Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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Late season rush for salties

11/30 - A late-autumn rush of salties is headed for the Great Lakes as the overseas shipping season enters its final month. As of the morning of November 29 there were only around 15 oceangoing dry cargo freighters on the Lakes, but another 15 or so are due to enter the system at Montreal during the first week of December alone. At least five others are expected at lower St. Lawrence ports during that same week and some of them may also visit the lakes. Of note are several seasoned Lakes traders, two brand-new ships, and an unusual first-time visitor.

A trio of veteran salties, each nearing 30 years in age, will be on the system in December. Stefania I is currently at Sillery after crossing the Atlantic from Morocco and is due next at Hamilton. Federal Agno is at Trois-Rivieres with cargo from Ukraine and is also due next at Hamilton. Federal Fuji is making her way up the St. Lawrence River after sailing from Brazil two weeks ago for Windsor.

Fednav's brand-new Federal Mayumi is making her maiden trip to the Lakes, currently en route to Hamilton after a stop at Sorel. She's a sister to Federal Yukina and Federal Satsuki and coincidentally all three vessels are currently on the Lakes.

Ina is the first of Polsteam's new class of small bulkers to reach the Seaway. The company has so far had eight of these ships built, which are similar in size to familiar fleetmates and Seaway regulars Nogat, Orla, Pilica and Rega. Those older, Polish-built ships sported two deck cranes and a straight stem below the loadline. The new small bulkers have a more traditional bulbous bow and three cargo handling cranes on deck. Ina is discharging part of her fertilizer cargo (Ammonium Phosphate) in Côte Ste.Catherine and will then proceed to Port Weller/St-Catherines for the balance. She is scheduled to load Soya Beans in Windsor afterwards.

Cornelia is about to begin a Seaway transit; she's showing an ETA at Duluth of December 5, after arriving in Montreal several days ago from Trinidad. She was built in 2001 and originally sailed for different owners under the name Pine. It appears as though this is her first trip to the Great Lakes. She's presently owned by a German company whose fleet includes several Seaway-sized bulkers, none of which appear to have ever transited the Seaway.


Sandy reduces Great Lakes cargo, but not in Duluth

11/30 - Duluth, Minn. – Superstorm Sandy took a bite out of laker traffic on the Great Lakes last month. The Lake Carriers Association said it stopped ships for about three days. Lake Carriers spokesman Glen Nekvasil said there are storms and then there are super-storms.

“These ships are built to take heavy weather, but these captains know when it’s time to go to safe harbor,” he said.

Despite Sandy, however, the Twin Ports actually handled more tons of cargo last month than it did in October 2011. According to the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, the port handled more than 3.7 million short tons of cargo last month, a 5.7 percent increase from Oct. 2011’s tonnage.

Through the end of the October, the Twin Ports have handled 29.1 million tons of cargo this shipping season, a little less than 1 percent more than at the same time in 2011.

Overall on the Great Lakes, cargo was down across the board.

“The fleet collectively went to anchor for about 2,000 hours,” Nekvasil said. ”So that’s cut into the hauling power, the monthly carrying capacity. In total, we were down about 12.3 percent. I wouldn’t be able to tell you how much of that was related to Sandy, but certainly a noticeable portion would have been. We had ships at anchor for three days.”

With the Great Lakes season set to wrap up in the middle of January, Nekvasil doubts they can catch up.

“You really can’t make the ships go any faster. They’re already operating at their maximum safe horsepower,” he said. ”You can turn them up for a spurt, but you can’t add an extra mile per hour for the season.”

Besides October being down 12 percent from a year ago, overall cargo this season is down 3½ percent from last year. Fifty-two U.S.-flagged ships are sailing the Great Lakes, with five sitting at dockside this year.

Duluth News Tribune


Port Reports -  November 30

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Thursday morning vessel traffic included Philip R. Clarke outbound shortly after sunrise after unloading stone at Hallett 5 dock. It was bound for Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets destined for Nanticoke. Arthur M. Anderson was expected later in the day to unload stone at the Reiss Inland dock and then shift to CN ore dock on Friday to load pellets for Nanticoke.

Marblehead, Ohio – Jim Spencer
McKee Sons loaded overnight Wednesday at the Lafarge stone dock at Marblehead and was upbound in the Detroit River Thursday evening. American Courage was loading at the dock Thursday night.


Crew of Mackinaw visits site of original Christmas Ship wreck during anniversary transit to Chicago

11/30 - Cheboygan, Mich. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw visited the final resting site of the Rouse Simmons, the original Christmas Ship, during a brief break from their Aids to Navigation mission in western Lake Michigan, Tuesday.

Crewmembers gathered on the buoy deck of the Mackinaw, which is serving as this year's Christmas Ship, for a special ceremony honoring the fallen crew of the schooner Rouse Simmons for starting a tradition of delivering Christmas trees to deserving families in Chicago.

During this 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Rouse Simmons, two wreaths were tossed overboard into Lake Michigan to commemorate those lives which were lost just north of Two Rivers, Wis., during a November gale in 1912. The ship was on its way to Chicago to deliver 5,500 Christmas trees.

Each year, Chicago’s Christmas Ship Committee donates a wreath which is tossed overboard at the closest point of approach to the wreckage by a Coast Guard cutter. This year, a special wreath was also donated by the Thompson Historical Society that was tossed overboard, and 100 hand-cut trees, from the same area where the crew of the Rouse Simmons obtained their trees, which will be among the 1,300 trees offloaded in Chicago.

Cmdr. Michael Davanzo, Mackinaw's commanding officer, addressed the crew on the buoy deck amid howling winds and freezing temperatures, drawing comparisons to the weather the crew of the Rouse Simmons must have experienced. He talked with the crew of 60 about the importance of continuing and honoring traditions established by vessels on the Great Lakes.

"Although the Coast Guard and the committee conduct a wreath toss each year near the wreckage site, this year was significant because of the historic anniversary, "said George Lisner of the Chicago's Christmas Ship Committee. "The ceremony was a solemn, respectful moment taken in by the entire crew."

Lisner has been aboard with the Coast Guard each of the 13 years during the transit to Chicago.

Leading the ceremony was Petty Officer 2nd Class Nichol Billow, a food service specialist. In an effort to teach the crew of the Mackinaw the history of the Rouse Simmons, she developed a history lesson and taught her fellow shipmates about the schooner and its mission. During the ceremony, she read the names of those lost, and rang the ships bell for each name. The ceremony concluded with a final bell for good luck after a moment of silence from the crew.


Fight over Badger prompts questions on definition of earmarks

11/30 - To its friends in the halls of Congress, the Badger is a national historic treasure, a ship from a bygone era worth saving from the bureaucrats of the Environmental Protection Agency, even if it means skirting the line on the Republicans’ sacred ban on Congressional earmarks.

Buried in a Coast Guard reauthorization bill now in final negotiations between the House and Senate is curious language saying a “qualified vessel” shall continue to operate for its entire lifetime, “without regard to any expiration dates” on the permit it operates on. Nowhere does the word “Badger” appear, nowhere is the expiration date of Dec. 19, 2012, noted.

But the enumerated qualifications — including that it be nominated or on the list of National Historic Landmarks — apply to only one vessel, the S.S. Badger, a 60-year-old ship with a look torn from an old postcard and a permit to operate, coal ash and all, that expires next month. Republicans supposedly put an end to special-interest language slipped into bills to benefit projects or employers in their districts when they took control of the House last year.

And the sponsors of that language, two Republican representatives, Tom Petri of Wisconsin and Bill Huizenga of Michigan, say it is not an earmark because it does not mandate the expenditure of any money.

“I don’t see that as an earmark in any way, shape or form because there is no transfer of anything of value,” Mr. Huizenga said. Others disagree.

“If it walks like an earmark and talks like an earmark, it’s an earmark,” said Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, who has done battle with the owner of the Badger for years. “I’m not going to let that language go through.”

Steve Ellis, an earmark expert at the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense, called the Badger’s carve-out “a tricky one.” It is clearly directed at a particular project or entity, drafted by lawmakers to benefit interests in their district. It’s clearly being done as a favor for a special interest, and it is clearly taking a matter out of the hands of professionals tasked to make such decisions, in this case the E.P.A.

But since no money is involved, it is not an earmark by his group’s definition.

Still, Mr. Ellis said, Congress “shouldn’t be picking winners and losers in the regulatory arena. Things like this should be debated on their merits, in the open, not slipped in through underhanded means in a Coast Guard bill.”

Like so many issues in Congress, the Badger involves principle (in this case, an environmental record opponents see as an affront), but also heavy doses of economics and personality. Mr. Durbin sees the dumping of 500 tons of raw coal ash annually as issue enough, but he is clearly incensed by the Badger’s owner, Robert Manglitz, with whom he has jousted for years.

For those needing to traverse Lake Michigan and averse to a slog through Milwaukee, Greater Chicago and the industrial havens of North Indiana, the 410-foot Badger has presented a shortcut since 1953. Its owners glory in its antiquity, advertising it as not only the largest car ferry ever to ply Lake Michigan but the only coal-fired steamship left in the United States. Its owners seem to revel in its endangered status. Their Web site includes a petition to “Save Our Ship” that acknowledges the coal-ash dumping and a status report on its quest for a new E.P.A. compliance permit. The Web site promises the ship will be back for the 2013 season once the great lake thaws.

Terri Brown, a spokeswoman for the 60-year-old ship, said she could not comment on such issues while the E.P.A. was considering a new operating permit and Congress was mulling the Badger’s fate.

Mr. Durbin has pressed Mr. Manglitz to move the ship to diesel power, which drives the ferry of its competitor, the Lake Express, out of Milwaukee. Mr. Manglitz has come back with what the senator called a “harebrained scheme” to convert to compressed natural gas, an ambitious promise that is off on the distant technological horizon.

Mr. Durbin’s message to the people of Ludington, Mich., and Manitowoc, Wis.: “This owner of this vessel has had a more-than-reasonable time to show respect for that lake you live next to and refused. There comes a time when we have to apply the law.”

Economics also comes into play. To Mr. Petri and Mr. Huizenga, it boils down to one word, “jobs,” 200 of them directly dependent on the ferry, 500 more indirectly benefiting from it, $14 million for Manitowoc annually, $21 million for Ludington.

Niel Wright, a spokesman for Mr. Petri, said an activist E.P.A., hostile to coal, cannot be left to its devices without some backup plan in Congress.

“For Ludington, this has been a way of life for almost 60 years now, and it is a huge part of the economy,” Mr. Huizenga said. “It’s important to us,” he said.

Complicating those economics is another kind: competition. The war between the Lake Express, which runs between Milwaukee and Muskegon, Mich., and the Badger is fierce. Badger allies accuse the Lake Express of opposing the language in the Coast Guard bill for one purpose, putting the Badger into permanent dry dock.

Aaron Schultz, sales director of the Lake Express, said the Badger had been operating at a competitive advantage to his more modern ferry precisely because of prior Congressional favors. The Coast Guard language is an earmark by any definition, he said, because it is about money.

The Lake Express was purchased in 2003 and funded with federal government loans. Lake Express LLC used a $14.5 million Title XI ship loan guarantee from the U.S. Maritime Administration to help finance the construction of the 19 million dollar ship.

While the two ferry services offer very different experiences they have been fierce – some say underhanded – competitors in the media.

On the low end, it would cost the Badger $750,000 a year to retain the ash it now dumps into the lake. At the high end, it would cost $14 million to convert to diesel, a sum Mr. Petri tried and failed to secure in 2010 from President Obama’s stimulus law.

Tom Barrett, Mayor of Milwaukee, where Lake Express is based, said it was unfair to have different rules for the two vessels.

"There should be one set of environmental rules for ferries crossing Lake Michigan," Barrett said in a statement. "Congress should not exempt the SS Badger, nor should it allow that boat to continue dumping thousands of tons of coal ash into Lake Michigan."

Petri spokesman Wright also said that the environmental impacts of the coal ash aren't serious and that there are also ecological consequences to making the cars which now take the ferry drive down to Illinois and back up into Michigan.

"What this means paradoxically is thousands of cars will have to drive around the bottom of the lake," Wright said of Durbin's opposition.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker wrote to the EPA on Oct. 1 to ask the federal agency to extend the Badger's permit. The governor's office had received more than 4,000 contacts in support of allowing the Badger to continue to operate.

"We hope the SS Badger can continue to sail, but we also hope they can do so in a manner that safeguards the waters of Lake Michigan," Walker wrote.

Lake Express owner Sheldon B. Lubar fired back in his own letter to Walker, saying that the governor was misled and is "supporting further pollution of our state's most precious asset: Lake Michigan."

New York Times, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, BoatNerd News


Help wanted: Allied Marine & Industrial seeking certified millwrights, marine engineers.

11/30 - Applicants must posses a valid millwright certificate or 2nd class marine engineer ticket. Applicants must have a minimum of 5 years experience, be able to multitask, have excellent mathematical skills and troubleshooting capabilities. Marine and Industrial experience would be an asset. Availability to work shift work if required. Must be bondable, have a valid drivers license and passport. To apply please email resumes to or apply in person at 118 West St., Port Colborne, Ont.


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 November 30, 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.

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.

1905: The steel consort barge MADEIRA stranded at Split Rock, while under tow of the WILLIAM EDENBORN, broke in two and became a total loss.

1908: D.M. CLEMSON (i) disappeared on Lake Superior while upbound with a cargo of coal from Lorain to Superior. All 24 on board were lost and only 2 bodies were ever found.

1911: Three lives were lost when the wooden steamer RALEIGH sank off Port Colborne. The crew took to the yawl boats but these capsized. Spectators on shore helped pull the sailors to safety.

1922: MAPLEHURST foundered near the West Portage entry Lake Superior while upbound with coal. The Captain sought shelter from a storm but the engine failed and the anchors did not hold. There were 11 casualties and the ship was a total loss.

1924: MAPLEDAWN was wrecked at Christian Island, Georgian Bay while downbound with barley. The hull was pounded and could only be salvaged in pieces for scrap about 1942.

1926: CITY OF BANGOR stranded on Keewenaw Point in a blizzard with zero viability. The ship fell into the trough and was carried ashore. It could not be salvaged and the hull was cut up for scrap during World War Two.

1943: RIVERTON, aground for two weeks at Lottie Wolf Shoal, Georgian Bay, was released an taken to Collingwood for repairs. It resumed sailing in 1944 as MOHAWK DEER.

1945: OUTARDE (i) sank at the Consul-Hall Coal Dock, Clayton, NY after being repeatedly pounded against the structure in a wild storm and was hold by an underwater piece of steel. The ship was finally refloated on April 18, 1946.

1961: ALGOWAY (i) was damaged while shifting at Port Arthur when it hit a discarded underwater oxygen tank.

1987: A fire aboard the ULS self-unloader CANADIAN PIONEER at Nanticoke damaged the wiring under the control panel. The ship went to the Welland Dock for repairs and then left the Seaway for Sorel where it was reflagged Vanuatu and renamed b) PIONEER.

1997: The tug CAROLYN JO suffered a fire in the engineroom off Snake Island, Lake Ontario, and had to be towed to Kingston. The ship is still sailing as d) SEAHOUND

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


Port Reports -  November 29

South Chicago, Ill. - Lou Gerard
St. Marys Challenger was outbound at Torrence Avenue Wednesday heading to Charlevoix for her last load of the season

Cedarville & Port Inland, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Cedarville concluded its shipping season on Monday with the loading of Cason J. Callaway, which departed for Duluth. At Port Inland, Great Lakes Trader and Wilfred Sykes loaded and departed on Tuesday. The Sykes returns to Port Inland on Thursday in the late evening. Rounding out the Port Inland lineup is the Manistee, due on Saturday at lunchtime.

Stoneport, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Capt. Henry Jackman was due to dock at Stoneport on Wednesday at about noon to load limestone. Following the Jackman will be three vessels on Thursday. Due in first in the early morning is the Lewis J. Kuber. Following them is the John G. Munson during the morning along and the Pathfinder. Rounding out the lineup is the Joseph H. Thompson, due to arrive on Friday very early in the morning.

Calcite, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Two vessels loaded on Wednesday. Arriving first was the Calumet in the morning for the South Dock and due in the early afternoon was the Buffalo also for the South Dock. Due on Thursday is the American Mariner in the mid-afternoon for the North Dock. There are no vessels scheduled at Calcite for Friday. Three vessels are due to load on Saturday, with the John G. Munson due in first in the early afternoon for the North Dock followed by Mississagi at about suppertime also for the North Dock. Pathfinder is due in the evening on Saturday for the South Dock. Due Sunday morning is the James L. Kuber for both the North and South Docks. Rounding out the lineup the Joseph H. Thompson, due to arrive on Monday, December 3 in the early morning for the North Dock.

Toledo, Ohio - Denny Dushane
Mississagi was due to arrive at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock to unload at suppertime on Wednesday. Due at the Torco Dock to unload iron ore cargoes is the CSL Niagara on Thursday in the early morning. Following the Niagara are H. Lee White and John J. Boland, both due in at Torco on Saturday. Philip R. Clarke is due on Sunday, December 2 in the morning. Vessels due to load at the CSX Coal Dock is the H. Lee White on Sunday early in the morning. Sam Laud will load coal on Monday, December 3 at suppertime, Algolake is due on Tuesday, December 4 in the late afternoon and the Manitowoc will load coal Thursday, December 6 in the early evening hours.

Sandusky, Huron and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula sailed upbound Tuesday after loading at the NS coal dock. Wednesday, the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin was loading at the Sandusky dock. Tuesday saw the Manistee load at the Lafarge Corp. stone dock at Marblehead and sail to Cleveland. Loading Tuesday night and sailing upbound on Wednesday were the tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder.
Early Wednesday morning, Philip R. Clarke arrived in Huron, where she discharged a load of Stoneport limestone at the Huron Lime Co. dock. She later sailed for Marquette.


Updates -  November 29

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  November 29

In 1953, 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 towline 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.

1902: The wooden bulk freighter CHARLES HEBARD (i) stranded on the Ontario shore of Lake Superior at Point Mamaise in a snowstorm. The hull broke up but all on board were rescued.

1950: ESSO ROCHESTER, a T-2 tanker, broke in two in heavy weather off Anticosti Island, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence while enroute, in ballast, from Montreal to Aruba. The two sections were taken in tow but the bow had to be cut loose in a storm on December 21, rolled over and was lost. The stern was taken to Newport News, VA and rebuilt. It was a Seaway trader in 1959 and scrapped at Onimichi, Japan, in July 1966.

1959: VILJA went aground in fog while outbound through the Brockville Narrows. The 14-year old ship was refloated on December 13 and had to spend the winter at Prescott. The Norwegian-flag freighter never returned inland and was scrapped at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, as c) SILVER HOPE in 1974.

1960: FRANCISCO MORAZON went aground on the rocks of South Manitou Island, Lake Michigan and the remains of the hull are still there.

1960: CATO II, a small survey vessel, was cut loose by vandals at Port Dalhousie, drifted with the current into Lake Ontario, and stranded on the rocks of the west pier off Port Weller. Despite gale force winds and cold, the hull was salvaged the next day. At last report, the ship was still intact and was owned by Seneca College of Toronto.

1964: The MARIA COSULICH was wrecked at the breakwall at Genoa, Italy, when the engine failed while outbound. The crew were saved but the vessel was a total loss. It had been built at Sturgeon Bay in 1943 as WILLIAM HOMAN.

1966: Only Dennis Hale survived when the DANIEL J. MORRELL broke up and sank in a Lake Huron storm off Harbor Beach. Sistership EDWARD Y. TOWNSEND sustained a cracked hull in the same storm and was condemned when it reached Sault Ste. Marie.

1985: JALAGODAVARI sliced into the St. Louis road and rail bridge on the Seaway and navigation had to be suspended for seven days. The vessel was removed, taken to Montreal and arrested for damages. The ship was repaired and survived until scrapping as f) BLUE OCEAN in 2000-2001.

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


Delays from Hurricane Sandy impact U.S.-flag lakers in October

11/28 - Cleveland, Ohio – U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters carried 8.6 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in October, a decrease of 12.3 percent compared to a year ago. The storms related to Hurricane Sandy played a role in the decrease. U.S.-flag lakers collectively lost about 2,000 steaming hours waiting out the heavy weather. The October float was also 14.5 percent below the month’s 5-year average.

Iron ore cargos for the steel industry totaled 3.8 million tons in October, a decrease of 11.5 percent compared to a year ago. At 2 million tons, coal cargos were down only marginally, but loadings of aggregate and fluxstone fell almost 20 percent to 2.6 million

Through October U.S.-flag cargos stand at 72.4 million tons, a decrease of 3.4 percent compared to the same point in 2011, and 1.5 percent below the 5-year average for the January-October timeframe. Iron ore cargos are down by 3.4 percent compared to a year ago. Coal has slipped by more than 15 percent, but limestone cargos are still up by more than 6 percent, or 1.1 million tons.

Lake Carriers' Association


Proposal surfaces to place SS Spartan into Alaska-Washington service

11/28 - Seattle, Wash. – According to a Web site based in Washington state, an idea is being floated that would see the long-idle Lake Michigan carferry Spartan refurbished and returned to service on a run from Seattle, Wash, to Whittier, Alaska.

According to the Website, the proposal is part of a Seattle Central Waterfront Project (that) "blends maritime and railway tradition with new innovation applications of technology, history, culture, arts and economic business." The vessel would be renamed S.S. Seattle.

Spartan is a sistership to the Badger, currently in service across Lake Michigan. In recent years, Spartan has been used for parts to keep the Badger running, and any potential purchaser would need to do extensive work to return Spartan to service.

Read about the plan here:


Goodtime III at Great Lakes Shipyard for drydocking and repairs

11/28 - Cleveland, Ohio – Cleveland’s cruise ship Goodtime III arrived at Great Lakes Shipyard earlier this month to undergo drydocking and repair work. The vessel received its five-year year US Coast Guard hull and machinery inspection and had its hull repainted. Great Lakes Shipyard has performed work on the previous Cleveland-based excursion boats, Goodtime and Goodtime II. This is the first repair contract that Great Lakes Shipyard has had for Goodtime III.

Goodtime III, a family owned and operated business since 1958, is Cleveland’s largest excursion vessel and the largest quadruple-deck luxury ship on the Great Lakes with a 1,000-person capacity. It provides such trips as charters, dinner cruises and tours.


As Great Lakes levels plummet, towns try to save harbors

11/28 - Onekama, Mich. - For more than a century, easy access to Lake Michigan has made Onekama a popular place for summer visitors and a refuge for boaters fleeing dangerous storms. Now the community itself needs a rescue, from slumping lake levels that threaten its precious link to open water.

The Great Lakes, the world's biggest freshwater system, are shrinking because of drought and rising temperatures, a trend that accelerated with this year's almost snowless winter and scorching summer.

Water levels have fallen to near-record lows on Lakes Michigan and Huron, while Erie, Ontario and Superior are below their historical averages. The decline is causing heavy economic losses, with cargo freighters forced to lighten their loads, marinas too shallow for pleasure boats and weeds sprouting on exposed bottomlands, chasing away swimmers and sunbathers.

Some of the greatest suffering is in small tourist towns that lack the economic diversity of bigger port cities. Yet they are last in line for federal money to deepen channels and repair infrastructure to support the boating traffic that keeps them afloat.

"How do you like our mud bog?" Township Supervisor Dave Meister asked on a recent afternoon, gesturing toward the shoreline of Portage Lake, part of a 2,500-acre inland waterway that connects Onekama to Lake Michigan. A wide expanse that normally would be submerged is now an ugly patchwork of puddles, muck and thick stands of head-high cattails. A grounded pontoon boat rests forlornly alongside a deserted dock.

The Army Corps of Engineers has estimated that about 30 small Great Lakes harbors will need attention in the next couple of years.

In bygone days, friendly members of Congress would slip money into the federal budget to dredge a harbor. But so-called earmarks have fallen out of favor, leaving business and civic leaders wondering where to turn. A desperate few are raising money locally for dredging but insist they can't afford it on a regular basis.

Tourism has sustained Onekama since the early 1900s, when northwestern Michigan coastal towns became popular with wealthy visitors from Chicago, Milwaukee and Detroit. On a typical summer day, the community's marinas are crowded with yachts, speedboats and fishing charters.

But the falling water levels are taking a toll, illustrating how extensively the health of the Great Lakes affects the economy of a region that is home to more than 30 million people extending from Minnesota to New York.

Lake Michigan's level at the end of October was more than 2 feet below its long-term average. The Corps of Engineers says without heavy snowfall this winter, the lake may decline to its lowest point since record-keeping began in 1918.

The channel that connects Portage Lake and Lake Michigan is now about 7 feet deep at best. When the water is choppy, some vessels can hit bottom. If things get much worse, Onekama may be effectively cut off from the big lake.

"Businesses would close. People would be laid off. It would be devastating," said Jim Mrozinski, owner of Onekama Marine Inc., which services and stores pleasure craft and draws customers from across the Upper Midwest. He owns three marinas, one now unusable because of shallow water. If he's lucky, the others will have enough depth to rent perhaps 10 of the 55 slips next spring.

Onekama's year-round population is less than 2,000. Much of its tax base comes from expensive waterfront homes owned by summer residents who come for the boating and fishing. Without the link to Lake Michigan, property values would plummet, hammering local government budgets, Meister said.

"You're talking about schools, 911 emergency, library, fire protection — everything," he said.

Many places around the Great Lakes are having similar problems. At least a dozen boats have run aground this year in Lake Ontario around the harbor in Orleans County, N.Y. The state of Wisconsin warned boaters to watch for stumps, boulders and other hazards lurking just beneath the water. Boat-towing services have done brisk business rescuing stranded craft in newly shallow stretches of Lake Erie.

What makes the situation particularly frustrating for small Great Lakes communities is that a fund for dredging and other harbor maintenance already exists. It's generated by a tax on freight shipped at U.S. ports and raises about $1.5 billion a year. But about half of the money is diverted to the treasury for other uses. Members of Congress from coastal states are pushing to change that policy.

Even if the effort succeeds, there's no guarantee that communities like Onekama will get a share of the cash. The Corps of Engineers gives top priority to large ports such as Duluth, Minn., Detroit and Cleveland. Whatever is left goes to medium-sized harbors that also accommodate cargo ships. The region's 112 small harbors, including 71 with only recreational traffic, have relied on budget earmarks since the 1990s.

"Many of these towns wouldn't exist if it wasn't for their ports," said Mike O'Bryan, chief of engineering and technical services for the Detroit district office.

The Great Lakes Small Harbors Coalition, led by Onekama retiree Chuck May, says $20 million a year would cover all those areas' dredging and maintenance costs, and rescue tourist communities that pump billions into the economy.

Farther up the coast near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, the village of Leland scraped together more than $100,000 from a local Indian tribe, businesses and government agencies this year to dredge a 13-foot-deep channel enabling charter fishing boats and pleasure craft to reach Lake Michigan. Harbormaster Russell Dzuba is already fundraising to dredge in 2013 but says that's no long-term solution.

"We have a moral obligation to keep this place open," he said. "We're the only safe harbor for a 75-mile stretch and Lake Michigan is a tempestuous beast. But the feds have cut us adrift.”

Detroit News


Capt. Lyle Smith passes on in Ontario

11/28 - Capt. Lyle Smith died on Sunday November 25th, peacefully at his residence in Southampton. His request was to be cremated. There will be a Celebration of Life at the Royal Canadian Legion Southampton Branch 155 on Friday November 30th, between 2 and 4 pm. The facility is located at 13 Grosvenor Street North, Southampton, Ontario, N0H 2L0. Lyle Smith was a member of the Corporation of Professional Great Lakes Pilots, and Georgian Bay Huronia, Lodge 15 of the International Ship Masters Association. He was a retiree of the Great Lakes Pilotage Authority, International District 3.


Help wanted: Lower Lakes seeks operations – general assistant

11/28 - The Operations Assistant is an administrative supporting role to the operations department; most specifically the president, VP operations and Dispatch. The role will encompass compliance issues with vessel entries for customs and brokerages, assist Dispatch with reporting, information gathering, trade cost accruals and to assist the department in compiling various information for reporting and analysis of vessel and customer performance.

To Apply: Please address all inquiries before the end of business December 14, 2012 to


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 honored 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 downbound 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 soon be renamed b) SEWELL AVERY.

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

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 November 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 caused by an overheated stove in the ferry dock waiting room. The blaze started at 3 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.

The Storm of November 28, 1905 is likely well documented.

1918: The bow section of the former passenger steamer NORTH WEST sank in Lake Ontario. The ship had been cut in two for a tow out of the Great Lakes. The stern was later rebuilt as b) MAPLECOURT.

1923: LINDEN, a wooden bulk carrier, burned as a total loss in Tawas Bay.

1932: The Canadian freighter GEORGIAN stranded at Munising while downbound from Port Arthur to Detroit. The crew was rescued on December 3. The first salvage attempt failed on December 5 and the vessel was not released until May 1933.

1961: The IQUITOS, enroute from Callao, Peru, to Manzanillo, Mexico, with fish meal, caught fire off the coast of Mexico and was abandoned by the crew. The vessel first visited the Great Lakes as a) RUTENFJELL in 1936 and returned on numerous occasions. It was back as b) POLYRIVER from 1951 to 1958. The abandoned IQUITOS drifted for months and was finally sunk by a U.S. destroyer as a hazard to navigation about 100 miles southeast of the Christmas Islands, on April 9, 1962.

1966: The Liberty ship TEGEAN ran aground on The Sisters rocks in fog south of Halifax while inbound for bunkers. All on board were saved by Coast Guard and Navy helicopters. The hull broke into 3 pieces and was dynamited by Navy divers as a hazard on December 16, 1966. The vessel had traded through the Seaway as b) ST. MALO in 1962.

1981: LONDON EARL went aground at Pointe aux Trembles while outbound from Thunder Bay to Hamburg, West Germany, with a cargo of wheat. Five tugs released the ship, with only minimal damage, on November 30. The vessel later returned through the Seaway as b) OLYMPIC LIBERTY beginning in 1983, as c) STABERG in 1990 and as d) ITHAKI in 1996. It was scrapped at Alang, India, in 2001.

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


CSL launches, christens 2 new Trillium self-unloaders for lakes

11/27 - Recently christened at Chengxi Shipyard were new Trillium Class self-unloading lakers Whitefish Bay (Trillium build #3) and Baie Comeau (Trillium build #4). They join two other Trillium lakers (Baie St. Paul and Thunder Bay). Baie St. Paul is enroute to Montreal & Great Lakes service and Thunder Bay is fitting out in China

Andy Torrence


HMCS Ojibwa one step closer to home

11/27 - Port Burwell, Ont. – In a major step towards her final off-load, the Heddle Marine barge carrying HMCS Ojibwa was safely moved into the slip specially built for the off-load. Challenging weather and an even more challenging creek bed had delayed the operation for two days. The community even had to muster to provide shovels and brooms to clear the barge of snow that fell overnight.

Many interested spectators braved the biting cold to watch the careful grooming of the creek bed to exacting standards. “No one is going to take any chances here,” said Project Coordinator Dan McNeil. “We are going to do this right.” Finally, late Sunday afternoon, the Heddle Marine team, assisted by the Nadro Marine tug Miti-Mo, began the slow process of maneuvering the barge into the slip. Giant lights created a surreal scene as darkness fell and work progressed against the night sky.

Ojibwa’s journey began in Halifax in May and will culminate with an overland move to her new home at the site of the Elgin Military Museum of Naval History in Port Burwell, Ont. Mammoet Canada Eastern will begin preparations for the overland portion of the move early Monday morning.

Mammoet Canada Eastern began rolling the SPMTs (Self Propelled Moduler Trailers) onto the barge carrying Ojibwa shortly after noon Monday. They will lift Ojibwa onto the SPMTs and end for the day. Tuesday starting at 8 a.m., they will start to roll-off to the foundations. Ojibwa, Canada’s first Cold War Oberon Class submarine, will open as a museum in the summer of 2013. For more information about HMCS Ojibwa and this historic move, visit the Museum’s web site at


Port Reports -  November 27

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
The tug Missouri arrived at Bay Ship on Sunday afternoon with the tug Samuel de Champlain, which was then tied up on berth 9 behind the new supply vessel Bay Ship has built. Samuel de Champlain is in for repairs due to a shipboard fire last week in Milwaukee. Also, the ferry Lake Express is in the floating dry dock and the Presque Isle barge is in the graving dock.

Stoneport, Mich. - Dan McNeil
Loading Monday was Phillip R. Clarke. She was due to depart late Monday night. Due to load Tuesday were Lewis J. Kuber and Arthur M. Anderson, due in around lunchtime. Due in Wednesday afternoon is Capt. Henry Jackman. Due early for Thursday are Pathfinder and Lewis J. Kuber. Due early Friday morning is Joseph H. Thompson.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The Buffalo completed loading at the NS coal dock early Monday and sailed for Detroit's Zug Island.


Updates -  November 27

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  November 27

At 4:00 a.m. on 27 November 1872, the wooden schooner MIDDLESEX was struck by a terrible winter storm on Lake Superior. The winds caught the vessel with such force that she listed at a 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 Waiska 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.

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 crewmen. 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.

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, 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.

1905: LAFAYETTE stranded at Encampment Island, Lake Superior, broke in two and was a total loss. MANILA, its consort barge, also came ashore but was later salvaged.

1942: JUDGE HART stranded at Fitzsimmons Rock, Ashburton Bay, Lake Superior, enroute to Toronto with 101,500 bushels of grain. All on board were rescued and the ship later slid off the rocks, drifted and sank.

1981: LOUKIA, a Greek flag visitor to the Great Lakes in 1976, arrived at Monrovia, Liberia, as f) DESPOULA and was abandoned. The vessel was looted before being sold for scrap. On September 2, 1982, while under tow for Yugoslavia for dismantling, the vessel broke loose in heavy seas and grounded about 14 miles north of Monrovia.

2006: SPAR OPAL had mechanical problems and ran aground near the Iroquois Lock. It was released on November 29. It did not return through the Seaway in 2007 but was back for two final trips in 2008. The ship was renamed h) ARWAD PRINCESS in 2012 and re-registered in Belize.

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


Barge carrying Ojibwa moves safely into offload slip

11/26 - Port Burwell, Ont. - The Heddle Marine barge carrying the submarine HMCS Ojibwa was safely moved into the offload slip Sunday in Port Burwell. The heavy lift company Mammoet Canada Eastern will start their set up for the roll off at first light Monday morning. If they complete their set up by noon, the move onto land will be done Monday afternoon. If the set up goes beyond noon, roll off will take place starting at first light Tuesday.


Port Reports -  November 26

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Sunday afternoon vessel traffic included James R. Barker departing through the Duluth ship canal and saltie Ebroborg at General Mills elevator in Duluth.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
A busy Sunday morning at the Upper Harbor found Michipicoten and H. Lee White loading ore and Herbert C. Jackson at anchor waiting to load.

Grand Haven. Mich. - Dick Fox
Manitowoc crossed the pier heads at 10 a.m. Sunday morning bringing a load of coal for the Grand Haven Board of Light and Power Plant on Harbor Island.

South Chicago - Brian Z.
Canada Steamship Line’s Spruceglen arrived early afternoon on Saturday at KCBX Terminal to load petroleum coke. St. Marys Challenger was outbound from Lafarge Cement and Manitowoc was also spotted outbound after loading at Chicago Fuels Terminal.

Marblehead, Sandusky and Huron, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The barge Pathfinder and the tug Dorothy Ann got away from the Lafarge Corp. stone dock at Marblehead sometime after midnight Saturday, completing loading which had been interrupted Friday by weather. The pair sailed to Cleveland, discharged, and returned to the dock Sunday. Quarrymen were loading the Pathfinder as darkness fell.
The Buffalo was loading Sunday night at the NS coal dock in Sandusky.
Cason J. Callaway made its delivery of limestone to the dock in Huron Saturday night. The crew waited nearly 12 hours for the winds backing from southwest to northwest to lay down enough to permit water levels to return to near normal across Western Lake Erie. Callaway sailed early Sunday for Cedarville.


Federal Mayumi added to Fednav's growing fleet list

11/26 - Montreal, Que. – Fednav has added another new vessel to its growing fleet of ships with Federal Mayumi (IMO # 9529578) built at the Oshima Shipyard in Japan in 2012 and a sistership to the Federal Satsuki, another Oshima-class vessel also built in Japan in 2012 at the Oshima Shipyard. Both vessels are registered in the Marshall Islands, however only the Federal Satsuki has appeared on the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway system so far. Federal Mayumi though was expected in Les Escoumins, Que., November 25 and it is yet unclear if the new vessel will enter the Great Lakes/Seaway system this year. Fednav has added an 15 new vessels from Japanese and Chinese shipyards so far in 2012 and has ordered eight new ice-class vessels of 37,200 DWT from the Ouhua shipyard in China to be delivered in 2012. Fednav has also ordered four 55,000 DWT vessels for its long-standing Japanese partner, Sumitomo Corporation and also from the Oshima shipyard. These ships were designed to navigate ice in the winter in places like the St. Lawrence, and will be delivered between 2012 and 2014. Finally, the company will also acquire three bulk carriers of 35,300 DWT from Oshima that will be in operation in 2012 and 2015. These 15 ships will represent an investment of over $400 millon. Fednav has also added the Federal Kibune to its fleet list, built in 2012 at the Onomichi Dockyard Co. Ltd., of Japan. She is registered in Panama and is 177.85 meters in length and has a beam of 28.6 meters in width.

Denny Dushane


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-long 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 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.

1924: The wooden steamer J.C. FORD was destroyed by a fire while on the St. Marys River near DeTour.

1940: The coal-laden CHEYENNE went aground in a storm near Port Colborne while enroute to Montreal. The ship was released on December 1. It last sailed as c) SORELDOC (ii) in 1965 before being scrapped at Hamilton.

1942: L.E. BLOCK went aground in the Straits of Mackinac during a snowstorm.

1951: JOHN H. PRICE was at Ste. Anne des Monts to load pulpwood when a storm swept the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The ship broke loose early the next day, drifted to shore and was pounded on the rocks. All on board were saved and the vessel was refloated May 30, 1952.

1964: The Norwegian tanker STOLT DAGALI, a Seaway caller as a) DAGALI in 1960-1962, was sliced in two by the passenger vessel SHALOM about 28 miles southeast of the Ambrose Channel Light Vessel. The stern of the tanker sank but the bow was rebuilt using the stern of the C.T. GODSTAD that had grounding damage. The rebuilt ship resumed sailing as STOLT LADY.

1979: Despite clear visibility, PIERSON DAUGHTERS and JABLANICA collided off Alexandria Bay, NY, and both ships were damaged. The latter went aground on Broadway Shoal and had to be lightered before being released. It was a regular Seaway trader and was also back as b) ELLIE beginning in 1993. The ship was scrapped at Alang, India, as d) PINE TRADER in 2009.

1981: EURO PRINCESS, a Seaway trader beginning in 1976, went aground in the Atlantic near Sable Island and the crew of 26 was airlifted to safety. Despite a cracked hull, the ship was refloated and was back on the Great Lakes as c) EUROPEGASUS in 1985 and survived until scrapping in India in 1997-1998.

2000: The former BALSA I, a Seaway trader beginning in 1981, reported taking water off Hainan Island in the South China Sea and sank. The crew was saved by a passing freighter.

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


Port Reports -  November 25

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Saturday afternoon at the Upper Harbor, John J. Boland loaded ore and fleetmate and near-sister H. Lee White passed en route to the Lower Harbor with coal.

Belgium, Wis. - Rich Reichelsdorfer
The tug Missouri was towing the tug Samuel de Champlain northbound off Belgium, Wis., about 30 miles north of Milwaukee, on Saturday about 9:30 a.m. The de Champlain was enroute to Sturgeon Bay, Wis. for engine room repairs after suffering a fire last week. The barge Innovation was not part of the tow.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The Interlake tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder found themselves back at the Lafarge Corp. aggregate dock on the Marblehead Peninsula Saturday night, little more than 24 hours after leaving the dock and going to anchor in the South Passage as gale force winds and higher seas rose Friday afternoon. Meanwhile, several freighters that had also relied on ground tackle to ride out the blow, picked up the anchor and continued on their way, while several others had not. Among those remaining at anchor in Lake Erie's western basin was the Cason J. Callaway - on the hook within sight of its Huron harbor destination. The Paul R. Tregurtha and Philip R. Clarke, destined for Monroe and Toledo, also remained at anchor offshore near each port.


Events mark 100-year anniversary of sinking of Christmas tree ship

11/25 - One hundred years later, the Christmas trees destined to brighten thousands of homes are still in the ship's hold, and some still have their needles.

When the schooner Rouse Simmons arrived in Chicago's harbor laden with Christmas trees, it was the unofficial start to the holiday. Like clockwork Herman Schuenemann, who was known as Captain Santa, sailed into the port in late November, hung out his sign and quickly sold out his fragrant cargo.

But in November 1912, just seven months after the Titanic struck an iceberg, the Rouse Simmons didn't arrive at its destination. Captain Santa's customers wondered when he would arrive with his load of Christmas trees.

The Algoma native had cheated death on Lake Michigan before as he braved the Great Lakes' turbulent November weather for the lucrative Christmas tree trade. But on Nov. 23, 1912, Schuenemann's last trip ended in 170 feet of water when the Rouse Simmons sank near Two Rivers with the loss of all hands.

Today the Rouse Simmons is the most popular shipwreck in Wisconsin waters, and its story of tragedy and hope continues to resonate. It inspired poets, painters, authors, playwrights and song writers, and this weekend, in honor of the centennial of the sinking of the Christmas tree ship, several observances are planned in Wisconsin.

"The story encompasses so many different themes," said Rochelle Pennington, a Kewaunee author who has written books on the Christmas tree ship. "You find courage, generosity, kindness, devotion and faith set against the backdrop of Christmas."

Built in 1868 in Milwaukee, the three-masted schooner was carrying a cargo of freshly cut Christmas trees from Michigan's Upper Peninsula to Chicago, where Schuenemann strung electric lights from the rigging to draw customers willing to spend 50 cents to $1 for a beautiful evergreen. He also donated trees to needy families and charities. Schuenemann had done this for years, joining his older brother August, who began ferrying trees to Chicago in the 1870s.

In 1898, Schuenemann decided to stay home with his wife to help care for their newborn twins, leaving his brother to make an ill-fated Christmas tree voyage. August Schuenemann went down with his ship near Glencoe, Ill.

"Herman was the first one who had to make that decision whether to carry on or not. He knew Lake Michigan had been his family's enemy but it was also his friend because it was how he made his living," said Pennington.

Despite the loss of his brother, Schuenemann continued the tradition, spending several weeks cutting trees in the Upper Peninsula each fall, loading them onto his ship and sailing to Chicago, where he docked near the Clark St. bridge. The year after he died, his widow, Barbara, and three daughters arranged for Christmas trees to come from the U.P. via rail and sold them from a schooner docked in the Chicago harbor. They did that until Barbara died in 1933.

William Ehling was only 3 when his grandmother died, but he vividly remembers the stories told by his mother, one of the twins his grandfather stayed behind to look after in 1898, and his two aunts. As a boy he played hide and seek among the Christmas trees his family sold from a docked ship.

"At Christmas time we would bring out all the things about grandpa and talk about him. It was not a sad time," said Ehling, 82, a retired physician who lives in Streator, Ill., and who, like his grandfather, had three daughters.

At the time of the Rouse Simmons sinking, schooners still plied the Great Lakes but by then they had become a novelty as steam took over, said Bob Desh, Door County Maritime Museum executive director/curator. Still, they were considered the eighteen-wheelers of the day, hauling cargo and passengers before roads and highways began to crisscross the country like Silly String.

No one knows how many people died when the Rouse Simmons foundered about six miles off Point Beach near Two Rivers, but it's estimated at between 15 and 19. The log book went down with the ship.

The weather was beginning to worsen when Schuenemann set sail from Thompson, Mich., on Nov. 22. The science of weather forecasting was in its infancy and mariners relied on guts and intuition when deciding whether to sail or stay in port. Rats were reportedly seen fleeing the Rouse Simmons before it left, a bad omen, and at least one sailor refused to go. At the last moment some lumberjacks eager to travel to Chicago boarded, said Pennington.

On the afternoon of Nov. 23 a Kewaunee Lifesaving Station watchman saw a three-masted schooner laboring in stiff northwest winds and heavy seas, its distress flags hoisted. Kewaunee didn't have a motorboat so the station in Two Rivers was notified. A lifesaving crew from Two Rivers launched its gas-powered lifeboat but couldn't find the ship even though it was a clear day.

The Rouse Simmons had vanished.

A dozen years later fishermen from a ship called Reindeer made an astonishing discovery. Pulling in their nets they found a waterproof oilskin pack. Inside was Herman Schuenemann's red Moroccan leather wallet. His business card and newspaper clippings heralding his Christmas tree ship were still dry and tucked inside.

Then in 1971 a scuba diver found the ship, resting upright in 170 feet of 34-degree water. Captain Santa's family was elated to hear the wreck had been found.

"There was tremendous emotions, especially when we heard the trees were still lashed to the deck and some of them were in excellent condition because of the cold water," said Ehling, whose mother died in 1990.

The wreck is considered a grave site and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Several years ago the Wisconsin Historical Society sent a team to document the wreck and found a ship with most of the deck planking gone but many of the 5,500 trees stacked neatly in the hold. The ship had likely hit bow first, throwing the rigging in front of the boat; the port side anchor landed about 150 feet from the wreck still attached by its chain, said Tamara Thomsen, a maritime archaeologist for the historical society.

The starboard side anchor was raised in the 1970s, before state law barred taking artifacts from Wisconsin shipwrecks, and is now displayed at the Milwaukee Yacht Club. The ship's wheel was retrieved from fishing nets in 1999 and is on display at Roger's Street Fishing Village Museum in Two Rivers.

The exact cause of the sinking is unknown, but research showed the Rouse Simmons - named after a Kenosha merchant whose family started the Simmons Mattress Factory - was in poor condition and overloaded when it sank, said Thomsen.

"We plotted out where the (Two Rivers Lifesaving Station's) lifeboat went with the wind. It actually encircled where the Christmas tree ship is today. If she was still floating at 4:20 p.m. they would have been able to save the people on the vessel but by then they were on the bottom," said Thomsen, who has logged 50 dives on the Rouse Simmons.

"We imagine when it started sinking it went pretty fast. They probably didn't have a lot of time to decide who would get into the small lifeboat."

Over the years artifacts were retrieved by scuba divers from the ship including a spittoon, ax, shoe sole and electric light bulb, one of the many Schuenemann strung across his ship to beckon Christmas tree purchasers. Shortly after it was discovered in the 1970s the bulb that had been submerged for more than five decades was plugged in. It still lit up.

Numerous events are scheduled to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Rouse Simmons:

• At 9 a.m. Friday at the Milwaukee Yacht Club, 1700 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive, Wisconsin Marine Historical Society members will conduct a ceremony near the Rouse Simmons' one-ton anchor, including a wreath-laying, moment of silence and singing of "Oh Tannenbaum."

• In Two Rivers, two days of events are planned for the centennial on Friday and Saturday, starting with performances at 2 and 7 p.m. Friday of a musical about the Christmas tree ship. Events on Saturday include a public reception at the Rogers Street Fishing Village with a visit by Capt. Herman Schuenemann's grandson; a visit from the U.S. Coast Guard's Christmas tree ship, which re-enacts the Rouse Simmons at Christmastime in Chicago; and a parade and lighting of the Rouse Simmons Christmas tree. For more information, go to

• The Central Library in Milwaukee has a Rouse Simmons poster exhibit featuring designs from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee students on display through Jan. 30.

• Rochelle Pennington, author of books on the Christmas tree ship, is telling the story of the Rouse Simmons and displaying ship artifacts at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 29 at Clement Manor, 3939 S. 92nd St., Greenfield, (tickets are $5); at 2 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Greendale Visitor Center, 5602 Broad St., (tickets are $10); and at 7 p.m. Dec. 20 at the Sheboygan Yacht Club, 214 Pennsylvania Ave., free. All of the events are open to the public.

• An exhibit of 15 original schooner paintings by maritime artist Eric Nils Forsberg, including four of the Rouse Simmons, is on display at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, 75 Maritime Drive, Manitowoc, through Dec. 31.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Former lakes built HMS Detroit hull fit out on East Coast

11/25 - It seemed a little far-fetched at the time, but it looks like the educational tall ship SSV Oliver Hazard Perry will be ready to sail in time for the anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie next year.

But that’s not all that was far-fetched about the project. Ironically, the hull that forms the basis for the ship was made in Ontario by a non-profit dedicated to making a replica of the HMS Detroit, one of the ships that Oliver Hazard Perry captured in one of the most famous battles of the War of 1812.

The Ontario group’s effort was dead in the water and almost $3 million down the sluice when the non-profit, the Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island (OHPRI), bought the hull for $325,000 and had it towed to Rhode Island in 2008. Several grants and generous gifts later, the construction of the rest of the ship is right on schedule at Senesco Marine at Quonset in North Kingstown.

“No one can deny that this has been a banner year for the ship, but we have much more to accomplish before the close of 2012,” OHPRI Chairman Bart Dunbar said in a press release, explaining that the idea of an educational tall ship was first endorsed by Rhode Island’s Education Commissioner Deborah Gist and then written into legislation by Governor Lincoln Chafee as Rhode Island’s Official Sailing Education Vessel. Captain Richard Bailey has been named the ship’s master and Jessica Wurzbacher has been hired as the Education Director.

“We are currently in negotiations with various Rhode Island schools to solidify their schedules for use of the ship,” said Dunbar. “Once those are in place, we can plan several weeks in the summer for our own open-enrollment programs that will be tailored for students from around the country and even abroad.”

As that is happening, OHPRI’s fundraising efforts remain equally focused on the reality that SSV (Sailing School Vessel) Oliver Hazard Perry is progressing rapidly from a ship under construction to a ship under sail. Most important is that an anonymous benefactor has come forward with two levels of challenge grants that either double or increase by 50 percent amounts donated toward the OHPRI project, but in order to qualify for the match they must be donated by year’s end.

“It is a very exciting time for SSV Oliver Hazard Perry,” said Dunbar. “We are using as many Rhode Island marine trades professionals as possible to build this ship, and at Senesco alone we have already funded 6,000 hours of skilled labor. Our goal is to move the ship to Newport for a dedication on July 6, 2013 and continue working toward having her Coast Guard inspected, certified and operational for the bicentennial of the Battle of Lake Erie on Sept. 10, 2013. SSV Oliver Hazard Perry will be based in Newport, but she will sail as a symbol for all of Rhode Island and as an ambassador for the state’s seafaring heritage and its innovations in education at sea.”

In other words, OHPRI needs more money now for the Perry’s completion and they have put a matching funds scheme in place for November and December to raise as much as they can. Any individual or corporate contribution from $1,000 to $20,000 made before the end of the year will be doubled by the anonymous supporter. The Shipbuilding Syndicate Challenge guarantees that larger donation amounts – two-year pledges between $25,000 and $500,000 – will be matched at 50 percent, up to $250,000. The challenges have the potential to generate nearly $1.2 million.

Over $5 million has been raised thus far for the construction of the Perry.

With Wurzbacher onboard, the Perry’s Education-at-Sea Program looks to provide an ocean-oriented approach for supporting and enhancing academic achievement in science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics courses, leadership development and career exploration. Wurzbacher spent six years teaching marine biology and oceanography onboard an ocean-going sailing school vessel. Salve Regina University is among the first of several interested Rhode Island educational institutions to reserve specific dates for 2014, an interest that was only intensified by Kathy Vespia of East Greenwich, assistant professor and chair of the University’s Education Program. Vespia spent a week on the tall ship Gazela in August, which inspired her to use similar shipboard experiences as a way to put Salve’s pre-teachers in fast-paced, difficult learning situations to empathize with students and confront their own anxieties and challenges in the classroom.

“It was a wonderful experience,” said Vespia, who said the pressure to learn fast is especially good for teachers and allows them to be corrected without having to be defensive.

Vespia said the faculty at Salve recognizes the value that the Perry has for enhancing existing courses and developing new courses at the University. She said a multidisciplinary team is developing courses in the areas of educational leadership and classroom management, naval history and science, with a particular emphasis on teaching science in urban settings.

Vespia was a public school teacher for many years and developed an alternative school before she retired. She said the Perry would have been a perfect fit in that environment. She said her own experience on the Gazela was life changing, but by no means easy.

“It was never a pleasure cruise by any means,” she said, “but was never a Mutiny on the Bounty thing either. Nobody ever felt they were treated unfairly …When you are on a ship, the least amount of words possible to get things done is the idea, so the crew was honest about what we did and how we did it.”

Kevin Hayden, director of study abroad programs at RWU, is developing leadership class for students.

“In 2014, they will sail aboard SSV Oliver Hazard Perry for one week during spring break as part of our scholarship program for students showing academic achievement as well as dedication to creating an inclusive community,” said Haden. “Sailing this ship will require strong teamwork, communications and responsibility – a perfect way to continue to challenge students.”

Wurzbacher cited the ship’s mission statement and its implications.

“As members of the crew, students can develop morally, socially and academically as they work together as a team,” she said. “The strong community that develops among shipmates requires them to put others before themselves and communicate effectively to safely accomplish tasks together and move this giant vessel under the power of the wind ... understanding the mechanical advantage when hauling a line through a block and tackle; anticipating weather changes; sampling plankton; recording ocean salinity; studying maritime history … the topics are endless.”

According to OHPRI, the Perry is the first full-rigged ship to be built in the U.S. in over 100 years. The ship will sail as far north as Nova Scotia and the Great Lakes and as far south as South Carolina. In the winter, it will be based in Florida and the Caribbean. It has capacity for up to 36 students on overnight trips and up to 85 for day trips, with 13 full-time crew. Options range from day sails to overnight; from weeklong and three-week voyages to full semesters at sea.

Salve Regina University has produced a four-part video series called “Charting a Course” of Vespia’s experience on the Gazela. It is available at and summarizes Vespia’s tall ship experience and the University’s plan to integrate the Perry into future programs.

“I do think that the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry has so much potential as an educational tool,” said Vespia. “I think it’s one of the most exciting things that ever happened in Rhode Island.”

To follow the ship’s construction progress in photos, go to For more information on OHPRI’s programs or to get more information on the Plank Owner and Shipbuilding Syndicate challenges, go to


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 Schuenemann, 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.

1904: B.W. BLANCHARD stranded near Alpena, MI and was wrecked. The ship had become unmanageable in heavy weather while enroute to Detroit with a cargo of lumber and was a total loss.

1908: NORTH STAR sank in Lake Huron off Port Sanilac after a collision with NORTHERN QUEEN. The accident occurred in dense fog and the ship went down quickly. All were saved.

1927: THOUSAND ISLANDER cleared Sarnia for Midland under tow of C.S.L. fleetmate COLLINGWOOD and they encountered heavy weather on Lake Huron. The ship was overwhelmed southeast of Thunder Bay Island and sank.

1950: The cargo of steel and package freight aboard the C.S.L. steamer WEYBURN shifted on Lake Ontario in a wild fall storm and the ship took on a precarious list and almost capsized. The ship was escorted to Toronto by RENVOYLE where the problem was corrected.

1971: The Greek freighter ESTIA sank on the Caribbean north of French Guiana after a violent engineroom explosion. The ship was bound for Brazil with phosphates and all on board were saved. The vessel had been a Great Lakes visitor as MANCHESTER SPINNER beginning in 1963.

2003: The yacht ALISON LAKE, rebuilt at Toronto from the U.S. Coast Guard ship SAUK, hit a submerged object and sank in very deep water south of Key West, FL. All on board were rescued.

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


Gale sends ships to anchor

11/24 - Gale warnings caused at least a dozen vessels to drop their anchors in the lee of land along the shorelines of Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Lake Superior Friday afternoon and evening. U.S. and Canadian weathermen were warning of gale force winds and mounting seas on all five lakes.

The southwestern portion of Lake Erie was becoming an increasingly popular area, with at least six freighters, including the 1,000-foot Paul R. Tregurtha on the hook. Cason J. Callaway went to anchor about four miles east of Huron, Ohio, its scheduled destination to discharge limestone aggregate.

At anchor in the South Passage was the tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder, which completed loading at the near by Lafarge stone dock during the late afternoon and almost immediately dropped anchor to wait out the weather as the skies began spitting snow.

Several ships were moving on Lake Michigan, but they were hugging the western shore.

Seas on the lakes were being forecast to grow to 14 feet and higher during Friday night as winds increased beyond 35 knots, before dropping slightly on Saturday.

Anchorage status: Western Erie: Arthur M. Anderson, Paul R. Tregurtha, American Mariner, CSL Laurentien, Stephen B. Roman, Cason J. Callaway, Dorothy Ann / Pathfinder; Off Nanticoke: Algoeast; Lake Huron – West shore: Algosteel, Anglican Lady; Northeast of Thunder Bay: John D. Leitch, St. Clair, Ken Boothe Sr.; St. Mary River area – Herbert C. Jackson and Algoway.

Jim Spencer


Port Reports -  November 24

St. Marys River -
The long-idle carferry Arthur K. Atkinson has been scrapped down to the car deck. It’s been almost a year since the Atkinson arrived at the MCM Marine dock in the Michigan Soo to be cut up, however it’s only been recently that any scrapping activity had been evident.


Help wanted: Ship repair company seeking Assistant Project Supervisor

11/24 - Duties include but not limited to vessel visits for defining repair requirements and preparing quotations, expediting materials and equipment, shop delegation duties and project supervision. Excellent communication skills are necessary to liaison with shore superintendents and customers. Candidates with previous ship experience will enhance this position. Company offers a competitive wage plus benefits and vehicle allowance. This position provides opportunity for future advancement within the company. Please respond to or to the following in confidence.

General Manager
Barda Marine & Mechanical Inc.
584 Wentworth St. N.
Hamilton, ON
L8L 5X3


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 just Dennis Hale as its 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 snowstorm. Both vessels received such serious bow damage that they had to be beached near McGulpin Point west of Mackinaw City to avoid sinking.

ROSEMOUNT, stored with coal, 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.

1905: ARGO missed the entrance to the harbor at Holland, MI while inbound from Chicago and went aground. All on board, an estimated 72 passengers and crew, were rescued by breeches buoy in a very challenging task. The ship was salvaged in January 1906.

1938: The idle former passenger ship CITY OF BENTON HARBOR was gutted by a fire at Sturgeon Bay.

1970: C.W. CADWELL hit a submerged rock in the Niagara River near Queenston and was stranded.

1988: KATIA was abandoned off Nova Scotia, enroute from Brazil to Carleton, QC, and all 27 on board were taken off by rescue helicopter. Despite salvage efforts, the listing ship sank November 26. It had been through the Seaway earlier in 1987 after previous inland voyages as c) TIMI in 1978 and d) HAPPY MED in 1981.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


Ojibwa offload delayed for safety reasons

11/23 - Port Burwell, Ont. – As any submariner will tell you, it’s what’s under the water that matters. So bringing the retired sub HMCS Ojibwa ashore has just been postponed.

The barge carrying Ojibwa must be grounded on a specially built bed in Big Otter Creek to ensure stability for the move. Soundings of the creek bottom taken late this morning, revealed that some additional grooming must be done. Friday, high southerly winds are expected on Lake Erie and these winds will blow more sand right up the harbor. Moving large objects like Ojibwa is not safe in a high wind. Therefore, work will continue preparing as much as can be done to expedite the operation as soon as the soundings readings signal the go ahead.

Project Coordinator Dan McNeil put it this way: “What’s under the water has not been visible to us so it is a matter of checking using soundings in order to establish the lay of the land so to speak. Today we learned that it is not safe to go today. The bottom line for us is safety.”

For further updates, follow the website at


Port Reports -  November 23

Marquette, Mich. – Rod Burdick
Philip R. Clarke arrived Thanksgiving morning at the Upper Harbor and loaded ore.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Previous reports to the contrary, the Lafarge Corp. aggregate dock at Marblehead remained open on Thanksgiving Day. The tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder loaded Thursday and sailed to Cleveland.

Halifax, N.S. – Mac Mackay
The Department of Public Works has issued a tender call, through its national public tendering website, for tug services to tow HMCS Athabaskan from St. Catharines, Ont. to Halifax, during December.

The ship's refit will not be completed by the end of the navigation season on the St. Lawrence Seaway (usually around December 25.) Therefore the government has decided that the ship must be returned to Halifax for completion and trials, which could not be conducted on the Great Lakes in winter. The government will also pay the bill for the towing.


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.

1901: QUITO stranded off Lorain, Ohio, and broke up in a Lake Erie storm. All on board were saved.

1902: SILVANUS J. MACY was last observed battling heavy seas in Lake Erie off Port Burwell. The coal laden, wooden steamer, was lost with all hands.

1936: A fire at Portsmouth, Ontario, just west of Kingston, destroyed several idle wooden steamers including the SIMON LANGELL and PALM BAY. Their remains were towed into Lake Ontario and scuttled in 1937.

1961: AMVRAKIKOS ran aground on Pancake Shoal, Lake Superior, on its first and only visit to the Great Lakes. This World War Two vintage Liberty ship was refloated on November 26, loaded scrap steel at Toledo for Japan and was the last saltwater ship of the 1961 season to depart the St. Lawrence Seaway.

1962: The West German freighter LEAPAUL caught fire at Toronto when a drum of sodium nitrate exploded after being punctured while steel rods were being unloaded. The blaze was contained and damage was only minor. The ship had been a Seaway trader from 1959 through 1966, returned as b) SPICA in 1967 and was scrapped at Gadani Beach,. Pakistan, as f) PHOEBUS after arrival on March 10, 1984.

1997: AN TAI, an SD 14 cargo carrier registered in Belize, began to list and then the hull cracked at the dock in Port Klang, Malaysia. The ship sank at the wharf the next day. The vessel had visited the Great Lakes, first as a) LONDON GRENADIER in 1972 and again as b) FIRST JAY in 1979. Subsequent salvage efforts failed and the hull was cut into sections, taken out to sea, and dumped in a fish breeding grounds.

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


Great Lakes iron ore trade off 3.6 percent in October

11/22 - Cleveland, Ohio – Iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 5.5 million tons in October, a decrease of 6 percent compared to September, and 3.6 percent below the level of a year ago. Shipments were, however, marginally ahead of October’s 5-year average.

Shipments from U.S. ports totaled 4.5 million tons, a decrease of 11.1 percent compared to a year ago. Included in that total were 81,000 tons shipped to Quebec City for final delivery overseas. Loadings at Canadian ports jumped more than 60 percent to 950,000 tons.

Through October, the iron ore trade stands at 50 million tons, an increase of 2.5 percent compared to a year ago, and 14.6 percent better than the 5-year average for the January-October timeframe.

Shipments from U.S. ports are virtually tied with a year ago, and 14.6 percent ahead of their 5-year average. Cargos destined for Quebec City for transshipment overseas total 3.5 million tons through October.

Loadings at Canadian ports are up 23.3 percent compared to a year ago, and 14.3 percent ahead of their 5-year average.

Lake Carriers Association


Port Reports -  November 22

Twin Ports – Al Miller
On a foggy Wednesday morning, James R. Barker was docked at Garfield C in Duluth and ballasted down by the bow while repair work was under way at her stern. The boat was scheduled to head to Midwest Energy Terminal overnight to load coal. Elsewhere, Lakes Contender and tug Ken Boothe Jr. were unloading stone at the Graymont plant. Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce Van Enkevort were due at CN ore dock during the day.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Wednesday afternoon at the Upper Harbor, Kaye E. Barker unloaded stone into the hopper. The cargo was her second in a week.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder arrived at the Lafarge Corp aggregate dock at Marblehead shortly after midnight Tuesday and loaded throughout the night and Wednesday morning. The pair sailed Wednesday afternoon, and were replaced at the dock by the Calumet. The dock, like the NS coal dock in nearby Sandusky, will closed on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day in the U.S.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
The tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder came into the Lorain harbor at 2:10 p.m. and cleared the Charles Berry Bridge about 20 minutes later. By 3 p.m. they were docked on the south side of the Henderson Bridge, boom out and unloading stone.


Forty-Four years and counting for Society holiday card

11/22 - For the past 44 years, Alexander Cook has been putting brush to paper in support of his favorite historical subject – maritime history. As an elected member of the American Society of Marine Artists, Cook has painted a Christmas or holiday maritime scene for the purpose of producing a Christmas card for the benefit of the Great Lakes Historical Society. Cook has been on the board of the historical society for over 50 years and has served as volunteer curator for decades. Cook receives no compensation for the card or for his work at the society. Christopher Gillcrist, Executive Director of the Society noted that Cook’s willingness to volunteer was recognized in 2001 when the Ohio Museum Association named Cook Volunteer of the Year.

Cook’s 2012 card features Great Lakes tugs in winter layup on the Maumee River circa 1945. Cook chose the scene to recognize the contributions of Toledo and Great Lakes Towing to the National Museum of the Great Lakes project currently underway in Toledo. Click here to view


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."

1878: The wooden passenger and freight steamer WAUBUNO was lost with all hands, 14 crew and 10 passengers, on Georgian Bay.

1898: ARTHUR ORR went aground on Isle Royale when the steering gear failed in a severe storm. It was later released and survived until scrapping at Hamilton in 1947-1948.

1898: S.S. CURRY was leaking badly after it struck a reef off Duck Island, Lake Huron.

1906: J.H. JONES, enroute from Owen Sound to Lions Head, was lost with all hands. The wooden passenger and freight steamer went down in 60 mph winds.

1907: Fire broke out aboard the wooden freighter LIZZIE MADDEN shortly after clearing Bay City for Little Current. The crew were rescued by the LANGELL BOYS. The burning hull drifted ashore on Little Charity Island in Saginaw Bay and was a total loss.

1911: JOLIET sank in the St. Clair River following a collision with the HENRY PHIPPS. It had been anchored due to fog when hit and all on board were saved. The remains were dynamited as a hazard to navigation.

1919: The wooden steamer MYRON sank off Crisp Point, Lake Superior and 17 crew were lost.

1950: The former Canada Steamship Lines canaller MAPLETON was destroyed at the Port of Suez, Egypt as b) EASTERN MED when a fire broke out while loading oil drums. The remains of the ship were scrapped.

1975: PIERSON DAUGHTERS hit bottom off North Colban Island in the St. Lawrence and had to go to Port Weller Dry Docks for repairs after unloading the cargo of iron ore at Conneaut.

1988: The Dutch flag freighter POOLSTER first came through the Seaway in 1969. It suffered an engineroom fire off Kuwait as e) ATLANTIC REEFER while bound for Dubai on this date. The badly damaged ship was towed to Sharjah and then sold for scrap. It was renamed f) VOYAGER I for the trip to Gadani Beach, Pakistan, and the vessel arrived April 4, 1989, for dismantling.

1998: SPAR OPAL went aground inside the breakwall at Port Colborne due to high winds and was released by the tugs UNDAUNTED and WELLAND. The ship had also been a Seaway trader beginning in 1984 as a) LAKE SHIDAKA, in 1991 as b) CONSENSUS ATLANTIC, and in 1992 as c) FEDERAL MATANE (i). It began Great Lakes service as e) SPAR OPAL in 1997.

2000: PRINSES IRENE of the Oranje Lijn made 16 trips into the Great Lakes, with passengers and freight, from 1959 through 1963. The vessel was observed beached at Jakarta, Indonesia, as c) TANJUNG OSINA on this date and appeared to be badly rusted and burned out. The hull was later reported to have been broken up.

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


Great Lakes coal trade down 11 percent in October

11/21 - Cleveland, Ohio – Shipments of coal on the Great Lakes totaled 2.7 million tons in October, a decrease of 11.6 percent compared to September, and a drop of 11 percent compared to a year ago. Compared to the month’s 5-year average, loadings were down 25.3 percent.

Loadings at Lake Superior ports rose by 5.5 percent, but shipments from Lake Michigan and Lake Erie terminals decreased by 33.4 and 26.1 percent respectively. There were no overseas shipments from Superior, Wisconsin, in October.

Year-to-date the Lakes coal trade stands at 20.2 million tons, a decrease of 8.5 percent compared to a year ago, but loadings are nearly 26 percent behind the 5-year average for the January-October timeframe.

Lake Carriers Association


Port Reports -  November 21

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The Interlake duo Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder sailed for Cleveland overnight Monday, having loaded at the Marblehead stone dock of LaFarge Corp. Taking her lines aboard and creeping across Sandusky Bay through the narrow Outer Channel early Tuesday, Algosoo headed downbound on Lake Erie with Hamilton her next port of call.

Panama Canal
CSL’s Baie St. Paul is making good time and expects to be in Montreal on December 4. The boat will then spend time there for Great Lakes fit-out.


CSL’s Trillium-Class Baie St. Paul wins Bulk Ship of the Year Award

11/21 - Montreal, Que. – Baie St. Paul, Canada Steamship Lines’ (CSL) first of four new Trillium Class self-unloading lakers, has been honored with the prestigious 2012 Bulk Ship of the Year Award at the International Bulk Journal (IBJ) Gala dinner held in Hamburg, Germany.

Presented to the year’s most outstanding individual bulk ship or newly built vessel, the award recognizes the operational efficiency, design innovation, and superior safety and environmental features that set the Baie St. Paul apart from other vessels.

“It is with great pride that CSL accepts this award on behalf of its dedicated design and newbuild teams who, with their creativity, talent and dedication, helped deliver our exceptional vessel,” remarked Louis Martel, President of Canada Steamship Lines. “As CSL prepares to welcome the Baie St. Paul into the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway market, this award underscores our ongoing commitment to excellence and to providing our customers with the most advanced bulk shipping solutions.”

En route to the Port of Montreal from Jiangyin, China, the Baie St. Paul recently transited through the Panama Canal and is expected to complete her maiden voyage in early December. A real-time map tracking the voyage of the Baie St. Paul is posted on CSL’s Web site at

CSL International also recently welcomed the Rt. Hon. Paul E. Martin, a new CSL Trillium Class self-unloading Panamax vessel currently operating throughout the Americas. The Rt. Hon. Paul E. Martin will be joined by two sister Trillium Class Panamax ships to be delivered to the CSL International fleet in 2013.



Crew of Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw prepares for Christmas Ship journey to Chicago

11/21 - Cheboygan, Mich. – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw loaded more than 1,300 Christmas trees onto the ship Tuesday in preparation for the 2012 Christmas Ship celebration.

The trees will be transported to Chicago, where they will be offloaded during a special two-day ceremony Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, then delivered to deserving families.

The Mackinaw’s re-enactment continues a piece of Chicago’s maritime tradition. The schooner Rouse Simmons was the original “Christmas Ship” that came to Chicago from Michigan for more than 30 years with fresh evergreens and wreaths for the holiday season during the early 1900’s. On Nov. 23, 1912, while transiting from Michigan, the Rouse Simmons was lost in a storm and sank with a crew of 16 between Kewaunee and Two Rivers, Wis.

To mark this 100th anniversary, a special collection of 100 trees from an area outside of Two Rivers, Wis., from where the Rouse Simmons launched, are included.

During the transit to Chicago, the crew of the Mackinaw will drop a wreath into Lake Michigan near the resting place of the Rouse Simmons.

"The crew and I are excited to participate in this year’s Christmas Ship activities," said Cmdr. Michael Davanzo, the ship's commanding officer, "especially considering the significance of the 100th anniversary.”

In addition to this charitable event, the Mackinaw will also be conducting seasonal buoy retrieval operations to remove buoys for winter maintenance and replacement.

Additionally, regular underway crew training and drills are being conducted in preparation for the ship’s primary winter mission of ice-breaking to keep commerce moving through the Great Lakes.

The trees were purchased with money raised by the “Chicago’s Christmas Ship” Committee. This committee is comprised of and supported by all facets of the Chicago’s boating community, including the International Shipmasters’ Association, Chicago Marine Heritage Society, The Navy League of the United States, Chicago yacht clubs, Friends of the Marine Community, Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Chicago Yachting Association.

Chicago’s Christmas Ship Committee will also host educational programs for local area schools aboard the Mackinaw. More than 300 children from the Chicago area will learn about the role of the Coast Guard, the “Christmas Ship” tradition, observe a Sea Partners ecology presentation and experience a ship tour by Coast Guard Auxiliary. Members of the Mackinaw’s crew and volunteers from Chicago’s boating community will decorate the ship for the “Chicago’s Christmas Ship” event.


Today in Great Lakes History -  November 21

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.

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.

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

In 1924, 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.

1883: The boiler exploded aboard the salvage tug ERIE BELLE while working to free the schooner J.N. CARTER in the Kincardine area of Lake Huron. The former was wrecked but the boiler is still on what has become known as “Old Boiler Beach”.

1902: BANNOCKBURN disappeared on Lake Superior without a trace. Its final resting place has never been found.

1906: The wooden steamer RESOLUTE anchored off the Eastern Gap at Toronto to ride out a storm but the wind switched battering the vessel until it sank. The hull was salvaged in October 1907 and rebuilt as the JOHN ROLPH.

1936: HIBOU was lost in Owen Sound Bay within two miles of the dock and seven perished. The hull was refloated in 1942.

1941: HENRY C. DARYAW, requisitioned for war and on its delivery voyage stranded on rocks in the Brockville Narrows, rolled over and slid off into deep water and sank. It was to have been used on the east coast as a tender for ocean ships. One life was lost.

1957: MONTFAUCON was built at Wyandotte, MI in 1920 and later operated on the Great Lakes as b) E.M. BUNCE. It was at Naples, Italy, as g) ANNA MARIA IEVOLI when an internal explosion caused damage that led to the ship being scrapped.

1959: MOSES GAY was built at Duluth in 1943. It was severely damaged as e) HEANGURA in a storm at Ostra Kvarken, Sweden, and went aground. While salvaged, the ship was tied up at Turku, Finland, and sold for scrap in January 1960.

1961: The British freighter RAPALLO was anchored at Istanbul, Turkey, when struck and damaged by two different freighters, both out of control due to high winds. The vessel was repaired and began Seaway trading in 1963 for the Ellerman Wilson Line.

1961: The former Paterson canaller GANANDOC left the Great Lakes as b) SUGARLAND in October 1961. It had a brief career in the south and went aground at Arcas Reef, Bay of Campeche, while inbound for Coatzacoalcos, Mexico with 2,877 tons of phosphoric rock from Tampa. The ship was abandoned on November 26 as a total loss.

1962: BRO, a Norwegian Pre-Seaway visitor as early as 1953, was abandoned by the crew after taking a severe list enroute from Seville, Spain, to Rotterdam, Netherlands. The ship was taken in tow, reached Lisbon, Portugal, and was repaired.

1982: CAPTAIN PANAGOS D.P. went aground at Farasan Island in the Red Sea enroute from Trois Rivieres, QC to Bandar Abbas, Iran. Fire broke out in the engineroom and the ship was gutted. The hull was later refloated and was noted lying off Qatar “derelict” in December 1986 and finally scrapped at Gadani Beach, Pakistan, as c) JENNY in 1988. The vessel first came through the Seaway as PANAGOS D. PATERAS in 1977 and returned as CAPTAIN PANAGOS D.P. in 1980.

1994: The Russian freighter FASTOV, upbound for Green Bay with pulpwood on its first trip to the Great Lakes, lost power and struck the Shell dock at Corunna, ON resulting in considerable damage to the structure. The vessel returned inland as d) EVANGELOS in 1999 and was scrapped at Aliaga, Turkey, as f) JONA in 2011.

2007: The engine aboard the Lake Erie passenger ship JIIMAAN became disabled after the vessel snagged a fish net off Kingsville and the vessel grounded briefly.

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


Lakes limestone trade down 22 percent in October

11/20 - Cleveland, Ohio – Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 2.9 million tons in October, a decrease of 10 percent compared to September, and 21.8 percent below the level of a year ago. The October stone float was also 20 percent off the month’s 5-year average.

Shipments from U.S. ports fell 22 percent in October. Loadings at Canadian quarries slipped by 24 percent.

Year-to-date the Lakes limestone trade stands at 23.5 million tons, an increase of 36,000 tons compared to a year ago, but a decrease of 1,258,000 tons, or 6 percent, compared to the 5-year average for the January-October timeframe.

Lake Carriers' Association


Port Reports -  November 20

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Algosoo loaded throughout the day Monday at the NS coal dock. At the Lafarge aggregate dock at Marblehead, the Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder were loading.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
Joeseph H. Thompson tug and barge headed into Lorain Sunday at 8:45 p.m. They departed Monday morning and cleared the Charles Berry Bridge at 07:40. Once they cleared the harbor, they headed back west.

Panama Canal – G. Harrietha
C.S.L.’s new self-unloader, Baie St Paul, cleared the Panama Canal Monday heading north for the Great Lakes. The vessel is on its delivery trip from the builder’s yard in China.


Cargo shipments through Seaway up nearly 10 percent in October

11/20 - Washington, D.C. – North American commodities for the industrial and manufacturing sectors drove an uptick in tonnage numbers along the Great Lakes-Seaway System. The St. Lawrence Seaway reported a 9.8 percent increase for total cargo shipments in October 4.4 million metric tons compared to October 2011. For the period March 22 to October 31, year-to-date total cargo shipments were 29.5 million metric tons, a rise of 1.4 percent over the same period in 2011.

“In the General Cargoes category, shipments through the Seaway of iron, steel slabs, project cargoes and domestic general cargoes jumped nine percent over last year’s tally,” said Rebecca Spruill, director, trade development for the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. “This is excellent news for ports handling these higher value commodities she said, adding that “the Port of Oswego reported its seventh consecutive month exceeding 10,000 tons of aluminum shipped from Quebec, and the Port of Muskegon welcomed two additional ships laden with wind turbine blades destined for a wind farm project in Michigan.

In the closing months of the 2012 shipping season, tonnage figures for traditional cargoes remain on the positive side for U.S. ports.

Though lake levels are lower, economic activity has held steady this season in terms of vessel traffic at the Port of Duluth-Superior. Early indications are that the port is on track to wind up this shipping season with tonnage totals comparable to the 37 million short tons moved last year, said Adele Yorde, Duluth Seaway Port Authority spokesperson.

“There’s been a strong demand for iron ore and limestone as world economies supported increased prices, plus there’s been a great deal more movement of general cargo such as components for wind energy projects,” she added.

In October, the Port of Toledo experienced a resurgence of overseas traffic as grain terminals launched into their fall export programs. ADM and The Andersons loaded a combination of ocean vessels and lakers heading to trans-load ports resulting in a 20 percent increase in grain tonnage over the same period in 2011, said Joe Cappel, director of cargo development at the port.

At the general cargo dock operated by Midwest Terminals, consistent short sea shipments of aluminum sows arriving on McKeil barges from Quebec have resulted in an overall increase in general cargo by 22 percent. Much of the aluminum is stored in Toledo’s foreign trade zone and traded on the London Metal Exchange, Cappel said.

“While 2012 continues to present a mixture of challenges and opportunities, we are encouraged by Octobers results,” stated Cappel. “We are continuing to improve and modernize our facilities and are excited that the new Ironville Terminal will be coming online in 2013 to allow for additional cargo handling and industrial development projects.”

Iron ore shipments through the Seaway were up six percent in October to 819,000 metric tons versus the same time last year. Year-to-date figures for iron ore were up 20 percent to 8.5 million metric tons. Coal shipments for power generation and steel production totaled 378,000 metric tons in October a decrease of 13 percent from October 2011. Year-to-date coal shipments rose to 3.7 million metric tons a 25 percent hike over 2011.

U.S. grain, which has been consistently down this season, posted a 46 percent increase for the month of October. Year-to-date U.S. grain shipments were down 31 percent to 865,000 metric tons. Year-to-date total grain shipments were down five percent to 5.8 million metric tons.

Marine Delivers


Cliffs to lay off 125 in Babbitt, Silver Bay

11/20 - Duluth, Minn. - About 125 employees of North Shore Mining will be laid off Jan. 5 when the taconite operation idles two of its four pelletizing lines, according to an announcement issued Monday by the mine’s owner and operator, Cliffs Natural Resources.

The pending layoffs will affect people working at North Shore’s mine in Babbitt in addition to those working at the production facility in Silver Bay, but the exact breakdown of how many jobs will be trimmed at each location has not yet been determined, according to Sandra Karnowski, Cliffs’ district manager of public affairs.

North Shore Mining currently plans to operate with just two lines during 2013, but Karnowski said Cliffs will continue to monitor market conditions and will make upward or downward adjustments during the year as warranted by demand.

The layoffs will affect about 19 percent of North Shore’s 671-person work force, which has no union representation.

Cliffs also announced Monday that it will temporarily halt production at its Empire Mine in Michigan in April or May of 2013. The company reported this “extended summer shutdown” will result in the furlough of about 500 people.

Laid off employees at North Shore and Empire will receive supplemental unemployment pay and benefits based on their length of service to the company, Karnowski said.

Karnowski said the decision to cut output at the North Shore and the Empire mines is not a reflection of the facilities’ production costs. She said the decision was based on the customers they serve.

Pellets from the plants feed blast furnaces producing hot-rolled steel that goes into products such as automobiles and household appliances. While 2013 is forecast to bring decent growth in auto sales, many of those vehicles will be imported from Japan and Europe, said Joseph Carrabba, Cliffs’ chairman, CEO and president during a recent earnings call.

Likewise, Carrabba said much of the steel pipe now in demand for oil and gas transport is coming from foreign sources, too.

Cliffs anticipates that the steel market will only utilize about 70 percent of the North American steelmaking capacity in 2013. That’s right around where the rate now sits.

In late September, Moody’s lowered its outlook for the U.S. steel industry to “negative,” indicating that until U.S. mills were consistently operating at 75 to 80 percent of capacity it would not upgrade its assessment to “stable.”

Craig Pagel, president of the Iron Mining Association of Minnesota, said he’s aware of no other Iron Range mines planning to throttle back production, and said it would be a mistake to read too much into Cliff’s actions.

“I don’t believe a short-term market indicator is a long-term trend,” he said.

Peter Kakela, a Michigan State University professor and mining expert, said the biggest influence on iron prices has been Chinese demand.

China purchases nearly half of all steel produced in the U.S. and has driven global demand for the building material. But this year, China lowered its growth rate target to 7.5 percent — the slowest pace in eight years —and markets reacted.

Iron fines that had sold for $139 per ton in June fell to $89 in September, shedding more than one-third of their former value.

Kakela noted that the price has since strengthened, ending last week at more than $123 per ton. Nevertheless, he said: “That kind of volatility sends jitters through the industry.”

Taconite mines in Minnesota and Michigan supplying steel mills on the Great Lakes today aren’t as subject to wide global price fluctuations, but they still operate in a world market.

Kakela views Cliffs’ plans to trim production as a modest adjustment in a period of uncertainty.

“I do not see this as a big downward slope, but I also say that with my fingers crossed,” he said.

“We’re still in a slow climb out of recession, and up to this point, I think iron ore and steel have actually done better than the rest of the economy,” Kakela said. “I don’t see anything like the situation in 2008.”

Indeed, Minnesota’s iron mining industry entered this year boasting the highest employment and wages it had paid in in more than a decade.

Pagel takes encouragement from the industry’s performance.

“Iron mining is a leading indicator of our economy,” he said. “It goes into everything from paper clips to ships. If a product’s not made out of iron, chances are that you still need iron to produce it.”

All six taconite plants in the state are now operating — a far cry from 2009, when all of them ceased production at one time or another.

North Shore Mining’s last shutdown that was unrelated to maintenance occurred during the second quarter of 2009. In 2010, it went from operating two pellet lines to four and has remained at that level since then.

Duluth News Tribune


USS Edson tips to starboard as moored destroyer hits ledge in Saginaw River

11/20 - Essexville, Mi. — Even sailors with able sea legs are apt to feel a little unsteady onboard the USS Edson.

The decommissioned Navy destroyer is listing six or seven degrees to the starboard after the moored ship hit a ledge along the Saginaw River shoreline due to wind and a drop in water level.

Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum President Mike Kegley said steady southwestern winds lowered the level of the Saginaw River, causing the vessel to tilt significantly when it made contact with a ledge near the shore.

"She's not aground, she's hard aground," said Lt. Commander Bill Barnhardt of the U.S. Navy cadet ship Gray Fox. "What she needs is a strong nor'easter."

Barnhardt, whose own vessel moors in Port Huron, is helping the Saginaw Valley Navel Ship Museum get the Edson righted. He visited the ship Friday, Nov. 16 to survey the situation.

Barnhardt said that the water must rise several feet before the museum can take action. Kegley said that two tugboats then will connect to the ship's bow and tug it sideways into the deeper river channel, which will pull the ship's stern from the ledge.

Once righted, the vessel won't stay put at the Wirt Sand and Stone Dock. The tugboats will continue to lead the Edson up the river to its permanent mooring location near the Independence Park Boat Launch in Bangor Township.

Shortly after the vessel arrived in Bay County, a 100-year flooding event with strong winds caused the Saginaw River to rise. The Edson moved towards the shore and came to rest on an underwater ledge when the water level lowered.

"We've listed worse than this," Kegley said. "When the wind blows the water out to the bay, that's when she leans."

Draft markings at the bow of the USS Edson showed that the hull was submerged 10.5 ft. underwater. Barnhardt said that the ship normally should have 17 or 18 feet below the surface.

Kegley said that the ship is still open for deck tours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and noon until 5 p.m. Sundays. He estimates that the water level will be adequate for a move by the end of the month.

"As soon as they move the barge from the site, then we'll be able to move the ship over there,"Kegley said. "The barge will likely move later next week."

Work at the future mooring site is near completion. Kegley says that the vessel will be tied to wood pilings until the regular anchors are installed and the mooring is complete.

Kegley said that it is unlikely any damage will result from the ship resting on the bottom. The props are currently submerged in three feet of silt. The boat no longer operates under its own power.



Chicago church remembers 'Capt. Santa' and Christmas tree ship

11/20 - Chicago, Ill. – The spirit of a legendary shipmaster known in Chicago as "Captain Santa" could be felt Sunday at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ.

The Lincoln Park congregation celebrated the generosity and bravery of Capt. Herman Schuenemann 100 years after his schooner was lost in the icy waters of Lake Michigan while transporting a load of Christmas trees from forests in the Upper Peninsula.

Schuenemann, who was the captain of one of several dozen vessels that would cross the lake around 1900 to pick up Christmas trees from northern Michigan, became a legend when he and his crew were lost when the Rouse Simmons ship sank Nov. 23, 1912.

Schuenemann and his family were active at St. Paul’s, according to church officials and several descendants who joined the festivities Sunday.

The captain and crew gave away countless Christmas trees to churches and the poor while selling holiday greenery from his schooner docked near the Clark Street Bridge, church officials said.

"That generosity and courage were not unique to the Schuenemann family but rather an expression of our church," the Rev. Matt Fitzgerald said.

Schuenemann's grandson, retired Dr. William Ehling, of Streator, Ill., and his great-great-great-granddaughter Jennifer Tewell, 25, of Lombard, were at the church Sunday.

"Obviously, this is very important for my family, but I didn't realize the far reaches," Tewell said.

Money raised through a church raffle will help pay for the installation of a memorial plaque at the southwest corner of the bridge in the spring.

The St. Pauls event is one of a handful commemorating Schuenemann and the fateful voyage. The Chicago History Museum will host a free performance and presentation featuring artifacts from the Rouse Simmons at 7 p.m. Nov. 30 in the Rubloff Auditorium.

And Tuesday the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw plans to load the ship with more than 1,000 Christmas trees from its port in Cheboygan, Mich. The trees will travel to Chicago for a ceremony commemorating the shipwreck and will be donated to needy families.

Chicago Tribune


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.

1917: JOHAN MJELDE, built at Cleveland in 1916, was sailing as b) STORO when captured by the German submarine U-151 near the Azores and, after 22 tons of copper were removed, the ship was scuttled on November 26.

1920: J.H. SHEADLE ran aground on the rocks at Marquette when the steering failed while backing from the dock.  The ship was badly damaged.  It last sailed in 1979 as e) PIERSON INDEPENDENT. 

1943: The former LAKE FINNEY, later a Pre-Seaway trader in the 1930s as SANTA EULALIA, was torpedoed and sunk by British forces as the enemy ship c) POLCEVERA off Carlovassi, Italy. 

1966: The Liberty ship MOUNT EVANS made two trips through the Seaway in 1961.  It stranded off Mapingil, Philippines as h) EASTERN ARGO on this date in 1966.  The hull was refloated with damage and then towed to Taiwan for scrapping in 1967.

1974: The Algoma Central self-unloader ROY A. JODREY went aground on Pullman Shoal in the St. Lawrence.  The ship slid off in the early hours of the 21st and sank in deep water.  All on board were saved.

1990: GINA, a Lebanese freighter, began leaking at Varna, Bulgaria.  The ship was later taken to Piraeus, Greece, and laid up.  The superstructure was removed and installed on a fire damaged vessel while the hull was towed to Aliaga, Turkey, in October 1991 and dismantled.  GINA had been a Great Lakes trader as a) MARCOSSA-I in 1972

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


Retired sub makes canal trip

11/19 - Sunday the retired Canadian Navy submarine HMCS Ojibwa was towed through the Welland Canal. The trip originated at Heddle Marine in Hamilton, where the vessel has spent the last several months being prepared as a permanent museum in Port Burwell on Lake Erie's north shore. The lead tug was Lac Manitoba, with Seahound on the stern of the barge. The tow is scheduled to arrive in Port Burwell, Ont., on Tuesday at 8 a.m. She will hold up briefly in Port Colborne Monday before leaving for Port Burwell.

David Bull


Port Reports -  November 19

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
A busy Sunday at the harbors in Marquette found fleet mates James L. Kuber and Michipicoten loading ore at the Upper Harbor and USCGC Alder secured at Mattson Lower Harbor Park after working aids to navigation.

Milwaukee, Wis. – Jack Adams
Sunday the Lafarge tugs were unloading at the cement silo. The Samuel de Champlain with barge Innovation were against the dock with the G.L. Ostrander and barge Integrity rafted to the Champlain. The Samuel de Champlain suffered an engine room fire off Milwaukee, a damage report was not available.

Owen Sound, Ont. - Wayne Brown
St. Marys Challenger arrived with a load of cement about 4:15 p.m. Ojibway arrived to load at the grain elevator at 7 p.m.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Joseph H. Thompson and her barge, Joe Thompson, Jr., loaded Sunday at the LaFarge stone dock on the Marblehead Peninsula. They sailed early evening for Lorain.


Coast Guard crew set to load 1,300 Christmas trees onto Mackinaw for historic transit to Chicago

11/19 - Cheboygan, Mich. – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw is scheduled to load 1,300 Christmas trees onto the ship at its homeport of Cheboygan, Mich., on Tuesday in preparation for the 2012 Christmas Ship celebration.

The trees will then be transported aboard Mackinaw to Chicago, where they will be offloaded during a special two-day ceremony and then delivered to needy families.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the wreck of the schooner Rouse Simmons, the original Christmas Ship, which sank between Kewaunee and Two Rivers, Wis., on Nov. 23, 1912 in a storm during its transit to Chicago.

To mark this anniversary, a special collection of 100 trees from an area outside of Two Rivers, where the Rouse Simmons launched, are set to be included.

During the transit to Chicago, the crew of Mackinaw will toss a wreath into Lake Michigan near the resting place of the Rouse Simmons.

"The crew and I are excited to participate in this years Christmas Ship activities, especially considering the significance of the 100th anniversary, said Cmdr. Michael Davanzo, the ships commanding officer.


Mystery of Lake Superior shipwreck lures searchers

11/19 - In the dark of night in the teeth of a Lake Superior gale just over 85 years ago, a sailor named Ernest Ludwig stood on the bow of a sinking barge, hatchet in hand, prepared to cut the line linking his foundering vessel to its straining tug.

With a single swing, Ludwig severed the 2-inch cable. The barge dropped beneath his feet into the turbulent lake with its cargo of pulpwood and — reportedly — 10 cases of illegal Scotch whiskey being smuggled from Canada.

Ludwig was rescued from the vortex created by the sinking ship, but the barge — the Ontario — wasn’t seen again. Until this year.

A group of shipwreck hunters have found what all evidence suggests is the Ontario, or what’s left of it, resting in 450 feet of water about a mile and a half off the shore of Outer Island in Wisconsin’s Apostle Islands.

It’s not a showpiece wreck, by any means. For starters, the 297-foot-long Ontario was a utilitarian vessel and had been further stripped down to serve as a barge. It’s sitting at a depth that pretty much places it beyond the reach of divers. And the vast majority of the wreck is buried in muck.

“If it’s an intact wreck in reasonably shallow water, sitting upright on the bottom, then you can tell instantly that it’s a wreck” when searching with side-scan sonar, said Jerry Eliason of Cloquet, part of the group that had looked for the Ontario on and off for years. “But then there’s some that are very subtle.”

“This one was subtle,” added group member Randy Beebe of Duluth. The storm that claimed the Ontario was anything but subtle.

The Ontario, a steel vessel, was built in 1891 for the Canadian Pacific Railway and served as a railroad car ferry for many years between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, according to the Alpena County (Mich.) Public Library’s Great Lakes Maritime Database.

In the 1920s it was converted to a barge and started hauling pulpwood out of Port Arthur, Ontario — now part of Thunder Bay. The ship left Port Arthur on Oct. 12, 1927, bound for Ashland, under the tow of the powerful tug Butterfield. Ludwig, a fireman who stoked the barge’s boilers, was one of a crew of five.

In addition to tons of pulpwood covering the decks, Ludwig said in a 1978 interview with the Superior Telegram, the ship in that era of Prohibition carried cases of Scotch whiskey being smuggled into the U.S. by another crew member.

A stiff wind built into a storm during the voyage and waves crashed over the deck, washing away pulpwood and eventually swamping the boilers that provided power to the barge’s pumps and steering. The Butterfield struggled to tow the zigzagging vessel.

At 3 a.m. Oct. 13 off Outer Island, about 40 miles northeast of Ashland, the storm picked up and the Ontario started going down. The Butterfield started reeling in the towline to draw the Ontario closer. The crew of the barge donned life preservers and tried to launch a life raft, only to see it swept away.

Four of the Ontario’s crew eventually jumped from the barge’s bow onto the tug’s stern, while Ludwig remained behind to cut the cable as hatch covers exploded behind him.

“The barge died in the water and the tug leaped ahead the instant the cable parted,” Ludwig recalled in 1978. “Suddenly I found myself in the cold lake being pulled down by the barge which was sinking under my feet.”

He reached once for a lifeline tossed from the tug, but missed. The second time, Ludwig caught hold and was hauled out of the vortex. He was knocked out momentarily when his head hit the tug’s stern fender — but he was safe.

“I was too thankful to be on the deck of the tug — bruised or not — to complain,” he said.

Starting in the early 1990s, Eliason and others added the Ontario to the list of wrecks on their search list. Why the Ontario?

“You rate a wreck based upon its findability, meaning: Is there enough information out there to get you in the ballpark?” Eliason said. “Is the wreck of historic interest — is there something unique about it? Might it be shallow enough to dive? … Is there a good chance it’s intact?”

With the Ontario, published accounts of Ludwig’s recollections and other information provided a good starting point. While searching for another wreck in the vicinity, the Marquette, the group — including Eliason, Beebe, Ken Merryman of Minneapolis, Kraig Smith of Rice Lake, Wis., and Eliason’s son, Jarrod, who lives in Colorado — would take occasional jaunts to Outer Island. The group went through a years-long dry spell. Then they upgraded their technology, including a side-scan sonar unit designed by Jarrod Eliason. And in 2004 and 2005, their dedication paid off with a rush of activity: a half-dozen wrecks located in western Lake Superior, among them the Marquette and the legendary Benjamin Noble.

But the Ontario remained elusive. The group thought that perhaps witnesses to the sinking fibbed about its exact location because of the illegal whiskey on board.

Following a grid pattern, towing the sonar, they kept hunting a few days a year. They used the newer sonar to re-cover territory previously searched. And finally, three years ago, they spotted an anomaly on the lake bottom.

The anomaly was an isolated “crater” about 300 feet long by 50 feet wide in an otherwise undisturbed field of muck. For a couple of years, further exploration with cameras failed to turn up signs of a ship. In the vast, dark depths of Lake Superior, spotting anything with a tiny camera tethered to a 450-foot line requires patience, skill and some luck.

Then this year, on April 22 aboard Smith’s boat, the camera finally delivered images of a wrecked ship. A ship buried deep, perhaps as much as 95 percent, in mud.

In photos of what little of the ship remained uncovered, the searchers spotted a somewhat-unique circular hatch that seemed to match one in archive images of the Ontario.

More importantly, “the location is exactly where they said it went down,” Merryman said.

“And it’s the only bottom disturbance for a couple miles in each direction,” Eliason said. Aside from the Ontario, there just aren’t any other documented “lost” wrecks that it could be. While not definitive, the evidence strongly points to the Ontario.

A large wreck being so completely buried in muck may be unique in the Great Lakes, Beebe said. It’s not clear if the barge was driven that deep into the mud when it hit bottom, or if perhaps currents deposited sediment around the vessel in the decades after it sank.

The depth and condition of the vessel was a little disappointing to the group, especially for those who might have wanted to dive on a newly discovered wreck.

“If we’d have known this wreck was going to be like this, would we have spent the time and effort to look for it that we did? Probably not. But you don’t know” until you try, Eliason said.

Over the course of more than 15 years, group members — pooling their assorted equipment, boats and talents — spent a total of perhaps 30 days searching for the Ontario. Much of that time was hour after tedious hour of scanning a barren lake bottom. Why make the effort?

“It’s the combination of the history and the camaraderie and the technical challenges and the time on the water that just makes the whole endeavor worthwhile,” Beebe said.

Ludwig’s tale of survival, in particular, provided key clues for where to look — and brought the wreck alive.

Back in 1978, Ludwig told the Telegram that several days after the Ontario sank, he and his shipmates tested their life preservers.

“We tied rocks to them, and then we tossed them in the lake,” he said. “Every one of them sank to the bottom.”

With that on his mind, after one more rough trip on another barge, he gave up life as a mariner and moved to Spooner. He died in 1982 at age 80.

“I just regret not having had a chance to talk to Ernie. That would have been fun,” Eliason said. “We needed to find it for Ernie.”

And now that the Ontario apparently has been found, and erased from the list of “lost” wrecks?

“We’ve fulfilled the addiction to find it,” Eliason said. “Now we can get on to something else.”

Duluth News Tribune


Additional Marine News demolition

11/19 - Rene Beauchamp notes that we missed a former Seaway salty going for scrap in our report from the November 2012 issue of Marine News.

The CAPTAIN ABOUDI, a Syrian registered freighter, was sold to Turkish shipbreakers in 2011 and arrived at Aliaga on March 20, 2011. The vessel visited the Great Lakes as d) CLIPPER ATLANTIC in 1989 and had an interesting career. As b) MOSEL, the ship received extensive hull damage in a grounding off Kalmar, Sweden, on July 6, 1978. Then, as e) PRINCESS SARAH, it was captured by pirates off the Somali Coast and not released until a ransom was paid.

Skip Gillham, Barry Andersen & Rene Beauchamp


Updates -  November 19

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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.

1904: PHILIP MINCH caught fire 8 miles off Marblehead, Ohio, and sank in the navigation channel. All on board got off safely and rowed to Sandusky in the lifeboat. The remains were dynamited in 1906.

1914: C.F. CURTIS foundered in Lake Superior, 7 miles east of Grand Marais, with the loss of 14 lives. The towing barges ANNIE PETERSON and SHELDON E. MARVIN also went down after the trio ran into high winds and snow.

1956: The year old West German freighter WOLFGANG RUSS was beached in the St. Lawrence near Ile d'Orleans after a collision with the Cunard Line vessel ASIA. The former was inbound for Sorel and had to lightered and taken to Lauzon for repairs to the large hole in the side of the hull. The vessel began Great Lakes visits with the opening of the Seaway in 1959 and made 28 inland trips to the end of 1967. It arrived off Gadani Beach, Pakistan, for scrapping as b) KOTRONAS BEACH on Feb. 4, 1980.

1966: NORDMEER, upbound on Lake Huron with coiled steel for Chicago, ran aground on Thunder Bay Shoals 12 miles east of Alpena, MI. The remains of the ship are still there.

1977: The Canada Steamship Lines self-unloader FRONTENAC grounded off Grassy Island in the St. Lawrence and about 5,000 tons of ore had to be lightered to the SAGUENAY to float free.

1979: The Liberian freighter DANILA was damaged when it struck the west pier while inbound at Port Weller in fog. The vessel first visited the Seaway as a) MAERSK CAPTAIN in 1976 and was back as b) DANILA in 1979. The ship was scrapped at Alang, India, as d) JAY BHAVANI in 1991-1992.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


Sub move to get under way Sunday morning

11/18 - HMCS Ojibwa will be departing Hamilton at 3:30 Sunday morning. She will travel through the Welland Canal during the day to arrive in Port Colborne around 7:30 Sunday. At that time, the team will reassess and determine when she will leave for Port Burwell. Her arrival there may take place Monday afternoon or Tuesday. Follow the web site for updates.

Sunday, November 18
3:30 a.m. – Depart Port of Hamilton
8:30 a.m. – Arrive Port Weller (entrance to Welland Canal)
11:30 a.m. – Arrive Lock #3
7:30 p.m. – Arrive Port Colborne

Monday or Tuesday – Arrival in Port Burwell To Be Announced. The offload will most likely occur Friday or Saturday.


Port Reports -  November 18

South Chicago - Brian Z.
Ken Booth Sr. and Lakes Contender finished loading coal at KCBX dock early Friday morning. The barge was destined for Muskegon, Mich. with western coal. Over at the Beemsterboer dock, Algoma Mariner was loading petroleum coke for Sydney, NS. The Mariner finished up early afternoon and was assisted out of the Calumet River by two Great Lakes tugs.

Port Inland & Cedarville, Mich. - Denny Dushane
At Port Inland the barge Pere Marquette 41 was due to arrive and load in the late evening on Friday. The Wilfred Sykes was due on Saturday to load in the early morning hours and they were to be followed later that day with the barge Lakes Contender and tug Ken Boothe Sr. arriving in the evening on Saturday to load. At Cedarville, the Wilfred Sykes loaded on Friday and was due to depart in the morning. Following the Sykes is the Calumet due on Sunday in the mid-afternoon and rounding out Cedarville's lineup is the Cason J. Callaway due on Wednesday in the evening hours.

Calcite, Mich. - Denny Dushane
The Calumet loaded at Calcite on Saturday and was scheduled to depart at about 11 A.M. Also due on Saturday was the Arthur M. Anderson arriving in the early afternoon at lunchtime for the South Dock. There are no vessels scheduled to load on Sunday which is also the 54th anniversary of the Carl D. Bradley sinking in Lake Michigan. For Monday there are two vessels scheduled both for the South Dock - John G. Munson due in during the early morning at 5:30 a.m. and the Manitowoc for a 7:30 a.m. arrival.

Stoneport, Mich. - Denny Dushane
A very busy weekend at Stoneport started off on Saturday with the loading of the barge Pathfinder which was due out between 9:30-10 a.m. At anchor and loading after the Pathfinder was the Capt. Henry Jackman which was due to get a dock between 10:30-11 a.m. Arthur M. Anderson is due in on Sunday morning however, they will be going to anchor and loading after the Capt. Henry Jackman clears. Also due at Stoneport on Sunday are Algoway in the early afternoon to be followed by the Cason J. Callaway in the evening. There are no vessels scheduled for loading on Monday. On Tuesday the Joseph H. Thompson is due to load in the morning followed by the Lewis J. Kuber in the early afternoon. There are no vessels scheduled to load on Wednesday. Thanksgiving Day has the Arthur M. Anderson due in the morning followed later that evening by a return visit from the Lewis J. Kuber. Rounding out the Stoneport lineup is the Sam Laud, due on Friday in the evening to load.

Toledo, Ohio - Denny Dushane
Due at the Torco Dock is the James L. Kuber on Tuesday in the morning, followed by the CSL Laurentien due on Friday in the early afternoon. The John J. Boland is due on November in the early morning. At the CSX Coal Dock, Catherine Desgagnes is due on Sunday in the late evening however she will also be pumping water for six hours prior to loading. The Calumet is due on Wednesday in the early morning hours and the Algosoo is due on Thanksgiving Day in the morning. There are no vessels scheduled for the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Having loaded overnight at the NS coal dock, the barge Ashtabula and tug Defiance sailed early Saturday for Dearborn's Rouge steel mill. Following the Grand River Navigation pair under the loading chute at the NS dock was the Herbert C. Jackson. She completed loading late Saturday afternoon and also sailed for the Rouge, where she had unloaded taconite from Marquette on Friday.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
American Mariner is expected at General Mills around 4 - 5 a.m. on Sunday morning. The Algoma Progress left Friday night and was downbound at the Flight Locks on the Welland Canal at 5 p.m. on Saturday.


Ship with wind turbine parts delayed until Monday

11/18 - Muskegon, Mich. – The BBC Wisconsin, the last of seven ocean-going cargo ships to bring wind turbine parts to Muskegon, has been delayed and will not arrive at the Mart Dock until late Monday afternoon. BBC Wisconsin is a 452-foot cargo ship operated by BBC Chartering of Bremen, Germany.

Mart Dock officials in Muskegon had anticipated the 452-foot vessel with 21 wind turbine blades from Germany to arrive Sunday morning. Now the estimated time of arrival is 4 p.m. Monday, Mart Dock officials said.

Shore crews should begin removing the wind blades from the BBC Wisconsin Tuesday. The process should take six to seven hours, according to Ed Hogan, vice president of Port City Marine Services. Port City Marine and the Mart Dock are companies of Muskegon-based Sand Products Corp.

If that schedule is kept, Hogan said the BBC Wisconsin would leave early Wednesday morning. Mart Dock officials would like to wrap up the ships visit in Muskegon before the Thanksgiving weekend. The wind blades from Germany and prior shipments of wind turbine tower sections from South Korea are being delivered in Muskegon for land shipment to the Beebe Community Wind Farm in Ithaca, located between Mount Pleasant and Lansing.

The wind turbine parts began with the first saltie arriving in Muskegon in August. West Michigan ship watchers have been treated to six arrivals at the Mart Dock this fall. The BBC Wisconsin a German owned and managed cargo ship is the last of the shipments needed for the Beebe wind farm.

As of Friday morning, the BBC Wisconsin was in the St. Lawrence River southwest of Montreal heading for Lake Ontario.

Muskegon Chronicle


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 was 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 snowstorm 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.

1911: TURRET CAPE stranded near Cove Island, Lake Huron and was not released until 1912. It last sailed as c) WALTER INKSTER and was scrapped at Port Dalhousie in 1959.

1926: The passenger and freight carrier MONTREAL was built at Toronto in 1902. It caught fire and burned near St. Joseph de Sorel in the St. Lawrence River while operating late season in a freight only capacity. The superstructure was destroyed and the vessel was beached. Five deckhands, believed trapped in the bow area, died.

1958: CARL D. BRADLEY sank in Lake Michigan with the loss of 33 lives.

1970: SILLERY, a Canadian freighter that operated on the St. Lawrence, was heavily damaged aft due to an engineroom fire while enroute from Sept-Iles to Montreal. The ship was a total loss. The bow was later removed and transplanted to sistership CACOUNA which received collision damage on July 6, 1971. The latter was later lost on Lake Michigan as c) JENNIFER on December 1, 1974.

2006: JOHN G. MUNSON hit the Shell Fuel Dock at Corunna and knocked about 200 feet of the structure into the St. Clair River.

Data from: Skip Gilham, 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.


Sub sighting sunk for Saturday

11/17 - The HMCS Ojibwa's journey through the Welland Canal has been delayed for 24 hours.

Organizers were hoping the decommissioned ship would start its long journey from Hamilton to Port Burwell on Saturday morning, but dredging in Port Burwell is taking a little longer than expected. They are now expecting to get the ship moving on Sunday.

Kathy McKeil, corporate communications director for McKeil Marine, involved in arranging the sub's transportation, said that won't be confirmed until Saturday afternoon.

Built in 1965, the HMCS Ojibwa is Canada's last Oberon class Cold War submarine. It patrolled Canada's north Atlantic for Soviet submarines and threats and was decommissioned in 1998.

The ship was mounted on a floating dry-dock in Halifax and towed by tug boat up the St. Lawrence Seaway to Hamilton in May.

There, it was transferred to a shallow-draft barge and fitted with a permanent cradle.

It will now travel from Hamilton through the Welland Canal into Lake Erie on a barge towed by two tug boats to the Elgin Military Museum of Naval History.

The ship's progress will be tracked at

St. Catharines Standard


Port Reports -  November 17

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
St. Marys Challenger delivered a load of cement to the St. Marys Terminal in Ferrysburg arriving about 8 a.m. on the 15th.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Monday evening the Manistee was anchored off Alpena due to strong winds. The Manistee arrived at Lafarge on Tuesday morning to unload coal. The Alpena and tug G.L. Ostrander with barge Integrity took turns loading cement under the silos on Thursday. Around 11 a.m. on Friday the Calumet tied up in the river to unload coal at the DPI Plant. The Alpena also returned to port Friday evening.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The tug Defiance and Barge Ashtabula were loading at the NS coal dock Friday night, having arrived late in the afternoon. The Herbert C. Jackson was next in line, and was expected to begin loading on Saturday.

Conneaut, Ohio - Tom Heagerty
The Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin was loading coal at the CN Dock in Conneaut Thursday. The coal dock has not been used in a couple of yearsß. There has been a clam shell dredge working at the entrance to the coal dock for a couple of weeks as the Conneaut Creek enters the harbor at that point and there was probably a build-up of sediment there.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Algoma Progress was still loading at the Gateway Metrport Friday afternoon.


Marine News November 2012

11/17 - The Tanzanian freighter AFAMIA arrived at Alang, India, on September 21, 2012. The ship was under its ninth name at the time and first came through the Seaway in 1981 as a) KAREN S.

ATHANASIOS G. CALLITSIS arrived at Chittagong, Bangladesh on September 12, 2012, and was beached September 19. The vessel was a regular inland trader as a) PUNICA from 1983 to 1995, as b) PINTAIL from 1996 to 2007 and under her final name in 2008 and 2009.

AVEIRO arrived at the scrapyard at Alang, India, on September 23, 2012. It first came through the Seaway as a) KILBRIDE in 1982 and returned as c) KELTIC CONFIDENCE in 1988.

DOBR was sold to Indian shipbreakers and arrived at Alang on September 16, 2012. The ship first came inland as a) WORLD GOODWILL in 1983 and returned as b) DOBRUSH from 1991 to 2005.

IVAN MAKARIN was a year old when it first came through the Seaway in 1982. It was beached at Chittagong, Bangladesh, on September 18.

The Bulgarian flag freighter KAMENITZA, a Seaway caller as early as 1986, arrived at Alang, India, on July 14, 2012, and was beached three days later for dismantling.

KAPITAN NAZAREV brought steel and bleached pulpwood on its first inland voyage in 2001 visiting Toronto and Oshawa. It arrived at Alang on September 8, 2012, and was beached on September 17.

The LEMESHEV, a Great Lakes visitor as a) SERGEY LEMESHEV in 1998, was beached at Alang, India, for dismantling on September 28, 2012.

The NORTH STAR, operating under Mongolian registry, was beached at Chittagong, Bangladesh, on September 18, 2012. The ship had been a lakes trader as a) SEAGRAND ACE beginning in 1987, c) SEAHORSE in 1990 and d) WANA NAREE in 1995 with numerous trips to our shores.

SAFE RISE arrived at Chittagong, Bangladesh, on Sept. 10, 2012, for scrapping. The ship first came through the Seaway as a) SUN CLOVER when new in 1980 and returned as b) UNAMONTE in 1985.

Lakes Related:
Although not a Seaway trader, the CSL TIBER, a recent addition to the Canada Steamship Lines overseas fleet, arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, and was beached for dismantling on September 20, 2012.

DON, a) RALPH MISENER, b) GORDON C. LEITCH (ii), was beached at Aliaga, Turkey, on October 10, 2012.

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

Submitted by: Barry Andersen and Skip Gillham


Today in Great Lakes History -  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.

1902: The wooden steamer ROBERT WALLACE sank 13 miles out of Two Harbors while towing the barge ASHLAND.

1922: CITY OF DRESDEN was anchored off Long Point due to high winds and some of the cargo was thrown overboard. The ship beached on the west side of Long Point and broke up as a total loss. One sailor perished.

1922: MALTON went aground on Main Duck Island in Lake Ontario and was stuck until November 30.

1936: The steering cable of the SIDNEY E. SMITH gave way entering the harbor at Fairport, Ohio, and the ship stranded on the break wall. While released on November 22, the heavily damaged vessel was broken up for scrap the following year.

1939: VARDEFJELL, which inaugurated regular Great Lakes service for the Fjell Line in 1932, was torpedoed and sunk as b) KAUNAS 6.5 miles WNW of Noord Harbor, N. Hinder Light, River Schelde.

1972: MICHIPICOTEN broke loose while under tow in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and broke in two. The sections of the ship later sank. The vessel had been enroute to Spain for scrapping and had left Quebec City two days earlier.

1996: SEADANIEL went aground at Duluth due to high winds after the anchors dragged. The ship was released, undamaged, by tugs. It last visited the Great Lakes in November 1998 and arrived at Alang, India, for scrapping on May 5, 1999.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


Port Reports -  November 16

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Thursday morning at the Upper Harbor, Mesabi Miner unloaded western coal into the hopper and fleet mate Kaye E. Barker arrived with stone for the hopper, docking on the north side of the ore dock to wait.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Lee A Tregurtha loaded overnight and a part of Thursday at the NS coal dock before sailing for Duluth.

Cleveland , Ohio - Jake Kniola
Interlake’s Hon. James L. Oberstar was unloading at the Cleveland Bulk Terminal on Thursday.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Algoma Progress was at the Gateway Metroport Main Dock in Lackawanna Thursday evening.


Closing dates of the 2012 navigation season announced

11/16 - Montreal-Lake Ontario Section
All vessels must be clear of the Montreal-Lake Ontario section of the Seaway by 23:59 hours on December 29th.

Welland Canal
Vessels will be allowed to transit the Welland Canal up to 23:59 hours on December 30th, weather and operating conditions permitting.

Sault Ste. Marie Locks and Canal (United States)
The official closing date for the Sault Ste. Marie Locks is 2400 hours January 15, 2013.


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.

1901: The wooden freighter ELFIN-MERE was damaged by fire at Green Bay after a lamp exploded in the engineroom. The crew got away safely although an engineer was burned. The vessel was rebuilt the following year and returned to service in 1903 as b) CHARLES B. PACKARD.

1908: PASCAL P. PRATT was carrying anthracite coal from Buffalo to Milwaukee when it caught fire in the engineroom off Long Point, Lake Erie. The blaze spread quickly and the wooden vessel was beached. All of the crew got away safely. The hull burned to the waterline and the remains sank.

1923: GLENSTRIVEN, loaded with 160,000 bushels of oats, was wrecked at Cove Island, Georgian Bay in wind and fog. The vessel was enroute to Midland and was salvaged December 5 by the Reid Wrecking Co. The damage was too severe to repair and the hull was scrapped at Collingwood in 1924.

1927: JOLLY INEZ stranded at Saddlebag Island in the False Detour Channel and was abandoned.

1964: THOMAS F. COLE and INVEREWE collided in heavy fog off the southern end of Pipe Island in the St. Marys River. Both ships were repaired but the latter was later lost as d) THEOKEETOR off Mexico following another collision on June 20, 1973.

1965: The LAWRENCECLIFFE HALL sank in the St. Lawrence after an early morning collision with the SUNEK off Ile d'Orleans. The former, a laker in the Halco fleet, rolled on its side but all on board were saved. The ship was refloated in March 1966, repaired and returned to service. It later sailed as DAVID K. GARDINER and CANADIAN VENTURE before scrapping at Alang, India, in 2005. SUNEK received bow damage but this was repaired and this ship was scrapped at Barcelona, Spain, as b) NOTOS in 1979.

1967: CALIFORNIA SUN, a Liberty ship, made one trip through the Seaway in 1966. It suffered an engineroom explosion off Nicobar Island on the Indian Ocean and was gutted. The abandoned ship was taken in tow by JALARAJAN, a familiar Seaway salty, and delivered to Seychelles.

1978: MONT ST. MARTIN was battered by a storm on Lake Erie and escorted to Southeast Shoal area by the STEELTON.

1978: NYX visited the Great Lakes in 1958 and returned through the Seaway in 1959. It sustained severe fire damage at Sidon, Lebanon, as c) DOMINION TRADER. It was subsequently blown aground by strong winds November 30-December 1 and broke in two.

1979: ALDORA dragged anchor while off Port Weller and was blown aground, only to be freed the same day. This ship was scrapped at Vado, Italy, in 1985-1986.

1979: SARONIC SEA was also anchored off Port Weller when it dragged anchor and stranded at the foot of Geneva St. in St. Catharines. The hull was not refloated until December 6. The ship had first visited the Great Lakes as RAVNANGER in 1964 and was later a victim of the war between Iran and Iraq, being shelled with mortar fire at Basrah on September 25, 1980.

1986: CARINA, an SD-14, first came through the Seaway in 1969. It was abandoned by the crew as d) HYMETUS when the hull cracked in heavy weather 180 miles SSE of Hong Kong while enroute to Shanghai, with steel. The ship sank the next day in the South China Sea.

2009: CSL ASSINIBOINE went aground near Cardinal. It had to be lightered and was released on November 21.

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


Port Reports -  November 15

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Early morning vessel traffic Wednesday included American Mariner loading at General Mills in Superior, H. Lee White loading iron ore pellets at CN ore dock, Algosoo loading iron ore pellets at BNSF ore dock, Mesabi Miner finishing its load at Midwest Energy Terminal, Paul R. Tregurtha waiting at the port terminal for its turn at Midwest Energy Terminal, Algoma Quebecois unloading cement at Holcim terminal, Vikingbank loading beet pulp pellets at General Mills in Duluth, and CSL Tadoussac waiting out on the lake for the BNSF berth.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Herbert C. Jackson arrived Wednesday morning at the Upper Harbor ore dock, loaded ore, and departed in the afternoon.

Toledo, Ohio -
The Bright Laker was loading at the Andersons elevators Wednesday. Across the river there was a saltie loading at the ADM elevators. The tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula were unloading at Kraft Foods.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Lee A. Tregurtha was loading Wednesday night at the NS coal dock in Sandusky. At the LaFarge Corp. stone dock on the Marblehead Peninsula, the Calumet loaded overnight and sailed early Wednesday for Cleveland. During the day, the tug Bradshaw McKee and barge Cleveland Rocks loaded and by late afternoon had cleared the dock and sailed upbound.


Sub HMCS Ojibwa could make Canal transit Saturday

11/15 - That’s the day a Cold War-era submarine could be ferried down the Welland Canal en route to a museum. HMCS Ojibwa is undergoing a final painting in Hamilton, and restorers hope to begin moving it on the weekend.

“We really, ideally, would love to have it transit the Canal during the daylight hours,” said Kathy McKeil, corporate communications director for McKeil Marine, involved in arranging the sub’s transportation.

The sub is bound for the Elgin Military Museum of Naval History. McKeil said Heddle Marine, the company doing much of the restoration work on the Ojibwa, will be finishing up painting on Thursday.

She figured about 600 gallons of paint have been used to restore the submarine’s exterior prior to its long trip. “We’re looking at about a 38-hour tow, door to door,” she said.

That will include five hours from Hamilton to St. Catharines before Ojibwa begins its voyage, on a barge guided by two tugs, down the Welland Canal. That journey will take about 12 hours.

From there it is an 18-hour trip from Port Colborne to the vessel’s final destination in Port Burwell. “The exact departure time, we don’t know,” McKeil said. “We’re still finishing off the painting.”

She said the departure would depend on the weather and figured there’s a chance the sub could leave late Friday to take advantage of better conditions. But Saturday, she said, is a very good possibility, and the company wants it to be a daytime trip so Niagarans can get a look at the Cold War-era naval machine.

The submarine was originally commissioned by Britain as HMS Onyx but transferred to Canada to become the Ojibwa. She served most of her life in the North Atlantic before being decommissioned in 1998.

St. Catharines Standard


Lake level adds to crisis

11/15 - Near-record low water levels on most of the Great Lakes and harbor dredging work that needs more funding has shippers light loading cargos this season, according to Duluth Seaway Port Authority officials.

Despite very wet October weather Lake Superior water levels are four inches below last year at this time and 15 inches below its average long-term level, said Keith Kompoltowicz, chief hydrologist for the Detroit District of the Army Corps of Engineers.

Superior is better off than lakes Michigan and Huron, which the Corps treats as one, are within 1.5 inches of its record low-level, Kompoltowicz said.

Every inch counts as shippers lighten loads of a 1,000-foot lake boats by 260 to 270 tons for each inch of draft they lose due to low water levels, said James Sharrow, Duluth Seaway Port facilities manager.

A 1,000-foot lake boat, of which 13 ply the Great Lakes, can carry 65,000 tons of weight under average conditions, they lessen that by 260 tons per trip under recent conditions, which adds up to 10,000 tons they didn’t carry during the shipping season, said Sharrow.

“They make 43-45 cargos (trips) per season … and can make it up by adding two or three cargos a season,” he said.

Nearly all cargos leaving the Twin Ports are destined for harbors on the other Great Lakes requiring captains to calculate tonnage they will carry based on the least drafting conditions in the channels they will encounter.

While lake levels are lower, economic activity has risen along with traffic at the Port of Duluth-Superior. This season, the port is on track to move 38 million tons of cargo, up from 37.1 million last season, said Adele Yorde, the Port Authority spokesperson.

“There’s been a strong demand for iron ore and limestone as the world economies support increased prices for those commodities and there’s been a lot more movement of general cargo such as equipment for wind energy projects,” she said.

Less ice cover allowed the locks at Soo Locks to remain open three days more than usual at the end of the shipping season in January and opened one day earlier in March at the beginning of the season, Yorde said.

Low lake levels aggravate what the Lake Carriers Association calls “the dredging crisis” in many of the 63 federally maintained Great Lakes ports. The federal government collects a fee based on the value of waterborne cargo to pay for dredging but doesn’t spend it all on harbor maintenance.

The fee raises about $1.5 billion annually to be spent on harbor and channel dredging but only about half is spent on the intended use and the rest applied elsewhere, said Adolph Ojard, executive director of the Port Authority.

While the Federal Highway Trust Fund spends revenue generated from gas tax on highway projects and fees imposed on airline passengers funds airport projects, shippers don’t enjoy the same “equitable treatment,” said Yorde.

“We sit fine in Duluth-Superior with our channels depths, ‘salties’ and ‘lakers’ can move in our port but, we’re part of a seaway system and the smaller ports are much more silted in which makes for a challenge to delivering to them. Lakers must lighter their loads on our end so they can deliver to smaller ports,” Yorde said.

The Corps adequately funds dredging needs at the Twin Ports, said Ojard, who urged passage of pending legislation that requires the government to spend what it takes in for harbor maintenance.

As end of the 2012-13 season approaches, Sharrow says it’s been “an okay season,” compared the sharp decline in tonnage moved during the 2008 economic downturn.

The Twin Ports had averaged 40 million tons with some years reaching 46 million. Those figures will have to be reached during what the Corps forecasts as continued low lake levels for the foreseeable future.

Superior Telegram


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.

1901: The consort barge JOHN SMEATON broke loose of the steamer HARVARD and came shore on the rocks off Au Train, MI and rested in 4 feet of water. The crew was safe and the ship released at the end of the month by Reid Wrecking and went to Superior for repairs.

1909: The Canadian freighter OTTAWA foundered stern first off Passage Isle, Lake Superior when the cargo of grain shifted. The crew, while they suffered terribly, were able to reach the safety of Keweenaw Point in the lifeboats after 12 hours on the open lake in wild seas.

1915: A. McVITTIE took out the gate at Lock 12 of the Third Welland Canal leading to a washout.

1919: J.S. CROUSE was enroute from Glen Haven to Traverse City when fire was discovered around the stack. The blaze spread quickly. The ship burned to the water line and sank in Sleeping Bear Bay, Lake Michigan.

1920: The wooden hulled steamer MAPLEGULF broke her back in a Lake Ontario storm. It was considered beyond economical repair and beached at Kingston.

1931: A storm forced the wooden passenger and freight steamer WINONA back to Spragge, Ontario, and the next day the ship was found to be on fire over the boiler. The vessel was towed from the dock to protect a pile of lumber and it became a total loss.

1952: The newly built tanker B.A. PEERLESS lost power and went aground below the Detroit River Light. It was refloated on November 17.

1975: The ocean tanker GATUN LOCKS made one trip through the Seaway in 1959. The vessel was lying at Piraeus Roads, Greece, as c) SUNARUSSA when it was gutted by a fire. The hull was sold for scrap in 1977 and broken up at Laurion, Greece, beginning on April 26, 1977.

1981: The ALFRED was gutted by a fire off Benghazi, Libya, after the blaze broke out in the engineroom. The hull was scuttled 100 miles out in the Mediterranean on November 24. The ship had been on the Great Lakes earlier in the year and first traveled inland as a) ALFRED REHDER in 1972.

1994: The Turkish freighter FIRAT was blown ashore at Port Everglades, FL by Hurricane Gordon when the anchors failed to hold. The ship was a beach attraction until lightered and released on November 26. FIRAT first came through the Seaway in 1990 and was scrapped at Alang, India, in 1997, after sailing 27 years under the same name.

2007: CALUMET was damaged when it struck a wall at Cleveland while moving to the salt dock. It was sold for scrap and departed for Port Colborne two days later.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


Christening of the tug Coloma L. Warner and tanker barge Warner Provider

11/14 - Warner Petroleum Corporation and Chicago Vessel Fuelling Company announce the introduction of a new double-hulled tanker barge and tug combination unit specially designed to service the bunkering and supply needs of marine vessels calling on Chicago area and Southern Lake Michigan ports. The tug Coloma L. Warner (formerly Hannah D. Hannah) is to be re-named for Mr. Warner’s mother, who along with her husband William L. Warner, founded the family business in 1976. Mrs. Warner will christen her namesake in ceremonies at the Chicago Dry Dock November 17, 2012.

After initial purchase of the equipment, Warner spent three years investing in major rebuild, refitting, and upgrades. Northeast Technical provided the engineering and Chicago Dry Dock performed the work to configure the 70 foot tug and 290 foot barge to operate as a combination unit, uniquely designed to service the niche business of servicing ships re-fuelling needs throughout all of the southern Lake Michigan ports. The barge Warner Provider (formerly Hannah 2903) will be able to haul 700,000 gallons of a combination of heavy and light marine fuels, which Warner delivers to its client vessels as they make call to the various ports located in southern Lake Michigan.

The tug underwent a total refurbishment which included major hull frame and plate replacement to icebreaking capability with a newly constructed push knee, a complete new engine and mechanical room including new Caterpillar propulsion engines and gen-sets built Tier 3 emission standards, redesigned steering, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems, as well as remodeled crew quarters and galley. Upgrades to the helm include the latest in digital engine controls, radar and vessel tracking equipment.

Warner was intent on refurbishing its barge to an operational level that would meet and exceed current and upcoming USCG and OPA-90 standards. Adding crew safety and operational convenience was an important consideration for the upgrades. Refurbishments of the tank barge include hull frame and plate inspection and replacement, addition of a hot oil cargo heating system, new cargo transfer piping, product quality control equipment, new electrically driven cargo pumps with computer controlled metering, blending and valving, a new genset, operator’s control booth, and many crew safety items including, lighting, climate weather protection, addition of extensive slip resistant crew stairs, walkways, and handrails, and much elimination of walkway grade changes, and an electric/hydraulic crane for hose handling duties.

Management and operation of these vessels is provided by Northern Indiana Management.

Michigan based Warner Petroleum Corporation is a marketer of industrial and marine energy products throughout the Midwestern states, specializing in supply of marine fuels to the Great Fleets of the Great Lakes at every port from Cleveland Ohio westward throughout all Michigan ports and all the way to Chicago. Warner operates several marine storage terminals and docks for distribution of petroleum and liquid asphalt products.


Port Reports -  November 14

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic early Tuesday included Algosoo unloading salt at Hallett 8, American Century loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal, Burns Harbor approaching the Superior Entry bound for BNSF ore dock, Vlieborg at General Mills elevator in Duluth, Marietje Deborah preparing for a mid-morning departure from HSC and Vikingborg anchored out on the lake.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Tug Victory and Barge James L. Kuber loaded ore at the Upper Harbor on Tuesday. The pair has been shuttling ore to Essar Algoma in recent days.

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
Manitowoc delivered a load of coal at 9 a.m. Tuesday to the Grand Haven Board of Light and Power Plant on Harbor Island.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder loaded throughout the night Monday at the LaFarge aggregate dock and sailed upbound Tuesday morning on Lake Erie. The Calumet arrived at the dock Tuesday night and began loading.


Storm a net loss for Purdy's

11/14 - Sarnia, Ont. – Post-tropical storm Sandy blew more than high waves into Sarnia's Lake Huron shoreline late last month. Purdy's Fisheries had to pull out more than half of its 22 trap nets, hammered by winds that peaked at more than 120 km/h. Crews found shredded mattresses, old bicycles, a tricycle, barbed wire, sticks, branches, old tires and other odds and ends blown inside.

“Things that probably shouldn't be in the lake,” said Mike Hopko, operations manager with the fishery. Twelve of the nets were taken out because they were incapacitated, he said. There's 14 anchors on each net and the anchors were twisted into the lead and into the crib and tore all the webbing out.

In the past, a 14-foot aluminum boat with motor, and even a pet dog have been found in the massive floating box-nets, he said.

Purdy's employees will make most of the repairs, he said. Aside from billable hours, they're expecting damage costs of $10,000 to $15,000.

Each net is worth $5,000 and the fishery has about 60 of them, but hasn't deployed that many in a long time because it doesn't have the manpower, said Stephanie Purdy, fishery vice president and Hopko's spouse.

“There's never been as much damage to nets in the 10 years he's been with the fishery,” Hopko said.

Sarnia Observer


Marine Mart, Authorama on Saturday

11/14 - The Dossin Maritime Group will hold its annual Marine Mart on Saturday from 10 a.m. 2:30 p.m. at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial in Grosse Pointe Farms. Early bird admission begins at 9:30 a.m.

The annual Marine Mart is for Great Lakes enthusiasts. It features great holiday shopping and shiploads of nautical items and treasures including the following: lighthouse prints, nautical stipple ink prints, original and acrylic prints, unique nautical gifts, hand painted Christmas ornaments with Michigan lighthouses, postcards, magazines, china, souvenirs, clocks, marine art, nautical charts, maritime artifacts, boat items, nautical artifacts, nautical photographs, woodworking, lithographs, brochures, acrylic paintings, out-of-print Great Lakes books, ship models and more.

The 5th Annual Marine Authorama will be held from 10 a.m. 3 p.m. Saturday at the Great Lakes Maritime Center in Port Huron, Mich. Expected to on hand at the public event will be Dennis Hale, author of "Shipwrecked: Reflections of the Sole Survivor" and only survivor of the Daniel J. Morrell freighter disaster; contributors to the boatwatching book "Know Your Ships;" a representative for artist Robert McGreevy, author of "Lost Legends of the Lakes;" Marlene Miller; Skip Kadar; T.J. Gaffney and others. All will have copies of their publications for sale. Also, BoatNerd gear, such as hats and T-shirts, will be on sale. Admission is free and author tables are still available.


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 crewmembers.

On November 14, 1934, the WILLIAM A. REISS grounded off Sheboygan and 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 three survivors were rescued by three 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 snowstorm 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.

1922: The composite hulled freighter JOS. L. SIMPSON was upbound on Lake Ontario from Ogdensburg to Milwaukee when it stranded at Tibbett's Point. The repair bill was close to $12,000 but the vessel returned to service and last operated in 1957 as YANKCANUCK (i).

1933: The wheat laden D.E. CALLENDAR stranded in Lake Erie off Long Point and was a total loss. The hull was salvaged in 1934 and laid up at Toledo. It was taken to New Orleans during World War Two for reconstruction as a barge but the change was never registered and the hull was likely scrapped.

1933: The wooden tug FLORENCE sank off False Duck Island in a storm that brought snow, high winds and waves on Lake Ontario. All 7 on board were saved and taken aboard the barge PETER G. CAMPBELL.

1943: RIVERTON stranded at Lottie Wolf Shoal, Georgian Bay and declared a total loss. Later salvaged and repaired, it returned to service as MOHAWK DEER.

1960: ISLAND KING II was destroyed by a fire while laid up for the winter at Lachine, QC. The vessel had been built as DALHOUSIE CITY and operated across western Lake Ontario between Toronto and St. Catharines from 1911 until the end of the 1949 season before being sold and moving to Montreal.

1966: The Liberian freighter FREIDA went aground at Poe's Reef, Lake Huron, and had to be lightered by MAITLAND NO. 1. The ocean ship began Great Lakes terading as c) SEAWAY STAR in 1960 and returned as d) DEALMOUTH in 1962 and as e) FREIDA earlier in 1966.

1978: Two Collingwood built ships, the tug POINTE MARGUERITE and the self-unloader ALGOBAY, collided off Sept-Iles, QC and the former was crushed against the side of the ocean ship CIELO BIANCO and sank. Two lives were lost.

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


Port Reports -  November 13

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Twin Ports docks were busy early Monday with Great Republic in port for taconite pellets, Walter J. McCarthy Jr. loading at Midwest Energy Terminal, saltie Marietje Deborah loading at HSC elevator, and Vlieborg loading at General Mills elevator in Duluth. American Century was anchored out on the lake along with saltie Vikingbank.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio – Jim Spencer
Herbert C. Jackson loaded overnight at the NS coal dock and sailed for Detroit, where she discharged her cargo and continued on to Marquette. At Marblehead, the Interlake tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder loaded Monday afternoon and evening.


Coast Guard rescues 2 after boat capsizes

11/13 - Jerusalem Township Fire Department members returned to shore after searching for a boat that capsized on Maumee Bay that had two men on board Sunday. Jerusalem Township Fire Department members returned to shore after searching for a boat that capsized on Maumee Bay that had two men on board.

Two men were rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter from the choppy waters of Maumee Bay after a boat capsized. They were in good condition Sunday, authorities said. The men, whose names were not released, were taken by the helicopter to a nearby airport to be further assessed by EMS units, according to the Coast Guard station in Detroit.

A water rescue was initiated shortly after 12:30 p.m. Sunday after Lucas County law enforcement officials received a report of an overturned boat.

The Coast Guard was on the scene by about 1 p.m. and rescued the victims shortly before 2 p.m. At one point, authorities made contact to seek assistance from an air ambulance to try to find the boat. Spotters along the shore in Jerusalem Township off Anchor Point Road had been trying to find the boat.

Toledo Blade


Coast Guard Cutter Alder prepares for ice season

11/13 - Duluth, Minn. — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Alder, a 225-foot Seagoing Buoy Tender homeported in Duluth, commenced removing and replacing aids to navigation last week as part of the annual Operation Fall Retrieve.

Operation Fall Retrieve includes the removal or replacement of vulnerable lighted buoys with unlighted buoys better suited for ice. Moving ice, a distinguishing characteristic in the Great Lakes, can temporarily submerge a buoy or drag it off station. This destroys the buoy’s light signal equipment, rendering it useless.

The Coast Guard reminds all mariners to use caution due to the changes in the buoyage system. The crew of the Alder is responsible for removing or replacing 59 ATONs in Lake Superior and Northern Lake Michigan.

"The crew of the Alder will ensure that the Great Lake's waterways remain navigable, safe and secure to all mariners, both professional and recreational," said Lt. Cmdr. Anthony J. Maffia, commanding officer of Cutter Alder.

The waters of the U.S. and its territories are marked to assist navigation by the U.S. Aids-to-Navigation System. This system employs a simple arrangement of colors, shapes, numbers and light characteristics to mark navigable channels, waterways and obstructions adjacent to them. ATONs facilitate safe and efficient maritime activity in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway region by marking safe passage for domestic, international, commercial and recreational vessel traffic.

Aids to navigation can provide a boater with the same type of information drivers get from street signs, stop signals, road barriers, detours and traffic lights. These aids may be anything from lighted structures, beacons, day markers, range lights, fog signals and landmarks to floating buoys. Each has a purpose and helps in determining location, getting from one place to another, or staying out of danger.

The Alder, a true multi-mission platform, is one of the most advanced vessels afloat within the Great Lakes. It is capable of performing Coast Guard missions of aids to navigation, icebreaking, search and rescue, homeland security, law enforcement and marine environmental protection.


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.

1909: The steamers CHARLES WESTON and WARD AMES collided in lower Whitefish Bay. The former, which had been at anchor waiting to head downbound through the Soo Locks, ran for shore but settled on the bottom. The ship was saved, repaired and last sailed as c) SAUCON for Bethlehem Transportation before being scrapped at Hamilton, ON in 1950.

1909: JAMES H. HOYT went aground on a reef about two miles off the northeast corner of Outer Island after the engine was disabled in a snowstorm. The vessel was refloated November 29 and later became the BRICOLDOC.

1929: BRITON was wrecked in Lake Erie off Point Abino. The stranded vessel was battered for two days before being abandoned as a total loss.

1934: WILLIAM A. REISS (i) stranded off Sheboygan while inbound with 7025 tons of coal from Toledo. The ship was refloated November 17 with heavy damage and considered a total loss. 1942: H.M. PELLATT, a former Great Lakes canal freighter, was sailing as f) SCILLIN under the flag of Italy, when it was hit by gunfire from the British submarine H.M.S. PROTEUS while 9 miles off Kuriat, Tunisia, and sank.

1956: The downbound and grain-laden GEORGE HINDMAN and the upbound MANCHESTER EXPLORER collided in fog on the St. Lawrence above Lachine and both ships were damaged.

1958: LUNAN, a Pre-Seaway trader on the Great Lakes, sustained major bottom damage in a grounding on the St. Lawrence near Murray Bay. The ship was refloated, towed to Lauzon for repairs and it returned to service as b) MARIDAN C. in 1959.

1967: SANTA REGINA, the first American saltwater vessel to use the St. Lawence Seaway, put into San Francisco with boiler problems and machinery damage while headed from Los Angeles to Saigon, South Vietnam as f) NORBERTO CAPAY. The vessel was sold at auction and towed to Kaohsiung, Taiwan, for scrapping in 1969.

1971: The small St. Lawrence freighter C. DE BAILLON, better known as a) DONNACONA NO. 2 and b) MIRON C., went aground at Mont Louis and was a total loss.

1975: There was a boiler explosion on the Egyptian freighter CLEOPATRA after leaving Hartlepool, England, for Alexandria, Egypt, and 8 crewmen were severely injured with at least one fatality. The former Victory Ship first traveled through the Seaway in 1963. It was scrapped at Gadani Beach, Pakistan, in 1981.

1976: OCEAN SOVEREIGN lost steering at Sault Ste. Marie and was wedged into the wall at the Soo Locks. The rudder was damaged and the Greek saltie had to be towed to Lauzon, Quebec, for repairs. The vessel initially traded inland as a) BOLNES in 1970 and returned as b) OCEAN SOVEREIGN for the first time in 1973. It was scrapped at Ulsan, South Korea, as d) MARIA JOSE after being blown aground from the anchorage during Typhoon Vera on September 27, 1986.

1979: A steering failure put VANDOC aground at Harvey Island in the Brockville Narrows. The vessel spent time at Port Weller Dry Docks after being released.

1996: JOLLITY reported it was taking water in the engine room (Pos: 17.47 N / 119.20 E). The ship was was taken in tow two days later and reached Hong Kong on November 18. The vessel was scrapped at Chittagong, Bangladesh, in 1999.

1997: ARCADIA BERLIN visited the Great Lakes in 1971 when it was a year old. The ship was carrying bagged cement and sailing as f) ALLISSA when it collided with and sank the Ukrainian vessel SMENA off Yangon, Myanmar. The former was apparently laid up with collision damage and scrapped at Alang, India, in 1998.

2002: WILFRED SYKES was inbound with a cargo of limestone when it went aground in Muskegon Lake. Some of the cargo was lightered to PERE MARQUETTE 41 and the stranded ship was pulled free.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


Port Reports -  November 12

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. - Jim Conlon
The barge Presque Isle arrived at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. It was towed in from Sherwood Point by Selvick tugs. The tug Presque Isle went to Escanaba, as the water is not deep enough to dock in Sturgeon Bay. The barge is in for a 5-year-survey and will enter drydock this week.

South Chicago – Steve Bauer
Arthur M. Anderson was inbound to load at the south dock at KCBX and the John B. Aird was loading at Beemsterboer.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder loaded Saturday at the LaFarge dock on the Marblehead Peninsula, before sailing late for Cleveland. Sunday, the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin loaded at the NS coal dock in Sandusky. She sailed for Hamilton at mid-evening. Replacing the Martin at the coal dock was the Herbert C. Jackson. In the Pelee Passage, the Philip R. Clarke - which took aboard a partial load at the NS coal dock on Saturday - sailed upbound for Marquette, having topped off her hold overnight at Ashtabula


Great Lakes shipping future looks bright

11/12 - Sarnia, Ont. – The boss of Algoma Central says he hopes Sarnia’s harbour ends up in the city’s hands. Greg Wight, president and CEO of the Great Lakes shipping company, mentioned the city’s discussions with Transport Canada about the harbour’s future when he spoke Wednesday to the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce.

“We have a lot of ships tied up here in the winter and a large ship repair program,” Wight said following his presentation. “We are certainly interested that the lands in question stay under the control of the City of Sarnia, and we’re supporting that in every way we can.”

The federal government wants the city to take over the harbour.

“We’re working towards having it divested to the city,” said city manager Lloyd Fennell. “But we would certainly want to look after the interests of the city and the taxpayers.”

Great Lakes shipping generates $9.6 billion in economic activity in Ontario each year, supporting 64,000 jobs in the province, Wight said. Algoma’s ships account for 200 of the 800 annual visits by vessels to Sarnia’s harbour, plus the company operates Algoma Ship Repair in the city.

The ship repair business, by Algoma and other companies, generates $10 million to $15 million in economic activity annually in Sarnia, Wight said.

“These are all impressive economic benefits both nationally and locally, but like every industry, we want to continue to grow.”

St. Catharines-based Algoma has 33 ships on the Great Lakes and has ordered eight new Equinox class vessels.

It’s part of nearly $1 billion that international and Canadian ship owners are spending on new technologically and environmentally advanced vessels to work the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence waterway, Wight said.

“The future is very attractive for us and we’re really looking forward to the first of the new Equinox coming into Canada next year,” he said.

“They carry more, they go faster and they consume less fuel. You put all that together and it’s a pretty good story for us and our customers.”

Wight said the new ships are being built in China because U.S. shipyards are too expensive and no Canadian shipyards have the “capacity or interest” to build them.

Sarnia Observer


Sub to make final voyage through Welland Canal

11/12 - Hamilton, Ont. – A submarine classic from Canada’s Cold War era is set for her final journey through the Welland Canal to Port Burwell museum. HMCS Ojibwa — the country’s last Oberon-class submarine during that period — will leave from Hamilton Harbour next mid-week.

From there, she’ll make her way to a new destination at the Elgin Military Museum of Naval History on Lake Erie.

“It’s one of a kind in that it’s such a great story, a piece of Canadian history we’re proud to be part of it,” said Kathy McKeil, director of corporate communications for McKeil Marine Ltd., involved in arranging the sub’s transportation.

“She will be towed with two of our tugs, small but mighty,” said McKeil. “And we now have the sub sitting now on that barge it will be towed on.”

McKeil said a plan to set sail Thursday was delayed by the engineering team until next week, for weather and technical reasons.

It’ll be the final chapter of a re-purposing of the decommissioned vessel Elgin Military calls “Project Ojibwa.”

In May 2012, the Elgin Military Museum took possession of Ojibwa from the Royal Canadian Navy. The fooball-field log sub was secured onto a floating drydock and transported through the St. Lawrence Seaway to a ship-yard in Hamilton.

Heddle Marine Service Inc. gave the Ojibwa a facelift that included temporary transportation stands and permanent exhibition cradles. Heddle, along with with Hamilton-based tug and barge company McKeil Marine and Nadro Marine Services, are readying the sub for her final trip.

When it finally leaves, the 89.9-metre long, five-story-high vessel will be towed to Port Colborne. That trip through the canal will take 10-12 hours.

Upon her arrival after the final leg to Port Burwell between Nov. 19-21, a complex transfer procedure positions the 1,260-tonne sub onto a permanent mount at the Elgin Military Museum.

That museum is moving from St. Thomas to its new site in Port Burwell. It is expected to open in spring 2013 and to include a visitor and education center.

HMCS Ojibwa first entered service during the height of the Cold War in 1965, and was the first sub to be built to Royal Canadian Navy specifications. For 34 years, she protected our shores from Soviet submarines and was involved in many covert espionage activities.

Decommissioned in 1998, HMCS Ojibwa narrowly avoided being sold for scrap metal when she was saved from the wrecker’s ball in 2010, and donated to the Elgin Military Museum.

St. Catharines Standard


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.

1881: BRUNSWICK sank in Lake Erie after a collision with the CARLINGFORD. The wooden hulled, coal-laden steamer, made a run for the American shore but the effort fell short. Three lives were lost.

1914: The wooden steamer COLONIAL began to leak on Lake Erie and was beached in Rondeau Bay only to be pounded to pieces by gale force winds. All on board were rescued.

1967: The Swedish freighter TORSHOLM began visiting the Great Lakes as early as 1953. The ship was enroute from the Seaway to Stockholm when it ran aground near Uto, Sweden, and became a total loss.

1968: CLARA CLAUSEN, a Danish freighter, ran aground at Les Escoumins on the St. Lawrence and was abandoned. After being salvaged, the vessel came to the Great Lakes in 1970 and was rebuilt at Kingston as ATLANTEAN.

1974: BELVOIR (ii), enroute from Puerto Cortes, Honduras, to Corpus Christi, Texas, with a load of ore concentrates, struck a submerged object in the Gulf of Honduras and sank. Only 4 crew members are rescued while the other 21 were presumed lost.

1980: The former Lake Michigan rail car ferry PERE MARQUETTE 21 left the Great Lakes in 1974. It was lost on this date as the barge d) CONSOLIDATOR. It was hit by Hurricane Jean off the coast of Honduras while carrying a load of truck trailers.

2005: SPAN TERZA, an Italian freighter, first came through the Seaway in 1977 and returned as b) ANANGEL HORIZON in 1983. It was damaged on this date as d) SALAM 4 in a collision near Dondra Head, Sri Lanka, with SHANGHAI PRIDE and had to go to Colombo for assessment. The ship was repaired and eventually scrapped as e) ALINA at Xinhui, China, in 2009.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


Updates -  November 11

Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - New pictures in the Meaford and Valley Camp galleries


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 its 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 pilothouse, 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 McNichol. John was working on an unknown vessel during the Storm of 1913. The boat was captained by John McAlpine 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.

1940: The famous Armistice Day storm claims the ANNA C. MINCH, WILLIAM B. DAVOCK and NOVADOC (ii), on Lake Michigan and leaves CITY OF FLINT 32 and SINALOA aground and damaged.

1946: The former Canada Steamship lines bulk canaller LANARK was scuttled off the coast of Ireland with a load of World War Two bombs.

1977: The 380 foot, 8 inch long West German freighter GLORIA made 4 visits to the Great Lakes in 1959-1960. It went aground on the Adriatic at Sestrice Island as d) ARISTOTELES. While the 25-year old hull was refloated, it was declared a total loss and towed to Split, Yugoslavia, for scrapping.

1980: The DINIE S. suffered an engineroom fire at Palermo, Italy and became a total loss. The ship had visited the Seaway as a) CATHERINE SARTORI (1959-1967) and b) CURSA (1967) and was sailing under a seventh name. It was scrapped at Palermo in 1985

1980: CITY OF LICHFIELD stranded near Antalya, Turkey, while leaving the anchorage in heavy weather as c) CITY OF LEEDS. The ship was refloated but never sailed again and was eventually scrapped at Aliaga, Turkey, in 1984. The ship had visited the Great Lakes in 1964.

1995: JAMES NORRIS was loading stone at Colborne, ON when the wind changed leaving the hull exposed to the gale. The ship was repeatedly pounded against the dock until it settled on the bottom. Subsequent hull repairs at Port Weller Dry Docks resulted in the port side being all welded while the starboard remained riveted.

1995: The Cuban freighter AREITO had a mechanical problem in the St. Lambert Lock and had to be towed back to Montreal for repairs. This SD-14 class vessel was scrapped at Alang, India, as e) DUNLIN in 2001.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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 10

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Friday morning traffic included Kaye E. Barker outbound with iron ore pellets loaded at CN ore dock and Alpena at the LaFarge cement dock. Cason J. Callaway was expected later in the day with stone to unload at Hallett 5. Elsewhere, Great Lakes Fleet indicated that Presque Isle is expected in Sturgeon Bay on Saturday.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
The tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity was in port at Lafarge on Thursday taking on cement. Early Friday morning the Manitowoc unloaded coal at Lafarge. The barge Innovation and tug Samuel de Champlain was at anchor off Alpena all day Friday due to engine problems.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Algoma Enterprise sailed early Friday from the NS coal dock in Sandusky for Hamilton. Interlake's tug-barge combination - Dorothy Ann and Pathfinder - loaded Friday at the LaFarge Corp. Stone dock on the Marblehead Peninsula and sailed for Cleveland. Mississagi, which loaded at LaFarge throughout the day and into Thursday night, sailed after midnight for Detroit's Zug Island.

Toronto, Ont. - Jens Juhl
Friday morning Canada's largest tall ship, the 245 foot Caledonia, arrived from Lunenburg Nova Scotia. Wednesday the Captain Mathew Flinders returned from drydocking at Heddle Marine Services in Hamilton.


Coast Guard begins nation's largest buoy retrieval operation

11/10 - Cleveland - In anticipation of the coming ice season and to ensure the safety of vessels transiting the Great Lakes Basin, the Ninth Coast Guard District has begun its annual retrieval of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway System seasonal aids to navigation, the largest domestic aids to navigation recovery operation in the United States.

Operation Fall Retrieve, which includes lighted and unlighted buoys and beacons, commenced Oct. 14, 2012, with a goal of retrieving 1,282 navigational aids, and should be completed by Dec. 28, 2012. The aids, approximately half in the region, are taken out of service during the winter months due to decreased vessel traffic and to minimize damage from ice and severe weather.

The Ninth Coast Guard District's aids to navigation system facilitates safe and efficient maritime activity in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway region by marking safe passage for domestic, international, commercial and recreational vessel traffic. The Coast Guard manages 3,127 fixed and floating federal aids in the region.

The waters of the United States and its territories are marked to assist navigation by the U.S. Aids-to-Navigation System. This system employs a simple arrangement of colors, shapes, numbers and light characteristics to mark navigable channels, waterways and obstructions adjacent to them.

Aids to navigation can provide a boater with the same type of information drivers get from street signs, stop signals, road barriers, detours and traffic lights. These aids may be anything from lighted structures, beacons, day markers, range lights, fog signals and landmarks to floating buoys. Each has a purpose and helps in determining location, getting from one place to another or staying out of danger.

To accomplish the aids to navigation mission, the Ninth Coast Guard District employs six Coast Guard cutters, five Aids-to-Navigation Teams; five small boat stations with aids-to-navigation duties; the Lamplighters, civilian employees who manage the inland waters of Northern Minnesota; and Canadian Coast Guard partners and the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.

In addition, the Ninth District Coast Guard Auxiliary helps inspect approximately 3,000 privately-owned aids to navigation in the region.


Lost Mariners Remembrance webcast tonight at 6 p.m.

11/10 - This annual program remembering lost mariners of the Great Lakes will be highlighted with “Danger at Every Turn,” a presentation by Detroit Historical Society senior curator, Joel Stone. The Detroit River has been the site of hundreds of accidents that claimed the lives of many mariners. One hundred years ago, the vessel Pine Lake was a victim. Highlights Include:

• Performance by Lee Murdock, Great Lakes balladeer
• Commemoration of Captain Donald Erickson’s contributions to Great Lakes shipping
• Honor Guard escort of the memorial wreath to the Detroit River for receipt by the Honor Flotilla of Great Lakes vessels
• Lantern vigil at the Edmund Fitzgerald anchor
This event takes place at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle.

Click here to view


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.

1900: The iron package freighter ARABIAN went aground 8 miles west of Whitefish Point, Lake Superior due to heavy weather. The ship was salvaged with only minor damage. It was later part of the Canada Steamship Lines fleet and was broken up about 1939.

1903: The passenger and freight steamer ATLANTIC was destroyed by a fire on Georgian Bay enroute to Parry Sound. The blaze apparently started in the cargo of hay that had become soaked with coal oil while riding out a late fall storm off Spruce Island west of its destination.

1922: Fleetmates GLENMAVIS and GLENCLOVA were in a collision at Montreal. Both were repaired and remained as part of the Great Lakes fleet for years as ACADIAN and GEORGE HINDMAN (ii) respectively.

1936: SIR WILLIAM FAIRBAIRN was upbound in Lake Huron and ran into a fall storm that damaged 62 automobiles as part of the deckload of new Packard & Chrysler cars.

1968: MANTADOC and FRANCOIS L.D. collided in heavy fog on the Seaway and sustained considerable bow damage. Both were repaired and the former still sails as d) MANITOBA while the latter was scrapped at Alang, India, as b) CINTA in 1987.

1989: ELPIS, Freedom Class deep sea freighter, first came through the Seaway in 1978. It raised considerable ire after stranding on a coral reef off Key Largo, FL while carrying sugar to Mexico. When it was refloated on November 12, the ship was seized by U.S. Marshals until assessment of the damage to the delicate coral reef could be made. The ship was later released and survived further trading until being scrapped at Alang, India, as c) CITY OF HOUSTON, in 2001.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


Seaway Shutdown by Bright Laker

11/8 - At 2:45 a.m. Thursday the Bright Laker sheered to starboard and hit the canal bank a short distance below the lower approach wall of the Cote Sainte Catherine Lock in the South Shore Canal. From there she went stern first across the canal, perhaps attempting to back into the turning basin on the south side below the lock, but instead ran into the bank on the west side of this basin.

The tugs Ocean Georgie Bain and Ocean Intrepide were sent to the scene and pulled her off her strand. They took her across the channel to the lower approach wall of the lock where they landed at 9:15 a.m. Bright Laker proceeded up through the canal to Cote Sainte Catherine wharf No. 2 where she was secured Thursday night. Ships delayed were the Thalassa Desgagnes, Pochard, and Phoenix Sun.

Ron Beaupre


Port Reports -  November 8

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
The Joseph H. Thompson departed Lorain about 10 a.m. Thursday after unloading stone near the Henderson Bridge.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Algoma Enterprise arrived at Sandusky's NS coal dock late Thursday afternoon and began loading. Early Thursday morning, the R. Hon. Paul J. Martin completed loading and sailed for Hamilton. At Marblehead, Mississagi moored at the LaFarge Corp. dock Thursday evening and began loading.


Updates -  November 8

Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - New pictures in the Meaford gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  November 8

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 1930s, 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.

1935: WESTERIAN, better known on the Great Lakes as the famous iron package freight and passenger carrier CHINA, was scuttled off St. John's, Newfoundland, after having been used there as a salt storage barge.

1962: BAYANNA went aground in Lake Ontario near Trenton and was released by the tug SALVAGE PRINCE.

1969: A fire at West Deptford, NJ destroyed the former Canadian Pacific passenger steamer ASSINIBOIA. The vessel had arrived there, from the Great Lakes, in 1968. The remains were broken up for scrap at Bordentown, NJ in 1970.

1999: ALCOR went aground in the St. Lawrence east of Ile d'Orleans after losing steering. The ship was inbound from Venezuela with cement clinker and remained stuck until December 5. This bulk carrier first came through the Seaway as a) PATRICIA V. in 1979 and returned as b) MEKHANIK DREN in 1984. The wreck was towed to Sorel for scrapping in May 2001.

2004: The Norwegian freighter MENOMINEE hit the approach wall of the Lower Beauharnois Lock along the Seaway and received a hole in the port bow above the waterline. The ship, a regular Great Lakes visitor since 1997, was inbound for Toledo and Green Bay with a cargo of lumber. It returned to Montreal for repairs.

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 transcribed 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: Skip Gillham, 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

Sandusky, Huron and Marblehead, Ohio – Jim Spencer
The Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin was loading Wednesday night at the CS coal dock in Sandusky. At nearby Huron, the Arthur Anderson was discharging a load of aggregate at the Huron Lime Co. dock. The tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder continued loading Wednesday night at the LaFarge Corp. stone dock.

Sorel, QC. – Marc Williams
The Phoenix Sun departed Sorel Wednesday morning on their first trip under the new name for Hamilton, Ont. to load. They went to anchor Wednesday night near Montreal.


Submarine Ojibwa tow delayed

11/8 - HMCS Ojibwa, the last of Canada’s Cold War-era submarines, has been resting in Hamilton Harbour since May being prepared for her final duty as a museum in the Lake Erie tow of Port Burwell.

The HMCS Ojibwa was expected to leave the Hamilton dry dock on Thursday and be towed by tugs all the way to Port Burwell, where it will retire as a museum on the shores of Lake Erie. The tow was delayed by the engineering team until next week, for weather and technical reasons.

During the final leg of her journey, Heddle Marine, in collaboration with Hamilton-based tug and barge company McKeil Marine and Nadro Marine Services, and heavy lift and transport company Mammoet Canada Eastern Ltd. will combine forces to undertake the engineering feat of transporting her.

"The sub is a long as a football field, is five stories high and weighs 2.8 million pounds," said Kathy McKeil, director of corporate communications for McKeil Marine Limited in a news release.

"Moving the sub through the Welland canal will require a combination of detailed planning, specialized equipment and highly-skilled operators. With water levels at a 60-year low, the trip through Lake Erie is expected to be a nail biting experience. Our team will assess weather conditions to ensure a safe 18 hour transit from Port Colborne to Port Burwell. Weather will play a critical role in her journey as the waters of Lake Erie can be treacherous with rapidly changing conditions.”

It’s a conspicuous end to a storied career spent avoiding detection while tracking Soviet nuclear subs in the Atlantic Ocean, one that once saw sailors fly a broom from the mast — a symbol of the clean sweep they made of enemy targets during naval exercises.

Three Canadian Oberon-class subs formed the backbone of NATO’s Anti-Submarine Warfare force from the 1960s until the 1990s.

“We were the quietest submarines in the world,” said retired Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Jim “Lucky” Gordon, who served as a sonar man aboard the Ojibwa for more than 20 years.

“The stealth we could provide was quieter than the Americans,” he said.

The 90-metre-long, five-story-high diesel-powered sub was built to endure underwater for months at a time, said retired Rear Admiral Dan McNeil, who has volunteered as an adviser for the museum project.

McNeil says the Oberon class submarines were specially designed as Russian nuclear submarine hunters, which, unlike their prey, had the ability to shut down completely and go silent.

“The Russian subs were quite noisy at the time,” he said.

Being a silent stalker meant the submarine didn’t have a high profile during service. Its biggest moment in the public eye came during the filming of Harrison Ford’s 2002 historical submarine film, K-19 the Widowmaker, in which it filled in for the Soviet Whiskey-class submarine S-270.

The film, based on near-catastrophic events aboard an ill-fated Russian nuclear submarine, couldn’t have been farther from the real history of the Ojibwa.

Known as the “Go boat” within the submarine ranks of the Canadian Navy, the Ojibwa had a reputation as one of the most reliable craft in the fleet, McNeil said.

Commissioned in 1965 as the first submarine built for the Canadian Navy, the Ojibwa proved itself early, submerging immediately and completing a trans-Atlantic voyage from England to Halifax without surfacing once.

It was a first for a Canadian sub, said Gordon. But the Ojibwa’s exploits didn’t end there.

“We once embarrassed the Americans by coming up under a carrier,” Gordon said of an incident during naval exercises in the Atlantic in the 1970s.

With ships set up in a protective formation around the carrier actively looking for submarines, the Ojibwa penetrated the screen and scored a direct hit.

“We didn’t have to surface to attack,” he said. “We used sonar to find the enemy and close in,” he said.

The move will cap off a three-year effort by the Elgin Military Museum in St. Thomas, Ont., to save the sub, which was once destined to be sold off for scrap metal by the navy.

“What excites submariners of that era is exposure,” said Gordon. “At the time we were unknown. The Ojibwa being up there is our chance to be seen at last.”

The Hamilton Spectator


Amherst Islander

11/8 - Port Dover - The Amherst Islander had been a fixture at the waterfront in Port Dover for many years.

The Townsend family of Townsend Lumber fame recently sold the boat to a Honduran company called Plaza-Mar. The Islander departed Port Dover last week under the direction of Honduran captain Javier Tobie.

His first job was to negotiate a price for the ferry and complete the required paperwork. His second job was to prepare the boat for the 30-day journey down the Atlantic coast to its new home in Central America.

The Amherst Islander took on 10,000 litres of diesel fuel Thursday. The Canadian Coast Guard will have one last look at the boat before Tobie and his crew of three chart a course for the St. Lawrence Seaway.

“Yes, you’re not going to see it again next summer,” Tobie said. “We’re going to use it as a freighter between the islands and the mainland.”

The Amherst Islander was built in 1955. For many years, the 106-foot boat provided ferry service between Kingston, Ontario, and Amherst Island. The boat is powered by a single 680-horsepower Cummins motor.

The ferry will be renamed once it arrives in Honduras. Its new home will be Roatan Island, a mecca for tourists and retirees 37 miles from the mainland. Roatan is the largest island in the Bay of Honduras, which is located at the south end of the Gulf of Mexico.

Plaza-Mar will use the boat to shuttle stock and inventory to its stores in Honduras. It will also be hired out for general transport.

The Amherst Islander came to Tobie’s attention on the Internet. The boat has been advertised for sale there for the past several years. The price has come down over time, with Plaza-Mar agreeing to purchase it for a sum in the range of $100,000.

During his two-month stay in Norfolk, Tobie and crew have come to know the locals through area churches. Tobie became a devout Christian following a near-death experience four years ago when he was tossed into stormy seas in the Gulf of Mexico.

“I wasn’t a church-goer at the time,” he said. “But I started reciting 'The Lord is my shepherd, give me strength’ and so on. I made promises to God to become a better friend and a better father.”

As a result of the friendships he made here, local churches have loaded up the Amherst Islander with basic goods and household items that Tobie will distribute once he arrives home. Articles include clothes, shoes, beds, sewing machines, chairs, books, Bibles, religious CDs and DVDs. As well, some lucky beekeeper in Honduras will receive a surplus honey centrifuge.

“We have lots of poverty down there,” Tobie said. “Some people don’t have anything.”

Tobie, 46, is an engaging, thoughtful man who made a big impression on the people he met in Norfolk. Several stopped to wish him well Thursday as he prepared the Islander for her final voyage in Canadian waters.

“Everybody’s really enjoyed having them in town,” said Peggy Scruton, a member of the boat-building Gamble family of Port Dover.

Scruton added that Plaza-Mar got a good deal.

“The Amherst Islander is a really well-built boat,” she said. “It’s solid.”

Simcoe Reformer


Millwright Mechanic position available

11/8 - Millwright mechanic with some welding and machining experience required for fulltime position, to work in a Hamilton ship repair facility. Excellent benefits and RRSP program. Wages commensurate with experience. Please reply via email to General Manager


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.)

1981: EMERALD, the former LACHINEDOC, sank in the Persian Gulf during heavy weather while carrying steel mesh and aggregates. Nine members of the crew were missing while another three were rescued.

2007: SPIRIT OF NANTUCKET, the former NANTUCKET CLIPPER, struck an uncharted object in the Intercoastal Waterway and had to be beached. The ship was repaired at Norfolk, VA and resumed its journey to the Pacific for a new career as an Alaska cruise ship after earlier Great Lakes, St. Lawrence and East Coast service. The vessel has operated on the West Coast as c) SPIRIT OF GLACIER BAY.

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


Great Lakes Shipwrecks exhibit in Grand Rapids tells stories of 13 ships

11/7 - Grand Rapids, Mich. - “The ship is making water fast,” the note began. “We have turned around and are headed for Milwaukee.” The 1929 handwritten note, found locked away in a message box amid the wreckage of the SS Milwaukee, is just one of the artifacts on display at “Great Lakes Shipwrecks, Storms and Stories,” a new exhibit opening at Grand Rapids Public Museum on Saturday, Nov. 10.

The note, written by the ship’s purser A.R. Sadon, goes on to describe the conditions of the water and the ship and finishes with a portentous documentation, surely meant to assist with a body count: “Crew roll is about the same as on the last pay day.”

“The crew roll is important,” said museum collections curator Andrea Melvin. “They know how to identify the dead.”

Heartbreaking and eerie, the note, borrowed by the museum from The National Archives at Chicago, gives a human voice — beyond the grave — to the untold lives lost at sea on the Great Lakes.

“Growing up in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the Titanic was all I heard about,” said Melvin, who moved to Grand Rapids several years ago. “Great Lakes shipwrecks were a new subject, and I was surprised by the stories of personal tragedy, heroism, discovery and survival right here in (our region). Thousands of vessels wrecked on the Great Lakes. We zoned in on 13 stories.”

The SS Milwaukee is one of them. The railroad ferry, filled with rail cars, went down in 1929 during a huge storm. It was headed across Lake Michigan for Grand Haven.

“They didn’t have a ship’s radio and couldn’t call for help,” said Melvin. The crew had been under the assumption the ship was not sailing because of the storm — “some of the crew went to a movie theater,” said Melvin—but Captain Robert McKay decided to go; 59 people lost their lives.

“Why would you go out in such a storm?” Melvin asked, noting it was likely the pressures of the shipping industry that motivated the captain to take such a risk.

The exhibit also features items from the famed — and relatively recent — Edmund Fitzgerald, the last major shipwreck on the Great Lakes, which sank on Nov. 10, 1975. The exhibit opening coincides with the 37th anniversary of the tragedy.

Among the artifacts, “we have a lifeboat flare gun and a hurricane lamp found from a lifeboat,” said Melvin. “They were never used.”

It wasn’t until the 1970s that technology caught up with the shipwreck divers, and remotely operated underwater vehicles, commonly referred to as ROVs, were able to closely examine wrecks. For example, the SS Milwaukee showed damage to the barrier across the back of the ship, indicating a lot of waves and movement. These clues help us discover more about these “time capsules” laid to rest at the bottom of the Great Lakes.

Free with general admission, "Great Lakes Shipwrecks, Storms and Stories" is a companion exhibit to 2013’s upcoming blockbuster "Titanic" exhibit.

“It’s an intimate exhibit, but there’s a lot packed into it,” said Melvin. “There’s something for adults and children alike. We’ve worked with the video design program at Ferris State University to design two video games about the exhibit. In one of them, players can play the role of the rescuer.”

Activities, such as riding in an ROV in a tank of water, and a special talk, "Lost and Found: Legendary Lake Michigan Shipwrecks," are planned. The lecture will be by Valerie van Heest and take place at 1 p.m. in the museum’s Meijer Theater.

'Great Lakes Shipwrecks, Storms and Stories’ Where: Grand Rapids Public Museum, 272 Pearl Street NW When: Closed Monday. Open Tuesday 9-8 p.m., Wednesday-Saturday 9-5 p.m., Sunday, 12-5 p.m. Tickets: Exhibit free with general admission, $3-$8. 929-1700, 456-3977,



CAW ratify agreement with Algoma

11/7 - St. Catharines, Ont. – Local 4401 members have ratified their first collective agreement with Algoma Great Lakes Shipping Inc. after voting 85% in favor of the contract. This first agreement closes the loop on the sale of the Upper Lakes Shipping Fleet to Algoma Central Corporation in 2011.

Ratification was conducted by secret ballot mail-in vote following membership information meetings held on board Algoma's CAW represented vessels. The CAW Local 4401 Executive Committee unanimously recommended acceptance of the new agreement.

The four-year contract provides wage increases of 3% retroactive to April 1, 2011 and 2% retroactive to April 1, 2012 and minimum wage increases of 1.5% in each of the last two years of the contract. Consumer Price Index based cost of living wage protection for the 2013 and 2014 wage increases will also apply should annual average inflation rates exceed 1.5%. Employer paid comprehensive health benefits and an updated defined contribution pension plan were also maintained.

"This new contract also contains commitments by Algoma to begin renewing our aging fleet," said CAW Local 4401 President Jim MacDougall. "Job security was an important bargaining goal for our members in these negotiations and everyone was pleased that the company agreed to add three new vessels to the CAW represented side of operations."


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. Eight 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.

1885: ALGOMA hit Greenstone Rock off Isle Royale, Lake Superior and became a total loss. The were 46 casualties and only 16 on board were saved.

1887: OSCEOLA ran aground on Flat Rock Reef, Saginaw Bay, and all on board were rescued. The ship was abandoned as a total loss in December but refloated in the spring of 1888 and rebuilt

1910: WASAGA caught fire and burned off Copper Harbor while seeking shelter in a storm but all on board survived.

1921: ARAGON stranded off Salmon Point, Lake Ontario. It was released the following year but declared a total loss. The hull was sold and rebuilt and last sailed as BAYANNA in 1962.

1921: The wooden schooner barge MARY E. McLAUCHLAN sank in a storm on Nipigon Bay, Lake Superior.

1947: WILLIAM C. WARREN ran aground near Presque Isle Point, Lake Huron while downbound with grain and had to be abandoned to the underwriters. It was not released until the following year.

1969: The Norwegian tanker CATE BROVIG hit the wall while upbound at the Eisenhower Lock and had a hole punched in the hull. The vessel was headed for Duluth. The ship first came inland in 1959 and was scrapped at Split, Yugoslavia as c) STAVROS T. in 1976.

1974: IRIS had come to the Great Lakes in 1969 and 1971. It sank as d) EUROPEAN PERSISTENCE while 510 miles southeast of Bermuda after developing leaks while enroute from Tampa to Venice. All on board were rescued.

1991: The former Swedish freighter FALKON, a first time Seaway trader in 1984, sank as c) APPOLONIA FAITH off the southwest coast of Sardinia while traveling from Valencia, Spain, to Piraeus, Greece. Two lives were lost.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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 Reports -  November 6

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Michipicoten and John G. Munson loaded ore at the Upper Harbor on Monday.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula sailed for the Soo Monday morning, after loading overnight at Sandusky's NS coal dock. Tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder loaded during the day Monday at the Lafarge aggregate dock at Marblehead.


Low Great Lakes water levels predicted into 2013

11/6 - Detroit, Mich. – The Lake Michigan/Huron system is at great risk of seeing an all-time low water level in the next six months, according to statistical projections that were released Monday by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

After a winter with little snow followed by a spring with little rain, each of the Great Lakes endured a 2012 boating season challenged by low waters. The water loss has shortened the recreational boating season for many and forced the shipping industry to reduce the amount of tonnage its vessels can carry.

The numbers Army Corps officials released in their six-month forecast aren't going to reverse the trend. That forecast will include:

Lake Michigan/Huron will hover within an inch above or below of the system's all-time low of 576.4 feet above sea level set in 1964. Lake Superior will come within 5 to 8 inches of the 600.7-foot historic low set in 1925.

The lower lakes Erie, St. Clair and Ontario will all likely stay safely above their all-time lows, but will still measure far below their historical averages. Numbers from the corps will be analyzed alongside projections from Environment Canada, and a final report also will be issued today.

Corps officials stressed last week they believe the recent years of declining water levels are due to natural causes, not from manmade dredging or waterway engineering. Keith Kompoltowicz, chief of watershed hydrology, said the Great Lakes are in the midst of a down cycle that has manifested itself in the past.

"These low levels are not some new normal," he said. "We'll see levels continuing to fluctuate just as we have in the past."

While those who live and play on the lake may be changing their habits, others are more concerned at delving deeper into the whys of the water loss on the Great Lakes. Army Corps officials last week said studies have shown that manmade changes such as dredging and diversions account for only 10 to 16 inches of the annual water loss seen on Lake Michigan/Huron.

But Thursday, U.S. Rep Candice Miller, R-Harrison Township, called on the corps to review the diversion of water from the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal near Lake Michigan and its impact on lake levels.

"We must look for every possible way to mitigate the dramatic impact that this has on our economy and the environment," Miller wrote in a letter to the corps. "One factor that cannot be ignored is the diversion of more than 340 billion gallons of Great Lakes water each and every year" through the canal.

The Detroit News


Dick McNeil passes away

11/6 - Dick McNeil, a long-time boatwatcher from Saginaw, Michigan, passed away Monday afternoon. He will be missed by many.


Updates -  November 6

Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - New pictures in the Meaford gallery


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 tamarack 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). s the sun set 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 snowstorm. 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 Steamship Co.’s 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 fireproof 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.

At 10 p.m. on November 6, 1975 the newly refurbished sidewheel ferry Trillium was towed from the drydock at Ramey's Bend, Ontario, down the Welland Canal by the Canada Dredge & Dock tugs G. W. Rogers and Bagotville, arriving at Toronto on early on a foggy November 7.

1918: CHESTER A. CONGDON cleared Fort William with grain and stranded on Canoe Rock, Isle Royale in rough weather and poor visibility. The crew was rescued but the ship broke up and was listed as the first million dollar loss in Great Lakes history.

1928: A.W. THOMPSON served as a Great Lakes consort barge before going to the Atlantic in 1918. The vessel foundered 60 miles south of Brunswick, GA, enroute from Wilmington, DE to a Gulf of Mexico port.

1968: OAK HILL visited the Great Lakes for seven trips in 1961-1962. It arrived at Singapore under tow as c) AGENOR on this date with leaking in the engine room while on a delivery trip to Chinese shipbreakers at Whampoa. The vessel was resold for scrapping in Singapore.

1969: REINHART LORENZ RUSS made 22 trips through the Seaway from 1960 through 1966. It sank as b) NAIS one mile off Raffles Light, Singapore, after a collision with the Norwegian tanker BERGEBRAGD (68/80,003) and one life was lost.

1981: LA LOMA, an early and frequent Seaway trader, arrived at Cape Town, South Africa, with hull damage as e) AEGEAN SUN. The ship was traveling from China to Abidjan, Ivory Coast. It was assessed as beyond economical repair and laid up at Mombasa. The vessel was eventually sold to Pakistani shipbreakers and arrived at Gadani Beach under tow on April 18, 1985, for dismantling.

1983: EVA MARIA C., a Seaway caller in 1976, developed leaks as c) LAGADA BEACH and sank about 200 miles northeast of Aden. The vessel was enroute to Bandar Abbas, Iran, with iron and steel products.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio -Jim Spencer
The tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula - newcomers to the Great Lakes commodities trade - made their first appearance at the NS coal dock late Sunday afternoon. The pair had initially been posted to arrive at the dock about 10 days earlier, but recurring problems following a six month re-fit have kept the crew and contractors busy. The Sandusky dock crew began loading the vessel shortly after the tug and barge arrive. At the Lafarge Corp. stone dock on Marblehead Peninsula Sunday, Calumet loaded for Cleveland. She sailed at mid-afternoon.

Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
Defiance-Ashtabula departed for Sandusky around 11 p.m. Saturday night.

Oshawa, Ont. - Andre Blanchard
The saltie Emilie arrived in Oshawa early Sunday morning. Other vessels seen in port included the tug Spartan and barge Spartan II, and tugs W.N. Twolan and Jerry G.


Authorama will return to Maritime Center Nov. 17

11/5 - Port Huron, Mich. - The 5th Annual Marine Authorama will be held from 10 a.m. 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17 at the Great Lakes Maritime Center in Port Huron, Mich. Expected to on hand at the public event will be Dennis Hale, author of "Shipwrecked: Reflections of the Sole Survivor" and only survivor of the Daniel J. Morrell freighter disaster; Roger LeLievre, author of "Know Your Ships;" a representative for Robert McGreevy, author of "Lost Legends of the Lakes;" Marlene Miller; Skip Kadar; T.J. Gaffney and others. All will have copies of their publications for sale. Also, BoatNerd gear, such as hats and T-shirts, will be on sale. Admission is free and author tables are still available. To sign up, contact Frank Frisk at 810-488-2944.


Property with pilothouse for sale near Frankfort

11/5 - This is the real estate listing for a property on Crystal Lake near Frankfort, Michigan that was, at least in part, the inspiration for Marc and Jill Vander Meulen's conversion of the John W. Boardman / Lewis G. Harriman's forward cabins to a cottage in DeTour Village, Michigan. While growing up in Frankfort, Marc helped with lawn work at this cottage and admired the pilothouse on the shore. The origin of the pilothouse is unknown. Click here to view


Updates -  November 5

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  November 5

At 2 a.m. 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.

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 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.

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 shipyard 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 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 shoreside 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 downbound 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.

1885: The Canadian Pacific passenger and freight steamer ALGOMA cleared Owen Sound on its final trip with 11 passengers and headed for the Canadian Lakehead.

1897: IDAHO departed Buffalo and was caught in a wild storm on Lake Erie. The wooden passenger and freight carrier fell into the trough and only two survived. They had climbed the mast and were plucked from the crow's nest the next morning in a heroic effort by the crew of the MARIPOSA.

1940: SPARTA was wrecked near the Pictured Rocks after stranding on a reef in a heavy gale. The hull was abandoned on November 11 but salvaged in 1941 and never repaired.

1957: The Finnish freighter KORSO struck a drifting World War Two mine off Cape Mondjego, Portugal, and sank as a belated casualty of the conflict. The vessel had been built at Kingston, ON in 1942 as H.M.C.S. IRONBOUND and converted for mercantile use in 1948.

1962: EDWIN REITH, a West German salty, grounded near Tibbetts Point, Lake Ontario, and had to be lightered to P.S. BARGE NO. 1. It was released and came to Toronto to unload on November 14.

1967: The Canadian laker MOHAWK DEER, enroute to La Spezia, Italy, for scrapping, ran aground in the Gulf of Genoa near Portofino, Italy, and sank the next day.

1987: CATHARINA WIARDS sank in the Red Sea as d) TRADER after the engine room flooded during a voyage from Augusta, Italy, to China. The vessel was a year old when it came through the Seaway for the first time in 1970.

1991: OLYMPIC PEACE, a Seaway trader for the first time in 1976, arrived at Piraeus, Greece, with damage to the main engine cooling system as c) FREE PEACE. It was later seized by Banco-Hellenique and sold at auction. The ship was scrapped in China during 1994 as e) PATMOS I.

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


Port Reports -  November 4

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
For a second time in as many days, Interlake's Herbert C. Jackson was upbound for Zug Island at Detroit after taking on a partial load at the NS coal dock.

Buffalo, N.Y. - Rob Wolcott and Brian W.
The tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula were in Buffalo Saturday unloading sand. The morning started with some issues unloading the clumpy sand cargo, with the self-unloading unit shutting down numerous times. Finally the system started humming along and they were done unloading around 1 p.m. About 2 p.m. the pair started to back down the city ship canal with the help of the G-tug Washington. In a bizarre chain of events, an apparent suicide jumper jumped off the Buffalo skyway bridge that goes over the Buffalo River and Buffalo Creek, preventing the vessels from backing to the lake. Finally, around 4 p.m., the pair started to proceed with assistance from the G tug. Upon reaching the lighthouse near the north entrance, the tug and barge unit started back to the visiting ships dock with mechanical issues. Apparently the bow thruster was down and as of 9:35 p.m. they remained at the visiting ships dock in Buffalo.


Badger is home for the winter

11/4 - Ludington, Mich. – The Badger has docked and its four boilers have been shut down for the season, though work will continue Saturday to button it up for winter. Passengers on Friday’s final sailing of the season were hopeful that it wasn’t the last time the boilers would produce steam.

Lake Michigan Carferry has sought an extension permit for continued discharging of its coal ash slurry in Lake Michigan. The EPA, which accepted a permit application from LMC in August, has yet to rule on the application.

Friday night the Badger was greeted by hardy souls braving brisk winds and temperatures in the 30s. Those in cars honked in response to the arrival whistles and the Ludington police and fire department boat provided a water spray in the channel to mark the final sailing of the season.

Ludington Daily News


Updates -  November 4

Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - New pictures in the Meaford and Daniel J Morrell galleries


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 Abino 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.

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.

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 is awaiting scrapping as 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.

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.

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.

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 that 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.

In 1980 the tug LAUREN CASTLE sank while towing the AMOCO WISCONSIN near Lee Point in Traverse Bay. Engineer William Stephan lost and never recovered.

1891: The iron freighter NORTH, which had become the first ocean ship to be cut in two and brought to the Great Lakes, arrived at Collingwood to be rebuilt as b) CAMPANA for the passenger & freight trades on the upper lakes.

1898: The wooden passenger and freight steamer PACIFIC burned at the Grand Trunk Railway dock in Collingwood along with the freight sheds and their contents. The blaze had begun the previous evening and roared for hours. The vessel was valued at $65,000.

1959: WESTRIVER arrived at Halifax for repairs after an earlier engine room explosion on Lake Superior had left the ship with significant damage.

1967: PEARL LIGHT, a World War II Empire ship, came through the Seaway for one trip in 1965. It was wrecked off Vietnam as g) HABIB MARIKAR while enroute from Dalian, China, to Chittagong, Bangladesh, with bagged cement. One life was lost.

1972: INLAND TRANSPORT went aground off Garden Island Bank, near Little Current, Manitoulin Island, and received major hull damage that led to the retirement of that Halco tanker after one more trip.

1991: CARLI METZ struck the wall below Lock 2 of the Welland Canal and the vessel had to go to Port Weller Dry Docks for repairs. It had been inbound for the first time earlier in the year and returned in 1992. It was scrapped at Chittagong, Bangladesh, as d) METZ ITALIA in 2001.

1993: ZIEMIA ZAMOJSKA, while under tow, struck the raised 106th Street Bridge on the Calumet River at Chicago resulting in damage to the structure and traffic problems. The corn-laden vessel received a hole in the port bow, which was repaired at Montreal.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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

St. Marys River
Rising water levels allowed most traffic delayed by wind and low water to clear on Friday. Friday evening the Frontenac, which had been tied at the Soo Locks West Pier, headed up into Goulais Bay with the tug W.I. Scott Purvis. Frontenac was reportedly off loading cargo onto a barge to lighten her draft to allow for safe downbound passage. That left the salties Mandarin and Federal Power at anchor above the locks.

Toledo, Ohio
CSL Niagara stopped at the new intermodal dock Friday before moving up river to the Anderson’s grain elevator, where loading started immediately.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Interlake's Herbert C. Jackson sailed Friday night for Detroit's Zug Island. She loaded at the NS coal dock.


32nd annual Marine Mart Nov. 17 at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial

11/3 - Detroit, Mich. – The Detroit Historical Society’s Dossin Maritime Group presents its annual Marine Mart on Saturday, November 17 from 10 a.m. 2:30 p.m. at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial in Grosse Pointe Farms. Early-bird admission begins at 9:30 a.m.

The annual Marine Mart is a flea market designed for Great Lakes enthusiasts. It features great holiday shopping and shiploads of nautical items and treasures including lighthouse prints, nautical stipple ink prints, original and acrylic prints, unique nautical gifts, hand painted Christmas ornaments with Michigan lighthouses, postcards, magazines, china, souvenirs, clocks, marine art, nautical charts, maritime artifacts, boat items, nautical artifacts, nautical photographs, woodworking, lithographs, brochures, acrylic paintings, out-of-print Great Lakes books, ship models and more.

All tickets are available at the door. Early-bird admission begins at 9:30 a.m. and is $10 for adults. General admission begins at 10 a.m. and is $7 for adults. Children ages 12 and under are free. For more information, please call (313) 833-7938 or visit


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 barge’s bow, was run over and sunk. Three lives were lost.

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.)

1928: CANADIAN TRADER was Hull 39 of the Port Arthur shipyard. Following a sale to Japanese interests, the ship departed Seattle on this date in 1928 on its delivery voyage, still as c) GUILDA SCUDERI, and was never seen again.

1953: The tug J.A. CORNETT went hard aground about 7 miles north of Clayton, NY and was leaking badly. The vessel was eventually refloated and survived at Port Dover, ON at least as recently as 2011. It has been laid up there since 1992 and is now in derelict condition.

1965: The tug MISEFORD was towing the barge CHARLES W. JOHNSON when they were caught in a storm on the St. Marys River. The tug was pulled over on her side and rested on the bottom. MISEFORD was salvaged in the spring of 1966 and remains in service in 2012 as a harbor tug at Thunder Bay, Ont.

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


Port Reports -  November 2

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
John J. Boland and Dorothy Ann and Pathfinder have been secured at the Upper Harbor ore dock, loaded with ore, since early Tuesday morning, October 30, waiting on winds and waves from storm Sandy to subside before departing.

St. Marys River
Whitefish Bay was full with ships at anchor Thursday, with as many as 20 vessels waiting above the locks. Lower water and weather were the cause of the delay. The water level in the Rock Cut has ranged from 20-13 inches below chart datum, leaving too little water for safe transit of downbound vessels.

Green Bay, Wis. - Jake P. Heffernan
Arthur M. Anderson arrived Thursday afternoon with a load of coal, followed, within an hour, by the Alpena.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
McKee Sons came into Lorain Wednesday 4 p.m. departed Thursday at 9:30 a.m. Cuyahoga came into Lorain Thursday and passed under the railroad bridge and docked at Jonick's doc at 8:34 a.m. Lorain may be getting more ships before the season shuts down because the city is digging a large 5,500 foot by 19 foot wide sewer tunnel from 14th Street to a site across from Lorain City Hall on West Erie Ave. Lot of concrete work will need bulk materials like gravel and sand.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
It proved to be a hectic two days at the NS coal dock, as activity resumed following the three-day weekend visit of super-storm Sandy to the Great Lakes. Three freighters positioned themselves under the loading chute Wednesday afternoon and Thursday. Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin put her lines on the dock late Wednesday afternoon and sailed Thursday forenoon for Hamilton, Ont. She was immediately replaced by the Algowood, which had been anchored at the Sandusky pierhead light for nearly 24 hours. Algowood left the dock - also bound for Hamilton - Thursday night. Taking Algowood’s place was the Herbert C. Jackson. A fourth vessel was expected during the night, according to a posting released by the Norfolk Southern Railway. At the Lafarge Corp. stone dock on the Marblehead Peninsula, the Manistee loaded overnight and sailed early Thursday for Green Bay.


Lakes water level near record low

11/2 - Traverse City, Mich. – Water levels on lakes Michigan and Huron barely missed a record low in October, continuing a downward trend caused by drought and evaporation, federal officials said Wednesday.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which tracks Great Lakes ups and downs, recorded Michigan-Huron at 576.6 feet above sea level for October. That's an inch-and-a-half above the lowest point for that month since the agency began keeping records in 1918, and about 6 inches above the all-time low recorded in March 1964.

Michigan and Huron are considered one lake from a hydrological perspective because they have the same surface level and are connected at their northern ends by the 5-mile-wide Straits of Mackinac.

All the lakes were below their long-term averages for the month and lower than a year ago because of an abnormal lack of snow last winter and the hot, dry summer, said Keith Kompoltowicz, a hydrologist with the Army Corps district office in Detroit. A wetter-than-usual October that included Superstorm Sandy has made only a slight difference.

"We would need several months and several seasons in a row" of generous rainfall and snowmelt to restore the lakes to their historical averages, Kompoltowicz said.

The storm probably raised the easternmost lakes - Erie and Ontario - and perhaps gave a slight boost to Huron and Michigan, he said. But those gains could be offset by the seasonal decline that takes place every fall and winter. Levels tend to rise in spring and summer, fed by rain and melting snow.

"There's a constant battle between how much rain and runoff is coming into the lakes versus how much is leaving through evaporation," Kompoltowicz said. "This time of year, evaporation usually wins out."

Low levels have been a recurring concern on most of the Great Lakes since a sudden drop-off in the late 1990s. They cut into cargo shippers' profits by forcing them to carry lighter loads. They cause shallow water in marinas, dry up wetlands crucial for wildlife, and cause vegetation to grow on beaches.

Local officials along the coasts are pleading for stepped-up dredging in shallow ports, but a tight budget limits what the Army Corps can do - particularly for small harbors, said David Wright, operations chief for the Detroit district.

Despite recurring conspiracy theories about secret pipelines to the West or stepped-up outflows from the Chicago River, officials say the declines have been driven almost entirely by less rain and snowfall.

Additionally, milder winters have produced less ice cover, boosting evaporation. The Army Corps is scheduled to release a six-month lake levels forecast Monday.

"If we were to see a very similar winter to what we had last year ... the potential is very real for new record lows," Kompoltowicz said.

Marquette Mining Journal


Great Lakes Shipyard appoints senior buyer for purchasing department

11/2 - Cleveland, Ohio – Lisa A. Becton has been appointed Senior Buyer of the purchasing department at Great Lakes Shipyard, an affiliate of The Great Lakes Towing Company.

For over 14 years, Becton was the Senior Buyer / Special Projects Coordinator / Surplus Sales Representative of Bender Shipbuilding & Repair Co., Inc., Mobile, Alabama where she was in charge of major material and subcontract purchasing for ship construction and repair. Most recently, she was contracted by Bay Shipbuilding, Sturgeon Bay, Wis., to assist in the purchasing of high-priority new construction projects. Her certifications include Accredited Purchasing Practitioner (A.P.P.) and Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.), and she is a member of the International Institute of Supply Management.


Updates -  November 2

Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - New feature for November - the Meaford


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.

H.C. HEIMBECKER proceeded under her own power to Ashtabula, Ohio, for scrapping, arriving there November 2, 1981.

On November 2, 1948, 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 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 lifeboat 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.

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.

1912: JUNO, which had lost the barge P.B. LOCKE the previous day on Lake Ontario, arrived safely at Cobourg and then sank at the dock.

1923: The wooden steamer WESEE caught fire in Lake Erie off Middle Bass Island and burned as a total loss. The crew took to the yawl boats and all were saved.

1956: The former schooner J.T. WING, which had operated as a museum at Belle Isle in Detroit until condemned due to rotting timbers, was burned.

1981: FROSSO K., an SD 14 ocean freighter, suffered an engine room fire enroute from Vancouver to Japan. The ship was towed back to Vancouver November 15 and repaired. It first came through the Seaway in 1974 and arrived at Cartagena, Columbia, under tow, for scrapping on February 15, 1995, as e) MAMER.

1981: The West German freighter POSEIDON first came through the Seaway in 1962 and became a regular inland trader. It was abandoned, in leaking condition on this date, as e) VIKI K. in the Red Sea. There was some suspicion that the vessel was scuttled as part of an insurance fraud.

1988: PETER MISENER struck a shoal while upbound in the Saguenay River for Port Alfred with coke. There was major damage and the ship went to Montreal for repairs.

2001: AUDACIOUS stranded at Keleman Island, Indonesia, but was refloated two days later. The damage was severe and the vessel was laid up at Singapore and then sold to shipbreakers. The ship arrived at Alang, India, to be broken up, on April 27, 2002. The ship visited the Great Lakes as a) WELSH VOYAGER in 1977, and returned as b) LONDON VOYAGER in 1982 and c) OLYMPIC LEADER in 1983. It made its first inland voyage as d) AUDACIOUS in 1996 and its final call in 2000.

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


Shipping gets underway as Sandy subsides

11/1 - The lakes were steady with building traffic on Wednesday as wind and waves subsided on all lakes affected by he gale and storm force winds.

Traffic began on the lower lakes with vessels leaving their protective anchorages and heading into Lake Huron. By Monday night traffic was busy including Lake Michigan, with winds at 20 knots and waves at 8 feet on lakes Huron and Michigan.


Port Reports -  November 1

Twin Ports – Al Miller
While much of the Great Lakes area was pummeled by the outer reaches of Superstorm Sandy, the Twin Ports remained largely unaffected. Late afternoon departures Tuesday included Burns Harbors with iron ore pellets from BNSF and Paul R. Tregurtha with coal from Midwest Energy Terminal. American Courage arrived in early evening. Wednesday morning traffic included Mesabi Miner loading at CN ore dock, American Integrity loading at Midwest Energy Terminal, Pochard at CHS elevator and Copenhagen at the Duluth port terminal. USCGC Alder remains in drydock at Fraser Shipyards.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin ended her three-day anchorage off Kingsville, Ont., Wednesday and a few hours later moored at the NS coal dock in Sandusky, where she began loading. Off the Sandusky pierhead light, Algoway - which shared the weekend anchorage with the Martin and other vessels - was waiting for the Martin to depart.


Baie St. Paul due at Panama

11/1 - Canada Steamship Lines' Baie St. Paul, a new Trillium-class self-unloading laker on her maiden voyage, has a tentative ETA for Balboa, Panama, of around 4 a.m. Nov. 18. This would more than likely mean that the vessel will be transiting the Panama Canal system somewhere around that time on her voyage from the Chengxi Shipyard in China. Baie St. Paul departed her builder's yard in China on October 5 and it was expected to take the vessel approximately 50-60 days to reach Canada and eventually Montreal. Baie St. Paul was also fitted with additional reinforcements on her hull for the trip across the Pacific and these reinforcements will be removed once she arrives in Montreal.

Denny Dushane


Port of Cleveland to see three new salties

11/1 - Cleveland, Ohio – The Port of Cleveland in the next month is expected to see three new vessels making their first ever trips into the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway system to unload cargos of steel. Expected first is the new Wagenborg salty Vlieborg, which was built in 2012 and is on her maiden voyage. Vlieborg (IMO 9521863) first made a port call in Valleyfield, Quebec, unloading part of her steel cargo before entering the seaway for Cleveland. She is tentatively scheduled to arrive in Cleveland around October 31. Vlieborg is the second vessel of the Wagenborg fleet to bear that name and she is also a sister vessel to a similiar ship, the Vikingbank, which appeared on the Great Lakes/Seaway system this season. Also expected in Cleveland is Desgagnes' new Claude A. Desgagnes (IMO 9488059) making her first-ever visit to the Great Lakes. Claude A. Desgagnes is the former salty Elsborg of Panama built in 2011 and purchased by Groupe Desgagnes in 2012. She is a sistership to three other former Beluga vessels all from the Desgagnes fleet - Rosaire A. Desgagnes, Sedna Desgagnes and Zelada Desgagnes. Finally, a new Polsteam vessel built in 2012 from China is also expected to arrive in Cleveland sometime around December 1. The Skawa, from Liberia, (IMO 9521863) is on her maiden voyage and was in both Szczecin and Swinoujscie, Poland on October 27. She is due next in Hamburg, Germany on November 1 and it is likely that she will be loading a steel cargo before departing for Cleveland and her maiden voyage. The Skawa joins three other Polsteam fleetmates – Lubie, Mamry and Solina – which have traded in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway system in 2012. The Skawa however is a newer breed of vessels being built in China for Polsteam, as her size is much smaller than some of her other larger Polsteam fleetmates.

Denny Dushane


Annual Lost Mariners Remembrance in Detroit on November 10

11/1 - Detroit, Mich. – The Detroit Historical Society’s Dossin Maritime Group hosts its annual remembrance for sailors lost on the inland seas Saturday, November 10 at 6 p.m. at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum. The date marks the 37th anniversary of the loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald in the waters of Lake Superior. The event will also remember the life of former Taylor resident Captain Donald Erickson (1927-2012), who led the crew of the freighter William Clay Ford out of safe harbor that fateful night to search for any survivors of the Fitz.

This year’s Lost Mariners Remembrance will also focus on the Pine Lake, which sank in the Detroit River 100 years ago after being rammed just east of Belle Isle with loss of life. The Detroit River, once the busiest waterway in the world, has been the site of hundreds of wrecks that claimed the lives of many mariners. Congested traffic resulted in collisions that sent innumerable vessels to the bottom. Uncharted waters and shifting currents put many boats aground. Mechanical failures and human error claimed ships through explosion and fire. Society senior curator Joel Stone tells these stories a presentation titled “Danger at Every Turn.”

The evening’s activities begin with a lantern vigil at the Edmund Fitzgerald anchor, followed by a performance by Great Lakes balladeer Lee Murdock, a color guard escort of a memorial wreath to the Detroit River for receipt by an honor flotilla of Great Lakes vessels, and Stone’s program. More than 20 international maritime agencies are participating in this year’s event.

Admission is $5 for Society/Dossin Maritime Group members, $10 for guests and $25 for a family of up to six people. For more information or reservations, call (313) 833-1801 or visit our website at In addition, the event will be made available as a live webcast at for those unable to attend.

The schedule of events is as follows:
• 6 p.m. A lantern ceremony at the Edmund Fitzgerald anchor outside the museum remembers her crew on the 36th anniversary of the ships sinking.
• 6:20 p.m. Lee Murdock performs as guests enter the museum.
• 6:50 p.m. Assembly of the Lost Mariners honor guard, including members of the United States Coast Guard, Canadian Coast Guard, International Shipmasters Lodge #7, Apostleship of the Sea Port of Detroit, Lake Carriers Association, Mariners Church of Detroit, Ontario Provincial Police Commissioners Pipe and Drums, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Royal Canadian Armored Corps, and the U.S. Navy Bugles Across America. The honor guard will be escorted by bagpipers and a bugler to the rivers edge with the Lost Mariners memorial wreath.
• 6:58 p.m. Reading of lost crew names by Kathy McGraw of the Dossin Maritime Group with a bell toll for each name.
• 7 p.m. 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, the Windsor Police Department service boat Julian Fantino, a Detroit Police Department search and rescue vessel, the Detroit Fire Department’s fire boat Curtis Randolph and the mail boat J.W. Westcott II.
• 7:03 p.m. Reverend Paul Innes, acting rector of Mariners Church, offers a prayer to dedicate the memorial wreath, followed by Fr. Russell Kohler, pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Corktown and chaplain of the Port of Detroit, with a prayer for the lost mariners.
• 7:05 p.m. The memorial wreath is passed from shore to the U.S. Coast Guard vessel followed by a playing of Taps on the river with a Canadian echo of Last Post.
• 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.
• 7:25 p.m. The program continues inside the museum with a tribute to Captain Erickson and Stone’s presentation of “Danger at Every Turn.”
• 8:10 p.m. The event concludes with a memorial prayer and benediction by Rev. Innes, followed by Lee Murdock’s rendition of Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald and a video collage of the ship’s history. Special thanks to the Canadian Shipowners Association and the Lake Carriers Association for sponsoring the event.


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 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).

1907: WILLIAM A. REIS settled on the bottom of the St. Clair River following a collision with the MONROE C. SMITH. It was finally refloated for good on December 7 after several earlier efforts were short lived. The former last sailed as SASKADOC in 1966.

1908: TELEGRAM, a wooden passenger and freight carrier, stranded at Horse Island, Rattlesnake Harbour, Georgian Bay. The ship caught fire when the stove upset and the vessel was a total loss. All on board were rescued.

1912: The barge P.B. LOCKE, under tow of the JUNO, was lost in a storm on Lake Ontario enroute from Pointe Anne to Toronto.

1921: The Canadian wooden freighter CANOBIE, a) IRON KING received major storm damage on Lake Erie and arrived at Erie, Pa., in a leaking condition. The ship was stripped of valuable parts and abandoned. It later caught fire and subsequently scuttled about 2 miles offshore.

1924: GLENLYON stranded at Menagerie Island, Siskiwit Bay, Lake Superior while enroute to Port Colborne with 150,000 bushels of wheat. It had been seeking shelter in a storm but grounded as a total loss and then sank over the winter. All on board were saved.

1929: KEYSTATE and the schooner MAGGIE L. collided in the St. Lawrence near Clayton, NY and the latter was lost.

1956: JAMES B. EADS and fleetmate GREY BEAVER were in a collision in western Lake Ontario and both received bow damage.

1965: High winds blew the Taiwanese freighter KALLY aground on a mud bank at Essexville, MI while inbound to load a cargo of scrap. The ship was released the next day.

2000: The Panamanian freighter OXFORD was only two years old when it came through the Seaway in November 1984. It got caught in typhoon Xangsene, as d) MANILA SPIRIT, on this date in 2000. The ship, still flagged in Panama, was driven aground and then sank off Hualien, Taiwan. One crewman was apparently able to swim to shore but the other 23 sailors were missing and presumed lost.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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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