Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News ARCHIVE

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Seaway Update

12/31:
Still running yesterday on the St.Lawrence River was the Algogulf expected in Montreal today for winter lay up, Atlantic Huron, Jean Parisien and Gordon C.Leitch in addition to Ferbec. Arriving in Montreal for winter lay-up this week was the Canadian Venture and Algocen.

According to observers, the first ship of the year 1999 to arrive in Mtl will probably be the new container ship OOCL Belgium on Jan. 1st. If she is the winner of the Golden Cane, it will be the third time for her captain to get this honour. I hope to have an update on this tomorrow night. Owned by Orient Overseas Container Line, another of their vessels, the OOCL Bravery is to be renamed Canmar Bravery according to Lloyd's Register.

Reported by: René Beauchamp




Linda E. Update

12/31
Coast Guard officials said Tuesday sonar had picked up an image that could be the wreckage of a fishing boat that disappeared, along with its three-man crew, on Lake Michigan earlier this month. Two crews running sonar found what appears to be a boat about 300 feet below the surface and six to nine miles off the shoreline, said Cmdr. David Lersch of the Coast Guard's marine safety office in Milwaukee.

Officials have not yet confirmed that the image on the sonar is the missing boat, the Linda E., although some crew members feel it is, Lersch said.

The sonar image is the first sign of any type of wreckage that could be associated with the boat, Lersch said.

The Coast Guard plans to send down a robot equipped with a camera next week to try to confirm what the wreckage is, Lersch said.

The Linda E. has been missing since Dec. 11.

Reported by: Lois Haglund and Jim Zeirke




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.

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

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




Transfer Update

12/30:
The tugs JAMES E. McGRATH, GLENEVIS and LAC ERIE transited downbound through the night towing the CANADIAN TRANSFER which was destined for Port Weller Drydocks.

At around 02:30 this morning the four ships emerged from lock 2 in St. Catharines and proceeded southbound only as far as the end of the approach wall below the lock. There Canadian Transfer secured and shut down for the season. The tugs released their tow lines and proceeded further down the channel and secured at the tug dock at Port Weller Drydocks.

The drydocks are about a mile south of Lock 2 just above Lock 1 on the Welland Canal. The navigation season is now finished along the Welland Canal for the 1998 season.

See the Welland Canal Archive for updates.

Reported by: Jeff Cameron




Twin Ports Report

12/30:
Midwest Energy Terminal, which not too many years ago shut down in mid-December, will run through at least the end of 1998 this season. Mesabi Miner and Indiana Harbor were to load Dec. 29; the Indiana Harbor is due back Dec. 31 after a quick trip to Silver Bay; and Columbia Star is also due in Dec. 31.

Also making unusual late-season runs is George A. Sloan, which was due to load in Ashtabula Dec. 29 with cargo for Alpena. The only other boats in operation for Great Lakes Fleet are on the ore run: Edgar B. Speer is due into Two Harbors Dec. 31; Edwin H. Gott is loading in Two Harbors Dec. 29 and due at Gary Jan. 1; Presque Isle is to unload at Conneaut Dec. 30 and then return to Two Harbors Jan. 2; and Roger Blough is to unload at Gary Dec. 29 and return to Two Harbors Jan. 1.

Reported by: Al Miller




Illegal Steel Imports Cost U.S.-Flag Lakes Fleet Cargos and Jobs

12/30:
The record level of illegal steel imports has dramatically impacted America's iron and steel industries and their suppliers such as the U.S.-Flag Great Lakes fleet. Steelworkers and iron ore miners have been laid-off or had their workweek shortened and the sailing season for many U.S.-Flag lakers has been shortened. The Lake Carriers Assocition has created a table that shows cargo lost by each vessel. These early lay-ups not only reduced the amount of cargo that could be carried, they stopped paychecks for American mariners and their families. The table will be updated as the season draws to a premature end so the full impact of dumped steel can be understood and communicated to Congress and the Administration.

Click here to view the table





Tadoussac Arrives in Midland

12/30:
The Tadoussac arrived at the Midland Ontario ADM elevator dock on December 29th. She is loaded with 20,248 tons of various grades of Canadian wheat from Thunder Bay. About 10,000 tons will be unloaded now and the balance by early February. The entire cargo will be milled in the adjoining ADM mill.

Reported by: Tom Barber




New History Quiz

12/30
A new Great Lakes History Quiz has been added to the Marine Historical Society of Detroit home page. Quiz number two offers 25 new questions to test your Great Lakes Maritime history knowledge.

Click here to take the quiz





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 on December 30, 1896. She was nearly complete when launched and arrived Ludington, MI on February 13, 1897 commanded by Captain Joseph Russell. The Pere Marquette (renamed Pere Marquette 15 in 1924), once hailed as "A Titan of Size and Power", went into lay-up in 1930 as a result of the depression and the arrival of newer and more powerful carferries. She was scrapped at Manitowoc in 1935.

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

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




Crewmember airlifted from Burns Harbor

12/29
On 25 Dec., U.S. Coast Guard Group Milwaukee received a radio call from the Burns Harbor requesting evacuation of a 35-year-old crewmember who was suffering from severe abdominal pain on his left side. The man had lost consciousness once and it was painful for him to breathe deeply or stand up. The flight surgeon approved the request and a helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Mich., hoisted the crewmember aboard and took him to waiting emergency medical personnel at the airport in Sheboygan, Wis.

Reported by: Steve Schultz




Transfer Update

12/29:
At around 11:00 yesterday the tug ESCORT PROTECTOR arrived off Port Colborne piers towing the damaged ULS Corporation self unloader CANADIAN TRANSFER. Shortly before their arrival, the tugs GLENEVIS and LAC ERIE set out from wharf 18.2 in Port Colborne and met the tow outside the piers. While still lashed together, they took up a stern line from Canadian Transfer and assisted the tow as it proceeded inbound.

By around 14:30 the tow had cleared Lock 8 and was proceeding downbound through the Welland bypass section of the canal destined for the wall above Lock 7. The four vessels arrived above Lock 7 in Thorold around 18:00 and secured there with the assistance of James E. McGrath. The Escort Protector disconnected from the Transfer's bow and handed the tow line over to James E. McGrath. She then proceeded downbound through the canal alone leaving the tow behind.

From Lock 7 Canadian Transfer continued being towed downbound by the three tugs with Port Weller Drydocks as the eventual destination. This story will be completed tomorrow after the ship arrives at Port Weller.

See the Welland Canal Archive for updates.

Reported by: Jeff Cameron




Frontenac clears the Saginaw River

12/29:
After offloading at Essroc Cement in Essexville, the M/V Frontenac backed out into the Saginaw Bay where the water was deep enough to turn. The Coast Guard station reports 5 inches of solid ice now on Saginaw Bay, the vessel had to break ice with her rudder and this made for a slow and careful trip.

At 729'07"/ 75'03"/ 39'08", the Frontenac is the second largest ship to visit the Saginaw River this year. The largest being American Steamship's 1000 footer Walter J McCarthy Jr. Neither ship can navigate farther then Essexville due to there sizes, and lack of turning space. Both must back into the harbor to turn.

Reported by: Dan Maus and Brian Ferguson




Linda E update

12/29
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel carried profiles of the missing crew of the Linda E on 28 Dec. Briefly:
Known as Lee, Leif Weborg, 61, grew-up in Gills Rock, Wis., and fished around peninsula. After graduating from Gibraltar High School, he sailed for three years on the Great Lakes with Reiss Steamship Co. He then worked for relatives and fished from Kewaunee, Wis. His first vessel, the Buccaneer, was bought in about 1960, followed by the Linda E, named after his then-wife, in 1962. Weborg also bought the Oliver H. Smith from the Smith family of Port Washington, Wis.

In 1969, he and wife Sherry moved to Milwaukee and since then, have lived in Bay View. The two boats were tied up in the Kinnickinnic River or in Port Washington. He worked with cousin Alvin Anderson, then joined a third man to develop Snug Harbor, a marina at South Fourth and Becher streets. Alvin Anderson's sons Dan and Steve share a shed for fishing equipment with Leif Weborg.

The Weborgs have a second home in Sarasota, Fla., near his parents.

Weborg's great-grandfather, Andrew Weborg, came to Door County, Wis., from Norway. Weborg Point in Peninsula State Park is named for the family and Andrew Weborg was a fisherman along with sons Alfred, Art and Emory. Leif Weborg is the son of Emory Weborg and Grace Johnson Weborg. His maternal grandfather, William Johnson, also was a fisherman.

Warren Olson, 44, can trace his fishing heritage back four generations. He fished with Weborg for most of 26 years and his brother Michael worked with them in the late 1980s. He has another brother as well. As a student at Marinette High School, he worked with Weborg before joining full time in 1972.

Matta, 32, was born near New York and lived in Chicago before coming to Milwaukee at age 6. His stepfather, Johnny Matta, owned several small grocery stores in the city. He left high school to work in the stores and in 1986, while working in a factory, met Lori Weborg through one of her relatives. She is Leif Weborg's daughter. Leif Weborg had seven other children and stepchildren, but only Lori Matta remains in the industry.

The two moved to Door County, where she had worked on fishing vessels as a teenager. Scott Matta did constriction work and other jobs while Lori Matta worked in a gift shop and a nursing home. At 22, he started as a fisherman and in 1989, returned to Milwaukee to join Weborg. Lori Weborg and Scott Matta were married June 9, 1990, on the Celebration, a vessel that cruises Milwaukee's river and lakefront. The first of two daughters was born the next year and they moved to Bay View.

M&I Bank has established a memorial fund for Scott Matta for his two daughters: Meagan, 7, and Shellby, 3. Any branch in the state will accept donations.

Reported by: Steve Schultz




Twin Ports Report

12/29:
Vessel traffic has fallen of considerably in the Twin Ports. Ice now covers the harbor, although vessel tracks to the ore docks and the coal dock are in good shape. Traffic now is mostly limited to ore and coal. Traffic for Dec. 28 included Middletown and Armco loading ore at DMIR, George A. Stinson loading ore at BNSF and Paul R. Tregurtha and Mesabi Miner loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal. Arthur M. Anderson arrive about 6 a.m. to layup at Fraser Shipyards.

Reported by: Al Miller




Huron Islands Lighthouse may change hands

12/29
A group of residents in Michigan's Upper Peninsula has started an effort preserve the Huron Islands Lighthouse in L'Anse, Mich. Owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it has not been staffed since 1977 but has an automated light. Opened in October 1968, the lighthouse is in need of repair and local residents have contacted the federal government about transferring ownership.

Reported by: Steve Schultz




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.

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

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




Canadian Transfer Bound for Port Weller

12/28
The Tug Escort Protector is expected to arrive in Port Colborne with the Canadian Transfer in tow at 1130hrs today.

The tugs Glenevis and Lac Erie are to meet her there and assist her down to Port Weller. The Transfer will stop briefly in Port Colborne for fuel before being towed down. The Drydock tug James E. McGrath will be meeting them above Lock 7 to take over the tow.

Reported by: Neil Schultheiss




Seaway Update

12/28:
As expected, the last ship of the shipping season in the Seaway, the CANADIAN CHALLENGER, cleared St.Lambert lock at about 1700 hrs yesterday.

The last Canadian vessel downbound was PETROLIA DEGAGNÉS yesterday, Dec.26 which arrived in Mtl from Bronte, Ont. The last upbound one was ALGONTARIO on Dec.24. She was on a voyage from Port Cartier to Hamilton.

Arriving in Mtl for winter lay up from Sorel was MONTREALAIS this morning. See other arrivals for winter lay up on this site.

Reported by: René Beauchamp




Canadian Challenger and the Iroquois Lock

12/28:
On Saturday as the CANADIAN CHALLENGER was approaching the Iroquois Lock and she took a shear off the upper tie wall and ran across to the south side where she put her bow into the mud. She was stuck there cross ways until the tugs ROBINSON BAY and PERFOMANCE came down to pull her off.

The tugs happened to be downbound behind the CHALLENGER, but they had to tie up their barge load of buoys at the end of the tie-wall, disconnect and then proceed to the grounded saltie. After a further delay of about 3.5 hours for inspection, the CHALLENGER was allowed to proceed.

Reported by: Ron Beaupre




Ice in the Saginaw River

12/28:
The Saginaw Bay and Saginaw River have frozen over. A U. S. Coast Guard helicopter was dispatched for a fly over on Saturday to evaluate these ice conditions.

The M/V Frontenac was off loading at the Essroc Cement Dock in Essexville. The vessel will need to back out of the river into the bay to turn. This opens the possibility to damaging the rudder, as there are no tugs in the area to break a path for her.

The Coast Guard reports ice to be approximately 5 inches thick.

Reported by: Dan Maus




Kinsman Boats Together

12/28:
The Kinsman Independent is now layed up at the Lake and Rail elevator on the Buffalo River. With the Enterprise at the General Mills dock, this marks the first time since 1989 that two vessels have been moored in the Buffalo River- City Ship Canal system for the winter.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski




Interesting Trip for Saginaw

12/28:
Unconfirmed reports have the tug Jacklyn M. and barge Integrity to make a rare trip into the Saginaw River some time this week. No other details are available at this time.

Reported by: Robin




Lay-up List Updated


Click here to view the latest updates to the lay-up list





Today in Great Lakes History - December 28

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

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

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




Seaway Update

12/27:
Yesterday morning there were still three vessels expected at St.Lambert lock from the Great Lakes. The closest one to Montreal was YI MING which departed Snell Lock at 0600 for Montreal to take on bunkers. Following her is PETROLIA DESGAGNÉS which cleared Snell lock at 0720 and the last one of the season, the Belize-flag, Cuban-owned CANADIAN CHALLENGER which left Carleton Island for Cuba. According to reports, she will clear the Seaway entrance only tonight.

Still expected upbound for Hamilton according to the Coast Guard report is the Algosound which passed Quebec City about 0900 yesterday morning. However, she will in fact stop in Montreal where she will remain for the Winter at Jetty No.1.

A couple of corrections to previous reports. Wilson Hill Anchorage where Federal Bergen spent some time after her grounding is situated on the St.Lawrence River near Massena, not at the eastern end of Lake Ontario. The bulk carrier Chalothorn Naree is registered in Singapore but is owned by interests in Thailand. She is listed as flying the flag of Thailand by the Coast Guard but this is wrong.

Reported by: René Beauchamp




Jackson in for Repairs

12/27:
The loaded Herbert C. Jackson was in Milwaukee late Christmas afternoon for approximately 6 hours undergoing repairs. A crew from Midwest Maritime Corporation worked with the Jackson's crew to repair a problem with their boom belt.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde and Robert Strauss




Enterprise on the Move

12/27:
The Kinsman Enterprise was moved by the tugs New Jersey and Mississippi from her layup berth at the Buffalo Port Terminal to the General Mills Frontier Elevator on the Buffalo Ship Canal on the afternoon of the 23rd. She will probably have her grain storage cargo that she received from the Canadian Transfer unloaded by the Frontier Elevator some time soon.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski




Saginaw Update

12/27:
Traffic on the Saginaw River has slowed. Many of the river regulars, such as the Agawa Canyon, Sam Laud, Wolverine, Joseph H Fratz, David Z Norton, Earl W Oglebay, James Norris, Alpena, Calcite II, and Myron C Taylor have all laid up for the winter. With the Canadian Transfer damaged again this adds to the scarcity of Saginaw visitors. Also added to the mix is a week of sub-zero nights creating the threat of ice.

Only a handful of boats able to travel the Saginaw river are left sailing. Included are the John J Boland, Geroge A Sloan, McKee Sons,and Cuyhoga. With Saginaw and Bay City docks over stocked for the winter its hard to say if will there be anymore vistors in 1998?

Reported by: Brian Ferguson




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 include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes History




Canadian Transfer Update

12/26
The Canadian Transfer was towed out of the Rouge River yesterday by the Great Lakes Towing tugs Wyoming, Illinois and Tennessee. The three towed the "Canadian Transfer" from the Rouge River out to Lake Erie roughly 5.6 miles from Colchester.

Shortly after mid-night, the Mckeil Marine tug Escort Protector arrive at the anchored Canadian Transfer. The tug will tow the vessel to the Welland Canal some time today. No word on where she will be repaired. Port Weller Dry docks is a possibility, even with the large amount of winter work scheduled for other vessels.

Reported by: Neil Schultheiss




Jackson in Milwaukee

12/26
The Herbert C. Jackson arrived in Milwaukee today, headed for the Heavy Lift dock. The Jackson blew a salute to a group of about a dozen people who had gathered along the seawall leading to the Inner Harbor. The group responded by singing a resounding rendition of "We Wish You A Merry Christmas." The pilothouse of the Jackson is festooned with lights, and boasts a lighted Christmas tree on the end of her boom and a Santa sitting at the base.

Reported by: Robert Strauss




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.

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

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




Seaway Update

12/25:
On Thursday morning, there were still 4 ocean-going foreign flag vessels above St. Lambert lock. The closest one to Montreal was FEDERAL FRASER anchored off Carleton Island, N.Y. She was bound for Sorel. Ths farthest one was CHALOTHORN NAREE a few miles west of Port Colborne. However, she overtook the Belize-flag, SD 14 type cargo ship CANADIAN CHALLENGER later on at Port Colborne. The later is tied up there at section 12 since Dec. 23 replacing a generator and will be the last salty out of the Seaway on Saturday or Sunday. The fourth one is the Chinese-flag YI MING (spelled YIMING on her hull) which cleared lock 8 in the Welland Canal about 0615 hr.

Canadian ships expected downbound at St.Lambert were Canadian Venture, Algogulf, Montrealais, Atlantic Erie, Enerchem Trader and Petrolia Desgagnes which departed Bronte, Ont. for Montreal at 0535 hr. Expected upbound for Hamilton are Algontario and Algosound.

Meanwhile, the damaged FEDERAL BERGEN was downbound at Cape Goose, St. Lawrence River, for the Verreault Shipyard at Les Merchins for repairs following her grounding over a week ago in the vicinity of Wilson Hill Anchorage, Lake Ontario. Despite her name, she was not on charter to Fednav at the time of the casualty.

Look for additional reports regarding the number of salties remaining on Saturday.

Reported by: René Beauchamp




Low water levels affect St. Lawrence River traffic

12/25
Low water levels in the St. Lawrence River have caused some minor disruptions. At the Port of Montreal, some containerships are not taking as many containers aboard, though no cargo is being left behind. One vessel arriving from South Africa unloaded some cargo at Quebec before going to Montreal while CAST containerships leaving Montreal have been taking 200 less containers, about 10 percent less per ship. Also, three bulk carriers with grain went to the lower St. Lawrence River instead of Montreal.

Reported by: Steve Schultz




Algosoo in Milwaukee

12/25
The Algosoo spent much of December 24 in Milwaukee unloading their cargo of salt. The heavily iced boat unloaded at three different Jones Island docks. At dusk the Algosoo was unloading at the same slip where the EM Ford sank on Christmas eve 1979. It looks like the recent weather conditions have taken there toll on the Algosoo's Christmas lights around the pilot house. Only about half were still lit. There are a series of red and green lights the entire length of the boom.

It was an impressive sight to see the down bound Arthur Anderson passing an up bound Interlake 1000'er (James Barker?) no more than 5 miles off Milwaukee on Christmas eve.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde




Sloan Still Sailing

12/25
USS Great Lakes Fleet's George A Sloan is still operation this late in the season. All of her other closely sized fleetmates will be in lay-up in just a few days. The Sloan layed-up on Dec.12th last season, as of yesterday the 24th she was unloading in Buffalo and when done will make another run to Alabaster.

Reported by: David French




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 include many other vessels with a much more detailed history
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes History




Canadian Transfer Damages Rudder again

12/24
At 12:30am EST, the Canadian Transfer was clearing the Rouge River in Detroit when she struck the Short Cut Bridge. The vessel was backing out (stern first, a common practice) with the assistance of a tug when the collision occured. Minor damage was reported to the bridge piers but the Transfer stuffered rudder damage. Early reports have this damage sever enough that she may require dry docking. For now the vessel is tied up at the Short Cut Coal Dock in the Rouge River.

It was in early November that the Transfer cleared the Thunder Bay Dry Dock after spending two months under going rudder repairs to damage suffered in the Saginaw River in early September.

Reported by: Neil Schultheiss




Barge grounds at Indiana Harbor

12/24
At 0700 22 Dec., five Mid-South Towing hopper barges broke free from their moorings at the Ceres Dock at the entrance to the Calumet River at Indiana Harbor, Ind. Four were taken in tow but the fifth, a 24-meter/80-foot barge carrying furnace coke, ran aground at the entrance of Indiana Harbor. The barge was against the breakwater and its stern submerged. The tug Mary Page Hannah stayed on the scene overnight pending salvage.

Reported by: Steve Schultz




McGiffin Arrives

12/24:
The J.W. McGiffin entered Port Weller drydocks this morning around 07:00.

The vessel will have a major refit this winter as Port Weller Dry Docks replaces the entire forebody. The hull from the engine room forward will be scrapped and replace with a new forebody (Hull #77) constructed at the yard.

Reported by: Jeff Cameron




Twin Ports Report

12/24:
Ore traffic in Duluth and Two Harbors will remain brisk through the end of the year. In Two Harbors, the Gott and Speer are due in Dec. 23, Blough on the 25th and Presque Isle on the 26th.

In Duluth, the line-up includes: Halifax, Manitoulin and Joe Block, Dec. 23; Reserve, Dec. 24; Adam E. Cornelius, Dec. 26; Armco and Fred R. White Jr., Dec. 27. The Duluth dock will be busy because, as of Dec. 22, very little taconite was stockpiled on the dock, some of these boats apparently will be loaded off the trains.

Arthur M. Anderson is scheduled to unload at Buffington on Dec. 24, then proceed to Superior to lay up on Dec. 27.

Reported by: Al Miller




Last Salties transit the Canal

12/24:
The Chinese registered Yi Ming and the Singapore registered Chalothorn Naree transited downbound through the Welland Canal today. The Canadian Challenger which arrived at Port Colborne at 07:00 on the 23rd is still, as of 12:00 noon on the 24th, tied up at wharf 12 in Port Colborne undergoing engine repairs. It is hoped that she will be underway by the afternoon of the 24th.

See the Welland Canal Archive for transit information and photos of these vessels.

Reported by: Jeff Cameron




More from the Seaway

12/24:
The temperature at St. Lambert yesterday morning was reported to be minus 17, this puts a lot of ice behind the lock gates preventing their use without much damage. A number of Lakers are still moving, slowly. The Nanticoke, Atlantic Erie and Atlantic Huron are Eastbound for the Gulf and Atlantic areas where they usually work in winter.

Reported by: John Whitehead




More Oglebay Norton Vessels to Lay-up

12/24
Three more vessels from the Oglebay Norton fleet are due for winter lay-up on the 23rd and 24th. The Wolverine is due in Toledo at 1800 on the 23rd for the Hocking Valley. The Courtney Burton is also due in Toledo on the 23rd at 2000. On the 24th, the Wolverine is due into Cleveland at 0800 to unload, and will then lay-up at the Ontario Stone # 4 dock in Cleveland.

In other news, the Columbia Star is due at the Port Terminal in Duluth late on the 23rd for repairs before loading at the coal dock in Superior. Also, for the first time this season, the Oglebay Norton will be loading in Silver Bay. She is scheduled to arrive there Christmas morning to load for Ashtabula.

Reported by: Andy Hering




Linda E update

12/24
A naval architect from the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Center's Salvage Team and personnel from the Coast Guard's Marine Safety Office Milwaukee have measured the dimensions of the Mercury, a fishing vessel similar to the Linda E, which is homeported at Sister Bay, Wis. The Marine Safety Center will develop a computer model of the Linda E using the information to test its stability under different conditions.

Also, weather information as of the date of the disappearance has also been assembled and the result indicates that any debris from the Linda E would have drifted towards the middle of Lake Michigan, according to the Coast Guard.

Marine Safety Office Milwaukee is continuing its work and has investigated 20 vessels as of 23 Dec. for potential information. Marine Safety Office Chicago and Marine Safety Office Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., are also involved.

Reported by: Steve Schultz




New Shared Ownership at Upper Lakes Group Inc.

12/24
Some members of the Leitch Family have sold their shares to an internal management team. Shares will also be available for sale to the crews of the fleet. This major change in ownership is not expected to affect the day to day operation of the fleet. This change does not include Marbulk Shipping of Salem Mass. nor the Hertiage Point development in Calgary.

Reported by: Dan Ocean




Great Lakes Shipping in the Media

12/24:
Coast Guard Cutter Sundew was pictured -- for several seconds -- on CBS Evening News Dec. 21 as Dan Rather reported on the crisis of the temperature returning to normal.

A recent episode of "King of the Hill" included a few moments of ultra-paranoid Dale Dibble talking with his son. The son warned his father not to use their two-way radios while hunting because their transmission could be monitored by Russian submarines in the Gulf of Mexico. Dale replies: "Thaaaat's my boy. Except the submarines are in Lake Superior!"

Nick at Night buffs may occasionally see an old episode of "Route 66" that shows George Maharis and Martin Milner working on a dock in Cleveland. At one point, Marty Milner gets into a fight with another fellow. As Marty takes a swing, you see one ore boat passing on the Cuyahoga. As the other takes a swing, you see a different boat passing in the background. Obviously, no one was attending to those "no wake" rules back then.

Viewers of the movie "Somewhere in Time" see a few views of the Straits of Mackinac as Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour chase each other through time. At one point, you see the 1909 Reeve and Seymour as a very modern saltie passes far in the background.

Reported by: Al Miller




Christmas Lights in Duluth

12/24:
Duluth area Christmas lighting displays last night included the Halifax and the Columbia Star both arriving decorated. The Halifax had strings both fore and aft around the superstructures, while the Columbia Star had a lighted star on the self-unloading boom, lights around the pilothouse, and lights along the back of her superstructure.

Reported by: Jody Aho




1856 layups

12/24
For the next few days, Great Lakes author David Swayze will be sending in lists of 1856-7 winter layups from the four largest American ports on the upper lakes. The winter was exceptionally cold and the ports closed up early. About 640 vessels are mentioned, including some Canadians and some American vessels from Lake Ontario.

Watch those commas and semicolons carefully in this one - I've triple-checked the punctuation all through this article and it's tricky, e.g. the second paragraph has nine steamers mentioned, five from Buffalo, three from Monroe and one from Erie.

Detroit Free Press
December 24, 1856

VESSELS LAID UP IN BUFFALO - The vessels, of all kinds, laid up for the winter in this port, are as follows:

Steamers - Keystone State, Erie; Queen of the West, Crescent City, Minnesota, Hudson, Buffalo; Western Metropolis, Southern Michigan, Empire, Monroe; St. Lawrence, Buffalo.
Propellers - Mayflower, Illinois, Free State, Dunkirk, Omar Pasha, Saginaw, Ohio, Niagara, Buffalo; Detroit, Conneaut; Plymouth, Tonawanda, New England, Buffalo; Adriatic, Detroit; Republic, Cleveland; Queen of the Lakes, Chicago, Iowa, Buffalo, Cadillac, T. U. Bradbury, Acme, Araxes, Orontes, Buffalo, Racine, Cleveland; Oriental, Neptune, Buffalo; Seneca, Geneva.
Tugs - Relief, Eagle, Echo, Geo. O. Vail, President, Dime, P. F. Barton, Buffalo.
Barques - B. A. Stanard, Illinois, Chieftain, Cleveland; Great West, Buffalo; Nucleus, Detroit; American Republic, Erie; Grace Greenwood, Mary Stockton, Buffalo; Oliver Lee, Cleveland.
Brigs - Oleander, Chicago; Baltimore, Cobourg; Black Hawk, Cleveland; Banner, Belle, Buffalo; Caroline, Detroit; N. M. Standart, Constellation, Mechanic, Empire State, Lucy A. Blossom, H. R. Seymour, Buffalo.
Schooners - Forfar, Chicago; S. A. Green, Madison, Erie; Fashion, Buffalo; Alwilda, Fairport; Armada, Erie; J. C. Fremont, Milan; Jenny Lind, Cleveland; Clyde, Arab, Buffalo; Sea Gull, W. Irving, Erie; L. C. Butts, William, Buffalo; E. C. Williams, Columbia, Erie; Hanover, Silver Creek; H. J. Jones, Flora Watson, T. G. Scott, Buffalo; Hamlet, John Weber, Harvest, Cleveland; Huntress, Erie; Dahlia, Geo. Davis, Buffalo; Tom Dyer, Detroit; Bonnie Doon, Chicago; Aldebaran, Buffalo; Potomac, Oswego; Mary Ann, Toronto; Excelsior, Ithaca, N. P. Goodsell, Buffalo; Quick Step, East Saginaw; Lady of the Lake, Cleveland; Roscoe, Buffalo; Stanley, Bayfield; International, Antares, Enterprise, Golden Harvest, Buffalo; Stella, Chicago; Twin Sister, Cleveland; Curtis Mann, Buffalo; May Queen, Milwaukee; Joseph Cochrane, Rochester; Corinthian, Buffalo; Flying Cloud, Cleveland; Garrit Smith, Oswego; Lookout, Charmer, Miranda, Buffalo; Hudson, Cleveland; S. Burchard, Vermont, North Carolina, Stranger, Wm. Fiske, Buffalo; J. M. Lee, Com. Chauncey, Irving; W. L. Manning, North Star, Three Bells, Rebecca, Buffalo; Osprey, Chicago; B. R. Lumis, Sodus; Berlin, Milan; J. W. Sargent, Perseverance, Buffalo; H. N. Farnham, Irving; R. J. Skidmore, St. Clair; Jessie Ann Hope, Port Stanley; Miami Belle, Toledo; Starlight, East Saginaw; Margaret, Port Rowan; D. Newhall, Milwaukee; Velocity, Sandusky; J. F. Tracy, Buffalo; Eunice Ann, Dover; Effort, Illinois, Erie; Lowland Lass, Burwell; Collingwood, Baltic, Buffalo; Adda, Milwaukee; Arcturus, Cataract, Ostrich, Buffalo; Industry, Rowan; H. Hagar, Milwaukee; P. P. Pratt, J. W. Brown, W. W. Brigham, Buffalo; M. Ballard, Cleveland; Hans Crocker, Milwaukee; Mariner, Sheboygan; Aerial, Buffalo; Pilgrim, Chicago; Peoria, Black River; Carrington, Chicago; Moselle, Yankee Blade, J. P. Kent, Buffalo; Kosciusko, Cleveland; Mercer, Hurricane, Buffalo; New London, Vermilion; A. J. Rich, Buffalo; Wyandotte, Newport.
Scows - Granville, Fairport; Gladiator, Cleveland; Pacific, Erie; Woodman, Dover; Forest Chief, Buffalo; Union, Ashtabula; Oak Hill, Buffalo.
Recapitulation - Steamers, 9; Propellers, 27; Tugs, 7; Barques, 9; Brigs, 12; Schooners, 110; Scows, 9. Total, 183. - Buff. Cour.

Reported by: David Swayze




Lay-up List Updated


Click here to view the latest updates to the lay-up list





Have a safe and happy holiday season!
Smooth sailing to all, thanks for all your support over the past year.





Seaway Update

12/23:
There is no night navigation since last Saturday as the summer buoys have been removed. Since Sunday, all vessels are using two pilots.

Yesterday morning, there was still 7 foreign-flag freighters above St. Lambert Lock. The closest one to Montreal was LAKE ERIE transiting at Iroquois lock at 0310 hr. The farthest one was CHALOTHORN NAREE which had departed Thunder Bay at 0242 hr on Dec.21. She will probably be the last salty to clear the Seaway on Christmas Eve.

Wintering in Montreal is the McKeil tug OFFSHORE SUPPLIER which arrived from Hamilton last week towing the ex Italian tug VORTICE. The later departed Montreal on Dec.19 under tow of PACIFIC STANDARD. They gave as first destination Newcastle, N.S. before continuing south.It is not clear yet if one or both of them have been sold.
Look for more Seaway updates on Thursday. René

Reported by: René Beauchamp




Twin Ports Report

12/23:
Although traffic is slowing in the Twin Ports, traffic has been brisk the past couple days at the BNSF ore dock in Superior. Burns Harbor and George A. Stinson were there over Sunday and Monday, and Stewart J. Cort was due in Tuesday.

Manitoulin was scheduled to make an unusual call at the DMIR ore dock in Duluth on Dec. 22.

Reported by: Al Miller




Mailboat Ends Season

12/23:
The U.S. Mailboat J.W. Westcott II entered lay-up yesterday morning about 9am. Detroit's floating Post Office ended yet another successful season.

Reported by: Neil Schultheiss




Fire on Tug

12/23:
The McKeil tug "Atomic" caught fire at the entrance to Toronto Harbour on Sunday. The Toronto fire boat "William Lyons McKenzie" and the Toronto Harbour Police were both on scene. It is unknow what caused the fire but it is reported that there were no injuries and damage is unknown.

The Atomic now tied up in entrance to Cherry Street turning basin.

Reported by: Jim Fitzgerald and Eric E. Stapleton




Linda E update

12/23
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary was to search portions of the shoreline in Milwaukee and Sheboygan counties on 22 Dec. for clues to the missing Linda E, but the search was called off due to frigid weather conditions. The search will start as soon as possible.

Also, two vessels, the Lender and the Recovery, have been conducting their own search, operating out of Port Washington, Wis. Each vessel is capable of towing a side-scanning sonar. Two searches of the lake bottom near the Linda E's last reported position have been made. Both vessels stayed in port on 21 Dec. due to weather.

Finally, on 19 Dec., a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Mich., flew along the shore from Two Rivers to Racine. Nothing was found, but further flights are planned.

Reported by: Steve Schultz




Seaway Radio Message 15

12/23:
Mariners are advised that, for the Montreal-Lake Ontario section of the Seaway, the surcharges for December 21st to 24th, have been waived. Special agreements will be required for transits after 0001 hour December 25th. Arrangements for the agreements can be made at the Seaway's offices in St. Lambert or St. Catharines. Further details are available in Seaway Notice no. 13 and 15.

The Draft for the Welland Canal has been reduced to 79.2 dm.

Water temperature at St. Lambert on December 21, is 2.6 degrees Celsius. Last year's temperature was 0.0 degrees Celsius. The ten year average is 0.6 degrees Celsius.

At midnight December 20, the number of ocean vessels above St. Lambert was 11 as compared to 15 in 1997. Above Port Weller the number was 8 as compared to 10 in 1997.

The Galop ice boom opening has been reduced to 425m. The Prescott/Ogdensburg ice boom opening has been reduced to 365m. The opening for the latter is indicated by flashing green and red buoys Mariners are advised that the implementation of the power to length ratio restrictions and minimum draft requirements announced to take effect at 0001 hours on December 7th, is postponed until further notice.

It is important for mariners to note that any vessel which now calls in upbound at CIP2 will be designated a wintering vessel in accordance with all the terms outlined in Seaway Notices number 13 and 15.

The thinning of non-essential aids in the Montreal-Lake Ontario section is in progress.

Visit the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation for more.





Lake Erie Coal Steady in November

12/23:
Shipments of coal from Lake Erie ports totaled 2,154,119 net tons in November, an increase that roughly equals one shipment to Canada in a Seaway-sized laker. For the season, the Lake Erie coal trade stands at 20.4 million tons, an increase of 6.4 percent or 1.2 million tons.

Shipments in November by port were:
Ashtabula - 614,812
Conneaut - 308,873
Sandusky - 536,534
Toledo - 693,900

Toledo has finished its coal loading season, dumping 214,805 tons into vessels in December.

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association




Soo Locks

12/23:
The official closing date for the Sault Ste. Marie Locks is 2400 hours January 15, 1999.




1856 layups

12/23
For the next few days, Great Lakes author David Swayze will be sending in lists of 1856-7 winter layups from the four largest American ports on the upper lakes. The winter was exceptionally cold and the ports closed up early. About 640 vessels are mentioned, including some Canadians and some American vessels from Lake Ontario.

>From Cleveland
Detroit Free Press
December 23, 1856

VESSELS LAID UP AT CLEVELAND. - The following is a list of vessels laid up at this port:
Steamers - North Star, Telegraph
Propellers - Indiana, Manhattan, Genesee Chief, California, Buckeye, Cleveland, Jefferson, Milwaukee, Potomac, Jersey City, Owego, Evergreen City, Northern Michigan, F.W. Backus, Pocahontas, Iron City, Baltic, Kenosha, Pittsburgh.
Tugs - A. Pratt, George H. Notter, Peter Smith
Barques - William Sturges, Lemuel L. Crawford
Brigs - Ocean, Gen. Worth, Concord, Isabella, Iroquois.
Schooners - Stanley L. Noble, Consuelo, Africa, S. Robinson, Speedwell, Marshfield, W. H. Willard, Summit, America, Twin Brothers, Mariner, Leader, Watts Sherman, A. Medbury, Shook, Cuyahoga, Yorktown, Buttles, Grace Murray, Wings of the Morning, Middlesex, Elk, Wm. F. Allen, D. B. Sexton, Star of Hope, Tom Corwin, H. E. Mussey.
Scows - Silas Wright, C. Rich, Consuelo, Helen, Ellen White, Mary and Lucy, California, Leo, May Queen, May Flower, Gust Faurion, I. C. Pendleton, John P. Hale, Whittlesey, A. Frederick, Diana, Prince of Peace, Wm. I. Price, Sea Witch, Frolic, Fairplay.
Recapitulation - Steamers, 2; Propellers, 19; tugs, 3; Barques, 2; brigs, 5; schooners, 26; scows, 21. Total, 79. - Cleve. Her.

Reported by: David Swayze




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).

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

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




Steel Boosts Grain, Ice Forms

12/22:
The increase in steel imports brought a lot more salties to the lakes this season. One result is that grain shipments from the Twin Ports reached 4.2 million metric tons, the highest amount loaded since 1984.

The onslaught of sub-zero temperatures has formed ice on the Twin Ports. While the elevators have fallen silent, traffic continues at the ore docks and Midwest Energy Terminal. The coal dock's lineup includes Indiana Harbor and Paul Tregurtha, Dec. 21; Columbia Star, Dec. 22; and Indiana Harbor, Dec. 26.

Reported by: Al Miller




USS Fleet

12/22:
The Calcite II reached Sturgeon Bay Dec. 19 for winter layup and the crew was paid off at noon on the 20th. Philip R. Clarke reached Sturgeon Bay for layup on Dec. 20.

Much of Great Lakes Fleet remains in service. The schedule as of Dec. 20 was: Edgar B. Speer arrive Two Harbors Dec. 23; Edwin H. Gott arrive Two Harbors Dec. 22; Presque Isle arrive Gary Dec. 23; Roger Blough arrive Two Harbors Dec. 24; Arthur M. Anderson arrive Ashtabula Dec. 21 to load for Wyandotte; George A. Sloan arrive Detroit Dec. 22.

Reported by: Al Miller




1856 layups

12/22
For the next few days, Great Lakes author David Swayze will be sending in lists of 1856-7 winter layups from the four largest American ports on the upper lakes. The winter was exceptionally cold and the ports closed up early. About 640 vessels are mentioned, including some Canadians and some American vessels from Lake Ontario.

>From Detroit (apparently also includes Windsor, Ont.):
Detroit Free Press
December 22, 1856

The following is a list of vessels laid up at this port, with the places they are owned, so far as it was possible to ascertain them. As navigation is now closed, and the entrance to the river both above and below blocked up with ice, we believe no further departures will occur before the reopening of navigation in the spring:

Steamers - U.S. surveying steamer Search; U.S. surveying steamer (old); Mohawk, Detroit; Clifton, Chippewa (sic); Illinois, Detroit; Dart, do; Planet, do; Forester, do; Forest Queen, Port Huron; Mississippi, Detroit; Plymouth Rock, do; Western World, do; May Queen, do; Michigan, do; Buckeye State, Erie; Sam Ward, Detroit; Albion, do; Swift, do; Ruby, do; Sultana, Cleveland; Queen City, Erie; Bay City, Detroit; Lady Elgin, Chicago. Total - 24.

Steam tugs - R. R. Elliott, Detroit; A. S. Field; B. F. Bruce, Detroit; Emerald, do; Despatch, do; Swan, do; Romeo, do; United, do; Columbia, do; Franklin Moore, do; Hamilton Morton, do; Dart, do; Rescue, Buffalo; Pilot, Detroit; Lion, do; Uncle Ben; John Owen, do; Diamond, do; T. Whitney, Detroit (at Windsor.) Total - 19.

Propellers - Hercules, Detroit; Napoleon; Clifton, Detroit; Euphrates, Buffalo; Mineral Rock, Detroit; Lady of the Lake, Ogdensburgh; Young America, do; Portsmouth, Detroit; Mary Stewart, Buffalo; Cuyahoga, do; Mt. Vernon, do; Old Concord, do; Sciota, do; Amity, Chatham, (at Windsor;) Montgomery, Detroit - - (this vessel now lies between this port and Wyandotte, and may possibly be brought here before the spring.) Total - 15

Brigs - Sultan, Buffalo; Greyhound, do; Roscius, Detroit; C. P. Williams, Chicago; S. G. Walbridge, Detroit; Julia Smith, do; Cortlandt, Chicago; Freeman, Detroit; Minnesota, Chicago; one whose name we could not ascertain. Total - 10.

Schooners - Lion; B. Gelen; Trader, Port Huron; T. Y. Avery; Grand Turk, Detroit; S. G. Andrews, Rochester; Hubbard, Lexington; Avenger, Detroit; Whip, Cleveland; C. B. Blair, Chicago; Traveler, Detroit; Gen. Houston, do; Mary, Port Huron; Star, Detroit; Mark H. Sibley, Buffalo; Philena Mills, Buffalo; Correspondent, Buffalo; Atlas, Detroit; Granger, do; Banner, do; L. M. Mason; W. S. Nelson, Oswego; White Squall, Detroit; Norris; H. H. Brown, Detroit; G. W. Ford, Milwaukee; Addain, Trenton; two on the Canad side, names not ascertained. Total - 29.

Sloops - Nicholas, Detroit; Victory; Ravenna, Detroit. Total - 3.

Scows - Belle; Mitchell, Maidstone; Scud; Independence, Detroit; Ruffian, do; Gull, do; Angelique, do; N. C. Brunson, do; Sibley, do; Duncan Stewart, do; Look and See, do; Fancy, do; Guess, do; Speed, do; Wolverine, do; Enterprise, do; Tom Lewis, Grosse Ile; Frank Pierce; Buster; Hercules, Detroit; Pilot, do; Massilon, do; L. B. Goldsmith; Industry, Detroit; Red Bird, Detroit; Bertrand, Huron River; Mary Ann, Cleveland; Joe, Detroit; St. Joseph, Detroit; California, Detroit; two on this side, and two on the Canada, names not ascertained. Total - 34.

RECAPITULATION
Steamers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24
Steam-tugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19
Propellers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
Brigs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
Schooners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29
Sloops . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Scows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34
-------------------------------------------------
Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .134


Reported by: David Swayze




Lay-up List Updated


Click here to view the latest updates to the lay-up list





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.

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

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




Seaway Update

12/21:
On Sunday Morning there were still 12 foreign flag salties above St. Lambert lock. The closest one to Montreal was MILLENIUM FALCON transiting Cote Ste. Catherine lock and the farthest ones were at Thunder Bay, the Thai-flag CHALOTHORN NAREE and the Chinese-flag YI MING. No night navigation is allowed on the St.Lawrence River between Mtl and Quebec City since Saturday except for a few ships.

On Sunday morning, a parade of ships departed Montreal harbor. There were 12 vessels within a span of two hours, a delight for ship photographers as it was sunny and not a single cloud over the horizon.

Look for additional reports regarding the number of salties remaining in the Great Lakes later in the week.

Reported by: René Beauchamp




Linda E update

12/21
About 55 volunteers searched 38 kilometers/24 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline in Ozaukee County, Wis., on 19 Dec. for debris from the Linda E, but without success. The search, involving 12 teams, started at 0900 and stretched from County Line Road in Bayside to Harrington Beach State Park. The search ended about 1400 and information on items found, none of which were definitively linked to the Linda E, were forwarded to the U.S. Coast Guard. Five teams had search dogs and handlers from the Ozaukee and Sheboygan county chapters of Great Lakes Search and Rescue. Thirty of the searchers were members of Civil Air Patrol units from Beaver Dam, Hartford, Watertown and West Bend and the organization also provided an aircraft. Other volunteers were from the Ozaukee Amateur Radio Emergency Service and the Ozaukee County Water Safety Patrol.

Reported by: Steve Schultz




Steel Production in 1999

12/21:
Taconite plants on Minnesota's Iron Range expect to maintain or exceed 1998 production levels next year despite concerns about foreign steel imports. If that prediction holds true, the 1990s will become the industry's most productive decade in history.

Production for 1998 will total about 44 million tons. The record was 54.3 million tons in 1979.

Next year, the seven Minnesota taconite plants expect to produce about 46.4 million tons of pellets. Concerns remain, however, about the impact steel imports will have on production. Another wild card for next year is the fact that union labor agreements at six plants expire on July 31, 1999.

Three taconite plants -- Ispat Inland Mining (formerly Inland Steel's Minorca Mine), EVTAC Mining Co. (formerly Eveleth Taconite), and National Steel Pellet Co. -- plan to produce more pellets next year than in 1998.

Ispat Inland Mining near Virginia, Minn., expects to raise production from 2.76 million tons this year to 2.84 million tons next year. That would be a record for the 22-year-old plant, officials say.

Plant manager Jonathan Holmes told the Duluth News-Tribune that Ispat is concerned about steel imports but still plans to operate its Indiana Harbor blast furnace at full capacity. "They want us to make everything we can," he said. "The more we provide, the better."

Reported by: Al Miller




More Lights, Little Traffic

12/21:
The Canadian Coast Guard Tender SAMUEL RISELY was docked at the Government dock at Sarnia, Ont. yesterday. The predawn darkness illuminated her Christmas lights adorning her cabins, rails and mast. She also had a Christmas tree atop her pilot house.

Vessel traffic along the River was very sparse, a sure sign of the impending conclusion to the 1998 shipping season. Only 7 ships and two tugs were on the river sytem between 6:30am and 5:00pm.

Reported by: John A. Harris




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.

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

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




Barge Contract Means Jobs, Improvements at Toledo Shipyard

12/20:
Thirty-five jobs at the Toledo Shipyard are in the offing because of a $20 million barge construction contract the Manitowoc Marine Group has landed, officials announced this week. To support the project, state officials have given the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority a $100,000 grant and $300,000 loan for shipyard improvements. The port authority's board of directors voted Tuesday to accept the money. Manitowoc leases the port-owned shipyard, and it is operated by a Manitowoc subsidiary, Toledo Ship Repair Co.

Manitowoc and Mobil Oil signed a contract for the new double-hulled, ocean-going barge, said Randy LaCrosse, Toledo Ship Repair's general manager. Winter is typically Toledo Ship Repair's busy season, as survey work and maintenance on Great Lakes vessels swells the yard's payroll from a year-round 95 to a seasonal 250 or more. But the Mobil project should add 35 full-time jobs on top of the normal winter increase, Mr. LaCrosse said. Manitowoc is pursuing other contracts that could make these jobs permanent and add even more employment at the shipyard.

Workers at the Toledo yard will build deck and internal bulkhead assemblies for Mobil's oil barge. The sections then will be barged to another Manitowoc-operated shipyard in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, where they will be added to the barge's hull. Work on the barge is scheduled to begin in February, and the Toledo-built sections will be shiped to Wisconsin in the spring. The 78-foot by 504-foot barge is expected to enter service in 2000 and be used for shipping oil along the East Coast and up the Hudson River.

Reported by: Dave Wobser




Linda E update

12/20
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will provide side-scanning sonar equipment and two personnel in an effort to locate the fishing vessel Linda E, which has been missing in Lake Michigan since 11 Dec. The equipment will be placed on a vessel of the University of Wisconsin starting 20 Dec.

Also, the U.S. Coast Guard attempted to use satellite images of the Lake Michigan taken 11 Dec. in an effort to locate the vessel, but without success.

Reported by: Steve Schultz




1856 layups

12/20
For the next few days, Great Lakes author David Swayze will be sending in lists of 1856-7 winter layups from the four largest American ports on the upper lakes. The winter was exceptionally cold and the ports closed up early. About 640 vessels are mentioned, including some Canadians and some American vessels from Lake Ontario.

At Chicago:
Detroit Free Press
December 12, 1856

VESSELS IN PORT - The river is now frozen over with ice so thick that it is not likely it will be broken again before spring above the bridge, and we therefore present our list of vessels in port. A number of others are known to be bound for this port, and if they arrive we shall notice them as they come in. Several of those frozen in on the main river, were intending to go out again to winter in other ports on this lake, and with more moderate weather, may still do so.

The total number in port now is only ten larger than at the time the river froze over last year, which was, however, nearly two weeks later. The value of vessel property now in port cannot be less than two and a half millions, a large share of which is owned here:
Steamers. - Arctic, Cleveland and Traveler
Propellers. - C. Mears, J. Barber, Mohawk, Ogontz, Prairie State, Troy, Michigan, Montezuma, Ottowa (sic), R.H. Foss, Wisconsin.
Tugs. - A. Foster, Fred Follett, Hiram Warner, Seneca, Salvor, Ward, A.C. Gunnison, Guerdon Grant, McQueen, Kossuth, No name (sic), Wm. F. Cushing.
Barques. - America, Clayton; B.S. Sheppard, Chicago; City of Ogdensburgh; Canada, Buffalo; Clayton, Clayton; Desoto, Cleveland; Essex, Saginaw; E.C.L., Milwaukee; Fontanelle, Cleveland; Hungarian, Oswego; H.C. Winslow, Detroit; Jesse Hoyt, Buffalo; J. Sweeney, Buffalo; Indiana, Oswego; Louisa, St. Catharines; Northern Light, Clayton; Northern Light, Fort Erie; Morgan, Chicago; Ocean Wave, Chicago; Oliver Culver, Rochester; Pacific, Forestville; S.B. Pomeroy, Cleveland; St. George, Chatham; Tuscaloosa, Buffalo.
Brigs. - Acadia, Buffalo; A. Mitchell, Milwaukee; Canopus, Buffalo; C. J. Hutchinson, Chicago; D. Smart, do; F. B. Gardner, do; Fanny Gardner, do; Geneva, do; Giddings, Buffalo; C. J. Harmon, Chicago; J. McBride, do; Lowell, do; Mary, do; Montezuma, do; Missouri; Northumberland, Coburg (sic); Ontario, Chicago; Pilgrim, Detroit; Powhattan, Cleveland; Portland, Michigan City; Ramsey Crooks, Chicago; Robt. Burns, do; Robt Hollister, do; St. Louis, St. Joseph; Susan A. Clark, Muskegon; Venice, Buffalo.
Schooners. - Arkansas, Chicago; Albatross, do; Ann Thorine, do; Andromeda, do; Arrow, do; Arabella, do; Advance, do; Alnwick, Detroit; Augustus Handy, Cleveland; Aloha, do; Antelope, Oswego; Altair, Buffalo; Autocrat, Tonawanda; Adriatic, Clayton; Antelope, Vicksburgh; Ayr, Dalhousie; Albany, Milwaukee; Baltic, Chicago; Brilliant, Milwaukee; B. F. Wade, Ashtabula; Bay State, Buffalo; Barbarian, Oswego; Calcutta, Milwaukee; Cygnet, Algonac; Clipper City, Manitowoc; Cairo, Buffalo; Circassian, do; Contest, do; Cascade, Cleveland; Caroline Marsh, Pt. Hope; Chas. Griswold, Sandusky; Chas. Sumner, Detroit; C. C. Trowbridge, do; Convoy, do; C. Reeve, do; Col. Cook, do; Caledonia, Chicago; Champion, do; Col. Shepherd, do; Coral, do; Curlew, do; Citizen, do; Dan Marble, do; D.R. Holt, Kalamazoo; Elbe, Chicago; E.D. Gray, do; Enterprize, do; Ellen Pike, do; Eagle Wing, Clayton; Eliza Logan, Buffalo; Empire State, Oswego; Enterprise, New Buffalo; E. Cramer, Milwaukee; E. Henderson, Waukegan; Energy, Buffalo; Frances, Chicago; Forrester, Muskegon; Fisher, St. Joseph; Fox, Buffalo; Florence, do; Flying Cloud, Clayton; Fear, Detroit; Fortune; Fulton, Oswego; G.C. Drew, Chicago; Globe, do; Gold Hunter, do; Geo. F. Foster, do; Gem, do; Gem, Oswego; Geo. Steele, Oswego; C. Worthington, Buffalo; Game Cock, do; Grapeshot, do; Garden City, Cleveland; Galloon, Genesee; Hero, Chicago; H.N. Gates, do; H. Spencer, do; Home, do; Hirondelle, Cape Vincent; H. Rand, Manitou (sic); Hannah Selima, Pt. Huron; Jane Louisa, Chicago; Japan, do; John Lillie, do; J. S. Newhouse, do; J. S. Harvey, Buffalo; John Young, Hamilton; John S. Wallace, Michigan City; Josephine Dresden, do; J. E. Sutherland, St. Joseph, J. P. Kirkland, Huron; Kenosha, Chicago; Ketchum, Cleveland; Kyle Spangler, do; Kate L. Bruce, Buffalo; Kate Richmond, Toledo; Lady Jane, Chicago; Lark, do; Lizzie Throop, Grand Haven; Liberty, Racine; L. B. Shepherd, Buffalo; Monsoon, Chicago; Major Kirby, do; Maine, do; M. G. Bonesteel, Chicago; Meridian, Chicago; Muskegon, Muskegon; Millard Fillmore, Buffalo; Maple Leaf, Oswego; Magnet, Morristown; Matt Root, Fairport; Muskingum, Cleveland; Marquette, do; Midnight, do; Mt. Vernon, Detroit; Nightingale, Buffalo; New Hampshire, Chicago; Navigator, do; Norwegian, Oswego; Oriental, do; Odin, Chicago; Pioneer, do; Palmetto, do; Perma, do; Phalarope, Cleveland; Persia, Oswego; Roanoake, Chicago; Racine, do; Rainbow, do; Rapid, Buffalo; Racer, do; Robert Emmit, Buffalo; Resolution, do; Rose Dousman, Milwaukee; Republic, Clayton; Reciprocity, Detroit; Speed, Chicago; St. Lawrence, do; St. Mary's, do; Saranac, St. Joseph; Sea Star, Buffalo; San Jacinto, do; Sophia Smith, do; Surprise, Milan; St. James, Erie; St. Paul, do; Sweepstakes, Cleveland; Sioux, Ashtabula; Scotland, Oswego; S. Bates, Manitowoc; Spartan, Waukegan; Temperance, Chicago; Troy, Buffalo; Tempest, Milwaukee; Telegraph, Conneaut; Venus, do; Vincennes, Chicago; Wm. B. Castle, Cleveland; Wings of the Wind, Toledo; W. S. Malcolm, Oswego; Wm. Foster, Chicago; Warren, do; Wyoming, do; W. R. Merritt, St. Catharines.
Recapitulation. - Steamers, 3; propellers, 11; tugs, 12; barques, 24; brigs, 26; schooners,169; total, 245. - Chicago Press, 8th.

The following vessels have come in since our list of vessels in port was made up: Steamer Huron, schooners Octavia and Amelia. The schooner Galloon has gone out to Sheboygan. She was met by the Octavia near Racine going along all right. These arrivals and departures makes the number of vessels in port 247. - Chi. Press, 9th.

Reported by: David Swayze




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.

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

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




Seaway Update

12/19:
After all, CANADIAN MARINER did not stay in Montreal for winter lay up. She departed section 74 for Toronto at about noon on Dec.18 for winter lay up there. At section 74, she was replaced by fleetmate SEAWAY QUEEN. Within a few days, three ULS vessels tied up at section 74 in Montreal, obviously getting some sorts of preparation before going into winter lay up. QUEBECOIS also left Montreal for Toronto.

Early on Dec.18, there was still 21 ocean-going foreign-flag freighters above St. Lambert lock. FEDERAL BERGEN which went aground earlier this week near the Wilson Hill Anchorage, arrived in Montreal on Dec.17. ALGOWOOD which also was in trouble at the beginning of the week, is now in Montreal for the winter months.

Look for additional reports regarding the number of salties remaining in the Great Lakes next week.

Reported by: René Beauchamp




USS update

12/19:
John G. Munson will spend its winter layup in the large drydock at Fraser Shipyards.

After running a couple weeks later than usual, Calcite II was scheduled to arrive Dec. 18 at Sturgeon Bay for winter layup.

David French notes that as of yesterday the vessel was at anchor in Lake Michigan, waiting on the weather.

Philip R. Clark is expected at Sturgeon Bay on the 20th.

Reported by: Al Miller and David French




Reiss Clears Dry Dock

12/19:
The Richard Reiss was pulled out of Port Weller Dry Docks at 2:00pm yesterday and by 2:30 was upbound for lock 2.

The vessel was under going her five year survey. She was then sail to Erie, PA. for winter lay-up.

Reported by: Roger Tottman




Roman to change Management

12/19:
Unconfirmed reports have come in that state the management of the cement carrier Stephen B. Roman will change at the end of the year from CSL to Upper Lakes Group Inc.

Reported by: D. Ocean




Christmas lights on the Rouge River

12/19:
So far this year there have been many vessels displaying Christmas lights on the Rouge River. Vessels including, but not limited to: M/V Louis R. Desmarais, Stmr. Elton Hoyt 2nd, Stmr. Lee A. Tregurtha, M/V Canadian Enterprise. By far though the award for the most impressive display of lights I've seen so far this year must go to the Stmr. Charles M. Beeghly. She is decked out from stem to stern with lights, including a waving Santa Claus on the forward cabin. Rumor has it that when the residents of Escanaba went to buy Christmas lights, there were none to be found because they are all on the Beeghly.

Reported by: Wade P. Streeter




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.

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

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




Oglebay Norton to buy Vessel

12/18:
The Marine Transportation Division of Oglebay Norton Co. has announced the purchase of the previously chartered vessel MV Earl W. Oglebay. The company is negotiating a 15-year sale lease-back arrangement. Duluth News-Tribune Dec. 17

Reported by: Al Miller




Twin Ports Report

12/18:
The Twin Ports seemed strangely quiet Dec. 17 as this season's busy grain season wound down. The United -- this season's last saltie -- is loading at the AGP elevator in Duluth.

George A. Sloan is scheduled to make an unusual call at Marblehead on Dec. 18

The DMIR ore docks are remaining busy as the season nears its end. Here's the lineup:
Two Harbors: Edgar B. Speer, St. Clair and Roger Blough, Dec. 17; Presque Isle, Dec. 21.
Duluth: Joe Block and Reserve, Dec. 17; Cornelius, Dec. 20; Armco, Dec. 22; Joe Block, Reserve and Halifax, Dec. 23.

Reported by: Al Miller




The Steel That Stole Christmas

12/18:
The deluge of dumped foreign steel again reduced U.S.-Flag carriage on the Great Lakes in November. The U.S.-Flag iron ore float fell 7.1 percent in November. That development, coupled with a higher degree of weather-related delays compared to a year ago, produced an overall decrease of 6.5 percent for U.S.-Flag lakers.

The November decline is the fourth straight month in which U.S.-Flag carriage was down from a year ago, and with so many vessels scheduled to lay-up in December, it is now all but certain that what was expected to be another modern-day benchmark will come up short of 1997.

With 4 straight negative comparisons, the U.S.-Flag ore float now stands at 55.3 million tons for the season, a comparatively "mere" one million tons ahead of last year's pace. Before dumped steel put the domestic market in disaray, U.S.-Flag ore cargos were as much as 2.3 million tons ahead of the same point in the 1997 navigation season.

U.S.-Flag coal loadings remained slightly behind last year's pace in November. Utilities did not use as much coal during the mild winter of 1997-1998, so inventories were higher than normal. For the season, coal shipments in U.S. bottoms stand at 20.1 million tons, a decrease of 4.4 percent.

The stone trade in U.S.-Flag lakers was a near tie with last year, and for the season, the stone float in American hulls has increased 5.9 percent to 29.5 million tons.

While salt skipped a beat in November, the season-to-date total, 1.2 million tons, already represents the highest level in at least 10 years.

With 8 U.S.-Flag lakers already layed-up for the season, declines are expected in December and January. Lake Carriers' Association is working closely with the steel industry and Congress to address the problem of dumped foreign steel.

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association




Picture of the Day

12/18:
Today's image features the fine work of Great Lakes author and photographer Paul G. Wiening showing the Kaye E. Barker at night decked out in hoilday lights in Port Washington.

Click here to view





Lay-up List Updated


Click here to view the latest updates to the lay-up list





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.

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

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




Seaway Update

12/17:
With less than ten days before the end of the season in the Seaway, there was still 34 salties above St. Lambert lock early on Tuesday morning compared to 48 four days earlier.To my knowledge, the last one to go up the Seaway was CONSENSUS MANITOU on Dec.7 bound for Hamilton and Duluth. The last new one was LESOZAVODSK the same day bound for Milwaukee. Arriving at one of the Montreal anchorages on Dec.16 was CANADIAN MARINER. She was in ballast and was to wait a few hours for the departure of QUEBECOIS to take her berth. It is my feelings she will spend the winter months in Montreal.

Reported by: René Beauchamp




Stop in Sarnia

12/17:
Stopping overnight December 15/16 in the Government Dock at Sarnia was the FRENCH RIVER. She is headed for Port Colborne and Trois-Rivières where she will collect a barge. She will then be refitted at Halifax at which time her pilot house will be lowered by twenty-five feet.

From Halifax she will sail down to the Turks & Caicos Islands where she will work for a local company which is owned by Florida interests. It appears that her main chore while at Thunder Bay was icebreaking in the harbor.

Sarnia was her "home port" as the R.G. CASSIDY when she was laid-up there with the F.A. JOHNSON from December 1994 until October 1995. The F.A. JOHNSON is still at Thunder Bay and her planned use as an office was aborted as were later plans to convert her to a restaurant!

Reported by: Norman Eakins




Lack of ice Keeps Saginaw River Busy

12/17:
Warm weather and the lack of ice a late season rush on the Saginaw River. Many vessels such as the Joseph H. Frantz, Earl W Oglebay, Wolverine, Canadian Transfer, and McKee Sons have all made almost weekly trips to Bay City and Saginaw in the past two months. There have also been a number of night passages.

Reported by: Brian Ferguson




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.

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

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




Twin Ports Report

12/16:
The last saltie of the season is expected to depart Duluth-Superior Dec. 18 when Cyprus-flagged United gets under way with a load of wheat bound for Hamburg, Germany. Laker traffic is expected to continue up to the Jan. 15 closing of the Soo Locks.

Arthur M. Anderson is scheduled for an unusual call at Silver Bay on Dec. 17. John G. Munson is now due at Fraser Shipyards at 0900 Dec. 17.

Midwest Energy Terminal is scheduled to ship coal at least through the end of this week. The lineup includes Paul R. Tregurtha Dec. 16; H. Lee White, Dec. 17; Walter J. McCarthy Jr. and Oglebay Norton, Dec. 19. The most unusual visitor will be Algobay, which is scheduled for Dec. 18. Algoma boats are rare callers at the coal dock.

Reported by: Al Miller




Light display in Milwaukee

12/16
There was a vessel Christmas decoration contest in Milwaukee on Monday when the Kaye Barker, J.A.W. Iglehart and Medusa Challenger were all in port at the same time.

The Barker won the contest hands down with their thousands of lights and decorations throughout the boat. The crew of the Barker is still decorating the boat. The engineers have built a hinged tree stand midship that will hold a 25' lighted Christmas tree.

The Iglehart has Christmas lights on their unloading boom and after cabins. The Medusa Challenger has strings of lights, a Christmas tree on their unloading boom and a lighted Santa and angel on the mast.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde




Bay Shipbuilding gets barge contract

12/16
Bay Shipbuilding Co. of Sturgeon Bay, Wis., said 14 Dec. it will build a 154-meter/504-foot double-hulled, ocean-going tank barge for Mobil Corp. Construction will start this coming summer and will maintain some of the higher seasonal employment numbers. The barge will enter service in the second quarter of 2000 and will carry 140,000 barrels of refined petroleum along the eastern United States. Bay Shipbuilding will start to register revenue from the contract in the third and fourth quarters of 1999.

Reported by: Steve Schultz




Algowood in Montreal

12/16
Algowood has been tied up in Montreal for the last 5 days apparently doing work on the engines, no word yet on whether they will be able to get underway soon. The vessel may end up laying up at Montreal.

Reported by: D. Ocean




More on the Linda E

12/16
Leif Weborg, 61, the master of the missing Linda E, owned a second fishing vessel, according to published reorts. He has gone out about 300 times annually for the past 40 years.

Warren Olson, 45, a fourth-generation fisherman, has worked as a crewmember for 20 years and for Scott Matta, 32, it had been 10 years before the tugs disappearance. Olson's grandfather, Arthur, drowned while fishing in Duluth, Minn., in 1945 and a few years before, Arthur's 11-year-old son, Darryl, drowned while fishing in the bay of Green Bay, Wis.

Also, a correction: The Linda E set 14 nets, not two, on 11 Dec. off Port Washington, Wis., before it went missing. The nets were retrieved by two fishing vessels 14 Dec. and its catch sold.

Reported by: Steve Schultz




Lake Erie Pipeline

12/16
TransCanada PipeLines Limited has filed a $161.8 million facilities application with the National Energy Board (NEB) to build a natural gas pipeline across Lake Erie. The Lake Erie Crossing, with an initial capacity of 700 million cubic feet per day, will provide access to growing markets in the U.S. northeast and mid-Atlantic.

The 98-kilometre, 36-inch diameter Lake Erie Crossing is the critical connection between facilities in Ontario proposed by St. Clair Pipeline (1996) and the proposed Millennium Pipeline in the United States.

St. Clair proposes to construct facilities from the natural gas market hub at Dawn, Ontario, to the northwestern shore of Lake Erie near Patrick Point, Ontario, where they connect with the Lake Erie Crossing.

The Lake Erie connection to Millennium will be made at a point beneath the waters of Lake Erie at the Canada-U.S. border. The 711-kilometer, 36-inch Millennium Pipeline is proposed to extend from its point of origin in Lake Erie to Westchester County, New York. Millennium currently has an application before the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, requesting approval of its project in time to start operations by November 2000. Millennium Pipeline project sponsors are Columbia Gas Transmission Corp, Westcoast Energy Inc., MCN Energy Group and TransCanada.

Reported by: James H. Neumiller




Port Weller Dry Docks

12/16:
Port Weller Dry Docks has opened their newly updated site. Not only does the site reflect the holiday season, there is a live cam so viewers can watch the building of hull 77, the forebody replacement for the J.W. McGiffin.

Click here to view





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.

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

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




Linda E update

12/15
The U.S. Coast Guard indefinitely suspended its search for the 13-meter/42-foot fishing vessel Linda E and its three crewmembers at 1900 13 Dec. The search covered 3,000 square miles/7,800 square kilometers of Lake Michigan (about five times the size of Rhode Island).

The investigation remains open and the Coast Guard has acknowledged it is investigating reports of a recent collision involving a tanker.

About 100 personnel and equipment were involved in the search, including:
U.S. Coast Guard
Air Station Traverse City, Mich. (two HH-65A Dolphin helicopters)
Air Station Cape Cod, Mass. (HU-25A Guardian)
Group Milwaukee
Group Grand Haven, Mich.
Station Milwaukee (41-foot utility boat)
Station Sheboygan, Wis. (41-foot utility boat)
Station Ludington, Mich.
Station Grand Haven, Mich.
Station Two Rivers, Wis.
Station Calumet Harbor, Ill.
Station (Small) Wilmette Harbor, Ill.
Station Kenosha, Wis.
Station Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
Marine Safety Office Chicago
Marine Safety Office Milwaukee
Katmai Bay-class Icebreaking Seagoing Tug U.S.C.G.C. Mobile Bay (WTGB 103)

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary aircraft
One C-130H Hercules from the 440th Airlift Wing of the U.S. Air Force Reserve at General Mitchell International Airport, Milwaukee
Canadian Air Command CC-130 series Hercules Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Other private aircraft and vessels

In all, four U.S. Coast Guard utility boats were used.

On 14 Dec., a fishing vessel retrieved two nets the Linda E had set near Port Washington, Wis., on 11 Dec. They were in water up to 90 meters/300 feet deep.

In downtown Port Washington, the local Chamber of Commerce has tied yellow ribbons around lightposts and a Christmas wreath has been placed at the pier where the Linda E was to have docked.

Reported by: Steve Schultz




Federal Bergen damaged in grounding

12/15
The downbound Norwegian-registry bulk carrier Federal Bergen ran aground in the St. Lawrence River early 12 Dec. It struck Light 68 and hit bottom at Weaver Shoals in Canadian territorial waters. The ship anchored at Wilson Hill just off Massena, N.Y., and an inspection has found flooding of the forepeak and No. 1 port double bottom, with extensive damage to the forepeak and port side near the No. 1 cargo hold.

The Federal Bergen will remain anchored until wheat from the No. 1 cargo hold is removed and air compressors are installed, measures that will increase its forward draft.

Reported by: Steve Schultz

From the weekly electronic publication "The World Maritime News"





Barker Loads Wheat

12/15
The Kaye E. Barker arrived in Milwaukee late Sunday night to load a cargo of wheat for Chicago. This is the same cargo and destination that brought the Barker to Milwaukee almost a year ago. The Chrismas decorations fore and aft are a sight to see.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde




Courtney Burton sets record

12/15
A new record was set at 1200 12 Dec. when the Courtney Burton sailed under the Portage Lake Lift Bridge in Houghton, Mich. It is the latest date that a commercial vessel has sailed under the bridge and the Courtney Burton was the last ship to transit the bridge this shipping season. Heavy ice in the Portage Canal normally stops navigation by late November.

Reported by: Steve Schultz and Jim Grill




Twin Ports Report

12/15:
The Twin Ports grain rush apparently has ended, although some grain traffic continues. On the morning of Dec. 14, United was anchored on Lake Superior waiting for a berth and Lake Erie was at AGP in Duluth waiting to load. Kinsman Independent was due in for grain. Several salties apparently loaded and cleared over the weekend.

Despite the mild winter so far, salt continues to be a big commodity in Duluth. Algolake was at the Cutler-Magner dock on Dec. 14 unloading salt.

Reported by: Al Miller




Buckeye Heading for Lay-up

12/15
The Buckeye is due in Ashtabula yesterday (Dec. 14) at 2 p.m. to unload, and will then head to Toledo to lay-up.

Reported by: Andy Hering




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.

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

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




Search underway for missing vessel

12/14
A search is currently underway for the Linda E, a 13-meter/42-foot fishing vessel (a "fish tug") that has been missing since 11 Dec. while sailing from Milwaukee to Port Washington, Wis. It has a crew of three: master Leif Weborg, 55; Warren Olson, 45; and Weborg's son-in-law, Scott Matta, 32. All three were residents of Milwaukee's south side.

The Linda E left Milwaukee, apparently between 0500 and 0600 11 Dec., with 450 kilograms/1,000 pounds of chub for Smith Bros. Food Service in Port Washington. At 0945, Weborg called the fresh fish foreman at Smith Bros. Food Service and said the vessel was on its way into Port Washington when about 10 kilometers/6 miles offshore and 14 kilometers/9 miles southeast of Port Washington.

Though the Linda E normally arrives between 1600 and 1700, according to the company, the vessel never made port. At 2000, the foreman received a call from Weborg's wife who said that she had not heard from the vessel either.

Weather conditions in the area have been clear with minimal seas, unlimited visibility and winds from the southeast at about 9 knots. The water temperature is about 6.1 degrees Celsius/43 degrees Fahrenheit.

The U.S. Coast Guard has been searching with the Mobile Bay-class Icebreaking Seagoing Tug U.S.C.G.C. Mobile Bay (WTGB 103); two 13-meter/41-foot utility boats from Coast Guard Stations Milwaukee and Sheboygan; two HH-60J Jayhawk helicopters from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Mich.; an HU-25A Guardian from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, Mass.; and a C-130H Hercules from the U.S. Air Force Reserve's 440th Airlift Wing at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee. Other aircraft and vessels have been involved as well.

Weborg is an experienced fisherman, according to published reports, with more than 30 years of work in the field. His father, grandfather and great-grandfather were all fishermen. The family came to Door County, Wis., in the 1860s or 1870s from Norway and worked first as farmers but then turned to the lake for additional food sources.

Brendon Baillod notes that current speculation is that she may have been struck by a larger vessel which would have caused her to rapidly founder. Coast Guard officials are checking for hull damage on commercial ships which may have been in the area that day. The Linda E. was equipped with a radio and cell phone, adding to speculation that a sudden mishap may have occurred. Conditions at the time of her loss were ideal with flat seas and nearly unlimited visibility. Although water temperatures off Port Washington were in the low 40s, the crew was reportedly equipped with survival suits. Although Coast Guard officials continue the search, optimism is fading as the temperature drops.

Reported by: Steve Schultz, Brendon Baillod, Charles Drummond, David Bennett and Andy LaBorde




Vessel at Anchor

11/14
The vessel Federal Burgen has been reported to be at anchor near Wilson Hill (west of Eisenhower lock) for the past 2 days. It is belived the vessel touched bottom. A barge from Valleyfield was underway yesterday, possibly to lighten the vessel.

Reported by: M. Davies




New book available

12/14:
Noted Great Lakes author Skip Gillham has released his latest work, "The Postwar Ships of Canada Steamship Lines".

This new softcover book runs 177 pages, with 268 black & white photos. The book gives a brief outline of the history of Canada Steamship Lines and provides individual ship histories for all of the ships in the l946 fleet and subsequent additions up to and including the recently completed SHEILA ANN. The story of l09 different vessels comprise "The Postwar Ships of Canada Steamship Lines". The 1946 fleet is listed alphabetically by type of ship. Later additions are noted chronologically based on launch date for new construction or acquisition date for second-hand tonnage.

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.

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

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




New Canadian ice fees

12/13
The Canadian Coast Guard announced 7 Dec. that it will cut its icebreaking fees for the North American Great Lakes by half. The transit fees for vessels using the system will cost the industry U.S.$4.32 million instead of U.S.$8.65 million annually. Each ship will be charged Canadian$3,100/U.S.$2,015 and in combination with other fee changes, will lower the cost.

Also, the Coast Guard will limit the number of transits for which it can charge each ship a fee at eight. It will also not charge any one ship for more than three transits within 30 days. As a result, the maximum icebreaking fee paid by any one ship in the future will not be more than C$24,800/U.S.$16,120.

Ice-strengthened ships will get discounts of 15 percent to 35 percent and movements within port will not be charged. Tug and pilot boats assisting such movements are also exempt.

Fees will remain frozen for three years.

In Lake Ontario, the ice season for purposes of collecting fees will be 21 Dec. to 24 Dec. and 1 April to 15 April. A Dec. 21 to 15 April season will cover the rest of eastern Canadian territorial waters.

Reported by: Steve Schultz

From the weekly electronic publication "The World Maritime News"





Twin Ports Report

12/13:
John G. Munson is scheduled to unload at Gary, then proceed to Superior for layup on Dec. 16.

Philip R. Clarke will make one of its infrequent calls at Huron, Ohio, arriving there Dec. 15 with limestone loaded in Stoneport.

Two Superior grain elevators have new names following corporate mergers over the past summer. The Peavey Connors Point elevator (built in 1965 by the Chicago and Northwestern Railway and operated by Continental Grain Co.) is now known at Concourse Grain, L.L.C., Superior Terminal. This resulted from an alliance between Farmland Industries of Kansas City and ConAgra of Omaha. A merger of Cenex and Harvest States Cooperative, both of Minneapolis, has resulted in the Harvest States elevator now being known as Cenex Harvest States. (This terminal opened in 1941 as the Farmers' Union Grain Terminal Association.)

Reported by: Al Miller




Repowering Work

12/13:
Work is a little behind schedule on the repowering of the USNPS RANGER III at Bay Ship, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. A rectangular hole was cut into the port-side engineroom to remove the 40 year old "Kahlenberg" direct-drive diesel main engines. One of these rare engines was donated by Bay Ship to the Door County Maritime Museum and the other to a new maritime museum being established at Copper Harbor, Michigan. The new 850 hp, 3508 B CATERPILLAR main engines were then installed with Reintjes gearboxes and the side welded up. The ship is currently in the graving dock being sandblasted and painted. She is scheduled for final fitting and seatrials Christmas week and is expected to sail for her homeport of Houghton, Michigan the last week of

Reported by: WH




Dominion Bridge gets extension

12/13
Dominion Bridge Corp. has been given a delay until 22 Jan. to file a proposal to creditors as part of its bankruptcy proceedings. The firm filed notices of intent under Canada's Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act on 11 Aug. Dominion Bridge owns Davie Industries Inc., the Canadian shipyard.

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





More Christmas Lights

12/13:
John Harris reports that the ELTON HOYT 2nd was downbound yesterday on the St. Clair River. She was sporting a fresh cut Christmas tree atop her unloading boom. Unfortunately, it was mid-day and her holiday lights were not visible.

N. Compton notes that there are a number of vessels with beautiful Christmas displays this year passing along the St. Clair River. However, the Interlake's Kay E. Barker is absolutely breathtaking and should be voted #1 and a must see, for her captain and crews efforts. The Interlake's Charles M. Beeghly also deserves a special mention. Keep up the good work!
Send your freighter christmas lights reports to: moderator@boatnerd.net




Algorail's Christmas Display

12/13:
The Algorail arrived in Milwaukee dressed for the holidays Saturday afternoon. Above the pilot house were strings of colored lights. More strings of colored lights were draped from the mast back aft, as well as along the after railings. A lighted Santa surrounded by a strings of red lights was on the end of the boom. (All that salt dust could affect Santa's blood pressure!)

Reported by: Andy LaBorde




Picture of the Day

12/13:
The time exposure image of the Burns Harbor under the Mackinaw Bridge seems to be very popular, Andy LaBorde has made post cards of this great shot available, 5 postcards for only $1.25 (US) post paid. Click here to view

Next week I will continue the "Picture of the Day" lots of new material will be added.




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.

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

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




Taylor headed for Lay-up

12/12:
Myron C. Taylor is scheduled to unload at Green Bay on Dec. 11 and then proceed to Sturgeon Bay to lay up, with arrival scheduled for Dec. 11.

The other two older vessels in USS Great Lakes Fleet are still at work. George A. Sloan is due in Buffalo Dec. 11, then scheduled to load at Conneaut Dec. 12 for Alpena. Calcite II is loading in Calcite and Cedarville, then scheduled to arrive Cleveland on Dec. 13.

Reported by: Al Miller




Burns Harbor Update

12/12:
The Burns Harbor was in Nanticoke Thursday unloading coal. Andrew Severson reports that the vessel started to unload Thursday night about 10:30 p.m. The Burns Harbor departed Naticoke at 2210 Friday night. She should pass through the Detroit River system sometime today in the day light. Get your cameras ready.

Civic duty, and Christmas cookie baking, were the two only things that kept Captain Phil Fitch's wife, Linda from accompanying her husband on the Burns Harbor's first trip to Lake Erie in over 10 years. The other "First Mate" of the Burns Harbor was back in Ohio this week on jury duty.

Reported by: Andrew Severson and Andy LaBorde




Reiss in Dry Dock

12/12:
The Richard Reiss is in dry dock at Port Weller, arriving late Wednesday night or Thursday morning. The vessel is under going her five year survey. Once completed she will then sail to Erie, PA. for winter lay-up.

Reported by: Roger Tottman




Twin Ports Report

12/12:
Midest Energy Terminal in Superior usually is shutting down about this time of year, but with heavy demand, mild temperatures and virtually no ice on the lakes, the terminal is still going strong and on its way to another record year. The lineup includes: Columbia Star, Dec. 11; Oglebay Norton and Walter J. McCarthy Jr., Dec. 13; Canadian Olympic, Dec. 15; Paul R. Tregurtha and Columbia Star, Dec. 16.

The Corps of Engineers tug Bayfield was installed Dec. 10 as a static display on the grounds of the Lake Superior Maritime Visitors Center in Duluth's Canal Park. The small tug replaces a Coast Guard 36-foot motor lifeboat that was sent last year to the Eagle Harbor, Mich., lighthouse for display.

Alpena paid an unusual late-season visit to the Twin Ports on Dec. 10. The same night the vessel was unloading at LaFarge's Duluth terminal, the city was unveiling a consultant's plan that calls for redevelopment of land along Duluth's waterfront near the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. The area would become an urban entertainment center and 'edutainment' park. The plan calls for a movie theater complex, a big parking lot, condos, a marina, a restaurant and, of course, shops. All this development would have a decorative motif of a 'working waterfront.' Ironically, the plan does not include the LaFarge Cement terminal, which is the only real working waterfront industry in that area. (One must wonder how long any developers and rich condo owners would be willing to tolerate the dust and noise generated by the 'working waterfront motif' of the nearby Cutler-Magner salt dock and the General Mills and Cargill grain elevators.)

Reported by: Al Miller




Vessels In Buffalo Plan their last Trips

12/12:
The George A. Sloan was set to depart Buffalo on the evening of the 11th. She will make 5 more trips into Buffalo with gypsum for the Founder's Dock before lay up on or about the 1st of January.

The tug Reinauer was scheduled to leave Mobil Oil at 4PM on the 11th. She may make one more run before departing the Seaway for New York City.

Kinsman Independent was to depart the Frontier Elevator around 3PM yesterday. She will make one more run to Duluth before lay up in about 11 days. Her lay-up dock will probably be the Lake and Rail Elevator on the Buffalo River.

The Kinsman Enterprise may shift lay up docks from the Buffalo Port Terminal to the General Mills Elevator some time soon. She is currently loaded with a winter storage cargo of grain that needs to be unloaded so she can be re- loaded with another storage cargo. -The Sloan has 5 more gypsum runs to the Founder's dock on the Buffalo Ship Canal on the books.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski




Passenger Ship for sale as Scrap

12/12:
An internet web site has turned up the former Great Lakes passenger ship Aquarama as being for sale as scrap. The site does not provide any details other than the vessel is for sale as scrap.

The former WWII troop carrier a) Marine Star b) Aquarama has been laid up in Buffalo since 1995. The vessel was towed to Lackawanna, Ny. in 1995 under her original name Marine Star with the hopes of converting her to a casino/gaming ship.

Reported by: Andrew Severson




Hulett unloaders get a six month reprieve

12/12:
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported today that the Hulett unloaders located on the Cleveland lakefront have received a six month reprieve from being demolished. The Cleveland Landmarks Commission unanimously rejected a request by the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority for a permit to demolish the Huletts and some related buildings. The Cleveland Bulk Terminal site operated by Oglebay Norton wants to destroy 5 huletts and preserve a portion of the sixth to be relocated for display. According to Oglebay Norton this will allow 2 ships to unload at the same time.

Reported by: Rex Cassidy




More Christmas Lights

12/12:
The crew of the Arthur M. Anderson is showing their holiday spirt with the boat deck railings covered with two strands of color lights. The loop tower has a strand of lights. Frosty and Santa, made out of plywood, are lighted for night viewing. Top of pilothouse railings have a strand of lights, the Foc'sle deck railings have two strands of lights.

The museum ship William G. Mather has lights fore and aft, a long line of lights on each rail and strung above the cargo deck and a very nice Christmas tree on top of the pilot house.
Send your freighter christmas lights reports to: moderator@boatnerd.net




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 vessel EASTERN STATES was taken out onto Lake St. Clair where she was set afire. All her superstructure was burned off and the hull was taken to Hamilton, Ontario, where she was scrapped in 1957.

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

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




Cuyahoga to be Repowered

12/11:
The latest issue of Seaway Review has the owner's of the Cuyahoga stating that they plan to replace the engine in the Cuyahoga.

The repowering will be done by replacing her current 2,500 horsepower Lentz 4-cylinder compound steam engine (last on the Lakes) with the 2,700 horsepower diesel engine (EMD 16645 E-7) salvaged from the M/V NICOLET. The owners of the Cuyahoga reportedly purchased the engine room and diesel engine and plan to repower over the winter of 1999-2000.

Reported by: G. Keppler




First Season For Pere Marquette 41 Closes

12/11:
It looks as though the Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted will be going to lay-up at its home port of Ludington, Michigan sometime today. It seems like their first season was successful and the next one beginning busy with contracts waiting for them.

Reported by: Dan Ocean




Two more in Layup

12/11:
Two more vessel headed to the lay-up dock this week, the Edward L. Ryerson yesterday and the Charles E. Wilson on Wednesday. Both vessels are wintering at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, WI.

Click here to view the complete lay-up list


Reported by: Andy LaBorde




Tregurtha in the Spirt

12/11:
The M/V Paul R. Tregurtha is showing her holiday spirt with lights strung on the railings on her cabin and on top of the pilot house. The unloading boom also has a string of lights on each side. The radar tower on the pilot house sports a large lighted star. Santa and Frosty the Snowman grace the bridge wings.
Send your freighter christmas lights reports to: moderator@boatnerd.net




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.

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

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

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




Twin Ports Report

12/10:
Algontario arrived in Duluth shortly after sunrise Dec. 9, slipping into the Cargill B1 berth to load grain. It's an unusual berth for the vessel, which this season has been bringing up cement and then loading grain at the Harvest States elevator for the downbound trip.

Algontario's arrival meant six of seven Twin Ports grain-loading berths were occupied, which is unusual for this late in the season. Two salties were loading at Cenex Harvest States (the new name for the Harvest States elevator next to the Blatnik Bridge) and a saltie was loading at General Mills' Elevator S in Superior. Another five salties were anchored on the lake waiting for grain berths.

Temperatures are edging back down to normal levels, so some ice is building out from shore in the harbor. But so far this season has seen virtually no ice, which is in sharp contrast to usual this time of year, when extreme cold can cause equipment breakdowns and broken ice can clog loading berths. One beneficiary of the warm weather is the BNSF ore dock in Superior. The dock's mile-long conveyor belt often is plagued by trouble when temperatures drop below zero, but this fall all is going smoothly. George A. Stinson was loading there Dec. 9.

Edwin H. Gott is returning to the DMIR ore dock to load taconite pellets for another trip to Nanticoke. The vessel is due there Dec. 12.

Reported by: Al Miller




Burns Harbor Makes Her Apperance

12/10:
The Burns Harbor graced Lake St. Clair shortly after 11:00PM (12/09) the first time since 1994. On her way to Nanticoke with a load of coal. If all goes well she should be back up some time Friday, hopefully in the daylight.

Reported by: Andrew Severson




November Dip Doesn't Stop March Toward Record

12/10:
Despite a slight decrease in November shipments from Superior Midwest Energy Terminal, the Lake's largest coal shipping facility remains solidly on track for yet another benchmark season. The 1.3 million net tons of coal loaded at SMET in November pushed its season-to-date total to 14,033,927 tons. SMET needs load just 700,000 tons in December to establish a new record for yearly shipments. SMET's season-to-date total also represents an increase of 5.6 percent compared to the same point in the 1997 navigation season.

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association




Christmas Lights Ablaze

12/10:
Boatwatchers along the St. Clair and Detroit river were treated to a spectacular Christmas light display last night as the Kaye E. Barker passed. Her forward cabins are decorated from the top of the pilot house to the deck with green, red and white lights. On the back of the forward structor are more lights with the green lights making the out line of a christmas tree from the top of the pilot house to the deck. Her radar mast is decorated with a Santa Claus statue and candy cains below. Her aft structor is covered in red lights. The boom holds colored lights and a large sleigh with santa and reindeer running all the way to the tip of the boom ending with Rudolph and his glowing red nose.
Send your freighter christmas lights reports to: moderator@boatnerd.net
I hear the Burton is also something to see.




Picture of the Day

12/10:
This week, the Original Photo Gallery has been featuring a new picture each day. Today's image features the fine work of Great Lakes author and photographer Rod Burdick showing the Canadian Transfer at dock in Marquette.

Click here to view





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 a 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 water front.

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

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

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





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