independent engineering assessment after receiving it Monday afternoon.

“There are some items that require further clarification and submission by the employer. Once our concerns have been adequately addressed, the stop-work order will be lifted. It would be unfortunate if Bennington walked away at this point after many attempts by government to work with them to get this work done in a safe and timely manner.”

Shah said Bennington is being pushed away by a provincial government that has done nothing but hinder the company’s efforts. He also reiterated a past complaint that floatables had not been removed from the Canadian Miner, even though the province paid another company $300,000 to do so.

Shah estimated that to date Bennington Group has spent $500,000 on the attempted salvage. He said they will investigate recovering that expense-related money through an attorney.

Dexter said there is currently no Plan B if Bennington walks away.

“The fact of the matter is we are cleaning up a mess that was caused as result of poor federal regulation,” Dexter said. “The vessel should never have been allowed to be towed in the state that it was, so the taxpayers of Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia end up dealing with something that is a result of actions that were beyond the control of anyone here.”

Meanwhile, the Main-a-Dieu Community Development Association said it is frustrated but not surprised by the latest setback.

“Earlier this month, with the writing clearly on the wall, our association wrote to the province urging consideration of options for a post-Bennington Plan B,” the group said in a press release.

“To date, the province has worked assiduously to fill the breach left by the Transport Canada’s abject failure to acknowledge it’ s past role and current responsibilities. Given its demonstrated commitment to our community and environment, we urge the province not to turn its back on us now, but rather to double-down on efforts to prevent the damage, disruption and danger certain to be caused by the vessel’s final breakup.”

Cape Breton Post


Port Reports -  October 25

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Manistee loaded overnight at the Lafarge Corp stone dock. She sailed Wednesday forenoon for Fairport.

Toronto, Ont. – Jens Juhl
The saltie Puffin did the required end-for-end turn around at Redpath Wednesday morning. The ship is chartered by Canfornav but owned and operated by Harren and Partner of Bremen, hence the coat of arms of Bremen on the prow. The ship was previously called the Paltamo and registered in Haren/Ems.


Seaway bridge statuses hit smartphones

10/25 - So much for blaming getting stuck at a lift bridge when you're late for work. The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation figures it has put that old Niagara canard to bed by releasing its bridge statuses to the public. Motorists will now be able to check the status of the bridges over the Welland Canal via smartphone.

It will be available through CAA Niagara's smartphone app, too.

"This may take away one of the tried and true excuses people have used over the years," said Seaway spokesman Andrew Bogora at an unveiling of the new smartphone-friendly page Wednesday. The website will display the current status of each bridge over the canal. It will also show when the next two ships are due, allowing motorists to plan ahead.

Bogora said the utility would be available through the Seaway's website Thursday.

St. Catharines Standard


Cottage for sale on upbound channel of St. Marys

10/25 - Cottage with 1, 200 feet of riverfront for sale on Neebish Island located near Johnson's Point on the St. Marys River with views of the freighters passing within hundreds of feet of cottage. The cottage is historic and was built in 1848. Patrick Roach of Boyle & Roach Construction, purchased the cottage in the late 1880s when his company was awarded the work on the first Soo Lock. Asking price is $500,000 and includes 67 acres. Click here for more information


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.

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.

1911: The wooden schooner AZOV began leaking on Lake Huron. The ship came ashore north of Goderich and was broken up by the elements.

1980: The former SILVAPLANA, a Swiss saltwater vessel, was abandoned by the crew after going aground 125 miles SW of Pyongyang, North Korea, as d) HWA HO. The hull later broke in two and was a total loss. The vessel had traded through the Seaway beginning in 1959 and returned as b) CAPE MISENO in 1969.

1985: MAXI PORR first came inland under West German registry when new in 1965. It went aground on this date as b) LUANA while inbound at Port Sudan from Naples and heavily damaged. The vessel was refloated on November 20 but declared a total loss, sold to Pakistani shipbreakers and later arrived at Gadani Beach for scrapping.

1994: The OCEAN LUCKY, an ocean going freighter registered in St. Vincent, sank following a grounding off the southern tip of Taiwan. All on board were rescued. The ship had begun Great Lakes trading in 1977 as b) FEDERAL ST. CLAIR and returned as c) TRANSOCEAN PEARL in 1981.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
Calumet delivered a load of coal to the Board of Light and Power plant on Harbor Island at 2:30 Tuesday afternoon.

South Chicago, Ill. - Matt M
At 9 p.m. Monday, John G. Munson was under the loader at KCBX and Calumet was down the river at DTE Chicago Fuels Terminal.

Stoneport, Mich. - Dan McNeil
Cuyahoga was loading Monday and due finish sometime after midnight. There were no vessels due for Tuesday. Expected Wednesday is the Joseph H. Thompson followed by John G. Munson. Due Thursday is American Courage followed by Phillip R. Clarke. Saturday Algosteel is expected, followed by Herbert C. Jackson and Joseph H. Thompson.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
H. Lee White sailed for Detroit Tuesday, after loading at the NS coal dock on Sandusky Bay. Frontenac loaded overnight for Windsor and sailed early Tuesday from the Lafarge Corp. stone dock on the Marblehead Peninsula.


Coast Guard initiates enforcement action after grounding of Yorktown in Detroit River

10/24 - Detroit, Mich. – Coast Guard Sector Detroit initiated administrative enforcement action Tuesday against the operating company of the visiting cruise ship Yorktown and a licensed mariner following an investigation into the grounding that occurred this summer in the Detroit River.

The passenger vessel Yorktown, a 216-foot cruise ship with 120 passengers on board, ran aground in the Detroit River, north of Fighting Island, while transiting to Cleveland, Aug. 25, 2012. The incident did not result in damage to the vessel, pollution or injuries to the passengers or vessel crew.

The Coast Guard investigation into the grounding concluded that the licensed mariner operating the Yorktown at the time of the grounding made serious errors in judgment due to his lack in waterway familiarization and understanding. The investigation concluded that the mariner’s First Class Pilot endorsement to his Coast Guard issued license was invalid for the waters where the grounding occurred, due to his failure to meet the regulatory currency of knowledge provisions.

Coast Guard Sector Detroit is seeking to suspend the mariner’s Coast Guard license for negligent operations which resulted in the grounding of the vessel, and for serving as a pilot without a valid endorsement on his license.

In addition, the operating company, V Ships Leisure USA, has been issued a $3,000 penalty for failure to have a properly certified pilot on board. Sector Detroit reminds vessel operating companies of their responsibility for ensuring that the individuals manning their vessels meet the proper licensing requirements for the waterways where their vessels transit.


Keweenaw Excursion announces expanded 2013 schedule

10/24 - Charlevoix, Mich. – Keweenaw Excursions has started taking reservations for a series of cruises in 2013 that should be of interest to boat watchers and lighthouse photographers alike.

The popular three-day, three Great Lakes trips will be run on June 10-12, June 14-16, and August 5-7 next year. These cruises aboard the Keweenaw Star sold out in 2012 and are expected to be as popular in 2013. The trips leave from Charlevoix and travel up Lake Michigan, thru the Straits of Mackinac, across Lake Huron, up the St. Marys River as far north as Ile Parisienne. Cruisers will enjoy two nights at the Kewadin Casino in Sault Ste. Marie, including meals at the casino and on board the Star during travel, plus many other extras.

New for 2013 is a three-day tour of northern Lake Michigan, exploring the lighthouses of Door County Wisconsin and ship building history of the Great Lakes. The Keweenaw Star will leave from Charlevoix and travel past South Fox Island, then cross Lake Michigan to Cana Island and the Sturgeon Bay ship canal. The first night will be spent in Sturgeon Bay. The next day’s travel will include lighthouses in the bay of Green Bay, Marinette, then on to Escanaba for the night. The third day will include lighthouses of the St. Martin’s Passage and northern Lake Michigan during the return trip to Charlevoix.

More information is available at or by calling 231-237-9365.


Updates -  October 24

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.

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 / W. W. HOLLOWAY scrap tow arrived at Recife, Brazil. October 24, 1986.

THOMAS W. LAMONT and her former fleetmate, 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.

1898: L.R. DOTY foundered off Kenosha in high winds and waves with the loss of 18 lives. The vessel was enroute from Chicago to Midland with a cargo of corn and towing the schooner OLIVE JEANETTE. The latter broke loose and survived.

1948: HARRY T. EWIG stranded off Point Abino, Lake Erie. The ship was lightered to fleetmate BUCKEYE and released with about $40,000 in damage.

1959: WESTRIVER, under tow of the tugs LAURENCE C. TURNER and AMERICA, headed down the Seaway for repairs after being damaged in an earlier explosion on Lake Superior.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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
Kaye E. Barker and James L. Kuber loaded ore Monday morning at the Upper Harbor.

Huron, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Great Republic unloaded a Stoneport cargo at the Huron Lime Co. dock overnight Sunday. She was due in Ashtabula Monday to load coal.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Frontenac was loading Monday night at the Lafarge dock on the Marblehead Peninsula. At Sandusky, H. Lee White was loading at the NS coal dock.


Canadian tour boat sold

10/23 - Sold about a month ago was the tour boat Evasion Plus (110 grt.), which was laid up at Lachine since 2008. In August this year, she was towed down the Seaway by a Groupe Ocean tug to section 104 in the Port of Montreal and offered for sale. The vessel was sold to Croisieres Navark Inc. of Longueuil, QC, and renamed Navark Archipel a couple of weeks ago. Built in 1972 by Hike Metal Products Ltd. at Wheatley, Ont., for the first years of service, under the name Welcome, it was based in Thunder Bay.

Rene Beauchamp


At long last: Indiana Harbor, Ship Canal work expected to begin

10/23 - East Chicago – Long-delayed dredging of a polluted industrial waterway which runs through the heart of East Chicago is scheduled to begin this week. The first bucketfuls of contaminated sediment should be removed from the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal today or Tuesday, said Mike Nguyen, project manager with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

More than a century old, the man-made channel connects industries in East Chicago and Whiting with Lake Michigan, and has accumulated so many toxic and cancer-causing substances as to be considered the most polluted in the Great Lakes by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Army Corps plans to remove some 4.6 million cubic yards of sediment from the harbor and canal, and permanently store the material in a 186-acre confined disposal facility built on Indianapolis Boulevard at Riley Road.

Federal law in 1972 stopped the previous practice of dumping dredged material out in Lake Michigan, and maintenance of the waterways has been delayed for 40 years while a location to store the polluted sediment was selected and prepared.

The Army Corps estimates that five years of dredging will be needed to bring the channel's depth to acceptable levels for shipping vessels, with another 25 years of annual dredging planned to maintain the waterways as part of the $150 million federal project.

Lift bridges across the canal at Indianapolis Boulevard and Dickey Road will be raised at least 15 times a day for barges filled with dredged sediment on their way to the disposal facility, but the Army Corps will keep the Indianapolis Boulevard bridge open weekdays between 5:45 a.m. and 7:45 a.m., and 3:15 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. to accommodate rush-hour traffic.

Air monitors around the disposal site, just blocks from Central High School and West Side Junior High, have been activated to measure any potential toxic releases from the facility, and can be accessed by computer in real time at

An official ribbon-cutting ceremony to herald the beginning of the project is scheduled for 10 a.m. Oct. 29 on the confined disposal facility grounds, once the site of a Sinclair Oil Company refinery.

More information about the project is available at the official Army Corps project website

The Northwest Indiana Times


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 deckhouses.

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.

1906: The wooden steamer SHENANDOAH backed into a wharf at South Chicago and then went full ahead into the opposite wharf. The captain was found to be drunk and his certificate was suspended.

1917: KATAHDIN was built at West Bay City in 1895 but was sold off-lakes in 1899. The ship was damaged as b) EXPORT in a collision on this date with the Japanese freighter TOKAYAMA MARU in the Delaware River. As a result of the accident, the ship was scrapped in 1918.

1956: GREY BEAVER ran aground on Stoney Crest Island, near Alexandria Bay, NY while downbound with wheat from Toronto to Trois Rivieres, QC. The vessel was released with bottom damage and required a trip to Port Weller Dry Docks for repairs.

1968: NORMAN P. CLEMENT, damaged by a grounding and then an on board explosion, was scuttled in the deep water of Georgian Bay near Christian Island.

1987: CANADIAN ENTERPRISE stranded in the Amherstburg Channel. The ship was lightered of 1,840 tons of coal and then pulled free by 4 tugs before going to Thunder Bay for repairs.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports -  October 22

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Sunday morning at the Upper Harbor, Joseph L. Block unloaded stone into the hopper while near-sister John J. Boland waited at anchor for the Block to finish unloading before loading ore.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
The sailing date for Defiance and Ashtabula has been postponed until later this week. The reason is unknown.

Grand Haven. Mich. - Dick Fox
Manitowoc tied up at the D & M dock next to the power plant on Harbor Island with another load of stone at 8:30 a.m. Sunday.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
Dorothy Ann and Pathfinder departed Lorain Sunday at 5:45 a.m. headed for Marblehead.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
At 6 p.m. Sunday, the Rt.Hon. Paul J. Martin's mooring lines came off at NS coal dock and the CSL vessel slid along Sandusky Bay's Outer Channel leading to Lake Erie and Nanticoke, Ont., where she is due at about noon Monday. The Martin began her 18-hour loading late Saturday night. At the Lafarge Corp. stone dock on the Marblehead Peninsula, the tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder completed loading a short time later and sailed for Cleveland. The Interlake fleet duo was expected to arrive about midnight.

Prescott, Ont. - Kevin Jackson
Sedna Desgagnes departed Sunday afternoon heading upbound for Chicago. The Sedna grounded last week. There were no reports of damage and she reloaded the cargo that was off-loaded into barges to lighter the vessel.


Updates -  October 22

Weekly Website Updates


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.

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 a 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.

1929: The rail car ferry MILWAUKEE was lost with all hands when it was swamped off Racine, WI

1929: N.J. NESSEN, a wooden bulk freighter, stranded in Lake Erie off Leamington, ON. The ship had been anchored for weather but the wind switched to the south leaving it exposed. The hull broke up, but all on board were saved.

1929: YANTIC, a former wooden naval reserve training ship, tied up at Detroit for use as a heating plant, sank at the dock. All 3 on board got off safely.

1979: J.N. McWATTERS struck the lighthouse at the main entrance to Cleveland with heavy damage to the structure.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Tugs pull Sedna Desgagnes free Saturday

10/21 - Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m., the Group Ocean tugs Ocean Henry Bain and Ocean Ross Gaudreault pulled Sedna Desgagnes off the shoal near the international bridge from Johnstown, Ont. to Ogdensburg, N.Y. By 10:20 p.m. they had secured the ship in the north slip of the nearby Prescott Elevators. Overnight cargo had been transferred from Sedna Desgagnes to the barges Milne Inlet and Mary River.

Shortly after reaching the dock, the Ocean Henry Bain brought the Milne Inlet alongside so the pig iron could be reloaded into the Desgagnes for the trip to Chicago. Next it was the Ocean Ross Gaudreault, bringing her barge Mary River alongside to complete the reloading of cargo. Both tugs and the barges departed and headed back down the river early in the afternoon. Sedna Desgagnes will have to undergo more inspections before departing upbound.

Ron Beaupre


Port Reports -  October 21

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
The tug Defiance and her barge Ashtabula are expected to depart Bay Shipbuilding in the next day or so, bound for Sarnia, Ont. The unit, brought in from saltwater earlier this year, will be operated by Lower Lakes Towing Co.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
Algoway left Lorain Saturday at about 10:15 a.m. and headed west.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The Interlake tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder loaded overnight and throughout the day Saturday at Marblehead's LaFarge Corp. aggregate dock. The combo sailed Saturday evening for Cleveland. At Sandusky's NS coal dock, the Herbert C. Jackson loaded for the second time in as many days before sailing Saturday evening upbound. Replacing the Jackson at the dock was CSL's Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin. Laying off shore Saturday night between Sandusky and Huron was the Algoway.

Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
English River departed around 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning.


Ferry owner hospitalized after van rolls into river

10/21 - Cape Vincent, N.Y. - Rescue units were sent at 2:15 p.m. Tuesday to Anchor Marina after a minivan rolled off Horne’s Ferry while the craft was under way on the St. Lawrence River en route to Wolfe Island, Ontario.

There was initial concern about whether the van was occupied, but within minutes of the accident the ferry’s crew determined the occupants were safely aboard the ferry.

While the ferry was towing the van to Anchor Marina, at 583 Broadway, George D. Horne, one of the ferry’s owners, was reported unconscious and unresponsive at the marina. He was taken to Samaritan Medical Center with a suspected heart attack, according to a state trooper.

An official at Horne’s Ferry, when contacted by telephone, declined to comment, saying, “We’re busy right now.”

According to sources, the van had been left in neutral and began to move while the ferry was crossing the river. It knocked down the raised ramp on the ferry’s side, broke through a chain and entered the water. The Horne’s Ferry crew secured a chain to the van before it submerged completely.

A boat was summoned to tow the ferry, along with the minivan, to Cape Vincent. Officials at the scene would not identify the vehicle’s owner but confirmed the ferry’s passengers, two men and a woman, were foreigners.

Cape Vincent fire, ambulance and police personnel responded, as did the Jefferson County Special Tactics and Rescue team and state police.

Watertown Daily Times


Updates -  October 21

News Photo 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. 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.

1912: Two were lost when the wooden steamer PINE LAKE sank in the Detroit River near Belle Isle following a collision with FLEETWOOD (i). The hull was later dynamited as a hazard to navigation.

1913: C.W. ELPHICKE began leaking in a storm on Lake Erie and was beached near the Long Point lighthouse. The downbound, grain-laden wooden freighter was a total loss but the crew was saved.

1969: JOHN PURVES was towing Derrick Scow 43 bound for Rogers City when the latter was lost.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Sedna Desgagnes refloated

10/20 -  Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. the Group Ocean tugs Ocean Henry Bain and Ocean Ross Gaudreault pulled Sedna Desgagnes off the shoal near the international bridge from Johnstown, Ontario to Ogdensburg, N.Y. By 10:20 p.m. they had secured the ship in the north slip of the nearby Prescott Elevators. Overnight cargo had been transferred from the Sedna Desgagnes to the barges Milne Inlet and Mary River.

Shortly after reaching the dock the Ocean Henry Bain brought the Milne Inlet alongside so the pig iron can be reloaded for the trip to Chicago. Next it was the Ocean Ross Gaudreault bringing her barge Mary River alongside to complete the reloading of cargo. Both tugs and the barges departed and headed back down the river early in the afternoon. Sedna Desgagnes will have to undergo more inspections before departing upbound.

Ron Beaupre


Port Reports -  October 20

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
Wilfred Sykes came in Friday, docking about 1 p.m. at Verplank's Dock in Ferrysburg.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
Friday was a busy day in port with four vessels coming in throughout the day at Lafarge. The tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons arrived early Friday morning to unload coal. The tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity was also in loading cement under the silos. The Great Republic arrived off Alpena Friday morning and went to anchor in the bay to wait for the departure of the other vessels. Around 2 p.m. the Great Republic tied up at Lafarge to unload coal. The Alpena made its way into port before 10 p.m.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Herbert C. Jackson sailed from the NS coal dock in Sandusky for Zug Island at about noon Friday. Moving through Pelee Passage, she met the Michipicoten, which moored at the NS dock several hours later to begin loading. Meantime, the tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder – fleetmates of the Jackson - sailed minutes later from the Lafarge Corp. stone dock on the Marblehead Peninsula for Cleveland. At one point, both vessels were in view of those visiting the Marblehead Light House State Park on the eastern end of the peninsula.


Shipping brings billions to the Northland

10/20 - Duluth, Minn. – The Twin Ports are among more than 100 commercial ports in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system, but the local economic benefits of the ports have never been studied with the help of both the U.S. And Canada, until now.

The first bi-national survey to show the economic impact of shipping on the Great Lakes Seaway was presented Friday to the Rotary Club of Duluth. It shows that the shipping industry supports over 11,500 jobs in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, (SLSDC) is a government agency that helps keep cargo ships running smoothly in the seaway and helped produce the study. Its study found that ship commerce is linked to 227,000 jobs in the U.S. and Canada. The study also found that industry also pays $4.6 billion in taxes each year.

Craig Middlebrook is the Administrator of the SLSDC, and he said the study shows what industry officials have long said.

“We've never really had that data just to make the case to tell people...what is the benefit derived from this type of economic activity, and so for the first time we really have those kind of numbers,” Middlebrook said.

The numbers are good news for Adolph Ojard, the Executive Director of the Duluth Port Authority. He said the data will help them prove why harbor maintenance is so vital.

"When we hear comments regarding the dredging crisis and the need for additional monies spent to maintain our harbors, our waterways that you can understand why it's important to support these initiatives,” Ojard said.

Ojard added that a harbor tax is meant to pay for dredging to clear a path for ships nationwide, but only half of the money collected is going toward that purpose. He said that results in only half of the dredging projects in the Great Lakes receiving funding. He said more dredging is needed to keep the Twin Ports competitive with other shipping options such as rail transportation.



ArcelorMittal explores selling $10-billion Canadian stake

10/20 - ArcelorMittal is exploring selling a stake in its $10-billion (U.S.) Canadian iron ore business, as the world’s biggest steel company struggles to cope with the downturn in its key commodity.

People familiar with the matter said ArcelorMittal had appointed advisers and had been sounding out potential buyers of a stake in the business, formerly known as Québec Cartier Mining. The entire business, which produced about 15 million tonnes of iron ore concentrate last year, could be worth between $8-billion and $10-billion, the people added. ArcelorMittal is considering selling a minority stake, probably about 30 per cent.

Some Chinese companies and commodities trading houses had expressed an interest in investing in the business, the people said. ArcelorMittal and the banks declined to comment.

The steel maker has expanded its iron ore business in recent years, increasing in-house output as a way of controlling input costs for its steel production. But, since the financial crisis, the group has come under pressure, as the global steel industry battles a prolonged period of overcapacity caused by a collapse in European demand and slowing growth in Chinese consumption.

Lakshmi Mittal, the chairman, chief executive and main owner of ArcelorMittal, said in July that he saw no lifting of the gloom around the steel industry and the company has been closing or mothballing plants around Europe.

The company – which had $22-billion of net debt at the end of June – has also pledged to shore up its balance sheet by selling non-core assets. One sector specialist described ownership of iron ore assets as an “indulgence” in the current environment.

ArcelorMittal, through its mining business, is the fourth largest iron ore producer globally, and has said it plans to reach 84 million tonnes of annual output by 2015.

At ArcelorMittal Mines Canada, renamed by Arcelor after it acquired Québec Cartier Mining as part of its 2006 takeover of Canadian steelmaker Dofasco, the company is expanding capacity at its Mont Wright mine to 24 million tonnes a year and improving the port and rail facilities linked to the mine.

The expansion of the mine and concentrator is expected to cost $1.2-billion, which could increase to $2.1-billion (Canadian) were additions to the pellet plant also approved.

The Canadian deposits are large but lower grade than some of ArcelorMittal’s other resources, particularly the group’s early-stage Baffinland development project in the Canadian Arctic.

Québec Cartier Mining Company was founded in 1957 by US Steel, starting to develop deposits at Lac-Jeannine in Quebec. The business was sold to a group led by Dofasco in 1989, with the Canadian company subsequently buying out its partners.

The Globe and Mail


House for sale on the Welland Canal

10/20 - Located at 30 Chapel St. South. Thorold with an asking price of $579,000, the house overlooks Lock 7 click here for details


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.

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.

1898: VICTORY hit bottom at Lansing Shoal and arrived at Mackinaw City in leaking condition. 1905: MINNEDOSA, under tow of WESTMOUNT (i), went down in a Lake Huron gale off Harbor Beach, MI with the loss of all 8 on board. The hull was located by divers in 1993.

1906: GEORGE FARWELL had been built at Marine City, MI for Great Lakes service. The wooden steamer ran aground at Virginia Beach after being caught in a Northeast gale. The vessel was a total loss but the engine was salvaged and displayed at the Virginia Beach Maritime Historical Museum.

1916: MARSHALL F. BUTTERS, JAMES B. COLGATE and MERIDA were all lost on Lake Erie in the Black Friday storm.

1926: A.D. MacTIER, a member of the Hall fleet, stranded 800 feet of Cape dEspoire on the east coast of the Gaspe Peninsula enroute from Lorain, OH to Chandler, QC, with coal. The ship was abandoned 6 days later and eventually broke up as a total loss.

1929: MAPLECOURT of Canada Steamship Lines was wrecked in fog at Magnetic Reef off Cockburn Island, Georgian Bay and remained aground until salvaged in 1930.

1956: PENOBSCOT was built at Ecorse, MI in 1911 and left the Great Lakes immediately for the coal trade along the east coast. It returned inland during 1928 and operated for the Buckeye Steamship Co. as d) TRISTAN. It resumed saltwater service during World War Two and foundered in Typhoon Jean northeast of the Philippine Islands a e) LEPUS . There were 25 lost and only 11 members of the crew survived.

1973: OLYMPIC SKY, a Liberian tanker, suffered a steering problem and went aground at Crysler Shoal, 18 miles west of Cornwall, while carrying jet fuel to Toronto. There was no leak and the ship was soon refloated. The vessel was laid up at Hong Kong on March 12, 1975, and scrapped at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, later that year.

1973: VANCOUVER TRADER ran aground off Port Colborne due to a steering problem. The downbound and grain laden bulk carrier, hit a rock and was holed. The ship was lightered to MAPLEHEATH and released with the aid of tugs. The vessel had first visited the Seaway as a) ESSEX TRADER in 1968, returned as b) VANCOUVER TRADER in 1971 as c) NEW FUTURE in 1979 and as e) FUTURE in 1982. It was scrapped at Alang, India, arriving November 17, 1986.

1981: The Canadian coastal freighter ANNE R.D. was towed into Alpena, MI after the main gear box failed on Lake Huron. The ship was on the Great Lakes for the steel trade out of Sault Ste. Marie.

1988: FOLIAS came through the Seaway on two occasions in 1967. It was laid up at Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, as c) HOPE when it was blown loose and grounded during Hurricane Joan on this date in 1988. The ship was observed, still stuck, in a deteriorated condition, early in 1994.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Crews work on Sedna Desgagnes salvage plan

10/19 - Prescott, Ont. – Sedna Desgagnes remains aground above the Johnstown Bridge near Prescott, Ont. Salvage companies have been working on a plan to refloat the vessel that include lightering her cargo. On Thursday, the tugs Ocean Henry Bain and Ocean Ross Gaudreault were heading to the site of the grounding with two barges. The 195 foot by 35 foot deck barges, the Mary River and Milne Inlet, will be used to offload pig iron from the Sedna Desgagnes and tugs will again try to pull her free.

Marc Gifford and Ron Beaupre


Lake Michigan level touches record low for month

10/19 - Lake Michigan reached its record low water level for October on one day last week, and federal officials now predict the world's fifth largest lake is likely going to plunge into never-seen-before levels in the coming months.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported on Monday that on one day last week, water levels were essentially at the lake's official record low for October, a monthly average that was set in 1964. The weekend rains brought a slight rebound of about an inch, though the long-term forecast calls for the level to continue dropping in the coming months into areas never seen since modern records began in 1918.

If the prediction holds, "We would tie the record low for November and December and then go below it from January through March," said Keith Kompoltowicz, chief of the Army Corps' watershed hydrology branch for the agency's Detroit district.

Water levels are tracked daily, though records are based on monthly averages. That means even if Lake Michigan dropped below its record low for October for a day or even a week, it would not be considered by the Army Corps to be a record low until the monthly average for October is tallied - and that average would have to be lower than the record set in 1964.

Water levels on the Great Lakes fluctuate seasonally by inches and by as much as several feet over a period of years, depending on long-term weather patterns. But marina operators, shoreline property owners and shippers have always been able to take solace in the notion that no matter how low the water looked, it wasn't any lower than during the record low months of 1964.

Lakes Michigan and Huron, which are actually one body of water connected at the Straits of Mackinac, have been below their long-term average since the late 1990s.

Weather patterns are a big driver in how much water is in the lakes on any given day, but so are humans. The St. Clair River, which is the main outflow for the lakes, has been heavily dredged over the past century, and that has increased the amount of water that can flow out of Michigan and Huron, into Lake Erie, over Niagara Falls and, ultimately, out to the Atlantic Ocean.

It's long been accepted that human manipulation of the St. Clair River dropped the long-term average of the two lakes by about 16 inches, but a recent study funded by the U.S. and Canadian governments reported that unexpected erosion in the St. Clair since the last major dredging project in the early 1960s cost the lakes an additional 3 to 5 inches from their long-term average.

That has prompted calls from conservation groups and property owners, as well as the region's mayors, for the governments of U.S. and Canada to begin exploring some type of remediation project in the St. Clair River to slow the flows and gradually restore the lakes to more closely match their historic averages.

Not everyone supports the idea. They contend it could have negative impacts on downstream lakes Erie and Ontario, and it could have severe consequences if record high water levels return. The record high was set in 1986, when Lake Michigan was about 6 feet higher than it is today.

Kompoltowicz said the Lake Michigan/Huron surface level last week was measured at 175.70 meters above sea level, about equal to the record low average in October 1964. The all-time average low for any month was recorded in March 1964 at 175.58 meters above sea level.

All lake level numbers are considered preliminary until final numbers for the whole year are posted in early 2013.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Port Reports -  October 19

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The Interlake tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder sailed for Cleveland early Thursday, off-loading a cargo of limestone aggregate. The tug-barge combo were retracing their course Thursday night and declaring an ETA at the LaFarge Corp. stone dock early Friday morning.


Seaway Notice: Low Water Levels on Lake Ontario / Port Weller

10/19 - Mariners have been advised via Seaway Notice to Shipping #14 that due to low and declining water levels on Lake Ontario and consequently at Port Weller harbor, vessels with a draft greater than 78 dm will not be not be permitted to meet in the outer harbor. These vessels will be allowed to meet on the lower approach wall at Lock 1 only. Other measures, such as slow dumping of lock 1 may be applied to reduce surging in the area. Vessel speeds will be monitored very closely between Lock 1 and Port Weller Piers. Conditions will continue to be monitored closely and mariners will be advised of any changes accordingly.


Discoverers of 19th century shipwreck uncover its origin and “violent end”

10/19 - Cape Vincent, N.Y. – Area divers who discovered a rare 19th-century shipwreck here last year in the St. Lawrence River believe they finally have uncovered the boat’s origin and its violent end.

After months of research, a team of local history buffs concluded that the 50-foot “Box Stove Wreck” is probably the Benicia Boy that “blew away” and went under on May 21, 1883, said Dennis R. McCarthy, a veteran diver from Cape Vincent.

He and fellow diver Raymond I. “Skip” Couch found the wreck by pure coincidence last August and, unable to identify it, temporarily named it after the rather valuable cast-iron stove found in the hull.

Mr. McCarthy said the Benicia Boy — an 1872 sloop built on Galloo Island by Sackets Harbor businessman Barney Eveleigh — had lost its anchors fighting a storm while trying to return to Cape Vincent, forcing its crew to jump onto the village’s old railroad dock before the vessel sunk.

“She struck the pier with a force great enough to break her to pieces, but her crew was able to jump onto it before she came apart,” he said. “We suspect that the ship could have sunk and been de-masted by pulling the masts off from the surface. This could also have dragged the ship along the bottom.”

Upon their initial discovery last year, Mr. Couch, Mr. McCarthy and his wife, Kathryn, started searching for clues on the 50-foot-long and 14-foot-wide sloop that sunk near Cape Vincent.

The shipwreck was listed last fall as a new archaeological site with the state Historic Preservation Office — meaning that nobody is allowed to disturb the wreck without a permit — but the crew, using computer simulations, recreated the ship’s internal dimensions to determine how it worked and possible reasons as to why it sank.

And after digging through old newspaper articles and ship registries, they finally found a ship matching their profile of the wreck.

Named after mid-1800s American bare-knuckle prize fighter John Camel Heenan, aka the Benicia Boy — who died around the time the ship was put into commission — this particular sloop was able to carry a load of 10 cords of cedar wood and most likely sank during an attempt to move some cargo to Carleton Island in bad weather, Mr. McCarthy said.

Sloops are small vessels — less than 60 feet long and rigged with a fore-and-aft sail and a single mast — once used to transport goods by navigating through the shallow waters of small rivers, bays, canals and harbors. They eventually were replaced by steamships in the 1880s.

Very little is known of sloops built in the Great Lakes, and along with a potential in-depth archaeological survey of the Box Stove Wreck, the crew is seeking additional information — pictures and descriptions of sloops — from the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River community.

“We’re still trying to gather the full story,” Mr. McCarthy said Monday. Anyone with information on the Benicia Boy or sloops of the Great Lakes may contact Mr. McCarthy at 299-3435 or via email at

Watertown Daily Times


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.

1901: The wooden freighter STATE OF MICHIGAN, a) DEPERE sank off Whitehall, MI enroute to Manistee to load salt. A piston rod had broken and fractured the hull the previous day and the vessel went down slowly. All on board were saved.

1905: KALIYUGA foundered in Lake Huron with the loss of 18 lives. The ore laden steamer was enroute to Cleveland.

1905: SIBERIA sank in a storm on Lake Erie while eastbound with a cargo of grain. All on board were saved.

1916: The wooden schooner D.L. FILER, loaded with coal and enroute from Buffalo to Saugatuck, MI, became waterlogged and sank near the mouth of the Detroit River 3.5 miles east of Bar Point Light. The vessel settled in shallow water with the crew clinging to the masts. The forward mast cracked throwing the sailors into the water and all 6 were lost. Only the Captain on the after mast survived.

1947: MANCHESTER CITY went aground off Cap Saumon, QC while inbound from the United Kingdom with freight, 12 passengers and a crew of 50. The ship stranded in fog and the passengers were removed safely before the vessel was lightered. The vessel made 17 trips through the Seaway from 1959 to 1963 before being scrapped at Faslane, Scotland, in 1964.

1981: ELSIE WINCK first came through the Seaway in 1962. It was bombed and sunk at Bandar Khomeini, Iran, as e) MOIRA on this date and was a total loss.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports -  October 18

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick and Lee Rowe
Wednesday morning at the harbors in Marquette, Cason J. Callaway loaded ore at the Upper Harbor and Kaye E. Barker arrived at the Lower Harbor to unload stone.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The tug Victory and barge James L. Kuber loaded for Sault, Ont., Wednesday at the NS coal dock on Sandusky Bay. At the Lafarge Corp. aggregate wharf on the Marblehead Peninsula, the tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder were continuing to load Wednesday evening.


Port of Cleveland inaugurates new river cleanup boats

10/18 - Cleveland, Ohio – The Port of Cleveland commissioned two custom-made boats today that will remove floating debris from the Cuyahoga River and downtown Lake Erie shoreline. They are part of the port’s broader mission to help restore the health of the river and serve as a proactive environmental steward in and around our waterways.

The port formally commissioned the sister vessels – Flotsam and Jetsam – and their crews during a ceremony at North Coast Harbor along Cleveland’s downtown lakeshore.

“Flotsam and Jetsam will make a visible and vital impact on our waterways and community,” said Port Chair Bob Smith. “They also fit with our strategic role as a steward of two vital civic assets – our ship channel and the downtown lakeshore.”

The Port designed and built the aluminum vessels with a $425,160 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The Cuyahoga River Remedial Action Plan (RAP) had worked closely with the Port on the grant application.

The U.S. EPA has designated floating debris as an environmental stressor. Such debris, which can range from logs to plastic bottles, is also an aesthetic nuisance and a potential hazard for the commercial vessels, recreational boaters, and wildlife that use the river and lake. Its removal is part of ongoing work to renew the river and remove it from an EPA environmental watch list.

“These boats send a signal to residents and visitors that we are working to help keep our river and lakefront clear and clean of garbage and other floating debris,” said Port President and CEO Will Friedman. “Although water quality is much improved, floating debris can leave the wrong impression.”

Each boat has a different purpose, but they work in tandem. Flotsam scoops up debris with a shovel and places it in Jetsam’s large bagsters. Jetsam also has a special crane to grab larger and heavier debris such as tires and logs. The port designed the boats to navigate in tight places along the twisting Cuyahoga River and also tow a 250-foot floating boom that can sweep the river of floating debris. The boats are expected to remove enough floating trash to fill dozens of dump trucks annually.

“We have a responsibility to protect the 13,000 trillion gallons of fresh water directly off the shores of Cleveland,” said Jenita McGowan, Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson’s Chief of Sustainability. “The Flotsam and Jetsam work vessels will be removing debris from the river and the lake not only enhancing recreation and commerce, but helping to reduce plastic pollution and other debris that plague wildlife in Cleveland.”

The boats will be operated by crews from the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, whose Downtown Ambassadors are well known for their work cleaning and enhancing city streets.

“Our Clean and Safe Ambassador program has created a vibrant downtown Cleveland, safe and inviting for residents, visitors and office workers,” said Joe Marinucci, the Alliance’s President and CEO. “DCA is the first downtown organization of our type in the country to take on a maritime role. We are proud of this important partnership with the Port Authority, as we reclaim our city’s natural assets.”

The boats will operate daily for the next several weeks, weather permitting, and then resume work next April.


USS Cobia “Nook and Cranny” tours offered

10/18 - Manitowoc, Wis. – The Wisconsin Maritime Museum, 75 Maritime Dr. in Manitowoc, is once again hosting Nook & Cranny Tours of its World War II submarine. The tours offer visitors an opportunity to go behind-the-scenes for an extensive look at USS Cobia, the most completely restored WWII submarine in the United States and a National Historic Landmark.

Nook & Cranny Tours will be conducted Sun., Nov. 11 at 1 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 17 at 9 a.m.; Sat., Dec. 1 at 9 a.m.; and Sat., Dec.15 at 9 a.m.

The small group tours last two to three hours, depending on the number of questions, and give guests a chance to explore areas of the submarine not normally covered. Hear about daily life for the 80-man crew who served aboard the Cobia and learn how they managed with just three showers on the sub. See the 24 torpedoes that were fired to sink enemy warships and learn about hot bunking. The tour includes visits to the conning tower, officers quarters, crews quarters, mess hall, forward and aft torpedo rooms, pump room, lower engine room and more.

The Nook & Cranny Tours include ladders and smaller spaces so guests must be 16 years old to participate. The cost is $7 per person for museum members and $19 for non-members, which includes admission to the Wisconsin Maritime Museum. Space is limited so reservations are required. To reserve a spot, call the Wisconsin Maritime Museum at (920) 684-0218.

For more information, visit or call 1-866-724-2356.


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 to 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.

1905: The schooner TASMANIA became waterlogged while under tow of the steamer BULGARIA and sank in the Pelee Passage

1911: ARUNDELL had been laid up at Douglas, MI, for about 2 weeks when fire broke out destroying the iron hulled passenger and freight vessel.

1917: ABYSSINIA had been under tow of the MARUBA when both ships stranded at Tecumseh Shoal in heavy seas. The grain-laden vessels had been following the north shore due to high winds when they struck bottom. The barge began leaking and was pounded apart but there was no loss of life but the steamer was refloated.

1933: The wooden steam barge MANISTIQUE caught fire on Lake Huron and the remains either sank or was scuttled.

1973: The AGIOS ANTONIOS first visited the Seaway in 1972 and, as a) SILVERWEIR, had come inland beginning in 1964. The ship had loaded iron ore at Coondapoor, on the southwest coast of India, and went aground leaving for Constanza, Romania. The vessel was abandoned as a total loss.

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


Phoenix Star grounds; van lost from ferry

10/17 - Two incidents occurred today along the St Lawrence River between Cape Vincent, N.Y and Alexandria Bay, N.Y. The first took place around 3 a.m. when Phoenix Star clipped Sunken Rock Shoal in Alexandria Bay, across from the famous Boldt Castle. The ship did not suffer evident damage. After inspection, she continued on her way to Hamilton.

The other incident took place Tuesday afternoon near Cape Vincent when a van aboard the Horne's Ferry rolled overboard into the river. The vehicle was believed to have not secured the parking brake, which led to its rolling in choppy waters. The family that had traveled aboard the ferry in the van remained safe in another area on board.

Michael Folsom


Port Reports -  October 17

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
After a lot of delays due to weather, harbor shoaling and mechanical problems, the Invincible and McKee Sons delivered a load of stone over night to Meekhof's Dock next to the power plant on Harbor Island in Grand Haven. About noon, the Undaunted and Pere Marquette 41 delivered a load to Verplank's Dock in Ferrysburg. It too had been delayed by weather.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The Manistee loaded overnight Monday at the NS coal dock. She sailed Tuesday forenoon for Green Bay.

Toronto, Ont. - Jens Juhl
At 5 a.m. Tuesday the small excursion vessel Captain Matthew Flinders sailed for Hamilton and drydocking at Heddle Marine Services. Also early Tuesday morning the bulker Chestnut did the end-for-end turn around and is in the final stages of unloading sugar at Redpath.


Corps report: Low water levels expected to affect Great Lakes navigation

10/17 - Water levels on all the Great Lakes are lower than average due to the very dry weather, lack of snow pack last winter, warm air temperatures, and resulting increased evaporation. Levels are currently below low water datum on Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron and are expected to remain below datum at least through March 2013. Levels are expected to near record lows on Lakes Michigan and Huron. We are sending out this note because of the obvious impact this will have on navigation. The Corps of Engineers updates the six-month water level forecast on a monthly basis. These forecasts can be found on the Corp’s website at:

Water levels on Lake Michigan-Huron are currently almost a foot below low water datum and are forecasted to decline to about 1.5 feet below datum by February 2013. The Army Corps of Engineers is forecasting near record low water levels on Lake Michigan-Huron in October. Several months of dry weather have dropped the water supply to the lake to near record low for this time of year. In an average year, Lake Michigan-Huron's seasonal rise during the spring months is close to 12 inches. In 2012, the seasonal rise was only 4 inches. The lake has declined almost 12 inches since reaching its peak in June and is currently almost a foot below low water datum. The current forecast is for Lake Michigan-Huron to decline to about 1.5 feet below datum by March 2013. Water levels in November 2012 through March 2013 are expected to tie or break record lows. The current record low water levels on Michigan-Huron were set in 1964.

Water levels on Lake Superior are currently about 4 inches below low water datum and are forecasted to drop to about 1 foot below datum by March 2013. The October water level is forecasted to remain 1 inch above the record low. The current level is about 4 inches below low water datum. Levels from November 2012 - March 2013 are expected to drop to about 1 foot below low water datum by March, but are expected to remain 3 to 5 inches above record lows. The current record low levels on Lake Superior were set in the mid 1920s.

Bottom line for navigation interests: Lake Superior is forecasted to remain 4 to 14 inches below chart datum through March. Lake Michigan-Huron are forecasted to remain 11 to 19 inches below chart datum through March. Water levels on Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario are forecasted to remain above chart datum through March, although they will also experience levels significantly below average.

US Army Corps of Engineers


'Infrequent event,' carferry captain said of docking problems due to wind Sunday night

10/17 - Ludington, Mich. – The SS Badger left Ludington on time Monday morning despite its customer appreciation sail Sunday ending with a twist unfortunately it involved the entire length of the 410-foot long carferry.

Northerly winds gusting to 28 mph or more pushed the Badger sideways as it tried to secure a bow line while docking, but before the line was secure. The gusty winds pushed the Badger almost perpendicular to the dock. While the docking process in Pere Marquette Lake usually is clockwork precise, it took two hours to bring the Badger back into position.

"The last time Badger had similar situation was 2005 and before that 1995; we remember because they are very infrequent events," Capt. Dean Hobbs said.

He added there was no danger to passengers, ship or crew "just a slower and more challenging evolution to get forward lines out and square ship up in the berth to unload.

"The entire crew stepped up to the additional challenge and we docked safely a bit later than scheduled," Hobbs told the Daily News.

Ludington Daily News


Summary: Marine News October 2012

10/17 - Marine News, the monthly journal of the World Ship Society, reported the following Seaway Salties going for scrap in the October 2012 issue.

BM ADVENTURE first visited the Seaway as a) ALMA in 1986 and returned as d) SEA ATHINA in 2002. It was beached at Mumbai, India, for scrapping as g) BM ADVENTURE on May 22, 2012.

IVAN MAKARIN came inland through the Seaway in 1982. It was sold to shipbreakers in Bangladesh and arrived at Chittagong for scrapping on September 2, 2012.

MAYANK visited the Great Lakes as a) WELLWOOD in 1982, returned as b) GOODWOOD in 1984 and as c) KRAMATORSK in 1996. The ship arrived at Mumbai, India, as f) MAYANK on June 17, 2011 and was beached August 19, 2011, for demolition.

PARTNERSHIP came through the Seaway under several names. It was built in 1981 as NOSIRA SHARON and made the first inland transit that year. It was back as b) BERTA DAN in 1989, became a regular trader as c) GUNAY A. beginning in 1994 and returned as d) SEA VETERAN in 2006. The ship arrived at Gadani Beach, Pakistan, as f) PARTNERSHIP on August 24, 2012, and was beached for demolition on August 30.

PROIKONISSOS traveled inland as a) ULLA in 1987. It was sold and renamed in 1994 and never returned to our shores. The ship arrived at Alang, India, on August 27, 2012, and was beached September 1 for dismantling.

RICHARD was flying the flag of Cuba as a) BAHIA DE NUEVITAS when it entered the Seaway in 1986. It arrived at Alang, India, for scrapping on August 28, 2012, under the sixth name of RICHARD.

SPRING BREEZE I came inland as a) NAND RATI in 1988 and was back as b) SPRING BREEZE in 2001 heading for Thunder Bay and a cargo of peas. The ship reached Chittagong, Bangladesh, for scrapping as c) SPRING BREEZE I on August 25, 2012.

TULOMA was built as a) SOLTA in 1984 and came through the Seaway that year for the first of many trips. In 1988, the ship loaded steel from the dismantled B.F. AFFLECK during a stop at Port Colborne. It was back most years through 2001 when it was the last ship of the season down the Seaway. It arrived at Alang, India, August 23, 2012, and was beached August 31 for scrapping.

WAN JIA, the 8th name for the 33-year old freighter, arrived at Chittagong, Bangladesh, for scrap and was beached on August 3, 2012. It came through the Seaway as b) BALTIC CONFIDENCE in 1987.

The former Polish freighter ZIEMIA GNIEZNIENSKA arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, on August 17, 2012, and anchored until beached on August 23. The ship made numerous Seaway transits from 1985 through 2006 for the Polish Steamship Co.

GOC, a Great Lakes trader a) RICHELIEU (ii), b) ALGOCAPE (ii) was renamed for the trip under tow from Montreal to Aliaga, Turkey. It arrived August 22 and scrapping got underway in September.

We acknowledge the annual publication Seaway Salties, compiled by Rene Beauchamp, as an excellent resource and his 50 Years of Seaway Salties has provided us with the years that the above ocean ships first came to the Great Lakes.

Submitted by Barry Andersen and Skip Gillham


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 crewmembers 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.

1923: The bulk carrier LUZON went aground in Lake Superior, northeast of Passage Island, due to poor visibility from the dense smoke of local forest fires. The vessel sustained serious bow damage but, fortunately, the bulkhead held. It was enroute from Fort William to Buffalo with grain at the time. The ship returned to service as b) JOHN ANDERSON in 1924 and was last known as G.G. POST.

1936: SAND MERCHANT sank in Lake Erie about 13.5 miles off Cleveland with the loss of 19 lives. The ship began taking on water faster than it could be pumped out and only 7 sailors survived.

1951: The GEORGE F. RAND and HARVEY H. BROWN collided just below the Huron Cut at Port Huron and the former was beached with a starboard list. After being refloated, this vessel unloaded its cargo of silica sand at Port Huron and then went to Toledo for repairs. The latter later sailed as PARKER EVANS and MARLHILL.

1980: The Canadian tanker GULF CANADA and MEGALOHARI II collided at Montreal with minor damage. The former had been built at Collingwood as a) B.A. PEERLESS in 1952 and was scrapped at Alang, India, as d) COASTAL I in 1990. The latter had begun Seaway trading in 1965 and was scrapped at Alang as b) AGIOS CONSTANTINOS in 1985.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


First attempt to free Sedna Desgagnes fails

10/16 - Prescott, Ont. – The tug W.N. Twolan came down from Kingston Monday afternoon. The strong west winds Monday raised the water level in the river and the grounded Sedna Desgagnes actually shifted a bit and her stern sagged down river towards the bridge. The other tug, Ocean Georgie Bain, was also secured at the stern of the Desgagnes.

The Bain escorted the laker John B Aird to the lower tie wall below Iroquois Lock last night. That ship will be there at least two days, so the Bain is free for now to attempt pulling the Desgagnes off the shoal.

The tugs attempted to pull the vessel free Monday night about 9:30 p.m. At 10:30 p.m. they halted their efforts so that navigation could resume. Phoenix Star was held in Iroquois Lock and Cedarglen was downbound.

TSB spokesperson John Cottreau said the vessel had just passed under the international bridge, near Prescott, Ont., when it ran hard aground around 8 a.m. Sunday. There were no injuries reported by the 18 crew members aboard at the time.

“What we do is investigate the accident,” Cottreau said. “Our process is we go, assess the situation ... and that tells us whether we do a complete in-depth investigation or collect data and move on.”

There was no pollution released. The ship is sitting up at its bow and listing slightly starboard.

The marine investigation team sent by TSB will be downloading electronic navigation from the ship and interviewing crew members as to what happened, Cottreau said. The vessel was headed from Sorel, Que., to Chicago, carrying raw iron for processing.

The 139-metre-long Sedna Desgagnes had left Montreal on Saturday night. The ship is owned by Montreal-based Groupe Desgagnes.

Ron Beaupre, Toronto Sun


Low water, weather delays vessels on Lake Erie

10/16 - The issuance early Monday by NOAA of a low water advisory resulted in at least eight freighters tucking in behind a lee shore riding on their anchors. Peter R. Cresswell and Edgar B. Speer spent several hours on the hook off Sandusky, while the CSL Niagara and John D. Leitch elected to wait out the low water issue in more exposed areas west of the Bass Islands.

A similar scene presented itself in eastern Lake Erie, as Federal Kivalina, Algolake, Birchglen, Algocanada and the tug Anglian Lady were tucked in behind Long Point, waiting for the advisory to be lifted. Winds on Lake Erie Monday morning were from the west at roughly 18 to 20 knots.

Monday night the boats remained on the hook, weather and water conditions east of Long Point showed 6-9 foot seas.

Jim Spencer


A busy fall for salties on the Great Lakes

10/16 - - As of October 15, there were over 35 dry cargo carrying ocean-going vessels either on the Great Lakes or due to enter the Seaway within the next five days. A handful of ocean-going tankers were in the system as well. That total marks a near two-year high; the last time the Lakes had comparable oceangoing traffic was early December 2010. Here's a roundup of notable saltie traffic around the lakes.

Fednav currently has 10 ships on the Lakes or due soon. This includes three ships on its liner service, which specializes in transporting cargoes like steel and machinery from northern Europe to the Lakes. Two more Fednav ships are due at lower St. Lawrence ports in the next few days; they may also eventually transit the Seaway. Fednav's newest Lakes-capable bulker, Federal Satsuki, is currently at Hamilton on her inaugural voyage to the Great Lakes. She's the second in a trio of modified Oshima-class bulkers (the first being 2011's Federal Yukina) that have a new sharper and more straight-stemmed bow design intended to increase fuel efficiency and reduce slamming in heavy seas.

Canfornav has nine ships on the lakes or due soon, many of them delivering bulk cargo. Since August this fleet has been especially busy with the sugar trade from Brazil to Redpath Sugar in Toronto. Chestnut is currently unloading at Redpath. Pochard finished a few days ago and is anchored off Port Weller, due next Duluth to load. Barnacle is also at Port Weller anchorage, waiting to unload after Chestnut. Andean and Puffin are due at Montreal by week's end with more sugar for Toronto. Puffin flies the flag of Jamaica, not a registry commonly seen in world trade. In other Canfornav bulk cargo deliveries, Greenwing is at Port Weller discharging potash from Russia directly into semi-trucks, and Eider is at Windsor with a cargo from Mexico. Canfornav vessels deliver bulk fluorspar from Mexico to Windsor on a semi-regular basis; that is likely what the Eider is unloading. Mandarin arrived in Toledo on Monday after visiting ports in Belgium and Spain and making a stop at the aluminum refinery at Port Alfred, Quebec aluminum off the Gulf of St. Lawrence. She's berthed at Midwest Terminals; it's unknown whether she's there to load or unload or what kind of cargo she's handling. The oldest and most unique member of the Canfornav fleet, Apollon, is now in her third week at anchor off Port Weller after spending several days in late September at the JRI grain terminal in Hamilton. She arrived in the Gulf of St. Lawrence a month ago after crossing the Atlantic from Gibraltar, presumably in ballast. She was originally destined for Baie Comeau before an apparent change of orders sent her up the Seaway to Hamilton. The nature of her delay is unknown, but it's possible she's waiting for more cargo. For now at least she has several fleetmates at anchor or berthed at Port Weller to keep her company.

Cleveland's waterfront docks had a solid array of oceangoing visitors on Monday, with Kwintebank, Federal Saguenay, and Ziemia Lodzka all unloading general cargo. The veteran Ziemia Lodzka is a welcome sight. Polsteam has sent many new vessels to the Seaway during the past two years, mostly carrying steel from the Netherlands to Cleveland, Burns Harbor, and Milwaukee. Three new Polsteam bulkers, the Lubie, Solina and Mamry, each debuted on the Lakes during late September and early October this year. That makes Ziemia Lodzka's visit somewhat of a surprise. In recent years Polsteam has concentrated on sending its newer ships to the Great Lakes, deploying its older bulkers to trade in South America, Europe, and western Asia. Polsteam's bevy of new Lakes-capable bulkers has also allowed it to begin selling or scrapping the '80s-vintage Argentina-built "Ziemia" class ships, which were regular visitors for two decades. That leaves just the three early-'90s-vintage, Turkish-built Ziemia ships, which were slightly modified versions of the earlier design. The Turkish trio are also familiar visitors, for many years on a long-term charter under the names Lake Carling, Lake Champlain, and Lake Charles before reverting to their original Ziemia names in 2003. Seaway transits by these vessels have become increasingly rare in recent years. The last of the Argentina-class to visit was the Ziemia Zamojska in 2007. Since then the Ziemia Lodzka and sister Ziemia Cieszynska have made three trips to the lakes in 2008, two trips in 2009, one trip in 2010, and none in 2011. The third member of the trio, Ziemia Gornoslaska, hasn't been on the Lakes since 2006. The Lodzka's current voyage may well be one of the last times the familiar "Ziemia" name and class of ship will be seen on the inland seas.

Wagenborg ships are busy as usual around the Great Lakes. Virginiaborg and Koningsborg arrived Duluth within a few hours of each other late Sunday night and early Monday morning. Virginiaborg had a partial cargo aboard from Thunder Bay and filled the rest of her holds at General Mills in Duluth. Koningsborg delivered wind turbine components from Spain before departing for Chicago to deliver steel coils. She may return to Lake Superior next week to load grain. Amstelborg is on quite a long and varied voyage to the Great Lakes. She arrived at Montreal from Germany on September 29th with wind turbine components for Muskegon and additional cargo for Menominee and South Chicago. She's currently finishing up at South Chicago, and lists her next destination as Burns Harbor; it's unknown whether she has more cargo to unload there or whether this port will see her take on an outbound load.

BBC Houston is the second U.S.-flagged saltie to visit the Lakes this year. She's currently downbound from Milwaukee after loading general cargo there, following the same trail blazed earlier this year by the Maersk Illinois. These salties weren't built in the U.S. so they cannot fully participate in Jones Act trade between American ports. They are used primarily to carry export cargoes out of the country that have contractual stipulations requiring carriage aboard American-flagged and American-crewed (but not American-built) vessels. BBC Houston previously visited the Great Lakes under a foreign flag as the BBC Australia.

Pacific Huron continues a long load at Windsor, Ontario, having arrived at the grain terminal there on October 9th. Grain loads out of Duluth-Superior and Thunder Bay have been steady if not a bit slow, while lower lakes ports like Windsor and especially Toledo have seen an uptick in activity as of late. Of note on the horizon are visits by two ships – the first voyage to the Lakes for the small general cargo vessel Copenhagen, and a maiden voyage by the brand spanking new Vlieborg. Copenhagen was built last year in China and is managed by the same German-based fleet that operates familiar visitors Federal Miramichi (currently at Sault Ste. Marie and due next at Duluth) and Lake Ontario (formerly Federal Manitou). Copenhagen was originally scheduled at Montreal on September 10th with steel for Cleveland and Duluth but instead diverted to Sept-Isles, apparently for repairs. After almost a month at anchor there she finally berthed at the Sept-Isles general cargo terminal last week, possibly to unload cargo or possibly to finish repairs. She's still on the Port Montreal schedule, so we should see her sometime in the next few weeks.

Vlieborg commenced her maiden voyage when she sailed from her builders yard in the Netherlands in early October for Oxelosund, Sweden to load steel for the lakes. She's a striking vessel and looks sharp in the Wagenborg paint scheme. Vlieborg is a close sister to the Vikingbank, which visited the Lakes in late August. These vessels sport a new bow design that increases fuel efficiency and seakeeping, especially in heavy weather. The Vikingbank turned heads on her visit and Vlieborg is sure to do the same when she appears at the end of the month. A third vessel in the class, Volgaborg, is due next year along with a new class of similar but substantially larger ships sporting names like Reestborg and Reggeborg. Vlieborg takes the name of a previous member of the Wagenborg fleet which was an occasional Great Lakes caller during early 2000s. Some might remember the older Vlieborg's infamous allision with the north pier of the Duluth Entry while she was outbound in front of a crowd of tourists during the summer of 2005. The older Vlieborg became one of the first of Wagenborg's modern vessels to leave the fleet when they sold her in 2007. She now sails the southern oceans in almost unrecognizable form, as the Norwegian flagged krill harvesting and processing vessel Antarctic Sea.


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 crewmembers 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.

1880: ALPENA, a wooden sidewheel passenger steamer, was lost in Lake Michigan in a violent storm. All 67 on board perished.

1928: PARKS FOSTER ran aground, due to fog, in Lake Huron near Alpena. The ship was lightered, pumped out and refloated. While declared a total loss, the vessel was rebuilt as b) SUPERIOR and eventually dismantled at Port Weller in 1961.

1940: TREVISA was torpedoed and sunk by U-124 while 600 miles off the coast of Ireland. The ship had become a straggler from convoy SC-7 that had been attacked over a period of 3 nights. Seven lives were lost when TREVISA was hit in the engineroom by a single torpedo.

1968: The NORMAN P. CLEMENT was at Collingwood for examination of the grounding damage of earlier in the month then there is an onboard explosion on this date that injured 11. The hull was contaminated with chemicals and declared a total loss.

1969: FREDEN V. came to the Great Lakes in 1958 and returned through the Seaway in 1959. The small tanker was heavily damaged as c) YARIMCA in an engine room fire at Sinop, Turkey, but that was repaired in 1972 and the ship survived until scrapping at Aliaga, Turkey, as f) ORTAC in 2004.

1971: The Cypriot freighter UNION came through the Seaway in 1971 after prior visits as c) MICA beginning in 1965. Fire broke out in the engine room and the ship was abandoned 130 miles off Freetown, Sierra Leone, on October 10, 1971. The vessel sank on October 16 and had been enroute from Gdynia, Poland, to Chittagong, Bangladesh.

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


Sedna Desgagnes aground near Prescott

10/15 - About 8:10 a.m. Sunday the upbound Sedna Desgagnes sheered hard to port and aground out of the channel just 0.1 nautical mile above the gap under the Johnstown Bridge in the St. Lawrence Seaway near Prescott, Ont. She was completely out of the channel and it appeared on AIS she was in a shoal area with 6 m of water or less. The ship is hard aground with cargo of pig iron on board. She is up at the bow a few feet and listing slightly to starboard. This will be a major salvage operation with lightering taking place before she is pulled off her strand. At 12:37 the pilot boat from Cape Vincent arrived at the site of the grounding.

At first the channel was closed, but the Tim S. Dool, the first downbound ship, was allowed to proceed but at a reduced speed of 5 knots. Multiple tugs may be needed due to the close proximity of the bridge pylon and the very strong current that will take the Desgagnes towards it as soon as she is released from her strand.

The tug Ocean Georgie Bain was upbound in the river to meet the grain-laden John B. Aird at the Prescott anchorage. From there to Becancour the tug was to escort the Aird, which has a mechanical problem. However, while the Bain was waiting for the Aird she did stop by the Desgagnes to take a look at the situation.

No pollution was reported.

Ron Beaupre


U.S.-Flag lakes float down 6 percent in September

10/15 - Cleveland, Ohio – U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters carried 9.5 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in September, an increase of 20,579 tons compared to August, but 6 percent less than the volume recorded a year ago. The September float was also 2.2 percent below the month’s 5-year average.

Iron ore cargos for the steel industry totaled 4,351,654 tons in September, a decrease of 5.1 percent compared to a year ago. Coal cargos fell to 2.1 million tons, or almost 11 percent compared to September 2011. Aggregate and fluxstone for construction and steelmaking slipped 5.3 percent to 2.5 million tons percent.

Through September U.S.-flag cargos stand at 63,849,618 tons, a decrease of 2.1 percent compared to the same point in 2011, but a marginal increase compared to the 5-year average for the first three quarters. Iron ore cargos are down by 2.4 percent compared to a year ago. Coal has slipped by almost 18 percent, but limestone cargos are up by 11 percent, or 1.7 million tons.

Lake Carriers Association


Port Reports -  October 15

St. Marys River
Low water in the Rock Cut sent the Algoma Enterprise to anchor near Nine Mile Sunday night. The Andrie tug Meredith Ashton tied up at the Carbide Dock waiting for winds to die down, while the tugs John Spence and Ecosse moored in Sault, Ont. The tug Champion and barge were anchored near Lime Island. The Soo Locks tour boat Hiawatha went on the MCM Marine drydock Saturday as the season for the tour boats winds down.

Huron, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Cason J. Callaway of the Great Lakes Fleet discharged a Stoneport load of limestone aggregate at the Huron Lime Co. dock Sunday evening.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Interlake’s Herbert C. Jackson sailed Sunday morning for Marquette with a partial load of coal from the NS dock in Sandusky. Sailing from Marblehead's Lafarge Corp. stone dock at roughly the same time was the Manitowoc. The latter was downbound.


Another delay in Canadian Miner clean up

10/15 - There's another delay in the salvage of the former Canadian Miner. The province has issued a stop work order to the company that's planning to salvage the ship and wants assurances the work can be done safely.

It's been more than a year since the giant bulk carrier ran aground off Cape Breton and nearly six months since the Bennington Group was hired to remove the vessel. The company spent the summer preparing to move the ship, but work has not yet begun.

"The first hurdle that we have to get over is to make sure that it is safe for workers to do this work," said Pat Murphy, regional director of occupational health and safety for the department of labor. "Everybody that goes out there has to get home safe at the end of the day."

The bulk carrier was being towed from Montreal to Turkey to be scrapped when its tow line broke.

People who live in communities near the stranded vessel have been losing patience with the delays. They've already called on the province to develop an alternate plan in case the salvage effort falls through.

Murphy says it will be up to the Bennington Group to hire the engineer and get its work plans approved, but he hopes the work can happen quickly. The head of the Bennington Group could not be reached for comment.



Two openings remains for maritime museum boatbuilding class

10/15 - Aspiring boatbuilders still have an opportunity to gain first-hand skills in the age-old craft when the Door County Maritime Museum’s annual boat building class gets underway Oct. 20 at the museum in Sturgeon Bay. But only two spots remain for the upcoming class.

Instructors Bob Schottmuller and David Morgan have selected a Beach Pea as this year’s boat. The ultimate yacht tender, the design is stable, seaworthy and easily rowed. While smaller than most peapods, the 13-foot craft can carry a big load and cut through lumpy water with confidence. The Doug-Hylan-designed double-ender uses modern glued lapstrake plywood construction. This peapod may be used for sailing or rowing.

Each year the museum hosts a boatbuilding class, keeping the maritime tradition alive, said Trudy Herbst, the museum’s director of development. Prior year projects vary from cedar strip canoes and wherries to sailing dinghies.

Classes will be held Saturdays October through Thanksgiving and will resume after New Years. Class registration for Maritime Museum members is $325 and $425 for non-members. Tradition holds that the finished boat will be the grand prize in the museums annual fundraising raffle to help fund the non-profit organizations daily operations.

For additional information or to enroll for the class, call the museum at 920-743-5958.


Updates -  October 15

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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. bowthruster 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 drydocking 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 was 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 that 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.

1916: The wooden bulk freighter L. EDWARD HINES was sold to Nicaraguan owners and left the Great Lakes in 1916. The ship had loaded coal in New Orleans for Venezuela for its maiden voyage on this date in 1916 but got caught in a hurricane and sank with the loss of 17 lives while 45 miles east of Belize, British Honduras.

1971: SINGAPORE TRADER was upbound with general cargo from Japan to Detroit, on its first trip to the Great Lakes, when it ran aground in the Thousand Islands. The vessel was released on November 29 and towed back to Montreal on December 16. The ship was arrested there and offered for sale, by court order. The successful bidder for the 27-year-old vessel was a shipbreaker at Santander, Spain, and the ship arrived there for dismantling on June 22, 1972.

1977: The three-year old Panamanian bulk carrier GOLDEN STAR damaged the rudder when it struck the opposite bank while backing from the dock at Huron, Ohio. The vessel, bound for the United Kingdom, needed 4 tugs when it was towed out of the Seaway for repairs at Sorel, QC. The vessel was last noted as c) FUN JIN under the flag of Panama in 1993.

1978: The West German freighter FRANCISCA SARTORI made 21 trips through the Seaway from 1959 through 1967. It was lying at Piraeus, Greece, as f) GIOTA S. when the engine room flooded on this date in 1978. The ship departed for Chalkis on October 24, 1979, but further leaks developed and the vessel had to be beached at Laurium, Greece.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


Sedna Desgagnes aground

10/14  - About 8:10 a.m. Sunday morning the upbound Sedna Desgagnes sheered hard to port and aground out of the channel just 0.1 nm above the gap under the Johnstown Bridge. She is completely out of the channel and it appears on AIS she is in a shoal area with 6 m of water or less. The ship is hard aground with cargo on board. She is up at the bow a few feet and listing slightly to starboard. This will be a major salvage operation with lightering taking place before she is pulled off her strand. At 12:37 the pilot boat from Cape Vincent arrived at the site of the grounding.

At first the channel was closed but the Tim S Dool, the first downbound ship, was allowed to proceed but at a reduced speed of 5 knots. Multiple tugs may be needed due to the close proximity of the bridge pilon and the very strong current which will take the Sedna towards it as soon as she is released from her strand.

The tug Ocean Georgie Bain was upbound in the river to meet the John B Aird at the Prescott anchorage. From there to Becancour the tug was to escort the Aird who has a mechanical problem, they want to offload her cargo of grain before they attempt the repair. However, while the Bain was waiting for the Aird she did stop by the Sedna to take a look at the situation.

No pollution was reported.

Ron Beaupre


Lakes limestone trade down 8-plus percent in September

10/14 - Cleveland, Ohio - Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 3,256,563 tons in September, an increase of 20,000 tons compared to August, but 8.2 percent below the level of a year ago and the month’s 5-year average.

Shipments from U.S. ports fell 5.2 percent in September. Loadings at Canadian quarries slipped nearly 22 percent.

Year-to-date the Lakes limestone trade stands at 20.5 million tons, an increase of 4.3 percent compared to a year ago, but a decrease of 2.5 percent compared to the 5-year average for the first three quarters.

Lake Carriers' Association


Port Reports -  October 14

Toledo, Ohio
At about noon Friday, Algomarine docked near the city dock and began to unload what appeared to be sand next to the salt piles. On Thursday afternoon, Federal Ems came upriver to the ADM elevators after a brief stop at the new intermodal dock. After spending several days under the silos at the Anderson grain complex, Algoma Transport left port with the help of two tugs Friday evening.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The Herbert C. Jackson arrived at Sandusky's NS coal dock late Saturday night and began loading for Detroit. At Marblehead, the Manitowoc was loading at the LaFarge Corp. stone dock.

Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
American Mariner came in for General Mills around 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Herbert C. Jackson departed about 7 a.m. Saturday.

Gravenhurst, Ont. - Jens Juhl
Muskoka Steamships ended its cruising season this weekend. Last Monday, RMS Segwun made her last trip with a special sold out Thanksgiving Day cruise. In spite of cold, cloudy and rainy weather Saturday, both of the Wenonah II cruises were well attended.


Canfornav vessels busy on western Lake Ontario

10/14 - The Canfornav fleet was well-represented on western Lake Ontario Friday evening. Chestnut was at Redpath in Toronto, after arriving Friday morning to discharge sugar from Paranagua, Brazil. Chestnut arrived in the area last Monday and spent the week in the Port Weller anchorage waiting behind fleetmate Pochard for the dock. Redpath Sugar has seen an almost uninterrupted stretch of eight oceangoing visitors in the last 30 days.

Upon finishing her unload at Redpath around dawn on Friday, Pochard switched places with Chestnut and dropped anchor off Port Weller. She was likely preparing for an upbound transit of the Canal; her destination read Duluth. The Pochard joined fleetmate Apollon in the Port Weller anchorage. Apollon had been there since Sept. 29 after spending several days at the JRI grain terminal in Hamilton. It's unknown whether she's awaiting cargo, undergoing repairs, or experiencing some other delay.

On Friday evening the Barnacle, freshly arrived from the Seaway, made it a trio and dropped anchor right in between Apollon and Pochard. Barnacle has a cargo of sugar from Paranagua to unload at Redpath after the Chestnut. Last but not least, Greenwing was berthed just inside the Port Weller piers only a few kilometers from her anchored cousins. She arrived there on Thursday with cargo from Tuapse, Russia.

Eider also passed her various fleetmates upbound on Friday evening, headed for a transit of the Welland Canal with cargo for Windsor from Altamira, Mexico.


Updates -  October 14

Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - New pictures in the Howard L. Shaw and Valley Camp galleries


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 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.

1895: The wooden steamer AFRICA struck a reef near Cove Island enroute to Georgian Bay, broke up and sank with the loss of all 13 crew.

1922: ARROW, a steel sidewheeler, partially burned at the dock in Put-in-Bay.

1954: The Dutch freighter PRINS WILLEM V. sank off Milwaukee after a collision with the barge SINCLAIR XII pushed by the SINCLAIR CHICAGO. All 30 sailors on board were rescued but the overseas vessel was never salvaged. It was replaced in 1956 by another PRINS WILLEM V.

1966: The STONEFAX and ARTHUR STOVE collided in the Welland Canal between Allanburg and Port Robinson. The former, a member of the Halco fleet, sank with its cargo of potash and remained on the bottom until November 25. The latter subsequently visited the Seaway as b) TIARET and was scrapped at Nantong, China, as c) CLARET in 1984-1985.

1983: The British freighter HOUSTON CITY visited the Great Lakes in 1966. It ran aground at Mayotte Island, part of the Comoros, while enroute from the Far East to South Africa as c) ALPAC AFRICA. The ship was stuck until October 22 and scrapped at Shanghai, China, in 1984.

1985: FURIA was trapped in Lock 7 when a section of the lock wall collapsed. The Welland Canal was closed until November 7. The vessel arrived at Shanghai, China, for scrapping as b) YRIA on November 1, 2001, after it made a final trip inland as such in 2000.

1987: GEORGE A. SLOAN sustained major bottom damage going aground in the Amherstburg Channel and was repaired at Toledo. The ship is still sailing as c) MISSISSAGI.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports -  October 13

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Tug Victory and Barge James L. Kuber arrived at the Upper Harbor Friday afternoon to load ore.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. - Jim Conlon
Friday morning the barge Presque Isle was towed out from Bay Shipbuilding Corp. after having its unloading boom repaired as a result of an accident in Detroit three weeks ago. Selvick tugs towed the barge to the Bay of Green Bay to be mated with the Presque Isle tug. The tug could not come into Sturgeon Bay because of low water levels.

Kingston, Ont. - Ron Walsh
At 8:50 a.m. Friday the tug W.N. Twolan was at the old elevator dock. At 11 a.m. she had departed with two "BIG" barges, leaving two others tied in Kingston.


Lake Huron nears record low level

10/13 - Lake Huron is approaching low water levels not seen in nearly half a century, say officials. Environment Canada reported this week water levels in the lake fell 15 cm in September. That’s two and a half times its average decline of six cm, leaving it 27 cm below where it was a year ago.

The agency said Lake Huron began October just three cm above record low levels set in 1964.

“I don’t know where the water’s going,” said John McClennan, owner of Seven Winds Marina in Port Franks. “Somebody’s gobbling it up somewhere.”

September’s drop came at the end of the boating season, lessening the impact at the marina, McClennan said. “It disappointed a few people . . . not being able to get in and out of the channel, but other than that it hasn’t really affected too much.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is predicting November and December water levels in Lake Huron and Lake Michigan will match 1964’s record low, and set new record lows in early 2013.

There has been a cycle of high and low water levels since record keeping began in 1918, said Karen Alexander, with the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation. “Right now, we’re in a very extended low period,” she said. “The length of time the lake has remained low has never happened before.”

Potential reasons include climate change leading to lower rainfall, as well as ongoing evaporation in winter because of less ice cover, Alexander said. Another factor - particularly for the Canadian side of the lake - is isostatic rebound from the retreat of glaciers several thousand years ago, she said.

The land mass is rebounding from the impact of the weight of glaciers that covered the region during the last ice age.

“That is happening at a faster rate on this side of the lake than on the other side,” Alexander said.

The impact of low water levels includes extended lakeshore property as water recedes, the build up of sand dunes and migration of vegetation and coastal wetlands, she said. “It’s actually very healthy for the coast to go through these changes.”

What’s not known, Alexander said, is the long-term impact climate change will have on the water level cycle. It’s possible the range of high and low water levels could change, she said, “but the cycle will continue.”

Water levels also fell in each of the other Great Lakes, and Lake St. Clair, during September, according to Environment Canada.

A message on the website of the Bluewater Ferry that runs between Sombra and Marine City, Michigan on the St. Clair River says that due to low water it’s not currently able to take vehicles weighing more than 80,000 pounds, including large coach buses.

Low water levels can cause constraints on the size of cargos carried by ships on the lake, according to Robert Lewis-Manning, president of the Canadian Shipowners Association.

He added many shipping companies are used to managing cargo loads through the year as water levels change. “What’s unusual is how early in the year we’ve seen it,” he said. “We were seeing water levels in July we might expect in October.”

But, it’s not having “a drastic impact on the bottom line” of the shipping companies, he said.

London Free Press


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.

1902: The wooden steamer C. B. LOCKWOOD was swamped in a storm and sank on Lake Erie with the loss of 10 lives.

1927: The ONTARIO, once the largest carferry on the Detroit River, was later reduced to a barge and it foundered on Lake Superior, near Outer Island, while carrying 1100 tons of pulpwood. It had been under tow of the tug BUTTRERFIELD and all on board were saved.

1973: SCOTT MISENER damaged 60 bottom plates when it hit bottom near Whaleback Shoal in the St. Lawrence.

1976: The former T2 tanker and now bulk carrier SYLVIA L. OSSA, remembered on the Great Lakes as the MARATHONIAN that was in a head-on collision with ROLWI in Lake Michigan, disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle with the loss of all 37 members of the crew.

1990: The ERNA WITT first visited the Great Lakes in 1958 and returned through the Seaway in 1962. The vessel sank off Port Sudan as k) SHIBA after a collision with the ALTAAWIN ALARABI while inbound from Aqaba, Jordan. Three members of the crew were lost.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


Stranded Lake Erie ferry released from sandbar

10/12 - Windsor, Ont. – 3 p.m. update
A ferry stranded in Lake Erie has been freed from a sandbar and is steaming toward mainland under its own power. A tugboat pulled the Jiimaan free before 1 p.m. Friday near Kingsville, Ont., southeast of Windsor. By 1:45 p.m. tugboats released the ship and it was headed to a dock in Leamington. It was to arrive at 2:30 p.m.

The Jiimaan was carrying 18 passengers and 15 crew members, along with truckloads of soybeans and grapes, when it came to a halt at 1:45 p.m. Thursday due to low water levels, 200 feet from shore in Kingsville, Ont., near Windsor.

The hours-long process to free the ferry that became stuck on a sandbar in Lake Erie began before daybreak with the arrival of a tugboat from Detroit.

The youngest passenger is an infant travelling with her father. Sherry Bondy, the girl's grandmother, sais she spoke with her son-in-law until midnight Thursday night. Friday, she waited patiently on the mainland and watched the rescue.  "She’s probably in really good spirits, cooing and laughing. She’s probably the life of the party," Bondy said of her granddaughter.

Chris Armour, marine co-ordinator with the Trenton Search and Rescue Centre, said a Great Lakes Towing tugboat from Detroit was called to the scene and that passengers will remain on the vessel until it is brought to Kingsville.  "The safest place for them is on that boat," Armour told CBC News. The tugboat arrived around 8:30 a.m. ET. It took four hours to inspect the vessel and then begin the tow it to Leamington, not Kingsville, as originally planned, according to the Owen Sound Transportation Company.

Once it arrives in Leamington, passengers will disembark and the ship will be thoroughly inspected. Divers examined the hull to make sure it has not been breached. So far there is no sign of underwater damage to the ship, the company tweeted late Friday morning.

Susan Schrempf, president and CEO of the Owen Sound Transportation Company, which operates the ferry said Thursday there was enough food aboard to accommodate passengers until "later into [the] evening." The ship does have food services. Passengers were tweeting pictures of the cake they were served Thursday night. "They're well-fed. I would imagine that the crew made them as comfortable as possible," Schrempf told CBC News on Friday.

When it came to sleeping, Schrempf said it likely wasn't easy. "We do have additional linens and blankets and things on board that they would have been supplied, but it's a day ferry so the seating that they would have to use as beds is not extremely comfortable," Schrempf said.

The Canadian Coast Guard originally planned to remove passengers from the boat at 5:30 a.m. Plans changed once water levels started to rise. "Apparently there will be no early-morning rescue [on board]," one passenger said on her Twitter feed. Some creative Twitter user has since created an account for the stranded ship: @TheStuckJiimaan.

The coast guard said strong winds and large waves made it unsafe to try to remove passengers Thursday night. "They were safest staying on the ship," Schrempf said. Schrempf said exiting through the cargo hold was not an option.  "We are not allowed to open the water tight openings in the hull unless we’re tied to the dock or there are extenuating circumstances," she said. "We would not disembark passengers through the vehicle deck ramp while out in the water like that."

This is the second time in a decade the Jiimaan has run aground. The same captain was at the helm of the ship both times, Schrempf said.  However, the last time the Jiimaan ran aground, it freed herself and didn't need a tug or rescue.


Original report
Thirty-three people on board the ferry that provides transportation to Ontario’s most southerly community are in for a long night. The Jiimaan ferry, which runs between Kingsville, Ont., and Pelee Island in Western Lake Erie, went aground off the shore of Kingsville at approximately 1:45 p.m. Thursday due to extremely low water conditions.

Susan Schrempf, president and CEO of the Owen Sound Transportation Company, which operates the ferry, said the Canadian Coast Guard was called, but the 18 passengers and 15 crewmen will have to remain on the ship until around 5 a.m. because of poor weather conditions.

“The passengers will stay on all night, and that’s perfectly safe. The ship isn’t going anywhere (but) they are quite comfortable,” she said. “They’re being fed and kept warm and dry. That’s about all we can do right now.”

There was no reported damage to the vessel, high winds are what caused the low water conditions. Winds from the south west continued to build Thursday reaching sustained winds of 25 knots or more Thursday afternoon causing a seiche, a condition where high winds blow the water from one side of the lake to the other.

Water levels in western Lake Erie were in the minus 1 -2 inches below chart datum range at the time of the Jiimaan grounding, a drop of almost two feet since 8 a.m. Thursday morning. As Western Lake Erie water levels fell they rose on Eastern Lake Eire. The water level station at Buffalo reported rising levels all afternoon reaching a high of 31.06 inches above chart datum at 4:30 p.m. before the levels started to drop as the water sloshed back to the west end of the lake.

At 9 p.m. water levels on the west end of the lake were rising at over plus 6 inches above datum, it is possible that the Jiimaan will be able to free herself over night if the winds let up and water levels return to normal.

Schrempf also said there is no apparent damage to the ferry and the passengers are in no danger.

St. Catharines Standard and BoatNerd


Port Reports -  October 12

St. Marys River
Paul R. Tregurtha and the saltie Solina dropped the hook in the Nine Mile anchorage in the early evening as winds lowered water levels in the Rock Cut to minus 19. Roger Blough tied up below the Poe Lock. Winds also sent the downbound American Mariner and the tug Anglian Lady/barge to anchor above DeTour earlier in the day, however the Mariner was underway and outbound onto Lake Huron around 10 p.m.

Alpena, Mich. – Ben and Chanda McClain
The tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation were in port Wednesday morning to load cement at Lafarge. On Thursday morning they were anchored off St. Ignace for weather. The Manitowoc arrived at Lafarge in the early morning hours of Thursday to unload coal. The Alpena is expected in port Friday morning and will be followed by the tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity, which will also load cement.

Manitowoc, Wis.
For the second day in a row, the barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted were tied up in Manitowoc Thursday, loaded with sand. They were probably waiting on weather.

Toronto, Ont. - Jens Juhl
The saltie Pochard was unloading at Redpath Sugar Thursday.


Year-to-date Seaway cargo shipments steady as she goes; U.S. ports post positive numbers

10/12 - Washington, D.C. – For the period March 22-September 30, year-to-date total cargo shipments were 25.1 million metric tons, virtually flat over the same period in 2011, as reported by the St. Lawrence Seaway.

“Cargo tonnage on the Seaway system remained relatively steady for the month of September,” said Rebecca Spruill, Director, Trade Development for the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. “These tonnage numbers reflect historical trading patterns for the month of September, with the noteworthy increase in shipments of windmill components. We anticipate the next couple of months to reflect slight increases in cargo tonnage for general cargo, U.S. and Canadian grain, iron ore, and coal.”

U.S. ports took advantage of diversification and expansion plans to bolster September shipments.

The Port of Cleveland launched its expanded on-dock rail system in September, providing improved ship-to-rail and rail-to-ship access. The new Cleveland Harbor Belt Railroad handled three generators weighing a total of 240 tons that came through the Seaway from Port of Brake in Germany, destined for a power plant in southern Ohio.

“The movement of this cargo demonstrates our ability to better serve Seaway users and underscores our intent to aggressively market the new rail capabilities we now have at the port,” said David Gutheil, vice president for maritime and logistics. “We are optimistic about our cargo volumes for the rest of the year and we are looking to add more projects into our pipeline before the current season ends.”

The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor has handled significant increases in the shipments of steel, coke, fertilizer, grain and minerals through the first nine months of 2012. Overall YTD shipments remained fairly steady, down slightly from a year ago but still higher than every other year since 2006.

“Through the first three quarters of 2012, we have seen a nearly 25 percent increase in steel shipments driven by increased demand in the manufacturing sector,” said Rich Cooper, CEO for the Ports of Indiana. “Having direct access to international shipments through the St. Lawrence Seaway and the inland river system is a major competitive advantage for port companies. Three new steel-related businesses have already opened facilities at our port in 2012 and we expect to see additional increases in shipments as those operations come online.”

Though U.S. grain exports have been down along the Seaway for several months, early September saw a flurry of activity in the Port of Duluth-Superior, spurred by the arrival of four ocean-going ships within the space of little more than a week. The ships headed to the CHS terminal in Superior where they loaded a total of 71,100 metric tons of spring wheat, durum wheat and canola bound for Italy, Germany/Belgium and Mexico, respectively.

Iron ore shipments through the Seaway were down 17 percent in September to 1million metric tons versus the same time last year. Year-to-date figures for iron ore were up 22 percent to 7.7 million metric tons. Coal shipments for power generation and steel production totaled 588,000 metric tons in September an increase of 33 percent from September 2011. Year-to-date coal shipments rose to 3.3 million metric tons a 31 percent hike over 2011.

Cement shipments had a 22 percent increase in September 2012 over last year as construction work continued throughout the Great Lakes states. Year-to-date shipments posted a 22 percent hike to 1.2 million metric tons.


Cargo ships' ballast water becomes battleground

10/12 - Lansing, Mich. – The underbellies of cargo ships and their ballast water have become a battleground for environmentalists and shipping businesses throughout the Great Lakes.

Michigan's rigorous treatment standards for ballast water — which most large vessels use as a balancing mechanism when carrying heavy cargo — have caused friction between environmental and industrial interests as legislators consider a proposal that might keep invasive aquatic animals out of the lakes without crippling the state's shipping industry.

A bill sponsored by Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, would lessen the standards and allow ships to use ballast water exchange, a method of exchanging freshwater ballast for saltwater ballast without additional treatment. That change would match national and international requirements put in place by the U.S. Coast Guard and the International Maritime Organization.

Bill supporters argue that looser standards would help rebuild the state's shipping industry and allow more seafaring vessels to export Michigan cargo, but environmental activists and some senators are concerned the lowered standards will make the Great Lakes more susceptible to invasive animals.

Historically, ballast water has been one of the main vehicles for transporting invasive species into the lakes, and the current standards were put in place to prevent the onslaught of more invasive species from foreign waters.

Under current Michigan requirements, ballast water must be almost as clean as drinking water — a nearly impossible standard, said Paul LaMarre III, director of the Port of Monroe. By lowering the standard to internationally accepted levels, he said the state would open itself to more shipping companies that don't have the money to implement costly water cleaning technology, which would be a boon to a hurting industry.

"Michigan standing firm on this legislation does nothing but economically hurt our state," LaMarre said. "Of course we need to be stewards of these great waterways, but we need to take a regional approach to doing that."

The bill would change a 2005 law that imposes rigorous standards on ships carrying ballast water. It's currently before the Senate's Natural Resources, Environment and Great Lakes Committee. Committee Vice Chair Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, said she hadn't seen any hard data indicating negative effects on the shipping industry because of the law and currently opposes the legislation.

Michigan Environmental Council policy director James Clift said the danger ballast water poses to the Great Lakes cannot be ignored. Although the proposal would require ballast water exchange, he said some aquatic animals can adapt well in salt water and could make it through the flush.

"It is not going to be good enough for the Great Lakes," Clift said. "Dropping those standards would probably allow more species to establish themselves."

Traverse City Record-Eagle


Ferry line, town continue to pursue Detroit Harbor funding

10/12 - Washington, Wis. – To combat the declining water levels on Lake Michigan, the Washington Island Ferry Line and the town of Washington continue to pursue funding to dredge the navigation channel in Detroit Harbor.

The Washington Island Observer reports that after the Wisconsin Department of Transportation turned down a request for a Harbor Assistance Program grant this past spring, the ferry line signed a second contract with Foth Environmental for a continuation of Foth's assistance in supplying WisDOT and the WisDOT-associated Harbor Advisory Council with additional data about conditions in the channel.

WIFL President Hoyt Purinton tells the paper that the DOT had some funds left over after their grant year and the ferry line is trying to get a smaller request, off-cycle, to obtain funding for final engineering studies and core sampling.

Purinton sas water levels continue to drop and are on pace to go "well below" the recent low level reached in 2007. He's hoping to get an answer from the state on the off-cycle funding before the end of October.

Door County Daily News


Search for the wreck of the Griffon resumes

10/12 - The search for the oldest shipwreck in the Great Lakes resumed this month. The team that says it might have found the wreck, Great Lakes Exploration, is moving ahead after closing a legal dispute with the State of Michigan. They're trying to prove that what they've found in northern Lake Michigan could be a French ship that disappeared in 1679. And they're near the end of what they can do without digging into the bottom of the lake.

It's been 30 years since Great Lakes Exploration began searching for the Griffon. In fact, the original team has been at it so long, they're running out of time to see it through themselves.

Jim Kucharski is one of the divers on the team. But he wasn't in the water last week because he recently had a heart attack. Just one of the original divers, Kucharski's brother Tom, was in good shape for diving on the recent trip. "Time takes its toll. We're all getting older. I was like 30 years old when I started this and I'm 63 now," he said.

The group, out of Dayton, Ohio, has spent countless vacations camping and combing the bottom of northern Lake Michigan. Their leader, Steve Libert, lives in Virginia now.

Libert says his interest in the Griffon goes back to junior high. That was when he first heard of the French explorer Robert de La Salle, and his ship with a mythical animal carved on the stern, half lion and half eagle. "It was a figurehead to ward off evil spirits and protect the ship and they called it the Griffon," he recalls.

The location of the ship has been the subject of some debate over the centuries. La Salle was not on the boat himself when it disappeared. The historian Francis Parkman says La Salle believed his crew betrayed him, sunk the ship and made off with the load of furs.

Libert says when he started looking in Lake Michigan he was criticized by people who thought the wreck was in Lake Huron. That's because it was said that it went down among the Huron Islands. But he says Huron was a term for wicked. So Libert's group searched around the islands off the Garden Peninsula near Green Bay, a stretch of lake that has claimed its share of boats.

In 2001, the divers found a beam of wood sticking up from the bottom with a few pegs in it. Libert thinks that could be the bowsprit of the Griffon. Survey work done since then has started to outline the shape of something buried beneath it. Something that is curved like the hull of a boat and close to 20 feet wide, which is the size of the object they're looking for.

So now they're trying to figure how long it is.

They brought in Mark Holley, a nautical archeologist who specializes in this kind of survey work. Using low-frequency sound waves he can delineate objects as far down as a 100 feet in the bottom of the lake.

The information gathered on this trip will have to be processed before it will mean anything but then it should show a pretty good outline of whatever it is they've found.

And at that point, Great Lakes Exploration will be close to the end of what it can do with remote sensing equipment. Metal detectors might also help, since the Griffon was armed with guns and cannons.

The next step will be to get out the shovels and see what's down there. But that will require a permit from the State of Michigan. And this group has not been on the best of terms with the state. In fact, they've fought in court for most of the last 20 years.

Steve Libert is convinced there's something important down there and is confident they'll soon demonstrate it's worth a look.

"This location is not going to stay hidden for a lot of years," warns Libert. "There'll be people coming in here, diving, dropping huge anchors trying to plow the bottom. If we don't get those permits and start excavation that site can be destroyed."

But nothing like this has ever been done in the Great Lakes. When asked what it might take to get a permit the archeologist, Mark Holley, says he has no idea.

"That's up for grabs."


Waterspouts over Lake Ontario lead to marine warnings

10/12 - Fair Haven, N.Y. – Two waterspouts were spotted on Lake Ontario off Fair Haven Thursday morning and conditions are expected to remain ripe for more to form until early afternoon, the National Weather Service said.

The weather service’s Buffalo office has issued a special marine warning about the waterspouts effective until 12:30 p.m. It covers the lake from Braddock Bay to Stony Point, including Sodus Bay, Fair Haven and Oswego, and warns boaters to seek safe harbors.

Waterspouts are tornadoes over water. An observer at Fair Haven State Park saw two of them shortly after 10:30 a.m. over the water northeast of the park and heading northeast about 30 mph toward Oswego, the weather service said.

No other waterspouts had been seen since then, Jim Mitchell, a meteorologist at the Buffalo weather service office, said shortly before noon.

Waterspouts can develop during autumn as cold air from Canada streams over the warm Lake Ontario waters. Showers over the lake help them form.

Mitchell said lake effects showers had crossed the lake over the morning but were expected to weaken by early afternoon, reducing the chances for waterspout.

The Post- Standard


Updates -  October 12

News Photo Gallery


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 It was scrapped in 2011.

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.

1912: MARENGO, a wooden schooner under tow of the LLOYD S. PORTER, broke loose in a storm, came ashore west of Port Colborne and was pounded to pieces by the waves. The anchor was salvaged and now sits on the lawn of Port Colborne High School.

1912: S.K. MARTIN began leaking in heavy weather and sank in Lake Erie off Harbor Creek, NY. The coal laden wooden steamer ran for shore but the effort fell short. The crew took to the lifeboat and were saved. The ship went down bow first and rested on the bottom in 56 feet of water.

1918: The wooden tug ELLA G. STONE was destroyed by a brush fire that swept through the town of Cloquet, MN. Several scows, tugs and a dredge as well as over 400 lives were lost.

1941: ENARE, a Great Lakes visitor in 1932-1933, sustained heavy damage in an air attack in the North Sea as h) GLYNN. The ship was subsequently sunk by a convoy escort as a hazard to navigation. It had also been a Great Lakes trader as f) FLAKS in 1933 and 1934.

1991: ZIEMIA GNIEZNIENSKA hit the wall at Lock 7 and dislodged a chunk of concrete. The Welland Canal was closed for three days.

2002: STELLANOVA and CANADIAN PROSPECTOR were in a head-on collision on the Seaway near Cote St. Catherine and both ships sustained considerable damage. The former was repaired at Les Mechins and the latter at Port Weller Dry Docks.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Russ Plumb, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Jimaan aground in Lake Erie

10/11 - 5 p.m. update - One of the two ferries that service Pelee Island on Lake Erie at the southernmost point in Ontario has run aground. With low water levels, the Jimaan got hung up on a sandbar 200 feet off shore Thursday afternoon. Levels aren't expected to improve until after midnight.

The ship is loaded with two transport trucks hauling grain, 18 passengers and 15 crew members. No damage has been reported.

The ferry company says everyone is safe. A second ferry will be pressed into service tomorrow.

CBC Radio


Great Lakes coal trade down 10-plus percent in September

10/11 - Cleveland, Ohio – Shipments of coal on the Great Lakes totaled 3,049,705 tons in September, an increase of 6.3 percent compared to August, but a drop of 10.1 percent compared to a year ago. Compared to the month’s 5-year average, loadings were down 14.5 percent.

Overseas shipments from Superior, Wisconsin, continued in September. Coal shipped to Quebec City for reloading into oceangoing vessels totaled 192,000 tons. For the season, the overseas trade from Superior Midwest Energy Terminal totals 1,173,000 tons.

Year-to-date the Lakes coal trade stands at 17.5 million tons, a decrease of 8.1 percent compared to a year ago. Loadings are nearly 26 percent behind the 5-year average for the first three quarters of the year.

Lake Carriers Association


Port Reports -  October 11

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic Wednesday morning included Roger Blough loading iron ore pellets at CN ore dock, Paul R. Tregurtha at Midwest Energy Terminal loading coal destined for St. Clair and Monroe, and Philip R. Clarke fueling before proceeding to Hallett 5 to unload stone.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Wednesday morning at the Lower Harbor, John J. Boland unloaded western coal from Superior at the Shiras Dock. She was scheduled to load ore at the Upper Harbor after unloading.

St. Marys River
Water levels as low as minus 19 in the Rock Cut sent the Lakes Contender and Ken Boothe Sr. to the Nine Mile anchorage at mid-evening. She was getting ready to resume her downbound trip just after midnight, as the water was coming back up.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Tug Bradshaw McKee and barge Cleveland Rocks were loading at the Marblehead stone dock of Lafarge Corp.


Updates -  October 11

Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - New pictures in the Howard L Shaw 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.

1923: The canal-sized steamer GLENGELDIE, enroute from Killarney to Welland with a cargo of quartz rock, hit bottom in Georgian Bay and had to be towed to Collingwood for over $15,000 in repairs to the starboard side. The ship later sailed for Canada Steamship Lines as b) ELGIN.

1924: SENATOR DARBYSHIRE, a wooden bulk carrier upbound and in ballast, was destroyed by a fire on Lake Ontario, and sank near Point Petre Light. The crew fought the early morning blaze but eventually had to abandon the ship and was picked up by MAPLEBAY. Capt. J.W. Scarrow was later a master for Canada Steamship Lines.

1942: WATERTON was lost due to enemy action in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The former Misener freighter, operating for the Bowater Steamship Co., was attacked with 2 torpedoes from U-106 and went down in the Cabot Strait in 8 minutes. All on board got off safely. The ship was traveling from Cornerbrook, NF, to Cleveland with newsprint and pulpwood.

1982: The Israeli freighter DAGAN made 18 trips to the Great Lakes from 1959 to 1967. It ran aground on Cay Sal Bank, north of Cuba, as f) CORK and was abandoned the next day as a total loss.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Coast Guard transports crewman from vessel in Lake Superior

10/10 - Chicago, Ill. - The Coast Guard conducted a medical evacuation of a 45-year-old man from the Joseph L. Block in Lake Superior, one and a half miles offshore of Marquette, Mich., Tuesday afternoon.

The man's name and hometown are not being released. A search-and-rescue coordinator from Coast Guard Sector Sault Sainte Marie, Mich., received notification at 5:30 a.m. from the crew of the vessel Joseph L. Block who stated that one of the crewmembers was suffering from tightness in his chest and was having difficulty breathing.

After conferring with a flight surgeon, it was determined that the man should be evacuated for further treatment. When the vessel arrived closer to shore, a rescue boat crew launched aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium from Coast Guard Station Marquette.

The rescue boat crew arrived on scene at about 2:25 p.m., transferred the man onto the RB-M, and transported him to the small boat station where emergency medical services were waiting. The man was transferred in stable condition.

"We're glad that the crew of the vessel took the necessary precautions for the safety of their shipmate," said Chief Petty Officer Matthew Henry, a command duty officer at Sector Sault Sainte Marie, "and that we were able to help bring him ashore for further medical treatment."

U.S. Coast Guard


Port Reports -  October 10

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Sam Laud was loading Tuesday night at the Lafarge Corp. aggregate dock on the Marblehead Peninsula for Cleveland.

Kingston, Ont. – Ron Walsh
Two of the "Big" grain barges have been tied at the old elevator site for a month or so. The tug W. N. Twolan arrived in Kingston about 6:45 a.m. Tuesday. Their check in with Seaway Clayton indicated they would be there for at least 24 hours and their next port would be Oshawa. At 8:20 a.m. the W. N. Twolan and two grain barges were tied at the old elevator dock. The Big 543 and Big 546 are tied at the old Richardson Dock. There was a strong wind warning issued for Lake Ontario.


Low water boosts cost of power, cuts Great Lakes shipping profits

10/10 - Low water and continued dredging problems on the Great Lakes are burdening many industries. Shippers are forced to go with lighter loads, utilities face unforeseen operations costs and recreational boaters quit the season earlier than usual

“Conditions are getting worse earlier. The lowest water usually happens in January,” said Tom O’Bryan, area engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which monitors the levels and reports weekly updates. “But this year we are in a downward cycle, which means we can reach the lowest level in the lakes starting in November.”

That means less cargo shipping, less boating and less fish for people to eat, O’Bryan said.

Owners of marinas and charter fishing operations worried about long-term revenue. Many boaters were unable to dock and marinas and harbors and were forced to quit the season up to five weeks early.

Meanwhile, many shipping companies have lightened their loads. Crews are carefully passing through shallow waters and dredging areas to avoid running aground.

“Low water cost us big money and affects our business very badly,” said Mark Barker, president of The Interlake Steamship Co. in Richfield, Ohio. The water level at some ports and harbors dictate how much cargo vessels can carry.

Grand River Navigation Co., a shipping company based in Avon Lake, Ohio, is loading less cargo. Every port is different and in some places the water is only 20 feet above the sea level, making it difficult to load and unload the ship, said Mark Rohn, president of the company.

This summer vessels couldn’t get close to the dock at Fairport Harbor in Cleveland and it took longer than expected to unload the ships, said Edward Wiltse, the company’s vice president of operations. “It is not efficient and makes our work less cost effective versus other means of cargo transportation,” Wiltse said.

Great Lakes ships move coal for power generation, iron ore for the steel industry and cement for construction. Freighters also ship salt, sand and grain. Utility officials worry that the low water increases general operation costs.

Consumers Energy in Jackson, Mich., used smaller vessels to ship coal on time to several of its power plants, said Jeff Holyfield, director of news and information for the utility. That added to operation costs.

Annette Allen, general manager of Grand Haven Light and Power, in Grand Haven, Mich, said that if the water gets much lower that it will also be adding shipments to lighten loads.

“It will certainly increase our transportation costs which are not foreseen in our budget,” she said. The company annually ships about 1 million tons of cargo, mostly coal for power generation.

Timely dredging of harbors is another major financial obstacle for shipping companies, Allen said. Some harbors are not dredged on time, forcing shippers to take different routes or deliver cargo in several trips.

“Companies are forced to spend more money than they should,” said Glen Nekvasil, vice –president of the Lake Carriers Association. According to Nekvasil, both the water and dredging crisis impacted the coal trade in August. It accounted for 64,678 tons, well below the record 70,903 tons set in August 1997.

The Lake Carriers Association has called on the federal government to increase the budget for dredging harbors and channels in the Great Lakes. The association’s annual report indicates that only 17 of the 63 federally maintained ports are being dredged this year.

“The money is there, we just need to get Washington to spend it for the intended purpose,” Nekvasil said.

The Lake Carriers Association represents 17 American companies that operate 57 U.S-flag vessels on the Great Lakes. Collectively members transport more than 115 million tons of cargo each year.

Great Lakes Echo


Former Coast Guard cutter Bramble added to National Register list

10/10 - Port Huron, Mich. – The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bramble and four other Michigan entities have been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The Bramble is significant because its one of the first American vessels to successfully circumnavigate the North American continent through the Northwest Passage. It was decommissioned in 2003 and is moored in Port Huron.

The other additions announced Monday by the state include the J.J. Deal and Son Carriage Factory in Jonesville, the Hamtramck Stadium site that was a home for Negro Leagues baseball, the Eagle Harbor Coast Guard Station Boathouse in Keweenaw County and the Island City Historic District in Eaton Rapids. Eight additional properties in Michigan were recently nominated to the National Register by the State Historic Preservation Review Board.

Port Huron Times Herald


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.

1923: HURONTON, a Canadian freighter, sank in Lake Superior off Caribou Island following a collision on the foggy lake with the CETUS. The vessel went down in 800 feet of water in 18 minutes but all on board were rescued.

1927: MICHIPICOTEN, of the Owen Sound Transportation Co., was destroyed by a fire at Gore Bay, on Manitoulin Island.

1963: The wooden freighter VAUQUELIN caught fire and sank in the St. Lawrence northeast of Quebec City off Cap Saumon. The vessel had previously sailed as a) LA RIVIERE MALBAIE.

1969: The T-2 tanker CARIBBEAN SKY visited the Seaway for 3 trips in 1960-1961 before being converted to a bulk carrier. The engine exploded and disintegrated during dock trials after repairs at Antwerp, Belgium, as f) LAKE PLACID, with the loss of one life. The hull settled but was pumped out and declared a CTL. It was towed to Rotterdam in 1971, repaired and returned to service as g) GARANDA. The after end again proved to be troublesome and was cut off and scrapped. The bow was joined to after end of the Panamanian tanker AKRON and the ship returned to service under this name. It was finally dismantled in Pakistan during 1981.

1987: The wheat-laden WILLOWGLEN went aground on the north side of Ogden Island in the St. Lawrence. The ship was released on October 13 and later went to Port Weller Dry Docks for repairs.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Great Lakes iron ore trade off 7 percent in September

10/9 - Cleveland, Ohio – Iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 5.9 million tons in September, a decrease of 7.3 percent compared to August and 7 percent below the level of a year ago. Shipments were, however, 6.1 percent ahead of September’s 5-year average.

Shipments from U.S. ports totaled 5,052,532 tons, a decrease of 10.2 percent compared to a year ago. Included in that total were 360,000 tons shipped to Quebec City for final delivery overseas.

No iron ore was loaded in Escanaba, Michigan, in September as the dock was undergoing scheduled maintenance. Loadings at Canadian ports rose 10 percent (80,000 tons).

Through September the iron ore trade stands at 44.6 million tons, an increase of 3.5 percent compared to a year ago, and 16.2 percent better than the 5-year average for the first three quarters.

Shipments from U.S. ports are up 1.7 percent compared to a year ago, and 16.9 percent ahead of their 5-year average. Loadings at Canadian ports are up 18.4 percent compared to a year ago, and 11.3 percent ahead of their 5-year average.

Lake Carriers' Association


Port Reports -  October 9

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic early Monday included James R. Barker loading at Midwest Energy Terminal, Arthur M. Anderson arriving at CN ore dock to load iron ore pellets, Joseph L. Block loading at Hallett 5, Miedwe loading at Peavey elevator, Vancouverborg loading at General Mills, John J. Boland arriving to unload at Graymont, Burns Harbor loading at BNSF ore dock in Superior, and Herbert C. Jackson arriving to load at CHS elevator.

Hancock, Mich. - Ryan Greenleaf
Algolake arrived in Hancock Sunday morning at the Yalmer Mattila dock to unload road salt for the coming winter. The vessel unloaded most of the afternoon and departed at approximately 5:45 p.m., headed for Superior, Wis.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
A busy Sunday afternoon at the harbors in Marquette found fleetmates Kaye E. Barker and Hon. James L. Oberstar loading ore at the Upper Harbor and Great Lakes Trader unloading stone at the Lower Harbor.

Green Bay, Wis. - Jake Heffernan
Manitowoc arrived in Green Bay Sunday afternoon with a load of coal for Georgia Pacific.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
CSL's Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin began loading late Monday at the NS Sandusky coal dock. The tug Bradshaw McKee and barge Cleveland Rocks loaded overnight at the Lafarge Corp. stone dock at Marblehead and sailed to Cleveland during the day Monday.


Charting the course at Great Lakes Maritime Center

10/9 - Port Huron, Mich. – There weren’t any freighters coming up the river as Jo Ann Fox sat in the Great Lakes Maritime Center at Vantage Point in Port Huron on Friday afternoon, but she said that didn’t detract from the experience.

The Brown Summitt, N.C., woman said she and her husband have been driving to Port Huron every year for the last five years to see the fall foliage and watch the freighters cruise by. “We just love it here,” she said. “This is a fine place.”

Fine as it may be, owner Acheson Ventures believes the seven-year-old center is starting to show its age. The company is planning a feasibility study of building a new center, and the city of Port Huron and St. Clair County are kicking in $15,000 and $10,000 respectively of the $33,000 needed for the study.

“The current center was built in 2005 using four modular units that are 1,500 square feet each,” said Rich Engle, vice president of Acheson Ventures. “It was only meant to be temporary, and over the years it has started to show some wear. We have reached the point that we either do something permanent to replace it or make major renovations to what we have, which doesn’t make good economic sense.”

Acheson Ventures wants to build a new and permanent Maritime Center.

Plans call for a 15,800-square-foot, two-story facility — more than two and half times the current space — that will have a lot of bells and whistles that the current facility lacks.

The plans will preserve the ship viewing area and café, as well as the popular underwater live camera feeds. The proposal would also add a retail shop, children’s activity area and rentable office space on the first floor. The second floor would be home to several attractions, including:

• An immersion-style weather deck with a 3-D screen, Dolby Digital sound and water mist feature that will allow people to feel what it’s like to be on the water
• A cargo hold area that will feature a touch tank containing invasive species of fish and shellfish and revolving displays of themed cargo such as lures and artifacts recovered from the Great Lakes basin
• A “dome-style” theater that will be used to show films highlighting the Great Lakes and other films of interest to the public
• A walkout second-story deck, part of which is a replica of a large walleye that is capable of supporting visitors in its mouth
• A fish tube containing live Great Lakes fish species.

Adjacent to the Maritime Center, Acheson Ventures also hopes to construct a year-round market center, an outdoor amphitheater and laser light shows that would turn the ice floes on the St. Clair River during the winter months into a natural art show.

“I’m sure having those attractions would help,” said Charles Ouellette Sr., of Marysville, as he sipped a cup of coffee at the Maritime Center on Friday. “I think we could use a bigger (Maritime Center), because sometimes it gets kind of crowded in here.”

The whole project is estimated to cost between $7 and $8 million, which is the rub. Engle said Jim Acheson, the man behind Acheson Ventures, believes the cost is too high for a single private investor to absorb. The project will only move forward if Acheson Ventures — a for-profit company — can find a nonprofit partner that is eligible for grant funding.

In the quest to find a public partner, Engle said the company was encouraged to have a feasibility study done on its plan.

“These are attractions that we know work, because we used the temporary site as a test for many of them,” Engle said. “We have put together a business plan that shows the center is sustainable, but we want to have an outside expert confirm that.”

Engle recently presented the plan for a new center to both the Port Huron City Council and St. Clair County Board of Commissioners and asked for financial support for the $33,000 feasibility study.

Port Huron City Council approved spending $15,000 on the study, which will come from the MDOT mitigation funds; St. Clair County Administrator Bill Kauffman authorized nearly $10,000. Acheson Ventures will pick up the remaining $8,000.

Acheson Ventures has selected 4ward Planning of Pittsburgh, Pa., to conduct a feasibility study on the new Maritime Center plan. Engle said it was one of five companies Port Huron City Manager Bruce Brown recommended.

The county and the city have not committed to helping with the actual construction of the Maritime Center.

Port Huron Times Herald


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 pilothouse 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, with her original name recently restored.

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 was rescued by a fish tug from Stokes Bay.

1871: The wooden steamer NAVARINO burned at Chicago as part of the Great Fire. The tug MAGNOLIA had tried to tow the vessel to the safety of Lake Michigan but the ship stranded. The remains were later refloated and used as a barge while the engine was installed in the MENOMINEE in 1872.

1907: CYPRUS cleared Superior with a cargo of iron ore for Lackawanna, NY on only the second trip. The vessel sank two days later and there was only one survivor. The hull was found on the bottom of Lake Superior in 2007 in 460 feet of water.

1922: TURRET CROWN ran aground off Cove Island, Georgian Bay, but was later salvaged.

1944: The German freighter LUDOLF OLDENDORFF, a Great Lakes trader as a) WESTMOUNT (i) and as e) TRACTOR, was sunk by British aircraft at Egersund, Norway.

1968: BUCKEYE, under tow for scrapping overseas, began drifting in rough weather when the anchors were unable to hold off Port Colborne. The ship was blown aground west of the city and the hull remained stuck until November 29.

2001: The Maltese flag freighter SYLVIA ran over a buoy below the Eisenhower Lock and the mooring chain was wrapped around the propeller. The cable was freed and the ship proceeded to Port Weller Dry Docks for repairs arriving October 19 and returning to service on October 27. The ship had previously been inland as a) CHIMO when new in 1981 and first returned as d) SYLVIA in 2000. The vessel was noted as h) INTERCROWN and registered in Cambodia as of 2010.

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


Port Reports -  October 8

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic Sunday morning included Joseph L. Block arriving to load fines and mill scale at Hallett 6 in Duluth, Mesabi Miner loading at Midwest Energy Terminal and Miedwe at the Peavey elevator in Superior. Later in the day, John G. Munson arrived to unload stone at Hallett 8 in Superior and Lee A. Tregurtha arrived to fuel and then proceeded to CN ore dock to load.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin loaded overnight at the NS coal dock and sailed early Sunday for Nanticoke. She was expected to arrive at the NS dock for another load early Monday. Meantime, the Algoma Enterprise loaded throughout Sunday at the NS dock and departed downbound late in the afternoon for Hamilton, as the normal autumnal stockpiling of coal began at the Canadian steel mills.

Toronto, Ont. - Jens Juhl
At 4 p.m. Saturday the English River backed into the Polson Street slip with another load of cement for Lafarge. At Redpath, technicians were doing mechanical maintenance on the Sennebogen 880 Greenline unloader. Overnight the English River unloaded and departed while the bulker Pochard arrived at Redpath. At 4 p.m Sunday afternoon, technicians were still fine-tuning the Sennebogen.


Updates -  October 8

News Photo Gallery


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 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.

1899: The tug RECORD sank at Duluth after a collision with the whaleback steamer JAMES B. NEILSON and one life was lost.

1906: The barge PASADENA, loaded with iron ore for Cleveland and under tow of the steamer GLADSTONE, was cut loose approaching the Keweenaw Waterway. The anchors fail to hold. The ship smashed into the east pier of the waterway and broke up on the rocks. Seven sailors are rescued but two are lost.

1964: A fire aboard West German flag freighter ERATO at Detroit left two dead when they were trapped in their stern quarters. Another three sailors were injured. The 2-alarm blaze was brought under control and the ship was eventually repaired at Toledo. It arrived at Bombay, India, and laid up as d) VIJAYA DARSHANA on May 26, 1983, and eventually scrapped there beginning in May 1986.

1971: DIDO went aground leaving Goole, U.K. for Porsgrunn, Norway, but returned to Goole the next day after being refloated. The 22-year old Norwegian freighter was listed as a total loss and sold for scrap. It was taken to Hull, U.K., a year later and dismantled. The ship had been a pre-Seaway trader as early as 1951 and made 14 voyages to the Great Lakes from 1959 through 1963.

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


Port Reports -  October 7

South Chicago
James L. Kuber loaded petroluem coke at the Beemsterboer Dock in Chicago on Friday. The Kuber arrived early morning under the area's first taste of autumn weather, with rain and sleet showers. Also spotted was the Alpena inbound, destined for the silos at Lafarge Cement.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
CSL's Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin began loading Saturday afternoon at the NS coal dock on Sandusky Bay. At Marblehead, the barge Pathfinder was loading at the Lafarge stone dock.

Hamilton, Ont. - Eric Holmes
Algoma Provider departed Hamilton at 9 a.m. heading toward the canal. It's her first time out of the harbor this year.


Lorain County Sheriff’s Office boat inoperable

10/7 - Lorain, Ohio – The Lorain County Sheriff’s Office boat is inoperable for the rest of the season because of damage incurred when a freighter struck it Wednesday night. “It’s going to render us inoperable until further notice,” Chief Deputy Dennis Cavanaugh said. “It’s unfortunate.”

Normally, the sheriff’s office uses the boat for marine patrol until the middle of October or sometimes even November.

The 350 Red Challenger Boston Whaler has been sent back to its manufacturer, Brunswick, in Fla. for an examination. The extent of the damage is unknown at this time. A few spots on the fiberglass of the boat appeared to be cracked.

“We anticipate the structure may be damaged,” Cavanaugh said. The 36-foot boat was docked at the Lorain U.S. Coast Guard Station when it got pinched and wedged against the dock by the freighter John D. Leitch.

“That’s a lot of force,” Cavanaugh said. The sheriff’s office insurance company and the freight lines’ insurance company are working together. A cost estimate of the damage was unavailable. The boat is funded through the U.S. Border Patrol’s Stone Garden Grant.

If something happens through the end of the year that requires a marine response, the sheriff’s office will have to rely on Cuyahoga and Erie counties’ boats, in addition to working with the U.S. Coast Guard and Border Patrol.

“We’ll be missing out on our normal patrols,” Cavanaugh said. The boat normally starts patrols in March, but it is uncertain if the boat will be usable by then. “It’s hard telling,” Cavanaugh said.

The crash happened about 7 p.m. Wednesday night. The John D. Leitch was leaving the Black River when it struck the unoccupied sheriff’s boat. The U.S. Coast Guard and Lorain police responded and police tested a captain and three officers for alcohol. All of the tests came back negative. No one was injured. The incident is still under investigation.

The Morning Journal


Wind turbine parts unloaded in Muskegon

10/7 - Muskegon, Mich. – The wind turbine blades coming off the foreign ships at the Mart Dock on Muskegon Lake are big from a distance, but they look a lot bigger up close. Just ask the 60 or so Muskegon-area residents who got a rare tour Thursday of the commercial dock on Muskegon Lake.

The wind power and Great Lakes shipping fans saw West Michigan crews offloading the last of 31 German-made wind turbine blades from the foreign cargo ship Amstelborg, which is German owned and of Dutch registry.

The 22,000-pound blades that are 192 feet long were stacked on the Mart Dock for overland shipment to the Beebe Community Wind Farm near Ithaca in Gratiot County. A convoy of seven trucks – three carrying blades and four carrying turbine tower sections from South Korea – leaves the Mart Dock for a trip through downtown Muskegon and east on Apple Avenue every morning Mondays through Thursdays.

“They are huge, no doubt,” said Mike Smith, a Muskegon resident who is a retired production worker from the former Sappi paper mill. “I have come out and watched them move those blades from the gate. I just wanted to get a close-up look.

Smith said he is in awe of the West Michigan longshoremen and local crane operators from Erickson’s Inc. from North Muskegon.

“They sure know what they are doing,” he said of the workers, who include specialized truck operators from two companies in Indiana. “The expertise they need to have is just amazing.”

The Mart Dock opened its gates to the public for a noontime tour to watch workers handle the wind turbine parts and offload the 462-foot Amstelborg because local residents have expressed so much interest in the port activities associated with the seven foreign vessels coming here with the equipment from Germany and South Korea.

“We want to promote wind power and the movement of this kind of equipment through Muskegon’s port,” said Max McKee, chairman of the Muskegon-based Sand Products Corp. – parent company of the Mart Dock. “And this was just going to be fun.”

McKee said that opening up the historic Mart Dock for the tour was in the spirit of the “Love Muskegon” movement, created by a group of young professionals in town who are promoting and celebrating what is good about their community. The Mart Dock catered sandwiches for their noon guests from the nearby Fatty Lumpkin’s Sandwich Shack.

Sand Products' Ed Hogan and Nordex field quality engineer Devin Linehan provided technical information for the tour guests and answered questions. Nordex is the wind turbine company supplying the Beebe wind farm, a Chicago-based company with more than a dozen wind developments from Maryland to Colorado.

The first question from the pro-West Michigan visitors is why such parts had to be sourced in Germany and South Korea. Linehan explained that the “value-added” portion of the 43 turbines being constructed in Gratiot County – the hubs, gearbox and generator in the “nacelle” – are produced in the company’s Arkansas plant.

However, Nordex was unable to secure blades and tower sections from U.S. sources due to the disruption in the domestic wind energy manufacturing sector from the Congressional delay in reauthorizing the federal “production tax credit” that provides an economic incentive for wind turbines, Linehan. With the uncertainty of Congressional action, production was halted at several U.S. plants and 2013 turbine construction was moved into the 2012 construction season.

There were no blades or tower section available for the Beebe wind farm, which will be completed and producing energy by the end of the year. The alternative energy tax credits are expected to be reauthorized after the Nov. 6 election but such a delay created a lost year of domestic production, Linehan said.

The Mart Dock tour was a family affair for Dona Morgan of Norton Shores, who came with her children and grandchildren. The registered nurse at Mercy Health Partners Hackley Campus said she was glad Thursday was her day off.

“I am really impressed with how large these things are,” Morgan said watching the Amstelborg be unloaded from a loading dock deck on the east end of a Mart Dock warehouse. “It is quite a production.” The increased port activity began with the first of the seven foreign ships arriving Aug. 22. The Amstelborg was expected to leave Muskegon late in the day Thursday as the fifth of the series of ships – the Marlene Green – was steaming south on Lake Michigan headed for Muskegon.

The 462-foot Marlene Green will enter the Muskegon port with turbine tower sections from South Korea either early Thursday evening or at first light Friday morning. The last two foreign ships with blades from Germany will be in Muskegon later this fall, Hogan said.

“Muskegon has not had something like this in a long time,” Smith said. Mlive


Harsens Island final event of the 2012 lecture series

10/7 - Harsens Island Mich. – The Harsens Island St. Clair Flats Historical Society will sponsor Joel Stone, Senior Curator, Detroit Historical Society, who will present “Committed to the Deep Exploring Underwater Treasures,” Saturday October 13 at 3 p.m. at the Lions Hall on Harsens Island.

The Detroit Historical Society, which oversees the Detroit Historical Museum, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, and the artifactual collection of the City of Detroit. Raised in the Detroit area, Stone studied journalism, history, archeology, and archival management at the University of Detroit, Wayne State University, and the University College Cork, Ireland. He supports a number of regional history organizations, and is a board member of the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History

Please make your reservations for this event as seating is limited


“Final Voyage” book reprinted

10/7 - "Final Voyage: Lakers Scrapped Far From Home", has been reprinted after not having been available for several years. Originally published in 2006, the 152 page book provided a photographic record and brief history of the numerous ships that left the Great Lakes, since the Seaway opened in 1959, for scrapping overseas. An additional update of 4 pages have been added with five photos by Selim San from the scrapyard at Aliaga, Turkey, to record the most recent overseas demolitions. The updated reprint is available from Skip Gillham, 3750 King St., Vineland, Ontario L0R 2C0 for $30.


Updates -  October 7

Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - New pictures in the Howard L Shaw gallery


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.

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

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."

1902: ANN MARIA hit a sandbar approaching Kincardine while inbound with a cargo of coal and broke up as a total loss. Four crew and a volunteer rescuer were reported as lost.

1917: GEORGE A. GRAHAM was wrecked off Manitoulin Island, Georgian Bay, when the cargo shifted when turning in a storm. The ship ran for the safety of South Bay but stranded on the rocks. All on board were saved but the ship was a total loss.

1919: The wooden steamer HELEN TAYLOR was damaged by a fire in the pilothouse near Hessel, MI but was repaired.

1937: M & F DREDGE NO. 14, Hull 39 from the Collingwood shipyard, foundered in the St. Lawrence off Batiscan, QC as b) D.M. DREDGE NO. 14.

1956: The consort barge DELKOTE of the Hindman fleet was adrift for 9 hours in a Lake Superior storm with 13 on board and waves up to 20 feet. The ship had broken loose of the GEORGE HINDMAN but was picked up by the CAPT. C.D. SECORD.

1968: EDWARD Y. TOWNSEND, under tow for scrapping in Bilbao, Spain, broke in two about 400 miles southeast of St. John's, NF and the bow sank. The stern was apparently retrieved and towed into Santander, Spain, for scrapping on October 28.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Russ Plumb, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


CSL’s Trillium-Class Baie St. Paul sets sail for the Great Lakes

10/6 - Jiangyin, China – Baie St. Paul, Canada Steamship Lines’ first of four new Trillium-Class self‐unloading Lakers – and the most technologically advanced ship to enter the Great Lakes‐St. Lawrence Seaway bulk shipping market – set sail Friday on her maiden voyage from Chengxi shipyard in Jiangyin, China to Montreal, Quebec.

“Every first voyage of a new ship is an exciting event, but with the Baie St. Paul, the occasion is truly historic as CSL prepares to welcome the most modern vessel in the Great Lakes,” remarked Louis Martel, President of Canada Steamship Lines. “We are very proud of this achievement and are grateful to the design and newbuild teams for the hard work and dedication they have devoted to this challenging project and continue to apply to every new Trillium Class vessel.”

Commanded by Captain Mike Despotovich and Chief Engineer Dominique Tanguay, the Baie St. Paul will use a weather technology service to plan her route across the Pacific Ocean. She is expected to take 50 to 60 days to complete her voyage.

To make possible her ocean passage, the gravity‐fed self‐unloading Laker will be fitted with temporary reinforcing structures that will be removed upon arrival in the Port of Montreal. As part of CSL’s ambitious fleet renewal program, the Baie St. Paul will set the course for three additional new Trillium Class self‐unloading vessels and two new bulk carriers to be introduced into the company’s Great Lakes fleet in 2012‐2013.

“The Baie St. Paul and her sister vessels represent the beginning of a new era for CSL and for bulk shipping in the Great Lakes,” said Martel. “Employing leading edge technological innovation, the Trillium Class ships will set new standards in operational and energy efficiency, reliability, and environmental protection. For customers, this cements CSL’s standing as an industry leader and further positions the company to continue to meet their evolving needs.”

Also departing from Chenxgi shipyard was the Rt. Hon. Paul E. Martin, a new CSL Trillium-Class self‐unloading Panamax vessel. The Rt. Hon. Paul E. Martin will join the CSL International fleet along with two sister Trillium-Class Panamax ships to be delivered in 2013.

A real‐time map tracking the voyages of both the Baie St. Paul and the Rt. Hon. Paul E. Martin is posted on CSL’s Web site at


Bad weather sends ships to anchor, cancels Badger trip

10/6 - Due to strong winds, several vessels sought shelter Friday night in the lee of Whitefish Point. They included the Hon. James L. Oberstar, Great Lakes Trader/Joyce L. VanEnkevort, John J. Boland and Frontenac. Lee A. Tregurtha and John G. Munson were also at anchor above the locks.

In Ludington, Michigan, the Ludington Daily News reported that the S.S. Badger did not sail on Friday due to expected high winds. The only scheduled sailing was scrubbed by a forecast of 30-knot westerly winds on Lake Michigan. NOAA had predicted waves of 12 to 16 feet on Friday; Saturday's forecast is for the winds to diminish to 15 to 20 knots late in the day, but warns of 12 to 14 foot seas.


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 under tow of 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.

1910: The wooden freighter MUSKEGON, formerly the PEERLESS, was damaged by a fire at Michigan City, IN and became a total loss.

1958: SHIERCLIFFE HALL hit bottom in the St. Marys River and was intentionally grounded off Lime Island with substantial damage. The ship was refloated and repaired at Collingwood.

1966: EMSSTEIN and OLYMPIC PEARL collided south of St. Clair, MI and the former had to be beached before it capsized. This West German freighter made 19 trips to the Great lakes from 1959 through 1967 and arrived at Gadani Beach, Pakistan, for scrapping as d) VIOLETTA on May 28, 1978. The latter, on her first trip to the Great Lakes, had bow damage and was also repaired. This ship arrived at Alang, India, for scrapping as b) AL TAHSEEN on May 6, 1985.

1972: ALGORAIL hit the pier inbound at Holland, MI with a cargo of salt and settled on the bottom about 12 feet off the dock with a gash in the port bow. The vessel was refloated in 24 hours and headed to Thunder Bay for repairs.

1982: CONTINENTAL PIONEER made 8 trips through the Seaway from 1960 through 1964. A fire broke out in the accommodation area as c) AGRILIA, about 20 miles north of Porto Praia, Cape Verde Islands and the heavily damaged ship was abandoned before it drifted aground in position 15.06 N / 23.30 W.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


CSL’s new Baie St. Paul departs China for Canada

10/5 - The new motor vessel Baie St Paul departed Chengxi shipyard in China Thursday bound for Canada. The trip should take about two months.


Algobay renamed after Algoma’s Radcliffe R. Latimer

10/5 - Port Colborne, Ontario - The Algobay, which is owned by Algoma Central Corporation, was renamed in honor of Radcliffe R. Latimer in a rededication ceremony in Port Colborne Thursday.

The self-unloading bulk carrier, which transports commodities such as grain, coal, iron ore and gypsum to ports around the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Seaway and the Atlantic coast of Canada will now be called the Radcliffe R. Latimer. Mr. Latimer, who recently retired from the Algoma Central Corporation board of directors, has an association with the company spanning 46 years and acted as its chairman between 2003-2010. Mr. Latimer, who lives in Toronto, has had an illustrious business career including CEO positions with CN Rail and TransCanada Pipelines and as a former chairman of Prudential Assurance Canada.

“Rad has played an important role in the success of Canadian business as well as Algoma Central,” said Greg Wight, CEO of Algoma Central Corporation. “It is a privilege to have his name attached to one of our vessels. The Algobay was specifically chosen for this rededication due to Rad’s role in its recent major refurbishment.”

The Algobay was originally constructed in Collingwood Shipyard in 1978. After nearly 30 years of service in the Algoma Central fleet, the vessel underwent a major refit, including re-engining and a forebody conversion project at Chengxi Shipyard in China and returned to service with the company in 2010.

Mr. Latimer was very involved in the deliberation and approval process for the project, which was the beginning of Algoma Central’s domestic dry bulk fleet renewal program. Algoma Central has committed $400 million to 8 new Great Lakes vessels including the Algobay, Algoma Mariner and the six Equinox-class vessels now under construction in China.

"From its start in 1899 as one of the smallest of several dozen fleets, Algoma has systematically built its fleet into the largest on the Great Lakes,” Latimer said. “It’s now embarked on a massive fleet renewal investment, which with deliveries starting in 2013, will result in major fuel efficiency and substantial improvement in environmental performance. When this investment is finished, Algoma will have not only the largest Great Lakes fleet, but the most productive fleet as well. I am so proud to have been associated with this company for 46 years and so humbled by this honor they have so graciously extended to me."


Port Reports -  October 5

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Philip R. Clarke loaded ore Thursday morning at the Upper Harbor. Clarke's visit was her fourth of the season. On a rare trip, Joseph L. Block was due in the evening with stone for the hopper.

Sarnia, Ont. -
The tug Anglian Lady arrived Thursday from Sault, Ont., towing the self-unloader Saginaw, which is reported to have steering/rudder problems. Saginaw was berthed in the north slip.

Toledo, Ohio -
Thursday morning Atlantic Huron replaced the Spruceglen under the chutes at Andersons grain elevators, loading continued late into the evening.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Robert S. Pierson slipped into Sandusky Bay as Wednesday turned to Thursday and began loading at the NS coal dock for Soo, Ont. On the Marblehead Peninsula, the Manitowoc loaded overnight at the Lafarge Corp stone dock. She departed downbound Thursday morning for Cleveland. Taking her place at Lafarge was the Mississagi, posted for Parry Sound, Ont. when she sails. The tug Bradshaw McKee and Barge Cleveland Rocks began loading at Lafarge Thursday night.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
American Mariner departed from General Mills Thursday around 2 p.m.

Toronto, Ont. - Jehns Juhlt
With assistance from the tug LaPrairie, the saltwater vessel Labrador departed Redpath Sugar early Thursday afternoon. The tug-barge combo Evans McKeil/Metis and the English River were discharging cement at Essroc and Lafarge respectively


John D. Leitch detained after it hits sheriff’s boat

10/5 - Lorain, Ohio – A 730-foot Canadian freighter struck a pier and a Lorain County Sheriff’s Office vessel while traveling the Black River Wednesday evening, according to a Lorain police report.

Following the incident, John D. Leitch was docked at the old Pellet Terminal Dock. The U.S. Coast Guard responded. They asked Lorain police officers to administer Breathalyzer tests to the captain and crewmembers. Each crewmember and the captain had negative results for the presence of alcohol, police said.

“Doing drug and alcohol tests is standard procedure for the coast guard when responding to incidents. We do B.A.C. testing as a matter of course,” said Sarah Cahill, lt. junior grade and investigating officer for the Marine Safety Unit in Cleveland. “Tests are done on anyone involved in navigating the vessel at the time of the incident.”

There were no reports of injury, Cahill said. There was no one on the sheriff’s vessel docked at the pier during the crash. The freighter was assessed and deemed OK to continue on its journey. There didn’t appear to be damage that would affect its seaworthiness but it will be examined again. The sheriff’s vessel will be taken out of the water and assessed for damage. The cause of the accide¬¬nt is under investigation, Cahill said.

Lorain Morning Journal


On the Great Lakes, a dry summer slows a recovering shipping industry

10/5 - Low water levels on the Mississippi River, which have snarled cargo traffic and completely halted hundreds of barges at a time, got most of the media attention during this year’s arid summer. But the weird weather is also having a severe impact on those making a living transporting goods in the Great Lakes region.

Thanks to the Drought of 2012, the Great Lakes are approaching and may fall below the lowest levels ever recorded, back in the 1960s. Lake Michigan-Huron (often recorded together by hydrologists) is about two feet below its average level, and the rest of the Great Lakes are also several inches below normal, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

That may not seem like much, but those inches mean a lot for shippers navigating the lakes’ canals. Glen Nekvasil of the Lake Carriers’ Association, which represents U.S.-flag vessel operators on the Lakes, says that cargos are carrying 1,200 to 1,500 fewer tons than they did a year ago.

But the problem actually started before this summer’s drought. Nekvasil says that in the 1990s, carriers could sail with as much as 71,000 tons of cargo. But this summer, the maximum load of coal had fallen to around 64,700 tons. That’s because in areas like the Straits of Mackinac, which connect Lakes Michigan and Huron, water levels have gotten so low that they can’t support larger cargos anymore.

The problem is partly cyclical. The 1960s witnessed some of the lowest rainfalls in the region’s history, forcing carriers to take on less cargo. By the ‘90s, however, rainfall had peaked, allowing more cargo to safely navigate the Lakes. When the drought hit this summer, the lakes were already well below 1990s levels. The low rainfall over the past several months has just accelerated the problem.

Meanwhile, the region’s shipping industry is facing other challenges. Nekvasil says that among the “big three” commodities shipped along the Lakes – iron ore, coal and limestone – only iron has bounced back since the recession. In 2006, 172 million tons of dry-bulk commodities – which also include salt, cement and grain – were transported on the Great Lakes. Cargos hit a low in 2009 at 112 million and have yet to rebound fully. Last year, only 142 million tons were transported along the Lakes.

“The coal trade is down because Canada is phasing out coal to be used for energy, and limestone is down primarily because the construction industry is still hurting,” says Nekvasil.

But will the effects of the drought trickle down to consumer prices? Much of the iron ore and some of the coal shipped on the Lakes eventually ends up at mills in northern Indiana and Michigan that provide steel to the Big Three automakers in Detroit. Transportation consultant James Roach, who is based in East Lansing, Mich., says while a number of factors go into the price of vehicles, it’s possible that the higher costs of transport on the Great Lakes could make their way to car buyers in the form of higher prices.

The drought has also hurt Michigan’s farmers, many of whom have had to apply to the state to dig wells for irrigation. According to Jon Bartholic of Michigan State University’s Institute of Water Research, 500 new wells were registered this year alone. Only 400 were registered in 2011 and 250 in 2010. Michigan, more specifically Constantine, Mich., has been called the “seed corn capital of the world,” and many farmers are increasingly relying on new water sources to irrigate their corn, as well as soybeans, as the region’s long-term water levels show no signs of improving.

But not everyone’s complaining about the weird weather. The drought has actually helped Michigan’s wine-producing region. According to the Great Lakes Echo, farmers and wine sellers are seeing a much-improved grape yield this year, which could lead to overall growth in the industry. And Travel Michigan, the state’s tourism office, is reporting the best summer tourism numbers in the last eight years.

“From what we’re hearing anecdotally, we’ve had a great year,” says Travel Michigan spokesperson Michelle Begnoche. “If anything, the heat has actually driven people to the beach.”

Time magazine


Seaway Notice No. 11 – 2012: Hot Work Requirements

10/5 - Before any hot work, defined as any work that uses flame or that can produce a source of ignition, such as heating, cutting or welding, is carried out by any ship on St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) property, a written request must be sent to the SLSMC, preferably 24 hours prior to the vessel’s arrival on SLSMC property. The hot work shall not commence until approval is obtained from SLSMC.

Special Requirements for Tankers doing Hot Work

Prior to arriving at any SLSMC designated berth a tanker must be gas free or have tanks inerted. The gas-free certificate must be sent to the SLSMC in order to obtain clearance for the ship to commence hot work.

For more information, please contact the SLSMC regional traffic control center.


William Eric Captain Guy

10/5 - St. Catharines, Ont. – William Eric Captain Guy passed away at his home surrounded by his family, on Tuesday, September 25 at 84 years of age. Captain Guy saw a lot of the world including Europe and Africa while steadily working towards his goal of becoming a master mariner like his dad. He joined the Misener fleet in 1950, serving 37 years with this company on the Great Lakes. In 1986 he was appointed as Commodore Captain William E. Guy, retiring in 1987. On-Line Guest Book at


Updates -  October 5

News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - New pictures in the Howard L Shaw 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 encountering gale force winds and high waves near Isle Royale. Fleetmates HENRY PHIPPS and HENRY H. 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 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 on October 5, 1972 with the unloaded Greek salty NAVISHIPPER at Buoy 83, in the Detroit River's Fighting Island Channel. NAVISHIPPER reportedly had no licensed pilot aboard at the time, a violation of maritime law. There were no injuries, but the HOMER suffered extensive bow damage up to and including part of her pilothouse. The former was repaired, operated through 1980 and was scrapped at Port Colborne in 1987. The latter was also repaired and eventually towed into Cadiz, Spain, for scrapping as f) CRYSTAL on December 2, 1981, when the tailshaft fractured on November 25, 1981.

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 southbound 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.

1904: HUNTER, a wooden passenger and freight steamer, was destroyed by a fire at Grand Marais, MI. There were no injuries.

1932: JOHN J. BOLAND JR., enroute from Toledo to Hamilton with coal, took on water and sank after the cargo shifted. Four lives were lost when the vessel went down about 10 miles off Barcelona, NY.

1941: MONDOC stranded off the east coast of Trinidad on her first trip on the bauxite run. The crew took to the lifeboats and was saved.

1964: DENMARK HILL went aground off the Porkkala Lighthouse in the Baltic Sea enroute from Nicaro, Cuba, for Porkkala, Finland. The vessel was refloated October 7 with considerable bottom damage.

1988: ENERCHEM REFINER struck the #1 East Outer Light while upbound in the Detroit River and received major damage that was repaired at Lauzon.

1999: MONTE AYALA, a Seaway caller in 1975, began to leak in #1 hold and then list while anchored at St. Brieuc Bay while inbound for Brest, France, as d) JUNIOR M. The cargo of ammonium nitrate was unloaded. The ship was arrested, abandoned by the owners, auctioned off for scrap and arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, on August 21, 2000.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


Port Reports -  October 4

Grand Haven, Mich. - Andrew Keson
Sam Laud was in Grand Haven unloading at Verplank's dock in Ferrysburg.

Toledo, Ohio - F. Wilson
Spruceglen was loading at the Anderson’s elevator on Tuesday.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon and Jim Bobel
Joseph H. Thompson called the bridge at 6:30 a.m. reporting they were departing Dock #3, and cleared the railroad bridge at 7:30 a.m.

U.S. Coast Guard and Lorain police detained the Algoma Central Corp. freighter John D Leitch in the Black River on Wednesday night for unknown reasons. The freighter had been loading for the last two days in the river at the Jonick Dock. The ship was detained at the former Lorain Pellet Terminal site. The ship was departing when stopped.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Interlake's Herbert C. Jackson slid alongside Sandusky's NS coal dock and began loading early Wednesday. The Jackson sailed upbound late in the afternoon. At Marblehead, the tug Bradshaw McKee and barge Cleveland Rocks loaded overnight and sailed downbound for Cleveland. Manitowoc arrived at the stone dock late Wednesday night and began loading at the Lafarge dock early Thursday.


Last hurrah for Imperial Sarnia tanker

10/4 - Sarnia, Ont. - The former tanker Imperial Sarnia, once common around the local waterfront, is headed for scrapping in Port Colborne. Known as the fuel storage barge Provmar Terminal II at Hamilton since 1987, the ship was due at the scrap berth of International Marine Salvage on Oct. 2 via tow on the Welland Canal.

The vessel was built at Collingwood and was launched on June 26, 1948. Imperial Oil named their newest and, at the time, largest tanker Imperial Sarnia and the previous Imperial Sarnia became Imperial Hamilton. The 118.87-metre-long by 16.15-metre-wide vessel entered service on Oct. 10, 1948, and could carry 55,000 barrels of petroleum products.

It originally concentrated on the run between Sarnia and Fort William now part of Thunder Bay but it later delivered western Canadian crude oil from the pipeline terminal at Superior, WI to the Imperial Oil refinery in Sarnia.

When the pipeline was extended to Sarnia, the ship was no longer needed on the inland lakes. It departed via the Mississippi River system in October 1953 as the small locks of the pre-Seaway era prevented departure by way of the St. Lawrence River system.

Imperial Sarnia sailed 8,288 km. to Sorel, QC and was rebuilt there by Marine Industries Ltd. for a new career on salt water. It returned to service in 1954 with a new seagoing bow now 124.57 metres long and able to carry 56,101 barrels.

Imperial Sarnia operated out of Halifax, serving Maritime Canada, the Atlantic seaboard of the United States and on occasion venturing overseas to Iceland and Europe. In the summer of 1957, the vessel headed north to Frobisher Bay, a first for Imperial Oil, and delivered aviation fuel for Scandinavian Airlines.

With the opening of the Seaway, and the retirement of smaller and older Imperial Oil tankers, Imperial Sarnia returned to its namesake port for service on the Great Lakes in 1965. Service was interrupted by a serious grounding on Whaleback Shoal, near Brockville, on April 16, 1974. The vessel was lightered, released and taken to Montreal for repairs.

The ship was slated for retirement in 1979 but was still in good shape so the company had it drydocked. Also that year, an amazing string of 15 years without a time lost accident on board, was ended by a sprained ankle. Built with a black hull, the vessel was later painted blue and was a popular ship with its sailors, known as the “blue zoo.”

On Dec. 14, 1986, Imperial Sarnia made its final Welland Canal trip, sailing to Hamilton. The ship was purchased by Provmar Terminals, renamed Provmar Terminal II and used to store fuel oil. In June 1997 it was towed to Port Weller Dry Docks to remove its propeller, shaft and stern tube. It was then towed back to its station.

Following a sale for scrap late this summer, the tugs Vigilant I and Lac Manitoba took the ship under tow and began the trip up the Welland Canal on Oct. 1.

Skip Gillham - Sarnia Observer


Federal Marine Terminals awarded for environmental excellence

10/4 - Hamilton, Ont. - Federal Marine Terminals (FMT) received the inaugural Environmental Recognition Award from the Hamilton Port Authority (HPA) at a special event held on the harbor front Wednesday. This annual award was created to recognize and reward a Hamilton port partners contributions to respecting and protecting the natural environment.

“Federal Marine Terminals has the largest footprint of any tenant on port property, and the company is a leader when it comes to environmental protection,” said Bruce Wood, HPA President and CEO. “Environmental stewardship is central to our mission at the port, and we are always pleased to work with port partners like FMT who share this commitment.”

FMT has taken several measures to achieve a high level of environmental performance. For example, on-site dust is controlled using a new road sweeper, significantly reducing airborne particulate. An advanced equipment wash pad system captures wash water and separates out oil.

FMT is an active participant in the North American environmental improvement program Green Marine, achieving level 4.3 (out of 5.0) in 2011, in the following areas: greenhouse gases, water and land pollution prevention, and conflicts of use with neighboring population. The company has a comprehensive environmental policy in place that addresses key aspects of Green Marine, including a stormwater and spills prevention management policy.

The HPA Environmental Recognition Award recognizes environmental leadership by allocating funds to an environmental agency or project, as nominated by the winner. FMT has chosen the Hamilton Air Monitoring Network (HAMN), which since 2003 has been carrying out ambient and point source air quality monitoring in the Hamilton area.

“We are honored to be the first recipient of this award. As a company, we are continuously looking for new ways to reduce our environmental footprint and have a team at our headquarters dedicated to ensuring we operate our businesses in a sustainable manner. We look forward to allocating the award funds to HAMN, which is an important project because of the role it plays in helping to determine where progress is being made and identifying air quality issues in the Hamilton area,” Paul Gourdeau, President of FMT, said.

Hamilton Port Authority


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 ALGOMA NAVIGATOR in 2012. She sails for Algoma Central 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.

1904: CONGRESS burned at the dock at South Manitou Island, Lake Michigan while loading lumber. The ship was towed away, abandoned, burned to the waterline and sank.

1966: ROBERT J. PAISLEY ran aground in heavy weather off Michigan City, IN. The ship was released the next day but went to Sarnia with hull damage and was laid up.

2008: MERKUR BAY came through the Seaway in 1984. It hit a rock as m) NEW ORIENTAL in heavy weather off Tuy An, Vietnam, and settled on the bottom with a large hole in the bow. The crew abandoned ship on October 18 when it showed signs of sinking. It was enroute from Thailand to China with iron ore and was a total loss.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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 3

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Tuesday at the Upper Harbor, Paul R. Tregurtha unloaded western coal from Superior into the hopper. She is sporting fresh paint.

Green Bay, Wis.
Arthur M. Anderson was seen unloading coal at the end of the Lower Fox River late Tuesday evening.

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
Sam Laud crossed the pier heads at 3:30 Tuesday afternoon with a load of stone for Verplank's dock in Ferrysburg. This was its first visit of the season.

Lorain, Ohio - Jim Bobel and Phil Leon
John D. Leitch was in Lorain picking up a load at the Jonick Dock on Tuesday. Mississagi dropped a partial load of stone at the Terminal Ready Mix Dock.

Sandusky - Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Michipicoten loaded Tuesday at the NS coal dock on Sandusky Bay. She sailed for Thunder Bay, Ont. Late Tuesday night, the tug Bradshaw McKee and barge Cleveland Rocks began loading at the Marblehead dock of the Lafarge Corp.


Lake Superior falls to 15 inches

10/3 - The level of Lake Superior crashed four inches in September, a month the big lake usually drops only one inch, as continued warm, dry weather saps the Great Lakes of water. The International Lake Superior Board of Control reported Tuesday that Lake Superior now sits 15 inches below its long term average for Oct. 1 and four inches below the level at this time last year.

The board notes that rainfall for the entire Lake Superior basin was well below normal in September, a trend that has continued since July and which was compounded by very low snowfall totals last winter. Duluth for example had only 0.84 inches of rain in September, 3.27 inches below normal, and sits 6.6 inches below normal for rainfall since July 1.

Drought conditions have hit Lakes Michigan and Huron even harder, with the lakes down another 6 inches in September, a month they usually drop only 2 inches. The lakes are now 28 inches below their long-term average for this time of year and 13 inches below the Oct. 1 level from 2011.

Lakes Michigan and Huron are expected to flirt with their all-time record low levels set in 1964 and 1965. Those lakes saw their highest levels in 1986. Lake Superior fell to its record low in April 1929 and record high in 1986.

The low water already is affecting how much cargo bulk taconite and coal carriers can take on for their trips on the lakes. In some areas, the low water is affecting recreation boat access as well.

The upper Great Lakes generally fall from September to April as water gets locked up in ice and snow, and then rise from April to August as snow melts and spring and summer rainstorms hit.

In addition to being dryer than normal of late, September was the 15th consecutive month of above normal temperatures in Duluth, the second longest such streak in recorded history. Part of that period included Duluth’s warmest summer in recorded history and the most 70-degree days in a calendar year. Scientists say warmer temperatures spur increased evaporation and sink water levels even lower.

Duluth News Tribune


Updates -  October 3

Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - New gallery for October - Howard L Shaw


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.

1907: The wooden tug PHILADELPHIA dated from 1869 and briefly served in the Algoma fleet. It was wrecked at Gros Cap, Lake Superior, on this date in 1907.

1911: The wooden freighter A.L. HOPKINS had cleared Bayfield the previous day with a full load of lumber and foundered in a storm on this date near Michigan Island, Lake Superior. Buoyed by the cargo, the hull floated a few more days before it disappeared. All 15 on board were picked up by the ALVA C. DINKEY.

1928: The steel bulk carrier M.J. BARTELME ran aground at Cana Island, Lake Michigan. The bottom was ripped open and the ship was abandoned. It was dismantled on site in 1929.

1953: The superstructure of the idle passenger steamer PUT-IN-BAY was burned off in Lake St. Clair and the remains of the iron hull were later dismantled at River Rouge.

1963: The Liberian flag Liberty ship TRIKERI, on her only trip to the Great Lakes, swung sideways in the Welland Canal near Welland, blocked the waterway and delayed traffic for 4 hours. The ship arrived at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, for scrapping as e) DAHLIA on December 27, 1967.

1963: A fire broke out in the cargo hold of the FRED CHRISTIANSEN while downbound at Sault Ste. Marie. The stubborn blaze took 4 hours to put out and was believed caused by some of the grain igniting as it was close to a steam line. The Norwegian freighter began Seaway trading in 1959 and returned as b) HERA in 1964. It arrived at Pasajes, Spain, under this name for scrapping on May 30, 1974.

1969: JOSEPH H. ran aground at Bic Island, in the St. Lawrence while enroute from Milwaukee to Russia with a cargo of rawhides. The Liberian-flag vessel sustained heavy bottom damage. It was refloated on October 6, taken to Levis, QC and subsequently broken up there for scrap. The ship was operating under her fifth name and had first come through the Seaway as a) GRANADA in 1959.

1980: POLYDORA first came inland for 4 trips as a) FERNFIORD in 1963 and returned under her new name in 1964 on charter to Canadian Pacific Steamships. The ship had been at Marina di Carrara, Italy, and under arrest as d) GEORGIOS B., when it sailed overnight without permission. A fire in the engineroom broke out the next day and, while taken in tow, the ship foundered east of Tavolara Island, Sardinia.

1999: MANCHESTER MERCURIO traded through the Seaway in a container shuttle service beginning in 1971. It was abandoned by the crew and sank off the coast of Morocco as f) PHOENIX II on this date in 1999.

2000: The tug KETA V. usually operated on the St. Lawrence for Verreault Navigation but came to the Great Lakes with barges for Windsor in 1993. It ran aground and sank near Liverpool, NS on this date in 2000 but all on board got away safely on life rafts.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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 2

Toledo, Ohio
Federal Rhine was loading at the ADM elevator Monday, while across the Maumee River Algoma Discovery loaded at Anderson’s elevators.

Lorain, Ohio – Phil Leon
McKee Sons was heading out of Lorain and passed under the railroad bridge about 16:40 Sunday on her way toward Lake Erie.

Sandusky - Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Algobay sailed for Hamilton late Sunday afternoon. On Monday, the tug Bradshaw McKee and barge Cleveland Rocks loaded at the Lafarge Corp. stone dock on the Marblehead Peninsula. The pair was downbound as darkness fell over Lake Erie.


Former tanker Imperial Sarnia heads for scrapyard

10/2 - Welland Canal – The former tanker/fuel storage vessel Provmar Terminal II (originally named Imperial Sarnia) was towed up the Welland Canal Monday from Hamilton bound for the IMS scrap yard at Port Colborne. The tug Vigilant 1 was on the bow and Lac Manitoba was on the stern. Provmar Terminal II was built in 1948 at Collingwood, Ont., for the Imperial Oil Co. fleet, and last sailed in the late 1980s.


Toronto’s aging island ferries headed for retirement

10/2 - Toronto, Ont. – After spending $5 million for ferry upgrades that had unintended negative consequences, Toronto’s cash-strapped parks department is now planning to put aside money to replace the aging fleet altogether.

The Parks, Forestry and Recreation division, which began managing the Toronto Islands ferries following amalgamation in 1997, is developing a “fleet replacement strategy” — a fund to buy new boats — after being told earlier this year that its ferries were too old to run at full capacity.

According to marine services supervisor William White, the division recently committed to setting aside $250,000 to $1 million each year to fund new ferries, which cost about $8 million each.

The department is also exploring “all other opportunities” to help fund the replacement, which White described as long overdue.

“All the vessels are old. They were designed and built to do their job well in the 1930s. However, with modern demands being placed on them . . . this needs to happen,” said White, who began his job with the city in June 2011 and has since become a strong advocate for buying new ferries.

Last spring, Transport Canada ordered the department to limit passenger loads on the Sam McBride (built in 1939) and the Thomas Rennie (1951) — the city’s two main island ferries — nearly in half to comply with new federal marine safety standards.

Before the upgrades, the ferries ran under a grandfathered clause that exempts some older ships from current regulations. But Transport Canada legislation says that an aging vessel that gets a major capital investment loses that grandfathered status.

The ferries had their legal capacity slashed from 974 passengers each to 524. Negotiations with Transport Canada in early July — at the height of the island-going season — got that bumped back up to 736 passengers each, about 85 per cent of their 2011 levels.

Even with that concession, the restrictions sparked a stormy summer of lengthy passenger queues and concern that not enough had been done to keep up with growing demand.

Until earlier this year, the parks department had not been saving toward replacing its fleet.

Waterfront parks manager James Dann said the department traditionally put its money toward seasonal ferry upgrades to comply with federal regulations. In 2009, it put $5 million toward new engines for the Thomas Rennie and the Sam McBride — the move that triggered this year’s capacity restrictions.

The city was unaware of the consequences when the upgrades were done, he said. “Potentially, had we known some of the legislation was coming through, we may have saved that (money) and put it into a fleet replacement.”

Dann described the ferry operation as “a bit of a square peg in a round hole” in terms of how it fits into the parks department’s mandate. Most of what the department buys relates to parks, and its regular replacement strategy usually involves Zambonis, trucks, mowers etc. — not $8-million ferries.

“We’re in a time where it’s not an easy thing to come across $5 million or $8 million per boat,” he said. “It’s a big ‘ask.’”

Councillor Pam McConnell, whose ward includes the islands, questioned why ferries are managed by the parks department and not seen as an essential transportation service.

She said the city’s attitude toward the ferries operation, treating it as an “add-on sidebar,” has resulted in a service unable to meet demand. McConnell called the Transport Canada restrictions a wake-up call.

“This kind of neglect is shameful,” she said. “I have been yelling about this at council forever and it just falls on deaf ears . . . council and councillors have taken this service for granted. They have not invested in it.”

Rafik Jaffer, a 63-year-old marine coordinator who has worked on Toronto’s ferry docks for 24 years, agreed that long queues have been an issue for years. The recent capacity clampdown, coupled with rising downtown population and a growing demand, has put the situation in near-crisis mode, he said. In 2011, the fleet could transport 3,453 passengers at a time. Now it’s limited to 2,892 passengers — not nearly enough, according to Jaffer.

“We are on the forefront here … we see it,” he said, noting the deluge of complaints over ferry wait times directed at operators. “And I understand their grievances.”

White hopes to have enough money eventually to standardize the fleet, with three sister passenger ferries and one vehicle ferry — enough to meet demand.

“This little operation should really be the crown jewel of the City of Toronto,” he said. “It has to happen.”

Toronto Star


Updates -  October 2

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery


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 honored 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 sandsucker 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.

1891: WINSLOW ran aground in fog while inbound at Duluth. The hole in the wooden hull was patched and the ship was released and able to be docked. The vessel caught fire while unloading the next day and destroyed.

1938: The first WINDOC was struck when Bridge 20, a railway bridge across the Welland Canal, was lowered prematurely and removing the stack, spar and lifeboats of the N.M. Paterson steamer.

1953: A collision occurred between PIONEER and WALLSCHIFF in the St. Clair River on this date and the latter, a West German visitor to the Great Lakes, rolled on its side and settled in shallow water. One crew member perished. PIONEER, a Cleveland-Cliffs steamer, was repaired for further service and was later scrapped at Genoa, Italy, in 1961. WALLSCHIFF, on her first and only trip to the Great Lakes, was refloated and departed for permanent repairs overseas in 1954. The vessel was still sailing as g) GOLDEN MERCURY in 2011.

1973: A head-on collision in fog off Gull Island, Lake Michigan between the T-2 tanker MARATHONIAN and Norwegian freighter ROLWI left both ships with massive bow damage. The former had begun Seaway service as f) MARATHON in 1960 and was repaired at South Chicago. It disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle as h) SYLVIA L. OSSA in October 1976. ROLWI, a Norwegian salty, was also repaired and returned inland as b) DOBERG in 1974 and c) LORFRI in 1976. It arrived at Alang, India, for scrapping as e) PEROZAN on February 6, 1996

1992: The Canadian coastal freighter SIR JOHN CROSBIE was built in St. Catharines by Port Weller Dry Docks in 1962. It sank in the Gulf of Mexico off the west coast of Florida as c) HOLSTEN on this date but all on board were rescued.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports -  October 1

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Herbert C. Jackson and John G. Munson loaded ore at the Upper Harbor on Sunday. Munson's visit was her first of the season to the Upper Harbor, but she did open the Lower Harbor with coal in March.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Algosoo sailed Saturday afternoon for Hamilton after completion of loading at the NS coal dock. She was replaced under the loader by the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin, which sailed Sunday morning for Hamilton. Loading at the coal dock on Sunday was the Algobay.


Salt Miners’ Union ratifies new agreement

10/1 - C - Goderich, Ont. – The strike is over. Sifto Salt Miners - members of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union Local 16-0 - ratified a new three-year collective agreement Saturday morning.

“I think both parties were looking to get this done,” said Glen Sonier, national representative for Local 16-0. The vote was 82 per cent in favour of accepting the collective agreement, Sonier said. Some 380 miners have been on strike since Aug. 20.

Sonier said the three-year agreement would see miners get about a three per cent wage increase each year. There are some modifications to new shift schedules and creation of new job descriptions, he said.

Sonier said the company will start recalling employees “right away” and they could be back to work Monday.

Negotiating committees for the union and management reached a tentative agreement last month. The two sides had agreed upon major issues in the contract – they had been bargaining since February – and by Aug. 18 it appeared a deal had been reached. Two days later, new language was introduced that eroded the contract, union representatives said. Miners then went on strike at midnight Aug. 20.

Goderich Signal Star


Help wanted: Second Engineer

10/1 - T.F. Warren Group Inc., requires a 2nd class Engineer for it's newly acquired Phoenix Sun. If you are looking for a dynamic new company, with great opportunities, this is the opportunity for you. Position to start immediately. Competitive pay, company benefits. Please contact Gerri Lable at 519-754-3751 or email


Updates -  October 1

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery


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.

1918: The Canadian bulk carrier GALE STAPLES was blown ashore Point au Sable about 8 miles west of Grand Marais. All on board were saved but the wooden vessel, best known as b) CALEDONIA, broke up.

1942: The former CANADIAN ROVER, Hull 67 from the Collingwood shipyard, was torpedoed and sunk as d) TOSEI MARU in the Pacific east of Japan by U.S.S. NAUTILUS.

1946: KINDERSLEY, loaded with 2074 tons of excess munitions, was scuttled in the deep waters of the Atlantic. The former C.S.L. freighter had been on saltwater to assist in the war effort.

1984: ANNEMARIE KRUGER arrived at Finike, Turkey, as e) BANKO with engine damage on this date and was laid up. The ship, a frequent Seaway visitor in the 1960s, was sold for scrap and arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, under tow on August 3, 1986, and was dismantled.

1998 The tank barge SALTY DOG NO. 1 broke tow from the tug DOUG McKEIL and went aground off Anticosti Island the next day. The vessel was released and it operated until scrapping at Port Colborne in 2005.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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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