Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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CSL Assiniboine tow arrives

11/30 - The CSL Assiniboine tow passed through Lock 1 of the Welland Canal Sunday morning and was assisted into the dry dock at Port Weller Dry Docks. Repairs will be made to damage caused by a recent grounding in the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Al Howard


Seaway hopes to pick up business during CN Rail strike

11/30 - Toronto, Ont. – A strike by Canadian National Railway Co. CNR-T locomotive engineers threatens a nascent recovery in freight shipments.

Canada's largest railway, which is seen as a barometer for the economy because the carrier hauls a wide range of goods, finally began to see signs of a turnaround in November.

But a strike that began Saturday by 1,700 engineers comes at a precarious time for farmers, manufacturers and other corporations dependent on CN to move cargo ranging from grain and chemicals to lumber and consumer products.

Montreal-based CN has been gradually bouncing back from the recession. In early July, weekly carloads of merchandise were down 35 per cent from the same period last year, but for the week ended Nov. 21, they edged up 1.5 per cent year over year.

While truckers are positioned to pick up some of CN's short-haul business, long-haul shipments are best suited to movement by rail. The Hamilton Port Authority, which has developed its own strategy to win short-haul business that would otherwise go on rails, is touting the transport of goods by ship to take advantage of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Joe Martin, director of Canadian business history at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, said CN managers may be able to maintain deliveries for the first several days, but there are bound to be delays as the strike lengthens, especially if snowstorms hit.

In contrast to a strike at CN in 2007, the economy this time around doesn't have the resilience that it did during the previous labour dispute, Prof. Martin said yesterday.

Teamsters president Daniel Shewchuk said the engineers, who operate the locomotives and are responsible for train speed, are upset that CN management is proposing to increase work loads while only offering a 1.5-per-cent raise, with no retroactive pay increase and unsatisfactory health benefits.

The current monthly “mileage cap” is 3,800 miles, but CN wants to raise it to 4,300 miles – the distance travelled for work duties, which could translate into working at least an extra day every month, he said.

A wide array of industries urged Ottawa at the time to end the labour dispute, saying they couldn't afford any more costly delays to rail service.

Manufacturers, chemical producers, forestry firms and farming groups were among the angry rail customers. Despite a tentative pact in late February of 2007, workers later rejected the deal and staged a series of rotating strikes in the spring, forcing Parliament to pass back-to-work legislation in April. A federally appointed arbitrator subsequently selected CN's final offer.

The Globe and Mail


Port Reports - November 30

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. called on the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville on Sunday. She completed her unload and was outbound late in the evening, backing out into the Saginaw Bay to turn and head for the lake.


Great Lakes Maritime center nears milestone

11/30 - Port Huron, Mich. – The Great Lakes Maritime Center expects to welcome its 300,000th guest of the year Sunday. The number is a record, beating last year by about 22,000 visitors, said Peter Werle, the center's operations manager.

The number of visitors is an estimate. While the center's staff keeps an accurate head count each day during big events -- such as Boat Week -- and every Monday, totals for other days are estimates.

Acheson Ventures opened the center at Vantage Point in Port Huron in January 2006.

One long, windowed wall of the rectangular building looks out over a boardwalk and the St. Clair River. The facility includes tables, meeting rooms, a stand that sells food and wireless Internet access.

Werle said people come to eat, play cards or just get an up-close look at freighters. The meeting rooms sometimes are rented out to organizations.

Werle thinks the center is gaining popularity by word of mouth. People from near and far stop by when they're in the area, he said. The guestbook has been signed by visitors from places as close as Howell and as far away as Brisbane, Australia.

Alec Chrivia, 8, of Port Huron regularly comes to the Maritime Center with his grandfather Bob Gable, 72, of Port Huron.

"We watch the freighters go by, and sometimes we see the Paul (R.) Tregurtha, and it's 1013 feet and six inches long," Alec said, adding it's the longest vessel on the Great Lakes. "But some oil tankers on the Atlantic Ocean are 200 feet longer."

Alec said he picks up a lot of information by listening to the Maritime Center's volunteers recite information about freighters as they go by. All the facts Alec rattled off Saturday were accurate, according to the center's records.

Werle estimates 500 people walk through the doors on an average day. On special occasions, that number goes way up, he said.

The center saw 10,000 people for Boat Week and 23,000 for Boats, Balloons and BBQ this summer.

The 300,000th person -- or group as the case may be -- will get Highlander Sea merchandise such as a shirt, bag, hat and water bottle as well as a $50 gift card for the Coffee Harbor, the café at the center. The Highlander Sea is a tall ship owned by Acheson Ventures.

"As we get closer, we'll pay more attention to how many people walk in the doors," Werle said. "It's going to be a bit subjective. ... You're not assigned a number every time you walk in the door."

Port Huron Times Herald


Fighter plane in Lake Michigan since 1945 to be returned to land

11/30 - Chicago, Ill. – A World War II fighter plane that crashed into an icy Lake Michigan during a training flight almost 65 years ago will be hauled back up to the surface early next week, a salvage expert who found the wreckage said Friday.

The F6F-3 Hellcat sank on Jan. 5, 1945, nearly taking pilot Lt. (j.g.) Walter B. Elcock with it.

The pilot, now 89, managed to snag a wire on the carrier with the plane's tailhook and, joking about the next few seconds, felt as though he "hung there about 10 or 15 minutes," Elcock said from his home in Georgia. Then the wire broke.

"I went straight underwater," he recalled. He unbuckled and kicked for the surface, maybe 10 feet away, thinking that he wouldn't be able to stay afloat wearing all of his heavy flight gear.

But almost immediately, a Coast Guard ship pulled him out. "Relief, I guess, is the best word," he said. Elcock hadn't thought about it much since.  "I grew up hearing the story of this crash," said Elcock's grandson, Hunter Brawley, 36, of Atlanta.

While researching Hellcat squadrons a few months ago, Brawley came across the Web site of Taras Lyssenko of Chicago-based A&T Recovery, which specializes in retrieving historic planes from the lake.

It so happened the team had found Elcock's plane -- nose-down in 250 feet of water, 50 miles from Chicago in Michigan waters.

"He got teary-eyed when I showed him video footage of the aircraft underwater," Brawley said of his grandfather. A remotely operated vehicle had captured the images.

Recovering the damaged aircraft earlier this month proved almost as harrowing as trying to land it.

The salvage team tried to get permission from the Army Corps of Engineers and the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office since January. Approval came last week.

Starting at 6 a.m. Nov. 21, the crew took four hours to raise the plane. Transporting it back to shore required suspending the plane just below the lake's surface and slowly motoring to harbor. That took until after sunset the next day, Lyssenko said.

"People think it's fun and exciting," he joked about the painstaking trip home, one that saw him praying that the November skies wouldn't churn up waves. "Not after hour 20 of towing. It's cold, it's damp. It sure would have been nice to have done this in July."

Nevertheless, Lyssenko's salvage boat and Elcock's Hellcat are safely in Waukegan Harbor. A nautical crane will haul the plane out of the water about 10 a.m. Monday, where it's expected to be restored and eventually put on display.

Chicago Tribune


Updates - November 30

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery


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.


CSL Assiniboine tow arrives at Port Weller

11/29 -  CSL Assiniboine arrived under tow Saturday night below Lock 1 of the Welland Canal. She was tied up at Wharf 2, Port Weller West (sand dock). The tow was expected to get under way Sunday morning for the short trip to Port Weller Dry Docks for repairs.

Mark Hill


Port Reports - November 29

Menominee, Mich. – Dick Lund
Vaasaborg arrived at KK Integrated Logistics early Saturday morning. The ship was in port to take on a load of pulp. This is the first Wagenborg ship in Menominee in almost two years - the Dongeborg arrived at KK on Nov. 30, 2007.

Green Bay, Wis. – Scott Best
Friday afternoon in Green Bay the Manistee was unloading coal at Fox River Dock, while all the way up river the American Courage was unloading coal at Georgia Pacific. The Manistee departed just before 2 p.m. The American Courage was on its last trip of the year and headed into Sturgeon Bay for winter lay-up Saturday after completing cargo hold clean up on Lake, Mich. late on Friday.

Escanaba, Mich. – Rod Burdick
Fleetmates Joseph L. Block and Wilfred Sykes were at the CN ore dock Saturday afternoon. Block was loading taconite on the north side of the dock while Sykes was loaded and secured on the south side.


Updates - November 29

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History - November 29

In 1953, the BENJAMIN F. FAIRLESS, Captain H. C. Buckley, transported the last iron ore of the season through the Soo Locks. The ore originated at Two Harbors and was unloaded at Conneaut. After unloading, the FAIRLESS headed for Monroe, Michigan, for layup.

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 1,000 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. Marys 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, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


CSL Assiniboine tow underway

11/28 - The tugs Duga and Ocean Bertrand Jeansonne tugs departed with CSL Assiniboine in tow bound for Port Weller, Ont., and a date with the shipyard there, at 5:30 a.m. Friday morning. On Thursday, patching was taking place as welders worked preparing the ship for the trip across Lake Ontario. CSL Assiniboine spent the better part of last week aground near Cardinal, Ont., after an engine failure.


Port Reports - November 28

Holland, Mich. - Bob VandeVusse
The tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber made a late season call at Holland Friday evening. The pair came through the channel at about 7:30. Since the lighted markers were replaced with the winter cans more than a week ago, the pair slowly made their way to the Brewer dock at the far east end of Lake Macatawa and tied up after 9 p.m.


Today in Great Lakes History - November 28

In 1949, sea trials for the largest freighter built on the Great Lakes, the WILFRED SYKES, were held off Lorain, Ohio. SYKES was converted to a self-unloader in 1975.

In 1942, the Canadian grain carrier JUDGE HART grounded and then sank in Ashburton Bay, Lake Superior. The entire crew of the JUDGE HART was rescued by the JAMES B. EADS, Captain Stanley J. Tischart, and the whaleback JOHN ERICSSON, Captain Wilfred E. Ogg.

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 NO 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 NO 4 left Cleveland bound for Frankfort on her maiden voyage.

The ANN ARBOR NO 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, Russ Plumb, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


CSL Assiniboine tow

11/27 - CSL Assiniboine called for pilots to be onboard at 3 a.m. Friday. The tow may begin early in the morning.

 After 8 a.m. Thursday, the Rt Hon Paul J Martin departed Prescott Elevators with the cargo of soybeans from CSL Assiniboine destined for Baie Comeau.

Ron Beaupre


Port Reports - November 27

Sarnia, Ont. - Mike Cunningham
Three sisters were in town Wednesday. While Spruceglen was loading at the elevators, the upbound Kaministiqua waited at Black River for the downbound Birchglen to pass.


Seasnake: An old maritime concept gets new look

11/27 - The patented Seasnake design was developed nearly 40 years ago to transport offshore Gulf of Mexico oil to shallow coastal ports, but failed to attract an investor. Now it’s getting another look.

With money unavailable to fund the St. Lawrence Seaway expansion and invasive species threatening international shipping, it seems an odd time to promote a 1,600-foot Great Lakes cargo hauler. Yet that concept is being advocated by a group of seasoned local and regional maritime professionals.

They’ve launched Seasnake World Wide Marketing LLC to motivate construction of a train-like system of waterborne cargo modules, led by a powered “traction unit” and trailed by a motorized “caboose.”

The patented design emerged in 1972 to address the problem of transporting offshore oil to shallow coastal ports, but it never attracted an investor. Last year, the radical concept gained an enthusiastic new advocate in Superior native Mike Okash, whose waterfront experience dates to 1965. Several factors caught his eye, but two were key:

• Barge-like Seasnake modules don’t need ballast water for stabilization, so they can’t introduce non-native species into the Great Lakes, nor transport them throughout the Seaway system.

• The individual cargo units can be disconnected, breaking up the “snake” into smaller segments that will fit through existing locks.

“We’re trying to find the right person to grab the bull by the horns,” said Okash, president and chief executive of the year-old corporation.

If that investment is found, Twin Ports firms including Fraser Shipyards, Superior-Lidgerwood-Mundy, Barko Hydraulics, Cragin Machine Shop and Genesis Attachments stand to benefit, he said.

“Everybody seems very excited with the concept. We really believe this could change the face of shipping,” said Ed Anderson, who represents the city of Superior on the Metropolitan Interstate Council. He’s bringing the design to the transportation planning council’s Harbor Technical Advisory Committee seeking its support. The committee will meet at 9 a.m. Dec. 2 at the Superior Public Library.

Seasnake is rooted in the Gulf of Mexico. It was designed 37 years ago by mechanical engineer Carlos Kountz of Uruapan, Mexico. He hoped to develop a better tanker to haul petroleum from offshore platforms to shallow southern Gulf ports.

“It’s just a better mouse trap. I see this type of vessel eventually taking over shipping,” he said in a Nov. 6 telephone interview.

His patented design uses a ball and socket system to connect cargo units to each other and to the tractor and caboose, each with two propellers. Once connected, bumpers extend between adjacent units, preventing the articulated vessel from jack knifing. If additional power is needed, more traction units can be positioned among the modules, which are unmanned.

“In effect, the ship performs like a string on the water,” Okash said, and can withstand hurricane-strength winds.

Three models have been designed, two for coastal and intercontinental travel. The SS 26.5 is specifically tailored for the Great Lakes. It features a 26.5-foot draft and 59-foot beam. The traction unit is about 160 feet long, the caboose 177 feet. Individual cargo modules are 153 feet long with rounded hulls similar to the S.S. Meteor, now a waterfront museum that’s an indelible part of Superior’s history. The Seasnake’s length is flexible, depending upon the number of cargo modules.

Kountz’ design underwent numerical modeling tests in 2002 and 2003 at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. A reduced-scale model was subjected to motion analyses. Researchers found the ship could be constructed in the United States with 12 percent savings versus a traditional vessel of similar capacity. Operational costs were projected to be 25 percent less for less than a typical lake freighter.

“We need to find a company that’s looking to have a big cost advantage,” Kountz said.

To date, transportation companies haven’t lunged at the opportunity. Superior Port and Planning Director Jason Serck believes the weak economy will continue to work against the proposal. Numerous Great Lakes vessels are laid up for lack of cargoes. And Serck doubts operators will invest in fleet expansion until their revenues improve.

With his deep maritime connections, Okash was retained to push the search for a carrier willing to break from the pack.

He became a Superior longshoreman in 1965, then moved to Florida in 1970 and quickly became a dock superintendent, rubbing elbows for years with waterfront business and labor leaders. He continues to work seasonally in Superior as a grain trimmer.

Joining him in the search are James Hartung, who directed the Toledo Port Authority for 14 years, and Douglas Kubic, a longtime Milwaukee International Longshoremen’s Association executive. Hartung serves as Seasnake LLC chairman and executive vice president; Kubic as Seasnake’s vice president-government and labor relations.

“We haven’t visited any (ship) companies yet. Instead, we decided to go political first, spotlighting issues such as invasive species,” Okash said.

Meanwhile, the company is promoting Seasnake’s other features beyond the Great Lakes. Because it uses multiple cargo units, promoters say potential cargo leaks (such as petroleum) would be smaller and less damaging. On the homeland security front, promoters contend a traction unit and unmanned cargo modules could be used to haul supplies between unfriendly ports and U.S. Navy vessels, which would anchor at sea, far away from potential terrorist attacks.

“A ship is a tool. If shipping companies find a better tool to do the job, they’ll buy it,” Kountz said.

For Superior City Councilor Ed Anderson, who also is Seasnake’s vice president of operations and technology, the goal is to better serve regional residents and industry.

“I love the Great Lakes. It’s an absolute resource, and we’ve got to protect it,” he said, adding that Seasnake “is green by design.”

The city of Superior is a major potential beneficiary, Okash said.

“We’d like to put a lot of people back to work. I think this is something that will bring jobs back,” he said.

The Development Association in Superior shares that goal and is assisting the Seasnake initiative. “We’re trying to get them in front of people who can evaluate their design,” said Andy Lisak, association director. “The important thing is to get them in front of shippers and vessel operators.”

Ron Brochu / BusinessNorth


Today in Great Lakes History - November 27

In 1934, the package freighter EDWARD L LOOMIS, Captain Alex McKenzie collided with the W. C .FRANZ, Captain Alex McIntyre, about 30 miles southeast of Thunder Bay Island, Lake Huron. Four crewmen on the FRANZ drowned when the lifeboat turned over while being lowered.

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 45 degree 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. Cut down to a rail barge at Nicholson's, Ecorse in 1970, renamed b.) ROANOKE. She is currently in the Toledo Frog Pond.

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


Rt. Hon Paul J. Martin arrives at Prescott

11/26 - Canada Steamship Lines’ Rt. Hon Paul J. Martin arrived at Prescott Elevators at 9:35 a.m. Wednesday with the assistance of tugs Ocean Bertrand Jeansonne and Duga. Tuesday she went up the river into Lake Ontario to clean her holds in preparation for taking on board the load of soybeans from CSL Assiniboine. Tuesday the Assiniboine was moved across the slip to the elevator center pier. The transfer of cargo began that morning and continued into the evening. CSL Assiniboine grounded more than a week ago after experiencing a power failure. She is expected to be towed to a shipyard for repairs as soon as the cargo has been transferred.

Ron Beaupre


Crew saves 8-point buck

11/26 - Ludington, Mich. – While not many turkeys will be pardoned Thursday at least one deer is likely running instead of swimming today thanks to the help of some humans.

A funny thing happened to the crew of the Undaunted-Pere Marquette 41 tug and barge last week.

Mate Brian Jankowski was walking down the side of the boat Nov. 17 in Marinette when he noticed an eight-point buck in the water alongside the boat.

Deck Mechanic Robert Prestridge said the area where the tug and barge was docked is not rural. “It’s right in the middle of the city of Marinette,” Prestridge said. The pair decided to try to get him out.

“Two of us tried to lift him and that wasn’t happening,” Prestridge said. We put the rope under him and when we tried to pick him up he was just a little too heavy. We had to get the excavator that we have on the boat there and use the bucket to tie off the rope and we picked him up and he took off as soon as he hit the ground.”

The tug-barge crew isn’t new to saving animals. They also rescued a kitten in Pere Marquette Lake in October. The cat, named Boo, was adopted out.

Ludington Daily News


Port Reports - November 26

South Chicago - Brian Z.
McKeeSons was at the KCBX dock Tuesday in South Chicago loading for Alpena, Mich. Further up the Calumet River, American Steamship's H. Lee White loaded a cargo of petroleum coke for Lackawanna, N.Y.

Stoneport, Mich. - Daniel McNeil
On Wednesday, Manitowoc and American Republic were schedule to load, followed by John G. Munson, Great lakes Trader and Cuyahoga on Thursday. Joseph H. Thompson was due on Friday.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
Adam E. Cornelius made her first visit to the Saginaw River this season, calling on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City on Tuesday. She completed her unload and was outbound for the lake later in the day. On Wednesday, the tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort with the barge Great Lakes Trader called on the Bay City Wirt dock to unload. She was expected to be outbound late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.

Toledo, Ohio – Mark Hill
American Republic departed lay-up on Friday, heading upbound in ballast to load in Stoneport.

Hamilton, Ont. - Eric Holmes
Wednesday Canadian Progress arrived at 2 p.m. with iron ore pellets from Duluth for Doafsco. Her next port is Windsor. Maria Desgagnes arrived at 2:15 p.m. from Quebec City with gasoline and diesel fuel, her next port is Bronte. John B. Aird arrived at 2:30 p.m. with iron ore pellets from Duluth for Dofasco, she is heading to Thunder Bay next. The Canadian Coast Guard ship Kelso arrived at 2:45 p.m. for The Canada Centre for Inland Waters in Burlington.



Toledo man pleads guilty, sentenced for making false distress call to U.S. Coast Guard

11/26 - Cleveland, Ohio - Frederico C. Flores, 22, of Toledo, Ohio, was sentenced in Federal Court on Monday to three years supervised release with standard and special conditions, and ordered to pay $112,735 in restitution to the U.S Coast Guard for making a false distress call to the U.S. Coast Guard on March 12, 2009.

Flores, who pled guilty on June 29, 2009, utilized a hand-held VHF radio and transmitted several false distress calls, over channel 16, to U.S. Coast Guard Sector Detroit during a 27-hour time frame.

The false distress calls were transmitted from an apartment complex in Toledo, and caused numerous Coast Guard and local emergency response assets to search for hours for, what was believed to be, a vessel in distress. The cost of the search exceeded $112,000.

A coordinated effort between U.S. Coast Guard Sector Detroit, U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service and the Federal Communications Commission, determined the source and location of the transmission and led to the arrest of Flores.

Anyone who knowingly and willfully communicates a false distress message to the U.S. Coast Guard or causes the Coast Guard to attempt to save lives and property when no help is needed is a violation of 14 U.S.C. 88(c). The penalties for this federal felony can include up to six years in prison; $250,000 fine; $5,000 civil penalty and the possible reimbursement to the U.S. Coast Guard for performing the search.

"False distress calls are a tremendous concern, not only because of the waste of resources, but especially because resources responding to a false distress are not available to respond to an actual person in distress. It could cost someone more than money," said Rear Adm. Neffenger.

"I commend Sector Detroit, CGIS, and the FCC for their efforts in locating the source and arresting the violator; and Asst. U.S. Attorney Thomas O. Secor and Special Asst. U.S. Attorney Ted Fowles, of the Coast Guard, for their efforts to prosecute the violator," added Neffenger.


Updates - November 26

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History - November 26

In 1952, the PHILIP R. CLARKE was launched at the American Ship Building yard at Lorain, Ohio. The 647 foot freighter became the flagship of the Pittsburgh Steamship Company. She was lengthened by 120 feet in 1974 and converted to a self-unloader in 1982.

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, 2,988 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 refloated 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, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Huron postpones vote to hire ice breaker

11/25 - Port Huron, Mich. – Port Huron City Council voted Monday to postpone a decision on hiring a marine company to help prevent flooding on the Black River in hopes of getting neighboring townships to help with the cost.

Councilman Brian Moeller proposed the postponement since Fort Gratiot and Port Huron townships also were affected by flooding events last winter in December and February and would benefit from such action. Fire Chief Bob Eick said he would talk with those townships to see if there was interest in helping.

Ice jams caused last winter's flooding because the weather warmed, it rained and ice in the river broke apart, officials have said. Port Huron Fire Chief Bob Eick is asking that the City Council approve hiring a company to break up ice in the Black River. It's a move that would help the flow of the river and therefore prevent flooding, officials said.

Eick proposed the city hire Malcolm Marine in St. Clair to prevent ice jams like the ones that caused the severe flooding. The company would be paid $500 per hour for its work. The contract would include a four-hour minimum. Eick said the city spent more than $10,000 to battle flooding for each event.

Another vote is expected at the council's Dec. 14 meeting.

Officials at the Army Corps of Engineers said the technique is used and successful. Still, Lynn Duerod, spokeswoman for the Army Corps, said each situation is different, so it is impossible to say if it would work on the Black River. "It just depends on what the situation is," she said. "There is no one answer to the issue."

Jeff Friedland, St. Clair County's emergency management director, said the icebreaking is a "good idea" that could prevent flooding. He said he has heard of it used in other similar situations. "Anything that can relieve some pressure really helps out everybody," he said. "I think it is a good idea; it might be long overdue."

Don Malcolm, the vice president of Malcolm Marine, said the company has done ice breaking in rivers for the past 40 years to help prevent flooding, including the Pine River. "We are just going to go up there and break it out before the flooding starts, so it will flow out," he said.

Malcolm said the company would use the Manitou, a 110-foot, 2,200-horse power tug, to do the work. The boat can break ice up to two feet thick at a continuous speed. The Manitou usually is docked on the St. Clair River at the foot of North Boulevard.

Malcolm said the company has been up the Black River before for various contractors but never to break up ice as flood prevention. But he said the company has decades of experience breaking ice from Alpena to Algonac and throughout the Great Lakes. "Every winter we do it whenever we're called," he said.

Port Huron residents who live on the Black River say the service is well worth the price. Chuck St. Louis, a Canal Drive resident, said contractors were elevating his back yard by a foot Monday as a way to combat against flooding.

Last season's floods caused $50,000 worth of damage, he said. "I think of course it is a good thing," he said. "It is going to happen again. You have to be proactive in this stuff."

Nelson Littlejohn, a Woodstock Circle resident, said he didn't suffer any damage. But he said fixing the problem is not just for those who live near the river. "When you have a flood and this kind of damage, you destroy the riverbanks and everything else," he said. "I think (using an icebreaker) is in everyone's best interest."

Rodney Borowski, a Riverwood Court resident, said of Eick's idea "that's the best thing I've heard in a couple of years." He said using a wrecking ball and a fire hose -- like they did last season to try to break up the ice jam -- "was a joke." "What that marine company could do would be 100% better," he said. "I think that is the best thing we can do."

Port Huron Times Herald


Windsor considers ferry service to Peche Island

11/25 - Windsor, Ont. – Parks officials in Windsor, Ont., are considering establishing occasional ferry service between the city and Peche Island, a 35-hectare (86 acre), naturalized island in the Detroit River.

Currently, the island, which lies 330 metres from the Windsor shoreline near Lakeview Marina, has docking facilities for private boats, including kayaks and canoes.

But "if you don't own a boat, you haven't visited there," Coun. Fulvio Valentinis told his colleagues at a council meeting on Monday night.

"To have [ferry service] available, at least a couple of times a year, with people that are interested in conservation and the naturalization of that particular island, I think that would be ideal," Valentinis said.

The city already organizes ferry service to Peche Island on an annual basis. On Sept. 19, the city, along with Parks and Facility Operations, the Detroit River Clean-Up Committee, the Citizens' Environmental Alliance and the Essex County Field Naturalists, ferried approximately 350 people to the island, according to a report submitted to council.

These types of "event-driven trips allow the number of visitors to be controlled to aid in the protection of the natural environment on the island," city forester Bill Roesel said in the report.

Valentinis, who first raised the issue of ferry service at a council meeting on July 21, 2008, calls the island "a city asset" that could serve both Windsor and Detroit, Mich.

"It's a very, very pure, natural area in very close proximity to two very large urban centres," he said.

But regular ferry service "would not likely generate a significant amount of revenue to the city due to the high cost of operation," Roesel said. Previous attempts at private ferry service were thwarted by high insurance costs and the unpredictable affects on business by inclement weather.

Peche Island is the former summer residence of Hiram Walker, the famous — and immensely successful — Windsor distiller who bought the island in 1883 and built a home, stable and greenhouse on it.

The City of Windsor acquired it in 1999.

CBC News


Today in Great Lakes History - November 25

In 1890, the WESTERN RESERVE delivered a record cargo of 95,488 bushels of wheat from Duluth to Buffalo.

In 1913, the schooner ROUSE SIMMONS, Captain August Schueneman, departed Thompson Harbor (Michigan) with a load of fresh cut Christmas trees bound for Chicago. Somewhere between Kewaunee and Two Rivers, Wis., the SIMMONS was lost with all hands.

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. Renamed PRINCESS SUPERIOR in 1993.

ROBERT C. STANLEY was laid up for the last time November 25, 1981, at the Tower Bay Slip, Superior, Wisconsin. She was scrapped at Aliaga, Turkey in 1989.

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 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. Built in 1927, as a.) GEORGE M. HUMPHERY.

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


CSL Assiniboine cargo to be transferred to fleet mate

11/24 - Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin was up bound in the Seaway Monday with a destination of Prescott Elevators where she will load the cargo of soybeans that still remain on board the CSL Assiniboine. Assiniboine – which spent much of last week aground – will be towed for repairs, however it is unclear which shipyard will complete the work.

Ron Beaupre


Duluth-Superior harbor corrosion mechanism identified

11/24 - Duluth, Minn - Long-awaited research findings just published identify one possible mechanism responsible for accelerated steel corrosion in the Duluth-Superior harbor. The peer-reviewed paper published in Corrosion, The Journal of Science and Engineering, outlines a study led by Brenda Little, Senior Scientist, Marine Molecular Processes, Naval Research Laboratory, Stennis Space Center. The study was supported by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, and the Duluth Seaway Port Authority.

Titled Factors Contributing to Corrosion of Steel Pilings in Duluth-Superior Harbor (by R. Ray, J. Lee and B. Little), this research demonstrates a specific sequence of biological, chemical and physical events responsible for localized corrosion of carbon steel piling including the role ice scour plays in accelerating that process.

Corrosion has been eating away at steel pilings in this harbor for over 30 years, consuming an estimated 50,000 plus pounds of steel a year. Once identified in the late 1990s, scientists, engineers and local dock owners (led by the Port Authority) immediately began researching potential causes and ways to either stop it or protect remaining steel structures.

Little’s findings confirm that ongoing repair and mitigation studies in the local harbor are on the right track. The study also may give engineers a basis for developing resistant steel alloys for new construction and coatings that lengthen the lifespan of steel structures already in place. Research will eventually lead to methods of determining the likelihood of similar corrosion developing in other freshwater harbors around the globe.

Now that we understand an exact mechanism, we can narrow down our focus of how to best mitigate the problem in research and pilot projects noted Jim Sharrow, Port Authority Facilities Manager. Results will help steer subsequent studies by Brenda (Little) and by UMD researcher Randall Hicks. We are especially pleased to know that the Corps has received an additional $300,000 targeted for corrosion research in FY2010. In layman’s terms, conclusions of this study describe the process by which specific iron-oxidizing bacteria attach to carbon steel, creating a nodule of biomass and corrosion products. Conditions beneath those nodules (i.e. tubercles) cause copper dissolved in harbor water to precipitate and adhere to the iron. When ice chunks scrape against those pilings each winter, the tubercles break, exposing the copper-covered iron to oxygen which, in turn, causes the steel in those pitted areas to corrode at a faster rate, creating an almost Swiss cheese effect in nearly 14 miles of steel pilings and dock walls along the Duluth-Superior waterfront.

Scientists describe this process more definitively in the study’s abstract:
Field observations and laboratory testing were used to conclude that aggressive localized corrosion of carbon steel pilings in Duluth-Superior Harbor, Minnesota and Wisconsin, is caused by the following sequence of biological, chemical and physical events. Iron-oxidizing bacteria colonize the carbon steel sheet pilings and produce tubercles, made up of intact and/or partly degraded remains of bacterial cells mixed with amorphous hydrous ferric oxides. The reducing conditions beneath the tubercles cause copper dissolved in the water to precipitate. A galvanic couple is established between the copper layer and the iron substratum. Ice scouring breaks the tubercles. Exposure of the copper-covered iron to oxygen causes the galvanic current to increase. The result is aggressive localized corrosion.

Locally, a team of experts has been working collaboratively since 2004 to define the methodology for studying and mitigating the accelerated corrosion problem in the Duluth-Superior harbor. Several pilot projects are well underway, looking into applications and procedures that will save existing steel structures and protect new ones from corrosion.

Duluth Seaway Port Authority


Port Reports - November 24

Green Bay, Wis – Scott Best
Monday was a busy day in the port of Green Bay despite the foggy, misty weather that lasted all day. Cason J. Callaway departed C. Reiss around noon after unloading its cargo of coal; the Callaway backed down through the downtown bridges to the East River turning basin and turned around to head for the Bay. Around 3 p.m. the G.L. Ostrander and barge Integrity departed Lafarge and headed for the bay. The Olive L. Moore and Lewis J. Kuber, due in Monday night at Western Lime, were slowly working their way down the Bay Monday evening.

Milwaukee, Wis. - Steve Miller
St. Marys Challenger arrived at the dock at St. Marys Cement Company's docks on the Kinnicknic River in Milwaukee around noon Monday.

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
Mississagi made its first visit of this season with a load of stone for Meekhof's D & M dock on Harbor Island upstream from the power plant. As it was leaving, the tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 came in with a load for Verplank's dock in Ferrysburg. This was its second delivery in three days. At 5:45 p.m. it was seen just completing its turn in the turning basin with the aid of King Marine's tug Carol Ann.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Calumet was inbound early Monday morning, traveling upriver to unload at the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee. She completed her unload by the afternoon and was outbound for the lake. Algoway was inbound later in the day Monday, calling on the North Star dock in Essexville to unload potash. She was expected to be outbound early Tuesday morning.

Toledo, Ohio - Jim Hoffman
Walter J. McCarthy Jr. finished unloading coal at the Midwest Terminal Dock and departed Monday Morning. CSL Laurentien finished loading grain at the Andersons K Elevator and departed during the afternoon. Saginaw was loading coal at the CSX Docks. The tug Rebecca Lynn with the barge A-397 were at the B-P Dock. Cuyahoga was unloading grain at the Kraft Foods Elevator. American Republic is in the fitout process and should be out sailing soon. Ojibway was inbound the Toledo Ship Channel Monday evening bound for one of the grain elevators to load grain. The next coal boats due in at the CSX Docks will be Lee A. Tregurtha on Tuesday, Algosoo on Wednesday followed by American Mariner, Michipicoten, and John J. Boland on Thursday. The next ore boat due in at the Torco Ore Dock will be American Courage on Tuesday.

Hamilton, Ont. - John McCreery
Federal Manitou finished unloading at pier 14 and shifted to J. R. Richardson at Eastport. After finishing loading there, she departed Monday morning heading for the Seaway. Meanwhile the Spring Breeze I remains at Eastport, although she had some smoke up on Sunday. Orsula arrived in port Sunday evening and Annalisa came in early Monday, both arriving from Montreal with cargo for pier 12.

Toronto, Ont. - Charlie Gibbons
The winter storage fleet went on Toronto Drydock Monday: The tour boats Island Princess, Miss Toronto (towed to the drydock by the company’s tug M. R. Kane) Harbour Star and Ste. Marie 1, were joined by the drydock company's workboat 007.


Services set for Richard S Brown

11/23 - Richard S. Brown, 56, of Catawba Island, died November 19, 2009 at his residence. He was born Jan 28, 1953 in Columbus, Ohio. Brown was a deckhand on Lake Freighters for the Oglebay-Norton fleet. He was a United States Coast Guard Veteran and a Merchant Marine. He was a member of Friends of Bill who was also active as a drug and alcohol abuse counselor in Huron County. He loved being in the outdoors especially fishing. He enjoyed spending time with his kids, grandchildren, family and friends.

Funeral services will be noon Wednesday, November 25, 2009 at Neidecker, LeVeck & Crosser Funeral Home, Peninsula Chapel, 7755 East Harbor Road, Marblehead, Ohio, where visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the time of the service. Memorial contributions may be given to the donor's choice.


Updates - November 24

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History - November 24

On this day in 1966, Hjalmer Edwards became ill while working as a Second Cook on the steamer DANIEL J. MORRELL. He was transferred to the hospital at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan when the MORRELL transited the locks for the last time on Thanksgiving Day. Five days later, the DANIEL J MORRELL sank during a severe storm on Lake Huron with a lone survivor.

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 Karachi, 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. Built in 1952, as a.) CHARLES L. HUTCHINSON, renamed b.) ERNEST R. BREECH in 1962, c.) KINSMAN INDEPENDENT in 1988. Sold Canadian, renamed d.) VOYAGEUR INDEPENDENT in 2005. She now sails at OJIBWAY.

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 McGulpin 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 NO 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, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II, The Marine Historical Society of Detroit and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports - November 23

Green Bay, Wis. - Wendell Wilke
The tug Barbara Andrie and barge A-390 were outbound in the Fox River late Sunday morning, passing the tug Prentiss Brown and barge St. Marys Conquest at St. Mary's Cement where they were off-loading most of the day.

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dale Rosema
McKee Sons was backing out of the Grand River in Grand Haven at 7:30 on Saturday morning.

Toronto, Ont. - Charlie Gibbons
Hamilton Energy was in port this morning bunkering the tug Everlast, which arrived late Saturday with the Norman McLeod. The Energy departed at noon followed by the Everlast an hour later.

Rochester, NY – Tom
The Stephen B. Roman arrived at Essroc's Dock about 8 a.m. Sunday.


Mailboat program to air on PBS

11/23 - WTVS Channel 56 (PBS-Detroit) will be airing a one-hour program about the J.W. Westcott Co. and mail delivery on the Detroit River on Tuesday, November 24 at 9:00 pm. Tune in to watch the program, the video is also available for sale at the J.W. Westcott Co. at $20.00 each Click here for more information.


Updates - November 23

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History - November 23

In 1940, the CONSUMERS POWER, a.) HARRY YATES of 1910, collided with the MARITANA on the Detroit River. The MARITANA sustained $11,089.91 in damage. MARITANA was scrapped at Hamilton, Ontario, in 1947.

On 23 November 1863, BAY OF QUINTE (wooden schooner, 250 tons, built in 1853, at Bath, Ontario) was carrying 7,500 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, launched as a.) PILOT KNOB b.) FRANK ARMSTRONG (1943-73), proceeded to De Tour, Michigan, laying up for the last time at the Pickands Mather Coal Dock on November 23, 1981. She was scrapped at Aliaga, Turkey in 1988.

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, 1,000 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. McGIFFIN, 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, Russ Plumb, Steve Haverty, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


CSL Assiniboine Freed

11/22 - Cardinal, Ont. – Five days after CSL Assiniboine grounded near Cardinal, Ont., the vessel was finally freed on Saturday. After discharging more grain into the barge Big 551, which was taken to Prescott Elevators by the tug Duga, the Assiniboine was ballasted down until tugs were ready. When she returned from dropping off the barge, Duga took a tow line from the bow. The new, 5,000 hp tug Ocean Bertrand Jeansonne pushed at the stern while Ocean Bravo and Ocean Hercule pushed on the port side. At 21:00 CSL Assiniboine began to move, and she was guided out into the shipping channel just 18 minutes later. Saturday evening the tugs took the ship up river to the north slip at Prescott Elevators. She was turned to unload her cargo into another ship or into the elevator.

According to Richard Corfe, president of the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp., the ship lost both its engines Monday and strayed into an area of water just 23 feet deep. The 738-foot long self-unloading bulk carrier has a draft of about 26 feet, which why it is wedged into the mud bottom.

The ship will likely have to be unloaded and may require repairs at a shipyard.

"It's something that obviously will take some time to sort out," Corfe said. "A vessel like this is carrying 30,000 tonnes. It's equivalent to a thousand trucks or three trains — imagine having 1,000 or even 10 trucks turned over on the highway or a train derailed."

The incident did not affect traffic movement in the area.

Ron Beaupre, Dave Bessant and CBC News


EPA sends ship emission rules to White House

11/22 - The United States Environmental Protection Agency moved closer Friday to finalizing new engine and fuel standards for the largest ocean-bound ships by sending the draft rules to the White House for review.

If finalized, EPA says the draft rule would drastically cut air pollution nationwide by requiring vessels with large diesel engines to curb their nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions. EPA is also proposing to forbid the U.S. production and sale of high-sulfur marine fuel.

Last month, the proposal became the center of a heated political debate when lawmakers inserted a controversial rider into an EPA spending bill to exempt 13 Great Lakes steamships from the pending rules and to allow EPA to extend waivers for other ships. House Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) backed the rider, along with Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.) and other lawmakers from the Great Lakes region.

Proponents argued that the amendment was aimed at preventing economic hardship in the Great Lakes states, while environmental groups and air regulators cautioned that such a measure could disrupt pending international negotiations over shipping emissions.

The regulation is a part of the agency's broader strategy to control ship emissions. In March, the United States and Canada asked the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to designate thousands of miles of the countries' coastlines as "emission control areas," a move that would tighten emission standards on foreign ships operating in those waters. The IMO is expected to review the request at its July meeting, and the designation would go into effect in 2012 .

EPA is under a legal deadline to finalize the rule by Dec. 17. The near-term standards for newly built engines would apply starting in 2011, and long-term standards would begin in 2016.

By 2030, the agency says its coordinated domestic and international strategy will slash annual nitrogen oxide emissions in the United States by about 1.2 million tons and particulate matter emissions by about 143,000 tons. EPA estimates that the annual health benefits in 2030 will be between $110 billion and $280 billion, compared with an annual projected cost of about $3.1 billion. The New York Times


Dofasco to start third furnace at Hamilton plant

11/22 - Hamilton, Ont. – ArcelorMittal Dofasco is reviving plans to fire up a third blast furnace at its Hamilton plant as steel markets show tentative signs of improvement.

The $100-million project will see the steelmaker hire new staff and increase use of its electric arc furnace in a bid to hike steel production by 20 per cent.

"Our goal is to get the blast furnace up and running by next summer," said Andrew Sloan, spokesperson for the firm. "We believe this will allow us to better serve our customers and the market."

A similar plan to expand production was shelved last year when the global economic downturn caused a dramatic decline in steel prices and demand. Markets have improved since then, in part because of government stimulus plans, such as Cash for Clunkers.

ArcelorMittal Dofasco currently has two blast furnaces running at full capacity, though it is unclear how long the current strength in the markets will last, Sloan said.

"We had stimulus funds, we had Cash for Clunkers and right now ArcelorMittal Dofasco is experiencing robust demand," he said. "The question mark is whether it is sustainable into 2010."

The company's plans include recruiting 100 new workers next year to replace staff moving into retirement. The new project will add another 30 jobs to that figure.

"Dofasco is a low-cost mill so it make sense to add capacity there rather than build new facilities," said Chuck Bradford, a New York-based steel industry analyst.

"The market isn't ideal just now but this will lower their costs."

Currently, Dofasco does not produce enough steel slabs to feed its hot mill, capable of rolling five million tons of steel each year.

The new furnace will help increase production from 4.2 million tons to five million tons, closing that gap and enabling Dofasco to cut the cost of shipping slab from ArcelorMittal's Quebec operations.

The firm will outfit the furnace with a pulverized coal injection system, reducing its dependence on costly coking coal. Hot metal from the furnace will then be either cast into steel slabs or poured into an electric arc furnace, a separate device used to melt scrap steel.

The heat from the hot metal will accelerate the melting process, allowing Dofasco to use 20 per cent fewer kilowatt hours of hydro for each batch of steel and cutting down the amount of expensive scrap steel Dofasco must buy.

The company has scrapped one part of the initial plan, which called for the revival of 20 idle coke ovens.

A separate plan to build a $380-million beam plant in Contrecoeur, Que. -- shelved due to the downturn -- remains on hold, Sloan said.

Hamilton Spectator


Port Reports - November 22

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick & Lee Rowe
Sunrise on Saturday found four vessels at the Upper Harbor and one at the Lower Harbor. Manitowoc and Charles M. Beeghly were at the Upper Harbor ore dock with American Courage and Robert S. Pierson still at anchor. Herbert C. Jackson was finishing unloading stone at the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock. By Saturday evening, Manitowoc and American Courage were secured at the Upper Harbor ore dock while Robert S. Pierson and Herbert C. Jackson were anchored off the Upper Harbor waiting to load.

South Chicago - Lou Gerard
On Saturday morning at about 10:30, the Cason J. Callaway came into Calumet Harbor, turned around, then backed up the Calumet River to KCBX and docked at the south berth for loading.

Alpena , Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
Two vessels were in port during the early morning hours Saturday. G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity were at Lafarge and Mississagi was unloading salt at the Alpena Oil Dock. Mississagi departed from the river around 7 a.m.

St. Clair River
Traffic Saturday included the downbound Adam E. Cornelius, Canadian Transfer and the saltie Tuscarora. The Transfer turned around and tied up on the Canadian side to unload. Algosar departed upbound after loading petroleum products. Algocanada remains in layup.

Toronto, Ont. - Charlie Gibbons
Stephen B. Roman departed Friday morning. Algomarine arrived with salt Friday at 11 a.m. and departed for the Welland Canal Friday night. The island ferry Sam Mcbride was refloated at Toronto Drydock Thursday afternoon. Windoc arrived last week and is in long term lay-up on the north wall of the Ship Channel, ahead of Canadian Miner.


Asian carp may have breached electric fish barrier

11/22 - Milwaukee, Wis. – The decade-old battle to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes might be over.

New research shows the fish likely have made it past the $9 million electric fish barrier on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, a source familiar with the situation told the Journal Sentinel late Thursday.

The barrier is considered the last chance to stop the super-sized fish that can upend entire ecosystems, and recent environmental DNA tests showed that the carp had advanced to within a mile of the barrier.

That research backed the federal government into a desperate situation because the barrier must be turned off within a couple of weeks for regular maintenance. The plan is to spend some $1.5 million to temporarily poison the canal so the maintenance work can be done.

But even as those plans are being finalized the news everyone dreaded came: It might be too late.

Now the only thing left standing between the fish and Lake Michigan is a heavily used navigational lock.

Army Corps officials declined to comment on the situation.

"I am not prepared to discuss this today, but I will be prepared to discuss this tomorrow," Col. Vincent Quarles, commander of the Chicago District of the Army Corps of Engineers, said when asked about news that the fish had breached the barrier.

The Army Corps, along with its state and federal partners in the barrier's design and operation, has scheduled a news conference for 10 a.m. Friday.

The fish that can grow to 50 pounds or more are a big deal because they are voracious feeders, overwhelming native species, and they pose a huge hazard to recreational boaters because of their habit of jumping out of the water when agitated by the whir of a boat motor.

No fish have been found, but a new type of DNA testing that can show the presence of fish in the water shows that the barrier does not appear to have worked at stopping all the fish.

"We've got some bad problems," Dan Thomas, president of the Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council, said when told the news.

Thomas said the plan to poison the canal is going to have to grow to cover areas above the barrier, which is about 20 miles downstream from the Lake Michigan shoreline.

"Unless we treat that canal real quick as far up as we can, then we can almost be assured that they're on their way into the lake," he said.

For several years, the northern migration of the silver carp had stalled in a pool just above the Dresden Island Lock and Dam on the Des Plaines River southwest of Joliet, Ill. - about 20 miles downstream from the barrier.

In August, the Journal Sentinel learned the environmental DNA testing that biologists had quietly begun using on the canal revealed that the fish had started to move again. It's been all hands on deck ever since.

In addition to plans to poison the river, the Army Corps is scrambling to build a twin to the new barrier. It also is looking at building an emergency berm to prevent the fish from riding floodwaters from the carp-infested Des Plaines River into the canal above the barrier.

The two species of Asian carp threatening to invade Lake Michigan are silver and bighead carp. It's not known which species - or whether both species - have been detected above the barrier with DNA tests.

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel


Updates - November 22

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History - November 22

In 1947, the Canadian tanker BRUCE HUDSON broke down shortly after departing Port Stanley, Ont. The U.S. tanker ROCKET, Captain R. B. Robbins, managed to get a line on the HUDSON and tow her 50 miles through high seas and a snow storm to shelter behind Point Pelee. Later, the tug ATOMIC arrived on scene and towed the Hudson to Toledo for repairs.

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, Russ Plumb, Steve Haverty and Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


CSL Assiniboine Freed

11/21 - 10 p.m. Update
After discharging more grain into barge Big 551, the ship was ballasted down until the tugs were all ready to move the ship. Big 551 was taken to Prescott Elevators by Duga. When she returned, Duga took a tow line from the bow. Ocean Bertrand Jeansonne pushed at the stern while Ocean Bravo and Ocean Hercule pushed on the port side. At 21:00 CSL Assiniboine began to move and she was guided out into the shipping channel just 18 minutes later. This evening the tugs are taking the ship up the river to the Prescott Anchorage.

3 p.m. update
Friday another load of soybeans was taken off the CSL Assiniboine using the barge Big 551. Total cargo now removed is 4,000 metric tons. Another barge load is to be removed Saturday afternoon and then another attempt to take the ship off the shoal will begin. The captain of CSL Assiniboine has requested pilots to be aboard at 18:00 Saturday evening. There will be four tugs pushing on the ship; Duga, Ocean Hercule, Ocean Bravo, Ocean Bertrand Jeansonne.

8 a.m. update
Groupe Ocean has sent their new tug Ocean Bertrand Jeansonne to assist with the salvage of CSL Assiniboine. The Jeansonne has 5000 HP. She arrived at Cardinal Friday night.

Orginal Report
As of Friday afternoon, the CSL Assiniboine was still aground near Cardinal, Ont. with no work going on. At Prescott, crews appeared to be unloading a barge of the Assiniboine’s soybean cargo into trucks, and then it appeared that the trucks were dumping it to the grain elevators where the J. W. Shelley was loading.

The vessel lost power in both engines and drifted out of the channel on Monday. Repeated efforts by tugs to pull her free have failed.

Ron Beaupre and Dave Bessant


American Courage makes rare trip through Keweenaw waterway

11/21 - American Courage passed through the Keweenaw waterway on Friday morning, making it one of the few to pass through in recent years.

Little used in the modern era, the water way cuts through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It was heavily traveled in the early years of Great Lakes shipping, and was often used as an alternative to the open lake when seas were high.

The vessel was on a trip to Marquette loaded with coal from Superior, Wis.

Roland Burgan and Ryan Greenleaf


Port Reports - November 21

Marinette, Wis. – Dick Lund
Late Monday afternoon, Catherine Desgagnes arrived at Marinette Fuel & Dock with a load of pig iron. Later, near midnight, the barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted arrived, also with a load of pig iron, and docked behind the Desgagnes, which was tied up alongside the craneship William H. Donner. This was Pere Marquette's second visit in a week; they were here a week ago Monday also.

On Thursday, Canadian Transfer arrived around 6 a.m. (CST) with its second load of salt for Marinette Fuel & Dock in the past week, having also been there last Saturday night. By 12:30 p.m., the ship was bringing the boom and its workboat back aboard and departed about 20 minutes later.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
After loading Pathfinder, Michipicoten, Robert S. Pierson, and Saginaw on Thursday, the Upper Harbor ore dock was busy again on Friday with afternoon arrivals by Michipicoten and Charles M. Beeghly. American Courage was due to unload coal at the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock later Friday evening.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Olive L Moore and Lewis J. Kuber were inbound early Friday morning, calling on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City to unload. The pair were outbound later in the day headed for the lake.


Meet Great Lakes authors today in Port Huron

11/21 - Make your plans now to attend the first-ever Great Lakes AuthoRama, Nov. 21 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Great Lakes Maritime Center in Port Huron, Mich. Greet the writers of a variety of Great Lakes-themed books and DVDs and have them autograph their works.

Authors who are scheduled to be in attendance include Roger LeLievre "Know Your Ships", Chris Winters "Centennial", Ric Mixter "Cement Boat" DVD, Pat and Jim Stayer "If We Make it to Daylight" and others, Mark Thompson "A Sailors Logbook" and others, Ray Bawal Jr. "Ships of the St. Clair River", Andy Kantar "Deadly Voyage: The Daniel J. Morrell Tragedy", Marlene Miller "I Know Where the Freighters Go", John Paul and Brent Michaels "Collision Under the Bridge", Ed Spicuzza "A Great Lakes Adventure: The Journey Begins", Wayne Sapulski "Lighthouses of Lake Michigan" and others, shipwreck hunter David Trotter and Dennis Hale, sole survivor of the Daniel J. Morrell shipwreck.

The  Great Lakes Maritime Center is located at 51 Water Street in Port Huron. Admission is free; books and DVDs will be available for purchase at the event


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 NO 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.


CSL Assiniboine still aground as lightering efforts fail

11/20 - Cardinal, Ont. – On Thursday at 13:30, the tugs Tony Mackay and the barge Sault Au Cochon arrived at the CSL Assiniboine, grounded near Cardinal, Ont., to lighter cargo. However the barge was not prepared to carry grain and inspectors asked that the cargo holds be cleaned. This could not be carried out to their satisfaction so the tug and barge departed at 18:47 upbound. Meanwhile, divers were in the water inspecting the hull and propeller of CSL Assiniboine.

All told, attempts by four tugs have been ongoing to free the vessel, but were unsuccessful. Another big push began at 23:20 Wednesday night when the tugs concentrated on pushing the bow off the shoal. The ship spun around about 90 degrees with the stern moving down river. They stopped at that point and the Assiniboine’s stern may have lodged against a rock. Duga and Ocean Hercule went to the stern to push while Salvor and Ocean Bravo were on the bow to push. Their efforts were in vain and all salvage work ceased at 00:09. Salvor departed down the river to get to a tie wall below Iroquois lock. Ocean Bravo ran up the river to the municipal dock at Prescott. The CSL Assiniboine reported to Seaway Iroquois that more lighters were required.

Local sources report that the Assiniboine has suffered damage to the ballast tanks and propeller. Once freed, the ship is reportedly going to be towed to Port Weller, Ontario for the damage to be repaired and could be there for a week or more. There is no word on plans for a transfer of cargo at this time.

Ron Beaupre


Stricter Wisconsin port standards will require invasive species permit for ships

11/20 - Green Bay, Wis. - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will start requiring all ships coming into Green Bay and other state ports to get a state-issued permit showing they are not carrying invasive species in its ballast water.

DNR Secretary Matt Frank said that the federal government’s rules protecting the Great Lakes have been “grossly insufficient. We can’t afford to wait any longer for the federal government to turn off the tap.”

Permits will be required beginning Feb. 10, 2010. The DNR said its standards will be 100 times more restrictive than the level set by the International Maritime Organization. The standards include handling of ballast tank sediment and seawater.

“Our goal is not to put the shippers out of business,” Frank said, adding that the state will continue to look at technology that will help control the release of the growing number of invasive species from ballast discharges.

The permit will require large commercial ships to take basic steps immediately to reduce the risk of spreading the invasive species. Current laws permit ballast water discharges outside the ports.

More than 180 non-native fish, plants, insects and other organisms have entered the Great Lakes over the last two centuries. Scientists have estimated that as many as 70 percent of them arrived after the St. Lawrence Seaway opened in 1959 allowing ocean ships to travel the Great Lakes.

Zebra mussels, which first arrived here in the late 1980s, have spread to inland waters.

“For a long time, the EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) and Coast Guard didn’t think much needed to happen in this area,” Frank said. “We’ve seen a marked difference in how the agencies are approaching this issue in the current administration.”

Under the DNR regulations, new oceangoing ships will have until 2012 to meet specific ballast water treatment standards. Existing ships will have until 2014 to retrofit to meet the standards.

Green Bay, Superior and Milwaukee are the three state ports.

Green Bay Press Gazette


Port Reports - November 20

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Loading cargo on a foggy Thursday morning were Indiana Harbor at Midwest Energy Terminal and he saltie Tuscarora at CHS grain elevator. A vessel believed to be Lee A. Tregurtha was fueling at the Murphy Oil dock. Algosoo, John B. Aird and Canadian Progress were all expected to arrive during the day to load taconite pellets.

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
The tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 delivered a load of stone to Verplank's Dock in Ferrysburg early Thursday morning. At 10 a.m. they were seen using the seldom-used turning basin with the aid of the King Marine tug Carol Ann. The Undaunted and PM 41 then headed down river and out bow first. Calumet was expected about 9 p.m. Thursday night with a load of coal for the Board of Light and Power Dock on Harbor Island. Undaunted and PM41 were expected back late Friday. Also expected over the weekend are the Mississagi at Meekhof's D & M dock and the tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons at the Power Plant. If the schedules hold, this will be the busiest weekend of the season.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
The tug Valerie B, along with its barge and other equipment, departed Alpena late Thursday afternoon. The Manitowoc arrived in the Thunder Bay River before 6 p.m. on Thursday. It unloaded coal at the DPI Plant. Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation were expected at Lafarge late Thursday night.

Toronto, Ont. - Frank Hood
Cuyahoga sailed out of Toronto Harbor about 5 a.m. Both Stephen B. Roman and English River arrived in port between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m.


Seaway chief hopes for traffic turnaround

11/20 - On the St. Lawrence Seaway’s website, there’s a picture of a freighter docked next to mountains of containers - those boxes that fit on trucks and trains and carry virtually every good you can think of. Containers are the currency of global trade. Yet they're passing the St. Lawrence Seaway by. Just a tenth of one percent of all cargo that traveled the St. Lawrence Seaway this year came in a container. Most of the cargo is bulk commodities, such as iron ore, coal, steel, and grain– the building blocks of industry that just disappear when the economy tanks.

So it’s no surprise 2009 was a brutal year for the Seaway, with tonnage down 30 percent. In fact, Seaway traffic has for the most part decreased since the late 1970s. This all gives Terry Johnson a headache.

As head of the U.S. side of the shipping channel that links the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean, Johnson’s in charge of turning those numbers around. He said that if gas goes back up to $4 a gallon, or if the roads become clogged with truck traffic, the Seaway will benefit. But for now, Johnson places his hopes in those containers. And he hopes they’ll come from Nova Scotia.

North Country Public Radio


Essar Steel lights up darkness

11/20 - Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. – The sky around Essar Steel Algoma light up Monday night as a power outage forced the company to burn off gas from its coke oven for several hours.

It started at 5:11 p. m. Essar spokesperson Brenda Stenta said part of the plant experienced a power outage. Though "triggered by an external source," a cause has not yet been determined, said Stenta.

"We are working with Great Lakes Power to determine the cause of the disruption." She did not know exactly where the outage was limited to, but the whole steelmaking process was affected.

The company spent "last night and today bringing operations back online," she said Tuesday. She did not know exactly when power was restored.

In the meantime, gas from the coke oven and "on some occasions" the blast furnace had to be flared off. Stenta called it a standard operating procedure when power is interrupted.

The Sault Star


Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority asked to pay share of new dike

11/20 - Cleveland, Ohio - Cleveland's commercial harbor could close in five years unless the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority finds $158 million to help store dredged silt. The port authority's governing board disclosed Wednesday that it will need help from the federal and state government – and maybe county taxpayers – to raise the cash, needed for construction of a 200-acre, lakefront storage dike near East 55th Street.

That disclosure drew warnings from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is in charge of dredging. Corps officials said they will look for other sites to dump the muck, but will eventually have to cease dredging and close the harbor. "We need a new (dike) built by 2015," said the Corps' Ronald Kozlowski.

The lack of cash also threatens the port's $500 million plan to move its operations to the East 55th Street dike. By 2014, Corps officials said, the cost of building the dike could increase substantially, making the East 55th Street site less viable.

Corps official said the port authority should not count on the federal government for any more cash. Lt. Col. Daniel Snead said in an interview earlier this month that the Corps will be hard-pressed to pay its three-quarters share of the dike construction. But he said a new dike is too important not to be built. "The key piece for us is to dredge the harbor and to keep the commerce moving in and out of there," Snead said. "If we don't get a large new (dike) in Cleveland, every year is going to be a new crisis."

For the past two years, former port President and CEO Adam Wasserman had said he would try to sell the Corps and the federal government on a more port-friendly split of the costs, requiring the port to pay only $32 million, or about 10 percent of the total. But that never happened, and Wasserman resigned Nov. 6 without offering alternative financial plans.

Kozlowski told the board Wednesday that in two years the corps will run out of room for dumping sludge at a man-made dike north of Burke Lakefront Airport. Board member John Carney said the port shouldn't give up its quest for additional federal money and alternative sources of funds. "The state has shown it can come up with money when it wants to," Carney said. "We can go to the city and the people, too."

Board members also talked about pursuing other sources of revenue -- possibly a portion of unspecified taxes or user fees to help pay for the dike. In Virginia, they noted, a portion of the gasoline tax subsidizes the state's ports.

As temporary dredge dumps, Eric Johnson, the port's real estate director, suggested the port look for inland sites. The sludge is laden with toxins and heavy metals, making it too polluted to dump directly into Lake Erie, the Army Corps officials said.

Several board members saw a bright side to the gloomy financial news. They can focus more attention on the port's plans for developing 100 acres -- some owned by the city and others by the port -- at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. Board members Richard Knoth, Marc Krantz and Anthony Moore all spoke in favor of jumpstarting the proposed retail and residential development of the acreage north and west of Browns Stadium.

"This has given us the time to look at our priorities and change direction," Knoth said. "I'd like for us to look forward and change our attention from relocation to redevelopment." Board members expect construction could begin by 2012.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer


Midland potential port for historic steamship

11/20 - Midland, Ont. – A reminder of the heyday of Lake Huron passenger shipping may steam into Midland as early as 2011.

Harbourmaster Rick Leaney said talks have been held to make Midland a port of call for the S.S. Norisle, a 215-foot-long steamship most recently docked as a marine museum, that will be retrofitted to offer extended passenger excursions around the Great Lakes.

“We’ve just had a very brief discussion with one of the representatives of the owners,” Leaney told The Mirror.

More than double the length of the Miss Midland, the Norisle would carry up to 80 passengers and boast a crew of about 35.

“The owners of the vessel, from what I understand, are looking at changing it to a small passenger ship that would basically … do a turnaround here in Midland and run from here into small ports like Little Current, Parry Sound, possibly Tobermory and (Sault Ste. Marie),” said Leaney.

He noted the amount of work that needs to be done on the vessel to accommodate overnight passengers means cruises will definitely not begin next summer.

“If it’s feasible, and if town council agrees, we’re probably looking at 2011.”

Rob Maguire is a member of the S.S. Norisle Steamship Society. He’s also the economic development officer for Assiginack Township, owner of the Norisle, which currently spends its days permanently docked as a floating museum.

“She’s the last surviving example of her type on the Canadian Great Lakes,” Maguire said, noting the ship has been in Manitowaning on Manitoulin Island since it was retired in 1974. “This ship is a significant piece of Canadian marine heritage.”

The Norisle was the first passenger steamship built in Canada after the Second World War. Built at the Collingwood Shipyards in 1946, the hand-fired, coal-burning steamship provided seasonal passenger ferry service from 1947-74 between Tobermory and South Baymouth, the route since made famous by the Chi-Cheemaun.

The ship was purchased by the Township of Assiginack in 1975 for $1 to serve as a floating marine museum and tourist attraction in Manitowaning.

Leaney said tourism potential is part of the reason Midland would welcome the Norisle as a regular visitor at the town docks.

“One of the big benefits would be a natural draw to people to this area to look at this ship when it’s in,” he said. “It creates a lot of interest for the area ... and you get the passengers coming up and taking in the sights, as well.”

It’s possible the ship would do an overnight layover in Midland, or arrive in the morning and depart later in the day. Either way, passengers would be able to disembark and explore the town.

“A lot of the clientele would be from other countries – whether it be the U.S., Germany, France, whatever – to come and look at this area,” said Leaney. “This is one of the most beautiful water areas in the world.”

He added the arrival of up to 80 tourists would certainly benefit downtown merchants. If the ship had to restock provisions, Midland suppliers would also be in a position to benefit, he said.

Leaney emphasized it is too early to get overly excited about the Norisle coming to Southern Georgian Bay.

Maguire agreed it’s premature to state Midland will be a port of call if and when the Norisle sets sail. “It is too early to say that,” he said. “However, it certainly … fits into the scheme of things, because the operating scope for the Norisle is the extent of the Great Lakes.”

Before that happens, the ship has to be refitted to comply with current regulations; the plan will also see Norisle converted from a coal-burning steam vessel to one that utilizes biofuel, which Maguire said is more environmentally friendly.

A market feasibility study now underway is due to be finalized by the end of the year.

Maguire, who worked on the ship as a tour guide when he was a youngster, predicted the Norisle will become a significant tourist attraction on the Great Lakes.

“The Norisle will be an asset for Manitoulin Island,” he said. “She’ll be a wonderful asset for the region, but also for the province … and Canada.”

Midland Mirror


Updates - November 20

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History - November 20

In 1948, the ROBERT HOBSON was blown against the Duluth-Superior breakwall as she tried to enter the harbor during a 68 mph gale. Damage to the vessel was kept to a minimum when Captain John Mc Nellis ordered the seacocks opened to settle the HOBSON on a sandbar. Renamed b.) OUTARDE in 1975, she was scrapped at Port Colborne, Ontario in 1985.

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. She was built in 1953 as a.) JOHN J. BOLAND.

Hall Corporation of Canada's EAGLESCLIFFE HALL was launched in 1956, at Grangemouth, Scotland. Sold off the lakes, renamed b.) EAGLESCLIFFE in 1974, she sank two miles east of Galveston, Texas, on February 9, 1983.

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, Russ plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Steve Haverty and Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Lightering continues on grounded CSL Assiniboine

11/19 - Local sources report that the Assiniboine has suffered damage to the ballast tanks and propeller. At 3:45 p.m. the ship remained stopped near Cardinal, Ontario where it went aground. Attempts by four tugs have been ongoing to free the vessel, but unsuccessful. Once freed, the ship is reportedly going to be towed to Port Weller, Ontario for the damage to be repaired and could be there for a week or more. There is no word on plans for a transfer of cargo at this time.

7 a.m. update
Another big push began at 23:20 Wednesday night. The four tugs concentrated on pushing the bow off the shoal. The ship spun around about 90 degrees with the stern going down river. They stopped at this point as Duga said on the radio; "The stern hit a rock." Duga and Ocean Hercule went to the stern to push while Salvor & Ocean Bravo were on the bow to push. Their efforts were in vain and all salvage work ceased at 00:09. Salvor departed down the river to get to a tie wall below Iroquois lock. Ocean Bravo ran up the river to the municipal dock at Prescott. The CSL Assiniboine reported to Seaway Iroquois that more lighters were required.

Original Report
On Wednesday, three tugs – Salvor, Ocean Hercule and Duga – were placed on CSL Assiniboine’s stern to push it away from the shoal where the vessel has been grounded since Monday, and then the main engines on Assiniboine were put to full ahead. Next the tugs all went to the bow and attempted to push Assiniboine off the shoal while the ship worked her engines. They succeeded to a certain extent as she did move a bit closer to the channel, but then seemed to fetch up again.

Immediately Salvor departed for Prescott Elevators, where she had left the barge Big 551. Salvor brought this barge down the river and one of the Groupe Ocean tugs assisted in bringing the barge alongside the Assiniboine. The unloading boom was put into action and the barge was loaded with grain. After this another attempt to move the ship off the shoal was made and it also failed. She does swing free by the stern, but the bow is still hard aground.

Wednesday evening more reinforcements arrived in way of the tug Ocean Bravo. Shortly before she arrived, Salvor departed with the loaded barge to be secured at Prescott Elevators. When the Salvor returned later Wednesday evening, another attempt was planned.

Ron Beaupre and Michael Folsom


Port Reports - November 19

Muskegon, Mich. - Herm Phillips
On Saturday November 14, Inland Lakes Management's steamer Alpena arrived at the West Michigan Mart Dock in Muskegon, Michigan, for winter lay-up, thus concluding her 2009 season.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The tug Zeus and her tank barge arrived on the Saginaw River Wednesday morning, calling on the Dow Chemical dock in Bay City to unload.


Updates - November 19

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History - November 19

On this day in 1939, in a 24-hour-period, there were 132 transits of the Soo Locks. There were 71 upbound passages and 61 downbound passages.

On this day in 1952, Mrs. Ernest T. Weir smashed a bottle of champagne against the hull of the largest freighter built on the Great Lakes and the 690 foot ERNEST T. WEIR slid down the ways at the Lorain yard of American Ship Building Company. The new vessel had a crew of 38 under the command of Captain W. Ross Maitland and Chief Engineer C. F. Hoffman.

On 19 November 1897, NAHANT (wooden propeller freighter, 213 foot, 1,204 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.

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. McCURDY was laid up for the last time at Buffalo, New York, on November 19, 1985. She was scrapped at Port Colborne, Ontario, in 1988.

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. Six of the seven 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, 3,734 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, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Steve Haverty and Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Efforts to release CSL Assiniboine Tuesday unsuccessful

11/18 -  The tugs Ocean Hercule and Duga arrived early in the afternoon at the site of CSL Assiniboine stranding, near Cardinal, Ont. An attempt was made to free the ship with both tugs pushing together at the stern. The main engines of the ship were also at full power with the rudder hard over to port. The ship did not budge. The tug Salvor is upbound with the barge Big 551 and she will join in the effort to pull the ship off the shoal. Assiniboine is loaded with soybeans. She is reported to be holed in No. 2 tank.

Ron Beaupre


Seaway season will end Dec. 29 after dismal year

11/18 - Massena, N.Y. - There are six more weeks left before the end of a what's being billed as a dismal shipping season on the St. Lawrence Seaway. The section of the Seaway from Lake Ontario to Montreal will close Dec. 29. The Welland Canal, a series of eight locks connecting Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, will close Dec. 30.

So far this season, cargo levels are down more than 30 percent from last year.

"Definitely this is the worst downturn we've seen, and I think that's industry-wide," said Carol A. Fenton, deputy associate administrator in the Seaway's Massena operations. "If memory serves me, it's worse than we projected."

By the end of October 2008, more than 34 million tons of cargo were shipped through the river and Great Lakes system, compared with about 23 million over the same period this year.

The weak economy means fewer industries are using the Seaway to move their materials, resulting in a difficult season for the shipping channel. Though the seeds of the current recession were planted before the 2008 season ended, administrators did not expect numbers to be as low as they have been. Iron ore and coal, two of the most important types of cargo, are down this year.

This year, 5 million tons of iron ore have been carried along the Seaway, compared with 10 million at the end of October last year. Coal is down about 1 million tons from last year, at just over 2 million.

Grain, the other main cargo, is holding steady. Grain volumes have been increasing for the past few months, as the harvest comes in and farmers begin to sell their crops. "We've always seen an increase in the fall," Ms. Fenton said. "We don't anticipate that's going to stop this year."  Nearly 6 million tons of grain have traversed the shipping route this year.

This is the third year in a row that shipments along the Seaway system have gone down. Drops in water levels in 2007 meant that ships could not carry as much cargo, resulting in lighter, more expensive trips through the locks. That year, cargo transports were down about 1.5 percent. The beginning of the recession in 2008, especially in the auto industry, saw cargo decrease nearly 5 percent, according to Ms. Fenton.

The modest increases — about 4 percent — in the past two months are giving some hope to Seaway administration. "We hope that means we're looking at an uptick for next year," Ms. Fenton said. Industry forecasters "are cautiously optimistic that we're going to see an increase, at least over this year."

In January, the federal government announced the beginning of a decade-long asset renewal plan, doubling the budget of the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp., which manages the American portion of the route. That plan, which will fund updates to Seaway property that has seen nothing but routine maintenance since being built 50 years ago, is not in jeopardy, Ms. Fenton said. "Anything can change, but as of this time, we've been approved our money for our 2010 budget," she said.

Watertown Daily Times


Five lakers reactivated, boosting cargo shipments

11/18 - In an encouraging sign, five vessels returned to service on the Great Lakes in October, boosting the carrying capacity of the active U.S. laker fleet by nearly 25 percent compared with the previous month, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association. The reactivated ships returned about 100 people to work, the trade organization said.

The restarted lakers include the Great Lakes Fleet’s Roger Blough and the American Steamship Co.’s American Courage, American Integrity, American Spirit and John J. Boland.

With more boats at work, taconite shipments on the Great Lakes increased 16 percent from September to October.

The month-to-month figures are up, but October iron ore shipments were still off 35 percent compared with the same month last year, according to the industry group.

Likewise, not all mariners are equal beneficiaries of the increased work. Three of the vessels reactivated by American Steamship were crewed with replacement workers, as members of United Steelworkers Local 5000 remain on strike against the Williamsville, N.Y.-based carrier. Dave Sager, the local’s president, said members voted last week to reject a contract American Steamship sought to impose.

“They’re digging in their heels, and all talks have broken off,” said Sager, noting that 97 members remain out of work as a result.

Duluth News Tribune


The ups and downs of Lake Superior

11/18 - Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. – The International Lake Superior Board of Control Water is reporting both gains and losses regarding recent water supply into the upper Great Lake basins.

Water supply into Lake Superior was below normal for October, according to the Board of Control, but it remains nine centimeters above its level of a year ago, while the supply into lakes Huron-Michigan was above normal and currently 11 inches higher than a year ago.

Lake Superior fell 2 inches in October, one centimeter more than usual, and is currently 5 inches below its long-term beginning of November level but 7 inches above chart datum.

Lakes Huron-Michigan levels remained steady in October, when they traditionally fall 3 inches, and are now 4 inches below long-term beginning of November levels but 13 inches above chart datum.

The levels of both lakes are expected to fall in November. The Board of Control has decreased the Lake Superior outflow by 20 cubic metres per second for the month.

The Sault Star


Detroit-Windsor Truck Ferry to close Nov. 23 through Feb. 15

11/18 - Detroit, Mich. – The Detroit-Windsor Truck Ferry will close from Nov. 23 until Feb. 15 while improvements are under way on the Ontario side.

The 40 to 50 trucks that typically use the ferry each day to haul hazardous materials, which are forbidden from the Ambassador Bridge and Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, will have to use the Blue Water Bridge linking Port Huron and Point Edward/Sarnia until the project is finished.

The $8.8 million (Canadian) project includes upgrades to the rail crossing at Maplewood Drive; the ferry entrance site, the access road, spill containment system, access control, terminal area, lighting and dock.

“After 20 years, these are some major and positive improvements,” said ferry owner Gregg Ward.

The project is jointly funded by Ontario’s Transportation Ministry and Transport Canada.

The ferry company has made about $1 million in improvements on the Michigan side in recent years, Ward said.

The privately owned truck-only ferry service, which operates with U.S. and Canadian regulatory approvals, was launched in 1990 to transport goods (flammable, corrosive, radioactive, explosive materials and over-size/overweight trucks) restricted from the other Detroit River crossings.

The ferry makes five back-and-forth crossings, which take 20 minutes, daily. It’s located off Jefferson Avenue near Zug Island on the Michigan side and near the Windsor Raceway on the Ontario side.

Crain’s Detroit Business.


Port Reports - November 18

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
Manitowoc brought a load of coal to Lafarge on Sunday. Tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation were in port on Monday. U.S. Coast Guard cutter Hollyhock was out in the bay on Monday working Aids to Navigation. The Durocher Marine tug Valerie B was tied up in the Thunder Bay River and had barges docked in another area. The Presque Isle arrived at Stoneport Monday night and continued loading throughout Tuesday. This is its third visit of the season.

Detroit, Mich. - Kenneth Borg
The Algoway with the tug Wyoming came down the Detroit River and entered the Short Cut Canal shortly after 4 p.m. She went to the Brennan Street dock just above the Jefferson Street Bridge. Robert S. Pierson was loading coke off Zug Island in the old channel of the Rouge River and Pochard was still loading at ADM in Ojibway, Ont..


Now hiring: Northshore Mining

11/18 - Duluth, Minn. - The situation at Northshore Mining Co. continues to show signs of improvement with the company looking to hire up to 20 people for its Silver Bay and Babbitt plants next month.

More could follow in early 2010.

“These are all good-paying jobs,” said Maureen Talarico, a spokeswoman for Cliffs Natural Resources, which owns Northshore Mining Co.

The jobs are for plant operations and plant maintenance at Silver Bay and for mine operations and mine maintenance at Babbitt. Applicants are asked to apply online at

“Right now we’re anticipating hiring between 15 and 20 people in December and perhaps more new hires in the first quarter of 2010, as long as pellet demand remains where we anticipate it to be,” Talarico said.

Some are openings created by retirements, some are added positions as demand for iron ore pellets shows a slight increase. The demand means the company needs to restock its inventory, which was reduced as demand for pellets softened earlier in the year.

“We don’t know if the worst is over,” Talarico said. “Consumer confidence is needed. People have to be reinvesting.”

Because of that uncertainty, the company is proceeding cautiously.

“We don’t want to flood the market with pellets nobody wants to buy,” Talarico said.

Northshore’s move to hire workers comes after idled workers were called back to the two plants July 5 after a three-month plant shutdown.

More good news came for Cliffs in recent days when United Taconite Co., also owned by Cliffs, returned more than 500 employees to full-time status at its operations in Forbes and Eveleth. Earlier in the year, workers had agreed to 32-hour workweeks to avoid layoffs.

But Hibbing Taconite, which Cliffs manages and partially owns, has been shut down since May when about 500 workers were laid off. Cliffs doesn’t plan to restart the plant until the start of the second quarter of 2010, Talarico said.

Duluth News Tribune


Updates - November 18

News Photo Gallery
Annual Lay-up list 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.


CSL Assiniboine aground near Cardinal, Ont.

11/17 - Monday shortly after 8:15 a.m., the CSL Assiniboine lost power in both engines and drifted out of the channel one nautical mile west of the grain elevator at Cardinal, Ont. She lies north of the channel near lighted Buoy 122 and is not blocking the channel – ships were passing without difficulty. Broadside to the current and heading due south, the vessel had a slight list to starboard indicating she may be up on the shoal on her port side.

Ron Beaupre


Canadian Provider freed Monday

11/17 - Valleyfield, Quebec - The tug Wilf Seymour pulled the Canadian Provider from her stranded position over to the anchorage at St. Zotique, where more inspections were done. At 6 a.m. Monday the Canadian Provider continued her journey to Baie Comeau. Early Sunday morning Canadian Provider, bound for Baie Comeau with wheat, grounded in 20 feet of water on the south side of the channel above Valleyfield. The cause of the grounding has yet to be determined. Shipping in the area had been delayed due to fog; traffic was underway again at 12:30 a.m.

Kent Malo


Port Reports - November 17

Grand Haven, Mich. – Dick Fox
St. Marys Challenger was due at 10:30 p.m. Monday night with a load for the St. Marys Cement Terminal in Ferrysburg.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Saginaw River has been quiet for the past few days, so it was nice to see an old friend call on the river for the first time this season. Manistee was inbound on Monday headed upriver to unload at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee. She completed her unload and was outbound for the lake Monday evening.


Seaway to end 2009 navigation season in late December

11/17 - The navigation season on the Montreal/Lake Ontario section of the St. Lawrence Seaway will officially come to a close on December 24, a release from the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation said.

However, any transit of the Montreal-Lake Ontario section of the Seaway after 23:59 hours, December 24, if permitted, will be subject to prior written agreement. Arrangements are to be made at The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation's St. Lambert office.

The Welland Canal portion of the St. Lawrence Seaway will remain open until 23:59 hours on December 26th, weather and operating conditions permitting, the release said.

However, any transits of the Welland Canal after 23:59 hours, December 26th, if permitted, will be subject to prior written agreement. Arrangements are to be made at the Corporation's St. Catharines office.

The U.S. Lock in Sault Ste. Marie close at 2400 hours January 15, 2010.

Vessel owners and operators were also being advised that a number of ports east of the Seaway (St. Lambert Lock) on the St. Lawrence River will remain open to navigation during the winter months.

Navigation on the St. Lawrence Seaway will resume sometime in March 2010, with the actual date dependent on when the ice breaks up.


Strange flames reported at Essar Steel Algoma Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

11/17 – Seemingly unusual flames at Essar Steel Algoma in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., have been attributed to a manual shutdown procedure following a steam line failure.

Sault Ste. Marie Fire Services Platoon Chief Bruce Lash said he contacted the plant and was advised that the situation was under control and that Sault Ste. Marie Fire Services would be called for assistance only if the situation escalates.

No environmental issues or concerns were identified.

Soo Today


Central Marine Logistics founder Parker Mellinghausen dies

11/17 - Parker Mellinghausen, founder of Central Marine Logistics and Central Shipping, passed away quietly in his home on November 16.

Born January 15, 1936, Mellinghausen dedicated his career to the Great Lakes shipping industry. Vessel masters are being asked to fly flags at half-mast on Tuesday and blow a salute at noon Chicago time. Funeral arrangements are incomplete.


Updates - November 17

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspective Gallery Daniel J. Morrell 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 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, 7,637 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, 7,053 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, 6,490 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 Sebawaing, 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.


CSL Assiniboine aground

11/15 - 1 p.m. update - Monday morning the CSL Assiniboine lost power in both engines. She drifted out of the channel one nautical mile west of the elevator at Cardinal. She lies north of the channel near lighted Buoy 122 and is not blocking the channel, ships are passing without difficulty.

Ron Beaupre


Port Reports - November 16

Marinette, Wis. – Dick Lund
Canadian Transfer arrived at Marinette Fuel & Dock around 8:45 p.m. on Saturday with the dock's fifth load of salt of the 2009-2010 season. The previous loads were delivered by Capt. Henry Jackman (the first two loads), Agawa Canyon (the third load), and Canadian Transport (the fourth load). Earlier, in January, Algosteel and Algowood had delivered the seventh and eighth loads of salt for the 2008-2009 shipping season to Marinette Fuel & Dock.

Goderich, Ont. - Noah Smith
Algorail arrived Sunday to load at Sifto salt and departed later in the day.

Valleyfield, Quebec – Kent Malo
The tug Wilf Seymour pulled the Canadian Provider from her stranded position over to the anchorage at St Zotique, where more inspections were done. At 6 a.m. Monday morning the Canadian Provider continued her journey to Baie Comeau.
Early Sunday morning Canadian Provider, bound for Baie Comeau with wheat, grounded in 20 feet of water on the south side of the channel above Valleyfield, Quebec. The cause of the grounding has yet to be determined. Shipping in the area had been delayed due to fog; traffic was underway again at 12:30 a.m.


Updates - November 16

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History - November 16

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, 4,795 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 NO 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.


Lakes ore trade in October outpaces the month before

11/15 - Iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 3,657,881 net tons in October, an increase of 500,000 tons compared to September. The increase almost 16 percent reflects the reactivation of five U.S.-Flag Great Lakes freighters that carry iron ore and other cargos. The sailing of these vessels on the nation’s Fourth Sea Coast has put more than 100 American mariners back to work.

The upturn was not enough to erase the negative comparisons with a year ago. The October ore float represents a decrease of more than 35 percent compared to October 2008. The downturn is slightly more pronounced when compared to the month’s 5-year average: 36.7 percent.

For the year, the Great Lakes iron ore trade stands at 22.9 tons, a decrease of 55.38 percent compared to a year ago. The decrease is slightly less when compared to the trade’s 5-year average for the January-October timeframe 53 percent.

Lake Carriers' Association


Marinelink Explorer almost ready for service

11/15 - The heavy lift barge Marinelink Explorer and her tug Commodore Straits are expected to be in service in a matter of weeks. Next week Transport Canada will be testing the barge to make sure her heavy lift capabilities are up to standard. Marinelink Explorer has a capacity of 3,800 tons of cargo and could make some short haul trips as a bulker. But primarily she'll be used to lift heavy objects. She'll be used some on the Great Lakes, but most of her work is expected to take place on the St. Lawrence and as far east as Newfoundland. The two vessels have been undergoing a refit at Port Colborne, Ont, this fall.

Bill Bird


Port Reports - November 15

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Vessel traffic in the Twin Ports on Friday morning included the Algomarine outbound from the Duluth piers with a cargo of taconite pellets, passing the inbound USCG Cutter Alder. Farther out on the lake was the American Century with a load of coal from Midwest Energy Terminal. All the vessels passed the saltie Federal Sakura, which was been anchored on the lake for several days. In port, Quebecois continued to unload cement at St. Lawrence Cement in Duluth, James R. Barker loaded coal at Midwest Energy Terminal and Persenk was at CHS elevator in Superior. Duluth-based Great Lakes Fleet reported on its recorded vessel message that Arthur M. Anderson was expected in Sturgeon Bay on Friday, Nov. 13, for winter layup.

Marquette, Mich. – Lee Rowe
On a cloudy, foggy Saturday, James R. Barker arrived with coal and the Dorothy Ann with barge Pathfinder arrived for ore at Marquette's upper harbor.

Sault Ste. Marie - Greg Barber
Upbound Saturday were Tuscarora, American Integrity, Michipicoten and Peter R. Cresswell. Downbound were Walter J. McCarthy Jr., Roger Blough, Algosar, Spruceglen, American Century, Algomarine, Ojibway and H. Lee White. Thursday at the Soo saw Pineglen, Algosar and Algolake upbound. Downbound were American Spirit, Gordon C. Leitch, Canadian Progress, Herbert C. Jackson, Mapleglen, Presque Isle and Ziemia Lodska. Upbound Friday were Frontenac, Canadian Olympic, Edgar B. Speer, John G. Munson, Agawa Canyon, Pathfinder, Saginaw and John J. Boland and downbound were Capt. Henry Jackman and Mesabi Miner.

Escanaba, Mich. – Lee Rowe
Joseph L Block loaded ore at Escanaba on Friday. Fleetmate Wilfred Sykes came in and tied up on the opposite side of the dock to wait her turn at the loader.

Sturgeon Bay, Wisc. – Marty Jackson
Arthur M. Anderson arrived Saturday for lay-up at Bay Ship Building.

South Chicago - Brian Z.
The barge James Kuber was unloading limestone at the Carmeuse Dock Thursday afternoon. Although the plant has been idled for the past year, occasional loads of limestone have arrived in 2009. American Steamship's American Courage arrived at KCBX Terminal for a load of coal destined for Alpena, Mich., also on Thursday afternoon. Courage completed loading early Friday morning and was replaced at KCBX with Manitowoc, also loading for Alpena. Manitowoc finished loading early evening on Friday and departed for Lake Michigan.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Saturday two vessels were in port at Lafarge. The tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity was in loading cement. American Courage unloaded a cargo of coal.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Adam E. Cornelius was unloading wheat at the General Mills Frontier Elevator at 11 a.m. Friday. She seemed to have just pulled in since the ship was riding low in the water.
There was major construction work going on at the New York State Power Authority's new Niagara River Ice Boom storage facility on the Buffalo River. There was new steel sheet pile being driven along the old Union Furnace ore dock on the Buffalo River while earth moving equipment was hard at work all over the rest of the property. The Great Lakes Towing tugs were rafted together to make more room on the dock face for access by work crews. Large pieces of concrete sewer pipe were stock piled all over the place and they also had a containment boom of some sort stretched out in the water along the length of the construction area.


renewaFUEL receives plan approval for Marquette biomass production plant

11/15 - renewaFUEL, LLC, a subsidiary of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. announced that Cliffs' Board of Directors has approved a plan for the construction and operation of a next-generation biomass fuel production facility at the Telkite Technology Park, which is located at Sawyer Airport near Marquette, Mich.

renewaFUEL intends to move forward with a lease agreement for the use of two large aircraft hangars, which formerly housed B-52 aircraft when the facility was part of K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base. renewaFUEL's lease of the hangars is subject to the final approval of the Marquette County Board of Commissioners and the Federal Aviation Administration. Once begun, construction and renovation at the facility, a $19 million capital project, is expected to take approximately nine months.

"We are pleased to be able to begin the necessary renovations and equipment installations to commence operations at the Sawyer location," said William A. Brake, chairman of renewaFUEL and executive vice president, human and technical resources for Cliffs Natural Resources. "This is an exciting new economic development opportunity for renewaFUEL and Michigan's growing renewable energy industry."

The plant is expected to employ approximately 25 people and will produce 150,000 tons per year of high-energy, low-emission biofuel cubes. The cubes are a composite of sustainably collected wood and agricultural feedstocks, which will be supplied from local farmers and loggers for the facility.

"Our objective with this first full-scale plant is to establish safe, profitable production and demonstrate to utilities and other industries currently using non-renewable energy sources that renewaFUEL energy cubes are a cost-effective way to supplement or replace fossil fuels in their operations," Brake said. "We anticipate being in production at the Sawyer facility by the middle of 2010." The biofuel cubes - about the size of a coal briquette - generate about the same amount of energy as coal from the Western United States. However, they emit 90 percent less sulfur dioxide, 35 percent less particulate matter and 30 percent less acid gases than coal. In addition, the feedstocks used to create them are considered biogenic carbon - meaning they are already part of the natural carbon balance and will not add to atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide.

renewaFUEL will be able to aggregate the multiple feedstocks and engineer energy cubes to meet exacting specifications of individual customers. Because of their size and density, the cubes can be used in most solid fuel systems with little or no modifications required.



William Hamilton Merritt Day is Nov. 26

11/15 - The Welland Canals Foundation in partnership with the City of Thorold will celebrate William Hamilton Merritt Day, celebrating the passage of the first ship through the first Welland Canal in 1829. This year, they are also commemorating the 185th anniversary of the official sod turning for the Welland Canal.

William Hamilton Merritt Day will take place on November 26 starting at 10 a.m beside the Allanburg Bridge in Thorold, Ontario.


Updates - November 15

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History - November 15

In 1883, the schooner E. FITZGERALD, Captain Daniel Lanigan, was ashore and completely covered with ice. The crew of 6 drowned while attempting to make shore in the yawl. A couple days after the loss, Mrs. Lanigan received a prophetic letter from her son stating he was tired of sailing and this would be his last trip.

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 left Lorain on her maiden voyage November 15, 1973, light for Escanaba, Michigan to load iron ore. Renamed b.) EARL W. OGLEBAY in 1995.

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, 5,712 gross tons, later b.) J .L. REISS, then c.) 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, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Jody Aho and Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Today in Great Lakes History - November 14

The ALGOBAY (steel propeller bulk freighter, 719 foot, ,22,466 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. Built as the a.) FRANK H. PEAVEY in 1901, renamed b.) WILLIAM A. REISS in 1916. She was scrapped at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin in 1935.

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 buoy tender MESQUITE (Hull#76) was launched November 14, 1942, at a cost of $894,000, by Marine Iron & Shipbuilding Co. at Duluth, Minnesota. MESQUITE ran aground off Keweenaw Point on December 4, 1989, and was declared a total loss. MESQUITE was scuttled off Keweenaw Point on July 14, 1990.

On November 14, 1952, the SPARROWS POINT, b.) BUCKEYE entered service for Bethlehem Steel Corp. Reduced to a barge at Erie, Pennsylvania, and renamed c.) LEWIS J KUBER in 2006.

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.


Vessels returning to service boost U.S.-Flag Lakes total in October

11/13 - With five U.S.-Flag lakers being reactivated in October, the fleet carried 8.7 million net tons of cargo, an increase of nearly 25 percent compared to the preceding month. The five vessels that returned to service in October have a combined per-trip capacity of 245,000 tons and mostly carry iron ore and coal.

Nonetheless, the U.S.-Flag float in October was down 21 percent compared to a year ago. Eight vessels remain tied to the dock because of reduced demand for raw materials. One small tug/barge unit in the limestone trade has likely concluded its efforts for the year.

Through October, U.S.-Flag carriage stands at 51.3 million tons, a decrease of approximately 40 percent compared to both a year ago and the 5-year average for the January-October timeframe.

Lake Carriers' Association


Port Reports - November 13

Alpena and Stoneport, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Thursday morning, Mississagi brought a load of road salt to the Alpena Oil Dock. By noon it had finished unloading and was backing out of the river and into the bay. At Stoneport on Thursday, American Mariner took on cargo and departed around 5 p.m. Once the dock was clear the tug and barge Joseph H. Thompson came in and tied up.
The Alpena arrived in port Tuesday afternoon and tied up at the coal dock. Tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity came in later and loaded under the silos at Lafarge. On Wednesday morning the Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation was in taking on cargo. The Alpena moved over to the loading dock on Wednesday but will not load until Friday.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
The tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder arrived on the Saginaw River overnight and were unloading at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City on Thursday morning. They completed their unload and were outbound for the lake by mid morning.

Cleveland, Ohio - Gay Welsh
Algoway was unloading stone along the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland. Then she was towed stern first by the tug Iowa to Lake Erie.


Rand Logistics reports second quarter results

11/13 - On Thursday, Rand Logistics announced financial and operational results for the second quarter and provided an update on recent business developments.

Marine freight revenue (excluding fuel and other surcharges, and outside charter revenue) was $28.1 million, a decrease of 13.0% from $32.3 million. The decline in marine freight revenue was due in large part to fewer vessel sailing days and operating inefficiencies attributable to a reduction in customer demand versus the prior year, as well as a weaker Canadian dollar as compared to last year. Marine freight revenue per sailing day decreased by $1,466 or 5.0%, to $28,136 from $29,602.
Vessel operating expenses per sailing day decreased by $8,191, or 29.5%, to $19,608 from $27,799. The decrease was primarily attributable to reduced fuel costs, improved cost management, the realization of operating efficiencies resulting from capital improvements and a decrease in vessel sailing days.
Net income before taxes was $7.6 million, a decrease of 5.1% from $8.0 million.

Six Months Ended September 30 financial Highlights Versus Six Months Ended September 30, 2008
Marine freight revenue (excluding fuel and other surcharges, and outside charter revenue) was $52.3 million, a decrease of 12.3% from $59.6 million.
Marine freight revenue per sailing day decreased by $1,784 or 6.1%, to $27,344 from $29,128. Vessel operating expenses per sailing day decreased by $7,704, or 28.2%, to $19,610 from $27,314.
Net income before taxes was $10.9 million, a decrease of 17.2% from $13.2 million.

Scott Bravener, President of Lower Lakes stated, "Given the challenging macroeconomic environment, there was a reduction in demand for bulk freight shipping services on the Great Lakes during the second fiscal quarter compared to the prior year. Specifically, the major commodities that are transported on the Great Lakes experienced lakes-wide tonnage declines of up to 60%. Notwithstanding the decline in demand, we were pleased with our vessel utilization, which equaled 91% of the theoretical maximum during the quarter, as well as our tonnage volumes, which were only down 14% versus the prior year, excluding outside voyage charter. Despite a decline in marine freight revenue per day, vessel operating margins approached prior year record levels, as a direct result of continued realization of operating efficiencies and cost reductions."

"While there is still uncertainty in our end markets, we are more confident about our business entering the third fiscal quarter. Demand for our services appears to be stabilizing and we have adequate visibility into shipments through the end of the 2009 sailing season. We have carefully managed our vessels throughout the 2009 sailing season in anticipation of some of our major customers closing their facilities for the winter earlier than normal. As such, during our current fiscal quarter, while we anticipate operating inefficiencies stemming from these early shutdowns, we are better prepared for the impact to our operations and have planned accordingly. Finally, we believe that we have capitalized on our cost-efficient operating model, the size and configuration of our fleet and the market downturn to gain further market share, which gives us a high degree of confidence that once market demand recovers, we will be able to restore vessel efficiencies, providing the potential for substantial operating leverage and profit improvement," Mr. Bravener concluded.

Laurence S. Levy, Chairman and CEO of Rand commented, "As a result of the steps taken thus far this fiscal year to reduce costs, coupled with improved customer visibility, we believe that consistent with prior years, our operating income, before depreciation and amortization, for the first half of fiscal 2010 will be reflective of our full year results, barring significant weather delays or an operational incident over the next 60 days. As a result, our operating income before depreciation and amortization for fiscal 2010 is likely to only be marginally lower than fiscal 2009 results, which were the highest in the Company's history, notwithstanding a weaker Canadian dollar and significant operating inefficiencies caused by a reduction in customer demand."

"We continue to be well positioned to weather this downturn and feel that our expected fiscal 2010 performance clearly illustrates the benefit of our diverse end markets served, targeted market focus, our efficient cost structure and the size and configuration of our fleet. The severity of the downturn in our markets has tested our business model and our operating performance for the first half of our fiscal year underscores our position as one of the most efficient providers of bulk freight shipping services throughout the Great Lakes region," concluded Mr. Levy.

Rand Logistics


New use agreement announced for offshore lighthouses

11/13 - Lansing, Mich. - Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and the Michigan Lighthouse Alliance (MLA) announced Thursday they had finalized an agreement to facilitate the transfer of offshore lighthouses to private groups and local government entities dedicated to preserving the lighthouses and ensuring public access to them.

Two prominent offshore lighthouse groups, Detour Reef Lighthouse Preservation Society and Harbor Beach Lighthouse Preservation Society, participated in the months of negotiations as potential direct beneficiaries of the agreement.

“I am prepared to recommend to our DRLPS Board that the agreement we have successfully negotiated is one we sign so we can finally receive the lighthouse we have worked many years to restore and maintain,” said Clif Haley of Drummond Island, DRLPS Board member and a key participant in the talks.

“We have reached agreement on all points and I will be recommending that the City of Harbor Beach sign this so the Society can achieve its ultimate goal of turning over our lighthouse to the residents of the area after 27 years of stewardship,” said Buzz Hoerr, President of the Michigan Lighthouse Alliance and the Harbor Beach Society.

“These were challenging talks that culminated in a template that will serve as a basis for all other offshore lights in Michigan waters. Because this involves bottomlands owned by the people of Michigan it was important to get it right. It was the number one priority of the Alliance and it is great see it completed.”

Both Hoerr and Haley praised DEQ Maritime Culture Advisor Carol Linteau and the staff of the DEQ for their work to craft this agreement. “Carol kept things moving internally and brought a fresh perspective to a very complex issue,” said Haley. “She and her colleagues wanted this to work to help save Michigan’s offshore lights and she helped us while protecting the interests of the people of Michigan,” said Hoerr.

“Together we negotiated an agreement that protects the bottomlands held in trust by Michigan citizens while making it as simple as possible for dedicated preservation groups to continue their critical work of protecting our lighthouses as precious symbols of Michigan’s maritime heritage,” said Linteau. “We wish the MLA and these two local groups every success and look forward to providing assistance in the transfer process.”

The MLA represents lighthouse groups working on most of the more than 100 lighthouses found throughout the Great Lakes in Michigan. Under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act, the federal government is able to transfer ownership of lighthouse structures from the U.S. Coast Guard by the General Services Administration to interested parties whose restoration and operational plans are approved by the National Park Service. The bottomlands use agreement was required because offshore lighthouses sit on state owned and managed bottomlands. The execution of this agreement will allow lighthouse stewards to continue their work after the federal government completes the transfers.

According to Hoerr, “The Alliance will now increase its focus on helping existing lighthouse stewardship groups find resources, increase membership, align with other lighthouses to jointly promote public access through tours, and provide exchanges of technical information between members. We will host our third state conference in Traverse City in June 2010 when we hope to see DeTour and Harbor Beach lighthouses finally transferred to their new owners.”

“This agreement could not have been reached without the hard work and leadership provided by MLA’s Buzz Hoerr and DeTour’s Clif Haley and Dave Bardsley,” said Linteau. “I also want to recognize the assistance provided by the State Historic Preservation Office, key the DEQ staff, and several assistant Attorneys General who advise our agencies. I truly look forward to the June MLA conference. We have much to celebrate, and much to accomplish in the future. We move forward as effective partners for lighthouse preservation in the State of Michigan.”


Updates - November 13

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History - November 13

In 1952, the 626-foot SPARROWS POINT successfully completed her sea trials and departed Chicago on her maiden trip. The new Bethlehem boat, the largest boat to enter the lakes via the Mississippi River Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, was under the command of Captain Wilfred Couture and Chief Engineer James Meinke. She was lengthened to 682 feet in 1958, converted to a self-unloader in 1980, renamed b.) BUCKEYE in 1991, converted to a barge in 2006, renamed c.) LEWIS J. KUBER.

ARAB (2-mast wooden schooner, 100 foot, 158 tons, built in 1854, at Buffalo, New York) 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.

CONDARRELL was laid up for the last time on November 13, 1981. Built in 1953 as a.) D. C. EVEREST, she was renamed b.) CONDARRELL in 1982. After serving as a barge in Montreal she was towed to Port Colborne, Ontario, in June, 2006, for scrap, and is still there.

The GEORGE HINDMAN was in collision with the British salty MANCHESTER EXPLORER on Lake St. Louis, above the Lachine Lock in 1956. Built in 1921, as a.) GLENCLOVA, renamed b.) ANTICOSTI in 1927, c.) RISACUA in 1946, d.) GEORGE HINDMAN in 1955, and 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, 1,187 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, 8,349 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.

The Toledo Blade published the following vessel passages for Detroit on this date in 1903: -Up- VOLUNTEER, AMAZON, HARLOW, 12:30 Friday morning; ROCKEFELLER, 4:20; MARISKA, 4:40; FRENCH, 5:20; CONEMAUGH, 6; S M STEPHENSON, FAUSTIN, barges, 7:30; OLIVER, MITCHELL, (sailed), 7:50; AVERILL, 8.

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


Tugs tow Windoc to Toronto

11/12 - Port Weller, Ont. – Windoc was removed from Seaway Marine & Industrial shipyard in Port Weller Wednesday and towed to Toronto. Three tugs were involved in the move – Nadro Marine’s Vigilant 1 and Seahound, and McKeil’s Wyatt M. Windoc was pulled out of the drydock and turned with her bow facing downbound toward Lock 1. Once ready all three tugs and the hulk locked down and proceeded out to Lake Ontario for their crossing to Toronto. Windoc was severely damaged on Aug. 11, 2001 when the Allanburg Bridge in the Welland Canal lowered prematurely, clipping the vessel’s superstructure. A fire that followed gutted the after end.

Paul Beesley


Lakes limestone trade falls into fall

11/12 - The first full month of fall was another disappointment for Lakes-shipping limestone quarries in the U.S. and Canada. Loadings in October totaled 3.3 million net tons, a decrease of 20.4 percent compared to both a year ago and the month’s 5-year average.

The October stone float mirrors previous months. The sluggish construction market has sapped demand for aggregate, while sagging steel production has trimmed shipments of fluxstone.

For the year, the limestone trade stands at 19.7 million tons, a decrease of 30.7 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments are 36.2 percent below the 5-year average for the January-October timeframe.

Lake Carriers' Association


Port Reports - November 12

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
USCGC Alder visited the upper and lower harbors Wednesday afternoon for seasonal buoy replacement. Alder sailed west on Lake Superior after her work. Also Wednesday afternoon, Herbert C. Jackson arrived at the Upper Harbor to load ore.

St. Marys River - Greg Barber
Wednesday morning found a thick blanket of fog over the lower St. Marys River causing Soo Traffic to close the river. Once it opened, around 11 a.m., downbound traffic was Adam E. Cornelius, Edwin H. Gott, Canadian Provider, Burns Harbor and American Integrity. Upbound anchored in Hay Lake was Roger Blough and American Century followed by H. Lee White, Persenk, Lee A. Tregurtha, Algomarine, Ojibway and James R. Barker. Lee A. Tregurtha, Algomarine and Persenk were anchored off DeTour.

Menominee, Mich. – Dick Lund
McKee Sons and tug Invincible made their first appearance in Menominee since 2005 when they arrived shortly after 9:30 a.m. (CST) on Wednesday with a load of coal for Menominee Paper Co. After only about a two- hour unload, the tug and barge backed down the Menominee River into the bay of Green Bay where they turned around and headed for their next port of call. This is the first time in quite a while that Menominee Paper Co. has had three shiploads of coal in one calendar year; they usually get just two. The Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder and the Calumet delivered the two earlier loads.

Toronto, Ont. - Frank Hood
John J. Carrick is in Toronto harbor near the Toronto Dry Dock.


Updates - November 12

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History - November 12

In 1920, the FRANCIS WIDLAR stranded on Pancake Shoal in Lake Superior and was written off as a total constructive loss of $327,700. The wreck was purchased by Mathews Steamship Company in 1921 and placed back in service as the BAYTON. The BAYTON sailed until 1966 and the hull was later used as a temporary breakwall during construction at Burns Harbor, Indiana.

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, 7,268 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, 7,514 gross tons, built in 1909, at Lorain, Ohio) and GOVERNOR MILLER (steel propeller bulk freighter, 593 foot, 8,240 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. Renamed b.) WILLIAM NELSON in 1928, and c.) BEN E. TATE in 1936. Scrapped at Bilbao, Spain in 1969.

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 1,500 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, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Max Hanley and Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


October decrease in coal loadings on lakes smallest yet this year

11/11 - Cleveland, Ohio - Coal shipments on the Great Lakes were down only 5 percent in October compared to a year ago. That is the smallest decrease registered yet this year. In previous months, the decline has ranged from 17 percent to nearly 100 percent.

Whether or not the October total 3.7 million net tons announces a turnaround for the trade remains to be seen. Much will depend on if utilities foresee growing demand for power during the winter and hence the need to increase stockpiles during the final 2 months of navigation.

The seasonal decline in water levels was evident in vessels payloads in October. Over a period of 21 days, a 1,000-foot-long vessel had to trim 750 tons from its total because of reduced draft. The loss of those tons meant that 1.2 percent of the vessels carrying capacity had been negated in just three weeks.

Year-to-date, coal shipments stand at 24.3 million tons, a decrease of 24 percent compared to a year ago. The trade is more than 26 percent off the 5-year average for the January-October timeframe.

Lake Carriers' Association


Port Reports - November 11

Marinette, Wis. – Dick Lund
The barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted arrived in Marinette around 5 p.m. Monday night. They were carrying a load of pig iron from Chicago and came through the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal before proceeding up the bay of Green Bay. The Basic Marine tug Nickelena followed the tug and barge into port in case they needed assistance. Tuesday morning found Undaunted out of the notch and the barge ballasted down to raise the bow out of the water, with a crew that appeared to be checking the bow thruster on Pere Marquette 41. They unloaded part of a load of pig iron from the bow portion of the barge during the night, and will finish unloading later.

Ludington, Mich. - Nancy Schrader Keith
Algorail unloaded stone at Ludington harbor Monday.

Toronto, Ont. - Charlie Gibbons
English River was in port early Tuesday morning and departed in mid-afternoon for Bath. Windoc is expected to be towed from Port Weller to Toronto for long-term lay-up.


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.

Also: 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: of the Interlake fleet, Capt. Charles W. Allen, sank in 215 of water off Pentwater, Michigan. There were no survivors among the crew of 33.

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, 1,806 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'Orleans 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 Desgagnes 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 Desgagnes 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, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley and Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Saginaw River shipping volume declines for fifth year

11/10 - Saginaw, Mich. – Continuing a five-year trend, 2009 proved commercial shipping on the Saginaw River is still on a downturn. However, dock owners and shipping analysts agree that recent dredging is saving the river as a shipping port.

Todd Shorkey, who reports vessel passages to the online group, said as of Oct. 31 this year there were 141 commercial vessel passages making deliveries to docks along the Saginaw River. That’s down from 176 vessel passages in 2008, and down from a five-year average of 217 vessel passages per year. About 296 vessel passages were made during the same time period in 2005.“So, it is quite easy to see that 2009 has not been a good year for shipping on the Saginaw River,” Shorkey said. “There has been a downward trend each year for the past five years.”

A poor economy gets some of the blame, lowering demand for the high-volume products moved by lake freighters.

Despite the decline, many companies in the Great Lakes Bay Region still rely on shipping as a means of transportation.

William G. Webber, president of the Saginaw River Alliance — a group of 22 companies that use the river for moving materials — attributes a lot of shipping traffic this year to materials needed for construction work on road projects such as Interstate 675 in Saginaw County and Center Avenue in Bay County. “State highway work in Bay City and Saginaw have been the largest movers of construction stone,” said Webber, who owns Sargent Docks and Terminal Inc., which has facilities in Essexville and Saginaw. According to Shorkey, the Wirt Stone Dock in Bay City had the most traffic in 2009 with 29 deliveries, followed by the Wirt Stone Dock in Saginaw with 27 deliveries and the Bay Aggregates dock in Bangor Township with 25 deliveries.

Even though the stone docks saw the most traffic this year, Webber said stone sales are very slow because of the economy.

Construction at Hemlock Semiconductor Group in Saginaw County’s Thomas Township, in addition to Great Lakes Bay Regional agriculture, also contributed to the need for shipping traffic. Webber cited Michigan Sugar Co. as a strong base with its needs for kiln limestone, coal, potash, urea and other fertilizers. He said the POET Biorefining ethanol plant in Caro also helped the river shipping industry with its need for pot ash.

Dredging projects on the Saginaw River began in May and removed more than 200,000 cubic yards in an area from Bay City south to Saginaw.

“Dredging has saved the Saginaw River,” Webber said. “We can now turn ships and have removed the worst shoals. Next, we will be able to deepen the channel, which will result in tremendous shipping efficiencies.”

A shoal is an area of shallow water that serves as a navigation hazard to ships.

More than $4 million has poured in to the dredging project so far and $5 million has been spent to create a dredged material disposal facility on the Bay-Saginaw county line.

Another $3.4 million is earmarked by the federal government to dredge the river in five spots next year between the Sixth Street turning basin and Saginaw Bay. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expects to remove 339,000 cubic yards from the bay and 107,500 cubic yards from the bottom of the river.

Jim Koski, Saginaw County Public Works commissioner, said the dredging project will lead to confidence and investing in Saginaw River shipping.

“It was really hard to get somebody to invest in the Saginaw River, but now we are the safest inland port on the Great Lakes,” Koski said. “Now we can go out and say we’ve got a port that will be here 75 to 100 years from now.”

The Bay City Times


Port Reports - November 10

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
The tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber were inbound early Sunday morning with a split load. The pair lightered at the Bay City Wirt Stone dock before continuing upriver to finish at the Saginaw Wirt dock. The Moore & Kuber were outbound Sunday evening.

Goderich, Ont. - Bruce Douglas
BBC Jade arrived in ballast Monday to load at the grain elevators.

Toledo, Ohio - Jim Hoffman
Lee A. Tregurtha finished unloading ore at the Torco Dock and departed Monday morning. Herbert C. Jackson finished loading coal at the CSX Dock and departed late morning. Mckee Sons followed the Jackson loading coal at the CSX Docks and were expected to depart late afternoon. The tug Rebecca Lynn and the barge A-397 were at the new petroleum dock north of the shipyard. The tug Lucia with the barge Caribbean were at the Sun Oil Dock. Canadian Enterprise was loading grain at the ADM Elevator. The next coal boats due into the CSX Docks will be American Mariner and Calumet on Tuesday, John J. Boland on Wednesday followed by Algosoo and Saginaw on Thursday. The next ore boats due into the Torco Dock will be CSL Assiniboine on Wednesday, Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin on Thursday followed by John D. Leitch on Saturday.

Toronto, Ont. - Charlie Gibbons
Algolake made a rare visit to Toronto with a cargo of salt Sunday. Peter R. Creswell departed Saturday after a lengthy stay in port. Cuyahoga was also in port unloading salt on Saturday.

Cornwall, Ont. - Kent Malo
Early Monday morning, Rt. Hon Paul J. Martin reportedly grounded near Cornwall, Ontario. She reported to the Seaway that she was sounding her ballast tanks for any ingress of water. The Martin seemingly freed herself about 9 a.m. and proceeded to lower Snell Lock approach wall, arriving at 10:48 a.m. She was still secured at 2:25. The Martin was upbound with Iron ore for Toledo, Ohio.

Halifax, N.S. - Mac Mackay
Atlantic Superior is due in Halifax Tuesday morning, and will enter drydock at Halifax Shipyard. Atlantic Huron is unloading grain at pier 26.


Rogers City museum remembers Fitzgerald sinking

11/10 - It's been 34 years since the sinking of the freighter S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald in Lake Superior and the loss of its 29-man crew, and Saturday dozens of sailors and their families gathered for a bell ringing ceremony to honor those men and the ship at the Great Lakes Lore Maritime Museum in Rogers City.

The band Whispers of the North performed Gordon Lightfoot's ballad honoring the memory of the Fitzgerald and its crew.

The Gales of November have claimed a number of Great Lakes freighters over the decades that ships have sailed the waters of the Great Lakes, but the "Fitz" tragedy recounted in ballad form has become a familiar anthem that rings of all lost vessels. Dave Erickson, director of the Lore Museum, said the Fitzgerald was but one of hundreds of ships lost on the Great Lakes during the fierce seasonal storms in November, and although no crew members were from Presque Isle County, there is a link to local sailors.

"The (Arthur M.) Anderson was the first of many ships to reach the area the stricken freighter was last known to be," Erickson said. "Our sailors were the first to search for possible survivors and many recall the terrible weather and the hopelessness they felt as they scanned the storm tossed water. These were their brothers, comrades if you will, lost in this fierce storm."

Many of the dozens who gathered Saturday were veterans of many seasons aboard freighters, or sons and daughters of these men who called the port of Calcite home. There were survivors of the sinking of the Cedarville, but all felt a kinship with men they never knew.

As Erickson read the roster of 29 men who lost their lives in the storm, each was remembered by a single clap of the ship's bell sounded by a shipmate they never met.

The 729-foot Fitzgerald was down-bound in Lake Superior when it ran into the storm that claimed it and its crew. It sank in 530 feet of water, just 17 miles from the relative protection of Whitefish Point. Reports stated that the combination of 45-knot winds and 30-foot waves combined to pull her down, and although arguments continue to this day over what the cause of its demise really was, veteran sailors acknowledge the gales of November as the reason.

Whispers of the North will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday evening at the Rogers City Theater. Tickets will be available at the door.

Two more bell-ringing ceremonies are planned this month at the museum and the public is welcome to both. The Carl D. Bradley will be remembered Nov. 21, 51 years after it sank in Lake Michigan, claiming all but two lives of its crew, nearly all from Presque Isle County. The last ceremony of the month will be Nov. 28, to remember the loss of the Daniel Morrell, lost in the waters of Lake Huron. The lone survivor, Dennis Hale, will be present for the ceremony.

All bell-ringing ceremonies will start at 2 p.m. and there is no admission charge. For more information, call 734-0706.

The Alpena News


Dossin Great Lakes Museum to remember mariners lost on the inland seas tonight

11/10 - Detroit, Mich. - The Detroit Historical Society’s Dossin Maritime Group hosts its annual remembrance for sailors lost on the inland seas Tuesday, November 10 at 6 p.m. at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum.

This moving event takes place on the 34th anniversary of the sinking of the Great Lakes ore freighter Edmund Fitzgerald. This year’s event commemorates the 100th anniversary of the loss of the Marquette & Bessemer No. 2. This railroad car ferry set sail from Conneaut, Ohio on December 7, 1909. After encountering a fierce winter storm, the ship disappeared on Lake Erie, claiming 32 lives. The wreckage of this 350 foot ship loaded with 30 railroad cars full of coal has never been found. Since numerous search efforts have been attempted to find the Marquette & Bessemer No. 2 over the past 100 years -- and failed -- it is considered the Holy Grail of shipwrecks in the Great Lakes.

For more information or reservations visit In addition, the event will be made available as a live webcast for those unable to attend in person. The schedule of events is as follows:
6 p.m. A lantern ceremony at the Fitzgerald anchor remembers both the crew of the Fitz and the Marquette & Bessemer No. 2.
6:15 p.m. Lee Murdock, the renowned Great Lakes balladeer, performs in DeRoy Hall as guests enter the museum.
7 p.m. Assembly of the Lost Mariners honor guard, including members of the United States Coast Guard, Canadian Coast Guard, International Shipmasters Lodge #7 and a descendant of the Captain and First Mate lost on the Marquette & Bessemer No. 2. The honor guard will be escorted by bagpipers to the river’s edge with the Lost Mariners memorial wreath.
7:02 p.m. Reading of the lost crew roster of the Marquette & Bessemer No. 2 by Kathy McGraw of the Dossin Maritime Group, with a bell toll for each name.
7:03 p.m. Out on the Detroit River, a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter escorts and lights up a flotilla of U.S. and Canadian vessels as they approach the museum to receive the wreath. The ships include a 41-foot U.S. Coast Guard utility boat with uniformed crew at attention on deck, the Canadian Coast Guard cutter Cape Dundas, an Ontario Provincial Police Marine Division service boat and the mail boat J.W. Westcott.
7:06 p.m. The Reverend Gregory McComas, assistant rector of Mariners Church, offers a prayer for the lost mariners.
7:10 p.m. The wreath honoring those lost on the Great Lakes is laid out in the river with a salute of all water cannons by the Detroit Fire Department’s Curtis Randolph. Overhead, a helicopter from the Selfridge Air National Guard base lights the scene. In addition, there will be a playing of Taps on the river with a Canadian echo of Last Post.
7:12 p.m. Presentation by guest speaker, Christopher Gillcrist, Executive Director of the Great Lakes Historical Society in Vermilion, Ohio, on the loss of the Marquette & Bessemer No. 2.
7:45 p.m. The event concludes with a memorial prayer and benediction by Rev. McComas, followed by Lee Murdock’s rendition of Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Click here to watch webcast


Updates - November 10

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History - November 10

On this day in 1892, whaleback barge 102 loaded 2,073 tons of iron ore at Superior consigned to Cleveland. This was the first shipment of Mesabi Range iron ore carried by Oglebay Norton.

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, Michigan, 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. Renamed b.) ALGOSAR in 1998, sold off the lakes, renamed c.) GENESIS EXPLORER in 2005.

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, 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 sinking.

Pittsburgh Steamship's WILLIAM A .IRVIN (Hull#811) was launched November 10, 1937, at Lorain, Ohio. The IRVIN serves as a museum ship in Duluth, Minnesota since 1986.

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 were 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 bottom in the St. Lawrence Seaway on 10 November 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, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley and Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports - November 9

Green Bay, Wis. - Dick Lund
The barge St. Marys Conquest and tug Prentiss Brown were at St. Marys Cement unloading cement on Sunday. Later in the afternoon, the Algoway arrived at Fox River Dock with more salt, and American Courage was headed up the Fox River with a load of coal for Georgia Pacific.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.  - Dick Lund
Paul R. Tregurtha arrived at Bay Shipbuilding Sunday and docked alongside the large graving dock. She is in the ship yard for repowering.

Saginaw River - Ross Ruehle
The tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber, a regular visitor to the Saginaw River, passed by the Charity Islands in Saginaw Bay on a star-lit fall night on Saturday. At noon on Sunday they were secure at the Saginaw Wirt Stone dock unloading stone.

Marblehead, Ohio - Dawn Roberts
Sunday afternoon, Mississagi was at the Lafarge dock loading stone.


Updates - November 9

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspective Gallery Daniel J. Morrell updated


Today in Great Lakes History - November 9

In 1971, the French freighter PENCHATEAU unloaded 3,000 tons of fluorspar at Erie Dock at Cleveland. This was (1) the first salty unloaded at this dock, (2) the first cargo handled from directly overseas, and (3) the first time Huletts unloaded directly into trucks. The operation required 9 hours (previous efforts using clamshell buckets to unload required two days).

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, under tow of the tug MARION MORAN, for coal shuttle service in the Chesapeake Bay area passing down the Welland Canal November 9th. She returned to the Lakes under tow of the DIANA MORAN in 1965. Sold Canadian in 1976, renamed b.) ERINDALE, she was scrapped at Port Colborne, Ontario in 1985.

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 1930Õs, 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 the steamer E L WALLACE of the Dearborn Transit Co., 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, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Jody Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports - November 8

St. Clair, Mich.
The Paul R. Tregurtha reportedly finished her 2009 season with a final load of the season for the St. Clair Power Plant. About 11:45 a.m. on Friday the Paul R. Tregurtha arrived to unload a cargo of coal. After unloading she was heading to Sturgeon Bay, Wis. and the Bay Shipbuilding Yard where she will then enter the yard for engine replacement. This leaves Interlake’s James R. Barker and Mesabi Miner to continue the coal run for the rest of the season.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
The English River arrived at 3 p.m. on Friday for the Lafarge dock. She departed around noon on Saturday and was downbound in the Welland Canal for Bath, Ontario at 7:15 p.m. that evening.


Updates - November 8

News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspective Gallery Daniel J. Morrell updated


Today in Great Lakes History - November 8

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 was part of the Oglebay Norton fleet. Renamed b.) AMERICAN CENTURY in 2006.

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 STADACONA of 1909, renamed b.) W. H. McGEAN in 1920, was renamed c.) ROBERT S. McNAMARA by its new owner Ford Motor Company's Marine Division on November 8, 1962. The McNAMARA 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 in 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, 7,964 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.


Port Reports - November 7

Grand Haven, Mich. – Dick Fox
The tug barge Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 came in early Friday morning with a load for Verplank's Dock in Ferrysburg. It departed around 1 p.m.


BoatNerd Requests Hardware Donations

BoatNerd is requesting donations of used computer hardware, LCD monitors, recent video production equipment to use for switching cameras. This is a good opportunity for a corporation or individual to recycle equipment while receiving a tax credit by donating to our 501 (c) (3) non profit organization.

We would be happy to pick up and wipe the data on any donated machines to DOD standards and we have our own licensed software.

We would like any equipment starting with a Pentium 4 level processor or higher and any size LCD monitor. We could also use small form factor PC's with any speed processor , an LCD projector, servers, network switches and video switcher. No printers please. This equipment is used to support various features of the site and also placed in regional museums as kiosk type displays.

 If you have equipment to donate or if your company has a recycling program please contact us.


Today in Great Lakes History - November 7

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, 2,320 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, 1,918 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.


Port of Green Bay 'doing fine' after slow start to season

11/6 - Green Bay. Wis. – Aside from the first two months of the shipping season, when nothing was moving because of the economic downturn, the port of Green Bay's manager says it has held its own this season.

While total tonnages were off by as much as 40 percent earlier this year, the port is now running about 24 percent less than at the same time last year, according to monthly figures.

While it's been a slow season on the lakes in general, there are a few areas where the port of Green Bay has seen positive numbers on the ledger — namely salt and gypsum shipments.

"We've had two severe winters in a row that has depleted all of our salt stock in Northeastern Wisconsin, and we're bringing in the salt to replenish that," said Dean Haen, manager of the Port of Green Bay. "And since a lot of the ships have capacity, we got our salt in a lot earlier than we usually do, just because the ships were available and if the mine had it, the ships were hauling it."

He expects another seven or eight shipments of salt for the year, which will push the port's total to around 300,000 tons.

Through September, the port brought in roughly 222,000 tons of salt from domestic and international sources. All of September's salt shipments were international, according to the report, with 23,782 tons arriving in the port that month.

Year to date, international shipments of salt were up 52 percent from 137,527 tons in 2008.

Gypsum is a commodity the port sees once every couple of years. September's shipment went to a Michigan agricultural supply company.

"We basically lost the first two months of the shipping season, and since then we've been doing fine on a month-by-month basis," Haen said. "I think you're going to see a lot of other ports hurting worse than we are, because we're a consuming port for products and things manufactured in this area that are not as economically volatile."

Increased water levels also helped buoy the amount of cargo individual ships can carry, he said. Through September, the port's tonnage for 2009 is down about 24 percent from the same time last year, with a total of 1.1 million tons of cargo shipped. In conjunction with stunted tonnages, the number of ship arrivals decreased 31 percent to 84, down from 121 at the same time last year.

The depressed numbers come as no surprise, continuing a trend that started late last year when the economy went into the tank, directly impacting the amount of raw materials needed for products like cars, appliances and construction projects.

Many raw commodities for those products move via ship on the Great Lakes.

Shipments in U.S. vessels in September totaled 7 million tons, down 36.2 percent compared to a year ago, according to monthly figures from the Lake Carriers Association.

The year to date total stood at 42.6 million tons, a decrease of 42.5 percent compared to a year ago. Compared to the five-year average for the first three quarters, loadings in U.S. ships were down 44.3 percent, according to the association.

Green Bay port numbers for this year are expected to be bolstered in October, thanks to several thousand tons of rock being shipped from Green Bay to Door County daily for work on a new marina in Egg Harbor.

Haen said he expects 2010 to show some improvement.

"We'll do better next year than we did this year because we lost those (first) two months," he said.

Green Bay Press Gazette


Port Reports - November 6

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
After a month undergoing repairs, the Upper Harbor hopper was back in service late Wednesday evening as James R. Barker unloaded coal. Michipicoten arrived to load ore Thursday afternoon, and James R. Barker departed after Michipicoten's arrival.

Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. - Ryan Miller
Thursday night was an unusually slow night on the St. Marys River, only Charles M. Beeghly was moving in the river, upbound near six mile about 9 p.m. The only other freighter in the system was fleetmate Lee A. Tregurtha, unloading at Essar Steel in the Canadian Soo.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
All three cement carriers were in port at Lafarge on Thursday. Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation were first to arrive early in the morning. Tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity came in once the Innovation cleared. During the afternoon, the Alpena was waiting out in the bay and got to the dock around 7 p.m.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
Algoway was back again Thursday morning, this time calling on the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee with a load of salt. She was also joined by Calumet which arrived with a split load for the Bay City and Saginaw Wirt Stone docks. Algoway departed the Sargent dock late in the morning, going up to Sixth Street to turn. She then stopped back at Sargent and tied up until the early in the evening while waiting for more favorable wind conditions before departing. Calumet was outbound during the afternoon passing Algoway at Sargent, and then the inbound Olive L. Moore-Lewis J. Kuber, which were just arriving at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City to unload. The Moore-Kuber were expected to depart late Thursday night or early Friday morning.

Kingsville, Ont. - Erich Zuschlag
Robert S Pierson came into Kingsville on Thursday morning with a load of stone from Marblehead, Ohio.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Adam E. Cornelius arrived for General Mills around 11 p.m.PM on November 3rd for General Mills. CSL Niagara was spotted at the Gateway Trade Center in Lackawanna on November 1.


Lake Michigan ferry ends 2009 business season

11/6 - Muskegon, Mich. – The Lake Michigan ferry that runs between Milwaukee and Muskegon, Mich., has ended its 2009 business season. The Lake Express ferry was moved Tuesday up the Milwaukee River, from its home port in Milwaukee to its winter berth inland.

The ferry will be returned to Milwaukee in May, at the start of next year's season. The aluminum-hulled catamaran has room for 250 passengers and 46 vehicles. Its top speed of 40 mph allows it to cross the lake in two and a half hours. The ferry began service in June 2004.



Shipwreck Museum to pay tribute to the Fitzgerald

11/6 -  The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum is getting set to once again ring the bell 29 times, during the 14th annual Edmund Fitzgerald Memorial Service.

The Fitzgerald, a 729-foot ore carrier, and her entire crew of 29 men were lost on Lake Superior 34 years ago in one of the worst storms in three decades. The freighter lies north-northwest of Whitefish Point.

The service begins Tuesday at 7 p. m. at the Whitefish Point, Mich., museum. Each year, in honor of the Fitzgerald crew, the bell is uncovered and rung 29 times during a 'Call to the Last Watch Ceremony.' The 30th ring is for all mariners lost on the Great Lakes.

Music will be provided by Great Lakes balladeer Carl Behrend and Michigan singer and songwriter Dan Hall. Guest speaker will William Maki, watchman on the Arthur M. Anderson the night the Fitzgerald was lost.

The shipwreck museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  For more information 800-635-1742.


Updates - November 6

News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspective Gallery Daniel J. Morrell updated


Today in Great Lakes History - November 6

On 06 November 1880, the W. R. HANNA (2-mast scow-schooner, 86 foot, 103 gross tons, built in 1857), carrying 1,600 tamarac railroad ties to Toledo, sank in 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 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 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.

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 Pittsburgh Steamships' 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.

On November 6, 1897, the Minnesota Steamship boat 'MARIPOSA' (steel, 348', 2898 gross tons, built in 1892, Globe Iron Works, Cleveland, Ohio) under the command of Capt. Frank Root, rescued the two remaining survivors of the wreck of the package freighter 'IDAHO' (wooden package freighter, 220', 915 gross tons, built in 1863, Peck & Masters, Cleveland, Ohio.) off Long Point, Ontario on Lake Erie. The MARIPOSA'S First Mate, Capt. Myron K. Chamberlain had sighted the two Idaho survivors clinging to the 100' spar of the sunken IDAHO. Gale winds and seas of 12'-15' overtook the IDAHO taking with it to their deaths 19 crewmen including Captain Alexander Gillies. "In what is considered one of the greatest accomplishments of ship handling and rescue by a major Great Lakes vessel", Capt. Root and his crewmen were able to turn the MARIPOSA around ("rolling her rails under") three times in the midst of a gale, bringing their vessel right up to the spar where IDAHO Second Mate Louis LaForce Jr. and Deckhand William Gill were pulled "half dead" on board the MARIPOSA by the officers and deck crew. Both LaForce & Gill recovered. An appreciative City of Buffalo, (hometown to most of the IDAHO crew), and the Minnesota Steamship Company awarded Capt. Root a gold watch, and instructed him to award his first mate and chief engineer each an extra month's pay, and the MARIPOSA crew each an extra half month's pay for a job well done.

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.


Port Reports - November 5

Green Bay, Wis. – Scott Best
A steady stream of traffic has been present this week in Green Bay as local docks stockpile supplies for the winter. Monday evening the Lewis J. Kuber unloaded stone at Western Lime, while Wednesday afternoon Manitowoc arrived with more stone for Western Lime. The steamer Alpena, which arrived Tuesday, departed Wednesday afternoon as soon as Manitowoc arrived. Once Alpena cleared the downtown bridges, the captain thanked the bridge tenders for a good season and said they would see them next year, a sign the Alpena may soon head for layup. Due in Thursday is Barbara Andrie and her tank barge to the seldom-used Construction Resource Management Dock. The last visitor to this dock was the tug Everlast and her barge last December.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Wednesday afternoon the Calumet departed Stoneport. Fleetmate Manistee was waiting nearby and carefully approached the dock to tie up and load next.

Toledo, Ohio - Jim Hoffman
Wednesday Canadian Olympic was loading coal at the CSX Dock. Tug Salvor with the barge Lambert Spirit finished unloading cargo at the Midwest Terminal Dock and departed that afternoon. Canadian Transport finished loading grain at the ADM Elevator and departed during the afternoon. The tug Victorious with the barge John J. Carrick were at the Sun Oil Dock. CSL Niagara was headed inbound the Toledo Ship Channel Wednesday evening bound for one of the grain elevators upriver. The tug Manitou and related dredge equipment continue to dredge the shipping channel in Maumee Bay. The tug William C. Gaynor and related dredge equipment appear to be done with their dredging project and were all docked at the Lakefront Docks. They will probably be leaving Toledo within the next few days. The next coal boats due into the CSX Docks will be John J. Boland on Friday, Robert S. Pierson, Calumet, Mckee Sons and Lee A. Tregurtha on Sunday. The next ore boats due into the Torco Dock will be American Courage on Thursday followed by the CSL Laurentien on Saturday. American Fortitude, American Valor, and American Republic remain in layup.

Toronto, Ont. - Charlie Gibbons
Peter R. Creswell was in port Tuesday unloading salt. Pochard continued unloading at Redpath. The ferry Sam McBride was on Toronto Drydock.

Halifax, NS - Mac Mackay
Hopes were dashed today for groups attempting to secure two retired Canadian warships for use as dive sites and artificial reefs. A department of defense spokesperson stated that no acceptable business plans were submitted for such uses. Instead the Terra Nova and Gatineau will be scrapped. The government has accepted a bid in excess of $4 million to dismantle the ships. Aecon Fabco will have the ships towed out of Halifax before year’s end to Pictou, Nova Scotia. There the ships will be cut up for scrap. Aecon Fabco have been rehabilitating the Pictou shipyard after previous owners went out of business.


Dossin Great Lakes Museum to remember mariners lost on the inland seas

11/5 - Detroit, Mich. - The Detroit Historical Society’s Dossin Maritime Group hosts its annual remembrance for sailors lost on the inland seas Tuesday, November 10 at 6 p.m. at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum.

This moving event takes place on the 34th anniversary of the sinking of the Great Lakes ore freighter Edmund Fitzgerald. This year’s event commemorates the 100th anniversary of the loss of the Marquette & Bessemer No. 2. This railroad car ferry set sail from Conneaut, Ohio on December 7, 1909. After encountering a fierce winter storm, the ship disappeared on Lake Erie, claiming 32 lives. The wreckage of this 350 foot ship loaded with 30 railroad cars full of coal has never been found. Since numerous search efforts have been attempted to find the Marquette & Bessemer No. 2 over the past 100 years -- and failed -- it is considered the Holy Grail of shipwrecks in the Great Lakes.

For more information or reservations visit In addition, the event will be made available as a live webcast at for those unable to attend in person. The schedule of events is as follows:
6 p.m. A lantern ceremony at the Fitzgerald anchor remembers both the crew of the Fitz and the Marquette & Bessemer No. 2.
6:15 p.m. Lee Murdock, the renowned Great Lakes balladeer, performs in DeRoy Hall as guests enter the museum.
7 p.m. Assembly of the Lost Mariners honor guard, including members of the United States Coast Guard, Canadian Coast Guard, International Shipmasters Lodge #7 and a descendant of the Captain and First Mate lost on the Marquette & Bessemer No. 2. The honor guard will be escorted by bagpipers to the river’s edge with the Lost Mariners memorial wreath.
7:02 p.m. Reading of the lost crew roster of the Marquette & Bessemer No. 2 by Kathy McGraw of the Dossin Maritime Group, with a bell toll for each name.
7:03 p.m. Out on the Detroit River, a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter escorts and lights up a flotilla of U.S. and Canadian vessels as they approach the museum to receive the wreath. The ships include a 41-foot U.S. Coast Guard utility boat with uniformed crew at attention on deck, the Canadian Coast Guard cutter Cape Dundas, an Ontario Provincial Police Marine Division service boat and the mail boat J.W. Westcott.
7:06 p.m. The Reverend Gregory McComas, assistant rector of Mariners Church, offers a prayer for the lost mariners.
7:10 p.m. The wreath honoring those lost on the Great Lakes is laid out in the river with a salute of all water cannons by the Detroit Fire Department’s Curtis Randolph. Overhead, a helicopter from the Selfridge Air National Guard base lights the scene. In addition, there will be a playing of Taps on the river with a Canadian echo of Last Post.
7:12 p.m. Presentation by guest speaker, Christopher Gillcrist, Executive Director of the Great Lakes Historical Society in Vermilion, Ohio, on the loss of the Marquette & Bessemer No. 2.
7:45 p.m. The event concludes with a memorial prayer and benediction by Rev. McComas, followed by Lee Murdock’s rendition of Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald and a video collage of the ship’s history.


Updates - November 5

News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspective Gallery Daniel J. Morrell updated


Today in Great Lakes History - November 5

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, 4,795 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, 4,219 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.

The 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.


Port Reports - November 4

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
After unloading coal at the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock Monday evening, American Courage was secured at the Upper Harbor ore dock Tuesday morning waiting to load taconite. Her visit to the Lower Harbor was a first for the former Fred R. White Jr. since renaming in 2006.

Marinette, Wis. – Dick Lund
The tug Dublin Sea departed Marinette Marine around 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday and headed down to Sturgeon Bay, Wis., to pick up the tanker barge DBL-185. The duo then showed up off Marinette around 2:30 p.m. to make what appeared to be a crew change, as a small boat loaded with life jacket-wearing crew came up the Menominee River after leaving the side of the tug. The tug and barge, owned by K-Sea Transportation, are on their off-Lakes delivery run.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
During the early morning hours Tuesday, Algoway was outbound from the Saginaw Rock Products dock, headed for the lake. On her way out, she passed the inbound Calumet, which was bound for the GM Stone dock in Saginaw. Also inbound Tuesday morning was Indiana Harbor, calling on the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville. Both Calumet and Indiana Harbor were outbound late Tuesday afternoon, heading for the lake.

Toledo, Ohio - Jim Hoffman
Tuesday, Canadian Olympic was at the Torco Ore Dock unloading ore. Lee A. Tregurtha was at the CSX Docks loading coal. Tug Victorious with the barge John J. Carrick was at the Sun Oil Dock. Canadian Transport was loading grain at the ADM Elevator. The next coal boats due in at the CSX Docks will be the Canadian Olympic on Wednesday, John J. Boland on Friday followed by the Calumet, Robert S. Pierson, Lee A. Tregurtha, and McKee Sons on Sunday. The next ore boat due into the Torco Dock will be American Courage on Wednesday. The next scheduled stone boat due into the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock will be Algorail on Thursday.

Hamilton, Ont. – Eric Holmes
Canadian Transfer departed Hamilton at 9 a.m. Tuesday for the Welland Canal. This leaves just the Canadian Leader in lay-up.


Updates - November 4

News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspective Gallery Daniel J. Morrell and Pinedale updated


Today in Great Lakes History - November 4

The Great Lakes Steamship Company steamer NORWAY passed downbound through the Soo Locks with 6,609 tons of rye. This cargo increased the total tonnage transiting the locks in 1953 to 120,206,088 tons - a new one season tonnage record. Renamed b.) RUTH HINDMAN in 1964, she was scrapped at Thunder Bay, Ontario in 1978.

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, 6,588 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 was renamed c.) ALGONOVA in 1998.

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. Built as the WILLIAM G. CLYDE in 1929, CALCITE II sails today as the c.) MAUMEE.

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.

The 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, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports - November 3

Saginaw River –Todd Shorkey
Algoway was inbound the Saginaw River early Monday morning, calling on the Saginaw Rock Products dock in Saginaw to unload. As of 8:30 p.m. Monday she was still at the dock.

For the month of October, there were 22 vessel passages in the Saginaw River. This is one more than in October of 2008, but still well below the five-year average of 31 commercial passages. For the year, there have been 141 passages on the Saginaw river, a decrease of 36 from 2008 and a whopping 76 below the five-year average.


Updates - November 3

News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspective Gallery Daniel J. Morrell updated
Public Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - November 3

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 barges 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, 6,553 gross tons, built in 1905, at Superior, Wisconsin.)

On November 3, 1910, ATHABASCA (steel propeller passenger steamer, 263 foot, 1,774 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.


Port Reports - November 2

Green Bay, Wis.
Two ships waited at anchor overnight at Garrett Bay in Gills Rock, Wis. St. Marys Challenger spent Oct. 30 all day and overnight, and the Arthur M. Anderson joined her late Friday afternoon and overnight as well. Anderson pulled out mid-morning.

Manitowoc, Wis. - Charlie Nelson
Robert S. Pierson arrived in Manitowoc at 9 p.m. on Saturday night with a load of grain for the Budweiser terminal. St. Marys Challenger arrived around 11 p.m. on Saturday with a load of dry cement for the St. Marys terminal. The Challenger departed at approximately 11 a.m. on Sunday, passing the Pierson, which was expected to depart sometime late Monday morning. The Pierson is expected to make two more trips to Manitowoc before the end of the year.

St. Marys River
Sunday's vessel traffic included the downbound Indiana Harbor, Ojibway, Lee A. Tregurtha and Mesabi Miner. Cason J. Callaway, Anglian Lady, Burns Harbor and Federal Patroller were upbound.
Although it hasn't been confirmed officially, it appears scrapping may be underway at Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., on the venerable, former Mackinac Straits train ferry Chief Wawatam. The vessel has been pulled on shore bow first at the Purvis Marine north dock above the locks, and a portion of the bow looks to have been cut away. The Chief Wawatam was built in 1911 at Toledo Shipbuilding and plied the Straits until 1984. She was later cut down to a barge for Purvis Marine.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
McKee Sons was at Lafarge on Friday afternoon unloading coal. It remained in port overnight and departed on Saturday. The Alpena returned on Sunday and tied up under the silos.

Port Sanilac, Mich. - Jim Pallas
Agawa Canyon waited out high winds Saturday anchored in Lake Huron about one mile from shore about four miles south of Port Sanilac.


Diver finds 'time capsule' in Lake Michigan

11/2 - Traverse City, Mich. - Steve Libert doesn't hunt treasure, but that's just what he may have discovered in upper Lake Michigan.

Libert, a part-time Charlevoix resident and president of Great Lakes Exploration, believes he may have located the remains of Le Griffon, a French ship that sank in 1679. If proven, the find would be a treasure of historical significance "on a par with some of Columbus' ships," said Chris Doyal, president of the Grand Traverse Bay Underwater Preserve Council.

Libert will show video of the shipwreck -- considered by some hunters to be the Holy Grail of Great Lakes wrecks -- and share the story of his long search for it at the council's third Underwater Summit: "Maritime Discoveries of Northwest Michigan." The event takes place Saturday at the Waterfront Conference Center.

Now a U.S. Department of Defense senior intelligence analyst living in Virginia, Libert was a day-dreaming eighth-grader in Dayton, Ohio, when he first heard about the ship built by the legendary French explorer Rene-Robert Cavalier, Sieur de La Salle.

"My history teacher talked about La Salle and the griffon, this mythical beast -- part bird, part lion -- on the bow and stern," recalled Libert, who began researching the ship in 1973. "He put his hand on my shoulder and said, 'And maybe someone in this room will discover it someday.'"

During a routine dive in murky waters in 2001 Libert swam into a pole emerging from the upper Lake Michigan floor. Underwater research, including Carbon-14 dating by two independent labs and investigation by three archaeologists, confirms it could be part of the Griffon, the first European ship to ply the Upper Great Lakes, he said.

"Everyone agrees that this ship needs to be excavated to see if it is the Griffon," said Libert, whose attorneys are working to come up with a cooperative agreement with Michigan and France that would give his company exclusive excavation rights. "If it's the Griffon, it could rewrite the history books."

Built for fur-trading commerce to raise funds for La Salle's expedition in search of the mouth of the Mississippi, the ship was loaded with 6,000 pounds of furs when it sailed out from present-day Washington Harbor on Washington Island in northern Lake Michigan on Sept. 18, 1679. It caught the tail end of a storm and was never seen again.

The shipwreck is one of an estimated 3,000 in Lake Michigan and 8,000 in the Great Lakes, Libert said.

The underwater summit is a fundraiser to help the nonprofit Grand Traverse Bay Underwater Preserve survey the Grand Traverse Bay, said Doyal. The group promotes underwater tourism, recreational diving and maritime awareness in the Grand Traverse region through underwater archaeology educational programs.

"The big goal of the preserve is to do an inventory of the bay so we know what's there, so we know what we have to protect," Doyal said.

If Libert's discovery is the Griffon and not the British vessel Felicity, it could help answer dozens of questions about the ship and its people, Libert said.

"Ships actually are a time capsule of culture from that period: what people ate, the cargo, how they sank," he said. "I've had calls from archaeologists who are thrilled just to have a beaver pelt so they can find out how they were skinned from the marks on them."

If excavated, he said, the ship could be displayed in a museum that can afford to house and maintain it. Meanwhile he's keeping its exact location a secret.

"We can't do anything until we identify it," he said. "We want to do that before it's discovered and leaked."

For tickets or more information on the underwater summit, visit

Traverse City Record Eagle


Coast Guard rescues two near Chicago

11/2 - Chicago, Ill. – The U.S. Coast Guard rescued two people, a male and female, at approximately 4 p.m., Saturday, after their vessel capsized in Calumet Harbor, Ill.

Coast Guard Station Calumet Harbor received notification via telephone from a citizen who noticed a capsized sailboat from the window of his apartment building. Station Calumet Harbor’s 41-foot utility boat was already underway and arrived on scene within minutes of notification.

Both people were pulled from the water without incident and were taken to the north side of Chicago’s Navy Pier where local Emergency Medical Services were standing by. Both victims were wearing life jackets.

“The female victim was showing early signs of hypothermia,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Chris O’Donnell, coxswain of Station Calumet Harbor’s utility boat. “The male victim was cold but he seemed like he was doing alright.”


Lillian S. Roen

11/2 - Lillian S. Roen, 90, Sturgeon Bay, Wis., died Oct. 25. She was the wife of the late Marquis Roen and the namesake of the former Roen Steamship Co. pulpwood barge Lillian. She was born Sept. 3, 1919, in Iron River, Mich., the daughter of the late Victor and Selma (Udfolk) Engblom. After their death, while Lillian was a child, she was taken in by Mary Carlson and her family, and raised as her daughter. In 1942, she married Marquis J. Roen Sr. in Norway, Mich. He preceded her in death on Feb. 11, 1993. Funeral services were held Oct. 29.

Green Bay Press Gazette


Updates - November 2

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspective Gallery Daniel J. Morrell


Today in Great Lakes History - November 2

On 02 November 1924, TURRET CROWN (steel propeller "turret ship", 253 foot, 1,827 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, a.) W.F. WHITE, 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: The 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 b.) 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 entered service on 02 Nov 1983, bound for Duluth, Minnesota where she loaded 851,000 bushels of corn. She was originally built as the CABOT in 1965, then was rebuilt 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.


Today in Great Lakes History - November 1

The LEHIGH, Captain Edward P. Fitch in command, cleared the Great Lakes Engineering Works yard at River Rouge, Michigan, to begin her maiden trip on this day in 1943. The LEHIGH was one of two Maritimers (the other was the STEELTON) acquired by Bethlehem Steel Corp. as part of a government program to upgrade and increase the capacity of the Great Lakes fleet during World War II. Bethlehem exchanged three older vessels, the JOHNSTOWN of of 1905, the SAUCON, and the CORNWALL, plus cash for the two Maritimers.

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, 2,988 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. 8,047 gross tons).

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


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