Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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News Photo Gallery Updated

4/30

News Photo Gallery updated. 

Note:  This page will generally be used only for photos related to recent news or port/area reports.  Photos of your visits to the various ship watching locations, trips etc. can now be posted in your own albums created in the Public Gallery.  Just click on the Public Photo Gallery link and follow the instructions.
 

 


Public Photo Gallery Updated

4/30

New albums in the Shipping, Lighthouses, Model Building and Post Cards/Collectables/Artwork Galleries
Public Photo Gallery
 

 


Bill calls for ocean vessel permits

4/29
Oceangoing ships would need a permit to enter Michigan ports starting in 2007 under legislation approved Wednesday by the state Senate. The bill, approved on a 38-0 vote, is aimed at reducing the threat of invasive species in the Great Lakes. Ships couldn't discharge aquatic nuisance species. They would have to treat any ballast water before releasing it.

The legislation, which heads to the House, also would authorize Michigan to form a coalition with the Great Lakes region's other states to deal with aquatic invaders. Supporters say states must join together to act because the federal government has been slow and ineffective. "We must eradicate these foreign species from the Great Lakes ecosystem before they destroy it," said Sen. Patty Birkholz, a Republican from Allegan County's Saugatuck Township and the bill's sponsor.

Scientists have counted more than 160 exotic species in the Great Lakes region, including the sea lamprey, zebra mussel and round goby. A new invasive species, typically imported from Europe or Asia, is discovered in the Great Lakes at the rate of one every eight months. Ship ballast is widely believed to be a leading contributor to the problem. Species are scooped up when a freighter takes on water, then discharged in the Great Lakes when a ship must get heavier or lighter for porting operations.

Permit applicants would have to show their vessels don't discharge aquatic nuisance species, or have the technology to treat ballast water in hopes of eliminating them.

Zebra mussels clog pipes at power plants, raising utility costs. They also may be responsible for killing off tiny organisms eaten by native species such as yellow perch and whitefish, leaving them underfed and under-populated.

The legislation has the endorsement of Gov. Jennifer Granholm's administration.

Reported by the Associated Press / Detroit Free Press
 

 


Frantz scrap tow update

4/29
The Frantz tow never made it out of Buffalo on Thursday morning due to high wind. They are going to try again on Friday morning. The tugs Ecosse and the Seahound are rafted together and tied to the dock in front of the Frantz for the night. Wind was blowing up enough to send waves crashing over the Outer Harbor Sea Wall.

Morning update:
The Frantz tow departed Buffalo for Port Colborne early this morning (Friday).

Reported by Brian Wroblewski
 

Original Story - 4/28
The veteran laker Joseph H. Frantz is apparently headed for the scrap heap. Tugs are scheduled to tow the vessel from her lay-up berth at Buffalo, NY, to Port Colborne, Ont. sometime Thursday morning.

The tugs Ecosse and Seahound are expected to perform the tow, which will end for now at Wharf 16 in Port Colborne. It is unknown at present if the vessel will be scrapped in Port Colborne, or continue at a later date to an overseas scrap yard.

For the past two seasons the 618-foot Frantz has been under charter from Oglebay Norton Marine Services to Great Lakes Associates (Kinsman), which used her mostly in the grain trade. However the Frantz, built in 1925, is in need of a five-year hull and machinery inspection and reports indicate she needs more work than can be financially justified on such an old vessel.

Please send any tow photos or sightings to news@boatnerd.net

Reported by Brian Wroblewski, Jason Leslie
 

 


Reborn service to and from Toronto sports a new identity

4/29
Ending months of speculation, Bay Ferries Ltd. announced Wednesday that Rochester's high-speed ferry would resume service to Toronto on June 17 with a new nickname and logo. The Breeze — which hasn't run since September — will be reborn as "The Cat" and feature a logo of a leaping feline.

Bay Ferries Vice President Donald Cormier and city leaders revealed the much-anticipated date and nickname during a news conference at City Hall. But they stopped short of releasing ticket prices or a schedule for the city-owned vessel, saying those details would be made public within the next couple of weeks.

Officials originally had pushed to resume the service by Memorial Day weekend, hoping to capture holiday traffic, but they determined that there was too much work to be done to start so soon. "We hope this positive announcement will launch the beginning of a new era," said Mayor William A. Johnson Jr.

The Spirit of Ontario — the ship's official name — has been idle at the Port of Rochester since the previous operator discontinued daily service, citing financial problems. The city bought the vessel at a federal foreclosure auction in February for $32 million and hired Bay Ferries to run the service — seen by many as an opportunity to improve Rochester's national profile and boost local tourism.

Tickets are to go on sale about 30 days before the vessel resumes service. Cormier said one-way ticket prices would be comparable with those of last year, when they were $28 for a walk-on passenger and $40 for a vehicle with an additional $20 charge per person. The prices will be higher in peak season and lower at other times, he added. The company also is working on package deals and a special all-inclusive fare for a vehicle and up to six passengers.

The ship will run seven days a week at least until Dec. 31, when the company will evaluate whether to shut down for January and February or keep it going in those winter months. The June 17 date should be familiar to ferry observers. It's the same date the ship made its maiden passenger voyage across Lake Ontario last year. Cormier said it's a mere coincidence.

The nickname The Cat and the logo also may be familiar. They are used on Bay Ferries' high-speed vessel that runs seasonally between Maine and Nova Scotia. That ship can carry up to 900 passengers and 240 cars and is promoted as the fastest car ferry in North America. "There's a lot of equity in that brand," Cormier said.

But the nickname also is similar to Canadian American Transportation Systems (CATS), the company that failed last year to keep the ferry going and built some ill will in the community. The Cat's positive brand name and the potential for synergy between the vessels outweigh those concerns, officials said. "A successful launch will go a long way to override any negative image," said Benjamin Douglas, president of the city-run Rochester Ferry Co. and a city councilman.

There's still plenty of work to do before the vessel sails again, though. The ship must head to Hamilton, Ontario, in May for repairs and an inspection. The company is still hiring workers. The crew must be trained. The ship will be re-registered as a U.S.-flagged vessel. And numerous other inspections need to be made and permits must be obtained.

Wednesday's announcement was greeted with enthusiasm from both politicians who have worked on relaunching the service and regular folks who have followed the lengthy ferry saga. Toronto Mayor David Miller is looking forward to the return of the ferry and its potential to improve the Canadian city's waterfront, said spokeswoman Andrea Addario.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said, "This announcement vindicates all of the work we've done at the federal level to support getting the ferry up and running again. I'm glad we have nailed down a timeline, and now we're all looking forward to June 17."

Hector Velez, 46, of Rochester said he wants to be one of the first passengers on the vessel because he missed out on a chance to ride it last year. "It's history, and you want to be part of positive history," he said. "I still firmly believe that this will be a plus for the entire community."

While he's excited about the ship returning, Doug Barton, 43, of Rochester warned people to keep the project in perspective. "As long as we don't put all of our hopes and dreams on this boat and consider that it's just a part of an overall effort to revitalize the area, then I'm very excited about it," he said. "But if we make it out to be our great white hope, that's too great an expectation."

Reported by Rick Armon, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle
 

 


Port Reports

4/29
Sault Ste. Marie:
Reported by Jon Paul Michaels:
Heavy fog covered the harbor and locks area Wednesday morning but it didn’t stop cargo from moving. The Burns Harbor was down the Poe at 7:00am. The USCGC Buckthorn left Base Soo at 8:00am and headed up the MacArthur to load buoys on the west pier. They departed at 9:00am and continued up river to place navigation aids. The Edgar Speer passed up the Poe at 8:00am and met fleet mate Roger Blough down at Point Louise. The Canadian Transport came up at 9:00am reporting to Soo Traffic that the fog was encountered first at 6 mile point and became more dense as they approached the Soo. The Oglebay Norton reported outbound at Detour at 9:10am.The tug Jane Ann IV and barge Sarah Spencer finished unloading at Algoma Steel at 9:30am and headed up river for Whitefish Bay and a load at Marquette. The saltie Goviken was the next ship down at 9:45am followed by the Algoway at 10:15am. The Paul Tregurtha called in at Mission Point at 10:30am and reported that visibility was improving in the area east of the locks. Noon time found the Canadian Enterprise up the MacArthur as the Herbert C Jackson was upbound loaded going into Algoma Steel at 1:30pm sliding in next to the Michipicoten as they finished unloading stone at the dock. The Manistee reported to Soo Traffic that they had finished loading at Drummond Island Stone Dock and would be turning down river and out at Detour at 1:30pm. The Michipicoten departed Algoma Steel at 2:30pm headed up to Marquette. The Atlantic Huron was down the Poe at 4:30pm and met the upbound Algoville at 6 mile Point. Pineglen was down the locks at 7:30pm as the Presque Isle and Nanticoke were coming up. The Herbert C Jackson informed Soo Traffic that they estimated they unloading would be finished by 10:30pm and that they would be departing upbound to Marquette.

Goderich:
Reported by Dale Baechler
The Algosoo departed the Sifto Salt dock Thursday morning and the Agawa Canyon arrived in the early afternoon for a load. The 2005 season is shaping up to be a busy one for the Goderich harbor.
 

 


Public Photo Gallery Updated

4/29

New albums in the Shipping, Lighthouses, Model Building and Post Cards/Collectables/Artwork Galleries
Public Photo Gallery
 

 


Frantz scrap tow set for Thursday

4/28
The veteran laker Joseph H. Frantz is apparently headed for the scrap heap. Tugs are scheduled to tow the vessel from her lay-up berth at Buffalo, NY, to Port Colborne, Ont. sometime Thursday morning.

The tugs Ecosse and Seahound are expected to perform the tow, which will end for now at Wharf 16 in Port Colborne. It is unknown at present if the vessel will be scrapped in Port Colborne, or continue at a later date to an overseas scrap yard.

For the past two seasons the 618-foot Frantz has been under charter from Oglebay Norton Marine Services to Great Lakes Associates (Kinsman), which used her mostly in the grain trade. However the Frantz, built in 1925, is in need of a five-year hull and machinery inspection and reports indicate she needs more work than can be financially justified on such an old vessel.

Please send any tow photos or sightings to news@boatnerd.net

Reported by Brian Wroblewski, Jason Leslie
 

 


Ottawa boosts marine security

4/28
The federal government is bolstering security along Canada's waterways and maritime borders with a new multi-agency policing centre, more patrol vessels, and increased screening and tracking measures at Canadian ports.

Details of the $300-million plan, promised in the recent federal budget, were outlined today at a southern Ontario marine centre by several Liberal MPs, including Roy Cullen, parliamentary secretary to Public Safety Minister Anne McLellan. "This funding for marine security allows us to address a key element of the National Security Policy and helps fulfill our commitment to work with the United States on collective security issues at our borders," Cullen said on behalf of McLellan.

The five-year plan includes expanding the use of radiation detection equipment to screen marine containers entering Canadian ports. Four new patrol vessels will also be added, to be jointly crewed by the RCMP and the Canadian Coast Guard. It will also enhance automatic identification system equipment for tracking vessels on the Upper Great Lakes and improve immigration screening of crews and passengers on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system.

The Navy's Halifax-class patrol frigates will also be upgraded to carry RCMP emergency response boats.

Reported by the Toronto Star / Canadian Press
 

 


Passport proposal scrapped

4/28
The Bush administration signaled Monday that it is withdrawing its plan to require passports for those motoring across the northern border by 2008. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said the government is "seeking alternatives" to the passport edict announced by his department and the State Department on April 5.

The original announcement that passports would be required for land crossings drew strong protests from businesses and institutions that depend on casual travel. For a family of four, passports would cost almost $300 and require months to obtain. Since at least the 1920s, all that has been needed to cross the border was a driver's license or a declaration of citizenship or residence.

Great Lakes bridge and tunnel operators said the passport mandate would virtually end spur-of-the-moment business and recreational trips between the United States and Canada. Schumer, who met with Chertoff and agency aides at Grand Central Station, said Chertoff wanted the public to know that the change in course "was consistent with President Bush's wishes."

Bush on April 14 indicated the department's announcement surprised him and said he wanted the plan reviewed. An official notice containing the proposed rule was to have been published last week. However, the rule, proposed by the Homeland Security and State departments, is still under review in the president's Office of Management and Budget.

There was no discussion, Schumer said, about withdrawing the passport edict for those traveling from the United States to the Caribbean as of 2006 or those flying between the United States and Canada and Mexico, as of 2007.

Spokesmen for Homeland Security on Monday confirmed they are "seeking alternatives" to passports but said that was their plan all along. Homeland Security "is not declaring that a passport will be the sole means of identification" for land border crossings, said department spokesman Jarrod Agen. "Passports will still be accepted" by border security officials, he said.

Christiana Halsey, spokeswoman for Customs and Border Protection, said passports "are always the preferred document," no matter how the review turns out. The era of terrorism begun by the attack on the World Trade Center requires stronger means of identification than a driver's license, she said. "There always needs to be a balance between security and facility," she said, "now that there is a need to better secure this country."

Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, D-Fairport, who demanded weeks ago that the passport mandate be scrapped, said she is heartened at the government's change of course. Sen. Hillary Rodman Clinton, D-N.Y., said she is "gratified" Chertoff acknowledged that the passport requirement "is not the ideal solution."

Reported by Douglas Turner, Buffalo News
 

 


Steelmakers report strong results

4/28
Two steelmakers that own Iron Range taconite plants recorded strong first-quarter financial results to kick-start what's expected to be one of the domestic steel industry's finest years of profitability.

U.S. Steel (NYSE: X) on Tuesday reported a first-quarter net income of $455 million, up sharply from $58 million in the first quarter of 2004. Mittal Steel Co. N.V. (NYSE: MT) recorded a first-quarter net income of $1.1 billion, doubling its net income of $529 million in the first quarter of 2004.

U.S. Steel owns and operates Minntac Mine in Mountain Iron and Keewatin Taconite. Mittal, which earlier this month merged with International Steel Group, is 62.3 percent owner of Hibbing Taconite Co. Bolstered by a restructured, more efficient industry and improved steel prices, domestic steel producers expect the remainder of the year to be robust.

"With a strong first quarter behind us, we anticipate another very profitable year with significant contributions from all of our business segments," John Surma, U.S. Steel president and CEO, said in a news release. Mittal shipped 10.4 million tons of steel during the first quarter compared to 10.1 million tons in the first quarter of 2004.

However, U.S. Steel shipments declined to about 5.1 million tons compared to about 5.6 million tons a year ago. Shipments of U.S. Steel flat-rolled products slipped to 3.5 million tons from 4.1 million tons in the first quarter of 2004, though flat-rolled net sales were $335 million in 2005 compared to $113 million in 2004. U.S. Steel's domestic iron ore production declined 230,000 tons during the first quarter from a little more than 5.6 million tons in 2004 to nearly 5.4 million tons this year. Iron ore shipments also declined, from 4 million tons last year to about 3.4 million tons in 2005.

Because Minnesota winters have a negative effect on iron ore production, U.S. Steel officials say they expect second-quarter results for other business segments to improve as iron ore production picks up. Minntac Mine and Keewatin Taconite are forecast to produce about 20 million tons of taconite pellets in 2005. Ispat Inland Mining Co., owned by Mittal, should produce about 2.9 million tons.

AK Steel (NYSE: AKS) also reported quarterly results Tuesday. The company's net income of $59.2 million declined from $165.4 million during the comparable 2004 period. A year ago, AK included an after-tax gain of $174.9 million on the sale of a noncore asset.

Reported by Lee Bloomquist, Duluth News Tribune
 

 


Ferry to start up Friday, June 17

4/28
Bay Ferries Ltd., a Canadian company hired to run high-speed ferry service to Toronto for the City of Rochester, announced this afternoon that the ferry would resume service on Friday, June 17. Specific ticket prices have not yet been revealed, but the company indicated at a news conference in City Hall that rates would be comparable to last year's. Ticket packages also were promised. Bay Ferries indicated that reservations would be taken 30 days prior to launch, beginning in a few weeks.

Mayor William A. Johnson said he expected to be able to offer free tours of the ship in both Rochester and Toronto around the time of startup. The boat will be repainted, officials said, and the nickname will be changed from "The Breeze" to "The Cat."

The ferry, which is capable of carrying up to 774 passengers and 238 cars, began service to much fanfare last June. But after three months, the private operator shut it down because of financial problems. The city bought the ship for $32 million at a federal foreclosure auction in February.

Benjamin Douglas, president of the Rochester Ferry Co. board and a city council member, signed the final deal to hire Bay Ferries on Monday night. The board agreed in March to hire the company. Bay Ferries, which operates three ferry routes in eastern Canada and Maine, has been working on the project since March.

Reported by Rick Armon & Joseph Spector, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle
 

 


Public Photo Gallery Updated

4/28

New albums in the Shipping, Lighthouses, Model Building and Post Cards/Collectables/Artwork Galleries
Public Photo Gallery
 

 


Detroit Princess riverboat transformation

4/27
The long awaited arrival of the party boat Detroit Princess is due to take place soon. It has undergone a transformation from a successful casino into Detroit's newest attraction. It has been a tumultuous journey from Orange, Texas to Detroit. 7,000 miles, 4 hurricanes, some broken windows and a very tired crew finally got the boat to Toledo last fall. Here it underwent the out of water dry dock inspection and repairs. Our core crew has had the winter to get to know the boat and is now itching to take the first cruise up the Detroit River. Hiring for the 200 + jobs is taking place this week - from the bartenders and dishwashers to the Engineers and other Captains. Over the past few weeks over 60,000 pounds of supplies have been delivered to the boat. Ovens, silverware, glassware, bar supplies, linens, salt and pepper shakers, dry goods, turkeys, shrimp  etc.

Negotiations with the City are nearing an end with the arrival of the boat in downtown soon there after. We hope everyone comes down to welcome her to her new home.  It's been a long journey, and we appreciate all the support and enthusiasm Detroit has shown so far.   This year looks to be an incredible season!!

Feel free to check out more information on http://www.detroitprincess.com

Reported by Chris Clarke

Detroit Princess transformation photos.
 

 


Coast Guard searches for downed pilot

4/27
Coast Guard boat and helicopter rescue crews with the help of the Milwaukee Police Department and Fire Department boat crews are conducting extensive searches of the waters off of Cudahy, WI for a pilot who crashed landed in Lake Michigan five miles from shore.

The Coast Guard received notification from Police 911 Dispatch of a cell phone call for help that was received just before midnight central time on Monday.  The pilot called for help while treading water after his plane reportedly ran out of fuel and crashed into Lake Michigan.

The Coast Guard immediately launched its small boats from Station Milwaukee and a HH-65 Helicopter from Air Station Traverse City, MI. The plane is reportedly a Piper Archer, a single engine air plane that the pilot was flying from Michigan. The Coast Guard's three rescue boats and the helicopter have received assistance in the search from two Milwaukee Police Department rescue boats and a Milwaukee Fire Department Boat.

The search continued Tuesday after sunrise with the help of a HH-65 Helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit and a Canada Coast Guard C-130 rescue plane. The Lake Michigan water temperature is 46 degrees with three foot seas in the search area.


Follow-up: Coast Guard suspends search for missing pilot

The Coast Guard suspended the search for Jonathan Leber at 3:47 p.m. Tuesday after conducting 13 searches covering more than 1390 square miles.The search was conducted by Coast Guard boat and helicopter rescue crews with the help of the Canadian Coast Guard, the Milwaukee Police Department and Fire Department.

Jonathan Leber is a twenty-year-old resident of Springfield, VA.  He currently resides in Water town, WI. where he attends the Maranatha Baptist Bible College. He was reportedly flying a Piper Archer, a single engine aircraft across Lake Michigan when he ran out of fuel and crash-landed into the lake five miles from shore just off of Cudahy, WI.

The Coast Guard received notification from Milwaukee Sheriff 911 Dispatch of a cell phone call for help that was received just before midnight central time.  While floating in the water he called the 911 to report his condition, that call along with notification from the Federal Aviation Administration sparked the immediate search and rescue effort.

The Coast Guard launched its small boats from Station Milwaukee and a HH-65 Helicopter from Air Station Traverse City, MI.  The search continued after sunrise with the help of a HH-65 Helicopter from Air Station Detroit and a Canadian Coast Guard C-130 rescue plane. The Coast Guard's three rescue boats and the helicopters have received assistance in the search from two Milwaukee Police Department rescue boats and a Milwaukee Fire Department Boat.The Lake Michigan water temperature is 43 degrees with three foot seas in the search area.

Reported by the U.S. Coast Guard
 

 


Community struggles with fate of ore docks

4/27
The Two Harbors ore docks may not be elegant, but they are historic -- and some consider them to be in danger. The industrial complex at Agate Bay in Two Harbors is among sites on a list -- to be released in May -- compiled by the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota.

Each year the organization lists the 10 most-endangered historic properties in Minnesota. There were about 30 nominations this year, Alliance Chairman Roger Randall said. Agate Bay and the three ore docks that jut into Lake Superior were chosen because of their unique contribution to the country's industrial heritage, according to the Alliance.

"The docks helped move the ore for the steel that built America," said Charlene Roise, a principal of the historical consultant company Hess, Roise and Co. of Minneapolis. She helped nominate Agate Bay for this year's list. Historical properties "aren't just pretty houses and churches," Roise said.

The list is designed to generate discussion about which properties are worth preserving, Randall said. When the old St. Louis County Jail in Duluth made the list in 2004, it caught the attention of an East Coast law enforcement official who has been making inquiries about buying and renovating the building, Duluth Preservation Alliance board member Deb Kellner said. "The list works," Kellner said. "People from across the country can see what's going on, and otherwise they wouldn't even know these properties are endangered."

Agate Bay remains a working harbor. Two of the three ore docks are in use, though the land surrounding the bay is in transition. The Department of Natural Resources recently purchased 27 acres on Agate Bay from Twin Cities developer Sam Cave to build a safe harbor and marina. Cave owns other acreage in Agate Bay and plans a nearby condominium development.

"When you start introducing residential uses to the bay, that comes in conflict with the past industrial uses," Roise said. "It's important for people to stop and think about what that means."

In 1884, the Duluth and Iron Range Railway began laying tracks toward what would become Two Harbors to begin hauling iron ore from the Iron Range to the Lake Superior harbor, according to the Cultural Landscape Foundation, based in Washington, D.C. Soon after, the ore docks came into use. The oldest surviving dock in Agate Bay is Dock #6. The dock is 952 feet long and could hold 43,246 tons of ore. It was built in the early 1900s, the first of its type to be built of concrete and steel instead of wood. Dock #2 was remodeled in the late 1970s to move taconite pellets, rather than raw ore. The brick roundhouse and nearby shops were abandoned in the early 1960s.

The Alliance typically generates new listings each year to keep things fresh and public interest high, Randall said. But that doesn't mean that past listings, such as the St. Louis County Jail, are necessarily out of danger.

"I think the roundhouse is historic and should be saved," Cave said. "And the ore docks themselves are still a working business. I wish (the Alliance) luck in preserving them."

In the end, it may be Cave and Two Harbors city officials who decide the fate of the town's industrial waterfront. Many people in Two Harbors have a love-hate relationship with the railroad company and the harbor activities, Roise said. "You can't freeze history," Roise said. "But when things change in certain ways, it can change the character of a place. It can start erasing history."

Reported by Janna Goerdt, Duluth News Tribune
 

 


Researchers to study Lake Erie's central basin this summer and next

4/26
Scientists will take a sweeping look at Lake Erie starting in May in what is being called one of the largest research projects ever on the Great Lakes. The story was reported in Monday's Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The two-year international project, led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will focus on the lake's food chain, which starts at the microscopic level and goes up to predator fish, such as walleye, bass and burbot. As many as 10 research ships will concentrate on the lake's central basin,
an area from Huron to Erie, Pa., that has seen fluctuating levels of phosphorus and lower levels of oxygen over the last decade.

Researchers will try to understand why low oxygen levels recur in the central basin and whether they affect fish and other aquatic creatures. Researchers will measure phosphorus and other physical and biological characteristics of Lake Erie from May through October to help understand how they affect lower oxygen levels.

Phosphorus in fresh water serves as a nutrient. It washes off from yards and farm fields where it is used as a fertilizer and winds up in the lake. Phosphorus also is discharged into the lake from sewage treatment plants. Research over the past few years shows the leading culprits for the phosphorus change are zebra and quagga mussels, exotic invaders from Ukraine and Asia that have arrived in ship ballast water since 1988. The fingernail-size clams filter microscopic organisms out of the water and expel vast amounts of phosphorus, which is then concentrated along the shoreline and lake bottom.

The higher phosphorus levels are causing more algae to grow. Of particular concern is microcystis, a blue-green algae that is inedible and, in the right conditions, can release toxins that can affect fish and other aquatic life, Knight said.

When phosphorus is abundant, the "bad" blue-green algae out-competes the "good" green algae, which is at the base of the lake's food chain and is eaten by free-floating microscopic animals in the water, Knight said. When the "bad" algae dies, it sinks to the bottom, rots and uses up oxygen. That was the problem in the 1960s when the lake looked like pea soup and was considered dead.

Reported by the Cleveland Plain Dealer
 

 


Southdown Challenger fit-out to begin in mid-May

4/26
The 99-year-old cement carrier Southdown Challenger will be  moving over to the old grain elevator dock in Milwaukee (near the Heavy Lift Dock) shortly and the crew will be reporting back for fit-out on May 16. The Challenger should be moving again by the beginning of June.

The news comes amid concerns that because of Cemex's sale to St. Mary's Cement recently the veteran steamer would not run this year. No mention has been made of a name change; the barge Cemex Conquest had the "Cemex" part of her name painted out earlier this year as she is out simply as "Conquest."

Reported by Kevin Rogers
 

 


Canada to bolster marine security

4/26
The Canadian government is bolstering security along Canada's waterways and maritime borders, it is reported here Friday. Details of the 300-million-dollar plan, promised in the recent federal budget, were outlined Friday at a southern Ontario marine centre by several members of Parliament, including Roy Cullen, parliamentary secretary to Public Safety Minister Anne McLellan. "This funding for marine security allows us to address a key element of the National Security Policy and helps fulfil our commitment to work with the United States on collective security issues at our borders," Cullen said.

The five-year plan includes expanding the use of radiation detection equipment to screen marine containers entering Canadian ports. Four new patrol vessels will also be added to improve immigration screening of crews and passengers on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system. The Navy's Halifax-class patrol frigates will also be upgraded to carry police emergency response boats, according to Cullen.

Reported by Fred Waterer
 

 


Port Reports

4/26
Toledo, OH:
Reported by Jim Hoffman
The salt water vessel Dobrush was at the Midwest Terminal Dock unloading cargo. The salt water vessel Irma was at Andersons "K" Elevator loading grain. The tug Anglian Lady with her barge was at the B-P Dock loading cargo.

At the Shipyard, the tug Frank Pallidino is in the small drydock, the riverboat Detroit Princess is in the small slip north of the yard while the Courtney Burton remains at the old Interlake Iron Dock just north of the yard.

The next coal boats due into the CSX Docks will be the Herbert C. Jackson, Saginaw, and Middletown on Tuesday, followed by the CSL Niagara on Thursday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Dock will be the Nanticoke on Tuesday, followed by the Frontenac on Wednesday. The Capt. Henry Jackman is due into the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock on Tuesday. The H. Lee White remains at the CSX# one dock undergoing repairs, while the Buckeye remains in lay-up at the Lakefront Docks.

Toronto, ON:
Reported by Charlie Gibbons
The salty Irma got under way on Friday morning for the Welland Canal. Stephen B. Roman came out of her temporary lay-in and went to Picton for cement - she returned to port Sunday morning. The city Works Dept. tug Ned Hanlan (2) was refloated at the Keating Channel on Friday and returned to service over the weekend.

Saginaw River:
Reported by Todd Shorkey
The Canadian Transfer was inbound the Saginaw River passing the pump out station Monday afternoon around 1:30.  She unloaded at the NorthStar Dock in Essexville then turned from the dock and was outbound passing the front range light at 9:30pm. The tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort & barge Great Lakes Trader were inbound Monday evening passing the front range around 7pm.  They lightered at the Wirt Stone Dock in Bay City, and then departed for the Wirt Dock in Saginaw to finish unloading around 10pm.

Marquette, MI:
Reported by Lee Rowe
The Pathfinder made a trip to the upper harbor ore dock Monday while the Wolverine went to the lower harbor Shiras Power Plant dock.

Sault Ste. Marie:
Reported by Jon Paul Michaels
Monday started off with a mix of rain and snow and very little traffic on the St. Marys River. The saltie Viken was down the MacArthur at 8:00am and later the Armco passed down the Poe at 9:30am. The USCGC Buckthorn spent most of the day working buoys in the lower river from Munuscong Bay to Lime Island and The Pipe Islands. The Calypso was down the locks before noon and the vessel traffic started to pick up as the Columbia Star locked up at 12:30. The Algonorth locked down with grain at 1:30pm as the Walter J McCarthy locked up. The CSL Tadoussac was down at 3:30 as the Michipicoten went in to Algoma Steel to unload. The Stewart J Cort locked down at 4:30pm and met the upbound Lee A Tregurtha at 9 mile Point. The Algonova reported down at Point Louise at 5:00pm. The James R Barker came down at 9:00pm and was followed by the Michipicoten which was done unloading at Algoma and was headed light to Cedarville for a load of stone.

(From Friday) With the new shipping season almost a month old, traffic in the St. Marys River is beginning to balance out after the initial rush to get stockpiles replenished. The Indiana Harbor was down the Poe lock at 5:00 am and the next vessel to lock through wasn’t until the CSL Tadoussac passed up at 9:00 am. The tug Avenger IV and the barge PML 9000 departed Sault Ontario with a load of coiled steel and passed down at Mission Point at 7:45am. The USCGC Buckthorn continued working buoys and is now concentrating on the upper river around Point Iroquois. The Algonorth was upbound through the MacArthur Lock at 10:30am and the Armco was up the Poe at noon. The Stewart J. Cort passed through the Poe at 6:00pm.

Buffalo, NY:
Reported by Brian Wroblewski
I have some interesting information to pass on about the S.Park Ave. Lift Bridge. An inside source says that work has been delayed by a union strike. Improvements involve complete replacement of all lifting equipment, new roadway approaches, and a rebuilt bridge deck. The bridge is going to be left in the raised position for the summer and down for the winter. Eventually the city is planning on automating all of their bridges and operating them from a control center without tenders on site at each location. 

The Herbert C Jackson was unloading grain at the ADM Standard Elevator at 8:00 Sunday morning. She looked to be about 1/3 unloaded so she must have come in last night. I would assume she will head out this evening.

Alpena, MI:
Reported by Ben & Chanda McClain
The Cuyahoga brought a load of sand to the Alpena Oil Dock in the Thunder Bay River around 1am in the morning  on Thursday. The U.S. Coast Guard vessel Acacia was observed heading into Lafarge on Thursday evening and has been tied up there throughout the weekend. Also in port is the Durocher tug Valerie B, which is tied up in the river near the 2nd Ave bridge. The Alpena is waiting out the weather in Milwaukee and the Integrity is doing likewise in South Chicago. The Great Lakes Trader remained tied up at the Stoneport dock to wait out the storm.
 

 


Announcement

4/26
Ride alongside the tall ship Red Witch as she sails into Chicago, her new homeport

Lakeshore Sail Charters LLC proudly announces that on May 15, 2005, the schooner Red Witch will arrive in Chicago, making her the only wooden tall ship to have residence there. We invite the press to ride in the designated boat next to Red Witch as she makes her way past the lighthouse, the ceremonial water cannons of the fire boat, and into Burnham Harbor, next to the Museum Campus.

Red Witch is a 77-foot Gaff rig topsail schooner whose designer was John G. Alden, long considered to be one of the world’s greatest naval architects and classic yacht designers. Her dramatic bright crimson hull is constructed from mahogany over cypress frames, with a Douglas fir deck.  Named after the epic sea story Wake of the Red Witch, by Garland Roark, the spacious salon is decorated with original posters and pictures from the 1949 film, starring John Wayne and Gail Russell.

Built in 1986 specifically for charter passenger travel, Red Witch has enjoyed a long pedigree of charter sailing, beginning in Hawaii and San Diego, moving to the Great Lakes about ten years ago. She has also been a registered exhibition tall ship, and was a participant in the 2003 Chicago Tall Ship Festival, as well as the State of Ohio Bicentennial celebration in 2003, where she was awarded flagship status. Red Witch is a member of the American Sail Training Association (ASTA), and has been used as an educational platform for traditional rig sailing and maritime history. In Chicago, she will be conveniently docked in Burnham Harbor, adjacent to Museum Campus, McCormick Convention Center, and Soldier Field.

The Schooner Red Witch will be available to the public for charter events such as day sails, evening cruises, fireworks cruises, and other Chicago special events, as well as private parties and corporate events. Passengers will enjoy the comfort of Red Witch as the two cabin tops are at chair height and provide comfortable seating. Wide decks and safety rails allow for easy movement. The weight of the vessel, along with the steadying effect of the wind in the sails, ensures a comfortable relaxing motion, soothing to sailors and non-sailors alike. She is fully inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard and licensed to carry up to 49 passengers.

Lakeshore Sail Charters LLC, a Chicago-based, female-owned company, was founded in 2003 by Dr. Karen Randall. Call Dr. Randall or Captain Bruce to make reservations for the press boat at 708-769-4220 or send an e-mail to redwitch@lakeshoresail.com.  To visit our website go to www.lakeshoresail.com.

Reported by Bruce Randall

Red Witch starboard side view.
 

 


Public Photo Gallery Updated

4/26

New albums in the Shipping, Lighthouses, Model Building and Post Cards/Collectables/Artwork Galleries
Public Photo Gallery
 

 


Today in Great Lakes History

4/26
On 26 April 1859, the wooden schooner A SCOTT was carrying limestone blocks for a large Presbyterian church being built at Vermilion, Ohio.  The vessel was driven ashore near Vermilion by a gale and was quickly pounded to pieces.  Her insurance had expired about ten days earlier.  No lives were lost.

ALGOWEST (Hull#226) by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., was launched April 26, 1982.  Renamed PETER R CRESSWELL in 2001.

Sea trials were conducted April 26, 1984, on Lake Ontario for the CANADIAN RANGER.

An unfortunate incident happened on the SEWELL AVERY as four crew members were injured, one critically, when a lifeboat winch housing exploded shortly after a lifeboat drill in 1978.

Paterson’s CANADOC (Hull#627) by Davie Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., was launched April 26, 1961.

BENSON FORD (Hull#245) by Great Lakes Engineering Works was launched in 1924.

In 1982, carferry service from Frankfort, Michigan ended forever when railroad service to that port was discontinued and the remaining boats (ARTHUR K ATKINSON, VIKING, and CITY OF MILWAUKEE) were laid up. CITY OF MILWAUKEE is preserved as a museum ship by the Society for the Preservation of the CITY OF MILWAUKEE

On 26 April 1902, M P BARKLOW (wooden schooner, 104 foot, 122 gross tons, built in 1871 at Perry, Ohio), loaded with salt, was anchored off South Bass Island in Lake Erie to ride out a gale. Nevertheless she foundered and four lives were lost, the skipper, his wife, their son and one crewman.

On 26 April 1926, THOMAS GAWN (2-mast wooden schooner-barge, 171 foot, 550 gross tons, built in 1872 at Lorain, Ohio as a 3-mast schooner) sprang a leak and sank at River Rouge, Michigan in the Detroit River. The wreck was removed the following month and abandoned. She had a 54 year career.

4/25
On 25 April 1888, JESSIE MAGGIE (wooden schooner, 63 foot, 49 gross tons) was re-registered as a 2-masted schooner.  She was built on a farm in Kilmanagh, Michigan in 1887, as a 3-masted schooner and she was launched near Sebewaing, Michigan.  It took 16 spans of oxen to haul her over frozen ground to the launch site. She lasted until 1904.

Interlake Steamship’s WILLIAM J DE LANCEY (Hull#909) of American Ship Building Co., was christened April 25, 1981.  Renamed b.) PAUL R. TREGURTHA in 1990.

On April 25, 1973, the self-unloading boom on CSL’s TADOUSSAC of 1969,  collapsed while she was at Sandusky, Ohio.

In 1925 the ANN ARBOR 4 was back in service after running aground on February 13th off Kewaunee, Wisconsin.

In 1973, it was announced that the CITY OF SAGINAW 31, would be scrapped after a fire which destroyed her cabin deck in 1971.

Hall Corp. of Canada’s bulk canaller a.) ROCKCLIFFE HALL (Hull#615) by Davie Shipbuilding & Repair Ltd., was launched April 25, 1958. Converted to a tanker in 1972, renamed b.) ISLAND TRANSPORT, and c.) ENERCHEM LAKER in 1987.

Pittsburgh Steamship Co.’s BENJAMIN F FAIRLESS (Hull#824) by American Ship Building Co., was launched April 25, 1942.

Mutual Steamship Co.’s WILLIAM LIVINGSTONE (Hull#41) by Great Lakes Engineering Works,  was launched April 25, 1908.  Renamed b.) S B WAY in 1936 and c.) CRISPIN OGLEBAY in 1948.  She was scrapped at Santander, Spain in 1974.

The PERCIVAL ROBERTS JR sailed light on her maiden voyage April 25, 1913, from Lorain to load ore at Two Harbors, Minnesota.

On April 25, 1954, the T R MC LAGAN (now OAKGLEN) entered service. At 714 feet 6 inches, she took the title for longest vessel on the Great Lakes from the JOSEPH H THOMPSON, beating the THOMPSON by three inches. The THOMPSON had held the honor since November 4, 1952.

Whaleback a.) FRANK ROCKEFELLER (Hull#136) by the American Steel Barge Co., was launched in 1896, for the American Steel barge Co., Pickands, Mather & Co., mgr.  Converted to a sand dredge and renamed b.) SOUTH PARK in 1927 and converted to a tanker and renamed.c.) METEOR in 1945. 

On April 25, 1949, CSL’s GRAINMOTOR collided with the abutment of the railroad bridge above Lock 2 of the Lachine Canal.

The wooden schooner OTTAWA was launched on 25 April 1874, at Grand Haven, Michigan. She was owned by Capt. William R. Loutill and could carry 180,000 feet of lumber.

T S CHRISTIE (wooden propeller, 160 foot, 533 gross tons) was launched at F. W. Wheeler's yard (Hull #22) in W. Bay City, Michigan on 25 April 1885. She was built for the Bay City & Cleveland Transportation Company at a cost of $45,000. Originally built as a double deck vessel, she was cut down to a single decker at Chicago in 1902.

4/24
On 24 April 1872, the 3-mast wooden schooner JENNIE GRAHAM was sailing up Lake Huron to pick up a load of lumber.  She was light and at full sail when a sudden squall caused her to capsize.  Two crew members were trapped below decks and died.  Captain Duncan Graham was washed away and drowned.  The remaining seven crew members clung to the overturned hull for about an hour and then the vessel unexpectedly turned upwards and lay on one side.  The crew was then able to cut away a lifeboat and get in it.  They were later picked up by the schooner SWEEPSTAKES.  The GRAHAM was salvaged and taken to Port Huron for repairs.

The ONTADOC sailed from Collingwood, Ontario on her maiden voyage on April 24, 1975, for Sault Ste. Marie, Onario. to load steel for Duluth, Minnesota. Renamed b) MELISSA DESGAGNES in 1990.

Pittsburgh Steamship Co.’s D M CLEMSON (Hull#716) of the American Ship Building Co., departed Lorain on her maiden voyage April 24, 1917, to load iron ore at Duluth, Minnesota.

The B F JONES left Quebec on April 24, 1973, in tandem with her former fleet mate EDWARD S KENDRICK towed by the Polish tug KORAL heading for scrapping in Spain.

The wooden schooner WELLAND CANAL was launched at Russell Armington's shipyard at St. Catharines, Ontario. She was the first ship built at St. Catharines and the first to navigate the Welland Canal when it opened between St. Catharine's and Lake Ontario on 10 May 1828.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Steve Haverty, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.  This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.
 

 


18-foot Coast Guard boat sinks

4/23
Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team Duluth’s 18-foot workboat sank in the Spirit Lake Region of the St. Louis River at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 20.

The crew of the workboat was setting navigational buoys along the St. Louis River when they noticed that the boat was taking on water. The crew turned the boat back towards shore when, despite the efforts of the four-person crew, the boat sank. The four Coast Guardsmen swam to a local marina where they reported the incident. All four crewmembers were wearing cold weather survival suits and made it out of the water without injuries.

The 18-foot boat is resting in seven feet of water and is not impeding navigation of the waterway. The Coast Guard is working with a local salvage company to raise the boat.  Work was halted for the night to continue Thursday at 8 a.m.

The cause of the sinking is unknown at this time.

Reported by the U.S. Coast Guard
 

 


News Photo Gallery Updated

4/23

News Photo Gallery updated. 

Note:  This page will generally be used only for photos related to recent news or port/area reports.  Photos of your visits to the various ship watching locations, trips etc. can now be posted in your own albums created in the Public Gallery.  Just click on the Public Photo Gallery link and follow the instructions.
 

 


Public Photo Gallery Updated

4/23

New albums in the Shipping, Lighthouses, Model Building and Post Cards/Collectables/Artwork Galleries
Public Photo Gallery
 

 


Today in Great Lakes History

4/23
On 23 April 1883, STEPHEN S BATES (wooden schooner, 97 foot, 139 tons, built in 1856 at Manitowoc, Wisconsin) was bound from Horne’s Pier, Wisconsin with posts and hardware for Chicago when she was driven into the shallows just north of Grosse Point, Illinois by a storm and broke up.  No lives were lost.

In 1953, the PERE MARQUETTE 22 was cut in half, then pulled apart and lengthened by 40 feet, as part of a major refit at Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Also during this refit, her triple expansion engines were replaced with Skinner Unaflows, and her double stacks were replaced with a single, tapered stack. The refit was completed August 28, 1953.

On April 23, 1966, the JOSEPH S WOOD was towed to the Ford Rouge complex at Dearborn, Michigan by her new owners, the Ford Motor Company, she was renamed c.) JOHN DYKSTRA.

Canada Steamship Lines FORT YORK was commissioned April 23, 1958.

On April 23, 1980, the ARTHUR B HOMER's bow thruster failed while maneuvering through ice at Taconite Harbor, Minnesota, resulting in a grounding which damaged her bow and one ballast tank.

The a.) GRIFFIN (Hull#12) by the Cleveland Ship Building Co. was launched April 23, 1891, for the Lake Superior Iron Mining Co.  Renamed b.) JOSEPH S SCOBELL in 1938 and scrapped at Rameys Bend, Ontario in 1971.

On April 23, 1972, PAUL H CARNAHAN arrived at the Burlington Northern Docks at Superior, Wisconsin to load 22,402 gross tons of iron ore bound for Detroit, opening the 1972 shipping season at Superior.

On 23 April 1859, at about midnight, the schooner S BUTTLES was fighting a severe gale. She was carrying staves from Port Burwell, Ontario to Clayton, New York and sprung a leak while battling the gale. While manning the pumps, one man was washed overboard, but his shipmates quickly rescued him. Capt. Alexander Pollock beached the vessel to save her about 10 miles east of the Genesee River.

On 23 April 1882, GALLATIN (2-mast wooden schooner, 138 foot, 422 tons, built in 1863 at Oswego, New York) was carrying pig iron from St. Ignace, Michigan to Erie, Pennsylvania when she sprang a leak in a storm on Lake Erie. She struck bottom on Chickanolee Reef and foundered in shallow water at Point Pelee. Her crew was saved from the rigging by the fishing sloop LIZZIE

4/22
On 22 April 1872, Capt. L. R. Boynton brought the wooden propeller WENONA into Thunder Bay to unload passengers and freight at Alpena, Michigan.  The 15 inch thick ice stopped him a mile from the harbor.  The passengers got off and walked across the ice to town.  Later, because of the novelty of it, a couple hundred people from Alpena walked out to see the steamer.  In the evening, Capt. Boynton steamed back to Detroit without unloading any of the cargo.

American Steamship Co.’s, ST.CLAIR (Hull#714) was christened April 22, 1976, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin by Bay Shipbuilding Corp..

The CHICAGO TRIBUNE of 1930, laid up for the last time at Toronto on April 22, 1986.

CSL’s HOCHELAGA of 1949, lost her self-unloading boom during a windstorm at Windsor, Ontario. on April 22, 1980. As a consequence she made ten trips hauling grain as a "straight decker".

CHARLES M WHITE was commissioned April 22, 1952, at South Chicago, Illinois. She was soon recognized as one of the fastest ships on the Great Lakes because of her ability to reach speeds in excess of 17 knots (19.6 mph).

On 22 April 1871, the 210 foot, 4 mast wooden schooner JAMES COUCH was launched at Port Huron, Michigan. She was named for a prominent Chicago businessman of the times.

On 22 April 1872, EVA M CONE (wooden schooner, 25 tons, built in 1859 at Oconto, Wisconsin) was carrying lumber from Port Washington to Milwaukee on an early-season run when she struck on ice floe, capsized and sank just outside of Milwaukee harbor. Her crew made it to safety in her lifeboat.

4/21
On 21 April 1863, SEABIRD (wooden side-wheel steamer, 638 tons, built in 1859, at Newport [Marine City], Michigan) was purchased by Capt. A. E. Goodrich from Capt. E. Ward for $36,000.  She served primarily on the Lake Michigan west-shore and Lake Superior routes until she burned in 1868.

The EDWIN H GOTT cleared Two Harbors, Minnesota, with her first cargo, 59,375 tons of iron ore, on April 21, 1979, bound for Gary, Indiana.

Interstate Steamship’s a.) WILLIS L KING (Hull#79) by the Great Lakes Engineering Works, departed on her maiden voyage with a load of coal from Toledo, Ohio on April 21, 1911 bound for Superior, Wisconsin. Renamed b) C L AUSTIN in 1952 and was scrapped at Ashtabula, Ohio in 1985.

On April 21, 1988, P & H Shipping Ltd.’s, d.) BIRCHGLEN, a.) WILLIAM MC LAUGHLIN, was towed off the Great Lakes by the tugs ELMORE M MISNER and ATOMIC bound for Sydney Nova Scotia to be scrapped. 

Panda Steamship Co., G.A. Tomlinson, mgr.’s a.) WILLIAM H WARNER (Hull#784) by American Ship building Co., was launched April 21, 1923.  Renamed b.) THE INTERNATIONAL in 1934, c.) MAXINE in 1977, d.) J F VAUGHAN in 1981 and e.) OAKGLEN in 1983.  Scrapped at Aliaga, Turkey in 1989.

Pittsburgh Steamship Co’s, HOMER D WILLIAMS (Hull#720) by American Ship Building Co., Lorain, Ohio, was launched in 1917.

April 21, 1998 - The PERE MARQUETTE 41 (former CITY OF MIDLAND 41) was towed to Sturgeon Bay from Muskegon for the remainder of the conversion. She was towed by the tugs MARY PAGE HANNAH and the CARL WILLIAM SELVICK.

On 21 April 1868, GERTRUDE (2-mast wooden schooner, 137 foot, 268 tons, built in 1855 at Cleveland, Ohio) was carrying corn from Chicago to Buffalo when she was cut by the ice four miles west of Mackinaw City and sank in deep water. Her crew made it to shore in the yawl.

4/20
On 20 April 1851, the COMET (wooden side-wheel steamer, 174 foot, 337 gross tons, built in 1848, at Portsmouth [Kingston], Ontario) had her boiler explode as she was departing Oswego, New York.  8 crew members were killed.  The vessel was later raised, rebuilt in Montreal, and put back in service as the MAYFLOWER.  She last until 1861, when she sank in Lake Ontario when she collided with the schooner EXCHANGE.

On April 20, 1960, Bethlehem Steel’s ARTHUR B HOMER (Hull#303)  entered service. She was the last vessel built by the Great Lakes Engineering Works.  She was scrapped at Port Colborne, Ontario in 1986.

The 3-mast schooner CAMDEN was launched at Cleveland, Ohio on 20 April 1872.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Steve Haverty, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.  This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.
 

 


Man fined $10K for hoax call to Coast Guard

4/22
A federal judge in Detroit last week ordered a North Carolina man to pay $10,000 in restitution for making a false distress call to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Bradley Paul Taylor, formerly of Rochester Hill, Mich., was sentenced to two years probation and four months house confinement after pleading guilty in January to making a false district call. Taylor admitted, through his guilty plea, that on the night of June 1, 2003, he contacted the Coast Guard on VHF channel 16 stating his vessel was taking on water in Lake St. Clair.  Rescue boats from Coast Guard Stations Belle Isle and St. Clair Shores and a helicopter from the Coast Guard air station at Selfridge responded to the distress call.  Taylor was actually on board a vessel docked at a Detroit area marina.

"False distress calls not only cost taxpayers money and place Coast Guard members at increased personal risk, but more importantly, they divert limited resources from mariners who are in actual distress," stated Capt. Paul Preusse, chief of operations for the Ninth Coast Guard District in Cleveland.

Reported by the U.S. Coast Guard
 

 


Port Reports

4/22
Saginaw, MI:
Reported by Todd Shorkey
The tug Invincible & barge McKee Sons was outbound the Saginaw River Thursday morning after unloading overnight at the Saginaw Rock Products dock. Inbound early Thursday morning was the tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort & barge Great Lakes Trader.  It is not known what dock they unloaded at. They were outbound from the Sixth Street turning basin Thursday afternoon headed for the lake. The CSL Tadoussac was also an overnight arrival, calling on the Essroc Terminal in Essexville to unload clinker.  She finished her unload by late Thursday morning and was backing out of the river to turn around at Light 12 of the entrance channel out in Saginaw Bay.

Reported by Gordy Garris:
The Saginaw River was busy with up to 4 vessels that could be seen on the banks of the river all day Thursday. The McKee Son/Invincible were outbound the Saginaw River early Thursday morning after unloading overnight at the Saginaw Rock Products dock. The McKee Sons headed outbound for the lake, expected to load at Stoneport. The American Republic was also outbound the Saginaw River early Thursday morning after unloading overnight at the Bay Aggrate dock in Essexville. The tug Joyce L. VanEnkvort and the barge Great Lakes Trader were inbound the Saginaw River early Thursday morning. The pair continued upriver to unload at the Burroughs dock in Saginaw. The pair were passing outbound at the I-75 bridge in Zilwaukee just after 12pm, headed outbound for the lake. The Canadian Transfer was inbound the Saginaw River early Thursday evening with a load of Potash from Thunder Bay for the North Star dock in Essexville. The Transfer is expected to be outbound the Saginaw River early Friday morning.

Buffalo:
Reported by Brian Wroblewski

The Rebecca Lynn and her barge were gone by the morning. The Canadian Enterprise departed the Lackawanna Ship Canal at 9AM bound for Ashtabula. She had just unloaded what seemed to be a large pile of salt at the South end of the Gateway Metroport Terminal.
 

 


New study takes aim at saltwater vessel ballast water

4/21
Oceangoing freighters which are supposed to be clean before entering the Great Lakes carry billions of foreign organisms into the freshwater seas each year, including saltwater algae, invertebrates and potentially deadly bacteria.

According to a five-year study by the University of Michigan and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, freighters that enter the lakes via the St. Lawrence Seaway with no "ballast on board" – so called No-BOB vessels – routinely carry thousands of viable organisms in muddy water that sloshes around in empty ballast tanks. Those organisms can escape when ships take on and unload ballast water while in Great Lakes harbors.

Researchers also found that two-thirds of the 42 ships sampled carried potentially deadly organisms in ballast water tanks that were supposed to be empty and clean, including cholera and cryptosporidium. In 1993, cryptosporidium from an unknown source contaminated Milwaukee's drinking water system, killing more than 100 people and making 400,000 others ill.

The study's authors said immediate action is needed to stem the flow of exotic organisms and pathogens entering the lakes in freighters' ballast tanks. One possible remedy: Requiring all transcontinental freighters to completely empty and refill ballast tanks with salt water before entering the Great Lakes.

"These findings clearly indicate a need for development of either ship management or ... treatment processes that ensure that fresh or brackish (mildly salty) water residuals from offshore are not co-mingled with freshwater ballast discharged within the Great Lakes," according to the 285-page study, reported this week in the Muskegon Chronicle.

Presently, ships heading for the Great Lakes are required to exchange any ballast water at sea and report their ballast-water load at a station in Montreal. But most freighters headed for the seaway are loaded with cargo and carry no ballast; nearly 90 percent enter the lakes as "no-BOBs."

The federal government in 1993 required ships entering the Great Lakes to exchange ballast water offshore. But those rules failed to regulate No-BOBs, ships that reported no ballast water on board when entering the St. Lawrence Seaway, which links the lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. No-BOBs often add and release ballast water at Great Lakes ports after unloading cargo, a process that allows microscopic organisms lingering in ballast tanks to escape.

A federal judge recently ruled that ships can no longer discharge ballast water containing exotic species in the United States without obtaining a discharge permit from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EPA officials have not yet decided whether to implement the judge's rule or appeal the ruling to a higher court.

Michigan lawmakers also are considering legislation that would require shipping companies to obtain a ballast water discharge permit to operate at the state's Great Lakes ports.

Shipping industry officials have said international rules are needed to stop the movement of species from one continent to another via freighters' ballast water.

Reported by The Muskegon Chronicle

 

 


Bay Ship Building announces barge contract

4/21
Bay Shipbuilding Co. Monday opened up a big Christmas present it has held under wraps since last Dec. 23: a contract to build another sophisticated barge The barge is being built for American Transport Leasing, which will use the vessel to distribute manufactured cement to 15 ports on the Great Lakes. The vessel will be equipped with computer-controlled unloading equipment and may be reconfigured, eventually, to discharge cement by means of a conveyor or pumps.

The contract actually was signed Dec. 23, 2004, said Patrick J. O’Hern, vice president of Bay Ship. Publicity restrictions by the customer delayed the formal announcement about the contract from then until now, he added. Prior to the news being released, however, Bay Ship began planning, engineering and purchasing material for the project, O’Hern said. Enough preliminary work has been done to begin fabrication of the barge, which measure 460 feet by 70 feet, in May. The shipyard is scheduled to complete the vessel in the next 12 months and deliver it to the customer in May 2006, O’Hern said.


The cement barge contract, plus three other pending projects has employment at Bay Ship up to 725 as of mid-April, O’Hern said. About 75 to 100 more workers in various trades – steel workers, welders, painters, pipe fitters and electricians – will be needed to complete all the work scheduled at the yard, he added. “The ‘Help Wanted’ sign is still out at the front gate,” O’Hern said.


In addition to the new barge, Bay Ship crews are working on three petroleum barges which will be delivered later this year. The barges will be used to haul petroleum products on the U.S. coasts. Two 372-foot barges are being built for Hornbeck Offshore Services of Covington, La., and one of slightly larger size for Moran Towing Corp. of Greenwich, Conn.


The cement barge will be similar to Integrity, a state-of-the-art cement-hauling barge completed in 1996 for the LaFarge Co. of Southfield, Mich. The 460-foot long Integrity was the first commercial vessel to be built on the Great Lakes since the bottom fell out of shipbuilding in 1986. The barge was mated to the tug Jacklyn M (now named G.L. Ostrander).


In the same manner, the newly contracted barge will be powered by a tug. While Bay Ship does not have a contract to build the tug-mate, O’Hern said the shipyard has a team inspecting a tug that can be remodeled to do the job. Bay Ship will be competing with other shipyards in a bidding process to get the remodeling work, he added.

Reported by Joe Knaapen, Advocate news editor
 

 


Army Corps cutting back on dredging

4/21
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will end dredging and maintenance of harbors with annual commerce of less than a million tons if President George Bush's funding proposal stands. The president has proposed cutting a half billion dollars from the corps' current $4.71 billion budget, leaving $4.21 billion for 2006 operations. The plan still needs congressional approval.

If the plan became permanent, it could have a dramatic effect on smaller harbors and inlets across the Great Lakes and along the Mississippi River. Two commercial harbors in the Upper Peninsula - Ontonagon and Menominee - would be affected.

"I would presume, after a while (small harbors) would become unusable to commercial marine traffic," said Wayne Schloop, the corps' chief of operations for Detroit. Schloop said the corps is trying to work within "what we refer to as performance-based budgeting."

"(Under this plan) any harbor that's below a million tons does not get dredged," he said.

Currently one ship is capable of entering the Ontonagon River from Lake Superior to deliver coal to a 60-megawatt power plant and Smurfit-Stone Container, the cardboard box company that is the county's top employer. "We get our coal in by ship. There used to be tracks, but those were removed," said the corporation's general manager, Chris Broome. Broome said the lost of coal deliveries by ship would hurt the mill's viability. "We're already at a disadvantage with shipping costs, higher than any other mill in our company," he said.

The community is also in the middle of a $24 million state and federal project to move a U.S. Highway 45 bridge upriver to allow more ships into the harbor.

The river dumps sediment into the small harbor; roughly 200,000 to 300,000 tons of product are unloaded at the dock annually. Shipping over land could force an estimated 100-plus-percent increase in freight charges for these and other businesses in the county, which has little else but a state park for major employment.

"For sure it would drive up the cost of transportation," said local Economic Development Corporation Director Dorothy Bussiere. "It does have the potential to close down businesses."

Reported by Pete Mackin, The Mining Journal
 

 


Major win for steel, mining: Tariffs live on

4/21
Tariffs should be kept on some steel imports for five years, a U.S. trade panel voted Thursday, a victory for the industry that wants to maintain the protection as it struggles to rebound from bankruptcies. The Commerce Department had determined that lifting the tariffs would result in more imports from Brazil, Japan and Russia, and the U.S. International Trade Commission voted 4-2 that those imports would harm the U.S. industry. That was the key finding that guaranteed the continuation of the tariffs.

Dale Hemmila, spokesman for Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., championed the ITC's decision. "The bottom line for us is that we're pleased to see this ruling," he said. "It will have a positive effect on our customers, and certainly that's a good thing for us. These types of laws are really the only defense the U.S. has against unfair trade. It's good to see them upheld by the trade commission."

CCI is the largest producer of iron ore pellets in North America. The company operates six iron ore mines located in the Upper Peninsula, Minnesota, and Eastern Canada, including the Empire Mine at Palmer and the Tilden Mine at National Mine.

The duties were implemented in 1999 to prevent a flood of low-priced hot-rolled steel from the three foreign markets. The three countries dumped about 7 million tons of hot-rolled steel in 1998, trade officials said, part of an unprecedented surge into the American market. A second wave of steel imports from 11 other countries led to additional tariffs in 2002, which President Bush lifted in late 2003.

"This decision is a victory for our steel industry. It will help protect the livelihood of our steelworkers, their families and their communities,'' said Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.

U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Menominee, said in a press release that he had submitted testimony to the ITC in March, asking it to retain antidumping and countervailing duty orders for hot-rolled steel. "I am pleased with the decision made by the ITC to continue antidumping and countervailing duty orders. This will do much more than help U.S. steel and iron ore industries. This outcome is essential to a strong domestic manufacturing sector and national defense at a time when our economy is fragile and our nation is at war," Stupak said.

Automakers, suppliers and domestic manufacturers that use steel said the tariffs were causing higher prices and harming their ability to stay competitive. Ford Motor Co. said in a statement that the decision "seriously impacts steel consuming manufacturers as well as our entire economy.'' The automaker predicted that the United States "will continue to see constrained supplies of steel and prices that are artificially high.''

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said the ruling was unfair and could lead to suppliers shifting their business overseas in order to remain competitive. A trade panel of the House Energy and Commerce Committee plans to hold hearings on the issue soon, he said. "This decision is the wrong decision, at the wrong time, for the wrong reasons,'' Rogers said.

Rep. Joe Knollenberg, R-Bloomfield Township, said: "Steel companies are making record profits, and the U.S. is an island of high steel prices. If the ITC won't end the duties now, when will they ever?''

The U.S. steel industry has rebounded and reorganized since the tariffs were first ordered and the sector turned a profit in 2004 for the first time in years.

International Steel Group was formed after the merging of several bankrupt steel companies, including LTV and Weirton, while U.S. Steel and Nucor each acquired other companies.

Reported by Scott Swanson, The Mining Journal & the Associated Press
 

 


Port Reports

4/21
Toledo, OH:
Reported by Jim Hoffman
On Wednesday, the Sam Laud was loading coal at the CSX Docks. The Algosteel was unloading ore at the Torco Ore Dock. The salt water vessel Dobrush was at the Midwest Terminal Dock unloading cargo. The tug/barge combo Michigan/Great Lakes was at the B-P Dock. The tug Karen Andrie with her barge was working her way outbound the Maumee River while the Mississagi was working her inbound the Maumee River bound for one of the Anderson Elevator complexes to load a grain cargo. The Canadian Ranger was at the ADM/Countrymark Elevator loading grain. The H. Lee White remains at the CSX #1 Dock for repairs.

At the Shipyard the tug Cheraw remained in the large drydock while the tug Frank Pallidino Jr. remained in the small drydock. The riverboat Detroit Princess
remains tied up in the small slip by the yard, while the Courtney Burton remains tied up at the old Interlake Dock just north of the yard. The Buckeye remains in lay-up at the Lakefront Docks. The former railroad carfloats Roanoke, Windsor, and Pere Marquette 10  remain in lay-up at the CSX Docks  "Frog Pond" area.

The next scheduled coal boats due into the CSX Docks will be the John J. Boland on Thursday, the Catherine Desgagnes and Reserve on Friday, the Arthur M. Anderson on Saturday, the Herbert C. Jackson on Monday, the Nanticoke on Tuesday, followed by the Lee A. Tregurtha and Saginaw on Wednesday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Dock will be the Atlantic Erie on Thursday, the Nanticoke on Monday, followed by the Frontenac on Thursday. The next scheduled stone boat due into the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock will be the Algorail on Thursday.

Saginaw, MI:
Reported by Todd Shorkey
Wednesday saw the tug Invincible & barge McKee Sons inbound with a split load.  The pair lightered at the Sargent dock in Essexville before continuing upriver to finish unloading at the Saginaw Rock dock. Also inbound was the American Republic who called on the Bay Aggregates dock around 12:30 in the afternoon. Both were expected to be outbound Wednesday night. 

Sault Ste. Marie:
Reported by Jon Paul Michaels

Wednesday started off rainy and cool but that didn’t dampen the early morning activity on the St. Marys River. The Columbia Star passed down the Poe Lock at 6:00am with the Cason J. Calloway following at 7:30am. As the Calloway checked down to take on supplies from the Ojibway the Algomarine met them upbound on their way to the MacArthur Lock. After locking up the Algomarine went to the Algoma Export Dock to take on a load of slag. It was expected to take 24 hours to complete the loading. The Michipicoten left Algoma Steel and reported up at Light 26 at 7:30am and met the downbound Burns Harbor above Point Louise.

The USCGC Buckthorn departed Base Soo at 8:30am and continued working buoys in the West Neebish Channel and Munuscong Channel. The big saltie Bluewing was down the Poe at 10:00 as the rain and mist dissipated and the skies began to clear. The Joseph L. Block came up the Poe at 11:30 followed and hour later by the saltie Daviken in the MacArthur. As the Daviken reached the upper pool the John D. Leitch was entering the Poe downbound. The Tug Dorothy Ann/Barge Pathfinder took the Daviken’s place in the MacArthur and was down at 1:30pm. The saltie Jana took the lowered Mac up at 2:00pm and the Edwin H. Gott was up the Poe at 2:30 headed for Two Harbors. Ship traffic hit a lull till the American Mariner came up the Poe at 5:30pm loaded with coal for Munising.

Marquette, MI:
Reported by Lee Rowe
The Mesabi Miner brought coal to Marquette's WE Power Plant on Tuesday while the Charles M. Beeghly took on ore.

Alpena, MI:
Reported by Ben & Chanda McClain
The Wolverine arrived in the bay around 6:30pm on Wednesday. Out on the horizon was the Alpena, the Wolverine waited outside the channel to Lafarge until the Alpena passed to enter port first. The Wolverine followed behind and tied up at the coal dock before 9pm to unload its cargo. The G.L Ostrander/barge Integrity is expected to be in port to load on Thursday.

The Arthur M. Anderson was due at Stoneport late on Wednesday night, followed by the John G. Munson and McKee Sons on Thursday.
 

 


McKeil and Manistee go their separate ways

4/20
After a nearly 10 year relationship, McKeil Marine and the port of Manistee have gone their separate ways.  Tuesday morning, around 7:00 am the tug Evans McKeil took up a bow line to the barge Salty Dog #1, which had been serving as a dock extension at the General Chemical facility which closed a few months ago.  The tug Lac Como, which had laid up in Manistee over the winter took up a stern line, and the trio headed outbound through the Manistee river.  The group cleared the Manistee pier heads around 9:00 am, heading upbound for Windsor.  The Evans McKeil and Salty Dog #1, captained by Capt. Wilf Seymour was the first of the McKeil vessels to visit Manistee several years ago.  This departure ends Manistee and McKeil Marine's ties, which have spanned four tank barges, seven tugboats, and one powered tanker.  Manistee's shipping traffic will be comprised of only dry bulk vessels henceforth.

Reported by Chris Franckowiak
 

 


Fire reported on Hornbeck barge

4/20
From Monday's Eagle Herald, a fire was reported aboard the Hornbeck barge under construction at Marinette Marine Co. According to the report, the Marinette Fire Department responded to a fire on the barge at 12:29 Saturday afternoon. Firefighters reported that some plastic sheeting on the bottom of the barge was melted in the fire. Crews were on the scene for about an hour and a half. The Hornbeck barge was towed to Marinette in late 2004 from Toledo Ohio where construction began.

Reported by Scott Best
 

 


Port Reports

4/20
Toronto, ON:
Reported by Charlie Gibbons
The tour boat Northern Spirit 1 was out for it's annual coast guard inspection Tuesday morning. Stephen B. Roman is still in port. She came in late Friday and is on a temporary hiatus as the Essroc cement silos are full, as is the storage barge Metis. The Lafarge cement ship English River was in and out over the weekend, as was Cuyahoga on her second visit of the season, dumping rock on the dock. The Canadian Ranger departed her fit out berth and headed for the Welland Canal late Monday.  After Kapitan Georgi Georgiev departed Redpath Sugar dock Friday morning, the salty Irma was assisted into the slip by McKiel's harbor tugs. Unloading of Irma continued Tuesday.

The tug Wendy B. enjoyed an overnight cruise Saturday with the soon to be previous owner and friends. She will depart shortly with the new owner for a new life on the Potomac River. A picture of Wendy B.'s haul out at the Atlas crane was featured in the "Toronto Star" Saturday issue.

The charter and tour boats are gearing up for the  season. The schooner Empire Sandy bent her sails Saturday. The tour boats Harbour Star and Miss Kim Simpson are already running and the charter vessels Yankee Lady II, Kajama, River Gambler and Showboat Royal Grace have already seen service. The tour and charter boat industries, and the tourism industry in general has been struggling in recent years. Hopefully this will be a better season .  

All of the yacht clubs have their workboats and tenders in service as the yachting crowd preps for another season. Not many sailboats on the water as yet, but the fine spring weather will have them out soon. The water taxis have also resumed service.

At the ferry docks, all the winter tarps have been removed from the ferries, with the exception of the side-wheel steamer Trillium. The ferry Wm. Inglis entered service on Friday as the spring schedule kicked in.

The Port Authority derrick barge T.H.C. 50 was loaded with channel markers today, and will begin placing them shortly. Also in the Keating Channel, construction continues on the new charter vessel Yankee Lady IV. At Toronto Drydock, the tour boat Wayward Princess is still undergoing a sprucing up. The McNally Construction Inc. tug Bagotville and spud barge McNally Olympic are still working at the Redpath dock damaged by Canadian Provider last fall. The latter vessel is the only one left in winter lay-up here. Algobay is still here, but she hasn't turned a wheel since 2002 and her fate remains questionable. At Harbourfront, the Soderholm tug Diver III and barge Y & F No. 1 are still working on the new finger dock construction project.

Saginaw, MI:
Reported by Todd Shorkey
The tug Joe Thompson & barge Joseph H. Thompson were inbound the Saginaw River late Tuesday evening carrying a split load.  The pair stopped at the Sargent dock in Essexville to lighter before continuing upriver to finish unloading at the Saginaw Rock Products dock in Saginaw.  They were expected to be outbound Wednesday morning. The US Coast Guard Cutter Hollyhock continues to work Aids to Navigation in the Saginaw Bay.
 

 


Fish tug "Jackie John" sinks off Ludington

4/20
The 36' Commercial trap net tug "Jackie John" sank off Ludington MI last weak in rough seas when it's bilge pumps failed. The two man crew was rescued by the Ludington Coast Guard after placing a distress call and a brief wait in the water. The Ludington Daily News reports that they were ok.

For more info, see http://www.ludingtondailynews.com/news.php?story_id=26972

 

 


Vintage fish tug to join museum collection

4/20
The 1929 wooden fish tug Jane has been donated to the Northeastern Maritime Historical Foundation and will be bound for their collection based on Lake Superior.  Built by Sturgeon Bay Boat Works, the 40-foot tug is powered by  a  D-318 Caterpillar diesel.  In 1960 the tug had its hull plated with steel  and  is in excellent condition today.
 
The Foundation is looking for  volunteers with confident mechanical and  navigational abilities to deliver the vessel from Washington Island, WI to the Soo.  This needs to happen anytime during the month of May.  The tug is in fine  running condition.  The trip would likely take 3 days, running day light only.  
  
Interested parties are encouraged to contact the Foundation at:  TugMuseum@aol.com

Tug Jane idling at her dock 2 weeks ago.
Stern view.
 

 


Announcement

4/20
David G. Brown speaking Sat. April 23rd in Cleveland
David G. Brown, author of "White Hurricane: a Great Lakes November gale and America's deadliest maritime disaster," will be discussing this book and the terrible 1913 blizzard, at a luncheon on Saturday, April 23rd, at 1:00 p.m. at the Flat Iron Cafe, in Cleveland's "Flats."  (corner of Center and Merwin streets, near the historic red Center St. Swing Bridge). 

For more information and reservation call Bill Barrow, at (216) 687-6998, or email w.barrow@csuohio.edu.
 

 


News Photo Gallery Updated

4/20

News Photo Gallery updated. 

Note:  This page will generally be used only for photos related to recent news or port/area reports.  Photos of your visits to the various ship watching locations, trips etc. can now be posted in your own albums created in the Public Gallery.  Just click on the Public Photo Gallery link and follow the instructions.
 

 


Port Reports

4/19
Duluth - Superior:
Reported by Al Miller
The heavy-lift saltie Bavaria was in port to deliver a cargo of wind turbines, including several giant windmill blades. The blades were stored at the Duluth port terminal over the weekend, dwarfing the semi-trucks that were moving them.

On April 17, Armco was unloading stone at the CLM dock in Superior. Late in the afternoon, John J. Boland arrived with stone for the Reiss Inland dock. It was followed by BBC Ontario, which docked at Harvest States gallery to load grain. Also in port was the small saltie Katja, with steel coils for the Duluth port terminal. Arriving overnight was Paul R. Tregurtha for Midwest Energy Terminal

Saginaw River:
Reported by Todd Shorkey
The tug Joe Thompson & Barge Joseph H. Thompson were inbound the Saginaw River early Sunday evening with a split load.  The pair stopped to lighter at the Wirt dock in Bay City before continuing upriver to finish unloading at the Wirt dock in Saginaw.  The Thompson is expected to be outbound Monday morning.

Also in the area is the US Coast Guard Cutter Hollyhock who is working aids to navigation.  The Hollyhock tied up at the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville for the night Sunday.

Sault Ste. Marie:
Reported by Jon Paul Michaels
Monday started with a flurry of activity as the Lee Tregurtha started things off locking down the Poe at 7:30am as the Canadian Olympic came up the MacArthur. Next up was the Herbert C. Jackson followed by the Reserve at 8:00am. The Algocape was upbound at Mission Point at 7:45am and met the loaded saltie tanker Lake Maya downbound above the locks. The USCGC Buckthorn continued working the West Neebish Channel and also in the vicinity of Mud Lake, repositioning buoys and replacing winter markers. The Roger Blough was up the Poe at 11:20am headed for Two Harbors and later the St. Clair was up at 2:00pm.

The Federal Kivalina came down the locks at 2:30 loaded with grain and met the Federal Mackinac at 9 Mile Point. Close behind the Federal Mackinac was the Oglebay Norton which passed Mission Point at 5:00pm.The Presque Isle was down the Poe at 6:45pm and the Michipicoten came down loaded from Marquette going into Algoma Steel. The tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder were upbound at the locks at 9:25pm.

Manistee:
Reported by Chris Franckowiak
On a hazy Sunday afternoon the newly named Manistee paid a visit to her namesake port.  The vessel arrived at 4 PM from South Chicago Illinois' KCBX dock with a load of Western coal for the Tondu Cogeneration Plant.  The trip was no different from any of her previous visits as the Reiss, no extra whistle salutes, no house or signal flags flying, and no fanfare, it was simply another delivery to Manistee with a new name.  The vessel made 6 visits to Manistee last year, and it can be assumed that the Manistee will be a familiar sight in Manistee throughout the year.  The Manistee was expected to depart around 2 AM Monday morning upbound for Port Inland Michigan, due there at noon Monday where she will load limestone.  Lower Lakes Transportation has dominated the Port of Manistee's traffic so far this year, with one visit by the Mckee Sons, 2 by the Calumet, and one by the Manistee

Sarnia - Port Huron:
Reported by Jeff Gushman
Alpena was down Saturday morning followed by the Hollyhock, American Republic and Canadian Transport. The Peter R. Cresswell was upbound around noon. Other downbound traffic included the Edgar B. Speer and Fred R. White Jr. Upbound traffic included the Columbia Star, John D. Leitch and Evans McKeil up at Marysville. Hollyhock later departed her moorings and left upbound to the Saginaw Bay. The Canadian Olympic was unloading at Lambton Power in Courtright.

Marinette - Menominee:
Reported by Scott Best
The Calypso arrived as the first foreign arrival of the season for Marinette and Menominee Saturday afternoon. The Calypso has a cargo of Brazilian pig iron for Marinette Fuel & Dock. The Selvick tugs Jimmy L and William C Selvick assisted her into port. Unloading began later Saturday afternoon after inspections by the USCG and local law enforcement. Tenative departure is set for Wednesday April 20 when the Calypso will sail to Duluth to load grain.

Alpena:
Reported by Ben & Chanda McClain
The Steamer Alpena arrived at Lafarge around 6:30pm on Friday. It tied up in the slip under the silos to load cement and was expected to depart before 11pm. The J.A.W Iglehart is in temporary lay-up in Detroit for about two weeks, due to slow business. The G.L Ostrander/ barge Integrity is headed for Green Bay, WI and St. Joseph, MI. Earlier in the week on Monday, the Buffalo brought a load of coal into Lafarge. On Thursday afternoon the Fred R. White Jr unloaded another cargo of coal there.

The Wilfred Sykes had to wait out strong east winds before coming in to load at Stoneport on Tuesday evening. The Joseph H. Thompson loaded after the Sykes on Wednesday morning. Thursday saw the Arthur M. Anderson and on Friday the Pathfinder was taking on stone with the McKee Sons waiting nearby.

Marquette:
Reported by Lee Rowe
The Michipicoten took on ore and left on a very windy Friday.  The Charles M. Beeghly arrived Saturday with coal for the WE Power plant and then took on ore.  The Michipicoten was expected to return late Saturday along with the Lee A. Tregurtha.

The Lee A. Tregurtha loaded ore in Marquette on a beautiful Sunday.
 

 


Tug Lake Superior returns to Duluth

4/19
The 1943 vintage 114-foot "LT." Army tug Lake Superior returned to Duluth Sunday morning, towed in by Zenith's tug Seneca.  After an attempt to sell the tug failed, the City of Duluth decided to return the vessel to its berth behind the museum vessel William A. Irving. After a long slow trip, from Howard's Pocket, through extremely thick fog, the pair arrived at the Minnesota Slip draw bridge around 10 am.  The excursion boat Vista Star backed out of the slip, to give the tugs more room to fit through the tight squeeze. 
 

 


Cleveland bridge to be moved

4/19
The West 3rd St. bridge over the Cuyahoga River is to be replaced this year. Reports indicate that the old span will be moved by barge from its present location to the Old River Bed sometime between midnight on May 3 and 6:00 pm on May 6. 

Reported by Al Hart
 

 


DeTour Reef Light Listed on Historic Places

4/19
The Director of the National Park Service has announced that the DeTour Reef Light Station at the mouth of the St. Marys River has been officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 21, 2005.

Established under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the NRHP is the nation's list of cultural resource properties of national significance worthy of preservation. Listing on the National Register honors a historic place by recognizing its importance to its community, State and the Nation. 

Built in 1931, and standing a mile off-shore in northern Lake Huron, the station has recently been the subject of a $1,000,000+ restoration and renovation project. A group of local citizens formed the DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society (DRLPS) as a non-profit corporation in 1998, with the goal of preserving and restoring the station.

To learn more about the organization, the lighthouse, and public tour programs, please visit www.DRLPS.com, email drlps@starband.net or call 906-493-6609.
 

 


Announcements

4/19
Steamship William G. Mather Museum presents “Hulett Unloaders” on April 20
The Steamship William G. Mather Museum’s third and final program of its 2005 spring Landlubber series will feature the Hulett ore unloaders that were formerly located at Cleveland’s Bulk Terminal at Whiskey Island.  Named after the Clevelander who invented them in 1898, the Huletts revolutionized the unloading process for Great Lakes shipping and were part of Cleveland’s working lakefront.  John A. Burke, Trustee Emeritus of the Great Lakes Historical Society, will narrate a video presentation on the four Huletts in operation—often likened to giant grasshoppers—which, for decades, were visible to West Shoreway commuters. 

The first self-unloading freighter appeared on the Great Lakes in the 1930s, and by 1992, most U.S. bulk carriers were self-unloading.  After 80 years of service, Cleveland's Hulett unloaders fell silent at the end of the 1992 shipping season, and were dismantled in 2000.  Two of the Huletts were put into storage.  After Mr. Burke’s presentation, local preservationists will report on the progress of plans for moving, reconstructing and maintaining the remaining two Huletts that are dismantled and in storage.

“Hulett Unloaders” will be presented in collaboration with Cleveland MetroParks on Wednesday, April 20 at 7 PM at CanalWay Center, located at 4524 E. 49th St. off I-77 in Cuyahoga Heights in the Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation.  Phone: (216) 206-1000, Website: www.clevelandmetroparks.com

Steamship William G. Mather Museum seeks volunteer tour guides

Spend part of the summer at North Coast Harbor aboard the Steamship William G. Mather Museum.  Learn how to lead tours of this rare and restored Great Lakes 618 foot long freighter, built in 1925 as the flagship of the fleet, for visitors from Cleveland and around the world.  The free training course for new volunteer tour guides will be offered in May so that trainees can be ready for the Museum’s busy 15th season. 

Trainees will attend a two-session course the first two Saturdays in May—May 7 and 14, 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM each day.  Trainees will receive a free information manual and/or CD, as well as hands-on guidance from a seasoned mentor guide.  All sessions will be held onboard the Mather, northeast Ohio’s only floating maritime museum, and will include a “steamboat” lunch in the Museum’s historic Crew’s Mess, and free parking. 

Topics to be covered in the training sessions include the history of the Steamship William G. Mather, Great Lakes shipping, basic “ship” technology, and educational techniques for leading school group and public tours.   

Text Box: SWilliam G. Mather Museum
1001 East Ninth Street Pier / Cleveland,H 44116
To be considered for this year’s free training class, or for more information, please call the Steamship William G. Mather Museum at (216) 574-9053 or email to info@wgmather.org  by Monday, May 2.
 

 


Public Photo Gallery Updated

4/19

New albums in the Shipping, Lighthouses, Model Building and Post Cards/Collectables/Artwork Galleries
Public Photo Gallery
 

 


Today in Great Lakes History

4/19
On 19 April 1956, the newly converted cement carrier E M FORD had her steering equipment break when she was abeam of Harsens Island on the St. Clair River.  She plowed head-on into the downbound freighter A M BYERS which was loaded with dolomite for Buffalo, New York.  The BYERS sank in just 17 minutes and the FORD anchored.  No lives were lost.

Sea trials were completed for Upper Lakes Shipping’s CANADIAN TRANSPORT on April 19, 1979, and she departed Port Weller Dry Docks Ltd., on her maiden voyage the next morning.

The GEORGE A STINSON's self-unloading boom collapsed onto her deck due to a mechanical failure on the night of April 19, 1983, at Detroit, Michigan. No injuries were reported. She continued hauling cargoes without a boom most of the year until it was replaced on September 20th of that year.

On April 19, 1951, the CLIFFS VICTORY began her much publicized 1,000 mile journey up the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers through the Illinois Waterway pushed by a towboat to Lockport, Illinois where two Great Lakes Towing Co., tugs took up the tow through the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.

Hall Corp. of Canada’s a.) HUTCHCLIFFE HALL (Hull#261) by Canadian Vickers Ltd., Montreal, Quebec, was launched April 19, 1954.

Pittsburgh Steamship’s steamer RICHARD TRIMBLE (Hull#707) of the American Ship Building Co., Lorain, Ohio, was launched April 19, 1913.  She was scrapped at Duluth, Minnesota between 1978 and 1981.

On April 19, 1950, the WILFRED SYKES entered service, departing Lorain, Ohio for Toledo to load coal on her maiden voyage. The SYKES also became the largest vessel on the Great Lakes, taking the honor from Pittsburgh Steamship Company's LEON FRASER class (the "Supers") which had held it since June 21, 1942.

April 19, 1917 - The ANN ARBOR NO 5 broke off her starboard shaft and bent the rudder stock on the rocky corner of the old Goodrich dock in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

On 19 April 1880, the Port Huron Times reported the results of a severe gale: "The schooner CHRIS GROVER, ashore near Oscoda, Michigan, is reported going to pieces. The crew is aboard. The schooner ATHENIAN, lumber laden, is reported to have gone ashore off Au Sable and to be a complete wreck. The schooner HATTIE JOHNSON is abandoned on Goose Island shoal. The cabin and part of her deck are gone. The stern is gone from her mizzen and the gale probably broke her up completely and her outfit and cargo may prove a total loss." The GROVE and the JOHNSON were later recovered and put back in service.

On 19 April 1884, EUROPE (wooden propeller, passenger/package freight vessel, 136 foot, 628 gross tons, built in 1870 at St. Catharines, Ontario) was almost totally destroyed by fire at St. Catharines. The remains of her hull were later rebuilt as the barge REGINA.

4/18
On 18 April 1889, the CITY OF RACINE (wooden propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 220 foot, 1041 tons) was launched by Burger & Burger at Manitowoc, Wisconsin for the Goodrich Transportation Company.  The vessel was ready for service three months later.  Her total cost was $125,000.

On her maiden voyage April 18, 1980, the AMERICAN MARINER left Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin in ballast for Escanaba, Michigan to load 31,322 gross tons of taconite pellets for Ashtabula, Ohio and arrived there on April 26th.

Hall Corp. of Canada’s b.) MONTCLIFFE HALL began trading on the Great Lakes on April 18, 1978.  Renamed c.) CARTIERDOC in 1988 and d.) CEDARGLEN in 2002.

The PATERSON (Hull#231) was launched April 18, 1985, by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd.  She was the last straight deck bulk freighter built on the Lakes and was built to the maximum size permitted to lock through the Seaway.  Renamed b.) PINEGLEN in 2002.

Johnstown Steamship’s a) MIDVALE (Hull#167) of Great Lakes Engineering Works was launched April 18, 1917.  Renamed b.) BETHLEHEM in 1925 and scrapped at Santander, Spain in 1974.

Problems occurred on the ALASTAIR GUTHRIE's first trip of the year on April 18, 1979, when she began taking on water in the engine room while loading grain at the International Multifoods elevator at Duluth, Minnesota. Her stern settled to the bottom of the slip with 12 feet of water in the engine room.

Upper Lakes Shipping’s RED WING was sold for scrap on April 18, 1986.

On April 18, 1960, the ROBERT C STANLEY struck Vidal Shoal in St. Marys River about 1.5 miles above the Soo Locks, and tore a hole in her bottom.

Superior Steamship Co.’s a.) SINALOA (Hull#609) of the West Bay City Shipbuilding Co., was launched April 18, 1903, as a straight deck bulk freighter. Renamed b.) WILLIAM F RAPPRICH in 1924, c.) SINALOA in 1927.  Converted to a self unloader in 1931.  Renamed d.) STONEFAX in 1960.  Scrapped at Santander, Spain in 1971.

April 18, 1936 - Albert W. Ackerman, chief engineer of the Pere Marquette carferries for 35 years, died (Friday afternoon) at the Paulina Stearns hospital.

On 18 April 1848, the wooden schooner TRIBUNE went missing in lower Lake Michigan. Her fate was unknown until native fishermen discovered her masts standing upright off Cathead Point in November 1849. All ten of her crew were lost.

On 18 April 1885, the schooner-barge ELEANOR was launched at Mount Clemens, Michigan. Her dimensions were 185 foot overall, 32 foot beam and 11 foot 3 inch depth. She had three spars and was the consort of the steam barge A WESTON. She was built for the Tonawanda Barge Line and was named after Capt. William Du Lac's wife.

4/17
The first vessels through the Straits of Mackinac for the 1870, season were the CITY OF BOSTON and the CITY OF NEW YORK, both owned by the Northern Transportation Company.  They passed through the Straits on 17 April 1870.  The following day they passed Port Huron but could only go as far as Algonac, Michigan since the St. Clair River had an ice jam which raised the water level by two feet and was causing flooding.

The Collingwood built, 610 foot aft section of the JOHN B AIRD passed upbound through the St. Marys Falls Canal on April 17, 1983, in tow of the tugs WILFRED M COHEN and JOHN MC LEAN heading for Thunder Bay, Ontario where it was assembled with the 120 foot bow section.

Canada Steamship Lines a.) STADACONA (Hull#24) was launched April 17, 1929, by Midland Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.  She was renamed b.) NORDALE in 1969 and was scrapped at Port Colborne, Ontario in 1983.  She was the first vessel scrapped at the old Algoma Steel Dock in Port Colborne.

April 17, 1970 - The CITY OF FLINT 32 was sold to the Norfolk & Western Railway for $100,000.

On 17 April 1840, the wooden side-wheeler CATARAQUI was burned to a total loss during a great fire, which destroyed much of the waterfront area of Kingston, Ontario.

On 17 April 1874, CHARLES J KERSHAW (wooden propeller, 223 foot, 1324 gross tons) was launched at the Ballentine shipyard at Bangor, Michigan.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Steve Haverty, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.  This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.
 


Maumee arrives

4/16
The Maumee arrived at Bay Ship Building in Sturgeon Bay, WI at 6 p.m. Friday evening. The vessel entered the shipyard through Green Bay. Once abreast of the yard,  with no assistance from tugs, the Maumee swung her stern around backing dockside along side the graving dock with expert boat-handling skills. Plans are to dry dock her during the 3rd shift Friday night and for her inspections to begin Saturday morning.

Reported by Wendell Wilke
 

 


Stewart J. Cort,  Burns Harbor reported in lay up

4/16
Reports from the Port of Indiana indicate that the 1,000-footers Burns Harbor and Stewart J. Cort have gone into lay-up. The Cort arrived on Monday or Tuesday, while the Burns Harbor arrived Wednesday to unload. Although no official explanation has been offered, speculation is the lay-ups may have something to do with the fact that their owner, the former International Steel Group, was officially bought by the European company Mittal Steel, earlier this week. The U.S. Jones Art prohibits vessels owned by foreign interests from operating between United States ports. It is not known how long the vessels will be tied up.

Reported by Jason Leslie

Late Update:
The Burns Harbor and Stewart J. Cort sailed from Burns Harbor, IN at 7:30 pm Friday night.  Apparently, they have been granted a ninety day extension.  It is not known if this is due to Jones Act problems or lease agreements (GE Capital has the Stewart J. Cort and GATX the Burns Harbor).
 

 


S.S. Badger to get face lift

4/16
Battling to keep its hold on the newly competitive Lake Michigan ferry market, the parent company of the S.S. Badger has invested more than $100,000 in renovations to the 52-year-old vessel.

The Badger's owners also announced a slight fare increase and - in a none-too-subtle swipe at their high-speed rival, the Lake Express - touted their car ferry's reliability.  This season's ferry service will start May 12 for the Badger, which runs between Manitowoc and Ludington, Mich., at 18 mph. Two days later, the Lake Express will start its second season of 40-mph service between Milwaukee and Muskegon, Mich.

Last year, the Lake Express cut into the Badger's passenger total, although bad weather and high gas prices probably also depressed travel, said Lynda Daugherty, spokeswoman for the Badger's owner, Lake Michigan Carferry Service. The Badger and Lake Express don't release specific passenger figures, although both claim to carry more than 100,000 passengers a year.

This year, Badger passengers will find the vessel has been redecorated and repainted, with a nautical theme in the decor, the signs and new crew uniforms, Daugherty said. The Badger is also catering more to children and pets, she said. The children's play area has been redesigned, with more interactive and educational games, Daugherty said. A part-time staff member has been hired to oversee children's activities, including face-painting and puppet shows, she said. And pets, which used to be confined to their owners' vehicles, now will have a special "Badger Bowsers" ventilated kennel area, Daugherty said. They'll also get treats and bandannas, she said.

The Badger upgrade follows an announcement that the Lake Express is upgrading its first-class cabin. The Badger owners said they were stressing the "cruise experience" aboard their larger vessel. The Lake Express originally focused its marketing on speed and convenience but now notes that its passengers have said they want the trip to be more a part of their vacation experience.

Last year, in the first year of competition from the Lake Express, the Badger didn't raise its prices. This year, Daugherty said, rising fuel costs have forced a fare increase. For spring and fall trips, adult fares are rising from $44 to $47 one-way and from $72 to $78 round trip. For summer trips, adult fares are rising from $47 to $49 one-way and from $78 to $82 round trip. For cars, the fare is up from $49 to $53 each way.

The Lake Express didn't raise its base fares - $50 one-way, $85 round-trip and $59 each way for cars - but added a "fuel surcharge" of $1.25 per passenger each way.

In another sign of the competition, the Badger is stressing that it didn't miss any scheduled sailings during 2004. That was a clear reference to the Lake Express, which canceled 11 of 295 round trips through Sept. 8 of last year, mainly because of rough seas. The Lake Express has never disclosed the total number of trips canceled in the first season, which ran through Oct. 31. But it is spending $450,000 on new stabilizers to provide a smoother ride.

Reported by Larry Sandler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
 

 


Lighthouses listed as historic sites

4/16
Two area lighthouses have been determined to be eligible for listing as historic properties in the National Register of Historic Places.

Earlier this week the U.S. Coast Guard informed the Cheboygan County Commissioners of the eligibility and proposed the nomination of the Spectacle Reef Light Station and the Fourteen Foot Shoal Light Station, both in Cheboygan County, to the list.  Both lighthouses are in offshore locations in Lake Huron.

The Spectacle Reef Light Station is located approximately 10 miles northeast of Nine Mile Point in Benton Township. Built from 1871 to 1874, it was first lighted in 1874 and includes a concrete pier atop a concrete-filled wooden crib. The pier supports a limestone masonry light tower and one-story fog signal building, although no fog signal is currently in use. The masonry conical tower supports an octagonal lantern.

The lighthouse was originally equipped with a second-order Fresnel lens, removed when the light was automated. The original lens is now on display at the Great Lakes Historical Society Museum in Vermilion, Ohio. The current optic signals a red light visible for 11 miles.

An important local aid to navigation since its establishment, the light station continues to mark a shallow reef in waters that have been navigated by commercial shipping since the 19th century. The nominated property includes the structure's crib, pier, fog signal building, light tower and lantern.

The Fourteen Foot Shoal Light Station is more easily visible from shore, located 2.2 miles northeast of the mouth of the Cheboygan River, about one mile north of Cheboygan Point on the north side of Duncan Bay. It was constructed from 1928 to 1930, when its light was first put in use to mark Fourteen Foot Shoal, a shallow rocky navigational hazard.

This lighthouse includes a concrete pier atop a concrete-filled wooden crib. The pier supports a one-story equipment building. A steel conical tower rises from the center of the structure and supports an octagonal lantern. A fourth-order Fresnel Lens was originally installed in the tower, but later removed in favor of automated optics. Today the light displays a white signal visible for 10 miles and a year-round fog signal that sounds a two-second blast every 15 seconds.

According to the Coast Guard, both properties are significant as an example of late 19th century and early 20th century offshore crib foundation lighthouse design, characterized by qualities that enhance their historical and architectural significance. The nominations state that both lights possess their original design and include structural materials and workmanship largely unaltered from when built.

Reported by Mike Fornes, Cheboygan Daily Tribune
 

 


U.S. may kill passport plan

4/16
U.S. President George W. Bush on Thursday said he's ordered a review of his administration's plans to require all Canadians and Americans to present passports when entering the U.S.  Citing concerns that the new policy would curtail legitimate tourism and business, the U.S. president has asked Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to look for ways to ease the proposed travel requirements.

"If people have to have a passport, it's going to disrupt the honest flow of traffic," Bush said in remarks to the American Society of Newspaper Editors.  "I think there's some flexibility in the law, and that's what we're checking out right now."

Bush said he had instructed Rice to look into the possibility of using "finger imaging to serve as the passport for so-called daily traffic."

His comments come just a week after officials from the departments of State and Homeland Security unveiled new travel rules that will affect Canadian travellers by the end of 2006.  The changes would end decades of special status for Canadians, who had been allowed into the U.S. with only a birth certificate or driver's licence as identification.

Under the U.S. proposal, they will now need a passport or a new biometrical travel-identification card.  The U.S. is making the same requirement of Americans re-entering the country from Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean.  But Bush signaled that he was unaware of the proposal until learning of it through the media.

"When I first read that in the newspaper, about the need to have passports, particularly for the day crossings that take place -- about a million, for example, in the state of Texas -- I said, 'What's going on here?'" Bush said.  "I thought there was a better way to expedite the legal flow of traffic and people. Evidently this has been mandated in law."

In fact, the proposed rule changes were included in an anti-terrorism bill that Bush signed last December.  Most of the publicity about the bill centered around the creation of a new national intelligence czar to oversee the CIA, FBI and other U.S. agencies, revising the response to the 9-11 attacks.

Bush's remarks seem to put him at odds with Rice, who last week called the changes "a necessary set of requirements."  Critics of the proposed passport requirement were delighted by Bush's surprise statement.

"This is a dramatic change -- at least he recognizes the problem," said John Lafalce, a former New York congressman, who fears mandatory passports will discourage tourism and harm border communities

Reported by The Windsor Star
 

 


News Photo Gallery Updated

4/16

News Photo Gallery updated.  Also, Mackinaw Pictures of the Launch (updated).

Note:  This page will generally be used only for photos related to recent news or port/area reports.  Photos of your visits to the various ship watching locations, trips etc. can now be posted in your own albums created in the Public Gallery.  Just click on the Public Photo Gallery link and follow the instructions.
 

 


Public Photo Gallery Updated

4/16

New albums in the Shipping, Lighthouses, Model Building and Post Cards/Collectables/Artwork Galleries
Public Photo Gallery
 

 


Today in Great Lakes History

4/16
On 16 April 1872, the THOMAS W FERRY (wooden schooner, 180 feet) was launched at the J. Jones yard at Detroit, Michigan.  She cost $40,000 and was owned by P. J. Ralph & Son and A. C. Burt.

ALGOWOOD departed on her maiden voyage April 16, 1981, from Owen Sound, Ontario, in ballast for Stoneport, Michigan taking on limestone there for Sarnia, Ontario.

ALGOLAKE's sea trials were held April 16, 1977.

The BURNS HARBOR's keel was laid at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin as (Hull#720) for Wilmington Trust Co., Bethlehem Steel Co., mgr., on April 16, 1979.

CEMENTKARRIER (Hull#175) of the Furness Shipbuilding Co. Ltd at Haverton Hill-on-Tees, England, was launched April 16, 1930, for Canada Cement Transport Ltd.

Reiss Steamship Co.’s a.) W K BIXBY entered service on April 16, 1906. Renamed b.) J L REISS in 1920 and c.) SIDNEY E SMITH JR in 1971.  She sank in a collision with the Hindman steamer PARKER EVANS under the Blue Water Bridge on June 5, 1972.

On April 16, 1986, U.S. Steel’s steamer WILLIAM A IRVIN was sold for $110,000 to the Duluth Convention Center Board.

On 16 April 1870, the fore-and-aft schooner L W PERRY was launched at the Fitzgerald & Leighton yard in Port Huron, Michigan. She was owned by J.L. Woods of Lexington, Michigan and commanded by Capt. M. Hyde. Her dimensions were 128 foot keel, 133 foot overall, 26 foot beam and 9 foot depth. She cost $29,000 and was built for the lumber trade.

On 16 April 1873, DAVID BALLENTINE (wooden propeller, 221 foot, 972 gross tons) was launched at Bangor, Michigan. She was built by Thomas Boston.

4/15
On 15 April 1881, the Market Street Bridge in Mount Clemens, Michigan was taken down to allow the newly built VIRGINIUS to pass down the Clinton River to Lake St. Clair where she was taken in tow by the CITY OF NEW BALTIMORE.  The VIRGINIUS was towed to Port Huron where her engine was installed and she was fitted out for service.

Misener’s CANADA MARQUIS (Hull#257) of Govan Shipyards Ltd, Govan, Scotland, was launched April 15, 1983.  Renamed b.) FEDERAL RICHELIEU in 1991, c.) FEDERAL MACKENZIE in 1991, d.) MACKENZIE in 2001 and CSL’s e.) BIRCHGLEN in 2002.

American Steamship Co.’s SAM LAUD was christened April 15, 1975.

On April 15, 1977, the CONALLISON's self-unloading boom collapsed while unloading coal at the Detroit Edison Trenton, Michigan power plant in the Trenton Channel on the lower Detroit River.

The W W HOLLOWAY suffered a fire in the fantail while in dry dock following her re-powering at AmShip on April 15, 1963 causing $15,000 damage.

Pittsburgh Steamship’s steamer J P MORGAN JR left Lorain in ballast  April 15, 1910, on her maiden voyage to load iron ore at Duluth, Minnesota.

Masaba Steamship’s steamer JOE S MORROW entered service April 15, 1907.

The steamer JOHN P REISS left Lorain, Ohio on her maiden voyage on April 15, 1910, with coal for Escanaba, Michigan. She was the first of three bulkers built in 1910, for Reiss interests. The other two were the steamers A M BYERS and the PETER REISS.

The tanker IMPERIAL COLLINGWOOD began service April 15, 1948.

On April 15, 1955, American Steamship’s steamer DETROIT EDISON entered service, departing Manitowoc, Wisconsin for Port Inland, Michigan on her maiden trip.

On April 15, 1985, the e.) WILLIAM CLAY FORD (formerly d.) WALTER A STERLING and presently f.) LEE A TREGURTHA) departed Fraser Shipyards for the D. M. & I. R. ore docks in West Duluth for her first load in Ford Motor Company colors.

April 15, 1930 - While going up the Manitowoc River to dry dock, the WABASH rubbed the parked steamer THEODORE ROOSEVELT and damaged her upper works forward.

On 15 April 1862, ELISHA C BLISH (wooden propeller tug, 81 foot, 107 tons, built in 1857 at Black River, Ohio) sank near shore at Algonac, Michigan when a steam pump was accidentally left in an open position and she flooded. She was raised and lasted another two years when she "went missing" on Lake Huron.

On 15 April 1872, the Port Huron Daily Times announced that the HURON was chartered by a circus company for the season. They intended to perform at many Lake ports throughout the summer

4/14
On 14 April 1872, the MESSENGER (wooden propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 150 foot, 444 gross tons, built in 1866 at Cleveland, Ohio) left Manistee, Michigan in a storm for Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  After battling ice flows near shore, she made it to open water but the heavy seas snapped her rudder post.  She was unmanageable and four members of the crew left in the yawl to try to get help.  Although they were only a few miles from port, the men struggled for hours against the wind, waves and ice before they finally made it back to Manistee, Michigan where they got a tug to go out and tow the MESSENGER in for repairs.

On April 14, 1961, the FORT CHAMBLY departed Toronto, Ontario on her maiden voyage bound for the Canadian Lake head.

Interlake Steamship’s COLONEL JAMES PICKANDS (Hull#791) sailed on her maiden voyage April 14, 1926, clearing Lorain for Toledo, Ohio to load coal.

CSL’s steamer a.) GLENEAGLES, lost her self-unloading boom April 14, 1977, while unloading at the CSL stone dock at Humberstone, Ontario.  Renamed b.) SILVERDALE in 1978 and scrapped at Windsor, Ontario in 1984.

On April 14, 1984, vessels around the Great Lakes were battling one of the worst season openers for ice in recent memory. The ERNEST R BREECH (now KINSMAN INDEPENDENT) and the HERBERT C JACKSON spent the entire day battling ice off the Duluth entry, while the St. Clair River was choked with ice.

On 14 April 1873, the Port Huron Daily Times gave the following report of shipbuilding work going on in Port Huron: "Mr. Fitzgerald is up to his eyes in business with a large barge in process of construction and a good sized schooner still on the stocks. Mr. Thomas Dunford has in hand the repairs of the large scow T S SKINNER and she is being rapidly healed of the damage done to her in the collision with the INTERNATIONAL last Fall. At Muir's yard the [schooner] canaler on the stocks is rapidly approaching completion. At the [Port Huron] Dry Dock Company's yard, they are busy as bees docking and repairing vessels and work upon the new tug for Moffat & Sons is [being] pushed ahead very rapidly." Unfortunately, later that year the "Panic of 1873" struck and all shipyard work was stopped while the country tried to recover from that economic depression.

4/13
On 13 April 1881, the Toledo & Saginaw Transportation Company’s barge ISABEL REED was launched in the Belle River at Marine City, Michigan.

Erie Sand’s Motor Vessel c.) RICHARD REISS lost her boom on April 13, 1994, when it collapsed while unloading at Fairport, Ohio.

National Steel’s steamer GEORGE M HUMPHREY of 1954, struck a shoal in Whitefish Bay, near Gros Cap, April 13, 1956, when forced off channel in a shifting ice pack, and nearly sank.

On 13 April 1872, the wooden schooner-barge JOSEPH PAIGE was launched at the Wolf & Davidson yard in Milwaukee. Her dimensions were 190 feet x 32 feet x 12 feet, 626 gross tons.

The passenger/package freight vessel OCEAN was launched at Andrews & Sons shipyard in Port Dalhousie, Ontario on 13 April 1872. She was placed in service on 27 April 1872, loading iron at Kingston for

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Steve Haverty, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.  This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.
 

 


Port Reports

4/15
Toronto:
Reported by Charlie Gibbons
On Wednesday, the Cuyahoga arrived during the early morning hours and departed around 10 a.m. after dumping rock on the dock in the Turning Basin. Stephen B. Roman came into port around 8 a.m. with another load of cement. Kapitan Georgi Georgiev shifted into the Redpath slip on Tuesday after Canadian Ranger finished unloading. The latter did not depart as expected, but returned to her fit-out berth at Pier 51. She is now expected to leave early next week  for her first trip of the season.

Federal Oshima wanted to leave Oshawa Tuesday around 1930 but weather had other ideas.. McKeil's tugs departed late Tuesday night for Oshawa to let the Oshima go at 0600 Wednesday.  Sugar boat Kapitan Georgi Georgiev is scheduled for  turning Thursday at sec. 275.

The Bermingham Construction Co. tug William has left port.  The Royal Canadian Yacht Club's vintage tender Kwasind re-entered service on Wednesday. On Tuesday the tour boat Kim Simpson was refloated at the Outer Harbour Marina, where she spent the winter.  Haul out of the tug Wendy B. at the Atlas Crane is scheduled for Friday morning.

Saginaw River:
Reported by Todd Shorkey
Numerous vessels traveled the Saginaw River on Thursday.  First, the Wilfred Sykes, who had lightered at the Bay City Wirt Dock Wednesday night, continued upriver to finish unloading at the Wirt dock in Saginaw.  The Sykes had a long afternoon as she had problems turning at Sixth Street, taking around an hour and a half to turn due to strong winds gusting to 30 mph.  She then had to tie up at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee to wait for the upbound Canadian Transfer & Invincible - McKee Sons.  Once clear, she was outbound  passing the Front Range Thursday night.  The Canadian Transfer was inbound Thursday morning, traveling all the way upriver to unload at the GM Dock in Saginaw.  She was expected to be outbound early Friday morning.

The tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons was inbound with a split load.  The pair lightered at the Bay City Wirt dock before continuing upriver to finish unloading at the Saginaw Wirt dock.  They were outbound for the lake late Thursday night.  The tug John Spence and tank barge McAsphalt 401 were unloading at the Triple Clean Liquifuels dock in Essexville on Thursday.  This is their second visit in the past week to that dock.  The Spence was expected to be outbound late Thursday or early Friday.

Reported by Gordy Garris
The Wilfred Sykes was outbound the Saginaw River early Thursday evening after unloading during the morning at Saginaw Wirt docks. The Sykes departed the Saginaw Wirt dock around 11am. She turned in the Basin then tied up at the Sargent dock in Saginaw and saluted passing vessels with 3 blasts of the horn at 1:30pm & 3:30pm to the: McKee Sons and Canadian Transfer. The Sykes was outbound passing through the Bay City bridges at 5pm.

The McKee Sons/Invincible were inbound the Saginaw River early Thursday afternoon with a split load for the Bay & Saginaw Wirt docks. The McKee Sons arrived in Saginaw late Thursday afternoon and is expected to depart late Thursday night.  The Canadian Transfer made it's first visit to the Saginaw River this season. The Transfer headed upriver to unload at the GM Dock in Saginaw. The Transfer is also expected to depart late Thursday night.
 

 


Maumee departs Sarnia

4/14
Maumee departed the North Slip in Sarnia at 5 a.m. Thursday morning under her own power and proceeded down to Shell Oil in Corunna for fuel, prior to heading up to the shipyard in Sturgeon Bay, Wis. for an extensive refit.  Maumee is expected to depart the shipyard about mid July.

Reported by Barry Hiscocks and Frank Frisk
 

 


Mittal Steel's acquisition of ISG approved

4/14
Shareholders in the U.S. and the Netherlands approved the final step in tycoon Lakshmi Mittal's bid to create one of the world's largest steel businesses, the company said Tuesday.

Richfield, Ohio-based International Steel Group Inc. was acquired for stock and cash valuing it at about $4.5 billion, said Malay Mukherjee, chief operating officer of Mittal Steel Co.

ISG was formed in 2002 after New York buyout firm WL Ross & Co. purchased the remnants of bankrupt LTV Corp. Over the next two years, it acquired three other steelmakers, including bankrupt Bethlehem Steel Co. The former ISG mills ­ including the one in Burns Harbor, In. ­ that are serviced by the Great Lakes 1,000-footers Stewart J. Cort and Burns Harbor ­ receive much of their raw materials by boat. It is not known what impact the change in ISG ownership will have on the two vessels.

Reported by Chicago Tribune, Jason Leslie
 

 


Spirit of Ontario start date uncertain

4/14
The start-date for the cross-Lake Ontario high-speed ferry Spirit of Ontario is uncertain, but officials involved with the project say the project is on schedule, according to a story in Tuesday's Rochester Democrat Chronicle.

"The startup date will not be announced until we have resolved all of the operational issues," said Rochester, N.Y., Mayor William A. Johnson Jr. Rochester bought the ferry at auction in February for $32 million.  "We will not repeat the mistake of the past, of raising the public's expectations. We will not launch before we are fully capable of doing so, and we will not announce that date until we have all the facts in hand."

City officials had hoped to re-launch the ferry by Memorial Day weekend.  However that now appears to be a long shot because of required engine work, inspections, hiring and training of the crew.

Benjamin Douglas, the president of the ferry board and a city councilman, said the project is still on schedule and the city will not suffer any adverse financial problems unless there is a major delay, Doherty said. He noted that the city is starting the venture with $5.3 million in working capital.

Meanwhile, officials announced Monday afternoon that an agreement has been reached with MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH to upgrade the engines on the ferry. The city will pay the company $1.3 million to replace head gaskets and turbochargers. The work had been the source of friction between the city and company, with each side wanting the other to pay for the work, estimated at $2.8 million. The two sides compromised at $1.3 million, Doherty said.

Bay Ferries Ltd., the Canadian company hired to operate the service for the city, has received more than 1,500 job applications. About 100 positions are available.

The vessel will go to Hamilton on May 12 for inspections and repairs. The work, budgeted at $250,000, is expected to take four to six days.

Reported by the Rochester Democrat-Chronicle
 

 


Port Reports

4/14
Saginaw River:
Reported by Todd Shorkey
The Indiana Harbor was inbound for the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville early Tuesday morning to unload coal.  She was expected to be outbound before noon.

The Calumet made her first visit of the year to the Saginaw River on Wednesday, calling on the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee to unload.  She was inbound through Bay City around 11am and was expected to be outbound for the lake Wednesday night.

Update: 
The Calumet, who arrived Wednesday morning, lightered at the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee before moving a short distance upriver to finish unloading at the Buena Vista dock.  She was turned and headed for the lake late Wednesday night.  Inbound around the same time was the Wilfred Sykes.  She was inbound at the Front Range around 10pm with her security call indicating her destination as the Wirt dock in Bay City.

Marquette:
Reported by Lee Rowe
The Great Lakes Trader/Joyce Van Enkevort moved to the upper harbor for ore on Wednesday.  The Michipicoten is due Thursday.

Monday night the Lee A. Tregurtha and Michipicoten arrived in Marquette within minutes of each other for ore.  On Tuesday the Great Lakes Trader/Joyce VanEnkevort made an unusual stop at the Shiras Power Plant dock with stone, then moved to the upper harbor for ore.

Sault Ste. Marie:
Reported by Jon Paul Michaels
The ice has finally departed the St. Marys River and the Soo Locks. Where last Friday there was thick brash ice today there wasn’t any ice to be seen in any direction above or below the locks. The day started off clear and calm with the Columbia Star reporting outbound at Detour just before sun up and the Earl W. Oglebay following them a few hours later. The Canadian Leader was upbound in the MacArthur at 9:30 am followed by the Indiana Harbor a little later in the Poe. The Herbert C. Jackson left Algoma Steel at about the same time and headed into Whitefish Bay and was replaced at Algoma by the Michipicoten at the unloading dock. The Michipicoten is on their 14th trip of the new season already with all of the loads being on the Marquette to Algoma shuttle run. The Mesabi Miner was down in the early afternoon with a load of western coal for Nanticoke. The USCGC Buckthorn spent the afternoon working to reposition buoys in the lower river and on the return trip to Base Soo meet the American Spirit down at Mission Point. Dinner time brought the Montrealais down the MacArthur with grain from Thunder Bay later to meet the Philip R. Clarke upbound at 9 mile Point. The rest of the evening brought the Paul R. Tregurtha and American Mariner inbound at Detour with the Algolake reporting in at Gros Cap. The BBC Ontario continues to load at the scrap dock just west of Algoma Steel.
 

 


Great Lakes Pilots get rate; study published

4/13
On March 10, the Coast Guard issued an interim rule adjusting rates in the Great Lakes pilotage system.  The adjustment results in an average increase of 20 percent across all three Districts.  Because of the amount of time already consumed in developing this full-rate calculation ( a process begun in 2002 ) and to ensure that a new rate is not delayed beyond the start of the 2005 navigation season, the Coast Guard has issued the full-rate calculation as an interim rule to be effective at the start of the 2005 navigation season.

In conjunction with the rate review, the Coast Guard contracted for an economic analysis of the effect of pilotage costs on Great Lakes shipping.  The analysis, conducted by Martin Associates, is now complete and available for review in the docket.  Martin Associates concluded, “There would have to be a significant increase in Great Lakes pilotage charges in order for there to be significant changes in the Great Lakes market for steel and grain.  If all cost factors but Great Lakes pilotage were held constant there would have to be much more than a doubling of pilotage rates to impact a significant portion of the Great Lakes routings analyzed.  In fact, the analysis shows that the total through transportation costs for grain exports from Duluth to Rotterdam could double before changes in cost effective routings would occur.”

 From: On Station, The Newsletter of the American Pilots’ Association:  March 15, 2005 (courtesy of Capt. George Haynes)
 

 


Cause, damage unknown in Kinsman Independent fire

4/12
4/11at 7 p.m.
Firefighters were called Monday afternoon to the McKeil Marine dock in Hamilton, Ont., to extinguish a blaze that broke out on the aft end of the bulk carrier Kinsman Independent. Reports by those battling the blaze say the fire damaged the engine room and stern living quarters. The extent of the damage, and how far this might set back the conversion of the vessel from steam to diesel propulsion, is not yet known. No injuries were reported and McKeil officials had no comment, as the fire is under investigation at this time.

Kinsman Independent, built in 1953 at Bay City, Mich., previously sailed as Charles L. Hutchinson and Ernest R. Breech. At the time of her retirement from the U.S. fleet at the end of the 2002 shipping season, she was the last non-self unloading bulk carrier in operation on the lakes under the U.S. flag. She was brought into Canadian registry earlier this year. It was anticipated that her conversion would be complete by midsummer, and speculation was she would enter the grain or soybean trade under McKeil ownership.

Correction: It was originally reported that the Kinsman Independent would be operated by Lower Lakes Towing. Lower Lakes will not be operating the vessel.

Reported by Wally Wallace
 

 


Mississagi grounds outside Muskegon

4/12
Mississagi grounded outside of the Muskegon breakwall around 2:00 pm on Monday.  The MCM tugs Tammy and Drummond Islander II assisted the Mississagi off the sand bar.  She was freed around 8:30 pm and entered Muskegon Lake to off load stone at Verplank's.  The entrance was partially blocked by a dredge clearing the winter sand build-up and the Mississagi was forced to enter the harbor closer to the breakwall. 

Reported by Mark Taylor
 

 


New name for Oglebay limestone, lime operations

4/12
Oglebay Norton Co. has announced that, effective May 1, 2005, it will unify all of its limestone and lime operations under the name O-N Minerals. The new name will apply to all the company's Michigan Limestone Operations and Global Stone locations. The change will not affect the company's segment reporting of financial results.

"We are making this change in order to represent our limestone operations as an integrated portfolio of assets that can serve markets and customers across the Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions," said Michael D. Lundin, president and chief executive officer.

"We believe this move to a single name will help increase market awareness of our collective strategic focus," he continued. "We want companies in our markets to look beyond individual locations to see a network of strategically located high-quality, long-life limestone reserves supported by processing facilities, docks and terminals, and the unique logistics capability of a pooled fleet of 23 Great Lakes bulk carriers."

Reported by Oglebay Norton Co.
 

 


Barge Name Change

4/12
McKeil Work Boats have changed the name of the barge Lambert's Spirit to Alouette Spirit - registered at Hamilton. They have also acquired another barge or reregistered a previously owned barge named Handy Andy.

Reported by Charlie Gibbons
 

 


Willis B Boyer museum ship to reopen to the public

4/12
Toledo Mayor Jack Ford Friday assigned two employees from Toledo's parks department to run the S.S. Willis B. Boyer Museum Ship with instructions to reopen the ship to public tours while a full-time director is recruited.  The floating museum has been closed since the unexpected death of the previous director, Edward Goyette, 50, on Feb. 27, from pneumonia.

Ford and Kattie Bond, the director of parks, recreation, and forestry, said they appointed Gary Kreft as the interim director. Kreft is acting manager of athletics, recreation, and facilities. Bond said Mike Schabeck, marina coordinator, will be on the boat during the hours that it is open to the public - 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday - Friday.

Last year, the ship generated $25,728 in revenue from admission fees and rentals, which paid its operating costs, including the director's salary.

Reported by The Toledo Blade
 

 


Port Reports

4/12
Toledo:
Reported by Jim Hoffman
The Atlantic Superior arrived at the Torco Ore Dock early Sunday afternoon to unload ore. The next scheduled coal boats due into the CSX Coal Docks will be the Herbert C. Jackson on Monday, the Cason J. Callaway on Tuesday, the CSL Niagara on Wednesday, followed by the Saginaw on Thursday. The next
scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock will be the Nanticoke on Monday followed by the Peter R. Creswell on Friday.

The tugs Cheraw and Frank Pallidino Jr. remain in both drydocks at the shipyard. The Courtney Burton remains at the Interlake Iron Dock north of the shipyard and is in the fitting out process. Buckeye is still moored at the Torco slip while the excursion vessel Detroit Princess remains tied up near the shipyard. There were no other boats in port at the time of this report.

Saginaw River:
Reported by Todd Shorkey & Susan Garlick
Saturday saw the busiest day of the shipping season so far with four vessels transiting the Saginaw River.  The Joyce L Van Enkevort - Great Lakes Trader called on the Sargent Dock in Essexville, lightering there before continuing upriver to finish unloading at the Saginaw Rock Products dock.  The pair were outbound late Saturday afternoon.  The tug John Spence and her tank barge arrived at the Triple Clean Liquifuels dock in Essexville early Saturday morning to unload.  They are expected to depart late Saturday night or early Sunday morning.  The Alpena was inbound in the afternoon, passing the outbound Trader near the Saginaw Wirt dock before continuing up to the Lafarge Terminal in Carrollton to unload.  She is expected to be outbound Sunday afternoon.  The Wilfred Sykes, who had arrived on Friday, was outbound early Saturday morning after finishing her unload overnight at the Saginaw Wirt dock.

A number of vessels were moving on the Saginaw River Sunday.  Outbound Sunday morning was the tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons after unloading overnight at the Wirt Docks.  Also outbound early was the tug John Spence and her tank barge after they finished unloading at the Triple Clean dock in Essexville.  The steamer Alpena was also outbound Sunday morning after unloading at the Lafarge Terminal in Carrollton.

Update:  Early on Sunday, the CSL Tadoussac called on the Essroc Terminal in Essexville to unload clinker.  She finished her unload and departed around 4:30 in the afternoon.  Monday morning saw both the Agawa Canyon and the Wilfred Sykes outbound the Saginaw River after unloading overnight at the North Star and Wirt Saginaw dock respectfully.

Alpena:
Reported by Ben & Chanda McClain
In the past few days the cement carriers have been coming and going into Lafarge. The J.A.W Iglehart was in port early Friday morning to load cargo for Detroit.  The Steamer Alpena took on cement Saturday morning that was delivered to Saginaw. The Alpena returned to its namesake port on Sunday night. The G.L  Ostrander/barge Integrity also arrived at Lafarge on Sunday morning.

The David Z. Norton carefully made its way into the Thunder Bay River on a breezy Saturday night to unload coal at the DPI Plant. Once it finished, the Norton was expected to head up to Calcite to take on stone.  The American Republic, Kaye E. Barker, and Cason J. Calloway have all loaded at Stoneport in the last few days. The Great Lakes Trader is on the schedule for Monday.

Oshawa:
Reported by Jim Gallacher
The Federal Oshima arrived at Oshawa from Hamilton at 6.30am today April 11th 2005, to unload steel beams. She is expected to leave late afternoon April 12th for Cleveland. this is the first saltie of the season to dock at the Port of Oshawa.

Toronto:
Reported by Charlie Gibbons
Gordon C. Leitch got under way for her first trip of the season early on Sunday. Canadian Ranger shifted at the Redpath Sugar slip again, and she is now facing bow out. She will leave on her first trip of the season as soon as she is unloaded of her storage cargo. Kapitan Georgi Georigev, the first saltie of the season, arrived Sunday and went to anchor awaiting the departure of Canadian Ranger from Redpath. McKeil's harbour tugs returned to port from Oshawa.
 

 


'Know Your Ships 2005' commemorates Soo Locks' 150th

4/12
The latest issue of the boatwatcher's guide "Know Your Ships" is now available. This year, the book pays tribute to the 150th anniversary of the Soo Locks in text and photos. A photo of the steamer Alpena, taken from the Lockmaster's tower, graces the volume¹s cover (the Vessel of the Year feature will return next year).

"Know Your Ships" is now in its 46th year. To order, or view sample pages:
www.knowyourships.com

Reported by Marine Publishing Co.
 

 


Announcement: New Welland Canal documentary film

4/12
The new documentary film "Conquering Niagara: The Story of the Welland Canal" (click for image) is now available.  This documentary film is produced in association with TV Ontario, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) and The Welland Canals Foundation with the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.  The cost is $19.95 (CN) + shipping, handling and applicable taxes.

The film can be ordered from The Welland Canals Foundation, e-mail: mmalaguti@oeb.com or phone (905) 682-7203.
 

 


News Photo Gallery Updated

4/12

News Photo Gallery updated.  Also, Mackinaw Pictures of the Launch (updated).

Note:  This page will generally be used only for photos related to recent news or port/area reports.  Photos of your visits to the various ship watching locations, trips etc. can now be posted in your own albums created in the Public Gallery.  Just click on the Public Photo Gallery link and follow the instructions.
 

 


Public Photo Gallery Updated

4/12

New albums in the Shipping, Model Building and Post Cards/Collectables/Artwork Galleries
Public Photo Gallery
 

 


Today in Great Lakes History

4/12
On 12 April 1874, the tug D N RUNNELS was launched at Runnel’s yard at the north end of the 7th Street Bridge in Port Huron, Michigan.  As the tug splashed into the Black River, the flag at her bow was unfurled with her name on it.  Commodore Runnels distributed oranges to the crowd of onlookers.

The tanker a.) LANA.(Hull#151) was launched April 12, 1967, by Aktiebolaget Lodose Varv A/B at Lodose, Sweden.  Renamed b.) NEW ORLEANS in 1988 and c.) NANCY ORR GAUCHER in 1989, she departed the Lakes in 1994.  Renamed d.) PETRAWAK in 1996 and e.) TONGA in 2000.

Tanker LAKESHELL (Hull#389) of Marine Industries Ltd., Sorel, Quebec, was launched April 12, 1969, for Shell Canada Ltd..

Pioneer Steamship’s steamer a.) A A AUGUSTUS (Hull#374) of American Ship Building Co., Lorain, Ohio, departed Cleveland on her maiden voyage April 12, 1910, bound for Green Bay, Wisconsin, with a load of coal.  She was sold to Canadian registry in 1961, and renamed b.) HOWARD HINDMAN.  She was scrapped at Bilbao, Spain in 1969.

Hall Corp. of Canada’s tanker HUDSON TRANSPORT (Hull#629) of the Davie Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Lauzon, Quebec, was launched April 12, 1962.

On April 12, 1955, while upbound from Monroe, Michigan to load iron ore at Duluth, the ENDERS M VOORHEES had the honor of opening the second century of navigation through the St. Marys Falls Ship Canal that was celebrated with great pomp and ceremony.

On 12 April 1880, the wooden 2-mast schooner-barge JUPITER was launched at Marysville, Michigan after being rebuilt under the supervision of James Bowers. She was originally built in 1857, at Irving, New York and after this rebuild, she lasted another 21 years.

On 12 April 1892, UGANDA (wooden propeller, 291 foot, 2053 gross tons) was launched at W. Bay City, Michigan at F. W. Wheeler's yard’s (Hull #88).

4/11
On 11 April 1882, GALATEA (3-mast wooden schooner, 180 foot, 606 gross tons) was launched by F. W. Wheeler (Hull#13) at W. Bay City, Michigan.  She lasted until she stranded and broke up at Grand Marais, Michigan in the "Big Storm" of 1905.

The tanker IMPERIAL ST. CLAIR (Hull#57) of the Port Weller Drydocks Ltd., entered service on April 11, 1974, light for Montreal, Quebec.

Canada Steamship Lines J W MC GIFFIN (Hull#197) was christened at Collingwood on April 11, 1972.  Port Weller Drydocks attached a new forebody in 1999, and renamed b.) CSL NIAGARA.

Pioneer Steamship’s steamer PHILIP D BLOCK sailed on her maiden voyage April 11, 1925, with coal from Huron, Ohio, bound for delivery at Indiana Harbor, Indiana.

Wilkinson Transportation Co.’s steamer A E NETTLETON (Hull#176) of the Detroit Ship Building Co., was launched April 11, 1908.  She was scrapped at Santander, Spain in 1973.

On April 11, 1970, in Lake Superior’s Whitefish Bay CSL’s steamer STADACONA of 1952, encountered thick ice and suffered bow damage. She developed a hairline crack in her bow and to alleviate the leakage her cargo was shifted from her forward hold to her after compartments using her self-unloading equipment. This maneuver raised her bow enough to keep her from sinking before she reached safety.

Pittsburgh Steamship Co.’s steamer ENDERS M VOORHEES (Hull#288), of the Great Lakes Engineering Works, was launched on April 11, 1942.  She was scrapped at Aliaga, Turkey in 1989.

On April 11, 1964, while upbound on Whitefish Bay, Lake Superior, a boiler burst on board the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.’s WILLIAM A IRVIN, killing one of the crew and injuring two others.

April 11, 1948 - The ANN ARBOR NO 7 ran aground just south of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

On 11 April 1874, the new tug E H MILLER burned at her dock at Willow Island in the Saginaw River. Her loss was valued at $9,000 and there was no insurance. Although considered to be a total loss, she was rebuilt and lasted another 46 years.

On 11 April 1878, ALASKA, a wooden bulk freighter, was launched at J. P. Clark's yard in Detroit, Michigan. Her dimensions were 180 feet overall, 28 foot beam, and 10 foot depth.

The navigation season at the Canadian Sault Canal was unofficially opened on 11 April 1955, at 7:15 a.m., when the MANZZUTTI (steel crane ship, 246 foot, 1558 gross tons, built in 1903 at Buffalo, New York as J S KEEFE) locked up bound for the Algoma Steel dock. Because the MANZZUTTI wintered over at the Soo, its Captain, John B. Perry, was not eligible for the traditional top hat and silk gloves presented to the first captain through the locks. So this was not the official opening of navigation at the Soo. The first boat through the American locks was expected the following day.

4/10
On 10 April 1861, UNION (wooden propeller, 170 foot, 465 tons) was launched and christened at the Bates yard in Manitowoc, Wisconsin for the Goodrich Line.  She cost $19,000.  The engines, machinery and many of the fittings were from the OGONTZ of 1858.  This was the first steamer built by the Bates yard.

The tanker TEXACO CHIEF (Hull#193), was christened April 10, 1969.  She was renamed b.) A G FARQUHARSON in 1986 and c.) ALGONOVA in 1998.

The d.) GODERICH of 1908, was sold April 10, 1963, to the Algoma Central & Hudson Bay Railway Co. and renamed e.) AGAWA.  Renamed f.) LIONEL PARSONS in 1968, and served as a storage barge at Goderich, Ontario until 1983, when she was scrapped at Thunder Bay, Ontario.

The keel was laid April 10, 1952, for the steamer WILLIAM CLAY FORD (Hull#300) of the Great Lakes Engineering Works.

The SINCLAIR GREAT LAKES (Hull#1577) of the Ingalls Iron Works, Decatur, Alabama, was christened on April 10, 1963.

On April 10, 1973, the ARTHUR B HOMER departed the shipyard at Lorain, Ohio, with a new pilothouse. She had suffered extensive damage on October 5, 1972, in a head on collision with the salty NAVISHIPPER on the Detroit River.

April 10, 1912 - ANN ARBOR NO 5 struck her stern against the channel in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, bending her rudder, and damaging her port shaft.

On 10 April 1875, the propeller EMMA E THOMPSON was launched at East Saginaw, Michigan. She was built for Capt. D.F. Edwards of Toledo and cost $20,000. Her dimensions were 125 feet x 26 feet x 10 feet. In 1880, she was rebuilt as a schooner and then returned to a propeller in 1881, when she was given the engine from the propeller AKRON.

On 10 April 1882, ESPINDOLA (wooden schooner, 54 tons, built in 1869, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin) was carrying railroad ties when she was overwhelmed by a storm and went to pieces one mile north of the Chicago waterfront. No lives were lost, but four crewmen were rescued by a tug after having been in the water for some time.

The MANZZUTTI (steel crane ship, 246 foot, 1558 gross tons, built in 1903, at Buffalo, New York as J S KEEFE) of the Yankcanuck Steamship Ltd., was the first vessel through the Canadian locks at the Soo for the 1954, navigation season. She entered the Canadian canal on 10 April 1954, about 8:15 a.m.. The locking of the MANZZUTTI was not considered the official opening of the season at the Soo since she wintered in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and the first vessel must come up the St. Mary’s River from Lake Huron or Michigan. President Dave Bows of the Kiwanis Club, pointed out the club’s $1,000 marine contest is based on the first such vessel though the Michigan Sault locks only. The U.S. Coast Guard reported six inch ice in the lower St. Mary's River.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Steve Haverty, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.  This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.
 

 


First Duluth-Superior saltie due Monday

4/09
The Port of Duluth-Superior's 2005 St. Lawrence Seaway navigation season is scheduled to open at approximately 1 a.m. Monday with the arrival of the Bahamian-flagged Utviken under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge.  The vessel will proceed to Duluth's Cargill grain facility to load about 18,000 metric tons of wheat destined for Italy, according to a Duluth Seaway Port Authority press release issued Thursday morning. It is scheduled to depart by April 14.

Commanded by Captain E. Panulaya, the 621-foot bulk carrier is owned by Wallem, Steckmest & Co. of Nassau, Bahamas, and charted by Fednav International. The Utviken was built in 1984 at Factoria de Olaveaga, Bilbao, Spain.

Reported by the Duluth News Tribune
 

 


Cutter back in homeport after busy ice season

4/09
The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw sailed a more circuitous course than normal for its 2005 ice breakout, according to the ship's commanding officer, Cmdr. Joe McGuiness. The Mackinaw was securely tied at the Millard D. Olds Memorial Mooring at 1:52 p.m. Thursday, returning 25 days after its March 14 departure for spring icebreaking duties.  "We ran more of the back and forth stuff than in a normal year," McGuiness admitted. "We were between Green Bay and the St. Mary's River quite a bit recently."

The giant icebreaker conducted its normal duties in the Straits of Mackinac, the St. Mary's River and Whitefish Bay, but also pinch-hit for the smaller ice tug Mobile Bay, forced to undergo engine repairs at Sturgeon Bay, Wis.

"Usually the places where the biggest ice problems exist and the ships are having the most trouble, that's where the Mackinaw will be sent each year," he explained. "In this case, we were needed to help clear Green Bay so we spent time over there too."  McGuiness said the Mackinaw encountered "a little more ice than in a normal season" and indicated that both Whitefish Bay and Green Bay ice measured in the 24-inch to 30-inch range for thickness.

The ship's visit to the Wisconsin shore of Lake Michigan led to hopes by many that the original Mackinaw might be present for Saturday's launch of the new 2005 version, according to Coast Guard and ship traffic officials at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. However, sentiments were pushed aside when an ice jam developed in the St. Mary's River late last week.

"We were all excited about the launch of the new ship, but we were up in the St. Mary's River by the time the new Mackinaw hit the water," McGuiness confirmed. "It's probably more fitting that the old ship was off working like it was meant to be."

The Mackinaw's crew saw beautiful weather for the most part, McGuiness said, during it's time away breaking ice. He reported no serious mechanical problems while at sea.  "This ship just keeps running better and better," the skipper grinned while crewmembers brought supplies onboard after docking. "We'll be on standby status for now, I'd doubt if we have to go out again unless there is another ice jam someplace."

Reported by Mike Fornes, Cheboygan Tribune
 

 


Future looks bright for South Channel Lights

4/09
Heavy haulers, machine casters, masonry laborers and restoration contractors arrived by boat Tuesday at the South Channel Lights to survey two aging structures built in Lake St. Clair before Abraham Lincoln was president. With project bid manuals in hand, construction experts -- some arriving on Harsens Island via plane -- toured the smaller of the two lighthouses constructed on Lake St. Clair in 1855 to guide ships into the channel.

"We have a dozen contractors specializing in historic preservation to bid on straightening the front, replace the missing cast iron elements and restore the foundation," said Ilene Tyler of Quinn Evans Architects, which entertained bids from contractors vying for the rights to resurrect the lights that lie in an area once known as the "Venice of America."

Tyler was joined by Chuck Brockman of Save Our South Channel Lights, an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization formed 15 years ago to rescue the lighthouses. "Today is a culmination of 15 years of work by a lot of people and volunteers," Brockman said on the docks of Tashmoo Marina on Harsens Island. "This is a first step."

Bob Bryson of Tashmoo Marina taxied contractors to the lighthouses in his 24-foot boat. "Definitely worth saving," Bryson said of the lights.

The smaller of the two lighthouses began to lean in 1875. While construction of a permanent seawall around the front island lighthouse was recently completed, the cost to properly restore the lights is estimated to be about $1 million. "We came out to take a look at the seawall and all the masonry work that needs to be done," said Scott Cashero, a restoration contractor from Detroit-based Grunwell-Cashero. Bid estimates are due April 15, with construction scheduled to begin June 1.

"We specialize in foundations and stabilizing soils," said Steve Maranowski of Spartan Specialties, a pressure grouting service in Sterling Heights. "I've already been a consultant on this project for pilings. We are the only company that performs this type of work."

The taller rear light has a large keeper's house, but it has deteriorated over the years. The red brick-lined light is also in need of major foundation work. "It needs major masonry foundation work," said John Fletcher of Davenport Masonry of Holt, who was joined by local companies including Shepard Marine of Roseville, Gabriel Marine of Algonac, Daniel Williams of St. Clair Shores and Posen Construction of Shelby Township. "We would work in the pilings, get it up on three points, and tip it into position," said Phil Jonassen of Structural Movers in Hart. "It can be done, but costs are involved."

The state in 2003 contributed $450,000 to preserve the lighthouses, which when added to the $150,000 in local funding covers more than half the costs associated with the preservation plan. Save Our South Channel Lights has also spent more than $100,000 to renovate the lighthouses, which have been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

"Lighthouses represent American history from an era that must not be allowed to topple into Lake St. Clair," said Brockman, who also writes a seasonal boating column for The Macomb Daily. "This is our history."

Reported by Tom Watts, The Macomb Daily
 

 


Port Reports

4/09
Toronto:
Reported by Charlie Gibbons
Canadian Ranger shifted itself into the slip at Redpath Sugar this afternoon, the McNally tug Bagotville and spud barge McNally Olympic making way for it. James Norris got up steam this afternoon, and may be departing winter lay-up shortly. English River and Peter R. Cresswell finished unloading their cargoes on Thursday evening and departed. McKeil's harbor tugs Atomic and Glenevis departed this morning for Oshawa, to assist a vessel into port there Sunday. Stephen B. Roman is expected back in Toronto this evening from Bath.

At the Toronto Drydock, the tour boats Harbour Star and Island Princess, the drydock workboat 007, and three private vessels which wintered on the drydock were refloated this morning. The tour boat Wayward Princess went on the drydock this afternoon. Bermingham Construction Co.'s tug William took the Galcon Marine barge Pitts Carillon from the Queen's Quay Terminal Building to Pier 52 this morning. The tug returned solo

Duluth - Superior:
Reported by Al Miller
The 2005 St. Lawrence Seaway navigation season for the Twin Ports is expected to begin Monday when the saltie Utviken is expected to arrive. The vessel is expected to enter port about 1 a.m. and dock at the Cargill elevator in Duluth to begin loading 18,000 metric tons of wheat destined for Italy.

Saginaw River:
Reported by Todd Shorkey
The Wilfred Sykes was inbound Friday afternoon with a split load.  She stopped to lighter at the Bay City Wirt dock before continuing upriver to finish unloading at the Saginaw Wirt Dock.  The Sykes was delayed about 45 minutes from departing Bay City as she had to wait for the Central Michigan Railway bridge to be opened.  The Wilfred Sykes is expected to be outbound early Saturday morning.

Sault Ste. Marie:
Reported by Jon Paul Michaels
It has been one of the fastest spring ice melts in recent memory but Friday brought a variety of problems to traffic in the St. Marys River system. Before sunrise the American Mariner had passed down through the Poe Lock with the Algoisle coming up. Next up was the Algomarine which reported many buoys out of position in the lower river to Soo Traffic Control. The USCGC Buckthorn was dispatched down river to re-position some of the navigational aids and a notice to mariners was broadcast to warn traffic that at least eight buoys were out of place and in some cases even in the middle of the channel. Caution was advised to all shipping. The Walter J. McCarthy was up at the Poe at daybreak and the James R. Barker came down after them. The USCGC Katmai Bay  left Base Soo at 8:30am to help keep the ice moving above Rock Cut, they returned later at 1:15pm.The Michipicoten was down at Point Louise at 9:00am and headed into Algoma Steel in Sault, Ontario with a load of pellets from Marquette. The next ship upbound was the Cedarglen which met the Reserve above the locks on their way down. The steady parade continued with the Alpena downbound light from Heron Bay as the Burns Harbor came upbound light headed for Superior WI. The Canadian Olympic became a victim of the increasingly difficult brash ice above the locks when they tried going into the MacArthur Lock. The ice became packed in ahead of them so tightly that they were unable to close the lock gates behind. The Canadian Olympic was advised to back out and try again but was only able to back up a half a boat length before packed ice astern stopped them. After more than two hours of shifting and flushing ice out they finally were able to lock down and resume their trip.

Toledo:
Reported by Jim Hoffman:
The Buckeye has been shifted over from her original winter lay-up Dock at the Torco Ore Dock and now sits at the Lakefront Dock where the Courtney Burton has been laid up the past 2 years. Her port bow and stern anchors still remain in place aboard the vessel, while the starboard bow anchor has been dropped directly down in front of the vessel. Courtney Burton is now out of the drydock and is now tied up at the old Interlake Iron Company Dock which is just north of the Shipyard. Her hull and stack have been painted up in the Oglebay Norton color scheme. The Burton is now in the fitout process and will be out sailing soon.

At the Shipyard the Detroit Princess remains tied up in the small slip north of the yard. In the large drydock is the U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers tug Cheraw in for survey/repairs. In the small drydock is the tug Frank Pallidino Jr. in for survey/repairs.

On Friday the John G. Munson was loading coal at the CSX Docks with the H. Lee White scheduled to follow later on in the evening. The tug/barge combo Michigan/Great Lakes departed the B-P Dock in the afternoon soon after the tug Karen Andrie with her barge arrived at the B-P Dock to load cargo.

The following vessels are scheduled into the CSX/ Torco Dock complexes during the next few days. The Herbert C. Jackson and Cason J. Callaway are due into the CSX Docks on Monday morning, followed by the CSL Niagara on Weds. The Halifax is scheduled into the Torco Ore Dock on Saturday evening. The Atlantic Superior on Sunday morning, followed by the Nanticoke on Monday.

Marquette:
Reported by Lee Rowe:
The Paul R. Tregurtha brought a load of coal to Marquette on a beautiful Friday.  The Herbert C. Jackson came in for a load of ore.  The Michipicoten is due for a return trip on Saturday, and the Lee A. Tregurtha and Great Lakes Trader expected early in the week.
 

 


Public Photo Gallery Updated

4/09

New albums in the Shipping, Model Building and Post Cards/Collectables/Artwork Galleries
Public Photo Gallery
 

 


Today in Great Lakes History

4/09
On 09 April 1868, SEABIRD (wooden side-wheel steamer, 638 tons, built in 1859, at Newport [Marine City], Michigan) was sailing on her first trip of the season from Manitowoc to Chicago.  At 6:00 a.m. off Waukegan, Illinois, the porter cleaned out the ashes in the cabin stove and threw the hot coals overboard into the wind.  The coals were blown back aboard and a blaze quickly engulfed the vessel.  Only two survived.  They were picked up by the schooner CORNELIA.  102 were lost.  The vessel was uninsured and this was a severe financial blow to the new Goodrich Transportation Company.

On April 9, 1960, Canada Steamship Lines Ltd.’s a.) MURRAY BAY (Hull#164), of Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., entered service as the first Canadian 730-footer.  Renamed b.) COMEAUDOC in 1963, she was scrapped at Port Colborne in 2003.

The LAWRENDOC (Hull#174), was christened jointly with her Collingwood-built sister ship MONDOC (Hull#173) on April 9, 1962.

The Wilson Marine Transit Co., Cleveland purchased the b.) FINLAND, a.) HARRY COULBY (Hull#163) of the Detroit Ship Building Co., on April 9, 1957, and resold her the same day to the Republic Steel Corp., Cleveland with Wilson Marine acting as manager.  Renamed c.) PETER ROBERTSON in 1969 and d.) MARINSAL in 1975.

April 9, 1930 - The CITY OF FLINT 32 entered service under the command of Estan Bayle.

On 9 April 1871, the wooden "rabbit" BAY CITY (152 foot, 372 gross tons, built in 1867 at Marine City, Michigan) had just loaded 270,000 feet of lumber in Bay City for Tonawanda, New York,  when a fire broke out ashore. The ship was set adrift at 11:00 a.m. to get away from the lumber yard blaze. However, as the crew watched the shore fire, sparks smoldered in the ship's cargo. At 2:00 p.m., she burst into flame. Four tugs and a steam-powered fire engine brought along side on a lighter fought the blaze to no avail. The vessel was scuttled to put out the fire. A few days later she was raised and repaired at a cost of $4,000.

On 9 April 1885, laid-up vessels BURLINGTON and CHURCH were hit by the barge ALLEN and forced into the Military Street bridge at Port Huron, Michigan, crashing into the structure and completely blocking the Black River and disabling the bridge. The blame was placed on the Spring thaw.

4/08
The BAY CITY (wooden propeller stem barge, 152 foot, 262 gross tons, built in 1867 at Newport [Marine City], Michigan) had just been rebuilt at Bay City and then refitted at Fitzgerald & Leighton’s yard in Port Huron, Michigan  On 08 April 1871, (some sources give the date as 10 April 1871), on her first trip out from the shipyard, she caught fire and burned to the water line.  She was rebuilt again and lasted until 1891 when she burned again.

The sea trials for the AMERICAN REPUBLIC were conducted in Green Bay on April 8 thru 10, May 4 thru11 and 18, 1981.

Interlake Steamship Co.’s steamer J A CAMPBELL of 1913, was the first bulk carrier to load taconite pellets that were shipped from Reserve Mining’s Davis Works at Silver Bay Minnesota on April 8, 1956.

On April 8, 1957, Great Lakes Steamship stock holders voted to sell the entire 16 ship fleet to four fleets.

On April 8, 1977, at Toledo the G A TOMLINSON required an estimated $235,000 to outfit her machinery for the up coming season.

On April 8, 1905, Pittsburgh Steamship Co.’s steamer a.) ELBERT H GARY (Hull#66), was launched by the Chicago Ship Building Co. Renamed b.) R E WEBSTER in 1963, she was scrapped in 1973 at Santander, Spain.

On April 8, 1969, LEON FALK JR entered Duluth harbor to become the first vessel to arrive from the lower lake region opening the 1969, shipping season at the head of the lakes. She loaded almost 20,700 tons of iron ore bound for Great Lakes Steel’s, Zug Island in Detroit.

April 8, 1998 - An unidentified worker was injured in a fall aboard the CITY OF MIDLAND 41, while it was being converted to a barge in Muskegon.

8 April 1871, was a bad day on the St. Clair River. The schooner A MOSHER had favorable winds, so the captain decided to save the cost of a tow and sail up the St. Clair River without assistance from a tug. In the strong current at Port Huron, the vessel hit some old dock timbers, went out of control and collided with the down bound 3-masted schooner H C POST. The POST's main and fore masts were carried away in the collision. After some vehement arguing, the MOSHER sailed on while the POST anchored in mid-river while her skipper went ashore. The schooner JESSE ANDERSON then sailed out of the Black River and rammed right into the side of the POST. This finished the wrecking of the POST's aft mast. The ANDERSON went out of control and went aground on the river bank. The tug GEORGE H PARKER tried to assist the ANDERSON, but she also got stuck on the mud bank. It was several hours before everything got cleaned up and river traffic was back to normal.

The steam ferry JULIA, owned by C. Mc Elroy of St. Clair, Michigan, started running between St. Clair and Courtright, Ontario on 8 April 1878. She was formerly named U S SURVEYOR. Before JULIA took over this service, the ferries R F CHILDS and MARY MILLS served in this capacity.

The steamer MANCOX (steel propeller crane freighter, 255 foot, 1614 gross tons, built in 1903 at Superior, Wisconsin, originally H G DALTON) of Yankcanuck Steamship Lines was first through the Sault locks for the 1958, season at 7:05 a.m. on 8 April 1958. In locking through the Canadian lock, the MANCOX became the first ship to come through the new lock gates which were installed during the winter months. The American Sault locks had been ready for traffic since March 26, but the Canadian locks had the first ship.

4/07
On 07 April 1906, the Goodrich Transportation Company which was incorporated under the laws of the State of Wisconsin in 1868, was dissolved and a new company, the Goodrich Transit Company, was incorporated under the laws of the state of Maine.  This was just for financial reasons and other than the name and the port of registry of the vessels, everything else remained the same.  The vessels in the company at the time were CHICAGO, CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS, CITY OF RACINE, GEORGIA, INDIANA, IOWA, SHEBOYGAN, VIRGINIA, and tug ARCTIC

Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd.’s new CANADIAN TRANSPORT  was christened April 7, 1979.

The tanker ROBERT W STEWART, b.) AMOCO MICHIGAN was delivered to Standard Oil Co. on April 7, 1928,  as the second largest tanker in service at the time of her launch.

JAMES LAUGHLIN (Hull#16) of the Great Lakes Engineering Works was launched April 7, 1906, for the Interstate Steamship Co., Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp.  Later renamed b.) HELEN EVANS, she was scrapped at Cartagena, Columbia in 1983.

The EMORY L  FORD was sold on April 7, 1965, to the Reiss Steamship Co., and renamed b) RAYMOND H REISS, the last vessel purchased by Reiss.

TEXACO BRAVE of 1929, arrived at Ramey's Bend from Toronto on  April 7, 1975, in tow of tugs G W ROGERS and BAGOTVILLE for scrapping.

In 1974, the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.’s steamer THOMAS W LAMONT loaded the initial shipment of ore for the season at the D.M. & I.R. ore docks in Duluth.

On 7 April 1871, the tug S V R WATSON was towing the schooner S G SIMMONS out of Chicago harbor at noon when the WATSON stalled. The schooner plowed into her broadside, causing the tug to tip on her beam ends, take on water and sink. Four men were trapped below decks and drowned; two survived. The WATSON was later raised and returned to service.

On 7 April 1873, the contract for the building of a new carferry, MICHIGAN, for the Great Western Railway was awarded to the Jenkins Brothers of Windsor, Ontario. The new vessel was planned for service on the Detroit River. Her engines were built at Montreal by Canada Engine Works for a cost of $100,000. The hull alone cost $600,000.

Although the locks are not scheduled to open until Thursday, 12 April 1962, the Canadian Sault harbor was officially opened Saturday, 7 April 1962, when the tanker IMPERIAL LONDON pulled into the Imperial dock between the two hospitals. Captain Russel Knight accepted the traditional silk top hat. The IMPERIAL LONDON, carrying almost 1,000,000 gallons of gasoline, led the IMPERIAL SIMCOE, loaded with 19,000 barrels of fuel oil for household heating, up the St. Marys River to the Sault.

4/06
The KENNEBEC was launched on 06 April 1901, by the Jenks Ship Building Company (Hull #18) at Port Huron, Michigan for Mssrs. F. B. & F. P. Chesbrough of Detroit.  She lasted until 1921, when she sank off the coast of New Jersey.

ALGOLAKE (Hull#211) of Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., was christened April 6, 1977, she was the first maximum-sized ship of this type in Algoma's fleet with all cabins aft.

The a.) HON PAUL MARTIN (Hull#228), departed Collingwood April 6, 1985, on her maiden voyage for Canada Steamship Lines to load grain at Thunder Bay, Ontario,  bound for Quebec City, Quebec. She was the largest vessel built at Collingwood as a result of the new Seaway regulations that allowed increased hull lengths beyond the previous maximum overall of 730 foot to transit the lock systems.  She sails the Lakes today as b.) ATLANTIC ERIE.

PRAIRIE HARVEST sailed on her maiden voyage in 1984.

On April 6, 1990, Paterson’s CANADOC of 1961, was laid up at Montreal, Quebec never to sail again.

NOTRE DAME VICTORY, b.) CLIFFS VICTORY, was delivered to Interocean Steamship Co., on April 6, 1945, under charter from the U.S. Maritime.Commission

The a.) LOUIS R DAVIDSON (Hull#95) of the Great Lakes Engineering Works was launched April 6, 1912, for the American Steamship Co.  Later renamed b.) DIAMOND ALKALI in 1932, c.) DOW CHEMICAL in 1939 and d.) FERNDALE in 1963.  She was scrapped at Castellon, Spain in 1979.

April 6, 1931 - The CITY OF FLINT 32 set a world record sailing 101,000 miles in her first year of service.

On 6 April 1872, the schooner I N FOSTER was launched from the Fitzgerald & Leighton yard at Port Huron, Michigan. She was classified as a "full-sized canaller" since she was as large as a vessel could be to pass through the Welland Canal. Her dimensions were 143 foot overall, 26 foot inch beam, 11 foot 6 inch depth, 437 tons.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Steve Haverty, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.  This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.
 

 


Hearing begins into Jan. 19 barge explosion

4/08
The owner of the barge that exploded and sank on the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal, killing one, didn't have a lot of answers during the first day of a U.S. Coast Guard hearing about the incident.

Dennis Egan, owner of Egan Marine Corp. in Lemont, told the hearing officer his company was experienced in towing combustible cargo.  Asked if the company had an operations manual, Egan said: "I assume we have one. I'm sure it's made available to our employees, but I don't think it is required reading." And under questioning from Coast Guard Cmdr. Mark Hamilton, Egan said he hires an outside firm to conduct training and safety drills.  "I know (the safety manual) exists, I'm just not real familiar with it," he said.

Egan said he didn't know the name of the outside firm that drafts the company's safety guidelines. "I don't have time to do all that," he said of drafting company safety procedures. "I'm sure the company puts a safety manual together or we wouldn't pay them."  Egan said employees who don't follow company policy are dismissed. "Because of the laws today, we can't flog them," he said. Egan was questioned for several hours Monday as Coast Guard officials try to determine the cause of the explosion.

The hearing could last up to two weeks and might involve questioning as many as 25 people. It is being held in a conference room at the William Tell Holiday Inn on Joliet Road in Countryside.

The barge was hauling 14,000 barrels of clarified slurry oil when it exploded about 4:45 p.m. Jan. 19. Crewman Alex Oliva, 29, of Oak Lawn, was killed. His body was found about a week later in the canal. It was initially thought a boiler used to heat the oil and make it easier to pump out had exploded. But the boiler was later found to be fully intact. The 4,000-ton tank barge was carrying the oil from the Exxon Mobile refinery in Lemont to the Ameropan Oil Co. in Chicago when the explosion occurred.

Emergency management crews hired by Egan Marine have been working to clean up and remove the oil from the four cargo holds and raise the barge out of the water. About 6,000 of the 14,000 barrels of oil have been removed, and the barge is about half-way out of the water. The cost of the recovery effort could reach $2 million. Egan Marine's insurance company is expected to cover the cost.

Reported by the Daily Southtown
 

 


Port Reports

4/08
Sault Ste. Marie:
Reported by Roger LeLievre
The huge pile of coal delivered to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan's Carbide dock in an unusual January trip by the Paul R. Tregurtha has now been completely
transferred to the Algoma Steel Corp. in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.  Some of the coal was transported by truck over the International Bridge during the winter, with the remainder shuttled the short distance by the M/V Mississagi after the Soo Locks opened for the season.

John Wellington, Carbide Dock manager, told the Sault Evening News that Mississagi took off two cargos of about 13,000 tons each last Thursday and Friday before finishing off the huge coal pile with another 8,600 tons on Sunday.  Mississagi was used to deliver the metallurgical coal a short distance upriver from the Carbide Dock to the Algoma Steel slip in Sault, Ont.

Toronto:
Reported by Charlie Gibbons
The Peter R. Creswell arrived in port Thursday morning with a cargo of stone, and went down the Turning Basin to dump it. English River returned to port with cement for Lafarge.  Canadian Ranger was moved from Pier 51 to the Redpath Sugar dock and it began unloading it's storage cargo of raw sugar into the newly repaired hopper on the newly repaired dock at Redpath.  McNally Construction Co.'s tug Bagotville and barge McNally Olympic shifted into the Redpath slip after working all winter at repairing the dock damaged last fall by Canadian Provider.

The Port Authority back-up ferry Windmill Point was launched at the Atlas crane from pier 35 Thursday afternoon. The ferry proceeded to its' summer dock at the west end of the harbor. The tour boat Wayward Princess  left it's winter moorings Thursday afternoon and proceeded down the Turning Basin to Toronto Drydock, where it will go on the dock Friday morning, after the five vessels which wintered on the drydock (including the tour boats Harbour Star and Island Princess) are refloated. The MNR vessel Great Lakes Guardian is fitting out in the yard of Eastern Marine Ltd., off Leslie

Duluth - Superior:
Reported by Al Miller
Grain tonnage from the Twin Ports was way down last season, so any grain boat is a welcome sight these days.  On Thursday, two were in port. Pineglen was completing its load at AGP in Duluth while Atlantic Erie was loading with three spouts at the CHS gallery. In other traffic, Edgar B. Speer arrived in late morning to fuel at the port terminal before proceeding down the front channel to the BNSF ore dock, where it loaded pellets for Gary.

Marquette:
Reported by Lee Rowe
The American Mariner loaded ore at Marquette Thursday.  The Michipicoten and Lee A. Tregurtha were expected later in the evening, with the Paul R. Tregurtha due in Friday morning with a load of coal.

Toledo:
Thursday, the H. Lee White left her lay-up just below Toledo Shipyard. Courtney Burton left the long drydock and lies along the dock just below Toledo Shipyard. She still bears the Oglebay Norton star and colours on her stack. Karen Andrie with her tanker-barge are moored in at Sunoco Riverfront Terminal to on-load. Detroit Princess remains in the slip by Cemex Cement silos by the yard. Cheraw, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers tug is moored near the short drydock.

Owen Sound:
Reported by Peter Bowers
Miller Cement, operators of cement silos in Owen Sound for Cemex have announced that the silos have been sold along with other assets of Cemex to Votorantim Cimintos of Brazil.  The new owners are also the owners of St Mary's Cement.

Cement distribution from Owen Sound is expected to cease once the silos are empty which, considering there has been no ships since Dec 29, 2004 when the Cemex Conquest/Susan Hanna brought in the last cargo of the season, is likely very soon.  The close is expected to be temporary although officials state it could be opened in other than cement service.

Beside the Owen Sound distribution terminal, Cemex operates cement mills at Charlevoix, Mich. and Dixon-Marquette, Ill, cement terminals at  Ferrysburg, MI,  Cleveland and Toledo, OH, Milwaukee, Manitowoc and Green Bay, WI. and Chicago IL. as well as the barge Cemex Conquest and freighter Southdown Challenger.

 

 


News Photo Gallery Updated

4/08

News Photo Gallery updated.  Also, Mackinaw Pictures of the Launch (updated).

Note:  This page will generally be used only for photos related to recent news or port/area reports.  Photos of your visits to the various ship watching locations, trips etc. can now be posted in your own albums created in the Public Gallery.  Just click on the Public Photo Gallery link and follow the instructions.
 

 


Public Photo Gallery Updated

4/08

New albums in the Shipping, Model Building and Post Cards/Collectables/Artwork Galleries
Public Photo Gallery
 

 


Great Lakes lighthouses listed for disposal

4/06
The Federal Government Services Administration (GSA) has announced that seven (7) Great Lakes lighthouses are being made available to federal agencies, state and local governments, nonprofit corporations and community development organizations for park/recreation/historic/cultural or educational use.  The lighthouses being offered are Toledo, Ohio Harbor Light, Fairport, Ohio Harbor West Pierhead Light, Menominee, Michigan North Pierhead Light, Ludington, Michigan North Breakwater Light, Holland, Michigan Harbor South Pierhead Light, Charlevoix, Michigan South Pierhead Light and Chicago, Illinois Harbor Light.

Eligible parties must respond, by May 6, 2005, to: GSA Property Disposal, 230 S. Dearborn Street-Room 3774, Chicago, IL 60604. Letters of interest must include state certified article of incorporation. For more information call 312-353-6045 or go to:

National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000 -- Notices of Availability 2005

Additional information and pictures of each light station can be found at http://lighthouse.boatnerd.com/default.htm  

Reported by Dave Wobser
 

 


Port Reports

4/06
Saginaw River:
Reported by Todd Shorkey
The US Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay departed the Essroc dock in Essexville Tuesday morning headed for the lake.  Inbound Tuesday afternoon with a split load was the tug Joe Thompson, Jr. & barge Joseph H. Thompson.  The pair lightered at the Sargent dock in Essexville before continuing upriver to finish unloading at the Saginaw Rock Products dock.  They expected to be outbound Wednesday morning.

Update:  The tug Joe Thompson, Jr. & barge Joseph H. Thompson finished unloading overnight and were outbound early Wednesday morning, passing through Bay City before 8am.  Inbound on Wednesday was the tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader.  The pair lightered at the Bay City Wirt dock before continuing upriver to finish unloading at the Wirt dock in Saginaw.  They then turned in the Sixth Street basin and were outbound for the lake late Wednesday night.

Owen Sound:
Reported by Ed Saliwonchyk

Algoway departed winter lay-up in Owen Sound Tuesday afternoon heading to load stone at Meldrum Bay.

Sault Ste. Marie:
Reported by Jon Paul Michaels
It was a steady afternoon at the Soo with the Lee A. Tregurtha starting it off by locking up through the Poe loaded with coal for Algoma Steel in Sault Canada. Because of the heavier ice above the locks the Tregurtha waited for the  American Spirit and the Hon. Paul Martin to pass down so that they could make their wide turn into the channel to Algoma. Later on the Alpena was upbound light passing through the MacArthur Lock  for the lakehead. A steady rain started to limit visibility as the USCGC Mackinaw departed Base Soo at 4:00 and proceeded down river to assist the USCGC Katmai Bay in keeping the lower river open and passable. The Presque Isle was down loaded at 6:00 pm and had a bit of difficulty with ice in the lock while the St. Clair waited below the Poe. Close behind the St. Clair was the Stewart J. Cort. The early evening saw the Indiana Harbor and the Oglebay Norton upbound and the Tug Jane Ann IV pushing the Sarah Spencer downbound. The busy day ended with the Columbia Star, James R. Barker  and then the Michipicoten reporting down at Gros Cap.

Marquette:
Reported by Lee Rowe
The Michipicoten loaded ore on a cool and rainy Wednesday.  The American Mariner is expected in for a load of ore late

Detroit:
Reported by Tom Welles
Herbert C. Jackson was unloading at the Rouge Complex on Wednesday.

 


Obituary:  Everett Kuiper

4/06
It is sad to report the passing of Everett Kuiper, former owner of the Inn at Lock 7 in Thorold, Ontario.  Ev died three weeks ago, from injuries sustained in an automobile accident in his home town of Dunnville, Ontario.  Ev was 71 years old, a native of Holland, member of the Masonic Order and the Canadian Legion.  He would also volunteer his time driving people to and from hospitals and doctor's offices, as was the case when his car was struck by another car three weeks ago.  Ev leaves his wife and four children and numerous grandchildren.  He was a great host.

The Lock 7 Inn has been the host inn for the annual "Welland Canal Boatnerd Gatherings".

Submitted by Ron LaDue
 

 


Public Photo Gallery Updated

4/06

New albums in the Shipping, Model Building and Post Cards/Collectables/Artwork Galleries
Public Photo Gallery
 

 


New Mackinaw has quite a legend to live up to

4/05
On Saturday, they had a mighty big "if" perched above the banks of the Menominee River - the new Mackinaw icebreaker, a 240-foot-long steel beast built to crash through solid ice to keep the Great Lakes safe for shippers in otherwise treacherous wintertime conditions.  Saturday was launch day for the new ship. Of course, the engineers had done their homework, and few doubted the $90 million vessel would roll once it hit the water sideways after sliding down its specially built ramp.

But. "There is always a certain amount of anxiousness," said Coast Guard Lt. Erik Skow. "There is so much metal moving."

That metal - all 3.6 million pounds of it - started to move just after 11 a.m., when Jean Hastert, wife of U.S. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), donned safety goggles and a leather glove and whacked a bottle of bubbly against the Mackinaw's hull. That triggered a slow-motion tip of the ship followed by a spectacular splash that sent some onlookers on the other side of river - maybe a quarter-mile away - scrambling for higher ground.

The spectacle left many of the thousands of spectators stunned.  "Uh, let's see," Cheryl Spanagel of Bloomer stammered when asked to pick a word to describe the scene. After a few seconds of paging through her mental dictionary, she settled on, "Super."

Months of work are still ahead for the ship's construction crew, followed by months of Coast Guard testing and sea trials. But when it finally is commissioned in summer 2006, the new Mackinaw will indeed be the biggest Coast Guard ship on the Great Lakes, and its icebreaking capabilities will be second to none. Engineers say it should be able to bash through broken ice piled as high as 10 feet.

"Absolutely unique - one of a kind," Coast Guard Lt. William Davis said of the new ship.

But it also will be replacing another one of a kind.

The arrival of the new Mackinaw means the end of a storied career for the old Mackinaw, a bigger but outdated icebreaker that has been clearing shipping lanes and steaming to the aid of distressed vessels for more than a half-century.  That the ships share the same name was meant as a tribute to the original.

"It was important, from a psychological standpoint," explained George Ryan, the retired president of the Lake Carriers' Association, who drove 14 hours from Cleveland for the Saturday ceremony. "The primary icebreaker on the Great Lakes has been the Mackinaw, so when the debate over a name came up, everybody said, 'We've got to have another Mackinaw.' "

Not everyone is happy to see the old Mackinaw go.

"To tell you the truth, we'd like to see the old one stay around," said Jim Ketchum, a 71-year-old from Cheboygan, Mich., home port of the old Mackinaw and the planned home for the new Mackinaw. "So many people have grown up with the old Mack and it's been such a fixture for so many years that we'd hate to see it leave."

The old Mackinaw is probably one of the most recognized and beloved vessels sailing today on the Great Lakes.

"It's the queen of the Great Lakes," said Mike Fornes, a reporter for the Cheboygan Daily Tribune and author of a forthcoming book on the history of the old Mackinaw. "It always has been, ever since it was launched in 1944."

The problem, beyond the fact that it is succumbing to the wear and tear of decades of incredibly of heavy duty, is that it has become too costly to operate, and its mission is restricted primarily to ice-breaking.   That meant the old Mackinaw spent much of its summers as a floating public affairs machine. It shadowed the yachts in the famous Chicago to Mackinac Island race and delivered Christmas trees to Chicago's needy to honor the tradition - and sailors - lost when the Milwaukee-built Rouse Simmons sank off Two Rivers in November 1912.

The new Mackinaw is expected to be busy with year-round missions. It is equipped with a crane to service navigation buoys during the summer months. It will be able to handle law enforcement duties and can be called upon to clean up oil spills.

"Let's face it. It's like everything else - when you have an old car and you're putting more money into it than what it's worth, what do you do? You replace it," said Edwin Pyrzynski, a retired member of the Coast Guard who served three tours on the ship, the first of which began in 1946.

"The new Mack is going to be exactly what's needed," Fornes said. "The great thing is this old one is being treated with the respect that it deserves."

The two ships are scheduled to work together next winter. The following summer the old Mack will be retired, and its future remains unknown. Cheboygan boosters are hoping to land it as a museum, but there is a group from Duluth, Minn., that also has its eyes on the 290-foot-long ship that is nearly 75 feet wide.

Legend has it that the old Mackinaw was purposefully built on such a grand scale in order to make it too big to ever pass through the Welland Canal locks and leave the Great Lakes.  Not true, said author Fornes. The old Mackinaw can actually squeeze through the locks "by a couple of inches."

But old Mackinaw lovers don't need to fret that the ship will find a new home outside the Great Lakes.

"There is a better reason it won't ever leave - the engine cooling systems were built on that ship to handle only freshwater," Fornes said. "So if it ever did get up into the Atlantic, the saltwater would fry the motors."

Others are already starting to warm to the new Mackinaw.

Duluth's John Gibson took a six-hour bus ride to watch the launch. He arrived on Friday and was treated to an up-close tour.

"You can kind of feel the ship when you get that close," he said. "It's got an aura. It's got a life, even though it's a ship."

Reported by Dan Egan, Milwaukee Sentinel Journal
 

Pictures of the Launch (updated)

 

 


Port Reports

4/05
St. Lawrence Seaway:
Reported by Rene Beauchamp
First ship in the Seaway on opening day at St. Lambert lock March 25 was Canadian Enterprise upbound for Gary, IN. First vessel downbound was Cedarglen the next day downbound for Quebec City. First foreign-flag ocean-going vessel was the Menominee bound for Toledo on  March 28. Following her was the tanker North Challenge in ballast to Sarnia. Actually, both entered the Seaway at CIP2 very late on March 27. However, they transited the St. Lambert lock after midnight so are recorded officially as entering the Seaway on March 28. For North Challenge, this was her first trip since Oct.2003.

The first new salty will be probably the BBC Ontario on April 2 bound for the Soo. Other new ones will be Federal Mackinac and Calypso.  Calypso will be the fifth vessel of that name to trade in the Lakes. She is  the former Adimon under which name she was a regular caller. She was a regular one also under her original name of Hercegovina. Her destination will be Marinette.

Michalikis, ex Ferbec was beached at Alang, India one week ago on March 24 to be broken up. She had departed Montreal on February 11 for India.

Duluth-Superior:
Reported by Al Miller

Algocape took the season's first load of grain in the Twin Ports. It was loading Saturday morning at the CHS (Cenex Harvest States) gallery. A tug from Great Lakes Towing broke ice in the slip on Friday morning. Elsewhere, Oglebay Norton loaded coal at Midwest Energy Terminal on Saturday afternoon. It was expected to be followed by Mesabi Miner, arriving late Saturday or early Sunday.

Toronto, ON:
Reported by Charlie Gibbons
Canadian Leader departed winter lay up here around 4 p.m. Friday. The tour boat Showboat Royal Grace was out for a shakedown cruise Friday afternoon.  The Spirit of Rochester, which sank at the dock last fall, is expected here next week for drydocking.

Saginaw River:
Reported by Todd Shorkey
The tug Mark Hannah and her tank barge were inbound the Saginaw River Sunday afternoon, bound for the Dow Chemical dock to offload.  The pair encountered difficulty with the ice cover still present on the Saginaw Bay and were assisted by the US Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay who has been working track maintenance in the area since Friday.  The Neah Bay is expected to escort the Mark Hannah outbound Monday morning.

Updated: 
The tug Mark Hannah and her tank barge finished unloading overnight at the Dow Chemical dock in Bay City and departed for the lake shortly before eight Monday morning.  The pair was escorted out by the cutter Neah Bay, who remains in the area to help with ice problems on the Saginaw Bay.

Marquette:
Reported by Lee Rowe
The Mesabi Miner brought coal to Marquette's WE power plant on a beautiful sunny Monday.  The Herbert C. Jackson came in for a load of ore and was followed by the Michipicoten later in the evening.  The Earl W. Oglebay brought the season's first load of coal to Marquette's Shiras Power Plant on Sunday.

Buffalo:
Reported by Brian Wroblewski
The South Park Ave. Lift Bridge over the Buffalo River will close to all vehicle traffic on Monday the 4th of April for a $7 Million rehabilitation. Located roughly one mile downstream from the head of navigation, the twin tower span was originally built in the 1960's to replace an aging bascule bridge at this location. The vertical lift design allowed for the removal of a support pier from the old bridge and increased maneuvering room in this narrow stretch of the river. The road surface was originally made from steel grating but the deck was paved over years ago to defer the cost of complete replacement. Vessel traffic had been slowly declining with the closure of Republic Steel and the Mobil Refinery so paving the bridge seemed like a good idea at the time. Since then the city has had ongoing problems with the bridge's lift mechanism due to the increased weight of the asphalt roadway. Stress and strain have taken their toll on the cables, motors, and bearings causing premature wear. Occasional tanker traffic, along with the ice breaking operations of the firetug EDWARD M COTTER and maintenance dredging  have all kept the bridge operating in recent years.

Inside the lift tower showing the original control stand looking out toward the river from the South side. (Photo by Brian Wroblewski)

 

 


Announcement

4/05
DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society Offers Trip on Interlake Freighter and a Premier Overnight at DeTour Reef Light.
The DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society (DRLPS), through the generosity of the Interlake Steamship Company, is offering a trip for four adults aboard one of Interlake’s freighters during the 2005 Great Lakes navigation season.  The trip will be awarded to the first person who agrees to donate a minimum of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) as the founding member of the DeTour Reef Light Preservation Endowment Foundation (“Foundation”).   Since the trip will be on a working vessel, passengers must be in good health and be able to board the vessel (if necessary) via a 45 foot “Fireman Type” ladder.

A premier two day and one night stay for four adults at DeTour Reef Light is offered to the first person who agrees to donate a minimum of five thousand dollars ($5,000) to the DeTour Reef Light Preservation Endowment Foundation.  This overnight will include transportation to DeTour Reef Light, a gourmet dinner prepared by an executive chef, and one served breakfast and one served lunch.  Individuals participating must be physically capable of ascending and descending the 20 foot vertical ladders that provide access to DeTour Reef Light.   Restoration of both the exterior and interior of DeTour Reef Light has been largely completed and the Society will offer public tours this July.

Those wishing to bid on either of these outstanding experiences should send their bid to DRLPS,

P.O. Box 307, Drummond Island, MI 49726 or drlps@starband.net.   A single bid can only be applied to one event.   For additional information please visit www.drlps.com, email drlps@starband.net or call 906-493-6609.

The DRLPS is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization establish in 1998 to restore and preserve DeTour Reef Light and to educate the public about the importance of the Light, its keepers and DeTour Passage.   The Foundation is being established to provide long term funding for the preservation of the DeTour Reef Light.     (Memo: EIN 38-3387252, MICS 27001)
 

 


'Know Your Ships 2005' commemorates Soo Locks' 150th

4/05
The latest issue of the boatwatcher's guide "Know Your Ships" is now available. This year, the book pays tribute to the 150th anniversary of the Soo Locks in text and photos. A photo of the steamer Alpena, taken from the Lockmaster's tower, graces the volume¹s cover (the Vessel of the Year feature will return next year).

"Know Your Ships" is now in its 46th year. To order, or view sample pages:
www.knowyourships.com

Reported by Marine Publishing Co.
 

 


News Photo Gallery Updated

4/05

News Photo Gallery updated.  Also, Mackinaw Pictures of the Launch (updated).

Note:  This page will generally be used only for photos related to recent news or port/area reports.  Photos of your visits to the various ship watching locations, trips etc. can now be posted in your own albums created in the Public Gallery.  Just click on the Public Photo Gallery link and follow the instructions.
 

 


Public Photo Gallery Updated

4/05

New albums in the Shipping, Model Building and Post Cards/Collectables/Artwork Galleries
Public Photo Gallery
 

 


Today in Great Lakes History

4/05
On 05 April 1890, INDIANA (wooden propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 220 foot, 1178 gross tons) was launched by Burger and Burger at Manitowoc, Wisconsin,  for the Goodrich Transportation Company.  The total cost of the vessel was $135,000.

On April 5, 1984, the joined sections of the HILDA MARJANNE and CHIMO's emerged from the Port Weller Dry Dock Ltd., as the b.) CANADIAN RANGER.

Sea trials for Canada Steamship Lines new bulk freighter PRAIRIE HARVEST, (Hull#227) of Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., were complete on April 5, 1984.  She operates in the Lakes today as the self-unloader d.) ALTANTIC HURON.

The a.) LUZON (Hull#54) of the Chicago Ship Building Co. was launched for the Erie Steamship Co., E.D. Carter, mgr., on April 5, 1902.  Renamed b.) JOHN ANDERSON in 1924 and c.) G G POST in 1933.  She was scrapped at Izmir, Turkey in 1972.

April 5, 1977 - Chessie System announced that the CITY OF MIDLAND 41 would be withdrawn from service and only the SPARTAN and BADGER would run for the season.

On 5 April 1854, AMERICA (wooden side-wheeler, 240 foot, 1083 tons, built in 1847 at Port Huron, Michigan) was bound for Cleveland from Detroit. After the captain had set her course and gone to bed, the 2nd mate changed the course to the north. The 1st and 2nd mates disagreed about the course and as they awoke the captain, the ship ran aground near Point Pelee, Ontario. Wave action reduced the vessel to rubble but no lives were lost.

On 5 April 1879, the 3-mast wooden schooner RESUMPTION was launched at the Wolf & Davidson yard in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her dimensions were 143 foot x 29 foot x 10 feet, 294 gross tons, 279 net tons.

April 5, 1962, the tanker ROBERT W STEWART was renamed b.) AMOCO MICHIGAN, The WILLIAM P COWAN was renamed b.)  AMOCO ILLINOIS, the EDWARD G SEUBERT was renamed b.) AMOCO WISCONSIN and the RED CROWN was renamed b.) AMOCO INDIANA, after being transferred from Standard Oil Company in a sale to the American Oil Company for $10 for each ship. Each ship traded in their names and their well known red superstructure for a typical white paint job instead which stuck with them until their end. The only change came to the AMOCO INDIANA when she traded in her black hull for the blue paint of c.) MEDUSA CONQUEST, d.) SOUTHDOWN CONQUEST and currently CEMEX CONQUEST.  She operates today as self – unloading cement barge.

4/04
On 04 April 1908, ALEXIS W THOMPSON (steel propeller bulk freighter, 504 foot, 6437 gross tons) was launched by West Bay City Shipbuilding Co. (Hull #625) at W. Bay City, Michigan for Valley Steamship Co. (W.H. Becker, Mgr.).  She lasted until 1962, when she was towed to Hamilton, Ontario for scrapping by Steel Co. of Canada, Ltd

The keel was laid at Bay Shipbuilding, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin on April 4, 1978, for the Columbia Transportation Div., Oglebay Norton Co.’s,  FRED R WHITE JR (Hull#722).

Sea trials of the tanker ROBERT W STEWART were run on April 4, 1928.

CEDARGLEN was launched on April 4, 1925, as a.) WILLIAM C. ATWATER (Hull#249) by the Great Lakes Engineering Works, for the Wilson Transit Co.

HARRY W CROFT was launched April 4, 1908, as a.) FRED G HARTWELL (Hull#112) by Toledo Shipbuilding Co., for the Mutual Steamship Co., G.A. Tomlinson, mgr.

Interlake Steamship’s E G GRACE became the first Maritimer to be sold for scrap when she was acquired by Marine Salvage on April 4, 1984.

JEAN-TALON was launched April 4, 1936, as a.) FRANQUELIN (Hull#1517) by Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. for the Quebec and Ontario Transportation Co. Ltd.

The harbor tug and fire boat EDNA G was launched April 4, 1896, by the Cleveland Ship Building Co., as (Hull#25), for the Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range Railroad Co.

On April 4, 1983, and on April 4, 1984, the WILLIAM CLAY FORD, opened the inter-lake shipping season at Duluth, Minnesota. While the WILLIAM CLAY FORD was traditionally among the first vessels to visit Duluth-Superior, it was coincidence that she opened the port on the same day during her last two seasons in service.

On 4 April 1872, the schooner JOHN WESLEY was launched from Bailey's yard at Toledo, Ohio. She was built for Skidmore & Abairs. She was classed as a full sized canaller and cost $22,000.

On 4 April 1881, the last two vessels of the Northern Transit Company, CHAMPLAIN and LAWRENCE, were sold to D. H. Day & Company of Grand Haven, Michigan.

4/03
On 03 April 1969, RALPH MISENER (steel propeller bulk freighter, 730 foot, 19,160 gross tons, built in 1967, at Montreal, Quebec) suffered serious fire damage to her engine room during fit-out at Port Colborne, Ontario.

On April 3, 1991, the pilothouse of the WILLIAM CLAY FORD of 1953, was moved by a barge towed by Gaelic tug's CAROLYN HOEY and placed on a specially built foundation at the Dossin Museum for display facing the Detroit River as a fully equipped pilot house.

The tanker a.) TEMBLADOR (Hull#15) of the Barnes – Duluth Shipbuilding Co., was launched April 3, 1943, for the Creole Petroleum Corp, for off lakes use. She later sailed on the lakes as b.) LIQUILASSIE

On 3 April 1872, the passenger/package freight steam barge ROBERT HOLLAND was launched at Marine City, Michigan. She was towed to Detroit by the propeller TRADER to have her machinery installed.

On 3 April 1876, the Port Huron Times reported "The wreck of the schooner HARMONICA, which has been missing for a month or more, has been discovered on the beach near Whitehall, Michigan completely buried in the ice. Four are supposed to have perished."

On 3 April 1894, WILLIAM H BARNUM (wooden propeller freighter, 219 foot, 937 gross tons, built in 1873, at Detroit, Michigan) was carrying corn on her first trip of the season. She was reportedly in poor condition and was insured only for this voyage. Her hull was cut by floating ice and she sank in the Straits of Mackinac about two miles east of present Mackinac Bridge. The tug CRUSADER got her crew off before she sank.

4/02
On 02 April 1900, the JOHN MINER (wooden 3-mast schooner, 134 foot, 273 gross tons, built in 1866, at Detroit, Michigan as a bark) was purchased by S. R. Chamberlain from Frank Higgie for $800.  She only lasted until 19 October 1902, when she was lost in a storm on Lake Huron.

On April 2, 1951, the CLIFFS VICTORY was towed, bound for New Orleans, Louisiana, with her deck houses, stack, propeller, rudder and above deck fittings stored on or below her spar deck for bridge clearance. She was outfitted with two 120 foot pontoons, which were built at the Baltimore yard, that were attached to her hull at the stern to reduce her draft to eight feet for passage in the shallow sections of the river/canal system.

LEON FALK JR was launched April 2, 1945, as a.) WINTER HILL, a T2-SE-Al, World War II, single screw fuel tanker for U.S. Maritime Commission.

The CLIFFORD F HOOD was launched April 2, 1902, as the straight deck bulk freighter a.) BRANSFORD for the Bransford Transit Co., (W.A. Hawgood, mgr.).

The SENATOR OF CANADA sailed under her own power on April 2, 1985, to Toronto, Ontario where she was put into ordinary next to her fleet mate the QUEDOC. She was scrapped in Venezuela in 1986.

The WHEAT KING was lengthened by an addition of a 172 foot 6 inch mid-section (Hull #61) and received a 1000 h.p. bow thruster. This work reportedly cost $3.8 million Canadian and was completed on April 2, 1976.

On April 2, 1953, the J L MAUTHE (Hull#298) of Great Lakes Engineering Works entered service for Interlake Steamship Co. She operates currently for Interlake as the self-unloading barge PATHFINDER

April 2, 1975 - The State of Michigan filed a Federal Court suit to stop the Grand Trunk Railway from selling GRAND RAPIDS. It was felt that selling the ferry would build a stronger case for abandonment of the entire ferry service.

On 2 April 1874, A H HUNTER (wooden propeller tug, 58 foot, 28 gross tons) was launched at Saginaw, Michigan. She was built for Donnelly & Clark of Saginaw by Wheeler. The engine was built by Bartlett & Co. of Saginaw. Her boiler and some other equipment were from the almost new tug KATY REID that burned at Salzburg, Michigan in October 1873.

4/01
On 01 April 1887, W. T. Botsford & Company of Port Huron, Michigan bought the COLORADO (wooden propeller package freighter, 254 foot, 1470 gross tons, built in 1867 at Buffalo, New York).  She was added to their two other vessels: DEAN RICHMOND and ROANOKE.

The STEWART J CORT was commissioned on April 1,1972.

In April 1965, Interlake’s steamer J A CAMPBELL was renamed c.) BUCKEYE MONITOR after being purchased by the Buckeye Steamship Co. 

Realizing that the bulk trades were too competitive, Captain John Roen's Roen Transportation Co. sold the CAPTAIN JOHN ROEN to the American Steamship Co. (Boland & Cornelius, mgr.) on April 1, 1947, for $915,000.

The ROY A JODREY started her first full season opening navigation at the Soo Locks April 1, 1966, with a load of stone for Algoma Steel.

Dismantling of the G A.TOMLINSON, a.) D O MILLS, began in Ashtabula, Ohio, on April 1, 1980, and was completed eight months later in December.

April 1, 1903 - Gus Kitzinger of the Pere Marquette Line Steamers, acquired the PERE MARQUETTE 3 & 4 from the Pere Marquette Railway Co.

Sailors at Chicago went on strike on 1 April 1871, for an increase in pay. They were getting $1.50 a day. Some ship owners offered $1.75 but when word came that the Straits of Mackinac were clear of ice, the sailors demanded the unheard of daily wage of $3.25. Although some ships stayed in port, the $1.75 wage was accepted and the barks MARY PEREW, J G MASTEN and C J WELLS, along with the schooners DONALDSON, PATHFINDER and CHAMPION set sail on 1 April 1871.

On 1 April 1904, CONDOR (2-mast wooden schooner, 58 foot, 22 gross tons, built in 1871, at Sheboygan, Wisconsin), while lying at anchor in the Kalamazoo River at Singapore, Michigan, was crushed by ice moving out in the Spring breakup.

3/31
On 31 March 1971, the American Steamship Company’s RICHARD J REISS grounded at Stoneport, Michigan while moving away from her dock.  She damaged her number 9 tank.

Christening ceremonies took place at St. Catharines, Ontario.on March 31, 1979, for the 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. bow thruster was installed at this time. She would be rechristened as the c.) JOHN DYKSTRA two months later.

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.

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

3/30
The CHEMICAL MAR arrived at Brownsville, Texas on March 30, 1983, in tow of the tug FORT LIBERTE to be scrapped there.

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

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

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

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

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

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Steve Haverty, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.  This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.
 

 


New USCG Mackinaw launched

4/03
The New USCG Mackinaw was launched at Marinette Marine Co. Saturday just before 11AM. A very large crowd of several thousand people (Both sides of river) cheered as the Mackinaw was side launched into the Menominee River. A large number of Coast Guard and other dignitaries were on hand for the special occasion.

Pictures of the Launch
(more pictures to be added later)

Reported by Scott Best
 

 


U.S. Steel news

4/03
U.S. Steel has announced it will rebuild and modernize the No. 13 blast furnace at its Gary Works steel-producing plant in Gary, Ind., a move that signals a bright future for taconite mines Minntac and Keewatin Taconite in Minnesota and the Great Lakes ships that carry pellets to the mill. The project will cost more than $260 million, said John Armstrong, a U.S. Steel spokesman.

U.S. Steel's Minntac Mine in Mountain Iron and Keewatin Taconite produce taconite pellets that are shipped to Gary Works as a primary ingredient in steelmaking. The pellets are primarily hauled out of Two Harbors aboard vessels of Great Lakes Fleet, which has several more years remaining on its contract to carry pellets for U.S. Steel.

"It's great news that they're reinvesting in the basic blast furnace," Joe Scipioni, Keewatin Taconite general manager, told the Duluth News Tribune. "It's our one and only customer for pellets and it's a big furnace right in the heart of our market. It's our bread and butter for the pellet industry here."

Because of a surge in steel production from modern minimills, some industry experts in recent years have questioned whether integrated steelmakers would be willing to spend millions to rebuild aging blast furnaces.

"Our primary focus is to keep the Gary Works going," said Armstrong of the investment. "But it really affects our raw materials operations as well, because we need pellets to operate and make steel."

The No. 13 blast furnace at Gary Works was built in 1974 and refurbished in 1991. It produces about 45 percent of the iron made at Gary Works.  The investment is a sign that U.S. Steel is committed to maintaining Gary Works as a flagship steel plant, Ray Terza, Gary Works general manager, said in a news release.

The furnace, which currently produces 7,045 tons of hot metal a day, will produce 9,200 tons a day after being rebuilt and upgraded with new technology. The reconstruction is scheduled to begin Aug. 1 and be completed Oct. 30. The furnace, one of four at Gary Works, would then be renamed No. 14.

Reported by Al Miller
 

 


Sault Ste. Marie's Valley Camp museum to open as usual, but under new management
 

4/03
Despite rumors to the contrary, Sault Ste. Marie's Sault Historic Sites says the museum ship Valley Camp will open this season as planned.  Capt. Jimmie Hobaugh, current Historic Sites director, said the museum ship will open as usual for the tourist season this spring, but possibly under a different management arrangement.

"It will be different this year. We will be in company with Famous Soo Locks Cruises Inc. We are partnering with them," Hobaugh told the Sault Evening News on Monday.

The veteran director at Historic Sites said it is no particular secret that its various tourist attractions did not have a good season last year. Like many other tourist-oriented businesses, Hobaugh said Historic Sites suffered through a slow summer last year.

What will happen though is that Hobaugh will no longer head the Historic Sites operation. "I am no longer executive director of Le Sault de Sainte Marie Historic Sites. I'm going back into retirement," Hobaugh said on Monday.  "Rich Brawley (of Famous Soo Locks Cruises) will be the operator. That's the plan now," Hobaugh added.

That much said Hobaugh said he is not ducking out of the picture entirely.  "I'll be around ... I have too much time in to walk away from it," Hobaugh said.

The retired Coast Guard captain said the Kemp Marina, managed by Historic Sites, and the Tower of History, will also open as usual for the upcoming season.

Garth MacMaster, vice-president of the Historic Sites governing board, characterized the deal as mainly a promotional union similar to those struck between other tourist-oriented businesses. "A lot of tourist operations are combining for marketing ... Famous (Soo Locks Cruises) has always done a great job with advertising," he explained. He said the cruise line already promotes several other local and regional tourist attractions along with its own tour boat line.

He said whatever agreement emerges from the ongoing talk with the cruise line, Historic Sites will retain its distinct identity.

Reported by Jack Storey, Sault Evening News
 

 


Court ruling may affect Great Lakes shipping

4/03
Great Lakes shipping could be significantly affected by a Thursday court ruling that ship's ballast water must be regulated as pollution, port officials and environmentalists say.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston in San Francisco ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to immediately repeal regulations exempting ship operators from having to obtain permits that regulate the discharge of pollution.  The decision appears to force the EPA into regulating ballast, including setting standards on the level of pollution allowed.  More will be known after an April 15 court-ordered meeting of the parties and judge.

"This is a huge decision. It forces the EPA to take long-overdue action to keep invasive species out of the Great Lakes and all U.S. waters," said Jordan Lubetkin of the National Wildlife Federation's Great Lakes office. "It's not exactly clear how this will proceed, or how soon.... But it means that any ship now coming into the Great Lakes or any other U.S. port will need a permit. The problem is, there's no standard set. The EPA, by their inaction up to now, has really hung the shipping industry out there."

Ray Skelton, environmental and government affairs director for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, called the decision "lunatic fringe."  "Nobody's been planning to deal with this because it would be impossible to do. We're assuming it will be overturned," he said. "Even if EPA tried to enforce it, they couldn't begin to do the job. It would shut things down."

EPA officials in Washington hadn't heard of the decision until Friday.  "The agency is currently reviewing the decision and discussing available options," said Dave Ryan, EPA spokesman. The agency has 60 days to appeal the decision.

In 1999, the Washington, D.C.-based Ocean Conservancy and four other environmental groups petitioned the EPA to start regulating ballast, claiming the Clean Water Act prohibits the discharge of pollutants, including biological materials such as invasive species, into U.S. waters without a permit.  When the EPA refused to act, the groups filed a lawsuit in federal court in 2003. San Francisco Bay, like the Great Lakes, has been hit hard by exotic species, most of which came to the area in the ballast of ships.

In her 18-page decision, Illston ruled that the EPA does not have the authority to exempt an entire class of discharge from regulation, likening ballast water to stormwater runoff as a category of water pollution to be regulated.

Ships use water in their ballast to aid in steering, especially when they are not carrying cargo, and the volume of water can add up. According to the judge's decision, a ship in the Great Lakes can contain as much as 14 million gallons of ballast water, while seagoing ships can carry twice that much. In all, it's estimated that the amount of ballast water discharged in U.S. ports annually exceeds 21 billion gallons.  As ocean-going ships arrive in Great Lakes ports to pick up grain and other materials, scientists say they may be carrying exotic fish, mussels or organisms that could wreak havoc here -- following past invaders such as zebra mussels, spiny water fleas, goby and ruffe.

Experts say at least 40 more species in Western European ports are candidates to make the move across the Atlantic to take hold in the Great Lakes.

The issue of ballast controls hasn't moved far in Congress, but it's advancing on two other fronts. The U.S. Coast Guard began reviewing ballast rules last year and will hold a public hearing on the issue in Cleveland in May. And state lawmakers in Michigan, frustrated at the lack of federal action, in March proposed tough new state laws.

Industry officials have been working since 1989 to find an economical way to filter or clean ballast water. But officials say there's no practical or affordable technology to clean ballast water on board ships to a level that would, for example, remove zebra mussel larvae.

About 1,200 ships visit the Twin Ports each year, about 100 of which are salties. Exotic species brought into other parts of the Great Lakes also can be moved around within the lakes by Great Lakes freighters

Reported by John Myers, News Tribune Staff Writer
 

 


Port Reports

4/03
Toronto, ON:
Reported by Gerry Ouderkirk
Algonorth departed winter lay up Friday afternoon around 2 p.m. and headed for the Welland Canal on her first trip of the season. English River finished unloading at the Lafarge dock and departed earlier in the morning. The schooner Kajama was out for a shakedown cruise Friday afternoon. The charter boat River Gambler went out for its first charter of the season on Friday night.  Haul out at the Atlas crane of the tug Wendy B., which was supposed to take place Friday morning, was postponed, as repairs to the Port Authority ferry Windmill Point have not been completed.

Owen Sound, ON:
Reported by Ed Saliwonchyk

Capt. Henry Jackman departed Owen Sound Friday evening and passed by the incoming CCGS Griffon.
 

 


Coast Guard rescues tug boat crew after sinking

4/02
A search and rescue crew from Coast Guard Station Calumet Harbor rescued four people from the water after their tug sank off of the Hammond water intake crib a quarter mile south of Calumet harbor Thursday.

 

The Station Calumet Harbor crew received a call at 12:35 p.m. from Holly Marine that one of their tugs the Margaret Ann had sunk and that they had four people in the water.  The Coast Guard crew responded to the scene with one of their 25-foot small boats and had retrieved all four people from the water.  All four people were wearing life jackets and were only in the water for approximately eight minutes. 

 

The rescued persons were transported back to the Coast Guard Station where they received treatment for hypothermia by Coast Guard personal and local emergency medical services.

 

The tug was towing two barges that are still afloat.  A Coast Guard small boat is at the site of the sunken tug boat to help maintain a safety area around the site until a marker can be placed identifying the wreak.

 

The Coast Guard Marine Safety Office is responding to the scene to survey the wreck and assess any environmental impact.

 

The cause of the sinking is unknown at this time.

 

Reported by the U.S. Coast Guard

 

Margaret Ann in Detroit, Jan. 2005. (photo by Mike Nicholls)
 

 


Coast Guard to hold public meeting on stopping species’ invasions into the Great Lakes

4/02
The Coast Guard will hold a public meeting on May 9 in Cleveland seeking public assistance in further preventing aquatic nonindigenous species from entering the Great Lakes from the ballast water discharged from oceangoing vessels.  Specifically, the Coast Guard is exploring ways to manage the ballast water on vessels entering the Great Lakes that have so little water in their ballast tanks, they cannot pump it out and thus declare they are “No Ballast Onboard” vessels, or NOBOBs.  


“Protecting the Great Lakes from invasive species is an important issue for the Coast Guard.  I expect that working with the public will greatly assist us in developing effective and practicable management strategies for NOBOBs,” said Coast Guard Rear Adm.  Thomas Gilmour, assistant commandant of marine safety, security and environmental protection. “Developing these strategies presents a complex challenge and requires close collaboration between the Coast Guard and the public.”

Since 1993, ballast water rules require ships to manage their ballast water. These ships account for an estimated 99 percent of all ballast water brought to the Great Lakes.  Because of trade patterns, many vessels calling on the Great Lakes do so fully loaded with cargo, and thus in a NOBOB condition.

NOBOBs carry residual water and sediments in their ballast tanks that may contain harmful species. Once NOBOBs enter the Great Lakes and begin to unload inbound cargo and load outbound cargo, they often must take on Great Lakes water for safety and stability.

If the resulting mix of Great Lakes and residual water is subsequently discharged into the Great Lakes as the ship loads more cargo, the foreign organisms carried in the residual water may be introduced into the Great Lakes.

Currently, NOBOB vessels, which are fully loaded with cargo and have already emptied as much ballast water as is possible, can not conduct mid-ocean ballast water exchange to flush out potential invaders on their in-bound voyage.  Thus, alternative approaches are needed to prevent the introduction of unwanted organisms by these vessels.

In addition to the public meeting, the Coast Guard has requested written comments from the public to help it develop NOBOB ballast water management strategies.

The May 9 meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Anthony J. Celebreeze Federal Building, 1240 East Ninth Street.  The Coast Guard is also holding an evening public meeting at the same location from 5 to 7 p.m. for those that cannot attend the day meeting.

More information on the public meeting can be found at: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-m/mso/ans.htm.  The Notice of Public Meeting: Request for Comments can be found at: http://dms.dot.gov.  In this web site, proceed to simple search, and under docket number, enter 19842.

Reported by the U.S. Coast Guard
 

 


Port Reports

4/02
Buffalo, NY:
Reported by Brian Wroblewski
The removal of the Niagara River Ice Boom has been delayed for at least another week due to heavy ice cover on the Eastern Basin of Lake Erie. Air observations indicate 35 percent ice which is about twice the surface area allowed before boom removal.

Meanwhile, the public can get a close up view of the fire tug Edward M. Cotter at the Pier Restaurant Friday starting at 4 p.m. She will be there for "Boom Days", a new local celebration toasting the removal of the Ice Boom, considered the true start to Spring in Buffalo. For detailed information, head to www.boomdays.com.

Sarnia, ON:
Reported by Barry Hiscocks

Just prior to 7:00 PM, the Manistee advised that she intended to depart lay up in the North Slip and back down to Shell later this evening after the Griffon departs the fuel dock. Her current orders have her proceeding in ballast to Calcite.

Saginaw, MI:
Reported by Todd Shorkey
The tug Invincible & barge McKee Sons was inbound the Saginaw river late Friday night.  The pair were headed up to the Saginaw Rock Products dock to unload and expected to be outbound Saturday morning.  Escorting the McKee Sons in was the US Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay.  The Neah Bay tied up near the mouth of the river for the evening and expected to be outbound to do track maintenance at 8 am Saturday.

Marquette, MI:
Reported by Lee Rowe
The Lee A. Tregurtha came to Marquette Friday for a load of ore.  Fleetmate Charles M. Beeghly is expected Saturday morning with a load of coal, but will not take on ore.  The Michipicoten is also due Saturday morning for a load of ore, but will have to wait until the Beeghly finishes unloading.

Detroit, MI:
Reported by Tom Welles
Tug Karen Andrie with her barge "A-397" were assisted by the "G Tug" Wyoming, Thursday afternoon to depart the Rouge during strong wind conditions.  Rt. Hon Paul J. Martin departed Severstal Steel's berth at the FORD Rouge Plant late Friday, afternoon, after discharging a load of coke from Quebec City,  assisted by the "G Tugs" Wyoming and Maine.  It was a tight squeeze past the docked Sea Eagle II and her cement barge.
 

 


News Photo Gallery Updated

4/02

News Photo Gallery updated. 

Note:  This page will generally be used only for photos related to recent news or port/area reports.  Photos of your visits to the various ship watching locations, trips etc. can now be posted in your own albums created in the Public Gallery.  Just click on the Public Photo Gallery link and follow the instructions.
 

 


Public Photo Gallery Updated

4/02

New albums in the Shipping, Model Building and Post Cards/Collectables/Artwork Galleries
Public Photo Gallery
 

 


"April Fools Day" news page

4/01
For
the 2005 "April Fools Day" news page, click on the following link:  April Fools 2005
 

 


Cutter Mackinaw launch

3/31
The public is invited to attend the Christening and Launching Ceremony for the Icebreaker MACKINAW at Marinette Marine scheduled Saturday, April 2.  Jean Hastert, will serve as the ship’s sponsor and will christen the vessel as Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw by breaking a bottle of champagne across its bow when it is launched from the Marinette shipyard.  Her husband, Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL), will be the keynote speaker at the ceremony. 

 

The Coast Guard is charged with maintaining a heavy icebreaking capability on the Great Lakes.  This capability includes keeping channels and harbors open to navigation in response to the reasonable demands of commerce to meet winter shipping needs.  Since 1944 that mission has been performed by the Mackinaw.  The new Coast Guard Icebreaker, which is also to be named Mackinaw, will relieve her namesake of that mission once she is commissioned.  The new Coast Guard Icebreaker Mackinaw will have multi-mission capabilities in addition to heavy icebreaking that include; servicing buoys, search and rescue, and law enforcement.

 

With a crew of eight officers and 38 enlisted personnel, the icebreaker is scheduled to be delivered to the Coast Guard October 15th and should arrive in Cheboygan, Mich., the cutter’s homeport, later in the year.  The new icebreaker is powered by three Caterpillar diesel engines enabling it to break through 32 inches of level ice at three knots.  Twin Azipod™ Propulsion Units with fixed pitch propellers and a Bow Thruster will propel the ship, providing unparalleled maneuverability.  In order to fulfill its buoy tending mission, the ship has a 20 ton Appleton Crane for lifting and servicing aids to navigation.  In addition, it is equipped with an oil spill recovery system and some of the latest technology that includes state of the art navigation, communication and security systems.

 

The Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard, located on the Menominee River in Marinette, Wisc., will open at 9 a.m. Central Standard Time.  The launch ceremony is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.

Reported by the U.S. Coast Guard
 

 


Shipmasters convene; new members welcome

3/31
The International Ship Masters Association held its 115th annual Grand Lodge Convention at the Park Place Hotel in Traverse City, Mich., recently.

Officers elected were Grand President Raymond Sheldon, Grand 1st Vice President Ronald Brezinski, Grand 2nd Vice President Russell Brohl and Grand Secretary - Treasurer George Skuggen. Appointed Officers are Grand Chaplain Fr. James Keating, Grand Marshall Amy Seeley, Grand Warden Christine Rohn-Tielke and Grand Sentinel John Kelly.  Of the speakers in attendance was Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), RAMD Robert Papp (USCG 9th District Commander), Jim Weakly (President of Lake Carriers Association), John Jamian (MARAD) and David Knight (Great Lakes Commission).

There are many local lodges around the Great Lakes and membership is not limited to those who actually work aboard ship. Associate, as well as active, memberships are available.

The group's next convention will be held in Chicago, IL in Feb. 2006.  ISMA have local lodges around the Great Lakes, for more information about ISMA or membership visit their website at www.shipmaster.org

Reported by Capt. Ray Sheldon
 

 


Port Report

3/31
Green Bay, WI:
Reported by Jason Leino
The 2005 season has started in the port of Green Bay. The Cason J. Callaway was the first official vessel to enter the port of Green Bay, but the John G. Munson was the first vessel to dock and start unloading. The Cason J. Callaway arrived Wednesday afternoon at 1445 followed closely behind by fleetmate John G. Munson. The Callaway had to stop in the river to wait for the Canadian National Railroad bridge to open while enroute to the C. Riess Coal Dock allowing the Munson to arrive in port, dock at the Fox River Dock, and start unloading first. The John G. Munson received a large cake for being the "first vessel" of the year.

Alpena, MI:
Reported by Ben & Chanda McClain

The past few days in the area have been busy with vessel activity.  The Steamer Alpena was in port loading at Lafarge in the early morning hours on Easter Sunday. Also around the same time, the Calumet was unloading the first of three salt cargos from Goderich, ON that were delivered to the Alpena Oil Dock in the Thunder Bay River. The Calumet returned on Monday morning and late Tuesday night. The J.A.W Iglehart left temporary lay-up in Muskegon and arrived in Alpena early Wednesday morning. It took on cargo bound for South Chicago. The Calumet loaded at Stoneport on Wednesday morning, followed by the Arthur M. Anderson later in the day.  The Buffalo and the Joseph H. Thompson were the next vessels on the schedule.

Duluth, MN & Superior, WI:
Reported by Al Miller
Algocape became the first boat to arrive in the Twin Ports this season for a cargo other than coal or ore when it tied up at St. Lawrence Cement on March 30 to unload. It may also become the first to load grain later this week.  Last of the lay-up fleet to leave will be American Mariner, which is scheduled to leave Hallett Dock 5 on March 31 to move next door to load at the DMIR ore dock.

If you want to find 1,000-footers in April, look to Midwest Energy Terminal. According to the dock schedule, Paul R. Tregurtha, Walter J. McCarthy Jr. and Oglebay Norton will spend the entire month hauling coal out of Superior, with Indiana Harbor, Columbia Star and Mesabi Miner making trips as well.  The Tregurtha is scheduled to load April 1, 6, 11, 14, 19, 24 and 30; the McCarthy, April 4, 10, 17, 22, 29; and Oglebay Norton on April 2, 7, 14, 20, and 25.

Saginaw, MI:
Reported by Todd Shorkey
The tug Joe Thompson and barge Joseph H. Thompson were inbound the Saginaw River on Tuesday arriving with a split load.  The pair lightered at the Bay City Wirt dock before continuing upriver to finish unloading at the Saginaw Wirt dock.  The Thompson experienced difficulty in turning due to strong river currents and tied up in Saginaw to await assistance.

The Joseph H. Thompson and tug Joe Thompson, Jr.  were finally able to turn Wednesday night, with the assistance of the tug Gregory J. Busch, and depart the river for the lake.  The pair were downbound at the I-75 bridge around 8:30 pm.  It was felt that the already shallow upper river had silted in even more over the winter/spring and that the Sixth Street Turning Basin was the worst.

Marquette, MI:
Reported by Lee Rowe:
The Michipicoten and Herbert C. Jackson both arrived in Marquette for ore on Wednesday and were facing long waits for their loads.  The Lee A. Tregurtha is expected next, along with the return of the Michipicoten.
 

 


'Know Your Ships 2005' commemorates Soo Locks' 150th

3/31
The latest issue of the boatwatcher's guide "Know Your Ships" is now available. This year, the book pays tribute to the 150th anniversary of the Soo Locks in text and photos. A photo of the steamer Alpena, taken from the Lockmaster's tower, graces the volume¹s cover (the Vessel of the Year feature will return next year).

"Know Your Ships" is now in its 46th year. To order, or view sample pages:
www.knowyourships.com

Reported by Marine Publishing Co.
 

 


News Photo Gallery Updated

3/31

News Photo Gallery updated. 

Note:  This page will generally be used only for photos related to recent news or port/area reports.  Photos of your visits to the various ship watching locations, trips etc. can now be posted in your own albums created in the Public Gallery.  Just click on the Public Photo Gallery link and follow the instructions.
 

 


Public Photo Gallery Updated

3/31

New albums in the Shipping, Model Building and Post Cards/Collectables/Artwork Galleries
Public Photo Gallery
 

 


Winter ice departs peaceably

3/30
Winter ice appears to be departing peaceably from area shipping channels just three days after the Soo Locks opened for the new season.  Coast Guard official Mark Gill said this spring's breakout moved along with very little difficulty on passages from Whitefish Point to the Straits of Mackinac.

"Most of our efforts are on grooming (vessel tracks) not on escorts," Gill said of the unusually trouble-free breakout.

On the lower St. Marys River, Gill said passing ship traffic has been pulling large chunks of plate ice into channels, leaving Coast Guard icebreakers the minor chore of re-clearing channels in their wake.  He said commercial ships have been moving well through ice-covered channels and no vessels have been beset in the St. Marys since the Locks opened. One Canadian vessel, Michipicoten, was icebound just outside Whitefish Bay in the days before the Locks opened. That ship was quickly freed by the icebreaker Mackinaw and the first few days of the shipping season have been smooth sailing since.

Similar reports are coming in from Whitefish Bay and the upper St. Marys, as well as the Straits of Mackinac, where Gill said shipping has had remarkably few troubles all winter.  He allowed that the outlook, for whatever is left of a very mild ice season, may change somewhat in coming days at the lower end of the West Neebish Channel. Usually vulnerable to ice jams, the lower West Neebish may yet develop a jam around Moon Island when the accumulated broken ice from upriver finds its way into that bottleneck area.

He said two or three icebreakers may be required to clear the channel off Moon Island and down into Munuscong Bay but beyond that, no big ice troubles loom on the horizon for the small fleet of Coast Guard icebreakers assembled for this spring's breakout.

As of early today, the Bay-Class tug Biscayne Bay was trimming tracks on the lower river and the Juniper-Class tender Hollyhock was downbound to join Biscayne Bay. Mackinaw was working the Straits of Mackinac today before heading west to open Green Bay for the season.  Upriver, the Canadian icebreaker Samuel Risley was off Goulais River early today.  Risley will remain on the upper river and Whitefish Bay through the early portion of this week before heading west to resume breakout at Thunder Bay, Ont.

Gill said steady ship traffic through the first few days of the new Lake Superior season aided in clearing area channels and keeping them clear.  The Sault-based tug Katmai Bay is headed back to Base Sault for a few days of pier time as an unusually easy ice season appears to give way to genuine spring.

Reported by Jack Storey, Soo Evening News
 

 


Port Report

3/30
Saginaw, MI:
Reported by Todd Shorkey
The USCGC Bristol Bay began working the on the Saginaw Bay around 8 am Monday morning.  Breaking a single track from Gravelly Shoal to the mouth of the Saginaw River took until 10:30 PM due to heavy ice ranging from 18 to 30 inches thick.  Bristol Bay was also in contact with the inbound Frontenac, who was approaching Gravelly Shoal around 10:30 PM, informing them that it wasn't the best track, but they should have no trouble making it into the river.  The Frontenac was inbound for the Essroc Terminal in Essexville to unload cement clinker.  She expected around a 10 hour unload and to be outbound Tuesday afternoon.  This is the first commercial cargo of the 2005 shipping season.

Marquette, MI:
Reported by Lee Rowe

The Kaye E. Barker brought coal to Marquette's WE Presque Isle Plant on Monday.  The Michipicoten and Mississagi are due in Tuesday for ore.
 

 


News Photo Gallery Updated

3/30

News Photo Gallery updated. 

Note:  This page will generally be used only for photos related to recent news or port/area reports.  Photos of your visits to the various ship watching locations, trips etc. can now be posted in your own albums created in the Public Gallery.  Just click on the Public Photo Gallery link and follow the instructions.
 

 


Public Photo Gallery Updated

3/30

New albums in the Shipping, Model Building and Post Cards/Collectables/Artwork Galleries
Public Photo Gallery
 

 


DeTour Reef Lighthouse Keeper applications sought

3/28
A few adventurous and fortunate people will have the opportunity this summer to experience living on DeTour Reef Light as a Host Lighthouse Keeper. Keepers will reside at the lighthouse for a few days (tentatively Friday through late Sunday). perform cleaning and maintenance tasks, greet visitors and give tours of the lighthouse, keep a log and prepare their own meals. Keepers must be in good physical condition capable of making multiple trips up and down the vertical 20-foot pier ladders and to the top of the lighthouse tower.

The tentative charge is set at $150.00 for the two nights, and keepers will be responsible for their own food and linens. Individuals desiring an application to become a Lighthouse Keeper on the DeTour Reef Light should send an e-mail to drlps@starband.net with such a request, call 906-493-6609, or mail a self-addressed stamped envelope to DRLPS, PO Box 307, Drummond Island, MI 49726.

 

 


Port Report

3/28
Saginaw, MI:
Reported by Todd Shorkey & Gordy Garris
The start of another season of shipping on the Saginaw River is upon us.  The U.S. Coast Guard cutters Hollyhock and Bristol Bay broke tracks in the Saginaw Bay this weekend in anticipation of the arrival of the Frontenac.  Frontenac is currently scheduled to unload clinker at Essroc in Essexville on Monday.
 

 


Public Photo Gallery Updated

3/28

New albums in the Shipping, Model Building and Post Cards/Collectables/Artwork Galleries
Public Photo Gallery
 

 


Today in Great Lakes History

3/29
N.M. Paterson & Sons, PRINDOC was sold off-lakes during the week of March 29, 1982, to the Southern Steamship Co., Georgetown, Cayman Islands and was renamed b.) HANKEY.

3/28
On 28 March 1997, the USS Great Lakes Fleet’s PHILIP R CLARKE set a record for a salt cargo on a U.S.-flag Laker when she loaded 25,325 tons at Fairport, Ohio for delivery to Toledo, Ohio.  The previous record was 25,320 tons carried by American Steamship’s AMERICAN REPUBLIC in 1987.

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

3/27
EDWARD S KENDRICK was launched March 27, 1907, as a) H P MC INTOSH (Hull#622) at West Bay City, Michigan by West Bay City Ship Building Co. for the Gilchrist Transportation Co., Cleveland, Ohio.

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

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

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

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

C E REFERN (wooden schooner, 181 foot, 680 gross tons) was launched at West Bay City, Michigan by F. W. Wheeler (Hull #65) on 27 March 1890.

3/26
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 then towed to Detroit to be fit out. She was built for Chapaton & Lacroix. She lasted until dismantled in 1921.

3/25
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.

3/24
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 (2) 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.

3/23
The National Transportation Safety Board unanimously voted on March 23,1978, to reject the U. S. Coast Guard's official report supporting the theory of faulty hatches in their EDMUND FITZGERALD investigation. Later the N.T.S.B. revised its verdict and reached a majority vote to agree that the sinking was caused by taking on water through one or more hatch covers damaged by the impact of heavy seas over her deck. This is contrary to the Lake Carriers Association's contention that her foundering was caused by flooding through bottom and ballast tank damage resulting from bottoming on the Six Fathom Shoal between Caribou and Michipicoten Islands.

On 23 March 1850, TROY (wooden sidewheel passenger/package freighter, 182 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 won the honor of opening the Sault Harbor.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Steve Haverty, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.  This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.
 

 


'Know Your Ships 2005' commemorates Soo Locks' 150th

3/27
The latest issue of the boatwatcher's guide "Know Your Ships" is now available. This year, the book pays tribute to the 150th anniversary of the Soo Locks in text and photos. A photo of the steamer Alpena, taken from the Lockmaster's tower, graces the volume¹s cover (the Vessel of the Year feature will return next year).

"Know Your Ships" is now in its 46th year. To order, or view sample pages:
www.knowyourships.com

Reported by Marine Publishing Co.
 

 


Public Photo Gallery Updated

3/27

New albums in the Shipping, Model Building and Post Cards/Collectables/Artwork Galleries
Public Photo Gallery
 

 


Beautiful weather greets first Soo passages of season

3/26
The Soo Locks opened for the 2005 shipping season Friday morning with the upbound passage of the Indiana Harbor. Sunshine and warm temperatures, coupled with plenty of traffic, drew many boatwatchers, who could be spotted at the locks and at Mission Point taking pictures of the early season passages.

It was a busy first day, with only the Poe Lock in use. The Locks opened with the passage of the Indiana Harbor upbound at 1:30 a.m. on Friday. The first downbound ship was the American Spirit which left the locks at 6 a.m. She became stuck in ice above the rock cut and had to have Coast Guard icebreaker assistance to get free and continue her trip.

She was followed downbound by the Presque Isle, which had difficulty with ice in the locks, both entering and exiting. Upbound included the Charles M. Beeghly, Lee A. Tregurtha, Columbia Star, Paul R. Tregurtha, Philip R. Clark, Stewart J. Cort and Great Lakes Trader/Joyce VanEnkevort. The CSL Tadoussac was also downbound.

Reported by Audrey LeLievre and Lee Rowe
 

 


Heavy Ice Greets Mississagi

3/26
Friday the Michipicoten arrived in Marquette about 6:30 p.m. and became stuck in ice a short distance from the loading dock. This was the vessel's first trip of the season arriving from Sault Ste. Marie to load taconite. The vessel was greeted by heavy ice and became stuck about 1,500 feet from the ore dock. She was able to break free and continue about 10 p.m.

The heavy ice field extends about five miles off shore into Lake Superior. The new Coast Guard Cutter Alder, based in Duluth, is available if need to assist in Marquette.

Fleetmate Michipicoten was loading on Friday and had minor problems battling the ice but did manage to make it into the ore dock.

High demand for taconite at Algoma Steel in the Soo will have both vessels battling the ice in Marquette and Whitefish Bay.

Reported by Art Pickering and Lee Rowe
 

 



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