Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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* Report News


Morias Enters Iroquois

03/31:
The Greek flag Morias continued her trip yesterday sailing for Duluth. She is expected to arrive on April 3 to load corn at Cargill B1.

Click here for a picture of the Morias entering the Iroquois locks at noon Thursday.

Report and picture by: Peter Carter




Block Arrives

03/29:
Joseph L. Block made its first appearance of the season in Duluth on March 30, loading in its usual spot on the eastern side of DMIR's dock 6.

Reported by: Al Miller




Wooden Shoes for Pere Marquette 41

03/31:
The barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted were making their way through Lake Macatawa to the Padnos Dock Thursday morning to open the shipping season at Holland, MI. She was to take on a load of scrap metal for delivery to the Chicago area.

Each year the captain of the first vessel to open the port is awarded a pair of wooden shoes.

Reported by: Bob Vande Vusse




Jackson's Delay in Grand Haven

03/31:
Local news in Grand Haven, Michigan reports that the Herbert C. Jackson grounded on Sunday as she entered the pierheads leading to the Lake Michigan port. The spot was reported as being a shoal approximately 400 feet west of the Grand Haven pierhead.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has contracted with the King Company of Holland to dredge an area of 25-1500 feet off (west) of the pierhead to a depth of 25-feet. The Jackson grounded on a sandbar that was reported to be 19.5 feet deep. As reported earlier in the week, she was able to free itself in a half hour and proceed to the Board of Light and Power coal dock.

Reported by: David Swain




Cleveland Report

03/31:
Thursday evening the saltie Isa was berthed at the lakefront docks, Cleveland's first saltie of the season.

The Saginaw departed Thursday morning 9:00 a.m. The H. Lee White was unloading ore at the C&P dock. Thursday evening the Fred R. White Jr. was unloading ore at LTV. A St. Marys cement barge bushed by the Sea Eagle was unloading at their Cuyahoga River dock.

Reported by: Rex Cassidy and Bill Kloss




Today in Great Lakes History - March 31

Christening ceremonies took place on March 31, 1979 for the d) CANADIAN PROSPECTOR.

ROGER M. KYES (Renamed b) ADAM E. CORNELIUS) was launched March 31, 1973.

WILLIAM R. ROESCH was renamed b) DAVID Z. NORTON (2) in christening ceremonies at Cleveland on March 31, 1995. The PAUL THAYER was also renamed, EARL W. OGLEBAY, during the same ceremonies.

JOSEPH S. WOOD was sold to the Ford Motor Co. and towed from her winter lay-up berth at Ashtabula, OH on March 31, 1966 to the American Ship Building's Toledo, OH yard for her five-year inspection. A 900 hp bow thruster was installed at this time. She would be rechristened as the c) JOHN DYKSTRA (1) two months later.

J. CLARE MILLER was launched March 31, 1906 as a) HARVEY D. GOULDER. On March 31, 1927, the William McLauchlan (later Samuel Mather (5), Joan M. McCullough, and finally Birchglen) entered service, departing Sandusky, Ohio for Superior, Wisconsin on her maiden trip.

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
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Rt. Hon Paul J. Martin christened at Port Weller Dry Docks

03/30:
The newest member of the Canada Steamship Lines' fleet, the M.V. Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin was christened Wednesday in a colorful ceremony attended by hundreds at Port Weller Dry Docks at the Lake Ontario entrance to the Welland Canal. The M.V. Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin joins the CSL Niagara as the one of two "SeawayMax" vessels, the largest Canadian ships ever built for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence.

The M.V. Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin is the second of three forebodies to be built by Port Weller Dry Docks as part of a $100 million fleet reinvestment program by CSL. The keel of the third CSL vessel in the contract was laid just minutes before the christening ceremony.

At 225.5 meters (740 feet) in length, 23.75 meters (78 feet) in width and 14.75 meters (48 feet) in depth, building the M.V. Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin required more than 6,000 tons of steel. In this unique shipbuilding project, an entirely new hull was constructed, and joined to the engine-room portion of the M.V. H.M. Griffith. The M.V. Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin is only the second ship to be built to the St. Lawrence Seaway's new maximum-size allowances, and features the most up-to-date self-unloading system available, unloading its cargo at rates up to 5,445 tonnes per hour.

Heralding the arrival of CSL's newest vessel and welcoming it into the fleet, Canada Steamship Lines Vice President, Marketing & Customer Services, Tom Brodeur said, "We can all appreciate the scope of the project today when we see one ship being named and the keel for another being laid. It's a proud and exciting day for Canada Steamship Lines. This vessel is a showcase to all who have been involved in this satisfying project, and a tribute to the men and women of Port Weller Dry Docks."

Noting that more than 300 Port Weller shipbuilders constructed the new forebody, Alan Thoms, President and CEO of Port Weller Dry Docks' parent company, Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering, said, "We're proud of the skill and teamwork of the Port Weller shipbuilders. Their expertise ensured that this ambitious project was completed on time and on budget."

The third vessel in the $100 million contract is scheduled for delivery in 2001, ensuring work for approximately 300 Port Weller Dry Docks employees on a year-round basis for the duration of the contract. CSL holds options on two other ships with Port Weller Dry Docks for delivery in 2002 and 2003.

Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering Ltd. (CSE), one of Canada's premier shipbuilding and repair companies, is the parent company of Port Weller Dry Docks, the only Canadian shipbuilder on the Great Lakes.

The vessel is named for the late Right Honourable Paul J. Martin constructed at Port Weller Dry Docks, St. Catharines, Ont. from an entirely new forebody joined to the engine-room portion of the M.V. H.M. Griffith .

She is the second of three forebodies commissioned at Port Weller Dry Docks as part of a CAN$100 million fleet renewal project by Canada Steamship Lines.

M.V. Rt. Hon. Paul J Martin is identical in size to its sister ship, the CSL Niagara; they are the two largest vessels ever constructed for the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence: a "Seamax"-class vessel .

The vessel's self-unloading equipment is a twin-belt gravity system with a loop-belt elevator. It will unload at a rate of 5,4000 tonnes per hour. The principal dimensions of the M.V. Rt. Hon. Paul J Martin are: Overall length 225.5 metres (740 feet) Beam 23.76 metres (78 feet) Depth moulded 14.75 metres (48 feet) Draught 9 metres (29.6 feet) Deadweight 35,560 tonnes Horse power 9,000 BHP Cargo capacity 40,207 cubic meters Unloading capacity 5,445 tonnes (6,000 short tons) per hour .

The M.V. Rt. Hon. Paul J Martin carries a compliment of 24, consisting of 18 crew and 6 officers. Capt. Steve Pauley, of Port Elgin, New Brunswick, is Master of the vessel. Dave Mellor is Chief Engineer.

She is owned and operated by Canada Steamship Lines Inc., Montreal. With the addition of the M.V. Rt. Hon. Paul J Martin, the number of self-unloading vessels in the CSL domestic fleet is maintained at 11. With a number of ocean-going vessels in addition to its domestic fleet, CSL is the largest self-unloader fleet in the world.




Tadoussac to be Converted

03/30:
Canada Steamship lines President and CEO Sam Hayes announced Wednesday that the company will convert and widen the Tadoussac, this winter, alongside the building of the 3rd forebody for the existing conversion contract. This announcement came during his speech at the christening of the Rt. Hon Paul J. Martin. The cost will be an estimated $20 million (CAN).




Boland Grounds

03/30:
The 639-foot self-unloader John J. Boland (former Charles E. Wilson) grounded Monday approximately 50 yards north of the Duluth Harbor East Gate Basin Buoy 11. The vessel was in ballast (13 feet forward, 23.5 feet aft) and was enroute from the winter lay-up mooring at Fraser Shipyard to Murphy Oil to refuel.

The U.S. Coast Guard reports that the vessel apparently grounded after the pitch "stuck" in the ahead position as she was maneuvering to back into the oil dock. A survey was conducted by U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office inspectors/investigating officers at the terminal and no damage was discovered.

The vessel freed herself by deballasting forward and backing off. No further pitch problems were encountered enroute to the mooring and the crew was unable to duplicate the problem during testing. An inspector from Marine Safety Office Duluth was to conduct an examination following evaluation/repair.

The Coast Guard reports that the incident was not the result of low water conditions and no significant damage was caused.




Mckee Sons to be Fitted for New Barge

03/30:
The barge McKee Sons is to under go work in Menominee, MI. to allow her to be pushed by a new tug. The existing notch in the back of her hull needs to be modified to accommodate the new tug sailing from Texas.

Reported by: Chad Michaels and Scott Best




Sailing For Duluth

03/30:
Leaving Pointe-aux-Trembles anchorage late in the afternoon of March 29 for Duluth in ballast was the Greek flag bulk carrier MORIAS built in 1977.

It is believed that she only transited once before under that name in 1993. On the trip in April she went to Detroit, Burns Harbor and Toledo. The vessels hull was painted grey and the vessel is now painted in black.

She completed a few trips under her original name of ROBIN. A postcard of her with that name was published by the Welland Canals Foundation. She was photographed unloading silica sands at Port Weller. She was then on charter by Jebsen Shipping.

Reported by: René Beauchamp




Welland Canal Report

03/30:
The Purvis tug Avenger IV transited downbound in the canal today from wharf 16 in Port Colborne and secured at wharf 1 in the harbour at Port Weller at 21:42 for the night. She is heading out of the Great Lakes for a while to pick up a new barge for Purvis Marine in Jacksonville, Florida. She will depart Port Weller on the 30th, and return around the end of April or early May.

The Welland Canal's first ocean vessel started transiting upbound last night. The Cypriot registered, Polish owned bulker Isa entered the piers at Port Weller around 22:00 and started upbound with a cargo of steel destined for Cleveland.

The Jade Star was in Oshawa and was to depart around 05:00 for Hamilton. The very familiar Stolt Aspiration is currently in Hamilton and is due to depart on the 30th, also around 05:00 and she'll be heading for the canal and heading for Chicago.

Reported by: Jeff Cameron




Cuyahoga Update

03/30:
Crews working on the Cuyahoga in Sarnia replaced the vessels stack on Wednesday morning. The stack was cut off to allow the old engine to be removed and new engine installed. The stack spent the winter resting on top of two hatch covers.

Reported by: Don Detloff




Westcott Fleet Refloated

03/30:
The J.W. Westcott Company's two vessels were floated yesterday morning after spending the winter out of the water at a local marina. The J.W. Westcott II and back up mail boat Joseph J. Hogan will begin service on Wednesday of next week.

Reported by: Sam Buchanan




Top Hat for Algowest

03/30:
Captain Almer Strong of the Algowest received the ceremonial top hat Monday afternoon while his vessel was loading potash at Thunder Bay Terminals LTD.

The top hat is awarded each year to the captain of the vessel that is first to arrive in port for the new season.

Reported by: Ron Konkol




Three Ships Visit Muskegon

03/30:
Three ships visited Muskegon, MI. Wednesday to unload. The tug Jacklyn M. and barge Integrity was scheduled to arrive at the Lafarge Dock at 3:00 a.m. Wednesday morning to unload cement. She was scheduled to depart around midnight.

The Columbia Star was scheduled to make its first trip to Muskegon this year, arriving at 10:00 a.m. and docking around noon to unload coal at the B.C. Cobb Plant. She was expected depart around 9:00 p.m.

Finally, the barge Pere Marquette 41 was due in to unload. Her cargo and dock were unknown.

This was to be the busiest day Muskegon has seen in the month of March for some time.

Reported by: Scott Golin




Salt in Milwaukee

03/30:
The Algoway arrived in Milwaukee late Wednesday night with the first salt shipment of the year. The Port of Milwaukee is a major distribution point for road salt. The mild winter has left some of the large storage piles of salt untouched. As a result, fewer cargoes of salt can be expected in the port this summer.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde




Toledo Update

03/30:
The John G. Munson finished loading coal around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday morning and departed. A short time later the Adam E. Cornelius was shifting over from her lay-up berth at CSX # 2 Dock to the CSX # 4 Dock to load.

The next vessels schedule to load are the Canadian Century and Algosteel. The H. Lee White is scheduled to arrive this evening.

The Armco departed her lay-up berth on Tuesday but it is unknown if the Courtney Burton departed as scheduled.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Cleveland Update

03/30:
On Wednesday the Saginaw paid her first visit of the year to load salt at the Cargill mine.

The St. Marys barge has been moved to the old river and is still awaiting a tug. A small workboat and crane were docked in the notch formerly occupied by the tug Triton. The Triton is still berthed near the Carter Street bridge.

Reported by: Rex Cassidy




Bois Blanc ferries idled

03/30:
The two ferry companies that provide service to Bois Blanc Island in upper Lake Huron are not able to make any runs until the harbor area is dredged. The Kristen D. and Bob-Lo Islander are not capable of operating in the shallow waters of the ferry landing. Some areas are only 4 feet in depth, and the companies do not wish to risk there vessels safety.

As of now, the Island is $50,000 dollars short of the total amount needed to dredge the river. As of now, Durocher Dock and Dredging of Cheboygan has submitted the lowest bid of $144,000.

Reported by: Sean Whelan




Ferry Returns to Marysville

03/30:
The village of Marysville Wolfe Island welcomed the return of ferry service on Saturday morning March 25. During the recent low water levels plus her increased draft of about seven inches, the carferry Wolfe Islander III made her way into Barrett Bay toward her terminal at 02:20 Saturday morning.

Earlier in the week soundings were taken along the ferry route aboard the diveboat Wendigo and an average depth of about twelve feet throughout were recorded. The present load draft of the Wolfe Islander III is eight feet. Store owners and business operators were relieved to see the return of the ferry after her long absence from the village terminal, October 13, 1999 when she left for Hamilton for a major refit. The terminal at Dawson Point was used (located about three miles away) when the deeper draft Frontenac II went into service.

This has been the longest period the village terminal has been shut down except in the mid 1960's when very low water forced the then department of Highways to construct a new terminal at Dawson Point for the former Wolfe Islander which had a draft of nine feet.

Reported by: Brian Johnson




Lee Murdock in the News

03/30:
The Reuters news service, a wire service that sends stories to the media around the world, has written a feature story about Lee Murdock, and his new CD "The Lost Lake Sailors."

Lee Murdock's songs tell the stories of heroic deeds, tragic shipwrecks, and the lives of the people who make their homes and their livings along the shores of the Great Lakes.

Click here for more information




Today in Great Lakes History - March 30

The CHEMICAL MAR arrived at Brownsville, TX on March 30, 1983 in tow of the tug FORT LIBERTE to be scrapped there.

The ERINDALE was pressed into service after the LEADALE (2) sank in the Welland Canal. She was towed out of Toronto on March 30, 1983 by the tugs G.W. ROGERS and BAGOTVILLE for repairs at Port Weller Dry Docks. The ERINDALE re-entered service two months later.

March 30, 1985 - The CITY OF MIDLAND's departure was delayed when her anchor snagged one which she had lost in Pere Marquette Lake the previous summer.

On 29 March 1888, D. D. JOHNSON (wooden propeller tug, 45', 17 gt) was launched at E. Saginaw, MI. She was built for Carkin, Stickney & Cram and lasted until 1909.

100 years ago today, on March 30, 1900, the carferry Ann Arbor No. 2 grounded on the rocks east of the approach to the channel at Manistique, MI. She was pulled off quickly by the Ann Arbor No. 3 and the tug Gifford. She was found to have bent a propeller shaft and broken her rudder, resulting in a trip to the drydock at Milwaukee.

Data from: Joe Barr, David Swayze, Shawn B-K, 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




Hull Towed

03/29:
The bow section of former H.M. GRIFFITH was towed from Port Weller to Port Colborne Tuesday. The tug VAC was on the bow and PROGRESS on the stern. The hull will likely be scrapped in Port Colborne by International Marine Salvage.

Reported by: Skip Gillham




Pere Marquette 41 Begins Season

03/29:
The barge Pere Marquette 41 returned to service Sunday morning. Pushed by the tug Undaunted she departed Ludington, MI. around 8:30 am bound for Cedarville then to Muskegon.

Reported by: Max Hanley




John J. Boland Passes Through Locks

03/29:
The John J. Boland passed downbound through the Soo Locks on Wednesday marking her first trip through under that name. She is sailing from Marquette where she loaded ore for an unknown port. The vessel sailed as the Charles E. Wilson and was renamed over the winter.

Image from the Soo Locks Live cam


Reported by: Rod Burdick




Vessels Depart

03/29:
Departing winter lay-up at Bay Shipbuilding Tuesday afternoon were the 1000-foot Indiana Harbor, led down the channel toward Green Bay waters by the 770' St. Clair. Though a beautiful and sunny afternoon, winds were blustery from the northwest at 15-20 mph. Their departure leaves five vessels remaining at the yard in winter lay-up, George Sloan, Calcite II, Myron Taylor and Edward Ryerson.

Reported by: Paul Graf




Low Water - Shallow Draft

03/29:
When Stewart J. Cort loaded at BNSF ore dock on March 26, it took on only 49,411 gross tons of cargo and departed with a draft of 25 feet 2 inches bound for Burns Harbor, Indiana. Usually boats load to 28 feet when water levels are closer to "normal." In contrast, the dock loading record held by the Burns Harbor is 64,435 gross tons. The economic effect of low water levels is pretty clear with those figures.

Reported by: Al Miller




Crew Honored

03/29:
Crew members working on for the J.W. Westcott Company in Detroit were issued commendations on Tuesday by the U.S. Coast Guard. The awards were issued to recognize lifesaving rescues in the Detroit River by Mail Boat crews.

The ceremony took place at the Coast Guard Headquarters in Detroit before a crowd of local media. Those receiving commendations were Jim Hogan, Dick Boyle, Don Carns, Bob Ranusch, Paul LaMarre, Leonard Tanner and Chuck (Carlito) Weiss.

Reported by: Paul Jagenow




Twin Ports Report

03/29:
Midwest Energy Terminal is off to strong start this season, with a steady stream of boats lined up for the next week. Paul R. Tregurtha was due March 28; Walter J. McCarthy Jr. and Algolake are due March 29; Indiana Harbor is expected on the 30th; Canadian Olympic on the 31st; Columbia Star on April 1 and Paul R. Tregurtha returns April 3.

Reported by: Al Miller




Saginaw Update

03/29:
On Monday the Mary E. Hannah made her third trip into the river when she arrived at 10:30 a.m. for the Triple Clean LiquiFuels Dock in Essexville.

The Carl and Kurt Luedtke are working in the river already this year. They are dredging between Essexville and the Independence Bridge. The work may be part of the project started last season to remove PCB contaminates along the river bank.

Reported by: Lon Morgan




Toledo Update

03/28:
The John G. Munson was the first coal boat of the season for the CSX Coal Dock arriving at 2300 on Monday evening. Tuesday there was a problem with the coal loading machine and a delay was expected.

The Adam E. Cornelius was rescheduled to load coal sometime Tuesday once the Munson was finished.

The Buffalo departed her lay-up berth at CSX on Monday evening.

The Algosteel was expected to be working her way upriver bound for the Andersons Elevator to unload potash. The tug William Hoey will be assisting her. Once finished unloading she will proceed to the CSX Coal Dock to load.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Hamilton Update - Correction

03/29:
Correction to yesterday's report. The hull under going conversion in Hamilton is that of the Canadian Explorer not Provider. The forebody will be converted into a 498-foot grain storage barge for Les Elevateurs des Trois Rivieres.

Monday afternoon the McKeil tugs Lac Como and Atomic helped the James Norris trade places with the Algosoo at the Eastport pier. The Algowood departed her lay-up berth before the maneuver began and cleared the Burlington ship canal by 6:20 p.m.

The Algowood departed Hamilton heading for the Welland Canal.

Reported by: Marc Oulette




Possible HF Great Lakes Frequency

03/29:
Popular Communications magazine reports that USCG Buffalo, USCG Milwaukee, USCG Detroit and the cutter Neah Bay were all heard on 5320 kHz USB at around 0200 UTC (2100 EST). Ship enthusiasts can monitor this frequency as they may hear traffic. USCG Aircraft are sometimes heard on 5692 kHz USB. This is usually Traverse City, Michigan.

This is the only HF radio that may still be operating on the Great Lakes.

Reported by: Ron Walsh




Today in Great Lakes History - March 29

The PRINDOC (3) was sold off-lakes during the week of March 29, 1982 to the Southern Steamship Co., Georgetown, Cayman Islands and was renamed b) HANKEY.

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


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




Seaway Opens

03/28:
The first vessel to transit the Seaway on Monday was the UTVIKEN. The vessel was bound for Toronto from Montreal with a partial load of sugar from Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala. She is Norwegian owned and flies the Bahamas flag. The UTVIKEN is owned by Viken Shipping AS of Bergen, Norway. The vessel was built in 1985 in Spain but made her first trip in 1987 having been laid up two years. She is a regular visitor to Great Lakes ports, her first visit having been in 1995 and her last in 1999. She also called at Great Lakes ports under her original name of BIJELO POLJE when under the Yugoslavian flag.

Michel Raymond reports that the UTVIKEN was departing the Beauharnois Canal, entering St-Francis Lake at 6:20 p.m. Monday evening.

The UTVIKEN was followed by the MANITOULIN, MARGIT GORTHON and ALGOSAR.

First vessel downbound at Iroquois lock was ALGOPORT which had wintered at Hamilton. Other vessels expected in the Seaway later this week will be two of the new Fednav ships, FEDERAL ASAHI which will call in Montreal before transiting and FEDERAL RIDEAU which will call at Sorel before transiting. FEDERAL ASAHI is the second ship of that name in the Fednav fleet. The first one is still sailing under the name FEDERAL AGNO, Philippines-flag, being on long term charter by Fednav.

Click here for a picture of the Uviken underway.
Click here for a picture of the Manitoulin underway.

Reported and pictures by: René Beauchamp
Visit René's Seaway Ships page for more information




CSL Niagara Opens Welland

03/28:
The Welland Canal opened Monday at 10:00 a.m. with CSL NIAGARA as the first vessel of the season. There was an impressive opening ceremony at Lock 3. The CANADIAN CENTURY was the next upbound vessel.

In other Welland Canal News, the RT. HON. PAUL J.MARTIN was refloated to the Port Weller Dry Docks fit out wall over the weekend.

Reported by: Skip Gillham




Superior Weather Delays

03/28:
High winds and waves were causing delays on Lake Superior Monday morning. The Buckeye was at anchor above the Soo on her way to Taconite Harbor. The Canadian Transport's arrival in Superior was delayed by about 12 hours.

Gale warnings were up on the lake for Monday and last night. Waves during the day were expected to be 10-15 feet, building to 15-20 fee by night. Winds were forecasted around 40 knots with gusts to 50 knots.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sundew was scheduled to depart Superior at 0800 Monday for buoy work in the Apostle Islands area, but never did. No word on if weather delayed her buoy work.

Reported by: Andy Hering




Steel Delayed

03/28:
The combination of strong westerly winds and low water conditions Monday has delayed the arrival of the Algosteel into Toledo. The vessel is carrying a cargo of potash for the Anderson's Elevator on the Maumee River. The weather conditions on the western end of Lake Erie may delay her even longer as the forecast yesterday called for strong winds and low water conditions for the next 36 hours.

Once in port she will be assisted up the river by the Gaelic Tugboat Company tug William Hoey.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Scheduled to Depart

03/28:
The John B. Aird, which spent the winter in Sorel, was scheduled to depart her lay-up dock Monday afternoon. The vessel is expected at Quebec City pilot station around 9:00 p.m. downbound for a Gulf of St-Lawrence dry bulk harbor.

Reported by: J.F. Boutin




Oglebay Norton Sailings

03/28:
Vessels sailing for the Oglebay Norton Marine Services Company fleet are schedule to sail in the next few days. The Armco and Courtney Burton are due to sail today, the Earl W. Oglebay and Wolverine are due to depart Toledo on April 1 and the David Z. Norton should be finished with her dry dock work departing Toledo on April 8.

Reported by: Andy Hering




Twin Ports Report

03/28:
The Twin Ports first grain traffic the season was Tadoussac unloading at the General Mills elevator in Duluth. The boat was pulling away from the elevator on Monday morning bound for the DMIR ore dock.

Other boat action in the Twin Ports included Canadian Transport arriving with salt for the Cutler-Magner dock in Duluth and Halifax arriving at Cargill B2 to unload grain.

Fraser Shipyards emptied quickly over the weekend, with Reserve, Lee A. Tregurtha and H. Lee White departing. John J. Boland remained in the yard Monday morning without ballast, but it was scheduled to depart soon.

All areas of the Twin Ports, including the loading slips that haven't seen a ship yet this season, are now free of ice.

Several of last season's regular callers at DMIR ore docks appear to be in that same role early in this season. Joe Block is due in March 30; Halifax is set to load April 1 and return April 7; Indiana Harbor is set for April 1 and April 7; and James R. Barker is scheduled for April 10.

Reported by: Al Miller




Thunder Bay Opening

03/28:
On Sunday the Algowest opened the 2000 shipping season for Thunder Bay. The vessel arrived at the Thunder Bay Terminals.

Reported by: Ron Konkol




Marquette First Load

03/28:
On Monday the first ore shipment of the year was expected to be carried from the ore dock in Marquette's upper harbor. The H. Lee White arrived some time Sunday evening and appeared to be half loaded as of 7:00 a.m. Monday.

Reported by: Art Pickering




Toledo Update

03/28:
The tanker Saturn departed her lay-up berth at the Lakefront Docks on Sunday bound for the Sun Oil Company Dock to load a petroleum cargo. She was scheduled to depart on Monday morning.

The Adam E. Cornelius will now be the first coal Boat of the season for the CSX Coal Dock. She was scheduled to arrive at 5:00 p.m. Monday from her lay-up berth at the CSX #2 Dock. The John G. Munson was delayed and is due in tentatively at 10:00 p.m. Monday night.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Hamilton Update

03/28:
There was smoke coming from the Algosoo's stack Sunday afternoon and she looks to be the closest on to leaving. The Algowood appears to have little working going on from the outside. The James Norris still has her Christmas tree up but there are signs that she may take a load of stone before leaving.

At Dofasco the Canadian Ranger has been moved to the very end of the Dofasco ore dock and the Canadian Navigator has taken her place and was loading Sunday night. The Ranger is still empty with her bow thruster exposed.

Of interest is that the hulk of the Canadian Explorer is back at Eastport in its usual spot. The after 70-80-feet of the hull is still at Heddle Marine. The aft end of the hulk has had a notch structure added to it so it can be pushed by a tug.

Reported by: Marc Oulette




Toronto Ferries

03/28:
The island ferries Sam McBride and Thomas Rennie were out Monday for Coast Guard inspections and certification. The charter boat Yankee Lady II made her first appearance of the season and the harbor tour boat Shipsands was launched and under going sea trials.

Reported by: Gerry O.




Montreal Update

03/28:
On Monday the following vessel were in Montreal. The Mantadoc, Windoc, Cartierdoc (Sections M3 to M6 of the Bikerdike terminal) and Comeaudoc at Dock no 1 East in the old port.

The Sauniere was at section 28 under the Jacques-Cartier bridge, the Algonorth at dock no. 1 west in the old port and the John B. Aird undergoing preparations to depart in Sorel.

The Canadian Leader is docked at the Iberville cruise terminal (Jetee Alexandra) and the Canadian Miner is at section 10 west of the Empire terminal.

Section 12 is host to the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaking buoy tender Tracy.

Reported by: J.F. Gratton




Service Outages

03/28:
Due to a service upgrade this site may experience temporary outages Tuesday. The page will still be available for viewing but there may be short delays in content updates. Check back often.




Today in Great Lakes History - March 28

On 28 March 1848, COLUMBUS (wooden sidewheeler, 391 tons, built in 1835 at Huron, OH) struck a pier at Dunkirk, NY during a storm and sank. The sidewheeler FASHION struck the wreck in November of the same year and was seriously damaged.

Data from: Joe Barr and David Swayze
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history



CSL Niagara Ready to Open Welland

03/27:
Last night the CSL Niagara was tied up below Lock 1 in the Welland Canal. She is awaiting the 171st Opening of the Canal which is scheduled for this morning.

The Welland will officially open for the shipping season with the traditional Top Hat ceremony to recognize the arrival of the first upbound ship into Lock 3. The ceremony is expected to take place at 10:00 a.m.

Check back through out the morning for updates.

Reported by: Jason Junge




First Saltie of the Season

03/27:
On Saturday Fednav's time chartererd UTVIKEN was on the wall at St. Lambert and will be first to enter seaway on this morning. She has a load of sugar for Toronto.

Check back through out the morning for updates on the opening of the Seaway.

Reported by: Theyre Smith




Avenger 4 Set to Depart Soo

03/27:
The Purvis tug Avenger 4 was scheduled to depart the Purvis Dock Sunday enroute to Jacksonville, Florida where she will take delivery of a tanker/deck barge. This Barge is reported to have dimensions of 460' x 76'.




Sarnia Update

03/27:
The Saginaw departed her lay-up dock at Sarnia's North slip at Sunday afternoon about 1:00 p.m. The vessel is sailing for Windsor to load salt.

She was followed by the Algolake at 6:00 p.m. sailing for Superior, WI in ballast. The vessel was supposed to have departed on Friday but was delayed by a defective solenoid on the steering pump. She backed down to the Imperial Oil fuel dock and was expected to depart around 10:00 p.m.

The Algoway departed, sailing to Goderich at 6:30 p.m. The Agawa Canyon is to undergo her Coast Guard inspection on Thursday and will then depart on her first trip.

Work continues on the Cuyahoga with crews working in the engine room. Yesterday, they were connecting the propeller shaft. The vessel is expected to sail sometime between April 1 - 5.

The Algocatalyst is expected to sail today and the Canadian Transfer was in the process of taking on ballast, a sure sign she will soon be departing.

Reported by: John Belliveau, Jamie Kerwin and Larry Leverenz




Mail Boat Ready to Sail

03/27:
The J.W. Westcott Company, Detroit River Mailboat, is ready to begin the new season continuing more than 100 years of mid-river Mail and supply services.

Last weeks crews began fitout work on the U.S. Mail Boat J.W. Westcott II that included painting, welding and general repairs. The 45-foot Mail Boat will be refloated on Wednesday and placed in service on April 5.

Reported by: Sam Buchanan




McCarthy Heads for Power Plant

03/27:
On Sunday morning the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. was downbound in the St. Clair River. She was sailing for the Detroit Edison Reoccur Power Station in St. Clair, MI. The McCarthy and Paul R. Tregurtha spend most of the season carrying coal to the power plant.

Reported by: Frank Frisk




Twin Ports Report

03/27:
The Twin Ports shipping season officially began March 26 when Stewart J. Cort -- the first vessel to arrive after transiting the Soo -- entered port at 5:30 a.m. to load at BNSF ore dock. The Cort made a quick turnaround, departing just about six hours later. Columbia Star, which also was in contention for "first arrival" honors arrived about 10:30 a.m., fueled at the Murphy Oil dock and then proceeded to Midwest Energy Terminal to load coal.

As Twin Ports shipping began in earnest, other arrivals included Halifax, loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal, H. Lee White departing its lay-up berth at Fraser Shipyards, and Tadoussac, which reportedly was unloading cargo at a grain elevator before shifting to load at DMIR ore dock. Following the Cort into BNSF was Algomarine.

Reported by: Al Miller




Thunder Bay Departures

03/27:
On Saturday the Algomarine departed Pascol Engineering's Shearleg dock bound for Superior, WI. The Tadoussac departed Sask. Pool 7B bound for Duluth. Halifax departed the Keefer Terminal sailing for Superior to load coal. Algosteel left the Thunder Bay Terminals sailing for Toledo with a load of Potash.

Reported by: Ron Konkol




Grand Haven Report

03/27:
The coal dock at the BLP Sims Power Plant was opened Sunday morning as the Herbert C. Jackson arrived to unload. Unconfirmed reports say that the vessel had some type of a delay entering the Grand Haven, MI. pierheads. The low water levels could have been a factor in the delay and it is unclear if the vessel touched the sandy bottom.

Reported by: David Swain




Goderich Opener

03/27:
Goderich 2000 sailing season began at late Friday with the arrival of the tug Mark Hannah and her calcium barge for unloading at the new harbor. A new unloading facility was built over the winter to handle this type of tug/barge. The captain of the Mark Hannah was awarded the traditional Top Hat for being bringing in the first vessel of the year. On Saturday morning the Canadian Transport arrived for the seasons first load of salt. The Transport was in bound from Port Lambton and was to sail for Duluth after loading. She was assisted to the salt dock by the tugs Dover and Debbie Lyn.

Reported by: Mac Donald Marine LTD.




Toledo Report

03/27:
On Saturday the Buckeye and Middletown departed from the there lay-up berths at the Torco Dock Complex. More vessels are scheduled to depart their lay-up berths here through-out next week.

The Gaelic tugs Susan Hoey and William Hoey are now in Toledo at there tug base on the Maumee River near the CSX Railroad bridge.

The John G. Munson will be the official first coal boat of the season for the CSX Docks. She is scheduled to arrive this morning at 0900. The tentative first ore boat of the season will be the Courtney Burton due at the Torco Dock on April 4.

The David Z. Norton and Algonova remain in the Toledo Ship Yard dry docks.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Buffalo Ice Boom

03/27:
The Power Authority tug Breaker began taking her work barges out to the Niagara River Ice Boom on the weekend of the 25th. She will spend about a week shuffling boom sections between the installation area at the mouth of the river and the storage facility at Seaway Piers in Buffalo. Mariners are requested to keep a sharp eye out for the tug as she crosses the North Entrance Channel and for ice flows as they break up and head down river towards Niagara Falls.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski




Welland Canal Ship Society Swap Night

03/27:
The Welland Canal Ship Society is holding their Second Annual marine Swap Night on Saturday, April 15, 200. To celebrate the opening of the Welland Canal and thanks to fellow member David Pease, owner of Donut Works, the club is hosting the second annual Marine Swap Night from 1800 to 2100 hours at the Donut Works by the Homer Bridge, on the Welland Canal. Anyone who has marine articles, books, pictures, etc to trade, buy or sell is encouraged to attend. David, as usual, will have excellent food and refreshments for sale at reasonable prices.
Click here to visit the Society's home page

Reported by: Dave Wobser




Liberty Ship Schedule Approved

03/27:
The tentative steaming schedule for the Liberty Ship JOHN W. BROWN was approved by the Board of Directors in early March.

Mon. 15 May-Depart Baltimore-Steaming 12 days
Sat. 27 May-Arrive Toledo. Berth at Toledo Ship Repair - 51 days
Mon.17 July-Shift to Public Berthing
Thrs.20 July - Depart Toledo, Arrive Detroit
Sat. 22 July - Detroit Day Cruise
Mon. 24 July - Depart Detroit
Tue. 25 July - Arrive Erie
Thrs. 27 July - Depart Erie
Fri. 28 July - Arrive Cleveland
Sat. 29 July - Cleveland Day Cruise
Mon. 31 July - Depart Cleveland
Tue. 1 Aug. - Arrive Buffalo
Thrs. 3 Aug. - Depart Buffalo
Fri. 4 Aug. - Arrive Toronto
Sun. 6 Aug. - Toronto Day Cruise (possible)
Tue. 8 Aug. - Depart Toronto
Thrs. 10 Aug. - Arrive Montreal
Mon. 14 Aug. - Depart Montreal
Fri. 18 Aug. - Arrive Halifax
Mon. 21 Aug. - Depart Halifax
Fir. 25 Aug. - Arrive Baltimore
Cruise Fare - $115 per person US
Dock Side Tours - $5.00 Adults

Click here for more information

Reported by: Dave Wobser




Today in Great Lakes History - March 27

EDWARD S. KENDRICK was launched March 27, 1907 as a) H.P. McINTOSH for the Gilchrist Transportation Co., Cleveland, OH.

Nipigon Transport Ltd. (Carryore Ltd., mgr., Montreal, Que.) operations came to an end when the fleet was sold on March 27, 1986 to Algoma Central's Marine Division at Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

On 27 March 1841, BURLINGTON (wooden sidewheeler, 150 t, built in 1837 at Oakville, Ontario) was destroyed by fire at Toronto, Ontario. Her hull was later recovered and the 98 foot, 3-mast schooner SCOTLAND was built on it in 1847 at Toronto.

On 27 March 1875, the steamer FLORA was launched at Wolf & Davidson's yard in Milwaukee. Her dimensions were 275' keel x 27' x 11'.

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


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




Weather Delays New Season

03/26:
After an ice free start to the season, the weather on Lake Superior is posing some problems to upbound vessels. Saturday afternoon the Edwin H. Gott was reporting 10-20 foot seas South of Caribou Isle and Gale force winds.

The Algowest had gone to anchor and others are expected to as well.




Service Outages

03/26:
Due to a service upgrade this site may experience temporary outages Sunday. The page will still be available for viewing but there may be short delays in content updates. Check back often.




Take Our Survey, Win Cool Stuff


Late last year Oakland University announced that they will be discontinuing Alumni Internet accounts. Most of the Boatnerd web site is held on the OU web server. If they include the Boatnerd site it will be necessary for me to buy a large amount of space on a commercial server.

To help with the cost, I am exploring the possibility of offering sponsorship through the sale of banner ads to companies selling Great Lakes related products.

To show potential sponsors what groups viewing Boatnerd are interested in, I have created an anonymous survey. I would like to ask everyone who reads this page to take a few minutes and complete the survey.

It is important that those working in the shipping and related industries also take this confidential and anonymous survey.

All information submitted is generalized and no specific information about you will be gathered. To show my thanks for taking the survey you will have the opportunity to enter into a weekly prize drawing.

Click here to take the Survey.

If you experienced a problem yesterday morning please try again today, all problems have been corrected.




Today in Great Lakes History - March 26

On 26 March 1922, OMAR D. CONGER (wooden passenger-package freight, 92', 200 gt, built in 1887 at Port Huron, MI) exploded at her dock on the Black River in Port Huron with such violence that parts of her upper works and engine were thrown all over the city. Some said that her unattended boiler blew up, but others claimed that an unregistered cargo of explosives ignited. She had been a Port Huron-Sarnia ferry for a number of years.

Data from: Joe Barr and David Swayze



Queen of the Lakes Opens Soo Locks

03/25:
At midnight the 1000-foot Paul R. Tregurtha opened the shipping season at the Soo Locks passing downbound.

Other traffic waiting for the opening last night included: on the West Pier behind the Tregurtha the John G. Munson. On the lower east pier the Stewart J. Cort was waiting to be the first to lock through upbound. The Oglebay Norton waited at the Carbide dock and the Columbia Star.

Image of the Tregurtha shortly before midnight. images from Live Cam
Tregurtha waiting yesterday afternoon.
The Stewart J. Cort
Soo Locks live cam

Reported by: Dave Wobster




Mckee Sons Arrives in Menominee

03/25:
The barge McKee Sons is now tied up near the old K&K warehouse in Menominee, MI. She arrived earlier in the week and a tug is no longer with the barge. It appears that some type of work will be done to the barge. The tug Olive L. Moore will not push the barge this season and its replacement is unknown.

Reported by: Scott Best




Alpena Opens Green Bay

03/25:
The Alpena open the shipping season for Green Bay, WI. The cement carrying freighter arrived at the LaFarge Dock on Friday Morning.

Reported by: Todd Schroeder and Chad Peters




New Fednav Vessel Honors Canal

03/25:
St. Catharines, ON. - March 24, 2000 - The historic Welland Canal, preparing for its 171st season, has been formally recognized and honored by a leading Canadian shipping firm based in Montreal.

Laurence G. Pathy, President and CEO, FEDNAV International Ltd., announced that an ocean-going bulk carrier, now under construction in Japan, will be named "Federal Welland" when it is christened in September 2000. It is expected to transit the Great Lakes/Welland Canal during the 2000 autumn season.

The 656-foot (199.99 m) vessel with a carrying capacity of 36,503 tonnes will be operated by FEDNAV, the largest Canadian dry-bulk operator in the international shipping trades.

In announcing FEDNAV's decision to publicly identify and commemorate the series of Welland Canals, Mr. Pathy said, "the history of the Welland Canal is indeed fascinating and of great importance to the past as well as the future of the economic well-being of Canada and the United States."

FEDNAV has operated ships in the St. Lawrence system since it opened in 1959 and the Welland Canal is recognized as the hub of Great Lakes Canadian shipping. It is the oldest operating man-made transportation system in North America.

Noting that both the Welland Canal and lower Seaway will open Monday, March 27, the FEDNAV President said it was timely and appropriate to announce the FEDNAV decision, which was coordinated with the Welland Canals Foundation, a volunteer, not-for-profit organization which promotes and publicizes the canal.

"FEDNAV welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the growing importance of the Welland Canal, and our new vessel will proudly carry the name 'Welland' to many international ports," Mr. Pathy added.

The names of all ships in the FEDNAV fleet begin with the prefix 'Federal' with the name of a city or waterway added, such as in the case of 'Federal Welland.' These large ships with bright red hulls are a familiar sight in the Great Lakes, Welland Canals and world ports.

Last September, the Oshima shipyard in Japan delivered to FEDNAV the first of eight St. Lawrence Seaway suitable, ocean-going bulk carriers which was named 'Federal Oshima.' By the end of May, a further five sister vessels will have been delivered during the first half of this year, followed by the 'Federal Welland' in September.

Skip Gillham, noted marine authority and author, welcomed the announcement as a significant boost for the Welland Canal, provided by an internationally-known Canadian marine firm.

"I know the marine community, and undoubtedly the Canadian and Ontario governments, will be delighted. We have been hoping for this recognition for a long time. I believe this will be the only ship in service bearing the name 'Welland'," Gillham added.

The Welland Canal opens for its 171st season on Monday.




Twin Ports Report

03/25:
More vessels are scheduled to depart and arrive the Twin Ports on March 25. Presque Isle and H. Lee White are both expected to depart their lay-up berths while arriving from Thunder Bay will be Algomarine for BNSF ore dock and Halifax for Midwest Energy Terminal.

Edwin H. Gott was scheduled to depart Sturgeon Bay on March 24 and is due in Two Harbors March 26. Roger Blough was scheduled to depart Sturgeon Bay on March 25 and arrive in Two Harbors on March 27. As of late March 24, Arthur M. Anderson was listed as under repair in Calcite.

Reported by: Al Miller




Toledo Update

03/25:
The John G. Munson is scheduled to load coal at the CSX dock in Toledo on Monday. The coal dock has not updated their schedule tape and it is unknown if the Munson will be the first to load or if another vessel will arrive this weekend.

The Cutter Bristol Bay has been working the Aids to Navigation around the coal and Torco docks area as well as the ship channel in Maumee Bay.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Work on the Atlantic Erie

3/25:
CSL's Atlantic Erie is undergoing refit in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia She arrived early in March and is scheduled to have her work completed on April 14.

According to one of the contractors work includes steel replacement in some areas of the cargo holds and ballast tanks.

Some replacement work of the conveyor mechanisms, as evidenced by the various rollers and springs lying on the dock and being lifted out of the ship by crane, is also underway.

The M H Baker III, which had previously been in refit at the same dock, departed early March.

Reported by: Paul Beesley




Inspection for Ferry

03/25:
The Toronto Island auto/passenger ferry Ongiara will be hauled out of the water for inspection next weekend (April 1st) under the Atlas crane in Toronto.

Reported by:




Ride Along With the Burns Harbor

03/25:
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Meg Jones, along with photographer Gary Porter, will be riding the 1000-foot long MV Burns Harbor on their first downbound trip of the year. You can follow the trip's progress from daily reports that will be sent to the paper's web site at jsonline.com.

Reports should start next Monday or Tuesday depending on the Burns Harbor's arrival at the BNSF ore dock in Superior, WI.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde




Today in Great Lakes History - March 25

HENRY G. DALTON was launched March 25, 1916 for the Interlake Steamship Co., Cleveland, OH, the company's first 600 footer.

FRANK R. DENTON was launched March 25, 1911 as a) THOMAS WALTERS.

On March 25, 1927 heavy ice caused the MAITLAND NO.1 to run off course and she grounded on Tecumseh Shoal on her way to Port Maitland. Eighteen hull plates were damaged which required repairs at Ashtabula.

The ENDERS M. VOORHEES participated in U.S. Steel's winter-long navigation feasibility study during the 1974-75 season, allowing only one month to lay up from March 25th to April 24th.

March 25, 1933 - Captain Wallace Henry "Andy" Van Dyke, Master of the Steamer Pere Marquette 22, suffered a heart attack and died peacefully in his cabin while enroute to Ludington.

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


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




First at the Soo Locks

03/24:Noon update
The Paul R. Tregurtha, arrived at the Soo Locks about 0900 Friday to wait for the opening of the Poe Lock at midnight tonight.

Also Friday morning, the Stewart J. Cort was upbound for her turn to lock through some time after the midnight opening. She arrived at the Locks shortly before noon.



Reported by: N. weaver, Dave Wobser, Scott McLellan, Dan Fletcher and Gregg Beukema




1000-Footers Sail

03/24:
On Thursday the Oglebay Norton departed from the T.W.I. Dock around 6:00 a.m. heading upbound for the opening of the Soo Locks on Saturday. After locking through she will head for Taconite Harbor to load.

The Columbia Star departed her lay-up berth at the T.W.I. Dock a few hours after the Oglebay Norton. At 4:00 p.m. she was upbound in the Livingston Channel of the Detroit River. The Star is sailing to Superior to load.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman and Frank Frisk




Frontenac First to Depart

03/24:11:00 a.m. update
The first ship of the new shipping season has left the port of Thunder Bay. The Frontenac left Thunder Bay at 6:40 Thursday morning. The vessel was sailing light for Duluth. The Tadoussac is expected to be the first to carry a cargo out of port. Harbor Master Dennis Johnson reports the vessel was expected to move from the Pascol Engineering shipyard to the Richardson Elevator on Thursday.

The first ship to arrive in port isn't expected until sometime next week.

Reported by: Richard Boon and Ron Konkol




Twin Ports Report

03/24:
More vessels began to stir in the Twin Ports on March 23. Paul R. Tregurtha departed sailing for the Soo Locks, Cason J. Callaway backed out of Fraser Shipyards and fueled at the Murphy Oil dock before departing for Two Harbors, Walter J. McCarthy left its lay-up berth to load at Midwest Energy Terminal, George A. Stinson loaded at the BNSF ore dock and departed, and Frontenac was due to arrive at the DMIR ore docks from Thunder Bay.

USS Great Lakes Fleet put more vessels into service. Edgar B. Speer is heading toward the Soo and due in Gary on March 26; Arthur M. Anderson was reported under repair at Calcite; Cason J. Callaway and Philip R. Clarke were due in Two Harbors on March 23 and Conneaut on March 27; John G. Munson is due at Conneaut on March 26, then it will load at Toledo on the 27th and proceed to Green Bay on the 29th.

Reported by: Al Miller




Burns Harbor Shifts

03/24:
The Burns Harbor shifted away from the Stewart J. Cort Wed. at Bayship to allow the Cort and Edwin H. Gott an easier departure from their lay up positions. Both are planning to depart sometime Thursday. The Burns Harbor is undergoing USCG inspections Thursday.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde




Toledo Update

03/24:
The Joseph H. Frantz was moved from the CSX # 4 Dock Thursday morning by the tugs Louisiana and Montana and was tied up astern of the Buckeye at the Torco Dock complex.

The David Z. Norton and Algonova remain in drydock at the Toledo Shipyard.

Several more vessels from the American Steamship Company and Oglebay Norton fleets are scheduled to leave Toledo early next week.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Cleveland Update

03/24:
On Wednesday the Fred R White was unloading ore tonight at LTV, presumably she is still running the shuttle from Lorain. Rumors regarding the tug Triton not pushing for St. Marys Cement this year appear to be true. The tug has detached from the barge and moved down river to a dock near the Carter Street bridge. The Barge has unloaded its storage cargo of cement and is now sitting very high out of the water.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Welland Canal Report

03/24:
Time is ticking until the March 27 opening of the Welland Canal. The canal has been refilled with water and all bridges and locks are now in various stages of testing.

Thursday saw a great deal of activity at Port Weller Dry Docks. Final welding is being done on the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin and finial painting was being completed. The ships self unloading cables were being re-installed. There was smoke coming from her stacks as well as the newly rebuilt engines were being tested. The tug Vac, which wintered at Port Weller, moved to the other side of the tug dock and took on fuel from a tanker, no doubt getting ready for when the Paul Martin is pulled from the shallow dock. This was expected to happen this weekend but may not be done until Monday or Tuesday of next week. The new ship is expected to be christened on Wednesday, March 29.

For more updates visit the Welland Canal Shipping.

Reported by: Jason Junge




Today in Great Lakes History - March 24

ALPENA (1) was launched on March 24, 1909 as a) ALPENA (1).

IRVIN L. CLYMER was launched March 24, 1917 as a) CARL D. BRADLEY (1), the third self-unloader in the Bradley Transportation Co. fleet.

The SAMUEL MATHER (4) was transferred on March 24, 1965 to the newly formed Pickands Mather subsidiary Labrador Steamship Co. Ltd. (Sutcliffe Shipping Co. Ltd., operating agents), Montreal, Que. to carry iron ore from their recently opened Wabush Mines ore dock at Pointe Noire, Que. to U.S. blast furnaces on Lakes Erie and Michigan.

PETER ROBERTSON (2) was launched March 24, 1906 as a) HARRY COULBY (1).

On 24 March 1874, the 181', 3-mast wooden schooner MORNING STAR was launched at E. Saginaw, MI.

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


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




Update on the Anderson - Sturgeon Bay

03/23:
The Arthur M. Anderson's actual departure came on Tuesday night at 9:00 P.M. sailing to load in Calcite, Michigan.

The Burns Harbor has been moved to an outer dock at Bay Ship, indicating she will soon be departing.

The USCG Cutter Mobile Bay was spotted Wednesday setting navigational aids which were pulled for the winter, another indication that the shipping season will soon be in full swing.

Reported by: Paul A. Graf




Twin Ports Report

03/23:
The Twin Ports shipping season continued Wednesday with the departure of two Great Lakes Fleet vessels. The John Munson departed her berth shortly before 4:00pm followed by the Edgar Speer.

Both proceeded out the Superior entry and are scheduled to load at Two Harbors, MN.

For other GLF vessels bound for Two Harbors : Cason J. Callaway is due at 11 p.m. March 23; Philip R. Clarke is due at 3 p.m. March 24; Presque Isle is due at 6 p.m. March 25; and Edwin H. Gott is due at noon March 26.

The Paul Tregurtha pulled in behind the Great Lakes fleet vessel Philip Clark at the Port Terminal to take on fuel before shifting over to Midwest Energy to take on another load of coal.

The George A. Stinson was taking pellets from the BNSF ore dock in Superior, WI.

Reported by: Al Miller and Kent Rengo




Lay-up Work

03/23:
Each vessel that spentds winter layup in Duluth-Superior added an estimated $800,000 to the local economy. Among them this year was Edgar B. Speer, which underwent a wide range of repairs and upgrades, which were outlined in a story in the March 22 Duluth News-Tribune.

Fleet officials said the Speer received a complete overhaul of one engine and its hull was painted. Fraser Shipyards replaced an engine room bulkhead. Other major work included the resurfacing of a hydraulic piston that controls one of the ship's two rudders. Carpet was replaced in the pilothouse, Hardware and software upgrades were made to navigation equipment. Elsewhere, life-saving equipment was inspected, fire drills were held, filters were replaced and gauges were checked.

Berthed adjacent to the Speer, the 975-foot Presque Isle's superstructure was sliced open so a drive reduction gear could be replaced. In Sturgeon Bay, the Roger Blough is in drydock for its five-year inspection.

Reported by: Al Miller




Mackinaw Rerouted

03/23:
The U.S. Coast Guard's Mackinaw was scheduled to break ice in the Portage Canal Wednesday morning. The Heavy icebreaker is reported to have been rerouted to an unknown location.

Reported by: Derek Tuoriniemi




Expected Salties

03/23:
Below is a list of some vessel that are expected to enter the lakes or Seaway. The report is based on the last given ship position as of Tuesday

Federal Asahi-in Atlantic for Lakes 3/22
Isa-dept IJmuiden, Netherlands for Burns Harbor 3/20
Isadora-due to dept IJmuiden, Netherlands for Lakes 3/27
Kapitonas Domeika-dept Montreal 3/22
Lake Michigan-due in Montreal 3/25
Mariupol'-in Montreal 3/22
Noblesse-due in Duluth 4/19
Utviken-in Montreal unloading then for Toronto 3/22
Voorneborg-in Montreal 3/22

Reported by: Matt Miner




Naming Ceremony and Keel Laying

03/23:
A naming ceremony is expected to take place next week for the new Rt. Hon. PAUL J. MARTIN at Port Weller Dry Docks. In addition to naming the new ship, Canada Steamship Lines will lay the keel for the next replacement forebody. The next vessel to be converted to a SeawayMax vessel will be the Louis R. Desmarais.

Reported by: Roger Tottman




Boatnerd Club House?

03/23:
Spotted in a recent advertisement in the April-May issue of Lake Superior Magazine:
"Lower St. Marys River - One of the most unique spots in the world - Almost an acre of shoreline - Deep water on three sides - Cathedral ceilings, one bedroom and bath down, one loft bedroom and bath upstairs - Large deck - Built in 1989 - Freighter pass within 75 feet of the door! Lower St. Marys River, Michigan." For details: 906-647-3416 $319,000

This is the home of artist Pat Norton, at the entrance to Rock Cut, adjacent to the Neebish Island ferry dock.

Reported by: Dave Wobser




Today in Great Lakes History - March 23

The National Transportation Safety Board unanimously voted on March 23,1978 to reject the U. S. Coast Guard's official report supporting the theory of faulty hatches in their Edmund Fitzgerald investigation. Later the N.T.S.B. revised its verdict and reached a majority vote to agree that the sinking was caused by taking on water through one or more hatch covers damaged by the impact of heavy seas over her deck. This is contrary to the Lake Carriers Association's contention that her foundering was caused by flooding through bottom and ballast tank damage resulting from bottoming on the Six Fathom Shoal between Caribou and Michipicoten Islands.

On 23 March 1850, TROY (wooden sidewheel passenger/package freighter, 182', 546 tons, built in 1845 at Maumee, OH) exploded and burned at Black Rock, NY. Up to 22 lives were lost. She was recovered and rebuilt the next year and lasted until 1860.

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


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




Jean Parisien Departs Midland

03/22:
Canada Steam Ship Lines' Jean Parisien left her winter lay-up berth at the ADM elevator in Midland, ONT. early Tuesday morning sailing for Thunder Bay. She backed in to the turning area that had been cleared by the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon. The Griffon made quick work of the rotting ice and the Parisien was reported to be making 12 knots by the time she reached Giant's Tomb Island. Both vessels had departed by 6:00 a.m.

Reported by: Vern Sweeting, Rudy Smith and Tom Barber




Canadian Prospector Arrives

03/22:
The Canadian Prospector arrived in Quebec City yesterday, tying up at Wharf 53. The vessel appears to be loaded, a rare sight compared to the usual downbound run on ballast to Gulf of St. Lawrence ports. The Prospector is the first laker of the new season to stop in Quebec Harbor.

René Beauchamp reports that she was the first Great Lakes vessel to leave her wintering berth in Montreal on March 18 when she departed for Sorel.

Reported by: Jean-François Boutin and René Beauchamp




Mackinaw to Clear Portage

03/22:
The U.S. Coast Guard's Mackinaw will expect in the Portage shipping canal some time this morning. She will enter through the south entry, travel to the Portage Coast Guard Station and then turn around to exit through the south entry.

Reported by: Derek Tuoriniemi




Twin Ports Report

03/22:
Stmr. Reserve has been moved into the large drydock at Fraser Shipyards. The dock was recently vacated by Lee A. Tregurtha.

A recent survey of snowpack around Lake Superior shows low levels that may send Great Lakes water levels to their lowest points in history, scientists say.

"The entire western and southern shores had no snow," Tom Carroll, a government scientist who coordinated the survey early in March, said in an Associated Press story. "I don't think we've ever done the survey and not had any snow."

Lake Superior's shoreline in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin normally would be covered with snow containing up to a foot of water. About 40 percent of Lake Superior's annual water supply comes from the snowpack around its shores. In Duluth, snowfall last winter was about half of normal, although some late winter rains added another inch or two of precipitation.

Reported by: Al Miller




Low Water Forecast Continues

03/22:
The impact of the mild winters was reflected in a forecast for Great Lakes water levels reported by the Reuters news service on Monday.

Forecasts for call for the water levels this summer to remain below average. Lake Superior is forecast to be 4-10 inches below average, Lake Huron and Lake Michigan to be 12-20 inches below average, and Lake Erie to be 4-16 inches below average.

The manager of Environment Canada's Great Lakes water information office told Reuters that the four lakes would fall well below 1999 levels, which were also below average. Only Lake Ontario would be higher by 4 inches above average levels because its outfall is controlled by a dam in Cornwall in eastern Ontario, the official said.

Reported by: Jim Fitzgerald




Toledo Report

03/22:
The cement carrier Alpena arrived at the LaFarge Dock late Tuesday afternoon to unload her cargo. She is scheduled to depart very early Wednesday morning.

The David Z. Norton and Algonova remain in dry dock at the Toledo Shipyard. Most of the Oglebay Norton Marine Services vessels located in port are in various stages of fitout with several of them scheduled to depart around March 23.

The American Steamship Company vessels wintering in Toledo are also in various stages of fit-out as well and will be departing soon. As of Tuesday there have been no updates for the CSX coal and ore docks.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Sarnia Update

03/22:
In Sarnia Tuesday the tanker Algocatalyst was back at the Sidney E. Smith dock. Her engines were running and there was a lot of activity on deck, from both her own crew and shore based workers.

Around the corner at the Government Dock, the Algolake had smoke coming from her stack. The Sarnia Observer reported recently that ACM had spent $2 million on the Algolake's self-unloading machinery this winter.

Across the harbour at the Cargill dock there was smoke coming from the stack of the Algoway which is rafted outboard of the Agawa Canyon.

At the north slip work continues on the self-unloading machinery on the Canadian Transfer. Behind her, steam is up on the Saginaw and lots of activity continues on the Cuyahoga.

The Canadian Enterprise was downbound in the St. Clair River Tuesday morning. She was sailing from her first visit of the season to the Lambton Generating Station at Courtright, Ont. where she unloaded coal.

Reported by: Barry Hiscocks




Seaway Update

03/22:
The icebreaker MARTHA L. BLACK was already out of the Seaway late on Monday afternoon. She had transited at St. Lambert lock on Friday March 17 and encountered no ice to speak of, a very easy job. She went as far as Lake St. François, west of the Beauharnois locks.

In Montreal, being converted into a floating dormitory is the old dredge PRIMROSE. It was built in 1915 at Welland and will be used by the McKeil Marine workers on passage in Montreal instead of being lodged in motels or hotels. This dredge had been towed down the Seaway to Montreal from Hamilton by the tug EVANS McKEIL on Dec. 14.

One of the first salties to go up the Seaway could be UTVIKEN on opening day on Monday, March 27 but only if she passes the Seaway inspection. In fact, she might be the first ship to lock upbound at St. Lambert. After unloading a part cargo of sugar in Montreal, she will proceed up the Seaway bound for Toronto.

Another vessel expected the first week of operation in the Seaway is the new FEDERAL ASAHI launched at Oshima, Japan on Nov. 1st.

Reported by: René Beauchamp




Flagpole at Baileys Harbor, WI

03/22:
The Door County Advocate recently reported of a new park being developed in Baileys Harbor. The aft mast of the M. J. BARTELME, gifted to the business association by Wilmer Anschutz of Baileys Harbor, will be redesigned into a flagpole.

The BARTELME was a merchant ship that went aground in heavy fog off Cana Island October 12, 1928. No mention was given as to where the mast has been these last 78 years.

Visit www.baileysharbor.com for more information

Reported by: Dave Glick




New Cruises for 2001

03/22:
Great Lakes Cruises, inc. is pleased to announce overnight cruises on the Great Lakes starting 2001. The ship MTS Arcadia, a 367 foot long, 5,110 ton vessel owned and managed by Golden Sun Cruises, of Greece will arrive in Toronto June 12, with the first departure out of Windsor, Ontario taking place on June 16. The last cruise will leave Windsor on Oct 20, for a coastal cruise to Freeport, Grand Bahamas. It will carry 225 passengers at maximum.

The MTS Arcadia was completely refurbished in 1989, and although basic, is very well maintained and run. An interesting note is that there has been not so much as one single day of failure of any of the ship's mechanical systems since it's refurbishment, proving it as a reliable and safe vessel to travel on. The crew is almost exclusively Greek, with most of the staff having an astonishing 5 to 10 years of experience with this ship. The captain is a charming and outgoing gentleman, and speaks English well as do the rest of the staff. The cruise, entertainment and medical staff are North American.

Public space onboard includes a show lounge large enough to accommodate all guests at the same time, cabaret lounge, dining room (2 seatings), a library stocked with Great Lakes books and information, a card room, a small gymnasium, a swimming pool, along with 2 decks containing promenades, and a sun deck. Of course, there is also a main reception area, a shop, a salon, and a photographer's studio.

There will be 11 different itineraries offered, consisting of 3, 4, and 7 night cruises. All the lakes will be visited, but not on every cruise. Chicago, Mackinac Island, Duluth, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, and Niagara Falls are just some of the over 25 different Great Lakes ports to be called on in the season.

A great deal of effort is being expended to make sure dining onboard MTS Arcadia will be a wonderful experience. The per-person food budget is at the same level as the best premium cruise lines. Everyone's favorite classics will be offered, plus newer specialties should one desire a change of pace. A ratio of about only 12 passengers per waiter will ensure very attentive service.

Special features in every cabin include plush robes, umbrellas, and quality personal toiletries. A fully-stocked supply of drinks and snacks is included in every cabin at no additional charge.

Entertainment onboard will be low-key but plentiful. A welcome-onboard reception, and a farewell show presented by the crew will be highlighted. Every night a dance band and a jazz pianist will give passengers a choice of divertissements. Every cruise will have 2 or 3 lecturers onboard, and they will vary according to itinerary, offering nature, geological, historical, and photographic expertise to the guests. Games during the day will be low-key, yet entertaining, with prizes being champagne or quality clothing or travel accessories.

Shore excursions will be varied and interesting, ranging from a sedate ride through the surrounding countryside and musical presentations to horseback riding.

For more information contact Cruising The Great lakes in Toronto Canada at 800-319-9997 or Great Lakes Cruises, Inc. at 877-777-GLCI (4524) after April 1.

www.greatlakescruises.com




Marine Mart

03/22:
On April 1 there will be a Marine Mart held at the Royal Oak Elks Club in Royal Oak, MI. The show runs from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. The Club is located at 4th St. and the I-75 Service Dr. For further information, please call 248-544-3373.

Reported by: Al Hart




Today in Great Lakes History - March 22

The GULF MACKENZIE sailed light March 22, 1977 on her maiden voyage from Sorel to Montreal, Que.

The Canal Tanker COMET was launched March 22, 1913.

THOMAS W. LAMONT was launched March 22, 1930.

March 22, 1885 - The Goodrich Steamer MICHIGAN was crushed in heavy ice off Grand Haven and sank. Captain Redmond Prindiville in command, Joseph Russell first mate.

On 22 March 1873, TYPO, a wooden schooner/canaller, was launched at Milwaukee. She cost $25,000 and was commanded by Captain William Callaway.

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


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




First of the USS Fleet

03/21:
The Arthur M. Anderson departed Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, WI. on Monday. She is sailing on her first trip of the season sailing to load in Calcite, MI.

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association




Cuyahoga Update

03/21:
The repowered Cuyahoga is expected to sail on April 1. On Sunday the small army of workers on the vessel were aligning the new Caterpillar engine. Piping is being installed, but cannot be connected until the engine is in its permanent position. Two new small service boilers were placed in the boiler room for winches, heating and other uses.

Reported by: George Lee




Oglebay Norton Wins 1999 Soo Crown

03/21:
The Oglebay Norton (Oglebay Norton Marine Services Company) carried the most cargo of any vessel through the Soo Locks last year - 1,139,769 net tons. The 1,000-footer was engaged in the iron ore and coal trades.

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association




Twin Ports Report

03/21:
On Monday the Great Lakes Towing Co. tugs North Carolina and Kentucky moved the Reserve alongside the John J. Boland, then moved the freshly painted Lee A. Tregurtha out of drydock and to the Reserve's berth.

The pilothouse of the Tregurtha was still buttoned up, but that won't last long. The Tregurtha is scheduled to load at the DMIR Duluth ore dock on March 23, which is shaping up to be a busy day on western Lake Superior.

Joining the Tregurtha at DMIR that day will be the Frontenac and Tadoussac. In Superior, Paul R. Tregurtha, Halifax and Walter J. McCarthy Jr. are scheduled to load that day at Midwest Energy Terminal. Up the shore in Two Harbors, John G. Munson, Edgar B. Speer and Cason J. Callaway are scheduled to load.

On the Callaway, engineers were busy building steam and turning her turbines over. Crewmen were also walking her deck. Crewmen were also on the deck of the Reserve although her shutters are still on the pilothouse and no exhaust was coming from her stack. There appeared to be no activity on the H. Lee White or John J. Boland.

At the Port Terminal steam was up on the John G. Munson and scaffolding can be seen over her bow. In the next slip over, crewmen are working on the Speer as exhaust was seen coming from her stacks.

Next to her in the slip, fleet engineers are busy at work on the Presque Isle readying the ship for service. Her massive reduction gears were removed and retooled over lay-up. Workers are re-installing the gears and welding the holes cut to lift them out of the vessel.

Crewmen were seen at work onboard the Philip R. Clarke walking her deck and checking over her boom. Steam was up and exhaust was coming from her stack.

All three AAA's had their hatch cranes removed and new components fitted to them. Also new to all three are GPS steering systems in their pilothouses. The systems are similar to what was installed on the Reserve last year. The giant console looks out of place in the pilothouse.

Reported by: David French and Al Miller




Thunder Bay Update

03/21:
On Sunday the Gordon C. Leitch was moved from Pascol engineering's fitout dock and placed on the dry dock.

The Canadian Coast Guard's Samuel Risley arrived at the Ministry of Transportation dock at the Keefer Terminal shortly before 4:00 p.m. Ice inside the harbor is from 6 to 12 inches thick in places and the powerful Risley had no problem breaking the ice.

An injured crew member was removed from Tadoussac late in the afternoon and taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Reported by: Ron Konkol




Marquette Report

03/21:
The Paul R. Tregurtha is due to arrive in Marquette today weather permitting. This will be the Tregurtha's second visit this week and she will again be brining a cargo of western coal from Duluth for Wisconsin Power.

Last year the Tregurtha made two visits to Marquette prior to the locks opening. Heavy fog and rain may hamper her arrival.

Reported by: Art Pickering




Seaway West Update

03/21:
The Canadian Coast Guard ship Simcoe was in the Kingston area Monday and docked at Kingston for the night, at Crawford Wharf. This is always the signal for the beginning of the navigation season as she will be activating Aid to Navigation.

Reported by: Ron Walsh




171st Opening of the Welland Canal

03/21:
Monday, March 27, 2000
10:00 a.m. Lockside (weather permitting) at Lock 3, Welland Canal, St. Catharines.

Guest speakers:
Hon. David Turnbull Minister of Transportation, Province of Ontario.
Guy Véronneau President, St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp., Cornwall, Ont.

On Monday morning, the Welland Canal will officially open for the shipping season with the traditional Top Hat ceremony to recognize the arrival of the first upbound ship into Lock 3.




Today in Great Lakes History - March 21

The CHEMICAL MAR sustained severe damage when sulfuric acid leaked into the pump room while discharging her cargo at the island of Curacao on March 21, 1982. Flooding occurred later and the vessel was declared a constructive total loss.

CLIFFS VICTORY was floated from the drydock on March 21, 1951, three months and two days after she entered the dock, and was rechristened b) CLIFFS VICTORY.

MARLHILL was launched on March 21, 1908 as a) HARRY A. BERWIND.

The GEORGE F. BAKER was sold to the Kinsman Marine Transit Co., Cleveland on March 21, 1965, and was renamed b) HENRY STEINBRENNER (3).

March 21, 1953 - The S.S. BADGER made her maiden voyage to Ludington. Capt. Bernard "Bunny" Robertson in command. Sylvester Larson Chief Engineer.

On 21 March 1874, the two schooners NORTH STAR and EVENING STAR were launched at Crosthwaite's shipyard in East Saginaw, MI. They were both owned by John Kelderhouse of Buffalo.

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


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




Barker Departs

03/20:
The James R. Barker departed her lay-up berth Sunday at Metro Machine in Erie, PA. In front of a crowd of about 20 on lookers she departed at 4:00 p.m. bound for Escanaba, Michigan. Her new propellers got a lot of attention from the crew. Several of the crew gathered at the stern to see the swirl patterns in the water made by the new propellers.

Below are images of the news highly skewed propellers that will increase the 1000-footer's efficiency and reduce vibration.

Images taken in January
A new propeller blade ready to be installed.
Another view of the new blade.

Reported by: Mike Madigan




Tregurtha Returns

03/20:
Paul R. Tregurtha was the first vessel of the season to arrive in the Twin Ports on the morning of March 19. The Tregurtha came in Superior Entry about 10 a.m., proceeded down Superior Front Channel and docked at the Duluth Port Terminal. There, waiting work crews from Fraser Shipyards and Northern Engineering immediately boarded the vessel. A crawler crane hoisted aboard two pieces of machinery that appeared to be motors. Minutes after the Tregurtha was made fast to the dock, the crane was hoisting one of the motors up to the structure that houses the belts that bring cargo from the conveyors up to the unloading boom.

The Tregurtha coming down the Front Channel
The Tregurtha approaches the Duluth Port Terminal
The Tregurtha docks at the Duluth Port Terminal
A crane hoists what appears to be an electric motor aboard the Tregurtha.
Machinery aloft
Shipyard workers prepare to secure the machinery hoisted onto the structure housing the Tregurtha's self-unloading gear.

Report and images by: Al Miller




Trip to Marquette

03/20:
The Paul R. Tregurtha arrived in Duluth after unloading her first cargo in Marquette. The pictures below show the vessel unloading on Saturday.

Stern view as she unloads.
Senic view across the beach.

Report and images by: Jim Noetzel




Twin Ports Fit Out

03/20:
Vessel crews are busy fitting out vessels in the Twin Ports with an eye toward departing Thursday and Friday. Crewmen aboard Philip R. Clarke had steam up March 19 and were getting ready to depart the boat's lay-up berth at the Duluth port terminal.

The Clarke at dock Sunday.

Report and images by: Al Miller




Thunder Bay Report

03/20:
The Canadian Coast Guard Icebreaker Samuel Risley was expected to arrive in Thunder Bay early Sunday afternoon. At 8:00 a.m. Sunday, the Risley was reported to be 40-miles southeast of Passage Island. Travelling at a speed of 8-knots, she was expected to arrive in port around 2:00 p.m.

The Risley is in Thunder Bay to assist vessels departing winter lay-up. The first vessels to depart will be the Frontenac and Halifax schedule to leave on Tuesday. The first inbound vessel is expected sometime next week.

In other news, the Tadoussac was moved from Pascol Engineering's dry dock on Saturday by the tugs Peninsula and George N. Carleton and was placed at Pascol's fit out dock.

The Risley heading upbound Friday above the Soo Locks.

Reported by: Richard Boon, Ron Konkol and Dan Fletcher




Miner Arrives

03/20:
On Saturday the Mesabi Miner arrived in Escanaba about 4:00 p.m. She proceeded to anchor in the bay off the ore loading facility, as the Joseph H. Thompson was still loading at the dock.

The McKee Sons is still at its winter lay-up dock. There is still a fair amount of ice North of Escanaba, but the bay from the ore dock to the old lighthouse is generally clear.

Reported by: Dick Lund




Alpena Arrives

03/20:
The steamer Alpena arrived at the LaFarge plant in Alpena for her first load of the new shipping season Friday. She was loading cement and fly ash for delivery to Cleveland. The vessel was expected to arrive in Cleveland on Monday at 8:00 p.m.




Beeghly to Unload

03/20:
Sunday evening the Charles M. Beeghly was downbound in the St. Clair River. She is sailing to the Rouge Steel Plant in Detroit to unload her first cargo of the season.

Reported by: Frank Frisk and Linda Stoetzer




Hamilton Report

03/20:
At the Eastport terminal little work is happening on the James Norris who still has her Christmas decorations up and the Algowood shows little signs of work. The Algosoo still has portable sandblasting equipment alongside in the area of holds two and three, and work is progressing on the Algoport.

For the first time in roughly two years, the hulk of the Canadian Explorer is no longer at the end of the Eastport pier. It has been moved to the drydock at Heddle Marine (Pier 13) now that the Lorena I has been moved from the dry dock. The forebody of the Explorer is being converted to a grain storage barge for use in Quebec.

The Lorena I is in the Pier 12 area, along with all manner of barges, tugs, and parts of old ships including the pilothouse of a Beechglen.

Although the Canadian Ranger has a pair of conveyors lined up next to her, nothing has been loaded yet; she is still a long way out of the water. The Canadian Navigator remains at dock and does not show any signs of work.

The CSL Niagara is being readied for the start of the season. There are many small blotches of gray primer in the area of the CSL lettering on the sides. Painting has been done in the area of the transition piece and several strips of steel have been added to this area as well, either as fenders or for strength.

Little work appears to have been done to the Canadian Century since the last update. The Canadian Provider and Algoville remain in lay-up and appear that they will be staying for some time.

The Algogulf has been turned and backed further into her slip alongside Canamera Foods. This usually indicates that she is unloading a storage cargo, usually corn for this dock.

Construction continues on the Hamilton lift bridge. The bridge was closed to vehicular traffic all of last week, in addition to shipping traffic. Hopefully the job will be finished in time for the season to begin.

Reported by: Marc Ouellette




Seaway's First Freighter Passengers for 2000

03/20:
The PZM Polish Steamship Company's 34,600-ton m.v. Isa departed IJmuiden, near Amsterdam March 18 with two passengers bound for Burns Harbor, IN. The vessel will open the 2000 St. Lawrence Seaway passenger season.

The ISA will be followed by her sister ship m.v. Isadora, due to depart IJmuiden about a week later. Both ships feature an Owners Cabin, a double cabin and two single cabins, all outside, with a capacity for six passengers each. Fares are $995 per person from IJmuiden to Cleveland and $1,095 per person from IJmuiden to Burns Harbor.

This year round trip cruises will be offered at a fare of $5,400 for 60 days. The five "I" Class ships in the PZM fleet will be supplemented by six "Z" Class ships built in Argentina in the 1980s, which can accommodate three or four passengers each at the same fares.

Reported by: The Cruise People Ltd. of London and R. F. Ahern




Raffle for trips aboard a USS GLF 1,000-footer

03/20:
Three lucky couples will win a "Cruise of a Lifetime" this year as guests aboard one of the 1,000-foot ore carriers of USS Great Lakes Fleet.

USS Great Lakes Fleet has donated three two-person trips to the Lake Superior Marine Museum Association in Duluth. The association is raffling off the trips to raise money to modernize exhibits and purchase computerized information kiosks for the Corps of Engineers Visitor Center in Duluth's Canal Park.

The winners will travel as guests aboard a GLF 1,000-footer. They will be accommodated in a stateroom for two, dine at the captain's table each evening and receive a complete ship tour.

Winners will be drawn June 6. Click here for more information.

Reported by: Al Miller




Ice Forecast

03/20:
Note: this will be the final Ice Forecast for the season posted to the news page.
Ice Hazard Bulletin Issued by Environment Canada at 1700 UTC Sunday 19 March 2000.
No ice warning in effect for the next 36 hours.

Lake Ontario... Open water. Fast ice in parts of Bay of Quinte.

Lake Erie... Mostly open water except 9 plus tenths rotten thin and medium lake ice right along the southern shore within 15 miles west of Buffalo. Fast ice near Buffalo. In Lake St Clair open water.

Lake Huron and Georgian Bay... Consolidated rotten medium lake ice in the North Channel east of Gore Bay and west of Drummond Island and in eastern St Marys River. in the rest of the north channel 9 tenths medium lake ice except mostly open water in the northern section. in Georgian Bay fast ice right along the northeast coast and a few strips of medium lake ice over the central sections. Otherwise open water.

Lake Superior... Consolidated thick lake ice in Black Bay and Nipigon Bay and over northern Thunder Bay. 9 tenths rotten medium lake ice over southern Whitefish Bay and 8 tenths new lake ice over the northern section. open water over the rest of Lake Superior.

Lake Michigan... Both the Little and Big Bays De Noc remain ten tenths covered with thick lake ice. Three to five tenths thick lake ice was observed around Washington Island with one to three tenths thick ice over the remainder of Green Bay. Six to eight tenths thick ice was observed around Hog Island and White Shoal with one to four tenths thick ice elsewhere from the Straits to around Beaver and High Islands.

Click here for the St. Lawrence River Forecast.

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

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

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

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

New Lake Ice----recently formed less than 2 inches (5 centimeters) thick.
Thin Lake Ice---2 - 6 inches (5 - 15 centimeters) thick.
Medium Lake Ice- 6 - 12 inches (15 - 30 centimeters) thick.
Thick Lake Ice--12 - 28 inches (30-70 centimeters) thick.
Very Thick Ice--greater than 28 inches (70 centimeters thick).





Today in Great Lakes History - March 20

The sidewheeler NEW YORK was sold Canadian in 1877, hopefully at a bargain price because when she was hauled out on the ways on 20 March 1878 at Rathburn's yard in Kingston to have her boiler removed, her decayed hull fell apart and could not be repaired. Her remains were burned to clear the ways.

Data from: Joe Barr, David Swayze and the Father Dowling Collection.
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history



Barker Departs

03/19:
Departing her lay-up dock at Rouge Steel Saturday was the Kaye E. Barker. Her first trip is to Escanaba for a return load to Rouge Steel.




First Delivery for Lambton

03/19:
On Saturday the Canadian Transport arrived at the Lambton Power Plant at Courtright, Ont. on the St. Clair River. She arrived with the first load of coal for the season and was expected to unload throughout the night. Her departure time is scheduled for 3:00am and she will head downbound.

Reported by: John A. Harris and Barry Hiscocks




Today in Great Lakes History - March 19

CARTIERCLIFFE HALL was launched March 19, 1960 as a) RUHR ORE.

INDIANA HARBOR was launched March 19, 1979.

CITY OF GREEN BAY (2) was launched March 19, 1927 as a) WABASH.

ALFRED CYTACKI was launched March 19, 1932 as a) LAKESHELL (1).

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


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




Tregurtha Opens Marquette

03/18:
The Paul R. Tregurtha opened Marquette on March 17 with western coal from Superior for the Wisconsin Electric Power Plant . Her arrival marks one of the earliest on record for Marquette. Last season, the Tregurtha opened Marquette on March 18. Tregurtha is due back on March 20 with more coal from Superior.

The first ore boat is due on March 26 when the H Lee White is scheduled.

Reported by: Rod Burdick, Art Pickering and Robert Oom




Risley Heads North

03/18:
The Canadian Coast Guard vessel Samuel Risley passed upbound through the Soo Locks on Friday Morning. At 10:30 a.m. the vessel entered the Poe Lock and may be heading to Thunder Bay to assist with the start of the season.

Reported by: Scott Mclellan




Pathfinder Continues on First Trip

03/18:
The tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder were upbound on Lake St. Clair Friday night. The barge is loaded with a cargo for delivery for Charlevoix, MI.

Reported by: Andrew Severson




Mackinaw in Duluth

03/18:
USCG Cutter Mackinaw sits Friday evening at its usual berth behind the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. The icebreaker is in Duluth for exercises and to assist with icebreaking, although its power is hardly needed for the six inches of broken ice found in most of the Duluth and Superior harbor and adjoining waterways. The Mackinaw is scheduled to be open for tours from 1-4 p.m. today.

Image of the Mackinaw at dock.

Report and images by: Al Miller




Top Hat for Roman

03/18:
The Stephen B. Roman received Top Hat honors on Thursday as the first ship to open Toronto harbor. With news cameras rolling the Toronto Harbour Master presented the traditional top hat to the captain of the Roman.

The vessel also received the top hat award last year as she opened the port on March 19.

Reported by: Jim Fitzgerald




Toledo Report

03/18:
Earlier this week the Algonova was finally placed in the small drydock at Toledo shipyard for repairs. The David Z. Norton remains in the other drydock at the yard undergoing painting and repairs.

The tug Alice A and her barge McAsphalt 401 was finishing up loading her petroleum cargo at the Sun Oil Dock (Hocking Valley) and was to depart Friday afternoon.

Painting has begun on the Middletown and Courtney Burton. The two vessels are expected to get underway around March 25.

The tanker Gemini arrived for lay-up at the old Lakefront Ore Dock and tied up astern of her fleetmate Saturn. She arrived in port on Wednesday or Thursday.

The CSX Coal Docks are scheduled to open in the next two weeks but no vessel schedule has been announced.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Owen Sound 2000 Navigation Season Opens

03/18:
Friday afternoon the Southdown Conquest and tug Susan Hanna arrived at the Miller Cement silos to unload her cargo. The fit into her dock was very tight and required the moving of the Mapleglen. Mooring cables of the Capt. Henry Jackman made the docking more difficult but after an hour or so the tug and barge finally tied up in front of the silos. Unloading was expected to be completed Friday evening.

Reported by: Peter Bowers




Challenger Moved

03/18:
The tugs William & Susan Selvick shifted the Southdown Challenger away from the Milwaukee Southdown dock on Friday. The Challenger was moved to Milwaukee's inner mooring basin to make way for the Southdown Conquest.

The Conquest will make 2 trips to Milwaukee starting this weekend and then the Challenger will be shifted back to the Southdown dock. Fitout on the Challenger is scheduled to begin the first week in April.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde




Sandusky Opener

03/18:
The Port of Sandusky coal season began Friday with the arrival of the Louis R. Desmarais. The vessel departed her lay-up dock in Port Colborne sailing for the port. At 5:00 p.m. yesterday the Desmarais was still loading coal. Her destination is not known at this time but is presumed to be Nanticoke.

Reported by: Mark Harris and Jason Junge




Miner Continues

03/18:
The Mesabi Miner was upbound in lower Lake Huron yesterday shortly after noon. The 1000-footer is sailing for Escanaba.

Reported by: Duane Upton and Ron and Linda Locke




Today in Great Lakes History - March 18

ARSENE SIMARD was launched March 18, 1972.

PERE MARQUETTE 21 was launched March 18, 1924.

SYLVANIA was launched March 18, 1905.

March 18, 1924 - The PERE MARQUETTE 21 was launched at Manitowoc, Wisconsin. She was christened by Mrs. C.C. West, wife of the president of Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co.

On 18 March 1890, CITY OF CHICAGO (steel sidewheeler, 211', 1073 gt) was launched at W. Bay City, MI. CITY OF CHICAGO was lengthened to 226' at Wheeler's yard one year later (1891). She was again lengthened in 1905-06; this time to 254'. On the same day (18 March 1890) and at the same yard the 3-mast wooden schooner A. C. TUXBURY was stern launched. She was built by F. W. Wheeler (hull #68) for the Graham & Morton Line.

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


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




Paul R. Tregurtha Departs

03/17:
The Twin Ports shipping season began March 16 when Paul R. Tregurtha departed Midwest Energy Terminal about 12:20 p.m. with 61,000 tons of coal destined for Marquette. The Tregurtha proceeded quickly through the turning basin and down the Superior Front Channel, noisily breaking through frozen slab ice and skim ice that formed overnight.

Paul R. Tregurtha's bow noses under the Blatnik Bridge on its way out of Superior -- the first vessel in the Twin Ports to get under way this season.
The Tregurtha's stern passing under the Blatnik Bridge.
The Tregurtha turns into the Superior Front Channel.
The Tregurtha's bow pushing easily through the ice.
The Tregurtha motors down the Front Channel.
The Tregurtha moving easily through ice near Peavey Connors Point grain elevator in Superior.
A stern view of the Tregurtha proceeding down the Front Channel toward Superior Entry.

Video clip of the Tregurtha's bow moving through ice.

Report and images by: Al Miller




Joseph L. Block Departs Bay Ship

03/17:
The second vessel to depart winter lay-up at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, WI. was the Joseph L. Block. She departed Thursday afternoon passing through the Michigan Street and Bay View bridges to reach Lake Michigan via the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal.

The Wilfred Sykes, decked out in a fresh coat of paint had departed last week. Twelve vessels remain in winter lay-up at the yard.

Reported by: Paul Graf




Last Season for Manitoulin

03/17:
One the first lakers to resume service after wintering in Montreal will be Manitoulin on March 24 leaving for Pointe Noire to load iron ore for Detroit. This will be her last year in service as Canada Steamship Lines is planning to retire her.

Reported by: René Beauchamp




Heading North

03/17:
The Alpena spent most of Thursday tied up on the St. Clair River at Marysville. The vessel was upbound in the Detroit River early Thursday morning when she experienced a steering failure. It is unknown if her stop in Marysville was related. She departed the dock shortly before 1:00a.m. this morning.

Other traffic in the area included two Interlake Steamship Company vessels sailing for Escanaba. The Charles M. Beeghly was ready to enter Lake Huron from the St. Clair River shortly after 9:00p.m. The Mesabi Miner sailing from Erie, called in at the Detroit River Light at 11:25p.m.




Last chance to see the Mac?

03/17:
People living near the Twin Ports can tour the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday behind the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.

The Mackinaw will arrive in Duluth-Superior on Friday to assist with icebreaking and to complete annual towing exercise requirements with the USCG Cutter Sundew as part of their military readiness training. The Mackinaw is scheduled to dock behind the DECC and offer public tours Saturday afternoon. The visit has been well publicized and will probably draw a crowd.

To reach the DECC, follow Interstate 35 into Duluth. Exit at the Fifth Avenue West/DECC exit and turn toward the harbor. The Mackinaw will be docked behind the DECC, just around the corner from the William A. Irvin museum ship. Click here for a picture from the Soo livecam of the Mackinaw locking through Thursday

Reported by: Al Miller. Image sent in by Dan Fletcher




Twin Ports Report

03/17:
Laid up vessels in the Twin Ports continued to come back to life Wednesday and Thursday. The shutters were removed from the John G. Munson's pilothouse on Wednesday and workers appeared to finish painting the Edgar B. Speer. In Superior, workers at Fraser Shipyards on Thursday were using a crane to lower the Cason J. Callaway's hatch crane back onto the deck. It apparently had been removed to effect some sort of repair either to the hatch crane or the vessel.

A crane lowers the Callaway's hatch crane into place.

Report and images by: Al Miller




Emerald Isle on the Move

03/17:
The Beaver Island ferry, Emerald Isle departed her winter lay-up Wednesday at 8:30am bound for Charlevoix. A considerable amount of cargo awaited her on the city docks. After unloading a few trucks and plenty of empty cans, she loaded wood, building supplies, and items for St. Patrick's Day celebrations. Emerald Isle departed at noon with a stiff wind at her stern. She will return Wednesday.

Reported by: Sean Whelan




Welland Canal Report

03/17:
The workers at the Welland Canal are preparing for the March 27th opening. Thursday a large crane was in place above Lock 7 to take out the removable gate which stopped the water flow to the canal below Lock 7. The Flight Locks down to Lock 3 were pumped dry this year for structural work on the locks as well as installation of sewer piping under the canal just north of Bridge 5 (Glendale Avenue). After this gate is removed the canal will be refilled and work will be done to test all lock machinery in the week before canal reopening.

Reported by: Jason Junge




Midwest Energy Terminal Off to an Early Start

03/17:
Coal shipments form Midwest Energy Terminal are off to an early start this season and terminal officials say they expect to see their seventh consecutive year of increased shipments.

The terminal's season began March 16 when Paul R. Tregurtha departed with 61,000 tons of low-sulfur coal bound for the power plant in Marquette. Fred Shusterich, terminal president, told the Duluth News-Tribune that the company hopes to surpass last year's record shipment level of 14.7 million tons, possibly shipping as much as 17 million tons this season.

Low-sulfur coal is increasingly in demand by industry and power companies as clean air requirements become more stringent. Shusterich said the company hopes to ship 20 million tons a year within five years. By comparison, the dock shipped 13.3 million tons just five years ago.

Midwest Energy Terminal generally is served by the same six to eight vessels each season, including the Tregurtha, Columbia Star and Walter J. McCarthy Jr. With the growing shipments, it's not unusual to see one or more vessels waiting for the dock's single loading berth.

Reported by: Al Miller




Menominee Report

03/17:
Ice on The Bay off Menominee, MI. has been broken up for about a week and the ice in the river has been gone for nearly a month. Crews at Marinette Fuel Dock have been working the last few days on moving the entire coal pile. This could mean that the dock is expecting more coal or a large shipment of Salt. The first vessel in port usually arrives in late April or early May.

Reported by: Scott Best




Marine News

03/17:
According to the February edition of "Marine News" published by the World Ship Society, the following vessels are reported as having been sold for demolition. All of them completed trips to Great Lakes ports. The German Liberty type vessel AMNA S arrived at Alang, India on Dec.9 to be broken up. She transited the Seaway as MARITA LEONHARDT. BELUGA arrived at Aliaga, Turkey in tow on Nov. 27 following a casualty. She also transited as SHEILA. The general cargo ship FALCON CARRIER arrived at Alang on Dec. 15. She also transited under two other names, KASABA BRIDGE and EASTER BAY. The bulker MIRTIDIOTISSA arrived at Alang on Nov. 25. She transited under her two first names, first as WAYFARER when owned by Charente S.S. of England and then as WAVE. The Freedom class SEA STAR arrived at Alang on Dec 14. She visited Great Lakes ports as FRINTON.

In addition reported broken up is a former St. Lawrence River ferry. AGIOS NEKTARIOS, under the name MANIC was a ferry between Pointe-au-Père (near Rimouski) and the north shore in 1968 to 1972 when she was transferred to the run between the Magdalen Islands and Souris, Prince Edward Island. She had been acquired by CN Marine. She arrived at Aliaga, Turkey under tow on Dec. 2 to be broken up. She had been built in Sweden in 1964 and named APOLLO until her sale in 1968 to Traverse Nord-Sud Ltée of Rimouski.

In that same edition of Marine News, there is a picture of BARDE TEAM in the Welland Canal, a photo by Cy Hudson. She also visited the inland seas as SAMSON SCAN in August 1976. On Dec.24, she started taking water in her hold, developed a list and sank. She was on a passage from Singapore with steel pipes. Another vessel that transited the Seaway sank. SEVEN SEAS which transited as ANTJE SCHULTE sank on Dec. 31 off Cyprus. She was loaded with 7,500 tonnes of steel on a voyage between Ilichevsk and Djibouti.

Reported by: René Beauchamp




Today in Great Lakes History - March 17

The tanker LAKESHELL (3) reportedly leaked over 21,000 gallons of Bunker C oil into the St. Lawrence River on March 17, 1982 after suffering a crack in her cargo compartment caused by striking an ice floe.

GEORGE R. FINK was launched March 17, 1923 as a) WORRELL CLARKSON.

The PATERSON (1) suffered considerable stern damage during the weekend of March 17-18, 1973 during a gale when the MONDOC tore loose from her winter moorings at Goderich, Ont. and struck her.

On 17 March 1916, CITY OF MIDLAND (wooden propeller passenger-package freighter, 176', 974 tons, built in 1890 at Owen Sound, Ontario) burned at the Grand Trunk Railway dock at Collingwood, Ontario, while fitting out for the coming season. No lives were lost.

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


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




Alpena Sails

03/16:
The Alpena depart her winter lay-up dock in Cleveland on Wednesday. The self-unloading cement boat is heading for her name sake port in Michigan to load.

At midnight she was upbound in the Detroit River's Livingston Channel. At 1:00 a.m. she reported having steering difficulties and went to anchor in the river for repairs. After a 15-minute repair to a linkage pin the vessel continued upbound.

While at anchor the vessel was not blocking the river but left only 600-700 feet between the Alpena and the edge of the shipping channel. The tug Alice A and barge McAllister 401, heading downbound from Detroit to Toledo, passed by the Alpena with out incident.




Miner Departs

03/16: 9:00a.m. update
The Mesabi Miner did not depart her winter lay-up dock on Tuesday or Wednesday as first reported. After a short delay the Miner departed Metro Machine in Erie, PA. at 8:00 a.m. this morning. The vessel will load in Escanaba for Indiana Harbor.

Reported by: Mike Madigan




More Interlake Sailings

03/16:
Three vessels sailing for the Interlake Steamship Company are expected to depart today.

The Charles M. Beeghly is scheduled to depart the Rouge Steel Plant in Detroit early this morning for Escanaba.

Also from a lay-up dock at Rouge Steel, the Kaye E. Barker is expected to start the 2000 season. Her first trip will be to Escanaba for a return load to Rouge Steel.

The tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder are schedule to leave Cleveland sailing for Lorain, OH. to load a cargo for Charlevoix, MI.

The rest of the active fleet is scheduled to be underway in the next two weeks. The Herbert C. Jackson should depart Ashtabula on March 23 sailing to Alabaster to load for Detroit.

The Lee A. Tregurtha is also expected to sail on the 23rd. Yesterday steam was up on the vessel, although it remains in drydock at Fraser Shipyards in Superior.

The final sailing in the Interlake Fleet is expected on March 30 when the Elton Hoyt 2nd departs Rouge Steel.

Reported by: Jim Byrne and Al Miller




Paul R. Tregurtha to Depart Today

03/16:
The Twin Ports shipping season is scheduled to begin at noon today when Paul R. Tregurtha departs the Midwest Energy Terminal with coal bound for the generating station in Marquette. The Tregurtha ballasted down Wednesday and began loading. Because Duluth's Aerial Lift Bridge remains under repair until next week, the Tregurtha will use the harbor's Front Channel and depart through Superior Entry. This is the third consecutive year that the Paul R. Tregurtha has been the first vessel to depart the Twin Ports following winter lay-up.

Despite 8 inches of snow that fell on Duluth and Superior on Tuesday, the St. Louis Bay showed open patches of water and the Duluth Harbor Basin is completely open. Ice in the Front Channel near Barkers Island was dark and appeared to be rotting, and at least one small patch of open water was visible.

Reported by: Al Miller and Eric Bonow




Mackinaw Locks Through

03/16: 10:00 a.m. update
The Mackinaw departed the Soo Coast Guard Base at 09:45 Thursday morning and proceeded upbound through the Poe Lock bound for Duluth.

Original story
On Wednesday the U.S. Coast Guard Mackinaw was upbound in the St. Marys River. The heavy ice breaker was expected to pass through the Soo Locks and sail to Duluth where she would assist the Paul R. Tregurtha.

Instead the Mackinaw spent the night moored at the Coast Guard base below the locks.

Her new schedule is reported to include a trip to the Twin Ports this weekend where she will be open for tours.
Click here for a picture from the Soo livecam

Reported by: John Rice, Scott Mclellan and Dan Fletcher




Transport Departs

03/16:
The Canadian Transport departed her winter lay-up dock 18.2 in Port Colborne at approximately noon on Wednesday.

Bow repairs on the Canadian Century are almost complete. Some final welding and a coat of paint and the vessel is expected to depart early next week.

Reported by: Jason Junge




Work on the Martin

03/16:
During the late afternoon hours of March 14th, the forecastle deck was lifted aboard the Rt. Hon Paul J. Martin at Port Weller Dry Docks. With the addition of this component the ship looks structurally complete. During the morning today the forward two thirds of her unloading boom was lifted aboard and set in place to be welded to the aft section.

Reported by: Jeff Cameron

Visit Jeff's Welland Canal Photo Archive for the pictures and more information.





New Members in the Wagenborg Fleet

03/16:
Have you been able to photograph all of the Wagenborg ships that have visited the Great Lakes in recent years? There's more coming this year. Currently the new Voorneborg is in Montreal unloading and the recently commissioned Vaasaborg is due in the coming weeks. Another in the "V" class named Vlieborg is also expected to make an appearance on the lakes soon.

The new "M" class ships Mississippiborg and Michiganborg are apparently engaged in the trans-Atlantic paper trade from Finland to Philadelphia along with their fleet mates Markborg, Munteborg, Marneborg and Morraborg. Perhaps they too will make inland visits to load for overseas this year.

Visit the Welland Canal Photo Archive's "latest pictures section" for pictures of the Veerseborg and Voorneborg being launched in Holland and of the Vaasaborg just prior to her official entry into service for Wagenborg.

Reported by: Jeff Cameron with thanks to Kees de Vries, Nico Jonker and Bart Raaphorst.






Seaway Report

03/16:
Last week the Iroquois lock was refilled for the coming season. The Coast Guard Ship Simcoe began her season on March 13 departing her base in Prescott sailing westbound.




Today in Great Lakes History - March 16

BUFFALO (3) was launched March 16, 1978.

On 16 March 1883, the Port Huron Times announced that the passenger and package freight steamer PICKUP would be built in Marine City and would run on the St. Clair River between Port Huron and Algonac. The machinery from the burned steamer CARRIE H. BLOOD was to be installed in her. In fact, her construction was completed that year and she went into service in September 1883. Her dimensions were 80' x 19' x 7', 137 gt, 107 nt.

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


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




Season Begins

03/15:
The Wilfred Sykes departed Sturgeon Bay sailing to load at Escanaba, MI.

Escanaba is located in northern Lake Michigan and is the only port to load iron ore before the Soo Locks open.

Reported by: the Lake Carriers' Association




Dorothy Ann Update

03/15:
The Dorothy Ann was undergoing sea trials on Lake Erie Tuesday. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay escorted the tug onto the lake. The Dorothy Ann was later seen running at full speed and then conducting maneuverability tests.

The tug is expected to depart Cleveland later today with the barge Pathfinder. Their first trip will be to Lorain, OH.

Reported by: Kevin Rice and Mike Reindel




Barker Ready to Depart

03/15:
The James R. Barker is expected to start the 2000 season on Sunday. Work on the Barker this winter included installation of two highly skewed propellers to increase efficiency and reduce vibration.




Twin Ports Report

03/15:
Life is stirring in the Twin Ports lay-up fleet. A tug or the USCGC Sundew has cut a single track into Fraser Shipyards. Exhaust was seen coming from the stack of the Reserve on March 13.

The Lee A. Tregurtha is now resplendent in a recently applied coat of Interlake's traditional reddish-brown paint.

The Tregurtha also reportedly received a new propeller while in drydock over the winter. The work is expected to increase the speed of the Lee A. allowing the vessel to complete more trips in a given season.

Reported by: Al Miller and Eric Bonow




DMIR Report

03/15:
The DMIR ore docks in Duluth and Superior are expecting a fast start to the season on March 23.

The season for the Duluth dock starts March 23 with Frontenac, Cason J. Callaway and Tadoussac due to load that day.

In Two Harbors, John G. Munson is scheduled to open the season when it arrives at 5 p.m., followed by Edgar B. Speer in 6 p.m. Philip R. Clarke and Presque Isle are due March 24; Edwin H. Gott, March 26; Arthur M. Anderson, March 28 and Roger Blough, March 30.

Reported by: Al Miller and Patrick Clark.




Low Water Forces Even Lighter Loads

03/15:
In a forecast issued Monday, federal weather experts are forecasting a summer drought that is expected to match a dry spell that hit the midwest in 1988. Great Lakes water levels, which are already at a 30-year low, could drop even more.

The low water levels continue to concern masters and operators of Great Lakes vessels. Mike Scheidt, vice-president for marketing at the American Steamship Co. was quoted in Tuesday's Detroit News as saying "It's a fact of life that the next two shipping seasons are going to be bad, I'm not saying I want to see it rain and snow all the time, but it would be nice to make some money in the shipping business."

The lakes usually benefit when accumulated snowmelts in the spring. Normally, the water level rises between 8 - 12 inches but this year the output to the lakes was less than normal. Frank H. Quinn, senior research hydrologist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Ann Arbor told the News that he speculated they would only rise 4 - 6 inches this year.

One vessel due to leave Duluth-Superior this spring expects to start with a draft of 25 feet. That amounts to a loss of cargo tonnage of 8,000 tons per trip from its normal draft of 27 feet, 6 inches.




Fit Out Date Updated

03/15:
The American Republic is now expected to depart lay-up on March 28.

Reported by: Kathy Hance




Today in Great Lakes History - March 15

WESTCLIFFE HALL (2) was launched March 15, 1956.

March 15, 1949 - The Ann Arbor fleet was laid up due to a strike called by the boat crews. The fleet was idled until March 22nd.

On 15 March 1882, GRACE PATTERSON (wooden propeller tug/freighter, 111 tons, built in 1880 at Grand Haven, MI) was carrying lumber and lath when she stranded near Two Rivers Point, WI on Lake Michigan. She caught fire and was totally destroyed. Lifesavers rescued the crew.

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
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Thompson Loads

03/14:
The barge Joseph H. Thompson and tug Joseph H. Thompson Jr. opened Escanaba on March 13 loading taconite for Indiana Harbor. Loading started at 8:30 a.m. eastern time. The Thompson opened the season at Escanaba last year on March 11.

The Wilfred Sykes is scheduled to arrive sometime today.

Click here for an image of the tug and barge taken by Sandy Chapman on Sunday.

Reported by: Rod Burdick, Sandy Chapman and Jim Grill




Testing on the Dorothy Ann

03/14:
The tug Dorothy Ann is expected to head onto Lake Erie today for some type of testing. She will then return to her lay-up dock on the Cuyahoga River and join the barge Pathfinder. The pair are expected to start the 2000 season later this week.




Welland Canal Report

03/14:
Construction of the Rt. Hon Paul J. Martin is progressing quickly. On March 9th, the last piece of her fore peak which incorporates the anchor pockets from the original hull was lifted into place and welding of this and other components is nearing completion. Her anchor winches are currently exposed but once the forecastle deck is installed these will be protected from the outside elements. On the same day the aft third of the unloading boom was re-installed. The forward two thirds of the boom is still on land however will also soon be lifted aboard and re-joined to the aft portion.

On March 10th, the collapsed boom of Port Weller's traveling crane was removed from the deck of Algoeast by a very large mobile crane. Apparently the center portion of the boom is salvageable and will be re-used in between new ends that now have to be built.

The winter fleet in Port Colborne is showing signs of increased activity. Partial crews are aboard most of the ships now getting things ready to sail. The Petite Forte's new upper wheelhouse is nearing completion above lock 8. It will be accessed by the captain via an outside staircase on the starboard side, not through the existing wheelhouse as previously reported.

Cutting of the old J.W. McGiffin hull is progressing quickly. Her sides are now cut down about halfway to the waterline right up to the former location of her #1 hatch. At the rate she is disappearing there will nothing left to distinguish her as a former lake ship by the opening of the new season. The Tarantau which is at the original scrap berth remains untouched.

Photographs of the Tarantau and the McGiffin hull are in the Welland Canal Photo Archive's libraries and photographs of the Welland Canal winter fleet will be posted later this week.

Reported by: Jeff Cameron

Visit Jeff's Welland Canal Photo Archive for the pictures and more information.





Soo Locks Ready for First Visitor

03/14:
The Poe Lock is scheduled to be filled with water on Wednesday morning. The U.S. Coast Guard Ice Breaker Mackinaw will lock through shortly after tests are completed on the lock and gates. The Mackinaw will then head across Lake Superior to Duluth.




Samuel Risley in Georgian Bay

03/14:
The Canadian Coast Guard's Samuel Risley broke out Parry Sound Sunday and was in Midland on Monday. She is expected to be in Owen Sound some time today.

The Jean Parisien is scheduled to sail on March 23 or 24.

Reported by: Vern Sweeting




Catalyst on the Move

03/14:
The Algocatalyst was upbound in the St. Clair River Sunday morning. Yesterday she was docked at Imperial Oil in Sarnia.

Reported by: Jim Luke and Mike Thomas




Taconite Harbor to Begin Operations

03/14:
LTV Steel Mining Company plans to begin filling their ore dock at Taconite Harbor beginning today, March 14. The dock should be full of pellets in time for the 2000 shipping season. Vessels currently scheduled are as follows:

March 25 - Reserve
March 26 - James R. Barker
March 27 - Mesabi Miner
March 28 - Charles M. Beeghly
March 29 - vessel to be named
March 31 - vessel to be named

Reported by: Mike Cleary




Dry-Bulk Trades Down 4.3 Percent in 1999

03/14:
Shipments of dry-bulk cargoes on the Great Lakes totaled 177.6 million net tons in 1999, a decrease of 4.3 percent from 1998 and the first decrease since 1993.

Shipments of iron ore for the steel industry totaled 68.8 million tons, a decrease of 4.9 percent. The Lakes ore trade was plagued by continued high levels of unfair steel imports for most of 1999, but toward the end of the season, domestic steel production did begin to rebound.

The coal trade was virtually unchanged in terms of the bottom line in 1999 - 41.1 million n.t. versus 41.6 in 1998. However, loadings at Lake Erie ports declined by more than 1.2 million tons. This decrease was somewhat offset by a record season at Superior Midwest Energy Terminal (16,213,961 n.t.) and a small but noticeable upturn at KCBX in South Chicago.

The stone trade totaled 38.4 million n.t. in 1999, a decrease of 6.3 percent. This downturn, the result of steel imports and high inventories at the beginning of the season, ended a 5-year string of modern-day highs for the Lakes stone trade.

Salt loadings totaled 7,032,755 n.t., a decrease of 16.5 percent. The cement trade increased slightly, as did grain loadings, but potash shipments fell nearly 25 percent.

The 1999 dry-bulk shipping season stretched 337 days, from February 22, 1999 to January 25, 2000.

Visit the Lake Carriers' Association home page for complete details




More Fit Out Dates

03/14:
In the American Steamship Company (ASC) fleet, the H. Lee White is expected to depart her winter lay-up dock in Superior on March 23. The White will be followed by the American Republic on the 26th and American Mariner a few days later.

There is no update on the status of the Sam Laud at this time. At last report her contract with ASC was under negotiation.

Reported by: Kathy Hance




Sold for Scrap

03/14:
The tanker Empress is reported to have been sold to India for scrapping. The 1971-built, 24,222 dwt tanker visited Montreal last year and was sold for $150 per light displacement tonne.

Reported by: Chris Franckowiak




Today in Great Lakes History - March 14

March 14, 1959 - The ANN ARBOR NO. 6 returned to service as the ARTHUR K. ATKINSON after an extensive re-fit.

In 1880, the harbor tug George Lamont sank with all hands (three) off Pentwater, MI after being overcome by weather during a race with her rival, the harbor tug Gem. The Lamont was the only steamer to disappear with all hands during the many races that took place among steamers during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

On 14 March 1873, The new railroad carferry SAGINAW went into the Port Huron Dry Dock Company's dry dock where her engine was installed along with her shaft and propeller. Workmen had to break up the ice in the dry dock to release the schooner MARY E. PEREW so that work could begin on the SAGINAW. The work was done quickly since SAGINAW was needed at Detroit to fill in for one of the carferries there which had become disabled.

Data from: Max Hanley, Shawn B-K, Joe Barr and the Father Dowling Collection


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




First Arrival in Buffalo

03/13:
The Gemini was the first boat of the season arriving on Thursday night. She unloaded at Mobil and departed on Friday Morning. The tanker was escorted by the Neah Bay and assisted by a Great Lakes Towing tug in and out of port.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski




White Continues Shuttle

03/13:
The Fred R. White Jr. is now shuttling ore from LTV's lower stockpile. This was the site of the former US Steel Central Furnace Works, upriver to the mill.

Crews on the Alpena and Pathfinder are busy getting the vessels ready for the new season. The Pathfinder is scheduled to start the season later this week with the Alpena following early next week.

Reported by: Bill Kloss




Dredging in Holland

03/13:
In Holland, crews have begun to position piping necessary to dredge the Lake Michigan port's outer harbor. The Holland Sentinel recently ran a photograph of King Company employees positioning the pipe on Lake Macatawa. Click here to view the picture.

Reported by: Bob Vande Vusse




Updates

03/13:
All week long we will be bringing you updates throughout the day as vessel depart their winter lay-up docks to start the new season.

If you know of or see a vessel starting the season please e-mail.




Boatnerd Gathering

03/13:
If you haven't been keeping up with the Information Search page, a group of views have asked for an informal meeting of the Boatnerds. This will take place on June 30 at the Soo Locks.

Click here for more information.




Ice Forecast

03/13:
Ice Hazard Bulletin Issued by Environment Canada at 1700 UTC Sunday 12 March 2000.
No ice warning in effect for the next 36 hours.

Lake Ontario... Open water. Fast ice in most of Bay of Quinte and north of Wolfe Island.

Lake Erie... Mostly open water except 3 to 8 tenths rotten thin and medium lake ice within 20 to 25 miles west of Buffalo. A few strips of rotten thin and medium lake ice west of Point Pelee. Fast ice near Buffalo. In Lake St Clair mostly open water.

Lake Huron and Georgian Bay... Consolidated rotten medium lake ice over the southern and western sections of the North Channel and in eastern St Marys River. A very narrow band of 6 tenths thin and medium lake ice near Goderich. Isolated strips of rotten medium lake ice lie in the entrance to the Strait Of Mackinac. In Georgian Bay fast ice right along the northeast coast with a trace to one tenth rotten medium lake ice in the southern section of the bay. Otherwise open water.

Lake Superior... Consolidated thick lake ice in Black Bay and Nipigon Bay and over northern Thunder Bay. A few strips of rotten medium lake ice in western Thunder Bay. 6 to 8 tenths rotten medium lake ice in southwestern Whitefish Bay and 1 to 3 tenths rotten medium lake ice in the eastern section. Open water over the rest of lake superior.

Lake Michigan... Medium and thick fast ice covered the Bays De Noc. four to 8 tenths medium and thick ice covered the northern portion of Green Bay and also the southeastern portion while less than 3 tenths medium and thick ice remained over the balance of the south half. Less than 3 tenths medium and thick ice covered northern Lake Michigan from Naubinway to Garden Island and into Sturgeon Bay. The inlet portion of Little Traverse Bay had 5 to 7 tenths medium ice.

Click here for the St. Lawrence River Forecast.

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

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

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

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

New Lake Ice----recently formed less than 2 inches (5 centimeters) thick.
Thin Lake Ice---2 - 6 inches (5 - 15 centimeters) thick.
Medium Lake Ice- 6 - 12 inches (15 - 30 centimeters) thick.
Thick Lake Ice--12 - 28 inches (30-70 centimeters) thick.
Very Thick Ice--greater than 28 inches (70 centimeters thick).





Today in Great Lakes History - March 13

The keel for the IMPERIAL REDWATER was laid March 13, 1950.

On March 13, 1989 the Rouge Steel Co. announced the sale of its marine operations to Lakes Shipping, Cleveland (Interlake Steamship, mgr.)

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




Escanaba to load Monday

03/12:
The barge Joseph H. Thompson and tug, Joe Jr., will shift to the Escanaba Ore Dock today and will begin loading on Monday. The Wilfred Sykes is due on Tuesday, March 14.

Reported by: Jim Grill




Work in Duluth

03/12:
The silhouette of the Duluth-Superior harbor is changing again as two of its three remaining bridge cranes come down.

A demolition crew last week used explosives to drop one of the two gantry-like bridge cranes owned by Hallett Dock Co. at its dock on the St. Louis River. The bridge crane, built in 1926, was a massive structure that spanned a portion of the dock and rolled back and forth on rails. Its bucket could grab cargo from a ship's hold and dump it at the dockside or run on cables to drop the cargo farther inland on the dock. The crane also could move material by rolling down the dock.

Hallett officials said they no longer use the crane and wanted to demolish it so it would not become a neighborhood nuisance. The demolition crew needed six blasts to finally bring down the structure.

A second bridge crane at the dock is slated for destruction this summer.

The outline of bridge cranes was once a common sight in the Twin Ports, with many of them in place at coal and stone docks. Once the Hallett cranes are gone, the only remaining bridge crane in the Twin Ports will be the one at the Cutler-Laliberte-Magner dock in Superior (visible from U.S. 53/2 near Fraser Shipyards). This crane hasn't unloaded a vessel since the previous Kinsman Independent carried stone there in the mid-80s. However, the crane can still be seen in use transferring stone from the piles left by self-unloaders to other spots on the dock.

Reported by: Al Miller




Steam Up on the Beeghly

03/12:
Steam is up on the Charles M. Beeghly in winter Lay-up at Rouge Steel in Detroit. Smoke was seen coming from her stack Saturday and she is expected to depart some time early this week. The Beeghly is scheduled to load in Escanaba on Thursday.

Reported by: Jim Grill




Today in Great Lakes History - March 12

RUTH HINDMAN (2) was launched March 12, 1910 as a) NORWAY.

G.A. TOMLINSON (2) was launched March 12, 1907 as a) D.O. MILLS.

March 12, 1941 - The CITY OF MIDLAND 41 arrived Ludington on her maiden voyage. She loaded cars of paper at Manitowoc, then picked up some cars of canned milk at Kewaunee. Captain Charles Robertson in command.

On 12 March 1883, the steam barge R. McDONALD was renamed IDA M. TORRENT.

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
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Season Starts in Muskegon

03/11:
The tug Jacklyn M. and barge Integrity were scheduled to arrive at the Lafarge Dock at 9:45am Friday morning. The pair was to unload the remaining cargo after she unloaded part of the cargo in South Chicago.

The tug and barge is the first of the season in Muskegon and the pair also closed last season. If the Jacklyn M. and Integrity remain on schedule, they should have departed Friday evening.

Scott Golin




Opening of the Seaway

03/11:
The icebreaker Martha L. Black has been scheduled to enter the St. Lawrence Seaway on March 17, ten days before its official opening. In addition, a hovercraft based at Trois-Rivières was to proceed her by about a week to begin break the ice in the canal.

Both vessels will have an easy job as the layer of ice is very thin for this time of the year, something never seen in past years.

René Beauchamp




Trader Unloaded

03/11:
The Canadian Trader finished unloading at Redpath Sugar in Toronto. She was returned, on the evening of March 9th, to her berth on the north face of pier 35.

Jim Fitzgerald




Today in Great Lakes History - March 11

The Keel was laid March 11, 1976 for the 660 ft. forward section of the Walter J. McCarthy Jr.

L'AIGLE was launched March 11, 1982 as a) ERRIA PILOT.

March 11, 1904 - The SHENANGO NO. 1 burned at Conneaut. She was a total loss.

Sea trials were conducted on March 11, 1956 on the LACHINEDOC (2)

On 10 March 1881, the propellers MORLEY and A. L. HOPKINS were purchased by the Wabash Railroad Company from the Morley Brothers of Marine City.

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
Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




Pilots Settle Contract

03/10:
The Fairplay Daily News reported yesterday that the pilots on the St. Lawrence River settled contracts negotiations with the Laurentian Pilotage Authority. Fairplay reports that the last group of pilots to sign the new labor agreement were those working on the lower St. Lawrence. This contract is expect to avoid any labor disagreement for the next few years.

Pilots working the Port of Montreal ratified the new contract last year while the pilots working between Montreal and Quebec City approved a new four-year deal earlier this year. The Pilotage Authority reported that all the contracts were reached through regular negotiations. In the contract ships will no longer be charged docking pilot and pilot boat fees unless a ship asks for special assistance.

John Stark




Ferry Begins Service

03/10:
Navigation opened at Bayfield, Wis. March 4th, when the ferry Island Queen opened a path through the ice from LaPointe on Madeline Island to Bayfield, starting regular ferry service between the two ports. Ferry service ended on Jan, 21, 2000, this make the vessel's lay-up one of the shortest in recent years.

Harvey Hadland




Crew Honored

03/10:
Two crew members from the Canadian Provider were honored at the Feb. 27 Upper Lakes Group Annual Winter Meeting. First Mate Bill Sullivan and Captain Wm. Robinson received a Barometer mounted on a plaque with a thank you message for their role in saving a linesman in the Welland Canal.

The linesman fell into the lock while assisting in tying up the Provider. With the Captain's assistance with the bow thruster and Sullivan's quick response in getting the canal blocks in place the worker was successfully rescued.

Captain Gerald Greig




Commodore of Fleet Appointed

03/10:
At the same meeting Captain Gerald Greig, master of the Canadian Miner, was presented with his 35 year service award and was appointed to Commodore of the Fleet for the next two years.

Captain Greig will be presented with the International Ship Masters Association Captain Lewis Luddington award at the blessing of the fleet on March 12th.

International Ship Masters Association




Fit Out Rumors

03/10:
The Indiana Harbor is now expected to fit out March 23 after a contact was recently secured with Ispat for the 2000 season. The delay in a sailing date for the Sam Laud is rumored to be due to the vessel's 25 year lease expiring. She will sail this season as a lease agreement is finalized.




Today in Great Lakes History - March 10

CHARLES E. WILSON was launched March 10, 1973.

The ADAM E. CORNELIUS (1) was renamed b) DETROIT EDISON (1) on March 10, 1948.

FORT HENRY was launched March 10, 1955.

KINSMAN VENTURE was launched March 10, 1906 as a) JOHN SHERWIN (1).

On 10 March 1881, the propellers MORLEY and A. L. HOPKINS were purchased by the Wabash Railroad Company from the Morley Brothers of Marine City.

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


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




Toledo Update

03/09:
Wednesday morning the David Z. Norton was towed from her lay-up berth at the Torco Dock to the shipyard drydock by the tugs Louisiana on the her bow and the Montana on the stern. She will be in drydock for several weeks for her survey and painting.

Painting continues on the Armco as well as changing the company name to "Oglebay Norton Marine" on the other vessels in the fleet.

For the 2000 season the Great Lakes Towing Company has the tugs Illinois, Louisiana and Montana stationed in port.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




More Fit Out Rumors

03/10:
The Indiana Harbor and Sam Laud do not to have fitout dates yet for the 2000 season. The vessels are expected to sail but the Indiana Harbor's fit out is rumored to depend on a contract with Ispat Steel. One explanation is that the American Steamship Company, with their SIU crewed vessels, is having trouble competing against boats found in the Interlake and Oglebay Norton fleets that are crewed by a different union.




Steel Ruling

03/09:
In a blow to the recovering U.S. steel industry, the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled Friday that cold-rolled steel imports from Argentina, Brazil, Japan, Russia, South Africa and Thailand were not a threat to the industry. This ruling means that the United States will not carry out plans to impose punitive duties on more than $590 million worth of cold-rolled steel, used in products ranging from automobiles to household appliances.

Reacting to the ruling U.S. Steel is expected to appeal the tariff rejection after they review the written decision. In a press release issued Monday, officials say the ruling is contrary to the evidence presented to the commission.

USX Corporation vice chairman and U. S. Steel Group president Paul J. Wilhelm, who testified at the Commission's hearing last January, says he is shocked by the 5-to-1 decision against U. S. Steel and the other domestic producers of cold-rolled steel.

"Based on the information presented to the Commission, which documented the increased volume of imports, their negative impact on pricing, and their adverse affects on the financial well-being of the domestic companies, it is just inconceivable that the Commission could determine that these imports had not caused injury," stated Wilhelm. "The Department of Commerce had already determined that these imports were unfairly traded."

Visit the U. S. Steel Group web site for more information.




U.S. Coast Guard Operations

03/09:
On Tuesday U.S. Coast Guard Group Detroit received multiple flare reports in the vicinity of Metro Beach on Lake St. Clair. An Air Station Detroit helicopter was diverted from training and began searching with night vision goggles almost immediately. A disabled jet-ski and the hypothermic operator were found in the search area. He was hoisted and taken for medical treatment, the lucky survivor revealed he had not fired a flare. The rescued man reports that he will soon be selling the jet-ski.

On southern Lake Michigan, the U.S. Coast Guard Station Calumet Harbor responded with their 21-foot rescue boat to a report of five red over Lake Michigan from a reporting source located in Gary, IN. The Station Calumet rescue boat sighted three more flares while being vectored in by the reporting source. An Air Station Traverse-City helicopter searched, as well as the Cook County rescue helicopter but nothing was found. The Coast Guard was expected to continue searching at first light Wednesday.




Ice Breaking Update

03/09:
Operation Taconite continued Tuesday with the Cutter Mackinaw assisting the tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes eastbound through the Straits of Mackinac.




Today in Great Lakes History - March 09

AMOCO ILLINOIS was launched March 9, 1918 as a) WILLIAM P. COWAN.

NOTRE DAME VICTORY (CLIFFS VICTORY) was launched on March 9, 1945, just 42 days after her keel was laid.

WIARTON (2) was launched March 9, 1907 as a) THOMAS LYNCH.

March 9, 1920 - The PERE MARQUETTE 3 sank off Ludington after being crushed by ice.

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


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




First To Depart Duluth

03/08:
Paul R. Tregurtha presently is expected to be the first boat to depart the Twin Ports when navigation resumes this month.

The Tregurtha, laid up at Midwest Energy Terminal, is scheduled to depart March 16 with coal for Marquette. If it departs as expected, the Tregurtha's voyage would mark the ports' earliest startup since 1987. However, local port officials usually consider the first arriving boat to mark the official start to the season.

Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw is expected to arrive in the Twin Ports to break out the Tregurtha. Although the water around the Tregurtha's lay-up berth is open, the vessel will need icebreaking assistance to proceed down the Front Channel and out Superior Entry. Normal traffic through the Duluth ship canal will resume in late March when repairs are completed on the Aerial Lift Bridge.

The Mackinaw's trip to Duluth would make her the first vessel to transit the Soo Locks for the 2000/2001 season. The Mackinaw has spent the winter breaking ice on the lower lakes.

Most other vessels laid up in the Twin Ports are expected to get under way March 23 and 24.

Reported by: Al Miller




Change in Escanaba Opening

03/08:
There has been a change in the opening of Escanaba. The dock is expected to load the first vessel on Tuesday, March 14. The first vessel to load for the new season is expected to be the tug and barge Joseph H. Thompson & Jr. or the Wilfred Sykes.

Reported by: Jim Grill




Oglebay Norton in Toledo

03/08:
Vessels of the Oglebay Norton Co. laid up at Toledo now bear the legend "Oglebay Norton Marine" on their bows. Previously the wording had been "Oglebay Norton Company."

The Earl W. Oglebay was brought from Toledo Shipbuilding back to her lay-up dock Tuesday morning. The David Z. Norton is the next vessel expected to enter the dry dock. Like the Earl W. and Frantz she will under go a hull survey and general maintenance.

The Armco, Joseph H. Frantz and Earl W. Oglebay all have new coats of paint.

The Wolverine is undergoing her third year of a four year program to renew her cargo hold's side sloop plating. Holds 1, 2 and 3 will be completed by fit-out and the No. 4 hold will be completed next year during winter lay-up.

The 1000-footers Columbia Star and Oglebay Norton are expected to depart lay-up on March 23, sailing north for Lake Superior ports. The fleets other vessels are expected to depart lay-up over the next week with the last departure expected to be the Joseph H. Frantz in second week of April.

Reported by: Roger LeLievre and Dave Wobster




Last Storage Load for Redpath

03/08:
The Canadian Trader was moved Tuesday to Redpath Sugar to discharge its storage load of sugar. This will complete the discharge of sugar that was stored in bulkers this winter in Toronto Harbor. Now all 6 ships in the harbour will be available to sail this spring.

Reported by: Jim Fitzgerald




Work on the Lake Michigan Car Ferry

03/08:
Anyone who is interested in a career on the S.S. Badger, the Lake Michigan Car Ferry can view the various positions available on-line and even fill out an application. Visit www.ssbadger.com for details.

Reported by: Max Hanley




Today in Great Lakes History - March 08

EUGENE P. THOMAS was launched March 8, 1930.

March 8, 1910 - A fire from unknown causes destroyed the ANN ARBOR NO. 1.

On 8 March 1882, the tug WINSLOW left Manistee to tow the NORTHERN QUEEN to Marine City for repairs. NORTHERN QUEEN had collided with LAKE ERIE the previous autumn and then sank while trying to enter Manistique harbor. Robert Holland purchased the wreck of NORTHERN QUEEN after that incident.

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


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




Season Opens For Saginaw River

03/07:
Monday evening the tug Mary E. Hannah and her barge arrived at the river's front range lights heading for the Triple Clean LiquiFuels Dock in Essexville.

The Hannah was escorted by the Canadian Cutter Samuel Risley through what the skipper described as significant ice out in the Saginaw Bay.

She is expected to depart this evening after unloading 1.2 million gallons of #6 fuel Oil from Toledo.

The Saginaw River is clear of ice all the way to the docks in Saginaw.

Reported by: Lon Morgan and Dan Maus




White Continues Shuttle

03/07:
Fred R. White Jr. continues her shuttle runs here Cleveland. The White is loading taconite at the Bulk Terminal dock at Cleveland's lakefront and taking it up the Cuyahoga River to the LTV docks.

Reported by: Brian McSweeney




Work on the Speer

03/07:
As the beginning of the shipping season approaches, workers continue the big job of painting Edgar B. Speer at its lay-up berth in Duluth.

The men were on their lunch break when these photos were taken, but their tools and scaffolding help depict the size of the Speer.

Work on the Speer, scaffolding and tools visible on the right.
Close up of the bow.

Reported by: Al Miller




Ice Breaking Update

03/07:
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw assisted the tug Jacklyn M. and barge Integrity eastbound through the Straits of Mackinac on Friday as the cement barge was sailing to Detroit. The Cutter Mackinaw then assisted the tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes westbound through the Straits.

On Sunday the Mackinaw assisted the tug Alice A. eastbound through the Straights.




Three People Overdue In Canoe

03/07:
The U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City responded to request from local authorities and were able to locate the three boys. The boy's canoe had been swamped, but they were on land and safe. Station Portage responded with an ice skiff on trailer in case the boys were required to be extracted. It was later decided to let the Michigan State Police send a ground party to them. The boys were recovered in good condition.




Today in Great Lakes History - March 07

The ALGOSOO suffered a serious fire at her winter mooring on the west wall above Lock 8 at Port Colborne, Ont. on March 7, 1986 when a conveyor belt ignited possibly caused by welding operations in the vicinity. The blaze spread to the stern gutting the aft accommodations.

TEXACO BRAVE (1) was launched March 7, 1929 as a) JOHN IRWIN (1).

On 7 March 1874, the tug JOHN OWEN was launched at the Detroit Dry Dock Company.

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


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




Welland Canal Report

03/06:
The Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin is nearing completion at Port Weller Dry Docks. On Thursday two additional bow components were installed leaving only the fore peak and forecastle deck components left yet to be lifted into place. The name "Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin" appears on both bows however both are as yet incomplete since welds have yet to be made through them.

The transition piece between the new hull and the original stern ended up being about 2 inches wide on both sides so work has been underway recently modifying the stern section by adding additional steel that will meet up with the new hull. Her engines and related machinery have all undergone major overhauls and are now in the process of being re-assembled. She is currently scheduled to be pulled out of the drydock on Saturday, March 25th and to be re-christened on the 29th.

Algoeast's double hull conversion is progressing on schedule. The collapse of the boom of Port Weller Dry Docks' 45-ton traveling crane has not affected the schedule of her conversion. The 130-ton Clyde crane that travels alongside the shallow dock, is capable of reaching right over the Paul Martin to deliver supplies to Algoeast's deck. Port Weller's 55-ton Provincial traveling crane (the one that usually works along the fitout berth) has been assisting in the assembly of CSL's new ship.

The H.M. Griffith's former hull is secured at the fitout berth and is completely stripped. Her anchor pockets, numerous fairleads, hatch cover clamps, winches and even her bow thruster motor have been removed and all have been integrated into the new hull. Walking on her forecastle deck is quite interesting since workers had to cut large holes down through 5 decks in her fore peak to get to her bow thruster motor. The old hull will be towed to Port Colborne early in the shipping season.

In Port Colborne the former hull of J.W. McGiffin is now disappearing quickly. Cutting of the hull has progressed through her #2 bulkhead exposing hold #1. She is cut down to her 14 foot mark from the stern all the way to the former location of bulkhead #2 and this will likely continue right through into her bow section. The hull's lower shell will be filled in and used as a dock by International Marine Salvage for the scrapping of ships yet to come.

Tarantau is still secured stern first at the original scrap berth however yet very little outward cutting has been done yet. It seems that IMS workers are concentrating their efforts on finishing up the McGiffin hull/dock project before beginning on the Tarantau. The old Griffith hull will likely be secured alongside the McGiffin hull/dock in April and the M.A.C. Gagne (formerly CSL's Saguenay - rumored to be next) will likely be secured in front of Tarantau as she disappears through the spring and summer.

With the investment of time and resources International Marine Salvage is putting into their outer harbour scrap yard facility it seems there is truth to the rumors that up to 10 Great Lakes ships are soon going to be ending their careers at Port Colborne. This much activity has not been seen since the 1980s when IMS dismantled 15 vessels. Now may be a good time to take pictures of the steamers in the bulker fleets. Talk is increasing amongst shipping companies that indicates less willingness on their parts to maintain vessels that only operate 4 or 5 months our of 9.

The Canadian Progress, which is wintering at wharf 16 in Port Colborne, is undergoing hull repair on her port bow. The section of hull that usually rubs along the approach walls in the Welland Canal from just behind her bow thruster to Hold #1 is being renewed. New ribs were added and new plate steel is currently being fitted to an area that extends from over her 30 foot mark down to the level of her bow thruster.

The Louis R. Desmarais is wintering at wharf 18.3 and the Canadian Transport is wintering at wharf 18.2 however little outward work is currently underway. The Algobay is secured at wharf 12 and is also undergoing minor repairs. The Sarah Spencer is wintering at wharf 13 (Robin Hood) and now sports a white forecastle. The St. Marys Cement II and III along with the tugs Sea Eagle II and Petite Forte are wintering alongside the east wall above lock 8 and are all undergoing minor repairs also.

The Petite Forte however, has just received a new raised wheelhouse. It is accessible from the existing bridge through an enclosed stairway in what looks to be her old chart room. It is a small wheelhouse maybe big enough to sit down in with a small control panel and is about 15 feet higher than the existing wheelhouse deck. The St. Marys Cement III doesn't ride extremely high when in ballast as her fleet mate St. Marys Cement II does so a large tower type raised wheelhouse like Sea Eagle II's was not required.

The Atlantic Hickory is wintering at wharf 17 and looks pretty much forgotten. She will be getting underway likely the first of second day of the new year likely heading back to the east coast. Her five year contract with Great Lakes Transportation Inc. to push the Sarah Spencer has expired and her owners, J.D. Irving (Atlantic Towing Ltd.), require her services on the east coast. The 1978-built, Secunda Marine Services' tug Tignish Sea is rumored to have been purchased by GLTI and will be modified to push Sarah Spencer. She came off the drydock recently in Halifax and will likely be upbound in the Welland Canal in the first few days of the season destined for Wharf 13 in Port Colborne.

The Welland Canal is scheduled to open at 10:00 on Monday, March 27th with the traditional top hat ceremony set to take place likely aboard Canada Steamship Lines' CSL Niagara at lock 3. The first downbound ship will likely be Sea Eagle II with her barge St. Marys Cement II followed by Petite Forte and St. Marys Cement III.

Photographs of the Port Colborne's winter fleet will be posted on the Welland Canal Photograph Archive site in the coming weeks heading up to the opening of the 2000 season.

Reported by: Jeff Cameron

Visit Jeff's Welland Canal Photo Archive for pictures and more information.





Buffalo Report

03/06:
City engineers and contractors took a ride out to the Buffalo Intake Crib aboard the fire tug Edward M Cotter on March 1. The large round structure is a familiar sight to mariners arriving and departing Buffalo Harbor. The Intake Crib sits at the mouth of the Niagara River along the US-Canada border. It was built to protect the entrance to the city's intake tunnels that draw fresh water for the Ward Pumping Station.

The structure is roughly 80 years old and in need of repairs. Ice, wind and waves have taken their toll by eroding the dock face and structure. The interior is in need of structural repair and renovation. There are still two large steam locomotive boilers inside the building and about 5,000 tons of coal once used for steam heat. At one time four men were stationed there on two week shifts and were resupplied every few days by the city's fire boats.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski




Ferry Problems at Amherst Island

03/06:
The ferry Frontenac II was pressed into service on Thursday, March 2 from its winter berth at Kingston. Traces of asbestos were found in the engine room of the ferry Amherst Islander earlier in the week and Loyalist Township Council demanded she be taken out of service immediately.

Departing Kingston early Thursday for the ten mile trip to Amherst Island, the Frontenac II had to return to Kingston when her after engine began overheating as she entered the ice. Repairs made, she departed again at four o'clock that afternoon, arriving at Millhaven two and a half hours later. The ice encountered on the trip was between four to six inches with open water at the Brothers Islands. The crew then brought the Amherst Islander back to Kingston in the same track where she is now tied up at Barrack St. dock.

The new re-powered Wolfe Islander III has had no ice problems on its Kingston to Wolfe Island run this winter.

Reported by: Brian Johnson




Quick Trip for Ferry

03/06:
The Madeline Island Ferry of the Apostle Islands, WI made its first trip yesterday. The ferry made the trip in about 39 minutes. Normally the first trip is through heavy ice and take a much longer time.

Reported by: Colt Edin




News Reporters wanted

03/06:
We would like to invite anyone interested in reporting from their area to send in reports for this news page when ever they see anything interesting. Reports can be sent by e-mail or by using a form if the sender does not want credit.

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03/06:
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Ice Forecast

03/06:
Ice Hazard Bulletin Issued by Environment Canada at 1700 UTC Sunday 05 March 2000.
No ice warning in effect for the next 36 hours.

Lake Ontario... Over the extreme northeastern portion of Lake Ontario one tenth thin lake ice in strips. Fast ice in Bay of Quinte. Elsewhere open water.

Lake Erie... 9 plus tenths rotten thin and medium lake ice within 15 miles west of Buffalo. 3 to 6 tenths rotten medium lake ice in strips within 10 miles south of long point. open water over the rest of Lake Erie. In addition there is a 10 mile wide area of 6 to 8 tenths rotten medium and thin lake north of Pelee Island and west of Point Pelee. In Lake St Clair 1 to 4 tenths rotten medium lake in strips over the eastern shore and mostly open water over the rest of the lake. Fast ice near Buffalo.

Lake Huron and Georgian Bay... Consolidated medium lake ice over the North Channel and in St Marys River except patchy open water areas over the western section of the river. 9 tenths medium lake ice in Saginaw Bay and in the Strait Of Mackinac. A narrow band of 9 plus tenths medium lake ice near Goderich. in northeast Georgian Bay 4 to 7 tenths mostly medium lake ice. Elsewhere open water.

Lake Superior...Consolidated thick lake ice in Black Bay and Nipigon Bay and over northern and western Thunder Bay and around the Apostle Islands. In eastern Whitefish Bay and right along the eastern shore of Lake Superior 7 to 9 tenths medium and thin lake ice except for fast ice along the eastern and southern shores of Whitefish Bay. right along the southwestern shore of the lake west of The Apostle Islands there is narrow band of 7 to 9 tenths medium and thin lake ice. Open water over the rest of lake superior.

Lake Michigan... The northern portion of Green Bay including the Bay De Nocs was 100 covered with thick fast ice. Green Bay from Whaleback Shoal south to Peshtigo Point was 70 to 100 percent covered with thick to medium ice. The southern third of Green Bay from Peshtigo Point south to Duck Creek was 100 percent covered with thick to medium fast ice. The southern tip of Green Bay was 70 to 90 percent covered with thick ice. Lake Michigan was 50 to 70 percent covered with thick to medium ice from Summer Island south to Detroit Island.

Click here for the St. Lawrence River Forecast.

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

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

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

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

New Lake Ice----recently formed less than 2 inches (5 centimeters) thick.
Thin Lake Ice---2 - 6 inches (5 - 15 centimeters) thick.
Medium Lake Ice- 6 - 12 inches (15 - 30 centimeters) thick.
Thick Lake Ice--12 - 28 inches (30-70 centimeters) thick.
Very Thick Ice--greater than 28 inches (70 centimeters thick).





Today in Great Lakes History

EUGENE J. BUFFINGTON was launched March 6, 1909.

At noon on 6 March 1873, the steam railroad carferry SAGINAW was launched at the Port Huron Dry Dock Co. She did not get off the ways at first and had to be hauled off by the tug KATE MOFFAT. She was built for use between Port Huron and Sarnia.

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


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




Integrity in Detroit

03/05:
On Saturday the barge Integrity and tug Jacklyn M. were unloading cement at the LaFarge dock in Detroit. They were tied up along side the J.A.W. Iglehart

Reported by: Ken Kilbreath




Saltie Renamings and Scrappings

03/05:
Several familiar salties that have transited the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway have been renamed or scrapped, the list include:

Kramatorsk - (Ukraine) - Renamed Kristine
Vulcan - (Malta, owned by Marine Trust Ltd.) - Renamed Volcano
Balaton - (Hungary, went to Toledo in 1996) - Renamed Canmo
Luna Verde - (Manila, Philippines, Fednav Charter) - Renamed Goldeneye
Gulf Star - (Panama, made 1 trip to Detroit and Ludington in 1998) - Renamed Njord
Arktis Vision - (Denmark, Carried an oil rig out of Duluth in 1998) - Renamed Cic Vision
Arktis Faith - (Denmark, Made 1 trip in the lakes in 1999) - Renamed Signet Faith
Bergen Sea - (Norway, regular great lakes visitor) - Renamed Titanas
Consensus Manitou - (Norway, regular lakes visitor) - Renamed Dimitris Y
Bergen Bay - (Norway, regular visitor) - Renamed Tanani
Thor I - (Singapore, regular service to Toronto) - Renamed BNC Thor
Beluga - (Malta, bulker, 23725 tons, 585x74x44, built in 1977 in Buenos Aires, Argentina) - Scrapped in India
Haight - (Bahamas, regular visitor) - Renamed Ocean D
Fatezh - (Ukraine, regular visitor) - Renamed Kate
Las Bolinas - (Panama, regular visitor) - Renamed Stavros

Reported by: Chris Franckowiak




Today in Great Lakes History - March 05

HARRY L. ALLEN was launched March 5, 1910 as a) JOHN B. COWLE (2).

LEADALE (1) was launched March 5, 1910 as a) HARRY YATES (1).

March 5, 1932 - In distress with a broken steering gear off the Ludington harbor, S.S. VIRGINIA entered port under her own power.

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


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




Chi-Cheemaun Fit Out

03/04:
On March 1st, the captain and mates aboard the Chi-Cheemaun returned to work and began servicing life rafts. The engineers have been onboard for a month prior rebuilding the port main engine.

The first dinner cruises out of the Owen Sound harbour will commence on April 22 and have become a very popular events. Regular service will commence between Tobermory and Manitoulin Island on May 5.

Reported by: Kerry Adams




Enterprise Sails

03/04:
The Canadian Enterprise departed Nanticoke Friday sailing for Ashtabula. She will load coal for a return trip to Nantcoke.

Reported by: Dave Swain




Port Colborne Report

03/04:
At International Marine Salvage on Thursday the Tarantau appeared as though is has not been touched by the torch. The vessel was towed there last season for scrapping.

Scrapping is progressing on the former hull of the J.W McGiffin and it does not appear to have much left of it.

There was activity aboard the Algobay and the Canadian Progress had smoke rising from her stack.

The Canadian Transport is still at her winter lay-up dock at Wharf 18-3. She is expected to depart some time on March 13.

Reported by: Tyler Hoar and Jeremy Barber




Thunder Bay Report

03/04:
On Friday the Tadoussac was moved by the tugs Peninsula and George N. Carleton to Pascol Engineering's drydock in Thunder Bay for repairs and inspection.

Feb. 26 the tugs moved the Algocape from the drydock and placed her beside the Algomarine at Pascol's Shearleg Dock. She entered the dock on Jan. 30.

To make room for the Algocape the Algomarine was moved from the drydock on Jan. 30 to the fit out dock after spending 42 days undergoing inspection and repairs.

Reported by: Ron Konkol




Lakes Visitor Adrift

03/04:
Lloyds Shipping Intelligence Service reported Friday that the salty Aptmariner was drifting in the Bay of Biscay with engine problems. A tug from Britain was reported to be on the way to assist the vessel and tow it into St. Nazaire in western France.

Reported by: Jim Fitzgerald




Icebreaking Update

03/04:
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw assisted two tugs and barges through the Straits of Mackinac and Cutter Katmai Bay broke ice in the lower St. Marys River.




Coast Guard Search

03/04:
The U.S. Coast Guard Station St. Joseph sent a rescue boat and Air Station Traverse City sent a HH-65A Dolphin helicopter to search for a possible tail section of a plane seen 1/2 mile off shore reported by someone on shore. The search was suspended after nothing was found and no overdue aircraft had been reported in the area.




Today in Great Lakes History - March 04

CECILIA DESGAGNES departed Sorel, Que. March 4, 1985 bound for Baie Comeau, Que. on her first trip in Desgagnes colors.

March 4, 1904 - William H. LeFleur of the Pere Marquette carferries was promoted to captain at the age of 34. He was the youngest carferry captain on the Great Lakes.

On 4 March 1858, TRENTON (wooden propeller, 134', 240 gt, built in 1854 at Montreal) burned to a total loss while tied to the mill wharf at Picton, Ontario in Lake Ontario. The fire was probably caused by the carpenters who were renovating her.

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


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




Canada Imposes Duties

03/03:
The CBC reports that provisional duties are being imposed on imports of hot-rolled carbon steel plate from six countries after complaints of dumping and unfair subsidies, Canada Customs and Revenue Agency said Wednesday.

The affected countries are Brazil, Finland, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Ukraine.

An investigation began last Oct. 15 after Algoma Steel Inc. of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and Stelco Inc. of Hamilton filed a complaint.

The steel makers alleged that dumping and subsidizing of steel plate are causing harm in the form of reduced market share, lost orders, price erosion, price suppression and declining financial positions.

"Preliminary results of the investigation show that imports were dumped into Canada at prices that were, on average, 53 per cent below normal levels," Canada Customs said.

"It also showed that imports from India, Indonesia and Thailand were subsidized at a rate, on average, of 12 per cent of the selling prices."

Steel plate is used for producing rail cars, oil and gas storage tanks, heavy construction machinery, agricultural equipment, bridges, industrial buildings, high-rise office towers and pressure vessels, and in ship building and repairing.

Dumping occurs when goods are sold to importers in Canada at prices that are less than their selling prices in the exporter's domestic market, or at unprofitable prices.

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal will look into whether the dumped and subsidized imports are harming the Canadian industry, and report within 120 days.

Also, Canada Customs is to its final decision on duties by May 29.

Reported by John Stark




Ice in Southern Lake Ontario

03/03:
Most of the ice has melted from the south shore of Lake Ontario near Rochester. The Genesee River is ice free and Stephan B. Roman is expected to arrive in the next week to off load cement in Rochester.

Reported by: Ron LaDue




Icebreaking Update

03/03:
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw broke out the waters between Cheboygan, MI and Bois Blanc Island known as the South Channel. Captain of The Port Sault Ste Marie reopened the South Channel effective at noon on March 1st.




Record Toll on Canal

03/03:
Vessel traveling between the lower lakes and Lake Superior pass through the Soo Locks at no charge. The story is quite different for vessels passing through the Panama Canal. The canal's administrators told the Reuters News Service in a press release that the U.S. flagged M/V Sisler, paid a record toll of $184,114.80 for passing through the Canal. The 950-foot roll-on roll-off vessel beat the previous record by more than $20,000 when it passed through the waterway on Jan. 20. The amount a vessel pays is based on the weight of the cargo the vessel is carrying. The record for lowest toll is 36 cents which was paid by swimmer Richard Halliburton in 1928.

Reported by: Jim Fitzgerald




Today in Great Lakes History - March 03

The keel was laid on March 3, 1980 for the Columbia Star.

At midnight on 3 March 1880, DAVID SCOVILLE (wooden propeller steam tug/ferry, 42', 37 gc, built in 1875 at Marine City) burned at the Grand Trunk Railway wharf at Sarnia, Ontario. Arson was suspected. No lives were lost.

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


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




New Legislation is a Threat to All Great Lakes Shipping

03/02:
Michigan Sen. Ken Sikkema, who accuses the maritime industry of not doing enough to combat the invasion of foreign species in the Great Lakes, is pushing a bill that would require ballast water on all ships entering Michigan waters to be sterilized. Industry interests say that is not technologically feasible and would all but shut down the shipping industry in the upper lakes, including Lake Superior, according to a story in the March 1 edition of the Duluth News-Tribune.

At stake, critics of the legislation say, is the free movement of 200 million tons of cargo and the prosperity of the steel, automobile and other heavy industries that rely on Great Lakes trade routes to deliver iron ore, coal and other raw materials. Most lake traffic must pass through Michigan waters en route to its destination.

"Obviously, we endorse his goal of stopping the introduction of non-indigenous species," said Glen Nekvasil of the Lake Carriers Association. "But the technology is just not there today."

Vessels take on ballast water to maintain stability during loading and unloading. In the process, aquatic creatures are inadvertently pumped into the tanks, only to be discharged later when the tanks are emptied in foreign ports.

Ballast water filtration technology being tested in the Duluth port doesn't completely eliminate the problem and -- even if it were widely available -- would be cost-prohibitive, industry representatives say.

That poses an immediate problem for the industry. The bill would require vessels sailing state waters to obtain a permit from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, even if they do not intend to discharge ballast water in Lake Michigan. Fines for noncompliance would be up to $25,000 a day.

Steve Fisher, executive director of the American Great Lakes Ports Association in Washington, D.C. told the newspaper that ``This (bill) requires ballast water to be at a quality level that your own home tap water isn't even as clean. Most bottled water sold in grocery stores isn't that clean,'' Fisher said.

The proposed legislation may also be unconstitutional, Fisher said, because it interferes with interstate commerce.

The first of five hearings on the bill was held Friday in Muskegon. A majority -- 21 -- of Michigan's 38-member Senate signed on to the bill as co-authors. Michigan has a Republican-controlled House and a Republican governor, which critics of the bill worry may make passage of the measure more likely.

Reported by: Al Miller




Repairs to Speer

03/02:
Along with painting the hull of the Edgar B. Speer, workers also are replacing a shell plate and repairing framing damaged that occurred as the vessel docked at its winter lay-up berth earlier this year. Workers could be seen Wednesday welding at the damaged area on the Speer's starboard bow.




Future of the Kinsman Independent

03/02:
Owners of the Kinsman Independent acknowledge that 1999 was a difficult year for carrying grain from the Twin Ports to Buffalo, but say they're considering the possibilities of using cement as a backhaul cargo and converting the vessel to a self-unloader, according to a story in the Feb. 29 edition of the Superior (Wis.) Daily Telegram.

"We're hanging in there," said John Eckert, president of Great Lakes Associates Inc. of Cleveland. "We hope to be in business for many years to come."

"One of our problems is we have to return to the Twin Ports empty," he added. "There's a possibility cement can be worked into the return trip."

Eckert told the newspaper that another possibility the company is considering is spending $12 to $14 million to convert the Kinsman Independent to a self-unloader.

Last season was difficult for the company because of high grain prices and low water levels. On its last trip of the season Nov. 29, 1999, the Kinsman Independent departed Superior with 500,000 bushels of wheat aboard. Captain Virgil Hurley said the boat can carry 650,000 bushels, but was restricted because of low water levels in the lakes.

Eckert also said the company was not ruling out the possibility of fitting out the Kinsman Enterprise in the future.




Integrity Continues

03/02:
The tug Jacklyn M. and barge Integrity were expected to depart from Waukegan, IL. at 2200 on Wednesday. She will be heading for Alpena.

Reported by: Robin Greathouse




Activity on Enterprise

03/02:
On Wednesday there was quite a bit of activity on the Canadian Enterprise alongside the west wall at the Nanticoke Generating Station. Her anchors were being hoisted off the wall assisted by a crane from Vic Powell's Crane Service. She was expected to depart later in the day.

Reported by: Dave Otterman




Escanaba Set to Ship First Load

03/02:
The tug and barge Joseph H. Thompson and Jr. are expected to shift to the ore loading dock in Escanaba on Saturday, March 11. She will take on a load of pellets, opening the 2000 Escanaba ore season.

Reported by: Jim Grill




Ice in the Twin Ports

03/02:
A quick and easy spring breakout seems even more likely in the Twin Ports following days of mild weather. The field of ice that had accumulated off Duluth -- a jumble with pieces that appeared to be only about 4-6 inches thick -- has blown down the lake and over to the South Shore off Superior Entry. The water off Duluth is open except for skim ice forming over night. The ship canal is open water, and open water extends from the Midwest Energy Terminal to the turning basin next to the port terminal.

Reported by: Al Miller




New Ferry For Sandusky

03/02:
Like a race from the past glory days of Great Lakes passenger vessel service, two Lake Erie ferry companies are competing to build a bigger faster boat.

Island Express Boatlines of Sandusky, OH. are planning to build a 144-foot 500-passenger catamaran that would compete with the 450-passenger Jet Express III being built by the Put-in-Bay Boat Line Co. of Port Clinton, OH.

Company officials told the Sandusky Register that the Island Rocket III probably won't hit the water until 2002 or 2003, working the Detroit to Sandusky run. The Jet Express III is expected to be ready by the spring of 2001.

On Monday the Erie County commissioners agreed to partner with Island Express Boatlines to apply for a federal grant for the vessel. The Island Rocket III is expected to help the downtown Sandusky economy, tapping Cedar Point's lucrative southern Michigan market carrying passengers at 45-50 mph.

Reported by: Dave Glick




New Separator on Barker

03/02:
EnSolve Biosystems announced last week that it has received U.S. Coast Guard and International Maritime Organization (IMO) certification for its maritime oily water separator. The first commercial unit will be installed on a 1,000-foot James R. Barker. EnSolve's PetroLiminator is the first in a new generation of separators that combine modern biotechnology with physical separation of oil from water.

Maritime oily water separators are installed on cargo, cruise, military and other ships to clean the millions of gallons of bilgewater accumulated every day as part of their ongoing operation. Conventional oily water separators have been blamed for numerous discharges of oil into the marine environment, leading to the pollution of sensitive aquatic areas and large fines to several ship operators. EnSolve's PetroLiminator uses a newly patented biotechnology process to clean oily water and includes a fail-safe monitoring process to ensure that water discharged is cleaner than the regulatory limit of 15 parts per million.

EnSolve's Chairman and CEO, Dr. Jason Caplan, commented that, "U.S. Coast Guard and IMO certification for our PetroLiminator 630 system offers automated reliability to a problem that has plagued ship operators for years. Now, maritime operators can install and operate a system that will work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to clean their bilges. The system will save tens of thousands of dollars per ship each year in disposal and labor costs. Just as importantly, it will provide peace of mind and protect our sensitive marine environment."

Interlake Steamship Company, based in Cleveland, Ohio, purchased the first commercial PetroLiminator system. According to Fleet Superintendent Charles Minton, "The Interlake Steamship Company is extremely excited about the PetroLiminator technology and has committed to purchase and install a unit aboard the 1,000-foot vessel, James R. Barker. Interlake operates in the environmentally sensitive Great Lakes region, so we are very excited to find a reliable, automated oily water separator system that delivers effluent discharge well below the regulatory limit."

Carnival Cruise Lines is currently exploring the PetroLiminator as a viable alternative to existing treatment technologies.

Previously, the PetroLiminator system was successfully tested on the 700-foot cargo ship Cape Lobos. According to Cape Lobos Chief Engineer Greg Baccari, "One of the most impressive features of the PetroLiminator system is its ability to deal effectively with emulsified bilge water. The results of the test were dramatic most of the samples had petroleum hydrocarbon levels less than 1ppm." Emulsified oil, a fine mixture of oil, water and detergents, is common aboard ships and particularly difficult to treat with traditional equipment.

EnSolve's PetroLiminator combines mechanical separation of oil and water with a unique biological chamber that contains millions of naturally occurring bacteria attached to a support structure. These natural bacteria have been isolated from natural environments where the bacteria have evolved to use hydrocarbons (oil) as a food source. EnSolve's scientists use proprietary techniques to select the best performing bacteria for use in a bilge environment.

EnSolve Biosystems is an early stage biotechnology company based in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina. The company has received numerous awards and financial support from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center for the Company's research and development. The company's other products for the maritime market include GF 2010, a bioenzymatic cleaner and degreaser, and EnSorb for the cleanup of oil spills.

EnSolve Biosystems




Former Ship Yard Development

03/02:
A commercial and housing development is being planned on the site of the former American Shipbuilding Co. yard in Lorain, Ohio reports the Akron Beacon Journal. The ship yard shut down in the early 1980s after building many vessels including 1000-footers, at its peak the yard employed 1,700. The developer hopes to build as many as 420 housing units, including condominiums, townhouses and cottages. The newspaper reports the median price of the homes will be between $170,000 and $200,000 with an average size of about 1,800 square feet.




Coast Guard Rescue

03/02:
U.S. Coast Guard Station Charlevoix received a report from an ice fishermen that had fallen through the ice but managed to extract himself on Ironton Lake near Charlevoix, MI. The fisherman was fearful that his two companions might also fall through. Station Charlevoix dispatched an ice skiff to the scene. While enroute the station received a report via 911 that a person had fallen through at the same location. Once on scene, the coxswain located the fishermen attempting to return to shore when one fell in. The ice rescue crew deployed and got approximately halfway to the victim when he pulled himself out and safely walked ashore. All personnel in the fishing party were accounted for and all refused medical treatment.

A helicopter from Air Station Traverse City diverted to the scene and conducted a low level hover search for other fishermen, but none were found.




Marine Photographer

03/02:
Marine photographer Paul Michaels of Flint, MI, passed away on Jan. 11. He was a regular under the bridge at Port Huron for many years and recently has been a volunteer at the Huron Lightship. He leaves his wife Lois and sons Brent and Jon.

Reported by: Skip Gillham




Reward Offered for Missing Vessel

03/02:
The International Maritime Bureau is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to the successful recovery of the chemical tanker Global Mars.

The Panamanian registered tanker departed Port Kelang in Malaysia on Feb. 22 for Haldia in India with 6,000mt of palm oil products. She last reported her position on Feb 23 and since then there has been no contact with the vessel. There is a possibility that the 345-foot vessel may have been hijacked. The fate of her 17 crew - seven from South Korea and 10 from Myanmar is unknown.

The vessel could have changed her name, paint scheme and flag. The vessel's original name, Global Mars is embossed on the bow and stern Any ship, person, port authority, customs or traders with information about the vessel or the cargo are requested to urgently contact the IMB piracy reporting center at: ccskl@imbkl.po.my.

Click here for more information

Reported by: Jim Fitzgerald




Today in Great Lakes History - March 02

March 2, 1938 - Harold Lillie, crewmember of the ANN ARBOR NO. 6, stepped onto the apron as the carferry was approaching and fell into the water and suffered a broken neck.

Data from: Max Hanley


Please e-mail if you would like to contribute a significant event in Great Lakes history




New Name Painted on Stern

03/01:
The new SeawayMax vessel under construction at Port Weller Dry Docks now has her new name on the vessel. Rt. Hon. PAUL J. MARTIN was seen painted on the stern of the former H.M. Griffith. Paul J. Martin was a politician and the father of the present Canadian Minister of Finance.

The new forebody is almost complete and the vessel will be floated out of the dry dock on March 25. The Griffith entered Port Weller Dry Docks on December 24 where the original forebody was cut away. The remaining after section, including engines and accommodations, was fitted to a new hull. Her new dimensions are 740-feet long, 78-feet wide and 48-feet deep. A naming ceremony is expected to take place on March 29.

Reported by: Steven Sliwka, Roger Tottman and Jason Junge




Hamilton Update

03/01:
Vessels in winter lay-up at Hamilton are receiving varying degrees of attention as the new season approaches.

The vessel that appears to be having the most work done is the Algosoo. She has a portable sand blasting unit parked next to her with the lines going into the area around hold number 2. The Algoville and Algowood currently do not appear to be having any work done on them. With the exception of the Algosoo, all others have small cranes assisting with minor projects.

The Canadian Ranger has a conveyor parked next to her. The presence of the conveyor suggests the vessel may load a cargo of clinker or other cargo from Dofasco. None of the lay-up fleet has yet received any paint work.

Reported by: Marc Ouellette




Port Stanley Update

03/01:
Port Stanley harbor on Lake Erie is free of ice. There were flood warnings issued but never materialized due to the low water. There is still ice cover outside of port in Lake Erie.

Reported by: Richard Hill




Crain Failure

03/01:
Port Weller Dry Docks had a crane failure Tuesday night. The St. Catharines Standard reports that the incident occurred about 8 p.m. Monday when a wire came loose from a crane between the two dry docks, dropping its boom onto the Algoeast. No one was injured in the failure and there will be no delay to the two ships currently being worked on.

The only reported damage was to a rail on the Algoeast. The newspaper reported that the crane operator had finished taking a piece of steel out of the ship and was ready to get more when the boom fell about 20-feet.

Reported by: Roger Tottman




Icebreaking Update

03/01:
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw assisted the tug Susan W. Hannah and barge Southdown Conquest through the Straits of Mackinac Monday.




Grain Rumors

03/01:
Recent rumors have Canadian fleet owners working with the Canadian Wheat board to increase freight rates and ship more wheat by the Great Lakes. It is believed that there is very little profit in maintaining bulkers in seaworthy condition when they are utilized such a small portion of the sailing year. If the rumors are true and there is no response, the bulkers could slowly fade out.

Reported by: Jim Fitzgerald




Today in Great Lakes History - March 01

HENRY FORD II was launched March 1, 1924

On 1 March 1881, the steamship JOHN B. LYON was launched at Cleveland for Capt. Frank Perew. She was a four mast, double-decker with the following dimensions: 255' keel, 275' overall, 38' beam, and 20' depth.

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


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




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