Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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Slow Progress in the River

Thursday was a day of slow progress for the Reliance and PML 9000. The tug arrived in the river and anchored the barge off Lime Island about 1 a.m. The Reliance then continued upbound to break a track. About 9 a.m. the tug turned at the Sugar Island Ferry Dock and returned downbound. As the Reliance was turning off the dock, the tug Wilfred M. Cohen was down bound at Six Mile Point and the Mackinaw was upbound at Lime Island.

The Reliance and Cohen returned to the barge at Lime Island about 3 p.m. and were joined by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw. The vessels then started working up the St. Marys River, making slow progress. About 9 p.m. they had traveled 8 miles up the river and decided to stop for the night. The transit is expected to resume early Friday morning after first light.

Reported by: Scott Best and Linda Stoetzer

Ice Coverage

Coast Guard icebreakers are encountering more ice this winter than they've seen in the past several years, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Much of Lake Huron, Lake Erie, the Detroit River, Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River have more ice cover this year than in the past few years. One Coast Guard crew recently encountered ice more than 2 feet thick off Lake Erie's Point Pelee. They also ran into 20-foot-high windrows.

"There's certainly more ice cover than we've seen the last five or six years," said Ray Assel, physical scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Ferry service to Harsens Island was interrupted for a couple of days earlier this week by ice. Early Sunday, a wall of ice from Lake Huron blocked access to the island, said Nancy Bryson, office manager of Champion's Auto Ferry, which offers ferry service between Harsens Island and Algonac.

Lake Huron is packed, she said.

"I heard the ice is wall-to-wall, no gaps, up past Lexington," Bryson said. "There's a lot of ice out there, monstrous ice. It's not sheet ice, as we call it. This is chunks 5-feet thick."

During an average Michigan winter, about 70 percent of Lake Superior would be covered by ice, Assel said. But because of the lake's 483-foot depth, it doesn't completely ice over.

Likewise, about 70 percent of Lake Huron will typically be covered by ice during winter. Its depth, like Lakes Superior and Michigan, usually prevents it from completely icing over.

Besides its depth, Lake Michigan's large surface area limits ice cover to the northern end and around the shoreline areas farther south. Lake Ontario's depth also keeps ice from completely covering it.

Ice almost always forms on Lake Erie, because it is the shallowest of the lakes.

"In fact, it's big news when it doesn't form an ice cover," Assel said.

Ferries to and from Mackinac Island were able to run all winter long in 2002. This winter the ferries stopped running Jan. 21, which is about the normal date for the ice bridge to form between the island and St. Ignace.

"Usually, we start running again toward the end of March or early April," said Bob Brown, general manager of Arnold Lines. "This year it could be a little later."

Click here to view recent ice thickness on the Great Lakes

Reported by: Robin Simmons

AK Steel gets FTC nod on National

The Federal Trade Commission's antitrust offices have closed ahead of schedule the waiting period for AK Steel Corp's proposed $1.1 billion purchase of National Steel Corp., AK officials said Thursday.

Closing the waiting period means AK Steel won't have to provide additional information to the Department of Justice on the proposed acquisition.

AK Steel is embroiled in a bidding war for bankrupt National Steel. Last month, AK increased its offer to $1.1 billion, topping U.S. Steel's bid of $950 million.

The auction period for National Steel will end April 7 when Judge John Squires, who is overseeing National Steel's bankruptcy, is expected to approve the winning bid.

Reported by: Dave Smith

Niagara Views

Below are images taken in Thorold, Ontario of the old locks from the second and third Welland Canals. The best time to take pictures of the old locks is in the winter as the area is without foliage. In the summer they are covered in trees, bushes and tall grass. Also included are pictures of the burned out La Grande Hermine Enr. at Jordan Harbour.

A frosty and misty morning as water still flows through the lock.
Water flowing over the upper sill.
Frosted tree on lock wall.
Inside the lock chamber looking downbound.
All Twenty Six locks were made of cut stone.
No Poured concrete here.
Third canal lock southeast of present day Lock 3.

Burned out hull of the La Grande Hermine Enr.
Bow view.
Close up.
Steel hull was covered with wood.
With the wood burned away her steel hull can be seen.
Former pilothouse through the debris.
On deck.
Tour boat Dalhousie Princess at Port Dalhousie.

Reported by: Capt. Alain Gindroz

Hamilton, Goderich and Sarnia

Below are image taken last week at Hamilton, Goderich and Sarnia.

Provmar Terminal II in Hamilton.
Stern view.
Provmar Terminal II, Provmar Terminal and Hamilton Energy.
Hamilton Energy.
Close up.
Lorena I.
Techno St Laurent & Pacific Standard.
Canadian Navigator.
tug Batchawana.
tug Prescotont in Hamilton.
Gordon C Leitch in Hamilton.
Canadian Prospector.
Algosoo and Leitch.
James Norris.
View from the dock.

Teakglen in Goderich.
Close up.
Bow view.
Teakglen stern.
Salvage Monarch & Seven Sisters stern.
Salvage Monarch stern.
Ian Mac & Debbie Lyn in Goderich.
Stern view.
Donald Bert.
Wide view.
Willowglen stern.
Close up.
tug Dover.
Seven Sisters.
Stern view.
Salvage Monarch in Goderich.

Le Taureau, Sandra Mary & Bagotville in Sarnia.
Calumet & Maumee.
Algolake & Algonova.
Stern view.
Huron Lady II.

Mike's trip totaled 1,733 miles, visiting Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, Waukegan, Chicago, Michigan City, Sandusky, Port Clinton, Toledo, Goderich, Hamilton and Sarnia. (Monday February 17, Milwaukee to Detroit; Wednesday February 19, Sandusky; and Thursday February 20, Goderich, Hamilton, Goderich and Sarnia)

Reported by: Mike Nicholls

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

Reliance Upbound

02/27 10 a.m. Update
Monday morning the Reliance continued upbound the St. Marys River, about 9 a.m. the tug turned at the Sugar Island Ferry Dock and returned downbound. As the Reliance was turning off the dock, the tug Wilfred M. Cohen was down bound at Six Mile Point and the Mackinaw was upbound at Lime Island.

Original Report
After passing through difficult ice conditions in northern Lake Huron the tug Reliance and barge PML 9000 reached the St. Marys River about 6:40 p.m. Wednesday night.

The tug made slow progress upbound through the ice and anchored the barge off Lime Island about 1 a.m. The Reliance then continued upbound to break a track.

The tug was expected to continue all the way up to the Soo harbor. Fleet mate Wilfred M. Cohen will depart the Purvis Dock and head downbound to assist with the barge. Reliance and Cohen will then return down bound to retrieve the barge. Early Thursday morning the tug reported slow progress but continued on.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw is expected in the St. Marys River about 5 a.m. Thursday morning. The Mackinaw will work the ice off Drummond Island to ease conditions for the Drummond Island ferry and then head to assist the Reliance.

Check back for updates

Reported by: Scott Best and Linda Stoetzer

Tucker Back in Service

The Capt. Ralph Tucker returned to General Chemical in Amherstburg Monday to unloading. It appears that last weekend's ground caused no damage to the tanker.

Reported by: Dave Cozens

Ice Halts Carferry Service

Car ferry service on the St. Clair River between Marine City and Sombra, Ont. has been hampered again by an ice chocked St. Clair River. The car ferry Daldean has not run for several days. Ice conditions in the river are severe as ice continues to build in the lower river.

Reported by: Duane Upton


Last night and through this morning the web site was unavailable due to a connection problem at the server. The problem is now corrected, sorry for the delay.

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

Tug and Barge Stuck in Ice

Heavy ice trapped the tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes as they became stuck west of the Leelanau Peninsula on Monday. Local media reports that the tug and barge became stuck as they departed Grand Travers Bay after unloading in Traverse City. The U.S. Coast Guard sent a helicopter to the scene to assess the situation and tasked the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw to assist.

Tuesday morning the Mackinaw was on scene and had broken a track for the tug and barge. By early afternoon Tuesday the Michigan/Great Lakes was making steady progress following the Mackinaw through the ice. The tug and barge are heading to Chicago to load.

Local media reports that this is the first time Grand Traverse Bay has been frozen over in almost a decade. The wind has pushed the ice together into heavy pressure ridges where the bay meets Lake Michigan. The conditions on Grand Traverse Bay are so severe that future transits can only be made with Coast Guard ice breaker assistance.

The Michigan/Great Lakes operates year round delivering fuel oil to northern Michigan ports.

Reported by: David Swayze and Joseph Komjathy

Reliance Continues

The tug Reliance and barge PML 9000 continued upbound Tuesday remaining close to the Lake Huron shore line. Early this morning the pair were upbound in northern Lake Huron and reported ice ranging from 4 - 8 inches thick.

The tug was expected to stop for the night off Presque Isle, however conditions may allow the pair to continue upbound for the lower St. Marys River.

Once in the lower St. Marys River the tug will leave the barge and head upbound to break ice. Another tug from Purvis Marine is expected to depart the dock in Sault Ste. Marie and meet the Reliance in the lower river. Once the tugs meet they will return downbound to retrieve the barge and head back to Sault Ste. Marie.

The trip downbound through the St. Marys River last week was very difficult, a trip upbound with an unloaded barge could be even worse. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw is expected to break ice in the Straights of Mackinac Wednesday and then head for the St. Marys River. The Mackinaw is currently the only Coast Guard ice breaker available in the area. All others are down for maintenance, preparing for the opening of the shipping season in late March.

Another trip to Detroit is planned for the Reliance and barge PML 9000. The barge was expected to be reloaded and the pair will make the trip all over again. Weather and ice conditions have made this first test trip difficult, but it appears to have been a successful test.

Reported by: Joe Farris

No Sale for the Islander

The sale of the ferry Amherst Islander at Leamington, Ont. was delayed due to mechanical problems with the ferry. Officials said they would make repairs and try to sell the vessel again. Efforts to auction the vessel off were unsuccessful and the reserve bid was not met.

The vessel, launched in 1952, was one of the last built at the Kingston Shipyards. She was idle at Kingston for two years and then sent to help with service Pelee Island in Lake Erie.

Reported by: Ron Walsh

Hamilton Update

The big barge CSL Trillium is being scrapped on Heddle's big drydock and Josee M.(2) ex- Imperial Lachine is on Heddle's small dry dock. After Heddle is finished cutting up CSL Trillium, McKeil's package freighter Nunavut Trader (which still bears the name Loreena 1) on its' hull, is scheduled for dry docking.

The wheelhouse has been removed from the small freighter CALEDONIA, which is undergoing conversion to a tall ship by Canadian Sailing Adventures at McKeil's yard. The wheelhouse is lying in McKeil's parking lot.

Reported by: Gerry O.

Effort on to rebuild New Buffalo lighthouse

New Buffalo city officials and others are eager to build a replica of the town's 1839 long-vanished lighthouse, but they're still trying to find the money needed for the project.

Supporters of the idea envision a park with a replica of the lighthouse as the showcase on the spot where Lighthouse Restaurant once stood. The two-story lighthouse would be built according to original specifications.

To move toward the project toward reality, the New Buffalo City Council has formed a five-member Business Improvement District board. New Buffalo City Manager Tom Johnson said the panel can help oversee downtown development required to become eligible for grants.

The biggest hurdle is the cost. Figures have not been made official, but preliminary estimates of just acquiring the prime lakefront real estate is $3 million to $4 million.

The new lighthouse is expected to draw tourists to downtown New Buffalo. To complement the lighthouse, other possibilities for a park include a band shell for summer concerts and other events along with an ice skating rink.

The old lighthouse once stood where Lighthouse Creek empties into Lake Michigan about a half-mile west of New Buffalo Marina. In 1859, a dune shifted, causing the foundation to crumble and the lighthouse to topple over, said Smith.

Reported by: David Leopold

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

Reliance Departs

The tug Reliance and barge PML 9000 departed the McLouth Steel dock in Trenton, Mi about 10 a.m. Monday morning. The pair are sailing upbound for their home dock in Sault Ste. Marie. They expected to reach the Soo Tuesday afternoon, the actual arrival will depend on weather and ice conditions.

The tug and barge were escorted through northern Lake St. Clair and the lower St. Clair River by the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley. Monday morning the Risley was escorting the Capt. Ralph Tucker upbound, several hours ahead of the Reliance.

The steel coils unloaded at Trenton are from Algoma Steel in the Soo, this shipment by barge is a test of a winter alternative to trucking the automotive steel from Algoma Steel to Detroit-area customers. One barge load of coils is equivalent to around 200 truckloads of the steel product.

Although weather and ice conditions made the trip difficult, it appears to have been a successful test. It is unknown if the tug and barge will make additional trips this winter.

Early Tuesday morning the tug and barge expected to arrive in the Soo Tuesday afternoon. Ice in the St. Marys River could delay their arrival.

Reported by: Joe Farris

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

Reliance Upbound

02/24 11 a.m. Update
The tug Reliance and barge PML 9000 departed the McLouth Steel dock in Trenton, Mi about 10 a.m. Monday morning. The pair are sailing upbound for their home dock in Sault Ste. Marie. They expected to reach the Soo Tuesday afternoon, the actual arrival will depend on weather and ice conditions.

Ice breaker assistance will be required in northern Lake St. Clair and the lower St. Clair River. The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley is working the area. Monday morning the Risley was escorting the Capt. Ralph Tucker upbound, several hours ahead of the Reliance.

The steel coils unloaded at Trenton are from Algoma Steel in the Soo, this shipment by barge is a test of a winter alternative to trucking the automotive steel from Algoma Steel to Detroit-area customers. One barge load of coils is equivalent to around 200 truckloads of the steel product.

Although weather and ice conditions made the trip difficult, it appears to have been a successful test. It is unknown if the tug and barge will make additional trips this winter.

Original Report
Heavy snow and high winds prevented unloading of the barge PML 9000 on Saturday and has delayed the departure of the tug & barge. Sunday night there was no estimated departure time for the tug and barge.

The storm started Saturday morning and continued to drop heavy amounts of snow through early Sunday morning. 11.5 inches were reported to have fallen at Wyandotte, Mi., this is located just north of the dock where the PML 9000 is unloading.

Reported by: Sam Buchanan

Heavy Ice Grounds the Tucker

Saturday afternoon the Capt. Ralph Tucker returned to Allied Chemical at Amherstburg, Ont. in the lower Detroit River to unload a cargo of brine.

About 10 p.m. Saturday night high winds and extremely heavy drift ice pulled the Tucker away from the dock. Crews quickly disconnected the unloading gear and drop all three of the vessel's anchors. The anchors stopped the Tucker a short distance south of the dock.

They remained in this position until 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning when severe ice conditions again pushed the tanker farther down river. The vessel was pushed aground on the East side of the Amherstburg Channel, about 600-feet below the Allied Chemical Dock.

Sunday afternoon the Windsor based tug Stormont arrived on scene and waited for the Gaelic Tugboat Company tugs Carolyn Hoey and Roger Stahl to arrive.

The Carolyn Hoey and Roger Stahl arrived about 3 p.m. making an interesting passage downbound from Detroit. To avoid starting an ice flow the tugs came half way down the Livingston Channel and cut across to the Amherstburg Channel at the "Hole In The Wall", an opening in the Livingstone Channel at the North End of Bob-Lo Island.

With all three tugs on the port side, Stormont at the bow and Carolyn Hoey and Roger Stahl on the stern, all three began to push at the stranded Tucker. At 4:40 p.m. the Tucker was pushed free.

The Tucker proceeded down the Amherstburg Channel under her own power accompanied by the Stahl to the Detroit River Light. There the Tucker turned 180-degrees and headed up the Livingston Channel for Windsor where it will be inspected. The vessel arrived at the Morterm Dock about 7 p.m. and will remain there over night.

Onboard inspections showed no damage to the tanker and there was no risk of pollution.

Pictures by Dave Cozens
Tucker aground Sunday morning.
Another view.
Close up of bow.
Gaelic tugs arrive.
Pushing the Tucker back into the channel.
Wide view.
Stormont comes around the bow.
Heading downbound.
Roger Stahl escorts the tanker downbound.

Reported by: Dave Cozens and Mark Shumaker

Work Continues at Lorain

The removal of the former Pellet Terminal at Lorain, Ohio continues. Last week various sections were taken down including several overhead conveyer sections. The metal siding that had been on the terminal buildings has been taken and the larger pieces of equipment will be lifted and place at the wharf on the river side.

Saturday the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay was in the Black River breaking ice. It is unknown when the barges will arrive to move the terminal to Cleveland.

Reported by: Al Doane

Report says Cleveland's port can give up downtown land

Cleveland's port can sacrifice some of its downtown lakefront property by moving operations west, according to a report prepared for the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority.

The report examined what would happen if the port vacated one dock for the city's use and used two others for a Lake Erie ferry service to Canada. The port authority commissioned the report to take part in Cleveland's lakefront redevelopment discussions.

Critics complain that the port authority is using too much desirable waterfront land for a declining industry. That's a claim which makes people like Gary Failor, the port authority's executive director, nervous.

"Replacing our capacity is essential to preserve our manufacturing industries and their jobs," Failor told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The $26,000 analysis by TranSystems Corp. includes docks 20-32 east of the Cuyahoga River and the Cleveland Bulk Terminal on Whiskey Island.

The report assumes the port will vacate Dock 32 as early as next year so the city can develop it for a park, restaurants, shops, a festival site or other public use.

The report also examined moving operations from Docks 28 and 30 for a new Cleveland-to-Canada ferry that would carry cars, trucks and up to 800 passengers.

The study assumed an annual growth of 2 percent for steel cargo and 2.5 percent for bulk cargo, such as iron ore, stone, cement and limestone.

The forecast sounds realistic to Glen Nekvasil of the Lake Carriers Association, which represents operators of U.S. ships on the Great Lakes. "There's no question that dry bulk cargo will rebound as the economy rebounds," he told the newspaper.

Losing docks 32, 30 and 28 would drop Cleveland's port capacity by 360,000 tons and lead to overcrowding as early as next year, according to the report.

Replacement ideas include:
--Building a 144,000-square-foot warehouse on Dock 20.
The warehouse, which would replace warehouses on Docks 30 and 32, conflicts with one of four proposals under consideration for a new convention center. That proposal envisions hotel, retail and business development on the port-owned property.

Peter Spittler, architect for the plan, has suggested filling in 29 acres off Whiskey Island and moving port operations there in phases. The port authority, however, considers the idea impractical and too expensive.

--Expanding on Whiskey Island.
In December, the port authority offered $7 million to buy private property on Whiskey Island -- half for expansion and half for a city park. The port and the property owners haven't reached an agreement and talks are at a standstill.

Critics complain that the plan would displace about 475 boaters at Whiskey Island Marina.

Reported by: Rob Kennedy

New Ferry for Miller Boat Line

The Port Clinton News Herald reports that Timothy Graul Marine is designing a new 126-ft ferry for service between Catawba Island and Put-in-Bay, Ohio. Construction bids will go out this summer and the new ferry is expected to enter service in the spring of 2004. Miller Lines is the only fleet serving Put-in-Bay and Middle Bass Islands that carry vehicles.

Reported by: Dan Schneider

DeTour Reef Lighthouse Restoration Meeting Scheduled for March 10

The DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society has recently announced to the public and all contractors, an Invitation to Bid on the restoration of the exterior of the DeTour Reef Lighthouse which is located offshore about two miles from DeTour Village. As part of this bidding process, a mandatory pre-bid meeting for general contractors interested in bidding on the DeTour Reef Lighthouse restoration project will be held on Monday, March 10, at 1:00 p.m. at the DeTour Village Town Hall in DeTour Village, Michigan.

Ken Czapski of U.P. Engineers and Architects (UPEA) of Marquette, the project architect, along with representatives from DeTour Village and Directors of the DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society (DRLPS) will be there to provide information on bid requirements and answer questions. A tour of the lighthouse will follow, weather permitting. Transportation will be provided via the Drummond Islander III ferry boat. Attendees are advised to wear winter clothing for the tour of the offshore, unheated lighthouse.

Over the past several years, under the sponsorship of the Village of DeTour and Drummond Island Township, DRLPS has been awarded several grants totaling more than one million dollars from state and federal sources to restore the DeTour Reef Light located in northern Lake Huron at the eastern end of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The exterior restoration work will begin this spring with interior restoration to follow.

Upon completion of the restoration work, the DRLPS expects to offer public tours to this historic offshore lighthouse beginning in 2004.

Copies of the contract documents may be obtained from UPEA, upon payment of a $50 refundable deposit for each set, plus a $50 non-refundable handling fee. Please contact Ken Czapski of UPEA (800-862-6061, 906-228-6061,

Sealed bids for the restoration project will be received by the Village of DeTour at the DeTour Village Town Hall, 260 S. Superior St., DeTour Village MI 49725, until 4:00 p.m. (ET) on Tuesday, March 25, 2003, at which time these sealed bids will be publicly opened and read aloud.

Along with interested contractors, the public is invited to attend this meeting. For more information, please contact Chuck Feltner, President of DRLPS (906-493-6079, To learn more about the Society and the lighthouses of DeTour Passage, visit

Reported by: Jeri Feltner

"Your Picture on the Cover" Contest Winners

Two winners have been selected to have their photos or drawings appear as the cover of Author, Wes Oleszewski's upcoming book "True Tales of Ghosts and Gales" The winners are, Capt. C. (Bud) Robinson with his painting of the Arthur M. Anderson in a gale and Eric Treece with his picture of lightening on the Saginaw River. Avery Color Studios of Marquette, Michigan selected the two images and formed them into a composite cover for the book. This will be Wes Oleszewski's tenth book of true adventures in Great Lakes maritime history and will be released this coming spring. Advanced orders can be had by calling Avery at 800-722-9925.

Weekly Updates

The weekly updates have been uploaded.
Click here to view

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

Heavy Ice Grounds the Tucker

02/23 7 p.m. update
About 3 p.m. the Gaelic tugs arrived on scene and took up position with the tug Stormont. At 4:40 p.m. the tugs were able to pull the Tucker free from the soft river bottom. The vessel departed upbound under her own power to the Morterm Dock in Windsor for inspection. The vessel arrived at 7 p.m. and will remain there for at least 24 hours.

The Samuel Risley remainded on hand during the grounding, stopped in the East Outer Channel below the Amherstburg Channel, to offer ice breaking assistance if needed. Once the Tucker was freed the Risley departed upbound for Dieppe Park in Windsor for the night.

2 p.m. update
At 2 p.m. tugs from the Gaelic Tugboat Company in Detroit were departing the Rouge River heading to assist the Tucker. The Carolyn Hoey and big tug Roger Stahl will work with the tug Stormont to pull the tanker free. They expected the refloating to go smoothly as the Tucker is able to pump off a large amount of ballast water.

Once free the Tucker will head upbound the Livingston Channel to the Morterm Dock in Windsor for inspection. Onboard inspections this morning showed the tanker was free of damage.

The Tucker is aground about 600-feet below the General Chemical dock at Amhurstburg, Ont.
Check back for updates

10 a.m. update
Saturday afternoon the Capt. Ralph Tucker returned to Allied Chemical at Amherstburg, Ont. in the lower Detroit River to unload a cargo of brine.

About 10 p.m. Saturday night high winds and extremely heavy drift ice pulled the Tucker away from the dock. Crews quickly disconnected the unloading gear and drop all three of the vessel's anchors. The anchors stopped the Tucker a short distance south of the dock.

They remained in this position until 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning when severe ice conditions again pushed the tanker farther down river. The vessel was pushed aground on the East side of the Amherstburg Channel where it remained at noon today. The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley is on hand, standing by to offer ice breaking service. The Windsor based tug Stormont was en route to pull the Tucker free Sunday morning. The Stormont arrived at the Canadian Coast Guard station in Amherstburg shortly after noon Sunday to wait for additional crew members. They expected to begin operations to refloat the Tucker by 2 p.m.

Crews on board the Capt. Ralph Tucker were planning to pump off the vessel's ballast and reported no pollution and no damage to the tanker.

Capt. Ralph Tucker docked at Morterm Feb. 8.

Reported by: Dave Cozens and Mark Shumaker

Reliance Expected to Depart Today

Heavy snow and high winds prevented unloading of the barge PML 9000 on Saturday and has delayed the departure of the tug & barge. Wyandotte, Mi., just north of the dock, reported 11.5 inches of snow fall from the storm that started Saturday morning.

The tug Reliance and barge PML 9000 stopped off Wyandotte, Mi. in the Detroit River Friday night before entering the Trenton Channel and heading for the McLouth Steel Dock in Trenton, Mi. The pair arrived at the dock late Friday night or early Saturday morning. The delay may have been due to the unmanned Grosse Isle Toll Bridge. This time of year the bridge is not manned and requires advanced notice before opening.

Unloading on the barge continued through Saturday and the pair expected to be ready to depart early Sunday morning. With heavy snow forecast for the area the tug and barge may wait until Sunday morning to depart. It is unknown if the Samuel Risley will escort the pair upbound.

Reported by: Sam Buchanan

Winter Work on the Cuyahoga

Work on the Cuyahoga's port tunnel is nearing completion. Crews have been at work since the Cuyahoga entered winter lay-up in Port Stanley.

After sand blasting to white metal the white paint was heated to 180 degrees and then sprayed on. In the next week the rollers and conveyer belt will be reinstalled. The project has been a major improvement.

View down the port tunnel.
Starboard tunnel for comparison.

Reported by: Ted Coombs

Muskegon officials approve dock deal for cross-lake ferry

Muskegon officials have agreed to guarantee a dock site in their city for the developers of a cross-lake ferry, a move that's needed to keep the project's funding efforts moving forward, the Muskegon Chronicle reported.

Lake Express of Milwaukee needs to have a Muskegon dock agreement to include in its application for federal loan guarantees to build a new $17 million catamaran ferry boat. The dock lease agreement still must be approved by the Muskegon County Board of Commissioners, a move expected next week.

A location for the dock hasn't been determined. The two possibilities are the West Michigan Dock & Market and the city's Hartshorn Municipal Marina.

"It is another exciting new chapter for Muskegon County and downtown Muskegon," Mayor Steve Warmington said, citing the increased likelihood of re-establishment of cross-lake ferry service between Muskegon and Milwaukee. Service could begin in 2004.

West Michigan Dock owners have agreed to a tentative lease with the city allowing for the ferry dock to be constructed at its downtown Mart Dock, but Lake Express officials are reviewing that agreement. Lake Express must sign off on any Muskegon dock agreement, Warmington said.

Warmington said as a dock site, both the Hartshorn Marina and Mart Dock are acceptable to Lake Express.

Reported by: Don Weiss

2003 Public "LandLubber Series"

Throughout the year, the Museum Ship William G. Mather will present public programs on Great Lakes history and culture at an "inland" location to make it easier for "Land Lubbers" to get onboard.

The first program will be: "History of Great Lakes Shipping" From French Voyageur Canoes To 1,000-Foot Freighters

George Ryan, past-president of the Lake Carriers' Association, will present a multi-media history of the Inland Seas' rich shipping heritage.

The program takes place Wednesday, February 26, 2003 6:30 - 7:15 pm at CanalWay Center (Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation of Cleveland Metroparks)
4524 East 49th Street (off Whittlesey Way)
Cuyahoga Heights, OH 44125
(216) 206-1000

Click here for more details

Reported by: Rex Cassidy

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

Reliance Arrives

02/22 11 a.m. Update
The tug Reliance and barge did not arrive Friday evening as first reported. The tug and barge stopped off Wyandotte before entering the Trenton Channel late last night or early this morning. The delay may have been due to the unmanned Grosse Isle Toll Bridge. This time of year the bridge is not manned and requires advanced notice before opening.

Unloading on the barge continued Saturday morning and the pair expected to be ready to depart about 12 a.m. Sunday morning. With heavy snow forecast for the area the tug and barge may wait until 7 a.m. Sunday morning to depart. It is unknown if the Samuel Risley will escort the pair upbound.

Original Report
Friday evening the tug Reliance and PML 9000 arrived at McLouth Steel in Trenton, Mi. to unload the cargo of steel coils loaded in Sault Ste. Marie. The tug and barge experienced some difficulty transiting the lower St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair but was kept moving by the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley.

The tug and barge expect to depart Saturday morning and have requested the Risley escort them upbound. After a successful escort Friday afternoon, the Risley sailed downbound for Toledo to escort the tug John Spence and barge into port. The Risley was expected to depart Toledo early Saturday morning and return to Detroit to assist the Reliance and barge upbound through the river system. The Reliance and PML 9000 expected to get underway about 8 a.m.

Check back for updates.

Samuel Risley downbound past River Rouge.
barge PML 9000 and tug Reliance downbound past River Rouge.
Another view.
barge GTB 2 & tug Carolyn Hoey loading salt at Ojibway.
Cedarglen at the ADM Dock.

Reported by: Mike Nicholls

Cliffs chief confident Hibbing Taconite will supply Burns Harbor pellets

The head of Cleveland-Cliffs expects Hibbing Taconite Co. to continue providing taconite pellets to Bethlehem Steel's Burns Harbor steel mill even if that facility is sold to International Steel Group, the Duluth News Tribune reported Friday.

"ISG would continue to source the Bethlehem Burns Harbor facility with Hibbing Taconite pellets," John S. Brinzo, chairman and CEO of Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., told the newspaper during a Thursday visit to the Minnesota taconite plant. "The pellet flow will continue into Burns Harbor."

Brinzo's confidence is welcome at Hibbing Taconite, which long has been a key supplier of pellets to the Burns Harbor mill. Bethlehem Steel had been trying to sell its 62-percent share of the Hibbing Taconite, and the steelmaker's recent bankruptcy raised even more questions about the taconite plant's future.

Hibbing Taconite is expected to operate at capacity this year, producing about 8 million tons of taconite pellets. The plant ships its pellets aboard Great Lakes freighters that load at the BNSF ore dock in Superior, Wis.

Acquisition of Bethlehem Steel by Cleveland-based ISG could bode well for Hibbing Taconite. Bethlehem Steel owns 62.3 percent of Hibtac, Cleveland-Cliffs owns 23 percent and Stelco owns 14.7 percent.

Cliffs remains interested in acquiring a larger share of Hibbing Taconite, Brinzo said. If ISG completes a U.S. Bankruptcy Court action to acquire Bethlehem, Cliffs would seek to sign long-term pellet contracts with ISG.

Full production at Hibbing Taconite, and at several other Iron Range taconite plants, is a bright spot in a changing industry. Consolidation of the domestic steel industry has left the future of at least two Iron Range taconite plants -- EVTAC Mining Co. and National Steel Pellet Co. -- uncertain.

However, Brinzo said Cliffs now is concerned about shedding its "legacy costs" -- pensions and benefit costs -- just as many bankrupt steel companies and domestic iron ore producers have done.

"Legacy costs are the biggest threat to the industry," he said. "There is no getting around it that we have to make some changes to reduce those costs. We have to be able to change those benefits."

Cliffs, which had considered purchasing National Steel Pellet Co. in Keewatin, won't pursue that possibility, Brinzo said. The future of that taconite plant appears to lie in the hands of its bankrupt parent company, National Steel Corp., and its two suitors, AK Steel Corp. and U.S. Steel Corp., he said.

Reported by: Ed Schipper

Sarnia Lay-up

Winter work continues on Sarnia's lay-up fleet, this view is onboard the Algolake with the Algonova along side.

Reported by: Barry O'Connor

Shipwreck Program today in Dearborn, Mi

The Ford Seahorses Scuba Diving Club will present its 25th Great Lakes Shipwreck Festival today at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center in Dearborn, Michigan. The day’s activities include fresh and salt water programs, seminars, and underwater photo contest results.

The large exhibit hall will be filled with exhibitors’ ranging from maritime artists, historical and preservation societies and shipwreck artifact collections. For every main program ticket purchased one dollar will be donated to Divers Alert Network (DAN) a non-profit medical and research organization dedicated to the safety and health of recreational scuba divers and associated with Duke University Medical Center. Visit for festival and ticket information

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

Reliance Heading for the St. Clair River

02/21 4 p.m. Update
The Reliance and PML 9000 made it through the heaviest ice in Lake St. Clair with little trouble thanks to the Samuel Risley. The pair continued downbound and the Reliance expected to take the barge into the Trenton Channel with out escort, as the channel is ice free. The barge will dock at McLouth Steel and unload the cargo of steel coils.

The tug and barge expect to depart Saturday morning and have requested the Risley escort them upbound. Friday afternoon the Risley will sail downbound for Toledo to escort the tug John Spence and barge into port. Once the Spence has safely arrived in Toledo, the Risley will return upbound to assist the Reliance and barge.

1 p.m. Update
The tug Reliance and barge PML 9000 continued downbound Friday morning and by early afternoon had reached northern Lake St. Clair. The tug and barge are being escorted by the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley. They appear to be making good progress through the ice but have become stopped at times requiring the Risley to work in close to relieve the ice pressure. The tug and barge are expected to reach McLouth Steel about 4:30 p.m. Ice conditions may delay this arrival time.

10 a.m. Update
Reliance and barge PML 9000 were downbound in the St. Clair River Friday morning and expected to reach the Salt Dock Light at Marine City about 11:30 a.m. The pair are being escorted by the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley. The Risley was downbound ahead of the tug and barge preparing the lower St. Clair River for escort.

The heaviest ice is in the lower river and on Lake St. Clair. Friday morning the tug and barge expected to reach McLouth Steel about 6:30 p.m. Ice conditions may delay this arrival time.

Original Report
The tug Reliance and barge PML 9000 passed downbound on Lake Huron Thursday and expected to reach the southern end of the Lake early Friday morning.

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley expected to meet the tug and barge at 43 North in lower Lake Huron about 4 a.m. The Risley will take up the lead and escort the Reliance and PML 9000 downbound through the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers.

The load of steel coils is expected to be unloaded in Trenton, Mi., south of Detroit. The trip downbound would normally have them arriving in the late afternoon. With the heavy ice conditions in the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers it could take considerably longer.

Check back for updates.

Reported by: Dave Wobser

Two Minnesota taconite plants issue shutdown warnings, but officials say both facilities may continue operating

National Steel Pellet Co. notified employees Wednesday that the plant may close, but company officials said the warning is a legal formality and does not necessarily mean the facility will shut down.

NSPC's notice came just five days after EVTAC Mining Co. issued a notice that it may shut down in mid-May due to lack of production contracts.

Officials for National Steel Pellet Co. issued the notice because the plant could be sold by the end of April. In such cases, formal notice is required by the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. The 5.4 million-ton-per-year facility near Keewatin, Minn., continues to operate normally.

"It (the warning) has to happen," General Manager Tom Peluso told the Duluth News Tribune. "I feel very confident that we are going to continue to operate."

WARN offers protection to workers, their families and communities by requiring employers to provide 60 days' notice of a plant closing or mass layoff. Notice must be provided to state dislocated worker units, the appropriate unit of local government and either the affected workers or their labor union representatives.

The taconite plant is likely to be included in a sale of its parent firm, bankrupt National Steel Corp. By issuing the 60-day WARN notice, National Steel Corp. essentially is telling employees that by April 21 they could be working for a new owner.

On Jan. 30, AK Steel Corp. offered $1.125 billion in U.S. Bankruptcy Court to buy National Steel Corp., including its mine and taconite plant. U.S. Steel is expected to make a higher offer by April 7.

Last Friday, EVTAC Mining Co. issued a 90-day shutdown notice. EVTAC currently has only enough contracts to make taconite pellets through the middle of May. Company officials hope that by mid-May, additional steel industry consolidation will occur and lead to new pellet contracts.

NSPC ships its pellets through the BNSF ore dock in Superior, although it also ships substantial tonnage by rail. EVTAC, located near Eveleth, Minn., ships its pellets through the DMIR ore dock in Duluth.

Reported by: Al Miller

Goderich Update

There was no activity in Goderich Thursday but a warm and sunny day offered an good opportunity to photography the lay-up fleet and storage hulls.

Panoramic of the harbor - MacDonald Marine tugs, Frontenac, Teakglen, tug Salvage Monarch, tug Seven Sisters and Willowglen.
Tug Salvage Monarch, Teakglen, and Frontenac with Sifto Salt in the back ground.
Tug Salvage Monarch and tug Seven Sisters.

Reported by: Jim Bauer

Sarnia Lay-up

Below are images taken Wednesday of Sarnia's lay-up fleet.

Agawa Canyon, bow view.
Agawa Canyon, stern lines.
Close up of Algolake's propeller.
Halifax, stern view.
Saginaw, berthed behind Mississagi.
Saginaw, framed by Agawa Canyon's bow lines.
Maumee and Calumet.
View from across the river.
USCG Bramble, berthed in Port Huron.
Huron Lightship Museum in Port Huron.
Guest parking only.

Reported by: Stephen Hause

Port Weller and at Jordan Harbour

Pictures by: Shaun Vary
The burned out La Grande Hermine Enr. at Jordan Harbour.
This historic sailing ship replica can easily be viewed by passing tourists on the QEW Highway. The vessel spent part of her career as the ferry La Marjolaine (1914) and later as a freighter on the St. Lawrence River.
Another view Interestingly, the wooden "sailing ship" superstructure was simply added over top of the original vessel. Even her wheelhouse can be seen intact on the stern.
Westpete appearing to be in some distress at Jordan Harbour. She was built in 1953 by Erieau Shipbuilding for the Consolidated Gas Company and saw many years service in the Lake Erie natural gas industry. She is more recently a dive and work boat on Lake Ontario.
Lady Kim I at her Pilot Boat Dock in Port Weller.
J. W. Cooper which is normally stationed at Port Colborne.
Port Weller Pilot Boat Juleen I.
Pilot Boat Mrs. C.

These boats have interesting histories as they were both fish tugs. Juleen I was built by master boat builder Ralph Hurley of Port Burwell, On. in the seventies and was one of many "one man operation" fish tugs that he built. Her original owner, Robt. Hamilton sold her to Gary Cooper of Selkirk, On. He fished her and later increased her efficiency by lengthening and widening the hull. She was converted for use as a Pilot boat in 1990. When the Juleen I was chartered for use as a pilot boat, Gary Cooper built a new fishing tug in 1990/91, the Mrs. C. It has been stationed at Port Weller since 2001.
Juleen I as a fishing tug.
Mrs. C. before conversion.
Cuyahoga and drill rig Timesaver at Port Stanley.
Fishing tug C.J. Weaver at Port Stanley.

Pictures by: Gerry O.
La Grande Hermine Enr. at Jordan Harbour.
Another view.
Close up.
Close up of bow.
Westpete with a heavy list.
Caledonia at McKeil's yard being converted to sail by Doug Prothero of Canadian Sailing Expeditions.
Another view.

Reported by: Shaun Vary and Gerry O.

Sandusky, Port Clinton & Toledo

Below are images taken Wednesday

Tugs Timberland & Mighty Jimmy in Sandusky, OH.
Tug James Palladino.
Barge Kellstone I.
Jet Express II in Port Clinton, OH.
Jet Express III.
Stern view.
Jet Express.
Three Jet Expresses.
David Z. Norton at the Torco Dock in Toledo.
Saturn & Gemini.
Ste Claire.

Reported by: Mike Nicholls

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

Reliance Continues on, Open Water Ahead

The tug Reliance and barge PML 9000 spent Wednesday struggling through the ice in the St. Marys River. The pair departed the Soo on Tuesday morning and ran into ice difficulties almost immediately. The tug and barge pushed down river Tuesday but stopped for the night about 5 p.m.

Ice in the river has piled up and at some points was deeper than the draft of the barge. These conditions made ice breaker escort necessary. About 7 a.m. Tuesday the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw took up the lead downbound. Joining the escort was the Purvis Marine tug Wilfred M. Cohen, it departed the Soo about 1 p.m. The Cohen met the tug and barge near the Stribling Point Ranges. Following the wake of the Mackinaw through Sailors Encampment, the tug and barge swung around Johnson’s Point towards the junction buoy and rejoined the downbound course at Lake Munuscong.

At 10:30 p.m. Wednesday night the Reliance and PML 9000 were heading for Lake Huron in the lower St. Marys River near Detour, Mi. The tug and barge reached the lower St. Marys River about 36 hours after their departure from the Soo. This is normally a five hour trip.

Open water over most of Lake Huron should allow a normal transit to Port Huron, about 20 hours. Once the tug and barge reach Port Huron they will likely need escort through the lower St. Clair River and Detroit River.

The Canadian Coast Guard Cutter Samuel Risley has been working this area and will likely take up the lead. The Mackinaw released the escort in Lake Huron and expects to remain in the St. Marys River/Straits of Mackinac area.

The barge is loaded with steel coils from Algoma Steel in the Soo, this shipment by barge is a test of a winter alternative to trucking the automotive steel from Algoma Steel to Detroit-area customers. One barge load of coils is equivalent to around 200 truckloads of the steel product.

Pictures from the U.S. Coast Guard taken Tuesday courtesy Brian Kloosterman

Reliance and PML 9000 struggle in the ice.
Close up of the barge.
Mackinaw heads for the tow.
Mackinaw turning to escort the tow.
Stern view.
Tug and barge.
Ice piled up at the bow of the PML 9000.
Another view.
Ice flight by the Coast Guard also included a pass over the Straights of Mackinaw to check conditions.

Tow passing in the lower St. Marys River. Linda Stoetzer
Mackinaw leading.
Close up of tug & barge.

Reported by: Linda Stoetzer

New Builds for Fednav

Fednav's website reports that fourteen new seaway-sized ships on the way for the largest saltwater fleet serving the Great Lakes / St. Lawrence River system.

Due for delivery this year from Jing Jiang, China are the Federal Elbe and Federal Leda, to be followed in 2004 by the Federal Danube. These three are sister ships to two new lakes visitors in 2002, the Federal Weser and Federal Ems.

Four new ships are on order from Shin Kurushima, Japan; three to be delivered in 2004 and the last in 2005. No names for these ships has been announced yet. They are listed as sister ships to the Federal Shimanto and Federal Yoshino, delivered from the same yard in 2001.

Also due this year is the Federal Kumano, coming from the Oshima Shipyard in Japan. Listed as a sister ship to the eight other vessels built by Oshima for Fednav from 1999 to 2001, she'll be followed by two more; the Federal Seto in 2004 and an as-yet unnamed ship in 2005.

In addition, four ships of a new class are on order from Wenchong Shipyard, China. They will measure about 185m x 23.7m (607' x 78') overall and carry 27,000 metric tons of cargo at a maximum draft of 9.8m (32'2"), and 19,570 metric tons at Seaway draft. They are the Federal Mackinac, Federal Manitou, and Federal Matane, all due in 2004, and the Federal Margaree, due in 2005.

When all is said and done at the end of 2005, Fednav may be looking back at quite a period of new construction, when thirty-two new seaway-sized ships joined its fleet in just ten years.

Reported by: Eric Holst

Tucker in Amherstburg

The Captain Ralph Tucker returned to Amherstburg, Ontario with another load of brine for General Chemical. The Tucker had no problem with ice in the lower Detroit River, but was escorted by the Samuel Risley from Sarnia through the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair and upper Detroit River.

The Tucker is expected to continue the Sarnia-Amherstburg shuttle through mid-march. She will then make an attempt to load in Manistee, Mi. Ice conditions in northern Lake Michigan has prevented her normal run from Manistee to Amherstburg.

Reported by: Dave Cozens and Chris Franckowiak

Coast Guard Tows Stranded Fishing Vessel

The 36-foot tribal fishing vessel Earl C safely moored Saturday after being towed by Coast Guard Cutter Katmai Bay to Northport, MI. After transferring fuel to the vessel, the Coast Guard Cutter Katmai Bay escorted the Earl C into Grand Traverse Bay. The fishing vessel's heat exchanger then iced up preventing the vessel from operating.

Katmai Bay took the Earl C in stern tow to Northport, MI, where Station Charlevoix, Grand Traverse Conservation Tribal Officer and Michigan DNR conducted a boarding of the vessel. The fishing vessel was sited for an improper number of fire extinguishers and no immersion suits on board. The vessels voyage was terminated until discrepancies can be fixed.

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

Winter Shipment Gets off to a Slow Start

Originally scheduled to leave at 9 a.m. Monday morning, the tug Reliance and barge PML 9000 got underway just after 10 a.m. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw was upbound in the lower river at Mud Lake. The ice in Sault Harbor had been broken up Monday, but had refrozen and the tug and barge soon ran into trouble. While the Katmai Bay was docked on the Michigan side, the Reliance's fleet mate tug Scott Purvis came to assist. At noon the tugs managed to break through to the open water at the Sugar Island Ferry. Normally, this is a 10 minute trip.

With the Scott Purvis following, the Reliance and barge continued on meeting the upbound Mackinaw at the south end of Sugar Island. With the wider channel opened by the big icebreaker, the Reliance and barge proceeded down river. The Mackinaw continued upbound to the Soo, passing Six Mile Point at 2 p.m.

Troubles continued through the evening with the tug and barge making slow progress through the ice.

The Mackinaw and tug and barge passed just below Six Mile Point around 5 p.m. They are stopped for the night around Nine Mile Point as the Reliance was stopped in the ice. Evaluation and a new plan are expected in the morning.

The steel shipment by barge is a test of a winter alternative to trucking the automotive steel from Algoma Steel to Detroit-area customers. One barge load of coils is equivalent to around 200 truckloads of the steel product.

Reliance and barge PML 9000 pulling away from the dock .
Stuck in the ice, Sault Harbor.
Another view.
Close up, Reliance.
Scott Purvis along side.
Close up of PML 9000's notch.
Scott Purvis following.
Passing Mission Point.
Mackinaw upbound.
Reliance and PML 9000 near Six Mile Point.

Reported by: B. Barnes and Linda Stoetzer

Algoway Repairs

The Algoway, in Owen Sound for winter lay-up, has had the large hole in the bow repaired. The tarp covering the work area was removed this week, revealing the work done over the last few weeks.

Owen Sound is fully frozen over with ice as far as can be seen. According to locals this is the first time in several years that this has happened.

Hole in the bow before repairs.
Work in progress a few weeks ago.
Close up.
Repairs complete.
Close up.
Frozen harbor at Owen Sound.

Reported by: David Shearman and Ed Saliwonchyk

Help Wanted

Central Marine Logistics, Inc. is accepting applications for entry-level Operations and Marine Engineering shore side staff. Interested applicants should email resumes in Word or ACSII to by February 28, 2003.

Reported by:

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

Winter Shipment Ready to Go

Tuesday morning the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw is expected to escort the tug Reliance and barge PML 9000 downbound from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., the barge is loaded with about 400 steel coils for Detroit. The steel shipment by barge is a test of a winter alternative to trucking the automotive steel from Algoma Steel to Detroit-area customers. One barge load of coils is equivalent to around 200 truckloads of the steel product, according to the Soo Evening News.

On Monday the Reliance departed the Purvis Marine Dock to breakup shore ice in the Soo Harbor while the cutter Katmai Bay worked in the lower river opening the ice track. The downbound course will take them through the upbound channel to Stribling Point, down to Johnson’s Point and over to the Junction Buoy where they will rejoin the downbound channel. The downbound channel is closed for the winter because of an ice bridge on the West Neebish.

The Mackinaw was working in the Straits of Mackinaw area Monday and was expected to enter the St. Marys River system Monday night. The Mackinaw will widen the ice channel to about seventy five feet from the current forty feet made by the Bay Class icebreakers and tankers.

The Mackinaw has spent most of February at her home port of Cheboygan, Michigan. The mid winter rest was a planned maintenance period.

Purvis Dock.
Close up.
Katmai Bay upbound.

Reported by: B. Barnes

U.S.-Flag Carriage Up 34 Percent in January

U.S.-flag lakers hauled 2.4 million net tons of cargo on the Great Lakes in January, an increase of 34 percent compared to 2002. Compared to the 5-year average, the January float represents an increase of 7 percent.

Iron ore for the steel industry dominated the trade in January. Shipments totaled 2.1 million tons, nearly double that of a year ago, and a 17 percent improvement over the 5-year average. However, one must remember that iron ore totals for previous years have been extremely depressed, so positive comparisons are not difficult to achieve.

Reduced demand for steam coal for power generation produced the fall-off in coal cargos. January loadings totaled only 138,000 tons, a decrease of 31 percent compared to 2002 and 54 percent compared to the 5-year average.

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association

First ice pack helps Great Lakes

The Great Lakes should benefit from the season's first extensive ice pack to develop on the lakes since 1997, researchers and meteorologists say.

The scarcity of ice in recent years has contributed to a drop in water levels. Lake Michigan is at its lowest level in nearly 40 years. Lake Superior dropped twice its normal amount in January.

"If you get an extensive ice cover in the winter, it certainly reduces the amount of evaporation," Raymond Assel, a scientist with the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich., told the Chicago Sun-Times. Great Lakes ice generally reaches its greatest extent around the end of February.

The most recent ice maps show ice building out from the shorelines of Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Lake Superior. Some areas are frozen over, including Saginaw Bay, Green Bay, Lake St. Clair and most of the Mackinac Straits.

The waters of western Lake Superior off Duluth have been covered with an extensive ice pack for the past week -- the first such ice pack to last for more than a couple of days this season.

Ice cover on the lakes also could help some fish species.

Ice plays a major role in ecology and climate around the lakes. It is particularly important to the reproduction of fall-spawning fish, such as whitefish, whose eggs lie in the cold water during winter.

"When you do have extensive ice cover, you tend to have more eggs survive into the spring," Assel said. Open water leaves the eggs vulnerable to wind, waves, predators or even being tossed onshore, he said.

For at least the last 20 winters, the Great Lakes have experienced generally warmer-than-average temperatures. But this season, temperatures have been below normal in January and early February.

Reported by: Dave Phillips

Sturgeon Bay Lay-up

Below are images taken on Monday of Bay Shipbuilding's winter lay-up fleet.

Joseph L. Block and Wilfred Sykes.
Charles M. Beeghly, Lee A. Tregurtha, and Herbert C. Jackson.
Close-up of Lee A. Tregurtha and Herbert C. Jackson.
Mesabi Miner, Paul R. Tregurtha, and Columbia Star.
Sam Laud in graving dock.
Joseph L. Block.
St. Clair, John J. Boland, and Charles M. Beeghly.
Wide view. St. Clair.
John J. Boland.
Charles M. Beeghly.
Sam Laud and Dorothy Ann in graving dock.
Close-up of Sam Laud.

Reported by: Dick Lund

Lake Michigan Lay-ups

Below are images taken on Monday.

Integrity and Jacklyn M in Milwaukee' Jones Island.
Burns Harbor and Stewart J Cort.
Bow view.
Another view.
Tug Edward E Gillen III.
Kenosha Pier head Light.
Another view.
Kenosha Lighthouse.
Historical marker.
Close up of the tower.
Fishtug Peggy S at Kenosha, WI.
CTC NO 1 in South Chicago.
Another view.
Nicole S in Chicago.
John M Selvick.
Another view.
Matador VI.
Masco I.
Stern view.
Blue Chip Casino at Michigan City, IN.

Reported by: Mike Nicholls

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

Port Huron getting new Coast Guard vessel, station

Port Huron's Coast Guard units will undergo substantial changes this year, with a new vessel arriving and a new station opening, the Port Huron Times Herald reported.

By late summer, the 180-foot World War II-vintage cutter Bramble will be replaced by the 225-foot cutter Hollyhock, which was launched Jan. 25 in Marinette, Wis. The cutter will be moored at the Bramble's old dock on the St. Clair River near Pine Grove Park and the city water-filtration plant.

Workers will dredge near the shoreline and extend the concrete pier about 50 feet south to accommodate the Hollyhock's extra length. A 3,000-square-foot cutter-support building also will be built on the base to provide office and storage room for the Hollyhock's crew.

Despite a strike by shipyard, finishing work by subcontractors on the Hollyhock will continue, Marinette Marine Inc. officials said.

Several members of the Bramble's crew who will transfer to the Hollyhock are being sent to training schools to learn about the more sophisticated equipment they will operate.

The Coast Guard also is replacing the Port Huron Coast Guard Station at the foot of Garfield Street, which was built in the 1930s.

"It's one of the oldest in the Coast Guard," said Petty Officer 1st Class Kirk Campbell, second-in-command at the station.

The new $3 million station, started last fall and scheduled for completion in November, will be a 10,000-square-foot building, about 30 percent larger than the one it replaces.

The Coast Guard in 2002 built a $1.3 million harbor near the station and brought the station's two boats from the Black River to a place where they could respond more quickly to emergencies. In addition to improved communications facilities, the new station will have separate quarters for male and female crew members.

Principal Characteristics
Full Load Draft.....................13'
Buoy Deck Area..............2875 sq. ft
Crew:...............................6 Officers, 34 Enlisted
Main Engines....................2 x CAT 3608 (Low Emission) 3100 Bhp @ 900 rpm
Reduction Gear/Prop.........Single shaft, 10 ft diameter, Bird Johnson Controllable Pitch propeller
Crane...............................20 ton hydraulic 60 ft boom
Machinery Plant................Automated control w/ dynamic positioning and FDDI network

On the ways prior to launch January 25.
Christening about to begin.
On her way into the water.
Righting herself after launch.
Wide view.
In the snow an hour after launch.

Reported by: Dick Lund

Shipbuilder lays off 60

Palmer Johnson Inc. said it has cut about 60 administrative jobs over the past two weeks because of an uncertain economic future.

The layoffs leave Palmer Johnson, a builder of luxury sail and power yachts since 1918, with 220 workers at its Sturgeon Bay shipyard.

The job cuts involved administrative support workers. The company does not plan to cut production jobs, said Phil Friedman, chief executive officer.

"We're trying to weather this," Friedman said. "We are not shutting the door."

The company's remaining jobs are secure through November 2004, when the last of four yachts now under construction is scheduled for delivery, Friedman said.

The company blamed the layoffs on the world economy, a downturn in new yacht contracts, legal battles and other factors.

The Door County shipbuilder is looking for investment capital to bolster it for the long term, Friedman said. The company also continues to work with Bay Shipbuilding Inc. and the Door County Economic Development Corp. to study ways to improve the shipbuilding industry in Sturgeon Bay.

Reported by: Dan Kennedy

Duluth Lay-up

Below are images of vessels in lay-up around Duluth's Port Terminal.

photos of the Roger Blough, Edgar B. Speer, Presque Isle, Edwin H. Gott and the Walter j. McCarthy Jr. Again, they are all in the port terminal area

Wide view of the lay-up fleet.
Edgar B. Speer and Presque Isle.
Speer close up.
Roger Blough.
Another view.
Close up.

Reported by: Glenn Blaszkiewicz

Owen Sound Lay-up

Below are images taken Sunday at Owen Sound, Ont.

Capt. Henry Jackman and Algoway.
Capt. Henry Jackman.
Close up.
Another view.
Close up.
Close up.
Snow at the end of the pier.
Another view.
New unloading hopper for Self Unloaders.

Reported by: Capt. Alain Gindroz

Cedarglen Lay-up

The Cedarglen is waiting out the winter on the Detroit River at the ADM Dock in Windsor. Below are images taken last weekend.

Cedarglen docked at ADM.
Grain elevators.
Stern view.
Close up.
Another view.
Remnants of the former HALCO billboard can be see on the side of the hull.
Loading/Unloading rig at the dock.
Bow view.
Former name can be seen.
Bow thruster.
On deck looking aft to the unique accommodations block.
Wide view.
Cargo hold.
Hatch crane controls.
Another view.
Builders plate on the accommodations block.
Rebuilding plate.
View forward.
Looking down the bow.
Ship's bell.
Looking at the elevator through deck gear.
Another view.
In the engine room looking up at the massive B & W 774 diesel engine.
Engine builder's plate.
Chief engineer Stan Ditcham at the steering gear.
Toromont technicians Finley MacDonald (left) and Barry O’Connor on hand to repair a generator.
Generator running.
Ballast controls.
Top of the main engine.
Rebuilding the turbo charger.
Interior passageway.
crew state room.
Officer's dining room.
Captain’s office.
Captain’s lounge.
Roomy stairwell.
Pilothouse sealed up for the winter.
Control station.
View forward.
View aft.
Another view.
On deck.
Engineers head home for the winter.

Click here for the history of the Cedarglen.

Reported by: N. Schultheiss

Trip Raffles

Time is running out to purchase your tickets for the Walter J. McCarthy Jr Trip Raffle. Only two weeks left to order tickets.

Trip Auction
Lake Superior State University, in conjunction with Algoma Central Marine (ACM), is auctioning a 5-8 day trip for four adults on one of ACM's vessels during the summer of 2003. The winners of the auction will work with representatives of ACM to schedule the trip between May and September 2003.

The auction will be conducted from March 3, 2003 to March 31, 2003. Bid forms can be downloaded from

Proceeds from the auction will establish the Great Lakes Mariner Scholarship Fund at LSSU. Employees of participating shipping companies/unions and their children will be eligible for the scholarship.

Weekly Updates

The weekly updates have been uploaded.
Click here to view

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

Difficult Conditions on the St. Lawrence River

An ongoing severe cold spell is creating mounting difficulties for shipping in the Quebec City area . The sub-zero weather coupled with lower tide flows and weaker winds has been creating headaches for ships and Canadian Coast Guard ice operations.

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Pierre Radisson has been on 24 hour alert in Quebec Harbor for ice operations, flood prevention near the two Quebec bridges, shipping needs and to assist the ferries plying between Quebec City and Levis.

The stall period between high and low tides which is an hour under normal conditions has been timed to be from two to three hours because of the combined lower tide flows and weaker winds. These conditions favour the formation and thickening of ice. The narrow passage between the Quebec bridges has often contributed to the creation of huge ice jams. These jams can last for weeks, not only stopping navigation between Quebec and Montreal but producing a potential for disastrous flooding for the lower shores of the River and the islands west of Lac St-Pierre.

The Pierre Radisson has been making passes under the bridges early every morning to prevent the formation of ice jams by assuring the easterly flow of ice with the ebb tide.

Since the beginning of winter the Coast Guard icebreakers of the district have assisted 71 ships, in normal winter conditions they assist from 25 to 30. The Coast Guard expects to assist over 100 ships this winter.

Friday night the weather was -25C with a chill factor of -41C. It is expected that gradually over the next few weeks the seasonal temperatures of -10C will be achieved.

Pierre Radisson.

Reported by: Frederick Frechette

Michigan lawmakers 'disappointed' with lack of Soo funding

Michigan lawmakers Sen. Carl Levin and Rep. Bart Stupak said they're disappointed President Bush’s 2004 budget request does not include funding for a new lock at the Soo.

Michigan and other Great Lakes states along with the federal government have contributed money in recent years for planning a new lock capable of accommodating 1,000-footers. The lock, estimated to cost about $225 million, would ease the danger that failure of the Poe Lock could keep the largest lake boats out of the taconite trade.

“I am very disappointed that the president’s budget for Fiscal Year 2004 does not contain any funding to continue the Soo Lock construction project,” Levin said in prepared remarks. “If the Poe Lock should fail, shipping between Lake Superior and Lake Huron would essentially cease, and the steel industry and steel reliant industries would be crippled.”

Levin said annual shipping on the Great Lakes exceeds 180 million tons with more than half passing through the Soo Locks.

Stupak also voiced concern but noted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which oversees and maintains the locks, likely has sufficient funds on hand to continue the work.

“I’m not surprised. A lot of things are being cut and I would have liked to have seen the budget have money in it,” Stupak said. “But I am hopeful that there is enough money in the pipeline.”

Congress authorized building a new, larger lock in 1986 to replace the Davis and Sabin locks, which were built during World War I. The two remaining locks, the MacArthur and the Poe, were built in the 1940s and the 1960s, respectively. With the Davis and Sabin locks now obsolete, the 1,200-foot Poe Lock handles about 75 percent of the tonnage shipped through the locks.

Reported by: Ed Schipper

Cleveland Lay-up

Alpena at Lafarge.
American Republic and Earl W. Oglebay.
Fred R. White Jr.

Reported by: Bob Smalling

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

Twin Ports Tonnage

Improved iron ore shipments and another record coal-shipping year through the Port of Duluth-Superior boosted total commerce for the 2002 season above both 2001’s level and the five-year average, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority reported Friday.

Total waterborne commerce reached 39.5 million metric tons, an eight percent increase from last year’s 36.5 million tons and four percent above the five-year average of 38 million tons.

Iron ore cargoes in Duluth-Superior increased 21 percent from last season’s 13.9 million tons to 16.8 million tons, significantly higher than Great Lakes total iron ore shipments which were reportedly about seven percent ahead of last year’s level.

Outbound western coal via Superior’s Midwest Energy Resources Co. set a record at the facility for the ninth consecutive year, reaching 16.4 million tons (nine percent above last year’s 15.1 million tons).

The Port’s third leading cargo, bulk grain shipments, reached 3.3 million tons as compared to last year’s 3.8 million tons. The 14 percent decrease was largely attributed to a weak U.S. export market combined with a lakes-wide decline in steel imports, meaning fewer outbound ocean ships available at competitive rates.

Both international and domestic trade increased from last year’s level, with international trade totaling 13.1 million tons, 10 percent above last year’s 11.9 million tons. Domestic trade’s 26.4 million tons was up seven percent from 24.6 million tons a year ago.

Port developments during the 2002 season included:
· Construction by Innovative Pine Technologies/Lake States Lumber of a $3 million, 22,000-square-foot remanufacturing and distribution facility for foreign and domestic forest products on a nine-plus acre waterfront parcel leased from the Port Authority at the Clure Public Marine Terminal.
· Opening of the $3.8 million, 104,000-square-foot East Warehouse Annex at the Clure Terminal.
· Attraction by Clure Terminal operator Lake Superior Warehousing Co., Inc., of a Syncrude UE-1 heavy-lift project, with two of three ships scheduled bringing in enormous pieces of equipment manufactured in Spain and Italy and destined for an oil sands project in Canada via record-setting rail shipments.
· A long-term lease with precision machining manufacturer Northstar Aerospace for the Port Authority’s new 20,000-square-foot-plus light manufacturing building on three acres of the Airpark industrial complex.
· Sale of a two-acre Airpark parcel to local Miller Brewing Company distributor Better Brands, Inc., for construction of a 30,000-square-foot office facility and state-of-the-art temperature-controlled warehouse.

The season’s first commercial vessel arrival was Interlake Steamship Company’s Mesabi Miner on March 26. The Norwegian-flagged Menominee was 2002’s first full Seaway transit, arriving April 2.

The season’s last vessel to transit the Seaway was the Marshall Islands-flagged Lake Ontario, which departed on December 17. Oglebay Norton Marine Services Company’s Oglebay Norton departed January 10 with the Port’s final outbound cargo, and Great Lakes Fleet, Inc.’s, Presque Isle arrived January 16 for winter berthing.

The Presque Isle brought the total number of vessels wintering in Port to 15—the most since the recession of the 1980s—noteworthy because maintenance, repair and renovation work done per wintering vessel averages $800,000.

Total vessel arrivals in 2002 of 1,140 represented an increase of 113 from last year. There were 701 U.S.-flag, 289 Canadian-flag and 150 overseas vessels.

Reported by: Lisa Marciniak, Duluth Seaway Port Authority

Tucker Returns

The Capt. Ralph Tucker was upbound in the Amherstburg Channel at 4 p.m. Friday afternoon. She docked at General Chemical with a load of brine. The shuttle between Amherstburg and Sarnia will continue on Saturday morning when the Tucker is expected to depart upbound.

Reported by: David Cozens

Toronto-New York ferry takes another step

High-speed ferry service across Lake Ontario moved a step closer to receiving state funding with the endorsement Wednesday of the Project Review Committee of the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency.

"It was unanimous we go for it," committee member Mario Pirastru said. "I think it's needed for the general well-being of the county, and it would be a great boost for the casino."

Pirastru was referring to the recently opened Seneca Niagara Casino, which would run free shuttle buses from the proposed ferry terminal just east of Youngstown, N.Y., to the downtown casino.

William F. Wilkinson, president of Toronto-based International Fast Ferry Corp., told the county committee he needs $40 million in state tax credits to launch the $150 million service.

The funding application must be made through the county IDA. The next step is to gain approval of the IDA board of directors at its meeting next Thursday.

Local state lawmakers have said they will push for approval of a funding request.

Wilkinson said he has acquired three catamarans capable of carrying more than 250 vehicles and 1,000 passengers. The 28-mile trip between Toronto and Porter, N.Y., would take 40 minutes, he said.

The Toronto dock already exists, and if New York State funding is obtained this year, a terminal in Porter could be built for a launch date by summer 2004, he added.

"We believe the traffic is there," said Wilkinson, promising boats in and out of Porter every hour from dawn until midnight.

Reported by: Steve Jackman

Reserve Enters Dry Dock

The Reserve is now in drydock at Toledo Shiprepair for survey and miscellaneous repairs. The following vessels are in lay-up at Toledo

Torco Docks: David Z. Norton
Lakefront Docks: Courtney Burton, Ste. Claire, Gemini, Saturn
CSX Docks: Wolverine, Buffalo, Adam E. Cornelius
CSX "Frog Pond": Roanoke, Windsor (RR carfloats)
T.W.I. Dock: Middletown, Oglebay Norton
Interlake Iron Dock: H. Lee White
Shipyard drydock: Reserve
Hocking Valley Dock: Joseph H. Frantz
City Docks: Buckeye, Willis B. Boyer

Reported by: Jim Hoffman

St. Clair Shores & Sarnia

Below are images taken on Friday.

Tug Geraldine in St. Clair Shores.
Stern view.
Tug Robin Lynn in St. Clair Shores.
Stern view.
Tug Sans Souci in St. Clair Shores.
Ships in the Government Slip in Sarnia. Left to right Saginaw, Mississagi, Sandra Mary, Calumet, Maumee, Samuel Risley and Griffon

Reported by: Mike Nicholls

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

Dual Docking at Bayship

A few hours before dawn tugs from Selvick Marine were busy breaking ice around the tug Dorothy Ann and the Sam Laud in preparation for their move into the Graving Dock for five year survey. With the deep draft of the tug Dorothy Ann special blocking had to be made up along the north wall while the blocking for the Sam Laud was higher on the south side of the dock. Special care was taken to insure the blocks were not moved or knocked over when the Dorothy Ann was placed in the dock.

After the Dorothy Ann was in place, divers were sent into the graving dock to inspect and insure the blocking was ok.

While this was taking place tugs from Selvick Marine were breaking more ice to allow the Laud to enter the Graving Dock. Ice thickness averaged 12 to 16 inches of hard ice around the dock and ships, hard ice is ice that has not been broken this season and is a solid sheet:

The graving dock crew was sweeping the bottom free of ice on the Sam Laud as the sun set and the temperature was at 8 degrees.

Dorothy Ann in front of Graving Dock.
Lined up on dock.
Ice on locking pins.
Pilot house.
Entering Dock.
Name on Sam Laud.
Laud lined up for entering dock.
Sam Laud entering dock/Dorothy Ann in dock.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle

Ferry company changing course to Wisconsin

A company planning to operate a passenger between Michigan and Illinois is changing course.

LEF Corporation now intends to sail from St. Joseph to Racine, Wis., instead of Waukegan, Ill., company spokeswoman Gayle Evans said.

"It wasn't moving ahead as fast as we would have liked," she told the Ludington Daily News.

Racine County Task Force chairman Jim Rooney said they are in the final planning stages with LEF.

"With over $20 million in improvements and upgrades to our waterfront and harbor, it is only natural that Racine would be a perfect port for a ferry service," Rooney said.

Grand Rapids-based LEF also has decided to buy a ferry that will hold up to 500 passengers, rather than 300 passengers as originally planned, Evans said. The ferry will not carry vehicles.

Evans said the trip between St. Joseph and Racine will take a little less than two hours.

Reported by: Scott Spencer

Shipping Continues on the St. Lawrence River

Below are recent images taken at Verchères on the St. Lawrence River.

Maersk Perth, Feb. 3.
Federal EMS, Feb. 3.
Emerald Star & Federal EMS, Feb. 3.
Emerald Star, Feb. 3.
Stern view.
Cynthia Harmony with grain for Venezuela, Feb. 6.
Canmar Honour, Feb. 11.
Stern view.
Federal Asahi, Feb. 11.
Stern view.
Flinterstar, Feb. 12.
Stern view.

Reported by: Marc Piché

Workboat Review

Fish tug Allie Brothers lays for winter at Bayfield, WI.
Anderson and Clarke at Fraser Shipyard.
Tugs Athena and Messenger on the Schuylkill River.
Roger Blough at her lay-up berth on the outside wall of the Port Authority.
Classic old steamer Buckeye as a crane ship.
Scrapping on the Buckeye stopped and her stern lingers on the beach in Lake Calumet.
Bumboat office in Ashtabula, OH... an old pilothouse off an unknown laker.
Tug Hannah D. Hannah heads down the slip in Gary, Indiana.
Crewmembers Jerry and Rocco standing by while Hannah D. leans on some hoppers.
Capt. Billy works his magic from the retractable house on the Hannah D.
Fournier's railroad tug Capt. Bill rests at Portland, Maine.
Stern view.
Pilothouse off the William J. Filbert at Azcon's shear in Duluth. The house has been in the yard since 1976.
Edwin H. Gott sits at Garfield D for the winter.
Kosnac's tug Gotham nosed in at their Staten Island yard.
Tug Gull, former G-tug Oregon, Gaelic tug Galway Bay, was dumped off at Virginia Beach, VA and hasn't moved for two years.
Another former Gaelic tug, the famous Kinsale, rests on the bottom, abandoned in Jacksonville, Florida.
Steamer L.E. Block and tug Danicia at Escanaba.
Wood-hulled steam tug Ned Moran rots away at Witte's Staten Island bone yard.
John Selvick's canaller Nicole S. runs back to Chicago after shifting barges in Burns Harbor.
Tug Seneca at night just before lay-up in Duluth.
DPC tug White Lake, formerly Egan's Becky E, now a live-aboard.

Reported by: Franz VonRiedel

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

Tucker Continues Shuttle

The Capt. Ralph Tucker continues the shuttle run from Amherstburg to Sarnia. The small tanker has encountered heavy ice in northern Lake St. Clair and the lower St. Clair River. Late Wednesday morning the Tucker reported that they were completely closed in by ice between The Crib Light and Light 23 and awaiting assistance.

The Tucker was able to continue upbound and passed the Salt Dock upbound about 1 p.m.

Upbound Wednesday afternoon.

Reported by: Larry Leverenz

Steel Shipment May Wait

The barge loaded with steel coils for Detroit may wait until next week to start the trip downbound from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

The barge PML 9000 will likely wait until additional icebreakers are available should they need escort. The track in the river has been broken by smaller U.S. Coast Guard vessels to fit narrow tankers through the ice. The PML 9000 is 76-feet wide.

Reported by: Dan Jackson

2002 Increase In Lakes/Seaway Ore Trade Is First Step Toward Recovery

Shipments of iron ore from U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River ports destined for Great Lakes region steelmakers totaled 59.4 million net tons in 2002, an increase of 6.7 percent compared to 2001. However, 2002's total pales in comparison to the years before dumped foreign steel decimated domestic steel producers and their suppliers. As recently as 1997, the Lakes/Seaway ore trade approached 72 million net tons. Record levels of steel imports then drove the American industry to the brink of extinction, but 2002 does represent a first step toward recovery.

Vessel deliveries of iron ore to other North American destinations totaled 4 million net tons in 2002, an increase of 57.4 percent. The all-rail movement of iron ore decreased 17.6 percent to 8.9 million net tons.

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association

Coast Guard Busy with Ice Rescues


A Coast Guard Air Station Detroit helicopter rescued a disoriented snowmobiler between South Bass Island and Rattlesnake Island about 2 a.m. Wednesday morning.

At 12 a.m. Coast Guard Airstation Detroit received a phone call from a person reporting an overdue snowmobile. The helicopter located the missing person at 2:40 a.m. and medevaced him to the McGruder Hospital.

The missing individual became disoriented due to heavy snowfall, high winds and zero visibility. The rescue helicopter crew consisted of LT Frank Susskey, LTJG Tim Schmitz, AMT1 Rick McKenzie, and AST2 Larry Graham. The survivor had a core temperature of 94 degrees Fahrenheit and is recovering well in McGruder Hospital.

On Tuesday the U.S. Coast Guard was called on to rescue 20 fishermen trapped on an unexpected Lake Erie Ice Cruise. Dolphin helicopters were brought in to ferry the men back to shore after a large piece of ice broke off and began to float away from land. All were recovered safely be late evening.

On Monday the Erie County Sheriff's Helicopter "Air One" was returning after an unsuccessful attempt rescue a man that had fallen in when the pilots spotted two men walking back toward land on Lake Erie. They picked the men up and brought them back to shore only to find out that they had narrowly escaped death themselves.

They had spent the day ice fishing on the frozen lake and were about to depart for home when their snowmobiles broke through the ice before their very eyes and sank to the bottom of the lake, taking all their fishing gear with them.

Reported by: Greg Houghton and Brian Wroblewski

Buffalo's grain scoopers work their last ship

Buffalo's grain scoopers went to work for the last time Monday to finish unloading more than 600,000 bushels of wheat from the Kinsman Independent's final cargo.

"It's kind of good," joked Tom Griffin, a 32-year veteran who was one of about three dozen grain shovellers -- they call themselves scoopers -- who worked a final laborious day on the Kinsman Independent.

Like most of the scoopers, Griffin was doing the work of his father and grandfather before him, the same job the same way.

The men, wearing paper masks against the dust, sailed five-foot-wide shovels hooked to pulleys with ropes and chains across the ship's cavernous holds, pushing the wheat toward a contraption called a marine leg.

  Hanging into the hold from the General Mills grain elevator on shore, the marine leg's belt of buckets pulled the grain from ship to storage in hulking cement cylinders. The technology was developed in Buffalo in 1842.

  When the grain was too sparse for the big shovels, the scoopers picked up hand shovels and brooms, and scraped and swept until virtually all the kernels were gone.

At 68, Robert Matevia is the oldest scooper, and the most experienced with 48 years in the holds. Like many scoopers, Matevia also worked in construction, a job that allowed the flexibility needed for the grain shoveling that diminished into part-time work over the decades.

  "This is it. This is the last," Matevia said, taking a coffee break in the ship's warm galley as wind chills dipped to the teens out on deck. "It's going to be weird after 48 years not having to come in here.

  A century ago, Buffalo boomed as ships from the Great Lakes transferred cargo to canal boats for passage through the Erie Canal. More than 1,000 shovellers were needed to keep up.

  Just two crews of scoopers existed in the end: 34 men. The volume of grain arriving Buffalo plummeted in the 1950s as the St. Lawrence Seaway system allowed ships to bypass the port. Easily unloaded railroad cars also took a toll and ships equipped with automatic unloading equipment eliminated other scooping jobs.

  The Kinsman Independent, traveling back and forth, picking up grain from Duluth-Superior and bringing it back to Buffalo, was the only manually unloaded ship left. It docked a few times a month. Now a self-unloading ship will deliver the grain.

In the early afternoon, with the ship's holds emptied, the scoopers gathered at a tavern named Gene McCarthy's, a bar proud of its Irish heritage -- a trait shared by the scoopers, who have always been almost exclusively Irish.

  Boisterous behind bottles of beer and their memories, they drank to the end of an era.

Click here for pictures of the scoopers working in a cargo hold.

Reported by: Roger LeLievre and Brian Wroblewski

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

Tucker Reaches Amherstburg

The Capt. Ralph Tucker departed Sarnia Tuesday morning bound for Allied Chemical in Amherstburg. The vessel loaded at the Meullers Dock (former Canadian National train ferry docks) and is expected to continue this shuttle run until ice conditions improve through the Straights of Mackinac and northern Lake Michigan. The Tucker encountered heavy ice in the lower St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair.

The Tucker was downbound in the Detroit River Tuesday afternoon. After reaching the Detroit River Light, the Tucker made a 180 degree turn and headed up the ice covered Amherstburg Channel to General Chemical arriving at 4 p.m. They planned to depart Amherstburg Wednesday morning for Sarnia.

The narrow channel that had been ice free between Amherstburg and Bob Lo Island quickly filled with ice. The Bob Lo car ferry Crystal O continues to cross the river but at a noticeably reduced speed.

Reported by: Barry Hiscocks and David Cozens

U.S. Steel suspends Minntac sale, ponders new labor contract

U.S. Steel said Monday it is suspending plans to sell its taconite facility in Minnesota while it works to acquire bankrupt National Steel Corp.

In addition, the company and the Steelworkers union said Monday they have agreed to a framework under which a new labor agreement would be negotiated. It would be comparable with an innovative labor accord reached between steelworkers and Cleveland-based International Steel Group, which now owns the steelmaking facilities of the former LTV Steel.

Minntac, located near Mountain Iron, Minn., is the nation's largest taconite producer. It ships much of its tonnage through Two Harbors aboard vessels of Duluth-based Great Lakes Fleet.

Union officials asked U.S. Steel to suspend the sale of Minntac and other nonsteelmaking facilities to help keep America's integrated steel industry from separating into independently owned segments.

"We don't want the steel industry to be fragmented into several different pieces such as finishing, steelmaking and raw materials," John Rebrovich, a USWA staff representative, told the Duluth News Tribune.

Steelworkers also are concerned about the prospect of National being sold to AK Steel, which instituted a three-year lockout of 620 employees at an Ohio plant.

In October, U.S. Steel announced a $500 million deal under which Apollo Management L.P., a New York investment firm, would buy 80 percent of Minntac. The deal was to be complete by the end of the second quarter. However, complicated negotiations with Apollo coupled with the steelworkers' new request makes it unclear when Minntac might be sold.

U.S. Steel officials continue to work toward acquiring National Steel Corp., even though AK has submitted a higher bid. An auction period for National's assets ends April 7. National owns and operates National Steel Pellet Co. in Keewatin.

The mine and taconite plant were not included in U.S. Steel's Jan. 9 bid for National. U.S. Steel officials have not said whether a new offer would include the Keewatin facilities, which ships its pellets through the BNSF ore dock in Superior, Wis.

A crucial point in U.S. Steel's efforts to buy National Steel is its labor costs. The company is seeking a contract that would allow it to keep pace with ISG, which is attempting to purchase bankrupt Bethlehem Steel.

The contract that ISG forged with former LTV workers, along with the elimination of LTV legacy costs such as pensions and health benefits, cut production costs for ISG. A similar contract might help reduce Minntac's costs, already among the lowest in the taconite industry.

"We remain very interested in acquiring the assets of National at the right price and with the right labor agreement," said Thomas J. Usher, U.S. Steel chairman.

U.S. Steel is expected by April 7 to make another offer on National. By that time, they hope to have a new labor agreement in place that would apply to U.S. Steel and National facilities and satisfy the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. An agreement with the USWA is considered critical to any company seeking to acquire National.

Reported by: Steve Roper

Neah Bay Visits Port Stanley

On Sunday the tug John Spence and barge returned to Port Stanley to off load a cargo of carbon black. On Monday the empty barge became trapped in ice and mechanical problem left them stuck out side the harbor.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay was called out of Cleveland and arrived at about 2:30 p.m.

Through blinding snow squalls the Neah Bay made numerous passes and broke up the ice. The Neah Bay and John Spence with her barge were last seen heading east.

Reported by: Ted Coombs

Dry Dock Cleared at Toledo

On Monday the Middletown was removed from the shipyard drydock and was towed by the G tugs Idaho and Illinois to the T.W.I. Dock. At the dock she was tied up between the Reserve and Oglebay Norton. The Middletown will spend the rest of the winter at this dock site.

The blocks at the drydock are being reset for the next vessel to be scheduled in which will either be the Joseph H. Frantz or the Reserve.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman

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

Tucker Departs

The Capt. Ralph Tucker departed Windsor Monday and headed upbound for Sarnia. She stopped at Imperial Oil for fuel before continuing on a short distance up river to the Meullers Dock (former Canadian National train ferry docks). The tug Manitou was at the dock with the McKeil tank barge Ocean Hauler, they arrived late last week.

The Tucker stopped at the dock overnight and was loaded by truck. Tuesday morning the tanker returned downbound to Amherstburg.

Reported by: Barry Hiscocks

Steel Delivery

The Purvis Marine barge PML 9000 is expected to depart Sault Saint Marie, Ont. on Thursday loaded with steel coils for Detroit.

The coils are from Algoma Steel and are the first shipment in a test of year round deliveries.

Barge docked on Monday. B. Barnes
Another view. B. Barnes
Loaded barge in the locks last summer.
Unloading the steel coils.

Reported by: B. Barnes

Coal's Slow Start Partially Reflects Weather

Coal shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 703,166 tons in January, a decrease of 46 percent compared to a year ago. The fall-off came primarily at Lake Erie ports and is largely the result of weak demand from Canadian users. However, the harsh weather that gripped the area in January did force the cancellation of a few cargos.

Compared to the 5-year average, the January total represents a decrease of 25 percent.

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association

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

Bethlehem Steel board votes to sell mills

Bethlehem Steel Corp. has reached an agreement to sell its assets to International Steel Group.

Robert S. Miller, chairman and CEO of bankrupt Bethlehem Steel, said the integrated steelmaker will sell its assets to Cleveland-based ISG for about $1.5 billion.

ISG's board of directors has approved the deal. On Saturday Bethlehem Steel's board voted unanimously to sell its mills, a deal that could bring the once-mighty industrial giant out of bankruptcy and create the nation's largest steelmaker. The deal will be submitted in one or two weeks to U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York, said Chief Executive Officer Robert Miller.

If approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. it could become final in April.

An ISG takeover of Bethlehem would form North America's largest integrated steel producer with about 16 million tons of annual capacity. ISG previously purchased the steelmaking assets of the former LTV Steel Corp., which also declared bankruptcy.

How the anticipated deal will affect Hibbing Taconite will be announced this week.

Bethlehem holds 62.3 percent ownership in Hibbing Taconite. Much of Hibbing Taconite's pellet production feeds blast furnaces at Bethlehem's Burns Harbor, Ind., plant. Much of that tonnage is shipped aboard Great Lakes vessels loading at the BNSF ore dock in Superior, Wis.

Taconite industry officials say an ISG acquisition of Bethlehem could be good for Iron Range taconite production. Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., which manages and owns 23 percent of Hibbing Taconite, owns 7 percent of ISG. Cliffs has a 15-year agreement to supply ISG with up to 70 million tons of taconite pellets from regional mines.

Reported by: Al Miller and Steve Haverty

Year Round Delivery

A Purvis Marine barge is currently being loaded with Algoma Steel coils as the companies experiment with midwinter export shipments through Detroit, according to a report by

Algoma Steel has shipped steel by barge before, but this is the first time it has tried doing so this time of the year, President and Chief Executive Officer Denis Turcotte told the web site. The barge that was loaded over the weekend is one of four that will try the winter passage to Detroit, Turcotte said. "If it's feasible, we'd like to do a lot more by barge, and do it year round," he added.

Steel coils weigh 20 to 30 tons each. As many as 200 coils can be shipped per barge, compared to just two or three per truck load.

Reported by: and Ed Schipper

Middletown on Dry Dock

Saturday morning the Middletown remained in the drydock at Toledo Shiprepair. The vessel was originally due off the drydock in late January. It is unknown when she will come off the drydock.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman

Weekly Updates

The weekly updates have been uploaded.
Click here to view

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.

In 1975, a fire onboard the CRISPIN OGLEBAY caused $100,000 damage to the conveyor and tunnel while she was laid-up at Toledo.

Data from: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Brian Bernard, 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

John Spence Visits Port Stanley

Saturday the tug John Spence and barge 401 arrived in Port Stanley about noon escorted by the Samuel Risley. The Risley made a quick turn at the outer harbor and headed for Nanticoke.

The Spence disconnected from the barge and spent hours battling harbor ice and sub zero wind chills.

After finally clearing a path it was discover that the barge was drawing to much water to enter silted harbor and that they would have to return to Windsor with their load of Carbon Black.

At sunset the two had rejoined off shore and were sitting in the ice waiting for the winds to subside.

John Spence breaking ice while the barge waits at the harbor entrance.

Reported by: Ted Coombs

Tucker in Windsor

Saturday the Capt. Ralph Tucker remained docked on the Detroit River in Windsor. The Tucker is in temporary lay-up as they wait for ice conditions in northern Lake Michigan to improve. It is unknown when the tanker will depart.

Capt. Ralph Tucker docked at Morterm.
Close up.
Another view.
Close up of stack.
Stern view.
Tug Stormont.
Doug McKeil and fireworks barge.
Close up of Doug McKeil.

Reported by: N. Schultheiss

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. The fire was started by a spark from welding that caused the tarpaulins stored in the hold to catch fire.

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

In 1899, JOHN V. MORAN (wooden propeller package freighter, 214', 1350 gt, built in 1888 at W. Bay City, MI) was cut by the ice and developed a severe leak during a mid-winter run on Lake Michigan. The iron passenger/package freight steamer NAOMI rescued the crew from the sinking vessel. The MORAN was last seen on the afternoon of 12 February 1899, drifting with the ice about 20 miles off Muskegon, Michigan. She was a combination bulk and package freighter with hatches in her flanks as well as on her deck.

Data from: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Father Dowling Collection, Brian Bernard, 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

MacKenzie Arrives

The MacKenzie arrived in Montreal Friday and will prepare to join the Canada Steamship Lines fleet. In December CSL announced that it had purchased the vessel from Fednav Limited of Montreal.

The ship will be renamed the Birchglen and will join the current CSL bulker fleet composed of the Ferbec, the Oakglen, the Mapleglen, the Pineglen, the Cedarglen, the Teakglen and most recently, the Spruceglen. As an ocean-going vessel, the Birchglen will further enhance CSL’s current trading patterns.

It is unknown when the renaming will take place.

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

Reported by: Chris Jackson

Star Moved from Graving Dock

The thousand footer Columbia Star was removed from the graving dock at Bay Ship Friday morning with the aid of tugs from Selvick Marine. The tugs were busy breaking ice in the bay and off the graving dock. Once this was completed the Columbia Star was removed and Placed at Berth 14/15, rafted next to the Paul R. Tregurtha and the Mesabi Miner. The three thousand footers now make up a wall of hulls 315-feet wide and 1000-feet plus in length.

While the tugs and Bay Ship docking crew was busy with this, another crew was busy stripping the main conveyor belt out of the Joseph L. Block in the south yard.

Once the graving dock is clear of ice and blocking checked, the dock will be ready for the next ship some time next week.

Bay Ship's winter fleet consist of the John J. Boland, Joseph L. Block, Charles M. Beeghly, St. Clair, Columbia Star, Dorothy Ann & Pathfinder, Sam Laud, Wilfred Sykes, Mesabi Miner, Herbert C. Jackson, Paul R. Tregurtha, Lee A. Tregurtha and the Edward L. Ryerson (long term lay-up).

Susan L. breaking ice in front of graving dock.
Columbia Star out of dock.
Bow look out station still iced over from arrival.
Tugs pulling stern around for line up with side of Paul R. Tregurtha for rafting.
Past the bow's of Miner and Tregurtha.
Moving along side.
Bay Ship crew stripping main conveyor bolt from the Joseph L. Block.
And more belt.
And Still about 1/2 remaining on board.
Wide view of winter lay-up Fleet (Bay Ship) from Bullhead Point.
Closer look.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle

Goderich News

The MacDonald Marine tugs have been kept busy lately shifting the storage hull Willowglen along the dock at Goderich Elevators. The high demand for soft winter wheat in Michigan has made the off loading in very heavy ice conditions necessary. The unloading should be complete on Monday.

Reported by: Dale Baechler

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

EVTAC Will Operate Through the Spring

EVTAC Mining Co. has secured the financial assistance it needs to continue operating until spring.

President Howard Hilshorst said this week that assistance from Wells Fargo bank, cost controls and money from taconite pellets shipped by rail during the winter have helped close a $13 million cash gap. Another key component was an agreement by the plant's Steelworkers' union local to postpone a wage increase due on Feb. 1.

EVTAC, located near Eveleth, Minn., currently has enough orders to operate until mid-May. If it doesn't secure more orders by then, it will be forced to close.

The company has orders to produce 1.4 million tons of taconite pellets for Stelco Inc. and about 100,000 tons for AK Steel. The plant, located near Eveleth, Minn., ships pellets down the lakes through the DMIR ore dock in Duluth.

Ironically, the company's future appears dim even as it continues to improve its position as one of the most cost-effective taconite producers. Last month EVTAC recorded is lowest pellet cost per ton for the month. In March the company's processing plant will test the making of flux pellets on one of its production lines. Flux pellets contain additives that some customers require for improved performance in blast furnaces.

"If we're successful and figure out how to do it on a full-time basis, it would open up a whole new market for us," Hilshorst told the Duluth News Tribune.

Starting this season AK Steel will purchase an estimated 2-3 million tons of Labrador ore from Quebec that used to come from EVTAC. Some of this tonnage was moved by rail but the majority moved by boat through the Duluth Dock, usually in Oglebay Norton vessels.

Reported by: Mike Cleary and Al Miller

Risley Assists Ocean Hauler

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley spent Wednesday afternoon assisting a McKeil tug with the barge Ocean Hauler through the ice in northern Lake St. Clair. The tug and barge were stuck in the ice just south of the St. Clair Cut Off Channel. The Risley worked to get the barge out and 100-feet upstream the barge would get stuck again.

Risley assisting the tug and barge.
View south with Lake St. Clair behind.
Approaching the Cut Off.
Risley working to free the tug and barge.

Reported by: Don Coles

Lake Superior levels dropping again

The level of Lake Superior dropped 5 inches in January, about twice the normal rate for that month, Minnesota Public Radio reported Wednesday.

The area around western Lake Superior has received little precipitation this winter, reducing the amount of runoff that would normally replenish the lake. Mild temperatures in December and early January kept the lake from freezing over, leaving it susceptible to evaporation when colder temperatures struck in mid-January.

The lake level dropped substantially in 2001, affecting the amount of tonnage Great Lakes freighters could carry. The lake recovered during much of 2002 thanks to heavier-than-normal precipitation. That trend ended, however, during a substantially drier-than-normal autumn.

Reported by: Al Miller

Strike Continues

Marinette Marine employees reject bargaining committee's recommendation to accept four-year labor agreement

The Manitowoc Company, Inc., announced Feb. 5 that approximately 700 employees at its Marinette Marine subsidiary have voted against the recommendation of the union’s bargaining committee and have rejected a four-year labor agreement offered by the company.

The shipyard workers, represented by Boilermakers Union Local 696, initiated a work stoppage Jan. 21. The company said that, for unspecified reasons, the union’s bargaining committee did not present the company’s final offer to its members before the work stoppage.

Following a series of meetings with federal mediators, the union’s bargaining committee presented a number of modifications to the company’s proposed final offer. The union’s bargaining committee stated that it would recommend the modified offer to its membership for immediate ratification. The company informed the union that it would accept the bargaining committee’s proposal if ratified, but if the proposal was rejected the company would revert to its final offer as presented Jan. 21.

No further talks have been scheduled between the union bargaining committee and the company. Marinette Marine is continuing to operate with management personnel.

Reported by: Ron Kennedy

Today in Great Lakes History - February 07

The HURON (4) was launched February 7, 1914

In 1973 the ENDERS M. VOORHEES closed the Soo Locks downbound.

In1974 the ROGER BLOUGH closed the Poe Lock after she locking down-bound for Gary, Indiana.

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

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

Traffic Continues in the St. Marys

Wednesday the Algoeast was upbound in the St. Marys River headed for Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The vessel was escorted up river by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Katmai Bay. The Algoeast docked at the Purvis Dock to unload.

Local news reported that the Katmai Bay would be breaking ice in the area through Friday. This report is meant to warn snowmobiles who some times use the frozen river to cross from one side to the other.

Katmai Bay leads the way.
Another view.
Algoeast upbound.
Close up.
Spray frozen to the bow.
Stern view past the Sugar Island Ferry.
Docked in Soo, Ontario.
Sugar Islander II.
Running through the ice.
Katmai Bay docked at Group Soo.
Museum ship Valley Camp.

Reported by: B. Barnes

Ice Boom Recovery

Power Authority tugs and ice breakers were out late Tuesday night searching down ice boom floats and log sections as they searched the Niagara River by flood light. As the boats came across a piece of the boom they would hook it with a long pole, secure it to the side, and drag it back to the Ontario St. Slip in Buffalo.

Wednesday the Buffalo firetug Edward M. Cotter was escorting the Power Authority tug Breaker to the boom area and also up the Buffalo River. The pair were also seen moving up the Buffalo River to the Connecting Terminal dock where the Power Authority moors their work boats during ice boom operations. The Cotter has been out every other day breaking ice on the river to keep South Buffalo from flooding due to ice jams.

The flow of ice past the damaged boom and down the Niagara River has caused an opening in the ice pack out on the lake. This combined with a quick cold snap has renewed the threat of lake effect snow for the Buffalo area due to the open water.

Ice boom web cam

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski

Sarnia Lay-up

Below are images of Sarnia's lay-up fleet taken from Port Huron.

Wide view of the harbor.
Close up at the Government Dock.
Saginaw, Calumet and Maumee.
Wide view.

Reported by: Clayton Sharrard

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.

On 06 February 1885, Capt. William Bridges of Bay City and A. C. McLean of East Saginaw purchased the steamer D. W. POWERS (wooden propeller freighter, 140', 303 gt, built in 1871 at Marine City, MI) for the lumber trade. This vessel had an interesting rebuild history. In 1895, she was rebuilt as a schooner-barge in Detroit, then in 1898, she was again rebuilt as a propeller driven steamer. She lasted until 1910 when she was abandoned.

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

Canadian Ore Headed for Toledo

Boatwatchers in Toledo will see many Canadian lakers visiting the port this season to deliver ore. A Canadian shipping company, believed to be CSL, will carry an estimated 2-3 million tons of Labrador ore to AK Steel via Toledo's Torco Dock. This ore is then loaded onto rail cars bound for AK Steel.

It is unclear how this will effect U.S shipping companies, Oglebay Norton vessels were frequent visitors to the dock delivering taconite in past seasons.

Reported by: Jack Keaser

Ice Boom Breaks

High winds Tuesday morning caused the Niagara River Ice Boom to separate and partially break up for the first time since 1992. Heavy ice is now moving downriver, threatening shore side docks and other waterfront property. U.S. and Canadian ice breakers have been sent out to head off ice before it can clog the upper river power intakes above the Falls.

A New York State Power Authority tug was dispatched under ice breaker escort to inspect damage at the boom site off Buffalo Harbor Tuesday afternoon. heavy ice flows turned them away before a proper assessment could be made and they will try again on Wednesday.

Parts of the boom including floats and log sections were seen floating downriver before sunset Tuesday evening. Crews are preparing for possible repair work later this week.

Ice boom web cam

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski

More Montreal Lay-up

Below are images taken Monday of the lay-up fleet in Montreal
Frebec, Nanticoke and John B. Aird.
Algoville's stack marking.
Signboard on the CSL Niagara. "Toys For Tots".
Lady Franklin" docked behind the "CSL Niagara" Notice the small light grey building abeam the forward mast of Lady Franklin, its the old Canada Custom's house dates back to the 1800, which is now a museum and gift shop.
CSL Niagara's superstructure.
Lady Franklin, CSL Niagara, CSL Laurentian, Nindawayma, barely visible is one of two McKeil barges.
Lay-ups from across the harbor.

Reported by: Kent Malo

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

Sauniere Enters Lay-up

On Sunday the Sauniere arrived in Sorel-Tracy for winter lay-up. The vessel docked at Section 18. The Algonorth is now at Section 14.

Reported by: André Guévremont

Shipping Continues on the St. Lawrence River

Below are recent images taken at Verchères on the St. Lawrence River.

Kavo Delfini downbound from Montréal, Jan. 27.
Stern view.
Lake Erie, downbound from Montréal to Sorel, Jan. 27.
Canmar Pride downbound from Montréal, Jan. 27.
Cape Blanc downbound from Montréal, Jan. 30.
Sandviken downbound from Montréal to Sorel, Jan. 31.
Stern view.
Isarstern, downbound from Montréal to Finland, Jan. 31.
Stern view.
Saraband downbound from Montréal to Point Tupper, N.S. Feb. 3.

Reported by: Marc Piché

Challenger Lay-up

The Southdown Challenger is waiting out the winter in Milwaukee. Below are images taken last week.

On deck looking aft.
Close up of forward cabins.
Conversion plate.
View aft.

Reported by: Dean Kolbe

Port Everglades, Florida

There have been many interesting tugs, barges, tankers and freight vessels in the port during the past week.

G & G Lines island container vessel Bahama Pride inbound for the Port of Daina.
Tug Marion C. Bouchard and barge B 265 outbound for sea.
Close up of the Marion C. Bouchard.
Tug Julie and barge Yucatan inbound with Fuel Oil. Background: (left) Sea Princess unloading cement, (right) Arizona Voyager unloading petroleum.
Sea Princess being shifted with tugs making space for Dipper.
5200 hp tractor tug Broward backs out to sea to pick up a tow.
Dipper inbound with cement.
Ro-Ro Crowley Sun inbound for berth 33A.
USS Charlton, a Panamax Ro-Ro departing berth 18.
USS Charlton stern view bound for sea.

Reported by: Bill Hoey

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.

On 04 February 1870, the Port Huron Weekly Times reported that “a Montreal company has purchased all the standing timber on Walpole Island Indian Reservation [on the St. Clair River…] A large force of men are employed in hewing, cutting and delivering the same on the banks of the river in readiness for shipment… The proceeds of the sale of timber on Walpole Island will probably amount to $18,000 to $20,000, to be distributed among the Indians of the island to improve their farms.”

In 1977 the ROGER BLOUGH arrived at the American Shipbuilding Company in Lorain, Ohio for winter layup and a 5-year hull inspection. She had departed South Chicago after unloading on Jan 25th and the trip took days due to weather and heavy ice.

Data from: Max Hanley, Brian Bernard, 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

Block Arrives For Lay-up

The Joseph L. Block arrived in Sturgeon Bay, Wi for winter lay-up on Saturday night. She arrived from Lake Michigan via the ship canal and set her anchors next to the Edward L. Ryerson.

The Block was having trouble with her bow thruster and with the ice. She is loaded with about 300 tons of cargo that remain on board due to a broken main conveyor belt. The Block chose to go to anchor between the Bay View and Michigan Street bridges until tugs from Selvick Marine could come to the assistance of the Block for proper line up on the Michigan St. Bridge.

At dawn the Selvick tugs Susan L. and Jimmy L. broke Ice in Berth 2 at Bay Ship to make room for the Block, once this was completed the tugs returned to the Block and the Susan L. took a bow tow line from the Block to assist with line up through the bridge.

Once the tow arrived at Bay Ship the Susan L. dropped off the bow tow to aid with the turn required to back into Berth 2. With the aid of the tugs the Block backed into Berth 2. The Bow Thruster and Main Conveyor belt will be repaired during lay-up.

Pictures by Vic DeLarwelle

Block anchored off the Ryerson.
Close up of the anchor chain.
Tow line is lowered to the Susan L.
Tow begins.
Through the bridge.
Jimmy L. breaks ice.
Backing into Berth 2.
Close up.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle and Carl Grota

Carferry Service Resumes

Ice in the St. Clair River off Marine City cleared out on Saturday leaving just skim ice Sunday morning. The car ferry Daldean has resumed service after being down for fifteen days due to the ice conditions. The Daldean crosses from the U.S. to Canada at Marine City and Sombra, Ont.

Reported by: Duane Upton

Steel industry shakeout will leave only giants

The United States’ steel industry, battered by 21 bankruptcies in recent years, is being thinned out to a handful of huge companies that hope size can guarantee survival.

Companies like National Steel Corp. of Mishawaka, Ind., and Calumet Steel Co. of Chicago Heights, Ill., are operating in bankruptcy or closed, the victims of a pricing slump that began in the late 1990s and continued until last year. The survivors are scavenging the remains of their competitors, buying blast furnaces and rolling mills at deep discounts. The consolidation gives the buyers more clout with customers, cuts administrative costs and increases their capacity at little cost.

"There were nine [major steelmakers] and there will be three left when this is all done," Tom Danjczek told the Chicago Tribune. He predicted the survivors will be United States Steel, AK Steel Corp. and International Steel Group Inc., along with a handful of independent mini-mills. All three integrated steel companies buy taconite pellets that are carried by Great Lakes fleets, but most are trying to divest themselves of ownership in taconite plants or already have done so.

Several factors are driving the consolidation.

For one, consolidation offers steelmakers more clout in dealing with their biggest, and most troublesome, customers--the Big 3 automakers.

Consolidation does not cost much because, at least for now, there is a glut of steelmaking capacity. The Laclede steel mill near St. Louis, for example, was sold to investors for just $1 million. Bethlehem Steel Corp., one of the nation's largest steelmakers, is being sold for $1.5 billion, small change when its 11-million-ton capacity is considered.

Consolidation has also gotten a push from the federal government. The federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. has taken over the under funded pension plans of defunct steelmakers, saving huge sums for acquirers. The pension funds at LTV Steel Co., Bethlehem and National Steel could potentially cost the PBGC $7 billion or more.

Those under funded pensions were a huge barrier to acquirers, in many cases making the sale of a steel mill impossible.

However, some observers doubt consolidation will save American steelmakers.

"Even though the domestic industry has improved, and there is no question it has improved, in the long term I don't know how they are going to compete" with cheap imported steel, said Dan Quinn, an analyst with Morningstar.

"It's a declining industry--the fundamentals are terrible," he said.

The consolidation of the steel industry in the U.S. is being replicated around the world. Arcelor, a Luxembourg company and the largest maker of steel anywhere, was formed by the merger of three smaller companies. Dutch billionaire Lakshmi Mittal, who bought Chicago-based Inland Steel in 1998, is now bidding on a South African firm, the largest steelmaker on that continent. In Japan, two major steelmakers merged to form JFE Holdings. Last spring President Bush imposed tariffs of up to 30 percent on many types of imported steel. Meanwhile, China has become a major importer of steel needed for its booming economy and that has increased demand.

The weak dollar has also helped make imports costlier.

"With the recent decline in the U.S. dollar, our prices are in line with the rest of the world," said Charles Bradford, head of Bradford Research.

Steel's problems began with the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s, when steelmakers cut prices sharply as demand fell. Russia and Brazil flooded the market with inexpensive steel. The then-strong dollar worsened the situation by making imports less costly.

When the U.S. slipped into recession, weakened steelmakers quickly went under. And the failures continue.

Reported by: Al Miller

Summer Sailing Schedule Announced

Canadian Sailing Expeditions is proud to announce the summer schedules for the expedition sailing vessels Caledonia, and Atlantis.

Caledonia, the largest sailing ship launched in Canada in over 125 years, will spend the 2003 season visiting major ports in the Great Lakes region as a participant in the American Sail Training Association’s Tall Ships Challenge. As the largest vessel in the fleet, all eyes will be on this Halifax based ship. Canadian Sailing Expeditions intends to use this opportunity to promote travel to the entire East Coast region.

“We can expect 6 million plus people to visit Caledonia, with a media reach of an additional 30 million,” says Canadian Sailing Expeditions President, Doug Prothero.

Prothero, who has over 18 years experience with international Tall Ship events knows first hand the impact associated with port visits.

“This is a phenomenal opportunity for Canada’s East Coast. Visitors come to see the ship, but they also want to know what the ship does, and this is the perfect chance to tell them about the destinations in which the ship sails.”

In June 2004, Caledonia will begin an extensive Expedition Voyage schedule, encompassing ports in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick. Passengers will travel in style aboard this modern tall ship, discovering the beauty and secrets found along the region’s spectacular seacoast.

Passengers will not need to wait until 2004 to experience an Expedition Voyage. This coming summer, Canadian Sailing Expeditions will be offering a total of 9 voyages aboard the comfortable and elegant, 190’ long sailing ship, Atlantis.

Beginning in mid July, passengers can set sail for a 6- day/night voyage, and enjoy gourmet meals, on-board guest lectures, and majestic adventures found along western Newfoundland, southern Labrador, Cape Breton, and Prince Edward Island. With an exciting list of shore excursions, including world-class salmon fishing, sea kayaking, cave touring, golfing, and aerial tours to name a few, passengers will have plenty of opportunity to venture off the ship and investigate activities and sites onshore.

Says Prothero, “Our guests are going to have a one-of–a–kind experience. Sailing into these coastal communities is the best way to truly appreciate them. In addition to the beautiful natural setting, the folks who live in these communities will extend a welcome our guests won’t soon forget.” With a capacity for 36 passengers, and 14 crew, Atlantis will have a positive economic impact on the towns and communities in which it visits.

For more information, please visit

Trader loads in Escanaba


Great Lakes Trader loading.
Great Lakes Trader and tug Joseph H. Thompson Jr in lay-up.
Barge Joseph H. Thompson.
Tug Olive L. Moore.

Reported by: Lee Rowe

Cleveland Report

Alpena at the Lafarge Terminal.
Unidetified Corps of Engineers tug.

Reported by: Mike Nicholls

Montreal Lay-up

John B. Aird stern and Nanticoke Bow with the famous Habitat 67 in the background, condos built for the world's fair 1967.
Another view.
Close up of stack.

Reported by: Kent Malo

Weekly Updates

The weekly updates have been uploaded.
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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.

On 03 February 1899, the steamer GEORGE FARWELL (wooden propeller freighter, 182', 977 gt, built in 1895 at Marine City, MI) burned while laid up near Montreal, P.Q. She had just been taken from the Great Lakes by her new owners, the Manhattan Transportation Company, for the Atlantic coastal coal trade, The loss was valued at $50,000 and was fully covered by insurance. The vessel was repaired and lasted until 1906 when she was lost near Cape Henry, Virginia.

Data from: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Father Dowling Collection and the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes

Algoeast Upbound

Saturday morning the Algoeast was free from the ice and moving upbound in the St. Marys River. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Katmai Bay arrived on scene, turned around in front of the East, then led the way upbound.

Reported by: Linda Stoetzer

Panama Canal

The following vessels were seen in the Panama Canal over the weekend of January 19 and 20.

Fantasia Del Mar, Argo Line small Panama Canal cruise vessel.
A-401, former 180 foot U.S.C.G. buoy tender.
Colon Trader, Collingwood built tanker ex W. Harold Rea.
Sandettebank, Smit harbor tug at Balboa Panama.
Tanker Nilos with new Canadian built canal tug Colon.
View of Pedro Miguel Locks and Ever Reward and Conti Valencia.
Comanche Belle passing Gamboa Panama.
Car carrier Cougar Ace south of Gatun Lake, Southbound.
Car carrier Morning Prince right astern of the Cougar Ace.
Eastern Queen Southbound in Gatun Lake.
Reefer ship Mediteran Frigo anchored in Gatun Lake.
Ever Reward Northbound in Gatun Locks.
Canadian built Panama Canal tug Los Santos.
Conti Valencia anchored in Gatun Lake awaiting Gatun Locks Northbound.
Spender of the Seas at the new passenger terminal at Colon.
Panama Canal tug Cacique on dry-dock at Colon.
J. Friend southbound in Gatun Locks.
Panorama of the Panamax container ship CSCL Tianjin at Gatun Locks.
Panorama of the Hanjin Columbo in the Gatun Locks.
Stern View of Hanjin Columbo southbound at Gamboa Panama.
Panama Canal Canadian built tug Cocle.
J. Friend departing Miraflores Locks for the Pacific Ocean.

Click here for more information on the Panama Canal and live cams.

Reported by: Mike Nicholls and Bill Hoey

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

Ice Stops the Algoeast

Friday the Algoeast was stopped in the ice a mile south of Six Mile Point in the St. Marys River, unable to proceed upbound. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Katmai Bay was expected to arrive on scene Saturday morning and escort the vessel into the Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. harbor.

In addition to heavy ice the area was blanked in snow showers and blowing snow Friday, reducing visibility.

Algoeast stopped in the St. Marys River.
Another view.
Close up.

Reported by: B. Barnes and Linda Stoetzer

Lake Ontario Ferry For Sale

A high-speed ferry being built by an Australian shipbuilder to transport commuters between Rochester and Toronto is up for sale.

Since the ship will be ready nearly a year before the scheduled Lake Ontario ferry service begins, Austal Ltd. said it did not want the ship to sit idle.

"Austal is a very important partner of ours and anything they can do to defray the costs incurred because of the delays, we would strongly support," said Dominick Delucia, president of Canadian American Transportation Systems.

CATS, which ordered the $42.5 million ship, had hoped to begin the service in August 2003. The launch date was pushed back to spring 2004 because of a delay last year in negotiating $14 million in state funding that was a linchpin for the project.

"The rescheduled CATS delivery date means the vessel can be made available to other operators seeking a 2003 delivery," Austal spokeswoman Claire Stannard told the Associated Press Wednesday.

Reported by: Andy Harris

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.

In 1972 the ENDERS M. VOORHEES locked through the Poe Lock downbound, closing the Soo Locks for the season.

Data from: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Father Dowling Collection, Brian Bernard, 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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