Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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Seaway Opens Today

03/31
The first ship of the season upbound in the Seaway, the Regina Oldendorff, is expected to enter the lock at St. Lambert shortly after 10 a.m. Monday morning. She will be followed (not necessary in order) by the newly renamed Birchglen ex Mackenzie going to Duluth, CSL Laurentien for Thunder Bay, Chios Pride for Marinette and on Tuesday Nanticoke for Toledo.

Nanticoke is on her way from Port Cartier and is likely loaded with iron ore for A.K. Steel via Toledo. This new route for CSL will fulfill a contract that CSL obtained to haul Labrador ore this year to Toledo.

The first downbound vessel is expected to be Jean Parisien Monday morning at the Iroquois Lock. She wintered at Hamilton and passed Sodus Point, Lake Ontario Sunday morning bound for Sept-Iles.

The Welland Canal will open today at 10 a.m. with the Algocape taking the Top Hat at Lock 3. Due to weather and demand the canal opened last week to limited traffic but opens officially today.

Pictures by Alex Howard.
Canadian Progress waits at the Welland for daylight operations.
Underway.
Stern view.
Algosoo in Lock 2.

Reported by: René Beauchamp, Jimmy Sprunt and


Radisson Upbound

03/31
The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Pierre Radisson continued breaking a path upbound Sunday. The Radisson was working at breaking ice in the Tibbetts Point area and then went to anchor south of the Main Ducks. She is heading eventually for the Welland Canal and Lake Erie.

Pictures by D. Beach
Below the Iroquois Lock preparing to let go 5:20 a.m. Sunday.
Bow of Radisson.
Another view.
In the lock, lower end closing.
View of stack, lifeboat, and landing barge.
Crew member getting some starboard side air.
Stern.
Under way.
Another view.

Wide view. Maurice Fodey

Reported by: Ron Walsh and D. Beach


Sundew in Marquette

03/31
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sundew was in Marquette Sunday. The cutter broke out both sides of the dock and the coal hopper then headed back out in to the lake to assist an inbound vessel.

Reported by: Chad Hunt


Roman opens Rochester

03/31
The season got underway in Rochester, New York at about 6 a.m. Sunday when the Stephen B. Roman entered the Genesee River and proceeded up the river to the Essroc cement dock.

Pictures by Jason LaDue
Stephen B. Roman in Rochester on January 19, 2003. This was the Roman's last trip of the 2002-2003 season.
Departing.
Close up.

Reported by: Tom Brewer and Jason LaDue


Jackman in Goderich

03/31
Sunday afternoon the Capt. Henry Jackman was docked at the salt mine. Loading was unable to continue as power was off at Sifto for maintenance work. It is unknown when the power and the loading will start up again but was expected some time last night.

The Jackman will take the cargo to Milwaukee and Chicago.

Reported by: Lisa Stuparyk


Twin Ports Activity

03/31
Fraser Shipyard in Superior was the site of many vessels preparing for the new season. Many vessels has steam up as they are preparing for the new season. The Indiana Harbor shifted to the Duluth Port Terminal.

Steam up at Fraser Shipyard.
Another view.
Wide view.
Indiana Harbor.
Walter J. McCarthy Jr.

Reported by: Kent Rengo


Lay-up Departures

03/31
Sunday saw several vessels departing lay up docks on their first trips of the season. Late Saturday night the Cedarglen departed the ADM terminal in Windsor, downbound for Three Rivers, Quebec.

Departing Hamilton early Sunday were the Sea Eagle II/St. Mary's Cement II and Algosoo, both of which headed up the Welland Canal, and the Jean Parisien, which headed downbound for Sept Isles, to load iron ore. The Algosoo is bound for Windsor to unload.

Meanwhile, the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin was downbound passing Long Point late Sunday morning, loaded with coal from Sandusky.

Reported by: Jeff Thoreson


Hamilton Update

03/31
The following vessels remain in Hamilton: Montrealais, Canadian Navigator, Canadian Leader, McKee Sons, James Norris, Canadian Prospector and the Gordon C. Leitch. Two vessels, Jean Parisien and the Algosoo have left Hamilton since last report.

The barge McCleary's Spirit is moored to the north face of Pier 14.

The CSL Tadoussac unloaded taconite at Stelco and left Hamilton Harbour transiting the Burlington Ship Canal at 4:30 p.m. Sunday heading into Lake Ontario.

Reported by: Patricia Burgon


Kingston News

03/31
The Jean Parisien passed Crossover Island at 4:45 p.m. She came out of Hamilton. The CSL Tadoussac has departed Hamilton for Picton and is due at False Duck Islands early Monday morning.

Reported by: Ron Walsh


Seaway Radio Message

03/31
Seaway Radio Message #1 - 2003 Opening
The Montreal-Lake Ontario section and the Welland Canal will open to navigation March 31 at 0800 hours.
MONTREAL-LAKE ONTARIO SECTION
As of 0001 hour April 15, the maximum permissible draft of 79.2 decimeters (26'0") in the Montreal-Lake Ontario section of the Seaway will be increased to 80.0 decimeters (26'3") conditional on favorable water levels. This draft will remain in effect until December 15 or until such time as changing water levels necessitate a draft reduction, whichever occurs first.
A complete cover of thick ice exists in the South Shore Canal, Lake St. Louis, Lake St. Francis and the eastern end of Lake St. Lawrence. A deteriorating broken ice cover is present in the Beauharnois Canal, and in the ships track in the South Shore Canal between Locks 1 and 2, and on the eastern end of Lake St. Lawrence. The international section of the St. Lawrence River is generally open water, except for a thick ice cover from Clayton to Carleton Island and at the entrance to Lake Ontario.
Navigation will be restricted to daylight hours until the commissioning of lighted aids has been completed. Further information concerning this is available from the appropriate traffic control centre. Mariners are warned to exercise extreme caution in the use of winter markers as the position of the markers may have been affected by ice. Icebreakers are continuing to break ice in the Montreal-Lake Ontario section.
It will be extremely important that vessels transiting through all ice covered areas and the ice booms in the Beauharnois Canal and in the Prescott-Ogdensburg area to proceed at the slowest safe speed in order not to disturb the ice fields. The Galop and Prescott-Ogdensburg ice booms have been removed from the navigation channel.

WELLAND CANAL
The maximum permissible draft in the Welland Canal will be 80dm (26'3") for the duration of the navigation season, unless changing water levels on Lake Ontario necessitate a draft reduction. Mariners are advised that local cargo movements through the Welland Canal will be allowed daily between the hours of 07:00 and 19:00 hours starting on March 28th, 2003. Until the official opening on March 31st, 2003 only the west side of the flight locks will be open.
Contact Seaway Welland for dispatch and further information. The Welland Canal is open water. Mariners are cautioned that, at present, heavy ice conditions exist on Lake Erie, especially in the eastern end of the lake. Ice-breaker assistance will be available
The next radio message will be issued on March 31st.

Reported by: Ron Walsh


Final Day for Trip Auction

03/31
Lake Superior State University, in conjunction with Algoma Central Marine (ACM), is auctioning a 5-8 day trip for four adults on one of ACM's vessels during the summer of 2003. The winners of the auction will work with representatives of ACM to schedule the trip between May and September 2003.

The auction will be conducted from March 3, 2003 to March 31, 2003. Click here for more information


Live Cam Planned For Detroit

03/31
The Great Lakes Maritime Institute and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum are planning a live, real time, interactive web camera on top of the William Clay Ford pilothouse on Belle Isle. The new ‘River Watch’ will capture the passing traffic the Detroit River.

Click here for details.


News Reporters Wanted

03/31:
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.

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




Weekly Updates

03/31
The weekly updates have been uploaded.
Click here to view




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




Radisson Upbound

03/30 1 p.m. Update
The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Pierre Radisson continued breaking a path upbound Saturday passing Lake St. Francis, at Riviere Beaudet.

The Radisson was expected to reach Cape Vincent at noon Sunday. The icebreaker reported Sunday afternoon the she was scheduled to go to the Welland Canal tonight and proceed upbound to Lake Erie. However, her orders have been changed and she will work in eastern Lake Ontario. The Radisson was expected to anchor in Lake Ontario for the night. It is unknown if she will continue upbound to Lake Erie.

Pictures by Walter Statham
Clearing ice on the lower end of Lock 3 at Beauharnois.
On Lake St. Francis.

Reported by: Kent Malo and Ron Walsh


Frontenac Opens the Twin Ports

03/30
The Port of Duluth-Superior’s 2003 Great Lakes commercial navigation officially opened at noon Saturday with the arrival of Canada Steamship Lines’ Frontenac under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge.

The Frontenac proceeded to the Murphy Oil USA, Inc., Duluth Marine Terminal to fuel, then will shift to Duluth’s Hallett Dock No. 5 to discharge 3,500 metric tons of salt before shifting to Duluth’s C. Reiss Terminal to unload an additional 15,500 tons of salt. The vessel is scheduled to move again at approximately 1 a.m. Monday to Superior’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe taconite facility for about 24,390 metric tons of iron ore pellets for Hamilton, Ont.

Another vessel bound for the Twin Ports, Upper Lakes Towing Company’s barge Joseph H. Thompson powered by its tug Joseph H. Thompson Jr., was the first upbound passage through the locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., at about 11:15 p.m. Thursday (March 27), followed closely by the Frontenac. The locks opened to vessel traffic 12:01 a.m. March 25, but saw only downbound vessel traffic during the first few days of operation.

Early-season laker traffic is being hampered by severe ice conditions in several Great Lakes locations. Both the Joseph H. Thompson and the Frontenac were assisted on Lake Superior by U.S. Coast Guard Icebreaker Mackinaw, with the Frontenac pulling ahead of the Joseph H. Thompson once the vessels were underway.

The official start to the Port’s season is marked by the first inbound ship from the Soo Locks, and first Soo transit arrivals for the past five years have been on March 26. Last year’s first arrival occurred on that date when Interlake Steamship Company’s Mesabi Miner visited Superior’s Midwest Energy Resources Co. coal facility.

Ships were on the move in the Twin Ports by March 23 this year with the departure of three Great Lakes Fleet vessels—the Edgar B. Speer, Roger Blough and Edwin H. Gott—each of which had wintered here and were traveling to Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets destined for Gary, Ind. The Fleet’s Presque Isle departed March 24, also for Two Harbors to load iron ore for the same destination. These four vessels were the first downbound traffic at the Soo Locks.

Commanded by John Bentum, the 730-foot bulk carrier Frontenac was built in 1968 at Davie Shipbuilding, Ltd., Lauzon, Levis, Quebec. She wintered in Goderich, Ont., prior to loading salt there for Duluth-Superior. Local agent for the vessel is Duluth’s S.A. McLennan, Inc.

Another welcoming ceremony will be held when the Port’s first 2003 oceangoing vessel arrives, which will also qualify a winner for the "First Ship Contest" sponsored by the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, the Duluth Convention and Visitors Bureau and 92 KQRS, Minneapolis.

U.S. and Canadian Seaway officials delayed the opening of the Welland Canal and Montreal-Lake Ontario sections of the system from March 25 until March 31 due to the harsh ice conditions.

The April 2 arrival of the Norwegian-flagged Menominee at Duluth’s Clure Public Marine Terminal marked last year’s first full Seaway transit and overseas arrival. Oceangoing vessel arrivals for the past five years have been between April 2 and April 8.

Pictures by Glenn Blaszkiewicz
Frontenac arrives at the Ship Canal.
Passing beneath the bridge.
Stern view heading into the inner harbor.

Reported by: Lisa Marciniak, Duluth Seaway Port Authority


Saginaw Reaches the Soo

03/30
About noon on Saturday the Saginaw made an appearance at the Soo Locks, passing upbound with a cargo of coke for the Algoma Steel Mill in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. The Saginaw entered the river around 6 a.m. and had little difficulty with ice in the river.

Saturday morning the Mackinaw cut a path down the Canadian Canal to the steel mill. The Mackinaw then proceeded up to Whitefish Bay behind the Burns Harbor which locked through a few hours ahead of the Saginaw. After unloading at the Soo the Saginaw will sail to Marquette to load iron ore for Algoma Steel.

Upbound traffic on Saturday included: the Burns Harbor, Saginaw and Mackinaw. Upbound on precall to Detour Roger Blough, Edwin H. Gott and the Joseph L. Block.

Saginaw approaching the Poe Lock.
Saginaw above the locks in ice.
Another view.
Stern view heading to Algoma Steel.

Reported by:


Yankcanuck Arrives

03/30
The Yankcanuck arrived at the old McLouth Steel site in the Trenton Channel early Saturday morning, fully loaded with a shipment of coil steel. She began off-loading operations about 7:30 a.m. This is her first trip to the DSC facility this year. The channel has not seen any significant ice flow since the first of the week.

The crew of the Yankcanuck made short work of unloading the coils of steel and headed back up river by late afternoon.

Reported by: Robert Burns


CSL Tadoussac Departs

03/30
The CSL Tadoussac departed from Port Colborne on Saturday morning, sailing downbound in the Welland Canal.

Reported by: Jeff Thoreson


Biscayne Bay helps Lake Michigan traffic

03/30
The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Biscayne Bay came to the aid of three upbound lakers Saturday afternoon in northern Lake Huron near Lansing Shoal.

After being beset in ice most of Saturday morning, the Joseph L. Block, Roger Blough and Edwin H. Gott were reported making progress after the Biscayne Bay arrived in mid-afternoon. The cutter had just finished escorting the Algowood and the tug Michigan with barge Great Lakes southbound through the congested area.

The Joseph L. Block is bound by Two Harbors, where she will load pellets for Indiana Harbor.

The Block's fleet mate, Wilfred Sykes, is expected to depart winter layup at Sturgeon Bay around April 7.

Photos by Eric Treece
Ice convoy on Lake Michigan.
Biscayne Bay working with the Gott.
Roger Blough.
Looking down the deck of the Block.

Reported by: Roger LeLievre and Eric Treece


Iglehart Opens Muskegon

03/30
The J.A.W Iglehart opened Muskegon's shipping season on Saturday. It arrived at the Lafarge Cement dock at around 5:40 p.m. She was carrying a split load, part of which had been unloaded in Milwaukee.

The Iglehart was expected to depart about 4:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon and head back for Alpena.

Reported by: Dan McNeil


Alpena Returns

03/30
The steamer Alpena arrived in port early Saturday morning after having a difficult passage through the icy Straits of Mackinac. It loaded cement and departed around 7 a.m. bound for Cleveland and Detroit.

In addition to the Iglehart's trips to Milwaukee and Muskegon the vessel also transferred a cement cargo into the barge Integrity pushed by the tug Jacklyn M. last week. The tug and barge then continued on to South Chicago and Waukegan.

Reported by: Ben & Chanda McClain and Dan McNeil


Jackman Departs

03/30
The Capt. Henry Jackman departed her winter lay-up berth in Owen Sound at 7:30 Saturday morning. She was expected to head south to Goderich where she will load salt for Milwaukee and Chicago.

Last night there was no sign of the Samuel Risley, overnight ice in the bay disappeared and there was no ice reported as far as 10 miles out (North of Kemble).

The Algoway remains in lay-up in Owen Sounds and does not appear to be leaving in the near future.

Reported by: D. Shearman and Peter Bowers


More on the Frontenac

03/30
Capt. Bentum and his crew encountered a lot of ice and snow on Lake Superior, with the worst of it being heavy, windrowed ice in Whitefish Bay. The vessel was aided in passing through the ice field by the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw.

“There was a lot of pressure from the ice, but the icebreaker did a good job and got us moving,” Capt. Bentum said.

Once out of Whitefish Bay, the ship encountered a mix of open water and ice. Capt. Bentum said they zig-zagged around the worst of the ice, trying to stay in open water as much as possible. That job was made more difficult Friday night by heavy snow that limited visibility. The Frontenac finally encountered open water off the Keweenaw Peninsula and saw no more ice until reaching Duluth, where it moved easily through broken ice in the harbor.

Frontenac docks at the Murphy Fuel shortly after arriving in Duluth.
Another view of the Frontenac docking.
A deckhand secures a line around a bollard just a few feet from the ice-covered side of the ship.
The fueling hose is suspended from a telescoping crane as it pumps fuel into the ship’s bunkers.
Port Director Davis Helberg, left, presents a plaque to Capt. John Bentum in honor of the Frontenac’s status as the first laker of the season for the Twin Ports. The presentation is one of the last that Helberg will make as director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. He retires Monday following a maritime career that began in 1958 with the Kinsman fleet. He has been a prominent advocate of Great Lakes and saltwater shipping for the Twin Ports and the entire Seaway system.
A view of the Frontenac’s deck and unloading boom.
The Frontenac’s forward end.
The Frontenac’s deck with Duluth in the background. Note the ice that remains on the hatch covers.
Another view of the deck.
A crewman chips at some of the ice on deck.
The Canada Steamship Lines houseflag snaps in the breeze.
A deck view.
A view of the Frontenac looking forward along the dock.

Reported by: Al Miller


Today in Great Lakes History - March 30

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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




Coast Guard Icebreakers Heading for the Lakes

03/29
Entering the Seaway Friday morning was the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Pierre Radisson. Late that afternoon, the icebreaker was clearing the ice just below Lock 3 at Beauharnois on Lake St. Louis. The Radisson is expected to pass through the Welland Canal by April 1 and may be used as far north as Lake Huron, but will likely stay in eastern Lake Erie.

On March 20, the tug Ocean Hercule based at Sorel-Tracy, had been hired to break the ice between the entrance of the Seaway at CIP2 and the St. Lambert Lock. Then on March 25, the ice class 2 tug La Prairie began clearing the ice upstream from the St. Lambert Lock and late this afternoon, she was in the area of Côte St. Catherine.

Expected to arrive on Monday in Montreal will be the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Morro Bay. The Bay-class cutter is based in Yorktown, Va. She is expected to enter the Seaway the Tuesday heading to the upper lakes where she will assist local cutters.

Pictures by Kent Malo
Full view of the Pierre Radisson in the South Shore Canal above St. Lambert Lock.
Close up of the bow.
Close up of the wheelhouse.
Entering Cote Ste. Catherine lock.
Radisson above Cote St. Catherine Lock as she departed the Cote after breaking ice along the wharf.
Crew Member Francois Mongrain rising in the lock at the Cote Ste. Catherine.
The bow of the Pierre Radisson slicing through the ice.

Reported by: René Beauchamp, Mike Hines and Kent Malo


First Traffic for the Port of Duluth-Superior

03/29
Pending ice and weather conditions, the Port of Duluth-Superior’s 2003 Great Lakes commercial navigation season is scheduled to officially open at approximately 1 p.m. Saturday (March 29) with the arrival of Canada Steamship Lines’ Frontenac.

The Frontenac will proceed to the Murphy Oil USA, Inc., Duluth Marine Terminal to fuel, then shift to Duluth’s Hallett Dock No. 7 to discharge 3,500 metric tons of salt before shifting to Duluth’s C. Reiss Terminal to unload an additional 15,500 tons of salt. The vessel is scheduled to move again at approximately 1 a.m. Monday (March 31) to Superior’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe taconite facility for about 24,390 metric tons of iron ore pellets for Hamilton, Ont.

Another vessel bound for the Twin Ports, Upper Lakes Towing Company’s barge Joseph H. Thompson powered by its tug Joseph H. Thompson Jr., was the first upbound passage through the locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., at about 11:15 p.m. Thursday (March 27), followed closely by the Frontenac. The locks opened to vessel traffic 12:01 a.m. March 25, but saw only downbound vessel traffic during the first few days of operation.

Early-season laker traffic is being hampered by severe ice conditions in several Great Lakes locations. Both the Joseph H. Thompson and the Frontenac were assisted on Lake Superior by U.S. Coast Guard Icebreaker Mackinaw, with the Frontenac pulling ahead of the Joseph H. Thompson once the vessels were underway.

The official start to the Port’s season is marked by the first inbound ship from the Soo Locks, and first Soo transit arrivals for the past five years have been on March 26. Last year’s first arrival occurred on that date when Interlake Steamship Company’s Mesabi Miner visited Superior’s Midwest Energy Resources Co. coal facility.

Ships were on the move in the Twin Ports by March 23 this year with the departure of three Great Lakes Fleet vessels—the Edgar B. Speer, Roger Blough and Edwin H. Gott—each of which had wintered here and were traveling to Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets destined for Gary, Ind. The Fleet’s Presque Isle departed March 24, also for Two Harbors to load iron ore for the same destination. These four vessels were the first downbound traffic at the Soo Locks.

Commanded by John Bentum, the 730-foot bulk carrier Frontenac was built in 1968 at Davie Shipbuilding, Ltd., Lauzon, Levis, Quebec. She wintered in Goderich, Ont., prior to loading salt there for Duluth-Superior. Local agent for the vessel is Duluth’s S.A. McLennan, Inc.

Another welcoming ceremony will be held when the Port’s first 2003 oceangoing vessel arrives, which will also qualify a winner for the "First Ship Contest" sponsored by the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, the Duluth Convention and Visitors Bureau and 92 KQRS, Minneapolis.

U.S. and Canadian Seaway officials delayed the opening of the Welland Canal and Montreal-Lake Ontario sections of the system from March 25 until March 31 due to the harsh ice conditions.

The April 2 arrival of the Norwegian-flagged Menominee at Duluth’s Clure Public Marine Terminal marked last year’s first full Seaway transit and overseas arrival. Oceangoing vessel arrivals for the past five years have been between April 2 and April 8.

Reported by: Lisa Marciniak, Duluth Seaway Port Authority


Seaway Opening Set for Monday

03/29
On March 31 the Welland Canal will officially open for the season with the Top Hat Ceremony at Lock 3 scheduled to begin 10 a.m. The first vessel to officially open will be Algoma's Algocape.

Day light transits of the canal are expected to continue this weekend with a number of vessels making special trips due to demand for certain bulk cargoes.

Also on March 31, a larger ceremony will be held at the St. Lambert Lock welcoming the first ship of the year to transit the Seaway. That vessel is expected to be the Regina Oldendorff.

The icebreaker Pierre Radisson is expected to transit the canal upbound during the weekend to help break ice on Lake Erie and assist with traffic on the coal shuttle.

Reported by: Alex Howard


Risley Heading for Owen Sound

03/29
The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley is expected into Owen Sound bay for ice breaking duties on Saturday and will be in port Sunday. The CFOS radio station reported that the Risley will prepare the bay for the new season.

Thanks to wind and warmer temperatures the inner harbor was completely opened on Friday. The ice field begins about a half mile off shore and would be difficult to pass through with out ice breaker escort. The Capt Henry Jackman is in ballast and is expected to depart her winter lay-up berth as soon as possible to load salt in Goderich, Ontario.

Reported by: Peter Bowers


Lake Erie Coal

03/29
Friday evening the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin was upbound at Long Point on there first trip of 2003. The Martin is heading for Sandusky to take on a load of coal. They expected to reach the Sandusky breakwater about 8 a.m. Saturday.

In other news, the Canadian Progress loaded coal in Ashtabula and departed early Thursday afternoon on her first trip of the season. She was on her way to the Lakeview Generating Station under escort of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay and expected to reach Port Colborne about 8 p.m.

Algowood is expected to load at Superior Midwest Energy Terminal for Nanticoke. This will be the first of five shipments from Superior to Nanticoke that are scheduled through May 1. The Indiana Harbor is scheduled for two loads from Superior to Nanticoke and the Columbia Star and Paul R. Tregurtha each will take one.

Reported by: Jeff Thoreson


Coast Guard's newest cutter visits Chicago

03/29
The Coast Guard's newest ship arrived at Chicago's Navy Pier this week.

Coast Guard Cutter Hickory, a 225-foot buoy tender, is the newest addition to the Coast Guard's fleet and will be in Chicago while the crew conducts training.

Hickory has a crew of 40 and is replacing one of the Coast Guard's 40's era, 180-foot buoy tenders. The cutter will be stationed in Homer, Alaska, where it will maintain buoys and other aids to navigation. The trip to Alaska is expected to take more than 45 days.

Hickory will not be open for public tours during its stay in Chicago due to the current level of national security.

Pictures by Hans Lund
Hickory docked on Friday.
Stern view.
Acacia docked.
Stern view.
Fire boat Victor L. Schlaeger.
James J. Versluis

Reported by: Paul Roszkowski and Hans Lund


St. Lawrence River and Seaway News

03/29
The first laker of the season to leave her winter quarters in Montreal was Nanticoke on Thursday morning. She departed for Port Cartier.

Thursday afternoon the Regina Oldendorff shifted to section 50 in Montreal and was expected to enter the Seaway Friday night. On Monday, on the official opening day, she will be the first vessel to transit. She is loaded with sugar from Acajutla, El Salvador and is going to Toronto. Saturday her place at Section 50 will be taken by her fleet mate and sister ship Helena Oldendorff loaded with steel.

The saltie Cinnamon, the third new ship in the Canfornav fleet arrived at Port Alfred on the Saguenay River a few days ago. Her next port of call will be Bécancour, QC. She made head to a Great Lakes port following her stop in Bécancour.

Reported by: René Beauchamp


Twin Ports Report

03/29
The Twin Ports navigation season is expected to officially open this weekend with the scheduled arrival of Frontenac, Joseph H. Thompson and Burns Harbor. As of Friday afternoon, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority was expecting Frontenac to arrive first.

March 31 is expected to be a busy day in Two Harbors as the schedule now stands. Joe Block is due there along with the returning Edwin H. Gott, Roger Blough, Edgar B. Speer and Presque Isle.

Next week most of the vessels wintering in Fraser Shipyards are expected to depart. Arthur M. Anderson is due to sail for Two Harbors on April 1, followed by John G. Munson on April 2, Cason J. Callaway on April 3 and Philip R. Clarke on April 4. Kaye E. Barker is due out April 2 to load coal. The remaining vessel, Armco, is now scheduled to sail April 9 for Silver Bay.

Reported by: Al Miller


Marquette Update

03/29
The Marquette area is awaiting the arrival of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sundew to open the harbor. The Sundew is expected to arrive around the March 31, with the Saginaw arriving April 1 as the first commercial ship to visit the Lake Superior port for 2003. She will load ore for Algoma Steel in the Soo. Saginaw will be followed by the Great Lakes Trader, expected to arrive later that day

The Saginaw will make a return trip on April 4 followed by the Kaye Barker arriving with coal. Other traffic expected includes the Joseph Thompson on April 5. Ice and wind conditions along with Friday's heavy snow could change these schedules.

Reported by: Art Pickering and Lee Rowe


Soo Traffic

03/29
The Burns Harbor was the only ship in the river system Friday. The 1000 footer was upbound at Mud Lake Junction Buoy about 7 p.m. The Cutter Mackinaw was expected to return to the Soo after breaking out the Thompson and Frontenac in Whitefish Bay earlier that day and resume icebreaking duties in the upper river.

Reported by: Scott Best


Algowood Loads

03/29
Friday morning the Algowood was being maneuvered into position at the salt mine. She was assisted into port with the help of several tugs.

Pictures by Grant Culbert
Algowood arrives.
Assisted to the dock.

Reported by: Lisa Stuparyk and Grant Culbert


Rouge River Traffic

03/29
The first assistance call came in to Gaelic Tugboat Friday from the tug John Spence to help with its tow McAsphalt 401 into the Marathon Oil Dock on the Rouge River. Strong winds were blowing across the Rouge River making it difficult for the tow to maneuver through the draw bridges. Meanwhile the Diamond Jack passenger boats are fitting out at the Gaelic Tug Yard as are the tugs William Hoey and Susan Hoey, which are being made ready to return to Toledo next week.

Diamond Belle fitting out at Gaelic for her trip to Port Huron on May 25.
Tugs William Hoey and Susan Hoey being fit out for service in Toledo.
Diamond Jack, Diamond Queen, and Diamond Belle rafted off for fit out.
Tug Carolyn Hoey assisting the John Spence and McAsphalt 401 at Gaelic.
The weary tug Carolyn Hoey has been fighting the ice all winter moving rock salt barges.
The 2,000 hp Carolyn Hoey lines up the McAsphalt 401 for the Fort Street bridge.
Tug John Spence and her tow safely pass through the bridge.
Acushnet under repair at the Gaelic tug yard.

Reported by: Bill Hoey


Toronto Update

03/29
The second arrival of the season took place Friday morning when the bunkering vessel Hamilton Energy came in from Hamilton, to fuel up Algocape, and later Spruceglen. While she was bunkering the latter, Stephen B. Roman departed on its second trip of the season. It is expected that Hamilton Energy will return to Hamilton once the bunkering operations are completed.

The Mackenzie opened a channel to the drydock Firday, aided by warmer weather. On Monday morning, the five small vessels wintering on Toronto Drydock will be refloated, and the ferry Ongiara will go on the dock for inspection and minor repairs.

The venerable ferry William Inglis will take the place of Ongiara on the Ward's Island and Hanlan's Point runs while Ongiara is on the drydock.

Reported by: Gerry O.


Captain James Ohlinger

03/29
To his many friends we must sadly report the death of Captain James Ohlinger. Employed for over 25 years by the M.A. Hanna Company he rose to first mate on the George M. Humphrey. When the George M. Stinson replaced the four steamers of the fleet, Captain Ohlinger came ashore and managed the M.A. Hanna warehouse in Ecorse. Better known to many as the "Big O" he was well liked by his fellow sailors and management alike. For the past ten years the Big O has been employed by Diamond Jack's River Tours and Gaelic Tugboat Company. Arrangements are pending, for information call after noon on Saturday at the Gaelic office, 313-841-9440.

Reported by: Bill Hoey


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




Thompson First Upbound

03/28
The tug and barge Joseph H. Thompson opened the Soo Locks as the first upbound vessel for the 2003 season. The tug and barge passed upbound late Thursday night. The pair are expected to head to Superior, Wi.

Reported by: Art Pickering


Enterprise Waits at Port Weller

03/28
Activity at Port Weller is starting to come back to life. Ice is non existent and the Canadian Enterprise is secured below lock 1 awaiting a daylight transit of the Welland Canal Friday morning.

At the Port Weller Pilot Boat Station fitting out has begun in full force on the Juleen I stationed at Port Weller and her fleet mate J.W. Cooper stationed at Port Colborne. Both boats are out of the water while maintenance tasks are performed. It is expected that both boats will be placed in the water in the next few days in anticipation of another year of service.

Canadian enterprise secured below Lock 1.
Sparkling company name board.
Port Colborne Pilot Boat J.W. Cooper.
Another View.
Propellor and rudder.
Onboard the J.W. Cooper.
Juleen I high and dry.
Another view.
Onboard Juleen I looking aft.
View of Juleen I from J.W. Cooper.

Reported by: Capt. Alain Gindroz


Thunder Bay Break Out

03/28
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sundew arrived in Thunder Bay Thursday evening to begin breaking out the inner harbor. After a long, cold winter Thunder Bay finally saw a sure sign that spring breakup is near. Ice in the harbor is reported to be from 24-inches to 31-inches thick.

The ice breaker Sundew was spotted on the horizon rounding Angus Island and entering the bay earlier in the day. After long hours and slow going, the Sundew entered the South Breakwall Entrance and headed for the Saskatchewan Pool 7b Slip. There she broke ice up close to the Thunder Bay Tug Service tugs Point Valour and Glenada, in order to free them from their winter layup. The tugs will assist in breaking out slips as the demand rises.

The Sundew is expected to break out the mouth of the Kaministiqua River in preparation for loading at the Thunder Bay Terminals. It is rumored that a boat, possibly the Algorail, will be loading potash over the next few days.

A bigger ice breaker is rumored to be heading this way early next week to help with breaking the paths that the boats will soon need in order to get the 2003 season underway.

Reported by: Rob Farrow and Tom Stewart


Ice, inventories slow Soo opening

03/28
Ice conditions and high inventories of taconite pellets on lower lake docks are the two reasons for a slow season opening at the Soo Locks, according to the Duluth News Tribune.

Nearly 38 hours elapsed between the time the locks opened and the first vessel arrived. The Roger Blough entered the Soo Locks shortly before 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time Wednesday.

Elliott Hughes III, vice president and general manager of Great Lakes Fleet Inc., told the newspaper that the slow start had much to do with heavy ice on Lake Superior.

Rather than send ships individually out into the ice-filled lake, Great Lakes Fleet chose to send its first vessels out in a four-ship convoy.

"That way, if one vessel gets stuck in the ice, the others can go around and break ice for it," Hughes said. "They can kind of leap-frog."

With U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker the Mackinaw leading the way, the Blough, Edgar B. Speer and Edwin H. Gott left Sunday for Two Harbors, where they loaded taconite pellets. The Presque Isle joined those three Monday, and the four set sail for the Soo Locks together.

"We didn't encounter any delays because of the ice, but because we had determined all four boats should be loaded and then move in a convoy, we got off to a slower start than usual," Hughes said.

Had the Speer set out alone for the Soo Locks immediately after loading in Two Harbors, Hughes said it probably would have been knocking at the Soo Locks' entrance when they opened early Tuesday. He said it typically takes about 25 hours for a ship to sail from Two Harbors to the Soo.

However, ice conditions are only part of the reason for delayed activity on the Great Lakes this year, said Michael Siragusa, vice president and general manager of Oglebay Norton Marine Services Co.

"The ice conditions are the worst we've seen since the late '70s, but there's also the issue of demand. Inventories are still fairly high for most steel companies," Siragusa said. "With demand being a little soft and the risk of ice causing damage to our ships, we decided to delay sailing for a week to 10 days."

In 1996, when ice last posed a significant threat on the Great Lakes, Siragusa said Oglebay Norton's fleet sustained damage "well into seven figures."

Reported by: Dan Post


Burns harbor departs lay up

03/28
Captain Dave Lindmark eased the Burns Harbor away from the Stewart J. Cort at 2 p.m. Thursday afternoon. In a short time they had cleared the Milwaukee breakwall and were heading north. Second Mate Jack Vasbinder took the occasion to fly the flags of his favorite teams, the Cleveland Indians and Browns. His only regret was not having his Ohio State flag on the boat.

Burns Harbor and Stewart J. Cort at their winter berth.
Burns Harbor pulls away.
Out bound.
Steward Ben Koos takes one more look at Milwaukee as the Burns Harbor departs.
Heading for Lake Michigan.
Flags flying.
Outbound past the inner pier lighthouse.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde


Saginaw Loads

03/28
The Saginaw was loading her first cargo of the season in Detroit on Thursday. The cargo was coke destine for Sault Ste Marie. From the Soo the Saginaw is expected to head upbound on Lake Superior.

Pictures by Mike Nicholls
Saginaw loading at the old Rouge River Dock.
Another view.
Diamond Belle, Queen and Jack at the Gaelic Tugboat Co.

Reported by: Mike Nicholls and Ken Borg


Alpena Stuck in Ice

03/28
Thursday night the cement carrier Alpena was stuck in the ice about two miles south of Lansing Shoal. She reported the ice field is very thick and the vessel will wait for Coast Guard icebreaker assistance. Depending on ice conditions, the Alpena could reach her name sake port on Saturday.

Reported by: Dan McNeil


Object in River a Remnant of Christmas

03/28
Thursday morning the Coast Guard in Detroit received reports of a large object floating in the Detroit River in the vicinity of the Ambassador Bridge. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bramble proceeded upriver to investigate the object, but turned back when it was determined that the object was a Christmas tree.

Reported by: Angie Williams


Marquette Update

03/28
With the opening of the Soo Locks, Marquette is awaiting the first vessel of the season. The Mackinaw was scheduled to arrive last week but cancelled their visit into Marquette due to escort duties in Duluth.

Mild temperatures and light winds have reduced the ice in and around Marquette's harbors to a much more manageable level which should permit vessels to enter without assistance.

The first vessel expected to arrive is the Joseph H. Thompson. Her arrival may be delayed due to heavy weather forecast for Thursday night. The first shipment of coal into Marquette should arrive April 3 or 4 when the Kaye Barker arrives from Duluth on her first voyage of the season.

Reported by: Art Pickering


Sarnia Fitout

03/28
The Agawa Canyon remains at the Sydney E. Smith Dock with another vessel rafted to it. There was a good deal of activity on seen on the Halifax. On the stern and the lights where shining brightly on the bridge deck.

The Algolake was showing no signs of leaving soon. She is riding high and no internal cabin lights where visible. There was only one truck alongside.

At the Government Dock, the Maumee, Calumet and Mississagi all had little or no action around them.

Reported by: Jamie Kerwin


Toledo News

03/28
The Buffalo remains in drydock at the Shipyard. The first coal boat of the season for the CSX Docks will be the Halifax expected Saturday morning. The first ore boat of the season for the Torco Ore Docks will be the Nanticoke, tentatively scheduled to arrive the morning of April 3.

The next scheduled coal boats due in at the CSX Docks will be the Canadian Transport on Sunday, followed by return trips April 2 and April 4. The H. Lee White is expected on April 7 and April 8, followed by the Arthur M. Anderson on April 9.

Several vessels from the American Steamship Fleet, and the Oglebay Norton Fleet are fitting out and will be out sailing over the next few weeks.

The Maumee River and Bay areas are ice free at this time.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman


Toronto Update

03/28
Thursday work crews were busy aboard the Spruceglen getting her ready for sailing. This will be the first season the Spruceglen sails for Canada Steamship Lines.

The schooner Kajama shifted from winter quarters to its summer berth Thursday. McKeil's tug Glenevis departed the harbor a few days ago and has not returned. This leaves only the tug Atomic to hold down the harbor. The firetug Wm. Lyon Mackenzie has been trying to break a channel through the ice in the Turning Basin to the drydock, but so far the ice has thwarted the efforts.

Reported by: Gerry O.


Hamilton Update

03/28
The tug Sea Eagle II and barge St. Mary's Cement II pulled out of Pier 12 Thursday morning breaking through a thin coat of ice that still covers Hamilton Harbor. It transited the Burlington Ship Canal and headed out into Lake Ontario in the direction of Toronto.

Reported by: Patricia Burgon


Montreal Departures

03/28
Port of Montreal is reporting new departure dates from lay-up for several vessels.

CSL Laurentien: March 31
CSL Niagara: March 31
Birchglen: March 31
Ferbec: April 12.

Also expected to return to the Quebec City area is Chanda. The vessel will be back for the first time since the mid-nineties, when she and her fleet mates Nandu and Star Ohio were replaced on the Ultramar shuttle by Ceres' Suezmax-ice strengthen vessels.

Reported by: J.F. Boutin


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






Blough Opens the Soo

03/27
The Roger Blough was the first commercial vessel to pass through the Soo Locks shortly before 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. The second transit was by the thousand footer Edwin H. Gott following an hour behind.

The Blough was lead downbound by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw who entered the Poe Lock about 12:15 p.m. The Mackinaw made a brief stop at the Coast Guard Base before returning downbound to escort the Blough from Nine Mile down past Mud Lake.

Last night the Mackinaw stopped for the night in the ice at Mud Lake Junction Buoy. The Roger Blough, Edwin H. Gott, Edgar B. Speer and Presque Isle will continue on through the ice as a team and try for Detour. Blough and Gott should be near Detour around mid night. The Presque Isle got a later start and departed the Locks at 9:55 p.m.

The convoy is expected to close up the distance between them for the trip through the ice in the straights, although they were not expecting a difficult trip across the straights. Thursday at 8 a.m. the Yankcanuck is expected to be departing the Purvis Dock downbound for Detroit with steel coils.

The first upbound traffic is expected to arrive today with the arrival of the Joseph H. Thompson. Other tentative traffic expected to arrive over the next few days includes the Frontenac and Burns Harbor upbound on Friday.

The first rush of new traffic is expected on April 2. That day the Columbia Star, Mesabi Miner, Paul R. Tregurtha, Algowood, Oglebay Norton, Lee A. Tregurtha and the Spruceglen are all expected upbound. These schedules could change dramatically depending on weather conditions

Pictures by Scott Best
Mackinaw downbound approaching the locks.
Roger Blough arrives off West Pier.
Roger Blough passing downbound.
Close up bow in ice.
Stern view heading for the Poe Lock.
Edwin H. Gott locking through.
Edgar B. Speer at West Pier.
Another view.
Stern view under International Bridge.

Pictures by Ben & Chanda McClain
Roger Blough.
Gott with Ojibway along side.
Click here to view the Soo Locks web cam.

Reported by: Scott Best, Andy Severson, Linda Stoetzer, Eric LaRoue and Lee Rowe


Welland Canal Opens, to Limited Traffic

03/27
The Canadian Enterprise was downbound in the Welland Canal Wednesday, beginning the navigation season as the first downbound vessel.

On Wednesday the St. Lawrence Seaway announced that some ships have been given special permission to transit before the official opening. Navigation will be allowed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. until the canal opens on March 31. The opening was based on a variety of reasons, including customer demands for cargoes and favorable weather.

Michel Drolet, Vice-President Niagara Region of The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, explained the limited hours by saying "We are not fully staffed at the present time, but we will accommodate the demand for ship movement during the next few days".

Great Lakes ice conditions have created uncertainties for the marine industry and the first official opening date March 25 was postponed to March 31. Until recently some reaches in the canal were covered by solid ice a foot thick.

The Enterprise was heading to the Lakeview Power Station to deliver a cargo of much needed coal. She will travel upbound on Friday, heading back to Ashtabula or Conneaut for another cargo of coal.

A total of nine vessels are expected to pass through the canal over the three day period covering Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

On March 31 the Welland Canal will officially open for the season with the Top Hat Ceremony at Lock 3 scheduled to begin 10 a.m. The first vessel to officially open the canal will be an Algoma Central Marine ship, likely the Algocape.

Also on March 31, a larger ceremony will be held at the St. Lambert Lock welcoming the first ship of the year to transit the Seaway. The first ship is expected to be the Chios Pride.

This is the start of a new tradition where the opening of the Seaway Ceremony will alternate each year between St. Lambert and the Welland Canal. Both locations will hold ceremonies, however one location will host a brief, informal ceremony.

The icebreaker Pierre Radisson is expected to transit the canal upbound during the weekend to help break ice on Lake Erie and assist with traffic on the coal shuttle.

Pictures by Alex Howard
Canadian Enterprise downbound below Lock 4.
Close up.
Passing.
Stern view.
In Lock 3.
Another view.
Eye level with the pilothouse.
Departing Lock 3.
Stern view.

Reported by: Jeff Thoreson, Alex Howard and Jimmy Sprunt


Frontenac Departs Goderich

03/27
The CSL self unloader Frontenac was moved from her winter layup berth on the North Wall of Goderich harbor Tuesday by the MacDonald Marine tugs Ian Mac and Dover in heavy ice conditions. She was shifted over to the Sifto Salt dock where she was loaded for a scheduled trip to Duluth. The Frontenac was expected to sail for the Twin Ports late Wednesday evening or early Thursday morning. Although the ice in the area is beginning to break up with the milder weather, Lake Huron appears to be mostly ice covered in the Goderich area.

The next traffic expected for Goderich is the Saginaw due in the next few days. The arrival of the Capt. Henry Jackman has been delayed one week due to ice conditions.

Reported by: Dale Baechler, Lisa Stuparyk and Barry Hiscocks


Saginaw First from Sarnia

03/27
The steamer Saginaw departed her winter layup berth at Cargill Elevators in Sarnia shortly after 7 p.m. Wednesday evening downbound for the Rouge River in Detroit to load her first cargo of the new season.

Power was also up on the Halifax which has wintered in the North Slip in Sarnia and smoke and steam were also observed from the Maumee which is berthed at the Government Dock in Sarnia.

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon departed her berth at the Government Dock and headed downriver for Amherstburg, Ont.

Reported by: Barry Hiscocks


Progress Departs

03/27
About 5 p.m. Wednesday the Canadian Progress was crossing Lake Erie under escort of the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley. The Progress is destined for Ashtabula, Oh. to load coal, they expected to arrive Wednesday night.

This is the Progress' first trip of 2003. She joins fleet mates Canadian Transport and Canadian Enterprise on the Lake Erie coal shuttle.

Reported by: Jeff Thoreson


Cuyahoga Tunnel Belt Reinstalled

03/27
On Tuesday the port tunnel conveyer belt was reinstalled on the Cuyahoga. The new belt was reused from the former CSL ship Tarantau. As the Tarantau was 730-feet long and the Cuyahoga is 620-feet there was a substantial amount left over.

The new belt was vulcanized together which is a process of layering the belt on an angled cut and then cooking it at three hundred degrees for about three hours. This was the last step in a large, successful winter project.

New belt installed.
In the tunnel.
Crew poses for a shot.

Reported by: Ted Coombs


Gaelic Tug Dock, Detroit

03/27
Below are images taken Wednesday in at Gaelic's Rouge River dock.

The three Diamond Boats left to right, Diamond Jack, Diamond Queen and Diamond Belle.
Another view.
Tug William Hoey.
Tug Susan Hoey.

Reported by: Mike Nicholls


Caledonia Blaze Causes $500,000 in Damages

03/27
A research vessel undergoing conversion to a passenger sailing ship suffered at least $500,000 in damage following a dockside fire earlier this week.

The 72-meter Caledonia was in Heddle Marine for a $3.5 million conversion when fire broke out in the stern Wednesday afternoon. Firefighters fought the blaze most of the night.

Doug Prothero, president of Canadian Sailing Expeditions, said the fire aboard his company's vessel probably was caused by an electrical problem. He said damage was extensive but much of the vessel emerged undamaged.

"The engine room, which was our biggest concern, is primarily untouched. The forward two thirds of the boat, there was no fire there. We're really talking about one deck, a fairly confined area," he said.

Prothero said the fire will not affect the company's plans to have the boat in service by the summer of 2004. However, it might jeopardize the vessel's participation in the Great Lakes Tall Ships Challenge this summer.

The Caledonia began life as an Icelandic trawler before coming to Canada as a research vessel. It is being fitted out as a three-masted sailing ship capable of carrying 90 passengers.

The summer tour schedule - fares, $1,500 (U.S.) for seven days - will include Newfoundland, Labrador, Cape Breton, P.E.I. and the Bay of Fundy. In winter she will cruise out of St. Lucia in the Caribbean.

The Caledonia was built in 1947 at Beverley, England as Akurey; renamed S/S Akeroy in 1966; renamed Petrel in 1968. Became Canadian as Petrel V in 1976 for Techno Navigation of Sillery, Quebec. Sold in 2000 to Atlantic Towing Ltd. of St. John, N. B. and renamed Cape Harrison. Sold to Canadian Sailing Expeditions last summer and renamed Caledonia.

Caledonia taken on Jan. 29.
Another view.
As the Petrel V taken Nov. 5, 1997 at Quebec City.
Petrel V with Techno St. Laurent (now McKeil's Kristin) rafted to it.

Reported by: Gerry O.


National Steel bidding extended by two weeks

03/27
A federal judge Tuesday extended by two weeks the bidding deadline for the steelmaking assets of bankrupt National Steel Corp.

The ruling means AK Steel has until April 9 to reach a labor agreement that would cover National's hourly workers, and U.S. Steel has until April 10 to make another bid to buy National. Both deadlines previously had been scheduled to occur this week.

AK Steel in January bid $1.125 billion to buy National Steel, topping an earlier U.S. Steel offer of $950 million.

Reported by: Ed Schipper


Twin Ports Report

03/27
The official opening of navigation in the Twin Ports is tentatively set for Sunday, when either Frontenac and Burns Harbors are expected to arrive at Superior Entry to load at the BNSF ore dock. The next arrival after that may be the Algowood, which is currently due Monday to load at Midwest Energy Terminal following the departure of James R. Barker.

A brisk southerly wind earlier this week cleared up the ice question around the Twin Ports for the time being. On Tuesday afternoon the waters off Duluth and Superior were free of ice clear to the horizon. In port, a large area of open water existed Wednesday from Midwest Energy Terminal to the end of the DMIR ore docks. Of course, the ice that blew away early in the week may return at any time with a vengeance if the wind switches to the northeast.

Coast Guard Cutter Sundew broke ice in the Twin Ports again Wednesday before departing for Thunder Bay to help break out that port.

The U.S. Steel mill in Gary will be busy in a couple days when the four largest vessels of Great Lakes Fleet arrive with the first taconite pellets of the season. Edwin H. Gott, Edgar B. Speer, Presque Isle and Roger Blough are all due at Gary on March 28 depending on ice conditions in the St. Marys River and the Straits of Mackinac. Once unloaded, all four will return to Two Harbors.

Reported by: Al Miller


Owen Sound Update

03/27
The carferry Chi-Cheemaun is being repainted and prepped for the coming season. The protective covers are off the lights and antennas. Scraping and painting is in progress.

There was little sign of life Wednesday morning on the Algoway and the Capt. Henry Jackman.

Pictures by David Shearman
Chi-Cheemaun.
Work crew along side.
Painting.
Bridge wing.
Capt. Henry Jackman.
The harbor is clear and the ice is moving out.
Wide view of the harbor.

Five years ago these pilings in front of a long gone cement plant in Owen Sound were completely submerged. Lines left on the pilings show the changing levels of the last few years. The city of Owen Sound is trying to get the federal government to dredge the harbor.Ed Saliwonchyk
Another view. Ed Saliwonchyk

Reported by: David Shearman and Ed Saliwonchyk


Toronto Opener

03/27
As expected, the cement carrier Stephen B. Roman opened navigation at Toronto, arriving at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday with the first cargo of the season.

Reported by: Gerry O.


Know Your Ships set to sail April 7

03/27
Another sure sign of spring is the impending release of the 2003 edition of the popular "Know Your Ships" book.

This year's volume, featuring the historic steamer Kinsman Independent as Vessel of the Year, should be ready for shipping April 7. Besides listing more than 2,000 vessels and their owners, year built, length, capacity, type of engine and former names, the 144-page "Know You Ships" contains more than 50 color photos of vessels in Great Lakes and Seaway service.

In addition, "Know Your Ships" includes 10 pages of colorful stack and flag markings, a section dedicated to the Soo Locks, Welland Canal and St. Lawrence Seaway, Jody Aho's "Marine Milestones," and "Passages," a look at the changes in the shipping scene since last year's book.

"Know Your Ships" is now in its 44th year of publishing.

To order, or view sample pages visit www.knowyourships.com


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




First Soo traffic

03/26 1:50 p.m. Update
The Roger Blough is the first commercial vessel to pass through the Soo Locks about 1:50 p.m. this afternoon. The second transit should be the Edwin H. Gott which was in the area of Big Point at about 1:30 p.m.

The Blough was lead downbound by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw who entered the Poe Lock about 12:15 p.m. The Mackinaw will tie up at Group Soo until 5 p.m. when they will get underway to ecsort the Blough from Nine Mile down past Mud Lake.

If things go as planned the Mackinaw and Blough hope to reach Mud Lake by 8 p.m. tonight.

The Edwin H Gott, Edgar B Speer and Presque Isle are all stopped at various points just above the locks waiting to head for the Poe Lock. The USCG Biscayne Bay is expected to lock through the Mac Lock and also tie up at Group Soo.

10:30 a.m. Update
The Edgar B. Speer, Edwin H. Gott and Roger Blough are heading downbound Wednesday morning for the locks. The first vessels could arrive at the locks around noon or early afternoon. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw is escorting the Roger Blough downbound through the heaviest ice near Gros Cap in the upper river.

Original Report
The Coast Guard said it expects the first vessels of the 2003 Soo Locks shipping season to arrive today.

By regulation, the Locks opened to shipping a minute after midnight March 25. But for the first time in recent memory, no ships were waiting to use the locks. Later in the morning, a Corps of Engineers crane barge used for winter maintenance still occupied the Poe Lock, the first lock to open in spring.

That's expected to change today when the first four vessels -- Edwin H. Gott, Edgar B. Speer, Presque Isle and Roger Blough -- are expected to arrive to lock through downbound.

The Gott and Speer are expected to arrive at Whitefish about 10:30 a.m. They will be followed by the Presque Isle and Blough. The Yankcanuck will take up the rear of the convoy, following downbound from the Soo Harbor.

The first upbound traffic is expected to arrive on Thursday with the arrival of the Joseph H. Thompson. Other tentative traffic expected to arrive over the next few days includes the Frontenac and Burns Harbor upbound on Friday.

The first rush of new traffic is expected on April 2. That day the Columbia Star, Mesabi Miner, Paul R. Tregurtha, Algowood, Oglebay Norton, Lee A. Tregurtha and the Spruceglen are all expected upbound. These schedules could change dramatically depending on weather conditions.

After breaking ice in western Lake Superior, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw is assigned to track maintenance in Whitefish Bay ice as preparations for the first vessels continue.

Mackinaw is one of three U.S. Coast Guard icebreakers resuming work on the ice-covered passages of the bay and the St. Marys River below. The Bay-Class tug Biscayne Bay was underway after 8 a.m. Tuesday to assist with track work on the upper St. Marys and Whitefish.

Through the Coast Guard's tireless efforts, a good track has been created on Whitefish Bay and the St. Marys River. The condition of these tracks now depend on wind conditions.

Below the locks, Biscayne's sister tug Katmai Bay returned to ice-covered stretches of the lower river, where she been working on and off for about two weeks.

Traffic will also pick up as the port of Thunder Bay on Lake Superior is opened. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sundew is expected to depart Duluth Wednesday morning and head to break out Thunder Bay.

Check back for updates

Pictures taken Tuesday by Lee Rowe
Katmai Bay at Mission Point.
Close up.
Biscayne Bay working above the locks, .
Another view.

Blough in the Poe Wednesday afternoon.
Chart of the River.
Click here to view the Soo Locks web cam.

Reported by: Scott Best, Andy Severson, Linda Stoetzer, Eric LaRoue, Rick Essex, Vern Sondak and Lee Rowe


Yankcanuck Loads

03/26
Tuesday afternoon the Purvis vessel Yankcanuck was loading steel coils at the Purvis Dock, the shipment is apparently headed for the Detroit area. This is the trip that was made last month by the tug Reliance and barge PML 9000.

Yankcanuck at the dock.
Close up.
Coils ready for loading.
Moved along side.
Loaded aboard.
Another view.
Wide view of the loading.
Open water where the Yankcanuck was moved from.
Tugs Avenger and Reliance.

Reported by: Scott Best, and Lee Rowe


Canadian Ice Breakers

03/26
The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Pierre Radisson will be carrying out icebreaker operations from the Ontario - Quebec border up into the Great Lakes and return, beginning on March 28. This is one of Canada's largest icebreakers and usually works in the lower St. Lawrence, east coast and Arctic.

The Radisson is expected to arrive at St. Lambert on March 28 and reach the Welland Canal close to April 1. The Radisson may be used as far north as Lake Huron, but will likely stay in eastern Lake Erie.

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Simcoe will be carrying out icebreaker operations throughout the entire main shipping channel of the St. Lawrence Seaway beginning on March 25, from her base in Prescott Ontario. The Simcoe is a light icebreaker and buoy tender.

Warnings were issued that these operations would create unsafe ice conditions.

The familiar Samuel Risley will continue to assist shipping on the lower lakes.

Pictures of the Radisson working the lakes in 1996 by Andy LaBorde
Pierre Radisson speeding through the ice.
Along side.
Another view.
Leading the way.

Reported by: Mike Hines and Ron Walsh


Stephen B. Roman Arrives at Picton

03/26
The cement carrier Stephen B. Roman began her season Tuesday departing the Essroc Cement dock in Toronto before dawn. The Roman was the first laker to arrive at the Essroc Cement Plant at Picton on the Bay of Quinte Tuesday morning. She appeared to have a relatively easy passage, following the track carved by the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Simcoe between Thursday and Saturday.

The Simcoe broke a path through ice up to 28 inches thick in the Adolphus Reach of the Bay of Quinte. The Stephen B. Roman (ex. Fort William) is the most frequent visitor to Picton, and normally the first ship into port each year.

The Roman is also the first large commercial vessel into Toronto each season and it usually garnishes the "Top Hat" in a ceremony for the opening of navigation.

Reported by: Paul Papps and Gerry O.


Enterprise Continues

03/26
Tuesday evening the Canadian Enterprise was underway in Lake Erie with the assistance of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay. The vessel reported that the lake was clear in some spots, but ice covered in others.

Reported by: Jeff Thoreson


Buffalo Returns to Dry Dock

03/26
The Buffalo was placed back into the Toledo Shiprepair drydock on Monday for unknown reasons. Last week she was taken off the drydock and tied up at the riverfront dock of the shipyard in front of both dry docks for several days.

There have been no schedules announced for Toledo's CSX/Torco Docks. It could be as late as April before the coal and ore docks open up for the season.

Reported by: Jim Hoffman


Toronto Update

03/26
Ice in the Turning Basin and Keating Channel broke up Monday and by Tuesday morning the harbor was littered with debris, including hundreds of bright orange and yellow golf balls atop the ice cakes, courtesy of "The Docks" driving range on Polson Quay.

The ferry Ongiara has been running all winter, but it will soon be dry docked and the venerable ferry William Inglis will be put into service. The winter tarps were removed from it Monday and crews have been getting it ship shape for service.

The firetug WM. Lyon Mackenzie has been running all winter and it was out Tuesday, as were a couple of harbor police vessels. The Royal Canadian Yacht Club workboat Elsie D. went into service Tuesday, as did the Toronto Island Marina tender Island Mariner.

McNally Construction Inc. has been working all winter at the water filtration plant on the island. Monday the tug Whitby took a barge into the lagoon at Blockhouse Bay on the island. Tuesday the McNally tug R.C.L. 11 shuttled work crews to Ward's Island.

Wednesday the schooner Empire Sandy, which has been acting as a breakwall across the slip at Pier 4 all winter, will be moved to its summer dock at the foot of Spadina Ave. The Nautical Adventures charter vessel Wayward Princess will also be shifted to its summer berth.

The brigantines Pathfinder and Playfair are expected to remain in Toronto this summer. The Kingston, Ont. group which operates the brigantine St. Lawrence II will manage the Toronto Brigantine operations.

Reported by: Gerry O.


Montreal Fitout

03/26
According to the Port of Montréal, several familiar vessels are fitting out and will be back to the trade in the next days and weeks. Also, five vessels did finish their preparation and are now back on the waters. CSL Niagara, CSL Laurentien, Ferbec, Birchglen and Nanticoke (Sept-îles as port of call on the 28th) were expected to be back to work Tuesday.

John B. Aird will sail on April's fool day
Algocen will sail April 3
Quebecois will sail April 4
Canadian Miner will sail April 7
Algoville will sail April 12
No dates were available for the Desgagnés fleet.

Reported by: J.F. Boutin

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


Soo Locks Open, No Traffic in the River

03/25
The Soo Locks opened for the 2003 season at midnight with no traffic expected to reach the locks until Wednesday.

In a normal season, the opening of the locks will see a number of vessels enroute to the locks or even waiting for the mid night opening. Heavy ice looked like it would delay the start of the shipping season, but warm temperatures and rain in March quickly helped melt the ice into more manageable conditions.

Tuesday morning a convoy of ships is expected to depart Two Harbors, MN and head downbound for the locks. This convoy was delayed and the first ships are not expected to arrive at the Soo until Wednesday morning.

Last night the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw was sailing across Lake Superior for Whitefish Bay. The Mackinaw will prepare a track in the ice leading to the locks and stand by to assist any of the downbound vessels.

Heading for the locks will be: the Edwin H. Gott, Edgar B. Speer Roger Blough and Presque Isle.
Check back for updates

Click here to view the Soo Locks web cam.

Reported by: Roger LeLievre


Seaway Opening

03/25
The arrival of the two Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers in the St. Lawrence Seaway has been posponed until the end of the week. The Coast Guard has tasked the George R. Pearkes and Pierre Radisson for clearing the ice on the St. Lawrence River downstream.

Scheduled to be the first saltie in the Seaway on opening day, Monday of next week will be the Liberian-flag, German owned Regina Oldendorff. This vessel has been a regular caller in the Seaway/Great Lakes since 1986 when she completed her first trip a few months after her delivery from a Chinese shipyard. Last year, she made three trips in the Lakes. The ship is expected at the Pointe aux Trembles anchorage in Montreal Monday afternoon. Over the weekend, she will move upriver and tie up at the lower wall of the St. Lambert Lock to wait for the official opening.

The first of the several vessels wintering in Montreal to go back to service was the Cecilia Desgagnés. She started the new season a few weeks ago, departing for Baie Comeau. Since that time the ship has returned to lay-up at Quebec City.

Reported by: René Beauchamp


Warmer Temperatures Improves Conditions

03/25
Ice conditions in Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie have improved considerably over the weekend. Lake St. Clair was essentially ice free Sunday evening and Lake Erie had increasingly open expanses of water and Nanticoke is ice free.

Algonova turning off the Imperial Oil Dock in Sarnia and proceeding to Nanticoke.
The next morning greets the Algonova with a perfect spring day on Lake Erie.
Rafted ice.
And more ice.
Bow easily slicing through the ice.
Some serious ice.
Leaving a good track astern.
Pushing hard through the ice.
Looking aft.
Clean and well maintained deck.
Another view.
Thinning ice.
Stack logo.
Monkey's Island view.
Entering the ice free Nanticoke Harbour Channel. Spring has arrived.
Canadian Enterprise discharging coal in Nanticoke.

Reported by: Capt. Alain Gindroz


Coast Guard's newest cutter visits Chicago Ship heading for Alaska

03/25
The Coast Guard's newest ship will be arriving at Chicago's Navy Pier at 1 p.m., on Tuesday, March 25.

Coast Guard Cutter Hickory, a 225-foot buoy tender, is the newest addition to the Coast Guard's fleet and will be in Chicago while the crew conducts training.

Hickory has a crew of 40 and is replacing one of the Coast Guard's 40's era, 180-foot buoy tenders. The cutter will be stationed in Homer, Alaska, where it will maintain buoys and other aids to navigation. The trip to Alaska is expected to take more than 45 days.

Hickory will not be open for public tours during its stay in Chicago due to the current level of national security.

Reported by: Paul Roszkowski


Coal Shuttle Picks Up

03/25
Monday morning the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay and Canadian Transport were off Erie, PA heading to Ashtabula. The Canadian Enterprise was unloading in Nanticoke.

The Algowood, on its first trip of the season, departed Ashtabula at 1:30 p.m. destined for Nanticoke. About 6 p.m. the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley was off Long Point, escorting the Algowood to Nanticoke. The Algowood was expected to wait in the Long Point Bay Anchorage for the Enterprise to clear.

Reported by: Jeff Thoreson


Twin Ports Report

03/25
The Presque Isle left its winter berth Monday and proceeded to Two Harbors to complete the partial load of taconite pellets that it began last January before layup. The vessel is expected to join the Edgar B. Speer, Edwin H. Gott and Roger Blough in a convoy down the lake.

Brisk southerly winds pushed ice off the Minnesota shore Monday, creating a large area of open water off Duluth and Superior. Inside the harbor open water continued to spread, with the James R. Barker now almost entirely free of ice at its Midwest Energy Terminal berth.

The season for Midwest Energy Terminal is scheduled to start March 31 with the James R. Barker loading coal for Detroit Edison. It's due to be followed that day by Algowood, which will load for Nanticoke.

Again this season, Interlake Steamship Company and the combination of American Steamship/Oglebay Norton seem to be in line to carry the bulk of the cargoes out of Midwest Energy. The dock schedule shows the Walter J. McCarthy Jr., Indiana Harbor, Columbia Star and Oglebay Norton scheduled to load a total of 14 cargoes in April while Interlake is scheduled to carry 12. Paul R. Tregurtha, James R. Barker and Mesabi Miner are all scheduled to carry three or four coal cargoes in April.

The McCarthy, which is laid up in Duluth, is scheduled to load its first cargo at the coal dock on April 4. Kaye E. Barker, laid up in Fraser Shipyards, is scheduled to load coal April 2 destined for Marquette.

Reported by: Al Miller


Lakes Shipping Down 1.4 Percent in 2002

03/25
Dry-bulk cargo movement on the Great Lakes totaled 162.3 million net tons in 2002, a decrease of 1.4 percent compared to 2001 and a drop of 6 percent compared to the 5-year average.

Iron ore shipments totaled 58.9 million net tons in 2002, an increase of 5.8 percent compared to 2001, but a decrease of 9.2 percent compared to the 5-year average. North American raw steel production totaled an estimated 101.7 million tons in 2002, an increase of 2.4 percent compared to 2001, but the amount of steel made in Basic Oxygen Furnaces that turn pellets into hot metal fell 4 percent to an estimated 50.1 million net tons.

The Lakes iron ore trade was essentially non-stop in 2002. Shipments ceased from Lake Superior ports when the Soo Locks closed on January 15, but Escanaba continued to ship throughout February, albeit at a much slower pace, as the iron ore was being railed down from the Minorca Mine in Minnesota. The Mesabi Range ore was then loaded into the tug/barge unit JOYCE VANENKEVORT/GREAT LAKES TRADER.

The March 25 opening of the Soo Locks allowed the Lake Superior iron ore trade to resume in earnest, but for the first time in 45 years, Taconite Harbor remained silent. The iron ore mine that shipped through “Tac Harbor” ceased operations in January 2001 and the dock has not loaded a cargo since August of 2001.

The March, April and May totals from U.S. ports represented significant declines from the year before and reflected the continued idling of mills operated by the now bankrupt and liquidating LTV Steel. Those mills were purchased by investors who then founded the International Steel Group (ISG). Steel production resumed in Cleveland in late May and Indiana Harbor in July.

Monthly iron ore shipments from U.S. and Canadian ports peaked at 7 million net tons (6.2 million gross tons) in August and remained ahead of 2001’s pace through the end of the year.

Coal shipments totaled 41.9 million net tons in 2002, a decrease of 5.5 percent compared to 2001, but essentially on track with the 5-year average. The decrease was almost entirely the result of reduced demand for eastern coal shipped from Lake Erie ports. Loadings at Toledo, Sandusky, Ashtabula and Conneaut slipped below 20 million tons, a decrease of 15.5 percent compared to 2001 and 10.9 percent below the 5-year average. High inventories at Canadian power plants lessened demand for Lake Erie coal.

On the other hand, Superior Midwest Energy Terminal (SMET) had another banner year. Its shipments of low sulfur coal topped 18 million tons. While this tally represents an increase over 2001 and the 5-year average, its real significance is that the dock has now set a new record for annual shipments 9 years in a row.

SMET also set a new record for the most coal to be shipped by a single dock in one month when it loaded 2,548,173 net tons in July. The previous record dated back 46 years to October 1946 when the Chesapeake & Ohio dock in Toledo handled 2,468,619 net tons of coal.

Coal loadings at South Chicago decreased by four or five boatloads compared to 2001, but topped the dock’s 5-year average by the equivalent of one cargo.

The Lakes limestone trade totaled 36.2 million net tons in 2002, a decrease of 1.6 percent compared to 2001 and a drop of 3.3 percent compared to the 5-year average. The trade might have finished about even with 2001, but vessels in the stone trade experienced significant weather delays in November.

Two factors largely determine demand for limestone – steel production sets the level of fluxstone shipments and construction activity drives demand for aggregate. Steel’s problems have been well documented. Basin-wide, the construction industry was sluggish; some major markets saw a significant slowing in new construction projects.

Salt shipments totaled 7.2 million net tons in 2002, a decrease of 6 percent compared to 2001but essentially on par with the 5-year average. Some decrease was expected given the mild winter of 2001/2002, but a strike at the salt mine in Cleveland also impacted the trade.

The Lakes cement trade totaled 5.3 million net tons in 2002, a slight decrease from 2001 and the 5-year average. Demand for cement is obviously based on the level of construction in the Great Lakes basin and as explained in the Limestone Section, 2002 saw a general sluggishness and marked declines in some major markets.

The Lakes potash trade remained stagnant in 2002. Shipments from Thunder Bay, Ontario (the sole potash loading port on the Lakes) totaled 587,296 net tons, an increase of one boatload compared to 2001. The trade has switched largely to rail (it used to consistently top 1.5 million tons) in part because potash is used in fertilizers and farmers need to be resupplied before the March 25 opening of the Soo Locks.

Grain shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 12.1 million net tons in 2002, a decrease of 13.7 percent from 2001 and 16.7 percent below the 5-year average. Most importantly, the 2002 total is the lowest recorded since 1957, i.e., before the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway allowed for direct overseas exports. The Lakes’ grain trade has declined markedly since the economic unraveling of the Soviet Union, a primary customer. Other factors influencing the decline are an abundance of grain worldwide and drought-impacted harvests in the U.S. and Canada.

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association


Milestones coming up in battle for National Steel

03/25
AK Steel has been considered the front-runner in the race to acquire bankrupt National Steel Corp., but whether AK Steel or rival U.S. Steel emerges as the winner will become clearer this week and next month.

This Wednesday is AK Steel's deadline for reaching a labor agreement with the United Steelworkers of America. Without a labor agreement in place, AK Steel's $1.125 billion deal with National could come apart.

Even if AK Steel reaches an agreement with the union, it faces another obstacle: an auction hearing set for April 1 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Chicago. At that time, U.S. Steel or another competitor could make a last-minute play for the company.

"A lot could happen before March 26, and a lot could happen between March 26 and the auction," said steel industry analyst Michael Locker.

In seeking to acquire National cost savings are high on both steelmakers' lists.

U.S. Steel estimates that within two years it would save about $170 million annually because of greater product, mill and purchasing efficiencies as well as improved logistics and lower personnel costs.

AK Steel has said it believes purchasing National Steel has the potential to save it more than $250 million annually.

U.S. Steel, for instance, sees the proximity of many of its plants to National Steel's operations as a definite benefit.

Currently, the company's Double Eagle Steel Coating Co. near Detroit and Pro-Tec Coating Co., located near Toledo are supplied by the company's Gary Works and Mon Valley Works near Pittsburgh. National Steel's Great Lakes flat-rolled operations in Ecorse and River Rouge could supply the two instead. "Great Lakes is right next door," U.S. Steel spokesman Mike Dixon said. "There would be tremendous transportation efficiencies there."

U.S. Steel actually envisions the creation of "regional centers," Dixon said. For example, National Steel's Portage, Ind., plant would complement U.S. Steel's Gary Works.

"These changes would allow us to really focus on production efficiency in our plants, leading to better yields, more optimization of operations," Dixon said. "We think combined we would be stronger players and provide better products and services to our customers."

For AK Steel, geography isn't a major consideration as it pursues National Steel, company spokesman Alan McCoy said.

Instead, the company, which in the last decade has turned its focus to producing steel for higher-end markets like the automotive and appliance industries, sees acquiring National Steel as a vehicle for diversifying its product offerings.

Reported by: Greg Stang


Lake Erie Icebreaking

03/25
Below are images taken from the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley over the past ten days.

Canadian Enterprise in Lake Erie.
A view of Port Colborne.
Canadian Progress in Port Colborne.
CSL Tadoussac.
Fixing the anemometer on the masthead of CCGS Samuel Risley.
Rt Hon Paul Martin laid-up in Port Colborne.
A view of the lay-up fleet in Sarnia.
Stormont moving the truck ferry from Detroit to Windsor.
Cedarglen in lay-up.
Roger Stahl waiting for escort to Ashtabula.
Roger Stahl underway to Ashtabula.
Off Ashtabula.
Roger Stahl.
Canadian Enterprise in Lake Erie.
Algoma ships in Sarnia.
Maumee and Calumet in Sarnia.
Saginaw and Mississagi in Sarnia.

Reported by: Paul Beesley

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


First Traffic Departs Twin Ports

03/24
With the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw leading the way, the Edgar B. Speer on Sunday became the first vessel to depart the Twin Ports.

The Speer backed away from its winter berth at the Duluth port terminal about 9 a.m., slowly pivoted in the turning basin and then motored through broken ice and out the Duluth ship canal bound for Two Harbors. The Edwin H. Gott departed about 1 p.m. also bound for Two Harbors.

The Presque Isle and Roger Blough were both expected to leave Duluth Sunday night or today to load at the Two Harbors ore dock.

The day began the Mackinaw getting under way. The icebreaker slowly cut lazy circles off the port terminal until departing about 30 minutes ahead of the Speer. A pair of tugs from Great Lakes towing also got under way to break ice.

The Speer encountered broken ice in the harbor and then a large area of open water near the ship canal. Outside the harbor, the Mackinaw waited for the Speer about two miles out. Once the Speer cleared the canal, both vessels proceeded at a good pace to Two Harbors.

Although ice was widespread off Duluth, the two ships broken into a large area of open water off Knife River. Then the Mackinaw forged ahead, entering Two Harbors about an hour ahead of the Speer.

The Mackinaw had been in Two Harbors on Thursday, and by Sunday the harbor was partly open. The icebreaker slowly cut a larger circle, then backed down between the ore docks, and then cut off another large sheet of ice on its way out of port. From there it proceeded back to Duluth while the Speer slowly motored into port and docked beneath the DMIR shiploader to begin the port's 2003 season.

Although the departures of the Speer and the Gott were the first vessel movements of the season in the Twin Ports, the Duluth-Superior shipping season won't officially begin until the first vessel arrives from below the Soo. This is a tradition that dates to the earliest days of the port when no major vessels spent the winter here.

Pictures by Al Miller
Tugs from Great Lakes Towing were hired to help break ice Sunday as two vessels from Great Lakes Fleet left winter layup and two more prepared to depart.
Another view of the tugs.
Edgar B. Speer backs away from its winter berth, the first vessel of the Twin Ports winter fleet to get under way for the 2003 season.
Edgar B. Speer turns into the Duluth ship canal.
Edgar B. Speer departing Duluth.
Mackinaw maneuvers slowly and carefully as it breaks ice in the tight confines of Two Harbors.
Another view of the Mackinaw in Two Harbors.
Edgar B. Speer arrives in Two Harbors to open the port's 2003 season.
Another view of the Speer arriving.
The Speer begins turning into the shiploader berth.
The Speer kicks up ice as it motors slowly into the shiploader berth at the DMIR ore dock in Two Harbors.

Pictures by Glenn Blaszkiewicz
Edwin H. Gott heading for Lake Superior.
Through the ship canal.
Stern view.
Mackinaw breaking ice at Two Harbors.
Another view.
Arriving Two Harbors.
Stern view.
Heading to the dock.
Another view.
Wheel house from the Cleveland Cliffs boat Frontenac as it now sits in front of the Two Harbors light house.
Another view.

Reported by: Al Miller and Glenn Blaszkiewicz


Locks Prepared for Opening

03/24
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay docked at West Pier Sunday evening after arriving upbound Sunday afternoon. The cutter broke ice in the west approaches to the locks. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw is expected back in the upper river sometime Tuesday or Wednesday along with a convoy of Great Lakes Fleet vessels, including the Edgar B Speer, Edwin H Gott, Roger Blough and Presque Isle.

Biscayne Bay docked at West Pier.

Reported by: Scott Best


Cement boats on the Move

03/24
The tug Jacklyn M. and barge Integrity is headed for Milwaukee after being loaded with cement by the Alpena. Loading pipes on the barge were hooked up to the Alpena for easy transfer of cargo as the barge and Alpena were rafted together in Lake Michigan near Lansing Shoal. The Integrity does not have a hull suitable for going through heavy ice in the Straits of Mackinac so this is expected to repeated later this week. The Alpena came back to its namesake port late Sunday night to load another cargo of cement.

The J.A.W Iglehart is expected to leave lay-up in Detroit on Monday. It may unload the rest of its winter cargo of cement in Cleveland before coming back up to Alpena.

Reported by: Ben & Chanda McClain


Algowood Departs

03/24
The third Canadian flagged vessel to fit out for the Lake Erie coal run left Port Colborne on Sunday under the escort of the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley. Sunday night they were upbound at Long Point escorting the Algowood to Ashtabula to load coal. The pair expected to reach Ashtabula about 1 a.m. Monday morning.

Reported by: Jeff Thorson


First Ship In the Rouge River

03/24
The tanker Saturn entered the Rouge River Saturday evening and tied up to the Gaelic Barge Marysville at the Warner Petroleum Dock in the Rouge River. Saturn is the first ship of the year the transit the Rouge River. She cleared the Rouge Sunday morning bound for Toledo.

Saturn tied to the Marysville.
Another view.
Diamond Queen and Diamond Belle at the Gaelic Dock.
Gaelic Tugs at the dock. Left to right William Hoey, Susan Hoey, Patricia Hoey, Carolyn Hoey and Shannon. The tug Roger Stahl is in Ashtabula.
Saturn backing out of the Rouge at the Jefferson Street Bridge.

Reported by: Mike Nicholls


First traffic expected in Menominee/Marinette

03/24
The Chios Pride is expected to be the first arrival in the ports of Menominee and Marinette around April 5 depending on ice and weather conditions. The Chios Pride is carrying a cargo of pig iron ingots from Brazil that will be used at local foundries. Last season the Chios Pride was one of the first salties onto the Great Lakes. Two tugs from Selvick Marine Towing are expected in port in the next week or two to shift the Donner from its winter berth at K&K in Menominee to Marinette Fuel and Dock where it will be used all season to unload salties. Last year the Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted were the first arrival in port on April 2. Also expected in April is the Vancouverborg with wood pulp for K&K Warehouse, and a Desgagnes vessel with pig iron middle or end of the month.

Chios Pride unloading in Marinette in September 2001 .
Vancouverborg departing Menominee in April 2002.

Reported by: Scott Best


Low water levels will again raise costs for fleets

03/24
With Lake Michigan nearing the record low-water levels of the 1960s, shippers and fleet owners are again preparing to deal with reductions in cargo tonnage and vessel drafts.

Nick Faul, an Fednav agent at the Port of Indiana, said the Montreal-based shipping company will restrict the loads of ships coming into the port. Normal draft is 26.3 feet but this season ships will be limited to a draft of 25 feet at the harbor until the lake goes up.

“Every inch we lose is 100 tons of cargo less that we can take,” Faul said. “You get paid for how much you take and if you take off less you get paid less.”

Cynthia Sellinger, a hydrologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, watches and predicts Lake Michigan’s water levels. She said Lake Michigan is 23 inches below average for this time of the year, the most of any of the Great Lakes. Over the next six months the lake will remain about 20 to 22 inches below normal.

“The good news is, because the last two major snowstorms came from outside the (Lake Michigan) basin, we might have a good spring runoff,” Sellinger said. “In the past few years, we haven’t had much spring runoff.”

Glen Nekvasil, a spokesman for the Lake Carriers Association, said a one-inch drop in lake levels means a loss of 70 to 270 tons of cargo. In the past couple of years, Nekvasil said mild winters allowed shippers to get started early and offset the lighter loads. This winter has been harsh, however, and ships are already being delayed.

Faul said the Port of Indiana is deeper than most ports on Lake Michigan, which might mean more ships dropping off their loads here than the shallower Chicago harbor. The last couple years, Chicago had a 24.5 foot limit and that might drop more this shipping season.

Reported by: Mark Kowal


Two groups ponder new U.S.-Canada bridge for Detroit

03/24
Two rival groups are pondering a former industrial site near Detroit's Zug Island as the possible location for a new bridge linking the United States and Canada, the Detroit Free Press reported.

One group looking at the 80-acre Detroit Coke site is the Detroit International Bridge Co., a private company that owns and operates the Ambassador Bridge. The second group, known as the MichCan International Bridge Co., is a consortium of U.S. and Canadian investors.

Detroit International Bridge Co. representatives purchased 20 acres of land directly across from the Detroit Coke site on the Windsor side of the Detroit River a year ago. John Van De Hogen, a Canadian businessman who sold the land, told the Free Press that negotiators hinted they wanted the land to build a bridge across the river.

Meanwhile, Ross Clarke, a Windsor businessman who is managing director of MichCan, calls the Detroit Coke parcel "our preferred location."

The site, formerly the location of the Detroit Coke Corp. factory, is located just east of Zug Island. It is vacant today but for a dock operated by the Detroit-Windsor Truck Ferry Inc., which carries materials too hazardous to move by truck across the Ambassador Bridge.

Dan Stamper, president of Detroit International Bridge Co., denied Friday any immediate interest in the site. He insisted that no new border crossings will be needed until 2010 at least. The problem of truck congestion on the Ambassador Bridge, he said, is caused by too few U.S. Customs agents on the U.S. side, not by a lack of capacity on the bridge itself.

Currently, Stamper said, less than 58 percent of the physical capacity of the Ambassador Bridge is being used. There is less usage today than during the booming 1990s because the weak economy has reduced the number of trucks trying to cross. But security concerns have slowed down customs checks.

MichCan's Clarke estimated a new bridge would cost about $600 million (U.S. currency), and Stamper agreed it would cost in that range. Construction would last three years, although planning and obtaining permits could take as much again.

The Detroit Coke land is not the only site being looked at. Stamper said a twin span right next to the Ambassador Bridge makes more sense in some ways. Both bridges would be able to use common customs facilities, instead of having to build a new set near the Detroit Coke site.

Reported by:


Sarnia Lay-up

03/24
Below are images taken last weekend of Sarnia's lay-up Fleet

Algolake in the North Slip.
Stern view from the dock.
On the main deck.
Halifax docked behind the Algolake.
Agawa Canyon at the Sidney E. Smith Dock.
Calumet and Maumee at the Government Dock.
View on deck.
Panoramic of Saginaw and Mississagi at Cargill.

Click here for many more pictures of Sarnia's lay-up fleet including onboard shots.

Reported by: Neil Schultheiss


Victoria Harbour Report

03/24
Victoria Harbour at Hong Kong that is. There is just about any type of vessel that interests you at Hong Kong. There is so little space for container and freight docks that a fleet of about 200 lighters and tugs are always busy moving freight between the anchorage and the piers. About thirty ships were at anchor during the past few days including tankers, panamax container ships, general cargo ships and a few cruise ships. Most cruise ships landed at the piers at Kawloon, the port across Victoria Harbour from Hong Kong (but still a part of Hong Kong). Here are some photos taken a few days ago.

Albatros, former Cunard liner Sylvania, built in 1956 at the Kawloon piers.
Wasa Queen astern of Albatros.
Stern View of Albatros, Star Ferry pier and the old Railway Station clock tower.
Passenger Junk in the harbor.
Passenger vessel Fung Fat 23.
Jumbo Floating Restaurant.
Seven Seas Mariner at the Kawloon piers.
Star Picses with the tug Shanghai backing away from the Kawloon piers.
Wooden Junk on Drydock for repairs to grounding damage.
Star Ferry Celestial Star bound for Kawloon.
Star Ferry Solar Star bound for Hong Kong.
Cap Del Cado and five lighters in the anchorage.
Tankers in the tanker anchorage with lighters.
Island ferry Park Island 1.
Tug with two lighters as the tops of the Hong Kong buildings disappear in smog.
Fishing boat returning with its catch, former Royal Caribbean ship (Sun Viking?) in the background at anchor.
Several vessels being lightered.

Reported by: Bill Hoey


News Reporters Wanted

03/24:
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.

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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Weekly Updates

03/24
The weekly updates have been uploaded.
Click here to view




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


Twin Ports Fit Out

03/23
Fit-out work continued Saturday on several boats laid up in the Twin Ports. On Saturday morning, Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw was tied up at the Duluth port terminal waiting to proceed to Two Harbors to break ice and then escort several vessels to the Soo.

Cars, trucks and few cranes remained clustered around several vessels as Cars, trucks and few cranes remained clustered around several vessels as crew membres and shipyard workers prepared the vessels for the season. At the Roger Blough, crewmen were removing the heavy lines that had been used to tie up the ship over the winter. A wheeled crane from Fraser Shipyards was making life easy by hoisting the lines up to the deck for storage.

A wheeled crane stands by the stern of the Roger Blough as workers loosen the heavy winter mooring lines and prepare to hoist them aboard the vessel.
Another view of the Blough's stern.
Blough crewmen loosen the line on deck.
A closeup of the Blough's starboard quarter, showing the unloading boom retracted into the side of the ship.

Reported by: Al Miller


Ice Breakers Prepare to Open Seaway

03/23
The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker George R. Pearkes is expected to begin clearing the ice in the Seaway on Monday. Thursday, she was based at Trois-Rivières. The Pearkes will be followed by Pierre Radisson a few days later. The Radisson is expected to go west of the Welland Canal .

Reported by: René Beauchamp


Lake Erie Coal Shuttle

03/23
Saturday morning the Samuel Risley was off Long Point Light on Lake Erie escorting the Canadian Transport to Ashtabula, Ohio. They expected to arrive there about 9 a.m. the Transport was expected to back in to port to take on a load coal. The harbor was reportedly clear of ice, but if they needed help, Gaelic's big icebreaking tug Roger Stahl was standing by for ship-assist work.

After escorting the Transport to Ashtabula the Risley was expected to turn around and escort the Transport's sister ship, Canadian Enterprise, to Nanticoke.

Reported by: Jeff Thoreson


Alpena Loads Integrity

03/23
An unusual occurrence was seen Saturday as the steamer Alpena and tug Jacklyn M./barge Integrity were rafted together in Lake Michigan near Lansing Shoal. The Alpena with its self unloader, transferred its cargo of cement into the Integrity. The process is slow taking over 16 hours to load the barge. It is unknown why they transferred the cargo this way. The Alpena is expected back in its namesake port on Monday.

Reported by: Ben & Chanda McClain


Milwaukee Fit Out

03/23
Fit out continues on the Burns Harbor and Stewart J. Cort in Milwaukee. The Burns Harbor was ballasted down Saturday so 2 of the 4 main EMD engines could be test run. The unloading system and bow thruster were also tested. The balance of the crew reports back on Tuesday, March 25. Coast Guard inspections will take place mid week. The Burns Harbor is expected to sail late this week, but ice conditions may delay their departure.

The Cort is a week behind the Burns Harbor in their fit out. An outside crew this past week positioned and aligned the rebuilt generator. Saturday the Cort's engine room crew returned a turbocharger to its position above the generator. The Cort is expected to depart late in the first week of April.

Turbocharger moved into place.
Close up.
Another view.
Engineers guide the turbocharger into place.
Gasket is placed on.
Turbo charger in place.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde


Seaway News

03/23
Expected at Port Alfred on the Saguenay River this week is the Cinnamon, the third new ship in the fleet of CanForNav. Her next destination is not known yet but it could be a Great Lakes port. The first two ships sailed on the lakes as the Bluewing and Greenwing. For a fleet list of this company, see http://www.canfornav.com/fleet.cfm

The following vessels, all visitors to Great Lakes ports under at least one name were sold a few months ago to be broken up according to the January and February editions 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.

The SD14 type Alba Sierra (1999) arrived Alang, India 12/11/2002. She transited the Seaway also as Mountain Azalea (1987).
The Varna type Hilmi arrived Gadani Beach, Pakistan 16/9/2002. The vessel was in the Seaway as Haci Hilmi Bey (1997).
Sea Destiny arrived Alang 5/12/2002. In the Seaway as Pyotr Yemtsov (1994) She was also known as Petr Yemtsov.
The Freedom type The Beneficient was beached at Chittagong, Bangladesh 19/12/2002. In the Seaway as Neptune Tourmaline (1980).
The Wismar type Winter Star (1992) was beached at Alang, India 22/12/2002. In the Seaway also as Federal Hudson (II) (1979).
Another Wismar type vessel appropriately named Wismar was sold to be broken up. Wismar was beached at Alang 21/12/2002. In the Seaway as Katerina C (1982) and Pal Marinos (1992).
The demolition of Don Ernesto began in October 1998. The location is not specified. She was in the Seaway/Great Lakes trade from 1960 to 1975 as River Transport. In 1975, while in Montreal, she was sold and renamed Don Ernesto.
Marindus type Heung-A Sta arrived in Alang 14/11/2002. This Marindus vessel was built at Marine Industries in 1979 at Sorel as the Polish-flag Jacek Malczewski.
The Algerian-flagged Babor and Biban, also Marindus type vessels are no longer operating and are believed to have been sold for demolition. Both of them plied the Seaway, the first one making her first trip in 1978 and Biban in 1977. On a subsequent trip in June 1979, Biban went to Duluth. Once there, she suffered a serious engine breakdown and had to be towed all the way to Montreal by tugs owned by three Great Lakes Towing units, South Carolina, Maryland and Superior. Assisting was another tug, the Lenny B. The tow arrived in Montreal on July 29. She remained in Montreal until Dec. 11 when she departed for an overseas shipyard for a complete overhaul of the engine.

Reported by: René Beauchamp


Detroit River Truck Ferry

03/23
The economics of a clogged international border are making good times for a Detroit River ferry company. Detroit-Windsor Truck Ferry Inc. normally carries dangerous cargoes across the river, but the 20 minute crossing now often includes automobile parts and brand new Pacifica SUVs destined for the United States.

The service carries transport rigs across the river on a flat-deck barge pushed by the tug Stormont. The crossing is made just downriver from the Ambassador Bridge, the busiest crossing point between Canada and the United States, where additional security checks, imposed after 9/11 and now increased because of the war in Iraq, frequently delay truck traffic by as much as three hours. The backups are expensive, both for shippers and for truck owners who get paid by the load.

A typical truck crossing costs about $35 (US). A crossing on the ferry costs $100 per truck. Greg Ward, vice-president of Detroit-Windsor Truck Ferry, calculates that after a truck trying to use the Ambassador Bridge is held up for 40 minutes, the prices of both crossing options are equal.

Reported by: Mike Woodward


Hamilton Update

03/23
Little activity has been seen taking place on the vessels laid up in Hamilton Harbor. No activity was seen Saturday afternoon on the Canadian Leader, Montrealais, Canadian Navigator, Jean Parisien, James Norris or the Canadian Prospector.

On the Algosoo, crews were working on the unloading boom, while over at the Dofasco dock, there was activity on the Gordon C. Leitch with trucks and other equipment parked dockside of the vessel.

The Lorena 1 is now moored at Pier 14 across from the Jean Parisien with repairs being undertaken. The vessel had been moored at Pier 9.

In early March the McKee Sons was shifted over from the west side of Pier 11 to the east side to unload its winter storage of soybeans at Canamera. It was then shifted back to the west side of the Pier and is moored in front of Canadian Leader.

Reported by: Patricia Burgon


Man Rescued Near Niagara Falls

03/23
A man who apparently slipped into the Niagara River near Goat Island on Wednesday evening was plucked from the brink of the falls two hours later by helicopter.

The 48-year-old Amherst man was conscious until the last moment when he was strapped to a stretcher and rushed to hospital suffering from severe hypothermia.

Police, fire and rescue crews called it the most dramatic falls rescue in their memory.

"This guy was as close to going over the edge as I've seen in my 29 years here," said Battalion Chief John Jacoby of the Niagara Falls Fire Department.

The man desperately held his footing in the water for almost two hours after slipping off Terrapin Point on Goat Island on the American side of the Horseshoe Falls about 4:30 p.m. He slid down an icy slope into the water and ended up 20 feet from the shore and five feet from the edge of the 170-foot falls.

An Erie County Sheriff's Department helicopter piloted by Capt. Kevin Caffery hovered over the man and made several attempts to lower a rescue ring, but the wind and the currents were against them, officers said.

Officers standing on the edge of Terrapin Point held ropes attached to the rescue ring that was lowered from the helicopter. When it finally dropped within reach of the man, he grabbed it and held on tight, but the current dragged his legs under an outcropping of ice, trapping him. Rescuers on the point pulled him to safety.

Reported by: Chris Keaser


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




Traffic Expected to Depart Monday

03/22
The first traffic from the Twin Ports is scheduled to depart on Monday. A convoy of four USS ships, lead by the Mackinaw, is expected to depart for Two Harbors Monday. The Mackinaw will likely continue on to prepare Whitefish Bay for the opening of the Soo Locks.

Pictures of the Mackinaw on Friday Kent Rengo
At the Duluth Port Terminal.
Another view.

Reported by: Richard Mc Govern and Kent Rengo


Alpena Waits in Fog

03/22
The Alpena spent most of Friday anchored in heavy fog not far from the Lafarge Dock off her name sake port. It was unable to come into port to load until after 7 p.m. when the fog lifted. It tied up safely and was expected to leave before midnight.

Reported by: Ben & Chanda McClain


Canadian Transport Ready to Depart

03/22
Friday the Canadian Transport was preparing to start the new season, ready to depart her lay-up dock in Port Colborne. The Canadian Coast Guard vessel Samuel Risley was assisting the Transport breaking ice. Friday evening the Risley reported very difficult ice conditions at Port Colborne and continued trying to break out the Transport.

The Transport is expected to join fleet mate Canadian Enterprise in the early season coal trade on Lake Erie. Friday night the Enterprise was stuck in ice about 7 miles west of Erie.

Reported by: Jeff Thoreson


Hickory on Green Bay

03/22
The new U.S. Coast Guard cutter Hickory opened Green Bay waters north of Sturgeon Bay on Thursday. She passed through the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal around 11 p.m. during the night heading into Lake Michigan.

Sea trials of the new cutter are expected to take place in early April.

Reported by: Wendell Wilke


Soo breakout continues at deliberate pace

03/22
Icebreaking on the St. Mary's River is proceeding at a deliberate pace this week as the opening of the Soo Locks approaches, according to an article by Jack Storey of the Soo Evening News.

Coast Guard Cutter Katmai Bay was the only vessel active on the river Wednesday. After spending the night at Lime Island, it resumed track maintenance in that sector of the lower river early in the day. The Mackinaw plowed upriver on Sunday and spent a day setting steamer tracks in the ice on Whitefish Bay before heading west to Duluth. .

Ensign Ron Cooper, Group Sault spokesman, said the Mackinaw reported plate ice thickness of 10 to 20 inches with pressure ridges of four to five feet on her crossing of Lake Superior. Cooper said the icebreaker did some backing and ramming in the windrowed ice formations on open stretches of the lake. .

While difficult because of its extent, the ice on the eastern half of the lake presented no unusual problems to the powerful Mackinaw. .

On the St. Marys River, open water extends around the Mission Point turn, complete ice coverage extends down the lower river toward DeTour. The Straits of Mackinac remained fully covered despite recent tanker passages through the connection between Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.

Reported by: Andy Severson


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




First Traffic for the New Season

03/21
With the locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., opening to vessel traffic March 25, the Port of Duluth-Superior’s first shipping activity is scheduled to begin next week. Early-season vessel traffic is expected to face severe ice conditions, with areas measuring over 28 inches thick reported in several locations throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River system.

Lake Superior has the most ice since 1997 and is the closest to freezing over since ice covered the lake in 1994, according to the National Ice Center in Washington, D.C. Ice Center records show that the lake also froze over in 1978 and 1972, but a string of mild winters from 2000 through 2002 kept the lake mostly ice-free. The U.S. Coast Guard Icebreaker Mackinaw was scheduled to arrive Thursday night to assist the Cutter Sundew with establishing tracks in this harbor.

The Mackinaw is scheduled to depart early March 23 for Two Harbors, followed by four Great Lakes Fleet, Inc., vessels that wintered in Port and are traveling to the same destination.

The Edgar B. Speer will depart later that day (March 23), followed by the Roger Blough and Edwin H. Gott. The Presque Isle will depart the next day (March 24). A tentative departure schedule for the remaining 11 vessels wintering in Port is included below.

In Two Harbors the four Fleet vessels are scheduled to consecutively load 45,000 to 47,000 metric tons each of iron ore pellets destined for Gary, Ind. The Presque Isle is already carrying 27,000 metric tons of iron ore loaded at the Duluth Missabe & Iron Range Railway taconite facility prior to her winter berthing.

On March 24 the Mackinaw will lead a convoy of the four vessels to the Soo Locks, then on to Gary.

Last year’s first shipping activity occurred March 21 with Interlake Steamship Company’s Paul R. Tregurtha leaving Superior’s Midwest Energy Resources coal facility with an intra-lake load for Marquette, Mich.

A first arrival ceremony will be held when this Great Lakes navigation season officially begins with the Port’s first inbound ship from the Soo Locks. The first Soo transit arrival last year occurred March 26 with the arrival of Interlake Steamship Company’s Mesabi Miner at Superior’s Midwest Energy Resources Co.

A welcoming ceremony will also be held for the Port’s first 2003 oceangoing vessel arrival. U.S. and Canadian Seaway officials delayed the opening of the Welland Canal and Montreal-Lake Ontario sections of the system from March 25 until March 31 due to the harsh ice conditions.

The April 2 arrival of the Norwegian-flagged Menominee at the Duluth’s CPMT marked last year’s first full Seaway transit and overseas arrival. Oceangoing vessel arrivals for the past five years have been between April 2 and April 8.

 

LOCATION

 

VESSEL

ARRIVAL DATE & ESTIMATED DEPARTURE DATE  

CARRIER

Garfield C Walter J. McCarthy Jr. December 25 / April 1 American Steamship Co.
Garfield D Edwin H. Gott January 16 / March 23 Great Lakes Fleet, Inc.
Berth 1-2 Presque Isle January 16 / March 24 Great Lakes Fleet, Inc.
Berth 4 Roger Blough January 15 / March 23 Great Lakes Fleet, Inc.
Berth 6-7 Edgar B. Speer January 13 / March 23 Great Lakes Fleet, Inc.
       
Midwest Energy James R. Barker January 8/ March 31 Interlake Steamship
       
Hallett 5 Indiana Harbor January 14 / April 2 American Steamship Co.
Hallett 5 American Mariner January 9 / April 10 American Steamship Co.
       
Fraser Shipyards Kaye Barker January 9 /  April 4 Interlake Steamship
Fraser Shipyards Arthur M. Anderson January 15 / April 1 Great Lakes Fleet, Inc.
Fraser Shipyards John G. Munson January 15 / April 2 Great Lakes Fleet, Inc.
Fraser Shipyards Armco January 3 / April 9 Oglebay Norton Co.
Fraser Shipyards Philip R. Clarke January 14 / April 4 Great Lakes Fleet, Inc.
Fraser Shipyards Cason J. Callaway January 14  / April 3 Great Lakes Fleet, Inc.
       
Elevator M George A. Stinson January 14 / April 8 American Steamship Co.

Reported by: Lisa Marciniak, Duluth Seaway Port Authority


Caledonia Fire

03/21
The small freighter Caledonia which caught fire in Hamilton Wednesday night was extinguished. The extent of the damage in unknown but reported to be enough that the vessel will not sail this summer. The 245-foot vessel was undergoing conversion to a tall ship by Canadian Sailing Adventures at Hamilton, Ont.

The Caledonia was built in 1947 at Beverley, England as Akurey; renamed S/S Akeroy in 1966; renamed Petrel in 1968. Became Canadian as Petrel V in 1976 for Techno Navigation of Sillery, Quebec. Sold in 2000 to Atlantic Towing Ltd. of St. John, N. B. and renamed Cape Harrison. Sold to Canadian Sailing Expeditions last summer and renamed Caledonia.

Caledonia taken on Jan. 29.
Another view.
As the Petrel V taken Nov. 5, 1997 at Quebec City.
Petrel V with Techno St. Laurent (now McKeil's Kristin) rafted to it.

Reported by: Gerry O.


Simcoe Breaks Ice

03/21
Thursday morning the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Simcoe reported she would be breaking ice in the North Channel of Lake Ontario. This is the channel between Amherst Island and the mainland which extends into the Bay of Quinte.

She later reported that she was breaking about 20" of ice in the channel. They intend to break the channel right up to Picton if possible.

Reported by: Ron Walsh


Twin Ports Report

03/21
Coast Guard Cutter Sundew spent Thursday morning breaking ice in Duluth harbor as ships around the Twin Ports began coming back to life after winter layup.

The Sundew broke ice in the Duluth Harbor Basin and in the turning basin off the Duluth port terminal. The icebreaker made numerous passes through the area, and ice seemed to be breaking apart easily. This is good news following speculation earlier this month that the winter's heavy accumulation of ice -- reported to be 24 to 30 inches thick -- might hinder the start of the shipping season.

The icebreaker also broke ice around the port terminal and cut a track in Fraser Shipyards. The Edgar B. Speer and Roger Blough are now in open water or loosely broken ice.

A large area of open water exists beneath the Blatnik Bridge extending nearly to the Midwest Energy Terminal, where the James R. Barker is docked. This open water has been expanding steadily over the past several days. Elsewhere in the port, open water exists in the Duluth ship canal and immediately inside the canal's inner end. Much of the ice around the harbor has taken on a dark hue in recent days, and standing water is evident atop the ice in many areas.

The icebreaker Mackinaw arrived in Duluth on Thursday afternoon and began working on harbor ice. The vessel ran a track down the long front channel linking Duluth harbor with Superior harbor. A Coast Guard team sampling ice in the harbor last week determined that ice in the front channel was 30 inches thick in one spot, but the Mackinaw apparently had no trouble handling it.

Some local media reports stated that the Mackinaw will proceed to Two Harbors on Sunday to break out that port, presumably before the Speer and the Gott arrive. The icebreaker may then escort a convoy of vessels down the lake to the Soo.

Signs of life were evident aboard several vessels Thursday. Steam appeared to be up on the Kaye E. Barker in the shipyard. Exhaust could be seen coming from the stacks of the Blough and Speer, and the Edwin H. Gott was seen exercising its boom.

The latest information has the Speer departing for Two Harbors on Sunday morning, followed by the Gott in the afternoon.

Reported by: Al Miller


Ferry Service in Doubt

03/21
The long established ferry service between Wolfe Island, Ont. and Cape Vincent, NY is in doubt for this season. The car ferry MV William Darrell, owned by the Horne family of Wolfe Island, will not run unless a dispute between the owners and the US Customs can be settled.

According to law, a privately operated ferry service must provide the building for the US Customs. They say the one they have now is no longer suitable and want a new facility. Local media reports that it will cost $ 400,000 and the Hornes say this is too expensive for them. If there is no customs service the ferry could not land in the US port.

Reported by: Ron Walsh


Local, company officials seek upgrade for Toledo yard

03/21
Ship construction could resume in Toledo if local officials and Manitowoc Co. succeed in efforts to upgrade the Toledo Shiprepair Co.

The Toledo Blade reports that the Toledo Lucas County Port Authority is trying to assemble $10 million in federal, state, and county funding to put the yard back in the business of building ships.

Marinette Marine, a Manitowoc subsidiary that is the largest shipbuilding and repair operation on the Great Lakes, would spend up to $3 million on equipment for the facility.

Manitowoc and port authority officials will make a pitch Tuesday to Lucas County commissioners for some of the money needed to raise a roof over a fabrication facility and build an addition to it. New cranes, a dry dock cover, and panel and paint lines also are in the plans.

"The only place we really can expand is Toledo," said Dennis McCloskey, president of Marinette Marine, which owns Toledo Shiprepair. "Toledo has the expertise, and we still have people who can rivet."

McCloskey said between 150 and 300 people could be employed at Toledo Shiprepair at a minimum of $18 an hour, depending on the types of contracts the company landed.

Improving the shipyard would enable workers there to build vessels between 50 and 250 feet in length. Manitowoc is bidding on a Coast Guard contract for a rapid-response boat that would be used in the Great Lakes and inland waterways. "If we win that contract, I have to find someplace to build it," McCloskey told the newspaper. "That would be a perfect vessel to put in Toledo."

The port authority has leased Toledo Shiprepair to Manitowoc since 1992. Warren McCrimmon, seaport director for the port authority, said his agency and Manitowoc have put $6.5 million into the facility since the authority took it over in the mid-1980s.

Despite tough economic times, McCrimmon said he is optimistic government funding can be found to upgrade the shipyard. Most of the money is expected to come from the federal government, but it’s hoped that Lucas County will contribute to the project as well, he said.

Harry Barlos, president of the board of county commissioners, said he is not sure how much money the county will put into the deal but agreed that it should be involved. Barlos said putting people to work allows more money to be spent in the community, and the county benefits from sales tax yield.

"In difficult times, even though the money is very tight, we can’t afford not to participate," he said. "If we’re successful, we could see 100 to 300 good-paying positions in our community. You can’t sit back and say, ‘Sorry, Manitowoc, our economy is too tight.’"

Reported by: Don Lee


New Web Cam Catches Mackinaw's Arrival

03/21
When the Mackinaw arrived in the Twin Ports via the Duluth entry just after Thursday it was the first ship captured on the new Duluth Ship Canal web cam provided by the Lake Superior Marine Museum Association and the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. The Camera can be found at www.lsmma.com. The refresh rate is slow at present, but will be increased as ships begin to move.

Reported by: Thom Holden


Mystery skull might be from Lake Michigan wreck

03/21
A human skull found on the shore of Lake Michigan north of Chicago has gold-foil tooth fillings that indicate it could be from the 1830s, a forensic exam has concluded.

There is no record of a burial site or graveyard that close to Lake Michigan in Glencoe, said Ellen Shubart, president of the Glencoe Historical Society, who speculated the skull may have come from one of several shipwrecks in the area.

A person walking along the shore in Glencoe, Ill., found the skull in February and turned it over to police. Analysis showed it belonged to a man, and the distinctive fillings were first used in the area in the 1830s.

Reported by: Chris Baker


Port of Montreal Web Site

03/21
The Port of Montreal has updated their web site and is much more informative than before. By clicking on the ship's name a window opens up and gives you more details about the vessel: where it is registered, the agents, where it arrived from, and where it will be going, also the window shows where the vessel is docked. www.port-montreal.com

In other port news, the ocean going tug Ocean Hercule has broken the ice from CIP 2 and up to the entrance of the St. Lambert lock of the south shore canal. Wednesday afternoon she had called in to Montreal traffic to say she was returning to Sorel Que. her home port, after clearing the ice, the same tug is expected back next week to continue ice breaking in the same area.

Recent images taken around the Port of Montreal
A full length view of the Birchglen, from St. Helen's Island.
Cylinder heads from Algoville being loaded onto a Seagulf Marine truck.
CSL Laurentian at her winter layup dock.
The clock tower at Victoria pier, which also serves as a memorial to sailors.
This building on the waterfront use to be a cold storage facility Many ships have unloaded their refrigerated cargoes of fruit from all over the world at the facility. It is now being converted into condominiums, the four towers at the top of the building will become penthouses, offering a view that must be spectacular.

Reported by: Kent Malo


Dennis Hale Signs Print

03/21
Among the events at the 2003 Ghost Ships Festival held last weekend in Milwaukee was a special signing by shipwreck survivor Dennis Hale. He signed an original painting of the Daniel J. Morrell by Laura Spalinger.

Dennis Hale signing the painting.
Close up.
Mr. Hale points to his former room.

Reported by: Joe Olig


50 Years of Cross Lake Service

03/21
On March 21, 1953 the S.S. Badger made her maiden voyage to Ludington, Mi. Capt. Bernard "Bunny" Robertson was command with Sylvester Larson as the Chief Engineer.

Today the Badger operates seasonally running cross lake service between Ludington, Mi. and Manitowoc, Wi.

In May this site will host the Annual Gathering aboard the Badger with a special concert by Lee Murdock.

Click here for details


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).

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




Mackinaw Heads for Duluth

03/20
Wednesday morning the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw was breaking ice on mid Lake Superior heading for Duluth. The Mackinaw reports ice as thick as 18-inches with random ridging that is reaching 10-feet above the surface of the lake.

These conditions are not unusual for the Mackinaw, though she has become stopped at times. Pressure ridges will cause the Mackinaw to stop and the vessel will have to back and ram to pass through heavy fields. While passing through western Lake Superior the Mackinaw was forced to use its bow propeller to free her self from heavy ice.

The Mackinaw is expected to arrive in Duluth on Friday and dock at St. Lawrence Cement. There the vessel will under go repairs to one of her six engines and wait for the first ships to begin moving.

On Sunday the Edwin H. Gott and Edgar B. Speer are expected to start the season departing Duluth for Two Harbors, MN. Saturday through Monday the Mackinaw will work the Duluth-Superior harbor and assist vessels into Two Harbors as needed.

The Mackinaw will depart western Lake Superior on Monday if conditions look favorable for downbound convoys to reach the eastern end of Lake Superior with out escort. The big icebreaker will spend Tuesday and Wednesday of next week preparing Whitefish Bay for the opening of the Soo Locks.

Reported by: Philip Nash


Alpena Reaches Toledo

03/20
The Alpena departed Detroit Wednesday morning and arrived at the Lafarge Cement dock in Toledo about 8 p.m. that evening. She was escorted from Detroit by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay.

The Alpena is expected to depart the Lafarge Dock around 6 a.m. Thursday morning and meet the USCGC Bristol Bay in Maumee Bay around 8 a.m. for escort through western Lake Erie and Detroit River area. She is expected in the Detroit area around noon Thursday depending on ice conditions

Reported by: Jim Hoffman


Ship Under Conversion Catches Fire

03/20
The small freighter Caledonia, undergoing conversion to a tall ship by Canadian Sailing Adventures at Hamilton, Ont., caught fire Wednesday night.

Reports from the area last night indicate that the 245-foot vessel would be towed out of the dry dock into the bay where local fire boats where expected to extinguish the blaze.

Reported by: Jimmy Sprunt and Gerry O.


Marquette Expects First Traffic

03/20
The first ship expected in Marquette may be the barge Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort on Tuesday. This may cause a problem, as the Great Lakes Trader is expected to load ore for Weirton and the dock is filled with ore for Algoma.

The American Mariner might be called in to take a load so the dock can be reloaded for the Trader.

Local sources report the Elton Hoyt 2nd, under new ownership, is expected to take over the Marquette to Algoma Steel shuttle rather than the Algoma Marine ships.

Reported by: Lee Rowe


Griffon Breaks Out Goderich

03/20
The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon was in Goderich Wednesday to break it. A stiff easterly breeze kept large fields of ice moving out into the lake every time the Griffon cut a path.

The opening of navigation is anticipated early next week along with the departure of the Frontenac from her winter berth. The tug Dover is being used to repair a bumper on the outer dolphin on the north inner pier.

Reported by: Lisa Stuparyk and Dale Baechler


Neah Bay Arrive for Flood Control

03/20
On Monday the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay arrived in Fairport, Oh. to break out the area and control flooding up river. The city administrator was very complimentary of their quick response as the ice flows can cause flooding when they block the flow of a river.

Reported by: Dave Merchant


Lake Huron may be site of ice problems

03/20
As this winter's heavy ice cover begins to melt, the lower end of Lake Huron has been called an "area of concern" by Mike Hines, superintendent of operations for the Canadian Coast Guard in Sarnia.

If the ice melts too quickly, it could result in ice jams. But so far it has been "a nice, slow melt," he said, adding, "we'll know more by mid to end of the week" whether jams can be expected.

Because of the extensive ice cover, Canadian officials are bringing an observation aircraft from Prince Edward Island to the Great Lakes to do survey work.

The airplane has a "side-looking aerial radar," and a downlink system that allows the crew to send ice chart images, radar data, photos and even video to Coast Guard ships.

Another area of concern is the top of Lake St. Clair where the river flows into it. Canadian officials will have an ice breaker running up and down to keep things flowing.

Reported by: Dan Jackson


Kingston, Ontario News

03/20
The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Simcoe was breaking ice in the Bath area at Tuesday afternoon. That is a sure sign of spring.

The car ferry William Darrel's service between Wolfe Island, Ont. and Cape Vincent , NY is still in doubt over the dispute about the US Customs building. No settlement of the dispute has been proposed as of yet.

Lake Ontario is only 8 cm above chart datum and has not changed in a week. This is 49 cm below last year. However, a rapid increase in the water level is expected as the snow pack melts.

The Seaway released an official notice that the opening date would be March 31 and the allowable draft will be 26' 3" in the system but 26' in the Seaway section until mid April. Navigation will be restricted to daylight hours only in area where lighted aids have not been recommissioned for the year.

Reported by: Ron Walsh


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




Fred R. White Jr. Starts Taconite Shuttle

03/19
Oglebay Norton's Fred R. White Jr. started the ore shuttle in Cleveland on Sunday. The White is carrying loads of taconite from Whiskey Island to the ISG Steel Mill on the Cuyahoga River.

The G tug Mississippi broke ice for the Fred R. White Jr. as she was headed for the Oglebay Bulk Terminal. Using shore side conveyors and heavy machinery, loading is expected to take about 24 hours.

This spring the Lorain Pellet Terminal will be moved to the island.

Pictures by: Dave Merchant
Fred R. White Jr. docked at Whiskey Island ore dock Sunday evening.
Another view.
American Republic and Earl W. Oglebay were still tied up near the old Erie ore dock.
Upstream, MCM Marine's 12 yard derrick No 55 was still boarded up, waiting with a herd of tugs.
Derrick 55 is one of 2 built in 1926-1927 by Bucyrus-Erie for Great Lakes Dredge & Dock, making it one of the oldest active vessels on the lakes.
The only flour mill on the river.

Reported by: Dave Merchant and Bill Kloss


Alpena and Tucker Arrive

03/19
The Cement Carrier Alpena reached Detroit Tuesday afternoon docking at Lafarge Cement in Detroit. She was escorted downbound by the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon behind the tanker Capt. Ralph Tucker.

The Griffon turned upbound Tuesday afternoon and the Capt. Ralph Tucker continued downbound for Amherstburg.

Pictures of the Alpena heading out to Lake Michigan last week by Hans Lund
Alpena departing.
Close up.
Stern view.

Reported by: Dave Cozens


Coal Shuttle Continues

03/19
The Canadian Enterprise returned to Ashtabula Tuesday afternoon to take on another load of coal. It is unknown where this load will be delivered.

Reported by: Jeff Miller


Block Loads

03/19
The Joseph L. Block continues the run from Escanaba loading taconite. The tug Olive L. Moore and barge Joseph H. Thompson show signs of life as both vessels appear to have work going on.

The tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and Barge Great Lakes Trader have also started the season loading at Escanaba for Indiana Harbor.

Pictures taken Monday by Eric & Sandy Chapman
Block loading.
Another view.

Pictures taken Tuesday by Lee Rowe.
Barge Joseph H. Thompson.
tug Joseph H. Thompson Jr.
Tug Olive L. Moore.


Snowmobiles Block Ice Breaker

03/19
The Canadian Canadian Coast Guard Ship Simcoe was delayed last week by a group of snowmobilers. The Simcoe was passing up the river between Grindstone Island and Clayton, NY when it was blockaded by the snowmobilers.

Local media reports that the snowmobilers were not aware the vessel was working the river and were concerned that people returning across the ice from Clayton at night might not realize that the ice in the channel had been broken. The Simcoe agreed to hold off operations until the following morning at 10 a.m.

Reported by: Capt. Heinz Wahl and Bill Nygard


Challenger Fit Out

03/19
The Southdown Challenger, the oldest operating freighter on the lakes, will begin fitting out on March 31. The cement carry is expected to depart her lay-up dock in Milwaukee around April 15. The Challenger will be undergoing her 5 year inspection sometime after fit out.

Reported by: Kevin Rogers and John Cull


Harbor Break Out

03/19
Last week the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay was breaking ice in Burns Harbor. The Mobile Bay Broke a path from Burn Harbor to Calumet Harbor. Mobile Bay powers through the ice.
Breaking ice in port.
Outbound.

Reported by: Erik May


Islander in Detroit

03/19
Miller Boat Lines Islander is wintering at Nicholson's in Detroit.

Islander on a foggy morning.
Another view.

Reported by: Mike Nicholls


Montreal & Sorel-Tracy Pictures

03/19

Montreal pictures by Kent Malo
CSL's Birchglen with work crews onboard at sec 25 Mtl. Harbor.
Stern view with smoke emitting from the freshly painted CSL funnel.
Tug Ocean Jupiter breaking and clearing ice from tug dock, to no avail, the wind blew it all back.

Sorel-Tracy images by Sylvia Masson
Algonorth and Sauniere.
Close up of Algonorth.
Bow view.
Sauniere bow view.
Algoport.
Close up of the Algoma logo.
Black Swan loading grain.
Propeller through the ice.
FCC SMITH (sounding vessel).
Calanus II.
Isle Rouge.
Tug Ocean Golf.
Tug Omni St. Laurent.


LCA Partners On Sustainability Conference

03/19
Lake Carriers' Association is pleased to partner with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard and a number of environmental organizations for a conference at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, on June 25-26, 2003 that will provide a forum for dialogue and cooperation that facilitates achieving a balance between the environment and economic development. The conference theme is Moving Toward A Sustainable Great Lakes.

Lake Carriers' Association has a long history of balancing economic and environmental considerations. The fixed navigation season through the Soo Locks is a prime example. The industry agreed to a March 25 - January 15 navigation season through the Soo Locks in recognition that navigation during periods of heavy ice cover might impact spawning grounds and wetlands in the connecting channels. LCA has been a major player in research to find a solution to ballast water introduction of non-indigenous species into the Great Lakes, even though U.S.-flag lakers never leave the system and therefore have never introduced an exotic to the system.

For more details on the conference, click here

Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association


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




Alpena Arrives

03/18
The Alpena arrived in port Monday morning after battling heavy ice in the Straits of Mackinac over the weekend. It loaded cement for Detroit, departing around 11 a.m.

The tugboat Manitou also left on Monday to go back to Port Huron after breaking ice in port for the Alpena for the past few weeks. With the warmer weather the ice in the bay won’t be much of a problem.

Reported by: Ben & Chanda McClain


Milwaukee committee endorses lease for ferry terminal

03/18
Plans for high-speed ferry service between Wisconsin and Michigan are moving forward, with a Milwaukee Common Council committee endorsing a lease for a $2 million terminal to be built on the city's near south side, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported

Lake Express LLC, led by Milwaukee investor David Lubar, has been working since 2001 on a ferry line that could cross Lake Michigan from Milwaukee to Muskegon in 2 1/2 hours.

That plan has been delayed while Lubar tries to assemble the $22.2 million in financing that he needs; including a loan under consideration by the Milwaukee Economic Development Corp. Lake Express also needs a U.S. Maritime Administration loan guarantee.

The deal could fall apart if Lake Express can't complete its financing by June 30.

Although financing remains incomplete, the effort has advanced far enough for aldermen to discuss a home for the ferry service, now set to start in May 2004.

The ferry terminal would be at the northern tip of Milwaukee's Bay View neighborhood, just north of the U.S. Coast Guard station and across South Lincoln Memorial Drive from the Port of Milwaukee headquarters building.

Reported by: Dan Sherman


Toledo Ice

03/18
On Monday heavy ice flows in the Maumee River had broken free and were flowing outbound.

The Buffalo is in dry dock at the Toledo Shipyard. No other boats have moved although there is maintenance being performed on some. Some of the Oglebay Norton vessels are expected to shift docks as the shipping season begins. The Frantz is expected to go the Toledo Shipyards in about four weeks. The Buckeye will shift to Hocking Valley Docks. Several other Oglebay boats will be shifted to allow TWI and CSX coal and ore docks to operate.

Reported by: Scott Ousky


Weekly Updates & News Pictures

03/18
Check back Wednesday for the regular Weekly Updates and pictures on the news page.


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




Mackinaw Heading Upbound

03/17
Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. the Mackinaw cast off her lines, turned upbound off the U.S. Coast Guard Base in the Soo Harbor for the Soo Locks. The Mackinaw locked upbound in the Mac Lock, which was a tight fit for big Mac. They proceeded upbound in the river, and stopped for the night in the ice just below Gros Cap.

The Mackinaw is expected to head for Duluth to break out the harbor in preparation for the opening of the Soo Locks.

Sunday afternoon the Katmai Bay returned back to base in Sault Ste. Marie shortly after the Mackinaw departed upbound.

Pictures by Scott Best
Turning in the river to head upbound.
Approaching the Mac Lock.
Tight fit coming in nice and slow.
Turning on the power above the locks.
Upbound in the ice.
Another view (passing).
Stern view.

Reported by: Scott Best and Chad Michaels


Alpena Stuck in the Straits

03/17
Saturday morning the Alpena reported that they were stuck in the ice in the Straits of Mackinac. They were stopped about a mile south of Lansing Shoal. The U.S. Cutter Biscayne Bay was sent to assist the Alpena.

Early Sunday morning the Alpena was making slow progress through the Straits. It was 21 miles west of the Mackinac Bridge. The Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay guided the cement carrier 19 miles from Lansing Shoal on Saturday starting at noon. The cutter left the Alpena at 3 p.m. Saturday and then returned about 10 p.m. and worked until midnight.

The Alpena is expected to be back in its name sake port on Monday, ice conditions permitting.

Reported by: Ben & Chanda McClain and Joe Komjathy


Enterprise Departs

03/17
The Canadian Enterprise arrived in Ashtabula late on Saturday night to load coal. The Enterprise loaded on Sunday but remained at the dock early Monday morning. Sunday night the Enterprise was checking the water level in the lower Detroit River. They will likely depart Monday headed for the Lambton Generating Station on the St. Clair River.

Sunday the Samuel Risley was holding off the piers and the Roger Stahl was docked astern of the Enterprise.

On Friday afternoon Gaelic Tugboat Company's Roger Stahl departed Detroit for Ashtabula, Ohio. The Stahl followed the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Samuel Risley into Lake Erie. The Stahl arrived in Ashtabula at 4:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

Pictures by Mike Nicholls
Canadian Enterprise at the coal dock in Ashtabula Sunday afternoon.
Roger Stahl tied up ahead of the Canadian Enterprise.
Roger Stahl and Canadian Enterprise.
Unidentified workboat.
Ashtabula Harbor, showing the Roger Stahl, Canadian Enterprise and in the distance the Samuel Risley.
Tug Iowa.
Tug Rhode Island.

Pictures by Jeff Thoreson
Enterprise backed in and ready for loading.
Stern View.
Stahl and the Enterprise.
Stahl close up.
Stern view.
Workboat in Ashtabula.
Summer buoys on land .

Reported by: Mike Nicholls and Jeff Thoreson


PML 9000 Remains

03/17
The barge PML 9000 remained docked in DeTour, Mi. Sunday with the tug Reliance docked in Sault Ste. Marie.

The barge was docked on Saturday when ice conditions proved to be too difficult for the tug and its Coast Guard escort to continue on. It is unknown when the barge will be returned to Sault Ste. Marie.

Barge docked on Sunday.
Close up.
Reliance & PML 9000 and CCG Griffon on Saturday.
Working in the ice.
Griffon.
Reliance backs from the barge.
Griffon and Reliance breaking ice.

Reported by: Cathy Kohring


Lansdowne May Leave Erie

03/17
The Lansdowne's extended stay in Erie may be nearing an end, the Erie Times-News reported Saturday.

The $5 million deal for the restaurant, which was supposed to be moored at Erie's Sassafras Street pier and be opened by Memorial Day 2003, is up for a cancellation vote at the March 28 meeting of the Erie Western Pennsylvania Port Authority.

The Port Authority, "short of a deal that blows us away," plans to cancel the lease then, Port Authority Executive Director Raymond Schreckengost told the Times-News.

Specialty had signed a long term lease with the Port Authority in July 2001. That lease had included a timetable that Specialty has not followed. Workers spent most of last summer stripping the vessel down to its iron shell, but have not made any progress since then. The company, which operates more than 50 restaurants nationwide, has had similar problems over the past two years in Buffalo and Pinellas County, Florida. Both of those locations had their land-use leases revoked.

The construction timetable stated that a roof, sprinklers, plumbing, drywall, alarms, stairs and railings, and an elevator were to be in place by now. The Port Authority has given Specialty until April 6 to complete this work, however, several Port Authority board members said it would be impossible for them to complete all of that work in a satisfactory manner by then.

The Lansdowne has failed to live up to its potential in Detroit and Buffalo in the past. Specialty currently pays $2,000 per month to dock the Lansdowne at Sassafras Street. The Port Authority gave up $1,000 in rent per month when they evicted the Viking 1 on January 14.

The Sassafras Street location has been no stranger to lost projects since Erie Sand and Gravel moved their main office to the Mounfort Terminal in 1994. In the early 1990s, a convention center was proposed there. Other businessmen, in anticipation of riverboat gambling legislation that never came to be, had wanted to put a casino boat there. And in 1993, a $30 million aquarium was proposed for the site.

Despite this poor record, the Port Authority expects no problems attracting other developers to the site.

Lansdowne's construction site on Friday.
Richard Reiss, laid up at the West Slip.

Reported by: Jeff Thoreson


Twin Ports Report

03/17
No unusual signs of life in the Twin Ports winter fleet until Sunday, when the Arthur M. Anderson had smoke coming out of its stack.

Elsewhere, the Coast Guard Cutter Sundew was scheduled to make a brief tour of the ice last Tuesday. It apparently cut a couple of bit circles in the ice in the Duluth harbor basin and then returned to its dock.

There's open water in the Duluth ship canal but the harbor it entirely frozen and for the past several days that waters off Duluth have been covered by a large sheet of ice. After two days of temperatures in the 50s, the ice turned an ominous dark blue Sunday, discouraging the small group of fishermen who had ventured out a hundred yards or so.

Reported by: Al Miller


Twin Ports Lay-up

03/17
Below are images taken of the lay-up fleet at Fraser Shipyard in Superior.
Arthur M. Anderson and Philip R. Clark .
Another view.
Kaye E. Barker in the back ground.
Cason J. Callaway in the drydock.
John G. Munson.
Fraser work boats.

Reported by: Glenn Blaszkiewicz


Marquette Update

03/17
With just eight days to go before the Soo Locks open for the season, Marquette Boat Watchers are anxiously awaiting the first vessels of the season. Ore dock crews in Marquette are nearing completion of their winter maintenance efforts. Both the upper and lower harbors still have a layer of ice thick enough to support ice fishing and a few shanties. Local media reported earlier this week that the U.S.C.G. Mackinaw will arrive in Marquette some time this week to start ice breaking operations.

During the past two shipping seasons, the James Barker had been the first vessel into Marquette from Duluth arriving prior to the Soo Locks opening. In fact, the Barker made two round trips to Marquette each year prior to the opening of the locks. As of today, no word on what commercial vessel will be the first to Marquette this season. With heavy ice in the Duluth area and ice causing problems in the St. Marys River, it may be some time before commercial shipping begins in Marquette.

Reported by: Art Pickering


Milwaukee Update

03/17
Spring fit out began on the Stewart J. Cort Friday when the Engineer and galley crews reported back to the boat. One of the fit out tasks will be to reinstall a generator removed at lay up for rebuilding.

On Saturday the John M. Selvick arrived with three empty grain barges. With temperatures in the mid fifty's Saturday any ice left in the Milwaukee harbor quickly disappeared.

Little ice left in the harbor.
Work inside the Cort.
Engine.
Tug and barges arrive.
Turning for the dock.
Working the barges.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde


Weekly Updates

03/17
Check back Tuesday for the regular Weekly Updates.


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




Enterprise Departs

03/16
The Canadian Enterprise departed Nanticoke Saturday morning about 10:30 a.m. She was expected to join the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley inside Long Point Bay about noon Saturday for escort to Ashtabula, Oh. She is expected to work the coal trade on Lake Erie for the early part of the season

The Risley reported heavy ice on the track from Ashtabula to Long Point during her transit Saturday morning.

Reported by: Dave Otterman and Jeff Thoreson


Reliance Arrives, Leaves Barge Behind

03/16
The tug Reliance released the barge PML 9000 near Detour in the lower St. Marys River and returned to the Purvis Marine Dock at the Soo. The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon worked with the tug & barge on the upbound trip, but the heavy pack ice would not yield. Reliance arrived Soo harbor at 9:25 p.m.

The tug is expected to return downbound Sunday to retrieve the barge.

Reported by: Al Crema


Soo River Ice Breaking

03/16
Friday afternoon the Katmai Bay was doing more icebreaking in the approaches to the Locks, and then went down to help clear ice for the Sugar Islander. Saturday the Katmai Bay assisted the Algonova down river, while the Mackinaw proceeded upbound to the base in Sault Ste. Marie.

The Mackinaw will spend the night at the Soo and then depart upbound Sunday afternoon to Lake Superior and onto Duluth. The Katmai Bay will remain in the St. Marys River indefinitely as needed.

Pictures by Scott Best
Katmai Bay upbound after helping move ice for the Sugar Islander.
Sugar Islander crossing.
Ice below Mission Point.
Algonova unloading Friday afternoon.

Pictures by Al Crema
Mackinaw upbound.
Algonova docked.

Reported by: Scott Best, Linda Stoetzer and Al Crema


Kobasic Breaks Out Manistee

03/16
The powerful tugboat Erika Kobasic made quick work of two-foot thick ice on Manistee Lake Saturday Afternoon. The tugboat arrived at 1 p.m. Saturday and broke a path through Manistee Lake to allow the Capt. Ralph Tucker to dock.

There was no ice in the channel, but Manistee Lake was thoroughly covered. The Tucker arrived at 2 p.m. and headed into Manistee Lake, sitting in the ice while the Kobasic made a track.

Once the ice became too thick for the Kobasic, the Tucker backed up and came full ahead, ramming a path through the ice with her ice class 1 bow. The back and ram procedure worked well and the duo managed to reach the General Chemical dock at 5:30 p.m.

Once to the dock the Kobasic gave the Tucker a gentle push into the dock. After working the channel a little more, the Kobasic departed Manistee at 6:30 p.m. heading upbound, presumably back to Escanaba. The Tucker should depart late Sunday morning with 7,500 tons of brine for Amherstburg.

Reported by: Chris Franckowiak


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




Reliance Upbound

03/15
The tug Reliance & barge PML 9000 departed Marysville, Mi. Friday afternoon headed upbound for their home dock in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Last night the pair were off Harbor Beach, Mi. and could reach the Soo late on Saturday. Her arrival will depend on ice conditions in the St. Marys River.

Reported by: Chris Fiddler


Beeghly Enters Graving Dock

03/15
Friday the Charles M. Beeghly entered the graving dock at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Wi. Crews spent much of the day breaking ice in preparation for the move. The Beeghly was towed from her lay-up berth and backed into the graving dock about 5:30 p.m.

Beeghly is backed into the dock.

Reported by: Rich Propsom


Filling the Canal

03/15
Friday afternoon, Sections of the Welland Canal continued to be filled Friday afternoon as winter work projects come to an end, in preparation for the opening March 31.

Canal is filled.
Steady flow of water.
Between Locks 3 & 4.
Water reaches Lock 6.
Canal opens March 31.

Reported by: Alex Howard


Reassembling Cuyahoga Port Tunnel

03/15
During the last two weeks new rollers and repainted support arms have been returned to the Cuyahoga in lay-up at Port Stanley. Many of the crew have returned and have begun reinstalling the port tunnel track.

With the use of laser beams, specialized drills and the usual amount of sweat real progress can be seen. Crews are hopeful that the cargo belt will be reinstalled next week.

New rollers are hoisted on board.
Port tunnel shines.
Support arms.

Reported by: Ted Coombs


Lower River Free of Ice, For Now

03/15
The Amherstburg Channel of the Detroit River is now free of ice. The channel between Amherstburg, Ontario and Bob-Lo Island is open but this could change as ice breaks off in the upper river and flows downbound.

Looking west over Bob-Lo Island. The tall structure is the old revolving observation deck remaining from the days when the island was an amusement park. The amusement park closed 10 years ago.

Reported by: David Cozens


Port of Honolulu and St. Lawrence River

03/15
Cosmos Venture arriving Honolulu, Feb. 3.
Cosmos Venture with a load of Japanese made cars slated for Hawaii.
Smith Maritime's Namahoe arriving Honolulu. March 6.
Young Bros' Malulani arriving Honolulu, March 6.
Falls Of Clyde as seen from the Aloha Tower, March 6.
Figurehead of Falls Of Clyde, Honolulu, March 6.
Lykes Energizer downbound from Montréal, March 13.
Lykes Energizer stern view, March 13.
Canmar Valour upbound to Montréal, March 13.

Reported by: Marc Piché


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




Block Departs

03/14
Central Marine Logistics' self-unloader Joseph L. Block got an early start to the 2003 shipping season, departing Bayship at Sturgeon Bay Thursday afternoon. The Block departed via the South channel around 2 p.m. Central time, bound for Escanaba, where she will load taconite for Indiana Harbor.

Block's fleet mate, Wilfred Sykes, is not scheduled to sail until April.

The Block is the first ship out of lay-up in the Bay Shipbuilding lay-up fleet. After departing the dry dock they headed for Lake Michigan via the Ship Canal rather than battle the ice in Green Bay.

After reaching the stern of the Edward L. Ryerson, the Block stopped to wait for the tug Jimmy L. to break a track through the Ship Canal to Lake Michigan. While waiting for the tract, the Block used the time to pump on ballast and put her thrusters and propeller below water.

Pictures by Vic DeLarwelle
Joseph Block and Wilfred Sykes in lay-up at Berth 2, Bay Shipbuilding.
Block departing.
Stopped past the Michigan St. Bridge.
Off the stern of Ryerson.
In the Ship Canal out bound.
In the tract broken by Jimmy L., this is the first time the canal has frozen over in about 10 years.
Crew enjoying the warm sun on the bow.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle and Roger LeLievre


Alpena Reaches St. Joe

03/14
The steamer Alpena made it safely to South Chicago, IL and St. Joseph, MI to unload cement. It is scheduled to leave St. Joseph early Friday morning and head back up to the ice track in the Straits of Mackinac.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw will likely assist the Alpena through the Straits. The Alpena is expected to return to its namesake port on Saturday evening.

Reported by: Ben & Chanda McClain and Matt Cook


Neah Bay Breaks Out Fairport, Ohio

03/14
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay was breaking ice in the Grand River on Wednesday. They worked as far up as the port's turning basin.

The cutter reported one foot of ice in the river, two feet on the lake with pressure ridges reaching eight feet on the lake. As of last week, large pressure ridges were very visible from shore, about 100-200 yards out.

Neah Bay was in port for only two hours, the purpose of her visit was to limit upstream flooding, which is a problem with many of the rivers on the Ohio side of Lake Erie.

The Cutter is expected to work Ashtabula and Conneaut in the next few days.

Reported by: Dave Merchant


Helberg Awarded by Coast Guard

03/14
Duluth Port Director Davis Helberg has been presented the U.S. Coast Guard’s Distinguished Public Service Award by Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thomas H. Collins.

Admiral Collins made the presentation at a special ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio.

“It is the highest Coast Guard recognition other than for life-saving that the commandant can award to an individual who is not a Coast Guard employee,” said Rear Admiral Ronald Silva, Cleveland, commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District which serves the Great Lakes.

The award cites Helberg’s work for the past two decades in supporting “responsible, safe and secure maritime transportation” in the Great Lakes, local leadership in the aftermath of 9/11, and national and international promotion of regional objectives.

Helberg is scheduled to retire March 31 after 24 years as executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority.

Reported by: Lisa Marciniak, Duluth Seaway Port Authority


Toronto Harbor

03/14
Thursday the McKeil Marine tugs Glenevis and Atomic appear to have been in action recently. The Atomic was formerly owned by Mc Queen Marine of Amherstburg. While at McQueen’s her ice breaking duties included clearing ice jams in the Thames and delivering an emergency load of fuel to Pelee Island for the auxiliary generator. The Atomic was also famous for several victories in the annual Detroit River Tug Boat race.

Glenevis and Atomic.
Another view.
The Algoisle is frozen in solid, with no signs of work being performed.
Close up.
Upper Lakes' Canadian Venture and Seaway Queen rafted together. Note that "CA" has been painted out in the name "Canadian Venture". The Venture is expected to be towed for scrapping at Port Colborne this season.
Close up of the Seaway Queen.
Three passenger ferries that run from Bay Street to the island, the car ferry on the left is now in service.

Reported by: Dave Cozens


Port of Honolulu

03/14
Far from the ice of the Great Lakes, shipping is running at a steady pace at the Port of Honolulu.

Mauokekai, Young Bros barge towing tug, Honolulu, Feb. 26.
Mikiala II, Hawaiian Tug and Barge harbor tug, Honolulu, Feb. 26.
Mamo, Hawaiian Tug and Barge harbor tug, Honolulu, Feb. 26.
Oriental Bluebird, Japanese owned Panama flag tanker, Feb. 27.
Oriental Bluebird proceeding to Pier 31, Honolulu, Feb. 27.
View of the Port of Honolulu looking westward from Aloha Tower showing the Matson docks and O. Bluebird docking at Pier 31.
Fukuyo Maru No.58, one of the numerous Japanese fishing vessels that call Honolulu, arriving at Pier 11, Feb. 27.
American Quest, American Marine Corp tug arriving Pier 13, Feb. 27.
Nunui, Smith Maritime supply tug, arriving Honolulu, Feb. 27.
Oscar Elton Sette, NOAA's newest vessel, departing Honolulu, March 3.
USS Missouri (BB-63) moored to Ford Island, Pearl Harbor as museum exhibit.
Historic Falls Of Clyde moored next to the Hawaii Maritime Museum at Pier 7, Honolulu, March 3.

Reported by: Marc Piché


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




Coast Guard may use convoys, one-way traffic to cope with ice

03/13
Anticipating a lengthy battle with ice across the Great Lakes, Coast Guard officials are considering using convoys and one-way traffic on the St. Marys River to keep vessels moving during the navigation season's opening weeks, according to a story in the Soo Evening News by Jack Storey.

Ice coverage on the lakes is more extensive than it had been in many years. When the Soo Locks open in two weeks, Coast Guard icebreakers will be hard-pressed to keep shipping lanes open, especially in the tight confines of the rivers and connecting channels.

The full ice coverage compounds potential problems for early shipping. On rivers like the St. Marys and St. Clair, downstream flow of water and the late-March winds are as important as icebreaking for clearing channels of ice. This year, with virtually full ice coverage on the Lakes, broken ice flowing downstream has no place to go.

Ensign Ron Cooper, spokesman for the Coast Guard's Group Sault, said preliminary plans for the opening of shipping on the St. Marys River call for one-way ship traffic and convoys to make best use of the limited icebreaking help available. Ship convoys escorted by the Mackinaw were last used in 1996.

Cooper said the one-way plan would leave the West Neebish Channel between Barbeau and Neebish Island undisturbed until after the locks open. Vessels moving in both directions would be escorted around Neebish Island, using the crossover Middle Neebish and Munuscong Channels .

Upbound and downbound convoys would alternate on the single open channel until ice, weather and traffic warrant breaking out the West Neebish.

Cautioning that all plans are subject to change, Cooper said the breakout plan is for the icebreaker Mackinaw to move through the Poe Lock next week to break a track through the upper St. Marys River and Whitefish Bay. The Mackinaw will continue on to help break out Duluth and Marquette before returning for convoy duty on the St. Marys River.

The icebreaking tugs Katmai Bay and Biscayne Bay are detailed to continue working lower-river channels, a process that began over the last few weeks. Help from other breakers will be uncertain because those , vessels will likely be working the ice on the lower Lakes.

Cooper said officials are holding out some hope that the impressive Canadian icebreaker Samuel Risley will be available to assist on the St. Marys.

Warmer weather may be a double-edged sword for the Coast Guard. If the predicted weekend high temperatures in the 50s materialize, the possibility of ice jams and inland flooding arises around low-lying rivers and channels on the lower Lakes. Predicted winter rainfall could worsen the flood potential.

Reported by: B. Barnes


Ojard Appointed Director

03/13
Great Lakes maritime and transportation veteran Adolph N. Ojard was appointed executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority at a special meeting of the board of commissioners Wednesday.

Ojard, who will join the Port Authority staff April 1, will succeed Davis Helberg who is retiring March 31 after more than 24 years as Duluth port director and 40-plus years in the Great Lakes maritime industry.

In his new position, Ojard will be the Port Authority’s chief executive officer. Port Authority policy is set by a seven-member board made up of three appointees by the Duluth City Council, two by the St. Louis County Board and two by the governor of Minnesota. Each appointment is for six years.

“I look forward to working in the maritime community, having progressed during the last 30 years from labor and union president to executive positions in rail, inland barging and Great Lakes shipping,” Ojard said.

Ojard, 53, spent more than 30 years with various affiliates of the United States Steel Corporation, and served from 1999 through 2001 as general manager of both the DM&IR and the then-USS Great Lakes Fleet. For the past year he has acted as business development director of Krech Ojard and Associates, a fixture among the region’s engineering firms since 1984.

A native of Knife River, Minn., Ojard earned a Bachelor of Science degree in literature and history and minored in political history, graduating with honors from the University of Minnesota-Duluth in 1971. He joined the DM&IR the same year as a Duluth dock worker, and later served as president of the Brotherhood of Railway & Airline Clerks union. He was promoted to a management position in 1975 and was dock manager of the DM&IR dock in Two Harbors from 1980 to 1983.

He then served as manager of administrative services for US Steel’s Pittsburgh & Conneaut Dock Company in Conneaut, Ohio, through 1987. He became director of equipment utilization for Transtar, Inc./Bessemer & Lake Erie Railway, Pittsburgh, Pa., through 1991, then served as superintendent of the DM&IR in Duluth until 1994, when he was elected as president of the Warrior & Gulf Navigation Company, Mobile, Ala. He returned to Duluth as general manager of the then-USS Great Lakes Fleet from 1997 through 1999.

Ojard serves on the board of directors of the Lake Superior Marine Museum Association and Northland Country Club. He previously served on the City of Mobile Chamber of Commerce Executive and the Greater Mobile Boy Scouts of America boards, and was a member of the American Association of Railroads Committee on Car Service.

Long associated with the regional maritime industry, Ojard is the son of the late Adolph Ojard, Sr., last master of Two Harbors’ legendary steam tug Edna G. The Edna G., built in 1896, was for many years the oldest working tug in the United States. She was retired in 1981 and is now on permanent display in Two Harbors.

"I was on that vessel many, many times as a young boy. I have a lot of fond memories there, and of the local harbor as well," Ojard said.

Ojard and his wife Leigh Ann reside in Duluth and are the parents of two adult daughters.

Reported by: Lisa Marciniak, Duluth Seaway Port Authority


Reliance to Continue Upbound

03/13
Expected to return to her home dock in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario this week is the tug Reliance & barge PML 9000. With extreme ice conditions, warm weather predictions are favorable for the trip up as they are escorted by Coast Guard ice breakers.

Early Thursday morning the tug & Barge remained dock in Marysville, MI waiting on weather.

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley was upbound on Lake Huron escorting the Algonova early Wednesday morning. The Risley was expected to take the Algonova north bound about half way up the lake where she will hand the vessel off to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Risley is then expected to turn down bound for ice breaking on Lake Erie.

Reported by: Chris Fiddler


Tucker Returns

03/13
The Capt. Ralph Tucker returned to Amherstburg Wednesday afternoon with a load of brine for General Chemical. She could depart as soon as Thursday morning bound for Manistee.

Reported by: Dave Cozens


Mine shutdown would slow shipments at Duluth ore dock

03/13
This season could be a slow one for the DMIR ore dock in Duluth if the EVTAC mine and processing plant close temporarily.

EVTAC, which mines and processes taconite pellets near Eveleth, Minn., does not have enough orders to produce pellets past mid-May. If no one can be found to purchase additional pellets, the plant will be forced to shut down until demand improves.

Most taconite pellets produced by EVTAC are hauled by the DMIR to its ore dock in Duluth, where they are loaded onto lake boats bound for eastern steel mills. DMIR President Peter Stephenson told the Duluth News Tribune that his railroad carries more pellets to Duluth from EVTAC than from any other producer.

Stephenson said EVTAC is the DM&IR's second- largest customer in terms of total business, but it's first in total tonnage. Much of that tonnage is carried on the short haul from mine to the processing plant. About 3 tons of crude taconite is used to produce one ton of pellets.

Reported by: Al Miller


Palmer Johnson Files Chapter 11

03/13
Shipbuilder Palmer Johnson Inc. said Tuesday it has filed for federal Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from creditors.

The move will prevent creditors from forcing the company into an involuntary liquidation that would have led to the company's closure and the loss of 220 jobs, Palmer Johnson president and CEO Phil Friedman said.

The luxury sail and power yacht builder will be allowed to continue operating under the Chapter 11 filing, and it will have 30 days to present a plan to the court outlining its plans to emerge from bankruptcy.

Palmer Johnson is one of the world’s leading builders of custom yachts in aluminum and other materials. The company operates a ship yard at Sturgeon Bay, Wi.

Reported by: Chris Wesendorf


Lift Bridge Ready for Shipping Season

03/13
The lift bridge over the Burlington Ship Canal was opened last Sunday a week earlier than expected. The contractor replacing the cables had allowed extra work days in case poor weather delayed the project, as the winter work continued they did not need the extra days.

This allowed the bridge, closed since January, to open a week early. This will be good news for the locals who have been using a shuttle bus to bypass the canal over the Skyway Bridge.

The lift bridge is located at the entrance to the busy Hamilton, Ontario Harbor on Lake Ontario.

Reported by: Wally Wallace


Ghost Ships Festival This Weekend

03/13
The 2003 Ghost Ships Festival will be held Saturday, March 15 and Sunday, March 16, 2003 at the Clarion Hotel and Convention Center in Milwaukee. This year, we have expanded to two days, adding a Sunday show from 9AM - Noon and we have reserved the entire convention center. There will be a cash bar and buffet running throughout the show and we have added socialization rooms where people can relax and talk. We have a bang-up slate of presenters and authors, and we will have more booths and displays than ever. As in the past, we will have the largest raffle anywhere in the scuba world, sporting hundreds of items.

Our presenters are as follows:
Joyce Hayward
Ric Mixter - Safe Ashore - The 1940 Armistice Day Storm
Wes Oleszewski
Harry Zach
Steve Radovan
Larry Boucha
Jeff Gray - Thunder Bay Marine Sanctuary
Bob Gadbois
Kimm Stabelfeldt - Dive on the William Young
Dennis Hale - Sole Survivor of the Daniel J. Morrell
Pat & Jim Stayer
Cris Kohl
Georgeann & Mike Wachter v Sean Jones - Port Washington Shipwrecks
Brendon Baillod

The following authors will be signing books:
Wes Oleszewski
Kimm Stabelfeldt
Cris Kohl
Robert Myers - Shipwrecks of Berrien County
Georgann & Mike Wachter - Erie Wrecks, West/East
Pat & Jim Stayer
Steve Harrington - Divers Guide to Michigan
P.J. Creviere - Wild Gales & Tattered Sails
Dennis Hale - Sole Survivor
To order tickets and to get more information, visit: www.ghost-ships.org.


Web Site Outage

03/13
The Boatnerd.com and related web sites will be down for a short time Saturday afternoon. I am installing an additional hard drive in the main server and only expect the outage to last a few minutes.


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




Sundew scheduled to survey Twin Ports ice today

03/12
Today is expected to be the opening round in the battle between ships and ice in the Twin Ports.

Coast Guard Cutter Sundew this morning will attempt to get under way from its mooring on Park Point to survey ice around the Duluth-Superior harbor. "It's basically a trip to see how -- or even if -- we can break what's out there," said Ensign Jason Frank, the ship's public affairs officer.

Coast Guard members last week took three core samples from around the harbor. All three samples showed ice more than 24 inches thick, with one sample showing 30 inches of ice, Frank said.

Because of the thickness of the ice this spring, the Sundew may have trouble getting under way or breaking ice in the harbor. If it does, it may get help from the icebreaker Mackinaw, which is tentatively scheduled to arrive in port on March 20.

"Our icebreaking will depend on how well we do (Wednesday)," Frank said. "Definitely, once the Mackinaw is here, that will end up breaking us free."

Fifteen vessels are laid up for the winter in Duluth-Superior. Most currently are scheduled to get under way in the last days of March or early April. If ice conditions are bad enough, the Mackinaw might escort a convoy of vessels from the Twin Ports to the Soo, Frank said.

But he cautioned that the ice situation can change drastically and often depending on the weather. Temperatures close to 50 degrees are expected in the area this weekend, but another cold snap could allow ice to form again in the waters off Duluth. Wind also can be a major factor, either breaking up pack ice or jamming it into the harbor entrances.

Reported by: Al Miller


Soo Locks Prepared For New Season

03/12
With navigation season only days away, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Katmai Bay started opening the Soo Harbor Tuesday breaking the huge flows of plate ice. The icebreaker was assisted in the lock approaches by the USACE tug Fredrick breaking the heavy ice frozen on the lock gates.

With the lock gates allowed to swing open, the cutter entered the lock and break up the thick ice in the chamber. By late morning the harbor was opened and the cutter headed for Mission Point and the Sugar Island ferry dock.

Huge ice chunks were jammed into the mainland Sugar Island Dock with nowhere for the ice to go. Downriver from the dock, a large ice field held a tight grip on the refrozen pack ice. The cutter's ice breaking hull coupled with the unique bubbler system made short work of the plate ice turning it into mush.

Reported by: Chris Fiddler


Crack Develops on Transfer

03/12
While wintering in Thunder Bay, the Canadian Transfer has had a crack develop on her deck running from side to side in front of her after winches. There was no work going on at the time the crack formed. The ship had recently been removed from the drydock and her fitout crew was not yet aboard.

It is believed that the extremely cold temperatures combined with the usual stressing of the vessel in a pumped out condition was the primary cause. The vessel will have to briefly enter the dry dock for repairs. The crack is not expected to delay her normal spring fit out.

Reported by: Ted Coombs


Coast Guard, Local Agencies Responds to Bridge

03/12
At about 3:40 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, the Ambassador Bridge requested assistance from the Group Detroit Coast Guard unit. A female wearing an orange hooded sweatshirt and khaki pants was on the lower deck of the Bridge, threatening to jump. Windsor Fire and Rescue was dispatched to the scene, and all traffic entering the Bridge from the Canadian side was halted. The US Coast Guard helicopter was also dispatched to the scene.

The Ambassador Bridge reported at about 4:30 p.m. that the rescue attempt was successful, and everyone was safely back on the hard deck. The woman was reportedly suffering from depression.

Reported by: Angie Williams


Icebreakers may be crucial to season's start

03/12
Ice coverage on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway is so extensive this winter that U.S. and Canadian icebreakers may be crucial to starting the 2003 navigation season on schedule.

Ice of varying thickness now covers large portions of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. The Welland Canal also is covered with thick ice.

Seaway spokeswoman Sylvie Moncion said Coast Guard icebreakers from Canada and the United States would likely be needed.

Al Vanagas, general manager of Algoma Central Marine in St. Catharines, Ontario, confirmed the probable need for icebreaker assistance.

“Conditions are severe,” he said. “They’re as bad as anyone can remember.”

There are plans to move larger icebreakers from the St. Lawrence River to the Great Lakes to help clear commercial shipping routes, he said.

Moncion said talks were under way with Seaway customers about changing the opening date of the Montreal-to-Lake Ontario section to April 1.

But Vanagas said there is some pressure to get ships out as soon as possible. Ontario Power Generation needs coal for three generation plants and Sifto Canada Inc. requires salt to replenish depleted winter reserves.

“So as much as we can, we’re going to try to work with customers and get our ships out with the assistance of the Coast Guard,” said Vanagas.

Canada Steamship Lines spokeswoman Sylvie Lafleur said an early start also is important for her company.

“We’re due to sell (transported goods) at the end of March, beginning of April,” she said. “When it’s a really bad year for ice and you have to break it, it slows you down — you’re not as efficient. But it’s never stopped us from going.”

John Falkingham of the Canadian Ice Service said that while Great Lakes ice is thick this year, it’s not unusual when viewed over decades. “Over our 30 years’ experience here, it’s sort of normal conditions for this time of year,” said Falkingham. “We’re back to a much more normal year.”

Reported by: Dan Moss


Paul Martin says he'll give control of CSL to sons

03/12
Attempting to avoid conflict of interest allegations as he campaigns to become Canada's Liberal leader, Paul Martin says he will turn over control of Canada Steamship Lines to his sons.

Martin announced plans Tuesday to dispose of all his voting shares in the company by transferring them to his adult sons.

"The bottom line is that I will completely sever all ties with Canada Steamship Lines," said Martin, front-runner in the race to replace retiring Prime Minister Jean Chretien.

Martin's move may not satisfy opposition politicians, who have been criticizing Martin's control of the international shipping company.

Reported by: Mark Jackson, Bill Bird, Glen Mounk and Heidi Viar


Evtac issues 60-day shutdown notice

03/12
Evtac Mining Co. issued a 60-day shutdown notice to its workers on Monday, and company officials say the plant will be forced to close temporarily if more orders for taconite pellets cannot be secured by mid-May.

Evtac is located near Eveleth, Minn., and ships its pellets through the DMIR ore dock in Duluth. The company has been struggling for months to secure pellet contracts after part-owner AK Steel decided to buy its pellets from another supplier.

Company officials on Monday issued a 60-day Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notice to 440 Evtac employees. The notice is required by federal law to notify workers and communities of a plant closing or mass layoff.

"I don't see any contracts coming in over the next few months," said Joe Strlekar, president of USWA Local 6860 in Eveleth. "It looks right now like we will be shutting down."

Until pellet contracts run out, all employees will continue working. Company officials say they're confident the plant eventually will win new pellet orders. If the plant is forced to shut down, it will be kept ready for a quick reopening.

Reported by: Al Miller


Leamington Harbor

03/12
Three ferries have wintered in Leamington, the Amherst Islander, Pelee Islander, and the Jiimaan. Maintenance work is underway for the 2003 season. The Pelee Islander would normally start its run to Pelee Island the last week of March. This date will probably be delayed however, because of the ice conditions on Lake Erie.

Wide view of the harbor.
Jiimaan.
Stern view.
Pelee Islander.
Another view.
Amherst Islander.

Reported by: David Cozens


Port of Honolulu

03/12
Far from the ice of the Great Lakes, shipping is running at a steady pace at the Port of Honolulu.

CSX Consumer (ex-Sea-Land Consumer) arriving Honolulu, Feb. 20.
CSX Consumer proceeding to berth 53, Honolulu, Feb. 20.
Royal Princess departing Honolulu for cruise off Waikiki Beach, Feb. 22.
Singapore flag South Korean owned tanker Orion arriving Honolulu, Feb. 22.
Hoku-Kea towing barge Kakela from Honolulu to Maui,Feb. 22.
Tug KokuA (Sause Bros) departing Honolulu with barge, Feb. 22.
Tug Kokua departing Honolulu with Matson barge Mauna Loa, Feb. 22.
Tug Henry Sr (Sause Bros) arriving Honolulu with Matson barge Haleakala, Feb. 22.
82,000 ton-cruise liner Norwegian Star dwarfs Honolulu's Aloha Tower, Feb. 22.
Matson's Lurline arriving Honolulu from Oakland, Feb. 22.
Lurline entering Honolulu Harbor at sunset, Feb. 22.
Twin hulled (Swath design) harbor cruise vessel Navatek 1 arriving at Pier 6 to pick up passengers, Feb. 26.

Reported by: Marc Piché


Break the Ice in Cleveland

03/12
On March 22 at 2 p.m. there will be a Cleveland area mini-Boatnerd Gathering at the Flat Iron Cafe. Please join your fellow Boatnerds for a get acquainted session on the banks of the Cuyahoga. We will meet at the Flat Iron Cafe at 1114 Center Street in the flats across from the red swing bridge at 2 p.m. The Restaurant will have its regular menu and bar service available for the group. If we have a good turnout we may have use of the upstairs meeting room for our festivities.

After a time for socializing we will be able to tour the William G. Mather Museum for a special off-season look at the ship and museum exhibits. Driving tours of the Cleveland Lay-up fleet and special guests are also possibilities.

We need to confirm with the restaurant a number of people attending. Please RSVP by March 12th to Rex Cassidy at casfambly@aol.com or 440-838-4760 with the number of people attending.


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




Alpena Loads

03/11
The steamer Alpena arrived in its name sake port about 9:30 a.m. on Monday. The tug Manitou broke a path through the ice from the bay to the Lafarge Dock. The Alpena loaded cement for South Chicago and St. Joseph. Around 12:30 p.m. it backed away from the dock with the tug Manitou leading the way back onto the lake.

The Alpena is expected to wait in the Straits of Mackinac for Coast Guard escort into Lake Michigan.

Tug Manitou waits to escort the Alpena.
Alpena arrives.
Another view.
Heading for the dock.

Reported by: Ben & Chanda McClain


Sturgeon Bay Update

03/11
The Sam Laud and tug Dorothy Ann were removed from the Graving dock at Bay Ship on Monday morning. With the Five Year inspection and survey complete, both were returned to the berths they came from. The Laud to Berth 8 and Dorothy Ann to Berth 11.

The next scheduled ship for the graving dock will be the Charles M. Beeghly who is expected to enter on Thursday.

Sam Laud Removed from dry dock.
Out of the dock.
Stern View.

Reported by: Vic DeLarwelle


Block Plans for an Early Start

03/11
The Joseph Block is expected to get an early start on the 2003 season. The Blocks first trip will be to the Escanaba, MI ore dock, she is scheduled to depart from Sturgeon Bay on Thursday. Heavy plate ice covers Green Bay with a reported thickness of 20-30 inches.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay is expected to finish ice breaking operations on southern Lake Michigan and return to break out the ore dock at Escanaba Tuesday and Wednesday. The tug Joyce Van Enkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader is also expected in Escanaba Thursday.

Reported by: Carl Grota and Vic DeLarwelle


Tucker to Finish Shuttle

03/11
The Capt. Ralph Tucker is expected to finish her Sarnia - Amherstburg shuttle by Thursday of this week. The vessel will head north through Lakes Huron and Michigan and expects to arrive in Manistee by Sunday morning.

The tanker will be escorted in to Manistee by the Basic Marine tug Erika Kobasic. Ice conditions have dramatically improved in Manistee and the Tucker should not have a problem docking at General Chemical, especially with a former Coast Guard tug assisting her.

The Tucker will load around 7,500 tons of brine for Amherstburg, Ontario. She will then enter her usual Manistee-Amherstburg route for the rest of the year.

Reported by: Chris Franckowiak


Reliance Makes it to Marysville

03/11
The tug Reliance and barge PML 9000 continued their extended trip Monday as they departed the Belle Isle Anchorage under ice breaker escort. The tug and barge headed upbound across Lake St. Clair and entered the St. Clair River.

Monday afternoon the pair docked at the Marysville Edison Dock. The tug and barge are expected to remain at the dock until Wednesday morning when they will depart for their home dock in Sault Ste. Marie.

The delay upbound is likely due to the availability of ice breaking. The severe ice conditions that have formed on many of the lakes have all Coast Guard icebreaking resources in use around the lakes. It is likely that boatwatchers will see many early season trips run in convoy form to maximize Coast Guard resources.

Reported by: Dan Jackson


Sarnia Lay-up

03/11
Below are pictures taken on Sunday of Sarnia's lay-up fleet.
Mississagi.
Another view.
Maumee and Calumet.
Maumee.
Mississagi bow.
Halifax.
Agawa Canyon.
Rudder and propeller.
Work on the Canyon.
North slip.
Capt. Ralph Tucker loading.
Saginaw.
McNally tugs.
Two more.

Reported by: Scott Tomlinson


Port of Honolulu

03/11
Far from the ice of the Great Lakes, shipping is running at a steady pace at the Port of Honolulu.

Columbia Leader arriving Honolulu, Feb. 17.
Hoku-Ke'a,Young Bros. inter-island tug, Feb.17.
Moku Ahi, Port of Honolulu fireboat, Feb. 17.
Long Lines, Tyco cable ship moored to Sand Island, Feb.19.
Tyco Dependable newly built to replace Long Lines, Feb. 19.
Star Of Honolulu departing to cruise off Waikiki Beach, Feb.19.
Hawaii Responder, Honolulu based research vessel. Feb. 19.
Hoku-Loa, Young Bros barge towing tug, Feb.19.
Namahoe departing Honolulu, Feb.19.
CSX Enterprise departing Honolulu, Feb. 20.
CSX Enterprise departing Honolulu, tug Namahoe. Feb. 20.

Reported by: Marc Piché


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




Reliance Departs

03/10
Sunday afternoon the tug Reliance and barge PML 9000 departed the dock at the old McLouth Steel plant in Trenton. The moved a short distance up the Detroit River and stopped for the night at the Belle Isle Anchorage.

Also stopped in the anchorage for the night is the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley. The Risley expected to lead the Reliance upbound about 6 a.m. Monday morning.

Pictures by Marc Wright
Samuel Risley Fueling Sunday morning.
Close up.

Reported by: Robert Burns


Cutter Returns to the St. Marys River

03/10
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Katmai Bay was upbound in the St Marys River Sunday afternoon at Mud Lake heading home after a week of icebreaking duties in the Straits of Mackinac area. The Sugar Island ferry is looking forward to its arrival, the Katmai Bay will provide ice breaking services to clear the plate ice that has built up at the island and mainland docks.

Reported by: Dan Young


Tall ships Return to the Great Lakes this summer

03/10
Tall Ships will be visiting Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Lake Michigan in July and August. This year's fleet will off a more interesting fleet than in 2001. New vessels to include the Europa, Tarangini and the Bounty.

According to the Toledo Blade, as part of Ohio's bicentennial celebration, as many as 17 tall ships are expected to call in Toledo, Cleveland, Huron, Sandusky, the Lake Erie islands, and Mentor Lagoons.

The sailing ships will dock along the east bank of the Maumee River at International Park July 16-20. Volunteers with the nonprofit International Park of Greater Toledo, Inc., are organizing the event, which they expect could draw 40,000 to 100,000.

Tall ship historian and author Thad Koza will travel the lakes with a tall ships slide lecture presentation.
April 23, 7 PM Green Bay Wisconsin - dnimmer@esls.lib.wi.us
April 27 – 2 PM La Grange, Illinois - prohlp@lagrangelibrary.org
April 29 - 5: 30 PM Chicago, IL - vaselopu@chipublib.org
May 1 - NOON. Muskegon, Michigan - 800.250.WAVE and at 7 PM at the County Museum of Art hatchjo@co.muskegon.mi.us
May 9 - 7 PM Wyandotte, Michigan - wymuseum@ili.net
May 13 - 7 PM Bay City, Michigan - Shirley@chartermi.net
May 14 - 7 PM Port Huron - pamelathomas@advnet.net
May 17 - PM Detroit - ArtistofDetroit@aol.com

Visit tallshipsinternational.com or www.sailtraining.org for more details.

Reported by: Thad Koza


Mobile Bay battling Lake Michigan ice

03/10
Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay is battling some of the heaviest ice seen on southern Lake Michigan in 20 years.

The 140-foot vessel was facing ice that's 2-1/2 feet thick. The ice forced 60 barges to wait in the Calumet River for the Mobile to clear a path. Farther north, about 45 barges have been waiting to navigate to area businesses.

Northwest Indiana’s waterways are busy even in winter because barges transport raw materials and finished steel to and from mills — International Steel Group, Ispat Inland, U.S. Steel’s Gary Works and Bethlehem’s Burns Harbor.

“It look longer than we thought,’’ Cmdr. John Little, commanding office of the Mobile Bay, said about his icebreaking job. “It’s thick and soupy ice like mashed potatoes. It doesn’t break cleanly, and barges can’t get through.’’

The Mobile Bay, which is stationed in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., was a welcome sight to Holly Headland, owner of Holly’s Marine Towing in South Chicago, about 3 miles from the Indiana border.

Headland owns eight barges that transport 50 steel coils each from the local mills to the Calumet River in Chicago. Her barges carry about 12,000 tons of steel each week.

For the past two weeks, her barges haven’t been able to enter the waters near Gary Works or Burns Harbor. Her company, which has annual revenues between $3 million to $4 million a year, has lost $30,000 to $50,000 in the last two weeks, forcing Headland to lay off two workers for the first time in 10 years.

Her company employs 15 to 16 people in the winter, and 30 to 35 in the summer. When she saw the Mobile Bay on Thursday, she knew she was one step closer to getting back to business.

“It’s been bad in the industry,’’ she said. “People are saying it’s the worst in 10 years. I think this is worse than that.’’

Reported by: Mark Nelson


Port Colborne Lay-up

03/10
Below are picture taken Sunday around Port Colborne

Algogulf and Enterprise scrapping appears to have come to a halt.
Comeaudoc scrapping well underway.
Another view.
Canadian Transport at the fuel dock.
Anchor on berth. An extra safety precaution just in case.
The business end of a ship. Twin rudders and propeller.
Forlorn looking Canadiana at Ramey's Bend.
Name on bow can still be seen after all these years.
The ol' girl ain't goin' nowhere soon.
Starboard shipside.
CSL Tadoussac laid up at Wharf 16.
Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin and Algowood laid up above Lock 8.
Stack from tug James Battle scrapped in 1992.
Marsh Engineering Drydock at Ramey's bend. Makes a nice rink.
Unknown pilothouse.
Charred interior.
Robin Hood Mill at Humberstone.
Laid up Sarah Spencer is a regular caller at Robin Hood.

Reported by: Capt. Alain Gindroz


McDougall tug Islay

03/10
Free Program on Historic McDougall Tug Islay: Alexander McDougall's tug Islay will be the topic of a special evening program presented at the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center (Marine Museum) in Duluth. Tug owner, Capt. Gregory J. Stamatelakys of Milwaukee, will present the program on Tuesday evening, March 18th, beginning at 7:00 p.m. The program is free and open to the public. It is hosted by the Corps of Engineers and Lake Superior Marine Museum Association.

The historic tug ISLAY was built in 1892 by Captain McDougall at his American Steel Barge Company shipyard in Superior, Wisconsin. It is named for both his daughter and the Scottish island of his birthplace. The tug was part of the first triple launching on the Great Lakes, which included the unique McDougall whalebacks, Pillbury and Washburn. The tug is powered by a restored Kahlenberg diesel engine.

The tug has had many owners throughout its career including such well-known Twin Ports firms as the Superior Ship Building Company, Duluth Marine Supply Company, H. Christiansen & Son, and Marine Iron & Shipbuilding Company. Capt. Stamatelakys has owned and been restoring the tug for the past 20 years.

More information about the tug is available on the Internet at: home.wi.rr.com/tugislay/tugislay.htm For more information on the program call the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center at 1-218-717-2497.

Reported by: Thomas R. Holden


And the Winner is..

03/10
The ISMA Lodge 5 Winter Dinner Dance was held at the Bay City Yacht Club on Saturday and the winning ticket was drawn for the Grand Prize Freighter Trip on the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. The lucky winner of that trip was Mr. John Pringle of Waukesha, Wisconsin. The second prize winner of the $250.00 certificate for the Thomas Edison Inn, in Port Huron, Michigan was Mr. Rich Herendeen of Avilla, Indiana. Third prize of $100.00 went to Mr. Michael Gajewski of Troy, Mi.

Lodge 5 wishes to congratulate the winners and thank everyone for participating in the fundraising raffle.

Reported by: Maureen Martin


Break the Ice in Cleveland

03/10
On March 22 at 2 p.m. there will be a Cleveland area mini-Boatnerd Gathering at the Flat Iron Cafe. Please join your fellow Boatnerds for a get acquainted session on the banks of the Cuyahoga. We will meet at the Flat Iron Cafe at 1114 Center Street in the flats across from the red swing bridge at 2 p.m. The Restaurant will have its regular menu and bar service available for the group. If we have a good turnout we may have use of the upstairs meeting room for our festivities.

After a time for socializing we will be able to tour the William G. Mather Museum for a special off-season look at the ship and museum exhibits. Driving tours of the Cleveland Lay-up fleet and special guests are also possibilities.

We need to confirm with the restaurant a number of people attending. Please RSVP by March 12th to Rex Cassidy at casfambly@aol.com or 440-838-4760 with the number of people attending.


News Reporters Wanted

03/10:
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.

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




Weekly Updates

03/10
The weekly updates have been uploaded.
Click here to view




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




Reliance Remains

03/09
Saturday the tug Reliance and barge PML 9000 remained docked at the old McLouth Steel plant in Trenton. The barge has been unloaded but their departure date and time is unknown.

The Reliance may be waiting for assistance transiting Lake Huron and the St. Marys River. Heavy ice across the lakes has icebreakers working full time. The tug and barge may wait until Monday to depart.

Docked on Saturday.

Reported by: Marv Hoffmeyer


Heavy Weight Icebreaker Expected to Work the Lower Lakes

03/09
The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Pierre Radisson, which is normally stationed in Quebec City, will work the lower lakes by the end of March due to the extreme ice conditions this year. The although the opening of the Welland Canal has been set back to 31 March, the Radisson will be allowed to transit ahead of that date.

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon is expected to be underway by March 15.

More information on the Pierre Radisson

Reported by: Barry Hiscocks


Mobile Bay battling Lake Michigan ice

03/09
Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay is battling some of the heaviest ice seen on southern Lake Michigan in 20 years.

The 140-foot vessel was facing ice that's 2-1/2 feet thick. The ice forced 60 barges to wait in the Calumet River for the Mobile to clear a path. Farther north, about 45 barges have been waiting to navigate to area businesses.

Northwest Indiana’s waterways are busy even in winter because barges transport raw materials and finished steel to and from mills — International Steel Group, Ispat Inland, U.S. Steel’s Gary Works and Bethlehem’s Burns Harbor.

“It look longer than we thought,’’ Cmdr. John Little, commanding office of the Mobile Bay, said about his icebreaking job. “It’s thick and soupy ice like mashed potatoes. It doesn’t break cleanly, and barges can’t get through.’’

The Mobile Bay, which is stationed in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., was a welcome sight to Holly Headland, owner of Holly’s Marine Towing in South Chicago, about 3 miles from the Indiana border.

Headland owns eight barges that transport 50 steel coils each from the local mills to the Calumet River in Chicago. Her barges carry about 12,000 tons of steel each week.

For the past two weeks, her barges haven’t been able to enter the waters near Gary Works or Burns Harbor. Her company, which has annual revenues between $3 million to $4 million a year, has lost $30,000 to $50,000 in the last two weeks, forcing Headland to lay off two workers for the first time in 10 years.

Her company employs 15 to 16 people in the winter, and 30 to 35 in the summer. When she saw the Mobile Bay on Thursday, she knew she was one step closer to getting back to business.

“It’s been bad in the industry,’’ she said. “People are saying it’s the worst in 10 years. I think this is worse than that.’’

Reported by: Dan Flynn


Final Storage Load

03/09
Saturday the Canadian Provider was moved back to her winter lay-up berth after being unloaded at Redpath Sugar. The Provider was the last of Toronto's winter storage fleet waiting to be unloaded.

Reported by: Bill Bird


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




Reliance Departure

03/08
Friday evening the tug Reliance and barge PML 9000 remained docked at the old McLouth Steel plant in Trenton. The barge appeared to be unloaded, the tug and barge were expected to depart Friday morning after waiting for an ice breaker escort.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay passed upbound on the Detroit River Friday morning but the Reliance did not follow. The Bristol Bay was upbound to break ice off Harsen's Island in the St. Clair River. The ice choked channel is causing difficulty for the ferry that services the island.

The Reliance may be waiting for assistance transiting Lake Huron and the St. Marys River. Heavy ice across the lakes has icebreakers working full time.

Reported by: Marv Hoffmeyer


Mackenzie Renamed

03/08
Friday morning crews in Montreal were painting a new name on the former bulk carrier Mackenzie. The ship was bought by CSL and is now named Birchglen. The name Mackenzie was still painted on her bow and on the name boards. However, three letters of her new name were painted on the stern.

The lifeboats had the new name painted on. The new port of registry is Montreal. On paper, she was renamed on February 7 according to the Transport Canada.

In other port news the tug/supply ship Escort Protector was sold by McKeil to foreign interests while she was on the west coast.

Reported by: René Beauchamp


Alpena's Returning

03/08
The Alpena arrived in Waukegan, IL on Friday morning to unload cement. The tug Barbara Andrie assisted the Alpena into port by breaking a path through the ice. By evening the Alpena departed Waukegan with help from the tug and was headed upbound back to its namesake port.

The tugboat Manitou is tied up in Alpena, waiting for the return of the Alpena to assist in icebreaking duties. A former Coast Guard Cutter, the tugboat can go through ice easily. The Manitou broke a path into Lafarge last Monday for the cement carrier.

Reported by: Ben & Chanda McClain


McAsphalt 401 departs

03/08
The tug John Spence and barge McAsphalt 401 departed Port Stanley on Tuesday about 6 p.m. The barge spent several days in port undergoing repairs after heavy ice on Lake Erie holed the barge.

Reported by: Ted Coombs


Lake Superior likely won't freeze entirely, expert says

03/08
Lake Superior has its most extensive ice cover in years but probably won't freeze entirely, experts said Wednesday.

"I don't think it's going to happen," Craig Evanego, an ice forecaster with the National Ice Center in Washington, D.C., told the Duluth News Tribune. "It will come close, but it won't be shore to shore over the whole lake."

The lake has the most ice since 1997 and is the closest to freezing over since ice covered the lake in February 1994. The lake also froze over in 1978 and 1972. A string of warmer-than-usual winters recently has kept the lake mostly ice free.

Lake watchers in the Duluth area have noticed considerable open water in recent days. The western region of the lake is apparently one of the few areas not frozen.

"Superior is covered in most areas, except in the west where the winds have generally been blowing it away," Evanego said.

It's difficult, even with infrared satellite imagery, to tell exactly when the lake is entirely frozen. Even in years when it's reported as frozen, pockets of open water probably remain undetected.

Using the best technology, however, the National Ice Center reports about 90 percent of the lake is covered with at least some ice, ranging from a few centimeters to several feet thick. The National Ice Center, created in 1995, is a merger of ice-monitoring efforts of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency of the Department of Commerce.

In February 1978, all of the Great Lakes were frozen over at once for just a few hours, one of the few times that has ever happened. Now, Lakes Erie and Huron are ice-covered. But parts of Ontario, Michigan and Superior remain open.

Reported by: Mike Young


Coast Guard accepts Cutter Hickory

03/08
The U.S. Coast Guard officially accepted the Cutter Hickory on Thursday, clearing the way for the vessel to prepare for departure from the Great Lakes.

Hickory was built by Marinette Marine Corp. and launched May 11, 2002. Since then it's been undergoing outfitting and sea trials.

The ship's crew took responsibility for the cutter Thursday, enabling the vessel to be placed into a temporary in-commission special status.

Lt. Cmdr. Charles Cashin will command of Hickory. His crew of seven officers and 46 enlisted will become "plankowners" of the new vessel.

Hickory's official commissioning will take place at its home port of Homer, Alaska. The cutter is scheduled to depart for Alaska on March 26 after its crew undergoes a shakedown cruise in Green Bay and Lake Michigan.

Cutter Hickory is the 12th Juniper Class Seagoing Buoy Tender and the seventh of the B-Class built by Marinette Marine Corp. The principal characteristics of the Hickory are: Length 225 feet, beam 46 feet, draft 13 feet, and displacement 2,000 long tons.

Currently the Coast Guard has contracted for 11 B-Class cutters. The B-Class cutters will join the Five A-Class cutters built by Marinette Marine that are operating throughout the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

The missions of the Juniper Class seagoing buoy tenders are aids to navigation, marine environmental protection, search and rescue, and domestic ice breaking.

Reported by: Hugh Baker


Tour the Ryerson in May

03/08
On Saturday, May 10th the Door County Maritime Museum will conduct guided one-hour tours of the "Queen of the Lakes", the Edward L. Ryerson from 8 am to 5 pm. Built by the Manitowoc Company on 1960 as the flagship of the Inland Steel Company, she is as strong and fast as she is beautiful.

To purchase tickets, phone 920.743.4045 Monday through Friday or log onto the DCMM's website: www.dcmm.org. Pick your hour and have your credit card ready. $12 per person. Be sure to order early, last year the tours sold out quickly.

Reported by: Anni Lampert


9th. Annual "Blessing of the Fleet", Sault Ste. Marie, MI

03/08
I.S.M.A. Twin Sault Lodge #22, cordially invites you to attend The Ninth Annual "Blessing of the Fleet" at 10:00 AM, Sunday, March 16, 2003, at Faith Lutheran Church, corner of W. 8th. Avenue and Park Street, Sault Ste. Marie, MI. If you have a flag, pennant or burgee you wish to present, please bring it with you. Mariners who have uniforms are encouraged to wear them to the service. Refreshments will be served in the social hall following the service. If you wish to participate in the "Honor Guard" or have questions regarding driving directions, please contact Capt. Charlie Lampman captlampman@sault.com.

Reported by: Capt. Charlie Lampman


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




Reliance Departure

03/07
The Tug Reliance and barge PML 9000 remained in Trenton, Mi Thursday night. The tug and barge were expected to depart about noon Thursday but reported they will wait until ice breaking assistance is available.

Coast Guard ice breakers are expected in the lower Detroit River Friday morning.

Reported by: Eric Miner


Contract Accepted at Marinette Marine

03/07
On Thursday workers at Marinette Marine agreed to accept a new contract, ending a strike that began Jan. 22. About 700 workers went on strike when their previous contract expired.

The union members rejected one contract offer before the strike and another on Feb. 4. They said the contract offers sought concessions on such issues as health insurance, work schedules and seniority. According to local media details of the new agreement were not released, though union officials have termed them an improvement over previous offers.

Through the strike Marinette Marine has continued to operate with management personnel.

Reported by: Jason Leino


Alpena Arrives

03/07
The Alpena arrived in Milwaukee just before noon local time on Thursday. They tied up along side the laid up Jacklyn M and barge Integrity. The Milwaukee inner harbor has very little ice due to year round use from various fish tug and local tug traffic.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde


Council Supports Car Ferry

03/07
The Manistee, Mi. City Council has approved a resolution of support for the museum ship City of Milwaukee. The resolution supports a move of the retired carferry from its present location to an area by the Moonlite Motel and Marina on the north end of Manistee Lake. This new location will provide better access by tourist.

Reported by: Jim Grill


Coast Guard icebreaker working in Calumet Harbor

03/07
The Coast Guard icebreaker Mobile Bay was breaking through six to eight inches of ice Thursday in the vicinity of Calumet Harbor, Illinois.

The Mobile Bay, a 140-foot icebreaking buoy tender home ported in Sturgeon Bay, Wisc., is breaking ice in Calumet Harbor and Burns Harbor, Indiana, for commercial shipping to resume. This extensive icebreaking effort will continue through the weekend.

For the latest Great Lakes ice reports please Click Here

Reported by: Paul Roszkowski


Tucker Shuttle

03/07
The tanker Capt. Ralph Tucker returned to Amherstburg, Ont. Thursday afternoon with another load of brine for General Chemical. Unloading has taken about 12 hours on past trips, the tanker is expect to depart for Sarnia early Friday morning joining in the ice convoy lead by Coast Guard icebreakers. The Amherstburg Channel was relatively free of ice on Thursday. The channel, in the lower Detroit River, can quickly fill if the heavy ice from Lake St. Clair breaks free and flows down river.

Reported by: David Cozens


Consultant to study possible Cleveland-Canada ferry

03/07
A committee of Cleveland's port authority has recommended approval of a $250,000 contract for a maritime consultant to manage a Cleveland-to-Canada ferry study.

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority board is expected to hire Stuart Theis in a vote March 14. Theis is the former president of the Oglebay Norton shipping company's Great Lakes fleet and its dock operations.

The contract would be part of a $1 million project paid for mostly with federal money.

Most of the money will be used to study whether there is enough passenger and business interest to make a ferry profitable, Port Authority Executive Director Gary Failor said. If so, the next steps would include creating a marketing plan and finding an operator.

The initial idea is for the ferry to carry cars, trucks and passengers to Port Stanley, Ontario, which is about 130 miles and a 2½ hour drive from both Detroit and Toronto, she said.

Reported by: Rex Cassidy


Ghost Ships 2003

03/07
Some of the Great Lakes best stories will be told in Milwaukee during Ghost Ships 2003, held March 15th and 16th at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center. Topics range from unique whaleback ships to the worst of Great Lakes storms, and the many of the presenters are the divers who investigate the shipwrecks.

Among presenters will be PBS documentary producer Ric Mixter who will share his latest program on the 1940 Armistice Day Storm, a gale that took 5 vessels and some 60 sailors. "Safe Ashore" chronicles the rescue of 17 men by a tiny fish tug and the controversy as to why the Coast Guard weren't the first on the scene.

Original music and incredible film footage of the rescue make this program one-of-a-kind. Ric will also provide a sneak peek at his latest endeavor, "Final Run", a profile of the Great Storm of 1913. For more details on the event along with ticket information. please visit www.ghost-ships.org


Cedarglen in Windsor

03/07
CSL's Cedarglen remains in winter lay-up in Windsor. She is dock at the ADM Elevator on the Detroit River.
Docked at ADM.
Stern view.

Reported by: Mike Nicholls


Retired Cruise Ships in Freeport

03/07
In Freeport Bahamas two very special retired cruise ships and several others can be found.

One of special interest is Big Red Boat II, built in 1961 as TransVaal Castle for Union Castle Line. Later S.A. Vaal and then an early ship of Carnival Cruise Lines as Festival. Recently sailed as IslandBreeze for Premier Cruise line. With 55,000 HP steam turbines, she made weekly trips for Union Castle Line between Southampton and Cape Town. She has just been sold for scrap.

The Second is Rembrant, better known as Rotterdam, former flagship of Holland American Line. Built in 1954 she took cruising passengers all over the world until 1999 when she was sold to Premier Cruise Lines and became Rembrant. A group in Rotterdam Netherlands are attempting to bring her there as a hotel.

Photos by Captain Roger Break
Tropicana.
Fantasy.
Doomed for scrap with flags flying is Big Red Boat II on the left & Rembrant.
Another view of Rembrant, formerly Rotterdam.
Fantasy bow view.
Sun Jo 1 & Big Red Boat III in the background.

Reported by: Bill Hoey


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


Reliance Arrives

03/06
The tug Reliance and barge PML 9000 arrived in Trenton, Mi Wednesday evening. The tug and barge were escorted down the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers reaching the dock about 6 p.m.

Crews will unload the barge load of steel coils over night and the tug and barge are expected to depart for Sault Ste. Marie about noon Thursday.

Reported by: Eric Miner


Alpena Making Steady Progress

03/06
The Steamer Alpena left port on Tuesday afternoon and made it to the Straits of Mackinac by midnight on Wednesday. They anchored near Round Island for the night to wait for assistance from the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw.

The Mackinaw joined up with the Alpena before noon on Wednesday to lead the way to Lake Michigan. By evening it was past Gull Island and expects to make Milwaukee on Thursday afternoon.

Local media reports that large stock piles of cement at the Alpena, Mi plant is the reason for the Alpena's early sailing.

Reported by: Ben & Chanda McClain


Seaway Opening Pushed Back Due to Ice

03/06
Due to severe ice conditions throughout the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes system, the opening of the 2003 navigation season is scheduled to take place later than the original planned date.

The Montreal / Lake Ontario section of the Seaway and the Welland Canal will open March 31 at 8 a.m.

Vessel transits will be subject to weather and ice conditions. Navigation may be restricted to daylight hours in some areas until lighted navigation aids have been installed.

The Seaway is expected to remain open with a clearance date for the Montreal / Lake Ontario Section set for midnight December 20, 2003. The closing date will be no later than December 24, provided that weather and ice conditions permit.

The "clearance date" is the date by which vessels must report at a specific calling-in point for their final transit of the Montreal / Lake Ontario Section of the Seaway.

In preparation for the opening crews have started filling the Welland Canal between Locks 1 and 2. The rest of the canal will start to be filled next week.

The Soo Locks will open on March 25. Heavy ice conditions across the lakes are sure to cause a slow start to the 2003/2004 shipping season.

Reported by: Bill Bird, Jimmy Sprunt and Richard Holbert


Mobile Bay heading for Chicago

03/06
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay is heading for the Chicago area to assist in ice breaking. Over the past two weeks barge and vessel traffic in the Calumet Harbor, Indiana Harbor, Gary and Burns Harbor areas have almost come to a stop due to the heavy ice.

Local companies requested Coast Guard assistance late last week and the Mobile Bay was dispatched from Sturgeon Bay on Monday to Southern Lake Michigan to keep the traffic flowing.

Reported by: Joe Kelly


Corps Boat Towed From Grand Haven

03/06
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 42-foot Harvey Hodge was towed by trailer from Grand Haven on Thursday morning, heading for storage at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' district headquarters in Detroit. The twin diesel jet drive boat will remain there until a buyer is found for it.

Corps civil engineer George Thibault told the Holland Sentinel that "Technology was its demise." The Corps used the Hodge and a smaller boat to set up a triangle with a land crew for hydrographic surveying, or depth sounding, prior to channel dredging projects up and down the West Michigan shoreline. Thibault said it took seven to eight Corps employees to do the work with microwave signaling equipment.

"It probably took two or three hours out of the survey day to get everything calibrated, or set," Thibault told the newspaper. "Now, set-up time is almost immediate."

The Hodge had been sitting in dry dock at the government basin along Grand Haven's channel for the past three years. It was built in 1989 as one of two 42-footers for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Hodge arrived in Grand Haven and was dedicated in the summer of 1990. It was named for Harvey Hodge, a deceased former Corps employee.

Reported by: Dale Rosema


Sugar Unloaded in Toronto

03/06
Crews were busy at Red Path Sugar in Toronto Wednesday unloading a storage cargo of sugar. The Canadian Provider was under the unloading rigs Wednesday, each year several boats lay-up in Toronto with a storage cargo of sugar.

Reported by: Bill Bird


Viking I in Menominee

03/06
The Viking 1 remains at the K&K Dock in Menominee awaiting her fate. Officials at K&K are still deciding how to best use the Viking 1, which will eventually be used to haul wood pulp and possibly lumber products on the Great Lakes.

Viking 1 Docked.
Side View of Viking 1.
Engine Control Room.
Main Engine view from above.
Main Engine side view.
Looking aft on the Viking 1.
Crew cabin.
Galley.
Dining Room.
Looking forward (note Gyrocompass).
Looking forward at William H Donner at K&K Dock.
Wheel in Pilot House.
Pilot House Controls.
Arthur K Atkinson life Jacket in Pilot House.
Anchor winch.
Viking Pilot House.
Main Deck walkway.
Former rail road car deck.
Crane Ship William H. Donner at K&K.
Barge Manitowoc at K&K.

Reported by: Scott Best


Blessing of the Fleet

03/06
The annual Great Lakes Memorial Service with a Blessing of the Fleet will be held in Old Mariners Church, in Detroit's Riverfront Civic and Renaissance Centers, on Sunday at 11:00 a.m.

The service remembers all Mariners who have lost their lives on the Great Lakes and especially the Great Lakes personnel who died during 2002. The blessing ends with the ringing of the church bell.


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




Alpena Loads

03/05
The Steamer Alpena arrived in its name sake port about 8 a.m. Tuesday, getting an early start to the 2003 shipping season. She was assisted into port by an unidentified tug. The crew spent the day loading cement for Milwaukee, WI.

There is a lot of ice in the area along with some open water in bay. The Alpena departed at 12:30 p.m. carefully turning around after backing out from the loading dock. Snow was falling heavy at times and reducing visibility out on the lake.

The Alpena was escorted upbound from Detroit to Alpena by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay.

Reported by: Ben and Chanda McClain


PML 9000 Anchored for the Night

03/05
The tug Reliance and barge PML 9000 passed downbound on Lake Huron early Tuesday morning escorted by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw. About 2 a.m. the tug and barge met up with the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay, who had finished escorting the Alpena, for escort down the lake.

The Bristol Bay escorted the Reliance and barge downbound Tuesday and reached the Huron Cut in southern Lake Huron Tuesday night. The vessels stopped in the ice for the night near Buoys 11 and 12 and will continue downbound Wednesday morning.

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley is expected to depart the Government Dock in Sarnia Wednesday and assist the Bristol Bay with the Reliance's trip downbound to Detroit.

Pictures of the PML 9000 unloading. Al Crema
View looking east.
Forklift handling a coil.
View down the side of the barge PML 9000.

Reported by: Barry Hiscocks


Ice Stops Ferry Service

03/05
Tuesday night the Sugar Island ferry in Sault Ste. Marie was again stopped by ice. Heavy ice was blocking the ferry from departing the Sugar Island Dock and making the short crossing in the St. Marys River.

Late last night they were able to pull away from the dock to make one more crossing. The crew reports that the plate ice is now piling up on top of each other with no where to go. The ferry will make limited trips to the island until an icebreaker is available to assist.

Icebreaker assistance is unavailable as the cutters assigned to the St Marys River and Straights of Mackinac have been delayed with other escorts. A commercial tug was requested Tuesday but was unable to break out from the ice surrounding its dock.

Sugar Islander II at Sugar Island dock.
Wide angle of the usually open water Tuesday afternoon.
Approaching the mainland dock at Mission Point.

Reported by: B. Barnes


Lake Superior level still falling

03/05
The level of Lake Superior continued to fall in February, but not as fast as in previous months, the Duluth News Tribune reported.

The lake currently is about 9 inches below its normal level, following its normal seasonal pattern. The level dropped about an inch in February, the International Lake Superior Board of Control said.

Despite the decline, the lake remains 7 inches above its all-time low for March, which was recorded in 1926. Nonetheless, water supply to the lake remains unusually low as snowfall throughout the Lake Superior basin remains below average.

Carl Woodruff, hydraulic engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Detroit District, said significant ice cover on Lake Superior has slowed the rate of decline by slowing evaporation. Satellite photographs show much of the lake -- except for extreme western portions -- covered with at least some ice.

Woodruff said water levels should begin their usual seasonal increase in mid-March as snow starts to melt and rivers open up. But without at least average seasonal rain and snowfall in coming months the lake will remain well below historical averages for spring, he said. The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center has included much of Lake Superior's basin in drought or near drought conditions.

Lakes Michigan and Huron also are unusually low, now at 23 inches below normal and 9 inches below this time last year.

Reported by: Dan Barrett


Paul Martin says he shouldn't have to sell CSL if he becomes PM

03/05
Paul Martin insists that he would not have to sell his Canada Steamship Lines empire if he becomes Canada's prime minister, the Toronto Globe and Mail reported.

Attacked by opposition politicians and under increasing pressure to sell his extensive shipping business, Martin said Tuesday that an independent ethics commissioner could ensure there are no conflicts even if he owns a major company and runs the government at the same time.

"If I become the prime minister, clearly that is a different role from the one I had as finance minister. And different structures will be put in place. Those will be structures that will be monitored by an independent ethics commissioner reporting to Parliament," he told the Globe and Mail.

"I think the question that has to be asked is, 'Do we want, in this kind of economy, to essentially say to entrepreneurs or people who have built things that there is no role for them in public life?' I believe that the focus ought to be putting in place the structures that would be required to give the public full confidence."

Martin already has asked Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's ethics counselor, Howard Wilson, to work out what special rules would have to apply to a prime minister who also owns an extensive shipping concern.

However, that will not be enough for the leaders of the Canadian Alliance, NDP and Progressive Conservatives, who insist that Martin, the front-runner to succeed Chrétien as Liberal leader and prime minister, must sell his shipping empire if he wins. They have argued that decisions in many areas, including the environment, taxes and industrial policy, could affect Martin's bottom line.

Martin is a multimillionaire with a variety of holdings, but his chief asset is the CSL Group Inc., owner of Canada Steamship Lines Inc. and other companies that operate 24 ships in international waters and on the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes.

When he became a cabinet minister, the company was placed under an arms-length blind-management agreement and Martin was required to avoid taking part in government decisions on shipping, the steel industry and some other areas that might affect CSL's interests and value.

Reported by: John Dunkirk


Break the Ice in Cleveland

03/05
On March 22 at 2 p.m. there will be a Cleveland area mini-Boatnerd Gathering at the Flat Iron Cafe. Please join your fellow Boatnerds for a get acquainted session on the banks of the Cuyahoga. We will meet at the Flat Iron Cafe at 1114 Center Street in the flats across from the red swing bridge at 2 p.m. The Restaurant will have its regular menu and bar service available for the group. If we have a good turnout we may have use of the upstairs meeting room for our festivities.

After a time for socializing we will be able to tour the William G. Mather Museum for a special off-season look at the ship and museum exhibits. Driving tours of the Cleveland Lay-up fleet and special guests are also possibilities.

We need to confirm with the restaurant a number of people attending. Please RSVP by March 12th to Rex Cassidy at casfambly@aol.com or 440-838-4760 with the number of people attending.


Mackinac Bridge featured on History Channel

03/05
The History Channel is telecasting a new episode of Modern Marvels about the Mackinac Bridge tonight at 10 p.m. Included in the episode is footage of the bridge and interview with local producer Mark Howell.

The footage was included in Mark's popular video tape "Building the Mighty Mac." An updated version of "Building the Mighty Mac" is set for release on DVD March 14. The DVD will include more archival footage. For those interested Mark is now accepting preorders for the DVD. Preorders will include a free copy of Mark's "Sights and Sounds of the Mackinac Bridge" CD-ROM. The DVD is $24.95 plus $3 for s&h (MI residence should add the 6% sales tax).

Mark Howell Productions
Box 827
Muskegon, MI 49443
(231) 893-3537

Reported by: Mark Howell


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.

On 05 March 1898, the WILLIAM R. LINN (steel propeller freighter, 400’, 4328 gt) was launched at the Chicago Ship Building Company in South Chicago, Illinois. In 1940 she was sold, renamed L. S. WESCOAT and converted to a tanker. She was scrapped in Germany in 1965.

Data from: Max Hanley, Mike Nicholls, 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


Alpena Departs Detroit

03/04
The Alpena departed Detroit Monday morning and traveled a short distance upbound before become stuck in ice. The Alpena started into the ice near Peche Island at the entrance to Lake St. Clair where she was stopped by ice.

Coast Guard ice breakers raced to the aid of the Alpena. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay arrived on scene first followed a short time later by the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley. The two ice breakers passed the Alpena to break a track upbound.

The three vessels continued upbound with the Bristol Bay running about an hour ahead of the Risley and Alpena in the St. Clair River. The Bristol Bay waited for the Alpena in southern Lake Huron. The Risley pulled into the Government Dock in Sarnia to await further orders, the Alpena continued upbound into a very icy Lake Huron to be escorted the remainder of the way by the Bristol Bay. She passed under the Blue Water Bridges at Port Huron and Sarnia at about 2:30 p.m. The Alpena is heading to Alpena, Mi. to load.

Reported by: Dick & Barb Coburn, Angie Williams and Barry Hiscocks


PML 9000 Reaches Lake Huron

03/04
The tug Reliance and barge PML 9000 entered Lake Huron Monday afternoon downbound behind the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw.

The tug Wilfred M. Cohen assisted in the St. Marys River and turned back to the Soo at Lime Island about noon Monday. At 6:30 p.m. the Cohen passed Nine Mile Point. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Katmai Bay was downbound in the river on its way to Grand Traverse Bay for ice breaking. Ice in the St. Marys River was very thick and the track quickly refroze with overnight temperatures at twenty degrees below zero or more.

The Reliance was escorted by the Mackinaw to area of the Nordmeer wreck off Middle Island. From there the tug and barge will be escorted downbound to Detroit by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay, after the cutter reaches Alpena.

Reported by: Linda Stoetzer and Jim Macdonald


Ice Stops Ferry Service

03/04
The Sugar Island ferry, in Sault Ste. Marie, was experiencing problems transiting the short span in the St. Marys River last night. The ferry crosses between Sugar Island and the ferry dock on the mainland at Mission Point.

The ferry reported very large pieces of broken plate ice, clogging the slip and under the dock. With no where for the ice to go, the ferry boat called the Coast Guard for assistance. All available Coast Guard icebreakers were working in the Straits area, unable to help to the ferry until sometime Tuesday.

Reported by: Chris Arndt


Tucker Remains Active

03/04
The Capt. Ralph Tucker was unloading at General Chemical's Amherstburg plant on Friday. The Tucker was back in town on Monday with another load of brine from Sarnia.

Reported by: David Cozens


Lorain Pellet Terminal

03/04
Crews continue removing the pellet terminal at Lorain in preparation for its move to Cleveland. On Saturday crews were busy removing structural elements of the conveyor head building, the building where the pellets were brought up by conveyor from storage for distribution.

Each piece is being carefully removed for reassembly at Whiskey Island, the entire terminal is expected to be moved by barge this spring.

Reported by: Hugh M. Windsor


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




PML 9000 Departs

03/03
The tug Reliance and barge PML 9000 departed the Soo downbound about 2 p.m. Sunday. The tug Wilfred M. Cohen departed about an hour earlier to break ice in the harbor and assist the Reliance downbound. The cutter Mackinaw was working the Nine Mile Point area and will escort the tug and barge downbound.

Temperatures in the Soo were forecast to fall to 25 degrees below zero Fahrenheit Sunday night. This artic blast is sure to quickly refreeze any track the tug and barge break.

The tug Reliance and barge PML 9000 are carrying a load of steel coils for delivery to Detroit.

Pictures by B. Barnes
Wilfred M Cohen leading above Six Mile Point.
Reliance & PML 9000.
Close up of Reliance.
Stern view of Cohen.

Reported by: Linda Stoetzer and B. Barnes


Alpena Expected Upbound Today

03/03
The first freighter to depart lay-up for the 2003/2004 season is expected to continue upbound today.

The Alpena departed Cleveland on Saturday and reached her Detroit dock on Sunday morning, after making slow progress in the Lake Erie ice.

She is scheduled to leave Detroit sometime on Monday morning with escort from the Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay. Depending on weather and ice conditions, they hope to arrive in Alpena on Tuesday.

Reported by: Ben & Chanda McClain


Repairs to McAsphalt 401

03/03
The repair work on the barge McAsphalt 401 in Port Stanley was moving smoothly with warmer weather on Saturday and Sunday morning. The crew from Fraser Marine have cut out the damaged area and then removed the snow and ice from inside of the barge.

Sunday afternoon saw a temperature change of minus twenty five degrees C and high winds from the north brought a chill factor of minus thirty five. The crew worked in these extreme conditions, continuing as they have only three days to complete the work.

The barge was damaged last week while passing through heavy ice in western Lake Erie.

Damaged section removed.
New steel added.
Wide view.
Damaged are on Friday.

Reported by: Ted Coombs


Marinette Marine, union reach tentative agreement

03/03
Negotiators for Marinette Marine Corp. and the Boilermakers union have reached a tentative contract agreement that could put 700 striking shipyard workers back on the job.

“We feel this is a very good proposal. We think it should be strongly considered by our members,” Steve Gromala, Boilermakers Local 696 president, told the Green Bay Press Gazette.

Marinette Marine's workers have been on strike since Jan. 22, when their previous contract expired. They rejected one contract offer before the strike and another on Feb. 4. Union officials said the offers sought concessions on such issues as health insurance, work schedules and seniority.

The tentative agreement was announced Thursday following two days of negotiations. Details of the agreement were not released. Union members will vote on the pact next week.

Marinette Marine has a number of large projects under way, including the Great Lakes Icebreaker Mackinaw and three Staten Island ferries.

Reported by: Chris Johnson


Canadian Transfer Removed From Drydock

03/03
Canadian Transfer was removed from Pascol's Drydock on Friday and was placed at the fitout dock beside the Algorail. The Algorail will be placed on Pascol's Drydock some time this week.

Reported by: Ron Konkol


Pioneer and Ambassador in New Jersey

03/03
Marbulk's Pioneer was unloading gypsum at Camden NJ, Thursday and Friday. The Pioneer and Ambassador have delivered the last few cargos. Marbulk is owned jointly by Algoma and CSL International/Egon Oldendorff. V. Ships.

Reported by: Mike Harting


Trip Auction to Benefit University Starts Today

03/03
On Monday at 8:00 AM, Lake Superior State University (LSSU) in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, will begin taking auction bids for a freighter trip compliments of Seaway Marine Transport and Algoma Central Marine. The trip for 4 adults will be available from May 2003 - September 2003 and is expected to be a 5-8 day trip around the Great Lakes. The auction will continue through 4:00 PM, March 31, 2003. To submit a bid/obtain a bid form or obtain further details, please visit www.lssu.edu/foundation/vessel or call the LSSU Advancement Office at (906) 635-6219 for further information.

Proceeds from the auction will be used to establish the Great Lakes Mariner Scholarship at LSSU. The scholarship will provide funding to full time LSSU students, who have been Great Lakes sailors or who are children of these sailors, many of whom live in close proximity to the LSSU campus. LSSU is seeking funding from Great Lakes shipping industry members as well as individual donations.

Donations can be sent to:
LSSU Advancement Office
Great Lakes Mariner Scholarship Fund
650 W. Easterday Avenue
Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783

Reported by: Jim Bearman


News Reporters Wanted

03/03:
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Weekly Updates

03/03
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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




Alpena Departs Cleveland, First Freighter for the 2003 Season

03/02 Noon Update
The Alpena was upbound at the Detroit River Light about 4 a.m. and stopped in Detroit early Sunday morning. It is unknown when they expected to depart upbound for Alpena.

Original Report
Friday night the Samuel Risley arrived and docked at 28 North for the evening. Saturday morning found the Neah Bay rafted alongside. The Neah Bay returned to her dock at 9th district headquarters midmorning while the Risley received supplies and readied for the lake.

The Risley departed at about 11 a.m. and worked on a track between the pier heads for about half an hour. At noon the cement carrier Alpena was heading out of the mouth of the Cuyahoga out onto the frozen lake. The Risley was standing by approximately two miles off shore to escort the Alpena westward.

Once on the lake the Alpena was making slow progress due to heavy ice reported to be 6-8 feet thick in some areas. Late Saturday night they had only traveled six miles out of Cleveland with the help of the Risley.

The Alpena is hoping to be in Detroit and thinner ice by Sunday evening.

Reported by: Rex Cassidy, Ben & Chanda McClain and Wade P. Streeter


PML 9000 Loads

03/02 Noon Update
At noon the tug and barge were still loading at Soo. They are expected to depart downbound about 2 p.m. The tug Wilfred M. Cohen will depart at 1 p.m. to break ice in the harbor and assist the Reliance downbound. The cutter Mackinaw is working the Nine Mile Point area.

The Mackinaw departed the Coast Guard base at 7 a.m. to resume ice breaking operations and assist the Sugar Island Ferry in clearing the heavy ice flows away from the dock approaches.

Original Report
The tug Reliance and barge PML 9000 were preparing for their next trip to Detroit on Saturday. The barge will be loaded with another cargo of steel coils and is expected to depart Sunday afternoon.

The tug & barge will be escorted down the St. Marys River by the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw.

Saturday the Mackinaw stopped in the ice off Six Mile Point. This stop gave the crew a chance for ice liberty. Linda Stoetzer
Loading the PML 9000 in Soo, Ontario. B. Barnes

Reported by: Linda Stoetzer and B. Barnes


CanMar Triumph Crippled by Engine Trouble

03/02
The Bermuda flagged container ship CanMar Triumph suffered serious engine trouble as it entered Canadian waters earlier this week. Proceeding slowly up-river to Quebec City at 7 knots, the CanMar Triumph was escorted to Quebec City by the icebreaker CGC Pierre Radisson and a Group Ocean Tug through heavy ice to ascertain its safe arrival in Quebec Harbour.

The Canada Maritime container entered the St. Charles River estuary late Thursday evening and was docked safely at section 52 to await repairs.

The CanMar Triumph was en route from Lisbon for Montreal with a load of containers due on Feb 28 when serious engine trouble was found to one of its engine cylinders resulting in a damaged piston.

The replacement parts are expected to arrive in Quebec City Sunday and the repairs to the CanMar Triumph should to be completed by Wednesday.

Reported by: Frederick Frechette


Montreal Traffic

03/02
Tug Ocean Intrepide following the Ocean Jupiter, on there way to the container vessel Cast Performance being made ready for sea.
Bow of the vessel Cast Performance.
Cast Performance being pull up the St, Lawrence River to a larger turning basin.
Former canaller D. C. Everest tied up in Montreal, looking pretty good from the tug's vantage point.

Reported by: Kent Malo


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.

On 02 March 1893, the MARY McLACHLAN (3-mast wooden schooner, 251’, 1394 gt) was launched at F. W. Wheeler’s yard in W. Bay City, Michigan. The launch turned into a disaster when the huge wave generated by the vessel entering the water hit the freighter KITTIE FORBES (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 209’, 968 gt, built in 1883 at W. Bay City, MI). The FORBES had numerous spectators onboard and when the wave struck, many were injured and there was one confirmed death.

Data from: Max Hanley Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, and Steve Haverty





Reliance Reaches Home Dock, Prepares for Next Load

03/01
The tug Reliance and barge PML 9000 reached their home dock in Sault Ste. Marie about 11 p.m. Friday night. The tug and barge ended a ten day trip that saw them battling ice from the Soo, down to Detroit and back. Weather and ice conditions made this first test trip difficult, but it appears to have been a successful test.

Crews were busy early Saturday morning positioning the barge for another load of steel coils. The tug and barge will make a second trip to Detroit, departing some time this weekend.

Crews will quickly load the barge in hopes of departing some time on Sunday. In order to use the services of the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw the tug and barge must depart on Sunday. The Mackinaw is expected to return to its home dock early next week.

The most difficult part of the trip was through the St. Marys River. At 6:45 a.m. the tug Reliance, barge PML 9000, tug Wilfred M Cohen and cutter Mackinaw started underway upbound in the lower St. Marys River after stopping for the night. The Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw got underway upbound ahead of the tug and barge to clear a track around Johnson's Point, by 10 a.m. the cutter was called back to assist the tug and barge stuck near the Mud Lake Junction Buoy. Ice conditions slowed the barge considerably as they make their way up the frozen St. Marys River.

Early Friday afternoon the barge was again stuck this time at Stribling Point. The tug Wilfred Cohen was cutting a track to follow but the ice had no where to go. The cutter Mackinaw started cutting into the ice edge at 90 degree angles. By cutting these relief tracks and backing out, the built up ice would flow into the track and relieve the pressure on the barge.

Ice at Stribling Point is reported to be one of the most difficult areas of the river. The brash ice continues to build and there is concern that the conditions are too extreme even for the U.S. Coast Guard's 140-foot ice breaking tugs.

At 6 p.m. the Mackinaw and Wilfred Cohen were about an hour ahead of the Reliance and barge at 6 Mile Point. The Reliance and PML 9000 passed upbound at 6 Mile Point making good speed through the ice.

Picture by B. Barnes
Mackinaw upbound at 6 Mile Point.
Tug Wilfred M. Cohen follows.
Passing off Stribling Point.
Close up of Mackinaw.

Reported by: Scott Best, B. Barnes and Linda Stoetzer


Ice Holes Barge

03/01
The tug John Spence and Barge 401 returned to Port Stanley early Friday morning escorted down Lake Erie by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay and later joined by the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley.

In the area of the South East Shoal the port bow was pierced in heavy ice. The damaged area is located just forward of the cargo tank, but below water line. Flooding of the bow started after the incident. A large chunk of ice remained in the hole slowing the inflow of water.

Crews in Port Stanley were waiting at dockside for the arrival and began immediately offloading of carbon black in order to raise the barge and damaged area. Fraser Marine will begin replacing the damaged steel Saturday morning.

Bow of the barge.
Damaged area marked for repairs.

Reported by: Ted Coombs


Port Everglades, Florida Report

03/01
During the past week many interesting vessels have been at Port Everglades.

Dole Columbia visits the port about once a week.
Jungle Queen on the New River under that I-95 high level bridge.
Mathilde Maersk outbound with containers and lots of help.
Bunker barge Coastal 26 bunkering Rotterdam with Zuiderdam in the background.
Maasdam and Millennium outbound for sea.
Seven Seas Navigator arriving into the port.
Bulk carrier Lamazon outbound for sea after being detained for about a month by the U. S. Marshal.
G&G container vessel outbound for the islands.

Reported by: Bill Hoey


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.

On 01 March 1884, the I. N. FOSTER (wooden schooner, 134’, 319 gt, built in 1872 at Port Huron, MI) was sold by Clark I. Boots to E. Chilson. This vessel lasted until 1927 when she was abandoned in Buffalo, New York.

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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