Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News ARCHIVE

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Today in Great Lakes History - November 30

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

On November 30, 1981 the A.H. FERBERT (2) was laid up for the last time at the Hallett Dock #5, Duluth, MN.

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, Que. where she was cut down to a barge for off-Lakes use.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Today in Great Lakes History - November 29

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 travelling about 20 miles behind the Morrell and made it to the Lime Island Fuel Dock in the St. Mary's River where cracks were found in her deck; the Townsend proceeded to Sault Ste. Marie where she was taken out of service. The Townsend sank in the Atlantic on October 7, 1968, while being towed overseas for scrap.

E.B. BARBER was laid up for the last time at Toronto, Ont. on November 29, 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, MI 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 GLT tugs AMERICA and OHIO.

The SYLVANIA was in a collision with the DIAMOND ALKALI in the Fighting Island Channel of the Detroit River on November 29, 1968 during a snow squall and received a new bow as a result.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Twin Ports Report

The Algoma fleet was well-represented in the Twin Ports Nov. 27, with Agawa Canyon unloading salt at Cutler-Magner dock, Algoville loading at Cargill B1 and Algosound loading at Elevator S.

Also on hand for grain are the familiar salties Mina Cebi, anchored on the lake until going into Harvest States; Olympic Mentor at Harvest States; Lake Carling in the Harvest States layby berth; Auroa Topaz at Peavey; and Bergen Bay at AGP.

Reported by: Al Miller

Welland Canal celebrates 169th anniversary

(St. Catharines, Ont.) - November 26, 1998 - Guy Veronneau, President of the newly-formed St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. today discussed the importance of Canada's inland water transportation system at "William Hamilton Merritt Day", as the Welland Canal, Canada's oldest continuously operated transportation facility, celebrated its 169th birthday. Recent surveys have indicated that the Welland Canal and marine-related services generate $220 million annually in the Niagara region.

Ceremonies at the Welland Canal Centre in St. Catharines recognized the M.V. Algowest, Captain Almer Strong of Midland, Ont., and Chief Engineer Stefan Danielski. The upbound ship re-enacted the schooner the Ann & Jane, the first vessel to transit the canal, doing so over a three-day period, November 27-29, in 1829. The Algowest was upbound with a cargo of iron ore for delivery to Bethlehem Steel in Indiana.

Since the historic 1829 event pioneered by Canada's Father of Transportation, William Hamilton Merritt, a series of three additional enlarged canals have been built to encourage and accommodate Canada's economic development.

"Long before railways and hard-surface roads existed anywhere in Canada, the Welland Canal which we recognize on Merritt Day, was operating and serving Canada's development, and this ceremony recognizes that legacy," said Carol Pugliese, President, Welland Canals Foundation. Bulk cargoes ranging from ore to grain economically moved through the canal on 730-foot ships are responsible for creating thousands of jobs across Canada.

This significant annual marine commemoration is organized and co-ordinated by the Welland Canals Foundation in association with the Niagara Marine Group, representative of shipping and marine services. The group includes Algoma Central Marine, Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering, Fraser Ship Repair, Port Weller Dry Docks, the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp., Seaway Self Unloaders, and Upper Lakes Group Inc.

Employment opportunities in the marine industry were featured during an information/education seminar coordinated by Georgian College Marine Technology and Marine Navigation programs. About 50 students from Holy Cross and Laura Secord secondary schools participated in the seminar following the dockside ceremony.

Reported By: Laura Bruce

Today in Great Lakes History - November 28

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 November 28,1976 to load coal at Conneaut, Ohio for Nanticoke, Ont.

On November 28, 1983 while upbound 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 was launched November 28, 1942 she would be renamed b) SEWELL AVERY

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

The BENSON FORD (2) was renamed e) US.265808 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 (4) arrived at the Fraser Shipyard, Superior, WI 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 Royal in Lake Superior during a major storm on November 28, 1905 (the same storm that claimed the steamer MATAAFA).

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Twin Ports Report

Thanksgiving Day was busy on the Twin Ports waterfront. Six grain berths were occupied, and although some were idled by the holiday, others were busy loading. For instance, Federal Fuji was taking on grain at AGP in Duluth and Aurora Topaz at Peavey in Superior also appeared to be loading. Tug-barge Atlantic Hickory/Sarah Spencer was unloading at the General Mills elevator in Duluth. Other docks also were busy, such as the DM&IR ore dock, which was loading Joseph L. Block.

Also on Thursday, more demolition took place at the former Cargill D grain elevator. A headhouse and several damaged silos which did not come down last Sunday were brought down Thursday afternoon. Of the large C and D elevators and a large annex of silos, only half the C terminal and the headhouse remain standing. Some debris from the D terminal appears to be hanging over the dockface into the port terminal loading slip, but for the most part it appears that virtually all the concrete came down on land as intended.

Reported by: Al Miller

Today in Great Lakes History - November 27

The ALGOSEA entered Lake service as a self-unloader for the first time with salt loaded at Goderich, Ont. and passed downbound in the Welland Canal November 27, 1976 for Quebec City.

The AVONDALE (2) was condemned and was not allowed to carry cargo after she arrived at Toledo, OH on November 27, 1975 to load soya beans.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

McGiffin Arrives

The McGiffin entered Poet Weller Dry Docks yesterday at 15:21hrs for repairs to the Kort tube.

Reported by: Roger Tottman

Today in Great Lakes History - November 26

The 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

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

McGiffin Departs Nanticoke

The winds finally calmed and two McKeil tugs got underway at around 0700 hours yesterday morning from the Nanticoke anchorage with the J.W. McGiffin in tow. Destination was the Welland Canal, Port Colborne.

Reported by: Dave Otterman

News From the Seaway

The yacht LA BARONESSA is expected downbound in the Seaway today Nov. 5. According to the pilotage office, she is not making a call in Montreal.

Another ship on her one way only Seaway passage lately was the ferry SANDY GRAHAM upbound at St.Lambert lock during the night of Nov.18/19. She was later reported in the Welland Canal. I do not know her final destination and who bought her. According to the register "Merchant Vessels of the United States", 1989 edition, she was built in 1957 at New Bern, N.C., is 194 gr.tons and has a length of 120.2 ft.with owners listed as Dept. of Transportation, Norfolk, Virginia.

With the expected passage of the Estonian-flag bulker ALEKSANDER KOLMPERE upbound at.St.Lambert lock on Nov.24, the total number of new salties' names in the Seaway reached the mark of 100, about a month before its closure. The tally for the whole year in 1997 was 77, not counting the passage of the Mexican-tanker Pacifica I, formerly the Reiss Marine which exited the Lakes via the New York State Barge Canal after transiting the Welland Canal.

Reported by: René Beauchamp

La Baronessa spotted in the Seaway

At 3:30pm yesterday, La Baronessa passed under the 1000 Islands International Bridge between Clayton and Alexandia Bay, N.Y.

Joan Baldwin reports that she is a very impressive sight. A splendid looking yacht!

Reported by: Joan Baldwin

Car Ferry catches fire in St. Clair River

A story in the Port Huron Times Herald reports that the U.S. Coast Guard Station at Port Huron responded to a fire aboard a car ferry Sunday. "We received a call of smoke in the engine room at 9:45 a.m.," said Boatswains Mate 3rd Class Jason Bartholomew. The 65-foot ship owned by Island Ferry Services was headed to Mackinaw City, but was forced to make an emergency stop on the Canadian side of the St. Clair River in Courtright. BM3 Bartholomew said two crewman were on board, but no one was injured. The Courtright Fire Department extinguished an electrical fire.

Reported by: Andrew Severson

Middletown visits Indiana Harbor

The Steamer Middletown made a rare visit to Indiana Harbor yesterday. The Middletown docked at LTV steel with a cargo of ore from Escanaba. The steamer looked immaculate.

Reported by: Gary R. Clark

Cross Lake Service

Two years ago this December Captain Ihab Shaker made History by being the first operator to introduce cross-lake Ferry services on Lake Ontario since 1981.

Today, due to a number of factors the line is no longer in business. This is a sad end to a promising project, but the story continues with other operators who intend to make a lasting impression on the Lake Ontario Ferry Market.

Operators like Waterways Transportation Services and Hydrofoil Lake Jet Lines prepare for second seasons with expanded service.

The cross-lake Industry continues to look promising for other operators like Waterways Transportation Services and Hydrofoil Lake Jet Lines aas they prepare for second seasons with expanded service.

A new Company, Lake Ontario Fast Ferries, intends to introduce a car ferry Catamaran between Toronto and Rochester, NY, in late 1999.

Reported by: Corner House Imaginations

Iron Ore Slump Continues; Record Season In Jeopardy

Battered by dumped foreign steel, American mills again reduced their iron ore requirements and as a result, U.S.-Flag carriage on the Great Lakes fell behind last year's pace for the third month in a row. Iron ore loadings in U.S. bottoms in October fell 4 percent to 5.9 million tons and produced a 1 percent decrease in total U.S.-Flag carriage. With this third straight fall-off, the U.S.-Float is now only 2.6 percent ahead of last year's pace and what seemed certain to be a new modern-day record season is now becoming a question mark.

The coal and stone trades remained at last year's levels, and for the season, stone is a healthy 6.6 percent ahead of last year's end-of-October tally (26.3 million net tons versus 24.7). The cement trade in U.S.-Flag lakers is up roughly 110,000 tons.

The U.S.-Flag salt trade is experiencing one of its best seasons in recent years. Loadings topped the 1 million ton mark in October and with two months of navigation yet to go, will surely reach its highest level this decade.

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association

Christmas Ship Concert by Lee Murdock

The 7th Annual Christmas Ship Concert: featuring Lee Murdock and the Blue Water Band
Saturday, November 28, 1998, 8:00 p.m. (Thanksgiving weekend)

Lund Auditorium Theater
Dominican University (formerly known as Rosary College)
7900 W Division St
River Forest, IL … just west of Chicago

Tickets: $12.00, available at the door, [Plenty of seating - bring a friend] or by phone: 708-524-6942 (Automated box office)

Click here for more information

Correction: Accident at Port Colborne

It was reported Monday that the Fednav boat lost power while inbound at Port Colborne. This report was incorrect and the vessel did not lose power. Still no word on what caused her to hit the wall.

Today in Great Lakes History - November 25

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

On November 25, 1947 the b) CAPTAIN JOHN ROEN was renamed c) ADAM E. CORNELIUS (2).

ROBERT C. STANLEY was laid up for the last time November 25, 1981 at the Tower Bay slip, Superior, WI.

CITY OF MILWAUKEE was launched November 25, 1930

On November 25, 1905, the Joseph G. Butler, Jr. entered service, departing Lorain, Ohio for Duluth on her maiden voyage. The vesselreceived damage in a severe storm on her first crossing of Lake Superior. This vessel was repaired and re-entered service; she was renamed Donald B. Gillies in 1935 and Grovedale in 1963. She was sunk as a dock in Hamilton in 1973 and finally sold for scrap in 1981.

Data from: Jody Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

McGiffin at Anchor

As of Monday, the J.W. McGiffin was still at anchor off Nanticoke. On Thursday, November 19th her Kort nozzle was found in need of repairs. Divers examined her at the Nanticoke Generating Station on Thursday and then on Friday evening she was towed to the Nanticoke anchorage by the tugs "VAC" and "WELLAND." The nozzle had been secured with cables and turnbuckles for the tow.

The vessel has been there ever since, awaiting a lull in the weather so that McKeil tugs can tow her to a dock for repairs.

The tug "Evans McKeil" has been in Nanticoke since Saturday morning with another tug from McKeil due when the weather breaks.

Destination is not confirmed although radio traffic has mentioned Erie PA and Port Weller. The McGiffin is scheduled to enter Port Weller Dry Docks this winter to have her forebody replaced.

Winds in Long Point Bay yesterday afternoon hit 48 knots.

Reported by: Dave Otterman

Elevator Demolition Continues

Demolition continues on the former Cargill C and D grain elevators in Duluth. On Nov. 22, workers brought down the entire D elevator (across the slip from the port terminal) in a series of explosions that blew out the bottoms of the silos. Several damaged silos and a portion of the head house remained standing on Nov. 23. Last week, on Nov. 15, several damaged silos on the C complex that failed to collapse entirely when blasted last summer, were brought down with additional blasting. One damaged silo remains standing there. The contractor is obligated finish razing the elevators and grade and level the site by August. The Seaway Port Authority of Duluth reportedly has several companies interested in the site as a bulk terminal.

Reported by: Al Miller

Huron Ore Dock Reports Recent Pellet Arrival

On November 3, Wheeling & Lake Erie Ry. Received 20,169 gross tons of Royal Empire pellets and 6,129 gross tons of Empire pelets at its Huron Ohio ore dock on Lake Erie, delivered by the mv. CHARLES E. WILSON for shipment to Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Company, Steubenville, Ohio. On November 5, the mv. JOSEPH H. THOMPSON delivered 19,731 gross tons of Royal Empire pellets also destined for Wheeling-Pittsburgh.

Reported by: Dave Wobser, From Skillings Mining Review

Today in Great Lakes History - November 24

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 when she ended up 25 miles off course. The damage to the vessel was nearly $2 million, and she was repaired at Thunder Bay before the start of the 1991 season.

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

The ROSEMOUNT (2), stored with coal, inadvertently sank alongside CSL's Century Coal Dock at Montreal on November 24, 1934.
The THOMAS F. PATTON was launched November 24, 1945 as a C4-S-A4 cargo ship for U.S. Maritime Commission (U.S.M.C. Hull #2370) as a) SCOTT E. LAND.

PRINDOC (3) was launched November 24, 1965

Data from: Jody Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Accident at Port Colborne

Fednav MV Spar Opal grounded in Port Colborne @ 0845 on Sunday. She was hung up on the ledge and needed 2 tugs to free her. The vessel struck the wall just past the Port Colborne piers and the Maple Leaf Mills. It is unknown what caused her to hit the wall.

She proceeded to Wharf 16 in Port Colborne for further inspection by Seaway officials. No word on the damage.

The Malissa Desgagnes was waiting on the Fuel Dock, Algosound was just above Lock 8 upbound delayed as well as several other lake boats and deep sea ships in the canal waiting for the shipping lane to open.

Traffic resumed after the boat tied up at wharf 16.

Reported by: J. J. Van Volkenburg and M. Foster

Gale Warnings

Sunday Morning 11/21, Gale warnings were issued for upper and lower Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie. They will remain in effect till sometime Monday. At the entrance to St. Clair River near Sarnia/Port Huron several ships have taken anchor to wait out the weather.

The PAUL R. TREGURTHA downbound from Lake Huron arrived on the river at 11:40am, enroute for the Detroit Edison - St. Clair Plant. The TREGURTHA reported to an upbound vessel the severity of the winds, and the upbounder responded by dropping anchor once out in the bay. Rolling whitecaps and high winds were present all day along the river and water levels at Gibralter were quite low. An ANDRIE tug & barge sought shelter at the northern Recorse dock in St. Clair, and the ALGOEAST stayed tied up at IMPERIAL.

John Harris notes that for boat watchers it was a great picture taking day, as ships had plenty of bow spray from the high waves created by the strong winds.

Reports from Andrew Severson had 5 salties waiting for upbound pilots in the anchorage off of buoys 11 & 12 in Lake Huron. Also joining them later that day were the CALCITE II and the ALGOVILLE waiting for the South Westerly gales to calm down.

Reported by: John A. Harris and Andrew Severson

Twin Ports Report

Grain traffic in Duluth-Superior has been brisk in recent days, with salties continuing to arrive for cargoes. Vessels continue to load on the weekends and into the evenings. On Nov. 22, Canadian Provider was at Harvest States 2, Olympic Mentor at Harvest States 1, Lake Michigan at Elevator S, Kinsman Independent at layby at General Mills, Aurora Topaz anchored on the lake waiting for a berth, Algocen arriving for Harvest States 2 and Alexander Suraynov (sp?) departing AGP. On Nov. 23, Montrealais is due into Cargill B1 and Bergen Bay is expected, but no dock is announced at present.

Alpena arrived Nov. 21 about midday for what will probably be one of the last cargoes of the season for the LaFarge terminals. It departed Nov. 22.

Reported by: Al Miller

Today in Great Lakes History - November 23

The GRAND HAVEN was brought back to the Lakes and locked upbound through the Welland Canal on November 23, 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.

After discharging her cargo, the SAMUEL MATHER (6) proceeded to De Tour, MI laying up for the last time at the Pickands Mather Coal Dock on November 23, 1981.

In 1987 the ROGERS CITY (2) was towed out of Menominee, MI for scrapping in Brazil.

STADACONA (3)'s sea trials were completed on November 23, 1952 and was delivered to CSL the next day.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Kinsman Independent Stuck in Buffalo River

A combination of wind and shifting current have the Kinsman Independent stuck under the Ohio St. Bridge on the Buffalo River at 3pm on the 15th.

The tug Mississippi is on her bow and trying to help her make the 45 degree turn under the lift span. The current can run one direction on the surface and be going the opposite way on the bottom. The wind has a tendency to push a boat around as it swirls between the industrial buildings.

The Reinauer is currently due to depart Mobil but can't move until the Indy is out of the channel and docked at ADM.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski

Atlantic Erie - Update

The Atlantic Erie was able to make some type of repairs and head downbound late Saturday Night.

When the Erie came to a stop on Saturday her bow was resting on the bank of the river. At 2:45 Sunday afternoon she was tied up at the ADM dock in Windsor undergoing inspection by a diver. The vessel reported that she was finished with dive operations at 9:48pm EST.

It is unknown what the diver found and the vessel remains at the dock.

Reported by: N. Schultheiss

Popular Marine Mart Set For December

Great Lakes Maritime Institute Marine Mart, December 5, 1998 (1st Saturday in December) Harbor Hill Marina foot of St. Jean St. Detroit, MI.

The Harbor Hill Marina will again be hosting the annual Marine Mart from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Marine Mart features dealers selling books, photographs, postcards, art work and artifacts. For more information call (313) 852-4051 or e-mail

Click here for an interactive map to the marina

Look for me at the Marine Publishing Booth.

Today in Great Lakes History - November 16

The tug portion of the Presque Isle was upbound in the Welland Canal on November 16,1973 en route to Erie to join with the barge.

FRED R. WHITE, JR. was launched in 1978.

In 1909 the JAMES S. DUNHAM 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.

Steamer SIR JAMES DUNN and GEORGIAN BAY, in tow of the Panamanian tug McTHUNDER arrived at Aliaga, Turkey for scrapping on November 16, 1989, 129 days after departing Thunder Bay.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Atlantic Erie Loses Steering

12:15 pm, Saturday afternoon the ATLANTIC ERIE reported a malfuncion when she lost steering on the St. Clair River while traveling downbound near Stag Island. She reported to other vessels in the vicinity that she was dropping anchor.

Eventually the ATLANTIC ERIE came to rest on the Canadian side of the river facing the opposite direction of her original downbound direction, leaving enough room in the channel for the other vessels to pass.

The KINSMAN INDEPENDENT following close behind, check down until it was safe to pass the ERIE. At the time of the incident there were three downbound and four upbound vessels.

Reported by: John A. Harris and Larry Leverenz

Today in Great Lakes History - November 15

The cargo mid-body of the then under construction GEORGE A. STINSON was towed to Lorain in 1977.

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

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

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

SIDNEY E. SMITH, JR. was launched November 15, 1905 as the straight deck bulk freighter a) W.K. BIXBY.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II

This is a small sample, the book includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

A Rare Call on the Port of Toledo

The sandsucker "St John" made a rare apperance to Toledo on Thursday stopping at the Toledo Ship Repair Drydocks. This was the first time the Erie Sand & Gravel hopper dredge has been to Toledo since Khulman Cement shut down there sand dock in 1994

Reported by: D. Ocean

Last Vessel to Leave Anchorage

The last vessel to clear Thunder Bay after the big storm was the tug and barge Joseph H. Thompson and Jr. They arrived on the night of November 9th and departed just before noon on the 12th. She was loaded with ore for a lower lakes port.

Reported by: Ron Konkol

Winds Recorded at Port Colborne

On board the Canadian Century is a very modern device for measuring maximum winds. Sometime Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning, the device recorded winds gusting at 92 knots. Was this a fall storm or hurricane?

Reported by: Rob Kennedy

Today in Great Lakes History - November 14

The ALGOBAY departed Collingwood light for Stoneport, Mich. to load stone for Sarnia, Ont. Departing Sept Iles, Que. on November 14, 1978 with an iron ore pellet cargo for Sydney, N.S., she collided with the 90,000 ton Italian-flag ore carrier CIELO BIANCO. The Collingwood-built tug POINTE MARGUERITE, which was towing the big salty, was unfortunately crushed between the two vessels and sank, killing two crew members.

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

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

The THOMAS WILSON (2) was launched November 14, 1942.

The MESQUITE was launched November 14, 1942 at a cost of $894,000.

On November 14, 1952, the Sparrows Point (now Buckeye) entered service.

Data from: Jody Aho and Ahoy & Farewell II

This is a small sample, the book includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Report from the Burns Harbor

Burns Harbor was one of the few vessels under way on the Great Lakes during Tuesday's storm, according to the Duluth News-Tribune.

Ed Gaynor, the boat's second mate, said the vessel was able to stay ahead of the storm's heaviest blasts and was aided by winds that switched or subsided at crucial times.

``We had a following sea all the way and we rode it real well,'' Gaynor said Wednesday in ashore-to-ship interview with the newspaper. ``We kept figuring we were about five hours ahead of the real blow, just a hair ahead. It worked out great. I couldn't believe it.''

The Burns Harbor recorded 15-foot waves and wind gusts up to 52 mph. The boat arrived at the Superior Entry at 5:32 p.m. Tuesday. As it arrived, winds subsided, enabling it to enter port through the tricky channel.

``We were able to scoot right in,'' Gaynor said. ``Everything was timed just great. We just happened to be in the right spot all day. The boat wasn't pitching or rolling or nothing.''

Burns Harbor took on a load of taconite at the Burlington Northern dock and pushed back out onto Lake Superior at 4:52 a.m. Wednesday.

Reported by: Al Miller

Saginaw River Drops 50 Inches

Fierce winds blew the water out of the Saginaw River, dropping it to fifty inches below the normal charted depth.

The M/V Wolverine was tied up at the Wirt Stone Dock with the Coast Guard closed the river because of the low water. The Princess Wenonah, a small car ferry converted to a bay excursion boat, moored and with a severe list. The EPA vessel Lake Guardian was also in port and tilting somewhat, along with its companion, the M/V Hydra.

In Bay City, visible were the remains of several old ships from the Lumbering days. The vessels were abandoned and eventually sank or burned to the waterline. The remains were in full view Tuesday and Wednesday, mostly near Veterans Memorial Park.

Reported by: Dave Wood

Storms Effect on Port Stanley

This week's storm found all of Port Stanley's fishing boats tied up do to heavy winds in the harbor. A few of the vessels tie up had their lines break. A four foot swell had built up in the bottle neck of the Harbor. The Port Stanley fire department was call out to the drowning alarm system on the West Pier, it seemed that the waves opened up the lids and caused the alarms to go off.

Reported by: Richard Hill

Materials Needed

The S.S. Milwaukee Clipper is currently seeking donations of the following steel materials for a second ramp to the ship:

Quantity Description
6 6x 8.2 HR Channel 20 feet
20 2x 2x 1/4 HR Angle 20 feet
8 3" Grate x - 48" x 96"
2 3x 3x 1/4 HR Angle

A local supplier quoted $934.80 for purchase of these items. We hope to receive them via donation or reduced cost.

The S.S. City of Milwaukee is looking for the following items after early November's storm. A group of 5 volunteers helped keep the ship at the dock Tuesday and Wednesday. Several cables snapped during the storm.

Big Cable Clamps-2 Dozen needed
1 1/4 inch cable

If you would be interested in donating to either group, please contact George Micka at (616) 759-6328 (phone and fax). We would be able to arrange pick up of the items.

Today in Great Lakes History - November 13

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

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

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

The GEORGE HINDMAN (2) was in collision with the British salty MANCHESTER EXPLORER on Lake St. Louis, above the Lachine Lock in 1956.

J.P. MORGAN, JR. was launched November 13, 1909.

The HOMER D. WILLIAMS was involved in a collision with the steamer OTTO M. REISS at Duluth November 13, 1917.
In 1984 the WILLIAMS was towed to Thunder Bay, Ont. by the TUG MALCOLM for dismantling.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Cement Carrier to Lay-up

According to the Port of Milwaukee's web page, the ILM cement carrier Paul H. Townsend is due in for lay-up some time today.

With this report, I start the 5th annual Winter Lay-up List

Reported by: James Zeirke

200 Million Tons

Since opening in 1976, the Midwest Energy Terminal in Superior has shipped more than 200 million tons of low-sulfur western coal. The dock broke the 200-million-ton mark Nov. 8 when it loaded 16,017 tons aboard the Joseph H. Thompson. The Thompson was the 4,068th vessel to load at the terminal, which has the highest vessel-loading rate on the Great Lakes. The terminal this year expects to move 16 million tons of coal, up significantly from the 14.66 millon tons shipped last season.

Reported by: Al Miller

Cargill buying Continental Grain operations

Cargill Inc. announced 10 Nov. it will buy the grain unit of Continental Grain Co. Cargill, based in Minnetonka, Minn., will get 65 facilities and other equipment worldwide as part of the deal, assets that store, process and transport grain. Those assets include six major export terminals, 27 river terminals and 32 buying stations.

Cargill, the largest private company in the United States, did not disclose terms of the deal, though some analyst estimates have placed it at more than U.S.$300 million.

Cargill handles about 20 percent of U.S. grain exports and Continental Grain has 15 percent. The former Continental Grain operations will benefit through Cargill's plants that mill and refine grain and Cargill will gain added flexibility and productivity.

Continental Grain operations were the base of a family business founded in Arlon, Belgium, in 1813. The headquarters later shifted to Paris before moving to its current head office in New York in World War II.

Reported by: Steve Schultz

From the weekly electronic publication "The World Maritime News"

Lines part, Anchors drag

Winds were so severe Tuesday that Kinsman Independent broke two mooring lines, and the museum ship William A. Irvin pulled out one of its anchors that was buried in the soil.

Duluth set a record low for barometric pressure at 2:35 p.m. Nov. 10 when it fell to 28.47 inches. The previous record was 28.55 inches set on Jan. 11, 1975.

Lake Superior wind speeds Nov. 10

Devil's Island (Apostle Islands)
8 a.m. - 44 mph
noon - 30 mph
3 p.m. - 18 mph
Peak gust - 10 a.m. - 60 mph

Rock of Ages (Isle Royale)
8 a.m. - 38 mph
11 a.m. - 52 mph
4 p.m. - 42 mph
Peak gust - 11 a.m. - 68 mph

Passage Island (Isle Royale)
8 a.m. - 41 mph
noon - 56 mph
4 p.m. - 45 mph
Peak gust - 3 p.m. - 73 mph

Stannard Rock
8 a.m. - 46 mph
noon - 48 mph
4 p.m. 40 mph
Peak gust - 69 mph

Reported by: Al Miller

Thunder Bay Offers Shelter

Thunder Bay was host to a number of vessels seeking shelter on Tuesday.
The tug and barge Joseph H. Tompson & Jr. was anchored near Caribou Island. The Canadian Leader anchored three miles off the North entrance as she was headed upbound light for Duluth. The salties Spar Garnet, Kamenitza, Marillia T and an unidentified salty were all anchored near the end of the bay. The Kamenitza and Marillia T were sailing loaded from Duluth before seeking shelter in the bay.

This is a break down of weather conditions in the area on the 10th.
0950 hrs.
Temperature 5C. barometric Pressure 99.74KPA and falling
Winds 44 kph gusting to 56kph
1500 hrs.
Temperature 5C. barometric Pressure 97.52 KPA and falling
Winds 57 kph gusting to 71kph
2204 hrs
Temperature 4C. barometric Pressure 97.03?KPA and steady
Winds south at 6kph

Reported by: Ron Konkol

How was the Storm?

If there are any mariners reading the page who were out in Tuesday's storm I'd like to have some first hand accounts of the conditions.

Click here to E-mail

Who will be the 200,00th visitor?

The main page should top 200,000 visits today, please let me know if you are the one.
Once again, I thank everyone for making the page a success!

Click here to E-mail

Today in Great Lakes History - November 12

The THOMAS F. COLE was in collision with the British motor vessel INVEREWE off the south end of Pipe Island on the lower St. Marys River in foggy conditions November 12, 1964.

The ALVA C. DINKEY, towed in tandem with her former fleetmate GOVERNOR MILLER arrived near El Ferrol del Caudillo, Spain on November 12, 1980 for scrapping.

In 1980 the PERE MARQUETTE 21 renamed c) CONSOLIDATOR, foundered in the Caribbean off the coast of Honduras a victim of the hurricane Jean.

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

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

More Vessel Seek Shelter

Storm force winds yesterday sent most vessels seeking shelter around the lakes.

The St. Marys River is host to more than 20 boats. On Lake Michigan, the Lee A. Tregurtha put in at Milwaukee, the Medusa Challenger and Cason J. Callaway in Grand Traverse Bay. The Kaye E. Barker arrived off of Downtown Traverse City yesterday morning to wait out the "big storm." She was anchored about a half mile due north of downtown.

The Roger Blough moved through the storm crossing Lake Superior, Tuesday afternoon she was 30 miles from Whitefish Point and expected to anchor off Gros Cap because of low water at the Soo.

Today's Detroit Free Press quotes Stuart Theis, of Oglebay Norton as saying "No one is out in this." James Wagner, traffic vice president for American Steam Ship Co. , said this storm may rival the intensity of a November 1913 storm, considered the worst to hit the Great Lakes. Theis and Wagner said their fleets were at anchor by mid-afternoon Tuesday.

"The wind and pressure signature that built up over the Great Plains is nearly identical to what we observed in 1975," Theis said. "So we're being very careful."

At 7PM EST yesterday, the lighthouse at Devils Island, WI reported a barometric pressure of 27.87 in. A few hours later, a weather station buoy in Southern Lake Michigan reported wind gusts of 59mph and at 11pm, seas running 20 feet and very steep. Finally, winds gusting to 92mph closed the Mackinaw Bridge.

Reported by: Gary Schweitzer and Neil Schultheiss

Twin Ports Report

Tuesday's storm across the Great Lakes spawned sustained winds in the 40- to 50-mph range on Lake Superior, with weather-reporting sites recording gusts into the 60s. The storm disrupted ship traffic across the lake. Five vessels returned to port or remained in port because of the storm.

The storm disrupted the entire USS Great Lakes Fleet schedule. Speer anchored on Lake Huron near Port Huron; Gott was loading at the DMIR ore dock in Duluth but had no estimated time of departure Tuesday afternoon; Presque Isle departed Gary and then went to anchor off Buffington; Roger Blough was 30 miles from Whitefish Point Tuesday afternoon and expected to anchor off Gros Cap because of low water at the Soo; Anderson was staying tied up in St. Clair; Callaway was anchored at the Straits; Clarke was anchored at the Soo because the river was closed; Munson was anchored in the Detroit River; Sloan and Taylor were anchored off Sandusky; and Calcite II was anchored off Green Bay.

Reported by: Al Miller

Transfer Waiting on Weather in Marquette

High Winds on Lake Superior kept the CANADIAN TRANSFER in Marquette all day Nov 10. She is loaded with taconite for Algoma Steel at the Soo.

A story on the Marquette late news, WLUC TV-6, about the the loss of the FITZGERALD featured video of the TRANSFER secured at the dock and waiting out the storm.

Her visit provided a great photo opportunity if one could keep the camera steady, that is!

Reported by: Rod Burdick

Today in Great Lakes History - November 11

The Armistice Day Storm of November 11, 1940 was one of the worst storms in the recorded history of Lake Michigan. In all, the storm claimed 5 vessels, and 66 lives. The storm hit late Monday afternoon, November 11th, with winds of hurricane proportions. The winds struck suddenly from the southwest at about 2:30 P.M. and were accompanied by drenching rain, which later changed to snow. The winds reached peak velocities of 75 miles per hour, the highest in local maritime history. Some of the vessels affected were:

City of Flint 32: Beached at Ludington, no damage. Jens Vevang, relief captain, in command. Her regular captain, Charles Robertson, was on shore leave.

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

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

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

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

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

Conneaut (2) ran hard aground on Lansing Shoal near Manistique, MI. 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.

The tanker MERCURY (1) was banged up. From Ahoy & Farewell II.

Anna C. Minch: Sank South of Pentwater with a loss of 24 lives.

William B. Davock: Sank with the loss of all hands.

The fishing tugs "Indian" and "Richard H.": Lost with all hands off South Haven.

Data from: Max Hanley and Ahoy & Farewell II

This is a small sample, the book includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Twin Ports Report

Strong sustained winds whipped up 16-foot waves on Lake Superior on Nov. 10, prompting many ships to remain in port or to seek shelter. The National Weather Service recorded the lowest barometric pressure on record in Duluth at midafternoon. Although western Minnesota received heavy snowfall, Lake Superior provided enough warmth to keep the precipitation as rain on and around the lake.

Several vessels, including Walter J. McCarthy Jr., remained in Duluth-Superior during the height of the storm. Kinsman Independent, which left port about 5 p.m. Nov. 9, returned to Duluth as the storm worsened. Algoisle also reportedly returned to port. Other vessels were reported seeking shelter at Thunder Bay, Whitefish Bay and off the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Reported by: Al Miller

Storm Warnings up on the Anniversary of the Fitz's Tragic Loss

The loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald near Whitefish Point on Lake Superior occurred 23 years ago today.

What makes this anniversary so unique is the formation of a huge storm in the West and Great Plains, following the same track the "Fitz" storm did back in 1975. Promising extremely high winds 50+ knots, and huge waves, the storm is forecasted to track directly over Marquette this evening. Thus, proving the Legend Lives On!

Storm warnings are up on Lake Superior and the lower Lakes. Reports from Soo control this morning have 12 vessels anchored, waiting out the storm in the safety of the St. Marys River.

A check on vessel postions from the Vessel Passage section shows the following:
Armco reporting in at 12Z on Lake Huron, wind at 47 mph
Roger Blough reporting in at 12Z on Lake Superior, wind at 63 mph
Burns Harbor reporting in at 15Z on Lake Superior, wind at 46 mph
Cason J. Callaway reporting in at 15Z on Lake Michigan, wind at 52 mph
Canadian Trader reporting in at 12Z on Lake Ontario, wind at 29 mph
Canadian Transport reporting in at 12Z in the St. Mary's River wind at 40
Indiana Harbor reporting in at 15Z on Lake Erie, wind at 30 mph

Reported by: Todd Davidson

Storm drops Water Level

Low Water Statement
National Weather Service Cleveland OH
1032 AM EST TUE NOV 10 1998 The water level on the western basin of Lake Erie is expected to drop below the critical mark for safe navigation by early evening today.

A strong low pressure center over Northern Missouri will continue to deepen as it moves across Lake Superior this evening. Southeast winds will increase to 30 knots early this afternoon shifting to Southwestand increasing to 60 knot storms early tonight. The water level will continue to drop this afternoon and fall to the critical mark by early evening. The water level is expected to drop to 3 feet below the critical mark by daybreak Wednesday. This is 5 feet below the recent average level.

Winds will diminish on Wednesday as the low pressure system moves to James Bay allowing the water level to begin to rise during the day.

Masters planning navigation into the Western basin of Lake Erie through Wednesday should check current water levels and forecasts before proceeding in the area.

Reported by: Charles D.

Fight On board Salty in Detroit

Last night the U.S. Coast Guard was called on to assistance in a dispute on board a salty. An officer on the Turkish registered HILAL II, docked at the Nicholson Terminal in Detroit, called for help with a fight between a crew member and an officer. The man reporting the incident had a thick accent making communication difficult. Details are not clear but the man stated he had sent the injured man to the hospital and might need the Coast Guard to help if the crewman causes any other problems.

Transfer visits Marquette

Seaway Self-Unloader, Canadian Transfer made her first appearance in Marquette on November 9 loading taconite for Algoma Steel at the Soo. She sailed to Marquette after departing the drydock in Thunder Bay on Sunday, November 9.

Her parts, CRISPIN OGLEBAY and CANADIAN EXPLORER, last visited Marquette in the late 1970's or very early 1980's and June of 1990, respectively.

Reported by: Rod Burdick

Rare Boat makes Rare Call

The Kinsman Independent was back at the General Mills elevator in Superior on Nov. 9. The boat has made several calls at this seldom-used elevator this season.

Reported by: Al Miller

Seaway Queen stops in Port Colborne

The Seaway Queen stopped in Port Colborne at Warf 16 while downbound loaded Sunday. She was loaded en route to a St Lawrence River Port. It may be one of the last chances for a picture loaded in perfect light.

Rumors surface about her fate in spite of her having a major refit last year. I asked of her fate of the mate on deck. He said "We hear the same rumors we hope they are not true, at best we can only hope she survives the scrapper torch a few more seasons." He went on to say "She is too slow and uses too much fuel." The Queen certainly is photogenic boat and looked like a regal lady in the sun in Port Colborne yesterday.

Reported by: J J Van Volkenburg

Ferry Line v. DNR

The Washington Island Ferry Line had locked horns with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources over the improvement of the Northport harbour at the tip of Door County. Since the new breakwater was constructed several years ago, the ferries have been able to made a much more protected landing. However, the bottom has silted up and now needs dredging. There are state monies available for this and for a modification of the breakwater which will help prevent this in the future.

The problem has arisen over the rights of local anglers to fish from the ferry dock. This Washington Island Ferry Line has put up signs prohibiting fishing and cites dangers to fisherman and to the ferry operation. Door County has passed an ordinance prohibiting fishing from the dock. The fishermen have appealed to the DNR which has sided with them and taken the position that they will oppose the dredging and breakwater modification unless provision is made for fishing from the dock and/or the breakwater. If fishing is not permitted, the DMR has threatened to declare the dock a public nuisance and shut down and operation upon which the Island residents depend.

No compromise having been reached, a hearing was held before an administrative judge in Sturgeon Bay. Testimony from both the ferry company and the fisherman was taken last month and the matter is now under advisement.

Reported by: Lew Clarke

A Clipper Holiday

The Great Lakes Clipper Preservation Association and the Holiday Inn Muskegon Harbor are sponsoring "A Clipper Holiday". This New Year's Eve party will benefit restoration of the S.S. Milwaukee Clipper. Tickets are $60.00 each, and include o'duerve's, catered dinner, live band and dancing, New Year's champagne toast at midnight, and more! A Clipper ice sculpture will be on display. Carriage rides and a block of "Clipper" hotel rooms will be available for purchase. Clipper merchandize will also be available.

visit our website at after 11/25.

For more information on these and other events, please contact George Micka at or (616) 759-6328.

Today in Great Lakes History - November 10

The EDMUND FITZGERALD foundered on Lake Superior during a severe storm November 10, 1975 at approximately 7:10 pm about 17 miles north-northwest of Whitefish Point, MI at position 47_0'N by 85_7'W in Canadian waters.
Click here for a link to other Fitzgerald sites.

IMPERIAL ST. CLAIR was launched November 10, 1973.

The STEELTON (2) sailed on her maiden voyage November 10, 1943.

The ROBERT C. STANLEY, in her first season of operation on November 10, 1943 during a Lake Superior storm, she developed a significant crack across her spar deck and 12 to 14 feet down both sides of her hull. As the hull worked in the heavy seas, the crack widened to as much as three to four inches. The crew ran cables between the fore and aft winches which 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, Ont. the UNITED STATES GYPSUM (2) collided with her towing tug MAINE and as a result her bow was punctured. The GYPSUM was beached to prevent further sinking.

WILLIAM A. IRVIN was launched November 10, 1937.

Data from: Jody Aho and Ahoy & Farewell II

This is a small sample, the book includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Transfer clears Dry Dock

The M/V Canadian Transfer has finally departed Pascol's dry dock in Thunder Bay. The vessel had spent two months on the dry dock undergoing replacement of her steering gear after suffering damage in the Saginaw River in early September. She was pulled off the dry dock early Sunday afternoon by the tugs Peninsula and George N. Carleton.

The Transfer proceeded out in the Bay to undergo sea trials. Once completed she departed to load at Marquette.

Welcome back Canadian Transfer!

Reported by: Ron Konkol

Block on the Lower Lakes

The Joseph L. Block was downbound through the Detroit River system last night. This marks one of her rare lower lake trips. Radio chatter opens the possibilty for another lower lakes trip before the close of the season. Let hope it's in the daylight next time.

Reported by: N. Schultheiss

More Steering troubles

On Saturday, the tug Stephen Reinauer lost her steering while under tow about half way up the creek in Buffalo. The tug Mississippi came along side and helped her to the closest wall. She sat overnight at the old Republic Steel ore docks off Abby St.

Divers were in the water yesterday morning to check her steering gear. If everything checks out ok they will continue the tow up to Mobil when the Mississippi comes up from the tug dock around 12 noon. This is the first time a deep draft vessel has tied up here since the Steel Mill shut down and was demolished in 1984.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski

Today in Great Lakes History - November 09

The EDWIN H. GOTT's keel was laid November 9, 1977.

The aft section of the ATLANTIC SUPERIOR was launched November 9, 1981.

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

The keel for the GEORGE M. HUMPHREY (2) was laid November 9, 1953.

NORMAN B. REAM was laid up at Duluth, MN on November 9, 1960. In 1965 she would be sold and renamed b) KINSMAN ENTERPRISE (1).

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 downbound with ore, the The FRED G. HARTWELL (1) 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 (1) was downbound 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 (1) grounded heavily on Corsica Shoal.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II

This is a small sample, the book includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Lakes Visitors in the News

A recent internet report by Lloyd's states the following: The Bahamas-flag bulk carrier FALKNES was reported disabled with engine problems and requested assistance due to Hurricane "Mitch" on Nov.5.

Motor tanker Pols Robsons proceeded to assist and secured a line on board. The Liberian flag, Latvian-owned Pols Robsons is a regular caller to the Montreal-East oil docks. She is too large to go up the Seaway. FALKNES did several trip to the Great Lakes. Her last one was in Nov. 1992 when she went to Valleyfield and Marathon. At that time, she was registered in Panama.

The Greek-flag ANANGEL MIGHT, Shimonoseki, Japan for Townsville, Australia in ballast, had engine-room fire and problems with her emergency generator on Nov.4. Fire extinguished by crew. US Coast Guard vessel proceeding, ETA Nov.5 . The name of the USCG vessel is not mentioned. It is strange she was so far away from her home waters. ANANGEL MIGHT is a Friendship type vessel. She completed at least one trip in the Seaway/Great Lakes. That was in April-May 1984.

Reported sold for breaking up were several Seaway visitors in the October edition of "Marine News" published by the World Ship Society. One of them is ALPHA which also called at Great Lakes ports under one of her two former names, Debby. Her first trip as ALPHA was in 1986 and her last one was in Nov. of last year when she loaded grain at Duluth and Thunder Bay. Another one is KUPA which also visited the inland seas under her previous name of Adriatik. Incidently, her name change occured in the Lakes at Chicago in Sept. 1983. ALPHA arrived at Gadani Beach, Pakistan on July 3 and KUPA arrived at Alang, India on July 28.

Reported by: René Beauchamp

Interesting Passage on the St. Clair River

In Marine City yesterday morning the Seaway Queen passed downbound. In the afternoon the "Atlantic Erie" was heading for Lambton. On her side, in large letters were, "". After this email, I'm going surfing.

Reported by: Larry Leverenz

Today in Great Lakes History - November 08

The COLUMBIA STAR was launched November 8, 1980 at Bay Shipbuilding Co., Sturgeon Bay, Wis.

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 STADACONA (1) was renamed ROBERT S. McNAMARA by its new owner Ford Motor Company’s Marine Division. 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 at Avilés, Spain on November 8, 1980.

PETER A.B. WIDENER passed down the Welland Canal November 8, 1986 towed by the tugs TUSKER and GLENADA en route to Lauzon, Que. From there she was towed overseas for scrapping. When built, the PETER A.B. WIDENER and fleetmates 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 November 8, 1986, the B.F. Affleck, 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.

Data from: Jody Aho and Ahoy & Farewell II

This is a small sample, the book includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Closing dates announced

St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. has set 20 Dec. as the tentative closing date for the 1998 navigation season on the Montreal-Lake Ontario section of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Vessels will be accepted for transit of the Welland Canal unitl 2000 24 Dec., also a tentative date.

Reported by: Steve Schultz
From the weekly electronic publication "The World Maritime News"

Hovercraft CCGS SIYAY

The tug JOHN SPENCE arrived at Vancouver on November 4 with the new hovercaft CCGS SIYAY as deck cargo. The hovercraft was lowered into the water upon arrival at the Vanterm Dock in Vancouver and will be based at Victoria. The first of two identical vessels, the CCGS SIPUMUIN, was delivered to her base at Trois-Rivières earlier this year. These 45-ton 95' buoy tender/utility/light icebreaker vessels were built at Wheatley by Hike Metal Products at a reported cost of $9-million Canadian.

I am indebted to Mr. Glenn Smith of the Vancouver Branch of the World Ship Society for this information.

Reported by: Norman Eakins

The effect of Ice Breaking Fee's

It is rumoured that due to the trip costs of Ice Breaking Fee's almost all Canadian flagged vessel in the Great Lakes will be laid up starting Dec 15 and will not come back out until April 15, 1999. The payment of the Ice Breaking fee's of around $6,000.00 cdn is required per vessel trip whether the service is used or not. A ship that takes a load of coal to and from the Nanticoke Generating plant and Connueat will be required to pay for each trip. The Ice Breaker during this time could be in Lake Huron but the shipping company is still charged.

Reported by: Dan Ocean

Algoma Central announcement/results

Sault Ste. Marine, Ontario, Nov. 5, 1998 - Algoma Central Corp. - Operating Results to September 30, 1998 Net income for the nine months ended September 30, 1998 decreased by $5,106,000 from $16,463,000 in 1997 to $11,357,000 in 1998 or $2.92 per share. Excluding a non-recurring gain in 1997 of $1,278,000 on the sale of certain lands, net income in 1998 to September 30, 1998 decreased by $3,828,000 or $0.98 per share. The decrease in earnings, which largely occurred in the third quarter of 1998, resulted primarily from reduced grain shipments,increased repair and amortization expenses on self-unloading vessels and poor operating results from our ocean going fleet.

Capital asset purchases for the three months ended September 30, 1998 totalled $8,404,000 which included the final payment on the conversion of the M.V. Algowest from a bulker to a self-unloader, various vessel modernization projects and our share of additions to ocean-going vessels by Marbulk Canada Inc.

The Board of Directors today declared a divided of $0.25 per common share payable on Tuesday, December 1, 1998 to shareholders.

For further information contact: Mr. Peter R. Cresswell (705) 946-7200

Reported by: James H. Neumiller

Update on the S.S. City of Milwaukee

Mediation Continues
Elberta--The Society for the Preservation of the S.S. City of Milwaukee and the Village of Elberta are continuing with the mediation process designed to culminate in a final resolution as to the fate of the carferry.

Peter Zirnhelt, attorney for the SPCM commented that progress was being made, but there was, as yet, no date set to go public with any announcements.

The mediations that began on October 9 have been ordered by U.S. District Court judge David McKeague to be completed on or before November 21.

From the November 4, 1998 Benzie County Record-Patriot, page 1:

Today in Great Lakes History - November 07

The T2 converted laker HILDA MARJANNE's 1961 German-built hull forward of ther 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 (7) was moved to the Frog Pond on her way to the cutter's torch.

On November 7, 1905 the GRAND HAVEN was purchased by the Grand Trunk-Milwaukee Carferry Line, Milwaukee out of receivership when G.T.C.L. defaulted on its bonds.

The ARTHUR B. HOMER was launched November 7, 1959 for the Bethlehem Steel Corp., Cleveland, OH. She was the last ship built by Great Lakes Engineering at River Rouge.

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.

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 severly damaged by the waves at the dock in Gary.

Data from: Jody Aho and Ahoy & Farewell II

This is a small sample, the book includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

News from the Seaway

On October 19, the Cyprus-flag general cargo MARIE A. arrived at Trois-Rivières and the crew started a picket line alongside the ship after hanging a banner on her hull saying CREW ON STRIKE. The coast guard inspectors went aboard and indeed found out the ship is in bad shape. This 25 years old vessel was originally owned by Andrew Weir & Co. of London, better known as Bank Line, and was named Cloverbank. Over the years, very few Bank Line ships called in Montreal and to my knowledge, no ones ever ventured up the St. Lawrence Seaway. As of November 3rd, she was still at T.R. with no cargo having been loaded yet.

Arriving in Montreal on Nov.3rd on her maiden trip was the third ship for Norasia Line, the NORASIA SALOME which spent less than 24 hours in port.

Another maiden tripper was CANMAR HONOUR on Oct.15. Built at Okpo, South Korea, she joined her sister-ship Canmar Pride on the Canada Maritime service between Montreal and Northern European ports. It is expexted another sister-ship will be phased in before the end of the year, the OOCL Belgium owned by Orient Overseas Container Line.

Reported by: René Beauchamp

November 1 Vessel Report

The major U.S.-Flag Lakes lines had 66 of their 69 vessels in service on November 1, an increase of two vessels compared to a year ago. Returning to service in October was the straight-decker EDWARD L. RYERSON (Central Marine Logistics), but as of the survey date, the cement carrier PAUL H. TOWNSEND remained in lay-up.

Visit the Lake Carriers' Association home page for complete details

Strong October Keeps Superior Coal On Record Pace

The major U.S.-Flag Lakes lines had 66 of their 69 vessels in service on November 1, an increase of two vessels compared to a year ago. Returning to service in October was the straight-decker EDWARD L. RYERSON (Central Marine Logistics), but as of the survey date, the cement carrier PAUL H. TOWNSEND remained in lay-up.

Visit the Lake Carriers' Association home page for complete details

Upcoming Program

The 40th Annual Carl D. Bradley Memorial Dinner will be held at the Thomas Edison Inn, Port Huron Michigan, November 18th, beginning at 6:00pm.

Program to include: Expedition '95 & '97 Video presentation revealing underwater secrets of the Bradley.

Unveiling of the Wreck of the Carl D. Bradley series by marine artist Jim Clary.

Drawing for print No. 1 of the sixteen print Bradley series.

Featuring THE BIG BRADLEY song by Barry Pischner & Rich Scripps.

Great Lakes Dinner with cash bar $40 per person Advance ticket purchase only.

Please call 810-329-7744/810-987-0767 for tickets or more information.

Leaders Validate Continued Importance of U.S. Cabotage Laws


The 105th Congress soundly rejected efforts to weaken or even abolish the nation’s cabotage laws, underscoring the continuing need for and benefits of the Jones Act and other U.S. maritime cabotage laws. In doing so, Congress teamed with the Administration and military leaders to reaffirm that the movement of cargo and passengers between U.S. ports in vessels that are U.S.-owned, U.S.-built and U.S.-crewed not only provides safe, reliable and cost-efficient transportation options for American shippers and their customers, but plays a vital role in the country’s economic and national security.

Nothing better illustrates Congress’ strong support for the Jones Act than House Concurrent Resolution 65. This statement of full and strong support, co-authored by Congressmen Joe Moakley (D-MA) and the retiring Gerry Solomon (R-NY) achieved a bi-partisan majority of the House (218) within 5 months of its April 1997 introduction. When the 105th Congress finally adjourned on October 21, 1998, H. Con. Res. 65 boasted more than 240 co-sponsors. In stark contrast, no bill proposing to change any part of the Jones Act or related cabotage laws garnered more than 15 co-sponsors.

Another vote of confidence came earlier in the 105th Congress when clear majorities of members on all House subcommittees with jurisdiction over the Jones Act signed Dear Colleague letters stressing the absolute need to keep the cabotage laws inviolate.

House and Senate committees and subcommittees held hearings on bills that would have changed one or more of the three elements of cabotage. In each instance, the Maritime Cabotage Task Force presented oral and written testimony and no legislation was ever reported out of committee.

The Administration similarly voiced its continued support for the Jones Act on several occasions. President Clinton’s Maritime Day Proclamation of May 22, 1997, stressed "the continuing importance of our U.S. domestic maritime fleet to the maintenance of our Nation’s commercial and defense maritime interests." U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater repeatedly emphasized that U.S.-owned, -built and -crewed vessels are the cornerstone of this nation’s successful maritime policy.

U.S. military leaders also specifically endorsed the Jones Act and the Passenger Vessel Services Act. In January of this year, the head of the military’s U.S. Transportation Command, General Walter Kross, stated flatly that "the Jones Act is a proven performer that supports both our nation’s military security and its economic soundness." Likewise, the U.S. Navy declared these laws "vital to our national security."

At the request of Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, early this year the Government Accounting Office (GAO) reviewed and dismissed a previous International Trade Commission (ITC) study that estimated the Jones Act costs the economy $2.8 billion a year. GAO not only found much of the ITC data seriously flawed or simply unverifiable, but also criticized the ITC’s assumption that freight rates would decrease if foreign flag ships were allowed into domestic commerce - an assumption that would work only if such ships could operate exempt from all U.S. laws, regulations and taxation.

To help counter media attacks on the U.S. maritime industry, and to better educate the Congress and the public on the importance of the industry to the United States, the Maritime Cabotage Task Force produced several significant documents to update America on the domestic fleet. For example, Full Speed Ahead, released in March 1997, reported that the Jones Act fleet has doubled in size and tripled its productivity since 1965. (The gains are even greater if tracked back to 1920, the year of the Jones Act’s passage.) Indeed, productivity in the domestic maritime industry has increased at a rate four times that of gains in the U.S. economy generally.

MCTF Chairman Phil Grill thanked the House and Senate for their support. "Legislators throughout the country confirmed that the Jones Act works for the benefit of all Americans. We at the Task Force look forward to partnering with Congress, the Administration and our customers to ensure that the Jones Act fleet continues to meet the existing needs of commerce as well as the transportation challenges of the 21st century"

Visit the Maritime Cabotage Task Force home page for complete details

New book

If you saw the Titanic movie you'll not want to Jim Clary's new book, THE LAST TRUE STORY OF TITANIC, which is now available at: The Marine Art of J. Clary web site.

This volume promises to be the last word in books on the Titanic. Written by James G.Clary, multi-award winning maritime artist who worked on the Titanic project, he tells the compelling tale of the Titanic from its birth to its death. Facts on what actually happened that fateful night appear in this book, and this book only, and are based upon eyewitness diaries and accounts neglected up until now. Despite the many books on this subject, no one else has yet dared tell the whole harrowing truth of what happened that night. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in the great ship Titanic and how it really sank.

154-page paperback - ISBN1-58345-000-9 $14.95
Order now at your favorite bookstore or at:

Today in Great Lakes History - November 06

The b) US.266029 (WILLIAM CLAY FORD (1) was towed from Nicholson's River Rouge dock November 6, 1986 by tugs TUSKER and GLENADA to Port Maitland, Ont. for scrapping there in 1987.

On November 6, 1913 the SHEADLE left Fort William, Ont. bound for Erie, PA 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 wa later towed to safety by the RICHARD TRIMBLE

On November 6, 1985, scrapping began on the Leon Falk, Jr. in Gijon, Spain.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Draft restrictions in the seaway

St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. has reportedly imposed draft restrictions on the Montreal-Lake Ontario section of the seaway due to low water levels.

Reported by: Steve Schultz
From the weekly electronic publication "The World Maritime News"

Milwaukee Clipper store in the Muskegon Mall

On Sunday, November 1, 1998, the Great Lakes Clipper Preservation Association embarked on a new venture, the S.S. Milwaukee Clipper store. Located across from Steketee's in the Muskegon Mall, the Clipper Store features souvenir fundraising items (hats, shirts, prints, audio and video tapes, etc). All proceeds benefit restoration of the National Historic Landmark vessel, S.S. Milwaukee Clipper.

The Clipper store also features nostalgic items from the ship, including ticket machines and several deck chairs. A theater is being set up, to provide visitors with a look into the ship's historic past. Volunteers are still needed to help staff the store. Store hours are the same as the Muskegon Mall. This project is a co-operative venture between the GLCPA and the Muskegon Mall, and we appreciate the Mall's support!

A Clipper Holiday
The GLCPA and the Muskegon Harbor Holiday Inn are sponsoring a New Year's Eve party at the Holiday Inn. This event will take place New Year's Eve, and feature a catered dinner, live band, Clipper ice sculpture, and a few other extras. Tickets are $60.00 each and will be available soon. The Holiday Inn will also offer a block of rooms for a Clipper special price. Proceeds benefit the S.S. Milwaukee Clipper restoration.

The Clipper/Y's Evening Men's' Club dinner for November 6, 1998 has sold out. Based on this level of support, we are confident the New Year's Eve event may also sell out quickly.

For more information on these and other events, please contact George Micka at or (616) 759-6328.

Today in Great Lakes History - November 05

The LOUIS R. DESMARAIS cleared Owen Sound, Ont. on her maiden voyage November 5, 1977 bound for Thunder Bay, Ont. to load 27,117 gross tons of iron ore for Stelco at Hamilton, Ont.

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

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

Mr. J.W. Isherwood visited the Great Lakes Engineering Works ship yard on November 5, 1910 and personally inspected the hull which was being built according to his patented design. This vessel, the WILLIAM P. PALMER (2) was the first vessel on the Great Lakes built to the Isherwood system of longitudinal framing.

The JAMES S. DUNHAM sank in collision with the steamer ROBERT FULTON, on a foggy and rainy November 5, 1917, just below Grassy Island on the Detroit River. Repairs for both vessels totaled $125,000.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II

This is a small sample, the book includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Twin Ports Report

Charles M. Beeghly departed Fraser Shipyards in Superior overnight Nov. 2-3. On the morning of Nov. 3 it was loading at the DMIR ore dock in Duluth.

Murphy Oil USA has opened its new fueling facility for ships at the Duluth port terminal. The facility has leased 1,200 feet of dock space, enabling it to fuel any size vessel on the lakes. Murphy says it can fuel ships in 80 minutes or less. For the past three years, fuel service in the Twin Ports has been provided by tank truck, a process that could take up to six hours to complete. Koch Industries operated the fuel barge Reiss Marine in the Twin Ports for many years but discontinued the service because the single-hulled vessel represented a significant liability problem.

Reported by: Al Miller

Lake Ontario Ferry Update

With more players looking to join this industry, Shaker Cruise Lines (the Company that reintroduced ferry service in 1997) looks to be exiting quietly.

Company President Ihab Shaker is attempting to sell his "flagship", the 316 Ton Lakerunner. The 71-passenger Hydrofoils used by his company during the past summer are rumoured to be under the control of another company and planned for operation in the Detroit River next season.

Meanwhile, another Company is rumoured to have plans for introducing a Hovercraft onto Lake Ontario next season.

Hydrofoil Lake Jet Lines of Toronto is about to conclude a successful first season of operation between Queenston (on the Niagara River) and Toronto.

Reported by: Peter Green

Today in Great Lakes History - November 04

The CARTIERCLIFFE HALL was registered at Toronto, Ont. on November 4, 1977, but didn't enter service until the spring of 1978 because of mechanical difficulties during her sea trials.

The JOSEPH G. BUTLER, JR. was launched November 4, 1905 for the Tonopah Steamship Co. (Hutchinson & Co., mgr.) Cleveland, OH.

HERON BAY (2) proceeded under her own power to Lauzon, Que. for her final lay-up on November 4, 1978.

NIPIGON BAY was launched November 4, 1950

The CHARLES L. HUTCHINSON (3) developed a sizable leak and almost sank November 4, 1925 during her tow to Superior after she struck a reef a few nights before.

The ROBERT C. STANLEY's keel was laid November 4, 1942.

UNITED STATES GYPSUM (2) grounded at Toledo, OH on November 4, 1972 resulting in damages 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, MI.

The Joseph H. Thompson became not only the largest vessel on the Great Lakes but also the longest dry bulk cargo vessel in the world when it entered service on November 4, 1952, departing Chicago on its first trip.

Setting the stage for the fateful storm which followed less than a week later which sank the Edmund Fitzgerald, many locations in Minnesota and Wisconsin were setting all-time record high temperatures for the month of November during the period of November 4-6, 1975. Grand Marais, MN reached 67 on November 5 and Superior reached 74 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 which sank the Henry Steinbrenner in 1953, were preceeded by record-setting warm wather.

Data from: Jody Aho and Ahoy & Farewell II

This is a small sample, the book includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Tug Clears as Deck Cargo - Update

The KODIAK arrived at the E.S. Fox dock at Port Robinson on board the HAPPY ROVER shortly after 08:00 on November 2 where her carrier is apparently awaiting more cargo before leaving the system. The KODIAK is "sitting pretty" amidships on what looks like a specially made wooden platform which is somewhat shorter than her overall length. This has enabled her three outboards to remain in place without being damaged.

Reported by: Norman Eakins

Mantadoc Regular Visitor In Port Stanley

On November 2nd the Mantadoc returned to Port Stanley for the third time this season. Due to heavy silting in of this harbour all ships can only take half loads. The Mantadoc expects to load only 12000 tons of corn and then grind her way out of the harbour. She will stop in Hamiton to top off before going on to Sorel,Quebec.

Reported by: Ted Coombs

Today in Great Lakes History - November 03

The B A PEERLESS sailed on her maiden voyage November 3, 1952 bound for Superior, WI where 110,291 bbl of crude oil were loaded destined for British-American's refinery at Clarkson, Ont. 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.

Dismantling of the H.C. HEIMBECKER began on November 3, 1981 by Triad at Ashtabula and was completed the following year.

On November 4, 1986 the TEXACO CHIEF (2) was renamed b) A.G. FARQUARSON.

The ROBERT C. STANLEY was launched June 19, 1943.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

St. Clair Makes Unusual Run

On Saturday the M/V St. Clair made an unusual trip into Thunder bay to unload a cargo of coal at the Thunder Bay Terminals.

This is the vessel's first trip into Thunder Bay and the largest vessel (77O'x92'x52') to load or unload at the terminals. She departed later that evening.

Many boatwatchers have noted that the St. Clair seems to be making a lot of odd ball runs this season.

Reported by: Ron Konkol

Twin Ports Report

A wide variety of vessels making unusual calls on Lake Superior and elsewhere early this week.

Charles M. Beeghly entered the large drydock at Fraser Shipyards overnight Nov. 1-2, possibly to repair the stern thruster lost last week at River Rouge.

After calling at Thunder Bay and making an unusual call at the Superior Midwest Energy Terminal on Nov. 1, St. Clair is scheduled to load at Two Harbors on Nov. 2. Another unusual caller set for Two Harbors the same day is Adam E. Cornelius, which has been a regular at the DMIR ore dock in Duluth for the past several seasons.

Other unusual callers and docks include American Mariner going to Reiss Inland on Nov. 2, Algogulf due into the General Mills elevator in Superior; and Canadian Mariner loading at Peavey Connors Point.

For the second time this season, a short saltie is using the forward half of the Cargill berth in Duluth as a layby berth while another ship tucks in behind to load at the elevator. This time it's Fosness and Polydefkis P sharing the berth.

Elsewhere on the lakes, a number of vessels from USS Great Lakes Fleet are making interesting or unusual port calls this week, including Arthur M. Anderson due at Escanaba, Cason J. Callaway loading at Port Inland, Philip R. Clarke loading at Toledo bound for St. Clair, George A. Sloan at Port Colborne, and Calcite II due into Menominee on Nov. 3.

Grain shipping appeared slack in the Twin Ports Nov. 1, with only two elevator berths occupied. The harbor was busy, nonetheless, with Algocen unloading at St. Lawrence Cement; saltie Peonia waiting to unload at the Duluth Port Terminal; Charles M. Beeghly unloading a large cargo of stone at CLM dock in Superior; and St. Clair making an unusual call to load at Midwest Energy Terminal.

Reported by: Al Miller

Gulf Star reports fuel problems

Early the morning of 29 Oct., the Panamanian-registry ship Gulf Star reported it had a steering casualty near Buoy 7 north of Port Huron, Mich. The ship anchored outside the channel and personnel from the U.S. Coast Guard's Marine Safety Office in Detroit arrived at 0930 and reported that the ship had stopped to clean its secondary main diesel engine fuel filters. The steering equipment had not failed. Coast Guard personnel also learned that the Gulf Star had stopped earlier at the anchorage near Belle Isle to clean its primary fuel filters. The Gulf Star was allowed to sail to Ludington, Mich., but is required to report any other fuel or propulsion problems.

Reported by: Steve Schultz
From the weekly electronic publication "The World Maritime News"

Transfer Update

Word from the Marquette ore dock reports that the Canadian Transfer is due there on Saturday, November 7th. This is a tentative schedule and may be subject to change.

The Canadian Transfer is currently at Pascol Engineering in Thunder Bay. Work continues on the vessel that damaged her rudder in the Saginaw River in early September.

Reported by: Rod Burdick

New Feature

I have added a new page featuring information and links on the Edmund Fitzgerald commemorating her tragic November 10, 1975 loss.
Click Here

Three Years On-line

November 1995 marked the launch of this web site.
Launched as Great Lakes Vessel Passage, it was a small site with only four sections and less than a dozen pictures in the single Photo Gallery.

Today it has grown into the most comprehensive resource for Great lakes Shipping on-line with almost 200,000 visits. My thanks go to all who have contributed to the web site, you have made the site what it is today.

Keep the suggestion coming for what you would like to see in the future.

I salute you all and say thanks once again!

The Last Trip of the Fitz Program

"THE LAST TRIP OF THE FITZ" will be held this Saturday, November 7, at 2:00 p.m. at the Dossin Museum on Belle Isle in Detroit.

Chicago's Lee Murdock, Great Lakes Balladeer and the Captain of the William Clay Ford, Don Erickson, together at the Dossin Museum on Belle Isle to recount The Last Trip of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Detroit Don't miss this rare opportunity to meet Captain Don Erickson, who will answer questions from the floor and provide information from that dreadful night. Captain Erickson took the William Clay Ford from safe harbor out in heavy weather to seek the Edmund Fitzgerald, who foundered with all 29 hands on November 10, 1975 near Whitefish Point.

Murdock is on tour just after releasing his ninth recording, Great Lakes Chronicle. Murdock's work is a documentary and also an anthem to the people who live, work, and play along the Great Lakes today. Lee blends his contemporary musical tastes with the old songs and stories from the Great Lakes. Tickets are $12 per person ($10 for GLMI members). Charge by phone: TICKETS PLUS (800) 585-3737, visit automated kiosk at MEIJER, Hall Road, or purchase at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum.

Proceeds will benefit the Great Lakes Maritime Institute (GLMI). Please join us, Saturday, November 7, at 2:00 p.m. at the Dossin Museum on Belle Isle in Detroit.
For more information call 313-852-4051

Today in Great Lakes History - November 02

CANADIAN EXPLORER entered service on November 2, 1983 bound for Duluth, Minn. where she loaded 851,000 bushels of corn.

PAUL H. CARNAHAN was christened on November 2, 1961 at the foot of West Grand Boulevard in Detroit, MI.

On November 2, 1984 the tugs ATOMIC and ELMORE M. MISNER towed the ERINDALE to the International Marine Salvage scrap dock at Port Colborne where demolition began that month.

The H.C. HEIMBECKER proceeded under her own power to Ashtabula, OH for scrapping, arriving there November 2, 1981.

On November 2, 1948 the FRANK ARMSTRONG collided head-on with the JOHN J. BOLAND (2) in a heavy fog on Lake Erie near Colchester, Ont. Both vessels were badly damaged and resulted in one fatality on the BOLAND. The ARMSTRONG was towed to Toledo, OH for repairs.

In 1972 the A.E. NETTLETON's towline parted from the OLIVE L. MOORE during a snow storm with gale force winds 17 miles west of the Keweenaw Peninsula on Lake Superior. The barge developed a 15 degree list when her load of grain shifted. Three of her five member crew were air lifted by a U.S.C.G. helicopter to the MOORE to assist in re-rigging the towline. The NETTLETON was then towed the next day into the Lily Pond on the Keweenaw Waterway to trim her cargo.

The WILLIAM C. MORELAND was abandoned to the underwriters on November 2, 1910 as a constructive total loss, amounting to $445,000. She had stranded on Sawtooth Reef off Eagle Harbor, MI 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 (2) 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.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

Beegly loses Thruster

On Thursday night, while entering the Rouge River in Detroit, the Charles M. Beeghly lost her stern thruster and stopped. The vessel was forced to drop anchor and stop somewhere in the area between Jefferson and the Conrail bridge. The Beeghly was forced to wait for a tug to assist her up the Rouge. The vessel departed the river with the thruster still out of service requiring a tugs assistance.

Today in Great Lakes History - November 01

Scrapping began November 1, 1984 on the ELMGLEN.

The Grand Trunk Western was granted permission by the Interstate Commerce Commission on November 1, 1978 to discontinue its Lake Michigan service between Muskegon, MI and Milwaukee, WI.

The MAITLAND NO.1 made her maiden voyage on November 1, 1916 from Ashtabula to Port Maitland, Ont. transporting rail cars with coal for the steel mills at Hamilton, Ont.

The SCOTT MISENER (3) returned to service in the grain trade on November 1, 1986 after a 3 year lay-up

The CITY OF MILWAUKEE made her last run for Grand Trunk’s rail car ferry service on November 1, 1978.

Data from: Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history

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