Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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Port Reports -  October 31

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Tecumseh and Isadora were loading grain on Sunday. Thunder Bay was expected late Sunday or early on Monday.

Milwaukee, Wis.
Federal Mayumi remained at Nidera loading grain on Sunday.

Burns Harbor, Ind.
Burns Harbor was in her namesake port unloading Sunday evening. Wilfred Sykes departed Sunday evening with an AIS destination of Grand Haven, Mich.

Goderich, Ont.
Federal Seto was loading grain Sunday, while Algorail was at the salt dock. Algolake was heading in in the late evening.

Toledo, Ohio – Jim Hoffman
By 10:05 a.m. Sunday, tugs were just about finished towing the Bluebill down the Maumee River. After that tow, the tugs towed Federal Yukon up river to the ADM Elevator. As of 6 p.m. Sunday, Saginaw and the Federal Danube were inbound. Saginaw went to the Kraft Elevator, while Federal Danube went to the Midwest Terminal Overseas Dock. It looks like Baie Comeau will be arriving at Toledo early Monday. She is supposed to be going up to Andersons K.

Welland Canal – Brenda Benoit
USS Detroit, which had been on a friendship visit to Windsor, Ont., was eastbound in the Welland Canal Sunday. The tug Ocean Serge Genois assisted her through the canal.

Toronto, Ont. – Jens Juhl
At Redpath Sunday, Federal Churchill was in the final stage of discharging a cargo of sugar from Paranagua, Brazil. The bulk carrier, along with sister ship Federal Cedar, is on its maiden voyage into the Great Lakes. Both vessels are two of a series of five sister ships launched this year at Oshima Shipbuilding in Japan. At 34,564 tons deadweight and equipped with four 35-ton deck cranes, these vessels could be classed as "handy size plus," as the normal handy size geared bulkers come equipped with three deck cranes and weigh in at about 30,000 twd.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Manitoulin has an ETA for around 6 or 7 a.m. Monday for ADM Standard.


Wisconsin DNR seeks Great Lakes photos for contest

10/31 - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Office of the Great Lakes is inviting entries for its ninth annual photo contest.

Photos from all seasons are needed and will be accepted in the following categories: natural features and wildlife; cultural and historic features; and people enjoying Wisconsin's Great Lakes. Submissions for a fourth category, lake stewardship activities, will include a photo and a 180-word description of a Great Lakes restoration or protection project.

Photos of lakes Michigan and Superior as well as their tributaries, wetlands and harbor towns are eligible. Winning photos will be featured in the Wisconsin's Great Lakes 2017-2018 calendar, which will be distributed at the 2017 Wisconsin State Fair.

The Office of the Great Lakes is also accepting short essays, stories, poems and songs about lakes Superior and Michigan. Photos and written work may be used in the calendar and other Great Lakes publications as well as on DNR's website and in displays and presentations.

The deadline for photo and written submissions is Feb. 1. For details on how to enter, search the DNR website for "Great Lakes Photo Contest."



Gales of November series scheduled at Charlevoix library

10/31 - Charlevoix, Mich. – The Charlevoix Public Library has announced its fall lecture series focusing on Great Lakes shipwrecks. The Gales of November programs will be presented at 6:30 p.m. on three consecutive Tuesday evenings beginning Nov. 1. All programs will be hosted in the community room at the library.

On Nov. 1, two 30-minute programs will be featured. “Tragedy in the Straits: The 50th Anniversary of the Sinking of the Cedarville” leads the programs. On May 7, 1965, the Cedarville was approaching the Mackinac Bridge when out of the dense fog came the bow of the Norwegian freighter, Topdalsfjord. The Cedarville was struck midship. The ship’s captain tried to make it to shore, but she rolled over and sank, taking 10 of her crew with her. Along with underwater footage, the program includes accounts of the Cedarville’s sinking as told by the survivors and rescuer Peter Hahn of the German freighter Weissenburg. There will be a musical tribute by Dan Hall. The second program on Nov. 1, “Death and Destruction – Hurricane Hits the Great Lakes,” will feature the Great Storm of 1913, with its hurricane force winds. It has been called the most destructive storm ever to strike the Great Lakes. In Lake Huron alone, eight large steel ships were lost with all hands during a 16-hour period. Join the Out of the Blue Dive Team as they share the history of the storm and their video of many of her victims. The program highlights old historical photographs along with underwater footage of many of these shipwrecks. Jim and Pat Strayer will present both programs.

Ric Mixter, will speak on the “Nordmeer: A Great Lakes Cleanup” on Nov. 8. The sinking of the Nordmeer resulted in a daring helicopter rescue by pilots from Detroit’s air station. Mixter shares rare interviews with the pilot and footage from the 1966 storm that broke the vessel as it sat on a reef near Alpena. Includes rare footage of the officers from Nordmeer and salvage film of the fuel aboard.

Bruce Lynn, executive director of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, will speak on “Tragedy and Discovery off the Shipwreck Coast: The Wreck of the Schooner Nelson” on Tuesday, Nov. 15. The Nelson, a large three-masted schooner built in 1866, went down during a northwest gale in May 1899, sinking the vessel over 200 feet to the bottom of Lake Superior. Only one of her crew of 10 survived, Captain Haganey who washed ashore clinging to debris. The wreck was discovered in 2014 by the Shipwreck Society.

For more information about the Shipwreck Series, call (231) 237-7340 or visit online at

Charlevoix Courier


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


Port Reports -  October 30

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
Hon. James L. Oberstar departed from CN at 07:30 for Indiana Harbor. Paul R. Tregurtha finished loading at Midwest Energy and departed at 12:50. In Superior, Stewart J. Cort departed at 03:00 after loading ore at BN. Michipicoten took the dock next, and departed at 06:55 after a quick load. H. Lee White then arrived from anchor at 07:20 and began loading. On Saturday night, American Mariner was loading and General Mills, and Cornelia and Maccoa were at anchor off Duluth. H. Lee White was loading at BN, and James R. Barker was at anchor waiting for the dock.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Isadora and the tanker Esta Desgagnes arrived Saturday in the evening. Federal Cedar and Wicko spent the day taking on grain.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic Saturday included Walter J. McCarthy Jr., Kaye E. Barker, Philip R. Clarke, Cuyahoga, Great Lakes Trader, Tecumseh, Algoma Spirit and, near midnight, Pineglen. The saltie Skawa and Manitoulin were downbound in the morning, while American Spirit and Edwin H. Gott were downbound after dark.

Port Inland, Mich.
Joseph L. Block was loading stone on Saturday afternoon.

Milwaukee, Wis.
Federal Mayumi was in port on Saturday.

Burns Harbor, Ind.
Wilfred Sykes was unloading on Saturday evening.

Gary, Ind.
Edgar B. Speer unloaded ore on Saturday afternoon.

Goderich, Ont.
Saginaw was at the grain dock on Saturday.

Windsor, Ont.
USS Detroit, which had been on a friendship visit to Canada, departed eastbound for the Welland Canal Saturday around 8 a.m. CCGS Private Robertson was escorting her.

Toledo, Ohio – Jim Hoffman
Bluewing was at the ADM elevator Saturday loading grain. Federal Yukon was anchored in the Detroit River near Windsor, Ont. She has a tentative ETA for Toledo during the day on Sunday. Baie Comeau is bound for Toledo to load grain, with a tentative ETA for Monday. The saltwater vessels Federal Danube, Lyulin and Osogovo are also bound for Toledo. The next coal boat due in at the CSX docks will be the Paul J. Martin on Monday afternoon. The next ore boat due at the Torco Dock will be James L. Kuber on Tuesday.

Lorain, Ohio
John D. Leitch came into Lorain Thursday and departed Friday.

Johnstown, Ont. – Ron Beaupre
BBC Switzerland cleared the Port of Johnstown Saturday and headed down the river to Trois Rivieres. She unloaded prefabricated steel assemblies directly onto flatbed trucks for transport to another location from Johnstown. Heavy rains have delayed the loading of grain into Federal Margaree, and Federal Barents waits for her berth at Johnstown.


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


Port Reports -  October 29

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
Friday saw a very busy Burlington Northern dock. H. Lee White arrived Duluth at 03:39 to load ore. She fueled at Calumet, departed through the Superior entry at 10:45 and anchored to wait for the Stewart J. Cort to finish loading. Hon. James L. Oberstar arrived at 11:40 with limestone to discharge at Hallett #5. Michipicoten arrived next at 13:45, also to load at BN. She fueled at Calumet and then departed and joined the H. Lee White at anchor off Superior. American Spirit finished loading at CN and departed at 14:10. James R. Barker came in at dinnertime to join the waiting line at BN. She also fueled at Calumet. American Mariner arrived shortly after to load wheat at General Mills. Stewart J. Cort continued loading at BN in Superior throughout the day. The saltie Maccoa was expected to arrive late Friday night to load wheat at CHS 1, and Paul R. Tregurtha was expected to arrive to load coal at Midwest Energy.

St. Marys River
Burns Harbor, G3 Marquis and American Century were downbound Friday evening. Isadora and Esta Desgagnes were upbound in the mid-to-late evening.

Milwaukee, Wis.
Federal Mayumi was at anchor offshore on Friday night.

Indiana Harbor, Ind.
Joseph H. Thompson and American Mariner were unloading at ArcelorMittal on Friday evening.

Windsor, Ont.
USS Detroit, on a friendship visit to Canada, remained docked on Friday, despite some reports that she would depart in the morning. She is expect to depart downbound Saturday morning.

Toledo, Ohio
G tugs helped the saltie Bluewing into the ADM Elevator on Friday, and then took Algoma Equinox out from Andersons K elevator.


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

10/29 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay, homeported in Sturgeon Bay, is scheduled to host visitors during its annual haunted ship attraction Oct. 29. The event is free, and guests are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to local food pantries.

Times will be 5:30-6:30 p.m. with lights on for younger children and 6:30-9:30 p.m. with lights off for older children and adults. During the event, guests will be ushered through various haunted rooms throughout the ship and barge. Halloween treats and hot chocolate will be complimentary.

The ship is located at Sawyer Park Pier, just south of the Maple-Oregon Street Bridge in Sturgeon Bay.



Help Wanted: Great Lakes & Intl' Towing & Salvage / Fettes Shipping

10/29 - Great Lakes and Intl' Towing & Salvage Company Inc. and Fettes Shipping Inc. are looking for candidates for the position of deck officer for operations on a tug and barge unit trading on Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Candidates must have a minimum of Watchkeeping Mate-NC and the rest of the qualifications required by Transport Canada to work on a Canadian-flag tug.

The company is also looking for candidates for the position of captain for operations on tug and barge unit trading on Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Candidates must have a minimum of 500GRT or new 1500GRT Master Domestic Certificate and the rest of the qualifications required by Transport Canada to work on a Canadian-flag tug.

Please send resumes for both openings via email to or by fax at 905 333-6588.


Today in Great Lakes History -  October 29

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, six 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. No lives were lost but the GLENORCHY sank and the estimated damage to the two vessels was $600,000.

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.


Coast Guard fines 2 Bayfield ferry jumpers

10/28 - Duluth, Minn. – The U.S. Coast Guard initiated civil action Wednesday against two men who jumped from a Madeline Island Ferry Line boat in July.

The enforcement action is the result of an investigation of an incident involving the men, ages 22 and 25, who authorities say deliberately jumped from the ferry as it entered the harbor in Bayfield on July 31, Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Duluth reported Thursday in a news release.

The Coast Guard did not identify the men, who had been apprehended by local authorities following the incident.

An investigation into the incident by the Coast Guard determined that the men’s “deliberate jumping overboard as the vessel approached Bayfield harbor interfered with the safe operation of the ferry.

“Their actions at such a critical point in the vessel’s transit unnecessarily placed the vessel and passengers in a dangerous situation.”

Federal law prohibits interfering with the safe operation of a vessel and could result in up to a $25,000 penalty. As such, the Coast Guard took civil penalty action “to ensure the incident does not occur again,” the news release said, while failing to identify the amount of the monetary penalty.

There were no injuries as a result of the incident.

The Coast Guard explained in the news release that jumping from a moving vessel forces the captain to follow a vessel’s man overboard procedures, requiring the captain to immediately maneuver the vessel in a position to allow the crew to safely recover the person in the water. This maneuver could put other passengers and crewmembers at risk for potential injury and impedes the safe navigation of a regulated waterway.

Duluth News Tribune


Port Reports -  October 28

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
There was no traffic under the lift bridge during the day on Thursday. Skawa was loading wheat at CHS 2, and was expected to depart Thursday evening depending on the weather. American Spirit was expected to arrive around midnight to load iron ore pellets at CN. Cornelia remained at anchor offshore. On the south side of the harbor, Burns Harbor departed from BN at 13:10, and Stewart J. Cort arrived 15 minutes later to load.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic Thursday included Mottler and Baie St. Paul. Upbounders included Hon. James L. Oberstar, American Integrity, American Mariner, Roger Blough James R. Barker, Maccoa and Paul R. Tregurtha.

Gladstone, Mich.
Algoway was discharging salt on Thursday. She loaded the cargo in Windsor, Ont.

Goderich, Ont.
John B. Aird was loading salt Thursday.

Johnstown, Ont. – Brenda Benoit
On Thursday, the Port of Johnstown, Ont., was busy with three vessels loading. Federal Barents was loading soybeans. Federal Margaree was also loading soybeans and BBC Switzerland was offloading project cargo for inland delivery.


2 Lake Huron shipwrecks lost since the 1800s found, identified

10/28 - Canton, Mich. – The Great Lakes are loaded with shipwrecks. Thousands have been discovered over the years but, at the same time, there are still thousands hiding in the deep still awaiting discovery.

Two schooners that foundered on Lake Huron back in the late 1800s have each remained Michigan maritime mysteries for well over a century, until they were both recently discovered by shipwreck hunter David Trotter.

“Each vessel lost is a unique piece of history,” said Trotter, who has been the first to locate more than 90 Great Lakes shipwrecks during his 40 years of searching. “They represent a time period that you can only go back to when you leave the surface and descend down to the deck of the wreck.”

The schooners Trotter discovered are the Venus and the Montezuma.

The Venus was a two-masted schooner, 122.8-feet long and a beam of 27.1 feet. She was built in 1872, and worked the Great Lakes shipping lanes for 15 years before she foundered in a gale storm on Lake Huron, taking all hands with her, on October 4, 1887. Six lives were lost aboard the Venus.

“We discovered the Venus in May 2014,” said Trotter, who is the founder and owner of Undersea Research Associates. “The Venus had been on my bucket list for quite a while.”

Trotter says his search area for the Venus was 40 miles off the coast of Pointe Aux Barques, Mich., which is near the thumb. Once an image appeared on his side-scan sonar, Trotter sent three divers down to the treacherous depth of nearly 300-feet to check it out.

“Typically, it’s quite difficult to immediately identify schooners,” said Trotter. “But as soon as my divers touched down on the deck, and saw several grindstones scattered around, we knew we had found the Venus.”

Trotter knew from reading historical records that the Venus was the only schooner on Lake Huron that sank transporting a load of grindstones.

“The Venus is in amazing condition for a ship that sank 130 years ago,” added Trotter. “Often times when a ship containing heavy cargo sinks, it dismantles when it impacts the lake bottom, but fortunately that didn’t happen to the Venus.

“In this instance, the ship is amazingly intact. The cabin structure is still upright and present. Our divers were able to swim along the rails of the ship, which were also intact. The decking is in place, and so is the anchor which is still attached near the bow.”

Trotter says he sat on his discovery of the Venus for two years because he was busy finding other wrecks, including the infamous Hydrus, which sank in Lake Huron during the Great Storm of 1913. Trotter’s crew was able to dive the Venus again earlier this past summer, with the second mission designed to obtain clearer video footage of the wreck.

In June 2016, Trotter and his team of divers found another wreck – the schooner Montezuma, which went down in Lake Huron October 3, 1871. The Montezuma was built in Cape Vincent, New York in 1848. Her dimensions were 123-feet long with a beam of 25.1.

Trotter says he and his team were searching in Lake Huron about 35 miles east of Oscoda, Mich., when an image appeared on the side-scan sonar in an approximate depth of 170 feet. Trotter's team of divers descended to the wreck site and began exploring.

It took longer to identify the Montezuma than it did the Venus.

"Some of the historical records indicated that the Montezuma had three masts, but we only located two masts," said Trotter. "With some very good descriptions in historical newspapers about the collision [with the Hattie Johnson], we were able to locate the damage, then make a confident identification that the vessel was in fact the Montezuma."

The Montezuma sank on October 3, 1871. A heavy haze, caused by enormous fires burning near the area, had covered portions of Lake Huron, making visibility nearly impossible. Despite the conditions, the shipping lanes in Lake Huron remained open and active.

According to historical records, the schooner Hattie Johnson was traveling two points off her course when suddenly the green light of the Montezuma appeared across her bow. The Johnson struck the Montezuma just forward of the main rigging with such force, the Montezuma nearly split in half. As the Montezuma was sinking, its crew abandoned ship and went aboard the Hattie Johnson, which sustained some damage, but wasn't sinking. The Johnson dropped anchor and waited for a tug to two her back to port.

Trotter says he thrilled to be able to go public with these two discoveries, and to be able to share the raw footage his divers were able to collect during the respective expeditions.

"Each vessel lost in the Great Lakes is a unique piece of history," added Trotter. "They represent a time period that you can only go back to when you leave the surface and descend down onto that shipwreck."

David Trotter's shipwreck discoveries have been featured on the Discovery Channel, PBS, NBC, The New York Times, Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press, just to name a few. Over the past 30 years, he's surveyed well over 2,500 square miles of Lake Huron.




Michigan governor makes appointments to Port Authority Advisory Committee

10/28 - Lansing, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder has announced the appointments of Kyle Burleson of Grosse Pointe Woods, Erin Kuhn of Norton Shores, Paul C. LaMarre III of Newport, Paul Rogers of Alpena, Gabriel (Gabe) Schneider of Traverse City, Charles Squires of Sebewaing, Rodney Stokes of Holt, Paul Strpko of Big Rapids and William (Bill) Vajda of Marquette to the Port Authority Advisory Committee.

Housed within the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the nine-member board was established to make recommendations to the Michigan Strategic Fund Board of Directors regarding projects related to port facilities.

"I am confident that this group of individuals will recommend projects that will positively affect Michigan’s ports, and I thank them for their willingness to serve," Snyder said.

Burleson is the Deputy Director of the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority. Kuhn is the executive director of West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission, where she acts as the liaison between local government and the private sector striving for shipping opportunities for the Port of Muskegon.

LaMarre is the Port Director of the Port of Monroe. He will represent the southeast area of the state, and will serve as chair. Rogers is the plant manager for LafargeHolcim, where he serves as the general manager of the Portland cement factory and manages implementation and optimization of environmental projects.

Schneider is the principal and founder of Northern Strategies 360, a government affairs consulting firm. Squires is the risk and government relations manager of Cooperative Elevator Company, an agricultural cooperative where he is involved in the marketing of products both domestically and internationally, utilizing all modes of transportation and recourses available, including ports.

Stokes retired from his position as special advisor on city placemaking for Governor Snyder in 2014. He is former director of the Department of Natural Resources and has over 30 years of experience in natural resource management, including over five years directing the State of Michigan Boating and Harbor of Refuge program.

Strpko is a sales manager for Fisher Companies and has over 20 years of experience in the aggregate and construction industry. He has been involved in the Great Lakes port operations for the past 15 years and been involved with the development and marketing of several facilities on the Great Lakes. He will represent the interests of the aggregate supply community. Vajda is the president and owner of Balizarde LLC, a company that offers information aggregation and reporting, economic development services and research, policy development, and cyber-security consulting and support.

Members serve terms expiring at the pleasure of the governor.


Museum to honor WW II pilots from Great Lakes carriers

10/28 - Toledo, Ohio – The National Museum of the Great Lakes is looking for a few good men. “Actually,” said Executive Director Christopher Gillcrist, “we are looking for a few great men, as in the greatest generation.”

The National Museum is attempting to identify WW II Navy pilots who received training aboard the USS Wolverine and the USS Sable on Lake Michigan, or who sailed on those two aircraft carriers during WW II. The museum wishes to honor those veterans in a ceremony prior to the screening of the documentary “Heroes on Deck,” hosted by the museum in Lakewood, Ohio, on Dec. 2.

“When we screened the documentary in Toledo, we had several pilots show up who received carrier certification on board the Lake Michigan aircraft carriers. This time, we want to make it special, and highlight these veterans before the screening,” Gillcrist added.

If you are a pilot, or you know a pilot, who made carrier landings aboard the USS Michigan or USS Wolverine during WW II or sailed as crew for either of the carriers, please contact the National Museum of the Great Lakes at 419-214-5000 extension 200, or email at



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.


Great Lakes/Seaway iron ore trade down 5.6 percent in September

10/27 - Cleveland, Ohio – Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway totaled 5,258,269 tons in September, a decrease of 5.6 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments trailed the month’s 5-year average by even more, 15.3 percent.

Shipments from U.S. Great Lakes ports totaled 4,916,787 tons in September, an increase of 60,544 tons, or roughly one load in a 1,000-foot-long U.S.-flag laker. However, loadings at Canadian terminals in the Seaway fell 52 percent to just 341,482 tons.

Year-to-date the iron ore trade stands at 38,109,839 tons, a decrease of 2.5 percent compared to the same point in 2015. Year-over-year, loadings at U.S. ports are up by 330,000 tons, or 0.97 percent, but shipments from Canadian ports in the St. Lawrence Seaway have slipped by 1,326,000 tons, or 25.8 percent.

Lake Carriers’ Association


Port Reports -  October 27

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
American Century departed from Port Terminal at 12:45 on Wednesday and headed for Two Harbors to load. Eemsborg finished loading at Peavey and departed at 15:31. Burns Harbor made a rare arrival through the Duluth ship canal Wednesday evening on her first trip since getting some sort of repairs at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay. She stopped to fuel at Calumet before shifting down to Burlington Northern for her usual load of ore. In Superior, Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin arrived at 04:44 to load at BN. She departed Wednesday evening.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
The saltie Mottler departed downbound on Wednesday late afternoon with grain. G3 Marquis, Wicko and Baie St. Paul were loading.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic Wednesday included Alpena and Capt. Henry Jackman Upbound traffic included John J. Boland and Manitoulin early, followed by Cedarglen, Pictured Rocks Express, Federal Cedar, Algosteel, American Spirit and H. Lee White. The tug Stephan M. Asher continued her work in the West Pier area of the locks.

Charlevoix, Mich.
Algosteel departed early Wednesday and headed northbound.

Indiana Harbor, Ind.
Wilfred Sykes and Walter J. McCarthy Jr. were both unloading at ArcelorMittal on Wednesday afternoon.

Burns Harbor, Ind.
Algoma Olympic was unloading on Wednesday.

Goderich, Ont.
The saltie Lake St. Clair departed downbound on Wednesday. John B. Aird was loading salt.

Toledo, Ohio – Jim Hoffman
Spruceglen was at Anderson's E Elevator on Wednesday. Algoma Equinox was at Anderson's K Elevator. The tug Petite Forte with the barge St. Marys Cement was at the St. Marys cement dock unloading. Kaye E. Barker has a 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, ETA for the Torco ore dock. After unloading, the Barker will proceed to the CSX coal dock to load. Manitowoc is due Friday at 5 a.m. at CSX. The saltwater vessel Bluewing is in the Welland Canal bound for Toledo with a Thursday ETA. It is unknown to which dock she is bound. The saltwater vessels Federal Danube, Lyulin and Osogovo are also bound for Toledo, but are a ways away.

Sandusky, Ohio
Buffalo was in port Wednesday night.

Cleveland, Ohio
In port Wednesday was the saltie Federal Bristol. Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder was on the shuttle run.

Nanticoke, Ont.
CSL Laurentien was unloading ore on Wednesday evening.

Erie, Pa. – Gene Polaski
The newly-built Sea Chem I chemical barge was mated with her tug, Sea Power, and departed Erie Wednesday morning for sea trials and possible departure. The tug New York from Ashtabula was assisting. Arriving later in the morning was the Manitowoc to unload stone. The brig Niagara also arrived home (Erie) after being in drydock at Cleveland. The research vessel Muskie was also in Erie.


Mystery deepens around historic tugboat sunk near Thunder Bay

10/27 - Thunder Bay, Ont. – The mystery surrounding the whereabouts of the historic tugboat Mary Ann — the first ship registered in Canada — has deepened. Divers thought they found the wreck of the fabled ship three years ago, near the Welcome Islands, in Lake Superior, off the shore of Thunder Bay, Ont.

But now, an archaeologist has completed a survey of the wreck, and has determined it's most likely not that of the Mary Ann.

"We were going over historic photographs of the [Mary Ann], and some of the structural features of the shipwreck don't match up with those historical photographs," said Chris McEvoy, a research archaeologist at Lakehead University who works with the Superior chapter of Save Ontario Shipwrecks.

"One example is the stem of the vessel," he said. "The very, very front has a different ... look to it than we've seen on historical images."

"Vessels, they can change a little bit over time — they can be built up, torn town, built up again, but the issue is, a lot of these changes, they can't occur without really changing the overall structure of the vessel," McEvoy said. "I'm 95-99 per cent confident that it's not the Mary Ann."

The wreck in question was discovered by divers David Shepherd and Robert Valley in 2013. The ship's profile led the divers to believe the ship was the Mary Ann, which was registered in 1867, Shepherd said.

McEvoy is working to determine the identity of the wreck discovered by Shepherd and Valley. "I'm going over a list of shipwrecks in the area," McEvoy said. "I know it is likely a tug, also. It is of similar size to the Mary Ann, and it is of similar age."

Shepherd said there are still parts of the mystery wreck that haven't been examined. "There's an aft cabin which has yet to be explored," he said. "In the front, there is a foredeck and an aft deck which are still intact."

"Due to close [confinement] and needing speciality training to go into them, we haven't really explored them that much," Shepherd said. "We're going to start looking at getting some people in there, and we might find that missing piece to fully identify what this wreck truly is."

Regardless of the ship's identity, the wreck, Shepherd said, is still an important discovery. "It's a really, really neat wreck," he said. "It adds a lot to the local dive tourism. It's clear, there are no nets on it, it's in the open, and it's a nice clay bottom all around it. It's a beautiful wreck to dive on."

So, if the Mary Ann isn't sitting in 55 feet of water near the Welcome Islands, where is she? One possibility is the ship graveyard located between the Welcome Islands and the Sleeping Giant, which includes more than a dozen wrecks.

"It is very deep, it is very dark, and it is very, very dirty water," he said. "When they did harbor cleanups in the 1930s, they took a lot of derelict vessels out there and just sunk them."

All the reports he's seen indicate the Mary Ann is not among those wrecks, said Shepherd. However, McEvoy pointed out that not all of the ships in the graveyard have been identified. In any case, Shepherd said, the silver lining is that the Mary Ann is still out there, somewhere, waiting to be discovered.



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.


U.S.-flag lakes cargos down 7 percent in September

10/26 - Cleveland, Ohio – U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters moved 9.1 million tons of cargo in September, a decrease of 7 percent compared to a year ago. The September float was also 8.7 percent below the month’s 5-year average.

Iron ore cargos for the steel industry totaled 4.3 million tons, a virtual repeat of a year ago. Coal shipments to power plants and steel mills fell to 1.8 million tons, a decrease of 14.3 percent. Limestone for construction projects and steel production totaled 2.5 million tons, a decrease of 15.2 percent compared to a year ago.

Year-over-year U.S.-flag carriage stands at 59 million tons, a decrease of 5.2 percent. Iron ore cargos are up 3.9 percent, but coal loads have dipped 23.3 percent. Limestone shipments trail last year by 6.7 percent.

Lake Carriers’ Association


Massive Erie-built vessel readies for voyage

10/26 - What might be the most expensive thing ever built in Erie is docked at the Holland Street Pier and is ready to sail. She's the Sea-Chem 1, a 580-foot oceangoing chemical barge that weighs 5,500 tons and is capable of hauling 7 million gallons of chemicals or petroleum products.

Donjon Shipbuilding & Repair, which has been working on the vessel for more than two years, completed its work on Oct. 14 and has transferred ownership to Seabulk Tankers Inc., which is based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

"Coast Guard inspections are what's left," said John Nekoloff, subcontracts manager for Donjon. "They have to do sea trials and run it out on the lake."

Following those trials, expected Wednesday, the barge and companion tug, which was built in Jacksonville, Fla., will head down the East Coast to its home port in Florida.

Jake Rouch, vice president of economic development for the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership, has been able to keep tabs on the ship outside the window of his office at the Erie Intermodal Transportation Center.

"My reaction is it's the sleekest looking vessel that has ever been out here," Rouch said. "It's a powerful testament to what we can build here. I am pretty certain that is the most expensive single product ever produced in Erie, Pennsylvania."

Nekoloff didn't say how much the vessel sold for, but agreed that it's likely the most costly vessel Donjon has built in Erie since it took over the former Erie Shipbuilding LLC in 2010. The ship, painted a combination of gray, black, white and maroon, is also the first chemical barge that Donjon has built.

Nekoloff said he couldn't say for sure when the Sea-Chem I will leave Erie, but he expects it will be some time this week.

As of Monday afternoon, it remained docked next door to Donjon, a 5,500-ton reminder of Erie's shipbuilding past and evidence that Erie remains a manufacturing town. "It's a cool thing to have here and know that it was built next door," Rouch said.



Port Reports -  October 26

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
American Century arrived Duluth at 08:15 on Tuesday and stopped at Calumet to fuel before backing into the Port Terminal slip to take a delay. The Polish saltie Skawa arrived from anchor during the late afternoon hours and docked at CHS 2 to load wheat and flax. This is her first trip to the Twin Ports. American Century was expected to depart from Port Terminal late Tuesday night and head for Two Harbors to load. Eemsborg continued loading at Peavey Monday, and Cornelia remained at anchor. In Superior, Alpena finished unloading at LaFarge and departed light at 11:30. Michipicoten arrived at 15:21 to load at Burlington Northern. She departed at 20:00.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Baie St. Paul was loading grain on Tuesday.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic Tuesday included Sam Laud and Arthur M. Anderson in the morning. In the evening, Whitefish Bay, Great Lakes Trader and Edgar B. Speer were headed down. Edwin H. Gott, Burns Harbor, G3 Marquis and Manitoulin were upbound.

Charlevoix, Mich.
Algosteel, which has been at anchor offshore since Sunday afternoon, finally made it in to port on Tuesday.

Escanaba, Mich.
Kaye E. Barker was loading ore Tuesday afternoon.

Muskegon, Mich.
Federal Mayumi, an unusual visitor for the port, was in Muskegon on Tuesday. Her last port was Burns Harbor.

Alpena, Mich. – Ben & Chanda McClain
Herbert C. Jackson made a rare appearance in Thunder Bay River Tuesday night. It tied up at the Alpena Oil Dock around 9pm. It unloaded product that will be used at Lafarge.

Goderich, Ont.
The saltie Lake St. Clair continued loading grain on Tuesday.

Saginaw River – Gordy Garris
Algorail was outbound from the Saginaw River on Monday after unloading slag overnight at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City. Algorail passed by the Front Range around 8:30 a.m. enroute to Meldrum Bay, Ont. to take on her next cargo. Tuesday morning saw the return of the tug Olive L. Moore and the barge Lewis J. Kuber. The pair also unloaded at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City, making this the second cargo delivered to the dock in the past 24 hours. The Moore/Kuber finished unloading, backed out of the slip, and headed outbound for the lake around 8 p.m. Tuesday night. The next stop for the pair is Stoneport to take on their next cargo. Making her first ever visit to the Saginaw River on Tuesday was the saltie Floretgracht. Under the assistance of the tug Gregory J. Busch, the Floretgracht arrived around 8 p.m. to deliver wind turbines to the Port Fisher dock in Bay City. The unloading process of turbines usually takes a few days to complete, so the Floretgracht is expected to be in port until Thursday or Friday. Passing the outbound Moore/Kuber near the entrance to the shipping channel in the Saginaw Bay was the last inbound vessel of the day Tuesday, the tug Spartan and the barge Spartan II. Spartan/Spartan II are expected to arrive around midnight with a load of calcium chloride for the Port Fisher dock in Bay City. The pair will be sharing the Port Fisher dock with the Floretgracht, which was already moored and in the process of unloading turbines at the south end of the dock.

Monroe, Mich.
Herbert C Jackson loaded about 10,000 tons of recycled refractory brick at Gerdau Macsteel in Monroe Monday evening and departed upbound for Alpena.

Lorain, Ohio – Phil Leon
Dorothy Ann Pathfinder departed Lorain at 14:45 today and headed east.

Oswego, N.Y. – Ned Goebricher
On Tuesday, the English River unloaded cement.


The story behind the Ardita, stranded less than a mile from shore

10/26 - Hamilton, Ont. – Blair McKeil opens the trunk of his SUV to reveal a feast: covered aluminum trays full of carrots, mashed potatoes and a Thanksgiving turkey. “Homemade apple pie!” he exclaims, lifting one out of the back seat. Then McKeil walks towards a 147-metre-long ship docked at Hamilton Harbor’s Eastport, so large it makes a truck parked beside it look like a Dinky toy.

McKeil is chairman and CEO of McKeil Marine, a Hamilton shipping company, and the ship he's heading towards is the Ardita, an Italian vessel that McKeil has been trying to purchase for months.

The vessel — and its 14-person crew — has been stuck in Hamilton's harbor for nearly six months, and McKeil is delivering the holiday dinner in hopes of taking the edge off an ordeal with no clear end in sight.

On this sunny Thanksgiving Sunday morning, McKeil is accompanied by Steve Fletcher, the company’s president, and Olous Boag, its vice-president of operations. Carefully, they march up the curved metal steps to the deck, where crew members are loading skids of bottled water, and drop off the food in the dining room.

The ship’s captain, Salvatore Siragusa, greets them warmly. McKeil gestures to the pies. “Not as good as a cannoli, but a Canadian cannoli,” he says.

He had to explain the concept of Thanksgiving to the Italian and Filipino men who make up the Ardita’s crew. But given the unusual situation the vessel is in, McKeil thought the goodwill gesture might be a welcome one.

McKeil Marine had been working out a purchase deal with the Ardita’s owner, the Italian company Armamento Setramar, for nearly a year. The ship arrived in Hamilton on April 24 from Greece, at which point it was expected the sale would be completed.

The Ardita is what's called a bulker, used for transporting large volumes of material such as finished powdered concrete and grain. A brand new ship this size costs about $30 million; a used one can run $15 million to $20 million, depending on its age.

In 2015, McKeil had purchased another vessel from Setramar, a deal that had gone smoothly. That bulker, named Spavalda, sailed to Hamilton with an Italian crew, ownership was transferred upon arrival, and the crew flew home, replaced with Canadian workers under its new owners. McKeil renamed that ship Evans Spirit. But the purchase of the Ardita hit a snag.

McKeil Marine had sent a deposit prior to the ship’s arrival — typical practice. When the Ardita sailed into Hamilton, Setramar told McKeil it would take a few days for the sale to go through, says Boag.

In the meantime, Setramar gave permission for some upgrades to be made to the vessel, including painting and steel work. The ship was removed from the water and placed in dry dock, where these renovations began.

“A few more days, a few more days,” Boag says Setramar told them. “Then it ends up being weeks. It got, finally, to the point where we just knew it wasn’t going to happen.”

(One of Setramar’s Canadian lawyers did not respond to a request for comment.)

More than $1 million of work had been done on the ship. Concerned it would leave the harbor with an outstanding bill — and with Setramar in possession of the money McKeil had paid already — both McKeil and Heddle Marine, the company that operates the dry dock, sought a federal court order to put the ship under arrest.

That was granted on May 26. “We were trying to protect our interests,” says Fletcher. “We never thought it would take this long.”

In the meantime, McKeil had to purchase another ship to do the job the Ardita was going to do: transporting cement within the Great Lakes and out to the east coast.

McKeil learned that Setramar didn't wholly own the boat it was trying to sell, and that was causing the delays, Boag says.

“A deal gone sideways” is how he describes it. “Whether it was the banks or another company that had part ownership or interested parties that had the vessel as collateral against another loan, those are the things we’ll never know.”

Also caught up in all this: the 14-person crew. Until the ship’s ownership is transferred to McKeil, they must continue to work, and are still being paid by Setramar.

Because the Ardita has only docked briefly three times since it was placed under arrest, the crew has spent most of the last six months stuck in the middle of the harbor. (“Crew members are able to disembark and visit the city when the ship is berthed,” says Larissa Fenn, a spokesperson for the Hamilton Port Authority.)

“The seafarers are used to being away for long periods of time,” says Rev. Ronda Ploughman, a chaplain with the Mission to Seafarers Southern Ontario in Hamilton. “In some ways, this is a little bit easier because they’re not actually at sea, which can be very difficult and dangerous. But the big challenge for them has been being less than a mile from the shore and not being able to get off.”

There have been changeovers too, with some of the men flying home as their contracts ended.

Ploughman has been checking in on the Ardita crew over the last few months. That’s part of the mission’s duty — talking to crews as ships arrive in the harbor and providing support if needed. The mission’s center offers Wi-Fi for crews to communicate with their families.

When one Ardita crew member had to be hospitalized, Ploughman arranged for an Italian translator to assist. She also drove some of the men around Hamilton, to Hess Village and Williams Fresh Cafe, during one of the Ardita’s stays in the port — “just to get away from the relentless sound of the engines going and the vibration of the ship,” she says.

Back in August, she drove three crew members to a dinner held in their honor by the Sons of Italy, a fraternal Italian organization with a chapter in Hamilton.

When president Loris Pilot heard the ship would be docking the next day, he acted quickly, calling a chef and inviting Sons of Italy members.

“It was a sympathetic response, knowing that these men are stuck on that ship,” Pilot says. “When you’re moving freight across the ocean, you’re busy, you’re working, you’re watching the weather, there’s a task at hand. Now they’re just sitting here and waiting, waiting. I imagine it’s hard on them.”

They feasted on pasta chi chi, chicken, sausage, cannoli, salad, and fresh fruit. The conversation, a mixture of English and Italian, didn’t stop.

“The six degrees of separation became pretty evident,” says Pilot. “They knew somebody from their hometown or they knew someone from the neighboring town.”

While at anchor, the crew keeps busy cleaning the ship — “it’s spick and span,” says Ploughman — and watching the same movies over and over. When the sale finally goes through — and Boag is hopeful this will happen in the next 30 days — they will return home.

“I think the community has done a lot to reach out to this crew,” Ploughman says.

Ships arrive in the port city every day, and she says it’s often not foremost in people’s minds that sailors are aboard. “We really rely on the work of the seafarers who spend their lives at sea so we can live this quality of life that we live, right from the cup of coffee that we drink in the morning.”


Great Lakes balladeer Lee Murdock launches Kickstarter to fund 21st CD

10/26 - Prolific Great Lakes balladeer Lee Murdock is in the studio with his band Blue Horizon, recording 13 new songs for his 21st CD, “Loving Light.” These include some new tunes that relate to Great Lakes history as well as a few folk songs that were popular from years past.

In order to defray costs for recording and manufacturing the album – estimated at about $15,000 – Murdock has launched a Kickstarter page to help fund the project. Several reward packages are available (including books and vinyl records), depending on the level of sponsorship.

For more information, or to donate, visit this link:


TorQuest Partners invests in McKeil Marine

10/26 - Hamilton / Toronto, Ont. – McKeil Marine and TorQuest Partners have announced that TorQuest has invested in McKeil, in partnership with existing management and shareholders. Terms of the investment were not disclosed. TorQuest is a manager of private equity funds with more than $2 billion of equity capital under management.

McKeil also announced that Steve Fletcher, president, who has been with McKeil for 17 years, has been appointed president and CEO and that Blair McKeil, previously CEO and chairman, has assumed the role of vice chairman.

McKeil is a Canadian provider of marine transportation and project services for a wide range of customers and industry sectors across the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Seaway, East Coast and the Canadian Arctic.

"This milestone event is a testament to our skilled and dedicated crew, our valued customers, service providers and industry partners,” said Blair McKeil. “Enhancing our ability to sustain and accelerate our growth is a fantastic way to celebrate the company’s 60th anniversary.”

"TorQuest’s investment in McKeil strengthens our ability to invest in our crews, expand our fleet and build upon our existing platform to better service a broader customer base,” added Steve Fletcher, McKeil’s president and CEO.

“A new world of opportunity has opened up and McKeil is now uniquely positioned to act on these opportunities,” he said.

McKeil Marine


Updates -  October 26

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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.

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.


Port Reports -  October 25

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
Alpena arrived Duluth at 12:15 on Monday and began discharging cement at Lafarge Superior. Elbeborg finished loading at Peavey and departed around dinnertime. Her fleetmate Eemsborg, which was at anchor, arrived shortly after and docked at Peavey to load grain. Skawa arrived offshore and dropped anchor early Monday morning, waiting to load grain at CHS 2. This is Skawa's first visit to Duluth since being built in 2012. Cornelia also remained at anchor on Monday.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Mottler arrived Monday evening, followed late in the evening by Baie St. Paul. Whitefish Bay was loading.

St. Marys River
Monday’s downbound traffic included Saginaw, Paul R. Tregurtha, Esta Desgagnes, Lee A. Tregurtha, tug Victory/barge Kuber and, after dark, American Integrity and Frontenac, Upbounders included Edgar B. Speer and, after dark, Capt. Henry Jackman and Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin.

Cedarville, Mich.
Wilfred Sykes arrived in the early evening Monday to load limestone.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
Burns Harbor departed BayShip Monday evening enroute Superior, Wis., after undergoing repairs to the stern.

Alpena, Mich. – Ben & Chanda McClain
The tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula unloaded coal at Lafarge on Thursday (20th). Over the weekend the Alpena came in and loaded cement at Lafarge on Saturday. The tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity arrived Sunday night to take on cargo. Fleetmate Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation tied up under the silos on Monday. The research vessel Spencer F. Baird is docked in the river.

Goderich, Ont.
The saltie Lake St. Clair, which previously visited the Great Lakes as Federal Miramichi, was at the grain elevator on Monday. Algolake was expected in port to load salt in the late evening.

Detroit, Mich.
USS Detroit departed her namesake city Monday morning and headed across the river to Windsor, Ont.

Toledo, Ohio
Algoma Equinox will be making a return trip soon to load grain. She is currently at Hamilton, Ont., unloading iron ore. She will be due in sometime on Wednesday. Most likely going to Andersons K Elevator. Down the road, the saltwater vessels Federal Danube and Lyulin are expected in port.

Erie, Pa. – Gene Polaski‎
On Monday, the tug Sea Power mated with the chemical barge Sea Chem I (built by DonJon in Erie) for the first time. Despite the brisk wind from the northwest, the Sea Power maneuvered easily into the notch. It is not known when the combo will leave Erie, but possibly within a day or so.

Montreal, Que.
The Port of Montreal website shows a Tuesday departure date for the Atlantic Erie / tug Pacific Hickory scrap tow to Turkey. No time was listed.


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.

STERNECLIFFE HALL entered service for the Hall Corporation of Canada on October 25, 1947.

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: 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.


Great Lakes-Seaway shipping season comeback continues

10/24 - North American grain and iron ore exports in September have accelerated a rebound in shipping on the St. Lawrence Seaway.

“While overall tonnage is about 5 percent behind last year, the resurgence in shipping activity that started in August continued last month,” said Raymond Johnston, President of the Chamber of Marine Commerce.

“U.S. grain exports are up and we’re seeing a resumption of iron ore exports from ports in the Upper Great Lakes such as Duluth-Superior due to improved world pricing.”

Total Seaway year-to-date shipments (March 21 through September 30) reached 21.2 million metric tons. U.S. grain totaled 1.4 million metric tons, up more than 5 percent over the 2015 season’s already robust performance. Shipments of aluminum, for the auto industry, remained a growth area for several ports including Toledo, Detroit and Oswego, N.Y. In addition, liquid bulk shipments, including petroleum, asphalt and other products, totaled 2.5 million metric tons, up 25 percent.

“We continued to outpace last year’s totals for coal, liquids, and general cargo shipments through the Port of Toledo in September,” said Joseph Cappel, VP of Business Development for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. Aluminum shipments originating in Canada led the way in the general cargo category improving 27 percent over last year. “Grain shipments consisting of imported wheat from Canada and overseas corn exports have also been fairly strong,” Cappel added.

For the Port of Green Bay, September was a strong month with an 8 percent increase in overall tonnage compared to 2015. “Much of the increase continues to be due to shipping of petroleum products,” said Dean Haen, Director of the Port of Green Bay. “We’ve also seen a 10 percent increase in limestone shipments coming into our port.”

Norwalk Reflector


Port Reports -  October 24

Duluth, Minn.
Arthur M. Anderson finished unloading limestone and departed Duluth at 06:53, bound for Two Harbors. American Integrity followed her outbound at 08:40 with coal for St. Clair. Elbeborg continued loading at Peavey, and Eemsborg and Cornelia remained at anchor. In Superior, Michipicoten arrived at 03:19, and after a very quick load, departed at 06:20.

St. Marys River
Alpena and Lee A. Tregurtha were upbound in the morning, followed by Joseph L. Block. Saginaw, Presque Isle and Mesabi Miner were upbound in the afternoon. Baie St. Paul was in Soo Harbor upbound in the evening. Esta Desgagnes was downbound, and tied up in Soo, Ont., to discharge petroleum products. American Spirit was downbound after dark. The tug Stephan M. Asher was incorrectly reported as passing downbound Saturday. She was in the locks area with a barge delivering supplies for a West Center Pier repair project.

Grand Haven, Mich.
Wilfred Sykes arrived to unload on a sunny Sunday morning. She was headed up the lake later in the day.

Saginaw, Mich. – Gordy Garris
Calumet departed early Sunday morning after unloading overnight in Saginaw. Calumet had arrived around 10 p.m. Saturday night and delivered a split load between the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee and the Lafarge Stone dock in Saginaw. After turning around at the Sixth Street basin, Calumet was back outbound for the lake around 8 a.m. Sunday morning. Expected to make its first visit of the 2016 season early Monday morning is the Algorail. Algorail is loaded with slag from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. This will be one of Algorail's final trips to the Saginaw River as she is likely to be retired and scrapped at the end of the shipping season.

Kingston, Ont. – Ron Walsh
The Groupe Ocean tug Escorte and barge Ocean Basque 2 were moored at the old elevator dock in Kingston Sunday, presumably waiting for weather as there were gale warnings up for W 35 knots. This was supposed to ease to 20 knots Sunday night, but build to 25 knots by Monday morning. Waves of 3.0 metres were forecast for eastern Lake Ontario Sunday.


Ports of Indiana, Trois-Rivières partner to launch market study

10/24 - The Ports of Indiana and the Port of Trois-Rivières have announced that the two port authorities have formed a first-of-its-kind marketing partnership and will conduct a joint study to explore new maritime shipping opportunities.

The two ports will launch a market analysis in the next few weeks to identify potential supply chain connections between their facilities. The initiative was created as a direct result of the maritime partnership formed between Indiana and Quebec in 2015. Both port organizations have been working together in the past few months, but now plan to expand their collaboration efforts.

The announcement was made when Indiana Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith, Ports of Indiana CEO Rich Cooper and a group of Indiana leaders visited the Port of Trois-Rivières as part of an Indiana Maritime Trade Mission to Quebec that included meetings with Dominique Anglade, Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation, as well as leadership from Port of Trois-Rivières, Port of Montreal, Fednav and various maritime businesses based in Quebec.

In Trois-Rivières, the Indiana delegation met with Québec Associate Secretary General of Maritime Affairs Georges Farrah, port officials, transportation providers and major manufacturers in the area. The Indiana delegation included port, steel and economic development representatives who participated in the trip to learn more about developments related to Quebec’s Maritime Strategy announced in 2015.

“We’re excited to partner with the Port of Trois-Rivières to explore new market opportunities for better connecting our ports and expanding economic opportunities for both Indiana and Quebec,” said Rich Cooper, CEO for the Ports of Indiana. “Our ports share an entrepreneurial approach to new business development and a determined focus for providing logistics solutions for bulk and break-bulk shipments on our waterways.”

The Port of Trois-Rivières is a deep-water port located between Montreal and Quebec City on the St. Lawrence River, which is open year-round to ocean vessels. The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor provides multimodal connections to the Chicago-Northwest Indiana markets, which is one of the largest steel producing regions in the world, and also offers year-round shipments via the 12,500-mile inland river system which connects to 20 states and the Gulf of Mexico.

“We believe there are potential synergies in the industrial sectors surrounding each of our ports and that the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway can provide logistics solutions for developing new business connections in Indiana and Quebec,” said Gaétan Boivin, President & CEO, Port of Trois-Rivières.

“The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor offers connections to extensive supply and demand opportunities for Quebec businesses in the Chicago marketplace, and can provide access to the U.S. inland waterways system.”


Updates -  October 24

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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 four miles from the Vermillion Life Saving Station. The lifesaving crew rescued the two-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.

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.


Thousands show up for USS Detroit commissioning

10/23 - Detroit, Mich. – More than 6,500 people showed up Saturday morning for the commissioning of the U.S. Navy's newest warship, the USS Detroit along the GM Riverwalk on the Detroit River.

For a late October day, the weather cooperated: it was cool, but sunny with blue skies and the Detroit River provided a glistening backdrop. There was a military band that played "Anchors Away" and other favorites. There were speeches by several officials, including from Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow.

The 3,200-ton Detroit is officially classified as a LCS, a littoral combat ship. While festooned with bright-colored flags and red-white-and blue draping Saturday it would never be confused with a Boblo boat.

Read more and see photos at this link


Port Reports -  October 23

Duluth, Minn.
Sam Laud arrived at 08:50 with limestone to discharge. On the way in, she passed her sister ship Buffalo, which departed at 09:00 from Fraser Shipyards and headed to Silver Bay to load ore. Paul R. Tregurtha arrived at 10:55 to load coal at Midwest Energy. American Integrity arrived next at 13:45 and docked at Port Terminal to wait for the Tregurtha to finish loading at Midwest Energy. Arthur M. Anderson arrived at 15:55 and discharged limestone at C. Reiss Terminal. Sam Laud then departed light at 16:24 and headed for Silver Bay to load. Paul R. Tregurtha was expected to depart from Midwest Energy late Saturday night. Elbeborg continued loading beet pulp pellets at Peavey. At anchor off Duluth was Cornelia and Eemsborg, which is waiting to load grain at Peavey. In Superior, James R. Barker finished loading and departed from BN at 16:48.

St. Marys River
Ken Boothe Sr./Lakes Contender, Walter J. McCarthy Jr, Stewart J. Cort and tug Stephan J. Asher were downbound in the morning, followed by Kaministiqua, Roger Blough and Federal Kumano after dark. Whitefish Bay and Skawa were upbound in the evening. Algorail spent a second day at the Essar Export Dock.

Holland, Mich. 
Manitowoc was in port Saturday at the at the Board of Public Works (BPW) power plant. They were using two dockside conveyors to load what appeared to be the remaining coal stock from the now-closed municipal power plant. They departed mid-evening, and AIS showed their destination as Manistee.

Sarnia, Ont.
Tim S. Dool was loading grain on Saturday.

Detroit, Mich.
Saginaw was upbound Saturday afternoon, and Philip R. Clarke was downbound. Rt Hon Paul J. Martin spent the day unloading at Zug Island. American Mariner was unloading at a River Rouge dock.

Seaway – Brenda Benoit
The bulk carrier Tundra headed down the St Lawrence Seaway with a cargo of soybean out of Hamilton on Saturday.

Montreal, Que.
The saltwater tug Pacific Hickory (formerly Atlantic Towing’s Atlantic Hickory) arrived at Montreal Saturday morning. She is expected to tow the retired CSL self-unloader Atlantic Erie to the breakers. A departure date has not been set.


Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines gain popularity in Canadian LNG rush

10/23 - Canadian owners have ordered Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines for 13 vessels set to join the St. Lawrence River ferry F.A. Gauthier, the country's only LNG-fuelled vessel to date. Nine dual-fuelled vessels powered by Wärtsilä engines will enter operation in Canada within the next year as the company capitalizes on its strong regional presence.

The company has orders for a total of 13 further gas-powered ships. Including the ferry already in operation, the orders amount to 45 dual-fuel four-stroke engines and 14 LNG Pac gas handling systems, as well as four two-stroke engines from former Wärtsilä subsidiary WinGD.

Two ferries will be built for Société des Traversiers du Québec at Davie Shipyard with the same LNG and diesel-electric configuration as the F.A. Gauthier. Two ferries for Vancouver-based operator Seaspan, to be built at Sedef in Turkey, will each be powered by two W34DF engines.

BC Ferries is having two Spirit class ferries repowered at Remontowa – where they will each be fitted with four eight-cylinder inline W34DF engines by 2019 – as well as building three new Salish class ferries at the same yard. The new vessels, the first of which begins sea trials next week will be powered by three W20DF engines.

Meanwhile, Group Desgagnés has ordered four dual-fuel carriers to serve trades in the Great Lakes and Eastern Seaboard. The first, the M/T Damia Desgagnés, was launched on Saturday, June 11, at the Turkish shipyard Besiktas. Under charter to bulk operator Algoma, they will feature WinGD’s RTFlex50 two-stroke engines as prime movers, with three W20DF generators.


Updates -  October 23

The Great Lakes Book Shelf has been updated with new reviews.

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  October 23

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

On October 23,1887, the small wooden scow-schooner LADY ELGIN was driven ashore about one mile north of Goderich, Ontario, in a severe storm that claimed numerous other vessels. By October 26, she was broken up by the waves.

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

The rail car ferry GRAND RAPIDS was launched October 23, 1926, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin, for the Grand Trunk-Milwaukee Car Ferry Co., Muskegon, Michigan. She entered service in December of 1926.

WILLIAM B. SCHILLER (Hull#372) was launched October 23, 1909, at Lorain, Ohio, for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio.

October 23, 1953 - The steamer SPARTAN arrived Ludington on her maiden voyage. Captain Harold A. Altschwager was in command.

On October 23, 1868, F. T. BARNEY (wooden schooner, 255 tons, built in 1856, at Vermilion, Ohio) collided with the schooner TRACY J BRONSON and sank below Nine Mile Point, Northwest of Rogers City in Lake Michigan. The wreck was found in 1987, and sits in deep water, upright in almost perfect condition.

On October 23, 1873, the wooden steam barge GENEVA was loaded with wheat and towing the barge GENOA in a violent storm on Lake Superior. She bent her propeller shaft and the flailing blades cut a large hole in her stern. The water rushed in and she went down quickly 15 miles off Caribou Island. No lives were lost. This was her first season of service. She was one of the first bulk freighters with the classic Great Lakes fore and aft 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

Duluth, Minn.
Hon. James L. Oberstar departed Duluth at 03:15 on Friday after unloading limestone. She was headed to Silver Bay to load. Elbeborg arrived at 10:45 to load beet pulp pellets at Peavey. Buffalo was at Fraser Shipyards for repair work of some kind on Friday, and Cornelia was at anchor off Duluth cleaning her holds. She is expected to arrive on November 9 to load grain. Buffalo was expected to depart Fraser late Friday night and head to Silver Bay to load. In Superior, Stewart J. Cort departed with iron ore pellets at 04:20, and James R. Barker arrived at 05:30 and replaced the Cort at Burlington Northern.

St. Marys River
Frontenac was upbound Friday afternoon, followed by Great Lakes Trader. ARA Rotterdam was downbound in the evening. The tankers Esta Desgagnes and Algonova were both in the harbor on Friday. Algorail spent the day at the Essar Export Dock.

Goderich, Ont.
Algowood was loading salt at the Sifto dock on Friday evening.

Muskegon, Mich.
G.L. Ostrander / Integrity arrived on Friday afternoon to discharge cement.

Sarnia, Ont.
Tim S. Dool was loading grain Friday night.

Toledo, Ohio
Thunder Bay was loading grain on Friday.


Great Lakes senators seek boost for maritime system

10/22 - Washington, D.C. – Senators who represent states in the Great Lakes area are urging the Department of Transportation to lead an effort aimed at rejuvenating the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence maritime transportation system (MTS).

The bipartisan group of lawmakers is calling on the department to conduct a system-wide analysis to identify bottlenecks and barriers across the Great Lakes and “unlock the potential” of the maritime system, which they say is under-utilized and only operating at 50 percent of its full capacity.

The proposed strategy includes a mix of policies and projects that would help increase efficiency, reduce costs and encourage new markets such as cruise ships, containers and short sea shipping.

The senators hope the move would double maritime trade and shrink the environmental impact of the transportation system, which contributes more than $30 billion to the U.S. and Canadian economies and is responsible for over 220,000 jobs.

“This analysis would lay the groundwork to help identify where future public and private investment would have broad, systemically significant impacts,” the lawmakers wrote to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on Thursday. “We have a tremendous opportunity to seize on past investments, take advantage of available capacity and infrastructure, and begin to unlock the economic potential of the Great Lakes MTS.”

The letter is singed by Sens. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich).

The Hill


First ever shipment of soybeans passing through Summerside port

10/22 - Summerside, Prince Edward Island – For the first time in recent memory a ship is on its way to P.E.I. to pick up a massive order of soybeans.

In preparation for the ship’s arrival, the Summerside Port Corporation’s warehouse has been packed full with upwards of 130 tractor-trailer loads of the versatile little legumes. The total shipment will represent closer to 300 tractor-trailer loads.

Seeing that huge room filled to the brim is quite a site to behold and an exciting first, in many respects, for the agriculture industry on the Island, said Neil Campbell, general manager of the P.E.I. Grain Elevator Corporation.

“This is a pretty cool thing for us to be able to do this,” said Campbell.

P.E.I. farmers produce between 35,000 and 40,000 tonnes of soybeans annually. The publically-owned Grain Elevator Corporation would buy a significant portion of the crop and it it in turn sells the beans to mostly off-Island oilseed and grain companies.

This particular deal involves the corporation selling 20,000 tonnes of soybeans to Richardson International, a big player in the Canadian agriculture industry. Two ships are scheduled to dock in Summerside, one within the next few days and a second later this fall, and will take about 10,000 tonnes each to be unloaded in Quebec.

The soybeans in this shipment are labeled as “crusher” beans and are typically crushed for their oil or roasted for animal feed.

Summerside-based Coastal Stevedoring has been contracted to handle the loading of the ships and is bringing in special equipment from out of the province to get the job done.

This deal represents a significant opportunity from the Summerside Port Coporation’s perspective, said Arnold Croken, its president.

Years ago the port did a brisk business shipping out potatoes but that market has mostly moved away from shipping via vessels. The facility has been searching for a way to reinvent itself and attract new business.

“This is a virtually new, underutilized, building that needs to be used for something other than a dance or a book sale. We’re here for the private resources on P.E.I. and we always saw that as our best bet,” said Croken.

If this shipment works out well for all parties then Campbell sees no reason why it won’t happen again in the future and that could have beneficial repercussions for the not just the industry of Summerside but for all soybean harvesters on P.E.I., he said.

Transporting a product via ship allows for much larger volumes, which could eventually translate into an increase in production.

“We could double our production here on the Island and still have the sales – of course we don’t have the infrastructure at this time, but there is room for growth for sure,” said Campbell.



Updates -  October 22

Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the Chem Polaris, Duzgit Endeavour, Federal Biscay, Flevogracht, Fraserborg, Happy Rover, Harbour Pioneer, Heleen C, Industrial Charger, Maccoa, Njord Clear, Palmerton, Roerborg, Skawa and Vikingbank.

The Great Lakes Book Shelf has been updated with new reviews


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, ALGOCEN spilled about four barrels of diesel fuel while refueling at the Esso Dock at Sarnia.

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 towline 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: 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.


Chi-Cheemaun busier again this year

10/21 - Owen Sound, Ont. – The MS Chi-Cheemaun has posted another big season plying the waters between Tobermory and South Baymouth. After significant increases in passenger and vehicle numbers in the 2015 season, the Owen Sound Transportation Company ferry has again had big gains.

"It has been a nice trend upward," said OSTC chief executive officer Susan Schrempf. This past season, which ended on Sunday, saw just over 203,000 passengers take the ferry, an increase of 9.4 per cent over the 2015 season. In 2015, the passenger numbers were 10.8 per cent higher than 2014.

Vehicle numbers were also way up this year with just over 79,000 vehicles taking the ferry, an increase of more than 7.6 per cent above 2015, which saw numbers almost 8.7 per cent above 2014.

"To be perfectly honest we really only anticipated a 2 per cent growth for this year," said Schrempf. "We certainly weren't expecting around 8 per cent, which we will take, for certain."

Schrempf said tourism by car from the U.S. is up about 7 per cent across Canada, though they don't track those demographics so they don't know for sure if they are benefiting from such an increase.

"We do know the weak Canadian dollar has certainly kept people at home and this has also been influenced by the price of gas hovering around a dollar a litre," said Schrempf. "Of course we also had amazing summer weather and we think all of these things have helped."

The OSTC has also stepped up its marketing in southern Ontario in recent years and Schrempf said that has helped them raise the awareness levels to let people know the ferry exists, the experiences on Manitoulin Island and the available experiences onboard.

"We are trying to make it more of an experience for people when they are onboard and we are trying to make the experience as reflective of what is available in the region both on the peninsula and Manitoulin Island," said Schrempf, who said there are further plans to expand the dining and entertainment opportunities.

Schrempf said she doesn't expect passenger and vehicle numbers to continue to grow at such a high rate, but they are hoping to see at least a 2 to 3 per cent increase next year.

Following its final run on Sunday, the ferry headed for Wisconsin, where it arrived Monday afternoon. It is there undergoing a mandatory inspection as well as some maintenance work.

Once the ferry arrives back in Owen Sound for the winter, expected to be around the third week of November, it will undergo upgrades to the forward lounge and the tourism information area.

Last winter, the ferry underwent a $2.4-million renovation to convert the cafeteria into a fine dining area. The renovations are all part of a three-year plan that will conclude with the aft lounge, which houses the play area, gallery space and where other events are held.

Also in the spring, weather permitting, the Chi-Cheemaun will get a major visual makeover when First Nation-themed artwork will grace the bow of the ship. Last year A First Nations-themed decal was installed on the ferry's smokestack.

Owen Sound Sun Times


Port Reports -  October 21

Duluth-Superior - Daniel Lindner
 On a very slow Thursday, Hon. James L. Oberstar arrived Duluth at 17:54 to discharge limestone at Hallett #5. Sam Laud arrived before 21:00 for unknown reasons, as she was expected to load in Silver Bay. Cornelia was expected to finish unloading at Holcim and depart late Thursday night to clean her holds offshore. In Superior, Stewart J. Cort arrived at 14:00 to load at Burlington Northern. James R. Barker was headed for Superior Thursday night, and was expected to anchor to wait for the Cort to finish loading.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
The salties Eeemsborg, Federal Kumano, Wicko and ARA Rotterdam were loading on Thursday.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic Thursday included Herbert C. Jackson (heading for Marquette) and, after dark, American Spirit, the tug Stephan M. Asher (listing Sault Ste. Marie as a destination), and Algorail (loaded with salt from Goderich). Downbound traffic included Mesabi Miner, Federal Saguenay, Lee A. Tregurtha and CSL St-Laurent. Mississagi and Michipicoten were at Essar unloading during the day. The former was downbound at the locks in the late evening.

Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
Yankcanuck’s accommodations are being gutted at her Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., dock as scrapping of the long-idle Purvis Marine craneship gets underway. Debris is being loaded into the barge PML Ironmaster, which is alongside.

Bruce Mines, Ont.
Capt. Henry Jackman was loading for Toledo on Thursday.

Port Inland, Mich.
Wilfred Sykes was loading stone Thursday evening.

Burns Harbor, Ind.
The salties Federal Mayumi and Happy Rover were in port on Thursday.

Saginaw River – Gordy Garris
Herbert C. Jackson completed unloading in Saginaw late Wednesday night, turned around at the Sixth Street turning basin, and headed outbound for the lake early Thursday morning. The Jackson had delivered a split load to the Wirt Stone docks in Bay City and Saginaw. Herbert C. Jackson is bound for Marquette to take on her next load. Fleet mate Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder arrived late Thursday morning after passing the outbound Jackson in the Saginaw Bay. The pair also made a delivery to each of the Wirt Stone docks. Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder completed unloading in Saginaw Thursday evening and backed out to the airport turning basin. Once turned around, the pair were back outbound for the lake around 8 p.m. Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder are headed for Port Dolomite to take on their next cargo.

Montreal, Que.
The tug Pacific Hickory (former Atlantic Hickory) is due Saturday, according to the port’s website. She will dock at Section 56, which is where the former CSL self-unloader Atlantic Erie is moored. Atlantic Erie’s Canadian registry has been closed in anticipation of an overseas scrap tow. Atlantic Hickory’s next port is listed as Turkey.


100th anniversary of 'Black Friday,' Lake Erie's perfect storm

10/21 - Lake Erie – Black Friday, the shopping event, is just over a month away. But if you want to hear the tale of the real Black Friday, read on.

It was Friday, Oct. 20, 1916 when four large ships sank beneath the waves of Lake Erie in what is perhaps the most infamous killer storm in the Great Lake's history. Known as "Black Friday" today, the storm took the lives of about 50 men.

"I think it gets lost," said Mike Wachter, co-founder of "It doesn't get a lot of media attention. That happens on the east and west coast. To them, the Great Lakes are like little puddles."

But those who doubt the fury of the Great Lakes would be foolish, especially in the early part of the 20th century. Those were the days before radar and ship-to-shore radio was primitive. Shipping was a treacherous trade, with only the chance meeting with another lonely vessel as a connection to the mainland.

Four ships sank on Lake Erie that day. The James B. Colgate, Marshall F. Butters, D.L. Filer and the Merida.

Read more and view photos at this link


Both a museum and working fireboat, 116-year-old Edward M. Cotter needs TLC

10/21 - Buffalo, N.Y. – In the shadow of the Michigan Avenue Lift Bridge, close to the Cobblestone District and across the Buffalo River from RiverWorks and the General Mills cereal plant rests one of Buffalo's most beloved attractions.

The Fireboat Edward M. Cotter is both a National Historic Landmark and Engine 20, a working piece of fire apparatus. The 118-foot-long steel-hulled boat, moored at 155 Ohio St. at Michigan, is ready to draft water from the river and train its five spectacular turret guns on waterside blazes, as it did at the spectacular Concrete Central fire of May 27, 2013.

From stem to stern, from the keel to the tower that raises the back turret gun about 15 feet off the main deck, the Cotter is a painted, polished, humming testimony to the skills of its crews through the years, including Captain John D. Sixt III and Jack Kelleher, fire department marine engineer. Besides those two Buffalo Fire Department employees, a group of volunteers tend to the Cotter and serve as crew when it goes out. Its supporters recently formed a new group, the Fireboat E.M. Cotter Conservancy Inc., to raise money to repair and preserve the Cotter.

Although the Cotter has been held together by constant maintenance work, it needs extensive repairs to its hull and engines and new propellers and shafts. The work is estimated to cost half a million dollars. The Conservancy and the City of Buffalo are discussing how to use money raised by the Conservancy to pay for these repairs and what resources the city might provide. The Conservancy has pledged to $25,000 a year to pay for the boat's upkeep.

The Cotter is valued as a working fireboat and as a museum that is open for tours by appointment. The boat is taken to the Port Colborne Canal Days Marine Heritage Festival every year to recall its response on Oct. 7, 1960, when the Cotter was called to assist with the Maple Leaf Milling Co, grain elevators fire. In doing so, the Cotter was believed to be the first fireboat to cross an international boundary to fight a fire.

The Cotter, which can pump as much water as about 11 pumpers, "is absolutely our first line of defense in case of a large industrial fire along the waterfront, the grain silos or any of the other industry there," said Fire Commissioner Garnell W. Whitfield Jr. "But don't forget all the residential development that is going on there too. Our waterfront is being developed as it's never been before."

The Cotter also works as an icebreaker in winter and spring, clearing the Buffalo River and keeping ice from jamming the Cazenovia and Buffalo creeks and causing extensive flooding. Whitfield Jr. estimated that hiring an icebreaker to prevent flooding from those creeks would cost between $20,000 and $30,000 a day.

"As wonderful a piece of apparatus as it is for us, as historic as it is, don't diminish its importance as an icebreaker," he said.

Conservancy supporters hope to raise the Cotter's profile with visits to Canalside and other promotions as the boat's 116th birthday approaches next month. In the meantime, the Conservancy is selling an assortment of items, ranging from from T-shirts to Cotter charms and challenge coins cast from brass that was once on the boat. They are available from Wickenheiser by calling 741-9276.

It was built in 1900 and has had three names: the William S. Grattan until 1953, when it was briefly named The Firefighter, then renamed the Edward M. Cotter to honor the president of Buffalo Firefighters' Local 282. It is believed to be the oldest working fireboat in the world.

A group of volunteers is led by President Sanford Beckman, vice president Ron Endle, secretary Mark C. Butler and treasurer Charles Wickenheiser, and the group is supported by the Fire Bell Club of Buffalo, the Buffalo Fire Historical Museum, Union Local 282 and WNY Retired Firefighters. Cotter Captain Sixt, Buffalo Commissioner of Fire Garnell W. Whitfield Jr. and Local 282 President Thomas Barrett are ex-officio directors of the Conservancy.

Buffalo News


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.


Tax dollars sought to shore up Detroit’s riverfront industry

10/20 - Detroit, Mich. – The blight along the Detroit River starts downstream of the Ambassador Bridge with the vacant 10-story building recognizable by the peeling sign for the Boblo Island dock. It’s a reminder of the once-bustling amusement park that closed 23 years ago.

Continuing downstream toward the Rouge River is Zug Island, the 596-acre home to U.S. Steel Corp.’s mill operations, with its mountains of coal and iron ore, and furnaces that are the size of skyscrapers. On its banks are rows of bridge cranes built decades ago to load and unload cargo from the massive freighters that navigate the river and the Great Lakes.

“That technology is outdated; freighters don’t load cargo that way anymore,” said John Loftus, executive director of the Detroit Wayne County Port Authority, the government agency that promotes southeast Michigan’s maritime industries. “At least one of those cranes will be scrapped.”

On a recent clear fall day, Loftus gave reporters a boat tour of the industrial parts of the two rivers to make the argument that the industrial riverfront remains essential — and also in need of urgent investment. That includes tax money, he contends.

“There are great opportunities along the Detroit and Rouge rivers to expand our maritime opportunities, our cargo and freight capabilities,” Loftus said.

Read more, and view photos at this link


Port Reports -  October 20

Duluth-Superior - Daniel Lindner
On a slow Wednesday, Mesabi Miner departed Duluth at 04:56 with iron ore pellets and Lakes Contender/tug Ken Boothe Sr. arrived at 12:32 and unloaded limestone at Graymont Superior Plant. As of Wednesday night, Cason J. Callaway was loading at CN after discharging limestone at both C. Reiss and Hallett #5. She was expected to depart late Wednesday night, as was Lakes Contender, which is headed to Silver Bay to load iron ore pellets. Cornelia continued unloading at Holcim.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Federal Saguenay departed Wednesday afternoon for Montreal. CSL St.-Laurent, Wicko, Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin, Eemsborg and Radcliffe R. Latimer were loading. Federal Kumano was at anchor.

Marquette, Mich.
Lee A. Tregurtha and Buffalo were both in port Wednesday. Walter J. McCarthy Jr. departed in the late afternoon.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic Wednesday included Stewart J. Cort, James R. Barker, Hon. James L. Oberstar, and Roger Blough. Downbounders included Kaye E. Barker, American Century and, after dark, Presque Isle and Federal Hudson.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Jim Conlon On Wednesday morning, the Canadian ferry Chi-Cheemaun was put in the floating drydock at Bay Shipbuilding, assisted by two Selvick Marine towing tugs.

Saginaw River
Herbert C. Jackson was unloading stone at the Wirt Dock in Zilwaukee on Wednesday evening.

Goderich, Ont.
Algorail arrived to load salt on Wednesday night.

Toledo, Ohio – Jim Hoffman
Thunder Bay is making a return trip to load grain. She is due during the day on Friday, most likely going to Andersons K Elevator. Some time late next week the Federal Danube is scheduled to arrive.

Nanticoke, Ont.
Frontenac was discharging ore on Wednesday.


Groups aim to help revive old Lock 1 site

10/20 - Port Dalhousie, Ont. – A grassroots effort is underway to rejuvenate a cornerstone of Port Dalhousie’s rich maritime history. The spotlight for that revitalization drive is Lock 1 of the second Welland Canal — built in 1845 and now in port’s commercial core. Its limestone walls, mostly still visible, are structurally sound but visibly showing their age.

In an effort to spruce the site up and make it a focal point, the Port Dalhousie Beautification and Works Committee and Kiwanis Club of St. Catharines have partnered in a project to allow better access there. On the wish list is a tiered seating and viewing area, bronze statues to commemorate tow horses that were used to pull ships through the canal, and historical interpretive signage.

Called The Lock One Revitalization Project, it’s also been selected by the charitable National Trust for Canada, This Place Matters in a crowdfunding competition that offers the chance of a $40,000 prize, based on the number of votes received.

“This will be part of helping beautify and clean up Port, which in turn helps us draw people to the business core,” said Jeff Mackie, founding member of the beautification committee and a local business owner. “There’s a feeling, with some, that parts of Port (look) closed, and having areas that are neglected doesn’t help … that impression.”

There is also a profound historical component that makes the effort important, he said. “Just as with the first and third canals, this one was quite instrumental (before and after) Canada’s Confederation in opening up the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, and to the world.”

Port Dalhousie was also the Lake Ontario terminus for the first three Welland Ship Canals, allowing a bypass from Niagara Falls from the lake to Lake Erie.

“There are a lot of pieces to this,” he said. “There’s having it as a place for people to interact with this history and also act as a space where people can come, have coffee, maybe watch a quartet in a small amphitheatre — it seems a perfect use.”

In an e-mail, Port Dalhousie Ward Coun. Bruce Williamson said the old lock should be a celebrated centerpiece of the canal village.

“It has been sadly neglected, but has the potential to illuminate our maritime history and become architectural gem in our harbor landscape,” Williamson said.

Votes and donations for the project can be found at and in Facebook:

St. Catharines Standard


Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald retold at Gaylord library

10/20 - Gaylord, Mich. – Bruce Lynn, co-author of the new book "The Legend Lives On: S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald," will share rare archival material as well as exclusive underwater images at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1, at the Otsego County Library.

Lynn is the executive director of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society. In his new book, he and Great Lakes photojournalist Chris Winters have assembled a comprehensive look at the working life and mysterious wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

The story is familiar. As the “Pride of the American Side” slashed across Lake Superior that fearful night, her veteran skipper reported some seemingly incidental topside damage and a bad list. At around 7:10 p.m., Fitzgerald went missing without a distress call of any kind. There were no survivors.

This free event and will be in the main library’s multipurpose room. For more information, please call Deb Johnston at (989) 732-5841 or visit


Updates -  October 20

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  October 20

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

On 20 October 1875, the wooden schooner F.C. LEIGHTON was loaded with ore when she struck a rock in the St. Marys River and sank a few miles from Detour, Michigan. A tug was sent right away to raise her.

On 20 October 1916, MERIDA (steel propeller bulk freighter, 360 foot, 3,261 gross tons, built in 1893, at W. Bay City, Michigan) was heavily loaded with iron ore when she encountered the "Black Friday" Storm on Lake Erie. She sank about 24 miles east of Erieau, Ontario. All 24 onboard were lost. A few days later the wheelhouse was found floating 15 miles south of Port Stanley. 21 bodies were eventually found, but not the bodies of Capt. Harry L. Jones or crewman Wilfred Austin. The wreck was found in 1975 by Larry Jackson, a commercial fisherman.

The SCOTT MISENER of 1954 proceeded to the Port Arthur shipyard for dry docking and repairs on October 20th, after striking bottom October 15, 1973, near Whaleback Shoal on the St. Lawrence River.

The JAMES S. DUNHAM was launched October 20, 1906, for the Chicago Navigation Co. (D. Sullivan & Co., mgr.) Duluth, Minnesota. Renamed b.) LYNFORD E. GEER in 1926, and c.) OTTO M. REISS in 1934. Scrapped at Castellon, Spain in 1973.

PETER A.B. WIDENER was launched October 20, 1906, for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co. (later the U.S. Steel Corp. in 1952), Cleveland, Ohio.

The tug RESCUE was sent from Port Huron to Tawas, Michigan to release the 246-foot barge OCEAN that was grounded. After pulling the barge free, Capt. Fitch of RESCUE began towing her down Lake Huron, but the storm got so bad that he was about to turn back and run for Tawas. However, the captain of OCEAN yelled that they were all right and to go ahead down the lake. Soon the seas got the better of the barge. The tug kept with her until she was about to sink. Then the line was cut, the tug turned about, ran under her lee, and rescued her crew of 9 from the lifeboat. The barge sank. On the way down Lake Huron, opposite Port Sanilac, the RESCUE picked up 6 men and 1 woman from the wrecked barge JOHN F. RUST. In this one trip, the RESCUE earned her name by rescuing 16 persons!

October 20, 1898 - The SHENANGO NO 2 (later PERE MARQUETTE 16) was arriving Milwaukee when her steering gear failed, causing her to crash into a grain elevator that was under construction.

October 20, 1926 - The keel was laid for the twin screw lake passenger and railcar ferry WABASH (Hull#177) of the Toledo Shipbuilding Co.

On 20 October 1863, E. S. ADAMS (3 mast wooden bark, 135 foot, 341 gross tons, built in 1857, at Port Robinson, Ontario) was carrying 18,500 bushels of wheat on a clear night when she collided with the American bark CONSTITUTION resulting in the loss of the ADAMS. One life was lost. Neither vessel was blamed for the accident.

On 20 October 1854, JOHN J. AUDUBON (wooden brig, 370 tons, built in 1854, at Black River, Ohio) was carrying railroad iron from Buffalo to Chicago when she was struck amidships by the schooner DEFIANCE on a dark night, halfway between Thunder Bay and Presque Isle, Michigan. AUDUBON was cut almost in half. Both vessels sank quickly. No lives were lost.

On 20 October 1844, DAYTON (2-mast wooden schooner, 69 foot, 85 tons, built in 1835, at Grand Island, New York) capsized and sank in Lake Erie off Dunkirk, New York in a terrific gale. All onboard were lost.

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


SS Badger welcomed home as 2016 sailing season ends

10/19 - Ludington, Mich. – People waved from the Loomis Street boat launch, the breakwaters and waterfront walkway areas Sunday night, while others honked their car horns as the SS Badger entered the Ludington harbor.

It was the final day of the sailing season for Lake Michigan Carferry, and people were commemorating the occasion.

“This is my favorite time of the year,” said Ronnie Mosier, who lives in Ludington and has been celebrating the final trip of the Badger season for two years. “I love the sunsets. It’s so crisp, so beautiful. It’s the most beautiful place in the world, and I’ve been to Hawaii and Alaska and ... (all over). My husband spoiled me. But this is Ludington.”

At 6:32 p.m., the SS Badger passed the North Breakwater Light and the long-standing tradition of commemorating the SS Badger began.

“We love coming down, walking the channel, and waving to the Badger,” said Betty Curtis of Ludington.

Ludington Daily News


Port Reports -  October 19

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Radcliffe R. Latimer departed before sunrise on Tuesday after spending nearly 48 hours unloading salt. She left light and headed for Thunder Bay to load. Buffalo arrived at 06:55 to load coal at Midwest Energy. Mesabi Miner arrived at 09:05 and stopped at Calumet to fuel before heading to the CN dock. Buffalo departed at 15:15. Cason J. Callaway was next, arriving at 15:40 with limestone to discharge at C. Reiss Terminal. Beatrix finished loading beet pulp pellets at Peavey and departed Duluth at 17:35. In Superior, American Century departed from BN 05:45 bound for Nanticoke. Cornelia continued unloading cement at Holcim on Tuesday.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Eemsborg, CSL St.-Laurent, Wicko and Federal Hudson were loading on Tuesday. Federal Kumano was at anchor. Radcliffe R. Latimer was expected around midnight.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic on a slow Tuesday included Great Republic early, followed by Algoma Discovery and Paul R. Tregurtha. Upbound traffic included Kaye E. Barker early, followed by Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin. Pineglen spent the day at anchor above DeTour, departing in the early evening.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Mark & Sue Dillenburg
Chi Cheemaun, aka “The “Big Canoe,” arrived on a rainy Monday afternoon and tied up near American Courage, which has been in lay-up all season. Burns Harbor is ballasted bow down as repairs are made at the stern.

Rogers City, Mich.
Herbert C. Jackson was taking on stone late Thursday.

Alpena, Mich.
Steamer Alpena was loading cement at her namesake port on Tuesday evening.

Toledo, Ohio
Capt. Henry Jackman and the tug-barge combo Defiance-Ashtabula were docked along the Maumee River Tuesday night.

Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland was busy Tuesday, with Federal Cedar, Federal Yukon, English River, Sam Laud, Manitowoc and the tug Sea Eagle II with her cement barge all in port.

Welland Canal
The saltie Nogat was in the Welland Canal Tuesday on her final trip for Polsteam. Reports indicate the vessel has been sold. According to AIS, her destination is Haifa, Israel.


Brig Niagara in for drydocking, repairs at Great Lakes Shipyard

10/19 - Cleveland, Ohio – The U.S. brig Niagara, Erie, Pennsylvania’s flagship, has arrived at Great Lakes Shipyard in Cleveland for routine drydocking and repairs. The vessel was hauled out using the Marine Travelift on Oct. 10, and work on the vessel will be completed in approximately three weeks.

This marks the second time Great Lakes Shipyard has hauled out the Niagara using the Marine Travelift.

Owned and maintained by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, an agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Flagship Niagara is a reconstruction of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s ship that led the Battle of Lake Erie victory on September 10, 1813.

As a sailing school vessel under U.S. Coast Guard inspection, the Niagara is required to be inspected out of the water twice in a five-year period, with no inspection interval exceeding three years. The Niagara's last such inspection was in the fall of 2013 at Great Lakes Shipyard.

Great Lakes Shipyard


New ship, new momentum at Inland Seas Education Association

10/19 - Traverse City, Mich. – The Inland Seas Education Association has new momentum, thanks to the arrival of a new school ship, several grants, and the initial steps in a complete renovation of its Suttons Bay facility. “I think it’s all a very big deal, with lots of potential,” says Fred Sitkins, the organization’s executive director.

The 65-foot schooner Utopia was recently gifted by Ellsworth Peterson, retired chairman of the shipbuilding firm Peterson Builders of Wisconsin.

The arrival of the schooner will allow the organization to offer more programs to students. It will be parked at the Discovery Pier in Traverse City, which Sitkins says will help the organization in its efforts to work more closely with the Discovery Center and the Traverse City community.

Built in 1946 by Peterson, Utopia’s maiden voyage in 1947 included a cruise of the North Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea and Caribbean Islands. In 1956, the ship embarked on a three-year cruise around the world. Utopia has logged more than 60,000 miles, including several Chicago-Mackinac races.

A grant from the Worthington Foundation will allow Inland Seas to purchase a remotely operated underwater vehicle and develop an underwater course for school groups and the public beginning in 2017. This program will be run from Utopia.

Two educational grants, one for $75,000 and one for $72,000, will provide funding for programs for teachers and students. The first, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will allow Inland Seas to bring in 30 teachers from Michigan and other Great Lakes states to participate in a four-day professional development opportunity next June. The field course will include daily hands-on, place-based environmental education experiences, time for studying and planning, and lodging at Northwestern Michigan College and on the schooner Inland Seas.

The teachers will also receive ongoing support and resources during the following school year as they implement what they’ve learned in their home areas. As an example, Sitkins cites the Enbridge pipeline rupture, which resulted in crude oil spilling into the Kalamazoo River. Teachers from that area could potentially learn from this field course how to address such calamities in the classroom and in the field.

The second grant is from the Great Lakes Fishery Trust, and will provide what Sitkins calls “playspace education” for area teachers. “We want to get kids in the natural environment,” he says. He says a crumbling mural on the exterior of a gas station in Suttons Bay, which has deteriorated over time, is an example of what would be “a wonderful project … for an art class. We’ll give them (teachers and students) tools.”

Last month, the ISEA unveiled its plans for the Inland Seas Capt. Thomas M. Kelly Biological Station. Inland Seas has $810,000 in pledges for the project. The current facilities at 100 Dame St. in Suttons Bay will be renovated to include dorm space in the lower level of the education center and a new building capable of storing and maintaining ship and scientific equipment as well as the boat shop. The upper level of the education center will remain an invasive species museum and continue to house the Suttons Bay Visitors Center.

“It’s a huge opportunity for us,” says Sitkins. He says the ambitious five-year project will kick off next spring with construction of the new boat shop, the first domino in the process.


Groundbreaking set for OBPA grain storage project

10/19 - Ogdensburg, N.Y. – The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority will break ground on a $2.6 million project today designed to expand the Port of Ogdensburg’s ability to import and export agricultural products.

The official groundbreaking ceremony for construction related to two 800-pound grain storage bins is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the Port of Ogdensburg entrance at the corner of Ford and Barre streets, according to OBPA officials. The grain bin construction is part of a larger $2.6 million project that also calls for construction of a new conveyor system and the eventual rehabilitation of two rail bridges.

In April the OBPA announced that a project to improve the port’s capacity to import and export agricultural products had been moved up by a year. State Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, said at the time that the $2.6 million project was aimed at growing Ogdensburg’s agriculture import-export business.

Mrs. Ritchie said the port expansion had originally been set to begin next year, but the state moved up the construction timetable at her request.

“With its proximity to Canada, and its location as the last deepwater port for outward bound shipping from the Great Lakes, the Port of Ogdensburg can play a key role in growing our economy and helping to create new jobs,” Mrs. Ritchie said in an April press statement.

The expansion project is also designed to better position the Port of Ogdensburg to serve the needs of north country farmers and agri-businesses by making it easier to move products to newer and bigger markets by rail and water, according to officials.

The port’s agribusiness project was labeled a priority for the North Country Regional Economic Development Council, which highlighted the plan in its third round of funding awards in 2013.

Watertown Daily Times



Detroit Historical Society curator to speak about unique ships on Harsens Island

10/19 - Harsens Island, Mich. – The Harsens Island St. Clair Flats Historical Society will welcome Joel Stone to Harsens Island at 3 p.m. Oct. 29 to present his program "Unique Ships of the Great Lakes … Practical Ships Designed for Practically Every Need.”

Stone is senior curator for the Detroit Historical Society, which oversees the Detroit Historical Museum, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, and the arti-factual collection of the City of Detroit. Raised in the Detroit area, he has studied journalism, history, archaeology, 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.

The lecture will be at the Schoolhouse Grille, 2669 Columbine Rd., Harsens Island, Mich. Please make reservations for this event, as seating is limited, by contacting Charles Miller at 810-748-7209 or via e-mail at A $10 donation is suggested to help support the lecture series.

Harsens Island St. Clair Flats Historical Society


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. Scrapped in Turkey in 2011.

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.

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, 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 - 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.


Detained last year, saltie Cornelia returns to Duluth

10/18 - Duluth, Minn. – An oceangoing freighter that was detained in the Duluth harbor for six weeks in 2015 made its first trip back into the local port over the weekend.

Flying a different flag and presumed to be operating under a different owner, the Cornelia arrived Sunday and remained docked at the Holcim Trading Co. terminal at the end of Rice's Point on Monday. Holcim is an international cement supplier based in Switzerland.

The Cornelia was detained in Duluth late last year and its German owners were slapped with $1 million in penalties after pleading guilty to dumping oily wastewater into the Great Lakes.

The U.S. Coast Guard Ninth District, based in Cleveland, was responsible for detaining the ship and conducting the investigation. It said there was nothing out of the ordinary about the ship's return to the Great Lakes.

"Business as usual," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Yaw. "As far as anything that happened last year, it was investigated. It would be similar to if a ship ran aground, went through the process to get repairs and made it back."

The Cornelia flew the flag of the South Pacific's Cook Islands into port this time, having previously been a Liberian-flagged ship. The ship no longer appears on the fleet list of the German company that owned it and pleaded guilty in July in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, MST Mineralien Schiffahrt.

The Coast Guard held the Cornelia, with its captain and crew aboard, at anchor in the harbor, just out from 27th Avenue East, from early November until Dec. 18, when it finally was allowed to depart.

According to the news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Minnesota district in July, the Cornelia's crew discharged oily wastewater overboard at least 10 times from February to October 2015, and its chief engineer intentionally failed to record the discharges in its record book. That included at least one incident while the vessel was in the Great Lakes. The guilty plea was to violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.

Attempts to reach Holcim and the local vessel agent, Guthrie-Hubner, to discuss the Cornelia's return were unsuccessful.

Duluth News Tribune


Coast Guard crew makes special stop over Edmund Fitzgerald wreck site

10/18 - Lake Superior – While the winds of November aren't yet blowing, a U.S. Coast Guard crew crossing Lake Superior this past weekend stopped above the Edmund Fitzgerald wreck site to pay tribute to the 29 lost mariners.

The wreck, which came to be internationally known through Gordon Lightfoot's soulful tune, happened during a massive storm on Nov. 10, 1975.

Last week, crew members aboard the Hollyhock, a Coast Guard cutter and buoy tender, stopped directly above the wreck site about 17 miles northwest of Whitefish Point. One by one, they dropped roses onto the water's surface as a memorial to the 29 men who went down with the Fitzgerald, according to the Coast Guard's Facebook page.

Read more and view photos at this link


Port Reports -  October 18

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
American Century arrived Duluth at 06:43 on a very foggy Monday and stopped at Calumet to fuel before heading down the harbor to load iron ore pellets at Burlington Northern. Her sister Walter J. McCarthy Jr. closely followed the Century, passing through the Duluth ship canal at 07:05 to load coal at Midwest Energy. She began loading as soon as Paul R. Tregurtha cleared the dock. The St. Clair-bound Tregurtha departed Duluth at 08:46. There was a break in traffic until Monday evening, when Walter J. McCarthy Jr. departed with coal at dusk. Olza departed from Riverland Ag with wheat at 21:00 Monday night. In Superior, the Wagenborg saltie Beatrix arrived at 07:41 to load beet pulp pellets at Peavey. Also in port Monday were Cornelia unloading at Holcim and Radcliffe R. Latimer at the North American Salt Dock. She shifted to the dock just across from the lift bridge on Monday morning from Hallett #8 to unload the rest of her cargo of salt.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
CSL St-Laurent and the saltie Eeemsborg arrived Monday afternoon to load grain.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic on a blustery, rainy Monday included Frontenac, Philip R. Clarke, Irma and, after dark, Pineglen. Upbounders included Mesabi Miner, Cason J. Callaway and, after dark, Edgar B. Speer and Lakes Contender/Ken Boothe Sr.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
The Georgian Bay ferry Chi-Cheemaun ferry arrived at BayShip on Monday early afternoon for her five-year inspection. Burns Harbor is still at the shipyard undergoing unspecified repairs.

Alpena, Mich. – Ben & Chanda McClain
On Friday the tug Leonard M and a barge unloaded cargo at Lafarge. The tug G.L Ostrander along with the barge Integrity arrived in port Sunday evening to load under the silos. The Alpena came in and tied up once the Integrity departed. Monday brought two vessels to Lafarge. The tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation came in for another load. The tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 arrived in the evening to unload.


Duluth port shows off public terminal upgrades

10/18 - Duluth, Minn. – It may look like a parking lot, and in some ways, that's what the rehabilitation of Docks C & D at the Clure Public Marine Terminal has created. But it's kind of a bigger deal than that.

"(The berths) triple surface storage capacity," said Sen. Al Franken after a tour at the port of Duluth on Monday. "This is good not just for Duluth but for all of Minnesota."

The $17.7 million infrastructure investment off of Helberg Drive gives the public port another 25 acres for commodities moving through the port, doubles heavy-lift cargo handling capacity and adds a roll-on/roll-off dock on a new rail spur.

"This expansion is a masterpiece of maritime workmanship," the Duluth Seaway Port Authority said in a release.

The terminal expansion had been decades in the making and was made possible with a $10 million federal grant and $3.75 million in state money. Thanks to renewed federal wind-energy credits, there's a good chance the area will be used to stage wind turbine parts

The terminal was previously owned by Cargill and hosted grain elevators; it was sold to the Port Authority for $1 in 1989.

Now, after 18 months of construction that saw 1,898 feet of sheet pile, 5.5 miles of H-pile and 62,000 cubic yards of dredged material, the Port Authority and Lake Superior Warehousing are about to take over the property from Lunda Construction and open it for the 2017 shipping season.

A 1,000-foot American Steamship laker will spend the winter in the space before it is opened to salties — two at a time will be able to fit along the 1,600-foot dock.

Duluth News Tribune


Gate automation project to benefit key international spawning grounds

10/18 - Detroit, Mich. – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District recently awarded a contract to automate gates at the Corps’ compensating works structure at the head of the St. Marys rapids in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

This $8.02 million dollar effort leverages Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) funds provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide power to the gates and add the capability of opening and closing those gates from a control center in the Corps Soo Locks facility. Currently these gates can only be opened and closed through a timely and labor intensive process of hand cranking mechanical gears on the gates themselves.

The rapids immediately downstream of the gates provide a critical spawning area for a diverse range of fish species. This roughly 80 acre area of rapids is one of the most productive spawning locations anywhere in the Great Lakes system. The automation project will provide much greater flexibility to how the gates can be operated to optimize spawning conditions in the rapids.

“This critical project will allow us to move the gates at very controlled rates and execute more complicated gate position adjustment strategies that will maximize the productivity of spawning in these important rapids” said John Allis, chief of the Great Lakes Hydraulics and Hydrology Office.

Construction of this project is anticipated to begin in the spring of 2017, with a scheduled completion date in December of 2018. Koontz Electric Company, Inc. of Morrilton, Ark. is the prime contractor responsible for this project.

The compensating works structure contains 16 gates located across the international divide between the United States and Canada. The Corps operates and maintains the eight U.S. gates, while Brookfield Renewable Energy Group operates and maintains the eight Canadian gates. Gate movements are executed as part of the overall regulation of outflows from Lake Superior specified by the Lake Superior Board of Control, which was established in 1914 by the International Joint Commission.



Piece of Owen Sound’s marine history for sale

10/18 - Owen Sound, Ont. –Possibly the first Russel Brothers tugboat built in Owen Sound has come home and is floating at the Owen Sound marina, an incomplete restoration project which is for sale on Kijiji.

The Bluefin, built in 1937-38 at the Russel Brothers shipyard, was put in the water this spring. But due to personal circumstances its owner, Kristjan van Wissen, a recent marine engineering graduate at Georgian College, just listed the 40-foot tug for sale on Kijiji for $35,000.

“Bluefin could well have been the first Owen Sound built Russel vessel,” according to information found at, a website established by local tugboat enthusiast Steve Briggs. “This vessel was definitely the forerunner of the Navy Ville class of tugs,” built for Second World War service.

“If it sells up there, great. I planned on bringing it to Toronto Nov. 1,” van Wissen said. “And if it doesn't sell, it's still a great boat and I'll make some use of it in the future,” the 37-year-old said. “There's been some interest in the add already.”

Wissen, who used to deliver boats to their owners back and forth across the Atlantic, didn't know where Owen Sound was when he signed up for the Georgian College program.

He knew nothing about Russel Brothers boats and brought his boat it to Owen Sound not knowing it was made here, he said. It was simply a convenient place to work on while going to school here, he said.

He said he and his wife, Eliza, the boat's legal owner who's also an avid sailor, have taken the Bluefin across the harbour to the old Russel Brothers factory site for picnics on that overgrown, vacant east harbourfront site.

And Wissen has been overwhelmed with the interest shown in the vessel since its been here. People have come up to him to say a family member who worked at Russel's may have even helped built that boat.

“I was really surprised that the boat sat in Goderich on land for 10 years. No one even mentioned it. And then I bring it to Owen Sound and I've been told a hundred times that I should restore it to its original condition or I should use it for charter trips outside the rail museum,” he said.

“One city councillor said he would support me if I wanted to restore it and I could have a berth outside the city rail museum and do trips on it and stuff. And I said, well, if the boat's so important, how come nobody else looked into it in the last 10 years?”

The Ontario government used it last, as a research vessel to hunt for shipwrecks. It was stripped and sat rusting on land for 10 years before it was sold to someone who then sold it to van Wissen last fall. Most of its working life it was a commercial fishing boat in Northern Ontario.

“I could tell right away that it was an incredibly well built vessel. It was far better built and far stronger than any other boat you can get, recreational vessel of that size,” van Wissen said.

The engine seemed in great shape, lots of wiring had been replaced and “so even though it was all rusty and covered in wasps nests and obviously left out in the elements for 10 years, I could see that it was actually a very good boat,” he said.

This boat was to be turned into a recreational vessel and van Wissen started doing so with some of his classmate friends. But a personal commitment arose which limits his free time, he said, which led to the decision to sell.

Bluefin was named “Annie Mac” at the shipyard before it was renamed Bluefin by its first owner, a commercial fisherman named Angus (Buddy) McLeod, according to a 1988 article about the vessel which van Wissen shared for this story.

Based on interviews with Buddy's “wife and fishing partner,” Edna, the article said the vessel was delivered by rail from Owen Sound to Nipagon in March 1938 and was used as a fishing boat for years, modified with a “turtleback” to cover the deck. That deck cover has since been removed. In the late 1960s the Bluefin was sold to his friend Harold Dampier who moved the boat to Lake Superior.

By 1980 his brother, Randie Dampier, fished with it in Lake Superior.

“By this time, Bluefin had established her reputation as a tough, economical little sea boat,” the article said.

“But that was not the only reputation that she had acquired. With her old-style, narrow, deep hull and fine lines she tended to roll a bit. Harold once told me, 'she'll never drown you but she'll beat your brains out.'”

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources bought the Bluefin in 1985 under its Fisheries Buyout Program. The vessel, next owned by the Ontario Ministry of Culture and Communications, was then used to hunt shipwrecks as a research vessel, captained by Peter Engelbert, who wrote the 1988 in the marine heritage newsletter, Save Our Shipwrecks.

Owen Sound Times


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 Poke 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.


Shipping, hauling play support roles in steel industry

10/17 - Cleveland, Ohio – Steel manufacturing doesn't just keep paychecks coming for 1,900 workers at ArcelorMittal. For more than 100 years, it has kept the lights on at places like Interlake Steamship Co. and W.H. Fay Co.

Interlake operates nine modernized vessels, shipping loads of iron ore from Minnesota to ArcelorMittal's mills on the Cuyahoga River.

W.H. Fay trucks out the mills' finished steel. It employs five people in its Tremont office, and coordinates 30 owner-operator drivers who work exclusively for the trucking business.

When ArcelorMittal's predecessor LTV filed bankruptcy in the past, the two firms were among 20,000 creditors who were owed more than $4 billion.

"After the LTV bankruptcies, me and my two brothers took some pretty good hits," said William "Bill" Gregg, president of W. H. Fay.

Interlake Steamship Co.'s board chairman, James Barker, called the bankruptcy "the darkest day in Interlake history."

For those firms, as for workers and managers at the steel plant, survival has not been easy.

Read more and view photos  at this link


Atlantic Erie one step closer to scrap

10/17 - Canada Steamship Lines’ motor vessel Atlantic Erie's Canadian registry was closed October 5. Her markings were painted out recently, and she is expected to be towed overseas for scrap eventually.

On January 11, 2015, the vessel was damaged after she grounded on a sand bar off Iles-de-la Madelaine while loaded with salt from Magdalen Islands for Quebec City. The vessel was at section 48, Montreal on January 19, 2015 then was laid up for the last time at section 56 south, Montreal, on January 22, 2015.

Atlantic Erie was built in 1985 at Collingwood Shipyards, Collingwood, Ont., as Hon. Paul Martin. The vessel was renamed Atlantic Erie on December 6, 1988 in Savannah, Ga.


Port Reports -  October 17

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Radcliffe R. Latimer arrived Duluth at 00:27 on Sunday and began unloading salt at Hallett #8, just behind Midwest Energy. Frontenac finished loading at CN and departed at 06:36. Great Republic arrived at at 07:22 with limestone for Hallett #5. She shifted to Midwest Energy on Sunday afternoon to load coal. Next was the Cornelia, which arrived with the assistance of Heritage Marine tugs at 14:05, and docked at Holcim to unload cement. Paul R. Tregurtha followed her in at 16:40 and docked at Calumet to fuel and wait for Great Republic to finish loading at Midwest. The Republic was expected to depart late Sunday night. Olza also continued loading at Riverland on Sunday.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Pineglen departed downbound in the early evening, followed by the Irma. Algoma Discovery, Wicko and Federal Hudson were loading. Federal Kumano was at anchor.

St. Marys River
Gadwall was downbound early Sunday, followed by Lee A. Tregurtha, Sam Laud, Nogat and John D. Leitch. Federal Saguenay was upbound in the late morning, followed by Michipicoten, tug Victory and barge Lewis J. Kuber, Presque Isle, CSL St-Laurent and, after dark, Eemsborg, Buffalo and H. Lee White. Manitoulin spent the day at Essar Steel.

Port Inland, Mich.
Lakes Contender and tug Ken Boothe Sr. were loading stone on Sunday.

Goderich, Ont.
Robert S. Pierson was loading at the salt dock on Sunday evening.

Toledo, Ohio
Algoma Harvester and the saltie Torrent were in port loading grain Sunday.


Coast Guard assists disabled BBC Colorado in Gulf of Alaska

10/17 - Dutch Harbor, Alaska – The crew of Coast Guard cutter Morgenthau assisted in the rescue and safe transit of a 400-foot cargo vessel with 12 people aboard during a multiple day operation in the Gulf of Alaska.

The Resolve Pioneer, a sea going tug boat based in Dutch Harbor, arrived on scene Saturday and set up tow with the motor vessel BBC Colorado under the observation of Morgenthau. Upon confirmation that the tow was holding and intact, Morgenthau crew resumed their mission of fisheries enforcement in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea, and the Resolve Pioneer made way for Washington with the BBC Colorado in tow.

The BBC Colorado visited the Great Lakes as recently as 2011.

The Coast Guard received a call for help Oct. 5, 2016, from the master of BBC Colorado, who reported they had experienced a severe engine casualty, restricting their speed and maneuverability. With forecasted seas of 30-feet and winds in excess of 50 knots closing in on it’s location, the Colorado requested the Coast Guard’s assistance. Morgenthau was diverted to the scene approximately 500 miles away.

While en route, the Morgenthau’s onboard command center worked jointly with the 17th District Command Center in Juneau to create a rescue assistance plan for the Colorado. The Coast Guard issued a marine assistance request, resulting in the response from the Resolve Pioneer. The Resolve Pioneer began making way towards the BBC Colorado Oct. 7, 2016.

Once within range of the BBC Colorado, the Morgenthau crew launched their embarked helicopter to evaluate the condition of the BBC Colorado, capture images of the vessel to better assist the towing evolution and make radio contact with the master.

Morgenthau maintained a constant presence with the Colorado for over 24 hours until the Resolve Pioneer was on scene. Morgenthau readied emergency gear, including heavy towing lines, survival equipment and increased the crew’s readiness in case immediate response was necessary.

Morgenthau, homeported in Honolulu, was on an Alaska Patrol to carry out a living marine resources mission in the Bering Sea,

The Resolve Pioneer and Morgenthau have trained together on emergency tows in the past. In September of this year the two vessels conducted a training exercise near Dutch Harbor utilizing a towing system designed specifically for large cargo vessels disabled in the region.



Updates -  October 17

News Photo Gallery


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. Scrapped in 2009 at Aliaga, Turkey.

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: 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.


Port Reports -  October 16

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
On a quiet Saturday, Philip R. Clarke departed Duluth after discharging coal at Graymont Superior, and headed to Two Harbors to load. Frontenac arrived later in the evening to load at CN. Olza was at Riverland Ag loading.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
John D. Leitch departed Saturday evening, followed by the Irma, Pineglen and Wicko were loading.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on a busy Saturday included Robert S. Pierson (to Essar), ARA Rotterdam, Cornelia, Algoma Discovery, Paul R. Tregurtha, Leonard M and barge, American Century, Walter J. McCarthy Jr. and, after dark, Beatrix, Edwin H. Gott and Manitoulin. Downbound traffic included Algowood, Stewart J. Cort, James R. Barker, Ojibway, American Spirit and Roger Blough.

Goderich, Ont.
Michipicoten was at the grain dock Saturday.

Green Bay, Wis.
Alpena was unloading cement on Saturday and looked to be departing in the evening.

Lorain, Ohio – Phil Leon
Joseph H. Thompson got into Lorain Saturday at 08:50 and went to Dock # 3.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W
Defiance - Ashtabula were towed out of the City Ship Canal by the tug Washington at 9:30 p.m. Friday.


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.

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 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.

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 when an onboard explosion on this date 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.


Updates -  October 16

News Photo Gallery


Port Reports -  October 15

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
The saltie Nogat arrived Duluth at 02:50 on Friday to load grain at CHS 2. American Spirit left from CN with iron ore at 06:05. There was no traffic until mid-evening, when Philip R. Clarke arrived to discharge coal at Graymont Superior Plant. Nogat, after loading throughout the day, departed at 21:30. On the south side of the harbor, Stewart J. Cort departed from BN at 05:20.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Ojibway departed downbound Friday afternoon, followed by Algolake in the evening. Gadwall and Federal Satsuki were loading. Two Fednav boats were anchored waiting for cargo.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic on Friday included Edgar B. Speer, Algonova, Michipicoten, Algoway (to Hamilton) and, after dark, Atlanticborg. Upbound vessels included Pineglen (headed to Thunder Bay), in the early morning, followed later by John D. Leitch (to Thunder Bay), Frontenac (to Duluth), Radcliffe R. Latimer and, later in the evening, Great Republic and Wicko. Algowood remained at the Essar export dock on Friday.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Herbert C. Jackson was loading on Friday morning. Due in Sunday are the barge Lakes Contender and tug Ken Boothe Sr. in the late morning. The barge Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort are due Monday during the early evening. There are no vessels scheduled for Tuesday. Wilfred Sykes is due on Wednesday in the late morning, followed by the barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted.

Escanaba, Mich.
Great Lakes Trader was loading on Friday evening. Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
Burns Harbor remained at Bayship for repairs on Friday.The Georgian Bay ferry Chi-Cheemaun is expected at Bayship for her five-year inspection on Sunday.

Green Bay, Wis. – Scott Best
Friday morning, the tug Victory and barge James L. Kuber arrived with limestone from Port Inland for the Graymont Western Lime Dock. However as of Friday afternoon it appeared the Kuber may have suffered a breakdown or other delay, as the boom was over the dock but no unloading had taken place as of 5:30 p.m. The cement vessel Alpena was in port unloading on Friday night.

Burns Harbor, Ind.
Wilfred Sykes was unloading Friday night.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
There were no vessels expected Friday and Saturday. Due Sunday is the Wilfred Sykes at noon. Joseph H. Thompson is due Monday during the early morning. After the Thompson, there are no vessels until October 20, when the barge Lakes Contender and tug Ken Boothe Sr. are due to arrive in the early morning.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Great Republic loaded at the South Dock on Friday and was due to depart around 12:30 p.m. Waiting at anchor was the H. Lee White, due to get the South Dock upon the Republic's departure. Also waiting at anchor was the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann, due to get the South Dock upon the H. Lee White's departure. There are no vessels scheduled for Saturday. Due Sunday is the Herbert C. Jackson during the early afternoon for the North Dock.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Arthur M. Anderson loaded Thursday, and were due to depart around 6 a.m. on Friday. There were no vessels scheduled for Friday. Due on Saturday is the Algowood in the early morning. Two vessels are scheduled for Sunday, with the Cason J. Callaway arriving in the early morning, followed during the early afternoon by the Cuyahoga. For Monday, Arthur M. Anderson and the Hon. James L. Oberstar both due in to load in the early morning. There are no vessels expected for Tuesday.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Algoma Harvester should be arriving at Toledo sometime on Sunday to load grain. This will be her first trip to Toledo. Manitoulin loaded at the CSX coal dock on Friday. Due Friday at midnight was the 1,000-footer American Integrity making a rare visit. Algolake is due at CSX on October 18 in the early morning, and the Manitowoc is due on October 19 in the early morning. Also due at CSX is the American Mariner on October 20 in the morning. Vessels due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock include the Capt. Henry Jackman, expected to arrive on October 18 in the mid-afternoon, followed by the Manitoulin on October 22 in the early morning. At the Torco Dock, the barge James L. Kuber and tug are due for the first of three trips October 19 in the mid-afternoon, followed by a return during the late afternoon on October 25 and again on October 31 in the early afternoon. Recent arrivals and departures from port include Algoma Enterprise, which arrived and left on October 12, followed by the tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes, which arrived on October 11 and left on October 13. The Hon. James L. Oberstar arrived and departed on October 13. Algoma Equinox, making her first visit to Toledo, arrived to load grain on October 12 and departed on October 13. Robert S. Pierson arrived and departed on October 13. Tug Petite Forte and barge St. Marys Cement arrived on October 12 and left on October 14. The saltwater vessel Heleen C arrived on October 12 to load grain and left on October 14. Ships in port included the Evans Spirit and the tug Dylan Cooper with a barge. Erie, Pa. – Eugene Polaski
Manitowoc unloaded stone in Erie Thursday, then took on a load of sand that had been dredged from Lake Erie by the J.S. St. John. Friday the Manitowoc moved the sand only a few hundred yards across the entrance channel to be unloaded on Presque Isle State Park. The sand will be used for beach replenishment.

Welland Canal
American Mariner was in the canal eastbound for Quebec City on Friday.


Great Lakes shipbuilding industry weathers change

10/15 - Detroit, Mich. – When she launched from the American Ship Building Company’s Lorain, Ohio, shipyard in May 1981, the William J. De Lancey became the largest vessel operating on the Great Lakes.

While her 1,013-foot length still gives her the title of “Queen of the Lakes,” the freighter, now known as the Paul R. Tregurtha, is a time capsule from a mostly bygone era.

Along the eastern shore of the Black River, the former site of American Ship Building — the largest yard in the Great Lakes prior to World War II — is now home to the Harborwalk condominium complex.

An over-two-hours drive west and north is River Rouge, birthplace of the infamous Edmund Fitzgerald. For roughly the first 60 years of the 20th century, the Great Lakes Engineering Works was an innovative builder of ore freighters. Today, the shipyard is no more and the site is home to the Great Lakes Steel Corp.

Despite a history of groundbreaking design and production, large-scale shipbuilding in the Great Lakes is another of those things that have undergone change. Depending on definition, there are about four major shipyards operating in the Great Lakes that can still produce the massive vessels that have become synonymous with shipping in the region.

But it’s not the number of yards in operation, but the number of new large-scale vessels they are building that represents the biggest change.

Read more and view photo galleries at this link




Lake Michigan is so warm it's set a new October record Two Lake Michigan buoys continue to give us a picture of much warmer than normal water temperatures. A buoy in northern Lake Michigan and a buoy in southern Lake Michigan have thermometers that measure the surface water temperature. If we take a five-day average of surface water temperature at these buoys, Lake Michigan has never been warmer for this time of year. Consistent data goes back to 1979.

Read more and view graphs at this link


USS Detroit warship lands in namesake city

10/15 - Detroit, Mich. – The sixth U.S. Navy warship to bear Detroit's name arrived in its namesake city Friday afternoon, Oct. 14.

Hundreds of people lined up in front of the GM Renaissance Center on Detroit's Riverfront to watch the ship sailed down the Detroit River between Belle Isle and Windsor, Ontario's shoreline. The ship made its way from Wisconsin and around the Great Lakes before docking in Detroit.

USS Detroit's commissioning ceremony is set for Oct. 22 on the Riverwalk outside the Renaissance Center. Event space is full, and tickets are no longer available.

Read more, and view photos at this link


Sault ceremony honors late Captain Jack Cork

10/15 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – Friday afternoon, family, friends and colleagues of the late Capt. Jack Cork boarded Soo Locks Boat Tours Le Voyageur for a short river cruise in his memory. Cork, who spent 50 years sailing the St. Marys River for Soo Locks Boat Tours, died on October 8

The Le Voyageur’s U.S. flag flew at half-mast for the event. In the Little Rapids Cut, they met the upbound Algoway and she blew a salute that was appreciated by all on board. A moment of silence was observed, and Capt. Robert Schallip read a short passage.

Cork was a founding member and president of The Great Lakes Captain’s Association and past grand president of the International Shipmasters’ Association.



Early Coast Guard rescue craft added to the National Register of Historic Places

10/15 - Douglas, Mich. – pioneering piece of Coast Guard history has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The Francis Metallic Surfboat is a 26-foot, iron-hulled vessel that is one of two known surviving examples of the 19th Century coastal rescue craft.

It will be dedicated at a ceremony held at the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center and Museum, 130 Center St., in Douglas at noon on Saturday, Oct. 15.

This particular type of boat was designed by Joseph Francis, known as the father of the U.S. lifesaving services, in 1854 using an innovative metal fabricating technique he invented.

It was the first type of coastal rescue craft used from 1849 to 1857. Utilized by a federally sponsored, unmanned life-saving/shipwreck rescue program, the surfboat is an example of a distinctly American type of rescue boat known as the "pulling" surfboat. This design is intended to be pulled through the water by oar power rather than propelled by sail or motor.

Owned by the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society, the Francis Metallic Surfboat is on display in a dedicated building on SDHS property not far from the vessel's original station near the mouth of the Kalamazoo River.

"The Francis Metallic Surfboat was one of the first of its kind to provide rescue missions during storms on the Great Lakes," said Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, (R-Antwerp Township). "Including this relic in on the National Register of Historic Places helps recognize West Michigan's proud maritime history and encourages tourism from around the state and country."

M Live


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, 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 JOHN T. HUTCHINSON at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, by Li Chong Steel & Iron Works Co. Ltd.

C. H. McCULLOUGH JR was laid up on October 15, 1969, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

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.

SCOTT MISENER of 1954 struck bottom on October 15, 1973, near Whaleback Shoal on the St. Lawrence River reportedly damaging 60 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.

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 its rudder when it struck the opposite bank while backing from the dock at Huron, Ohio. The vessel, bound for the United Kingdom, needed four 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.


St. Lawrence Seaway cargo shipments steady in September

10/14 - Washington, D.C. – “Notable increases were reflected in the export of wheat, corn and soybeans from the U.S. Ports of Duluth, Milwaukee and Toledo during the month of September,” Betty Sutton, Administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, said in a Thursday press release.

“The good news is that we anticipate that trend to continue for the remaining three months of the 2016 navigation season,” she added. Also notable were shipments of aluminum and project cargo consisting of crane components, machinery, and transformers.

In September, coal, liquids, and general cargo shipments through the Port of Toledo surpassed last year’s year-to-date totals. “Aluminum shipments led the way in the general cargo category up 27 percent over last season,” said Joseph Cappel, Vice President of Business Development for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. “While grain shipments slightly trailed totals from last year, wheat imports from Canada and corn exports are off to a good start moving into the fall harvest.”

For the second month in a row, the Port of Green Bay saw improvement in its year-over-year tonnage. Foreign imports of limestone increased in September 2016 compared to the same time frame in 2015. “That’s a good trend to see and is reflective, in part, of the economy as well as the variable nature of shipping,” said Dean Haen, Brown County Port and Resource Recovery Director. “We are hopeful the trend will continue through the end of the shipping season.”

“Activity at the Port of Milwaukee continues at a brisk pace with both steel and grain volumes ahead of last year,” Port Director Paul Vornholt said. “We expect continued strength through the final quarter of the year.” So far in 2016, steel is up seven percent and grain has more than doubled.

The Port of Oswego saw a rebound of aluminum shipments in September from Sept-Iles destined for the local Novelis plant. “In addition to our aluminum shipments, the grain harvest is promising to be positive for the export of soybeans to Asia,” said Port CEO Zelko Kirincich.

The St. Lawrence Seaway reported that year-to-date cargo shipments for the period March 21 to September 30 were 21 million metric tons, down 5.32 percent over the same period in 2015. The dry bulk category was down 11 percent. Iron ore was down 13 percent; coal was down15 percent. While the general cargo category was down 3 percent overall, steel slabs and other general cargo were up 41.5 percent and nearly 6 percent respectively.

Great Lakes Seaway Partnership


Corps of Engineers awards $3.7 million to dredge Cleveland shipping channel

10/14 - Cleveland, Ohio – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Wednesday that it has awarded a $3.7 million contract to dredge Cleveland Harbor and the six-mile Cuyahoga River shipping channel. The dredging work is expected to begin by Nov. 1, and be completed by Dec. 15.

Under terms of the agreement, Ryba Marine Construction of Cheboygan, Mich., will dispose of the dredged sediment in a confined disposal facility on the Lake Erie shoreline near Burke Lakefront Airport, said Army Corps spokesman Andrew Kornacki.

The Army Corps had preferred to dump the sediment directly into Lake Erie, but reached a settlement with the Ohio EPA and the Port of Cleveland to store the sediment on land, with the Army Corps paying the additional cost of about $2.1 million, Kornacki said.

The Ohio EPA agreed to reimburse the Army Corps if it fails to prevail in a pending lawsuit in federal court.

An EPA spokeswoman said the agency would have preferred that the Army Corps had acted quicker on the contract. "We are disappointed that it took the entire seven days allowed by the court for the Army Corps to award the contract to dredge the Cuyahoga River shipping channel," said spokeswoman Heidi Griesmer. "We expected the Corps to move quickly to begin dredging the channel as soon as possible to ensure it is navigable."

The Army Corps said its tests have shown the sediment is clean enough for open-lake placement. The EPA said its tests found the sediment too polluted with PCBs for the open lake.

The Army Corps is required to maintain the upper reaches of the shipping channel to a depth of 23 feet. High water on Lake Erie had kept the river navigable until now, but a recent buildup of sediment near the ArcelorMittal steel mill docks had made dredging necessary.

Had the Army Corps and EPA failed to reach the agreement, it would have been the first time in at least 30 years that the Corps had failed to dredge the shipping channel and harbor.


Port Reports -  October 14

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Stewart J. Cort arrived Duluth at 03:00 on Thursday to take a delay at Port Terminal before she was expected shift to Burlington Northern to load iron ore pellets. The Cort has been arriving through the Duluth canal on her past few trips, a delight to Twin Ports boatwatchers. American Spirit arrived next at 12:39 for CN. The Polish saltie Olza arrived at 16:37 to load grain at Riverland. In Superior, Algoway cleared BN and departed at 05:40. Atlanticborg finished loading grain at Peavey and left via the Superior entry at 17:10.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Michipicoten departed in the evening Thursday. Federal Satsuki and Ojibway were loading. Three salties were at anchor awaiting cargos.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic Thursday included Philip R. Clarke, Sam Laud and Algonova. The latter tied up at the Purvis dock on the Canadian side to unload. Downbound traffic included Algoma Spirit, Presque Isle and, after dark, Cason J. Callaway, Cedarglen Mesabi Miner and John J. Boland. Algowood was at the Essar Export Dock. Yankcanuck was eased away from her lay-up dock in the morning in order to place the barge PML Ironmaster along the dock face. Yankcanuck was re-moored outside of the barge.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory arrived during the late morning on Thursday to load. Expected Friday is the Herbert C. Jackson in the early morning. Due Saturday are the barge Lakes Contender and tug Ken Boothe Sr. during the early morning. There are no vessels scheduled Sunday. Expected Monday are the barge Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort in the early evening.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
Burns Harbor remained at Bayship for unspecified repairs on Thursday.

Milwaukee, Wis.
Herbert C. Jackson unloaded limestone from Stoneport, Mich., Thursday. The Jackson is a rare visitor to Milwaukee.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Calumet arrived in the early afternoon Thursday. Due Friday are the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann in the early morning. There are no vessels scheduled Saturday. Wilfred Sykes is due Sunday at noon.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Great Republic is expected around midnight Friday for the South Dock. Also expected Friday is the H. Lee White in the early morning for the South Dock, with the tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder due in the late morning for the South Dock. There are no vessels scheduled for Saturday.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Arthur M. Anderson was expected Thursday during the late afternoon to load. There are no vessels scheduled Friday. Due Saturday is the Algowood in the morning. Two vessels are expected Sunday early morning, with the Cuyahoga first, followed by Cason J. Callaway. Arthur M. Anderson, followed by Hon. James L. Oberstar, are due on Monday early morning.

Goderich, Ont.
Radcliffe R. Latimer was loading salt on Thursday.

Detroit, Mich.
The fomer BobLo boat Ste. Claire was moved 200 feet farther down her Rouge River dock Thursday morning by two Gaelic tugs. The dock needed to be cleared for a barge due on Friday. On Thursday night, Walter J. McCarthy Jr. was unloading at Zug Island, while fleetmate American Mariner was downbound through the Detroit River bound for Quebec City.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Hon. James L. Oberstar was at the CSX coal dock loading on Thursday. Robert S. Pierson arrived Thursday morning and would follow the Oberstar to load. Manitoulin and American Integrity are expected in the evening. Capt. Henry Jackman is due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock on October 21 during the late morning. Manitoulin is due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock on October 22 in the early morning. At the Torco Dock, the barge James L. Kuber and the tug Victory are due on October 19 in the early morning, and return again on October 25 in the early morning. Vessels in port Thursday included the tug Petite Forte and barge St. Marys Cement unloading at the St. Marys Cement Dock. Algoma Equinox departed Thursday evening with grain for Baie Comeau. The saltwater vessel Heleen C was also upriver loading grain.

Hamilton, Ont.
Federal Kushiro, Federal Cedar, Tundra and Algoma Harvester were in port Thursday evening, while CSL Laurentien was headed there from the Welland Canal.

Toronto, Ont.
The saltie Torrent was in port on Thursday, along with the cement carrier Stephen B. Roman.

Erie, Pa. – Eugene Polaski
On Friday, Manitowoc arrived at 1530 under partly sunny skies and a west wind of 14 knots to unload stone. Two days ago, the newly-launched Sea Chem I chemical barge built at DonJon was taken out of dry dock by two tugs while the tug Sea Power that will eventually mate up with it, stood by.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Defiance - Ashtabula should be arriving some time Friday with the second half of a split load of sand for the Sand Supply Wharf on the City Ship Canal.


Abandoned Kathryn Spirit must be stabilized before winter: experts

10/14 - Beauharnois, Que. – A rusting abandoned ship on the Saint Lawrence River should be properly stabilized before winter, according to environmentalists and local politicians. The 153-metre long Kathryn Spirit sits just offshore from the town of Beauharnois, Que., listing precariously to its port side.

The bulk carrier was towed to the town in 2011 to be dismantled by a local company, Excavation René St-Pierre Inc.

When the town refused to issue a permit, the company sold the ship to a Mexican recycler. Last year, that new owner declared bankruptcy and officially abandoned the ship.

“He hadn’t asked permission from the town,” said councillor Gaëtan Dagenais.

Pollutants were removed from the ship in 2013, but environmentalists say there is still oil, PCBs and asbestos on board. This spring, mooring lines were put up to prevent the Kathryn Spirit from tipping more, but it didn’t work. In June, some of the cables snapped and the ship tilted about 20 degrees.

There are calls for the federal government to act before the cold weather sets in. Many fear that ice could move the ship over the winter, causing it to tilt more and possibly fall over in the spring thaw.

“Every spring, there is a problem with that ship,” said Anne Minh-Thu Quach, the local NDP member of parliament.

The Canadian Coast Guard has taken over the site, but that hasn’t prevented explorers from boarding the ship and posting videos of their exploits online.

Earlier this year, a fire was started on the Kathryn Spirit. It was extinguished by firefighters, but they now say the ship is listing and unsafe, so they won’t go onboard if there’s another fire.

A working group released a study in June and found the ship had deteriorated to the point it can’t be towed away. The only solution is to dismantle it where she is now; the study suggests building a dry dock around the Kathryn Spirit. It would mean dumping rock and gravel in the water and creating a platform 7.5 meters wide around the ship that would stick out of the water, just over a half-meter high.

The federal department of Fisheries and Oceans is studying options, but has yet to release a timetable. The project to dismantle the Kathryn Spirit is expected to cost $10 to $15 million.

View a video at this link

Global News


Stranded ship’s crew gets surprise Thanksgiving dinner delivered by McKeil

10/14 - Hamilton, Ont. – Thanksgiving came early to Hamilton Harbor last Saturday morning. The smell of roast turkey likely surprised the gulls used to more traditional harbor odors as a trio of folks from McKeil Marine delivered a cooked 11-kilogram bird with all the trimmings and two massive homemade apple pies to the 14 crewmembers of the stranded cargo ship Ardita.

It's been stuck in the harbor since April 24. An ownership dispute between McKeil Marin and Italian shipping company Setramar resulted in a federal court order placing the ship under arrest, unable to leave local waters until the sale is sorted out, stranding the Italian-based crew here for going on six months.

"They (the crew) are stuck in the middle of this," said Blair McKeil, owner and CEO of McKeil Marine. "They're good people."

McKeil wanted to do something for the men and on Friday came up with the idea of an impromptu Thanksgiving feast delivered to the ship. His friend, Peter Trajkovski, the owner of the Edgewater Manor Restaurant, was more than willing to help out. After the restaurant closed for the night Saturday, Trajkovski remained so that he could put the turkey in the oven at 2 a.m. and keep an eye on it. The restaurant's chef prepped the other dishes and dessert, which Trajkovski cooked in time for McKeil’s arrival at 9 a.m.

The pair loaded the entire meal into the back of McKeil's SUV for the short drive to Pier 25 where the Ardita was temporarily docked and taking on supplies. Assisted by McKeil Marine's president Steve Fletcher and VP of Operations Olous Boag, they promptly marched up the gangway where the crew was busy loading bottled water and presented a somewhat surprised captain Salvatore Siragusa with the turkey, mashed potatoes, vegetable, gravy, apple pies and wine. Cranberries, too.

Trajkovski didn't mind the overnight cooking duties. "It's showing these gentlemen our Canadian hospitality — some Hamilton hospitality," he said.

By the time the meal was delivered to the grateful crew, Trajkovksi, who hadn't slept in more than 24 hours was on his way to his family's own Thanksgiving feast. His mom cooked this one.

The Spectator


Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society wins 2016 Achievement Award

10/14 - Whitefish Point, Mich. – For many people, Whitefish Point, that remote tip along Michigan’s eastern Upper Peninsula, embodies the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society.

There, 11 miles from the nearest town, the society operates the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum campus spread beneath a distinctive lighthouse tower. But the society’s mission and reach go well beyond operation of one historic site.

For its decades of work to discover, preserve and protect maritime heritage, Lake Superior Magazine has chosen the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society as the 2016 winner of its Achievement Award.

Since 1994, Lake Superior Magazine has annually honored an organization or individual who has significantly contributed to the well-being of Lake Superior and its communities and who can serve as a role model for others to follow. The 2016 award was announced in the October/November issue of the magazine.

“The breadth of what the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society accomplishes as a private, non-profit organization certainly can serve as a role model for preserving our heritage on land or water,” says Editor Konnie LeMay. “My hat’s off to the staff and volunteers for putting their hearts into their work.”

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society, founded in 1978, has discovered or documented many notable shipwrecks. In 1995, the organization helped raise the bell from the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. The bell is housed at the shipwreck museum, which hosts a ceremony each year to honor the sailors lost on the Fitz.

Upper Michigan Source


Public invited to tour haunted Marblehead Coast Guard station

10/14 - Marblehead, Ohio – The crew of Coast Guard Station Marblehead, Ohio, is scheduled to open its doors to visitors for tours of the haunted station the weekend before Halloween. Guests are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to be donated to local food pantries, but there is no admission charge.

There will be a mild haunt for younger children from 7-8 p.m. and a scarier haunt for older children and adults from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28 and Saturday, Oct. 29. During the tours, guests will be ushered through various haunted rooms. Halloween treats and hot chocolate will be complimentary.

The station is located at 606 Prairie St., Marblehead, Ohio



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.


Great Lakes water temperatures remain warm into mid October

10/13 - Current Great Lakes surface water temperatures continue to run warm, and above the 1992-2015 average. Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are currently 2 to 3 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than one year ago today.

U.S. National Weather Service


Port Reports -  October 13

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Atlanticborg arrived Duluth at 07:08 on Wednesday to load grain at Peavey. Edgar B. Speer left the dock at Port Terminal and departed for Two Harbors at 08:50 to load. Fuldaborg departed next after finishing up at CHS 1. She passed under the lift bridge at 15:55 bound for Montreal. She was closely followed outbound by Mesabi Miner, which departed from CN at 16:59. On the Superior side, Algoway arrived to load at Burlington Northern at 16:26. Atlanticborg was at Peavey loading Wednesday night.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic Wednesday morning included American Spirit, American Mariner, James R. Barker and Olza. Roger Blough was up in the afternoon, while Nogat and Algowood followed in the evening. Downbound traffic included Walter J. McCarthy Jr., American Mariner, Federal Yukina, American Century, Buffalo and, after dark, Oborishte and Vikingbank. Despite being closed for most of a day more than a week ago for valve repairs, the Poe Lock emptying time for downbounders is still around 30 minutes.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Wilfred Sykes arrived Wednesday in the early afternoon. Also due were the barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted. They were expected to get the dock upon the Sykes' departure. The barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory are due Thursday in the early morning, followed by Calumet. Another two vessels are due in Friday, with the Herbert C. Jackson expected in the early morning and the barge Lakes Contender and tug Ken Boothe Sr. due in the late morning. Due Saturday is the Mississagi in the early morning.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
Burns Harbor arrived at Bayship Wednesday evening for unknown repairs.

Marinette, Wis.
The USS Detroit (LCS 7) departed from Marinette Marine on a cold, rainy Wednesday morning, passing through the Ogden Street bridge and escorted out to the Bay of Green Bay by the tugs Jimmy L and William C. Selvick. The USS Detroit is headed to her namesake, Detroit Mich.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Cuyahoga was loading Wednesday morning. She departed in the late afternoon. No vessels are due Thursday. Due Friday are the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann in the early morning. Wilfred Sykes is expected Saturday in the early afternoon. Joseph H. Thompson is expected to arrive on Sunday during the early evening.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The barge Lewis J. Kuber and tug Olive L. Moore were loading Wednesday in the late morning. Due Thursday is the Arthur M. Anderson in the late afternoon. There are no vessels due Friday. Three vessels are scheduled for loadings on Saturday, with Algowood and Cason J. Callaway due in the early afternoon, followed in the early evening by Cuyahoga. Arthur M. Anderson returns Sunday in the late evening to load.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
CSL Laurentien arrived at the CSX coal dock on Monday. Two other vessels were due at CSX on Tuesday, Algoma Enterprise and Robert S. Pierson. Capt. Henry Jackman is due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock on October 17 in the early evening, followed by the Manitoulin, due October 19 in the early morning. At the Torco Dock, the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory are due October 19 in the early morning and again on October 25 during the early morning. Vessels in port included the tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes, and Algoma Equinox upriver at one of the grain elevators. The salty Heleen C was also upriver at one of the grain elevators.

Oswego, N.Y. – Ned Goebricher
On Wednesday, Evans Spirit unloaded aluminum.


Lake Huron’s water levels post gain over last year

10/13 - Despite the lack of precipitation for Manitoulin this summer, Lake Huron water levels remain strong, continuing to post above-average numbers this fall.

“It’s been another interesting summer,” Derrick Beach, editor of Environment Canada’s LEVELNews, said. “The water levels have pretty much stayed constant, which was mainly because Lake Superior had a very wet summer so the outflow this summer was well above average, keeping Lakes Huron and Michigan stable.”

Mr. Beach noted that from May to September there was not much change in water levels, adding that the seasonal decline began last month. However, the levels remain higher than this time last year.

“The level at the beginning of October is 26 centimetres above average (176.46 metres) and the highest for this time of year since 1997,” he said. Lake Huron is also six centimetres above last year’s beginning of October levels.

“If we were to get very dry conditions, we’re still predicting levels to be 10 centimetres above average,” Mr. Beach explained. “If they’re very wet conditions, we’re predicting above average by 40 centimetres, but that’s still below the 1986 record by 45 centimetres.”

Manitoulin Expositor


Freighter trip, artifacts available at museum fundraiser

10/13 - Toledo, Ohio – The National Museum of the Great Lakes will hold its Annual H2Oh - Making Waves fundraiser in Toledo on Saturday, Oct. 15, in Toledo. The event features the Luck of the Lakes raffle with a freighter trip from Interlake Steamship Co. and a $10,000 prize. The raffle tickets are $100 each. Only 1,500 tickets will be sold. The museum is also auctioning several items that have been donated or acquired for the event, including the ship's wheel from the tug Roger, a Chelsea ship's bell clock, a painting commission by Paul LaMarre Jr., an engine telegraph from the whaleback Meteor and a set of port, starboard and mast lights. You do not have to be present to bid on these items. Contact the museum at 419-214-5000, extension 200, to make arrangements or to purchase raffle tickets.

National Museum of the Great Lakes


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, and now sailing as c.) KAMINISTIQUA for Lower Lakes Towing.

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. 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 BUTTERFIELD 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: 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


Port Reports -  October 12

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
On Tuesday, Cason J. Callaway arrived Duluth at 02:02 with limestone for the CN dock. American Century departed from Midwest Energy at 08:15 for St. Clair. Mesabi Miner arrived at 14:10 to load iron ore pellets at CN. Vikingbank finished loading at Hallett #5 and departed at 15:38 with a destination of Amsterdam. She was followed outbound by Cason J. Callaway, which departed at 17:38 and headed to Two Harbors to load. As of Tuesday night, Fuldaborg was at CHS 1 loading, and Edgar B. Speer remained at Port Terminal. She isn't expected to depart for Two Harbors until early Wednesday. In Superior, American Mariner departed from BN at 04:10 with iron ore.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Algoma Spirit, Cedarglen and Federal Satsuki were loading on Tuesday. Federal Yukina departed. Irma was at anchor and Federal Kumano was inbound.

Hancock, Mich.
Algoway transited the Keweenaw Waterway Tuesday to deliver the community’s annual load of salt.

St. Marys River
A slow Tuesday saw Edwin H. Gott, Great Lakes Trader and CSL Welland downbound during the day, with Whitefish Bay and Algosteel downbound after dark. Kaye E. Barker and Stewart J. Cort were upbound in the evening, and Ojibway was headed for DeTour.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
There were no vessels loading on Tuesday. Due in Wednesday is the Wilfred Sykes in the early morning. The barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted are also due on Wednesday in the early afternoon. Due on Thursday in the early morning are the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory, followed by the Calumet. Two early-morning arrivals are expected Friday, with the Herbert C. Jackson due first followed by the barge Lakes Contender and tug Ken Boothe Sr. Mississagi is due on Saturday in the early morning.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Manitowoc arrived Tuesday morning to load. Also due Tuesday was the Cuyahoga in the late evening. There are no vessels scheduled Wednesday. Due Thursday are the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann in the late evening.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Herbert C. Jackson loaded on Tuesday and was expected to depart around 3 a.m. on Wednesday. Expected to arrive on Wednesday during the late morning are the barge Lewis J. Kuber and tug Olive L. Moore. Due Thursday is the Arthur M. Anderson in the late afternoon. There are no vessels scheduled Friday. Three vessels are due Saturday, with Algowood expected in the early afternoon followed by the Cason J. Callaway. Cuyahoga is due in the early evening on Saturday. Arthur M. Anderson returns to load on Sunday in the late evening.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
No vessels are expected until Thursday, when H. Lee White is due in the early morning for the South Dock. Two vessels are due Friday, with the Great Republic due in first in the early morning for the South Dock, followed later in the morning by the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann, also for the South Dock.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Tuesday evening the Thunder Bay was heading out with grain. Her place at the dock will be taken by Algoma Equinox. CSL Laurentien arrived at the CSX coal dock to load during the early evening Tuesday. Also due at CSX is the Algoma Enterprise on Wednesday in the early morning. Robert S. Pierson is due at CSX on Wednesday in the early afternoon along with the Hon. James L. Oberstar. At the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock, Capt. Henry Jackman is due October 17 in the early evening, followed by Manitoulin on October 19 in the early morning. At the Torco Dock, the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory are due on October 19 in the early morning, and will return again on October 25 in the early morning. Saginaw was at the Nabisco Elevator Tuesday. The G tugs Mississippi and Nebraska were also in port.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W
English River arrived around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday and was unloading at Lafarge. This was a partial cargo, with the first part delivered to Toronto.


Obituary: Captain Jack Cork

10/12 - Captain John “Jack” Cork of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., died on October 8. Jack Cork loved being on the water and spent most of his life associated with ships and shipping. He was a founding member and president of The Great Lakes Captain’s Association and past grand president of the International Shipmasters’ Association. He served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1953 to 1961, and was a captain for the Soo Locks Boat Tours for 50 years. He will be remembered by many Boatnerds as the captain of the tour boat Le Voyageur for many of the annual Engineers’ Weekend cruises.

Jack Cork was born in Oak Park, Ill., on Feb. 11, 1935. Graveside services will be held at Oaklawn Chapel Gardens in Sault Ste. Marie on Friday October 14 at noon with Reverend David Henderson officiating. Memorials may be left to The Great Lakes Captains Association in memory of Captain John Cork. Arrangements are in the care of Hovie Funeral Home.


Buyers beware: Historic lighthouses come with costs

10/12 - When Lou Schillinger and his volunteer cadre began restoring an 1890s lighthouse more than two miles off the Michigan shore in Lake Huron's Saginaw Bay, they first needed to remove 30 years' accumulation of gull and pigeon feces whose depth measured in feet rather than inches.

That was in the mid-1980s when he reached an agreement with the U.S. Coast Guard to prevent the Port Austin Reef Lighthouse — his "Castle in the Lake" — from being dismantled and lost forever.

"That first summer my dad and I ran out there with a 14-foot rowboat and a 20-foot ladder because there was no access ladder and we just began shoveling manure," said Schillinger, 66, president of the Port Austin Reef Light Association, a nonprofit group that in 2013 took title of the property from the federal government. No keeper had lived in the brick building with its five-floor tower since 1952. The roof was gone.

"We shoveled diligently," Schillinger said. "I'd get friends out there, they would come out and volunteer and they'd show up for one day and they would never come back again because it was such a miserable job."

About 120 lighthouses no longer critical to the U.S. Coast Guard in 22 states and Puerto Rico have been acquired at no cost by government entities and nonprofits, or sold to private individuals eager to preserve the landmarks and maybe tap into their tourism potential since they became available under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000. Upkeep was too expensive and their usefulness was in decline with the advent of GPS.

Winning bids have ranged from $10,000 for the Cleveland East Pierhead Light in Ohio to $934,000 for the Graves Light in Boston Harbor. More are auctioned every year, but buyers beware: Years of neglect, vandalism, limited access and hammering by the elements often make for labor-intensive money pits that are for neither the weak of heart nor stomach.

"People who are into this I believe have to have an internal fire, an internal passion, a conviction that these buildings and the history they represent are worth saving," said Terry Pepper, 68, executive director of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association.

Port Austin Light was built on a shallow reef. It's accessible only by boat when winds are light, otherwise waves are too choppy to dock and disembark. Pepper's association overcame similar access issues when it renovated a lighthouse on the 160-acre St. Helena Island, seven miles west of the Mackinac Bridge. It took about 20 years and $1.5 million to finish the job in 2005.

Nobody had lived in the 1870s lighthouse since 1922, making it a destination for partiers, scrappers and vandals, said Pepper. His association acquired the lighthouse before the 2000 act and also is restoring the Cheboygan River Front Range Light in Michigan.

"The roof had huge holes in it," Pepper said. "Somebody had lit a fire on the floor in one of the bedrooms on the second floor and embers from that fire dripped down to the first floor and started burning that floor also. Every single window in the lighthouse was gone. All the doors on the inside of the brick lighthouse were gone. Railings on the stairs were gone and the plaster inside the lighthouse had been kicked down."

Pepper estimates the group has spent $1.5 million and "untold thousands of hours of volunteer labor" restoring the St. Helena property, which must meet state and federal standards for historic preservation.

"We who are in this business, with this passion, have to be asking for money all the time," Pepper said, whether it's through grants, donations, selling memorabilia or offering Great Lakes lighthouse cruises.

Pepper is often contacted by prospective buyers because of his knowledge of lighthouses, particularly those in Michigan, where there are 129 — the most in the U.S.

"I will tell people if you end up spending $100,000 to get that lighthouse, that's a lot of money," Pepper said. "But $100,000 is the tip of the iceberg."

Onshore lighthouses are no bargain either.

A volunteer group spent about a decade and nearly $1.9 million to acquire and renovate North Point Lighthouse in Milwaukee. It opened to the public in 2007 and since has attracted more than 80,000 tourists. It has cost more than $1.1 million to run it, mostly paid through entrance fees and events, donations, fundraising and grants.

About 30 miles to the north, Port Washington is in the process of acquiring an 81-year-old light on its breakwater with plans to raise and spend $1.5 million for restoration. And that structure does not have living quarters.

Back on the Port Austin Reef Light, time is measured in decades, not years, of work. Schillinger and his crews put on a new roof. They installed new windows and oak doors, and replaced the chimney. Vandals have been constant. Last fall, they started putting in a dock for easier access by boats, but a nasty late November gale wiped out their work and they had to start over this year.

"We've invested close to half-a-million dollars in that property in time and material over the last 30 years and almost I would say 95 percent of it's all been out-of-pocket or donated time," said Schillinger. He estimated it will take three years and at least $1.6 million more in grants and donations to prepare it for tours and renters who want to experience the keeper's life.

"It's been really been kind of a labor of love for all community members here in Port Austin."

Associated Press


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.


Port Reports -  October 11

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
Great Lakes Trader and Joyce L. Van Enkevort departed Duluth at 04:18 on Monday with iron ore pellets. Paul R. Tregurtha arrived at 04:56 to load coal at Midwest Energy. She stopped at Calumet to fuel on her way to the dock. American Mariner finished unloading coal at C. Reiss, departed at 09:49 and dropped anchor off Duluth. Edgar B. Speer then arrived at 11:20 and docked at Port Terminal to wait to load in Two Harbors. American Mariner re-arrived Duluth at 13:34 after cleaning her holds and headed down the harbor to Burlington Northern to load. On Monday evening, Paul R. Tregurtha departed Midwest Energy, but the dock wasn't empty for long. American Century arrived just after the Tregurtha departed and stopped to fuel before beginning to load coal. Fuldaborg was next, arriving at 20:00 from Thunder Bay to load grain at CHS 1. Vikingbank was expected to close out a busy Monday and arrive late Monday night to load bentonite at Hallett #5.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
CSL Welland departed Monday afternoon. Algoma Spirit and Whitefish Bay were loading. Four salties were at anchor, waiting to load.

Marquette, Mich.
Algosteel arrived late Monday evening to load.

St. Marys River
The recently reactivated Algosteel was upbound at the locks just after 7 a.m. Monday, followed in the afternoon by Presque Isle and Cedarglen. John J. Boland and Federal Kumano were upbound in the late evening. Algoway, with salt for Hancock, Mich., was expected at the locks about midnight. Atlanticborg was behind the Algoway. Downbound traffic included Mississagi and Arthur M. Anderson in the afternoon, and American Integrity in the late evening.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
There were no vessels loading or due Monday. Two vessels are expected on Tuesday, with the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann due in first in the early morning, followed at noon by Herbert C. Jackson. Due Wednesday are the barge Lewis J. Kuber and tug Olive L. Moore. Arthur M. Anderson is due on Thursday in the late afternoon, and Lee A. Tregurtha is scheduled Friday in the early morning.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Great Republic was expected Monday during the late morning for the North Dock. Also expected Monday were the barge Lakes Contender and tug Ken Boothe Sr. for the South Dock in the early afternoon. No vessel loadings were scheduled for Tuesday. Due in on Wednesday will be the H. Lee White, arriving during the early evening for the South Dock. Great Republic is due in on Thursday in the late evening for the South Dock. Due in Friday are the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann in the late evening for the South Dock. Due in on Saturday is the Herbert C. Jackson in the early evening for the North Dock.

Saginaw River – Gordy Garris
The Saginaw River saw one of it’s busiest days of the 2016 shipping season with three vessel passages on Monday. The first arrival of the day was the Robert S. Pierson. The Pierson arrived in the early morning to deliver the first salt cargo of the year. After completing unloading at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee, she turned around at the Sixth Street basin and was back outbound for the lake around 1 p.m. Next inbound was the Herbert C. Jackson, making her third consecutive trip to the Saginaw River and her second consecutive split load delivery between the Wirt Stone docks in Bay City and Saginaw. Once the outbound Robert S. Pierson passed the Bay City Wirt dock around 3 p.m., the Jackson was able to proceed upriver to Saginaw to complete unloading. The final arrival of the day was the tug Undaunted and the barge Pere Marquette 41. The pair arrived just before 3 p.m. to unload at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City. Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 and the Herbert C. Jackson were expected to be back outbound for the lake late Monday night.

Goderich, Ont.
Capt. Henry Jackman was loading salt on Monday.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Algoma Equinox is bound for the Andersons K Elevator. On Monday evening she was anchored in western Lake Erie off the Toledo Ship Channel. She has to wait until the Thunder Bay finishes loading grain at Andersons K. It is unknown when she will arrive, as the past several boats that loaded at the K elevator averaged a three-day loading time. This will be her first trip to Toledo. CSL Laurentien is expected Tuesday at the CSX Coal Dock to load in the early afternoon. Algoma Enterprise is due at the CSX Coal Dock on Wednesday in the early morning, as is the Hon. James L. Oberstar. Capt. Henry Jackman is due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock with a stone cargo on October 17 in the early evening. Manitoulin is due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock on October 19 in the early morning. At the Torco Dock, just the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory are due on October 19 in the early morning and again on October 24 in the late evening.


Great Lakes Group announces reirement

10/11 - C - The Great Lakes Group today announced that Ronald C. Rasmus will retire effective November 30, 2016 as an Officer of The Great Lakes Group Inc. and Great Lakes Group Entities namely:

President, The Great Lakes Group Inc.
Co-Chairman, 4500 Division LLC
Co-Chairman, The Great Lakes Towing Company
Director, The Great Lakes Towing Company
Director, Soo Linehandling Services, Inc.
Chairman, Soo Linehandling Services, Inc.
President, Admiral Towing and Barge Company

Rasmus will continue as a shareholder, member of the board and an independent consultant to The Company to ensure a seamless transition. He worked for over sixty-one (61) years, fifty-six (56) in the Navy, government and commercial maritime businesses and with almost thirty-four (34) years in the tugboat/shipyard business at The Great Lakes Group Inc. and Great Lakes Group Entities. He will retire with a legacy of great accomplishments at The Company and the beginning of a new chapter for The Company including the Damen partnership; tugboat fleet renewal program; off-shore wind project; Subchapter M repair opportunities and the shipyard expansion.


Kingston Marine Museum 'down but not out'

10/11 - Kingston, Ont. - "It's been a heck of a journey these past few months," was how the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston started out its October edition of the Marine Museum News.

The newsletter, a way to keep interested residents up to date on what has been happening at the beleaguered museum, stated the institution is "down but not out" despite challenges it has faced in recent months, including getting evicted from its home on Ontario Street.

Most of the museum's 14,000 square feet of collections have been moved by volunteers into storage at the Portsmouth Olympic Harbour. That includes the vessels, models, engines, books, paintings and archives. The city gave the museum the space rent-free for two years.

Work has to be done to bring the space up to code and once that is completed, likely not before the end of the year, it is hoped a "modest exhibition" could be mounted that would include some of the museum's favourite pieces, models and paintings.

"We won't be able to call this site a museum, in the proper sense "¦ but members will be welcome to come and take a look," said the newsletter.

One possibility for the future is to join in a possible development of the former Kingston Penitentiary to highlight the city's nautical history and use it as a site for a new museum.

Also in the works is a virtual exhibit on shipwrecks of the Great Lakes, thanks to a $187,000 grant by Virtual Museums Canada. It will be a two-year project and work on it is underway.

The Alexander Henry is now tied to a wharf near Prinyer's Cove in Prince Edward County. The ship's future is still up in the air, said the newsletter, and options include sinking her as an artificial reef for divers or relocating her to Thunder Bay, where she was built in 1958 and worked as an icebreaker.

"At many times, it seemed the obstacles were insurmountable," said museum chair Chris West in a message included in the newsletter. "For weeks and weeks this past spring, we were packing and stacking but had no affordable place to go. It was truly quite grim."

He wrote the future for the museum is, however, still bright.

"Every crisis carries within it the seed of an opportunity and ours is no exception. I am confident that we will take advantage of our unexpected hibernation to arise anew in a magnificent structure, once again on the water, and once again proudly boasting a significant museum ship. With a spectacular new building, a new interpretive plan, reconceived displays and exhibits and re-energized programming and outreach activities, I foresee the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston being a greater culture and tourism contributor to Kingston than ever before."

Kingston Whig-Standard


New Wagenborg vessel Roerborg headed for Great Lakes

10/11 - Roerborg (IMO 9592599), built in 2014 at the Ferus Smit GmbH shipyards in Leer, Germany, for Royal Wagenborg Shipping, is expected to arrive sometime between October 11 and 15 in Quebec City, Que., from Antwerp, Belgium, where it had departed on September 28. After discharging cargo there, Roerborg is expected to sail to Thunder Bay, Ont., an on its first voyage to the Great Lakes.

Roerborg is one of three vessels of the R-series built between 2013 and 2014 at the Ferus Smit yard. All of the R-series ships are 23,000 DWT and are 169.75 meters in length and 20.4 meters in width. Reggeborg was the first of the new vessels to make an inland voyage to the Great Lakes, in mid-June 2014, followed later by the Reestborg in late July of that year.

Denny Dushane


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.


Port Reports -  October 10

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
American Integrity arrived Duluth at 02:29 on Sunday to load coal at Midwest Energy. Great Lakes Trader/tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort passed under the Lift Bridge at 07:25 with limestone for Graymont Superior Plant. An hour later, Lee A. Tregurtha arrived, also with limestone for Graymont. She stopped at the Port Terminal to fuel and wait for Great Lakes Trader to finish unloading. Great Lakes Trader then shifted to CN to load iron ore pellets. American Integrity topped off and departed from Midwest Energy at 13:27. Her sister American Mariner arrived on Sunday evening with coal for the C. Reiss Terminal.

Marquette, Mich.
Hon. James L. Obserstar was loading Sunday afternoon and evening. Earlier in the day, Walter J. McCarthy Jr. unloaded coal, then departed for Superior, Wis.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic on a beautiful fall Sunday incuded Baie St. Paul (early), Kaye E. Barker, Sam Laud, Frontenac, Federal Champlain and Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin. Upbound traffic included Algoma Spirit, American Century, Vikingbank and, after dark, Cason J. Callaway and Buffalo. Expected through the river upbound, most likely early Monday morning, is the Algosteel.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Manitowoc arrived early on Sunday morning. There are no vessels scheduled for Monday and on Tuesday. Two vessels are due in on Wednesday, with the barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted due in the early morning. The barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory are also due in on Wednesday in the early evening to load.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted arrived Sunday in the morning to load. There are no vessels scheduled for Monday. Due on Tuesday is the Manitowoc in the morning, and the Cuyahoga arriving on Wednesday in the early morning.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Philip R. Clarke loaded Sunday and was due to depart around 2 p.m. Also due on Sunday were the barge Lewis J. Kuber and tug Olive L. Moore, expected to arrive at noon.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Herbert C. Jackson made a rare visit and was loading Sunday. She were expected to depart around 8 p.m. Two vessels are due in Monday at noon. They are the Great Republic for the North Dock followed by the barge Lakes Contender and tug Ken Boothe Sr. for the South Dock. There are no vessels scheduled for Tuesday. Due in on Wednesday is the H. Lee White in the early evening for the South Dock. Expected in on Thursday is the Great Republic in the late evening for the South Dock. Due on Friday are the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann in the late evening for the South Dock.

Goderich, Ont.
Saginaw was at the grain elevator Sunday, while Michipicoten was loading salt and Algoway was tied on the north side of the dock. Algoway’s AIS says her next port of call is Hancock.

Saginaw River – Gordy Garris
Herbert C. Jackson is scheduled to make her third consecutive trip to the Saginaw River sometime Monday afternoon after taking on stone in Calcite overnight on Sunday. Robert S. Pierson is also scheduled to arrive on Monday. American Century is scheduled to deliver coal to the Consumers Energy dock on Friday.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Algoma Enterprise is expected at the CSX Coal Dock to load on Tuesday in the morning. Also due at CSX is the CSL Laurentien on Tuesday during the lunch hour. Hon. James L. Oberstar is due at CSX on Wednesday in the early morning, and Robert S. Pierson is due at CSX on Wednesday in the early afternoon. There are two vessels due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. Expected first will be the Capt. Henry Jackman on October 17 in the early evening, followed by the Manitoulin on October 19 in the early morning. Just one vessel is due at the Torco Dock with iron ore. The barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory currently have three trips scheduled. They are expected to arrive at Torco on October 16 in the morning, followed by October 22 also in the morning and again on October 28 in the morning. Spruceglen was in port at the time of this report, still loading grain upriver. The G tugs Nebraska and Mississippi were also in port. The salty Federal Nakagawa left Toledo on Sunday after loading grain at one of the elevators upriver. Vessels expected to arrive in the coming days include the Thunder Bay, which is expected Sunday in the late evening. Algoma Equinox, which is scheduled to make a rare, possibly first-ever visit to Toledo, is due Monday in the early evening, most likely to load grain. The saltwater vessel Heleen C is also due Tuesday in the early morning. The tug Michigan and the barge Great Lakes are due Tuesday in the early evening.

Nanticoke, Ont.
American Spirit was unloading at Nanticoke Sunday evening. It is a rarity to see an American laker there. Algowood was also in port, as was Thalassa Desgagnes.


Repair project underway at Grand Haven South Pier

10/10 - Grand Haven, Mich. – The demolition leg of the $2.7 million Grand Haven South Pier repair project began Monday, barring pedestrian access until next summer.

Throughout the fall, workers will chip away at the concrete center section of the pier, looking for indications of structural damage beneath, said Tom O'Bryan, an area engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Work breaks this winter once the weather becomes harsh, O'Bryan said. In the spring, the work will largely shift to repairs and, once completed, refilling the exposed area with stone and then capping with new concrete.

The projected completion date of July 2017 is reliant on calm, cooperative weather, O'Bryan said. The contractual completion date is Dec. 1, 2017.

Read more, and view a photo gallery at this link


Updates -  October 10

Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the Cornelia, Irma, MTM Southport, Njord Clear, Njord Cloud, Nogat, Olza, Torrent and Tundra.


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.

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.

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.

SAVIC b.) CLIFFS VICTORY cleared New York on October 10, 1986.

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 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.


Port Reports -  October 9

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
Duluth saw no traffic on Saturday until the evening, when the Arthur M. Anderson departed from Hallett #5 at 17:50 after unloading limestone. She headed to Two Harbors to load. Isa was tentatively expected to depart from Peavey Saturday night. In Superior, Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin departed from BN at 08:15.

Thunder Bay
Frontenac departed Saturday afternoon. Fuldaborg and Federal Yukina were loading. Federal Satsuki, Gadwell and Oborishte were at anchor. CSL Welland arrived.

Marquette, Mich.
Walter J. McCarthy was in port Saturday evening.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic on a cold and blustery, fall-like Saturday included Tim S. Dool, Burns Harbor, Radcliffe R. Latimer, Michipicoten, Olive L. Moore, Federal Hunter, James R. Barker and Roger Blough. Upbound traffic included American Mariner, Edwin H. Gott, Irma and, after dark, Whitefish Bay and Paul R. Tregurtha. Hon. James L. Oberstar was approaching DeTour upbound in the late evening,

Grand Haven – Sam Hankinson
Algosteel was inbound at dusk on Saturday.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
After unloading on a very foggy Thursday at the Lafarge Stone dock in Essexville, the Herbert C. Jackson was back yet again early Saturday morning, this time with a split load for the Wirt Stone docks in Bay City and Saginaw. This was a rare trip for the Jackson, as she does not usually travel upriver to Saginaw to unload. The Jackson finished unloading around 9:30 a.m. and headed upriver to turn around at the Sixth Street turning basin. Once turned around, the Jackson was back outbound for the lake by 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Herbert C. Jackson is bound for Calcite to take on her next cargo.


Federal St. Laurent sold for scrapping in China

10/9 - Federal St. Laurent (IMO 9110896), the third vessel to carry that name for the Fednav Ltd. fleet, has been sold for scrapping at China’s Zhong Xin Shipbreaking & Steel Co. Ltd. This ship, built in 1996, first came inland that year under the Liberian flag, but was later re-flagged to Barbados. It last visited during the 2015 Great Lakes/Seaway shipping season. Federal St. Laurent was built in China in 1996-97, as were her sisterships Orsula (ex-Federal Calumet), Federal Maas, Federal Rhine and Federal Schelde. Of the six ships, only the Federal St. Laurent has been sold for scrapping.

Denny Dushane, Fednav


More new ships join Fednav’s fleet

10/9 - Fednav Ltd. of Montreal, Que., has added more vessels to its growing fleet serving the Great Lakes and Seaway.

Two Handysize vessel, have been added to the C-series of vessels built at the Oshima Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. in Oshima, Japan. They are Federal Clyde (IMO 9671072) and Federal Columbia (IMO 9671084).

Both vessels are flagged in the Marshall Islands and are 199.98 meters in length with a beam or width of 23.760 meters. Each of the new ships in the B and C series are different than many of their Fednav fleetmates as they have four deck cranes, whereas some of the earlier ships built at Oshima for Fednav have three deck cranes.

The C-series now consists of Federal Caribou, Federal Cedar, Federal Champlain, Federal Churchill, Federal Clyde and Federal Columbia. Federal Clyde and Federal Columbia have yet to make any voyages to the Great Lakes.

Federal Clyde is the second vessel to bear that name in the Fednav fleet. The original (IMO 7600653), built in 1978, still exists today as Hui Fu of Chinese registry. She was known as Federal St. Clair from 1987 until April 1994, when it was sold and renamed.

The third addition, from the New Century Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., is owned by the Intership Navigation Co., Ltd. of Cyprus. Built in 2016, Federal Alster (IMO 9766164), flagged in the Marshall Islands, is 199.90 meters in length with a beam of 23.700 meters. This vessel is expected to join other fleet members also built at the New Century Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. – Federal Danube, Federal Elbe, Federal Ems, Federal Leda and Federal Weser.

Two more new vessels are on order at New Century Shipbuilding Co. shipyard ¬–Federal Ruhr (IMO 9766176) and Federal Mosel (IMO 9766188). It is unknown when these units are expected to enter service. Federal Alster, along with sisterships Federal Ruhr and Federal Mosel, are all 36,583 DWT.

Denny Dushane


Video - Mail By the Pail: All aboard America's only floating ZIP code

10/9 - If you’re a sailor aboard a freighter in the Great Lakes, it’s very difficult to get ashore to shop for supplies or mail a letter. Luckily, there’s one small tugboat that has been delivering mail, packages, and goods to ships in these lakes for the past 142 years: the J.W. Westcott. Operating out of Detroit, the J.W. Westcott is the only floating ZIP code in the United States and it delivers its mail by the pail. View the video at this link:


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.

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.

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.

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.

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 plowed 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.

1907: CYPRUS cleared Superior with a cargo of iron ore for Lackawanna, N.Y., 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

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
The Polish saltie Isa arrived Duluth at 09:17 on Friday to load grain at Peavey. Walter J. McCarthy Jr., which arrived Duluth on Thursday, departed from Midwest Energy at 10:35. Arthur M. Anderson was expected to arrive just before midnight on Friday to discharge limestone at either Hallet #5 or Graymont Superior Plant. On the Superior side, Radcliffe R. Latimer departed with iron ore at 06:24, and Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin arrived at 20:15 to load.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic on Friday included Atlantic Huron Stewart J. Cort, Kaministiqua and Burns Harbor. American Integrity, Kaye E. Barker and Great Lakes Trader/Joyce L. VanEnkevort were upbound in the evening.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The barge Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort arrived during the early afternoon on Thursday to load. Manitowoc was also expected on Thursday in the early evening, and get the dock upon the Great Lakes Trader's departure. There were no vessels expected for Friday. Manitowoc is expected to return on Saturday around noon to load. The barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted are expected in the early morning Sunday, and Wilfred Sykes is due Sunday at noon.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann arrived during the early afternoon on Wednesday. Also expected on Wednesday was the Arthur M. Anderson in the early evening. No vessels are due until Monday, when the Manitowoc is expected during the late evening. Cuyahoga makes a rare appearance on Tuesday in the late afternoon to load.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Calumet loaded on Monday and was expected to depart on Tuesday at 2 a.m. There were no vessels on Tuesday. Philip R. Clarke was expected to arrive on Wednesday in the early morning. Four vessels were expected on Friday, with Michipicoten arriving first during the morning, followed by two afternoon arrivals. Arthur M. Anderson was due in the early afternoon, followed in the mid-afternoon hours by the Joseph H. Thompson. Herbert C. Jackson was due on Friday in the late evening.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
John J. Boland arrived on Thursday and loaded at the North Dock and was expected to depart on Friday at 3 a.m. Also in port on Friday was the Lee A. Tregurtha at the South Dock loading. Great Republic was also expected on Friday in the early evening for the North Dock. Due in Saturday are two early evening arrivals. The Cason J. Callaway showed up first for the South Dock followed a couple of hours later by the Herbert C. Jackson for the North Dock.

Harsens Island, Mich.
Calumet came down the North Channel on Friday, unloaded for MDOT near the Harsens Island ferry and returned upriver. It is unusual, but not unheard of, for a vessel to discharge there.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
American Mariner arrived at the CSX Coal Dock on Thursday during the late afternoon to load. They departed on Friday in the early morning. Also due at CSX is the Manitoulin on Monday during the late evening. CSL Laurentien is due at CSX on Tuesday in the early morning. There are two vessels due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock with stone cargoes. Capt. Henry Jackman is due October 17 in the early evening. Manitoulin is expected October 19 in the early morning. Two vessels are expected to arrive at the Torco Dock with iron ore cargoes. The barge James L. Kuber and the tug Victory are due on October 17 in the early morning, while the 1,000-footer James R. Barker is due at Torco on October 20 during the early evening. A sign of the fall grain rush had three vessels upriver at the grain elevators on Friday. Saginaw and Spruceglen were busy at the elevators, while the salty Federal Nakagawa was busy loading grain. The G tugs Nebraska and Mississippi were also in port. Recent departures included the barge St. Marys Cement and tug Petite Forte on Friday morning after unloadeding cement at St. Marys. Philip R. Clarke, which had arrived on Thursday in the early evening departed on Friday morning. Tug Dylan Cooper and barge also departed on Friday morning after arriving on Monday in the late evening. Algoma Olympic, which had arrived on Sunday in the early evening, departed on Thursday morning.

Lorain, Ohio – Phil Leon
Algoway came in Thursday night at 23:00 and went to dock #3. She left Friday morning at 08:30.


Updated list of new saltwater names

10/8 - As of October 1 there were 37 saltwater vessels making their first inland voyages under their current names to the Great Lakes/Seaway system via the Eisenhower Lock in Massena, N.Y.

The list includes Ardita, BBC Haren, BBC Hudson, BBC Kansas, BBC Manitoba, Beauforce, Belasitza, Bro Agnes, Cape, Coe Leni, Fearless, Federal Biscay, Federal Caribou, Federal Cedar, Federal Champlain, Federal Churchill, Floretgracht, Halit Bey, Industrial Charger, Industrial Chief, Jan Van Gent, Jule, Lake St. Clair, Malmo, Marsgracht, Minervagracht, Mona Swan, Oborishte, Ocean Castle, San, SCT Matterhorn, SCT Monte Rosa, SCT Stockhorn, Stade, Thorco Marjanne, Tradewind Adventure and Vectis Castle. Vectis Castle was reflagged Canadian on April 13 and chartered to Groupe Desgagnes Inc. At least three more new visitors are expected into the Seaway system during the month of October: Happy Delta and the tankers Njord Clear and Njord Cloud.

Denny Dushane


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.

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 were rescued but two were 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


Lakes limestone trade down 9.5 percent in September

10/7 - Cleveland, Ohio – Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 2,958,522 tons in September, a decrease of 9.5 percent compared to a year ago. September’s loadings were also 13.3 percent below the month’s 5-year average.

Loadings from U.S. quarries totaled 2,495,401 tons, a decrease of 14.8 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments from Canadian quarries totaled 463,121 tons, an increase of 35.8 percent.

Year-to-date the Lakes limestone trade stands at 19,465,787 tons, a decrease of 7.9 percent compared to a year ago. Loadings out of Michigan and Ohio quarries total 15,689,454 tons, a decrease of 12.3 percent. Shipments from Ontario quarries total 3,776,333 tons, an increase of 16.6 percent.

Lake Carriers’ Association


Port Reports -  October 7

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
Racliffe R. Latimer arrived Thursday to load ore at BNSF. Tim S. Dool departed downbound after loading grain for Baie Comeau at Riverland Ag.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic Thursday included Paul R. Tregurtha (stopped at DeTour for company meetings before proceeding down the lake in the afternoon), tanker Esta Desgagnes (went to Sault, Ont., to unload the rest of her cargo). Upbounders included Victory–James L. Kuber (to Essar), Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin and Arthur M. Anderson. Algosteel was upbound past DeTour in the late morning but turned and went to Bruce Mines, Ont. At 9 p.m., Soo Traffic reported no vessels in the river system, although Federal Satsuki was approaching DeTour from the west.

Port Inland, Mich.
Manitowoc was loading stone Thursday night.

Menominee, Mich. – Scott Best
Atlanticborg arrived Thursday to load pulp at the K&K Warehousing East Dock.

Toledo, Ohio
Spruceglen was inbound Thursday morning to load grain. The Saginaw also arrived, and headed upriver to the Kuhlman dock. Federal Nakagawa continued loading grain on Thursday.

Marblehead, Ohio
Ashtabula/Defiance were loading stone on Thursday evening.


Sault Ste. Marie Alford Park and dock deemed unsafe, closes

10/7 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – Effective immediately the waterfront of Alford Park will be closed to public access. The park, just downstream of the Soo Locks next to the hydro plant, is a popular place for boatwatchers.

The preliminary results of a recent structural analysis indicate that the area at the face of the dock is not safe for pedestrian or vessel mooring. The city has taken steps to secure the Alford Park waterfront area. Additionally, the city will be working with the various vessel operators to find alternate methods for using the Carbide Dock under the current conditions.

Vessels often tie at the Carbide Dock for repairs, and passenger ships use the facility to disembark guests. The city’s annual salt cargo for winter use on streets is also unloaded onto the Carbide Dock.

The City of Sault Ste. Marie has received a $30,000 Coastal Zone Management Grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Office of the Great Lakes to be used along with $30,000 of city funds to perform a Redevelopment Study for Alford Park, Carbide Dock and Harvey Marina. The city hired engineering consultant SmithgroupJJR to perform the grant tasks, including a structural inspection and analysis of the Carbide Dock, which also includes the waterfront portion of Alford Park.

According to a press release, “the city recognizes the popularity of the Alford Park waterfront for fishing and ship viewing and therefore is disappointed by the need to close this waterfront, however public safety is the city’s highest priority with taking this action.”

SmithgroupJJR will be performing additional analysis to determine if there are any areas within the Alford Park that can be reopened to pedestrian access. In the meantime, the city will continue with the completion of the Waterfront Redevelopment Study including seeking outside funding for the repair of the Carbide Dock and Alford Park waterfront.

City of Sault Ste. Marie


Saturday races to benefit historic lighthouse

10/7 - Whitefish Point, Mich. – The sixth annual Whitefish Point: Run for the Light series of races is returning Saturday morning to the historic lighthouse to raise funds for renovations.

The three races, a 5k run/walk, a 10k run and a half-marathon, will start at 8:30 a.m. and follow a southbound path along Lake Superior complete with different turnarounds, both start and end at the Whitefish Point Shipwreck Museum.

“This will be our sixth race event,” said Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society Operations Manager and race coordinator Sarah Wilde. “All proceeds go to restoration costs for the Whitefish Lighthouse.”

The lighthouse is owned by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society, but the light is operated by the United States Coast Guard. It is Lake Superior’s third easternmost marker.

Wilde noted that the yearly maintenance on the building calls for a handful of fundraisers. The races serve as the third largest money gathering events behind the summer and winter appeals. The lighthouse has been on the National Register of Historic Sites since 1973.

The races have grown since their inception. The first year drew 30 runners before topping out at 200 racers. This year, Wilde expects 100 participants to intake the sights. Awards will be presented for top male and female finishers in each race type dependent on age group.

Potential participants can register onsite at the museum store through Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. People looking to volunteer are asked to call the Shipwreck Society office at (906) 635-1742.

Soo Evening News


Federal bankruptcy court approves end of Magnetation

10/7 - Duluth, Minn. – A federal bankruptcy judge on Thursday approved a settlement that will dissolve the operations of Grand Rapids, Minn.-based Magnetation LLC, ending the company’s efforts to reorganize, restructure its debts and emerge from recent financial hardships intact. In a statement issued Thursday, the company said its focus now shifts to shutting down its remaining operations — an iron ore concentrate recovery plant outside Grand Rapids and a pellet-making plant in Reynolds, Ind. — “in order to preserve their value for a potential buyer of the plants.

It remains unclear whether some of the company’s facilities may be able to resume operation under new ownership.

Under the settlement agreement, AK Steel will pay $32 million to the creditors to terminate a purchase agreement for Magnetation pellets, an agreement that has been the subject of ongoing legal action. Magnetation’s assets will be sold off to partially repay creditors.

At one point Magnetation had more than 500 employees as it rocketed into Iron Range headlines with a proprietary technology to recover valuable iron ore concentrate out of tailings, the leftover waste material from decades-old mining sites.

After iron ore prices crashed in 2014, the company lost customers, and dwindling demand for the concentrate it produces forced Magnetation to close three of four Iron Range operations, lay off hundreds of workers and file for bankruptcy in May 2015.

Magnetation’s owners had been holding out hope that a savior investor would jump in, agree to partially pay off debts, keep the company running under the same management team and retain workers.

The company’s remaining plants had employed roughly 245 people — about 180 on the Iron Range and 165 in Indiana.

Further details on exactly how Magnetation now will wind down its operations were unavailable Thursday. Matt Lehtinen, who led the company with his father, Larry, said the five-sentence written statement Magnetation issued earlier in the day would need to suffice and declined to field any additional questions from the News Tribune.

Magnetation’s bankruptcy filing listed more than $1 billion in total debt and assets that were worth less than half that sum. Many suppliers, vendors and service providers who did business with the company likely will be saddled with millions of dollars in unpaid bills.

Duluth News Tribune


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).

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.

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 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 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, Mich., 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.


Port Reports -  October 6

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
Stewart J. Cort departed Duluth from Port Terminal at 03:42, and dropped anchor off Superior to wait for the Burns Harbor, which had arrived late Tuesday night, to load. American Spirit arrived Duluth at 09:55 to load iron ore pellets at CN Duluth. Mesabi Miner, which finished loading at CN on Tuesday, spent the day at Port Terminal. She departed at 20:30. Atlantic Huron, a rare visitor to the Twin Ports, arrived soon after the Miner departed to load coal at Midwest Energy. At the end of the night, Atlantic Huron was loading coal, American Spirit was loading at CN, and Tim S. Dool was at Riverland loading wheat. On the Superior side, Burns Harbor finished loading at departed at around the same time the Miner left Duluth. Stewart J. Cort weighed anchor and arrived soon after to load at BN.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on a windy Wednesday included Walter J. McCarthy Jr., tug Anglian Lady / PML Ironmaster, Baie St. Paul, Radcliffe R. Latimer, Roger Blough, Isa and CSL Welland. Fuldaborg and Federal Champlain were above DeTour upbound as night fell. Downbounders included Hon. James L. Oberstar, Buffalo, Saginaw, Alpena, Baie Comeau, Edgar B. Speer, Federal Asahi and American Century. Herbert C. Jackson, which had anchored above DeTour, possibly for the fleet’s annual company meetings, departed downbound in the early afternoon and was headed down Lake Huron or Saginaw in close company with the Hon. James L. Oberstar, which is going to Dearborn. Reports from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., indicate the long-idle crane vessel Yankcanuck is being stripped and will be towed to the Purvis scrap dock above the locks sometime this fall. Yankcanuck was built at Collingwood in 1963 and has been inactive since the end of 2007.

Saginaw River – Gordy Garris
On Tuesday the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. arrived early in the morning with a load of coal for the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville. Once finished unloading, the McCarthy backed out to Light 12 in the Saginaw Bay, turned around and headed for the lake. Once clear of the channel, the inbound Calumet was allowed to proceed past the McCarthy. Calumet passed through the drawbridges in downtown Bay City around 3 p.m. and headed all the way upriver to Saginaw to unload at the Lafarge stone dock. Calumet completed unloading just after midnight, turned off the end of the dock in the Sixth Street turning basin, and was back outbound for the lake early Wednesday morning. Making a rare visit to the Saginaw River will be the recently-repowered Herbert C. Jackson. The Jackson is en-route with a load of stone from Port Inland and is scheduled to arrive around 5 a.m. Thursday morning.

Toronto, Ont. – Jens Juhl
The handy-size bulker Tufty did a 180-degree turnaround at noon Wednesday and is discharging sugar out of hold No. 6. Of late, bulkers have been carrying sugar in hold 6, as Redpath is stockpiling sugar for the winter over at Terminal 52. The airport standby ferry David Hornell V.C. is back alongside at hangar No.1. The ferry arrived back in port this past Monday after a two-week spell in drydock at Heddle Marine in Hamilton for its second five-year survey. The ferry recently had a new set of vehicle loading ramps installed. As the TTCA#1, the ferry carried most of the building material for new airport terminal plus all the heavy construction equipment and as a result the original ramps were pretty beat up and bent out of shape.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
American Mariner departed the Frontier Elevator at 9 p.m.


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.


Port Reports -  October 5

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
Paul R. Tregurtha arrived Duluth at 06:35 Tuesday to load its usual cargo of coal at Midwest Energy. She replaced American Century at the dock, which finished loading and departed at 09:14. Tim S. Dool arrived through the Superior entry at 09:05, after spending the night anchored in the lake to clean her holds. After re-arriving, she headed back up the harbor and docked at Riverland Ag to load wheat. Paul R. Tregurtha headed out at 18:20. Mesabi Miner was expected to depart Duluth from CN late Tuesday night. Stewart J. Cort was still at the Port Terminal, but was expected to shift to Burlington Northern to load in the evening. Burns Harbor was also due to arrive in Superior, but she will most likely anchor to wait for the Cort.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic included Esta Desgagnes early, Atlantic Huron, Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber and Frontenac. Downbounders included Cason J. Callaway, Lee A. Tregurtha and Edwin H. Gott. Much to the dismay of boatwatchers, Algorail was headed for a nighttime passage. James R. Barker anchored above DeTour in the afternoon for annual company meetings now in progress on the fleet’s vessels, then was upbound at the locks after dark. John J. Boland loaded at the Drummond Island stone dock.

Alpena, Mich. – Ben & Chanda McClain
Last week there was some vessel activity in the area. The tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 unloaded at Lafarge on September 27. The tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber anchored for weather off Alpena on Friday before going to Stoneport to load. The Steamer Alpena was in port on Friday, loading cement at Lafarge. G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity were in over the weekend as well. On Monday, the Calumet unloaded coal at Lafarge.


Research L.L. Smith Jr. vessel reinvented

10/5 - Superior, Wis. – For the first time in more than 15 years, the L.L. Smith Jr. won't winter at Spirit Lake Marina and RV Park in Duluth. The Wisconsin-built tugboat that for decades served as an aquatic research vessel for the University of Wisconsin-Superior headed to Washburn Marina last week. The vessel will be lifted out of the water for sandblasting and repainting of the hull. Whether it returns to Duluth or settles in Washburn depends on owners Mel and Carolyn Maierhafer of Fremont, Wis.

"It was our original intent to stay in Washburn because it was closer and beautiful," Mel Maierhafer said. "But then we ended up with so many friends here that have boats."

It's easy to round up a crew of qualified people for a run, said fellow boat enthusiast Edso Quirk, who is also docked at Spirit Lake Marina, and passers-by knock on the door occasionally seeking a peek of the inside.

"Nice people," Carolyn Maierhafer said. "We'll see what happens."

The couple's journey began in August of 2015 when Mel's bidding zeal landed them with the vessel.

"She wasn't happy for the first couple weeks," he said of his wife.

Spirit Lake Marina is 316 miles from their home. As they started each six-hour drive, the couple would go out for breakfast. When they pulled in at the marina, they'd unpack and go out for dinner. "That kind of plays into it," Mel Maierhafer said.

The two self-professed workaholics quickly dug into renovating the research vessel into a floating home.

"This has been a great experience," said Charlie Stauduhar with Spirit Lake Marina. "We're just tickled that somebody has got a vision for the boat and can see the vision through."

With the help of fellow marina boater Edso Quirk, they ground and repainted the steel walls and deck, added carpeting on the main level, imported a number of cooking appliances and changed the color scheme from black and white to battleship gray in honor of Mel's service in the U.S. Navy aboard the destroyer USS Ault.

"I went along with the gray, but I asked for a little bit of white trim," Carolyn Maierhafer said. "You see what I got, around those little portholes."

Her color of choice is yellow, but it only shows up on interior trim like the bathroom window.

Another new feature is a flight of stairs to the top deck.

"My wife has never been up on the second deck, because to get up there you've got to climb this ladder, and she's had too many surgeries on shoulders and backs," Mel Maierhafer said. "It's just beautiful up there; it gives you a whole different look."

When the L.L. Smith Jr. headed out for a shakedown cruise two weeks ago to test the engine, which has also had work done to it, the welders and carpenters building the stairs came along.

"But then when we got to some interesting part, they quit working and enjoyed the trip," Mel Maierhafer said. "So they got a free ride and they were grinning all the while."

Recent cruises have included two captains, former UWS captain Dan Rau and Quirk, who will be the new captain for the vessel. "We're passing the torch," Quirk said. "I've always had a dream to be a ship captain."

The 60-ton vessel carries a lot of history. It was built in 1950 at Knudsen Shipyards (now Fraser) and the main engine was built in Two Rivers, Wis. The 58-foot vessel was purchased by UWS in 1978 for environmental education. Over the course of its stay with UWS, the ship welcomed thousands of people — college students, school groups, public officials and more.

The science lab where students once conducted research now holds two easy chairs and a TV, although the owners don't use it often.

"Most of our time has been spent on the end of a paintbrush," Mel Maierhafer said. "We haven't had much time to sit."

The couple winters in Texas, but have spent the summer putting their stamp on the L.L. Smith Jr. Despite Mel Maierhafer's heart condition and the fact that both were very ill over the winter, they've continued pouring their efforts into the vessel. For them, it's a labor of love. "Because this is such a dream of his, I just wanted to keep making it look nice," Carolyn said.

"I wanted it to get done because I didn't think I'd live long enough. And I wanted it done so Captain Ed could help her sell it," Mel said. "Six months ago I never thought that I would see the day when we'd have the deck painted and now ..."

New medication has helped with Mel's condition, and he's looking forward to a future with his wife and their tugboat. Whether the L.L. Smith Jr. returns to Duluth or docks in Washburn, it's left friends in its wake.

"Lots of people get visions for boats and they start a project, but it never seems to get through to fruition," Stauduhar said. "These guys are dedicated and they've got a great vision. I think it's in good hands."

Superior Telegram


History of VIP travel on freighters to be offered Thursday in Avon, Ohio

10/5 - - On Thursday October 6, 2016 at 7 p.m., Christopher Gillcrist will present the free program “Traveling in Style: VIP Travel on Great Lakes Freighters” at the Cambria Suites Hotel 35600 Detroit Rd. in Avon, Ohio. The program features rare photographs and archival material and explores the changing experience for VIPs aboard Great Lakes freighters. The program is free to the general public but reservations are required and can be made by calling 419-214-5000, extension 200.


Today in Great Lakes History -  October 5

September 5, 1899, the DOUGLASS HOUGHTON grounded at Sailors Encampment and sank when rammed by her barge, JOHN FRITZ. The HOUGHTON completely blocked St. Marys River traffic for five days. More than 300 boats were delayed at an estimated loss of $600,000.

On 05 September 1898, the MONTGOMERY (wooden schooner-barge, 204 foot, 709 tons, built in 1856, at Newport [Marine City], Michigan as a passenger/package freight steamer) sank in 21 feet of water on Lake St. Clair after colliding with the whaleback barge 137 (steel barge, 345 foot, 2,480 gross tons, built in 1896, at W. Superior, Wisconsin) which was being towed by the ALEXANDER McDOUGALL (steel propeller semi-whaleback freighter, 413 foot, 3,686 gross tons, built in 1898, at West Superior, Wisconsin). The MONTGOMERY was raised and repaired. She lasted another two years before breaking up in a storm in 1901.

CHI-CHEEMAUN completed her sea trials on September 5, 1974, and then cleared the Collingwood shipyard on September 26th.

BENJAMIN F. FAIRLESS cleared Lorain on her maiden voyage September 5, 1942 for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.

J. P. MORGAN, JR. returned to service September 5, 1948, after repairs suffered in an accident in June.

NEW QUEDOC arrived at McLouth Steel, Trenton, Michigan, on her maiden voyage September 5, 1960, with a load of Labrador iron ore. Renamed b.) QUEDOC in 1963. QUEDOC was scrapped at Curacao Island, Lesser Antilles in 1985.

The WYANDOTTE of 1916, a.) CONNEAUT, was towed down the Welland Canal on September 5- 6, 1973, on her way to the cutter’s torch at Santander, Spain.

On 5 September 1905, ABERCORN (wooden propeller 'rabbit', 126 foot, 261 gross tons, built in 1873, at Marine City, Michigan) burned at the dock at Goderich, Ontario, while unloading coal. She reportedly caught fire from the explosion of a signal lamp.

The schooner CALEDONIA, wrecked the previous autumn near the Fishing Islands on Lake Huron, was raised and arrived in Port Huron, Michigan, on September 5, 1882, under tow to be rebuilt.

1896: The Canadian passenger ship BALTIC, built in 1867 as FRANCES SMITH, burned at the dock in Collingwood. The hull drifted to shallow water and remained there for several years.

1964: A. & J. MID-AMERICA, a Seaway caller in 1963, was driven ashore at Lantau Island near Hong Kong by typhoon Ruby. The vessel was refloated October 5 but came ashore again days later during typhoon Dot on October 13. Refloated October 21, the vessel returned to service and was scrapped as e) UNION TIGER at Inchon, South Korea, after arriving in April 1968.

1964: The former HEMSEFJELL, a pre-Seaway trader, was also blown aground at Hong Kong as d) PROSPERITY during typhoon Ruby but released on October 5. It was scrapped in Thailand during 1972.

1964: The three-year old bulk carrier LEECLIFFE HALL sank in the St. Lawrence, 65 miles below Quebec City, following a collision with the APOLLONIA. Efforts to beach the ship failed and three lives were lost. The hull was dynamited as a hazard to navigation in 1966. The latter, a Greek freighter, had been a Seaway trader in 1964 and was repaired at Levis, QC. The ship was scrapped at Shanghai, China, as c) MAYFAIR after arriving on May 3, 1985.

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


Port Reports -  October 4

Duluth, Minn.
Algorail and Alpena departed downbound Monday afternoon. At dusk, Stewart J. Cort was headed in via the Duluth entrance. She usually arrives through the Superior entry. She will take a delay at Port Terminal before shifting to load iron ore at Burlington Northern.

St. Marys River
The Poe Lock was shut down for about 8 hours during the day Monday for a scheduled valve replacement. Ken Boothe Sr/Lakes Contender and Burns Harbor were delayed upbound and American Integrity was delayed downbound. Other Monday traffic Monday included the upbound Tecumseh and Hon. James L. Oberstar. Hollyhock left the Carbide Dock and was downbound in the morning, heading for Lake Huron. Kaye E. Barker was downbound in the evening. The saltie Oborishte was approaching DeTour from the south as the day ended.

Muskegon, Mich.
Herbert C. Jackson was in port unloading late Monday.

Lorain, Ohio – Phil Leon
Algoway came into Lorain Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and went to Dock #2. She departed about 5 p.m.

Welland Canal
The tug Sea Power was upbound in the Welland Canal Monday headed for Erie, Pa., where she will pick up a new barge at Donjon Shipbuilding. H. Lee White was downbound in the canal for Quebec City. Algosoo, which arrived Sunday for scrapping at International Marine Salvage, has already had her stack logos painted out.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
American Mariner was expected in Buffalo around 10:30 p.m. Monday.


Vessels with Great Lakes/Seaway connections reported as a casualty or scrapped

10/4 - Vessels with Great Lakes/Seaway connections reported as a casualty or scrapped, according to the October 2016 Marine News, the journal of the World Ship Society.

Arwad Tower (8406925; Belize) 16,775 / 85 b.c. ex Stefania I-13, 1st trip into Seaway/Lakes 1998; Stefania-98, Sea Crystal-97, Astral Ocean-95, 1st trip into Seaway/Lakes 1986. Sold by White Tower Shipping Co. (GMZ Ship Management Co. S.A., Marshall Islands) to Pakistani shipbreakers and arrived Gadani Beach 10/05/16 demolition commenced 5/20/16

Algosar (7634288; Canada) (ex Gemini-05) 6,596 / 78 product tanker - Sold by Algoma Central Corporation to Marine Recycling Corp. and arrived Port Colborne 05/17/2016.

Barry Andersen & René Beauchamp


Ashland's Soo Line Ore Dock celebrates its centennial

10/4 - Ashland, Wis. – After having to postpone their celebration by two weeks, the Ashland Ore Dock finally got its opportunity to celebrate its 100-year anniversary. A festival was held Saturday as the community poured out to celebrate one of its oldest structures.

Residents gathered as the last remaining ore dock in the city to celebrate it's centennial, all with a little help from volunteers, and the community.

"We threw it out there on Facebook, asked people if they would make donations towards the 100-year ore dock anniversary event, and we had 5,000 bucks within a week from less than 20 people. People are connected with this ore dock, so they were more than happy to make donations towards it." Said event organizer Don Jaskowiak.

People listened to live music, ate, and talked about the history of the quarter-mile long dock.

The dock means a little more to one Ashland man whose grandfather started three generations of ore dock workers. He describes the dock as something you had to see in person.

"It was 80 feet in the air, they had chutes, they dumped ore into the pockets before the vessel came in, and right after that, they had a boat-load come in, and load it in about three or four hours. It was just amazing." Said Tom Kucinski, describing his time working on the dock. Kucinski worked on the dock for over 40 years.

Kucinski's work was preceded by his grandfather, who spent half of a century working in Ashland, as well as his father's work in the city. And at least for now, there will be one more generation working the waters of Lake Superior.

"My daughter, she got a job on the Roger Blough in the summer months, and then she met the man of her dreams. And she's married to the captain, he's a pilot now. So, it lives on." Said Kucinski, talking about his family’s long history of work on Lake Superior.

Kucinski said the dock has seen many ups and downs over the years, as the ore industry continues to ebb and flow, but is very excited for the future plans for the dock. In September, the Ashland City council approved a plan to revitalize the ore dock, and turn it into a community gathering place.

The dock is in phase one of three of its redevelopment plan that will span the next several years.

Northland News Center


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.

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.


Career ends for Algosoo; laker arrives at scrap dock Sunday

10/3 - Port Colborne, Ont. – The Canadian-flagged self-unloader Algosoo sailed proudly under her own power up the Welland Canal to the breaker’s yard at Port Colborne, Ontario, on Sunday. She will be cut up in the coming months.

Her first stop will be Wharf 17 in Port Colborne for parts removal before being shifted to the International Marine Salvage scrapping slip. Algosoo received a good send-off from many Boatnerds along the canal who braved frequent downpours but were rewarded with many salutes. She also passed downbound fleet member Algoma Enterprise below Lock 2 around 1 p.m., with stirring blasts of their horns as they passed.

Algosoo has been laid up this season at Toronto, Ont., after arriving for winter lay-up on Dec. 30, 2015. While other idled vessels returned to service this fall due to increasing demand, the Algosoo wasn’t one of them.

Built by Collingwood Shipyards, Collingwood, Ont., in 1974, the vessel sailed her entire career under the same name and for the same owner, the Algoma Central Corp. Four other members of the Algoma fleet have been disposed of for scrap already this season, with more scrappings expected next year as new vessels are built to replace them.

Algosoo and her slightly newer fleetmate Algolake are considered near-sister ships, with similar hull designs and machinery. However Algolake was built with all accommodations and wheelhouse aft, while Algosoo has the wheelhouse and some accommodations forward. She was the last cabins-forward laker (straight-decker or self-unloader) built on the Great Lakes.

In 1975, Algosoo carried a record cargo of 23,300 tons of salt from Goderich to Toronto, and a record 32,600 tons of stone from Stoneport to Sarnia. Also that year, she carried a record 926,204 bushels of wheat to Port McNicoll, Ont. On July 12, 1977, she set a salt cargo record from Ojibway Salt in Windsor, loading 31,936 tons for Buffalo. December 9, 1977 saw Algosoo carry the 60 millionth ton of cargo through the St. Lawrence Seaway. A milestone in Algosoo's history was the carrying of the 2 billionth ton of cargo through the St. Lawrence Seaway on May 10 1996.

On February 28, 1998, while at winter lay up at Port Colborne's Wharf 10, a fire caused serious damage to the self-unloading belts and other nearby equipment. In honor of Algoma Central's 100th anniversary, an open house event was held on board the Algosoo on July 31, 1999 at the Canal Days Festival at Port Colborne, Ont. The event was almost directly across the canal where she will be demolished.


Port Reports -  October 3

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
On Sunday, American Integrity departed Duluth at 7:15 a.m. with coal from Midwest Energy. Cason J. Callaway finished unloading her cargo of limestone at C. Reiss and departed at 9:33 a.m. bound for Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets. Alpena arrived mid-evening to discharge cement at Lafarge in Superior. Tim S. Dool was unloading cement at Holcim and Joseph L. Block was topping off at CN. She was expected to depart late evening, bound for Indiana Harbor.

St. Marys River
Sunday’s upbound traffic included Buffalo, Stewart J. Cort, Mesabi Miner, American Century and Edgar B. Speer. Roger Blough and Pineglen (headed for Montreal) were downbound. The Poe Lock will have a six-hour outage on Monday in order to replace a defective hydraulic cylinder. The outage is expected to begin around 8:30 in the morning. The lock will be returned to full service as soon as the work is completed.

Port Inland, Mich.
Philip R. Clarke was loading on Sunday afternoon and evening. Wilfred Sykes is next in line.

Goderich, Ont.
Algosteel was loading salt on Sunday.

Toledo, Ohio – Jim Hoffman
As of 4:35 p.m. Sunday, the Algoma Olympic was approaching the CSX coal docks. The tugs Mississippi and Nebraska assisted her up the Maumee River. As of 8:15 p.m. Sunday, Federal Nakagawa was approaching Montreal and the St. Lawrence Seaway bound for Toledo with an ETA of Wednesday, October 5.


Thunder Bay shipyard under new ownership

10/3 - Thunder Bay, Ont. - A historic Thunder Bay industrial complex could soon be seeing new life. The signage outside the old shipyard indicates the property is under new ownership.

Heddle Marine president Rick Heddle said the company is not ready to announce anything at this point, or even confirm that a purchase has taken place.

The company's part-owner Blair McKeil confirmed to TBT News this week that Heddle Marine has taken over control of the former Lakehead Marine and Industrial operation, which has been idle for nearly 3 years.

Heddle has ship repair facilities in the Hamilton area and in the Maritimes, and McKeil said they're excited about expanding into Thunder Bay. He added that they're looking forward to resurrecting the ship repair operation, although it's not clear how soon that might happen.

Steelworker's union rep Herb Daniher said it's encouraging news.

“I went by a couple of weeks ago, and they were just starting to drain the dry dock, so we know there was some activity there,” Daniher said. “Certainly, this is a better outcome then having to shut down and having some kind of proposal for some other infrastructure development town that doesn’t really create any jobs.”

Daniher added that this industrial manufacture repair facility has been successful in the past, and he is expecting they are going to have some success going forward and that means prosperity for the community.

The Port Arthur Shipbuilding Company was launched in 1911, and saw the construction of dozens of vessels over the next 50 years. After that, the company continued to repair and renovate ships under various names, including Pascol Engineering and Lakehead Marine and Industrial.

Between 40 and 100 employees would spent the winter months welding and repairing lake and ocean vessels, but in 2014, Lakehead Marine declared bankruptcy, assets were auctioned off and then the property went into third party ownership.

Daniher said if and when the operation reopens, the former employees would have the best skills for the new company's hiring process. “If there’s a place they can apply then hopefully the new company is successful in obtaining the necessary work to get up and running and continue to operate,” he said. “I don’t presume they bought the site without anything else in mind, so it’s positive news.

Daniher said for those who haven’t found any employment elsewhere jobs are still probably available.

Heddle Marine officials said they could be ready to announce about their plans, in the weeks or months ahead.



Three missing boaters found dead in Lake Superior

10/3 - Keweenaw Peninsula, Mich. – The bodies of three boaters who went missing on Lake Superior in mid-September were found in their sunken boat this weekend.

At 12:45 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1, 61-year-old Keith Karvonen and 9-year-old Ethan Chartre were located and recovered from a sunken boat on Lake Superior. Forty-three-year-old Steven Chartre was also located, and additional resources are being used to assist in efforts to recover him.

Karvonen's 14-foot boat was found using sonar by two nonprofit/volunteer search and rescue organizations, Bruce's Legacy from Black River Falls, Wis., and Crossman Consulting of Duluth, Minn.

Michigan State Police said the search began two weeks ago after the trio didn't return from a fishing trip. They left Chassel in the Upper Peninsula on Saturday, Sept. 17 and family members called police later that day.

The U.S. Coast Guard called off the search on Sept. 21. Extending from Keweenaw Bay into Lake Superior, Coast Guard searchers covered more than 14,000 square miles for a total of 151 hours.

M Live


Boo! USS Edson in Bay City offers ‘haunted’ ship tours

10/3 - Bay City, Mich. – Under dark, eerie skies this past weekend, hundreds ventured through the depths of the USS Edson, a retired U.S. Naval destroyer that calls Bay County home on the banks of the Saginaw River.

Dozens of volunteers came together on Saturday to kick off a month of haunted tours on the vessel. The Vietnam-era ship has been the focus of numerous paranormal investigations over the years. Those brave enough to enter were asked to investigate a terrifying military experiment on all five levels of the Naval destroyer.

The tour lasts 15 minutes. People in hazmat suits lead participants through a labyrinth of tunnels, evading zombies and creatures across the five decks of horrors.

While the festivities are all fun and games, there have been talks about whether or not the USS Edson is haunted. Mike Kegley, Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum president, has said in the past that he's a believer when it comes to possible ghosts on the ship.

The haunted attraction at the USS Edson continues to Nov. 5. General admission is $15, Fast Pass tickets are $25 and Group Rate tickets are $12.

Bay City Times


National Museum of Great Lakes raffling a Great Lakes cruise

10/3 - Toledo, Ohio – There are no casinos, wave pools, or ports of call with sandy beaches and swim-up bars. No worries. Those who have traveled on Great Lakes freighters apparently didn’t miss any of that, according to Chris Gillcrist, executive director of the Toledo-based National Museum of the Great Lakes.

Whether sailing on freighters in the early 20th century or today, “what unites everybody is that they all consider it the ultimate trip of a lifetime,” Gillcrist said.

Unlike the thousands of Caribbean cruises taken each year, similar trips aboard Great Lakes freighters are not available commercially. But next week’s free program presented by Gillcrist at 7 p.m. Thursday at Cambria Suites Hotel, 35600 Detroit Road, Avon, will offer the chance to buy $100 tickets that will send one lucky ticket holder on a Great Lakes cruise.

Money from the raffle benefits the nonprofit museum and its programs that work to preserve and celebrate the history of the Great Lakes and the ships and people who traveled on them.

Titled “Traveling in Style: VIP Travel on Great Lakes Freighters Since 1900,” the program presents slides depicting trips past and present.

While several shipping companies occasionally donate Great Lakes trips, most of those offered by the museum are aboard vessels of the Interlake Steamship Co., which raffles four outings a year to benefit nonprofit organizations that can realize $60,000 to $90,000, Gillcrist said.

The value of such trips can range from $5,000 to $6,000 for a couple to $16,000 for a foursome, Gillcrist said. Most trips take place during summer and are of the four-nights and five-days variety.

Those who buy raffle tickets at next week’s program in Avon also will be entered in a special raffle for a Cuyahoga River dinner cruise for four aboard a restored bumboat, a small boat that typically ferried supplies or sold items to freighters anchored offshore.

The winner of the Great Lakes trip will be chosen during an Oct. 15 drawing.



Updates -  October 3

News Photo Gallery


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 surfboat. 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 four 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


Algosoo on the move to scrapyard

10/2 - Algosoo departed Toronto Sunday October 2, at 0621. ETA Welland Canal is today at 9 a.m. This is the final opportunity to view the Algosoo under her own power, as she is transiting for Port Colborne to be dismantled in the weeks to come.


Poe Lock to shut down for repairs

10/2 - The Poe Lock in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan has been operating with one empty valve due to a hydraulic cylinder failure since early July 2016. The Poe Lock will have a six hour outage on Monday in order to replace the hydraulic cylinder. The outage is expected to begin around 8:30 in the morning. The Lock will be returned to full service as soon as the work is completed.


Port Reports -  October 2

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
Joseph L. Block arrived Duluth just after 3 am on Saturday with limestone for CN. She was then expected to take on a split load of iron ore pellets and blast furnace trim. Tim S. Dool arrived at 5:50 with her usual load of cement for the Holcim terminal. American Integrity arrived mid-afternoon to load coal at Midwest Energy, and Cason J. Callaway arrived mid-evening to discharge limestone at C. Reiss Terminal.

Thunder Bay, Ont.
Pineglen and G3 Marquis were loading Saturday, while Federal Hunter and Federal Asahi were at anchor.

St. Marys River
Saturday’s upbound traffic included Edwin H. Gott, Alpena (headed for Superior), Baie Comeau, Gadwall, Algorail (no destination shown on AIS) and Federal Yukina. Downbounders included H. Lee White and Juno. USCG Hollyhock locked down in the morning and tied up at the Carbide Dock for an unspecified period of time.

Detroit, Mich.
After waiting on the hook for the strong current from recent rains to subside, Algoway made it into the Rouge River Saturday to unload. She was towed up river stern first by the tugs Wyoming and Colorado. Lee A. Tregurtha also arrived on Saturday.

Monroe, Mich.
Paul R. Tregurtha was unloading coal at the Monroe Power Plant Saturday evening.

Toledo, Ohio – Jim Hoffman
Algoma Olympic has been delayed in her transit of the Welland Canal. It looks more like a mid-to-late Sunday afternoon arrival at Toledo. Spruceglen was at Montreal Saturday headed for Toledo.

Toronto, Ont.
Waterfront reports indicate that Algosoo may transit the Welland Canal upbound Sunday en route to the scrap dock at Port Colborne, Ont.


Steelworkers ratify contract with Cliffs

10/2 - Duluth, Minn. – The United Steelworkers of America announced Thursday that its members have ratified a new labor contract with Cliffs Natural Resources. The contract, first announced in late August, covers about 2,000 USW-represented workers at United Taconite in Eveleth and Forbes, Hibbing Taconite and Cliffs' operations in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It's retroactive to Oct. 1, 2015, and will expire on Oct. 1, 2018.

The union said the new contract "preserves wages, benefits and other longstanding rights and protections without lowering the standards of living of current workers or retirees."

"The contract reflects the hard work and solidarity of our negotiating committee, activists and members and retirees from each of the local unions," Emil Ramirez, director of USW District 11 — which includes Minnesota — said in a news release. "Settling our differences with management at the table will enable all of us to focus on addressing the industry's real problems, such as global overcapacity and the unfair and often illegal foreign trade practices that depress prices, close facilities and cost jobs."

The agreement came after a year of negotiations. The previous contract had expired Oct. 1, 2015, and Cliffs employees had been working under the terms of the expired contract since that time.

"Through no fault of their own, too many of our brothers and sisters have dealt with the uncertainty of an industry downturn brought about by decades of misguided trade policies," said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. "We are looking forward to a more secure future with ratification complete and a fair collective bargaining agreement in place."

When the tentative contract agreement was announced in August, Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves said it was "fair and equitable to both parties, and provides Cliffs a competitive cost structure for future success. ... This agreement once again reinforces that we have more in common with the USW than we have differences, and we look forward to continuing our strong partnership."

Earlier this year, Steelworkers ratified labor contracts with:

• ArcelorMittal USA, which has about 310 hourly employees at its Minorca taconite iron ore mine and processing operations in Virginia. The agreement also covers another 13,000 workers at ArcelorMittal steelmaking facilities in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, South Carolina and Louisiana.

• U.S. Steel, affecting 18,000 employees at more than a dozen facilities across the country, including hundreds at the Minntac taconite mine and processing plant in Mountain Iron and Keetac operations in Keewatin.

Duluth News Tribune


A year later, El Faro families, investigators still looking for answers

10/2 - Jacksonville, Fla. – A year after the El Faro sank in a powerful hurricane, claiming the lives of all 33 mariners, family members and investigators are still looking for answers to what happened to the cargo ship in those last hours.

They know a lot more than they did a year ago today, when U.S. Coast Guard crews were still hoping to find survivors but knew the odds were long given the nearly 800-foot vessel could not be located. They still don’t know why the ship was there and what, ultimately, led to its demise.

Now they know the spot near the Bahamas where the battered ship rests 3 miles below the surface. They know the El Faro lost propulsion, was taking on water, and was listing at the mercy of the powerful winds and surging water of the storm. They know the captain ordered the crew to abandon ship just minutes before an audio recording device stopped working.

But there is no closure. No bodies have been recovered. Uncertainty remains about those last hours as Hurricane Joaquin approached and overtook the ship. The owner has settled wrongful death lawsuits brought by 23 of the 33 estates, but with one court date not set until 2018 and at least two ongoing federal investigations, final resolutions and meaningful answers could be years away.

Investigators and family members are hopeful that 26 hours of data and audio from the ship’s voyage data recorder, retrieved in August on a third mission, will provide key evidence and fill in some gaps. The National Transportation Safety Board is processing that data and transcribing the recovered audio.

The lead Coast Guard investigator said he and his team are “exploring several factors that seemed to combine together” that led to the loss of the ship on its route between Jacksonville, where many of the crewmembers lived, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“I don’t feel there is one certain factor that stands out more than the others,” said Capt. Jason Neubauer, chairman of the board appointed by the Coast Guard commandant to investigate the Oct. 1, 2015, tragedy. Neubauer pointed to the weather, the “vessel’s overall compliance through time,” “human factors that we’re examining for the crew,” and other factors related to the stability and loading of the El Faro.

The Coast Guard is also overseeing several studies, with the two most prominent analyzing the condition of the ship on the final voyage and factors related to its stability. Those include cargo loading, the “liquid loads,” and “the vessel stability while under way while at a sea state.”

“It is just to try to model how the vessel would have handled under those environmental conditions,” Neubauer said.

He said he hopes those studies will be completed by the next hearing of the Marine Board of Investigation, which is tentatively scheduled for January. He expects this third hearing to be the last. The board met two previous times for two weeks each in Jacksonville, hearing from former crew members, from executives with Tote Services Inc. that owned the ship, top officials with the National Hurricane Center, surveyors who inspected the El Faro, those who oversaw the loading of the ship, and the Coast Guard captain who oversaw the search and rescue effort.

After the team completes the investigation, it will submit a report including recommendations to the Coast Guard commandant. Neubauer said because of the uncertainty of the information from the VDR, he did not have a timeline for the final report.

The Marine Board of Investigation is rare, the highest level of investigation for the Coast Guard. The last one was for the Deepwater Horizon incident, currently being portrayed in the movie of the same name.

Neubauer said he regularly communicates by phone, email and social media with the El Faro families, including those of the five Polish workers aboard.

“Several family members know about the maritime industry and have provided leads to the investigative team,” Neubauer said. “Others have voiced concerns” including aspects of the investigation they want explored or witnesses they believe investigators should call before them. “I basically tell them we will track down any of the leads they provide to me” and are committed to determining what happened and preventing similar tragedies in the future, Neubauer said.

On Oct. 1, the Seafarers Internation Union dedicated an El Faro memorial in Jacksonville, Florida, and also conducted a brief ceremony at its affiliated school in Piney Point, Maryland.

Many of the 17 SIU crewmembers who perished aboard the El Faro were from the Jacksonville area, and the ship last set sail from that port. The monument unveiled at the union hall on Belfort Road is a miniature lighthouse featuring 33 stars – one for each person who was part of the vessel’s final crew.

There is also an El Faro memorial at the waterfront park in Piney Point; it was formally dedicated in late April., SIU


Updates -  October 2

Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the ARA Rotterdam, Atlanticborg, Duzgit Endeavour, Ganges Star, Halit Bey, Industrial Charger, Lake St. Clair, Nilufer Sultan, Oborishte, Ruddy and Tufty.


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.

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.

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, E. G. GRACE cleared Lorain, Ohio, bound for Superior, Wisconsin, to load iron ore.

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

Duluth, Minn. – Daniel Lindner
Friday saw little traffic in Duluth. Walter J. McCarthy Jr. arrived just after midnight to load coal at Midwest Energy. She departed mid-afternoon, while her fleetmate American Mariner departed a few hours later.

Port Inland, Mich.
Michipicoten was loading stone Friday evening.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic Friday included John J. Boland around noon, CSL Welland, and Frontenac at dusk, followed by the passenger ship Victory 1 and Presque Isle. Upbound traffic included the American Integrity and Saginaw in the morning, followed by Cason J. Callaway. USCH Hollyhock was anchored in the upper river Friday night after locking upbound on Thursday. Her AIS says “sea trials.” Joseph H. Thompson was loading at the Drummond Island stone dock. Soo Traffic is announcing that the Poe Lock will be out of service for six hours Monday for valve repairs.

Alpena, Mich.
Alpena was in her namesake port loading at Lafarge on Friday.


ArcelorMittal fears "catastrophic harm" if Corps fails to dredge Cuyahoga channel

10/1 - Cleveland, Ohio – The ArcelorMittal company said this week that the steel mill will suffer "catastrophic harm" if a federal judge doesn't immediately order the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge the Cuyahoga River shipping channel.

If the Army Corps fails to dredge this fall, the steel mill could be forced to curtail or shut down its blast furnaces without the raw materials necessary to make steel, the company's lawyers' said in a 17-page motion to intervene filed in U.S. District Court.

As sediment has built up in the shipping channel, cargo ships have been compelled to lighten their loads to prevent bottoming out or becoming stuck in the river. Due to the lighter loads, the steel mill's inventory of iron ore pellets has reached a critically low level, the motion said.

"Each passing day decreases the likelihood that ArcelorMittal will be able to recover from that inventory shortfall without having to curtail or idle its plant," the motion said.

Read more at this link


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.

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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