Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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American Century, American Integrity fit outs may be delayed

3/31 - According to the American Steamship Co. website, American Century and American Integrity no longer have fit out dates. They originally had fit out dates, however now the listing reads “please do not report until you are contacted by the HR department.”

 

Shipping Continues: Great Lakes shipping season opens with extra social distancing

3/31 - Just one minute after midnight on March 25, the first freighter began its journey through the Soo Locks at the tip of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

The 704-foot-long H. Lee White inaugurated what has already been a complicated 2020 Great Lakes shipping season: record high waters pushed back the opening of the St. Lawrence River to April 1, and now all ports, shipping companies and crew members are facing the COVID-19 virus.

Since the World Health Organization declared the dangerous virus a global pandemic on March 11, industries worldwide have worked to mitigate the spread of the disease and keep people safe. For Great Lakes shipping, workers are considered essential and therefore exempt from any state-mandated stay at home orders. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t being impacted.

In preparation for the 2020 season, Steve Fisher, executive director of the American Great Lakes Port Association, has been working at the national level to keep information moving between various ports and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Luckily, dock workers and longshoremen don’t typically have much close contact with others while loading and unloading cargo. Many ships have automated unloading systems and port operators work from a control booth. Even when more direct handling is required, it’s often from the seat of a crane or forklift.

“In many instances the normal of cargo is not an activity that would be inconsistent with social distancing,” Fisher said.

It’s a different story for the sailors aboard freighters. While they are fully isolated from all other people during their weeks aboard the vessel, they do have close contact with one another.

Jim Weakley, president of the Lake Carriers’ Association, a trade group, said they’ve added extra precautions to keep everyone safe. Shift groups are being divided into even smaller units to mitigate the risk of a whole group falling ill, ship operating companies are pre-screening sailors for any signs of illness, and some ships are initiating a six-foot space between each person on the chow line, Weakley said.

Paperwork that would normally be exchanged between individuals on a vessel and port operators is all shifting to electronic communication so that fewer people will have direct contact with one another.

“We’re considering violations of guidelines as safety violations. We have a very strong safety culture, and safety includes good hygiene,” Weakley said.

Read more and view images at this link: https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/03/covid-19-coronavirus-shipping-freighters-safety-health

 

Three of Michigan’s Great Lakes to set record water level for March

3/31 - Grand Rapids, MI – Preliminary numbers show March is going to be another record-setter for some Great Lakes water levels. Lakes Michigan-Huron, Lake Erie and a Great Lakes connecting lake, Lake St. Clair, will all have new official March water levels.

With just two days of data left to add onto the March tallies, Lakes Michigan-Huron will easily finish out March significantly higher than any March recorded level. Lakes Michigan-Huron is now 3.84 inches higher than the old water level record in March 1986. That’s almost 3 trillion gallons more than that previous March 1986 record. Lakes Michigan-Huron did drop one inch in the past month but is still higher than it has ever been in March since good water level records started in 1918.

Lake Erie is going to finish around 2.76 inches above the previous water level record in March 1986. Lake Erie has risen almost two inches since February.

Lake St. Clair, while not a Great Lake, also has water level data tracked by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Lake St. Clair looks like it will end March averaging around eight-tenths of an inch above the previous March record water level in 1986.

Lake Superior will fall short of a new March record by 1.5 inches. 1986 has the current March record level for Lake Superior. Lake Ontario will fortunately fall well short of March 1952, when Lake Ontario was 7.68 inches higher than current water levels.

Lakes Michigan-Huron are a whopping 14 inches higher than this time last year. That’s 11 trillion gallons more water in Lakes Michigan-Huron than just 12 months ago. Lake Erie is one foot higher than March 2019. Lake St. Clair is 11 inches higher than last year. Lake Ontario is nine inches higher. Lake Superior is actually one inch lower than this time last year.

March 2020 will be the third month in a row of record monthly water levels for Lakes Michigan-Huron. The official final water level numbers for March will be determined by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in early April.

View charts and the full report at this link: https://www.mlive.com/weather/2020/03/three-of-michigans-great-lakes-to-set-record-water-level-for-march.html

 

Port Reports -  March 31

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Mesabi Miner departed Duluth at 08:41 Monday morning with a load of iron ore pellets for Indiana Harbor. H. Lee White, which had been undergoing some sort of work at Lakehead Pipeline, shifted to General Mills on Monday morning to finish loading before departing at 19:26 with wheat. In Superior, John J. Boland loaded ore at BN throughout the day and was outbound at 16:46. Her fleetmate Burns Harbor arrived at 18:50 to load.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Two Harbors had no traffic on March 30th. Due Two Harbors on March 31st is the James R. Barker. Harbor Lookout is showing the Oakglen is due on March 31st, but her AIS is showing Duluth. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay saw the Lee A. Tregurtha arrive on March 29th at approx. 20:15 and she departed on March 30th at 04:18 for Cleveland. There is no scheduled traffic for Silver Bay on March 31st.

Thunder Bay, ON
Monday March 30; 2:44 Algoma Harvester departed for Quebec City. 8:56 CCGS Samuel Risley departed to conduct ice operations and returned to the coast guard base at 11:32. 12:49 Algoma Enterprise arrived at the G3 elevator to load wheat. 16:07 CCGS Samuel Risley departed and is down bound on Lake Superior. 16:49 Florence Spirit departed for Windsor. 19:58 Algoma Spirit departed for Baie Comeau. Destination update: G3 Marquis is sailing for Port Cartier.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic Monday included Oakglen early, and Paul R. Tregurtha. Downbound traffic included CSL Tadoussac, G3 Marquis and Algoma Harvester.

Northern Lake Huron
Alpena: Monday March 30; 11:27 the cement carrier Alpena departed for Chicago.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Sault arrived at 6 pm Monday. She was the first vessel for the 2020 season.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
American Mariner passed downbound 10 am; T/B Wilf Seymour/Alouette Spirit were anchored on the Canadian side just north of St. Clair power plant; CSL St.-Laurent passed downboumd 1:45pm.

Toledo, OH – Denny Dushane
The tug Victory and barge Maumee were expected to arrive on Monday in the early afternoon at the Torco Dock to unload. They are the first to unload at the Torco Dock for the 2020 shipping season and also Toledo's first arrival for the 2020 season with cargo. Also due at the Torco Dock is the tug Laura L. VanEnkevort and barge Joseph H. Thompson. They are due at Torco on March 31 in the early morning hours. Due at the CSX Coal Dock to load is the tug Victory and barge Maumee on Monday during the evening hours. They will be the first vessel of the 2020 season to load at the CSX Coal Dock. Also due at CSX to load is the John D. Leitch on April 1 in the late evening. The tug Victory and barge Maumee returns to CSX to load on April 5 in the morning hours. Vessels remaining in layup in Toledo include the following the American Valor and Manistee in long-term lay-up at the Hocking Valley Dock, the Algoma Strongfield in the Ironhead Marine drydock getting their 5-year survey done. Both Philip R. Clarke and Great Republic laid-up at the Old Interlake Iron Co. Dock, Sam Laud at the Ironville Dock, while the American Century is at CSX #3 Dock, both Indiana Harbor along with the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. are at CSX #2 Dock, the Arthur M. Anderson is at the CSX #1 Dock, American Courage is at the Torco Dock/Lakefront Docks. The St. Clair remains at the Torco Dock/Lakefront Docks from its fire in February 2019.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Calumet and American Spirit arrived on 3/29 and anchored in Lake Erie due to winds and currents. Calumet entered the river at 07:30 on 3/30 for Ontario Stone. She departed at 14:54 for Marblehead. Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader departed the Bulk Terminal at 08:56 for Silver Bay. Petite Forte/St. Mary's Cement arrived from Port Weller on the 28th at 17:38 and is waiting for Sea Eagle II/St. Mary's Cement II to finish unloading. Herbert C. Jackson is loading another shuttle for ArcelorMittal. American Spirit will move to the Bulk Terminal once the Jackson departs. G tug Michigan will assist as currents are still strong.

Lorain, OH – Drew Leonard
Algoma Conveyor was anchored Monday a few miles out from the black river awaiting more favorable winds to head up river to Jonick Dock & Terminal to take on a load of salt after running aground in Green Bay last week.

Hamilton, ON – Denny Dushane
Algoma Guardian departed winter lay up on Monday in the early morning. They are headed to Conneaut. Everlast / barge Norman McLeod and NACC Capri are still in lay up. There has been no inbound traffic for the Port of Hamilton and no outbound cargoes.

Rochester, NY – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit at Lehigh Cement Dock.

 

Lake Michigan to break record, keep rising

3/31 - Detroit, MI - Lake Michigan is set to break the March record and is now forecast to rise 4 inches over the next month.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ weekly report released last Friday showed Lake Michigan has risen 1 inch over the past week and is now 5 inches above the March record set in 1986. Monthly records are set by taking the average water level for the entire month.

Lake Michigan broke high-water records in both January and February. Lake Michigan is 14 inches higher than it was on March 27, 2019. The forecast predicts spring precipitation will push Lake Michigan up 4 inches by the end of April.

All of the Great Lakes remain near or above monthly records:

Lake Erie is 4 inches above the March record.
Lake Superior is 3 inches below the March record.
Lake Ontario is 6 inches below the March record.
Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are treated as one lake by the Army Corps.

WOOD

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 31

On 31 March 1971, the American Steamship Company's RICHARD J. REISS grounded at Stoneport, Michigan, while moving away from the dock. She damaged her number nine tank.

Christening ceremonies took place at St. Catharines, Ontario, on March 31, 1979, for d.) CANADIAN PROSPECTOR, lengthened by Port Weller Drydocks Ltd.

ROGER M. KYES (Hull#200) was launched March 31, 1973, at Toledo, Ohio, by American Ship Building Co. Renamed b.) ADAM E. CORNELIUS in 1989.

WILLIAM R. ROESCH was renamed b) DAVID Z. NORTON in christening ceremonies at Cleveland, Ohio, 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, Ohio, on March 31, 1966, to the American Ship Building's Toledo, Ohio, yard for her five-year inspection. A 900 h.p. bowthruster was installed at this time. She would be rechristened as c.) JOHN DYKSTRA two months later.

The steamer b.) J. CLARE MILLER was launched March 31, 1906, as a.) HARVEY D. GOULDER (Hull#342) at Lorain, Ohio, by American Ship Building Co., for W.A. & A.H. Hawgood of Cleveland, Ohio.

On March 31, 1927, the WILLIAM MC LAUGHLAN entered service for the Interlake Steamship Co. when she departed Sandusky, Ohio for Superior, Wisconsin, on her maiden trip. Later renamed b.) SAMUEL MATHER in 1966, sold Canadian in 1975, renamed c.) JOAN M. MC CULLOUGH, and finally d.) BIRCHGLEN in 1982. Scrapped at Point Edward, Nova Scotia, by Universal Metal Co. Ltd.

On 31 March 1874, E. H. MILLER (wooden propeller tug, 62 foot, 30 gross tons) 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.

1974: The nine-year old Liberian freighter CAPE PALMAS first came through the Seaway in 1969 after it had been purchased from Swedish interests. The vessel was at Bilbao, Spain, undergoing repairs, on March 31, 1974, when a blaze broke out aft and caused extensive damage. This was repaired and the ship resumed trading. It was converted to the cement carrier c) ASANO in 1978 and served until arriving at Shanghai, China, for scrapping on September 10, 1993.

1999: VARADERO was the first new ship of the 1991 season to use the Seaway. It was bound for Toronto with a cargo of sugar. This bulk carrier was sailing as e) MANPOK, and under North Korean registry, when it sank on this date in 1999 following a collision with HYUNDAI DUKE some 500 miles off Colombo, Sri Lanka, while inbound from Jakarta, Indonesia, with a cargo of cement. Two crew members were rescued while another 37 were posted as missing.

2011: BBC STEINHOEFT got stuck in the Seaway on this date in 2011. The Liberian registered freighter had just been renamed at Toronto, having entered the lakes as BELUGA FUSION. It lost power near the St. Lambert Lock and ended up sideways and blocking the channel until she was refloated and realigned.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.

 

Port Reports -  March 30

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
CSL Laurentien departed Duluth at 13:17 Sunday afternoon light after discharging salt at Hallett #8. After spending the last day moored at Port Terminal waiting for weather conditions to improve, John J. Boland departed at 15:09 and headed for Superior to load. Mesabi Miner came in at 15:37 to load iron ore pellets at CN, and Lee A. Tregurtha was outbound from winter layup at Fraser Shipyards at 16:06 for Silver Bay. Saginaw departed from CN at 16:55 with ore. With the departures of the Boland and Tregurtha, there are no more vessels laid up in Duluth with the exception of the steamer Edward L. Ryerson in long-term layup at Fraser Shipyards. H. Lee White remained at Lakehead Pipeline on Sunday for some sort of repairs. The only traffic through the Superior entry on Sunday was John J. Boland, which arrived from Duluth at 17:15 to load her first cargo of the season at BN. She is expected to depart early Monday.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Joseph L. Block departed Two Harbors on March 29th at 13:57 after loading at South of #2 and waiting on weather. She is headed for Indiana Harbor. There is no scheduled traffic for Two Harbors on March 30th. As of 19:30 on March 29th the Lee A. Tregurtha is approx. 10 miles SW of Northshore Mining in Silver Bay. She should arrive there at approx. 20:30. There is no inbound traffic scheduled for Silver Bay on March 30th.

Thunder Bay, ON
Saturday; 23:47 Algoma Sault departed for Goderich. Sunday; 0:05 Algoma Spirit weighed anchor and proceeded to the Superior Elevator to load wheat. 10:52 CCGS Samuel Risley departed to resume ice operations. 12:42 Algoma Equinox arrived and went to anchor off of the Current River entrance. 16:30 CCGS Samuel Risley returned to the coast guard station. 18:14 G3 Marquis departed and is following the north shore down bound on Lake Superior. 18:49 Algoma Equinox weighed anchor and proceeded to the Richardson Main Terminal to load wheat.

St. Marys River
Upbound passages on a gloomy Sunday included Burns Harbor and Algoma Enterprise early. Downbound traffic included CSL St-Laurent, Laura S VanEnkevort/barge Joseph H. Thompson and, late, Algoma Sault.

Sturgeon Bay, WI – Daniel Lindner
James R. Barker departed Bay Shipbuilding late Sunday morning from winter layup. Still remaining at the shipyard are American Integrity, Edgar B. Speer, John G. Munson, Wilfred Sykes, and Thunder Bay which is in drydock receiving her 5-year survey and fresh paint.

Northern Lake Huron
Alpena: Sunday; 14:44 The cement carrier Alpena arrived at the Lafarge plant to load.

Saria, ON – Philip Nash
Algoma Conveyor arrived at the government dock March 28 for lay-up.

Rochester, NY – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit arrived Saturday afternoon and was unloading at Lehigh Cement.

Oswego, NY – Ned Goebricher
On Sunday NACC Argonaut unloaded cement.

 

Obituary: Gordon Turner

3/30 - Gordon Turner, a well-known Toronto area marine photographer and historian, passed away earlier this month. A longtime member of the Toronto Marine Historical Society’s executive committee, he looked after the mailing of group’s monthly publication The Scanner and also managed the TMHS silent auction. Born in Scotland nearly 90 years ago, he was an elementary school teacher in Toronto and was a highly skilled editor and writer. An avid ship photographer, he traveled widely and frequently on cruises, one of his favorite destinations being the Norwegian coast.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 30

The tanker CHEMICAL MAR arrived at Brownsville, Texas on March 30, 1983, in tow of the tug FORT LIBERTE to be scrapped. Built in 1966, as a.) BIRK. In 1979, she was renamed b.) COASTAL TRANSPORT by Hall Corp. of Canada, but never came to the lakes. She was sold by Hall and was renamed c.) CHEMICAL MAR in 1981.

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

March 30, 1900, the carferry ANN ARBOR NO 2, grounded on the rocks east of the approach to the channel at Manistique, Michigan. 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 rudder, resulting in a trip to the drydock at Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

1917: GERMANIC was the last wooden passenger ship built in Collingwood. It was completed there in 1899 and burned there, at the dock, on this date in 1917. The ship was part of Canada Steamship Lines at the time of loss. The hull settled on the bottom but was raised, towed towards Wasaga Beach, and run aground. The remains were torn apart for firewood during the Depression.

1940: The first THORDOC, a) J.A. McKEE, stranded at Winging Point, 10 miles southwest of Louisbourg, N.S., due to heavy fog. The ship was abandoned on April 1 and declared a total loss. This member of the Paterson fleet had been travelling in ballast and had been involved in Great Lakes trading since 1908.

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

 

As Great Lakes shipping starts, extra precautions for COVID-19 are taken

3/29 - Duluth, MN – The season’s first load of iron ore left the Duluth harbor before dawn March 22, carrying with it some extra cargo — caution over the spread of coronavirus. The shipping industry is taking steps to keep crews and communities safe as the flow of maritime traffic ramps up ahead of the Soo Locks opening March 25, allowing ships to move in and out of Lake Superior.

“Shipping is vital to supplying North America,” said Duluth Seaway Port Authority spokesman Jayson Hron. “Companies and agencies are doing everything they can to meet the challenge.”

The movement of crews will be restricted at times, and seaway inspectors will take extra precautions before boarding ships. Crews will be monitored for symptoms, and suspected cases will be reported to the proper authorities.

“With the COVID-19 outbreak, we are living in exceptional times,” Terrence Bowles, CEO of the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp., said in a statement. “We witnessed a tremendous response by our employees and members of the broader marine community in overcoming a range of obstacles to ensure that the Seaway can open.

The Coast Guard has set up its own response to the virus to keep its civilian and military workforce healthy “We are America’s maritime first responder,” Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz said in a video update last week. “The nation is counting on us to keep commerce flowing.”

Last year’s ore shipments beat recent averages, though while mines remain open amid the coronavirus threat, a national recession could prompt a downturn. “It would be premature to speculate total tonnages,” said Hron, the Duluth port spokesman. “The industry is doing its best to meet the challenge and keep moving.”

Already there has been lost time on the water. The start to international shipping was delayed this year due to high water — lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron and Erie all set monthly high-water records in February, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The locks that connect the St. Lawrence River to Lake Ontario and beyond are scheduled to open April 1, almost two weeks later than hoped. The Welland Canal between Lakes Ontario and Erie opened March 24.

The Chamber of Marine Commerce, an Ottawa-based shipping advocacy group, said it is waiting to see “how COVID-19 will impact Great Lakes-St. Lawrence and coastal shipping from an economic perspective.”

Duluth News Tribune

 

U.S. Steel to idle Gary Works furnace indefinitely, slash spending in COVID-19 response

3/29 - Gary, IN – U.S. Steel is now idling blast furnace #4 at Gary Works immediately and indefinitely as it escalates its response to the global coronavirus pandemic.

The Pittsburgh-based steelmaker had planned to idle the blast furnace for a planned maintenance outage for 48 days, starting in April. But now it will remain offline until market conditions allow as the company tries to "preserve a strong long-term future in response to COVID-19 impacts."

“In this unprecedented and rapidly changing situation, our first priority remains the safety and well-being of our employees," U.S. Steel President and Chief Executive Officer David B. Burritt said. "As an essential part of our critical infrastructure, our employees have embraced the special responsibility to continue making the steel society needs, including the packaging for our food supply during the COVID-19 pandemic response. To ensure a more secure future for all our stakeholders, the time has come for us to take aggressive actions to reposition the company."

U.S. Steel also is idling blast furnace A at Granite City Works and completing the indefinite idling of the iron and steelmaking facilities at Great Lakes Works near Detroit. In late May, the company will idle most of Lone Star Tubular Operations in Texas and Lorain Tubular Operations in Ohio because of weak market conditions that followed the plunge in crude oil and gas prices.

The steelmaker is laying off 850 workers in Ohio and Texas as part of its response to the deadly virus, which has caused more than 27,000 deaths worldwide.

"The short-term actions announced today are difficult but necessary," Burritt said. "Our focus on cash and liquidity will ultimately position us to achieve our longer-term goals as a stronger organization.”

The steelmaker plans to slash capital spending at its mills by $125 million to about $750 million in 2020. It will delay construction of its endless casting and rolling line and cogeneration facility at Mon Valley Works and pause planned upgraded at the hot strip mill at Gary Works.

U.S. Steel also has increased its revolving credit facility by $800 million to increase cash and liquidity if the economic fallout of the coronavirus gets worse.

“U. S. Steel has been a cornerstone of manufacturing for over a century and our products are vital to national and economic security. I am confident in the resilience of our employees, the strength of our customer relationships, and the reliability of our regional supply chain," Burritt said. "The actions we are announcing today make us stronger and enable us to weather the current situation to emerge as a leader in sustainable steel solutions for generations to come."

NW Indiana Times

 

U.S. Steel idling plants in Texas and Ohio, laying off up to 850 in COVID-19 fallout

3/29 - Gary, IN – U.S. Steel is idling two tubular plants in Texas and Ohio after gas prices plunged during the coronavirus pandemic that has limited travel outside the home.

The Pittsburgh-based steelmaker, one of Northwest Indiana's largest employers, plans to idle facilities that make tubular products for the oil and petroleum industries after the price of gasoline has plunged for four straight weeks to an average of $2.08 per gallon nationwide, according to GasBuddy.com.

"This week, U.S. Steel advised employees that Lone Star Tubular Operations in Lone Star, Texas, and Lorain Tubular Operations in Lorain, Ohio, will indefinitely idle operations due to challenging market conditions and high import levels," U.S. Steel spokeswoman Amanda Malkowski said. "The company has issued Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification notices related to the indefinite idling at each facility. The WARN notices advise that layoffs related to the adjusted operations could take effect in as little as 60 days."

U.S. Steel's Gary Works mill furnishes steel to the finishing plants, which make tubes for pipelines, refineries, and drilling equipment for oil exploration, which energy companies cut back on whenever the price of crude oil falls significantly, pointing to an oversupply on the market. The steelmaker said it hoped to bring Lone Star Tubular and Lorain Tubular back online at some point in the future when market conditions allowed.

"Right now, this is an indefinite idling, not a permanent shutdown," Malkowski said. "It would not be prudent to speculate as to how long we expect the idling to last." Staffing will be reduced to skeleton crews to take care of and maintain the plants while they are idled.

NW Indiana Times

 

Port Reports -  March 29

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Saginaw arrived Duluth at 09:19 Saturday morning and moored at CN to load iron ore pellets. John J. Boland was pulled from the drydock at Fraser Shipyards and moved to Port Terminal during the afternoon but remained there Saturday evening. Both she and the Saginaw are likely waiting on weather to depart. CSL Laurentien was due in Duluth shortly after 20:00 Saturday night with a load of salt for Hallett #8. H. Lee White was still undergoing repairs at Lakehead Pipeline in Superior, and Lee A. Tregurtha is now the only remaining vessel in winter layup at Fraser. Her departure date is unknown.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
The Joseph L. Block arrived Two Harbors on March 28th at approx. 15:45 for South of #2. There is no inbound traffic scheduled for Two Harbors on the 29th. A possibility to load in Two Harbors on March 29th is the CSL Laurentien that is due Hallett #8 on March 28th to unload salt. Tentatively due Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay had no traffic on March 28th. As of 18:00 on March 28th the John J. Boland is at the Port Terminal due Silver Bay. The Lee A. Tregurtha is still at Fraser Shipyards on the 28th showing a Silver Bay destination.

Thunder Bay, ON
Friday; 20:43 Sharon MI and the barge Huron Spirit departed for Sault Ste Marie. Saturday; 13:04 G3 Marquis arrived at the Richardson Main Terminal to load wheat.16:05 Florence Spirit arrived at the Richardson Current River Terminal to load grain. 15:49 Algoma Harvester arrived at the G3 elevator to load wheat. 16:37 CCGS Samuel Risley arrived at the coast guard station. 18:17 CSL St Laurent departed for Montreal.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on Saturday included Joseph H. Thompson/Laura L. VanEnkevort early), Algoma Equinox and Hon James L. Oberstar and, late, Kaye E, Barker. Downbound traffic included Roger Blough, CSL Niagara, Stewart J. Cort, Presque Isle, Victory/Maumee and, late, Clyde S. Van Enkevort/Erie Trader and Sharon M 1/barge.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
At Port Milwaukee Saturday (3/28), Prentiss Brown/St. Marys Conquest arrived from Charlevoix at 14:19 with cement for the Kinnickinnic River terminal. This is the seventh visit to the city in 2020 for the integrated tug/barge unit. Also in the harbor were Samuel de Champlain/Integrity, which has spent the winter in the inner harbor and USCGC Alder (“King of the Waters”), a 225-foot multi-mission buoy tender. She was tied up at the Coast Guard station just west of the Lake Express Ferry terminal. No additional marine traffic is currently expected.

Northern Lake Huron
Alpena: Friday; 20:14 Samuel de Champlain and the cement barge Innovation arrived to load at the Lafarge Plant and departed Saturday at 1:31 for Detroit.

Goderich, ON – Denny Dushane
Algoma Enterprise departed winter lay-up on Saturday during the late morning heading upbound in Lake Huron.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
Mississagi arrived in the mid-morning at Sombra stoneyard, did a quick unload and was underway upbound by 4pm. At 2:30 pm American Spirit passed downbound. At 4:30 pm T/B Samuel de Champlain/Innovation passed downbound, followed by CSL Welland also downbound at 5pm. on/off rain today, 50 degrees F, winds calm river calm.

Detroit-Rouge River, MI – Raymond H
Saturday Arrivals: CSL Tadoussac arrived at the St. Mary's Cement dock to unload clinker. Samuel De Champlain/Innovation arrived at Lafarge to unload cement.

Ashtabula, OH – Denny Dushane
Calumet departed winter lay-up on Saturday during the early morning. Their AIS showed a Marblehead destination for them. Calumet is Ashtabula's third vessel to depart from Winter Lay-Up for the 2020 shipping season. This leaves the Cuyahoga, tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula, tug Invincible, Ojibway, tug Olive L. Moore, barge Menominee and the Robert S. Pierson as the only remaining vessels left from Ashtabula's winter lay-up fleet.

Hamilton, ON – Denny Dushane
John D. Leitch departed from their winter lay-up berth on Saturday in the early morning. AIS showed a Sandusky destination, where they are expected to arrive early in the morning on Sunday to load coal. This now leaves in lay-up the tug Everlast and their barge Norman McLeod, NACC Capri and the Algoma Guardian. Thus far there have been no vessel arrivals for the Port of Hamilton.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 29

N. M. Paterson & Sons, PRINDOC (Hull#657) of Davie Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., Lauzon, Quebec, was sold off-lakes during the week of March 29, 1982, to the Southern Steamship Co., Georgetown, Cayman Islands and was renamed b.) HANKEY. Later renamed c.) CLARET III in 1990, d.) S SARANTA in 1992, e.) PLATANA IN 1997, Scrapped at Alaiga, Turkey in 1997.

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

1973: MANCHESTER TRADER, the second ship of this name to visit the Great Lakes, was owned by the Prince Line when it first came inland, on charter to Manchester Liners Ltd., in 1964. The ship was renamed e) WESTERN PRINCE in 1969 and also transited the Seaway that year. It became f) MARINER in 1971 and was abandoned in the Pacific on this date in 1973. The ship was leaking in heavy weather en route from Havana, Cuba, to Kobe, Japan, and was presumed to have sunk about 35.00 N / 152.47 E.

1973: DAVID MARQUESS OF MILFORD HAVEN, one of the longest named saltwater ships to visit the Great Lakes, was the first saltwater ship of the season upbound in the Seaway.

1990: The MAYA FARBER visited the Great Lakes in 1981. It arrived at Alang, India, under tow for scrapping on this date following an explosion and fire off Port Sudan as d) RAAD AL-BAKRY VIII on January 15, 1990.

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

 

Tug Meredith Ashton renamed

3/28 - Great Lakes Dock and Materials has renamed its 1981-built tug Meredith Ashton to George F. Bailey.

 

Port Reports -  March 28

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Icebreaker update – Jon Paul
Mackinaw returned to its home port Friday after 4 weeks of ice breaking duty, mooring at USCG Station Cheboygan @ 18:20 (03/27). Their mission saw them conduct ice operations starting in the Straits of Mackinac, then working Sturgeon Bay, Green Bay and Bay De Noc before heading to the St Marys River and operating as far north as Whitefish Point. Morro Bay maintained track on both sides of Neebish Island Friday and anchored in Lake Nicolet for the night @ 19:30. Katmai Bay worked in the upper river from Ile Parisienne to Birch Point and as of 19:30 was moored on the West Pier in the Soo.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Presque Isle left Duluth at 07:59 Friday morning with a load of iron ore pellets from Canadian National. John J. Boland and Lee A. Tregurtha are both still laid up at Fraser Shipyards, and H. Lee White was still at Lakehead Pipeline in Superior on Friday undergoing some form of repairs. Saginaw and CSL Laurentien are due on Saturday, the former to load at CN and the latter to discharge salt. In Superior, Stewart J. Cort departed at 06:08 Friday with iron ore from BN, and American Mariner arrived from anchor at 07:02 to load. She was outbound at 18:10.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Roger Blough departed Two Harbors on March 27th at 05:58 for Gary. Due Two Harbors on March 28th is the Joseph L. Block. Edwin H. Gott has a current AIS. She is heading for Conneaut. The Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader departed Silver Bay on March 27th at 04:30 and the Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader also departed Silver Bay on March 27th at approx. 17:47 both are headed for Cleveland. Still showing a Silver Bay destination is the Lee A. Tregurtha. She continues to be at her fit-out berth at Fraser Shipyards. This is as of 18:00 on March 27th.

Thunder Bay, ON
Thursday: Sharon MI and the barge Huron Spirit tied up at the Pollard Highway Products dock to unload windfarm project material. 22:52 Algoma Sault arrived at the Superior Elevator to load grain. Friday; 13:26 CSL Niagara departed for Becancour. CSL St Laurent departed her layup berth at Keefer Terminal and shifted to Viterra A to load wheat. 16:32 Algoma Spirit arrived and went to anchor south of the Welcome Islands.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on Friday included Joseph L. Block, CSL Laurentien, G3 Marquis, Florence Spirit, Algoma Harvester and Mesabi Miner. Downbound traffic included American Spirit, CSL Welland and Edwin H. Gott.

Muskegon, MI – Brendan Falkowski
On Thursday the first ship of the 2020 season made port in Muskegon. The tug/barge Innovation and Samuel de Champlain arrived at 3 a.m. and departed at around 15:00. The pair brought in a load of powdered cement for the Lafarge silos.

Northern Lake Huron
Alpena: Thursday; 22:25 The tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 departed for Manitowoc.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
Upbound vessels Friday: Frontenac @2:20pm; Algoma Equinox @6:30 pm. Morning overcast lifted to partly cloudy afternoon 45 degrees F, winds and river calm.

Detroit-Rouge River, MI – Raymond H
Kaye E Barker unloaded another load coal at Zug Island on Friday

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Back on the shuttles, but from Ashtabula this time, Herbert C. Jackson arrived in Cleveland at 09:45 Friday for ArcelorMittal Steel.

Ashtabula, OH – Denny Dushane
Mississagi departed winter lay-up on Thursday in the evening. They headed to Marblehead, where they arrived Friday in the early morning to load for Sombra. Mississagi was the second vessel to depart, with the Saginaw being the first on March 22. This leaves the following in lay-up: Calumet, Cuyahoga, tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula, tug Invincible, Ojibway, tug Olive L. Moore and barge Menominee and the Robert S. Pierson.

Hamilton, ON – Denny Dushane
The tug Wilf Seymour and barge Alouette Spirit departed Hamilton and their winter lay-up berth on Thursday in the late evening. They were headed to Toledo. This leaves the following vessels in lay-up: the tug Everlast and barge Norman McLeod, NACC Capri, Algoma Guardian and the John D. Leitch.

Toronto, ON – Denny Dushane
Oakglen departed from winter lay-up on Friday during the early morning hours from the Redpath Sugar Dock in Toronto. They had a storage load of sugar for the winter. AIS has them next headed to Two Harbors, MN, to load. This leaves the Salarium as the last remaining vessel in Toronto's winter lay-up fleet.

Oswego, NY – Ned Goebricher
On Friday, McKeil Sprit unloaded cement.

Montreal, QC – Denny Dushane
Blair McKeil winter lay-up on Thursday in the late evening, headed to Belledune, New Brunswick. This leaves the following vessels in lay-up at Montreal: the tankers Dara and Esta Desgagnes, Argentia Desgagnes, Algoma Discovery, AML Cavalier Maxim, AML Louis Jolliet, Sedna IV, Juno Marie and the tanker Paul A. Desgagnes. Two CSL ships, Baie Comeau and Whitefish Bay, arrived on March 25 from Les Mechins after being upgraded now to Nova Scotia-class. Atlantic Huron is also in lay-up and there have been rumors that the vessel may be finished. The cement carrier NACC Quebec arrived in Montreal on March 25 and is not due to depart from there until April 7.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 28

N. M. Paterson & Sons, PRINDOC (Hull#657) of Davie Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., Lauzon, Quebec, was sold off-lakes during the week of March 29, 1982, to the Southern Steamship Co., Georgetown, Cayman Islands and was renamed b.) HANKEY. Later renamed c.) CLARET III in 1990, d.) S SARANTA in 1992, e.) PLATANA IN 1997, Scrapped at Alaiga, Turkey in 1997.

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

1973: MANCHESTER TRADER, the second ship of this name to visit the Great Lakes, was owned by the Prince Line when it first came inland, on charter to Manchester Liners Ltd., in 1964. The ship was renamed e) WESTERN PRINCE in 1969 and also transited the Seaway that year. It became f) MARINER in 1971 and was abandoned in the Pacific on this date in 1973. The ship was leaking in heavy weather en route from Havana, Cuba, to Kobe, Japan, and was presumed to have sunk about 35.00 N / 152.47 E.

1973: DAVID MARQUESS OF MILFORD HAVEN, one of the longest named saltwater ships to visit the Great Lakes, was the first saltwater ship of the season upbound in the Seaway.

1990: The MAYA FARBER visited the Great Lakes in 1981. It arrived at Alang, India, under tow for scrapping on this date following an explosion and fire off Port Sudan as d) RAAD AL-BAKRY VIII on January 15, 1990.

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

 

New procedure at Soo Locks due to virus

3/27 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – Vessels are being told crewmembers will no longer be allowed on the lock wall to handle the lines. Corps of Engineers line handlers will tie up the boats. In addition, written lock reports have been replaced by a form to be filled out online. This is due to concerns about the COVID-19 virus.

 

Cleveland-Cliffs temporarily shuts down construction of its HBI project in Toledo

3/27 - Cleveland OH – Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. has announced, following guidelines from the office of the governor of Ohio regarding COVID-19 virus concerns, the company is temporarily shutting down construction activities at its hot-briquetted iron (HBI) project site in Toledo, Ohio. Effective March 20, all construction activity at the site ceased. Cleveland-Cliffs will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will re-start construction of the HBI plant as soon as feasible. All other Cleveland-Cliffs iron ore mining and steelmaking facilities will remain in operation.

BusinessWire

 

Port Reports -  March 27

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
H. Lee White arrived Duluth at 09:36 Thursday morning to load wheat at General Mills, and Presque Isle was inbound at 11:28 to pick up a load of iron ore pellets at Canadian National. The White finished loading Thursday evening but shifted down to the Lakehead Pipeline dock in Superior for a delay; her departure time is unknown. Presque Isle is expected to depart from CN midday Friday. Lee A. Tregurtha and John J. Boland are both still laid up at Fraser Shipyards; the Tregurtha is now listed as departing early Friday while the Boland is due to depart on Saturday. In Superior, Stewart J. Cort arrived at 13:08 Thursday afternoon to load ore at Burlington Northern, and is expected to depart early Friday. American Mariner was due on Thursday evening but will likely anchor to wait to load after the Cort.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Edwin H. Gott arrived Two Harbors on March 26th at 05:39 for South of #2. She departed on the 26th at 17:15. As of 18:30 she doesn't have an updated AIS, but I'd guess she's headed for Gary. Two Harbors also saw the Roger Blough arrive on the 26th at 17:45 for South of #2. There is no inbound traffic scheduled for Two Harbors on March 27th. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay saw the American Spirit depart on March 26th at 08:24 for Cleveland. Arriving Silver Bay on March 26th were the Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader at 08:50 and the Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader at 09:29. Tentatively due Silver Bay on March 27th is the Lee A. Tregurtha. She is currently in lay-up at Fraser Shipyards.

Thunder Bay, ON
Thursday, March 26; 9:59 CCGS Samuel Risley departed Keefer Terminal to resume ice operations, breaking out the Mission River. 16:53 CSL Welland departed for Montreal. CSL Niagara shifted to Viterra A to finish loading. 20:45 CCGS Samuel Risley rendezvoused with Sharon M I and the barge Huron Spirit south east of the Welcome Islands and is escorting them into the Mission River.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic Thursday included Algoma Sault early and Algoma Spirit late. Saginaw left Algoma for Duluth/Superior. Paul R. Tregurtha was downbound in the afternoon, encountering some difficulty with ice being pushed into the Poe Lock ahead of her. She had to back out and the lock had to be emptied, all 22 millions gallons of water along with ice chunks. Then it was refilled. They only had to do this once and the freighter was allowed to enter, very slowly as usual. Eventually the Tregurtha made its way out of the lock and continued on her way to Indiana Harbor. In the afternoon, tug Anglian Lady / barge PML Ironmaster moved from the lower harbor up to Algoma. After dropping off the Ironmaster, Anglian Lady hooked up with the tank barge PML 2501 and headed down the river for the lower lakes with a cargo of coal tar. At 9 p.m., tug Victory and her barge Maumee were headed in to Algoma and Mackinaw was tied up on the northwest pier.

Sturgeon Bay, WI – Daniel Lindner
Joseph L. Block and Mesabi Miner departed winter layup in Sturgeon Bay on Thursday, both headed for Lake Superior to start their 2020 seasons. Still in layup at the shipyard are American Integrity, Edgar B. Speer, James R. Barker, John G. Munson, Wilfred Sykes, and Thunder Bay.

Northern Lake Huron
Alpena: Thursday; 13:44 The tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 arrived to unload material at the Lafarge cement plant.

Cheboygan: Thursday; 17:10 The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes departed for Sarnia.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
CSL Laurentien was upbound at 11:30 am Thursday, followed by G3 Marquis at 1pm; overcast skies, light winds from the south-southwest, 55 degrees F.

Detroit, MI – Raymond H
Thursday Arrivals: Florence Spirit arrived at the Waterfront Petroleum Terminal to fuel. Kaye E Barker arrived at Zug Island to unload coal.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Laura VanEnkevort/Joseph H. Thompson arrived at 16:48 on the 25th from Marblehead with stone for LaFarge. She is departing today. Herbert C. Jackson is finally released from shuttle duties and departed Cleveland at 10:54 and is sailing to Ashtabula. NACC Argonaut departed at 11:30 and is bound for Toronto. Sea Eagle II/ St. Mary's Cement II arrived at 11:48 for the St. Mary's Cement dock.

Hamilton, ON – Denny Dushane
Algoma Equinox departed winter layup Thursday morning for Thunder Bay. Also departing was the G3 Marquis on March 24, Florence Spirit on March 25 and the Algoma Harvester also March 25. All three departures were showing a Thunder Bay destination on their AIS. Vessels still in lay-up include the tug Wilf Seymour/barge Alouette Spirit at Berth 25S - Richardson, tug Everlast/barge Norman McLeod at Berth 24W - McAsphalt, NACC Capri which is now registered in Canada is at Berth 22 - Lafarge, Algoma Guardian is at Berth 26N - GLS and the John D. Leitch is at Berth 11W - Bunge with a storage load of grain from Thunder Bay.

 

As the Great Lakes surge to record heights, coastal areas face a time of reckoning

3/27 - Massena, NY - Editor’s Note: M Live has put together an extensive package of stories on record water levels. Follow the link at the end of this excerpt to view.

The spillway gates are open at the Long Sault Dam on the mighty St. Lawrence River. Below, mist throws a tiny rainbow in the sunlight as the relentless force of water escaping five inland seas billows into a static roar.

Water rushing over the dam is an unusual sight. For most of its 61 years, the gates have been closed to divert the river flow to the dam’s electricity-generating companion, the Moses-Saunders Power Dam, about three miles downstream.

But these are extraordinary times along the Great Lakes. High water records are falling throughout the region less than a decade after the lakes hit record lows. Millions are being spent to combat erosion threatening homes and infrastructure. The annual St. Lawrence Seaway opening is delayed by efforts to drop levels on Lake Ontario — the first time in decades such efforts have impeded movement of goods on the lakes.

On the St. Lawrence River, dam operators are attempting to carefully drain Lake Ontario and, by extension, lakes Erie, Huron, Michigan and Superior in a complicated, and lately, controversial process that engineers liken to emptying a series of bathtubs through a straw.

“Everything that comes through the Great Lakes eventually ends up here,” says Patrick Davis, regional manager for the New York Power Authority’s St. Lawrence River dams.

Read more and view images at this link: https://www.mlive.com/news/2020/03/as-the-great-lakes-surge-to-record-heights-coastal-areas-face-a-time-of-reckoning.html

 

Port of Toledo adds COVID-19 safety measures

3/27 - Toledo, OH – The Port of Toledo is an economic driver for the region. It supports about 7,000 jobs and generates $1 billion for the economy annually. The port is not just one operation, there are about 17 docks that load and unload cargo on ships, trains and trucks. According to leaders at the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, each company that operates at those docks has put best practices into place for workers and contract employees during the outbreak.

The terminal operators have also been advised by the U. S. Coast Guard about new protocols.

According to the Port Authority, when it comes to the inspection of cargo ships, the crew will now be checked out as well as the cargo. Agencies like the Coast Guard and Customs will be making sure the crew is healthy, and in some cases the crew may not be able to disembark from the freighter. There are protocols and regulations to cover all that.

So what about cargo coming in from overseas? Joe Cappel is the Vice President of Business Development for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. "Safety is our number one concern. There are a lot of people at a lot of levels who have been planning during this time. I understand people's concerns about receiving goods from overseas right now. However, the majority of what we handle here in Toledo is in bulk. Bulk product and raw materials. Those are things that would not be handled by producers overseas," said Cappel.

The freighters that work only in the Great Lakes have started the 2020 shipping season. It will likely be a few weeks before the first international vessel arrives in Toledo.

ABC 13

 

Photo contest winners announced

3/27 - The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership today announced the winners of their second annual photo contest. This announcement also marks the beginning of the organization’s third annual photo contest in tandem with the opening of the Soo Locks on March 25 and the St. Lawrence Seaway on April 1.

Each year, to celebrate the start of the Great Lakes navigation season, the Great Lakes Seaway Partnership invites boatnerds and shipping fans alike to submit their favorite photos of Great Lakes freighters, tugboats and barges across the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System. The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership received over 270 entries throughout the submission period, which began 4/1/19 and ended 12/31/19.

The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership thanks all 2019 contest participants and invites them to participate in 2020’s third annual photo contest by submitting original photos to greatlakesseaway.org/photo-contest.The contest begins on April 1 and will end when the St. Lawrence Seaway closes for the 2020 Great Lakes navigation season. Winners will be announced April 1, 2021.

View the winners here: http://greatlakesseaway.org/great-lakes-seaway-partnership-2019-photo-contest-winners/

 

Seaway salties begin lining up for the 2020 Seaway opening

3/27 - As the official opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway approaches on April 1st from the Montreal to Lake Ontario section, several saltwater vessels are already beginning to arrive in Montreal for the April 1st opening. As of March 26, there are already at least nearly a dozen or so saltwater vessels expected to arrive in Montreal with Great Lakes destinations listed.

Tufty arrived in Montreal already on March 25 and are expected to depart on April 1st for Toronto with sugar. Due in Montreal on March 28 is the Federal Cedar, heading up to Thunder Bay to load. Two more additional salties are expected on March 29, Wigeon and the Cape (ex-Heloise), with the Wigeon headed for Toledo and the Cape for Toronto with sugar. Two Fednav salties are expected in Montreal on March 31, Federal Columbia for Hamilton coming from Antwerp, Belgium, and fleetmate Federal from Richards Bay, South Africa, for Ashtabula. Federal Bering is due in Montreal on April 1st from Brazil and headed to Hamilton.

Three additional saltwater vessels are due April 2nd in Montreal, Oborishte headed to Valleyfield, Federal Biscay arriving from Norway to Ashtabula and also Eeborg arriving from Norway tor Hamilton. Federal Hunter has a tentative ETA per their AIS arriving in Hamilton from Brake, Germany on April 8th. Also due in Montreal on March 29th is the Atlantic Spirit, one of McKeil Marine’s tanker fleet’s newest additions. They will be arriving from the Netherlands. The tanker Gaia Desgagnes of Desgagnes’ Petro-Nav fleet is expected in Montreal on March 30. They have been working throughout the winter trading in European countries.

Denny Dushane

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 27

On 26 March 1922, OMAR D. CONGER (wooden passenger-package freight, 92 foot, 200 gross tons, built in 1887, at Port Huron, Michigan) 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 MOUNT CLEMENS (wooden propeller "rabbit,” 106 foot, 132 gross tons) was launched at the Chabideaux yard in Mt. Clemens, Michigan, on 26 March 1884. She was towed to Detroit to be fit out. She was built for Chapaton & Lacroix. She lasted until dismantled in 1921.

1935: A fire destroyed the small wooden bulk carrier ALICE M. GILL that had been laid up at Sandusky since the end of the 1926 season. The ship had been built as a tug for the logging industry and later served as a lighthouse tender and then a small bulk carrier. The remains were scrapped.

1971: The former CLEMENS SARTORI stranded off the coast of Algeria in bad weather as b) PIRAEUS while en route from Antwerp, Belgium, to Mersin, Turkey, and was abandoned by the crew as a total loss. The vessel was a pre-Seaway visitor to the Great Lakes for the West German firm of Sartori and Berger and, in July 1958, was the first westbound salty to use the recently opened American locks at Massena, NY. It made 20 trips to the Great Lakes (1959-1965) mainly on charter to the Hamburg-Chicago Line.

1976: RAMON DE LARRINAGA is remembered as the first Seaway era saltwater vessel into the port of Duluth-Superior, arriving amid great fanfare on May 3, 1959. The ship was sailing as c) MARIAN when it sustained hull damage clearing the port of Lisbon on this date in 1976. Portuguese authorities ordered the vessel towed out to sea and it foundered off Cascais, Portugal, the following day.

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

 

Algoma Conveyor freed at Green Bay

3/26 - Green Bay, WI Update: Around 2:30 p.m. Thursday, tugs freed the Algoma Conveyor, which ran aground last week after losing propulsion while on its way to deliver a shipment of salt to Green Bay.

Original Report -
Efforts are continuing to refloat the Algoma Conveyor which ran aground in last week after losing propulsion while on its way to deliver a shipment of salt to Green Bay. So far, about 2,000 tons of cargo have been offloaded into s small barge with more yet to be lightered. The tugs Erika Kobasic, Nickelena and Barbara Andrie are on the scene.

Algoma Conveyor was transporting a load of road salt from Canada into Green Bay when it lost propulsion because of a mechanical failure, attempted to anchor and then drifted aground, according to Lt. Phillip Gurtler of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Because of the lack of damage, the Coast Guard, state Department of Natural Resources and a contracted salvage company had the leisure to work with the owner, Algoma Central Corp., over the weekend to formulate a plan, Gurtler said.

 

Winter fleet is underway, but Door County officials ask people to stay away

3/26 - Door County, WI – Vessels are underway from winter quarters, but with health concerns about COVID-19, visitors are asked to stay away this year. Just past the entrance to the Sturgeon Bay Shipping Channel, the 858-foot long Roger Blough made its way into the waters of Green Bay Tuesday morning.

"We saw the Roger Blough going out through the ice, with the Mobile Bay out front cutting, and the Gaynor, one of the tugs from Sturgeon Bay took it out here to the quarry," said Rick Stram, Sturgeon Bay.

Every year, Stram looks forward to the time when the ships depart. "They were scheduled to leave yesterday, and there were a bunch of us down at Bullhead Point here in Sturgeon Bay that were waiting for it to leave, but it didn't," he said.

Bullhead Point is a popular place to watch the Winter Fleet. The ships arrive at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding for repairs, and maintenance. But because of the coronavirus, people are being asked to stay away.

Company officials could only specify the vessels are scheduled to leave in March or April. Tourism leaders say most of the area businesses are closed, and the county really cannot support additional visitors at the present time. The Door County Fire Chiefs Association agrees.

"Stay home. Stay safe. They talk about everybody should act like you have the virus, and the virus is on everything and everywhere you're going. So, really respect that. If you're here, if you're self-quarantining, or if you're under an ordered quarantine, please respect the word quarantine, and what it means," said Chief Chris Hecht, Door County Fire Chiefs Association President.

Back on the Bay, the Roger Blough and its crew are heading to Minnesota. Rick Stram is going home. "Now, it's all quiet," he said.

Local tourism officials say it's hard to tell people to stay away from Door County, but because of crisis, the decision is necessary.

FOX 11

 

No fanfare as Welland Canal opens; pilot boats sidelined

3/26 - Welland, ON – A 17-year-old cement carrier, NACC Argonaut, launched the St. Lawrence Seaway's 62nd navigation season Tuesday morning by making its way up the eight-lock, 43-kilometre-long Welland Canal between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.

With traditional top hat ceremonies in St. Catharines and Port Colborne cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no fanfare for the vessel as it slipped into the system overnight. While NACC Argonaut – part of Algoma Central Corp's global short sea shipping fleet with Nova Marine Holding SA of Lugano, Switzerland – made its way up the canal, CSL Tadoussac made its way down to Lake Ontario from its winter berth in Port Colborne.

Ship watchers in Port Colborne were treated to a relatively rare sight as the Algoma Sault backed down the canal from its berth just below Bridge 21, the Clarence Street Bridge, and out into Lake Erie, bound for Thunder Bay. It was a tight squeeze above Bridge 21, as the 225.55-metre vessel had to get past two berthed fleetmates – Algoma Mariner and Algoma Transport – to get to the lake.

With the shipping season underway on the canal – the Lake Ontario to Montreal section opens April 1 to allow more water outflow from Lake Ontario. St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. president and chief executive officer Terence Bowles said it saw a tremendous response by its employees and members of the broader marine community in overcoming a range of obstacles to ensure its opening.

"The St. Lawrence Seaway provides an essential transportation service that literally feeds nations around the world, including Canada and the U.S., and supplies the inputs which keep many of our industries operating. We will strive to do our part during this difficult period," said Bowles in a news release.

Seaway spokesman Andrew Bogora said a new series of procedures were implemented to keep interaction between people as minimal as possible to ensure the health and safety of everyone.

A notice on the seaway's website said domestic fleet crews can get on and off vessels at locks 1, 2, 5 and 7 and the loading of stores and supplies will be permitted at Wharf 2 in St. Catharines and Wharf 16 in Port Colborne. Lock 8 in Port Colborne has been used for years for domestic crews getting on and off ships and for resupplying vessels.

Both the wharf locations — on the west side of the canal below Lock 1 in St. Catharines and the east side of the canal in the Snider Docks area in Port Colborne — are secure locations only accessible by seaway staff or people with proper security clearance.

Pilots that guide ocean-going vessels through the canal and lakes will now board vessels at Lock 7 or at wharves as necessary instead of boarding via pilot boats at either end of the canal.

On its website, Canada Steamship Lines president and chief executive officer Louis Martel said the shipping company has developed a contingency plan to protect its employees and ensure continuity of services to customers.

"The plan includes restricted access to ships to essential people only, pre-boarding screening procedures for crew members and anyone boarding a vessel, and strict hygiene and social distancing protocols onboard all ships. A work-from-home policy has also been implemented in CSL offices," he said in his message.

St. Catharines-based Algoma Central Corp. posted COVID-19 protocol on its website that said all crew members will be screened by fleet personnel prior to joining a vessel. Algoma crews will be asked to monitor their own health and immediately report if they develop any symptoms.

Welland Tribune

 

Port Reports -  March 26

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Maumee/tug Victory departed Duluth at 11:26 Wednesday morning with a load of iron ore pellets from Canadian National. American Spirit left her winter layup dock at Lakehead Pipeline and departed via the Superior entry at 06:39, bound for Silver Bay to load. Lee A. Tregurtha remains laid up at Fraser Shipyards and is now due to depart on Thursday, while John J. Boland is still in drydock at the yard but is listed as departing on Saturday. H. Lee White and Presque Isle are both expected in Duluth on Thursday, and Stewart J. Cort and American Mariner are due to load in Superior.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
CN-Two Harbors had no traffic on March 25th. Due Two Harbors on March 26th is the Edwin H. Gott and later in the day the Roger Blough. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay saw the arrival of the American Spirit on March 25th at approx. 11:10. Due Silver Bay on March 26th are both Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader and Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader. Lee A. Tregurtha continues to sit at Fraser Shipyards showing a Silver Bay destination.

Thunder Bay, ON
Wednesday, March 25: 14:09, CCGS Samuel Risley departed Keefer Terminal to resume ice operations. 19:36 the Risley returned to her berth at Keefer Terminal. CSL Niagara departed her layup berth at Keefer Terminal and shifted to Viterra B to load grain.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on opening day Wednesday included Sharon M 1 and barge (to Thunder Bay), Stewart J. Cort, Roger Blough, American Mariner and Saginaw (to Algoma). Hon. James L. Oberstar was downbound. Vessels were encountering little difficulty with ice. USCG Mackinaw was doing track maintenance above the locks. USCG Morro Bay and Neah Bay were doing the same in the lower river.

Northern Lake Huron
Alpena: Wednesday March 25; 11:56 The cement carrier Alpena arrived to load at the Lafarge plant Wednesday and departed at 16:26 for Green Bay.

Sarnia, ON
Frontenac departed the North Slip in Point Edward Wednesday downbound for Sterling Fuel in Windsor and then to load salt for South Chicago.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
Frontenac out of layup passed downbound at 4:45pm clear blue skies, 54 degrees F, light breeze from the west-northwest.

Detroit, MI – Raymond H
Kaye E Barker unloaded ore at AK Steel on Wednesday.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Calusa Coast arrived on 3/23 at 16:45 for the Marathon dock, she departed Wednesday at 14:28. NACC Argonaut arrived on 3/24 at 23:27 for the LaFarge cement dock. Herbert C. Jackson is still on the shuttles

 

Algoma Central provides update on 2020 navigation season

3/26 - Editor’s note: Algoma Central Corporation Wednesday provided an update on the commencement of the 2020 domestic navigation season. Their press release follows:

St. Catharines, ON – The Welland Canal is expected to open on March 24, and the Lake Ontario to Montreal section of the St. Lawrence Seaway is scheduled to open on April 1. We are pleased to announce the NACC Argonaut, a pneumatic cement carrier that is 50% owned by Algoma, is scheduled to open the Welland Canal as the first upbound vessel of the 2020 navigation season. The NACC Argonaut is commanded by Captain Montford Organ and is joined by his Chief Engineer, Khurshid Alam. The vessel currently trades on the Great Lakes and east coast of Canada, primarily for Lafarge Cement Canada Inc, loading regularly at Lafarge’s cement production facility located in Bath, Ontario and delivering to destinations in both Canada and the United States.

Algoma approached the 2020 shipping season with a healthy customer base and a solid book of business and with plans to deploy all its vessels in support of agriculture, construction, mining, and manufacturing. But this year’s opening of the canal comes during uncertain times. Although the precise impact of the COVID-19 virus on Algoma’s markets is not yet clear, it is encouraging that governments in both Canada and the United States have emphasized the importance of maintaining essential services such as marine transportation. It is also reassuring that many of Algoma’s suppliers and customers have been designated as essential services. With the strong support of our employees, labour partners, regulators, customers, suppliers, and the Seaway management corporations, Algoma will remain operational. The company is fitting out vessels for domestic service as warranted by demand and as a result, some vessels will enter service later than previous scheduled. Algoma will work closely with its customers to ensure the Canadian marine transportation sector, the transportation mode with the lowest environmental footprint, is efficiently and effectively positioned to meet their needs.

The most pressing concern currently is the safety of crew members and the Company is working together with all stakeholders and taking proactive steps to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 for all employees.

“The health and safety of our employees and their families is and always has been our number one priority,” advised Gregg Ruhl, President and Chief Executive Officer at Algoma. “Although times are uncertain, we understand that we have a critical role to play in the Canadian and global economy. We are committed and will do everything we can to keep essential supply chains open and the wheels of industry turning, while also doing our part to help flatten the curve,” continued Mr. Ruhl.

Business Wire

 

Carmeuse employees on self-quarantine after exposure

3/26 - Rogers City, MI – Multiple Carmeuse Lime & Stone employees have been asked to self-quarantine after they were exposed to a contractor who worked at the Calcite plant earlier this month, but later tested positive for coronavirus.

Carmeuse Americas on Tuesday was informed that a contractor, who was on site at the Calcite operation between March 9 and March 11, and worked alongside one of the crews, became ill after leaving the Calcite plant. The contractor sought medical treatment in Canada and on March 24 was confirmed to have coronavirus, a statement from the company said.

Two employees from the crew that worked alongside the contractor developed flu-like symptoms. Although they have not been tested for coronavirus, they have been asked to self-quarantine. The other members of the crew who came into contact with the contractor were not asked to self-quarantine because they are beyond the 14-day window when symptoms would show.

“In the meantime, we have been in close contact with McLaren Medical and following their advice, have asked those employees working closely with the self-quarantined employees to self-quarantine until the first of April as a precaution,” Spokesman Kevin Whyte said in the press release. “We are relieved to report that our employees who are ill, are doing well and are recovering at home, as is the contractor employee.”

The Alpena News

 

IJC adjusts Lake Ontario outflow ahead of spring

3/26 - The International Joint Commission is opening the floodgates even more to help get as much water out of Lake Ontario as possible before the spring melt. The International Lake Ontario–St. Lawrence River Board, which is charged with regulating water levels in the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario, said it plans to make two major changes to its water management plan to remove as much water as possible from the lake through the spring. “Lake Ontario’s seasonal rise has begun, and will generally continue in the coming weeks,” the board said in a release.

The first change the board plans to make involves the Flood Limit – a rule that governs outflows and “attempts to balance high water impacts upstream and downstream” of the Moses-Saunders dam in Cornwall. For example, when Lake Ontario is near 75.3 metres, outflows are adjusted to bring Lake St. Louis (near Montreal) up to its flood alert level of 22.1 metres.

The water level on Lake Ontario sits at around 75.17 m, which is about 51 cm above average for this time of year and only 14 cm below the record high for this time of year set in 1952, according to the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority (CRCA). In fact, the CRCA says that if weather conditions continue within normal ranges for this time of year, the water levels are predicted to reach 75.3 m by the week of Apr. 10.

So while Lake Ontario remains below the limit, the board expects it to rise through spring and it’s proactively increasing outflows to allow water levels downstream to get to 22.2 m or more in anticipation of the lake’s rise.

The second deviation will begin Apr. 1 after the St. Lawrence Seaway officially opens. “Working closely with commercial navigation experts, outflows will be increased as quickly and as much as possible above the Plan 2014 usual safe navigation limit,” the board said in a release.

“This strategy will be implemented to ensure that the maximum possible outflows are maintained while allowing for safe navigation to continue.”

Other factors may still come into play and potentially limit outflows, officials added, including Ottawa River flows and water levels in the lower St. Lawrence River. The board said there is still “long-term uncertainty” about just how high the water could get this season, both upstream on Lake Ontario and downstream in the lower St. Lawrence River.

“Water levels will largely be determined by precipitation, inflows from Lake Erie and from the Ottawa River system over the next several weeks,” they said. Residents along the St. Lawrence River should be aware that water levels could fluctuate significantly during this time, they added.

The changes are being implemented in a “very specific window of opportunity” and “will help remove an additional amount of water from Lake Ontario in the coming weeks before the Ottawa river freshet begins; at which time the Lake Ontario outflows will need to be reduced significantly until the Ottawa river flows from melted snow has receded.”

Last week the CRCA reiterated this warning, and water levels have been rising recently, as is typical in early spring, and peak levels are not expected until later in May.

“Under seasonally normal weather and water supply conditions, peak levels of around 75.45 m would be expected. However, while there remains considerable uncertainty at this time, higher peak levels are possible if wet conditions occur,” the conservation agency said. For reference, the peak Lake Ontario water level was 75.88 m in 2017 and 75.92 m in 2019, the two years where flooding was particularly bad.

Recorder & Times

 

Seaway lists COVID-19 restrictions

3/26 - Seaway Notice No. 11 – 2020
Limitations to Interfaces at Canadian Locks due to COVID-19 - Revised
The following limitations are applicable at all Canadian locks:

1. Interfaces for persons/service providers are to occur for R1 personnel only (Canadian crews are considered R1)

2. SLSMC will not entertain any escorting of non-R1 persons or monitoring product exchanges.

3. SLSMC will not provide assistance handling gangways.

4. Visitors are reminded to follow SLSMC instructions for gaining access to all locks. MLO

Domestic Carriers (with their own portable gangway)

- Interfaces permitted at SLB Lock (Lock 1) and Upper Beauharnois Lock (Lock 4)
- R1 Crews can embark / disembark vessels at Locks 1 & 4.
- Interfaces at CSC Lock (Lock 2) and Lower Beauharnois Lock (Lock 3) may be considered.

Ocean Carriers
- Interfaces permitted at SLB (Lock 1) and Upper Beauharnois (Lock 4)
- Emergency situations will be considered (ex: technicians for safety of navigation) Pilot Exchange
- Interfaces permitted at SLB (Lock 1), Upper Beauharnois Lock (Lock 4) and at IRO Lock

Welland Canal
Domestic Carriers (with their own portable gangway)
- Interfaces permitted at Locks 1, 2, 5 and 7
- R1 Crews can embark / disembark vessels at Locks 1, 2, 5 & 7.
- Stores/supplies will be permitted at wharf 2 and wharf 16. Arrangements are to be made with the tenants for cost, timing and availability.

Ocean Carriers
- Interfaces permitted at Locks 1, 2, 5 and 7 for R1 service providers
- Emergency situations will be considered (ex: technicians for safety of navigation)

Pilot Exchange
- Interfaces permitted at Lock 7 and wharves as necessary
Screening and Access to Canadian Locks
Screening measures are being implemented to protect the SLSMC worksite from a risk of infection. Mariners are advised that:
- The SLSMC has implemented screening measures for entering the locks via access gates and for crew members disembarking ships at the locks.
- Crew members or chandlers may be refused access to the lock should they not meet the screening criteria.
- Crew members that are showing symptoms will not be permitted to disembark at the locks.
Note: ships are reminded that they should have their own protective screening measures in place for any interface and not rely on those of the SLSMC
March 25, 2020

Maisonneuve Region – Montréal / Lake Ontario section
Modifications to Ship Inspections
Due to the current operating environment, temporary changes to the Seaway Enhanced Ship Inspections (ESI) program for foreign ships are being implemented in order to minimize the risk of exposure, while balancing the risk to Seaway structures and ensuring compliance with Seaway Practices and Procedures.

These temporary measures will pro-actively evaluate ship's conditions based on historical transits, the date of the last Seaway inspection, past deficiencies and corrective actions, etc. Ships that would traditionally be inspected will be sent a “Self-Inspection Report for Foreign Ships” which must be filled out and returned to SLSMC 96 hours prior to arrival at CIP 2. This evaluation may result in some ships being exempt from a full ESI and they will be granted direct entry into St-Lambert Lock. In addition to the "Self-Inspection Report for Foreign Ships” the SLSMC requests that the "IMO Health Declaration Form” also be submitted.

For exempt ships that may have a direct entry to the Seaway, ballast water inspections will still occur, however they will either take place between St-Lambert Lock and Cote St-Catherine Lock, between Snell Lock and Eisenhower Lock, or through other administrative measures. These temporary measures will be in place until further notice.

 

AIS station hosts needed

3/26 - To better support our AIS map and Automated Vessel Passage System we are looking for locations to host a receiver to share data from that location.

Boatnerd would send you, at no cost, an antenna and receiver. All that is needed is a location near the water and an Internet connection. The receiver sends out small data messages to our server, where it is processed. We can also accept data feeds if you have an existing AIS receiver (like Marine Traffic) that won’t affect your current use.

Data from these locations would be very helpful:

Lake Erie:
North shore, we need better coverage from Port Stanley to Port Burwell and Long Point Bay: Nanticoke / Port Dover
Fairport, Ohio
Conneaut, Ohio

Lake Huron:

Bruce Peninsula
Tobermory, Georgian Bay and Manitoulin Island/ North Channel

Lake Michigan
Port Inland

Lake Superior

Anywhere on the North and East Shores
Grand Marais North Shore
Munising to Grand Marais South Shore
Ashland to Copper Harbor

Lake Ontario
Most, Port Weller to Cape Vincent

Seaway / St. Lawrence River / Gulf of St. Lawrence

most.

Please e-mail if you would like to host or share data
If you have an area you would like us to set up an automated vessel passage system please e-mail The system can be customized for any area we have covered.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 26

On 26 March 1922, OMAR D. CONGER (wooden passenger-package freight, 92 foot, 200 gross tons, built in 1887, at Port Huron, Michigan) 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 MOUNT CLEMENS (wooden propeller "rabbit,” 106 foot, 132 gross tons) was launched at the Chabideaux yard in Mt. Clemens, Michigan, on 26 March 1884. She was towed to Detroit to be fit out. She was built for Chapaton & Lacroix. She lasted until dismantled in 1921.

1935: A fire destroyed the small wooden bulk carrier ALICE M. GILL that had been laid up at Sandusky since the end of the 1926 season. The ship had been built as a tug for the logging industry and later served as a lighthouse tender and then a small bulk carrier. The remains were scrapped.

1971: The former CLEMENS SARTORI stranded off the coast of Algeria in bad weather as b) PIRAEUS while en route from Antwerp, Belgium, to Mersin, Turkey, and was abandoned by the crew as a total loss. The vessel was a pre-Seaway visitor to the Great Lakes for the West German firm of Sartori and Berger and, in July 1958, was the first westbound salty to use the recently opened American locks at Massena, NY. It made 20 trips to the Great Lakes (1959-1965) mainly on charter to the Hamburg-Chicago Line.

1976: RAMON DE LARRINAGA is remembered as the first Seaway era saltwater vessel into the port of Duluth-Superior, arriving amid great fanfare on May 3, 1959. The ship was sailing as c) MARIAN when it sustained hull damage clearing the port of Lisbon on this date in 1976. Portuguese authorities ordered the vessel towed out to sea and it foundered off Cascais, Portugal, the following day.

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

 

Soo Locks opens for the season; first freighter passes through

3/25 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – After a 10-week shut down for winter maintenance, the Soo Locks opened for the season early Wednesday morning.

The first freighter made its way into the Sault Ste Marie area around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. H. Lee White had the honor of starting the shipping season. Joyce L. VanEnkevort followed her up the river and was scheduled lock to through after the White. Clyde S. VanEnkevort and her barge Erie Trader were anchored at Nine Mile Tuesday night. Burns Harbor will be the first downbound passage. Edwin H. Gott and Presque Isle were also upbound in the river on Tuesday.

Soo Locks Park is closed to visitors due to the Covid-19 pandemic until further notice. View a video at this link: https://www.9and10news.com/2020/03/24/soo-locks-opens-for-the-season-first-freighter-passes-through

 

NACC Argonaut opens Welland Canal

3/25 - St. Catharines, ON – The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) marked the opening of the Seaway’s 62nd navigation season Tuesday with the transit of the NACC Argonaut through Lock 8 on the Welland Canal.

“With the COVID-19 outbreak, we are living in exceptional times. We witnessed a tremendous response by our employees and members of the broader marine community in overcoming a range of obstacles to ensure that the Seaway can open” said Terence Bowles, President and CEO of the SLSMC.

“The St. Lawrence Seaway provides an essential transportation service that literally feeds nations around the world, including Canada and the U.S., and supplies the inputs which keep many of our industries operating. We will strive to do our part during this difficult period. We are implementing recommended preventive measures to protect the health of our employees, including working from home where possible. ”

Craig H. Middlebrook, Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation said, “Every navigation season brings opportunities and challenges and the 2020 season will be no different. While the opportunities and challenges change each year, what remains constant are the safety, reliability, efficiency and environmental performance advantages of waterborne transportation. The Seaway Corporations continue working every day to ensure that these advantages are realized as fully as possible in our binational waterway.”

The Seaway’s Montreal / Lake Ontario section will open on April 1, this year, eight days after the opening of the Welland Canal. This hybrid approach will enable the International Joint Commission to move record volumes of water out of Lake Ontario in order to provide relief to lakeshore communities battered by high water levels.

St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation

 

Homeland Security says maritime workers considered ‘essential’

3/25 - Maritime workers – including those working on barges, in energy transportation and at ports – are considered “essential employees” and should report to work even under state or local shelter-in-place or stay-at-home restrictions designed to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a list Thursday of “essential critical infrastructure workers” to help state and local officials identify those who should stay on the job during the coronavirus crisis.

Calling them either shelter-in-place or stay-at-home restrictions, a growing number of states and local governments are curbing or shuttering businesses and limiting the movement of people to stem the disease’s spread. DHS stated that these responses are locally executed, state managed and federally supported.

Concerning the maritime industry, the DHS list zeros in on “port workers, mariners, equipment operators, employees who maintain marine vessels and the equipment and infrastructure that enables operations that encompass movement of cargo and passengers.”

Also included are those involved in marine transport and storage of crude oil and petroleum. LNG facilities and transport, and workers who support the operation, inspection and maintenance of the nation’s locks, dams and levees are also considered essential. Workers involved in the necessary credentialing, vetting and licensing operations of transportation workers are also included.

The American Waterways Operators, the association representing the tug and barge industry, has been working closely with federal officials to make sure barge industry workers are classified as essential and are able to get to their jobs despite stay-at-home restrictions imposed where they live.

AWO has posted on its website templates of two letters that can be used by waterways companies stating that their employees are considered “essential critical infrastructure workers” under the DHS guidelines. One letter can be sent to state, city or other government bodies to assure the “free passage” of maritime transportation workers to their jobs. The other identifies employees as essential.

Both letters emphasize the importance of allowing maritime workers to get to their jobs and quote the DHS memorandum that states: “If you work in a critical infrastructure industry as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.” Letter templates and other updates can be found on AWO’s website.

Workboat

 

Port Reports -  March 25

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
After shifting from her winter layup berth at SMET to the Canadian National dock late Monday night to load her first cargo of the season, Paul R. Tregurtha was outbound at 14:23 Tuesday afternoon with iron ore pellets. Her fleetmate Lee A. Tregurtha had been expected to depart from Fraser Shipyards at some point Tuesday evening for Silver Bay to load, leaving only the John J. Boland and American Spirit left in layup. Duluth's first arrival of the 2020 season will be the Maumee/tug Victory, which was expected at 21:30 to pick up a load of ore at CN. There is a growing list of vessels that are due upon the opening of the Soo Locks, including H. Lee White, Presque Isle, Saginaw, Mesabi Miner, CSL Laurentien, Stewart J. Cort, and American Mariner.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Hon. James L. Oberstar arrived Two Harbors on March 24th at 00:15 Central for South of #2. She departed on the 24th at 10:20 for Indiana Harbor. Anchored near Detour was the Edwin H. Gott for Two Harbors as of 19:00 on March 24th. Lee A. Tregurtha is due Silver Bay to load. As of 19:00 on the 24th she was still at Fraser Shipyards. As of 19:00 on the 24th Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader and the Joyce L. VanEnkevort / Great Lakes Trader were both below the locks awaiting their upbound passage. Both are showing a Silver Bay destination.

Thunder Bay, ON
Tuesday, March 24; 10:25, CCGS Samuel Risley arrived and began ice operations to break out the harbor. CSL Welland left her layup berth at Keefer Terminal and shifted to Viterra A to load wheat.

St. Marys River – Denny Dushane
As of 6 p.m. March 24, American Steamship Company’s H. Lee White was moored on the lower Poe Lock wall awaiting the opening of the Soo Locks scheduled for 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday. She is headed for Superior, WI, where she is expected sometime on March 26. From there, the ship will load a cargo of wheat for Buffalo, NY. The White was also the first ship to depart Sturgeon Bay. Meanwhile, the 1,000-foot Burns Harbor was anchored above the Soo Locks near Gros Cap Light around Isle Parisienne waiting for the H. Lee White to clear the locks upbound before they proceed downbound. H. Lee White will be the first ship upbound at the Soo Locks while the Burns Harbor will be the first downbound. Both are owned by the American Steamship Company. This will also be a first for the H. Lee White as far as opening the Soo Locks. Burns Harbor was the last vessel of the 2019 season at the Soo Locks on January 15th heading to Superior, WI.

Sturgeon Bay, WI – Daniel Lindner
Roger Blough and American Mariner departed their winter layup berths at Bay Shipbuilding on Tuesday, leaving eight vessels still tied up around the shipyard. Sandblasting and painting work is well underway on the hull of Thunder Bay in the graving dock, while the remaining vessels are slowly ballasting and making preparations for the coming season.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
Samuel de Champlain/Innovation cleared for Chicago at 22:38 Monday (3/23). An hour later, Stewart J. Cort backed out of the harbor and headed for Lake Superior.

Northern Lake Huron
McGregor Bay: Sunday March 22; 10:56 CCGS Samuel Risley arrived to break out the Lafarge Whitefish Bay Terminal and Fisher Harbour. She departed at 14:26 for Thunder Bay On. Tuesday; The cement carrier Alpena arrived at the Lafarge Whitefish Bay Terminal to unload. Alpena: Monday March 23; The cement carrier Alpena arrived to load at the Lafarge plant and departed at 19:44 for McGregor Bay.

Toledo, OH – Denny Dushane
A correction to Monday's news reports. It was mentioned and indicated the Edwin H. Gott became Toledo's fourth vessel to depart from for the 2020 shipping season. The Gott was the fifth vessel departure from Toledo for the 2020 season. The first to depart was the tug Samuel De Champlain and barge Innovation on March 16 from the Lafarge Cement Dock where they had wintered. Two more vessels departed on March 20 from Lay-Up, the tug Clyde S. VanEnkevort and barge Erie Trader along with the tug Laura L. VanEnkevort and barge Joseph H. Thompson with each sailing to Marblehead to load limestone. The fourth vessel to depart was the tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader within the past few days. They were headed to Silver Bay to load iron ore pellets.

Port Colborne, ON – Denny Dushane
Algoma Sault departed on Tuesday morning heading upbound. AIS shows Thunder Bay as their next destination. Algoma Sault joined CSL Laurentien and CSL Tadoussac, which departed from their Winter Lay-Up berths in Port Colborne. CSL Laurentien departed in the late evening hours on March 23, while te CSL Tadoussac left in the morning on March 24 heading downbound in the Welland Canal to Bowmanville to load cement for Detroit. CSL Tadoussac was also the first downbound vessel for the 2020 season at Lock 3. Meanwhile, the CSL Laurentien was showing on their AIS a Windsor destination.

 

Dojon Shipbuilding among business that receive a least a partial wavier

3/25 - Erie, PA - Business owners and their employees in Erie and across the state continued to seek answers Monday about how Gov. Tom Wolf would define non-life-sustaining business.

That definition has continued to evolve since the governor announced last week that he would shutter thousands of Pennsylvania businesses in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. And the list of businesses required to close has been updated to reflect a growing number of exemptions since the original list was announced Thursday.

Local company Donjon Shipbuilding & Repair learned they had been granted at least partial waivers. Donjon, which sent more than 140 employees home last week, was expected to resume operations Tuesday with a workforce of about 80.

Like a long list of other businesses, New Jersey-based Donjon Marine Co. Inc., parent company of the Erie shipyard, made the case that it was vital to the economy. “We’re in very difficult times,” said John Witte, executive director of Dojon Marine. “We made the waiver request and we waited in line behind everybody else to learn whether we would be granted the waiver.”

GoErie.com

 

Goderich Port’s response during social distancing

3/25 - Goderich, ON – Amid the evolving situation pertaining to the pandemic of COVID-19, shipping is currently in its seasonal hiatus, yet will resume in early April. Ports play a key role in the economy and the marine transportation sectors are prepared for the heightened risk of COVID-19.

Goderich Port Management Corporation (GPMC) expects lake traffic supporting maritime commerce to continue. “The Town and GPMC has emergency plans and processes in place to respond to situations like the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Goderich Mayor John Grace. “Our top priority is taking the necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of our residents and any vessels entering our Port.”

According to the GPMC, measures have been taken to ensure vessels destined for Goderich have the latest information from local health teams on how to handle crew who might have symptoms of COVID-19. Both Alexandra Marine and General Hospital (AMGH) and the Maitland Valley Family Health Team have been preparing for COVID-19 for weeks.

Local health teams reiterate that if at risk of COVID-19 because of travel or contact with someone who has the virus, phone appointments are on offer. If symptoms are mild, health teams ask individuals to stay at home or in self-isolation and if symptoms are serious, direction will be provided.

The Chamber of Marine Commerce (CMC), the shipping industry association is keeping all shipping and ports updated on the changing situation and Transport Canada has issued guidance to offshore vessels approaching Canadian waters.

Goderich Signal Star

 

COVID-19 concerns slated to temporarily close Burlington lift bridge to vehicle traffic

3/25 - Hamilton, ON – The federal government plans to close the Burlington Canal lift bridge to car traffic temporarily as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to emails to the city. City officials were alerted Monday that the bridge over the shipping canal into Hamilton Harbor would soon be lifted — and left in the raised position — due to staffing issues related to COVID-19.

But there was still no word Tuesday about when the closure would begin or how long the bridge might be off-limits to cars. Emails to the city indicated a federal announcement – including alternate route information – is yet to come. It is also unclear if any of the handful of employees who run the federally owned bridge are in self-isolation, or whether the planned shutdown is meant as a temporary precaution.

The nearly 60-year-old bridge serves as both the Eastport Drive road link between Burlington and Hamilton — particularly for the residential beach strip — but also an emergency route over the canal for QEW highway traffic during skyway closures. Leaving the bridge in the "raised" position would allow lakers and other marine traffic to access the busy port in Hamilton Harbour with the shipping season about to begin.

Hamilton Spectator

 

U.S. flat steel demand healthy in Q1, virus outlook uncertain: US Steel

3/25 - Demand for flat-rolled steel products in the US has been healthy throughout the first quarter of 2020, however the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on the rest of the year is unknown given the rapidly evolving situation, US Steel said Friday.

US Steel expects to report an adjusted loss of 8 cents per diluted share in the first quarter of 2020, it said in its first quarter guidance issued Friday. This compares with earnings of 31 cents per diluted share, or $54 million, on sales of $3.5 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Results for the company’s flat-rolled segment are expected to be better than anticipated in Q1 as seasonally strong shipment volumes more than offset the typical seasonality of mining, US Steel said.

“Additionally, the domestic flat-rolled steel market has remained healthy throughout the first quarter to date,” the company said. “Extended lead times are supported by robust construction end-market demand and an end to destocking that negatively impacted order rates throughout 2019.”

In April the company will commence the previously announced indefinite idling of its iron and steel making operations at its Great Lakes Works outside Detroit and still expects to begin a sched-uled 48-day outage at its Gary Works blast furnace No.4 in April.

Steel selling prices in Europe steadily increased throughout Q1, however US Steel said its business was still impacted by the flow through of lower pricing based on monthly and quarterly contracts and elevated raw material costs.

Additionally, the company’s tubular steel segment remained challenged in Q1 as oil prices remain under significant pressure and rig counts continue to be low, US Steel said.

“The global coronavirus outbreak is an unprecedented and rapidly evolving situation,” US Steel said. “It remains uncertain how long the situation will last and what the impacts will be for the full year. Given the significant uncertainty in the marketplace, we continue to monitor demand levels and plan to provide more information during our first quarter earnings call.”

Hellenic Shipping News

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 25

HENRY G. DALTON (Hull#713) was launched March 25, 1916, at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co., for the Interlake Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio – the company's first 600 footer.

FRANK R. DENTON was launched March 25, 1911, as a.) THOMAS WALTERS (Hull#390) at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. for the Interstate Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio.

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, Ontario. Eighteen hull plates were damaged which required repairs at Ashtabula, Ohio.

The steamer 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, Michigan.

1966: The French freighter ROCROI made one trip through the Seaway in 1959. The ship arrived at Halifax on this date in 1966 with interior damage after the 'tween decks, loaded with steel, collapsed crushing tractors and cars beneath. The vessel was repaired and survived until 1984 when, as e) THEOUPOLIS, it hit a mine en route to Berbera, Somalia, on August 14, 1984. The vessel was badly damaged and subsequently broken up in India.

1973: The former MONTREAL CITY caught fire as b) RATCHABURI at Bangkok, Thailand, on March 24, 1973. It was loading a cargo of jute and rubber for Japan on its first voyage for new Thai owners. The vessel was scuttled and sank on March 25 in Pattani Bay, South Thailand. The ship began coming through the Seaway for the Bristol City Line when new in 1963.

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

 

Soo Locks poised for season opener

3/24 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – With the shipping season getting underway at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, two vessels are already in the river awaiting passage. The downbound Burns Harbor was at anchor below Whitefish Point at 10 p.m. Monday night. H. Lee White was anchored above DeTour. The vessels will make their way to the locks on Tuesday to be ready for the opening bell. It was unknown on Monday which vessel would have the honor of being the first boat. The USCG icebreaker Mackinaw is stationed above the locks to provide assistance if needed.

On Monday, tug Victory / barge Maumee left winter layup at Algoma Steel bound for Marquette to load, according to her AIS. The CCGS icebreaker Samuel Risley locked upbound to conduct ice ops in Thunder Bay. USCG Alder was downbound, and by 10 p.m. was in the Straits area. Other vessels headed for the locks include upbound Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader, Presque Isle and Edwin H. Gott.

Events marking the opening of the locks have been cancelled for this year and the Soo Locks park is closed to visitors.

 

Twin Ports shipping season gets underway

3/24 - Duluth, MN – Amid a pandemic and fears over how a recession could impact Iron Range mining operations, the Twin Ports shipping season quietly got underway over the weekend.

The Burns Harbor departed from the Superior entry at 1:53 a.m. Sunday with a load of iron ore bound for the ship's namesake port in Indiana. The 1,000-foot laker, operated by the American Steamship Company, was also the last into port, arriving on Jan. 16.

Meanwhile, the new season's first traffic should begin arriving later this week. The Stewart J. Cort, H. Lee White and American Mariner all were Twin Ports-bound, with estimated Thursday morning arrivals, according to tracking website Harbor Lookout.

The Soo Locks will open for the season Wednesday, making Lake Superior accessible to the lower Great Lakes and oceangoing vessels.

Duluth News Tribune

 

Ship remains grounded in Green Bay; freight being off-loaded to help it float free

3/24 - Green Bay, WI - Efforts were under way Monday to free a 740-foot cargo vessel that ran aground and became stuck in the bay of Green Bay Thursday. Some of her cargo was off-loaded into a barge Monday, but not enough for tugs to pull her free. Off-loading will continue.

The ship was undamaged, no one was hurt, and there was no resulting pollution spill from the accident, but the ship remained lodged in place, partially blocking the shipping channel five miles north of the mouth of the Fox River.

The ship, the Algoma Conveyor, was transporting a load of road salt from Canada into Green Bay when it lost propulsion because of a mechanical failure, attempted to anchor and then drifted aground, according to Lt. Phillip Gurtler of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Because of the lack of damage, the Coast Guard, state Department of Natural Resources and a contracted salvage company had the leisure to work with the owner, Algoma Central Corp., over the weekend to formulate a plan, Gurtler said.

The plan so far is a simple one: Off-load the road salt to another vessel and see whether the resulting loss of weight improves buoyancy enough to free the vessel. Several tug boats were dispatched to the scene to help pull the vessel free if that is necessary and it can be done without damaging the hull, Gurtler said.

The 18 crew members will remain aboard to help with the off-loading and other tasks but will be removed if any major safety concern develops, Gurtler said. He was unable to guess how long the operation could take.

Green Bay Press Gazette

 

Port Reports -  March 24

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
There were no departures from the Twin Ports on Monday as originally expected. Hon. James L. Oberstar, in layup at Fraser Shipyards, was tentatively expected to depart at 19:30 for Two Harbors to pick up her first load of the season but was still at the shipyard at that time (AIS showed her underway at 10 p.m.). Paul R. Tregurtha, which had been expected to load at SMET where she is currently laid up, is now slated to shift to CN to load iron ore pellets before departing on Tuesday or Wednesday. The port's first arrival of the season will likely be H. Lee White, which is currently anchored in the lower St. Marys River and is due on Thursday to load wheat at General Mills.

Sturgeon Bay, WI – Jim Conlon
The first ship to leave winter layup at Bayship, the H. Lee White, left on Sunday morning.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
Samuel de Champlain/Innovation arrived from Alpena at 01:49 Monday (3/23) with cement for Lafarge. She was reunited with fleetmate, G.L. Ostrander/Integrity, which has spent the winter in Milwaukee. At 03:10, Calumet River Fleeting’s tug Nathan S returned to the city with three more barges for loading at the COFCO elevator. This makes seven three-barge tows loaded at COFCO in 2020. Tug and barges cleared for Calumet Harbor at 16:56. No additional marine traffic is currently expected.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Saginaw was loading coke at Zug Island on Monday.

Toledo, OH – Denny Dushane
Edwin H. Gott departed Winter Lay-Up early in the morning on March 23. Their AIS was indicating a Two Harbors destination. This makes the fourth vessel so far that departed from Winter Lay-Up in Toledo and now leaves 12 vessels still remaining in lay-up. The list includes Algoma Strongfield at the Ironhead Shipyard drydock getting their 5-year survey done; Philip R. Clarke and Great Republic tied-up at the Old Interlake Iron Co. Dock near the Ironhead Shipyard Drydock; Sam Laud at the Ironville Dock along with the American Century at CSX #3 Dock, Indiana Harbor along with the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. at CSX #2 Dock; Arthur M. Anderson at the CSX #1 Dock Wall and American Courage at the Torco Lakefront Docks. Three ships that are laid-up and not expected to sail in 2020 include American Valor and Manistee in long-term lay-up at the Hocking Valley Dock and the St. Clair still at the Lakefront Docks from its fire in February 2019.

Ashtabula, OH – Denny Dushane
Saginaw became Ashtabula's first departure from Winter Lay-Up of the 2020 Shipping Season late during the evening on March 22. Vessels that remain in lay-up are the following: Calumet, Cuyahoga, tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula, tug Invincible, Mississagi, Ojibway, tug Olive L. Moore and barge Menominee and the Robert S. Pierson.

 

ArcelorMittal idling #4 blast furnace at Indiana Harbor after auto shutdown in coronavirus response

3/24 - East Chicago - ArcelorMittal is idling the #4 Blast Furnace at its ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor steel mill after auto plants nationwide shut down for a deep cleaning to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Much of the steel made at the mill in East Chicago and along Northwest Indiana's lakeshore ends in cars, trucks and SUVs. Industry analysts estimate as much as 50% of the business at integrated mills like ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor comes from the automotive industry.

The Detroit 3 automakers are shuttering their plants through March 29 to clean them to protect workers from COVID-19. Honda, Subaru and other foreign automakers also temporarily closed their U.S. plants in response to the global pandemic for which there is not yet a cure.

"The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted ArcelorMittal USA’s key use markets. In response to this, we are adapting our capacity to meet changing demand while maintaining the flexibility of our operations," ArcelorMittal spokesman William Steers said. "As a result, ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor has begun preparations for a safe and orderly blow down of IH #4 blast furnace with necessary precaution to preserve the asset for future production."

The company would not say exactly how many jobs would be affected.

"ArcelorMittal USA plans to work with the USW to minimize impact on our workforce for the duration of the outage by finding available opportunities for displaced workers in other areas of our operations," Steers said. "Our employees are our greatest asset and their health and safety is our top priority. During this time we continue to be committed to protecting the well-being of our employees, contractors, vendors and customers to ensure the continuity and sustainability of our business and communities."

The idling could potentially just be the start as the coronavirus crisis unfolds, he said.

"ArcelorMittal will continue to engage with our customers in understanding the new market realities resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, which may require additional capacity optimization to align our production with end use demand," Steers said.

Northwest Indiana Times

 

S.S. Keewatin will not reopen to visitors in 2020

3/24 - Port McNicoll, ON – Despite its investment in headsets to facilitate the operation of tours of the S.S. Keewatin, the Friends of Keewatin has determined, in conjunction with Skyline Investments, the owners of the ship, that it will not be feasible for its tours to operate in 2020 within COVID-19 social distancing requirements in light of parts of the tours necessarily occurring in close quarters.

In anticipation of these requirements continuing for some time, given the S.S. Keewatin’s relatively short mid-May to mid-October operating season, the impact on tourism, including by cruise ship, a significant source of visitors in recent years, and the substantial fixed cost and volunteer effort to open for the season, we have concluded that preparing to open for the 2020 season will not be in the long-term interests of the S.S. Keewatin.

The Friends of Keewatin will continue to work with Skyline Investments in determining the future plans for operation of the S.S. Keewatin.

Friends of Keewatin

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 24

ALPENA (Hull#177) was launched on March 24, 1909, at Wyandotte, Michigan, by Detroit Ship Building Co. for the Wyandotte Transportation Co.

IRVIN L. CLYMER was launched March 24, 1917, as a.) CARL D. BRADLEY (Hull#718) at Lorain, Ohio, by American Ship Building Co. the third self-unloader in the Bradley Transportation Co. fleet.

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

PETER ROBERTSON was launched March 24, 1906, as a) HARRY COULBY (Hull#163) at Wyandotte, Michigan, by Detroit Ship Building Co. for the L. C. Smith Transit Co., Syracuse, New York.

On 24 March 1874, the 181-foot, 3-mast wooden schooner MORNING STAR was launched at E. Saginaw, Michigan, by Crosthwaite.

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

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

1905: The wooden passenger and freight carrier LAKESIDE was built in Windsor in 1888. It spent most of its life operating between Niagara and Toronto. During fit out on this date in 1905, the ship sank at the dock in Port Dalhousie when water was sucked in through the seacock after the engine filling the boiler shut down. The hull was refloated and returned to service until the DALHOUSIE CITY was built in 1911.

1981: The West German freighter ANNA REHDER first came through the Seaway in 1967 when it was two years old. It was sold and renamed LESLIE in 1973. The captain last reported his position on this date in 1981 and that they were encountering heavy weather while en route from Boulogne, France, to Umm Said, Qatar. There was no further word and it is believed that the ship went down with all hands in the Atlantic off the coast of Spain. A ring buoy was later found north of Cape Finnestere.

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

 

Tugs at scene of grounded Algoma Conveyor

3/23 - Green Bay, WI – On Sunday, two tugs and a barge were at the scene of the Algoma Conveyor grounding in the entrance channel to Green Bay, WI. The tugs are Erika Kobasic and Nickelena. USCG Mobile Bay was also on the scene, as was a barge to be used in offloading some of the Converyor’s cargo of salt. Algoma Conveyor lost propulsion late Thursday afternoon and moved outside the shipping channel and ran aground.

 

Port Reports -  March 23

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Burns Harbor was outbound from Burlington Northern around 02:00 Sunday, laden with iron ore pellets bound for her namesake port. There has been no further vessel movement in the harbor, however the Paul R. Tregurtha is expected to begin taking on coal at SMET on Sunday to prepare for a Monday departure.

St. Marys River
USCGC Neah Bay escorted the Algocanada downbound Sunday morning. USCG was above the locks awaiting downbound traffic.

Marine City, MI - Rich Larson
At 1:15 pm Sunday Algosea passed downbound. Shortly after, Alpena passed upbound. Skies partly cloudy 40 degrees F with steady breezes from the east southeast.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Sunday Arrivals: Kaye E Barker arrived at AK Steel to unload ore. Joyce L VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader arrived at the Waterfront Petroleum Terminal to fuel.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader arrived in Lorain at 09:25 Sunday from Marblehead with stone for the Lafarge dock. Herbert C. Jackson continued on the shuttles from Cleveland Bulk Terminal to ArcelorMittal Steel.

Lake Ontario – Ron Walsh
McKeil Spirit has already made two trips to Toronto, and one each to Oswego and Rochester. She was loading cement in Picton on Sunday. The NACC Argonaut arrived in Bath Saturday from her Toronto winter layup. The Sea Eagle II is anchored off Bowmanville. The CCGC Cape Hearne arrived at her new coast guard base in Kingston on Saturday. The CCGC Cape Storm is also on station at Port Weller. The Kingston-area tour boats have started to fit out for the season, but they really do not know when they will start or what health conditions they will face. There is no ice to speak of anywhere in the area as compared to last year when large icebreakers were operating in the area.

Erie, PA – Gene P
Presque Isle departed Sunday evening. Her AIS has not yet been updated.

 

2020 edition of “Know Your Ships” ready for new shipping season

3/23 - The new shipping season is at hand, and so is the release of "Know Your Ships 2020,” the edition of the popular annual field guide to boats and boatwatching on the Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Seaway.

This year’s 200-book includes information on U.S., Canadian and international-flag cargo vessels, tugs, excursion boats and barges in regular Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Seaway service, including owner and port of registry, year and shipyard where built, length, beam, depth, cargo capacity and former names, plus type of engine, horsepower and more.

Standard and spiral bindings are available. Order at this link: www.knowyourships.com

 

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 side-wheel passenger/package freighter, 182 foot, 546 tons, built in 1845, at Maumee, Ohio) exploded and burned at Black Rock, New York. 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 had won the honor of opening the Sault Harbor.

1986: EBN MAGID visited the Seaway in 1970 as a) ADEL WEERT WIARDS and was on the cover of Know Your Ships for 1971. Following 2 explosions and a fire at sea at the end of January, the vessel docked this day at Milford Haven, U.K. to be unloaded. It was then sold to Belgian shipbreakers.

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

 

Mackinaw locks up to break ice in upper St. Marys River

3/22 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – At lunchtime Saturday, the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Mackinaw entered the Poe Lock to begin opening the upper St. Marys River and Whitefish Bay as part of spring breakout in Lake Superior. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, continues vital operations at the Soo Locks while dealing with the impacts of COVID-19.

USCG

 

Tugs head for grounded Algoma Conveyor

3/22 - Green Bay, WI – On Saturday evening, two tugs and a barge were on their way to the Algoma Conveyor, which ran aground late Thursday afternoon in the entrance channel to Green Bay, WI. The tugs are Erika Kobasic and Nickelena. USCG Mobile Bay was also on the scene Saturday afternoon.

Algoma Conveyor lost propulsion and moved outside the shipping channel, and it ran aground, according to port director Dean Haen. The ship was hauling salt into Green Bay.

 

U.S. Coast Guard to open West Neebish Channel in the St. Marys River

3/22 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – The Coast Guard plans to open the West Neebish Channel in the St. Marys River Tuesday morning, March 24.

Ice above the Neebish Island ferry crossing is deteriorating rapidly. Recent rain and above normal temperatures weakened shore ice which threatens to collapse and potentially obstruct ferry operations. Three 140-foot ice breaking tugs are working the lower St. Marys River to flush rotten ice downstream to prevent ice from hindering commercial navigation, including ferry operations. Prior to announcing these plans, Coast Guard officials conferred with the Eastern Upper Peninsula Transportation Authority (EUPTA) and the local ferry operators to collect their input. Each supports the timing for the waterway opening.

For up-to-date information on ferry operations call the Eastern Upper Peninsula Transportation Authority (EUPTA) delays, cancellation, and updates hotline at (906) 632-1516, check the local ferry Facebook pages, or the EUPTA website at EUPTA.net.

USCG

 

Port Reports -  March 22

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
After spending the last few months laid up at Elevator M in Superior, Burns Harbor left the dock around 01:00 Saturday morning and shifted to Burlington Northern to load her first cargo of iron ore pellets for the season. She was tentatively expected to depart at 22:00. Still in layup around the Twin Ports are Paul R. Tregurtha, moored at Midwest Energy; American Spirit, tied at Lakehead Pipeline; and Hon. James L. Oberstar, Lee A. Tregurtha, and John J. Boland, all laid up at Fraser Shipyards. All three Interlake vessels are currently slated to depart on Monday, while the port's first arrivals of the 2020 season should come by the end of the week.

St. Marys River
Tanker Algocanada was unloading petroleum products in Soo, ON, on Saturday.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
At 5:30 pm Saturday, the tug Leo A. MacArthur and barge John J. Carrick passed downbound. Skies clear 29 degrees F. Winds stiff and steady from the north-northwest.

Marblehead, OH
The Clyde S. VanEnkevort and barge Erie Trader arrived late Friday night in Marblehead thus becoming the first arrival in Marblehead for the 2020 Shipping Season. The tug Laura L. VanEnkevort and Joe Thompson are anchored awaiting the Clyde to load at Marblehead first.

Rochester, NY – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit departed Saturday afternoon, in ballast, for Picton, ON, after delivering the first load of the season to Lehigh Cement.

 

USS Little Rock offered for service as hospital in battle against Covid-19

3/22 - Buffalo, NY - The decommissioned USS Little Rock at Canalside is volunteering to be a floating hospital for people testing positive for the novel coronavirus. Taking an all-hands-on-deck approach, Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park officials said Friday the ship and the entire park could play a role in the local health care delivery system to combat the spread of Covid-19.

Paul Marzello, the park's president and CEO, offered use of the ship and park to Erie County officials, who confirmed they have received the offer. “Right now the USS Little Rock could accommodate between 175 and 200 people, depending on distancing requirements,” said Shane Stephenson, the park's director of museum collections.

The public opening of the military park for the 2020 season has been delayed because of the highly contagious virus. But elected officials and health industry leaders are scrambling to increase hospital bed capacity in anticipation of a surge of patients infected by the virus.

The park's offer comes a day after Catholic Health announced it is converting the St. Joseph Campus for Sisters of Charity Hospital to exclusive care of coronavirus patients. But that is not expected to be enough.

Mark Sullivan, president and CEO of Catholic Health, has said the St. Joseph Campus in Cheektowaga will handle 20% of patients expected to need hospitalization and the 5% who will need intensive care. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz has also been in discussions on the possibility of using the former Women & Children's Hospital and the Buffalo Grand Hotel, formerly the Adam's Mark Buffalo, for additional hospital beds to treat Covid-19 patients.

The Little Rock, a light cruiser commissioned at the end of World War II, was originally designed to accommodate 700 shipmates. In its current role as a museum, it is outfitted with plumbing and other utilities. “My understanding is that the Army Corps of Engineers would have to bring in equipment to make it suitable for this type of service,” Stephenson said.

Using a decommissioned naval ship might not be as unusual as it sounds. The Navy has already sent two hospital ships to New York City and the West Coast. "The role of the military in the past has been significant in assuaging the public's fears in times of crisis," Marzello said. "Generally speaking, people view the military as having the resources and the commitment to overcome these kinds of challenges."

The Little Rock is no stranger to overnight guests. In the spring and fall, the ship routinely accommodates area Boy Scout and Girl Scout organizations for weekend encampments.

The USS The Sullivans, a decommissioned destroyer at the park, is not suitable for housing because it lacks utilities, Branning said.

The Buffalo News

 

Seaway announces COVID-19 measures

3/22 - Seaway notice no. 10 - 2020
Limitations to Interfaces at Canadian Locks due to COVID-19 The following limitations are applicable at all Canadian locks:

1. Interfaces for persons/service providers are to occur for R1 personnel only (Canadian crews are considered R1)
2. SLSMC will not entertain any escorting of non-R1 persons or monitoring product exchanges.
3. SLSMC will not provide assistance handling gangways.
4. Visitors are reminded to follow SLSMC instructions for gaining access to all locks.

Domestic Carriers (with their own portable gangway)
• Interfaces permitted at SLB Lock (Lock 1) and Upper Beauharnois Lock (Lock 4)
• R1 Crews can embark / disembark vessels at Locks 1 & 4.
• Interfaces at CSC Lock (Lock 2) and Lower Beauharnois Lock (Lock 3) may be considered.

Ocean Carriers
• Interfaces permitted at SLB (Lock 1) and Upper Beauharnois (Lock 4)
• Emergency situations will be considered (ex: technicians for safety of navigation) Pilot Exchange
• Interfaces permitted at SLB (Lock 1), Upper Beauharnois Lock (Lock 4) and at IRO Lock

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 22

On 22 March 1922, the Goodrich Transit Company purchased the assets and properties of the Chicago, Racine and Milwaukee Steamship Company. This sale included two steamers: ILLINOIS (steel propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 240 foot, 2,427 gross tons, built in 1899, at S. Chicago, Illinois) and PILGRIM (iron propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 209 foot, 1,921 gross tons, built in 1881, at Wyandotte, Michigan).

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

The tanker COMET (Hull#705) was launched March 22, 1913, at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. for the Standard Transportation Co. of New York.

THOMAS W. LAMONT (Hull#184) was launched March 22, 1930, at Toledo, Ohio by Toledo Shipbuilding Co. for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.

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

On 22 March 1873, TYPO, a wooden schooner/canaller, was launched at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 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 foot, 2,940 gross tons, built in 1896, at Wyandotte, Michigan) 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.

1973: The Swedish built NORSE VARIANT first came to the Great Lakes in 1965 just after completion. On March 22, 1973, the vessel was en route from Norfolk, VA, to Hamburg, Germany, with a cargo of coal when it ran into an early spring storm with 40 foot waves southeast of Cape May, N.J. The vessel was overwhelmed and sank with the loss of 29 lives. Only one man survived.

2006: The Collingwood-built Canadian Coast Guard ship SIR WILFRID LAURIER came to the rescue of those aboard the passenger ship QUEEN OF THE NORTH when the latter sank with the loss of two lives off the coast of British Columbia.

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

 

Efforts to free Algoma Conveyor to begin Saturday

3/21 - Green Bay, WI – Algoma Conveyor, which ran aground late Thursday afternoon in the entrance channel to Green Bay, WI, was still stuck Friday night. She was inbound with salt at the time of the grounding.

The ship lost propulsion and moved outside the shipping channel, and it ran aground, according to port director Dean Haen. The ship was hauling salt into Green Bay. Another of the company's ships will need to come to remove some of the salt to make the Algoma Conveyor lighter so it can be removed. Haen says that could take a week or more.

The ship is essentially blocking access to the port, but Haen says no other ship is expected until next week. The ship is north of a line between Long Tail Point and Point Sable. There is no leaking or environmental discharge, Haen says.

Tugs are expected Saturday morning.

 

Thunder Bay icebreaking by USCG delayed due to border restrictions

3/21 - Thunder Bay, ON – The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alder that was expected to clear ice in the Thunder Bay harbor this week, has been held back due to border crossing restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Instead, the Canadian Coast Guard Cutter Samuel Risley will arrive early next week to free up wintering ships at Keefer Terminal and open passages for the navigation season.

Chronicle-Journal

 

Port Reports -  March 21

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Lake Huron
Tanker Algocanada was back in Soo, ON, Friday to unload petroleum products.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Alpena was unloading at Lafarge on Friday.

Toledo, OH – Jim Hoffman
As of 4 pm Friday, the tug/barge combo Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader were leaving winter layup berth at the Torco Dock. Shortly afterwards the Laura VanEnkevort/ Joseph H. Thompson left the Torco dock as well. Both vessels are bound for Marblehead to load stone.

 

Message from CSL regarding COVID-19

3/21 - Montreal, QC - CSL and the marine industry at large are now sailing in uncharted waters as the entire world faces a truly unprecedented time in our history. Above all else, the health and safety of our crews, employees and communities are our main priorities and we are taking all necessary precautions to protect and support them.

In line with the guidance and regulations of local, national and global health authorities and governments, CSL has developed and activated a comprehensive contingency plan to protect people and ensure the continuity of our services to our customers.

The plan includes restricted access to ships to essential people only, pre-boarding screening procedures for crew members and anyone boarding a vessel, and strict hygiene and social distancing protocols on board all ships. A work-from-home policy has also been implemented in CSL offices.

As the situation continues to change, we will adjust our plan to ensure it is aligned to the level of threat to our crews and level of impact to our operations.

We are extremely grateful to the seafarers and employees who are working around the clock to respond and adapt to the evolving situation and ensure the normal continuity of our services to our customers. In the difficult economic climate created by the pandemic, more than ever, our customers as well as national and global economies depend on our critical services.

The shipping sector is considered an economic priority service and, so far, governments are doing everything they can to ensure the services we provide are not disrupted. However, delays at the border and with supply services are to be expected. We are working closely with sector associations and governments to put in place best practices and keep disruptions to a minimum.

Through careful planning and our cautious business strategy, and thanks to our dedicated and resourceful crews and employees, I am confident CSL will meet the COVID-19 challenge with vigilance and resilience. We urge everyone to be cautious and stay safe.

Louis Martel President and CEO

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 21

The c.) CHEMICAL MAR of 1966 sustained severe damage when sulfuric acid leaked into the pump room while she was discharging her cargo at the island of Curacao on March 21, 1982. Flooding occurred later and the vessel was declared a constructive total loss. She was scrapped at Brownsville, Texas in 1983. From 1979 until 1981, CHEMICAL MAR was named b.) COASTAL TRANSPORT for the Hall Corp. of Canada. She never entered the lakes under that name.

NOTRE DAME 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 (Hull#40) at Ecorse, Michigan by Great Lakes Engineering Works for G. A. Tomlinson of Duluth, Minnesota.

Pittsburgh Steamship Co.'s GEORGE F. BAKER was sold to the Kinsman Marine Transit Co., Cleveland, Ohio on March 21, 1965, and renamed b) HENRY STEINBRENNER.

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

On 21 March 1853, GENERAL SCOTT (wooden side-wheeler, 105 foot, 64 tons, built in 1852, at Saginaw, Michigan) 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.

1959: The retired sidewheel steamer WESTERN STATES, known as S.S. OVERNIGHTER, caught fire while waiting to be scrapped in 1959. The vessel had last sailed in 1950 and had briefly served as a flotel at Tawas, MI, before being sold for scrap. Final demolition of the hull was completed at Bay City later in the year.

1970: The West German freighter WILHELM NUBEL made one trip through the Seaway in 1959. It sustained machinery failure as c) SAN GERASSIMOS following an engine room fire on this date in 1970. The vessel was traveling from Galatz, Romania, to Lisbon, Portugal, with a cargo of maize and had to be abandoned by the crew. While taken in tow by the tanker STAVROS E., the ship sank in heavy weather in the Ionian Sea.

1998: Three crewmembers were killed by phosphine gas when they went to assess flooding damage in #1 hold after the MARIA A. encountered heavy weather on the South Atlantic. The ship, en route from Argentina to Jordan with wheat, put into Paranagua, Brazil for repairs. The ship had been a Seaway caller as RIGHTEOUS beginning in 1979 and as AFSAR in 1986. While renamed ARIA later in 1998, the British built bulk carrier was never repaired and was either scuttled or scrapped.

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

 

Algoma Conveyor grounds near Green Bay

3/20 - Green Bay, WI – Algoma Conveyor ran aground late Thursday afternoon in the entrance channel to Green Bay, WI. She was still there at 10 p.m. Weather at the time was rainy. She was inbound with salt from Goderich, Ontario.

 

Seaway Notice # 9: Transit requirements under high flow conditions

3/20 - Transit Requirements under High Flow Conditions Mariners are advised that due to the higher than normal outflows expected at the opening of navigation, the following transit requirements are deemed necessary until further notice.

•All ships equipped with a bow thruster shall have the bow thruster operational when transiting near Seaway structures.
•All Tall Ships and Tows (Tug/Barge) transiting the Montreal to Lake Ontario section of the Seaway shall be capable of making a minimum of 8 knots through the water.
•No transits of Dead Ship tows will be permitted.
•Ships unable to transit safely at these flows may be subject to transit restriction(s). Mariners will be advised when the above restrictions will be lifted

 

Lake Ontario water levels expected to rise, outflows increased

3/20 - Watertown, NY – The group in charge of regulating water levels on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River plans to keep pushing large amounts of water out of Lake Ontario through the spring. The International Lake Ontario–St. Lawrence River Board said it expects Lake Ontario to rise through spring and is proactively increasing outflows.

The board also said beginning April 1, following the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, "outflows will be increased as quickly and as much as possible above the Plan 2014 usual safe navigation limit."

The board said the strategy is designed to ensure that the maximum release of water is maintained while allowing for safe navigation to continue. According to the board, other considerations may take precedence and limit outflows, including Ottawa River flows and water levels in the lower St. Lawrence River.

Lake Ontario’s seasonal rise has begun and will generally continue in the coming weeks, the board said. It added that residents and communities along Lake Ontario should remain vigilant and continue to make preparations for potential impacts of high water this spring, as the risk remains elevated, particularly during periods of strong winds and waves.

The board said there remains considerable long-term uncertainty for peak levels that will be reached this season, both upstream on Lake Ontario and downstream in the lower St. Lawrence River. Water levels will largely be determined by precipitation, inflows from Lake Erie and from the Ottawa River system over the next several weeks.

The board said residents along the St. Lawrence River should be aware that water levels could fluctuate significantly during this time. Residents and property owners along Lake St. Louis near Montreal and the lower St. Lawrence River should be aware that water levels will continue to be kept very high and that low lying areas may see minor impacts, the board said.

WWNY

 

Port Reports -  March 20

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Lake Huron
Tanker Algocanada was headed back to the Soo Thursday and is due some time Friday. Cement vessel Alpena was at the southern part of the lake Thursday night headed for Detroit.

Manitowoc, WI – Matt McDonald
Tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 arrived for the first time this year, at 4:46 pm 03/19/20.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Report
At Port Milwaukee Thursday (3/19), Prentiss Brown/St. Marys Conquest arrived from Grand Haven at 13:05 with cement for the Kinnickinnic River terminal. No additional marine traffic is currently expected.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
At 3:30 pm Thursday, Algosea passed upbound under overcast skies, 44 degrees F, winds light from the south-southeast.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Thursday Arrivals: Iver Bright arrived at the Waterfront Petroleum Terminal to unload. Kaye E. Barker arrived at AK Steel to unload ore from Ashtabula.

Oswego, NY – Ned Goebricher
On March 18, McKeil Spirit was the first ship of the season for the port.

 

Iron Range mines face looming recession triggered by COVID-19

3/20 - Duluth, MN – Amid the spread of the new coronavirus and the likelihood of a global recession, mining companies on the Iron Range continue to staff the taconite mines and iron ore pellet plants at near-full levels.

This week, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley said there’s already a global recession underway as COVID-19, the respiratory illness that develops from the new coronavirus, continues to spread, according to Bloomberg News.

That’s bad news for the Iron Range mines, said Tony Barrett, an economics professor at the College of St. Scholastica. “Whenever there’s a recession, that hurts the demand for steel,” Barrett said. “And that’ll hurt the demand for our taconite.”

And on Wednesday, General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler announced plants will temporarily shut down through the end of the month to help curb the spread of COVID-19, after reaching an agreement with the United Auto Workers union, according to CNBC.

Phil Gibbs, equity research analyst at KeyBanc Capital Markets, said the integrated steel companies with ore operations in Minnesota will undoubtedly also see less demand for steel, noting that after Cleveland-Cliffs and AK Steel merged last week, the company will see about half of its steel bought up by the automotive industry.

“I would anticipate the strongest impacts to be in probably the second or the third quarters. … Maybe they receive some of the steel that they promised these guys for the remainder of the quarter, but they've certainly softened up purchases in the second quarter,” Gibbs said in an interview with the News Tribune Wednesday.

But Kelsey Johnson, president of the Iron Mining Association of Minnesota, was more optimistic. She told the News Tribune on Wednesday that the companies could be insulated because they are less reliant on the automotive industry than in the past.

“I anticipate that might not affect us as greatly as it has in the past because we’re definitely pursuing other markets for the steel that we have,” Johnson said. “That may cause a small loss but I don’t anticipate it affecting the overall economic viability of either the iron or steel market.”

Additionally, an indicator Johnson tracks — capacity utilization of the country’s blast furnaces — hasn’t fallen below 80%. If utilization falls below that figure, then the Iron Range could start to feel it.

For the week ending March 14, utilization was at 80.5%, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute’s most recent numbers released Tuesday. That’s down from a utilization of 81.6% reported the week before and 82.2% during the same week in 2019. Total production during the week was down 1.3% compared to the week before and down 1.8% from the same week in 2019.

The three companies mining taconite and producing iron ore pellets in Minnesota have not felt or responded to a potential recession, based on responses to the News Tribune this week. The companies have also kept employees working, despite workers throughout the U.S. being encouraged to stay at home during the pandemic.

U.S. Steel, which owns Keetac in Keewatin and Minntac in Mountain Iron and a portion of Hibbing Taconite, is not facing any issues with essential materials and has plans in case delivery issues arise, U.S. Steel spokesperson Meghan Cox said.

Although Cox did not explicitly address the potential impact of a recession, she made the case for why domestically produced steel is better amid a pandemic.

“The coronavirus does, however, highlight general supply chain vulnerabilities, which is a primary reason why we believe a strong domestic steel industry is needed,” Cox said in an email to the News Tribune. “Products that are made and used domestically are more sustainable since they avoid national security risks, supply disruptions and the environmental cost of transoceanic shipment.”

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cox said U.S. Steel has canceled non-essential travel, limited visitors and encouraged employees to avoid large gatherings and use phone or video conference meetings instead.

An ArcelorMittal spokesperson said the company was taking similar measures but did not respond to questions on whether the company sees any sign of a recession or slowdown in demand for steel and if it was taking any steps to address those possibilities. ArcelorMittal owns Virginia’s Minorca Mine and operates and owns the largest share in Hibbing Taconite.

Cliffs, owner of Northshore Mining in Babbitt and Silver Bay and at United Taconite in Eveleth and Forbes and a portion of Hibbing Taconite, is also taking extra measures to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, and believes its mines and plants can remain open as its employees are generally far apart and not working in large groups, Cliffs spokesperson Patricia Persico said.

The company has encouraged some workers, like managers and its headquarters staff in Cleveland, to work from home, Persico said.

On the potential for an economic recession, Persico on Tuesday that the company hasn’t felt an impact on demand. “We’re still operating as usual,” Persico said. “Right now we are not seeing any changes, but things are very fluid obviously in this situation,” Persico said. “We’ll manage it appropriately and make the right decisions to keep everybody healthy and the business as well.

Duluth News Tribune

 

Damage from high Great Lakes levels prompts Michigan city to close marina

3/20 - South Haven, MI - South Haven is the first city in Michigan to close a marina for the summer season due to damage from high Great Lakes water over the winter. Instead of playing a role in tourism, North Marina and its 97 slips instead will receive electrical upgrades at a cost of about $300,000.

“High water has compromised the shore power electric system, which could cause shock or electrocution if someone were to come into contact with the water,” according to a news release from Katie Hosier, assistant city manager and harbormaster. “Results of a recent field review and targeted testing showed electrical leakage is occurring where wires have been sliced or are in partially or fully submerged junction boxes.”

The move comes as the city on Lake Michigan confronts at least $16 million in estimated damage from high Great Lakes water, and as shoreline communities around the state fear that their marinas also will be compromised.

South Haven has been particularly hard among coastline cities. It’s damage estimate, provided to the Michigan Municipal League, lists “Significant damages to coastal & riverbank ... beach erosion and maintenance.” Among other steps the city has taken this year is canceling its July 4 fireworks due to loss of beach.

North Marina is one of four operated by South Haven, which offers boaters a total of 229 slips.

Boating is part of the summer tourism industry in the city, which city slips building a full experience for boaters during the typical season of April 15-October 15. Electrical service, water, showers, restrooms, picnic areas, complimentary bikes and party decks are included with the cost of slip rental, according to the city, which also offers a fish-cleaning station. But with ongoing concerns about lake levels, the tourist season may continue to look different in 2020. Other marinas may push back opening dates, the city said.

The city offered the 97 slip holders at Northside with options, including canceling this year’s rental and receiving a full refund or applying this year’s rental to reserve a slip for 2021.

Lake Michigan is among four of the Great Lakes that set new record water levels in February, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicts ongoing high levels through early summer at least. Meanwhile, the city said, South Haven is also seeking guidance from state officials in Michigan on the impact COVID-19 might have on marinas.

M Live

 

Great Lakes museum releases new interactive online exhibit

3/20 - Toledo, OH – The National Museum of the Great Lakes has announced the opening of an online, interactive exhibit meant to capture the vibrancy and importance of the Maumee River and the Port of Toledo over time. The Port of Toledo: Then & Now online exhibit can be accessed for free by visiting www.nmgl.org/portoftoledo.

The exhibit’s landing page showcases a Port of Toledo map with icons indicating the location of various photos taken throughout history around the Maumee River. The exhibit will be updated every few weeks with new images and stories. Visitors can click to learn more about each individual image and leave comments or share their own memories.

The initial exhibit focuses on the Port of Toledo “Then”. Still to come, the museum will explore the Port of Toledo as we know it now by showcasing collected and crowd-sourced images mirroring the historic story of the “Mighty Maumee”. Finally, in September, the National Museum of the Great Lakes will open a temporary exhibit in the History Walk Gallery of Promedica’s historic Steam Plant Headquarters, bringing together the beauty of the online exhibit with images and the incredibly real experience of artifacts.

The National Museum of the Great Lakes is committed to continuing to spread their mission while also providing valuable resources to those looking for history-based home-learning opportunities. Beyond our new Port of Toledo exhibit, we also offer an online virtual tour of our museum exhibits and the Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship at: https://nmgl.org/museum-interactive-tour/. Look for more #HistoryFromHome learning opportunities to come!

National Museum of the Great Lakes

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 20

On 20 March 1885, MICHIGAN (Hull#48), (iron propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 215 foot, 1,183 tons) of the Detroit, Grand Haven & Milwaukee Railroad was sunk by ice off Grand Haven, Michigan.

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, Ontario, 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 of Alpena, Michigan (wooden propeller tug, 62 foot, 30 gross tons, built in 1874, at East Saginaw, Michigan) was renamed RALPH. She was abandoned in 1920.

1938: ¬ A fire of an undetermined cause destroyed the passenger steamer CITY OF BUFFALO while it was fitting out for the 1938 season at the East 9th St. Pier in Cleveland The blaze began late the previous day and 11 fire companies responded. The nearby CITY OF ERIE escaped the flames, as did the SEEANDBEE.

2011” ¬ The Indian freighter APJ ANJLI was built in 1982 and began visiting the Great Lakes in 1990. It was sailing as c) MIRACH, and loaded with 25,842 tons of iron ore, when it ran aground 3 miles off the coast of India on March 20, 2011. Four holds were flooded and the crew of 25 was removed. The hull subsequently broke in two and was a total loss.

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.

 

Great Lakes iron ore trade down in January

3/19 - Cleveland, OH – Iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 1.8 million tons in January, a decrease of 24.7 percent compared to a year ago. Loadings also topped the month’s 5-year average by 13.8 percent.

 Ore-shipments.jpg (71890 bytes)

 

Port Reports -  March 19

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Straits of Mackinac – Jon Paul
Alpena passed eastbound under the Mackinac Bridge at 19:03 and proceeded through Round Island Passage heading for their namesake port to load. Algoma Conveyor was westbound with salt for an unknown port. USCGC Mackinaw returned to the Straits passing westbound Round Island Light at 15:40. They have spent the past 2 days working the lower St. Marys River in both upbound and downbound portions. They secured for the day at USCG Station St.Ignace at 16:50. Both CG 140s Neah Bay and Katmai Bay continued laying and maintaining track in the lower St. Mary's River and docked for the night at Lime Island.

Grand Haven, MI – Bill Van Lopik
The first arrival of the new shipping season took place Wednesday afternoon with the arrival of Prentiss Brown / St. Marys Conquest. The barge is presently unloading at the St. Marys terminal in Ferrysburg.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Sunday Arrivals: Samuel De Champlain/Innovation arrived at Lafarge to unload cement. Calusa Coast and Delaware arrived at the Marathon Asphalt Terminal to load.

 

Sturgeon Bay shipyard tours postponed

3/19 - Sturgeon Bay, WI - Due to the Novel Corona-19 Virus, the Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay Shipyard Tour for May 2, 2020 is postponed until further notice. We are working with our event partners to determine the feasibility of hosting an event later this year. We will keep you updated as additional information becomes available. Those who purchased tickets will be contacted during the next few weeks; please be patient with us as we work through this process.

Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay

 

Help Wanted: Licensed Ass’t Engineer (Ranger III), Isle Royale National Park, Houghton, MI

3/19 - This position functions as Assistant Engineer of the Isle Royale National Park operated vessel, Ranger III, a 165’, 650 gross ton passenger (H), tank (D) and miscellaneous cargo (I) vessel. The Ranger III provides logistical support and commercial passenger/freight service during the months of April-October to a wilderness island national park located approximately 70 miles north of park headquarters in Lake Superior. During the off-season months (November-March), this position will be duty stationed at park headquarters in Houghton, Michigan. The Assistant Engineer serves as assistant to the Chief Engineer in the operation, maintenance, and repair of all engine room and associated machinery, refrigeration, plumbing, heating, and mechanical / hydraulic and electric/electronic systems.

Requirements include an Assistant Engineer (Limited) of Motor Propelled Vessels of less than 1,600 Gross Register Tons (GRT) of less than 5,000 HP/ 3,750 kw Upon Oceans, Near Coastal and Great Lakes. This is a permanent-full time, federal government position, with a competitive wage and benefits package. Contact Randy Rastello, Chief of Maintenance, at (906) 487-7145, for further job-related information or with questions. Please email resumes/qualifications to (randy_rastello@nps.gov) or mail to: Isle Royale National Park, 800 E Lakeshore DR, Houghton, MI.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 19

W. R. STAFFORD (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 184 foot, 744 gross tons, built in 1886, at W. Bay City, Michigan) was freed from the ice at 2:00 a.m. on 19 March 1903, by the Goodrich Line’s ATLANTA. When the STAFFORD was freed, the ice then closed around the ATLANTA and imprisoned her for several hours. Both vessels struggled all night and finally reached Grand Haven, Michigan, at 5 a.m. They left for Chicago later that day in spite of the fact that an ice floe 2 miles wide, 14 miles long and 20 feet deep was off shore.

CARTIERCLIFFE HALL was launched March 19, 1960, as a.) RUHR ORE (Hull # 536) at Hamburg, Germany, by Schlieker-Werft Shipyard.

INDIANA HARBOR (Hull#719) was launched March 19, 1979, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, by Bay Shipbuilding Corp.

CITY OF GREEN BAY was launched March 19, 1927, as a.) WABASH (Hull#177) at Toledo, Ohio, by Toledo Ship Building Co., for the Wabash Railway Co.

ALFRED CYTACKI was launched March 19, 1932, as a.) LAKESHELL (Hull#1426) at Newcastle-on-Tyne, England by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd.

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

1916 The canal-sized PORT DALHOUSIE saw only brief service on the Great Lakes. It was built in England as TYNEMOUNT in 1913 and came to Canada as PORT DALHOUSIE in 1914. It left for saltwater in 1915 and was torpedoed and sunk by UB-10 while carrying steel billets to Nantes, France. It went down March 19, 1916, south and west of the Kentish Knock Light vessel and 12 lives were lost.

1978 BELKARIN was a Norwegian cargo carrier that made one trip inland in 1963. It struck a sunken warship in Suez Bay on March 19, 1978, as c) NAHOST JUMBO and the engine room was holed. The vessel, en route from Aqaba, Jordan, to Holland, settled in shallow water. The hull was refloated in January 1979 and sold for scrap.

1990 On March 19, an explosion in a container on board the Norwegian freighter POLLUX at La Baie, QC, killed two sailors, seriously injured a third as well as 7 Alcan dock employees. The ship made its first trip up the Seaway coming to to Port Weller Dry Docks May 18 for repairs. It was renamed there and left the lakes in August as d) NOMADIC POLLUX. This ship returned inland in 1997, 1998 and 1999 and was back as e) BALTICLAND in May 2004.

1993 An explosion and fire rocked the tanker SHIOKAZE in the North Sea en route to Rotterdam killing one member of the crew. The vessel had first been a Seaway trader in 1986 and returned in 1998 as DILMUN TERN bound for Hamilton with palm oil. It was scrapped, after 30 years of service, arriving at Alang, India, on June 14, 2010, as c) THERESA III.

2002 A hull crack of close to 13 feet was found on LAKE CARLING off Cape Breton Island while traveling from Sept-Iles to Trinidad with iron ore. Originally ZIEMIA CIESZYNSKA, the vessel first came to the Great Lakes in 1993 and was renamed LAKE CARLING at Chicago in October. The crack widened to 25 feet before the vessel could reach safety but the damage was repaired and it returned to service. The original name was restored in 2004 and the vessel was last on the lakes in 2009.

2003 A fire in the after end of the CALEDONIA on the Heddle Dry Dock in Hamilton was contained to one deck. The vessel was there for conversion to a sailing ship and the work was eventually completed. The ship had visited the Great Lakes as the coastal freighter PETREL in the late 1970s but was much more at home around Maritime Canada and Hudson Bay. As a sailing ship, it carries 77 passengers and visits Caribbean ports.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Father Dowling Collection, The Marine Historical Society of Detroit, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

 

Port of Buffalo ice boom removed

3/18 - Buffalo, NY – The ice boom placed at the mouth of the Niagara River has been completely removed by the New York State Power Authority tugs Breaker and Breaker II. The harbor, the Buffalo River shipping channel, and the Lackawanna/Bethlehem Steel bulk terminal docks are currently ice free.

Craig E. Speers

 

View new Seaway notices

3/18 - Seaway Notices 2 - 8 have been issued. View them here: https://greatlakes-seaway.com/en/news-and-information/notices/seaway-notices

 

Port Reports -  March 18

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
Algocanada departed the Purvis Dock downbound of Sarnia on Tuesday morning. USCG Morro Bay and Mackinaw were working ice in the lower river.

 

2020 edition of “Know Your Ships” ready for new shipping season

3/18 - The new shipping season is at hand, and so is the release of "Know Your Ships 2020,” the edition of the popular annual field guide to boats and boatwatching on the Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Seaway.

This year’s 200-book includes information on U.S., Canadian and international-flag cargo vessels, tugs, excursion boats and barges in regular Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Seaway service, including owner and port of registry, year and shipyard where built, length, beam, depth, cargo capacity and former names, plus type of engine, horsepower and more.

Standard and spiral bindings are available. Order at this link: www.knowyourships.com

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 18

In 1967, under the command of Captain Ray I. McGrath, the Columbia Transportation Company's HURON (steel propeller self-unloader bulk freighter, 415 foot, 4,810 gross tons, built in 1914, at Ecorse, Michigan) cleared Fairport, Ohio, and headed to Toledo, Ohio for a load of coal. She was the first freighter to sail in the new season. She sailed on the same day that the U. S. Steel's Bradley Fleet of seven vessels started fitting out.

On 18 March 1906, the Goodrich Line's ATLANTA (wooden propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 200 foot, 1,129 gross tons, built in 1891, at Cleveland, Ohio) was sailing from Sheboygan, Wisconsin for Milwaukee. When she was 14 miles south of Sheboygan, fire was discovered in the aft hold and quickly spread to the engine room. She ran out of steam, making the fire pumps inoperable. There were 65 persons aboard and Capt. Mc Cauley gave the order to abandon. The fish tug TESSLER came to help and only one life was lost. As the TESSLER was steaming to port, the Goodrich Line's GEORGIA came into view and took on all of the survivors. The hull of the ATLANTA was beached by the TESSLER. Later, the burned hull was purchased by D. O. Smith of Port Washington.

ARSENE SIMARD (Hull#404) was launched March 18, 1972, at Sorel, Quebec, by Marine Industries Ltd., for Branch Lines Ltd.

PERE MARQUETTE 21 (Hull#209) was launched March 18, 1924, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin by Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co. She was christened by Mrs. Charles C. West, wife of the president of Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co.

The straight-deck bulk carrier SYLVANIA (Hull#613) was launched March 18, 1905, at West Bay City, Michigan by West Bay City Ship Building Co., for the Tomlinson Fleet Corp.

On 18 March 1890, CITY OF CHICAGO (steel sidewheeler, 211 foot, 1,073 gross tons) was launched at West Bay City, Michigan by F. W. Wheeler & Co. (Hull#68) for the Graham & Morton Line. CITY OF CHICAGO was lengthened to 226 feet at Wheeler's yard one year later (1891). She was again lengthened in 1905-06, this time to 254 feet. On the same day and at the same yard the 3-mast wooden schooner A.C. TUXBURY was stern launched.

On 18 March 1928, M. T. GREENE (wooden propeller freighter, 155 foot, 524 gross tons, built in 1887, at Gibraltar, Michigan) burned to a total loss near Brigdeburg, Ontario, on the Niagara River.

1923 The wooden steamer JAMES P. DONALDSON was built in 1880 and often worked in the lumber trade. At the end, it was used by N.M. Paterson & Sons Ltd. to bring wet grain to the company elevator for drying. The ship caught fire at the Canadian Lakehead on this date and the remains were sunk off Isle Royale, Lake Superior, on May 6, 1923.

1991 The Canadian Coast Guard ship GRIFFON collided with the fishing trawler CAPTAIN K. sinking it in Lake Erie. Three lives were lost.

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

 

Soo Locks park closed; first boat events cancelled

3/17 - The park at the Soo Locks is closed until further notice in compliance with CDC recommendations to slow the spread of COVID-19. Special events for the first day of shipping are also cancelled for this year.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District

 

Welland Canal opening on track, but top hat ceremonies cancelled

3/17 - Welland Canal – Top hat ceremonies in Port Colborne and St. Catharines scheduled for the Welland Canal's opening next week have been cancelled in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Also cancelled is the mariner's service that was to be held this Sunday at Port Colborne's St. James and St. Brendan Anglican Church.

St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp., working with Transport Canada, has put measures in place to ensure domestic and ocean-going vessels can operate on the 3,700-kilometre St. Lawrence Seaway.

Port Colborne was to welcome the first downbound vessel on the Welland Canal at Lock 8 Gateway Park, while the ceremony for the first upbound vessel was to be held at St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre at Lock 3.

The canal section of the seaway system is set to open Tuesday, March 24, while the Lake Ontario-Montreal section will open Wednesday, April 1. That section is opening later to allow more water to be released from Lake Ontario, which, like the rest of the Great Lakes is at high levels.

In a message, the seaway corporation said the "measures are designed to maintain an efficient transportation corridor into and out of the heartland of North America while safeguarding the welfare of all personnel."

It said for ocean-going vessels coming into the seaway, strict adherence to the 96-hour advance notice of arrival to the government of Canada is essential. "In addition, all crew members of domestic and ocean-going vessels must be monitored for symptoms of the virus and notice must be promptly given of any confirmed or suspected cases of the virus on board, prior to seaway inspectors boarding the ship."

Last week, the federal government announced that cruise ships carrying more than 500 people will be allowed to dock in Canada until at least July 1. Cruise ships can be found in the Great Lakes, but none of the vessels carries more than 450 passengers. Some of those vessels, including the Pearl Mist and Victory I and II, do dock in Port Colborne during the trips.

The seaway corporation said the current health crisis has its full attention and it is constantly monitoring the situation to ensure the waterway "continues to function as a vital contributor to the United States and Canadian economies."

The Welland Tribune

 

Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center closed

3/17 - Duluth, MN – In the interest of public safety due to COVID-19 concerns, the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center in Duluth will be closed to the public until further notice effective March 13 at 3 p.m. As always, public safety remains our top priority. We will continue to monitor and assess the situation and keep the public informed of any additional updates. Staff will be reporting to work and can be reached at 218-788-6430.

Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center

 

Port Reports -  March 17

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
Corps of Engineers tugs Billmaier and Owen M. Frederick were breaking ice in the lower Poe Lock approach on Monday afternoon. USCG icebreaker Mackinaw was conducting ice ops in lower end of the West Neebish channel Monday evening.

Green Bay, WI
At 3:52 p.m. Monday, the Alpena arrived with cement for the Lafarge terminal.

Milwaukee, WI – Wisconsin Marine Historical Society
Calumet River Fleeting’s tug Nathan S was back in Milwaukee early Monday (3/16) with three more barges for loading at the COFCO elevator. This is the sixth three-barge tow loaded at COFCO in 2020. Each barge can carry about 1,360 metric tons. When filled, the barges will head back to Calumet Harbor, IL. No further marine traffic is currently expected.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
At 1 p.m. Monday, Algosea was downbound under partly sunny skies, 42 degrees F, calm river.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H.
On Monday, Kaye E. Barker departed layup at Nicholson's Ecorse Terminal and proceeded to AK Steel to unload her storage load of ore.

Toledo, OH – Jim Hoffman
The Samuel De Champlain with her barge left her layup berth at the Lafarge Cement Dock at Toledo earlier Monday bound for Alpena.

 

Ojibway headed for Ashtabula

3/17 - Lower Lakes Towing’s Ojibway left winter layup in Windsor and headed to Ashtabula on Monday morning. LLT has a ship repair facility there.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 17

On 17 March 1995, a fire started on the AMERICAN MARINER's self-unloading conveyor belt from welding being done on the vessel at the Toledo Ship & Repair Company in Toledo, Ohio. About $100,000 in damage was done. The Toledo fire department had the blaze out in half an hour.

The tanker LAKESHELL 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 (Hull#174) at Toledo, Ohio, by Toledo Ship Building Co., for the Kinsman Transit Co.

On 17 March 1916, CITY OF MIDLAND (wooden propeller passenger-package freighter, 176 foot, 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.

In 1945 Stadium Boat Works of Cleveland Ohio launched the SOUTH SHORE (US. 247657) for Miller Boat Line of Put-In-Bay, Ohio. She carried 6 autos and 120 passengers. In 1973, she was sold to Beaver Island Boat Company until retired at the end of the 1997 season. In April of 1999, sailed to Chicago where she was docked at the foot of Navy Pier as a storage vessel for Shoreline Cruises.

1906: SOVEREIGN, a steel hulled passenger ship that operated on the St. Lawrence in the Montreal area, was destroyed by a fire at Lachine, Quebec. The vessel was rebuilt that year as IMPERIAL and remained in service until 1928 when the boilers and hull were condemned.

1916: CITY OF MIDLAND, a passenger and freight steamer for Canada Steamship Lines, caught fire at the Grant Trunk Railway Dock in Collingwood and was a total loss.

1973: A wild late winter storm swept into Goderich off Lake Huron on March 17-18. Eleven ships got loose, while only the PATERSON (i) remained fast at the dock. It sustained bow damage when struck by fleetmate MONDOC (iii). Varying amounts of damage were inflicted to other ships.

1980: SUNPOLYNA was built in 1956 and provided service for Saguenay Shipping between Eastern Canada and the West Indies. The ship first came through the Seaway in 1963 and, on May 16, 1967, it ran aground near Thorold. It was sailing as d) TEMERAIRE when abandoned by the crew on March 17, 1980, in position 28.16 S / 21.04 W after the hull had cracked. The ship was en route from Santos, Brazil, to Mina Qaboos, Oman, and, after drifting to northwest for several days, sank on March 21.

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

 

Coast Guard to expand icebreaking to part of West Neebish Channel Wednesday

3/16 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – On Wednesday March 18, the U.S. Coast Guard will expand icebreaking in the St. Marys River’s West Neebish Channel. To date, icebreaking in the West Neebish Channel was limited to Munuscong (Mud) Lake, south of Moon Island. Wednesday, the Coast Guard will extend icebreaking into the southern half of the West Neebish Channel, working from Mud Lake Junction Light north to the south end of the Rock Cut at West Neebish Channel Light 29.

The Coast Guard will not disturb the ice north of the Neebish Island ferry crossing or break ice south of West Neebish Channel Light 45 this week. Every precaution is being taken to maintain uninterrupted ferry service to Neebish Island. Compared to previous winters, this season’s ice cover is weaker, not as expansive and deteriorating ahead of seasonal norms. Recreational users of the ice should plan their activities carefully, use caution near the ice, and stay away from charted navigation areas.

USCG

 

Northwestern Michigan College, including Maritime Academy, suspends classes

3/16 - Traverse City, MI – A statement from the college follows: As you know, we have been monitoring the rapidly changing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and are committed to keeping you safe, while working to limit the disruption to learning as much as possible. After careful consideration, with input from our partners in the Grand Traverse County Health Department, Munson Healthcare and state and federal health and emergency response agencies, NMC will suspend face-to-face classes starting Monday, March 16, 2020.

All NMC classes will be delivered via online learning if possible. Some courses may not be able to be delivered via online learning, including some occupational and lab classes (e.g. culinary and welding).

Our plan is to resume face-to-face classes on campus the week of April 27. Given the highly volatile nature of the pandemic, we recognize this situation may change and we will continue to communicate with you.

Northwestern Michigan College

 

Port Reports -  March 16

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
USCG Katmai Bay led the tanker Algocanada upbound on Sunday morning. She tied up at the Purvis Dock on the Canadian side in the early afternoon.

Green Bay, WI
At 12:28 p.m. Sunday, the Tug Michigan/Barge Great Lakes arrived with oil at the U.S Oil Venture Terminal.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 16

Today in Great Lakes History March 16 On 16 March 1901, ARGO (steel passenger/package freight propeller, 173 foot, 1,089 gross tons) was launched at the Craig Ship Building Company (Hull #81) at Toledo, Ohio, for the A. Booth Company. She left the Lakes in 1917, and was last recorded in 1938, out of Brest, France.

BUFFALO (Hull#721) was launched March 16, 1978, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin by Bay Shipbuilding Corp., for the American Steamship Co.

On 16 March 1883, The Port Huron Times announced that the passenger and package freight steamer PICKUP would be built in Marine City, Michigan 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 foot x 19 foot x 7 foot, 137 gross tons, 107 net tons.

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.

1924: MOHAWK of the Western Transit Co. was known as a fast ship. It was built at Detroit in 1893 and was renamed AMERICA in 1916. It was cut in two to exit the Great Lakes and re-assembled at Montreal for East Coast service. The ship was renamed BERMUDEZ in 1921 and sank in the Erie Basin at Brooklyn on March 16, 1924, with the stern resting on the bottom and the bow afloat. The hull was pumped out but scrapped at New York in January 1925.

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

 

St. Lawrence Seaway releases COVID-19 measures

3/15 - Guided by information made available by the Public Health Agency of Canada, the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) is working closely with Transport Canada and all other relevant authorities on a comprehensive response to the COVID-19 crisis.

SLSMC has put in place a series of measures to ensure the continuity of operations on the St. Lawrence Seaway for both domestic and ocean vessels. These measures are designed to maintain an efficient transportation corridor into and out of the heartland of North America, while safeguarding the welfare of all personnel. We are continuing to follow the evolving situation and are working to ensure that lock operations will be reliable when commercial navigation resumes on March 24, 2020 (Welland Canal) and April 1, 2020 (Montreal to Lake Ontario Section). Detailed Seaway notices related to the opening of the commercial navigation season will be communicated through usual channels within the next few days.

For ocean vessels coming into the St. Lawrence Seaway, adherence to the 96-hour advance notice of arrival to the government of Canada is essential. In addition, all crew members of domestic and ocean vessels must be monitored for symptoms of the virus and notice must be promptly given of any confirmed or suspected cases of the virus on board prior to Seaway inspectors boarding the ship.

From our understanding of new restrictions on transportation, all cruise ships carrying 500 or more people will be prohibited from entering Canadian waters. Consequently, cruise ships should monitor Transport Canada communication channels for further updates, as these stipulations may change in the future.

Please be assured, the current health crisis has the full attention of the SLSMC’s leadership, and the situation is being constantly monitored to ensure that our waterway continues to function as a vital contributor to the United States and Canadian economies. We are committed to keeping our customers informed and remain focused on meeting your marine transportation needs with reliability and predictability. Please reach out to us at slsmc-cgvmsl@seaway.ca for any Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System questions related to COVID-19.

St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation

 

Port Reports -  March 15

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
USCG Katmai Bay and Bristol Bay were conducting ice ops in the lower river on Saturday.

Lake Huron
Tanker Algocananda was northbound off the tip of Michigan’s thumb Saturday night headed for Sault Ste. Marie, ON.

 

National Museum of the Great Lakes closes due to virus

3/15 - Toledo, OH - After careful consideration and the recent urging of Governor DeWine along with the recommendations of the Lucas County Health Department, the National Museum of the Great Lakes has made the decision to close to the public until further notice effective 5 p.m., Saturday, March 14.

In the weeks to come, we look forward to exploring new engagement opportunities to help visitors connect with Great Lakes history virtually—including increased access to our museum through virtual tours and the launch of our first online exhibit The Port of Toledo: Then and Now. We will continue to connect with our National Museum of the Great Lakes / Great Lakes Historical Society members and supporters through the distribution of our quarterly Inland Seas journal and Chadburn Newsletter.

As we move through the challenges ahead, we encourage you to consider supporting us by making a donation online or shopping on our online Museum Store.

The staff and board of the National Museum of the Great Lakes will continue to monitor announcements by officials surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak and will reassess our public access as new information becomes available. We expect to issue a follow-up statement on public access no later than April 3rd.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 15

WESTCLIFFE HALL (Hull#519) was launched March 15, 1956, at Grangemouth, Scotland, by Grangemouth Dockyard Co. Ltd., for the Hall Corp. of Canada.

March 15, 1949 - The Ann Arbor carferry 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, Michigan) was carrying lumber and lath when she stranded near Two Rivers Point, Wisconsin 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. Catharines, Ontario from 1828, until his death.

On 15 March 1926, SARNOR (wooden propeller freighter, 228 foot, 1,319 gross tons, built in 1888, at W. Bay City, Michigan, formerly BRITANNIC) caught fire at Kingston, Ontario near the La Salle Causeway. She burned to a total loss.

1942: The first SARNIADOC of the Paterson fleet was lost with all hands on the Caribbean en route from Trinidad to the U.S. Virgin Islands. It was apparently torpedoed by U-161 in the night hours of March 14-15, 1942, while in the south for the wartime bauxite trade.

1969: The bulk carrier ALEXANDER T. WOOD, remembered by many for its regular early Seaway service in the ore and grain trades as well as for a collision with the Finnish flag freighter MARIA in the Detroit River on August 12, 1960, was lost on this day in 1969 as VAINQUER. The latter had been to the Great Lakes in 1968 but sank following a boiler room explosion in the Gulf of Mexico with the loss of one life. It was en route from Vera Cruz, Mexico, to New Orleans with a cargo of sugar.

1976: The rail car barge HURON rolled over and sank at the Windsor dock due to an uneven deck load. The 1875 vintage vessel had operated across the Detroit River as a steamer until March 1971 and then as a barge. It was refloated and returned to service.

1980: The Liberian vessel FRATERNITY was built in 1963. It visited the Great Lakes in 1967 and operated briefly as ARYA NIKU in 1975-1976 before becoming FRATERNITY again under Greek registry. Fire broke out in #1 and #2 cargo holds en route from Hamburg to Karachi on this date in 1980. An explosion followed the next day and the crew abandoned the ship in the Red Sea. The hull was beached March 17 around the border of Eritrea and Sudan but was refloated April 1 and deemed a total loss. After unloading at Sharjah, the hull was towed to Gadani Beach, Pakistan, arriving at the scrapyard on May 19, 1981.

1984: The Greek freighter ELINA likely made only one trip to the Great Lakes, coming inland in 1982 to load frozen meat at Kenosha, WI. It laid up at Emden, West Germany, on June 13, 1983, only to catch fire on March 15, 1984. The damage was extensive and the hull was towed into Gijon, Spain, for scrapping on April 23, 1984.

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

 

As icebreaker preps for Great Lakes shipping, shippers hope for more

3/14 - Duluth, MN – The reinforced hull of the 225-foot U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alder scraped loudly through the ice in the harbor. With each advancing inch, it sent cracks into a marbleized sheet, breaking it into crumbled pieces.

The sure sign of spring — ice breaking in Lake Superior Harbor in preparation for shipping season — is relatively easy this year, with ice only about a foot thick in some spots.

"This is a weird year," said Lt. Cmdr. Justin Erdman, the ship's captain, as he surveyed the frozen industrial back bays from the upper deck of the Alder, the vessel trembling only a bit as it plowed ahead under little resistance. "Most winters we're backing and ramming to break the ice."

Mild temperatures left the Great Lakes at only 19.5% ice cover this year — the fourth-lowest percentage on record, and far less than the mean maximum ice cover of 54%. Lake Superior has mostly open water this year, with only 7% ice coverage as of Tuesday, compared with more than 86% coverage last year at this time.

So it may be a hard sell for shipping companies and associations that are urging the federal government to invest in more and better ice-breaking equipment, saying that slowed ice breaking in cold winters can mean hundreds of millions of dollars of economic loss, including damage to cargo-carrying vessels.

In 1979, 20 icebreakers roamed the Great Lakes, but now there are just 11 — nine from the United States and two from Canada. Many of the vessels are aging and are sometimes out of commission for repair.

Shippers say the inability to break up the ice quickly can often delay moving goods and materials for a week or two because vessels would be damaged too much. That period of time is critical to keeping steel mills and power plants operating, they argue.

"In really bad years, it'll go beyond a month, a month and a half," said Ken Gerasimos, general manager of Key Lakes Inc., which operates nine cargo-carrying vessels out of the Duluth-Superior Port. "Last year was a pretty good indicator, it was totally inadequate. … You're incurring damage to the ships."

The Lake Carriers' Association is pushing for another heavy icebreaker like the Coast Guard's Mackinaw, a 240-foot brute that can cut through ice 32 inches thick and is stationed in Michigan on Lake Huron.

The Great Lakes have only one such ship now and could use a second, said Eric Peace, association communications director. Last year — an especially difficult ice year — the economy took a hit of more than a billion dollars because of inadequate ice breaking, Peace said. "We'd take two or three of them. One of them is what we need right now," he said.

The cost for a new ship is estimated at more than $160 million. While Congress has authorized its construction, it has not yet appropriated all the money needed to acquire it.

"The problem is that winters like this year will make it a short-term memory loss," Peace said. "Then next year we'll have another horrific ice year."

While the Coast Guard typically keeps top-tier waterways open, he said, their operations are akin to using a limited number of snowplows to clear freeways, but keeping on-ramps and smaller roads blocked, so not many vehicles can even reach the main roads.

The Alder is cutting those paths easily this year as it maneuvers around the Duluth-Superior Harbor. The vessel, designed for setting buoys during open water months, is capable of cutting through 18 inches of ice or ramming through 3 feet of it.

After leaving its home port on the bay side of Park Point, the Alder made a few ice-breaking circles in the St. Louis Bay north channel, near the Canadian National ore docks, and the south channel near the Midwest Energy Terminal, then it went to Howards Bay to break a path to Fraser Shipyards. Later, it made a path through the Superior Front Channel toward the Burlington Northern Santa Fe ore dock.

While the Alder is only 49 feet wide — not nearly enough for a 1,000-foot laker to squeeze through — the initial ice breaking will make it easier to break more paths later so ships can get out in plenty of time for the March 25 opening of the Soo Locks, Erdman and others said.

"We'll widen it out over the next couple of days," he said.

While the Alder cut through harbor ice this week, some of the crew on board wondered aloud whether, with milder winters, shipping could someday run all year. That would require a second Soo Lock capable of handling big ships, so that there is time for lock maintenance, Peace said. Plans are underway for construction of that lock.

When that is completed, industry might be ready to think about year-round Great Lakes shipping. "It's possible. … We're not necessarily advocating for that right now, but maybe in the future depending on what the conditions are," Peace said. "We'd still need the icebreakers to do their work, and we'd probably need more of them."

Star-Tribune

 

Icebreaking to begin at port of Thunder Bay

3/14 - Thunder Bay, ON – The Canadian Coast Guard advises residents of Thunder Bay, ON, that the United States Coast Guard Cutter Alder is conducting icebreaking operations in the area on or around March 17, 2020.

Coast Guard icebreaking service on the Great Lakes and connecting waterways is delivered in close co-operation between the Canadian and United States Coast Guards. By working together, the two Coast Guards ensure scheduled vessel traffic can move through the shipping channels and into and out of community harbours.

The date and ice breakers are subject to change with no notice, as activities could begin before or after that period, depending on operational requirements or weather conditions.

Canadian Coast Guard

 

Port Reports -  March 14

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Sarnia, ON – Bruce Douglas
Her salt runs over for now, Algoma Innovator arrived at Sarnia at 3:05 am Friday.

 

Coast Guard rescues group from Green Bay ice floe

3/14 - Sturgeon Bay, WI – The U.S. Coast Guard helped to rescue a large group of people trapped on an ice floe that broke loose Thursday afternoon and drifted into the Bay of Green Bay. The Coast Guard says a number of people and ice shanties were on the ice floe that drifted away from Sherwood Point, where Sturgeon Bay enters the larger bay.

The rescue operation included the Coast Guard's 140-foot icebreaker Mobile Bay, two Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters from Traverse City, Mich., an ice boat and 22-foot airboat from Sturgeon Bay and help from the Wisconsin DNR.

The Coast Guard evacuated 10 people from the ice floe, while others were evacuated aboard personal boats. The officer in charge of the Sturgeon Bay Coast Guard station said there were two other ice rescues nearby at about the same time. Those people were helped by local first responders.

"Really, at this point, people just need to stay off the ice on the big bodies of water," Master Chief Petty Officer Justin Olson said in a statement.

Olson said weeks of warmer-than-average temperatures and recent high winds have increased the risk of ice breaking away.

WBAY

 

Georgian's latest marine simulator a peek into industry's future

3/14 - Owen Sound, ON - Georgian College’s Owen Sound campus now can boast it has Canada’s only Kongsberg marine simulator, a leading-edge technology for the marine industry, the college announced Thursday.

Visitors at the announcement stood behind the ship’s wheel in the simulation room and looked out onto screens which presented a panoramic, digitized view of the bow of the ship sailing into the port of Quebec City.

Capt. Bradley Moore, a Georgian College staff member responsible for marine simulation research and development, discussed the advantages of the new technology. “This is the newest Kongsberg simulation system they have,” Moore said in an interview. “Because it has such advanced technology, it will allow us to train our cadets for systems that aren’t even out there yet.”

Those capabilities include simulations of self-docking and holding vessels in place in up to five-foot seas “with greater precision than a human can manage.”

“There will be a great deal of automation and functionalities that assist the captain and crew and take some of the burden of captain and crew,” Moore said.

Canada Steamship Lines’ $540,000 donation toward the simulator was recognized with the unveiling of a sign outside the simulation room, announcing the Canada Steamship Lines Advanced Integrated Simulator.

CSL is the longest-surviving and active shipping company in the Great Lakes system, and has been in the forefront of technological change in the marine industry, said Kevin Weaver, Georgian’s vice-president, academic, in remarks in Owen Sound.

“Thank you for sharing that technology and continuing to create great opportunities for our cadets and for our students and for those that are coming back for training,” Weaver said.

CSL has taken a large number of the college’s cadets since its co-op program started. The marine industry has had a shortage of workers for years and graduates can expect to earn $100,000 for six to eight months work right after graduating.

Weaver noted the college’s longstanding partnership with the marine industry, CSL’s 2008 donation that helped establish one of the college’s Centre for Marine Training and Research simulators, and subsequent corporate training and research partnerships.

Weaver said having the new high-tech system will further enhance Georgian’s reputation and that of its graduates, which in turn will draw more students and working mariners to study and upgrade, all a boon to the region.

More than 2,600 marine navigation and marine engineering sailors study at Georgian to upgrade their skills every year. The college also has 107 cadets in post-secondary studies.

Louis Martel, the president and CEO of the CSL Group, ,which includes Canada Steamship Lines, made his first visit to the college Thursday. He said given the shortage of qualified workers, CSL is spending a lot of money to solve the problem, including with this latest simulator investment.

“CSL is also getting modernized, it’s getting transformed, we’re spending a lot of money in digitalization,” he said.

The technology should also help bridge a cultural divide between marine engineering and navigation cultures, by allowing students in both professions to work together on the simulator.

Better communication and teamwork should be the result by letting students on a simulated bridge communicate with their colleagues in a simulated engine room, said Moore, the marine research and development official at Georgian.

“Really they are two different departments on a ship, there’s navigation and there’s engineering. And there’s always been a difficulty of communicating between those two cultures.

“And this is the whole point of advanced training, is to break down some of those silos and those cultures and this is the mechanism to do it.” Promoting communication and collaborative problem-solving also enhances safety, Moore said.

The new simulator will also provide the college with a research platform one which to build, Moore said.

For example, another simulator at the college helped develop a ferry for the Owen Sound Transportation Company’s Pelee Island run by “building” the ship in the simulator “before metal is laid for the keel.”

Simulators can mimic various water depths, currents and weather conditions in which the virtual ship was tested. Then, the officers and crew were trained on the simulated version of their new ferry.

“So they were very comfortable when the ship was delivered. They walked onboard like they’d been driving it for a year. Of course, doing that exceeds any other way of learning a new ship,” Moore said.

The Owen Sound campus of Georgian College also has four other navigational bridge simulators, 12 “part-task training navigation bridge simulators functioning on desktop computers, eight desktop engine room simulators one full-mission engine simulator, 18 radio communication simulators and one lifeboat simulator.

The campus has offered programs for the marine industry since 1967 and it bills itself as the marine training centre of excellence for Central Canada.

Owen Sound Sun Times

 

Virus fears prompt changes to Know Your Ships book events

3/14 - Two events involving the book Know Your Ships have been rescheduled or postponed. A March 29 presentation and book signing at the Algonac Historical Maritime Museum in Algonac, MI, has been postponed, with the new date to be determined.

The Saturday, April 11 book signing at the Great Lakes Maritime Center in Port Huron, MI, has been rescheduled for Saturday May 16 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Books that have been pre-ordered online will be sent out as planned, according to Roger LeLievre, editor and publisher. He said the decision to postpone or reschedule was made after consulting with the two venues involved.

“We all agreed that, given the current circumstances and uncertainty surrounding the immediate future, it was the best decision to make,” LeLieve said.

Know Your Ships

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 14

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

In 1880, the harbor tug GEORGE LAMONT sank with her crew of three off Pentwater, Michigan 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 to fill in for a disabled ferry in Detroit. 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 the 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.

1918 ISLAND QUEEN, a wooden-hulled Toronto Island ferry, was destroyed by a fire at Hanlan's Point in Toronto. The ship was valued at $25,000 and the hull was left to rot.

1962: MILLY made one trip through the Seaway in 1959. It had been launched at Stockton, CA on May 13, 1915, as PORTHCAWL and became d) MILLY in 1950. The 295 foot freighter, sailing as f) HEDIA, last reported March 14 near Galita Island on the Mediterranean close to Malta and en route from Casablanca, Morocco, to Venice, Italy, with a cargo of phosphate. It was posted as missing and then lost with all hands.

1993: The Freedom Class freighter SHAMALY was a year old when it came through the Seaway in 1969. It returned December 1, 1990, as c) WALVIS BAY for Ogdensburg, NY to load corn gluten The 9650 gross ton freighter ran aground south of Greece off Cape Morakis in 1993 en route from Piraeus to Scotland as d) LIPARIT BAY. The hull was not worth repairing and sold for scrap. Renamed e) NORA for the delivery tow, it arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, April 4, 1994, for dismantling and work began May 16.

1999: The Panamanian freighter EVANGELIA PETRAKIS was built in Muroran, Japan, in 1978 as N.J. PATERAS. It came through the Seaway in 1988 and was renamed c) AMER VED in 1990. It survived a grounding off Horsetail Bank, UK on November 19, 1996, only to suffer serious damage in a collision with the newly built, 57,947 gross ton, Maltese flag tanker SEAPRIDE I off Khor Fakkan, United Arab Emirates. The damage to the 21-year old freighter was not worth repairs so it arrived at Alang, India, for scrapping on June 19, 1999.

1964: MARIA G.L. went aground at Suno Saki, Japan, about 30 miles south of Yokohama, in fog. This Liberty ship had been a Great Lakes trader in 1961. It was enroute from Long Beach, California, to Chiba, Japan, with a cargo of phosphates and broke in two as a total loss.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Shawn B-K, Joe Barr, Father Dowling Collection, “Ahoy & Farewell II” and the “Great Lakes Ships We Remember” series.

 

Poe Lock refilled as new shipping season nears

3/13 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – Thursday afternoon crews removed the last of the equipment from the Poe Lock and, near the end of the day, opened the sluices in the upper stop logs to begin filling the lock. View a video of the lock being filled here: https://www.facebook.com/USACEDetroitDistrict/videos/2520067938244770/UzpfSTEzMzMxMjE4MjQ6ODMyNTgyODAwNTg4Mzk5

 

Port Reports -  March 13

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). St. Joseph, MI
Alpena unloaded cement at Lafarge on Wednesday.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor cleared Goderich at 3.36 am Thursday with salt for Chicago.

 

Bayship departures listed


Bayship.jpg (86676 bytes)

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 13

The keel for the tanker IMPERIAL REDWATER (Hull#106) was laid March 13, 1950, at Port Arthur, Ontario, by Port Arthur Shipbuilding Co. She was converted to a bulk freighter at Collingwood, Ontario and renamed b.) R. BRUCE ANGUS in 1954. The ANGUS operated for Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd., until she was scrapped at Setubal, Portugal in 1985.

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

1994: SHIPBROKER was built at Varna, Bulgaria, in 1980 as OCEAN SEAGULL and came through the Seaway that year on July 3. It was renamed SHIPBROKER in 1986 and made its maiden voyage to the Great Lakes on November 19, 1991. The ship was in a collision with the Cypriot tanker NASSIA in the Bosporus Strait on March 14, 1994, and caught fire. It burned for days and 29 members of the crew of 33 plus four on the tanker, were lost. Following a sale for scrap, the gutted bulk carrier arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, under tow on December 3, 1994, and dismantling began April 5, 1995.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, “Ahoy & Farewell II” and the “Great Lakes Ships We Remember” series.

 

USCG Alder breaks through ice in Lake Superior harbor

3/12 - Duluth, MN – Despite a mild winter, the U.S. Coast Guard is still needed to break-up the ice in the Twin Ports harbor. Lake Superior's harbor may look clear of ice, but that doesn't mean the U.S. Coast Guard can rest easy this season.

Operation Taconite was underway Tuesday with the USS Alder venturing out in the harbor to cut through any remaining ice. Coast Guard officials say this annual ice-breaking expedition is essential for ships to eventually enter and leave the harbor.

According to the Operation Officer LTJG. Caleb Metroka, "Over the winter, you get the lake freezing over, and the ice gets thick. Most ships can't operate in the thick ice. So what we do is go through, break the ice, create paths for the ships so they can get in and out of the harbor."

The Alder will continue cutting ice Wednesday before shipping season begins in the next couple weeks.

View an icebreaking video at this link: https://cbs3duluth.com/2020/03/10/uss-alder-breaks-through-ice-in-lake-superior-harbor

 

Port of Thunder Bay not likely to be affected by delay in St. Lawrence Seaway opening

3/12 - Thunder Bay, ON – High water conditions on the Great Lakes are delaying by 12 days the opening of a stretch of the the St. Lawrence Seaways, but it should not impact the Port of Thunder Bay, according to Tim Heney, the port authority's CEO .

The St. Lawrence Seaway corporation said the section between Montreal and Lake Ontario will now open April 1. However, Heney said it should be business as usual at the Thunder Bay port this spring.

"The Soo Locks opens as scheduled on the 25th of March, and the Welland is still on the 21st of March. So we have 3 lakers in port...and most of the Canadian lake fleet is wintering above the Montreal/Lake Ontario section."

In a written release the St. Lawrence Seaway said "after carefully considering the many complex issues at stake, delaying the opening of the Seaway by 12 days to April 1st is a difficult decision to communicate to our customers but we maintain that it is a reasonable thing to do under the circumstances."

Heney said high water on Lake Superior should not cause an issue and will actually allow ships to take on full loads at Thunder Bay. He said the current situation is nearly the exact opposite of what happened in 2007, when the Port of Thunder Bay had to be dredged because of low water levels.

Heney also noted that outside the Thunder Bay breakwall, Lake Superior was pretty much open. He said the main focus for the icebreaker will be smashing the ice within Thunder Bay harbour.

"I'm not sure the exact date [of the ice breakers arrival] but I would think it's in the next two weeks for sure," Heney said. "It shouldn't take too long to bust that ice up." Moses-Saunders Dam located near Cornwall, Ontario and Massena, New York, is the main control structure on the St. Lawrence River used to regulate outflows from Lake Ontario. (International Lake Ontario St. Lawrence River Board (supplied))

Heney said the opening of the lower St. Lawrence Seaway is being delayed because of the negative impacts of the extremely high water levels in the lower Great Lakes this year.

"They sound like they're still pretty high [in Lake Ontario] and are the reason they're delaying the opening in the Montreal," he said. "So they're trying to relieve some of the pressure [on Lake Ontario] by opening the gates at the Moses Saunders power dam in an attempt to lower those water levels. Now whether that's really effective or not is another matter but that's causing the issues around the delay of the opening."

Officials with the St. Lawrence Seaway said they have retained the services of a risk management expert to assist in strategies to maintain safe navigation under high Lake Ontario outflows.

"We are confident that both short an d long term solutions to commercial navigation challenges exist that will enable us to maintain our resiliency and predictability for many years to come," the seaway stated in a written release.

CBC

 

Cruise ships not welcome: Discovery Center votes against use of Traverse City port

3/12 - Traverse City, MI – Plans for Traverse City to be a regular stop for massive international cruise ships beginning in summer 2022 appear to be scuppered.

Discovery Center announced its intention to no longer serve as a port of call for cruise ships, effectively leaving cruise lines with nowhere to drop off passengers in the city. Discovery’s board of directors voted on the decision Monday.

The vote comes a month after Discovery Center announced that they had informally agreed to serve as a port of call for Viking Cruises and would host as many as seven Viking ships holding 378 passengers each at the nonprofit’s Greilickville pier.

Discovery CEO Matt McDonough says the nonprofit decided to stick to projects that more closely align with their mission.

“More cruise ships are coming to the Great Lakes sooner than we expected and many want to come to Traverse City,” McDonough tells The Ticker. “The more conversations we had in the community about this issue, the more questions, concerns, and opinions we learned the community had.”

The decision will also impact slightly smaller international cruise ships that had visited the region the past few falls and had also used Discovery Center as a port. McDonough says those visits were slated to increase in number in the coming years.

“Quite frankly, it’s been kind of a push-and-pull decision,” says Becky Ewing, executive director of Rotary Charities and Rotary Camps and Services, of which Discovery is a subsidiary. “Like many other nonprofits, the Discovery Center is looking for ways to both be financially self-sustaining and on point with our mission and goals, and sometimes that’s kind of a tricky balance.”

Concern over the impact of cruise ship visits in Grand Traverse Bay spawned vocal opposition – including from Traverse City Mayor Jim Carruthers, business owners, and some environmentalists – leading to calls that the cruise lines be kept away.

Carruthers says he thought there should have been a wider community discussion before Viking became a summer-long visitor to Traverse City.

“My frustration was that I read about it in the paper,” Carruthers says. “I think people really want us to manage our recreational resources as well as our natural resources with care.”

Boomerang Catapult Principal Casey Cowell, an outspoken critic, says, "Discovery Zone deserves our appreciation and respect for making the right call. Cruise ships would be no more beneficial here than they have been to Key West. Negative economic, cultural, social impact. Seasonal congestion…and when the cruise ship door gets pried open it will only get worse."

Greg Reisig, chairman of the Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council, says he is pleased with the decision because not enough is known about the potential impacts of Great Lakes cruise ships.

“There’s not a lot of research on these Great Lakes ships,” he says. “We need to do more studies and evaluate what are the environmental impacts.”

The Viking North America press contact could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Traverse City is currently listed on their website as a 2022 port of call in their “Niagara and the Great Lakes” expeditions, which sail from Toronto to Milwaukee.

Trevor Tkach, CEO of Traverse City Tourism, says he is disappointed with Discovery’s decision, noting he believes Great Lakes cruise ships would be good for the region by enabling more people to visit with minimal overall impact on the city’s infrastructure.

Tkach says that he is unaware of any alternative spots in Traverse City that a cruise company could use as a port, but that over time, that could change. Cruise ship ports are regulated by the U.S. Coast Guard.

In the meantime, Tkach says, he thinks Discovery’s decision might be an opportunity for another northern Michigan city that is also close to wineries and near the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

“Frankfort would be fabulous,” Tkach says. “That’s one that immediately comes to mind.”

 

Port Reports -  March 12

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Straits-Cheboygan, MI – Jon Paul
USCGC Hollyhock entered the Cheboygan River passing the Crib Light at 17:00 Wednesday, turned in the turning basin and docked at the Mackinaw moorings, USCG Station Cheboygan, at 17:20. They had spent the day opening Gray's Reef Passage from Ile aux Galets north to White Shoal and then east under the Mackinac Bridge. They took the South Passage, which has been closed for the winter, to Cheboygan, thus laying the first track for the season.

Milwaukee, WI – Wisconsin Marine Historical Society
Calumet River Fleeting’s tug Nathan S returned to Milwaukee early Wednesday (3/11) with three more barges for loading at the COFCO elevator. With no ice in the harbor and fair weather, barges continue coming up from Chicago to load grain. This is the fifth set of three barges loaded at the COFCO elevator in 2020. Each barge carries about 1,360 metric tons. When filled, the barges will head back to Calumet Harbor, which connects with New Orleans via the Mississippi River-Illinois Waterway System. Prentiss Brown/St. Marys Conquest arrived at noon with cement from Charlevoix for the Kinnickinnic River terminal. No further marine traffic is currently expected.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor was still at the Sifto dock Wednesday night.

Marine City, MI
2:45 pm Wednesday, CCGS Samuel Risley passed downbound, mostly sunny 50 degrees F, river calm.

Detroit-River Rouge, MI – Raymond H
Karen Andrie/Endeavour arrived at the Michigan Paving and Materials dock to unload on Wednesday.

 

Cleveland-Cliffs and AK Steel vote to merge

3/12 - Shareholders of Cleveland-Cliffs and AK Steel on Tuesday voted to approve the merger between the two companies, the last major step before the deal closes Friday.

Under the merger, AK Steel, a producer of flat-rolled carbon and stainless and electrical steel products, would become a subsidiary of Cliffs, which owns several Minnesota and Michigan iron ore mines and taconite plants.

The move allows Cliffs to own AK Steel’s existing blast furnaces and electric arc furnaces and supply the furnaces with its own iron ore pellets. Cliffs had long sold its pellets to other steelmakers.

"The new Cleveland-Cliffs is a lot stronger than either Cliffs or AK Steel individually. We are ready to transform your confidence into shareholder value, and that’s what we are going to do,” Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves said in a statement after the votes Tuesday.

But last week, Goncalves warned that if a loophole in President Donald Trump's sweeping steel tariffs wasn't closed, he'd be forced to shutter the United States' last producers of grain-oriented electrical steels in Butler, Pennsylvania and Zanesville, Ohio. Those two AK Steel plants employ 1,500 and 100 people, respectively. "I promise (the jobs) will be gone if I don't get help," Goncalves told the Congressional Steel Caucus last week.

Goncalves said countries the U.S. imposed steel tariffs on — like China, South Korea and Japan — are shipping mostly-finished electrical steels into Mexico for one final step in production, then trucking it into the U.S. to avoid tariffs, a move that he said is making the plants unprofitable. "I'm not in this business to lose money," Goncalves said.

 

Drone video shows Wilfred Sykes in 2019 season

3/12 - Captain Eric Treece kindly gave us permission to post this outstanding drone video. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTKOHgSuGkk

 

Plan now for 2020 Boatnerd Gatherings

3/12 - The Boatnerd Gatherings page has been updated for 2020.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 12

The b.) RUTH HINDMAN was launched March 12, 1910, as a.) NORWAY (Hull#115) at Toledo, Ohio by Toledo Shipbuilding Co., for the United States Transportation Co. She was scrapped at Thunder Bay, Ontario, in 1978.

G.A. TOMLINSON was launched March 12, 1907, as a) D.O. MILLS (Hull#29) at Ecorse, Michigan, by Great Lakes Engineering Works for the Mesaba Steamship Co.

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

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

1917: ALGONQUIN was built at Glasgow, Scotland, in 1888 and saw service for several companies on the Great Lakes. The ship was torpedoed by U-62 when it was 65 miles off Cornwall, England, while west of Bishop's Rock and en route from New York to London with general cargo. It was the first American merchant ship lost due to enemy action in World War One.

1942: ¬CRAIGROWNIE was a World War One Laker and had been launched at Ashtabula on April 12, 1919. It was sailing as d) OLGA when torpedoed by U-126, 20 miles off Nuevital Light, Cuba, while en route from Port Everglades, FL, to Beracoa, Cuba. One crewmember was lost but 32 were rescued and taken to Cuba.

1947: EXANTHIA struck a mine in the Mediterranean while 12 miles from the island of Elba while traveling from Istanbul to New York. The ship was flooded and abandoned but reboarded and eventually towed to New York for repairs. The ship sailed for the American Export Lines and came to the Great Lakes on nine occasions from 1959-1961. After a few years in the James River Reserve Fleet, the vessel was taken to Brownsville, Texas, in 1975 and broken up.

1971: SUNCLIPPER, a Seaway trader in 1966, was built in 1953 as BOW BRASIL. It ran aground at Haifa Bay as f) CLIPPER when the anchors dragged in a storm. The ship was refloated April 10, and taken to Perama, Greece. It was sold “as lies” to Turkish ship breakers, and arrived at Istanbul, Turkey, for scrapping on August 29, 1972.

1985: LETITIA was the 96th and final addition to the British flag Donaldson Line. It made four trips through the Seaway in 1966 and three more in 1967. It was sailing as d) TEPORA when it caught fire in the Gulf of Mexico en route to Veracruz, Mexico, on March 12, 1985. The Honduran-flagged freighter was abandoned by the crew. The fire was apparently extinguished and the vessel reboarded. It was taken in tow but the blaze broke out again and the ship sank on March 14.

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

 

High water, waves push 1905 shipwreck closer to Lake Huron’s shore

3/11 - Rogers City, MI – The 115-year-old wreckage of a freighter that sank in Lake Huron is moving closer to the shoreline due to high water levels and waves that are weakening the ruins.

The Joseph S. Fay sank off the shore of Alpena on Oct. 19, 1905. Since last October, the wreckage has moved about 25 feet toward shore from its original location near 40 Mile Point Lighthouse, said Eric Klein, lighthouse caretaker. One side of the wreck moved the first 10 feet during a storm in October.

The waves are eroding the ship, breaking off big pieces and washing them away, he said. A large portion of the starboard side is already washed ashore and can be seen on the beach near the lighthouse, according to the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

The Joseph S. Fay, 216-foot bulk freighter, was hauling iron ore when it came upon a gale and then hit rocks and quickly sank at 40 Mile Point, according to the marine sanctuary. The wreckage, including the load of iron ore, sits in 17-foot deep water.

View a photo at this MLive link: https://www.mlive.com/news/2020/03/high-water-waves-push-1905-shipwreck-closer-to-lake-hurons-shore.html

 

Port Reports -  March 11

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
Algocanada left the Purvis dock Tuesday morning downbound for Nanticoke, with a stop in Windsor for fuel. USCG Bristol Bay was moored for the night at Lime Island.

Green Bay, WI
Icebreaking ops are ongoing in the Bay of Green Bay. USCG Mobile Bay started Monday working between Green Island and the Green Bay entrance, and the USCG Mackinaw rolled in Monday night from the Rock Island pass and came south. On Monday, the Mackinaw was working at the Sherwood Point / West Ship Channel entrance of Sturgeon Bay. USCG Neah Bay was also heading down from Mackinac Straits.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor arrived to load salt Tuesday night.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 11

The keel was laid March 11, 1976, for the 660-foot-long forward section of the BELLE RIVER (Hull#716) at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin by Bay Shipbuilding Corp. Renamed b.) WALTER J. McCARTHY JR in 1990.

L'AIGLE was launched March 11, 1982, as a.) ERRIA PILOT (Hull#308) at Imabari, Japan by Asakawa Zosen Co. Renamed b.) KOYAMA 3 in 1983, c.) IONIAN EAGLE in 1989. Purchased by Soconav in 1991, renamed d.) LÕAIGLE. Sold, renamed e.) ALAM KERISI in 1996, f.) SALDA in 1999, and sails today as the tanker g.) ARAL.

Sea trials were conducted on March 11, 1956, on Paterson's new canaller LACHINEDOC.

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

1904: The wooden-hull Lake Erie car ferry SHENANGO NO. 1 caught fire and burned following an engine room explosion on March 11, 1904. The vessel had been frozen in the ice off Conneaut since January 1 and one member of the crew perished in the blaze.

1912: FLORA M. HILL sank in Lake Michigan en route to Chicago after being caught in an ice floe that crushed the iron hull. The vessel had been built as at Philadelphia in 1874 as the lighthouse tender DAHLIA and rebuilt and renamed at Milwaukee in 1910 for Lake Michigan service.

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

 

 

Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron and Erie all set new water level records in February

3/10 - Four of the five Great Lakes set new record monthly water levels in February 2020.

Lake Michigan and Lake Huron shattered its February water level record by one-half of a foot. Since each inch of water represents 800 billion gallons of water on the two lakes, Lake Michigan-Huron had 4.8 trillion gallons more than it has ever had in any February since the late 1800s. The February 2020 water level was 17 inches higher than February 2019. Lakes Michigan and Huron are expected to break monthly water level records for each month now through August 2020. The water levels are forecast to break records by one to five inches in each month for the next six months.

Even though Lake Superior declined three inches from January to February 2020, Lake Superior still set a new record water level in February. February’s water level surpassed the 1986 record, but only by less than one inch. Lake Superior is two inches higher than last year at this time. Lake Superior currently has a water level forecast for the next six months to inch lower and out of record territory.

Lake Erie started its seasonal rise in February, adding four inches of water between January and February. The February water level shattered the previous record by five inches. Lake Erie is currently almost one foot higher than February 2019. Lake Erie is projected to set new monthly record highs from March 2020 to May 2020, and then dip below record water levels for June, July and August.

Lake Ontario rose three inches in the past month but was still six inches below its record February level. Lake Ontario’s water levels fluctuate the most of any Great Lake. March and April are expected to rise seven inches higher than last year, and then shift to 10 to 20 inches lower than last year for May through August.

If the water level forecasts are correct, it appears Lakes Michigan and Huron will have the highest water levels compared to long-term averages. As a result, the shoreline erosion for the next six months will probably be the most damaging on Lakes Michigan and Huron. Lake Erie and Lake Superior will also be in record water level territory for the next several months, with shoreline erosion also being a problem on those two lakes.

MLive

 

Industry, educators work to ease shortage of seafarers in Canada

3/10 – Nearly 90 percent of the stuff we buy, wear and eat is brought to us on ships. But 20 percent of the current seafarer workforce is expected to retire within the next five years.

To fix this looming labor shortage, industry experts and schools are working together to attract the next generation of mariners. Read the story at this link: https://www.facebook.com/BrettRuskinNews/videos/887492825024584

 

Port Reports -  March 10

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
USCG Katmai Bay was downbound Monday morning to conduct ice ops in the lower river in preparation for new shipping season.

Straits of Mackinac – Jon Paul
Mackinaw departed the State Dock in Mackinaw City at 15:35 Monday and proceeded westbound in the Straits of Mackinac. The track has open water in spots, and they maintained a steady 13-14 knots past White Shoal. The South Passage has open water from Point Nipigon east through Poe Reef. Katmai Bay has been working the turns in the lower St Marys River and as of 17:30 Monday was tied up at the old coal dock on Lime Island. In Northern Lake Michigan, Prentiss Brown and barge were waiting out weather swinging on the hook off the NE side of South Fox Island.

Northern Lake Huron
Monday; 10:24 Algoma Conveyor passed through the Straits Monday and was downbound for Goderich. Algoma Innovator departed Goderich at 6:26 bound for Chicago to unload road salt.

Mackinaw City
Monday at 16:20 USCG Mackinaw departed for Green Bay to conduct ice operations.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor expected next for salt.

Toledo, OH – Jim Hoffman
Algoma Strongfield was placed in to the drydock at Ironhead Shipyard Sunday.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 10

CHARLES E. WILSON (Hull#710) was launched March 10, 1973, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin by Bay Shipbuilding Corp., for American Steamship Co. Renamed b.) JOHN J. BOLAND in 2000.

The ADAM E. CORNELIUS, built by the Great Lakes Engineering Works (Hull#53) in 1908, was renamed b.) DETROIT EDISON on March 10, 1948. In 1954, she was renamed c.) GEORGE F. RAND and in 1962, the RAND was sold to Canadian registry and renamed d.) AVONDALE. She was scrapped at Castellon, Spain in 1979.

FORT HENRY (Hull#150) was launched March 10, 1955, at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., for Canada Steamship Lines Ltd.

KINSMAN VENTURE was launched March 10, 1906, as a.) JOHN SHERWIN (Hull#617) at West Bay City, Michigan by West Bay City Ship Building Co.

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, Michigan.

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

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

CADILLAC (steel ferry, 161 foot, 636 gross tons) 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 b.) ARROWWOOD (WAGL 176) and used as an icebreaker. She was rebuilt in 1946, renamed c.) 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.

In 2000, the HARMONIOUS, a Panamanian freighter dating from 1977, visited the Great Lakes in 1978 and returned on several occasions through 1986. It was lost on the Arabian Sea as c) KASTOR TOO while traveling from Aqaba, Jordan, to Visakhapatnam, India, with a cargo of phosphate on March 10, 2000. The crew of 18 were rescued by the nearby container ship MILDBURG.

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

 

Port Reports -  March 9

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
Algocanada was upbound for the Purvis dock in Sault, ON, with petroleum products on Sunday early afternoon. She was escorted by USCG Neah Bay, which headed back down the river after Algocanada reached Six Mile Point. There is ice starting just below Mission Point, but it is not as think as in recent years.

Northern Lake Huron
Cheboygan: Saturday; 15:54 The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes departed for Nanticoke.

Lake Michigan
Algoma Conveyor departed Milwaukee Sunday afternoon and headed up the lake for Goderich.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Innovator arrived at 12:40pm Sunday and began loading salt at Compass Minerals.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Iver Bright was unloading at the Waterfront Petroleum Terminal on Sunday.

 

Video explores the origins of Know Your Ships book

3/9 - With the upcoming release of the 2020 Know Your Ships book, check out this video about how it all began for editor and publisher Roger LeLievre.

https://www.facebook.com/DreDesignsGLMP/videos/141306900507624/?fref=gs&dti=74265040605&hc_location=group

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 9

In 1905, the JAMES C. WALLACE (Hull#334) of the Acme Steamship Co., (A.B. Wolvin, mgr.), was launched at Lorain, Ohio, by American Ship Building Co. Purchased by the Interlake Steamship Co. in 1913, she was scrapped at Genoa, Italy in 1963.

On 09 March 1933, all nine steamers of the Goodrich Transit Company were seized by federal marshals under a bankruptcy petition. These steamers were CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS, CAROLINA, ALABAMA, ILLINOIS, CITY OF BENTON HARBOR, CITY OF GRAND RAPIDS, CITY OF ST. JOSEPH, CITY OF HOLLAND, and the CITY OF SAUGATUCK.

AMOCO ILLINOIS was launched March 9, 1918, as a) WILLIAM P. COWAN (Hull#724) at Lorain, Ohio, by American Ship Building Co.

NOTRE DAME VICTORY (Hull#1229), was launched on March 9, 1945, at Portland, Oregon, by Oregon Shipbuilding Co., just 42 days after her keel was laid. She became the b.) CLIFFS VICTORY and sailed on the Great Lakes from 1951 until 1985.

WIARTON was launched March 9, 1907, as a) THOMAS LYNCH (Hull#73) at Chicago, Illinois, by Chicago Ship Building Co., for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co. She was used as part of a breakwall at the Steel Co. of Canada Dock in Hamilton. The GROVEDALE of 1905, and HENRY R. PLATT JR of 1909, were also used.

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.

1985: The Norwegian freighter TRONSTAD first came to the Great Lakes as a pre-Seaway visitor in 1957. It returned on another 12 occasions after the new waterway opened in 1959. The vessel was sailing a d) CRUZ DEL SUR when it was confiscated by U.S. authorities for drug smuggling and brought to Miami on this date in 1985. The 30-year old ship was towed out into the Atlantic and scuttled off Miami on December 19, 1986.

2007: The Greek freighter WISMAR was built in 1979 and came through the Seaway in 1980. It lost power below Lock 2 of the Welland Canal while upbound on August 30, 1980, and had to drop anchor. It was sailing as h) GRACIA from Thailand to Dakar, Senegal, with a cargo of rice, when the engine failed in heavy weather in the Indian Ocean on February 27, 2007. The crew took to the lifeboats and was rescued. The former Great Lakes visitor was last seen on March 7, adrift, with a 20-degree list to port, and likely soon sank.

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

 

High Lake Huron water wrecking wrecks

3/8 - Rogers City, MI – High water and erosion have pushed a portion of the Joseph S. Fay shipwreck inland from its former location off the shoreline at the 40 Mile Point Lighthouse.

Although it’s currently covered by snow and ice, lighthouse caretaker Eric Klein said the starboard — or right-hand — side of the shipwreck moved about 10 feet inland during a storm in October. Klein said it’s the first time he’s known the shipwreck to move.

The piece of shipwreck moved farther inland during subsequent storms, and Klein estimates it has now moved about 25 feet from its original location. The piece is now wedged up to the treeline, where sand is eroding and the trees are starting to topple.

Klein said there’s nothing that can be done to protect the wreck, because it’s against the law to move shipwreck artifacts or remove them from the water. He said the wave action over the past few years has taken its toll on the wreckage. When water receded, the wreckage was exposed to the elements and the wood dried out, weakening it. Waves are now impacting the weakened wood.

“It’s basically eroding the wreck, and big pieces will come off and be washed away,” he said. He said what’s happening now is “just part of its natural progression.”

While water levels in the Great Lakes fluctuate over time, state Maritime Archaeologist Wayne Lusardi said what’s atypical are the waves that have eroded shores, actually digging out artifacts and pieces of shipwrecks that haven’t been exposed for some time.

He said that has occurred throughout the state, particularly over the course of the past six months. A couple pieces of slab wood, or possibly pieces of shipwrecks, washed ashore along Bay View Park this summer. At Hoeft State Park, a 45-foot stretch of ribs and keel from an unidentified shipwreck, once covered by sand dunes, now lie in shallow water.

Along the Lake Michigan shoreline, just south of White Lake Channel, the remnants of a schooner also emerged from sand dunes, only to be buried again two weeks later.

As for the Joseph S. Fay, Klein worries about what might happen when the waters recede. “The last time the lake washed out that ridge in the (19)80s, it reestablished a dune there, and I fear it’s going to cover the wreck,” he said.

The Alpena News

 

Port Reports -  March 8

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

St. Marys River
Tanker Algocanada was at anchor off the east end of St. Joseph Island Saturday night. It is not known why it did not make it to the Purvis dock in Sault, ON, for unloading at 1700 hours on March 7 as planned. USCG Katmai Bay icebreaker passed the Purvis dock headed upstream around 1700 hours without the Algocanada following.

Straits of Mackinac
Algoma Innovator was eastbound for Goderich Saturday evening.

Milwaukee, WI – Wisconsin Marine Historical Society
Alpena arrived at 06:40 Saturday (3/7) with cement and proceeded to the Lafarge terminal on the inner harbor. Still powered by steam, she is the oldest working freighter on the lakes. Also in port was Algoma Conveyor, which arrived early Wednesday morning (3/4) with salt from Goderich. Early Saturday, with an assist from the tug Louisiana, the Conveyor spun around and backed into slip one of the outer harbor. After a three-day delay, reportedly due to belt issues, she appeared ready to discharge her cargo. No additional marine traffic is expected.

 

Access to Huron's piers blocked by Army Corps

3/8 - Huron, OH - The Army Corps of Engineers placed new signs warning people to stay off dangerous areas near Huron's piers. The signs posted at the Lighthouse Pier, north of the "blockhouse," and the East Pier, attached to Nickel Plate Beach, warn people of danger and to keep off the restricted area.

"We put the signs up because all of those areas are strictly navigation structures, and that's what they were designed for," said Susan Blair, a spokeswoman for the Army Corps' Buffalo office. "The public was never meant to use them for recreation. Last year, somebody, unfortunately, died when he fell off the rocks."

Henry Stout, 19, drowned in June after a wave knocked him off the rocks as he attempted to get from the pier to the Huron Lighthouse. There were also two drownings last year at Nickel Plate Beach, but they were unrelated to the restricted area at the East Pier. Some people, however, do use the rocks there for recreation, which the Army Corp. contends needs to stop.

Blair said people who disobey the signs could be charged with trespassing.

Huron city manager Andy White said the federal government owns the land and the city leases certain areas of it like the observation deck at the blockhouse, which remains accessible to the public.

"It's their land and they can obviously do what they please," White said. "But it has been widely enjoyed as a recreational asset in the past, and we weren't given any notice of it."

 

Muskegon cruise ship stops to double, with some days two in port at once

3/8 - Muskegon, MI – Three cruise ship operators have finalized 2020 itineraries for cruises on the Great Lakes, resulting in 35 stops in the port city of Muskegon. That's twice as many stops as in 2019. In 2021 the number of stops is expected to grow to nearly 50 stops.

All three cruise ships will enter the Muskegon Lake channel and eventually tie up at a dock at Muskegon County's Heritage Landing Park. "We have the perfect setup," said Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce President Cindy Larsen.

Larsen says Heritage Landing is perfect in part because it's close to the shops, breweries, and museums in Muskegon's growing downtown.

The growing piece of the region’s tourism economy can be traced back to one single cruise ship stop in 2015.

"On average we'll have two cruise ships a week," said Larsen. "But there are going to be a couple of times when we'll have two cruise ships in the same day."

Community leaders were initially concerned about the double booking for the Muskegon port. The dock at Heritage Landing can only accommodate one ship at a time. The neighboring Mart Dock is providing additional docking space during double bookings which should happen twice in 2020.

"We have got plenty of space here," said Mart Dock President Max McKee. "When there will be two in town or maybe an event at Heritage Landing and they can't accommodate the cruise ships, those ships have been here before, they're welcome again."

The growing cruise ship business is a sign of the city's diverse economy. A one reason that lead Ashley Cooper to open her "Harris & Willow" store in downtown on Second Street. "Just seeing the growth," Cooper said. "It's just fun to be a part of Muskegon and see the new things they're offering and just to be a small part of that."

Cooper started "Harris & Willow" inside one of the city's mini retail chalets on Western Avenue. It's a popular stop for cruise ship passengers. "We'd see them drive by on the trolley, and then later on they would come and shop the shops," Cooper said. She hopes this summer they find her new location for clothing, gifts, and keepsakes.

Not only do passengers spend money in the city, but the ships operators do too. In 2019 one ship made a $14,000 alcohol purchase from a Muskegon area beer distributor before leaving town.

The first cruise ship of 2020 will arrive in Muskegon's port on May 13, the last stop of the season is scheduled for October 16.

In 2001, Muskegon County made significant improvements to Heritage Landing including the construction of the dock where cruise ships could dock. Stopping in Muskegon this year are the ships The Victory I, Victory II, Pearl Mist, and Le Champlain.

WZZM

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 8

EUGENE P. THOMAS (Hull#184) was launched March 8, 1930, at Toledo, Ohio by Toledo Shipbuilding Co., for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.

March 8, 1910 - A fire from unknown causes destroyed the ANN ARBOR NO. 1 of 1892. The hull was sold to Love Construction Co., of Muskegon, Michigan.

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.

1981 MEZADA of the Zim Israel Line first came to the Great Lakes in 1966 after it had been lengthened to 676 feet. The vessel had been built in 1960 and foundered after breaking in two about 100 miles east of Bermuda on March 8, 1981. The 19,247 gross ton bulk carrier was traveling from Haifa to Baltimore with a cargo of potash and 24 lives were lost while only 11 sailors were rescued.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, “Ahoy & Farewell II” and the “Great Lakes Ships We Remember” series

 

McKeil Marine expands again with purchase of another tanker

3/7 - Montreal, QC – McKeil Marine renamed its latest acquisition, the 2011-built product tanker Adfines Sea (originally Osttank Norway), to Northern Spirit in Montreal on Tuesday. Late in Feburary, McKeil purchased fleetmate Adfines Star, which was renamed Atlantic Spirit.

Rene Beauchamp

 

Coast Guard to begin icebreaking next week for new shipping season

3/7 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – Coast Guard cutter Katmai Bay starts breaking ice Monday March 9 in the lower St. Marys River in preparation for the 2020 shipping season. Later in the week, Coast Guard cutters Mackinaw, Neah Bay, Morro Bay and Bristol Bay will augment the icebreaking fleet assigned to the St Marys River.

To date, icebreaking activity was limited to the lower St Marys River, south of Munuscong (Mud) Lake and the Middle Neebish Channel north and east of Neebish Island. Monday, the Coast Guard extends their icebreaking activity into the southern half of the West Neebish Channel, working from Mud Lake Junction Light north to Moon Island. The Coast Guard will not disturb the ice north of Moon Island until the week of 16 March. They do not plan to break ice north the Neebish Island ferry crossing south of West Neebish Channel Light 45 before 20 March 2020.

Unlike some previous winters, this year was unseasonably warm. Regional ice cover is not as expansive, nor did it reach traditional thicknesses. The forecast for the next seven to ten days calls for temperatures conducive to rapid deterioration of ice. All snowmobile, All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) operators, ice fishing, and other recreational users of the ice should recognize the instability of the ice, plan their activities carefully, and use caution near the ice, especially in proximity to charted navigation areas.

Meanwhile, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alder will commence spring break out operations in the Duluth-Superior area Tuesday, March 10. Initially, icebreaking operations will occur inside the Duluth and Superior Harbors. The ice breaking work expands next week to other regional waterways, including Thunder Bay, Ontario to prepare for commercial ship movements.

In addition, Coast Guard cutters Mackinaw, Mobile Bay and Neah Bay commence the breakout of the bay of Green Bay, Monday March 9. The Port of Green Bay will resume commercial shipping activity at week’s end. These icebreaking operations will likely occur in areas used by recreational users such as, but not limited to, the Fox River, Green Bay Entrance Channel, the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal, Menominee River Entrance, and the waters of Green Bay from Escanaba to the Port of Green Bay. In the days and weeks to come, these icebreaking efforts will increase in frequency as ice conditions deteriorate and commercial navigation increases.

USCG

 

Port Reports -  March 7

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Northern Lake Huron
St Ignace: Thursday: 22:10 USCG Mackinaw arrived. Friday: 8:21 USCG Neah Bay departed for the Straits to conduct ice operations. 14:45 USCG Mackinaw departed for Mackinaw City, arriving there at 15:10.

Straits of Mackinac: 9:31 Friday the cement carrier Alpena weighed anchor and proceeded through the Straits for Milwaukee. Alpena was escorted by USCG Neah Bay.

 

Great Lakes water levels remain high going into the spring

3/7 - Detroit, MI - – Water levels on each of the Great Lakes remain very high going into the spring, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced. Although 2020 started with wetter conditions, February was a fairly dry month for the Great Lakes basin. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said that a few cold air outbreaks during the month led to increased evaporation.

Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron and Erie set new monthly records for February 2020.

“After months of generally wet conditions, February was finally drier across most of the Great Lakes.” said John Allis, chief of the Great Lakes Hydraulics and Hydrology Office, Detroit District. “However levels remain above or near record highs for this time of year, and we expect impacts to those along the coastline to increase as water levels now begin rising towards their seasonal peaks.”.

Those impacted by high water levels in 2019 should prepare for similar or higher levels in 2020.

WXYZ

 

Friends of the tug Edna G need maintenance volunteers

3/7 - Two Harbors, MN – The Friends of the Edna G needs a volunteer or volunteers to do weekly maintenance on the historic tug Edna G. It would require checking on the tug weekly to check how much water it has taken on and if necessary, pump the water out. Also, check the mooring lines and tighten them if necessary and report on the condition of the tug to the board and if anything is needed to keep tug in good condition contact a board member. There will be someone to train you. You will not be required to attend our monthly meeting. If you can only volunteer once or twice a month that will okay. There is one person currently doing the maintenance on the tug and he is getting older. If something should happen to him, or if he goes on vacation, we do not have someone to replace him.

Friends of the Edna G

 

Green Bay offering contest to guess first ship

3/7 - Green Bay, WI – Can you guess when the first ship will enter the Port of Green Bay's shipping channel in 2020? It could be science that guides you, or maybe a little bit of luck. Again this year the Port of Green Bay and Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau are partnering in a contest that embraces the age-old tradition of guessing the day the first ship will arrive at port.

Tradition also holds, that due to weather and other shipping factors, no one knows when arrival will take place. The person who guesses the closest date and time of the first ship's arrival, will win a prize package offered by the Port of Green Bay which includes intro to sailing lessons for two from Green Bay Sail & Paddle, $25 gift certificate from Louie's Lagoon, two Port of Green Bay drawstring goodie bags and a 200th Anniversary Brown County Monopoly Game.

The shipping industry is significant for the Port of Green Bay and the Greater Green Bay region. A total of 2,277,652 metric tons were moved in and out of the Port during the 2019 shipping season, representing a 9 percent increase over 2018. The Port has 14 terminal operators along the Fox River and businesses handle dry bulk commodities such as coal, limestone and salt, bulk liquids like petroleum products, liquid asphalt and tallow, and breakbulk commodities including wood pulp and forest products in addition to oversized cargo like machinery and wind components. As the westernmost Lake Michigan dock, railroad companies and major trucking firms utilize the Port of Green Bay. Visit www.portofgreenbay.com for more port information.

 

Statement from Victory Cruise Lines regarding virus preparations

3/7 - Editor’s note: Victory I and Victory II have a full season of passenger cruising scheduled for 2020 on the Great Lakes.

Dear Valued Guest,

At American Queen Steamboat Company, our thoughts are with those affected by COVID-19. Please be assured that American Queen Steamboat Company and Victory Cruise Lines are closely monitoring the situation. We’ve enhanced screening protocols, and have taken the recommended necessary precautions on each of our vessels. Our top priority is – and will always be – the safety of our guests and employees.

We remain optimistic about the future, and encourage you to do the same. We’ve made adjustments to our deposit requirements, final payment schedules and cancellation policies to make it easier to evaluate your vacation plans.

We have exciting things planned for next month. First is the introduction of our new and beautiful American Countess on the Mississippi River. Next is the start of our second successful season of the Victory I and Victory II, providing spectacular voyages on the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Thank you for your being a valued guest of our two brands. We want you to be able to travel with confidence based on the flexibility that our adjusted policies offer.

John W. Waggoner Founder and CEO, American Queen Steamboat Company CEO, Victory Cruise Lines

 

Casualties/demolitions

3/7 - Vessels with Great Lakes / Seaway connection reported as a casualty or sold for demolition taken from March 2020 issue of Marine News - Journal of the World Ship Society:

Casualties: TECUMSEH (7225855; Canada) - 1st trip into Seaway 2012 - (Tina Litrico-11, Judy Litrico-06, Islander-96, Sugar Islander-96) 18,049 / 1973 bulk carrier Great Lakes. Owned by Lower Lakes Towing Ltd., Canada. Caught fire in the engine room on 17.12.2019 and lost power in the Detroit River off Zug Island, Detroit USA. The fire was brought under control by the crew and she was towed to Windsor, Ontario where they were evacuated and a specialist fire team finally put it out. Ship had been on a voyage from Thunder Bay, Ontario to Windsor, Ontario with grain.

Demolitions: BOLD WORLD (9141417, Panama) (Stolt Bold World-08, Stolt Kent-07 - 1st trip into the Seaway 1998) 12,141 / 1998 Chemical Products tanker. By Linkdale Co SA (Womar Logistics Pte Ltd), Panama, to Leela Ship Recycling Pvt. India and arrived Alang 27.04.2019 - commenced demolition 6.05.2019

Report prepared by Barry Andersen and René Beauchamp

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 7

ALGOSOO suffered a serious fire at her winter mooring on the west wall above Lock 8, at Port Colborne, Ontario 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. The ship was repaired at Welland and returned to service on October 6.

TEXACO BRAVE was launched March 7, 1929, as a) JOHN IRWIN (Hull#145) at Haverton-Hill-on-Tees, United Kingdom by Furness Shipbuilding Co.

On 7 March 1874, the wooden tug JOHN OWEN (Hull#28) was launched at Wyandotte, Michigan, by the Detroit Dry Dock Company for J. E. Owen of Detroit, Michigan.

On 7 March 1896, L. C.WALDO (steel propeller freighter, 387 foot, 4,244 gross tons) 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, after she was stranded in the Storm of 1913. She was sold Canadian in 1915, and renamed b.) RIVERTON. In 1944, she was renamed c.) MOHAWK DEER. She lasted until November 1967, when she foundered in the Gulf of Genoa while being towed to the scrap yard at La Spezia, Italy.

ANN ARBOR NO 1 (wooden propeller carferry, 260 foot, 1,128 gross tons, built in 1892, at Toledo, Ohio) 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, Michigan, and reduced to an unregistered sand scow.

1969: The British freighter MONTCALM, a Seaway trader when new in 1960, made 29 trips to the Great Lakes to the end of 1967. A truck in #1 hold got loose on this date in an Atlantic storm 420 miles southeast of Halifax in 1969 causing a heavy list and a 12 foot gash in the hull. A U.S.C.G. helicopter dropped extra pumps and the ship reached Halifax and safety. The vessel later became a livestock carrier and arrived at Chittagong, Bangladesh, for scrapping as c) SIBA EDOLO on August 8, 1988.

1973: BISCAYA was a Danish flag freighter that first came inland in 1965. It was sailing as c) MARGARITA, and under Greek registry, when it sank following a collision with the ANZOATEGUI, a Venezuelan reefer ship, while in bound about 39 miles off Maracaibo, Venezuela on March 7, 1983. It was carrying barytes, a mineral used in oil-drilling fluids, from El Salvador.

1982: OCEAN LEADER came to the Great Lakes in 1980 and ran aground upbound near Sault Ste. Marie on November 11 when the radar malfunctioned. Later, in 1982 as c) FINIKI, the then 7-year old ship hit an underwater obstruction 10 miles west of the Moruka Light, while en route to Paramaribo, Suriname. The vessel reached Georgetown, Guyana, and was declared a total loss. It was reported as scuttled in the Atlantic off Jacksonville, Fla., on or after December 9, 1982.

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

 

Port Reports -  March 6

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Northern Lake Huron
Alpena: Thursday; 2:26 The cement carrier Alpena arrived to load at the Lafarge plant and at 8:48 departed for Milwaukee.

Cheboygan: Thursday; The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes arrived at the US Oil Company terminal.

Straits of Mackinac: Thursday; 18:18 The cement carrier Alpena went to anchor on the east side of the bridge probably waiting for escort. USCG Mackinaw left the St Marys River and was sailing west to the Straits.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
At 4:45 pm Thursday, tug/barge Prentiss Brown/St.Marys Conquest were heading upbound with the barge sporting what appeared to be a fresh paint job; 40 degrees F, sunny skies, light winds from the south/southeast.

Detroit-Rouge River, MI – Raymond H
Herbert C Jackson departed her lay up berth at Nicholson's Ecorse Terminal on Thursday, headed for Cleveland to load ore at the Bulk Terminal.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Herbert C. Jackson arrived at 06:06 Thursday to begin running shuttles from the Bulk Terminal to ArcelorMittal steel. The Canadian Coast Guard cutter Samuel Risley arrived at 07:56 and with to dock 26W.

 

Closed Lakewalk could complicate Duluth's summer tourism

3/6 - Duluth, MN - Canal Park is prepping for a tourism season without regular access to the very feature that draws so many visitors to the city: Lake Superior.

This summer, construction to rebuild the popular Lakewalk trail will stretch along the shore of Duluth’s destination district, from the corner of the lake near the Endion Station Inn to the Lake Superior Marine Museum.

After a series of storms wiped out large portions of Duluth’s Lakewalk, the city put together a $60 million plan to fortify its shoreline. This Canal Park phase of the project is expected to start in May and finish next winter, costing about $15 million.

The Carriage Way walking path will remain open during construction, but the land closer to the lake is already fenced off for safety reasons. The city is starting to haul in 76,000 tons of stone from a quarry north of Two Harbors in preparation for the project.

Matt Baumgartner, president of the Canal Park Business Association, said Wednesday that though the hotels, restaurants and shops in the neighborhood are worried how construction will affect the already “slim margins” many businesses are operating on, they’re hoping the new and improved Lakewalk will be worth the hassle.

“We are excited that we are not only strengthening our Lakewalk and shoreline, but we are also looking to the future to enhance one of our greatest attractions,” said Baumgartner, who added that Canal Park businesses plan to amp up marketing to let people know they’ll be open through the construction.

Once it reopens, the Lakewalk in Canal Park will have a new boardwalk, benches and lighting, all fortified by a new stone and concrete seawall.

Traffic this summer could also be complicated by construction to the Lake Avenue bridge, which spans Interstate 35 to connect Canal Park to downtown Duluth.

Last year, the city rebuilt the portion of the Lakewalk behind the Fitger’s complex. A storm in October was the reinforced trail’s first test, and city officials were pleased with how it held up.

Even more effort is being made to bolster Canal Park’s shoreline, an area that often bears the brunt of Lake Superior’s rage in storms. “This area is right in the bull’s-eye,” city construction project supervisor Mike LeBeau said.

Gov. Tim Walz is rallying support for $13.5 million in bonding dollars for the Lakewalk project, which is also funded in part by federal and state disaster aid Duluth received after storms in 2017 and 2018.

The city is planning to rehabilitate the shoreline from Leif Erikson Park to E. 21st Avenue and the Western Waterfront Trail in 2021.

Star Tribune

 

Beaver Island lighthouse fog signal may need protection from high lake levels

3/6 - Charlevoix, MI – The current high water levels on the Great Lakes — along with forecasts they’ll go higher — may require further action by Charlevoix County officials to protect the fog signal building at the Beaver Island Head Lighthouse.

At last week’s meeting of the Charlevoix County Board of Commissioners, county administrator Kevin Shepard told commissioners officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently visited the site and made some suggestions on how to protect the fog signal building from Lake Michigan wave action.

Shepard said the fog signal building sits right next to the shoreline. He said the structure and its foundation are still solid, but if already-high lake levels go up another 9-15 inches later this year — as some forecasts have suggested — more efforts will be needed to protect the building.

He said last year the county spent about $30,000 to hire a local contractor to place additional rocks around the fog signal building to protect it. “So far it seems to be doing OK, but since the Corps was out there, we thought we’d have them take a look at it,” Shepard said.

He said U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was on the island with Charlevoix-Cheboygan-Emmet Office of Emergency Management staff to assess several other locations around the island.

Shepard said Corps officials suggest several options for how the county could protect the building, but he said exactly what will be needed and how much it will cost will be determined by multiple factors, including how much lake levels continue to rise.

Last year the county and Networks Northwest bought the lighthouse property from the Charlevoix Public Schools at a price of $215,000.

The 171-acre property includes the lighthouse and fog signal building, three residential cabins, a classroom building, a dining hall and a wood shop. The Beaver Island Lighthouse, also called the Beaver Head Light Station, is one of the oldest lighthouses on the Great Lakes. It was built in the 1850s and was decommissioned in 1962 when it was replaced by a radio beacon. It is listed as a significant site in the National Register of Historic Places.

County officials have discussed many potential uses for the property including reopening a rustic campground on the site. Shepard said he doesn’t anticipate any work needed to protect the fog signal building will have an impact on any other work slated for the site this year.

He said the county is considering having a new roof put on the lighthouse, but officials are seeking grant funding for that effort.

Petoskey News Review

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 6

EUGENE J. BUFFINGTON (Hull#366) was launched March 6, 1909, at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co., for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co. She lasted until 1980, when she was towed to San Esteban de Pravia, Spain, for scrapping.

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 foot, 365 tons, built in 1873, at Port Huron, Michigan) 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.

1982 INDIANA was chartered to Swedish interests when it made four trips to the Great Lakes in 1962. It was sailing as d) ZOE II, under Liberian registry, when it was abandoned in the Adriatic Sea, south of Pula, Yugoslavia, (now Croatia) after a severe list had developed while on a voyage from Koper, Yugoslavia, (now Slovenia) to Ancona, Italy, on March 6, 1982. No further trace of the ship was ever found.

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

 

Coast Guard recognizes Sugar Island ferry crew, Good Samaritans for lifesaving effort

3/5 - Sault Ste. Mariue, MI – On Wednesday, Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie recognized the crew of the Sugar Island ferry Sugar Islander II and three Good Samaritans who saved the life of a teenage girl from the icy waters of the St. Marys River.

Capt. Patrick Nelson, Commander Sector Sault Ste. Marie, presented the Coast Guard Certificate of Merit to Captain Dale Rosenbum and Phillip Roy, of the Sugar Island ferry, for their commendable actions on January 21, 2020, in which they rescued a teenage girl who fell into the St. Marys River. Upon sighting of the person in the water, Captain Rosenbum expertly maneuvered the ferry for emergency pickup procedures by a makeshift Good Samaritan crew assembled by Mr. Roy, a deckhand onboard. Mr. Roy and the Good Samaritans stabilized the survivor’s condition and swiftly transported her to awaiting emergency responders on the mainland.

“We are incredibly proud of the heroic and quick response by Captain Rosenbum and Mr. Roy. It is a clear testament to their proficiency and dedication as professional mariners and their strong sense of civic responsibility to their community,” stated Captain Nelson.

Capt. Nelson also recognized three of the Good Samaritans, Sonny Menard, Fred Newton, and Bob LaPointe, who volunteered to assist the crew. “These Good Samaritans embody the UP spirit of community selflessness. We thank them for stepping up to assist with saving a life.”

View a video at this link: https://www.9and10news.com/2020/03/04/sugar-island-ferry-workers-honored-for-saving-girl

USCG Sector Sault Ste. Marie

 

Port Reports -  March 5

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Milwaukee, WI – Wisconsin Marine Historical Society
Algoma Conveyor slipped into port at 05:59 Wednesday (3/4). She carried salt from the Compass Minerals mine at Goderich. She tied up in slip one of the outer harbor, and as of noon, had not started discharging cargo. This is her sixth visit to the city in 2020. She was loaded to an observed draft of 8.4 meters, which would equate to nearly 30,000 metric tons. No further vessel traffic is expected.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
At 1 p.m. Wednesday, the steamer Alpena passed upbound under partly sunny skies, 46 degrees F, winds from the west and steady, and the river completely ice free.

Detroit, MI – Raymond H
On Wednesday, Alpena arrived at Lafarge to unload a storage load of cement. This was her first trip since fitting out. After unloading, she departed upbound for her namesake port, and by 9 p.m. was off the tip of Michiagn’s thumb. Algosea arrived at the Waterfront Petroleum Terminal to unload.

Monroe, MI – Raymond H
Calusa Coast and Delaware arrived at the Michigan Paving and Materials dock to unload asphalt on Wednesday.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
CCGC Griffon departed at 08:43 Wednesday for Amherstburg, ON. Prentiss Brown/St.Marys Conquest arrived at 08:07. They are at the former Medusa Cement silos.

 

A dog, an ice floe and a dramatic after-dark rescue by crew of tug Barbara Andrie

3/5 - Muskegon, MI - If dogs could talk, Max the mutt, rescued in the dark of night off an ice floe in the middle of Muskegon Lake, would have quite a tale to tell. It’s a mystery how the dog, missing from Muskegon for as many as 36 hours, ended up in the predicament he was in. But his rescue is a heart-warming story of man’s devotion to his best friend.

Returning from a 20-hour trip to Milwaukee on Monday, March 2, the guys on board the tugboat Barbara Andrie couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw the lone pup adrift in the middle of the lake.

They had just entered through the channel from Lake Michigan when the dog stranded on a small ice floe suddenly appeared in their path, said the boat’s captain that night, Dave Wellington. It was around 8:30 p.m. and pitch dark when the dog suddenly appeared in the boat’s spotlight. “I’ve got to say, my heart almost sank,” Wellington said. “I almost thought I ran him over at first.” But when he looked back, there was the dog, still on its precarious floating perch.

The crew on board had been working since 6 that morning and looking forward to getting to dock at Andrie in Muskegon and calling it a night. But first, they had a rescue operation to conduct. “Everybody was like, ‘No question, we’re going to get him,’” Wellington said. “We weren’t going to leave him out there. There’s no way. We were going to get him.”

He slowly backed the 125-foot tug up, careful not to disturb the delicate ice surrounding the stranded dog.

“He was way out there, way out in the middle of the lake,” said deck hand Craig Benedetti. “I’m not sure he would have made it through the night.”

When they were close enough, crew members used a pole with a hook on the end to carefully snag the ice floe and pull it toward the tug. At one point, the dog slipped off the ice into the water, but was able to get back on his perch, Wellington said.

“You could tell he was cold and afraid and didn’t know where to go and what to do,” Wellington said. “He was on his little piece of ice that he wasn’t giving up, which, truthfully, was the best thing to do.”

It took about 20 minutes, but finally the crew was able to slip a rope over the pup’s neck and pull it to safety with a little lunch meat as enticement. “It was a very nice dog,” said Matt Babbitt, another captain on board the tug that night. “It was very happy. It was glad to be on board with us.”

The crew, which also included Chief Engineer Danny Kuiper, Assistant Engineer Tyler Gagnon and deckhand Jeff Wever, brought the pup blankets and a little more lunch meat, Babbitt said. “It would sit and shake and everything,” he said. “It was a good little dog.”

His name was Max, the crew discovered by looking at the dog’s tag, which also had his owner’s phone number. “I believe they were kind of surprised,” Wellington said when Max’s owners learned of the rescue.

A Facebook post from the owner indicated Max had gone missing the previous day, Sunday, March 1, between 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. He last was seen near Muskegon Catholic Central schools, reported the owner, whom MLive was unable to reach.

Benedetti said another boat captain had reported seeing the dog around 4 a.m. Monday out on the ice, which at that time was more solid than by the time the Barbara Andrie crew got to him.

The crew posed for a few photos with Max before Wellington and Benedetti delivered him to his grateful owners. “When we told them where we found Max, the daughter said, ‘When we take him to the beach, Max doesn’t even like the water,’” Wellington said.

View photos at this MLive link: https://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/2020/03/a-dog-an-ice-floe-and-a-dramatic-after-dark-rescue.html

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 5

On 05 March 1997, the Canadian Coast Guard cutter GRIFFON pulled the smashed remains of a 1996 Ford Bronco from the icy depths of the Straits of Mackinac. The vehicle flipped off the Mackinac Bridge on 02 March 1997, and the driver was killed. The U.S. Coast Guard cutter BISCAYNE BAY served as a platform for the M-Rover submersible craft used to locate the Bronco in 190 feet of water.

HARRY L. ALLEN was launched March 5, 1910, as a.) JOHN B. COWLE (Hull#379) at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. She was declared a constructive total loss after a fire on January 21, 1978. The vessel was in winter lay-up at the Capitol elevator in Duluth when part of the elevator complex burned. Debris from the elevator fell on the boat, badly damaging it. The owners decided to scrap it rather than repair it. The ALLEN was scrapped at Duluth in 1978.

LEADALE was launched March 5, 1910, as a.) HARRY YATES (Hull#77) at St. Clair, Michigan, by Great Lakes Engineering Works. Scrapped at Cartagena, Columbia in 1979.

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 (Hull#32) (steel propeller freighter, 400 foot, 4,328 gross tons) was launched at the Chicago Ship Building Company in South Chicago, Illinois. In 1940, she was sold, renamed b.) L.S. WESCOAT and converted to a tanker. She was scrapped in Germany in 1965.

1997 - The former Greek bulk carrier ANTONIS P. LEMOS had been built at Osaka, Japan, in 1976, and visited the Great Lakes that year. As c) ALBION TWO, the ship departed Gdynia, Poland, for Kingston, Jamaica, with a cargo of steel products and was reported as missing on March 5. Wreckage was later found off the coast of France and identified as from the missing vessel. All 25 crewmembers were lost. The ship had also been through the Seaway as b) MACFRIENDSHIP in November 1993 with a cargo of steel for Hamilton.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Eric Holst, Mike Nicholls, Joe Barr, Father Dowling Collection, “Ahoy & Farewell II” and the “Great Lakes Ships We Remember” series

 

Port Reports -  March 4

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Milwaukee, WI – Wisconsin Marine Historical Society
Calumet River Fleeting’s tug Nathan S returned to Milwaukee early Tuesday (3/3) with three more river barges for loading at the COFCO elevator. Mild weather has allowed barge operations to continue through the winter. This is the fourth set of three barges loaded at the COFCO elevator in 2020. Each barge can take about 1,360 metric tons. Tug and barges were headed back to Calumet Harbor Tuesday evening. Calumet Harbor connects with New Orleans via the Mississippi River-Illinois Waterway System. Algoma Conveyor is scheduled to arrive Wednesday morning (3/4) with salt from Goderich, Ontario.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor cleared 4:36 am Monday with salt for Milwaukee. Algoma Innovator cleared at 4:01 pm Tuesday with salt for Chicago.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Alpena left lay up Tuesday at 16:14 bound for Detroit. Calusa Coast also departed at 14:28, heading to Monroe. The Canadian Coast Guard cutter Griffon arrived in Cleveland at 08:13 on 3/2. She is docked at the Port, dock 26E.

 

Sign of spring: Lake Erie-Niagara River ice boom to be removed

3/4 - Cleveland, OH – Crews will remove the ice boom from the outlet of Lake Erie, where it protects the Niagara River from ice jams all winter, this week. The boom, a series of 22 steel pontoons that has been used since 1964, is normally opened at the beginning of April. Last year, the date was April 22, according to a news release. The latest date was May 3, 1971, while the earliest was Feb. 28, 2012.

The boom off the shore of Buffalo keeps ice on the lake from flowing down the Niagara River, damaging shoreline properties and power plant intakes. See a live feed here. No notable ice cover formed on Lake Erie this season, the least amount of ice since the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration began keeping records in 1973. The Great Lakes in total are currently 17 percent frozen.

Water temperature in the lake near the ice boom was 34 degrees on Thursday, according to the Army Corps.

The ice boom is owned and operated by the New York Power Authority and Ontario Power Generation and overseen by the International Joint Commission. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers serves as technical advisors.

Cleveland.com

 

You can sail Lake Michigan on this 19th century replica ship

3/4 - South Haven, MI – Your chance to sail on Lake Michigan in a 19th century replica ship is here. The Michigan Maritime Museum is looking for volunteer sailors aboard the Friends Good Will for the 2020 season, according to a press release from the museum based in South Haven.

Friends Good Will was built in 2004 as a replica of an 1810 merchant ship that sailed the Great Lakes.

“Enjoy the excitement of traditional sailing as you share the unique maritime heritage of the Great Lakes with museum guests, students, and fellow sailors on daily sailing excursions on Lake Michigan,” the museum said in the release.

To qualify for the crew, volunteers must complete the free Museum Basic Seamanship Training program, which is scheduled over two weekends on April 25-26 and May 16-17. Training includes both classroom and on-water components. Volunteers will learn seamanship skills, line handling, knot tying and more as part of the training.

“What better way to share a passion for sailing and history, than crewing aboard a tall ship like Friends Good Will?” asked Captain Bob Harnish, commander of the museum’s fleet. “This is a wonderful opportunity for teachers, sailors, historians, and adventure seekers alike.”

Participants must be at least 16 years old and be a member of the museum. To register, contact captain@mimaritime.org or call 269-637-8078.

M Live

 

Help Wanted: QMED-Fireman SS Badger

3/4 - Lake Michigan Carferry is accepting applications for placement in the engine room aboard the historic SS Badger. Candidates must possess a Merchant Mariners Credential with QMED (Fireman/Oiler/Watertender) endorsement, a current Medical Certificate and a valid TWIC card. QMED will expect to live aboard and stand a 4 hour watch, twice a day, 7 days a week during the 2020 sailing season (mid-May through mid-Oct) Competitive wages and benefit package after completing a 90 day probationary period. Visit https://www.ssbadger.com/contact-us/join-the-badger-crew.html and click on Apply Online to submit an application directly to Human Resources. Email: laurieb@ssbadger.com with questions.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 4

In 1944, the U.S.C.G.C. MACKINAW (WAGB-83) was launched by the Toledo Ship Building Company (Hull #188) at Toledo, Ohio. Her name was originally planned to be MANITOWOC. MACKINAW was retired in 2006.

CECILIA DESGAGNES, a.) CARL GORTHON, departed Sorel, Quebec, on March 4, 1985, bound for Baie Comeau, Quebec, on her first trip in Desgagnes colors.

March 4, 1904 - William H. Le Fleur 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.

In 1858, TRENTON (wooden propeller, 134 foot, 240 gross tons, built in 1854, at Montreal, Quebec) burned to a total loss while tied to the mill wharf at Picton, Ontario, in Lake Ontario. The fire was probably caused by carpenters that were renovating her.

On 4 March 1889, TRANSIT (wooden 10-car propeller carferry, 168 foot, 1,058 gross tons, 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.

In 1871, FLORENCE (iron steamer, 42.5 foot, built in 1869, at Baltimore, Maryland) burned while docked at Amherstburg, Ontario at about 12:00 p.m. 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.

1976 - The former British freighter GRETAFIELD of 1952, a Great Lakes visitor for the first time in 1962, hit the breakwall entering Cape Town, South Africa, as c) SIROCCO I and received extensive bow damage. It was sold to Taiwanese shipbreakers and departed May 15,1976, arriving at Kaohsiung July 5 for dismantling.

1983 - The former Danish freighter MARIE SKOU of 1962, inland for the first time in 1966, caught fire in the engine room and was abandoned by the crew south of Sicily as b) CLEO C. The vessel was towed to Malta on March 9 and scrapped there beginning in April.

1986 - The onetime Greek freighter YEMELOS, built in 1962 as MIGOLINA and renamed in 1972, first came inland in 1973. It was abandoned as e) TANFORY off Trincomolee, Sri Lanka, en route from Kandla, India, to Chittagong, Bangladesh, with salt and bentonite. The ship was presumed to have sunk.

1995 - The tug ERIE NO. 1, a) DUNKIRK, b) PEGGY M., c) RENE PURVIS sank at the dock in Toronto. It was raised by a crane June 18, 1995, but the cable snapped, dropping the hull on the dock breaking the tug’s back. The vessel was broken up at that location in late 1995.

2011 - LOUIS JOLLIET caught fire at Montreal during winter work. The ex-St. Lawrence ferry was being used as an excursion vessel.

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

 

National Museum of the Great Lakes welcomes new board chairman

3/3 - Toledo, OH – It didn’t take long for Mark W. Barker to note the incongruity of a man from Cleveland being ultimately in charge of a museum in Toledo when he was introduced last week as the National Museum of the Great Lakes’ new board chairman.

But Mr. Barker, who as president of Interlake Steamship is in charge of one of the Great Lakes’ pre-eminent freighter fleets, said he’s no stranger to the Toledo waterfront and is familiar with the local port’s history.

“We have a lot of ties to Toledo and the maritime side of it,” both in terms of cargo movement and vessel maintenance and repair, Mr. Barker said during a reception Tuesday at the riverfront museum in East Toledo.

Mr. Barker, a certified marine engineer who holds a master of business administration degree from Case Western Reserve University, has been a board member with the Great Lakes Historical Society — now also the museum board — since the early 2000s and noted that Interlake has been involved with the society since its founding 75 years ago.

“They have a great passion for the Great Lakes as well as a great passion for their business,” Andy Dale, the chief operating officer at Hylant in Toledo and a member of the museum board, said of Interlake and its president.

Mr. Barker succeeds Bill Buckley, who as the board’s chairman from 2013 to 2018 oversaw the historical society’s move in early 2014 from a smaller museum in Vermilion, Ohio to the Toledo site on Front Street. Mr. Buckley “has put us in a great spot,” said Mr. Barker, whose election as the new chairman was recommended by the museum board’s governance committee.

Mr. Barker touched on cooperative programs in the works involving the Toledo Zoo and Toledo Lucas County Public Library system as well as the museum’s ongoing effort to add a lake-vessel pilothouse, liberated from its former ship during a barge conversion, to the museum’s local exhibits.

The museum also is involved in cooperative promotion of other Toledo-area tourist attractions, Mr. Barker said. It has vital roles in preserving and documenting the history of Great Lakes shipping, public education and outreach to promote the lakes’ importance to the national economy and heritage, and underwater archaeology, he said.

“I don’t like to talk about shipwrecks, but they happen,” the shipping executive said with a shrug. Interlake operates nine freighters on the Great Lakes and has a 10th under construction. When launched, it will be the lakes’ first new U.S.-flag ship since the 1980s.

The Blade

 

Port Reports -  March 3

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Mackinac Straits – Jon-Paul
Mackinaw escorted Prentiss Brown and its barge eastbound thru the Straits Monday afternoon. They made a steady 9 knots with PB passing Round Island Lt at 16:30 and Mackinaw returning to the State Dock in Mackinaw City at 17:00.

Toledo, OH – Jim Hoffman
Philip R. Clarke is out of the dry dock and is tied up at the old Interlake Dock behind the Great Republic. Algoma Strongfield is supposedly the next vessel due into the dry dock.

 

Legislators press Trump to push frigate deal to Marinette

3/3 - Madison, WI – A bipartisan coalition of Wisconsin legislators sent a letter Monday to President Trump pressing him to direct a lucrative U.S. Navy frigate construction contract to a Marinette shipyard.

Fincantieri Marinette Marine is locked in a fierce competition with Bath Iron Works in Maine; Austal USA of Alabama; Huntington Ingalls of Mississippi: and Lockheed Martin of Baltimore for the contract. Whoever wins the deal would be expected to build two frigates annually from 2021 to 2021. Each ship is expected to cost about $900 million each.

Wisconsin Rep. John Nygren, who represents Marinette in the state Assembly, persuaded 54 Republican and Democrats from both the Assembly and Senate to sign on to the letter to Trump.

The letter paints Fincantieri Marinette Marine as a vital economic engine in northeastern Wisconsin. The frigate contract would generate another 1,000 jobs for the region, the letter said. If the Navy hands the contract to someone else, however, Fincantieri could end up closing its shipyard, the lawmakers warned.

“We have witnessed what the loss of opportunity does to the Midwest,” the letter said. “When industry departs, so does hope.”

The lawmakers conclude by telling Trump that his “leadership and attention to this opportunity is vital.”

WBAY

 

Interlake video explains vessel names

3/3 - Ever wonder about the names prominently displayed on the bows of Interlake Steamship Co. vessels? Who is Paul R. Tregurtha? How are James R. Barker and Kaye E. Barker related? (Spoiler alert: By marriage). Why name a ship the Mesabi Miner? Watch this video and wonder no more. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmhtIEM5-dM

 

Royal Canadian Navy, coast guard short hundreds of sailors

3/3 - Ottawa, ON – It’s been billed as the largest-ever investment in the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Coast Guard during a time of peace. Over the next decade, the federal government will invest tens of billions of dollars into new science ships, icebreakers, supply vessels and warships.

Yet as they prepare to welcome those new ships with open arms, given the age of their current fleets, top officials at both the navy and coast guard are wrestling with a difficult but critical question: Who will sail the vessels?

That is because the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Coast Guard need hundreds more sailors between them. And while the situation isn’t critical yet, it has become one of the top priorities for both services.

“It’s good to get all those resources, all this new technology and new ships,” Canadian Coast Guard Commissioner Mario Pelletier said in a recent interview. “But without people, I’m not going to be able to operate or to support or to manage the operations. So I need people.”

The coast guard says up to 15 per cent of its positions are currently vacant, representing a shortfall of roughly 1,000 people. While that alone is cause for concern, the organization released a business plan last year that noted the workforce is also getting older.

The same business plan identified recruitment as “one of the most difficult challenges” for the organization — an assessment echoed by Pelletier. It is for those reasons that he identified recruitment as well as retention as a key focus when he became commissioner in December.

Vice-Admiral Art McDonald, who took over as commander of the Royal Canadian Navy last June, has the same priority: getting more young men and women to sign up to sail with the navy, which is short roughly 850 members.

The shortfall is manageable now, but McDonald said the concern is what would happen should the navy find itself needing to dramatically ramp up its operations — something that can’t be ruled out given the current state of the world.

“So on one hand, my broad message to you is it’s very manageable, the shortfalls we’re currently experiencing,” he said. “But in a volatile world where we may be required to do more, we need to be able to push to fill those numbers in — and we are.”

The navy and coast guard are not alone when it comes to having trouble recruiting new sailors. Canada’s entire marine industry is facing a similar shortage of bodies, as older sailors leave faster than they can be replaced and new technology sparks shortages of certain skills.

“We’ve identified a shortage over the next five to 10 years of about 5,000 people,” said Bruce Burrows, president of the Chamber of Marine Commerce. “And we are having to temporarily bring, for example, foreign captains.”

Why aren’t people considering a career in the navy, coast guard or marine industry? Officials have previously cited the fight for employees at a time when unemployment is low and many people don’t want to be away from home for long periods of time.

Yet McDonald, Pelletier and Burrows all cite a lack of awareness. McDonald calls it “maritime blindness.” Not only have most Canadians never been on — or perhaps even close to — a large vessel, but those interviewed believe there is a misconception about the job.

Burrows is quick to list the many ways in which the industry has tried to become more appealing, including shorter stints at sea, more emphasis on high-tech skills as vessels have become more modern, and better food and connectivity to home.

The navy, meanwhile, has been implementing wireless networks onto its ships so sailors can stay connected to home while highlighting the ability to learn new skills in a fast-paced environment.

“We just have to get our story out,” McDonald said. “And what millennials and others are looking for is a chance to do a relevant job where they get to shape what the output is and have a voice to be heard and to contribute.”

The federal government and industry teamed up in January to create the Canadian Marine Industry Foundation, whose purpose will be to promote careers in the marine sector and bring in much-needed new blood.

For McDonald, the stakes are high over the next few years.

“My concern is being 850 down this year, we need to get those people in. We have a message that we’re hiring because robustness, resilience and our ability to fully meet the surge if we get asked to do more than we’re doing now means that I need those extra people to come in.”

National Post

 

See jaw-dropping photos of ice-covered houses on Lake Erie shore

3/3 - Cleveland, OH – The same winds that caused 10-foot waves off the shore of Cleveland Thursday transformed homes in Hamburg, New York, into ice sculptures. The Hoover Beach neighborhood, south of Buffalo, was covered in feet of ice, frozen when water whipped up from Lake Erie, according to CNN. By Friday, homes near the water were encased in ice and dripping with icicles.

Residents worried how the weight of the ice would damage their homes, reported WIVB. Last month, the he town of Hamburg wants to apply for federal money to install a breakwall in the town.

View the images at this link: https://www.cleveland.com/news/2020/03/see-jaw-dropping-photos-of-ice-covered-houses-on-lake-erie-shore.html

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 3

The keel was laid on March 3, 1980, for the COLUMBIA STAR (Hull#726) at Sturgeon Bay, Wis., by Bay Shipbuilding Corp. She now sails as AMERICAN CENTURY.

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

1947: NOVADOC of the Paterson fleet was lost with all hands (24 sailors) off Portland, Maine, while en route from Nova Scotia to New York City with a cargo of gypsum. The ship had also sailed as NORTHTON for the Mathews and Misener fleets.

1958: The tanker DON JOSE, formerly the ITORORO that operated on the Great Lakes for Transit Tankers & Terminals in the early 1940s, was destroyed by a fire, likely in a loading mishap, at Talara, Peru.

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

 

Shippers eager to deal with rail backlog. but high water levels delay Seaway opening

3/2 - Ottawa, ON – With protests stalling Canada’s railways, shipping companies on the St. Lawrence seaway say they’re ready to help move vital goods, but high water levels, controlled by a major dam, are keeping them at the dock.

The St. Lawrence Seaway corporation has decided to delay the opening of the system until April 1, even though the river is largely ice free and could open as early as March 20. Bruce Burrows, president of the Marine Chamber of Commerce, said demand is 40 per cent higher than normal and they would like to be out on the water.

“We have over 100 ship transits ready to go, record volumes ready to move,” he said.

The seaway works with a joint Canada-U.S. agency, called the International Joint Commission, (IJC) on the river’s opening dates. The commission’s board controls the Moses-Saunders Dam near Cornwall, Ont., that effectively acts as a drain on Lake Ontario. When the dam is closed levels in the lake rise and when it opens lake levels drop.

The commission wants to keep the dam open to drain Lake Ontario, which has been at record high levels over the last few years. On Friday, the lake was at 75.08 metres, 45 centimetres above average and 20 centimetres below the all-time high. The commission has kept the dam open for all of February draining nine centimetres off Lake Ontario.

All that water flooding out of Lake Ontario creates a problem for ships however. Burrows said they simply can’t navigate the rapids all that water creates. “We can’t operate our ships in very fast moving currents. It is just too dangerous,” he said. “We have to stop navigating and that’s when we start hitting the economy.”

The commission also has to keep an eye on downstream communities, because letting too much water out of the lake can actually lead to floods. Taking just one centimetre off Lake Ontario raises the level in Montreal’s harbour 12 centimetres.

Sarah Lobrichon, a spokesperson for the IJC, said they do their best to balance all the interests, but right now, they have to focus on flood prevention. “There is a risk of flooding this year and we are doing everything we can to minimize this risk,” she said. “Our attention is focused on how high the lake is.”

The consistently high levels since 2017 have led to flooding of communities in New York State. Last fall New York State’s Attorney General launched a lawsuit against the International Joint Commission, charging it had failed to protect communities.

“The International Joint Commission failed their primary mission of properly managing Lake Ontario’s water levels,” said Attorney General Letitia James, in a statement when the suit was announced. “We will not stand by while the IJC continues to expose New Yorkers to dangerous flooding.”

Burrows said opening up the dam doesn’t have a big impact on the lake and it’s becoming a crutch when governments should be looking for broader solutions. He said by contrast as much as a $100 million a week in economic activity is being lost because the ships can’t move.

Burrows said it’s time for governments on both sides of the border to look at climate resilience plans, strengthening seawalls and taking other measures to ensure communities are safe. He said simply opening the dam ignores the heavy rainfalls and other issues driven by a changing climate.

“You can occasionally open the plug into the bathtub, but if you have two big taps that are running into the bathtub it’s not going to be a net gain.”

Burrows said even without rail disruptions a lot of vitally important supplies move on the seaway and many companies depend on being able to get supplies by ship. “It’s amazing to think that when a plane takes off at Pearson Airport in Toronto, a lot of that fuel has been delivered by ship,” he said.

Lobrichon said the IJC agrees that the dam has a limited impact on Lake Ontario and they are looking for broader solutions. A committee they have struck to look at the problem is set to make recommendations next week. “It’s extremely complex. We need to take into consideration upstream and downstream interests.”

MSN

 

Port Reports -  March 2

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor arrived 6.30 pm on Saturday and began loading salt at Compass Minerals. Algoma Innovator arrived 1.52 am Sunday, tied up North Pier; she'll load salt next.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Iver Bright was unloading at the Waterfront Petroleum Terminal on Sunday.

 

TC leaders discuss pros, cons of cruise ships porting in Grand Traverse Bay

3/2 - Traverse City, MI - Major cruise lines have their eye on Traverse City. Viking Cruises is the latest line to announce a Great Lakes route that will stop in the Cherry Capital. Their eight-day voyage includes an itinerary with stops in Ontario, Alpena, Mackinac Island, Detroit and Milwaukee as well.

At the TC port of call, the visit includes excursions to the Sleeping Bear Dunes, wine tasting on the Leelanau Peninsula and shopping in downtown Traverse City. The ship would dock at the Discovery Center Pier on West Grand Traverse Bay.

Friday, the Discovery Center invited community leaders to a meeting to see if they’re on board with the idea. A few weeks ago, Traverse City Mayor Jim Carruthers told 9&10 he had some reservations with the plan.

“We felt it was really important to not make a decision in a vacuum,” said Discovery Center Great Lakes CEO Matt McDonough. The Viking cruise would bring up to 380 passengers eight times a summer.

“The overall impact is fairly negligible when you consider there’s millions of visitors that come to Traverse City every year,” said McDonough. For Traverse City tourism CEO Trevor Tkach, the cruise ships would be a predictable stream of new business in the area.

“You know how many people are going in, and how many people are going out, you know exactly when they’re coming and you know their itinerary, where they want to go and what they want to do,” said Tkach.

The Leelanau Peninsula Chamber of Commerce says the meeting helped clear up one of their biggest concerns: how nature would be affected. “First and foremost, we’re a community that’s very concerned about the environmental impact,” said chamber vice president Deborah Allen. “One of the things I’m most encouraged by is the open communication.”

The DNR, NOAA and EGLE all participated in Friday’s meeting. The Discovery Center said they’ll make a final decision about cruise ships using their docks within the next few months. “We haven’t made commitments to anybody,” said McDonough.

Viking’s Great Lakes cruise is scheduled to set sail in 2022.

9 & 10 News

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 2

On 02 March 1889, the U.S. Congress passed two acts for establishment of a light station at Old Mackinac Point and appropriated $5,500 for construction of a fog signal building. The following year, funds were appropriated for the construction of the light tower and dwelling.

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 E. MC LACHLAN (3-mast wooden schooner, 251 foot, 1,394 gross tons) was launched at F. W. Wheeler's yard in West Bay City, Michigan as (Hull #96). 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 foot, 968 gross tons, built in 1883, at W. Bay City, Michigan). The FORBES had numerous spectators onboard and when the wave struck, many were injured and there was one confirmed death.

1972 - HARMATTAN, a Seaway trader beginning in 1971, arrived at Karachi, Pakistan, for scrapping after suffering missile damage at sea from Indian Naval units during a conflict between the two countries.

1976 - BROOK, a former Seaway trader as EXBROOk beginning in 1968, arrived at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, for scrapping.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, and Steve Haverty

 

Lake Michigan water level update

3/1 - Great Lakes water levels remain at or near late February record levels and that trend is expected to continue.

The water level of Lake Superior is down 4″ in the last month. That’s a significant drop and mostly due to the fact that temperatures are below freezing and precipitation falls as snow and stays on the ground rather than water moving into the rivers. There is now a deep snowpack around Lake Superior (snow depths Friday: 51″ Painesdale, 49″ Grand Marais, 37″ Munising, 36″ Marquette, 35″ Hancock) and that snow will eventually melt and get into the lake.

Lake Superior is at the same level as one year ago, but still 13″ above the average level for late February. It’s 2″ below the highest February level set in 1986.

The water level of Lake Michigan-Huron is down 2″ in the last month, but still 15″ higher than one year ago. The lake is 37″ higher than the late February average and is 4″ higher than the record February level set in 1986.

The water level of Lake Erie is up 1″ in the last month and up 11″ in the last year. The lake is 36″ higher than the average February level and is 5″ higher than the previous record February level set in 1987.

The water level of Lake Ontario is down 2″ in the last month, up 4″ year-to-year and is now 19″ above the February average level. The lake is still 7″ below the record February level set in 1952.

The water level of Lake St. Clair is up 1″ in the last month and up 11″ in the last year. The lake is now 40″ above the February average level and is even with the record February level set in 1986.

All the rivers that connect the Great Lakes have well above average flow. The Detroit River at Detroit has a flow of 261,000 cubic feet per second, compared to an average flow of 176 cfs. That’s 148% of average flow and that’s a lot of water passing by. South Haven webcam – mouth of the Black River

Read more and view images at this link: https://www.woodtv.com/bills-blog-2/lake-michigan-water-level-update

 

Port Reports -  March 1

Port reports are compiled from reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known).

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor arrived 6.30 pm Saturday assisted by the tug Ocean A. Simard. Algoma Innovator was on Lake Huron Saturday night headed to Goderich.

 

No good explanation for Michigan port policy

3/1 - Detroit, MI - Want an example of a major scandal that has been almost completely under the radar? The Detroit office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection has adopted a bizarre policy that is severely harming trade revenue in the state, and which has had devastating consequences for the Port of Monroe.

That policy is this: The vast majority of international cargo these days is shipped in large containers — and the Detroit office of the CBP is now requiring those metal shipping containers to be X-rayed and scanned for security reasons before they can go out or come in. But no port in the state has the equipment to do that, so the state is effectively shut out of most international trade. This is a policy, according to Paul LaMarre III, the head of the Port of Monroe, that is leveled only against Michigan.

“What to me is most clear is that this should be a non-political, non-partisan regulatory issue,” said Mr. LaMarre, who became leader of the Monroe port in 2012 after years as maritime affairs manager for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. “And this is a clear abuse of regulatory authority.”

Mr. LaMarre, a 39-year-old former U.S. Navy pilot, has worked hard to expand the Port of Monroe, with considerable success. Last year, a University of Michigan study found that the number of jobs created by the port tripled under his stewardship, going from 577 to 1,659, meaning millions of dollars for the local economy. But then came the decision to forbid containers.

That was bad for all Michigan’s 40 ports, but worst of all for Monroe. Though less than an hour’s drive from Detroit, the port is technically outside Detroit’s jurisdiction, according to boundaries set by the Federal Register.

Because Monroe has no customs unit, Detroit has provided cargo inspection as a “courtesy if they have the manpower available.” For years, that wasn’t a problem. But now, whenever a key shipment of goods is about to exit or enter through Monroe, no manpower seems to be available.

“This has cost us [and the community] millions,” said Mr. LaMarre. What normally happens is that the cargo is either diverted to Toledo’s port, which is 14 miles from Monroe’s, or to Cleveland.

The authorities in charge of U.S. customs for Ohio, Illinois, and Wisconsin are based in Chicago — and have far more lenient rules than Michigan’s, which are the tightest in the nation. Christopher Perry, the CBP’s program manager in Detroit, sets the state’s customs rules. He is paid $166,218 a year. He has repeatedly refused media requests to explain his policy and has reportedly been vague about security needs.

No cargo has been halted from leaving or entering — it is just sent or received via different ports, hurting the state’s economy, and in some cases, adding costs to the consumer.

The University of Michigan conducted a major study on the effects of these policies last year, in which researchers looked at the impact of two glaring examples. In one case, Ford Motor Co. wanted to ship new Mustang cars from Monroe to Hamburg, Germany.

This would have meant revenues for the port and saved money for the automaker. But just weeks before the first 100 cars were to be shipped, Detroit customs officials told Ford that they could not guarantee that an agent would be there to inspect the containers. The project collapsed.

Another major project involved the shipment of huge amounts of particle board to the Port of Monroe that would be trucked to Grayling, where Arauco is erecting a factory. The project was approved, but the CBP’s Detroit office announced it would deny entry just before the first ship arrived. The ship was diverted to Cleveland. Mr. LaMarre then got a barge and a tug and brought that shipment to Monroe, but the rest was canceled.

“They keep moving the target, but we are still developing new markets and doing our best to stay competitive,” he said.

The Detroit Customs and Border Patrol seems to be engaged in vindictive retaliation against one of the Monroe port’s biggest defenders, Gregg Ward, owner of the Detroit-Toledo Truck Ferry. Some months ago, the CBP sent teams with a slow mobile X-ray unit to his ferry, which takes trucks with hazardous material across the Detroit River daily.

“They are inspecting, with a slow mobile X-ray unit, 100 percent of our vehicles,” delaying transit and costing him business, Mr. Ward said. “It is pure harassment. At the Ambassador Bridge they X-ray no car traffic going to Canada and less than 10 percent of commercial vehicles entering the United States.”

Mr. LaMarre’s take: “They are trying to put him out of business. Gregg Ward is one of the finest and most honest men I know.”

What is clear is this: Monroe, and the state of Michigan, are losing millions of dollars because of a seemingly senseless and arbitrary customs rule that exists in no other state. And nobody in government has satisfactorily explained why.

Jack Lessenberry, Toledo Blade

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  March 1

HENRY FORD II (Hull#788) was launched on March 1, 1924, at Lorain, Ohio by the American Ship Building Co. She served as flagship of the Ford Motor Company fleet for many years and was eventually sold to Interlake Steamship Company when Ford sold its Great Lakes division. It was renamed b.) SAMUEL MATHER, but never sailed under that name. It was scrapped in 1994, at Port Maitland, Ontario by Marine Recycling & Salvage Ltd.

In 1881 the steamship JOHN B. LYON was launched at Cleveland, Ohio by Thomas Quayle & Son for Capt. Frank Perew. She was a four mast, double-decker with the following dimensions: 255 foot keel, 275 feet overall, 38 foot beam, and 20 foot depth.

On March 1, 1884 the I.N. FOSTER (wooden schooner, 134 foot, 319 gross tons, built in 1872, at Port Huron, Michigan) was sold by Clark I. Boots to E. Chilson. This vessel lasted until 1927, when she was abandoned in Buffalo, New York.

1926 - The passenger ship WHITE STAR of Canada Steamship Lines burned at Hamilton. It then became a coal barge and was rebuilt in 1950 as the diesel powered, self-unloading sandsucker S.M. DOUGLAS. It operated mainly on the St. Lawrence and was sunk as a breakwall at Kingston, ON in 1975.

1972 - The Dutch passenger and freight carrier PRINSES ANNA first visited the Great Lakes in 1967. It was lost in Osumi Strait, 18 miles south of Cape Sata, Japan, as HWA PO while on a voyage from Nagoya to Whampoa, China. The cargo shifted and 20 of the 36 on board were lost when the ship went down.

1980 - The Swedish freighter BARBARA was 4-years old when it first came inland in 1966. It returned through the Seaway as BARKAND in 1968 and as MARIANNA in 1969. The ship was under a fourth name of MARIA BACOLITSA and in bound from Brazil with pig iron for Constanza, Romania, when it went down on the Black Sea with all hands. An S.O.S. had been sent out without giving the location and rescuers were helpless to lend any assistance.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Steve Haverty, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, “Ahoy & Farewell II” and the “Great Lakes Ships We Remember” series.

 



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