Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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* Report News

Canadian Olympic Update

Saturday afternoon as the Canadian Olympic was upbound to Courtright, the tug Annie M. Dean and her barge arrived at Buoy D43 to begin salvage operations. Divers would attempt to recover the Olympic's starboard anchor which was lost during the grounding. The anchor was not yet recovered at 3:30 p.m. when operations were suspended for the day.

Reported by: Lawrence Yost and David Cozens

First Saltie Greeted by Ice

The first saltie arriving at the Soo Locks for the new season was greeted by heavy ice in the St. Marys River. The Chios Pride was given permission to dock at the locks for the night as Coast Guard icebreakers try to restore traffic.

Other vessel traffic was starting to back up in the river. Upbound was the Neah bay, tug Scott Purvis, Algobay, Biscayne Bay, Mesabi Miner, Canadian Prospector and Atlantic Cedar. Downbound included the Algonova, Pineglen, Algomarine, Columbia Star, Samuel Risley and Indiana Harbor.

The two downbound thousand footers were pushing too much ice into the lock approach area resulting in double lockages. With the lock gates open the footer starts into the lock then backs clear of the gates and this ice is locked through. The double lockage system works well but causes delays with only one lock in operation. Because of the long delay to lock through.

Ice breaking efforts are begin handled by the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutters Mackinaw, Neah Bay, Biscayne Bay and the Katmai Bay.

In other news, the Algoville was downbound in Lake Superior Friday but went to anchor four miles north of Gros Cap. Saturday morning the tug Scott Purvis got underway from the Soo to the Algoville's location. It is unknown why the Algoville required the tug.

Chios Pride upbound in the river.
Pineglen downbound on her first trip under CSL ownership.

Reported by: Jerry Masson

Pathfinder Departs

The tug Dorothy Ann and Barge Pathfinder departed winter lay-up at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Wi. early Saturday morning heading upbound.

The USCG cutter Mobil Bay was leading, breaking a track in the ice where required.

Thursday Morning the tug James A. Hanna arrived at Bay Ship to deliver the Barge 5101 for dry docking. The James A. with the aid of Selvick Marine tugs Escort II, Sharon M. and the tug Bay Ship uncoupled the barge and was placed into the Graving Dock for survey and repairs if required.

Bow of Pathfinder leaving berth.
Dorothy Ann in notch.
Close up.
Out to Green Bay.
Off Sherwood Point upbound.
Mobil Bay outbound.

James A. Hanna delivering 5101 to the graving dock.
James A. Backing out of Notch.
Clear of Notch.
Tug Bay Ship going to take the stern line off Barge.
Sharon M. preparing to push the bow of the James A. around in the high wind.
View of Notch.
Sharon heading back to the 5101 after helping the James A.
Stern View heading for dock.
Escort II holding back on bow.
In dock.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle

Season Begins in Green Bay

Friday the Great Lakes Trader arrived in Green Bay with a load of coal for the Reiss Dock. The First arrival in Green Bay has been a cement boat for the past few years, and the Trader is a rare visitor to Green Bay. Coal is normally brought to the Reiss dock by an American Steamship or LLT vessel.

Saturday afternoon the John G Munson arrived at the Fox River dock near the mouth of the Fox River to unload coal from Toledo. After unloading the Munson is leaving for Twin Ports.

The Trader was spotted upbound off Menominee at 4:00 p.m. Saturday after a long unload in Green Bay.

Reported by: Jason Leino, Scott Best and Tim Nixon

Erie Opener

Erie's first boat of the season arrived early Saturday morning and surprisingly was not an American Steamship or Oglebay Norton vessel. The Lee A. Tregurtha arrived from Stoneport at midnight with a load of gravel.

The Tregurtha first docked at the Mounfort Terminal to unload part of her cargo before shifting to the Old Ore Dock to complete the unload. The Tregurtha pulled in very close to the J.S. St. John, which is currently fitting out for another season. At 7:30 am, the Tregurtha started another pile, finishing at 9:00 a.m. and departing.

At 826-feet the Tregurtha is the largest vessel to unload in Erie in recent years. Although the Interlake thousand footers have laid up in Erie the Tregurtha is the first boat bigger than 806-feet to unload in port in recent years. The Lee A. Tregurtha is due in Toledo to load coal.

The Coast Guard Cutter Bramble was replacing buoys in Erie harbor, a month earlier than last year.

Lee A Tregurtha at the Old Ore Dock.
Another view.
J.S. St. John.
Lee A. outbound.
Stern View.
Bramble at the Public Dock.
Viking 1 at dock.
Lee A. passing the lighthouse.

Reported by: Jeff Thoreson

Broken Belt Results in Unusual Unload

A broken unloading belt at the P&C Ore Dock in Conneaut, OH. forced the Edgar B. Speer to stop unloading and allow the Lee A. Tregurtha to move in and unload directly onto the dock.

The Speer's short 52-foot unloading boom is designed to only reach the unloading hopper on the dock and does not allow the vessel to discharge cargo directly onto a dock.

To complete the unload the Speer positioned the boom over an open cargo hold on the Lee A. As the Speer dropped the cargo into the Lee A. her 250-foot unloading boom dropped the taconite to the dock.

Speer unloading into the Tregurtha.
Close up.

Reported by: Tom N.

Cuyahoga at Stoneport

The Cuyahoga made a rare stop on its first trip of the season to load at Stoneport on Friday morning. This was the first trip with its new variable pitch propeller. There was some ice around the dock area but she had no trouble getting through.

The classic ship was sporting a new paint job and looked very sharp.

Reported by: Ben and Chanda McClain

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

Olympic Loses Power, Grounds

03/30 10:30 a.m. Update
Shortly after 10:00 a.m. the Canadian Olympic was back in the Amherstburg Channel and underway. The tugs Stormont, Salvor and Doug McKeil assisted in freeing the vessel with no apparent damage. The Olympic continued upbound for its destination with out stopping. The vessel reports that they lost an anchor in the incident, the tug Annie M. Dean with a barge is going to try to retrieve the anchor.

Original Report
Early Friday evening the Canadian Olympic experienced a power failure while upbound in the Amherstburg Channel. Anchors were dropped, but the vessel grounded with her stern protruding about 25 feet into the channel. Upbound traffic was diverted to the Livingstone Channel.

Reported by: Lawrence Yost, Mike Nicholls and Roger LeLievre

New Soo Lock

Preliminary construction work could begin later this year on a $227 million demolition and reconstruction project at the Soo Locks.

Stanley Jacek, area engineeer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, told a meeting of the Sault Ste. Marie (Ontario) Transportation Committee on Thursday night that cofferdam construction on the Davis and Sabin locks could begin in 2002.

That would mean permanent closure later this year of the two locks, built in 1914 and 1919, Jacek told

The two old locks will be demolished and replaced with one new lock capable of handling 1,000-foot vessels. The cofferdam design work is scheduled for completion this year, and if sufficient funds remain, tenders will be called and construction could begin in 2002, Jacek said.

Of the four U.S. locks, Davis and Sabin are the oldest and closest to Canada. Despite their 1,350-foot length, they're neither wide nor deep enough to accomodate thousand-footers.

As a result, Sabin has not been used at all in recent years and Davis is used only rarely. Seventy percent of the Soo's tonnage now goes through the much-larger Poe lock, Jacek said.

"If we have any problems, we have big trouble on the lakes," he told committee members.

Proposed lock.

Visit for more information.

Reported by: David Helwig

Later Fit Out

Getting a late start to the 2002 season the steamer Middletown will have crews report for fit out on March 30. Fleet mate Earl. W. Oglebay will begin on April 10.

Ice Conditions Shut Down Ferry Service

Regularly scheduled trips to Neebish Island in the St. Marys River have been temporarily halted due to heavy ice in the Rock Cut.

On Friday neither the Neebish Islander II nor the backup "40300" used for foot traffic only has been able to make the crossing between Neebish Island and the mainland. The ice is beginning to stack up to two and three layers thick and does not appear to be "candling" which would make the ice chunks more brittle and easier to break up.

Last year, Islanders were "stuck" on the island for 14 days, the longest recorded to date.

Reported by: Mary Ann Schallip

Buoys in Place

USCG Bramble was setting buoys in Erie, PA on Friday. The upper sections of the Lansdown seem to be falling apart due to the weather. A large section of the top deck has fallen down, likely due to heavy winds the blew through the area a few weeks ago.

Reported by: Joe James

Twin Ports Report

More vessels of Great Lakes Fleet resumed sailing March 29 when Edwin H. Gott and Cason J. Callaway left their layup berths in Duluth. The Gott departed the Duluth port terminal on Friday afternoon and will load pellets at the DMIR dock in Duluth. It's due in Gary on April 2. The Callaway headed to Two Harbors to load. It's expected in Lorain on April 1.

Other GLF vessel movements are
Edgar B. Speer due in Conneaut on March 29 and Two Harbors on April 1
Presque Isle due in Two Harbors on March 31 and Conneaut on April 3
Roger Blough due at Two Harbors on March 30 and Gary on April 2
Philip R. Clarke is due at Gary on March 30 and Two Harbors on April 2
John G. Munson is due at Green Bay on March 30, ice permitting. From there it goes to Two Harbors.

The fleet's only idle vessel is Arthur M. Anderson, which is due out in early to mid-April after undergoing a boiler refit over the winter.

Reported by: Al Miller

Detroit River Traffic

The USCG Sycamore (WLB 209-209) passed Detroit on Friday. The new cutter is on her delivery trip to her home port of Cordova, Alaska. The Sycamore was launched on July 28, 2001 at Marinette Marine.

Reported by: Lawrence Yost

Toledo Update

The CSL Laurentien finished loading coal at the CSX Docks and departed Friday morning. The next scheduled coal boats due in at the CSX Docks will be the Kaye E. Barker, and Algolake today. The Canadian Transport, Lee A. Tregurtha, and Buffalo on Monday, followed by the Algomarine on Tuesday.

The H. Lee White is the first ore boat of the season due in at the Torco Ore Docks on Tuesday, followed by the Adam E. Cornelius on Thursday.

The CSL Tadoussac remains in drydock at Toledo Shipyard undergoing rudder repairs. There are no other active vessels in port at the time of this report other than the winter lay-up fleet.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman

Cleveland News

Friday the barge McKee Sons and tug Invincible were arriving in Cleveland. The tug and barge were in port to unload at West Third.

Pictures by TZ
McKee Sons inbound.
Looking down on the pilot house of the barge.
Close up of the tug Invincible.
Another view.
Passing under the N&S Bridge.
Heading into the Flats.
Farther up river.
Bow view.
Close up.
Stern view.
Cleveland Fire Boat Anthony J. Celebreeze.
High winds a few weeks ago toppeled a large crane working on the N&S Bridge.
Crews working to dismantle the crane.
Crushed trailor under the crane.

Reported by: Rex Cassidy

New Development for Duluth

A lease agreement with a domestic wood products company for the last undeveloped lot at Duluth's Clure Public Marine Terminal was approved Wednesday by the Duluth Seaway Port Authority at its annual meeting.

Innovative Pine Technologies, Aitkin, Minn., will lease a nine-plus acre lot for construction of a 20,000-square-foot remanufacturing and distribution facility for both foreign and domestic forest products. The balance of the land will be used for outdoor storage and material staging.

Company officials said the new facility will initially employ about 25 workers.

Innovative Pine Technologies will sell wood in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, the Dakotas and Illinois. In addition to buying wood from domestic and Canadian producers, the company plans on booking European lumber shipments as part of its ongoing operations.

"This shows strong promise for becoming a staple of future port commerce," said Port Director Davis Helberg. "Although we are primarily an export outlet, imports are extremely important in helping provide two-way cargoes for our ocean carriers, especially those in the outbound grain trade."

Port Authority Business Development Director Andy McDonough said the Port Authority will invest about $250,000 for infrastructure improvements, while the company will pay for the cost of the building construction and storage yard improvements.

The addition of Innovative Pine Technologies brings the total number of businesses operating at the Clure Public Marine Terminal to 16. Altogether, 55 companies employing about 850 people now operate on Port Authority properties at the Terminal and at Airpark, an industrial complex adjacent to the Duluth International Airport.

The Port Authority also owns the 28-acre Garfield C&D development site, former home of a large grain elevator complex that has been prepared for conversion into a cargo-handling facility, and the Erie Pier dredge disposal facility.

Reported by: Duluth Seaway Port Authority

Picture Updates

I have my full connection restored and shall add the back log of pictures during the next few days. Sorry for the delay.

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

Ice Stops Traffic

Thursday the USCG Mackinaw requested all upbound vessels in the St. Marys River to anchor or remain at the Soo until daylight hours today. Ice conditions are not favorable due to winds shifting ice flows in Whitefish Bay. The downbound Steamer Alpena called for icebreaking assistance early Thursday morning when stuck, north of Gros Cap. The Canadian Progress, upbound in the lower river was allowed to lock through and tie above the locks until daylight. The cutter Neah Bay was ecpected to escort the Progress and three upbound vessels due to lock through last night.

The Mackinaw was expected to escort the Burns Harbor downbound last night to the Soo. Thousand footers with their 105-foot wide hulls and high horse power engines leave a clear track when passing through smaller tracks broken by the Coast Guard Cutters. They are preferred to be the first to pass through a newly opened track.

Normally there are two courses used in Whitefish Bay, one downbound and one upbound. Earlier in the week the Mackinaw and Neah Bay had both tracks open but winds have caused the ice to shift, closing the tracks.

Reported by: Jerry Masson

Hamilton Opener

Stelco's first shipment of iron ore for 2002 was brought in by the Frontenac Thursday afternoon at about 3:00 p.m. That evening, the Hamilton Energy was refueling the Frontenac.

About 6:00 p.m. Thursday the tug John Spence and barge McAsphalt 401 entered Hamilton Harbor and within half an hour were moored to the north face of Pier 12.

Earlier in the week the Gordon C. Leitch departed Hamilton after a being in lay-up since Dec 15, 2000. Last year extensive work was completed on the vessel assuring many years of future service for the straight decker. Her first trip was upbound to Thunder Bay where she will load grain.

Over at Heddle Marine, work is still underway with the modifications of McKeil's tug William J. Moore (ex Alice A.). Also at Heddle Marine, in the floating drydock, is the CCG Limnos.

The Calumet is the only vessel left of the trio of Lower Lakes vessels moored at Pier 11 at the Canamera facility.

The Canadian Miner, Canadian Navigator and Montrealais are still in lay-up status at the Dofasco docks. Over at Piers 25-27, the Canadian Prospector has departed. The Algolake and the Capt. Henry Jackman both of which have exhaust coming from their stacks, will probably be leaving shortly. The Canadian Provider and the James Norris are still in lay-up.

The Frontenac passed through the Welland Canal earlier that day. This was her first downbound transit sporting a long needed paint job in CSL red and looking very good. She was transiting from Thunder Bay after her winter work was completed and she loaded her cargo.
Pictures of the Frontenac passing on the Welland Canal by Jason Junge

Frontenac on the Welland Canal.
Close up of the bow.
Another view.

Reported by: Patricia Burgon, Jason Junge and Bill Bird

Bridge Troubles

The South Park Ave. Bridge over the Buffalo River has been closed to all vessel traffic for the time being due to a set of bad bearings in the lift towers. This has been an on going problem for the city ever since the bridge deck was paved over a few years ago. The City felt that the upper Buffalo River vessel traffic was so infrequent that they could eliminate the old steel mesh type decking and pave over the entire lift span of the bridge. The added weight of the asphalt has caused serious stress on the left system that it was not originally designed for.

This will result in possible problems for Mobil Oil should they need a gas cargo or require the fire fighting services of the Edward M Cotter.

In other news the Charles M. Beeghly made a rare visit to Buffalo on Tuesday. The J.A.W. Iglehart is expected in port in the next few days.

Gemini heading under South Park Bridge.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski

First Saltie Arrives in Toronto

It was a buys day in port Thursday with the season's first saltie Strange Attractor arriving at Redpath Sugar dock, escorted by McKeil tugs Atomic and Glenevis.

Dredging began earlier this week in the Ward's Island lagoon. Returning to service Thursday were the tour boat Shipsands, the Royal Canadian Yacht Club tender Kwasind, and the Island Yacht Club tender Prince II, which was towing finger docks to the club today.

Winter tarps were removed from the Centre Island ferry Thomas Rennie today.

Tuesday will see the launch of the four vessels: tug Torville, sloop Blue Dragon, tug Miss Kristy and houseboat Cordraulic - which have wintered on Toronto Drydock. The sail training vessel Pathfinder will then be dry docked.

Reported by: Gerry O.

Clarkson Begins 2002 Season

The 2002 shipping season has opened in the port, located on the north shore of Lake Ontario west of Toronto.

Just after noon Thursday the Algocape arrived at the St. Lawrence Cement pier. She sailed from her winter berth in Toronto. The straight deck bulker is loading cement clinkers or cement powder.

Reported by: Bryan Ridley

Top Hat Recap

Captain Hugh Pink of the Lower Lakes Towing vessel Mississagi was presented with the ceremonial top hat Tuesday, when the St. Lawrence Seaway officially re-opened for its 44th consecutive shipping season.

Guy Véronneau, President of The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, declared the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Welland Canal officially open.

The ceremony was attended by Transport Minister David Collenette, Albert Jacquez, Administrator of the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, local politicians and Captain Scott Bravener, President and CEO of Lower Lakes Towing Ltd., owner of the first vessel to pass through the locks this year.

“In many ways, our Seaway has become a world leader in the use of technology to improve marine transportation,” said Mr. Véronneau. “Just to give two striking examples: the infrastructure for automatic vessel identification (AIS) is now in place. The system will be extensively tested this season and be made mandatory next year. It is a most modern system and, linked with DGPS, it will eventually revolutionize navigation in restricted waters.”

Speaking further about security measures for the Seaway, Transport Minister David Collenette said, “The American and Canadian governments, along with the Seaway Authority have worked together to enhance marine security and shave intelligence of ships entering the Seaway and the Great Lakes. These updated measures that will be in effect are going to be reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure that they reflect new and emerging realities.”

Measured against the last five years, the 2001 navigation season was an average one for the Welland Canal and the Seaway generally. Combined Seaway cargo reached 41.71 million tonnes, a drop of 10% from 2000 levels caused by a sluggish North American economy, less activity in the steel industry, with corresponding reductions in related commodities (iron ore, coal and steel imports), and fewer Canadian and U.S. grain export shipments. Despite the reduced traffic, Mr. Véronneau pointed out, “The Seaway has met its business plan targets for the fourth year in a row, and we plan to do so again this year, though we expect no better than average traffic to continue. Again this year we are able to offset our mandatory 2% toll increase with a 1.5% rebate.”

Opened in 1959, the 3,700 kilometer St. Lawrence Seaway allows uninterrupted navigation nine months of the year from Duluth, Minnesota, and Thunder Bay, Ontario, to the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Mississagi proudly decorated to honor the event. Dan Sweely
Capt. Pink receives the honors for the first ship through. Alex Howard

Reported by: St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp.

Twin Ports Report

Midwest Energy Terminal in Superior is already off to a fast start this season, and over the next few days it will be loading a wave of ships bound for Nanticoke. The line-up includes Indiana Harbor and John B. Aird, loading March 29; Canadian Enterprise, March 30; Algobay, March 31; and Canadian Olympic and Paul R. Tregurtha, loading April 1.

After several days of delay in Thunder Bay, Atlantic Huron reached Duluth. It loaded taconite pellets at the DMIR ore dock and departed early Thursday morning.

Canadian Prospector now looks like the best candidate to be the Twin Ports' first grain boat of the season. First saltie presently appears to be Menominee, which is scheduled to arrive next week with a load of lumber for the port terminal.

Reported by: Al Miller

Cleveland Update

The Stephen B. Roman was unloading cement at the Blue Circle dock on the river Thursday. The tugs Delaware and Mississippi were standing by at 1:00 p.m. to assist in the departure.

The St. Marys Cement Barge and the Fred White have left their winter lay-up berths as well. The Earl Oglebay was transferred last week from the old river to the Whiskey Island terminal for an extended lay-up. The move was necessary so ships could unload at the Ontario Stone docks and load at the salt mine. There are three Grand River boats due over the next few days.

Pictures by TZ
Tow moves down the river.
Close up.
Delaware leads the tow.
Wide view.
Mississippi trails on the bow.

Reported by: Rex Cassidy

Radio Message

The Seaway Authorities have issued their last message, #5, for the 2002 opening season. The navigation channels are mainly ice free. The essential aids from Snell Lock to Lake St. Francis were to be established by the end of the day Thursday and 24 hour navigation will commence. Both sides of the flight locks in the Welland canal are now open to navigation.

Reported by: Ron Walsh

Attacks prompt tighter security for lakers, salties

Pleasure boats will need to give a wider berth to lake freighters and salties entering the St. Lawrence River will face increased scrutiny in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The U.S. Coast Guard and other police agencies are expected to crack down on pleasure boats that get too close to lake freighters -- especially those carrying petroleum or chemical cargoes.

In addition, Canadian Transport Minister David Collenette said the United States and Canada have agreed that foreign ships will be screened before they arrive in the St. Lawrence-Great Lakes system and will be inspected before they proceed to port. Boarding protocols have also been refined to improve response to any threats.

Keeping pleasure boats farther away from freighters is part of a heightened enforcement plan to provide added security following Sept. 11, said Lt. Cmdr. Brian Hall, of the U.S. Coast Guard, said it

"We don't have any added restrictions, but will be improving enforcement of the current restrictions," Hall said.

The U.S. Coast Guard has been instrumental in creating River Watch -- a program to be launched on Great Lakes waters this spring. Although no Canadian agencies are yet involved, River Watch will be a joint effort that includes the Coast Guard, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Customs, FBI, Border Patrol and the Michigan State Police.

"We want the public to be the eyes and ears for these law enforcement agencies," Hall said. "We want everyone to be more aware of what's going on the water and report any suspicious activities."

There are plans for an aggressive advertising campaign following a kickoff in Michigan on May 13.

Reported by: Al Miller

Aerial Views

Pilot and photographer Don Coles was flying over the St. Clair River Thursday and sent in the pictures below. All photographs are available for purchase. Don's company, Great Lakes Aerial Photos, is available for hire for any aerial photography need.

Presque Isle underway.
Stern view.
Paul R. Tregurtha.
Unloading at the Lambton Power Generating Station.
Sarnia lay-up.
North Slip.

Reported by: Don Coles

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

Tadoussac Arrives for Repairs

The tug John Spence with CSL Tadoussac in tow arrived in Toledo Wednesday morning. The tow was escorted upbound the Maumee River by several Great Lakes Towing Company tugs headed for the drydock at Toledo Shipyard to have repairs made to her rudder. It is unknown at this time how long she will remain in drydock.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman

First boats from the lower lakes arrive in the Twin Ports

The Twin Ports shipping season "officially" began March 26 when the Mesabi Miner arrived to load 51,000 metric tons of coal at Midwest Energy Terminal. Although ships have been loading in Duluth-Superior for about a week, the season traditionally does not officially begin until the first boat from below the Soo arrives in port. The Mesabi Miner is bound for the generating station at St. Clair, Mich.

In other port news, Philip R. Clarke departed its lay-up berth in Superior's Fraser Shipyards on Wednesday. The vessel was in Two Harbors late in the day loading taconite pellets for Gary.

Reported by: Al Miller

Thunder Bay Opener

The Port of Thunder Bay had its first arrival Wednesday to officially start the 2002 shipping season. At 6:00 p.m. the barge Sarah Spencer and tug Jane Ann IV entered port through the North Breakwall piers and slowly moved into the Richardson Elevator slip. The skies were sunny and a few people were on hand to greet the Spencer as she tied up to the dock wall. She will load grain.

Work on the Atlantic Huron is finished and she departed berth Wednesday morning and sailed out of Thunder Bay headed for Duluth.

The newly named Pineglen left her winter berth on Wednesday and moved under the loading chutes at Saskatchewan Pool 7a.

The Algoville also left her winter lay-up at Pascol and shifted over to Richardson Elevator early Wednesday morning. By afternoon she had moved over to Cargill Elevator at the mouth of the Mission River.

Pictures taken Saturday by John Kuzma
Paterson before the name was painted out.
"P" comes down from the stack.
Work on the stack.
Halifax powers up.
CCG Samuel Risley.
Atlantic Huron and Oakglen.

Reported by: Rob Farrow

Stone Port Opens

On Wednesday the Charles M. Beeghly loaded a cargo of stone, with fleet mate Lee A. Tregurtha next in line to load at the dock. The Saginaw was at anchor and will load sometime this morning after the Tregurtha departs.

The Alpena is returning from Heron Bay (on Lake Superior) and is due into the Lafarge dock in Alpena this evening to load. The J.A.W Iglehart is heading for Buffalo.

Reported by: Ben and Chanda McClain

Indiana Harbor Visits Muskegon

The Indiana Harbor made its first trip to Muskegon Tuesday. The vessel's captain, James Van Dongen, is a Muskegon resident. The 1000-foot ship docked at the B.C. Cobb Plant at 8:00 a.m. and unloaded 58,517 tons of western coal. After the unload she departed at 8:50 p.m. In past years vessel from the Oglebay Norton Fleet have served the Lake Michigan port. This visit by an American Steamship Company vessel is believed to be the result of the pooling agreement between the fleets.

Reported by: Scott Golin

Donner Ready for New Season

The Selvick Tugs Jimmy L and Susan L arrived in the Menominee River about 2:00 p.m. Wednesday with two barges that will be used for a dredging and dock reconstruction at Marinette Marine Corp. The tugs then shifted to K&K dock in Menominee and towed the crane ship William H Donner to Marinette Fuel and Dock where it is normally docked.

Last December the Donner was brought to K&K dock in Menominee to have its deckhouse removed. The 140-foot USCG Mobile Bay assisted the Selvick tugs from Sturgeon Bay through thick ice to the mouth of the Menominee River. It took almost seven hours for the tugs and barges to cross the bay.

Tugs and barges arrive in the Menominee River.
Tow of the Donner with K&K dock in the background.
Close up.
Jimmy L leads tow through Menekaunee Bridge.
Through the bridge.
Making the turn and approach to Marinette Fuel and Dock.
Tugs move the Donner into place.
Susan L pins the Donner to the dock.
Selvick Tugs head home after a busy day.
USCG Mobile Bay waiting to assist the Selvick Tugs back to Sturgeon Bay.

Reported by: Scott Best and Dick Lund

Tugs Depart

That morning the tugs Jimmy L. and Susan from Selvick Marine departed Sturgeon Bay towing the Roen Salvage work barges from Bay Ship to Marinette. They became stuck in a pressure ridge at the mouth of Sturgeon Bay, at Sherwood Point, and the USCG Cutter Mobil Bay was called to the aid of the tugs and barges.

After breaking through the ridge the Mobil Bay broke the tugs and tow free and was leading the way up Green Bay.

The pressure ridge is a build up of ice is due to the way the water flows in Green Bay. The water flows down the Marinette/Menominee side of the bay until it reaches the end of Green Bay. There it turns and flows up the Door County side. When the flow reaches Sherwood Point the water flows out into Green Bay which causes a ridge. The water is flowing out carrying the ice which plies up into the pressure ridge, some times feet high. The Mobil Bay gets another "job well done" for keeping the shipping traffic moving.

Mobil Bay to the rescue.
Breaking a track.
Another pass.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle

Toledo Update

The Adam E. Cornelius finished loading coal at the CSX Docks and departed early Wednesday morning. The tug/barge combo Joyce L. Van Enkevort/Great Lakes Trader shifted over to the coal dock to load coal, waiting to follow the Trader is the Fred R. White Jr. to load later that evening. The next scheduled coal boats due in at the CSX Docks will be the CSL Laurentien and John G. Munson today. The Algolake on Friday, followed by the Kaye E. Barker on Saturday.

There are no ore vessels scheduled into the Torco Ore Dock at this time. No grain vessels were in port at the time of this report.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman

Westcott Update

The work being done to the Detroit River Mail boat, J. W. Westcott II continues to progress. The hull has been patched of any holes; the average thickness of the hull is about ¼ inch. Paint has also been added over the gray primer, Coal tar was used to coat the underside of the hull, and the remaining was painted the typical black with red below the waterline.

The Westcott II looks like a new boat. Water run-offs along the gunwales have been increased in size from approximately 2 X 6 inches to approximately 4 X 12 inches. Rubber D-rail is to be added around the bow for protection from passing ships.

On Wednesday the 20, the newly rebuilt Detroit Diesel 6-cylinder was reinstalled into the engine compartment. This was done by means of a boat hi-lo. The engine, painted alpine green, is expected to be completely functional within the next 2 weeks.

Wiring on board the Westcott II is nearly complete now. There will be a new depth finder added this year to the boat, as well as all new electronics and navigational lights.

J. W. Westcott Company Office
Work was done at the company building as well. Mostly cleaning was carried out, however the heating system within the office was worked on. Work in the lobby consisted of cleaning of rugs and moping of floors, as well as moving the employee’s lockers.

The J. W. Westcott Company will officially begin operation on Wednesday, April 8th.

Reported by: Justin Kreimes and Capt. Sam Buchanan

Picture Updates

I have my full connection restored and shall add the back log of pictures during the next few days. Sorry for the delay.

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

Mississagi Opens Welland Canal

In a wintry mix of rain and snow Mississagi opened the shipping season on the Welland Canal Tuesday. The traditional presentation of a top hat took place inside the Lock 3 Visitors Center due to the bitter weather out side. Capt. Hugh Pink of St. Catharines, was presented with the top hat for taking the first vessel through the canal.

This year marks the historic Welland Canals 173rd consecutive year in operation through four canals that have transported national and international commerce since the first canal opened in 1829.

Mississagi proudly decorated to honor the event. Dan Sweely
Passing the Rt. Hon Paul J. Martin. Dan Sweely
In Lock 3. Dan Sweely
Steam winches on deck hiss in the cold. Dan Sweely
Looking down on the stern. Alex Howard
Capt. Pink receives the honors for the first ship through. Alex Howard
Press takes pictures on the viewing platform.
Opening the canal and heading for Lock 4. Alex Howard
Close up of the freshly painted Mississagi. Alex Howard
Mapleglen above Lock 7 arriving from Windsor with a load of Soya Meal for trois Rivières, Que. Alex Howard
Close up. Alex Howard
Stern view downbound. Alex Howard
Stephen B. Roman approaches Lock 2. Alex Howard
Close up "Essroc" on her hull. Alex Howard
Close up of the stack. Alex Howard
Entering Lock 2. Alex Howard
Striking CMOU members picket.

Reported by: Alex Howard and Dan Sweely

Seaway Opens

The St. Lawrence Seaway opened at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday with the Jean Parisien passing as the first eastbound vessel. The first westbound vessel was the CSL Niagara.

The Parisien was at Sodus at 10:12 a.m. and Cape Vincent at 2:00 p.m. She originally gave at time of 5:00 p.m. for the Crossover but was forced to anchor east of Quebec Head as the American Narrows were shut down due to poor visibility in heavy snow.

Reported by: Ron Walsh

Name Change Complete

The Paterson is now the Pineglen. Work on changing the name and painting CSL colors on the stack is complete. The Pineglen sports a home port of Montreal under her new name on the stern. Tuesday, fuel was being delivered to the boat as well as supplies as she prepares to depart her winter berth at Keefer Terminals. She is expected to move Wednesday sometime, at the soonest, to load at grain before heading out onto Lake Superior.

In other Thunder Bay Shipping news, work on the Atlantic Huron continues over at Keefer Terminals. She is having Propeller work done before she departs. She is tied to the Oakglen who is dockside in winter lay-up.

The Halifax continues to sit at the Keefer Terminal dock despite a couple of attempts to leave the dock. Unknown problems have plagued her since having engine work done over the winter lay-up. She is scheduled to head to Duluth once the problems are corrected.

Loading has begun on the Barge McAllister 132 at the Great West Timber dock. Workers are loading bundles of lumber in preparation for her first trip of the season. Her tug WN Twolan was still in winter lay-up as of Tuesday afternoon but is expected to be freed shortly to join her barge at dockside.

The USCG Mackinaw was in the Port of Thunder Bay recently. She was in port to assist in ice breaking effort and stayed in port for a few days before returning to operations in White Fish Bay.

End of an era as the Paterson "P" is removed from the stack.
Frontenac turns on the power.
Frontenac backing into Thunder Bay harbor.
Another view.
Tugs W.N. Twolan and Radium Yellowknife wait for the new season.
George N. Carleton breaking ice.
Point Valour breaks ice at Richardson.
Mackinaw in port.
Algosoo heads for the dry dock.
Entering. In the dry dock.

Reported by: Rob Farrow

LTV mills renamed International Steel Group

The new owner of bankrupt LTV Corp.'s steel mills said Monday that the steel business will be renamed International Steel Group Inc. and will resume limited production in about eight weeks.

A federal bankruptcy judge on Feb. 28 approved the purchase by W.L. Ross of LTV steel assets for $127 million plus the unspecified cost of assuming environmental liabilities. The sale is expected to close before April 15.

ISG will provide management and financial oversight to its integrated flat-rolled steel plants in Cleveland, East Chicago, Ind., and Hennepin, Ill., and a coke plant in Warren, Ohio, said Wilbur L. Ross, chairman and chief executive of the New York-based Ross investment firm.

"The new company's name conveys the fact that international competition is a permanent part of the steel business,'' Ross said. "This new venture will apply the most effective management and operating practices and seek opportunities worldwide to achieve long-term profitability and value for our investors.''

Rodney Mott has been appointed president and chief executive officer of ISG. He previously was vice president of Nucor Corp., which has flat-rolled minimill steel plants. He began his management career at U.S. Steel.

The new company, once it starts production, will increase operations based on market conditions, Mott said.

"We will enter the marketplace in a gradual, disciplined manner, with each plant focusing on the products it makes best, as defined by the market,'' Mott said.

Mott also said each steel plant would establish its own name to reflect its identity in its community.

Reported by: Al Miller

Columbia Star Opens Season for Oglebay Norton

The Columbia Star departed her winter lay-up at the T.W.I. Dock on Tuesday bound for the Soo. The Star is the first vessel in the Oglebay Norton fleet to sail in the 2002 season.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman

Tracks Hold, Shipping Continues

Light traffic in the St. Marys River and White Fish Bay continue to move quickly through the area thanks to the preventative ice breaking efforts of the U.S. Coast Guard. The weather has cooperated with little wind that could blow the tracks closed.

The Mackinaw and Neah Bay have established both upbound and downbound tracks in the ice. These "highways" through the ice will permit traffic to move through unassisted unless wind conditions close the tracks.

The Mighty Mac spent part of the morning powering through heavy ice north of the Gros Cap Light in White Fish Bay. At times the massive ice breaker would only move 40 yards before it would be stopped by a pressure ridge in the ice. The Mackinaw would then back up and power forward crushing the heavy ice.

Upbound Tuesday was the cement carrier Alpena. Downbound was the Roger Blough, Paul R. Tregurtha and Presque Isle. The Mackinaw dock early afternoon at the Sault Ste. Marie Coast Guard Base for a crew change and the Neah Bay remained in White Fish Bay to maintain the tracks.

Reported by: Roger LeLievre

Challenger Waits for Fit Out

Engine room crew members aboard the classic cement carrier Southdown Challenger have not yet received notice to return to work. The Challenger may not fit out until the end of April or the beginning of May depending on demand.

Reported by: John Cull

Toledo Update

With two back to back snowstorms and strong Northeast winds on Lake Erie several vessels were delayed arriving in port. Early Tuesday morning the Canadian Enterprise was able to make it into the CSX Docks to load coal. Sailing right behind her was the Adam E. Cornelius, she was able to proceed to the old CSX Ore Dock and will follow the Enterprise loading coal.

Following the Cornelius was the tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader. They arrived and headed for the CSX Stone Dock and will follow the Cornelius loading coal.

The next scheduled coal boats due in at the CSX Docks will be the Fred R. White Jr. today. The CSL Laurentien, John G. Munson, and Algolake on Thursday, followed by the Kaye E. Barker on Saturday.

The crane barge has been removed from the large drydock at the Shipyard. The drydock is now being prepped to handle the CSL Tadoussac when she arrives for rudder repairs from Port Colborne. The CSL Tadoussac tow has been delayed arriving In Toledo due to the strong winds on Lake Erie. Unknown at this time when the tow will begin.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman

Olympic Loads

Canadian Olympic docked at P & C Coal Dock in Conneaut, Oh about 11:00 p.m. Monday and was loading coal a short time later.

Reported by: Tom N.

Picture Updates

I have my full connection restored and shall add the back log of pictures during the next few days. Sorry for the delay.

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

Mackinaw Keeps Traffic Moving


The USCG cutter Mackinaw spent Monday doing track maintenance in Whitefish Bay, assisted by the USCG Neah Bay. Scheduled downbound vessels this morning include John G. Munson, Frontenac, Halifax and Roger Blough. The Paul R. Tregurtha and Presque Isle are due at noon today. The cement carrier Alpena also locked upbound this morning around 8 a.m. Vessels are experiencing little trouble with ice, thanks to the tracks established by the Mackinaw. The Mighty Mac is expected to lock downbound around noon today.

  The Indiana Harbor, which opened the shipping season at the Soo Locks just after midnight Monday, was assisted through the lower St. Marys River later Monday morning by the USCG cutter Biscayne Bay. Near Neebish Island the 1,000-foot coal carrier was stopped in the frozen ice track by large chunks of ice that had broken off the tracks edge. The ship managed to break free on her own and rejoin the cutter without assistance. At daybreak Monday, Algonova departed her Sault, Ont. dock enroute to Sarnia following the track of the Indiana Harbor. The Neebish Island ferry requested assistance on opening day, having trouble navigating the refrozen track.

Reported by: Jerry Masson

Mississagi Set to Open Welland Canal


The shipping season on the Welland Canal opens today with the traditional presentation of a top hat to Capt. Hugh Pink, of St. Catharines, skipper of the Mississagi, first vessel to transit the Canal for 2002. The vessel is scheduled to arrive at Lock 3 around 10 a.m.

This year marks the historic Welland Canals 173rd consecutive year in operation through four canals that have transported national and international commerce since the first canal opened in 1829.

It will be a chilly passage: forecasters are calling for a wintry mix of rain and snow.

Twin Ports Report


The first wave of vessels carrying taconite pellets is on its way to the lower lakes. Presque Isle and Roger Blough are due at Conneaut on March 28. Both are expected back in Two Harbors on March 31. John G. Munson is due at Lorain on March 27. From there it will proceed to Toledo on the 28th to load coal for Green Bay, where it's due on March 30.

On Monday, Paul R. Tregurtha departed Midwest Energy Terminal bound for the Soo Locks and lower lakes.

Edgar B. Speer is due at the DMIR ore docks in Two Harbors around noon today. From there it will proceed to Conneaut. Also scheduled to load in Two Harbors today is Cason J. Callaway. Philip R. Clarke is scheduled for March 27 and Columbia Star for March 28. Edwin H. Gott is expected to load in Duluth on the 28th.

Although many vessels have departed to begin their runs for 2002, Duluth/Superior still has vessels in layup. These include H. Lee White at the Port Terminal, George A. Stinson at Hallett 5, Armco at Fraser Shipyard and Walter J. McCarthy Jr. at Garfield C.

Reported by: Al Miller and Mike Cleary

Season Starts for Mapleglen


The Mapleglen left her berth at Windsor ADM Monday morning around 1000 and proceeded upbound to Sterling Fuels where she took on fuel before turning downbound in the Detroit River in low visibility and got underway around 1330. She reported a draft of 23' and was carrying a load of Soya Meal for trois Rivieres, Que.

Reported by Jamie Osborne and Jamie Kerwin

Work Continues on Paterson/Pineglen


Crews at Thunder Bay are busy onboard the Paterson/Pineglen. As of 7 p.m. Monday night the stack was painted with CSL colors and they were painting out the Paterson name on the starboard side of the bow.

Reported by: Rob Farrow and John Kuzma

End Reported Near for Algogulf


Algoma Central Marine has apparently sold its bulk carrier Algogulf to International Marine Salvage Co of Port Colborne, Ont. It is not known at this time when the scrap tow from Hamilton will take place but it may come as early as this spring. Algogulf was launched as the J. N. McWatters (2) in 1961 for Misener Transportation. In 1991 she was renamed Scott Misener (4). She received her last name in 1994 when purchased by Algoma and last operated in 1999.

The idle Kinsman Enterprise is also expected to be towed from Buffalo to Port Colborne for scrapping some time this spring.

Reported by: Herm Phillips

Kingston Report


The season has begun as both VBR Prescott and WAG Seaway Clayton radio stations are active and broadcasting the Seaway bulletins.

The Welland Canal and the Montreal / Lake Ontario section opened at 0800 today. The lighted aids are in from Lake Ontario to the Eisenhower Lock and the aids from Eisenhower to Lake St. Louis are being placed over the next few days. The navigation channels are mainly ice free. Navigation in some areas is restricted to daylight only until the lighted aids are in place. The east side of the flight locks will be closed for the opening of navigation. All traffic will be processed through the west side until the east side is commissioned.

Both the Welland Canal and the Montreal / Lake Ontario section start the season with a maximum draft of 26' 3.

Reported by: Ron Walsh

Photos Delayed


I am having trouble editing pictures on my home computer. Please continue to send images and I will upload them as soon as possible.

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

Indiana Harbor Opens Season at the Soo

03/25 update (3 p.m.)

The Indiana Harbor's official passage time at the Poe Lock was 2:13 a.m. this morning, according to an article in today's Sault Evening News. The vessel's captain, Jim VanDongen, was presented with a baseball hat inscribed "First Ship Soo Locks 2002" by a city delegation headed by Mayor Tony Bosbous in a brief early morning ceremony.

The vessel is loaded with western coal for Muskegon. Meanwhile, Edgar B. Speer passed through the Poe Lock at 8 a.m., followed by the Mesabi Miner in the late morning, Stewart J. Cort around noon and the Burns Harbor at about 3 p.m.

Reported by: Roger LeLievre


The 1,000-foot self-unloader Indiana Harbor, operated by American Steamship Co., eased into the Poe Lock at around 2 a.m. today, thus becoming the first commercial vessel of the 2002 shipping season to use the waterway. She made the trip down through Whitefish Bay with relative ease, thanks to efforts of the USCG icebreaker Mackinaw, which spent a day and a half doing track maintenance between Gros Cap and the edge of the ice pack, which begins just past Ile Parisienne.

Edgar B. Speer was the first upbound vessel, due at 7:30 a.m. She is followed by Mesabi Miner, Stewart J. Cort, and Burns Harbor.

Roger Blough and John G. Munson are downbound and expected to hold above Ile Parisienne until the Speer clears them upbound. The track cut by the Mackinaw is only wide enough for one vessel. Other downbound vessels expected this afternoon are Frontenac and Halifax.

The USCG Mackinaw continues to stand by to assist vessels Whitefish Bay while the USCG Katmai Bay continues to work in the lower St. Marys River.

Reported by: Brian Kloosterman

Duluth Swings Into Gear


Vessels of Great Lakes Fleet laid up in the Twin Ports began getting under way Sunday when John G. Munson departed Fraser Shipyards in Superior about midday and proceeded to Two Harbors to load taconite pellets. It was followed late in the afternoon by Roger Blough, which also departed the shipyard for Two Harbors. Presque Isle also had been scheduled to depart Sunday, but by late in the day the vessel was still at its layup berth.

Reported by: Al Miler

Beeghly clears Buffalo


Charles M. Beeghly cleared the south gap in Buffalo at 15:25 Sunday. She unloaded coal at the Gateway Metroport (the old Bethlehem Steel slip) in Lackawanna. The Beeghly is the third ship in Buffalo for 2002. Peter R. Cresswell was in port in January with salt and the Lee A. Tregurtha was in earlier in March with coal. All three visits were to Gateway.

Reported by: Mike Madigan and Mike Madigan Jr.

Busy Weekend in Sarnia


The Maumee now docked along side Cuyahoga (pulled in bow first). She apparently left late last week and headed down river. After stopping at Sterling Fuels in Windsor, she headed back up the system and docked next to the Cuyahoga. What is not clear is exactly why she made this unusual trip, although several people on the dock say that she possibly suffered a unloading belt failure. She is apparently waiting for the Saginaw to depart on Tuesday and will be taking her spot on the wall where cranes can be moved in to work on her. Crew members where busy touching up hull paint in a small boat on the starboard side of the Maumee Sunday afternoon.

The Saginaw has steam up and the covers off the cabin windows. Cuyahoga's new propeller and rudder have been reinstalled. The new self unloading belt has been installed on the Algorail.

Canadian Transfer is now sitting by itself at the end of the North Slip and apparently has a 2 foot by 2 foot hull puncture at the 10 foot mark just forward of the bow thruster on the starboard side. The damage may have been incurred when the vessel was moved to allow Maumee to leave.

The CCGS Griffin spent Sunday putting down buoys. She placed Lake Huron Cut buoy 2 and the three buoys south of the Blue Water Bridge and then docked at the Government Docks around 17:20. Her next departure will be Tuesday.

Reported by: Jamie Kerwin

Bayship Layups Sail


On Saturday Kaye E. Barker departed Bay Ship, proceeding through the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal and to Lake Michigan. Sunday saw two 1,000- footers depart together. The Edgar B. Speer led the way with Mesabi Miner following. The USCG Mobile Bay and Selvick tug Jimmy L were on site to help break ice and clear track. Both vessels headed north towards the bay of Green Bay. Remaining at Bay Ship are Sam Laud, American Mariner, John J. Boland, James R. Barker, tug Dorothy Ann / barge Pathfinder and the Wilfred Sykes.

Reported by Vic DeLarwelle, Carl Grota and Bill Jasper

Bethlehem Steel Fleet Begins the Season


The Bethlehem Steel fleet departed Milwaukee early Sunday morning. First to leave was the Stewart J. Cort. Captain Dave Mathie eased the Cort away from the Heavy Lift dock just before 6 a.m. Fifteen minutes behind was the Burns harbor under the command of Captain Dave Lindmark. Both boats provided the many early morning fisherman with a little diversion as they passed. Sailing time from Milwaukee to the Soo Locks is approximately 22 hours.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde

Thunder Bay Report


The first departure of the 2002 season from the Port of Thunder Bay was the Canada Steamship Lines Frontenac, which left at 2 p.m. Saturday heading for Hamilton. Sporting a couple of minor scratches to her new paint job, the Frontenac backed out of Pascol Engineering with the help of the tug George N. Carleton. She proceeded out onto the bay and set course for Duluth where she will take on a load before heading for the Soo Locks.

The tug Point Valour was busy Saturday breaking ice in the Richardson Elevator slip in preparation for the loading of the Algoville. The Algoville is expected to make her way over to the elevator sometime in the next day or so.

Saturday also saw activity on the Paterson. The big white P on each side of the stack was removed and lowered to the deck around 3pm. No sign of painting either the name or the stack was noticed but is expected to occur sometime soon. Her new name is Pineglen.

The Halifax was firing her engines on Saturday and expected to depart by early evening, as both the Point Valour and the Glenada attached lines to her dockside at Keefer Terminals. Apparently unknown problems arose, as both tugs untied after awhile and proceeded back to their home dock. The Halifax is expected to follow in the wake of the Frontenac and also sail to Duluth to load.

Work is proceeding on the Atlantic Huron's propeller while she sits at Keefer Terminals. Crews were busy Saturday working from a small barge which was secured to the Kort nozzle of the Huron. It is unknown how long this work will last. The Atlantic Huron wintered at Pascol Engineering where most of her work was completed but was moved to Keefer in order to have deeper water to ballast the bow down in order for the propeller work to take place.

Reported by: Rob Farrow

Conneaut Opens


The Algoma Central self-unloader John B. Aird arrived at Conneaut at 9:30 p.m. Sunday, officially opening that Lake Erie port.

Reported by: Tom N

St Lawrence Seaway News


At Sorel-Tracy, the P letters on the Cartierdoc's smokestack were removed Sunday morning so CSL colors could be painted on. Her new name, Cedarglen, should be applied before March 27, as that is the day she is scheduled to shift from her winter layup dock to the QIT dock to load. In Montreal, nothing has been done yet on Mantadoc, which is scheduled to be renamed Teakglen. No activities were observed on board.

Algonorth was conducting emergency fire drills Sunday at Montreal in preparation for her first trip of the season.

The first laker to resume service after wintering in Montreal was Algocen, which departed in ballast this morning for a lower St.Lawrence River port. Her departure was delayed by nearly three hours because of an engine problem.

The unlucky Lake Carling, which arrived in the Bay of Gaspe late yesterday afternoon, has given her next destination as Quebec City. There is speculation she will be repaired at the shipyard at Levis across the St.Lawrence River from Quebec City.

At least four vessels are expected to transit the St.Lambert lock on opening day Tuesday: CSL Niagara, Strange Attractor bound for Toronto, Chios Pride bound for Thunder Bay and Jade Star bound for Sarnia. Already in the Seaway is the CCGS Tracy, which entered the system on Friday. She has begun to install a few buoys. For the first time in years, no large icebreaker was needed by the Seaway to clear the ice in the canals despite all the snow of last week followed by a cold spell.

A conservation land trust known in short as D.I.A.M.O.N.D.S. (Dundas Iroquois & Matilda, Morrisburg Ontario Natural Development Seaway Shorelines) will open a St.Lawrence Seaway Interpretive Center at Iroquois, Ont. in a few weeks. For that purpose, they leased for five years a building owned by the St.Lawrence Seaway Management which was scheduled to be torn down. The building overlooks the Iroquois lock and was known as the Tindale House. Since 1958, it has been the home of the lock superintendent until he retired in 1998. There will be marine exhibits and the history of the lost villages and old canals will be featured.

Vega Desgagnes, laid up at Quebec since Dec. 24, was scheduled to load Sunday night then head to Newfoundland.

Reported by: Rene Beauchamp, Robin Hartley, Terry Beahen

Photos Delayed


I am having trouble editing pictures on my home computer. Please continue to send images and I will upload them as soon as possible.

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

Vessels Head for Soo Locks

03/24 - 11 p.m. update
The 1,000-footer Indiana Harbor reported in downbound at Ile Parisienne at 9:30 p.m. this evening, a little later than was scheduled. She will be the first vessel at the Soo Locks, officially opening the 2002 shipping season on the upper Great Lakes, sometime after midnight. She was escorted through Whitefish Bay ice, estimated at 12-18 inches thick in some places, by the USCG Mackinaw. The Mackinaw remains above the locks to assist other vessels.


Here are tentative arrival times and dates for vessels headed for the Soo Locks. As it stands now, the Indiana Harbor should be the first passage. She is due to arrive in the upper St. Marys River at 1800 (6 p.m.) on Sunday and will be first in line Monday morning when the Locks open for business. The first upbound transit is likely to be either Mesabi Miner or Sarah Spencer, also on Monday. Here is the lineup so far.

Downbound (arrival times at Whitefish Point as of 11:30 p.m. Sunday)

Frontenac: 1500 on the 25th

Halifax: 1800 on the 25th

Atlantic Huron: 0600 on the 27th

Pineglen (ex Paterson): 0700 on the 29th

H. Lee White: 2200 on the 31st

Upbound (arrival times at DeTour as of 11:30 p.m. Sunday):

Edgar B Speer: 0100 on the 25th

Mesabi Miner: 0200 on the 25th

Burns Harbor: 0200 on the 25th

Stewart J Cort: 0530 on the 25th

Mesabi Miner: 0700 on the 25th

Sarah Spencer: 0800 on the 25th

Columbia Star: 0600 on the 27th

Charles M. Beeghly: unspecified time on the 30th

Adam E. Cornelius: 2200 on the 30th

The U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Mackinaw is stationed in Whitefish Bay to assist vessel traffic as needed.Ice thickness is estimated at between 12" and 18" in some areas.

Photos Delayed


I am having trouble editing pictures on my home computer. Please continue to send images and I will upload them as soon as possible.

Toledo Report


The Lee A. Tregurtha was loading coal at the CSX Docks Saturday. The next scheduled vessels due in at the CSX Docks are the Canadian Enterprise on Sunday, Adam E. Cornelius on Monday and the tug/barge combo Joyce L. Vanenkevort/Great Lakes Trader on Tuesday. CSL Laurentien and Fred R. White Jr. are due on Wednesday. There are no ore boats scheduled into the Torco Ore Docks at this time.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman

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

Paul R. Opens Marquette

The Paul R. Tregurtha unloaded coal at Marquette's Presque Isle Dock Friday. She was the first ship of the season to arrive at Marquette, whose harbor has been basically ice free all winter.

Work is continuing on the ore dock in preparation for the first ship to arrive to load taconite pellets once the Locks open.

Paul R. unloading.
Wide view of the dock.

Reported by: Lee Rowe

Lower Lakes Towing Ready for Opening

For the first time, a vessel from Lower Lakes Towing will be the first ship through the Welland Canal, when the shipping season officially opens on Tuesday, March 26.

Capt. Hugh Pink, of St. Catharines, will be presented with the traditional Top Hat when he brings the Mississagi through the Lock 3 Welland Canals Centre.

Lower Lakes Towing was founded in 1994 by Capt. Scott Bravener, who is not only the President and CEO of the company, but who was also the captain of their first ship, the Cuyahoga, from 1995 to 2001 and still “captains” a ship from time to time.

“We’re still a growing company, with three ships in Canada and three ships that we charter through our US subsidiary, Lower Lakes Transportation Co.,” says Capt. Bravener. “And we’re excited to be included in the opening of the Welland Canal this year,” he continues.

Capt. Bravener will be speaking at the Top Hat Ceremony. Other speakers will include seaway officials, Guy Veronneau, President and CEO, The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation; and Albert Jacquez, Administrator, The Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.

The 10:00 a.m. program will formally welcome the Mississagi at the Lock 3 Welland Canals Centre in St. Catharines. The public is invited to the annual "Top Hat" event, which will include a reception.

For the historic Welland Canal, this year will mark its 173rd consecutive year in operation through the four canals that have transported national and international commerce since the first canal opened in 1829.

Pictures of the Mississagi

Reported by: St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp.

Paterson Sale

The newly purchased Paterson vessels in the CSL fleet will receive the same paint and stack markings as the Mapleglen and Oakglen. Crews were expected to begin yesterday painting the stacks in CSL colors but the hulls will remain black.

The Paterson, the Cartierdoc and the Mantadoc will be respectively renamed the Pineglen, the Cedarglen and the Teakglen.

Reported by: Canada Steamship Lines

Burns Harbor & Cort Prepare to Sail

The Burns Harbor and Stewart J. Cort underwent fire and lifeboat drills in Milwaukee on Friday. The Marine Safety Office of the USCG is oversees these yearly drills.

For the fire drill a location is selected for the "fire." Burns Harbor Capt. Dave Lindmark was notified that there was a fire in the incinerator room. The General Alarm was sounded and the crew reported to their assigned stations.

Under the watchful eye of USCG Chief Warrant Officer Bob Sorrell the Burns Harbor crew fought the "fire." Afterwards everyone assembled in the crew's dining room for a critique of the operation.

Next the man overboard-lifeboat drill was held. Windy conditions Friday required that the lifeboat be hauled alongside the dock at the stern of the Burns harbor so the crew could safely enter the lifeboat.

In past years a life ring was used to simulate the man overboard. Now the Coast Guard provides a 100 lb. dummy. It was thrown over the side and the lifeboat crew, under the command of First Mate Wade Presnell, had to row out to retrieve the man in the water. Stiff NW winds provided some difficulty, but the "man" was retrieved and brought back to the Burns Harbor for emergency medical treatment. Burns Harbor watchman, Karl Stramm, a certified EMT, also demonstrated the use of the boat's defibrillator to the rest of the crew.

Burns Harbor Capt. Dave Lindmark goes over paperwork with USCG Senior Marine Inspector Bob Sorrell prior to the fire & lifeboat drills.
Karl Stramm (kneeling) explains the defibrillator to the crew as Bob Sorrell looks on.
The lifeboat is prepared for launch.
Dummy before he got wet.
The crew rows out to the dummy.
The man is brought into the lifeboat.
The Critique session.
Bob Sorrell offers suggestions and comments to the crew.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde

Canada watchful of surge in cheap steel imports

The Canadian government is expected to consider a demand by the country's steel industry and unions for tariffs to guard against a possible flood of cheap steel imports.

John McCallum, the Secretary of State for International Financial Institutions, said Ottawa was worried about the aftermath of a recent U.S. decision to enact tariffs against cheap imported steel. Ottawa is monitoring imports and vows to act if its detects a surge of overseas steel products initially destined for the United States instead coming to Canada.

Steel producers such as Stelco Inc., Dofasco Inc., IPSCO Inc and Slater Steel Inc., as well as the United Steelworkers union, which represents 45,000 workers, urged McCallum to introduce tariffs to discourage low-cost imports.

Imports of steel into Canada reached a record 44 percent of apparent consumption in 2000.

The U.S. tariffs have sparked angry reactions around the globe with the European Union and Japan both threatening to take their case to the World Trade Organization. On Tuesday, the EU said it may erect its own trade barriers within days to prevent diversion of U.S.-bound steel. Mexico has already slapped tariffs on its steel imports.

Reported by: John Stark

Mild Winter Leaves Salt on Dock

In a scene that it repeated around the lakes, Milwaukee's relatively mild winter has left lots of salt still piled on Jones Island. The port is a major distribution point for road salt. One mountain alone exceeded 300,000+ tons of salt. More than half still remains.

Mountain of salt.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde

Twin Ports Report

Boatwatchers in the Twin Ports get full-scale relief from the winter doldrums today when vessel traffic resumes for the DMIR ore docks in Duluth and Two Harbors, and traffic continues at Midwest Energy Terminal.

The Frontenac and Halifax are scheduled to start the season at DMIR in Duluth on Saturday, arriving from Thunder Bay. In Two Harbors, Roger Blough is expected to arrive at midday after departing its lay-up berth in Superior. Indiana Harbor is scheduled to depart its lay-up berth at Duluth's Hallett Dock to load at Midwest Energy Terminal.

Traffic will continue next week at the DMIR ore docks. At Duluth, Edwin H. Gott is due to load March 28. In Two Harbors, John G. Munson and Presque Isle are due March 24 and Edgar B. Speer and Cason J. Callaway are both due there March 26.

Some interesting notes
All three AAA Class vessels of Great Lakes Fleet have now had their boilers overhauled. The latest to undergo boiler work was Arthur M. Anderson. The vessel is due out in mid-April and will be the last of GLF's boats to enter service this season. Steam already is up on the Callaway and on Philip R. Clarke.

The vessels of American Steamship/Oglebay Norton will be the big haulers at Midwest Energy Terminal this spring. In April, Walter J. McCarthy is scheduled to carry five loads from the dock while Indiana Harbor and Columbia Star are due to each load four. Oglebay Norton is slated to carry two cargoes. The other major hauler will be Interlake's Paul R. Tregurtha, with four loads scheduled. Mesabi Miner is due to load one coal cargo.

Reported by: Al Miller

Toledo Update

There were no coal boats in port Friday. The next scheduled vessels due in at the CSX Docks will be the Lee A. Tregurtha, Canadian Enterprise, and Adam E. Cornelius today. The Adam E. Cornelius on Sunday followed by the CSL Laurentien on Monday.

As of Friday there are no ore boats yet scheduled into the Torco Ore Dock.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman

Montreal Tugs

Below are recent images taken in Montreal.

Montreal Grain elevator being demolished at the foot of Pie IX blvd.
Tug Ocean Jupitor arriving at the vessel Achilleas Frangistas.
Vessel as seen from inside the tug.
Pulling the vessel away from the dock.
Ready to let go.
Heading down river with tug in foreground.
As the tug heads for her dock, we pass the Russian Tanker Mekhanik Khemelevskiy.

Reported by: Kent Malo

Coast Guard sets boating security zones around nuclear plants

The U.S. Coast Guard is establishing security zones around two nuclear power plants on Lake Michigan.

The Coast Guard announced Wednesday that it is setting up security zones effective immediately off the water discharges of the D.C. Cook Nuclear Plant near St. Joseph and the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant in Van Buren County.

The Coast Guard established the zones in response concerns about possible terrorist attacks. Lt. Carol Stearns, operations officer for Coast Guard Group Grand Haven, said zone sizes were based on the size of facilities and of intakes. Zones were put in place after the Sept. 11 attacks, but that order expired March 1.

No vessels will be permitted in the zones, which will be marked with buoys. If a vessel is spotted in a zone, operators will be asked to leave. A security zone violation carries fines of up to $10,000 and up to10 years in prison.

But Bill Schalk, spokesman for the D.C. Cook Nuclear Plant, told The Herald-Palladium newspaper that the plant's owner, Electric Power Co., will petition the Coast Guard for a smaller zone.

"We recognize that it's a popular fishing spot, and we don't want to restrict fishing any more than we have to," Schalk said.

A smaller zone would allow fishing at the discharge points and be more than adequate to meet the security concerns raised by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Schalk said.

Reported by: Rob Kennedy

Models For Sale

In the early 1950s, Bill Crandall of Shelby Township, MI, got a taste of life on the Great Lakes, working on the steamer Huron of the Wyandotte Chemical Co. He sailed for two years under the supervision of his uncle, the ship's chief engineer. The Huron typically carried coal north from Toledo to Alpena, where she would unload, shift across her berth and load limestone for the return trip to Toledo.

Crandall started out as a coal passer one season, then worked as a fireman on the Huron's "Black Gang" in the engine room and boiler spaces deep in the bowels of the ship.

When he left the lakes, he worked in a factory for Ford Motor Co. In his retirement, Bill has enjoyed making large-scale detailed models of Great Lakes ships including the Middletown, Huron (Wyandotte Chemical self-unloader), Cedarville and of course, Edmund Fitzgerald. Bill recently has decided to sell his collection of ship models to good homes. The models range in size from four to six feet. Cost is $100 per foot. All models have been sold (no electronic pictures available)

Reported by: Jon Ottman

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

CSL and Paterson Finalize Deal

Gerald Carter, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Canada Steamship Lines Inc. Montreal (CSL), and Robert Paterson, Chief Executive Officer, Marine Division, of N.M. Paterson & Sons Limited (Paterson), announced Thursday that CSL has finalized its purchase of three Paterson vessels: the Paterson, the Cartierdoc and the Mantadoc. They will be respectively renamed the Pineglen, the Cedarglen and the Teakglen.

These three gearless vessels will join the current CSL bulker fleet composed of the Ferbec, the Oakglen and the Mapleglen and will be utilized in the conventional grain and iron ore trades on the Great Lakes. In doing so, they will complement CSL’s current self-unloader trading patterns, thus providing all customers greater flexibility in their delivery schedules.

Canada Steamship Lines Inc. is a major North American shipping company transporting over 20 million tonnes of bulk cargo annually. CSL, together with its affiliated company, CSL International Inc., owns and operates the largest fleet of self-unloading vessels in the world.

N.M. Paterson & Sons Limited was founded in 1908 by Norman McLeod Paterson. The company remains 100% Canadian and family owned. The company provides grain handling, marketing and crop inputs sales and service, livestock feed production and organic grain sourcing services domestically and internationally.

Reported by: Canada Steamship Lines

Lake Carling Update

Thursday the tug Ryan Leet arrived on scene and began using high volume pumps to assist the leaking bulk carrier. The Lake Carling took shelter north of the Magdalen Islands as it waited for the tug.

Crews on scene expect to pump as much water as possible from the vessel and then begin to make temporary repairs so the vessel can make it into Sidney, N.S.

On Tuesday the ship developed a 13-foot stress crack in the hull when it was about 150 miles northwest of Sydney. After proceeding under power for a short time the flooding became more than the onboard pumps could handle and the vessel stopped. Wednesday the stress crack was estimated to be 25 feet long in the No.4 hold.

Lake Carling on a visit to the lakes last summer. Jeff Thoreson
Tug Ryan Leet. Paul Beesley
Another view. Gerry O.

Reported by: Al Jackman

Quebec City Harbor to receive its first Seaway Vessel

After a very quiet winter season marked only by the usual crude oil deliveries, exportations of grain by ocean-going vessels and IITM chemical shipments, Quebec Harbor will start its 2002 Seaway season on March 30. CSL's Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin will arrive at section 29 (Bunge), the SeawayMax self-unloader will deliver a cargo of wheat.

Reported by: J.F. Boutin

J. W. Westcott II Work Update

The U.S. Mail Boat J.W. Westcott II its new engine installed on Wednesday. Crews from the Westcott Company and a crew from Williams Detroit Diesel installed the engine. The Mailboat is scheduled to be refloated on March 28 with sea trials the following week.

Reported by: Capt. Sam Buchanan

Frontenac Moved

The Frontenac was pulled out of Drydock at Pascol Engineering on Wednesday. She was pushed into the ice to keep her in place while the tugs moved the Algosoo into drydock. The Atlantic Huron was to have been towed over to Keefer Terminals on Wednesday but was delayed and then delayed again Thursday by high winds. The Huron will be ballasted by the bow to raise her propeller out of the water for some repair work.

Smoke was seen Thursday coming from the Halifax, who is tied up over at Keefer. Two or Three of the lay-ups are rumored to be departing Thunder Bay this coming weekend.

Tug Peninsula breaking ice.
Frontenac is pulled from the dry dock.
Frontenac clear.
In the harbor.
Algosoo moved into Pascol.

Reported by: Rob Farrow

Bridge Back in Service

The Norfolk & Southern Railway Bridge across the mouth of the Cuyahoga River has now re-opened to permit ship traffic in and out of the Port of Cleveland. Cargos of stone, salt and cement usually pickup the last week of March. The Alpena was trapped in the river but departed early this week as the bridge opened.

Reported by: Rex Cassidy

Twin Ports Report

Vessel movement in Duluth-Superior began about 630 a.m. Thursday when the Paul R. Tregurtha departed Duluth loaded with about 60,000 tons of coal bound for the WEPCO generating station at Presque Isle (Marquette), Mich. The Tregurtha was assisted out of the harbor by the Great Lakes Towing tug Minnesota.

On Wednesday, the Coast Guard Cutter Sundew was breaking ice near the Midwest Energy Terminal, where the Tregurtha had spent the winter. The Sundew broke a track into St. Louis Bay and broke up ice in the turning basin off the end of the DMIR ore docks.

Next traffic in the Twin Ports is scheduled for this weekend.

On Saturday, Roger Blough is set to depart for Two Harbors, Paul R. Tregurtha will return to load coal at Midwest Energy Terminal, Indiana Harbor will depart its layup berth at Hallett Dock to load at Midwest Energy Terminal, and Atlantic Huron is scheduled to arrive late in the day from Thunder Bay to load at Midwest Energy Terminal.

On Sunday, Presque Isle and John G. Munson are both scheduled to depart their layup berths to proceed to Two Harbors to load taconite pellets.

Reported by: Al Miller

Soo Update

Eariler this week the tanker Algonova was unloading at the Government Dock. As it prepared to depart, the tanker requested icebreaking assistance for her downbound trip. This is an unusual request unless the channels are full of heavy pack ice. With the Mackinaw and Samuel Risley working in Lake Superior, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay and Katmai Bay could easily handle the assist through the lower St Marys River.

Reported by: Jerry Masson

Toledo News

The Canadian Enterprise was at the CSX Docks Thursday loading coal on its first trip of the season. The next scheduled coal boats due in at the CSX Docks will be the Adam E. Cornelius on Friday. Wednesday the vessel was headed to Sandusky. The Lee A. Tregurtha, Canadian Enterprise, and Adam E. Cornelius will load on Saturday. Followed by the CSL Laurentien on Monday.

There are no ore boats due in at the Torco Ore Dock at this time.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman

Work Boat Returns

The Toronto Port Authority's workboat Osprey is back in service. She was hauled out at Eastern Marine Services during the winter for an overhaul.

Reported by: Gerry O.

Kingston (Seaway East) Update

Activity is starting to pick up in the Kingston area. VBR Prescott has had some yachts check in for radio checks. According to VBR, the Robinson Bay and the CCGS Simcoe are placing aids for the Season. The Simcoe is in the Welland Canal area and then plans to head down river. The Robinson Bay does the American Aids in the Seaway area.

Reported by: Ron Walsh

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

CSL and Paterson Finalize Deal

03/21 4:00 p.m. Update
Gerald Carter, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Canada Steamship Lines Inc. Montreal (CSL), and Robert Paterson, Chief Executive Officer, Marine Division, of N.M. Paterson & Sons Limited (Paterson), have announced today that CSL has finalized its purchase of three Paterson vessels: the Paterson, the Cartierdoc and the Mantadoc. They will be respectively renamed the Pineglen, the Cedarglen and the Teakglen.

These three gearless vessels will join the current CSL bulker fleet composed of the Ferbec, the Oakglen and the Mapleglen and will be utilized in the conventional grain and iron ore trades on the Great Lakes. In doing so, they will complement CSL’s current self-unloader trading patterns, thus providing all customers greater flexibility in their delivery schedules.

Canada Steamship Lines Inc. is a major North American shipping company transporting over 20 million tonnes of bulk cargo annually. CSL, together with its affiliated company, CSL International Inc., owns and operates the largest fleet of self-unloading vessels in the world.

N.M. Paterson & Sons Limited was founded in 1908 by Norman McLeod Paterson. The company remains 100% Canadian and family owned. The company provides grain handling, marketing and crop inputs sales and service, livestock feed production and organic grain sourcing services domestically and internationally.

Reported by: Canada Steamship Lines

Seaway Opening

The first ship to open the 2002 season on the Seaway will be the CSL Niagara, opening day, March 26. The Niagara has been in lay-up at Montreal since Dec.26 and is loaded with iron ore.

The first foreign-flag vessel will be Strange Attractor which was expected to arrive at the Pointe-aux-Trembles anchorage, Montreal Wednesday night. She has a load of sugar for delivery at Toronto. Expected up the Seaway also on opening day will be Chios Pride who was unloading sugar in Montreal Wednesday.

The Welland Canal will open on March 26 with the Mississagi taking the Top Hat at Lock 3 about 10:00 a.m.

Reported by: René Beauchamp

Season Begins in Twin Ports

The Paul R. Tregurtha was expected to depart Superior early Thursday to launch this season's vessel traffic in the Twin Ports. The Tregurtha is heading for Marquette with a load of coal.

Elsewhere in the harbor, the crew of the Roger Blough had fired up the engines. Exhaust could be seen coming from the big vessel's stack. It's scheduled to leave Fraser Shipyards on Saturday and proceed to Two Harbors to load.

Reported by: Al Miller

Icebreakers Ready for Season

Four U.S. Coast Guard icebreakers - Mackinaw, Katmai Bay, Neah Bay and Biscayne Bay - are working this week in the St. Marys River, Soo Locks and Mackinac Straits areas clearing channels for Monday's opening of the commercial shipping season at the Soo Locks, according to a story in Wednesday's Soo Evening News.

The Mackinaw locked through the Poe Lock upbound for the upper St. Mary's River, Whitefish Bay and Thunder Bay Tuesday morning. The Canadian Coast Guard Ice Breaker Samuel Risley will also be working the area.

U.S. Coast Guard officials report ice from six to 14 inches thick on downriver channels with some ice jams forming here and there in broken tracks and turns. Still vessels are not expected to have any difficulty on their first passages.

Early word is that three lakers will be at the piers by late Sunday Paul R. Tregurtha and Roger Blough downbound, and Mesabi Miner upbound. Last year's first lockage was by the upbound Great Lakes Trader/Joyce L. Van Enkevort.

A steady flow of traffic is expected for the first 24 hours that the locks are open.

Reported by: Roger LeLievre, Mike Cleary and Jerry Masson

New Name for Century

The Canadian Century has been at the Port Weller Dry Docks this winter going through mid body reconstruction. A few weeks ago her name had been painted off the stern making many believe a name-change would take place.

When the vessel returns to service in May, she is to be re-named John D. Leitch. Her owners will host a re-naming ceremony prior to her sailing.

Reported by: Dan Sweeley

Nine boats may be idle this season

Continuing trouble in the steel industry may idle as many as nine U.S.-flag Great Lakes ships this season, a spokesman for the Lake Carriers' Association told the Duluth News Tribune.

"The initial sailing plans we've seen so far indicate this year may be worse than last year," Glen Nekvasil told the newspaper.

Nekvasil said nine ships aren't yet scheduled to sail because of reduced demand. "The brunt of the problem comes from steel imports," he added.

According to the newspaper:
--American Steamship has idled the 634-foot American Republic as a result of the LTV Steel bankruptcy.
--Interlake Steamship said the 1,000-foot James R. Barker would miss the start of the season but might be used later in the year if demand for taconite pellets improves. All other Interlake boats are expected to sail as usual this spring.
--Great Lakes Fleet in Duluth is expected to sail all its boats this season because its main customer, U.S. Steel, is in relatively good health compared to other steelmakers.

Reported by: Al Miller and Brian Ferguson

Trader Enters Lay-up

Saturday the Great Lakes Trader was back in short term lay-up on the South Side of the Escanaba Ore dock, the Trader arrived in Escanaba sometime on Friday. The Trader had been moving ore from Escanaba to Indiana Harbor along with a few cargoes of slag and the Trader is scheduled to load coal at Toledo early next week for an unknown port. The barge's bow was nearly touching the tug Olive L Moore which is also docked on the south side of the ore dock.

Crews appear to be fitting out the Joe Thompson and tug Joe Jr. Monday the Lee A Tregurtha and Joseph L Block loaded ore in Escanaba, while the Charles M Beeghly loaded on Tuesday.

Great Lakes Trader at the ore dock, (note how close the bow is to tug Olive L Moore).
Tug Joyce L. Van Enkenvort in the Trader's stern.
Stern view at the ore dock.

Reported by: Scott Best

Buoy Work

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon returned to the Coast Guard base in Amherstburg on Monday. The Griffon was busy setting the red buoys in the lower Detroit River. The Griffon was launched in 1970, has a length of 71 meters, and has a power output of 3980 kilowatts. She is a light duty ice breaker and services navigational aids on the Great Lakes.

The Lake Huron Cut buoys have been installed by the Coast Guard Cutter Bramble.

Reported by: David Cozens

Lake Carling Update

Wednesday the Lake Carling was stopped off the east coast of Canada awaiting a salvage tug. On Tuesday the ship developed a 13-foot crack in the hull when it was about 150 miles northwest of Sydney, N.S.

At first onboard pumps appeared to be keeping up with the water and it proceed for Sydney at a reduced speed. Once under way the flooding became more than the pumps could handle so the vessel stopped and called for assistance. Yesterday it was safely drifting in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The tug Ryan Leet was expected to arrive on scene Wednesday night with a large pump, plates of metal and welding gear. Crews will patch the stress crack now estimated to be 25 feet long in the No.4 hold. A coast guard ship is standing by the stricken vessel.

Lake Carling on a visit to the lakes last summer. Jeff Thoreson
Tug Ryan Leet. Paul Beesley
Another view. Gerry O.

Reported by: Al Jackman

Sturgeon Bay Ice.

Ships departing lay-up in Sturgeon Bay have been avoiding passage on Green Bay to reach Lake Michigan due to heavy ice. Below are several images of the ice on Green Bay.

Wind rowed Ice about 1 mile off the mouth of Sturgeon Bay, about 30 foot High.
Ice Shove at Egg Harbor across the Bay from Marinette, Wi. Menominee, Mi.
Close up of wind rowed Ice.
Ice flows about 1/2 mile off shore.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle

Alpena Report

The J.A.W Iglehart arrived Wednesday morning to load cement at Lafarge. It left after 11:00 a.m. headed for Milwaukee. The Alpena came into port around 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday. This was her first trip of the season after departing lay-up in Cleveland. It is taking a load of cement to South Chicago. to load.

Reported by: Ben and Chanda McClain and Rex Cassidy

Port Colborne Update

Ships in Port Colborne are coming back to life as engines are running on the John B. Aird and CSL Tadoussac. The Tadoussac's anchors have also been unearthed in preparation for its departure to Toledo for rudder repairs, which appears to be secured firmly in a locked position.

Striking engineers were also picketing at the dock.

Bridge 21 was getting a last minute check to get ready for the 2002 season.

At IMS, the bow thruster section is all that remains of the Tarantau, which should be completely gone by the week end. No damaged moorings have been repaired after the storm that swept through the region early in the month.

The barge Sarah Spencer is on ships power and may be departing soon.

Construction is complete at Lock 8 and is has been filled with water.

John B. Aird.
CSL Tadoussac.
Damaged mooring on the dock.
Close up of rudder.
Another view.
Unearthed anchor.
Barge Sarah Spencer.
Tug John Spence and Pelee Islander.
More damage from the wind storm.
Tug Lois T.
Bridge 21.
Little remains of the Tarantau.
Pieces lifted by crane.

Reported by: Alex Howard

Rochester Update

The Stephan B. Roman arrived late Wednesday at the Rochester Terminal of Essroc Cement. She loaded at the plant in Picton, Ontario, stopped in Oswego, NY and unloaded part of her cargo there before coming to Rochester.

Reported by: Tom Brewer

Toronto News

Wednesday the ferry Ongiara was taken out of service for a five-day maintenance break and the ferry Wm. Inglis went into service for the first time this season.

Sandblasting continues on the tug Ned Hanlan at the Port Authority yard. The excursion vessel Enterprise 2000 was out on the weekend for a charter.

An article in the Toronto Star on Saturday states that Captain John's ship restaurant - Jadran - has filed for bankruptcy protection from its creditors.

Reported by: Gerry O.

She to It

CNN reported Wednesday that the world shipping industry's newspaper, Lloyd's List, has decided that from now on ships will lose their femininity and will be referred to as "it," not "she."

"We see it as a reflection of the modern business of shipping," Julian Bray, the paper's editor, told the Financial Times.

"Ultimately they are commodities...not things that have characters."

For hundreds of years, whenever a ship is launched it has been traditional for the "may God protect her and all who sail in her" to be spoken. It is not known how the habit of treating ships as feminine began though it is a custom used mainly in English dominated countries.

Reported by: Tom Anderson

Lachine Canal slated to reopen in May

Canada's Lachine Canal is scheduled to reopen this spring for the first time in decades, but some environmental groups say the resulting boat traffic could flush toxic sediments into the St. Lawrence River.

The canal has been closed to through vessel traffic for more than 30 years, at least in part to prevent the spread of toxic sediments caused by years of industrial dumping. The federal and local governments have spent $85 million to clean up the canal so it can reopen May 14. An estimated 4,000 boats are expected to motor through the 5 refurbished locks linking Lachine to Old Montreal.

François Granger, director of environmental issues on the project, told the Montreal Gazette that tests were completed in 1998 and again last fall to see whether toxic sediments would be stirred up by boating. About a dozen boats were allowed onto the canal last October and were driven at 10 kilometers per hour, he said. Testing showed no sediment was dislodged. But Daniel Green of the environmental group SVP maintains the federal government should have cleaned up the polluted sediments before reopening the waterway.

"By reopening the Lachine Canal without cleaning it up first, the federal government might very well become the worst polluter of the St. Lawrence River," Green told the Gazette.

Green said the federal tests were inadequate because different sections of the canal were not tested. He also is concerned that sediments may have been flushed into the river during excavation and lock work.

Reported by: Al Miller and Kent Malo

Port Everglades Florida

What's a boatwatcher to do when the boats stop running and the season turns cold? Head south to Florida for boatwatching Port Everglades style.

Container ship Angela Jurgens inbound.
Angela Jurgens unloading at Berth 31.
Mediterranean Cruise Lines Melody, ex Atlantic inbound.
Melody at berth 25.
Ocean Princess at berth 2.
Federal Pescadores finishing unloading with her own cranes.
America Feeder unloading containers at berth 26.
SCM Guri at berth 6.
Tug and barge Mobile with gasoline nearing berth 13.
Sun Cruz casino ship at Hollywood Florida.
Drydock ship Super Servant #3 awaiting her cargo of yachts for the Mediterranean.
Ocean Club, ex Port Welcome and The Boat restaurant at Algonac Michigan.
Leisure Lady, ex Star of Detroit at Hallandale Florida.
Leisure Lady stern view.

Reported by: Bill Hoey

Open House at Maritime Academy

The Great Lakes Maritime Academy in Traverse City is hosting an open house and fish boil April 6 to celebrate its 33rd anniversary and to preview plans for their new academy, on which construction is expected to start this summer. The event is 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday the 6th. There is no charge for the open house (a donation is requested for the dinner, proceeds to benefit the GLMA Propeller Club Student Port 150). Two trips on an Interlake Steamship Co. freighter for use in 2002 will also be raffled off. For more information visit

Reported by: Roger LeLievre

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

Sturgeon Bay Update

Early Tuesday morning the Edgar B. Speer was removed from the 1000-foot Graving Dock at Bay Ship.

Tugs from Selvick Marine made the dead ship move from the Graving Dock to Berth 15 where the Speer was rafted to the Mesabi Miner who is rafted to the James R. Barker. This move puts a wall of ship at Berth 15, 315-feet wide by 1000-feet long, quite a view from Bulhead Point.

Selvick Tugs making the move were Escort, Jimmy L., Susan L., William C. and the tug Bay Ship. All the tugs were required due to the strong southerly wind.

The dry dock will now be made ready for the Cemex Cement barge Conquest, which must have her Five Year Survey completed before the start of the season.

The Charles M. Beeghly departed winter lay-up at Bay Ship at 4:00 p.m. CST Tuesday. After leaving Berth 4-5 she headed down to the Turning Basin in front of the 1000-foot graving dock, turned a 180 degrees to head for Lake Michigan instead of Green Bay.

With recent strong winds the ice was built up on Green Bay and it would be a better trip upbound on the Lake. The Beeghly was heading for Escanaba for her first load of the season.

Beeghly ready to depart the dock.
Tug along side.
Past the bows of Speer, Mesabi Miner and James R. Barker.
Stern View.
Almost complete.
Tugs return to dock after a hard days work.
Passing Michigan Street bridge.
Bow view.
Off Ryerson.
Entering Bay View Bridge heading for the ship canal and lake Michigan.

Graving Dock Master (Doug Welch) giving order to open gate(White Hat).
Name on Bow "Note the USS" has been painted out. Great Lakes Fleet only under name.
Bow view showing bow thrusters of Speer and Barker.
Tugs breaking and flushing Ice as Speer comes out.
Tug Bay Ship pushing mid ship.
Tugs holding against the wind.
Crew on deck putting cables out for the rafting.
Past the bow of the James R. Barker.
Clear of the Bows of the Mesabi Miner and James Barker.
Once in place there will be a wall of ships 315' wide by 1000' long .
Tug Jimmy L. keeping Speer off from Mesabi Miner.
Speer in place at Berth 15, where she will remain for a few days until she departs.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle

Season Begins in Toledo

The Adam E. Cornelius was preparing to load at the CSX Coal Docks Tuesday. This was the port's first cargo of coal for the new season. The next coal boats due in at the CSX Docks will be the Canadian Enterprise on Thursday and Adam E. Cornelius again on Friday. The Canadian Enterprise, Adam E. Cornelius, and Charles M. Beeghly on Saturday, followed by the CSL Laurentien on Monday.

No vessels are scheduled into the Torco Ore Dock at this time.

The Gemini was tied up in front of the American Republic at the old Interlake Iron Company Dock (Toledo Furnace) just north of the Shipyard. A crane barge still remains in drydock while her tug remains tied up at the riverfront dock area of the Shipyard.

Work crews are finishing up repairs on several of the vessels in lay-up in port as spring fitout approaches.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman

Holland dredging moved up after Trader runs aground

Forced into action by the temporary grounding of the Great Lakes Trader last week, the US Army Corps of Engineers will dredge the mouth of Holland’s harbor a month earlier than planned. About 20,000 yards of sand will be removed to restore the depth to about 21 feet. The sand will be deposited north of the break wall, in front of Spyglass condominiums. The work is expected to cost about $125,000 and could begin as early as today.

The job should take about two weeks and will be performed by MCM Marine of Sault Ste. Marie. Once done in Holland, work will shift to Grand Haven.

Holland expects a very busy season as stone shipments start rolling in for the massive South Beltline highway project, the largest clover leaf freeway interchange in the state is part of this project at US 131 south of Grand Rapids.

Reported by: Bob Vande Vusse

Lake Carling Taking on Water

Tuesday a former visitor to the Great Lakes was taking on water in the Cabot Strait off the east coast of Canada. The Lake Carling was not in dnager of sinking and expected to make it safely into Nova Scotia.

The ship reported a 13-foot crack in the hull when it was about 150 miles northwest of Sydney, N.S. The 19 crew members on board were removing water from the vessel using the ship's pumps and extra pumps dropped by a search and rescue air craft.

The pumps were reported to be keeping up with the flooding which was contained to the number four hold. The 1992 built Lake Carling was proceeding at about 6 miles an hour through the strait and was expected to arrive in Sydney on Wednesday evening.

Lake Carling on a visit to the lakes last summer. Jeff Thoreson

Reported by: David Dillon and Roger LeLievre

Deckhouse Removed

The deckhouse of the crane ship William H. Donner has been removed. According to reports, K & K Warehouse intends to use the deckhouse as an office on their river-front property. The removal of the (forward) deckhouse should have the added benefit of making the Donner a little easier to perform its unloading duties. There are two cranes on the Donner, so the removal of the deckhouse should make it easier for the front crane to operate, as it will now be able to swing over that area instead of constantly being aware of where the boom of the rear crane is.

Donner in December 2001.
William H. Donner with deckhouse removed.
Another view.
The deckhouse sits on the dock alongside the Donner.
Another view of the deckhouse (USCG Sycamore in background).

Reported by: Dick Lund

Twin Ports Report

The season's hardly begun and already Saturday is shaping up to be a busy day at Midwest Energy Terminal in Superior. Indiana Harbor and Paul R. Tregurtha already were scheduled to load that day. Now Atlantic Huron has been added to the lineup to load coal for Nanticoke.

If it arrives as scheduled from Thunder Bay, Atlantic Huron would be the first vessel to arrive this season from outside the Twin Ports. Traditionally, however, the "start" of navigation is marked by the arrival of the first boat from the lower lakes. Mesabi Miner, due at the coal dock on March 26, is still the best bet so far for "first boat" honors.

Reported by: Al Miller

Buffalo Update

The museum ship USS Sullivans had her props removed by Buffalo Industrial Diving Co. last weekend. The ship is also being used for the filming of a movie on the fighting history of the USS Mason. Film crews were seen setting up departure scenes and also a ship yard type scene with the removed props as a backdrop.

She is being prepared for a move from her current dock on the Buffalo River into the new Naval Park basin some time this summer. The entire project is 18 months off schedule due to the need for heavy bedrock blasting and controversy surrounding the near by Erie Canal Harbor development.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski

New Museum Exhibit

On 9 November 1913 blinding snow and ferocious winds attacked the Great Lakes.

For three days this ferocity kept pace and when it was over 19 ships and 244sailors were lost.

Plan to spend several days at the Marine Museum this summer as we display THE GREAT STORM, an exhibition that details the harrowing days of 9-13 November 1913, from both a natural and nautical perspective.

Museum goers will see the navigational instruments of the day, learn about weather systems including wave action and storm warnings, view photos of the 19 ships lost to the rough waters, and learn about life saving and salvage attempts.

Visitors will also be fascinated by the attempt of present day marine archaeologists to record artefacts from the wrecks. Special attention will be placed on the recently discovered WEXFORD.

This exciting exhibition has been prepared by the Bruce County Museum and Archives and will be on display at the Marine Museum from May 20 to September 16 2002. There will be a special Members Only opening gala on May 22 starting at 700 p.m., followed by a special Family Day on Saturday May 25th from 100 to 300 p.m. Watch for a special speakers series and other exciting special events throughout the summer.

Click here for more information

Reported by: Paul Carl

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

Hamilton Energy Departs

The Hamilton Energy spent two days below Lock 1 before departing late Sunday. The Hamilton based refueling ship spent the winter at Port Weller Dry Docks as repairs were made to damage suffered when it was hit by a saltie last spring. The accident snapped the rudder post and drove her propeller shaft through her gearbox and smashed her engine casting off.

The vessel was towed to Port Weller in December and had her Polar Diesel removed and a rebuilt 12 cylinder locomotive diesel engine installed.

Hamilton Energy at the Port Weller Fit Out Dock. Jamie Kerwin

Reported by: Roger Tottman and Wally Wallace

Frontenac Ready

The Frontenac is expected to be pulled from the Pascol Engineering dry dock in Thunder Bay today. Crews were putting the finishing touches on her bright red CSL paint job Monday.

Stern view in dry dock.
Bow view.
Port side view in Dry Dock.
Stern view close up.
Close up of rudder and propeller.

Reported by: Rob Farrow

Coast Guard Prepares for New Season

Around the lake the Coast Guard is preparing for the new season. In the St. Marys River the ice breaker Mackinaw was upbound. The Katmai Bay departed Soo Harbor Monday morning downbound. Both vessels will assists vessels as they head for the locks this weekend.

Far below on the Detroit River Monday morning the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay was out bound at the Detroit River Light working Aids to Navigation in the East Outer Channel. The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon was down bound in the river.

Reported by: Jerry Masson and Joseph Provost

Poe Lock Filled

Crews at the Soo Locks are busy preparing for the first transits of the season. On Sunday the Poe Lock was refilled and Monday crews were completing final work on the largest of the Soo Locks.

The Locks will open on March 25.

Animation of the Poe Lock filling on Sunday from the Soo Locks Live Cam 210k

Reported by: Dan Fletcher and Jerry Masson

Norris to Resume Shuttle

The classic steamer James Norris is expected to resume her stone shuttle on April 15. She will be carrying limestone for St. Lawrence Cement from Colborne, Ontario to the cement plant in Clarkson, Ontario.

Marquette Ready For 2002

With the opening of the Soo Locks not until next Monday it doesn't mean no shipping activity on Lake Superior. Marquette, Mi is scheduled for its first arrival on Thursday when the 1000-footer Paul Tregurtha backs into the Upper Harbor Ore Dock with a load of coal from Duluth for Wisconsin Electric. Ore dock crews have picked up the pace to complete all maintenance projects prior to the first ore ship which is due soon.

Reported by: Art Pickering

Port Everglades Florida

What's a boatwatcher to do when the boats stop running and the season turns cold? Head south to Florida for boatwatching Port Everglades style.

Celebrity Cruise Lines new Summit departs for sea.
Survey vessel Seaprobe I is refueled and supplied headed back for sea.
Monarch of the Seas departs for her five day cruise.
The 27 knot cruise ship Olympia Voyager departing Port Everglades for the season.
Olympia Voyager stern view getting up to speed.
Tug Penn No. 4 inbound with tanker barge.
Ro-Ro Hybur Trader is outbound with containers.
Chevron Arizona departing for sea having discharged her oil cargo.
Tug Crosby Sun with her loaded propane barge finely inbound after being required to do circles for over eight hours. The propane barge is not allowed into the port when cruise ships are present.
Tug Crosby Sun.
Bahamas Ro-Ro Caribbean Express inbound.
Seabulk tanker Seabulk Trader inbound with fuel oil.

Monday Morning
Summit, twin to yesterdays Millennium arrived berth 18 before light from a ten day Caribbean cruise.
Panorama of Enchantment of the seas arriving at first light.
Patented observation lounge located on the stack of Enchantment of the Seas.
Enchantment of the Seas, and Millennium.
Greek high speed cruise ship Olympia Voyager arrived replacing her scheduled sister ship Olympia Countess.
Bahamas island hopper Ro-Ro Teocomico inbound to the Port of Dania.
Another Bahamas Ro-Ro Island Express inbound to the Port of Dania.
Delphinus outbound with containers.
Crowley chartered Ro-Ro Carib Merchant inbound.
Cala Galdana with a harbor tug inbound.
Tug Yankee and tanker barge DBL 151 inbound for the oil docks.
Helen T inbound for containers.
Research vessel Seaprobe I inbound.
Tug Coastal Gulfstream and barge Coastal 38 inbound for the oil docks.

Reported by: Bill Hoey

News Reporters Wanted

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

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

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

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

Townsend Enters Lay-up

After a few early season trips the Paul. H. Townsend has returned to winter lay-up. It came in to Muskegon Sunday and is expected to remain in lay-up until May. She entered the channel and blew a Captains Salute to a group near the old Coast Guard Station. She then blew another Salute to a small group of boat watchers.

The Townsend entered Muskegon Lake at 3:45 p.m. and was docked 5:00 p.m.

Reported by: Scott Golin and Bill Bell

J. W. Westcott II Work Update

Work continues to progress on board the U.S. Mail Boat J. W. Westcott II. Crews are busy with many tasks as they prepare for an early April start for the boat. The new engine is expected to arrive today. Crews will be completing the new exterior paint job and the rewiring is about 70 percent finished.

Reported by: Capt. Sam Buchanan

Independent Fit Out

The Kinsman Independent is expected to begin fit out on April 15. She is scheduled to depart Buffalo some time around April 25 to load grain in Superior, Wi. The Independent will again become the last American registered straight deck bulk freight vessel operating on the Great Lakes.

Reported by: Larry Curnow

Twin Ports Report

After a brief winter hiatus, shipping traffic in the Twin Ports is scheduled to resume this week.

Some people were speculating that the ports' first traffic this season would be a tug and lumber barge from Thunder Bay. So far, however, that traffic has not resumed. Currently, the first traffic scheduled is still the Paul R. Tregurtha, departing its lay-up berth at Midwest Energy Terminal on Wednesday with coal for Marquette.

Traffic will begin in earnest next weekend, with the Indiana Harbor due out of lay-up on Saturday to load at Midwest Energy Terminal with coal for Muskegon followed by the Tregurtha loading coal for Nanticoke. On Sunday, the Great Lakes Fleet vessels Presque Isle and John G. Munson are tentatively scheduled to depart their lay-up berths.

The first inbound vessel presently scheduled appears to be Mesabi Miner, bound for the Midwest Energy Terminal on March 26.

The Coast Guard Cutter Sundew was breaking ice in the harbor last week. The unusually mild winter left large areas of open water during much of February. Those areas froze over again in March, but the relatively new ice isn't very thick and isn't expected to hinder navigation.

Reported by: Al Miller

Sarnia Lay-up

Below are images taken Saturday of Sarnia's Lay-up fleet.

Algowood and Peter R. Cresswell at the West side of the Government Dock.
Another view.
Close up of the Cresswell.
Stern view.
Profile of bow.
Close up of their sterns.
Algorail at the Sidney E. Smith Dock.
Algoway, Canadian Transfer and Maumee in the North Slip.
Tug Sandra Mary.
Menasha departs to assists the Everlast in.
Chain falls on the Cuyahoga used to remove the rudder, propeller and shaft.
The parts sit a short distance away.
Saginaw docked in front of the Cuyahoga.
looking forward on deck.
Close up of the stack.
Aft deck.
Close up of boom.
Looking aft.
Passenger state room.
Room with a view.
Another room.
Windlass room.
Unloading tunnel.
Lookng down at the engine.
View from the deck.
Builder's plate on engine.
Engine controls.
Close up of telegraph.
Looking aft down the shaft.
Steeromotor steering engine.
Emergency steering.
Boiler plate.
Ballast controls.
Ballast pump.
Profile of bow from the dock.
Bow view of Cuyahoga.
Close up of the port anchor.
On the Cuyahoga looking aft.
Cuyahoga's engine.
New variable pitch propeller shaft.
Stern tube ready for the new shaft.
Kamewa Controls.

Reported by: N. Schultheiss

Montreal Pictures

Below are recent images taken around Montreal.

Algonorth rafted to the Algoriver.
Ocean tugs dock, as seen from main deck of Algonorth.
Tug Ocean Jupiter.
State of the art equipment aboard the tug Ocean Jupiter.
On Board Ocean Jupiter upbound Montreal harbor.
Ocean Jupiter passing the Lykes Energizer.
Passing Federal Rideau.
Ocean Jupiter passing grain elevators being demolished.

Reported by: Kent Malo

Port Everglades Florida

All eight cruise ships unloaded their passengers by 10:00 a.m. and were greeting the new load by 1:00 p.m. The first of the group, Millennium departed at 4:30 p.m. and the rest followed, Costa Atlantica and Wind Surf departing after dark. Costa carries many passengers from Europe on their cruises, and the flights are often late, delaying the departure of the very fine Costa Atlantica.

Mid afternoon, the bulk carrier Finnsnes departed, having stopped in Port Everglades for bunkers only.
About 4:00 p.m. the tug Ralph Bouchard and barge Bouchard 230 departed having discharged their cargo of fuel oil.
Millennium departed outbound for a seven day Caribbean cruise.
Twin to yesterdays Golden Princess, the 108,000 ton Grand Princess outbound.
Holland America Lines flagship Rotterdam outbound. Grand Princess and Rotterdam bound for sea.
Container ship Green Bridge bound for sea, Rotterdam on the horizon.
Holland America Line Maasdam departs with the setting sun.

Sunday morning traffic
Grand Princess inbound, Monarch of the Seas at left backing into berth .
Maasdam backing past Monarch to berth 26.
Five masted sailing cruise ship Wind Surf bound for berth 27.
Crowley's chartered Ro-Ro Stena Timer bound for sea.
Grand Princess at Berth 2, and left Discovery Sun (departing) at Berth 3.
Discovery Sun departing on her daily trip to Freeport Bahamas.
Ocean Breeze arriving into Berth 3 from Nassau.
Delphinus arriving a day late with containers.

Reported by: Bill Hoey

Weekly Updates

Click here for the latest updates and new pictures.

I am still in the process of completing the move to the new server. Most of the moves have been made and I am now working on cleaning up any trouble spots..

It has delayed many of the updates I had planned but I hope to have those up by the end of the month.

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

Everlast in Sarnia for Repairs

The tug Everlast arrived in Sarnia about 3:00 p.m. Saturday on the hip of the tug Atlantic Cedar. Monday the Everlast and barge Norman McLeod stopped with engine trouble in Monroe, Michigan. On Saturday the Everlast and McLeod arrived at the Sun Oil Dock in Sarnia, from there the Everlast was towed north to the Government Dock by the Cedar.

Also assisting in the move was the Sarnia based tug Menasha. The Atlantic Cedar departed the Purvis Marine dock in Sault Ste. Marie on Friday and was flying the McAsphalt/Upper Lakes "Partner" flag from her mast.

It is unknown how long the Everlast will be in Sarnia for repairs. The Atlantic Cedar appears to be taking over duties moving the barge Norman McLeod. The pair expected to depart Sun Oil some time this morning.

It is hopeful that the Everlast will return to service quickly, the pair began trading with the barge in late February.

Tow turns into Sarnia Harbor.
Inbound past the Cresswell.
Atlantic Cedar still had a coating of ice on the hull from the trip down from the Soo.
Tow passing.
Menasha backs off to help turn the giants.
Menasha turns on the power.
Menasha assists the Cedar and Everlast to the dock.
Turn almost complete.
Atlantic Cedar backs out to the river.
Everlast tied up at the East end of the harbor.
Bow view.
Close up of the pin used to hold the tug in the notch of the barge.
Video of the move. 3.7 meg

Reported by: N. Schultheiss

Frontenac Update

The paint work on the Frontenac in Thunder Bay is almost finished. Saturday ship yard crews were painting the bill board "Canada Steamship Lines" on the sides of the hull. The name Frontenac has been painted back on the bow and stern.

It is scheduled to be pulled out of drydock on Tuesday and the Algosoo will take her place. The Algosoo is expected to remain in the dry dock about two weeks as crews reinstall the shaft, propeller and kort nozzle.

Image of the new paint job taken last week.

Reported by: Rob Farrow

Toledo News

Saturday the J.A.W. Iglehart was at the Lafarge Dock unloading cement. The Adam E. Cornelius is scheduled to load coal on Tuesday at 7:00 a.m. The Canadian Enterprise and Adam E. Cornelius are due in on Thursday followed by a return trip by the Cornelius on Friday.

No vessels are scheduled for the Torco Ore Dock at this time.

Classic views of Toledo Shipping
J.F. Schoelkopf Jr. backing into the C&O Coal Docks to load a coal cargo. She is in the Erie Sand Fleet color scheme.
Hennepin at the Hans Hansen Dock undergoing repairs.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman

St. Lawrence River & Seaway news

That the remains of the Ville Marie II capsized in the Richelieu River at Sorel-Tracy, Quebec on March 15. She was originally the ferry Laviolette plying between Trois-Rivières and Ste. Angèle-de-Laval on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River. She was also used as a tour boat for a relatively short time out of Sarnia as Blue Water Belle.

Expected at one of the Montreal anchorages on March 21 is the Strange Attractor. She is a regular Seaway caller and will likely be one of the first foreign-flag vessels to go up the Seaway this year.

The first ship upbound in the Seaway on opening day, March 26 will likely be one of the CSL lakers wintering in Montreal, Nanticoke or CSL Niagara.

Reported by: René Beauchamp with assistance from André Guévremont

Capt. Ray I McGrath

There will be a Memorial mass held in St. Ignace at St. Ignatius Loyola Catholic Church at noon on June 5. There will be no visitation at this time.

Mrs. McGrath has made about 100 copies of the late captain's book "Great Lakes Stories, Ashore after 50 years" available by mail at a local book store. Please call or write for details:
52 North State Street
St. Ignace, MI 49781

Reported by: James C. Ryerse

More From Port Everglades, Florida

We continue our look today at boatwatching Port Everglades style.

Every day there is a surprise in the port. Saturday's surprise was the container barge N-103 departing the port under tow of the tug Resolve Manatee.

What is special about that?

Well, the Resolve Manatee was built in 1944 at the Equitable Equipment Co. in New Orleans. Her looks and build data would suggest that she is a W.W.II US Army ST tug which has been discussed on the Information Search page. Her former name is Admiral Leffler and U. S. official number is 284722.

Is it a former ST tug?

Resolve Manatee outbound Saturday.
Resolve Manatee and tow N-103 outbound for sea.
Celebrity Lines, Century outbound Saturday.
Holland America Lines, Veendam outbound Saturday.
Panoramic of the 108,000 ton Golden Princess outbound.
Stern view of Golden Princess. Twins: Grand and Star Princess. about $600,000,000 each.

Traffic Saturday morning.
Veendam, Sun Princess and Century in berths 21, 19, and 18.
Crowley Senator departs for the Caribbean with trailers and vehicles.
Caribbean Express departs for the Bahamas with supplies.
Crowley's Carib Merchant arrives from the Caribbean.
Discovery Sun departs on her daily trip to Freeport Bahamas.
A Canadian mega yacht heads for sea past the security tower which photographs every vessel entering and departing the port.
Island Adventure departs for her voyage to nowhere, a three mile out gambling trip. Often makes three trips per day. The larger yacht like vessel is the AMO training vessel AMOS on a Saturday training trip.

Reported by: Bill Hoey

News Reporters Wanted

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

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

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

For more information please e-mail.
Click here to send news using the form. If you would not like to have your name used remember click the "no" button

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

Busy March for Escanaba

The Lee A. Tregurtha and Joseph L. Block were in Escanaba on Thursday. The Lee A. was loading while the Block waited. The Lee A. has several early season trips carrying taconite from Escanaba in Michigan's Upper Peninsula to Rouge Steel in Detroit. Workers were also working on the Joseph H. Thompson tug and barge.

Lee A. Tregurtha loading.
View down the dock.
Workers climb aboard the Joseph H. Thompson.

That night in Sturgeon Bay author Mark Thompson spoke on the history of Great Lakes shipping at the Marine Museum. Those in attendance found his program to be an enjoyable and interesting event, in spite of the freezing rain coming down outside.

The Museum has other programs planned throughout the spring, their final one on lighthouses.

Mark Thompson presenting to the crowd.

Reported by: Lee Rowe

Roman Ready for 2002

Although the Stephen B. Roman made four unprecedented deliveries in January , the official launch to the 2002 season begins Sunday, March 17 when she docks at Essroc in Picton for her first cargo run of the season.

Cliffs CEO sees hope for taconite

Taconite production in Minnesota might improve slightly this year but 2003 holds a better promise of substantial improvement, the head of Cleveland-Cliffs told employees recently.

"I'm starting to see some life that I haven't seen in the last few years,'' John S. Brinzo, Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. chairman and chief executive, said at an employee meeting Thursday in Hibbing, Minn. "After two or three years of tough times, I am starting to see signs of improvement.''

"2002 will be a transitional year,'' Brinzo said. "It (taconite production) will be about what we planned, but it (a recovery) will be more of a 2003 event.''

Minnesota's Iron Range taconite plants produced 31.5 million tons of taconite pellets last year -- their lowest yearly output since 1986. Forecasts calls for Iron Range taconite plants to turn out about 36 million tons of pellets this year.

However, an improving national economy, better steel prices and the recent buyout of bankrupt LTV Steel Corp hold promise for Cliffs-managed mines, Brinzo said.

WL Ross & Co., a New York investment firm, acquired the steelmaking assets of bankrupt LTV Steel Corp. Resuming production at five former LTV blast furnaces could increase demand for pellets by 5 million tons. Brinzo said Cliffs has had discussions with Ross about supplying those taconite pellets.

"We have to get their business,'' Brinzo said.

Reported by: Al Miller

Milwaukee Lay-up

The Milwaukee lay-up fleet is preparing for the 2002 season. Deck crews will report aboard Stewart J. Cort and Burns Harbor on March 20 and expected to depart lay-up on March 24.

The 1000-footers will sail this year with a smaller crew. The Burns Harbor will sail with 25 and Cort with 23 crew members, the cuts come in the positions of porter, one deckhand and either the wiper (Cort) or Assistant Conveyorman (Harbor). This arrangement is similar to what Interlake did last year on their 1000-footers.

The pilothouses will also be fitted with motion detectors in anticipation of a one man watch while out on the open lake.

Burns Harbor.
Stewart J. Cort's dwarfs the Port of Milwaukee tug Harbor Seagull.
Close up of bow thruster on the Burns Harbor.
Integrity and Jacklyn M.
Close up of the Integrity.
Tug Edith J passing the Burns Harbor.

Reported by: Jim Zeirke

Port Everglades Florida

What's a boatwatcher to do when the boats stop running and the season turns cold? Head south to Florida for boatwatching Port Everglades style.

Inbound with a load of slag Thursday was lakes and Seaway visitor Federal Pescadores. It will take five days to unload her cargo directly into trucks.

Stern to stern at berths 25 and 26 are Monarch of the Seas and Zaandam respectively. One of the newest Holland America Line ships, Zaandam is known for the great five deck high pipe organ in her lobby. These two ships have been operating Caribbean cruises all winter from the port. Each ship is assigned a special security patrol while in port from one of the law enforcement agencies. Also the U.S. Coast Guard requires that each ship have one tender crewed and in the water while in port.

Federal Pescadores passing through the jetties at Port Everglades.
Monarch of the Seas at berth 25.
Stern view of Monarch of the Seas.
Zaandam at berth 26.
State police (gray) and USCG (red) boats on security patrol.
Zaandam and Monarch of the Seas bound for sea.

Two ships which were stepping stones in the advancement of cruise ship design were in Port Everglades on Wednesday.

Royal Princess, built in 1984 was the first major cruise ship designed with all outside cabins and a high percentage of verandah cabins. Verandah cabins have become the main design feature on all the new cruise ships operating from the United States. Older Cruise ships without this feature are being relocated into the European market such as the fate of Westerdam, which has been transferred to Costa and renamed Costa Europa. Royal Princess has been employed this winter on ten day Panama Canal cruises out of Port Everglades which will continue through May. Her schedule takes her to Europe during the summer of 2002 and then on several cruises between New York and Montreal this fall. She will become the oldest and smallest of Princess Cruises ships upon the retirement of Pacific Princess, the original "Love Boat" this fall.

Also in Port Everglades on Wednesday was the 1954 built steamer OceanBreeze. As Southern Cross his vessel was the first major ship built exclusively for cruising around the world. Today for about $150 you can spend two nights and a day at Nassau on a cruise aboard this historic ship. Every two days she departs Port Everglades and there is some talk that she may be replaced with the Patriot, the former Nieuw Amsterdam of 1983. This service has been very successful.

Bow view of Royal Princess departing Port Everglades.
Quarter view .
OceanBreeze following Royal Princess.
Westerdam departing Port Everglades March 2 on her last cruise.

Reported by: Bill Hoey

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

Mississagi to Take Top Hat Opening The Welland Canal

The 2002 shipping season on the Welland Canal will begin March 26 with the arrival of Lower Lakes Towing's Mississagi at Lock 3. This will be the first time a Lower Lakes Towing vessel has opened the canal.

The 10:00 a.m. program will formally welcome the first up bound vessel at the Lock 3 Welland Canals Centre in St. Catharines. The public is invited to the annual "Top Hat" event, which will include a reception. Guy C. Veronneau, President, The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, from Montreal, will participate in the ceremonies.

Representatives of federal, provincial, regional, and local governments will join The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation and marine industry officials in declaring the navigation season underway.

For the historic Welland Canal, this year will mark its 173rd consecutive year in operation through the four canals that have transported national and international commerce since the first canal opened in 1829.

Pictures of the Mississagi

Reported by: St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp.

DNR to repair Tawas lighthouse

Tawas Point Lighthouse will get some much-needed repairs this summer as the state begins restoring the historic structure, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced recently.

The current Tawas Point light has shown a beacon to ships since 1876. Michigan assumed ownership of the light last fall from the U.S. Coast Guard under a plan to reduce federal ownership of unwanted lighthouses.

Although the Coast Guard continues to operate and maintain the lighthouse beacon, the remainder of the structure has fallen into disrepair. State officials say the roof leaks on the light keeper’s house and the white paint on the light tower is contributing to the tower's deterioration.

This summer the DNR will begin restoring the light station to the way it appeared between 1899 and 1920. The agency plans to install a historically accurate, metal-shingle roof on the light keeper’s house and remove an asphalt parking lot and pathway leading to the structure.

Construction already has begun on a new pathway for pedestrians and bicycle riders. The DNR also plans to bury overhead electrical lines and improve the landscaping.

As money becomes available, the DNR also will repaint the light tower and begin resorting the interior of the light keeper’s house. When completed, the house would be re-opened to the public.

Pictures of the Tawas Point Lighthouse

Reported by: Al Miller

Growing Grain Markets?

Greg Arason President and CEO of the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB), offered a message of hope for Seaway users as well as a special recommendation.

Although the proportion of Western grain has moved through the Seaway has slipped below 40 per cent in recent years, Mr. Arason said CWB projections point to "real growth in markets where customers prefer to take delivery of grain at eastern Canadian ports."

He mentioned in particular anticipated large growth in demand for Canadian durum wheat in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. After stressing the CWB recognizes the importance of the long term viability that could be better assured by a smaller number of terminals. This could lead to reduced fix and operating costs.

In addition, Mr. Arason said there was a growing number of facilities in Western Canada with capacities to clean grain to export standard.

"Are there options that need to be explored, in terms of direct hits, that would take advantage of this emerging capacity to by-pass one of the steps in the existing system?

"As well, could agreements be reached with shippers and customers alike to eliminate transfer costs through more widespread use of self-unloading vessels?.

Written by Leo Ryan Editor of Canadian Sailings Magazine

Reported by: Kent Malo

Toledo Update

The Adam E. Cornelius is scheduled to load coal at the CSX Docks on March 19 around 7:00 a.m. Canadian Enterprise and the returning Adam E. Cornelius are due in on March 21.

Crews aboard the Columbia Star are expecting to begin fit out on March 16. In Cleveland engineering crews are expected aboard the Fred R. White Jr. on March 19 and expect to sail March 27. The Earl W. Oglebay will move out of the river and over to the Cleveland Bulk Terminal (old C&P dock) once the White departs.

Below are images of the tug Everlast with the barge Norman McLeod on Tuesday as the pair stopped for engine repairs in Monroe, Michigan.

Everlast and McLeod docked.
Close up.
View from the dock.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman

Onboard the Algonorth

Below are recent images of the Algonorth in lay-up at Montreal.

Algonorth rafted to the Algoriver with Montreal in the background.
Officers passageway starboard side.
Algonorth's lounge.
Captains office.
Wheel stand and auto pilot.
Pilothouse controls.
Algonorth's galley.

Reported by: Kent Malo

News Reporters Wanted

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

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

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

For more information please e-mail.
Click here to send news using the form. If you would not like to have your name used remember click the "no" button

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

Reiss to Sit Out 2002

Owners of the Richard Reiss expect the classic steamer to sit out the 2002 season in Erie, PA. Owner of the Reiss, Sidney "Sandy" Smith, told the Erie Times News "It's just not profitable," noting that business is down and insurance costs have skyrocketed.

It is expected that the majority of the cargoes carried by the Reiss will be taken over by Oglebay Norton and American Steamship Company ships. In January Oglebay Norton entered into an agreement to acquire Erie Sand & Gravel Company, the company that owns the Richard Reiss.

Pictures of the Reiss

Reported by: Jeff Thoreson, Roger LeLievre and Tony DiLuzio

Block Departs

The Joseph L. Block departed winter lay-up at Bay Ship Building Wednesday, after making two attempts to leave.

Her first attempt came about 9:00 a.m. When approaching the Michigan Street Bridge the Captain called the bridge operator saying that the vessel was having mechanical problems. He said he was backing down and was going back to the ship yard.

About 1:00 p.m. the Block called the Michigan Street Bridge and told them he was going to do some trials in front of the ship yard and if all trials were ok he would be departing via the lake. A short time later the Block notified the bridge operator that all trials had been completed and all systems were go.

The Joseph L. Block passed through the Michigan Street Bridge heading for the Bay View Bridge and the Ship Canal. The Block is upbound to Escanaba where the USCG Mobile Bay is awaiting her arrival to ensure safe passage to the ore dock.

The Joseph L. Block is the third vessel to depart Bay Ship this season, nine vessels remain and one is expected in.

Passing Michigan Street Bridge.
Passing fleet mate Edward L. Ryerson.
In mid bay heading for Bay View Bridge.
Passing through the Bay View Bridge.
Entering the Ship Canal.
Heading for Lake Michigan.
And gone for another season (good sailing).

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle

Trader Grounded at Holland

The barge Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort arrived at the Holland, MI. breakwall at about 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, loaded to 19-feet with slag from LTV in Chicago. As she approached the harbor mouth she encountered a sand bar. She worked for more than an hour, alternately backing and pushing forward, but was unable to make her way through.

At about 3:30 p.m. the pair backed off and turned north to unloading in Grand Haven.

It was uncertain whether she was going to unload completely there or do a partial unload and return to Holland drawing less water. This was to be Holland's first visitor for the season.

Reported by: Bob Vande Vusse

Tug off Dry Dock

The McKeil Marine tug William J. Moore (former Alice A) was removed from Heddle Marine's dry dock in Hamilton Wednesday. The tug was in the dry dock so crews could install a Bludworth Pushing System to mate the tug to the barge Le Vent. The Bludworth system uses a bow clamp and retractable vertical pads to hold a tug in the notch of a barge.

Crews will now work to add a new upper wheelhouse to the Moore, the upper will house will allow the crew to see over the barge when running unloaded.

Once completed, the bright orange tug and barge will be used to carry jet fuel. The Le Vent is a former floating fish factory that was in used in Europe. Last fall crews at Port Weller Dry Docks removed the super structure and converted the barge to a double hull tanker.

Pictures by Eric Stapleton
William J. Moore returning to the dock.
Side view showing the vertical pad and bow clamped used in a Bludworth Pushing System.
Le Vent is moved at Port Weller Dry Docks in November. Jeff Thoreson

Reported by: Eric Stapleton and Jimmy Sprunt

Last season's regulars returning to SMET coal trade

Several 1,000-footers that were regular callers last season at Midwest Energy Terminal in Superior will be back again at the start of this navigation season.

The big haulers presently scheduled in Walter J. McCarthy Jr., with five loads scheduled for April, and Paul R. Tregurtha, with two loads scheduled for March and five for April. Also scheduled for early loads are Indiana Harbor, with two in March, and Columbia Star, with two loads set for April. All four vessels were regulars at the dock last season.

Mesabi Miner, a less frequent caller last season, is scheduled to load once in March and twice in April.

Last season, numerous Canadian vessels loaded at the terminal with cargoes destined for Nanticoke. So far this season, the only Canadian boat scheduled is Canadian Enterprise, with two loads set for March.

Reported by: Al Miller

Townsend Returns

The Paul H. Townsend returned to Muskegon Wednesday. It arrived at 7:00 a.m. and docked at Lafarge to unload cement. She was scheduled to depart at 1:00 p.m. The Townsend will return to Muskegon this weekend to lay-up at the Mart Dock until May.

Reported by: Scott Golin

Dredging to Begin

Dredging operations are underway this week at the Lafarge cement terminal in Saginaw.

The E.M. Ford, which is used for cement storage at the terminal, has been shifted back along the dock and the tug Gregory J. Busch has pushed a barge with crane into the Ford's dock. Last season, the Ford had been moved back along the dock for several days, but apparently no dredging had been done at that time.

Reported by: Stephen Hause

Toledo Update

The CSX Coal Docks are scheduled to open for the 2002 season on Tuesday 19 March with the Adam E. Cornelius scheduled to be the first coal boat due in around 7:00 a.m. She is currently in lay-up at the Old C&O Ore Dock which is further up the slip where the coal loading machine is located.

The Cornelius will make two return trips back to the coal dock on March 21 and 22. The Lee A. Tregurtha and Canadian Enterprise are due in on Sunday, March 24 followed by the CSL Laurentien on March 25.

Work crews are still doing repair work on several of the vessels in lay-up located at the various dock sites in Toledo. There is a Corps of Engineers crane barge in drydock at the shipyard undergoing survey work and repairs. The tug used to push the barge sits at the riverfront dock waiting to take the barge back to its homeport. There are no ore boats scheduled into the Torco Ore Docks at this time.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman

Welland Canal Prepared for New Season

Work crews along the Welland Canal are finishing up winter work in anticipation of the March 26 opening. Below are images that show many section of the canal drained for the winter.

Looking north of the Glendale Bridge.
View south.
Inside Lock 3 looking north.
Close up of the lock gate.
View of floating dock above Lock 3.
Another view.
Repairs to the dock.
Spare safety booms on the west wall of Lock 3.
The West Pier above Lock 3.
Below Lock 4.
Above Lock 6.
Below Lock 7.

Reported by: Alex Howard

Ferry Crews on Strike

As of midnight, March 13, ferry crew members for the Wolfe Island Ferry and Glenora Ferry - all members of OPSEU - went on strike.

In fact, all 45,000 members of the Ontario Public Service went out on strike at 1201 a.m. when talks broke down between Management Board and OPSEU Bargaining Team members. All aspects of the Ontario public service will be affected until a settlement can be reached.

The Glenora Ferry Service is tied up with crew members on the picket lines. The Wolfe Island Ferry Service continues to operate under an Essential Service Agreement with reduced service. There are now seven round trips per weekday and three round trips on the weekend. Normally the ferry makes 19 round trips every day.

Not affected by the strike are the Amherst and Howe Island ferries.

Reported by: Brian Johnson

St. Lawrence River & Seaway news

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

Delivered to Indian breakers August 6 was the Al-Agouz. The vessel transited the Seaway as Novopolotsk (1991).
Arriving Chittagong, Bangladesh about Nov. 18 was Golden D.(1997).
The German Liberty type Mannan arrived Alang, India July 18. In the Seaway as Pitria Star (1977).
Nereus arrived Santander, Spain July 10. In the Seaway as Boitwardersand (1973).
The SD14 type Saigon 2 arrived Xinhui, China June 5. In the Seaway as Welsh Trident (1973).

Casualties Sinking on Dec.9 last year in bad weather in the Black Sea off Sinop was the 1976 built general cargo vessel Lady Amar. She was on a passage from Romania to Algeria with 11, 000 tonnes of iron ore. She called at Great Lakes ports under the name HAND LOONG (1977).
Reported to be taking water on Dec. 6 last year and in danger of sinking was the 1974 built general cargo vessel Emre Bey. She was taken in tow by the tug Matsas Star and towed to safety in the south Peloponnese. She was carrying 5, 000 tonnes of grain. She transited the Seaway as NANCY MELISSA (1980).

Ferries acquired
Groupe CTMA purchased a ferry from Greece lately and will be used as a cruise ship on the St. Lawrence River beginning in June. The ferry City of Cork was bought from Hellenic Mediterranean Lines. As of March 7, the vessel was at Piraeus , Greece. Officers from CTMA are to take delivery of the ship at Piraeus and sail her to Halifax. She will be in service from Montreal to the Magdalen Islands with stops at Quebec City and Matane. This ice class 1 ferry was built in 1973 at Hamburg and is 125.63 m. long with a gross tonnage of 11 481. She can accommodate 778 passengers in 175 cabins according to the 1999-2000 Lloyd's Register. She began life as Aurella for Finnish owners. From 1982 on, she was sold or chartered a few times being renamed first Saint Patrick II, then Egnatia II, Ville de Sete and City of Cork. McKeil Marine also bought a ferry named Dalmig and she is to be sold again probably abroad. She was purchased last year. Built in 1957 at Sorel by Marine Industries Ltd, she was operated by the Cie. de Traverse du Saint Laurent Ltée. between Sorel and St. Ignace de Loyola, QC across the St. Lawrence River and was named Pierre de Saurel. The 538 gr.t. ferry was sold to the Government of Ontario in 1971 for service between Kingston and Wolfe Island but was never used by them. At the beginning of 1974, sold to the Quebec Government for the ferry route between Tadoussac and Baie Ste.Catherine across the Saguenay River. In 1987, she was sold again and renamed Dalmig by Dalmig Marine Inc. and entered into service between Dalhousie, N.B. and Miguasha, QC across Chaleur Bay. In Sept. 1997, reported under arrest by the Verreault Shipyard for unpaid bills. It is believed she had been laid up ever since at Dalhousie, N.B.

Tugs for sale
Groupe Ocean is offering four of their tugs for sale, namely Cathy McAllister, Salvage Monarch, Omni Sorel and Omni Richelieu. They were built respectively at Lauzon, QC (1954), Appledore, North Devon, England (1959), Whitby, ON (1962) and Pictou, NS (1969).

Reported by: René Beauchamp

Capt. Ray I. McGrath

Capt. Ray McGrath, 86, of St. Ignace died March 9 at Mackinac Straits Hospital Long Term Care Facility. Capt. McGrath sailed the lakes from 1935 to 1985, spending 24 years as a captain. His last ship was the Kinsman Independent (2). After he retired he wrote the book "Great Lakes Stories: Ashore After 50 Years."

Reported by: Roger LeLievre

Great Lakes Presentation

Betty Zimmer, a retired Great Lakes sailor, will be the featured speaker at the Presque Isle District Library in Rogers City, MI, on Thursday, March 21 from Noon to 1:00 p.m. She will share her experiences during the time she spent working on Great Lakes freighters. The program is sponsored by the Rogers City Friends of the Library. Coffee and cookies will be served.

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 car ferries 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

Windoc Returned to Pier 8

Tuesday the Windoc was pulled free from the spot where it grounded in Hamilton Harbor on Sunday. Four tugs from McKeil Marine pulled the vessel from the mud and returned it to Pier 8. The McKeil Marine tugs Salvager, Bonnie B III, Carrol C 1 and Lac Manitoba all assisted in the effort.

The bottom of the harbor where the Windoc grounded was mud and the vessel appeared to have escaped any further damage. A bit of luck for the Windoc, a quarter mile from the spot where it grounded is an area of rock piles. A half mile away is the concrete piers that line the ship canal.

Tugs move the Windoc to Pier 8 about 10:00 a.m. Tuesday morning. Peter Stevens
Along side Pier 8. Peter Stevens
Docking. Peter Stevens
View on the dock. Ron Barrons
One of the nylon lines that snapped, releasing the Windoc. Ron Barrons

Reported by: Wally Wallace, Ron Barrons, Peter Stevens and McKeil Marine Limited

Port Colborne Update

Crews in Port Colborne continued clean up and repair work Tuesday to damage caused by the weekend storm.

Onboard the John B. Aird workmen were cutting broken lines hanging over the side. The lines snapped in the storm setting the Aird adrift. With the cables cut, only the forward anchor chain stretches across the Welland Canal. The vessel may not be moved back to the west side of the channel as there does not seem to be enough places to secure her lines and many of the wooden bumpers have been washed up on the wall.

The CSL Tadoussac anchor was moved about 100-feet from the dock and buried in a deep hole to make sure the vessel does not move. A backhoe was checking damage and filling in large holes.

John B. Aird rafted to the Canadian Olympic.
Close up.
Broken lines and cable have been removed from the Aird.
The anchor remains on the opposite side of the canal.
Damaged mooring bit.
Wooden bumpers that came off during the storm.
One of the broken lines on at the Fuel Dock.
Crews repair the damage.
Much work to be done.
CSL Tadoussac.
New lines run from the Tadoussac.
CSL Tadoussac's anchor is buried.
Canadian Progress.
The drill ship Telesis(Louis J. Goulet, former Conniscliff Hall).
View of the harbor looking to Lake Eire.

Reported by: Alex Howard

Early Start For Holland

The Great Lakes Trader is scheduled to open the 2002 season in Holland, MI today. It will deliver a cargo of slag from LTV in Chicago to the Verplank Dock. Last year the season did not begin until April 25.

This year's early start has caught many in port by surprise. The captain and chief engineer of the first vessel arriving in port each season is awarded a pair of wooden shoes. Officials were scrambling to get the shoes prepared for the ceremony.

The Verplank Dock expects a busy season. The dock is anticipating unloading about 250,000 tons of aggregate just for the M-6 South Beltline highway project in Grand Rapids. Deliveries of those cargoes should start as the stone trade opens in April.

Reported by: Bob Vande Vusse

Unloading in Toronto

With the opening of the Welland Canal now less than two weeks away, the last of Toronto's winter fleet is being unloaded. Canadian Mariner is under the unloading rigs at Redpath Sugar this week.

Reported by: Bill Bird

Tentative Boat Schedule for Midwest Energy & DM&IR

The season for the Midwest Energy Coal Dock in Superior, WI. is set to begin March 20 with the Paul Tregurtha loading coal for Presque Isle, MI. and returning to load on March 23 for a load to Ontario Hydro.

The Paul R. will be followed by the Indiana Harbor on March 23, Mesabi Miner on March 26 and Canadian Enterprise on March 20.

The DM&IR ore dock at Two Harbors is set to begin on March 23 loading the Edwin Gott followed by the Roger Blough the same day.

Reported by: Pat Clark

Late Season Halt to Ferry Service

A late season build-up of ice between the Lake Superior's Madeline Island and Bayfield , Wisconsin sent island residents scrambling Monday when the Island's ferry service announced it would cease operations later that day.

This would be the latest date that the ferry service ever ceased operations for the winter. Island residents were caught by surprise after believing that the mild winter would allow the ferry to run all winter. This would have been only the second time that the ferry service would have been able to run year-'round. The first was during the El Nino winter of 1997-98.

The seasonal end to ferry travel is usually anticipated days, not hours in advance. A late winter cold snap and heavy snows the previous week made for tough going for the Madeline Island Ferry Lines main vessel the Island Queen. Trips that take about twenty minutes during ice free navigation had been stretched to up to one and one-half hours this last weekend.

The 200 or so residents of the Island had to quickly make arrangements for last minute mainland grocery shopping. The popular summer tourist destination does not have a year-round grocery store. Islander's vehicles lined the dock for most of Monday as the ferry service struggled to get them all to the mainland before the end of the day. Many Islanders keep their "good" vehicles on the mainland during the period of no ferry or ice-road travel.

By Tuesday morning the winter transportation system run by the Town of La Pointe on Madeline Island had started operations using wind sleds to connect the Island across the two and one-half mile channel. Wind sleds are hybrid airplane propeller driven boats capable of travel over open water and ice. Snowmobiles have also begun making the trip across the channel on ice that ranges from five to eight inches in thickness.

It is usual that a two week period of limited travel across the ice bound channel is followed by the opening of the official ice road. In an average year the ice road will be open to the public for about 50 days. This year's late start of ice and heavy snowfalls last week may quash any thoughts of car travel across the ice bridge as mid-March usually heralds the end of the ice road, not the beginning. Madeline Island

Ferry employees are estimating that the stoppage could last two and one-half weeks.

Reported by: Tim Eldred and Harvey Hadland

Mackinaw Updated

The U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Mackinaw will be break ice in the lower St. Marys River this week. Local media reports that the vessel will pass through the Soo Locks upbound on Monday to work above the locks and Lake Superior.

Reported by: Scott McLellan

Shipwreck Festival this Weekend

Great Lakes author Wes Oleszewski will be appearing at the Ghost Ships Festival in Milwaukee on Saturday March 16. Oleszewski, is the author of nine books and has written about shipwrecks, lighthouses and Great Lakes adventures in general. He will be speaking at 3:00 Saturday afternoon and presenting a 30 minute video of a mystery shipwreck deep in Lake Ontario. Additionally he will be introducing his new interactive shipwreck CDs for PCs and he will be available to meet readers and autograph books.

For more Information on the Ghost Ships Festival click here.

Job Opening

Great Lakes shipping company has a position available on one of their vessels for a 1st A/E. This position is for fitout, to start. Qualified person for over 4,000 HP diesel vessel.

If you are interested please Click here to e-mail

"Lakeboat" Screening in Cleveland

The Cleveland Cinematheque will show the film, Lakeboat this weekend. Lakeboat boasts a great cast and is originally a play by David Mamet. The story adaptation takes place on a Great Lakes freighter (filmed aboard the Seaway Queen) and is a very funny, foul-mouthed film not to be missed. The cast includes Peter Falk, Charles Durning, Andy Garcia, Denis Leary, George Wendt, and Robert Forster. Show times are Fri., March 15, at 7:30 pm & Sun., March 17, at 7:00 pm.

The Cleveland Cinematheque is located inside the Cleveland Institute of Art at the corner of East Blvd and Belleflower Road in University Circle, directly across the street from the Cleveland Museum of Art. There is free parking in the Institute's parking lot. Call 216/421-7450 or visit for more information

Reported by: Timothy Harry

News Reporters Wanted

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

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

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

For more information please e-mail.
Click here to send news using the form. If you would not like to have your name used remember click the "no" button

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


03/12 11:00 a.m. update
The Windoc was pulled free this morning from the spot where it grounded in Hamilton Harbor on Sunday. Four tugs from McKeil Marine completed the move back to Pier 8. There appears to be no additional damage to the Windoc.

Tugs move the Windoc to Pier 8 about 10:00 a.m. this morning. Peter Stevens
Along side Pier 8. Peter Stevens
Docking. Peter Stevens
View on the dock. Ron Barrons
One of the nylon lines that snapped, releasing the Windoc. Ron Barrons

Original Report
The extremely high winds in southern Ontario over the weekend have left at path of damage from Hamilton to Port Colborne.

The Windoc remained aground on Monday as a tug from McKeil Marine took crews out to survey the vessel. Monday afternoon crews were planning to free the vessel some time today and return it to the dock where it broke free Saturday night.

In Port Colborne the John B. Aird remained rafted to the Canadian Olympic. Some time Saturday night or Sunday morning the Aird broke free and was blow across the canal to the Olympic.

Winds in the area blew steadily from Saturday night to late Sunday morning from the southwest and west at gusts over 83 miles an hour. This caused the water to raise about 7 feet close to the top of the tie-up walls above Lock 8 where the ships were docked.

Several ships tied up on the western walls were greatly affected by the winds. The John B. Aird broke loose her fore and aft moorings lines. One inch steel wire cables snapped like shoe strings. Some that did not snap slipped off their mooring bitts due to the 6 to 7 foot rise of the water. Four inch nylon lines stretched and broke like giant rubber bands. There are still several wires and nylon lines attached to both the ship and dock as she now sits alongside the Canadian Olympic across the canal.

The Aird's forward anchor chain paid out from the windlass and the anchor still sits on the west side. The stern anchor was dragged off the dock, carrying with it to the bottom a mooring bit and continued dragging across the canal.

The McKeil Marine tug John Spence, at lay-up a short distance away, was called into action to help secure the Aird along side the Canadian Olympic.

One can imagine the force of the wind tearing one of these bits out as the anchor chain was wrapped around it. Every mooring bit that a wire had been attached to was uprooted like a tree in a hurricane. The port side gangway on the Aird, used by winter work crews, hangs down to nowhere in the middle of the canal. After the storm, work crews secured what they could of the Aird to the Olympic.

Just south of the Aird the CSL Tadoussac slipped its forward moorings but the stern remained attached to the dock thanks to her anchor. All wires and nylon lines securing the vessel snapped and the mooring bits were uprooted from the frozen ground. Her stern anchor was solidly buried at lay up and held the stern in.

Monday the chief engineer and few workers from Fraser's Repair were finishing putting out new wires and were waiting for delivery of about 4-5 new nylon lines. these 1000-ft wires cost upwards of about $1,300 and the nylons about $2,000.

It appears about 18 of the mooring bits were damaged and have to be repaired or replaced by the time the shipping season starts.

The drill ship Telesis(Louis J. Goulet) moored at wharf 19 West between the ADM mill and the Goderich Elevator also slipped its forward moorings. The stern lines remained fast with no reports of damage.

Hamilton images
Windoc aground. Ron Barrons
Close up. Ron Barrons
Stern view. Ron Barrons
View from the express way. T. Parker
Small tug take survey crew out to the Windoc. T. Parker
Close up. Ron Barrons
Lower Lakes/Grand River fleet in Hamilton. The barge McKee Sons and tug Invincible (far right) almost broke free into the harbor. T. Parker

Port Colborne images by Alex Howard
Mooring bit pulled from the ground with the Aird in the back ground.
Another view.
John B. Aird along side the Olympic.
Close up of the bow (note broken cables).
Looking back on the pair.
Mooring bit in the fore ground had secured the Aird.
Cables still reach across the canal where the Aird was docked before the storm.
Anchor chain stretches across the canal.
View from the Olympic.
Close up of stern.
View past the CSL Tadoussac.
CSL Tadoussac slipped its forward moorings.
Tadoussac anchor.
Bits pulled from the ground.
Pelee Islander, tug John Spence and Canadian Progress.
The drill ship Telesis(Louis J. Goulet).
The remains of the Tarantau at IMS. Scrapping has progressed rapidly this winter.
Another section of the Tarantau.

Please e-mail with pictures or updates.

Reported by: Daniel McCreery, Wally Wallace, Jimmy Sprunt, Wally Moroziuk, Ron Barrons, Peter Stevens and C. Wilson

Everlast Stops for Repairs

Monday morning the tug Everlast and barge Norman McLeod stopped with engine trouble and anchored at the entrance of the Detroit River in Lake Erie. At 10:00 a.m. the crew reported to be running on the starboard engine only and was getting underway for Monroe, Michigan.

The tug and barge arrived about 1:00 p.m., early this morning the pair remained in Monroe. The tug and barge started their first season together in late February.

Everlast and McLeod on their first trip together. Jamie Osborn

Reported by: Joseph Provost

Townsend Returns to Alpena

The Paul H. Townsend returned to Alpena on Monday. It arrived around 10:00 a.m. to take on a load of cement at Lafarge. It will then head to Muskegon to unload.

Fleet mate J.A.W Iglehart was sailing for South Chicago.

Reported by: Ben and Chanda McClain

Lee A. Rides out the Storm

The high winds on Lake Erie Saturday and Sunday contributed to low water levels on the Western end of the lake. Sunday afternoon the water gauge at Gibraltar Michigan was reported to be 11 inches below chart datum, the water gauge in Toledo was reported to be 18 inches below datum.

The water was pushed by the wind to the eastern end of the lake piling up as noted in the 6 to 7 foot rise in water levels at Port Colborne. This condition is known as a Seiche (pronounced saych). Sustained winds drive forward a greater volume of surface water than can be carried off by the subsurface return currents, raising the water level on the lee shore (Eastern Lake Erie) and lowering it on the windward shore (Western Lake Erie).

The low water and high winds kept the Lee A. Tregurtha at anchor near the entrance of the Detroit River until approximately 3:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon when it continued down bound.

Reported by: Joseph Provost

Frontenac Paint

Adding to the fresh new look of the Frontenac, crews on Monday painted the upper half of the bow white. With the white stripe the Frontenac will be easy to distinguish from her fleet mate Halifax at a distance.

New paint job before the white stripe was painted on.

Reported by: Rob Farrow

Welland Pictures

Below are images taken along the Welland Canal Saturday just before the storm started.

John B. Aird hours before it would break free and float across the canal.
Close up of the Algobay.
Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin.
Canadian Century at Port Weller dry docks (note name has been painted out on stern).
New section of the Canadian Century.
Another view.
Hamilton Energy at the fit out dock.
Sauniere at Port Weller Dry Docks.

Reported by: Jamie Kerwin

Sarnia Lay-up

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

Looking across the harbor.
Close up of the Cuyahoga.
Tug Menasha.
Peter R. Cresswell and Algowood.

Reported by: Steve Shurtleff

Montreal Tugs

Ride along with the McAllister tug Ocean Jupiter as it assists vessels in Montreal. The images were taken last week and shows a typical day of work aboard the tug.

Tug Ocean Jupiter at McAllister Group Ocean dock Montreal.
Departing on the Ocean Jupiter from the tug dock to assist the OOCL Canada, at Sec 60.
Capt Harold Anderson at the helm as we depart the tug dock.
Ocean Jupiter arriving at Sec 60 and the deckhand prepares the heaving line for the container vessel OOCL Canada.
Capt. Harold Anderson at the controls of the state of the art tug Ocean Jupiter.
View of the cranes at the container terminals and side view of the OOCL Canada.
Looking up at the OOCL Canada gives you an idea of the size of the vessel.
Ocean Jupiter secured to the vessel waiting for orders from the pilot aboard OOCL Canada.
Linesmen letting the lines go.
Ocean Jupiter pulling the ship's stern from the dock the bow thruster pushing the bow from the dock.
All clear from the dock and heading out to sea the OOCL Canada following the wake of the Ocean Jupiter
Passing the elusive D C Everest a.k.a. Condarrell docked at Sec 64.
The Oceanex vessel M. V. Cabot which links Montreal with Newfoundland this is Ro Ro vessel.

As the Jupiter heads for the next job which was assisting the Cast Progress in docking, in between the two jobs the crew had time to have there lunch while secured to a pier near where the Cast Progress was met. Two tugs were used to tie up the Progress but unfortunately I dropped my camera and did not have any more film.

Pictures taken in port the previous week
Ocean Intrepide assisting the Neuvitas at B5, the vessel was bound for Cuba.
Tug Jerry G at McAllister Group Ocean dock Montreal.
The B&B Ship Alexander Henry at Kingston.
Former Canadian vessel Artic Viking sold Panama-P-R now called Le Compagnon, at Bickerdike basin.
Federal Welland unloading steel at sec B6 and the bow of the Arcadia at Bickerdike basin.
New lock at the Lachine end of the Canal.

Reported by: Kent Malo

Calendar of Events

I am working on an update to the Calendar of Events page. 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.

Blessing of the Fleet

The International Ship Masters' Association Twin Sault Lodge #22 will host the Eighth “Annual Blessing of the Fleet”, at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, March 17, 2002, at the First Baptist Church, 1901 John St., Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. The public is welcome and all mariners are urged to attend and wear their uniform as appropriate. If you have a flag, pennant or burgee you wish to have “blessed” please bring it to the service.

If you wish to participate in the Honor Guard, please click here for contact information.

Refreshments will be served in the church recreation hall after the service.

Reported by: Capt. Charlie Lampman

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

High Winds Break Mooring Lines, Windoc Aground 2:00 p.m. update

Extremely high winds in southern Ontario are responsible for the drifting of the Windoc Saturday night in Hamilton Harbor. Winds gusting over 50 mph caused the vessel to break free from its moorings at Pier 8, allowing it to drift freely in a blinding snow squall out into the harbor.

Two tugs from McKeil Marine were sent to retrieve the ship but were diverted to keep another from coming off the dock. Local media reported that the ship snapped its mooring lines shortly before 7:00 p.m. and floated across the harbor.

The Windoc was later found aground about 200 feet from shore along the Eastport Expressway. The hull grounded in about 6 feet of water with the bow thruster visible and the prop and rudder fully exposed. The hull may stay in this position for a couple of days until a survey of the hull can be made.

Two other vessels in the harbor were almost set free. The barge McKee Sons broke away from Pier 10, the ship keeper on board put down an anchor and waited for the diverted McKeil tugs to move them back to the dock. The Jean Parisien was in lay-up with a bow anchor resting on Pier 12, the anchor held but the stern swung away from the dock and came to rest against Pier 14.

High winds swept the area over Saturday night during an erratic storm system that hit the region.

In Port Colborne the John B. Aird moored at Wharf 18-1 the fuel dock on the west side of the Welland Canal broke free of its moorings in the high winds late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. Newspaper reports indicate the mooring posts were pulled from the ground allowing the ship to float away from the dock. It came to a rest against the Canadian Olympic across the canal. There are no current reports of damage and reports indicate company representatives will attend today to investigate and presumably arrange for the ship to be moved.

Just south of the Aird the CSL Tadoussac slipped its forward moorings but the stern remained attached to the dock. The drill ship Telesis(Louis J. Goulet) moored at wharf 19 west between the ADM mill and the Goderich Elevator also slipped its forward moorings. The stern lines remained fast with no reports of damage. The area experienced wind gusts up to 83 mph on Saturday night.

The Windoc would seem to be a ship of great misfortune. It sustained damage last summer when the Allenburg Lift Bridge was lowered on to the vessel.

Picture by Ron Barrons
Windoc aground.
Close up.

Please e-mail with pictures or updates.

Reported by: Daniel McCreery, Wally Wallace, Jimmy Sprunt,Wally Moroziuk and C. Wilson

New Look for Frontenac

The weather has not stopped the painting of the Frontenac. Faced with extreme cold weather during the past week and now fierce snow storms, the painters have pushed on. The Frontenac is almost done. No names have been painted on her hull but are expected soon. "Frontenac" is still painted on her hatch crane.

The Frontenac is due to be removed from drydock near the end of the week, in order for the work on the Algosoo to be completed. With the fast approaching shipping season almost at hand, work is proceeding at a quickened pace on the Atlantic Huron, Algoville, Algosoo and the Frontenac.

In Pascol Engineering's dry dock.
Port side painted in primer.
Wide view in the dry dock.
Crews apply primer.
Close up of the stack.
Painted in primer.
Wide view.
Crews use a cherry picker to paint the hull.
Starboard side paint.
Close up.
Stern view.

Reported by: Rob Farrow

Top Hat Ceremony at the Welland Canal

The Top Hat Ceremony is scheduled for March 26, 2002 at 10:00 a.m. at Lock 3. The first ship of the season has not yet been confirmed. The traditional Top Hat ceremony recognizes the arrival of the first upbound ship for the opening of the Welland Canal.

After a busy winter Seaway authorities are refilling the sections of the Welland Canal that were drained for winter maintenance work. The section between Locks 2 and 3 were about 75% refilled but the section from Lock 3 up through the Flight Locks to Lock 7 was still dry.

Reported by: Rodney Aitchison

Stormy Lake Michigan

The storm that caused the Windoc to break loose hit Lake Michigan earlier in the weekend. Below is an image of the Ludington, MI lighthouse during the storm.

Waves crash against the lighthouse.

Reported by: Max Hanley

Mark Thompson to Present in Sturgeon Bay

March 14 at 7:00 p.m. noted author and sailor Mark Thompson will be presenting a program at the Door County Marine Museum in Sturgeon Bay, WI. The program traces the evolution of the ships and crews on the Great Lakes.

Mark has presented similar programs around the lakes and received rave reviews.

Weekly Updates

Click here for the latest updates and new pictures.

I am still in the process of completing the move to the new server. I'm using the move as an opportunity to reorganize the way some of the data is stored. Users will not notice a difference except some images are easier to find. This process has added extra work to the move but will benefit the site in the long run.

It has delayed many of the updates I had planned but I hope to have those up by the end of the month.

News Reporters Wanted

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

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

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

For more information please e-mail.
Click here to send news using the form. If you would not like to have your name used remember click the "no" button

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

High Winds Break Mooring Lines

03/10 12:40 p.m. update
Extremely high winds in southern Ontario are responsible for the drifting of the Windoc Saturday night in Hamilton harbor. The winds caused the vessel to break free from it's moorings allowing it to drift freely out into the harbor. No major damage was sustained as port officials were able to control the drifting ship in a short period of time.

It was also reported that another ship in the harbor was almost set free and was hanging on by only one line. High winds have swept the area over the last 24 hours during this erratic storm system that has hit the region.

The Windoc would seem to be a ship of great misfortune. It sustained damage last summer when the Allenberg lift bridge collided with it's wheel house.

Reported by: Daniel McCreery

Chief Wawatam Engine to be Moved

The massive triple expansion steam engine from the former carferry Chief Wawatam will begin its final journey to its permanent home at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum on Monday.

The 67-ton steam engine eventually will be one of the centerpieces of the museums $6.1 million expansion project.

The engine has been moved to a barge on the Manitowoc River. Monday, a 240-ton crane will lift the steam engine from the river barge onto a lowboy tractor-trailer for its two-block trip to the museum.

The crane then will crawl the two blocks to unload the engine Tuesday at its permanent site at the northwest part of the museum expansion.

The building will then be constructed around the mighty steam engine. An exterior wall of glass will make the engine visible to passersby on Maritime Drive. After the museum purchased the engine, it was stored at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay.

Unique to this display will be a smaller engine that moves the triple expansion engine in a mechanical ballet as if it were actually running. All that will be missing is the smell of steam and oil.

The Engine was moved in July to the LBI company on the former Manitowoc Co. peninsula for restoration, where it was stored until recently.

The Chief Wawatam carferry was built in Toledo, Ohio and commissioned in 1911. The 351-foot ship carried rail cars between Mackinaw City and St. Ignace, Mich.

On occasion, the Chief Wawatam was called into service by the Coast Guard as an icebreaker. The ship made it final journey across the Straits of Mackinac in 1984.

Preparing the engine last fall.
Wisconsin Maritime Museum

Reported by: Dick Sheehy and Dave Wobser

Steel plan could hurt taconite producers

Union and industry officials say the taconite industry may be harmed by President Bush's decision Tuesday to initially allow more than 5 million tons of semi-finished steel slabs to be imported into the United States, the Duluth News Tribune reported.

Bush imposed tariffs of 8 percent to 30 percent on some imported steel products. But his decision allows foreign steelmakers to send 5.4 million tons of semi-finished steel slabs into the United States.

Semi-finished steel slabs, which can be rolled into steel, directly displace taconite pellets produced at Iron Range mines. Each ton of semi-finished steel slab is equivalent to 1.3 tons of taconite pellets.

At last year's rates, the decision would mean about 7 million tons of semi-finished steel could be imported into the U.S. before tariffs kick in. That would hold the potential to replace about 9.2 million tons of taconite pellets.

Reported by: Al Miller

Toledo and Monroe Images

Below are images taken Saturday in Toledo and Monroe.

Joseph H. Frantz in Toledo.
Tug Muskegon in Monroe.
Tug John Henry.

Reported by: Mike Nicholls

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

Forecasters call for rising water levels

Great Lakes Shipping is in for some relief this summer if forecaster are correcting in their predictions for rising water levels. This news comes after four years of watching levels drop through out the lakes.

Despite the fifth-warmest winter on record, Lakes Michigan and Huron should rise about 8 inches from last year and St. Clair and Erie should increase by about 5 inches, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

A very rainy fall and an average snow pack around the Lake Superior basin this winter should combine for higher water levels this spring.

The larger vessels sailing on the lakes can lose about 100 metric tons of cargo for each inch in draft that was lost.

Below are the most recent water level readings by lake:

Lake Superior’s was 6 inches below its long-term average and 7 inches above the level this time last year.
Lakes Michigan-Huron water levels are 15 inches below average and 7 inches above last year.
Lake St. Clair is 3 inches below average and is 6 inches above last year’s level.
Lake Erie is 1 inch below its average level and 4 inches above this time last year.
Lake Ontario’s level is 4 inches above the long-term average and is 6 inches above the level this time last year.

Reported by: Glen Kingsford

USS Great Lakes Fleet Name Change

Great Lakes Transportation LLC announced this week that its vessel company has been renamed and will now be known as Great Lakes Fleet, Inc. The new identity reflects an ownership change that occurred in March 2001 when New York-based Blackstone Transportation Company acquired the remaining interest in Great Lakes Fleet, Inc. and other transportation entities that form Great Lakes Transportation LLC.

Great Lakes Fleet, Inc. operates eight vessels on the Great Lakes. The century-old enterprise, headquartered in Duluth, Minnesota, came to life in 1901 and eventually floated a 112-ship armada. Along the way it carried a number of names, including Pittsburgh Steamship Co.; U. S. Steel-Lake Shipping; and, most recently, USS Great Lakes Fleet, Inc.

For a number of years Great Lakes Fleet, Inc. was an integral part of U. S. Steel, a leading American steel maker. In 1988, a majority interest in Great Lakes Fleet, Inc. was sold to Blackstone as part of a restructuring then under way in the steel industry.

Great Lakes Fleet, Inc., one of the four largest U.S.-flag companies operating on the Great Lakes, will continue to handle taconite, limestone, salt, coal, and other bulk products for the steel industry and a well-diversified customer base. “Our new identity honors our company's rich heritage and pays tribute to the geography that we serve,” said Elliott M. Hughes III, vice president and general manager of Great Lakes Fleet, Inc.

Crewman Evacuated

Friday morning the Capt. Ralph Tucker was upbound in the St. Clair River. The crew called Sarnia Traffic and requested to have an ambulance sent to the Esso Dock. A crew man in his 40's was reported to be ill and was to be taken off to a local hospital. There was no update on the man's condition.

Reported by: Ron Locke

Challenges remain for Empire Mine

Although production is expected to resume later this month at Michigan's Empire Mine, the operation faces challenges in the wake of LTV Steel's bankruptcy.

Cleveland-Cliffs announced Thursday that Empire Mine will begin a phased start-up late in March. The mine was shut down last fall when part-owner LTV ceased making steel.

Empire Mine was owned by Ispat Inland Inc. (40 percent), Cleveland-Cliffs, (34.5 percent) and LTV Steel Corp. (25 percent). Cliffs and Ispat are reopening the mine with about 360 salaried and hourly employees from last fall's workforce of about 890.

"Ispat Inland and Cliffs, Empire's remaining owners, have worked diligently to develop a 2002 production plan for Empire,'' said John S. Brinzo, Cleveland-Cliffs chairman and chief executive. "However, much work remains to improve the mine's viability and its position as an iron ore supplier to the North American steel industry. We must continue our efforts to use Empire's most efficient production equipment and further reduce costs. Both Ispat and Cliffs are continuing to explore potential operating scenarios for future years.''

Reported by: Al Miller

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

Panel issues findings in 2000 collision

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada determined recently that several factors played a role in the Sept. 25, 2000, collision involving the bulk freighter Atlantic Huron and the Canadian Coast Guard Cutter Griffon.

According to the board's report, the Atlantic Huron was proceeding eastwardly across Lake Erie at night. The speed was 12 knots and visibility was good. As the vessel neared Pelee Passage light, its course was altered to starboard for a port-to-port passage with the approaching vessel Lady Sandals. Further course alterations to starboard were made to provide more sea room. In doing so, Atlantic Huron struck the Griffon, which was at anchor. Both vessels were damaged but there was no pollution. Four people aboard the Griffon suffered minor injuries.

The board determined :

  • Detection of the Griffon by other vessels was hampered by its proximity to a large light structure and the light's RACON signal.
  • Detection of the Griffon was further exacerbated by assumptions of the Atlantic Huron's watch stander that no vessel would anchor at that location at night.
  • The VHF radiotelephone was not used to advantage by either the Atlantic Huron to obtain pertinent information from the approaching vessel or by the Griffon to broadcast a warning message.
  • A Notice to Ships was not initiated by the Griffon to inform other vessels of its location.
  • The vessel Lady Sandals, which was approaching the Atlantic Huron from the opposite direction, did not keep as close as was practicable to the starboard outer limit of the recommended route, where there was sufficient room for it to maneuver.
  • The Atlantic Huron's officer of the watch did not fully appreciate that his vessel was experiencing "squat," which reduced the maneuverability of the vessel.

    In its conclusion, the board recommended that vessel owners make sure crew members are fully trained in the use of electronic chart systems for navigation; and that vessel crews make full use of their radios to communicate their intentions to other vessels.

    Click here for the full text of the report
    The damaged Griffon is repaired in Sarnia (October 2000).

    Reported by: Al Miller and George Lee

  • Empire Mine to resume production

    The Empire Mine in Michigan's Upper Peninsula is reportedly set to resume production of taconite pellets later this month.

    The mine shut down in November after LTV Steel Corp. ceased production. Duluth news media reported the mine is expected to produce about 3 million tons of pellets this year.

    Reported by: Al Miller

    Tucker Continues

    As many vessels are being prepared for the 2002 season the Capt. Ralph Tucker connotes its winter long trade of carrying calcium chloride from General Chemical in Manistee, Mi to Amherstburg, Ontario. On Thursday morning the Tucker was spotted heading down the Detroit River. The site of the tanker sailing through a very calm Detroit River is a nice reminder that the shipping season will soon be upon us.

    Reported by: Keith Norton

    Sarnia Update

    The Cuyahoga has received the new steel in what was a sizable hole, cut just forward of the stern cabins on the port side. Finishing touches appear to be all that is left to have it completely welded into place.

    The rudder is still lying on the dock and a shaft that appears to be the rudder shaft is now beside it. Work is also going on in the propeller area with a large crane along side. The Cuyahoga is receiving a variable pitch propeller and related components that will increase the vessel's performance.

    On the out side the Saginaw and the Maumee appear to be relatively quiet compared to the work on the Cuyahoga. Crew are completing winter projects onboard including major electrical work on the Maumee.

    At the Government Dock the Griffon is receiving a new cargo deck that is a composite of metal and plastic.

    Reported by: Jamie Kerwin

    Nanticoke News

    Work on rebuilding the engine aboard the Canadian Enterprise continues in Nanticoke. Thursday crews were hard at work as the vessel is in lay-up at the Nanticoke Power Station. Crews hope to have the work completed and running by March 20.

    Also in port to pick up a cargo was the Algoeast, which was ready to depart by 5:30 p.m. bound for an unknown destination.

    Canadian Enterprise at the dock.
    Powerful spot lights illuminate the deck.
    View from the bridge.
    The unloading hopper at the Nanticoke power station.
    Stacks from the bridge.
    Christening program framed in the Captain's quarters.
    Sign for the Poop Deck. (the partial deck above the ship's main afterdeck at the stern of the ship)
    Crews working on an auxiliary diesel engine.
    Another view.
    Algoeast at the dock.
    Close up of the cabins.
    Algoeast departs.

    Reported by: Alex Howard

    Hamilton Port Authority Unveils New Harbor Plan

    Following years of study and public meetings, the Hamilton Port Authority unveiled a plan this week for revitalizing the city's harbor. According to a news story published in the Hamilton Spectator, the city’s ambitious plans call for significant environmental clean-ups and expanded recreational opportunities, in balance with maintaining the harbors status as one of Canada's busiest freshwater seaports.

    Hamilton harbor is situated on the southern shoreline of Burlington Bay, separated from the west end of Lake Ontario by a narrow sand causeway. Access to the lake is provided via the Burlington Ship Canal.

    Reported by: Craig Ritchie

    News Reporters Wanted

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

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

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    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

    Lee A. Departs Lay-up

    The Lee A. Tregurtha departed Bay Shipbuilding Wednesday morning begging the 2002 season. She was the second vessel at Bay ship to begin the new season. The Lee A. was moved from her rafted position, made some adjustments to her ballast and departed Bay Ship heading out to Green Bay and onto Lake Michigan.

    Lee A. is moved from her fleet mate at the dock.
    Selvick tugs assist in the move.
    Departing her winter berth.
    Pilot House, with Interlake House flag flying .
    Lee A. off the bow of her 1000' fleet mates.
    Close up of her bow heading out bound.
    Prop wash.
    Mobil Bay laying in ice waiting for Lee A.
    Tug Jimmy L. standing off track waiting for Lee A. to pass.
    Bow of Lee A. passing off from Sherwood Point Light into Green Bay.

    Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle

    National Steel latest American steel company to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

    National Steel Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Wednesday, saying depressed steel prices, competition from imported steel and a weak economy had hurt its business.

    The filing came one day after President Bush announced tariffs of up to 30 percent on a range of steel imports. The tariffs are aimed at helping U.S. steelmakers, which have been hampered by steel prices that are at a 20-year low.

    National Steel says it plans no additional layoffs and expects to conduct business as usual while it develops a financial reorganization plan. The company said it had secured $450 million in credit to cover operating costs after the bankruptcy filing. Last year, it trimmed costs by about $150 million by cutting about 1,000 jobs, most through attrition or retirements. National Steel will continue to discuss a potential merger agreement with U.S. Steel, as well as to look at other alternatives, the company said. It makes flat-rolled steel products and has annual shipments of about 6 million tons.

    Reported by: Roger LeLievre

    Hamilton Energy to Head Home

    Crews are feverously working to finish fitout of the fueling vessel Hamilton Energy at Port Weller Dry Docks. The vessel is expected to depart Port Weller Dry Dock on March 15. After trials on Lake Ontario it will head back to Hamilton.

    The Hamilton Energy was hit directly in the stern by a saltie in Hamilton harbor last spring. The Energy was hit so hard it snapped her rudder post and drove her propeller shaft through her gearbox and smashed her engine casting off.

    The vessel was towed to Port Weller in December and had her Polar Diesel removed and a rebuilt 12 cylinder locomotive diesel engine installed. Work is now being done to finish the transplant by connecting all the mechanicals and testing them at the dock.

    Reported by: Wally Wallace

    President's Plan Doesn't Address Imports Of Slab Steel

    Lake Carriers' Association recognizes that the President took some bold steps to enforce the trade laws of the United States, but is dismayed that the Bush Administration's plan to aid the domestic steel industry does little to address imports of steel slabs. "Every ton of slabs imported into this country takes cargo off the Great Lakes," said George J. Ryan, President of the Association representing U.S.-Flag Great Lakes vessel operators. "The production of one ton of raw steel in a blast furnace requires 1.3 tons of iron ore, plus quantities of fluxstone and coking coal. The President's plan not only allows imports of slabs to stay at their current high level, but also actually permits increased imports in the second and third years of the tariff program and reduces the tariff in those years for imports in excess of the quota. We support efforts to return America's steel industry to profitability and so endorse the tariffs imposed on various steel imports, but we feel our valid concerns were not addressed. It is doubtful that the President's plan will increase Great Lakes iron ore shipments."

    Iron ore cargos for domestic steel production represent more than 50 percent of U.S.-Flag haulage each season, Ryan noted. "The U.S.-Flag ore float has fallen from 63.4 million tons in 1997 to 47.2 million tons in 2001, a decrease of 25 percent. Demand for iron ore was so sluggish last season that two ore carriers never sailed. A number of other vessels were withdrawn from service for periods of time or ended their season prematurely. Since the President's action allows for significant imports of slabs, there's little reason to expect that iron ore shipments will rebound any time soon."

    Lake Carriers' Association represents 12 American corporations operating 58 U.S.-Flag vessels exclusively on the Great Lakes. These companies and others flying the U.S. flag on the Great Lakes were carrying about 125 million tons of cargo each navigation season before dumped foreign steel and declining water levels slashed cargo totals. During the 2001 navigation season, U.S.-Flag carriage totaled 102.2 million net tons of dry-bulk cargos.

    Reported by: Al Miller

    Ship Wreck Programs

    The Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing is offering a Shipwreck Sunday series. You can experience the museum's special exhibit "Schooner in the Sand: Unlocking the Secrets of a Great Lakes Shipwreck," now through Aug 18, at 717 W. Allegan St. in Lansing, just a few blocks west of the Capital.

    The museum will offer three special historical shipwreck presentations. The first, "The Wreck of the Rockway: The Archaeology of a Great Lakes Scow Schooner," will be at 2pm, Sunday March 10. Built in 1866 and lost in a blinding gale on Nov. 18, 1891, the Rockway lay untouched off South Haven until accidentally discovered in 1983. Scow schooners were important workhorses of the Great Lakes Sailing Fleet in the 19th century.

    On April 14 for "The wreck of the New Orleans" will be present and on May 19 the museum will feature "The Wreck of the HMS Hope."

    Reported by: Kirk Tews

    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., Muskegon, 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

    Bush Sets Steel Import Tariffs

    The United States on Tuesday slapped tariffs of up to 30 percent on a range of steel imports to aid the struggling steel industry. Effected countries reacted sharply to the tariffs threatening to filing a complaint to the World Trade Organization.

    President Bush defended the three-year "safeguard" action as legal under WTO rules and vital to restoring balance to the world steel market. He said the market had been badly distorted by 50 years of foreign government intervention and subsidies.

    The new duties cover 10 steel product categories and range from 8 percent to 30 percent. They take effect March 20 and cover flat-rolled steel and other steel imports from a bevy of countries including Brazil, South Korea (news - web sites), Japan, Taiwan, Russia, Germany, Turkey, France, China, Australia and the Netherlands.

    The tariffs will be ratcheted down over three years, so the 30 percent duty on flat steel, which accounts for about 60 percent of U.S. imports, will fall to 24 percent in year two and 18 percent in year three.

    U.S. steelmakers had demanded 40 percent tariffs, which they said would be enough to stop cheap imports. About 31 steel companies have filed for bankruptcy since the Asian financial crisis of 1998 that prompted a flood of cheap steel into the United States, sending steel prices tumbling to 20-year lows.

    Bush aides said it was hard to say whether the curbs actually would cut U.S. steel imports, which totaled 27.35 million metric tons in 2001, since the U.S. economy is recovering from a slump and demand for steel could rise.

    Canadian steel makers applauded a U.S. decision on Tuesday to exempt Canadian firms from its new steel tariffs but urged their government to bring in safeguards to ensure that shipments of low-cost overseas steel are not diverted to Canada.

    The United States is Canada's biggest steel market, with two-way steel trade between the neighbors worth over C$7.2 billion ($4.5 billion) a year.

    Canadian companies have also been hit by the glut of overseas imports, which have depressed selling prices to 20-year lows, and forced the country's third-largest integrated steelmaker Algoma Steel into creditor protection and a major restructuring.

    All eyes in the Great Lakes shipping industry were on the decision. Taconite and other raw materials used in steel production make up a significant amount of tonnage shipped on the Great Lakes each year.

    Reported by: Frank Frisk and Glen Kingsford

    ILM Fit Out

    The cement carriers operated by Inland Lakes Management have begun the shipping season. Andrew Gauthier of ILM told local media that the Paul H. Townsend and J.A.W. Iglehart are now carrying cement for the Lafarge Corporation to various distribution plants on the Great Lakes.

    The Alpena will begin the sailing season on March 20, while the barge and tug Integrity will sail on April first. Other ships in the fleet including the S.T. Crapo and the E.M. Ford will be used for storage again this year.

    Reported by: David Metzger

    Townsend Returns

    The Paul H. Townsend returned to Muskegon Tuesday. She entered the channel shortly before noon and docked at Lafarge dock about 12:30 p.m. to unload cement. After unloading she is expected to depart around noon today.

    Townsend arriving off Lake Michigan.
    Passing the lighthouse.
    Ice on the bow.
    Close up of stern.
    Close up of the forward cabins.
    Stern view as she heads for Muskegon Lake.

    Muskegon Live Web Cam.

    Reported by: Scott Golin

    2002 Tug Boat Race

    The Detroit River tugboat race is planned for June 22, 2002. Planners are encouraging as many tug owners and captains to join this year’s 26th race. The race committee is meeting again on the 12 or 13 of March. Please e-mail Brian Williams with any concerns or ideas so the comittee can try to make this great race even better.

    Pictures from the 2001 race

    News Reporters Wanted

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

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

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

    For more information please e-mail.
    Click here to send news using the form. If you would not like to have your name used remember click the "no" button

    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

    Bush Weighs Raising Steel Tariffs

    President Bush's top economic advisers have presented him with proposals to rescue the American steel industry that would most heavily penalize China, Japan, Germany, Taiwan and South Korea, but exempt most poor nations - and Mexico and Canada - from punishing tariffs.

    With the president facing a deadline that requires him to announce a decision by Wednesday, the advisers are seeking a way for him to argue that he is making good on his campaign promises to ailing steel makers and steelworkers, particularly in states like West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio that are vital to the Republicans in this year's Congressional election.

    But the proposals Mr. Bush is considering fall well short of what some of America's largest steel makers and union workers have demanded: 40 percent tariffs on virtually all steel products from abroad. That could raise the price of steel by roughly 10 percent, saving jobs in a long-beleaguered industry in which bankruptcy has become a way of life, but also pushing up the cost of cars, washing machines and other consumer goods.

    Some Bush advisers have warned that the high tariffs would have the same effect on the economy as higher taxes. Mr. Bush appears set to reject industry efforts to have the government assume the pension and health liabilities of failed steel makers, a move that U.S. Steel has urged to speed mergers that would consolidate the industry. He will, however, leave the door open for Congress to bail out those workers so that they keep their retirement benefits.

    As word trickled out that the administration was looking for ways to soften the tariffs, the chief executive of U.S. Steel, Thomas J. Usher, warned in an interview this weekend that this was not the time for timidity - even if Mr. Bush risks angering countries critical to his antiterrorism coalition.

    "If there are a lot of holes in the president's plan, if you exclude the developing nations and Canada and Mexico and maybe Russia, then we will end up with a weak solution," Mr. Usher told the local media. "And a weak solution won't save the industry or the jobs."

    Advisers are recommending an array of tariffs, after a careful examination of what countries they would hurt and what companies they might help. Most options fall short of steel makers' demand for 40 percent across-the- board tariffs.

    Mr. Bush must decide by Wednesday to meet a deadline set by the International Trade Commission. In recent rulings, the commission found that a surge in steel imports had threatened American industry. But statistics show that the surge tapered off after the 1998 Asian economic crisis, even though a continuing glut of steel has kept prices low.

    Reported by: Glen Kingsford

    Canadian Century Update

    The mid-life refit of the Canadian Century at Port Weller Dry Docks continues at a rapid pace. Crew continue fitting new sections of the hull in preparation for re-launching late this spring.

    The name "Canadian Century" has been painted out on the stern suggesting a possible name change . Rumored new names for the vessel include John D. Leitch and a several others.

    Canadian Century at Port Weller Dry Docks.
    New section of hull.
    Close up.
    Lock 3 - gate at north end.

    Reported by: Rodney Aitchison

    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

    Iglehart Returns to Service

    The J.A.W Iglehart has returned to service after a brief winter lay-up in Detroit. Sunday the cement carrier was anchored in Thunder Bay, off Alpena waiting out high winds. Once the weather calms it will proceed to load cement at Lafarge.

    Fleet mate Paul H. Townsend was also at anchor in Lake Michigan waiting out weather.

    The Alpena and Jacklyn M/barge Integrity remain in winter lay-up.

    Reported by: Ben & Chanda McClain

    Ohio Ports Plan New Ferry Routes

    Cross-lake ferries, once a vanishing breed, may make a comeback on Lake Erie, with four Ontario-Ohio routes now being considered.

    Railroad car ferries once crossed between Ohio and Ontario while passenger steamers operated by lines like D&C and C&B once carried people and -- in later years -- their automobiles the length of Lake Erie. Those services disappeared, however, as trade routes changed and automobiles gained popularity.

    Now, it seems, car ferries are ready to make a comeback. Entrepreneurs are proposing routes from Toledo to Windsor, Sandusky to Leamington, Cleveland to Port Stanley, and Erie to either Port Stanley or Port Dover.

    The Toledo-to-Windsor ferry could begin operating this fall, carrying U.S. residents to the casino in Windsor. This route has been under consideration for a number of years. Toledo's port authority has received a $500,000 federal grant to help buy a Hovercraft, which would operate year-round, three to four times a day, and carry about 80 passengers, Windsor has approved a location for the ferry dock. The next step is to work out arrangements with Canadian Customs and Immigration, then put together a marketing plan with the casino and the ferry operator, Lake Michigan Car Ferry.

    Establishing a Sandusky-Leamington route is the brainchild of Duane Ohly, a managing partner of Island Rocket. He wants to offer daily service, probably from the Rocket's home port in Sandusky.

    Ohly told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that the service is less complex to launch than others because Leamington and Sandusky already have docks and Customs operations in place. Ohly has a potential partner but still needs to buy a ferry and work out docking agreements. He hopes to begin service by summer 2003.

    In Cleveland, the port authority is using an $800,000 federal to study the establishment of ferry service to Port Stanley, 81 miles away. The study, will examine potential ferry operators and the market, which probably would include both commercial traffic and tourists.

    Erie will have a $4 million terminal ready this summer that could accommodate ferry service. The terminal was built using federal and state money. A two-boat service is being considered - one ferry to haul trucks, a second to transport people, cars and buses.

    Reported by: Rex Cassidy, TZ and Bob Smalling

    Marquette Maritime Museum Acquires Lighthouse

    The Marquette Maritime Museum announced last week that it has concluded an agreement with the U.S. Coast Guard for the lease of the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse. The historic lease is for 30-year period and includes not only the lighthouse but also approximately 2 ½ acres of Lighthouse Point.

    The agreement has been in process for several years and marks a crucial step in Museum development. Acquiring the lighthouse is important for a number of reasons.

  • The Museum will be able to preserve and protect the most historically important building in Marquette. The first lighthouse was built in the city in 1853. The present lighthouse was constructed in 1866 and a second story added in 1906. The lighthouse is the oldest significant structure in the city and more importantly, the lighthouse is one of the most historic navigation beacons on Lake Superior and critical to the development of the Great Lakes iron ore trade. Until the opening of the major Minnesota mines in the 1890s, Marquette was the premier shipping port for iron ore on the Great Lakes and this Marquette beacon was vital for the safe navigation of ships entering Marquette.
  • Although the lighthouse is presently an empty building, the Museum will be offering tours once the Museum opens in May. Because visitors must walk through the grounds of the Coast Guard station to reach the lighthouse, Museum guides will escort all tours, a requirement of the Coast Guard for safety and security.
  • The Museum plans to develop the lighthouse as an integral interpretive display as an extension of the main building of the museum and eventually restoring one floor to reflect a period of the life of the light and ligthtkeepers.

    Museum board president Frederick Stonehouse stated, “Acquiring the lighthouse is a tremendous achievement. It is a win - win for everyone. The Coast Guard no longer has to maintain property they don’t need and the people of Marquette, through the Museum, gain control of this most important part of our history.”

    Up until four years ago after the building was renovated, Coast Guard members and their families lived on two floors of the structure, which were intended as a family dwelling for the lightkeepers of an earlier era. The museum board plans to restore the interiors to more accurately reflect the lighthouse history. The Coast Guard will continue to operate the light in the tower as an aid to navigation and an important sentinel for Great Lakes mariners. Stonehouse stated, “The lighthouse will continue to guide ships into and out of Marquette Harbor just as it has for 136 years.”

    The Museum will open for the 2002 season on May 15. Last year 12,000 people visited the Museum. For more information contact: Frederick Stonehouse 906-226-6014

  • Halifax Update

    CSL's Atlantic Erie is in winter lay-up in Halifax and will be returning to service later this month, probably picking up a cargo of gypsum for the U.S. eastern seaboard. There appeared to be workers on board on Friday, but the ship was quiet over the weekend.

    The Algocatalyst is secured at Pier 22, where all the larger cruise ships tie up in the summer. She is waiting for a cargo from Imperial Oil for delivery to Port-Aux-Basques, Newfoundland. The cargo is not yet forthcoming so the ship waits.

    Melissa Desgagnes remains at a remote wharf at Halifax Shipyard. There is no sign of work taking place on board.

    Early Sunday the Algofax arrived at Imperial Oil for a cargo of petroleum products. She is usually very busy in the winter carrying gasoline or heating oil to various ports around the Maritimes.

    Also due Sunday was the Stolt Aspiration, a sometime visitor to the Great Lakes.

    A unique move occurred in the harbor on Saturday. A massive crane passed under Halifax's two bridges Saturday afternoon. The Zhen Hua 4, carrying a $15 million gantry crane, very gingerly moved through the Narrows and alongside the pier in Fairview Cove.

    The ship carried the huge crane from Shanghai, China to Halifax, where it arrived several days ago to await favorable tides, wind and traffic in order to pass under the two bridges.

    The ship took on ballast at low tide, taking the free board down to less than a three feet between water and deck.

    The crane is "Post-Panamax because it can unload container ships too large to pass through the Panama Canal. It will be able to reach across 22 containers.

    The ship has carried 4 of these cranes at one time and must present a bit of an interesting stability problem. While in transit the crane is close to vertical but to pass under the bridges in Halifax the crane had to be lowered to horizontal, which was quite a sight.

    The ship moved at 2 or three knots for most of the journey but came to a halt before passing under the bridges to ensure there was enough clearance.

    Survey teams had to verify the heights of the bridges and the crane's height above the water. As well, two people rode on top of the crane to verify clearance as it approached the first bridge.

    As a precaution both bridges were temporarily closed during the passage. Also, this portion of the harbor was closed to all vessel traffic. The police had to shoo away one curious person in a cabin cruiser.

    When the ship is ready to unload it will be ballasted to ensure the deck is level with the wharf, then the crane will be rolled off the ship and onto the shore on specially laid rails.

    The crane is expected to be in operation in May and will be used with smaller ships until it is needed for Post Panamax ones.

    The contract to manufacture, transport and install the crane calls for foreign workers to carry out the entire installation with no work being offered to Canadian workers despite the fact that the installation is on Canadian soil. This is the second crane delivered to Halifax under these conditions.

    Zhen Hua 4 anchored in Halifax Harbor.
    Another view.
    Crane in vertical position.
    In the harbor after passing under the first bridge.
    Technicians rode on top of the 157-foot crane to align a laser level to make sure it would clear the bridges.
    Atlantic Erie at its lay-up dock.

    Reported by: Paul Beesley

    Mark Thompson to Present in Sturgeon Bay

    March 14 at 7:00 p.m. noted author and sailor Mark Thompson will be presenting a program at the Door County Marine Museum in Sturgeon Bay, WI. The program traces the evolution of the ships and crews on the Great Lakes.

    Mark has presented similar programs around the lakes and received rave reviews.

    New Web Site

    Great Lakes Freighters - Great Lakes Super Store. The web site offers a wide variety of Great Lake Freighter and actual Merchant Marine items. Click on the link above to view everything from t-shirts to prints.

    Ships of Collingwood

    Author Skip Gillham has released a revised edition of "The Ships of Collingwood". It updates his 1992 book and outlines various changes related to the vessels since the original was released.

    The publication covers 228 pages and includes 329 photos with many new and a few very unusual shots.

    Click here to view

    Weekly Updates

    Click here for the latest updates and new pictures.

    I am still in the process of completing the move to the new server. I'm using the move as an opportunity to reorganize the way some of the data is stored. Users will not notice a difference except some images are easier to find. This process has added extra work to the move but will benefit the site in the long run.

    It has delayed many of the updates I had planned but I hope to have those up by the end of the month.

    News Reporters Wanted

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

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

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

    For more information please e-mail.
    Click here to send news using the form. If you would not like to have your name used remember click the "no" button

    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 car ferries 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

    Fire Quickly Contained

    Thunder Bay firefighters and ships crew were quick to extinguish a blaze that broke out on the Canada Steamship Lines' Halifax Wednesday. The ship is wintering at the Keefer Terminal.

    Paint in a storage room ignited as workers were welding. The fire was contained to the small room and damage was minimal. There were no injuries reported in the incident.

    Reported by: Ron Konkol

    Busy Day in Hamilton

    A mild, sunny Saturday saw a great deal of activity in Hamilton Harbor as work crews prepared both vessels and port facilities for the coming season.

    Considerable activity could also be seen on many of the vessels laid up in the harbor. The Canadian Prospector sports a fresh coat of black paint on its port side, clearly visible from the QEW highway. The starboard side (at least the forward half of the vessel) remains cloaked in grey primer. A wooden cover could be seen fixed over the Prospector's bow thruster ports, presumably to protect the mechanism from debris during its winter face-lift.

    Vehicles from Fraser Ship Repair, Port Colborne, Ontario, were parked alongside the Algolake at Pier 26, and some activity could be seen onboard. Astern of the Algolake, crews onboard the Capt. Henry Jackman were busy repairing a crack discovered in the starboard bow. At one point streams of sparks could be seen bursting from the bow and onto the dock, as the welder's torch cut through the thick steel plating from inside the vessel. Repairs on the Jackman should be completed shortly.

    Maintenance work on the Burlington Canal Lift Bridge at the harbor entrance continues. Motor vehicle traffic on the four-lane bridge has been reduced to one lane in each direction as maintenance crews have moved topside. Work is nearing a close and according to the workers, the bridge should be ready for the opening of shipping season later this month.

    Reported by: Craig Ritchie

    Tankers in Saginaw

    The tanker Gemini entered the Saginaw River Thursday afternoon, docking at the Ashland-Marathon Dock around 6:30 p.m. She unloaded overnight and then turned from the dock Friday afternoon departing for the lake at 4:00 p.m.

    The U.S.C.G. Cutter Neah Bay arrived shortly before the Gemini on Thursday to break ice in the Saginaw River Entrance Channel. The Neah Bay departed at 2:00 p.m. on Friday afternoon.

    Pictures by: Todd Shorkey
    U.S.C.G. Cutter Neah Bay outbound at Consumers Energy.
    Neah Bay another view.
    Stern view.
    Tanker Gemini unloading at Ashland-Marathon.
    Gemini downbound at Coast Guard Station Saginaw River.
    Ice on Gemini's Bow.
    Gemini Stern View.

    Reported by: Stephen Hause, Lon Morgan and Todd Shorkey

    Winter Work on the Ranger III

    The passenger and supply ship Ranger III is undergoing a number of winter projects during lay-up. The 165-foot ship spends the season ferrying passenger and supplies to Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior.

    The three person winter work crew has kept busy with the following projects:
    Removal and installation of new main bilge and ballast pump.
    Engineering and installation of clutching system between main engines and hydraulic bow thruster pumps.
    Removal and installation of new light fixtures in passenger areas.
    Removal of original circa 1958 passenger exterior wood-bench seating and fabrication of new, steam bent white oak seating by Park Maintenance division employee (and Craftsman), Dave Paavola.
    Development of passenger lifesaving equipment briefing & demonstration (lifeboat drill, lifejacket demo) using MS Powerpoint (digital photos and video clips)
    Fabrication of USCG/OSHA compliant pallet lifting gear.
    ABS maintenance items and routine mechanical maintenance work (engine oil, filters, etc.).
    Revisions to administrative documents-Operations manual, OPA-90 Vessel Response Plan, Dangerous Cargo Manifest, Damage Control Plan, Waypoint Log, Solid Waste Management plan, renew USCG license & MMD.

    Ranger III at the lay-up dock. (Quincy Smelter ruins and MTU's Mount Ripley ski area in the background.)
    White oak seating under construction.

    Reported by: William Hanrahan

    General Manager appointed for Port of Prescott

    Bob Hennessy has been appointed as the new general manager of the Port of Prescott. Edwardsburgh/Cardinal council approved the appointment of Hennessy to the position at its meeting last week in Spencerville. Hennessy had worked at the Port of Hamilton since 1973 serving as Port Director for ten years. He began his new position with the Port of Prescott last week. "We look forward to working with you," Edwardsburgh/Cardinal Mayor David Dobbie said to Hennessy at the meeting.

    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

    First Departure from Bay Ship

    The first departure of the season from Sturgeon Bay's lay-up fleet left Friday morning. The tug Karen Andre entered into the bay from Lake Michigan early Friday morning heading for Bay Ship to pick up the barge A-397.

    With a brisk temp of 20 degrees the Karen Andrie waited for tugs from Selvick Marine to slip the Charles M. Beeghly and Joseph L. Block off the face of the Steel Dock at Bay Ship allowing her enough room to enter into Berth #5 and connect to the barge A 397.

    The Michigan Street Bridge is in the process of being repaired and only the East Draw can be opened. This allowed enough room for the tug to pass through, but not a full size ship.

    Once connected the tug called the bridge for an opening. Bridge crews cleared equipment from the East Draw again and opened the span to allow the tug and barge to pass.

    The tug Escort from Selvick Marine stood by at the bridge to assist if required. No assistance was required and the Karen Andrie and Barge A 397 cleared the bridge and headed for the Ship Canal and Lake Michigan.

    The Michigan and Bay View Bridges and the USCG Canal Station Saluted the tug and barge as first out for the 2002 season.

    Next to depart is the Lee A. Tregurtha. Crews began fit out Friday and it is expected to depart as soon as Sunday.

    Pictures by Vic DeLarwelle
    Karen Andrie waiting for Selvick Tugs to move Charles M. Beeghly and Joseph L. Block.
    Karen Andrie in notch ready to depart.
    Michigan Street Bridge with East draw up, note equipment on west draw.
    Bow starts into draw.
    Passing through.
    Clear of bridge.
    Off the stern of the Ryerson.
    Passing through the Bay View Bridge.
    Karen Andrie and A 397 head through the ship canal.
    Close up of tug and barge. Unloaded, the port side skeg on the barge is visible.
    Stern view heading for the lake.
    Stern view of Lee A. Tregurtha with boilers lit waiting for departure.
    Door County Maritime Museum when Mark Thompson, with do his Presentation 3/14/02 at 7 PM. On how Great Lakes ships and crews have evolved over the Years.

    Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle and Frank Frisk

    J. W. Westcott II Work Update

    Work continues to progress on board the U.S. Mail Boat J. W. Westcott II. The paint has been removed from the hull of the Westcott by use of an air-powered needle gun. The stripped hull has been primed with a gray primer, giving the Westcott the appearance of a navy PT boat. Inside, the cabins have also been completely stripped of paint, leaving the cabins with a dark atmosphere of emptiness. As work progresses, the Westcott begins to look more and more like a new boat.

    Many items on board the Westcott are being brought back to their original beauty; the solid brass helm, which was believed to be steel, has been stripped of paint and waits polishing. Same goes for the brass aft portholes and the whistle pull, all have been stripped of paint and now wait polishing.

    The original spotlight from the Westcott II will return this season, after sitting in the owner’s flowerbed for the past few years; it to will be stripped of paint and the brass will be polished.

    The new Detroit Diesel engine is currently in Ohio getting its final additions, the engine will be back in Detroit and ready for installation by the end of next week.

    Soon, the Westcott will be ready for service, there will probably be a re-christening ceremony held for the ship.

    Mail boat service on the Detroit River is expected to start in early April. The current plans call for the Westcott II to act as the primary boat with the Huron Maid and Joseph J. Hogan as back up boats.

    Reported by: Justin Kreimes and Capt. Sam Buchanan

    News Reporters Wanted

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    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.

    March 2, 1998 A fire broke out on the Algosoo causing serious damage to the Self unloading belts and other nearby equipment. Almost 12 years earlier in 1986 a similar fire gutted the aft cabins.

    Data from: Max Hanley and Steve Haverty,

    Judge approves sale of LTV to investment firm

    A federal bankruptcy judge Thursday approved the sale of LTV Steel to an investment firm that plans to restart steel mills which have been idled the past two months.

    Judge William Bodoh ruled that the bid from WL Ross & Co. LLC met legal requirements and was "fair and in the public interest."

    The acquisition includes LTV steel mills in Cleveland; East Chicago, Ind.; and Hennepin, Ill. The deal also includes a coke plant in Warren, Ohio, the Lorain, Ohio, pellet terminal, and three short-line railroads. Not included is an idle coke plant in Chicago.

    WL Ross said its goal is to get the steel mills "back up and running to become as low cost as any other facility in this country."

    When LTV sought bankruptcy protection in December 2000, LTV Steel was the nation’s third-largest producer of basic steel from iron ore and steel scrap. As a major consumer of taconite pellets, it was particularly important to Great Lakes shipping interests. Several lake freighters were idled after the company shut down its mills.

    WL Ross specializes in restoring bankrupt or financially troubled businesses. It won the bidding for LTV's assets over five other bidders in Wednesday’s private auction.

    WL Ross agreed Wednesday to pay $127.5 million cash and to assume various obligations, including any environmental costs and liabilities, according to Glenn Moran, LTV president and chief executive. All told, the liabilities are estimated to be $200 million.

    The deal does not commit Ross to take on any of the pension and health care costs of the LTV workers and approximately 60,000 retirees.

    Ross said Wednesday that the new company would employ about 3,000, with less than half those jobs in Cleveland. LTV had 7,500 employees when it shut down steel production in December.

    Rodney Mott will be chief executive officer of the new, as yet unnamed steel company. Mott, 50, has worked at Nucor Steel and U.S. Steel. Mott said Thursday the new company will be a private company at first, but the plan is to eventually go public. Ross said he had not determined where the new company will be based.

    Reported by: Al Miller

    New Paint for the Frontenac

    The Frontenac is receiving a new paint job as part of her winter work in Thunder Bay. Years of hard work were starting to show on the vessel's old black hull paint.

    Clara Painting is doing the work at Pascol Engineering. Crews started working on the outside hull sometime earlier this month, for the last two weeks they have been sandblasting and putting grey primer on the hull. Wednesday the crews started to put on the CSL red paint, starting at the stern and are working their way forward while another crew is nearly finished the grey primer near the bow.

    The vessel's classic lines looked really good in the bright sunshine Thursday. The Frontenac may be pulled out of drydock sometime this weekend in order for the Algosoo to come back in.

    Reported by: Rob Farrow

    Risley Conducts Survey Work

    The Canadian Coast Guard ship Samuel Risley took a break from ice breaking duties to assist in survey work on Lake Huron.

    The Risley has been working around the area north of the Bruce this week doing scientific work. With the ice being almost none existent in the area it offered a rare opportunity to complete survey work in the winter. The Risley is the only ice capable vessel operating this time of year. It will return to lakes next week.

    More on the Cleveland Bridge

    The railroad drawbridge at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River is to reopen by March 20, earlier than expected and just in time for the busy spring shipping season. The U.S. Coast Guard announced yesterday that half the needed repairs will be done now, replacing a damaged steel shaft in the bridge's eastern tower. Work on the western tower, where only surface cracks were found in another steel shaft, will wait until next winter.

    The 48-year-old bridge was closed for routine maintenance Jan. 28. But after finding the cracks, railroad officials at first said they would need until at least April 15 to complete the repairs. The new timetable was set by the Coast Guard.

    "We have been able to avert the crisis we initially thought was there," said James Pressler, head of the Flats Oxbow Association, one of the business groups that lobbied for a quick resolution. "A week ago it was grim."

    Business leaders worried that keeping the bridge closed longer would seriously impede many industries, including asphalt and concrete makers that depend on raw materials arriving by ship under the Norfolk Southern Railway Bridge.

    "Norfolk Southern is the gatekeeper and could have been the obstacle for all of Cleveland's heavy industry," said George Ryan, president of the Lake Carriers' Association.

    The new timetable means only about four ships, carrying 140,000 tons of materials, will be delayed, Ryan said. Shipments total more than 1 million tons during busier months, he said.

    The bridge also is the main Norfolk Southern line through Cleveland, with 60 to 70 trains a day, Norfolk spokesman Rudy Husband said.

    The trains continue to use the bridge during the repair work.

    It was originally to be closed in January and February for three weeks of maintenance, Coast Guard Cmdr. Raymond Perry said. But Norfolk Southern discovered the cracks Feb. 12.

    Four steel shafts, or trunnions, support wheels holding the 160 cables that raise and lower the 3 million-pound truss, the Coast Guard said. "Catastrophic failure at some point," including the bridge falling while being raised, would have been possible, had the cracks not been discovered, Husband said.

    Engineers reviewed the findings and said repairs to the western tower could wait as long as they were monitored. Norfolk Southern offered a new plan to fix the bridge by March 25. Coast Guard engineers from Washington, D.C., inspected the bridge Tuesday and the new timetable of March 20 was established. Norfolk Southern, which will pay for the repairs, offered no cost estimate.

    Reported by: Sam Bomyea

    Dossin exhibit features African American sailors

    An overlooked topic in Great Lakes history is in the spotlight as the Dossin Great Lakes Museum features an exhibit recounting the history of African-American sailors on the Great Lakes.

    "Working the Inland Seas" offers a glimpse of what life was life for the men and women who have served as vessel owners, ship captains, seamen, firemen, waiters and stewards aboard lake vessels since 1790.

    The exhibit, which runs through April 2003, features artifacts such as uniforms, newspaper clippings, photos, engravings and ship models. The Dossin museum is located on Belle Isle in Detroit.

    "A lot of black sailors were runaway slaves, free men and women from Canada," museum guide Sharon Garrett told the Detroit News. "They were very instrumental with the Underground Railroad. There were many captains who helped slaves escape.

    "This is not just African-American history, but history that has not been exposed. A lot of the information has been hidden or destroyed ... but we want the public to be more aware."

    Stewart McMillin, a Wayne State University professor who conducts black history tours in Detroit, agreed.

    "There's so much black history that has been lost, never brought up or distorted," McMillan told the newspaper. "This is just another example of how a story remains untold. A lot of ... people in general just don't know about the rich history of what black Americans have contributed to this country."

    The Dossin Great Lakes Museum is located on Belle Isle in Detroit. For more information call: 313-267-6440

    Today in Great Lakes History - March 01

    The M/V Henry Ford II was launched on this day of March 1, 1924. It served as flagship of Ford Motor Company fleet for many years and was eventually sold to Interlake Steamship Company when Ford sold its Great Lakes Fleet division. It was renamed Samuel Mather, but never sailed under that name. It was scrapped in 1994 at International Marine Salvage.

    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, Steve Haverty, 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

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