Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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Great Lakes Maritime Institute Annual Marine Mart on Belle Isle
Saturday, December 3, 2005 10:00 am – 2:30 pm
Belle Isle Casino On The Strand, Belle Isle

35 Dealers – Items for EVERYONE’s Great Lakes Interest: Artifacts • Artwork Books • Brochures China • Photos Ship Models • Souvenirs. . . and Much, Much More!

Admission $3.00 per person / adults Everyone attending will be eligible for Door Prizes! Check at the GLMI table to see if your ticket is a winner.

The Casino is not a gambling establishment but used a meeting point for individuals and groups. It is located in full view of the shipping channel near the entrance of the island just east of the Scott Fountain.

More information: Dossin Great Lakes Museum, John Polacsek, (313) 297-8366



Annual Holiday Card Gallery

Boatnerd is ready to receive your unique nautical Christmas cards or other Holiday Greetings. Send them to the Boatnerd News and we will post them in a special gallery.


Oglebay Norton Announces Completion of Previously Announced Vessel Sale

CLEVELAND - 11/30 - Oglebay Norton Company's wholly owned subsidiary, Oglebay Norton Marine Services Company LLC, announced Tuesday on its website that it has completed the previously announced sale of the steamer Buckeye to Buckeye Holdings LLC, an affiliate of K&K Warehousing, for $4 million. Proceeds from the sale will be used to retire debt.

The Buckeye has been idle during 2005. It is anticipated that the steam plant will be removed and the hull will be converted into an unmanned barge. The release did not say when or where such a conversion could take place, however it is believed the work would be carried out at an Erie, Pa., shipyard.

The company said it continues to evaluate potential transactions on the balance of its Great Lakes fleet.

Reported by Oglebay Norton Co.


U.S.-Flag Lakes Float Steady In October

11/30 - U.S.-Flag Great Lakes fleets hauled 11.5 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in October, a virtual tie with both the year before and the month’s 5-year average. Iron ore shipments were basically even with a year ago, but trailed the month’s 5-year average by 170,000 tons.

Continued strong demand for coal pushed loadings to nearly 3 million tons, an increase of 18 percent compared to both a year ago and the month’s 5-year average.

However, limestone cargos fell by 15 percent when compared to October 2004 and 9 percent when weighed against the month’s 5-year average.

For the year, U.S.-Flag carriage on the Great Lakes stands at 88.8 million tons, a decrease of 2 percent compared to the same point in 2004.

However, 2004 totals were not typical of recent years. As a result, the 2005 float through October is in fact 4 percent ahead of the 5-year average for the January-October timeframe.

From the Lake Carriers’ Association


Tunnel Plan Rankles Canada
Neighbor tells Detroit link with bridge poses security risk, would give owner too much power.

11/30 - The government of Canada has sent a warning to Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and Detroit City Council members: Do not move forward with the city's proposal to connect the Ambassador Bridge to the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, or Canada may take legal action. The plan is an international security threat and would provide Detroit businessman Matty Moroun with the equivalent of a monopoly over the Ambassador Bridge and Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, said the letter from the law firm Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn, the Canadian government's legal counsel in the United States. "We are taking this situation very seriously," said Mike Butler, spokesman for Transport Canada, the national transit agency.

Citing their own concerns, City Council members unanimously adopted a resolution opposing the deal. The mayor's office is continuing to negotiate the deal, and had no immediate response to the letter, said Kilpatrick spokeswoman Ceeon Quiett. The bridge-tunnel deal was worked out by Detroit Deputy Mayor Anthony Adams as well as by Dan Stamper, president of the Detroit International Bridge Co., which is owned by Moroun.

The bridge is the only privately owned international crossing in the United States, and along with the tunnel, comprises the nation's busiest border crossing. The tunnel is owned half and half by the cities of Detroit and Windsor. The proposal, as outlined in a document obtained by The Detroit News dubbed "binding agreement," includes a city sale of 26 acres of riverfront land between the bridge and tunnel to an affiliate of the bridge company, which would build a large international toll station to service the bridge and the tunnel. The city would be required to pay for a "secured road" that would guide cars and trucks from the tunnel and the bridge to the single toll station. All customs officials would be moved to the U.S. toll station as part of the proposal.

In return for control over the tunnel, most of its revenues and the land, the bridge company's affiliate would pay the city $30 million. The deal was billed as part of the mayor's effort to shore up a projected $300 million deficit by June 2006. There is no requirement in the binding agreement for Moroun's company to build anything after taking control of the tunnel and the land. The U.S. government has not yet seen a proposal for the deal, said Chief Ron Smith, spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border protection.

Butler said Canada is worried that a single toll center and road carrying all cars and trucks crossing the international border poses a security risk, and could cause problems for commerce should there be a traffic backup. "Given the fact that the Detroit-Windsor tunnel is the busiest land border in North America, that could be catastrophic," Butler said. And, the proposal to move Canadian inspection officers to the American side of the border "is not being considered," he said.

The company that manages the tunnel for Detroit and Windsor, the Detroit & Canada Tunnel Corp., also has raised concerns about the city's proposal. If adopted, the bridge company essentially would replace the Tunnel Corp. in managing the day-to-day operations of the Detroit side of the tunnel. Currently, the Tunnel Corp. pays Detroit a fee and property taxes, totaling about $1.3 million a year, to manage the city side of the tunnel, said Neal Belitsky, general manager of the Tunnel Corp. In return, the Tunnel Corp. assumes the management costs and risks and pays for upgrades, such as a $10 million renovation under way.

The Tunnel Corp. has a different deal with Windsor. The Canadian city gets between $6 million and $7 million in U.S. money a year in tolls from the tunnel, and pays the Tunnel Corp. a management fee in return, but Windsor must pay for upgrades.

If the current proposal is signed, Detroit will give up its rights to the tunnel until 2045, with three 25-year options to renew after that. The bridge company affiliate would keep proceeds from the tunnel minus 3 percent: 1 percent for the Port Authority and 2 percent, or about $500,000 a year, for the city of Detroit.

Some community members near the bridge are against the deal, including state Rep. Steve Tobocman, D-Detroit. Factoring in inflation, Detroit's side of the tunnel is worth at least $62 million up front, Tobocman said. In 2020, the city could ask for $118 million for its portion of the tunnel, he said.

From the Detroit News


Toledo Port Big Player for Seaway Shipments

11/30 - Not too long ago, "general cargo" at Toledo's waterfront mostly meant steel products, whether it was coils, bars, rods, or wire. Not any more. Looking around International Cargo Docks complex at the foot of St. Lawrence Drive in East Toledo last week, there were stacks of aluminum ingots and lumber stored outdoors, in part, because the docks' warehouses were full.

Earlier this year, half of one warehouse sheltered a sweet-tooth's dream: a roof-high heap of bulk sugar from Brazil. Last week, the warehouse not stuffed with aluminum was chock-full of calcium chloride, fertilizers, and more wood products. Overall through October, total cargo through the Port of Toledo is up 18.3 percent this year by weight, including a 17.8 percent increase in general and miscellaneous cargo. In fact, Toledo's aluminum and sugar cargoes have accounted for nearly half the "new" traffic traveling this year through the Welland Canal, the St. Lawrence
Seaway system's link between lakes Ontario and Erie.

"Toledo is front and center" promoting increased trade through the Seaway system, said Dick Corfe, president of Canada's St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp., which operates the Welland Canal and five Canadian locks in the St. Lawrence River. The canal's new traffic - representing cargoes that have not used the seaway in recent years - so far this year totals about 160,000 tons. Of that, Toledo's sugar and aluminum account for 76,000 tons, Mr. Corfe said. "This is what you live for," said Warren McCrimmon, seaport director for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. He credits Midwest Terminals Inc., which took over as the general docks' stevedore late last year and has ambitious plans for replacing buildings and improving rail access.

While still below the 2002 volume of 156,435 tons, Toledo's 113,102 tons of general cargo through October was mainly aluminum and lumber. Steel imports, which dried up two years ago in Toledo after a weak domestic steel market led to stiff federal tariffs, were still king in 2002. The sugar and fertilizer business helped offset what would otherwise be a steeper decline in dry bulk products, which consist primarily of inbound stone and salt. Iron ore, coal, and grain remain the Toledo's big volume leaders, and all are up this year - the latter despite an explosion July 1 that shut down the grain elevator for the rest of the season.

"The grain's a welcome surprise. We expected it to be lower than last year, and it has turned out to be significantly higher," Mr. McCrimmon said. "We're always looking for new markets," said Marty Wendt, local merchandising manager for Archer-Daniels-Midland. Coal is up, thanks to higher demand from Great Lakes consumers, while iron ore business reflects consumption by AK Steel's mills in Ashland, Ky., and Middletown, Ohio.

But pound for pound, general cargoes are bigger money-makers for the port and bigger jobs generators for local longshoremen. They have higher shipping value and require more handling on the docks than bulk commodities do. The 32,000 tons of sugar that Toledo received this year represent the first such shipments west of Toronto in recent years, Mr. Corfe said, and the 44,000 tons of aluminum shipped here from Sept-Iles, Que., represent a commodity that the Seaway lost years ago to other modes of transport - primarily rail.

Mr. McCrimmon said Toledo's lumber trade is four times what it was two years ago. The season began with one distributor handling lumber imports at Toledo's docks, but that is up to four now, he said. "We're King of the Lakes on this one. We're looking at becoming the hub port for wood," the seaport director said.

The Port of Toledo was responsible for about half the “new” cargo passing through Canada’s Welland Canal, part of the St. Lawrence Seaway system. Here is a comparison of total cargo in tons so far this year compared to the same period in 2004 from January to October
Cargo - 2004 - 2005 - Change
Coal - 2,263,977 - 2,599,197 - +14.8%
General - 96,024 - 113,102 - +17.8%
Grain - 807,910 - 1,055,249 - +30.6%
Iron ore - 2,332,666 - 3,192,828 - +36.9%
Liquid bulk - 523,301 - 433,700 - -17.1%
Dry bulk - 1,185,384 - 1,136,095 - -4.2%
Total - 7,209,262 - 8,530,171 - +18.3%

From the Toledo Blade


Port Reports - November 30

Green Bay - Jason Leino
The Port of Green Bay was rather busy on Tuesday. The morning started out with the Menominee in port unloading lumber at the North K&K Warehousing dock.

The Fred R. White Jr. was the first vessel in for the day arriving around midnight with a load of 22,000 tons of limestone from Stoneport, MI. for the Western Lime dock. The White was in port 6 hours and departed Green Bay for Port Inland around 6:00 a.m.

Next in was the Str. Alpena at 11:15 a.m. with a load of cement from Alpena, MI. for the LaFarge dock.

The Alpena was followed in closely by the Str. John G. Munson getting in at 11:45 a.m. with a load of 15,000 tons of coal from Toledo, MI. for the Fox River Dock.

The Menominee departed K&K Warehousing with assistance from the Selvick tugs Carla Anne and Jacqueline Nicole at 12:30 p.m.

The Maumee also made an appearance in port getting in sometime early Tuesday morning with a load of coal from South Chicago for the Georgia Pacific.


Photo Gallery Updates - November 30

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - November 30

On 30 November 1896, CITY OF KALAMAZOO (wooden propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 162 foot, 728 gross tons, built in 1892, at South Haven, Michigan) burned at her lay-up dock at South Haven, Michigan with the loss of four lives. She was rebuilt and lasted until 1911, when she burned again.

On 30 November 1934, HENRY CORT (steel propeller whaleback crane vessel, 320 foot, 2,394 gross tons, built in 1892, at W. Superior, Wisconsin as PILLSBURY) was driven onto the north pier at Muskegon, Michigan in a storm. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter ESCANABA rescued her crew, but one Coast Guardsman lost his life. The vessel settled in shallow water and then broke in half. Her remains were scrapped the following year.

The CANADIAN PIONEER suffered a major engine room fire on 30 Nov 1987, at Nanticoke, Ontario.

On November 30, 1981, the A H FERBERT was laid up for the last time at the Hallett Dock #5, Duluth, Minnesota.

The PERE MARQUETTE 22 passed down the Welland Canal on November 30, 1973, in tow of the tugs JOHN PURVES and YVON SIMARD en route to Sorel, Quebec where she was cut down to a barge for off-Lakes use.

On 30 Nov 1967, the CITY OF FLINT 32 was laid up, never to run again.

On 30 Nov 1900, ALMERON THOMAS (2-mast wooden schooner, 50 foot, 35 gross tons, built in 1891, at Bay City, Michigan) was carrying gravel in a storm on Lake Huron when she sprang a leak and ran for the beach. She struck bottom and then capsized. She broke up in twenty feet of water near Point Lookout in Saginaw Bay, No lives were lost.

The schooner S J HOLLY came into the harbor at Oswego, New York on 30 November 1867, after a hard crossing of Lake Ontario. The previous day she left the Welland Canal and encountered a growing gale. Capt. Oscar Haynes sought calm water along the north shore, but the heavy seas and freezing winds made sailing perilous, The ropes and chains froze stiff and the schooner was almost unmanageable. The only canvas out was a two reef foresail and it was frozen in place. With great skill, the skipper managed to limp into port, having lost the yawl and sustained serious damage to the cargo. Fortunately no lives were lost.

On 30 Nov 1910, ATHABASKA (steel propeller passenger steamer, 263 foot, 1,774 gross tons, built in 1883, in Scotland) collided with the tug GENERAL and sank near Lonely Island in Georgian Bay. No lives were lost. She was later recovered and rebuilt as a bulk freighter and lasted until she was broken up in 1948.

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



Crew Member taken off H. Lee White

11/29 - Noon - The U.S. Coast Guard Port Huron Station removed a crewmember on a gurney off the H. Lee White down bound in the St Clair river this morning around 10:25 a.m. No further details are available.

Reported by Frank Frisk


Toledo Coke Plant Site Design to be Topic of Meeting
Discussion may be last public hearing

11/29 - It has required the rewriting of two cities' maps, a series of talks between school districts vying for taxes, and plenty of public debate about its environmental impact. But a $350 million coke processing plant in East Toledo that will process coal for the steel industry may go before the public one last time Thursday when the Toledo-Lucas County Plan Commissions consider its major site plan, said Steve Herwat, director of the plan commissions.

That's not to say questions - and lawsuits - don't remain about the environmental impact of the facility that will be located along a northeast bank of the Maumee River and near two creeks, said Sandy Bihn, chairman of the Sierra Club's Western Lake Erie chapter. She and others have tried to find out details on the owners of the company, U.S. Coking Group, but inquiries have led only to addresses and phone numbers of lawyers and consultants, she said. "There are no answers about who these people are. Usually, if it's a Jeep or a [British Petroleum] or a Sun [Oil], you kind of know who you're dealing with," she said.

But Mr. Herwat said the plan commissions' meeting on Thursday will be concerned primarily with land use and if the plant will conform to the heavy industrial zoning conditions of the area. Already hashed out was a debate over whether the plant was located in Oregon or Toledo and which school district would collect the tax revenue. Eventually, the boundary between Toledo and Oregon was adjusted and the cities' two school districts settled on sharing the tax monies. The site plan being considered calls for a 5,000-square-foot administrative building and a 400-square-foot security building on the 52-acre site, but details of the processing plant itself are not filled in, according to site plans provided to The Blade.

Mr. Herwat said that shouldn't be a concern. Plan commission staff members have recommended approving the site plan as long as Mr. Herwat and heads of appropriate departments sign off on each permit. "This is not a standard step, but this is not a standard project," Mr. Herwat said, describing the facility as more of a refinery site than a building. "What good would it be for [the plan commissions] to review a bunch of pipes and furnaces?" he said. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will monitor the plant's development, he said.

The plan commissions meet at 3 p.m. at One Government Center.

From the Toledo Blade


A Harvest in the Wind

11/29 - After several lean years and loads of bad news, there's a valuable new cash crop growing on the family farm. Though it can't be touched or tasted, this region is producing a bumper crop and developers are lining up to harvest the wind. And in what one insider calls a wind rush, those developers have flocked to farms along the gusty Great Lakes, looking to lease a little land -- and promising thousands of dollars in return -- where they'll build the turbines that will soon harness the wind to power a good chunk of Ontario. "I would think within 10 miles of Lake Huron, virtually every farmer has been approached," said Ted Cowan, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture's wind expert.

A handful of turbines operate north of Goderich now, but about 20 more should be up within months. The province just approved construction of another 70 in the same area, as well as 130 more sleek, space-age windmills near Kincardine. Add that to the 60 going up near Lake Erie, between Port Burwell and Tillsonburg, and Southwestern Ontario soon will be dotted with more than 200 windmills.

With hundreds of turbines popping up, provincial officials note it may be just the beginning. Ontario could be dotted with as many as 3,000 of them within the next few years, said Ted Gruetzner of the Energy Ministry. For those farmers whose land houses one, it could be a financial windfall. "This is going to make life a lot easier, financially," said one Clinton-area farmer who signed an option that will scatter six turbines over his 121-hectare property. "When you get that many, it starts adding up." That farmer, who asked his name not be published, would get about $45,000 a year throughout the life of the 20-year deal, doubling his current income.

According to the province, the region north of Goderich represents one of the few hot spots in a province looking to get one-tenth of its power from renewable sources -- such as wind -- by 2010. In other words, if any farmers can cash in on the green-power revolution, it's the ones right here. "In terms of wind potential, it's . . . on the top 10 in Ontario, and maybe Canada," said wind-power consultant James Murphy, a London native.

Bill Hayden isn't hard to find. Just head north of Goderich on Highway 21 and look for the two tall, thin turbines jutting out of the seemingly endless fields. He lives right between them. Of course, with Edmonton-based developer Epcor set to build 20 more turbines by early 2006, his will become a little less noticeable. But Hayden, 65, had his share of attention.

If Epcor is among the industry's early developers, Hayden is a wind-power pioneer -- the company's first local windmill was built on his farm in 2002. "We'd been talking about this for years but decided to go ahead and build one," said Hayden, who grew up on this farm. "Every day you'll see somebody stop and take pictures." They're certainly hard to miss, standing up to 80 metres high. Their power potential is equally attention-grabbing: A 1.5-megawatt turbine can power the equivalent of about 500 homes, the government estimates.

Hayden is among dozens of farmers who have signed land leases with developers who hope to get a piece of a government wind-power contract. Though every lease is different, observers say they're all more or less the same. Each lessee gets about $1,500 for the option and then nets up to $8,000 in annual rent once the turbine is running. Over the expected lifetime of a typical turbine, that means as much as $140,000 in found money for the farmer.

But Cowan, the OFA's wind expert, preaches patience to farmers. By his estimates, a 1.5-megawatt windmill could produce up to $250,000 worth of electricity annually and within about 10 years, the construction costs are recouped. For that final decade, farmers deserve much more than a three- or four per-cent profit share, he maintains. Even a 10-per-cent annual cut, he says, could be fair. "There is room here for farmers to be doing better out of this," he said. "(Any money) is a positive thing. I'm just saying it could be a lot more positive."

The province is expected to announce in February how much it will pay per kilowatt-hour for energy generated by independent turbine owners. To Cowan, some farmers could do better going that route, running their own small operation rather than signing on with a big developer. ""Farmers have been feeding the province at a loss for a very long time. We don't really see the need to be providing electricity at a loss (in) the future, he said."

For all its potential, wind power isn't without criticism. Most significant is the potentially fatal danger the whirring blades pose to passing birds. California's Altamont Pass wind farm is pointed to by critics as the best example of a bad situation: Located along a major migratory route, its turbines kill about 1,300 birds of prey every year. But to developers in Southwestern Ontario, there's been little in the way of resistance. "The projects have pretty widespread support," said Mike Crawley of AIM PowerGen, which is behind the 66-turbine project in Elgin and Norfolk counties. "It's fantastic for farmers."

By and large, even those who offer criticisms are supporting the developing power source, said the president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association. "We tend to describe 2005 as the first year of Canada's wind-energy boom," said Robert Hornung. "We're taking serious steps to take advantage of wind energy's potential."

KINCARDINE - This week, the province approved a project that will bring 130 turbines to this area within the next few years.

GODERICH - It's expected nearly two dozen turbines will be up in this area within a few months, plus 50 to 70 more in the near future.

PORT BURWELL - About 60 turbines are on the way to this area, between Port Burwell and Tillsonburg, along the shores of Lake Erie.

From the London Free Press

Editor's Note - Much of the wind turbine equipment is being purchased overseas and delivered to various Great Lakes ports by ocean-going vessels.


Port Reports - November 29

Goderich - Dale Baechler
The Algoway entered the Goderich harbour at noon on Monday with a stiff south west breeze blowing. She will be taking on a load at Sifto Salt.

Green Bay - Jason Leino
The Menominee was in port Monday unloading lumber from Germany at the North K&K Warehousing dock.
The Fred R. White Jr. is due in Monday night with limestone from Stoneport, MI. for Western Lime.
The John G. Munson is due in with coal from Toledo, OH for the Fox River Dock and the Alpena is due in with cement from Alpena, MI. for LaFarge Tuesday.

Saginaw River - Stephen Hause
Two vessels called Monday at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bangor Township near the mouth of the Saginaw River.
David Z. Norton arrived at about 9:00 a.m. after unloading at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City. She departed Monday afternoon backing out of the slip. The Norton was in communication with the tug Muskegon who was moving 1000' of dredge pipe nearby.

Sam Laud was inbound for the same dock several hours later, entering the river shortly after 6:30 p.m. She stopped first at the dock just vacated by the David Z. Norton, Bay Aggregates, lightering there before going upriver to finish her unload at the Buena Vista dock in Saginaw. The Laud was expected to be outbound early Tuesday morning

Rochester - David
The Stephen B Roman Was inbound for the Essroc docks early Monday morning the Fast Ferry Spirit of Ontario departed for Toronto with 53 people and 12 Cars.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Courtney Burton came in for General Mills at 9:44 PM on Sunday night.

Kingston - Ron Walsh
It seems the retired Coast Guard Cutter Bittern's absence from Kingston will be short lived. Reliable sources have indicated the Kingston Fire Department has purchased the vessel. She will be heading from Prescott to Kingston in the near future.


Photo Gallery Updates - November 29

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated



Today in Great Lakes History - November 29

On 29 November 1886, ALFRED P WRIGHT (wooden propeller tug, 56 gross tons, built in 1877, at Buffalo, New York) was towing the schooner A J DEWEY in a blizzard and gale in the harbor at Manistee, Michigan. The tow line parted and fouled the WRIGHT’s propeller. Disabled, she capsized and her crew clung to the overturned hull. One crewman swam 1000 feet to shore and summoned the U.S. Lifesaving Service. The WRIGHT’s and DEWEY’s crews were both rescued but three lifesavers were lost in this effort.

On November 29, 1966, the DANIEL J MORRELL sank approximately 20 miles north of Harbor Beach in Lake Huron. Her nearly identical sistership, the EDWARD Y TOWNSEND, was traveling about 20 miles behind the MORRELL and made it to the Lime Island Fuel Dock in the St. Mary's River where cracks were found in her deck; the TOWNSEND proceeded to Sault Ste. Marie where she was taken out of service. The TOWNSEND sank in the Atlantic on October 7, 1968, while being towed overseas for scrap.

E B BARBER was laid up for the last time at Toronto, Ontario on 29 Nov 1984.

On November 29, 1903, snow and stormy seas drove the two-and-a-half year old J T HUTCHINSON onto an uncharted rock (now known as Eagle River Reef) one-half mile off shore and 10 miles west of Eagle Harbor, Michigan near the northwestern coast of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

On November 29, 1974, the PERE MARQUETTE 21 was loaded with remnants of Port Huron's Peerless Cement Dock, which reportedly were bound for Saudi Arabia, and cleared there in tow of the Great Lakes Towing Co., tugs AMERICA and OHIO.

The SYLVANIA was in a collision with the DIAMOND ALKALI in the Fighting Island Channel of the Detroit River on 29 Nov 1968, during a snow squall. SYLVANIA's bow was severely damaged.

The propeller BURLINGTON had barges in tow up bound on Lake Erie when she was damaged by the ice and sank in the Pelee Passage.

On 29 November 1856, ARABIAN (3-mast wooden bark, 116 foot, 350 tons, built in 1853, at Niagara, Ontario) had stranded on Goose Island Shoal, 10 miles ENE of Mackinac Island ten days earlier. She was relieved of her cargo and was being towed to Chicago by the propeller OGONTZ when a gale blew in and the towline parted. ARABIAN made for shore, her pumps working full force and OGONTZ following. During the night they were separated and ARABIAN sank off Point Betsey in Lake Michigan. Her crew escaped in her yawl.

In 1903, the PERE MARQUETTE 19 arrived Ludington on her maiden voyage. Captain John J. Doyle in command.

On 29 November 1881, the 149 foot wooden propeller NORTHERN QUEEN, which had been involved in a collision with the 136 foot wooden propeller canaller LAKE ERIE just five days before, struck the pier at Manistique so hard that she was wrecked. Besides her own crew, she also had LAKE ERIE's crew on board.

On 29 Nov 1902, BAY CITY (1-mast wood schooner-barge, 140 foot, 306 gross tons, built in 1857, at Saginaw, Michigan as a brig) was left at anchor in Thunder Bay by the steamer HURON CITY during a storm. BAY CITY's anchor chain parted and the vessel was driven against the Gilchrist dock at Alpena, Michigan and wrecked. Her crew managed to escape with much difficulty.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.


Elberta looks to grow
Developer seeks to build condos and marina on former railroad ferry land

11/28 - Elberta, MI - Big changes could be coming soon to this quiet Benzie County village with its pristine Lake Michigan beach, modest houses and crumbling sidewalks. Construction of a waterfront condo project - eventually expected to include a 140-slip marina and a small commercial area - could begin next summer.
The developer of that project, Scott Gest, said enormous asphalt drums that dot the shoreline at the intersection of Betsie Bay and Lake Michigan could be removed this winter.

Work is under way on a $1 million sewer project paid for with state and federal money, and the Michigan Department of Transportation plans a $2.1 million overhaul of M-168, Michigan's shortest state highway, which connects M-22 to a former carferry port. The redevelopment of 21-acre Ann Arbor Railroad Terminal Yard - a once bustling industrial area that mostly has been shuttered since 1982 - is good news, said Elberta village clerk Sharyn Bower. Wally Palmer, owner of the Mayfair Tavern, said he is elated and believes the project will be good for Elberta. Palmer said he staked his faith in Elberta when he began a major renovation of his restaurant a couple of years ago. "I've spent a lot of money and I've done it for a reason - I believe in what's here," Palmer said.

The old railroad property has been the source of pain and frustration for many in Elberta for more than two decades. In 1981, before MDOT decided to cut funding and end the ferry service between Elberta and Wisconsin, nearly 400 Benzie County residents marched on Lansing to protest the closure. When MDOT closed the ferry service in 1982, nearly 120 jobs were lost and Elberta's economy lagged. Bower said village officials spent years attempting to purchase the property from the state but were unsuccessful until 1996.

Since then, the village constructed a village park on eight acres of the property with an amphitheater and a restored life-saving station that can house bayside banquets and weddings. Bower expects development of the rest of the old railroad property to create jobs. "We weren't satisfied just to get some condos," she said. Gest, who is managing member of the Traverse City-based Elberta Land Holding Company that is behind the development, said the company also purchased the former paving material storage and distribution facility that was owned by Koch Materials Company of Wichita, Kan. The facility is west of the railroad property and will become part of the waterfront development.

For several years, the development has been bogged down by delays caused by permit requirements. Gest said approval of the marina required numerous studies, including an underwater archeological survey of sections of Betsie Bay, and a crumbling coal tower that needed to be reviewed by a state historical agency before he could get approval to tear it down because it was once part of a railroad. Gest said when he removes the coal tower he will have to put up a historical marker.
Gest said he could not say how many units will be offered or what the project's first phase will look like, although he will have to submit plans for village approval if construction is to start this summer.

He said he is working with engineers and architects to come up with a project that will conform to what he's been told by village officials that they want - a development that looks as if it was built over time rather than a cookie-cutter condominium development.

Reported by Tom Train from the Traverse City Record-Eagle



Photo Gallery Updates - November 28

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

An updated gallery of the transformation of the Lewis G. Harriman.

A new gallery of the construction of Maritime Trader (Ex-Mantadoc).


Port Reports - November 28

South Chicago - Tom Milton
The Phillip R Clarke was unloading Sunday at Carmeuse in South Chicago on the Calumet River.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The CSL Laurentian called into Seaway Long Point at 5:00 p.m. bound for the Buffalo South Entrance and the Lackawanna Canal. She may be arriving with her split coal load out of Thunder Bay for the Gateway Metroport Terminal and then on to Hamilton with the rest.

The New York State Canal Corporation has awarded a contract to Ellicott Dredges of Baltimore for a dredger. The new unit will be stationed in Utica, NY and replace an obsolete, 80 year old model called the DeLa VERGNE. The Canal Corp. is currently working with mostly ancient equipment from the 1920's and only one modern piece having been built in 1980. The project depth of the Erie Canal is listed at 12 feet with some stretches as deep as 14 feet. There are many sections that are badly shoaling due to a current backlog of more than 10 million cubic yards of material to be removed from the entire Erie Canal system. Even though parts of the canal are considered federally maintained waterways, the State of New York is responsible for all dredging operations. Delivery of the new dredger unit is set for May of 2006 with the possibility of additional equipment later that year.



Today in Great Lakes History - November 28

On 28 November 1867, MARQUETTE (wooden bark, 139 foot, 426 tons, built in 1856, at Newport [Marine City], Michigan) was carrying corn from Chicago to Collingwood, Ontario when she sprang a leak during a storm on Lake Huron. She was run ashore on Hope Island on Georgian Bay.

On November 28, 1905, the Pittsburgh Steamship Company vessel MATAAFA was wrecked as it tried to re-enter the Duluth Ship Canal in a severe storm. The MATAAFA had departed Duluth earlier but had decided to return to safety. After dropping her barge in the lake, the vessel was picked up by waves, was slammed against the north pier and was swung around to rest just hundreds of feet offshore north of the north pier, where it broke in two. Much of the crew froze to death in the cold snap that followed the storm, as there was no quick way to get out to the broken vessel for rescue. The MATAAFA was repaired prior to the 1906, season; she ultimately ended her career as an automobile carrier for the T.J. McCarthy Steamship Company and was sold for scrap in 1965.

The CANADIAN OLYMPIC's maiden voyage was 28 Nov 1976, to load coal at Conneaut, Ohio for Nanticoke, Ontario, Her name honors the Olympic Games that were held at Montreal that year.

On November 28, 1983, while up bound after leaving the Poe Lock the INDIANA HARBOR was in a collision, caused by high winds, with the down bound Greek salty ANANGEL SPIRIT resulting in a 10 foot gash in the laker's port bow.

LANCASHIRE (Hull#827) was launched at Lorain, Ohio on November 28, 1942, she would be renamed b) SEWELL AVERY.

The CATHY B towed the GOVERNOR MILLER to Vigo, Spain on November 28, 1980, where she was broken up.

The BENSON FORD was renamed e) US265808 and departed River Rouge on November 28, 1986, towed by the Sandrin tugs TUSKER and GLENADA bound for Ramey's Bend in the Welland Canal.

FRONTENAC arrived at the Fraser Shipyard, Superior, Wisconsin on November 28, 1979. Her keel, which had hogged four feet, was declared a constructive total loss.

The BRANSFORD stranded on a reef off Isle Royale in Lake Superior during a major storm on 28 Nov 1905, (the same storm that claimed the steamer MATAAFA). She was recovered.

On her third trip in 1892, the ANN ARBOR #1 again ran aground, this time three miles north of Ahnapee (now called Algoma). There was $15,000 damage to her cargo.

In 1906, the ANN ARBOR #4 left Cleveland bound for Frankfort on her maiden voyage.

The ANN ARBOR #4 ran aground off Kewaunee in 1924.

On 28 November 1905, AMBOY (2-mast wooden schooner-barge, 209 foot, 894 gross tons, formerly HELENA) was carrying coal in tow of the wooden propeller GEORGE SPENCER in a gale on Lake Superior. In an effort to save both vessels, AMBOY was cut loose. The SPENCER was disabled quickly and was driven ashore near Little Marais, Minnesota. AMBOY struggled against the gale for a full day before finally going ashore near Thomasville, Ontario on 29 November. No lives were lost from either vessel.

On 28 November 1872, W O BROWN (wooden schooner, 140 foot, 306 tons, built in 1862, at Buffalo, New York) was carrying wheat in a storm on Lake Superior when she was driven ashore near Point Maimanse, Ontario and pounded to pieces. Six lives were lost. Three survivors struggled through a terrible cold spell and finally made it to the Soo on Christmas Day.

On 28 Nov 1874, the propeller JOHN PRIDGEON JR was launched at Clark's shipyard in Detroit, Michigan. She was built for Capt. John Pridgeon. Her dimensions were 235 x 36 x 17 feet. The engines of the B F WADE were installed in her.

On 28 Nov 1923, the Detroit & Windsor Ferry Company and Bob-Lo docks were destroyed by a fire cause by an overheated stove in the ferry dock waiting room. The blaze started at 3:00 a.m.

CANADIAN TRANSFER underwent repairs most of Tuesday, 28 Nov 2000, at the Algoma Steel dock at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. She had run aground the previous night in the Canadian channel approaching Algoma Steel. CANADIAN TRANSFER was freed by two Purvis Marine tugs. The vessel suffered a crack or hole in the hull plating about 10 feet from the bottom along its port side.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history



Port Report - November 27

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
Three arrivals in port Saturday. Stephen B. Roman in with cement. John D. Leitch in with salt and out again just after noon bound for Windsor and another cargo of salt. Shortly after the Leitch departed Cuyahoga arrived with salt.



Photo Gallery Updates - November 27

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

An updated gallery of the transformation of the Lewis G. Harriman.

A new gallery of the construction of Maritime Trader (Ex-Mantadoc).


Today in Great Lakes History - November 27

At 4:00 a.m. on 27 November 1872, the wooden schooner MIDDLESEX was struck by a terrible winter storm on Lake Superior. The winds caught the vessel with such force that she listed at a 45o angle and her cargo shifted. In danger of sinking, the crew jettisoned much of the cargo and the ship righted herself. Her lifeboat and much of her rigging and sails were washed away. She limped into Walska Bay and anchored to ride out the storm. However, she had developed a leak and it was so cold that her pumps had frozen. To save the vessel, she was run ashore and sank in shallow water. The crew climbed into her rigging until the tug W D CUSHING rescued them.

The ALGOSEA entered Lake service as a self-unloader for the first time with salt loaded at Goderich, Ontario and passed down bound in the Welland Canal November 27, 1976, for Quebec City. She operates today as SAUNIERE.

The AVONDALE was condemned and was not allowed to carry cargo after she arrived at Toledo, Ohio on November 27, 1975, to load soybeans.

The steam barge CHAUNCY HURLBUT was launched at the shipyard of Simon Langell at St. Clair, Michigan on Thanksgiving Day, 27 November 1873. She was built for Chandler Bros. of Detroit.

On 27 November 1886, COMANCHE (wooden schooner, 137 foot, 322 tons, built in 1867, at Oswego, New York) was carrying corn in a storm on Lake Ontario when she ran on a shoal and sank near Point Peninsula, New York. A local farmer died while trying to rescue her crew of 8. His was the only death. She was later recovered and rebuilt as THOMAS DOBBIE.

The PERE MARQUETTE 22 collided with the WABASH in heavy fog in 1937.

In 1966, the CITY OF MIDLAND 41 ran aground at Ludington, Michigan in a storm. Stranded on board were a number of passengers and 56 crewman. Ballast tanks were flooded to hold the steamer on until the storm subsided. She was pulled off four days later by the Roen tug JOHN PURVES.

The propeller MONTGOMERY, which burned in June 1878, was raised on 27 November 1878. Her engine and boiler were removed and she was converted to a barge. She was rebuilt at Algonac, Michigan in the summer of 1879.

On 27 November 1866, the Oswego Advertiser & Times reported that the schooner HENRY FITZHUGH arrived at Oswego, New York with 17,700 bushels of wheat from Milwaukee. Her skipper was Captain Cal Becker. The round trip took 23 days which was considered "pretty fast sailing".

The CITY OF FLINT 32 was launched in Manitowoc on 27 Nov 1929.

On Monday, 27 Nov 1996, the Cyprus flag MALLARD of 1977, up bound apparently bounced off the wall in the Welland canal below Lock 1 and into the path of the CANADIAN ENTERPRISE. It was a sideswipe rather than a head on collision. The ENTERPRISE was repaired at Port Weller Dry Docks. The repairs to the gangway and ballast vent pipes took six hours. The MALLARD proceeded to Port Colborne to be repaired there.

At 10:20 p.m. on Monday, 27 NOV 2000, the CANADIAN TRANSFER radioed Soo Traffic to report that the vessel was aground off Algoma Steel and "taking on water but in no danger." The crew reported that they had two anchors down and one line on the dock. Purvis Marine was contacted.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history



Death of VADM Trimble

11/26 - VADM Paul Trimble USCG (ret) passed away on November 16, 2005 at age 92. VADM Trimble became President of the Lake Carriers Association in 1970. His Maritime expertise was invaluable in dealing with Congress and Great Lake Shipping Companies to get the proper recognition for the Great Lakes as the "Forth Seacoast".

Reported by Brent


Port Report - November 26

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris & Todd Shorkey
The Saginaw River saw three vessels moving along the banks of the river during the week of Thanksgiving. The tug Invincible and her barge McKee Sons called on the Wirt Essexville Sand & Stone dock to unload late Tuesday night. The pair finished their unload by late Wednesday morning, turned off the dock, and were headed out bound for the lake. They were headed for Stoneport to load.

On Friday the Saginaw River saw two vessels inbound, the CSL Tadoussac and the Manistee. The Tadoussac called on the Essorc Cement terminal in Essexville to unload clinker early Friday morning. She finished by 4:30pm Friday afternoon backed out to Light 12 in the Entrance Channel, turned, and was outbound for the lake. The Manistee who was inbound just behind the Tadoussac early Friday morning called on the Sargent dock in Essexville to lighter, pulling in right in front of the Tadoussac to make the dock. From there the Manistee continued up river to complete her unload at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee. The Manistee finished her unload by 4:30pm and headed upriver to turn around in the Sixth Street turning basin. She completed the turn around and was headed out bound, passing under the I-75 bridge in Zilwaukee around 6pm Friday evening.



Photo Gallery Updates - November 26

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

A new gallery of the construction of Maritime Trader (Ex-Mantadoc).


Today in Great Lakes History - November 26

On 26 November 1856, CHEROKEE (2-mast wooden schooner, 103 foot, 204 tons, built in 1849, at Racine, Wisconsin) foundered in a gale 7 miles south of Manistee, Michigan on Lake Michigan. All aboard (estimates range from ten to fourteen persons) were lost.

The U.S.C.G.C. MESQUITE departed Charlevoix and locked through the Soo on November 26, 1989, to begin SUNDEW's normal buoy tending duties on Lake Superior.

The ELIZABETH HINDMAN was launched November 26, 1920, as a.) GLENCLOVA (Hull#9) at Midland, Ontario by Midland Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.

On 26 November 1872, the steamer GEO W. REYNOLDS burned at 1 o'clock in the morning at the dock in Bay City. The fire supposedly originated in the engine room. She was owned by A. English of East Saginaw.

On 26 November 1853, ALBANY (wooden side wheel passenger/package freight, 202 foot, 669 tons, built in 1846, at Detroit, Michigan) was carrying passengers and miscellaneous cargo in a storm on Lake Huron.. She was making for the shelter of Presque Isle harbor when the gale drove her over a bar. Her crew and 200 passengers came ashore in her boats. Plans were made to haul her back across the bar when another storm wrecked her. Her boiler and most of her machinery were recovered the following year.

LAKE BREEZE (wooden propeller, 122 foot, 301 gross tons, built in 1868, at Toledo, Ohio) burned at her dock in Leamington, Ontario on 26 November 1878. One man perished in the flames. She was raised in 1880, but the hull was deemed worthless. Her machinery and metal gear were removed in 1881, and sold to an American company.

The ANN ARBOR NO 5 (steel carferry, 359 foot, 2988 gross tons) was launched by the Toledo Ship Building Company (Hull #118) on 26 Nov 1910. She was the first carferry to be built with a sea gate, as a result of the sinking of the PERE MARQUETTE 18 in September of 1910.

On 26 Nov 1881, JANE MILLER (wooden propeller passenger-package freight "coaster", 78 foot, 210 gross tons, built in 1878, at Little Current, Ontario) departed Meaford, Ontario for Wiarton-- sailing out into the teeth of a gale and was never seen again. All 30 aboard were lost. She probably sank near the mouth of Colpoy's Bay in Georgian Bay. She had serviced the many small ports on the inside coast of the Bruce Peninsula.

HIRAM W SIBLEY (wooden propeller freighter, 221 foot, 1,419 gross tons, built in 1890, at E. Saginaw, Michigan) was carrying 70,000 bushels of corn from Chicago for Detroit. On 26 Nov 1898, she stranded on the northwest corner of South Manitou Island in Lake Michigan during blizzard. (Some sources say this occurred on 27 November.) The tugs PROTECTOR and SWEEPSTAKES were dispatched for assistance but the SIBLEY re-floated herself during the following night and then began to sink again. She was put ashore on South Fox Island to save her but she broke in half; then completely broke up during a gale on 7 December 1898.

During the early afternoon of 26 Nov 1999, the LOUIS R DESMARAIS suffered an engine room fire while sailing in the western section of Lake Ontario. Crews onboard the DESMARAIS put out the fire and restarted her engines. The DESMARAIS proceeded to the Welland canal where she was inspected by both U.S. and Canadian investigators. No significant damage was noted and the vessel was allowed to proceed.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Manitowoc Awarded Double-Hull, Hot Oil Tank Barge Contract

11/25 - The Manitowoc Company announced Tuesday that its Bay Shipbuilding subsidiary has been awarded a new construction contract from Harley Marine Services, Inc. to build an ocean-class, double-hull, hot oil tank barge. The 80,000-barrel capacity barge, which is scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2006, will measure 369 feet in length, 78 feet in width, and 33 feet in molded depth. The Harley contract also includes an option for a second identical vessel. Other contract terms were not disclosed.

The Harley barge is the tenth double-hull tank barge built by the Manitowoc Marine Group. The vessel features a flush deck design and is equipped with an onboard heating system to maintain consistent cargo temperatures of 160 degrees F. It will also be ABS, U.S. Coast Guard, and OPA- 90 compliant.

Based in Seattle, Harley Marine Services is one of the largest petroleum transporters serving the West Coast. Upon delivery, Harley's new barge will join a fleet of vessels to haul a variety of petroleum products, including #6 grade fuel oil, between numerous Alaskan, Northwest, and West coast markets.

"This project is a perfect fit for Bay Shipbuilding," said Bob Herre, president of Manitowoc Marine Group. "The size and features of the Harley barge will complement Bay's infrastructure and the experience of its workforce. Erection of the hull and tank modules will begin shortly after the Great Lakes winter fleet sails from our Sturgeon Bay facility in the spring. Upon completion, this hot oil barge will become one of the most sophisticated petroleum carriers in Harley's rapidly growing fleet of ocean-class vessels."



Port Report - November 25

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
The Steamer Alpena arrived in port on Monday morning to load cargo for Superior, Duluth, & Heron Bay. It departed after 9:00 a.m.

The G.L Ostrander barge Integrity was at Lafarge in the early morning hours of Wednesday and then was headed for Detroit and Cleveland.

The research vessel Laurentian has been tied up in the Thunder Bay River over the past few days.

The Earl W. Oglebay brought coal to Lafarge on Wednesday morning. The Oglebay unloaded throughout the day and stayed tied up at the dock when finished.

On Thanksgiving morning it was still waiting out the nasty weather in port before heading to Calcite.

Also on Thanksgiving morning around 10:00 a.m. the J.A.W Iglehart safely arrived at Lafarge among the strong winds and blowing snow.

Once the skies cleared somewhat on Thursday, the American Republic was seen anchored out in the bay off Alpena.

At Stoneport on Wednesday the McKee Sons was loading cargo but the weather stopped the process and it remained tied up at the dock on Thursday.



Today in Great Lakes History - November 25

On 25 November 1857, ANTELOPE (wooden schooner, 220 tons, built in 1854, at Port Robinson, Ontario) was driven ashore by a gale near St. Joseph, Michigan. Five lives were lost. She was recovered the next year and rebuilt.

INCAN SUPERIOR was withdrawn from service after completing 2,386 trips between Thunder Bay and Superior and on November 25, 1992, she passed down bound at Sault Ste. Marie for service on the Canadian West Coast.

ROBERT C STANLEY was laid up for the last time November 25, 1981, at the Tower Bay Slip, Superior, Wisconsin. CITY OF MILWAUKEE (Hull#261) was launched November 25, 1930, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin by Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co. She was sponsored by Mrs. Walter J. Wilde, wife of the collector of customs at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She entered service in January of 1931.

On 25 November 1866, F W BACKUS (wooden propeller, 133 foot, 289 tons, built in 1846, at Amherstburg, Ontario) was carrying hay, horses and cattle off Racine, Wisconsin. She was run to the beach when it was discovered that she was on fire. Her crew and passengers disembarked. The tug DAISY LEE towed her out while she was still burning, intending to scuttle her, but the towline burned through and she drifted back to shore and burned to the waterline. Her live cargo was pushed overboard while she was still well out and they swam to shore.

On 25 November 1874, WILLIAM SANDERSON (wooden schooner, 136 foot, 385 gross tons, built in 1853, at Oswego, New York) was carrying wheat in a storm on Lake Michigan when she foundered. The broken wreck washed ashore off Empire, Michigan near Sleeping Bear. She was owned by Scott & Brown of Detroit.

During a storm on 25 November 1895, MATTIE C BELL (wooden schooner, 181 foot, 769 gross tons, built in 1882, at E. Saginaw, Michigan) was in tow of the steamer JIM SHERRIFS on Lake Michigan. The schooner stranded at Big Summer Island, was abandoned in place and later broke up. No lives were lost.

On 25 Nov 1947, the b.) CAPTAIN JOHN ROEN was renamed c.) ADAM E CORNELIUS by the American Steamship Co. in 1958, CORNELIUS was renamed d.) CONSUMERS POWER. Eventually sold to Erie Sand, she was scrapped at Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1988.

On 25 Nov 1905, the JOSEPH G BUTLER, JR (steel straight-deck bulk freighter, 525 foot, 6,588 gross tons) entered service, departing Lorain, Ohio for Duluth on her maiden voyage. The vessel was damaged in a severe storm on that first crossing of Lake Superior, but she was repaired and had a long career. She was renamed DONALD B GILLIES in 1935, and GROVEDALE in 1963. She was sunk as a dock in Hamilton in 1973, and finally sold for scrap in 1981.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history. Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history.

"Deck your Deck this Christmas"
City of Thorold 2nd Annual Best Decorated Ship Contest

The 2nd Annual Best Decorated Ship Contest will be held this year through the month of December.

The city reports it was very happy with the amount of ships that took part in the contest last year and hope that this year, even more ships will "Deck their Decks".
The contest will be featured on radio stations throughout Niagara as well as be highlighted in several newspapers.

The winning Ship's Captain will be invited as our guest to the Annual Shipmaster's Dinner in February to be presented a trophy.

If you have any questions, please call Terry Dow, Director of Tourism Services, City of Thorold at 905-680-9477


Port Report - November 24

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
Algosteel got under way early Wednesday morning bound for the Welland Canal. The tug Diver III and barge Y & F No. 1 are still carrying building supplies to Muggs Island for the new Island Yacht Club club house.

On Tuesday the Toronto Port Authority annouced its ambitious plans to expand the island airport service by 3,000 per cent. The new scheme involves new building new passenger transfer facilities on both sides of the channel and a covered walkway to the terminal building. A protest was staged by the Community Air Organization. Mayor David Miller sent an open protest letter to the Prime Minister, the Premier of Ontario and to several federal and municipal civil servants.



Arcelor Announces Offer to Acquire Dofasco Inc.

11/24 - Luxembourg/Toronto - Arcelor S.A. announced today that it will be making an all cash take-over bid (the "offer") for all of the outstanding common shares of Canadian steelmaker Dofasco Inc. (TSX: DFS) for C$56.00 per share. The offer will represent a premium of approximately 27.3% over the closing price of Dofasco's common shares on November 22, 2005, of C$44.00, and a premium of approximately 46.4% over the closing price of Dofasco's common shares on November 10, 2005 of C$38.25, the last trading day prior to speculation as reported in the press about a possible acquisition of Dofasco.

The offer will also represent a premium of approximately 36.2% over the volume weighted-average trading price of Dofasco's common shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) for the 20 trading days immediately preceding the date of this announcement of C$41.12 and a premium of approximately 42.3% over the volume weighted-average trading price of Dofasco's common shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) for the 20 trading days up to and including November 10, 2005, of C$39.35.

Guy Dollé, Chief Executive Officer of Arcelor, said the proposed transaction would be Arcelor's largest investment in North America to date, reflecting Arcelor's strong confidence in Canada and in Dofasco, its management team and its world-class employees. "Dofasco's leadership in the North American automotive market is highly complementary with Arcelor's strategy to expand its foothold in this significant market. The combination of Arcelor's global leadership in automotive steel and Dofasco's strong position in this highly competitive market creates even better conditions for both companies, built on the unique strengths each brings to this relationship. Dofasco would become Arcelor's platform in North America", said Guy Dollé.

Mr. Dollé added "This transaction represents a logical expansion for Arcelor into North America. As such, Arcelor intends to maintain and strengthen Dofasco's present scope of activities by providing it with access to Arcelor's best in class technology and knowhow (particularly for the automotive market) and Arcelor's global reach and network. As part of the Arcelor group, Dofasco will become a stronger, more competitive steel producer in an increasingly competitive North American steel market." Mr. Dollé recognized Arcelor's long-standing relationship with Dofasco, particularly through their joint venture, DoSol Galva Limited Partnership, based in Hamilton, Ontario. "We have been very pleased with our investment in Hamilton to date. Dofasco's highly regarded corporate values with respect to its relations with employees, and its legacy of active community engagement, are principles that Arcelor shares and will continue to support."

Mr. Dollé noted that intense international consolidation in the global steel industry makes the combination of Dofasco with another player inevitable: "Canadian steel producers, regardless of their current competitiveness, are not immune to the forces driving consolidation around the globe. For Dofasco, the question is not if it should join forces with another industry player, but when, and with whom. We strongly believe that Arcelor is the best partner for Dofasco and that this is the right time".

Arcelor has approached Dofasco on several occasions, starting in the first half of 2005 with a view to exploring the possibility of an acquisition. While Dofasco's management and Board of Directors engaged in some dialogue in connection with the most recent proposal, the parties were unable to reach terms that were acceptable. Accordingly, Arcelor has decided to make this very compelling offer directly to Dofasco's shareholders.

Arcelor is a leading player of the global steel industry. With a turnover of 30 billion euros in 2004, the company holds leading positions in its main markets: automotive, construction, household appliances and packaging as well as general industry. The company - number one steel producer in Europe and Latin America - aspires to further expand internationally in order to capture the growth potential of developing economies and offer technologically advanced steel solutions to its global customers. Arcelor employs 94,000 associates in over 60 countries.

The company places its commitment to sustainable development at the heart of its strategy and aspires to be a benchmark for economic performance, labour relations and corporate social responsibility.



Dofasco Responds to Unsolicited Arcelor Takeover Bid

11/24 - Hamilton, ON. - Dofasco Inc. announced that its Board of Directors is reviewing an unsolicited all-cash takeover bid of $56 per share from Arcelor S.A. for all outstanding Dofasco common shares. The offer will remain open for at least 60 days after the mailing of the takeover bid circular. Dofasco's Board of Directors is reviewing the offer in the context of the company's alternatives to maximize shareholder value.

To assist in this analysis, Dofasco's Board of Directors has established a Special Committee of independent directors comprised of Brian MacNeill, Roger Doe, Frank Logan and Peter Maurice. Additionally, Dofasco's Board has retained RBC Capital Markets as financial advisors in the process, and Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP as its legal counsel. "The Board will give due consideration to the Arcelor bid. Pending the Board's recommendation, shareholders are urged not to tender to the offer", said Dofasco Chair, Brian MacNeill.

On May 7, 2004, Dofasco shareholders approved an amended and restated shareholder protection rights plan (the "2004 Rights Plan") which is a successor to similar plans which have been in place since 1989. The Plan was adopted by shareholders as a mechanism to ensure that in the event of an unsolicited offer there would be adequate time to appropriately evaluate the offer and to explore alternatives to maximize value.

Dofasco is a leading North American steel solutions provider. Product lines include hot rolled, cold rolled, galvanized, Extragal(TM), Galvalume(TM) and tinplate flat rolled steels, as well as tubular products, laser-welded blanks and Zyplex(TM), a proprietary laminate. Dofasco's wide range of steel products is sold to customers in the automotive, construction, energy, manufacturing, pipe and tube, appliance, packaging and steel distribution industries.

Dofasco news release



Minnesota DFLers Push Lake Superior Protection Laws

11/24 - Attorney General Mike Hatch and two DFL lawmakers on Tuesday called for new state laws regulating the ballast of ships entering Minnesota's waters of Lake Superior. The proposal would be similar to a new Michigan state law and would require oceangoing ships to have a permit certifying ballast water had been treated and inspected to remove exotic species. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency would administer the program.

It's an effort to try to limit the number of new exotic species that come into the state riding in the ballast tanks of freighters from faraway ocean ports. At least 187 foreign species -- most notably zebra mussels, goby, ruffe and spiny water fleas -- now are in the Great Lakes, including two dozen in the Duluth harbor and St. Louis River estuary. Many are believed to have entered the lakes riding in ships. Dozens more species are predicted to arrive if action isn't taken, including exotic clams, shrimp and herring.

A new invasive species, typically imported from Europe or Asia, is discovered in the Great Lakes on average every eight months, according to Minnesota Sea Grant experts. Ships take on ballast water when empty to maintain balance and then release the water as they take on cargo. That release sometimes sends along species from distant oceans and river systems that wreak havoc on local fish and other native creatures.

Hatch, a DFLer running for governor, assistant Senate Majority Leader Ann Rest, DFL, New Hope, and state Rep. Rick Hansen, DFL-South St. Paul, said they'll push the proposal during the 2006 Minnesota legislative session that begins in March. If adopted, their plan would take effect in 2008. A similar Michigan effort, signed into law in June, will become law in 2007. "We need to act quickly and sensibly to save our state's waterways and protect our quality of life," Hatch said in a statement announcing the plan.

Supporters say the federal government has so far failed to take decisive action to keep exotic species out of the Great Lakes and even ocean harbors. Congress has stalled on proposed ballast action, although environmental groups have won a federal lawsuit that will -- if upheld -- require the federal Environmental Protection Agency to regulate ballast under the Clean Water Act.

Efforts to battle exotic species after the fact, such as keeping zebra mussels off water intakes and structures, cost billions of dollars each year. And their environmental damage so far hasn't been measured. In some areas of the Great Lakes, zebra mussels have wiped out native clams and drastically reduced the number of small invertebrates that small fish eat.

The proposed Minnesota law also calls for better cooperation with other states and Canada at solving the exotic species problem. Several ballast treatment methods are being tested, including in Duluth, such as using chlorine, ultra-violet light and filters to catch and kill exotic species. But critics say ballast water treatment efforts aren't practical or affordable for ship owners and that regional and state laws will turn away business from Great Lakes' ports. They also argue that ongoing efforts to flush ballast at sea, where most of the freshwater creatures perish, already are removing most exotic species.

Ray Skelton, government and environmental affairs director for the Seaway Port Authority of Duluth, could not be reached for comment Tuesday. In April, he said legislation requiring ballast treatment any time soon would be unenforceable.

From the Duluth News Tribune



Steel Dynamics says it Prefers Minnesota

11/24 - Northeastern Minnesota is the preferred site for the world's first commercial iron nugget plant, say officials of Steel Dynamics Inc., the plant's primary customer and a major partner in the proposed $170 million facility. "For the first time, we can say it (Minnesota) does seem to be the preferred place," Mark Millett, vice president and general manager of Butler, Ind.,-based Steel Dynamics. "If we go forward, Minnesota is the preferred site." It's the first public indication from a major partner in the project that the large-scale production of iron nuggets is headed for Northeastern Minnesota.

The project got another boost Tuesday from a Minnesota Pollution Control Agency recommendation to approve air and water permits for an expansion at Northshore Mining Co. in Babbitt and Silver Bay. Iron ore concentrate produced under the $29 million reactivation plan at Northshore probably would feed Mesabi Nugget.

For months Minnesota and Indiana have been in the running for the Mesabi Nugge plant, which would produce 600,000 metric tons per year. "It's a big milestone to have your lead investor and chief customer endorsing Minnesota as the preferred site," Mesabi Nugget President Larry Lehtinen said. "It's a very significant milestone in that Steel Dynamics has endorsed it and is proceeding to the next stage of the project." A nugget plant would mean that for the first time in decades, a new product would be made from the hundreds of millions of tons of iron ore that remain on the Iron Range. A commercial-scale nugget plant would employ about 50. Another 50 workers would be needed at Northshore Mining Co. to help provide feed.

Building the plant in Indiana would save construction costs, Millett said. Construction costs in Minnesota have risen to $170 million from an earlier estimate of $130 million, primarily due to higher steel and equipment costs, Lehtinen said. However, because the taconite concentrate needed to feed the plant is produced in the region, Minnesota holds the advantage in production costs. "Our analysis right now suggests that the capital cost in Minnesota is substantially more," Millett said. "But the cost of production is less in Minnesota compared to Indiana. Our preference right now, all things being equal, is that Minnesota is the preferred site."

Partners in the project are SDI, Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., Kobe Steel and Ferrometrics Inc. of Two Harbors. Cleveland-Cliffs is already a large player in the Northeastern Minnesota taconite industry. "To the degree that we can continue to put this project together, there would be two major corporations (SDI and Kobe Steel) that would become part of the corporate community here, which would be nice," Lehtinen said.
Lehtinen has said since spring that a 6,000-acre abandoned mine site at the former LTV Steel Mining Co. near Aurora is his choice for the first nugget plant. The property once operated as Erie Mining Co. Now owned by Cleveland-Cliffs, it's called Cliffs-Erie. Lehtinen said he hopes in February to begin site preparations and road building at the Minnesota site.

Because nuggets would be about 97 percent pure iron, they would sell for a much higher price than iron-ore pellets that contain about 65 percent iron. Iron nuggets could be fed into electric arc furnaces and used by foundries. SDI, which operates a steelmaking mini mill in Butler, would consume most of the nugget plant's production.

Board directors at SDI, Cleveland-Cliffs and Kobe Steel still need to work out formal partnership agreements in support of the nugget project, Millett said. "A lot of work has to be done between the partners to make it a viable project," Millett said. "We, like Kobe and Cleveland-Cliffs, are all going through the same process in getting board approval. Once those are in hand, they need to put together a partnership that works. The positive news for Minnesota is that Minnesota appears to be the preferred site for economic reasons."

State officials expedited the permitting process in Minnesota to help attract the plant and about 100 new good-paying jobs it would create. Environmental permitting was approved in July.

Iron-nugget development has been under way in Northeastern Minnesota since 2001. A pilot scale demonstration plant that in 2003 first began operating at Northshore Mining Co. in Silver Bay proved the process on a 25,000 ton-per-year scale. Lehtinen said he hopes to have a commercial Minnesota nugget plant operating in July 2007.

From the Duluth News Tribune



Public Board OKs Taconite Mining Expansion on North Shore

11/24 - St. Paul, MN - State pollution regulators, over the objections of environmental groups and some northern Minnesota residents, approved an expansion of taconite processing for a company along the North Shore of Lake Superior. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Citizens Board voted 6-1 Tuesday to approve an environmental study and to issue air and water quality permits for a $29 million expansion by Northshore Mining Co. at its plant in Silver Bay.

Northshore general manager Mike Mlinar said the expansion will create 30 permanent full-time jobs, though he said the decision to restart part of the plant has been deferred because of a "softening of the market."

Environmentalists that attended a hearing before the vote said the measure could put more mineral fibers in the air and in drinking water from Lake Superior. LeRoger Lind, a member of the Save Lake Superior Association, an environmental group, said the risk of breathing fibers near the plant is like secondhand smoke: "Not all people get cancer from that, but some do." The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, the Sierra Club and others said that the public health risks should receive further study before the permits were approved. They also differed with MPCA officials about whether the company was violating its current air quality permit.

MPCA project manager Dana Vanderbosch said that although the project would allow a 21 percent expansion of taconite processing, it would not result in any net increases in air emissions because it would also require new pollution control devices. The expansion would also result in more taconite tailings - waste rock - which are piped in a slurry to a special basin for settling and storage. Most, but not all, of the fibers are removed before some of the water is discharged into the Beaver River, which flows into Lake Superior.

In the 1970s, Northshore's predecessor, Reserve Mining, was ordered by a judge to stop dumping its waste rock into Lake Superior. State Health Department toxicologist Hillary Carpenter, who reviewed the project, said it was very unlikely that more fibers in the river would result in any health impacts to individuals drinking water from Lake Superior.

Two Lake County commissioners and the mayors of Silver Bay and Babbit spoke in favor of the project and expressed confidence that public health would be protected. Melanie Allen, the sole board member to vote against the permits, said she wanted to table the decision for 15 months until more is known about whether the company was violating its air quality permit and whether it could be asked to do more to reduce asbestos-like fibers being released into the Beaver River. "It seems like we're not challenging them to do better," Allen said.

From the Associated Press



Divers Drawn to the Site of Rouse Simmons

11/24 - Two Rivers, WI — Of all the dives that Manitowoc resident Gary Daehn has executed in the past decade, seeing the sunken Rouse Simmons Christmas Tree Ship off the Two Rivers coast was the most memorable because he knew the history. “It’s significant. It’s meaningful. I was aware of it. I had looked forward to seeing it,” he said. The Rouse Simmons, a Great Lakes vessel transporting Christmas trees from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to Chicago, sank in Lake Michigan off the coast of Two Rivers in 1912. It is believed by some that a storm brought the ship to its demise, taking the lives of Capt. Herman Schuenemann and a 15-member crew.

Remnants of the ship recovered by divers are housed at the Rogers Street Fishing Village Museum, said Sandy Zipperer, the museum’s director. In 1971, the wheel of the ship surfaced after becoming entangled in the nets of a fishing boat, Zipperer said. With the help of The Wisconsin Historical Society’s Division of Historic Preservation, the wheel was identified as belonging to the Rouse Simmons. Equipment used to raise and lower sails and the ship’s name plaque are among other recovered pieces, she said.

The ship’s resting place — about 170 feet down — is often visited by divers. Daehn said he dived the site 25 to 30 times. Tamara Thomsen, a Madison-based diving instructor, estimates she brings 16 students to the location each year. Even after diving the site on multiple occasions, Thomsen said she still notices new things in each 20- to 30-minute adventure. “Every time there’s something new,” she said.

Divers frequent the site from April to November, said Mike Hansen, owner of Maritime Divers in Manitowoc. Hansen estimated about 24 divers who come through his shop visit the site of the Rouse Simmons wreck each season. Diver instructor Stephen Schumacher of Two Rivers said he’d seen the wreck twice.
“I was amazed at how intact it still is,” he said, noting that the trees in the hold are still visible. Diving to the Rouse Simmons’ wreck is considered a journey best left to trained divers, he said. He said most dives beyond 130 feet are classified as technical dives.

To reach the sunken schooner, Schumacher said air tanks are mixed with a greater amount of helium as opposed to nitrogen. The outcome spares the diver feelings of wooziness otherwise brought on by inhaling too much nitrogen, he said. Schumacher dives often and distinguished this wreck from others he’d seen because the boat is so exposed. “Usually you’d think it’d be on some sort of reef where it’d gone down, but this sits right on the open sand,” he said. He wonders how the boat settled at the lake’s bottom because the hull appears so intact.

He called it a “really nice wreck.”

Saturday, Dec. 3 — The Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc will serve as a staging point for a longtime re-enactment, where Christmas trees are delivered by boat at 11 a.m.

From the Manitowoc Times Herald Reporter



Today in Great Lakes History - November 24

On 24 November 1945, SCOTT E LAND (steel propeller C4-S-A4 cargo ship, 496 foot, 10,654 gross tons) was launched at Kaiser Corporation (hull #520) in Vancouver, Washington for the U.S. Maritime Commission. She was converted to a straight-deck bulk freighter at Baltimore, Maryland in 1951, and renamed TROY H BROWNING. In 1955, she was renamed THOMAS F PATTON. After serving on the Great Lakes, she was scrapped in Pakistan in 1981.

On November 24, 1990, the KINSMAN INDEPENDENT ran hard aground off of Isle Royale. The vessel was on its way to load grain in Thunder Bay, Ontario when she ended up 25 miles off course. The damage to the vessel was nearly $2 million, and she was repaired at Thunder Bay before the start of the 1991 season.

On November 24, 1950, while bound for South Chicago with iron ore, the ENDERS M VOORHEES collided with the up bound steamer ELTON HOYT II (now the ST MARYS CHALLENGER) in the Straits of Mackinac during a blinding snow storm. Both vessels received such serious bow damage that they had to be beached near Mc Gulpin Point west of Mackinaw City to avoid sinking.

The ROSEMOUNT stored with coal, inadvertently sank alongside CSL's Century Coal Dock at Montreal, Quebec on November 24, 1934.

Paterson’s PRINDOC (Hull#657) was launched November 24, 1965, at Lauzon, Quebec by Davie Shipbuilding Co. Ltd..

November 24, 1892 - The ANN ARBOR #1 ran aground on her first trip just north of the Kewaunee harbor.

On 24 Nov 1881, LAKE ERIE (wooden propeller canaller, 136 foot, 464 gross tons, built in 1873, at St, Catharine's, Ontario) collided with the steamer NORTHERN QUEEN in fog and a blizzard near Poverty Island by the mouth of Green Bay. LAKE ERIE sank in one hour 40 minutes. NORTHERN QUEEN took aboard the crew but one man was scalded and died before reaching Manistique.

The CITY OF SAGINAW 31 entered service in 1931.On 24 November 1905, ARGO (steel propeller passenger/package freight, 174 foot, 1,089 tons, built in 1896, at Detroit, Michigan) dropped into a trough of a wave, hit bottom and sank in relatively shallow water while approaching the harbor at Holland, Michigan. 38 passengers and crew were taken off by breeches' buoy in a thrilling rescue by the U.S. Lifesaving Service.

NEPTUNE (wooden propeller, 185 foot, 774 gross tons, built in 1856, at Buffalo, New York) was laid up at East Saginaw, Michigan on 24 November 1874, when she was discovered to be on fire at about 4:00 a.m. She burned to a total loss.

The ANN ARBOR NO 1 left Frankfort for Kewaunee on November 24, 1892. Because of the reluctance of shippers to trust their products on this new kind of ferry it was difficult to find cargo for this first trip. Finally, a fuel company which sold coal to the railroad routed four cars to Kewaunee via the ferry.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II, The Marine Historical Society of Detroit and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series



Port Reports - November 23

Port Colborne - Herb
Work has started stripping the Joseph H. Frantz of equipment this week at International Marine Salvage. Cranes are removing equipment. The barge Salty Dog is completely gone.

Also in port Tuesday morning was Pere Marquette 41 and Undaunted unloading gypsum at the old Canada Furnace Dock

Goderich - Dale Baechler
The Kapitonas Andzejauskas entered the inner harbour Wednesday morning, with the Peter R. Cresswell waiting in the new harbour to shift over to load at the Sifto Salt dock.



Ruins of 1930 Shipwreck Found in Lake Erie

11/23 - Barcelona, N.Y. -- The divers could see lanterns and light fixtures scattered about the ship, which was on its side on the dark bottom of Lake Erie. There was no doubt about what the divers had found. Their lights told them the same thing the highly beefed-up sonar had told them moments before: The wreck was the steamboat George J. Whelan, which sank off New York state's Barcelona Harbor in July 1930. Until that day in late October, no one had seen the steamship for 75 years.

"It was a real find," said Jim Herbert, captain of Barcelona Harbor-based Osprey Charters. "Very seldom do we find anything as pristine as that." The law forbids touching anything on a Great Lakes shipwreck. But wrecks do tend to get picked over once independent divers find them. Herbert knew this wreck was untouched because so many artifacts remained where they had fallen 75 years ago in a wreck that claimed the lives of 15 of the vessel's 21 crew members.

The "virgin" wreck is about 35 miles northeast of Erie and nine miles north of Barcelona in about 145 feet of water. Because of its condition, Herbert said, he suspects divers will find it popular to dive at the site in 2006. "That'll be a featured destination, for sure," he said. The wreck was discovered by Herbert and underwater search expert Garry Kozak of Salem, N.H. The friends had been working together to find and salvage a single-engine airplane that went down in the lake in August. When that search was over, Kozak had an extra day to look around. The two had searched for the Whelan off and on for years, so they thought they'd try to look once more. This time, luck smiled on them.

They chose the right area to search. Plus, they had use of the latest sonar from Klein Associates, a New Hampshire-based sonar manufacturer that is a leader in side-scan sonar systems. Kozak consults and trains for the company. Sonar technology has been used for about 40 years. New technical advancements in digital imaging, powerful computer software and a Global Positioning System allowed them to search more than 32 square miles. "That's unheard of previously to cover that amount of area in one day," Kozak said.

At 220 feet long and 40 feet wide, the Whelan's large size and resting place in relatively shallow water -- plus the loss of life -- make it a desirable destination for divers, Herbert said. No remains have been found on the ship. In 95 percent of wrecks, remains aren't found, Kozak said. Only nine divers have seen the wreck so far, and only for a short time. Usually within six months of a wreck discovery, "everyone knows where it is," Kozak said.

Kozak's dream growing up in Windsor, Ontario, was to find a wreck in the Great Lakes, he said. His dream came true time and again with at least 40 wreck discoveries in Lake Erie and countless more around the world. As a Klein employee, he's worked with such underwater luminaries as Bob Ballard, who found the RMS Titanic, and novelist Clive Cussler. "I've had my fair share of adventures," Kozak said. "But Lake Erie is one of my (favorite) places." He estimates the number of shipwrecks in Lake Erie as "maybe up to 1,000," while other sources pin the number at as many as 3,000. Whatever the number, Kozak said, "There are still more shipwrecks to be found and mysteries to be solved. They're all important."

The Ship's History - The storied history of the George J. Whelan steamship:
1910: Built by the Craig Shipbuilding Co. of Toledo, Ohio. It is one of the steel lake boats designed for the lumber trade. Its original name is the Erwin L. Fisher, for the Cleveland manager of its owner, the Argo Steamship Corp.

1911: Ship collides on its maiden voyage with the S. L. Clement, and sinks in the Detroit River.

1916: After being raised and rebuilt, it is renamed the Bayersher and sold to France to fight in Europe during World War I as the Port De Caen.

1923: Once again the Bayersher, it returns to the Great Lakes and is refitted as a coal carrier and renamed the Claremont.

1929: The ship is purchased at the end of the shipping season by Kelley Island Lime and Transport Co., Sandusky, Ohio. It is renamed the George J. Whelan and made into a sandsucker to mine sand from the lake bottom.

1930: The ship sinks with a cargo of limestone aboard while sailing from Sandusky, Ohio, to Tonawanda, N.Y.

From the Erie Times-News



Detroit Council Stalls Tunnel Deal
Resolution an effort to stop Ambassador Bridge company's takeover bid proposal

11/23 - Detroit city council has approved a resolution aimed at stopping a takeover by the Ambassador Bridge company of the Detroit side of the tunnel. Councillors said they were caught off guard by last month's "binding agreement" signed by Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick approving the bridge's $30-million US proposal which could potentially give bridge owner Manuel Moroun's family control of the tunnel for up to 100 years starting in 2020.

"This honourable body feels compelled to make known its extreme displeasure with not only the substance of the proposed agreement, but also the manner in which it has been brought before this body," reads the council motion approved Friday. Coun. Kenneth Cockrel Jr., filling in as council president for the ailing Maryann Mahaffey, could not be reached Monday for comment.

The council motion will go before Kilpatrick, who has the power to veto the resolution. Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis was seeking more information before commenting on the Detroit council's action. Bridge company president Dan Stamper said the proposal remains alive despite Detroit council's resolution. He said council passed a motion a few weeks ago to formally deal with the bridge company's proposal in the new year following further investigation by the city's administration.

Following the recent municipal election, council is taking a hiatus until January. "There is nothing to reject because administration has to come back with the information they requested," Stamper said. "I don't think city council had anything in front of them to vote on. "It's in somebody else's hands. We were asked to prepare a proposal and we made one. It's out of our hands right now. We believe it is a good deal, but that's for the mayor and city council to decide."
The proposed deal would see the bridge pay $10 million US for 25 acres of city-owned property in southwest Detroit to help create a new 200-acre superplaza, plus another $20 million for the rights to control the lease for the U.S. side of the Windsor-Detroit tunnel for 25 years starting in 2020.

Three 25-year renewal options are said to be included in the deal -- which could give Moroun's family control of the tunnel's lease into the next century. The city of Windsor owns the Canadian side of the tunnel. Detroit council's approval is needed to finalize the deal.

From the Windsor Star



Historic Shipwrecks to Get New Safeguards.

11/23 - The Ontario government plans to restrict diving and use of robot submarines around the wreck of the freighter Edmund Fitzgerald in Lake Superior and the U.S. sailing ships Hamilton and Scourge, sunk in Lake Ontario off Port Dalhousie during the War of 1812. Proposed regulations that would list the locations of the three vessels as protected marine archeological sites is posted on the province's Environmental Bill of Rights registry for public comment until Nov. 30. The regulations implementing recent changes in the Ontario Heritage Act would also give municipalities power to prohibit demolition of heritage buildings.

Wilson West, marine heritage policy adviser in the Ministry of Culture, said yesterday only three vessels are on the initial list and the intent is to keep the list of protected sites short, "not to shut down recreational diving on all shipwrecks" -- a fear expressed by divers during public consultation before the act was amended. He said the Fitzgerald is included partly because of concerns by families of the 29 sailors who died when the ship went down in a storm Nov. 10, 1975. The Hamilton and Scourge -- owned by the City of Hamilton -- are listed because of their historic importance, fragility and the possible presence of remains of 53 American naval crewmen who went down with the ships during a storm in August 1813.

While the ministry considers unauthorized diving on the Hamilton and Scourge to be prohibited by the existing law, West said the revised act and new regulations would strengthen the protection and prescribe an area around them to be off-limits without a marine archeological license from the province. "We are revamping the licensing system and for specific sites, such as those three, special qualifications would be required to apply to go there. They will require a different type of licensing." West said yesterday he expects interest in the Hamilton and Scourge to grow as the 2012 bicentennial of the War of 1812 grows closer.

From the Hamilton Spectator



Today in Great Lakes History - November 23

On 23 November 1863, BAY OF QUINTE (wooden schooner, 250 tons, built in 1853, at Bath, Ontario) was carrying 7500 bushels of wheat to Toronto when she was driven ashore on Salmon Point on Lake Ontario and wrecked. No lives were lost.

On 23 November 1882, the schooner MORNING LIGHT (wooden schooner, 256 tons, built in 1857, at Cleveland, Ohio) was sailing from Manistee for Chicago with a load of lumber when a storm drove her aground off Claybanks, south of Stony Lake, Michigan. One crewman swam to shore, the rest were saved by a lifesaving crew, local fishermen and the tug B W ALDRICH. Earlier that same year, she sank near St. Helen Island in the Straits of Mackinac. She was salvaged and put back in service, but she only lasted a few months.

After discharging her cargo, the SAMUEL MATHER, a.) FRANK ARMSTRONG, proceeded to De Tour, Michigan laying up for the last time at the Pickands Mather Coal Dock on November 23, 1981.

In 1987, the self-unloader ROGERS CITY was towed out of Menominee, Michigan for scrapping in Brazil.

STADACONA's sea trials were completed on November 23, 1952, and was delivered to Canada Steamship Lines the next day.

On 23 November 1872, Capt. W. B. Morley launched the propeller JARVIS LORD at Marine City, Michigan. Her dimensions were 193 feet x 33 feet x 18 feet, 1000 tons. She was the first double decker built at Marine City. Her engine was from Wm. Cowie of Detroit.

On 23 November 1867, S A CLARK (wooden propeller tug, 12 tons, built in 1863, at Buffalo, New York) was in Buffalo's harbor when her boiler exploded and she sank.

November 23, 1930 - The Ann Arbor carferry WABASH grounded in Betsie Lake. She bent her rudder stock and her steering engine was broken up.

On 23 November 1853, the wooden schooner PALESTINE was bound from Kingston to Cleveland with railroad iron at about the same time as the like-laden schooner ONTONAGON. Eight miles west of Rochester, New York, both vessels ran ashore, were pounded heavily by the waves and sank. Both vessels reported erratic variations in their compasses. The cargoes were removed and ONTONAGON was pulled free on 7 December, but PALESTINE was abandoned. A similar event happened with two other iron-laden vessels a few years previously at the same place.

On 23 November 1853, the Ward Line's wooden side-wheeler HURON struck an unseen obstruction in the Saginaw River and sank. She was raised on 12 December 1853, towed to Detroit and repaired at a cost of $12,000. She was then transferred to Lake Michigan to handle the cross-lake traffic given the Ward Line by the Michigan Central Railroad. The carferry GRAND HAVEN was sold to the West India Fruit & Steamship Co., Norfolk, Virginia in 1946, and was brought down the Mississippi River to New Orleans, Louisiana for reconditioning before reaching Port Everglades and the Port of Palm Beach, Florida. She was brought back to the Lakes and locked up bound through the Welland Canal on 23 Nov 1964. She was intended for roll on/roll off carrier service to haul truck trailers laden with steel coils from Stelco's plant at Hamilton, Ont.

The CSL NIAGARA a.) J W MC GIFFIN, passed Port Huron, Michigan on 23 Nov 1999, on her way to Thunder Bay to load grain. This was her first trip to the upper lakes since the vessel was re-launched as a SeawayMax carrier in June 1999.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Steve Haverty, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.



Port Reports - November 22

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Courtney Burton was spotted departing the General Mills Frontier Elevator on Sunday morning with the help of the "G" tug New Jersey.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
The Agawa Canyon was at the Sifto Salt dock in Goderich Monday morning. She left in the early afternoon and was heading north. The John D. Leitch took her spot on the dock after waiting all morning outside the break walls.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
English River departed Sunday.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Sunday saw two vessels visit the Saginaw River. First in was the tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader. The pair lightered at the Sargent dock in Essexville and then continued upriver to finish at the Saginaw Rock Products dock in Saginaw.

Next in was the Buffalo calling on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City to unload. Both vessel were outbound late Sunday.

On Monday, the Mississagi was inbound headed upriver to the Buena Vista dock to unload. She was expected to be outbound Tuesday morning.



Photo Gallery Updates - November 22

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

A new gallery of the construction of Maritime Trader (Ex-Mantadoc).


Today in Great Lakes History - November 22

On 22 November 1860, WABASH VALLEY (wooden propeller, 592 tons, built in 1856, at Buffalo, New York) was caught in a blizzard and gale off Muskegon, Michigan on Lake Michigan. Her skipper thought they were off Grand Haven and as he steamed to the harbor, visibility dropped to near zero. The vessel ran onto the beach. Her momentum and the large storm waves carried her well up onto the beach where she broke in two. Her machinery was salvaged and went into the new steamer SUNBEAM.

Scrapping of the SPRUCEGLEN a.) WILLIAM K FIELD was completed on November 22, 1986, by Lakehead Scrap Metal Co. at Thunder Bay Ontario. The SPRUCEGLEN was the last Canadian coal-fired bulker.

Cleveland Cliffs steamer FRONTENAC while in ballast sustained major structural damage from grounding on Pellet Reef attempting to enter Silver Bay, Minnesota at 2140 hours on November 22, 1979.

On 22 November 1869, CREAM CITY (3-mast wooden bark, 629 tons, built in 1862, at Sheboygan, Wisconsin) was carrying wheat in a gale when she lost her way and went ashore on Drummond Island. She appeared to be only slightly damaged, but several large pumps were unable to lower the water in her hull. She was finally abandoned as a total wreck on 8 December. She was built as a "steam bark" with an engine capable of pushing her at 5 or 6 mph. After two months of constant minor disasters, this was considered an unsuccessful experiment and the engine was removed.

The CITY OF MILWAUKEE was chartered to the Ann Arbor Railroad Co. and started the Frankfort, Michigan-Kewaunee, Wisconsin service for them on November 22, 1978.

November 22, 1929 - The CITY OF SAGINAW 31 went out on her sea trials.

On 22 November 1860, CIRCASSIAN (wooden schooner, 135 foot, 366 tons, built in 1856, at Irving, New York) was carrying grain in a gale and blizzard on Lake Michigan when she stranded on White Shoals near Beaver Island. She sank to her decks and then broke in two. Her crew was presumed lost, but actually made it to Hog Island in the blizzard and they were not rescued from there for two weeks.

A final note from the Big Gale of 1879. On 22 November 1879, the Port Huron Times reported, "The barge DALTON is still high and dry on the beach at Point Edward."

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



Tall Ship Highlander Sea Returns to Port Huron
Some work still remains on the wood schooner

On the surface, the ship looks much as it did before it made the trip north. Beneath the water's surface, the ship bears a wide array of improvements, including mostly all new wood on the belly and rebuilt engines. The 81-year-old, 154-foot, double-masted schooner is in better condition than it has been in years, ship Capt. Micah Allnutt said.

The 10-member crew started its 27-hour trip from Sault Ste. Marie on Saturday after facing several delays. "It's almost easier to say what we didn't do," Allnutt said Sunday. "(It's a) safer, stronger vessel." First sailing to Port Huron in June 2002, the Highlander Seais owned by Acheson Ventures. The company - formed by businessman and philanthropist Jim Acheson - bought the ship from a company in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

For many, the ship's return voyage brings some of the life back to Port Huron. "I think it's excellent," said Jim Muldoon, 72, of Kenockee Township, who in the past has volunteered on the ship. "It's going to activate a lot of interest from the people of Port Huron."

Paul Maxwell, spokesman for Acheson Ventures, said the Highlander Sea will be docked at the Port Huron Yacht Club this winter while crews work to continue renovating the ship's interior. All work is expected to be complete by summer, Maxwell said, when the ship will take on a full schedule of tall-ship festivals and other events including playing a role in the Port Huron-to-Mackinac Island Sailboat Race.

From the Port Huron Times Herald



Port Report - November 21

Sturgeon Bay - Darren Hesler
The tug Donald Hannah and barge arrived and docked around 9:00 a.m. Sunday.

The name for the new cement tug will be Samuel de Champlain, and the new name for the cement barge will be the Innovation.
Editor's Note - Samuel de Champlain (1567?-1635) was a French explorer and navigator who mapped much of northeastern North America and started a settlement in Quebec. Champlain also discovered the lake named for him (Lake Champlain, on the border of northern New York state and Vermont, named in 1609) and was important in establishing and administering the French colonies in the New World.

Edwin H. Gott still here  for repairs.



BoatNerd Turns 10

11/21 -
It may be hard to believe, but this month marks the 10th anniversary of this site's launching. www.BoatNerd.Com ­ Great lakes and Seaway Shipping Online ­ debuted in November 1995 with only four sections and less than a dozen pictures in the single Photo Gallery.

Today it has grown into the most comprehensive resource for Great Lakes shipping online, with over 1 million visits annually, a daily news page, information search and regional discussion forums and tens of thousands of photos submitted by the site's users. It has been instrumental in bringing ship fans together to share their common interests both online and in the real world through several annual boatnerd gatherings held at Sault Ste. Marie, Duluth, the Welland Canal and other locations.

Recently Boatnerd made the leap from cyberspace and into the real world with a boat watching facility and Great Lakes research center at Vantage Point in Port Huron, overlooking the St. Clair River.

Our thanks go to all that have contributed to the web site and the viewers for their dedication and enthusiasm.

The Boatnerd Crew


Photo Gallery Updates - November 21

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

A special new gallery of the transformation of the Lewis G. Harriman.

A new gallery of the construction of Maritime Trader (Ex-Mantadoc).


Today in Great Lakes History - November 21

On 21 November 1861, ENTERPRISE (2-mast wooden scow-schooner, 64 foot, 56 tons, built in 1854, at Port Huron, Michigan) was driven ashore near Bark Shanty at the tip of Michigan’s “thumb” on Lake Huron. The storm waves pounded her to pieces. Her outfit was salvaged a few days later.

On the evening of 21 November 1890, the scow MOLLIE (wooden scow-schooner, 83 foot, 83 gross tons, built in 1867, at Fairport, Ohio) left Ludington, Michigan with a load of lumber. About 8:00 p.m., when she was just 25 miles off Ludington, she started to leak in heavy seas, quickly becoming waterlogged. Capt. Anderson and his two-man crew had just abandoned the vessel in the yawl when the steamer F & P M No. 4 showed up, shortly after midnight. The rough weather washed Capt. Anderson out of the yawl, but he made it back in. At last a line from the F & P M No. 4 was caught and made fast to the yawl and the crew made it to the steamer. The men had a narrow escape, for the MOLLIE was going to pieces rapidly, and there was little likelihood of the yawl surviving in the gale.

The PATERSON (Hull#113) was launched November 21, 1953, at Port Arthur, Ontario by Port Arthur Ship Building Co. Ltd..

In 1924, the MERTON E FARR slammed into the Interstate Bridge that linked Superior, Wisconsin with Duluth, Minnesota. causing extensive damage to the bridge. The bridge span fell into the water but the FARR received only minor damage to her bow.

On 21 November 1869, the ALLIANCE (wooden passenger sidewheeler, 87 foot, 197 gross tons, built in 1857, at Buffalo, New York) slipped her moorings at Lower Black Rock in the Niagara River and went over the falls. She had been laid up since the spring of 1869.

November 21, 1906 - The PERE MARQUETTE 17 encountered one of the worst storms in many years while westbound for the Wisconsin Central slip in Manitowoc. Wisconsin. She made port safely, but the wind was so high that she could not hold her course up the river without assistance. The tug ARCTIC assisted, and as they were proceeding through the 10th Street Bridge, a gust of wind from the south drove the ferry and tug against the north pilings of the 10th Street Bridge. The ARCTIC, pinned between the ferry and the bridge, was not damaged, but she crushed the hull of a fishing tug moored there, sinking her, and inflicted damage of a few hundred dollars to the bridge.

November 21, 1923 - Arthur Stoops, the lookout on the ANN ARBOR #6 was drowned while stepping from the apron onto the knuckle to cast off the headline.

On the night of 21 November 1870, C W ARMSTRONG (wooden propeller steam tug, 57 foot, 33 tons, built in 1856, at Albany, New York) burned at her dock at Bay City, Michigan. No lives were lost.

More incidents from the Big Gale of 1879. On 21 November 1879, the Port Huron Times reported, "The schooner MERCURY is ashore at Pentwater. The schooner LUCKY is high and dry at Manistee; the schooner WAUBASHENE is on the beach east of Port Colborne. The schooner SUMATRA is on the beach at Cleveland; the large river tug J P Clark capsized and sunk at Belle Isle in the Detroit River on Wednesday [19 Nov.] and sank in 15 minutes. One drowned. The schooner PINTO of Oakville, Ontario, stone laden, went down in 30 feet of water about one mile down from Oakville. At Sand beach the barge PRAIRIE STATE is rapidly going to pieces.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Steve Haverty and Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.



Lost Barge Retrieved in Holland

11/20 - Update
Tug Holly Ann returned to the beach at Holland State Park Sunday morning and retrieved the barge that had beached there. They will be tied up in Holland until weather conditions allow their return to Chicago.

Reported by Bob VandeVusse

Tug Loses Control of Barges in Holland Harbor
Barge Beached at Holland

11/19 - 7:00 pm. Update - One barge remains on the beach at Holland State Park. Reports indicate that the group left Muskegon and was returning to Chicago with the Holly Ann in the lead. Increasing wind and waves prompted them to seek safe harbor at Holland. Around 10:30 while attempting an entry, the tug lost power and steering. The barges then hung up on the end of the north breakwater. The tug and one barge were pushed inside the breakwall and on the rocks which protect the structure. The other barge broke loose and was driven on the beach to the north. Plans to remove it are unknown at this time.

11/19 - Original Article - About 10:30 Friday morning, according to US Coast Guard reports, the Holly Marine Towing Co.'s tug Holly Ann was heading south along the shore of Lake Michigan near Holland towing two hopper barges. One of the barges broke free and is presently beached at Holland State Park, just north of the breakwater for the Holland harbor entrance.

It is thought that the tug lost power and was forced against the pier causing the barges to break loose. The tug and a second barge are in the Holland channel. The loose barge could be seen on the webcam at

The Coast Guard is working to get all the vessels back to shore. It's currently unknown if anyone was injured in the incident.

Reported by Bob VandeVusse & Joe Taylor


Reporters Wanted

The Boatnerd News is only as good as the information and pictures that we receive. If you see something of interest to other boat watchers, send it along via e-mail to Boatnerd News or use the convenient form at the top of this page.

If you would like to be part of the of the Port Reports, send the information along in a timely fashion.

If you take some newsworthy pictures send them along. We'll post them in the News Photo Gallery.


Port Reports - November 20

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
After almost one week of no traffic on the Saginaw River, finally on Thursday night traffic picked up. Inbound around 10pm Thursday evening was the tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and her barge Great Lakes Trader. She called on the Wirt Stone dock in Bay City to unload. She finished her unload by late Friday morning, departed the dock, turned in the Bay Wirt basin and was headed outbound for the lake by 12pm Friday afternoon.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
The Charles M. Beeghly loaded ore in Marquette Friday. The Michipicoten was expected later. The Dorothy Anne/Pathfinder is expected in Saturday to unload before taking on ore. A building of sorts on a raft was in the lower harbor near the breakwall. No other information on this unusual vessel.

CSL Niagara was loading at Andersons on Friday.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
Saturday saw English River arrive in mid-afternoon, and Algosteel arrive at Redpath with a load of raw sugar, originally consigned to Canadian Ranger. Most of the tour and charter vessels are in winter lay-up, but Mariposa Cruise Lines' Northern Spirit 1 was out Saturday night for a charter.

On Friday Toronto Drydock Co. Ltd. refloated the tour vessel Jubilee Queen, and put the tour vessel Empress of Canada on the dock. The Spirit of Rochester remains in port, rafted to the drydock. Work on it has temporarily ceased.

CCG Simmonds made an evening appearance during the first snowfall of the season Friday afternoon. Queen City Yacht Club's tender Algonquin Queen II has been undergoing work at the Pier 35 Atlas crane. It's place has been taken for tender service by the club's workboat Harold Robbins. The Royal Canadian Yacht Club tender Kwasind is still in service on weekends, but workday service is being provided by the Elsie D. "The Cat" continues its comings and goings.

Work on the new breakwall in Humber Bay will continue throughout the winter. The tug Ours Polarie and workboat W. B. Indok are on the job, along with eight barges. The work is scheduled to be completed by May 2006.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Herbert C Jackson was unloading at the ADM Standard Elevator this afternoon


Photo Gallery Updates - November 20

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

A special new gallery of the transformation of the Lewis G. Harriman.

A new gallery of the construction of Maritime Trader (Ex-Mantadoc).


Today in Great Lakes History - November 20

On 20 November 1854, BURLINGTON (2-mast wooden brig, 80 foot, 117 tons, built in 1842, at Cleveland, Ohio) was driven hard aground near Port Bruce, Ontario on Lake Huron while trying to assist the stranded Canadian Bark GLOBE.

The SAGINAW was christened at the Government Dock in Sarnia, Ontario in 1999. Bonnie Bravener and Wendy Siddall broke the traditional bottle of champagne adding the second vessel to Lower Lakes Towing's fleet. The company then generously opened the vessel for tours to all those in the large crowd that had gathered to witness the event.

Hall Corporation of Canada’s EAGLESCLIFFE HALL was launched in 1956, at Grangemouth, Scotland.

The ferry WOLFE ISLANDER was christened on November 20, 1946, at Marysville, Wolfe Island. The new ferry was the unfinished OTTAWA MAYBROOK which was built to serve the war effort in the south Pacific Ocean. She replaced two landing barges which were pressed quickly into service following the condemned steamer WOLFE ISLANDER, a.) TOM FAWCETT of 1904, which had served the community for 42 years. Officially christened WOLFE ISLANDER by Mrs. Sarah Russell, it took five tries before the champagne bottle finally broke on her port side.

At 2240 hours on November 20, 1974, the ROY A JODREY ran aground on Pullman Shoal, located at Wellesley Island in the St. Lawrence River near Alexandria Bay, New York. All of the crew was rescued. Early the next morning at 0305 hours she slid off the shoal, rolled on her side and sank in 150 feet of water.

Pittsburgh Steamship’s steamer RALPH H WATSON (Hull#285) was launched in 1937, at River Rouge, Michigan by Great Lakes Engineering Works.

On 20 November 1872, the side wheel steamer W J SPICER was finally laid up and the crew dismissed. She had served for many years as the Grand Trunk ferry at Fort Gratiot on the St. Clair River.

On 20 November 1880, BAY CITY (wooden barge, 199 foot, 480 tons, built in 1852, at Trenton, Michigan as the sidewheeler FOREST CITY) was carrying coal when she was cast adrift east of Erie, Pennsylvania by the steamer JAMES P DONALDSON in a storm. She was driven ashore and wrecked. Her crew was saved by the U.S. Lifesaving Service using breeches' buoy.

November 20, 1898. ANN ARBOR #3 left Cleveland, Ohio for Frankfort, Michigan on her maiden voyage.

November 20, 1924 - Pere Marquette fleet engineer Finlay Mac Laren died after 42 years with the railroad. He was succeeded by his brother Robert until Leland H. Kent was named fleet engineer in 1925.

On 20 Nov 1871, the schooner E B ALLEN was sailing from Chicago to Buffalo with a load of corn when she crossed the bow of the bark NEWSBOY about six miles off the Thunder Bay Light on Lake Huron. The NEWSBOY slammed her bow deep into the schooner's hull amidships and the ALLEN sank in about 30 minutes. The crew escaped in the yawl. The NEWSBOY was badly damaged but did not sink.

On 20 Nov 1999, the Bermuda-flag container ship CANMAR TRIUMPH went aground on the St. Lawrence River, off Varennes about 15 kilometers downstream from Montreal. She was the third vessel to run aground in the St. Lawrence River that Autumn. The Canadian Coast Guard reported that she was having engine problems and the CBC News reported that the vessel's rudder was damaged in the grounding.

On Saturday morning. 20 Nov 1999, Marinette Marine Corporation of Marinette, Wisconsin, launched the 175-foot Coast Guard Cutter HENRY BLAKE. The BLAKE was one of the "Keeper" Class Coastal Class Buoy Tenders. Each ship in the "Keeper" class is named after a famous American lighthouse keeper.

Data from: Joe Barr, Brian Johnson, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Steve Haverty and Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history



Tug Loses Control of Barges in Holland Harbor
Barge Beached at Holland

11/19 - 7:00 pm. Update - One barge remains on the beach at Holland State Park. Reports indicate that the group left Muskegon and was returning to Chicago with the Holly Ann in the lead. Increasing wind and waves prompted them to seek safe harbor at Holland. Around 10:30 while attempting an entry, the tug lost power and steering. The barges then hung up on the end of the north breakwater. The tug and one barge were pushed inside the breakwall and on the rocks which protect the structure. The other barge broke loose and was driven on the beach to the north. Plans to remove it are unknown at this time.

11/19 - Original Article - About 10:30 Friday morning, according to US Coast Guard reports, the Holly Marine Towing Co.'s tug Holly Ann was heading south along the shore of Lake Michigan near Holland towing two hopper barges. One of the barges broke free and is presently beached at Holland State Park, just north of the breakwater for the Holland harbor entrance.

It is thought that the tug lost power and was forced against the pier causing the barges to break loose. The tug and a second barge are in the Holland channel. The loose barge could be seen on the webcam at

The Coast Guard is working to get all the vessels back to shore. It's currently unknown if anyone was injured in the incident.

Reported by Bob VandeVusse & Joe Taylor



Harriman Cabins Arrive in DeTour Village

11/19 - Purvis tugs moved the barge carrying the forward cabins from the retired cement carrier Lewis G. Harriman from the Purvis Marine dock in Soo, Ontario to their new home in DeTour Village on Friday. The barge has been tied to the shore in front of the foundation that has been prepared at the location.

The barge moved through the MacArthur Lock on Thursday and was docked over night at the Purvis dock. The next effort will be to move the cabins from the barge onto the foundation. The cabins will be refurbished and become a summer home. The section that was preserved includes five levels from the pilothouse down to the anchor pockets and includes the officer, crew and guest quarters.

Images of the move through the lock, and the trip down the river, are posted at Harriman.

A pictorial history of the project progress is available here.



Port Reports - November 19

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
Courtney Burton called Seaway Long Point while in bound for the Buffalo North Entrance at 10:00 a.m. Friday morning. She was putting the boom in the hopper at General Mills about noon Friday. She is expected to depart sometime Saturday.

The ASC M/V Sam Laud was unloading coal at Gateway Metroport in Lackawanna at 11:15 a.m. Friday.

The Town of Hamburg had to delay plans for further improvements to the Seaway Trail Visitor's Center inside the old Wanakah Water Works along the Lakefront during mid November. Contractor bids came back about $125,000 higher than expected and the extra money was not available at that time. About $240,000 had been set aside for exterior repairs, walkways, and new staircases down to the lake. Plans my have to be downsized for the time being in an effort to get the majority of the work underway in the Spring of 2006 without further delays.

Welland Canal - Bill Bird
After riding at anchor for about 38 hours outside Port Weller, Voyageur Independent entered the Welland Canal shortly before midnight on Thursday on her maiden voyage under her new name. The former Kinsman Independent is owned by McKeil Marine of Hamilton, Ontario and is operated by Voyageur Marine Transit, along with Maritime Trader, which is owned by Wayne Elliott of Port Colborne.

The Independent was launched in 1952 as Charles L. Hutchinson and was renamed Ernest R. Breech in 1988. Purchased by Great Lakes Associates (Kinsman) in 1989 she operated until being laid up in December 2002. She spent a good part of 2005 in Hamilton were she received a new power plant.

Maritime Trader is the former Teakglen and was launched as Mantadoc in 1967.



Duluth Aquarium Predicts Bigger '06 Loss

Great Lakes Aquarium officials adopted a budget on Wednesday that projects the institution will lose more than $362,000 in 2006. That loss would come on the heels of a 2005 loss projected at $230,000. The aquarium last ended the year with a positive balance in 2003 -- $117,000, but lost $414,000 in 2004.
"It's as honest a budget as we can come up with," said Pat Schoff, chairman of the Lake Superior Center Board. The center is the private nonprofit corporation charged with oversight of the aquarium, which is owned by the state. The budget adopted Wednesday at the board's regular monthly meeting is a requirement of a 2004 contract between the aquarium and the city of Duluth.

The city-aquarium contract specifies that the aquarium will operate under an annual budget approved by the mayor. The contract also states that the mayor's approval "shall not be unreasonably withheld." The contract does not state that the budget requires City Council approval. The contract merely states the budget must be "reported" to the council.

The aquarium is coming off a summer season in which it saw its first solid attendance gains since opening in July 2000. Gains of 12.5 percent in June, 11.6 percent in July and 0.7 percent in August came on the strength of "The Abyss," a saltwater exhibit owned by Florida-based Ripley Entertainment, which operates the aquarium under contract. "It ain't pretty, but it's reality," board member Terry Mattson said of the 2006 budget.

Mattson, executive director of Visit Duluth, the city's convention and visitors bureau, said the aquarium was built on "unrealistic" attendance expectations. But he pointed to data that showed the aquarium this week will welcome its 10,000th school visitor for 2005 -- more than any year since its opening -- as evidence of success in education, its primary mission. "It seems to me that this is a good-faith effort to make a budget," said City Councilor Russ Stewart, who also is a member of the aquarium board. "There's no surprise here."

It was unclear after Wednesday's late-afternoon session whether aquarium officials will seek a new city subsidy. The City Council contributed $150,000 this year to help pay for "The Abyss." The city-aquarium contract stipulates that any subsidy must be approved by the City Council. Board members did not specifically address the subsidy issue on Wednesday.

In February, Schoff presented a five-year plan to the City Council that included several possible futures for the aquarium, including one that called for an annual city subsidy of $300,000 starting in 2006. "The subsidy is still on the table," Schoff said Wednesday.

Reported by Frank Frisk from the Duluth News Tribune


Photo Gallery Updates - November 19

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - November 19

On 19 November 1897, NAHANT (wooden propeller freighter, 213 foot, 1204 gross tons, built in 1873, at Detroit, Michigan) caught fire while docked near Escanaba, Michigan. Firefighters were hampered by sub-zero temperatures and she burned to a total loss. The fire jumped to the dock and did $300,000 worth of damage. Two of the crew were burned to death. The wreckage of the vessel was still visible from the Escanaba lighthouse 100 years later.

American Steamship’s SAM LAUD (Hull#712) was launched on this date in 1974, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

CONGAR was launched November 19, 1945, as a.) EMPIRE MALDON.

The keel for the JOHN T HUTCHINSON (Hull#1010) was laid November 19, 1942, at Cleveland, Ohio for the U.S. Maritime Commission.

The Kinsman Transit Co.’s steamer MERLE M MC CURDY was laid up for the last time at Buffalo, New York on November 19, 1985.

On 19 November 1842, the wooden schooner BRANDYWINE was carrying flour in a storm on Lake Erie when she capsized and then drifted to the beach near Barcelona, New York. One passenger's body was found in the cabin, but the entire crew of 6 was lost.

More incidents from the terrible storm swept the Lakes in mid-November 1886. On 18-19 November of that year, the Port Huron Times listed the vessels that were known to have foundered in that storm. Here is the list of vessels that foundered as it appeared on 19 November 1886. "The barge EMERALD near Kewaunee, 5 lost. The barge F M DICKINSON near Kewaunee, 3 lost. Two unknown schooners (one supposed to be the HELEN) near Port Sherman. One unknown schooner near Hog Island Reef. The barge NORTH STAR near East Tawas, the fate of the crew is unknown." The list then continues with vessels ashore. "The barge WALLACE and consort on Choclay Beach, east of Marquette. The schooner SOUTH HAVEN near Pt. Sherman. The schooner MARY near Blenheim, Ontario. The schooner PATHFINDER near Two Rivers, the cargo and vessel are a total loss. The schooner CUYAHOGA and two scows in North Bay. The schooner P S MARSH and an unknown schooner at St. Ignace. The schooner HARVEY BISSELL near Alpena. The propeller CITY OF NEW YORK near Cheboygan. The schooner KOLFAGE near Goderich, Ontario has broken up. The propeller NASHUA on Grass Island, Green Bay. The barge BISSELL near Kewaunee. The schooner GOLDEN below China Beach. The propeller BELLE CROSS and barges across from China Beach. The schooner FLORIDA on Marquette Beach is a total loss. And the barges BUCKOUT, MC DOUGALL, BAKER, GOLDEN HARVEST near East Tawas.

The schooner HATTIE JOHNSTON sailed from Milwaukee loaded with 26,000 bushels of wheat on the night of 19 November 1879, and then a severe gale swept Lake Michigan. After two weeks, she was presumed lost with all hands. Aboard were Capt. D. D. Prouty, his wife and 8 crewmen.

On 19 Nov 1886, the steamer MANISTIQUE was towing the schooner-barges MARINETTE and MENEKAUNEE, all loaded with lumber, in a NW gale on Lake Michigan. The gale lasted three days. The barges broke loose after a long fight against the elements and both were wrecked near Frankfort, Michigan. 6 of the 7 aboard the MARINETTE were lost including the woman cook and her 13-year old daughter. The MENEKAUNEE broke up before the Lifesaving Service could get to her and all seven aboard died. When the Lifesaving Service arrived on the beach, they found a jumbled mass of lumber and gear and the ship's dog keeping watch over the dead bodies. The dog also died soon after the Lifesaving crew arrived.

EMPIRE MALDON (steel tanker, 343 foot, 3734 gross tons) was launched on 19 November 1945, by Sir James Laing & Sons, Ltd., at Sunderland, United Kingdom for the British Ministry of War Transport She was sold to Imperial Oil Co. of Canada in 1946, and renamed IMPERIAL HALIFAX and served on the Maritime Provinces-East Coast trade. In 1969, she was purchased by Johnstone Shipping, Ltd. of Toronto and served on the Great Lakes. She lasted until 1977, when she was scrapped by United Metals, Ltd. in Hamilton, Ontario.

On Friday morning, 19 Nov 1999, shortly after leaving the ADM dock in Windsor, the salty AVDEEVKA lost power in the Fighting Island Channel of the Detroit River. The main engine on the vessel quit while she was abreast of Grassy Island and she began drifting downstream. The stern anchor was dropped and then the port side bow anchor. She began swinging towards the middle of the channel with her stern outside the channel when the main engine was restarted and she headed back upstream for the Belle Isle anchorage. Once in the anchorage a team from the U.S. Coast Guard boarded the vessel to investigate. She was released the next day. It is reported that the vessel lost power due to main fuel valve being left closed after routine maintenance during her stay at the ADM dock.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Steve Haverty and Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Lake Erie Water Level Remains Low

11/18 - The Thursday morning NOAA report declares the water level in the western basin of Lake Erie to be 25-inches below low water datum.

At 0700, South Bass Island was reporting 30-knot west winds and the buoy north of Vermilion (OH) was telling its handlers the wave height was seven feet with a water temperature of 49-degrees.

Winds are expected to diminish later Thursday, allowing vessels to resume normal movement.

Reported by Jim Spencer



Muskegon Report

11/18 - As a prelude to Wednesday's wintry blast, last Sunday's windstorm claimed more than trees and powerlines. It also helped sink an 80-foot barge moored on Muskegon Lake.The barge, owned by Franklin Contractors, was tied up to the West Michigan Dock Market Corp.'s northwest seawall. The vessel is used mainly as a launch site for fireworks during Muskegon Summer Celebration and other special events.

According to Mart Dock harbor master Larry Myers, the barge was battered by waves running five to six feet high. He said owner Steve Franklin had been working on the barge, and the waves sent water crashing through deck hatches that had been left open.

The accumulation of lake water inside the barge eventually caused it to list to port, with its side coming to rest on the lake bottom in 26 feet of water at about 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Part of the pilot house and starboard side are still above water. "Sometimes these things happen. It just took on too much water," Myers said. "There wasn't too much we could do but keep it secure."

After the weather calms down, Myers said the barge would be refloated by pumping air into it, he said.Franklin was out of town and could not be reached for comment.

From The Muskegon Chronicle reported by Archie Lumbert



Strategy will Breathe New Life into Shipyards

11/18 - Thunder Bay, ON - An announcement Wednesday from MP Ken Boshcoff could be very good news for local industry, suppliers and trades people. Mr. Boshcoff is involved in a push to revitalize the shipbuilding industry on the Great Lakes. Boshcoff says there will be a growing need for such service, given the aging state of the Great Lakes fleet. And he says its essential the federal government develop a strategy to assist the domestic shipbuilding and ship repair industry. Thunder Bay's Pascol engineering has not built a vessel since 1986 but continues to provide repair services.

The Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP met with policy makers Wednesday to discuss a federal strategy that will revitalize shipbuilding and ship repair in Canada. Boshcoff met Wednesday with cabinet members, senators and MPs interested in breathing new life into the industry. ''I believe that a Canadian strategy that will lead to more shipbuilding work for Canada will lead to more ship repair, upgrading and maintenance work for Pascol Engineering right here in Thunder Bay'' he said. A shipbuilding industry profile shows that most establishments are located in small communities and provide high wage jobs that are important to local economies.

Current information show that a $100 million Dutch contract for Port Weller allows Thunder Bay to acquire more repair work. this winter, Pascol Engineering has four ships in dry dock, resulting in approximately 100 people working. Pascol Engineering no longer builds ships - the last one was manufactured in 1986.

Boshcoff continued, ''Industry and manufacturing need to be supported and the Federal strategy will be very helpful to Thunder Bay. Welders especially may benefit from the strategy. Because Pascol has the tools, equipment and skilled labour for large fabrication and heavy machinery, these policy improvements in Canada's ship repair regime will assist the company. I thank Industry Minister David Emerson for his efforts on behalf of shipbuilding manufacturers in spearheading continued support of the shipbuilding and repair industry in Canada.''

There are close to 70 aging lakers most of which will need replacement within the next decade, representing $1 billion of shipyard work. In addition, a large volume of federal government procurement is expected to start in the next few years. A more favourable program environment will ensure that they are built, repaired and maintained in Canada.

Despite challenges of a heavily subsidized global market, Canadian yards have carved out competitive niches, like tugs, yachts, offshore and inshore patrol boats, icebreakers, ferries and offshore supply vessels, in key markets in Europe, Latin America and for yachts in the US.

From the Thunder Bay Source



Harriman Cabins Moved to Soo, Ontario
DeTour Village Next Stop

11/18 - Purvis tugs moved the barge and cabins through the MacArthur Lock around noon on Thursday and were docked at the Purvis Marine dock in Soo, Ontario by 1:30 p.m.

Weather permitting, the move to DeTour is scheduled for Friday. Images of the move through the lock are posted at Harriman.

A pictorial history of the project progress is available here.



Photo Gallery Updates - November 18

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - November 18

On 18 November 1869, EQUATOR (wooden propeller package freighter, 184 foot, 621 tons, built in 1857, at Buffalo, New York) was trying to pull the schooner SOUTHWEST off a reef near North Manitou Island on Lake Michigan. A storm swept in and EQUATOR foundered in the relatively shallow water. She was thought to be unsalvageable but was re-floated in 1870. Her hull was extensively rebuilt and became the barge ELDORADO in 1871, while her engine was used in the tug BISMARCK.

The CARL D BRADLEY was lost in a violent storm on Lake Michigan on November 18, 1958.

The CANADIAN OLYMPIC's sea trials were conducted on 18 November 1976. Her maiden voyage was on 28 November 1976, to load coal at Conneaut, Ohio for Nanticoke, Ontario. Her name honors the Olympic Games that were held at Montreal that year.

The bow and stern sections of the vessel that was to become the STEWART J CORT were built by Ingalls Shipbuilding Division, Litton Systems, Inc., Pascagoula, MS, as hull 1173. That 182 foot vessel, known as "STUBBY" was launched on 18 Nov 1969. "STUBBY" sailed under its own power from the Gulf of Mexico through the St. Lawrence Seaway and Welland Canal to Erie, Pennsylvania where the sections were cut apart by Erie Marine, Inc. and the 818 foot mid section was added -- making the Lakes first thousand footer.

The ASHCROFT was launched November 18, 1924, as a) GLENIFFER.

On 18 November 1873, the tug CRUSADER was launched at 1:20 p.m. at the Leighton & Dunford yard in Port Huron, Michigan. Her dimensions were 138 foot overall, 125 foot keel, 23 foot beam, and 12 foot depth. She was built for Mr. G. E. Brockway of Port Huron.

On 18 November 1842, CHICAGO (wooden passenger & package freight sidewheeler, 105 foot, 166 tons, built in 1837, at St. Joseph, Michigan) was struck by a gale between Ashtabula and Conneaut in Lake Erie. She lost both of her stacks and became unmanageable when her fires went out. She was driven ashore about 3 miles east of Silver Creek, New York and was wrecked. About 60 persons were on board and amazingly no lives were lost.

On 18 November 1882, DROMEDARY (wooden propeller, 120 foot, 255 gross tons, built in 1868, at Port Dalhousie, Ontario) burned to a total loss at the dock at Hamilton, Ontario when her banked fires overheated. She was owned by Burroughs & Co. No lives were lost.

A terrible storm swept the Lakes in mid-November 1886. On 18-19 November of that year, the Port Huron Times listed the vessels that were known to have foundered in that storm. Here is the list as it appeared on 18 November 1886. "The barge CHARLES HINCKLEY is ashore near Alpena. The schooner P S MARCH is ashore at St. Ignace. She will probably go to pieces. The schooner THOMAS P SHELDON is ashore about 10 miles north of Alpena. The crew were rescued by the tug HAND. The schooner NELLIE REDINGTON is reported going to pieces at Two Rivers. Three of her crew reached harbor all right, but the other 7 men on board are in danger of their lives. The coal barges F M DICKINSON and EMERALD were driven ashore at Kewaunee, Wisconsin Wednesday morning [17 Nov]. Three of the DICKINSON's crew were drowned, the other four floated ashore on a plank. The EMERALD's crew started ashore in the yawl, but 5 were drowned.

On 18 November 1881, the schooner JAMES PLATT left Bay City with a cargo of lumber for Chicago. However, she was wrecked on Lake Michigan during a terrible snow storm during the first week of December and never made it to Chicago. The storm lasted two full days and six of the crew survived but the rest were lost.

The ANN ARBOR NO 4 ran aground on Green Isle, the island in Green Bay to the north of her course between Sturgeon Bay and Menominee on 18 Nov 1913. ANN ARBOR NO 3 pulled her off undamaged after about 2 hours work.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Max Hanley, Steve Haverty and Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history



Harriman Cabins Move to DeTour Village Getting Closer

11/17 - 2:00 p.m. Update - Purvis tugs moved the barge and cabins through the MacArthur Lock around noon and were docked at the Purvis Marin dock in Soo, Ontario by 1:30 p.m. Weather permitting, the move to DeTour is scheduled for Friday. Images of the move through the lock are posted at Harriman.

11/17 - 7:00 a.m. - Original Article - Weather permitting, the barge carrying the forward cabins from the retired cement carrier Lewis G. Harriman could move through the Soo Locks on Thursday. The plan is to move the barge as far as the Purvis Marine dock on Thursday, then down the river to DeTour on Friday.

The cabin owners, Marc and Jill Vander Meulen, ask anyone who catches the images on the Soo cams to forward the images to them.

A pictorial history of the project progress is available here.



Lonesome Barge Beached
Missing Barge found in Sandusky Bay

11/17 - A spoils barge (originally reported as a garbage barge) that somehow slipped away from its tug earlier in the day was found Tuesday night near the Thomas Edison Memorial Bridge. The empty barge was found at about 6 p.m., stuck in shallow water in Sandusky Bay, 2-3 miles from the Sandusky docks, said Petty Officer Matthew Schofield from the U.S. Coast Guard District 9 office in Cleveland.

The barge came loose from the tug Kurt R. Luedtke sometime early Tuesday on its voyage from Sandusky to Cleveland, Schofield said. The operator of the tug, which was towing two barges, did not notice the 150-foot by 50-foot barge was missing until he arrived in Cleveland, Schofield said.

Officials from Luedtke Engineering Corp., the tug boat owners, found the barge as they flew overhead in an airplane, he said. The search may have been aided by a call from a Cleveland radio station, which called in a sighting reported to them near the Edison Bridge, Schofield said. The information was forwarded to Coast Guard Station Marblehead, but Schofield was not sure if the message was passed to the tug boat owners before they found the barge. "I'll have to call them back and tell them thanks," he said.

It's still unclear how the barge got away. A Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit will investigate the incident, Schofield said. Crews from three Coast Guard stations spent parts of Tuesday looking for the missing barge. "We want to keep the navigable waters clear from any obstructions," Schofield said.

The first call came into the Coast Guard's Buffalo office at about 3:30 a.m., Schofield said. The call was sent to the Marblehead station at about 4 a.m., Petty Officer Josh Johnson said. The station gathered more information before searching Lake Erie between Sandusky and Vermilion, the eastern-most edge of its coverage area, he said.

A crew of six guardsmen searched with its 47-foot boat from 4:45-9:45 a.m. without success, Johnson said. Boats from the Coast Guard stations in Lorain and Cleveland were launched at about 8:30 a.m., Schofield said. A C-130 cargo plane from Canada also helped.

From the Sandusky Register reported by Steven Myers and Jim Spencer



High Winds, Snow Batter EUP Again

11/17 - Eastern Upper Peninsula - The by-now familiar moan of yet another November gale brought scattered power outages, downed trees, at least one school delay and another indefinite partial closure of the Mackinac Bridge early today.

By daybreak, in a storm forecast to persist through the day with gale-force winds and periodic heavy snow, several areas were reportedly without electric power as crews struggle to restore power to some neighborhoods darkened in Sunday's even stronger storm. Power was reportedly out in the area immediately west of Rudyard, the Chubb Creek area and parts of Fibre and Brimley as well as an area east of Kinross, in addition to at least one neighborhood of Sault Ste. Marie early today.

At Newberry, no power outages were apparent to law enforcement agencies, but heavy snow that started well before daybreak caused blizzard conditions to prevail there. The power failure in the Rudyard area was the second in 48 hours as power crews from Cloverland Electric Cooperative worked overtime to repair lines still down from Sunday's gale. Cloverland reported some 1,200 customers remained without power early Tuesday, before the latest storm system crossed the area.

Most area schools had classes as usual through the early hours of today's gale. On Drummond Island, however, the Drummond School was delayed two hours by weather conditions there. As was the case on Sunday, the Mackinac Bridge was again closed to high-profile vehicles early Wednesday. Other vehicles were permitted to cross the Straits, however. Officially southwest wind speeds were recorded at a steady 20 mph with gusts to 33 mph at City Airport in Sault Ste. Marie although wind speeds in less sheltered areas to the south were certainly much higher.

On the Lakes, storm-force winds gusting from 40 to 60 mph accompanied the early-morning gale, forcing nine ships to anchor in the St. Marys River as of early Wednesday.

The snows will come later in the day as steadily-falling temperatures and a wind shift usher in classic lake-effect snow showers. In several bulletins issued early today, the US Weather Service warned that a sharp blast of cold air will move into the region this evening as the high winds moderate behind the fast-moving autumn storm system. Revised forecasts call for temperatures to fall from the mid 30s to as low as 18 tonight as arctic air finds the Eastern UP for the first time this season.

Snow accumulations are likely with two to seven inches expected on the ground and blowing and drifting snow making some roads difficult in the wake of a low-pressure system rapidly crossing the region. Heavy snowfall and still-strong winds are forecast especially for areas west of I-75 as the first taste of winter weather closes in on the region. A gradual improvement is expected later tonight as the winds moderate and shift to northwest and due north, setting the stage for the lake effect snow machine downwind of Lake Superior.

Reported by Joseph Woytta from the Soo Evening News



Welcome Planned for New Mackinaw

11/17 - Cheboygan - A gala event is being planned for Dec. 17, the day the new U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw will arrive in Cheboygan. “This is really going to be something,” said Jim Stevens, one of three co-chairmen of a task force organized to welcome the ship to town. “Our community did a great job when the original Mackinaw came here in 1944 and now we want to put on the same type of show. We're excited about the beginning of a new era with a new ship, captain and crew.” Stevens and a committee of more than 20 people have been meeting since last summer planning the day, but have been waiting for finalization of an arrival date for the 240-foot icebreaker, launched in April at Marinette, Wis. Now that the date of arrival is certain, the group is kicking into high gear with preparations for a welcoming ceremony, a downtown parade, presentation of the key to the city and a reception at the Gold Dust Ballroom to top it off.

Already planned are a welcome ceremony where people will be able to await and greet the new cutter at 11 a.m. on the west side of the Cheboygan River as it enters from Lake Huron. The original Mackinaw, awaiting one last winter of icebreaking duty, is scheduled to be at the Millard D. Olds Memorial Moorings and will share in the festivities. The committee envisions a scene where the ship eases to the dock, cheered by throngs along the shore waving American flags and accompanied by the music of high school bands. County and city dignitaries, representatives of surrounding communities and political allies of the ship will be invited to a ceremony aboard, with the proceedings to be heard on both sides of the river.

A parade will then assemble to follow a route through the downtown area to Washington Park. Units from both Coast Guard vessels, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, area veterans groups, bands and Scouting organizations are being invited to partake along with a unit of former Mackinaw crewmen residing in the area. At the park, Capt. Donald Triner of the new Mackinaw will be presented with a key to the city of Cheboygan. Tours of the new Mackinaw and the original Mackinaw will follow that afternoon, and officers and crew of both ships have accepted an invitation to a reception afterwards. Details are being worked out for the reception, with current plans calling for only 238 tickets to be sold for the one-of-a-kind event.

“It's a festive time of the year and people want to be out for something as exciting as this,” Stevens said. “To actually see this ship come into its home port for the first time will be something people will never forget. It is history being made.” “I'm very impressed by the welcome that Cheboygan is talking about,” Triner said of the plans. “I'm a slave to history, so to speak. I think it's fabulous that they are going with so many of the details that welcomed the first Mackinaw to town in 1944.” “We want to show the new crew that they and their families are welcomed home,” Stevens continued. “Like the current crew, some of the Coast Guardsmen are stationed here for only a couple of years but we've found that many return and end up living here after they are out of the service. We probably have some of the largest numbers of retired Coast Guard people in the country.



Soo Locks Season Winding Down

11/17 - Fifty-Nine days until the Soo Locks are closed for the winter (1/15/06). 129 days until the Soo Locks are open for the 2006 shipping season (3/25/06). 226 days until Engineers Day at the Soo Locks!!(6/30/06)



Photo Gallery Updates - November 17

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - November 17

On 17 November 1884, PHOENIX (wooden propeller wrecking tug, 173 gross tons, built in 1862, at Cleveland, Ohio) caught fire in one of her coal bunkers at 7:00 a.m. while she was tied up to the C. S. R. Railroad slip at Amherstburg, Ontario. Several vessels, including the Dunbar tug SHAUGHRAUN and the steam barge MARSH, tried to save her. The SHAUGHRAUN finally got a line on her and pulled her away from the dock and towed her near Norwell’s wharf where she burned and sank.

On 17 Nov 1969, the RIDGETOWN (steel propeller bulk freighter, 557 foot, 7637 gross tons, built in 1905, at Chicago, Illinois as WILLIAM E COREY) was laid up at Toronto for the last time with a load of grain. In the Spring of 1970, Upper Lakes Shipping, Ltd. sold her to Canadian Dredge & Dock Co., Ltd. of Toronto. She was sunk at Nanticoke, Ontario for use as a temporary breakwater during the construction of harbor facilities in the Summer of 1970. Still later, she was raised and sunk again in the Summer of 1974, as a breakwater to protect marina facilities at Port Credit, Ontario.

On November 17, 1984, the EUGENE P THOMAS was towed by the TUG MALCOLM to Thunder Bay, Ontario for scrapping by Shearmet.

In the morning of 17 November 1926, the PETER A B WIDENER (steel straight-deck bulk freighter, 580 foot, 7053 gross tons, built in 1906, at Chicago, Illinois) was running up bound on Lake Superior in ballast when it encountered strong Northeasterly winds. About six miles Southwest of the Rock of Ages Light on Isle Royale, the captain gave orders to change course for Duluth, Minnesota. There was no response because the wheel chains had parted from the drum, thus disabling the rudder. Repairs cost $4,000.

On 15 Nov 1972, the MICHIPICOTEN (steel straight-deck bulk freighter, 549 foot, 6490 gross tons, built in 1905, at W. Bay City, Michigan as HENRY C FRICK) departed Quebec in tow of Polish tug KORAL for scrapping in Spain. The tow encountered bad weather and the MICHIPICOTEN broke in two during a major fall storm on the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Her forward section sank on 17 November off Anticosti Island, and the after section sank the next day.

The propeller JOHN STUART burned about two miles from Seewaing, Michigan at 9:00 p.m., 17 November 1872. She had been aground there for some time.

On 17 November 1887, ARIZONA (wooden propeller package freighter, 189 foot, 962 gross tons, built in 1868, at Cleveland, Ohio) was carrying oils and acid used in mining operations when her dangerous cargo caught fire as she approached the harbor at Marquette, Michigan in heavy seas. Poisonous fumes drove all of the crew topside, leaving the vessel unmanageable. She ran against the breakwater and the crew jumped off. The burning steamer "chased" the crew down the breakwater toward town with the poisonous fumes blowing ashore. She finally beached herself and burned herself out. She was later recovered and rebuilt.

On 17 November 1873, the wooden 2-mast schooner E M CARRINGTON sank in nine feet of water at Au Sable, Michigan. She had a load of 500 barrels of flour and 7,000 bushels of grain. She was recovered and lasted another seven years.

On 17 November 1880, GARIBALDI (2-mast wooden schooner, 124 foot, 209 tons, built in 1863, at Port Rowan, Ontario) was carrying coal in a storm on Lake Ontario. She anchored to ride out the storm, but after riding out the gale for 15 hours, her anchor cable parted and her crew was forced to try to bring her into Weller’s Bay. She stranded on the bar. One of the crew froze solid in a standing position and his ghost is supposed to still haunt that area. The vessel was recovered and rebuilt. She lasted until at least 1898.

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


Storm sends GLF boats to anchor
Other vessels seek shelter around the lakes

11/16 - Most of Great Lakes Fleets’ ships were at anchor or waiting in port Tuesday afternoon as a winter storm swept across the upper lakes.

Anchored in the Straits of Mackinac were Roger Blough, bound for Gary, Arthur M. Anderson, bound for Buffington, and Cason J. Callaway, bound for Stoneport.

Waiting for weather in Stoneport was Philip R. Clarke, while John G. Munson remained in Calcite, waiting for weather with a cargo destined for the Hallett 8 dock in Superior.

Reported by Al Miller

Detroit & St. Clair Rivers
The winds in the Lower Michigan area have significantly altered the shipping of the lakes fleet. The water level at Ft. Gratiot (head of the St. Clair River) has dropped 23 inches below normal and Gibralter (lower Detroit River) is now down 16 inches and falling rapidly. Twelve vessels have sought refuge in the river system or in anchorage in the lower lake until water levels return to a safe running level,

Reported by Frank Frisk from Vantage Point

Lakes Erie & Ontario
As of 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, Halifax and Cedarglen were in the anchorage behind Lake Erie's Long Point, while Blue Wing was in the Port Colborne anchorage.

The Port Weller anchorage, in Lake Ontario, was the temporary home to Voyageur Independent, Atlantic Erie, Utviken, Isadora, and Canadian Navigator. English River was tied up at Wharf #1 inside the canal entrance.

John D. Leitch was anchored behind Prince Edward Point in eastern Lake Ontario, while CSL Laurentian and Federal Oshima were anchored near Carleton Island at the entrance to the St. Lawrence River.

James Norris was riding at anchor in Hamilton Harbour.



Photo Gallery Updates - November 16

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Port Reports - November 16

Muskegon - Herm Phillips
After having a fairly busy season the Paul H. Townsend entered winter lay-up at the West Michigan Mart Dock in Muskegon late in the evening on Saturday. However, if demand warrants she may come back out.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
Monday morning the Earl W. Oglebay arrived at Lafarge after being delayed by the weather on Sunday. It unloaded cargo into the storage hopper on the other side of the coal dock.

Around 1:00 p.m. on Monday, another vessel appeared on the horizon. The Buffalo, loaded with coal for Lafarge waited offshore for the departure of the Oglebay. In less than an hour another vessel arrived in the bay- the Cuyahoga which is also expected to unload at Lafarge.

The Buffalo got into port by early evening and proceeded to unload coal. Overnight and throughout Tuesday gale force winds kept the Buffalo tied up at the dock and the Cuyahoga anchored in the bay. The Steamer Alpena joined the Cuyahoga at anchor on Tuesday morning.

The G.L Ostrander /barge Integrity and the J.A.W Iglehart are both on their way back to Alpena to load cement, but it is unknown when they will arrive due to the weather.

DeTour - Steve
The weather caused a small fleet of vessels to anchor in lower St. Marys river Tuesday starting with the Philip R. Clarke, then St. Clair, Courtney Burton, and CSL Tadoussac before it got dark.

Duluth-Superior - Al Miller
With a gale warning in effect for much of Wednesday, it was a good day to be working in port. In Superior, James R. Barker was loading at Midwest Energy Terminal on Wednesday morning. Herbert C. Jackson was tucked into CHS’ berth 2, a tight spot for a ship that length. Across the harbor, two short salties were tied up at the Duluth Port Terminal. Annalisa was under the whirley cranes with a load of steel coils. Behind her was Fairlane, a heavy-lift vessel bearing a load of giant equipment to be shipped by special train to the oil fields of western Canada.



How Lake Ontario's Ferry's Faring
Need for better marketing, especially in Canada

11/16 - Rochester NY - While the high-speed ferry was heralded for its promise to put Rochester on the tourism map, 69 percent of its passengers thus far are leaving the city with Toronto as their destination, according to a report released Monday. The survey, commissioned by operator Rochester Ferry Co., showed just 22 percent of passengers were coming to Rochester and the Finger Lakes region. Initial estimates were that about half the passengers were traveling from Canada. "That is clearly the challenge for the future of the fast ferry and whether it will be successful," said Mayor-elect Robert Duffy about attracting travelers to Rochester as well as sending them on their way.

Rochester Ferry provided passenger and ridership data to the Democrat and Chronicle on Monday. Additional financial data were released in response to an open records request the newspaper filed in early October. Ferry officials point to the destination figures as a starting point to push Toronto and Canada to chip in money for marketing the ferry service. But they say ferry numbers also highlight inadequate marketing to Canadians and the ongoing struggle to boost ridership and thus revenue. September ridership dropped to 25,935 — the lowest total for a full month since service started June 30, but closest to targets for any month so far, said City Councilman Benjamin Douglas, president of the ferry board. A slowdown in ridership was expected heading into fall.

The city backed a $40 million loan, created the ferry board and bought the high-speed ferry for $32 million in February. The ferry board then hired manager Bay Ferries Great Lakes and service began June 30. The mid-season start and lack of marketing hurt initial numbers. Bay Ferries also had to win over a skeptical public after the ferry's previous operator abruptly shut down service last year. A progress report last month showed an operating deficit. Financial data released Monday confirmed that, combined with other expenses, an $8 million reserve had fallen to $2.5 million as of Aug. 31.

Douglas promised a full report in mid-December on financial issues and projections for next year. However, he declined to answer whether cash flow had improved for September and October, or to comment on the status of the reserve. "We can't even go into '06 without putting that on the table," Douglas said. "But we don't want to put out piecemeal information out of context."

The ferry is expected to suspend service for January and February, However, while committed to a spring startup, Douglas declined to reaffirm a March 1 restart date. While ferry officials ask for patience, Lee Selover, president of the Harbor Merchants Association, speaks of frustration. "We should know what's going on," he said, adding that he wants a commitment from Duffy to keep the ship sailing on a regular schedule for the benefit not just of Charlotte neighborhood businesses but the entire city. "This is huge. It's just they're not doing a damn thing with it."

The ship's success figures significantly in the region's success. With the ferry running in 2004, the Greater Rochester Visitors Association asked the state for $3 million in added tourism dollars for upstate. The money was cut and then vetoed as the ferry disappeared. The association has asked for $2 million next year, said spokeswoman Patti Donoghue. Through it all, ferry officials have a clear mission: to maximize revenue. "From a comfort level, expenses are on budget," said Vince Carfagna, the city finance director who also serves on the ferry board. "The issue is really ridership." Average per-trip ridership for September was 309 passengers, according to newspaper calculations. That compares with 239 in July and 402 in August. Rochester Ferry Co. reduced its schedule twice during September to account for rising fuel prices and declining ridership.

Further financial detail showed passenger ticket revenue at $1.7 million through Aug. 31, while budgeted at nearly $5.5 million. The shortfalls continue to accumulate in vehicle revenue and onboard revenue, the latter from sales of food and merchandise. Instead of the budgeted $8.3 million, the ship generated less than $2.8 million. Fuel costs and ongoing pilotage fees all but erased cushions built into the conservative estimates. Fuel was $2.1 million, while budgeted at $1.6 million. Pilotage fees, paid per trip because the ship lacks trained U.S. pilots and must sail under the Bahamian flag, totaled $375,450 while budgeted at $2,500. "If we can do our planning and preparation and give the fast ferry the opportunity it deserves for a full year ... at that point, we can make our best assessment," Duffy said, adding that his remarks were speculative since he has not yet been briefed on the ferry.

From the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle


Grand River ferry aims for Canada
Route can start faster than Cleveland's

11/16 - Painesville Township, OH - A Canadian shipping company has floated another Lake Erie ferry proposal, this one to run from Port Burwell, Ontario, to Lake County. Seaport Management, based in Jarvis, Ontario, envisions mainly large commercial and some high-speed passenger ferries arriving and departing from a port near Mentor Headlands Beach State Park at the Painesville Township-Grand River border.

The proposal competes with a well-funded plan by the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority to launch commercial shipping boats between Cleveland and Port Stanley, Ontario, sometime in 2007. Lake County officials said Seaport Chairman Kent Kristensen, who has a home in Geauga County, has met with development officials near Port Burwell and is courting a Danish ferry company to provide the boats. Kristensen was in Canada this week to meet again with Canadian officials and could not be reached for comment.

Grand River Mayor Christopher Conley and State Rep. Tim Cassell, a Madison Democrat, are on already on board. "This can happen, and it can happen here sooner than people realize," Conley said. "It can be a boon to the economy all around Northeast Ohio." Cassell said speed and location are the main selling point. The trip across Lake Erie to Lake County would take about two hours and fifteen minutes - an hour less than the proposed route to Cleveland.
But the Cleveland plan has the lead in cash, gaining some $6 million in federal transportation money this year toward construction of a terminal near North Coast Harbor. "We haven't heard too much about this other proposal, but we feel pretty confident about our plan once Canada resolves some issues with the harbor over there," said Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority spokeswoman Geri Waters.

The Cleveland and Lake County plans differ from another proposal being studied by the Lorain Port Authority to ferry passengers to the Lake Erie islands or Cedar Point. That proposal, which received $600,000 in federal transportation money to study, does not involve commercial shipping. In Cleveland, port authority officials have said they would like to start service next spring, but are stalled until the Canadian government turns Port Stanley over to local officials. "There just isn't really anyone to negotiate with over there yet," Waters said.

That delay gives Kristensen's plan a shot because Port Burwell is already locally controlled, Grand River's Conley said. He and Cassell said Grand River and Painesville Township could consider a Joint Economic Development District to support a new port near Mentor Headlands Beach State Park, on property owned by a partnership that includes developer Jerome T. Osborne.

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer


Bleak Area may get New Detroit River Crossing

11/16 - Detroit - The politically charged process of selecting a site for another bridge or tunnel between southeast Michigan and Ontario has zeroed in on one of the bleakest neighborhoods in Michigan. Monday, a bi-national group conducting a $25 million study of border congestion announced that a 2 1/2 -mile stretch of the Detroit River centered on the Delray neighborhood in Detroit is the preferred site for another bridge or tunnel. A spot will be selected in 2007, with construction expected to last up to six years. The group of Michigan, Ontario, United States and Canadian transportation officials ruled out two top contenders for the crossing: The Jobs Tunnel -- a plan to expand an existing train tunnel to handle trucks -- and plans to twin the Ambassador Bridge. Both would cost about $400 million.

"We're going to fight this right to the end," said Mary Loubriel, 48, a member of the Delray Community Council, a neighborhood group. "We're on an upswing. We need a chance to come back. We don't want to disappear for trucks." The stakes are huge, not just for Delray but the state. The nation's busiest commercial gateway, the Detroit-Windsor border handles some $100 billion in trade a year. Without another crossing, Michigan and Ontario will lose 48,000 jobs a year by 2020, according to the group, the Border Transportation Partnership.

Delray is in a fight for its existence. It's a fight some residents admit may not make much sense to outsiders. The neighborhood is one of the most polluted in Michigan. On some streets, torched houses and vacant lots are more common than occupied structures. "As a non-priest, I might do the same thing (and put the bridge here,)" said the Rev. Barnabas G. Kiss, pastor of the Holy Cross Hungarian Roman Catholic Church. "It's an ugly neighborhood. We have no interests. No one is standing up for us. We have to stand up for ourselves. Some people look at this territory as nowhere and treat us as non-humans without history or culture. It's terrible."

The church has been in the neighborhood since 1905. That's the year Detroit annexed the former suburb into the city. Once a working-class hub where residents walked to factories, the racially mixed neighborhood of 5,000 residents is bordered by the Ambassador Bridge, Zug Island, Fort Street and the river. Local landmarks include the Detroit Water and Sewerage treatment plant, factories that belch yellow smoke and the Hungarian church. The church has spent millions in recent years bullet-proofing its 26-foot-high stained glass windows and restoring 80-year-old oak pews, gold-leaf altar, masonry work and a statue outside of Jesus Christ. On Sundays, about 300 parishioners come from as far as Toledo and Flint for bilingual services. "It looks like we have no say," Kiss said. "We have no information or anywhere to turn."

Ben Kohrman, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Transportation, said "sound technical analysis" of community, economic and environmental effects narrowed site selection to Delray. Both governments would have to issue permits necessary to build a bridge or tunnel, but Jobs Tunnel spokeswoman Marge Byington insisted her plan remains viable. "We have multiple options," she said, but did not elaborate.

Dan Stamper, president of the private company that owns the Ambassador Bridge, did not return a call seeking comment. In the past, he's said the bridge is moving forward with a $400 million plan to add 100 inspection booths and expand the truck gateway, regardless of what the bi-national group decides.

From the Detroit News


Today in Great Lakes History - November 16

On 16 November 1870, BADGER STATE (3-mast wooden bark, 150 foot, 302 tons, built in 1853, at Milwaukee, Wisconsin) stranded and wrecked at Sleeping Bear Dune on Lake Michigan during a storm.

The tug portion of the PRESQUE ISLE (Hull#322) built by Halter Marine Services, New Orleans, Louisiana, was up bound in the Welland Canal on November 16,1973, en route to Erie, Pennsylvania to join with the barge.

FRED R WHITE JR (Hull#722) was launched in 1978, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

On 16 Nov 1909, the JAMES S DUNHAM (steel propeller bulk freighter, 420 foot, 4795 gross tons, built in 1906, at W. Bay City, Michigan) encountered heavy seas and began hitting bottom where charts indicated 35 feet of water, even though she was in ballast and only drawing 17 feet of water. Rather than risk tearing the bottom out of her, the captain decided to beach her at Marble Point, just east of the Bad River outlet. After the heavy snow showers cleared, a message in a bottle was floated ashore to an observer.

The steel bulk freighters SIR JAMES DUNN and GEORGIAN BAY in tow of the Panamanian tug MC THUNDER arrived at Aliaga, Turkey for scrapping on 16 Nov 1989, 129 days after departing Thunder Bay.

On 16 November 1887, PACIFIC (wooden propeller freighter, 187 foot, 766 gross tons, built in 1864, at Cleveland, Ohio) was loaded with lumber bound from Deer Park, Michigan for Michigan City, Indiana. After leaving the dock, she grounded on a shoal due to low water levels. The nearby Lifesaving Service took her crew off and then returned for the captain's dog. She was broken up by a gale on 19 November.

In 1892, the ANN ARBOR #1 arrived at Frankfort, Michigan on her maiden trip.

November 16, 1990 - MWT ceased operations, ending more than a century of carferry service. The last run was made by the BADGER, with Capt. Bruce Masse in command.

In 1981, Interlake’s JOHN SHERWIN entered lay-up in Superior, Wisconsin and has not seen service since.

On 16 November 1869, ADELL (2-mast wooden schooner, 48 foot, 25 gross tons, built in 1860, at Milwaukee, Wisconsin) was driven ashore during a storm about a half mile below Bay View Pier near Milwaukee. Her skipper had every penny he owned sunk into that vessel. He was able to salvage her rigging and spars and left them on the beach overnight. The next day he returned and found that all had been stolen during the night.

On 16 Nov 1883, MANISTEE (wooden side-wheeler, 184 foot, 677 tons, built in 1867, at Cleveland, Ohio) broke up in a gale west of the Keweenaw Peninsula off of Eagle Harbor, Michigan. This is one of Lake Superior’s worst disasters. Estimates of the number who died range from 23 to 37.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Steve Haverty and Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Barge Goes Missing On Lake Erie

11/15 - 3:09 PM - The U.S. Coast Guard is helping to search for a missing barge on Lake Erie Tuesday.

The barge was being towed by a tugboat when it came lose somewhere between Sandusky and Cleveland.

The crew does not know where it was lost. The tug Kurt R. Luedtke backtracked its original path, did not locate the barge.

A Coast Guard Station Marblehead 47-foot utility boat is assisting the tug to find the barge.



Third Gale in Week Due in Tuesday Night

11/15 - Eastern Upper Peninsula - For the third time in less than a week, heavy weather is due starting tonight with strong winds, cold air and snow forecast for the Eastern Upper Peninsula. Likely not as strong as the storm-force winds that swept the region on Sunday, the latest gale will commence after nightfall tonight with periods of rain and snow expected on southeast winds of 25 mph, gusting to 45 mph. Some accumulating snow may be expected overnight as the stiff winds continue into Wednesday.

Snow showers are likely on Wednesday with southerly winds bending around to west during the day at 25-30 mph, again with gusts to 45. Another thin layer of blowing snow is possible on Wednesday and Wednesday night, according to the forecast posted by the National Weather Service. With stiff easterly winds making up early today, at least two commercial ships opted to go to anchor in sheltered anchorages on the lower St. Marys River.

On the Lakes, the nearshore forecast calls for easterly gales on Whitefish Bay today and tonight, shifting to southeast Wednesday and Wednesday night. Winds of 25 to 40 knots are forecast for offshore areas through Wednesday night. On Lakes Huron and Michigan, similar conditions are expected with easterly winds of 15-25 knots forecast for today with gusts up to 50 knots (58 mph) late today and tonight. Winds move to the west on Wednesday at 30 knots with gusts up to 50 knots.

Though southeast and west winds may rise to gale force tonight and Wednesday, the approaching storm is not expected to generate the same wind strength as Sunday's storm, which uprooted trees and caused widespread power outages across the Eastern UP and northern Michigan.The approaching storm will drop heavier snow to the west. The Marquette Weather Station today issued a winter weather warning for the central and western UP, calling to six to 12 inches of wet snow tonight and Wednesday as the storm crosses Lake Superior and moves into northern Ontario.

From the Soo Evening News


Photo Exhibit Depicts Bygone Toil of Buffalo Grain Scoopers

11/15 - Buffalo - Scooping grain from the holds of ships was hard work for the hardscrabble Irishmen of Buffalo's Old First Ward. "Scoopers" worked their last job in early February 2003, and photographer Gene Witkowski was there to document them. "The Final Days of the Buffalo Grain Scoopers," an exhibit of 28 photos, is on view through March during regular business hours on the first floor of Larkin at Exchange.

Witkowski captures the men, outfitted in heavy jackets and sweat shirts, inside the 647-foot Kinsman Independent, a bulk cargo ship that hauled grain. The images include men pulling an array of ropes to move 125-pound shovels full of grain onto a conveyor belt called a "leg," where it's transported by buckets into the grain elevator. In one photograph, Tom Suto clutches a rope. He is wearing a heavy brown jacket to keep him warm in the freezing temperature and a blue mask as protection from the dust. "It was hard work - a very physical job," said Suto, who stared at the picture during a recent visit to the exhibit.

Suto recalled temperatures that ranged from extreme cold in winter to stifling heat in summer. Like his father and uncles before him, he worked as a scooper, putting in 33 years on the job. Now he works as a corrections officer in Wyoming County. "I'd take scooping over that any day. The clientele I work at isn't the greatest in the world," Suto said. Like other part-time scoopers, Suto said he often held two or three jobs, which he sometimes concealed to employers. "We just took care of business. Sometimes you needed a sick day; what they didn't know didn't hurt them," he laughed.

More than anything, Suto said he misses the camaraderie among scoopers. Mike McGrath said he misses that, too. He had worked as a scooper for 30 years and now works as a contracts manager for Buffalo and Erie County. McGrath described the scoopers as hard-working and hard-living men who adopted nicknames and treated one another like brothers. Because of his large size, he recalled, he was known as "Hippo." "If [a scooper] was down and out and couldn't make it, you would carry them," said McGrath, whose grandfathers and uncles were scoopers. "The word was, "Take care of your own.' If someone was sick, the wife would still get the paycheck," McGrath said. "Sometimes you didn't get along with someone eye to eye, but it was a family. You were proud to be a scooper."

More than 3,000 men were employed as scoopers at Buffalo's busy port when it was the gateway from the Midwest to the East Coast. That changed when the St. Lawrence Seaway was completed in 1959, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean and enabling Midwestern freighters to bypass Buffalo. The ranks of scoopers eventually dwindled to 30 before they were replaced by self-unloading ships.

Witkowski said he came to marvel at the scoopers finely tuned teamwork, an aspect reflected repeatedly in his richly portrayed digital images. "It's almost like they were doing a dance. They were so much into their work and working with each other that they just knew exactly what to do. Like it was choreographed, a production," Witkowski said.

From the Buffalo News


November Storms Continue to Plague Shipping

11/15 - Marquette - For the second time this month, a storm-force gale chased merchant marine traffic off Lake Superior shipping lanes. Another storm expected Tuesday will likely do the same, forecasters said. "Most of the boats were in or headed toward safe harbor when the storm hit," said Dave Guenther, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Negaunee Township. "We had several of them that stayed south of the St. Marys River. The Paul Tregurtha had 32 knot winds behind the shelter of Whitefish Point.

Forecasters are calling for 6 inches to 8 inches of wet, heavy snow for the higher elevations of Marquette County on Tuesday. "Tuesday night we're expecting more significant accumulations, 6 to 8 inches over the Huron Mountains," Guenther said. "It should be a mix of rain and snow. How much is going to be rain and how much is going to be snow is not certain."

Early Sunday morning, ships reported winds gusting to 67 mph by the Apostle Islands. By Sunday evening, waves built to 27 feet north of Grand Marais. At Stannard Rock, gales up to 62 mph were reported. The Oglebay Norton-owned steamer Reserve sat out the storm behind Marquette's Lower Harbor breakwater, where the waves only reached 5 feet - compared with 15-foot to 20-foot waves outside the harbor.

At the Mackinac Bridge, winds gusting from 74 mph to 86 mph were recorded. On average, winds were blowing between 47 mph and 60 mph, bridge officials said. The route was closed to high profile vehicles for 12 hours - between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. - causing a small traffic jam of hunters and semi tractor-trailers. "We were real popular with the northbound hunters last night," Sgt. Amy Pendergraff of the St. Ignace Post said sarcastically this morning. "But any high profile vehicles, including loaded pick-up trucks, RV's and semis, had to wait out the winds."

Smaller cars were allowed, although officials said one driver who panicked halfway across had to be escorted off the bridge. Pendergraff notes that many times small trailers will flip over from the winds which come from both across and underneath the 5-mile-long span. For motorists' concerns, officials close the route when winds reach heavy gusts.

Road crews were also busy on Interstate 75 near Sault Ste. Marie where fallen trees slowed traffic and along U.S. 2, where sand from nearby dunes moved across the roadway. "Between Brevort and St. Ignace, road crews had to use scrapers to clear sand blowing and accumulating onto U.S. 2," Pendergraff said.

From the Marquette Mining Journal


Photo Gallery Updates - November 15

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - November 15

On 15 November 1871, EVERGREEN CITY (wooden propeller freighter, 193 foot, 624 gross tons, built in 1856, at Cleveland, Ohio) was carrying lumber camp supplies when she was driven on to the southwest coast of Long Point on Lake Erie by a westerly gale. She hogged and broke up. Most of her cargo and fittings were stolen over the winter. Surprisingly, she was recovered and rebuilt in 1872-1873, but only lasted until 1875, when she was abandoned at Buffalo, New York.

The cargo mid-body of the then under construction GEORGE A STINSON was towed from Toledo, where it was constructed, to Lorain, Ohio in 1977.

PAUL THAYER, b.) EARL W OGLEBAY left Lorain on her maiden voyage November 15, 1973, light for Escanaba, Michigan to load iron ore.

On November 15, 1974, the W W HOLLOWAY struck an embankment at Burns Harbor, Indiana causing extensive damage.

Departing Duluth on November 15, 1909, the BRANSFORD, encountered a gale driven snowstorm. She battled the storm the entire day only to end up on the rocks near Siskiwit Bay on Isle Royale.

On 15 November 1894, ANTELOPE (wooden schooner, 56 foot, 32 gross tons, built in 1878, at Grand Haven, Michigan) capsized in a storm while trying to make harbor at Grand Haven, Michigan. 4 lives were lost.

November 15, 1924 - The carferry PERE MARQUETTE was renamed PERE MARQUETTE 15.

On 15 November 1875, the Port Huron Times reported that "there is little doubt but that the scow SUTLER GIRL has been lost with all hands on Lake Erie. She has now been overdue two weeks."

On 15 November 1869, W W ARNOLD (wooden schooner, 426 gross tons, built in 1863, at Buffalo, New York) was carrying iron ore when she was driven ashore near the mouth of the Two Hearted River on Lake Superior during the great gale of November 1869. The violent storm tore the schooner apart and she sank quickly losing all hands (11) including several passengers.

On 15 Nov 1905, the W K BIXBY (steel straight-deck bulk freighter, 480 foot, 5712 gross tons, later J L REISS, then SIDNEY E SMITH JR) was launched at Wyandotte, Michigan for the National Steamship Co. (M.B. McMillan). She lasted until 1972, when she was wrecked at Sarnia, Ontario in a collision with the PARKER EVANS.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Jody Aho and Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Shipwatchers Succumb to Freighter Fascination
Popularity fuels new maritime development in Port Huron

Fred Stuewer has spent his life watching the freighters course through Lake Huron and the St. Clair River. He said it's hard to live in the Blue Water Area and not have some sort of freighter fascination. "I'm not out there every hour on the hour, making notes," said Stuewer, 66, of East China Township. "But I've lived here all my life, and traffic on the Great Lakes has become a part of my life."

As the Great Lakes shipping industry continues to chart its course around decreasing tonnages and increasing fuel costs, watching the ships sail continues to be a favorite feature of life in the Blue Water Area. The popularity has even spurred new maritime-related development on Acheson Ventures' Desmond Landing in downtown Port Huron.

Here to stay
Stuewer, who had a chance to ride on the Paul R. Tregurtha this summer, remembers watching the ships pass when he was younger. It was a much different scene than today. Smaller freighters, which often hauled barges behind them, filled the water, sometimes creating a black smoke that would cover the horizon from the coal they burned. Now, the freighters are bigger, faster and don't burn coal. And they aren't carrying as much as they used to.
The Lake Carriers' Association represent 12 American corporations that operate 55 U.S.-flagged vessels on the Great Lakes. The vessels carry as much as 125 million tons of cargo each year, including iron ore, limestone, cement and coal.

Through September, the vessels had hauled 77.35 million net tons, a decrease of 2.4% from the same point in 2004, according to the Lake Carriers' Association. The demand for coal is up but is countered by a decreased demand for iron ore and limestone, which is reflective of lower steel production.

At the beginning of November, 59 vessels were active on the lakes. The Port Huron Web site,, helps keep track of their whereabouts. The Web site opened an office on Vantage Point, on the north end of Desmond Landing where the St. Clair and Black rivers meet. The office offers terminals to look up maritime information, as well as wireless Internet connections for boaters and visitors. Frank Frisk of Marysville, who manages the office, said about 16,000 commercial vessels pass by Vantage Point each year. He said traffic has been up last year and this year, although it could drop next year because of declining steel production.

People will continue to see their favorite freighters, said Glen Nekvasil, vice president, corporate communications of the Lake Carriers' Association. "Just like every industry, we've gone through some ups and downs," he said. "But Great Lakes shipping is here to stay."

View to enjoy
Officials at development company Acheson Ventures know how important the maritime workings are to people in the area. They have devoted an entire area of the redevelopment zone to nautical dealings. Vantage Point features a walkway, fishing pier and the Boatnerd office. The Maritime Center ship-watching facility and meeting center will be finished sometime next month. "For 150 years, the public did not have access to the river," Acheson Ventures spokesman Paul Maxwell said. "We really wanted to open this up to them, let them enjoy watching the ships. So many people around here are so interested in this."
The Maritime Center will have an enclosed glass front, giving people an unobstructed view of the St. Clair River from a spot that is indoors and out of the elements. Project Manager Mike DeLong said flat-screen televisions will be set up inside the center to provide detailed information, including a ship's destination and what it's hauling.

The center also will feature Coffee Harbor, a satellite of Buck's Coffee Cabin in Port Huron Township, which will serve coffee and doughnuts. While the Maritime Center is a temporary structure to test the market, Acheson Ventures officials anticipate the response will be great enough to warrant a permanent structure, with enough freighter fans in the area to fill it.

John Rajczi also had an opportunity to ride on the Paul R. Tregurtha this summer. He and Stuewer were winners in a raffle for the United Way of St. Clair County. Rajczi of Marysville had been in the Navy from 1960 to 1966, but this was his first trip on a freighter. He marveled over its workings as the ship, which was hauling coal, traveled from St. Clair to Duluth, Minn., and back. "I've always been interested in boats," Rajczi said. "But being out there on that freighter was like nothing I've ever experienced."

From the Port Huron Times-Herald


Port Report - November 14

Green Bay - Wendell Wilke
In Green Bay Sunday afternoon, because of high winds through out the area, both the J.A.W. Iglehart (at the LaFarge dock) and American Mariner (at Western Lime) were idle at the docks awaiting winds to settle.

Many other vessels found shelter on Sunday across the lakes.

Armco was sighted docked at the old cola dock in the Dollar Bay in the Keweenaw. She departed around 9:00 a.m. Monday headed up bound through the Portage Lift Bridge.


Today in Great Lakes History - November 14

On 14 November 1883, E. FITZGERALD (2-mast wooden schooner, 135 foot, 298 tons, built 1870, at Port Huron, Michigan) was carrying wheat on Lake Erie in a winter’s gale. She was completely covered with ice when she was wrecked in the shallows off Long Point. All six of the crew drowned while trying to reach shore in the yawl. None of the bodies were ever found.

The ALGOBAY (steel propeller bulk freighter, 719 foot, ,22466 gross tons, built at Collingwood, Ontario in 1978) departed Sept Iles, Quebec on 14 Nov 1978, with an iron ore pellet cargo for Sydney, Nova Scotia when she collided with the 90,000 ton Italian-flag ore carrier CIELO BIANCO. The Collingwood-built tug POINTE MARGUERITE, which was towing the big salty, was unfortunately crushed between the two vessels and sank, killing two crew members.

On November 14, 1934, the WILLIAM A REISS grounded off Sheboygan, she was declared a constructive total loss.

Cracks across the ENDERS M VOORHEES' spar deck were first noticed in a storm on Lake Superior November 14, 1942. Her fleetmate NORMAN B REAM came to her assistance by releasing storm oil which helped calm the seas so the crew of the VOORHEES could run cables the length of her deck and winch them tight to arrest the cracking. She proceeded to the Soo escorted by the REAM and later sailed to the Great Lake Engineering Works for repairs.

The THOMAS WILSON (Hull#826) was launched November 14, 1942, at Lorain, Ohio for the U.S. Maritime Commission.

The U.S. Coast Guard ‘s MESQUITE (Hull#76) was launched November 14, 1942, at a cost of $894,000, by Marine Iron & Shipbuilding Co. at Duluth, Minnesota.

 On November 14, 1952, the SPARROWS POINT, now b.) BUCKEYE entered service for Bethlehem Steel Corp.

On 14 November 1879, C G BREED (2 mast wooden schooner, 140 foot, 385 tons, built in 1862, at Milwaukee, Wisconsin) was carrying 24,000 bushels of wheat from Detroit to Buffalo when she capsized and sank in a sudden squall near Ashtabula, Ohio in Lake Erie. 5 lives were lost, but 3 were saved. The 3 survivors were rescued by 3 different vessels.

In 1940, following the Armistice Day Storm, The CITY OF FLINT 32 was freed by the tug JOHN F CUSHING assisted by the PERE MARQUETTE 21.

In 1990, Glen Bowden (of MWT) announced that he would suspend cross-Lake Michigan ferry service indefinitely.

On 14 November 1886, the steamer BELLE WILSON was crossing Lake Ontario with a load of 11,800 bushels of oats when a severe gale and snow storm blew in. The vessel lost her rudder and the crew rigged sails, but these were blown away. Then they rigged a drag made of 600 feet of line and a log to help maneuver the vessel and they headed for Oswego, New York. This lasted for 12 hours, but the chain parted at 3:00 a.m. and the vessel was driven ashore at Ford's Shoals, 4 miles east of Oswego harbor. No lives were lost.

On 14 November 1892, the 2-mast, 95 foot wooden schooner MINNIE DAVIS was rammed on a dark night by the 2-mast, 117 foot wooden schooner HUNTER SAVIDGE near Amherstburg, Ontario. The DAVIS sank, but no lives were lost. The wreckage was removed in May, 1893.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Jody Aho and Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history. Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history


Harriman Trip Coming Soon

11/13 - The much-delayed barge trip down the St. Marys River for the forward cabins from the Lewis G. Harriman may happen in the next week. A week of high winds have delayed getting the cabins moved onto the barge.

Loading continued on Friday and after the load is in place it will take a day or two to weld the cabins to the barge prior to the trip, which could come as soon as next week. Stay tuned


Port Reports - November 13, 2005

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
On Saturday, saltie Federal Yoshino (Panama) loaded grain beneath the chutes at the Nidera elevator in Milwaukee's inner harbor. Tug John Selvick and barges L1006 and L1016 waited at the wall just to the south.

Tug G.L. Ostrander and barge Integrity unloaded cement at the LaFarge terminal.

Tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes were anchored in the outer harbor, just off the Jacobus liquid fuel terminal.

Huron, Ohio
Maritime Trader arrived in Huron on Thursday evening to receive a partial load. She departed Huron shortly after 1:00 a.m. Saturday headed for Sarnia to complete her load. Huron would have been her first visit to a U.S. port under her new name.


Photo Gallery Updates - November 13

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - November 13

ARAB (2-mast wooden schooner, 100 foot, 158 tons, built in 1854, at Buffalo, New York) had beached on 01 November 1883, near St. Joseph, Michigan during a storm, but quick work by salvagers got her free. However on 13 November 1883, while being towed to Racine, Wisconsin, she capsized and sank well off of Arcadia, Michigan. One man lost his life, an engineer who was desperately trying to start her pumps when she rolled.

On November 13, 1976, the TEMPLE BAR (currently Algoma’s ALGONORTH) arrived at Singapore where she was lengthened 202 feet.

CONALLISON was laid up for the last time on November 13, 1981.

JAMES DAVIDSON entered service on November 13, 1920, when she loaded 439,000 bushels of wheat at Duluth, Minnesota for delivery to Buffalo, New York.

The d.) GEORGE HINDMAN was in collision with the British salty MANCHESTER EXPLORER on Lake St. Louis, above the Lachine Lock in 1956. Renamed e.) ELIZABETH HINDMAN in 1962. Scrapped at Duluth, Minnesota in 1971.

J P MORGAN JR (Hull#373) was launched November 13, 1909, at Lorain, Ohio for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.

The HOMER D WILLIAMS was involved in a collision with the steamer OTTO M REISS at Duluth November 13, 1917.

In 1984, the HOMER D WILLIAMS was towed to Thunder Bay, Ontario by the TUG MALCOLM for dismantling.

On 13 November 1870, the schooner E FITZGERALD left Port Huron on her maiden voyage to load lumber at Au Sable, Michigan for Chicago. She was commanded by Capt. A. McTavish.

On 13 November 1883, H C AKELEY (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 240 foot, 1187 tons, built in 1881, at Grand Haven, Michigan) was carrying corn from Chicago to Buffalo when she encountered a heavy storm off Holland, Michigan. She took the disabled tug PROTECTOR in tow but let her go when her own rudder broke off. AKELEY anchored but started to sink when she fell into the troughs of the waves. The disabled schooner DRIVER managed to save 12 of the crew who had taken to AKELEY's yawl before she went down. 6 lives were lost.

Captain W. H. Van Dyke was born at Escanaba, Michigan on November 13, 1871, and spent most of his life on the Great Lakes (he joined the crew of a schooner at the age of 15). He first captained the Pere Marquette Line Steamer PERE MARQUETTE 8, then in 1916, he joined the Pere Marquette carferry fleet. His first command was the str. PERE MARQUETTE 15. Then for 10 years he served as master of the PERE MARQUETTE 17, and after the launch of the CITY OF FLINT 32 in 1929, he served as master of the PERE MARQUETTE 22.

On 13 November 1865, CLARA PARKER (3-mast wooden schooner, 175 foot, 425 gross tons, built in 1865, at Detroit, Michigan) was fighting a losing battle with storm induced leaks, so she was beached 400 yards off shore near the mouth of the Pigeon River, south of Grand Haven, Michigan. The local Lifesaving Service plucked all 9 of the crew from the rigging by breeches buoy after the vessel had gone down to her decks and was breaking up.

On 13 November 1888, LELAND (wooden steam barge, 148 foot, 366 gross tons, built in 1873, at New Jerusalem, Ohio) burned at Huron, Ohio. She was valued at $20,000 and insured for $15,000. She was rebuilt and lasted until 1910.The JAMES DAVIDSON (steel propeller bulk freighter, 587 foot, 8349 gross tons, built at Wyandotte, Michigan in 1920) entered service on 13 Nov 1920, for the Globe Steamship Co. (G. A. Tomlinson, mgr.) when she loaded 439,000 bushels of wheat at Duluth, Minnesota for delivery to Buffalo, New York. She was the last ship built at Wyandotte, Michigan.

The unnamed salty (formerly RANGUINI) arrived at Milwaukee's heavy lift dock on Saturday night, 13 Nov 1999, to load a large desalinization filtration system built in Milwaukee for Korea. The vessel entered the Seaway in ballast for Milwaukee on 09 Nov 1999. The following day, the crew rigged scaffolding over the side so the new name BBC GERMANY could be painted on the ship.

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


Port Reports - November 12

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The English River came in for Lafarge at 10PM on Wednesday.

The Michipicoten loaded 26,000 long tons of coal at the Gateway Terminal in Lackawanna on Tuesday for delivery to Hamilton. This was her first trip to the Buffalo area since she was the Elton Hoyt.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
The tugboat Kurt R. Luedtke and Derrick barge No. 10 arrived in port on Tuesday afternoon and tied up in the Thunder Bay River to wait out the weather for the next few days.

The Paul H. Townsend also arrived at Lafarge Tuesday night to load cement for St. Joseph.
The J.A.W Iglehart was in port on Wednesday evening taking on cargo for Saginaw and is expected to return on Friday night.

The Steamer Alpena will likely load early Saturday morning after the departure of the Iglehart.

The Edwin H. Gott was anchored off Alpena on Thursday. On Friday a ladder was seen off the vessel with smaller boat alongside. The Gott departed the bay around 3pm.

The Dorothy Ann/ Pathfinder was loading at Stoneport on Friday.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
The Saginaw River saw three outbound vessels moving along the banks of the river on Friday. The JAW Iglehart was first, departing from the Carrollton Lafarge Terminal around 10:00 a.m. Friday morning heading upriver to the Sixth Street Turning Basin to turn around. As the Iglehart was turning in the basin, the Agawa Canyon had just completed unloading her cargo in Saginaw at the GM Dock and was also ready for departure. Once the JAW Iglehart was clear of the Sixth Street turning Basin, the Agawa Canyon waited a short time at the GM Dock for the Iglehart to pass by, and then the Canyon departed upriver for the Turning Basin. Both were down bound for the lake passing through Downtown Bay City by 11:00 a.m. making the bridges within 15 minutes of each other.

Also outbound on Friday morning, after an overnight unload at the Essroc Terminal in Essexville, was the CSL Tadoussac. She contacted the outbound JAW Iglehart and Agawa Canyon to make sure that the Tadoussac had enough time to back out of the river and turn around at Light 12. The Tadoussac successfully did so and made the turn around at Light 12 just as the outbound Iglehart and the Canyon were entering the Entrance Channel behind her.


Photo Gallery Updates - November 12

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - November 12

On 12 November 1878, JAMES R BENTLEY (3-mast wooden schooner, 170 foot, 575 tons, built in 1867, at Fairport, Ohio) was carrying grain when she struck a shoal in heavy weather and foundered off 40-Mile Point on Lake Huron. Her crew was rescued in the rough seas by the bark ERASTUS CORNING.

On 12 Nov 1964, the THOMAS F COLE (steel propeller bulk freighter, 580 foot, 7268 gross tons, built in 1907, at Ecorse, Michigan) collided with the British motor vessel INVEREWE off the south end of Pipe Island on the lower St. Marys River in foggy conditions. The COLE suffered severe damage to the port bow and was taken to Lorain for repairs.

On 12 Nov 1980, the ALVA C DINKEY (steel propeller bulk freighter, 580 foot, 7514 gross tons, built in 1909, at Lorain, Ohio) and GOVERNOR MILLER (steel propeller bulk freighter, 593 foot, 8240 gross tons, built in 1938, at Lorain, Ohio) arrived near El Ferrol del Caudillo, Spain for scrapping in tow of the FedNav tug CATHY B. Demolition by Miguel Partins began on 28 Nov 1980, at Vigo, Spain.

On November 12, 1919, the PANAY, up bound on Lake Superior for Duluth, Minnesota in rough weather, was one of the last vessels to see the down bound JOHN OWEN, which, apparently later the same day, disappeared with all hands.

November 12, 1980 - The CONSOLIDATOR, formerly the PERE MARQUETTE 21, sank 17 miles off the coast of Honduras during Hurricane Jean. No lives were lost.

On 12 November 1881, BRUNSWICK (iron propeller bulk freighter, 248 foot, built in 1881, at Wyandotte, Michigan) was carrying 1500 tons of hard coal in a night of fitful squalls in Lake Erie. CARLINGFORD (wooden schooner, 155 foot, built in 1869, at Port Huron, Michigan) was also sailing there, loaded with 26,000 bushels of wheat. They collided. After the skipper of BRUNSWICK made sure that the sinking schooner's crew were in their lifeboats, he ran for shore with his sinking vessel, but sank a few miles off Dunkirk, New York. A total of 4 lives were lost.

On 12 November 1835, the "small" wooden schooner ROBERT BRUCE was sailing from Kingston, Ontario to Howell, New York when she was wrecked west of Henderson, New York. Her crew of 4, plus one passenger, were all lost.

On 12 Nov 1886, the tug WM L PROCTOR (wooden tug, 104 foot, 117 gross tons, built in 1883, at Buffalo, New York) left Oswego, New York with the schooner-barges BOLIVIA and E C BUCK in tow before a big storm struck. During the snow storm, the tug got lost and the tow line broke. Alone, the PROCTOR finally made it to Charlotte, New York, badly iced up, but there was no word on the barges. They were presumed lost with all onboard.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Max Hanley and Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history. Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history


Great Lakes Harbors to Benefit in 2006

GRAND MARAIS - More than $5.7 million in federal funding was approved Tuesday for an extensive list of northern Michigan projects, including $1.5 million for Grand Marais Harbor breakwater replacement. Under the fiscal year 2006 Energy and Water Appropriations bill voted on Tuesday by the House of Representatives, the Grand Marais Harbor will receive more than $1.5 million toward a $6 million breakwater replacement project. The final version of the bill voted on Tuesday was reported from a conference committee made up of both House and Senate members. The bill will now go to President Bush for his signature.

The money for the harbor project was the largest local allocation from the funding package. A battle to save the harbor from ruin has been ongoing for decades. "(The) $1.543 million is indeed a significant first step, particularly with competing pressure on government funding for (Hurricane) Katrina, homeland security and the war," said Burt Township Supervisor Lee Durrwachter. "I was told it would never happen. 'Don't expect it.' But this time it felt different," he said. "A lot of hard work went into this effort with a lot of different people contributing as a chorus of one: Save Our Harbor of Refuge." Activists and local government officials in Grand Marais have already begun efforts to find additional funding sources for the remaining money needed. Replacing the breakwater will block sand infiltration into the once-deep-water port. A deep harbor at Grand Marais will allow the port to remain a recreational venue and harbor of refuge for small and large boats, while possibly attracting Great Lakes cruise ships.

Other local projects funded in the bill include $140,000 for Marquette shoreline protection, $200,000 for the city of Negaunee's wastewater treatment plant, $500,000 for fuel cell research at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, $250,000 for St. Francis Hospital in Escanaba and $1.5 million for a lock replacement project at the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie. U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) worked with conferees to secure the funding for the Michigan projects. "I'm pleased to see so many of the important projects in northern Michigan were funded in the final Energy and Water appropriations bill," Stupak said. "These projects are vital to the safety and economy of the local community. Without funding for projects such as harbor maintenance, breakwater protections and the upkeep of our critically needed Soo Locks, these rural communities could face floods, watercraft wrecks and the inability to ship products."

Additional projects funded under the bill include $400,000 for Menominee Harbor maintenance and dredging, $333,000 for Keweenaw Waterway maintenance, $300,000 for Ontonagon Harbor maintenance $184,000 for Ontonagon Harbor channel extension and $50,000 for the east breakwater on Mackinac Island. The bill also included money for three downstate projects and more regional efforts including $2 million for surveillance of the Northern Boundary waters and $1.3 million for Great Lakes navigation system study investigations.


Welland Canal to Celebrate 176th Anniversary

The public is invited to celebrate in the William Hamilton Merritt Day 176th anniversary commemoration of the opening of the first vessel through the Welland Canal in 1829. This year’s ceremony will take place Tuesday, November 29th at the Welland Canals Centre – Lock 3, 1932 Welland Canals Parkway, St. Catharines, Ontario, commencing at 10:00 a.m. We hope you can join us for this historic occasion.


Port Report - November 11

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The J.A.W. Iglehart was inbound the Saginaw River Thursday morning passing through Bay City around 7:30 a.m. She was headed up to the LaFarge Terminal in Carrollton to unload. The Iglehart was expected to be outbound early Friday morning.

Also inbound for the Saginaw River late Thursday night were the Agawa Canyon and 16 miles behind her, the CSL Tadoussac. Both were expected to make the river to unload early Friday morning.

The tug Rebecca Lynn and her tank barge, who had arrived on Tuesday, were still at the Bit-Mat dock late Thursday evening. She was in contact with the inbound Agawa Canyon checking on weather conditions on the lake.


Deja vu: Ships forced off lake

11/10 - Marquette - The gales of November came a day early as hurricane force winds and 20-foot seas pounded two Oglebay Norton vessels Wednesday. The wind storm, which the Oglebay Norton said registered 74 mph west of Stannard Rock, hit the night prior to the company's memorial of the Edmund Fitzgerald, which sank 30 years ago today in Lake Superior.

The two vessels - the Middletown and the Oglebay Norton - were headed in opposite directions when the storm peaked around 9 p.m. The upbound Middletown, a retooled WWII Liberty ship, was headed toward the Little Traverse harbor of refuge and the 1,000-foot Oglebay Norton was north of Grand Marais headed downbound through the center of the storm.

"It's off the stern quarter. We anticipated the storm and we're moving with it and doing all right," Oglebay Norton 3rd Mate Anderson Smith said via satellite phone during the peak of the storm. "It's like a sleigh ride right now. It's definitely not for anybody going west. I've got to go," he said. "The Coast Guard's calling us again."

Crews at the U.S. Coast Guard Vessel Control at Sault Ste. Marie were keeping a close eye on the Norton using an Automated Information System the crew has onboard. The AIS transmits information about the ship via radio signal to the Soo. "We were just calling to get a feel of how they were doing and whether or not they were going to continue on their route. From my understanding they were doing fine," Coast Guard Ensign William White said. "We can advise as far as conditions, but it's up to the captain of the vessels (whether to continue). Normally they pull off if conditions get too rough."

The Herbert C. Jackson, owned by Interlake Steamship Co., was moored at the Lake Superior and Ishpeming ore dock in Marquette. "We're parked here for as long as we can get away with it," said First Mate Dennis Mihalek. "It's do-able (going out onto the lake), but it would be interesting. When they give you numbers like that in the forecast you stay put."

Over the last several days the weather service had been warning ships that a severe November gale could hit. By 9 a.m. on Wednesday, the forecast called for winds of more than 60 mph and waves up to 23 feet. By 9 p.m., hurricane force winds of more than 70 mph and waves 18 to 23 feet high were reported. The Canadian vessel Saginaw, the Jackson and the Great Lakes Trader sat behind the comfort of Marquette's two breakwaters as the storm began to roll in early Wednesday evening. While they waiting out the gale, entertainment was provided by three surfers tempting the tempest.

"I got out a little too far on that last (wave)," surfer Dan Rapp, 21, of Chicago said as he came ashore. "When I wiped out I knew the waves were getting a bit too big to be that far out. I know my limits." As Rapp re-entered the surf closer to shore, an ore boat, the Middletown, was westbound at the tip of Presque Isle, looking for refuge in the Upper Harbor. With the Upper Harbor dock full, her captain could have turned back to maneuver toward the Lower Harbor, or continue on to the Keweenaw.

Instead, Middletown Capt. Ted Olm of West Lake, Ohio decided to continue on and by 9 p.m. was steering past the Huron Islands toward the shelter of the Keweenaw. At the peak of the storm, Olm reported 13-foot seas and 62-mph winds. "We're going to anchor at Bete Grise. This is a major storm," Olm said by marine phone. "We didn't want to be in this, but it happened a little sooner than we expected."

Olm said he started working for Oglebay Norton a year after the Edmund Fitzgerald sank in 1975 during a gale. The incident claimed the lives of 29 Oglebay merchant marines. "It came as a surprise," Olm said. "There are people at the office today who still can't believe it went down."

From the Marquette Mining Journal


Photo Gallery Updates - November 11

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - November 11

The Port of Huron, Ohio received its first grain boat in seven years when Westdale Shipping's  AVONDALE arrived at the Pillsbury Elevator on November 11, 1971, to load 200,000 bushels of soybeans for Toronto, Ontario.

On 11 November 1883, NEMESIS (2-mast wooden schooner, 74 foot, 82 gross tons, built in 1868, at Goderich, Ontario) was wrecked in a terrific storm that some called a hurricane.  She went ashore near Bayfield, Ontario on Lake Huron.  She may have been recovered since her registration was not closed until 1907.  In 1876, this little schooner rescued all but one of the crew from the sinking freighter NEW YORK.  

The Armistice Day Storm of November 11, 1940, was one of the worst storms in the recorded history of Lake Michigan. In all, the storm claimed 5 vessels, and 66 lives. The storm hit late Monday afternoon, November 11th, with winds of hurricane proportions. The winds struck suddenly from the southwest at about 2:30 p.m.. and were accompanied by drenching rain, which later changed to snow. The winds reached peak velocities of 75 miles per hour, the highest in local maritime history. Some of the vessels affected were: CITY OF FLINT 32: Beached at Ludington, no damage. Jens Vevang, relief captain, in command. Her regular captain, Charles Robertson, was on shore leave.  

PERE MARQUETTE 21: Blown into a piling at Ludington, no damage, captained by Arthur Altschwager. She had 5 passengers aboard.

CITY OF SAGINAW 31: Arrived Milwaukee 6 hours late with over a foot of water in her hull. The wireless aerial was missing and her seagate was smashed by the waves. She was captained by Ed Cronberg.  

Ann Arbor carferry WABASH: A railcar broke loose from it's moorings on her cardeck and rolled over, nearly crushing a crewman.

The steamer NOVADOC: Ran aground at Juniper Beach, South of Pentwater, Michigan.

Two crewman (cooks) drowned when the ship broke in half. Seventeen crewman, found huddled in the pilot house, were rescued by Captain Clyde Cross and his 2 crewman, Gustave Fisher and Joe Fontane of the fishing tug THREE BROTHERS.

CONNEAUT of 1916, ran hard aground on Lansing Shoal near Manistique, Michigan. on Lake Michigan. She reportedly had lost her propeller and rudder. Two days later she was pulled off.

The SINALOA had taken on a load of sand near Green Island and was heading for Chicago through Death's Door on Wisconsin's Door Peninsula when the November 11th Armistice Day storm of 1940, struck in upper Lake Michigan. During the storm the SINALOA lost her rudder. The anchor was dropped but her anchor cable parted. In this helpless condition she ran aground at Sac Bay on Michigan's Garden Peninsula. Fortunately the stricken vessel was close to shore where the Coast Guard was able to rescue the entire crew. Declared a constructive total loss, her owner collected the insurance and forfeited the vessel to the Roen Salvage Co.  

ANNA C MINCH: Sank South of Pentwater with a loss of 24 lives.  

WILLIAM B DAVOCK: Sank with the loss of all hands.  

The fishing tugs INDIAN and RICHARD H: Lost with all hands off South Haven, Michigan.

On 11 November 1872, the schooner WILLIS collided with the bark ELIZABETH JONES on Lake Erie and sank in a few minutes. The crew was saved.

On 11 November 1936, J OSWALD BOYD (steel propeller fuel tanker, 244 foot, 1806 gross tons, built in 1913, in Scotland) was carrying 900,000 gallons of gasoline when she stranded on Simmons Reef on the north side of Beaver Island. The U.S. Coast Guard from Beaver Island rescued the entire crew of 20.  

On 11 November 1890, BRUNO (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 136 foot. 475 gross tons, built in 1863, at Montreal) was carrying coal to Cleveland with the schooner LOUISA in tow when she struck Magnetic Reef, south of Cockburn Island in Georgian Bay and sank in rough weather. No lives were lost.  

On 11 November 1835, the 2-mast wooden schooner COMET was carrying iron and ashes on Lake Erie when she foundered in a gale, one mile northwest of Dunkirk, New York. Just her topmasts protruded from the water. All seven on board lost their lives, including a passenger who was a college student bound for Vermont.

In a storm on the night of 11 November 1874, The schooner LA PETITE (3-mast wooden schooner, 119 foot, 172 gross tons, built 1866, J. Ketchum, Huron, Ohio) was on Lake Michigan carrying a cargo of wheat and corn from Chicago when she sprang a bad leak and tried first to reach Ludington, then Manistee. Before reaching safety, she grounded off Big Point au Sable, eight miles from land, in eight feet of water. Previous to striking, the vessel had lost her bowsprit and foremast. After she struck, her main and mizzenmasts went by the board, and the schooner began to break up rapidly. The crew clung to the forecastle deck, and when that washed away, four men were drowned. Captain O. B. Wood had his arms broken by the falling off a square-sail yard. When he fell into the water, the ship's dog jumped in and kept him afloat until they were rescued by the crew of the steam barge CHARLES REITZ. Of the 10 crewmen, six were saved. The LA PETITE was salvaged and repaired and lasted until 1903, when she was lost in another storm.

On 11 Nov 1999, the Maltese-flag bulk carrier ALCOR was examined by personnel from Transport Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard, a salvage company and the vessel's owners in hopes of forming a plan to save the vessel. She ran aground on a sand bar off the eastern tip of d'Orléans Island on the St. Lawrence River two days earlier. This vessel did not visit Great Lakes ports under the name ALCOR, but she did so under her two previous names, firstly as PATRICIA V and then as the Soviet flag MEKHANIK DREN. The Groupe Desgagne finally refloated the Alcor on 05 Dec 1999, after part of the cargo of clinker had been removed. The ship was then towed to Quebec City. Later, it was reported that Groupe Desgagne purchased the ALCOR from its Greek owners.  

Below is a first hand account of the Storm of 1913, from the journal of John Mc Laughlin transcribed by his great grandson Hugh Mc Nichol. John was working on an unknown vessel during the Storm of 1913. The boat was captained by John Mc Alpine and Harry Roberts as Chief Engineer. The boat was loading iron ore in Escanaba when the storm started on November 8th.  

Tuesday, November 11, 1913
I got up at 12 a.m. and went on watch. We were above Presque Isle. It is still blowing hard and quite a sea running. Presque Isle at 1:45 a.m., Thunder Bay Island at 4:30 a.m., Harbor Beach at 1:00 p.m., we are about in the River at 7:05 p.m. It is fine tonight, wind gone down.

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


Today in Great Lakes History - November 10

On 10 November 1901, the ROBERT A PACKER (wooden freighter, 209 foot, 921 tons, built in 1882, at Milwaukee, Wisconsin) was found by the wrecking tug RUMBLE eleven miles north of off De Tour, Michigan ablaze and abandoned by her crew.  Captain Isaac Zess of the RUMBLE fought the flames for four hours and then was helped by the THOMAS W PALMER.  The fire was speedily extinguished with both vessels pouring water on the flames and the PACKER was tied up at the dock in DeTour, Michigan.

On 10 November 1887, A BOODY (wooden schooner, 137 foot, 287 gross tons, built in 1863, at Toledo, Ohio) struck the Port Austin reef on Lake Huron and was declared a total loss.  However, after ten days of hard work, the BOODY was finally pulled off the reef.  

The EDMUND FITZGERALD foundered on Lake Superior during a severe storm November 10, 1975, at approximately 7:10 p.m. about 17 miles north-northwest of Whitefish Point, Michign at position 47 0'N by 85 7'W in Canadian waters.  

IMPERIAL ST CLAIR (Hull#57) was launched November 10, 1973 , by Port Weller Drydocks at St. Catharines, Ontario.  

The STEELTON sailed on her maiden voyage for Bethlehem Steel Corp. on November 10, 1943.  

The ROBERT C STANLEY, in her first season of operation on November 10, 1943, during a Lake Superior storm, she developed a significant crack across her spar deck and 12 to 14 feet down both sides of her hull. As the hull worked in the heavy seas, the crack widened to as much as three to four inches. The crew ran cables between the fore and aft winches that maintained a force sufficient to hold the hull together.

November 10, 1972, in the vicinity of the entrance to the East Outer Channel near Amherstburg, Ontario the UNITED STATES GYPSUM collided with her towing tug MAINE and as a result her bow was punctured. The GYPSUM was beached to prevent further sinking.  

Pittsburgh Steamship’s WILLIAM A IRVIN (Hull#811) was launched November 10, 1937, at Lorain, Ohio.

November 10, 1892, the carferry ANN ARBOR NO 1 left the shipyard in Toledo, Ohio, bound for Frankfort on her maiden voyage.  

In 1895, the first major accident caused by cars coming free on the car deck of a rail ferry happened when the ANN ARBOR NO 1, was on an eastbound voyage. Approaching Frankfort in a northwest gale, she rolled so violently that many of the car fastenings broke and the cargo began to move about on the car deck. None of the early rear-loading car ferries was equipped with a sea gate to protect the stern from the seas, and seven cars of flour and butter went off the deck of the NO 1 into the lake. Captain Charles Moody resigned from the Ann Arbor as a result of this incident and returned to the Pere Marquette and Goodrich lines.

ATLANTIC (formerly MANITOULIN, wooden propeller passenger/package freight, 147 foot, 683 gross tons., built in 1880, at Owen Sound, Ontario) was bound for Byng Inlet with lumber camp supplies when she was caught in a storm and grounded in the lee of Pancake Island in Georgian Bay. Her cargo and aft cabin were thrown overboard to lighten her, but she caught fire and was destroyed. Her passengers and crew took to her boats and survived.

On 10 November 1856, ST JOSEPH (wooden propeller steam barge, 170 foot, 460 tons, built in 1846, at Buffalo, New York) stranded and was wrecked near Fairport, Ohio. No lives were lost.  

November 10, 1911 - The ANN ARBOR NO 4 was back in service after damaging several plates in October.  

The tanker MARIA DESGAGNES struck the bottom St. Lawrence Seaway on 10 Nov 1999. After temporary repairs were made, the vessel was cleared to proceed to Hamilton, Ontario to discharge its cargo of jet fuel. A survey of the seaway was completed with no indications as to what caused the vessel to ground.  

On 10 November 1887, BLAZING STAR (wooden schooner, 137 foot, 265 tons, built in 1873, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin) was sailing on Lake Michigan in fine weather with a load of lumber. However, she grounded on Fisherman Shoal near Washington Island, Wisconsin even though the wreck of the steamer I N FOSTER was in full view on that reef. The captain was unable to locate a tug to pull the BLAZING STAR off and later she broke up in heavy weather. No lives were lost.  

Below is a first hand account of the Storm of 1913, from the journal of John Mc Laughlin transcribed by his great grandson Hugh Mc Nichol. John was working on an unknown vessel during the Storm of 1913. The boat was captained by John Mc Alpine and Harry Roberts as Chief Engineer. The boat was loading iron ore in Escanaba when the storm started on November 8th.

Monday, November 10, 1913
I got up at 12 a.m. and went on watch. We were laying at anchor. It was blowing a living gale and kept it up. They hove up the anchor near 10 o'clock but monkeyed around until after dinner. We got under way. We passed the Light Ship about 3, and White Shoal at 5:15.

More entries from the Storm of 1913 tomorrow.

Data from: Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley and Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history

Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history


Classic November Gale Building across Great Lakes

11/9 - Right on schedule, a classic November gale packing winds of up to 55 mph, rain early followed by snow later and steadily falling temperatures will march across the Eastern U.P. today, according to forecasts. The classic November blow began overnight with steady rainfall carried on stiff southeast winds as a deep low pressure system approached the region from nearly due west. The southeast winds steadily increased as daylight approached, reaching a steady 20 knots (23 mph), gusting to 27 knots (31 mph) at Iroquois Point and about 15 knots in Sault Ste. Marie and DeTour.

Much more weather is in store for later in the day as the passing storm system pushes winds around to the west and then northwest as day turns to night. The veering wind will gradually intensify to 30-35 mph later today with gusts up to 55 mph. Northwest winds will gradually ease into the mid-twenties as the day wears on. Gradually falling temperatures will usher in scattered rain and snow showers as the evening progresses, turning to all snow after midnight. Steady temperatures in the low 40s will drop into the high 20s tonight as colder air follows the storm system across the region.

Snowfall tonight may build light accumulations by daybreak Thursday, according to some forecasts. Light shipping traffic was moving normally early today on the St. Marys River. However, as gale-force easterly winds veer to northwest and build to storm level later in the day, vessels are expected to move to anchorages to wait out building seas on the open Lakes. As the winds intensify later today, wave heights are forecast to build from eight to 12 feet early today to 15-20 feet on open reaches of Lake Superior as the day progresses. Storm force winds and seas up to 23 feet will abate gradually as a windy night passes. Northwest winds of 30 knots and continuing high seas are forecast for Lake Superior early Thursday before falling off during the day as high pressure fills in behind the fast-moving storm system.

Today's storm across the Upper Great Lakes will resemble, but not rival, memorable November gales that have taken a heavy toll in lives and ships in the last century. Among those historic storms, the Great Storm of 1913, the “Armistice Day Storm” of 1941 and the “Fitzgerald Storm” of 1975 all occurred in the same 12-day stretch of early November. Today's blow will not approach any of those historic storms in intensity, however.

From the Soo Evening News


New Life for Relic of Erie Canal's Past
Day Peckinpaugh to become a floating historical exhibit after yearlong restoration work

11/9 - Waterford, NY -- She's no beauty. The Day Peckinpaugh motorship is long and broad and strong, built for substance over style. In 1921, the motorship was designed for the dimensions of the barge canal to do the unglamorous but vital job of hauling sand, coal and cement. She can haul 1,600 tons of dry cement and was once one of 100 such vessels traveling the canal. Now, her work is done. The boat is the last of her kind.

The Peckinpaugh, named for a shipping magnate of his time, was celebrated along the Erie Canal during a three-week trip from Lockport. The trip culminated Friday in Waterford. Her next berth will be a Cohoes shipyard, where she will undergo an extensive, yearlong restoration and be transformed into a floating museum. After 73 years of service and nearly 10 years laid up in Erie, Pa., the 259-foot-long ship was days away from the scrap yard when the Canal Society of New York State bought the boat for $10,000, hauled her across Lake Erie to Lockport for $30,000 more and promptly turned her over to the State Museum.

Recounting the story, Canal Society President Thomas Grasso said the society was aware of the Peckinpaugh for years but struggled to arrive at a deal with her owners. Grasso said he had to act quickly this summer when Craig Williams, a curator for the State Museum, took a call from the Peckinpaugh's owners. "They said to him, 'Do you want any artifacts off the ship, because it's going to scrap in a few days,' " Grasso said. Williams called Grasso, who pulled money together from his members to buy the boat.

Belching exhaust from her diesel engine, she slowly slid to a place of honor beside the canal walk with help from a brightly painted tugboat. John Callaghan, normally the director of policy and implementation at the state Canal Corp., was the Peckinpaugh's captain on the trip from Lockport. After plenty of work on the ship's engines, she traveled mostly under her own power. Engineer Jim Brennan from Marilla, Erie County, was a member of the crew while the Peckinpaugh was still a working ship, hauling dry cement from Rome to Oswego. Sought by the Canal Corp. for his expertise with the old ship, Brennan prepared the boat for the voyage to Cohoes on nights and weekends this summer. "The boat is alive because it captures the imagination of the young and the memories of the not-so-young," said Frank Dean, executive director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.

Built for Interwaterways Lines Inc. of New York City, she was christened the Richard J. Barnes and carried coal during World War II along the East Coast. In 1958, she was retrofitted by the Erie Sand and Gravel Company. Her namesake's brother was Roger Peckinpaugh, who was the youngest manager in Major League Baseball history when he was named an interim manager for the New York Yankees in 1914 at 23.

From the Albany Times-Union


Who was Edmund Fitzgerald?

11/9 - He was more then an executive for the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which owned this vessel. His family has a direct relation to the St. Clair River area, and its maritime history. His great grandparents immigrated from Ireland, and settled in China Township in 1837 on a farm south of Marine City. Six of William and Julia's sons became fascinated by the wooden sailing ships and early steamboats on the St. Clair River.

These six sons all became captains in time on the Great Lakes in the last half of the 1800's. The oldest son, Edmond Fitzgerald (note the spelling - an "o" in Edmond, not a "u.") was one who, not only was a captain, but in the late 1860's into the early 1870's built schooners in Port Huron. He was also involved in politics, and served as Port Huron's mayor from 1879-1880. Edmond was also an owner of ships, and invested in them on the Great Lakes.

Three of these brothers who were captains moved from this area, and settled in Milwaukee. The youngest of the sons built a shipyard and invested in ships there. His name was John Fitzgerald. His son, William E. Fitzgerald, would take over this business in the late 1890's. William's son was Edmund Fitzgerald, who was born in 1895.

Edmund Fitzgerald's father died tragically in 1901 when Edmund was only six years old. A close friend of William's, Captain Dennis Sullivan, built and named a ship in his honor in 1906, which was the W. E. Fitzgerald. This ship would be known as the "little Fitz" after 1958 when the steamer Edmund Fitzgerald first sailed. The newer one was known as the "big Fitz." Of course their namesakes were father and son. Although Edmund Fitzgerald took a different business career, he still had a heart for sailing, like his father, grand father, and grand uncles. He did not really want this new ship named for him, but the board of Northwestern Mutual, the vessel's owner, knew it was the right thing to honor a man who had a heart for the Great Lakes, and his heritage.

When the "big Fitz" was launched in 1958, the boat named for his father, the W. E. Fitzgerald, was nearby and gave its salute. Of course, this and the records the steamer would set all came to a sad end on November 10, 1975. Edmund Fitzgerald felt the pain and the loss as much anyone on that day. This was something he would never have wanted to happen. He died in 1986, still saddened by the wreck of the ship named for him.

You see, when the steamer Edmund Fitzgerald passed up and down the St. Clair River in its short 17 years of sailing, she was really connected to these shores, and the family that settled here. The life of sailing on the Great Lakes for the Fitzgerald sons started here on the banks of the St. Clair River. That love for the Great Lakes and the ships that sail them was Edmund Fitzgerald's as well.

From Dick Wicklund



Captain Ernest M. McSorley Sailing History

11/9 - As we approach the 30th anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, here is a short summary of Captain McSorley's sailing history.

1931 Starts sailing.
1938 Wheelsman Adrian Iselin
1939 Third Mate Carrollton
1943 Second Mate Joseph H. Frantz
1944 First Mate Wolverine
1945 First Mate S. B. Way
1948 First Mate Joseph H. Frantz
1949 First Mate Joseph H. Frantz
1951 First Mate Joseph H. Frantz
1951 Captain Carrollton
1952 Captain Carrollton
1953 Captain William F. Stifel
1954 Captain E. G. Mathiott
1955 Captain Harry T. Ewig
1956 Captain Robert J. Paisley
1957 Captain J. R. Sensibar
1958 Captain J. R. Sensibar
1959 Captain J. R. Sensibar
1959 Captain W. W. Holloway
1960 Captain J. R. Sensibar
1960 Captain W. W. Holloway
1961 Captain J. R. Sensibar
1961 Captain W. W. Holloway
1962 Captain J. R. Sensibar
1962 Captain W. W. Holloway
1963 Captain J. R. Sensibar
1964 Captain J. R. Sensibar
1965 Captain J. R. Sensibar
1965 Captain Joseph H. Frantz
1966 Captain Joseph H. Frantz
1967 Captain Joseph H. Frantz
1968 Captain Joseph H. Frantz
1969 Captain Joseph H. Frantz
1970 Captain Armco
1971 Captain Armco
1972 Captain Edmund Fitzgerald
1973 Captain Edmund Fitzgerald
1974 Captain Edmund Fitzgerald
1975 Captain Edmund Fitzgerald

From Russ Plumb


Port Reports - November 9

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Tuesday on the Saginaw River saw the passage of three vessels. Inbound just after midnight was the Manistee who traveled up to Zilwaukee to unload at the Burroughs dock. She was finished by late morning turned and outbound for the lake.

Also inbound early was the tug Rebecca Lynn and her tank barge. The pair called on the Bit-Mat dock in Bay City to unload. They were expected to be outbound late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

Finally, the Fred R. White, Jr. was inbound Tuesday morning calling on the Valley Asphalt dock in Carrollton to unload. She was outbound during the afternoon hours and was delayed for an hour between Lafayette Bridge and Veteran's Memorial Bridge in Bay City due to not making the afternoon cutoff for rush hour. The Bay City bridges have "Bridge Hours" and are closed to outbound traffic between 4:30 and 5:30 to ease traffic problems on the city streets.

Duluth-Superior - Al Miller
With strong winds expected to rise to gale force Wednesday, a loaded James R. Barker was anchored off Duluth on Wednesday morning. Inside the harbor work continued as usual, with the barge Joseph H. Thompson unloading salt at the Cutler-Magner dock in Duluth. The Thompson has been a frequent visitor at the dock in recent months.

The smaller vessels of Great Lakes Fleet were making a series of interesting short hauls for stone and coal on the lower lakes this week. Arthur M. Anderson was due at Windsor on Tuesday, Toledo on the Wednesday and Monroe later that day. Cason J. Callaway was due at Fairport on Wednesday and Toledo on the Thursday. Philip R. Clarke was due at Toledo Wednesday and Green Bay Friday. John G. Munson was due at Buffington Wednesday, followed by a trip to the quarry at Drummond Island on Thursday.

Interlake’s Paul R. Tregurtha is on a strictly coal diet for the rest of November. The vessel is due to load at Midwest Energy Terminal Nov. 11, 16, 22, 24 and 27. Herbert C. Jackson is scheduled to take back-to-back loads from the terminal on Nov. 18 and 25 to Marquette.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
The Steamer Alpena was in port on Saturday taking on cargo under the silos. The Alpena was outbound in the bay before 3:00 p.m. heading for Superior, WI.

The G.L Ostrander/barge Integrity arrived at Lafarge on Monday to load cement, after being delayed by the weather on Sunday. The Integrity was heading out by 5:00 p.m. in a gray and foggy lake.

The J.A.W Iglehart was out in the bay on Monday waiting for the Integrity to pass so it could proceed into port. The Iglehart tied up around 6:00 p.m.

The Paul H. Townsend was expected to return on Tuesday night.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Maumee was in bound for Tonawanda at 11:00 p.m. on the Monday. She came back out on Tuesday.


Fitzgerald Programs

11/09 - November 10 marks the 30th anniversary of the Loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
Many groups are holding ceremonies from Duluth to the Soo and Detroit.
Visit for listings and more information.


GLMI Webcast Test Online

11/09 - On Thursday, November 10, 2005 the Dossin Great Lakes Museum will host Night Watch for the Edmund Fitzgerald from 4:30 - 8:00 p.m.  The evening events will recall that sailors who sail the inland seas, are sometimes placed in peril. The events will begin at 4:30 by placing of 29 illuminated lanterns around the anchor of the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald that rests in the yard of the Dossin Museum on Belle Isle.  At 5:00 pm the Great Lakes balladeer Lee Murdock will begin a concert in the DeRoy Hall Auditorium. At 6:30 pm Captain Donald Erickson of the Ford Fleet will recount the night 30 years prior that his crew of the S.S. William Clay Ford went into the stormy seas north of White Fish Point to search for and survivors of the lost Fitzgerald.  At 7:10 pm the names of the lost crew members will be read and ship's bells will be tolled. This will be followed by Bishop Ingalls of Mariner's Church whose ringing of the church bells is part of Gordon Lightfoot's famous ballad on the loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

There are still a few tickets available Click here to print the ticket order form.
If you wish to view the program Online visit this link to test your system.

As with previous webcasts from the Museum, viewers will be able to submit questions to the speakers.


Photo Gallery Updates - November 9

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - November 09

 On 09 November 1869, EXCELSIOR (wooden propeller river steamer and ferry, 40 foot, 28 tons, built in 1861, at Lewiston, New York) caught fire and was destroyed while taking on wood.  She was owned by Samuel Hunt of St. Charles, Michigan and was primarily used as a ferry on the Saginaw River.

The EDWIN H GOTT's keel was laid November 9, 1977, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.  

The aft section of the ATLANTIC SUPERIOR (Hull#222) was launched at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. November 9, 1981.  The section was towed to Thunder Bay, Ontario for completion.  

In the fall of 1962, the W F WHITE left the Lakes for coal shuttle service in the Chesapeake Bay area passing down the Welland Canal November 9th.

The keel for the GEORGE M HUMPHREY was laid November 9, 1953, at Lorain, Ohio.  

NORMAN B REAM was laid up at Duluth, Minnesota on November 9, 1960. In 1965, she would be sold and renamed b.) KINSMAN ENTERPRISE.  

In 1971, the CITY OF MIDLAND 41 was laid up due to coal strike.

On 9 November 1923, AZTEC (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 180 foot, 835 gross tons, built in 1889, at Marine City, Michigan) was destroyed by fire at her home port of Marine City. The wreck lay in the Belle River until dynamited in the 1930’s, and what was left was placed on the previously raised barge PROVINCE which was then towed up the St. Clair River, into Lake Huron and scuttled.  

On 9 November 1877, the Port Huron Times announced that the Lake schooners W C GRANT and CITY OF GREEN BAY had left Montreal on a voyage to Europe.

The Big Storm of 1913
On November 7, 1913, the storm responsible for sinking or damaging more vessels than any other began a six-day assault on the Great Lakes. The "Big Blow" of 1913, struck Lake Superior on November 7 and reached Lake Michigan by November 8.

At 10:00 p.m. on November 9, 1913, the HOWARD M HANNA JR was blown broadside onto the Port Austin Reef (off the tip of Michigan's thumb on Lake Huron) by Northerly winds in excess of 60 mph during the Great Storm of 1913. The ship finally lost power and was driven onto the reef where she broke in two at hatch number seven.

On November 9, 1913, while down bound with ore, the FRED G HARTWELL encountered very strong southwest winds in Lake Superior. She reached a position one mile east of Iroquois Point, on Whitefish Bay and dropped her anchor to ride out the storm. Her anchor began to drag when the winds shifted to the north and increased to unprecedented gale-force velocity. This was the beginning of the "Great Storm" of 1913, which drove her aground onto a rocky bottom. The seas pounded her until her bottom plates were torn open and she sank the next day in twenty-six feet of water.  

On November 9th during the Big Storm of 1913, the MATTHEW ANDREWS was down bound in Lake Huron with a cargo of iron ore. Captain Lempoh decided to drop anchor rather than risk trying to enter the St. Clair River during the fury of the storm. Taking bearings for anchorage from LIGHTSHIP 61 (stationed at Corsica Shoal), which unknown to him had been blown two miles off station, the MATTHEW ANDREWS grounded heavily on Corsica Shoal.  

Below is a first hand account of the storm from the journal of John Mc Laughlin transcribe by his great grandson Hugh Mc Nichol. John was working on an unknown vessel during the Storm of 1913. The boat was captained by John Mc Alpine and Harry Roberts as Chief Engineer. The boat was loading iron ore in Escanaba when the storm started on November 8th.  

Sunday, November 9, 1913
I got up at 12 a.m. and went on watch. They were loading us but awful slow, It is blowing hard and some snow falling and colder. We got away at 11:35 a.m. There is a heavy sea on and blowing a gale. We ain't making much headway, about 2 miles in 4 hours.

More entries from the Storm of 1913 tomorrow.  

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Jody Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history.


Winds Grounds Algoway

11/8 - On Friday the Algoway ran aground near Port Inland, Michigan due to gale force winds. The crew waited for the winds to decrease and to shift in hopes of freeing the vessel.  The bottom in area of the grounding is  sandy and mud. The vessel did not expected to need commercial assistance. On Saturday the vessel was able to break free of the bottom after offloading 300 tons of its cargo onto the Algorail. The vessel was able to proceed on its trip with no damage.

Before grounding the Algoway had loaded at Port Inland for Serpent Harbour, Ontario.

Reported by: Dennis Bryant


Man Missing After Falling Overboard

11/8 - Milwaukee -  A 55 year-old man is missing after falling overboard from a sailboat in Lake Michigan earlier this weekend. The man, whose identity has yet to be released, has not been found. Coast Guard boat crews and an HH-65B search and rescue helicopter from Traverse City failed to locate the man in rough seas near the Milwaukee break wall. He was not wearing a lifejacket. The victim was making the maiden voyage on his sailboat which he had reportedly been building for years.

Despite several people being on the sailboat, no one was able to save the man after he fell overboard. Rescuers searched into the night, but had to suspend the search because of stormy weather late Saturday. The search resumed early Sunday morning, but the man was not found.

Boaters are encouraged to wear anti-exposure garments along with their lifejackets during the cold boating season. Water temperatures in Lake Michigan are currently in the mid-50’s, allowing a maximum survival time of about 4 hours. Cold water robs the body of heat 25 times faster than air, dramatically reducing one’s ability to survive. The body’s core temperature can begin to drop within minutes. Estimated survival time will significantly decrease as the water temperatures get colder. As winter approaches, water temperatures will drop below forty degrees (F), with a survival time of less than one hour.

U.S. Coast Guard news release.

Lost boater wanted to sail on ocean
Sailboat captain presumed dead after fall from vessel he built

Noah Waldman said his father's dream was "to sail a boat to distant places. "Boating was Jeff Waldman's life. He was captain for years of the Edelweiss, a boat that sailed the Milwaukee River and along the shore of Lake Michigan, carrying tourists and diners. In 2004, he joined the crew of the Lake Express, the new ship that carried people and cars between Milwaukee and Muskegon, Mich.But the boat he wanted to carry him to his dreams was a sailboat he built over the course of eight years, 50 feet long, called the Dandelion and fit for sailing on an ocean.

He launched the boat for the first time Saturday, a maiden voyage that ended in tragedy about 1:45 p.m. when Jeff Waldman, 56, was thrown into the water while trying to untangle some rigging offshore near the Milwaukee Yacht Club, with Noah and two others onboard. Efforts to rescue him immediately failed, and he disappeared in the water. The official search for Jeff Waldman was halted about 9:30 a.m. Sunday after the U.S. Coast Guard was unable to conduct a search safely with a 41-foot boat because of rough conditions, and a helicopter search over the water found nothing.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Robert Wallin said Jeff Waldman was presumed dead, and that a computer projection, based on conditions in the lake, concluded he could not have survived in the water past about 8 p.m. Saturday. An unofficial search, conducted by the 192-foot Lake Express itself, with a crew of Waldman's fellow workers on board, was halted about 11 a.m. Sunday after 3 ½ hours of sailing in a grid pattern aimed at carefully checking the waters where Jeff Waldman might be found.

"He was a good man," Noah Waldman said Sunday afternoon. He described his father as "a lover of the outdoors" who enjoyed bike riding on land but was oriented toward the water. "He was a sailing man," Noah said. He said his father was born in Michigan and traveled before settling in Milwaukee about 20 years ago. Persevering, loving, strong - Noah said those were words he would apply to his father. Until the accident occurred, Saturday had been a good day for sailing, Noah Waldman said. The wind was strong, the waters were good - "he was accomplishing his dream."

He said his father had been active in various sailing and boating ventures in Milwaukee and was about to begin working with others on building a mock schooner for the Pier Wisconsin education project, located south of the Milwaukee Art Museum. Ken Szallai, president of the Lake Express, said, "He was a great guy. I don't know how else to put it." Szallai said he had known Jeff Waldman for 13 years, including when he was a first mate on the car ferry, meaning he was second in command in his crew. He also worked on maintenance of the ship during the winter season. "He did a fine job," Szallai said. He said Jeff Waldman had talked often of the sailboat he was building.

After he heard Saturday night that Jeff Waldman was missing, Szallai decided to send the ship out Sunday morning. The Lake Express season ended recently, but the ship had not yet been moved to its winter dock. "We felt it was important that we go," Szallai said. "We didn't want to leave one of our own out there." Noah Waldman, a Nicolet High School graduate who attends the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, said his father and mother, Jeri, live in Glendale and he has one brother, Weston, who lives in California.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal


Coast Guard to Conduct Survival Training in West Bay

11/8 - Traverse City, MI - The United States Coast Guard will be conducting survival training in West Bay this Thursday.

The semi-annual training is conducted to ensure pilots and aircrew members remain familiar with emergency equipment and proficient in water survival. The training will be held at 8:30am on Wednesday at the open-space park in Downtown Traverse City.

Two deaths in two week; no lifejacket on either victim

In the past two weeks, two people have died on the Great Lakes. A Canadian fisherman died on the St. Mary’s River in late October. A Wisconsin man disappeared Saturday while sailing with his family on his sailboat’s maiden voyage. Neither victim was wearing a lifejacket or exposure suit.

The Coast Guard highly encourages all boaters to wear anti-exposure garments along with their lifejackets during the cold boating season.

Water temperatures in Lake Michigan are currently in the mid-50’s, allowing a maximum survival time of about 4 hours. Cold water robs the body of heat 25 times faster than air, dramatically reducing one’s ability to survive. The body’s core temperature can begin to drop within minutes. Estimated survival time will significantly decrease as the water temperatures get colder. As winter approaches, water temperatures will drop below forty degrees (F), with a survival time of less than one hour.

Statistics show 86 percent of all drowning victims were not wearing lifejackets.

US Coast Guard news release.


Hannibal Locks and Dam Open to Navigation in West Virginia

At 2:15 p.m. on Sunday, November 6th, 2005, the auxiliary lock chamber at Hannibal Locks and Dam, located at Mile 126.4 on the Ohio River, was placed back in service allowing navigation traffic to pass through the lock. The Hannibal Locks have been closed to navigation traffic since late Tuesday when the failure of a load bearing quoin seal on a lock gate necessitated placing the primary lock chamber out of service. The auxiliary lock chamber was already out of service due to on-going scheduled maintenance.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Pittsburgh District Repair Fleet accelerated their maintenance efforts on the auxiliary lock, replacing the land wall emptying tainter valve and renovating its operating machinery, completing the job four days ahead of the original schedule. The Repair Fleet will now focus their efforts on the emergency structural repairs to the lock gate quoin seals in the primary lock chamber and anticipate that it will reopen to navigation on Tuesday, November 15th. In cooperation with the navigation industry, procedures were developed to facilitate orderly and efficient locking of queued tows upon the reopening of the auxiliary lock chamber.

As of reopening, there were 40 tows with over 500 barges awaiting passage through Hannibal locks – 27 up-bound and 13 down-bound. It is anticipated that 8 to 12 tows will be locked through the auxiliary chamber per day. The Hannibal locks average about 5,000 commercial lockages annually. Open 24-hours-a-day year around, more than 52 million tons of cargo consisting primarily of coal are transported through the Hannibal locks annually.

From the US Army Corps of Engineers


Port Reports - November 8

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Before the weather deteriorated on the Saginaw River, two vessels made it into port to unload. Late Saturday night, the tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 called on the Bay Aggregates dock and early Sunday morning the Calumet called on the Wirt Stone dock in Bay City. Both vessels remained at their respective dock through the day Sunday due to very high winds and low water levels which dropped to more than 30 inches below chart datum at one point.

The Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. remained at anchor out in the Saginaw Bay waiting for levels to rise before coming in to unload at Consumers Energy in Essexville. She had arrived in the area Sunday morning.

With the winds subsided and the water levels back up, traffic resumed on the Saginaw River Monday morning. The tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 were outbound early in the morning from the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City. Once the pair were clear of the entrance channel, the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. hauled up her anchor and was inbound for the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville. Five miles behind the McCarthy inbound was the tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader who had been anchored off the Charity Islands. The pair lightered at the Wirt Sand & Stone dock in Essexville then backed downriver to the Sargent dock in Essexville to finish her unload. She was expected to be outbound late Monday afternoon.

Once the McCarthy and the Trader were secured at their docks, the Calumet, who had unloaded at the Bay City Wirt dock, turned off the dock and headed outbound for the lake after spending an extra night in Bay City. The Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. was outbound Monday afternoon backing out to light 12 to turn around. She also had to contend with the tug Muskegon and dredge Buxton who are working the channel between the pump-out island and the Front Range.

Lake Ontario - Ron Walsh
The wind was exceptionally strong last night, on Lake Ontario. Storm warnings were up for Lake Ontario while a thunderstorm warning and severe wind warning were issued for Kingston. Lake weather buoys registered well over 30 knots and rising. One freighter reported 50 to 55 knots steady on the lake. A confirmed report said Windsor airport had 109.3 km/hour ( 65 mph) gusts.

Monday the shipping in the Seaway was stopped until approximately 1545. There was no movement from Cape Vincent to Snell lock. They started to get underway at 1545 with the Algosoo westbound from Maitland, where she had anchored last night, at 2055. The Algontario, Maritime Trader, John. B. Aird, Peter R. Cresswell, Ziemia Lodska, Algosoo, Jade Star , Thalassa Desgagnes and James A. Hannah with barge were all held up for wind. At 1545, the Seaway said the bridges were still closed and the South Shore canal was closed. The Algosteel had sought shelter at Burlington last night and went to the canal this morning. They are taking ore to Toledo. The wind went from 30 to 60 knots very quickly, with gusts of 85 knots.

Port Inland - Dennis Bryant
On Friday the Algoway ran aground near Port Inland, Michigan due to gale force winds. The crew waited for the winds to decrease and to shift in hopes of freeing the vessel. The bottom in area of the grounding is sandy and mud. The vessel did not expected to need commercial assistance. On Saturday the vessel was able to break free of the bottom after offloading 300 tons of its cargo onto the Algorail. The vessel was able to proceed on its trip with no damage. Before grounding the Algoway had loaded at Port Inland for Serpent Harbour, Ontario.


Photo Gallery Updates - November 8

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - November 08

The NIMROD (3-mast wooden schooner, 184 foot, 559 tons, built in 1873, at Toledo, Ohio) was carrying 37,000 bushels of corn from Chicago to Buffalo.  On 08 November 1874, she encountered thick fog on Lake Erie and the large double decked schooner MICHIGAN collided with her.  The MICHIGAN continued on her course while the NIMROD filled with water and sank in 70 feet of water off Port Burwell-Port Stanley, Ontario.  The crew escaped in the yawl and were picked up by the schooner GRANTHAM.  The wreck was discovered in 1978, when Capt. Robert Hamilton, a commercial fisherman, snagged his nets on it.  

The COLUMBIA STAR (steel propeller bulk freighter, 1000 foot, 35,923 gross tons) was launched November 8, 1980, at Bay Shipbuilding Co., Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin (Hull#726) .   She is part of the Oglebay Norton fleet.  

The BENJAMIN F FAIRLESS and IRVING S OLDS arrived on November 8, 1988, at Kaohsiung, Taiwan for scrapping by Sing Cheng Yung Iron & Steel Co. Ltd.  

The Great Lakes Engineering Works built steamer a.) STADACONA of 1909, renamed b.)  W H MC GEAN in 1920, was renamed c.) ROBERT S MC NAMARA by its new owner Ford Motor Company's Marine Division on November 8, 1962. The MC NAMARA was rescued from potential scrapping when Ford purchased her for $80,000 and spent $15,000 for renovation at AmShip's Toledo yard.  

The J P MORGAN JR arrived at Avilés, Spain on November 8, 1980 for scrapping.  

PETER A B WIDENER passed down the Welland Canal November 8, 1986, towed by the tugs TUSKER and GLENADA en route to Lauzon, Quebec.   From there she was towed overseas for scrapping. When built, the PETER A B WIDENER and fleet mates J PIERPONT MORGAN, NORMAN B REAM and HENRY H ROGERS were the first 600-footers built for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.;"The Class of 1906."  

On 08 Nov 1986, the B F AFFLECK (steel propeller freighter, 588 foot, 7964 gross tons, built in 1927, at Toledo, Ohio), under tow of the tug THUNDER CAPE, went adrift on Lake Superior in a storm after the tug lost power. The tug AVENGER IV was dispatched to pick up the AFFLECK, which was headed for scrap, and the tanker EASTERN SHELL towed the THUNDER CAPE to Thunder Bay for repairs.  

BEN HUR, a wooden schooner-barge wrecker, 314 tons, built in 1874, at Dunville, Ontario, had been purchased for the job of salvaging the schooner M E TREMBLE.  On 8 November 1890, she was at the job near Port Huron in the St. Clair River when she was rammed and sunk by the schooner-barge SUPERIOR which was being towed by the steamer PASSAIC.  BEN HUR settled on top of the schooner she was attempting to salvage and a lighter-scow she was using also went down with her.  

On 8 November 1877, the bark GREAT WEST was carrying 262,000 feet of lumber from Caseville to Chicago. Much of it was piled topside. In a big storm on Lake Michigan, she lost her deck load. She then became waterlogged and finally went ashore near Hyde Park, Illinois on 10 November. The crew were all saved.  

On 8 November 1877, KATE L BRUCE (3-mast wooden schooner, 307 tons, built in 1872, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin) was carrying wheat in tow of the tug JOHNSON when she was let go in heavy weather. She disappeared with all eight of her crew off Alpena, Michigan. A bureau containing her papers washed ashore in August 1878. The sunken wreck was discovered in 6 fathoms of water in Thunder Bay during the Autumn of 1879.  

The forebody of the former CANADIAN EXPLORER arrived in Prescott on 05 Nov 2000, under tow of the Trois Rivieres tug DUGA. It remained there for three days. The previous March, it was reported that the hull was undergoing conversion to a 498-foot grain storage barge for Les Elevateurs des Trois Rivieres, Quebec. (The engine room portion of the former CANADIAN EXPLORER was mated to the forward section of the HAMILTON TRANSFER in 1998, and now sails as the CANADIAN TRANSFER.)  

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Jody Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history.



Today in Great Lakes History - November 07

On 07 November 1871, M COURTRIGHT (wooden schooner, 276 tons, built in 1856, at Erie, Pennsylvania) was carrying lumber in a storm on Lake Michigan. She struck bottom after her anchor dragged. She then became waterlogged. The crew abandoned in the yawl. The vessel went ashore several miles south of Kenosha, Wisconsin. The revenue cutter ANDREW JOHNSON tried in vain to pull her free but couldn’t. The COURTRIGHT broke up a few days later.

On 7 November 1852, ST LOUIS (wooden side-wheeler, 190 foot, 618 tons, built in 1844, at Perrysburg, Ohio) was carrying railroad cars when she capsized and sank in a gale off Kelley’s Island on Lake Erie. She was owned by Beer & Samuel Ward.

On 07 Nov 1906, the Grand Trunk carferry GRAND HAVEN (steel carferry, 306 foot, 2320 gross tons built in 1903, at Toledo, Ohio) was put up for sale at a receiver's auction when the Grand Trunk Car Ferry Line defaulted on it's bonds. It was purchased by a new Grand Trunk subsidiary, the Grand Trunk Milwaukee Car Ferry Company. This vessel had a long career both on the Lakes and in the Caribbean. She was finally scrapped at Hamilton, Ontario in 1970.

The T-2 converted laker HILDA MARJANNE's 1961, German-built hull forward of the engine room, minus her pilot house, was towed by the tugs G W ROGERS and BAGOTVILLE to Port Weller Dry Docks arriving there on November 7, 1983. This section was to become part of the CANADIAN RANGER.

On November 7, 1989, the SAMUEL MATHER, a.) HENRY FORD II, was moved to Toledo’s C & O Frog Pond on her way to the cutter's torch.

The ARTHUR B HOMER (Hull#303), was launched November 7, 1959, for the Bethlehem Steel Corp., Cleveland, Ohio. She was the last ship built by Great Lakes Engineering at River Rouge, Michigan.

In 1902, the BRANSFORD rammed and sank the tug RECORD with a loss of a tug crewman in the Portage Lake Ship Canal in Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula. Renamed b.) JOHN H MC GEAN in 1916, and c.) CLIFFORD F HOOD in 1943. The HOOD was scrapped in Bilbao, Spain in 1974.

On November 7, 1913, the storm responsible for sinking or damaging more vessels than any other began a six-day assault on the Great Lakes. The "Big Blow" of 1913, struck Lake Superior on November 7 and reached Lake Michigan by November 8, where the Pittsburgh Steamship Company vessel CLARENCE A BLACK was severely damaged by the waves at the dock in Gary, Indiana.

On 7 November 1893, ALBANY (steel propeller package freighter, 267 foot, 1918 gross tons, built in 1884, at Wyandotte, Michigan) collided with the iron freighter PHILADELPHIA in a thick fog. PHILADELPHIA took ALBANY in tow to try to save her, but she sank a few miles off Pointe aux Barques, Michigan. Her crew transferred to PHILADELPHIA, but they soon had to abandon her too since she also sank. 8 lives were lost, presumably when one of the lifeboats was run down by the still running, but abandoned, PHILADELPHIA.

On 7 November 1865, LILY DANCEY (2-mast wooden schooner, 92 foot, 132 gross tons built in 1856, at Goderich, Ontario) was carrying grain in a gale on Lake Huron when she was driven ashore near Port Elgin or Kincardine, Ontario. Her cargo was later recovered, but the schooner broke up by 27 November of that year.

The CITY OF FLINT 32 ran aground at Manitowoc, Wisconsin in 1947.

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



Port Reports - November 7

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris & Todd Shorkey
The Saginaw River saw three vessels moving along the banks of the river during the weekend. First was the barge Pere Marquette 41 and the tug Undaunted who arrived on Saturday afternoon with a load for the Bay Aggregates dock in Essexville. Also inbound on Saturday afternoon, was the Calumet who called on the Wirt Stone dock in Bay City to unload. Both the Calumet and the Pere Marquette 41/Undaunted were ready to depart for the lake late Saturday evening but a cold front that was moving through the area brought with it strong southerly winds of at least 75 mph and hail. On the lake the waves could be as high as 8 feet in some areas. Because of the strong wind out of the south, most of the water in the Saginaw River was blow out into the bay, lowering the water levels in the river dramatically. Both vessels remained at their respective dock through the day Sunday due to very high winds and low water levels which dropped to more than 30 inches below chart datum at one point.

Inbound on Sunday, was the Walter J. McCarty Jr. who was headed for the Consumers Power plant in Essexville. The McCarty anchored just outside of the Entrance Channel in the Saginaw bay to wait for the water levels to come back up in the Saginaw River. She is expected to head inbound to unload when the water levels rise enough for her to proceed.



Tall Ship Ready for Re-Launch

11/6 - Scaffolding was down and tools removed and her winter cover was cleared away as Highlander Sea stands nearly ready to re-enter her element at MCM Marine earlier this week. Visible to starboard of her massive iron rudder are the two new specialized propellers and shafts fitted beneath the pilot schooner’s skinny stern.

With new frame sections, a new keelson, new underwater planking and new paint all around, the 81-year-old schooner is ready for re-launching today after a nearly one year rebuild at MCM. After a few days to soak up, provision, fuel and take on crew, Highlander Sea will head south down the river for her home port at Port Huron. There, shipwrights will continue interior work and re-rigging on the schooner, the pride and joy of owner Acheson Ventures.

Reported by The Soo Evening News


Port Reports - November 6

Saginaw River - Stephen Hause
The tug Invincible with barge McKee Sons entered the Saginaw River early Thursday morning and made a slow transit up bound to the Burroughs dock at Zilwaukee. The vessel faced gusty southeast winds which had dropped water levels in the river eight to nine inches below datum.

The last two of seven vessels to visit the Saginaw River during the first two days of the week were outbound from Saginaw on Wednesday morning. Joyce L. VanEnkevort-Great Lakes Trader was outbound at about 6:00 a.m. from the Sixth Street turning basin in Saginaw after unloading during the night at Saginaw Rock Products.

James Norris unloaded during the night at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee and was ready to depart at about the same time. The Norris waited at the dock for the Great Lakes Trader to clear, then proceeded up to the turning basin. The Norris was outbound from Saginaw shortly after 9:00 a.m.

Rouge River - Tom Welles
A busy day on the Rouge River, with warm and windy weather. The skippers were concerned with the wind in the tight confines of the river. Charles M. Beeghly passed up bound to Severstal Steel complex, while Sam Loud went to anchor in the Detroit River waiting to enter the Rouge.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
The Steamer Alpena arrived in port around 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning. It took on cement for Detroit and was outbound in the bay by 1:00 p.m.

On Thursday, the Reserve brought a load of coal from Sandusky, OH to the DPI Plant. The Reserve tied up before 9:00 a.m. in the Thunder Bay River and proceeded to unload its cargo on a beautiful and mild November day. The Reserve started to back out of the river at 3:00 p.m. and then turned around out in the bay.

The Paul H. Townsend was expected to be in port to load at Lafarge on Friday morning.

The J.A..W. Iglehart is on the lower lakes making stops at Buffalo, NY and Bath, ON.

The G. L. Ostrander/ barge Integrity was in Waukegan, IL on Thursday.

On Friday the tug/barge combos Pathfinder and McKee Sons were on the schedule to load at Stoneport

Erie Canal - Richard Schmeling
The Day Peckinpaugh passed Brewerton, NY last week. She was being towed by NYS tugs to the end of the Barge Canal near Albany where it will become a museum boat. When she was getting ready to depart Brewerton, and had both of her diesels running. The exhaust was a bit smoky but they sounded good. Apparently she is making much of the trip under her own power while tethered to the tugs. Brewerton is at the west end of Oneida lake and the crossing was to be under power.


Photo Gallery Updates - November 6

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - November 06

On 06 November 1880, the W R HANNA (2-mast scow-schooner, 86 foot, 103 gross tons, built in 1857) was carrying 1,600 tamarac railroad ties to Toledo on Lake Huron in a snow storm. She sprang a leak off Pointe aux Barques and filled so fast that the pump was of no use. She broached to and rolled over when about 5 miles north of Sand Beach, Michigan (now Harbor Beach), as the sun set and the snow storm turned into a blizzard. The icy waves swept over the hull while the crew clung on as best they could. Four hours later, they drifted past Sand Beach, not 500 feet from the breakwater. They shouted for help, saw lights moving here and there on the breakwater, but no help came. When the wind shifted and started to blow the vessel out into the Lake, the skipper cut away the weather lanyards and the vessel righted herself and they dropped the anchor. The weather was freezing cold; and there was no dry place left. The cabin was gone and the only spot out of water was on one side forward - a space about four feet wide by ten feet long. The waves kept washing over the waterlogged vessel, drenching the crew. The crew survived through the night. Heavy snow kept falling, cutting visibility to almost zero. Finally, at 10:00 a.m., the following morning, the storm broke and the propeller H LUELLA WORTHINGTON (wooden propeller freighter, 148 foot, 375 gross tons, built in 1880, at Lorain, Ohio), which was in the harbor, saw the wreck and rescued the crew. The skipper of the WORTHINGTON stated that he had heard the cries of the crew throughout the night, but couldn’t navigate in the blinding snow storm. He was awake all night waiting for the storm to break so he could rescue the crew.

On 06 November 1867, ALBEMARLE (3-mast wooden schooner, 154 foot, 413 gross tons, built in 1867, at Buffalo, New York) was carrying iron ore from Escanaba, Michigan to Cleveland, Ohio in a storm when she stranded and wrecked near Point Nipigon in the Straits of Mackinac. This was her first year of operation. She had been put into service just the previous July.

The b.) US266029, a.) WILLIAM CLAY FORD was towed from Nicholson's River Rouge dock November 6, 1986, by tugs TUSKER and GLENADA to Port Maitland, Ontario for scrapping there in 1987.

On November 6, 1913, the J H SHEADLE left Fort William, Ontario bound for Erie, Pennsylvania with grain and encountered fog, gale winds and a snow blizzard in one of the fiercest storms of the century.

On November 6, 1925, the Northern Navigation passenger steamer HAMONIC lost her propeller 20 miles west of Caribou Island in Lake Superior and was wallowing in gale force winds with gusts to 80 m.p.h. She was later towed to safety by the RICHARD TRIMBLE.

On 06 Nov 1985, Desguaces Heme began scrapping the LEON FALK JR in Gijon, Spain. This vessel was built in Chester, Pennsylvania in 1945, as the tanker a.) WINTER HILL, (504 foot, 10,534 gross tons) and then was converted to a 710 foot, 12,501 gross ton bulk freighter in Baltimore, Maryland in 1960-61.

On 6 November 1872, the wooden propeller tug MILDRED, while towing a vessel out of Alpena, Michigan, had her engine fail. Soon she was in trouble and sank. The crew was saved.

On 6 November 1827, ANN (wooden schooner, 53 foot, 58 tons, built in 1819, or 1821, at Black River, Ohio) was carrying salt, general merchandise and passengers when she was driven ashore on Long Point almost opposite Erie, Pennsylvania. 7 Lives were lost, including 5 passengers. 6 survived.

In 1912, the Pere Marquette Railroad announced plans to build a new roundhouse at Ludington, Michigan, it still stands today.

On 6 November 1874, the Port Huron Times listed the following vessels lost in the month of October and in the first week of November of that year: Propellers - BROOKLYN, FRANKFORT, NEW YORK; tug DOUGLAS; schooners - CITY OF PAINSVILLE, WANDERER, PREBLE, THOS. S MOTT; and barges - CLIFTON and SHERMAN.

On 6 November 1883, GUIDING STAR (3-mast wooden schooner, 139 foot, 324 tons, built in 1869, at Oswego, New York) was carrying coal to Milwaukee in fog when she went ashore 12 miles north of Milwaukee. Four of the crew made it to shore in the yawl, but it was wrecked in the process. The rest of the crew was finally rescued by the Milwaukee Lifesavers.

Crews began painting the hull of the SAGINAW (formerly JOHN J BOLAND) in the colors of Lower Lakes Towing Ltd. (gray) on 06 Nov 1999, at Sarnia, Ontario. The vessel had recently been purchased from American Steamship Co. Inside the vessel, crews were gutting the living quarters to remove asbestos and add fire proof walls and new flooring. The engine room equipment and the unloading gear were also refurbished.

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


Ohio River Hannibal Locks Closed
Emergency Lock Closure at Hannibal Locks and Dam
MP 126.4 on the Ohio River at New Martinsville, West Virginia

11/5 - At about 3:20 p.m. on Tuesday, November 1st, the primary lock chamber at Hannibal Locks and Dam was placed out of service due to a failure of a load bearing quoin seal on one of the lock gates. The auxiliary lock chamber was already out of service due to on-going scheduled maintenance. Therefore, at the present time both lock chambers at Hannibal Locks and Dam, located at Mile 126.4 on the Ohio River, are closed and no navigation traffic can pass through the locks.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Pittsburgh District Repair Fleet has accelerated their repair efforts on the auxiliary lock and anticipate that it will reopen to navigation by 11:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 6th. It is estimated that the primary lock chamber will remain closed for a minimum of two weeks while emergency structural repairs to the lock gates are completed.

At the time of the failure of the load bearing quoin seal on the upstream lock gate in the primary lock chamber, the Pittsburgh District Repair Fleet was replacing the land wall emptying tainter valve and renovating its operating machinery as part of their on-going scheduled maintenance of the auxiliary lock chamber. The valve repair work, necessary because of general wear and deterioration, was originally scheduled to close the auxiliary chamber for a 20-day period from October 22nd through November 10th during which time all traffic would pass through the primary chamber.

In cooperation with the navigation industry, procedures have been developed to facilitate orderly and efficient locking of queued tows upon the reopening of the auxiliary lock chamber. As of 11:00 a.m. Saturday, there are 26 tows awaiting passage through Hannibal locks – 18 up-bound and 8 down-bound. The Hannibal locks average about 5,000 commercial lockages annually. Open 24-hours-a-day year around, more than 52 million tons of cargo are transported through the Hannibal locks annually.

A Quoin Seal provides a water-tight seal between the lock gate and lock wall. But more importantly, it transfers the hydrostatic load, or pressure of the water behind the gate, from the lock gate into the lock wall.

USACE News Release reported by John Morris

11/6 Update - At 10:00 p.m. Saturday, there were 10 towboats & tows rafted 3-wide about a mile upstream of the locks; while downstream there were 21 towboats and tows waiting to lock through on their journey north towards Pisburgh.

Since most of the waiting boats are pushing 15-barge tows, it will take days to clear the traffic jam. Each 15-barge tow will require a double lockage to pass through the small, 600' long, land chamber.
The towboat pushes all the barges into the lock, then cuts the tow between the 3rd &
and 4th rows, and backs out with the 4th & 5th rows (6 barges). The front 9 barges in the chamber are then raised or lowered and are winched or "flushed" out and tied off. A second lockage is required to bring the last 6 barges and the towboat up or down to meet up with and re-wire to the leading 9 barges. Its a time consuming operation.


Historic Galloo Island Lighthouse For Sale on eBay
Lake Ontario, NY Historic Property

11/5 - The lighthouse is unrestored. It sits on just over one acre of land on the south end of Galloo Island, Lake Ontario, New York. It is a fully automated, functioning lighthouse which means it is an active U.S. Coast Guard Aids to Navigation. It was built in 1867 out of cut gray limestone quarried on the island. It has not been inhabited since the 1970's and needs a face-lift. The USCG has an easement to maintain the light itself and has the key to the tower, but does not own any of the buildings. The light is solar powered.

The Island is approximately 1900 acres. The island is uninhabited, except for the caretaker for the other part of the island, who comes out occasionally. The Lighthouse is only accessible by private boat or helicopter. The property is surrounded on three sides by thirty-five acres of a New York State wildlife refuge that will never be built upon and is not accessible to the public. The fourth side is Lake Ontario. There is a private beach for landing and a cove. A 20' aluminum power boat comes with the property. It can travel in excess of 25 mph. The island is approximately 12 miles offshore.

The lighthouse is approx. 2500 sq. ft. The keepers quarters was not lived in after the Coast Guard automated the tower light. According to some original plans, there were fireplaces that heated the building but they were covered over with dry wall when the steam heat was installed. The pipes and radiators seem to be okay but the boiler needs to be replaced. There is currently no generator and the electrical system needs to be upgraded to today's standards. There is an existing septic system. The water well is drilled and cased but no pump is installed. The roof is tiled and needs some repair. There are many extra tiles in the crawl space under the house. In the keepers quarters there are 3 to 5 bedrooms, depending on how you want to renovate it.

On the first floor there are two stairways leading to the upstairs. There is a smaller room downstairs. There is a formal dining room, living room, and very large kitchen with a back porch. A lower level room off the kitchen porch contains the heating system and other plumbing. All the systems should be gone over and upgraded as needed. The tower is attached to the keepers quarters and is accessed via an enclosed walkway. The tower is built of the same limestone, faced on the inside with brick covered with plaster. There is an iron staircase winding up the interior in good shape.

The views from the tower are expansive. The sunsets spectacular. The property is on the National Register of Historic Places. The property is zoned Marine. Historic Sackets Harbor, the nearest town, is being restored and developed. Sackets Harbor played a major part in the War of 1812, indeed ships were built upon Galloo Island. The area is very important and interesting historically. And it is beautiful.


Passenger Vessel Reported Sold

11/5 - According to a Rimouski newspaper article, the coastal passenger ship ECHO DES MERS has been sold to a British Columbia businessman. As of Saturday, the ship was still at Rimouski. She has been under arrest at Rimouski since the Fall of 2004 but did not make any trips since October 25, 2003.

She had been built at Collingwood in 1966 as the CCGS NICOLET.

Reported by René Beauchamp


Ryerson NOT Headed for South Chicago

11/05 - Reports from Sturgeon Bay indicate the planned move of the Edward L. Ryerson to South Chicago has been cancelled. The long-idle laker would have been used to store grain this winter. No official information is available as yet about why the deal was terminated.

Original Story - 11/03 - Workers at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay are preparing the laid-up steamer Edward L. Ryerson for a tow down Lake Michigan.

According to shipyard dockworkers, she's bound for South Chicago (upriver from the KCBX coal dock) for use over the winter as a grain storage hull.

When that work is finished, plans are to move the Ryerson back to Sturgeon Bay. Exact departure time for the tow is unknown although it is expected to be soon. The Ryerson, which last sailed in 1998, has been laid up in Sturgeon Bay since then.


Today in Great Lakes History - November 05

At 2:00 a.m. on 05 November 1884, the steamer GRACE GRUMMOND (iron side-wheel excursion steamer, 138 foot, 250 tons, built in 1856, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as the survey steamer JEFFERSON DAVIS, specifically for the survey of the Great Lakes) burned at Grand Haven, Michigan. Her cargo of apples, pears and potatoes was also destroyed. No lives were lost. After the fire she was towed to Chicago to lay up until it was decided what to do with her. It is not known if she ever operated as a steamer again, but in 1887, she was rebuilt as a schooner at Milwaukee. She was one of the only sizable iron-hulled schooners ever used on the lakes. In 1904, as a tow-barge, she was sold Canadian and renamed BALTIC (C.116760). She was later used as a breakwater at Clear Creek, Ontario and was finally scrapped in 1939.

On 05 November 1852, BUCKEYE STATE (3-mast wooden bark, 132 foot, 310 tons, built in 1852, at Black River, Ohio) stranded off S. Milwaukee Point on Lake Michigan in a storm and was then broken up by waves. This was her first year of operation and she had been in service less than three months.

The LOUIS R DESMARAIS cleared Owen Sound, Ontario on her maiden voyage November 5, 1977, bound for Thunder Bay, Ontario. to load 27,117 gross tons of iron ore for Stelco at Hamilton, Ontario. Her forward end was replaced at Port Weller in 2001, and renamed b.) CSL LAURENTIEN.

On her final trip, the IRVIN L CLYMER passed up bound at the Soo on November 5, 1990, and arrived at Duluth two days later to unload limestone at the Hallet Dock #5 after which she moved to her final lay-up berth at Fraser's shipyard and tied up blowing one last three long and two short salute from her whistle. In 1993, she was sold to Azcon Corp. of Duluth, Minnesota for scrapping.

The GRAND HAVEN was raised on November 5, 1969, from the Old River Bed where she sank on September 19, 1969. She was raised for scrapping.

Mr. J.W. Isherwood visited the Great Lakes Engineering Works ship yard on November 5, 1910, and personally inspected the hull which was being built according to his patented design. This vessel, the WILLIAM P PALMER was the first vessel on the Great Lakes built to the Isherwood system of longitudinal framing.

On 05 Nov 1917, a foggy and rainy day, the JAMES S DUNHAM (steel propeller bulk freighter, 420 foot, 4795 gross tons, built in 1906, at W. Bay City, Michigan) sank in a collision with the steamer ROBERT FULTON (steel propeller bulk freighter, 424 foot, 4219 gross tons, built 1896, at Wyandotte, Michigan) just below Grassy Island on the Detroit River. Repairs for both vessels totaled $125,000.

On 5 November 1896, ACADIA (iron-framed wooden propeller, 176 foot, built in 1867, at Hamilton, Ontario) was driven ashore and broke up in a gale near the mouth of the Michipicoten River in Lake Superior. her crew made it to shore and five of them spent more than a week trying to make it to the Soo.

Port Huron Times of 5 November 1878: "The schooner J P MARCH is reported lost with all on board. She was lost at Little Traverse Bay on the northern shore of Lake Michigan. The MARCH was a three masted schooner and was owned by Benton & Pierce of Chicago."

On 5 November 1838, TOLEDO (2-mast wooden schooner, 98 foot, 215 tons, built in 1836, at Buffalo) was carrying dry goods valued at more than $100,000 up-bound on Lake Erie when she was driven ashore by a gale a half mile east of the mouth of the Grand River. She broke in two. No lives were lost.

On 5 November 1869, TITAN (wooden schooner, 132 foot, 361 gross tons, built in 1856, at Oswego, New York) was carrying 17,500 bushels of wheat on Lake Michigan in a terrific gale. She was driven toward shore. Her anchors were dropped as she came close in and they held for about an hour. However, the ship finally dragged ashore, losing both of her masts and breaking up as she struck. Of the nine on board, only one survived and that one was found crawling along the beach in a dazed state. When she was new, TITAN broke the record by completing the trip from Chicago to Oswego in only 8 days and 4 hours. Her record only lasted one day since the schooner SURPRISE broke it by 6 hours the following day.

 In the summer of 1875, the propeller EAST ran down and sank the tug JOE MAC, not even pausing to save her crew from drowning. The following winter Messrs. Seymour & Co., owners of the JOE MAC, obtained a judgment in a U.S. Court against the owners of the EAST. Since the EAST was a Canadian vessel, they were unable to seize her because the judgment could only be effected in American waters. On Sunday morning, 05 Nov 1876, the steam tug SEYMOUR, with a United States Marshal and posse on board, proceeded up to Allen's (presumably at Ogdensburg, New York), and there lay in wait for the EAST, which went up by the Crossover light channel into American waters. The SEYMOUR ran out and captured the vessel and brought her to Averell's wharf in U.S. waters to await justice.

CALCITE II arrived in Sarnia at 6:00 a.m. on Sunday, 05 Nov. 2000, for lay-up. After leaving Cleveland the previous day, she anchored in Western Lake Erie, so she could arrive at the North Slip in Sarnia when shore side personnel would be on-hand to assist. A chartered bus from Rogers City left about noon to take many of the crew home. Around 4:10 p.m., the down bound MYRON C TAYLOR passed her fleetmate CALCITE II, perhaps for the last time in USS Great Lakes Fleet colors, and she blew her sister an extended 3 long and 2 short master salute. The TAYLOR was bound for Cleveland with a load of stone.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history.


Harriman Cabin Move to DeTour Village Getting Closer

11/04 - Workers at Purvis Marine scrap yard in, Sault, Ontario, continue to prepare the forward cabins of the retired cement carrier Lewis G. Harriman for a move to DeTour Village where they will become a summer cottage. The cabins are nearly cut free of the hull and are resting on steel beams that will be used to slide the the cabins onto a deck barge for the trip down the St. Marys River.

Project manager Marty Clement, of Clement Brothers Inc. of Dafter, MI, plans to slide the cabins on to the barge on Monday. Weather permitting, the barge could move down river as early as Wednesday. The cabins must be welded to the barge before the trip begins. Purvis Marine Ltd., who sold the cabins to Marc and Jill VanderMuelen, will be providing the tug power for the river trip.

The new owners are seeking any information, stories or pictures concerning the history of the Harriman, or the present locations of any original artifacts from the boat.

A pictorial history of the progress is available here.


Today in Great Lakes History - November 04

On 04 November 1883, MAYFLOWER (wooden propeller freighter “steam barge”, 185 foot, 623 gross tons, built in 1852, at Buffalo, New York) was carrying lumber when she stranded in a gale off Point Albino near Buffalo, New York where the waves pounded her to pieces. The crew made it to shore in the yawl. She was built as a very fine passenger steamer for the Western Transportation Line then in 1868, she was rebuilt as a “steam barge”.

On 4 November 1875, SWAN (wooden propeller tug, 11 gross tons, built in 1862, at Buffalo, New York) caught fire while lying out in the Saginaw River near East Saginaw. She was abandoned by the crew and burned to the water’s edge.

The JOSEPH G BUTLER JR (steel bulk freighter, 525 foot, 6588 gross tons) was launched on 04 Nov 1905, at Lorain, Ohio for the Tonopah Steamship Co. (Hutchinson & Co., mgr.). She lasted until 1971, when she was stripped of her cabins and scuttled, along with HENRY R PLATT JR, at Steel Co. of Canada plant, Burlington Bay, Hamilton, Ontario, as breakwater and fill.

The CARTIERCLIFFE HALL was registered at Toronto, Ontario on 04 Nov 1977, but didn't enter service until the spring of 1978, because of mechanical difficulties during her sea trials.

On 04 Nov, 1986, the TEXACO CHIEF was renamed A G FARQUHARSON. She is now the ALGONOVA.

CALCITE II departed Cleveland at 5:30 a.m. Saturday, 04 Nov 2000, on her last trip for USS Great Lakes Fleet. She sailed up bound for Sarnia, Ontario where she spent the winter in lay-up. Grand River Transportation had entered into a sale agreement with USS Great Lakes Fleet, Inc. for the purchase of the CALCITE II, GEORGE A SLOAN and MYRON C TAYLOR.

HERON BAY proceeded under her own power to Lauzon, Quebec for her final lay-up on November 4, 1978.

CSL's, NIPIGON BAY was launched November 4, 1950.The CHARLES L HUTCHINSON developed a sizable leak and almost sank November 4, 1925, during her tow to Superior after she struck a reef a few nights before.

The ROBERT C STANLEY's keel was laid November 4, 1942.

UNITED STATES GYPSUM of 1910, grounded at Toledo, Ohio on November 4, 1972, resulting in damage totaling $125,000. Her propeller was removed and the rudder shaft was locked in position to finish the season as a manned barge on the coal run from Toledo to Detroit, Michigan.

The JOSEPH H THOMPSON became not only the largest vessel on the Great Lakes but also the longest dry bulk cargo vessel in the world when it entered service on November 4, 1952, departing Chicago on its first trip.

Setting the stage for the fateful storm which followed less than a week later which sank the EDMUND FITZGERALD, many locations in Minnesota and Wisconsin were setting all-time record high temperatures for the month of November during the period of November 4-6, 1975. Grand Marais, Minnesota reached 67 degrees on November 5 and Superior reached 74 degrees on November 6, both all-time records for the month. Many other notable Great Lakes storms, including the Armistice Day storm of 1940, and the storm that sank the HENRY STEINBRENNER in 1953, were proceeded by record-setting warm weather.

On 4 November 1877, MARY BOOTH (wooden scow-schooner, 132 tons, built in 1857, at Buffalo, New York) was carrying maple lumber in a storm in Lake Michigan. She became waterlogged but her crew doggedly clung to her until she appeared ready to turn turtle. Then her crew abandoned her and she rolled over. She drifted in the lake for several days. The crew landed at White Lake, Michigan and they were near death.

Port Huron Times of 4 November 1878: "The propeller CITY OF MONTREAL is believed to have gone down on Lake Michigan on Friday [1 NOV 1878]. The schooner LIVELY, laden with coal for Bay City, is reported ashore 6 miles above Sand Beach, having gone on at 12 o'clock Sunday night [3 NOV 1878]. The schooner WOODRUFF, ashore at Whitehall, is a total loss. Two men were drowned, one died from injuries received, and Capt. Lingham was saved. The tugs E M PECK and MYSTIC, which went from the Sault to the assistance of the propeller QUEBEC, were wrecked near where she lies, one being on the beach and the other sunk below her decks. Both crews were rescued and were taken to St. Joseph Island."

On 4 November 1856, J W BROOKS (wooden propeller, 136 foot, 322 tons, built in 1851, at Detroit) was carrying provisions and copper ingots to Ogdensburg, New York in a storm when she foundered on Lake Ontario, 8 miles northeast of False Ducks Light. Estimates of the loss of lives range from 22 to 50. In July 1857, she was partially raised and some of her cargo was recovered. She only had a five year career, but besides this final incident, she had her share of disasters. In July 1855, she had a boiler explosion and in May of that same year, she sank in Canadian waters.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Jody Aho, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Today in Great Lakes History - November 03

On 03 November 1907, tug ESCORT (wooden propeller, 45 foot, 40 gross tons, built in 1894, at Port Colborne, Ontario) tried to pass the barge BENJ HARRISON at the mouth of the Niagara River. In a navigational error, the tug sheared under the barge’s bow, was run over and sank. Three lives were lost.

The B A PEERLESS sailed on her maiden voyage November 3, 1952, bound for Superior, Wisconsin where 110,291 barrels of crude oil were loaded destined for British-American's refinery at Clarkson, Ontario. The PEERLESS was built for the express purpose of transporting crude oil from the Interprovincial/Lakehead Pipeline terminus at Superior to B/A's Clarkson refinery. The vessel lasted until 1991, when she was broken up.

On 3 November 1898, PACIFIC (wooden propeller passenger/package freighter, 179 foot. 918 gross tons, built in 1883, at Owen Sound, Ontario) caught fire at the Grand Trunk dock at Collingwood, Ontario. She burned to a shell despite a concerted effort to save her. She was later towed out into Georgian Bay and scuttled.

On 3 November 1855, DELAWARE (wooden propeller, 173 foot, 368 tons, built in 1846, at Black River, Ohio) was carrying general merchandise from Chicago to Buffalo with a stop at Milwaukee. She was driven ashore by a gale 8 miles south of Sheboygan, Wisconsin and sank. 10 or 11 of the 18 on board lost their lives. Within a few days, only her arches were visible above the water.

Dismantling of the H C HEIMBECKER began on 03 Nov 1981, by Triad Salvage Company at Ashtabula, Ohio and was completed the following year. This vessel was originally named GEORGE W PERKINS (steel bulk freighter, 556 foot, 6553 gross tons, built in 1905, at Superior, Wisconsin.)

On November 3, 1910, ATHABASCA (steel propeller passenger steamer, 263 foot, 1774 gross tons, built in 1883, in Scotland) collided with the tug GENERAL near Lime Island in the St. Mary's River. As a result of the collision, the GENERAL sank. She was later recovered and rebuilt as a bulk freighter and lasted until she was broken up in 1948.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history.


Undaunted/PM 41 Rescues Tug Tow

11/02 - Ludington - After 2,500 miles, hurricanes, and an interesting Tuesday morning tow, the 110-foot, former Coast Guard Icebreaker Snohomish made the port of Ludington Tuesday afternoon. Capt. Franz VonRiedel, of the tug Sharon Elizabeth, said the excitement, which led to the tow, started about 1:30 a.m. He said eight-foot waves started rolling his tug — designed for flat-water harbor work — violently from side to side. “The whole boat was trashed,” VonRiedel said. “There wasn’t one thing left on a shelf.”

He said the decks on either side of the tug were awash with water with every set of waves. The violent rolling also caused his engines to lose cooling water and overheat, forcing the engineer to shut down the engines. The four-person crew of the Sharon Elizabeth managed to bring the Snohomish closer to the Sharon Elizabeth’s stern, using towing gear it had on board. The Snohomish originally was 400 feet behind the Sharon Elizabeth.

Rough seas then severed the tow line and caused the two ships to collide several times. VonRiedel said he thinks tug boats have an “ego problem.” “They don’t like to be towed — they fight it — you can hear them back there (when under tow), bitching at you,” he said. At that point VonRiedel called for help.

“We got a call they needed assistance,” said Station Manistee Coast Guard Petty Officer Jason Tessier. Both of Station Manistee’s larger boats were out of service, so the Coast Guard stood by until seas abated enough for the Coast Guard to assist with its 23-foot boat. Enter Capt. Tom Dawes and the crew of Pere Marquette Shipping’s PM 41, which is based out of Ludington. Dawes called Pere Marquette Shipping Chief Operating Officer Chuck Leonard and told him he thought the crew of the PM 41 could, and should, help. “They (Sharon Elizabeth and Snohomish) were in a bad situation,” Leonard said. By then they were within two miles of shore, drifting about 1.5 miles an hour. Dropping an anchor would have been an option for the Sharon Elizabeth, but the unmanned Snohomish most likely would have run aground.

The Coast Guard arrived about the same time as the PM 41 and Dawes asked the Coast Guard crew to ferry members of the PM 41 crew to the unmanned Snohomish. The Coast Guard then helped take tow lines to the Undaunted, secured that vessel then ferried the crewmen back to the Undaunted. The crew of the Undaunted first got the Sharon Elizabeth under tow and then circled back for the Snohomish and continued with both vessels in tow, into Ludington.

VonRiedel had high praise for the crew of the PM 41. “They were a lifesaver,” he said. “Best captain I’ve ever seen,” VonRiedel added, referring to Dawes. VonRiedel said he’s not sure who threw the first tow line to his tug from the PM 41, but he’s never seen a tow line thrown that far. “Must have been 80 feet,” he said. Leonard also praised his crew. “They did a wonderful job, we have a great crew,” he said.

In the end all of the vessels made it into the port of Ludington safely. The PM 41 entered the harbor about noon Tuesday, with both tugs in tow. A King Marine tug, in Ludington on another job, assisted at the back of the parade, helping to keep the two tugs “in check.” Repairs to the Sharon Elizabeth were minor and the crew expected to head to Duluth, MN, Wednesday morning.

The tug Snohomish will remain in Ludington. The tug is being leased from the Northeast Maritime Historical Foundation by S.S. Badger Senior Chief Engineer Chuck Cart. He plans to put the icebreaker into commercial service as an icebreaking tug in the Great Lakes during his off-season from the Badger. The name of the new company is Sable Point Marine. Cart said he plans to have the tug in operation by February and plans to operate primarily in Lake Michigan.

The vessels:
Snohomish - 110-foot former Coast Guard Icebreaker, built in 1943 and first put into service in Boston. In 1947 the vessel was transferred to Rockland, Maine, where it served out its Coast Guard career. Since its Coast Guard service the vessel has been a live-aboard yacht and an ocean-going tug. Its most recent home port was Charleston, S.C., where the Northeast Maritime Historical Foundation took over ownership.
Sharon Elizabeth - 96-foot harbor tug, built in Bay City in 1938.
Undaunted - 143-foot tug, converted to fit into the PM 41 barge, creating a 403-foot articulated tug-barge combo with the former City of Midland carferry. The tug was built in 1943 in Port Arthur, Texas, as an ocean-rescue vessel to assist and salvage U.S. war ships.

From the Ludington Daily News


SS Meteor may be Restored

11/02 - The world's last whaleback ship, which sits at Barker's Island, finally may get restored to its former glory. A national treasure berthed at Barker's Island is getting some long-needed attention. Work is under way to bring the SS Meteor, the world's last whaleback ship, back to its former glory. Superior Public Museums officials are just $20,000 short of the amount needed for a study to guide its restoration. Museum officials hope to get the study under way in January.
"It's well worth it," said Arvid Hagen, who helped dig the channel to bring the ship back to the port where it was launched in 1896. The Meteor is the last of a unique fleet of ships designed to capture nature's efficiencies for moving through water.

"It was the first... to abandon traditional ship design," said Pat Labadie, a shipping historian in Alpena, Mich., and former member of the board that oversees the Meteor. Labadie said the idea of capturing a fish-like design long preceded Capt. Alexander McDougall's whaleback ships, but it couldn't be built with wood. The use of iron and steel in shipbuilding made the whaleback's unique structure possible, he said. "The rounded hull was easy to construct," Labadie said. "The ship required low horsepower to move. There were good reasons to build it and it was a valid experiment."

McDougal's Dream
Alexander McDougall, the eldest son of a Scottish carpenter, approached his ship design with experience in the industry. McDougall started his career in shipping as a deckhand at age 16. Within two years, he became second mate aboard the schooner Edith. His first command was aboard the wooden package freighter the Thomas H. Scott. By spring 1877, McDougall returned to Duluth to work on his idea to improve the shipping industry. In 1881, McDougall received his first patent for a towboat with the whale-like design. The design earned recognition of the federal government, but local financiers weren't ready to back the unproven design. Friends offered verbal support, but money to build the first of the 44-ship fleet came out of McDougall's pocket. With no money for engines or boilers, Barge No. 101 was launched June 23, 1888.

A Mocked Success
The launch was a success from a shipping standpoint, but Barge No. 101 was ridiculed for its pig-like appearance. McDougall didn't let the criticism stand in his way. With financial resources dried up after construction of the first ship, McDougall sought Rockefeller family wealth to back his design. The agreement reached, with the help of a Rockefeller associate Colgate Hoyt, created the American Steel Barge Co., which initially built six ships in Duluth before moving operations to Superior. At the height of the company's construction period,700 men worked for American Steel Barge and built 18 ships in one year. The Meteor -- launched as the Frank Rockefeller in 1896 and later renamed the South Park -- was the 37th whaleback ship built from 1888 to 1898. Changes in methods for loading and unloading ships, rather than the ship's design, determined the fleet's fate, Labadie said. Large openings in the hulls needed for loading were not practical in the rounded hull of the whaleback, Labadie said. Today, all the ships, except the Meteor, are sunk or were long ago scrapped. The Meteor narrowly escaped the same fate after it ran aground in 1942 near Manistique, Mich. World War II created a demand for ships capable of transporting oil. Petroleum proved to be a niche the whaleback could fill, Labadie said. Cleveland Tanker Corp. bought the scrapped ship, converted it to a tanker and renamed it the Meteor. It served as a petroleum tanker on the Great Lakes until 1969, when it ran aground again, this time near Marquette, Mich. Officials with the U.S. Coast Guard inspected the ship after its last mishap. The ship would have to be entirely overhauled to remain in service. The Meteor -- the oldest ship in service on the Great Lakes at the time -- was retired.

Bringing History Home
The ship was docked in Manitowoc, Wis., until the city of Superior negotiated an agreement to turn it into a museum. Hagen was among the men assigned to dig the channel to get the 366-foot-long, 45-foot-wide ship to its current location on Barker's Island in 1972. The end of the island where the ship is now was underwater at the time, Hagen said. Even with the deeper channel, berthing the ship didn't go as planned, he remembered. "The plan was to berth the ship on a Friday," Hagen said. "An emergency delayed that a day. By the time we moved the ship, the wind had switched, which made the channel a foot more shallow." Despite the wind change, Hagen said the ship was berthed. Shallow water just made it more difficult to do. A year later, the ship opened as a museum. Since then, time has continued to wear on the whaleback's physical and structural integrity. Before it's too late, museum officials are hoping to develop a historic structures report to guide the Meteor's renovation and bring it national recognition.

Preserving the Past
The report will be a detailed history of the ship, said Jean Lambin, a Wisconsin program director with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. "It's a tell-all biography of what went into building the ship, changes over time, and what it will take to bring it back to a point in time," Lambin said. The report also will help the museum's board gain recognition for the SS Meteor as a national landmark, said Susan Anderson, Superior Public Museums director. As a national landmark, Anderson said it will be easy to garner national resources for the ship's restoration. And the ship is of national significance, Labadie said. "The ship line emboldened ship designers," Labadie said. "It was an important step in ship design."

From the Duluth News-Tribune.


Seaway Fire Reported in a Salty

11/2 - 9:00 A.M. - The Kapitonas Marcinkus has been reported to have a fire on board while down bound in the Brockville Narrows. Local Coast Guard confirmed the incident, they stated the fire was in the engine room.

9:00 P.M. Update - Kapitonas Marcinkus was reported to be moving down bound in the Seaway. She must have gotten the fire under control and passed inspection.

Reported by Ron Walsh Kingston, Ontario


Port Reports - November 2

Welland Canal - Paul Beesley
Early Monday morning the Niagara Regional Police were called to remove a car from the Welland Canal below Lock 1. Police divers located the car and a local firm lifted it out of the water. A number of marijuana plants floated free from the vehicle and were recovered by the police with Coast Guard assistance. Traffic at the north end of the canal was stopped for about 2 hours while the recovery took place.

The operator of the vehicle did not accompany it into the canal. She has been taken into custody.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
A total of seven vessels have been moving between docks along the banks of the Saginaw River the past few days. On Monday, the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. called on the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville to unload. She was finished by the evening and backing out to Light 12 to turn and head for the lake.

The Buffalo, who had waited outside the Saginaw River Entrance Channel for the McCarthy to pass, was in next, bound for the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City. Once unloaded, Buffalo waited at the dock for the inbound tug Joe Thompson & barge Joseph H. Thompson to pass before departing for the lake early Tuesday morning. The Thompson was headed upriver to unload at the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee

Other inbound vessels were the tug Karen Andrie and her barge A-397 who called on the Triple Clean Liquifuels dock in Essexville and the Calumet who traveled up to the Saginaw Rock Products dock in Saginaw to unload. The Karen Andrie departed Triple Clean Tuesday afternoon stopping at the Essroc dock to rig for towing her barge before departing for the lake.

The Calumet was outbound Tuesday afternoon following right behind the tug Joe Thompson & barge Joesph H. Thompson. After the Thompson freed herself from a shallow spot near Cheboyganing Creek, both vessels made each Bay City Drawbridge with the same lift and headed for the lake.

Inbound Tuesday evening were the Tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader. The pair lightered at the Essroc Stone dock in Essexville before continuing upriver to finish unloading at the Saginaw Rock Products dock in Saginaw.

The James Norris was in next headed upriver to unload at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee. Both vessels were expected to be outbound Wednesday morning.

Duluth-Superior - Al Miller
After a lull of a couple of weeks, the fall grain trade is picking up again in the Twin Ports. On Nov. 1, the Wana Naree was loading at Cargill, Ziemia Lodzka was loading at AGP and Quebecois was loading at CHS berth 2. The following morning, Wana Naree had departed but Ziemia Gniezienska had arrived at the Peavey elevator.

Cason J. Callaway was in Duluth on Nov. 1 with an interesting combination of cargoes. The vessel arrived with stone for the DMIR dock. After unloading, it shifted to Hallett 5 to load sinter.
Nov. 2 arrivals included Michipicoten and Stewart J. Cort, both to load taconite pellets at BNSF in Superior.


Photo Gallery Updates - November 2

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - November 02  

On 02 November 1924, TURRET CROWN (steel propeller “turret ship”, 253 foot, 1827 tons, built in 1895, in England) was driven ashore in a gale on Meldrum Point on the north side of Manitoulin Island on Lake Huron.  Her hull was wrecked during the storms that winter.  She was cut up and removed for scrap the following year. 

On November 2, 1984, the tugs ATOMIC and ELMORE M MISNER towed the ERINDALE to the International Marine Salvage scrap dock at Port Colborne, Ontario where demolition began that month. 

The H C HEIMBECKER proceeded under her own power to Ashtabula, Ohio for scrapping, arriving there November 2, 1981. 

On November 2, 1948, the FRANK ARMSTRONG collided head-on with the c.) JOHN J BOLAND of 1905, a.) STEPHEN B CLEMENT, in a heavy fog on Lake Erie near Colchester, Ontario. Both vessels were badly damaged and resulted in one fatality on the BOLAND. The ARMSTRONG was towed to Toledo, Ohio for repairs. 

In 1972, the A E NETTLETON's towline parted from the OLIVE L MOORE during a snowstorm with gale force winds 17 miles west of the Keweenaw Peninsula on Lake Superior. The barge developed a 15 degree list when her load of grain shifted. Three of her five member crew were air lifted by a U.S.C.G. helicopter to the MOORE to assist in re-rigging the towline. The NETTLETON was then towed the next day into the Lily Pond on the Keweenaw Waterway to trim her cargo.

The WILLIAM C MORELAND was abandoned to the underwriters on November 2, 1910, as a constructive total loss, amounting to $445,000. She had stranded on Sawtooth Reef off Eagle Harbor, Michigan on Lake Superior in mid October.

The keel of the new section, identified as Hull #28, was laid down on November 2, 1959. A new forward pilothouse and a hatch crane were installed and her steam turbine engine and water tube boilers were reconditioned. The vessel was named c) RED WING after the Detroit Red Wing hockey team, honoring a long association with Upper Lakes Shipping and James Norris, the founder of ULS, and his two sons, James D. and Bruce, owners of the National Hockey League team.  

In 1971, the Lake Michigan Carferry Badger was laid up due to a coal strike.  

On 2 November 1889, FRANCIS PALMS (wooden schooner, 173 foot, 560 tons, built in 1868, at Marine City, Michigan as a bark) was sailing from Escanaba to Detroit with a load of iron ore when she was driven ashore near Beaver Island in Lake Michigan. Her entire crew was taken off by the tug GLADIATOR that also pulled in vain while trying to free the PALMS. The PALMS was pounded to pieces by the storm waves. November was a bad month for the PALMS since she had previously been wrecked on Long Point in Lake Erie in November 1874, and again at Duluth in November 1872.

During the first week of November 1878, the Port Huron Times reported wrecks and mishaps that occurred during a severe storm that swept over the Lakes on Friday and Saturday , 1-3 November. The information was reported on 2, 4 & 5 November as the reports came in. The same reports will appear here starting today: Port Huron Times of 2 November 1878: "The schooner L C WOODRUFF of Cleveland is ashore at the mouth of the White River with her foremast gone. She is loaded with corn. Three schooners went ashore at Grand Haven Friday morning, the AMERICA, MONTPELIER, and AUSTRALIAN. One man was drowned off the AUSTRALIAN. The schooner WORTS is ashore and full of water on Beaver Island. Her cargo consists of pork for Collingwood. The tug LEVIATHAN has gone to her aid. The schooner LAKE FOREST is ashore at Hammond's Bay, Lake Huron, and is full of water. She has a cargo of corn aboard. The tug A J SMITH has gone to her rescue. The barge S C WOODRUFF has gone down in 13 feet of water off Whitehall and her crew is clinging to the rigging at last accounts. A life boat has been sent to her relief. The barge RUTTER is in 25 feet of water and all the crew are now safe."  

On 2 November 1874, PREBLE (2-mast wooden schooner, 98 foot, 166 tons, built in 1842, at Buffalo, New York as a brig) was lost in a storm off Long Point on Lake Erie and broke up in the waves. The steamer ST PAUL rescued her crew.

On 02 Nov 1862, BAY STATE (wooden propeller, 137 foot, 372 tons, built in 1852, at Buffalo, New York) was bound for Lake Erie ports from Oswego, New York when she broke up offshore in a terrific gale in the vicinity of Oswego. All 22 onboard, including six passengers, lost their lives. The shoreline was strewn with her wreckage for miles.  

The PAUL H CARNAHAN was christened at the foot of West Grand Boulevard in Detroit, Michigan on 02 Nov 1961. She had been converted from the tanker ATLANTIC DEALER to a dry bulk cargo carrier by American Ship Building Co. at Lorain, Ohio and came out on her maiden bulk freighter voyage just two weeks before this christening ceremony.

The CANADIAN EXPLORER (now CANADIAN TRANSFER) entered service on 02 Nov 1983, bound for Duluth, Minnesota where she loaded 851,000 bushels of corn. She was originally built as the tanker CABOT in 1965, then was rebuilt as a dry cargo bulk carrier at Port Weller Shipyards, Ltd., St. Catharines, Ontario where she received the bow and mid-body of NORTHERN VENTURE. The rebuilt was completed in 1983. She is currently named CANADIAN TRANSFER.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history



Today in Great Lakes History - November 01

On 01 November 1880, NINA BAILEY (wooden schooner, 30 tons, built in 1873, at Ludington, Michigan) filled with water and went out of control in a storm on Lake Michigan.  She struck the North Pier at St. Joseph, Michigan and capsized.  Her crew climbed up on her keel and were rescued by the Lifesaving Service.  The vessel later broke up in the waves.

The Grand Trunk Western Railway was granted permission by the Interstate Commerce Commission on November 1, 1978, to discontinue its Lake Michigan service between Muskegon, Michigan and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

The MAITLAND NO 1 made her maiden voyage on November 1, 1916, from Ashtabula, Ohio to Port Maitland, Ontario, transporting rail cars with coal for the steel mills at Hamilton, Ontario. 

The SCOTT MISENER of 1954, returned to service in the grain trade on November 1, 1986, after a 3 year lay-up  

On 1 November 1917, ALVA B (wooden steam tug, 74 foot, 84 gross tons, built in 1890, at Buffalo, New York) apparently mistook amusement park lights for the harbor markers at Avon Lake, Ohio during a storm. She struck bottom in the shallows and was destroyed by waves.

On 1 November 1862, BLACK HAWK (wooden brig, 138 foot, 385 tons, built in 1854, at Ohio City, Ohio) was carrying 19,000 bushels of corn and some stained glass when a gale drove her ashore and wrecked her near Point Betsie. In 1858, this vessel had sailed from Detroit, Michigan to Liverpool, England and back.

On 1 Nov 1862, CHIEF JUSTICE MARSHALL (2-mast wooden schooner, 105 foot, 182 tons, built in 1830, at Cape Vincent, New York) was driven aground between Dunkirk and Barcelona, New York during a storm. All hands were lost and the vessel was a total loss.

The Mackinac Bridge was opened to traffic on 01 November 1957.  

The CITY OF MILWAUKEE (steel propeller carferry, 347 foot, 2988 gross tons, built in 1931, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin) made her last run for Grand Trunk’s rail car ferry service on 01 November 1978. In the fall of 1978, after termination of Grand Trunk's carferry service, she was then chartered to Ann Arbor Railroad. She is currently a museum ship at Manistee, Michigan.

Port Maitland Shipbreaking Ltd. began scrapping P & H Shipping's f.) ELMGLEN on 01 November 1984. She had a long career, being built in 1909, at Ecorse, Michigan as the a.) SHENANGO (steel propeller bulk freighter, 580 foot. 8047 gross tons).  

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Jody Aho, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history.



Port Burwell Ferry Closer to Reality
American company would pay most of the costs

11/01 - Port Burwell, Ontario is the latest potential Canadian port for a Lake Erie ferry system. Municipality of Bayham council made it official last week when elected officials expressed interest in establishing a ferry in Port Burwell. In early September, Mayor Lynn Acre confirmed she had been talking to Jarvis-based Seaport Management about the possibility. The matter was referred to the municipality’s Economic Development Committee. A meeting took place between Seaport chairman Kent Kristensen, two representatives of council and two members of the economic development committee. A site meeting followed with two representatives of Mols Linien, the Danish company that would provide the ferry. Council decided to send a letter to Seaport Management, informing the company it was interested in ferry service. The letter was also sent to representatives of both the provincial and federal governments.

In an interview last week, Acre said the ferry dock would be set up in the outer harbour, with two docks for the truck ferries and one for the high-speed passenger ferry. The dock would be in the area where the boardwalk is presently situated, southeast of the sewage treatment plant. Fairport Harbor, Ohio., which is 24 miles east of downtown Cleveland and west of Ashtabula, would be the American destination in the Seaport proposal. The ferry service could involve both passenger and freight service.

Development of the ferry could be staged Bayham administrator Kyle Kruger said, with a fast ferry passenger service coming first and a freight boat following.
“It all depends on the business plans for the companies and levels of assistance from government,” he said. Kristensen said Port Burwell is the most logical Canadian destination for a ferry service. It is the shortest route across the lake and the layout of Port Burwell is better suited to handle the traffic flow that would result from a ferry service, he said. In addition, he said there is resistance to the ferry project in Port Stanley and Cleveland.

Although work has been underway on locating a cross-Erie service from Port Stanley to Cleveland, Kristensen still believes he has the upper hand. “If you add it all up, we believe Port Burwell – despite the fact it needs dredging – can be up and running faster than others if there is a commitment,” he said.
Asked when he would like to see the ferry operational, Kristensen answered, “There’s some infrastructure that needs to be resolved as soon as possible – no later than spring ‘07.” Another area where Kristensen believes his proposal has an advantage is Mols Linien already has boats available. He understands the other proposals still need to build or purchase a ferry.

His plans are to start with a fast ferry that can travel 45 knots and cross the lake in 75 minutes. It will be able to hold 120 cars or 100 mini vans and 450 passengers. It would run seven to eight months of the year. That boat would need only five meters (15 feet) of draft. Later, with the first ferry generating income for an expansion, a second boat may be added. It would be a ROPAX vessel that could sail during the winter if the ice isn’t solid. Kristensen estimates are the boat could operate 350 days of the year in most years. That boat would travel at 20 knots, meaning it would cross in two hours and 45 minutes. It would hold 300 cars or 65 transport trucks, or any combination thereof. It will also seat 600 passengers.

When interviewed in September, Acre said she was upfront with Seaport, telling the company representative annual dredging would have to be a part of establishing a base in Port Burwell. Acre now said she expected some sort of a harbour corporation to be set up with several entities sharing the dredging costs.
On the matter of dredging, Kristensen said he is aware dredging would be needed. He said as a Small Crafts Harbours (federal) facility, the harbour should be dredged to maintain a safe harbour. When that’s the case, Kristensen said he didn’t want to finance dredging. He did say the company will be bringing money for facilities, though. “We will pay a large component of what is needed to maintain the harbour, but it won’t be a cheque for dredging per se,” he said.

Alternate Dredging Technology
The same day Kristensen phoned Acre, a London company phoned with a proposal to use new dredging technology. “They need a place to show it and want to use Port Burwell,” she said. Instead of the traditional backhoe and barge dredging, the new technology uses air pressure and an auger. The loosened material is sucked up in a plastic tube and is dried as it’s sucked up. The tube can be up to a mile long, meaning the material can be deposited directly on land. Acre said the company knows Bayham doesn’t have money for dredging and is going to pursue federal or provincial money. An experiment will take place next month where the company will demonstrate to the Ministry of Environment dredging can take place without stirring up silt to hurt fish spawning.

Earlier this year, a deal to dredge the harbour and finance it through sale of the dredged material for fill on a county road project, fell through due to costs of removing the material coming in above the initial quotes. The county was to pay $1.50 per cubic yard for an estimated $40,000 cubic yards of fill. Kruger said reconstruction of Glen Erie Line won’t happen in 2006 as the project didn’t qualify for infrastructure funding. Kruger understands Glen Erie Line reconstruction will occur in 2007, funding or not. If the dredging was to take place next year that opens the possibility of selling the material again.

Acre is aware of the potential of a ferry base in Port Stanley. She talked to Central Elgin officials and found they were not keen on having transport trucks offloading in the village. She believes there is more support in Port Burwell. Acre admitted it’s unlikely a passenger ferry could be successful in both Port Burwell and Port Stanley, saying which one will go ahead will likely be on a first-come basis. It’s possible a ferry could be established in Port Burwell as soon as next year.

From the Tillsonbug News


Mackinaw's Moorings Finished

11/01 - Cheboygan, MI - A local marine contractor got a well-deserved salute from the captain of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw for the job that has been done in remodeling the ship's dock and adjacent facilities. The crew aboard the giant icebreaker has cleaned up and stowed all the materials from Saturday's Haunted Ship display that drew 1,249 admissions to benefit the Salvation Army Food Bank. More than 2,300 canned and non-perishable items were collected from patrons for the event. Now the Mackinaw is in a maintenance period that will last nearly a month.

The time off has given Cmdr. Joe McGuiness an opportunity to inspect the new look given to the Millard D. Olds Memorial Moorings by Ryba Marine, which has been working on the job since the beginning of the summer. “Over the 21 years I've been in the Coast Guard, I've done a lot of work with government contractors,” McGuiness stated. “Ryba has got to be at the top of the heap. They stayed flexible with our needs and delivered a product the Coast Guard and the town can be proud of.”

Although the project entailed far more than cosmetic repairs, it is the look of the whole finished project that is turning heads along the Cheboygan River. New sod has been laid around the parking and dock areas, with landscaping surrounding the new sign proclaiming the site as the home of both the original Mackinaw and the new Mackinaw. Gone are the giant dolphin piers that used to stand the Big Mac off the dock, creating a space of six feet to eight feet between the ship and the shore. Erosion along the shoreline deposited sediment next to the dock making it too shallow for the ship, necessitating the stand-off position. It's been that way for years.

Instead, rubber bumpers were installed along a new extension of the main dock, bringing the shore out to the ship in deeper water. The difference of a few feet makes a big difference. “They built the dock out to the ship, avoiding a perpetual docking issue,” McGuiness explained. “Now the river can run along and keep that area as deep as it needs to be.” The dock in the turning basin, where the Mackinaw located around 1950 after moving from the Olds Coal Dock on the west side of the river, has also been remodeled with new dolphin piers, improved septic and electrical connections, and multiple bollards for varying tie-up conditions and ship lengths. The facility now has the capability to moor several types of Coast Guard vessels.

Obvious upon entering the facility is the large amount of space that will now be available for buoys and related equipment, some of which will be kept in a new storage barn at the site. Buoy-tending and repairs will be part of the job description of the new Mackinaw, scheduled to arrive in December. More than 1,000 yards of concrete were used in one flat continuous pour for the yard area with twice that much going into the bollard anchors and the new dock extension. H&D Roadbuilding Plus handled that segment with assistance from a host of local contractors.

The crew's recreational facilities were not affected, leaving the tennis courts and softball field ready for use. The building at the site is being completed as an office complex that will house management for the buoy-tending and repair detail. “This facility should be set for the life of the new cutter,” added McGuiness.

From the Cheboygan Tribuune


Great Lakes Maritime Academy
30th Annual Mariners Memorial Service
Thursday, November 10, 2005 - 12:00 Noon

11/01 - The community is invited to attend the annual Mariners Memorial Service in the courtyard of the Great Lakes Maritime Academy at NMC’s Great Lakes Campus on East Front Street at Barlow Avenue (next to the Holiday Inn) in Traverse City. The service begins promptly at 12:00 noon Thursday, November 10, 2005. Guests are invited to enter the facility through the glass exhibition hall and proceed into the outdoor courtyard on the north side (harbor side) of the Academy.

The Memorial Service, held to remember and honor mariners who have perished on the Great Lakes and oceans, is sponsored by the Student Propeller Club, Port 150, of the Great Lakes Maritime Academy.

For more information, call the Maritime Academy at (231) 995-1200, or visit their website at:

Refreshments Served Immediately Following Service.s


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