Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News ARCHIVE

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Canadian Transfer Ends Season

12/31:
The Canadian Transfer tied up in Sarnia's North Slip Thursday afternoon at about 3:00pm. It was a sight to see as the captain pull her into the grain elevator slip and then back her around the corner into the North Slip, it was a job well done. The vessel is scheduled to have work done on her unloading boom by Shelly Marine.

Reported by: Andrew Severson and Tom Hynes




St. Lawrence River Update

12/31:
Algosar arrived yesterday from Tracy for winter lay-up at Section 16 in Sorel. Canadian Voyager arrived in Montreal late on Dec. 28 at section 56N.

Still running on the St. Lawrence River east of the Seaway are Manitoulin, Ferbec, Atlantic Huron and Sauniere. All of them will winter in Montreal arriving during the first two weeks of January.

The Manitoulin is expected to dock at shed 4. She is presently running between Port Cartier and Contrecoeur.

Reported by: René Beauchamp.




USS Report

12/31:
Philip R. Clarke and Arthur M. Anderson are making another late-season trip to load pellets at Northshore Mining Co. at Silver Bay. Clarke is due there Jan. 2 and the Anderson the following day.

George A. Sloan is to arrive in Sturgeon Bay for winter lay-up tonight at mid-night.

Reported by: Al Miller and David French




Southdown Challenger Finished on Lowers Lakes for the Century

12/31:
Clearing Buoys 1 & 2 upbound in the Lake Huron cut Thursday afternoon was the classic Southdown Challenger. The 1906-built cement carrier has only a few trips on Lake Michigan before she is to lay-up for the winter. She is Y2K compliant so we will see her sailing next year.

Reported by: Andrew Severson and Tom Hynes




Goderich Update

12/31:
Early Thursday morning operations began by the tugs Dover and Debbie Lyn to break up the ice in Goderich Harbor to turn the Oakglen at the number one elevator so she could finish unloading her cargo of grain. This cargo will be the last in Goderich for the 1999 season. She was expected to depart early this morning for Thunder Bay to load a cargo for winter storage at the ADM Dock in Windsor.

Heavy slush and pack ice had choked the harbour for the last three days. The ice was compacted by gale winds from the south west and west, clogging the channel and outer harbour as far out as the breakwalls. The Oakglen will have clear sailing when she clears the outer wall as Lake Huron is still well clear of ice

Reported by: Mac Donald Marine Ltd.




Today in Great Lakes History - December 31

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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




Seaway Report

12/30:
With passing of the Petrolia Desgagnes through the St. Lambert Lock on Dec. 25 the St. Lawrence Seaway officially closed for the 1999 season. On Wednesday St. Lawrence Seaway officials released a statement detailing the season.

The Seaway was open to navigation for 270 days starting March 31 and maintained its maximum draft of 26 feet, 3 inches despite the low water levels in the Great Lakes, said Guy Vernnneau, President of The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp.

The Seaway's toll revenue and cargo tonnage was reported to be down this year because of reduced demand for inbound foreign steel.

Estimated combined cargo moved through the Welland Canal, between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie and the Montreal/Lake Ontario sections, totaled 47.56 million tonnes, down 7 percent from a year ago.

Slabs and steel products fell 33 percent because of a surplus of imported steel available. Other commodities such as iron ore, coal and other bulks were down by about 6 percent.

Grain cargo rose 4.32 percent to about 14 million tonnes, thanks to substantial shipments of U.S. grain moved through the waterway.

Reported by: John Stark




Shipping Companies and Coast Guard Prepare for Y2K

12/30:
The Great Lakes shipping companies and the U.S. Coast Guard are prepared to greet the new year with normal operations. They have inspected and updated software to minimize the danger of crucial equipment failing because a computer failing at midnight on New Year's Eve, having misread the new date as 1900.

Lt. Marty Smith of the Coast Guard's Marine Safety Office in Sault Ste. Marie was quoted by the Associated Press (AP) as saying "We want to make sure they've been tested, so if their primary system goes down they won't end up on a rock or block a channel somewhere."

Commercial ships navigate with the Global Positioning System, which uses satellites to help crews keep track of their positions. But should it fail, they have LORAN to use as a backup system based on radio signaling that does not use computers. Most vessel's also use computer based charts that are tied into other electronic navigation systems. Though tested, a vessel's crew can still rely on paper charts in the event of a failure.

The AP reports that about 50 vessels with U.S. flags are expected to be sailing the lakes Dec. 31, this number comes from Glen Nekvasil, spokesman for the Lake Carriers Association. That day the Lake Carriers Association will give the Coast Guard a list of every ship on the lakes and where they will be at midnight. "We're as ready as we believe we can be," Nekvasil said.




Winter Lay-up In Sarnia

12/30:
Wednesday's Sarnia Observer reports that as many as 10 vessels will lay-up in Sarnia harbour this winter. During lay-up vessels complete major repairs, maintenance and renovations that can only be done this time of year.

Seven vessels from the Algoma fleet are expected to arrive in the next week or so. The Algocatalyst arrived for lay-up some time last week and is tied up at the newly renovated Sydney Smith Dock. The City of Sarnia made a major investment in the harbour when they spent $200,000 to upgrade the dock this year. Dave Brown, harbormaster and managing partner in Bridgeview Marina is quoted as saying "The seawall itself was falling in and the wall needed some major repairs and upgrades." These repairs allow at least one ship to berth in Sarnia that would not have otherwise.

The dock is built on the hull of the former Sidney E. Smith, Jr. (2). The 1906-built self unloader collided with the Parker Evans on June 5, 1972 and sank within twenty minutes. Her cabins were stripped off and the two sections of the hull were scuttled and land-filled to form the dock facing.

The harbour averages 10 ships a year, but in recent years the demand for repairs has skyrocketed. The lay-up fleet is expected to keep between 200 to 300 local tradespeople employed at any one time. They'll need welders, boilermakers, electricians and plumbers to fix cracks, renovate the interior and replace and install parts. Shelley Machine and Marine Inc., will add 30 to 35 seasonal employees to a full-time contingent of 70. The three month berthing period accounts for 45 per cent of the Shelley Machine and Marine's business for the whole year.

The largest job in Sarnia this year will be the repowering of the Cuyahoga. The new caterpillar engine is the size of a small transport truck and will take 12 to 18 men to install. The Cuyahoga is currently powered by a Lentz-Poppet 4-cylinder 2,500 horsepower double compound steam engine. A classic power plant that has boatwatchers concerned what will become of the engine once removed.

The fee to lay a vessel up in Sarnia is $1,000 to $1,500 per month. The lay-up fleet will remain in Sarnia harbour until this spring as the new shipping season begins.

Reported by: Chris Skelton




Seaway Closes Work Begins on the Welland

12/30:
As the Welland Canal closed for the season work has begun on annual maintenance. The St. Catharines Standard reported in December that $12 million will be spent this winter on scheduled maintenance which is part of a continuous repair plan.

The canal is expected to be closed until mid-March, depending on weather conditions. In addition to normal repairs to the locks, Bridge 11, the Allanburg Bridge, has scheduled maintenance planned that involves the bridge deck and part of the towers undergoing some structural repairs and repainting.

Reported by: John Stark




Cuyahoga on Final Trip as Steamer

12/30:
The Cuyahoga was upbound in the Detroit River Wednesday afternoon bound for Meldrum Bay. She will load stone for Sombra, Ont. and then proceed to Sarnia for winter lay-up and the re-powering.

Reported by: Andrew Severson




Twin Ports Report

12/30:
Duluth got an unusual late-season grain shipment Dec. 29 when Halifax arrived to unload at the General Mills elevator. With temperatures in the mid-40s, well-traveled channels were free of ice today.

Reported by: Al Miller




Toledo Update

12/30:
The Cuyahoga departed Toledo around 0730 Wednesday morning. She unloaded a salt cargo at the Consolidated Dock.

The Algoway arrived at the Kuhlman Dock mid-morning to unload. The Canadian Transfer also arrived at the Kuhlman Dock early afternoon to unload potash. the Algoway was expected to depart between 4:00 and 5:00pm while the Transfer around 10:00 to 11:00pm.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Tug and Barge Wait on Weather

12/30:
On Wednesday evening the tug Michigan with the tanker barge Great Lakes was anchored in Hedgehog Harbor near the Death's Door Strait waiting for weather. Out on Lake Michigan the wind was blowing at about 25 knots and there were gale warnings up for the southern half of the lake, where the tug/barge is headed.

Reported by: Chuck Klima




Not A November To Remember

12/30:
The U.S.-Flag Lakes fleet again saw its orders fall below the previous year's level in November. Shipments of dry-bulk commodities in U.S. bottoms decreased 2.6 percent to 11.4 million net tons.

Iron ore loadings in November totaled 5.7 million tons, a decrease of 2 percent. For the season, U.S.-Flag ore cargoes have decreased by more than 10 percent.

While the November coal trade was essentially unchanged, the 1999 season-to-date total remains slightly behind last year's pace.

Stone cargoes in U.S. bottoms declined by 8.2 percent, but that fall-off partially reflects that a vessel heavily engaged in that trade was idled for repairs. For the season, U.S.-Flag stone cargoes stand at 26.1 million tons, a decrease of 11.6 percent.

Reported by: The Lake Carriers Association




Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Ready for Y2K

12/30:
This morning the dates on the boatnerd.com web server will be moved ahead to January 1 , 2000. The servers are Y2K compliant running the latest software and this is being done as a test to be sure there are no problems when the unattended server's date changes at mid-night Dec. 31. The server will also be rebooted at this time and may be unavailable for a few minutes.

The portion of the web site residing on the oakland.edu web server shall remain unchanged and is also believed to be Y2K compliant.

The only areas that users will see this change is on the boatnerd.com Information Search page and other features that show a date inserted by the computer.




Today in Great Lakes History - December 30

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

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

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

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


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




Twin Ports Report

12/29:
With about 6 inches of ice in the Duluth-Superior harbor, vessels are moving fairly easily considering the time of year. Midwest Energy Terminal, which several years ago usually closed in mid-December, this year expects to operate at least into early January. The line-up there includes: Columbia Star, Paul R. Tregurtha, American Mariner and Oglebay Norton, Dec. 29; Walter J. McCarthy Jr., Dec. 30; Indiana Harbor, Dec. 31; Paul R. Tregurtha and Oglebay Norton, Jan. 4.

Alpena made a rare late-season call to the Twin Ports on Dec. 28. It was unloading at the LaFarge terminal in Superior at midday and was expected to finish unloading later at the Duluth terminal.

Reported by: Al Miller




Marquette Busy

12/29:
Marquette's harbors have been busy with vessels making as many trips as possible for ore before the end of the shipping season. After the Charles E. Wilson and Adam Cornelius departed early Monday the Elton Hoyt 2nd arrived with a load of coal for Wisconsin Electric. After unloading, the Hoyt departed for another Lake Superior destination.

While the Hoyt unloaded the Sam Laud arrived also carrying coal and was waiting its turn to unload.

Other traffic due in port was the Lee A. Tregurtha, due in at midnight and the Algowest is due in later today.

Reported by: Art Pickering




Toledo Update

12/29:
As the season slows for Toledo the Cuyahoga arrives with another load. She was inbound at the Toledo Harbor Light at 10:10pm bound for the Consolidated Dock. It is believed that she is carrying a cargo of salt.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Steel Industry Seeing Recovery

12/29:
The Associated Press reports that U.S. steelmakers raising prices is a sign that the industry is recovering from a slump tied to an onslaught of low-price imports.

USX-U.S. Steel Corp., Bethlehem Steel Corp, and Birmingham Steel Corp. are among the companies that have announced price increases in recent months.

The increases come at a time when imports have been declining, in part because of strong lobbying efforts by business and labor leaders, whose claims of lost jobs and profits led to government action against foreign steelmakers.

Business and labor leaders were outspoken earlier in a combined "Stand Up For Steel" campaign that many credit with raising awareness of the steel import crisis that peaked last year. The Asian economic crisis that began in 1997 led to an unusually large amount of foreign-made steel entering the U.S. market.

The protests prompted the Clinton administration to file law suits against 30 countries, including Japan, accusing them of selling at prices below the cost of producing the steel. Those suits are pending.

In the meantime, imports have been dropping for the last four months from the record levels set last year, according to data compiled by the Commerce Department. Last week, the department reported that steel imports had fallen 9 percent in November to 2.5 million metric tons, a level 29 percent lower than a year earlier. A metric ton is approximately 2,205 pounds.

The November decline followed decreases of 0.9 percent in October, 5 percent in August and 10 percent in September.

Lower imports will continue through 2000 and the domestic market will probably remain strong, predicts Robert Schenosky, a steel analyst at Merrill Lynch.

There were 81,500 people employed in the industry last year.




Cleveland-Cliffs Reports on Outlook for 2000

12/29:
Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. reported Tuesday on the Company's business outlook. John S. Brinzo, Cliffs' president and chief executive officer, said, "Cliffs and its steel company partners met earlier this month to make their initial pellet production nominations for 2000. While the nominations are subject to change, the six North American mines managed by Cliffs are currently scheduled to operate at capacity levels."

Cliffs' iron ore pellet sales in 2000 are expected to exceed eleven million tons, which compares to production capacity of 11.8 million tons. The projected increase in year 2000 sales is largely due to an expected recovery of sales volume from two important steel customers. As previously disclosed, Cliffs lost more than two million tons of pellet sales to Rouge Industries and Weirton Steel in 1999 as a result of blast furnace outages. Brinzo said, "We are working hard to contract additional sales so that the Company's production capacity can be fully utilized. We are pleased to note that we have negotiated extensions to sales agreements representing in total 3.5 to 4.0 million tons per year with Acme Metals, AK Steel, and WCI Steel for periods of up to five years."

International iron ore price discussions are underway, and there is optimism that improving world steel markets may result in an increase in the international pellet price in 2000. The major iron ore producers around the world have taken shutdowns in 1999 to balance inventories, and world steel production is increasing as the Asian economies improve. Although Cliffs does not sell its iron ore at the international price, this price is an escalator or de-escalator in many of the Company's multi-year sales contracts.

While we believe an increase in the international pellet price may occur, the average price realization on Cliffs' year 2000 sales is projected to approximate 1999, reflecting the mix of various multi-year contracts. Cliffs' average price realization in 1999 is expected to be down about 8 percent from 1998 versus a 13 to 14 percent decline in the international pellet price.

Brinzo said, "We continue to see improvement in underlying steel industry fundamentals as we approach 2000. While we expect 1999 results to only be slightly profitable, we have taken aggressive actions in 1999 to position Cliffs for 2000, including the reduction of inventory below the 1.6 million tons at the beginning of the year. While we expect margins on pellet sales will improve in 2000 due to higher volume and continued unit cost reduction, we will be challenged to achieve analyst expectations until iron ore prices improve and our HBI plant is in commercial operation. We expect year 2000 results will also include special income of about $.50 per share from a business interruption insurance claim related to our loss of sales to Rouge in 1999."

Commenting further, Brinzo said, ``We remain committed to our objective of enhancing shareholder value by developing a significant ferrous metallics business. The difficulties experienced in 1999 illustrate the importance of supplying an expanded mix of iron products to a broader range of customers.''

Cleveland-Cliffs is the largest supplier of iron ore products to the North American steel industry and is developing a significant ferrous metallics business. Subsidiaries of the Company manage six iron ore mines in North America and hold equity interests in five of the mines. Cliffs has a major iron ore reserve position in the United States, is a substantial iron ore merchant, and is beginning production of hot briquetted iron at a joint venture plant in Trinidad and Tobago.




Coast Guard Rescues Hunters

12/29:
Early Tuesday morning the U.S. Coast Guard received a request from Rescue Coordination Center Trenton for assistance in locating overdue duck hunters. The two young men, in their 20s, were last seen in their 16-foot aluminum boat on the afternoon of Dec. 27 near Walpole Island at the mouth of Bassett Channel in Lake St Clair.

The Coast Guard District Nine Command Center authorized the launch of a helicopter from Air Station Detroit to conduct a shoreline search of the area.

The missing hunters were located on the tip of Bassett Channel. They attracted the Coast Guard helicopter by using a flashing a light. Both men were in good condition and did not need medical assistance. The two men were escorted to safety by Walpole police.




Today in Great Lakes History - December 29

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

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

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

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

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

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


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




Twin Ports Report

12/28:
Sounds like the season is winding down at the DMIR ore dock in Duluth. The vessel line-up for the rest of the century is: Frontenac on Dec. 29 (Halifax also was scheduled for the 29th, but that was before it grounded); Reserve and Indiana Harbor, Dec. 30; and Louis R. Desmarais, Dec. 31.

The DMIR ore dock in Two Harbors will stay busy into the new year. The line-up includes: Edwin H. Gott and Roger Blough, Dec. 28; Edgar B. Speer, Dec. 30; Philip R. Clarke, Dec. 31; Presque Isle, Jan. 1; Oglebay Norton, Edwin H. Gott and Roger Blough, Jan. 3; Edgar B. Speer, Jan. 4; and John G. Munson, Jan. 5.

The winds on Lake Superior Dec. 25 that prompted many ships to seek shelter were about 40 mph with gusts to near 60 mph. Even the next day, several vessels remained at the dock or at anchor waiting for the seas to subside down the lake. Burns Harbor lay off Duluth over night and at least to midday the 26th. Cason J. Callaway and Presque Isle remained at Two Harbors well into the 26th.

Reported by: Al Miller




Nand Rati Update

12/28:
The Indian registered Nand Rati arrived in Montreal last week where Marpipe carried out repairs on the damaged vessel. Repairs were finishing on December 25th.

On December 20 the Nand Rati suffered a hole in her starboard bow that was believed to have been caused while transiting a lock in the Welland Canal. The 605-foot vessel was sailing outbound with load of soybeans.




Saginaw Spots Fire

12/28:
The downbound Saginaw called Sarnia traffic last night to report two burning box cars in a Detroit rail yard. The rail yard is a half mile east of the Ambassador Bridge and cannot be seen from any major roadway. After the Saginaw's report Sarnia Traffic alerted the Detroit Fire Department.

On December 25 the Elton Hoyt 2nd reported the same type of fire at the yard.




Search and Rescue

12/28:
U.S. Coast Guard Station Toledo received a report on the night of Dec. 25th of a person jumping into the Maumee River from the Cherry Street bridge. A rescue boat was only able to go halfway up the river due to ice in the river. A helicopter from Air Station Detroit was launched and searched 4.5 miles of the river, but could not locate anyone. Washington Township launched two hovercraft and sent two divers to search near the bridge also with negative results.

On the night of Dec. 26th, the Delta County Sheriff requested helicopter assistance in illuminating a hole in the ice where three people fell through while riding snowmobiles in Little Bay de Noc on Lake Michigan. Two of the snowmobilers were rescued by the Delta County sheriff, but the third was still missing. Air Station Traverse City responded with a helicopter Sunday night and was expected to return Monday morning to assist.




Operation Taconite

12/28:
The U.S. Coast Guard's Operation Taconite has begun operations for the season. The Cutter Sundew was expected to conduct track maintenance Monday in Duluth and Superior Harbors where they have up to six inches of ice.

Traffic continues to move through the St. Marys River in one to four inches of ice without assistance from the ice breakers. The Katmai Bay and Biscayne Bay stand ready to assist if needed from the U.S. Coast Guard Group Sault Ste. Marie.




Ice Forecast

12/28:
Ice Hazard Bulletin Issued by Environment Canada at 1700 UTC Monday 27 December 1999.
No ice warning in effect for the next 36 hours.

Lake Ontario...ice free except for new lake ice in Bay Of Quinte.

Lake Erie...open water in Lake Erie except for new lake ice forming over the western shore. in Lake St Clair 7 to 9 tenths new lake ice over the eastern and southern portions of the lake with open water over the rest of the lake.

Lake Huron and Georgian Bay...6 to 9 tenths new and thin lake ice in Saginaw Bay. open water over the rest of Lake Huron and in Georgian Bay and the North Channel except for 9 plus tenths of new lake ice in St Marys River.

Lake Superior...open water in Thunder Bay except for new lake ice developing in the western section. 10 tenths thin lake ice in most of Black Bay and Nipigon Bays. 9 plus tenths new lake ice along the southern shore of Whitefish Bay. Otherwise open water.

Lake Michigan...nine to ten tenths coverage of thin lake ice was observed on Green Bay south of Peshtigo Point. Two to four tenths coverage of thin new ice was observed on the outer Little And Big Bays De Noc with the inner bays nine to tenths covered with thin ice. Two to four tenths coverage of new ice was observed near shore from Naubinway to St. Ignace.

Note: this report is offered for entertainment and should not be relied on for navigation. Please consult Canadian Ice Service for current conditions (subscription necessary)

Area coverage is expressed in tenths
1-3/10's---very open drift ice
4-6/10's---open drift ice
7-8/10's---close pack ice
9-9+/10's--very close pack
10/10's---compact
10/10's---frozen together - consolidated

When ice reaches 6/10's or greater, ships can no longer traverse between floes.

Fast ice--ice fastened to the shore (frozen all the way across)

New Lake Ice----recently formed less than 5 centimeters thick.
Thin Lake Ice---5 - 15 centimeters thick.
Medium Lake Ice-15 - 30 centimeters thick.
Thick Lake Ice--30-70 centimeters thick.
Very Thick Ice--greater than 70 centimeters thick.





New Vessel Feature in Original Photo Gallery

12/28:
Each day this week we feature a randomly selected image from our Holiday Card Contest.
Today we feature the John G. Munson passing Detroit.

Click here to visit







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.

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

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


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




Halifax Loses Power and Grounds

12/27:  10:00am update
The Halifax ran aground Saturday night as she was heading upbound in the St. Marys River. The vessel suffered a failure in her fuel system that caused her to lose main engine power, the vessel drifted and ran aground near Mirre Point. The Halifax was able to restore power and freed herself by pumping out ballast. She emptied the number one and number two port and starboard ballast tanks and the vessel was refloated with assistance of her bow thruster.

She continued upbound to the Mac Arthur Lock wall at 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, there she tied up for inspection. A dive survey and inspection of ballast tanks revealed no holing of the hull. The extent of damage was limited to a four-inch dished in area that was ten feet wide by thirty feet long in the number one ballast tank.

She was cleared to continued on her trip to Thunder Bay and anticipated departing some time this morning.




Seaway Update

12/27:
The St. Lawrence Seaway closed for the season on Christmas Day. The final transit was made by the ocean-going Canadian flag Petrolia Desgagnés at about 6PM. She was arriving in Montreal in ballast from Bronte, ON where she had delivered a cargo of diesel fuel. In 1998, she had been the last Canadian ship on Dec. 26 arriving also from Bronte.

The last foreign-flag saltie was the Bahamas-flag Millenium Majestic transiting at St.Lambert a couple of hours before Petrolia Desgagnés. This Freedom MKII class vessel was arriving from Thunder Bay where she took a cargo of dried beans. It is interesting to note she was in the news also ten years ago. While in a Great Lakes port, probably Toronto, she had been renamed Clipper Majestic in Nov. 1989 while on charter to Armada Shipping her previous name then being Majestic. She was built in 1979 in Japan under the name Milos Island becoming Majestic in 1987. So far in her career, she transited the Seaway locks under all her identities.

The last vessel to enter the Seaway upbound was CSL Niagara on Dec. 24 bound for Hamilton in ballast from Contrecoeur. The last transit upbound by a foreign-flag saltie was on Dec. 17 by the Greek-flag Calliope bound for Toronto where she delivered a cargo of steel and bleached woodpulp.

Shifting in Montreal harbour on Dec. 22 was Comeaudoc from section 25 where she unloaded grain since Sept.28 to section 56 where Quebecois joined her later the same day late in the evening. Quebecois was arriving from Thunder Bay.

Repairs completed, Federal Oshima departed Montreal on Dec. 23 having spent 11 days at section 27. On Dec. 12, Algocatalyst sailed from Sorel where she was laid up since Nov. 9 for the Port of Quebec. As of Dec. 23, she was at Sarnia.

Reported by: René Beauchamp.




Weather Send Ships to Anchor

12/27:
Taking shelter in Thunder Bay last night were the Earl W. Oglebay, Buffalo and J.A.W. Iglehart. The overnight forecast for Eastern Lake Superior called for gale force winds and seas 6 to 9 feet.

The Charles M. Beeghly was at anchor in the Detroit River at the Belle Isle Anchorage Sunday afternoon. She later departed the anchorage heading downbound and was heard calling the Marble Head Coast Guard early this morning. Low water levels in the river system continue to delay shipping.

Reported by: Ken Kilbreath




Update on the Wolfe Islander III

12/27:
For the past two and a half months extensive work has been carried out on the carferry WOLFE ISLANDER III. On October 13, 1999 the 55 car 300 passenger double end ferry departed Kingston for Hamilton for a major mid-life refit.

To date, all four Caterpillar diesel engines are in place as are two Aquamaster 901 propulsion units. Two more will be put in place by next week. The bridgedeck has a brand new walk-around in front (and back) of the pilothouse. Inside the pilothouse are two new consoles housing the newer steering controls with RPM and direction indicators mounted nearby.

On the vessel's maindeck, newer and safer mooring bollards have been installed. Extensive work has also been carried out in the crew quarters as well as passenger cabin space. Below decks, besides the major engine work, all of the wiring is being replaced throughout. Her hull has been sandblasted and has been repainted her traditional green. The work is being carried out at Heddle Marine at Pier 14. However, the deadline for her to be ready to sail is Jan. 10.

The Frontenac II continues to provide service to and from Wolfe Island complete with Christmas lights during the holidays. A guest has moored alongside the ferry dock for the holidays as well. The McKeil tug Offshore Supplier and barge have tied up waiting their turn delivering equipment for the LaFarge Cement Plant in Bath.

Reported by: Brian Johnson




Traverse City Tall ships

12/27:
The Traverse Tall Ship Co. will be a two-boat fleet again when 66-foot schooner West Wind arrives sometime next month. The schooner will replace the 105-foot Malabar, which was taken out of service last spring because of deterioration of its ferro-concrete hull.

The company pulled its sister ship, the Manitou, out of multi-day cruise service working out of Northport and brought it to Traverse City last season to cover the day-cruise trade there.

Marketing director Adam Begley said the loss of the Malabar hurt sales for the 1999 season, but business should be back to normal next season. The West Wind, which cost "something under a million dollars," will be trucked into the Great Lakes Maritime Academy's dock yard on West Grand Traverse Bay from Boothbay Harbor, Maine, he said. It had provided day sailing trips at Boothbay.

The company will use winter months to prepare the boat for service and then will operate it out of the company's dock in Greilickville. The schooner, built in 1992 by the Treworgy Yachts boat yard in Palm Coast, Fla., has a 14-foot beam compared to the 22-foot beam of the Malabar. It can carry up to 30 passengers plus a crew of two to three people. The Malabar was licensed to carry up to 46.

Though smaller, the West Wind will be considerably speedier than the Malabar, which should make cruises that much more fun, Begley said.

The Manitou will return to Northport to offer multi-day cruises next season except for July and August, when it will serve the day-cruise market in Traverse City. As for the Malabar, the company is looking at a number of options. One includes sale to a maritime museum that would use it as a walk-aboard attraction while permanently docked. A local group is considering buying the vessel and taking it to the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi River. The third option is to haul it out of the water and dismantle it.

Reported by: Mike Dell and Steve Vanden Bosch




Lay-up List Updated


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





New Vessel Feature in Original Photo Gallery

12/27:
Each day this week we feature a randomly selected image from our Holiday Card Contest.
Today we feature the tug Patricia Hoey in Sarnia.

Click here to visit







Today in Great Lakes History - December 27

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

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

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


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




Goderich Report

12/26:
December has seen a steady call of ships for the salt mine, most of the vessels sailing for the Algoma Central Marine Fleet. The last salt boat to call at the port was the Algoway, loading for Loraine on Dec. 22. The soybean run for December was steady with five salt water vessels calling all of different sizes from 730 to 300-footers .

The grain trade is still running with P& H handling the work, the Mapleglen arrived Thursday Dec. 23 at 0500 with a partial load for Goderich elevators and the rest going to Owen Sound. The Oakglen after a hard trip from Thunder Bay arrived Dec. 24 at 0830hrs with a full load for Goderich elevators. The elevator is expecting one more partial load from the Mapleglen next week with the remainder going to Owen Sound for winter storage.

Ice has formed in the inner harbour and new harbour requiring icebreaking for the elevator docks. The shipping season should draw to a close around the second week in January, depending on weather.

Reported by: Mac Donald Marine Ltd.




Twin Ports Report

12/26:
High winds Dec. 25 prompted many vessels from USS Great Lakes Fleet to seek shelter or wait in port for weather. Presque Isle and Cason J. Callaway loaded at Two Harbors but both stayed in port waiting for the winds to ease. Philip R. Clarke loaded at Silver Bay but also remained at the dock. Arthur M. Anderson was upbound for Silver Bay but anchored off the Keweenaw Peninsula. John G. Munson was downbound for Gary but anchored in Bete Grise Bay on the Keweenaw. On the lower lakes, George A. Sloan was bound for Buffalo but diverted to Sandusky Bay to anchor because of weather. The Sloan is scheduled for another trip to Buffalo after this one, then may be headed for lay-up.

The winds, which drove temperatures in Duluth up to 47 degrees by evening, also likely prompted an unidentified 1,000-footer to drop anchor off Duluth.

Reported by: Al Miller




Toledo Update

12/26:
On Christmas Day the AMERICAN MARINER was at Andersons "K" Elevator unloading cargo. She was scheduled to depart later in the afternoon.

The tanker SATURN arrived for winter lay-up at the old Lakefront Ore Dock. She appears to be in port for long term lay-up through out the winter. The tanker ALGONOVA is tied up directly in front of the two dry docks at the Toledo Shipyard. It looks like she may be in for some type of repair work.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Saginaw Report

12/26:
A strong wind out of the south-southwest last night was blowing the water in Saginaw Bay out into Lake Huron. The Saginaw River Coast Guard Station reported water level is -31 inches.

The Agawa Canyon arrived at 1145 Saturday morning heading to the Essexville Sand and Stone Dock. At 1500 the Canyon was tied up at the Essroc Cement Dock with her boom still in the saddle. There was very little activity aboard the boat. The Essexville Sand & Stone Dock is about 2000 feet beyond where she is tied up. The low water could be a concern keeping her from the dock.

Reported by: Lon Morgan




Low Water

12/26:
Strong winds also dropped water levels on Lake Erie and the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers last night. With a water level at minus two inches at the lower end of the Detroit River, the Canadian Transport went to anchor off the East Outer Channel in Lake Erie.

On lower Lake Huron the downbound Edgar B. Speer was forced to anchor off buoys 11 & 12 waiting for the water levels to rise. She is loaded and sailing for Conneaut, Ohio.




Greet the New Millenium With a Straight Decker

12/26:
CFTO news reports that New Years eve in Toronto Harbour is expected to draw up to one million people to view a 17-minute 1.5-million dollar fire works show.

The platform for this show will be Upper Lakes Group vessels Montrealais, which will be the control ship for fireworks being fired off the Canadian Mariner, Canadian Trader and Canadian Venture. Each ship will have one mate and one engineer on board. This is all that the fire Marshall will allow. It should be a spectacular show.




Today in Great Lakes History - December 26

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

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

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


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




Griffith Arrives

12/25:
The H.M. Griffith entered Port Weller Dry Docks Friday arriving for conversion. She is the second of three new buildings in Canada Steamship Lines' $100-million hull-replacement program. When delivered next spring, she will join the CSL Niagara as part of CSL's new SeawayMax fleet. The vessel's fore body will be cut away and a new hull fitted. Her new dimensions will be 740-feet long, 78-feet wide and 48-feet deep.

Click here for a picture of the new hull under construction in late October.

Reported by: John Stark




Closing of the Seaway

12/25:
The Welland Canal concluded operations for the 1999 season with the passing of three vessels. Downbound were the Algosoo and Algogulf, the Algogulf was to be the final downbound transit of the year. Heading upbound, the Louis R. Desmarais was scheduled to close the canal with an eta of 10:00pm for Port Weller, she was sailing for Detroit.

The Welland Canal opened on March 31, 1999 with the Algowest officially re-opening the waterway for its 170th consecutive season. This was also the 40th anniversary of the Seaway.

The 3,700-kilometre St. Lawrence Seaway opened in 1959, and provides uninterrupted navigation nine months each year from Duluth, Minn. and Thunder Bay, Ont. to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The schooner Anne and Jane made the inaugural passage of the Welland Canal in November, 1829.

The closing of the Seaway between the St. Lambert and Iroquois Locks was to take place yesterday. The last salt water vessel to transit the St. Lambert lock was scheduled to be the Millenium Majestic. The vessel was expected to spend the night at Grass Island and depart at first light. The Petrolia Desgagnes is expected to follow.

Reported by: John Stark




Saginaw Update

12/25:
The tug Jacklyn M. with barge Integrity was outbound at 1100 hours Friday from Saginaw. The vessel reported a delay in the turning basin due to ice, but was making good time on her outbound passage. The ice cover on the river was estimated to be about 4 to 5 inches.

The Wolverine entered the river at noon, also breaking ice and was reported to be heading to unload at Essexville.

Click here for an image of the Integrity outbound
Click here for an image of Wolverine inbound

Reported by: Stephen Hause




Hoyt Spots Fire

12/25:
A fire burning in a Detroit rail yard yesterday went unnoticed until the downbound Elton Hoyt 2nd reported the blaze. The rail yard is located on the Detroit River east of the Ambassador Bridge. The fire was burning in a rail car filled with lumber, the Hoyt reported the fire to the J.W. Westcott Company who in turn called the Detroit Fire Department. As fire crews responded the Elton Hoyt 2nd continued downbound for Rouge Steel.




Imports Drop From Record Levels

12/25:
Steel imports declined in November for the fourth consecutive month, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. The 9 percent decrease to 2.5 million metric tons, a level 29 percent lower than a year ago followed drops of 0.9 percent in October, 5 percent in August and 10 percent in September.

Several analysts said the trends are cause for optimism. But some said the American market has not recovered completely from last year's import surge. Last year's the Asian economic crisis led to an unusually high amount of foreign-made steel entering the U.S. market. This prompted the Clinton administration to file anti-dumping lawsuits against 30 countries, including Japan.

But Greg Mastel, an economist at the New America Foundation, an independent, nonpartisan Washington think tank, said the steel market "seems to be stabilizing a bit but some sectors are having particular problems."

Imports of cold-rolled, semifinished and wire rod steel decreased from their October levels. But imports of hot-rolled, cut-to-length plate, and heavy structurals steel increased from the previous month.

During the first 11 months of 1999, steel imports declined 16 percent from 1998's record levels.

Imports of steel mill products from Japan, Korea and Russia declined during this period while products from Brazil increased. Imports of hot-rolled steel decreased from Brazil, Japan and Russia and increased from Korea.

Mastel and Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, both said the Clinton administration's anti-dumping efforts were the major reason for the import declines. But Ney criticized President Clinton for dragging his feet and only taking action after extensive pressure from Congress, steel companies and labor unions.




E. M. Ford

12/25:
It was 20 years ago this Christmas morning that the stern of the 1898 built E.M. Ford was resting on the bottom of Milwaukee's outer harbor. The bow settled to the bottom Christmas night.

The Ford was torn free from its temporary lay-up location by a fierce northeast storm on Christmas Eve. The Ford was loaded with a winter storage load, but could not travel up the river to the Huron Cement terminal for lay-up until the S.T. Crapo arrived with its final load after Christmas.

The Ford was directed to slip #1 in the outer harbor by city harbor workers. Normally a safe location unless a storm from the north east is brewing, slip #1 faces northeast and is in a direct line with the main harbor entrance. It was a clear sunny day when the crew of the Ford laid the boat up a few days before Christmas and went home for the holiday.

The five man crew still on board was no match for the storm that continued to build throughout the day on the 24th. The stern began to work loose by early afternoon, eventually swinging far enough to the south to strike the seawall on the opposite side of the slip. By late afternoon, with seas running 10 to 15-feet, the Ford was completely free of all its mooring lines. The surge created by the wind continually pounded the Ford into the seawall at the West End of the slip.

With seas now at almost 20-feet there was little shore crews and two Great Lakes Towing tugs could do but stand by and watch. One of the tugs was sent to the Presque Isle in the inner harbor. The G-tug spent the night pushing against the laid up Presque Isle to keep it from leaving the dock.

The Ford was patched and raised by late January 1980 and towed to Sturgeon Bay for extensive repairs. But not before the now hardened cargo of cement was removed. Litigation between National Gypsum and the City of Milwaukee went back and forth until just a few years ago when the U.S. Supreme Court made a final ruling involving payment of interest.

Reported by: Andy Laborde




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




Twin Ports Report

12/24:
The BNSF ore dock in Superior had a steady stream of vessels Dec. 23. Stewart J. Cort arrived about 7 a.m. to load. Charles M. Beeghly was due into the dock in early evening, to be followed by George A. Stinson. The Stinson, already in port at mid-afternoon, was expecting a long wait not only because the Cort was loading, but also because the Beeghly would be pulling up to an empty dock, which would slow loading. BNSF is scheduled to stay busy in the coming days, with Burns Harbor due there Dec. 24 and Algosteel and Kaye E. Barker set for the 26th.

GLT's tugs North Carolina and North Dakota were busy Dec. 23 assisting vessels in Duluth with icebreaking. One tug was seen assisting Indiana Harbor as it departed the DMIR ore dock, and the Buckeye later was heard on the radio thanking the tugs for their assistance. Later in the day the Charles M. Beeghly was talking with the tug office about getting two tugs to assist it in moving from the CLM stone dock in Superior to the BNSF ore dock at the other end of Superior's Front Channel. The Cort's master also was calling GLT, saying he'd need a tug to break out of the ice in the loading slip.

In another sign of the season, Coast Guard Cutter Sundew was at work Dec. 23 breaking ice and removing buoys from Duluth-Superior harbor.

The end of the season is bringing two unusual callers to Lake Superior. Fred R. White Jr. is due at Taconite Harbor on Dec. 25, to be followed by Wolverine on the 26th.

Reported by: Al Miller




Jacklyn M. Arrives in Saginaw

12/24:
The tug Jacklyn M. with barge Integrity docked at noon Thursday alongside the E.M. Ford at the LaFarge dock in Carrollton. The tug and barge combination were doing some icebreaking early morning as it proceeded up the river. The river has a new layer of ice that has formed over the last few days. The Jacklyn M. and Integrity are expected to depart this morning.

Reported by: Stephen Hause




Welland Canal Scheduled to Close Today

12/24:
The Welland Canal is scheduled to close today with the last vessel being accepted at 0800 hours.

Last night there were several vessels in the canal:
upbound was the tanker Saturn with an eta of 0045 for the Port Colborne Fuel Dock, The Sea Eagle II with an eta of 0048 for Lock 7 and the Halifax with an eta of 0233. for Lock 7.

No vessels reported downbound.

Vessel due at the Lake Erie entrance:
Algowood with an eta of 0135, Algosoo eta of 0600, James Norris eta of 0610 and the Algogulf eta of 0740. Vessel due at the Lake Ontario entrance:
CSL's Frontenac due at 0125 and the Griffion at 0615.

At midnight December 22, the number of ocean vessels above St. Lambert was 10 as compared to 6 in 1998. Above Port Weller the number was 2 as compared to 5 in 1998. The water temperature at St. Lambert Thursday was 0.5 degrees Celsius. Last year's temperature was 2.1 degrees Celsius. The ten-year average is 0.7 degrees Celsius.

Reported by: John Stark




Alcor Update

12/24:
Groupe Desgagnés bought the Alcor last week after negotiations with the vessel's owners and underwriters. It is now reported that Desgagnés is exploring the possibilities of repairing the damage freighter, which aside from the grounding damage is said to be very well maintained.

If a favorable price can be found from a shipyard, Desgagnés may fit the vessel with a new forebody as soon as next spring, until then the Alcor will stay in Quebec's harbour.

The Alcor suffered extensive structural damage following the November 9th grounding in the St-Lawrence River east of Quebec City.




City of Milwaukee Update

12/24:
The Society for the Preservation of the S. S. City of Milwaukee recently obtained a 750 cfm air compressor that was placed aboard the boat. The air compressor was connected to the ships bow mooring winch and anchor windlass, and anchor chain has been raised and lowered. The ship's paint job is starting to show the effects of steel cable and chain friction from all the activity.

In addition, volunteers plumbed an air line to the ship's steam whistle, which was blown for the first time in years.

Donations are needed to help cover the costs of the air compressor, tug boats, and use of Luedtke Engineering's steam derrick. Those helping in the effort are International Ship Masters Association Grand President and SS Badger Captain Dean Hobbs, Luedtke Engineering and Andrie Marine have assisted with tug boats, and Selvick Marine and PM Shipping may also be called in to help.

The SPCM's restoration efforts have also been aided by support letters from Charles Little, President of the United Transportation Union; and by Arend D. Lubbers, President of Grand Valley State University. President Lubbers rode the boat from Milwaukee to Muskegon when he was 10 or 11 years old.

The Society is also looking for a donor with two 5000-LB stockless anchors that the vessel could use from now until at least April 15. If you can help with any request please e-mail

The Society for the Preservation of the S.S. City of Milwaukee is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible in accordance with U.S. Tax Laws.




Lay-up List Updated


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





New Feature - Holiday Cards

12/24:
A boat watching tradtion, sending you best photograph from the season as a holiday card.

Click here to vote for your favorite







New Vessel Feature in Historic Gallery

12/24:
Each day this week we feature a new picture from the Marine Historical Society of Detroit's 2000 Calendar. Today we feature the tug Tusker in the Welland Canal.

Click here to visit the Calendar Preview







Today in Great Lakes History - December 24

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

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

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

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley and Todd Davidson




Nand Rati Update

12/23:
A temporary patch has been fabricated and was expected to be but into place by early afternoon on Dec. 22. Once the hole is patched, the vessel will be cleared for daytime transit only. The vessel will sail to Montreal, where she will undergo permanent repairs and be cleared by the vessels classification society (Lloyd's Register) before continuing transit.

Reported by: Ron Walsh




Last Salty Passes Detroit - Mailboat Enters Lay-up

12/23:
The Lady Hamilton passed Detroit at 1:00pm yesterday afternoon taking on two pilots. She is the final salty to clear the system at Detroit for the season. The Lady Hamilton was loaded with 25,000 metric tons of spring wheat loaded in Duluth and bound for Europe.

Though officially last, she was just five minutes behind the Millenium Majestic who was sailing from Thunder Bay.

The J.W. Westcott Company is both the marine post office and pilot station in Detroit. With the last pilot change of the century completed, the Mail boat J.W. Westcott II briefly returned to dock and then sailed for winter lay-up. The Westcott sailed to her lay-up dock at Gregory's Marina behind Belle Isle on the Detroit River.

Reported by: Sam Buchanan




Twin Ports Report

12/23:
Tug/barge Sarah Spencer and Atlantic Hickory paid a rare call to the Cargill B2 elevator berth in Duluth to unload grain. The B2 berth -- located on the opposite side of the elevator from the commonly used B1 loading berth -- was converted several years ago to receive grain from self-unloaders. It has seen little use the past two years.

Edgar B. Speer arrived at Silver Bay Dec. 22 to take on a partial load of taconite pellets. From there it was to proceed to Two Harbors to complete the load. The Anderson and Clarke also are scheduled to load at Silver Bay this week.

Reported by: Al Miller




Toledo Update

12/23:
The Algonova arrived at the Hocking Valley Dock on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday morning the tugs Louisiana and Montana towed the Algonova as a dead ship tow (her engine were shut down) to the old Interlake Iron Company Dock which is just North of the Shipyard. The vessel may lay-up in Toledo for the winter and possibly will enter the drydock at some point.

The Joseph H. Frantz was placed in drydock Wednesday by the same two "G" tugs.

The James Norris and Canadian Transfer both departed Toledo very early Wednesday morning. The Transfer is scheduled back to Toledo Monday night and will be bringing in a potash cargo for the Kuhlman Dock. This is a correction to the original report stating she was to unload salt at the Consolidated Dock.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Busy Day at Buffington

12/23:
Wednesday was a very busy day at Buffington Harbor, Indiana. The Cason J. Callaway arrived at about 9:30 AM (Central) with the Arthur M. Anderson due to come in at about 6:00 PM (Central) that evening.

Reported by: Stephen Sostaric




Medevac Of 31-Year-Old Man Aboard American Mariner On Lake Superior

12/23:
U.S. Coast Guard Group Sault Ste Marie received a medical evacuation request for a 31-year-old man who was having difficulty breathing aboard the American Mariner. The District Nine flight surgeon was briefed and a Medevac was approved. A helicopter from Air Station Traverse City was dispatched and the patient was transported to Portage View Hospital, MI. The patient was last reported in stable condition suffering from pneumonia.




Stone Downturn Continues In November

12/23:
Added Loadings of limestone and gypsum at U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes ports in November totaled 3,955,947 net tons, a decrease of 4.5 percent compared to the same period last year. For the season, the trade stands at 35.1 million tons, a decrease of 7.5 percent.

High inventories at the beginning of the season, a very late start for some major road construction projects and reduced demand for fluxstone from the steel industry combined to produce the disappointing season.

The stone trade will be concluding soon. Marblehead, Ohio, has already shipped its last cargo of the season and stone loadings will likely cease before New Year's Eve.

Reported by: The Lake Carriers Association




Car ferry to winter in Betsie Bay

12/23:
The Traverse City Record Eagle reports that the Frankfort City Council agreed Monday night to let the owners of the SS City of Milwaukee moor the 68-year-old car ferry and National Historic Landmark in the middle of Betsie Bay through April 15.

Earlier this month, council members had rejected a request by the owners to moor the boat there, raising concerns about liability insurance and the exact position where the boat would be moored.

The ship's owners, the Society for the Preservation of the SS City of Milwaukee, must now sign off on an agreement before lifting anchor at its mooring in Elberta and dropping anchor again in the middle of the bay:

  • The boat must be moved from its temporary mooring by April 15.
  • The society must obtain a temporary use permit to moor the boat.
  • The society must place $35,000 in escrow with the city for possible towing fees if the boat is not moved by April 15.
  • The society will raise its liability insurance from $1 million to $5 million.
  • Should a legal issue pertaining to the mooring arise, the society would provide its attorney to defend the city at no cost to the city.
Following the move to the middle of the bay, the society will complete a hull survey to check the integrity of the ship's hull. If the boat is not moved by the April 15 deadline, ownership would revert to the city as well as the $35,000 in escrow so the city could properly dispose of the ship.

Despite the list of demands, society members say that it should be "no problem" to complete the city's requests. But those aren't the only hurdles the society must jump through between now and spring. By order of the state Supreme Court, the society is also required to move the car ferry out of Elberta, where it is currently docked, no later than Feb. 15. But moving it away from Elberta's shores requires a 36-hour window of good weather and calm seas so tugboats from Wisconsin can do the job, society member's say.

"When the weather gets good, we'll get the tugs here, which is a 10-hour trip from Wisconsin," said society treasurer Kurt Lorenz. "We expect to do it as soon as we can, but probably not until after Christmas."

Lorenz said that although good weather was a concern, temperature was not for now because moving the boat through "a limited amount of ice is OK." Betsie Bay normally does not freeze over completely until mid-February, he said.

The Society is look for a donor with two 5000 LB stockless anchors that the vessel could use from now until at least April 15. If you can help with this request please e-mail

The Society for the Preservation of the S.S. City of Milwaukee is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible in accordance with U.S. Tax Laws.




Lay-up List Updated


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





New Vessel Feature in Historic Gallery

12/23:
Each day this week we feature a new picture from the Marine Historical Society of Detroit's 2000 Calendar. Today we feature the passenger and rail ferry City of Milwaukee.

Click here to visit the Calendar Preview







Today in Great Lakes History - December 23

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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




Twin Ports Report

12/22:
Two days of bitterly cold weather has resulted in Duluth-Superior harbor freezing over entirely. Temperatures are expected moderate later in the week, but they are expected to remain below freezing, so ice will continue to thicken.

At this point, Midwest Energy Terminal expects to operate at least until Dec. 28. The line-up there includes Walter J. McCarthy Jr., Dec. 23; Paul R. Tregurtha, Dec. 26; American Mariner and Columbia Star, Dec. 27; and Oglebay Norton and Indiana Harbor, Dec. 28.

At the DMIR ore dock, a big wave of traffic is expected Dec. 22 at Two Harbors, when the weather-delayed Edwin H. Gott, Roger Blough and Edgar B. Speer all arrive. The Munson and Presque Isle are due Dec. 24 and the Callaway on the 25th. At Duluth, Indiana Harbor and Buckeye are due the 22nd. Courtney Burton has been cancelled. Halifax is expected Dec. 27.

Philip R. Clarke is scheduled to make an unusual call in Silver Bay on Dec. 24, followed by Arthur M. Anderson on the 25th.

After spending several days unloading at General Mills in Duluth, tug/barge Atlantic Hickory and Sarah Spencer were due to depart Dec. 21.

Charles M. Beeghly is due in Superior Dec. 22 to unload stone at CLM dock, then shift to load at BNSF ore dock. Earl W. Oglebay is expected at Taconite Harbor Dec. 24.

Reported by: Al Miller




Toledo Update

12/22:
Tuesday morning the Joseph H. Frantz and Canadian Transfer arrived in Toledo. The Frantz tied up at the Toledo Shipyard for winter lay-up. She was in the process of removing water from her ballast tanks and planned on entering the drydock late Tuesday or today.

The Canadian Transfer was unloading cargo at Andersons "K" Elevator. The Transfer is scheduled to return to Toledo early next week with a load of salt for the Consolidated Dock.

A fleet mate to the Transfer, the James Norris, was in port unloading salt at the Consolidated Dock . Other traffic due in was the Courtney Burton scheduled for the Torco Dock at 4:00 pm to unload a cargo of ore.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Hull 78 Update

12/22:
The new bow section for the H.M. Griffith was moved off of Port Weller Dry Docks Tuesday and the midbody was moored at the fit out wall. The Griffith is expected to arrive at the end of the season and enter the dry dock to undergo hull replacement.

She will be the second of three newbuildings in Canada Steamship Lines' $100-million hull-replacement program. When delivered next spring, she will join the CSL Niagara as part of CSL's new SeawayMax fleet.

Each hull replacement is expected to add at least 25 years of service life to the respective vessel. The newbuilding program provides work for approximately 300 PWDD employees year-round until the spring of 2001.

Click here for a picture of the hull under construction in late October.

Reported by: Skip Gillham




Detroit Update

12/22:
On the move in Detroit yesterday were all three of Diamond Jack's tour boat fleet. The vessels departed their dock on the Detroit River beneath the Ambassador Bridge and sailed for their winter lay-up docks on the Rouge River.

The J.W. Westcott Company's work boat Joseph J. Hogan was put into lay-up on Monday. The Mailboat J.W. Westcott II will make its final deliveries this morning and head for lay-up at noon. Westcott company maintenance teams had already started lay-up maintenance on Tuesday.

Reported by: Sam Buchanan




Closing of the Season

12/22:
The Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation announced the closure of the east side of Locks 4, 5, and 6 (Flight Locks) on the Welland Canal as of December 20th.

The Livingstone Channel of the Detroit River has been opened to two-way traffic as the normally upbound-only Amherstburg Channel's aids to navigation have been removed for the season.

Latest reports from the Seaway have 6 salt water vessels above Port Weller, compared to 8 at the same time last year. The number above St. Lambert was 19, compared to 11 last year.




September Cargo Report - Cuyahoga River

12/22:
Added to the Lakes Carriers' Association home page yesterday is the latest Cargo Report for the Cuyahoga River.

Click here for the report




Updates

12/22:
If you browsed yesterday's news before noon, be sure to scroll down and see the stories that were updated.




Today in Great Lakes History - December 22

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

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

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

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

LIGHTSHIP 103 was commissioned December 22, 1920.

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

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


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




Saltie Damaged in Seaway

12/21: updated 11:00am
Monday afternoon the Nand Rati was at anchored about seven miles from Cape Vincent in the Seaway. An approximate one-square foot hole had been discovered just above the waterline on the starboard bow, suspected to have been caused while transiting a lock in the Welland Canal. The empty number one cargo hold was flooding and the vessel was down approximately nine feet at the bow when the pilot noticed it was handling poorly while approaching the St. Lawrence River.

With seas of eight to ten feet, and southwest winds at 25-plus knots, the pilot dropped anchor. U.S. Coast Guard investigators and Seaway inspectors attempted to reach the vessel aboard the Seaway tug Robbie Bay, but were turned back by the weather. Interviews with the pilot indicate the condition of the vessel is stable, with no continued flooding and no other spaces affected.

The crew was expected to dewater the hold throughout the night and in conjunction with ballast transfer, hope to improve the vessel's trim enough to allow passage to a more protected environment where a temporary patch can be made.

The 605-foot vessel is registered in India and was outbound with load of soybeans. She was built in 1984 and is owned by Essar Shipping.

Reported by: Ron Walsh




Cuyahoga Grounds in Detroit River

12/21: noon update
The Cuyahoga ran aground in the Detroit River last night at about 8:30pm while trying to dock just off Sandpoint Beach to unload stone on the east side of Windsor. It was not until this morning that she was freed with the assistance the Gaelic Tugboat Company tugs Roger Stahl and Shannon.

Reported by: Ken Kilbreath




Tregurtha Grounds Again

12/21: updated 11:00am
The U.S. Coast Guard reports that the Paul R. Tregurtha was cleared to sail with no damage resulting from Monday's grounding in Duluth. As the vessel departed she grounded again in the same spot. The Canadian Enterprise lightered the vessel until it refloated and tied up in Duluth. She was expected to either be lightered to below a 25-foot draft or proceed with tug assistance.

The area where the Tregurtha grounded is approximately 100 yards southeast of the Port Authority Pier. The vessel was confirmed to be in the East Gate Basin (north) by the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Sundew, this area is known to develop shoaling.




Algonorth Refloated

12/21: updated 11:00am
The Algonorth departed Sarina early this morning. Sunday afternoon she became stuck on the bottom as she attempted to depart the grain elevator.

Reported by: Doug Schilz




Linda E Update

12/21:
The Coast Guard announced last week that they will not reopen the case of the Linda E because search teams already investigated to an appropriate extent. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel quotes as Coast Guard spokeswoman as saying "We have done the investigation to the extent that's appropriate for this agency, We are not in the salvage business."

Wisconsin Congressman Mark Green had asked the agency to reopen the investigation to provide answers for the families of the Linda E's crew. Green got the news directly from the Coast Guard commandant, Adm. James Loy, at a meeting in Washington, D.C. Although Loy ruled out the Coast Guard reopening its investigation or requesting the help of the Navy salvage unit in finding the Linda E., he did hold out the possibility of a backup role for the Coast Guard if some other agency decides to investigate.

Last week Congressman Green said he would ask that the National Transportation Safety Board conduct an investigation. He was reported to be gathering signatures from other members of the Wisconsin congressional delegation. This option was suggested last week by state Rep. Tim Hoven (R-Port Washington), and an NTSB spokeswoman said the agency probably would agree to a congressional request for an NTSB probe.

Wisconsin Govenor Tommy G. Thompson also weighed in on the Linda E. matter in a letter sent last week to U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater requesting a joint Coast Guard-NTSB investigation. The Coast Guard falls under the Department of Transportation. The NTSB at one time was attached to the department, but it has been an independent agency since 1975.

The 42-foot fishing vessel disappeared in good weather on Lake Michigan near Port Washington with its three crewmen on December 11, 1998. Crew members Leif Weborg, 61, Scott Matta, 32, and Warren G. Olson, 44, are presumed dead.
Click here to e-mail Congressman Green




Unusual Oglebay Norton vessel movements

12/21:
As the shipping season slowly winds down, the Oglebay Norton Co. has a few interesting vessel movements. The Armco will be making a trip to Cleveland to unload taconite in the next few days, most likely at the bulk terminals. The Columbia Star, which last week hauled a rare cargo from Two Harbors to Gary, was loading both coal (from Superior Midwest Energy) and taconite (from DM&IR) in the Duluth Harbor on December 20. She is expected to sail for Toledo to unload the taconite and then to Ashtabula to unload the coal.

Reported by: Andy Hering




Comeaudoc to Move

12/21:
The Comeaudoc will be moved dead ship to Elevator 4 from Section 25 in Montreal on December 22. The vessel has been in long-term lay up since December 1996. The Quebecois will tie up to the Comeaudoc for winter lay-up.

Reported by: Mark G. Morphet and Steven Sliwka




Weather Woes for USS

12/21:
Bad weather on the Great Lakes brought USS operations to a standstill on December 20th. On Lake Superior, The Speer was anchored in Whitefish Bay and the Gott was anchored off of the Keweenaw Peninsula, Both were headed for Two Harbors.

On Lake Erie, The Presque Isle sought shelter and is anchored somewhere in the lake, she was headed to Conneaut. The Philip R. Clarke was anchored off of Sandusky, heading to Ashtabula. In Conneaut, the George A. Sloan was waiting to depart for Wyandotte.

Vessels moving were the Blough, Anderson, Callaway and Munson, although arrivals for the three steamers was at the mercy of the weather.

On a related note, The Taylor and Calcite II arrived for lay-up at Sturgeon Bay on the 19th. No word on which boat will be arriving next.

Reported by: David French




Muskegon Update

12/21:
The Saginaw departed Muskegon Monday morning after unloading slag at the Stoneco Dock. This was the Saginaw's first trip into Muskegon. She arrived at the dock a 1:00am and departed at 11:00am.

The Fred R. White Jr. docked at the Sappi Paper Mill Monday morning around 9:00am to unload coal. The White finished unloading around 3:00pm but as of 8:30pm she was anchored in Muskegon Lake awaiting weather.

Reported by: Scott Golin




Challenger Delayed by Weather

12/21:
The Southdown Challenger was anchored in Suttons Bay on Lake Michigan Monday morning. Heavy weather with winds from the southwest at 25 miles per hour and snow squalls kept the vessel in the safety of the bay.

Reported by: Tom Kelly




Water Levels Fall

12/21:
Low water on the St. Clair and Detroit River has again slowed shipping in the area. At 10:00pm the water gauge at Fort Gratiot in lower Lake Huron was reading -8 inches, the gauge in the lower Detroit River was reading -9 inches. The downbound Canadian Transfer was running at a reduced speed across Lake St. Clair, her deep draft of 25-feet left very little room between the vessel's hull and the river bottom. She was expected to enter the Ojibway Anchorage in the Detroit River and wait for levels to rise.

Gale warnings were in effect for all of the lakes with the forecast calling for diminishing winds dropping to just below gale force during the day Tuesday. Temperatures were also expected to drop in the region with freezing spray warnings in effect for many of the lakes.




Rail Merger Planned

12/21:
The Burlington Northern Sante Fe railroad announced Monday a merger that will occur in mid 2001. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. and Canadian National Railway Co. will merge to become a $19-billion business that will create the largest railroad in North America. Up until the time that the merger is finished, the Union Pacific Railroad will have that honor. Canadian National's CEO Paul Tellier will replace BNSF's CEO Richard Krebs.

Midwest Energy Terminal in Superior, WI is expected to receive its last trainload of coal this season. There is a large stockpile of it there and shipping by water should continue as usual.

Reported by: Colt Edin




Today in Great Lakes History - December 21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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




Up And Running

12/20:
Updates to the Oakland University portion of the web site were delayed over the weekend by a server outage.

In the future, notices of outage can be found on www.boatnerd.com




Tregurtha Grounds

12/20:
Paul R. Tregurtha grounded in Duluth harbor Dec. 20 as it prepared to turn up St. Louis Bay to the Midwest Energy Terminal dock. The vessel did not take on water, but once freed it tied up at the Duluth port terminal for Coast Guard inspection.

The Tregurtha was entering the turning basin near the port terminal at the mouth of St. Louis Bay about 7:30 a.m. It reported itself aground about 8 a.m. The vessel reportedly had water under the bow and stern but was grounded amidships. In a radio conversation with the Columbia Star, the Tregurtha's master reported that water all around the vessel was 28 to 29 feet deep but he had encountered one spot that was 25 feet 9 inches.

Columbia Star was fueling at the Murphy Oil dock not far from the Tregurtha. The Star, also bound for Midwest Energy Terminal, apparently was delayed for about an hour.

By 11 a.m., the Tregurtha was free and tied up at the port terminal just a few yards from where it grounded. By 11:30 a.m. the Columbia Star was at the coal dock. Coast Guard Cutter Sundew was in the area, apparently to check for this unmarked shoal.

Paul R. Tregurtha got under way from the port terminal about 4 p.m. and was proceeding to the coal dock. According to a Duluth TV station, Paul R. Tregurtha was loaded with coal and trying to leave port when it grounded twice on a shoal near the Duluth port terminal. The vessel appeared to be free and under way as of 4:30 p.m. The TV station said the boat might try to unload several thousand tons of coal to compensate for low water levels.

Soft shoals occasionally form in the harbor when sediments are piled up by currents and by the propellers and bow thrusters of passing vessels. The area where the Tregurtha grounded is frequently used by 1,000-footers to turn so they can back up St. Louis Bay to the Midwest Energy Terminal.

Reported by: Al Miller




Algonorth Grounds in Sarnia

12/20:
The Algonorth arrived in Sarnia Saturday to load grain for Sorel, Quebec. The vessel finished loading on Sunday afternoon and became stuck on the bottom as she departed the dock. No known damage had occurred and the Algonorth planned to shift ballast to try and free herself. This attempt was unsuccessful and the vessel called for tug assistance.

The McKeil tug Alice A. with a barge was at Sun Oil south of the Algonorth's position, the tug proceed upbound after midnight to help free the vessel but was unsuccessful. At 10:30am this morning the vessel was still stuck and crews were off loading some of her cargo back into the elevator in an attempt to refloat the Algonorth. At 6:00 pm the vessel was still in the same spot with no tugs or other activity noted.

With the low water levels it is not uncommon for vessels to touch the bottom when unloading at a river side dock. However, the grain elevator is located in a small harbor off the St. Clair River and a vessel would not expect to touch bottom at a loading dock.

Reported by: Jamie Kerwin, Andy Torrence and Doug Schilz




Algoeast Enters Dry Dock

12/20:
The tanker Algoeast is now in Port Weller Dry Docks for the conversion from a single-hulled tanker to double-hulled construction. The $5.5 million (Can) project will be completed in the spring of 2000 to coincide with the beginning of the shipping season. Along with the double-hull, new cargo pumping, heating and piping systems will be installed.

This will be the first conversion of this type ever done at a Canadian shipyard, and will create work for 100 shipbuilders at Port Weller Dry Docks through the winter.

It is reported that each piece of the new hull will be moved under the vessel on railroad tracks laid on the bottom of the dock.

The 432-foot Algoeast has a cargo tank capacity of 77,999 barrels. The vessel was constructed in Japan in the 1970s, and traded most recently under the name Imperial St. Lawrence. To reduce the risk of environmental pollution, federal legislation requires that all petroleum product tankers must be double-hulled by 2008.

Reported by: Roger Tottman




Oglebay Norton to Acquire Michigan Limestone Operations

12/20:
Oglebay Norton announced today that it has reached an agreement to acquire Michigan Limestone Operations (MLO). The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals and due diligence, is expected to close in April 2000. Terms were not disclosed.

MLO operates two quarry operations, one in Rogers City, Michigan and the other in Cedarville, Michigan. These operations supply high calcium and dolomitic limestone to a wide variety of users including the construction, energy and steel industries.

Oglebay Norton Company, owns nine limestone operations in six states through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Global Stone Corporation, including one limestone operation, Global Stone Port Inland, Inc., which is located on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

John N. Lauer, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Oglebay commented: "Michigan Limestone Operations fits well with our Port Inland and Marine Services operations. As we close a strong fourth quarter and 1999, MLO adds yet another platform from which we can grow our earnings per share in 2000."

He continued: "After closing, we expect business as usual for our employees and customers. Our plan is to have Michael Lundin, the current MLO president, join Oglebay Norton Company as president, Michigan Limestone, reporting to me."

Michael Lundin noted: "We are looking forward to combining resources with Oglebay Norton. We very much respect their management team and know that the synergies created from this transaction will improve our delivery of product to customers and strengthen our operations."

He added: "Oglebay Norton has an excellent reputation for investing capital in its operations, making them highly competitive and ensuring the long-term potential of their businesses."

Wall Street reacted to the move as Oglebay Norton stock was up one point to 22 1/2 at 10:00am. At the close of the trading day the stock gained +1/2 to close at 22.

Click here to visit Oglebay Norton's web site




Last Salty In Duluth

12/20:
Lady Hamilton, the Twin Ports' last saltie of the season, departed Duluth's AGP grain elevator early Monday morning. The vessel was laden with 25,000 metric tons of spring wheat bound for Europe.

This is the second-latest departure by a saltwater ship since the Seaway opened. The latest was the Federal Calumet on Dec. 22, 1984. The Port's last oceangoing vessel departure for the 1998 season was the Cyprus-flag United on December 17.

Reported by: Al Miller, Kenneth Newhams and the Duluth Seaway Port Authority




Independent Enters Lay-up

12/20:
The Kinsman Independent returned to Buffalo Sunday night with a cargo of grain for the General Mills Frontier Elevator and lay-up. Her cargo will be a storage cargo and will probably be unloaded some time in January.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewsk




USS Lay-ups

12/20:
Myron C. Taylor arrived Sturgeon Bay on Dec. 19. The Calcite II was scheduled to arrive at 8 p.m. the same day.

Reported by: Al Miller and David French




Joyce L. in Canal

12/20:
The tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort was locking through Lock 3 of the Welland Canal Saturday afternoon about 4:00pm. The tug is expecting to reach their destination in Mississippi a day or two after Christmas. At this time the crew will be flown home and another crew will bring the tug and barge combo up through the Seaway in the New Year.

The tug is reported to have a crew of six on this trip.

Reported by: Bill Bird




Cutter Launched in Marinette

12/20:
Saturday Marinette Marine launched another of its keeper class cutters. The Cutter George Cobb was launched at 11:00am Saturday morning into the Menominee River. The Tug Erica Kobasic assisted.

Reported by: Scott Best




Shipyard Sold

12/20:
Kvaerner, the Anglo-Norwegian engineering and construction group, completed the sale of its Govan (England) Shipyard to BAE Systems (A spin-off of British Aerospace and Marconi Instruments). Kvaerner also sold its Glasgow (Scotland) diesel engine components manufacturer. Kvaerner still retains it Helsinki (Finland ) shipyard, which typically builds passenger ferries. Kvaerner is doing this to concentrate on its engineering, pulp & paper, and energy businesses. The firm will reportedly show a loss on these transactions.

Reported by: Ken Boerman




More Christmas Lights

12/20:
The Kaye E. Barker entered the Milwaukee harbor Saturday night around 6 PM with their Christmas lights blazing. To insure the Engineers have a merry Christmas, some of the decorations from last year were left off. No Santa and reindeer this year on the boom means less chance of a blown circuit breaker in the engine room.

Also on Saturday night the Algorail arrived at the Grand Haven Piers just as it was getting dark. The vessel was decked out with Christmas lights from the Pilot House to the Stern. The crew did a very good job preparing the ship for the Christmas season.

Reported by: Andy Laborde and Don Geske




New Livecam

12/20:
The City of Algonac Michigan has started a truly live cam of the St. Clair River. It looks as though they created the camera with boat watchers in mind, be sure to send them an e-mail and let them know you enjoy the view.
click here to visit

Reported by: Mark Hansen




Season's Greeting


I did not send out a real Holiday greeting card so I have created an electronic one.
Happy Holidays to all, the web site has seen a phenomenal year of growth and I thank everyone for their hard work in contributing to the site and thank the regular viewers for their continued support.

Click here to view





Ice Forecast

12/20:
Ice Hazard Bulletin Issued by Environment Canada At 1700 Utc Monday.
No ice warning in effect for the next 36 hours.
Lake Ontario...ice free.

Lake Erie...ice free.

Lake Huron and Georgian Bay...ice free except open water with a few isolated strips of new lake ice in the North Channel and in Saginaw Bay.

Lake Superior...ice free except for open water with isolated strips of new lake ice in the Duluth area. open water in Thunder Bay except for a few strips along the shore. In Black Bay 8 to 9+ tenths new and thin lake ice except for open water in the entrance. open water in the eastern section of Nipigon Bay with 4 to 6 tenths new lake ice in the western section. some strips of new lake ice along the shores of Whitefish Bay and in the southwestern end of the lake.

Lake Michigan...ice free.

Note: this report is offered for entertainment and should not be relied on for navigation. Please consult Canadian Ice Service for current conditions (subscription necessary)

Area coverage is expressed in tenths
1-3/10's---very open drift ice
4-6/10's---open drift ice
7-8/10's---close pack ice
9-9+/10's--very close pack
10/10's---compact
10/10's---frozen together - consolidated

When ice reaches 6/10's or greater, ships can no longer traverse between floes.

Fast ice--ice fastened to the shore (frozen all the way across)

New Lake Ice----recently formed less than 5 centimeters thick.
Thin Lake Ice---5 - 15 centimeters thick.
Medium Lake Ice-15 - 30 centimeters thick.
Thick Lake Ice--30-70 centimeters thick.
Very Thick Ice--greater than 70 centimeters thick.





Today in Great Lakes History - December 20

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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




Linda E

12/19:
Wisconsin State lawmakers are hoping to get some help finding the fishing vessel Linda E that has been missing on Lake Michigan between Milwaukee and Port Washington for over a year now. Last week a group of 14 state senators asked the Coast Guard's commanding officer to order the use of deep-sea sonar equipment to try and find the Linda E.

The 42-foot vessel disappeared in good weather on Lake Michigan near Port Washington with its three crewmen on December 11, 1998.




Kinsman Independent Arrives in Toledo

12/19:
The Kinsman Independent was upbound with the tug Louisiana on the Maumee River at the Craig Bridge at 0745 Saturday morning. She was headed for Andersons "K" elevator to load and was expected to depart sometime late that evening. It is believed that this is the first visit to Toledo by a U.S. straight decker since the Kinsman Enterprise was in port in 1989. She is expected to return to Buffalo late tonight for the General Mills Frontier Elevator and lay-up. Her cargo will be a storage cargo and will probably be unloaded some time in January.

The saltie Mariupol was also in port at Andersons "E" Elevator.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman and Jim Byrne




Now Who Will be Last?

12/19:
Salt water vessels continue to head north as the race to load a last cargo before the closing of the Seaway. The Millenium Majestic passed Detroit on Friday heading upbound for Thunder Bay. In Thunder Bay on Saturday the Millenium Raptor departed after loading at the Thunder Bay Terminals-Valley Camp.

The Cyprus flagged Scarab was expected to be the last upbound salty for the season. She was due to pass Detroit sometime this morning. The vessel is heading to Goderich.

As of mid night December 16 there were 25 salt water vessels above Port Weller, compared to 23 at the same time last year. The number above St. Lambert was 34, compared to 31 last year.




Twin Ports Report

12/19:
Presque Isle departed Duluth sometime overnight on Dec. 17. It's due in Conneaut on Dec. 20

Calcite II's last trip to Calcite was cancelled. It's due to arrive Sturgeon Bay for winter lay-up at 2000 hours Dec. 19. Myron C. Taylor is due at Sturgeon Bay at 0700 Dec. 19 for lay-up.

Reported by: Al Miller




Low Water at the Soo

12/19:
The steamer Reserve was at anchor in the St Marys River on the morning of December 17 due to low water levels. She was carrying a cargo of taconite from Silver Bay to Toledo.

Reported by: Andy Hering




Surprises for Cleveland Boatwatchers

12/19:
Cleveland welcomed a number of rare visitors Saturday. The Joseph H. Frantz was unloading stone on the old river and departed at 9:30am with the assistance of the tug Delaware. This is the first visit by the Frantz to Cleveland in three years.

The Algoway was unloading coke products near the Eagle Avenue bridge. Its unloading required the bridge to remain open for an extended period as the stern of the ship was under the bridge.

The cement boat Stephen B. Roman arrived in Cleveland about 8:30 that morning through the East entrance. This is the second time she has taken this route recently, the only other ship to enter in this manner is the Richard Reiss.

Also in Cleveland Saturday was an American Steamship Company boat believed to be the Buffalo and a St. Marys cement barge.

Reported by: Rex Cassidy




Bayship Update

12/19:
On Saturday the Alpena was out of the graving dock after her five-year inspection and was tied up at an outer dock, apparently underway any time to make another late season run.

The Army Corp of Engineers tug Kenosha was lifted from the water and placed along the graving dock for her five-year inspection, including a hull repaint.

The Myron C. Taylor was due for winter lay-up, she will begin a procession of anywhere from 14-17 vessel arriving for the winter. No listing of expected vessels had been released as of this date.

With three days of nighttime temperatures at ten degrees above zero, the first ice should be appearing anytime. As the water becomes frozen vessel will require ice breaking assistance by the U.S. Coast Guard Mobile Bay and Selvick tugs to reach their dock.

Reported by: Paul Graf




Low Water Closes Welland

12/19:
Last Tuesday the water level at Port Colborne, the Lake Erie entrance to the Welland Canal dropped below the level of the Long Level between locks 8 and 7. All traffic was stopped until the Lake Erie level increased. This drop in water level was caused by a strong South East wind.

The Welland Canal is scheduled to close on December 24 with the last vessel being accepted at 0800 hours on December 24. Delays caused by low water in the St. Mary's river may keep the canal open a few extra days.

Reported by: John Stark




Today in Great Lakes History - December 19

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

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

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

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

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


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




Hoyt Taking on Water

12/18:
Friday evening the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office Sault Ste. Marie received a report from the Elton Hoyt 2nd that there was a closed 12-inch fracture in the number five starboard ballast tank in the bottom shell plate of the hull. The vessel reported that approximately one inch of water per hour was entering through the fracture.

The Hoyt was detained in Sault Ste Marie while a marine safety office inspector supervised temporary repairs.

The vessel then departed heading for Rouge Steel in Detroit with a load of taconite. Permanent repairs will be proposed once the vessel arrives at Rouge Steel. The Coast Guard continues the investigation into the cause of the fracture.




Joyce L. Departs Lakes

12/18:
The tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort was downbound entering the St. Clair River Friday morning heading for the Seaway and her final destination of Mississippi. The vessel was on the drydock at Bayship in Sturgeon Bay for special hull paint that will allow the vessel to sail in salt water. The trip south is expected to take about three weeks.

The Van Enkevort is sailing to pick up the new barge Great Lakes Trader that is under construction in Pearlington, Mississippi, at last report completion was due in late February or early March. She will await the completion of the new 740' barge and return to the lakes some time in the spring.

The return trip should be interesting to say the least. The barge will have to lock through the Seaway without the tug in the notch due to the overall length of the tug/barge. An escort tug will lock through first, the Joyce will push the barge in the lock and then back out. The second tug will pull the barge out of the lock after its raised and wait for the Joyce to then lock through. This will be repeated in all 7 locks of the Seaway and 8 locks of the Welland Canal.




MacArthur Closed for Season

12/18:
The MacArthur Lock closed for the season at 24:00 on 16 December 1999. This leaves only the Poe Lock open for the remained of the season, a season that is scheduled to end at 2400 hours January 15, 2000.

Reported by: Dave Wobster




Ice Boom Operations in Buffalo

12/18:
The New York State Power Authority tug Breaker began taking work barges and log chains to the Niagara River Ice Boom installation area on the 11th. The work will probably take more than a week to complete.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewsk




Saginaw Visits Nanticoke

12/18:
Lower Lakes Towing's Saginaw departed Nanticoke shortly after 10:00am Friday morning bound for Muskegon Michigan with a load of slag aggregate.

The vessel was loaded at the west dock of Ontario Power Corporation's Nanticoke Plant. This was the Saginaw's first visit to her homeport.

Reported by: Dave Otterman




Twin Ports Report

12/18:
Although originally slated to depart the Twin Ports early on Dec. 17, Presque Isle remained tied up at the Duluth port terminal throughout the day for repairs.

Lady Hamilton is scheduled to arrive in the Twin Ports on the morning of Dec. 19. It apparently will be the last saltie of the season for the ports.

BNSF ore dock is expected to be busy handling all its usual callers this weekend. Stewart J. Cort was expected to depart on the morning of Dec. 17. George A. Stinson was due during the evening of the 17th, followed by Burns Harbor on the morning of the 18th. American Mariner, scheduled to make an unusual call at the dock, apparently was diverted and did not appear.

St. Clair is scheduled to make an unusual call at Silver Bay on Dec. 19.

The Duluth Seaway Port Authority reported Thursday that cargo is up over a year ago by a little more than one-percent, and about three-percent over the five-year average. The port's main cargoes continue to be iron ore, coal and grain. Most of it bound to and from the U.S. and Canada. Overseas shipments were down slightly from last year.

Reported by: Al Miller




Toledo Update

12/18:
On Friday night the Norfolk Southern rail Bridge North was experiencing electrical problems, this is the second railroad bridge as you enter the river. As of 11:10pm the Kinsman Independent has not arrived In Port. She may be going to anchor to wait until the bridge is repaired.

The Middletown was at the Torco Dock unloading ore and the Calcite II was unloading salt at the T.W.I. Dock. Two salties were in port, the saltie Mariupol was headed for Anderson's "E" Elevator (former Cargill Elevator) and an unknown saltie was at the T.W.I. Dock.

The CSX Coal Docks are now closed for the season with the Kaye E. Barker being the last coal boat.

The Joseph H. Frantz is expected to arrive late next week for winter lay-up, she will likely be the first vessel of the season to lay up in Toledo.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Saturns Last Trip?

12/18:
Cleveland Tanker's Saturn was at anchor on Lake Ontario waiting for the winds to abate on Thursday, December 16th. She is headed for Detroit and Toledo to load asphalt for Hamilton. The delay could cause her to lay up in the U.S. instead if she can't complete her last scheduled trip before the Welland Canal is closed for the season.




Ice Boom Operations in Buffalo

12/18:
The New York State Power Authority tug Breaker began taking work barges and log chains to the Niagara River Ice Boom installation area on the 11th. The work will probably take more than a week to complete.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewsk




Today in Great Lakes History - December 18

The NANTICOKE was launched December 18, 1979.

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

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

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

The ALABAMA was launched in 1909.

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

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


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




Last Saltie?

12/17:
The Lady Hamilton, former Saskatchewan Pioneer, arrived at Detroit Marine Terminal on Saturday, December 11th with a full load of steel products. The vessel's unloading was delayed due to rain and did not finish until Thursday afternoon. The Lady Hamilton departed just after 2:30pm heading north to load grain at Duluth. She will most likely be the final saltie to sail out of the lakes.

As of mid night December 15 there were 28 salt water vessels above Port Weller, compared to 27 at the same time last year. The number above St. Lambert was 36, compared to 37 last year.




Twin Ports Report

12/16:
Federal Fraser will be the Twin Ports' second to last saltie of the season when it departs Dec. 17 from AGP grain elevator in Duluth. Some domestic grain trade continues, with barge Sarah Spencer discharging grain Dec. 16 at the General Mills elevator in Duluth.

An overnight temperature near zero has sped the formation of ice in the harbor. At this point, however, vessel traffic is scheduled to continue at least until Christmas. DMIR in Duluth is expecting Courtney Burton on Dec. 23 and Frontenac on Dec. 25. Midwest Energy Terminal is scheduled to handle Columbia Star on the 24th. The American Mariner is scheduled to make an unusual call Dec. 17 to the BNSF ore dock in Superior.

Reported by: Al Miller




USS Update

12/17:
The Presque Isle was scheduled to depart loaded from the Port Terminal sometime in the early morning hours of December 17th. It appears she was damaged either during loading or early in her downbound voyage. At 7:30am she was still at the dock.

The Edwin H. Gott was forced to drop anchor in Lake Erie due to the weather Thursday, once underway she will be heading to Nanticoke. The George A. Sloan was also anchored in the lake due to weather, she was heading to Alabaster.

Myron C. Taylor will be the first vessel in USS Great Lakes Fleet to lay up for the winter. The boat is being diverted to Port Inland on Dec. 16 to load for Green Bay on the 17th. After unloading there it will proceed to Sturgeon Bay for lay-up.

John G. Munson is due to make an unusual trip to Silver Bay on Dec. 18 to load for Conneaut.

Reported by: David French and Al Miller




Thunder Bay Report

12/17:
The Algoisle entered winter lay-up yesterday at the Ocean Shed at Keefer Terminals. She is tied up next to the Algontario with her starboard anchor down and windows covered. The vessel had entered the dry dock at Pascol Engineering Wednesday morning.

She suffered damage last month in a grounding in the St. Lawrence River near Alexandria Bay, New York. The vessel was reported to have touched bottom near channel marker 192 and at the time reported taking on water from her starboard side. Reports are that her repairs will take place once the dock is vacated in 2000.

Cold temperatures and high winds also batter Thunder Bay on Thursday. The inner harbor of remains ice-free but all of the slow moving rivers are now frozen over.

One more salt water vessel is expected for the season, the Millenium Majestic is due to arrive sometime Saturday. Other salty traffic in port was the 478-foot Norwegian flagged Brunto who was still in port loading yesterday, the United who arrived on Wednesday and the Ikan Sepat who departed Wednesday.

Reported by: Ron Konkol




Crew Member Evacuated From Philip R. Clarke

12/17:
A 35-year old crewman was evacuated from the 767 foot Philip R. Clark early Thursday morning as he was suffering from abdominal pains and high fever. The man was taken from the vessel by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter from Air Station Traverse City just northeast of Beaver Island in Northern Lake Michigan. The weather was reported as snowing with rough seas. Once ashore the crewman was transported by ambulance to a hospital in Petosky. He was in stable condition at the time of the transfer.

Reported by: Scott Best and Sam Buchanan




Water Levels Delay Shipping

12/17:
High winds and low water on Lake Erie and the Detroit River sent many vessels to anchor on Thursday. Anchorage areas on the Detroit River and Western Lake Erie were full most of the day as vessels waited for water levels to return. Southwesterly gales forced water to the east end of the lake. By 11:00pm water levels had returned to a day high of +11. Every two to three hours the water level would reach a high point and then retreat as the water sloshed from one side of the lake to the other

National Public Radio even covered the Seiche that caused water levels to drop in Buffalo and rise in Toledo Tuesday. Click here to listen to the feature.




Buffalo Report

12/17:
On Thursday the tug New Jersey was having trouble getting the J.A.W. Iglehart up the creek to the LaFarge dock due to high wind and reversing current. A few minutes later the departing Kinsman Independent reported to the tug that the current was running backwards and the wind was setting him in towards the docked Iglehart on his way down around the turn at Ohio Street.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski




Alcor Sold

12/17:
Groupe Desgagné reported Wednesday that they have purchased the Alcor for an undisclosed amount after negotiations with the vessel's owners and underwriters. The ship will be prepared by Groupe Desgagné to spend the winter in Quebec harbour once vessel's cargo is unloaded. No decision about the future of the ship will be made before next year.

The Alcor suffered extensive structural damage following the November 9th grounding in the St-Lawrence River east of Quebec City.

Reported by: Frédérick Fréchette




Lights On

12/17:
The The S.S. Milwaukee Clipper Preservation is pleased to announce that full electrical power has been connected to the ship in Muskegon and no problems were encountered. The group hopes to be able to offer tours of the vessel in the near future, and has been getting inquiries from the public about the possibility of holding wedding receptions and class reunions aboard the ship. Work on the ship will continue through the winter. As of December 15th the Milwaukee Clipper is sporting a lighted Christmas Tree and Star located just behind the pilothouse and hung from the gaff on the foremast. This will be lighted each night.

Reported by: Chuck Truscott




Free Copies of Inland Seas

12/17:
The Inland Seas Maritime Museum, 480 Main St, Vermilion, OH has been giving away old copies of "Inland Seas", the quarterly journal of the Great Lakes Historical Society. Those that are left are soon to be "recycled". Anyone who wants to pick up free copies may do so at the museum Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 20 & 21 between the hours of 10 and 5. None will be mailed; they must be picked up.

Reported by: Al Hart




Today in Great Lakes History - December 17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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




Repairs in Duluth

12/16:
USS Great Lakes Fleet's vessel hotline reported that Presque Isle would remain at the Duluth port terminal for a total of three days for repairs.

Tug/barge combo Atlantic Hickory and Sarah Spencer also tied up at the terminal overnight of December 14-15 for unspecified reasons. The barge frequently unloads at the General Mills elevator, which was occupied by a saltie.

Reported by: Al Miller and David French




Twin Ports Report

12/16:
Duluth's Aerial Lift Bridge closed as scheduled on Dec. 15 for its second major upgrade in about 15 years. Indiana Harbor departed through the Duluth entry at 6:11 a.m., making it the last commercial vessel to sail under the bridge this century. Blue Heron, a small research boat, was the last vessel to pass under the bridge when it departed at 10:10 a.m. For the remainder of the season, vessels will use the Superior Entry. The bridge is scheduled to resume operation when navigation opens in March.

Lake Superior was expected to have one of its few bouts of nasty weather this fall, with gale warnings posted for the night of Dec. 15 and diminishing on the morning of Dec. 16. Overnight, winds to 35 knots were predicted along with 8- to 12-foot seas.

The Twin Ports grain season was winding down as the last few oceangoing ships worked on completing their loads on the 15th. Federal Fraser was loading at AGP elevator in Duluth and Nand Rati was loading at General Mills A in Duluth.

Although the grain trade is fading, coal traffic will remain strong at least through the end of the week. Oglebay Norton, Walter J. McCarthy Jr. and Algobay are all due at Midwest Energy Terminal on the 17th, and Canadian Enterprise, Paul R. Tregurtha and Columbia Star are scheduled to load on the 19th.

Reported by: Al Miller




Weather and Low Water

12/16:
High south westerly winds produced by a strong lower pressure system is effecting shipping on all of the lakes. Winds to 30 knots or more are forecast on all of the Lakes, building high waves and dropping water levels.

Ship weather observations yesterday showed high winds across the region. On Lake Superior the Arthur M. Anderson, Indiana Harbor and Edgar B. Speer all reported winds topping 40 miles per hour. The Mesabi Miner reported winds at 35 miles per hour on Lake Huron and on Lake Erie the George A. Sloan reported winds at 43 miles per hour.

Lower water warnings are in effect for Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron with the water levels reported by the Coast Guard at 13 inches below low water chart datum. 1 inch below chart datum is considered the critical level. The levels are expected to reach 17 inches below by morning and then slowly rise through out the day.

The Louis R. Desmarais was unloading cement klinker at the Essroc Dock in the Saginaw River yesterday evening, the low water levels may delay her departure.

The Lake Erie forecast calls for gale warnings with winds of 35 knots gusting to 40 knots. At 1:00am the Canadian Olympic reported a west south west wind at 55 knots and seas 14 to 15-feet near Point Aux Pins (Pelee Passage area) on Lake Erie. These southwesterly winds are dropping the water level in Western Lake Erie to below critical levels. At 9:00pm last night the water was at +4 inches, which is 3 inches above the critical level. By 2:00am the water gauge was reading -11 inches below chart datum. The forecasted level this time of year calls for levels at +13 inches. The water level was expected to drop through out the night reaching a minimum of 15 inches below low water datum by daybreak. This low water was expected to last until some time Thursday afternoon.

Water levels this low will all but halt shipping in the western basin of the lake and Detroit River. The Lee A. Tregurtha was downbound for Rouge Steel in the Rouge River but was forced to tie up on Zug Island awaiting the return of the water.

This condition is known as a Seiche (pronounced saych), a combination of low pressure and high winds forcing the water in a lake to the opposite side. As water levels fall in the western end of the lake they will rise in the eastern basin. Elevation differences on Lake Erie between Toledo and Buffalo have been recorded as much as 16-feet.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has an animated map illustrating this condition, click here to view.
Click here for the latest water gauge readings




Buffalo Report

12/16:
The Kinsman Independent is expected to depart Buffalo late tonight or early Friday bound for Toledo. A combination of high winds, strange currents and vessel traffic in the Buffalo River will delay her about 12 hours before shifting back to the General Mills Elevator.

A 4-foot seiche (in the opposite direction of the one mentioned above) kept the George A. Sloan from departing until Wednesday morning. The water gauge dropped to a low that has not been seen since the 1930's.

The J.A.W. Iglehart arrived with the tug New Jersey at 8:00pm heading to the LaFarge dock.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski




Toledo Update

12/16:
On Wednesday the CSL Niagara was still docked at Anderson's "E" elevator loading grain, the loading process has been delayed because of rainy weather. The vessel expected to depart last night. No other grain boats were in port as of Wednesday afternoon.

The Kaye E. Barker was due in around 9:30pm last night to load at the coal docks. She will be the last coal boat of the season and should depart sometime this morning.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Coast Guard Honors four for rescue

12/16:
Four members of U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Detroit were honored Tuesday for the rescue of two pilots that crashed into Lake Erie on October 13. The four men, Lt. Arthur Snyder, Lt. Mike Baker, Petty Officer Clark Nygaard, Petty Officer Reese Boxwell were presented with awards by Adm. James Hull, commander of the Coast Guard 9th District.

Air Station Detroit uses three HH-65A Dolphin helicopters to maintain 24-hour Search and Rescue and Law Enforcement protection for an area extending along 1,100 miles of shoreline from Saginaw Bay Michigan to the St. Lawrence Seaway. The station conducts over 230 Search and Rescue missions annually that save an average of more than thirty lives and provide assistance to over two hundred others.

Reported by: The Detroit News




Mackinac Bridge named Michigan's top project

12/16:
The Detroit News reported yesterday that the Mackinac Bridge, was named the state's top civil engineering project of the 20th century.

Tuesday Lt. Gov. Dick Posthumus unveiled the Top Ten projects of the century as decided by 2,350 state members of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Other structures cited include:
No. 2: Soo Locks. Originally constructed in 1855 at a cost of $4 million. The Davis Lock, oldest of the existing four locks, opened in 1914. It's 1,350 feet long, 80 feet wide and 23 feet deep. With 10,000 vessels a year passing through, the locks rank among the world's busiest waterways.
-- No. 3: Detroit-Windsor Tunnel. At a cost of $23 million, the tunnel opened in 1930 as the first underwater vehicular tunnel to connect two countries. The 5,845-foot tunnel is 75 feet under the Detroit River and carries an average of 2,000 vehicles an hour.
-- No. 4: Ambassador Bridge. Completed in 1929 at a cost of $23.5 million, the 9,200-foot span at the time was the longest suspension bridge in the world. At its peak, the bridge is 152 feet above the Detroit River. More than 10 million vehicles cross the bridge annually, making it the busiest international border crossing in North America.
-- No. 5: Ford Motor Co. Rouge Complex. Originally constructed in 1917 at a cost of $12 million, it was "the birth place of the automobile industry," Lt. Gov. Posthumus said.
-- No. 6: Detroit Wastewater Treatment Plant. When it opened along the Detroit River in 1940 at a cost of $22.6 million, it was among the largest in the world. It has a treatment capacity of 1.5 billion gallons of sewage a day.
-- No. 7: Interstate highway system. Michigan, the first state with a border-to-border interstate route, now has 1,421 miles of the national system. At the peak of construction during the 1960s, a quarter-mile of interstate was being built in Michigan each day.
-- No. 8: Monroe Avenue Water Filtration Plant. Opened in Grand Rapids in 1913 at a cost of $400,000, it now has a 40-million-gallons daily capacity.
-- No. 9: Ludington Pumped Storage Facility. Completed in 1973 at a cost of $327 million, it consists of an energy production facility and a 110-feet deep reservoir on Lake Michigan that holds 27 billion gallons of water.
-- No. 10: St. Clair River Railroad Tunnel. The newest of the projects was completed in 1995 at a cost of $160 million. The world's largest underwater freight rail tunnel extends 6,130 feet between Port Huron and Sarnia, Ontario. An average 40 trains a day use the St. Clair River tunnel, avoiding what used to be a ferry trip.

Reported by: The Detroit News




New Vessel Feature in Historic Gallery

12/16:
Each day this week we feature a new picture from the Marine Historical Society of Detroit's 2000 Calendar. Today we feature the whaleback Meteor in the St. Clair River, 1969.

Click here to visit the Calendar Preview







Today in Great Lakes History - December 16

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

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

The IMPERIAL BEDFORD was launched December 16,1968.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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




New Barge Departs

12/15:
The Seneca, Mobil Oil Corporation's new double hulled barge, departed Bay Ship in Sturgeon Bay at 8:00 A.M. Tuesday morning. The Mobil Oil fleet tug Capt. Fred Bouchard arrived in Sturgeon Bay recently to take the Seneca to New York. The Selvick tug, Bonnie G., escorted the Seneca to the outer bay.

With first steel cut back in February, Bay Ship was able to complete construction in nine months, allowing the Seneca to clear the St. Lawrence Seaway before it closes for the winter.

A new tug is under construction on the west coast which eventually will be linked with the Seneca.

Reported by: Paul Graf




Presque Isle in for Repairs

12/15:
The Presque Isle was docked in the general cargo berth at Duluth's port terminal on the morning on December 14. It's apparently there for repairs. It was scheduled to load at Two Harbors with cargo for Conneaut.

Reported by: Al Miller and David French




Algoisle in Dry Dock

12/15:
On Monday the Algoisle entered the dry dock at Pascol Engineering in Thunder Bay. She arrived about 0600hrs for some type of repair or inspection. She is expected to be on the dry dock for one to two days.

Reported by: Ron Konkol




City of Milwaukee News

12/15:
The society working toward preserving the history of the S.S. City of Milwaukee car ferry is optimistic, only paperwork stands in the way of the ship finding a new home.

The courts say the ship will be evicted from the Elberta Village shore by mid February. The Society for the Preservation of the S.S. City of Milwaukee has a plan. The Society wants to build a permanent docking facility across the bay in the City of Frankfort. In the meantime it would be moored out in the bay closer to the city.

Before moving the City of Frankfort is asking that the Society complete all necessary paperwork. Society president Daisy Butler reports that the group was working on the documentation and they would be ready by the December 13th deadline while maintaining the car ferry.

Fund raising efforts are ongoing as the move of the car ferry as well as the planning of and the building of a permanent docking facility will require additional funding.

Society board member Tom Stoltmann reports that the group is heading full steam ahead to apply for grants and sending out fund raising letters. The dredging of a new docking area and parking for visitors is among some of the many expenses the society faces.

In November Frankfort residents, by a wide majority, voted to allow the City of Milwaukee to make their city her home port. Since it was an advisory vote it still requires city council approval.

Click here to visit the Society's web site


Reported by: Michael Dell




Interlake Calendar Contest

12/15:
The winning photographs selected for the Year 2000 Annual Interlake Calendar are listed below:
James R. Hoffman, Toledo, OH
Robert J. Cioletti, Troy, MI
Wade Streeter, Detroit, MI
Gary R. Clark, Griffith, IN
Neil C. Schultheiss, Troy, MI
Rod Burdick, Kingsford, MI
Marc Dease, Point Edward, ONT
Steve Elve, Lowell, MI
Gary Skory, MI

Interlake reports receiving many high quality photographs and not all could be used at this time. Thank you for sending them in.

Reported by: Interlake Steamship Company




Today in Great Lakes History - December 15

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

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

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

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

JOE S. MORROW was launched December 15, 1906.

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

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

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

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

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


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




Coast Guard Closes Investigation on Linda E

12/14:
On Friday the U.S. Coast Guard said they would close the investigation into the cause of the disappearance of the fishing boat Linda E. The 42-foot vessel disappeared in good weather on Lake Michigan near Port Washington with its three crewmen on December 11, 1998.

The Coast Guard interviewed the first mate on the tug/barge Michigan-Great Lakes, through out the investigation there was speculation about the possiblity of the barge running down the Linda E. The barge was found to have white and black markings on its bow at about the same level as where the fishing boat would have extended above the water but testing could not confirm the marks were from the Linda E.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported last week that the first mate of the tug wasn't interviewed until May 10, almost five months after the loss of the Linda E. The mate was the only crew member in the pilot house of the Great Lakes-Michigan during the time it could have collided with the Linda E. according to Coast Guard investigator Jon P. Burk.

In a phone interview last week with the Journal Sentinel , the mate said he did not see anything or notice what could have been a collision.

In the Coast Guard's official report they list a barge collision as one of four possible causes of the Linda E.'s disappearance. The boat also could have hit some object, had some sort of structural failure or problem related to maintenance of the boat.

In addition, the Journal Sentinel reported that the Coast Guard does not plan to ask the U.S. Navy to perform a more intensive search using the best technology sighting the Coast Guard's thorough search along with five private salvage operations.

Craig Svoboda, the stepson of the Linda E. captain, said the Coast Guard's refusal to ask for additional help was disappointing. He said the Navy salvage team could provide a more intensive search than the Coast Guard.

Several members of Wisconsin's congressional delegation are scheduled to meet Thursday with the Coast Guard to press for a reopening of the Linda E. search using a Navy salvage unit.

Click here for the official U. S. Coast Guard report.


Reported by: Andy Laborde, Scott Best and Dick Lund




First Meeting of Cuyahoga and Saginaw

12/14:
Lower Lakes Towing's steamer Cuyahoga met her new fleetmate Saginaw on December 8, for the first time since the Saginaw entered service for Lower Lakes Towing.

The two met as the Saginaw was loading stone at Meldrum Bay and the Cuyahoga arrived to load around 6:00am, going to anchor to await the Saginaw's departure at 7:00am.

The first daylight meeting of the two ships occurred two days later, on the afternoon of the 10th, again at Meldrum Bay. This time it was the Saginaw's turn to wait while Cuyahoga finished loading.

Incidentally, the Cuyahoga's load on the 8th was bound for Saginaw, Michigan, while Saginaw's load on the 10th was bound for the Cuyahoga River.

Reported by: Richard Jenkins




Rare Trip for Columbia Star

12/14:
The 1000-foot Columbia Star was due into Two Harbors during the afternoon of December 13 to load taconite for Gary, IN. This is a very unusual trip for the Star, as she normally hauls coal out of Superior, along with occasional trips to Taconite Harbor.

Although the trip is rare, unusual vessel movements often occur in December, as companies are finishing their tonnage requirements for the season.

Reported by: Andy Hering




Twin Ports Report

12/14:
The number of salties in the Twin Ports has dropped sharply as the end of the Seaway season looms. On December 13, Caliroe Patrinicola was loading at B1, Commander was in port to load and NST Challenge was at AGP in Duluth. The United is due in Dec. 14.

Here are two more unusual end of the season trips: Myron C. Taylor loaded at Port Colborne with cargo due in Cleveland on the 13th and the Charles M. Beeghly is making another run to BNSF ore dock in Superior on the 14th.

Midwest Energy Terminal has vessels scheduled through December 19. They include: Paul R. Tregurtha and Algolake, December 13; Oglebay Norton, December 16; Algobay, Walter J. McCarthy Jr. and Canadian Enterprise, December 17; Paul R. Tregurtha and Columbia Star, December 19.

Reported by: Al Miller




Toledo Update

12/14:
Monday was a busy day in Toledo, the Buckeye arrived early morning and was unloading ore at the Torco Dock. The Charles E. Wilson was due in at the Coal Dock around 7pm.

At the T.W.I. Dock the salties Ocean Priti, Scarab, and United were loading/unloading various types of cargo. The Agawa Canyon was also at T.W.I. Dock, when she finished unloading and departed the dock the Amelia Desgagnes and the saltie Clipper Mandarin took her place. The CSL Niagara was again in port arriving at the Anderson's "E" Elevator to load grain.

It appears that a last minute grain rush is developing at Toledo with the Manitoulin and Kinsman Independent due in later this week to load.

The Kaye E. Barker may be the last coal boat for the season as she is due in some time Wednesday or Thursday. The Torco Dock may remain open through early January 2000.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Busy Weekend in Marquette

12/14:
The final rush of the season is on in Marquette with both harbors seeing a busy weekend. The H. Lee White pulled into the lower harbor on Friday to unload stone before moving to the upper harbor. The Canadian Transfer made a visit followed by the Paul R. Tregurtha. The Elton Hoyt 2nd arrived on Saturday. On Sunday the Canadian Transfer return for yet another visit and the Lee A. Tregurtha was scheduled for later in the day. Early Monday morning saw two unidentified vessels inbound to the upper harbor.

Reported by: Art Pickering




New Terminals For Toledo

12/14:
In late November the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority approved a plan that would open the port to a new asphalt and stone terminal. The publicly owned land is currently leased by CSX Transportation Corp. and involves subleasing 14 vacant acres at the former site of a coal loading tower that was demolished years ago.

There is some concern by Toledo World Industries, operators of an existing stone and asphalt terminal, that volumes of these cargoes in Toledo are not high enough to sustain the multiple facilities.

The purposed terminal's operators, conceded that they would take stone business away from Toledo World Industries but they expected 75,000 tons of liquid asphalt that would be new business.

The Toledo Blade reported that CSX has received ballast stone by boat in Toledo from Ontario Trap Rock, a Canadian quarry firm since 1997. Shipments have increased from 40,000 tons the first year to an expected 185,000 tons this year. This ballast stone is used in track maintenance and construction.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Algonova Underway With Temporary Repairs

12/14:
The U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office in Detroit was notified on December 10th that the Algonova was operating with temporary bottom shell repairs in the way of at least two different cargo holds. Marine Safety Office Detroit issued a Captain of the Port order allowing a one time transit of the tanker from Sarnia to Nanticoke, Ontario to offload her cargo and then return to Sarnia for permanent repairs. It is unknown how the vessel damaged her hull.




Crewman Removed From Paul R. Tregurtha

12/14:
Over the weekend the U.S. Coast Guard received a call from the 1,013-foot self-unloader Paul R. Tregurtha requesting a medevac of a 58-year-old male crewmember who was displaying heart attack symptoms. The Coast Guard Flight Surgeon was briefed and approved the Medevac.

Station Marquette responded in their 21-footer and transported the crewmember to EMS on shore for transport to a local hospital. No update on the crewman's condition was available.




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.

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

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


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




Seaway Update

12/13:
Seaway transits
Downbound with grain in the St. Lawrence Seaway between St.Lambert and Iroquois Locks on December 9 were the following ships. The laker MONTREALAIS with wheat loaded at Thunder Bay for delivery at Trois-Rivières and the salties LAKE CHAMPLAIN, LAKE MICHIGAN and MILLENIUM OSPREY with flaxseed loaded at Thunder Bay. The three vessels were on their way to Sorel to top off. Also noted were the HEA, IRA and LUNA VERDE with wheat loaded at Duluth

Casualties
Under repairs in Montreal at dockside by Mount Royal/Walsh Inc. since Sunday morning is FEDERAL OSHIMA which is loaded with grain from Thunder Bay. It will be recall this vessel which was on her maiden trip last month on the St. Lawrence River bound for Sorel collided with a dock at that port on November 22. She was then temporary repaired by Mount Royal/Walsh before sailing for Windsor to deliver her cargo of steel.

In the St. Lawrence Seaway on December 11 was the Liberian flag ELLIE which was anchored at Pointe Fortier on Lake St. Louis and windbound. The bulker was in ballast after delivering a cargo of sugar at Hamilton, her next destination being Bécancour, QC. High winds caused her to drift over a sandbar. Two tugs summoned from Montreal, SALVAGE MONARCH and OCEAN INTREPIDE tried to dislodge her without success. A third tug, the OCEAN JUPITER was to arrive at the scene the following day.

The November edition of "Shipping-Today & Yesterday" reported the sinking of the tug GULF MAJESTY. This tug made a few trips in the Seaway/Great Lakes in the early eighties. On September 15, the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy rescued eight crew members of the tug GULF MAJESTY, 181 gr.t., owned by Tidewater Marine, which was towing a 699 ft. long container barge. She foundered during Hurricane Floyd.

Reported by: René Beauchamp.




Lake Runner Update

12/13:
On Sunday afternoon the Lake Runner was docked at the Crawford Wharf in Kingston. She had her radar running and looked like she would be departing soon. The vessel arrived early that morning.

The passenger ferry was sold for service out of Vancouver and is sailing for the coast, via the Panama Canal, and is expected to arrive in January.

The previous owner, Shaker Cruise Lines, went bankrupt in January. The new owner Sunset Bay Charters Ltd., eventually plan to take out the 200 seats and install l5 cabins for week-long cruises.

Reported by: Ron Walsh




Beginning to look A lot Like Christmas

12/13:
On Saturday the Mesabi Miner and the Cuyahoga were sporting Christmas decor as they transited the St. Clair River. The Miner had a Christmas tree mounted atop her unloading boom, and the Cuyahoga had hers just in front of the smoke stack, as well as a big plastic Santa Claus standing next to it.

Reported by: John A. Harris




Minnesota Taconite Ending its Best Decade; Producers Hopeful For 2000 Shipments

12/13:
Minnesota's taconite plants will produce an estimated 43 million tons of pellets this year, and producers expect next year to be just as productive, according to an article in the Dec. 12 Duluth News-Tribune.

With more than 420 million tons produced since 1990, the state's taconite industry is concluding its most productive decade in history. The Minnesota plants have produced more than 40 million tons of pellets in seven of the past 10 years. In contrast, the plants produced 345 million tons during the economically troubled 1980s.

Despite low steel prices and high imports, taconite producers expect a good year in 2000 because steel mills have reduced their pellet inventories in 1999. Some Iron Range plants expect to produce more in 2000 than they did this year.

U.S. Steel's Minntac plant -- the largest in Minnesota -- plans to raise production by 1.6 million tons to 14.6 million tons. National Steel Pellet Co. and Ispat Inland Mining Co. both plan small increases in production. EVTAC is expecting a reduction in tonnage; other companies have not released production forecasts.

In the past six years, Minnesota taconite producers have spent $768 million on improving their mines and processing plants. At current production levels, enough magnetic taconite remains for mining to continue for 200 years.

Reported by: Al Miller




Today in Great Lakes History - December 13

The CANADIAN ENTERPRISE entered service on December 13, 1979.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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




Saginaw Heading for Cuyahoga

12/12:
The Saginaw is due to arrive off Cleveland at noon today heading upbound for the Ontario Stone dock at River Road. This is her first trip up the Cuyahoga River as the Saginaw.

The vessel is expected to spend an hour and a half unloading part of her cargo at the Ontario 1 dock and then shift to the stone dock at the 3rd Street bridge. She is carrying a load of stone from Meldrum Bay on this, her third trip as the Saginaw.




Pilot Falls From Ship

12/12:
A Great Lakes pilot was pulled from the water Friday afternoon after he fell from icy boarding stairs while departing a saltie anchored off Duluth, the Duluth News-Tribune reported December 11.

Don Willicke of Traverse City, Mich., reportedly fell about 35 feet down the boarding stairs of the India-flag Mand Rati. He struck his head on the bow of the pilot boat Sea Colt, which was there to ferry him back into port, and then fell into the lake.

Willicke immediately sank. Ed Montgomery, owner and captain of the Sea Colt, and crewman Dann Edholm unsuccessfully searched the surface for the pilot. Edholm was about to dive in after the man when Willicke bobbed to the surface.

The Coast Guard said Willicke was in the water for 10 to 15 minutes before crewmen on the Sea Colt pulled him aboard their boat. The rescue was difficult because Willicke reportedly is a large man and his heavy clothing was waterlogged.

Willicke's head injury was treated on the scene by the Coast Guard. The Sea Colt delivered him to a downtown Duluth dock, where he was picked up by an ambulance. He was treated and released at a local hospital.

A dispatcher for Western Great Lakes Pilots Association said Willicke had just finished piloting the Mand Rati from the General Mills elevator in Duluth, through the harbor and out onto the lake.

Pilots are experienced, licensed mariners who are hired to guide saltwater vessels through restricted waters on the Great Lakes. Although boarding stairs appear easier to negotiate than ladders, then can be hazardous. Over the years, several local pilots have been hurt or disabled after falling while boarding or leaving a vessel.

Reported by: Al Miller




Detroit Report

12/12:
Lower water levels made for some interesting passing in Detroit's Rouge River Saturday afternoon.

The Adam E. Cornelius was unloading at Marblehead Lime on the lower end of the river, due to low water levels the vessel was tied up about twenty feet off the face of the dock. The 826-foot Lee A. Tregurtha was traveling upbound to the Rouge Steel Plant on her usual run with a load of cargo from Marquette. The position of the Cornelius left very little room for the Tregurtha to pass.

Captain Jim Nuzzo demonstrated ship handling skills that prove Great Lakes captains are among the best in the world as the Tregurtha passed within a few feet of the Cornelius as he lined the vessel up to pass through the Jefferson Street Bridge.

The Adam E. Cornelius finished unloading later that afternoon and departed leaving a clear river for the Tregurtha who departed late Saturday night.

The 729-foot salt water vessels Lady Hamilton and Federal Fraser were unloading steel coils and pipe at the Detroit Marine Terminals on the Detroit River below the Ambassador Bridge. These vessel are sister ships both built in 1983 at Govan, Scotland.

The fire last Sunday at the Motor City Intermodal Dock does not appear to have caused a great deal of damage. The dock is still filled with wood products brought in by the tug W.N. Twolan on her Barge McAllister 132 from Thunder Bay.




Unusal Appearance in Duluth

12/12:
The J.A.W. Iglehart put in an unusual appearance in Duluth December 11 to unload at the LaFarge cement terminal. Once a common caller here, it has been replaced largely by the Alpena.

Reported by: Al Miller




Independent Update

12/12:
In next few days the Kinsman Independent will unload her last cargo carried from Duluth this season in Buffalo. The vessel is then scheduled to depart on a rare trip to load in Toledo. The Independent will then return to Buffalo and lay-up at the General Mills plant.

This cargo will remain in the vessel until the elevator has enough room for it to be unloaded, probably in January.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski




Today in Great Lakes History - December 12

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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




Reiss Enters Lay-up

12/11:
The Richard Reiss laid up on Tuesday in Erie, Pennsylvania. This unusual due to the fact that she usually runs until the third week of December.

A mild winter and lack of significant ice cover on the Lakes may keep some of the lower powered vessels running later than normal. The next vessel expected to lay-up is the grain carrier Kinsman Independent, last year she ended the season on December 21.

With the Reiss entering lay-up, the 6th annual Winter Lay-up List is now open.

Reported by: Jeff Thoreson




A boat watchers benefit of the low water levels

12/11:
LaFarge Cement is reported to be studying the possible fitout of the E.M. Ford next year if the record low water levels continue. The LaFarge fleet has not been able to load to their normal drafts in Alpena. Another boat may be needed to compensate for the reduced loads.

In related news, on Friday the Jacklyn M/Integrity was tied up along side the Paul H. Townsend in Milwaukee. They were loading the Townsend with her winter storage load. If not used in Milwaukee this winter, the cement may be taken to St. Joseph, MI sometime this winter.




Twin Ports Report

12/11:
All Twin Ports grain berths were busy on Dec. 10, some handling more than one vessel during the course of the day. The weather remains mild and ice is limited to protected bays and slips around the harbor. Below is the grain line-up as of mid day, although most of these vessels expected to clear port late in the day or during the night.

In Duluth, Algoville loaded at General Mills; Calliroe Patronicola was loading at Cargill; and Millenium Hawk was completing its load at AGP. Mallard had cleared the Cargill elevator and left port but returned for repairs.

In Superior, Pontokratis was expected to complete its load at the General Mills elevator; Canadian Leader and Olga were loading at Harvest States; and Algosound was at Peavey Connors Point. Kinsman Independent fueled during the morning at the Murphy Oil dock and was tied up at the Duluth port terminal waiting for a turn at the Peavey elevator.

Reported by: Al Miller




Alcor Refloated

12/11:
The Maltese bulkcarrier Alcor was successfully refloated on Sunday, December 5. This is two days earlier than scheduled date, a result of good weather conditions and high tides. Four Quebec tugs pulled the ship off the sand bar back into the channel shortly after 1530. The entire tow then sailed eastward five miles in order to safely position the vessel in the shipping channel and then slowly proceeded westward to Quebec City arriving during the night.

The Journal de Québec reported that Transport Desgagné was very satisfied with the entire operation and that the total cost would be less than the projected 3 million dollars.

Friday the Alcor was tied-up in the St. Charles River in Quebec Harbour and Transport Desgagné was proceeding with the unloading of the ship's cargo by way of their smaller ships. The cargo will then be delivered to Trois-Rivières.

No decision has been made as to the future of the Alcor. A decision is expected next week after the cargo has been unloaded. The damage to the hull is visible from the wharf as the entire ship shows an extended reversed V running from amidships to the fore and aft sections .

The Alcor ran aground on November 9 in the St. Lawrence River and cracks developed on both sides of the hull, running down to the water line in a V shape and across the deck from starboard to port.

Reported by: Frédérick Fréchette




Today in Great Lakes History - December 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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




Saginaw Heads for Third Trip

12/10:
The Saginaw departed Windsor Thursday afternoon after unloading a cargo of stone carried from Meldrum Bay, Manitoulin Island on Lake Huron.

The vessel sailed from Sarnia on her first trip Saturday, December 4 loading in Meldrum Bay for Marysville. It appears that the vessel has been performing with out incident.

The Saginaw sailed upbound returning to Meldrum Bay to load her third cargo, stone for Cleveland.

If weather conditions allow, the Saginaw is expected to continue trading until the second week of January and then lay-up in Sarnia.




Superior Coal Up Again In November; New Record Within Easy Reach

12/10:
Shipments of low-sulfur coal from Superior Midwest Energy Terminal in November totaled 1.5 million net tons, an increase of 8.8 percent compared to a year ago. The November loadings push SMET's season-to-date total to 14.9 million tons, an increase of 6.1 percent compared to the same point in the 1998 navigation season. SMET need only load 717,132 tons in December to again set an all-time record for shipments in one season.

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association




Good for Boatwatching, Bad for Rush Hour

12/10:
Thursday morning in Cleveland automobile traffic in Flats surrounding the Cuyahoga River was delayed. The McKee Sons delayed auto traffic waiting to cross the Eagle Street and the Carter Road bridges shortly before 8:00am as she moved through the river. A Hannah barge and tug were passing through the Center Street Bridge at the same time. The Columbus Rd. bridge is closed for repairs leaving only one lift bridge available for cars to cross.

Reported by: Mike Reindel




Amherstburg Update

12/10:
The Canadian Coast Guard Navaids Tender Gull Isle, stationed at the Amherstburg Coast Guard Base, was observed repositioning several floating aids to navigation in the Amherstburg Channel and above the Bar Point Pier lighthouse in the Detroit River. The floating aids to navigation were moved back onto advertised positions after dredging operations were completed in the channel by the Dean Construction Company.

The Gull Isle reported to the Frontenac that the floating aids to navigation in the Amherstburg channel, Pelee Passage and Detroit River areas were going to start being removed next week for the winter.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers tug Forney and crane barge Veler from the Detroit District, were observed dredging the Livingstone Channel in lower end the Detroit River on Thursday. The tug and barge work extensively in this area of the river and dock at the Amherstburg Coast Guard Base when not conduction dredging operations.

Reported by: Kevin Sprague




New Ferry Service

12/10:
The Monroe County Legislature has approved some $750,00 for a terminal design for a purposed ferry service that is scheduled to start in the next two years. The service would run from Rochester, New York to Toronto.

The Canadian company that is starting the service, has to come up with $200 million to build two 300-foot catamarans for the fleet. No assurances have been granted by company that they can raise such money.

Reported by: Ron LaDue




Familiar Saltie Sold For Scrap

12/10:
The familiar Fednav chartered saltie NARRAGANSETT has been sold for scrap. The 729' ft. long vessel was built in 1977 in Ulsan, South Korea. This ship made several transits into the Great Lakes and up until the present was operated by B+H Management. The Vessel was 729 ft. long x 76 ft. wide, x 47 ft. deep. Her cargo capacity was listed as 35,910 tons. Her engine produced 10,400 horsepower. She was formerly known on the lakes as the STEEL FLOWER.

Reported by: Chris Franckowiak




Familiar Name Spotted on East Coast

12/10:
Canada Steamship Lines' M. H. Baker III was seen preparing to depart the Camden New Jersey gypsum dock. The vessel departed down the Delaware River at 1300 On December 8th, after unloading.

Reported by: Mike Harting




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.

ATLANTIC (formerly MANITOULIN, wooden propeller passenger/package freight, 147', 683 gt, built in 1880 at Owen Sound, Ont.) was bound for Byng Inlet with lumber camp supplies when she was caught in a storm and grounded in the lee of Pancake Island in Georgian Bay. Her cargo and aft cabin were thrown overboard to lighten her, but she caught fire and was destroyed. Her passengers and crew took to her boats and survived.

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

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


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




Twin Ports Report

12/09:
Catherine Desgagnes paid a rare call to the Twin Ports when it arrived December 7. It's shown here December 8 as it loaded at the Harvest States elevator in Superior.

Kaye E. Barker paid an unusual call to the BNSF ore dock on Dec. 7, followed by Charles M. Beeghly making an equally unusual visit to the same dock on the 8th.

Reported by: Al Miller




Capt. Henry Jackman unloads in Amherstburg

12/09:
Wednesday morning the 730-foot Capt. Henry Jackman was unloading a cargo of stone at the General Chemical dock in Amherstburg, Ontario. At 1510 the Capt. Henry Jackman departed Amherstburg upbound in the Detroit River just ahead of the 1000-footer Oglebay Norton.

Reported by: Kevin Sprague




Cargo Agreement Signed

12/09:
McCaughrin Maritime Marine Systems., Inc., (MMMSI) signed a long term agreement with Blue Ocean Shipping Limited in Pusan, Korea this week.

Blue Ocean Shipping Limited will act as McCaughrin Maritime General Agency for its multi-purpose container/brakebulk service.

Also in the past month, MMMSI has signed agency agreements in Singapore, India, Pakistan, Lebanon, Turkenistan, Egypt, and Iran, Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey, Syria, Israel, Cyprus, Ukraine, and Chile and finalize a long term deal with stevedoring giant I.T.O. Corporation of Baltimore, Maryland.

Reported by: MMMSI




Cargo Totals Down on Cuyahoga

12/09:
Cargo totals for October on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland were down from the same period in 1998. Click here for the totals.

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association




Today in Great Lakes History - December 09

JUPITER (2) was christened December 9, 1975.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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




Toledo Update

12/08:
The HALIFAX arrived at Andersons "K" Elevator on Monday evening, the H.M. GRIFFITH was originally scheduled to load in port during this time frame. The HALIFAX could depart on Tuesday night or sometime Wednesday depending on how the long loading takes. The vessel may be the last grain boat of the season for Toledo. With about two and a half weeks left for the Seaway trade things are starting to slow down in the Lake Erie Port. Presently there are no ships in at the Shipyard .

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Closing of the Seaway

12/08:
The clearance date for the Montreal-Lake Ontario section of the Seaway is 2400 hours, December 20.

Vessels will be accepted to transit the Welland Canal upbound at Calling in Point 15 and downbound at Calling in Point 16 up to 0800 hours December 24, 1999. The Welland Canal may be kept open beyond this date depending on vessel demand and operating conditions. However, vessel transits after 0800 hours December 24, 1999, will be allowed subject to the vessel's agents/owners signing a written agreement with the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation.

The official closing date for the Sault Ste. Marie Locks is 2400 hours January 15, 2000.

Final closing dates for some areas may change due to vessel demand and weather and ice conditions.




Ferry Sold

12/08:
An article in Tuesday's St. Catharines Standard notes the sale of the cross Lake Ontario passenger ferry LAKE RUNNER for service out of Vancouver. The ship was expected to sail yesterday for the coast, via the Panama Canal, and arrive in January.

The previous owner, Shaker Cruise Lines, went bankrupt in January. The new owner Sunset Bay Charters Ltd., eventually plan to take out the 200 seats and install l5 cabins for week-long cruises.

Reported by: Skip Gillham




Lake Erie Coal Down Nearly 25 Percent In October

12/08:
The Lake Erie coal trade slowed appreciably in October. Loadings were down by nearly 25 percent or 650,000 net tons. For the season, coal loadings at Lake Erie ports total 16.3 million tons, a decrease of nearly 2 million tons compared to the same point in the 1998 navigation season.

October coal shipments by port were as follows:
Toledo - 556,350 n.t.
Sandusky - 544,416 n.t.
Ashtabula - 578,882 n.t.
Conneaut - 398,708 n.t.

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association




Today in Great Lakes History - December 08

The CANADIAN ENTERPRISE was christened December 8, 1979.

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

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

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

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


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




Saginaw's First Trip

12/07:
The Saginaw passed under the Blue Water Bridge Monday morning at 0950. She was heading downbound with a load of stone for the Bluewater Aggregate dock in Marysville, Michigan. The Saginaw departed Sarnia on Saturday afternoon heading to Meldrum Bay, Manitoulin Island on Lake Huron to load this first cargo.

If anyone took pictures of the Saginaw on this trip please e-mail

Reported by: Doug Schilz




Alpena Arriving for Survey

12/07:
The cement carrier Alpena was scheduled to arrive at Bay Shipbuilding Co., Sturgeon Bay, WI Monday night. The vessel is reported to be heading in for her five year inspection and expected to be in dry dock for an estimated 14 days.




Twin Ports Report

12/07:
Duluth-Superior harbor had its first signs of extensive ice forming out from shore on the morning of Dec. 6. This is in sharp contrast to most years, when ice in early December already is making loading difficult in many slips.

The fall grain rush seems to be past its peak, but Twin Ports elevators remain busy. At midday Dec. 6, Fullness was loading at Cargill in Duluth. In Superior, Stefania 1 and Algocen were at Harvest States and Cheremkhovo was loading at Peavey. Antalina and Algosound were anchored on the lake awaiting Peavey, Ziemia Zamojska was anchored out undergoing repairs and Calliroe Patrinicola was anchored out.

Additional grain boats due soon include Canadian Ranger and Catherine Desgagnes, which would be paying a rare visit to the Twin Ports to load at Harvest States.

Philip R. Clarke was scheduled to make an unusual call Dec. 6 at Silver Bay.

The DMIR ore dock in Duluth is scheduled to load boats at least through Dec. 20. The line-up includes most of this season's regulars: Indiana Harbor, Dec. 8; Joe Block, Dec. 10; Frontenac, Dec. 11; Edwin H. Gott, Dec. 12; Indiana Harbor, Dec. 14; Louis R. Desmarais, Dec. 16; and Buckeye, Dec. 20.

Reported by: Al Miller




Soo Report

12/07:
Downbound traffic in the St. Mary's River was at standstill Sunday afternoon until Monday morning due to stiff northwest winds and an accompanying low pressure front that reduced water in the river below the locks below safe minimums for transit. At one point the measuring device at the Rock Cut recorded a level of 12 inches below datum.

Delayed were the Stewart J. Cort, James R. Barker, Oglebay Norton, Buckeye, Joseph L. Block, Roger Blough and Lee A. Tregurtha, as well as the salties Hea, Lake Champlain, Lake Michigan, Ira and Luna Verde. Traffic resumed around 8 a.m. Monday, with downbound vessels lined up one after another. In addition to the above vessels, Montrealais, American Mariner and Walter J. McCarthy Jr. joined the downbound parade Monday, while the Algomarine, Catherine Desgagnes, Canadian Enterprise and Kinsman Independent headed up.

Reported by: Roger LeLievre




Soo Live Cams

12/07:
As noted in the above report it was a busy day at the Soo Locks. Thanks to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and their live web cams, those of us far from the locks could enjoy the busy day.

If you have not visited the web site the Corps has added two new web cams that provide for great boat watching.

Last year the cameras were disconnected until an outcry from this group led to the web cams return. If you enjoy the live shots from the locks please take a moment to e-mail and let the Corps know that you enjoy them.

Click here to view the live cams




Today in Great Lakes History - December 07

On December 7, 1969 the TEXACO CHIEF (2) collided with the Canadian bulker PETITE HERMINE near Prescott, Ont. and suffered light damage.

In 1990 the ENERCHEM LAKER was sold to Environment Protection Services, Inc., Panama and departed Montreal on December 7, 1990 for off Lakes service with the new name d) RECOVERY VIII.

The LEADALE (2) sank in the Welland Canal on December 7, 1982 and was declared a constructive total loss.

The GEORGE R. FINK (2), under tow, arrived at Gandia, Spain prior to December 7, 1973 for scrapping.

W.W. HOLLOWAY was laid up December 7, 1981 for the last time at Toledo’s frog pond.

On December 7, 1932, the MARQUIS ROEN caught fire at Meacher's dock at Bay City, and before the fire was brought under control, the cabins and after end were destroyed.

Captain John Roen of the Roen Steamship Co. died on December 7, 1970.

On December 7, 1906 the R.L. IRELAND stranded on Gull Island in the Apostle Islands, Lake Superior.

PERCIVAL ROBERTS, JR. was launched December 7, 1912 for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.

The steel side-wheel passenger steamer EASTERN STATES was launched on December 7, 1901, by the Detroit Shipbuilding Company for the Detroit and Buffalo Steamship Company.

The railcar ferry ANN ARBOR No. 2 was launched on December 7, 1892.

In 1906 the ANN ARBOR NO. 4 arrived Frankfort on her maiden voyage.

December 7, 1909 - Marquette & Bessemer No. 2 (1) foundered in Lake Erie with a loss of all hands.

On 7 December 1894, KEWEENAW (steel steamer, 291', 2511 gt, built in 1891 at W. Bay City) was seen groping toward the coast of the State of Washington in a severe gale. With distress signals flying, she put back to sea and foundered. She was built by F.W. Wheeler (hull #73) for salt water service. Built in two pieces, she was towed down the St. Lawrence and reassembled at Montreal.

On 7 December 1866, M. BALLARD (2-mast wooden schooner, 116', 288 t, built in 1855 at Cleveland) was lost with all hands in a storm on Lake Ontario.

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


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




Agawa Canyon Grounds

12/06:
The Grand Rapids Press reports the Agawa Canyon ran aground early Saturday morning while in Lake Macatawa in Holland, Michigan. The Coast Guard station in Grand Haven said the mishap occurred just after the laker passed through the channel between Lake Macatawa and Lake Michigan. The cause of the grounding is unknown.

The Agawa Canyon was able to free itself without help and proceed to the dock to unload road salt.

Reported by: David Swain




Independent on Last Trip

12/06:
The Kinsman Independent is scheduled to arrive in Duluth sometime Tuesday to load wheat. From there she will return to Buffalo due in on December 12 with her last cargo for the year. The vessel will then lay-up at the General Mills Frontier Elevator.

This will make it a tight squeeze on the river for the George A. Sloan on her upcoming trips to the TDX dock.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski




Seaway Update

12/06:
Downbound in the Seaway on December 2 and loaded with grain from the Lakehead were the following three lakers and three salties. Two lakers loaded their cargo at Duluth, CANADIAN VOYAGER with soybeans for delivery at Port Cartier and QUEBECOIS with corn for Baie Comeau. CSL NIAGARA was loaded with wheat destined for Montreal and picked up at Thunder Bay. The three salties were KAPITONAS SERAFINAS with flaxseed from Thunder Bay, RIXTA OLDENDORFF with peas also from Thunder Bay and FEDERAL POLARIS with soybeans from Duluth.

McKeil Marine of Hamilton added up another barge to their fleet lately, this one a huge one at 5,555 gr.t. purchased from French owners and named LE VENT. It was towed up the Seaway early on December 4 by tugs John Spence and Evans McKeil bound for Hamilton. It has a notch so a pusher tug will tow her once she is refurbished. Under a coat of paint could be seen what was probably her original port of registry, Zeebrugge in Belgium. It is interesting to note her name is painted only on each side of her stern and the number 690 963 MX appears on her bow.

Entering the Seaway on November 22 for Valleyfield was the Bahamas-flag WARTA loaded with calcined bauxite. She came down the Seaway in ballast for Montreal three days later but headed back the Seaway on November 26 for Thunder Bay to load grain.

Reported by: René Beauchamp.




Busy Day in Duluth

12/06:
Duluth's DMIR ore dock was busy on December 4 with the James R. Barker loading under the shiploader and Joe Block under the gravity chutes on the other side of Dock No. 6.

Reported by: Al Miller




Today in Great Lakes History - December 06

In 1988 the HON. PAUL MARTIN was renamed b) ATLANTIC ERIE.

The H. LEE WHITE (2) was launched December 6, 1973.

The CONSUMERS POWER (3) was laid up for the last time at Erie, PA on December 6, 1985.

On December 6, 1988 an arsonist set fire to the after end of the FORT CHAMBLY while she was laid up.

The GOLDEN HIND was launched December 6, 1951 as a) IMPERIAL WOODBEND.

LAWRENDOC (2) was Launched December 6, 1961 at the Collingwood Shipyards.

On December 6, 1909 while upbound at "Mud" Lake on the St. Marys River in a blinding snow storm, the HARRY A. BERWIND collided with the loaded HENRY STEINBRENNER (1) which received a 70 foot wide hole on her starboard side and sank up to her cabins.

On 6 December 1874, the Port Huron Times reported that the Port Huron Dry Dock Co. had been declared bankrupt and Mr. John Johnston had been appointed assignee of the company by the U.S. District Court.

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


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




Saginaw Departs

12/05:
The Saginaw cleared the Government dock in Sarnia at 1650 Saturday afternoon. This is her maiden voyage as the Saginaw, she is heading to Meldrum Bay, Manitoulin Island on Lake Huron to load stone. She departed fully painted heading upbound.

The Saginaw is a 640-foot self unloading bulk freighter. She was built in 1953 at the Manitowoc shipyards in Wisconsin. The vessel sailed for American Steamship Company as the John J. Boland until her lay-up last winter. The Boland did not see service in 1999 and was purchased by Lower Lakes Towing in October when she was towed from Superior, Wisconsin to the Government Dock in Sarnia.

If anyone took pictures of the Saginaw on this trip please e-mail

Reported by: Larry Leverenz




Diesel Powered Alarm Clock

12/05:
Much of Holland, Michigan got a new alarm clock Saturday morning as the Agawa Canyon eased through a foggy Lake Macatawa blowing a fog signal every two minutes or so. She tied up at the Verplank's dock at about 9:00 to deliver a load of salt.

Reported by: Bob Vande Vusse




Cleveland Report

12/05:
The Richard Reiss was unloading stone on the old river Saturday morning and departed mid-morning for points west. The Calcite II arrived soon after the Reiss departed to load salt at the Cargill mine. The Wolverine arrived at 11:00am to unload ore at LTV. The salty Ziema Chelminska arrived at noon and joined the Lake Ontario at the Ceres lakefront docks.

Reported by: Rex Cassidy




Proposed Law Could Limit Divers

12/04:
Legislation introduced in Canada would require every diver wanting to dive on a shipwreck in Ontario to have a license to do so.

The new Act defines "marine heritage site" and prohibits anyone who does not have a license under the Ontario Heritage Act from entering a heritage wreck or damaging or removing a heritage wreck or a protected artifact. The new Act creates an obligation to notify the Minister of evidence of a marine heritage site. The Minister must publish a record of marine heritage sites known to the Minister.

Click here for the full Legislation.

Reported by: E & D McLaughlin




Popular Marine Mart Today

12/04:
Great Lakes Maritime Institute (Dossin Museum) Marine Mart will be held today at the Harbor Hill Marina foot of St. Jean St. Detroit, MI. The Marine Mart is open from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Marine Mart features dealers selling books, photographs, postcards, art work and artifacts. For more information call (313) 852-4051

Click here for an interactive map to the marina

Look for me at the Marine Publishing Booth.




Today in Great Lakes History - December 04

ALGOSOO (2) was the last ship built on the Lakes with the traditional fore and aft cabins, her maiden voyage took place today in 1974.

The IMPERIAL QUEBEC entered service on December 4, 1957.

LIGHTSHIP 103 completed her sea trials December 4, 1920.

At 0210 hours on December 4, 1989 the MESQUITE ran aground in 12 feet of water at a point one-quarter nautical mile off Keweenau Point. After a struggle to save the ship, the 53 persons aboard abandoned ship at 0830 hours and boarded the Indian salty M/V MANGAL DESAI which was standing by.

On 4 December 1873, a gale struck Saginaw bay while the CITY OF DETROIT of the G. T. Line was carrying 8,000 bushels of wheat, package freight and 26 crew and passengers. She was also towing the barge GUIDING STAR. The barge was cut loose in the heavy seas at 3:30 am and about 7:00 am the CITY OF DETROIT sank. Captain Morris Barrett of the GUIDING STAR saw three of the CITY OF DETROIT's crew in one lifeboat and only one in another lifeboat. The CITY OF DETROIT went down stern first and the passengers and crew were seen grouped together on and about the pilot house. Capt. Barrett and his crew of seven then abandoned GUIDING STAR. They arrived at Port Elgin, Ontario on 6 December in their yawl with their feet fully frozen. The barge was later found and towed in by the tug PRINDEVILLE.

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


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




Algontario on the Move

12/03:
Wednesday evening the tugs Peninsula and George N. Carleton towed the Algontario deadship from Pascol Engineering's fit-out dock and placed her at the Keefer Terminals.

The Algontario suffered damage from a grounding in the St. Marys River April 5. Decisions to repair the vessel have been on hold since.

Reported by: Ron Konkol




Loading Continues - Twin Ports Report

12/03:
Midwest Energy Terminal in Superior will continue loading boats at least into mid-December this year. It's schedule includes: Columbia Star, Dec. 2; Paul R. Tregurtha and Walter J. McCarthy Jr., Dec. 4; Canadian Enterprise, Dec. 7; Columbia Star, Dec. 8; Canadian Transport, Dec. 9; Paul R. Tregurtha and Walter J. McCarthy Jr., Dec. 10.

With the fall grain rush at its peak, Twin Ports grain elevators once again saw a "full house" on Dec. 3. In Duluth, Dintelborg was due at General Mills A, Fullness was at Cargill and Luna Verde was loading at AGP. In Superior, Ira was at General Mills S, Ziemia Zamojska was loading sunflower seeds and Hea was taking on wheat at Harvest States. Paterson was scheduled to clear the Peavey Connors Point elevator, to be replaced with Cheremkhovo. Stafania 1 was anchored on the lake, and Calliroe Patronicola and Algocen were scheduled to arrive for grain. Also, Mecta Sea was unloading at the Duluth port terminal.

Reported by: Al Miller




December 1 Vessel Survey

12/03:
U.S.-Flag Lakes lines had 62 of their 68 vessels in service on December 1, a decrease of three vessels compared to a year ago.

As is the norm, a number of the smaller, low horsepower vessels will conclude their season in December. Preliminary forecasts indicate that approximately 50 U.S.-Flag vessels will be in service on January 1, 2000. If those plans go unchanged, that total would represent a significant increase over January 1, 1999.

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association




Christmas Lights on the Mather

12/03:
The William G. Mather Steamship holiday party and Christmas lights ceremony took place Thursday evening at the Great Lakes Science center in Cleveland, OH. The event was well attended by volunteers on the boat and was highlighted by the official lighting of the Mather for the season. The Mather looks beautiful with lights fore and aft and along the cargo deck. The stack is wrapped in lights and a Christmas Tree on the pilot house provides a nice centerpiece.

Reported by: Rex Cassidy




New Vessel Feature

12/03:
Again this week we will be featuring a new vessel each day in the Fleet Photo Gallery. Today we spot light the story of the Oglebay Norton.

Click here to view




Today in Great Lakes History - December 03

The CANADIAN AMBASSADOR was launched December 3, 1982.

ROBERT W. STEWART (b. AMOCO MICHIGAN) was launched in 1927.

In 1909 the LeGRAND S. DEGRAFF collided with the steamer HARVARD while downbound in the Detroit River in fog.

The IRVING S. OLDS was laid up for the final time on December 3, 1981 at the Hallett Dock #5, Duluth, MN due to market conditions and her inability to compete with the 60,000 ton carrying capacity of the self-unloading thousand foot bulk freighters.

On 3 December 1872, the officers and crew of the schooner E. KANTER arrived home in Detroit, MI. They reported that their vessel was driven ashore near Leland, MI in Lake Michigan on 26 November and was broken up by the waves.1898, PACIFIC (wooden propeller passenger/package freighter, 179'. 918 gt, built in 1883 at Owen Sound, Ontario) caught fire at the Grand Trunk dock at Collingwood, Ontario. She burned to a shell despite a concerted effort to save her. She was later towed out into Georgian Bay and scuttled.

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


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




New Barge Launched

12/02:
The Mobil Oil Corporation's new double hulled barge, Seneca, under construction the past year at Bay Ship, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, floated free of the graving dock on the evening of November 30, 1999.

Final outfitting along with dockside and sea trials remain before departure in the next few weeks.

Reported by: Paul Graf




Twin Ports Report

12/02:
Grain traffic in the Twin Ports remains at peak levels. Most elevator berths were busy December 1 and four vessels were anchored on Lake Superior: Cheremkhovo, Luna Verde, Ziemia Zamojska and Paterson, which is waiting for grain to arrive to complete its load. The General Mills elevators, which often are lightly used during the summer months, are particularly busy. The barge Sarah Spencer cleared the General Mills elevator in Duluth on Nov. 30, to be replaced Dec. 1 by Jean Parisien, making a rare grain-hauling appearance in the Twin Ports. In Superior, Inviken was finishing up at the General Mills elevator and scheduled to be replaced quickly by Ira.

Reported by: Al Miller




Saginaw Update

12/02:
At the Government Dock in Sarnia yesterday work continued on the Saginaw as she is prepared for her first trip. Work crews still had the painting platform attached to her side and smoke was seen coming from her stack with the her propeller turning at idle.

The vessel is expected to depart some time Friday.

Reported by: Larry Leverenz




More Trouble for the Taylor

12/02:
The Myron C. Taylor was forced to halt unloading Wednesday and depart Manistee MI heading to Milwaukee for some type of repairs. She arrived early this morning at the Port of Milwaukee's Heavy Lift dock. Once repairs are made the Taylor will head back to Manistee to finish unloading.

In late October the vessel experienced an unloading system failure. That failure required her to enter Sturgeon Bay shipyard for repairs, arriving there on October 18th. After spending just over a month in the yard, the Taylor returned to service on November 19th. It is unknown if the current work is related.

Reported by: David French and Andy Laborde




Today in Great Lakes History - December 02

OTTERCLIFFE HALL was launched December 2, 1968 .

The GEORGE R. FINK (2) (b - ERNEST T. WEIR 1). under tow passed Gibraltar on December 2, 1973 and arrived at Gandia, Spain prior to December 7, 1973 for scrapping.

GOVERNOR MILLER was launched in1937.

The NIPIGON BAY last ran in 1982 and was laid up at Montreal on December 2nd.

On 2 December 1874, the steam barge GERMANIA was launched at King's yard in Marine City, MI. The Port Huron Times of 4 December 1874 reported that she "is probably the cheapest boat ever built in Marine City, wages and material, iron, etc. being very low." This was due to the nation just recovering from the "Panic of 1873". The vessel's dimensions were 144' overall x 56'2" x 11'9.

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


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




Saginaw Expected to Depart Friday

12/01:
Lower Lakes Towing expects the Saginaw to depart on her maiden voyage some time Friday. The vessel is docked in Sarnia at the Government Dock.




Salty Detained in Cleveland

12/01:
Tuesday's edition of the Cleveland plain Dealer is reporting that the M. V. Hea was detained Monday by the International Transport Workers Federation. This is the second salty to have been detained in Cleveland this year.

Local union inspector Don Thornton met with crewmen Tuesday and reviewed complaints of use of river water for bathing and brushing teeth, poor food supplies, lack of attention to illness and injury and pay received below union scale.

The operators of the ship, Zirkel management of Brake, Germany agreed to meet the sailors demands. The second mate Lucio Digal received $5000 cash from the captain to settle his back pay complaint and will leave the ship in Duluth and return to the Philippines. He said he believes he will be blacklisted by ship staffing services in the Philippines.

The shipping company agreed to settle other crewmembers pay issues when the ship arrives in England next month.

Reported by: Rex Cassidy and Al Leonard




Update on the Alcor

12/01:
At a press conference Tuesday in Quebec City Transports Desgagné reported that the welding of huge steel plates to the hull of the stricken Alcor was expected to be completed by evening. The original plan is on schedule and Transports Desgagné expects to refloat the Alcor on December 7th and then tow the ship out into the shipping channel.

The Alcor ran aground on November 9 in the St. Lawrence River and cracks developed on both sides of the hull, running down to the water line in a V shape and across the deck from starboard to port.

Reported by: Frédérick Fréchette




Toledo Update

12/01:
The next grain boat due in port is the Tadoussac who scheduled for Andersons "K" Elevator during the next few days.

After the Tadoussac the H. M. Griffith is due at elevator some time around December 6th. If the H.M. Griffith does make the trip to Toledo it may be one of her first grain cargoes that she ever loaded in her career and also her last. The Griffith is due in Port Weller Dry Docks by mid December for her new forebody replacement project. The engine room and aft cabin portion of the vessel will be fitted to a new fore body (Hull 77) under construction at Port Weller Dry Docks.

On Sunday the Gaelic Tugboat Company changed tugs stationed in the port. The William Hoey returned to Detroit to be modified at the company yard on the Rouge River. The Carolyn Hoey is taking her place along side the all ready stationed Susan Hoey.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Fire at Dock on Detroit River

12/01:
Sunday night a fire broke out at the Motor City Intermodal Dock in Detroit. The dock is used to handle lumber brought in by the tug W.N. Twolan on her Barge McAllister 132 from Thunder Bay. The Detroit fire boat Curtis Randolph was on scene to battle the blaze, the fire was large enough that the Stephen B. Roman reported the blaze from across the river in Windsor.

Reported by: Wade P. Streeter




Waste Shipment Via St. Lawrence River Due in April

12/01:
The Canadian government is apparently moving forward with its plan to bring radioactive waste into the country at Cornwall, Ontario with the first shipment tentatively scheduled for April. Canadian environmental groups and Mohawk leaders have objected to the proposal because of the danger of contamination. "The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne is outraged that the government of Canada would allow such a dangerous transport, "Chief Timothy T. Thompson said. "We immediately call upon the federal government to stop the shipments or face the consequences." The Mohawk Council, which consists of five chiefs that run the part of the reservation on the Canadian side of the border, is threatening to blockade highways that cross Indian territory to disrupt shipment. "We will use any means possible to stop the shipment," Chief Thompson said. "and that includes human force."

The nuclear waste is a mixture that includes uranium and plutonium from nuclear weapons in Russia. The Canadian government decided to accept the shipments in early September as part of an international non-proliferation initiative to dispose of weapons-grade plutonium. The materials are headed for the Atomic Energy of Canada LTD's research labs at Chalk River in Northern Ontario. The Canadian government is accepting the shipments because of $500 million in subsidies that the country will receive from the Russian and U.S. governments. The Canadian government released a report November 17th approving the route and an emergency response assistance plan to deal with any problems. That gave the go-ahead for the shipments to start at any time. The Council has apparently learned from sources inside Transport Canada, the agency handling the shipment that the first delivery will occur in April. It was originally scheduled for December 15th. The Council is objecting to the shipment based on its aboriginal and treaty rights, which include self-determination and jurisdiction over its lands and territory. The reservation includes land on both sides of the St Lawrence River and the Seaway shipping channel. The shipments will have to cross Mohawk territorial waters. Routes proposed in the past for the shipments have included land travel to Watertown, New York and crossing the Seaway over the 1000 Islands Bridge.
Watertown Daily Times article

Reported by: Joan Baldwin




Interesting Numbers From Skillings

12/01:
From Skillings Mining Review - November 13, 1999

BNSF Loads 239,696 GT Iron Ore pellets in Latest Week

During the week ending November 7, 1999, Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) loaded 218,856 gross tons of iron ore into four vessels at dock No. 5 of its Allouez taconite facility in Superior, WI. Vessels loaded were as follows:

Date Vessel Tonnage Destination
11/01 George A. Stinson 53,860 Great Lakes/Detroit
11/05 Burns Harbor 57,291 Bethlehem/Burns
11/06 Stewart J. Cort 53,498 Bethlehem/Burns
11/07 George A. Stinson 54,207 Great Lakes/Detroit

SSAM Loads 177,618 GT Iron Ore Pellets in Week Ending Nov.6

During the week ended November 6, 1999 the Sault Ste Marie Bridge Company (SSAM) loaded 177,718 gross tons of iron ore pellets into five vessels at its Escanaba ore dock in northern Lake Michigan. Vessels loaded were as follows:

Date Vessel Tonnage Destination
10/31 Joseph L. Block 33,220 Indiana Harbor
11/01 Mesabi Miner 56,031 Indiana Harbor
11/02 Middletown 22,287 Indiana Harbor
11/03 Joseph L. Block 33,388 Indiana Harbor
11/03 Joseph L. Block 32,692 Indiana Harbor

MERC Loads 393,454 GT in Week Ending November 7

During the week November 7, 1999, the Midwest Energy resources co. (MERC) received 26 trains carrying 347,294.45 net tons of low sulfur western coal at its Superior, WI facility. A total of seven vessels loaded 393,454 net tons of coal at the MERC during the latest week. For the year 1999 through November 7, the MERC has loaded 13,940,866 net tons, compared to 13,330,771 net tons in the corresponding period of 1998. The stockpile of western coal remaining at the facility on November 7 totaled 1,674,812 net tons. Vessels loaded were:

Date Vessel Tonnage Destination
11/01 Paul R. Tregurtha 63,234 St. Clair Power Plant
11/01 Canadian Enterprise 29,593 Nanticoke
11/02 Presque Isle 44,187 Nanticoke
11/02 Walter J. McCarthy 31,364 Monroe Power Plant
11/02 Walter J. McCarthy 33,264 St. Clair Power Plant
11/05 Columbia Star 63,934 St. Clair Power Plant
11/06 Paul R. Tregurtha 63,233 St. Clair Power Plant
11/06 Oglebay Norton 64,645 St. Clair Power Plant

Skillings Mining Review
US Bank Place, Suite 728
130 West Superior Street
Duluth, MN 55802-2083
Subscription price is $40.00 per year, $75.00 for 2 years

Reported by: Dave Wobster




Popular Marine Mart This Saturday

12/01:
Great Lakes Maritime Institute (Dossin Museum) Marine Mart, December 4 at Harbor Hill Marina foot of St. Jean St. Detroit, MI.

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

Click here for an interactive map to the marina

Look for me at the Marine Publishing Booth.




Today in Great Lakes History - December 01

On December 1, 1974 the Canadian motor vessel JENNIFER foundered on Lake Michigan in a storm. Her steel cargo apparently shifted and she foundered 24 miles southwest of Charlevoix, MI. The JENNIFER went to the bottom in water too deep for any salvage attempt.

The FRED G. HARTWELL, the last boat built for Franklin S.S., was delivered to her owners on December 1, 1922 but her maiden voyage didn't occur until early 1923 because of unfavorable weather conditions.

The SASKATOON’s ownership was transferred to the Canada Steamship Lines Ltd., Montreal on December 1, 1913 when the company was formed and all six vessels of the Merchants Mutual Line were absorbed by CSL in 1914.

The HUDSON TRANSPORT was put up for sale by Marine Salvage in December 1982.

On December 1, 1934, the United States Coast Guard cutter ESCANABA was involved in the rescue of the crew of the whaleback HENRY CORT off the piers at Muskegon, Michigan.

On 1 December 1875, BRIDGEWATER (3-mast wooden schooner, 706 t, built in 1866 at Buffalo as a bark) grounded on Waugoschanee Point in the Straits of Mackinac. She was released fairly quickly and then was towed to Buffalo, NY for repairs. In Buffalo, she was gutted by fire. In 1880-82, the propeller KEYSTONE was built on her hull.

December 1, 1909 - The Marquette & Bessemer No. 2 (1st) sank on Lake Erie, 31 lives were lost.

December 1, 1985 - The SPARTAN broke loose from her moorings at Ludington in a storm and ended up near Buttersville Island. She was pulled off on December 5 by the Canonie tugs SOUTH HAVEN and MUSKEGON with the help of the CITY OF MIDLAND 41. It took about 10 hours.

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


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





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