Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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* Report News


Sale Completed

03/31:
Grand River Navigation is pleased to announce the purchase of the George A. Sloan, the Myron C. Taylor, and the Calcite II. The three vessels were purchased from USS Great Lakes Fleet in a transaction completed today.

New names for the vessels have not been determined but will be announced as they are renamed.

Grand River Navigation is currently accepting applications for permanent positions aboard Great Lakes self unloaders. For more information please call 517-734-8555 or click here to e-mail (employment inquires Only)

Reported by: Grand River Navigation




LTV rejects Cliffs' bid for idled taconite plant

03/31:
Cleveland Cliffs said March 29 that its bid to purchase LTV's shuttered taconite plant in Hoyt Lakes, Minn., has been rejected.

"We have attempted to exercise our option to acquire the LTV Steel Mining Co. assets,'' Dave Gardner, Cleveland-Cliffs spokesman, told the Duluth News Tribune. "But LTV has decided not to honor that option agreement and has advised us that they are in the process of shopping the property to other interested parties.''

LTV would not comment on the Cliffs statement.

Which other companies may be seeking the taconite mine, processing plant, Lake Superior shipping facility and power plant isn't clear. However, Duluth-based Minnesota Power and other power companies have expressed interest in the facility's 225-megawatt electrical power plant at Taconite Harbor. The coal-fired plant -- considered the taconite facility's biggest asset -- can produce electricity for a city of 100,000.

LTV Steel Mining Co., which employed 1,400, was closed in January by LTV Steel Corp. The company cited difficult steel market conditions, poor pellet quality and a high stripping ratio among reasons for the closure. LTV filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last December and is working on a restructuring plan for its integrated steel unit, which it expects to complete by the end of the month. Northeastern Minnesota economic development leaders are trying to breathe new life into the taconite plant. Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board officials are working on plans to develop a value-added taconite facility at the plant. Value-added products make a higher profit and can include nuggets of 100-percent iron. IRRRB Commissioner John Swift has publicly hinted recently that an announcement might be imminent.

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. is the largest supplier of iron ore products to the North American industry. Shortly after LTV announced it would close the plant, Cliffs gained a first option on the property through Dec. 31, 2000. The option was then extended through the end of this month. Gardner says LTV's move to end the option doesn't prevent Cliffs from expressing continued interest in the plant. "We have made an attempt to acquire the assets,'' Gardner said. "They have decided to get some other offers.''

Reported by: Al Miller




Goderich Opens

03/31:
The 2001 navigation season opened in Goderich Friday with the arrival of the Algobay. Captain James Wilhelm received the traditional top hat in a short ceremony celebrating the first vessel of the year. The Algobay was in port to load a cargo of salt for Valleyfield and Cote St. Catherine. She was expected to depart Friday afternoon.

Reported by: Les Reading and Philip Nash




Duluth-Superior expects first salties on April 3

03/31:
The Port of Duluth-Superior's 2001 St. Lawrence Seaway navigation season is expected to officially open April 3 with the arrival of either the Millenium Raptor or the Goviken.

Millenium Raptor entered the Seaway on March 27 and proceeded to Ashtabula to deliver 18,950 metric tons of mineral sands. Upon arriving in the Twin Ports, the ship will proceed to the Cenex Harvest States grain terminal in Superior to load 18,600 metric tons of spring wheat destined for Tunisia. Built in England in 1982, the 617-foot vessel is registered in the Cayman Islands. Its crew and captain are Russian.

The Goviken entered the Seaway system March 26 with 25,000 metric tons of steel for Hamilton, Ontario. In the Twin Ports, the vessel will to the AGP grain elevator in Duluth to load 23,850 metric tons of spring wheat for Spain. The 729-foot ship was built in 1987 in Yugoslavia. It is registered in the Bahamas and has a Filipino captain and crew.

Last year, the Greek saltie Morias arrived at the Cargill elevator in Duluth to mark the Twin Ports' first full Seaway transit and overseas arrival. The ports' earliest oceangoing vessel arrival since the 1959 opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway occurred on April 1, 1995, with the arrival of the Indian-flag LT Argosy.

Reported by: Al Miller




SPAR downbound

03/31:
The United States Coast Guard's newest vessel, the USCG SPAR, was downbound in the St. Clair River Friday morning. The SPAR is sailing for Kodiak, Alaska where she will be based. The vessel stopped for about two hours at the Coast Guard Station on Belle Isle and then departed about 2:30 p.m.

The SPAR was named in honor of the 11,000 women who served in the United States Coast Guard during World War II. "Semper Paratus - Always Ready," the Coast Guard motto, was condensed to the S.P.A.R. acronym to symbolize the woman’s corps because it reflected their attitude and willingness to contribute to the war effort.

The 225-ft seagoing buoy tender was christened and launched in August.

Reported by: Frank Frisk




Kinston Shipping

03/31:
The shipping season has begun in the Kingston area. The harbor is practically free of ice and has been home to the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Simcoe for several days. She has been working on aids to Navigation in the area.

On March 28 the English River departed Bath but became stuck in ice about 1/2 mile off the dock. She was looking for icebreaking assistance.

On March 30, The Frontenac made its first visit to Picton to load clinker for Essexville Michigan. She anchored off Picton about 1:00 p.m. because the Stephen B. Roman was at the dock and there was a lot of ice. The tugs Performance and Robinson Bay are working on the American lighted Aids to Navigation. The Robinson Bay found there was too much ice around Clayton and only added lighted Buoy 205. She went up to Cape Vincent to try and work there.

At 3:20 p.m. the visibility in the American Narrows was reduced to 1/2 mile and the American Narrows were closed to navigation. According to notice #7 the Montreal Lake Ontario section is mainly open water but with a few areas of ice cover with a broken track. One way navigation is in effect in these areas and daylight only navigation is still in effect until the lighted aids have been established. The Welland Canal is open water except in Port Colborne and eastern Lake Erie.

Reported by: Ron Walsh




St. Lawrence Seaway & River News

03/31:
Lady Panama docked at section B6, Bickerdike Pier of the Port of Montreal Thursday morning not section M6 as originally reported. Section B6 is two docks away from section B8, this section being the farthest one at the western end of port. The Lady Panama is listed under her real name of Cécilia Desgagnés on both the Port of Montreal and Canadian Coast Guard reports. She has been painted with the name Lady Panama for a role in a movie that is being filmed in port.

Entering the Seaway Friday morning was the tug Atlantic Cedar, she had spent the night at section 56N in Montreal. The tug is on her delivery trip to new owners, Purvis Marine of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

Expected to transit the St. Lawrence River for the first time will be the last of the newly built Oshima class of bulkers operated by Fednav, the Federal Hunter. She is expected at Quebec City on Sunday and is loaded with concentrated nickel.

Making her first trip up the Seaway next week under her present name will be the Greek-flag bulker Milo bound for Windsor loaded with fluorspar. She is the former United under which name she visited Great Lakes ports twice last year. She was also a fairly frequent visitor as Alam United and Silver Leader.

Leaving Quebec City early this morning was Oakglen upbound for Trois-Rivières, section 17. Oakglen took the honor to be the first vessel of the year to transit the Seaway downbound on March 28.

As of midnight Thursday, seven days after the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, only seven foreign-flag salties had transited. They were: Dorothea, Goviken, Millenium Raptor, Lake Superior, Lady Hamilton, Malene Sif and Utviken. The Canadian-flag salties were Petrolia Desgagnés and Jade Star.

Reported by: René Beauchamp
Click here to preview René's Seaway Ships 2000




Twin Ports Report

03/31:
Alpena is scheduled to bring the season's first load of cement to the Twin Ports with its scheduled arrival on April 1.

The three early season coal cargoes to seldom-visited Ashland, Wisconsin, may have been cancelled. They are no longer listed on the Midwest Energy Terminal's schedule.

Despite recent gloomy news, taconite keeps flowing out of western Lake Superior. Roger Blough was due into Two Harbors on March 30; Edwin H. Gott is due to load at Two Harbors on March 31; and on April 1 the Oglebay Norton is due at DMIR in Duluth while Presque Isle is due at DMIR in Two Harbors.

Reported by: Al Miller




Marquette Update

03/31:
Friday Marquette's upper harbor was scheduled to have two ships visiting. The Sarah Spencer was due in early in the morning for her second visit of the season and the John Boland was scheduled to arrive later that day. The Boland's visit will be the first visit of the season.

Reported by: Art Pickering




Toronto News

03/31:
The Port Authority tug William Rest was out Friday afternoon for trials. The charter vessels Capt. Mathew Flinders and Enterprise 2000 have already completed their first charters. Work on the new upper deck on the charter vessel Jaguar II continues, as does work on the reconstruction of the tug Glenmont - the new bow plating work began last week.

The Toronto Island Marina tender, the Royal Canadian Yacht Club tender Elsie D. and the water taxi R. J. Jetta have begun service. The tour boats Jubilee Queen and Shipsands were both out this week.

The salty Dorothea departed, and as of this afternoon a salty, thought to be Lady Hamilton, was at anchor in Humber Bay. Spring schedule for the Island ferries begins begins on April 14, with the Thomas Rennie re-entering service.

Work continues on the Empire Sandy where a new dining lounge will replace the old bar lounge, and a new bar lounge is being built farther aft. First charter for the Wayward princess is scheduled for April 21.

The cement carrier Stephen B. Roman left on Thursday for her third trip of the season. The English River departed earlier in the week on her first voyage of the year.

Reported by: Gerry O.




Memorial service scheduled for two fallen Coast Guardsmen

03/31:
A memorial service to honor two Coast Guardsmen who lost their lives while on a routine patrol Friday, March 23, has been scheduled for Sunday, April 1, 2001.

The service will be held at 4 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Lewiston, N.Y. The address for the church is:
First Presbyterian Church
505 Cayuga St.
Lewiston, NY 14092

The Honorable Norman Y. Mineta, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, and Admiral James M. Loy, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, will both attend the ceremony.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Scott Chism and Seaman Chris Ferreby lost their lives when the 22-foot rescue boat they were onboard capsized, tossing them and fellow Coast Guardsmen Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Moss and Petty Officer 3rd Class William Simpson into the frigid waters of Lake Ontario.

A memorial fund has been established by the U.S. Coast Guard Group Buffalo morale committee for the families of two fallen Coast Guardsmen. Those wishing to contribute to the memorial fund may send a check payable to U.S. Coast Guard Group Buffalo Morale Fund to:
Commander
U.S. Coast Guard Group Buffalo
BM2 Chism/Seaman Ferreby Fund
1 Fuhrmann Blvd
Buffalo, NY 14203-3189
Attn: CWO J. Shields




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.

On 31 March 1874, E. H. MILLER (wooden propeller tug, 62', 30 gt) was launched at Chesley A. Wheeler's yard in E. Saginaw, Michigan. The power plant from the 1865 tug JENNIE BELL was installed in her. She was renamed RALPH in 1883 and spent most of her career as a harbor tug in the Alpena area. She was abandoned in 1920.

On 31 March 1890, EDWARD SMITH (wooden propeller, 201', 748 gt) was launched at W. Bay City, Michigan by F. W. Wheeler (hull #67). In 1900, her name was changed to ZILLAH. She lasted until she foundered four miles off Whitefish Point on 29 August 1926.

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


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




Sale Completed

03/30: 6:00 p.m. Update
Grand River Navigation is pleased to announce the purchase of the George A. Sloan, the Myron C. Taylor, and the Calcite II. The three vessels were purchased from USS Great Lakes Fleet in a transaction completed today.

New names for the vessels have not been determined but will be announced as they are renamed.

Grand River Navigation is currently accepting applications for permanent positions aboard Great Lakes self unloaders. For more information please call 517-734-8555 or click here to e-mail (employment inquires Only)

Reported by: Grand River Navigation




Buffalo Departs

03/30:
The Buffalo departed Bay Ship Building at Noon CST heading out to load her first cargo of the season. The Buffalo was the first American Steamship Co. vessel to depart Bay Ship this year.

Buffalo between the Bay View Bridge and the ship canal. Orrin Royce
Buffalo in shipping Canal, stern view. Vic DeLarwelle
Approaching the Coast Guard Station. Orrin Royce
Clearing the piers. Orrin Royce

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle and Orrin Royce




Return Visit for the Spencer

03/30:
The barge Sarah Spencer and tug Jane Ann IV were scheduled to make a return visit to Marquette Thursday evening. The Spencer arrived Wednesday and loaded ore for Algoma Steel in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. She left Marquette before 5:00 p.m. Wednesday for the Soo and was expected to depart the Soo about 9:00 Thursday morning.

It is unknown how many trips the tug and barge will make on this shuttle run. Last season the Canadian Transfer worked this shuttle and recorded over 100 visits during the season.

Reported by: Art Pickering




Miner Heads Downbound

03/30:
Thursday night the Mesabi Miner was entering the St. Clair River down at the Black River in Port Huron. She is carrying a load of coal for the St. Clair Edison power plant coal dock at Recor Point. The Miner is carrying the first load of Coal for the dock in the 2001 shipping season. They were expected to begin unloading shortly before midnight.

Courtney Burton departed her lay-up dock in Toledo Thursday and is expected to load stone in Rogers City, MI. this morning. She will unload the cargo at the old McClouth Yards in Marine City.

Reported by: Duane Upton




First Saltie Upbound

03/30:
The first saltie of the season, the Dorothea, is sailing upbound through the Great Lakes for Burns Harbor. On Thursday afternoon she stopped in western Lake Erie about a half mile from the East Outer Channel. She was expected to remain at anchor until daybreak.




Oglebay Norton visits Muskegon

03/30:
The Oglebay Norton entered Muskegon Thursday afternoon and backed stern first to the B.C. Cobb power plant. This is the first 1000-footer to deliver coal to Muskegon in 2001.

Once in Muskegon Lake, the Norton swung around just off the Mart Dock and backed into the Cobb slip and began unloading into a pile, not the hopper. She was expected to depart about 2:00 a.m. this morning.

Reported by: Dan McCormick and Scott Golin




Cecilia Desgagnes in the Movies

03/30:
Despite her new name of Lady Panama, Cécilia Desgagnés has not been sold as reported yesterday. She is being used for a movie to be titled "The Sum of all Fears" filmed at section M6 in the Old Port of Montreal. Thursday morning, she shifted from section 56E where she spent the winter to section M6.

Reported by: René Beauchamp
Click here to preview René's Seaway Ships 2000




Ice Breaking Update

03/30:
Wednesday the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay conducted one vessel assist and breakout of Fisher Harbor in Georgian Bay, Ontario. The Cutter Mackinaw conducted four vessel assists and performed track maintenance above the locks into Whitefish Bay. Cutter Biscayne Bay assisted one vessel and conducted preventative ice breaking in the St. Marys River. Neah Bay assisted three vessels in the Straits of Mackinac. Katmai Bay conducted preventative ice breaking in the St. Marys River. The Mobile Bay conducted preventative ice breaking in Green Bay, Wisc.




Twin Ports Report

03/30:
The steamer Reserve got under way Thursday, departing its lay-up berth in Fraser Shipyards in Superior. The Reserve was scheduled to load Thursday evening at Taconite Harbor for Lorain, Ohio.

H. Lee White left its lay-up berth in Duluth on Thursday to load taconite pellets at BNSF ore dock in Superior. Walter J. McCarthy Jr. is scheduled to get under way today to load coal at Midwest Energy Terminal. No apparent signs of life, however, aboard the Adam E. Cornelius, which is also laid up in Duluth.

USS Great Lakes Fleet reports that Arthur M. Anderson is scheduled to depart Bay Ship in Sturgeon Bay on Sunday.

Reported by: Al Miller and Eric Holst




Toledo News

03/30:
Thursday the Cuyahoga departed Anderson's "K" Elevator about 2:30 p.m. after loading a grain cargo. The Philip R. Clarke arrived at the A.R.M.S. Dock very late Wednesday evening to unload a salt cargo. She departed around 7:30 a.m. that morning. The tanker Saturn departed from the Sun Oil Dock around about 6:16 a.m.

The Courtney Burton departed from her lay-up berth early Thursday. The small carferry Kayla Marie remains at Toledo Shipyard. Yesterday there were no vessels in either drydock.

The following vessels remain in lay-up at Toledo:
Joseph H. Frantz - Hocking Valley Dock
Armco - CSX # 1 Dock
St. Clair - CSX Ore Dock
Gemini - Lakefront Ore Dock
Middletown - " #3 "
Earl W. Oglebay - " #2 "
Buckeye - " #2 "
Wolverine - Torco Ore Dock

Except for the Buckeye all of the remaining vessels in lay-up at Toledo should be out sailing within the next week or two. The Buckeye is expected to sail around April 20. The next coal boat scheduled for the CSX Dock will be the Buffalo due in Saturday evening. There were no vessels scheduled for the Torco Ore Dock at the time of this report.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Coast Guard Rescues Two

03/30:
Wednesday night the U.S. Coast Guard was called to help on an inland search for two boys lost in Benzonia State Park, MI. An Air Station Traverse City helicopter arrived on scene at 11:27 p.m. After searching the area the two children were found by the helicopter's crew face down in a snow bank 10 feet apart. Night vision goggles and hand-held forward-looking infrared equipment were instrumental in locating the two youths. After being brought aboard the helicopter, both boys began responding to treatment and are now reported to be in good condition.




Cutter Sundew may become museum in Duluth

03/30:
The Duluth Entertainment Convention Center will attempt to acquire the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sundew to join the Stmr. William A. Irvin as a waterfront museum.

The 180-foot Sundew is due to be decommissioned in late 2003. The vessel was built in Duluth in 1944 by Zenith Dredge Co., one of many Coast Guard "180s" built in the Twin Ports as part of the war effort. It has been stationed in Duluth since 1980. Although built as a seagoing icebreaker and buoy tender, the vessel initially was armed with a 3-inch gun during World War II and, during a brief Caribbean deployment in the 1980s, was equipped with .50 caliber machine guns for self-defense.

DECC officials hope the Sundew can join their existing museum boats, the 610-foot ore carrier William A. Irvin and the tug Lake Superior, in Minnesota Slip near the city's Canal Park area.

"I have a real good feeling that this would make a good adjunct to the vessels we already have,'' DECC Attractions Manager Dennis Medjo told the Duluth News Tribune.

No one is expecting any controversy over the Sundew proposal. Several proposals in recent years to locate a U.S. Navy heavy cruiser in Duluth have met with strong opposition from local residents who say the ships would be expensive to maintain and have no connection to the city.

The Sundew already is an unofficial tourist attraction. Thousands of people stop by the vessel each year seeking a tour, said Lt. Cmdr. Beverly Havlik, the Sundew's captain. Last year more than 6,200 people toured the vessel during a visit to Marquette.

Reported by: Al Miller




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.

On 30 March 1917, GERMANIC (wooden propeller passenger/package freight vessel, 184', 1014 gc, built in 1899 at Collingwood, ON) was destroyed by fire at her winter berth at Collingwood, Ontario while she was being prepared for the upcoming season. She was the last wooden ship built at Collingwood.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave 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




CSL Laurentien Floated

03/29:
The CSL Laurentien was expected to be floated from the dry dock at Port Weller Dry Docks Wednesday. The new SeawayMax laker is expected to depart on her first trip by the middle of next week.

Christened in early March, the Laurentien was built by mating an entirely new forebody to the stern of the former Louis R. Desmarais. This same type of conversion took place on the CSL Niagara and the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin.

CSL Laurentien in dry dock. Jamie Kerwin
Aerial view of Port Weller Dry Docks. Roger Tottman
Close up. Roger Tottman

Reported by: Roger Tottman




Anderson Returns

03/29:
The Arthur M. Anderson returned to Bay Ship Building Wednesday afternoon under tow of the Selvick tugs Mary Page and Jimmy L. The tugs met the Anderson about two miles off shore and towed her in through the shipping canal.

The Anderson encountered problems with the steam throttle valve. The ship had departed Bay Ship Tuesday after having been towed into Bay Ship on Monday for a similar problem.

The problem did not show up until the Anderson was running under full power on Lake Michigan and the valve failed again. The Anderson came down the lake under her own power, but was unable to slow enough to maneuver through the canal and two bridges in Sturgeon Bay.

The repairs are expected to take several days and the crew will stay onboard during repairs.

Jimmy L. and Mary Page leave there west side berth heading out. Vic DeLarwelle
Anderson waiting off shore in a light fog. Vic DeLarwelle
Tug Mary Page alongside the Anderson. Orrin Royce
Mary Page towing. Orrin Royce
Mary Page pulls the Anderson through the Michigan St. Bridge. Vic DeLarwelle
Jimmy L. tailing at the Bay View Bridge. Orrin Royce
Mary Page and Anderson at turning Basin by berth 15 . Vic DeLarwelle
At Berth #15. Vic DeLarwelle
Tug Susan L. at Palmer Johson's. Orrin Royce

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle, Orrin Royce and Brian Kloosterman




Unusual Trip for Spencer

03/29:
Early Wednesday morning the barge Sarah Spencer and tug Jane Ann IV arrived in Marquette to take on a load of iron ore for Algoma Steel in the Soo.

The last time the vessel was in Marquette was as the freighter Adam E. Cornelius in the 1980's.

The Art Pickering, Rod Burdick and Jerry Masson




Algowood Transits The Amherstburg Channel

03/29:
Wednesday morning the Algowood transited upbound the Amherstburg Channel rather than waiting for the tug Mary E. Hannah and barge to clear the Livingstone Channel downbound. Only one lighted buoy has been replaced in the Amherstburg Channel and it is located directly across from the Amherstburg Coast Guard Base. All other buoys in the channel are still winter spars and several are either missing, sunk or almost entirely submerged which can make navigation through this area extremely difficult. The Algowood was heading for Zug Island in the Detroit River.

Reported by: Kevin B. Sprague




Saginaw Unloads

03/29:
Wednesday the Saginaw was unloading corn at the grain elevators in Sarnia. The cargo was loaded in Toledo.

According to an article in the Toledo Blade Newspaper, the Saginaw's grain cargo will be used to manufacture ethanol.

Close up of the Saginaw's stern.

Reported by: T. Parker and Jim Hoffman




Top Soo Total Shows Impact Of Water Levels

03/29:
Interlake Steamship's Paul R. Tregurtha carried the most cargo through the Soo Locks last season. The 1,013.5-foot-long Tregurtha moved 3,004,957 net tons of cargo through the locks connecting Lake Superior to the rest of the system. All but three cargos were low-sulfur coal loaded at Superior Midwest Energy Terminal.

The top seasonal total has declined like water levels. In 1999, Oglebay Norton's Oglebay Norton reigned with 3,139,769 n.t. In 1998, the Tregurtha took the Soo crown with 3,219,646 n.t.

The Lake Carriers' Association




Risley Sailing for Port Weller

03/29:
Wednesday afternoon the Canadian Coast Gaurd Ship Samuel Risley departed Thunder Bay sailing downbound for Port Weller Dry Docks. The Risley’s unscheduled trip to be dry docked comes after a hard winter working in severe ice conditions around the lakes. One of the Risley's two shafts has a seal that is leaking.

Her transit to the dry dock is expected to take about four days.

Ron Konkol




St. Lawrence Seaway and River News

03/29:
Groupe Desgagnés recently sold their Cecilia Desgagnes to an unknown overseas buyer, the Cecilia arrived in Montreal for winter lay up on Nov. 9. She was renamed Lady Panama in Montreal Wednesday morning or on Tuesday. Wednesday afternoon crews had her new name painted on her bow and starboard side. Her former name was still painted on her port side, but had been painted out on the stern as well as her former port of registry. Built in 1971 in Finland, she was in the Desgagnés fleet since 1985. From 1980 to 1985, she sailed for the Fednav Group as their second Federal Pioneer and was on the Canadian flag.

Arriving within 10 minutes of each other at the Pointe-aux-Trembles anchorage late Wednesday afternoon were the Utviken and Troll Utviken. The Utviken is sailing for Hamilton and was the vessel that opened the St. Lawrence Seaway last year on March 27.

Early Wednesday morning the first vessel of the season downbound in the Seaway finally cleared the St. Lambert Lock. The Oakglen, loaded with soybean pellets is heading for Quebec City. On Monday, her destination was changed from Trois-Rivières to Quebec City. The second vessel was Algosoo in ballast for Pointe Noire, QC.

Upbound Wednesday morning off Cornwall Island was Millenium Raptor bound for Ashtabula loaded with titanium slag. It is expected she will be the first saltie of the season to transit the Welland Canal.

On March 24 the John B. Aird departed her lay-up dock at the Verreault Shipyard at Les Méchins. She departed for the Iron Ore dock at Sept-Iles to load for Detroit.

Expected this week at Les Méchins will be the Canadian-flag bulk/oil carrier Arctic built at Port Weller in 1978. She has been at Quebec City, Section 51 since March 25.

The Port of Montreal recently released the schedule of passenger vessels expected in Montreal for the 2001 season. Coming on their first visit will be Arcadia on June 10, Cape May Light on July 8, Victoria on Sept. 14, Amsterdam on Sept. 17, Norwegian Sea on Sept. 23 and Silver Whisper on Oct. 5. Two of them will also be going to Great Lakes ports for the first time. Arcadia leaving Montreal on June 11 and Cape May Light on July 9.

Reported by: René Beauchamp
Click here to preview René's Seaway Ships 2000




Twin Ports Report

03/29:
Cason J. Callaway's engine room refurbishing may be nearing completion. Workers had cut a hole in the boat's starboard quarter that was about twice the size of the engine room gangway. In the past couple days, the opening has plated over and the hull is being painted.

The initial flurry of vessels at the Midwest Energy Terminal continued March 28 with Paul R. Tregurtha spending the day loading there. The vessel departed late in the afternoon, to be replaced by Canadian Olympic, which had been anchored out on the lake.

Reported by: Al Miller




Soo Update

03/29:
Wednesday the Soo Locks saw a parade of downbounds vessel returning from loading on Lake Superior ports. Many had opened the locks on Sunday. The barge Great Lakes Trader locked through about 1:40 a.m. sailing from Marquette for an Ohio port. The Oglebay Norton, Presque Isle and Stewart J. Cort passed downbound that afternoon. Today the Mesabi Miner and Columbia Star are expected to pass downbound. The Edgar B. Speer and Canadian Enterprise are expected upbound this morning.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutters Katmai Bay and Biscayne Bay were worked the ice track in St Mary's River, which is now able to accommodate two way traffic. The Cutter Bristol Bay was downbound at Detour in the lower river about 11:15 p.m. The Bristol Bay is en route to Georgian Bay, Ontario on Lake Huron for vessel escort.

Images from the Soo Locks Live Cam
Oglebay Norton in the Poe as the Presque Isle arrives above the locks.
Presque Isle below the locks meeting the supply boat Ojibway.
Cort enters the Poe pushing a large field of ice. The Cort took close to an hour to lock through because of the ice.

Reported by: Jerry Masson




Toledo Update

03/29:
Wednesday the Cuyahoga was removed from the Shipyard drydock around 4:30 p.m. with the tug Louisiana assisting her. The Cuyahoga then proceeded upriver under her own power to load a grain cargo at one of the Anderson grain elevator complexes. Depending on how the grain loading process goes, she will depart Toledo late Thursday afternoon or evening.

The tanker Saturn was in port loading at the Sun Oil Dock.

The Algosteel finished unloading a partial cargo at Anderson's "K" Elevator and then departed for Ashtabula, Ohio to finish the unload.

The Courtney Burton was scheduled to depart her lay-up dock late Wednesday. The Buffalo is the next scheduled coal boat due in at the CSX Dock on Saturday evening. There are no ore boats scheduled for the Torco Ore Dock at the time of this report.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




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, 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




Anderson Departs

03/28:
The Arthur M. Anderson departed Bay Ship and Sturgeon Bay about 5:20 p.m. Tuesday, sailing for Two Harbors for her first load of the season.

After spending a short period at Bay Ship for repair to a steam throttle valve the Anderson is ready to start her 2001 season, upbound on lake Michigan.

Arthur M. Anderson slips way from the Steel face dock unassisted.
Anderson starts her 180 degree turn in turning basin off from berth #15.
Mid turn.
Passing through the Michigan Street Bridge.
Anderson departs flying her fleet flag high off the pilot house.
Deparing the bay off the stern of the Ryerson.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle




Operation Taconite

03/28:
Operation Taconite, the icebreaking operation covering the Straits of Mackinac, St. Marys River and Lake Superior, will see the U. S Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay join the operation. Her assignment will mean four of the U.S. Coast Guard's 140- foot ice-breaking tugs and 290-foot icebreaker Mackinaw will work the heavy areas of ice.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay is expected to break ice in Georgian Bay today. Other Coast Guard vessels working in the area will include the Biscayne Bay, Neah Bay, Mobile Bay and Katmai Bay.

Reported by: Brian Kloosterman and Jerry Masson




1000-footers on the Move

03/28:
The Indiana Harbor was sailing downbound near Courtright, Ontario Tuesday morning. The Harbor is an infrequent visitor to this part of the St. Clair River. The Edwin Gott was upbound north of Sombra and Marine City several hours earlier.
Reported by: Janice Bailey and Duane Upton




Gull Isle Departs

03/28:
Tuesday afternoon the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Gull Isle departed the Amherstburg Coast Guard Base on the Detroit River. The Gull Isle departed downbound the Amherstburg Channel to the East Outer Channel in the western basin of Lake Erie. The ship then turned around and headed back to its dock in Amherstburg. The ship was conducting sea trials and testing equipment before being put back into operation after waiting in winter lay-up since mid December.

Reported by: Kevin B. Sprague




Risley Heading for Dry Dock

03/28:
After a season of working in the extreme winter conditions, the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley is making an unscheduled stop in the dry dock. A leaking shaft seal will have the Risley sailing for Port Weller Dry Docks today from Thunder Bay. The Risley's draft prevents her from entering Pascol Engineering's dry dock in Thunder Bay.

Reported by: Brian Kloosterman< BR>



Twin Ports report

03/28:
Twin Ports boatwatchers got a glimpse of something Tuesday that they hadn't seen for awhile -- vessels anchored on Lake Superior.

Canadian Transport was anchored off Duluth waiting for Mesabi Miner to finish loading at Midwest Energy Terminal while George A. Stinson was anchored off Superior Entry waiting for Stewart J. Cort to complete its load at BNSF ore dock.

USS Great Lakes Fleet was reporting that Arthur M. Anderson, which had to be towed back to Sturgeon Bay for repairs, would depart the shipyard at 5 p.m. March 27 bound for Two Harbors.

Columbia Star was scheduled to make a rare appearance March 27 at the DMIR ore dock in Two Harbors.

Several vessels remain laid up in Duluth and Superior. The next ones scheduled to come out are Walter J. McCarthy Jr., which is due at Midwest Energy Terminal on Friday, and H. Lee White, due at BNSF ore dock on Friday.

Reported by: Al Miller




Marquette Update

03/28:
The barge Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort arrived in Marquette's upper harbor on Sunday after being the first vessel through the Soo Locks earlier that morning. The Trader spent the remainder of the day and a good portion of Monday loading over 32,000 tons of ore bound for Ohio.

Great Lakes Trader becomes the first vessel of the season to load ore in Marquette. City officials presented the tug's Captain a plaque to mark the occasion. City officials did the same last week for the James Barker that was the first vessel of the season to visit Marquette. The Barker arrived with a load of coal for Wisconsin Electric however, it did not take on any ore. No other vessels were scheduled for Monday or Tuesday.

Reported by: Art Pickering




Soo Report

03/28:
Upbound Tuesday afternoon was the steamer Alpena who had loaded cement in her namesake port. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay also passed upbound.

Downbound was the cutter Mackinaw, transiting the upbound course around Stribling Point and Johnson's Point to the Junction Buoy. Also downbound was the John G. Munson. The Katmai Bay started the day working in the lower river on track maintenance. She assited the upbound Paul R. Tregurtha who had difficulty in the ice at Stribling Point. The Katmai Bay assited the 1000-footer up the St. Marys River to the Soo.

Reported by: Jerry Masson




Toledo Update

03/28:
Monday the tanker Saturn was removed from the Toledo Shiprepair drydock and departed Toledo on Tuesday for an unknown destination.

The John J. Boland arrived at the CSX Dock early Tuesday morning and started loading coal at 7:00 a.m. She was the first coal boat of the season and departed late in the afternoon.

The J.A.W. Iglehart arrived at the Lafarge Dock Tuesday from her lay-up dock in Detroit to unload cement. Her scheduled unloading time was around 4 to 5 hours and was expected to depart in the early evening.

The tug James A. Hannah with her barge arrived in the early evening on Tuesday to load cargo at the Sun Oil Dock.

Saginaw finished loading grain at Andersons "K" Elevator and departed around 5:00 p.m. The Algosteel is scheduled to arrive at Andersons "K" Elevator Tuesday evening to unload. Gaelic Tugboat Company tugs will assist her upriver.

The Cuyahoga remains in drydock under going painting and her 5 year survey.

The American Republic has departed her winter lay-up berth at the CSX Dock and is now sailing. The remaining boats in Toledo's lay-up fleet are in various stages of fitting out. As of now the Buckeye will probably be the last boat to enter service around April 19 or 20.

The next scheduled coal boat will be the Buffalo due in Saturday evening. There are no ore boats scheduled for the Torco Ore Dock at the time of this report.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Quebec City News

03/28:
Transport Desgagnés announced Tuesday that the Alcor has been sold for scrap. The vessel made head lines when it was involved in a severe grounding in November, 1999 30 miles downbound Quebec City. The hull was severely fractured and the vessel had to be unloaded to release the bulk carrier from the Cap Brûlé sandbank and towed her to Quebec City. Desgagnés salvaged the freighter and bought it after the operation.

The Alcor has been in lay-up since that time at section 30 of Quebec Harbor.

The Oakglen was expected to open the Great Lakes grain trade in port Tuesday. The classic straight decker will unload a partial grain cargo at Bunge Terminal (Pier 18). The vessel was the first downbound vessel from the Seaway in 2001.

In what appears to be a very unusual calling, a vessel will stop at Quebec City on the 30th, at Pier 50, in order to be sold. The Tara, a 10,100 dwt freighter registered in Venezuela, will likely stay in the harbor until a deal is completed.

Reported by: J. F. Boutin




Heavy Ice

03/28:
Below are images from the southern end of the Welland Canal taken Tuesday.

Heavy ice between Lock 8 and Lake Erie.
Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon in Port Colborne.
McKee Sons at her lay-up dock. Beyond Lock 8, the Lake Erie entrance to the canal, is ice free.

Reported by: T. Parker




Time?

03/28:
Boatwatcher Dave Wobser is compiling a list of sailing times between various Great Lakes ports for reference. When completed the list will be available on this site.

Please e-mail if you can answer any of the sailing times listed below.
Escanaba to Mackinac Bridge
Escanaba to Gary/Chicago
Grand Haven to Mackinac Bridge
Keweenaw to Soo Locks.
Ashtabula to Detroit River Light
Conneaut to Detroit River Light
Lorain to Detroit River Light
Port Huron or Detroit to Mackinac Bridge
Soo Locks or Whitefish Point to Two Harbors.
Escanaba to Chicago/Gary

Thank you for any help you can provide.




Summer employment aboard the Diamond Jack

03/28:
Diamond Jack's River Tours, operators of three passenger vessels in Detroit and Wyandotte have summer employment openings. Many college students are employed each summer aboard the Diamond Jack, Diamond Belle and Diamond Queen for charter and tour sailing's. A MMD is not required as the vessels are under 100 gross tons. Applicants must be a minimum of 18 years of age and drug free. For more information call Steve Carrothers: 313-843-9376.

Visit www.diamondjack.com for more information.




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, Dave Swayze


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




First boats from the lower lakes arrive in the Twin Ports

03/27:
The Stewart J. Cort earned the honor of being the first boat from the lower lakes to arrive in Duluth-Superior for the 2001 navigation season.

The Cort arrived late in the afternoon at the Burlington Northern Santa Fe ore dock in Superior, where it loaded taconite pellets for Bethlehem Steel. This is the second consecutive year that the Cort has opened the interlake shipping season in the Twin Ports.

The Oglebay Norton had been expected to be the season’s first arrival, but the vessel was slowed by ice conditions in the upper St. Marys River and in Whitefish Bay. During the day, the Cort apparently pulled ahead in the open waters of Lake Superior. Other vessels expected to be among the first to arrive from the lower lakes included Mesabi Miner and Canadian Transport, both bound for Midwest Energy Terminal, and George A. Stinson, bound for BNSF ore dock.

Twin Ports shipping actually began March 17 when the James R. Barker departed Superior with 54,400 metric tons of coal bound for Marquette. The Cort’s arrival - being the first vessel from below the Soo -- marks the traditional and “official” start of the Twin Ports shipping season. The port also will celebrate the first vessel to arrive after transiting the full St. Lawrence Seaway.

The outcome of the Twin Ports shipping season will be affected by several important factors:

    TACONITE
    Taconite shipments from Duluth and Superior, as well as Two Harbors and Silver Bay, are expected to fall this season because of continued steel imports sparked by the high value of the U.S. dollar.

    Hibbing Taconite Co. and National Steel Co., both of which ship taconite through the BNSF dock, expect to cut production by a total of 2.8 million tons this year. That's the equivalent of 28,000 of the 100-ton rail cars used by BNSF to carry taconite pellets, according to an article in the March 26 Duluth News Tribune.

    EVTAC, Ispat-Inland and Minntac, all served by the Duluth Missabe & Iron Range Railway, plan to cut production by a total of 1.8 million tons. That equals about 24,000 DM&IR rail cars, the newspaper reported.

    COAL
    Coal shipments from Superior will increase as commercial customers use the fuel as a substitute for high-priced natural gas. Last year, a record 15 million metric tons of coal moved through Superior Midwest Energy Terminal, and terminal president Fred Shusterich told the Duluth News Tribune that the company will “do everything we can to break our record for the eighth consecutive year.''

    FERTILIZER
    Rising natural gas prices will substantially increase inbound shipments of fertilizer to the port, Ron Johnson, Duluth Seaway Port Authority trade development director, told the newspaper.

    Natural gas byproducts are used to make urea and ammonia fertilizers. At current prices, production has been curtailed because natural gas can be sold more profitably for fuel. To meet fertilizer demand, it is being imported from countries where natural gas prices are lower.

    GRAIN
    The outlook for grain exports is uncertain. Last year, 4.4 million metric tons were shipped from the Twin Ports. But with abundant supplies around the world and the possibility of declining demand for feed grain for disease-ravaged herds in Europe, grain shipments could fall this season.

    WATER LEVELS
    Low water levels will force carriers to haul less cargo throughout the Great Lakes, requiring them to make more trips at lower profit.

    Lake Superior's level is 13 inches below its longtime March average. The problem is even worse in lakes Michigan and Huron, both of which are 22 inches below average.

    On 1,000-footers, each inch of forfeited draft represents the loss of 270 tons of cargo. There are few ways to make up the lost revenue. Vessels already sail at their optimal speed, and the cost of running faster would exceed the dollar value of the time gained.


Reported by: Al Miller




Anderson Arrives

03/27:
Early Monday morning the Arthur M. Anderson arrived under tow of fleet mate Edgar B. Speer off the entrance of the Sturgeon Bay shipping Canal. She was towed by the 1000-foot Speer from an area near the Straights of Mackinaw to about three miles East of the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal. She waited in Lake Michigan for two Selvick tugs to tow her into Bay Ship Building . The tug Mary Page, under command of Capt. Jerry Nelson, took the Anderson under tow with Capt. Orrin Royce on the tug Jimmy L. on the stern. Capt. Jim Londo on the tug Susan L. assisted the tow at the dock.

The Anderson will remain at Bay Ship Building for several days while repairs are made. The crew is expected to remain onboard for the short period the ship will be at the yard.

Last week the Anderson developed propulsion problems after departing the shipyard.

Mary Page and Jimmy L. enter into the ship canal from the bay side going to the lake. Vic DeLarwelle
A wave from the pilot house of the Mary Page. Vic DeLarwelle
Tugs heading out to the lake. Vic DeLarwelle
Anderson waiting off shore at the entrance to the canal. Vic DeLarwelle
Anderson under tow by Mary Page entering the canal. Vic DeLarwelle
A group from a tour bus watch the Anderson pass. Vic DeLarwelle
Anderson enters Bay Ship, steel face dock. Vic DeLarwelle
Captain of the Anderson on the bridge wing. Vic DeLarwelle Passing the Sturgeon Bay Coast Guard Station heading out to meet the Anderson. Orrin Royce
The Mary Page takes the Anderson under tow. Orrin Royce
On the stern of the Anderson. Orrin Royce

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle, Orrin Royce and Charles Smith




Soo Update

03/27:
Downbound early Monday morning was Edwin H Gott followed by the Indiana Harbor, James R Barker, Roger Blough, Algosteel and Algonova. Many of the vessels arrived overnight and waited near the locks for a day light transit through the St. Marys River.

In the St. Marys River at Point Au Frenes, the Gott became stopped in ice, slowing all vessels in the lower River. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Katmai Bay assited the vessels after a refueling stop. 1000-footers can have trouble in heavy ice as their large round bows make it difficult to turn in a channel.

About 1:00 a.m. this morning there were three upbound vessels in the system. The Paul R. Tregurtha was approaching the locks followed by the tug Jane Ann IV and barge Sarah Spencer and Canadian Olympic.

The Frontenac was downbound about 20 minutes from the locks followed by the John G. Munson with an eta to locks of 6:00 a.m.

The day of icebreaking ended for the hard working U.S. Coast Guard ships late Monday night as the Katmai Bay arrive at the Soo and tied up at the Carbide Dock. The Mackinaw was docked at Coast Guard base.

Reported by: Jerry Masson and Dave Wobser




St. Lawrence Seaway and River News

03/27:
Leaving Sandy Beach, Gaspé Monday morning was the tug Atlantic Cedar. She is on her delivery trip to Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. for her new owners, Purvis Marine.

Shipping traffic was still slow Monday in the Seaway between Montreal and Beauharnois. Several ships remain tied up since Sunday. The upbound Millenium Raptor got stuck in the ice when leaving the Côte Ste. Catherine lock Sunday morning. One of the vessels delayed is the Oakglen, the first ship downbound in the Seaway this year. She has a cargo of soybeans for Trois-Rivières. Another one is the Algocatalyst that is in ballast and had to tie up at the lower wall of the St. Lambert Lock Sunday afternoon. The Catalyst is going to Hamilton where she will be dry docked.

Sunday at midnight four salties had entered the Seaway since opening day on March 23. Only the first saltie of the season, the Dorothea was on her first visit the Seaway/Great Lakes. Expected to make her first trip will be the tanker Leonid Utesov at the end of next week. Later this week another tanker is expected up the Seaway, the Malene Sif. Her first and only trip so far occurred two years ago when she went to Clarkson in October. This time, after calling at Montreal and a Lake Ontario port, she is scheduled to go to Sarnia so will make her first transit of the Welland Canal.

The Petrolia Desgagnés which delivered a cargo of fuel oil at Morrisburg was going further in the lakes Monday morning. She transited the Iroquois Lock bound for Sarnia about 6:45 a.m.

Other interesting transits in the near future will be the U.S. Coast Guard SPAR, WLB 206, (Juniper class) the newest U.S. Coast Guard Cutter on her delivery trip to Kodiak, Alaska. Another U.S. Cutter is expected to pass through the Seaway. The Woodrush will pass through on her delivery trip to new owners in Ghana for naval service, this according to the Duluth Seaway Port Authority magazine.

Reported by: René Beauchamp
Click here to preview René's Seaway Ships 2000




Dorothea Arrives

03/27:
The Dorothea, the first saltie through the Iroquois Locks this season passed under the International Bridge 1000 Islands, NY. at 11:10 a.m. Monday. She anchored overnight at Crossover Island, navigation is restricted to daylight hours until all the Aids to Navigation are out back into place. This is a popular tourist area of the River and one that is often unpredictable due to current and shoals much less ice.

The Dorothea began passage after the Algowood proceeded and broke much of the ice. The early opening of the Locks did not coincide with the weather and only a few vessels have been able to take advantage of the March 23rd opening.

Reported by: Joan Baldwin




Mobile Bay Breaks out Menominee and Marinette

03/27:
Monday morning the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay arrived and broke ice in the Menominee River to allow the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter SPAR to conduct trials before heading to Kodiak, Alaska. Mobile Bay reported that the ice was thick in places on the Bay as well as near the turning basin in the Menominee River. The Mobile Bay came in as far as the turning basin and then escorted the SPAR out of the river and into the bay. At 4:00 p.m. that afternoon the SPAR was expected to return to her builder's dock at Marinette Marine Co.

Mobile Bay arrives.
Passing through the bridge.
Breaking ice with the William H. Donner in the background.
SPAR departs.
Passing.
Stern view.
Passing the lighthouse.

Reported by: Scott Best




Alpena Departs

03/27:
Monday morning the Alpena departed Lafarge Dock in Saginaw after unloading overnight. The steamer is expected to arrive at the Lafarge plant in her namesake city this evening to load.

Reported by: Brian Ferguson and Todd Shorkey




Nanticoke Arrives

03/27:
The Nanticoke arrive in Windsor, Ont. about 12:40 p.m. Monday afternoon. She is at the ADM Dock on the Detroit River to unload a cargo of grain from Thunder Bay. The Nanticoke reported that she expects to be at the dock about 2 days and will then depart downbound for Halifax.

Reported by: Dave Wobser




Toledo Update

03/27:
The Saginaw arrived at Anderson's "K" Elevator about 7:00 a.m. Monday to load a grain cargo. She will be the first boat in to officially open up the port of Toledo.

The next vessel due in was the Algosteel expected late afternoon or early evening. She will be assisted up river by the Gaelic tug William Hoey. The Algosteel may be bringing in a grain cargo to be offloaded at the A.R.M.S. Dock.

Monday afternoon the Gaelic Tugboat Co. tug Susan Hoey departed the Gaelic yard on the Rouge River in Detroit towing the tug William Hoey.

As of the last CSX Dock update the John J. Boland until sometime this morning. Shortly after 1:00 a.m. the Boland was downbound at the Detroit River Light. She will be the first coal boat of the season.

The tanker Saturn and the Cuyahoga remain in drydock at the Shipyard. Crews are still sandblasting and repainting the Cuyahoga, as well as the 5 year survey taking place.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Help Wanted

03/27:
Grand River Navigation is now accepting applications for permanent positions aboard Great Lakes self-unloaders. We are filling the following positions: O.S., A.B.s, oilers, cooks, engineers, mates and captains. For more information or to receive an application please contact Grand River Navigation at 517-734-8555.




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'.

On 27 March 1871, the small wooden schooner EMMA was taken out in rough weather by the commercial fishermen Charles Ott, Peter Broderick, Jacob Kisinger and John Meicher to begin the fishing season. The vessel capsized at about 2:00 PM, 10 miles southwest of St. Joseph, Michigan and all four men drowned.

C. E. REFERN (wooden schooner, 181', 680 gt) was launched at W. Bay City, Michigan by F. W. Wheeler (hull #65) on 27 March 1890.

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


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




Soo Locks Update

03/26:
The parade of traffic at the Soo Locks continued through Sunday as vessels moved in a near continuous flow through the area once ice in the upper river was broken to accommodate two way traffic.

The locks opened early Sunday morning with the barge Great Lakes Trader passing upbound. Following the barge was the upbound Oglebay Norton at 4:00 a.m. The Norton had to wait for the Mackinaw to break a track wide enough for two way traffic in the upper St. Marys River. With the downbound James R. Barker waiting in the river, there was not enough room in the ice field for the two 1000-footers to pass. Downbound passed the Nanticoke and Philip R Clarke.

Once traffic resumed the upbound parade of boats continued. George A. Stinson was followed by the Stewart J. Cort, Mesabi Miner, Presque Isle, Burns Harbor and the Canadian Transport.

The upbound Burns Harbor reported Sunday evening that two or three large pieces of thick ice broke off the ice field at the turn near Light 26 above locks. The size was about a quarter of a mile wide and drifting into the track cut by the Mackinaw. The next series of downbound vessels were held above Gros Cap until the Mackinaw reopened the downbound track.

The James R. Barker entered the Poe about 9:45 p.m. The buildup of ice caused the 1000-footer to back and flush the ice and then reenter the lock to pass through. Because of deteriorating weather and ice conditions, the James R. Barker tied up below the Poe Lock for the night. The downbound Edwin H. Gott entered the lock about midnight, the Gott is expected to wait with the Barker below the locks. Scheduled to arrive downbound over night is the Indiana Harbor and Algosteel.

Images from Ric Mixter
George A. Stinson.
Cort below the Poe.
Clarke downbound.
Presque Isle.

Reported by: Jerry Masson




Risley Assists Algosteel

03/26:
Sunday morning the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley left her dock in Thunder Bay to assist the Algosteel in departing the Thunder Bay Terminals. Two tugs were used by the Algosteel, the Peninsula from Northern Harbor and Glenada from Thunder Bay Main.

With the extreme cold in the last few days the tracks and harbors had again frozen over and required breaking anew.

The Algosteel had gone into the slip at Thunder Bay Terminals bow first. Consequently she needed to back out clear of the breakwater and turn before sailing downbound. The two tugs assisted her to back out and to turn. The Risley had previously broken out the turning basin.

Once turned the Algosteel, fully loaded, headed out into Lake Superior, the tugs and the Risley returned to their respective berths in Thunder Bay.

Reported by: Paul Beesley




Frontenac Loads

03/26:
The Frontenac departed the BN ore docks in Superior about 4:00 pm on Sunday only to cut across the lake and enter the Duluth harbor. From there it went in to the Port Terminal slip vacated this weekend by the Indiana Harbor.

After docking a crew member reported that while the Frontenac was in winter lay up at Thunder Bay she had the underside of all her hatches sandblasted and repainted. When the hatches were put back on the ship, four of them were put on backwards. After loading in Superior they decided to have the heavy lift crane in Duluth "turn" the four hatches back around. It was expected to only take a few hours.

Reported by: Glenn Blaszkiewicz




Saginaw Departs

03/26:
The Saginaw departed her lay-up dock in Sarnia on Sunday heading downbound for Toledo. She was scheduled to arrive early this morning for an unknown dock.

Reported by: Dave Wobser




Alpena Unloads in Saginaw

03/26:
The steamer Alpena arrived at the Saginaw Front Range lights Sunday morning sailing for the Lafarge Dock in Saginaw. She is expected to depart today. The Alpena's visit was the first of the season by a freighter.

Reported by: Lon Morgan and Todd Shorkey




First Saltie Passes Through Iroquois

03/26:
Sunday the first saltie of the season reached the Iroquois Lock. The Dorothea locked shortly after 11:00 a.m. and gave her next destination as Crossover Island. Once there she will anchor overnight before entering Lake Ontario today. A lake pilot will be standing by. The Dorothea is sailing for Toronto loaded with sugar from Costa Rica.

About 3:15 p.m. the Algosoo entered the lock downbound. She is heading for Pointe Noire, Quebec to load.

About 9:00 a.m. Sunday the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Simcoe docked at the Canadian Coast Guard Station in Prescott, ON. She spent Saturday servicing and placing navigation aids in the river near Brockville, ON. She was scheduled to return to that area shortly after 10:30 a.m. after reloading at the base.

Dorothea approaches the Iroquois Lock. Keith Giles
Entering the lock. Keith Giles
Upbound in the Iroquois Lock. Keith Giles
Simcoe at Prescott. Keith Giles
Algosoo enters the lock. Peter Carter
Close up on name on unloading boom. Peter Carter
Close up of unloading gear. Peter Carter

Reported by: Keith Giles and Peter Carter




Simcoe Passes through Kingston

03/26:
The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Simcoe made a pass through the north channel between Kingston and Wolfe Island on Sunday.

The Wolfe Islander III is now free from her "winter locked" channel on her route between Kingston and Wolfe Island.

The Simcoe reported that she would be placing buoys in the area in the near future.

Reported by: Brian Johnson




Gaelic Returns to Toledo

03/26:
The Gaelic Tugboat Company in Detroit is preparing its Toledo based tugs to return to that port. The Algosteel is due Toledo on Tuesday where it will be assited by the tug William Hoey. The William Hoey will depart Gaelic's Detroit yard on the Rouge River today about 11:00 a.m. arriving at their Toledo yard after 3:30 p.m. The tug Susan Hoey is expected to remain in Detroit about five days to receive a fresh coat of paint.

Reported by: The Gaelic Tug Boat Company




Sturgeon Bay Update

03/26:
Thursday and Friday were very busy days in Sturgeon Bay, the Presque Isle Barge departed to join with the tug Presque Isle in deep water off Sherwood Point. The barge was towed by tugs from Selvick Marine.

As the Selvick tugs returned from assisting the Presque Isle, The Burns Harbor, slipped out of Berth #15 at Bay Ship, heading out to the Bay of Green Bay, heading up bound for her first load of the season.

Waiting for the Burns Harbor to clear the shipping channel, the Arthur M. Anderson slipped out of Berth #2 into the shipping channel and headed for the Bay of Green Bay behind the Burns Harbor. Once in Green Bay, the Burns Harbor took the lead and the Anderson and Presque Isle followed.

On Thursday the Wilfred Sykes was moved from the face of the steel dock to Berth #9 next the American Mariner. This allowed room for the Burns Harbor to be pulled away from the Presque Isle and the Burns Harbor to be placed back at berth #15 and the Presque Isle on the steel face dock.

Friday
Selvick tugs pull Presque Isle away .
Tugs on stern of the Presque Isle.
Selvick tugs return from Sherwood Point after assisting the Presque Isle while the Burns Harbor slips out of Berth #15.
Tugs clear shipping channel as the Burns Harbor slips out.
Stern shot of Burns Harbor.
Aurthur M. Anderson testing the bow thruster while waiting for the Burns to clear.
Looking Aft from the deck of the Herbert C. Jackson as the Anderson Slides out of berth #2.
Looking Forward as the Anderson slides out.

Thursday
Tugs moving the Sykes to Berth #9.
Sykes sliding down steel face on her way to berth #9 .
Sykes at berth #9 next to American Mariner.
Burns Harbor and Presque Isle, awaiting the move.
Presque Isle on face of steel dock (stern of Buffalo shown).

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle




U.S. Coast Guard boat capsizes in Niagara River along Canadian border

03/26:
Two U.S. Coast Guard crewmembers from Station Niagara have died and two are in stable condition after their 22 foot ridged inflatable patrol craft capsized in 4-foot seas Friday night. Three helicopters from the Canadian Coast Guard Trenton Station, U.S. helicopters from Detroit, and another helicopter from the Erie County Sheriff Department began a search after the boat failed to report in her position via radio.

The missing crewmen spent four hours in the 35 degree water before being rescued by the Wilson Fire Department's Marine Unit in their 25 foot Boston Whaler. The Guardsmen were based at the Youngstown, NY station and had been on routine patrol about 3 miles off the Niagara River on Lake Ontario. All four men were wearing the proper safety equipment including thermal suits, life jackets, and flashlights. They managed to fire flares that were not seen but as the rescue crews approached their position around 12:30 a.m. Saturday the emergency flashlights attached to their suits were spotted and the men were then pulled from the water.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of the crewman's families.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski, Ron LaDue, Michael and Sharon Hegarty.




Coast Guard Ends Night Relief for Seaway Pilots

03/26:
The U.S. Coast Guard has done away with night relief, which allows U.S. pilots to change shifts at Iroquois Lock near Waddington, NY. The Agency blames night relief for increased shipping delays, but pilots say the change means they will have a longer ride and be more tired as they guide vessels through the St. Lawrence Seaway, a route known for swift currents and dangerous shoals. For the shipping season that began Friday, the Coast Guard replaced the old policy with a new one that gives pilots a few nights off between the late shifts, said Frank J. Flyntz, director of Great Lakes pilotage for the Coast Guard. When night relief was in use last year, the Coast Guard reported 28 out of 190 night-going vessels navigated by U.S. pilots experienced delays on the St. Lawrence. Vessels navigated by Canadian pilots, who also used night relief, experienced no delays, the Agency said.

St Lawrence Seaway Pilots Association attorney, Mark Ruge calls the Coast Guard's decision a "great disappointment" that puts economics ahead of safety.

The demise of night relief comes as the Coast Guard, shippers and pilots look for ways to reduce fatigue on the St Lawrence. A 1998 study commissioned by the Pilots Association showed that U.S. pilots typically spent 11 hours on the bridge of a ship and occasionally as much as 24 hours.

Shipping industry representatives complained to the Coast Guard that night relief created unacceptable delays and that the Agency should find another way to fight fatigue, including filling pilot vacancies. "We don't want tired pilots on the ships," said Helen A Brohl, executive director of the U.S. Great Lakes Shipping Association, Chicago. On the other hand, Ms. Brohl said, night work is important if goods are to be delivered on time to Great Lake ports.

Residents along the St Lawrence River speak highly of the U.S. Pilots past performance in these waters and feel that many of their delays have been in consideration of fog, wind and other factors which could hinder their safe passage through these waters which are tricky to navigate. Residents feel that pilot shortages and pilot fatigue issues should be primary considerations for the Coast Guard and the St Lawrence Seaway Authority.

Reported by: Joan Baldwin




LCA Warns Of Dangers of Imports Of Iron Ore And Semi-Finished Steel

03/26:
Below is a copy of a letter sent by the Lake Carriers Association to Mr. Brad Botwin, Director, Strategic Analysis Division Bureau of Export Administration.
Dear Mr. Botwin:

The following responds to the request for public comments concerning Initiation of National Security Investigation of Imports of Iron Ore and Semi-Finished Steel.

Lake Carriers' Association (LCA) represents 11 American corporations operating 58 U.S.-Flag vessels exclusively on the Great Lakes. These vessels employ more than 2,200 American mariners and have a replacement value in excess of $4 billion. Prior to 1998, these and vessels operated by other U.S.-Flag Lakes lines carried more than 122 million tons of dry-bulk cargo during a typical navigation season. However, in recent years, dumped foreign steel and low water levels have reduced that "float" to as low as 113.3 million tons in 2000.

The level of imports of iron ore and steel is crucially important to our members. The production of one ton of raw steel at a Great Lakes basin mill requires our vessels to deliver 1.3 tons of taconite pellets (iron ore), ½ ton of fluxstone (a type of limestone used as a purifying agent), plus a quantity of metallurgical or coking coal. One can therefore honestly say that each ton of foreign steel that displaces equivalent domestic production deprives our vessels of two tons of cargo.

With your forbearance, we would like to be a little philosophical in the beginning. There was a time when imports consisted primarily of products that were not available domestically. Then as the western world industrialized, imports expanded to include goods that replicated domestic products, but were desirable because they were perceived to be of better quality, i.e., the famous "better mousetrap." Today, as many American industries and workers are painfully aware, imports often are about one thing and one thing only - cost. On a level playing field, cost is correctly the deciding factor, but we live in a world where subsidies are rampant. Foreign steelmakers have not sold nearly 120 million tons in the United States in the past three years because they are more efficient than their American counterparts, but because they receive massive subsidies, both direct and indirect, from their governments. The results are horrific: 16 American steel companies have filed for protection under the bankruptcy laws since 1998 and 15,000 steelworkers have lost their family-sustaining paychecks. Given that the potential for similar developments in our iron ore industry is very real, it is indeed appropriate that the Department of Commerce is conducting this investigation!

It is also appropriate that this investigation is charged with determining the national security impacts of imports of iron ore and semi-finished steel. It was but 10 short years ago that American troops were engaged in Operation Desert Storm. Their tanks and field artillery … the ro/ro ships and tankers that delivered their supplies and munitions … the guns on their shoulders…. were made of American steel, much of which began as iron ore mined in Minnesota or Michigan. Without a strong domestic iron mining industry and a healthy American steel industry, the United States cannot defend its interests worldwide.

Likewise, the U.S.-Flag Great Lakes fleet cannot exist as we know it without a strong domestic steelmaking industry. Steel production generates roughly 80 percent of the cargos carried in U.S.-Flag lakers. As we explained, one ton of domestically-produced steel generates two tons of cargos for our vessels. We would need but a handful of vessels to carry non-steel-related cargos such as cement, salt and sand.

The U.S. Merchant Marine is often referred to as "America's Fourth Arm of Defense." An authority no less than Colin Powell (then General, now Secretary of State) declared in 1992, "Since I became Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I have come to appreciate first hand why our merchant marine has long been called the nation's fourth arm of defense … The merchant marine and our maritime industry will be vital to our national security for many years to come."

Although the U.S.-Flag Great Lakes fleet cannot venture onto the oceans, it too plays a meaningful role in our nation's national security. As explained, most of the cargos that sustain our industry are related to steel production, and without steel, American has no warships, long-range bombers, mortars…. Second, the merchant mariners who crew our vessels are part of the national pool of professional mariners who crew vessels in the Ready Reserve Force fleet (government-owned ships activated during times of crisis to move material to troops overseas). A number of our mariners participated in Operation Dessert Storm. Third, Great Lakes shipyards build auxiliary vessels for the Navy and Coast Guard, but they and the large number of engineering component manufacturers who supply them would quickly go out of business if there was no sizable Lakes fleet to build and then maintain and modernize.

The loss of domestic iron ore cargos would surely be the downfall of U.S.-Flag shipping on the Great Lakes. You might question this, as the statistics we have provided show our members' vessels also haul significant amounts of coal and stone. However, stone and coal are generally "backhaul cargos." By that we mean a ship brings iron ore to Cleveland or Gary and then carries a stone or coal cargo on the way back to the iron ore ports of Lake Superior. Without iron ore to fill one leg of the voyage, freight rates would increase to the point where the railroads would capture these markets. So as you can see, there would be a calamitous domino effect should foreign iron ore replace American-mined taconite. Similarly, increased imports of dumped slabs of steel would displace American-mined taconite.

Although your investigation focuses on national security impacts, we would remiss if we did not stress that the modal shift that would follow foreign domination of our iron ore market would have serious impacts on the Great Lakes environment. As a 1995 study illustrates, vessels use less fuel to move a ton of cargo and generate fewer emissions in the process than do trains and trucks. To further illustrate our point, recognize that it would take six 100-car unit trains to deliver as much coal (60,000 tons) to a power plant as a 1,000-foot-long laker in just one trip.

One last warning - once the U.S.-Flag lake fleet has disappeared, it will be virtually impossible to rebuild it. Ships are tremendously expensive assets - the replacement cost of a 1,000-footer ordered today is roughly $85 million. The 13 "supercarriers" that are in service now cost anywhere from $44 million to $65 million. Even if freight rates could bear the cost of a massive reconstruction program, it would take shipyards probably a decade to build the 70 large vessels that currently fly the U.S. flag on the Great Lakes.

In summation, LCA urges the government to fully recognize the vital national security role of iron ore and the Great Lakes carriers that haul that product to America's steel mills. We must not allow dumped foreign iron ore and steel to further invade our market and so weaken our nation's ability to defend itself and send thousands of American workers to the unemployment line.

Sincerely,

George J. Ryan
President




Save our Steel Online Petition Drive

03/26:
The crisis in steel will keep at least one laker in lay-up this year. The Elton Hoyt 2nd is not scheduled to sail in 2001, the barge Pathfinder and freighter Kaye E. Barker will not return to service until April 1 and April 11 because of the dumped steel.

Click here to Sign

The petition will be sent to Washington, D.C. to urge our elected officials to help the American Steel Industry. Note: the petition is not asking to ban foreign steel but to end the unfair practice of countries selling their products at prices below the cost of production.




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.

The CITY OF MT. CLEMENS (wooden propeller "rabbit", 106', 132 gt) was launched at the Chabideaux' yard in Mt. Clemens, Michigan on 26 March 1884. She was then towed to Detroit to be fit out. She was built for Chapaton & Lacroix. She lasted until dismantled in 1921.

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




Soo Locks Open

03/25:
Shortly after midnight the Soo Locks opened to commercial traffic for the 2001 season. A large crowd of vessels had gathered awaiting the opening of the locks.

Opening the locks upbound was the barge Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort, the tug and barge arrive Friday night and waited below the Poe Lock. They are heading for Marquette, MI. to load taconite for Ohio.

The first downbound vessel was the Edgar B. Speer. The Speer arrived Saturday about noon escorted by the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Mackinaw. The Speer is carrying a cargo of taconite loaded at the DMIR ore dock in Two Harbors for Gary Indiana.

The next two vessels were both expected to lock through upbound. The Oglebay Norton followed by the George A Stinson. The Nanticoke will then pass downbound.

Waiting in the upper St. Marys River are the Stewart J. Cort and Mesabi Miner. Farther down the St. Marys River is the Presque Isle and Burns Harbor waiting Mud Lake Junction. The Phillip R Clarke will wait near Gros Cap above the locks for passage downbound.

Images from the Soo Locks Live Cam
Mackinaw Locks through downbound Saturday afternoon. The top of the Oglebay Norton can be seen on the right.
George A. Stinson arrives.
Mackinaw arrives above the locks before noon.
Clearing ice for the Speer.
Close up breaking thick ice.
Edgar B. Speer.
Trader docks Friday below the Poe Lock.

Reported by: Jerry Masson, Brian Kloosterman, Philip Nash, Matt Miner, Rod Burdick, Vernon Sondak and Dan Fletcher




Anderson Develops Problem

03/25:
While sailing east bound near the Straits of Mackinaw the Arthur M Anderson developed propulsion problems that require the vessel to return to Bay Ship Building in Strgeon Bay, WI. The Anderson departed the ship yard on Friday.

Her fleet mate, the 1000-foot Edgar B Speer, is expected to tow the Anderson back to the ship yard. Last night she was anchored near Lansing Shoals waiting for the Speer.

Reported by: Brian Kloosterman




USX severs ties with Great Lakes Fleet

03/25:
A business reorganization has been finalized that completely separates USX Corp. from USS Great Lakes Fleet and the Duluth Missabe & Iron Range Railway, according to a news release issued March 23 in Duluth.

As first announced Oct. 4, USX is repurchasing some of its former transportation subsidiaries owned by Transtar Inc. while selling its remaining share of its other former subsidiaries, including Great Lakes Fleet. This marks the first time in a century that USX or its ancestor, United States Steel Corp., has not owned Great Lakes Fleet, which was originally known as the Pittsburgh Steamship Company.

USX spun off its transportation subsidiaries in 1988 when it sold 51 percent ownership in them to the Blackstone Group investment partnership. The numerous shortline railroads, USS Great Lakes Fleet and a barge company had been operated since then by Blackstone's subsidiary, Transtar Inc. of Monroeville, Penn.

Under the arrangement, USX regains control of several shortline railroads around the country that directly serve its steel mills. In return, Blackstone Group forms a new affiliate named Great Lakes Transportation LLC that now owns Great Lakes Fleet, the DMIR, the Pittsburgh & Conneaut Dock Co., and the Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad.

The deal, in effect, gives Blackstone Partners ownership of the entire iron ore transportation chain from the Mesabi Range of northern Minnesota to the lower lakes.

USS Great Lakes Fleet remains under contract to haul a major portion of USX's taconite pellets from Lake Superior to the lower lakes. However, the fleet is expected to undergo a name change in the next year, possibly by dropping the "USS" that dates back to its days as part of U.S. Steel Corp.

Reported by: Al Miller




Risley Busy in Thunder Bay

03/25:
The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley spent all day Friday and Saturday breaking out the various docks in the Thunder Bay area. She also broke out the tracks between the harbors and those leading out into Lake Superior.

On Friday the Risley spent five hours breaking out the Northern harbor to allow the Algosteel to depart. Later in the day she cleared the Mission River for the Nanticoke to leave and the Algonova to arrive. She went up the Mission as far as the MAC Gagnes, the former Saguenay.

Also seen during the Mission was the Wolf River, the former New York News among other names, and the Canadian Transfer.

The Frontenac departed Thunder Bay early Friday morning. Before her departure the Algontario who was rafted outside the Frontenac, was pulled clear by two tugs. Once the Frontenac had cleared the dock the Algontario was resecured.

The U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Mackinaw departed Thunder Bay just after 8:00 a.m.

Before Saturday dawned bright and clear the Nanticoke sailed from the Mission. It was -15 degrees Celsius Friday night in Thunder Bay. All the broken ice refroze, and new ice formed. Saturday morning the unstoppable Risley went back to work in the Thunder Bay area. All the tracks and harbors were broken out once again by the Risley.

The Algosteel left her winter berth at Pascal Shipyard with the assistance of the tugs Peninsula and George M Carleton. Once clear of the North harbor the Algosteel proceeded to the Mission with the two tugs. The Point Valour also joined in to help her berth.

Also in the Northern Harbor are Algorail and Algoway, and the Canadian Navigator in drydock there.

The Risley secured just ahead of the Windoc late Saturday evening to give the grew a well deserved night's rest.

Pictures by Paul Beesley
Algoontario after the Frontenac departed.
Risley's deck crew.
North Harbor Lay-up fleet.
Thunder Bay Terminal.
Wolf River.
Windoc in Thunder Bay.
Risley docks ahead of the Windoc.

Reported by: Paul Beesley and Ron Konkol




First Downbound on the St. Lawrence Seaway

03/25:
The Oakglen passed under the International Bridge between Clayton, NY. and Alexandria Bay, NY. at 7:45 a.m. Saturday heading for Trois-Rivieres. She was the first downbound ship of the season.

About 1:30 p.m. the Oakglen passed through the Iroquois Lock. The Oakglen requested a river pilot be ready at the St. Lambert Lock today.

Oakglen departs the Iroquois Lock. Keith Giles

Reported by: Joan Baldwin and Keith Giles




Petrolia Desgagnes Update

03/25:
Saturday afternoon the Petrolia Desgagnes left the Beauharnois Canal and entered St-Francis Lake. The Desgagnes opened the St. Lawrence Seaway on Friday.

Reported by: Michel Raymond




Jackson Departs Bay Ship

03/25:
Late Saturday evening the Herbert C. Jackson departed her winter lay-up dock at Berth #3 at Bay Ship in Sturgeon Bay, WI. with the Selvick tugs Jimmy L., Susan L., and the Escort II.

As the sun set the Jackson was turned at the basin off Dunlap Reef and headed out toward Sherwood Point.

Jackson prepares to depart with the aid of tugs from Selvick Marine. Vic DeLarwelle
With the wires off, the boarding ladder is brought back on board. Vic DeLarwelle
Adding power to back out of Berth #3. Vic DeLarwelle
In the turning basin by Berth #15. Vic DeLarwelle
Turning to meet other tugs. Vic DeLarwelle
Jackson in ballast starting out. Orrin Royce
Jackson prepares to get underway. Orrin Royce
Pilot house and the Captain. Orrin Royce
Stern view as she departs. Orrin Royce

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle and Orrin Royce




Lee A. Departs

03/25:
Saturday the Lee A. Tregurtha departed her lay-up dock at Rouge Steel on the Rouge River in Detroit. The Lee A. entered lay-up on February 5 after working the late season coal trade on Lake Erie.




Mobile Bay Expected

03/25:
The U. S. Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay is expected to arrive in Menominee, MI. and Marinette, WI. Monday morning to break ice. The ice breaking will allow the new U. S. Coast Guard Cutter SPAR to begin some final testing and then head for her homeport of Kodiak, Alaska. The SPAR is still docked at her builder's dock at Marinette Marine Co.

This operation was delayed more than a week by the search for missing snowmobilers on Green Bay. The ice off the lighthouse appears to be thick, but some open water is appearing up river. Marinette Fuel Dock is expected to receive a few shipments of salt the first weeks of April.

Reported by: Scott Best




Twin Ports report

03/25:
Edwin H. Gott got under way on the afternoon of March 23, departing Duluth about 4:00 p.m. and proceeding to Two Harbors to load.

The DMIR ore dock had the Blough scheduled to follow the same evening, but by late Saturday afternoon, the vessel remained at the Duluth port terminal with a wheeled crane alongside. John G. Munson also was on the ore dock schedule for Saturday, but by late afternoon it was still in Fraser Shipyards. However, both vessels were scheduled to leave their lay-up berths late in the day, with the Blough bound for Two Harbors to load ore for Conneaut and the Munson going to DMIR in Duluth to load for Gary.

Indiana Harbor did get under way March 24, spending the day loading at Midwest Energy Terminal and departing Duluth in late afternoon.

Frontenac was reported as the first Canadian vessel to arrive this season, loading at BNSF ore dock in Superior.

The first vessels from the lower lakes are expected to arrive in the Twin Ports on March 26. Oglebay Norton is expected to be the first, arriving for Midwest Energy Terminal. Mesabi Miner also is expected to arrive for the coal dock. BNSF ore dock is expecting a busy day, with the Stewart J. Cort, Burns Harbor and George A. Stinson all scheduled to arrive.

Reported by: Al Miller




Marquette News

03/25:
The third vessel of the season arrived in Marquette on Wednesday making its second visit of the season. The James Barker made a return visit to Marquette's upper harbor just 4 days after making its first visit. The Barker arrived from Superior, Wisconsin with a load of western coal for the Wisconsin Electric Power Plant located just across from the ore dock.

The Barker had a much easier time on Wednesday entering and maneuvering into the harbor and ore dock area compared to last Sunday. On it's first visit, the Barker had to travel very slowly through large ice floes that were blown in during a snow storm just a week earlier. The Mackinaw arrived in Marquette a day earlier to assist the Barker if call upon. However, the Barker did not require the Mackinaw's assistance. After the Barker departed on Monday, a south wind blew all the ice chunks out of the harbors and away from the Marquette region making the Barker entrance into the harbor a much easier task.

The next vessel due into Marquette is the Great Lakes Trader. The Trader will be the first vessel of the season to take on a load of ore for Ohio. The Trader will arrive in Marquette's upper harbor ore dock about noon today.

Reported by: Art Pickering




Cleveland Update

03/25:
The Fred R. White Jr. remains a regular caller in Cleveland as she works the shuttle run from Lorain, OH. to the LTV Steel mill on the Cuyahoga River. Saturday the White arrived at 4:00 p.m. with a load of taconite for the mill.

Reported by: Rex Cassidy




Welland Canal Update

03/25:
The tug Jane Anne IV arrived Saturday morning and proceeded to the barge Sarah Spencer at the Robin Hood Mill. It is unknown when the Jane Anne departed or where she had gone. The tug spent the winter with the barge and may have departed to fuel.

The Halifax remained below Lock 8 on Saturday. The tug Sea Eagle II and barge St. Mary's Cement II were stopped at Wharf 16 headed upbound. They arrived immediately after Canadian Century that opened the canal at Lock 3. Tug Evans McKeil and barge Salty Dog were at Wharf 12 headed upbound immediately ahead of McKee Sons that is still without its tug in lay-up.

The Canadian Progress had departed overnight or early Saturday morning.

Reported by: Christopher E. H. Wilson




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 en route to Ludington.

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




Soo Locks Ready to Open

03/24: 2:20 p.m. update
Arriving at the Soo Locks shortly before 6:00 p.m. Friday was the barge Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort. The Trader will be the first commercial vessel to pass through the locks when they open at midnight tonight. They are heading for Marquette, MI. to load taconite for Ohio.

The tug and barge were expected to be followed upbound by the Oglebay Norton, George A. Stinson, Stewart J. Cort, Mesabi Miner, Burns Harbor and Presque Isle.

The first downbound vessel will be the Edgar B. Speer. She arrived above the locks shortly after noon escorted by the U.S. Coast Guard Icebreaker Mackinaw. The Mackinaw docked at the West Pier but then had to clear ice along the Center Pier for the Edgar B. Speer.

Following the Speer downbound is the Nanticoke with an e.t.a for the Whitefish Point Lighthouse at 1:35 p.m. The Edwin H. Gott should enter Whitefish Bay about 9:00 a.m. Sunday followed by the Indiana Harbor about 5:00 p.m.

On Friday two U.S. Coast Guard Cutters were working below the locks. Downbound in the St Marys River the cutter Katmai Bay was opening the ice track while the Buckthorn worked Aids to Navigation.

Check back for updates.

Images from the Soo Locks Live Cam
Mackinaw arrives.
Clearing ice for the Speer.
Close up breaking thick ice.
Edgar B. Speer.
Trader docks Friday below the Poe Lock.

Reported by: Jerry Masson, Andy LaBorde, Philip Nash and Dan Fletcher




Welland Canal Opens

03/24:
The Canadian Century officially opened the Welland canal for the 2001 shipping season Friday when it arrived at Lock 3 about 9:20 a.m. The Century was honored in the traditional Top Hat ceremony to recognize the arrival of the first upbound ship.

The Century wintered in Hamilton, Ontario, departing the berth on March 22nd and is proceeding in ballast through the Welland Canal, en route to an upper lakes port.

When launched in 1967 at Port Weller Dry Docks, the Canadian Century was the largest capacity self-unloader on the Great Lakes. The Century has a crew of 28 and is under the command of Captain Kevin Kelly of St. Catharines. Captain Kelly joined Upper Lakes Group in 1978 and has been sailing as Master since 1994. Chief Engineer Daniel Leblanc joined Upper Lakes Group as Second Engineer in 1995 and was promoted to Chief Engineer in 1997. He lives in Drummondville, Quebec.

The ceremony finished with Michel Drolet of the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation declaring the season open and a gun salute by the 10th Field Battery. The open comes fours days earlier than last season.

Following the Century was the tug Sea Eagle II with the barge St. Marys Cement II, the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin and the Jean Parisien. The Parisien departed her winter lay-up dock in Hamilton on Thursday.

Opening the canal downbound was the Oakglen, she arrived Thursday evening at Port Colborne to wait for the opening.

Reported by: John Stark, Howard Whan, Peter Stevens and Al Miller




Canadian Century Refit

03/24:
Next winter the Canadian Century will enter the shipyard where it was built 34 years ago to undergo a mid-life refit. During a speech at Friday's Top Hat Ceremony, Upper Lakes Group President and CEO Marcel Rivard announced that the Century will undergo a $25-million (C) refit at Port Weller Dry Docks.

The refit will be similar to the work the ship yard is completing on the CSL Tadoussac. The bow and stern sections will remain intact, along with most of the main deck. The cargo hold and the rest of the midsection will be replaced with a new, larger cargo hold, a one-belt self-unloading system with a flat tank top.

The Port Weller crews will work from May to December building the new midsection. In December the Century will arrive in Port Weller for its refit and return to service by the spring of 2002. When converted, it will not only carry more cargo, but will improve efficiency through the increased use of technology.

This is an important contract for Port Weller Dry Docks that has remained busy the past few years converting ships in the Canada Steamship Lines fleet and repairs for other fleets. Work on the Canadian Century is the only contract signed for 2001. "It is extremely important because it will maintain the core of our workforce for at least 12 months" Alan Thoms, head of Canadian Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd., told the St. Catharines Standard .

About 400 workers at the shipyard are finishing work on the CSL Laurentien and CSL Tadoussac. For around 200 to 250 of those workers, prefabrication on the new midsection for the Canadian Century will begin in May, the rest will be laid off and have to wait for new contracts, Thoms said.

Reported by: David Bull , Rod Burdick, Howard Whan and John Stark




St. Lawrence Seaway and River News

03/24:
Friday morning the first vessel of the new season started upbound in the Seaway. The Petrolia Desgagnés entered the St. Lambert Lock under poor weather conditions. She passed through a snowstorm that had started on Thursday morning. The Desgagnés will be followed by the saltie Dorothea Friday afternoon. Friday morning there were no other vessels expected up the Seaway Friday and no vessels were expected at the other end of the Seaway at Iroquois.

One ship was reported downbound for Trois-Rivières, the Oakglen, she is not expected before today.

Vessels expected to go up the Seaway today or Sunday are the Atlantic Erie for Nanticoke, Lady Hamilton for Toronto and Lake Superior for Hamilton.

Expected to leave her wintering dock at Section 30 in Quebec City Friday was the ferry Trans-St. Laurent for Rivière-du-Loup. From there she will begin her 39th season on her run to St.Siméon.

The Cartierdoc finally arrived at Les Méchins around noon Thursday.

Reported by: René Beauchamp
Click here to preview René's Seaway Ships 2000




Port Colborne Update

03/24:
Canadian Olympic backed out of Port Colborne at 7:00 a.m. Friday morning and proceeded upbound. The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon was docked in the harbor to offer ice breaking assistance if needed. Ice conditions on the Canadian shore should begin to improve over the next few days as northerly winds push the ice away from the Port Colborne area. Ice leads are opening up, making commercial shipping transits easier.

The Oakglen remained at the Fuel Dock awaiting the opening of the canal that morning. Halifax, which wintered above Lock 8, had backed downbound through the lock and tied up on the west approach wall below the lock. Canadian Progress appeared to be ready to depart. There was no sign of activity on McKee Sons, which wintered without its tug, and no outward activity on the barge Sarah Spencer.

Reported by: Christopher E. H. Wilson




Cort Departs

03/24:
The Stewart J. Cort departed their Milwaukee lay up dock just before 3:00 p.m. Friday. Gone the way of the straight decker's and Hulett unloaders is the old sailor's superstition that a boat never leaves a lay-up dock on a Friday. The economics of the 21st century don't permit fears of bad luck associated with sailing on a Friday. The Cort is sailing upbound for the opening of the Soo Locks.

Pictures by Andy LaBorde
Away from the dock.
Turning up the power as they head for Lake Michigan.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde and Ben Wohlers




Presque Isle and Burns Harbor Depart

03/24:
The tug Presque Isle joined her barge Friday afternoon off Bay Ship in Sturgeon Bay, WI. Selvick tugs took the 975-foot barge to meet the 153-foot tug. The Selvick tugs held the barge in place while the tug Presque Isle secured in the barge's notch. Together the tug and barge measure 1000-feet long.

Also departing the ship yard for the new season Friday was the 1000-foot Burns Harbor.

The tugs William C. and Susan L. guiding the 1000-footers.
Tug Presque Isle at Sherwood Point waiting for the barge.
Close up of the barge's notch.
Tug and barge joined.
Escorted by Selvick tugs.
Burns Harbor at her lay-up dock.
Burns Harbor prepares to depart Bay Ship.

Reported by: Orrin Royce




Twin Ports Report

03/24:
Taconite shipping in the Twin Ports began March 23 with the arrival of the first boats of the season at the DMIR ore dock in Duluth and the BNSF ore dock in Superior.

Philip R. Clarke departed Fraser Shipyards shortly after sunup and pushed through the ice on St. Louis Bay to reach the DMIR dock. After making two early season coal runs to Marquette, the James R. Barker returned to Superior about mid-morning to take the season's first cargo from BNSF.

After loading two early season cargoes aboard the James R. Barker, Midwest Energy Terminal's season hits full stride on March 24, with 10 vessels currently scheduled to load over the next nine days.

Leading the parade is Indiana Harbor, which was scheduled to leave its winter berth sometime Friday and proceed to the coal terminal to load a cargo destined for Nanticoke, Ontario. Indiana Harbor may quickly become a familiar sight there because its first three trips of the season currently are set for that run.

Following in the wake of the Indiana Harbor will be Canadian Transport and Mesabi Miner on March 26; Paul R. Tregurtha, March 27; Canadian Enterprise and Canadian Olympic, March 29; Walter J. McCarthy Jr. and Canadian Navigator, March 30; Indiana Harbor, March 31; and Columbia Star, April 1.

The seldom-visited port of Ashland, Wis., is scheduled to receive a string of interesting early season callers.

As previously noted, Fred R. White Jr. is scheduled to load at Midwest Energy Terminal on April 6 with coal bound for the Excel Energy generating station on Ashland's waterfront. In addition, Courtney Burton is now scheduled to haul coal to the power plant on April 13 and April 23.

In recent years, Ashland has seen only a handful of visitors each season, and they generally were AAA class vessels from USS Great Lakes Fleet. It's certainly unusual for the plant to see this many callers so early in the season. There's been no word locally on whether the trend will continue.

Reported by: Al Miller




Detroit River Traffic

03/24:
Friday was a busy day on the Detroit River as more vessels are sailing for the 2001 season.

The John J. Boland arrived at the Rouge Short Cut at 11:00 a.m. to unload another cargo of coal from Sandusky. She expected to be at the dock for about 12 hours and will head downbound for Sandusky upon departure.

The Canadian Enterprise was downbound passing Belle Isle shortly after 11:00 a.m., she unloaded a cargo of coal at the Lambton Power Station on the St. Clair River and was heading sailing to load at a Lake Erie Port. Fleet mate Canadian Transport was upbound in the river later that afternoon.

The George A. Stinson was upbound Friday morning followed a few hours behind by the Mesabi Miner. Both of the 1000-footers spent the winter at lay-up in Toledo.

Image from the WDIV Live Cam
Enterprise passes Detroit.

Reported by: Marc Vander Meulen and Philip Nash




Toledo Update

03/24:
Crews are working fast on the Cuyahoga in the dry dock at Toledo Shiprepair. Thursday night crews were sandblasting her hull and repainted it. She will look very nice when she departs the dry dock.

The CSX Coal Dock has listed their loading schedule into April. The first vessel to load for the 2001 season will be the John. J. Boland on Monday morning. The McKee Sons will then load on March 31 and the Boland is expected to make a return trip that evening. April 1 will see the John B. Aird and Charles M. Beeghly load followed by the CSL Niagara on April 2. On April 4 the Algomarine and Amelia Desgagnés are scheduled to load.

There were no boats scheduled for the Torco Ore Dock at the time of this report.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Seaway Radio Message

03/24:
This is the first radio message for the opening of the 2001 navigation season.

Montreal-Lake Ontario Section
The Montreal-Lake Ontario section will open to navigation March 23 at 0800 hours.

In general the navigation channel is covered with broken ice, except for Lake St Louis that is mainly open water with floating ice. An ice cover with a broken track exists on Lake St Francis and Lake St Lawrence. The channel is open water from Hamilton Island to Snell and from Wilson Hill to above the American Narrows. Moderate ice cover exists from above the American Narrows to 5 kilometers West of Tibbetts Point.

Navigation will be restricted to daylight hours until the commissioning of lighted aids has been completed. Mariners are warned to exercise extreme caution in the use of winter markers as the position of the markers may have been affected by ice. Further information is available from the appropriate traffic control centers.

Icebreaker assistance is available in the Beauharnois Canal and Lake St Francis.

It is extremely important that ships transiting through ice covered areas and around the ice booms in the Beauharnois canal proceed at the slowest safe speed in order not to disturb the ice fields.

The Prescott-Ogdensburg boom has a section 335m (1100 feet) opened for navigation and is marked with quick flashing red and green buoys. Because of ongoing work in this area, keep to the north of the channel. The Galop ice boom has been removed from the channel.

Welland Canal
The Welland Canal will open to navigation March 23 at 0800 hours.

Both sides of the flight locks will be in operation. The long level between lock 7 and lock 8 is ice covered. Heavy ice conditions exist in Port Colborne harbor and in the eastern end of Lake Erie. Icebreaker assistance will be available.

Because of the ice conditions it is anticipated that delays will occur.




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.

On 24 March 1876, CITY OF SANDUSKY (wooden side-wheel passenger/package freight vessel, 171', 608 gt, built in 1866 at Sandusky, OH,) burned and sank in the harbor at Port Stanley, Ontario.

On 24 March 1876, MINNIE CORLETT (wooden scow-schooner, 107 gt, built before 1866) was sailing light from Chicago to Two Rivers, Wisconsin on Lake Michigan when she stranded and then sank. No lives were lost.

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


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




Trader Arrives at Soo

03/23: 5:45 p.m. update
Arriving at the Soo Locks shortly before 6:00 p.m. Friday was the barge Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort. She was expected to be followed by the Oglebay Norton, arriving on Friday night. The third vessel in the line up could be the George A. Stinson. Friday morning the Stinson was upbound in the Detroit River followed by the Mesabi Miner.

The vessels will wait until midnight March 25 for the opening of the Poe Lock to commercial traffic.

Reported by: Jerry Masson




Welland Canal Opens

03/23: 10:30 a.m. update
The Canadian Century offically opened the Welland canal for the 2001 shipping season today when it arrived at Lock 3 about 9:20 a.m. The Century was honored in the traditional Top Hat ceremony to recognize the arrival of the first upbound ship.

Following the Century is the tug Sea Eagle II, the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin and the Jean Parisien. Downbound there was only one ship in the canal, the Oakglen who arrived yesterday evening at Port Colborne to wait for the opening.

Reported by: John Stark and Howard Whan




Speer opens Lake Superior taconite trade in Two Harbors

03/23:
Edgar B. Speer opened the Lake Superior taconite trade for 2001 when it departed its lay-up berth in Duluth on the evening of March 21 and proceeded to Two Harbors to begin loading at the DMIR ore dock. The Speer was expected to complete its load on the afternoon of March 22 and start down the lakes.

Duluth-Superior will see even more vessel traffic on March 23. Philip R. Clarke is expected to back out of Fraser Shipyards and proceed to the DMIR ore dock to load. Edwin H. Gott is scheduled to depart the Duluth port terminal in the afternoon and arrive at the DMIR ore dock in Two Harbors at 7 p.m., followed three hours later by Roger Blough, also departing from the port terminal.

Vessels moving on March 24 are expected to include Indiana Harbor, departing lay-up to load at Midwest Energy Terminal, and John G. Munson, leaving Fraser Shipyards for the DMIR ore dock.

Reported by: Al Miller




Risley Reaches Thunder Bay

03/23:
Late Thursday afternoon the Canadian Coast Guard Icebreaker Samuel Risley arrived in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

A week ago she was working in the Port Colborne and eastern Lake Erie area assisting shipping as it began the 2001 season. Her first escort was the Canadian Enterprise.

The Enterprise had to back out of her winter berth in Port Colborne, back under bridge 21 and continue backing out into the lake before she could turn. Ice conditions just off Port Colborne were very difficult and the Enterprise needed assistance from both the Risley and the Neah Bay to make her turn and steam clear of the ice field.

Following this the Risley sailed to Sarnia where she took on fuel, then to Mackinac Straits where she beat a track through some very heavily ridged ice which proved impenetrable to one of the Bay class cutters.

She then sailed for Lake Superior and locked through the Soo. The Lockmaster requested the track cut by the Mackinaw above the lock be widened, during the Risley transit and this was done. The Risley also broke out the area from Vidal Shoals to the Algoma plant. This ice was very light and the icebreakers passage broke it sufficiently to allow the previously submerged winter buoys to pop up from under the ice.

The trip through Whitefish Bay and across Superior was uneventful. Outside of Thunder Bay the Risley encountered about 7 miles of ice outside the breakwater, and this ice is 3 feet thick.

Last night the Frontenac is expected to depart from Thunder Bay, while the Nanticoke should be sailing in the next day or two.

Reported by: Rob Farrow and Ron Konkol




Oakglen Waits

03/23:
Oakglen arrived at Port Colborne Thursday evening about 6:00 p.m. and went to the fuel dock to await the opening of the Welland Canal. She was followed in by a Canadian Coast Guard vessel but proceeded easily as ice has just about disappeared. She appears to be the first downbound vessel of the season as the canal opens today.

Reported by: Christopher E. H. Wilson




Presque Isle Moved

03/23:
On Thursday the Selvick tugs Susan, William, Jimmy L, Mary Page and the shipyard tug Bay Ship shifted the Presque Isle barge away from berth 15. The Burns Harbor shifted slightly to the south so the barge could be moved. The Presque Isle tug was due off Sherwood Pt. Thursday night. Draft on the tug required them to travel around Door County and enter the shipyard from the Green Bay side.

Friday crews will start the process of mating the tug back in to the notch of the barge. When completed the Presque Isle will depart the shipyard. Also expected to depart Friday is the Arthur M. Anderson.

Throughout the day there were signs that other boats were coming back to life. Steam was up on the Herbert C. Jackson. Various ship horns were blowing indicating USCG fire and lifeboat drills.

Presque Isle barge is moved.
Tugs working.
Barge is shifted.
Small tug Bay Ship working with the barge.
Tug Mary Page working with the Presque Isle barge.
Close up of the tug Mary Page.
Looking across Bay Ship's lay-up fleet.
Close up.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde




Doug McKeil in Amherstburg

03/23:
On Thursday afternoon, the tug Doug McKeil and barge Ocean Hauler were downbound in the Detroit River. The tug and barge then turned upbound the Amherstburg channel at the Bar Point Pier lighthouse and continued to the General Chemical dock in Amherstburg. The tug and barge are expected to be at the dock for 24 hours and request a check down from any vessels passing. It is very unlikely any vessels will be navigating in the Amherstburg channel, since no light buoys have been replaced and the Livingston Channel is still open for two way traffic.

Reported by: Kevin B. Sprague




Oglebay Norton Departs

03/23:
Thursday morning the Oglebay Norton was departing her winter lay-up dock in Toledo. She backed away from the T.W.I. Dock and sailed upbound to start the 2001 season. Fleetmate Columbia Star is expected to depart her winter lay-up dock in Toledo on Saturday. The Star also spent the winter at the TWI Dock in front of the Norton.

Stern view of the Columbia Star in Toledo.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Lee A. Tregurtha Prepares to Sail

03/23:
The Lee A. Tregurtha is preparing to leave its winter lay-up berth at the Rouge Steel Company in Detroit. Covers were removed from the pilothouse windows Thursday and crews have fired up her boilers and are producing steam.

Reported by: Douglas Strain




Mail Boats Prepare for new Season

03/23:
Crews from the J.W. Westcott Company in Detroit are completing the fit out the U.S. Mail Boats J.W. Westcott II and Joseph J. Hogan. Crews will finish work by March 27 and expect to have the boats in service between April 2 and April 4.

The mail boats spent the winter at Gregory's Marina behind Belle Isle on the Detroit River.

Reported by: Capt. Sam Buchanan




Action at Amherstburg Coast Guard Base

03/23:
The Amherstburg Coast Guard Base in the Detroit River is showing signs of preparing for another busy season. The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Gull Isle has crew members on it preparing it for sailing again after being laid up since December. The search and rescue vessel Cape Hurd based in Goderich also seems to be preparing to end winter lay-up in Amherstburg and will be sailing back to its home port in Lake Huron.

Reported by: Kevin B. Sprague




Thunder Bay Update

03/23:
When the Samuel Risley arrived in port she began operations by breaking ice in front of the Keefer Terminal in preparation for moving the Frontenac. At 6:30 p.m. the Risley was tied up at the Coast Guard Station at Keefer. The Mackinaw spent the day tied up at Keefer and it is unknown when she will leave.

The Algosteel called the Risley and asked her to break ice as the Steel is looking to move to Thunder Bay Terminals late Saturday afternoon at the earliest.

The Nanticoke ended up at Cargill Thursday morning after changing plans. She was expected to move to Mission Terminals late last night or today. The Canadian Transfer at lay-up in Mission Terminal will have to be moved to make way for the Nanticoke. Once the Nanticoke is in place the Transfer will be pulled into Cargill. The tugs Point Valour and possibly the Glenada may assist.

Reported by: Rob Farrow and Ron Konkol




Busy Day on the Detroit River

03/23:
Early Thursday morning the Oakglen was downbound in the Detroit River sailing for Lake Erie. She departed her lay-up dock on the Detroit River late Wednesday night. She was sailing downbound for today's opening of the Welland Canal.

The Canadian Transport was downbound at the Detroit River Light at 12:51 p.m. and gave an ETA for South East Shoal of 4:10 p.m. The Transport and Oglebay Norton passed on Lake Erie below the Detroit River's Livingstone Channel.

The Canadian Enterprise was upbound Thursday afternoon with a cargo of coal for the Lambton Power Station on the St. Clair River.

Reported by: Philip Nash, Duane Upton and Kevin B. Sprague




Aerial Photos

03/23:
Pilot and photographer Don Coles was flying over the Detroit River Thursday afternoon and caught all the action from the air.

Canadian Transport below the Livingstone Channel.
Close up.
Oglebay Norton upbound.
Another view.
Close up.
Oglebay Norton and Canadian Transport passing below the Detroit River.
Another view.
Former Boblo boats.
The Gaelic Tug Boat Co. on the Rouge River.
Lay-up at Rouge Steel.
Close up of Kaye E. Barker.
Close up of Lee A. Tregurtha.

Reported by: Don Coles




Coal in Sandusky

03/23:
Thursday morning the CSL Niagara to load her first cargo of the season. She was followed by the John J. Boland about 3:00 p.m. The Canadian Enterprise is scheduled to load today about 4:00 p.m.

Reported by: Marc Harris




Cleveland Update

03/23:
The barge Kellstone I and tug James Palladino were unloading stone at 5:00 p.m. Wednesday. The Fred R. White Jr. was docking at LTV lower to begin its unload of taconite from Lorain. The St. Marys cement barge has departed its winter lay-up berth on the Cuyahoga River. The David Z. Norton is still in lay-up on the old river.

Reported by: Rex Cassidy




New Names

03/23:
The Southdown Challenger and Southdown Conquest should have new names before August of this year. The Southdown Challenger is to be renamed the S/S CEMEX Challenger and the Southdown Conquest will be renamed M/V CEMEX Conquest.

The renaming follows the sale last year of Southdown Cement to Mexico based CEMEX. CEMEX, based in Monterrey, Mexico, is one of the three largest cement companies in the world with approximately 65 million metric tons of production capacity. Don't look for the boats in new colors this year, but there is a possibility of a new paint scheme next year.

Reported by: Dustin Sadowski




Seaway opens amid Coast Guard and Pilots Tussle

03/23:
The U.S. Coast Guard will hire temporary help to fill a shortage of ship's pilots on Lake Ontario this season and Coast Guard officials plan to visit Northern New York to make sure the arrangement goes smoothly. The hiring of so-called contract pilots is new to Lake Ontario where established pilots have long opposed the practice. Lake Ontario is short two pilots, leaving only three to handle ships coming into port when the season opens Friday, said Frank J. Flyntz, director of Great Lakes pilotage for the Coast Guard. Pilot shortage can translate into shipping delays as well as longer hours and more fatigue for remaining pilots.

The St. Lawrence River is also short a pilot, but Mr. Flyntz said the Coast Guard would not hire temporary pilots on that more treacherous route. Temporary pilots are a sensitive issue as they cut into Seaway Pilot Association members' earnings. A lawyer for the Association said that its members are more concerned about safety than economics.

Mr. Flyntz said he would go to Cape Vincent with at least one Coast Guard staffer for a yet-to-be determined period. They will board ships and oversee the temporary pilots’ performance. "I just want to be around to be able to help them out in case anything goes wrong "Mr Flyntz said.

To house Mr. Flyntz and his staff, the Coast Guard will lease a riverfront house from the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. for $2,353 a month.

This arrangement adds another round to a long tussle between the Coast Guard and the St. Lawrence Seaway Pilots Association who feel the Coast Guard is trying to break their organization which helps to set work rules and schedules. Pilots are concerned that temporary pilots will be picked who are relatively inexperienced on Lake Ontario although they may have navigated other Great Lakes.

Last year, the Coast Guard refused the Association's request to boost the number of American pilots on Lake Ontario. That gave pilots the perception that the Coast Guard is willing to bring on more pilots only if they are not members of the Seaway Pilots Association.

Reported by: Joan Baldwin




Grand Haven pierhead to close during lighthouse repairs

03/23:
Repairs to Grand Haven's South Pierhead Lighthouse will prompt the Coast Guard to temporarily close the pierhead to tourists, anglers and other users of the popular spot.

The Coast Guard will begin rehabilitation work on the lighthouse next month. The pierhead will be closed from approximately April 2 to June 20.

The project includes structural reinforcement, new roofing, sealing around all openings, and painting. The lighthouse's roof has been leaking and there are concerns that wood inside the structure is rotting.

"Depending on the work involved, the pierhead may be closed to the public from the Grand Haven Inner Light to the end of the pier," the Coast Guard announced in a press release.

Steve VanPelt, a board member of the Grand Haven Steelheaders Association, said closing the pier will upset many fisherman. "Spring and fall is always the best part of the fishing season," he told the Grand Haven Tribune.

Laurel Nease, director of the Grand Haven/Spring Lake Area Visitors Bureau, told the newspaper that her main concern is whether the pier will be open by the busy July 4 holiday.

Reported by: Al Miller




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.

On 23 March 1886, Mr. D. N. Runnels purchased the tug KITTIE HAIGHT.

The 3,280 ton motor vessel YANKCANUCK commanded by Captain W.E. Dexter, docked at the Canadian Soo on 23 March 1964 to officially open the 1964 Navigation Season for that port Captain Dexter received the traditional silk hat from Harbormaster Frank Parr in a brief ceremony aboard the vessel. The ship arrived in the Sault from Windsor, Ontario. Captain Dexter said the trip from Windsor was uneventful and he had no trouble with ice. This was the first time a ship from the Yankcanuck Line won the honor of opening the Sault Harbor.

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


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




Mackinaw arrives in Thunder Bay

03/22:
The U.S. Coast Guard Ice Breaker Mackinaw passed Thunder Cape Wednesday morning under a clear sky and warm weather. She arrived at Keefer Terminal about 1:00 p.m. after breaking through 7 miles of heavy ice up to a meter thick. The Mac broke ice in front of the Canadian Steamship Line's Nanticoke and then moved over to Saskatchewan. Pool 7a slip where it freed the tug Point Valour from winter lay-up. The Point Valour plowed her way slowly over to Keefer Terminal and broke up the large chunks that the Mac had made. The Mackinaw returned out onto the bay to break more ice near the Kam River.

The Nanticoke is expected to move to Saskatchewan 7a early today and load. The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley was expected to arrive today and take over ice breaking duties. The Mackinaw is scheduled to depart sometime this morning.

Reported by: Rob Farrow and Ron Konkol




Boland on First Trip

03/22:
The John J. Boland arrived in Detroit Wednesday afternoon carrying a much needed cargo of coal for National Steel. The Boland docked shortly after 2:00 p.m. in the Rouge River Short Cut off the Detroit River, the coal was loaded in Sandusky, OH. The Boland expected to take 10-12 hours to unload and will then sail downbound to load in Sandusky.

The Boland departed her lay-up dock in Toledo on Tuesday.

Boland at its lay-up dock on the Maumee River. TZ

Reported by: Bradley Upham and Jim Hoffman




Risley Locks Through

03/22:
Wednesday afternoon the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley became the second vessel to pass through the Poe Lock at the Soo heading upbound onto Lake Superior. The Risley entered the Soo harbor about 3:30 p.m. locking through the Poe at 4:00 p.m. She was expected to head upbound to the Vital Shoals area to cut a track into Algoma Steel and then sail upbound into Lake Superior for Thunder Bay.

Working in the St. Marys River yesterday was the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Katmai Bay, she was downbound in the river performing track maintenance.

Reported by: Jerry Masson and Rex Cassidy




Presque Isle Departs

03/22:
The tug Presque Isle departed Milwaukee Wednesday night sailing for Sturgeon Bay, WI. The 153-foot tug will pick up its 975-foot barge at Bay Ship, together the pair measure 1000-feet long. Once crews have connected the tug and barge it will depart the shipyard for the new season.

The tug left the barge at the shipyard on December 18 for winter work and then sailed to Milwaukee for lay-up.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde




CSL Niagara Sails

03/22:
The CSL Niagara backed out of Port Colborne Harbor Wednesday and proceeded upbound on Lake Erie about 7:00 a.m. It was not clear if the Niagara required assistance, but she proceeded quickly indicating ice conditions are much better than last week when Canadian Enterprise departed. The Canadian Olympic appeared ready to depart her winter lay-up dock.

Reported by: Chris Wilson




Fred R. White Jr. scheduled for rare trip to Ashland

03/22:
The vessel line-up for Midwest Energy Terminal continues to grow, and one of the more intriguing early season trips is scheduled to be made April 6 by Fred. R. White Jr. to the Xcel-Bayfront generating station in Ashland, Wis. In years past, the Ashland plant has received only a few cargoes a season delivered by vessels from USS Great Lakes Fleet. The White's trip would be unusually early and certainly a rare call for that vessel.

Reported by: Al Miller




Canal Filled, Waiting for Century

03/22:
After a busy winter Seaway authorities have refilled the sections of the Welland Canal that were drained for winter maintenance work. Friday the Canadian Century is scheduled to be first ship to transit the canal.

The passage will be marked with the traditional Top Hat ceremony to recognize the arrival of the first upbound ship into Lock 3, the ceremony will take place at 10:00 a.m.

Images taken in February of the drained canal.
Port Weller Dry Docks with an empty canal.
Bridge 1 and Lock 1.
Looking down the canal to Lock 2.

Reported by: David Bull




Fire on board the Atlantic Huron

03/22:
On Wednesday a small fire started in the cargo hold of the Atlantic Huron as crews were welding. The new plastic lining in the hold appeared to have caught fire. The fire was extinguished before the fire department arrived, damaged was minimal but the fire did produce a lot of smoke.

In February the Huron's conveyor belts caught fire as crews were welding. At that time, twenty fire fighters were called to scene to fight extinguish the fire. The vessel is in winter lay-up at the Halifax Shipyard.




Twin Ports Report

03/22:
John G. Munson came out of drydock Wednesday at Fraser Shipyards in Superior. It had spent the winter there undergoing its 5-year inspection. Once the Munson was clear of the dock, the Charles M. Beeghly promptly entered.

Signs of life were everywhere in the Twin Ports on Wednesday. The Edgar B. Speer didn't depart as expected, but its crew was busy testing the EPIRB and doing other chores which signal that it's about to get under way. Coast Guard Cutter Sundew and G-tug North Dakota were out breaking ice. Indiana Harbor fired up its engines, and had a steady plume of exhaust coming out the port stack by late afternoon.

Reported by: Al Miller




Detroit River Traffic

03/22:
Wednesday the Oakglen was conducting safety drills as the crew prepared to take the boat on her first trip of the new season. The Oakglen spent the winter at the ADM Dock in Windsor on the Detroit River, she is expected to depart today after 8:00 a.m.

The Canadian Enterprise was upbound in the Detroit River Wednesday afternoon carrying a cargo of coal for the Lambton Power Station on the St. Clair River. The coal was loaded in Conneaut, OH.




Toledo Update

03/22:
The 1000-footers in Toledo's winter lay-up fleet are preparing for the 2001 season. The George A. Stinson and Columbia Star are ballasted down and look ready to depart. The Mesabi Miner and Oglebay Norton are still high in the water but are expected to depart before the Columbia Star. All four of the 1000-footers that wintered in Toledo will depart before the Soo Locks open on Sunday.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




St. Lawrence River & Seaway news

03/22:
Upbound at St. Lambert Lock Tuesday morning heading for Côte Ste. Catherine was the McKeil tug Bonnie B. III. She has been chartered by the St. Lawrence Seaway to help clear the ice in the vicinity of the Côte Ste. Catherine lock. The icebreaker Geoarge R.Pearkes was working on Lake St. François as far as the Snell Lock.

Expected to leave the Ultramar dock at St. Romuald, QC Wednesday was the chemical tanker Petrolia Desgagnes bound for Morrisburg. She is expected to tie up at the lower wall of the St. Lambert Lock this morning and will be the first ship of the new season to transit upbound on opening day. It will be the first time a vessel owned by Groupe Desgagnés will have the honour to open a new season. The first foreign-flag vessel will be the Cyprus-flag Dorothea which will leave the Pointe-aux-Trembles Anchorage at 10:00 a.m.on opening day for Toronto loaded with sugar from Costa Rica.

With a strike or lock out going on at Port Cartier, fewer lakers than usual are expected to be on the move during the first days of operation of the Seaway.

Monday there was a emergency drill going on aboard Atlantic Erie who is wintering in Montreal indicating she was preparing to leave. She departed Tuesday for Pointe Noire, QC in ballast.

Reported by: René Beauchamp
Click here to preview René's Seaway Ships 2000




Algoma Fleet Ready to Sail

03/22:
Algoma is preparing to start the season with five self unloaders and one straight decker. Friday evening the Algowood is expected to depart Montreal and arrive in Detroit on Monday to unload. Also on Friday the Algosoo is scheduled to depart Hamilton for Pointe Noire, Quebec arriving on March 27 to load for Ashtabula, Ohio.

March 25 the John B. Aird will depart Les Mechins, Quebec and sail to Sept Isles to load for Detroit. The Algosteel is also expected to depart on the 25th sailing from Thunder Bay loaded for Toledo where she will unload on March 27.

The Steel will be followed by the Algobay departing Port Colborne on March 26 for Conneaut, Ohio to load for the power station at Lambton, Ontario.

The first straight decker to depart will be the Algocape on Saturday. She will depart Montreal and sail to Hamilton to unload.

Reported by: Philip Nash




Roman Departs

03/22:
The Stephen B. Roman departed the Port of Oswego, NY at noon on Tuesday. The cement carrier headed westerly for an unknown destination.

Reported by: Ed C.




Helicopter Services Light Station

03/22:
On Tuesday afternoon, a Canadian Coast Guard helicopter landed on the shoreline of the White Sands Conservation Area in the Detroit River. Due to the low water levels in the river, more shoreline has been exposed and enabled the helicopter to land safely on the beach. The Coast Guard was doing some type of work to a light station. This light station is located at the extreme tip of Boblo Island in the Detroit River along side the Amherstburg shipping channel.

Reported by: Kevin B. Sprague




USS Boats

03/22:
The sale of the three USS boats docked in Sarnia to Grand River Navigation is expected to be completed by the end of this week. Grand River Navigation is the U.S. subsidiary of Lower Lake Towing. No official comment has been made by either company.




More on the Meteor

03/22:
Superior city officials say they'll hire an engineer to study the problem of bunker oil leaking from the museum boat Meteor. Preliminary estimates put the cost of solving the problem at $300,000 to $400,000.

The city's fire chief ruled this week that the Meteor, built in 1896 and the last of the whalebacks, cannot open to tourists until fire hazards are removed, including two tanks containing No. 6 fuel oil and lack of sufficient fire exits.

The fuel oil was left in the boat's bunkers when it was turned into a museum in 1971. According to the Superior Daily Telegram, one of the bunkers has been slowly leaking for several years, although city officials said they don't believe the oil has left the vessel.

Another problem cited by officials is the problem for corrosion of the ship's hull. The vessel sits in wet sand at the edge of Barkers Island, and city officials said the wet sand accelerates rusting.

Reported by: Al Miller




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.

On 22 March 1871, Engineer George Smith and two firemen were badly scalded on the propeller LAKE BREEZE when a steam pipe they were working on blew away from the side of the boiler. They were getting the engines ready for the new shipping season.

On 22 March 1938, CITY OF BUFFALO (steel side-wheeler passenger/package freight vessel, 340', 2940 gt, built in 1896 at Wyandotte, MI) caught fire during preparations for the Spring season while at her winter moorings at the East Ninth Street dock in Cleveland, Ohio. She was totally gutted. The hulk was towed to Detroit for conversion to a freighter, but this failed to materialize. She was cut up for scrap there in 1940.

On 22 March 1987, the pilothouse of the 1901 steamer ALTADOC, which was used as a gift shop and 2-room hotel near Copper Harbor, Michigan, was destroyed by fire.

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


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




Welland Canal Opener

03/21:
The Welland Canal will open on Friday, March 23 with the Top Hat Ceremony at Lock 3 starting at 10:00 a.m. The first ship to transit the canal is expected to be the Canadian Century that spent the winter in lay up at Dofasco in Hamilton, Ontario.

Last year the CSL Niagara opened the canal on March 27 sailing upbound.

Reported by: John Stark




Season Starts for Owen Sound

03/21:
Navigation opened Tuesday afternoon in Owen Sound when the tug Susan W. Hanna pushed the barge Southdown Conquest through a small amount of ice in the inner harbor to the Miller Cement silos. This is one of the earliest openings in recent years and also the shortest winter for the port in recent memory. The last ship of the 2000 - 2001 season, the Algowest, arrived Feb 15.

Reported by: Peter Bowers




Twin Ports Report

03/21:
USS Great Lakes Fleet is scheduled to begin its season March 21 when Edgar B. Speer departs its lay-up berth in Duluth bound for Two Harbors. The Speer will load 50,000 metric tons of taconite pellets at the DMIR ore dock for delivery to Gary. More GLF boats are set to get under way Friday, with Edwin H. Gott and Roger Blough both due in Two Harbors and the Philip R. Clarke scheduled to load at the DMIR ore dock in Duluth. John G. Munson will follow the Clarke on Saturday.

Currently, the front-runners for the honor of being the first vessel to arrive in the Twin Ports from the lower lakes are Canadian Navigator, Mesabi Miner and Paul R. Tregurtha.

Canadian vessels will be frequent callers at the DMIR ore dock in Duluth in the opening days of the season. Halifax is scheduled there March 30 and April 11, Frontenac is scheduled for April 2 and 26, and CSL Niagara is set for April 14.

Reported by: Al Miller




Mackinaw and Barker Arrive

03/21:
The U. S. Coast Guard icebreaker Mackinaw escorted the James R. Barker back in to the Twin Ports Tuesday morning. The Barker was in port to load another cargo of coal for Marquette.

The Mackinaw is expected to visit Thunder Bay, Ontario some time this weekend to break out the harbor.

Images from the Great Lakes Aquarium Live Cam
Barker passes under the Lift Bridge.
Mackinaw in the harbor.

Reported by: Rob Farrow, Rex Cassidy and Al Miller




Katmai Bay Breaks Ice

03/21:
Ice remains heavy despite warmer temperatures in the St. Marys River. Tuesday the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Katmai Bay was busy in the river system, working track maintenance preparing for opening day of the 2001 shipping season. From Johnson’s' Point to Stribling Point the river is mostly snow covered, up to the track of the icebreaker and is showing signs of softening. As the Katmai Bay rounded Johnsons Point the icebreaker slowed and stopped at Dark Hole to assess track conditions, then proceeded to the Soo.

Reported by: Jerry Masson




Marquette Update

03/21:
The James Barker became the first vessel to arrive in Marquette's upper harbor late Sunday night arriving from Duluth with a load of coal for Wisconsin Electric Power Company. The vessel departed Duluth on Saturday and had to travel through a large area of ice out of Duluth. The 1000-footer traveled in open water until about 12 miles from Marquette. The Barker was able to break through the ice on its own power but had trouble entering the harbor.

The first ore boar is expected to arrive this weekend after the opening of the Soo Locks. The Great Lakes Trader, which is currently laid up in Escanaba, will arrive to take on the season's first load of ore. From Marquette, the Great Lakes Trader will take the cargo to Ohio.

Reported by: Art Pickering




Ice Breaking Put on Hold

03/21:
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay was scheduled to open up shipping lanes on the Bay of Green Bay and in Marinette/ Menominee today. Due to an ongoing search for a missing snowmobiler off Green Island upon request of US Congress man Bart Stupak, D-Menominee the Coast Guard has agreed to put that operation on hold. One of the missing snowmobilers bodies was recovered over the weekend, but still no sign of the other. The Marinette county Sheriffs Dept has suspended their search as of Sunday, but friends and volunteers that knew the victim are continuing the search in hopes of finding the body. The Coast Guard said that if the search were proving unsuccessful they would resume with their icebreaking operations in the area.

Reported by: Scott Best




Helicopter Departs Amherstburg

03/21:
On Tuesday morning, a Canadian Coast Guard helicopter departed the Amherstburg Coast Guard base on the Detroit River. The helicopter departed with what appeared to be three large propane cylinders attached to a rope hanging below it. The helicopter was observed flying out into Lake Erie, likely to service a light station.

Reported by: Kevin B Sprague




Fuel oil threat closes museum ship

03/21:
The museum ship Meteor, last of Captain Alexander McDougall's whalebacks, has been barred from opening to tourists this spring because of a fire hazards, the Superior Daily Telegram reported March 20.

The vessel still contains fuel oil, which is slowly leaking and poses a fire hazard, Superior fire officials said.

Visits to the whaleback, located on Barkers Island on Superior's bayfront, have fallen in recent years. The director of the city's three public museums, including the Meteor, resigned last winter in a dispute with his board of directors. He had been trying to upgrade the museum boat, and had held several public meetings in an effort to spark volunteer interest in the vessel.

Reported by: Al Miller




Busy Summer for Muskegon

03/21:
Monday saw the commercial shipping season open in Muskegon. The Joseph L. Block unloaded coal at the B.C. Cobb power plant owned by Consumers energy.

The Block saw open waters at the ends of the lake. Ice still fills the middle of Muskegon Lake especially the south shore. Commercial fishing operations have also begun with the fish tugs breaking through the ice.

It will be a busy season for Muskegon. There will be a new port facility established at Heritage Landing in downtown Muskegon. The downtown park, a one time industrial property, will have facilities to accommodate the Arcadia a cruise ship which will visit in July. In August the Tall Ships™ Challenge 2001 fleet will dock at Heritage Landing. Floating docks will accommodate over 20 tall ships.

Additionally in June Muskegon will see the fleet from the annual trans Lake Michigan sailing race the Queens Cup visit. 100's of sailboats will tie up at Muskegon's various recreational marinas that accommodate over 1600 boats.

Finally, May 1 will see the Milwaukee Clipper once again open for tours. Docked at the former Grand Trunk dock the Clipper is being restored by a local group.

Reported by: Ike Stephenson




Veteran Tug Captain passes

03/21:
Retired McKeil Marine tug Captain Anthony (Tony) MacKay passed away quietly and peacefully in Cornwall, Ontario at the age of 74. Viewing will commence at the Monroe & Morrif Funeral Home in Alexandria, Ontario on today from 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. 10:00 p.m. The funeral will be on Thursday March 22 at 11:00 a.m. at the St. Margarets Church in Glenevis, Ontario.

Reported by: Eric Stapleton




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.

On 21 March 1853, GENERAL SCOTT (wooden side-wheeler, 105', 64 t, built in 1852 at Saginaw, MI) was tied up to her dock on the Saginaw River when she was crushed beyond repair by ice that flowed down the river during the Spring breakup. One newspaper report said that while the vessel was being cleaned up for the new navigation season, a seacock was left open and she sank before the spring breakup.

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




Mackinaw, Barker due in the Twin Ports today

03/20:
The U. S. Coast Guard icebreaker Mackinaw is now due to arrive at Duluth-Superior about 8:00 a.m. March 20. The Mac is expected to break out Superior entry, the area near the BNSF ore dock, and Superior's front channel, which gets much more use these days by vessels using the Murphy Oil fuel depot at the Duluth port terminal. Also today, the James R. Barker is due back in port to load another cargo of coal for Marquette.

Stern view of the Barker moving toward the Duluth ship canal on Saturday.

Reported by: Al Miller




Paul R. Tregurtha Loads

03/20:
Monday the Paul R. Tregurtha arrived in Escanaba, MI. to load her first cargo of the season. The Tregurtha loaded taconite for delivery to a lower Lake Michigan port.

Pictures by Eric and Sandy Chapman
Tregurtha loading.
Wide view, the barge Great Lakes Trade in lay-up on the right.
Close up of the Great Lakes Trader.

The Tregurtha departed Bay Ship in Sturgeon Bay, WI. on Sunday. She ballasted down off the Bay ship before starting her engines and departing that evening. The vessel was escorted about 4 miles north west of Sherwood Point. Her escort tugs turned back just before 11:00 p.m. Ice in the area is reported to be heavy.

Pictures of the Tregurtha departing Sturgeon Bay on Sunday. By Orrin Royce
Tug Mary Page leads the 1000-footer into the channel.
Bay ship, Arthur M. Anderson and Wilfred Sykes.
Stern view of the Tregurtha preparing to depart under her own power.

Reported by: Eric and Sandy Chapman and Orrin Royce




Muskegon Opener

03/20:
The Joseph L. Block entered Muskegon Break wall Monday morning and arrived stern first at the B.C. Cobb power plant with a load of coal from South Chicago. The Block is the first ship of the season for Muskegon. The Wilfred Sykes usually calls on this port and the Block is a rare sight. She was expected to depart Muskegon around 7:00 p.m.

Reported by: Dan McCormick and Scott Golin




Cuyahoga Enters Dry Dock

03/20:
The Cuyahoga entered the Toledo Shiprepair dry dock on Sunday. She was placed on the dry dock by two "G" tugs. Her pilothouse windows are now covered and she is expected to remain in the dry dock for several weeks under going a 5-year survey and miscellaneous repairs.

Once refloated, the Cuyahoga may proceed up river to one of the grain elevators to load for Port Colborne, Ontario. This cargo was cancelled last December because of the severe ice conditions on Lake Erie.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




First Ship Waits for Seaway Opening

03/20:
Upbound Monday morning at Quebec City and on her way to Montreal was the bulk carrier Dorothea. She will go to the Pointe-aux-Trembles anchorage and wait for the opening of the Seaway on Friday. She will then proceed to Toronto. This will be her first trip to the lakes. Under her previous name of Garnet Star, she called in Montreal 10 years ago but did not transited the St. Lawrence Seaway then. She is owned by August Bolten Shipping of Hamburg and is registered in Cyprus. Some ships owned by this shipping firm visited the Lakes before such as Margarethe Bolten in 1966 and built in 1963.

A sure sign of spring, the Imperial Lachine was recently heard testing her VHF radio. This bunkering tanker is based in Montreal where she laid up for the winter months at Section 102.

Monday morning, March 19, four days away from the opening of the Seaway for its 42nd season, the icebreaker George R. Pearkes was clearing the ice in the vicinity of the Beauharnois locks.

Reported by: René Beauchamp
Click here to preview René's Seaway Ships 2000




Toledo Report

03/20:
Monday the tanker Saturn remained in the small drydock at Toledo Shiprepair. The carferry Kayla Marie was in the small slip by the ship yard. It is unknown if she is in for repairs or survey.

The tug Mary E. Hannah and her barge were loading at the B-P Dock and departed later in the day.

The four thousand footers in lay-up at Toledo are in various stages of fitout, all are expected to be sailing by this weekend. Other vessels in lay-up are in various stages of fitout. Vessels will depart for the new season starting this weekend and all are expected to depart by mid April.

No loading scheduled was available for the CSX Coal Dock. The dock may have vessels arrive to load just before the Welland Canal and Soo Locks open.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Griffon Breaking Ice

03/20:
On Saturday morning the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon departed the Amherstburg Coast Guard base in the Detroit River. She departed downbound in heavy snow and had no buoys on board. The Griffon reported at the Detroit River Light calling in station heading for the southeast shoal and icebreaking on Lake Erie.

Reported by: Kevin B Sprague




Jacob A. Stevens, III Joins Blount/Barker

03/20:
Jacob A. Stevens, III, a well-known and respected shipbuilder whose career highlights include the construction of six 4,000 HP tug boats in under 20 months for the Moran Towing Corporation, has joined Blount/Barker Shipbuilding LLC as senior vice president. The news was announced today by Blount/Barker President and Chief Executive Officer, James A. Barker.

In his new capacity as senior vice president, Mr. Stevens is responsible for all shipyard operations including engineering, design, labor, purchasing, scheduling, and working with outside contractors. “Jacob’s expertise in both production and management will enable Blount/Barker to compete better in the East Coast marketplace”, states Mr. Barker. “He has worked in this industry for many years and brings a wealth of experience and credibility to our shipyard.”

Prior to joining Blount/Barker, Mr. Stevens was production and project supervisor at Washburn & Doughty Associates, Inc. of East Boothbay, Maine. While at Washburn & Doughty, he was responsible for the construction of six 92’ Marci-Class Z Drive tug boats for Moran Towing, completing the vessels in approximately 20 months. This was the largest new tug construction order ever awarded to Washburn & Doughty. To meet the required delivery schedule, Mr. Stevens implemented an in-house CAD technology to facilitate quick design adjustments and email communication with subcontractors. Instead of building one tug at a time, he developed a modular approach to production, used subcontractors for bulkier vessel pieces, and created more efficient work routines to enable workers to duplicate processes multiple times. Other projects completed included the construction of lobster, service, dinner cruise, barge, and excursion vessels for various clients.

Previously, he was president of Goudy & Stevens Shipyard, Inc. (East Boothbay, Maine) where, in addition to numerous other fishing and research vessels, he oversaw the production of two 123’ oil-skimming vessels currently used in Puget Sound, Washington and Valdez, Alaska. These unique vessels required specialized internal construction working with architects, systems designers, hydraulics engineers, ABS and USCG inspection teams, and also required a high degree of confidentiality due to the competitive nature of the field.

“My grandfather established his shipyard in 1921 and I started working there when I was five years old,” notes Mr. Stevens who, along with his brother, bought out his father and uncle in 1978 and operated it until 1994 when the family business was sold. “I am very familiar with shipyard operations and was impressed with Luther Blount’s accomplishments and Jim Barker’s enthusiasm in their new venture, Blount/Barker Shipbuilding. Their facility is much like the Goudy & Stevens yard and it’s a natural fit for me.”

Mr. Barker plans to put Stevens’ experience to work for Blount/Barker customers immediately. “Jacob will introduce more efficient ways of producing boats and improve our CAD design, welding, and plasma burning machine technical capabilities. The result will be faster parts construction and repair using organized scheduling and better equipment, “continues Mr. Barker. “The ultimate result will be our ability to deliver quality vessels from trials through to delivery.”

Upon graduation from Maine Vocational Technical Institute, Mr. Stevens joined the United States Navy in 1966 and held the position of USN Construction Battalion (“Sea Bees”) MCB-1 at Quonset Point in North Kingstown, R.I. In 1969, he began his career at Goudy & Stevens working in various capacities from construction crew member to yard foreman.

Currently, Mr. Stevens resides in Swansea, Mass.

Blount/Barker Shipbuilding LLC is a full-service shipyard specializing in innovative boat design, engineering, craftsmanship, and repair. This new company is the result of the combined talents of Luther H. Blount and James A. Barker, two shipbuilders of different generations united together in their quest to meet the needs of boat owners throughout the world. Over 300 boats have been built by the company since the company was first founded as Blount Marine Corporation in 1949 by 84-year old Luther H. Blount, a leading innovator in the shipbuilding industry. Blount/Barker employs 50 people and is headquartered at 461 Water Street, P.O. Box 368, Warren, RI 02885. Phone: (401) 245-8300.




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.

On 20 March 1883, the E. H. MILLER (wooden propeller tug, 62', 30 gt, built in 1874 at East Saginaw, MI) of Alpena was renamed RALPH.

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


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




Paul R. Tregurtha Departs

03/19:
The Paul R. Tregurtha departed Bay Ship in Sturgeon Bay, WI. at 1:00 p.m. Sunday to start her 2001 shipping season. The Tregurtha was assisted by tugs from Selvick Marine.

The Tregurtha was the second ship in 2001 to leave Bay Ship for the new season. The tug Rebecca Lynn and barge A-390 departed earlier in the week.

This leaves nine ships and Barges remaining in the Winter lay-up fleet at Bay Ship. Four vessels are expected to depart on March 24. They will be the Burns Harbor, Herbert C. Jackson, Arthur M. Anderson and Presque Isle.

Tregurtha waits at dock for a U.S. Coast Guard life boat test.
Life boat over side during test.
Looking across deck of Presque Isle at Burns Harbor, and Tregurtha.
Ship yard crew departs in a man basket.
Susan L. of Selvick Marine breaking ice.
Tug Mary Page pulling Tregurtha from Berth 15.
Boat watchers out on the ice watching Tregurtha depart.
Susan L. holding stern of Tregurtha.
Tregurtha being lined up on track.
Tugs adjusting final line up on shipping track.
View of Tregurtha from Presque Isle deck over Graving Dock.

Reported by: Vic Delarwelle




Toledo Report

03/19:
Saturday the Armco was removed from the Toledo Shiprepair dry dock and towed back to her lay-up berth at the CSX Docks. "G" tugs handled the tow. Saturday night the Cuyahoga was tied up in front of the John J. Boland at the old Interlake Iron Dock. She was expected to enter the dry dock on Sunday.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Cleveland Update

03/19:
Sunday the tug James Palladino and Barge Kellstone I made their first trip of the season. The tug and barge arrived in Cleveland about 2:00 p.m. loaded with stone and were assisted up the Cuyahoga River by the tug Benjamin Ridgeway.

The Fred R. White Jr. remains busy on the Lorain to Cleveland shuttle run carrying taconite to the LTV Steel Mill.

The Alpena arrived about midnight heading for the Lafarge Dock. She unloaded part of her cargo in Detroit and is expected to take about 8 hours to unload in Cleveland.

Pictures by TZ
James Palladino and Kellstone I are lead by the Benjamin Ridgeway.
Close up of the loaded barge.
Close up of the Ridgeway.
Close up of the Palladino in the notch of the Kellstone I.
Stern view passing under the bridge.
The tow heads up river.
Fred R. White inbound.
Starting to turn.
Close up.
View from above.
Stern view with the Cleveland sky line.
At Collision Bend.
Stern view.

Reported by: Rex Cassidy




Weekly e-mail Updates to your Desk Top

03/19:
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Website Updates

03/19:
The weekly updates have been uploaded. In addition to the normal updates, there is a contest to name the lakes newest 1000-footer.

Click here for easy to navigate updates




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).

On 19 March 1886, the PICKUP (wooden passenger/package freight steamer, 80', 136 gt, built in 1883 at Marine City, MI) was renamed LUCILE. She lasted until she sank off the Maumee River Light, Toledo, OH, Lake Erie, on August 8, 1906.

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


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




Interlake's James R. Barker opens Twin Ports shipping season

03/18:
Interlake Steamship Company's James R. Barker opened the 2001 navigation season in the Twin Ports when it departed its winter lay-up berth at Midwest Energy Resources late in the afternoon of March 17. The 1,000-footer is bound for Marquette, MI., with low-sulfur coal for the power generating station. About a dozen boatwatchers were on hand to view the departure from beneath the Blatnik Bridge and from the Duluth port terminal. Dozens of additional spectators watched the departure at the Duluth ship canal. The Barker was assisted by Great Lakes Towing Company's tug North Dakota, which spent much of the afternoon breaking ice, which appeared to be one to two feet thick in some areas.

The James R. Barker loading Saturday morning at Midwest Energy Terminal in Superior.
GLT's North Dakota breaking ice in Duluth's front channel.
Video of North Dakota breaking ice.
The Barker's bow with the North Dakota.
James R. Barker turning from St. Louis Bay into the Duluth's front channel.
Video of James R. Barker moving through the ice.
Stern view of the Barker moving toward the Duluth ship canal.

Reported by: Al Miller




Marquette Prepares for Barker

03/18:
Saturday Marquette had its first vessel visit of the season when the Mackinaw arrived in the lower harbor. The Mackinaw was expected to spend the night in Marquette waiting for the James R. Barker.

The upper harbor in Marquette is nearly ice free. Ice off the port is heavy and the Barker may need the Mackinaw's assistance to reach the harbor. The Mackinaw will remain in port until the Barker arrives, she is then expected to travel from Marquette to Duluth and assist with ice breaking operations.

As of this report, there is still no word on when the first ore vessel will arrive.

Reported by: Art Pickering




Canadian Enterprise opens Lake Erie Coal Trade

03/18:
The Canadian Enterprise arrived at the Conneaut P & C Dock Co. at 10:40 a.m. Saturday morning and began loading at 11:30 a.m. On hand to assist with the early season coal trade is Gaelic Tugboat Co.'s ice breaking tug Roger Stahl. The Enterprise departed its winter lay-up dock in Port Colborne on Friday. She battle heavy ice in eastern Lake Erie and was escorted by the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley.

Reported by: Thomas Naykki and Philip Nash




Cuyahoga to Enter Dry Dock

03/18:
The Cuyahoga is scheduled be move onto the dry dock at Toledo Shiprepair this morning. Friday night the Armco appeared to be ready to be removed from the 800- foot graving dock. The keep the schedule, shipyard crews will have to have worked fast to reset the blocks to handle the Cuyahoga.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Cartierdoc Update

03/18:
The Cartierdoc departed her lay-up dock in Montreal on Thursday bound for the shipyard at Les Méchins, QC. Because there was a vessel in drydock at the Verreault shipyards the Cartierdoc was diverted to Baie Comeau. She is scheduled to depart on Monday morning for Les Méchins on the Gaspé coast.

Reported by: René Beauchamp
Click here to preview René's Seaway Ships 2000




Stewart J. Cort Prepares to Sail

03/18:
The Stewart J. Cort is expected to depart her lay-up dock in Milwaukee on March 24. Engineers went aboard on March 5 and the forward end crew is scheduled to report on the March 19.

Reported by: Joe Olig




Twin Ports Report

03/18:
Activity is picking up in the Twin Ports. In addition to Saturday's departure by the James R. Barker, work crews were busy aboard Roger Blough, Edgar B. Speer and Indiana Harbor. In Fraser Shipyards, steam and smoke were coming from Philip R. Clarke's stack on Saturday afternoon, signaling completion of its boiler refit.

Coast Guard icebreaker Mackinaw is due in the Twin Ports on Monday.

Roger Blough sports a bright new paint job, which was reflected in Saturday's bright sunshine.
A patch in the Blough's hull marks the spot damaged late last fall when the vessel hit a pier at the Soo.
Adam E. Cornelius waits in winter lay-up at Cargill D in Duluth.

Reported by: Al Miller




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.

On 18 March 1928, M. T. GREENE (wooden propeller freighter, 155', 524 gt, built in 1887 at Gibraltar, MI) burned to a total loss near Brigdeburg, Ontario on the Niagara River.

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


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




Barker Departs

03/17: Updated 6:30 p.m. EST
The James R. Barker departed the Twin Ports Saturday evening about 615 p.m. starting the 2001 coal trade from Superior, WI. The Barker loaded coal at the Superior Midwest Energy Terminal bound for the power plant in Marquette, MI.

Last year the Paul R. Tregurtha opened the port departing with a load of coal on March 16 also for Marquette.

The Barker is expected to return for another load on Tuesday. She will be followed by the Walter J. McCarthy on March 23 loading for the Detroit Edison Coal dock on the St. Clair River. On March 24 the Indiana Harbor will load for the Ontario Power Generating Station in Nanticoke on Lake Erie. The first Canadian boats are scheduled in on March 25, the Canadian Navigator is expected to load for the power station in Nanticoke and will be followed that afternoon by the Canadian Enterprise. Paul R. Tregurtha and Mesabi Miner will load on March 26, the Tregurtha for Nanticoke and the Miner for the Detroit Edison Coal Dock. The first Oglebay Norton 1000-footer, the Columbia Star, is schedule to load on March 27.

Passing under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge. Great Lakes Aquarium Live Cam
Animation from the Allete Live Cam.




St. Lawrence River & Seaway news

03/17:
Entering the St. Lawrence Seaway Friday morning was the icebreaker George R. Pearkes bound for Côte Ste. Catherine. She was scheduled to arrive Thursday but some problem at the St. Lambert Lock postponed her arrival. The self-propelled floating crane VM/S Hercules was needed Thursday to repair the problem. There was no ice in the Seaway between Calling in Point 2 that is the entrance of the Seaway and the St. Lambert Lock. The Canadian Coast Guard hovercraft Waban-Aki had cleared it a few days before.

The first laker to leave her wintering dock in Montreal was Cartierdoc that departed section M2 Thursday for the shipyard at Les Méchins, QC. Already there since February 27 is the roll-on/roll-off vessel Atlantic Freighter owned by Marine Atlantic Inc.

Arriving at the Contrecoeur docks Thursday was the first of six new ships built at Toyohashi, Japan for Fednav of Montreal. Flying the Panamanian flag, the Federal Shimanto looks quite different from the previous Fednav classes of ships. Federal Yoshino will follow her. Those vessels are 19 125 gross tons and approximately 32 000 deadweight and will ply the Seaway/Great Lakes. The funnel is completely separated from the accommodations. The last vessel of the previous class, the Federal Hunter has yet to make her maiden trip to St. Lawrence River ports.

Reported by: René Beauchamp Click here to preview René's Seaway Ships 2000




Griffon Departs

03/17:
The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon departed the Amherstburg Coast Guard Base in the Detroit River Friday morning. The ship was conducting sea trials and tending to an aid to navigation in western Lake Erie. At 3:50 p.m. the Griffon was tied up back at the Amherstburg Coast Guard Base.

Reported by: Kevin B Sprague




Neah Bay in Erie

03/17:
On Friday the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay visited Erie, PA. It is unknown why the Neah Bay visited the Lake Erie port but it could have been for preventive ice breaking. The cutter has been assisting vessels on Lake Erie and ice breaking in Port Colborne.

Reported by: Jeff Thoreson




Drillers again eyeing Great Lakes for energy

03/17:
Rising energy prices have renewed interest in oil and natural gas reserves beneath the Great Lakes. With Michigan officials recommending a resumption of drilling for oil and natural gas beneath Lake Michigan, federal and state legislators plan to introduce bills on Wednesday that would ban new wells. It's the latest exchange in a debate that's heating up around the Great Lakes. Environmental groups and other opponents are lining up to protect the region's greatest natural resource-the lakes themselves-from potential harm. Producers say they're trying to give consumers cheap energy. "This is an issue that now has urgency," Bob Meissner, a spokesman for U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich), told the Chicago Tribune. It will be the third time in as many Congresses that Stupak has introduced legislation to ban drilling beneath the Great Lakes.

The drilling debate is just beginning in Ohio and New York. Some reports say rich reserves of natural gas lie beneath Lake Erie. An environmental fight seems certain for anyone who tries to tap them. "There's people in this country who say we need cheaper energy," said Thomas E. Stewart, executive vice president of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association. "But they give you no plan on how to go get it."

Stewart said his group will hear a report on Thursday by Ohio's state geologist that says 1.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas is untapped beneath Lake Erie. Ohio burned a little less than that last year, Stewart said. Stewart's association represents oil and gas producers. Does Stewart expect them to get access to that reserve beneath Lake Erie? He's not pumped with optimism. "It would be a battle with the environmental community," he said. "But you can't ignore it." Since 1979 a few relatively small oil companies have tapped into reserves under Lake Michigan through "directional drilling"-the wells start on land, but slant under the lake to reach as far as three-quarters of a mile from shore, 4,000 feet beneath the surface.

Reported by: Al Miller




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, 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




Mackinaw Locks Through

03/16:
About 9:30 a.m. Thursday the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw entered the Poe lock and headed upbound to break ice in the upper basin. The icebreaker stopped for a time near Gros Cap in White Fish Bay. The Mackinaw is expected to head across Lake Superior to assist with ice breaking activities for the beginning of the shipping season. The icebreaker has a tentative arrival date of March 19.

In 2000 the Mackinaw was the first vessel to use the Soo Locks, passing upbound on March 16.

The Locks will open to commercial traffic at midnight March 25. Last year the Paul R. Tregurtha opened the Soo Locks passing downbound at midnight on March 25.

Pictures from the live cam
Mackinaw in the Poe Lock.
Upper gates open.
Above the locks.

Reported by: Dan Fletcher, Dan Pickering, Scott McLellan Brian Kloosterman and Mike Cleary




Cuyahoga Arrives

03/16:
The Cuyahoga spent Thursday sailing downbound from Sarnia to Toledo. She was due at the CSX Railroad Bridge, the first railroad bridge as a vessel enters the river, at 8:00 p.m. The Cuyahoga made the trip to Toledo for her 5 year inspection at the Toledo Ship Yard, though it is unknown when she will enter the dry dock.

The Armco remains in the drydock and it is unknown when she will be moved. The Cuyahoga will dock at the old Interlake Iron Dock in front of the John J. Boland just north of the shipyard and wait.

Gale warnings are posted on Lake Erie for at least the next 24 hours with strong Northeasterly winds. This weather could delay the towing of a vessel to or from the dry drydock.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Stephen B. Roman Sailing

03/16:
The cement carrier Stephen B. Roman has begun the 2001 season. It was inbound at Adolphus Reach early Wednesday afternoon. Progress was slow as it proceeded through ice that appeared to be 4 to 6 inches thick escorted by the Simcoe.

Reported by: R. Martens




Algoeast Heading for the Soo

03/16:
Thursday afternoon the tanker Algoeast was sailing upbound in the St. Marys River for the Canadian Soo. She was expected to meet the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Katmai Bay at Lime Island for an escort through the river. The tanker became beset in ice near Winter Point Range. Operations stopped for the night and the Katmai Bay will finish escorting the Algoeast up the St Marys River today.

Reported by: Jerry Masson and Brian Kloosterman




Ice Breaking Update

03/16:
Thursday the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay escorted the tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes into Cheboygan, MI. They are expected to sail west through the Straits of Mackinac today. The Alpena should be passing through the Straits early today.

Reported by: Brian Kloosterman




Coast Guard search for missing snowmobilers

03/16:
Thursday the U.S. Coast Guard was searching for two missing snowmobilers near Green Bay, Wisc.

A group of four men on snowmobiles were racing across Green Bay (just south of Marinette, Wisc.) at approximately 1:00 a.m. EST when two of their machines fell through the ice about three miles off shore of Peshtigo Point. The two individuals were able to escape the water and were picked up by the two remaining snowmobiles.

Shortly thereafter, the two snowmobiles, carrying two persons each, were separated. One snowmobile became lost in the fog, but was found by a local civilian hovercraft at 4:54 a.m. The other snowmobile with two people onboard is still missing and is believed to have fallen through an opening in the ice near Peshtigo Reef Light.

A Coast Guard helicopter discovered snowmobile tracks leading to an approximate 100x100-foot hole in the ice just southeast of Peshtigo Reef Light.

The two missing men are reported to have been wearing heavy clothing.

Units involved in the search included a Coast Guard helicopter from Air Station Traverse City and a Hovercraft from the Marinette, Wisc., Fire Department

The two missing men are reported to be from Menominee, Mich.

Reported by: Scott Best




Twin Ports Report

03/16:
Coast Guard Cutter Sundew began breaking ice in Duluth-Superior harbor on March 15, working under clear skies and mild temperatures. The Sundew, which is due to retire in two years, was preparing the harbor for the expected March 17th departure of James R. Barker, scheduled to load coal for Marquette. Last year the Paul R. Tregurtha departed on March 16 for Marquette.

Although only scattered thin ice is present off the Twin Ports, the Lake Superior Maritime Visitors Center was reporting that the icebreaker Mackinaw was rumored to a possible arrival on March 19.

Duluth port officials have been saying for several months that coal will be the bright spot in local maritime commerce, at least during the first half of the season. That seems apparent by the robust and steadily growing list of vessels scheduled to load at Midwest Energy Terminal.

So far, the terminal has 18 vessel loads scheduled between March 17 and April 8. As previously mentioned, James R. Barker will be the first vessel to load. Other early departures will include Walter J. McCarthy Jr., departing its lay-up berth on March 23 and Indiana Harbor, departing lay-up on the 24th. The first scheduled arrival from the lower lakes is the Canadian Enterprise. The Enterprise and Canadian Navigator are both due March 25 to load for Nanticoke, Ontario.

Reported by: Al Miller




Toledo Update

03/16:
The tug Mary E. Hannah with her barge was at the Sun Oil dock loading cargo. The tanker Gemini is back in lay-up at the Lake Front Dock. Fleetmate Saturn is in the Shipyard in the smaller drydock.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman




Griffon Prepares to Depart

03/16:
The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon appears to be preparing to depart lay-up. She spent much of the winter docked at the Amherstburg Coast Guard Base on the Detroit River. Several crewmembers were seen working on her decks. A number of lighted buoys and other Aids to Navigation have been checked over and are ready for the Griffon to put back in the water.

Reported by: Kevin B. Sprague




Welland Canal Report

03/16:
The Welland Canal is slowly coming back to life. Sections of the canal between Locks 1 and 2 and between Locks 3 and 4 have now been refilled with water. The flight locks are currently being refilled and should be full by this morning. Seaway crews are performing maintenance, testing and restoring power to the idle locks and lift bridges preparing for next Friday's opening.

At Port Weller Dry Docks work is progressing on both the CSL Tadoussac and the CSL Laurentien. Unloading cables on the Laurentien are now being reinstalled. The former hull of the Louis R. Desmarais now has her former vessel name as well as the Canada Steamship Lines banner painted over with blue paint. It is likely she will be towed to International Marine Salvage in Port Colborne shortly after the canal reopens.

Reported by: Jason Junge




GLF boats to operate with power plant upgrades

03/16:
When the AAA Class vessels of USS Great Lakes Fleet enter service this spring, two of them will be operating with substantial power plant upgrades. Last year GLF began a five-year plan to upgrade the power plants of the Cason J. Callaway, Philip R. Clarke and Arthur M. Anderson. The first step of the Fleet repowering project was to renew one of the Callaway's boilers during the winter of 1999-2000.

The big changes were begun this winter when the Callaway's engine room underwent a major renovation and automation. The remaining boiler was upgraded and its controls automated. Engine room controls were automated and can now be controlled from the pilothouse. The turbine also was rebuilt to original specifications.

The goal of the Callaway project is to increase its efficiency by cutting operating costs and getting the boat's speed back to its original level. The engine room also can now be run with a one-person watch, although there's been no word yet on whether that will done this season. If the Callaway's engine room project is successful, the same process will be used on the Clarke and the Anderson. Over the past few months the Clarke has been undergoing re-tubing and rebuilding of its two boilers. Work on both boats was done at Fraser Shipyard in Superior, Wisc.

Reported by: Mike Nomad




Former CSL Innovator Spotted in New Jersey

03/16:
During the afternoon of March 15 the Christopher Oldendorf was seen unloading gypsum at the Camden New Jersey. This vessel was formerly the CSL Innovator. Most cargos to this dock are carried by the Canada Steamship Lines' 736-foot ocean going fleet.

Reported by: Mike Harting




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.

The Niagara Harbor & Dock Company, a shipbuilding firm, was incorporated on 16 March 1831 at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.

On 16 March 1886, the tug MOCKING BIRD was sold by Mr. D. N. Runnels to Mr. James Reid of St. Ignace, Michigan. Mr. Runnels received the tug JAMES L. REID as partial payment.

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




Cuyahoga to Sail

03/15:
Cuyahoga will depart her winter lay-up dock in Sarnia this morning about 6:00 a.m. and sail downbound for the Toledo shipyard. Once in Toledo she will undergo her 5 year inspection in the dry dock.

Cuyahoga's fleet mate, the Saginaw is expected to enter service on March 23. There have been no updates on the pending sale of the three USS boats docked in Sarnia to Grand River Navigation, the U.S. subsidiary of Lower Lake Towing. Rumors suggested the deadline for the sale was yesterday but no official comment has been made by either company.

Reported by: Mike Flint




Coal Trade Ready to Start

03/15:
Barely a month after the 2000 coal season ended the 2001 season is ready to begin. The Canadian Enterprise is expected to depart Port Colborne in the next few days and work the Lake Erie Coal trade until the locks open. The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley is waiting to escort the Enterprise through the very heavy ice on the east end of the lake.

The Lake Erie Coal trade ended on February 8 when the Canadian Transport loaded coal in Conneaut, Ohio for. Ontario Hydro’s power plant in Nanticoke, Ontario. The Transport made 85 trips last season and carried approximately 2,225,000 MT of cargo.

Reported by: John Stark




Locks prepare to Open

03/15:
Wednesday morning the U. S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw was working the lower approach to the Poe Lock breaking ice. After the Mackinaw departed a tug from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continued the ice breaking and flushing ice. The Poe Lock was then drained to the Lake Huron level, it had been kept full at the Superior level all winter. The small tug then entered the lock and flushed out the ice. The Poe is being prepared for the March 25 opening of the locks.

Pictures from the live cam
Mackinaw breaking ice.
Tug working in the ice.
Entering the Poe Lock.
In the Poe.
Flushing ice from the lock.

Reported by: Dan Fletcher, D. Weston and Mike Flint




Fit out Begins on Mail Boats

03/15:
Wednesday crews from the J.W. Westcott Company in Detroit began fitting out the U.S. Mail Boats J.W. Westcott II and Joseph J. Hogan. The mail boats spent the winter at Gregory's Marina behind Belle Isle on the Detroit River. Crews expect to return the fleet to the water on March 26 and enter service during the first week of April.

Reported by: Capt. Sam Buchanan




DMIR Ready for 2001

03/15:
The DMIR ore docks in Duluth and Superior are expecting a fast start to the season on March 22.

The season for the Duluth dock starts March 22 with the Phillip R. Clarke due to load. The Clarke will be followed by the John G. Munson on March 23, Oglebay Norton on March 27 and the Halifax March 30.

In Two Harbors, Edgar B. Speer is scheduled to open the season when it arrives at 10:00 a.m. Speer will be followed on March 24 by the Edwin H. Gott, Roger Blough on March 25, Presque Isle March 27 and Arthur M. Anderson on March 26.

Reported by: Pat Clark and Al Miller




Taconite Harbor Set to Open Final Season

03/15:
Opening Taconite Harbor on March 27 is expected to be the Charles M. Beeghly. The Reserve will follow a few days later. Crews are trying to get the snow and ice out of the cars, in the past this was done by adding hot pellets but since production has ceased, crews are trying to use calcium chloride to melt the snow and ice.

The taconite plant and mine were shutdown in February, the shipment of pellets will continue until stockpiles are exhausted. The company mined taconite ore in Hoyt Lakes, Minn., and shipped taconite pellets from Taconite Harbor. LTV Steel Mining Co. was Minnesota's second-oldest taconite operation. In its 43 years, workers there produced and shipped 328 million tons of taconite pellets.

Reported by: Mike Delaney




Return Visit

03/15:
On Monday the tug Doug McKeil and barge Ocean Hauler arrived in Manistee, MI. bound for General Chemical to load calcium chloride for Amherstburg, Ontario. This is their second trip of the year, the first was is late February. The tug and barge tied up to the pier at that night wait for bridge tenders to man the bridges before moving up the river to the General Chemical. They departed on Wednesday.

Reported by: Tom & Shirley Geoghan and Chris Franckowiak




Independent Expected in April

03/15:
The Kinsman Independent is expected to begin fit out on March 19. Her engine room crew will begin work around the April 9 while the navigation department is expected to report by April 15. She is scheduled to depart the General Mills Frontier Elevator on the Buffalo Ship Canal some time around the April 19. The Independent will again become the last American registered straight deck bulk freight vessel operating on the Great Lakes.

In lay-up at Buffalo.
Night shot.
Bow view.
Another view.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski




Simcoe Hard at Work

03/15:
The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Simcoe is hard at work in the first week of her new season. The Brockville Recorder & Times reports the crew's first task will be to break ice through the St. Lawrence River from Prescott to the Bay of Quinte, where the Simcoe will meet up with the carrier the Stephen B. Roman, and then break up ice and escort the cement carrier into Picton, Ont.

The crew will then head further down Lake Ontario to Toronto breaking ice and stringing buoys along the way. The Simcoe will later cross over into U.S. waters, then take the south shore of Lake Ontario back to Kingston, deploying a series of navigational buoys along the way under contract with the U.S. Coast Guard.

The ship will be back in Prescott no later than March 20. Starting March 21, the ship will break ice and lay buoys between Prescott and Kingston.

Following that, the crew will begin daily ice breaking and buoy deployment from Prescott to the Beauharnois Canal near Montreal.

Reported by: John Reynolds




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.

Mr. Russell Armington died on 15 March 1837. He operated the first shipyard at St. Catharine's, Ontario from 1828 until his death.

On 15 March 1926, SARNOR (wooden propeller freighter, 228', 1319 gt, built in 1888 at W. Bay City, MI, formerly BRITANNIC) caught fire at Kingston, Ontario near the La Salle Causeway. She burned to a total loss.

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


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




Block Departs

03/14:
Tuesday the Joseph L. Block departed Bay Shipbuilding for Escanaba MI. to load her first cargo of the season. The Block was the first ship, to depart Bay Ship for the 2001 shipping season. Within the next few weeks most all of the winter fleet in Sturgeon Bay will have departed for the new season.

Joesph Block leaving the Bay of Sturgeon Bay. Vic DeLarwelle
Escorted through the ice by the U.S. Coast Guard and tug Jimmy L. Orrin Royce
Another view. Orrin Royce

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle and Orrin Royce




Fitout Begins

03/14:
The laid-up boats in Duluth and Superior are coming back to life. Crew members are scheduled to report to the Edwin H. Gott on Thursday and prepare the vessel for the 2001 season.

Reported by: Dave Schmidt




Buckeye to Sail

03/14:
Oglebay Norton's Buckeye was not scheduled to sail in the 2001 season but that appears to have changed as recent reports have the vessel fitting out sometime in late April. Last year the vessel began the season in late March.

Reported by: M. Loree




Buoy Work

03/14:
The U. S. Coast Guard Cutter Acacia was working off Kenosha, WI. Tuesday afternoon servicing the entrance marker buoys. They buoys appear to have drifted together during the winter.

Acacia working at the entrance.
Another view.
Wide view.

Reported by: John Monefeldt




Simcoe Passes

03/14:
The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Simcoe was on her first voyage of the season passing on the St. Lawrence River Tuesday afternoon. She was the first vessel of any size to pass on the west end of the river since late December. An ice bridge below Round Island was the only heavy ice in the area and the Simcoe had no trouble breaking through.

Reported by: Win Price




Bulk Terminal on Lake Erie Sold

03/14:
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners has purchased the Pinney Dock & Transport Company terminal for approximately $41.5 million in cash. The facility, which handles iron ore, titanium ore, magnetite and other aggregates, is located in Ashtabula, Ohio on Lake Erie.

"This acquisition adds another stable, fee-based terminal to our portfolio and gives us access to a new geographic region," said Richard D. Kinder, chairman and CEO of KMP. "We expect the transaction to be immediately accretive to cash available for distribution to KMP unitholders, and we will continue to look for additional opportunities to expand our bulk terminals business."

Pinney Dock has six docks with 15,000 feet of vessel berthing space, 300 acres of outside storage space, 350,000 feet of warehouse space and two 45-ton gantry cranes.

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L. P. is the nation's largest pipeline master limited partnership with an enterprise value of approximately $6.0 billion. It owns and operates one of the largest product pipeline systems in the country, serving customers across the United States with more than 10,000 miles of pipeline and over 20 associated terminals. Additional assets include 10,000 miles of natural gas transportation pipelines, plus natural gas gathering and storage facilities; 28 bulk terminal facilities, which transload more than 40 million tons of coal, petroleum coke and other products annually; and Kinder Morgan CO2 Company, L.P.

For more information visit www.kindermorgan.com




Tour the Burger Boat Company

03/14:
On April 6 a fundraiser will be held for the Wisconsin Maritime Museum with a tour of the Tour Burger Boat Company in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

The Burger Boat Company is known worldwide for quality in yacht construction. The Burger Boat Company was founded by Henry B. Burger in 1892 when a small yard was opened on the west bank of the Manitowoc River.

In the early years, Burger Boat concentrated on building small sailboats, fishtugs, launches, and power cruisers. Even before World War I, Burger had earned a reputation for excellence in the construction of large wooden yachts. This reputation grew between and after the wars as the yard built larger and more elaborate luxury yachts. In 1926 Burger built an experimental steel-hulled yacht and by the late 1930s was producing welded steel hulls.

During both World Wars the yard built wooden rescue craft, tugs, and minesweepers; 55 vessels during World War II alone. During the Korean War, the yard was mobilized again to build minesweepers.

In 1952 Burger began experimenting with welded aluminum hull construction.

The first all-welded aluminum hull was completed in 1954. In 1957 the fifty-seven foot yacht DYNA became America's first large all-welded aluminum pleasure craft. In 1963 the firm stopped building wooden and steel yachts and concentrated on its successful line of semi-custom and custom-built aluminum yachts.

In 1986 Henry E. Burger sold the company to John G. McMillan. McMillan tried unsuccessfully to relocate the firm to Florida and then sold it in 1989 to United Shipbuilders of America, a subsidiary of Tacoma Boatbuilding Company. In 1990 the new owners suffered financial difficulties and closed the yard.

Burger Boat was acquired in 1993 by David Ross and James Ruffolo and began a revitalization that continues in 2001 with the periodic removal of older facilities and their replacement with modern structures. The yard thrives today under the leadership of Ross and Ruffolo.

The Burger Boat tour begins at 12:30 PM with an historical overview of the Burger Boat Company at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum. Participants will then board a luxury coach for the short trip the Burger yard where they will tour the production facilities and view aluminum yachts 80' to 100' long in various stages of completion. The luxury coach will return participants to the Wisconsin Maritime Museum where hors d'oeuvres and a tour of the Museum gallery awaits.

The cost for participation is $100 for Museum members, $125 for non-members. A percentage of the cost is tax deductible. For additional information see the Museum web site at www.wimaritimemuseum.org (coming events) or by contacting Patty Ressler at (920)684-0218




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.

Mr. Francois Baby was granted a "ferry lease" between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan on 14 March 1843. He built the steamer ALLIANCE for this ferry service and Capt. Tom Chilvers was skipper. In 1851, Capt. Chilvers leased the steamer from Mr. Baby and ran it on the same route until the late 1850s.

On 14 March 1878, the first vessel of the navigation season passed through the Straits of Mackinac. This was the earliest opening of the navigation season at the Straits since 1854.

Data from: Max Hanley, Shawn B-K, 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




Icebreaking Update

03/13:
Icebreaking operations on the lakes are preparing for the opening of the new season.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bramble is expected to transit the Straits of Mackinac today as it heads back to Port Huron.

The Biscayne Bay was expected to escort the Alpena last night between White Shoal Light and the Mackinaw Bridge. Very thick, heavy brash ice is making it difficult to maintain tracks through the area. Saturday the Mobile Bay assisted two vessels transiting the Straits and reported heavy snow covering thick brash ice and windrows 5-12 feet thick. On Sunday the Mobile Bay and cutter Mackinaw assisted a total of three vessels through the area.

Monday the Cutter Katmai Bay and the Mackinaw were grooming tracks in the St. Marys River in preparation for the Poe Lock opening on the March 25.

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley is ready to assist vessels on Lake Erie near Port Colborne.

Reported by: Brian Kloosterman




Simcoe Ready for 2001

03/13:
The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Simcoe is scheduled to depart on the morning of March 19. She will begin the season placing navigation aids. The Simcoe spent the winter alongside the wharf at the Coast Guard Base in Prescott, Ontario. Also at the Coast Guard base were the CCGS Advent and the CCGS Caribou Isle. The Simcoe will be the first ship movement along that section of the river for 2001.

Reported by: John Reynolds




Salt Trade Down 4.6 Percent in 2000

03/13:
Salt shipments on the Great Lakes in U.S. and Canadian vessels totaled 6.7 million net tons in 2000, a decrease of 4.6 percent. The mild winter of 1999/2000 played a major role in the decrease; many municipalities did not use as much salt to de-ice roads and so did not need to replenish stockpiles to the degree required in previous years.

Reported by: the Lake Carriers' Association




Ice Forecast

03/13:
Ice Hazard Bulletin for the Great Lakes issued by the Canadian Ice Service of Environment Canada at 1700 UTC Monday 12 March 2001.

Ice warning issued starting Monday evening for strong ice pressure over the northeast end of Lake Erie.

Lake Ontario...Fast ice in the Bay of Quinte and in sheltered bays of Prince Edward County and along the northeast coast north of Stony Point and in the St Lawrence Seaway. 5 to 9 plus tenths medium with some thick lake ice northeast of a line from Prince Edward Point To Stony Point. Open water elsewhere.

Lake Erie...Consolidated thick lake ice in the eastern end of the lake near Buffalo. Open water in the western basin. Over the western and central sections of the lake mostly open water except for a patch of 1 to 4 tenths medium with some thick lake ice near and northeast of Fairport Harbor. 9 plus tenths mostly medium lake ice east of Erie becoming 9 plus tenths mostly thick lake ice east of Long Point. 2 to 6 tenths new lake ice in Long Point Bay. Open water in Lake St Clair except 5 to 9 plus tenths thin and medium lake ice in the southeastern section.

Lake Huron and Georgian Bay...Open water in the central portion of the lake and in the approaches to Georgian Bay. Along the eastern shore of the lake 9 to 10 tenths medium and thick lake ice. Mostly open water along the western shore except for a few strips of thin and new lake ice. 6 to 9 tenths medium and thin lake ice in the northwestern section. in Georgian Bay 6 to 9 plus tenths medium with some thick lake ice except 7 to 9 tenths new and thin lake ice within 5 miles from the fast ice edge and open water within 5 to 10 miles from the southwestern shore. Open water within 5 to 10 miles from the southwest coast of Georgian Bay. Fast ice in St Marys River and in the North Channel and along the northeastern shore of Georgian Bay and in Saginaw Bay.

Lake Superior...Fast ice in Black and Nipigon Bays and most of Whitefish Bay. Fast ice in most of Thunder Bay. 5 to 9 tenths new and thin lake ice within 2 to 8 miles along the northern shore becoming 8 to 9 plus tenths thin and medium lake ice within 25 to 35 miles of the north shore east of Grand Marais. Within 3 to 7 miles of the north shore of Isle Royal 9 plus to 10 medium and thick lake ice. Within 10 to 20 miles of the south shore 7 to 10 tenths medium and thin with some thick lake ice. Within 20 to 30 miles of the eastern shore 7 to 9 plus thin and new with some medium lake ice. 9 plus tenths medium lake ice in northern Whitefish Bay. elsewhere mostly open water.

Lake Michigan...10 tenths of fasted thick lake ice in southern Green Bay south of Chambers Island...In Little and Big Bay De Noc...along the northern shore of Lake Michigan from the Mackinaw Bridge extending westward to Naubinway Mi and lower Michigan shoreline from the Mackinaw Bridge to Cross Village Mi. 6 to 8 tenths of thick... medium...thin around Washington and St. Martin Islands drifting to the west. 9 to 10 tenths of thick...medium and thin lake ice north and east of a line from Thompson Mi to northern Beaver Island to Hog Island to Charlevoix Mi. A trace of medium lake ice moving south from Beaver Island down to the Fox and Manitou Islands. 5 to 7 tenths of thin and new lake ice in the east fork of Grand Traverse Bay. 7 to 9 tenths of medium and thin lake ice right along the shore from Benton Harbor northward to Muskegon. Remainder of Lake Michigan is free of 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: Joe Barr, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


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




Thompson Ready to Open Season

03/12:
The barge Joseph H. Thompson and tug Joseph H. Thompson Jr. are prepared to open the 2001 ore season from Escanaba, Michigan today. The tug and barge were waiting at the dock Sunday and should begin loading this morning. The Joseph L. Block is expected to load on Wednesday.

Thompson and Great Lakes Trader at the ore dock. Trader spent the winter in lay-up at the dock
Another view.
Close up of the Thompson's freshly painted bow.
The Trader's tug, Joyce L. Van Enkevort, out of the notch.

Reported by: Scott Best




Bay Ship Update

03/12:
Sunday the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bramble was removed from the small graving dock and placed at berth. All work at Bay Ship on her shaft was completed. She will take on fuel and water and undergo a few inspections prior to her departure today when she heads back to Port Huron, MI.

Work on the Southdown Conquest was also completed and the Susan W. Hannah departed with the cement barge on Sunday.

On Saturday the dredge Liberty Island and a Hannah barge 3601 were placed into the Large Graving dock.

The Liberty Island will remain in the Graving dock until the Hull is completed in mid 2001, with all of the scheduled dockings now completed for the 2001 winter fleet. A cofferdam wall will be put into place once the ice is removed from the Graving dock, this will allow the Hannah Barge to be removed from the Dock once work is completed on her, allowing the forward sections and bow to be placed on the Liberty Island, with out having to flood the whole dock, keeping the Liberty Island high and dry.

With the flat, watertight bulkhead, the Liberty Island brought a lot of large ice into the dock with her.

Conquest departs.
Bramble prepares to move from the small dry dock.
Tugs work to clear ice.
Bramble out of dock awaiting fuel and supplies.

The dredge is moved into the dry dock Saturday.
Close up of tugs Susan L. and Escort II.
Hannah barge 3601 and dredge Liberty Island on Saturday.

Images taken Sunday after the dry dock was drained.
Looking from Dock gate at the Hannah and Liberty Island, dock drained.
Close up of the Hannah 3601.
Close up of the dredge in the empty dock.
Water tight bulkhead on Liberty Island where sections and bow will be attached.
Bow sections waiting on the dock wall to be attached.
The flat bulkhead pushed large pieces of ice in to the dock.
More help arrives to help remove the ice.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle and Orrin Royce




Sarnia Harbor Getting Crowded

03/12:
The tug John Spence and barge McAsphalt 401 are laying over in Sarnia along with several other vessels in winter lay-up. The barge is alongside the Cuyahoga, and the Spence is behind the Algolake, where the Samuel Risley moored during the winter. On Sunday, the tug Menasha, workboat Duke and Gordon's construction barge arrived alongside the McAllister 132.

The Algolake is still having sandblasting work done in the cargo hold. Repair crews have easy access into the hold after cutting a portion of the shell plating and fabricating it into a hinged door. There has been a very large roll of conveyor belting sitting on the dock all winter beside the ship.

The east end of the harbor.

Reported by: George Lee




Alpena Visits St. Joe

03/12:
On Saturday the Alpena arrived at the Lake Michigan port of St. Joseph. She was unloading a cargo of cement at the Lafarge Dock and is expected to return to Alpena to load on Tuesday.

Reported by: Robin Greathouse and PAZ




Meldrum Bay prepares for 2001

03/12:
Meldrum Bay is preparing to start production on March 18 and start another year of shipping . Meldrum Bay Quarry, owned by the Lafarge Corp., is planning to ship approximately 6 million tons this year. Last year the facility loaded about 150 boats. Meldrum Bay is located on the western tip of Manitoulin Island in Northern Lake Huron.

Reported by: Dieter Nollert




Duluth Lay-up

03/12:
Below are images of Duluth's lay-up fleet taken on Friday.

Reserve waits for the season to start.
Side view of the Reserve's bow.
Bow view of the Philip R. Clarke.
Roger Blough.
Side view of the Blough's bow.
Another view.
Rudder and propeller.
Blough's unique shuttle unloading boom.
Another view of the unloading boom.
Close up of her name.
Edgar B. Speer.
Stern view of the Elton Hoyt 2nd.

Reported by: Steve Haverty




Owen Sound Lay-up

03/12:
Below are images taken Wednesday of Owen Sound's lay-up fleet

Wide view.
Mapleglen.
Close up.
Agawa Canyon.
Close up of stern.
Side view of bow.
Algowest.
Close up of bow.

Reported by: Colin Kennedy




Great Lakes 2001 Cargo/Passenger Season opens

03/12:
The Cruise People Ltd of London is pleased to announce the opening of the 2001 Trans-Atlantic cargo-passenger season on vessels of the PZM Polska Zegluga Morska (Polish Steamship Company), sailing from Amsterdam (Port of IJmuiden) to the Great Lakes. The first sailing of the m.v. ISA has now been scheduled to depart from Amsterdam/IJmuiden on/about 21st March, to be followed by the m.v. ISOLDA on or about 29th March.

Five modern 34.600-ton "I" class bulk carriers, each with Owners cabin, double cabin and two single cabins, maintain the service, backed up by six 26,600-ton "Z" class ships, each with double Owners cabin and single cabins, and there will be a sailing about every two weeks through to November. Passenger reservations are accepted for Cleveland at $995 per person and Burns Harbor (for Chicago) at $1,095 per person, with a premium of $100 per person for use of the Owners Cabin on the "I" class ships. Bookings can be made from Amsterdam/IJmuiden can be booked for the first or second half of any particular month through to November.

PZM Great Lakes service also now offers round voyages to or from the Great Lakes, at a lump sum fare of $5,700, based on a voyage of 60 days. Refunds are made pro rata at $95 per day should the voyage last less than 60 days, and days over 60 are charged at $95 per day, although most voyages are 60 days or less. Boarding can be affected at Amsterdam/IJmuiden in Europe or at Cleveland or Burns Harbor in North America, where the ships call regularly. They then load grain in the Great Lakes, but final destinations are only known at the last minute and can be any of Morocco, Algeria, Eqypt, Turkey, Ukraine, Italy, Spain, Norway, Poland or Russia before returning to IJmuiden/Amsterdam to load steel. Passengers wishing to book full round voyages thus need to be quite flexible in their arrangements for this tramping voyage.

This year, as representatives for Great Lakes Cruises Inc, The Cruise People will also offer a special sailing on the 224-passenger m.t.s. Arcadia, leaving Athens on 14th May and London on 26th May for Toronto. This once-only cruise ship positioning voyage to the Great Lakes offers fares beginning at $2,845 for 28 nights from Athens to Toronto or $1,865 for the 17 nights from London to Toronto. The voyage includes port calls at Malta and Gibraltar, as well as in Scotland, Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland and the St Lawrence River on the way to Toronto.

The ISA is one of five sister ships which carry six passengers each on the route between Europe and the Great Lakes.
Arcadia will do a single voyage to Toronto, sailing from Athens on May 14 and London on May 26.

For more information please visit www.cruisepeople.co.uk




Blount/Barker Launches 55’ Harbor Tug Bound For San Francisco Harbor

03/12:
A Twin Screw, 1,200hp 55’ Harbor Tug, was launched, Thursday, March 8 at the Blount/Barker shipyard in Warren, RI. Completion of the vessel, including special features were ordered by the purchaser, Tutor-Saliba / Koch / Tidewater JV of Sylmar, California. The vessel will be used in the seismic retrofit of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge in San Francisco, which was damaged in a recent earthquake.

Luther Blount, former owner and now consultant to the Blount/Barker Shipbuilding believes this is one of the largest tug ever shipped by road coast to coast.

The twin screw is powered by two Caterpillar 3412’s with 4:1 twin disc gears totaling 1,200 hp @1,800 rpm’s. All aspects of the design and construction were aimed at a heavily built powerful tugboat with extra heavy belted construction similar to the railroad tugs used in New York Harbor.

After testing, the tug will have its superstructure removed and be hoisted onto a trans continental heavy truck carrier, which will transport it over the road from Rhode Island to San Francisco Bay. When it arrives there, the superstructure transported by another truck will be replaced and the vessel will be launched.

Image of the tug shortly after launch.

For more information contact: James A. Barker, President Blount/Barker Shipbuilding 401-245-8300




Blount Barker Signs Contract For Buchanan Marine Tug

03/12:
On Tuesday, February 27, Blount/Barker Shipbuilding, Warren, Rhode Island signed a contract for under 2 million with Buchanan Marine of New Haven, Connecticut to build a 2,200hp, 85’ All Welded, Twin Screw Tug.

“ We selected Blount/Barker on the basis of their quality workmanship and reputation for solid design,“ states a spokesman for Buchanan Marine. The construction of this vessel will be based on the classic design of the tugs Pathfinder and Usher built by Blount in 1969. This design incorporates heavy power for shallow draft operations in the Great Lakes and coastal ports, which makes it an ideal tug for dredging and construction work.

Bristol Harbor Marine Design and JMS Naval Architects and Salvage Engineers will design and engineer the hull and superstructure utilizing CAD/CNC technology for all lofting and cutting. The tug will be powered by (2) CAT 3512 engines, 4:1 twin disc gears and two (2) 65 KW generators will supply ships service power. The tug will be keel cooled and equipped with (2) 4-blade stainless steel propellers measuring ~76” in diameter. The vessel will also be equipped with (2) pushing winches and a 100,000# Almond Johnson Towing Machine.

The tug will be used for harbor and ocean towing of bulk material barges. The tug will draw roughly 8.5 feet, which will make it ideal for pushing a 2,000-ton aggregate barge into the harbors of Long Island Sound. Construction is scheduled to start early April with the completion date set for November.

James A. Barker, Blount/Barker company President is looking forward to expanding the building and repair services of the company and establishing Blount/Barker as a competitive shipbuilding facility in the northeast for both workboats and passenger vessels.

Passenger vessel under construction.

For more information contact: James A. Barker, President Blount/Barker Shipbuilding 401-245-8300




Your Own Coast Guard Cutter

03/12:
The 180-foot former U.S. Coast Guard Buoy Tender for Mallow is for sale on the popular web auction site eBay. Made by Zenith Dredge Company 1944, her dimensions are 180-feet in length, 37-feet wide with a draft of 12-feet. The vessel is reported to be seaworthy and located in Baltimore, MD. The high bid late last night was $50,100.

Click here to view

Reported by: Brian Kloosterman




Calendar of Events

03/12:
The Calendar of Events page has been updated. If you are a member of a group or an organization that has an event you think should be included please click here to add the event. All Great Lakes related events are listed at no charge.

Click here to view the 2001 Great Lakes Calendar of Events.




Weekly e-mail Updates to your Desk Top

03/12:
Receive weekly updates by e-mail when this site is updated. Members also receive previews of new content and special non-public pages. The mailings are normally sent once a week, on Monday mornings.

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Details and Privacy Policy





Website Updates

03/12:
The weekly updates have been uploaded.

Click here for easy to navigate updates




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




Thompson on the Move

03/11:
Saturday the barge Joseph H. Thompson and tug Joseph H. Thompson Jr. were being assisted through the ice by tug Erika Kobasic in Escanaba. The tug and barge were slowly backing out of Reiss dock where they had spent the winter. They are scheduled to load at the ore docks on Monday.

Tug and barge in the ice.

Reported by: Sandy Chapman




Conquest in Ship Yard

03/11:
The tug Susan W. Hannah and barge Southdown Conquest are at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, WI. for repairs to damage suffered while passing through the heavy ice in the Straits of Mackinac.

Conquest makes her way to the ship yard Friday.Orrin Royce

Reported by: Dustin Sadowski




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).

The tug RIVER QUEEN was sold to Mr. Ed Recor of St. Clair, Michigan on 11 March 1886.

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




Integrity Departs

03/10:
Friday the tug Jacklyn M. and barge Integrity departed their lay-up dock in Milwaukee and shifted to load at the Paul H. Townsend. They are loading the Townsend's storage cargo and expect to depart for Waukegan at 5:00 a.m. today.

Integrity docks along side the Townsend. Andy LaBorde

Reported by: Andy LaBorde and Robin Greathouse




Conquest Enters Ship Yard

03/10:
The tug Susan W. Hannah and barge Southdown Conquest made their way into Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, WI. early Friday morning. The tug Jimmy L. assisted the pair, it is unknown why the tug and barge are in the ship yard.

Full moon hangs low over the Selvick tugs at their dock.
Conquest makes her way through the river.
Passing the Edward L. Ryerson.
At the ship yard.

Reported by: Orrin Royce




Seaway Updates

03/10:
Expected to clear the ice in the Seaway beginning on March 15 will be the icebreaker George R. Pearkes assisted by a hovercraft. The Seaway will open officially eight days later.

The general cargo ship Lucien Paquin laid up in Montreal since August 18 when she arrived from Valleyfield in the St. Lawrence Seaway has been sold. She departed Montreal on Feb. 23 with her new name Igen Ice and flying the flag of St.Vincent & Grenadines. It is reported that she will have this name for a very short time. In April she is expected to be delivered to a ship breaking yard overseas.

Leaving Montreal the same day was the tug Salvage Monarch bound for Halifax. It is not known why she went there.

Arriving in Montreal on March 5 for the first time was the bulker Thornhill that is operated by Marbulk Shipping, a CSL Group company. She came in to unload salt and had unloaded a part cargo at Quebec City a few days before.

Leaving Montreal and winter lay-up on March 8 was Amélia Desgagnés bound for the Magdalen Islands. Earlier in the week, she made the headlines as a worker going aboard had fallen on the ice when the gangway reportedly got loose.

Arriving at the Cargill Elevator at Baie Comeau Friday morning was the bulker Rio Glory. She called at Great Lakes ports twice last year under the name Darya Kamal. Under that name, she was an infrequent visitor to lakes ports since 1981 when she was built.

According to the February issue of Marine News published by the World Ship Society, several salties which had transited the Seaway over the years had casualties or were broken up.

Sinking on Nov 26, location not given, was the general cargo Rui Xiang which plied the Seaway under the name Balsa I . A passing vessel rescued the crew.

The general cargo Ignatiy Sergeyev was arrested at Kakinada (Cocanada), India on Nov.12 following contact with a local dredger. A huge fine was imposed and the owners were not in a position to pay . Subsequently beached and abandoned and reported sold to local breakers previous to Nov. 28, 2000. This vessel had logged her 1st trip to the Lakes in 1982.

Also sold for demolitions were the following ships at Alang, India. Amber II that also visited Great Lakes ports as Andrey Andreyev arriving at Alang on Nov. 10 and Vishva Parag on Nov. 25. Jose Olaya arrived at Xinhui, China on Sept. 30 as Huascar. Kapitan Milovzorov arrived at Haiphong, Vietnam on Oct.28. The 36L class Arc Aeolos arrived at Chittagong, Bangladesh about Nov. 9 as Lady Juliet. Also arriving at Chittagong but on Oct. 19 was the SD14 type North Star II which transited the Seaway under the name REA, the tanker Nordic Voyager under the name Novo Voyager arriving there about Oct. 29 and Sea Dynasty arriving also about Oct. 29. She was on the inland seas as Nokolay Novikov.

Other vessels reported broken up were Multi Lift which arrived at Mumbai, India on Nov. 15 and called to Lakes ports under two of her former names, Yver and Astra Lift. Nyanza arrived at Guangzhou, China on Nov. 2 and Ionian was delivered to Indian breakers in Sept. 1997 having been a regular Seaway visitor under her original name of Ioannis Zafirakis starting in 1977.

Reported by: René Beauchamp




Two Dozen Things You Didn't Know about Ships and Sailors on the Great Lakes

03/10:
Great Lakes author and historian Mark Thompson will present a program tonight titled "Two Dozen Things You Didn't Know about Ships and Sailors on the Great Lakes." The Saginaw River Marine Historical Society is hosting Mark at its meeting in Bay City, MI. The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. at the Trinity Episcopal Church (parish hall in back) at Center and Grant Streets. The meeting is open to the public.

Reported by: Stephen Hause




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.

The N. K. FAIRBANK (wooden freighter, 205', 980 gt, built in 1874 at Marine City, MI) was sold by Morley & Morse to Captain H. Hastings on 10 March 1884.

The tug RIVER QUEEN sank at her dock in Port Huron during the night of 10 March 1885. She was raised the following day and one of her sea-cocks was discovered to have been open that caused her to fill with water.

CADILLAC (steel ferry, 161', 636 gt) was launched on 10 March 1928 by the Great Lakes Engineering Works in River Rouge, Michigan (hull #260) for the Detroit & Windsor Ferry Company. The ferry company claimed that she was the largest and most powerful ferry in North American waters. When she was launched, the Ambassador Bridge and the tunnel, which connects Detroit and Windsor, were being constructed. She was placed in service on 25 April 1928 and had a varied history. From 1940 to 1942, she ran as a Bob-lo steamer. In 1942, she was sold to the U. S. Coast Guard and renamed ARROWWOOD (WAGL 176) and used as an icebreaker. She was rebuilt in 1946, renamed CADILLAC, and served as a passenger vessel on Lake Erie. At the end of the 1947 season, she was tied up to the dock for use as a restaurant. She went through a couple of owners until she finally arrived at the scrappers' dock in Hamilton, Ontario on May 26, 1962 for breaking up.

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


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




Fred R. White Begins Regular Season

03/09:
The Fred R. White JR. completed her winter shuttles from Cleveland Harbor to the LTV Steel Mill and has begun her regular season. Thursday she was heading westward from Cleveland to Lorain to begin a series of Lorain to Cleveland shuttles carrying taconite to the steel plant.

Oglebay Norton is will be trying a new watch schedule for all watchkeepers. A watch will go for six hours, be off two, stand another two then be off for a consecutive fourteen hours to insure rest. This apparently is being tried on all boats for the first month of the season.

Reported by: B. Upham




Production to resume at Hibbing Taconite

03/09:
Production at Hibbing Taconite Co. will resume Sunday following a six-week shutdown, and company officials say a slight improvement in demand might reduce the length of shutdown scheduled for summer.

Hibbing Taconite shut down Jan. 28. Late Saturday, the plant's 670 hourly workers will begin returning to work and starting up the pelletizing furnaces. By Monday the plant will begin producing taconite pellets.

The shutdown reduced Hibbing Taconite's 2001 pellet production forecast by about 900,000 tons.

Another 600,000 tons was to be cut during a four-week shutdown scheduled to begin in July. But company officials now say that the summer shutdown might be reduced to just three weeks. That s the plant would add about 150,000 tons of pellets to its annual production.

Hibbing Taconite would produce about 6.9 million tons of taconite pellets this year if the mine is shut down for a total of nine weeks. Earlier in the year, annual pellet production was expected to be 8 million tons. That estimate was later reduced to 6.7 million tons under 10 weeks of shutdown time.

Officials of Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., manager of the plant, said steel imports, low steel prices, and a slowing U.S. economy forced the shutdowns.

Dave Gardner, a Cleveland-Cliffs spokesman, told the Duluth News Tribune that the domestic steel market remains unstable.

"It's kind of a situation where there's mixed signals,'' Gardner said. "You're seeing some order books that are better and some that aren't. I don't think anybody thinks anything is going to happen until the second half of the year, if there is a turnaround.''

Reported by: Al Miller




ILM Fleet News

03/09:
The 2001 Great Lakes shipping season is underway as the freighters of Inland Lakes Management are taking to the waters. Inland Lakes is the company that manages a fleet of bulk cement carriers, hauling product for the Lafarge Corporation. Walter Watkins, fleet captain from Inland Lakes says the Alpena came out of winter lay up on March 1 and is on her second trip of the season hauling a load of cement from Alpena to South Chicago.

The J.A.W. Iglehart is still in lay up but is expected to sail on April 1. The Paul H. Townsend, which wrapped up its season last November, will sail on June 1. The tug Jacklyn M. and barge Integrity are expected to depart Milwaukee this weekend.

The S.T. Crapo is not expected to be brought out this year and will likely continue to be used as floating storage in Green Bay Wisconsin. The same is likely for the fleet’s oldest vessel, the 104-year-old E.M. The Ford is currently used for floating storage in Saginaw.

Watkins did acknowledge that the season is starting a little early this year and that the early start is because of higher customer demand.




Sundew Ready to Break Ice

03/09:
Coast Guard Cutter Sundew is scheduled to begin breaking ice Monday in Duluth-Superior harbor to help the James R. Barker when its departs March 17 with coal for Presque Isle near Marquette.

The Barker is scheduled to load 48,000 metric tons of coal for Wisconsin Electric Power Co.

Reported by: Al Miller




Algoeast Downbound

03/09:
The Algoeast was downbound Thursday on lower Lake Huron. Sailing from the Soo, the tanker was expected to dock at the Imperial Dock in Sarnia. The Lake Huron Cut is ice free. The Canadian Coast Guard Cutter Samuel Risley is standing by at the Government Dock in Sarnia ready to assist if needed.

Reported by: Ron Locke




Seaway Prepares to Open

03/09:
On Monday the center section of the ice boom at Prescott/Ogdensburg was opened. For the past few days the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Simcoe has been fitting out to begin breaking ice toward Lake Ontario. The Paterson has been unloaded and is high in the water at anchor beside Prescott Grain.

Reported by: John Reynolds




Coast Guard to Take Delivery

03/09:
Today the United States Coast Guard will take delivery of its newest vessel, the USCG SPAR, which was christened and launched in August by former Attorney General Janet Reno.

The SPAR was named in honor of the 11,000 women who served in the United States Coast Guard during World War II. "Semper Paratus - Always Ready," the Coast Guard motto, was condensed to the S.P.A.R. acronym to symbolize the woman’s corps because it reflected their attitude and willingness to contribute to the war effort.

The SPAR will be stationed in Kodiak, Alaska. The 225-ft seagoing buoy tender will undergo a few final tests and trials in the Bay of Green Bay to allow the crew to get "comfortable" with the ship and its controls before making their way to Kodiak.

The Mobil Bay, which has been breaking ice on the bay all week, is expected to be in the Menominee River to break ice today or over the weekend.

Marinette Fuel and Dock are expecting their first load of salt around April 1, they had completely exhausted their supply by the middle of January.

Reported by: Scott Best




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.

On 9 March 1858, the propeller ferry GLOBE was being loaded with cattle at the Third Street dock at Detroit, Michigan. In the rush to get aboard, the cattle caused the vessel to capsize. All of the cattle swam ashore, although some swam across the river to the Canadian side.

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


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




Midwest Energy Schedule

03/08:
Midwest Energy Terminal plans to get off to a fast start this season, with half a dozen 1,000-footers already scheduled to take several loads each from the dock through early April. Although Duluth-Superior harbor has a substantial ice cover, the ship canal and the waters off Duluth are free of ice.

The terminal's loading line-up so far is:
James R. Barker, March 17, to Marquette
James R. Barker, March 20, to Marquette
Walter J. McCarthy Jr., March 23, to St. Clair
Indiana Harbor, March 24, to Nanticoke
Paul R. Tregurtha, March 26, to Nanticoke
Mesabi Miner, March 26, to St. Clair
Columbia Star, March 27, to Cobb
Walter J. McCarthy Jr., March 28, to St. Clair
Indiana Harbor, March 31, to Nanticoke
Walter J. McCarthy Jr., April 3, to St. Clair

Reported by: Al Miller




Algoeast Departs

03/08:
The Algoma tanker Algoeast departed the Canadian Soo Wednesday about 2:00 p.m. The tanker arrived on Tuesday afternoon and unloaded a cargo of petroleum products. She was escorted downbound by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw.

Reported by: Jerry Masson




Capt. Robert R. Simmonds

03/08:
Capt. Robert R. Simmonds, 72, of Duluth, Minn., died Monday, March 5, 2001, in his home after a courageous battle with cancer. He retired after 44 years of sailing for Interlake Steamship Co. His last command was the James R. Barker.

Reported by: Al Miller




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, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


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




First Load Scheduled for Escanaba

03/07:
The first vessel scheduled to load taconite at the Lake Michigan port is the barge Joseph H. Thompson and tug Joseph H. Thompson Jr. on Monday, March 12. The freshly painted Joseph L. Block will follow the tug and barge loading on Wednesday, March 14.

Extended schedule:
Thursday, March 15
Barge. Joseph H. Thompson, tug Joe Jr.

Sunday, March 18
Joseph L. Block
Barge. Joseph H. Thompson, tug Joe Jr.

Monday, March 19
Paul R. Tregurtha

Reported by: Jim Grill




Upbound on the St. Clair River

03/07:
Tuesday afternoon the tug Susan W. Hannah and barge Southdown Conquest were upbound in the St. Clair River. The Conquest was followed by the Alpena about an hour later.

Reported by: Ron locke and Larry Leverenz




Algoeast Escorted

03/07:
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw was upbound in the St. Marys River Tuesday afternoon in bright sunshine escorting the Algoma tanker Algoeast to the Soo. Nearing Johnsons Point, the tanker cut to the green side to allow the ice to drift and proceeded on without any problems.

Reported by: Jerry Masson




Cuyahoga Fitting Out in Sarnia

03/07:
The Cuyahoga is expected to depart the Cargill Elevator on March 13. She will head to Toledo for drydocking and her 5 year inspection.

Reported by: George Lee




Lake levels to keep falling, but record lows may be avoided

03/07:
Snowpack around the Great Lakes is thicker this winter than a year ago, but lake levels are still expected to fall this summer for the fourth consecutive year, experts say.

Nonetheless, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is now backing away from predictions made two months ago that the lakes would reach record lows this year.

Levels in most of the Great Lakes have dropped sharply in the past several years. In lakes Huron and Michigan, for instance, levels are down nearly 4 feet during the last four years. The drop is causing problems for Great Lakes fleets because their vessels must carry smaller, less profitable cargoes and face greater risk of grounding in unusually shallow water.

The latest forecast calls for peak summer water levels to be about the same or lower than last year. But because peaks are expected to occur earlier, the lakes will have longer to evaporate without replenishment.

Forecasters say Lake Michigan and Lake Huron will peak at a point about 2 inches lower than last year, which was 20 inches below average. Lake Superior is expected to peak 3 inches below last year, when it was 8 inches below average.

Both Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie could peak at 6 inches under what they hit last year.

"Certainly, on Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie, (people) will notice it," Roger Gauthier, senior hydrologist with the Corps of Engineers, told the Bay City Times. "Six inches will be substantial."

Last year Lake St. Clair peaked at 6 inches below average while Lake Erie was at 2 inches below average.

The lake level forecast is based on a recent aerial survey of the snowpack around Lake Superior showing below-average water content. The survey is conducted annually by the National Operational Hydrology Remote Sensing Center near Minneapolis.

Key to the entire lake level equation is Lake Superior and the amount of water flowing into its drainage basin.

Snowpack in the Superior basin provides about 40 percent of Lake Superior's annual water supply. Lakes Michigan and Huron receive up to 30 percent of their yearly supply from Superior's snowmelt when it flows into the lower lakes. Virtually all of Lake St. Clair's supply comes from Lake Huron.

"But because Superior, Huron and Michigan are so dry, any surplus or excess water will just be absorbed into them and won't make it down the system," Adam Fox, a physical scientist at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Detroit District office, told the Detroit Free Press.

Lake St. Clair may be a bit higher this spring than last year, but without the normal Superior snowmelt, Lake St. Clair's level likely will drop as summer progresses.

"We will probably avoid record lows on the Great Lakes, but still we won't approach average on the upper lakes," Fox said.

The only hope for easing the shortfall is an exceptionally rainy April and May. A wet spring last year boosted area lake levels. The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center forecasts above-normal precipitation for the next 90 days.

March 1 Lake Levels

  • Lake Superior: 13 inches below average, 7 inches above record low set in 1926.
  • Lake Michigan and Lake Huron: 23 inches below average, 8 inches above record low set in 1964.
  • Lake St. Clair: 8 inches below average, 26 inches above record low set in 1934.
  • Lake Erie: 6 inches below average, 28 inches above record low set in 1934.
  • Lake Ontario: 3 inches below average; 26 inches above record low set in 1935.
    For more information visit: huron.lre.usace.army.mil/hmpghh.html

    Reported by: Al Miller




  • LTV Reports Fourth Quarter Results; Steel Hit By Rising Imports, Falling Prices

    03/07:
    Tuesday the LTV Corporation announced a fourth quarter 2000 net loss of $351 million including special charges of $202 million. The loss was centered in the integrated steel segment and was caused primarily by lower selling prices resulting from unfairly traded imported steel, lower shipments and higher natural gas costs in the Integrated Steel segment. Integrated Steel selling prices were the lowest in twenty years and integrated steel shipments were 13% below the year ago quarter and 11% below the third quarter of 2000. The special charges of $202 million were for an asset impairment charge for LTV's tin mill operations, additional write-offs and costs related to the acceleration of the previously announced LTV Steel Mining shutdown and the write-down of electroplating equipment. The fourth quarter 2000 results also include costs of $4 million related to LTV's Chapter 11 reorganization. Results were favorably impacted by a $10 million gain on the sale of an interest in a metal fabrication joint venture. LTV posted a net loss of $67 million in the fourth quarter of 1999.

    William Bricker, chairman and chief executive officer of the LTV Corporation, said, "LTV has reached agreements with its lenders for $700 million of debtor-in-possession financing. Achieving this agreement, which is subject to court approval, enables LTV to focus on restructuring its steel operations." Mr. Bricker said that LTV had hired Jay Alix & Associates, a recognized leader in corporate and operational restructuring, to lead the effort to restructure LTV's integrated steel operations. He said that the effort would focus on changing the operations to enable them to succeed in today's highly competitive environment.

    The LTV Corporation is a manufacturing company with interests in steel and metal fabrication. LTV's Integrated Steel segment is a leading producer of high-quality, value-added flat rolled steel, and a major supplier to the transportation, appliance, electrical equipment and service center industries. LTV's Metal Fabrication segment consists of LTV Copperweld, the largest producer of tubular and bimetallic products in North America and VP Buildings, a leading producer of pre-engineered metal buildings for low-rise commercial applications.

    www.ltvsteel.com




    Saginaw Bay Lighthouses

    03/07:
    Two historic Saginaw Bay lighthouses will get some needed preservation work this year with state grant funds according to a report in the Bay City Times.

    The Tawas Point Lighthouse in Iosco County and the Port Austin Reef Light Station in Huron County will benefit from state restoration grants of $20,000 and $14,000, respectively.

    The money will help pay for a study of the Tawas lighthouse to determine how the light keeper's house can be renovated and opened to the public.

    "We are in the early stages, so we don't know how much will be accomplished at this point. But the first step is the study," Mark Buchinger, of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources in Roscommon told the newspaper.

    The DNR is assuming ownership of the lighthouse, located inside Tawas Point State Park, from the federal government.

    Buchinger said Friday the state grant also will pay to assess what structural or other repair work is needed at the Tawas lighthouse.

    "There are some problems with the heating and peeling paint, and there is some damage where the tower is connected to the building, but it's still a very sound structure," he said.

    In Port Austin, the Michigan Lighthouse Assistance grant will cover part of the cost to rebuild a boat dock at the Port Austin Reef Light Station, which is located offshore.

    The Port Austin Reef Light Association, which leases the structure from the federal government, won the state grant last year but wasn't able to complete the project, said Joyce Stanek, an association member.

    "The dock is very deteriorated and it's really falling apart, but we haven't done anything because the water has been so low," Stanek said.

    "We have the grant award extended and hope to do the work this summer," she said.

    Stanek said the association is providing $7,000 in matching funds for the dock restoration project. The DNR also must provide $10,000 in matching funds to receive the grant announced Feb. 13 for the Tawas lighthouse.

    Initial plans call for restoring the Tawas light keeper's house to its turn-of-the-century appearance. The building has been vacant since the U.S. Coast Guard opened its new station on Tawas Point in the early 1990's. Before then, the light keeper's house served as living quarters for the Coast Guard's station commander.

    The DNR has also received a separate coastal zone management grant to improve pathways leading from the state park's camping area and parking lots to the lighthouse. That work is also likely to be done this year.

    Reported by: Mike Flint




    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.

    harbor but missed the piers and went ashore among the ice banks. The wind was blowing hard from the west and was soon covered with ice. Most of her cargo was saved, though in a damaged condition.

    On 7 March 1896, L. C. WALDO (steel propeller freighter, 387', 4244 gt) was launched at W. Bay City, Michigan by F. W. Wheeler (hull #112). She had a long career. She was rebuilt twice, once in the winter of 1904-05 and again in 1914. She was sold Canadian in 1915 and renamed RIVERTON. In 1944, she was renamed MOHAWK DEER. She was stranded in the Storm of 1913, but subsequently rebuilt and returned to service. She lasted until November 1967 when she foundered in the Gulf of Genoa while being towed to the scrap yard at LaSpezia, Italy.

    ANN ARBOR No. 1 (wooden propeller carferry, 260', 1128 gt, built in 1892 at Toledo, OH) got caught in the ice four miles off Manitowoc, Wisconsin in February 1910. She remained trapped and then on 7 March 1910, she caught fire and burned. Although she was declared a total loss, her hull was reportedly sold to Love Construction Co., Muckegon, MI, and reduced to an unregistered sand scow.

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


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




    Midwest Energy to start season March 17 with Barker load

    03/06:
    Midwest Energy Terminal in Superior and Interlake's James R. Barker plan to get an early start to the Great Lakes shipping season with two trips scheduled to Marquette, Mich., before the Soo Locks open.

    The Barker, which is laid up at the terminal's dock, is scheduled to load coal March 17 for delivery to WEPCO at Marquette. The Barker is scheduled to load a second cargo March 20.

    Columbia Star is scheduled to be the terminal's first arrival from the lower lakes this season. The vessel is due at the dock at noon March 26 to load coal for Detroit Edison's St. Clair, Mich., generating station. Mesabi Miner is due the same day to load for the same destination.

    This is the second consecutive season that Midwest Energy Terminal has begun shipping coal before the Soo opens. Last year the Paul R. Tregurtha made several early trips on Lake Superior.

    Reported by: Al Miller




    Busy Season for Goderich

    03/06:
    The shipping season for the Port of Goderich, Ontario started on March 24, 2000 and finished on February 12, 2001. A total of 325 days. According to MacDonald Marine this was latest date on record for the end of the shipping season, MacDonald Marine provides tug service for the harbor.

    Previous record was in 1997 when the last ship departed on February 8. The longest shipping season was in 1997 with 330 days. In the 2000 season, 149 ships arrived to load salt, 32 grain vessels arrived and 6 cargoes of calcium chloride were delivered. The harbor also had 6 visits by ice breakers from both the Canadian and U.S. Coast Guard.

    Reported by: Philip Nash




    Lawsuit Filed Over Pig Iron

    03/06:
    A Menominee, MI. man has filed a lawsuit against Waupaca Foundry in Marinette, WI. claiming that the pig iron the company uses in its operations and the byproducts of the manufacturing process are polluting the surrounding air and water, according to the EagleHerald Newspaper.

    The foundry is reported to use about 250,000 tons of pig iron each year, the pig iron is brought in by freighter and stored at Marinette Fuel & Dock. The man claims that the company's storage and handling practices are in violation of federal Clean Air and Clean Water acts.

    Pig iron is unloaded at Marinette Fuel & Dock in November.
    Close up of a small pile of pig iron.

    Reported by: Scott Best




    ISMA Update

    03/06:
    The Members Only section of the International Ship Masters' Association web site has been updated. Added to the general section is the latest newsletter. New pictures and information are available under the Detroit Lodge #7 page.

    Click here for more information on the International Ship Masters' Association.




    Ice Forecast

    03/06:
    Ice Hazard Bulletin for the Great Lakes issued by the Canadian Ice Service of Environment Canada at 1700 UTC Monday 5 march 2001.

    Ice warning for strong ice pressure along the south coast of Lake Erie east of Erie beginning Monday afternoon.

    Lake Ontario....Fast ice in the Bay Of Quinte and in sheltered bays of Prince Edward County and along the northeast coast north of Stony Point and in the St Lawrence Seaway. 7 to 9 plus tenths medium and thin lake ice lake ice in northeastern section of the lake. Otherwise mostly open water.

    Lake Erie...Consolidated thick lake ice in the eastern end of the lake near Buffalo. Mostly open water in the western basin except 5 to 9 tenths mostly thick lake ice in the northeastern section of the basin and in Pelee Passage. In the central portion of the lake west of Port Burwell 5 to 9 tenths thin and medium with some thick lake ice with open water along the northern shore and areas of 2 to 4 tenths thin and medium lake ice in southern section. East of port Burwell to Long Point 7 to 9 tenths medium and thin lake ice except 2 to 4 tenths medium and thin lake ice along the southern shore. East of Long Point 9 plus tenths thick lake ice except mostly open water with areas of 5 tenths new lake ice in Long Point Bay. In the rest of Lake St Clair mostly open water except 9 plus tenths thin and medium with some thick lake ice in eastern and southern sections.

    Lake Huron and Georgian Bay...Mostly open water in the central portion of the lake. Right along the eastern shore 9 plus tenths medium and thin with some thick lake ice. 5 to 8 tenths thin and new lake ice within 15 to 30 miles of the western shore. in northeastern Georgian Bay 9 to 9 plus tenths medium and thick lake ice except for a 5 to 10 mile wide area of 1 to 4 tenths new lake ice right along the fast ice edge. In the central and northwestern sections and in the entrance and the approaches to the bay 7 to 9 tenths mostly thin lake ice. There is open water within about 10 miles from the southwest coast of Georgian Bay except 9 tenths new and thin lake ice in shallow bays. Fast ice in St Marys River and in the north channel and along the northeastern shore of Georgian Bay and in Saginaw Bay.

    Lake Superior...Fast ice in Black and Nipigon Bays and most of Whitefish Bay. Fast ice in most of Thunder Bay except 8 to 9 tenths mostly thin lake ice in the entrance and in the approaches. North of Grand Marais and within 35 to 50 miles of the north coast 7 to 9 plus tenths thin and new with some medium lake ice. Along the southern shore 8 to 10 tenths medium and thin with some thick lake ice. 8 to 9 plus tenths medium and thin lake ice in northern Whitefish Bay and extending northward to Michipicoten Island except 8 to 9 plus new and thin lake ice within 10 to 25 miles along the coast to Michipicoten Bay.

    Lake Michigan...10 tenths of fasted thick lake ice in southern Green Bay south of Chambers Island and in Little and Big Bay De Noc. 8 to 10 tenths of medium...thin and new lake ice in remainder of Green Bay. 3 to 5 tenths of medium...thin and new lake ice belted out of Green Bay into Lake Michigan around Washington...St Martin and Summer Islands. 9 to 10 tenths of medium...thin and new lake ice north and east of a line from Thompson MI to Gull Island to Beaver Island to Charlevoix Mi. 10 tenths of fasted medium lake ice along the northern shore of Lake Michigan from the Mackinaw Bridge extending westward to Naubinway MI and along the lower Michigan shore from the Mackinaw Bridge extending westward to Cross Village Mi. Remainder of Lake Michigan is free of 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).





    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.

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

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    Today in Great Lakes History - March 06

    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.

    On 6 March 1892, SAGINAW (wooden 4-car propeller carferry, 142', 365 t, built in 1873 at Port Huron, MI) burned at the dock in Windsor, Ontario where she had been laid up since 1884. The hull was later recovered and converted to an odd-looking tug, a well known wrecker in the Detroit River area until broken up about 1940.

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


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




    Integrity Scheduled to Depart

    03/05:
    Tug Jacklyn M. and barge Integrity are preparing to sail from Milwaukee. On Wednesday the pair will be taking a partial load from the Paul H. Townsend, then off loading. She will then sail on Thursday for Alpena to begin her full sailing season.

    The tug and barge departed lay-up in early February to complete a few trips and then re-entered lay-up.

    Reported by: Robin Greathouse




    Sturgeon Bay Update

    03/05:
    Sunday was a busy day at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay. The Joseph L. Block and the barge A-390 were moved from the 1000-foot Graving Dock. Five tugs from Selvick Marine assisted with breaking Ice and towing the Block and Barge A-390 out of dock.

    Tugs flushing ice away from gate.
    Another view.
    Close up of the waiting Rebecca Lynn's pilot house.
    Stern of Block and barge A-390 in graving dock
    Dock Master Doug Welch giving order to open the gate.
    Jimmy L. on bow Susan L. on stern taking Block out of dock.
    Out of dock.
    Close up of the Block's stern with new paint job.
    Propeller and rudder of Block.
    Rebecca Lynn lines up on notch of A-390.
    Shot across yard, Presque Isle, Burns Harbor, Tregurtha and section of barge Liberty Island.

    Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle




    Ice Breaking in Buffalo

    03/05:
    The Fire Tug Edward M. Cotter was out on an ice breaking mission on the Buffalo River Saturday morning. The Coast Guard declined her captain's offer to split up the sheet of ice in mooring slip at the Buffalo Base. The tug then continued on her way to the Outer Harbor North Entrance.

    Reported by: Brian Wroblewski




    Christening Pictures

    03/05:
    Below are more pictures of the Christening ceremony on Saturday at Port Weller Dry Docks.

    View from across the empty canal.
    CSL Laurentien.
    CSL Tadoussac.

    Reported by: Jamie Kerwin




    Weekly e-mail Updates to your Desk Top

    03/05:
    Receive weekly updates by e-mail when this site is updated. Members also receive previews of new content and special non-public pages. The mailings are normally sent once a week, on Monday mornings.

    Enter your e-mail address below

    Details and Privacy Policy





    Weekly Updates

    03/05:
    The weekly updates have been uploaded. Updates include the usual content and a virtual tour of Sarnia's lay-up fleet.

    Click here for easy to navigate updates




    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




    Welcome CSL Laurentien and CSL Tadoussac

    03/04:
    "CSL is on a mission, a mission to be the best!" said the Vice President of Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering when he spoke of CSL's fleet renewal program. At 3:00 p.m. on a sunny Saturday afternoon CSL employees, honored guests, and press were introduced to the newest vessels that will be plying the Great Lakes when the Welland Canal reopens for the 172nd time at the end of March.

    The first to be re-christened was the Tadoussac now known as the CSL Tadoussac. She now sports a gray hull, most likely to signify her long-term dedication to the cement clinker trade. She is being completely refurbished and widened to 78 feet. At the same time her triple belt unloading system is being replaced with a single belt system. CSL will take delivery of this vessel, which will be one of the most advanced in the trade, on May 15, 2001.

    Next was Hull 79. In this project, an entirely new forebody was built and mated to the stern of the former Louis R. Desmarais. The same conversion took place on the CSL Niagara and the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin. Hull 79 was rechristened Saturday as the CSL Laurentien and is nearing completion. CSL will take delivery of this vessel shortly after the Seaway reopens at the end of March.

    Next winter Port Weller Dry Docks will be involved in the mid-life refit and widening of a self-unloader from another Great Lakes fleet. The name of the vessel involved was not mentioned.

    Pictures by Jason Junge
    Names covered, the vessels wait for christening at Port Weller Dry Docks.
    Close up in the dry docks.
    Champagne bottle christens the CSL Tadoussac.
    Close up of the CSL Tadoussac name.
    Close up of the CSL Tadoussac's new hull section.

    Champagne bottle cracks against Hull 79.
    The cover is lowered revealing the new name CSL Laurentien.
    CSL Laurentien.
    The large crowd on hand to celebrate.

    Reported by: Jason Junge, Barry Andersen and Jamie Kerwin




    Ice Breaking

    03/04:
    The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay is returning to Operation Coal Shovel on the lower lakes. The Bristol Bay spent three days assisting the tug Doug McKeil and barge Ocean Hauler eastbound through the Straits of Mackinac. The tug Manitou was hired to help the Doug McKeil. Ice conditions in the Straits are severe and the tug Doug McKeil is underpowered for these conditions.

    The Mackinaw will assist the Algoeast up the St. Marys River to the Canadian Soo on Tuesday.

    Reported by: Brian Kloosterman




    Work on the Bramble

    03/04:
    Crews at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay are busy working on the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bramble. The cutter is in the small Graving Dock for repairs to a shaft problem. The Bramble was built at Zenith Dredge Co. Duluth, MN. in 1944. Overall Length is 180-feet by 37-foot Beam with a 13-foot Draft and 1200 Shaft Horse Power (SHP). Her home port is Port Huron, MI.

    Bow view high and dry in dock.
    Bow shot with anchors down.
    Another view.
    Stern with propeller removed.
    Port side view from bow.

    Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle




    New ISMA Lodge

    03/04:
    Opening ceremonies for the International Ship Masters' Association Bay City Lodge No. 5 were held on March 1, 2001, at the Stein Haus restaurant in Bay City, MI. This was the first local lodge opened by the International Ship Masters' Association since 1991. Lodge #5 was originally formed 111 years ago, but suspended operation several years later. Members from Cleveland, Detroit, Port Huron, Traverse City, and Sault Ste. Marie attended the ceremonies. There were five Past Grand Presidents and three current Grand Lodge officers among the attendees.

    Images from the ceremonies
    The Bay City Lodge #5 membership as they take their obligation and are initiated.
    The officers of Lodge #5.
    Past Grand Presidents.

    Click here for more information on the International Ship Masters' Association




    The Winner is....

    03/04:
    At the International Ship Masters' Association Port Huron Lodge Dinner Dance Saturday night a winner was drawn for the cruise on an American Steamship Company 1000-footer. Becky Hippert of Minnetonka, MN. was the lucky winner. The winning ticket was purchased through this web site. Becky and three friends will enjoy their cruise this summer.

    The Port Huron Lodge would like to thank everyone who purchased a ticket for the raffle and the American Steamship Company for donating the trip.

    Lodge President Capt. Joseph Ruch prepares the tickets.
    Lodge member and Captain of the American Mariner Duane Dembny reaches in to draw a ticket.
    Capt. Ruch announces the winner to the crowd of about 70 people.

    If you would like the chance to win a trip on a working Great Lakes freighter Click here




    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.

    On 4 March 1889, TRANSIT (wooden 10-car propeller carferry, 168', 1058 gt, built in 1872 at Walkerville, Ontario) burned at the Grand Trunk Railroad dock at Windsor, Ontario on the Detroit River. She had been laid up since 1884 and the Grand Trunk Railroad had been trying to sell her for some time.

    On 4 March 1871, FLORENCE (iron steamer, 42.5', built in 1869 at Baltimore, MD) burned while docked at Amherstburg, Ontario at about 12:00 PM. The fire was hot enough to destroy all the cabins and melt the surrounding ice in the Detroit River, but the vessel remained afloat and her engines were intact. She was rebuilt and remained in service until 1922 when she was scrapped.

    Data from: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze


    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




    Armco Enters Dry Dock

    03/03:
    The Armco was towed dead ship (unpowered) from the CSX Dock to the Toledo ship yard Friday. The crews of the tugs Illinois and Louisiana carefully threaded the freighter through two narrow bridges in high winds during the trip to the yard. The Armco will undergo her 5 year inspection and other repairs while in the dry dock.

    Pictures by TZ.
    On the stern of the Armco.
    Armco is lined up by the tugs to pass through a rail road bridge.
    The Armco in the dry dock.
    Passing the John J. Boland near the ship yard.
    Bow view.

    Reported by: Jim Hoffman




    John Spence Departs

    03/03:
    Malcolm Marine's tug Manitou departed Bay City Friday breaking ice for the tug John Spence and barge McAsphalt 401. Capt. Dave Malcolm on the Manitou reported 20 miles of ice in Saginaw Bay. The crew stopped and took measurements and were surprised to learn the ice was up to 18-inches thick.

    Manitou is en route to the Straits of Mackinac to assist the tug Doug McKeil and barge Ocean Hauler, who was beset approximately 5 miles west of the Mackinaw Bridge in heavy ice.

    The U.S. Coast Guard reported ice conditions in the Straits as severe and added that the tug Doug McKeil is underpowered for the conditions.

    Reported by: Diane Hasler




    Alpena Upbound

    03/03:
    The Alpena was upbound in the Lake Huron Cut on lower Lake Huron Friday morning. The cement carrier is sailing to load her first cargo of the season in Alpena.

    Reported by: Ron Locke




    Coast Guard Helicopter Assists

    03/03:
    Flooding on the Rock River near Cleveland, Illinois sent a U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City HH-65A rescue helicopter inland to assist people stranded by the flood. The helicopter has spent the past few days rescuing people and several dogs from the effected areas. On Wednesday night the helicopter and crew waited in Davenport, Iowa as officials watched the situation. The water level was falling and the helicopter was expected to return to base.




    Today in Great Lakes History - March 03

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

    In 1902 the James C. Wallace of Picklands and Mather Steamship Company was launched.

    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, Dave Swayze, Steve Haverty, 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




    Alpena Departs Lay-up

    03/02:
    Thursday the Alpena departed her lay-up dock in Cleveland and headed upbound across Lake Erie. The cement carrier is expected to stop in Detroit to unload about 600 tons of her remaining storage cargo. She will then sail to Alpena, MI. to load her first cargo of the new season.

    Alpena departing Cleveland, pictures by TZ.
    Alpena at the Lafarge Dock on the Cuyahoga River.
    Passing under the N&S 1 Bridge.
    Close up of bow.
    Side view of her bow.
    Passing the old Coast Guard Station.
    Stern view.
    Close up.
    Aft view of the pilot house.

    Reported by: Gary Schweitzer




    Bramble Enters Dry Dock

    03/02:
    The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bramble was moved from Berth #9 into the dry dock at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, WI. The Selvick tugs Jimmy L., Susan L., and tug Bay Ship moved the Cutter. The Bramble has a shaft problem that requires work at the shipyard.

    Tug Susan L. pushes the Bramble into the dry dock.
    Bow view.
    Moving into the dry dock.
    Another view.
    In the dry dock.

    Reported by: Orrin Royce




    Risley Escorts Gemini

    03/02:
    Thursday morning the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley departed Sarnia to escort the tanker Gemini downbound through Lake St Clair. The tanker Algoeast was loading at Sun Oil early Thursday morning. Her destination is unknown but may need the assistance of the Risley.

    Reported by: Ron Locke




    Tug John Spence Arrives

    03/02:
    The tug John Spence and barge McAsphalt 401 arrived in the Saginaw River Thursday morning led by the tug Manitou. The group passed the Front Range Light around 10:00 a.m. and arrived at the Triple Clean Liquifuels Dock about 11:00 a.m. The deck gear on the bow of the McAsphalt 401 had a heavy coat of ice.

    The Manitou, Spence and McAsphalt are expected to depart this morning.

    Pictures of the visit last week.
    Close up at the dock.
    Passing the Consumers Energy Plant as heavy snow starts to fall.
    Approaching the Manitou at the Front Range Light.

    Reported by: Todd Shorkey




    Southdown Conquest Departs

    03/02:
    The Susan W. Hannah arrived Tuesday to pick up the barge Southdown Conquest. It brought a barge from Chicago, which the Mark Hannah then linked up with and took to Ludington.

    Reported by: David Swain




    Bethlehem Fit Out

    03/01:
    Engine room and galley crews report back to the Stewart J. Cort and Burns Harbor on March 5. The deck crew is expected to report back on March 19. Both boats are scheduled to sail March 24. The Soo Locks open for the 2001 navigation season with the Poe Lock opening on March 25.

    Reported by: Andy LaBorde




    States, provinces mull water diversion policy

    03/02:
    States and provinces around the Great Lakes are considering a policy shift that would make it easier for communities outside the Great Lakes Basin to divert water for drinking, the Chicago Tribune reported March 1.

    For years, policymakers around the lakes have focused on limiting communities outside the drainage basin from tapping into the lakes, which contain 20 percent of the world's fresh surface water.

    But because of changes in U.S. and international trade law, water must be treated like any other commodity, making it difficult, if not illegal, to block outsiders from using it.

    The new policy, fashioned by the Council of Great Lakes Governors, would effectively open the spigot while trying to keep it turned so low that the flow would be negligible.

    Still, environmental groups warn that the cumulative losses to the lakes could be devastating. Great Lakes shipping interests also have opposed increased diversions.

    Many consider water to be the critical commodity of the young century, and already the market is going global. Everyone with an interest in the Great Lakes is bracing for attempts to tap into the vast resource, and the new policy is seen by some as the best defense from large-scale attempts to pipe or ship water to places as far away as Asia.

    For now, the new policy would mainly accommodate growing interest in small diversions from the Great Lakes by communities that need the water for drinking supplies but are located just outside the drainage basin-the geographic area where water flows into the five Great Lakes.

    But it also sets the stage for making it more difficult for much larger diversions to arid regions halfway across the country or the world by creating an environmental standard by which all diversions will be judged.

    The new policy, called Annex 2001, is a proposed amendment to the 1985 Great Lakes Charter. It's a step toward creating comprehensive and consistent laws dealing with water diversions from the Great Lakes on both sides of the border.

    Annex 2001 will be considered for adoption this summer, with its interim policies in effect until permanent laws are passed in the United States and Canada, possibly by 2004. In the meantime, if the annex is adopted on both sides of the border, it will give the same guidance to state governors and the premiers of Ontario and Quebec.

    "This could pretty much determine how water use is regulated for the next hundred years," said Reg Gilbert, senior coordinator of Great Lakes United, an international coalition of groups that want to restore and protect the Great Lakes.

    Reported by: Al Miller




    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


    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-ever double-christening at Port Weller Dry Docks a ‘family’ affair

    03/01:
    (St. Catharines, Ont.) - February 28, 2001 - For the first time in its five-decade history, two ships will be christened the same day at Port Weller Dry Docks in St. Catharines. The vessels, Hull 79 and Hull 516, will be christened and re-named at a ceremony Saturday, March 3rd.

    A double christening is a rare event on the Great Lakes, and it will be a “family” affair for the vessels’ owner, Canada Steamship Lines. The afternoon ceremony will be attended by more than 200 Canada Steamship Lines employees, many of whom are traveling from the company’s Montreal headquarters. CSL Chief Operating Officer Gerry Carter will be the keynote speaker. Senior government representatives will also attend the christening, and the festivities will culminate with a dinner and dance Saturday evening at nearby White Oaks resort.

    Each vessel will have its own sponsor, and both sponsors are the spouses of CSL officers. The sponsor of Hull 79 is Mrs. Kimberley Pauley, wife of Capt. Steve Pauley, of Mates Corner, NB. Sponsor of Hull 516 will be Mrs. Barbara Gowthorpe, wife of Chief Engineer Tony Gowthrope, of Lynden, Ont.

    Hull 79 is the third of three CSL vessels to have forebody replacements at Port Weller Dry Docks, as part of a $100 million, three-forebody contract with Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering. The preceding vessels, christened in 1999 and 2000 respectively, were the CSL Niagara, and the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin. In addition to an entirely new hull, which has been attached to the engine-room portion of the former M.V. Louis R Desmarais, Hull 79 will also feature state-of-the-art automated self-unloading equipment. As part of CSL’s extensive fleet renewal program, Hull 79 is among the largest ships on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence waterway, at “SeawayMax” size.

    Hull 516, the former M.V. Tadoussac, has been converted to a single-belt unloading system from a three-belt system. The vessel has also undergone a “mid-life refit”, and has been widened to 78 feet from 75.

    Alan Thoms, President and CEO of Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering, the parent company of Port Weller Dry Docks, said the value of the two contracts exceeds $50 million. After undergoing sea trials, the vessels be delivered to their owner following the spring opening of navigation on the Great Lakes.

    Established in 1946, Port Weller Dry Docks is the only Canadian shipbuilder on the Great Lakes.

    The vessels at Port Weller, picture taken last month.
    The former hull of the Desmarais rests on the bottom.
    Close up.

    Related Links
    Canada Steamship Lines
    Port Weller Dry Docks




    Crews Called Back for Fit Out

    03/01:
    Engine rooms crews aboard many vessels are preparing to return to begin the spring fit out. Crews will begin work on the Reserve March 12, the Columbia Star March 14 and the Middletown on March 17.

    Reported by: Mike Smothers




    Toledo Update

    03/01:
    The John J. Boland was removed from the Toledo Shiprepair drydock on Tuesday and was tied up at the old Interlake Iron Company Dock just north of the Shipyard. Great Lakes Towing Company tugs handled the tow.

    The drydock was empty Wednesday as work crews reset the blocks at the bottom of the drydock for the next vessel that is expected to be the Armco. In the small drydock is the tanker Saturn in for survey and miscellaneous repairs.

    The tanker Gemini departed Toledo on Tuesday for an unknown destination. She will most likely return to Toledo in several days.

    Reported by: Jim Hoffman




    Busy Bridge

    03/01:
    During the calendar year 2000 the Short Cut Bridge over the Rouge River in Detroit was opened a recorded 2,790 times.

    586 times it was opened for the Tug Eagle that was shifting barges and materials from DMT 1 to a water outfall construction project off Zug Island. 77 times were recorded for pleasure craft, leaving the 2,127 times that the bridge was opened last year for commercial traffic. In the first two months of 2001 the bridge had been opened 167 times.

    An average of 45 trains run across the bridge daily, most of them carrying molten steel in "hot bottle" cars. The trains pull 3-7 cars with each car holding approximately 300 tons of iron. Impressive statistics for a bridge built in 1922.

    Reported by: Wade P. Streeter




    Port Colborne Lay-up

    03/01:
    Below are images of Port Colborne's Lay-up fleet taken Saturday.
    Crews are busy painting the Canadian Olympic.
    Bow in primer.
    View from across the canal.
    Canadian Enterprise.
    Stern view of the Halifax.
    Work in the area around the Halifax's propeller.
    McKee Sons at dock.
    Barge Sarah Spencer and tug Jane Ann IV.
    Close up of the tug Jane Ann IV.
    Close up of the Tarantau's stern as it is dismantled at International Marine Salvage.
    Wide view from across the canal.
    Close up of stern.
    Canadian Progress.
    Close up at the dock.
    CSL Niagara at her dock.
    Bow view.
    Niagara's stern.
    Close up of the Cort Nozzle.
    Another view.
    Looking out to Lake Erie.




    Shipwreck Explorers Come to Oswego

    03/01:
    On November 20th, 1975, the 640-foot ore freighter Roy A Jodrey disappeared beneath the deep waters of the St. Lawrence River near the 1000 Islands Bridge. A rare visual adventure through this shipwreck will be presented in Oswego by underwater photographer Mike Williams at Great Lakes Underwater! 2001.

    The Oswego Maritime Foundation (OMF) and New York Sea Grant are presenting their fifth annual shipwreck and diving symposium beginning at 8:30 a.m.

    Saturday, March 10 in Lanigan Hall on the SUNY Oswego campus. The daylong event brings to Central New York many of the foremost experts and adventurers in Great Lakes shipwreck diving and exploration.

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

    In addition to Williams, guest speakers and presentations planned for the day include:

  • David Gilchrist and Jim Garrington will introduce the audience to the St. Catharine's Shipwreck Millennium Project and a shipwreck suspected of being the Henry Clay.
  • Georgann and Michael Wachter, authors of Erie Wrecks and Erie Wrecks East, will tell the story of the schooner C.B. Benson and show the audience how the shipwreck looks today.
  • Jeff Back, president of Tiger Gear Corp of Oneonta, NY, will demonstrate the company's new "Integrated Rapid Attachment Mounting System" for scuba tanks and how NASA is using IRAMS in its astronaut training facility.
  • Dave White of New York Sea Grant will lead an audience discussion about whether or not a grass roots effort should be organized to sink a decommissioned ship as an artificial reef and dive park in Lake Ontario.
  • Tom Rasbeck and Phil Church will present a series of "Two Tank Tips" giving divers the information they need to plan and access some of best dive sites in eastern Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

    Registration is $20 ($15 student) and includes the presentations, displays, buffet lunch and refreshments. To register, contact Sea Grant at 315-312-3042 or sgoswego@cornell.edu.
    For more information visit The Great Lakes Underwater! 2001 web site.

    Reported by: Richard Palmer




  • Redesigned Web Site

    03/01:
    The Seaway Authorities have opened a redesigned web site. The site is active and has several of the links activated with new content planned. The web site is a joint collaboration between the Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation and the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.

    The site is expected to host vessel transit information beginning in May 2001. The full site will be ready in September 2001. In addition to being informative, the site offers a very attractive design that is user friendly.
    Visit www.greatlakes-seaway.com

    Reported by: Ron Walsh




    Welcome CSL ______

    03/01:
    The story announcing the new CSL vessel known as Hull 78 was removed at the request of Canada Steamship Lines. The story will appear on Saturday.




    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, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series


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




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