Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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* Report News

LTV Corporation Selects Highest Bidder

The LTV Corporation announced Wednesday that it has selected WL Ross & Co., LLC as the best and highest bidder for LTV's integrated steel assets. The selection was made during an auction held today in Cleveland. WL Ross has agreed to purchase the integrated steelmaking assets of LTV's Cleveland East, Cleveland West and Indiana Harbor Works. It also has agreed to purchase the Hennepin (Ill.) finishing plant, the Grand River (Oh.) Lime Plant, the Lorain (Oh.) Pellet Terminal, the Warren (Oh.) Coke Plant, and the assets of the Chicago Short Line, River Terminal and Cuyahoga Valley Railroads. WL Ross also will purchase the LTV Steel Technology Center (Independence, Oh.) and LTV's interest in L-S Electrogalvanizing, Inc. (Cleveland).

Ross said it would keep making steel at the LTV mills. LTV's mills in Cleveland and East Chicago are particularly important to Great Lakes shipping because they rely on taconite pellets and bulk cargoes supplied by water.

"We are very pleased that WL Ross has emerged as the successful bidder for our steel assets," said Glenn J. Moran, chairman and chief executive officer of The LTV Corporation. "WL Ross has the financial resources and has assembled a strong managerial team to return LTV's excellent facilities to operation, and create opportunities for our former employees and plant communities," he said.

LTV said that the transaction included about $125 million in cash for plant, property and equipment and agreed-to inventory, plus the assumption of environmental and other obligations. Under the agreement, WL Ross also will assume the costs of maintaining the hot idle status of the integrated steel facilities as of March 1, 2002.

The current plan calls for the factories to resume production in the next eight to 10 weeks at a reduced capacity of 4 million tonnes. They hope to generate sales of about $1 billion in the first year.

LTV will submit the WL Ross agreement to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for approval. A bankruptcy court hearing is scheduled today at 1100 a.m. in Youngstown, Ohio. The transaction is expected to close within 45 days and is subject to customary closing conditions.

The LTV Corporation, along with 48 subsidiaries, filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code on December 29, 2000. On December 7, 2001, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court issued an order authorizing the implementation of an Asset Protection Plan ("APP"). The APP includes the shutdown and sale of all integrated steel assets. The Plan also provides for the continued operation and sale of Copperweld and LTV's tubular products business.

Reported by: Al Miller, Ned Gang, John Sarns,

McLeod and Everlast Arrive

Wednesday, the tug Everlast and barge Norman McLeod docked in Windsor on the pair's maiden voyage. The pair checked in at Detroit River Light shortly after 1:00 p.m. and docked at Sterling Fuels around 2:30 p.m. The tug and barge docked at Sterling Fuels to test the barge's pumping system. The barge loaded and then discharged a test load of bunker oil before turning and proceeding downbound, briefly to enter the Rouge River to load Asphalt at Detroit's Marathon Dock.

The Everlast is managed by the Upper Lakes Group and is a partnership with McAsphalt. The tug and barge use an articulated pin system and when coupled measure just over 500 feet. The tug Everlast features 6,000 Horsepower which is directed through a Z Drive at the tug's stern.

The Norman Mc Leod is named after Dr. Norman McLeod who worked as an Asphalt Engineer for Imperial Oil in Canada and later for the McAsphalt Group until his death just a few years ago. Dr. Mc Leod was considered one of the fathers, and authorities of modern asphalt.

The Everlast is the first visitor to the Port of Windsor this year and as a result the Harbor Master for the Port of Windsor was on hand to mark the event.

Everlast Approaches Sterling Fuel Dock on her first run with barge Norman McLeod.
Closer view shows the pair approaching the dock (note ice covered bow)
Bow thruster pushes the barge to the dock.
Closeup of the tug Everlast, pushing into dock. Note the rear of the tug where the Z drive nozzle is facing the port side
Side view of the Norman McLeod. Note the "Stack Marking" just below the stacks for the heaters and generators at the rear of the barge.
Closeup view of stack shows "Partner" logo with McAsphalt and Upper Lakes. The Norman McLeod and Everlast also have a houseflag similar to this.
Workers secure lines on the Everlast.
Dock worker releases any excess fuel from the fuel hose into a special container. This prevents cross contamination.
VIP's gathered to mark the event overseeing things in the cold. (Left to Right) Brian Cave - Nova Chemicals; Theresa Kelly - Office Manager, Sterling Fuels Windsor; Peter Kelly - Vice President, Sterling Fuels; Bill Marshall - Windsor Harbor Master.

Reported by: Jamie Osborn

Bridge to be Repaired by March 20

The railroad bridge at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River will be repaired by March 20, in time for opening of the busy spring shipping season. The U.S. Coast Guard announced Wednesday that half the work will be done now, replacing a damaged steel shaft in the east bridge tower. Work on the west tower, where only surface cracks were found in another steel shaft, will wait until next winter. The bridge has been closed since Jan. 28 and threatened shipping on the Cuyahoga River if not repaired.

Reported by: Sam Bomyea

Companies continue to battle steel-related troubles

Two Minnesota companies with ties to Great Lakes shipping took steps this week to battle problems stemming from the nation's troubled steel industry.

National Steel Pellet Co. in Keewatin did not make a $4.2 million tax payment to the state on Monday. It was the first time in the history of taconite mining that an operating Iron Range producer has missed making its taconite production tax payment.

"It was just a corporate decision,'' Tom Peluso, general manager of National Steel Pellet Co., told the Duluth News Tribune "They are balancing payables with receivables in an effort to stay liquid.''

Officials of National Steel Corp., which owns the taconite plant, said it's no secret that the Mishawaka, Ind.-based steelmaker is on shaky financial ground.

"We're just at this point not able to make the payment,'' said Ron Freeman, National Steel Corp. spokesman. "When we can pay, we will.''

The tax payment will be paid from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board's $81.8 million 2003 fund.

In another industry, the Duluth Missabe and Iron Range Railway announced Tuesday that it has cut the size of its management staff by about 25 percent through voluntary early retirements.

Great Lakes Transportation LLC, DM&IR's parent company, made similar reductions on the Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad.

"Over the course of the last year, we've seen difficult times for the steel and mining industries,'' said Peter Stephenson, vice president of Duluth-based Great Lakes Fleet and DM&IR. "And in response, we've had to streamline our operations. Now, we're sizing our management to fit.''

The DMIR ships taconite pellets and flux stone between several Minnesota producers and ore docks in Two Harbors and Duluth. B&LE ships taconite pellets from Lake Erie docks to steelmakers.

Reported by: Al Miller

Buffalo Fire Boat

Buffalo's fire boat Edward M. Cotter can be seen most winters breaking ice in the Buffalo River. This classic fire boat was originally launched as the William S. Grattan in 1900 at Elizabeth, New Jersey. Below are pictures of the tug in operation.

At the dock.
Looking past the stacks as the Cotter departs the dock.
Cotter on the Buffalo River.
Stern view.
Through the Ohio St. and Michigan St. Bridges on the Buffalo River.
Passing the Niagara River Ice Boom.
On board from the Cotter's turret.
Looking down at the aft deck.
The water intake crib in the harbor.
Cotter docked at the Buffalo Intake Crib on an inspection mission.
Fire boat from the upper deck of the crib.
Interior view of water intake.
Engine room.
One of the Cotter's pumps.
In the pilot house.
Detailed history of the Cotter.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski

Win a Cruise for Two on the C. Columbus

The International Ship Masters' Association Port Huron Lodge is offering a chance to win a Great Lakes cruise aboard the Luxury Liner C. Columbus. Grand Priz is two tickets cabin category #6 for the September 16-23 cruise.

Raffle tickets may now be purchased online through Pay Pal. Click here for details.

News Reporters Wanted

We would like to invite anyone interested in reporting from their area to send in reports for this news page whenever they see anything interesting. Reports can be sent by e-mail or by using a form if the sender does not want credit.

If you would like credit your name (or company name) will be listed on the news page and we can also add links to any web sites you like. This is also a good way to link more traffic to a web site.

If you become a regular contributor we can create an About the Author web page about you.

For more information please e-mail.
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Today in Great Lakes History - February 28

INCAN SUPERIOR was launched February 28, 1974

OUTARDE (2) was launched February 28, 1906 as a) ABRAHAM STEARN.

In 1929 the Grand Trunk carferry MADISON, inbound into Grand Haven in fog and ice, collided with the Army dredge General G.G. MEADE, berthed on the south bank of the river for the winter. Damage was minor.

Data from: Max Hanley, Steve Haverty, 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

Investment company announces tentative deal for LTV

02/27 2:00 p.m. Update
A New York investment firm says it has agreed to buy LTV Corp.'s steelmaking assets in a deal that would allow resumption of production at all mills, the Associated Press reported Wednesday morning.

WL Ross & Co. LLC announced the deal shortly before the start of a private bid process for potential buyers of Cleveland-based LTV. The company filed bankruptcy on Dec. 29, 2000, and has since idled its mills around the Great Lakes region.

Any bids for LTV assets must be approved by a federal bankruptcy judge, who is expected to review bids on Thursday. An LTV spokesman declined to comment on the Ross announcement.

Ross said it has agreed to pay $125 million in cash and assume about $200 million in liabilities. The acquisition would include LTV Steel facilities in Cleveland and Warren, Ohio; East Chicago, Ind., and Hennepin, Ill.

Ross said it would keep making steel at the LTV mills. LTV's mills in Cleveland and East Chicago are particularly important to Great Lakes shipping because they rely on taconite pellets and stone supplied by water.

LTV’s steel operations are shut down but have been maintained in order to make a restart easier for a buyer wishing to make steel.

Reported by: Al Miller and Ned Gang

McLeod and Everlast Depart

The barge Norman McLeod and tug Everlast departed on their maiden voyage together about 9:20 a.m. Tuesday morning. The pair were due to arrive at South East Shoal in Lake Erie about 7:00 a.m. today heading for Windsor. It is unknown how long they are expected to be in Windsor, but once they depart they will load a cargo for Detroit.

Evelast and McLeod at dock on Sunday. Brian Wroblewski
Close up of the Norman McLeod. Brian Wroblewski
Evelast in the notch. Brian Wroblewski
Everlast just after she arrived in Port Weller from overseas. November 2000. Paul Beesley
Drawing of tug and barge from Upper Lakes Group.

Reported by: John Stark

Busy Day for Muskegon

Monday the Great Lakes Trader arrived in Muskegon to unload slag at the Verplank dock at the east end of Muskegon Lake. The Trader arrived about 12:30 p.m. and departed at 6:30 p.m. The slag was likely loaded in Indiana Harbor where the Trader has been delivering Taconite to the Inland Steel Dock.

On Tuesday the Paul H Townsend arrived at the Lafarge dock to unload cement. She arrived at 6:30 a.m. and was expected to depart early this morning. This is the busiest week ever for Muskegon in February as the lake remains ice free.

Reported by: Dan McCormick and Andy LaBorde

Steel-dumping decision deadline looms

President Bush must decide by March 6 whether to impose economic penalties on some foreign steel imports - a decision that could force him to decide between protecting steel producers and related industries like Great Lakes shipping or hundreds of small manufacturers that benefit from low-cost steel imports.

Bush faces a case that he put into motion last June with a filing before the U.S. International Trade Commission. The ITC ruled late last year that the American steel industry was entitled to temporary protection from imports, but the six-member panel could not agree on an appropriate level for tariffs.

Blame can be placed in many places, but steel imports have played a major role as they reached record levels in 2000. Laws against "dumping" steel at artificially low prices haven't stopped the practice. The U.S. Commerce Department has administered more than 100 anti-dumping orders against importers and has other pending investigations.

However, steel-consuming industries counter that for every steel job the president saves with higher tariffs, eight jobs will be lost in industries such as automakers and appliance manufacturers. For example, an official of National Metalware of Aurora, Ill., told the Associated Press that steel accounts for about half of his company's cost of doing business: shaping steel into products such as lawn mowers and school desks.

Reported by: Al Miller

Fresh Paint In Superior

Work is starting to pick up at Fraser Shipyards in Superior, WI as crews begin to prepare vessels for the coming season. Painting on the starboard side of the Arthur M. Anderson has almost been completed. Of all the boats in the Twin Ports for lay-up, she is the only one (so far) receiving a fresh coat of paint this winter.

Reported by: Glenn Blaszkiewicz

To the Breakers

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

Bass arrived at Aliaga, Turkey under tow on Oct. 19. In the Lakes first as Pola de Allende (76) and Cetinje (89).
Reported sold in October for breaking up in Pakistan was Golden Sky (93) She also visited the inland seas under her two previous names, Dry Sack (76) and Golden Star (87).
The Santa Fe class Hero was beached at Alang, India on Nov. 2. In the Lakes as Kavo Matapas (82).
The Fortune class Maria Kal was beached at Alang on Nov. 8. In the Lakes as Anangel Fortune (74).
The Freedom class Marina Bay was beached at Alang on Oct. 19 . In the Lakes as Duteous (80).
Mizoram (90) was beached at Alang on Oct.17.
The tanker Mundra arrived Mumbai, India on Sept.17. In the Lakes under her five first names. First as Olau Syd (71), then Axel Heiberg (73), Frobisher Transport (74), Northern Shell (78) and Leon (87). In Dec. 1987, acquired the name Leon at Toronto following her sale to Greek interests.
Ramdas (80) was beached at Alang on Oct. 18.
State of Andhra Pradesh (81) was beached at Alang on Oct. 18 also.
Verve was beached at Alang on Oct. 20. In the Lakes as Zirje (80) and Anax (94).
Yria (00) arrived Shanghai on Nov. 5. In the Lakes also as Furia (78).

In addition, a former Fednav ship which never plied the Seaway was sold to be broken up. The livestock carrier Kerry Express sailed from Davao, Philippines on Sept. 29 for China. For Fednav, she was in their fleet first as Federal Byblos, then Federal Tyne and Federal Humber. One Federal Tyne was in the Seaway in 1969 but it was not the same vessel.

Reported by: René Beauchamp

St. Lawrence River Visitor Sold

Another visitor to the St. Lawrence River has been sold recently. The Canadian registered Irving Arctic was sold to undisclosed owners and renamed Tica with a Comoros Island Flag. The 629-foot tanker was a regular visitor and sailed away earlier this month.

Reported by: David Bowie

Comeaudoc Visit

N.M. Paterson & Sons' Comeaudoc has been in long term lay-up since Dec. 04, 1996 in Montreal. It is the oldest of Paterson's fleet, constructed in 1959. Below are images from an early February visit to the vessel.

At the lay-up dock.
View taken last summer. Marty Robitaille
View of Montreal Skyline across the deck.
Close up of the stack.
Pilot house.
Office on board Comeaudoc.
Engine room controls.
Engine room gauges.
Comeaudoc's MAK 6M601 Engine.
Steering gear.
Visitors Steve on the left and Kevin on the right.
Very spacious Guest's cabin.
View of Panthermax bulbous bow from Comeaudoc.
OOCL Belgium viewed from Algosound.
Amelia and Cecilia Desgagnes.
A very cold and blustery Feb. day in the harbor.

Reported by: Kent Malo

Today in Great Lakes History - February 27

GOLDEN SABLE was launched February 27, 1930 as a)ACADIALITE.

Data from: Steve Haverty, 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

McLeod and Everlast Prepare for Sailing

Sunday the barge Norman McLeod and tug Everlast were preparing for their first trip to load asphalt in Detroit. The crew was busy testing the barge's bow thruster while docked at Wharf 17. The tug and barge are expected to depart some time this week.

The barge was built at the Jinling Shipyard in China and will carry heavy oils and asphalt products on the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River and East Coast. While in under tow from China the barge was damaged and required hull work at Port Weller Dry Docks. After the work was complete at Port Weller, the tug and barge moved to Port Colborne to complete fit out. Some deck gear and machinery used on the barge is salvaged from the Canadian Trader.

The modern barge is fitted to the tug Everlast, a specially designed 6,000 hp twin screw tug fitted with an Articouple system of hydraulic rams allowing ship like navigation efficiency and performance in speed, maneuverability and safety even in rough weather conditions. The overall unit length is just over 500 ft. with a 70 ft. beam.

Evelast and McLeod at dock.
Close up of the Norman McLeod.
Evelast in the notch.

Other vessels at Port Colborne
Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin.
Close up of the transition piece where the old stern section was joined with the new hull.
Martin's anchor on the dock.
Canadian Progress with the John Spence & McAsphalt 401 rafted to her port side.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski

Canadian Century Update

Crews working on the refit of the Canadian Century at Port Weller Dry Docks appear to have made up some of the time lost due to the high winds is January. Work is progressing rapidly as crews work to complete the vessel for launch late this spring.

View down the starboard side taken Friday.

Reported by: Roger Tottman

Sarnia News

The Cuyahoga's has been completely removed and the rudder is now on the dock just behind the Harbor Front Inn. There is no sign of any shaft being installed in the hole left in the stern when they removed the rudder mounts, so the rudder may be sitting on the dock for some time. Unconfirmed reports state that crews may be replacing the entire propeller shaft, to align better with the newer diesel engine.

Work continues on the recently laid up Peter R. Cresswell. Crews appear to be working on many electronic upgrades to the vessel.

Pictures by Clayton Sharrard
Saginaw and Cuyahoga stern to stern.
Another view.

Reported by: Jamie Kerwin

Toronto Update

Canadian Leader is now being unloaded at the Redpath Sugar Dock.

Monday was such a fine day that two sailboats ventured into the harbor. They were not alone as the fire tug Wm. Lyon Mackenzie was out; the island ferry Ongiara and the island airport ferry Maple City were in service.

As well, the police boat MU 04 was patrolling, This vessel recently returned from Hike Metal Products shipyard in Wheatley, and must have been trucked as the canal hasn't opened yet.

At the Keating Channel, the tug Ned Hanlan (2) was tarped over and undergoing sandblasting on her hull.

Reported by: Gerry O.

Tallship Purchased for Port Huron Area Attraction

As part of a master plan to ‘put the port back into Port Huron,’ Acheson Ventures is purchasing Highlander Sea, a vintage 154’ sailing schooner and bringing her to Port Huron to be the Blue Water Area’s Ambassador flagship. Negotiations for the sale are complete, and Acheson Ventures is now involved in the documentation process with the U. S. Coast Guard.

“Folks in the Blue Water area may remember Highlander Sea,” said Bob Lafean, maritime consultant for Acheson Ventures. “She hailed from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and visited Port Huron and Sarnia on several occasions over the past two summers with the Tallship Challenge series,” he said. Highlander Sea is a classic gaff tops’l schooner built in 1924 and purposely designed as a fast sailing ship.

Initial plans call for Highlander Sea to berth at the Port Huron Seaway Terminal dock as an attraction vessel. Future plans may include youth sail training programs. Acheson Ventures has hired the ship’s marketing director to oversee the vessel’s promotion. “One of the goals of Acheson Ventures is to revitalize the waterfront and rejuvenate the community’s interest in our maritime culture,” said Lafean, “We hope that Highlander Sea’s history and awe-inspiring elegance will help us do just that,” he said.

Built in 1924, in Essex, Massachusetts, the ship was originally conceived as a racing schooner to challenge the famous Nova Scotia racing schooner, Bluenose, in the International Fisherman’s Races of the 1920s and 1930s. Construction was abandoned when the race planned for 1924 was cancelled after a dispute between the racing syndicates. The Boston Harbor Pilotage Authority purchased the vessel, completed the project, and christened her Pilot. She served for 47 years as a Boston Harbor pilot ship, comfortably accommodating pilots overnight and racing them to join ships approaching the port of Boston.

She was bought by a consortium of two doctors and two lawyers to circumnavigate the globe. She got as far as Fiji and was sold to a San Diego businessman. The ship languished in San Diego where her current owner, Fred Smithers of Secunda Marine Services of Halifax, Nova Scotia, located her in 1998. Smithers renamed her Highlander Sea, had her brought back to the East Coast. Since that time the ship has undergone a multistage refit and has been employed cadet sail training vessel.

Reported by: Bob Lafean, Acheson Ventures

Former D.C. Everest Survives

The former Canal Crane Ship D.C. Everest survives today as the barge Condarrell at Section 64 in Montreal Harbor. Hidden from the public view by containers, the barge is owned by McKeil Marine and used as a lightering barge. Below are images taken of the vessel last week.

Bow view of the elusive Condarrell.
Stern view.
View of one of the barge's 45’ deck cranes.
D.C. Everest in 1973. Jim Hoffman Photograph

Also in Montreal Harbor:
Close up of cabins.
Federal Shimanto at shed 42 Montreal harbor.

Reported by: Kent Malo

Shipwreck Explorers Come to Oswego

Shipwreck explorers will share their tales of adventure with the public at Great Lakes Underwater 2002, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, March 9 in Lanigan Hall on the SUNY Oswego campus.

Great Lakes Underwater brings to Central New York many of the foremost experts and adventurers in Great Lakes shipwreck diving and exploration.

This is the sixth annual shipwreck and diving symposium hosted by the Oswego Maritime Foundation (OMF) and New York Sea Grant.

This year's event features noted presenters such as shipwreck explorer and author Cris Kohl, Joe Wargo of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Thunder Bay Marine Sanctuary, and underwater explorer Rick Neilson.

"Great Lakes Underwater! is designed to appeal to divers and non-divers alike," said Philip Church, director of OMF's submerged cultural resources program. "History buffs or anyone who enjoys true stories of adventure and exploration will take pleasure in the many professional presentations, exhibits, and displays they'll find at Great Lakes Underwater."

For more information, contact Sea Grant, or see the Great Lakes Underwater! 2002 web site at

Reported by: Phil Church

Ship and Tug Collide

Monday a tug and ship collided on the east coast near Chesapeake Bay. Click here for details.

Reported by: T. Carlson and D. Kohls

Today in Great Lakes History - February 26

The completed hull of the BELLE RIVER (b) WALTER J. McCARTHY JR.) was floated off the ways February 26, 1977.

JOSEPH L. BLOCK was launched February 26, 1976.

On 26 February 1874, the tug WILLIAM LIVINGSTONE, Jr. was launched at Port Huron Dry Dock. Her dimensions were 151' overall, 25'6" beam, and 13'depth. Her machinery was built by Phillerick & Christy of Detroit and was shipped by rail to Port Huron. She cost $45,000. Her master builder was Alex Stewart.

On 26 February 1876, the MARY BELL (iron propeller, 58', 34 gt, built in 1870 at Buffalo, NY) burned near Vicksburg, Michigan.

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

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

Cliffs will support LTV bidders

With the fate of LTV's steelmaking assets to be decided this week, Cleveland-Cliffs says it would help finance the purchase of an LTV steel mill but won't bid itself except as a last resort.

Ten companies interested in buying bankrupt LTV Steel's assets are expected to submit bids this week to a federal bankruptcy court in Youngstown, Ohio. A judge is expected to consider Thursday whether to approve LTV's choice of bidders.

Cliffs, North America's largest producer of iron ore, told the Duluth News Tribune that it is not submitting a bid on LTV's steel mills but would assist other buyers that want to operate the mills. If no other bidders are successful, "Cliffs would be interested in acquiring the assets in negotiations with LTV," a company spokesman told the newspaper.

Of particular interest are steel mills in Cleveland and Indiana Harbor. Both were major consumers of iron ore from the Great Lakes region before being idled by LTV's financial woes.

Among the bidders to which Cliffs has offered financial support is Cleveland Steel Inc., a new group formed to keep LTV's steel mills operating. Members of that group include former managers of LTV and Republic Technologies.

Reported by: Al Miller

Algonova Departs

The tanker Algonova departed the Soo harbor with the escort of the U.S.C.G. Biscayne Bay headed down river Sunday. The tanker departed the Government Dock in Soo Canada at about 9:00 a.m.

Reported by: Jerry Masson

Vessel Sold

As reported earlier, the 1,599 gr.t. coastal vessel Arctic Viking was sold in January in Montreal to as yet unspecified interests by C.A. Crosbie Shipping Ltd. of St. John's, Nfld. Recently she was flying the Panama flag and was renamed Le Compagnon. With such a name, it can be assumed it was sold to Haitian interests.

Built in 1967 in Germany as Baltic Viking for United Baltic Corp., England, she was transferred to the Canadian flag in 1981 by them following a long term charter to C.A. Crosbie Shipping who renamed her Arctic Viking and was later bought by the company. In 2001, she remained laid up in Montreal all year. It is believe her last trip occurred in Sept. 2000 after delivering supplies to the arctic.

She was a regular Seaway user during the summer and early fall since 1988. That year, she entered the Seaway on August 6 bound for Ogdensburg, N.Y. to pick up a small cargo for delivery to a US military base. It is believed that the vessel never ventured west of Ogdensburg and proceeding the year when she lay up in Montreal, she only went as far as Côte Ste. Catherine to load supplies beginning about 1995.

Reported by: René Beauchamp

CSL Launches Three New Web Sites

In response to the changing needs of its Internet visitors, Canada Steamship Lines is re-launching its online presence with not one but three new Web sites. The sites represent the corporate structure of CSL: The CSL Group (the parent company), Canada Steamship Lines (Great Lakes - St. Lawrence shipping) and CSL International (international shipping).

The site for the CSL Group ( provides an overall picture of the corporation. This is partly conveyed via a video explaining the company's activities. This site also delves into CSL's heritage with a history section and an art gallery featuring CSL paintings.

The CSL International ( and Canada Steamship Lines ( sites share many common elements, including self-unloading ships in action, a video showing how self-unloaders work and news. The Fleet sections of both sites include more detail than ever before. CSL International's fleet section will eventually include pdf files showing the ship specifications in greater detail.

"While there is a great deal of cooperation between CSL and CSL International - in terms of operations and management - the companies do sell to different groups of customers," explains Sylvie Lafleur, Director, Customer Service & Contract Administration. "It makes sense that they each have a distinct presence on the Internet."

Headquartered in Montreal, Canada Steamship Lines Inc. is a major North American shipping company transporting dry bulk cargo throughout the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Waterway. CSL International Inc. is based in Beverly, MA, and trades on the U.S. East and West coasts as well as Australia and Asia. Combined, the companies own and operate the largest fleet of self-unloading vessels in the world. They are owned by the CSL Group of Montreal.

For more information, visit the Web sites:
The CSL Group:
Canada Steamship Lines:
CSL International:

Reported by: Canada Steamship Lines

Divers Hope this is the Year

Nearly 100 years ago there was a ship that sailed the lake carrying railroad cars of coal and her name was the Marquette and Bessemer No.2.

December 7th 1909 was her last voyage on Lake Erie. Leaving Conneaut Ohio for her daily run to Port Stanley Ontario with 36 men and 32 hopper cars of coal. After encountering a terrific December storm with 70 knot winds and zero visibility it is believed to have tried to enter Port Stanley harbor without success because of the massive waves so she turned west and headed for the safety and shelter of Point Aux Pins and then turned again back for Conneaut.

Her whistle could be heard throughout the night from both sides of the lake as she tried to find safe haven from the winter storm. The ship was made without a sea gate to enclose and secure the stern of ship and this is what was believed to cause her to sink that fateful night, nearly a century ago.

Legends and lore have moved generations to find the elusive ship, but it will be this year she will be found. As the rumors and the information gathers so does the anticipation of finding the wreck that has escaped discovery for all these years.

Even with the best of technology and the most professional resources she has yet to be discovered. How could a ship this size with so many rail cars not be found in a shallow lake this size?

The fascination that can cast a spell between the professional divers and historians are what locals expect to find coming to the surface in the months to come as many expect the wreck to be found.

Marquette and Bessemer No.2 departing Erieau

Reported by: T. Parker

Kinsman Independent

With the announced plans to scrap the Kinsman Enterprise many are looking to the last remaining active straight deck bulk carrier, the Kinsman Independent. The classic vessel continues to fit out each season, working the grain trade. Below are a series of images of the vessel.

Passing the J. L. Mauthe.
Under tow.
Passing beneath the Michigan St. Bridge.
Looking down at the forward cabins.
On deck looking forward.
Close up of forward cabins.
On the main deck.
Pilot house.
Chadburn and equipment.
Chart room.
Windlass room.
Unloading legs at the Lake & Rail Elevator.
Close up.
Unloading leg enters the hold.
Unloading crew in the hold.
Close up.
Close up of unloading leg scooping grain.
On deck looking aft.
Life boat.
Close up of stack.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski

Weekly Updates

Click here for the latest updates and new pictures.

Today in Great Lakes History - February 25

CREEK TRANSPORT was launched this day in 1910 as a) SASKATOON (1).

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

Conquest Returns

The cement barge Southdown Conquest and tug Susan Hannah have returned to their Milwaukee lay-up dock after a few early season trips. The tug and barge entered lay-up on January 21 but departed February 5 making trips to Grand Haven, Detroit and Owen Sound.

On Thursday the pair returned to Milwaukee with the barge fully loaded and no unloading activity was evident.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde

Today in Great Lakes History - February 24

The KINSMAN INDEPENDENT (2) was launched February 24, 1923 as a) RICHARD V. LINDABURY.

The founder of Arnold Transit Co., long-time ferry operators between Mackinac Island and the mainland, George T. Arnold filed the Articles of Association on Feb. 24, 1900.

On 24 February 1920, TALLAC (formerly SIMON J. MURPHY and MELVILLE DOLLAR, steel propeller, 235', built in 1895 at W. Bay City, MI) was on a voyage from Colon, Panama to Baltimore, MD, when she stranded and was wrecked 18 miles south of Cape Henry, VA.

Data from: Roger LeLievre, 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

Bridge Update

The Norfolk Southern Railway Co. is proposing a repair plan that would reopen a bridge to boats at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River and keep it open through most of the shipping season. U.S. Coast Guard engineers will inspect the railroad's lift bridge on Tuesday, Chief Petty Officer Adam Wine told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The Bridge has been locked in the down position for repairs for three weeks. It was to have returned to normal operation this week, but Coast Guard officials decided to keep it locked down because railroad workers discovered that a shaft is cracked and that the bridge deck cannot be moved safely.

If the cracked shaft can be replaced, the bridge can be operated from March 25 through the summer. When winter comes, the bridge can be closed for permanent repairs. The Coast Guard will make the final decision on the plan.

Local shippers became alarmed about the effect of the bridge's continued closing on commerce when the Coast Guard notified them the bridge would have to remain closed for several more weeks, possibly through mid-May.

The railroad continues to use the bridge in the closed position, with 60 to 70 freight trains passing over it each day.

Twenty-six docks and terminals are upriver from the bridge, said Jim Cox, spokesman for the Flats Industry Association. In 2001, nearly 10 million tons of iron ore, limestone, cement and salt moved on the river. If the bridge remains closed until mid-April, boats carrying about 627,000 tons of material would be idled, according to the Lake Carriers' Association.

Shipping, railroad, maritime and government representatives had scheduled a meeting with Cleveland's public service director on Friday, hoping to resolve the issue.

Reported by: Sam Bomyea and Dave Merchant

Risley Heads South

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley departed the Soo Harbor Friday downbound. It was heading to work in the Windsor/Detroit area.

The Risley arrived at Roberta Bondar Dock Thursday afternoon passing the downbound cutter Mackinaw in the St Marys River.

The crew reported favorable ice conditions, similar to the Windsor/Detroit area and light brash ice at Johnsons Point. The ship was covered with a sheen of very light ice, bordered with icicles along parts of the hull. Risley docked.

Reported by: Jerry Masson

Opening of the 2002 Navigation Season

The St. Lawrence Seaway will open in March with the Montreal and Lake Ontario Sections and the Welland Canal on the morning of March 26.

The Seaway is expected to remain open through Dec.20, 2002 with the closing date no later than Dec. 24, 2002.

In the Montreal to Lake Ontario section, the draft will be 79.2 dm (26') until the south shore canal is clear of ice and then it will be increased to 80 dm (26'3"). This will be no later than April 15. The 26'3" depth will be in effect from the opening of the Welland Canal.

Vessel transits will be subject to weather and ice conditions while some areas will be daylight only navigation until lighted aids are installed.

There was also a notice about costs for the Automatic Identification System. The system will be operational by July , 2002 and will be mandatory for all ships in 2003.

The Soo Locks will return to service on March 25.

Reported by: Ron Walsh

Server Move

I'm almost done with the server updates. The move went smoothly but please e-mail if you experience any problems with the site.

I'm a little behind on the news updates but will add more pictures and news items over the weekend.

Today in Great Lakes History - February 23

The e) U.S.S. ROTARY (YO-148) was commissioned on February 23, 1943 at Sullivan's Dry Dock & Repair Co., Brooklyn, NY and assigned duty with the Service Force, Third Naval District, Atlantic Fleet. The tanker was renamed h) DETROIT early in 1955 and traded on the lakes until. Her partially dismantled hull was abandoned in 1985 in the back waters of Lake Calumet.

On 23 February 1843, SANDUSKY (wooden side-wheeler, 148', 377 t, built in 1834 at Sandusky, OH) caught fire at her dock on Buffalo Creek in Buffalo, New York and burned to the hull. She was recovered, rebuilt as a 3-masted bark and lasted another two years.

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

Cuyahoga bridge plan worries docks, ship owners

A railroad bridge that needs repair threatens to block Cleveland's Cuyahoga River until spring, temporarily cutting off four laid-up ships and several bulk terminals from Lake Erie, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The Coast Guard last month closed the Norfolk Southern Railroad lift bridge at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. With the span locked in the down position, the bridge can be used by trains but the span's 8-foot clearance above the water prevents all commercial watercraft from passing beneath it.

The bridge was scheduled to reopen Tuesday, but the Coast Guard decided to keep it closed until at least the end of March after discovering cracks that could affect the bridge's safety, the Coast Guard said.

Vessel operators and owners of three cement terminals, a salt dock and several stone docks are angry with the decision to leave the bridge closed. Representatives of 27 shippers met this week in Cleveland seeking a solution that would open the river to navigation on time.

"Basically, this will cripple the whole bulk cargo industry for Cleveland," Jim Pajk, senior terminal manager for St. Mary's Cement Co. Great Lakes Regions, told the Plain Dealer.

Norfolk Southern originally offered the carriers two plans that would allow them to do some shipping. One plan would have kept the bridge closed until April 15, if work proceeded around-the-clock. The other would have opened it on March 25 only, but closed it again until May 15.

Glen Nekvasil, spokesman for the Lake Carriers' Association, told the Plain Dealer that the bridge closing could seriously damage business and has already stranded four ships: two Oglebay Norton Co. freighters and two cement ships. One of the cement ships, the Alpena, was scheduled to leave for Lake Erie on March 1.

Nekvasil said some Cuyahoga River industries, such as the stone trade, will not be affected much by the closing because their shipping season doesn't start until early April. But some salt is supposed to be shipped out of the river in late March by Cargill Salt.

Reported by: Sam Bomyea and Bob Vande Vusse

Buffalo Update

The tug Breaker has been busy with her crane/work barges as the New York State Power Authority removes the Niagara River Ice Boom. There is no lake ice in sight due to the warmest winter in 70 years. The higher temps and lack of ice will cause another drop in lake levels as moisture evaporates and is not being replaced with snow run off.

This will likely cause an increase in algae and zebra mussels from the lack of the "scouring action" of the ice and result in poor tasting drinking water for Buffalo this summer.

The Kinsman Independent is due to fit out this Spring for at least for a few runs. With General Mills considering converting the Frontier Elevator to accept self-unloader cargoes, the future of the Independent looks bleak.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski

Server Move

About 11:00 p.m. last night I switched over to a dedicated server. The move went smoothly but please e-mail if you experience any problems with the site.

I'm a little behind on the news updates but will add more pictures and news items over the weekend.

Today in Great Lakes History - February 22

February 22, 1925 - The ANN ARBOR NO. 7 made her maiden voyage.

On 22 February 1878, the 156' wooden freighter ROBERT HOLLAND was purchased by Beatty & Co. of Sarnia for $20,000.

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

Trader Loads

Early Sunday morning the Great Lakes Trader returned to Escanaba to load ore. The Trader did not begin loading right away as it normally would but loaded that afternoon and by Monday afternoon was unloading in Indiana Harbor at the Inland Steel ore dock. The Trader has been carrying around 30 thousand tons each trip. The Trader encountered some thick ice near the ore dock but had no trouble making the dock.

Pictures by Scott Best
Tug Joe Thompson Jr, Olive L Moore, Great Lakes Trader in the distance.
Great Lakes Trader and Joyce L Van Enkevort at the loading dock.
Close up of the Great Lakes Trader.
Side view of the tug and barge at the dock.
Stern view of the tug Joe Thompson Jr. in lay-up at the ore dock.
Stern view of the barge Joseph H Thompson in winter lay-up.

Reported by: Scott Best and Gary Clark

Mackinaw Stops

Wednesday evening the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw arrived in the Soo harbor. The big ice breaker was expected to stop at the Carbide Dock.

Reported by: Jerry Masson

Interested Buyers

Wednesday's Cleveland Plain Dealer listed companies that may be interested in purchasing the assets of the bankrupt LTV Steel. 10 companies were reported to have expressed written interest in the idled mills in Cleveland and Indiana.

Bethlehem Steel Corp., Bethlehem, Pa.
Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., Cleveland
U.S. Steel Corp., Pittsburgh
Companhia Siderurgica Nacionale, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Dofasco Inc., Hamilton, Ontario
Shanghai Baosteel Group Corp., Shanghai
Park Corp., Cleveland
A group of former LTV managers
WL Ross & Co. LLC, New York
The city of Lorain

Reported by: Ned Gang

Server Move

I anticipate switching the server over late Thursday night. Most changes should be transparent to the users. I will update the progress tomorrow. Please e-mail if you experience any problems with the site after tomorrow night.

Today in Great Lakes History - February 21

The EDWIN H. GOTT arrived at Two Harbors (her first trip) February 21, 1979 with the loss of one of her two rudders during her transit of Lake Superior. Also the other rudder post was damaged. She was holed in her bow and some of her cargo hold plating ruptured as a result of frozen ballast tanks. Even the MACKINAW suffered damage to her port propeller shaft on the trip across frozen Lake Superior.

The keel of the new bow section for the HILDA MARJANNE was laid on February 21, 1961 while at the same time the tanker hull forward of her engine room bulkhead was being cut away.

On 21 February 1929, SAPPHO (wooden propeller passenger ferry, 107', 224 gt, built in 1883 at Wyandotte, MI) burned at her winter lay-up dock in Ecorse, Michigan. She had provided 46 years of service ferrying passengers across the Detroit River. She was neither repaired nor replaced since the Ambassador Bridge was nearing completion.

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

Winter Work

Crews in Milwaukee returned the freshly rebuilt 10 ton generator back to the Burns Harbor on Monday. The generator was lowered back to the engine room through a ten foot square hole that had been cut in the sloped side of the cargo hold. Since it wasn't a straight shot back to its final position behind the outboard port side engine, crew’s had to push and pull the 20,000 pound animal with chain falls and brute strength.

The generator had failed last summer and was removed for rebuilding by shipyard workers in Sturgeon Bay, WI.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde

Cleveland Lay-up

Below are images of Cleveland's lay-up fleet taken on Tuesday.

Alpena at the Lafarge Dock.
Fred R. White and Earl W. Oglebay in the Old River Bed.
Earl W. Oglebay
Santa watches over the Earl W. from atop the pilothouse.

Reported by: Rex Cassidy and Dave Wobser

ISMA Directory

The Historical Collections of the Great Lakes is in the process of creating a "Maritime Personnel" database. Part of the entries comes from the International Ship Master's Association Directories, 1896-present.

They are searching for pages 17-20 of the 1941 ISMA Directory.

If you have a directory with the missing pages please e-mail Robert W. Graham. He can also be reached by phone at: 419-372-9612 Xerox copies of the pages are all that is needed.


I have begun to move the entire site to In the long run this will be a great benefit to the site, with a 40 gig hard drive just for pictures and it will be much easier for me to update and edit the content.

Also important to note that the only e-mail address to reach me is

Today in Great Lakes History - February 20

On February 20, 1959, the Herbert C. Jackson was launched at Great Lakes Engineering Works in River Rouge, Michigan.

The DES GROSEILLIERS was launched February 20, 1982.

On 20 February 1903, G. WATSON FRENCH (steel propeller, 376', 3785 gt) was launched at W. Bay City, MI. She lasted until 1964 when she was scrapped by Lakehead Scrap metal Co. in Fort William, Ontario. The other names she had during her career were HENRY P. WERNER (1924), JOHN J. BOLAND (2)(1937), and ALGOWAY (1947).

On 20 February 1903, G. WATSON FRENCH (steel propeller freighter, 376', 3785 gt) was launched at W. Bay City, Michigan. She was later named HENRY P. WERNER (1924), JOHN J. BOLAND (2)(1937) and ALGOWAY (1947). She lasted until 1964 when she was scrapped by Lakeland Scrap Metal Company in Fort William, Ontario.

Data from: Jody Aho, 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

Conquest Delivers

The tug Susan W. Hannah and barge Southdown Conquest arrived in Owen Sound on Saturday night to unload a cargo of cement. The tug and barge arrived before crews could move the Algomarine to provide docking space. By placing the Conquest's bow on the dock, they were able to connect the cement unloading gear and the stern stayed in the middle of the harbor.

The conquest tied up between the Algosteel and the Algomarine on the East wall. She overlapped the Algomarine by some 90-feet.

With the Conquest in place, the Algomarine was never moved. The Conquest Left on Sunday afternoon after completing her discharge.

Monday the pair caught the attention of many boat watchers as it docked in Mackinaw City. The reason for the stop was unknown but could be weather related. Many people drove down to see the cement carrier.

Reported by: Seann O'Donoughue, Torben Hawksbridge, Robert Luebke and Ben & Chanda McClain

More Sturgeon Bay Pictures

Below are recent images taken in Sturgeon Bay.

Wide view of vessels wintering at Bay Shipbuilding.
Lee A. Tregurtha, Kaye. Barker and Wilfred Sykes.
James R. Barker and Mesabi Miner.
Close up of their bows.
Three thousand-footers in lay-up.
Dorothy Ann and Pathfinder.
Lee A. Tregurtha, Kaye E. Barker and Charles M. Beeghly.
Charles M. Beeghly and Joseph L. Block.
American Mariner.
Sam Laud.
Stern view of the Wilfred Sykes.
Edgar B. Speer.
Down river, the Edward L. Ryerson.
New yacht under construction at Palmer Johnson.

Reported by: Dick Lund

Halifax Update

On Sunday the container ship Kamakura was assisted into Halifax by Capt. Jeff Butler on the tug Point Chebucto . Below are images from the harbor.

Tug Point Chebucto and Capt. Butler.
Tug Point Vigour.
Point Chebucto is 490grt with a 4,500 bhp engine.
Point Halifax.
Point Halifax stern view.
Tug Point Valiant.
Stern view.
Kamakura unloading.
Hidden behind containers at the dock.

Reported by: Jim Gallacher


I have begun to move the entire site to In the long run this will be a great benefit to the site, with a 40 gig hard drive just for pictures and it will be much easier for me to update and edit the content.

Also important to note that the only e-mail address to reach me is

Today in Great Lakes History - February 19

The b) TROY H. BROWNING (c. THOMAS F. PATTON) was towed from the James River with two other C4s, the LOUIS McHENRY HOWE (b. TOM M. GIRDLER) and MOUNT MANSFIELD (b. CHARLES M. WHITE), to the Maryland Dry Dock Co., Baltimore, MD, February 1951, to be converted to a Great Lakes bulk carrier according to plans designed by J.J. Henry & Co., New York, NY.

Wolf & Davidson of Milwaukee sold the JIM SHERIFFS (wooden propeller, 182', 634 gt, built in 1883 at Milwaukee, QI) to the Kelley Island Line on 19 February 1887.

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

Port Weller Update

The work on the Canadian Century is a little behind schedule due to the high winds is January which made it unsafe to move the 78-foot hull sections by crane. Now that the first two sections are in place crews are working from the center out.

Crews will begin to remove the vessel’s name leading observers to believe that it will be renamed when it is relaunched in mid May.

The $25-million (C) refit will be similar to the work that the shipyard completed on the CSL Tadoussac last winter. The bow and stern sections will remain intact, along with most of the main deck. The cargo hold and the rest of the midsection will be replaced with a new, larger cargo hold, a one-belt self-unloading system with a flat tank top.

The Port Weller crews have been working since about May building the new midsection. When it returns to service it will not only carry more cargo, but will improve efficiency through the increased use of technology.

Work on the Hamilton Energy is complete and the fueling vessel is ready to leave as soon as work on Lock 1 is completed. Port Weller crews continue work on the Sauniere.

Hamilton Energy in late January.
Stern view of the Sauniere in dry dock.

Reported by: Roger Tottman

Sarnia News

The Algonova departed the North Slip at 11:00 a.m. Sunday morning and proceeded down to the Imperial Oil Refiner.

The Peter R. Cresswell is now laid up with the ballast having been pumped out. With her and the Algowood alongside the Government Dock sheds, and sitting very high in the water, a rather awesome site has been created as you drive down Front Street from downtown Sarnia. They tend to dwarf the sheds and everything else around them.

The Peter R. Cresswell is expected to be in lay-up for approximately one month.

Reported by: Jamie Kerwin

Algoeast Visits Saginaw

The Algoeast was inbound the Saginaw River passing Light 12 in the Entrance Channel at 1:40 p.m. Saturday afternoon. She was inbound for the Ashland-Marathon Dock in Bay City.

The tanker finished unloading Sunday afternoon, turned from the dock and was outbound for the lake at 3:30 p.m.

Pictures by: Todd Shorkey
Algoeast outbound the Saginaw River at Smith Park.
Stern shot downbound at Smith Park.
Images from the trip inbound
Algoeast inbound approaching the Front Range Light.
Inbound at the Front Range.
Algoeast close up.
Stern View at Consumers Energy.
Algoeast upbound at Essroc.
Stern View at Smith Park.

Reported by: Stephen Hause, Lon Morgan and Todd Shorkey

Sturgeon Bay Update

Below are images of the lay-up fleet at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, WI.

Wide view of Bay Ship.
Charles M. Beeghly, Joseph L. Block and the stern of the American Mariner.
James R. Barker and Mesabi Miner.
From L. to R. Dorothy Ann, Pathfinder, Lee A. Tregurtha, Kaye E. Barker, Wilfred Sykes, bow of the Beeghly.
Ryerson from across the canal.
Along the dock.
Close up at dock.

Reported by: Lee Rowe

The Dangers of Grain Elevator Work

There are many types of accidents that can occur at a grain elevator terminal that the employees have to be aware of and watch out for. The biggest danger is combustible grain dust that is constantly present and is highly explosive. Over the years techniques have been developed and implemented to cut down on this ever present threat. The biggest one, making all electrical connections spark proof.

At one time Thunder Bay was divided into two smaller cities called Port Arthur and Fort William and grain elevators lined the banks of both cities. These elevators employed more than 1500 people and the grain industry was booming. Between United Grain Growers "a" house and Richardson Elevators in Port Arthur, were two Saskatchewan Grain Elevators, Pool 4 and Pool 5. Both these elevators have suffered huge explosions, Pool 5 in 1945 and Pool 4a in 1952. The 1952 explosion took 4 lives and injured a dozen or more workers but the '45 explosion at Pool 5 was far worse.

It was August 7, 1945 and most of the elevator's 55 employees on the shift were heading back to work after morning coffee break when the explosion occurred. It was so powerful that large slabs of concrete from the side of the building were hurled over 100-feet into the air. The noise was so loud that it was heard for some 10 miles around and brought worried and curious onlookers by the thousands from around the cities of Fort William and Port Arthur.

The tops of three bins beside the elevator had their tops blown clear off and the top half of the 180-foot high elevator workhouse had all the walls blown out. All that stood was the mangled metal steel skeleton. Railway Box Cars that were sitting below, were squashed as tons of debris rained down from above. It was truly a horrific scene.

Far worse than the destruction of the building, were the cries of the wounded and the frantic search among the wreckage for survivors. As fire, police and even army personnel arrived, workers were already digging and searching for lost friends. About 32 workers were injured, some seriously and at least 20 were missing. Dazed and confused workers were seen wandering around inside the destroyed building and a survivor later told of what he saw while working in the upper level of the building.

He said that all of a sudden there was an enormous wind that came up from floors below and then a deafening boom at which point the area in front of him collapsed downward. Somehow he managed to escape with only an injured hand. Others weren't so lucky. Police cars and public vehicles were used for make-shift ambulances to take the injured to the hospitals as the search among the rubble continued. A very experienced diver was brought in to search the slip near the Elevator for bodies. It was E.J. (Doc) Fowler, who later in 1947 dove the "Emperor" shipwreck in search of bodies after it sank on June 4, 1947.

In the days that followed, three of the seriously injured would die bringing the total to 23 dead, the worst elevator blast in the history of Thunder Bay.

Pool 5 was rebuilt and renamed Pool 4b. The pool 4a and b complex is now abandoned and stripped of its machinery. Since the disastrous blasts of Pool 4 and 5, safety precautions have made the Elevator workplace a much safer environment, but the threat still lurks in the shadows.

Next time you see a large freighter being loaded beside one of these huge structures, give some thought to the workers inside who are there making an honest living to support their families.

One can only imagine what it was like to be there and below are photos of the accident taken a short while after the terrifying explosion. These photos have been graciously supplied by Stan Klemecky of Roblin, Manitoba. They show the magnitude and devastation of the blast.

Unfortunately as late as June 8, 1998 Elevator explosions continue to happen, one in Haysville, Kansas killed 7 workers and injured 10 more and all from a overheated seized bearing on a conveyor. Let’s hope this never happens again.

The Mid-section of the Workhouse.
A Policeman walks thru debris.
A Policeman with a look of disbelief .
Squashed rail cars.
Survivor transferred from top of workhouse by bosun chair.
Damage to top of workhouse.
Workers clear debris.
Workers search for survivors.
Another view of the workhouse.
Another view of the crushed rail cars.
The 1952 Explosion 7 years later at Pool 4.
Sask Pools 4 & 5 as they are today.

Reported by: Rob Farrow

Rise and Fall of an Enterprise

A series of photos of the Kinsman Enterprise while sailing during the early 1990's. All the photos were taken in Buffalo. The series starts with a tow downriver from the American Elevator to the outer Harbor, in the forward cabin structure, texas deck, chart section of the pilothouse, the bow thruster, and the forward deck looking aft.

Enterprise heading outbound with a tug.
Turning in the harbor.
Under tow.
Unloading at night.
Under tow.
Stair way.
Fire place.
Desk in chart room.
Chain Locker.
Looking aft from the top of the pilot house.
Main deck looking aft.
Steam winch.
View atop the after cabins, emergency steering in foreground.
Looking forward from the stern.
Looking forward from the main deck.
Enterprise and Independent in lay-up.
Paper work from the past.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski


I have begun to move the entire site to In the long run this will be a great benefit to the site, with a 40 gig hard drive just for pictures and it will be much easier for me to update and edit the content.

Also important to note that the only e-mail address to reach me is

Weekly Updates

The regular weekly updates are now available. "Picture of the Day" will continue once I have the new server on-line. Click here to view the Weekly Updates.

Today in Great Lakes History - February 18

IMPERIAL ST. CLAIR participated in an historic special convoy with DOAN TRANSPORT, which carried caustic soda, led by CCGS GRIFFON arriving at Thunder Bay, Ont. on February 18, 1977. The journey took one week from Sarnia, Ont. through Lake Superior ice as much as six feet thick, and at one point it took four days to travel 60 miles. The trip was initiated to supply residents of the Canadian Lakehead with 86,000 barrels of heating oil the reserves of which were becoming depleted due to severe weather that winter.

The JOSEPH S. YOUNG (1) was towed to the Great Lakes via the Mississippi River and arrived at the Manitowoc Ship Building Co., Manitowoc, WI on February 18, 1957 where her self unloading equipment was installed. This was the last large vessel to enter the Lakes via the Mississippi. She was the first of seven T2 tanker conversions for Great Lakes service.

The Murphy fleet was sold on 18 February 1886. The tugs GLADIATOR, KATE WILLIAMS and BALIZE went to Captain Maytham, the tug WILLIAM A. MOORE to Mr. Grummong, the schooner GERRIT SMITH to Captain John E. Winn, and the tug ANDREW J. SMITH to Mr. Preston Brady.

Data from: Jody Aho, 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

Salvage Operation

The salvage of a sunken barge in Sault Ste. Marie continues off the Purvis Dock. The barge G.L.B. No. 2 sank at the dock on February 7. The barge is slowly surfacing as compressed air pumped in by salvage crews is forcing water from the side tanks.

Corner of barge raised above the surface.

Reported by: Jerry Masson

Cresswell Joins Sarnia's Lay-up Fleet

The Peter R. Cresswell arrived alongside the Algowood Saturday afternoon. The Cresswell turned at the Black River, having been previously upbound, and then proceeded to back upbound into the North Slip. The captain then swung the bow over into the Government Docks and pulled in beside the Algowood. This is not the usual way of pulling into the Government Docks but was very effective and went smoothly.

The Saginaw, Canadian Transfer and Maumee are still fairly silent. The Cuyahoga is receiving a lot of work. She still has some Port Side Aft plating removed and work is also focused on the rudder and shaft. The shaft has been completely removed and an end plate has been temporarily bolted on to prevent water from entering the shaft. The rudder shaft has been completely cut out and a large hole has been left in the stern.

The patch on the Algowood's bow has been completed but not painted. The Algorail is still waiting for her new unloading belt to be installed.

The CCGS Griffin continues to sit at the end of the Government Docks south wall.

Reported by: Jamie Kerwin

Great Lakes Trader Trading

The barge Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort returned to Escanaba Friday to take on another load of taconite for the Lake Michigan steel mills. The tug and barge encountered some ice in the harbor but was able to make the dock. Not effected by the passage were ice shanties set up near shipping channel.

Little to no ice cover on Lake Michigan has allowed the pair to begin an early season.

Great Lakes Trader loading.
Looking past the bow of the Joseph H. Thompson in lay-up.

Reported by: Lee Rowe

Tug Gallery Update

New Picture of the Day in the Tug Gallery. William Selvick in Toledo.

Click here to view.
If you have a favorite tug picture you would like featured please e-mail


If you are reading this page you found the notice that the page has moved. Please pass the word by E-mailing this page to a friend

Also important to note that the only e-mail address to reach me is

The problems with my access to OU are expected to be temporary, but these changes shall remain permanent. I have begun to move the entire site to In the long run this will be a great benefit, with a 40 gig hard drive just for pictures.

Today in Great Lakes History - February 17

In heavy weather on February 17, 1981 the WITSUPPLY (b. TRANSTREAM) foundered in the Caribbean Sea off Cabo de la Vela, Colombia. She was being towed to the scrap yard at Cartagena, Columbia when she sank.

February 17, 1977 - The CITY OF MIDLAND 41, shortly after departing Ludington encountered a heavy ridge of ice that snapped all the blades off her starboard propeller. One of the blades ripped a hole two feet long by three inches wide which caused the 41 to take on water, but pumps were able to keep her afloat. SPARTAN came out to free her but also became mired in the ice. On February 18 the cutter MACKINAW freed them.

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

Tank Catches Fire

Wednesday a propane tank on a cherry picker caught fire at Port Weller Dry Docks. The cherry picker was along side the Sauniere at the time but there was no damage to the ship. Crews at the dry dock acted quickly and the fire was extinguished.

Currently in the dry docks are the Hamilton Energy and Canadian Century.

Reported by: Launy Paul

Tug Gallery Update

New Picture of the Day in the Tug Gallery. Buffalo Fire Boat Edward M. Cotter.

Click here to view.
If you have a favorite tug picture you would like featured please e-mail


If you are reading this page you found the notice that the page has moved. Please pass the word by E-mailing this page to a friend

Also important to note that the only e-mail address to reach me is

The problems with my access to OU are expected to be temporary, but these changes shall remain permanent.

Today in Great Lakes History - February 16

The EDWIN H. GOTT sailed on her maiden voyage February 16, 1979 in ballast from Milwaukee, bound for Two Harbors, MN. This was the first maiden voyage of a laker ever in mid-winter. She was in convoy with three of her fleetmates; CASON J. CALLAWAY, PHILIP R. CLARKE and JOHN G. MUNSON, each needing assistance from the U.S.C.G. MACKINAW to break through heavy ice 12 to 14 inches thick the length of Lake Superior. The GOTT took part in a test project, primarily by U.S. Steel, to determine the feasibility of year around navigation.

The JAMES E. FERRIS was launched February 16, 1910 as the ONTARIO (4).

On February 16, 1977 a four hour fire caused major damage to the crews' forward quarters aboard the W.W. HOLLOWAY while at American Ship Building's Chicago yard.

February 16, 1939 - The state ferry CHIEF WAWATAM was fast in the ice in the Straits of Mackinac. She freed herself the next day and proceeded to St. Ignace.

The little tug JAMES ANDERSON burned on Long Lake near Alpena, Michigan on the morning of 16 February 1883. Arson was suspected.

Data from: Max Hanley, 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

A dry winter in Duluth

Low lake levels won't get much help from northern Minnesota this year because of sparse snow and ice cover.

The waters off Duluth are completely open this winter. Thin sheets of ice have formed on the lake a couple of days this winter, but they quickly disappeared in the face of mild temperatures, sunlight and wave action. Even in Duluth-Superior harbor, patches of open water have been common, most notably near the ship canal and near the Midwest Energy Terminal.

Snowfall around northern Minnesota has been much lighter than usual, with no heavy snowfall since late November. More snow has fallen along the south shore, but most of that has been lake effect snow.

Reported by: Al Miller

LTV Pension

The LTV Corp. says it believes the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) will become trustee of the company's pension plans on March 31, 2002.

LTV Steel ceased operation in December 2001 and is currently liquidating its integrated steel assets. Its pension plans cover approximately 82,000 former hourly and salaried employees of LTV Steel and LTV Steel Mining Company, including those already retired. The affected defined benefit pension plans are: the LTV Steel Hourly Pension Plan, the LTV Steel Salaried Defined Benefit Retirement Plan and the LTV Steel Mining Company Pension Plan.

``LTV and the PBGC are working closely to effect an orderly transfer of the pension plans,'' said Glenn J. Moran, chairman and chief executive officer of The LTV Corp.

LTV believes that shares of its common stock are worthless because the value expected to be generated by the sale of assets would be insufficient to provide a recovery for common shareholders in the reorganization process.

The PBGC has established a toll-free telephone information line for participants in the LTV Steel defined benefit pension plans -- 1-800-707-PBGC (7242). The agency also has created a special LTV Steel information section on the agency's website,

Reported by: Chris Winkler

Halifax Update

That Atlantic Erie is waiting out the winter in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Below are images taken on Wednesday.

Atlantic Erie in lay-up.
Bow view.
Web site address.
Close up of the bow thruster.
Looking towards the Mission to Seafarers Building.
Mission To Seafarers building in Halifax.
UBC SVEA loading wooden pellets for shipment to Europe, she was expected to depart today.
Another view.

Reported by: Jim Gallacher

Tug Gallery Update

New Picture of the Day in the Tug Gallery. Business end of a tow line as the Spar Garnet is towed into Ashtabula.

Click here to view.
If you have a favorite tug picture you would like featured please e-mail


If you are reading this page you found the notice that the page has moved. Please pass the word by E-mailing this page to a friend

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The problems with my access to OU are expected to be temporary, but these changes shall remain perminant.

Today in Great Lakes History - February 15

In 1961 the D.G. KERR (b. HARRY R. JONES) arrived at her final port of Troon, Scotland where she was cut up for scrap the same year.

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

Cresswell Continues

The Peter R. Cresswell arrived in Goderich very early Sunday morning, loaded with road salt and departed later that day. It returned Wednesday for another load. The Cresswell is expected to make one more trip this week and then enter lay-up.

As the Cresswell completes shipments, the mild winter that has allowed the vessel to run this late takes another toll on the salt mine. The mine announced 34 more lay offs, but hopes to recall these workers by the end of April.

Reported by: Lisa Stuparyk

Gemini Departs

The Gemini departed Saginaw Wednesday after unloading at the Ashland-Marathon Dock. This trip to Saginaw was a break from the regular run between Manistee, MI and Amherstburg, On. that the tanker has been on most of the winter.

Reported by: Stephen Hause, Lon Morgan and Todd Shorkey

Developer unveils plan for Lansdowne restaurant in Erie

A California development company says it still wants to convert the former car ferry Lansdowne into a floating restaurant in Erie.

Two officials from Specialty Restaurants Corp. in Anaheim, Calif., recently unveiled plans to the Erie City Council. The company's $5 million plan calls for it to fully renovate the 324-foot Lansdowne and make improvements to Erie's Sassafras Street.

The floating restaurant, with 1,200 seats, would be permanently moored at the dock. It would employ more than 100 people and include a main dining room, lower deck lounge and outside patio with room for more than 300 people. Plans call for the restaurant in spring 2003.

Several city councilors said they were concerned about a stalled Buffalo project involving Specialty Restaurants Corp., but indicated they would consider whether to approve the restaurant plan at their next council meeting.

The Lansdowne was launched in 1884 and operated on the Detroit River for the Grand Trunk Railway until the mid-1970s. After retirement it was converted to a floating restaurant, complete with a pair of observation cars, and permanently docked at Detroit. The restaurant failed, and the barge has since been moved to several ports as unsuccessful efforts were made to reopen it.

Lansdowne docked in Erie Jeff Thoreson

Reported by: Steve Nelson

Busy Year for Green Bay

2001 was a busy year for the Port of Green Bay, 165 ships arrived in Green Bay with various cargoes of cement, coal, limestone and salt. 38 different vessels called on Green Bay in 2001. The Buffalo led the way with 16 visits, followed by the Alpena with 14 and the Petite Forte also with 14. The Sam Laud made 11 visits, while the Maumee, Calumet and Catherine Desgagnes each made 7 visits. The John G Munson had 12 visits.

A few other notable visitors were; Mississagi, Cuyahoga, Canadian Century, Canadian Navigator, Saturn, Algowest and American Republic. The Great Lakes Trader also made 3 trips to Green Bay with stone for Western Lime Co.

Reported by: Scott Best

Prospector Paint

Below are images of the Canadian Prospector's port-side repainting in Hamilton.

Fresh black paint visible from the dock.
Close up of bow.

Reported by: Graham McDonald

Tug Gallery Update

New Picture of the Day in the Tug Gallery. Slo Moe at Bayfield, Ontario.

Click here to view.
If you have a favorite tug picture you would like featured please e-mail


If you are reading this page you found the notice that the page has moved. Please pass the word by E-mailing this page to a friend

Also important to note that the only e-mail address to reach me is

The problems with my access to OU are expected to be temporary, but these changes shall remain perminant.

Today in Great Lakes History - February 14

The MESABI MINER was launched on this day in 1977 becoming the fourth thousand foot bulk carrier on the Great Lakes and Interlake's second. She had been built under Title XI of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970 at a cost of $45.1 million.

Ford Motor Co., looking to expand its fleet, purchased the JOSEPH S. WOOD on February 14, 1966 for $4.3 million

On February 14, 1973 the LEADALE's forward cabins burned during winter lay-up at Hamilton, Ont. and were later repaired.

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

Bay Ship Workers Return

Employees of Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, WI returned to work Tuesday ending a four day strike.

A union official told local media that crews decided to return to work because they felt the union got its point across to the company. The union hopes to return to the bargaining table and work on a contract. Bay Ship and the Boilermakers Union were negotiating a contract for nearly eight months before the strike.

Bay Shipbuilding is the winter home to 12 vessels in lay-up. A lengthily strike could have effected winter projects on the lay-up fleet.

Reported by: Chris Harrington

Toronto Update

Unloading of Algocape at Redpath Sugar has been completed and the vessel has returned to the wall for the rest of the winter.

The Steven B. Roman remains fully loaded with a storage load in the harbor.

Canadian Leader and Canadian Mariner remain rafted in winter lay-up, on Monday crews were transferring items from the dock to the Canadian Mariner via the ship's crane.

Heavy winds made the harbor quite rough and Ongiara threw some impressive spray as she crossed the harbor heading to the Islands.

Reported by: Clive Reddin and Gerry O.

Busy Winter for Gemini

The tanker Gemini has spent most of the winter trading between Manistee, MI and Amherstburg, On. Below are recent images of the tanker departing Manistee.

Stern eases through the bridge.
Entering the river.
Heading out the channel.
Close up of stern.
On to Lake Michigan past the lighthouse.

Reported by: Shelley Frizelis

St. Lawrence By Fast Hydrofoil

Since late 2000, hydrofoil boats capable of transporting 71 passengers have been operating between Montreal and Quebec City during the summer season. At speeds of 38 knots, the trip takes roughly 4 hours, the boats also stop at Three Rivers, Les Dauphins du St. Laurent. The boats off a great way to see the sights along the River, the quaint villages with there Church steeples spiraling high above the landscape, the farm rows that dot the St. Lawrence and the industrial waterfronts with grain elevators, steel mills, and oil refineries.

Polina-III at speed.
View from onboard.

Les Dauphins du St. Laurent

Reported by: Kent Malo

Job Opening

The captain's position on Toronto's 79- foot fireboat, William Lyon McKenzie, is available as one of the present captains has taken a promotion to a shore based job.

Built in 1963, the fireboat doubles as an ice breaker in the harbor and as a rescue vessel.

Competition for the job is predicted by Acting Divisional Commander Mike Jansen to be "stiff". It requires a 350 tonne license and pays about $70,000 CDN a year.

The William Lyon McKenzie is the only boat of its kind in Canada.

Reported by: Clive Reddin and Wally Wallace

Great Lakes Exhibit

Midland Center for the Arts in Midland, MI, is presenting an exhibit called Great Lakes, Great Boats: Shipping on the Inland Seas." until May 5. The collection includes some great vessel photos, history, and videos. The center for the arts is located off of Eastman Ave. approximately four miles south of the Eastman Ave./Business US-10 exit in Midland.


Reported by: Kirk Tews

Tug Gallery Update

New Picture of the Day in the Tug Gallery. W.N. Twolan and McAllister 132 on Lake St. Clair.

Click here to view.
If you have a favorite tug picture you would like featured please e-mail


If you are reading this page you found the notice that the page has moved. Please pass the word by E-mailing this page to a friend

Also important to note that the only e-mail address to reach me is

The problems with my access to OU are expected to be temporary, but these changes shall remain perminant.

Today in Great Lakes History - February 13

The POINTE NOIRE was launched February 13, 1926 as a) SAMUEL MATHER (4).

February 13, 1897 - The PERE MARQUETTE (later named PERE MARQUETTE 15)arrived in Ludington on her maiden voyage. Captain Joseph "Joe" Russell in command.

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

Operation Taconite Activated

Last week the U.S. Coast Guard activated Operation Taconite in the Straits of Mackinac and St. Marys River. The Cutter Katmai Bay was working the area conducting ice recon along the St. Marys River to assess conditions.

On Wednesday last week the Katmai Bay escorted the tanker vessel Algonova downbound through the St. Marys River from the Soo Locks to Sweets Point. The Algonova was able to complete its remaining transit down the St. Marys River unassisted without incident. Slow ice growth and warm temperatures prevented broken ice in the river from refreezing. They expected to escort the Algonova upbound through the St. Marys River on Saturday 9.

Last week ice conditions in the St. Marys River were reported as ninety to one-hundred percent ice coverage averaging four inches with approximately two inches of snow cover.

Gemini Unloads

The Gemini passed the Saginaw River Font Range Light Monday evening. It arrived at the Ashland-Marathon Dock and expected to be unloading over night.

On her inbound passage she reported some packed ice near the mouth of the river that slowed her, but otherwise reported open water. The water gauge last night was reading minus 11 inches.

Reported by: Stephen Hause, Lon Morgan and Todd Shorkey

Muskegon Remains Active

Last week the Peter R. Cresswell was in Muskegon unloading salt. The trip meant 11 straight months with ships visiting port.

On Monday the Cresswell was in Conneaut, Oh. unloading salt. The previous trip had been a salt delivery to Detroit.

Reported by: Ike Stephenson

Port Huron Traffic

Below are images of traffic passing Port Huron and Sarnia's lay-up fleet.

Capt. Ralph Tucker passing Sarnia.
Peter R. Cresswell passing at dusk.
Algoway and Algonova in lay-up at Sarnia's North Slip.
Algoway bow.
Algorail at the Sidney E. Smith Dock.
Canadian Transfer along side the Maumee.
Saginaw docked in Sarnia.

Reported by: Clayton Sharrard

Tug Gallery Update

New Picture of the Day in the Tug Gallery. William Hoey working in Toledo.

Click here to view.
If you have a favorite tug picture you would like featured please e-mail


If you are reading this page you found the notice that the page has moved. Please pass the word by E-mailing this page to a friend

Also important to note that the only e-mail address to reach me is

The problems with my access to OU are expected to be temporary, but these changes shall remain perminant.

Today in Great Lakes History - February 12

RED WING (2) was launched February 12, 1944 as a) BOUNDBROOK.

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

Salvage of Barge

Crews are busy in Sault Ste Marine working to raise the 300-foot barge G.L.B. No. 2. that sank last week.

A heavy lift crane was brought o the scene and was able to removed the dredge crane from the sunken barge on Saturday. Divers then planned to attach fittings for air hose connections and raise the barge.

Crane off loading material onto dock.

Reported by: Jerry Masson

Great Lakes Trader Moves

The barge Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort appear to be departing winter lay-up. On Saturday the tug and barge had moved from their lay-up dock in Escanaba to the dock area where ships load. Its boom was up and appeared ready to be loaded.

Great Lakes Trader at the loading machine.

Reported by: Eric and Sandy Chapman

Risley Stops in Windsor

Friday Night the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley was working in the Detroit River. The ice breaker stopped for the night at Windsor's Dieppe Park and departed early Saturday morning.

Risley docked at Dieppe Park.
Heading upbound past Detroit.
Close up.
Stern view.

Reported by: Jamie Osborn

Thunder Bay News

Valley Camp is closing its doors after doing business for 93 years in Thunder Bay. The local news has reported that Valley Camp Inc. will cease operations as of March 31, 2002 with 19 employees joining the unemployed. Valley Camp president Gareth Barry, quoted the overall decline in shipping on the lakes as the underlying reason. Less traffic has resulted in less usage of the bulk terminal making it no longer feasible to remain open. Valley Camp has handled such bulk materials as potash, grain, coal, iron ore pellets and salt.

At Pascol Engineering, activity continues on the 4 of the 5 boats that are wintering there. The Algoville was pulled out of drydock after a large section of hull on her port side bow, was replaced. About a 60-foot section of plating was cut out and then new platting was welded in. After the Algoville was pulled out, the Algosoo was moved in for an inspection. She was removed last week and the Frontenac took her place in the Drydock.

Work on the Frontenac so far has consisted of sandblasting in the holds. It is hoped by many boatwatchers that she will receive a new paint job on the outside of her hull but no formal announcement has been made yet. She is in drydock for her 5-year survey.

Vessels wintering at Pascol include: Atlantic Huron, Frontenac, Algoville, Algosoo and long time lay-up Algontario.

Paterson in lay-up.
Algoville in dry dock.
Hull Plates being cut out of Algoville.
Algontario and Atlantic Huron at Pascol.
Antalina loading at Valley Camp Inc. in December.

Reported by: Rob Farrow

Sarnia Update

The Cuyahoga is having its shaft replaced as well as a fairly sizable piece of hull plating on the aft port side.

Blastco has one of their machines on the Government Docks and are probably working on the Algowood. Blastco is a sandblasting and coatings company out of Brantford, Ontario that is commonly seen in this area working on the Algoma vessels. An interesting note, it was also Blastco that had the contract to paint the new Bluewater Bridge pieces as they where manufactured.

The new self unloading belt for the Algorail is still sitting on the Sydney Smith Dock waiting to be installed.

The Maumee and the Canadian Transfer appear to have little if anything going on as is the same for the Saginaw.

The Griffin is on the end of the Government Dock south wall as it has been for most of the winter. There is no ice in or around Sarnia for the Griffin to be concerned with.

Reported by: Jamie Kerwin

Ghost ship emerges from watery tomb?

Researchers are investigating a site near Grand Haven to determine whether recently exposed debris is the remains of a shipwreck.

"I think it's a boat, but I don't know which one," Ethan Barnett, curator of the Tri-Cities Historical Museum in Grand Haven, told The Grand Rapids Press.

A portion of what possibly may be a ship's bow became clearly visible recently after the wind shifted and the water level dropped. The site is just south of Grand Haven, in Ottawa County's Grand Haven Township.

Some researchers say the debris may be the remains the Vermont, which ran aground on Dec. 10, 1855, while traveling from Chicago to Grand Haven. The Vermont, carrying a crew of about 10, was being battered by a winter storm when crew members apparently lost their bearings. The ship, about 60 feet long, was loaded with corn, oats and animal hides when it ran aground.

People living near the site were aware for years that something was buried just below the surface. Bill Martinus, who lives about a mile from the site, said he first spotted the remains a couple years ago. After investigating, he is almost certain the wreckage is from the Vermont, which was owned by Clark B. Albee.

Local researchers said they will continue their investigations. But it is unlikely that the wreck will be excavated and put on display because of the expense.

Reported by: Al Miller

Kinsman Enterprise

When the scrapping of the Kinsman Enterprise begins a true classic will be gone. Below are interior and exterior images of the vessel.

The Kinsman Enterprise was built in 1927 as the Harry Coulby, the flagship of the Interlake Steamship company. She was sold to Kinsman in 1989 as a replacement for the Henry Steinbrenner which was retired that season.

Passing Buffalo.
Docked at night.
Wheel in Pilot House.
Captain's office.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski

Shipwreck Program

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Research Foundation is hosting the third annual Ghost Ships Festival at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Milwaukee March 16. The Ghost Ships Festival is Wisconsin's premier event for Great Lakes maritime history enthusiasts, sport divers, wreck hunters, underwater archeologists and Great Lakes shipping buffs and attracts hundreds of attendees from across the Great Lakes.

This year's show promises to be the best ever and will include a booksigning by noted authors including:

Fred Stonehouse & Dan Fountain
Wes Oleszewski
Steve Harrington
Cris Kohl
Georgann & Mike Wachter
Pat & Jim Stayer
P.J. Creviere
Kimm Stabelfeldt

Presenters include:
Fred Stonehouse
Wes Oleszewski
Dave Trotter
Pat & Jim Stayer - Dive to the Carl D. Bradley
Chicora Preservation Society - Discovery of the Chicora
Liz Valencia - Underwater Archeologist for Isle Royale
Jerry Guyer
Georgann & Mike Wachter
Mike Boucha
Steve Lewis - Tech Diving
Thad Bedford
Brad Friend

For more information, please visit

For Tax Season

An interesting link for those sailing as you prepare your taxes:

Weekly Updates and New Photo Gallery

The regular weekly updates are now available. Included this week is a new Tug Boat Gallery. Almost 400 new images of tugs, work boats and barges. Check back each day this week for a new "Picture of the Day". 200 additional new tug images to go and then I start on the other galleries.

Force 5 Trading has a new catalog with images of all their shipping related items.

New trip raffle: win a cruise on the Great Lakes aboard the cruise ship C. Columbus.

Weekly Updates.
Force 5's new catalog.
Columbus trip raffle.

Today in Great Lakes History - February 11

The E.B. BARBER was launched in 1953 at Port Arthur, Ont.

The NIXON BERRY was sold to Marine Salvage for scrap on in 1970, she was the former MERTON E. FARR.

BEN W. CALVIN was launched in 1911.

The keel was laid for the ROY A. JODREY on February 11, 1965.

IMPERIAL CORNWALL was retired on February 11, 1971.

Albert Edgar Goodrich, the founder of the Goodrich Steamboat Line, was born in Hamburg, NY, near Buffalo on 11 February 1826.

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

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

Bay Ship Workers on Strike

Employees of Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, WI walked out on strike Friday morning. Three hundred workers at Bay Shipbuilding left work around 9:30 a.m.

A union representative told local media that the move came after eight months of contract negotiations. Officials of Boilermakers Local 449 filed unfair labor practice charges against the company.

The Manitowoc Company, the owner of Bay Ship, released a statement saying "The unions have escalated their pattern of self-destructive behavior by authorizing this work stoppage." The workers are joined in the strike by members of the carpenters, electrical workers, and pipe fitters unions. Union members say they plan to picket around the clock.

Bay Shipbuilding is the winter home to 12 vessels in lay-up. A lengthily strike could effect winter projects on the boats.

All sides hope for a speedy resolution, a strike at the yard in 1971 lasted about 18 months.

Reported by: Roger LeLievre

Salt Run

The Peter R. Cresswell arrived in Goderich Friday morning from Milwaukee. She loaded with road salt and departed the harbor about 5:00 p.m. The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley was not in port, as it was working other areas of the lakes. Ice in the harbor has returned and local tugs are doing a fine job of breaking it up enough for the Creswell.

Reported by: Lisa Stuparyk

Conquest unloads

The barge Southdown Conquest and tug Susan W. Hannah were unloading an early season cargo of Cement on Friday in Detroit. The pair were docked on the Detroit River ahead of the J A W Iglehart.

Reported by: Ian Woodfield

Fresh Paint

The Canadian Prospector's port-side repainting was completed on Thursday and is visible from the Niagara-bound QEW. The 38-year old ship looks great with a fresh coat of black paint on the hull side and her name in traditional white block letters.

Reported by: Christopher Bauer

Toledo Update

Presently there are no freighters in drydock at the Shipyard. Work crews continue to work on the various vessels in lay-up through out the port's dock sites. Saturday there had been no new logos painted on the bows of the ASC/Oglebay Norton vessels representing the recent merging of vessel operations between the two fleets.

Due to the mild winter so far western Lake Erie and the Maumee River are virtually ice free for the time being.

Classic view of Toledo Shipping
Shelter Bay upbound the Maumee River from the Cherry Street Bridge bound for one of the Elevators to load a grain cargo.
Joseph S. Young going through spring fitout at the Hocking Valley Docks.
Leadale heading downbound the Maumee River approaching the Cherry Street Bridge. She just finished loading a grain cargo and is now bound for a Canadian Port to unload her cargo.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman

Today in Great Lakes History - February 10

UHLMANN BROTHERS (2) was launched February 10, 1906 as a) LOFTUS CUDDY

The MARKHAM (Twin Screw Hopper Suction Dredge) was delivered February 10, 1960 to the Army Corps of Engineers at Cleveland, OH.

In 1998 the Ludington Daily News reported that a private investment group (later identified as Hydrolink) was planning to start cross-lake ferry service from Muskegon, MI to Milwaukee, WI running two high-speed ferries.

On 10 February 1890, NYANZA (wooden propeller freighter, 280', 1888 gt) was launched at F. W. Wheeler's yard (hull #63) in W. Bay City, Michigan. In 1916, she was renamed LANDBO and she lasted until abandoned in 1920.

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

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

Salvage of Barge

The sunken barge in Sault Ste Marine remains on the bottom of Soo Harbor. Early reports by officials estimated that it could take as long as a week to raise the 300-foot barge G.L.B. No. 2.

Divers were working to refloat the barge Friday and get a more accurate assessment of its condition. A large heavy lift crane is expected to arrive today.

Barge sunk at the dock.
Image courtesy

Reported by: Jerry Masson

Great Lakes Iron Ore Trade Down 18 Percent In 2001

Shipments of iron ore from U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes ports totaled 55.9 million net tons during the just-finished 2001 navigation season, a decrease of 18 percent compared to 2000, and the lowest total since 1987. 2001's tally reflects the depressed state of America's steel industry. Preliminary estimates for 2001 show raw steel production fell 11 percent to 99.3 million tons. For the year just ended, the steel industry operated at 79.2 percent of capacity, compared to 86.1 percent in 2000.

The 2001 iron ore trade began on March 12 and stretched through January 27, 2002. While in terms of length the 2001 navigation season was actually a few days longer than 2000, the number of cargos shipped slipped 22 percent to 1,555. The closure of Taconite Harbor played a major role in the decline in tonnage and cargos. Taconite Harbor, which served LTV Steel Mining Company on the Mesabi Range, normally shipped 7-8 million tons each season in 200-plus boatloads. The mine was permanently closed in January, so in 2001, the dock shipped a mere 2.1 million tons in 60 boatloads.

U.S.-Flag vessel utilization rates mirrored steel's problems. Two mid-sized ore carriers, the ELTON HOYT 2ND and the EDWARD L. RYERSON, were never activated in 2001. Ten other U.S.-Flag lakers were idled for various periods of time during the season. The newest vessel in the fleet, the self-unloading barge GREAT LAKES TRADER, was taken out of service twice for lack of cargo. The 1,000-foot-long JAMES R. BARKER was laid-up for a few weeks in the fall and her season ended very prematurely, on November 23. Another 1,000-footer, the WALTER J. MCCARTHY, finished her season just three days later. Under normal operating conditions, the 1,000-footers sail into January.

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association

Canadian steelmaker Dofasco reports a profit in 2001

Dofasco Inc. posted a $27 million profit in 2001, making it the only integrated steelmaker in North America to report earnings in the black.

Dofasco's consolidated net income for 2001 was $26.7 million. After deducting preferred share dividends, earnings attributable to common shares for the year were $0.35 per share. In 2000, consolidated net income was $188.7 million and earnings were $2.47 per share.

``2001 was one of the most challenging years ever faced by North American steelmakers, with markets characterized by excess supply, softening demand and low prices," said John Mayberry, Dofasco's president and chief executive officer. "In these times, successful implementation of cost reduction initiatives resulted in Dofasco being the only integrated and one of only a few North American steelmakers to post profitable results for the year. Our profits are directly attributable to the efforts of our people in identifying opportunities to improve gross margin."

In the fourth quarter of 2001, Dofasco posted near-breakeven consolidated results. Profits from the company's Steel Operations segment, which includes the Hamilton operations, were offset by losses at Gallatin Steel and Quebec Cartier Mining Company.

2001 was a very difficult year for Quebec Cartier Mining Company, Dofasco's joint venture iron ore mining operation in Quebec. Weak markets and a labor disruption resulted in mine production being approximately two-thirds of the 2000 level. In 2001, QCM shipped only 9.9 million tonnes of iron ore products compared to 14.3 million tonnes in 2000. Dofasco's 50-percent share of QCM's pre-tax loss for 2001 was $24.8 million compared with pre-tax income of $5.5 million in 2000.

International steel trade continues to be one of the most significant issues affecting the North American steel industry. Dofasco has appealed the 2001 rulings of the Canadian International Trade Tribunal that the Canadian steel industry had not been injured by dumped imports of cold rolled and galvanized steel. In the United States, restrictions on steel imports are expected to be announced in March following the U.S. International Trade Commission's recent Section 201 steel trade ruling. Although flat-rolled steel shipments from Canada will not be affected, the Canadian steel industry is working closely with the federal government to ensure that it is not further injured by diverted imports that would have otherwise been destined for the United States.

Dofasco is a leading North American steel provider. Product lines include hot rolled, cold rolled, galvanized, Galvalume(TM) and tinplate flat rolled steels, as well as tubular products and laser welded blanks. Dofasco's wide range of steel products is sold to customers in the automotive, construction, energy, manufacturing, pipe and tube, appliance, packaging and steel distribution industries.

Reported by: Roy Milano

Today in Great Lakes History - February 09

EAGLESCLIFFE, loaded with 3,500 tons of grain, sank two miles east of Galveston, TX on February 9, 1983 after the hull had fractured from a grounding the previous day. She began taking on water in her forward end en route to Galveston. To save her the captain ran her into shallow water where she settled on the bottom in 20 feet of water with her bridge and boat deck above water. All 16 crewmembers and one dog were rescued.

The ALEXANDER LESLIE was launched February 9, 1901 as a) J.T. HUTCHINSON

The HOMER D. WILLIAMS suffered extensive fire damage to her side plating and forward lower cabins during her lay-up at Toledo, OH on February 9, 1971.

February 9, 1995 - The founder of Lake Michigan Carferry, Charles Conrad, died at the age of 77.

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

Barge Sinks at the Soo

Workers arrived to a dredging project on the Canadian side of Soo harbor to find their loaded barge had sunk during the night. Wednesday workers noticed a small leak on the barge and set up pumps. Efforts were underway to recover the barge Thursday. By Friday morning divers were on scene to assist in the salvage. The barge sunk leaving only the crane above water.

The dredging project will make the harbor about 4 feet deeper in the area where tankers unload. This will allow the vessels to load a full cargo for delivery.

Barge sunk at the Government Dock.
Image courtesy

Reported by: Jerry Masson

Taconite Harbor power plant reactivated

The former LTV power plant in Taconite Harbor resumed operation Feb. 7 under new ownership, putting that port back on the active list for Great Lakes shipping.

The Taconite Harbor Energy Center, owned and operated by a subsidiary of Duluth-based Minnesota Power, fired up one of three 75-megawatt coal-fired boiler turbine generators Monday. On Thursday, that turbine was turned up to its operating level of about 60 megawatts.

The two remaining generators are expected to be active by summer. Minnesota Power will use the plant to generate electricity to be sold on the open market.

When operating for LTV Steel Mining Co., the power plant received shipments of low-sulfur western coal by ship, usually from the Midwest Energy Terminal in Superior, Wis. Those shipments are expected to continue.

Built in 1957, the power plant in Taconite Harbor supplied electricity for LTV Steel Mining Co. taconite operations there and at Hoyt Lakes. But LTV Steel Corp. put the plant up for sale after it closed the mining, shipping and electrical generating facilities in January 2001.

Rainy River Energy Corp., a subsidiary of Minnesota Power, acquired the power plant under a $50 million deal with Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. in October. Cleveland-Cliffs managed LTV Steel Mining Co. and held an option on the property. In addition, Minnesota Power paid LTV Steel Corp. $12.5 million.

Reported by: Al Miller

Tug Strands Ice Fisherman

Wednesday afternoon the U.S. Coast Guard Station Saginaw River safely recovered a 38-year-old man from an ice floe on Saginaw Bay. The man had been ice fishing when the ice he was on broke away from shore after an unidentified tug passed. The Coast Guard routinely issues warns to ice fisherman when commercial traffic is in the area to avoid situations like this.

Employees of a nearby power plant notice the man on the ice waving his arms in distress and called the Coast Guard.

Station Saginaw River's ice rescue team responded along with a helicopter from Air Station Detroit which was assisting with aids-to-navigation verification in the area. As the helicopter did not have a swimmer aboard and ice in the area was deteriorated, the rescue was conducted via skiff while the helicopter flew cover.

Reported by: Glen Kingsford

Toronto Update

Unloading the storage cargo of sugar continued Thursday on Algocape. The vessel was turned that afternoon by McKeil's tugs.

The Toronto harbor has remained ice free this season, and the ferry Ongiara continues to maintain her winter schedule without the aid of the fire tug breaking ice. Police boats continue to patrol on a daily basis.

Reported by: Gerry O.

Today in Great Lakes History - February 08

While in lay-up on February 8, 1984, a fire broke out in the WILLIAM G. MATHER's after accommodations killing a vagrant from Salt Lake City, Utah who had started the fire that caused considerable damage to the galley.

On 8 February 1902, ETRURIA (steel propeller freighter, 414', 4653 gt) was launched at W. Bay City, MI. She was built for the Hawgood Transit Company of Cleveland but only lasted three years. She sank in 1905 after colliding with the steamer AMASA STONE in the fog off Presque Isle Light in Lake Huron.

Data from: Max Hanley, 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

Oglebay Norton looks for a brighter 2002

On Monday Oglebay Norton announced their Fourth Quarter and Full-Year Results. For the 12 months ended December 31, 2001, Oglebay Norton reported a net loss of $18.8 million. A large portion of the loss was attributed to restructuring efforts taken in 2001 are designed to insulate the company's operating profitability in the event of further decline in the economy.

The Great Lakes Minerals segment revenues for 2001 were $152.1 million compared with $159.8 million in 2000. This segment serves the building materials and construction, energy and metallurgy industries. It is also the segment that operates Oglebay Norton Marine Services (ONMS), the fleet of 12 vessels sailing on the Great Lakes.

For the past year and a half the Marine Segment has concentrated on reducing the fleet's dependence on cargoes related to steel making. In recent years 66% of the tonnage was steel related. Last year steel was reduced to 33% with the remaining percentage made up of coal and limestone cargoes. 75% of these limestone cargoes were from Oglebay Norton quarries.

In early 2001 the company decided to put them selves in a position where they would not have to rely on LTV tonnage. In December, 2001 LTV Corp. shutdown mills in Cleveland, Oh. Hennepin, Ill., and East Chicago, Ind.

Looking ahead to 2002, officials plan to reduce steel related cargoes from 33% to the low 20% range. Limestone tonnage will increase from 33% to the low 40% range.

In January Oglebay Norton signed a letter of intent to purchase Erie Sand & Gravel. This purchase is expected to add several hundred thousand tons of limestone sales and up to two million additional tons of limestone for ONMS vessels.

Also in January, Oglebay Norton Marine Services announced it will pool the fleet operations with the fleet operations of American Steamship Company. Michael D. Lundin, President and Chief Operating Officer noted "We are looking forward to the pooling of our vessels with American Steamship Company. The multi-year agreement will enable us to deploy the pooled fleet more efficiently, provide better service to our customers, and more intently focus on limestone production and distribution."

The agreement involves both companies bringing together their fleets and using a "Pooling Committee" to look at vessels available for a given cargo. The Pooling Committee will consist of two members from ONMS and two from ASC. This committee with work with dispatchers to arrange the most efficient use of vessels by matching cargo requirements with the best vessel for the job.

This efficient use of capacity may result in certain vessels not sailing in the 2002 season.

When asked about the possibility of the future sale of excess vessels (that may not be needed after the pooling agreement), Oglebay Norton officials commented that it was too early in the agreement to know if they would have excess vessels but it could be a possibility in the future.

Those vessels could come from both the ONMS and ASC fleets, being those that are least efficient and those in the pooled fleet that cost the most to run.

The pooled fleet is expected to involve 22 vessels, not including the George A. Stinson. The hull colors will remain the same except for new logo on bow.

Reported by: Glen Kingsford

Coast Guard Extends Freeze

A freeze on fees charged by the Canadian Coast Guard for icebreaking and navigational assistance has been extended to next September as officials try to work out a long-term agreement on the cost of services with ship owners.

Coast Guard commissioner John Adams said he was optimistic that an agreement could be reached. The Coast Guard is working on complaints that it cannot accurately assess the operating costs for winter operations. It is also contracting out the placement and repair of buoys in the Maritime region, a step owners have been urging to reduce the cost of Coast Guard operations.

Adams was speaking after a ceremony marking the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Coast Guard to take over marine services handled by the Transport Department. The freeze was to have expired at the end of 2001, but a government study on the impact of cost recovery has not been completed. Adams called the extra time "an opportunity to continue the dialogue with the ship owners."

Reported by: Sam Freed

Toronto Harbor News

Steven B. Roman is in Toronto harbor as is the cement barge Metis. Judging by the location of Metis, it is probably being used for cement storage and transfer.

Wednesday the Algocape was off loading her winter storage cargo of raw sugar at the Redpath sugar plant.

The Canadian Leader and Canadian Mariner remain rafted together with their sugar cargo still on board. The Canadian Venture's storage load has already been unloaded.

Reported by: Clive Reddin

Hamilton Lay-ups

Below are recent images of Hamilton's lay-up fleet.

Canadian Prospector receiving a new paint job.
Close up of the Canadian Prospector's bow.
Close up of the Algolake's cort nozzle.
James Norris waits for the spring.
Close up of the Capt. Henry Jackman's bow.
Canadian Provider.

Reported by: Graham McDonald

Possible move

Due to a software license change, the Oakland University portion of this site may be moving. What this means is any address starting with may not be available in the next few weeks. If this happens please visit

I am in the process of building a dedicated server to host the over 6 gig of image files and related information.

If a move is necessary it will NOT affect the content or size of the site. My hosting company ( has generously allowed me space on their network for my server.

I'd also like to thank OU for their years of support and allowing me a place to build and grow this site.


Today in Great Lakes History - February 07

The HURON (4) was launched February 7, 1914

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

Kinsman Enterprise Scrapping

The scrap tow for the Kinsman Enterprise may take place as soon as June, permitting that the scrapping of the Tarantau is complete by then and it is not resold for over seas scrapping. The Kinsman Enterprise was officially sold in early December to International Marine Salvage in Port Colborne, Ontario. It is unknown when scrapping will begin, or the company that will tow the ship from her long time berth in Buffalo.

The Kinsman Enterprise was built in 1927 as the Harry Coulby, the flagship of the Interlake Steamship company. She was sold to Kinsman in 1989 apparently as a replacement for the Henry Steinbrenner which was retired that season. This is a sad end for a proud old laker that has survived much longer than most would have thought back in the 80s when she sat in Fraser Shipyards in Superior Wisconsin for many years.

Reported by: Steve Haverty

Conquest Arrives

The tug Susan Hanna and barge Southdown Conquest arrived in Grand Haven Tuesday after Departing Milwaukee the day before. The barge is loaded with dry cement and was unloading at Cemex cement

Reported by: David Swain

Duluth-Superior Season Totals

Total waterborne commerce in 2001 through the Port of Duluth-Superior reached 36.5 million metric tons, a 2.4 percent decrease from last year’s 37.4 million tons, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority said in its season-end tonnage report.

Strong performance in western coal shipments helped hold Port tonnage at a modest decline from last year’s level despite reduced iron ore and grain shipments and low water levels.

Highlighting bulk cargo activity was Midwest Energy Resources Company’s eighth consecutive record-breaking year of low-sulfur coal shipments as its Superior facility moved 15.1 million metric tons. The outbound record MERC reached in 1994 of 12.15 million metric tons broke coal-handling records dating back more than seven decades, when all of Duluth-Superior’s coal was inbound.

The Port’s other two principal cargoes, iron ore and grain, each experienced decreases with iron ore shipments down 5.3 percent and grain down 14.1 percent. The season’s tonnage trailed the five-year average of 38.1 million tons by 4.3 percent.

According to the Lake Carriers’ Association, Cleveland, decreased iron ore demand reduced the U.S.-flag lakes fleet to 28 active vessels in January, a decrease of 11 vessels compared to a year ago and 23 below 1999’s level.

Lake Superior’s water level in January was four inches below its long-term average and Lakes Michigan-Huron were 15 inches below average according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Each inch of draft means about 270 tons of cargo for the largest domestic lakers and about 100 tons for typical Seaway vessels.

The Corps’ February forecast predicted a further decline in all Great Lakes water levels due to substantial evaporation because of mild conditions and lack of ice cover.

Total international cargoes of 11.9 million metric tons surpassed 2000’s 11.7 million tons by 1.8 percent. Domestic trade of 24.6 million tons represented a 4.2 percent decrease from last year’s figure of 25.7 million tons.

Coal continued its reign in 2001 as the Port’s tonnage leader, representing 41.5 percent of total commerce. The Port’s three principal cargoes of coal, iron ore and grain represented 90.1 percent of total commerce, with iron ore’s shipments of 13.9 million metric tons making up 38.2 percent and grain movements of 3.8 million tons contributing 10.4 percent.

Coal had eclipsed iron ore during the 2000 season for only the second time in more than a century. Iron ore was first shipped through Duluth-Superior in 1892 and became the Port’s dominant cargo in 1895. Since then, the only year prior to 2000 that it hadn’t been the principal cargo was 1932 in the midst of the Great Depression.

Port developments during the 2001 season included:

  • Construction of a $3.8 million, 104,000-square-foot East Warehouse Annex scheduled to open next month at the Clure Public Marine Terminal.
  • Conversion of Garfield C & D, a 28-acre former grain elevator complex, into a site suitable for redevelopment as a cargo-handling facility.
  • Development of forest product cargoes, including lumber delivered by barge from Thunder Bay, Ont., and the Port’s first inbound maritime cargoes of European lumber and Canadian wood pulp.

    This season’s first commercial vessel arrival was Bethlehem Steel Corporation’s Stewart J. Cort on March 26. The English-owned vessel Millenium Raptor was 2001’s first full Seaway transit, arriving April 4.

    The season’s last vessel to transit the Seaway was the Norwegian-flag Spar Garnet which departed on December 17. The Cort departed January 8 with the Port’s final outbound cargo, and the tug W.N. Twolan and barge McAllister 132 brought the Port’s last cargo shipment in on January 12. USS Great Lakes Fleet, Inc.’s, Presque Isle and Philip R. Clarke arrived January 15 for winter berthing, bringing the total number of vessels wintering in Port to 13.

    Total vessel arrivals in 2001 of 1,027 represented a decrease of 80 from last year. There were 613 U.S.-flag, 246 Canadian-flag and 168 overseas vessels.

    Reported by: Duluth Seaway Port Authority

  • Montreal Lay-ups

    Below are recent images of Montreal's lay-up fleet.

    Aivic at pier M2 Montreal.
    Mantadoc at M3.
    Stern view.
    Algocen at M4.
    Canadian Ranger at Elevator # 5.
    Arcadia now moved to Bickerdyke basin ahead of the Ranger and Nindawayma.
    CSL Niagara with part of the Montreal skyline for a backdrop at shed 3.

    Reported by: Kent Malo

    Former Lakes Visitor in Florida

    A former lakes visitor is in lay-up in Green Cove Springs, Florida. The cruise ship Cape May Light visited Buffalo in July on a trip from Quebec. The ship's owners declared bankruptcy in October leaving the new vessel's future in limbo. It made several 7-day trips from Buffalo to Quebec during the summer.

    Cape May Light.

    Reported by: Dave Wobser

    Today in Great Lakes History - February 06

    The LORNA P. was damaged by fire ignited by a welder's torch on February 6, 1974.

    ALVA C. DINKEY was launched February 6, 1909

    The HALLFAX was launched February 6, 1962

    On February 6, 1904 the PERE MARQUETTE 19 went aground on Fox Point, WI approaching Milwaukee, WI in fog. Engulfed in ice and fog, she quickly filled with water.

    On 6 February 1952, LIMESTONE (steel propeller tug, 87'10") was launched at Bay City, MI. She was built by Defoe (hull #423) for Michigan Limestone & Chemical Company. Later she was sold to U.S. Steel and in 1983 to Gaelic Tugboat Co. who renamed her WICKLOW. She is currently owned by Great Lakes Towing who named her North Carolina.

    Data from: Max Hanley, 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

    Barge Refloated

    With the help of the tug Manitou, the tug Mark Hannah and her tank barge E-63 were finally free and back in the Saginaw River entrance channel. The barge aground since Friday, the pair reached the channel at 8:00 p.m. Monday evening after the two tugs spent the day today pushing, pulling, and using prop wash to move sand from under the stuck barge.

    The Mark Hannah and E-63 were passing the Pump Out Island at 9:05 p.m. Monday night on there way in.

    The tug Manitou escorted the pair and encountered thick ice on the way in. A tug and barge from McKeil Marine was expected to depart for the Saginaw River at midnight, but were cancelled as they are no longer needed.

    Coast Guard inspectors will meet the tug and barge at the Dow chemical dock in Saginaw. The barge, loaded with calcium over one million gallons of calcium chloride, ran aground Friday as ice and weather conditions pushed it out of the channel.

    Reported by: Todd Shorkey and Lon Morgan

    Conquest Departs

    The tug Susan Hanna and barge Southdown Conquest departed their lay up dock at Milwaukee's Cemex Cement terminal on Monday. The pair anchored in the outer harbor most of the day waiting for winds to subside. The loaded Conquest finally departed late in the afternoon heading east.

    The pair entered lay-up on January 21.

    Reported by: Andy LaBorde

    Today in Great Lakes History - February 05

    The ASHLAND in a critically leaking condition barely made Mamonel Colombia on February 5, 1988 where she was scrapped.

    February 5, 1870 - Captain William H. LeFleur of the Pere Marquette carferry fleet, know as "the Bear" was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

    On February 5, 1976 the carferry WOLFE ISLANDER III was inaugurated into service between Kingston and Wolfe Island Ontario. The Minister of Transportation, the Honourable James Snow, headed the list of officials attending the ceremony. Speakers included Keith Norton, MPP for Kingston and the Islands, Wolfe Island Reeve Timothy D. O'Shea and Mayor George Speal of Kingston. Later that night, two blocks over, a Kingston resident noticed the captain turning off the running lights of the 'ol WOLFE ISLANDER as she joined her already winterized sister, the UPPER CANADA.

    Data from: Max Hanley, Brian Johnson, 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

    Cresswell Continues

    The Peter R. Cresswell continues the late season salt trade. Sunday it was heading for Milwaukee, after unloading it will return to Goderich to load for Detroit. After the Detroit trip the Cresswell is expected to enter lay-up

    Hamilton Harbor

    Hamilton Harbor held its own last year despite a drop in tonnage, the port's top official says.

    Tonnage last year totaled 10.7 million tonnes, compared to 2000 when just over 12 million tonnes of cargo was shipped in and out of the port. Last year, shipments of steel, coal, iron ore, bulk sugar and grain declined. The only increase came in liquid products such as petroleum.

    Last year was marked by a drop in overall tonnage, but a bottom line still in the black, Port Director Bob Edwards told the Hamilton Spectator newspaper. Fiscal year-end figures aren't available, but Edwards said net revenue may be about $3 million.

    "It (the year) was a disappointment but it's not the end of the world ... most of (the tonnage dip) was iron ore and coal. They don't contribute too much to our bottom line," he said.

    As the North American economy dipped last year and anti-dumping trade action kept out many steel imports, the tonnage of inbound steel, coal and iron ore fell. Dofasco and Stelco did not need as much raw material because they were not making as much steel.

    The decline may be repeated this year if U.S. President George Bush erects new tariff walls to keep out foreign steel. That may lead to Ottawa also getting tough on imports that may be diverted to Canada if they can't be sent into the U.S.

    Grain shipments out of the harbor, destined for Quebec processing plants and overseas customers, also declined. In a good year, 250,000 tonnes of grain might move. Last year, tonnage amounted to 80,000.

    A drought in Western Canada and southern Ontario hit production of several grains hard, including soybeans, which are trucked to the harbor.

    Reported by: Chris MacDowell

    Toledo Pictures

    Below are recent images of Toledo's lay-up fleet.

    tug Amber Jean in Bono, OH.
    Stern view.
    Ste. Claire Toledo, OH.
    Stern view.
    David Z. Norton - Wolverine with Middletown in between at the Torco Dock.
    David Z. Norton & Wolverine.
    Joseph H Frantz.
    Another view.

    Reported by: Mike Nicholls

    Today in Great Lakes History - February 04

    The two sections of the a) WILLIAM J. DE LANCEY (b PAUL R. TREGURTHA) were joined at Lorain and float-launched on February 4, 1981 as Hull #909.

    February 4, 1904 - Captain Russell of the PERE MARQUETTE 17 reported that Lake Michigan was frozen all the way to Manitowoc.

    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

    Ice Causes Problems for First Saginaw Visitor

    Saturday the tug Mark Hannah and barge were inbound for Bay City passing Light 12 of the Saginaw Bay Entrance Channel when a snow squall came up hindering visibility. Shifting ice had pushed some channel buoys under the ice further adding to navigation problems.

    The Hannah slowed to a crawl awaiting visibility to improve, but the conditions caused the pair to leave the channel and become stuck.

    The tug Manitou was called to assist in freeing the barge, which would not move. Manitou arrived early Saturday evening and with the Mark Hannah attempted to free the barge. Late last night there had been no progress and to make matters worse, the water level in the bay was dropping, going from a -2 earlier in the afternoon to a -6 at 10:00 p.m.

    Reported by: Todd Shorkey

    Aird Ready for Lay-up

    After a long season the John B. Aird is expected to enter lay-up today. Heavy winds forced the Aird to leave the unloading dock at the Ontario Hydro Power Plant in Nanticoke Saturday delaying the original lay-up date.

    Today in Great Lakes History - February 03

    In 1960 the Ludington Daily News reported that the S.S. AVALON, formerly the S.S. VIRGINIA, had been sold to Everett J. Stotts of Artesia, Calif.

    Data from: Max Hanley

    Cresswell Continues

    As shipping on the lakes has all but stopped for the winter, the Peter R. Cresswell continues on the salt run from Goderich. Friday it was back in port for another load of salt. She arrived mid-morning but high winds and blowing snow delayed the loading.

    The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley left port around noon, for an unknown destination.

    The ice is virtually gone from the harbor, for now. Goderich remains under a winter storm warning.

    Reported by: Lisa Stuparyk

    U.S.-Flag Carriage Down 9.8 Percent In 2001

    The shipping season for U.S.-Flag Great Lakes vessel operators ended on January 29 when Central Marine's Joseph L. Block arrived her winter berth in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. The vessel had loaded the last cargo of the season - iron ore at Escanaba, Michigan - on January 27 and delivered it to Ispat Inland Steel in Indiana Harbor, Indiana, on January 28. That cargo brought the U.S.-Flag total for the season to 102.2 million net tons, a decrease of 9.8 percent compared to 2000 and the lowest total since 1991.

    As this web site has stressed all season, the crisis in steel is primarily responsible for the dramatic fall-off in U.S.-Flag cargos. Iron ore cargos for the steel industry plummeted nearly 20 percent to 47.2 million tons. This comes as no surprise. During 2001, two integrated steelmakers - Acme and LTV - ceased operations. In total, the steel industry operated at a mere 79.2 percent of capacity. Both American steelmakers and U.S-Flag Lakes lines are extremely efficient, but they cannot compete against dumped foreign steel. The Bush Administration must take prompt and forceful action to end unfair trade in steel or the upcoming season will be a continuation of 2001's struggles.

    Coal cargos in U.S. bottoms increased slightly to 21.4 million tons, but largely because the slump in iron ore made capacity available to the coal trade. Stone cargos finished the season down 2.1 percent. The decrease would have been more, but mild weather in November and December kept demand strong from the construction industry and so helped narrow the gap a bit.

    Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association

    Cleveland-Cliffs reports loss for 2001

    North America's largest iron ore producer lost $22.9 million last year.

    In its year-end financial report issued Wednesday, Cliffs reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $5.8 million and a net loss of $22.9 million for 2001. The losses compare to a net income of $4.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2000 and a net income of $18.1 million for 2000.

    Company officials attributed the loss to production cutbacks at Cliffs-managed taconite mines in Minnesota and Michigan, and higher fixed operating costs, according to the Duluth News Tribune.

    Taconite production at mines managed by Cleveland-Cliffs in 2002 are expected to be about the same as 2001. That could mean another year of uncertainty at Cliffs' mines on the Iron Range and in Upper Michigan.

    "I don't really see them (Cliffs) producing much more than they did in 2001,'' Rich Rojeski, president of United Steelworkers of America Local 2705 at Hibbing Taconite Co., told the News Tribune. "They really haven't set their tonnage at Hibbing Taconite yet, but I don't see them going beyond 6.8 million (tons).''

    Much of the reductions in 2001 came from LTV Steel Corp.'s permanent closure of LTV Steel Mining Co. in Hoyt Lakes. Hibbing Taconite Co., Northshore Mining Co. in Silver Bay, Minn., the Tilden and Empire mines in Upper Michigan and the Wabush Mine in Newfoundland all reduced production and were closed for portions of 2001.

    Production at Hibbing Taconite fell to 6.1 million tons from 8.2 million tons in 2000. Northshore Mining Co. production slipped to 2.8 million tons from 4.3 million tons in 2000.

    The Empire Mine, which is indefinitely idled, finished 2001 with 5.7 million tons compared to 7.6 million tons in 2000. The Tilden Mine produced 6.4 million tons compared to 7.2 million tons in 2000, and the Wabush Mine produced 4.4 million tons compared to 5.9 million tons in 2000.

    Cliffs officials expect their company to gain 45-percent ownership of the Tilden Mine from Algoma Steel this year. Cliffs is also working toward a sales agreement under which Cliffs would, for the next 15 years, be the exclusive supplier of taconite pellets to Algoma Steel. With that contract, Cliffs expects 2002 pellet sales would be 11.5 million to 12 million tons.

    Reported by: Al Miller

    Convention Update

    New information has been added about the International Ship Masters' Association upcoming convention.
    Members may Click here to view

    Today in Great Lakes History - February 02

    On February 2, 1981 ARTHUR SIMARD grounded in the St. Lawrence River on her way from Montreal to Sept Iles, Que. with a cargo of diesel oil and suffered extensive bottom damage.

    The SAMUEL MATHER (6) (a) PILOT KNOB (1) had her keel laid February 2, 1942.

    February 2, 1939 - The CHIEF WAWATAM went to the shipyard to have a new forward shaft and propeller placed.

    Data from: Max Hanley, 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

    U.S. Steel, Bethlehem report big losses

    U.S. Steel reported a large fourth-quarter loss on Tuesday, echoing a similar report last week by Bethlehem Steel.

    Both companies blamed the losses on excess global steelmaking capacity, high levels of steel imports and low steel prices.

    U.S. Steel, the nation's largest integrated steelmaker, Tuesday reported a net loss of $121 million for the fourth quarter and a $257 million loss for 2001.

    "While our results are disappointing, they largely reflect the devastating impact that global excess steelmaking capacity and several years of surging imports have had on domestic steel prices, which are at their lowest levels in decades, and on shipments and utilization rates, which are the lowest since the early 1990s,'' said Thomas Usher, U.S. Steel chairman, chief executive officer and president.

    However, Usher said steel orders for 2002 are improving and U.S. Steel's domestic steel shipments are expected to improve in the first quarter of this year.

    Last week, Bethlehem Steel Corp. reported a fourth-quarter loss of $169 million and a 2001 loss of $494 million. The company is operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

    Several other domestic steel producers and iron ore-based companies are due to release fourth-quarter and 2001 financial results this week. Those results also are expected to reflect one of the domestic steel industry's toughest years ever.

    Reported by: Jeff Oen

    Ferbec Lay-up

    Below are images of Canada Steamship Lines' Ferbec in lay-up at Montreal.

    Ferbec at Section 25 looking forward to spring again.
    The crew dining area, very spacoius and clean.
    The galley also very clean, bright and spacious.
    The Officers dining room is very large and very bright.
    This is the Captain's table located adjacent to the officer area.
    The Captain's office.
    And no ship would be without the Captains cabin, it is very big.
    This cabin may look small but it is spacoius its the ordinary seaman quaters.
    Also quite large is the able seamans lodgings.
    The pilot house and the wheel.
    The radar set.
    The chart room and table. Ferbec stack.

    Reported by: Kent Malo

    LTV says 10 parties express interest in assets

    LTV Corp reported Wednesday that 10 parties have expressed interest in bidding for various combinations of its Cleveland Works East, Indiana Harbor Works and related integrated steel assets.

    LTV said the parties must submit bids along with deposits and other information by Feb. 20 and that it would conduct an auction on Feb. 27. During the auction qualified bidders will have an opportunity to modify their offers.

    A hearing to approve the sale will be conducted on Feb. 28 in the United States Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division in Youngstown, Ohio.

    LTV said six of the parties were currently engaged in some aspect of the steel business and seven were based in the United States. LTV would not disclose the identity of any of the interested parties.

    LTV, along with 48 subsidiaries, filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in late December.

    Reported by: John Sarns

    Mesabi Nugget to build demonstration plant

    The final piece of financing for Mesabi Nugget's demonstration iron nugget plant was approved Thursday, clearing the way for construction of the pilot plant in Silver Bay, Minnesota, Duluth television stations reported Thursday.

    The project's objective is to develop a new ironmaking technology (Kobe Steel's ITmk3 process) for converting iron ore into nearly pure iron in nugget form. Iron nuggets would be used as an alternative or supplement to pig iron in the steelmaking process.

    The demonstration plant will be built at Cleveland-Cliffs' Northshore Mining Co.. The plant will test and develop the process for commercial application and collect data on the environmental aspects of the process. Cliffs is participating the project along with Kobe Steel, Ltd., Steel Dynamics,Inc, the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Agency (IRRR) and the State of Minnesota.

    If successful, the iron nuggets could help Minnesota's Iron Range because they can be consumed by electric furnaces, which typically melt scrap steel because they can't use taconite pellets. Some people involved in the iron ore industry say such a "value-added" product is important to keeping the domestic iron ore industry viable.

    Iron nuggets may someday become the proverbial double-edged sword for Great Lakes fleets. The size of raisins, they could be carried by lakers. However, the eventual widespread use of these nuggets could mean less downbound ore tonnage and less backhaul of limestone used in making "flux pellets (taconite pellets containing limestone or "flux").

    Reported by: Al Miller

    Montreal Update

    Arriving recently to winter in Montreeal is the Algoport. She is in lay-up at Section 28. The Nanticoke was expected at Les Escoumins pilot station late last night bound for Montreal for winter lay-up. The Nanticoke was supposed to go to Section 27, but there is already a vessel there, the container ship Canada Senator for a short lay up.

    The small freighter (5 753 grt) German-owned SJARD , carrying a cargo of steel, sank on Sunday night during a storm off the coast of Newfoundland. The crew escaped in a lifeboat and was rescued by a spanish fishing vessel. SJARD, built in 1989 completed one single trip to the Great Lakes two years ago when she went to Thunder Bay with general cargo in september.

    Reported by: René Beauchamp

    Today in Great Lakes History - February 01

    On February 1, 1990 the MESQUITE was officially decommissioned.

    In February 1951 the b) CHARLES M. WHITE was towed from the James River with two other C4s, LOUIS McHENRY HOWE and SCOTT E. LAND, to the Maryland Dry Dock Co., Baltimore, MD to be converted to a Great Lakes bulk carrier according to plans designed by J.J. Henry & Co., New York, NY.

    The steamer R. J. GORDON was sold to M. K. Muir of Detroit on 1 February 1883.

    In 1904 the ANN ARBOR NO. 1 found the rest of the fleet stuck in the ice outside Manitowoc. She made several attempts to break them loose, she became stuck there herself with the others for 29 days.

    In 1917 the ANN ARBOR NO. 6 (later ARTHUR K. ATKINSON) arrived Frankfort on her maiden voyage. The entire town turned out to welcome her.

    On 1 February 1886, Captain Henry Hackett died in Amherstburg, Ontario at the age of 65. He and his brother, J. H. Hackett, organized the Northwestern Transportation Company in 1869.

    Data from: Max Hanley, 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

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