Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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* Report News

Seaway Navigation remains on course in Welland Canal
after incident at Lock 6

4/30 - St. Catharines, Ontario – The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) announced that navigation remains on course in the Welland Canal after an incident at Lock 6. At 5:16 PM Sunday, while raising a vessel, a valve malfunction at Lock 6 resulted in extra water being released into Lock 5.

Subsequently, the surplus water spilled onto the Welland Canal Parkway adjacent to the canal, resulting in the roadway being closed between Glendale Avenue and Lock 7 to all traffic. No injuries were reported as a result of the incident.

After a brief suspension of marine navigation following the incident, navigation resumed at 9:39 PM on Sunday utilizing the east lock within the twinned Lock 6. The west lock is currently closed to facilitate an assessment of the repairs required to the valve mechanism, and may re-open later Monday.

The SLSMC has commenced repairs to the affected portion of the Welland Canal Parkway, and expects that the section between Lock 7 and Glendale Avenue will be reopened by Friday afternoon, May 4th.

St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. News Release

 

Port Reports - April 30

Rochester - Tom Brewer
The shipping season finally got underway today in Rochester with the arrival of the Essroc's barge Metis pushed by the tug Evans McKeil with a load of bulk cement.
In March the Stephen B. Roman tried to enter the Genesee River and ran into silt that had built up.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The McKeil tug Evans McKeil mated with the Essroc cement barge Metis and departed late Saturday for Rochester, arriving there around 10 a.m. Sunday morning.
Saltie Tuscarora arrived in port Saturday night and berthed at Pier 51. The local tug Iroquois passed through the harbor this afternoon. The Governor General of Canada, The Honourable Michelle Jean, rode the island ferry Ongiara to Ward's Island to visit friends there Sunday afternoon.
Olympic Merit remains at Redpath Sugar dock. Stephen B. Roman remains in temporary lay-up at Essroc. H.M.C.S. Halifax remains in port and is doing public tours from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. daily until Monday, after which she departs for Oshawa to do more of the same.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
Late Sunday morning, all was quiet in Milwaukee. The only ship in the harbor was a small ocean bulker the Julia. It was at the Heavy Lift dock.

Quebec - Bruno Boissonneault
The Canadian flagged Artic left Quebec City on Thursday for Jiangyn, China to undergo a major refit that is rumored to extend its life another 20 years. Many items have been floating around regarding that refit namely that the entire accommodation block would be renewed. It is believed that other major items are planned as well.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Sunday the Canadian Leader arrived at 8:30 a.m. and went to the anchorage.
The Algonorth and Canadian Provider were unloading at Dofasco.Canadian Provider departed Dofasco at 11 a.m. making room for the Canadian Leader to dock. The Voyageur Independent departed Pier 25 at 11:15 a.m. after loading corn and wheat for Sorel. CCG ship Simmonds arrived in Burlington at noon and went to the Canada Centre for Inland Waters. The Maria Desgagnes departed Pier 11E at 5 p.m.

Twin Ports - Al Miller & Chris Mazzella
Saturday, the American Valor was unloading at the Cutler Stone Dock. The Reserve remains at Fraser Shipyards undergoing repairs to her turbine.
The saltie Redhead was loading flax at CHS1.
Last Sunday afternoon boat traffic in Duluth-Superior included Joseph H. Thompson moving down the front channel about 5:30 after unloading stone at the C. Reiss Dock in Duluth. It was bound for BNSF to load taconite pellets.
Saltie Federal Patroller was just entering the Duluth ship canal.
The Alpena arrived at the LaFarge Cement terminal in Superior on Friday and was still there Sunday. She unloaded into the J.A.W. Iglehart at the Lafarge dock. After unloading the Alpena was to undergo unknown repairs.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The CSL Laurentian was taking on cargo at the Gateway Terminal around noon on Sunday. She was backed in about half way down the Lackawanna Slip with her boom raised high over the centerline of the main deck while the two portable conveyers were filling her holds with blended coal.

Alpena & Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Saturday morning the U.S. Coast Guard vessel Hollyhock was out in the bay working on navigational aids.
Later in the afternoon the tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation arrived at the Lafarge silos. On Sunday morning the American Republic was unloading coal at Lafarge. The Arthur M. Anderson and Earl W loaded at Stoneport on Sunday.

Benton Harbor - Greg Barber
Sunday morning the Wolverine made its first visit in to Benton Harbor, in its new paint job, with a load of stone.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Maumee was back again on Sunday, calling on the Saginaw Wirt Stone dock for her second consecutive trip there to unload, as she also called on that dock on Friday. Maumee was expected to be out bound late Sunday night or early Monday morning.
The tug Rebecca Lynn and her tank barge called on the Bit-Mat dock in Bay City to unload Sunday afternoon.
The Algoway was in bound for the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee, but due to strong southerly winds and a dropping water level in the Saginaw River, she tied up at the North Star dock in Essexville to wait for the water to come back in.
 

 

More prizes added to BoatNerd Freighter Raffle

Five new prizes have been added to the list of things you can win in the First Annual BoatNerd Freighter Trip Raffle.

Three (3) Prizes of a 1-1/2 hour sightseeing cruise of Duluth-Superior for two (2) aboard the Vista Fleet.

Five (5) prizes of Two (2) tickets for Diamond Jack's River Tours on the Detroit River, departing from downtown Detroit or Wyandotte.

 cruise for five (5) people on a two-hour tour of the St. Clair River aboard the Huron Lady II departing from their dock in Port Huron.

A weekend for two (2) at the Prize: A weekend stay for two at the Inn at Lock 7 on the Welland Canal.

Two (2) prizes of a DeTour Reef Lighthouse Tour

Click here for all the details and to buy your raffle tickets now. Drawing will be held June 2, at 2 p.m. at the BoatNerd World Headquarters in Port Huron.

 

Updates - April 30

News Photo Gallery updated, and more News Photo Gallery

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter

Public Photo Gallery updated.

Make reservations for one of the BoatNerd Gatherings

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 30

The COASTAL DELEGATE, originally built in 1945, as a.) HICKORY COLL, was converted from a cargo vessel to a cement carrier at Hoboken, New Jersey in 1945. The rebuilt vessel entered the Great Lakes via the Mississippi River and Illinois River. Renamed c.) PAUL H TOWNSEND in 1951. Final assembly was completed at Chicago in 1952, for the Huron Transportation Company.

A light plane carrying four passengers crashed into the Detroit River near Belle Isle in 1975. The WILLIAM P SNYDER JR, Captain William Pollard, was 300 feet away and reached the scene after the plane wreckage had sunk. A lone survivor, Michele Smith, was visible on the surface. Wheelsman Paul Halvorson jumped over the side, swam about 40 feet to her rescue, and brought her back to the SNYDER JR.

The first thousand foot vessel on the Great Lakes, the STEWART J CORT, conducted sea trials on Lake Erie in 1971. During the trials, the CORT went from full speed ahead to a crash stop in 3200 feet and 5.5 minutes.

On 30 April 1890, the wooden dredge MUNSON and two scow barges were being towed from Kingston, Ontario by the tug EMMA MUNSON to work on the new Bay of Quinte bridge at Rossmore, Ontario, 6 miles west of Kingston when the dredge started listing then suddenly tipped over and sank. No lives were lost.

The IRVIN L CLYMER returned to service April 30, 1988, after a two season lay-up.

HOWARD HINDMAN of 1910, grounded heavily when her steering cable parted at Little Rapids Cut in the St. Marys River, April 30, 1969. Due to the extensive damage, she was sold in May of that year to Marine Salvage Ltd., Port Colborne, Ontario for scrap and was scrapped at Bilbao, Spain in 1969.

The RED WING tow arrived at Kaohsiung, Taiwan on April 30, 1987, for dismantling.

On 30 April 1842, the side-wheeler COMMODORE BARRIE collided with the schooner CANADA about 10 miles off Long Point in Lake Ontario. The COMMODORE BARRIE became disabled and then sank about an hour and a half later. Her passengers and crew were rescued by the CANADA.

On 30 April 1878, ST LAWRENCE (2-mast wooden schooner, 93 foot, 111 tons, built in 1842, at Clayton, New York) was carrying timber when she caught fire from the boiling over of a pot of pitch which was being melted on the galley stove. The vessel was well out on Lake Michigan off Milwaukee. The fire spread so rapidly that the crew had no time to haul in canvas, so when they abandoned her, she was sailing at full speed. The lifeboat capsized as soon as it hit the water, drowning the captain and a passenger. The ST LAWRENCE sailed off ablaze and was seen no more. The rest of the crew was later rescued by the schooner GRANADA.

Data from: Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, 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 - April 29

Marinette - Dick Lund
The Voyageur Pioneer arrived at Marinette Fuel & Dock around 1 a.m. Saturday morning with a load of pig iron. This is a first ever trip by any Voyageur Marine Transport vessel to our port. Also, I believe that this may be the first cargo other than grain hauled by this ship since being purchased by Voyageur last year. The ship will be in port the next 3-4 days.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The saltie Olympic Merit arrived at Redpath Sugar dock Saturday.
Radium Yellowknife assisted HMCS Halifax as well as Escorte.
Toronto Drydock shifted to its new location in the Turning Basin this morning. The Drydock company's tug M. R. Kane and workboat 007 shifted the floating drydock (ex-pulpwood carrier Menier Consol) to the north side of the Ship Channel across from the old Hearn generating station.

Owen Sound - Ed. Saliwonchyk & Peter Bowers
Saginaw arrived Owen Sound approximately 9 a.m. Saturday with a load of wheat from Thunder Bay and is unloading at Great Lakes Elevators.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Friday evening had the John D.Leitch arrive at 6 p.m. going to Pier 26 to load slag.
The tug Anglain Lady and barge PML 2501 arrived at 6:30 p.m. going to Pier 23.
Saturday the tug John Spence and barge McAshplat 401 departed at 7:30 a.m.
Voyageur Independent arrived at 8 a.m. from Sorel and went to JRI Elevators at Pier 25 to load corn. The Frontenac arrived at 8:30 a.m. with iron ore pellets for Stelco and departed at 3:30 p.m. for Thunder Bay.
The Maria Desganges arrived at 10 a.m. Tug Anglain Lady and barge PML 2501 departed at 12:30 p.m. Next the Canadian Provider arrived at 6 p.m. with iron ore pellets for Dofasco and the Canadian Progress arrived at 7:30 p.m. with coal for Dofasco.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The CSL Tadoussac call on the Essroc Cement Terminal in Essexville on Saturday to unload clinker. She was expected to be outbound late Saturday or early Sunday morning.

 

Updates - April 29

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter

Public Photo Gallery updated.

Make reservations for one of the BoatNerd Gatherings

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 29

On 29 April 1875, the wooden schooner CLARA BELL of Sandusky was wrecked in a gale off Leamington, Ontario. Captain William Robinson was drowned.

On April 29, 1975, American Steamship’s SAM LAUD entered service.

Launched this date in 1976, was the SOODOC (Hull#210) by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. Renamed b.) AMELIA DESGAGNES in 1990.

On April 29, 1977, while inbound at Lorain, the IRVING S OLDS hit a bridge on the Black River which extensively damaged her bow, tying up traffic for several hours.

A fender boom fell on the pilot house of the steamer GEORGE M HUMPHREY in the Poe Lock at the Soo in 1971.

On 29 April 1865, L D COWAN (wooden schooner, 165 tons, built in 1848, at Erie, Pennsylvania) was driven ashore near Pointe aux Barques, Michigan in a storm and wrecked.

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

 

Sichem Aneline Underway

4/28 - Montreal - The Sichem Aneline got underway late Wednesday from Montreal, Quebec.

No damage was found to her hull after running aground two weeks ago in the St Lawrence river opposite Montreal, where she had loaded Benzene for delivery to Philadelphia Pa. before her mishap.

The grounding was caused by faulty steering gear. Her steering was repaired and found fit to continue her voyage to Philadelphia, Pa.,

Sichem Aneline was off the Gaspe coast on Thursday evening near Les Mechins, Quebec.

Reported by Kent Malo

 

Mark W. Barker named President of Interlake Steamship Co.

4/28 - Richfield, OH - The Board of Directors of The Interlake Steamship Company announced today that Mark W. Barker has been elected President, effective immediately. He succeeds James R. Barker, who will remain as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Mark Barker has most recently been Interlake’s Vice President and Treasurer. He has also served as Interlake’s Director of Engineering, Assistant Vice President, and Fleet Engineer. Previously, he held assistant engineer positions aboard several Interlake ships. A graduate of the State University of New York at Fort Schuyler, he received his M.B.A. from the Case Weatherhead School of Management, Cleveland, OH.

“We congratulate Mark on becoming President, and support him as he continues the success of Interlake,” said James R. Barker.

Interlake Steamship Company, with offices in Richfield, OH, operates a fleet of nine self-unloading, dry bulk cargo vessels on the Great Lakes, with capacities ranging from 17,000 to 68,000 tons. The vessels serve customers in the iron ore, coal, stone, and grain trades.

Interlake news release

 

Port Reports - April 28

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
High winds and driving rains, produced by a series of thunderstorms accompanying the passage of a cold front, pelted the MV American Courage as she loaded overnight Thursday at the Norfolk-Southern coal dock on Sandusky Bay. Brisk winds and overcast skies escorted the American Courage from the harbor.
The passenger and vehicle ferry Pelee Islander opened its 2007 Season Friday evening when it sailed into Sandusky Bay and moored at the Jackson Street Pier. The ferry travels on a route between Sandusky to Leamington, Ont., with a stop at Pelee Island. Early season service is limited to a weekend schedule, with daily service beginning in late May.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Traffic has been slow so far this season on the Saginaw River. Thursday saw visits from the Maumee, calling on the Saginaw Rock Products dock and the Wolverine, who called on the Saginaw Asphalt dock. Maumee was outbound as the Wolverine was inbound, passing each other in the Entrance Channel. They also had to coordinate with the USCGC Hollyhock who was out there placing aids to navigation.
On Friday, the Wolverine was delayed on her outbound trip by poor visibility. After her wait and back underway Friday afternoon, the positions were reversed and the Wolverine passed the inbound Maumee out near the Front Range, while the Hollyhock was out working ATN again. Maumee traveled upriver to unload at the Saginaw Wirt Stone dock.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Jackson went to anchor off Buffalo at 3:30pm Friday due to heavy fog in the harbor. Lingering lake ice, warmer temps, and rain have blanketed the lakefront in a soup so thick that visibility was down to a quarter mile or less. A short time later, the Jackson called the Coast Guard Base, asked about visibility, got a response of "About a mile and half", called her tug down for a tow, hauled in the anchor, and started heading towards the North Entrance Channel at 5:46pm. The Jackson is the boat to go up the Buffalo River, past the Ohio St. turn, one of the most challenging turns on the Great Lakes. She was assisted by the "G" tug New Jersey.

Goderich - Jacob Smith
On Friday night the Upper Lakes Canadian Navigator was just starting to load at the Sifto salt dock.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
Algoma's Capt. Henry Jackman was in on Friday with a load of stone from Bruce Mines. She departed after dumping the rock on the dock in the Turning Basin.
The salty Mandarin departed Redpath Sugar dock early Friday morning.
HMCS Halifax arrived later in the morning and was escorted to the Queen Elizabeth Terminal by the Groupe Ocean tug Escote.
McKiel's tug Evans McKiel is in port connecting to the barge Metis.

 

How low will it go?

4/28 - Duluth - When a lake is more than 1,300 feet deep in spots, losing 18 inches of water doesn’t seem like much of a problem.

But close to shore, especially in harbors and back bays, the lowest water levels in more than 80 years are causing headaches and hardship for boaters. And low water is causing concern for some natural resources. Low water levels are restricting access to Lake Superior for big recreational boats, especially sailboats that have 6- to 8-foot keels. It’s happening around the lake, from the Grand Marais city harbor through the Twin Ports and on to Ashland and Bayfield.

“We’re getting them into the water, but I’m not sure they can all get into their slips,’’ said Joel Johnson, co-owner of Lakehead Boat Basin marina in Duluth. “It’s low. I’d say its 5 inches lower than last fall when we were taking them out.’’ Officially, the lake is about 18 inches below normal, and more than a foot below the level at this time last spring. In March, the lake came within a few inches of reaching the all-time record low set in 1926.

As it does every April, the lake level is moving up. But it’s not going up as much as usual. It’s possible the lake could set monthly low records this summer if rainfall across the lake’s watershed doesn’t increase. Johnson said he’s got 6 to 7 feet of clearance, enough for most sailboats. He said the marina may be forced to dredge some spots, but has to wait until June because of regulations aimed at protecting spawning fish.

The problem is worse for Park Point residents and others accustomed to tying up their boats at private docks on the bay side. There, as the water drops, it also moves farther away from shore, leaving some docks with just a few inches of water below them. On the lake side of Park Point, the low water has exposed wider sand beaches. On the bay side, in the Twin Ports harbor, sand bars and mud flats have been exposed for the first time in recent memory. It’s so shallow where the Duluth Rowing Club holds its races that their oars may hit bottom.

“It’s the lowest I’ve seen it, and I’ve been here since we opened in 1980,’’ said Joe Radtke, general manager of Barker’s Island Marina in Superior. The largest marina on Lake Superior with 420 slips, Barker’s Island has a naturally deep harbor and floating docks that adjust to changing water levels. Even then, Radtke said, it may be a close call for bigger boats. “We usually say we guarantee 8 feet throughout the [marina]. But there are places where it’s shallower than that now,’’ he said.

The lakers and salties are leaving the Twin Ports with lighter loads as well. That means more trips, more fuel and more boats to haul the same loads. For every inch below full draft that the lake drops, the boats lose between 50 tons and 270 tons of capacity, depending on the size of the vessel.

Fred Shusterich, president of Midwest Energy in Superior, this week said 1,000-footers are leaving his dock with about 59,000 tons of coal, down even from last year’s low average of 62,000 tons and way down from high-water loads of 68,000 tons. Dredging channels would help, but those programs have diminished with funding cuts.

Meanwhile, near Ashland, low water in the Kakagon Sloughs backwater connected to Lake Superior is causing concern over wild rice beds. While low water on inland lakes usually means good wild rice crops, low water in the sloughs has Bad River Ojibwe authorities concerned. Dry rice beds during the growing season could reduce this year’s crop over large portions of the sloughs, said Matt O’Claire, a game warden with Bad River’s Natural Resources Department.

“I’ve talked to a lot of elders, and none of them can remember when it looked like this,” O’Claire said. “Some of them, they won’t even come out here because they don’t want to see it. It’s just too painful.” Tom Doolittle, a fish and wildlife biologist, calls the changes “catastrophic.” “A lot of the sample sites for wild rice are bone dry,” he said.

Because wild rice seeds can lay dormant in the lake bottom for a decade or more, the problem probably will be solved when higher water returns. But the low water also could allow more non-native plants and weeds to take root, Doolittle said.

Low water isn’t just a Lake Superior issue. Precipitation over the past 12 months remains below normal, and most lakes and streams from Duluth north in Northeastern Minnesota are very low, especially near the Ontario border. That area remains locked in an extreme drought, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center.

From the Duluth News Tribune

 

Preservation group gets Toledo Harbor lighthouse deed

4/28 - Toledo - A nonprofit preservation group that wants to turn the Toledo Harbor Lighthouse into a tourist attraction has been granted the deed to the historic structure. Lucas County Recorder Jeanine Perry presented the deed to the Toledo Lighthouse Preservation Society last night during its meeting in the Maumee Bay State Park Lodge.

The nonprofit organization’s application for ownership of the lighthouse, located about seven miles out on Lake Erie, was approved in October by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior.

After all the paperwork has been completed, the society’s fund-raising campaign to restore and preserve the 102-year-old lighthouse can move forward, said Sandy Bihn, president of the preservation society.

She said the next step would be to build an access dock and a ramp for the lighthouse using grant money from the Lake Erie Protection Fund.

The preservation society’s mission is to preserve, restore, maintain, and provide public access to the lighthouse. The process to acquire it took about a year.

From the Toledo Blade

 

Buffalo Ethanol Plant update

4/28 - Buffalo - The RiverWright Ethanol Plant Project took a major step forward on Wednesday. The City of Buffalo Planning Board determined that no further environmental impact studies were required since developers supplied enough information in their initial review.

The next day the Zoning Board OK'd a variance to allow for storage of up to 2.8 million gallons of flamable material on the site.

The project will now go before the City Council on May 1st.

Reported by Brian Wroblewski

 

Port board to consider taking over SS Boyer
City cannot afford to run museum ship

4/28 - Toledo - An ad hoc committee of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority's board of directors will review a proposal for the agency to take over the city-owned SS Willis B. Boyer museum ship, which city officials say they can no longer afford to maintain.

"As of June 30, I am done. And without a director, the Boyer is done," Paul LaMarre III, executive director of the floating freighter museum in International Park, told the port board during its monthly meeting yesterday morning. Mr. LaMarre manages the ship under contract with the city and said it was "a serious, serious fight" just to keep the city job through June.

Mr. LaMarre proposed a $100,000 budget for the ship, including $50,000 for his salary and other administrative costs, along with basic operational and maintenance expenses. An application for a $300,000 federal grant to pay for a hull survey, repairs, and painting awaits a pending Boyer designation as a National Historic Landmark, he said.

William Carroll, the president of the port board, said the directors' action on the Boyer proposal will be "a very visible decision" before recommending that a special committee study the matter. After the board approved that idea, Mr. Carroll and board members A. Bailey Stanbery, Bruce Baumhower, Daniel Smith, Michael Frank, and Brian Bucher volunteered for the committee. Mr. Stanbery suggested that future meetings concerning the Boyer be held aboard the museum ship, which is docked at a Maumee River wharf where Mr. LaMarre said the ship took on its first cargo, a then-record shipment of coal, after being built in 1911.

Launched as the Col. James M. Schoonmaker, the ship was the world's largest freighter at that time. Mr. LaMarre said the freighter, decommissioned in 1980, is a vital part of Toledo's heritage and, with some aggressive marketing, could become a valuable tourism draw. Asked why the city, which acquired it in 1986, can't preserve such a resource itself, Mr. LaMarre described the Boyer as a fiscal stepchild, a situation that has reached the breaking point with Toledo's current budget crisis.

"The Boyer is an extra," said Don Moline, a city utilities commissioner who now oversees the Boyer, told the board. "It's a wonderful extra, but it's an extra. … Right now we're trying to keep police and fire." And Mark Sobczak, a Toledo councilman, said that while he's willing to join a campaign to rally charitable support from maritime-oriented businesses in Toledo, city money isn't there for the Boyer any more. "We're committed to it; we just don't have the resources," he said.

Mr. Carroll encouraged Mr. Moline, Mr. Sobczak, and others interested in the Boyer's future to attend the ad hoc committee's meetings. No date for the first such meeting was announced.

From the Toledo Blade

 

Canadian Institute of Marine Engineering announces round table discussion

4/28 - The Canadian Institute of Marine Engineering who are hosting the Mari-Tech 2007 Conference and Trade show May 30th - June 1st at the Sheraton Fallsview Hotel in Niagara Falls Ontario are please to announce the participants of the round table to take place on the afternoon May 31st at 13:00.

Short Sea Shipping as a key component of a successful transportation network will be discussed by Mr. Lysander Lantain, Senior Policy Adviser Unit Maritime Shipping, Ministry of Transport, The Netherlands. The presentation will be followed by a Round Table on the Short Sea Shipping in the Great Lakes.

For more information please visit http://www.cimare.org/

 

 

Updates - April 28

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter

Public Photo Gallery updated.

Make reservations for one of the BoatNerd Gatherings

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 28

On 28 April 1891, the whaleback barge 110 (steel barge, 265 foot, 1,296 gross tons) was launched by the American Steel Barge Co. in W. Superior, Wisconsin. In 1907, she went to the Atlantic Coast and lasted until she suffered an explosion, then sank after burning, near the dock of Cities Service Export Oil Co., at St. Rose, Louisiana, on March 3, 1932.

The 660 foot forward section of Bethlehem Steel’s BURNS HARBOR (Hull#717) was launched on April 28,1977, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Christened on April 22, 1978 as, b.) LEWIS WILSON FOY. Renamed, c.) OGLEBAY NORTON in 1991, and d.) AMERICAN INTEGRITY in 2006.

Nipigon Transport Ltd.’s straight deck motor ship a.) LAKE WABUSH (Hull#223) by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., was christened and launched April 28, 1981. Renamed, b.) CAPT HENRY JACKMAN in 1987, and converted to a self-unloader in 1996.

On April 28, 1971, while up bound from Sorel, Quebec for Muskegon, Michigan with a load of pig iron, LACHINEDOC struck Rock Shoal off Little Round Island in the St. Lawrence River and was beached.

On April 28, 1906, Pittsburgh Steamship Co.’s J PIERPONT MORGAN (Hull#68) by Chicago Ship Building Co., was launched. Renamed, b.) HERON BAY in 1966.

April 28, 1897 - The F&PM (Flint & Pere Marquette) Steamer NO 1, bound from Milwaukee for Chicago ran ashore just north of Evanston. She released herself after a few hours.

The barge LITTLE JAKE was launched on 28 April 1875, at East Saginaw, Michigan. She was owned by William R. Burt & Co. Her dimensions were 132 feet x 29 feet x 9 feet.

On 28 April 1877, the steam barge C S BALDWIN went ashore on the reef at North Point on Lake Huron during a blinding snow storm. The barge was heavily loaded with iron ore and sank in a short time. The crew was saved by the Lifesaving Service from Thunder Bay Station and by the efforts of the small tug FARRAR.

Data from: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II, the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Bowling Green State University 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.

 

Nindawayma and Windoc to be barges?

4/27 - Unconfirmed reports indicate that the former car ferry Nindawayma and the fire damaged bulker Windoc, could both become barges.

It is alleged that the engines from Nindawayma will be removed, sent to China for rehabilitation, and installed in a new tug that is under construction for a Canadian company. The new tug will be mated with a new petroleum products barge similar to the Norman McLeod.

Windoc is presently at IMS in Port Colborne and Nindawayma arrived at the Port Weller Drydock on Thursday.

Reported by Kent Malo

 

Port Reports - April 27

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The Sam Laud crept out of Sandusky Bay early Thursday as intermittent heavy rain showers and fog gripped the area, bound for Green Bay. The Laud loaded overnight Wednesday at the Norfolk-Southern coal dock.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
On a rainy and foggy, mid-Thursday morning, the Samuel de Champlain and its barge Innovation were at the LaFarge terminal in the inner harbor, while the Federal Power was at General Cargo Terminal 2 in the outer harbor.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The saltie Mandarin was turned at the Redpath slip this afternoon by the Groupe Ocean tugs Omni Richelieu and Omni St. Laurent, which came in from Hamilton to do the job. The tugs remained in port because of high winds on the lake.

South Chicago - Brian Z.
On a rainy Thursday, the American Mariner passed through the 106th Street bridge, upbound and light.
At KCBX, the Arthur M. Anderson arrived at noon to load a coal cargo. Also, the tall ship Windy II was placed in floating drydock for hull cleaning below the waterline. The Windy II is based out of Navy Pier in Chicago as a 4-masted sailing excursion ship.

Lorain - C. Mackin
After spending the night outside Lorain the Frontenac passed through the Berry Bridge (stern first) with the help of the tugs Illinois and Iowa up river to R.E.P. early Thursday morning.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Lee A. Tregurtha loaded ore and Tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader unloaded stone at the Lower Harbor and moved to the Upper Harbor to load ore.

Alpena & Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
The John G. Munson arrived in the early morning hours of Thursday to load at Stoneport. It departed the dock around 11 a.m. under cloudy skies.
Tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity came into port Thursday evening and tied up under the silos at Lafarge to take on cement.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Adam E Cornelius was unloading at the General Mills Frontier Elevator Thursday morning around 9 a.m. Herbert C. Jackson was expected around 8 p.m. Thursday.

Soo - Jerry Masson
The last of the giant ice flows that have been coming down from Whitefish Bay is finally over at the locks this week. In the past two or three weeks, ice jams in the lock have been routine, pushing ships sideways and jamming gates. Some days the river trail west to Gros Cap light was a soupy mix of ice.
Upbound traffic Thursday included John J. Boland, Philip R Clarke, Mesabi Miner, Charles M. Beegley, James R. Barker, Algowood, and American Valor.
Downbound were American Integrity, Peter R. Cresswell from Algoma Steel, and Edwin H Gott.

 

Low Inventories = Slow March for Limestone

4/27 - Cleveland - The mild weather that prevailed in November and December of 2006 enabled Great Lakes limestone quarries to ship most of their current production and stockpiles. As a result, when the stone trade resumed in late March, there was little product to ship from inventories.

Therefore, stone cargos totaled only 200,000 net tons, a significant decrease from a year ago and the month’s 5-year average.

Year-to-date, the gap with 2006 is much smaller and the 445,000 tons loaded through March are essentially on par with the 5-year average for the first quarter.

Source - Lake Carriers Association

 

Cliffs’ iron ore shipments dip in first quarter

4/27 - Duluth - Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. on Wednesday reported first-quarter iron ore shipments were down compared to 2006. However, company officials expect steel and iron ore demand to remain strong this year. In the first quarter this year, the Cleveland-based iron ore supplier shipped 2.6 million tons of iron ore from its North American mines, compared to 2.9 million tons during the same period last year.

Iron ore pellet production at Hibbing Taconite slipped from 2 million tons in the first quarter of 2006 to 1.2 million tons in 2007 because its water supply froze, which forced the plant to shut down from mid-February to mid-March. Production at the Tilden Mine in Upper Michigan declined to 1.4 million tons from 1.7 million tons due to unscheduled equipment repairs. United Taconite production was up about 200,000 tons, to 1.2 million tons, compared to 2006, and Northshore Mining Co. produced 1.3 million tons, the same as in 2006.

Total pellet production at the six mines was 7.4 million tons, compared to 8 million tons in the first quarter of 2006.
Due to a financial accounting standards examination, the company still has not filed its 2006 annual report. Its complete 2007 first-quarter financial results were not made public Wednesday. The time needed to complete the examination and file the company’s 2006 annual report isn’t known, said Joe Carrabba, Cleveland-Cliffs chief executive officer and president. However, the company remains committed to financial transparency, he said.

Cliffs’ six mines are projected to produce more than 35 million tons of iron ore pellets in 2007, with Cliffs’ share of that at 22 million tons. Production at its Portman iron ore operation in Australia is expected to be 8.4 million tons. A settlement in world pellet prices for 2007 is projected to increase Cliffs’ average pellet sales by 63 cents a ton compared to 2006.

As of March 31, Cliffs had $118.8 million in cash and cash equivalents, compared to $351.7 million on Dec. 31, 2006. In March, Cliffs acquired 30 percent interest in a Brazilian ore operation for an initial investment of $133 million. In 2007, Cliffs plans to spend $240 million on the project.

Reported by Al Miller from the Duluth News-Tribune

 

Twin Ports coal shipping lags behind ’06

4/27 - Duluth - Twin Ports coal shipments are off to a slower start this year compared to 2006.

During March 2007, the Midwest Energy Resources Co. terminal in Superior loaded 12 vessels with nearly 578,000 tons of coal, about nine percent less than the 635,000 tons of coal the same facility poured into 13 freighters during the same month last year.

Fred Shusterich, Midwest’s president, said the market for coal remains strong but is slightly softer than last year, as most power plants are entering the spring with a decent inventory of coal on hand. He credited improved rail service and a relatively mild winter for the stronger coal supplies. But Shusterich said more coal would be moving on the lakes were it not for low water levels. Lake Superior is down about 18 inches from its historical average.

Midwest is loading vessels about 3 percent to 5 percent lighter than last year due to low water levels, Shusterich said. He said shallow points in the St. Marys River between Lake Superior and Lake Huron — namely, the Rock and Mud cuts — are forcing lakers to reduce their loads. “The lack of adequate dredging has made the effects of the drought that much more pronounced,” Shusterich said.

He said the average 1,000-footer now is taking about 59,000 tons of coal, as compared with about 62,000 tons last year. Given sufficient water depths, the same vessels could carry about 68,000 tons of coal. Midwest’s facility in Superior remains the busiest coal terminal on the Great Lakes.

Other coal operations on the St. Lawrence Seaway have had an even weaker start to the shipping season. System-wide, coal shipments totaled 1.2 million tons in March — 28 percent less than during the same month in 2006.

While Shusterich said Midwest may be hard pressed to match its performance in 2006, which was a record year for shipments, he remains confident this will be another solid year for the terminal.

Reported by Al Miller from the Duluth News-Tribune

 

Zenith Tug sinks two Tugboats in the North Atlantic

4/27 - During the past two months, the Duluth-based Zenith Tugboat Company has scuttled a series of vessels in the waters off South Carolina in the Atlantic Ocean. The sinkings are part of an on-going contract Zenith has had, to construct artificial reefs for fish habitat and sport diving along the East Coast.

On March 19th, the 110-foot railroad tug Dalzell 3 took the final plunge to her grave, at the Betsy Ross reef site, 12 nautical miles southeast of Port Royal sound. The gigantic tug stood 3-stories tall above the waterline and had to be cut down to meet the height requirements for the reef. Crews from Zenith Tug cut and removed the two upper levels including the wheelhouse and set them on the aft deck to sink with the rest of the boat. Her 8400-pound smoke-stack, which stood two-stories tall, was cut off and sent down the road to a local scrap yard.

On April 23rd, the 101-foot former Navy YTB-391, was put to rest on the Greenville reef 18 nautical miles southeast of Winyah Bay, near Georgetown, SC. This classic WW-II era Naval vessel is an exact twin to Gaelic Tug's Shannon, based in Detroit. After her military career, she was sold at auction and worked in civilian ownership as the Joey, and most recently the Eagle, before being arrested for crew wages and tied up in Charleston. Zenith Tug purchased the vessel as a parts source for Cleveland diesel parts and DC electrical components. She now serves as a giant condominium for multiple species of fish.

All of the vessels sunk by Zenith are stripped of all useable parts for reuse on the company's operating tugs or re-sold to other tugboat companies. Most collectable items hit the eBay market and disappear quickly. Fuel is also filtered and sold into the local markets where the reef preparations are being made.

Stripped to a hulk and cleaned spotless, these beautiful tugboats, now simply referred to as "reef material" are towed out to the specified coordinates by Zenith's ocean-going tug Victor J. Altman. After the vessel is put on anchor, crews begin flooding the bow tanks with pumps on board the Victor. After the bow is sinking nicely, two guys will enter the engine room, bust the piping, open the sea chests, then quickly vacate the dark dungeon-like space while water gushes in.

The Victor then gently moves the rapidly sinking ship to the near-by target, marked by an orange anchored marker ball. Normally a 100-foot harbor tug will take less than 10 second to sink once the decks become awash. Air escapes the vessel as it plunges to the bottom, leaving the crowd with quite the spectacle in both sight and sound!

Over the years, Zenith Tug has scuttled 12 vessels purposely as Underwater Preserve dive attractions or artificial reef construction. Sad as it is to see these old tugboats meet their demise, it is the opinion of many that vessels can be preserved underwater just as well as above. The reef material will be there for another 50 to 100 years for divers to enjoy, in roughly 80 to 90 feet of water.

On the Great Lakes, intentional sinkings would last virtually forever, without the corrosive saltwater taking its toll. Zenith's contract will be completed successfully by mid-May with the sinking of two barges near the North Carolina boarder. Once complete, the Victor J. Altman will return to the Great Lakes, awaiting yet another round of reefing her former fleet-mates.

 

MSRA Resumes Search for Lost Airliner

4/27 - South Haven, MI - The search for Northwest Airlines flight 2501, which crashed into Lake Michigan in 1950, resumes this week in South Haven. Holland-based Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates (MSRA) again will be joined by a three man team from author Clive Cussler’s NUMA organization to comb the big lake using side scan sonar equipment and a highly sensitive marine magnetometer in an attempt to locate the wreckage.

The Douglas DC-4 airliner, with 55 passengers and a crew of three, took off from New York’s LaGuardia airport on Friday, June 23, 1950 only to disappear over Lake Michigan in a fierce thunderstorm late that evening. The flight was destined for Seattle, Washington with a stopover in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

U.S. Coast Guard and Navy search teams recovered scattered bits of airplane wreckage and human flesh, but never located the actual site of the loss. A government investigation into the crash, which was the worst aviation disaster to that date in U.S. history, resulted in the official conclusion, “cause unknown”. The accident was largely forgotten until MSRA began to investigate the mystery in 2003.

MSRA’s interest in locating the wreckage of the downed airliner attracted the attention of international bestselling author Clive Cussler whose National Underwater & Marine Agency has successfully located dozens of famous shipwrecks around the world including the American Civil War Confederate submarine CSS Horace L. Hunley off the coast of South Carolina a decade ago.

Team Leader and archaeologist Ralph Wilbanks is joined by archeologist Harry Pecorelli and boat pilot and diver Steve Howard in the 30 day joint expedition with MSRA. Weather permitting, the team will spend 8-12 hours a day towing a side scan sonar array in an effort to locate the downed aircraft. Any discoveries will be surveyed by a team of technical scuba divers, breathing a helium mixture necessary for extreme depths.

“We don’t expect to find much more than the four Pratt & Whitney R2000 engines, small pieces of aluminum and perhaps a few portions of the tail section”, said MSRA board director Craig Rich of Holland. “We’re pretty sure the plane was completely destroyed upon impact with the water. But the location, dispersion and condition of the wreckage will go a long way toward telling us what happened that night.”

Valerie van Heest, another member of MSRA’s board of directors has spent the past year locating relatives of the victims of the crash. “I’ve managed to locate descendents of more than half of the victims.” she said, “Most of them are quite grateful that someone cares enough to try to solve this 57 year old mystery. Many of them are following our progress and staying in touch with us. And, of course, they’re fascinated that Clive Cussler has shown an interest in solving this mystery too. As with all of the disasters we’ve investigated, it’s the stories of the people involved that really touch us.”

Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates is a Michigan non-profit corporation, whose mission is to Preserve Michigan’s Submerged Maritime History. The group is responsible for the discoveries of 8 shipwrecks since 2001, including several major steamers. Their latest underwater find is the 200 foot long steamer HENNEPIN, which was located in 230 feet of water off South Haven in 2006.

Wilbanks will present one of four shipwreck and adventure documentaries to the public during the organization’s annual shipwreck show at the Knickerbocker Theatre in downtown Holland. Known as “Mysteries & Histories Beneath the Inland Seas”, the annual program is MSRA’s major fundraiser, providing the resources to conduct the annual search. Admission is $12.50 in advance at www.michiganshipwrecks.org, or $15 at the door.

The program takes on a distinct “aviation” flavor this year as MSRA has invited Delta Airlines and retired US Air Force Pilot Kevin McGregor to Holland to tell of his expedition to discover the remains of a Northwest Airlines DC-4 which crashed in 1948 – just two years before the Lake Michigan incident. His successful search culminated with the discovery of the wreckage of flight 4422 on Mt. Sanford in Alaska.

Also on the program is MSRA’s new video on the HENNEPIN, called “She Died a Hard Death” and Great Lakes shipwreck hunter David Trotter.

Reported by Dick Fox from MSRA

 

Father-son team almost ready to return tugboat to service on the Saginaw River

4/27 - Bay City - The tugboat Capama-S has slept in its wooden cradle for 17 years, on dry ground, on Bay City's Middlegrounds island.

But Scott Causley and his son, Chad, plan to put her back in the water in May - with a new purpose, new paint and a new name. ''It'll be called the Jill Marie, after my wife,'' Scott Causley said. ''She works hard. I'm hoping the boat will do the same.''

If the 40-ton vessel goes back on the water, the Jill Marie would become the oldest working tugboat on the Great Lakes, according to area marine historians. Workers built the boat as a fishing tug in 1891 in Cleveland. ''This tugboat is 21 years older than the Titanic, but don't use the word 'Titanic' because it makes people nervous,'' said Scott Causley, 51, of Bay City, owner of Causley Contracting, a marine-contracting business.

The 62-foot-long Jill Marie, repainted in the Causley Contracting colors of red and black, will frequent the Saginaw River around Bay City, for now. ''We'll restrict the boat's travel to the Saginaw River for a year, just to get all the bugs worked out,'' Scott Causley said.

While the boat originally came with a steam engine, workers updated it with a diesel engine decades later. ''That motor is a Cleveland Diesel engine out of a U.S. Navy World War II minesweeper,'' Scott Causley said. ''The engine probably weighs 10 tons, but it's real quiet and smooth, with low rpm.''

Bob Stender, 69, of Bay City, would agree. ''When that big engine runs, it purrs like a kitten. Even now,'' said Stender, who worked on the Capama-S in the 1960s when his uncle, the late William Stender, owned the tugboat.

The tug still sits at William W. Stender Inc., a marine-contracting business owned by William W. Stender Jr. of Monitor Township. Both Bob Stender and William Stender Jr., his cousin, spent nights on the tug in decades past, sleeping in one of four beds in the boat's galley. ''I also spent a lot of days, and some nights, in the engine room,'' Bob Stender said. ''We went to Oscoda and Grand Haven, and other places, on jobs. My dad (the late Floyd Stender Sr.) and I were the engineers.'' William Stender Jr., 67, said the tugboat, originally named the Cisco and built for Booth Fisheries in Chicago, has done work on all five Great Lakes.

A check of more than 200 tugboats listed in Greenwood's and Dills' Lake Boats 2002 - a guide to commercial vessels on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway - shows no tugboats as old as the one owned by the Causleys.

After William Stender bought the tug in the early 1950s, he changed its name to Capama-S, according to his son. ''We had to come up with a name that would mention my three sisters, so the 'CA' stood for Claire Ann, the 'PA' stood for Patricia and the 'MA' was for Marilyn, my twin sister,'' William Stender Jr. said. ''The 'S' stood for Stender.''

William Stender Jr. pulled the boat out of the water in 1990, resting it on a wooden cradle so prospective buyers could view the vessel's hull. After a few years, a buyer purchased it, but never returned it to the water. William Stender Jr., though, let the boat remain at his family business on the Middlegrounds. Scott Causley bought the tug last year, sandblasting and painting the hull, and firming up the hull with new metal panels.

The Causleys plan to leave the tugboat's 4-foot-high wood-and-brass wheel in place. A ''Weather Bulletin'' chalkboard in the boat's pilothouse - allowing captains to list storm warnings and lake conditions - may have come with the original boat, according to Scott Causley.

Chad Causley, 27, of Bay City, said he plans to obtain his captain's license this summer to pilot the vessel, but his father will guide the tug until then. The Causleys plan to show off their vessel to large crowds along the Saginaw River this summer. ''We'll try to get her downtown for Bay City's fireworks so people can see her,'' Scott Causley said.

The Stender clan - Bill Stender Jr., his son, William Stender III, and grandson, William Stender IV - will keep their eyes on the tug's return. ''I knew she'd probably go back on the lakes, but I didn't think it would be around here,'' William Stender Jr. said. ''Now I can tell my grandson 'Hey, your great-grandfather had that tug.'''

Reported by Wade Streeter from the Bay City Times

 

More prizes added to BoatNerd Freighter Raffle

4/25 - Four new prizes have been added to the list of things you can win in the First Annual BoatNerd Freighter Trip Raffle.
Three (3) Prizes of a 1-1/2 hour sightseeing cruise of Duluth-Superior for two (2) aboard the Vista Fleet.
Five (5) prizes of Two (2) tickets for Diamond Jack's River Tours on the Detroit River, departing from downtown Detroit or Wyandotte.
Two (2) prizes of a cruise for five (5) people on a two-hour tour of the St. Clair River aboard the Huron Lady II departing from their dock in Port Huron.
A weekend for two (2) at the Prize: A weekend stay for two at the Inn at Lock 7 on the Welland Canal.

Click here for all the details and to buy your raffle tickets now. Drawing will be held June 2, at 2:00pm, at BoatNerd World Headquarters in Port Huron.

 

Still Time to make your Badger BoatNerd Gathering Reservations
Deadline extended one week
Get your reservation in the mail today

May 25-26 - Boatnerd Badger Gathering - A round-trip crossing of Lake Michigan from Ludington, Michigan to Manitowoc, Wisconsin on Saturday, May 26, 2007, aboard the Lake Michigan Carferry SS Badger.

Stay aboard the Badger on Friday night. Some rooms still available.

Optional Wisconsin Shoreline Cruise on Saturday.

April 30 is the extended deadline for reservations

Go to the Boatnerd Gatherings page for all the details and reservation forms.

 

Updates - April 27

News Photo Gallery updated and more News Photo Gallery

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter

Public Photo Gallery updated.

Make reservations for one of the BoatNerd Gatherings

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 27

In 1912, the CHARLES S PRICE became the first boat to deliver a cargo of iron ore at the new Pennsylvania ore dock in the Cleveland outer harbor. The 504-foot PRICE was lost on Lake Huron during the Big Storm of November 9 Ð 13, 1913.

The Interlake freighter JAMES H REED, Captain Bert Brightstone, collided with the Canadian freighter ASHCROFT, Captain Donald Aston, in heavy fog off Conneaut, Ohio. The 41-year old REED sank in approximately five minutes with a loss of 12 lives.

On the same day in 1944, the FRANK E VIGOR also sank on Lake Erie after colliding with the PHILIP MINCH.

The H A HAWGOOD (4-mast wooden schooner, 233 feet) was launched at 2:00 p.m. on 27 April 1886, at F. W. Wheeler’s shipyard in W. Bay City, Michigan.

On April 27, 1993, the WOLVERINE ran aground on Surveyors Reef near Port Dolomite near Cedarville, Michigan and damaged her hull.

The ASHCROFT, up bound on Lake Erie in fog, collided with Interlake's steamer JAMES H REED on April 27, 1944. The REED, fully loaded with ore, quickly sank off Port Burwell, Ontario with a loss of twelve lives. The ASHCROFT suffered extensive bow damage below the water line and was taken to Ashtabula, Ohio for repairs.

On April 27, 1973, the bow section of the SIDNEY E SMITH JR was towed to Sarnia by the Malcolm tugs TABOGA and BARBARA ANN. The two sections of the hull were scuttled and land-filled to form a dock facing.

Shenango Furnace's straight deck steamer WILLIAM P SNYDER JR left Ecorse, Michigan in ballast on her maiden voyage April 27, 1912, for Duluth, Minnesota to load iron ore.

On April 27, 1978, the TROISDOC was down bound with corn for Cardinal, Ontario when she hit the upper end of the tie-up wall above Lock 2, in the Welland Ship Canal.

On April 27, 1980, after loading pellets in Duluth, the ENDERS M VOORHEES stopped at the Seaway Dock to load a large wooden stairway (three sections) on deck which was taken to the AmShip yard at Lorain. It was used for an open house on the newly built EDWIN H GOTT in 1979.On April 27, 1953, the steamer RESERVE entered service.

On April 27, 1984, the CHARLES M BEEGHLY struck the breakwall while departing Superior, Wisconsin on her first trip since the 1981, season. The vessel returned to Fraser Shipyards in Superior for repairs.

On 27 April 1876, The Port Huron Times reported, "The steam barge MARY MILLS arrived up this morning and looks 'flaming'. Her owner said he did not care what color she was painted so long as it was bright red, and she has therefore come out in that color."

On 27 April 1877, the 40 foot 2-mast wooden schooner VELOCIPEDE left Racine, Wisconsin for Muskegon, Michigan in fair weather, but a severe squall blew in and it developed into a big storm. The little schooner was found capsized and broken in two off Kenosha, Wisconsin with her crew of 2 or 3 lost.

Data from: Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, 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.

 

Nindawayma tow continues

4/26 - 10:00am Update - The tow is in Lock One at this time.

4/26 - The tow of the Nindawayma is off Port Weller at 6:30 am Thursday.

The tow is schedule to arrive at Lock One at 8:15am.

 

Fire damages combat ship

4/26 - MARINETTE -- A fire Wednesday morning damaged the mess hall on Littoral Combat Ship 1, Freedom, which is under construction for the U.S. Navy at Marinette Marine Corp.

A spokesperson for Lockheed-Martin, the company that heads the construction team building the first-in-class, 377- foot, coastal water combat ship, said the cause of the fire is under investigation and the extent of the damage is being assessed. The fire was discovered by Marinette Marine employees shortly before 5:30 a.m. They immediately called the Marinette Fire Department.

Two workers, who initially responded to the fire, suffered smoke inhalation. They were taken to Bay Area Medical Center where they were treated and released later in the morning.

Firefighters from Marinette and Menominee encountered moderate smoke coming from one of the ship's hatchways, Interim Fire Chief Gary Guenette reported. The smoke was present throughout the ship's second and lower decks. The fire was located in the ship's 30-by-30 foot mess hall, about mid-ship on the first floor below the ship's deck.

Firefighters entered the ship and attacked the fire with a hose line. "The interior of the mess hall (was burning)," Guenette said. "Everything -- the wall lining, plastics, wiring -- everything that could possibly light, lit." It took about an hour for firefighters to take control of the fire and extinguish it totally. Fire damage was confined to the mess hall. Guenette said the fire did not appear to warp the ship's steel structure. Smoke damage was moderate to heavy in the area of the fire.

"There are multiple compartments on the port side of the ship that have been affected," said Dean Nolden, the vice president of finance for Manitowoc Company, the parent company of Marinette Marine. "It's still too early to determine the dollar amount of the damage or (construction) schedule impact."

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Guenette said it was probably ignited by "hot work" -- a worker welding, grinding or using some other heat producing tool. Except for the two smoke inhalation victims, there were no other injuries. "All people were accounted for early in the morning," Nolden said.

Firefighters were on board the ship until just before noon. All off-duty Marinette firefighters were called in and the Peshtigo Fire Department was called to provide additional manpower and cover any other fire calls that might have come in. Local rescue squads were also asked to respond to the scene.

The construction of LCS 1, Freedom, has been plagued by a cost overrun estimated at anywhere from $130 to $155 million above its original $220 million price tag. It was the primary reason why the Navy this month canceled construction of an identical ship, LCS 3, at the Bollinger shipyards in Louisiana.

LCS 1 Freedom is about 80 percent complete.

From the Marinette Eagle-Herald

 

Port Reports - April 26

Lorain - C. Mackin
There was plenty of traffic on the Black River in Lorain on Tuesday. The Pathfinder and Dorothy Ann made its way upriver to Terminal Ready Mix. The Ryerson passed through the Berry Bridge at 12:30 p.m. on its way to the Jonick dock and the H. Lee White made a stop at R.E.P. on Tuesday evening.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
FedNav's Federal Power passed through the Milwaukee breakwater into the outer harbor about 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Algosteel backed in the channel shortly after noon on Wednesday and went to the Sifto Salt dock to load.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The Wilfred Sykes came in Tuesday night and unloaded at Verplank's dock in Ferrysburg after partially unloading in Muskegon.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The USCGC Hollyhock arrived on Wednesday, working aids to navigation in the Saginaw River Entrance Channel. The Hollyhock was placing summer buoys during the afternoon in the area of Buoy 18.

 

Leader floats plan to assist Boyer;
Port board will be asked to take over, lease museum to group

4/26 - Toledo - The SS Willis B. Boyer museum ship is looking for safe harbor, and it has until June 30 to get there.

Paul LaMarre III, the executive director of the floating freighter museum at International Park, will make a pitch Thursday to the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority board of directors to take over ownership from the cash-strapped city of Toledo. Mr. LaMarre's goal is to have the ship placed under the port authority's control and then leased, for $1 a year, to a nonprofit board of maritime enthusiasts and historians who would raise money and provide volunteer labor. "We are building a board of maritime professionals, marine historians, as well as people who have a direct interest in Toledo's history and future," Mr. LaMarre said.

Until 2004, the ship was run by a nonprofit group, International Park of Greater Toledo Inc., the successor of the nonprofit Toledo-A-Float, which was formed to run the ship after it was acquired by the city in 1986. Former Mayor Jack Ford had a falling out with the nonprofit board and took the ship under city control. Since then, it has been through a succession of directors.

Mr. LaMarre said instability under the city's ownership and the lack of coordination with a base of volunteers who would be willing to help maintain the ship are threatening its future. His contract as a seasonal city employee to maintain and operate the floating museum ends June 30.

"If the Boyer loses a director or permanent direction, we will lose the Boyer," Mr. LaMarre said. "It will be transformed from a museum ship to a derelict ship sitting on Toledo's waterfront," he said. He contends that the port authority, with its interest in the maritime industry, is the logical owner of the Boyer.

Mr. LaMarre tried last fall to steer the ship's finances into calmer waters. He held a meeting to try to launch a fund-raising drive to provide an operating budget of $100,000 a year, and $261,000 in capital improvements.

City officials have credited Mr. LaMarre with making needed repairs to the ship. Some of those repairs included pumping out its hull and re-floating the ship after it had sunk into the muck below the Maumee.

James Hartung, president of the port authority, said he is sympathetic to Mr. LaMarre, but whether the port authority can take over ownership is up to the board, not him. "I'm a very passionate supporter of preserving the Boyer and the legacy of what that ship symbolizes. But this is the port authority. We operate on board affirmation of any proposal," he said. He said the big question for the board, which could be referred to a committee or for him to investigate, is how much of a financial liability the museum would become.

Don Moline, a city utilities commissioner who is overseeing the Boyer project, said he hopes the port authority agrees to take over the ship. He said the city can't afford it anymore. "The Boyer has never been adequately funded to keep it going," he said. "It's time to be taken over by someone who can take better care of it than us."

Mr. LaMarre said the Boyer is the most historic ship floating on the Great Lakes. When launched in 1911, under the name Col. James M. Schoonmaker, it was the largest bulk freighter in the world.

The former freighter is tied up in International Park and is open for tours.

From the Toledo Blade

 

First Coal Cargo Comes Up Way Short

4/26 - Cleveland - If the first coal cargo of the 2007 shipping season is any indication of the months ahead, the dredging crisis and low water levels will take a major toll on the trade.

The 2007 season commenced on March 15 with a 1,000-foot-long U.S.-Flag Laker loading 55,106 net tons of coal in Superior, Wisconsin, for delivery to Presque Isle, Michigan. In August of 2006, the same vessel carried nearly 60,000 tons of coal between the two ports.

However, concerns that shoaling in the discharge port might have worsened over the winter prompted the vessel’s owner to take extra precautions on the first trip. As a result, in just nine months, the dredging crisis and low water levels slashed the vessel’s already-reduced carrying capacity by another 8 percent.

Lakes-wide, coal shipments totaled 1.2 million net tons in March, a decrease of 28 percent compared to a year ago. Loadings were, however, slightly above the month’s 5-year average.

Year-to-date, the trade stands at 2.5 million tons, a decrease of 33 percent compared to the same point in 2006, but on par with the 5-year average for the January-March timeframe.

Source: Lake Carriers’ Association

 

S.S. Badger Adds Themed Cruises,
Renovations To Enhance Passenger Experience

4/26 - Ludington, Mich. –As the 2007 sailing season gets underway on May 11, passengers on the S.S. Badger car ferry will discover new activities and amenities that reflect Lake Michigan Carferry’s “Big Ship, More Fun!” philosophy. Improvements to the ship itself will also be apparent as the Badger begins its’ fifty-fourth year of reliable service.

During summer sailings (June 8-September 3), the Badger will be featuring themed cruises, with an emphasis on family entertainment. The special themes will include “Pirate Ship”, “Christmas in July”, and “Badger Beach Party”. Activities coordinators will be present during day sailings to guide theme-related children’s activities in designated areas. “Parents will be able to relax with confidence, knowing their children are having a unique and fun-filled experience aboard the Badger” stated Magee Johnson, Director of Media Relations. “Badger Buddies meals for kids are also new this season.”

“We have learned from our customer comment cards that passengers of all ages would enjoy a greater variety of both food and entertainment options, and we are happy to oblige,” said Johnson. An expanded menu will be available this year as well as new games and music.

The Badger’s upper aft-end lounge has undergone a complete transformation and has a fresh new look and name. The Cabana Room features a revamped color scheme, new flooring and furniture and a casual “beach” feel. “The laid-back and tranquil ambiance makes the Cabana Room the perfect place to unwind, read a book, or have coffee and conversation all while enjoying the beautiful view of Lake Michigan,” said Johnson.

The Badger can accommodate 620 passengers and 180 vehicles including RV’s, motorcycles, group tour coaches and trucks. Special discounts for groups of 25 or more are available.

The 410-foot S.S. Badger, the largest car ferry on Lake Michigan, continues to offer a wide range of amenities for passengers of all ages, including spacious outside deck areas for strolling, relaxing in the fresh air, or walking laps for fitness (six laps equals one mile). It also boasts four main lounges with a variety of seating and table space, two restaurants, two bar areas, a children’s play room, video arcade, private staterooms, free movies, bingo and satellite television. Free Wi-Fi is available at both terminals.

For sailing schedule and fare information visit  www.ssbadger.com.

S/S Badger news release

 

Canadian seal hunters trapped by ice
Icebreakers smash through in effort to rescue about 100 vessels

4/26 - St. John's, Newfoundland - Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers smashed through a massive expanse of ice off Newfoundland's northeast coast Wednesday in a bid to free about 100 seal hunt vessels.

About 15 vessels were in danger of having the Atlantic ice pierce their hulls, said Department of Fisheries and Oceans spokesman Phil Jenkins. The thick, moving ice poses the danger of sandwiching and cracking the boats. "There's an onshore wind that is compacting the ice," Jenkins said. "These boats are on their way back from sealing and then got stuck in the ice. One crew had to abandon their vessel and got picked up by the coast guard."

The Newfoundland part of Canada's controversial seal hunt is the third and largest stage of the hunt. The total quota for all three phases is 270,000 animals. Fishermen sell seal pelts mostly for the fashion industry in Norway, Russia and China, as well as blubber for oil, earning about $78 per seal. The hunt has drawn widespread criticism, including from celebrities such as Paul McCartney and French actress Brigitte Bardot.

The United States has banned Canadian seal products since 1972 and the European Union banned the white pelts of baby seals in 1983.

Brian Penney, a superintendent with the Coast Guard in Newfoundland and Labrador, said helicopters could be called in to rescue stranded crews as a northeast wind continues to jam the ice floes together. Fishermen say it's rare when ice conditions are this bad.

"Ice conditions are some of the most severe we've seen in 25 to 30 years," said Frank Pinhorn, executive director of the Canadian Sealers Association. "I've talked to a lot of sealers and they've got holes punched in their new boats and they're taking on water."

The coast guard is trying to get supplies to those vessels that are "in most dire straits," said Penney, who added that fuel and supplies are running low. Penney said many of the crews are reluctant to abandon their vessels as most sealers consider that option a last resort.

From MSNBC

 

Updates - April 26

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Today in Great Lakes History - April 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.

Algoma's new straight deck bulk freighter ALGOWEST (Hull#226) of Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., was launched April 26, 1982. She was converted to a self-unloader in 1998, and renamed b.) 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.

The m/v BENSON FORD (Hull#245) of the 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.

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

 

Port Reports - April 25

Twin Ports - Al Miller
The heavy-lift vessel Fairlane arrived in Duluth about 7:15 a.m. Tuesday bound for the port terminal. A string of heavy-duty flatcars has been spotted in the Canadian Pacific yard for the past couple weeks and likely will be used to carry the items aboard the Fairlane.
Elsewhere, the Herbert C. Jackson was waiting to load grain at CHS, and the saltie Irma was anchored on the lake waiting to enter port to proceed to the AGP elevator in Duluth.

Lorain - John Morris
Edward L. Ryerson steamed into the Black River at Lorain, Ohio, at Noon with bright sun and almost balmy temperatures. The Charles Berry Bridge raised upon request and ELR slipped through the bridge and turned to line up with the Norfolk Southern Railroad bridge. With no trains during the day, NS leaves their bridge unmanned and up - so there's no delay. The Pilot House Crew promptly answered with a thunderous 3 long and 2 short steam salute in reply. Ryerson passed through the railroad bridge, pulled along side the dock and stopped in front of the three waiting Jonick unloading cranes. Pellets were being dipped out of the already uncovered holds almost before the boat stopped moving.

Detroit - Angie Williams
Tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort & barge Great Lakes Trader were having a devil of a time getting the hook to hold in the tremendous winds Monday. Tug Patricia Hoey and barge Marysville were trying to refuel the tug while they were anchored in the Belle Isle Anchorage, but the barge kept swinging out across the river and they had to keep using their bowthruster to get the barge out of the main channel.

Soo - Bonnee Srigley
The BBC Atlantic was on the St Marys river with a load wind turbine blades, heading toward the Soo Locks, on Tuesday.

 

Nindawayma tow

9:30am - 4/25 Update - The tow is on the move again at 9:30 am.

They have an ETA of 1:00pm Wednesday for C.I.P. Cross Over Island.


Previous report - 4/25
- St. Lawrence River - The tow of the Nindawayma was delayed Tuesday evening at the Iroquois Lock as of 9 p.m.

It remains there at 8:00am Wednesday morning with no ETA for the next check-in point.

 

Updates - April 25

News Photo Gallery updated

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Today in Great Lakes History - April 25

On a cold, overcast morning in 1959, 25 vessels were lined up below the St. Lambert lock waiting for the Seaway to open. At 8:50am, the Canadian icebreaker DÕIBERVILLE entered the lock followed by the Canadian icebreaker MONTCALM. These two boats were followed by the Canadian canaller SIMCOE, the PRESCODOC, and the PRINS WILLEM GEORGE FREDERIK (the first salty). The HUMBERDOC became the first vessel to completely transit the new Seaway in the downbound direction.

Mrs. Sally Roe DeLancy christened the largest boat on the Great Lakes, the 1013.5-foot WILLIAM J DELANCEY, during ceremonies at Lorain, Ohio in 1981. The new boat was toured by more than 15,000 people during an open house the next day. The first Master of the DELANCEY was Edward J. Rogowski, a 45-year veteran of the Interlake fleet. Renamed b.) PAUL R TREGURTHA in 1990.

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.

On April 25, 1973, the self-unloading boom on Canada Steamship Lines TADOUSSAC of 1969, collapsed while she was at Sandusky, Ohio. She sails today as b.) CSL TADOUSSAC.

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, CSL's, T R MC LAGAN 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. She was renamed b.) OAKGLEN in 1990, and was scrapped at Alang, India in 2004.

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.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, 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.

 

Nindawayma tow underway

4/24 - 9 a.m. Update - Tuesday morning the tow is moving again. There was a lull in the traffic and the weather is very calm so they have good conditions in which to travel.

Reported by Kent Malo

4/23 - 11 p.m. Update - The tow remains secured at the Port of Valleyfield, Quebec, with no ETA for the next CIP listed. No other information is available.

4/23 - Montreal - The Nindawayma tow stopped at Beauharnois after leaving Cote Ste Catherines early Sunday morning. A tug position change was made. The Commodore Straights moved to the front as the lead tug, and Radium Yellowknife took her new position at the rear behind Nindawayma.

This arrangement apparently did not work out. At the St. Louis bridge, the Nindawayma started to swing violently on the approach. They were about to turn back when the Isolda, who was checking her speed, was close to the bridge and went through the bridge first, as would be the norm here with the East bound current, and met the tow in the canal.

The tow stopped on Sunday, at Valleyfield, Quebec, to make the tow more stable. The tow was still stopped at 11 p.m. on Sunday.

Earlier reports had the work boat Ours Polaire (Radium Yellowknife towed to Montreal) was reported with the upbound tow, was not seen.

Reported by Wayne Clifford & Kent Malo

 

Port Reports - April 24

Lorain - C. Mackin
The Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann made a stop at Terminal Ready Mix in Lorain on Monday

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The Saginaw loaded overnight Sunday at the Norfolk-Southern coal dock for Sault. Ste. Marie, Mi.

Port Weller - Ron Beaupre
The deck cargo on board Flinterspirit is from Port Weller Dry Docks. It is the wheelhouse and other parts of what was supposed to be Frisian Summer, the contract that was cancelled when the drydock went bankrupt.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Late Monday afternoon saw operations in Hamilton hampered by a severe thunderstorm. The Spruceglen approached the Burlington Piers at 4:30 p.m. but was denied an entrance to the the harbor as the Burlington Lift Bridge had to shut down operations due to the 60mph (97km) wind gusts. She was finally given permission to enter at 5:45 p.m. after the winds had died down and headed to Pier 26.
The Frontenac departed Stelco at 6:30 p.m. but the incoming Algowood was denied entry as the Lift Bridge became inoperable again due to electrical problems.
The Algowood dropped anchor one and half miles off the Burlington Piers at 7 p.m.. A test lift was done at 7:45 p.m. and the Algowood was allowed to proceed through the piers at 8 p.m.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Monday morning saw a familiar visitor as the Olive L. Moore and Lewis J. Kuber called on the Saginaw River with a split load. The pair lightered at the Wirt Stone Dock in Bay City and then gave a security call for the Burroughs dock upriver in Zilwaukee. A short time later another security call was given, this time for the Wirt Stone dock in Saginaw, so it is unclear where they finished their unload. The Moore & Kuber were outbound at the Lafayette Bridge in Bay City at 9:45 p.m. Monday night.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
Around 11 p.m. on Sunday, the Manistee arrived in the Thunder Bay River. It unloaded salt at the Alpena Oil Dock on a clear, summer-like night.

Goderich - Wayne Brown
The saltie Aachen departed at 7 p.m. with beans.
Nanticoke arrived at 8 p.m. and berthed at the new harbour for repairs, and will then shift to the elevator to unload.

Welland Canal - Bill Bird
The Canadian Coast guard research vessel Limnos was being towed through Welland Canal, Monday, by the tugs Seahound and Vac. It is unknown why she is being towed. Engine problems could be a possibility and Heddle Marine in Hamilton could be a likely destination.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
At first light Saturday, cross-lake ferry Lake Express departed from the Heavy Lift dock in Milwaukee's inner harbor, where it was berthed Friday night.
Mid-day Saturday the ocean bulker Irma from the Polsteam line was unloading steel at terminal 2 in the outer harbor.
Algoway entered the Milwaukee breakwater at 8:00am and proceeded to the inner harbor where it unloaded salt. Algoway departed at about 6:00pm.
Monday morning the Algorail arrived in Milwaukee's inner harbor at about 9:30am. and unloaded salt at the bulk cargo dock on Jones Island. Algorail backed downriver at about 5:30pm. and departed onto Lake Michigan.

St. Clair River - Stewart R. Mac Donald
On Sunday the downbound Nogat ran aground just a few feet south of the Russell Island light at the junction of the north and south channels of the St. Clair River. She remained stranded from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. The tug Manitou was able to pull the Nogat free after three hours. As the Nogat proceeded down stream she was assisted by the Manitou which was attached by a line to her bow. The cause of the grounding is unknown at this time.

Ryerson Watch
The Edward L. Ryerson was reported to be down bound at Point Edward/Sarnia at 11:33 p.m. Monday. This would put her in Lorain around noon Tuesday.

 

Coast Guard cutter needs fix

4/24 - Duluth - The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Alder could soon be leaving its dock, hopefully under its own power.

The federal government Friday awarded a contract to a Chesapeake, Va., diving company to repair the cutter in the water at its dock. The craft is an important part of Duluth’s fleet, responsible for icebreaking, search and rescue and aids to navigation duties. “They are supposed to be up here around Thursday to start taking a look at us,” said Lt. J.G. Kenny Pepper, the Alder’s spokesman.

The Alder has remained at its dock since March with a boom floating behind its stern to contain any hydraulic fluid leaking though a bad seal in the ship's controllable pitch propeller system. The problem with the Alder was discovered during machinery trials on March 8. An examination determined that a seal at the base of one of the propeller's four blades was leaking. Initial efforts to repair the leak were unsuccessful.

“I haven’t heard of any of the other cutters having this problem,” said Chief Robert Lanier, spokesmen with the Coast Guard’s district offices in Cleveland. Operating the Alder with the leak could result in a release of oil and damage to the propeller. To avoid that, icebreaking duties in the harbor fell upon the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Biscayne Bay, based in St. Ignace, Mich.

Repairing the problem will require workers to loosen blade, replacing the seal and retightening the bolts that hold the blade in place. If divers are unable to accomplish the task, the Alder will have to go into dry dock. The Coast Guard considered putting the Alder in dry dock before deciding to try divers first. In deciding how to repair the Alder, Coast Guard officials had to consider what qualified shipyards wanted the job, how soon they could do the job and how much it would cost.

“Those three factors played into where we were looking to get the repairs done, in answering ‘Are we are going to go to a dry dock or can we get it done by divers?’” said Lanier said. “Our main goal is to get the ship repaired, back to 100 percent, and get it out on the water,” Lanier said. “But we have to be stewards of the public’s money. So we want to make sure that it’s done properly but no money is wasted.”

Officials with Fraser Shipyards talked to the Coast Guard, but did not put in a bid to repair the Alder, Gene Walroos, Fraser's general superintendent, said.

The Coast Guard’s Aids to Navigation Team has begun placing navigational buoys in the Twin Ports using their 49–foot boat. The Alder isn’t responsible for buoys in the harbor, although it will help place and remove them, Pepper said. “Our buoys are out on the lake and in Lake Michigan,” he said.

The 225–foot, 2,000–ton Alder was launched in 2004 in Marinette, Wis. It was stationed in Duluth to replace the World War II–era Sundew. According to the Alder’s Web site, the Juniper Class Seagoing Buoy Tender is capable of performing icebreaking, search and rescue, aids to navigation, security and law enforcement duties. It is also equipped with an oil–skimming system to help clean up oil spills.

Reported by Al Miller from the Duluth News Tribune

 

Officials see container cargo as boon to port

4/24 - Cleveland - The relentless growth of ship-borne container cargo on the East and West coasts could be a boon to Cleveland's port, officials say.

Within five years, Cleveland could capture a chunk of the container-cargo traffic that threatens to overwhelm roads and rail lines at ports like New York and Los Angeles, says Stephen Pfeiffer, head of maritime operations for the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority. Cleveland's underused port handles iron ore, stone and steel but none of the containerized goods -- from auto parts and clothing to patio furniture and beer -- that pours around the clock from Europe and Asia into North America's big coastal ports.

Pfeiffer and others who yearn for more shipping on the Great Lakes believe containers are coming. The Port Authority's plans should include investments in land and machinery to handle containers, they say. It's one reason new Port Authority Director Adam Wasserman has put the brakes on an $850,000 study to relocate the port, originally due in February.

The city's lakefront master plan shows the port moving its operations east of the river to the west, freeing up prime real estate north and west of Cleveland Browns Stadium for development. The port's move west would be accommodated by using Cuyahoga River dredgings to build an island outside the breakwall, the master plan shows. The costly move, decades in the making, is not written in stone. The port's consultant is reviewing seven sites, including land near Burke Lakefront Airport.

As part of the relocation study, Wasserman wants expert opinion on Cleveland's prospects for increased trade within the Great Lakes, called short-sea shipping. "The question is, do we want to be a significant maritime port or not," Wasserman said.

Some critics have accused the Port Authority of letting maritime business slip while focusing on financial development. The port has signed dozens of business-development deals since the mid-1990s. A potential boon to the port's maritime fortunes has been in the works for years. The port spent some $1 million to study and pursue a Cleveland-to-Canada ferry that would move trucks and tourists. That project still awaits approval and funding on the Canadian side.

A growing crisis at North America's big ports could work in Cleveland's favor, too. Container cargo - borne by massive, ocean-going freighters - is increasing at 8 percent a year and has been doubling every nine years. Moving containers to the country's interior could soon outstrip the capacity of roads and rails leading out of the big ports, officials say.

To relieve the congestion, smaller freighters could shuttle containers bound for the heartland by steaming down the St. Lawrence Seaway and into Great Lakes ports, like Cleveland. "It's going to happen," says Terry Johnston, administrator of the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp.
Aldert van Nieuwkoop is counting on it. He's head of Great Lakes Feeder Services, a new, short-sea shipper with plans to ply container-cargo routes between Halifax, Nova Scotia, and ports on Lake Ontario. As the business grows, he hopes to deliver to Cleveland. "It's a major consumer center and strategically well positioned," van Nieuwkoop said.

Short-sea merchants face hurdles in competing with trucks and trains, including the federal harbor-maintenance tax, assessed on cargo transported between U.S. ports and other countries.

U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, the Cleveland Democrat, sponsored a bill last fall that would exempt the tax on nonbulk cargo, like containers. The bill is pending.

Locally, the Cleveland port would need 60 more acres and specialized cranes to handle a steady stream of container cargo, the port's Pfeiffer said. It could be among myriad future ventures the Port Authority board considers while sizing up its next tax request. The current 0.13-mill levy, generating some $3 million a year, expires in 2008. The port has the ability to ask voters for up to 1 mill, or about $32 million a year.

Container cargo at the Cleveland port would be another link to the global market and a competitive advantage, Pfeiffer said. "Cleveland is searching for a way to separate itself from other cities its size," he said.

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

Ban ocean vessels in lakes? Some are floating the idea
As invasive species multiply, plan no longer looks radical

4/24 - Milwaukee - The idea of banning oceangoing vessels from the Great Lakes to halt the onslaught of invasive species would have been universally dismissed as nonsense just a few years ago. Not anymore.

Frustrated with ocean freighters dumping invasive species that are ravaging native fisheries, despoiling prized beaches and costing water-dependent industries billions of dollars, the conservation group Great Lakes United proposed an overseas-freighter ban in late March, the day before the St. Lawrence Seaway was rousted from its winter slumber for its 49th season.

The group argues that the idea of slamming shut the Seaway to oceangoing "salties" has become an environmental and economic no-brainer, like padlocking a struggling little factory that is ruining life for everyone in town because it won't fix its oversize smokestack. The concept is fraught with legal issues, not the least of which is the fact that the United States must coordinate any such decision with Canada, co-owner of the Seaway.

But it is also picking up steam - on both sides of the political aisle. "Three years ago, I'd have said, 'That's a little radical.' Now it's probably more realistic," says Patty Birkholz, a Michigan Republican state senator who has pushed for greater ballast regulation.

The overseas shipping industry acknowledges there is a problem and says it's time to pass a new federal law to phase in ballast treatment systems. But the industry is burning much of the lingering sympathy it has enjoyed by suing the State of Michigan over its efforts to address the ballast problem on its own with a new law restricting contaminated discharges.

Great Lakes United isn't proposing a permanent ban on oceangoing vessels. But it has taken the extreme position that the ships should be blocked from the Great Lakes until they are equipped with sterilization systems for their ballast tanks, something the shipping industry says will take time to develop.

"I'd personally be very much for outlawing the salties," says Racine Mayor Gary Becker, vice chairman of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative. Becker says he'd welcome the boats back once they figure out how to stop polluting the lakes. He makes it clear he is not speaking for the binational coalition of Great Lakes mayors, but says many colleagues agree that continuing to allow oceangoing traffic at this point "just doesn't make a lot of sense."

More than shipping
At least 183 foreign organisms are thriving in the Great Lakes. A new one is discovered about once every six months. Research shows that overseas vessels are to blame for the majority of the arrivals during the past few decades. This biological pollution is no longer something that can just be written off as a cost of doing business on the Great Lakes, because Great Lakes business today involves far more than the massive freighters.

Recreational boating, in fact, might well be the most important industry floating on the big lakes, according to a draft study by the Army Corps of Engineers. Following a directive from Congress in 1999, the Army Corps has finally come up with a figure that recreational boat owners have been wondering about for more than a decade. The agency known for its focus on big engineering projects for commercial navigation says those little boats are a $5.5 billion business in the Great Lakes.

The report says the eight Great Lakes states are home to 4.3 million private boats, about a third of the U.S. total. Nearly a quarter of them are owned by individuals who live in counties along the Great Lakes shoreline. The average owner spends about $3,600 per year on boating.

Yet commercial navigation clearly remains the Army Corps' priority. Just a few years ago, the corps suggested looking at a $10 billion expansion of the Seaway to accommodate bigger vessels. The agency backed off after a public outcry.

Costly proposition
It is now in the process of analyzing what it will take to keep the aging Seaway open, and it won't be cheap. The original system of locks and channels, which are crumbling in places, cost $3 billion in today's dollars. Then there are the costs of dredging and maintaining channels and harbors in ports across the Great Lakes.

Yet, because of invasive species, some see these navigation projects as being at cross purposes with the interests of the recreational boating industry. "The federal government is putting all the resources and emphasis on the wrong industry," says Ned Dikmen, chairman of Great Lakes Boating Federation, a recreational boating group. Dikmen contends that the recreational industry is likely worth much more than the estimates in the draft report.

Commercial navigation on the Great Lakes generates about $3.4 billion in business revenue a year in the U.S., according to the Army Corps. Often lost in that big number is the fact that the vast majority of Great Lakes shipping is just that - ships sailing solely within the Great Lakes, moving low-value bulk cargoes such as iron ore and coal from one regional port to another. These "lakers" never leave the Great Lakes. They are not responsible for introducing unwanted species from foreign ports.

Salties are the problem. Yet those ships - which have been able to access the Great Lakes only since the St. Lawrence Seaway builders punched a deep-draft shipping channel into the heart of the continent in 1959 - account for less than 7% of the total cargo moved on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway, according to the Army Corps.

And their cargo is not high-value goods such as flat-screen televisions, basketball shoes and imported cars. The ships typically arrive with loads of foreign steel and depart with Midwest grain. It is a relatively small amount of both, largely because of the Seaway's outdated, undersized locks and the fact that they shut down each winter because of ice.

One widely cited estimate of the annual transportation savings associated with overseas traffic in the Great Lakes is a skimpy $55 million. The estimated price to date just for dealing with zebra and quagga mussels since they were first discovered in the lakes: $2 billion.

Steaming into court
The State of Michigan decided to tackle the problem on its own, passing legislation requiring salties to either promise they won't discharge ballast in state waters or install systems that will kill the unwanted hitchhikers. It was immensely popular in a place that bills itself as the Great Lakes State and was endorsed by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

The new rules, passed in 2005, kick in this year, but Michigan has provided a grace period by allowing ships to discharge untreated ballast during this shipping season, provided ship operators provide samples of what they are dumping to the state. The shippers balked, suing last month to block the new law. Bill author Birkholz says she was flabbergasted. If anything, she says, it should be the State of Michigan suing the shippers for bringing in so many unwanted organisms.

Steve Fisher, executive director of the American Great Lakes Ports Association, says the shipping industry embraces the idea of new laws to regulate ballast discharges, but he says it should be done at the federal level so ship operators are not stuck trying to navigate a patchwork of state laws.

At the same time, he says the Michigan law will do no environmental good because the few freighters that do discharge ballast in state water will simply take their cargoes to nearby out-of-state ports on the same waterways that Michigan is trying to protect.

Is plan unconstitutional?
Fisher is confident his side will prevail in court because there are a number of legal problems with the Michigan law, including its potential violation of the Constitution's commerce clause, which provides for the free flow of goods between states. He is also skeptical that the treatment systems mandated by Michigan will actually work. But momentum is building in other states to pass laws similar to Michigan's, including Wisconsin.

"We tried to do ballast legislation last session, and it didn't get through," says Scott Hassett, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. "But I'll take another run at it, and I'm confident something will happen this time."

Some environmental groups, including the National Wildlife Federation and the Alliance for the Great Lakes, have joined the State of Michigan as defendants in the shipping industry's lawsuit. "In some ways I feel like the environmental community is doing the shippers a huge favor," says Cameron Davis, executive director of the Alliance for the Great Lakes. "By delaying solutions to this enormous economic and ecological problem, the oceangoing shipping industry is its own worst enemy. It's innovate or die."

'Not anti-shipping'
Jennifer Nalbone of Great Lakes United says it's time for the overseas industry to die, though she'll welcome its resuscitation once the boats are equipped with ballast treatment systems. "We're not anti-shipping," she says. "We're anti-shipping that destroys the lakes."

New U.S. Seaway boss Terry Johnson calls Nalbone's pitch to kick the ships off the lakes "a nice political statement but ... completely impractical and impossible" and points to the two countries' joint ownership of the Seaway and their treaty governing its operation as a big reason why.

Federal ballast law supporter and U.S. Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.) isn't so dismissive. "It's certainly a serious proposal," he says. "It's stimulating some thought among large groups . . . and if they get a lot of support, people are going to start looking at it."

Nalbone says she too prefers a federal law that will make the ships operate in a manner that protects the lakes, but she says she's done waiting. "It's all talk. People talk a good talk. But nothing is happening," Nalbone says. "You can talk about it for another five or six years. Fine. As long as you don't bring in the ships."

U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is also pushing for a federal ballast law. Similar federal bills have gone nowhere for the past several years, but he is confident a Democrat-controlled Congress can get something done.

Oberstar is in a tough spot trying to balance the needs of the shipping-dependent city of Duluth that he represents against an industry he has said is "destroying" the Great Lakes. He stops short of endorsing an outright prohibition on oceangoing vessels until treatment systems are onboard the ships. But he harbors sympathy for those who do. "I welcome . . . their impatience, and their zeal," he says. "I think it's terrific."

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 

Updates - April 24

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter

Public Photo Gallery updated.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 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, Ontario to load steel for Duluth, Minnesota. She was 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, 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.

 

Nindawayma not an easy tow

4/23 - 9:00am Update - The tow remains secured at Valleyfield with no ETA for the next CIP listed.

4/23 - Montreal - The Nindawayma tow stopped at Beauharnois after leaving Cote Ste Catherines early Sunday morning. A tug position change was made. The Commodore Straights moved to the front as the lead tug, and Radium Yellowknife took her new position at the rear behind Nindawayma.

This arrangement apparently did not work out. At the St. Louis bridge, the Nindawayma started to swing violently on the approach. They were about to turn back when the Isolda, who was checking her speed, was close to the bridge and went through the bridge first, as would be the norm here with the East bound current, and met the tow in the canal.

The tow stopped on Sunday, at Valleyfield, Quebec, to make the tow more stable. The tow was still stopped at 11 p.m. on Sunday.

Earlier reports had the work boat Ours Polaire (Radium Yellowknife towed to Montreal) was reported with the upbound tow, was not seen.

Reported by Wayne Clifford & Kent Malo

 

Port Reports - April 23

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The saltie Mand Arin of Cyprus arrived in port this afternoon and berthed at Redpath Sugar with the assistance of Omni St. Laurent and Omni-Richelieu, which arrived from Hamilton, and will likely return there.
Stephen B. Roman came in late Thursday and unloaded a partial cargo into Metis, scheduled for delivery in Rochester. The Roman departed late Friday. The McKiel tug Tony McKay has been chosen to take Metis. Departure from Toronto is slated for Tuesday.
Tug John Spence & McAsphalt barge departed Friday after unloading. The tour boat River Gambler did its first charter of the season on Friday night. Tour boat Capt. Matthew Flinders returned from a winter dry docking in Hamilton Friday afternoon.

South Chicago - Brian Z.
The John D. Leitch was loading at KCBX Terminals on a very warm Sunday.  Arthur M. Anderson arrived at 11:45 a.m. and docked at the north berth waiting for the Leitch to finish loading. The Anderson is scheduled to load coal for Milwaukee.

Hamilton - Clive Reddin
The saltie Mandarin is in Toronto harbour off-loading raw sugar at the Tate and Lyle refinery. It used to be the Redpath refinery.

 

Updates - April 23

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter

Public Photo Gallery updated.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 23

The first radar equipment for commercial marine service on the Great Lakes was installed on a freighter at Buffalo in 1946. The first boat to be equipped was the JOHN T HUTCHINSON of the Buckeye Steamship fleet.

The 1950 shipping season officially opened when the ALGOCEN, Captain M. A. Livingstone, locked upbound through the Davis Lock at 8:30am. The opening was delayed due to heavy ice conditions in the lower St. Marys River. Captain Livingstone estimated that the ALGOCEN made less than 0.5 miles/hour at full power.

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 Uniflows, and her double stacks were replaced with a single, tapered stack. The refit was completed August 28, 1953.

On April 23, 1966, the b.) JOSEPH S WOOD, a.) RICHARD M MARSHALL of 1953, 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) of the Cleveland Ship Building Co. was launched April 23, 1891, for the Lake Superior Iron Mining Co. Renamed b.) JOSEPH S SCOBELL in 1938, she was 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.

Data from: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, 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.

 

Nindawayma tow underway

4/22 - Sunday Morning Update - At 7:30am Sunday the tow was at the upper wall of the Beauharnois Lock. Her next destination was the St. Louis Bridge.

4/22 - As of 11:30am, Saturday, the Nindawayma tow is approaching the St. Lambert Lock upbound into the Seaway. Radium Yellowknife is lead tug with Commodore Straits trailing at the stern. The tug Ours Polaire is with this group to assist as required.

The Nindawayma tow had to secure at the Cote Ste Catherine wharf around 6:00pm on Saturday to accommodate down bound vessel, the wait was supposed to last 4-6 hours.

Reported by Ron Beaupre & Kent Malo

 

Port Reports - April 22

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Manistee was back on the Saginaw River again Saturday morning, calling on the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee to unload. She then turned in the Sixth Street basin and was downbound for the lake late Saturday afternoon.

Sturgeon Bay - Jeff Birch
The McKee Sons has sailed from Sturgeon Bay, and there currently no lakers at BayShip.

South Chicago - Brian Z.
The John D. Leitch was unloading salt at the Morton dock on Saturday morning. After discharging, the Leitch will shift to KCBX Terminals to load a cargo of petroleum coke. Also, a freshly painted McKee Sons was loading a cargo at KCBX. The McKee Sons finished taking on her load of petroleum coke at 8:20 am. This is the first cargo of the season for the McKee Sons/Invincible.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The Steamer John G. Munson cleared Sandusky early Saturday for Gladstone, Mi., having loaded coal.

Soo - Bonnee Srigley
On Saturday, the Roger Blough was tied up at the Carbide Dock to repair her prop.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
The Kaye E. Barker loaded ore on a beautiful Saturday morning. Low water levels are visible in locations around the shore.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
Saturday was an active day in the area. The Mississagi was unloading sand at the Alpena Oil Dock on a calm and beautiful morning. It finished unloading before 7:00am and was backing out of the river to turn around out in the bay.
Over at Lafarge the Wolverine came in overnight to unload coal. The Cuyahoga (loaded with slag) was at anchor out in the bay and remained there until the Wolverine departed the coal dock by early afternoon.
The G. L. Ostrander/barge Integrity arrived in port around 12:30pm.

 

Updates - April 22

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter

Public Photo Gallery updated.

 

Trip Raffle to Benefit BoatNerd

Through the generosity of the Interlake Steamship Co., BoatNerd is offering the chance to win a four-six-day trip for four to take place during the 2007 sailing season (between the months of June and September) on the winner's choice of the classic Lee. A. Tregurtha or the Queen of the Lakes Paul R. Tregurtha.

The trip is the Grand Prize of BoatNerd¹s first ever raffle and fundraising event. Other prizes will also be given away.

All proceeds from this raffle will benefit Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, the non-profit support organization for the BoatNerd.Com Web site. Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, Inc. is a non-profit 501(C)(3) corporation. Funds raised will be used to upgrade our equipment, expand our services and pay monthly Internet connection charges.

The drawing will take place at 2 p.m. on June 2, 2007 at the BoatNerd.Com World Headquarters in Port Huron, Mich.

Donation: $10 per ticket, 3 for $25, 6 for $50 or 12 for $100.

Click here to order, or for more information. Tickets are also available by mail, or in person at BoatNerd World Headquarters in Port Huron, MI.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 22

The new Bethlehem 1000-foot self-unloader was christened during ceremonies at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin in 1978. The b.) LEWIS WILSON FOY, launched as a.) BURNS HARBOR, became the second thousand footer and seventh vessel in the Bethlehem fleet. Renamed c.) OGLEBAY NORTON in 1991, and d.) AMERICAN INTEGRITY in 2006.

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.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, 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.

 

U.S. House OKs new lock at the Soo
No funds included

4/21 - Washington - The U.S. House has voted to end a two-decade delay in building a new Great Lakes shipping lock, although it's still uncertain whether Congress will come up with the money.

A provision ordering the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to expand the Soo Locks complex at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., was included in a $15 billion water projects bill passed Thursday. The measure must clear the Senate and get President Bush's signature to take effect.

U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., accused the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in February of planning to kill the project. John Paul Woodley Jr., assistant secretary of the Army for civil works, insisted then that no decision had been made. Lynn Duerod, spokeswoman for the Corps' district office in Detroit, said Friday the situation "looks promising" but the agency was waiting to see whether the proposed lock would clear remaining hurdles in Congress.

The bill authorizes federal agencies to build it, but separate legislation is needed to provide funding.

Congress in 1986 first approved construction of a new lock large enough to accommodate the biggest freighters hauling iron ore and other bulk cargo on the St. Marys River, which links lakes Superior and Huron.

Lawmakers have appropriated about $13 million over the years for planning and design, but haven't provided construction money. The price tag has jumped from $227 million in 1986 to $341 million. The House measure calls for the federal government to pay the entire cost. In past years, Congress has asked the Great Lakes states to help foot the bill.

The Soo complex includes three functional locks, but just one - the Poe Lock - can handle ships longer than 767 feet. Of nearly 70 U.S.-flagged Great Lakes vessels, 31 are that size.

If the Poe were disabled, it would create a huge shipping bottleneck and cause iron ore shortages that could cripple the domestic steel industry, Stupak said. A second Poe-sized lock would keep traffic flowing, he said.

The version of the Water Resources Development Act approved by the House deletes a caveat from previous years that the Army Corps secretary must endorse the new lock before it's built.

The Corps' Detroit office concluded in a 2005 analysis the project wasn't justified on economic grounds alone but was worth the money when national security was considered.

"The time for studying the problem is over," Stupak said. "We're telling them what to do. They're going to build this lock."

From the Detroit News

 

Port Reports - April 21

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Friday morning the American Victory loaded her first ore cargo in Marquette since a change of ownership and renaming last season. Mesabi Miner departed after unloading western coal.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber came into port early Thursday afternoon after lightering in Muskegon. It unloaded at Verplank's dock in Ferrysburg and was gone by early evening. This was its first ever visit to Grand Haven by the tug and barge.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The American Valor arrived for the Gateway Terminal in Lackawanna around 8:30 p.m. Thursday night. She was likely bringing in stone, and was west bound on the lake through Long Point by 9 a.m. Friday.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
Friday was steamer day at the Sandusky Bay Norfolk-Southern coal dock.
The Herbert C. Jackson departed early in the morning for Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. Following the Jackson to the dock was the Maumee. Late afternoon Friday saw the Great Lakes Fleet Steamer John G. Munson slide under the chute and begin loading.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel & Paul Erspamer
Friday morning the U.S. Coast Guard Mackinaw was docked at the Lake Express pier, just outboard of the ferry berth. Late Friday morning Polsteam's Nogat continued to load at the Nidera Elevator in the inner harbor.
In the outer harbor, Algoma's Agawa Canyon had just arrived and was starting to discharge salt at the bulk pier. And next to the Canyon, at General Cargo Terminal 2 was the Katja, a 425-footer hailing from Germany.

Alpena & Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
The Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation was heading out into the bay at 1:00pm on Friday. The Alpena was on the horizon not long after, making its way into port around 3:00pm to take on cement also.
For Saturday the G. L. Ostrander/barge Integrity will return, also the Cuyahoga is expected to bring slag to Lafarge.
The Arthur M. Anderson and Manistee took on cargo at Stoneport on Friday. The Great Lakes Trader is scheduled to load on Saturday.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Alpena was inbound the Saginaw River late Wednesday night going up to the LaFarge dock in Saginaw to unload. She was back outbound late Thursday.
Also calling on the Saginaw River was the Manistee. She lightered first at the Wirt dock in Bay City, then continued upriver to finish unloading at the Wirt dock in Saginaw. Manistee was outbound late Thursday.

 

Fox River channel depth will remain same under House plan
Manitowoc Harbor dredging included in water resources bill

4/21 - Washington — The House voted 394 to 25 Thursday to approve legislation to maintain the navigable channel in the Fox River at its current depth of 18 feet and authorize the dredging of Manitowoc Harbor.

Both provisions are part of the Water Resources Development Act of 2007, which would authorize $13 billion projects by the Army Corps of Engineers. The Senate has not yet taken up its version of the legislation.

Former Republican Rep. Mark Green sponsored language last year that would have allowed the navigable channel to be reduced from 18 feet to 6 feet to allow capping of PCBs in the riverbed, but Rep. Steve Kagen, D-Appleton, removed the language in the new version of the bill.

The leaders of Brown County, Green Bay, De Pere, Allouez and Ashwaubenon have all supported reducing the channel, which runs from Georgia-Pacific to the De Pere dam. Paul Jadin, president of the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce and former Green Bay mayor, said last week that Kagen's decision to have the provision removed from the House bill was a mistake. Had the provision removed by Kagen become law, the cost of an environmental cleanup involving the capping of deadly PCBs in the riverbed would have been significantly reduced.

Kagen's spokesman, Curtis Ellis, said pulling the provision is "a pro-business step that keeps the Fox River as a working river." Kagen said he wants more information about the effectiveness and safety of capping before state and federal agencies are allowed to reduce the size of the channel. He plans a news conference Saturday in Green Bay to discuss the issue.

The Bush administration last year expressed concern about new project authorizations given that the Army Corps already has a backlog in excess of $50 billion, according to the Congressional Research Service. Among the biggest projects in the bill is a $1.1 billion authorization to restore coastal wetlands in Louisiana; $2 billion for navigation improvements to the Upper Mississippi River-Illinois Waterway; and $2 billion for restoration of the Everglades.

The Manitowoc Harbor project would authorize $405,000 to deepen the navigable channel to 18 feet from its current 12 feet. Rep. Tom Petri, R-Fond du Lac, said he sponsored the project to support job growth at a local yacht builder. "Burger Boat is making bigger boats and they will stick into the mud if it's not done,'" he said, indicating he hopes the dredging would occur within the next year.

Petri noted the bill also would authorize the creation of a second, permanent barrier in the Chicago area to prevent Asian Carp from infiltrating the Great Lakes.

From the Appleton Post-Cresent

 

Green light for major waterfront plan in Thunder Bay

4/21 - Thunder Bay - Thunder Bay City Council approved a $100 million Master Plan for Prince Arthur’s Landing at Marina Park — a plan that promises to transform Thunder Bay’s waterfront and realize the potential of its location on the shores of Lake Superior, the world’s largest freshwater lake.

The Master Plan sets out a mixed use of the land including recreational, residential, commercial and retail. Approval of the plan paves the way for development to start, along with work to secure the necessary approvals and secure investment.

The City of Thunder Bay retained a consultant team led by Brook McIlroy Inc. Planning and Urban Design/Pace Architects to develop the Master Plan and urban design guidelines for Prince Arthur’s Landing at Marina Park. BMI has received ten awards for urban waterfront revitalization projects in the past five years alone and engaged the Thunder Bay public in the design process.

“Over the past year, we have improved access to the waterfront and have begun infrastructure projects to demonstrate that we are serious,” said Councillor Mark Bentz, chair of the Waterfront Development Committee. “The approval of our Master Plan is the first concrete step toward making our waterfront a year-round destination for all to enjoy.

“With Council’s approval in hand, we can actively begin to engage the private sector and other funding agencies to make this development a reality.”

From Markham Daily Commercial News

 

Buffalo ethanol plant backers woo investors
Project seeks$20 million in venture capital

4/21 - Buffalo, NY - The backers of an ethyl alcohol plant on the Buffalo River are putting a new twist on an old product.
They plan to distill corn for use as a motor fuel, not as a social lubricant. But does it make sense to convert food into fuel — especially when corn prices are rising? It was a question that the plant’s backers addressed on Wednesday at a meeting for potential investors in Buffalo.

“We can truly become a leader in alternative energy in Buffalo,” said Rick Smith III, chairman of River- Wright Energy. The developer of the proposed plant said that the idea would generate $288 million a year in sales, producing a homegrown fuel — and a healthy profit — while recycling the city’s unused grain elevators.

Investors posed questions about the proposal’s economics on Wednesday, adding to community questions about its odor and safety. “There have been a lot of saviors for energy that have kind of come and gone,” said Pete Grum, president of Rand Capital Corp. in Buffalo. He and Smith were both at the downtown Buffalo Club on Wednesday for a meeting of the Western New York Venture Forum, where River- Wright pitched its plan.


The company seeks about $20 million in funding from venture capitalists to support the $89 million project, with a minimum buy-in of $100,000. The bulk of the project’s cost is being financed by French bank Societe General.

Ethanol is getting a lot of attention as an alternate fuel. President Bush has proposed cutting gas consumption by 20 percent over 10 years, mainly by switching to domestic ethanol. The goal has set off a spate of ethanol plant development — and global debate about food versus fuel.

RiverWright argues that ethanol is the business that the waterfront has been waiting for. The city’s vacant grain elevators and lake shipping facilities are the perfect infrastructure for a corn-to-energy plant, which will bring in supplies from the Midwest. “You would need to spend billions of dollars to replicate the waterways, buildings and grain storage” available in Buffalo, said Smith, who founded RiverWright with partner Kevin Townsell.

The plant envisioned on Childs Street would consume 40 million bushels of corn annually and yield 110 million gallons of ethanol. The annual projected sales of $288 million, which includes byproducts for animal feed, would put the venture well into the black, Smith said. Current prices for ethanol are about $2.10 a gallon, he said.

KL Design Process Group, designer and builder of ethanol plants in the Midwest, is RiverWright’s partner for constructing the plant. Buffalo’s planning board is scheduled to meet next week to determine if the company’s impact study is sufficient, or whether more analysis will be needed. While most ethanol production is in the nation’s corn belt, Buffalo benefits from its proximity to big fuel markets of the Northeast, Smith said. Because it is corrosive, ethanol can’t be piped to fuel sellers, making distance to markets critical.

The company’s profits assume the current, near-record prices of more than $3 a bushel for corn will stick, he said. However, if corn prices continue to rise they will impact the plant’s economics. Corn has surged this year largely because of demand from ethanol producers.

RiverWright has ties with a cellulosic energy developer and would work to convert its plant if new technology became available, Smith said.

From the Buffalo News

 

"Know Your Ships" Book Signing In Port Huron Today

Roger LeLievre, editor and publisher of "Know Your Ships," will be at the BoatNerd.Com World Headquarters in Port Huron from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Saturday to sign copies of the 2007 edition.

The book will be available for purchase at the book signing, and other members of the "Know Your Ships" production crew will be on hand as well.

 

Updates - April 21

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter

Public Photo Gallery updated.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 21

On this day in 1955, the J S ASHLEY delivered its 1,000th cargo since Captain H. P. Murphy assumed command of the vessel in 1944. During that period, the 504-foot self unloader consumed 71,268 tons of coal, 4,262,000 gallons of oil, traveled 602,768 miles, and delivered 8,772,837 tons of cargo.

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. 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.

Data from: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, 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.

 

ASI strikes sales deal with Essar of India;
Board unanimously supports sale:
Shareholders to have final say at meeting in June

4/20 - Sault Ste. Marie, ON - Algoma Steel Inc. and Essar Global Ltd. have come to an agreement that would see a subsidiary of the India-based conglomerate acquire the Sault Ste. Marie steelmaker in a deal worth $1.85 billion.

The agreement, which would see Essar pay $56 per share for ASI, representing a 48-per-cent premium, was announced Sunday afternoon in a joint statement. "The board of directors unanimously supports the essar proposal as it reflects a significant premium to the historical share price of Algoma," said Benjamin Duster, chairman of ASI's board of directors, in the release.

"This transaction will also benefit Algoma's employees and the city of Sault Ste. Marie as it will results in new ownership that is committed to investment in Algoma's facilities to support growth and business sustainability." The deal still must be approved by ASI's shareholders at a shareholder meeting expected to take place in June. It also must meet with regulatory approval.

Essar Global is an international conglomerate operating in six business areas - steel, oil and gas, power, communications, shipping and logistics, and construction, with projected revenues of $10 billion US this fiscal year. The company has 20,000 employees, including 3,500 in the United States. The company has steel operations or planned production in India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Trinidad and Tobago.

"We believe Algoma is an excellent addition to our existing steel business and also offers growth potential," said Shashi Rula, chairman of essar Global Ltd. "This acquisition fits in with our global steel vision of having world-class low-cost assets, with a global footprint. Algoma provides us with an excellent platform for the Canadian and North American markets."

Rula said Essar is impressed with ASI's management team and employees. Mike DaPrat, president of Local 2251, which represents the majority of ASI's unionized workers, said word of the agreement has made him "hopeful" that ASI will get the research and development it needs and can finally come out of "survival mode." "Everybody's a little nervous of the unknown. However, I think everyone understands we can't go it alone," DaPrat told The Sault Star on Sunday.

ASI is an integrated steel producer with steel shipments of 2.4 million tons in 2006..

"From a purely personal perspective, I think the company was becoming a little inbred if you will, and was not exhibiting the thought process regarding product diversification, product development, etc., that it could," DaPrat said. Upgrades to those areas will be crucial if the deal goes through and ASI becomes part of an organization that is many times larger than itself, DaPrat said.

DaPrat, who has met with Essar officials, said he hopes an acquisition will also put a new face on what have in recent years been somewhat strained labour relations.

ASI has undergone two court-protected restructurings since the 1990s and previously failed to find a buyer after putting itself up for sale in 2005. A few weeks ago, the company and German Steelmaker Salzgitter AG broke off takeover talks and the company began negotiating with other potential buyers.

If the deal closes, the sale would continue the consolidation of the Canadian steel sector, which has seen some of the industry's iconic companies scooped up by bigger rivals or restructured to stay alive.

From the Sault Star

 

Essar not stopping with ASI, announces purchase in Minnesota

4/20 - Sault Ste. Marie, ON - A North American buying spree by India's cash-rich essar Global Ltd., an acquisition-hungry international conglomerate, may hit in excess of US $3 billion.

Sunday, essar announced it had a $1.85-billion cash takeover offer on the table to acquire Algoma Steel Inc., a bid supported by Algoma's board of directors but needing shareholder and regulatory approval.

Wednesday, India's third-largest steel producer announced it is purchasing Minnesota Steel Industries, based in St. Paul, Minn., and investing $1.6 billion US to construct the state's first fully-integrated iron-to-steel mill operation at a defunct taconite mine on the Mesabi Iron Range. Algoma Steel officials see that second purchase as "an excellent fit" with the first.

Wednesday's deal still needs environmental and regulatory approval but the first of 2,000 construction workers is expected to be on the site by the third quarter of this year, with expectations of plant going operational in 2009. While terms of the deal were not disclosed, the Times of India is declaring the purchase price at $100 million US for the company that controls iron ore reserves in excess of 1.4 billion tons.

According to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune, Minnesota is the "king of taconite" but has never had one facility that can mine and process iron ore and produce finished steel slabs on the same site. Normally, iron ore is made into taconite, then shipped outside the state for further processing into steel.

Officials believe they should be able to ship steel within 36 hours of the iron ore coming out of the ground, according to the Star Tribune. The plant, which will employ about 700 workers earning upwards of $19 US hourly, expects to produce 1.5 million tons of slabs initially before ramping up to 2.5 million tons.

Last summer, Minnesota Steel entered into an exclusive $600-million agreement with steel plant engineers and designers, HYL and Danieli, to provide commercially proven technology for the direct reduced iron plant, electric arc furnace and associated processing equipment.

"The development will be an excellent fit with Algoma's operations, both geographically and operationally, with the potential to serve as a steady supplier of iron ore and steel slabs," said Brenda Stenta, ASI's manager of corporate communications, in a brief statement.

From the Sault Star

 

Port Reports - April 20

Sandusky & Huron - Jim Spencer
The Interlake barge Pathfinder and her tug consort, the Dorothy Ann, loaded Thursday at Sandusky's Norfolk-Southern coal dock.
Overnight Wednesday, the barge John H. Thompson, Jr., deposited a cargo of limestone from Stoneport in Huron at the Huron Lime Co., dock. Interestingly, the Thompson made nearly weekly runs to the Huron Ore Dock prior to the collapse of the iron ore market in the 1980's. One of the faster 730-footers on the lakes at the time, she was rescued from the scrappers torch in 1985 by Upper Lakes Towing Co., and returned to service in 1991 in the current tug-barge configuration.

South Chicago - Brian Z.
Canada Steamship's Atlantic Huron was loading a cargo of petroleum coke at the Beemsterboer dock on Wednesday. The Huron discharged road salt at Morton Salt prior to taking on 28,000 tons of coke. Loading was completed at 1:30 a.m. on Thursday.
The barge Integrity with tug G. L. Ostrander also was seen on Wednesday at 4 p.m. heading to Lake Calumet to unload its cargo of cement.

Marquette - Rod Burdick & Lee Rowe
Thursday was a busy day. Charles M. Beeghly loaded taconite and departed during the morning. In the afternoon, Michipicoten loaded ore, departed, and Mesabi Miner took her place at the ore dock with a load of western coal.
At the Lower Harbor, H. Lee White unloaded limestone.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
St. Marys Conquest and its tug Susan W. Hannah departed from Milwaukee onto Lake Michigan late Thursday morning after delivering cement to their Kinnickinnic River silo.
Saltie Nogat continues loading at the Nidera grain elevator in the inner harbor.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The Mississagi came into port Thursday morning around dawn and docked at Meekhof's upper dock in Ferrysburg about 7:15 a.m.

Lorain - C. Mackin
The John J. Boland made a stop in Lorain on Wednesday going upriver to R.E.P.
Early Thursday morning the Tug Dorothy Ann and Pathfinder made a stop at Terminal Ready Mix.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The tug John Spence and barge came into port at 11 a.m. Thursday and went down the Turning Basin to the McAsphalt dock to begin unloading.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Thursday evening had the saltie Marlene Green depart Pier 12E with project cargo (parts from the Petro Canada Refinery in Bronte) for Pakistan at 5 p.m.
The Captain Matthew Flinders departed Heddle Marine at 7 p.m. heading to Toronto.

Edward L. Ryerson - various reports
The Ryerson was upbound at DeTour at 3 p.m. on Thursday and cleared the MacArthur Lock around 8 p.m. bound for Superior. Her next down bound trip is expected to be to Lorain.

 

Updates - April 20

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter

Public Photo Gallery updated.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 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. Eight 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: Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.

 

McKeil reportedly sells some Sorel assets to Mc Nally International

4/19 - It has been reported that McKeil Marine has sold the grounds and buildings as well as the site of the large marine dock which it has in Tracy, Quebec to McNally International  The sale does not include the quays.

The barges and small tug boats, which are useful for maritime construction, are also sold as part of the deal.

The majority of the McKeil employees, in Sorel, are being transferred to McNally. There will only be one remaining McKeil employee Sorel.

A McKeil subsidiary company, RBM (Tug boats and Montreal Barges) has also been sold, but to an unknown party. The former employees of RBM which worked for McKeil also go with the new owner.

The tug Jerry Newberry, as well as their floating crane, also were sold to another unknown party.

McKeil keeps its tug boats and barges and may also proceed to the purchase of other ships. McKeil will concentrate on transport. The fleet, which wintered in Sorel the last two winters, will continue to do so and Kathryn Spirit should retain her home port in Sorel. 

These changes will be effective next on June 3.

 

Port Reports - April 19

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The H. Lee White arrived at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City on Tuesday morning to unload. She was outbound later that afternoon.
Also inbound was the Algorail, who traveled up river to unload at the Saginaw Rock Products dock in Saginaw. She was out bound Wednesday afternoon.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The Port Authority workboat Osprey and tug Wm. Rest brought the derrick barge T.H.C. 50 out of their Keating Channel yard this morning with a load of channel markers and "Keep Out" buoys for the island airport. After placing the buoys out in Humber Bay, they returned to the yard.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
At about 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, the Earl W. paid its second visit of this season. It came in bow first with a load of stone for the Meekhof D & M dock by the power plant on Harbor Island.
An hour later theWolverine came in bow first with a load of coal for the Board of Light and Power’s Sims Plant also on Harbor Island. It is rare to have two boats at the same time here, let alone sisterships docked bow to stern at adjacent docks. They were both unloading Wednesday evening.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
The tug Mark Hannah with barge E6300 came into port at 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, then went to the new harbour to discharge her load of calcium. Agawa Canyon arrived at 2:30 p.m., backing into the Sifto Salt dock to load.

 

Updates - April 19

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter

Public Photo Gallery updated.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 19 

April 19, 1922, the lighthouse tender C.G.S. Lambton, built 1909, was lost on Lake Superior in or near Whitefish Bay while taking crews out to lighthouses. Total loss of 22 persons. 

The HOWARD M HANNA JR departed Buffalo on this date in 1919, with her course laid out by a gyro compass. The HANNA JR was the first boat on the lakes to use a gyro compass for this purpose rather than the traditional magnetic compass.  Scrapped at Cartagena, Spain in 1969.

The POWELL STACKHOUSE, Captain Martin Johnston, was the first boat to pass through the Soo Locks and open the 1943, shipping season.

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 down bound 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. She sails today as b.) AMERICAN SPIRIT.

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.

Data from: Randy Johnson, Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, 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.

 

No 'super' lock planned for Sault canal

4/18 - Sault Ste. Marie, ON - Boosters of a new ‘super lock’ for Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan may have to wait two years for a change in the White House. The current administration will not fund the construction of a long-awaited new shipping lock on the St. Marys River for Great Lakes marine commerce.

Michigan congressman Bart Stupak, whose district includes the Sault and the government-run canal complex, said if the lock were ever disabled due to age, accidental damage or by terrorism, it would take months to repair and disrupt cargoes of food, fuel, steel and energy supplies.

The St. Mary’s River, linking Lakes Superior and Huron, is considered a vital shipping channel and is used to move iron ore, coal, grain and other commodities to various North American and international ports

A spokesperson with the Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation had no comment on the U.S. government’s decision. The corporation is releasing a joint Canada-U.S. wants-and-needs study in July addressing the issue of aging transportation infrastructure on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.

The U. S. Corps of Engineers operates four locks in the American Sault, but increasingly has relied on just one, the Poe Lock, that can accommodate the largest vessels on the Great Lakes. Shipping companies have feared that any damage to the Poe would bring marine commerce on the upper Great Lakes to a standstill.

The project, whose price tag has ranged between $225 million and and $340 million, was expected to take five years to complete. By the corps’ own admission in various studies through the years, the Sault Ste. Marie canal and the need for a new lock is considered vital to Great Lakes shipping.
The U.S. Congress authorized the construction of a new lock in 1986 but total project funds were never released. After a 15-year wait, U.S. Congressional lawmakers finally approved an appropriations bill in 2001, with an initial $3 million toward the project.

In 2002, the corps was doing some preparatory work by dredging the river approach to the proposed lock. Plans were to demolish two older and shallow locks to make way for the new lock.

From Northern Ontario Business

 

Cutter sets sail on buoy run

4/18 - Cheboygan - Waiting out strong northwest winds, the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw delayed its scheduled departure with a deck full of buoys until Tuesday.

The Mackinaw planned to depart the dock at the Millard D. Olds Memorial Moorings early Tuesday for its first trip to replace buoys picked up in the fall. One of those marks to be commissioned will be a buoy familiar to area boaters transiting the Cheboygan River, said the ship's captain. Monday's strong winds could have made the job dangerous for new personnel onboard in the open waters of the South Channel.

“We'll put the Cheboygan Traffic Buoy back in service,” said Cmdr. John Little, “and then continue to work some locations in the Straits of Mackinac all the way out to Gray's Reef Passage. From there, we'll still have a long way to go.”

Little said the cutter's initial buoy-tending trip of the 2007 season will include a journey down Lake Michigan to waters off Chicago, where winter marks will be collected and replaced with summer buoys, sinkers and chain serviced at the Cheboygan base. “From there we will head up to Milwaukee, and make a stop there to pick up some buoys and gear,” Little said. “We'll have some to place and others to bring back with us.”

The Mackinaw skipper said he expects to be gone about a week for the current trip. “We'll be back for a short time and then head out again,” Little explained. “Once we have finished commissioning buoys on the Lake Michigan side we'll go down the Lake Huron side and do the same thing.”

By Mike Fornes for the Cheboygan Daily Tribune

 

Port Reports - April 18

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon departed at 9 a.m. Tuesday. The Port Authority launched its tug Brutus 1 into the Keating Channel Tuesday.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Tuesday saw the saltie Puffin depart Pier 25 (JRI Elevators) at 5 p.m. with grain and headed down the lake. The Federal Shimanto followed from Pier 14 at 5:30 p.m. and headed to the Welland Canal.
The Petrolia Desgagnes finally docked at the Petro Canada Piers in Bronte after being anchored off shore for the last week due to the bad weather.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Algosteel headed into the inner harbour at 11 a.m. Tuesday morning, made the turn, then went to the Sifto Salt dock to load. She was on the dock and loading under sunny skies by noon.

Alpena & Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Monday evening the Alpena was in port taking on cement under the silos at Lafarge. It departed before 10 p.m. to head for Whitefish, ON.
The tug G. L. Ostrander and barge Integrity were out in the bay Monday night and came in once the Alpena passed.
A Lower Lakes vessel was seen anchored in the bay late Monday evening, likely because of strong winds . At 7 a.m. Tuesday morning it was seen backing out into the bay after delivering a load of salt overnight at the Alpena Oil Dock.
Joseph H. Thompson and Great Lakes Trader were at Stoneport on Tuesday.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
Tuesday evening, ocean bulker Nogat from the Polsteam line (reg. Limassol, Cyprus) was docked at the Nidera elevator in Milwaukee's inner harbor, waiting for a cargo.
Also Tuesday, U.S. Coast Guard buoy tender Hollyhock was berthed just inboard of the cross-lake ferry, adjacent to the Coast Guard station.

 

Book Signing this weekend

Editor and Publisher Roger LeLievre, as well as members of the Know Your Ships crew, will also be on hand at the BoatNerd.Com World Headquarters in Port Huron from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Saturday, April 21 to sign copies of "Know Your Ships." Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the book signing.

Visit www.knowyourships.com for more information.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 18

The SPARROWS POINT (Hull#4505) was launched at the Sparrows Point Shipbuilding Yard, Sparrows Point, Maryland in 1953. The 626-foot freighter was towed down the east coast and up the Mississippi River to join the Bethlehem Fleet on the Great Lakes. Lengthened in 1958, converted to a self-unloader in 1980, renamed b.) BUCKEYE in 1991. Converted to a barge and renamed c.) LEWIS J KUBER in 2006.

On 18 April 1889, the CITY OF RACINE (wooden propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 220 foot, 1,041 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 she was 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 car ferries 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.

Data from: Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, 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 - April 17

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel & Paul Erspamer
Late Monday afternoon, the St. Marys Conquest and its tug Susan W. Hannah were at the St. Marys terminal on the Kinnickinnic River. At the same time the tug Karen Andrie and barge A-397 were at the petroleum pier at the south end of the outer harbor.

Toronto - Clive Reddin
The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon was in Toronto Monday. It changed two channel marker buoys for illuminated ones and moored at the foot of Sherbourne Street. It is unknown how long Griffon will be in port.

Indiana Harbor - Brian Z.
The Joseph L. Block passed through the piers at 3:45 p.m. on Monday under sunny skies. The Block was fully loaded and destined for Mittal Steel.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Manistee was inbound the Saginaw River early Monday morning bound for the GM dock in Saginaw. She met the outbound Olive L. Moore-Lewis J. Kuber at the Wirt dock in Bay City, then continued her trip upriver to unload. She was back outbound late Monday morning, coming to anchor in the Airport Turning basin to wait for high winds to diminish before making the trip through Bay City's bridges. Manistee finally departed the basin Monday evening and was outbound for the lake.
The CSL Tadoussac was also inbound early Monday morning calling on the Essroc dock in Essexville. The Moore & Kuber met their second inbound vessel, waiting for the Tadoussac to make her dock before passing on their outbound trip. The CSL Tadoussac also waited at the dock for the winds to subside before backing out of the river to Light 12 where she turned and headed out for the lake.

Lorain - C. Mackin
The Edward L. Ryerson made her first trip to Lorain early Tuesday morning passing through the Charles Berry Bridge at 3:15 am on the way to the Jonick Dock with a load of ore for R.E.P.

 

Updates - April 17

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter

Public Photo Gallery updated.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 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 up bound 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, 1,324 gross tons) was launched at the Ballentine shipyard at Bangor, Michigan.

Data from: Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II, Father Dowling Collection 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.

 

Sichem Aneline Freed

4/16 - Montreal - The benzene laden tanker Sichem Aneline was pulled free Sunday afternoon by the Ocean tugs. Ocean Bravo, Intrepide and Jupiter.

Sichem Aneline went to sec 56 North, where inspections will likely be carried out before setting sail for Philadelphia, where her cargo is consigned.

Sichem Aneline went aground Wednesday afternoon after pulling away from the dock. There was no confirmation on what caused the ship to ground.

Reported by Kent Malo and Rene Beauchamp

 

Big conglomerate buys Algoma Steel
Essar Global to acquire Algoma Steel for CDN$1.85 billion

4/16 - Mumbai, India and Sault Ste. Marie, ON - Essar Global Ltd., through its wholly owned subsidiary Essar Steel Holdings Limited, ("Essar") and Algoma Steel Inc. ("Algoma") today announced that they have signed a definitive arrangement agreement providing for the acquisition by Essar of all of the common shares of Algoma for Cdn$56.00 per share, or an aggregate equity value of $1.85 billion, payable in cash.

The offer price represents a premium of 48 percent to Algoma's volume weighted average stock price for the 20-day period ending on February 14, 2007 when Algoma confirmed that it was in discussions regarding a potential transaction. Under the terms of the agreement, Algoma will undertake a court-approved plan of arrangement pursuant to which an Essar subsidiary will acquire all of the shares of Algoma in consideration for Cdn$56.00 in cash per share.

The arrangement must be approved by Algoma's shareholders by the affirmative vote of at least 66-2/3rds percent of the votes cast, in person or by proxy, at a shareholders meeting, and is subject to customary closing conditions including necessary regulatory approvals. The support agreement provides for payments to Essar in the event that the acquisition is not completed under certain circumstances.

Mr. Benjamin Duster chairman of Algoma's board of directors said: "The board of rirectors unanimously supports the Essar proposal as it reflects a significant premium to the historical share price of Algoma. This transaction will also benefit Algoma's employees and the City of Sault Ste. Marie as it will result in new ownership that is committed to investment in Algoma's facilities to support growth and business sustainability."

Mr. Shashi Ruia, chairman, Essar Global Limited said, "We believe Algoma is an excellent addition to our existing steel business and also offers growth potential. This acquisition fits in with our global steel vision of having world class low cost assets, with a global footprint. Algoma provides us with an excellent platform for the Canadian and North American markets. We are impressed with Algoma's management team and employees and look forward to working with them to enhance our industry leadership."

Algoma expects that the shareholders meeting to approve the arrangement will be held in June and that the acquisition will be completed shortly thereafter if approved by the shareholders. The board of directors of Algoma has unanimously recommended that Algoma shareholders vote in favour of the transaction.

About Essar
Essar Global is an international conglomerate operating in six business areas - steel, oil & gas, power, communications, shipping & logistics and construction. It has offices world-wide and employs approximately 20,000 people, including over 3,500 persons in the United States.

The group has built a portfolio of assets with expected revenues of US$10 billion in the year to March 2008. For further information, please visit: www.essar.com

Essar Steel Holdings Limited is an emerging global steel company. It is a fully integrated manufacturer and one of the lowest cost producers of steel globally.
Essar Steel Holdings Limited, along with its subsidiaries, operates an integrated steel plant of 4.6 million tonnes per annum (tpa) in India, which is expected to be increased to an 8.5 million tpa steel complex for flat products by 2009. The complex also comprises a cold rolling plant, down stream facilities and a five-meter-wide plate mill. It is India's largest exporter of flat steel.

Essar Steel Holdings Ltd. also operates a cold rolling complex in Indonesia and has now finalized plans to setup an integrated steel plant for flat products in Trinidad and Tobago and a hot strip mill in Vietnam.

About Algoma Steel

Algoma Steel Inc. is an integrated steel producer based in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario with steel shipments of 2.4 million tons in 2006. Revenues, which totaled Cdn$1.9 billion in 2006, are derived primarily from the manufacture and sale of rolled steel products including hot and cold-rolled steel and plate.

Algoma Steel News Release

 

Port Reports - April 16

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The self-unloading cement barge St. Mary's Conquest with tug Susan W. Hannah in the notch came in very early Saturday morning with a load for the St. Mary's Cement Terminal in Ferrysburg. It left overnight on Saturday.

Pigeon Bay - Erich Zuschlag
There were 50 KM/H winds this afternoon and because of it the Algontario, Edward L. Ryerson and the Frontenac went to anchor. Passages included: CSL Assiboine, Algosteel, John G. Munson, Joseph H Tompson, and the Canadian Navigator.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
The Lee A. Tregurtha brought coal for Marquette's WE power plant, then left without taking on ore. Saginaw loaded ore on a sunny Sunday.

Buffalo - Rob Wolcott & Brian Wroblewski
On Sunday, Buffalo had two vessels in port. It is unusual to have more than one vessel, especially so early in the shipping season. The Canadian Steamship Lines Halifax was at the Gateway Terminal loading coal for the trans-shipment to Nanticoke across the Lake. It is interesting to see the two ship loaders in action, being fed by the three front end loaders. You can see the old Coke works and one of the new wind mills in the back ground.
Not far away at the General Mills Frontier elevator was the Adam E. Cornelius. She was a new arrival in Buffalo, replacing the American Fortitude on the Duluth to Buffalo grain run. She is the first rear-accommodation, motor powered, self-unloaded to grace Buffalo Harbor in many years. It may have been as long as the last shipment of raw material left Republic Steel, that a ship of this type has been through the harbor entrance and the first time one has been up the city canal.
There was no sign of the Neah Bay and the ice conditions on the lake seemed to be improving with more open water in the ice fields on Sunday.

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Presque Isle was docked Sunday afternoon at the Duluth port authority's Garfield dock apparently undergoing repairs. A wheeled crane was at the vessel's stern.
Elsewhere in port, Paul R. Tregurtha was backing up St. Louis Bay en route to load at Midwest Energy Terminal.

Soo - Jerry Masson
The McArthur Lock was officially opened Sunday to vessel traffic. It is also a big help with ice flows drifting down from Whitefish Bay.
Upbound traffic included Lake Guardian, Cedarglen, and American Century. Downbound was Edgar B Speer, Charles M Beeghly and James R Barker.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
The Earl W. made her first visit to the Saginaw River under her shortened name arriving early Sunday morning with a split load. She lightered at the Bay City Wirt dock before continuing upriver for the Saginaw Wirt dock by 12:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Earl W. departed from the Saginaw Wirt dock at 7:45 p.m. Tuesday evening, headed upstream to turn at the Sixth Street turning basin.
Tug Olive L. Moore and the barge Lewis J. Kuber were unloading at the Saginaw Rock Products dock with their bow on the edge of the turning basin at the time. The captains of the two talked and the Moore & the Kuber would make room for the Earl W. to pass by and turn around at Sixth Street. Their plan was successful but strong currents in the river made it a hassle for the Earl W. to get turned around. By 9:30 p.m., the Earl W. had finally gotten turned around at the Sixth Street turning basin and headed downriver for the lake.
The Moore and the Kuber finished unloading at the Saginaw Rock Products dock at 10:50 p.m. Sunday night and began making the turn around off the dock in the Sixth Street turning basin. Once turned around the pair planned head outbound and anchor in the Saginaw Bay for the night.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
During the weekend, the salty Puffin made it's departure from Redpath.
Stephen B. Roman was in and unloading. She should get under way again Monday.
The Cherry Street bridge, which has been closed to traffic all winter for repairs, was raised to allow the heavy lift derrick barge T.H.C. 50 into the Keating Channel, where she will load the navigational buoys stored in the Port Authority's yard. The tug Wm. Rest was re-launched at the Atlas crane for this move.
Service to Centre Island resumed on Saturday as the spring schedule started for the island ferries. William Inglis was on that run. The ferry Sam McBride had it's winter tarps removed and is being fitted out.

 

17th Annual Memorial Day Cruise to Port Huron

The Marine Historical Society of Detroit, and BoatNerd.com, are sponsoring the 17th Annual Memorial Day Lake St. Clair and River Cruise aboard the Diamond Belle .

The cruise departs from Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit, on Sunday, May 27, and cruises across Lake St. Clair, up the St. Clair River, and out into Lake Huron for a short distance, weather permitting.

There is a Continental breakfast and a buffet luncheon on board, and the trip includes a buffet dinner at the St. Clair Inn.

The cruise will follow the shipping channel upbound to meet all downbound ships, and only divert from the shipping channel down bound to visit the old St. Clair Flats area to see the Old Club and other interesting buildings and sites there.

Tickets are $85 by reservation only. Departs Hart Plaza at 8:00 am and returns at 9:15 pm. Call 313-843-9376 for information.

 

Time to make your BoatNerd Gathering Reservations

The annual series of BoatNerd Gatherings is rapidly approaching. Many of these events have limited space. Don't wait to make your reservation until it is too late.

May 25-26 - Boatnerd Badger Gathering -  A round-trip crossing of Lake Michigan from Ludington, Michigan to Manitowoc, Wisconsin on Saturday, May 26, 2007, aboard the Lake Michigan Carferry SS Badger.

Saturday, June 2 - Special Boatnerd Cruise -  A special 2-hour tour of the St. Clair River aboard the Huron Lady II, beginning at 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 16 - Boatnerd Detroit Up River Cruise  - A 3-hour freighter chasing cruise on the lower Detroit River aboard the luxurious Friendship, driven by Capt. Sam Buchanan.

Friday, June 29 - Annual Boatnerd Freighter Chasing Cruise at the Soo - The annual trip aboard the Chief Shingwauk for a full three (3) hours leaving from Roberta Bondar Pavilion in Soo, Ontario.

Saturday, July 14 - Annual St. Clair River Gathering aboard the Hammond Bay - The Hammond Bay will depart their dock 2 miles south of Sombra, Ontario at 11:00am for a 3-hour narrated cruise passing Fawn Island, Sombra, Courtright, St. Clair, and Marine City.

Saturday, August 11 - Boatnerd Detroit Down River Cruise - A 4-hour freighter chasing cruise on the lower Detroit River aboard the luxurious Friendship, driven by Capt. Sam Buchanan.

Go to the Gatherings page for all the details and reservation forms.

 

Updates - April 16

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter - Help keep this site on line.

Public Photo Gallery updated.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 16

In 1955, the CALCITE loaded a cargo of stone at Port Dolomite for delivery to Cleveland. This was the first cargo of high grade dolomite limestone shipped from this new Great Lakes port.

In 1958, the new JOHN SHERWIN departed the American Shipyards facility at Toledo to conduct builders shakedown trials in western Lake Erie.

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.

Data from: Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, 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.

 

Nindawayma to be scrapped

4/15 - Owen Sound - It is an inglorious end for a once proud vessel that was the sister ship of the Chi Cheemaun.
The former Ontario Northland passenger ferry Nindawayma which was built in Spain in 1976, has been sold to the Upper Lakes Group.

J. B. Johnson is the Vice President of Marine Projects for the Upper Lakes Group and confirms they have purchased the old vessel, which has been sitting idle in Montreal Harbour since 2002. Johnson says the ferry will be dismantled for parts.

He says the destiny of the balance of the vessel has yet to be determined but it will be either scraped or possibly cut down to a deck barge.

The Nindawayma was brought to the Great Lakes by Ontario Northland to operate peak services between the ports of Tobermory and South Baymouth in 1989. The ship, which was named little sister, assisted the Chi-Cheemaun in transporting vehicles, however, a downturn in traffic resulted in the Nindawayma being taken out of service in 1992.

The vessel then sat rusting away in Owen Sound Harbour until 2002 when it was sold to a group interested in converting her to a cable laying ship.

The Upper Lakes Group, in conjunction with the Port of Erie has been the driving force behind developing a freight ferry service between Erie to Nanticoke.

Reported by David Shearman from CFOS Radio Owen Sound

 

Port Reports - April 15

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The cement storage barge Metis will sail again this year, because of the low water situation in the Genesee River. Metis will be put on a run between Picton and Rochester, the route normally run by Stephen B. Roman. As yet, the tug for the job has not been decided, but the shallow draft Radium Yellowknife is being considered.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
Early afternoon Saturday saw the Algowood complete loading for Hamilton and depart Sandusky Bay. She is due midweek at Thunder Bay.
The John G. Munson arrived at the Norfolk-Southern coal dock from Conneaut a few hours after the Algowood cleared and began loading for Green Bay.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
Early Saturday afternoon the BBC Scandinavia remained at the Pier 1 bulk dock in the outer harbor, while the Algorail had entered the breakwater and was backing under the I-794 bridge, to the bulk dock in the inner harbor, to unload salt. Polsteam's Isolda had departed General Cargo Pier 2 in the outer harbor in the last 24 hours.

Marquette - Rod Burdick & Lee Rowe
Saturday was a busy day in Marquette with the Charles M. Beeghly, sporting a new paint job, arriving early for ore followed later in the day by the Michipicoten. Many boat watchers were out watching the arrival of the Michipicoten and enjoying the beautiful weather.
The John J. Boland arrived in the lower harbor with stone for the Shiras dock.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Saturday had the tug Anglian Lady and barge PML 2501 departing at 9 a.m. for Sault Ste. Marie. Algontario departed Dofasco at 12:30 p.m. after unloading iron ore pellets .She headed to the Welland Canal.
Thalassa Desgagnes arrived at 5:30 p.m. and went to Pier 26.  Saltie Nogat departed at 5:30 p.m.. from Pier 14 and headed to the Welland Canal. The Petrolia Desgagnes was at anchor off the Petro Canada Piers in Bronte since Tuesday due to the bad weather.

Muskegon -
A busy day in Muskegon on Saturday. It started with the Manistee coming in bound around 11 p.m. on Friday night with a load of salt for Verplank's and leaving before sunrise.
Then the David Z. coming in at 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning for the Mart dock followed by the Maumee with another load of salt for Verplank's.

Marinette - Dick Lund
The Algoway became the second ship in as many days to visit Marinette Fuel & Dock when it arrived on Saturday with a load of salt.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
On Saturday Griffon and Neah Bay were both working the English River out of Buffalo through heavy pack ice. By late afternoon, they were just outside the breakwall and headed West bound. The Griffon was in the lead with the English River trailing behind her. The ice kept moving in behind the Griffon and stopping the English River so they were constantly having to stop and back up only to try moving ahead again with slow progress. The Neah Bay was running up and down alongside the English River in an effort to bust up the ice and keep the pressure off of her. The radio chatter between the boats was non-stop at the time.
The Griffon and Neah Bay quit for the night around 10 p.m. Saturday having moved the English River to a position about half way between Buffalo and Point Abino. The Griffon got back at it early Sunday morning by clearing a track ahead and reaching out to some open water patches. She has been working over some hard patches in the ice and softening them up to alleviate the pressure by cutting multiple tracks through them. The English River was warming up her main engine at 7 a.m. and the Neah Bay was also on scene as they got back to get back the job. The radio chatter started to pick up as the Griffon is making several passes alongside the English River to break her free from the ice that has set in on her overnight.
The Griffon's captain also mentioned that the Adam E. Cornelius made it in some time early Sunday morning for the General Mills Frontier Elevator, but he did not say if they needed ice breaker assistance or not. Her higher horsepower, ice strengthened bow, and heavier weight probably helped her coming in through that ice.
The Griffon came blasting into open lake water at 7:45 a.m. Sunday morning finally leading the English River out of the ice field. The three ships exchanged pleasantries and then the Griffon headed off to do buoy work while the English River started out for the Welland Canal. Neah Bay headed back into the ice and will spend some time chewing up the section closest to the Niagara River in an effort to break off some flows and send them down away from the lake. That may help relieve some pressure on the ice pack and get things flowing out better than they have been.

 

Updates - April 15

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter - Help keep this site on line.

Public Photo Gallery updated.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 15

The HENRY H ROGERS, Captain R. E. Bressette, opened the 1960, season at Cleveland with the delivery of 9,832 tons of taconite pellets to Upper Central Furnace.

In 1980, the newest vessel to join the American Steamship Company fleet was christened AMERICAN MARINER during ceremonies at Bay Shipbuilding, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

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, a.) FRANK C BALL of 1906, 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.

Data from: Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, 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.
 

 

Sichem Aneline remains aground in St. Lawrence River

4/14 Update - Montreal - The grounded vessel Sichem Aneline remains stranded at Montreal's East end Pointe aux Trembles. The vessel grounded Wednesday evening after leaving her dock.

There was talk Friday about unloading the vessel of her cargo which is Benzene destined for Philadelphia but there is not a tanker available at present.

The tug Ocean Jupiter, which was placed alongside Sichem Aneline, left Friday morning when replaced by the Ocean Bravo which was called up from Quebec, City.

According to officials there is no danger of any leakage from the stranded Sichem Aneline.

Reported by Kent Malo

Original Article - 4/13 - Montreal - Emergency crews are working to find a way to dislodge a ship carrying a toxic chemical that ran aground in the St. Lawrence River Wednesday evening.

The Sichem Aneline boat touched bottom around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the river around the eastern tip of the island of Montreal. It was transporting a cargo of benzene, a highly toxic and flammable hydrocarbon, to Philadelphia, officials stated.

The boat sustained no damages to its hull and no benzene leaked out into the river, though environment experts are on site as a precaution, Transport Canada spokesperson Francois-Nicolas Asselin said. "These ships are specifically designed to prevent spills, so there is very little danger," Asselin said.

The accident seems to have been caused by faulty steering equipment, though an investigation has yet to confirm this theory, Asselin added. The main problem today is finding a way to get the boat out, Asselin said.

Officials from Transport Canada, the Port of Montreal, Environment Canada and other agencies are considering their options today as they work together to produce a plan to safely tow the boat into port.

The boat will likely stay in place for another day, Asselin said.

Reported by Andy LeFay

 

Voyageur Independent secured at Kahnawake

4/14 - 9 a.m. Update - Voyageur Independent is underway again.

4/14 - St. Lawrence River - The Voyageur Independent was secured at the emergency wharf above the CPR bridges at Kahnawake, Mohawk Territorial Lands, St Lawrence Seaway. Independent was downbound at the time and was slated to unload in Montreal, Quebec.

Voyageur Independent was still moored at the emergency wharf Friday evening. The Seaway shows her as having arrived at the emergency dock at 7:30 a.m. on Friday and shows no ETA for a "next location".

Last Year Voyageur Independent struck the St Louis Bridge in the St Lawrence Seaway' South shore canal above Beauharnois, as a result of the mishap the bridge was closed to vehicle traffic for months, a steering malfunction caused the Independent to strike the bridge.

 

Port Reports - April 14

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
Bright blue skies and a brisk west wind that produced cool temperatures were the order of the day Friday as the Atlantic Erie made her second visit of the week to load at the Norfolk Southern coal dock. Shortly after the Canada Steamship Lines vessel departed, the Algowood came into view and moved up the channel to take her place at the NS dock and begin loading.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer & John N. Vogel
On Friday Canadian Navigator had departed the Nidera Elevator within the last 24 hours. In that period of time the BBC Scandinavia had arrived at the Pier 1 bulk dock in the outer harbor. The Isolda was unloading steel products along the south face of terminal 2.
Algorail is expected over the weekend bringing salt to the bulk cargo dock on Jones Island in the inner harbor.
Cross-lake ferry Lake Express was on Lake Michigan Friday as it prepares to resume two-crossings-a-day service to begin its fourth season on April 14 between Milwaukee and Muskegon. Regular three-a-day crossings begin again on April 27.

Soo - Jerry Masson
The icebreaker Katmai Bay was in the upper St. Marys River Friday breaking ice. It was working near the upper reach of the ice edge, somewhere between Isle Parisienne Island and Gros Cap. There is a boat stuck out near the icebreaker unable to proceed due to the large chunks of ice refrozen to brash ice and windrows. The Coast Guard wants the boat to return to the Soo and remove a possible emergency situation so they don't create a problem overnight. CG says they don't have enough power to get through the more difficult section further into Whitefish Bay.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
On Friday the English River was docked at LaFarge and unloading at 11:00 a.m. while the Neah Bay was tied up to the old North Pier (Visiting Ship's Dock) on the Buffalo River at that time. She may stay the night to take the English River out on Saturday morning.

Indiana Harbor - Brian Z.
The Wilfred Sykes was unloading pellets at Mittal Steel East on Friday. The pellets were destined for the #5 & #6 blast furnaces. Unloading was completed at 4:45 p.m. and the Sykes backed into the turning basin, spun northward, and headed out into Lake Michigan.

Marinette - Dick Lund
The Catherine Desgagnes opened the 2007 Menominee, MI & Marinette, WI shipping season when it arrived at Marinette Fuel & Dock Company with a load of pig iron early Friday morning after anchoring out in the bay of Green Bay off Menominee for most of the previous day.

 

Lower Water Means Headaches On Great Lakes

4/14 - When Fred Shusterich looks around the harbor on Lake Superior, he sees things he hasn't seen in years -- little islands poking out of the water.

Shusterich is concerned, like many others connected to the shipping industry, about what those islands signify off the city of Superior in far northern Wisconsin. "I think it may be another very poor year if this drought continues as far as water levels," he said.

Now's the time when harbors along the Great Lakes -- Superior, Michigan, Huron, Ontario and Erie -- thaw and shipping begins, carrying 10 percent of the country's waterborne cargo. However, excitement over the shipping season is being replaced with frustration over low water levels, which is forcing shippers to lighten their loads so they can move safely into harbors. The lighter loads -- sometimes hundreds of tons per ship -- turn into headaches for suppliers that send their goods on vessels, shippers and companies whose orders come up short.

Midwest Energy Resources, the coal supplier where Shusterich is president, just sent out its first vessel of the season with a load just under 60,000 tons, shy of a typical 62,000-ton shipment, he said.

Shippers don't expect the situation to improve soon. A warmer-than-normal winter this year means more evaporation because the lakes aren't protected by ice cover. They also worry about dredging -- the process by which sand, silt and other debris are removed from harbors. Dredging doesn't solve the problem of low water levels. But it does give ships wiggle room to carry more weight.

Unfortunately, the federal government, which pays for most of the harbor dredging, can't keep up with demand, said Glen Nekvasil, vice president of corporate communications for the Lake Carriers' Association, a trade group for shippers on the Great Lakes. For every inch the lakes recede, ships must reduce their loads between 50 and 270 tons, he said. At the end of last season, with waters particularly low on Lake Superior, ships lost about 8,000 tons per trip -- about 11 percent of their carrying capacity, he said. "Every ton has an impact. These companies, they earn their living carrying cargo, so every lost ton of cargo is lost revenue," Nekvasil said.

Shipping is big business. Last year, a little more than 1 billion tons of goods such as iron ore, coal and limestone, were waterborne in the U.S., he said. Shippers on the Great Lakes hauled 110 million tons of cargo, with more than half of that iron ore.

Back in the late 1990s, shippers hauled as much as 125 million tons of cargo a year on the Great Lakes. Last year's numbers are at least partially due to the low water levels, but the steel industry -- which uses iron ore -- has been slow, too, Nekvasil said. The coal trade has been steady and the roughly 70 ships in the U.S. fleet regularly sail, he said.

Water levels have slipped for years and the forecast isn't getting any better. Lakes Erie and Ontario are faring better than the others this year, said Scott Thieme, chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hydraulics and hydrology office in Detroit. But numbers show they're still lower than last year. Lake Superior is within a few inches of its record low -- 599.5 feet deep, set in 1926. It's now about a foot lower than last year and projections for this summer are that it'll get even lower.

It's unclear how long the other areas will maintain levels above record lows, because all the lakes are connected, Thieme said. "The lakes are so large that there's such a huge volume of water. It takes a long time for some of these impacts to move through the system with them all being linked," he said.

One way to combat it is to dredge so vessels can get in. This year the Corps of Engineers will spend $20 million on dredging projects in the Great Lakes region, up from $19 million last year. But that increase is due to projects on Chicago commercial ports, which are not dredged as often, said Angie Mundell, project manager for operations for the corps in Detroit. Nekvasil's group argues the government should spending more. "This is a major issue for the industry. It's our primary focus right now," he said.

Grain exporter Chicago and Illinois River Marketing isn't waiting for the government to dredge its harbor in Milwaukee. Richard Blaylock, manager at the company's site, said the company spent $200,000 in two years to dredge its own spot off the Milwaukee Harbor. With shipping season just under way, he's not sure if the company will have to dredge for a third year in a row. "Dredging is expensive and I'd like not to have to do it," Blaylock said.

Iron ore mining company Cleveland Cliffs will simply hire more ships to carry its ore to customers like steel plants throughout the region, said Dana Byrne, vice president of public affairs for the Cleveland-based company. The dwindling water levels mean a typical vessel carrying between 25,000 and 30,000 tons will have to reduce its load by 1,000 tons per trip, he said. "We're going to move the tons we need to move and we'll just have to do it," Byrne said. "It's just going to take more trips and added cost."

Shusterich's company, Midwest Energy Resources, plans to contract to have 450 ships again this year. He said it'll continue to serve customers, like electric utilities and industrial companies, by rail and truck when it can.

"When we're running at the levels we're running, it means you need more vessels to carry the same amount of cargo," he said. "But at some point you run out of vessels."

From WCCO-TV Minneapolis-St. Paul

 

Updates - April 14

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter - Help keep this site on line.

Gatherings Page updated.

Public Photo Gallery updated.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 14

At 8:41 a.m., the O S MC FARLAND, Captain James Jost, was the first boat to transit the Soo Locks in 1959. This was the first time a Columbia boat opened the Soo Locks.

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, she was 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 VOYAGEUR 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] canaller 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.

Data from: Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, 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.

 

Sichem Aneline aground in St. Lawrence River

4/13 - Montreal - Emergency crews are working to find a way to dislodge a ship carrying a toxic chemical that ran aground in the St. Lawrence River Wednesday evening.

The Sichem Aneline boat touched bottom around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the river around the eastern tip of the island of Montreal. It was transporting a cargo of benzene, a highly toxic and flammable hydrocarbon, to Philadelphia, officials stated.

The boat sustained no damages to its hull and no benzene leaked out into the river, though environment experts are on site as a precaution, Transport Canada spokesperson Francois-Nicolas Asselin said. "These ships are specifically designed to prevent spills, so there is very little danger," Asselin said.

The accident seems to have been caused by faulty steering equipment, though an investigation has yet to confirm this theory, Asselin added. The main problem today is finding a way to get the boat out, Asselin said.

Officials from Transport Canada, the Port of Montreal, Environment Canada and other agencies are considering their options today as they work together to produce a plan to safely tow the boat into port.

The boat will likely stay in place for another day, Asselin said.

Reported by Andy LeFay

 

Port of Indiana welcomes first ships of the season

4/13 - Portage, Indiana - The first two ships of the 2007 international shipping season have arrived at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor/Portage.

The Cyprus-flagged Isolda, captained by Z. Ksiezopolski, arrived overnight Wednesday carrying 8,148 metric tons of steel coils from Ijmuiden, Holland. Built in 1999, the 653-foot vessel stopped in Cleveland before coming to the Port of Indiana and will next travel to Milwaukee to discharge its remaining cargo before going to load grain at Thunder Bay, Ontario. The Isolda made four trips to the port last year.

The steel coils were offloaded by port stevedore Federal Marine Terminals for general distribution in the region. About 40 local workers from the International Longshoremen's Association Local 1969 and International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 will unload the ship Thursday in about 10 to 12 hours depending on weather.

The Canadian-flagged Algomarine arrived at 8:00 a.m. Thursday bringing 27,000 tons of potash from Canada to Frick Services, a fertilizer and dry bulk distribution company located at the port. The self-unloading vessel will take about 14 hours to unload depending on the weather.

Every year, from the end of March through December, the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway – “the fourth coast of the United States” – opens its international waterway to ships calling on U.S. and Canadian ports throughout the Great Lakes.

The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor/Portage is a 600-acre port and maritime industrial park located on Lake Michigan just 20 miles from Chicago. The port has 12 ship berths and 25 tenant companies within its boundaries.

The Ports of Indiana operates three ports, including two on the Ohio River in Jeffersonville and Mount Vernon. Overall, Indiana’s three-port system handled $1.89 billion of cargo in 2006, including $820 million in total shipments at the Lake Michigan port.

 

Port Reports - April 13

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The English River was escorted to Buffalo this morning by not only one, but two ice breakers. The USCG Cutter Neah Bay and the CCGC Griffon were both on hand to free the trapped cement carrier and get her to port by 9:00am. They worked her in all morning by cutting tracks through heavy wind rowed ice with many pressure ridges while a light snowfall came down. The English River was planning to depart on Saturday morning. The Griffon is heading to Port Colborne at this time to take fuel and will be doing some buoy work on Saturday morning off Nanticoke. She will be on call and available to assist if the Neah Bay needs help bringing the English River out tomorrow morning.

Kingston - Brian Johnson
The carferry Wolfe Islander III returned to her summer dock on the morning of April 6. Very little ice was in her way as she made her berth in the early hours of Good Friday. Ferry service from Kingston to Wolfe Island is now straight across the harbour from town to village.
On another note the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon has replaced the winter spars in the Kingston harbour area this week as well.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The tug Mark Hannah and her tank barge called on the Dow Chemical dock in Bay City late Wednesday night. After unloading, the pair were outbound for the lake Thursday morning.
Also on Thursday, the Algoway made her second visit to the Saginaw River in three days, calling on the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee to unload salt. Algoway was outbound during the afternoon hours, but had to check back her speed to avoid "Bridge Hours" in Bay City during which downbound traffic has to wait until 5:30 p.m. for an opening. Bridge hours are in place to prevent traffic tie-ups during the morning and afternoon rush hours, however they do not apply to inbound vessels or on weekends.

Soo - Jerry Masson
It was a winter welcome for the two salties Thursday after a wild snow storm passed through as the downbound Federal Oshima made its way to Algoma Steel.
The Sandviken was upbound with American Integrity, Pineglen, Buffalo, Michipicoten and American Courage.
Down bounders included Rt. Hon. Paul Martin, Agawa Canyon, Canadian Enterprise and Stewart J Cort.
The upper river ice tracks are slowly breaking up allowing two way traffic to resume. The lower river ice boom is still in place restricting the channel to no passing or overtaking.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
Late Thursday morning the Upper Lakes Group's Canadian Navigator was at the Nidera Elevator.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Algoway made her way into port early Friday morning, a very cold and breezy one. She made her way to the Sifto Salt dock and was loading at 5:00 am.

 

Acacia replacement unlikely

4/13 - Petoskey - Charlevoix citizens in limbo over the possibility of a replacement ship for the decommissioned Acacia might not want to start holding their breath now.

According to Greg Fondran, United States Coast Guard (USCG) public information officer at the Cleveland office of public affairs, this part of Northern Michigan won't likely see any additional Coast Guard assets. “Right now there is not a plan for a specific cutter to go to Charlevoix,” Fondran said. “This is actually the first season we've had with the new cutter Mackinaw and not having the Acacia, so we'll have to reevaluate and see if there is a pressing need to replace Acacia. But right now, there are no plans.” He added, “But, we're always looking to ensure we are staffed and manned to do the job whether ice-breaking or homeland security.”

So far, a paid lobbyist, a mayor, Charlevoix citizens and state and federal representatives to name a few have toiled with no avail for a replacement of the cutter Acacia which was decommissioned on June 7, 2006 after more than 60 years of service. Fondran said the Coast Guard is sympathetic to the concerns of Charlevoix citizens and appreciative that Charlevoix has been such a good host for so many years.

“Absolutely we still have the (rescue) station there to provide all the other Coast Guard services,” he said. “This winter we've had pretty good ice conditions to test our capability, and if it looks like something we need to look at further (as far as) a replacement cutter, that is something we would do.”

Results on the Mackinaw's ability to maintain ice-breaking capabilities in the waters off Northern Michigan were not available by press time. “We're still doing ice breaking up in St. Mary's area, once we wind down from the season we'll get a better handle on that,” Fondran said.

When asked if Charlevoix could ever be expected to receive a replacement ship, U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak's press secretary, Alex Haurek said, “The Congressman will continue to press the Coast Guard to ensure it complies with Congress' clearly expressed intent of maintaining the same level of vessel capacity on the Great Lakes.” When asked how long the process may take, Haurek said, “As to the Coast Guard's timetable, I would need to refer you to the Coast Guard's public affairs office.”

In a September 2006 interview referring to bill H.R. 889 Stupak had argued, “The congressional intent is a vessel. It wasn't service, it was a vessel - assets, things like that.” Nearly nine months ago, H.R. 889, the $8.1 billion bill passed through the House of Representatives by a vote of 413-0 was signed into law by President George W. Bush and is now known as Public Law 109-241.

While it is true that section 210(b) of H.R. 889 states, “The secretary shall take all necessary measures to ensure that the Coast Guard maintains, at a minimum, its current vessel capacity for carrying out ice-breaking in the Arctic and Antarctic, Great Lakes, and New England regions, including the necessary funding for operation and maintenance of such vessels, until it has implemented the long-term re-capitalization of the Coast Guard polar icebreakers Polar Star, Polar Sea, and Healy,” it doesn't specifically mention a ship going to Charlevoix.

Stupak had previously argued that Public Law 109-241 requires the Coast Guard to maintain current vessel capacity and that there was a notable difference between maintaining a level of service and maintaining vessel capacity.

Coast Guard officials have consistently expressed confidence in their ability to maintain the Great Lakes with the assets currently under their direction.

From the Petoskey News-Review

 

Free Saturday program at Great Lakes Maritime Center

4/13 - Port Huron - Satruday night, April 14, 2007, Great Lakes marine artist Robert McGreevy will present his program, "Lost Legends of the Lakes," at the Great Lakes Maritime Center at Vantage Point, 51 Water St., Port Huron, Michigan.

This program starts at 7:00 pm, and is free and open to the public.

The program is presented by the Lake Huron Lore Marine Society.

Reported by Dick Wicklund

 

Great Lakes lighthouses to become available

4/13 - The General Services Administration will soon issue Notices of Availability for 17 historic lighthouses through the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act.

The following five Great Lakes lighthouses are included in this list: Michigan City East Pierhead, Duluth Harbor Breakwater Inner, Cleveland East Pierhead, and Conneaut West Breakwater.

The complete list of projected Notices of Availability as well as information on the NHLPA process is here. Lighthouses scheduled for public sale will be listed in local newspapers and on GSA's public Web site.

Interested parties with questions on how the NOA or the public sale process operates may contact GSA's Office of Property Disposal at (202) 501-2287.

Reported by Terry Pepper

 

Trip Raffle to Benefit BoatNerd

Through the generosity of the Interlake Steamship Co., BoatNerd is offering the chance to win a four-six-day trip for four to take place during the 2007 sailing season (between the months of June and September) on the winner's choice of the classic Lee. A. Tregurtha or the Queen of the Lakes Paul R. Tregurtha.

The trip is the Grand Prize of BoatNerd¹s first ever raffle and fundraising event. Other prizes will also be given away.

All proceeds from this raffle will benefit Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, the non-profit support organization for the BoatNerd.Com Web site. Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, Inc. is a non-profit 501(C)(3) corporation. Funds raised will be used to upgrade our equipment, expand our services and pay monthly Internet connection charges.

The drawing will take place at 2 p.m. on June 2, 2007 at the BoatNerd.Com World Headquarters in Port Huron, Mich.

Donation: $10 per ticket, 3 for $25, 6 for $50 or 12 for $100.

Click here to order, or for more information. Tickets are also available by mail, or in person at BoatNerd World Headquarters in Port Huron, MI.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 13

The RICHARD REISS lost her boom April 13, 1994 when it collapsed at Fairport, OH.

The GEORGE M. HUMPHREY (2) 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' x 32' x 12', 626 gt.

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 Chicago.

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

 

Port Reports - April 12

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The Atlantic Erie loaded Wednesday for Hamilton at the Norfolk-Southern coal dock. She arrived overnight Tuesday. Her sister ship Halifax departed the dock Tuesday afternoon for Hamilton.

Indiana Harbor - Brian Z.
American Steamship's American Mariner was discharging a cargo of pellets for Mittal Steel West blast furnaces under winter-like conditions on Wednesday morning. The Mariner is scheduled into South Chicago after discharging to load a coal cargo bound for Milwaukee.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Algoway was inbound at the piers on Wednesday morning at 8:30 a.m. and backed into the Sifto Salt dock to load. She was on the dock and loading at 9:30 a.m.
Algorail arrived off the piers, turned and backed into the Sifto Salt dock to load at 7 a.m. Thursday morning. After a long night of heavy rains and wind, conditions became favorable for her entry into port.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Captain of the English River was calling the US Coast Guard Base in Buffalo on Wednesday evening to notify them that they were trapped in the ice out on Lake Erie. They were trying to head East and made it about half way between Point Abino and Buffalo when they were forced to call for help. The ship's hull was not actually stuck in the ice itself but they were unable to make any headway against heavy pack ice and were asking for an ice breaker escort to reach their destination at the LaFarge Cement Dock on the Buffalo River. The USCG Cutter Neah Bay was being sent to assist and is due to arrive on Thursday.
The Adam E. Cornelius is on her way downbound with her first load of wheat for the General Mills Frontier Elevator in Buffalo and is due to arrive on Saturday evening, barring any weather or ice related problems.

 

Employment Opportunities

4/12 - Hannah Marine Corp is now seeking qualified applicants for Captains and Mates.

Must possess a valid MSTV. Experience with chemical and petroleum barges plus a valid tankerman's endorsement is desired.

Competitive pay and excellent benefits, disability, 401K, travel, and Employee Training Programs.

Please submit resumes and credentials to: Chris Hudson chudson@hannahmarine.com  Telephone 630-257-5457 Fax 630-257-1268.

 

Updates - April 12

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Today in Great Lakes History - April 12

On 12 April 1874, the tug D N RUNNELS was launched 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 Balboa, 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 up bound 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, 2,053 gross tons) was launched at W. Bay City, Michigan at F. W. Wheeler's yard's (Hull #88).

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

 

Icebreaking season closes

4/11 - Duluth - The icebreaking season on the western Great Lakes has come to a close, the U.S. Coast Guard announced Monday. Dubbed Operation Taconite, it is the Coast Guard’s largest domestic icebreaking operation.

Operating under the command of officials in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., the Coast Guard cutters Mackinaw, Alder, Hollyhock, Mobile Bay, Neah Bay, Katmai Bay and Biscayne Bay broke ice on Lake Superior, the Straits of Mackinac, northern Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.

The cutters assisted 119 commercial vessels and spent more than 1,700 hours establishing and maintaining tracks for the safe navigation of barges carrying fuel oil or heating products, breaking lakers free from their icy moorings and moving ice from ferry routes.

During the season’s peak, icebreakers operated in 36 inches of snow- covered ice and encountered waterways blocked by as much as 12 feet of ice.

From the Duluth News Tribune

 

Chief Shingwauk Vandalized

4/11 - The Sault Ste. Marie police blotter indicated that the Lock Tours Canada cruise vessel Chief Shingwauk was damaged by vandalism on Monday.

No further information was available.

Chief Shingwauk is the official BoatNerd Soo Locks tour boat and the scene of the Annual Soo Freighter Chasing Cruise.

Reported by Ed Schipper

 

Port Reports - April 11

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The Buffalo loaded early Tuesday for Trenton, MI at the Norfolk-Southern coal dock. She was followed to the dock by the Halifax who was bound for a Canadian port.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey & Gordy Garris
Tuesday morning saw the arrival of two vessels on the Saginaw River. First in was the tug Olive L. Moore & barge Lewis J. Kuber. The pair called on the Wirt Stone dock in Bay City to lighter two holds before continuing upriver to finish unloading at the Wirt Stone dock in Saginaw.
Inbound behind the Moore & Kuber was the David Z., making her first trip to the Saginaw River under her now shortened name. The David Z. called on the Sargent dock in Essexville to lighter and then continued upriver to finish her unload at the Saginaw Rock Products dock in Saginaw.
The Algoway was inbound at 10:00am Tuesday morning loaded with 15,660MT of Potash from Thunder Bay bound for the North Star dock in Essexville. The Algoway finished unloading and departed at 10:00pm Tuesday night, turned around off the dock and was outbound for the lake. The Algoway is bound for Goderich to load salt.
Inbound less than 30 minutes behind the Algoway, was the Wolverine with a split load for the Wirt Stone docks in Bay City and Saginaw. This was the Wolverine's first appearance under her new colors on the Saginaw River. The Wolverine finished unloading at the Bay City Wirt dock by 2:45pm Tuesday afternoon bound for the Saginaw Wirt dock which was occupied by the Olive L. Moore/Lewis J. Kuber. The Wolverine was making preparations to depart from the Saginaw Wirt dock in the early morning hours of Wednesday to head upriver to turn at the Sixth Street turning basin and outbound for the lake.

Owen Sound - Ed. Saliwonchyk
Agawa Canyon departed winter lay up in Owen Sound approximately 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Lorain - C. Mackin
The Algorail made its first trip of the year to Lorain Tuesday morning going upriver to Terminal Ready Mix.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Algosteel returned late Monday night and was loading at Sifto Salt on a cool, sunny Tuesday morning.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Tuesday had the Petrolia Desgagnes anchored off the Petro Canada Piers in Bronte. The Captain called Prescott Coast Guard Radio to inform them that they would be doing a mock fire drill while anchored.
The Canadian Coast Guard ship Shark arrived in Burlington at 3:30 p.m. and was going to The Canada Centre for Inland Waters. Hamilton Energy arrived back in port at 4:30 p.m. from Port Weller. The Group Ocean tugs Omni Richelieu and Gerry G arrived at 4:45 p.m.  Canadian Leader departed at 7:30 p.m. for Two Harbors in ballast. Saltie Goviken arrived at 9:30 p.m. and the tug Barbara Andrie and barge departed Pier 23 at 9:30 p.m.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The New York State Power Authority tugs & crane barge were out removing the Niagara River Ice Boom on Tuesday. Plans are to have the entire span out and back ashore by Friday. There was roughly 240 square miles of ice left on Lake Erie at that time.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
Groupe Ocean's tugs Jerry G. and Omni Richelieu arrived in port around noon and turned the salty Puffin at Redpath. The tugs then returned to Hamilton.

Sturgeon Bay - Jeff Birch
The McKee Sons and Invincible remain in the drydock at Bay Ship.

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Duluth-Superior received its first saltie of the season Tuesday when the Rebecca passed beneath the Aerial Lift Bridge at 12:07pm. Assisted by two tugs from Great Lakes Towing, it was bound for the CHS grain elevator in Superior.
Also Tuesday, Adam E. Cornelius made a rare appearance in the Twin Ports to unload stone at CLM in Superior. Shortly before noon it was passing under the Blatnik Bridge en route to the General Mills Elevator S in Superior to load grain for the lower lakes.
Not far away, Paul R. Tregurtha was loading coal for St. Clair.
Canadian Enterprise was due at the dock later in the day.
Reserve remains in Fraser Shipyards for repairs.

 

Updates - April 11

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Today in Great Lakes History - April 11

The Cleveland Cliffs freighter JOLIET, Captain J. M. Campbell, opened the 1947 season at the Soo with an upbound passage at 3:25 p.m.
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 she was 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 up bound 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.

Data from: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II, the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Bowling Green State University 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 - April 10

Soo - Jerry Masson
The first salties of the season arrived at the Soo Locks Monday. The Federal Oshima was lightered by barge in the lower river then locked through upbound heading for Algoma Steel. Rebecca was bound for a Lake Superior port.
River traffic upbound included the H Lee White, Rt. Hon. Paul J Martin, Rebecca, tug Kathy Lynn, Federal Oshima, Avenger IV, Canadian Enterprise, John G Munson, Stewart J. Cort. Downbound were Quebecois, CSL Tadoussac, Algoway, and Voyager Pioneer.
Upper pool Monday was minus 12 inches, lower pool minus six. Only one channel cut into the ice track in the upper river is being used for both up and downbound traffic. Ice flows coming down from Whitefish Bay are restricting movements to one ship at a time, allowing one to clear up before the next one is allowed down, which keeps traffic moving.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The Interlake Steamer Herbert C. Jackson loaded today at the Norfolk-Southern coal dock.
She was followed under the chute by the Earl W. (former Earl W. Oglebay), which had waited astern of the Jackson at the dock for several hours. Both freighters were bound for upper lake ports.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The Manistee paid her first visit of the season late Saturday evening coming in at 8:30 and leaving around midnight.

Marquette - Lee Rowe & Rod Burdick
Both the American Fortitude and Kaye E. Barker loaded ore at Marquette on a sunny Monday. There seemed to be some problems with sticky ore in the pockets because of snow and ice.
The Mesabi Miner arrived with a load of coal but had to wait in the harbor for the Fortitude to finish her load.

Lorain - C. Mackin
The Maumee made two trips to Terminal Ready Mix over the weekend. One on Saturday, and one Sunday.
The Buffalo made its way through the Charles Berry Bridge at 9:45 a.m. Monday morning going upriver with a load of gypsum to the Gold Bond dock.
At 10:30 a.m. the Federal Kumano, stern first with tugs Rhode Island and Illinois, passed through the bridge going to the Jonick Dock with a load of coke bound for R.E.P. The Federal Kumano is expected to be at Jonick's several days.

Green Bay - Wendell Wilke
John G. Munson delivered load of coal to the Fox River Dock.

Goderich Dale Baechler
Algosteel and Canadian Navigator were both Saturday visitors to Sifto Salt on a very snowy, wintry Easter weekend.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Samuel D. Champlain was due to head out early Monday morning with her barge Innovation. The captain of the Champlain made arrangements to meet the cutter Samuel Risley at the break wall around 5 or 6 a.m. when they were talking on the radio Sunday night.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The Port Authority tug William Rest has been hauled out at the Atlas crane on Pier 35 for some refurbishing. Wednesday at Toronto Drydock, five of the local charter boats will be refloated, they being Klancy II, Ste. Marie I, Island Princess, Harbour Star and Sea Voyager.

Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Monday, the David Z was at Stoneport taking on cargo. Loading was completed around 4:00pm, and it backed away from the dock.
Waiting nearby was fleetmate Wolverine, which carefully approached to make the turn around the edge of the dock. At about 5:00pm the Wolverine was tied up.
Expected to load after the Wolverine is the Philip R. Clarke.

 

Updates - April 10

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Today in Great Lakes History - April 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 a.) 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. Marys 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: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II, and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.

 

Port Reports - April 9

Marquette - Rod Burdick
After being delayed several days at the Soo for weather and winds, the tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder finally arrived at the Upper Harbor on Easter Sunday morning to unload coal and eventually load ore.
On Sunday evening, Kaye E. Barker unloaded the first cargo of coal for the new season at the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
On Sunday the CCGC Samuel Risley was talking on the radio with the Samuel de Champlain at 4:40 p.m. The Risley was advising the Champlain at that time that ice conditions were better for a line to approach the Buffalo Harbor South Entrance as opposed to the North Entrance. Their conversation indicated the Champlain was underway in the notch of her barge Innovation and headed for her first trip into the LaFarge Dock in Buffalo. This could be the first time that an articulated tug-barge unit has transited the South Entrance & Outer Harbor. Cement boats occasionally dock in the Union Ship Canal at the St. Lawrence Cement plant, but do not make a run up the reach of the harbor between Lackawanna and the Buffalo River.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Sunday the Algocape departed at 7:30 a.m. after discharging iron ore pellets at Dofasco.
The saltie Sandviken departed Pier 14W at 5 p.m. and headed to Port Weller. Seaway Newcastle was concerned about her drafts as they would make the ship too high to pass under some of the bascule bridges on the canal. They were adjusted before she reached Port Weller.

Calumet River - Tom Milton
The Algosoo was unloading salt at 100th street and the Calumet river on Sunday evening.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
On Friday, the venerable Royal Canadian Yacht Club tender Hiawatha began it's 112th season ferrying club members from the city to the island clubhouse. Te club's other tender, the 95 year old Kwasind, was launched last week, but it is still undergoing fit-out. The Queen City Yacht Club's tender Algonquin II also began operations on Friday.
The unloading of the salty Puffin stopped for the long weekend, leaving her almost fully unloaded in the Redpath slip.

 

Updates - April 9

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Public Photo Gallery updated.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 09

The AUGUSTUS B WOLVIN, first boat on the Great Lakes with arch construction, was launched in 1904, with a bright coat of yellow paint. The 560-foot WOLVIN, nicknamed Yellow Kid, was the first laker to carry a cargo of more than 10,000 in a single trip.

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.

Data from: Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, 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.

 

Great Lakes shipping news from the past - 1985

4/9 - Buffalo - The American Steamship freighter Sam Laud departed her winter lay up berth under the escort of the Canadian Ice Breaker Desgroseilliers from the General Mills Frontier Elevator on April 10, 1985 at 6:30am and promptly got stuck in heavy pack ice off Buffalo Harbor. The breaker stayed with her all day in an effort to get the ship moving towards the open water that lay approximately 25 miles to the West.

The original plan was to get the Laud out within the daylight hours and then the Desgroseilliers was going to bring in the J.A.W. Iglehart with a load of product for the Huron Cement Dock. When it was realized that the Laud was not moving fast enough to make it out by nightfall the Iglehart was sent back to Alpena, Michigan from Detroit instead of going to Buffalo.

 The Desgroseilliers retired for the night and was back at it again on the foggy and rainy morning of the 11th making slow and steady progress throughout the day until the two ships were clear of the ice fields by the 12th of April. The Iglehart came back to Buffalo on the 14th and was escorted in by the Desgroseilliers without major problems due to the track she had cut a few days earlier while working the Laud out to open water.

A cold winter with heavy snow combined with early Springtime high winds caused a massive amount of lake ice to become windrowed and pack itself into the Eastern basin of Lake Erie making for some difficult navigation at the start of the 1985 shipping season. Common practice at the time was to have the larger Desgroseilliers escort ships across the tough spots out on the lake while the smaller US breaker Neah Bay was mostly working inside the Harbor in Port Colborne and even into the confines of the Welland Canal.

During the same week that the Laud was stuck off Buffalo, heavy Southerly winds on the Canadian side of the lake had shoved a large amount of ice inside the piers at the Welland Canal's Lake Erie Entrance. Pack ice piled up so high inside the canal itself that the lift bridges needed to be raised to allow the flows to pass under without damaging the draw spans. The Neah Bay worked ship assist and also ice flushing operations during that time period to help keep traffic moving.

 Definitely a rough start to the season and one to remember.

Provided by Brian Wroblewski

 

 

Port Reports - April 8

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The H. Lee White loaded Saturday at the Norfolk-Southern coal dock for an upper lake port. The Cason J. Callaway, originally posted for a weekend arrival from Conneaut, has been given new orders and will sail directly to Stoneport, MI. to load.

Soo - Jerry Masson
Low overnight temperatures Friday was enough to refreeze ice tracks cut in the upper St. Marys River. Icebreaker Katmai Bay returned early today to break out a channel for the upbound Lee A Tregurtha, tug Dorothy Ann & Pathfinder, Algomarine, Canadian Olympic,  American Republic. Downbound traffic was Maritime Trader, CSL Niagara, Herbert C Jackson.
Also in the river are three boats at anchor near Detour and Algowood in Whitefish Bay.
Saturday afternoon up bound traffic included John J Boland and Canadian Progress. Down bound were American Spirit, St Clair. Two boats were at anchor near Sweets Point, one near Squaw Island in the lower river and Algowood at anchor in Whitefish Bay.
Also up bound Saturday evening is the first salty of the season Federal Oshima, heading to the Soo.
David Z departed Algoma Saturday night up to Big Point, turning on left wheel downbound to the Soo Locks.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Life is never easy for a Captain calling on the Saginaw River. After backing down to the Bay City Wirt dock when Liberty Bridge failed to open, the Olive L. Moore and Lewis J. Kuber spent Friday night waiting for repairs to be completed on the bridge. The pair were finally able to proceed Saturday morning, going upriver to the Saginaw Wirt dock to finish unloading. The Moore & Kuber turned at Sixth Street and were back downbound through the Bay City Bridges around 8:30 Saturday night.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
About 3:30 p.m. on Saturday St. Marys Conquest and its tug, the Susan W. Hannah, were departing the port after making a delivery at the St. Mary's terminal on the Kinnickinnic River.
At the same time, the Great Lakes Fleet's Edwin H. Gott was anchored just beyond the breakwater.

Porte des Mortes -
Edward L. Ryerson passed through Porte des Mortes passage in northern Door County at about 4 p.m. CDT, Saturday. It is her first cargo run of the season, from Escanaba to Indiana Harbor.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Friday afternoon at 1:00pm the saltie Sandviken arrived with steel products for Pier 14W. After unloading she will head to Toledo.
The Halifax arrived at 8:00pm with iron ore pellets for Stelco from Superior.
Saturday the Halifax departed at 3:00am heading to Ashtabula.
The saltie Flinterspirit arrived at 6:00am in Burlington Bay to await the arrival of the Hamilton Energy for bunkering. They both departed at 12:30pm. The Flinterspirit for the Welland Canal and the Hamilton Energy back to Pier 24.

 

Time to make your BoatNerd Gathering Reservations

The annual series of BoatNerd Gatherings is rapidly approaching. Many of these events have limited space. Don't wait to make your reservation until it is too late.

May 25-26 - Boatnerd Badger Gathering - A round-trip crossing of Lake Michigan from Ludington, Michigan to Manitowoc, Wisconsin on Saturday, May 26, 2007, aboard the Lake Michigan Carferry SS BADGER. April 20 is the deadline for reservations.

Saturday, June 2 - Special Boatnerd Cruise - A special 2-hour tour of the St. Clair River aboard the Huron Lady II, beginning at 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 16 - Boatnerd Detroit Up River Cruise - A 3-hour freighter chasing cruise on the lower Detroit River aboard the luxurious Friendship, driven by Capt. Sam Buchanan. June 2 is the deadline for reservations.

Friday, June 29 - Annual Boatnerd Freighter Chasing Cruise at the Soo - The annual trip aboard the Chief Shingwauk for a full three (3) hours leaving from Roberta Bondar Pavilion in Soo, Ontario.

Saturday, July 14 - Annual St. Clair River Gathering aboard the Hammond Bay - The Hammond Bay will depart their dock 2 miles south of Sombra, Ontario at 11:00am for a 3-hour narrated cruise passing Fawn Island, Sombra, Courtright, St. Clair, and Marine City.

Saturday, August 11 - Boatnerd Detroit Down River Cruise - A 4-hour freighter chasing cruise on the lower Detroit River aboard the luxurious Friendship, driven by Capt. Sam Buchanan. August 1 is the deadline for reservations.

Go to the Boatnerd Gatherings page for all the details and reservation forms.

 

Trip Raffle to Benefit BoatNerd

Through the generosity of the Interlake Steamship Co., BoatNerd is offering the chance to win a four-six-day trip for four to take place during the 2007 sailing season (between the months of June and September) on the winner's choice of the classic Lee. A. Tregurtha or the Queen of the Lakes Paul R. Tregurtha.

The trip is the Grand Prize of BoatNerd¹s first ever raffle and fundraising event. Other prizes will also be given away.

All proceeds from this raffle will benefit Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, the non-profit support organization for the BoatNerd.Com Web site. Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, Inc. is a non-profit 501(C)(3) corporation. Funds raised will be used to upgrade our equipment, expand our services and pay monthly Internet connection charges.

The drawing will take place at 2 p.m. on June 2, 2007 at the BoatNerd.Com World Headquarters in Port Huron, Mich.

Donation: $10 per ticket, 3 for $25, 6 for $50 or 12 for $100.

Click here to order, or for more information. Tickets are also available by mail, or in person at BoatNerd World Headquarters in Port Huron, MI.

 

River's depth is decreasing
Part of Genesee needs to be dredged; funding still uncertain

4/8 - Rochester, NY - Water depths in the Genesee River where it empties into Lake Ontario have decreased as much as 3 feet in the past year, the Army Corps of Engineers has found.

Problems with sediment fill-in affect other segments of the river channel as well. Shallow waters caused the Stephen B. Roman, a cement boat and the only freighter still in operation on the river, to run aground last month. That prompted the corps to survey water depths this week as debate continues on how to fund the needed dredging.

The corps planned to dredge the channel this year but it claims funding was cut from the federal budget. Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-Fairport, argues the corps is mistaken, and that Congress earmarked $957,000 specifically for the work. "We don't normally see groundings in a harbor, so that in itself sort of speaks for the situation out there. We certainly have work to do," said Michael Asquith, dredging program manager for the corps. "There's a lot of quantity out there. Depending on the funding that we have, it would kind of govern how we would try to handle the situation. We certainly wouldn't be dredging to full width, and not to full depth."

Congress has authorized dredging the outer channel to a depth of 23 feet between the river piers. The corps has adjusted that to 21 feet given recent funding levels. The river section currently is less than 14 feet deep at its shallowest point.

In a letter Monday to Lt. Gen. Carl A. Strock, commander and chief of engineers for the corps, Slaughter wrote: "Failure to dredge the Genesee River this year will effectively shut down the Rochester Harbor in New York, resulting in severe economic losses for the region." Corps spokesman Bruce Sanders said the two sides are working on a resolution.

The Corps last dredged the waterway in 2004. At that time, work focused on a section by the ferry terminal and a stretch just north of the Bay Outlet swing bridge.

"There's a significant backlog of dredging in that harbor right now," Asquith said.

Reported by Tom Brewer from the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

 

News Photo Submission Guidelines Reminder

14/8 - We will not longer accept photos for inclusion in the News Photo Galleries that do not meet the Photo Submission Guidelines. For guide lines on submitting images click here

Photos that are received that do not meet the guidelines will be ignored.

The three most frequent mistakes are (1) not changing the file name of each photo to meet the guidelines, or making the file name more than 20 characters long: (2) not including a caption for each photo in the text part or your email, and (3) sending too many pictures of the same scene or same boat at the same time.

Please help us to provide complete coverage of the Great Lakes shipping scene. Sending reports in this format ensures that your pictures are processed as quickly as possible. It saves hours of editing time over a typical week and makes it possible to easily identify who took a picture allowing proper credit to be given.

 

Updates - April 8

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter - Help keep this site on line.

Gatherings Page updated.

Public Photo Gallery updated.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 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 thru 11 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 f.) MANCOX (steel propeller crane freighter, 255 foot, 1,614 gross tons, built in 1903, at Superior, Wisconsin, as a.) 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.

Data from: Joe Barr, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II, the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Bowling Green State University, 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.

 

Thunder Bay Tug issues distress call

4/7 - Thunder Bay - Emergency crews along the waterfront were scrambling Thursday afternoon following a report that a vessel might be sinking.

The fishing tug Marion G ran into problems about 2 p.m. Thursday afternoon near the Welcome Islands. It's unknown what caused the problem but the vessel was taking on water and lost power, forcing it to put out a distress call.

The Thunder Bay Marine Services tug Glenada was able to respond and supplied a pump to the troubled vessel before taking it into tow. The Marion G was safely returned to harbour.

There are no reports of injuries and it is unknown what caused the problem.

From the Thunder Bay News

 

Port Reports - April 7

Sturgeon Bay - Eric Treece
Edward L. Ryerson cleared Sturgeon Bay before 4:00pm on Friday and headed for Escanaba to load.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Canadian Coast Guard Ice Breaker Samuel Risley was doing some track maintenance off Buffalo Friday afternoon. She was slowly heading East towards the South Entrance Channel of Buffalo Harbor around 1 p.m.

Escanaba - Lee Rowe
After waiting at the Reiss dock since Tuesday, the Wilfred Sykes finally was able to move to the ore dock for a load. The wind that kept her at the Reiss dock continued to cause difficulties with the loading, and brought in snow later in the day. The wind blew the dust off the ore being loaded. The Joseph L. Block managed to leave earlier with a load of ore.

Lorain - C. Mackin
The Mississagi passed through the Berry Bridge at 8:40 a.m. Friday morning on its way to Terminal Ready Mix after being delayed outside Lorain due to bad weather.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
A pair of 57-year old fleet mates visited Sandusky Thursday and Friday. The Great Lakes fleet Steamer John G. Munson entered the port in blinding intermittent snow squalls on Thursday to load at the Norfolk-Southern coal dock.
Friday, the Great Lakes fleet Steamer Philip R. Clarke replaced the Munson under the loading chute as cold blustery winds and fresh blasts of snow buffeted Sandusky Bay.
Only marginal improvement in the weather is being predicted over the weekend when the Steamer Herbert C. Jackson, of the Interlake fleet, and the Great Lakes fleet Steamer Cason J. Calloway are scheduled to load at the NS dock.

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Kaye E. Barker, the last of the Twin Ports winter lay up fleet, was departing Fraser Shipyards late Friday afternoon with a tug pulled at the stern. The tug was needed to help pull the Barker out and past the Reserve, which remains in the yard undergoing engine repairs.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
With a slow start to the 2007 shipping season on the Saginaw River, traffic resumed Friday morning with the arrival of the tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber. In new paint, the most frequent visitor of 2006 traveled upriver to the Wirt Stone dock in Bay City. Once finished there, the pair started the trip further upriver, but were stopped almost immediately as the Liberty Bridge had mechanical difficulties and would not open. The Moore & Kuber backed down river, back to the Wirt dock to wait for repairs to be made to the bridge allowing them to continue their trip upriver. As of 9:00pm Friday night, they were still delayed by Liberty Bridge.

Hamilton - Wally Wallace
Reports in Hamilton Friday have heavy lift cranes being prepared today for the heavy lift of a 130 ton engine. The lift is to be done Saturday or Sunday (Easter). The engine is to be installed in the Algoville which has been in Hamilton in lay-up for the last year. Federal Marine is to coordinate the lift and handle all shore side requirements.

 

Canadian Institute of Marine Engineering to meet in Niagara Falls

4/7 - The Canadian Institute of Marine Engineering: Great Lakes Branch is hosting Mari-Tech 2007 to be held in Niagara Falls, Ontario May 30th to June 1st. Mari-Tech features the Annual General Meeting of the Institute followed by a day and a half of technical presentations. A trade exhibition will run concurrently with the presentations.

The theme this year is “Shipbuilding and Engineering Technology”. The Mari-Tech 2007 committee is inviting technical papers covering technology or projects that focus on the theme and will contribute to, and enhance the knowledge base of the marine fraternity.

Topics include, but are not restricted to the following: Main Engine Systems, Propellers, Ship Operations, Materials and Coatings, Navigation Systems, Shipyard Production, Shipbuilding Initiatives, Maintenance & Repair, Marine Insurance, Auxiliary Systems, Ship Management, Safety, Special Vessels, Maritime Law, Security, Rules & Regulations , Highway H2O, Environmental Protection, Certification & Training, Drive for Efficiency, and Demand for Qualified Crew.

The conference will be held at the Sheraton Fallsview Resort and Conference Centre. Overlooking the mighty cataracts, this facility has the amenities and ambience to favorably present your company. Companies interested in securing beneficial exposure to key members of the Canadian Marine Market are invited to participate by securing limited advertising, sponsorship and/or exhibition opportunities.

Additional information is available by contacting Dan Mills millsmarine@sympatico.ca  or David Thyret Thyret@QBM.ca.

 

Lighthouse to undergo renovation
Structure to be restored to historic condition

4/7 - Cheboygan — Terry Pepper climbed several sets of winding stairs, his hand dragging along a dusty banister.
When he reached the top of the Cheboygan River Front Range Lighthouse, he pointed to where a red light shines toward Lake Huron to help direct ships into the Cheboygan River channel. "We're going to restore the main lighthouse as it was in 1910,” Pepper said.

He's executive director of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association in Mackinaw City, which took over the Cheboygan lighthouse in June 2004 under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act. The site is ready for $250,000 worth of renovations, which will begin this month and continue into next year. Lighthouses play a key role in the history of the Great Lakes and it's a shame to let these beautiful old buildings fall into disrepair,” Pepper said.

Cheboygan historian Quincy Leslie said he's long wanted to see the lighthouse built along the Cheboygan River in 1880 restored to its historic condition. "The history of the lighthouses in Cheboygan is pretty important because Cheboygan's beginning was with shipping,” Leslie said. He also said there's no question the lighthouse will become a tourist attraction once the work is finished.

Modern windows, carpet, vinyl wall panels, ceiling tiles and many other things were added to the building over the years, which must be stripped out to return the lighthouse to a historic appearance. There's also a leaky basement and a leaky roof, plus several support beams need attention. A professional engineering study completed last year set the estimated cost of work at more than $250,000 for exterior and interior renovations, Pepper said.

The nonprofit organization intends to seek grant funding and donations, as well as raise money through membership dues and planned lighthouse cruises on the Great Lakes. Eight guided boat cruises are scheduled between June and September, departing from Leland, Mackinaw City, Port Huron and Buffalo, N.Y.

From the Traverse City Record-Eagle

 

Lake Superior warming rapidly

4/7 - Duluth - Lake Superior has been warming even faster than the climate around it since the late 1970s because of reduced ice cover, according to a study by professors at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

Summer surface temperatures on the famously cold lake have increased about 4.5 degrees since 1979, compared with about a 2.7-degree increase in the region's annual average air temperature, the researchers found. The lake's "summer season" is now beginning about two weeks earlier than it did 27 years ago. "It's a remarkably rapid rate of change," Jay Austin, an assistant professor with the university's Large Lakes Observatory and Department of Physics, told the Star Tribune newspaper. Austin co-authored the study with geology professor Steve Colman.

The study is based on data collected by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration buoys on the lake and on 102 years' worth of daily temperature readings at a hydroelectric plant near Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

Austin said the surface temperature increase is not only "a symptom of climate change," but also could reinforce itself. A trend toward warmer winters would mean less winter ice cover, which would allow more solar radiation of the lake and continued warming, he said.

Lake Superior freezes over completely about once every 20 years, according to the Minnesota DNR's climatology office. If trends continue, it could be routinely ice-free by about 2040, the study found. This would cause water levels to continue to drop because the lake loses more water to evaporation in a winter without ice cover than it does during the summer.
In recent months, the lake's level has been lower than at any equivalent time since 1926.

From Associated Press

 

Updates - April 7

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter - Help keep this site on line.

Gatherings Page updated.

Public Photo Gallery updated.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 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.

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

 

Port Reports - April 6

Soo - Jerry Masson
High winds, white-outs, blowing and drifting snow, and sailing in blizzard conditions sent ships to anchor over night at the Soo Locks, including the St. Marys River and Whitefish Bay area. Tug/barge Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder remain tied at the locks west pier. Voyager Independent was down bound to the Soo today. At least eight ships went to anchor in the lower river with another five in the Whitefish Bay area. Water levels in the river were lower than average and Lake Superior was lower than usual. The lower pool reading was minus fourteen with Rock cut minus six Thursday. Upbound at the Soo Thursday, from the anchorage area near Detour, was Roger Blough and Algoway.
Late Thursday night, Paul R. Tregurtha was down bound with a load of coal for Detroit.

Indiana Harbor - Brian Z.
Under sunny skies and brisk northerly winds, the Lee A. Tregurtha was unloading taconite pellets at Mittal Steel East on Thursday. The pellets were destined for Mittal's #7 blast furnace.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
The Herbert C. Jackson remained tied up at the Marquette ore dock because of high winds and waves on Lake Superior.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The Earl W. finally left port Friday morning after being docked at Verplank's in Ferrysburg since Tuesday waiting on the weather. The Manistee is reported to be enroute for arrival Friday afternoon.

 

Nindawayma future looking brighter

4/6 - Usually reliable sources report the former Ontario Northland auto ferry Nindawayma, built in Spain in 1976, has been sold to the Upper Lakes Group.

Canadian interest, the Upper Lakes Group, in conjunction with the Port of Erie has been the driving force behind developing a freight ferry service between Erie to Nanticoke. The Upper Lakes Group will be the operator of the freight ferry and will have the responsibility of developing the port facilities at Nanticoke to support ferry operations. The Port of Erie will be responsible for developing its facilities on the U.S. side of ferry operations.

The vessel rusted away quietly in Owen Sound harbour after being removed from service following the 1992 season. She left Owen Sound in October 2002 under tow to Les Mechins, PQ and later to Montreal Harbour after a plan to convert her into a cable laying ship,

The Nindawayma was brought to the Great Lakes as Ontario No. 1 by Ontario Northland to operate peak services between the ports of Tobermory and South Baymouth in 1989 assisting the regular ferry, Chi-Cheemaun. Unfortunately, a downturn in traffic saw the need for a second ship eliminated.

Reported by Peter Bowers

 

Trip Raffle to Benefit BoatNerd

Through the generosity of the Interlake Steamship Co., BoatNerd is offering the chance to win a four-six-day trip for four to take place during the 2007 sailing season (between the months of June and September) on the winner's choice of the classic Lee. A. Tregurtha or the Queen of the Lakes Paul R. Tregurtha.

The trip is the Grand Prize of BoatNerd¹s first ever raffle and fundraising event. Other prizes will also be given away.

All proceeds from this raffle will benefit Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, the non-profit support organization for the BoatNerd.Com Web site. Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, Inc. is a non-profit 501(C)(3) corporation. Funds raised will be used to upgrade our equipment, expand our services and pay monthly Internet connection charges.

The drawing will take place at 2 p.m. on June 2, 2007 at the BoatNerd.Com World Headquarters in Port Huron, Mich.

Donation: $10 per ticket, 3 for $25, 6 for $50 or 12 for $100.

Click here to order, or for more information. Tickets are also available by mail, or in person at BoatNerd World Headquarters in Port Huron, MI.

 

Time to make your BoatNerd Gathering Reservations

The annual series of BoatNerd Gatherings is rapidly approaching. Many of these events have limited space. Don't wait to make your reservation until it is too late.

May 25-26 - Boatnerd Badger Gathering - A round-trip crossing of Lake Michigan from Ludington, Michigan to Manitowoc, Wisconsin on Saturday, May 26, 2007, aboard the Lake Michigan Carferry SS BADGER.

Saturday, June 2 - St. Clair River Boatnerd Cruise - A special 2-hour tour of the St. Clair River aboard the Huron Lady II, beginning at 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 16 - Boatnerd Detroit Up River Cruise - A 3-hour freighter chasing cruise on the lower Detroit River aboard the luxurious Friendship, driven by Capt. Sam Buchanan.

Friday, June 29 - Annual Boatnerd Freighter Chasing Cruise at the Soo - The annual trip aboard the Chief Shingwauk for a full three (3) hours leaving from Roberta Bondar Pavilion in Soo, Ontario.

Saturday, July 14 - Annual St. Clair River Gathering aboard the Hammond Bay - The Hammond Bay will depart their dock 2 miles south of Sombra, Ontario at 11:00am for a 3-hour narrated cruise passing Fawn Island, Sombra, Courtright, St. Clair, and Marine City.

Saturday, August 11 - Boatnerd Detroit Down River Cruise - A 4-hour freighter chasing cruise on the lower Detroit River aboard the luxurious Friendship, driven by Capt. Sam Buchanan.

Go to the Boatnerd Gatherings page for all the details and reservation forms.

 

“Know Your Ships” 2007 Now Available

The 2007 edition of “Know Your Ships,” the boat watchers’ annual field guide to the vessels sailing the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway, is off the press. The 152-page book, now in its 48th edition, contains detailed information about nearly 2,000 vessels and includes many color photographs taken from around the lakes and Seaway.

This year’s Vessel of the Year is the classic steamer Edward L. Ryerson, which unexpectedly returned to service in 2006, much to the delight of boat watchers around the lakes. Order “Know Your Ships” from www.knowyourships.com for immediate shipment; the book will also be available at many retail outlets around the Great Lakes as spring approaches.

"Know Your Ships" is often referred to as the "bible of boat watching" containing detailed information and pictures of Great Lakes ships and the foreign ships that visit the Great Lakes each season.

Editor and Publisher Roger LeLievre, as well as members of the Know Your Ships crew, will also be on hand at the BoatNerd.Com World Headquarters in Port Huron from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Saturday, April 21 to sign copies of "Know Your Ships." Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the book signing.

Visit www.knowyourships.com for more information.

 

Updates - April 6

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter - Help keep this site on line.

Gatherings Page updated.

Public Photo Gallery updated.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 06

The BENSON FORD grounded on a clay bank in the lower St. Marys River in 1949. The grounded freighter completely blocked the river and delayed 80 downbound boats until she was freed on April 8.

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: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Ahoy & Farewell II, the Father Dowling Collection, the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Bowling Green State University, 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.

 

Gales Send Ships to Anchor

4/5 - Northerly gales to 40 knots have forecasters calling for waves 20-25 feet on Lake Superior Wednesday. Many ships have sought refuge in Thunder Bay, Ontario. On Wednesday morning the Sam Laud, St. Clair, Canadian Miner, Michipicoten and Montrealais were all anchored in the protection of Thunder Bay.

Vessels continued to arrive throughout the day on Wednesday. Indiana Harbor arrived followed by the Stewart J. Cort and Walter J. McCarthy Jr.

The American Spirit passed up Thunder Bay and continued west bound for Duluth. She was following a course that kept her closer to the shore offering protection from the wind and waves.

Duluth was full as vessels waited out the weather at dock and anchored off shore.

The high winds dropped the water level on the Detroit River. The Buffalo temporarily tied up waiting for the levels to rise, she continued on her trip to Cleveland Wednesday evening.

The American Victory docked at DMT waiting for the levels to raise.

The Canadian Progress was reported to be delayed unloading at Zug Island as the drop in water level made her unable to shift on the dock.

Reported by Ron Jackson

 

Port Reports - April 5

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Just a couple weeks after the region enjoyed temperatures close to 70 degrees, vessels and crews in the Twin Ports. were dealing with the aftermath of a winter storm on Wednesday. Lake Superior was under a gale warning through Thursday morning, with waves up to 20 feet predicted.
In port, Paul R. Tregurtha was loading at Midwest Energy Terminal with coal for Detroit.
James. R. Barker arrived in the morning to fuel before getting in line at Midwest Energy Terminal to load coal for Taconite Harbor.
Also due at the dock Wednesday was American Integrity, which appeared to be anchored off Duluth in the morning along with another vessel by Superior entry. Reserve was in Fraser Shipyards undergoing turbine repairs.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox

The Earl W. came into port Tuesday night with a load for Verplank's dock in Ferrysburg. It was still tied up, with boom secured, Wednesday morning as the winds appeared to be too strong for a backing out departure. The Oglebay was painted out and the stacks are now painted black.

Lorain - C. Mackin
The Cuyahoga made his first trip to Lorain this season going upriver to Terminal Ready Mix.

Owen Sound - Wayne Brown & Ed Saliwonchyk
Wednesday morning the Capt. Henry Jackman departed her winter lay up berth in Owen Sound.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
The tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation were under the silos at Lafarge Wednesday morning. They departed around noon, but anchored out in the bay with gale force winds blowing. The American Republic was also anchored for weather nearby. Alpena is expected in port sometime on Thursday.

 

Nindawayma sold to Upper Lakes Group

4/5 - Montreal - The auto ferry Nindawayma, which is presently laid up in Montreal Harbour, has reportedly been sold to Upper Lakes Group.

The Nindawayma was brought to the Great Lakes as Ontario No. 1 by Ontario Northland to operate between the ports of Tobermory and South Baymouth in 1989. The future of the vessel is unknown.

Reported by Ron Beaupre

 

Port of Milwaukee's Outgoing, incoming cargo doubled in 2006

4/5 - Milwaukee - When the first oceangoing ship of the year steams into the Port of Milwaukee from Europe next week, it could be the start of another robust international shipping season for cargo ranging from grain to wind turbines.

In 2006, the port handled more than 710,000 metric tons of imports and exports through the St. Lawrence Seaway - up 99% from the year before. Including domestic shipping, it handled 3.8 million tons of cargo from about 300 ships, the highest tonnage in 36 years. Grain was a big part of the increase in international shipping in 2006, since Milwaukee was one of a few Great Lakes ports to have exported grain under the United Nations' world food program.

One ship, the Federal Margaree, unloaded steel here and then left with more than 11,000 tons of bagged corn, soybeans, cornmeal, green peas and yellow peas. After arriving in Uganda, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the 24.2 million pounds of grain was enough to provide meals for nearly 5 million people.

That one grain shipment required 44 workers to unload the railroad cars carrying 55- and 110-pound bags. In the 32 days it took to palletize the grain for shipment to Africa, workers received more than $97,000 in wages and benefits. "The demand for grain is unprecedented now. We are shipping a lot of it overseas," said Eric Reinelt, port director.

Grain, utilities gear helped
In 2006, the port also handled thousands of tons of equipment to generate wind power and parts for power plants being built in Oak Creek, Port Washington and Illinois. Steel imports, and exports of Wisconsin manufactured products, were up 62% through the St. Lawrence Seaway, according to port officials.

The port recorded the second-highest increase in international tonnage of any U.S. location on the St. Lawrence Seaway system, which connects the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. "We hope it will be repeated this year," Reinelt said. "If the grain crop is good, that will help us. And we are still getting a lot of business from the wind generators and power plants. Those have been gold mines for us."

Wisconsin's 15 commercial ports, including two on the Mississippi River, transport more than 44 million metric tons of cargo a year and support more than 11,000 jobs. At least 16 million tons of coal per year are loaded onto ships at Superior for delivery to eastern Great Lakes cities.

Breakwater needs work
Collectively, Great Lakes ports handle hundreds of millions of tons of cargo a year and make large-scale manufacturing possible in dozens of cities. But many of the ports, including Milwaukee, have issues that could undermine the region's economic vitality.

Sections of the Lake Michigan breakwater in Milwaukee have deteriorated, raising concerns about its ability to protect the docks and lakefront developments. The breakwater isn't in danger of collapsing, but some sections are in poor shape, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. Other breakwaters on Lake Michigan have collapsed, resulting in emergencies. The Army Corps estimates it would cost $12 million to rebuild Milwaukee's breakwater over an eight-year period. It would cost about $800,000 for minimal repairs.

Underwater photographs show rocks that have fallen out of place and rusted steel sheeting. The worst sections are in the areas that protect the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Discovery World center and Summerfest. "The breakwater needs some care soon," Reinelt said. "Certainly if not this year, we need some work done in 2008."

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 

Updates - April 5

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter - Help keep this site on line.

Gatherings Page updated.

Public Photo Gallery updated.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 05

In 1948, the CHARLES M SCHWAB, Captain Frank Van Dusen, opened the Port of Duluth at 4:50 p.m. after being the first upbound vessel to transit the Soo Locks the previous day. The SCHWAB loaded 11,205 tons of ore at the Great Northern docks in Allouez for delivery to a lower lakes port.

In 1957, the Interlake freighter YOUNGSTOWN was renamed WALTER E WATSON during ceremonies at Cleveland's East Ninth Street pier.

On 05 April 1890, INDIANA (wooden propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 220 foot, 1,178 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.) ATLANTIC HURON.

The 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 - The 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, 1,083 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 in 1987, d.) SOUTHDOWN CONQUEST in 1989, e.) CEMEX CONQUEST in 2004 and f.) ST MARYS CONQUEST in 2005. She operates today as a self-unloading cement barge.

Data from: Steve Haverty, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection and the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Bowling Green State University, 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 - April 4

Twin Ports - Al Miller
The Canadian laker Maritime Trader arrived in Duluth on Tuesday morning to open the St. Lawrence Seaway shipping season for the Twin Ports. It proceeded to Cargill B1 amid a snowstorm. The first saltie of the season is expected to be Rebecca, which is due in Sunday to load grain at CHS. Reserve crept into port Monday evening with a tug in the lead. It was due at Fraser Shipyards for repairs. The Corps of Engineers crane barge H.J. Schwartz moved into drydock at Fraser on Monday.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The Saginaw sailed into a sun drenched Sandusky Bay Tuesday morning. She immediately began loading at the Norfolk-Southern coal dock. Her previous port was Fairport Harbor where she delivered limestone.

Kingston - Ron Walsh
Spring has really arrived in the Kingston Area, as the CCGC Cape Hearne secured at the Crawford wharf at 2:45pm Tuesday. The vessel will move to its regular Coast Guard Base at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour when ice conditions permit. The 47' Search and Rescue cutter will be on continuous duty until December. Seaway tug Robinson Bay was working on the buoys in eastern lake Ontario while the tug performance was working on buoys in the Clayton area. The Robinson Bay had an eta of 5 p.m. for Clayton.
The Cape Vincent Pilot Boat returned to duty Tuesday. They left Clayton and had an eta of 5 p.m. for Cape Vincent. Algosteel delivered the first load of salt to Prescott (Johnstowne) Tuesday and departed giving an eta of 4:00pm for Crossover Island.
There has been a lot of tankers on the Seaway this spring. The Emerald Star was eastbound Tuesday, as well as the William J. Moore, with the McLeary Spirit barge. The cement trade is also in full swing. The Stephen B. Roman secured at Picton at 8 a.m. and gave an etd of 5 p.m. for Toronto. Both the Roman and the English River have made several trips already this year.

Indiana Harbor - Brian Z.
The Joseph H. Thompson arrived at Mittal Steel's East plant at 1 p.m. Tuesday to discharge.

Owen Sound -
Capt. Henry Jackman appears to be getting ready to sail as of Tuesday, she spent the winter in Owen Sound harbour. Agawa Canyon remains in lay-up.

 

St. Marys Challenger getting ready

4/4 - The St. Marys Challenger will begin her 101st season when the Engine Room crew reports back to duty on April 16.

The Challenger is expected to take up her usual trade routes on Lake Michigan after inspections with a projected sailing date of May 1.

Reported by Wade P. Streeter

 

Updates - April 4

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter - Help keep this site on line.

Gatherings Page updated.

Public Photo Gallery updated.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 04

On this day in 1953, the J L MAUTHE loaded her first cargo 16,638 tons of ore at Duluth.

On 04 April 1908, ALEXIS W THOMPSON (steel propeller bulk freighter, 504 foot, 6,437 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.). Renamed b.) W H BECKER in 1921, c.) EDWARD N SAUNDERS JR in 1933, d.) ERNEST R JOHNSON in 1955. In 1962, 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). Renamed b.) AMERICAN COURAGE in 2006.

Sea trials of the tanker ROBERT W STEWART (Hull#802) of American Shipbuilding Co., Lorain, Ohio were run on April 4, 1928. Renamed b.) AMOCO MICHIGAN in 1962. She was sold off the lakes in 1969, renamed c.) SHUKHEIR. Scrapped in Egypt in 1989.

WILLIAM C ATWATER (Hull#249) was launched on April 4, 1925, by the Great Lakes Engineering Works, for the Wilson Transit Co. Renamed b.) E J KULAS in 1936, c.) BEN MOREELL in 1953, d.) THOMAS E MILLSOP in 1955. Sold Canadian in 1976, renamed e.) E J NEWBERRY and f.) CEDARGLEN 1981. Scrapped at Port Maitland, Ontario in 1994.

FRED G HARTWELL (Hull#112) was launched April 4, 1908, by the Toledo Shipbuilding Co., for the Mutual Steamship Co., G.A. Tomlinson, mgr. Renamed b.) HARRY W CROFT in 1917. Scrapped at Santander, Spain in 1969.

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.

On April 4, 1936, the FRANQUELIN (Hull#1517) was launched by Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. for the Quebec and Ontario Transportation Co. Ltd. Renamed b.) PRINCE UNGAVA in 1936, c.) JEAN TALON in 1967. Sold off the lakes in 1974, renamed d.) SOVEREIGN OPAL, and e.) FALCON III in 1976. She was scrapped in 1982.

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.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze , Jody Aho, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II, the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Bowling Green State University 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.

 

Reserve has bearing problem

4/3 - Duluth - Reports have been received that the steamer Reserve experienced an overheated bearing on Monday, while in the area of the Apostle Island.

She had problems with a bearing on the steam turbine and could not turn more than 50-RPM or it would over-heat.

Once past the Apostle Islands they cut over to the North Shore and limped down to Duluth, escorted by the tug Susan Hoey.

The Reserve arrived at Fraser Shipyard at 6:30pm for repairs.

 

The fast ferry has been sold

4/3 - Rochester, NY - The new sale price for the ferry is $30 million and there's already a down payment in the bank. The buyer is FRS, based in Germany. It's a company that we first told you about months ago.

“The ferry is sold,” said Mayor Bob Duffy. That's exactly what Mayor Duffy said 11 months ago, but this time he says it's true. “We believe that this has started a chain of events where we will have a final closing by the end of the month,” said Duffy.

Chief Ferry Negotiator Tom Richards is still cautious.  “Sailors are superstitious and I didn't use to be but I've gotten superstitious in this process,” said Richards. Richards says closing the deal took longer and was tougher than he ever expected.

Richards adds, “But in the long run that's what it takes to get through situations like this and keep your eye on the long term ball which is the interest of the tax payers of the city.”

FRS says it will run the ferry across the Straight of Gilraltar from Spain to Moroco. Their initial offer was 28 million.
“We actually expected the Mayor of Rochester to jump into the air and say where can I sign, instead he offered us a price that was significantly higher than $30 million even, said FRS. “The situation was very well explained and the status of the vessel really spoke for itself.” 

“We'll get the $30 million in cash and they'll get the boat. They'll take the boat in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. We don’t have to deliver it anywhere. We'll probably close the financial transaction in New York City,” said Richards. The offer was made last Thursday. There were other offers out there, including a company that wanted to charter the ferry for a year. This deal allows the city make a clean cut.

The city's debt with this boat is still significant. We are told that when the 30 million is paid, the city will still owe 20 million, to be paid over 14 years. That money goes to EFIC, the Australian lenders. Tom Richards says he's going to have specific numbers when he presents to city council April 17.

From WHEC-TV Rochester

 

Port Reports - April 3

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
First salty of the season arrived in port late Sunday and unloading of Puffin began Monday morning at the Redpath Sugar dock.
The last of the winter lay-up fleet, Canadian Miner, departed on Saturday afternoon for the Welland Canal. The Toronto Island ferry William Inglis had her winter tarps removed last week, and it is being prepared for service.
The one-hour tour boat Shipsands made its first appearance of the season on the weekend. The schooners Empire Sandy and Kajama were moved from their winter berths to their summer berths Thursday afternoon.

Silver Bay -
The H. Lee White opened Silver Bay on Sunday with a load for Cleveland, Ohio.

Fairport Harbor - Herb Hubbel
Monday morning Lower Lake's Saginaw was in unloading limestone.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
On Monday the tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader opened the Lower Harbor with a load of limestone.

Lorain - C. Mackin
Two more ships made stops in Lorain over the weekend. The Pathfinder made a stop at Terminal Ready Mix on Sunday, and the Calumet made the trip to R.E.P. early Monday morning.

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Canadian Enterprise was loading coal Monday morning at Superior Midwest Energy Terminal while Quebecois was unloading cement at St. Lawrence Cement in Duluth. The Corps of Engineers crane barge H.J. Schwartz was in Fraser Shipyards on Monday morning but it wasn’t clear whether it was working there or being docked.
Kaye E. Barker remains in the shipyard but its scheduled to load at Midwest Energy Terminal on Wednesday with coal for Marquette.

Menominee - Dick Lund
Early Monday morning the tug Olive L. Moore arrived in Menominee, MI to pick up its barge Lewis J. Kuber. After docking at 8 a.m. the duo left Menominee around noon on its first trip of the season.

Alpena & Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
The Alpena loaded at Lafarge overnight and was heading out into the lake at 7 a.m. on Monday, bound for Green Bay.
Maumee took on cargo at Stoneport on Monday followed by the Arthur M. Anderson. The Anderson tied up at the dock around 5 p.m. and began loading for Buffington, IN.

Sturgeon Bay - Karin Hahnwitz
The Charles M. Beeghly departed Bay Shipbuilding, west bound toward the bay of Green Bay, at 10:00 p.m.  Monday night.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The John D. Leitch and the Philip R. Clarke both loaded Monday at the breezy Norfolk-Southern coal dock. It was the first cargo of the season for the Leitch, which arrived early Monday from her winter lay up berth in Hamilton, Ont.

 

Lake Superior Outflow set for April

4/3 - Detroit - The International Lake Superior Board of Control, under authority granted to it by the International Joint Commission, has set the Lake Superior outflow to 1,380 cubic metres per second (m3/s) (48.7 thousand cubic feet per second (tcfs)) for the month of April. This is the outflow recommended by the regulation plan for the month of April and is an increase from the March outflow which was 1,290 m3/s (45.6 tcfs).

The April outflow will be released by discharging about 1,278 m3/s (45.1 tcfs) through the three hydropower plants and passing most of the remaining flow through the control structure at the head of the St. Marys rapids. The gate setting of the control structure will be maintained at the existing setting equivalent to one-half gate open (four gates open 25 cm, or about 10 inches each). There will be no change to the setting of Gate #1 that supplies the Fishery Remedial Works.

This past month the water supply to the Lake Superior was near average for March, while the water supply to the Michigan-Huron basin was above its long-term March average. The levels of Lake Superior and Lakes Michigan-Huron remain below their chart datum levels. The level of Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are expected to rise in April.

Currently, the Lake Superior level is about 45 cm (18 inches) below its long-term average beginning-of-April level, and is 33 cm (13 inches) below the level recorded a year ago. This past month the level of Lake Superior remained nearly constant, while on average it falls by 2 cm (1 inch) in March. The last time Lake
Superior was lower at this time of year was in 1926.

The level of Lakes Michigan-Huron rose 6 cm (2 inches) this March, while on average the level of these lakes rise by about 5 cm (2 inches) in March. The level of Lakes Michigan-Huron is now about 39 cm (15 inches) below its long-term average beginning-of-April level but is 1 cm (1/2 inch) higher than a year ago.

The Board continues to monitor conditions both on Lake Superior and downstream and will advise the International Joint Commission accordingly on those conditions. Brigadier General Bruce A. Berwick, Commander, Great Lakes and Ohio River Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is the United States Board Member. Mr. Carr McLeod is the Board Member for Canada.

Additional information can be found here

 

Steel imports slip

4/3 - Duluth - Total steel imports into the United States in February were down 10 percent compared to January, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.

February imports were 2.6 million net tons compared to 2.9 million net tons in January. Included in total imports, finished steel imports declined 11 percent to 2.1 million net tons in February from 2.4 million net tons in January.

China in February was the largest volume importer of finished steel into the United States with 329,000 net tons.

From the Duluth News Tribune

 

Taconite tax plans draw industry’s ire

4/3 - Duluth - Taconite tax policy changes proposed by Iron Range legislators are drawing fire from industry officials and analysts.

Sen. Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said Thursday that the Senate’s Omnibus Tax Bill restructures an existing rebate program and places a new tax on the use of taconite tailings as aggregate. Bakk said the measures are aimed at stimulating Iron Range iron ore pellet production and a growing need for aggregate. But economists and industry officials say some tax changes are targeted at one company, might be unconstitutional and send the wrong signal to one of the state’s largest industries.

“In a perfect world, a tax code is going to have a neutral effect on companies making business decisions,” said Tony Barrett, a College of St. Scholastica economics professor who tracks the iron ore industry. “But to use the tax code in a manipulative way is clearly not desirable in any economic sense.”

The bill was expected to pass out of the Senate Tax Committee Thursday and be heard on the Senate floor today. The bill would restructure the Investment Tax Credit, a 30.1-cent-per-ton rebate that all taconite plants are eligible to receive on a $2.20-per-ton production tax. Producers would instead get a 30.1-cent-per-ton rebate on their first 3 million tons of annual production; no rebate for production from 3 million tons to 8 million tons; and 60.2 cents per ton on production over 8 million tons.

Craig Pagel, president of the Iron Mining Association of Minnesota, said the measure would result in a loss of about $7 million in rebate money, funds that would otherwise be reinvested in the plants. “The Iron Mining Association is an advocate for fair and equitable tax policy,” Pagel said. “Fair for the individual mining companies, fair for the state and fair for communities and local governments. Because this tax proposal applies different tax treatment to the six different mining companies, it does not meet the IMA’s goal.’’

U.S. Steel’s Minntac Mine in Mountain Iron would benefit from the bill. Most negatively affected would be Hibbing Taconite, Northshore Mining Co., Keewatin Taconite and United Taconite. Cleveland-Cliffs is involved in the ownership and management of three of those four medium-sized plants. “It’s clearly meant to hurt the moderate-sized plants,” Barrett said of the bill.

With Cliffs’ Empire Mine in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula near closure, Bakk said the ITC changes are aimed at encouraging Cliffs to boost production at Northshore or United. “It’s an incentive to add production,” Bakk said. “As we see the potential for a Michigan mine to shut down, we want to provide an opportunity for expansion here.”

The bill also includes language that would place a property tax on power plants and docks owned by mining companies. Cleveland-Cliffs owns a Silver Bay power plant and dock. Cleveland-Cliffs says the proposals are targeted at the company.

In November, when a proposal to build the world’s first commercial iron nugget plant near Aurora fell apart and when Cleveland-Cliffs later announced plans to open a new Duluth office, Iron Range lawmakers expressed anger with the company’s decisions. In a statement presented to the Senate Thursday, Cleveland-Cliffs said the ITC and property tax measures “are clearly designed to single out and raise the tax burden on Cleveland-Cliffs operations.” New jobs in Minnesota, planned investments and increased costs for iron ore concentrate could put other Range projects at risk, the statement said.

Rep. Tom Rukavina, DFL-Virginia, wouldn’t comment. Reps. David Dill, DFL-Crane Lake, and Tony Sertich, DFL-Chisholm, and Sen. Dave Tomassoni, DFL-Chisholm, didn’t return phone calls for comment.

From the Duluth News Tribune

 

Updates - April 3

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter - Help keep this site on line.

Gatherings Page updated.

Public Photo Gallery updated.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 03

In 1924, the NORMAN P CLEMENT departed Liverpool, England on her maiden voyage with a cargo of manganese ore for Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The CLEMENT joined Eastern Steamship Co., Ltd (Boland & Cornelius, Mgr).

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. She sails today as b.) GORDON C LEITCH (94).

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 Ð 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.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection and the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Bowling Green State University, 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 - April - 2

Sturgeon Bay - Jeff Birch
The American Valor has sailed, Charles M. Beeghly was ballasted down and appears ready to sail. McKee Sons and Invincible are both is in the graving dock.
John J. Boland is still high and dry. The Edward L. Ryerson has lit off her boilers and appears to be getting ready to sail.

Detroit River - Ken Borg
On Sunday the tug Jenny came out the Rouge for a cruise while the Peter R. Cresswell was unloading at St. Mary Cement on the Rouge. Cresswell departed the St. Marys Cement dock with the tug Wyoming on her stern. She went out the Rouge, turned on left wheel and went up the Detroit River
Algosoo was down at 5:15 p.m. The Saginaw came down river, turned around and went into Sterling Fuel in Windsor between 5:30 - 6:00 p.m.

Green Bay - Wendell Wilke
On Sunday the Cason J. Callaway was dockside unloading coal at Fox River Dock. Later Sunday evening, the Wolverine was expected with coal. This will be her first trip into Green Bay under her new ownership.

 

Trip Raffle to Benefit BoatNerd

Through the generosity of the Interlake Steamship Co., BoatNerd is offering the chance to win a four-six-day trip for four to take place during the 2007 sailing season (between the months of June and September) on the winner's choice of the classic Lee. A. Tregurtha or the Queen of the Lakes Paul R. Tregurtha.

The trip is the Grand Prize of BoatNerd¹s first ever raffle and fundraising event. Other prizes will also be given away.

All proceeds from this raffle will benefit Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, the non-profit support organization for the BoatNerd.Com Web site. Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, Inc. is a non-profit 501(C)(3) corporation. Funds raised will be used to upgrade our equipment, expand our services and pay monthly Internet connection charges.

The drawing will take place at 2 p.m. on June 2, 2007 at the BoatNerd.Com World Headquarters in Port Huron, Mich.

Donation: $10 per ticket, 3 for $25, 6 for $50 or 12 for $100.

Click here to order, or for more information. Tickets are also available by mail, or in person at BoatNerd World Headquarters in Port Huron, MI.

 

Time to make your BoatNerd Gathering Reservations

The annual series of BoatNerd Gatherings is rapidly approaching. Many of these events have limited space. Don't wait to make your reservation until it is too late.

May 25-26 - Boatnerd Badger Gathering - A round-trip crossing of Lake Michigan from Ludington, Michigan to Manitowoc, Wisconsin on Saturday, May 26, 2007, aboard the Lake Michigan Carferry SS BADGER.

Saturday, June 2 - Special Boatnerd Cruise - A special 2-hour tour of the St. Clair River aboard the Huron Lady II, beginning at 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 16 - Boatnerd Detroit Up River Cruise - A 3-hour freighter chasing cruise on the lower Detroit River aboard the luxurious Friendship, driven by Capt. Sam Buchanan.

Friday, June 29 - Annual Boatnerd Freighter Chasing Cruise at the Soo - The annual trip aboard the Chief Shingwauk for a full three (3) hours leaving from Roberta Bondar Pavilion in Soo, Ontario.

Saturday, July 14 - Annual St. Clair River Gathering aboard the Hammond Bay - The Hammond Bay will depart their dock 2 miles south of Sombra, Ontario at 11:00am for a 3-hour narrated cruise passing Fawn Island, Sombra, Courtright, St. Clair, and Marine City.

Saturday, August 11 - Boatnerd Detroit Down River Cruise - A 4-hour freighter chasing cruise on the lower Detroit River aboard the luxurious Friendship, driven by Capt. Sam Buchanan.

Go to the Boatnerd Gatherings page for all the details and reservation forms.

 

Updates - April 2

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter - Help keep this site on line.

Gatherings Page updated.

Public Photo Gallery updated.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 02

A total of 60 ore boats departed Cleveland between March 31 and April 2 to start the 1948 shipping season.

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.

The 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 1,000 h.p. bow thruster. This work reportedly cost $3.8 million Canadian and was completed on April 2, 1976.

On April 2, 1953, the straight deck bulk freighter, J L MAUTHE (Hull#298) of the 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 the 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.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Jody Aho, Russ Plumb, Ahoy & Farewell II, Father Dowling Collection 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.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 01

On 01 April 1887, W. T. Botsford & Company of Port Huron, Michigan bought the COLORADO (wooden propeller package freighter, 254 foot, 1,470 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. Built as the ALTON C DUSTIN in 1913, the BUCKEYE MONITOR was scrapped as Santander, Spain in 1974.

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. Built as the GEORGE M HUMPHREY in 1927. The ROEN was renamed c.) ADAM E CORNELIUS in 1948, d.) CONSUMERS POWER in 1958, she was scrapped at Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1988.

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.

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.

Data from: Joe Barr, Ahoy & Farewell II, Father Dowling Collection 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.

 

Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin opens Goderich season

4/1 - Goderich - As the first ship of the season sailed into port, Goderich Mayor Deb Shewfelt had a message: “We’re open for business.” According to Shewfelt, the Port of Goderich has a significant impact on the town’s economic development.

The Martin docked at about 1:30 a.m. on March 22, six days later than last year’s first ship the CSL Niagara. Last year’s arrival was the earliest on record.

The Town of Goderich honored the captain with the annual Top Hat Ceremony at town hall on March 22. Ever since Capt. Earl Jenkins arrived aboard the Acadialite on April 5, 1932, the captain of the first ship into the Port of Goderich after the winter freeze has been welcomed with the special ceremony at Town Hall.
Said Shewfelt, “We look forward to this every year... It’s the beginning of spring, no doubt about it.”

Capt. Andrew Ferris spoke to various media, posed for pictures with the top hat and placed his signature inside the hat. He said the ice and wind made getting into the port difficult, but a United States icebreaker was sent down to assist. The captain estimated that the ice was four or five feet thick in some areas along their route.

The Right Honorable Paul J. Martin set out for Goderich last Sunday and Ferris said the trip would normally take 18 hours in good conditions. “We ran into a fair bit of ice,” he said. “It was a fairly good trip... but a little slow.” Ferris expected that it would take between 10 and 12 hours to load the salt and then the ship would be sailing on to Milwaukee. “It’s taking a little longer because it’s the first one they’ve done [this year] and the machines haven’t been used in a while,” he said.

From the Goderich Signal Star

 

Port Reports - April 1

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
About 4 a.m. Saturday morning the David Z delivered the first load of coal to the Board of Light and Power Sims Plant on Harbor Island. It still sports the Oglebay Norton colors but the stack emblems are painted out and the "Norton" is painted out on the stern, bow and name boards on the pilot house.

Cheboygan - Brent Michaels
The Mackinaw returned to her homeport from ice breaking duties around noon on Saturday.

Green Bay - Wendell Wilke
Late Friday morning the Earl. W. (former Earl W. Oglebay) was out bound after unloading coal at Fox River Dock. This is her first time in port under the new name.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Algosteel was an early Saturday morning arrival and went to the Sifto Salt dock to load.

Sturgeon Bay - Craig Weis
Buffalo steamed out of BayShip on Friday. She turned to port and passed through the 76-year old draw bridge in down town Sturgeon Bay at 10 p.m. heading for Lake Michigan.
Saturday at 11:43 a.m. the Reserve steamed out of her slip at BayShip Building. She turned to starboard heading for the Bay of Green Bay where she would transverse Death's Door going north.

 

Festival aims to bring some Russel Brothers tugs back home

4/1 - Owen Sound - When people come down to the Owen Sound harbor on homecoming weekend, it will be full of tugboats for the first-ever.

Steve Briggs is organizing the event, which should draw at least 15 tugboats to the harbor on July 28-29, coinciding with Owen Sound's week-long 150th anniversary bash which will have kicked off the night before. Briggs developed a passion for tugboats while researching the history of Owen Sound's once-significant tugboat manufacturer, Russel Brothers. The company built the tugs displayed on the back of Canada's $1 bill, which went out of circulation in 1989. The smaller tug (the Ancaster) now rests beside the Owen Sound Marine and Rail Museum

Like tugboat festivals in Sault Ste. Marie and Parry Sound, Owen Sound's will include tugboat races and a nighttime parade of tugs strung with Christmas lights. Some 100 or so sailboats and powerboats will join the floating parade. Some will be in a regatta the next day.

Briggs' website,  www.russelbrothers.com  contains colorful pictures of tugs chugging full bore through churning water and of tugboats lit up while plying tranquil waters at dusk. Parade prizes will be awarded at a banquet at the Rusty Gull restaurant on the Saturday night. A dockside breakfast will be prepared for captains and crews Sunday morning.

Any and all boats are welcome to join the festival, but Briggs is particularly looking for vessels built by Russel Brothers and he's been hearing from Russel fans from across the country. Briggs has already confirmed the participation of several vessels, including three vessels more than 100 feet long. The ex-Ville Marie Coast Guard ship, which has been converted to the pleasure boat the Still Watch, is the second-largest boat that Russel Bros. built. The current Canadian Coast Guard ship, the Cove Isle, and the 77-year-old Prescotont tugboat are coming.

Public tours of the 65' Coast Guard ship Cove Isle will be offered.

Briggs said any money made by the event will be given to the the Marine-Rail Museum. Merchandise for sale will include a comprehensive DVD Archive Briggs created containing pictures of about 500 of the 1,300 tugs Russel built, a video of the boats in action and a 1987 interview with Tom and Fred Russel, shot by Archie Carnahan.

The Beaver's Helper, built in 1974, was the last boat built at the Russel Brothers factory. The company's eastside waterfront buildings were demolished in the 1990s and the site is overgrown with weeds. Condominium construction is contemplated for the site.

Ian Boddy, chair of the city's homecoming steering committee, said plans for the tugboat festival are exciting. "You think about how many tugboats were built by Russel Brothers and this was a boat-building mecca for years. It's pretty neat to have them back and I think Steve's got an amazing idea going. I can see this being an annual thing for years to come." Briggs imagines that might happen, but it depends on how well it is received.

 

17th Annual Memorial Day Cruise to Port Huron

4/1 - Detroit – The Marine Historical Society of Detroit, and BoatNerd.com, are co-sponsoring the 17th Annual Memorial Day Lake St. Clair and River Cruise aboard the Diamond Belle .

The cruise departs from Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit, on May 28, and cruises across Lake St. Clair, up the St. Clair River, and out into Lake Huron for a short distance, weather permitting.

There is a Continental breakfast and a buffet luncheon on board, and the trip includes a buffet dinner at the St. Clair Inn.

The cruise will follow the shipping channel upbound to meet all downbound ships, and only divert from the shipping channel down bound to visit the old St. Clair Flats area to see the Old Club and other interesting buildings and sites there.

Tickets are $85 by reservation only. The trip departs Hart Plaza at 8:00 am and returns at 9:15 pm. Call 313-843-9376 for information and reservations.

 

Updates - April 1

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter - Help keep this site on line.

Gatherings Page updated.

Public Photo Gallery updated.



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