Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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* Report News


Wind, Fog and Water Levels Delay Traffic

12/31
Strong winds in Lake Superior sent the Buckeye, Lee A. Tregurtha and at least one other vessel to anchor in Whitefish Bay Monday night. On her last trip of the season, the downbound Canadian Progress went to anchor in the lower St Marys River due to low water levels of minus 9 inches in the Rock Cut at Barbeau. The downbound Joseph H. Thompson Jr. and Roger Blough could be forced to anchor if levels remain low.

In addition to dropping water levels in the Rock Cut the area was covered in thick fog making navigation even more difficult. At mid night the water level had dropped further to minus 9.9 inches.

Reported by: Jerry Masson


Burns Harbor Enters Lay-up

12/31
Captain Dave Lindmark backed the Burns Harbor into the Port of Milwaukee's inner harbor Monday afternoon ending the 2002 sailing season for the Bethlehem fleet. On Saturday afternoon Captain Dave Mathie brought the Stewart J. Cort into Milwaukee bow first. It was a "piece of cake" for both captains thanks to above average temperatures that have left the port free of ice.

Both boats were assisted by the crews of Midwest Maritime who do winter maintenance work on the boats.

Cort inbound from the Hoen Bridge Saturday.
Cort makes the turn into the inner harbor as a fish tug passes.
Cort approaches the lay up dock.
Burns Harbor backs in alongside the Cort Monday.
Burns Harbor alongside the Cort.
Midwest Maritime Company's work boat 'Leona B' awaits its return to the water.
Milwaukee dinner cruise boats Edelweiss I & II out of the water for the winter.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde


Tanker Traffic to Continue In Manistee

12/31
Despite the closing of General Chemical on December 31, the McKeil Marine tankers as well as the Gemini will continue to run in and out of Manistee. General Chemical will cease its Calcium Chloride production, but continue to ship brine out of its Manistee facility. The brine will come from General's drilled wells and continue to be shipped to Amherstburg, Ontario.

This is a relief to Manistee ship watchers, as it is not quite time to say goodbye to the Capt. Ralph Tucker as well as the other tankers that frequent the area. General Chemical will maintain a staff of three people to pump the brine from the shore tanks to the vessels.

Reported by: Chris Franckowiak


Coastal Reliance Update

12/31
The Crowley ATB, Coastal Reliance and Barge 550-4 that were built in Wisconsin are receiving work at North Florida Shipyard in Jacksonville, Florida. The tug is out of the notch and has numerous ventilation tubes coming out aft of the house. The barge has a small work barge alongside and appears to have small cosmetic work being finished.

The tug and barge made a quick departure from the lakes early in December to leave before the closing of the Seaway.

Reported by: Brian Henesey


Twin Ports Report

12/31
As the schedules are shaping, next Wednesday may be the last day of the season for outbound cargo shipments from the Twin Ports.

Midwest Energy Terminal currently has only six more vessels scheduled, with James R. Barker scheduled to load Jan. 8. Across the bay at the DMIR ore dock, seven vessels are scheduled to load, with Oglebay Norton currently the last boat on Jan. 8. No word on when the last boat may depart the BNSF ore dock.

Monday was a slow day in the Twin Ports, with only James R. Barker arriving to load taconite pellets at DMIR. Today is expected to be busier, with Indiana Harbor due at the DMIR and Canadian Enterprise and Columbia Star due at Midwest Energy Terminal

The DMIR dock in Duluth is closing out the season loading a lot of big customers. Along with the Barker, it's ending the season with Indiana Harbor, Paul R. Tregurtha, Edgar B. Speer, George A. Stinson and Oglebay Norton. The only smaller vessels due yet are Cason J. Callaway and Reserve.

Reported by: Al Miller


Saginaw River Update

12/31
The Maumee passed through Bay City during the early morning hours Monday on its way up to the Saginaw Rock Products dock at Saginaw. The vessel arrived at the dock about 7 a.m. and was outbound at 2:30 p.m. This was the vessel's second visit to the river in the last three days.

Reported by: Stephen Hause, Lon Morgan and Todd Shorkey


St. Lawrence Seaway & River News

12/31
Arriving for winter lay up Monday morning in Montreal at shed 3 was Quebecois, tying up alongside Algoville. Several lakers, also the Sauniere, were still in service east of the Seaway Monday afternoon. Sauniere was upbound at Batiscan for Trois-Rivières. Algoport was downbound for the Magdalen Islands from Contrecoeur. Both will eventually arrived at Sorel-Tracy for winter lay up.

Monday the Algocatalyst was docked at section 16. She will go back in service about Jan. 7. Other vessels in service are John B. Aird which was heading for Port Cartier Monday afternoon, Algocen upbound at Cap Brulé for an anchorage near Quebec City. She is expected late Tuesday night in Montreal for winter lay up. Also upbound on the river for Montreal were Nanticoke off Gaspe on her way from Halifax and CSL Laurentien was passing Les Escoumins pilot station.

The announcement by Lloyd's that Simcoe has been sold for scrapped seems to be premature. According to reports, she is to replace Griffon next year when she will have a refit, also Samuel Risley in 2004 which will have a refit also.

Reported by: René Beauchamp


Today in Great Lakes History - December 31

Upon suggestion from the U.S. Maritime Commission, surplus World War II cargo vessels, many of which had laid up on the James River, were made available for sale under the Great Lakes Vessel Sales Act of 1950 (enacted September 28, 1950) to be converted for Great Lakes use. The Act allowed Great Lakes fleets to purchase up to 10 surplus ships by December 31, 1951 and receive a 90% cost subsidy to convert and refurbish them for Lakes use. The first such conversion occurred when the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Co. of Cleveland, OH bought the NOTRE DAME VICTORY on December 10, 1950.

The GEORGE M. HUMPHREY was laid up for the last time at the old Great Lakes Engineering Works slip at River Rouge, MI beginning December 31, 1983.

The QUEDOC (2) was laid up for the last time on December 31, 1984 at Toronto, Ont. along side the SENATOR OF CANADA.

On 31 December 1884, ADMIRAL (wooden propeller steam tug, 49 gt, built in 1883 at Chicago) had her boiler explode in Chicago harbor. All four of the crew was killed.

In 1884 the PERE MARQUETTE NO. 1 ran aground at Ludington.

December 31, 1919 - The entire Ann Arbor carferry fleet was tied up in Frankfort due to bad weather.

On 31 December 1889, H. M. Loud of Oscoda, Michigan sold the 551 ton wooden schooner ANGUS SMITH to Mitchell Brothers of Marine City, Michigan for $16,000. The vessel was built in 1871.

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


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




Munson in Green Bay

12/30
Sunday morning the John G Munson arrived in Green Bay with a load of coal for the C. Reiss dock. The Munson was carrying 12,500 tons of coal from South Chicago. The Munson may be the last arrival of the year in the Port of Green Bay, although a late season cement boat is still possible. The Munson was scheduled to depart around 8 p.m. Sunday evening for Two Harbors.

Pictures by Scott Best
Inbound Green Bay.
Through the rail road bridge.
Approaching Main St. Bridge.
Stern view at Walnut St. Bridge.
Stern view at C. Reiss.
Bow view at C. Reiss.

Reported by: Scott Best and Jason Leino


No early closing for Soo Locks

12/30
The Poe and MacArthur locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., will close on schedule and undergo a variety of repair work this winter, the Corps of Engineers says.

According to a story in the Soo Evening News, the MacArthur Lock was expected to close as usual on Dec. 26 while the Poe Lock likely will operate until Jan. 15, when it must close under current regulations. Anticipated ship traffic means the Poe will remain open as late as possible, unlike last season, when it closed early.

The Corps has winter work scheduled for both locks.

In the MacArthur Lock, workers will drain the chamber to investigate a mysterious noise in the 14-foot-square "tainter" valve that empties the lock at its lower level.

If possible, any repairs will be made immediately, Area Engineer Stan Jacek said. If more extensive work is indicated, Jacek said the lock will be re-filled for the winter to await a new repair plan.

In the Poe Lock, scheduled winter work involves relatively routine gate repairs.

The locks will re-open March 25 for the 2003 shipping season.

Reported by: Ed Schipper and Andy Severson


Algoway in the Holiday Spirit

12/30
The Algoway back into Grand Haven just as the sun was setting Sunday. The crew blew a salute as it was making its way up the channel with Christmas decorations on. The smoke stack had green lights looking like a Christmas tree and the top of the pilot house is decorated with lights. The lights were a spectacular sight from the Highway 31 Bridge as it unloaded salt at the Verplank Dock.

Reported by: Don Geske and David Swain


Weekly Updates

12/30
Check back tonight for the regular weekly updates.


Today in Great Lakes History - December 30

On December 30, 1987 the THOMAS WILSON under tow in the North Atlantic heading to be scrapped, parted her towline and sunk near position 34_08'N by 61_35'12"W (approximately in line with Cape Hatteras, NC) early the next day.

GEORGE M. HUMPHREY (1) was launched December 30, 1926.

The first steel carferry PERE MARQUETTE was launched in nearly completed form on December 30, 1896. The ship was built for the Flint & Pere Marquette Railroad (predecessor to the Pere Marquette) and entered service just a few weeks later.

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


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history




Burlington Lift Bridge Closed For Repairs Till March

12/29
Public Works Canada has announced the 40-year-old lift bridge spanning the Burlington Ship Canal, connecting Hamilton Harbor with Lake Ontario, will be closed from early January until mid-March for scheduled maintenance. The $3.7 million repair job includes replacing 80 heavy-duty steel hoisting cables used to raise and lower the structure. This is the first time the cables, each weighing more than a ton and stretching more than 180 feet in length, have had to be replaced.

Completed in 1962, the Burlington Lift Bridge replaced an older bascule-type lift bridge that was destroyed in a collision with the steamer W. E. Fitzgerald almost 10 years earlier. The steel truss bridge incorporates a span 368 feet long, which supports a four-lane road. Towers support each end of the span, providing approximately 110 feet of clearance for ships navigating the channel. The bridge operates 24 hours per day, 7 days per week throughout the navigation season, and performs approximately 3,600 lifts each year.

Burlington Lift Bridge .

Reported by: Craig Ritchie


Ship built by Canadian Vickers reported sold for breaking up

12/29
Reported sold by Lloyd's for demolition is the hopper dredger Canadian Challenger built by Canadian Vickers at Montreal in 1954 as the canaller Hutchcliffe Hall. In 1972, she was renamed Ile Aux Coudres following a conversion to a self-propelled hopper scow at Sorel. In 1977, there was another conversion into a hopper dredger probably at Sorel. On June 4, 1984, she departed Sorel under tow for the Fraser River in British Columbia and was renamed Canadian Challenger. The report of her demolition by Lloyd's dates to Sept. 2002. It is unknown where she was broken up.

Reported by: René Beauchamp


Twin Ports Traffic

12/29
Canadian afterenders were the dominant visitors in the Twin Ports on a somewhat warm and calm Saturday in Duluth. At DM&IR the Atlantic Erie was loading taconite stern first while across the bay the Canadian Transport was loading coal at SMET. Around 3 p.m. the Canadian Progress arrived and proceeded to the Port Terminal and tied up at the Murphy Terminal to fuel and wait for the Transport to clear. A deckhand onboard asked the small crowd that watched the Progress tie up if their Christmas had been good and then commented on how nice the weather was for them.

Around 5:30 p.m. tourists got a special treat as the Roger Blough arrivied at the Duluth Piers. They had come down to Duluth to fuel and wait for the dock in Two Harbors to be vacated by the Edgar B. Speer. Her entry into the piers was quite slow and marked by the use of both pilothouse spotlights to shine how far off of the piers they were. A few of the crew were also on deck and wished all in attendance Happy Holidays. For those lucky enough to be in The Twin Ports it was a nice relaxing day for boatwatching.

Pictures by Glenn Blaszkiewicz
Canadian Progress takes on fuel at Murphy Fuel at the Duluth Port Terminal.
Canadian Transport loads coal at Midwest Energy Terminal in Superior.
Another view.
Walter J. McCarthy Jr. at her winter lay up berth.
Atlantic Erie loads taconite at the DM&IR dock in Duluth.

Reported by: Glenn Blaszkiewicz and David French


Goderich Update

12/29
The Cuyahoga loaded salt Christmas Eve and departed mid-afternoon. A few seasonal lights and a Santa made her look quite festive.

The mine was essentially closed for Christmas Day, but Thursday saw two Algoma Central Marine ships in. The Algoway docked in back of the mine about 6 p.m. She had plenty of colorful lights on and many of the crew were going into town since they were waiting for the Capt. Henry Jackman to come in and load first.

The lights of the Jackman were spotted far out on the lake about 8 p.m. She loaded overnight and then the Algoway loaded the next day.

The Canadian Enterprise arrived at the salt mine dock on Friday, but due to a power outage in the mine, was unable to load. Power was restored and the Enterprise finished loading Saturday afternoon, departing about 4 p.m.

Reported by: Lisa Stuparyk


Maumee in Saginaw

12/29
The Maumee was outbound early Saturday morning, passing through Downtown Bay City shortly before 9 a.m. She had unloaded overnight at the Wirt Dock in Saginaw.

Maumee reported that she would be back again sometime early Sunday night with another load.

Pictures by Todd Shorkey
Maumee downbound passing the old Bay Aggregates dock.
Bow close up.
Stern view passing Wenona Park.

Reported by: Stephen Hause, Lon Morgan and Todd Shorkey


Today in Great Lakes History - December 29

B.F. JONES (2) was launched December 29, 1906 as a) GENERAL GARRETSON.

KINSMAN INDEPENDENT (1) was launched in 1906 as a) WILLIAM B. KERR.

The GEORGE M. HUMPHREY (1) was christened on December 29, 1926.

The GOLDEN HIND was laid up for the last time on December 29, 1985 at Toronto.

On 29 December 1813, ARIEL (4-gun armed schooner, 112 t, built in 1813 at Erie, PA as part of Perry's fleet) ran aground in a squall at Black River (now Buffalo) and was burned by the British.

CAROLINE (wooden sidewheeler, 71', 46 t, built in 1822 at New York City) was chartered to transport arms and munitions to Navy Island near Buffalo. On 29 December 1837, she was commandeered by about 60 Canadian rebels under the command of a Royal Navy officer at Schlosser on the Niagara River. In the fight that followed, she was set afire, abandoned and allowed to drift down the river. Some sources say that she went over the Falls. This incident caused hostile feelings along the U.S. northeastern frontier for many months.

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


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history




Saginaw Enters Lay-up

12/28
The Saginaw arrived at Cargill Elevator in Sarnia Friday night winter lay-up. The Saginaw ended a busy season backing to the dock.

The Agawa Canyon is expected to arrive in Sarnia over the next week also for lay-up.

Reported by: Barry Hiscocks


Soo Traffic

12/28
Vessel traffic continued at the Soo Friday under sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-30s. The Columbia Star and John J. Boland locked downbound around 9 a.m., while the Atlantic Erie was upbound at the same time. Roger Blough passed upbound around 2 p.m., and USCG Mackinaw transited the St. Mary's River as far as the Carbide Dock, where she moored for barely an hour at 3 p.m. before returning down river.

Pictures by Roger LeLievre
Mackinaw upbound at Mission Point.
Stern view.
John J. Boland downbound.
Atlantic Erie above the locks.
Columbia Star downbound.
Passing the Atlantic Erie.

Reported by: Roger LeLievre and Jerry Masson


Twin Ports Report

12/28
The Twin Ports received visits Friday from two infrequent callers. John D. Leitch, the boat formerly known as Canadian Century, was loading coal Friday morning at Midwest Energy Terminal. Meanwhile, the Adam E. Cornelius arrived in Duluth about 7:30 a.m. to load taconite pellets at the DMIR ore dock.

Two Harbors had a busy day Dec. 26, with Burns Harbor and Philip R. Clarke loading, followed by Cason J. Callaway.

Reported by: Al Miller


Marquette Update

12/28
The Lee A. Tregurtha and Algorail were at the ore dock in Marquette on Friday while the H. Lee White brought a load of stone to the lower harbor. The Armco tied up in the harbor to wait for the Lee A. Tregurtha to leave, and then for winds to die down. The Algomarine and Algosteel are both expected on Saturday.

Local media reported Friday that ten vessels have visited Marquette's harbors between Tuesday and Thursday. Another 18 are scheduled to arrive between Dec. 27 and Dec. 31.

Reported by: Lee Rowe and Art Pickering


Escanaba Report

12/28
The 1000-footer Mesabi Miner was in Friday afternoon to load taconite. There was work being done on the long laid-up tug Olive L. Moore. The Moore is docked at the ore docks, near the shore.

Mesabi Miner loading.
Close up.
Work on the Olive L. Moore.
Close up.

Reported by: Eric & Sandy Chapman


Saginaw River Update

12/28
The Saginaw was outbound the Saginaw River early Friday morning after unloading at the Saginaw Rock dock overnight.

Her fleet mate, the Maumee, was inbound Friday night passing the Front Range at 6:45 p.m. She was delayed slightly as there was no operator for the Liberty Bridge and the operator from Independence had to do double duty, leaving his bridge after allowing the Maumee to pass, and driving over to open Liberty.

Maumee was headed up to the Saginaw Wirt dock to unload.

Reported by: Stephen Hause, Lon Morgan and Todd Shorkey


Toledo News

12/28
The tug Mary E. Hannah with her barge was at the Sun Dock loading cargo. There was an Andrie Fleet tug and barge at the B-P Dock loading.

Two vessels have arrived for winter lay-up recently. They are the David Z. Norton at the south side of the Torco Ore Dock, and the Wolverine at the CSX #1 Dock directly across from the old ore dock. There will be several more vessels arriving here for winter lay-up over the next few days.

The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock will be the Buckeye on Saturday. The Adam E. Cornelius on Monday. The Reserve on Saturday 4 Jan. The Armco on Sunday 5 Jan. followed by the Oglebay Norton on Saturday 11 Jan. As of now the Oglebay Norton will be the last ore boat scheduled into the Torco Docks.

However due to weather and dock delays vessels scheduled into the Torco Docks could change or may be delayed from the original schedule. Currently there are no vessels in at the shipyard. There will be several vessels placed into the drydock this winter for survey and repairs.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman


St. Lawrence River Traffic at Verchères

12/28
Nelson off the Contrecoeur dock downbound from Seaway to Sorel, Dec.21.
Dimitris Manios upbound Verchères to Elevator 4 Montréal to load grain, Dec. 21.
Lake Ontario downbound from Seaway, Dec. 24.
Lake Ontario off the Verchères dock, Dec. 24.
Receeding water caused by passage of Lake Ontario at the Verchères dock attesting to the low water levels.
Federal Maas downbound from Montréal, Dec. 24.
Stern view.
Canmar Triumph upbound to Montréal from the Mediterranean, Dec. 27.
Canmar Triumph stern view, Dec. 27.
CSL Laurentien after exiting Seaway as last vessel of the season Dec. 27.
CSL Laurentien on her way to Baie Comeau, Dec. 27.
P&O Nedlloyd Auckland upbound to Montréal, Dec.27.
Stern view.

Reported by: Marc Piché


Today in Great Lakes History - December 28

The HENRY FORD II was laid up in the Rouge Steel slip at Dearborn, MI on December 28, 1988.

On 28 December 1907, CALDERA (steel propeller freighter, 504', 6328 gt) was launched at W. Bay City, MI.

On 28 December 1881, the steamer R. J. GORDON arrived in Port Huron from Marine City on her maiden voyage with a large number of passengers. She was powered with a steam engine with an 18" cylinder and 20" stroke. Her dimensions were 116' long with a 26' beam. She cost nearly $20,000 and was built to run between Algonac and Lexington.

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


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history




Traffic Halted at Soo Locks

12/27
Thursday afternoon a problem occurred with the Poe Lock guard gate after the St. Clair passed downbound. Divers entered the water shortly after 7 p.m. to inspect the gate.

The James R. Barker and Pineglen, both upbound, tied to the piers below the locks. The Armco went to anchor in the lower river. The downbound American Mariner and Joseph L. Block were also been directed to anchor above the locks.

The problem was either repaired or not serious enough to stop traffic. At 8:30 p.m. vessels waiting to lock through were again moving to the locks.

Pictures by Roger LeLievre
Philip R. Clarke upbound Christmas morning near Frechette Point in the St. Marys River.
Clarke, stern view at Mission Point.
George A. Stinson clears the Poe Lock upbound Christmas morning.
Stinson, stern view.
Tug W.N. Twolan upbound at Mission Point.
Christmas lights on the Soo's museum ship Valley Camp.
American Mariner waits above the Poe Lock.
Joseph L. Block waits for traffic to clear before locking downbound.
James R. Barker upbound below Mission Point late Thursday morning.

Reported by: Roger LeLievre, Jerry Masson and Dave Ogden


Last Ship of the Year

12/27
The last ship of the year in the St. Lawrence Seaway was the CSL Laurentien. The Laurentien transited the St. Lambert Lock at 8 p.m. Thursday night and tied up at the lower wall for the night. She will depart Friday morning at 7 a.m. for Baie Comeau. It is interesting to note that the first ship upbound in the Seaway on opening day, March 26, was fleet mate the CSL Niagara. It was also a CSL vessel that was the first downbound ship transiting at St. Lambert in March, the Jean Parisien on March 27.

St. Lawrence Seaway, 44th season. Opening day, 2002: March 26th - closing day, Dec. 26
Number of days of commercial navigation: 276
First upbound vessel: CSL Niagara on March 26 from Montreal to Nanticoke loaded with iron ore pellets
First foreign-flag vessel: Strange Attractor on March 26 loaded with sugar for Toronto.
First new foreign-flag vessel: Ellen Knutsen on April 2 bound for Valleyfield and Clarkson.
First downbound vessel at Iroquois Lock: Jean Parisien on March 27 in ballast from Hamilton to Pointe Noire, QC
Last vessel of the season: CSL Laurentien on Dec. 26 from Thunder Bay loaded with wheat and flaxseeds for Baie Comeau.
Last Canadian-flag vessel of the season: CSL Laurentien on Dec. 26.
Last foreign-flag vessel upbound: Nelson on Dec.15 loaded with steel for Toronto.
Last foreign-flag vessel downbound: Spar Jade in ballast from Burns Harbor on Dec. 25
Last upbound vessel at St. Lambert: Canadian Mariner on Dec. 22 from Trois-Rivières loaded with sugar for Toronto.

Reported by: René Beauchamp


Sarah Spencer in Midland

12/27
The barge Sarah Spencer and tug Jane Ann IV arrived in Midland, Ontario Thursday escorted through the ice by the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley.

The barge is loaded with wheat from Thunder Bay. It is unknown if the tug and barge will unload and continue trading or if they will lay-up in Midland.

Sarah Spencer inbound.
Close up of the bow.
Close up of the Jane Ann IV.
Through the ice.
Approaching the dock.

Reported by: Paul Beesley


Pathfinder Arrives

12/27
The tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder arrived at Bay Ship Thursday Morning. Bay Ship's tug Bay Ship was busy breaking ice at Berth #5 to allow the barge to enter. Once the Pathfinder was in place the tug Dorothy Ann was uncoupled and moved to Berth #11 where she will remain for the winter.

After the Dorothy Ann was in place the tug Bay Ship went over to the Wilfred Sykes and broke ice around the ship. The Sykes then moved deeper into Berth #3 allowing more room in the shipping channel for incoming ships.

Pathfinder and Dorothy Ann at Berth #5.
Wilfred Sykes in Berth #3.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle


Twin Ports Report

12/27
The Walter J. McCarthy Jr. apparently is the first vessel to lay up in the Twin Ports this season. The boat arrived in Duluth overnight on Dec. 25-26 and pulled into the Garfield C dock, which has been used for winter layup the past couple years. The vessel isn't scheduled to load at Midwest Energy Terminal or the DMIR dock, and by the end of the day Thursday its ballast tanks were largely pumped out, leaving the bow riding high in the water.

Midwest Energy Terminal currently has 11 more vessels scheduled for this season, with the last due to load Jan. 7. Eight of the cargoes are destined for Nanticoke. Of the remainder, H. Lee White is scheduled to load Saturday for the Shiras plant in Marquette, and James R. Barker is due to load today for the Presque Isle plant near Marquette and again Jan. 7 for Taconite Harbor.

Reported by: Al Miller


Marquette News

12/27
The Charles M. Beeghly and Algomarine loaded taconite at Marquette on a beautiful, sunny Thursday while the Lee A. Tregurtha and Algorail waited in the harbor. The Lee A. was able to get to the dock after the Beeghly departed. The Algorail was waiting for the Algomarine to complete her load before she could approach the dock.

Schedule changes and needed repairs have the Armco as the only ship expected on Friday. The Algosteel was delayed with some type of unloading boom failure. The Algomarine is expected to return on Saturday along with the Algosteel.

Beeghly loading.
Algomarine loading.
Stern view as the Lee A. waits in the harbor.
Close up of the Lee A.
Algorail waiting.

Reported by: Lee Rowe


Saginaw Update

12/27
The steamer Saginaw paid a late season visit to its namesake river on Thursday, breaking through a thin layer of ice that had formed over the past few days to deliver a load to the Saginaw Rock Products dock.

The vessel passed the Front Range mid-afternoon and had arrived at the dock by early evening. Saginaw Rock Products is located at the uppermost end of the shipping channel, adjacent to the Sixth Street turning basin in Saginaw. The Saginaw expected to be outbound early Friday morning.

The tug Mary E. Hannah & her barge departed the Triple Clean Liquifuels dock in Essexville early Thursday morning. The pair departed around 5:30 a.m. after unloading overnight.

Pictures by Todd Shorkey
Saginaw upbound passing Essroc.
Another view.
Bow close up.
Stern view passing Smith Park.

Reported by: Stephen Hause, Lon Morgan and Todd Shorkey


Cleveland Update

12/27
The Petite Forte arrived in Cleveland Thursday to leave a storage cargo of cement aboard the barge St. Marys. The Sam laud was departing the Cuyahoga River at 4 p.m. after possibly unloading stone at the Lafarge dock at W 3rd. street. The American Republic was also downbound after unloading ore at ISG upper dock.

The Petite forte may head to layup in Port Colborne rather than Port Weller as the canal is closed. Their last trip was delayed five days due to weather.

Reported by: Rex Cassidy


Kingston Report

12/27
After the CSL Laurentien cleared the area there was one last ships to come to Kingston. The CCGS Simcoe was working at Buoy M-6 and had turned and headed for Kingston. Her ETA was 4:35 p.m.

Reported by: Ron Walsh


St. Joe Lights

12/27
Below are animations of the St. Joseph break wall during a storm last Saturday. The marine forecast was calling for 7-11 footers on Lake Michigan and the weather didn't disappoint. The animation was shot at 4 frames per sec and shows the action in real time.

Animation of the outer light.
Another animation.

Reported by: Gary Martin


Today in Great Lakes History - December 27

The SAVIC (Cliffs Victory) cleared the Welland Canal Christmas night 1985 and finally anchored at Pointe aux Trembles near Montreal, Que. December 27th awaiting another load of scrap. The SAVIC remained there the entire winter, because the underwriters ordered that her hull be re-enforced by welding straps to her stress points for her overseas journey.

The THOMAS LAMONT as a single tow arrived at Aliaga, Turkey on December 27, 1987 where she was scrapped. The LAMONT was one of the last bulkers that retained her telescoping hatch covers to the very end.

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


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history




Last Through the Welland

12/26
The final upbound transit of the season was the Petite Forte and cement barge Tuesday evening. The pair cleared Port Colborne Wednesday morning after a stop at the fuel dock.

The last downbound transit was CSL Laurentien Tuesday evening. It cleared Port Weller earlier Wednesday morning. Following the Laurentien in was the Peter R. Cresswell for W10, Welland Dock in the Welland Canal. It arrived later that morning

Reported by: Jimmy Sprunt


Twin Ports Report

12/26
Christmas was a busy day at several Twin Ports docks. Buckeye was under the gravity chutes at the DMIR ore dock while across St. Louis Bay the Oglebay Norton and Columbia Star loaded at Midwest Energy Terminal. Down the harbor a couple miles, CSL Tadoussac and Great Lakes Trader were both due at BNSF ore dock. With a long wait ahead of it, John J. Boland made the rare move of backing into the long-unused Lakehead Pipeline dock next to the King Midas Flour mill and Elevator M. This dock hasn't been used since the '50s, and it's not used as a layby dock, so the move may have been made to give crew members and their families a chance get together on Christmas.

The DMIR ore dock in Two Harbors also was busy on Christmas, loading the Joe Block and then Burns Harbor, a pair of vessels that have become regulars in Two Harbors over the past couple seasons.

Mild weather has left open water in parts of the Twin Ports, easing the job of late-season loading. The DMIR dock, which often closes by mid-December, is scheduled to load vessels at least through New Year's Day. Oglebay Norton is due back from Silver Bay today to load; Atlantic Erie is due Dec. 28, James R. Barker, Dec. 29; Indiana Harbor, Dec. 31, and Armco and Reserve are both scheduled to begin 2003 loading taconite pellets.

The Two Harbors ore dock has an even busier lineup: Philip R. Clarke and Cason J. Callaway, Dec. 26; Presque Isle, Dec. 27; Edgar B. Speer and Roger Blough, Dec. 28; Edwin H. Gott, Dec. 30; John G. Munson and Oglebay Norton, Dec. 31; Arthur M. Anderson, Jan. 2.

Reported by: Al Miller


Marquette Update

12/26
Calmer weather has allowed shipping to continue at the Marquette ore dock. The Algosteel, J. Thompson, American Mariner and Charles Beeghly loaded Christmas Day. Expected during the next two days are the Algomarine, Lee A. Tregurtha, Adam Cornelius, Algorail, Armco, H. Lee White, and Herbert Jackson.

Reported by: Lee Rowe


Pathfinder in Milwaukee

12/26
On Christmas Eve Day the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann were entering Milwaukee Harbor. They entered the breakwater about 2 p.m., turned and backed down to the coal dock where they began unloading at 2:45 p.m. The vessel appeared to be carrying part of a split load as she was not fully loaded.

Backing to the coal dock.
Close up of the tug.
Unloading.
Tugs Arkansas and Virginia docked at the Lafarge dock.

Reported by: Andy Hansen


Welland Traffic

12/26
Christmas Eve was a busy day along the Welland Canal, as vessels rushed to get through the system before its closure.

Captain Henry Jackman upbound . Note the Christmas lights.
Stern View.
Evans McKeil and barge Salty Dog Number 1 tied up in Port Colborne.
Comeaudoc at the Port Colborne Scrap yard.
Algogulf and Kinsman Enterprise.
Seahound and Vac tied up near the Port Colborne Pilot Boat office. The pilot boat is now in Port Weller and has been taken out of the water for the winter.
Pineglen upbound below Lock 8. She went to wharf 16 and tied up to fuel.
Close up of bow.
Halifax upbound below Lock 8. They reported that they are headed for Detroit, and then are headed for the coal run.
Stern View.
Atlantic Erie upbound in the Welland By-Pass.
Stern View.
Algobay downbound below Lock 1, cargo of coal for Hamilton.
Stern View.
Port Weller Dry Docks.
McKee Sons downbound above Lock 2. Destined for Hamilton with a storage cargo of grain.
The crew was busy taking down the Christmas tree-a day early.
Tug Invincible.
Stern View.
Cedarglen upbound above Lock 7.
Stern View.

Reported by: Jeff Thoreson


Kingston Area Update (Seaway West)

12/26
The CSL Laurentien was eastbound and they are keeping the Seaway open until she clears. She left Port Weller Piers at 8:50 a.m. Wednesday and is due at Newcastle at 11:50 a.m. This should be the last transit for the system.

The Spar Jade was due at Beauharnois at 10:50 a.m. and the Algocen was at Cote Ste. Catherine at 10:10 a.m. The Spar Jade was reported to have struck at Lock 3 and 2 due to winds and had to tie up for some time in the Welland Canal.

The English River cleared Bath for Toronto. She was a Midlake at 10:10 a.m. The Stephen B. Roman was expected to clear Picton for Toronto at late Tuesday night.

Reported by: Ron Walsh


Midland Ice

12/26
Tuesday crews from the Canadian Coast Guard Station in Perry Sound surveyed Midland Harbor by helicopter to check ice conditions prior to the arrival of the tug Jane Ann IV and barge Sarah Spencer.

The station has three helicopters that work between the Ontario-Quebec border and the Arctic all the way to Tuktoyaktuk.

The ice is estimate to be between 4 and 6 inches thick in Midland. The Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley will be leaving some time after Wednesday to escort the Jane Anne IV.

Pilot, George, putting on his helmet.
George carrying out pre-start checks.
Bell 206 on the pad. In Parry sound we also use a Bell 212 and an MBB 205.
Helo and tractor being used to put it in the hanger.
Backing into the hanger around the construction work.
Wilson McInnes taking off inflatable life vest after the flight.
The flight instrument panel.
Our Kuwaiti cadet, Salah, after the flight. The Canadian Coast Guard provides navigation training to young men from Kuwait and the UAE. This training is identical to the training offered to all other CCG cadets, a four year program at the Canadian Coast Guard College in Sydney, Nova Scotia and includes sea-training. Most of the Kuwait cadets end up working for their country's marine police when they graduate.
The helo on its trailer waiting for the tractor.
Ice in the Harbor.
Close up.

Reported by: Paul Beesley


Today in Great Lakes History - December 26

In 1981 the ENDERS M. VOORHEES laid up for the last time at Duluth's Hallett Dock #5.

On 26 December 1916, the wreck of the wooden self-unloading freighter TOPEKA was leveled by dynamiting. She sank just off Windsor/Sandwich, Ontario in the Detroit River on 15 April 1916 in a collision with the small steamer CHRISTOPHER. Her machinery was removed prior to dynamiting.

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


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history




Final Seaway Transits

12/25
Update
During the night the Spar Jade remained at the Snell Lock and will transit at St.Lambert tonight. The Algocen did not stop and will transit at the St. Lambert Lock much sooner than expected, at around noon Wednesday heading for section 14 at Sorel-Tracy. After unloading, it is believed she will winter there with her fleetmates Algonorth and Algocatalyst at the Fraser Ship Repairs docks recently acquired by Fraser which is a subsidiary of Algoma Central Corp.

Spar Jade will not be the last ship of the season. Transiting Lock 1 of the Welland Canal this morning was CSL Laurentien bound for Baie Comeau from Thunder Bay. She is loaded with with wheat and flaxseeds. Her estimated time at the St. Lambert Lock is late Thursday night.

Original Report
Expected to be the last ship of the season in the St. Lawrence Seaway will be Algocen late Wednesday or Thursday. Algocen is loaded with wheat for Sorel-Tracy from Thunder Bay

Ahead of the Algocen is the saltie Spar Jade. The Spar Jade is the last saltie of the year. Late Tuesday afternoon she was in the Snell Lock area. Spar Jade is in ballast for Montreal for bunkers from Burns Harbor.

Reported by: René Beauchamp, Jimmy Sprunt and Ron Walsh


Challenger Enters Lay-up

12/25
The Southdown Challenger arrived in Milwaukee early Tuesday morning for lay up. Crews were busy all day Tuesday preparing the boat for a winter nap. Life rings and survival suits were collected and inventoried, all mooring lines were put out and doubled, a shore side crane pulled the anchor chain on to the dock and engineers rigged cables for shore power.

The forward end crew will be paid off on the 25th at noon while the engine room and galley crews will be on board until Jan. 15th. The boats Unaflow engine will be getting a "ring job" this winter. The engine will have to be partially disassembled before this can take place. The 1906 built vessel will also be getting a 5 year inspection this coming spring at Bayship in Sturgeon Bay, WI.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde


Sykes Arrives

12/25
The Wilfred Sykes arrive at Bay Ship in Sturgeon Bay Tuesday evening. She tied up at Berth 3 for winter lay-up. The tug Jimmy L. from Selvick Marine broke the ice in Berth 3 so the Sykes could work her way in.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle


Jane Ann IV Returns

12/25
After a short stay at the Fraser drydock in Superior, Wisconsin, the Jane Ann IV returned to the port of Thunder Bay early December 24th and hooked back up with her barge Sarah Spencer.

The pair then departed Agricore United "a" elevator on the North end of the city. Once out the Breakwall Entrance they set course for Midland, ON with their load of wheat.

Reported by: Rob Farrow


Christmas Eve Traffic

12/25
The Kaye E. Barker made a final stop to unload a split cargo load in Green Bay Tuesday afternoon. The Barker loaded 29,000 tons of coal in Toledo, unloaded 11,000 tons in Milwaukee, 10,000 tons in Manitowoc and unloaded the final 8,000 tons at the Fox River Dock in Green Bay.

The Barker made quick work of her small load and cleared the Green Bay Channel around 5:30 p.m. The Agawa Canyon was still waiting out water levels about 7 miles north of Green Bay.

Reported by: Jason Leino and Wendell Wilke


Saginaw River enjoys a good year for tonnage

12/25
Shipping tonnage on the Saginaw River this season will likely match last year's totals despite an early freeze, according to local dock officials.

According to a Bay City Times story by Pati LaLonde, the shipping season started slowly but higher water levels and the use of bigger vessels helped overcome the handicap. Most of the cargo carried up the river consists of road salt, coal, sand, limestone and potash.

Tonnage hauled to the Saginaw Rock and the Sargent Dock and Terminal docks this season should just about match last year's total of 1 million tons, said Manager Michael Androl.

Road salt and potash shipped across the dock are used around most of Lower Michigan and as far south as Toledo. Limestone is distributed within a 125-mile radius while the coal and sand are used at Delphi in Saginaw, he said.

Essroc Materials, which has a dock in Essexville, also is reporting a good year in tonnage. Buzz West, plant chemist and production manager, said one fewer freighter will visit this year but tonnage of clinker (used in making concrete) has increased.

"The water is up about 10 inches this year, and we can get more of a load on ships," West told the newspaper. "This year we will get about 24,000-25,000 tons for the year. Previous years it was about 21,000 ton."

Reported by: Dan Kennedy


Toronto Update

12/25
The Canadian Mariner arrived just after noon Tuesday with raw sugar for Redpath. It was assisted into the dock by the McKeil tug Atomic.

Shortly after 1 p.m. the C. & C. Marine tug Patricia D. I returned to port from an 11 week salvage operation on Lake Simcoe. On the (Canadian) Thanksgiving weekend, the spud barge Spike B. sank in Lake Simcoe, carrying a $2 million crane to the bottom with it. The barge was raised two weeks ago from 60-feet of water, and it was used to bring the lost crane to the surface. The crane was hoisted ashore at Sutton, Ontario on Sunday morning.

Carolina Borealis, the former tug Glenmont has been turned at her dock to allow the sand-blasting and painting of the starboard side. The port side painting has been completed.

CSL's Spruceglen continued loading at Pier 52 Tuesday afternoon.

Reported by: Gerry O.


Kingston Area Update

12/25
The Spar Jade passed Cape Vincent at early Tuesday Morning and was due at Crossover Island at 9:35 a.m. This should be the last eastbound saltie. However the Oligocene is also eastbound and is due at Sodas at 10 a.m.

The tug Carol C was passing through with an unknown tow, they were expected at Cape Vincent after 9 a.m. The Algonova was waiting to enter Nanticoke on Sunday evening.

Reported by: Ron Walsh


Christmas Menu

12/25
Below is the menu from Christmas Day, 1946 on the carferry City of Flint 32.
Consommé or Chilled Tomato Juice
Oyster Stew
Assorted Relish
Roast Young Tom Turkey, Dressing, Cranberry Sauce $1.75
Prime Rib of Beef Au Jus $1.60
Baked Ham Southern Style Raisin $1.60
Whipped Potatoes or Glazed Sweet Potatoes
Buttered Peas or Mashed Squash
Iceberg Lettuce, Mayonnaise
Apple Pie, Mince Pie, Pumpkin Pie
Ice Cream, Fruit Cake
Coffee, Tea, Milk
Assorted Fruit and Nuts

Reported by: Bob Vande Vusse


Seasons Greetings

12/25
Happy Holidays to all, the web site has seen another year of amazing growth and I thank everyone for their hard work in contributing to the site and thank the regular viewers for their continued support.

Click here for my electronic Holiday greeting card.


Today in Great Lakes History - December 25

The E.G. GRACE carried 14,797 tons of taconite ore on her last trip out of Taconite Harbor, MN bound for South Chicago, IL and then was laid up at Ashtabula, OH on December 25, 1976 with engine trouble which often plagued the six "Al" ships powered with Lentz-Poppet engines. The lay-up of the E.G. GRACE lasted until April, 1984 when she became the first Maritimer to be sold for scrap.

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


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history




CSL Buys MacKenzie

12/24
Gerald Carter, President of Canada Steamship Lines Inc. in Montreal (CSL) has announced Monday that it had finalized its purchase of the M/V MacKenzie from Fednav Limited of Montreal.

This gearless vessel will be renamed the Birchglen and will join the current CSL bulker fleet composed of the Ferbec, the Oakglen, the Mapleglen, the Pineglen, the Cedarglen, the Teakglen and most recently, the Spruceglen. As an ocean-going vessel, the Birchglen will further enhance CSL’s current trading patterns, therefore providing greater flexibility to all customers’ delivery schedules.

Canada Steamship Lines Inc. is a major North American shipping company transporting over 20 million tonnes of bulk cargo annually. CSL, together with its affiliated company, CSL International Inc., owns and operates the largest fleet of self-unloading vessels in the world.

Fednav International Ltd. (FIL) is the main operating subsidiary of Fednav Limited. FIL is based in Montreal and it controls a fleet of more than seventy vessels.

MacKenzie on the Detroit River. Mike Nicholls
Stern view Mike Nicholls

Reported by: Canada Steamship Lines


Everlast Headed for East Coast

12/24
The tug Everlast and barge Norman McLeod are on a trip to Portland, Maine. This is the pair’s first trip off the lakes. Early this morning the tug and barge were on the St. Lawrence River heading to Dartmouth, N.S. loading for Portland and Boston, MA.

It is unknown if this trade route will become a regular run for the pair, but its operators hope to keep it active in the off season.

Reported by: Jimmy Sprunt


Roger Blough Waits on Water Levels

12/24
The downbound Roger Blough was anchored in the St. Clair River off Recor Point (Detroit Edison) on the American side Monday. The Blough is on a trip to Conneaut and is delayed by low water levels.

This is the second time in three weeks that the Blough has had to wait for water levels to rise before resuming. Last trip they were anchored in Lake Huron and got orders to turn around and head to Gary Indiana instead of Conneaut Ohio.

Reported by: Craig S. Zimmerman


Marquette News

12/24
Strong winds on Lake Superior kept boats from arriving at the Marquette ore dock on Sunday. When the winds subside an impressive lineup of ships at the dock for the next few days may include the Algosteel, Algomarine, J. Thompson, Algorail, Charles Beeghly, American Mariner, Lee A. Tregurtha, Armco and Adam E. Cornelius.

Reported by: Lee Rowe


Thunder Bay Traffic

12/24
Below are images of shifting the barge Sarah Spencer in Thunder Bay. See story dates 12/23 for more details.

Tow departs from Sask Pool 7a.
Tow passing Sleeping Giant.
Approaching North Entrance.
Spencer wind blown sideways.
Robert W drops Spencer Crewman off on AU"a" dock.
Spencer then blown in opposite direction.
Straight as an arrow thru the Breakwall Entrance.
Thru Entrance and turning toward AU"a" elevator.
Approaching dock.
Glenada sliding along dock.
Close up.
Robert W pins Sarah Spencer's bow against dock.
Crewman from Robert W removes tow shackle from Spencer.
Point Valour backing out of notch normally occupied by Jane Ann IV.
The Trio prepares to leave.
Heading for home.

Other recent Traffic
Alma Marie at MacDiarmid, ON.
Former logging tug Brompton Seal at MacDiarmid, ON.
Mesissa Mae at MacDiarmid, ON.
Canadian Olympic at Pascol winter layup slip beside Algontario.
Mackenzie departs on her final trip from Thunder Bay with that name.

Reported by: Rob Farrow


Green Bay Delays

12/24
Monday the Agawa Canyon was anchored just west of the Green Bay entrance light waiting for water levels in the river to rise. The wind has lowered the water level giving the Agawa Canyon only a foot of clearance off the bottom. They are expected to come in tomorrow morning as the water level rises. The Kaye E. Barker is scheduled at the Fox River Dock Tuesday morning with coal. She may also be delayed by weather.

Reported by: Jason Leino


Busy Day in Grand Haven

12/24
After one of the slowest fall seasons in recent memory, the Lake Michigan ports of Grand Haven/Ferrysburg had two vessel visits on Sunday. The Algorail was the first in, with a load for Meekhof's. The Earl W. Oglebay followed her with a load for the same Meekhof's dock. The Earl W. was still in port Monday night awaiting better weather for departure.

The visits were the first since November 15, an unheard-of 37 day hiatus for this small but fairly active port.

Reported by: David Swain


Cold Day at Stoneport

12/24
The Maumee arrived at Stoneport Monday morning. It loaded through out the day in cold winds and intermittent snow showers, departing by 7 p.m.

The Sam Laud is scheduled to load next followed by the Earl W. Oglebay later on Christmas Eve. Stoneport is expected to stay open until the first of the year.

In other news the steamer Alpena is due into port on Christmas Eve after delivering cement to Marysville, MI.

Maumee Loading.
Stern view.

Reported by: Ben & Chanda McClain


Goderich Report

12/24
Three boats have visited the salt mine last week. The Algoway was in on Tuesday, loading for Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Agawa Canyon was in late Wednesday or early Thursday, also loading for Green Bay. The John B. Aird came in on a very mild Thursday, loaded with salt, and departed for Valleyfield and Quebec City, Quebec.

Reported by: Lisa Stuparyk


Saginaw News

12/24
The tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader was inbound the Saginaw River Sunday night, passing Light 12 of the Entrance Channel around 7:30pm. She proceeded up the Bay City Wirt Dock where she was unloading still unloading at 10:30 p.m.

The CSL Tadoussac also visited the river earlier in the week, arriving at the Essroc Terminal Late Friday night. She departed stern first, backing out for Light 12 to turn around, early Saturday morning before daylight.

Reported by: Stephen Hause, Lon Morgan and Todd Shorkey


Detroit Traffic

12/24
Low water levels caused many vessels to tie up around Detroit Saturday. The Algolake came down with a load of coal for Zug Island. The Carolyn Hoey assisted her into the coal dock in the Rouge Short Cut Canal.

Sea Eagle II and St Marys Cement II unloading at the St. Marys Cement Plant in the Rouge River.
Bow view.
Stern view.
Tug Karen Andrie and barge A 397 at the Michigan Marine Terminal Dock loaded with asphalt and waiting for water levels to rise so they can proceed to Monroe.
Stern view.
Close up.
Fred R White Jr tied up at Zug Island waiting for the water level to rise.
Stern view.
James R Barker tied up at Zug Island waiting for the water level to rise.
Close up.
Stern view.
Algolake downbound off the old Rouge River entrance and turning into the Short Cut Canal. The "Old Rouge" refers to the natural out fall of the Rouge River into the Detroit River. It is a narrow winding section of the river that was used before Ford dredged the "Short Cut Canal".
Turning.
Along side.
H Lee White and Sam Laud at DMT 2 waiting for the water level to rise.
Algolake at the dock, note the distance from the dock due to low water.
Wide view through the Short Cut Bridge.

Reported by: Mike Nicholls


Seaway News

12/24
The Spar Jade was on a quite trip down the Seaway Monday. She had to tie up Sunday night in the Welland Canal as the winds reached 36 knots at Port Weller. She transited Lake Ontario and went to anchor (AG1) Monday night. She also had an inspection in the Welland Canal.

Sunday night the Sea Eagle II and barge had to turn back and go to Long Point Bay, Lake Erie due to weather.

As of Monday evening the Sea Eagle II, James R. Barker, Mesabi Miner, Algowood, Peter R. Cresswell and tug Invincible with barge McKee Sons were anchored in Long Point Bay. The James R. Barker is waiting to go into Nanticoke.

The Canadian Mariner was at Cape Vincent Monday night but planned to run at reduced speed due to weather. She may go to Prince Edward Bay and anchor.

Gale warnings are up on Lake Ontario. The Canadian Prospector and Algosoo are laid up in Hamilton. The James Norris also appears to be laid up there. The Gordon C. Leitch was unloading at Hamilton Monday morning and then entered lay-up.

Reported by: Ron Walsh


Salties Sold for Demolition

12/24
The following vessels, all visitors to St. Lawrence Seaway/Great Lakes ports under at least one name were sold a few months ago to be broken up according to the November edition of "Marine News" published by the World Ship Society. In brackets next to the name of the vessel is the year the ship transited the St. Lawrence Seaway for the first time bound for the Lakes.

Ciudad Guayana arrived Mumbai, India 5/9/2002. In the Seaway as Sylvo (1985).
The Freedom class Hai Hing was beached at Alang, India 11/9/2002. In the Seaway as Catherine V. (1989) Note: This vessel built in 1977 was originally named Titika Halcoussi (II) and never transited under that name. However, another ship named Titika Halcoussi (I), also a Freedom and built in 1971 entered the Seaway in 1972. She was renamed Indian Faith in 1975 and under that name, arrived at Alang 27/2/1991 to be broken up. Quite a coincidence that both Titika Halcoussi were sold to be demolished at the same scrap yard.
Beached at Alang 11/9/2002 was Hui Shun. In the Seaway as Heroinae (1984).
Beached at Alang 21/8/2002 was Mattheos L. In the Seaway as Helmut Hermann (1982) while on charter to Saguenay Shipping.
Mehmet Emin (1990) arrived Alang 22/9/2002. In the Seaway also under her two other names, Choho Maru (1977) and Blue Pine (1982).
Nymrod arrived Aliaga, Turkey 27/8/2002 . In the Seaway as Manchester Rapido (1971).
Beached at Chittagong, Bangladesh 28/8/2002 was Oriental Queen. In the Seaway as Laurentine (1974), Alexis (1986) and Laserbeam (1991).
Beached at Aliaga 4/8/2002 was Raeed. In the Seaway as Gregerso (1975).
Beached at Alang 27/8/2002 was Zee One. In the Seaway as Transocean Pioneer (1984) and Stella (1993).
Also reported is the sale to shipbreakers of Sasha Borodulin (1970). She arrived in India previous to 31/12/2000. Her last reported sailing was from Kochi, Japan 8/11/2000.

Reported by: René Beauchamp


St. Lawrence River Traffic at Verchères & St. Laurent du Fleuve

12/24
Cedar downbound from Seaway, Dec.19.
Cedar abeam the Verchères dock, Dec.19.
Stern view.
Canadian Miner downbound from Seaway, Dec.19.
Catherine Desgagnés downbound from Seaway, Dec.19.
Stern view.
Vamand Wave downbound from Seaway, Dec.19.
Lake Michigan downbound from Seaway, Dec.19.
Stern view.
Nogat downbound from Montréal after emergency repairs due to grounding, Dec.19.
Stern view.
Atlantic Erie approaching Verchères, Dec.19.
Atlantic Erie downbound from Seaway, Dec.19.
Jumbo Spirit downbound from Montréal off St. Laurent du Fleuve, Dec.21.
Stern view.
Kapitonas Marcinkus downbound from Seaway off St. Laurent du Fleuve Dec. 21.
Stern view.
Goldeneye downbound from Seaway off St. Laurent du Fleuve, Dec. 21.

Reported by: Marc Piché


Today in Great Lakes History - December 24

December 24, 1969 - The CITY OF FLINT 32 made her last trip out of Ludington pulled by 2 tugs. She was sold to Norfolk and Western Railway Company to be converted into a river ferry barge and renamed ROANOKE.

On 24 December 1910, ALSAKA (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 165', 348 t, built in 1878 at Detroit, formerly ACORN) was sheltering from a storm a few miles from Tobermory, Ontario, when she caught fire from an overheated boiler and burned to a total loss. She was originally built as a sidewheel passenger vessel and when rebuilt in 1889, her engine went into the steamer FRANK E. KIRBY.

On 24 December 1875, the Port Huron Times listed the following vessels at winter lay-up at St. Clair, Michigan -- Scows: ANNA H. MOORE, A. MONROE, MYRTLE, CLIPPER VISION, J. SNADERS and B. MONROE; Steamers: BERTIE DAHLKE and HELEN; Schooners: JOHN RICE and M. R. GOFFE; Barges: MILLIN and JUSTIN R. WHITING; Tug: C. M. FARRAR; and Dredge: H. LIFIAN.

On Christmas Eve of 1979 While at her temporary dock in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the E.M. Ford sank when gale force winds forced her from her moorings and repeatedly slammed her bow into the dock facing. By Christmas morning her stern was settled on the bottom, her engine room flooded. Her storage cargo of powdered cement was partially flooded also. By afternoon, the proud steamer lay sunken at her dock. She stayed on the bottom for several weeks as crews had to remove a solid 3 feet of hardened cement and patch her holed bow. On January 20th, 1980 she was refloated and towed to Bay Shipbuilding where work began on rebuilding her.

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


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history




Jane Ann IV Heads for Dry Docking

12/23
The tug Jane Ann IV and barge Sarah Spencer encountered a problem with their bow thruster while lining up for the dock at Saskatchewan Pool 7a on Saturday. She anchored and called for the assistance of local tug Point Valour. The pair were successfully docked and tied up at Pool 7a.

Saturday afternoon a diver was in the water inspecting the Jane Ann IV and apparently found that the blades on the props, along with the kort nozzles, had been damaged. Shortly after the diver went into the water a containment boom was drawn into place as oil was found to be leaking from the stern of the Jane Ann IV. This damage may have occurred from the December 19 grounding, when they suffered a steering pump malfunction.

Late night Saturday, the Jane Ann IV cleared the South Piers and set course for Fraser Shipyards at Superior, Wisconsin. There she will be dry docked and have the damage repaired. The Jane Ann IV could not use the Pascol Engineering drydock in Thunder Bay.

On Sunday the Sarah Spencer was moved from Saskatchewan Pool 7a, out the South Entrance and over to the North Entrance, where she was placed dockside at Agricore United "a" elevator. Considering that Gale Force winds had been forecasted the night before and the fact that the Courtney Burton was anchored out in the Harbor for Weather, proved that this feat was a major accomplishment in itself.

Once again the services of Thunder Bay Tug Services were called upon. The tugs Point Valour (captained by Roger Hurst), Glenada (Captained by Stan Dawson) and Robert W (captained by Gerry Dawson), were put to the test. The Glenada took the head of the tow at the bow, the Point Valour entered and tied up in the notch in the back of the barge and the Robert W transferred a crewman from dock to dock and also assisted when needed. At 1 p.m. the Trio backed the Spencer out of the 7a slip and turned her around in the inner harbor.

Once out of the safety of the inner Harbour, strong winds buffeted the tow. Swaying from side to side in the wind, the barge kept moving forward by the powerful Glenada on the bow. As they turned to line up for the North Entrance the winds along with a strong current from the Current River, which had been feed by recent rains, kept pushing the Spencer one way and then the other way. As they neared the Breakwall Entrance the skill of the tug crews shinned through. With the Glenada successfully keeping the bow straight, the Robert W moved from bow to stern keeping the Spencer in line, as the Point Valour kept drag on the stern to straighten her out. The Spencer slipped through the entrance perfectly lined up.

Once up to the edge of the dock the Glenada rode the dockside keeping the bow pressed against the dock as they slid along the slip. Finally the Spencer was in position and the Robert W kept the bow pinned against the dock as the lone crewman from the Spencer hurriedly tied the bow up. Then the Robert W slid to the stern of the Spencer and snugged it up dockside. After the Spencer was tied up at 3:30 p.m. the three tugs headed back to their dock, another job well done.

Reported by: Rob Farrow


More News

12/23
Check back tomorrow for more news updates. I've fallen a bit behind with the holidays.




Weekly Updates

12/23
The weekly updates have been uploaded.
Included this week are updates to the Lay-up List and the Annual Holiday Card Gallery.
Click here to view




Today in Great Lakes History - December 23

The IMPERIAL ST. CLAIR was selected to participate in the three-year winter navigation experiment during which the Soo Locks remained open all year. On December 23, 1976, at the very onset, she ran aground entering ice-jammed Parry Sound on Georgian Bay in a blinding snow squall. One of her cargo tanks ruptured spilling 1,800 barrels of diesel oil.

The SAVIC (Cliffs Victory) was downbound past Detroit, MI December 23, 1985 by-passing a 15,000 ton load of scrap because of the lack of time to clear the Seaway.

CHARLES DICK was sold for scrap to Marine Salvage Ltd., Port Colborne, Ont. on December 23, 1976.

The SIR TREVOR DAWSON was laid up after the War until December 23, 1920 when she was sold to Pioneer Steamship Co. and renamed c) CHARLES L. HUTCHINSON (3).

On 23 December 1905, JAMES B. WOOD (steel propeller freighter, 514', 7159 gt) was launched at W. Bay City, MI. In 1913, she was renamed ARCTURUS.

On 23 December 1885, MARY MARTINI (wooden propeller passenger-package freight vessel, 85', 91 gt, built in 1877 at W. Bay City) stranded on Brule Point, 13 miles east of Grand Marais, MN on Lake Superior in fair weather. A navigational error was blamed. She became a total loss but her passengers and crew were taken off by the Duluth tug T. H. CAMP.

In 1903 the PERE MARQUETTE 20 arrived Ludington on her maiden voyage.

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


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




Today in Great Lakes History - December 22

The SAVIC (Cliffs Victory) finally arrived at Masan, South Korea December 22, 1986 for dismantling there which was completed in 1987.

DETROIT EDISON (2) grounded on Gray's Reef in northern Lake Michigan, December 22, 1980, inflicting heavy damage to 350 feet of her bottom.

The GORDON C. LEITCH (1) was laid up on December 22, 1981 no longer economically able to compete and was used for grain storage at Toronto.

RAYMOND H. REISS arrived at Ramey's Bend, Port Colborne, Ont. on December 22, 1980 for scrapping there.

LIGHTSHIP 103 was commissioned December 22, 1920.

On 22 December 1922, CORNELL (wooden propeller tug, 72', 66 gt, built in 1888 at Buffalo) foundered somewhere between Cleveland and Erie, PA while enroute to new owners in Syracuse, NY. She had a crew of 8. The weather was clear and mild with almost no wind. She had just been put back into service and inspected after several years of idleness. Her ice-encrusted lifeboat was found on 26 December, 25 miles east of Long Point, containing the frozen body of the fireman.

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


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history




Anderson Visits Green Bay

12/21
Friday morning the Arthur M Anderson arrived in the slip of the Fox River Dock in Green Bay, WI. The Anderson spent the day unloading 21,000 tons of coal; the coal they unloaded was a split cargo. Part was loaded in Sandusky and the rest in Toledo. Departure was set for about 3:30 p.m. Friday afternoon.

This has been a very busy week at the Fox River Dock. Thursday the Algoway unloaded salt, Friday was the Arthur M Anderson and expected Friday evening was the Agawa Canyon with more salt. Also expected this weekend is the tug Gregory J Busch to unload pig iron and then load boulders. Also due Friday evening was the tug Barbra Andrie and a barge with a cargo for Construction Resources Management dock. Due early Monday December 22 is the John G Munson with coal from South Chicago for the C. Reiss Dock.

Anderson unloading about an hour after arriving.
Stern view unloading .
Close up unloading coal .
Santa rides onboard the Anderson .
Unloading later in the afternoon .
Dock view Friday afternoon.

Reported by: Scott Best


Expansion in Sight for Former LTV Property

12/21
the company, Calumet Transfer has won a bid to purchase the LTV Coke plant in Chicago. The 100 acre facility and ship dock have been on the market for some time.

Stephen Beemsterboer, one and one of the three owner-managers of Calumet Transfer, is also president of Beemsterboer Slag. This 60 year old family-owned company unloads coal and coke from barges at its Calumet docks and reloads the cargo into ships that carry it to steel mills on the Great Lakes.

Calumet Transfer in planning on initiating a long-term environmental cleanup of the property, which still could be restarted after LTV cold idled the plant in February. They also plan to expand use of the property and the dock area, which should mean continued ship activity in that area.

Reported by: Scott Spencer


Group hopes to find the Asia

12/21
A fund has been started to raise money to send an expedition to Georgian Bay equipped with side scan sonar equipment to locate the wreck of the passenger steamer Asia, which sank with the loss of more than 100 lives during a storm in September, 1882.

For details, visit findtheasia.ca


Windoc Report Release Date

12/21
The Canadian Transportation Safety Board will release their report on the August 11, 2001 accident involving the Windoc in the Welland Canal. The report will be released to the public on January 9 during a press conference in Thorold, Ont.
The full report will be available on the Transportation Safety Board's web site, check back for updates

Reported by: Alexander Paterson


Twin Ports Report

12/21
The departure of the last salties has left the Twin Ports fairly quiet. Herbert C. Jackson arrived about 7 a.m. Friday to load grain at the Cenex Harvest States elevator. Other traffic included George A. Stinson at BNSF ore dock and Canadian Transport, due late at Midwest Energy Terminal.

Midwest Energy Terminal is now scheduled to load vessels early into the new year. This is a far cry from several years ago, when the dock generally shut down about the middle of December. Currently, Algowood is scheduled to load for Nanticoke on Jan. 2 and Canadian Enterprise is due to load for Nanticoke on Jan. 5. The Paul R. Tregurtha's Dec. 30 run to Taconite Harbor is now listed as questionable.

Nanticoke is figuring prominently in the late-season scheduling for Midwest Energy Terminal. Including the two mentioned above, there are nine coal cargoes slated for Nanticoke between Friday and Jan. 5. Scheduled to carry one or more cargoes are Canadian Transport, Canadian Enterprise, Algolake, John D. Leitch, Canadian Progress and Algowood.

Reported by: Al Miller


St. Lawrence River Traffic at Verchères

12/21
Wednesday was a busy day in the St. Lawrence River. The pictures below were taken over a two hour-period after sunrise. At this time of year, ships start departing Montréal just after 7 a.m. and arrive downbound off Verchères about an hour later.

Federal Rideau downbound from Montréal to Sorel.
Lykes Winner downbound from Montréal.
Lykes Winner on her way to South Africa.
Stern view.
Pembroke Senator upbound for Montréal.
Stern view.
Panoramic view from the Verchères dock with Magdalena Green, Pembroke Senator & Orsula.
Orsula downbound from Seaway.
Stern view.
Magdalena Green downbound from Seaway.
Parade of downbound ships from the Verchères dock, Magdalena Green, Orsula & Lykes Winner.
Cedarglen downbound from Seaway.
Milo downbound from Seaway.
Stern view.
Dusita Naree downbound from Montréal Elevator no.4 with a full load of grain.
Stern view.
Cast Performance downbound from Montréal berth 78.
Stern view.
Cast Performance distant stern view.
Porto Cayo upbound from Contrecoeur dock to Montréal berth 43, Dec.19.
Porto Cayo stern view some 20 minutes after sunrise Dec.19.

Reported by: Marc Piché


Today in Great Lakes History - December 21

The 437-foot bow section of the Roger Blough was float launched December 21, 1968 less ballast tanks because the existing dry dock wasn’t wide enough to accommodate her 105-foot width.

The WILLIAM G. MATHER was laid up for the last time December 21, 1980 at the Hocking Valley coal dock at Toledo, OH.

AMOCO ILLINOIS was laid up for the last time at Bay City, MI on December 21, 1980.

HOCHELAGA (2) was laid up on December 21, 1981 for the last time at Cardinal, Ont.

The OUTARDE (3) operated until December 21, 1983 when she was laid up for the last time at Toronto.

On 21 December 1891, the whaleback steamer CHARLES W. WETMORE tied up at the dock at Everett, Washington, ending a voyage of 93 days that started in Philadelphia and went around the tip of South America.

On 21 December 1879, CITY OF TOLEDO (wooden propeller package freighter, 413 gt, built in 1865 at Ogdensburg) was carrying winter provisions from Milwaukee to Ludington. In a white squall, she struck a reef and was stranded 7 miles north of Ludington, a few hundred yards from shore. Some of the crew made it to shore and sought help. The local Lifesaving Station was only in the planning stages, but a crew captain was on hand. He hastily assembled a volunteer lifesaving crew and over a five hour period, rescued all on board. None of the 24 person crew was lost.

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


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history




Dual Dry docking in Sturgeon Bay

12/20
Early Thursday morning the Mississagi entered Sturgeon Bay from Green Bay inbound for Bay shipbuilding. She arrived shortly before 8 a.m. and turned 180-degrees to back into Berth 15 at the ship yard. She waited for the Calumet to arrive, the way the blocks in they dry dock are laid out the Calumet had to enter first.

As the Mississagi waited the J.A.W. Iglehart departed Berth 8 heading out bound to Green Bay with the aid of the tug Jimmy L.

A short time after the Iglehart cleared Sherwood Point, the Calumet gave a security call for the Sturgeon Bay shipping channel.

Tugs from Selvick Marine went out and took the Calumet's bow and stern towing lines, so she could come into the graving dock with out stopping. The Calumet was at the proper draft for the dock when it arrived at the gate.

After the Calumet was in the dock and tied off, the tugs assisted the waiting Mississagi, bring her into the dock stern first. The Calumet and Mississagi are in the same dry dock, staggered one to the south one to the North, over lapping about 150-feet.

Also on Thursday, the yard was turning over the hull under construction for the new Washington Island Ferry and blocked the View from the East End of the Graving Dock.

Pictures by Vic DeLarwelle
Mississagi turning.
Close up approaching Berth 15.
Iglehart departs.
Another view.
Tugs depart.
Tugs guide the Calumet in.
Calumet approaches the entrance to the dry dock.
Entering the dry dock.
Mississagi towed to the dry dock.
Mississagi backing in.
Dock Boss watching Escort II pull the Mississagi into dock.
Diagram of the docking.

Pictures by Carl Grota
In position.
Close up.
Another view.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle, Carl Grota and Wendell Wilke


Imperial Lachine in the Seaway

12/20
The bunkering tanker Imperial Lachine departed Montreal Thursday afternoon for Hamilton under tow of the tug Carrol C. I . No new name was painted on her hull yet. The tanker was recently acquired by McKeil after having been laid up in Montreal since Dec. 2001.

Reported by: René Beauchamp


Jane Ann IV Upbound

12/20
The tug Jane Ann IV and barge Sarah Spencer was upbound in the St. Marys River Thursday night after running aground due to a steering pump malfunction. The barge Sarah Spencer was reported to have ran up on a shoal during the failure. Once free the pair continued upbound to Soo Harbor for inspection. The steering was determined to be back in order and the tug and barge were allowed to lock through into Lake Superior.

There was no report of damage to the Sarah Spencer.

Reported by: Jerry Masson


Nogat Unloads

12/20
The small bulk carrier Nogat arrived at Sorel-Tracy Thursday docking at the grain elevator about noon. The vessel will unload her cargo of grain loaded at Duluth. After unloading, she will go to Lévis at the Davie Industries Shipyard where she will be repaired.

Last Saturday, when passing Jean Parisien, in a narrow channel in the Prescott area, she touched bottom and her forepeak was damaged causing flooding.

Reported by: René Beauchamp


Last Saltie for Hamilton

12/20
Wednesday night the saltie Golden Laker close her hatches and prepare to leave Hamilton Harbor. She is reported to be the last saltie for the season.

Reported by: Wally Wallace


Invincible in Milwaukee

12/20
The tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons, under the command of Capt. Pat Hart, arrived in Milwaukee late Wednesday night. They will be taking a winter storage cargo of soy beans to Hamilton, Ontario. The Invincible/McKee Sons expects to depart Milwaukee by noon Friday. The three day trip should put them in Hamilton very early on the 24th. With a little luck the crew should be home for Christmas with time to spare.

Pictures by Tom Winsor
McKee Sons with the tug Invincible being loaded at NIDERA.
Another view.
Bow view.
Christmas tree on the boom.
Tug Edward K. Gillen II returning from an assignment and passing the McKee Sons.
Jacklyn M. and Integrity still under going repairs.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde


Spruceglen Unloads

12/20
CSL's Spruceglen spent Thursday unloading at the Redpath Sugar Dock in Toronto.

In other port news, the saltie Nelson was unloading at Pier 51, and what appeared to be the Canadian Mariner has joined the Canadian Voyager and Seaway Queen near Pier 35.

CSL's Spruceglen at Redpath Sugar, the vessel's first visit under this name.
Close up of name.
Stern view. Note plain black stack.

Reported by: Craig Ritchie


Coast Guard receives early Christmas present

12/20
Three of the Coast Guard’s newest response boats have arrived in Chicago. The 25-foot Homeland Security Response Boat (RB-HS) is designed to support multiple missions such as homeland security, search and rescue, law enforcement and marine environmental protection.

Two of these new craft will be located at Coast Guard Station Calumet Harbor. The other one will be located at Coast Guard Station Wilmette Harbor. The multi-mission RB-HS is a 25-foot aluminum boat with a cabin and is powered by twin outboard engines. It is capable of carrying 10 persons onboard. Coast Guard crews will begin using the new boats immediately.

The boats will be on public display at the Chicago Boat Show beginning January 1, 2003.

Reported by: Paul Roszkowski


Lay Offs at Metro Marine

12/20
Metro Machine Erie, Inc. announced Wednesday that they are laying off forty employees, leaving only eight of their forty-eight person staff.

Metro Machine spokesman Ralph Ryan said that the lack of a $2.5 million federal grant promised to the company at the beginning of 2002 was to blame for the lay-offs, since there is now no work for them to do with their curved plate technology, widely used by the U.S. Navy.

The Erie yard was not the only one of Metro Machine's yards hit by the lay-offs, however. On Tuesday, Metro announced that they were laying off 200 people from their yard in Norfolk, Virginia, and an undisclosed number of employees from their Philadelphia yard. Union employees were given three days notice, as is required in their contract. Ryan stated that the company hated to lay-off so many at this time of year, but had no other choice.

This comes as a blow to the economy of the Erie area, which has been hit hard over the past year as businesses trim their operating costs to be more competitive in the manufacturing sector.

Although the Erie yard has been leased by Metro since 1996, and is one of only two yards on the Great Lakes capable of dry-docking thousand foot vessels, little ship repair work has come to the yard. The Manitoulin, Louis R. Desmarais and Jean Parisien were all dry-docked in the winter of 1996-97; however, since then only four ships have called at the yard, and none of those were dry-docked. The four vessels were the Louis R. Desmarais, James R. Barker (twice), and the Mesabi Miner.

Reported by: Jeff Thoreson


Marquette Update

12/20
The Algosteel loaded taconite in Marquette on Thursday. Expected on Friday are the Algomarine and the Charles M. Beeghly. Saturday could see the Lee A. Tregurtha, as well as the return of both the Algosteel and Algomarine.

Algosteel loading.
Close up.

Reported by: Lee Rowe


Saginaw News

12/20
The tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader were delayed in the passage upriver Wednesday night as none of the bridges spanning the Saginaw River are manned this time of year. The official navigation season ended on December 15 and any vessel requiring bridge openings must provide at least 12 hours notice of their intentions.

After contacting the Coast Guard, making the proper notifications, and spending the night at the Dow Chemical Dock, the Great Lakes Trader was able to get underway at 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning upbound for the Saginaw Rock Dock to finish unloading.

The pair arrived at about noon and were still unloading Thursday evening.

Pictures by Todd Shorkey
Joyce L. Van Enkevort - Great Lakes Trader upbound at Veteran's Park in Saginaw.
Tug close up.
Stern view.

Reported by: Stephen Hause, Lon Morgan and Todd Shorkey


Cleveland Traffic

12/20
The U.S. Coast Guard Vessel Bristol Bay and barge CGB12001 pulled the summer lighted channel markers and replaced them with the winter cans astern of the Steamship William G. Mather Museum.

The Steamship William G. Mather Museum is decorated for the Holidays and will remain lit nightly until January 3rd.

The U.S. Corps of Engineers is home this winter to the Derrick McCauley (red roof) and Tug Kozoil whose home port is Buffalo, as well as Cleveland's Derrick Simonsen (black roof in foreground) and Tug Cheraw

Bristol Bay and barge CGB12001 pulling the buoys.
Crane in action.
Close up.
Small boat passing.
McCauley and Simonsen.

Reported by: William R. McDonald


Clarkson Stockpiling Continues

12/20
Stockpiling for winter continued at St. Lawrence Cement on Thursday. Supplies received a big increase with the arrival of Canadian Provider late Thursday morning. James Norris is the usual supply vessel for the plant.

Reported by: Bryan Ridley


Kingston Update

12/20
The temperature at St. Lambert has dropped to 0.6 C as compared to 3.2 C for 2001 and 1.1 C for a ten year average. On Thursday there were 21 salties above St. Lambert and 8 above Port Weller. This compares to 24 and 13 last year.

The Golden Laker, Kamilla, MacKenzie and Federal Oshima, were eastbound Thursday. The Petrolia Desgagnes is westbound. As for lakers, Algoport, and the tug Everlast with barge Norman McLeod were eastbound. The Algocape and Canadian Leader were westbound.

Reported by: Ron Walsh


St. Lawrence River Traffic at Verchères

12/20
Maria Desgagnés Dec.15.
tug Coastal Reliance pushing barge 550-4, Dec.15.
Stern view.
Canmar Fortune Dec. 16.
Cicero downbound from Montréal on her regular shuttle to Newfoundland, Dec.17.
Synnove Knutsen downbound from Seaway, Dec.17.
Tony Mackay downbound from Montréal to Newfoundland, Dec.17.
Oakglen downbound from Seaway, Dec.17.
Shades of yesteryear. Oakglen's steam plume, Dec.17.
MSC Canada downbound from Montréal, Dec.17.
Stern view.
Veerseborg passing Kapitonas Andzejauskas downbound from Seaway, Dec.17.
Veerseborg, Dec.17.
Kapitonas Andzejauskas downbound, Dec.17.
Gordon C. Leitch downbound Dec.17.
Petrolia Desgagnés upbound Montréal, Dec.17.
Gordon C. Leitch & Petrolia Desgagnés nose to nose.
Gordon C. Leitch & Petrolia Desgagnés side by side.
Scan Trader downbound from Seaway, Dec.17.
Stern view.
Pioneer downbound from Seaway Dec.17.
Pioneer & Canmar Victory, Dec.17.
Canmar Victory & Pioneer, Dec.17.
Canmar Victory upbound to Montréal, Dec.17.

Reported by: Marc Piché


Today in Great Lakes History - December 20

The SAMUEL MATHER (5) was towed from Ashtabula on December 20, 1975 to Port Colborne, Ont. where her boilers were converted to oil-fired burners by Herb Fraser & Associates and renamed c) JOAN M. McCULLOUGH.

The FRONTENAC (4)'s scrapping process was completed there December 20, 1985.

The CRISPIN OGLEBAY (1) hauled her last cargo, a load of salt, into Rochester, NY on December 20, 1973 and then was laid up at Kingston, Ont. for the winter.

The Keel was laid for the PERE MARQUETTE 22 on December 20, 1923.

In 1910 the PERE MARQUETTE 18 (II) was launched at South Chicago. She was the only Great Lakes carferry to be built in Chicago.

December 20, 1979 - The Interstate Commerce Commission approved the termination of the C&O's Milwaukee run. C&O terminated the run the following year.

On 20 December 1867, ALIDA (wooden propeller packet/tug, 81', 58 gt, built in 1856 at Saginaw, MI) had her boiler explode in the Saginaw River. She caught fire and burned to a total loss. This little packet/tug was the only steamer to regularly venture up the Saginaw River beyond the mouth of the Flint River.

On 20 December 1873, the Great Western ferry MICHIGAN was finally launched at the Jenkins yard in Walkerville, Ontario. Her launching was originally scheduled for 18 December, but she stuck on the ways. She was built for use on the Detroit River and her dimensions were 282' x 72'6" beam.

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


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history




Spruceglen Arrives

12/19
CSL's new Spruceglen arrived in Toronto Wednesday after dark and went to Redpath Sugar dock to begin unloading. This is her first trip as the Spruceglen.

In other port news, the saltie Nelson was unloading at Pier 51 Wednesday afternoon.

Reported by: Gerry O.


Kinsman Independent Lay-up

12/19
The Kinsman Independent is now docked at the General Mills Frontier Elevator, Wharf A The Independent will remain at this dock for now with a partial winter storage load. On Wednesday she still had steam up in her boilers.

Independent at the General Mills Elevator.
Close up.
Night view.
Christmas wreath on the Buffalo Main Lighthouse.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski


Lake Ontario at the Soo

12/19
The Lake Ontario, the last saltie to load in Duluth, was downbound at the Soo Wednesday. It locked through shortly before 9 p.m.

Gale warnings on Lake Superior sent many vessels in the area to anchor. Those waiting out the storm included the Reserve, Canadian Transfer and Alpena.

Reported by: Jerry Masson


Twin Ports Report

12/19
Foul weather across the upper lakes Wednesday sent several Great Lakes Fleet vessels to anchor. The downbound Edwin H. Gott anchored off the Keweenaw Peninsula to wait for weather, Roger Blough anchored off Marquette to wait for weather and traffic to clear at Two Harbors, Edgar B. Speer was anchored off Herbster, Wis., waiting for storm-delayed traffic to clear at the Two Harbors ore dock, and Philip R. Clarke was waiting for weather before departing Buffington. Twin Ports boatwatchers were surprised early Wednesday to see Cason J. Callaway lying at anchor in the anchorage area just inside the entrance to Duluth Harbor. The Callaway, which amply filled the anchorage area, had nipped in to port during the night to avoid high winds on Lake Superior. It spent the day in Duluth, waiting for the winds to ease before heading up the shore to load at Two Harbors.

Canadian Olympic, which had pulled into Fraser Shipyards in Superior for repairs, was expected to skip its load at Midwest Energy Terminal and head to Thunder Bay for winter layup.

Midwest Energy Terminal plans to operate at least to the end of the year. Paul R. Tregurtha is scheduled to load coal on Dec. 30 for delivery to Taconite Harbor.

Reported by: Al Miller


Marquette Update

12/19
The Algomarine and H. Lee White loaded taconite at Marquette on Wednesday. Possibly expected Thursday are the Algosteel, Herbert Jackson, and Charles Beeghly. Weather may delay schedules.

Reported by: Lee Rowe


Saginaw River News

12/19
The tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader was inbound the Saginaw River Wednesday night, stopping at the Sargent Dock in Essexville to lighter. The pair departed the dock around 10:30 p.m. for the Saginaw Rock Dock to finish unloading.

The pair stopped in the Bay City area waiting for a bridge operator for either the Essexville or Liberty train bridge. The bridges are operating on winter hours and require a 12 hour before opening.

Reported by: Stephen Hause, Lon Morgan and Todd Shorkey


Seaway West Updates

12/19
The rush to the sea has begun as salties rush to clear the Seaway before the closing. The Pamorze Zachodnie, Federal Yukon, Kapitonas Marcinkus, Catherine Desgagnes, Kopalnia Borynia, Marilis T, Kamilla, and Federal Schelde were all eastbound Wednesday. The Pineglen, Mapleglen, and Atlantic Erie were also eastbound. The Atlantic Erie came out of Picton heading for Quebec City. The Stephen B. Roman departed Picton for the Welland Canal.

Westbound was the tug Salvor and barge McCleary Spirit, Spruceglen, Canadian Provider, Algocape, Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin, CSL Tadoussac, and John D. Leitch.

The tugs Robinson Bay and Performance are removing buoys for the season in US waters.

Water temperature is again falling at the St. Lambert lock. It went up to 1.1 C on the Tuesday and was down to 0.8 C Wednesday. This compares to 4.6 C and 3.3 C for 2001 and 1.6 C and 1.5 C for a ten year average on those dates.

As of 2400 Dec. 17 there were 26 salties above St. Lambert and 19 above Port Weller, as compared to 29 and 18 for 2001. Decommissioning of buoys is continuing.

Reported by: Ron Walsh


Update from Western Lake Ontario

12/19
Wednesday afternoon two Upper Lakes vessels were about five miles off Oakville. They were beating their way on under leaden skies and against a stiffening southwest wind towards Hamilton.

Nearest shore and readily identifiable by profile was the loaded James Norris. Further out was another vessel that could not be identified.

Reported by: Bryan Ridley


Today in Great Lakes History - December 19

The ASHLAND was launched December 19, 1942 as the L6-S-B1 class bulk carrier a) CLARENCE B. RANDALL (1). She laid up for the last time on the same day in 1979.

The ELMGLEN (2) ran aground December 19, 1989 near Johnson Point in the Munuscong Channel of the St. Marys River. Downbound loaded with grain, she had been diverted to the Munuscong Channel because of difficulties encountered by her fleetmate BEECHGLEN in the ice clogged West Neebish Channel.

Because of the increased demand for iron ore during the Korean conflict more ships were needed and as a consequence the yards on the Great Lakes were operating at capacity. In December 1950 the Republic Steel Corp. bought 70% of Nicholson--Universal stock in order to purchase ships from the surplus fleet.

On 19 December 1927, ALEXANDRIA (wooden propeller freighter, 97', 201 gc, built in 1902 at Chatham, Ontario) burned in the harbor of Little Current, Ontario off the Government Dock where her remains still lay.

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


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history




Barge Breaks Free, Strikes Sea Wall

12/18
Tuesday morning the tug Reliance was pushing the barge PML 9000 down bound below the Blue Water Bridges off Port Huron. The barge broke free from the tug just below the bridges and drifted along the sea wall at Pine Grove Park. After striking the shore and assorted sea walls it was retrieved. That morning the U.S. Coast Guard was checking for damage.

Damage to the barge was reported to be minimal and the pair continued their trip Tuesday afternoon heading for National Steel in Detroit.

Reliance and PML 9000 in Detroit in August. Mike Nicholls

Reported by: Frank Frisk and Barry Hiscocks


Last Saltie Departs

12/18
The Marshall Islands-flag Lake Ontario is completed loading about 10,000 metric tons of wheat and about 15,000 metric tons of soybeans destined for Antwerp, Belgium, at Duluth’s AGP Grain Limited Tuesday.

The Montreal-Lake Ontario and Welland Canal sections of the St. Lawrence Seaway are scheduled to close to traffic midnight Dec. 24, but vessels not clearing the locks prior to midnight Dec. 22 will be assessed a $20,000 per day operational surcharge.

Laker traffic in the Port is expected to continue into mid-January because of the midnight Jan. 15 fixed closing date for the Soo Locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

This is the second time the Lake Ontario has closed the Port’s St. Lawrence Seaway navigation season. She was also the last ship in 1997. The Port’s final Seaway transit last year was Dec. 17 with the departure of the Norwegian-flag Spar Garnet.

Another Fednav vessel holds the distinction of the Port’s latest Seaway departure since the System’s 1959 opening. The record was set by the Liberian-flag Federal Calumet on Dec. 22, 1984.

The 730-foot Lake Ontario was built in 1980 at N.V. Cockeril Yards-Hoboken, Belgium. She is owned by Bay Ocean Management, Inc., Majuro, Marshall Islands, and operated by Fednav International, Ltd., Montreal. Local agent for the vessel is Fedmar International, Duluth, and the stevedore is Ceres, Inc., Duluth.

AGP Grain and Fedmar International have the distinction of loading the last ocean ship for this and the past three seasons, with the Lake Ontario, Spar Garnet, Lake Champlain and Lady Hamilton.

Reported by: Lisa Marciniak, Duluth Seaway Port Authority


Atlantic Huron Arrives

12/18
In the Welland Canal Tuesday was the Atlantic Huron. The vessel arrived at Port Weller Dry Docks and will be prepared to enter dry dock. The Huron will spend the winter undergoing a mid life refit at the ship yard.

Atlantic Huron passing.

Other traffic in the canal
Pineglen.
Close up.
Stern view.
Mapleglen.
Close up.
Stern view.
Agawa Canyon locking through.
Close up.
Stern view.
Sun set at the canal.

Reported by: Alex Howard


Nogat in Montreal

12/18
Tuesday the saltie Nogat was docked at the Iberville Terminal in Montreal. The vessel has two compressors on her deck to push air in the forepeak. The Nogat grounded on Saturday and will be repaired in Montreal or Quebec City.

Also in port near the Habitat 67 apartment complex was the Jumbo Spirit loading locomotives along with the Thor Marie.

Nogat.
Another view.
Close up.
Compressors on deck.
Deck view.
Stern view.
Close up.
Jumbo Spirit and Thor Marie.
Lady Franklin.
Model of the Cruise ship Raffaelle in the Iberville Terminal, this terminal is where cruises ships stop with the passengers in Montreal.

Reported by: Laurent Cote


Spruceglen Update

12/18
Tuesday morning the Spruceglen was upbound below the Beauharnois Locks. The newly renamed vessel is going to Toronto with a load of sugar. Her stack marking is still plain black, the one she had as the Fraser.

Reported by: René Beauchamp


Company considers St. Joe -Chicago ferry

12/18
Yet another company is considering a cross-lake ferry service on Lake Michigan, this time between St. Joseph-Benton Harbor and Chicago.

Several unnamed Michigan business people are considering establishing a high-speed ferry to carry cars and passengers during the summer, said R.J. Burkholz, chairman of the St. Joseph River Harbor Authority.

Burkholz would not name the business people but said they are serious and have already inspected the harbor and docks.

Initial reports say the service, if established, would use a high-speed catamaran to make three daily roundtrips between St. Joseph-Benton Harbor and Chicago and Waukegan. The vessel envisioned would carry up to 35 cars and 200 people.

Burkholz said the harbor authority will know more about the proposal by spring. The vessel would have to be built, he added, which means the ferry could not be in service before 2004.

Reported by: Al Miller


Slight Increase in U.S.-Flag Carriage In November

12/18
U.S.-Flag lakers hauled 11 million tons of various dry-bulk cargos in November, a slight increase (1.8 percent) compared to last year. With now five straight months of increases, U.S.-Flag carriers have moved nearly 91 million tons of cargo and narrowed the gap between this and last year to 2.2 percent.

Iron ore shipments in U.S. bottoms totaled 5 million tons in November, an increase of nearly 17 percent. However, as has been stated before, increases in the ore float are not as impressive as they seem. LTV Steel was in its death throes a year ago; ISG has relit most of LTV's blast furnaces with a resulting increase in demand for iron ore. For the season, U.S.-Flag iron ore cargos stand at 41.8 million tons, a decrease of 1.7 percent.

Continued strong demand for western, low-sulfur coal pushed U.S.-Flag coal cargos to 2.7 million tons in November, an increase of 8.2 percent. The 19.7 million tons carried through November represent a slight increase over 2001's end-of-November total.

Weather-related delays suffered by the small and mid-sized vessels in the stone trade caused loadings of that commodity in U.S.-Flag lakers to slip 15.8 percent to 2.8 million tons. For the season, this trade is down 2.7 percent and reflects the season-long sluggishness in the construction industry

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association


Twin Ports Report

12/18
The last saltie of the season left the Twin Ports on Tuesday. Lake Ontario had completed its load at the AGP elevator in Duluth but apparently stayed an extra night to avoid stiff winds on the lake. The last load of grain may belong to the Herbert C. Jackson, which reportedly is due in later this week.

Canadian Olympic pulled into the mouth of Howard's Pocket on Tuesday for repairs at Fraser Shipyards. The vessel was tied up close to the Blatnik Bridge rather than going all the way into the yard. It's expected to leave the shipyard today and shift to Midwest Energy Terminal to load coal.

Two Harbors was busy Tuesday, with James R. Barker loading at the ore dock, scheduled to be followed by Burns Harbor and Cason J. Callaway. The Joe Block also was due in late in the day or very early today. Also due today is Edgar B. Speer. The dock will stay busy, with Roger Blough due the 19th; Presque Isle on the 21st; Edwin H. Gott and Joe Block on the 23rd; and Burns Harbor on the 24th.

The DMIR ore dock in Duluth is expecting an interesting mix of vessels, many of them from the Oglebay Norton fleet. Edwin H. Gott made a rare appearance Tuesday to load; Mesabi Miner is due today; Courtney Burton is due the 20th; St. Clair, the 22nd; Armco and Columbia Star on the 23rd; Reserve and George A. Stinson on Dec. 25; James R. Barker on the 26th; and Atlantic Erie on Dec. 27.

Green Bay boatwatchers were doubling their pleasure this week, with John G. Munson due there Dec. 17 and Arthur M. Anderson due Dec. 20 at 0600.

Reported by: Al Miller


Integrity in Milwaukee

12/18
Below are images of the tug Jacklyn M. and barge Integrity taken as she is stopped in Milwaukee for repairs.

Saturday the tug was separated from the barge.
The Jacklyn M. was taken out onto Lake Michigan for about a half-hour then returned.
Close up of the notch.
Crane and parts ready to be loaded Tuesday.
Close up.

Reported by: Tom Winsor


Rouge Traffic

12/18
Tug Maine outbound the Rouge River at the Gaelic Tugboat Co. Dock.
Stern view.
Tanker Saturn in a rare appearance in the Rouge River unloading at the Michigan Marine Terminal Dock just inside the Rouge River Entrance.
Saturn was brushed by the outbound Halifax on Sunday evening.
Tug Shannon outbound the Rouge River approaching the Short Cut Canal.
Saturn with her Christmas lights ablaze.

Reported by: Mike Nicholls


Independent at Port Huron

12/18
Below are images of the Kinsman Independent passing Port Huron Sunday.

Under the Blue Water Bridges.
Stern view.

Reported by: Dave Merchant


Aerial Views

12/18
Pilot and photographer Don Coles was flying over Lake Huron Sunday and sent in the pictures below. All photographs are available for purchase. Don's company, Great Lakes Aerial Photos, is available for hire for any aerial photography need.
Algosteel.
Algoway.
Kapitonas Marcinkus.
Kopalnia Borynia.

Reported by: Don Coles




Weekly Updates

12/18
The weekly updates have been uploaded.
Click here to view




Today in Great Lakes History - December 18

The NANTICOKE was launched December 18, 1979.

GEORGIAN BAY was launched during a snow storm on December 18, 1953

The JOHN T. HUTCHINSON was laid up for the last time December 18, 1981 at Cleveland.

On December 18, 1921 gale force winds drove the CARMI A. THOMPSON ashore at Buffalo, NY where she was laid up with grain for winter storage. She ended up wedged between the LOUIS W. HILL and the MERTON E. FARR. The THOMPSON was released on January 5, 1922 but required the replacement of 156 hull plates before her return to service.

The ALABAMA was launched in 1909.

On 18 December 1899, BARGE 115 (steel whaleback, 256', 1169 gt, built in 1891 at Superior, WI) was carrying iron ore in a storm on Lake Huron when she broke from her tow steamer well out in the lake. She went ashore five days later at Pic Island off Thunder Bay, Ontario, and broke up. Her crew was thought to be lost, but they showed up days later after a long trek through the wilderness.

On 18 December 1959, BRIDGEBUILDER X (propeller tug, 71', 46 gt, built in 1911 at Lorain, Ohio) foundered in a storm while enroute from Sturgeon Bay to N. Fox Island on Lake Michigan. Two lives were lost. She had been built as the fish tug PITTSBURG. In 1939, she was converted to the excursion boat BIDE-A-WEE. Then she was converted to a construction tug for the building of the Mackinac Bridge and finally she was rebuilt in 1958 as a logging tug.

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


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history




Nogat Grounds

12/17
Saturday afternoon the downbound saltie Nogat reported that they had stuck bottom near the Iroquois Lock. The vessel tied up and was inspected by divers. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the survey revealed a large tear in the forepeak hull plating. The forepeak was pumped out to maintain Seaway draft and the Nogat was allowed to proceed to Montreal to offload a cargo of grain.

The Nogat will be repaired in Montreal or Quebec City. No other vessels were delayed in the incident.

Nogat downbound last week.

Reported by: Olive S.


Last Ocean Vessel Departure

12/17
The Port of Duluth-Superior’s last ocean vessel of the season is expected to depart at approximately midnight (Dec. 16), while Great Lakes traffic should continue for another month.

The Marshall Islands-flag Lake Ontario is expected to complete loading about 10,000 metric tons of wheat and about 15,000 metric tons of soybeans destined for Antwerp, Belgium, at Duluth’s AGP Grain Limited at about 11:30 p.m. The vessel should pass under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge shortly thereafter.

The Montreal-Lake Ontario and Welland Canal sections of the St. Lawrence Seaway are scheduled to close to traffic midnight Dec. 24, but vessels not clearing the locks prior to midnight Dec. 22 will be assessed a $20,000 per day operational surcharge.

Laker traffic in the Port is expected to continue into mid-January because of the midnight Jan. 15 fixed closing date for the Soo Locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

This is the second time the Lake Ontario has closed the Port’s St. Lawrence Seaway navigation season. She was also the last ship in 1997. The Port’s final Seaway transit last year was Dec. 17 with the departure of the Norwegian-flag Spar Garnet.

Another Fednav vessel holds the distinction of the Port’s latest Seaway departure since the System’s 1959 opening. The record was set by the Liberian-flag Federal Calumet on Dec. 22, 1984.

The 730-foot Lake Ontario was built in 1980 at N.V. Cockeril Yards-Hoboken, Belgium. She is owned by Bay Ocean Management, Inc., Majuro, Marshall Islands, and operated by Fednav International, Ltd., Montreal. Local agent for the vessel is Fedmar International, Duluth, and the stevedore is Ceres, Inc., Duluth.

AGP Grain and Fedmar International have the distinction of loading the last ocean ship for this and the past three seasons, with the Lake Ontario, Spar Garnet, Lake Champlain and Lady Hamilton.

Reported by: Lisa Marciniak, Duluth Seaway Port Authority


Tandem Dry Docking

12/17
The Mississagi and Calumet are expected to arrive in Sturgeon Bay, Wi Wednesday and prepare for a tandem dry docking. Both vessels will enter the dry dock at Bay Shipbuilding for survey.

Drydock two ships this size at once could be a first on the lakes.

Reported by: Wendell Wilke


Weather Delays Hamper Lakes Coal Trade in November

12/17
Coal shipments on the Great Lakes in November totaled 4.4 million net tons, a decrease of nearly 14 percent compared to the corresponding period last year. While high inventories at Canadian utilities continue to reduce demand for Lake Erie coal, weather-related delays also impacted November loadings.

For the season, the Lakes coal trade stands at 37.3 million tons, a decrease of 2.7 percent compared to the same point in the 2001 shipping season.

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association


Low Water Delays

12/17
Downbound traffic at the Soo Locks was slowed and at times stopped due to low water levels on Monday. Readings at the lower pool at the Soo Locks and Rock Cut would not allow loaded vessels to pass through the St. Marys River.

The George A. Stinson and the saltie Golden Eye went to anchor in the lower river waiting for higher water levels. Sunday night the Rock Cut gage reading bottomed out at minus 11 inches below datum. The Stinson waited until it leveled out at 8 inches above datum. Most boats passing through the Soo load according to the Rock Cut water level.

Not delayed by the water levels was the downbound Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley heading for the lower lakes.

Reported by: Jerry Masson


Late Season Saltie

12/17
As the 2002 season draws to a close the saltie Spar Jade was heading up the St. Clair River Monday afternoon. The vessel is making a late season trip upbound to Burns Harbor after unloading part of its cargo in Detroit.

Reported by: Bob Mattson


St. Lawrence Seaway & River News

12/17
The Spruceglen (ex Fraser) sailed from Quebec City Monday morning and was expected at the St. Lambert Lock around midnight. Her next destination was to be Montreal, then Toronto. Last night the vessel was reported to be heading to Toronto where it was expected on Wednesday.

At the McKeil docks Sunday was the fueling tanker Imperial Lachine with her name painted out except on the life rings. On Nov. 28, she shifted under tow from section 102, the Imperial Oil dock, to section 75. She has been sold to McKeil who renamed her Josee M (ii) it is not known when the new name will be painted.

Last year a tug had been acquired by a subsidiary of McKeil and renamed Josee M. She did not last long in their fleet, being resold in October 2001 to North Arm Transportation Ltd. of Vancouver and renamed North Arm Defiant this year.

Built in 1963 at Port Dalhousie, Imperial Lachine and her sister Imperial Verdun were christened the same day at the Port Weller Dry Docks on May 25, 1963. Since then, Imperial Lachine has seen service bunkering vessels on the St. Lawrence River between Montreal and Sorel except for one year, in 1998 when she was based at Halifax.

She spent the last year laid up at her dock, section 102. It is interesting to note that her former sister-ship and fleet mate Sillery, ex Imperial Verdun was acquired by McKeil back in 1992 but remained in their fleet for less than a year having been sold to operate in the Caribbean. According to recent reports, she is still there with the same name and owned by Trafalgar Marine Ltd. of Belize.

Reported by: René Beauchamp


Marquette Update

12/17
The Buckeye was delayed by weather and didn't arrive at Marquette until Monday. The Algomarine also was due Monday afternoon, with the Adam Cornelius expected later in the evening. Wind and waves may delay the schedules. The Algosteel is due on Tuesday, with the Algomarine making a return trip on Wednesday, along with the H. Lee White.

Break wall takes a pounding.
Another view.

Reported by: Lee Rowe


Saginaw Traffic

12/17
The Sam Laud departed the Saginaw Asphalt Dock for the 6th Street Turning Basin early Monday morning. She turned and was downbound passing through Bay City by 10 a.m.

Once the Laud passed by the Essroc Dock in Essexville, the Tug Gregory J. Busch and the barge STC 2004 who had been waiting there departed for her winter dock in Carrollton. The US Coast Guard contacted the Busch by radio to inquire they would be available for ice breaking over the winter if needed, to which she replied that they would be here all winter and available if needed.

Pictures by Todd Shorkey
Sam Laud downbound passing Bay City Wirt.
Stern view.
Tug Gregory J. Busch & barge STC 2004 upbound at Veteran's Memorial Bridge.
Tug close up.
Stern view.

Reported by: Stephen Hause, Lon Morgan and Todd Shorkey


Twin Ports Pictures

12/17
Kinsman Enterprise departs Duluth for the last time.
December 1995 brings a huge blizzard to see her out.
Only three of us on the pier.
Fading out into history.
Kinsman Independent takes on her last load.
Independent passes the Miner and remains of the Clymer as she lines up for the piers.
Blowing a salute.
Close up of her big S and twin Leslie 300 Tyfon steam horns.
Tug Callie M. busts out Cargill B-2.
Tug Mount McKay suffered ice damage and is at Northland awaiting repairs.
Welder Bob Councilman builds a box around a leak.
McKay on the hook at Northland.
Tug Seneca breaking out Hallett 8.
Mount McKay smoking up as another cylinder lights off.
Canaller Tenacious waits between jobs.
Hvide's Canaveral backs out of her berth.
Turning as a UFO flies overhead.
JB Ford with the Alpena alongside.
Steamer Gaillard as she appears now, minus her stick and spuds.

Reported by: Franz VonRiedel


Port of Indiana Traffic

12/17
The Mathilde Oldendorff paid a visit to Federal Marine Terminal during the month of November

Oldendorff approaches the port.
Tugs Arizona and Massachusetts wait.
Turning.
Massachusetts on her bow.
Arizona on her stern.
Starting towards the dock.
Massachusetts working hard.
Along side.
Tugs Arizona and Massachusetts heading home.

Reported by: Peter Zagorac


Cleveland Tugs

12/17
The Great Lakes Towing Dock in the old river bed in Cleveland. The tugs from left to right are: Ohio, Montana, Superior, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Favorite (drydock) and Alabama. The Alabama is tied to a tug which we could not identify.
Three G tugs were at the G & W Dock in the Cuyahoga, left to right Mississippi, New York and California.
Mississippi.

Reported by: Mike Nicholls


Lake Michigan Storm

12/17
Below is an animation of waves breaking over the South Haven Lighthouse on Lake Michigan.

South Haven Light. 300k

Reported by: Gary Martin


Pre Christmas Sale

12/17:
Just in time for the holidays. All items in stock including Interlake Steamship and other companies. LAST WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS SPECIALS ALL IN - STOCK ITEMS 20% off Buy now!! Special orders shipped within 14 days!
*special sale prices are only available online for a short time.
Click here to view merchandise or send you order by e-mail




Today in Great Lakes History - December 17

C.L. AUSTIN was launched December 17, 1910 as a) WILLIS L. KING

With an inexperienced Taiwanese crew, boiler problems and the collapse of Lock 7's west wall in the Welland Canal, SAVIC's (CLIFFS VICTORY) departure was delayed until December 17, 1985 when she departed Chicago under her own power.

The NEW QUEDOC sank at her winter moorings at Midland, Ont. December 17, 1961 with a load of storage grain. The sinking was caused by the automatic sea valves that were accidentally opened.

The ROGERS CITY (2) was laid up for the last time at Calcite, MI on December 17, 1981.

On December 17, 1955, in heavy fog, the B.F. AFFLECK collided head-on with her fleetmate HENRY PHIPPS in the Straits of Mackinac. Both vessels were damaged but were able to sail under their own power for repairs.

In 1905 the Anchor Line steamer JUNIATA was launched at the yards of the American Shipbuilding Company in Cleveland. The JUNIATA was the first large passenger boat built in Cleveland since the NORTH LAND and NORTH WEST. Today the JUNIATA exists as the National Historic Landmark MILWAUKEE CLIPPER.

On 17 December 1875, the steamboat JENNISON of Captain Ganoe's line which ran between Grand Rapids and Grand Haven burned at Grand Rapids. She was laid up for the winter just below the city on the Grand River. She was insured for $12,000.

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


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history




Independent Heads for Buffalo

12/16
A small group of dedicated boat watchers gathered along the Thomas Edison Parkway in Port Huron, on a dark and overcast Sunday morning, in hopes the Kinsman Independent would make her last appearance during daylight hours. The crowd grew as the day passed, but the Indy failed to show until 5:20 p.m., long after daylight was available for pictures.

Even though disappointed, the group was treated to a nice parade of older boats, with a couple of salties added to the mix.

American Mariner was up bound at 9:30 a.m. followed by the Vamand Wave down at 11:20 a.m. The Wave was the vessel that was delayed in loading at Toledo recently due to a labor dispute. No one seemed to know why she had gone up after loading in Toledo. She was followed closely by Flintersky who passed under the Blue Water Bridges at 11:35 a.m.

The classic straight decker Algosound passed down bound from Thunder Bay at 12:15 p.m., on what could be her last trip. She had a load of wheat for Port Cartier and is scheduled to lay up on December 24th or 25th.

Fleet mate Algosteel stopped for fuel and passed up bound at 2:15 p.m. She was no more out of sight when the classic Southdown Challenger came down bound looking good and trailing a plume of steam. Challenger exchanged master salutes with the lightship Huron.

Less than an hour after the Challenger passed, Algoway was down bound at 3:45 p.m. John J. Munson had waited below the Black River to Algoway to clear before continuing up bound at 4 p.m.

What little daylight had been present was fast disappearing as Jane Ann VI/Sarah Spencer made their way down under the bridges at 4:15 p.m. to be followed closely by Kaye E. Barker five minutes later.

The gathered Boatnerds had dwindled in number by the time the Kinsman Independent came under the bridges at 5:20 p.m.. Those who stayed could only watch as it was much too dark for photos, although film was burned and digitals clicked away. She is expected to arrive in Buffalo on Monday.

Shortly after the Independent passed, the classic Canadian Mariner checked in down bound at Buoys 11 & 12 on what is rumored to be one of her last trips.

Pictures by Dave Wobser
American Mariner up bound.
Part of the gathered crowd.
Vamand Wave down bound.
Flintersky down bound.
Algosound down bound.
Algosound's bow.
Algosound's stern.
Algosteel up bound.
Southdown Challenger down bound.
Challenger's bow.
Challenger's stern.
Algoway down bound.
John G. Munson up bound.
Sarah Spencer/Jane Ann IV down bound.

Reported by: Dave Wobser and Bill Bird


Viking I Sold

12/16
The Sunday Erie Times-News reported Sunday that the Viking I has been sold. According to Erie Western-Pennsylvania Port Authority executive director Raymond Schreckengost, the vessel has been sold and is expected to be towed out of Erie this month.

The Viking I was reported to have been sold to K&K Warehousing of Menominee, Michigan, who plans to cut the carferry down to a barge and use it to haul wood pulp.

The vessel is leaving after more than six years at the Sassafras Street Dock. It was sailed out of Port Stanley, Ontario, on a night in October 1996, after plans to develop a cross-lake run between Port Stanley and Cleveland failed to materialize. The carferry was allowed into Erie because the Port Authority had been trying to get Erie put on the route as well. After arriving here, the vessel and its master were cited for numerous violations of Coast Guard regulations.

In mid-September the boat's owners, Contessa Cruise Lines, had been told that Viking I had to be out of Erie by October 31. After missing that deadline, Contessa was faced with legal action by the Port Authority.

Viking I in lay-up at Erie
Close up.
Another view.
Wide view.

Reported by: Jeff Thoreson


Doug McKeil in Sarnia

12/16
The tug Doug McKeil which suffered an engine crankcase explosion is docked at the Sarnia Government Dock under going repairs. Her barge Ocean Hauler is tied up at the Sidney E. Smith dock. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the engine mishap.

Pictures by Marc Wright
Doug McKeil at the Government Dock.
Stern view.
Griffon.
Close up.
Tug Menasha.

Reported by: Marc Wright and Dave Wobser


Townsend Enters Lay-up

12/16
Saturday evening the cement carrier Paul H. Townsend arrived at the West Michigan Market Dock in Muskegon, Michigan ending her 2002 season. This left the steamer Alpena as the only ILM ship still in operation. Fleet mate J. A. W. Iglehart was in the Sturgeon Bay Shipyard undergoing her 5 year survey. She is expected to sail on Wednesday. The tug Jacklyn M and barge Integrity is in Milwaukee undergoing unspecified repairs. She is Expected to depart by Dec 21.

Reported by: Herm Phillips


St. Lawrence Seaway & River news

12/16
The Spruceglen, ex Fraser, ex Federal Fraser shifted from section 29 to section 52 in Quebec City Saturday. Her next destination has been changed from Montreal to Toronto.

Also going to Toronto is the Fortune type Nelson which entered the Seaway Saturday night. This is her first visit to the Great Lakes. It is quite possible she may be the last new foreign-flag of the year. With her transit, this bring the total of new salties in the Seaway this year to only 57, the lowest figure so far being 65 in 1995 including the missionary ship Caribbean Mercy converted from a ferry. There may be another saltie, the Katja bringing the total to 58. However, she is not listed with the Coast Guard, so her transit may not happen. She is supposed to go to Valleyfield. Contrary to what is usually the case, no salties were renamed in Great Lakes ports this year. There were two last year. Also, for the first time since the St. Lawrence Seaway opened in 1959, not a single navy ship transited the locks. HMCS Glace Bay came to Montreal but not up the Seaway. The museum ship HMCS Haida transited Lock 1 of the Welland Canal last week under tow from Toronto.

Clearing the Seaway around noon Sunday was the Coastal Reliance bound for San Francisco on her delivery trip and pushing the barge 550-4. Her name had not been painted on her stern yet. The crew was in a hurry to clear the Seaway system before its closure for the winter.

Reported by: René Beauchamp


Goderich Update

12/16
December has been a banner month for salties at the grain terminals in Goderich. Recently the port has had the Vamand Wave, docking on Wednesday, then the Kapitonas Marcinkus on Saturday.

The salt mine has seen the Algorail in, pushing ice and loading for Saginaw on Friday, and the Canadian Transfer was backing into place in much milder conditions Sunday afternoon.

Temperatures are expected to fall overnight and stay down for the next two days, so ice will form again quickly.

While the MacDonald Marine tugs are doing a fine job of ice-breaking, Goderich boatwatchers are hoping for the CCCS Samuel Risley to put in an appearance, as she did last year.

Reported by: Lisa Stuparyk


St. Lawrence River Traffic at Verchères

12/16
Thor Marie upbound for Montréal berth 12-north.
Marinette downbound from the Seaway.
Stern view.
Algonorth downbound from Seaway.
Stern view.
Canmar Valour downbound from Montréal.
Stern view.
Canmar Valour meets Saunière.
Saunière upbound for Montréal.
Varnebank downbound from the Seaway.
Kent downbound from Seaway.
Elikon downbound from Seaway.
Kastor P downbound from Montréal berth 54.
Stern view.
OOCL Belgium rounding the bend at Verchères.
OOCL Belgium downbound from Montréal to Thamesport, UK.

Reported by: Marc Piché


Today in Great Lakes History - December 16

On December 16, 1966 while loading at Montreal, the CABOT ( b CANADIAN EXPLORER) rolled over on her side and sank with a loss of two lives. She was refloated on January 18, 1967.

In 1983 HILDA MARJANNE's forward section, which included a bow thruster, was moved to the building berth at Port Weller Dry Docks where it was joined to CHIMO's stern. The joined sections would later emerge from the dry dock as the b) CANADIAN RANGER.

The IMPERIAL BEDFORD was launched December 16,1968.

J.W. McGIFFIN was launched December 16, 1971.

The tug/barge PRESQUE ISLE departed light from Erie December 16,1973 on its maiden voyage bound for Two Harbors, MN. (This was the latest maiden voyage date at that time.) There the PRESQUE ISLE loaded 51,038 long tons of taconite pellets for delivery to Gary, IN. After this ice covered trip, the vessel returned to Erie for winter lay-up. The PRESQUE ISLE was the second thousand foot vessel on the Great Lakes (the Erie-built STEWART CORT which came out in 1972 was the first) and was the last large vessel built at the Erie shipyard.

While in tandem tow on the way to scrapping with the former Ford Motor Co. steamer ROBERT S. McNAMARA, the BUCKEYE MONITOR developed a crack in her deck amidships. The crack extended down her sides to below the waterline and she sank at 0145 hours on December 16, 1973 at position 43°30'N x 30°15'W in the North Atlantic Ocean.

BENSON FORD (2) made her last trip to the Rouge where she was laid up on December 16, 1984.

The PIC RIVER was the last to use the old Welland City Canal on December 16, 1972 as the new Welland by-pass opened the following spring.

The WILLIAM A. IRVIN sustained bottom damage in Lake Erie and laid up December 16, 1978 at Duluth, MN.

THOMAS WILSON operated until December 16, 1979, when she tied up at Toledo. During that final year, the vessel carried only thirty cargoes and all were ore.

On 16 December 1906, ADVENTURER (wooden propeller steam tug, 52', built in 1895 at Two harbors, MN) broke her moorings and went adrift in a gale. She was driven ashore near Ontonagon, MI on Lake Superior and was pounded to pieces.

On 16 December 1954, the 259' bulk carrier BELVOIR was launched at the E. B. McGee Ltd. yard in Port Colborne, Ontario. She was built for the Beaconsfield Steamship Co. She sailed in the last years before the Seaway opened. During the winter of 1958-59, she was lengthened 90 feet at Montreal. She left the Lakes in 1968 and later sank in the Gulf of Honduras with the loss of 21 lives.

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


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




Independent Downbound

12/15 1 p.m. Update
The Kinsman Independent continued downbound Sunday for Port Huron calling in at Harbor Beach at 1:04 p.m. She was expected to arrive off Port Huron between 5-6 p.m. With no delays she is expected to arrive in Buffalo early Tuesday morning.

Original Report
Early Saturday evening the Kinsman Independent checked in with the Soo Traffic Control Center downbound on Lake Superior just north of Isle Parisienne. About 7:25 p.m. she was entering the MacArthur Lock.

Her trip down the St. Marys River went as planned and she passed Detour Village at 1:07 a.m. Barring any delays, she is expected to arrive off Port Huron Sunday afternoon.
Check back for updates.

Reported by: Jerry Masson and Scott Best


Crank Case Explosion Stops tug, Crew Unhurt

12/15
Saturday evening a crank case explosion left the tug Doug McKeil and her barge Ocean Hauler, dead in the water near Buoys 11 and 12 in the Lake Huron cut. The original call from the tug was broken and Sarnia Coast Guard understood the tug to be making a Mayday call that a fire had broken out on board. Sarnia Coast Guard did a Mayday relay requesting any vessels in the area lend assistance but the Doug McKeil quickly called saying that the engine had failed and that although there had been flames, no fire was burning and no crew members where hurt.

The tug was downbound at the time of the engine failure. At 11:30 p.m. Malcolm Marine was sending their tug Manitou out to pick up the Doug McKeil and barge, returning to the Sarnia Government Docks. At least one other local tug is expected to help tow the tug and loaded barge back to Sarnia.

The Manitou departed her dock in Port Huron shortly after mid night. Both the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard are keeping a close eye on the situation. Coast Guard Station Port Huron has been making regular calls to the tug to make sure that the situation has not changed.

Reported by: Jamie Kerwin and Ron Locke


Medill Pulled Free

12/15
Saturday morning the former fireboat Joseph Medill was pulled free off Algoma, Wi. On December 6 the tug grounded when a tow line snapped in heavy weather.

After several hours of pulling and lines breaking the fish tug Peter Paul from Two Rivers, Wi. was able to pull the Medill free. It was then towed into Algoma, Wi. where she will winter while final preparations are taken to sink her in the Spring.

Medill towed into Algoma.

Reported by: Wendell Wilke


Pioneer Arrives

12/15
The Pioneer made her first visit to the Welland Canal under that name Saturday, arriving at Port Weller Piers at about 9:45 am. She had been anchored in the Port Weller Anchorage awaiting a pilot since about 5:00 am Saturday morning. At about 8:45 the Port Weller Pilot Boat went out and made a pilot change with the vessel, taking just under an hour to complete a change in rather rough weather. The Pioneer then got underway upbound to Port Colborne to unload a cargo of Petroleum Coke.

While the vessel traded regularly into the Great Lakes while named the Canadian Pioneer and flagged Canadian, she has not visited the lakes since being renamed Pioneer in 1986. The vessel is now registered out of Port Vila, Vanuatu.

A crowd of about ten Boatnerds, some from as far away as Michigan, gathered to see the vessel inbound at Lock 1.

This is believed to be the first foreign flagged vessel in quite some time to unload an entire cargo at Port Colborne. After unloading the vessel will head back down the Seaway.

Other traffic in the Welland Canal Saturday included the Liberian-flagged Peonia, downbound with a cargo of grain from Thunder Bay, the Stephen B. Roman, upbound with cement for Windsor, and the foreign-flagged Kapitan Rudnev, a tanker whose destination was not available.

Pictures by Alex Howard
Pioneer upbound.
Stern view.
Close up.
Former name can be seen.
Entering Lock 4.
Through the Flight Locks.
Another view.
Close up.
Stack markings.

Pictures by Jeff Thoreson
Pilot Boat outbound Port Weller.
Inbound an hour later.
Pioneer inbound.
Close up.
Close up of the bow.
Name board on the boom.
Close up of the stack.
Close up of the name on the stern. Note Canadian Pioneer underneath.
Stern View.
Lining up on the approach wall.
Stephen B. Roman upbound above Lock 1 in a heavy rainstorm earlier that morning.
Peonia downbound above Lock 8.
Close up of the anchor. Note the mud.
Stern View.
Harbormaster's office in Port Colborne decorated for Christmas.

Reported by: Jimmy Sprunt, Jeff Thoreson and Alex Howard


Saginaw Repairs Complete

12/15
After spending last week undergoing rudder repairs in Hamilton, the Saginaw was loading mill scale at Dofasco and expected to depart Saturday evening. The rudder was damaged while maneuvering above Lock 7 in the Welland Canal.

Reported by: Wally Wallace


Santa Arrives in Erieau

12/15
Santa arrived in Erieau, Ontario Saturday at the commercial fishermen’s wharf aboard the tug Lady Mackenzie owned and operated by Pilon Fisheries Ltd. The Erieau fire department, which also handles the water rescue services, was on hand to help run the event.

The tug was covered in Christmas decorations and flags as it arrived to the great cheers of the awaiting children, young and old alike. After arriving Santa went right off the tug to the excited crowd of children.

It is an annual tradition in Erieau Ontario which has been a major commercial fishing village for more than a century.

Commercial fish tug Lady Mackenzie with Santa aboard.
Close up.
Assisted by the fire department Santa lands.
Santa heads for the crowd.
Fire crew on hand.
Santa and the children.

Reported by: T. Parker


Russian Trawler Under Tow

12/15
The Canadian Coast Guard ship Sir Wilfred Grenfell managed to get another line aboard a crippled Russian Trawler 300 miles NE of St. John’s Newfoundland according to the CBC.

A previous attempt by the ship failed when the line snapped in rough seas. A spokesperson from Search and Rescue in Halifax NS was reporting that seas were running 13 to 16 feet high and both ships were making slow progress.

A commercial tug out of Halifax is expected to arrive on the scene sometime Sunday.

The crippled Russian ship has been dead in the water since its propeller became tangled in netting or some wire cable seven days ago in 26 feet seas. The Canadian naval vessel HMCS Halifax was first on the scene to make sure the 18 crewmembers could be rescued if required.

Reported by: Frederick Frechette


Twin Ports Report

12/15
Twin Ports boatwatchers bemoaning the loss of the last U.S.-flag straight decker were consoled early Saturday when the Alpena (formerly a straight decker) departed Duluth about 9 a.m.

Most of the season's remaining grain vessels departed Friday. By Saturday evening, only the Quebecois remained in port, loading at Cargill B1 after taking a partial cargo next door at AGP. Lake Ontario is due in today and will be the season's last saltie.

At this time of year it's not unusual for temperatures to fall below zero and to hear the marine radio channels filled with discussion about clearing ice from mooring slips and conveyor belt problems at the ore docks. This year, however, is ending on a milder note. Temperatures Saturday climbed to the upper 40s, leaving open water in parts of the harbor.

The milder weather no doubt is helpful to workers at Midwest Energy Terminal, which is scheduled to load vessels through the end of the month. Paul R. Tregurtha loaded there Friday and is scheduled for three more trips in December, loading again on the 16th, 21st and 30th. It presently is the last vessel on the dock's posted schedule. Also set for several more trips are Oglebay Norton, loading on the 19th, 25th and 26th, and Walter J. McCarthy Jr, set for the 18th and 25th. Several other Canadian and U.S. lakers also are scheduled for one or two more cargoes each.

Reported by: Al Miller


Marquette Traffic

12/15
The well-decorated Charles M. Beeghly and the John J. Boland both loaded at Marquette Saturday. The Beeghly had a waving Santa light on the forward cabin, as well as Christmas lights strung around the cabin and a tree at the end of the boom. The Joseph H. Thompson and the Buckeye are expected Sunday.

Pictures by Lee Rowe
Boland loading.
Close up.
Festive Christmas decorations on the Charles M. Beeghly.
Pictures by Eric & Sandy Chapman
Beeghly loading.
Boland loads on the other side of the dock.

Reported by: Lee Rowe and Eric & Sandy Chapman


Saginaw River Update

12/15
A late season shipping rush on the Saginaw River continued Saturday with visits by the Maumee and Algorail to docks in Saginaw.

The Maumee arrived early in the morning at the Wirt Stone Dock, followed by the Algorail, which tied up about 10 a.m. at the Buena Vista Dock several hundred yards behind.

The Algorail unloaded salt onto a large stockpile on the dock, where the vessel had also unloaded salt earlier this week. The Maumee completed unloading at about noon and was outbound early in the afternoon. The Algorail followed about two hours later.

Docks along the Saginaw River have received 25 shipments from commercial vessels so far in December. After several days of mild weather this week, the shipping channel in the upper river is generally clear of ice.

Pictures by Stephen Hause
Algorail delivers salt to a large pile at the Buena Vista Dock.
Outbound Maumee passes Algorail.
Worn paint on Maumee's bow attests to a season of hard work. A more permanent paint job will likely be applied at her next dry docking. The price tag for a full paint job can cost close to $100,000 dollars.

Reported by: Stephen Hause, Lon Morgan and Todd Shorkey


Toledo News

12/15
The Saturn departed her lay-up berth and was at the B-P Dock loading cargo Saturday. The Sam Laud was loading coal at the CSX Docks with the Algosteel and the Canadian Transport following on Saturday evening.

The CSL Laurentien was unloading ore at the Torco Ore Dock and departed Saturday morning. The American Mariner was due in later Saturday morning at Torco to unload ore, when finished unloading ore the Atlantic Erie will arrive at Torco late Saturday afternoon and follow the Mariner unloading ore. The Erie is expected to depart from the Torco Dock late Saturday evening.

The schedule for coal boats due in at the CSX Docks has been changed again. Vessels now scheduled to load coal at this facility will be the Kaye E. Barker on Sunday. The Atlantic Huron and Arthur M. Anderson on Monday, followed by the John J. Boland on Tuesday. As of now the Boland is expected to be the last coal boat of the 2002 season. The H. Lee White scheduled for Thursday 19 Dec. has been cancelled. The next scheduled ore boats due in at the Torco Docks will be the Reserve on Monday. The John B. Aird on Tuesday, Armco on Thursday, followed by the Capt. Henry Jackman on Saturday Dec. 21.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman


Clarkson Update

12/15
The two main businesses that rely on shipping in port, PetroCanada and St. Lawrence Cement spent the week laying in stockpiles to see their operations through the coming winter.

Friday saw Synnove Knutsen complete a 4 day stay at PetroCanada. She arrived Tuesday, discharged cargo, reloaded and sailed late Friday. The Emerald Star was in at PetroCanada Tuesday and Wednesday.

At St. Lawrence Cement, Canadian Navigator was in to discharge a cargo of stone most of the day on Friday. She appears to be supplementing the James Norris has been making multiple trips unloading limestone.

Reported by: Bryan Ridley


Independent Remembered

12/15
Below are images of the Independent taken over her long career.

Upbound Maumee River bound for the Shipyard late summer 1988. She will be placed in drydock for her 5 year inspection.
Several weeks later she just finished her 5 year survey, she was removed from the drydock several hours earlier and is now tied up at the riverfront dock of the yard waiting to sail.
Several years later she is sailing upbound the St. Marys River near the Soo.
Another view showing her upbound the St. Marys River with the "Ford" color scheme showing up on the upper bow area of the vessel.
Upbound St. Marys River Soo, Michigan getting ready to approach the Soo Locks.
Downbound St. Marys River Soo, Michigan.
Outbound from Buffalo, New York she just finished unloading a grain cargo.
In Drydock at Fraser Shipyard.
Downbound the St. Marys River June, 2002. This was her last trip as she would go to Buffalo, New York to lay-up for the rest of the summer and would not sail again to late September.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman


Today in Great Lakes History - December 15

The ROBERT KOCH went hard aground December 15, 1985 on Sheldon Point off Oswego, NY loaded with 2000 tons of cement when her towline parted from the tug R. & L. NO.1. Dragging her anchors in heavy weather, she fetched up on a rocky shelf in 16 feet of water 300 yards off shore.

The NORTHCLIFFE HALL (2) departed Kingston on December 15, 1974 headed for Colombia with a load of newsprint. She traded briefly in the Caribbean and then laid up at Houston, TX. later to return to the lakes.

On December 15, 1972 the GEORGIAN BAY was reported as the last ship to pass through the city of Welland as the new $8.3 million by-pass channel was to be ready for the beginning of the 1973 shipping season. (Actually two other ships, the TADOUSSAC and PIC RIVER, followed her through.)

The JOHN E.F. MISENER (2) was laid up for the last time on December 15, 1982 at Port McNicoll, Ont.

JOE S. MORROW was launched December 15, 1906.

The RED WING (2) was laid up for the last time at Toronto on December 15, 1984 due in part to the uneconomical operation of her steam turbine power plant.

The ROGERS CITY (2) cleared Lauzon on December 15, 1987 in tow of the Maltese tug PHOCEEN on the first leg of her tow to the cutters torch.

On December 15, 1988, Purvis Marine's ANGLIAN LADY departed Mackinaw City with the CHIEF WAWATAM under tow, arriving at the Canadian Soo the next day. During the winter of 1988-89, Purvis removed items tagged by the State (including the pilot house) and began converting her into a barge.

On 15 December 1888, GEORGE W. ROBY (wooden propeller, 281', 1843 gt,) was launched at W. Bay City, MI. She was built by F. W. Wheeler (hull #45).

Below is a winter lay-up list as published in the Port Huron Times on 15 December 1876.
At Port Huron -- Steam barges: ABERCORN, BIRKHEAD, BAY CITY, H. D. COFFINBURY, WILLIAM COWIE, N. K. FAIRBANK, GERMANIA, GEORGE KING, V.H. KETCHUM, MARY MILL, MARY PRINGLE, E. W. POWERS, D. F. ROSE, SALINA, TEMPEST. Propellers: CITY OF NEW BALTIMORE. Tug: CORA B. Schooners and Barges: T. Y. AVERY, BUCKEYE STATE, GEORGE W. BISSEL, KATIE BRAINARD, D. K. CLINT, DAYTON, S. GARDNER, A. GEBHART, C. G. KING, T. G. LESTER, MARINE CITY, H. R. NEWCOMB, J. H. RUTTER, REINDEER, C. SPADEMAN, SAGINAW, ST. JOSEPH, TAYLOR, TROY, C. L. YOUNG, YANKEE. At Marysville -- D. G. WILLIAMS, 7 tow barges, JUPITER, and LEADER.

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


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




Independent Departs

12/14
The Kinsman Independent cleared the Twin Ports of Duluth and Superior Friday morning on what is expected to be her final trip ending a 50-year long career. She moved slowly through the harbor from the General Mills “S” annex in Superior, passed the Duluth Port Terminal, under the Aerial Lift Bridge, and out the Duluth Ship Canal.

She cleared the pier head lights about 11:30 a.m. CDT bound for Buffalo with over 600,000 bushels of grain. She gave a big “three long and two short” whistle blast returned by the bridge tenders.

Only a handful of boatwatchers were in Canal Park at the time as the last of the American straight-deckers slowly glided by on this gray day, casting her reflection upon a perfectly calm Lake Superior. The swayback of this straight-decker will no longer be seen sailing the Upper Lake. An era has come to a quiet close.

Pictures by Glenn Blaszkiewicz
Out bound under the Lift Bridge.
Another view.
Close up.
A small group had gathered to see the Independent off.
Onto Lake Superior. History of the Independent

Reported by: Thom Holden, Glenn Blaszkiewicz


Buffalo Stops at Bayship

12/14
Friday the Buffalo arrived at Berth #9, Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Wi. The Buffalo was in for some type of repairs and not winter lay-up.

The J.A.W. Iglehart was preparing to leave Bay Ship to go to her winter lay-up port. The aft end crew reported back on board and has steam up preparing her boilers for the trip.

Buffalo arriving Berth #9.
Iglehart with steam up.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle


Pioneer Heading for Port Colborne

12/14
Upbound off Cape Vincent, Lake Ontario Friday night was the Pioneer on her way to Port Colborne to unload coke. The vessel is making her first trip under that name. She is the fourth ship with that name to enter the St. Lawrence Seaway.

The first ship was a Park ship built at Vancouver in 1944 by Burrard D.D. Co. In 1959, she loaded a cargo of grain at Superior, WI . The second Pioneer transited the Seaway in 1982. That one was a Freedom type vessel built in Japan in 1974 and the third one transited for the first time in 1986, a bulker built in 1971.

Reported by: René Beauchamp


Frontenac Unloads

12/14
Thursday night the Frontenac was positioned by the tugs Virginia & Arkansas at the south end Milwaukee's inner mooring basin so it could discharge a cargo of cement clinkers for Badger Cement.

Past shipments of clinkers here have been delivered by saltwater vessels. Clinkers are made from limestone and shale that has been heated in rotating kilns. Clinkers are mixed with fly ash and ground to a fine powder creating cement. Cement is the binding agent that, when mixed with sand and stone, produces concrete.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde


Renaming Official

12/14
The Fraser was officially renamed Spruceglen at Quebec City about the middle of the week and transferred to the Canadian flag, Montreal being her new port of registry. Her next port of call will be Montreal sometime next week according to the Port of Quebec. Thursday the vessel was not listed yet as going up the Seaway before its closure this year.

Reported by: René Beauchamp


Thunder Bay Heating Up

12/14
The port of Thunder Bay has been heating up in more ways than one. Temperatures have risen to above freezing for the last few days, which has in turn melted and broken up the layer of ice that had formed in the harbor during the latest cold snap. The biggest change in port has been the sudden increase in boat traffic over the past week, with salties making up most of the traffic.

Friday the 13th saw most of the elevators in the port servicing boats. The Pomorze Zachodnie finished loading at Saskatchewan Pool 7b and was helped out of the slip by the tugs George N. Carleton and Peninsula. She departed with a load of flax heading for her next stop in Montreal. The Kamilia was berthed at Keefer Terminals, before heading up the river to Western 10 late Friday evening. The tug Jane Ann IV and barge Sarah Spencer was tied up at the Keefer Terminal dock. The Spencer left several days ago but was reported to have turned around due to weather. It is unclear how long she will stay at Keefer.

The saltie Mackenzie was loading at Thunder Bay Terminals on the 13th. She moved from the anchorage area and into the slip after the Lake Superior departed with her load. The Mapleglen was at Saskatchewan Pool 7a taking on a load of Grain. Federal Maas returned to Anchor after making a trip up the Kaministiqua River to load at Elevator Western 10. Federal Schelde was loading at the Cargill Elevator and departed on the evening of the 13th with over 13,000 metric tons of Barley. She exited the Mission River Piers and headed down the lake with her next stop scheduled for Montreal.

Canadian Mariner made her appearance in Port on the 12th and berthed at Cargill Elevator first, before moving over to Agricore United "a" elevator. On Friday the 13th she moved back over to the Mission River and docked at Mission Elevator. By Friday afternoon she was drifting around near the North Breakwall entrance waiting for the CSL Niagara to finish her load at Richardson elevator. Later in the afternoon a fully loaded CSL Niagara was on her way down the lake with a load of wheat. The Algosound was still loading at Agricore United "a" elevator Friday, after moving dockside on the 12th from the Harbour Anchorage.

Friday night the Canadian Mariner departed Richardson elevator and cleared the north entrance at 11 p.m. downbound with over 24,000mt of wheat. She is heading for Montreal. Mackenzie was departing from Thunder Bay Terminals at 11 p.m. and will take the Mariner's spot at Richardson Elevator.

Other traffic in the Port of Thunder Bay this week included, Milo, Agawa Canyon, Kent, Flinterstar, Peonia, Federal Kivalina, Federal Rideau, Federal Yukon, Ziemia Zamojska, Orsula and Menominee.

Agawa Canyon at Valley Camp.
Algosound at Agricore United "a" (formerly United Grain Growers "a").
Canadian Mariner at Agricore United "a".
Canadian Mariner another view.
Flinterstar at Richardson.
Kent at Agricore United "a".
Mapleglen at Saskatchewan Pool 7a.
Peninsula on her way to assist a saltie.
Peonia at Saskatchewan Pool 7a.
Robert John and Peninsula waiting for work.

Reported by: Rob Farrow


Marquette Update

12/14
The Algolake, a rare visitor to Marquette, returned Friday for the second trip this week. The Middletown arrived that evening. The Charles M. Beeghly and John J. Boland are due Saturday, with the Joseph Thompson and Buckeye expected on Sunday.

Inbound at the breakwall.
Algolake arrives.
Tie up.
Close up at the dock.
Middletown loading.
Close up.

Reported by: Lee Rowe


Toledo Update

12/14
The Algomarine is due in at the CSX Docks late Friday afternoon to load coal. The next scheduled vessels due in at the CSX Docks will be the Sam Laud, Canadian Transport, Algosteel, and Kaye E. Barker on Saturday. The Cason J. Callaway on Sunday. The Jean Parisien on Tuesday, followed by the H. Lee White on Thursday. The White will now be the last scheduled coal boat of the 2002 season for the CSX Docks. A trip by the John J. Boland has been cancelled.

The next scheduled ore boats due in at the Torco Ore Dock will be the American Mariner, CSL Laurentien, and Atlantic Erie on Saturday. The Reserve on Monday. The John B. Aird on Tuesday. The Armco on Thursday, followed by the Capt. Henry Jackman on Saturday 21 Dec. There are no vessels at the Shipyard at this time.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman


Cleveland News

12/14
Early Friday morning the buckeye arrived with a load of pellets for the Cleveland Bulk Terminal. Work has been started on the foundations that will support the new ore loader when it is transferred to Cleveland from Lorain.

On Thursday the Algoway was unloading road salt at the Cuyahoga Road Products Dock. several piles were already in place ready for another hard Cleveland winter.


9th Annual Lay-up List

12/14
With a number of vessels entering winter lay-up this week the 9th Annual Winter Lay-up list is now online. Click here to view


Today in Great Lakes History - December 14

On December 14, 1984, the William Clay Ford (1) laid up for the final time at the Rouge Steel plant in Dearborn.

The JIIMAAN was towed out of dry dock on December 14, 1992 by the tugs JAMES E. McGRATH and LAC VANCOUVER to the fitout dock for completion.

The CHICAGO TRIBUNE was sold for scrap in 1988 and was towed up the Welland Canal on December 14, 1988 by the tugs THUNDER CAPE and MICHAEL D. MISNER to Port Colborne, Ont.

On December 14, 1926, the W.E. FITZGERALD was caught in heavy seas and suffered damaged frames and hull plating. Repairs consisted of replacing nearly 25,000 rivets and numerous hull plates.

The package freighter George N. Orr, a recent war acquisition from the Canada Atlantic Transit Company is wrecked off Savage Point, Prince Edward Island on December 14, 1917. She was enroute to New York City with a load of hay.

On 14 December 1883, MARY ANN HULBERT (wooden schooner-barge, 62 gt, built in 1873 at Bayfield, WI) was carrying railroad workers and supplies in tow of the steamer KINCADINE in a storm on Lake Superior. She was sailing from Port Arthur for Michipicoten Island. The HULBERT was overwhelmed by the gale and foundered, The crew of five plus all 15 of the railroad workers were lost.

December 14, 1903 - The PERE MARQUETTE 20 left the shipyard in Cleveland on her maiden voyage.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Chris Dunn, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


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




Cross-lake ferry takes another step

12/13
Lake Express this week took another step toward establishing Muskegon-Milwaukee ferry service when it filed an application for a federal loan guarantee for a new vessel.

Lubar & Co.'s Lake Express LLC needs only approval of its Title XI application by the Maritime Administration to begin building a $17 million high-speed ferry. If approved, ferry service across Lake Michigan could begin in Spring 2004.

Officials on both sides of the lake are optimistic about the project's prospects.

"This has been a huge undertaking, but this (application) is a small win in the quest of getting a ferry service up and going," Lake Express' David Lubar told the Muskegon Chronicle. "This is one step along the way."

City officials from Muskegon and Milwaukee both said they welcome the ferry service and are hopeful it will succeed. The Lake Express application will be reviewed by federal officials. Title XI is designed to encourage U.S. ship building by providing government guarantees to pay back loans if the ship venture fails. Such federal guarantees -- which do not cost taxpayers any money unless a business fails -- make securing private financing easier at a lower interest rate.

Not everyone is pleased with the Muskegon-Milwaukee ferry project. Lake Michigan Carferry President Robert Manglitz told the Chronicle that his company will fight for his ferry route, which is an hour drive north of the proposed Muskegon-Milwaukee route.

"We believe that Title XI loan guarantees are unfair," Manglitz told the Chronicle. "This could put one or both of us out of business."

Manglitz questioned the government approving such a "high-risk" venture in light of recent Title XI failures. "It is questionable to me for the taxpayers to take on this kind of a risk," he said.

Lubar said the Title XI process is not political but will be a business-based decision of the Maritime Administration. He likened the Title XI program to Small Business Administration federally guaranteed loans.

Lake Express already has secured construction financing through its shipyard, Austal USA in Mobile, Ala., according to its federal application. Lubar said the federal loan guarantee is for "long-term" or ship "mortgage" financing that will come in the form of bonds, to be paid back over an expected 20-year period.

The 191-foot, twin-hulled aluminum catamaran will cost $17 million and carries 250 passengers and 46 vehicles, according to the Lake Express application. After construction interest, yard supervision for an additional $821,000 and federal loan guarantee fee of $870,000, the total cost of the ship will be $18.65 million.

Reported by: Scott D. Spencer


Mail Boat Enters Lay-up

12/13
Early season ice on the Detroit River sent the U.S. Mail Boat J.W. Westcott II into winter lay-up a week earlier than scheduled. The Westcott departed her Detroit dock Thursday afternoon under command of Captain Sam Buchanan heading upbound for Gregory's Marina behind Belle Isle.

Ice in lower river was manageable but grew much thicker behind Belle Isle. Wind has packed ice from Lake St. Clair in the area. The Westcott II made steady progress breaking through the ice until thick windrows were encountered 300 yards below Gregory's Marina. After backing and ramming the Westcott entered the Gregory's slip to find 4-6-inches of solid ice. Her new diesel engine received a good work out and the crew reached the lift out dock about 3 p.m.

The Westcott will join fleet mate Joseph J. Hogan Friday when it is pulled from the water and placed on the dock for the winter.

The pilot boat Huron Maid is expected to return to Port Huron Friday ending pilot service in Detroit. Two pilots will now board salt water ships and both will ride to Port Colborne.

The Westcott Co. will continue freight and mail service by truck for vessels arriving in Detroit.

Before heading to lay-up the crew completed a pilot change on the saltie Nogat.
Approaching the saltie.
Along side.
Pulling away.
Returning to the dock through the ice.
J.W. Westcott II ready to depart.
Huron Maid departs the Westcott Co. Dock.
Heading for a pilot change.
Ziemia Tarnowska downbound.
Huron Maid along side.
Onboard the J.W. Westcott II passing upbound.
Upbound following the CCG Griffon.
Off Detroit.
Charles M. Beeghly downbound at Belle Isle.
Close up.
Stern view.
Capt. Sam Buchanan pilots us behind Belle Isle.
Approaching the marina the ice thickens.
Back and ram.
Stern view.
Thick ice at Gregory's Marina.
Back and ram again.
Stern view through the heavy plate ice.
Back and ram.
Safely at the dock ready to be lifted out Friday.
Capt. Buchanan explains he has seen the ice conditions much worse.
Done for the season.
Joseph J. Hogan pulled for the winter.
Stern view.
Tug Princess.
Stern view.

The Huron Maid finished deliveries to traffic in the river.
Cuyahoga downbound.
Bow view.
Close up.
Deck hand Dave Tozer.
American Republic fueling.
Kaye E. Barker upbound from the Rouge.
Men coming off the Barker.

Reported by: Neil Schultheiss


Southampton wreck may be upper lakes' oldest

12/13
A shipwreck buried on the beach in Southampton, Ontario, is believed to be about 200 years old and "the oldest shipwreck site so far known on the upper Great Lakes," a historian says.

"The wreck there now, we're almost 100-per cent certain it is the Weasel, we think now lost probably between 1797 and 1805," Patrick Folkes told the Owen Sound Times.

Folkes stumbled on an off-hand reference to the vessel while leafing through a book of business papers of Detroit merchant John Askin. An 1808 letter from Askin's son to his father refers to the Weasel apparently being lost in the present-day location of Southampton.

"When I saw the reference to the Weasel being lost, a chill went up my back. I was certain this ship had to be a good candidate for the identity of the wreck at Southampton," Folkes said.

The ship was discovered in April 2001 by a man strolling the beach who spotted what turned out to be a rib of the ship's hull poking out of the sand. Last October, Folkes and marine archaeologist Ken Cassavoy joined others in a partial excavation that determined the ship was a two-masted schooner about five meters long and four meters wide. It was carrying a meter-long cannon on a swivel.

Cassavoy, a research associate at Trent University in Peterborough, says circumstantial evidence presents a strong possibility the wreck is that of the Weasel, especially "given the relatively small number of vessels on the lake in the period."

Several structural features indicate the ship probably sailed during the late 1700s, he said. Discovery of the rare small-bore swivel cannon on the wreck also indicates this period.

The Weasel was a private merchant schooner built in 1786 at Detroit for Askin. Toronto researcher William McNeil found documents with several references to the Weasel carrying muskets, rum, flour, fish and other goods between Fort Erie, Detroit, Sault Ste. Marie and Michilimakinac during the late 1700s. But references to the ship appear to end before 1800.

Reported by: David Shearman and Al Miller


Coastal Reliance Downbound

12/13
The new tug Costal Reliance and barge 550-4 continued the trip off the lakes Thursday. The pair were stopped in the Belle Isle Anchorage off Detroit Thursday afternoon taking on fuel from the tug Carolyn Hoey and fuel barge LSC-236. They departed downbound about 6 p.m.

Coastal Reliance fueling.
Close up.
Bow profile.
Carolyn Hoey and LSC-236 along side.
Stern view of Coastal Reliance.
Cose up of notch.
Downbound Thursday evening.
Close up.
Stern view.

Reported by: Neil Schultheiss


Algolake at the Soo

12/13
The Algolake delivered a cargo of taconite They departed Algoma Steel Thursday evening after but once underway experienced mechanical problems and were forced to returned to the dock. Inspection revealed a seal problem delaying departure time until sometime Friday morning.

The downbound WN Twolan and barge McAllister 132 were delivering their last cargo of the season Thursday and will return from the lower Lakes to their winter berth in Thunder Bay.

Reported by: Jerry Masson


CSL in Milwaukee

12/13
CSL vessels are infrequent visitors to Milwaukee. On Thursday night both the Frontenac and Pineglen arrived right behind each other. The Pineglen went to the Nidera elevator to load grain while the Frontenac, with the assistance of two Great Lakes tugs, proceeded to the south end of the inner mooring basin with an unknown cargo.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde


Marquette Update

12/13
The Lee A. Tregurtha was expected in Marquette on Thursday but the trip was cancelled. Expected on Friday is a return of the Algolake, with the Middletown following later in the day. Saturday should see the Charles M. Beeghly and the John J. Boland. The Joseph H. Thompson is expected on Sunday. The rest of December should see two or more ships in each day.

Reported by: Lee Rowe


Saginaw News

12/13
The tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons was outbound early Thursday morning after unloading at the Saginaw Wirt Dock overnight. Following the McKee Sons was the Canadian Transfer. She departed the North Star Dock after unloading a cargo of Potash. The Maumee was also outbound during the morning after unloading at the Sargent Dock in Zilwaukee overnight.

The tug Mark Hannah and her barge were inbound passing the Front Range during the afternoon. She continued upriver to the Dow Chemical dock to unload.

Calumet was also inbound passing Light 12 of the Entrance Channel shortly after 5 p.m.. She was headed up to the Sargent Dock to unload.

Pictures by Todd Shorkey
Tug Mark Hannah inbound passing the Essroc Terminal.
Tug close up.
Stern view.

Reported by: Stephen Hause, Lon Morgan and Todd Shorkey


Toledo Report

12/13
The tug James A. Hannah with her barge was at the BP Dock loading cargo. The tug Mary E. Hannah dropped her barge off at the Hocking Valley Dock and then proceeded to the BP Dock and tied up alongside her fleet mate James A. Hannah. The Atlantic Huron was at the CSX Docks loading coal. The salt water vessel Lake Michigan was at the T.W.I. Dock unloading cargo.

The next scheduled coal boats due in at the CSX Docks will now be the Algomarine on Friday. The Sam Laud, Canadian Transport, Algosteel, and Kaye E. Barker on Saturday. The Cason J. Callaway on Sunday. The Jean Parisien on Monday, followed by the John J. Boland on Tuesday. As of now the Boland is the last scheduled coal boat of the 2002 season for the CXS Docks.

The next scheduled ore boats due in at the Torco Ore Docks will now be the American Mariner, CSL Laurentien, and Atlantic Erie on Saturday.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman


Hamilton Update

12/13
Thursday afternoon, the small car ferry and the Lorena 1 that had been shifted over to Pier 8 are now back at Pier 9. The Saginaw is still moored to the north face of Pier 10.

Over at Pier 11, the Kapitonas Marcinkus has left and the Cedar that was anchored in the Harbor Wednesday was moored in her place Thursday unloading a bulk cargo.

There was a lot of saltie activity at Piers 12 and 14 with the Lykes Winner at Pier 12 unloading general cargo and the Magdalena Green moored on the north face of Pier 12 with no unloading activity observed. The Federal Yukon was just backing out of Pier 14 at 2:15 p.m. assisted by a McKeil Marine tug and by 2:45 p.m. had transited the Burlington Ship Canal into Lake Ontario headed for the Welland Canal. Following her through the Burlington Ship Canal was the Mariposa excursion vessel Showboat Royal Grace.

From the Burlington Piers, a Desgagnes tanker was observed at the Bronte Piers. The tug Everlast and barge Norman McLeod was docked at Heddle Marine.

Reported by: Patricia Burgon


Montreal Traffic

12/13
Isolda off Verchères from Seaway, Dec. 6.
Stern view.
Sceptre off Verchères from Montréal. Dec. 8.
Lores downriver at Verchères from Montréal, Dec. 8.
Jean Parisien downbound off Verchères from Seaway in -10 degree F. Dec 9.
Canmar Pride downbound off Verchères from Montréal, Dec. 9.
Stern view.
Island Skipper downbound off Verchères from Seaway Dec. 9.
Atlantic Erie upbound off Verchères, Dec.11.
Atlantic Erie meets Cast Power off Verchères, Dec.11.
Cast Power downbound off Verchères from Montréal, Dec.11.
Stern view.
Sea Crusader downbound off Verchères from Montréal, Dec.12.
Sea Crusader (stern) off Verchères. Dec12.

Reported by: Marc Piché


Today in Great Lakes History - December 13

The CANADIAN ENTERPRISE entered service on December 13, 1979.

On December 13, 1989 the HENRY STEINBRENNER (4) was laid up at Toledo's Lakefront Dock.

The G.A. TOMLINSON (2) arrived under her own power at Triad Salvage Inc., Ashtabula, OH on December 13, 1979 to be scrapped.

The THOMAS WILSON ran aground in the St. Marys River on December 13, 1976. The accident required lightering before she would float free.

On 13 December 1872. the Port Huron Times added three vessels to those in winter lay-up at Port Huron: Steamer MARINE CITY, tug JOHN PRINDEVILLE, and wrecking tug RESCUE.

December 13, 1906 - The ANN ARBOR NO. 4 departed for Manitowoc with her first cargo.

In 1929 the McLouth Steamship Company filed a claim against the City of Port Huron for $687 because its sand sucker, the KALKASKA, was held up for 27-1/2 hours in the Black River because of an inability to open the north span of the Military Street Bridge.

On 13 December 1961, SWEDEN (formerly L. C. SMITH, steel propeller, 414', 4702 gt, built in 1902 at W. Bay City, MI) arrived in tow at Savona, Italy for scrapping.

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


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history




Haida Enters Dry Dock

12/12
Wednesday night the HMCS Haida entered the deep dry dock, stern first at Port Weller Dry Dock. Her dry docking was the end on an uneventful trip across Lake Ontario Wednesday. The Haida was assisted into the dry dock by the tugs Vac, Seahound and James E. McGrath.

The day started in Toronto at 5:30 a.m. with the tugs Vac and Seahound arriving to take charge of the Haida tow from a lagoon at Ontario Place and across Lake Ontario to Port Weller Dry Docks.

The tow was originally scheduled to depart Toronto for Port Weller between 8 and 9 a.m. The channel that had to be dredged was not ready and it delayed the tow by 5 to 6 hours as crews complete the channel to enable Haida's 8-foot draft to pass without interference. Shortly after 1 p.m. the tug Vac pulled Haida stern first from her berth and out the channel to the open lake with the Seahound at her bow. A large crowd watched silently as she moved from her berth of 30 years and began the journey. As Haida began to move, she was given a round of applause and 3 cheers by the crowd gathered to say goodbye.

The Toronto fireboat, William Lyon McKenzie gave her a salute and accompanied by a Toronto Police boat, sounded their horns as Haida left.

The Haida, a World War II Canadian Navy Tribal class destroyer, has been on static display as a summer tourist attraction at the Toronto waterfront park since the late 60's She was built on the River Tyne in Britain. She was commissioned in August 1943 and sailed the North Atlantic, via the Azores, for Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Upon acquiring a full company of a little over 200 men the Haida commenced wartime duties. Her engagements of note included the D Day raids of June 1944 and much later the Korean conflict. Decommissioned in 1963, the Haida was acquired by a private foundation and brought to Toronto.

Crews at Port Weller will begin the work to refurbish the ship. For the rest of the month, workers will be cleaning and readying Haida for the repair work, scheduled to begin in the New Year. In August, the ship will be towed to its new home at Hamilton harbor

Pictures by Mike Nicholls
H.M.C.S. Haida at Ontario Place, Toronto.
Tug Seahound after delivering a barge to complete dredging behind the Haida.
Stern view of Haida.
Dredge and barge astern of Haida.
Dredge working at the mouth of the channel.
Tug Seahound.
Tugs and barges.
Seahound Haida & Vac.
Tug Vac.
tug Vac.
Another view.
Seahound Haida Vac.
Haida on the move after 30 years.
During all the commotion this mallard could care less .
tug Seahound on the bow of the tow .
Close up.
Seahound & Haida.
Close up.
MU 1 in the harbor.
Standby tug Atomic.
MU 1.
Haida & Seahound heading out into Lake Ontario.
Haida.
Vac, Haida & Seahound heading out into Lake Ontario.
Wm Lyon Mackenzie.
Close up.

More information on the HMCS Haida

Reported by: Bill Bird, Jimmy Sprunt, Gerry O., Mike Nicholls, Bryan Ridley and Clive Reddin


Kinsman Independent Arrives

12/12
The last American-flag straight-deck bulk carrier still operating on the Great Lakes makes its final call on the Port of Duluth-Superior Wednesday.

The Duluth Seaway Port Authority said the Kinsman Independent, a 50-year-old laker with a World War II steam engine, is scheduled to be retired this winter after carrying its final load of grain from Duluth-Superior to Buffalo, N.Y.

The 647-foot-long ship is due at about 4 p.m. and will load about 15,000 tons of wheat at General Mills Superior Annex B for delivery to Buffalo’s General Mills Frontier Elevator. The grain will be unloaded during the winter and the ship’s owner, Great Lakes Associates, Inc., Cleveland, has announced the vessel will then be either scrapped or sold for use as a floating museum.

“It’s the end of a long, colorful era,” said Duluth Port Director Davis Helberg, whose career began in 1958 as a 17-year-old deckhand aboard a vessel owned by the same company. “It’s sad to see these old boats disappear, but it’s also inevitable.”

Several Canadian straight-deckers will continue to serve the port, Helberg said, but the Kinsman Independent is the last such U.S.-flag vessel in active service. (A “straight-decker,” unlike today’s common self-unloader, requires shore side equipment for unloading.) Some other U.S.-flag straight-deckers are still afloat, but none is scheduled to return to duty.

Built in 1952 by the Defoe Shipbuilding Co. in Bay City, Mich., the Kinsman Independent began her career owned by Hutchinson Lines and was named the Charles L. Hutchinson. Her engine was built by Bethlehem Steel Corp. in 1941 for the Alcoa Protector, an ocean ship sunk during World War II and later salvaged. The vessel was sold to Ford Motor Co. in 1962 and became the Ernest R. Breech prior to acquisition and renaming by Kinsman Lines (later Great Lakes Associates) in 1988.

The vessel was a regular visitor to the Port of Duluth-Superior throughout her history and in recent years carried about 15 loads of grain annually to Buffalo. Port officials said the Frontier Elevator in Buffalo is being equipped this winter with an unloading hopper and, thus, future grain deliveries will be made with self-unloaders.

The end of straight-decker service also means the end of “grain scooping” by longshoremen in Buffalo. “Scoopers” have been employed in Buffalo since 1882.

Reported by: Lisa Marciniak, Duluth Seaway Port Authority


Coast Guard battles early ice season

12/12
The U.S. Coast Guard is battling ice to remove many of its navigational buoys in several areas on the Great Lakes due to earlier than predicted winter weather.

"Early ice formation has endangered navigation buoys in Duluth, Green Bay, the St. Marys River and is hampering Coast Guard efforts to service buoys in other waterways," said LT Teresa Peace of the 9th Coast Guard District's Aids to Navigation Branch.

"Already, 976 of the Coast Guard's 1,245 seasonal buoys have been recovered -- some of which are damaged or missing," she added. Damages include broken or missing lights, solar panels and ruptured hulls.

Ice has also caused some minor delays in shipping in Saginaw Bay. To alleviate those delays, the Coast Guard has temporarily deployed the 140-foot ice breaker Biscayne Bay to keep the channel clear and assist vessels having difficulty transiting the area.

Reported by: Scott Bronson


St. Lawrence Seaway & River news

12/12
The self-unloader Pioneer was expected at the Pointe-aux-Trembles Anchorage in Montreal late Wednesday night for Seaway inspection and is expected to enter the Seaway Tuesday morning heading to the Baillargeon Dock at Côte Ste. Catherine.

The Fraser is now listed under the name Spruceglen by the Canadian Coast Guard. According to Port of Quebec authorities, on the night of Dec.13 to 14, she will shift to section 52 from section 29 in the harbor, her next destination being Montreal. She is loaded with raw sugar.

On Nov. 28, the ferry Nindawayma shifted from section 15W to Jetty 1 in the port of Montreal . Jetty 1 is the dock where Comeaudoc spent many years laid up before her departure for Port Colborne to be dismantled. It is believed that the ferry was moved as a precaution as crews are working alongside the elevator situated next to where she was docked.

After spending more than a year under arrest at Rimouski, QC, the general cargo ship Ocean Venture I departed under tow of Atlantic Oak for Sydney, N.S. on Dec. 6 and was still loaded with salt. However, three days later, the tow arrived at Belledune, N.B. and remained there Wednesday afternoon. The cargo of salt has been sold and the vessel will likely be broken up. Without notification to the Canadian Coast Guard, the ship had arrived off Rimouski on August 12, 2001 and had to remain at anchor until August 20 when she was granted permission to dock at Rimouski. Oddly enough, no one claimed the cargo of salt and shortly after, she was placed under arrest.

Reported by: René Beauchamp


Twin Ports Report

12/12
Elsewhere in port, the grain trade remained brisk as it entered its final days of the season. Duluth elevators had a full house in the morning, with Veerseborg at General Mills, Gordon C. Leitch loading at Cargill B1 and Federal Hunter loading at AGP. In Superior, in addition to the Kinsman Independent, Cedarglen was loading at Peavey and Canadian Miner arrived during the day for Cenex Harvest States #1.

Marillis T was unloading steel coils at the port terminal. It was scheduled to load at Cenex Harvest States for the outbound trip. Out on the lake, Iryda was anchored waiting for AGP, Kopalnia Borynia was waiting for Cargill, and Goldeneye was waiting for Peavey. The taconite trade also was brisk, with CSL Tadoussac loading at DMIR and Stewart J. Cort and Adam E. Cornelius due at BNSF in Superior during the day.

Reported by: Al Miller


Marquette Update

12/12
The Algolake came in on Wednesday to replace the Algobay on the dock schedule at Marquette. The Lee A. Tregurtha is expected on Thursday.

Algolake loading.
Another view.
Close up.

Reported by: Lee Rowe


Goderich Update

12/12
The Federal Polaris arrived on December 5 and loaded for several days at the grain terminals. She was quickly replaced by the Ziemia Tarnowska over the weekend. It looked as though high winds initially delayed grain loading. At the salt mine, the Capt. Henry Jackman plowed through the ice to load all day Tuesday for Cote Ste. Catherine, Quebec. The Peter R. Cresswell was scheduled to arrive early Wednesday morning also loading for Quebec.

Reported by: Lisa Stuparyk


Saginaw News

12/12
The tug Mary E. Hannah and her tank barge departed the Triple Clean Liquifuels dock in Essexville during the early morning hours on Wednesday. The pair had arrived at the dock early Tuesday.

A trio of Lower Lakes vessels were moving on the Saginaw River with the Mississagi, Invincible-McKee Sons, and Maumee all making visits. The Mississagi arrived late Tuesday night traveling up to the Saginaw Rock dock. She was outbound Wednesday morning, passing through Bay City around 2pm. The tug Invincible & barge McKee Sons was inbound passing the Front Range around noon. The pair stopped at the Wirt dock in Bay City to lighter before continuing upriver to finish unloading at the Wirt dock in Saginaw. Finally the Maumee was inbound during the evening headed up to the Sargent Dock in Zilwaukee to unload. Maumee passed through Bay City around 7pm on her way upriver.

The Canadian Transfer was inbound early in the afternoon, following about a half hour behind the McKee Sons. She stopped at the North Star dock in Essexville to unload Potash. There were some problems with the unload as some of the cargo was found to be contaminated. Late in the evening both parties were in the process of straightening the situation out with their respective home offices. Part of the cargo is scheduled to be unloaded in Saginaw.

The US Coast Guard Cutters Bramble and Biscayne Bay were both working in the area during the day, with the Bramble working Aids to Navigation on the Saginaw Bay and the Biscayne Bay performing track maintenance in the river.

Pictures by Todd Shorkey
Cutter Biscayne Bay upbound at Essroc.
Stern view at Cass Avenue.
Invincible - McKee Sons upbound at Smith Park.
McKee Sons stern view.
Unloading at Bay City Wirt.
Mississagi downbound passing the McKee Sons.
Another view Mississagi / McKee Sons.
Mississagi close up.
Stern view clear of Independence Bridge.
Canadian Transfer upbound at Smith Park.
Stern view.
Working into the North Star Dock.

Reported by: Stephen Hause, Lon Morgan and Todd Shorkey


Toledo Update

12/12
The Algowood was at Andersons "K" Elevator loading grain. The Cason J. Callaway was loading coal at the CSX Docks. The Atlantic Huron was scheduled to arrive at the CSX Docks late Wednesday. night and will follow the Callaway loading coal. The Reserve finished unloading ore at the Torco Ore Dock and departed early Wednesday morning. The salt water vessel Lake Michigan was at the T.W.I. Dock unloading cargo.

The next scheduled coal boats due in at the CSX Docks will now be the Algomarine on Friday. The Sam Laud, Canadian Transport, Algosteel, and Lee A. Tregurtha on Saturday. The Jean Parisien on Monday, followed by the John J. Boland on Tuesday. As of now the Boland is the last scheduled coal boat for the 2002 season for the CSX Docks.

The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock will now be the CSL Laurentien, American Mariner, and Atlantic Erie on Friday, followed by the John B. Aird, and Reserve on Monday.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman


Hamilton Report

12/12
McKeil Marine's Lorena 1 and a small carferry that were moored at Pier 9 have now been moved over to Pier 8. The Saginaw was moved to the north face of Pier 10 from Pier 12 where she was undergoing rudder repairs. The Kapitonas Marcinkus is still moored at Pier 11 with no signs of unloading activity seen.

The saltie Cedar was anchored in the Harbor Wednesday.

The Canadian Prospector is now at Pier 27 after her bow repairs at Port Weller and is now in winter lay-up status. The pilothouse windows have been papered over and she will return to service in the spring. The Prospector has a freshly painted new bow section.

Reported by: Patricia Burgon


Clarkson Update

12/12
Wednesday morning was a busy one west of Toronto at Clarkson. By early afternoon Sinnovye Knutsen was alongside the pier at PetroCanada beginning to discharge cargo. She arrived overnight Tuesday from Montreal.

The Emerald Star was anchored about 1 mile out on the lake awaiting her turn to come into PetroCanada to unload.

Just west at St. Lawrence Cement the James Norris had arrived early Wednesday morning on a stone run from Colborne. She was just beginning to unload into the dockside hopper.

Reported by: Bryan Ridley


Toronto & Hamilton Images

12/12
Images below were taken Wednesday.
Tug Ned Hanlan at Ontario Place.
Stern view.
Seaway Queen and Canadian Venture in Toronto.
barge Metis in Toronto.
ex Canadian Coast Guard Verendrye.
Atomic at her dock.
Algoisle laid up.
Yankee Lady.
ferry Dalmig.
Lorena I.
tug Pacific Standard.
tug Prescotont.
Saginaw in Hamilton with her rudder under repair.
Repair work.
Oakglen inbound at Port Weller.

Reported by: Mike Nicholls


Today in Great Lakes History - December 12

The push tug a) PRESQUE ISLE (2) was launched December 12, 1972 as Hull #322 by the Halter Marine Services, Inc., New Orleans, LA.

The SPINDLETOP (e BADGER STATE) was launched December 12, 1942 for the United States Maritime Commission.

The WHEAT KING returned to Port Weller Dry Docks on December 12, 1975 for lengthening to the maximum Seaway size of 730 feet overall for the iron ore and grain trade thus ending her salt water activities.

One unusual trip for the WOODLAND occurred when she arrived at Toronto, Ont. on December 12, 1987 to load a 155 foot, 135-ton self-unloading unit for delivery to the Verolme Shipyard in Brazil where the Govan-built Panamax bulk carrier CSL INNOVATOR was being converted to a self-unloader.

On Monday December 12, 1898, the AURORA was fast in the ice at Amherstburg, Ontario, when a watchman smelled smoke. The crew tried to put out the fire, but to no avail. They were taken off the burning vessel by the tug C.A. LORMAN. The ship burned to the water's edge.

On December 12, 1956, the once proud passenger vessels EASTERN STATES and GREATER DETROIT were taken out onto Lake St. Clair where they were set afire. All the superstructure was burned off and the hulls were taken to Hamilton, Ontario, where they were scrapped in 1957.

On 12 December 1872, the Port Huron Times listed the following vessels at winter lay-up at Sarnia, Ontario:
Schooners: MARY E. PEREW, KINGFISHER, UNADILLA, ONEONTA, AMERICAN, J.G. MASTEN, PELICAN, UNION, B. ALLEN, and CAMDEN;
Brigs: DAVID A. WELLS, WAGONER, and FRANK D. BARKER;
Barks: C.T. MAPLE, EMALINE BATES, and D.A. VanVALKENBURG;
Steamer: MANITOBA.

On 12 December 1877, U.S. Marshall Matthews sold the boiler and machinery of the CITY OF PORT HURON at auction in Detroit, Michigan. Darius Cole submitted the winning bid of $1,000.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Jody Aho, Gordon Shaw, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history




Haida Tow Departs

12/11 2 p.m. Update
Wednesday dawned gray, damp, and frosty along the Toronto waterfront. At 5:30 a.m. tugs Vac and Seahound arrived to take charge of the Haida tow from a lagoon at Ontario Place, across Lake Ontario to Port Weller Drydock. There, major hull repairs, and general refurbishments will be made over the coming winter.

The Haida, a World War II Canadian Navy Tribal class destroyer, has been on static display as a summer tourist attraction at the Toronto waterfront park since the late 60's She was built on the River Tyne in Britain. She was commissioned in August 1943 and sailed the North Atlantic, via the Azores, for Halifax, Nova Scotia. No U boats were encountered on this maiden run.

Upon acquiring a full company of a little over 200 men the Haida commenced wartime duties. Her engagements of note included the D Day raids of June '44 and much later the Korean conflict. Decommissioned in 1963, the Haida was acquired by a private foundation and brought to Toronto.

Today's tow was originally scheduled to depart Toronto for Port Weller between 8 and 9 a.m. The channel that was dug out was not ready and it delayed the tow by 5 to 6 hours as crews dredged the channel to enable Haida's 8-foot draft to pass without interference. As of 1 p.m. the Haida remained alongside with lines to Seahound at her bow. Vac was set to pick up lines to pull Haida stern - first from her berth and out the channel to the open lake. The tow across the lake is expected to take 5 to 6 hours.

About 1:15 p.m. the Haida began her tow across Lake Ontario. A large crowd watched silently as she moved from her berth of 30 years and began her journey.

The Toronto fireboat, William Lyon McKenzie gave her a salute and accompanied by a Toronto Police boat, sounded their horns as Haida left.

As Haida began to move, she was given a round of applause and 3 cheers by the crowd gathered to say goodbye.

More information on the HMCS Haida

Reported by: Bryan Ridley and Clive Reddin


Coastal Reliance Departs

12/11
The tug Coastal Reliance and Barge 550-4 departed Bay Shipbuilding late afternoon Tuesday on their delivery trip off the lakes. The Coastal Reliance backed away from Berth #9 and with the help of the tugs Jimmy L. and Escort II making the turn to head out bound on Sturgeon Bay. The tug and barge headed to Sherwood Point and then upbound on Green Bay.

The delivery crew was glad to make it out before the closing of the Seaway, accustom to warmer weather they did not want to spend the winter on the lakes.

Jimmy L. holds barge 550-4 to dock while lines are cast off.
Jimmy L. stands off to assist in the turn to clear Berth #9.
Clear of Berth #9.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle


Independent at the Soo

12/11
Tuesday morning about 10 a.m. the Kinsman Independent locked upbound in the MacArthur Lock on her final trip upbound. The Independent is heading to Superior, WI to take on a storage cargo of grain and will be retired from service after this trip, laying up in Buffalo.

It was a good day for straight deckers at the Soo, with the Canadian Mariner locking upbound just before sunset and the Algosound locking upbound after dark. The last two days have also been extremely busy with salties at the Soo making one last trip to load before the closing of the Seaway.

Pictures by Scott Best
Approaching the Mac Lock upbound.
Close up entering the lock.
Close up of stack.
Stern view in Mac Lock.
Upbound above the locks.
Close up of bow.
stern view heading upbound for Superior.
Algosar unloading at Government Dock in Sault Ontario.
Canadian Mariner approaching Mac Lock Upbound .
Close up entering lock.

Reported by: Scott Best and Jerry Masson


Sykes Breaking Ice in Saginaw

12/11
The Wilfred Sykes and the Algorail formed a short convoy Tuesday morning through the ice on the Saginaw River as both vessels made their way to docks in Saginaw.

The Sykes had arrived late Monday with a split load for the Wirt docks at Bay City and Saginaw. After lightering in Bay City, the vessel started up to Saginaw during the night, but its passage was delayed for several hours by heavy ice building in the turn at the airport turning basin.

By the time the Sykes broke through, the inbound Algorail was following closely behind with a load of salt for the Buena Vista dock. Both vessels arrived at their docks by early afternoon, with the Algorail unloading several hundred yards behind where the Sykes was docked.

The Algorail reported to the Coast Guard that they had an easy trip up the river Tuesday morning because the Sykes did all the work ahead of them.

The Algorail departed the dock later in the afternoon and was outbound from Sixth Street in Saginaw at about 6 p.m. after breaking up the ice in the turning basin. Once the Algorail had cleared, the Sykes left the Wirt dock and went up to Sixth Street to turn. The Sykes was outbound about 8:30 p.m. Ice hampered her outbound journey, at some of the turns in the river the Sykes would make about 50 to 75 yards in forward progress before having to back up and make a run at it again. The Algorail following in the Sykes track was flying up the river in the fresh track.

The US Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay arrived in the Saginaw River around 8 p.m. Tuesday evening, she made the trip down from St. Ignace due to the problems the Sykes encountered this morning. She stated she will be in the area the next few days working the river and "Keeping things loose".

Following the Biscayne Bay in was the Mississagi who is due to unload at the Saginaw Rock Dock. Her arrival there is likely to be early Wednesday. Pictures by Stephen Hause and Todd Shorkey
Todd Shorkey
Wilfred Sykes upbound clear of the heavy ice in the Airport Turning Basin.
Bow close up cutting through the ice.
Stern View at Cheboyganing Creek.
Sykes at Veteran's Park in Saginaw.
Stern view.
Algorail upbound at Cass Avenue.
Another view.
Stern view.
Stephen Hause
Wilfred Sykes upbound through ice.
Algorail peeking around the bend behind the Sykes.
Algorail follows in Sykes' path.
Close up of bow, in a flock of seagulls.

Reported by: Stephen Hause, Lon Morgan and Todd Shorkey


Twin Ports Report

12/11
The last grain ships of the season are arriving in the Twin Ports this week. About half a dozen salties and several Canadian lakers are expected. The last saltie is expected to depart about Dec. 15.

Tuesday blessed waterfront workers with temperatures in the 40s, but ice around much of the harbor is reported to be about 6 to 8 inches thick. Working the grain elevators Tuesday were Federal Hunter at AGP in Duluth and Veeresborg at General Mills. Cedarglen was due later for the Peavey elevator in Superior.

Elsewhere, Edwin H. Gott spent Monday and at least part of Tuesday at the port terminal for repairs. It's due next in Two Harbors. Indiana Harbor was due to load Tuesday at the DMIR dock in Duluth, John G. Munson was expected to call at the Hallett dock to unload stone, then shift to DMIR to load, and American Mariner was expected at DMIR. James R. Barker was scheduled to arrive late for Midwest Energy Terminal, and Armco was due at BNSF ore dock.

Reported by: Al Miller


Miner in Escanaba

12/11
Tuesday the Mesabi Miner was loading at the Escanaba Ore Dock and finished about 5 p.m.

Loading.
Close up.

Reported by: Eric & Sandy Chapman


Toledo Update

12/11
The Algoway was unloading cargo at the Kuhlman Dock. The Algowood was at Andersons "K" Elevator loading grain. The Algosteel finished loading coal at the CSX Docks and departed late Tuesday morning. The Canadian Olympic was at the #2 Dock waiting to follow. As soon as the Algosteel left the Olympic shifted over to the #4 Dock to load coal.

Frozen coal in the railroad cars has increased the loading time for the vessels scheduled to arrive here. The railroad cars have to pass through a heat shed to thaw out the frozen coal before it can be loaded onboard the vessel. With warmer temperatures on the way for the rest of the week this should help speed the coal loading.

The tall ship Highlander Sea is no longer in Toledo it is assumed that she is on her way back to her homeport at Port Huron, Michigan. There are no vessels in at the Shipyard at this time. The Saturn, Joseph H. Frantz, and the tug James A. Hannah with her barge remain in lay-up..

The Reserve is due in at the Torco Dock on Tuesday evening to unload ore. The next scheduled coal boats due in at the CSX Docks will be the Cason J. Callaway, and Atlantic Huron on Wednesday. The Sam Laud, Algosteel, Canadian Transport, and Lee A. Tregurtha on Saturday. The Algomarine on Sunday, followed by the Jean Parisien and John J. Boland on Monday.

The John J. Boland is scheduled to be the last coal boat of the 2002 season for the CSX Docks.

The next scheduled ore boats due in at the Torco Ore Dock will now be the CSL Laurentien, American Mariner, and Atlantic Erie on Friday, followed by the John B. Aird on Saturday. With weather and dock delays occurring at this time of year vessels scheduled into the CSX/Torco Docks may be cancelled or changed from the original schedule.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman


Kingston Area Update

12/11
The tug Salvor and McCleary Spirit is anchored south west of Banford Point Tuesday. The Oakglen has departed Prescott about 4 p.m. and headed west. The Stephen B. Roman arrived in Picton 1 p.m. and expected to depart late Tuesday with cement for Toronto.

The water temperature at St. Lambert lock continues to fall. Tuesday it was 0.4 C as compared to 5.8 C in 2001 and 2.5 C as the ten year average. There were 51 ocean vessels above St. Lambert and 38 above Port Weller, as compared to 54 and 43 in 2001.

Reported by: Ron Walsh


Today in Great Lakes History - December 11

TEXACO CHIEF (2) was launched December 11, 1968.

The H. LEE WHITE (2) collided with the Greek salty GEORGIOS on December 11, 1974 near St. Clair, MI and had to return to Nicholson's dock at Detroit, MI for inspection.

On December 11, 1979 while about 11 miles off Manitou Island near the Keweenaw Peninsula, the ASHLAND's engine stalled due to a faulty relay switch. Caught in heavy weather and wallowing in the wave troughs, she put out a distress call. True to Great Lakes tradition four vessels immediately came to her assistance: two thousand footers, LEWIS WILSON FOY and EDWIN H. GOTT, along with WILLIS B. BOYER and U.S.C.G. cutter MESQUITE.

WILLIAM CLAY FORD (1) loaded her last cargo at Duluth, MN. December 11, 1984.

PERE MARQUETTE 21 passed down the Welland Canal ( loaded with remnants of Port Huron's Peerless Cement Dock) on December 11, 1974 towed by the tugs SALVAGE MONARCH and DANIEL McALLISTER on the way to Sorel, Que. where she was laid up.

The fishing boat Linda E. vanished on Lake Michigan along with its three crewmen on Dec. 11, 1998.

WHEAT KING was laid up for the last time December 11, 1981.

On 11 December 1872, the Port Huron Times listed the following vessels in winter lay-up in Port Huron:
Sailing Craft:
A.H.MOSS, FOREST HUNTER. MARY E. PEREW, SEA BIRD, REINDEER, T.S.SKINNER, L.W.PERRY, ADAIN, LITTLE NELLIE, MAGGIE, PRINCE ALFRED, CAPE HORM, KITTIE, JOHNSON (wrecker), CHRISTIANA, HOWE, C.G.MEISEL, AUNT RUTH, W.R.HANNA, IRONSIDES, GOLDEN FLEECE, JOHN L. GROSS, WARRINGTON, ANGLO SAXON, MOORE, LADY ESSEX, ANNIE, FORWARDER (sunk), GROTON, NORTHWEST, FRED H. MORSE, GEM OF THE LAKES, D.J.AUSTIN, CZAR, JAMAICA, ANNIE (scow), AND HATTIE.
Sidewheel Steamers: 8th OHIO, WYOMING (lighter).
Propeller Steam Barges: W.E.WETMORE, SANILAC, CITY OF DETROIT.
Tugs: KATE MOFFAT, TAWAS, HITTIE HOYT, FRANK MOFFAT, J.H. MARTIN, JOHN PRIDGEON, BROCKWAY, GLADIATOR, CORAL, GRACE DORNER (small passenger vessel), AND C.M. FARRAR.

On 11 December 1895, GEORGE W. ADAMS (wooden schooner-barge, 231', 1444 gt, built in 1875 at Toledo, Ohio) was in tow of the steamer CALEDONIA with a load of coal, bound from Cleveland for Chicago. Her hull was crushed by ice and she sank near Colchester Shoals on Lake Erie. A salvage operation on her the following summer was a failure.

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


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history





Haida Tow

12/10
Crews in Toronto are completing the final steps in preparation to tow the famed Canadian destroyer HMCS Haida to Port Weller Dry Docks. Crews hope to pull the historic vessel from Toronto Wednesday morning at first light.

The tow is expected to make slow progress crossing Lake Ontario arriving at the Port Weller Piers early Wednesday afternoon. Depending on traffic, she will arrive at Port Weller Dry Docks that evening.

When plans were first made to tow the vessel there was some concern over the vessel's condition and seaworthiness. The ship has been inspected and found to be in fine shape.

Parks Canada is moving the historic warship from Toronto to a new home in Hamilton. Before the move to Hamilton the Haida will undergo $3.5 million in hull restoration and repairs at Port Weller Dry Docks. This is the ship's first dry docking since 1969.

HMCS Haida is the last of the Tribal Class destroyers. Built in 1943, it became Canada's most famous wartime ship by sinking 11 enemy vessels, including four German destroyers and one U-boat. As part of the 10th Destroyer Flotilla, she was a member of the fleet that supported the Normandy invasion in 1944. The ship also saw action during two tours off the Korean coast during the Korean War. It has been moored in Toronto as a museum for nearly 30 years.

More information on the HMCS Haida

Reported by: Bill Bird and Jimmy Sprunt


Tug Coastal Reliance Joins Barge 550-4

12/10
The ocean tug Coastal Reliance was mated to her Barge 550-4 on Sunday at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Wi . The articulated tug barge entered the waters of Green Bay for Builders Trials Sunday. Reports are that all went well with the mate-up and trials were successful . The tug and barge are scheduled to depart for her home port of San Francisco early this week. The crew is anxious to cast off as they are trying to make it out the St. Lawrence Seaway before closing , they have seen some cold weather and are not anxious to winter on the Great Lakes.

The tug is the second in a series of vessels Marinette Marine is building for Vessel Management Services / Crowley Maritime . Bay Ship is building the Oil Product Barges in a joint effort between the two Manitowoc Marine companies.

Reported by: Al Pomeroy


Independent Upbound

12/10
The last active American straight decker, Kinsman Independent passed under the Blue Water Bridges at 10:30 a.m. Monday morning on her way to Superior, Wi. This is reported to be the last trip for the classic freighter which celebrates her 50th birthday this year. She was built in 1952 as Charles L. Hutchinson (3) for the Pioneer Steamship Co. he design is similar to the 'supers' of 1942, and is the last bulk carrier built with an elliptical stern.

In 1962, she was sold to Ford Motor Company and renamed Ernest R. Breech. She became the third vessel to be named Kinsman Independent in 1988 when purchased by Kinsman Lines.

Kinsman Independent upbound.
Passing.
Close up of stern.
Heading for the bridges.
Onto Lake Huron.
Algoway passed down bound under the Blue Water Bridges not long after Independent disappeared out onto Lake Huron.

Reported by: Dave Wobser


Spruceglen Headed for Quebec

12/10
Expected at section 29 of the Port of Quebec Tuesday is the Fraser. According to the Port of Quebec the vessel has already been renamed Spruceglen but is still named Fraser by the Canadian Coast Guard website.

In Quebec the flag of registration will be changed to Canada and a new Canadian crew will take over. The vessel was recently purchased by Canada Steamship Lines.

In other news, the self-unloader Pioneer is expected in Montreal late Tuesday from Baltimore. The saltie is owned by Marbulk Shipping and will be making her first trip to the Port of Montreal. She has been an infrequent visitor to other St. Lawrence River ports in the past and is the former Canadian Pioneer, owned by ULS until 1987.

Now under the flag of convenience of Vanuatu, she is partly owned by ULS and CSL, the controlling companies of Marbulk Shipping. In Montreal, she will go to anchor before transiting the Seaway for the first time under her current name. Her fleet mate and sister-ship Ambassador transited the Seaway at least once eight years ago when she went to Côte Ste. Catherine.

The research vessel Caledonia arrived at Hamilton on Monday.

Reported by: René Beauchamp


Medill Remains Aground

12/10
Monday the former fireboat Joseph Medill remained aground. of Algoma, Wi. On Sunday the the fish tug Peter Paul from Two Rivers, Wi. arrived with the intent of pulling her free. The fishing tug could not reach the stranded Medill so it returned to Two Rivers.

Reported by: Wendell Wilke


Canadian Mariner stops in Port Colborne

12/10
The Canadian Mariner stopped at Warf 16 the R and P dock in the Welland Canal for about 14 hours Sunday for an unknown reason before heading to a Lake Superior port to load grain.

Canadian Mariner with its unique wheel house makes her one of the most photogenic bulkers on the lakes. She is the sister ship of the Canadian Hunter, the Hunter went to scrap earlier last decade.

Reported by: J. J. Van Volkenburg


Marquette News

12/10
Monday the Charles M. Beeghly loaded taconite while the James R. Barker arrived with a load of coal. The Algobay has been delayed because of mechanical problems and is now expected on Wednesday. The Kaye Barker is expected on Tuesday, as well as the H. Lee White after the White unloads stone at the lower harbor.

High winds Tuesday were making loading difficult and may delay schedules.

James R. Barker arrives.
Close up.
Lines are secured to the dock.
On the other side of the dock the Beeghly loads.

Reported by: Lee Rowe


Toledo Update

12/10
Monday the Paul H. Townsend was unloading Cement at the Lafarge Dock. The Southdown Challenger was unloading cement at the Cemex Dock. The tug Karen Andrie with her barge was unloading cargo at the Seneca Oil Dock. All three vessels departed Toledo on Monday morning.

The salt water vessel Lake Superior was unloading cargo at the T.W.I. Dock. A trip by the Philip R. Clarke to load coal at the CSX Dock cancelled Monday. The Algosteel is delayed at arriving at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock to unload stone due to low water conditions on western Lake Erie. She is expected sometime Monday night. When finished unloading stone she will back into the CSX Dock to load coal. The tall ship Highlander Sea remains tied up at the riverfront dock area of the Shipyard.

The next scheduled vessels due in at the CSX Dock to load coal will now be the Canadian Olympic on Tuesday. The Cason J. Callaway and Atlantic Huron on Wednesday followed by the Sam Laud, Algosteel, and Canadian Transport on Saturday. The next scheduled vessels due in at the Torco Ore Dock will now be the Reserve on Tuesday. The Armco on Wednesday followed by the CSL Laurentien and Atlantic Erie on Friday. Due to weather and dock delays this time of year vessels scheduled into the CSX and Torco Docks may be cancelled or changed from the original schedule.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman


Twin Ports Work Boat Update

12/10
The Twin Ports harbor is still busy, regardless of rapidly increasing ice. The ice is over a foot thick already up river near the Missabe cross channel. Marine Tech has all their equipment up at DM&IR finishing up a dock project. The tugs Callie M and Lydie Rae with crane barges Alton Andrew and Dean R. Smith are on the scene.

The 65-foot Callie M, built in 1910, was picked up by their Manitowoc 4100 crane last week after her rudder post suffered ice damage. She is now back in service ice breaking to keep the barges free for maneuvering along the dock.

The classic 1908-built iron tug Mount McKay has been breaking ice in the Duluth harbor. She is powered by one of the last big Kahlenberg direct-reversing oil engines. Her 6-cylinder 350-HP plant is a fascinating piece of machinery, shinning with brass and copper, and not too far off in technology from a steam engine.

The pilot boat Sea Bear has been running out of the excursion boat dock since there is already too much ice in the slips.

There has been no progress dismantling the steamer Gaillard at Barkers Island since this fall. Billington Contracting is awaiting permits to complete the job. Her hull will be pulled out by the tug Seneca and will saved for use as a spud barge.

Cranebarge Alton Andrew sets concrete in the new pilings at DM&IR 6-North.
Tug Lydie Rae, "The Mighty Lydie", breaking out the slip.
Callie M is on the hook for repairs to the rudder.
Ace-welder Bob Councilman works his magic.
Zenith's old steamer Essayons in her berth at N.P. #2.
Mount McKay cracking ice in the front channel.
Howard Abrahamson at the chadburn.
Engineer Brian Elfving answers the command down below, along side her beautiful vintage Kahlenberg.
Tug Wolverine at Hallett 7.

Reported by: Franz VonRiedel


Closing of the 2002 Navigation Season

12/10
All closing dates are dependent on weather conditions

Montreal-Lake Ontario Section of the Seaway
The clearance date for the 2002 navigation season is midnight December 20.

Welland Canal
The Welland Canal is scheduled to close for the season on December 24 at 8 a.m. The Welland Canal may be kept open beyond this date depending on vessel demand and operating conditions.

Soo Locks
The official closing date for the Soo Locks is midnight January 15, 2003.

Water temperature at St. Lambert is 0.5 C as compared to 6.0 C in 2001 and 2.7 C as a ten year average. As of 2400 Dec. 8 there were 49 ocean vessels above St. Lambert and 39 above Port Weller as compared to 52 and 46 in 2001. The thinning of non-essential aids in the Montreal to Lake Ontario Section has begun.

Reported by: Ron Walsh


Today in Great Lakes History - December 10

CEDARGLEN loaded her last cargo at Thunder Bay, Ont. on December 10, 1984 carrying grain for Goderich, Ont.

Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Co. of Cleveland, OH bought the NOTRE DAME VICTORY on December 10, 1950. She would later become the CLIFFS VICTORY.

The IRVIN L. CLYMER was laid up at Superior, WI on December 10, 1985 for two seasons before returning to service April 30, 1988.

An explosion occurred in the IMPERIAL LEDUC's (b NIPIGON BAY ) forward tanks on December 10, 1951. This happened while her crew was cleaning and butterworthing the tanks. Five crew members were injured with one eventually dying in the hospital. Multiple explosions caused extensive damage in excess of $500,000.

On December 10, 1905 the WILLIAM E.CORY finally was pulled free and refloated after grounding in late November.

FRANK A. SHERMAN laid up for the last time at Toronto on December 10, 1981.

Donated by Cleveland-Cliffs to the Great Lakes Historical Society on December 10, 1987, the WILLIAM G. MATHER was to become a museum ship at Cleveland's waterfront.

PAUL H. CARNAHAN and her former fleet mate, GEORGE M. HUMPHREY (2), arrived safely under tow at Kaosiung, Taiwan on December 10, 1986 for scrapping.

ATLANTIC (formerly MANITOULIN, wooden propeller passenger/package freight, 147', 683 gt, built in 1880 at Owen Sound, Ont.) 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 December 1891, a fire started on MARY (2-mast wooden schooner, 84', 87 gt, built in 1877 at Merriton, Ontario) when an oil stove in the kitchen exploded. The vessel was at anchor at Sarnia, Ontario and damages were estimated at $10,000. The CORISANE (2-mast wooden schooner-barge, 137', 292 gc, built in 1873 at Marine City, MI) was tied up alongside MARY and she also caught fire but the flames were quickly extinguished. She was towed away from MARY by the ferry J. C. CLARK.

The PERE MARQUETTE 3 ran aground in 1893 north of Milwaukee.

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


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history




Vamand Wave Loads and Departs

12/09
The Vamand Wave finished loading grain and was able to depart from the ADM/Countrymark Elevator on Saturday evening with the Great Lakes Towing Company tugs Illinois and Idaho assisting her downriver. A labor dispute at the elevator had brought into question if the saltie could load and depart. On Thursday The U.S. Coast Guard was informed that while negotiations continue, workers will continue to picket all vessels en route if opportunity allows. Developing ice in the area has made it difficult to launch a picket boat.

Vamand Wave tied up at the T.W.I. Dock Saturday night and was scheduled to sail on Sunday morning. The Longshoremen’s Association dropped there informational picket Line and allowed the pilot to go aboard the vessel. They stated the dispute was not with the ship but with the operators of the grain elevator. The Vamand Wave loaded a soybean cargo bound for Japan.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman


Independent Departs on Final Voyage

12/09
Late Saturday night the Kinsman Independent departed Buffalo on what is expected to be her final voyage. She is heading upbound to Superior, Wi to load a storage cargo of grain for Buffalo, NY.

The Independent is expected to enter lay-up and not return to service next year. Rumors continue to circulate that her owners have chartered the idle Joseph H. Frantz for service next season.

The lack of self unloading gear on the Independent will bring her long career to an end. Early this year the General Mills elevator in Buffalo was fitted with an unloading hopper. With the ability to accept grain from self unloading vessels this will put the aging Independent out of work. The Kinsman Independent's fleet mate Kinsman Enterprise was sold early this year for scrapping.

Upon her return the Kinsman Independent will complete a tradition of over 100 years of Buffalo bound straight deckers.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski


Veerseborg Closes Season in Menominee

12/09
K&K Warehouse received its last (scheduled) shipment of overseas wood pulp Saturday when the Wagenborg ship Veerseborg arrived late in the afternoon. She was in port for just 24 hours, which is a quick unload for a Wagenborg ship. This marked the 19th visit by Wagenborg ships this year, and closed out a busy two weeks that saw 7 ships in port. The next scheduled activity in the Menominee River is the launch of another Coast Guard ship by Marinette Marine, which is scheduled later this month.

Inbound late Saturday afternoon.
Passing an ice-covered North Pier Lighthouse.
Close-up inside the piers.
Heading up-river into the sunset.
Unloading at K&K Warehouse dock on Sunday.
Close-up unloading.
Turning in the Menominee River.
Outbound late Sunday afternoon.
Approaching North Pier Lighthouse.
Past the lighthouse and heading out into Green Bay.

Reported by: Dick Lund


Saginaw River News

12/09
The Calumet passed the Front Range inbound on the Saginaw River shortly after midnight Sunday morning. The vessel went all the way up the river to Saginaw Rock Products to unload. It was outbound from Saginaw at about 9:30 a.m. Sunday.

The Buffalo unloaded at Bay Aggregates on Sunday morning and followed the Calumet outbound early in the afternoon.

Reported by: Stephen Hause, Lon Morgan and Todd Shorkey


Toledo Report

12/09
The salt water vessels Lake Superior and Orsula were at the T.W.I. Dock unloading cargo. There was an Andrie Fleet tug and barge unloading cargo at the Seneca Oil Company Dock. There were no other active vessels in port at the time of this report. The tall Ship Highlander Sea was in drydock at the Shipyard undergoing repairs to her hull and propeller shaft. She was removed recently from the drydock and is now tied up at the riverfront dock area of the shipyard. It is unknown if she will remain in Toledo for the winter due to ice conditions on the Maumee River and western Lake Erie or will return back to her home port at Port Huron, Michigan.

The Saturn, Joseph H. Frantz, and the tug James A. Hannah with barge remain in lay-up. The next schedule coal boats due in at the CSX Docks will be the Philip R. Clarke, and Algosteel on Monday. The Canadian Olympic on Tuesday followed by the Atlantic Huron on Wednesday. The Algosteel is due in at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock on Monday morning to unload stone when finished unloading stone she will follow the Phillip R. Clarke loading coal. The next scheduled ore boats due in at the Torco Ore Dock will be the Reserve on Tuesday. The Armco on Wednesday followed by the CSL Laurentien and Atlantic Erie on Thursday.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman


Buffalo News

12/09
Sunday afternoon the Gemini arrived with a cargo for the Mobil Oil dock. The tug Washington was in the lead and expected to arrive at the Mobil Oil docks About 2 p.m. She expected to unload two types of product at the same time and be ready to leave by 12 midnight.

The tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons was departing the North Entrance and passing the inbound Gemini at about 11:45 a.m. Sunday morning.

Pictures by Jeff Thoreson
Gemini unloads at Mobil.
Tug Washington breaks ice.
Washington and New Jersey.
Edward M. Cotter.
USS Little Rock.
One of Buffalo's Grain Elevators.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski and Jeff Thoreson


Hamilton Update

12/09
The Saginaw was moored at Pier 12 undergoing repairs to her rudder this Sunday afternoon. Using a floating raft and an elevated platform which extended out over the water, work crews from Heddle Marine had cut away the top portion of the rudder.

Over at Pier 11, the Kapitonas Marcinkus was unloading a bulk cargo while the Lake Michigan was unloading steel coils at Pier 14.

The barge McAsphalt 401 and tug John Spence were moored at Pier 27 possibly waiting for the winds to abate. Over at Stelco, the Nanticoke was unloading coal.

Reported by: Patricia Burgon


Quebec City News

12/09
Four ocean going ships were tied up in the St. Charles River Sunday. The bulk carrier Fearless (Panama) was unloading coke from China, the tanker Muskalvo (Cyprus) was unloading jet fuel from Amvay Bay, Venezuela, the bulk carrier Equinox Dawn (Cayman Islands) was unloading raw sugar from Santos Brazil and the British RORO ship Sea Crusader was loading general cargo. At the Ultramar St. Romuald Refinery Terminal, the tanker Cap Laurent (Greece) was unloading Algerian crude oil. The Canadian Transport was expected late Sunday with coke from Hamilton, Ont.

The sub-zero temperature in the area has brought ice to the St. Lawrence River and the pilot changes at the Quebec Station is now done by a Groupe Ocean tug until next Spring. The two regular pilot boats have been retired for the season.

Reported by: Frederick Frechette


Today in Great Lakes History - December 09

JUPITER (2) was christened December 9, 1975.

The JEAN PARISIEN left Quebec City on her maiden voyage December 9, 1977.

CLIFFS VICTORY ran aground December 9, 1976 near Johnson Point in the ice -laden Munuscong Channel of the St. Marys River.

The FRANK C. BALL ( b) J.R. SENSIBAR, c) CONALLISON) was launched on December 9, 1905.

The ARTHUR B. HOMER was towed by the tugs THUNDER CAPE, ELMORE M. MISNER and ATOMIC to Port Colborne, Ont., December 9, 1986, and was scrapped there the following year.

HILDA MARJANNE was launched December 9, 1943 as a) GRANDE RONDE.

The keel for the SHIERCLIFFE HALL was laid on December 9, 1949.

On 9 December 1871, CHALLENGE (wooden schooner, 96', 99 t, built in 1853 at Rochester, NY) missed the piers at Sheboygan, WI in heavy weather, stove in some of her planking and sank. She was a particularly sleek craft, actually designed as a yacht and once owned by the Light House Service as a supply vessel.

On 9 December 1874, the Port Huron Times reported that "the old railroad ferry steamer UNION at Detroit is having machinery taken out and preparing to go into permanent retirement, or perhaps to serve as a floating dining room for railroad passengers."

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


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history





Tug Remains Aground

12/08
The retired firetug Joseph Medill remained aground off Algoma, Wi. Saturday morning. The tug is about 200 yards off the beach in 6-8-feet of water and wedged between rocks. In the wave action she is rocking back and forth.

Saturday morning a successful attempt was made to get lines aboard by row boat. Crews hope to pull the vessel free with the fish tug Lelond Lafond as soon as the winds calm.

The Medill broke free from a tow Friday night in heavy weather on Lake Michigan. The tug will be prepared for sinking as a dive sight in Lake Michigan off Algoma, Wi.

Reported by: Wendell Wilke


Undaunted Departs

12/08
Saturday morning the tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette where anchored in Nicolet Bay in the St. Marys River for some type of repairs. The tug and barge were back underway shortly after midnight Sunday morning.

Reported by: Jerry Masson and Scott Best


Saginaw in Hamilton

12/08
The Saginaw arrived in Hamilton under her own power Saturday for repairs to her rudder. She was assisted by the tug Miseford. On Friday the rudder was damaged while maneuvering above Lock 7 in the Welland Canal. The Saginaw will be repaired at Heddle Marine, early estimates expected the stay in dry dock to last 3 to 5 days.

Pictures by Alex Howard.
Saginaw docked above Lock 7.
Damage to the rudder.

Reported by: Wally Wallace


Season coming to a close at Port Inland

12/08
As cold weather moves into the UP, the stone shipping season at Port Inland is ready to end. Friday evening the Buffalo was due at 9:30 p.m. Originally the Buffalo was to be the last boat of the season, but the John G. Munson which is a rare visitor to Port Inland has been scheduled for December 14. Last year Port Inland's season ended on December 19 with the Earl W. Oglebay taking the last load of the season.

Reported by: Scott Best


Barker Loads

12/08
Friday the Kaye E. Barker was loading coal in South Chicago for an unknown destination.

Barker loading.

Reported by: Gary Clark


Marquette Update

12/08
Weather delayed the arrival of the John J. Boland to Marquette until Saturday. Both the Boland and the Lee A. Tregurtha loaded taconite and departed on Saturday. The James Barker is due on Sunday with a load of coal, and Monday will see the Charles M. Beeghly and a rare visit by the Algobay. The Algobay's last trip to Marquette was in 1999.

Bow covered with ice, John J. Boland loads.
Lee A. Tregurtha loading.

Reported by: Lee Rowe


Saginaw River News

12/08
Late season shipping traffic remained steady this week on the Saginaw River despite cold weather and ice forming on the river

. The Wilfred Sykes was outbound from Saginaw Saturday afternoon after unloading at the Wirt Stone Dock. The Sykes had entered the river on Friday afternoon and lightered first at the Wirt dock in Bay City. The vessel waited until Saturday morning to continue up to Saginaw due to low water levels in the river overnight.

On Friday, the Calumet was outbound during the early morning hours after unloading Thursday evening at the Wirt dock in Saginaw. The Paul H. Townsend was outbound from Saginaw later on Friday morning. The Townsend had arrived at the Lafarge terminal on Thursday afternoon.

The Cuyahoga arrived at the Buena Vista dock on Friday afternoon and was outbound Friday evening. The Coast Guard cutter Bramble also arrived in the area on Friday.

The Fred R. White, Jr. was inbound Saturday morning passing the Front Range at 9am. She proceeded to the Bay Aggregates Dock where she unloaded through the afternoon. The White departed at 5 p.m. and was outbound for the bay.

While ice has been forming on the river for the past week, the regular passage of the large vessels has kept the ice broken and the shipping channel open.

Pictures by Todd Shorkey
Fred R. White, Jr. inbound at the Front Range.
Fred White passing the Coast Guard Cutter Bramble.
Stern view at Consumers Energy.

Reported by: Stephen Hause, Lon Morgan and Todd Shorkey


Montreal Traffic

12/08
Below are recent images of Montreal shipping traffic. The new U.S.C.G. cutter Oak stopped in port Nov. 25 on her delivery voyage off the lakes. She is the 11th unit of the Juniper class buoy tenders being built for the Coast Guard. Ice has started to form on the St. Lawrence River and all summer buoys are being removed.

CSL Laurentien downbound off Verchères Dec. 6.
Cedarglen upbound off Verchères for Seaway, Dec. 3.
Four Brig stern Verchères, Dec. 3.
Stern view.
Algosoo upbound off Verchères, Nov. 28.
Great Laker downbound off Verchères, Nov. 28, her last trip under this name.
USCG Oak WLB-211 dockside at berth M-5, Montréal, Nov. 25.
Stern view.
Bridge of the USCG Oak.
Oak underway off Vareenes.
Canmar Trader about to pass Aegean Sea off Verchères.
Iryda upbound off Verchères for Seaway, Dec. 2.
Irini Trader dockside at Pier 19, Sorel, Nov. 25.

Reported by: Marc Piché


Today in Great Lakes History - December 08

The CANADIAN ENTERPRISE was christened December 8, 1979.

JAMES DAVIDSON was laid up for the last time on December 8, 1969 at Toledo, OH.

The MERLE M. McCURDY collided with U.S. Steel s PHILIP R. CLARKE opposite Grosse Pointe Farms, MI on Lake St. Clair, December 8, 1974.

On 8 December 1886, BELLE (2-mast wooden schooner, 61', 40 gc, built in 1866 at Port Dalhousie, Ontario) burned while frozen in at anchor.

On 8 December 1854, WESTMORELAND (wooden propeller passenger/package freight vessel, 200', 665 t, built in 1853 at Cleveland) was carrying supplies for Mackinac Island, including liquor and supposedly $100,000 in gold. She capsized in a storm due to the heavy seas and the weight of the thick ice on her superstructure. She sank in the Manitou Passage in Lake Michigan and dragged one of the loaded lifeboats down with her. 17 lives were lost. There were many attempts to find her and recover her valuable cargo, but her wreck wasn't found until 1874, twenty years after she sank.

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


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




Vamand Wave Docks

12/07
Friday the Vamand Wave was docked at the ADM/Countrymark Elevator. The vessel was is not loading grain that morning, union picket lines at the south entrance of the grain elevator complex have been set up and it appears that no one is crossing this picket line at this time. It is unknown when the Vamand Wave will be able to load.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman


Tow Line Breaks, Tug Grounds

12/07
The retired firetug Joseph Medill was towed out of Sturgeon Bay Friday. The fish tug Lelond Lafond out of Algoma went up and broke the Medill out of the ice pack where she was frozen in. The pair were approximately 1 1/2 miles north of Algoma Friday night when the tow line broke in heavy seas, running 8-10-feet.

The Joseph Medill was drifting free. The Lelond Lafond made a number of attempts circling the Medill but could not retrieve the firetug. After calling the Coast Guard they returned to the Algoma harbor.

About 9 p.m. it was reported that the Medill had drifted near shore and grounded approx. 1 1/2 miles north of Algoma. Any further attempts to pull the vessel free will have to wait until Saturday morning.

The Medill was being towed to Algoma where it will be sunk as a dive site for the Green Bay Dive Club "Neptune's Nimrods".

Medill is 92-feet long, 23-feet wide and has a draft of 15-feet. It was built in 1946 at Christy Corp (now Bay Shipbuilding) in Sturgeon Bay. The fire boat was donated to the Nimrods by Mr. John Selvick owner of Calumet River Towing of Chicago.

After she is prepared for sinking, Selvick Marine of Sturgeon Bay will tow the Medill to the dive sight in Lake Michigan off Algoma, Wi. and sink her.

Reported by: Wendell Wilke


Saginaw in the Welland

12/07
Friday the Saginaw was docked above Lock 7 in the Welland Canal. On Friday the vessel apparently damaged her rudder while turning in the channel above Lock 7, just north of the Old Guard Gate. She was on her way to make a delivery at Wharf 6 in Thorold, when the mishap occurred.

It appears the Saginaw now has navigation problems and remained secured above Lock 7 with the tug Miseford standing by to assist.

Saginaw docked above Lock 7.
Tug Miseford.
Area where the Saginaw touched the approach wall.

Reported by: Alex Howard


Soo Update

12/07
The Canadian Coast Guard ship Samuel Risley was upbound at the Soo Friday slowing near Mission Point to allow the downbound Coast Guard cutter Biscayne Bay to pass. The area is now restricted to alternating one way traffic because of the winter ice boom.

The Risley locked through that afternoon and proceeded into Whitefish Bay. Also downbound Friday afternoon was the Stewart J Cort and Montrealais.

Reported by: Jerry Masson


Sturgeon Bay Report

12/07
The tug Petite Forte and barge St Marys Cement arrived at Bay Shipbuilding Berth #14 Friday morning for unknown reasons. It could be in for winter lay-up or repair. Only one engine was running at the time of arrival.

The tug Coastal Reliance arrived at Bayship about 6 p.m. Friday evening. The tug was out on Green Bay for builder’s trials and came into Bayship for the evening.

Tug Petite Forte and St. Marys Cement Barge at Berth 15 Bayship.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle


Green Bay Update

12/07
Freezing temperatures kept the Joseph L. Block in port a little longer than expected. As the cargo holds were sprayed out the water would freeze.

The saltie Stolt Aspiration was assisted to the Anamax terminal by the tugs Texas and Arkansas. The Stolt Aspiration is taking on a load of tallow for an unknown overseas destination. Stolt Aspiration loading.

Reported by: Jason Leino and Jeff DuMez


Alpena Report

12/07
The steamer Alpena came into port during the early morning hours of Friday to load cement for South Chicago. The Paul H. Townsend was also due into Lafarge late Friday night. It is scheduled to load cement for Heron Bay, ON (on Lake Superior). This is an unusual trip for the Townsend for she normally trades on the lower lakes. But with the Iglehart down for its 5 year inspection the Townsend will be going where needed.

The tug Jacklyn M and barge Integrity is due into port on Sunday.

In other news Stoneport has had many vessels loading. The Herbert C. Jackson loaded stone on Friday followed by the David Z. Norton. The Calumet and Wilfred Sykes are on for Saturday.

Reported by: Ben & Chanda McClain


Goderich News

12/07
The Algosteel had to anchor in the lake for many hours waiting for the wind to subside, but finally docked and loaded on Monday. She departed mid-afternoon for Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Chicago, Illinois. Wednesday saw the John D. Leitch arrive at the salt mine, about 4pm.

The Federal Polaris was loading at the grain terminals Thursday. The Algosoo also made a rare visit to the salt mine Thursday, taking 12 hours to load for Valleyfield and Cote Ste. Catherine, Quebec.

The Coast Guard ship Cape Hurd has been moved out of the harbor for the winter and ice is beginning to form in the inner harbor.

Reported by: Lisa Stuparyk


Toledo Update

12/07
The H. Lee White was loading coal at the CSX Docks. A Fed Nav salt water vessel was unloading cargo at the T.W.I. Dock.

The next scheduled coal boats due in at the CSX Docks will now be the Canadian Olympic, and Algomarine on Sunday. The Algosteel, and Philip R. Clarke on Monday, followed by the Atlantic Huron, and Canadian Transport on Wednesday. The next scheduled ore boats due in at the Torco Ore Dock will be the Reserve on Monday, followed by the Armco on Wednesday. The Algosteel is due in at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock on Sunday to unload stone, she is expected to follow the Algomarine loading coal sometime on Monday.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman


Toronto Update

12/07
The salty Okolchitza departed the Redpath Sugar dock Friday afternoon, assisted by the harbor tug Atomic.

Haida, which is normally lit up at night by strings of lights between her masts fore to aft, has had the plug pulled. She sits in darkness at the dock Friday night awaiting her tow to the drydock.

Reported by: Gerry O.


Marine Mart Today

12/07
Great Lakes Maritime Institute (Dossin Museum) Marine Mart, December 7 at 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, artwork and artifacts. For more information call 313-852-4051.

Click here for a map.




Today in Great Lakes History - December 07

On December 7, 1969 the TEXACO CHIEF (2) collided with the Canadian bulker PETITE HERMINE near Prescott, Ont. and suffered light damage.

In 1990 the ENERCHEM LAKER was sold to Environment Protection Services, Inc., Panama and departed Montreal on December 7, 1990 for off Lakes service with the new name d) RECOVERY VIII.

The LEADALE (2) sank in the Welland Canal on December 7, 1982 and was declared a constructive total loss.

The GEORGE R. FINK (2), under tow, arrived at Gandia, Spain prior to December 7, 1973 for scrapping.

W.W. HOLLOWAY was laid up December 7, 1981 for the last time at Toledo’s frog pond.

On December 7, 1932, the MARQUIS ROEN caught fire at Meacher's dock at Bay City, and before the fire was brought under control, the cabins and after end were destroyed.

Captain John Roen of the Roen Steamship Co. died on December 7, 1970.

On December 7, 1906 the R.L. IRELAND stranded on Gull Island in the Apostle Islands, Lake Superior.

PERCIVAL ROBERTS, JR. was launched December 7, 1912 for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.

The steel side-wheel passenger steamer EASTERN STATES was launched on December 7, 1901, by the Detroit Shipbuilding Company for the Detroit and Buffalo Steamship Company.

The railcar ferry ANN ARBOR No. 2 was launched on December 7, 1892.

In 1906 the ANN ARBOR NO. 4 arrived Frankfort on her maiden voyage.

December 7, 1909 - Marquette & Bessemer No. 2 (1) foundered in Lake Erie with a loss of all hands.

On 7 December 1894, KEWEENAW (steel steamer, 291', 2511 gt, built in 1891 at W. Bay City) was seen groping toward the coast of the State of Washington in a severe gale. With distress signals flying, she put back to sea and foundered. She was built by F.W. Wheeler (hull #73) for salt water service. Built in two pieces, she was towed down the St. Lawrence and reassembled at Montreal.

On 7 December 1866, M. BALLARD (2-mast wooden schooner, 116', 288 t, built in 1855 at Cleveland) was lost with all hands in a storm on Lake Ontario.

The wooden propeller bulk freighter MORLEY was launched at Marine City on 7 December 1878. She was on the stocks for two years and was built for the Morley Brothers and Hill. She was a double decker with side arches between decks with iron straps. She also had iron trusses running through the center. Her boiler was on the main deck and she had the engine from the tug WM. PRINGLE. She had three spars, a centerboard, and could carry 45,000 bushels of grain.

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


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history




Vamand Wave Remains at T.W.I.

12/06
The saltie Vamand Wave remained at the T.W.I. Dock in Toledo Thursday morning. On Tuesday the vessel docked at T.W.I. instead of heading to the ADM Dock due to a labor dispute at the dock.

The Vamand Wave was expected to be towed to the ADM/Countrymark Elevator Thursday to load grain. U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office Toledo personnel were expected to be on board during transit to monitor safe passage.

On Tuesday picketing workers waited in a small boat at the dock hoping turn the saltie away. The Vamand Wave crew reported their decision not to dock was based on the choice not to interfere with union matters and that the picket boat was not interfering with safe navigation of the saltie.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman


Coastal Reliance Casts Off on First Trip

12/06
The 130-foot Ocean going tug Coastal Reliance cast off her lines on her first day of builders sea trials Thursday morning from Marinette Marine Dock in Marinette, Wisconsin. The tug will conduct sea trials in the waters of Green Bay for the next week. She is expected to mate with her oil barge 550-4 at Bay Ship on Dec 10.

The Coastal Reliance is the second in a series of vessels being built by Marinette Marine for Vessel Management Services / Crowley Maritime. She is an Articulated Tug that will be mating with her barge via an Articulated Pin Connection from InterCon International. The tug has her Gulf coast crew on board, however the yard has their normal trials Captain/Pilot at the helm, Capt Dean Hobbs.

Reported by: Al Pomeroy


General Chemical Manistee to close

12/06
The Manistee News Advocate reported Wednesday that General Chemical will be closing its Manistee facility on January 1. General Chemical's supplier of brine, Martin Marietta of Manistee, was bought by Dow Chemical earlier this year.

Dow, which also produces brine at Ludington, Michigan will no longer supply General Chemical, as General Chemical is a competitor of Dow. General Chemical had attempted several times to drill its own wells to supply its own brine, but these test wells failed.

This closing will bring an end to tanker shipments out of Manistee, a trade which has flourished since 1996. The Capt. Ralph Tucker, Gemini, and the two McKeil tug/barge duos will no longer call on the Lake Michigan Port. General Chemical will continue to ship out the brine until their tanks are empty, and then shut down the plant.

Reported by: Chris Franckowiak


Block Returns

12/06
The Joseph L. Block arrived Green Bay for the first time in 15 years Thursday morning carrying 20,000 tons of coal for the Fox River Dock from South Chicago. Following right behind the Block in the channel was the tug Rebecca Lynn and barge loaded with of asphalt for Koch Materials.

The Block let the Rebecca Lynn pass and move into the Fox River Dock, the Block then backed into the slip and began unloading at the end of the dock.

Other traffic expected this week includes the Stolt Aspiration for Ananmax, Busch Marine is expected to bring in a load of pig iron to the Fox River Dock Saturday morning and after unloading will load large stones at the Fox River Dock These stones were pulled from the Fox River and Bay during dredging.

Coast Guard cutters have been working in the channel removing buoys and clearing ice. The Joseph Block and Catherine Desgagnes both reported about 8 inches of ice on the bay when they came into port.

Reported by: Jason Leino


U.S.-Flag Lakes Fleet Up By 5 Hulls On December 1

12/06
The active U.S.-Flag Lakes fleet totaled 58 vessels on December 1, an increase of 5 hulls compared to a year ago. The difference is significant. A year ago, two 1,000-footers, the James R. Barker and the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr., had ended their season in the last week of November. The 854-foot-long Roger Blough had been in lay-up since mid-August and LTV Steel was about to close its doors.

This season the lay-up pattern is expected to be more typical. A number of smaller and mid-sized vessels will lay-up in mid-December as the stone quarries wrap up operations for the year. The coal and cement trades will continue into January, and the iron ore trade below the Soo Locks will continue until late January.

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association


Rare Trip for English River

12/06
Thursday afternoon the cement carrier English River passed downbound in the St. Clair River with cargo believed to have been loaded in Alpena, Mi. The English River rarely heads north of the Detroit/Windsor area and normally trades on Lake Ontario.

The cargo will be unloaded in Bath, Ont.

Reported by: Barry Hiscocks


Saginaw News

12/06
The tug Mary E. Hannah and her tank barge arrived Wednesday at the Triple Clean Liquifuels Dock in Essexville. She was still unloading there on Thursday afternoon.

The Paul H. Townsend was inbound Thursday afternoon passing the Front Range around noon. She continued upriver to the Lafarge Terminal in Carrollton to unload. The Townsend is expected to be outbound on Friday.

The Calumet was inbound passing the Pump-Out Island shortly before 4 p.m. She proceeded up to Saginaw to unload at the Wirt Dock. Calumet expected to be outbound on Friday.

The Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay and vessel 49422 from Station Saginaw River were working Aids to Navigation during the day Thursday. According to the Coast Guard, at least 60% of the Entrance Channel buoys are off station. Some as much as a half mile. They are reporting plate ice up to 8 inches thick in spots along with some refrozen brash ice. The Cutter Bramble is expected to be in the Saginaw Bay and River working Aids to Navigation on Friday.

Pictures by Todd Shorkey
Paul H. Townsend inbound at the Front Range.
Stern view at Consumers Energy.
Close up passing USCG Station Saginaw River.
Townsend passing USCG 49422.
Cutter Neah Bay downbound at Station Saginaw River.
Neah Bay and 49422 outbound to work Aid to Navigation.
Calumet inbound passing the Neah Bay at Essroc.
Close up.
Stern view.
Calumet approaching the Mary E. Hannah at the Triple Clean Dock.

Reported by: Stephen Hause, Lon Morgan and Todd Shorkey


Detroit River Traffic

12/06
Below are images of traffic on the Detroit River Wednesday.

Canadian Coast Guard Ship Gull Isle passes.
St. Clair.
Stern view.
John B. Aird.
Stern view.
Cason J. Callaway passes through the early season ice.
Stern view.
Herbert C. Jackson off Zug Island.
Stern view.

Reported by: Wade P. Streeter


Toledo Update

12/06
The Oakglen was loading grain at Andersons "E" Elevator and departed around noon with the "G" tugs Illinois and Idaho towing her downriver. The John G. Munson was loading coal at the CSX Docks and departed around 1:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon. There was a Fed Nav salt water vessel unloading cargo at the T.W.I. Dock.

The large sailing vessel (Tall Ship) remains in drydock at the Shipyard undergoing repairs. The Saturn, Joseph H. Frantz, and the tug James A. Hannah with her barge remain in lay-up.

The next scheduled coal boats due in at the CSX Docks will be the H. Lee White late Thursday evening. the Algosteel, and Canadian Olympic on Sunday, followed by the Algomarine, and Philip R. Clarke on Monday. The next scheduled ore boats due in at the CSX Docks will be the Reserve on Monday, followed by the Armco on Wednesday. The Algosteel is now due in at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock on Sunday morning to unload stone, When finished unloading stone she will then shift over to the CSX Docks to load coal.

Pictures by Dave Wobser
"G" tugs Idaho and Illinois waiting for the Conrail South Bridge to clear a train and open.
Oakglen, led by Illinois, passing through the Conrail South Bridge.
Passing the museum ship Willis B. Boyer near downtown Toledo.
Passing through the M L King Bridge.
Oakglen close-up.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman and Dave Wobser


Toronto Report

12/06
Wednesday afternoon the dredged channel was opened to Haida. It still has to be deepened before Haida can be towed to Port Weller Dry Dock.

Thursday afternoon Hamilton Energy came in to fuel the salty Okolchitza at the Redpath Sugar dock. It left later in the day.

Reported by: Gerry O.


Kingston News

12/06
Traffic was brisk Thursday morning on the Seaway. The Canadian Mariner, Federal Oshima, Scan Trader, Atlantic Huron, CSL Niagara, Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin, Canadian Miner and Stephen B. Roman were all westbound while the CSL Laurentien, Isolda, Toro, Stokmarnes, and Tecam Sea were all eastbound.

It is interesting to note that all three of CSL new fore bodied ships, the CSL Laurentien, CSL Niagara and Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin were all in the Seaway at the same time.

Traffic was suspended Wednesday morning due to poor visibility. Vessels reported zero visibility in the area of Light 210 and the Alexandria Bay Coast Guard station.

The water temperature at St. Lambert lock is falling rapidly. Thursday the temperature was 0.3 C as compared to 6.3 C last year and a ten year average is 3.2 C.

There are 53 ocean ships above St. Lambert and 35 above Port Weller as compared to 58 and 39 in 2001. Ice is forming in the South Shoe canal. The minimum power to length and draft restrictions set for Dec. 7 have been postponed but the 26' minimum draft for Dec. 15 has been emphasized again.

Reported by: Ron Walsh


Doris B. Sundstrom

12/06
Doris B. Sundstrom of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., died Tuesday at age 87. She maintained a lifelong interest in the history of the Sault Ste. Marie area, and was a board member of Le Sault de Sainte Marie Historic Sites Inc., the organization which operates the museum ship Valley Camp.

She was predeceased in the 1980s by her husband, E.J. "Shine" Sundstrom, veteran Upper Peninsula newspaper reporter and retired Marine Editor of the Sault Ste. Marie Evening News. Shine Sundstrom won many state and national press awards for his coverage of the 1975 sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Reported by: Ed Schipper and Roger LeLievre


Today in Great Lakes History - December 06

In 1988 the HON. PAUL MARTIN was renamed b) ATLANTIC ERIE.

The H. LEE WHITE (2) was launched December 6, 1973.

The CONSUMERS POWER (3) was laid up for the last time at Erie, PA on December 6, 1985.

On December 6, 1988 an arsonist set fire to the after end of the FORT CHAMBLY while she was laid up.

The GOLDEN HIND was launched December 6, 1951 as a) IMPERIAL WOODBEND.

LAWRENDOC (2) was launched December 6, 1961 at the Collingwood Shipyards.

On December 6, 1909 while upbound at "Mud" Lake on the St. Marys River in a blinding snow storm, the HARRY A. BERWIND collided with the loaded HENRY STEINBRENNER (1) which received a 70 foot wide hole on her starboard side and sank up to her cabins.

On 6 December 1874, the Port Huron Times reported that the Port Huron Dry Dock Co. had been declared bankrupt and Mr. John Johnston had been appointed assignee of the company by the U.S. District Court.

The OCONTO grounded near Charity Island in Saginaw Bay on 6 December 1885. The passengers and crew were saved. She was built at Manitowoc in 1872 by Rand & Co. and owned by Capt. Gregory W. McGregor and Rensselaer VanSycle. She was later recovered but only lasted until July 1886 when she went down in the St. Lawrence River with a valuable cargo of merchandise. Although several attempts were made to recover her, she remains on the bottom and is a frequent charter dive target to this day.

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


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history




Labor Dispute Turns Saltie Away

12/05
Tuesday the salt water vessel Vamand Wave was turned from the ADM Dock in Toledo due to a labor dispute. A picket boat manned by International Longshoremen's Association Union members were on scene protesting a local labor dispute.

The pilot and crew aboard the Vamand Wave chose not to proceed to their scheduled mooring at the Country Mark Dock . They reported their decision not to dock was based on the choice not to interfere with union matters. The Coast Guard reports that the picket boat was not interfering with safe navigation of the saltie.

Vamand Wave safely moored at Toledo World Industries Dock in the Maumee River awaiting contract negotiation. No other vessel traffic was impacted. The Vamand Wave remained at T.W.I. Dock Wednesday.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman


Chicago's Christmas Ship sail's again

12/05
For the third year in a row Chicago's Christmas Tree Ship has set sail with a load of Christmas trees for Chicago area families that would otherwise be with out a tree this Christmas.

The Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw is once again standing in for the original tree ship Rouse Simmons that sank in a November gale near Two Rivers, Wisc. in 1912.

The Mackinaw will be arriving at Chicago's Navy Pier on Friday, Dec. 6 at 8 a.m. The ship will be docking along the western seawall on the south side of Navy Pier near the Captain at the Helm statue.

The trees will be unloaded and distributed during a brief ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 7 beginning at 9:15 a.m. The Mackinaw will hold free public tours Saturday, Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 8 from 1:30 to 5 p.m.

Reported by: Paul Roszkowski


Amelia Desgagnes in Marinette

12/05
Green Bay off Menominee was a busy place Tuesday afternoon. The Amelia Desgagnes waited off shore while two Selvick tugs, the Jacklyn Nicole and Jimmy L, escorted the Kent out of the Menominee River. Once the Kent was turned around and the Selvick tugs headed home to Sturgeon Bay.

The Desgagnes headed in to Marinette Fuel & Dock Co. The crane ship William H. Donner was re-positioned at its dock before the Amelia Desgagnes slid in alongside to unload more pig iron.

Dick Lund
Jacklyn Nicole assists Kent while Jimmy L and Amelia Desgagnes wait.
Ice Covered North Pier Lighthouse pier.
Amelia Desgagnes inbound.

Eric & Sandy Chapman
Kent outbound.
Close up.
Another view.

Reported by: Dick Lund


Medevac of Heart Attack Victim

12/05
Monday the U.S. Coast Guard Station Calumet Harbor responded to a report of a 60-year-old male who was found on deck without a pulse. The Stewart J. Cort was approximately 25 nautical miles offshore of Calumet Harbor. Station Calumet Harbor was on scene within 50 minutes. The victim was transferred to Trinity Hospital by EMS. Trinity Hospital then notified the crew man's family members.


Toledo Update

12/05
The salt water vessel Bright Laker was loading grain at Andersons "K" Elevator. The Oakglen was at Andersons "E" Elevator loading grain. The Alpena was at the Lafarge Cement Dock unloading cement. There was Fed Nav saltie at the T.W.I. Dock unloading cargo. There was a CSL self unloader loading coke breeze at the T.W.I. Dock. The Algolake was loading coal at the CSX Docks and is expected to depart Wednesday evening. The John G. Munson was waiting to follow.

The next scheduled coal boats due in at the CSX Docks will be the H. Lee White on Thursday, followed by the Algosteel, and Canadian Olympic on Sunday. The next scheduled ore boats due in at the Torco Ore Dock will now be the Reserve on Monday followed by the Armco and CSL Laurentien on Weds. The Algosteel is due in at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock on Saturday to unload stone, once done unloading stone she will proceed over to the CSX Docks on Sunday to load coal.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman


Today in Great Lakes History - December 05

Tanker SATURN was launched in 1973 as a) SATURN (4) for Cleveland Tankers.

SIR JAMES DUNN was launched in 1951.

The keel was laid for the E.G. GRACE on December 5, 1942. This was the last of the six ships built by AmShip in the L6-S-A1 class for the United States Maritime Commission and was traded to the Interlake Steamship Company in exchange for older tonnage. She would later become the first of the "Maritime Class" vessels to go for scrap in 1984.

On 5 December 1874, the steam barge MILAN was scheduled to be hauled ashore at Port Huron to replace her "Mississippi wheel" with a propeller.

The wooden 100' schooner BRILLIANT was close to Sheboygan, Wisconsin on 5 December 1857 where she was scheduled to pick up a load of lumber when she went on a reef close to shore and sank. No lives were lost.

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


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history




New CSL Member Heading to Canada

12/04
Reported leaving Antwerp last week for Belledune, N.B. is the bulk carrier Fraser acquired by Canada Steamship Lines in October. From Belledune, she is scheduled to sail to Quebec City for repairs on Dec. 9. From there, according to reports, the vessel will transit the Seaway for Toronto and possibly other ports but will be reflagged Canadian at Toronto and at the same time renamed Spruceglen.

In other Seaway News, leaving Halifax Monday night and transiting the Canso Canal early Tuesday afternoon was the research vessel Caledonia westbound for Hamilton. As Petrel and also Petrel V, she visited Great Lakes ports in the late seventies. Now owned by Canadian Sailing Expeditions Inc., she was to be converted into a sailing ship at Halifax next year. The reason she is going to Hamilton is not known. It is possible that the conversion will occurred at Hamilton rather than Halifax. The ship was built in 1947 at Beverley, England as a side trawler fishing vessel and converted into a research/survey vessel in 1976 when acquired by Techno Navigation Ltd.

Reported by: René Beauchamp and Malcolm Mackay


Russian Seaman falls from Ship

12/04
A forty-six year old Russian seaman fell into the chilly St. Lawrence River waters Tuesday morning near Petite Rivière St-Francois (60 miles east of Quebec City) as the Dutch-Antilles flagged Scan Trader was westbound for Montreal.

The seaman was de-icing deck hatch covers with two other crewmen when he lost his footing and fell off the ship. The other crewmen immediately called for help and threw two lifebelts into the waters. The Scan Trader stopped and lowered a small craft to search for the missing seaman.

The Canadian Coast-Guard was contacted and a passing pollution patrol aircraft only minutes away arrived on the scene. Three commercial vessels assisted in the search. The CSL Niagara, Kapitonas Andzejauskas and Thalassa Desgagnes all aided in the search. A Coast-Guard search and rescue helicopter arrived in the area and took over from the pollution patrol aircraft. The search area was extended from the eastern tip of Ile D'orleans to Petite Rivière St-Francois because of the flood tide at the time of the accident.

The search effort did not succeed. The two life saving belts were recovered and what was believed to be the missing seaman's cap. The search operations were suspended at 4 p.m. Water temperature at the time was .9 C and the air temperature was about -15 C with strong gust of westerly winds producing a chill factor in the -25 C.

The Coast Guard has suspended search efforts and has turned over the incident to the Quebec Provincial Police.

Reported by: Frederick Frechette


Saginaw News

12/04
The tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader was outbound for the Saginaw Bay early Tuesday evening. The pair had unloaded at the Saginaw Wirt Dock overnight and during the morning.

Following the Trader was the tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons. The McKee Sons arrived in the river early Tuesday morning going up to the Sargent Dock to unload. They departed Saginaw and were downbound through Bay City around 9 p.m.

The Calumet was inbound late Tuesday night passing the Pump-Out Island shortly before 8 p.m. She proceeded up to the Bay Aggregate Dock in downtown Bay City to wait for the downbound McKee Sons to pass. Calumet then continued upriver to the Sargent Dock to unload. She is expected to be outbound Wednesday morning.

Pictures by Todd Shorkey
Joyce L. Van Enkevort - Great Lakes Trader outbound through Liberty Bridge.
Close up at Bay City Wirt opening a track through the ice.
Stern view at Independence Bridge.

Reported by: Stephen Hause, Lon Morgan and Todd Shorkey


Toledo Report

12/04
The salt water vessel Bright Laker was loading grain at Andersons "K" Elevator. There was another salt water vessel from the Fednav Fleet unloading cargo at the T.W.I. Dock.

A CSL self unloader loading coke breeze at the T.W.I. Dock. The Saturn, Joseph H. Frantz, and tug James A. Hannah with barge remain in lay-up. The large sailing vessel in drydock at the Shipyard.

The Adam E. Cornelius was unloading ore at the Torco Ore Dock. The Cason J. Callaway was loading coal at the CSX Dock with the Algolake, and John G. Munson scheduled to arrive later in the day. However with the snow and very cold temperatures the coal in the railroad cars is most likely frozen and will have to be thawed out first before loading which will cause long delays in the loading process for these vessels.

The next scheduled coal boats due in at the CSX Docks will be the H. Lee White on Thursday, followed by the Algosteel, and Canadian Olympic on Sunday. The next scheduled ore boats due in at the Torco Ore Dock will now be the Reserve on Monday, followed by the Armco and CSL Laurentien on Tuesday.

Classic views of Toledo Shipping
CSL vessel Quetico loading coal at the Lakefront Coal Docks.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman


Welland Traffic

12/04
Below are images of traffic on Tuesday.

Canadian Transport downbound.
Close up of ice on bow.
Stern view.
Darya Devi downbound.
Close up.
Algonorth passing.
Algonorth upbound.
Close up.

Reported by: Alex Howard


Aerial Views

12/04
Pilot and photographer Don Coles was flying over Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River Tuesday and sent in the pictures below. All photographs are available for purchase. Don's company, Great Lakes Aerial Photos, is available for hire for any aerial photography need.
Bluewater Bridges.
View from Port Huron side.
Paul R. Tregurtha unloading at Recor.
Canadian Olympic upbound St. Clair River.
Wolverine downbound Lake St. Clair.
Tug Everlast and barge Norman McLeod upbound St. Clair River.
Golden Eye in Sarnia.
Another view.

Reported by: Don Coles




Lake Michigan Storm

12/04
High winds last week delayed shipping across the lakes. In St. Joseph, Mi. the storm brought heavy waves crashing onto the break wall. The images below show the St. Joe piers taking a beating as Lake Michigan crashes in.

Wave breaking over the outer light.
Animation of 4 images showing the waves breaking. 206k

Reported by: Gary Martin


Today in Great Lakes History - December 04

ALGOSOO (2) was the last ship built on the Lakes with the traditional fore and aft cabins, her maiden voyage took place today in 1974.

The IMPERIAL QUEBEC entered service on December 4, 1957.

LIGHTSHIP 103 completed her sea trials December 4, 1920.

At 0210 hours on December 4, 1989 the MESQUITE ran aground in 12 feet of water at a point one-quarter nautical mile off Keweenaw Point. After a struggle to save the ship, the 53 persons aboard abandoned ship at 0830 hours and boarded the Indian salty M/V MANGAL DESAI which was standing by.

On 4 December 1873, a gale struck Saginaw bay while the CITY OF DETROIT of the G. T. Line was carrying 8,000 bushels of wheat, package freight and 26 crew and passengers. She was also towing the barge GUIDING STAR. The barge was cut loose in the heavy seas at 3:30 am and about 7:00 am the CITY OF DETROIT sank. Captain Morris Barrett of the GUIDING STAR saw three of the CITY OF DETROIT's crew in one lifeboat and only one in another lifeboat. The CITY OF DETROIT went down stern first and the passengers and crew were seen grouped together on and about the pilothouse. Capt. Barrett and his crew of seven then abandoned GUIDING STAR. They arrived at Port Elgin, Ontario on 6 December in their yawl with their feet fully frozen. The barge was later found and towed in by the tug PRINDEVILLE.

On 4 December 1838, THAMES (wooden passenger/package-freight side-wheeler, 80', 160 t, built in 1833 at Chatham, Ontario) was burned at her dock in Windsor, Ontario by Canadian "patriots" during a raid on Windsor involving more than 500 armed men.

The M/V Emerald Isle completed her maiden voyage from Beaver Island to Charlevoix on December 4, 1997. Her first cargo included a few cars and 400 passengers. Emerald Isle replaced Beaver Islander as the main ferry on the 32 mile run.

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


This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history





Winter in the Twin Ports

12/03
Winter arrived in earnest on the Twin Ports waterfront Monday, with morning temperatures hovering near zero and a thick blanket of "sea smoke" or condensation hovering over Lake Superior. All of Duluth harbor is covered by ice but no word on its thickness at this point.

Inside the harbor, business was as brisk as the weather. Sam Laud was making a rare appearance at the CLM dock in Superior to unload stone. Capt. Henry Jackman was scheduled to make an unusual call at Midwest Energy Terminal to load coal for Nanticoke as soon as the Oglebay Norton cleared the dock.

Elsewhere, Algocape was being unloaded at the St. Lawrence Cement Terminal and saltie Marinette was unloading wood at the port terminal. Spar Ruby, docking at Cenex Harvest States elevator about 7 a.m., was the only vessel loading grain, but Elise Oldendorff and Algoville were both expected to arrive late in the day for grain. Down at the end of the harbor, George A. Stinson was loading at BNSF ore dock.

The DMIR ore docks in Duluth and Two Harbors are expecting a lull in loading much of this week but a rush of vessels on Friday and Saturday. In Duluth, Columbia Star and Reserve are due Friday and John G. Munson and St. Clair are expected Saturday. In Two Harbors, the Edwin H. Gott and Edgar B. Speer were to load Monday. The next vessels due after that are Roger Blough and Cason J. Callaway on Friday, followed by Joe Block, Presque Isle and Burns Harbor on Saturday.

Reported by: Al Miller


Back Up Mail Boat Enters Lay-up

12/03
The back up mail boat Joseph J. Hogan entered winter lay-up Monday at Gregory's Marina behind Belle Isle on the Detroit River.

The Hogan was towed by the J.W. Westcott II which is expected to operate until December 20 along with the pilot boat Huron Maid . Ice conditions in the river will determine the actual lay-up date of the Westcott II.

The J.W. Westcott Company is both the marine post office and pilot station in Detroit.

Reported by: Capt. Sam Buchanan


Marquette Update

12/03
The Herbert C. Jackson loaded taconite at Marquette's upper harbor on Monday, while the H. Lee White continued unloading a difficult cargo of stone at the lower harbor. The White was expected at the ore dock earlier, but the difficult unloading was putting a delay on the move.

The Lee A. Tregurtha was expected later on Monday.

Lake effect snows and below normal cold temperatures continued to make loading difficult for the workers on the ore dock causing uncooperative chutes.

Jackson loading.
H. Lee White unloading.

Reported by: Lee Rowe


Sturgeon Bay Update

12/03
The new barge 550-4 was floated and removed from the large graving dock at Bay Shipbuilding Sunday. The barge was taken to Berth #9 for the winter where the remainder of the final outfitting will be completed, with delivery expected in the spring of 2003.

The move was made with the aid of tugs from Selvick Marine and the tug Bay Ship.

As soon as this move was completed the tour Boat Oddesssy II was removed from the small graving dock and placed at Berth #14 awaiting her return to Chicago.

These moves allow space for the arrival of the winter fleet, which should be soon. All graving docks and dry docks are now empty.

The north west wind and snow Sunday morning helped the crews of the tugs and docking crew to prepare for what waits ahead for the winter.

Jimmy L. stands by while the small tugs move the barge from the dock.
Bow clears the gate for the first time.
Stern clears the dock, with tailing tug Escort II.
Jimmy L. going out to take over tailing Duty.
Jimmy L. and Escort II trade places.
Through the snow at Berth #9.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle


Barker Unloads in Green Bay

12/03
On Sunday afternoon the Kaye Barker visited the C. Reiss Coal dock on the Fox River in Green Bay.

At the Reiss dock on the icy Fox River.

Reported by: Jeff DuMez


Busy week in Menominee & Marinette

12/03
Menominee and Marinette played host to five different ships last week. It started with the Algolake with salt on Tuesday, followed by the Marinette with lumber and Calumet with coal on Wednesday, and finished with the Kent with pig iron and Vechtborg with wood pulp Sunday. The Kent and Vechtborg both arrived early Saturday morning, but waited all day and night out in Green Bay until the wind and water levels reached acceptable levels. Both were in port and unloading early Sunday morning.

Kent & Vechtborg waiting out weather on Saturday.
Kent and Selvick tugs pass Menominee Lighthouse.
Carla Anne Selvick on the Kent's stern in the river.
Kent unloading on Sunday.
Vechtborg unloading at K&K East Dock on Sunday.
Stern View.
Calumet inbound.
Close up.
Preparing to unload coal.

Reported by: Dick Lund and Scott Best


Saginaw News

12/03
Monday afternoon the barge Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort arrived at the Wirt Stone Dock on the Saginaw River. After lightering she departed at about 8:30 p.m. for the Wirt Dock in Saginaw.

The tug Barbara Andrie and barge A-390 departed the Bit-Mat Dock early Sunday morning. The pair had arrived on Friday to unload, but weather had delayed their departure after unloading.

Pictures by: Todd Shorkey
Joyce L. Van Enkevort - Great Lakes Trader upbound approaching Independence Bridge.
Close up.
Stern view at Bay City Wirt.
Tug Barbara Andrie & Barge A-390 outbound at USCG Station Saginaw River.
Tug Close up.
Stern view.

Reported by: Stephen Hause, Lon Morgan and Todd Shorkey


Goderich Update

12/03
Thursday was a busy day at the salt mine. First to load was the Canadian Navigator followed by the Algosteel loading for Detroit. The Algosteel was scheduled to return to the mine Saturday night. Snow squalls lowered visibility and made loading difficult, but the harbor remained ice free Sunday.

Reported by: Lisa Stuparyk


Toledo News

12/03
The salt water vessel Bright Laker was loading grain at Andersons "K" Elevator. The Saturn has returned to her lay-up berth at the Lakefront Docks. The Joseph H. Frantz and the tug James A. Hannah with her barge remain in lay-up A large sailing vessel remains in drydock at the Shipyard.

The Willis B. Boyer, and Joseph H. Frantz now have there Christmas lights on and look very nice at night.

Due to weather conditions around the Great Lakes a number of vessels have been delayed arriving at this port. Tentative eta's for vessels due in at the CSX Docks to load coal are as follows: Tuesday: John G. Munson, Cason J. Callaway, and Algolake. Thursday: H. Lee White. Sunday: Algosteel, Canadian Olympic. The Algosteel is also due in at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock on Saturday to unload stone. When finished unloading stone at this facility she will shift over to the Coal Dock to load on Sunday.

Tentative eta's for the Torco Ore Dock: Tuesday: Adam E. Cornelius, followed by the Reserve on Sunday. As of now 3 Canadian vessels are scheduled to unload ore at the Torco Dock within the next one to two weeks. Other vessels scheduled to unload ore will be the Atlantic Erie, John D. Leitch, and Canadian Navigator.

The lineup of vessels may change due to weather conditions around the lakes this time of year. It has been quite a few years since Canadian vessels brought ore into Toledo. Back when the C&O and Lakefront Ore Docks were in operation with there Hulett Ore unloaders Canadian ore boats were a common sight.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman


Golden Eye Sports New Paint Job

12/03
Saltie Goldeneye (ex Luna Verde) a regular visitor for a several years was upbound in the Welland Canal Sunday afternoon. The saltie now sports a more traditional black hull as opposed to the former green color. She was reported to be heading to Sarnia.

Reported by: Jimmy Sprunt


Kingston-Western Seaway Update

12/03
The tug Laurentian and barge McCleary Spirit finally left their anchorage east of Lynda Island Monday. They were westbound for Hamilton.

The Seaway Authority issued Radio Message #1 for the 2002 closing season. They stated that on Dec. 15 the maximum depth for the Montreal - Lake Ontario section would be 26' 3" due to lower water levels and lower water temperatures. The St. Lambert lock at Montreal is the critical location as it is the furthest north and freezes up first. Also, ice conditions can make passage difficult in the South Shore Canal. The water temperature at St. Lambert lock is 1.7 degrees Celsius. Last year it was 6.1 degrees Celsius and the 10 years average is 2.3 degrees Celsius. This is significantly colder than last year and we are experiencing below normal temperatures in this area.

As of midnight Dec. 1, there are 53 ocean vessel above St. Lambert and 34 above Port Weller. Last year there were 54 and 37 respectively. There is still a large number of ocean vessels heading westbound. Monday the Milo, Lake Superior, Varnebank, Iryda, Lake Ontario and Federal Rideau were all westbound in the system.

There are only three weeks left until the CCGC Bitern is relieved from duty for the winter. It is expected she will go to Burlington for winter lay-up.

Reported by: Ron Walsh


Traverse City and Frankfort Traffic

12/03
Below are images taken over the weekend.
Tug Ottawa.
Another view.
Stern view.
State of Michigan at the Great Lakes Maritime Academy Dock in Traverse City.
Stern view.
Tug MC 1955 PB (ex U.S.A.C.O.E. Anchor Bay?)
Northwestern.
Stern view.
4010 an oil spill boom vessel.
Frankfort sign.
Frankfort / Elberta Breakwall.
Hull of the Adrian Iselin and the Tampico in Frankfort, MI.
Another view.
Close up.
Tug Erich R Luedtke in Frankfort.
Tug Lady H?
Close up.
Alan K Luedtke tied to the Tampico's hull.
Tampico Hull.
Anohter view.
Point Betsie Light and breakwall.
Lake Michigan.

Reported by: Mike Nicholls


Museums Ship City of Milwaukee Holds Ambitious Plan

12/03
The Board of Directors and Staff of the S.S. City of Milwaukee National Landmark are working on an ambitious plan to relocate the S.S. City of Milwaukee to the Moonlite Motel in Manistee. The property will provide enough room to dock the S.S. City of Milwaukee within view of highway, railroad and boat traffic, and provide a secure long-term mooring location.

This plan address the main concern of the group, to providing a viable mooring location with property ownership. Once a viable location is obtained, the group can begin the work necessary to fully restore the S.S. City of Milwaukee to operating condition.

The group is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Economic Development Program for a loan to fund the plan.

The new location will provide a key ingredient to the long-term success of the S.S. City of Milwaukee in preserving the heritage of car ferries on Lake Michigan and beyond.

S.S. City of Milwaukee

Reported by: George Micka


Group Hopes to Save Former Bob-lo Boat

12/03
In October a loan on the former Bob-Lo passenger steamer Columbia was in default and foreclosure procedures by the National Trust were underway. An organization described only as a "group from New York" was reported to be seeking to purchase Columbia for service on the Hudson River.

On Saturday a meeting was held at the Dossin Museum on Belle Isle to discuss the fate of Columbia. A newly formed board of directors is working to develop a business plan to present to the Trust by mid month when a final decision determining Columbia's fate.

The Columbia has been in lay-up in Detroit since the early 1990's. Long neglected, the group hopes to keep the classic steamer in Detroit and restore her.

Steamer Columbia

Reported by: Joe Barr


Updates

12/03
Check back tomorrow for the Weekly Updates.


Today in Great Lakes History - December 03

The CANADIAN AMBASSADOR was launched December 3, 1982.

ROBERT W. STEWART (b. AMOCO MICHIGAN) was launched in 1927.

In 1909 the LeGRAND S. DEGRAFF collided with the steamer HARVARD while downbound in the Detroit River in fog.

The IRVING S. OLDS was laid up for the final time on December 3, 1981 at the Hallett Dock #5, Duluth, MN due to market conditions and her inability to compete with the 60,000 ton carrying capacity of the self-unloading thousand foot bulk freighters.

On 3 December 1872, the officers and crew of the schooner E. KANTER arrived home in Detroit, MI. They reported that their vessel was driven ashore near Leland, MI in Lake Michigan on 26 November and was broken up by the waves.1898, PACIFIC (wooden propeller passenger/package freighter, 179'. 918 gt, 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 December 1850, HENRY CLAY (2-mast wooden brig, 87', 163 t, built in 1842 at Huron, Ohio) was driven ashore at Point Nipigon in the Straits of Mackinac. She suffered little damage, but she was high and dry and unsalvageable. Her crew and passengers were picked up by the passing steamer TROY.

Back during the rough days of November on the lakes, the crews of the Imperial Oil Tankers, would wet the tablecloths in the mess rooms, to keep their plates, glasses and silverware from sliding off the tables.

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


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




Duluth Pilot Boat Back In Service

12/02
The Duluth Pilot Boat Sea Bear was back in service Sunday night after being out of the water all day Saturday. The stout fifty foot vessel developed two small pinholes from working in the late season ice. The minor repairs were completed quickly by Sea Service crews and Lakehead Boat basin. Other Sea Service vessels, such as Chicago's Sea Pilot and the barge Sea Ox in St. Louis, are operating normally and closing in on the end of another shipping season. The tug Sea Colt remains operational, but in lay up awaiting next season's work. The fast launches Sea Eagle and Sea Sparrow are already in winter lay up, as are the barges Sea Lift and Sea Camel-I.

Reported by: Capt. Edward Montgomery


Low Water Delays Traffic

12/02
Wind causing low water in the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers sent several vessels to anchor. The Roger Blough was anchored above Lights 11 and 12 just north of Point Edward/Port Huron for about 28 hours waiting for higher water before heading to Conneaut, Ohio. It appears that the Blough's orders were changed, last night the Blough was reported to be sailing upbound for Gary, Indiana. The Columbia Star was anchored at Ojibway Saturday afternoon and finally departed Sunday evening on a trip to Nanticoke, Ont. with coal.

Reported by: Barry Hiscocks


Marquette Update

12/02
A pause in high winds and waves brought the H. Lee White to Marquette's lower harbor with a load of stone Sunday. The White will move to the ore dock to take on a load of taconite when finished unloading. The Herbert Jackson and Lee A. Tregurtha are expected on Monday at the ore dock, with the Charles Beeghly due on Wednesday.

Reported by: Lee Rowe


Marine Mart this Saturday

12/02
Great Lakes Maritime Institute (Dossin Museum) Marine Mart, December 7 at 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, artwork and artifacts. For more information call 313-852-4051.

Look for me at the Know Your Ships table. Click here for a map.




Today in Great Lakes History - December 02

OTTERCLIFFE HALL was launched December 2, 1968 .

The GEORGE R. FINK (2) (b - ERNEST T. WEIR 1). under tow passed Gibraltar on December 2, 1973 and arrived at Gandia, Spain prior to December 7, 1973 for scrapping.

GOVERNOR MILLER was launched in1937.

The NIPIGON BAY last ran in 1982 and was laid up at Montreal on December 2nd.

Twenty-five years ago today, the brand new carferry Wolfe Islander III sailed into Kingston from Thunder Bay Ontario. The new 55 car ferry would replace the older ferries Wolfe Islander and Upper Canada.

On 2 December 1874, the steam barge GERMANIA was launched at King's yard in Marine City, MI. The Port Huron Times of 4 December 1874 reported that she "is probably the cheapest boat ever built in Marine City, wages and material, iron, etc. being very low." This was due to the nation just recovering from the "Panic of 1873". The vessel's dimensions were 144' overall x 56'2" x 11'9.

On 2 December 1832, the wooden schooner CAROLINE was carrying dry goods worth more than $30,000 from Oswego to Ogdensburg, NY in a violent storm. She capsized and sank off Ducks Island on Lake Ontario with the loss of one life. Five survived in the yawl and made it to the island in 6 hours. After much suffering from the cold and snow, they were rescued by the schooner HURON.

Duluth - December 2, 1950 - In the early part of this week there were as many as 41 Great Lakes vessels lined up in the Duluth-Superior harbor awaiting their turn to take on their cargoes of iron ore. Freezing temperatures prevailed at the Head of the Lakes and ore steaming operations permitted loading only of about ten boats per day.

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


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




Weather Holds Vessels at Dock

12/01
The Charles M. Beeghly and Joseph H. Thompson remained tied up at the ore dock in Marquette's upper harbor on Saturday to wait out the storm. The H. Lee White was expected with a load of stone to the lower harbor once the weather clears, and then to load at the ore dock.

Thompson and Beeghly wait at the dock.
Another view.
Storm pushes waves over the beak wall.
Another view.

Reported by: Lee Rowe


Pilot Boat Out of Commission

12/01
The Twin Ports based pilot boat Sea Bear was reported to be damaged while operating in ice in the Duluth harbor. The vessel has been pulled ashore at Lakehead Boat Basin in Duluth and is awaiting repairs.

The vessel was recently purchased by Sea Service LLC of Superior, Wisconsin from a New York City company. She came to the lakes this fall under the name Narrows.

The vessel it replaced, Sea Falcon has been sold to a private party and is laid up. The other vessels in the Sea Service fleet are also out of service, the Sea Eagle being laid up and the Sea Colt being retired for many years.

Reported by: Rob Farrow


Duluth Traffic

12/01
Saturday saw a mix of shipping activity in Duluth.

Reserve anchored several miles of the Duluth entry waiting on weather. She departed shortly after this photo was taken.
Marinette at the Duluth Port Terminal. Bow shot shows the Alpena tied up at the Murphy Fuel Dock in the background.
Another view.
Alpena at the Murphy Fuel Dock waiting out weather. She departed less than an hour after the photo was taken.
Alpena with the departing James R. Barker passing by..
James R. Barker heading for the Duluth entry as she leaves after loading at DM&IR.

Reported by: Glenn Blaszkiewicz


Sarnia Traffic

12/01
Below are recent images of traffic at Sarnia.
Traveller at the Government docks Nov. 19.
Stern view.
H. Lee White upbound.
Montrealais passing.
Frontenac loading.
Bow view.
Close up.
Another view.
Tug Sea Eagle II and barge St. Mary’s Cement II at Sarnia's Government dock Nov. 3. St. Mary's Cement II spent most of the day transferring cement to the barge St. Mary's Cement and tug Petite Forte.

Reported by: Marc Wright


Toronto News

12/01
On Friday unloading continued on the Okolchitza at Redpath Sugar.

The former Glen-class tug Glenmont has been renamed. Although nothing appears on the hull yet, the new name is Carolina Borealis in keeping with the other vessels owned by Canamac Cruise Lines. It has been registered as a new build [C.824441] in 2001 and was registered at Toronto on 2002/08/27. The builder is listed as Borealis Cruises, Toronto and the registered owner is Mac Makarchuk, who also owns Stella Borealis, Aurora Borealis and Jaguar II.

The tentative date for towing H.M.C.S. Haida is December 15th but may come sooner based on weather conditions.

A sad bit of news for Toronto is the demise of Toronto Brigantine Inc. which operated the 70-foot brigantines S.T.V. Pathfinder and T.S. Playfair. The sail-training organization was founded 40 years ago.

Reported by: Gerry O.


Today in Great Lakes History - December 01

On December 1, 1974 the Canadian motor vessel JENNIFER foundered on Lake Michigan in a storm. Her steel cargo apparently shifted and she foundered 24 miles southwest of Charlevoix, MI. The JENNIFER went to the bottom in water too deep for any salvage attempt.

The FRED G. HARTWELL, the last boat built for Franklin S.S., was delivered to her owners on December 1, 1922 but her maiden voyage didn't occur until early 1923 because of unfavorable weather conditions.

The SASKATOON’s ownership was transferred to the Canada Steamship Lines Ltd., Montreal on December 1, 1913 when the company was formed and all six vessels of the Merchants Mutual Line were absorbed by CSL in 1914.

The HUDSON TRANSPORT was put up for sale by Marine Salvage in December 1982.

On December 1, 1934, the United States Coast Guard cutter ESCANABA was involved in the rescue of the crew of the whaleback HENRY CORT off the piers at Muskegon, Michigan.

On 1 December 1875, BRIDGEWATER (3-mast wooden schooner, 706 t, built in 1866 at Buffalo as a bark) grounded on Waugoschanee Point in the Straits of Mackinac. She was released fairly quickly and then was towed to Buffalo, NY for repairs. In Buffalo, she was gutted by fire. In 1880-82, the propeller KEYSTONE was built on her hull.

In 1909 the Marquette & Bessemer No. 2 (1st) sank on Lake Erie, 31 lives were lost.

December 1, 1985 - The SPARTAN broke loose from her moorings at Ludington in a storm and ended up near Buttersville Island. She was pulled off on December 5 by the Canonie tugs SOUTH HAVEN and MUSKEGON with the help of the CITY OF MIDLAND 41. It took about 10 hours.

On 1 December 1875, the Port Huron Times reported: "The schooner MARY E. PEREW went ashore in the Straits of Mackinac and by the brave efforts of the people on shore, her crew was rescued from perishing in the cold. Her decks were completely covered with ice and the seas were breaking over her. The vessel has a large hole in her bottom made by a rock that came through her. She will prove a total loss." On 7 December 1875, that newspaper reported that MARY E. PEREW had been raised by a wrecker and would be repaired.

On 1 December 1882, DAVID M. FOSTER (wooden 3-mast schooner, 121', 251 t, built in 1863 at Port Burwell, ON as a bark) was carrying lumber from Toronto to Oswego, New York in a storm. She was picked up by a harbor tug outside of Oswego for a tow into the harbor, but the tow line broke. The FOSTER went bows-on into the breakwater. She was holed and sank. No lives were lost. Her loss was valued at $3,300.
Image of the Foster Photo used with permission of Historical Collections of the Great Lakes/BGSU

On 01 Dec 1934, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter ESCANABA (WPG-64) (165', 718 gt, built in 1932 at W. Bay City, MI) was involved in the rescue of the crew of the whaleback HENRY CORT off the piers at Muskegon, Michigan; also that winter, she delivered food to the residents of Beaver Island, who were isolated due to the bad weather.
Image of the Escanaba Photo used with permission of Historical Collections of the Great Lakes/BGSU

The SULLIVAN BROTHERS (steel straight-deck bulk freighter, 430', 4897 gt, built in 1901 at Chicago, IL as FREDERICK B. WELLS) grounded at Vidal Shoal on Tuesday evening, 01 Dec 1953. She was loaded with grain and rested on solid rock. She was recovered.
Image of the Frederick B. Wells Photo used with permission of Historical Collections of the Great Lakes/BGSU

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


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




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