Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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* Report News

 

Capt. John Chomniak buys Chief Shingwauk

4/30 - Sault Ste. Marie, ON - The bad news is that Shingwauk Marine Limited is winding down its Lock Tours Canada operation.

The good news is that the Chief Shingwauk's skipper, Captain John John Chomniak, has agreed to buy the business and keep it afloat. On Monday the Sault Ste. Marie City Council voted to give Chomniak a $60,000 interest-free loan to finance the venture, repayable at the end of the 2008 tourist season.

The decision by Lock Tours Canada to cease operations was attributed to high fuel and electrical costs, a flat tourist market, increased vigilance by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, high leasing costs and taxes, and a need for major capital improvements including replacement of two new engines at a cost of $227,000.

Chomniak is planning to add two additional year-round jobs and nine more seasonal jobs. With the added staff, he wants to beef up marketing of the boat, including greater integration with the Agawa Canyon Tour Train. The City's $60,000, fully secured loan will provide working capital during the transition of ownership.

"We must prevent the loss of this attraction, which would reduce the tourism infrastructure and lessen the opportunities for Sault Ste. Marie to entice people to lengthen their stay," said Bruce Strapp, chief executive officer of the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation.

Canadian tour boats have plied the locks since 1965. Lock Tours Canada has carried as many as 30,000 passengers during good years, but traffic has recently fallen to barely 16,000. Chomniak's business plan calls for a 15 percent increase in passengers this year, a 20 percent increase next year, and five percent increases during each of the following three years.

Funding is also being sought from Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation.

From Sootoday.com

 

Port Reports - April 30

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
The tug Sea Service with her barge Energy 6506 was at the B-P Dock loading cargo. Peter R. Creswell was at the Midwest Terminals Stone Dock unloading stone.
The next scheduled coal boats due into the CSX Dock will be the American Mariner on Wednesday, H. Lee White on Thursday, Lee A. Tregurtha on Saturday, followed by the Robert S. Pierson on Sunday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Dock will be the Atlantic Erie on Saturday, CSL Laurentien on Sunday, followed by the Algowood on Tuesday.

Toronto - Frank Hood
Stephen B. Roman arrived back in Toronto on Tuesday.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Michipicoten departed the Upper Harbor ore dock Monday afternoon with a load of taconite for Algoma Steel at the Soo. She was back Tuesday evening for another load. These visits were her first of the new season.

 

ArcelorMittal Great Lakes Restoration Program announces funding

4/30 - Cleveland - ArcelorMittal announced 16 projects selected to receive a total of $1 million in funding through the ArcelorMittal Great Lakes Restoration Program.

The 16 selected projects will restore and enhance the environmental integrity of the lakes by controlling invasive species, restoring wetlands and other habitats, promoting the recovery of threatened species, and educating citizens on how to protect the ecosystem.

"These grants help the Great Lakes by restoring critical habitat for fish and wildlife," said Peter Stangel, director of science and conservation, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. "We are here in Northeast Ohio today because this region stands out in its commitment to conservation and in its collaborative approach. We are pleased to be able to support your good conservation projects and strong collaborative approach."

The program is funded by a three-year $2.1 million bi-national grant from the ArcelorMittal USA Foundation that was bolstered by $3 million in matches from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the EPA, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Forest Service and the NOAA. The contributions will then be leveraged by grantees to enable a total on-the-ground impact of $9 million throughout the Great Lakes watershed.

"The Great Lakes are among the most important natural resources in the world," said Lou Schorsch, president and CEO, ArcelorMittal Flat Carbon Americas. "The basin is crucial to the well-being of our employees and our communities, as well as to our operations and production, and we are committed to sustaining them. We're confident that these grants will promote positive steps toward significant, measurable improvement of the quality of the Great Lakes."

The ArcelorMittal Great Lakes Restoration Program is an important step toward restoring the ecological integrity of the Great Lakes Basin. The program is designed to address the habitat and ecosystem restoration goals developed through the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration. The Regional Collaboration, created by a Presidential Executive Order, is a wide-ranging, public-private cooperative effort to design and implement a strategy for the restoration, protection, and sustainable use of the Great Lakes.

"This unprecedented coordination of resources helps us to attain the goals identified by the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration," said Lyn Luttner, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Cleveland Office manager. "Public private partnerships are the key to restoring, enhancing and protecting the waters of the Great Lakes for the benefit of everyone."

 

Volunteers tackle projects to stabilize historic SS Meteor whaleback ship

4/30 - Superior - Blustery winds, cold temperatures and snowfall were a mere inconvenience for the nearly 40 volunteers who turned out Saturday to preserve and make presentable Superior’s unique bit of history on Barker’s Island.

Members of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society, Lake Superior Maritime Museum Association and Friends of the SS Meteor bundled up to stave off the cold and make the world’s last whaleback presentable for another season of tours and sustain it as restoration efforts continue.

“Even in the lousy weather, they power-washed the deck,” said Susan Anderson, director of the Superior Public Museums, after the first day of work. “Talk about dedication.” There was paint to scrape and reapply, rust to remove from engine rods, gears to grease, brass to polish, junk to remove from a forward cargo hold, air scoops and portholes to reseal and displays to clean.

Young and old alike rolled up their sleeves — so to speak — to divide and tackle the projects during the two-day effort. Weather proved to be a factor for some, but not all, of the projects as volunteers from throughout Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin gathered to do their part to preserve the one-of-a-kind, above-water ship.

“It’s the only one left in the world,” said Gunnar David of Marshfield. The preteen and his parents led efforts to clear out years of accumulated junk from a forward cargo hold and toss it in a dumpster provided by Kimmes Construction. “We have to do everything we can to try to save it,” said Kari David, Gunnar’s mom and a member of Lake Superior Maritime Museum Association. She said the family loves the area and its rich port history and wants to help preserve it.

Mike Stich of Wyoming, Minn., a member of the shipwreck preservation society for 10 years, lent a hand by creating piles of junk that had to go. His daughter, Crystal, also was busy working on another part of the ship. “I’ve been involved in other projects,” Stich said. “This is the first time I’ve been involved in this one. I heard about it through the GLSPS … I have an interest. I’m a scuba diver and I have dived the (Thomas) Wilson, a sister ship to the Meteor. I really love this ship and this style of ship. I’ve never been on the inside of it before. This is an opportunity to see it from the inside out.”

The Thomas Wilson, the 20th of Capt. Alexander McDougall’s 44 whalebacks, sank following a 1902 collision.

In the pilot house, Stephen Daniel of Woodbury, Minn., and Helen Wright, a San Francisco-native who now lives near Two Harbors, worked together to bring back the sheen of the brass. “We got involved, primarily, because we’re used to preserving ships underwater and doing the documentation above the water,” Daniel said. “… We’re very interested in preserving vessels like this that are on top of the water. They’re easier to see, and more people can see them beyond the diving community.”

After 30 years in the diving community, he said it was time to give something back. And, he wasn’t alone. His children were working in the bow. “If we don’t preserve this stuff, the people coming behind us won’t have anything to see,” Daniel said.

Wright is a member of two organizations involved in the weekend’s volunteer effort. “I was trying to make a career in museum exhibit stuff, but I have an elderly father who needs assistance, and I can’t very well leave town,” she said. Instead, she set her sights on preserving the history she could.

Down below, Bob Olson of St. Paul, Richard Giese of Minneapolis and Tim Prenke of Shakopee worked in the engine room. Olson has worked on the ship’s engine many times.

Atop deck, Tom Brueshaver of Minneapolis braved the weather with a small crew to replace plywood seals in the air scoops that had started to rot and were leaking water into the engine room. “She’s pretty rough up on top,” Brueshaver said. In spite of frigid winds, however, he said the area is of special interest to all the volunteers working on the SS Meteor.

“Being a nonprofit ourselves, we understand what getting help means, Brueshaver said. We think it’s a very worthwhile thing to keep going. … If no one takes care of this stuff, it will eventually disappear. And that’s pretty much the drive to get it done.”

It’s not the first time volunteers from the organizations have gathered to keep the SS Meteor ship shape, according to Phil Kerber of the Twin Cities area, vice president of the shipwreck preservation society. The effort originated six or seven years ago, and was started by the Wisconsin Underwater Archeology Association. Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society has since taken over much of the planning, Kerber said.

“We have a good time,” Kerber said.

From the Superior Telegram

 

Relic hunter wants Canada's help in shipwreck case

4/30 - An American relic hunter who believes he's found one of Canada's most important shipwrecks at the bottom of Lake Michigan is appealing for Canadian heritage officials to get involved in the U.S. legal battle over the site. The Griffon, which was built near Niagara Falls in 1679 and became the first sailing ship on the Great Lakes, was lost in a storm on its maiden voyage and now ranks among North America's most sought-after wrecks.

A federal U.S. appeals court ruled last week that the discoverer of the Griffon's purported resting place - Steve Libert, an underwater explorer from Virginia - does not have to reveal the location to the State of Michigan until another judge sorts out the ownership and future management of the potential heritage treasure. But Libert, who spent decades searching for the lost ship of famed French explorer Rene-Robert de La Salle - a key figure in the history of New France - is now seeking support from Canada to "expedite" a legal resolution and eventually kick-start exploration of the wreck site. "If this is the Griffon," Libert told Canwest News Service, "it will rewrite chapters in the history books - no, it will write new history books. It is time for Canada to get involved."

Robert Grenier, the Canadian government's senior underwater archeologist, acknowledges that the Griffon is "one of the Holy Grails of Canadian marine history," adding that the fact that the ship "was not built in Europe makes it more attractive" to scholars documenting Canada's colonial era. But Grenier cautions that "diagnostic" proof of the wreck's identity has not yet been produced, and that the "quite complicated" legal struggle between Libert, Michigan authorities and U.S. federal heritage officials will have to be resolved before Canada or the French government - which could ultimately claim ownership of the Griffon - get involved. Grenier added that Michigan officials "would like us to do some things" at the purported Griffon wreck site once the legal issues are resolved. But he added that Libert, too, has a legitimate stake in what happens then.

Libert took photographs in 2004 of what he believes is the bowsprit - a stabilizing spar projecting from the front of a ship - belonging to a centuries-old, hand-hewn wooden vessel matching what is known about the Griffon's construction. Experts from the Field Museum in Chicago dated some wood samples from the site to the 17th century. "If it is a ship of that period, then there's a good chance that it could be La Salle's ship," said Grenier. "It's well known that the owner of that vessel came from Montreal. Canada could be an interested party."

But further dives at the site and a planned lake-bottom survey for debris were halted four years ago when the State of Michigan claimed exclusive authority over the wreck. That prompted the long-running court battle with Libert and last week's ruling that a federal "admiralty arrest" should be imposed over the wreck site to continue protecting the submerged artifacts until the ownership dispute is settled.

La Salle, a controversial but towering presence in 17th-century North America, had already helped establish Fort Frontenac (at present-day Kingston, Ont.) and led the European discovery of Niagara Falls before trying to build a fur trade empire on the Upper Great Lakes.

After the Griffon was built near Niagara Falls in the summer of 1679, it was sailed across lakes Erie and Huron and into Green Bay - the 150-kilometre-long inlet on western Lake Michigan. La Salle then turned to overland exploration and sent his flagship back toward Lake Erie, on Sept. 18, 1679, to deliver thousands of furs and other cargo obtained from native traders. The ship was never seen again, and La Salle was the first of many searchers who have failed to turn up traces of the wreck over the centuries.

La Salle went on to fame as the discoverer of the mouth of the Mississippi River and founder of Louisiana. But he is infamous as commander of a doomed French expedition to modern-day Texas in 1687, during which he is believed to have become deranged. He was eventually murdered by one of his own crewmen.

Libert, who accused Michigan of "trying to legally steal" the Griffon, has stated in the past that the wreck lies between Escanaba, Mich., and the St. Martin Islands near Wisconsin.

Guided by the journals of Father Louis Hennepin - an adventurous French priest who made drawings of the Griffon and sailed westward with La Salle on the ship's ill-fated maiden voyage - Libert says his breakthrough came when he realized the "Huron islands'' mentioned by Hennepin as the Griffon's probable whereabouts referred to a set of islands in Lake Michigan rather than Lake Huron.

From CanWest News Service

 

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Today in Great Lakes History - April 30

30 April 1894 - The TRUANT (wooden propeller tug, 73 foot, 28 gross tons, built in 1889 at Toronto, Ontario) burned to a total loss near Burnt Island in Georgian Bay. The fire started under her ash pan.

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, 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. Compiled by Mike Nicholls

 

Port Reports - April 29

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The tug Evans McKeil arrived overnight Sunday and paired up the the cement barge Metis Monday morning. They will in all probability begin their season's first run to Picton on Tuesday morning.

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
The Calumet arrived at the Verplank's dock at Holland at about 6 a.m. Monday to unload a cargo of H-1 limestone, used in manufacturing asphalt. The load originated in Cedarville and part of it was discharged in Muskegon prior to the stop in Holland. Keeping with tradition, Captain Paul Joaquin was presented with an engraved pair of wooden shoes for being the first commercial vessel in the harbor for the season.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Agawa Canyon was inbound the Saginaw River Sunday morning on what was to be an interesting visit. On her way upriver, she stopped at the Essroc dock in Essexville for a few hours to wait for water levels in the river to come up before continuing upriver to the GM dock in Saginaw to unload. Early Monday morning, the tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber arrived with a split load for the Bay City and Saginaw Wirt docks.
While the Moore-Kuber were lightering in Bay City, the Agawa Canyon departed Saginaw headed outbound for the lake. Reaching the Lafayette Bridge in Bay City, the Canyon had to stop in the channel and drop her anchor as the bridge had a mechanical problem and would not lift. By late Monday morning, the bridge had been repaired and the Agawa Canyon was able to get underway. She passed the waiting Olive L. Moore at Bay City Wirt around 10:30 on her way to the lake and once clear, the Moore & Kuber departed Bay City for the Saginaw Wirt dock. The pair completed their unload and were outbound late Monday evening.

Alpena & Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
Monday brought both cement carriers to Lafarge. The tug G. L Ostrander and barge Integrity arrived around noon. The Integrity was outbound in the bay by 5 p.m. and passed the inbound tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation that tied up under the silos by 6 p.m.
At Stoneport on Monday the John G. Munson was taking on cargo. Fleetmate Arthur M. Anderson was waiting at anchor nearby to load next.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
Upper Lakes Canadian Navigator backed into the inner harbor shortly after 8:00 on Sunday morning and docked at the Nidera Elevator, where it continues on Tuesday morning to load.

 

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Today in Great Lakes History - April 29

29 April 1896 - The W LE BARON JENNEY (steel tow barge, 366 foot, 3422 gross tons) was launched by F. W. Wheeler & Company (Hull #120) at West Bay City, Michigan for the Bessemer Steamship Company of Cleveland, Ohio. She went through eight owners during her career, ending with the Goderich Elevator and Transit Company, Ltd. who used her as a grain storage barge. She was scrapped in Thunder Bay, Ontario in 1974.

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 a.) 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. Compiled by Mike Nicholls

 

Port Reports - April 28

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
American Steamship's American Mariner backed into the inner harbor at 3:50 Saturday morning to deliver coal at the WE Energies Greenfield Avenue dock. It departed at 2:40 in the afternoon.

Gary - Brian Z.
Edgar B. Speer discharged a cargo of taconite pellets at USX Steel on Saturday.
The Algosoo was still at the East vessel taking on her cargo of coke breeze destined for Port Cartier. John G. Munson arrived late Saturday with a cargo of limestone fines.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Sunday morning the CSL Niagara arrived at 10:30 p.m. with petroleum coke from Quebec City for US Steel. Jade Star arrived at 5 p.m. Tug Evans McKeil departed at 7:15 pm. from Pier 10 for Toronto.
The Algosteel arrived at 9:30 p.m. John B Aird, after discharging it's cargo at Pier 26, shifted to Pier 10 for repairs of some type.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
Burns Harbor finished unloading ore at the Midwest Terminals Dock and departed mid Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile The Halifax was at Midwest Terminals Dock waiting to load ore that the Burns Harbor brought in. Atlantic Huron was at the Torco Ore Dock unloading ore, and the tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes was at the B-P Dock. Both vessels were expected to depart Sunday evening. The next scheduled vessels due into CSX Coal Dock will be the American Mariner and Herbert C. Jackson on Wednesday, H. Lee White on Thursday, Lee A. Tregurtha on Saturday, followed by the Robert S. Pierson on Sunday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Docks will be Atlantic Erie on Saturday, followed by CSL Laurentien on Sunday.

Toronto - Frank Hood
Stephen B. Roman had departed Toronto Harbour by Sunday morning.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
Upper Lakes' Canadian Navigator backed into the inner harbor about 8 a.m. Sunday Morning and docked at the Nidera Elevator.

 

New Prizes added to the BoatNerd Raffle

4/28 - Three new prizes have been added to the BoatNerd Raffle. A weekend stay for two at the Inn at Lock 7 on the Welland Canal, your choice of Print from the Digital Shipyard and Two V.I.P. Passes for a Sunset Dinner Cruise aboard the Soo Locks Boat Tours.

Other prizes include: a trip for four aboard the legendary Great Lakes steamboat Edward L. Ryerson, a round trip for two including auto aboard the carferry Badger donated by the Lake Michigan Carferry and Tours of the DeTour Reef Lighthouse courtesy the Detour Reef Light Preservation Society, a port hole from the Calumet courtesy International Marine Salvage, a cruise aboard the Huron Lady II, sightseeing cruises of Duluth-Superior aboard the Vista Fleet, tickets for Diamond Jack's River Tours on the Detroit River, passes aboard the Keweenaw Star for a sunset cruise, and round trip tickets to Beaver Island.

All proceeds from the raffle will benefit the BoatNerd.Com Web site. Funds raised will be used to pay the charges associated with running such a busy site. Fund-raising raffles are our only method of support; without the raffle BoatNerd.Com would be forced to discontinue this free web site.

The drawing will take place at 2 p.m. on June 7, 2008 at the BoatNerd.Com World Headquarters at Vantage Point, in Port Huron, Mich.

Donation: $10 per ticket, 3 for $25, 6 for $50 or 14 for $100.

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

State of Michigan Raffle License # R95375

 

BoatNerd Requests Hardware Donations

4/28 - BoatNerd is requesting donations of used computer hardware and LCD monitors. This is a good opportunity for a corporation, or individual, to recycle equipment while receiving a tax credit by donating to our 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization.

We would be happy to pick up and wipe the data on any donated machines to DOD standards and we have our own licensed software. We would like any equipment starting with a Pentium 4 level processor or higher and any size LCD monitor. This equipment is used to support various features of the site and also placed in regional museums as kiosk type displays.

If you have equipment to donate or if your company has a recycling program please contact us at moderator@boatnerd.net

 

Updates - April 28

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Today in Great Lakes History - April 28

28 April 1856 - The TONAWANDA (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 202 foot, 882 gross tons) was launched by Buell B. Jones at Buffalo, New York.

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 ft. forward section of Bethlehem Steel's a.) LEWIS WILSON FOY (Hull#717) was launched April 28,1977, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Renamed b.) OGLEBAY NORTON in 1991.

Nipigon Transport Ltd.'s straight deck motorship 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.

 

Future of ill-fated Windoc still unknown

4/27 - St. Catharines - The Windoc, the bulk carrier damaged when the Allanburg lift bridge came down on it in August 2001, is likely months away from being resurrected.

The bridge was lowered onto the passing cargo carrier by mistake, causing a fire to erupt and smolder for 22 hours. The accident closed the Welland Canal for two days. For nearly two years, there have been plans by Algoma Central Corp., which purchased the Windoc in 2006, to put the cargo ship back into use.

Those plans are now months away from being realized, said John Greenway, vice-president of operations with Seaway Marine Transport. The St. Catharines company is managing the ship on behalf of its parent firms, Upper Lakes Group Inc. and Algoma Central Corp.

Greenway said a decision on what to do with the cargo vessel should be made within the next six months. Greenway said staff are still deciding on design concepts to return the cargo ship to service, either as a self-propelled vessel or pushed by a large tug. Prices have yet to be finalized, but the project is expected to cost millions. "Once that's done, then our owners will make a decision as to her future."

The Windoc spent more than a year at Port Colborne's International Marine Salvage Inc., which removed the end of the Windoc, including all machinery and the engine room, Greenway said. On Thursday, several tugs from Port-Dover-based Nadro Marine Services Ltd. hauled the ship up the Welland Canal to Seaway Marine and Industrial Inc., the former Port Weller Dry Docks. "She's just going to berth there in storage until final decisions are made."

The Windoc accident was the subject of an investigation by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, which found the bridge operator prematurely lowered it on the moving ship as it passed underneath. The mishap was caught on film by a U.S. tourist and ended up on the Fox TV show Stupid Behavior Caught on Tape. At the time, the Windoc was part of the N. M. Paterson and Sons Ltd. fleet of Thunder Bay. Paterson is no longer in business.

Seaway Marine Transport operates the largest fleet of dry-bulk carriers on the Great Lakes, transporting cargo such as grain, iron and coal.

From the St. Catharines Standard

 

Port Reports - April 27

South Chicago- Brian Z.
On a very windy Friday, the American Mariner was loading coal at KCBX Terminal. Also, Algoma Central's Algosoo was discharging her cargo of road salt at the Morton Salt dock on the Calumet River.

Gary - Brian Z.
The Algosoo arrived at US Steel's East vessel dock at 2 p.m. Friday. The Algosoo was loading a cargo of coke breeze destined for Port Cartier, Quebec. Loading is expected to take 30 hours to complete.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
The G. L. Ostrander and barge Integrity arrived at the LaFarge terminal in the inner harbor about 2:15 Friday morning to deliver cement. It departed at 3:45 that afternoon.

Toronto - Frank Hood
Stephen B. Roman has arrived back in Toronto. Canadian Ranger has departed Toronto.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Saturday morning the tug Sea Service and barge arrived with jet fuel for Pier 12 at 6:30 a.m.  Hamilton Energy departed Pier 24 at 6:30 a.m. for the Port Weller anchorage to bunker the Nanticoke. The Energy returned to Hamilton at 3:30 p.m. The saltie Woody arrived at 3:45 p.m. with steel products for Pier 14. The John B Aird then arrived at 6:30 p.m.

 

New ship coming to the Great Lakes

4/27 - Montreal - Anchored in Montreal is BBC Zarate which will leave today for the Great Lakes on her first trip to the Lakes. She is loaded with windmill sections to be unloaded at Duluth.

Behind her at the anchorage is Carola also loaded with windmill sections to be unloaded at Windsor. Both vessels took their cargo at Aarhus, Denmark

Looks like 2008 will be again a great year for the importation of windmills to Great Lakes destinations.

Reported by René Beauchamp

 

Badger Gathering Reservations Due

4/27 - Only 7 days left to get your reservations in for the Badger Gathering.

Don't miss out on this fun trip aboard the last coal-fired boat on the Great Lakes.

Click here for all the details and reservation form.

 

Correction

4/27 - The Company that lifted the drive unit from the Dorothy Ann was Ryba Marine of Cheboygan MI. with the tug Tenacious and the construction barge CT150.

 

Updates - April 27

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Today in Great Lakes History - April 27

27 April 1889 - The ROMEO (wooden propeller excursion steamer, 70 foot, 61 gross tons) was launched by F. W. Wheeler (Hull #51) at West Bay City, Michigan for service on the Òinland route (Oden, Michigan to Cheboygan, Michigan & Bois Blanc Island) along with her sister JULIET (wooden propeller excursion steamer, 70 foot, 61 gross tons), launched the following day. The vessels had twin screws for maneuverability along the northern rivers. ROMEO lasted until 1911, when she was abandoned at Port Arthur, Texas. JULIET was converted to a 'steam yacht' and registered at Chicago. She was abandoned in 1912.

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, 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 26

Marquette - Rod Burdick
On Friday the tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader unloaded limestone at the Upper Harbor hopper instead of the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock. Efforts continue at the Lower Harbor to retrieve Tug Dorothy Ann's propulsion unit.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Adam E Cornelius was unloading at the General Mills Frontier Elevator at 9a.m. Friday morning. This is the first boatload of grain through the Port of Buffalo for the year.
The Lansdowne was towed from the Cargill Pool Elevator Pier on the Outer Harbor to some unseen location off the ISG Steel (Bethlehem) Plant on Thursday.

Duluth/Superior - Al Miller
Edwin H. Gott was loading at the DMIR ore docks Friday morning while Roger Blough waited at the Duluth port terminal for its turn. Indiana Harbor was loading at Midwest Energy Terminal.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
The Coast Guard vessel Hollyhock was out in the foggy bay Friday afternoon. It was working on navigation aids, several buoys were reported to be off their normal position.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Calumet called on the Saginaw River Friday morning, going upriver to the GM dock in Saginaw to unload. She completed her unload, turned in the Sixth Street Basin, and was outbound for the lake Friday evening. Calumet slowed down near the I-75 bridge on her outbound trip to allow the upbound Olive L. Moore/Lewis J. Kuber to arrive at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee to finish their unload. The pair had arrived during the afternoon and lightered at the Sargent dock in Essexville before continuing upriver. Moore/Kuber were expected to be outbound early Saturday morning.

 

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Today in Great Lakes History - April 26

26 April 1891 The NORWALK (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 209 foot, 1007 gross tons) was launched by William DuLac at Mount Clemens, Michigan. At first, she was not able to get down the Clinton River to Lake St. Clair due to low water. She lasted until 1916, when she was sold to Nicaraguan buyers and was lost in the Caribbean Sea that Autumn.

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.

 

Tug Struck Rudder, Recovery Efforts Continue

4/25 - Marquette - Efforts to recover a tug’s Z-drive propulsion unit from Marquette’s Lower Harbor were delayed until Friday by windy conditions on the lake Thursday afternoon.

Lt. Caren Damon, public affairs officer for the Coast Guard Sault Ste. Marie Sector, said the effort was also delayed by the need to first retrieve a submerged rudder from the harbor. The tug Dorothy Ann was previously thought to have hit bottom, tearing off the 20-ton drive unit, but Damon said divers found it had run into the rudder instead.

“It actually hit a rudder that was submerged and had been unreported. That’s what sheared off the drive,” she said.

A marine crane lifted the 16-ton rudder out Thursday, but was unable to recover the propulsion unit. It did succeed in lifting the drive enough that it was no longer half-buried in the sandy bottom, Damon said.

A heavier crane arrived in the harbor Thursday afternoon to recover the equipment. The progress crews make will depend on the weather, she said, since high winds Thursday kept the crane from starting the operation.

Damon added when the drive was found by divers, it was intact with no breaches. It holds about 300 gallons of petroleum. While one flange was damaged, that part was buried, so no oil leaked from it, she said.

The harbor is still under safety zone restrictions for deep-draft vessels because the propeller unit poses a hazard to navigation.

The tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder unloaded limestone at the Shiras Power Plant early Monday morning and was headed to the Upper Harbor ore dock to take on a cargo of iron ore bound for Detroit, according to its corporate owner, Interlake Steamship Company of Richfield, Ohio.

When departing the Shiras dock, the boat struck the rudder, causing the port propulsion unit to shear off and leak about 30 gallons of gear oil.

Cleanup efforts lasted until Wednesday, with workers from Marine Pollution Control and Mackinac Environmental Technology, of St. Ignace, mopping up the last spots of oil along the shoreline.

Brendan O’Connor, director of human resources and industrial relations for Interlake, said the Dorothy Ann had gone through a sea trial with the Coast Guard Thursday and left Marquette Thursday morning for Dearborn to deliver a load of iron ore.

The Mining Journal

 

Canada Steamship Lines Expands Fleet

4/25 - Montreal - Canada Steamship Lines, a division of The CSL Group Inc. (CSL), has entered into an agreement with Fednav Ltd. of Montreal to purchase four of that company’s ocean-going Handysize bulk carriers.

The vessels, all sister ships, currently sail as the Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and Lake Superior. The ships each have a summer deadweight capacity of 35,630 tons, and, at 222.48 metres in length and 23.13 metres in width, are full-size Lakers designed for Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Waterway trade. The first of the vessels will be delivered in December 2008, and the balance by December 2009. They will all be re-flagged Canadian, creating approximately 120 new jobs for Canadian seafarers.

The Lake Ontario and Lake Superior will be assigned to a new contract recently signed by CSL with Rio Tinto Shipping/QIT-Fer et Titane to transport approximately three million tons of ilmenite ore annually from Havre St-Pierre to Sorel, QC beginning in 2010. The other two vessels will be employed in domestic trades.

CSL currently operates four bulkers and ten self-unloaders in domestic, Great Lakes-Seaway trades. This purchase brings the bulker fleet to eight vessels with an overall trip carrying capacity of 275,000 tons, and reinforces CSL’s 2001 strategic decision to significantly grow its bulker fleet. These vessels are used to service CSL’s customers in the grain, steel, utilities and construction industries.

For more information: www.csl.ca

CSL News Release

 

Port Reports - April 25

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
English River departed just before 11 p.m. Wednesday.
Unloading of the cement storage cargo on Metis began this week in preparation for it returning to service.
The Canadian Ranger continues to unload at Redpath.
The tug Wm. Rest, which spent the winter under the Atlas crane at Pier 35, was refloated Wednesday.
Soderholm Construction Co.'s tug Diver III which has been working most of the winter on dock reconstruction at the foot of Spadina Ave., has been hauled out at the foot of Parliament St.
The tour boat River Gambler was out for it's first charter of the season Wednesday evening.
Stephen B. Roman returned to service Thursday evening, bound for Picton.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
The St. Mary's Conquest and tug Susan W. Hannah, arrived at its terminal on Kinnickinnic River at about 11 p.m. on Wednesday evening. They departed the harbor at 9:45 Thursday morning.

Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
Early Thursday morning the Great Lakes Trader finished loading and departed the dock. The Manitowoc was next to tie up and started loading before noon. Not far behind on the horizon was the American Republic making its way towards Stoneport were it pulled up and anchored nearby.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
Herbert C. Jackson finished loading coal at the CSX Coal Dock and departed mid-morning Thursday. The Calumet followed the Jackson loading coal and she departed by mid-afternoon. Following the Calumet out the Maumee Bay ship channel was the tug Sea Service with the barge Energy 6506. They loaded a cargo at the B-P Dock.
Tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes arrived at the B-P Dock several hours later. Tug Petite Forte and barge St. Marys Cement were at the St. Marys Cement Dock. The tug Karen Andrie with the barge A-397 were at the Ironhead Marine Shipyard. The next scheduled coal boats due into the CSX Docks will be the H. Lee White on Saturday, Mississagi on Sunday, followed by the American Mariner on Tuesday.  The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock will be the Algosteel on Friday, Atlantic Huron on Sunday, followed by the Frontenac on Wednesday.

Kingsville - Erich Zuschlag
The tug Bagotville and her barge are in Kingsville helping with the upgrades to the Kingsville Ferry dock. A new railing and posts are being put in. Also there was talk about a new light house being put up.

 

U.S. House passes ballast water treatment standards

4/25 - Washington DC - The battle to keep ocean freighters from releasing more foreign species into the Great Lakes made an historic advance Wednesday, when one branch of Congress passed the nation's first ballast water treatment standards.

On a vote of 39-7, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a Coast Guard funding bill that contained language requiring some freighters to disinfect ballast water tanks beginning next year. By 2015, all ships operating in the Great Lakes must have treatment systems on-board that kill all living organisms in ballast tanks, including pathogens.

The bill now goes to the U.S. Senate, which has been debating similar legislation. If approved by the Senate and signed into law by President Bush, the legislation would enact the world's most stringent ballast water treatment standards. "This bill contains the strong national protections that people, businesses and cities have been seeking for years," said Cameron Davis, president of the Alliance for the Great Lakes and co-chair of the Healing Our Waters Coalition, a group working to restore the lakes.

"It's time that Congress and the President seal the deal, sign this bill into law, and provide the millions of people who rely on the Great Lakes and our nation's other great waters with the security of knowing that we have finally slammed the door on invasive species introduced by ballast water," Davis said.

Ballast water discharges from ocean freighters that enter the Great Lakes through the St. Lawrence Seaway account for nearly half of the 185 foreign species in the lakes, according to government data. The invaders that transcontinental freighters imported to the lakes -- including zebra and quagga mussels and the round goby -- cause $5 billion in economic and ecological damage annually, according to a Cornell University study.

Steve Fisher, executive director of the American Great Lakes Ports Association, said the shipping industry supported the legislation because it established national ballast water treatment standards. Congress has been debating the issue for the past five years.

The shipping industry wanted national standards so that ships wouldn't have to comply with a hodge-podge of state rules. "The shipping industry has supported this bill out of a belief that it can reach the treatment standards," Fisher said. "The technology needed to meet the treatment standards is not in the marketplace yet, but we realize that it won't get to the marketplace until there is a law setting national standards and a timeline for compliance."

Invasive species have fundamentally changed lakes Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario over the past two decades, according to researchers. Dime-sized zebra and quagga mussels have clogged water intakes, fouled boat motors and devastated some fisheries. The filter-feeders have profoundly changed the ecosystems of lakes Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario by hogging much of the aquatic life and nutrients needed to support the lakes' $7 billion sport and commercial fisheries. Some scientists believe the mussels have caused the most dramatic ecological changes ever documented in the Great Lakes.

To the delight of some boaters, the mussels have dramatically increased water clarity in the lakes. But that has fueled an explosion of nuisance and toxic algae that has fouled beaches and killed more than 70,000 fish-eating birds and countless fish over the past decade.

After zebra mussels were discovered in Lake St. Clair in 1988, Congress required ocean freighters to exchange ballast water at sea before entering the St. Lawrence Seaway. That law only regulated ships with ballast water in their tanks-- it didn't apply to 85 percent of ocean freighters that entered the lakes fully loaded with cargo and no ballast water on board.

Recent studies found that those unregulated ships, so-called NoBOBS (no-ballast-on-board), often had upwards of 100,000 gallons of muddy slop teeming with aquatic life in their ballast tanks. As NoBOBs unloaded cargo at U.S. ports, they took on ballast water, which was later discharged at other ports in the Great Lakes, releasing billions of viable fish, mussels, plankton and deadly pathogens, according to government data.

Dozens of invasive species have been discovered in the lakes since Congress passed the ballast water exchange rules in 1990. A new invasive species is discovered every 28 weeks, on average, though not all are imported by ocean freighters, according to scientific studies.

U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Holland, said a law requiring ballast water treatment "should remain a top priority in Congress." "Invasive aquatic species remain one of the single largest economic and environmental threats to the Great Lakes," Hoekstra said. "We need to continue developing the tools and strategies necessary to protect against more of them entering and becoming a permanent part of the regional ecosystem."

From the Muskegon Chronicle

 

Bush threatens to veto rules on ships' ballast water

4/25 - Washington, DC - The House of Representatives is expected to vote tomorrow on a bill which would put in place stricter rules on ships’ ballast water, a measure environmentalists say is needed to keep more invasive species from coming into the Great Lakes.

The Bush administration, however, is threatening to veto the bill – though the ballast water regulations are not its main objection to the legislation. The White House says it would recommend the president veto the bill because of another aspect which would require the Coast Guard to protect liquefied natural gas terminals and vessels. In a statement of administration policy, the president’s office called that provision “an unwarranted and unnecessary subsidy.”

The White House also raised concerns about the ballast water provisions, however, saying that as written they would require recreational vessels as well as shipping fleets to have a permit to control discharges beginning Sept. 30. The administration said it has offered substitute language which provide for the development of national standards without putting an undue burden on boat owners.

Rep. Candice Miller, a Harrison Township Republican, supports dealing with the permitting question on recreational boaters through another piece of legislation and, today, spoke of the need to have the Coast Guard bill approved. “Since the Great Lakes were opened to international shipping in 1950’s and 1960’s many invasive species have entered the lakes through the untreated ballast water” of tankers entering the nation’s inland waters, she said.

Ballast water controls are widely seen as necessary to control the spread of invasive species in the Great Lakes. Oceangoing vessels often carry water from other parts of the world to weigh down and stablize their tankers, releasing the water once they get closer to port. Some harmful species – like zebra mussels – are believed to have been brought to the Great Lakes in that ballast water.

Under the bill, vessels operating in U.S. waters would be requited to meet ballast water treatment system standards beginnign next year, with even stricter standards to go into place in 2012. Until ballast water systems are installed, ships headed for U.S. ports would have to flush their systems with saltwater while in the ocean. States like Michigan which have put in place their own restrictions on ballast water can keep those in place until the final federal standards are enacted.

The Ann Arbor-based Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition also urged Congress to pass the bill. “Congress is on the verge of finally enacting a law to stop ballast water discharges of invasive species into the nation’s waters,” said Andy Buchsbaum, regional executive director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes office and coalition’s co-chairman. “They need to move full steam ahead. This is our last, best chance. If this effort sinks, all of our nation’s great waters will suffer devastating and irreversible damage.”

From the Detroit Free Press

 

Judge rules MPCA must regulate Lake Superior ballast water

4/25 - A Ramsey County judge has ordered the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to regulate ballast water released by ships in Lake Superior to stop the spread of a feared fish-killing virus. Judge Kathleen Gearin issued the ruling Monday in a lawsuit filed last year by the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy.

Gearin determined that the MPCA must regulate discharges of ballast water as water pollution and must require permits for ships emptying ballast water into the lake by Oct. 1. In its lawsuit, the MCEA asked that the water be regulated immediately.

The St. Paul-based environmental group sued the MPCA because it said the agency wasn't doing enough to stop viral hemorrhagic septicemia from reaching Lake Superior and other state lakes and rivers. It asked the court to force the MPCA to enforce state and federal laws banning the dumping of pollutants into the lake and to force it to regulate discharges from Great Lakes ships.

Without those measures, it said, the fish-killing virus likely would spread from other Great Lakes through ballast water and infect state fish, including walleye, northern pike and muskellunge. Sometimes called the "bleeding-fish disease," the virus can cause severe internal and external hemorrhaging and eventual death in fish.

The virus has not been found in Lake Superior or other Minnesota lakes. But it has been found in the other four Great Lakes and in at least one eastern Wisconsin lake. It spreads through fish urine and reproductive material.

In her ruling, Gearin recognized that other states and Canada have land along Lake Superior and have ships in their waters that could discharge ballast water into the lake. But she said that is no excuse for the MPCA not to take action. "The Court does not believe that the MPCA has handled the Minnesota ballast water issues with the urgency that the danger of VHS demands,'' Gearin wrote.

MCEA attorney Kevin Reuther said Gearin's ruling provides the MPCA with the time and legal backing it needs to develop the regulations. "This really sets a deadline that is legally enforceable,'' he said.

The agency recently announced a draft permit plan that would force ships to have discharge permits by Oct. 1 and would require them to treat ballast water by 2013. "We are pleased that the court rejected MCEA's request to enact regulation immediately and instead affirmed the timeline for regulation that MPCA developed and implemented last year,'' MPCA Commissioner Brad Moore said in a statement.

Ships use ballast water to provide stability and maneuverability when they don't have enough cargo. But when they take in that water, they also take in small organisms that can be moved from one place to another when the ballast water is later discharged. In Lake Superior, many invasive species, such as zebra mussels, that once hitched rides in ballast water have become established and are causing problems.

At the Minnesota Legislature, VHS-related bills have been introduced restricting the movement of fish and regulating ballast-water discharges into Lake Superior, but no final action has been taken.

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press

 

Ports have deep needs, shallow pocketbooks

4/25 - Green Bay - Dredging of critical portions of the shipping lane in the Port of Green Bay will begin in June with $1.46 million in funding secured last summer.

Port and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials say acquiring funds for dredging continues to be a hard-fought battle. "After this work is done, we will have taken care of a couple areas of critical need, but we will not have dented the quantity of backlogged dredging that exist," Green Bay port Director Dean Haen said. "We're trying to get another $2 million, and we really need that sustained over four of five years to return our channel to a fully operational state."

This summer's work includes dredging in several areas where the shipping lane jogs on the approach on the lower section of the bay, he said. Local and state officials, along with politicians, were part of the port's annual symposium late last week, at which dredging was one of the discussion topics.

A number of the Great Lakes — including Superior and Michigan — have seen diminished water levels in the past few years that have forced some ships to lighten loads to avoid bottoming out.

"If you're up at the locks at the Soo and you have a strong wind blowing out of the east, you'll see vessels setting out in the western approach because there's not enough water for them to go down the St. Mary's River," said Wayne Schloop, chief of operations with the Army Corps of Engineers for the Detroit region. "We routinely dig rock out of the bottom … of the down-bound channel of the St. Mary's River with brownish-red paint on it."

Water levels are projected to be closer to the long-term average this year in some areas of the lakes.

Schloop pointed out vessel groundings at several ports around the Great Lakes last year, including four at Muskegon, Mich. "People ask me, 'Why didn't you dredge Muskegon?' Well, I didn't have the money," he said. For other cases, funds were pulled from some port projects to pay for dredging in another area, Schloop said.

Last year, the corps dredged 20 projects for 2.3 million cubic yards. With congressional passage of an omnibus appropriations bill, it is looking at 53 projects for 4.3 million cubic yards of dredging in 2008, he said. To maintain the current system, the corps needs to dredge about 3.3 million cubic yards.

"Since 2000, we've been way under that line," Schloop said. "2008 looks pretty healthy and the President's budget for 2009 pretty much puts us at the line." Haen said Green Bay and other ports will continue to fight for funding in 2009 and succeeding years. Dredging is the top priority for the port. "We're working hard on getting some add-on money," he said. "We've done that in the past and have been unsuccessful. We got money one year."

The Port of Green Bay gets about $1 million a year for dredging. Its channel is about 100 feet wide, well under the congressionally authorized width of 500 feet. The work could create a more favorable port for international shipping; some ships have been leery of using the port for fear of grounding. The channel is 24 feet deep, about 3 feet shy of the suggested depth.

The Port of Green Bay saw a slowing economy reflected in the amount of cargo it handled in 2007. Last year's tally came in at 2.3 million tons of cargo, down from 2.6 million in 2006 but well above 1999, when the total was pegged at 1.9 million tons, according to figures from the port. The economic impact of the port also declined to an estimated $76.1 million. That number comes on the heels of two record-setting years in 2006 ($88 million) and 2005 ($80.4 million). While it may be down from those two years, the impact is still estimated to be about $20 million more than it was a decade ago.

Among the more common commodities that arrive through the port are coal, limestone, cement, salt and lumber.

From the Oshkosh Northwestern

 

Court orders federal jurisdiction over possible "Griffin" shipwreck

4/25 - Traverse City - A federal appeals court says the federal government should have authority over a Lake Michigan shipwreck that could be The Griffin, a 17th century vessel built by the French explorer La Salle. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday reversed a lower court ruling in a dispute between the state of Michigan and the private underwater exploration company that found the wreckage seven years ago.

Great Lakes Exploration Group wants the federal government to have jurisdiction but to appoint the company as custodian until the courts determine who has ownership and salvage rights. The state is seeking title to the wreckage, saying federal law gives it ownership of all abandoned vessels "embedded in the state's submerged lands."

The company has refused to tell the state where the wreckage is until it gets assurances that it'll have a say over what is done with the shipwreck if it turns out to be The Griffin.

From WLNS TV6 Lansing

 

Coast Guard says no live-fire training on Lake Superior

4/25 - Superior - The Coast Guard says it will not try to conduct live ammunition training on the Great Lakes this year.

The exercises caused a public stir when they began two years ago and the Coast Guard scrapped them. The need for the training didn’t go away so officials moved it to the Salt River at Fort Knox in Kentucky.

Chief Petty Officer Robert Lanier says it’s more expensive there but it’s the best alternative, all things considered. He says the Coast Guard won’t even try to train on the Great Lakes unless there’s “an emergent need.” Meanwhile, Lanier says they’re looking at alternatives to live-fire exercises, including a simulated laser system called MILES.

The Bush administration defended the weapons’ training when it began on Lake Superior, saying it was needed to keep terrorists away. But the Canadian border has a tradition of being the world’s longest unarmed border and folks from both countries said they wanted to keep it that way.

From Wisconsin Public Radio

 

Free program at Vantage Point, Saturday

4/25 - Port Huron - The Lake Huron Lore Marine Society will present a special program, with Great Lakes shipwreck diver and historian Chris Roth, entitled "The Gov. Smith: Lake Huron's Forgotten Treasure!"

The program is Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Great Lakes Maritime Center at Vantage Point in Port Huron.

The program is free and open to the public.

 

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Today in Great Lakes History - April 25

25 April 1890 - The Collins Bay Rafting Company’s tug ALANSON SUMNER (wooden propeller tug, 127 foot, 300 gross tons, built in 1872, at Oswego, New York) burned at Kingston, Ontario. She had $25,000 worth of wrecking machinery onboard. The SUMNER was repaired and put back in service.

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

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

On April 25, 1973, the self-unloading boom on Canada Steamship Lines a.) 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, 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.

 

Poe Lock closed for repairs, reopened

4/24 - 4:30 p.m. Update - The repairs appear to be completed and the Edgar B. Speer is moving into the lock.

4/24 - 11a.m. - The Poe Lock has been closed temporarily for repairs. The repairs are estimated to take six hours.

No other information is available.

 

Pathfinder Departs Minus One Z-Drive

4/24 Marquette - The tug Dorothy Ann Pathfinder finally loaded ore late Wednesday afternoon and departed Marquette. The Pathfinder was seen out in the upper harbor checking various systems to ensure the safety of the vessel before loading.

The Lower Harbor remained closed Thursday morning which allows clean-up and recovery crews to work in the area. Clean up is almost complete and the recovery crews have located the drive that was lost off the Pathfinder when she hit bottom Monday morning. Divers will secure the drive on Thursday and it will be removed from the lake bottom.

The Coast Guard has surveyed the channel in and out of the Shiras dock in the lower harbor to determine if the changes in the channel have occurred during the winter. Such changes may not be known and will cause havoc for vessel captains as they maneuver through the channel.

Prior to the arrival of the Pathfinder this year two other vessels, the Great Lakes Trader and Kaye E. Barker, have made the same trip into the Shiras Dock without incident. Until officials can evaluate the channel's accessibility, the lower harbor remains closed to commercial vessels.

Reported by: Art Pickering

 

Port Reports - April 24

South Chicago - Brian Z.
The tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation were headed to Lake Calumet on Tuesday evening to discharged its cargo of cement. Over at KCBX Terminals, the Capt. Henry Jackman completed loading its cargo of petroleum coke early Wednesday morning. The Jackman was destined for Bath, Ontario.

Escanaba - Lee Rowe
The Joseph L Block was joined at the Escanaba ore dock by a rare sight, the Algocape, on a foggy, rainy Tuesday. Once the Block departed, the Algocape moved to the other side of the dock.

Saginaw River - Stephen Hause
The Mississagi returned to the Saginaw River on Wednesday for its second visit this week. The vessel was unloading at the Buena Vista Dock near the I-75 bridge during the afternoon. It had departed the river from the previous visit during the early morning hours on Tuesday.
After unloading part of the cargo at the Buena Vista Dock, the Mississagi continued up the the Valley Asphalt dock to finish unloading. The vessel then turned at the Sixth Street turning basin in Saginaw and was outbound early Wednesday evening.
Also in the Saginaw River area this week is the Coast Guard cutter Hollyhock, which is setting navigational aids on the Saginaw Bay.

Marquette - Rod Burdick and Lee Rowe
Wednesday afternoon at the Upper Harbor, Robert S. Pierson was back for another load of ore, and Tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder remained secured on the south side of the ore dock.
The Z-Drive from the tug Dorothy Ann has been located, but has not yet been raised. It is expected to be installed on the tug sometime this week. Divers were at work in the lower harbor assisted by the tug BeeJay and barge. The Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder remained at the ore dock.

Toronto - Frank Hood
English River arrived in Toronto Harbour around lunch time on Wednesday.

 

Updates - April 24

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Today in Great Lakes History - April 24

24 April 1882 Ð The ferry HAWKINS (wooden propeller ferry, 73 foot, 86 gross tons, built in 1873, at Au Sable, Michigan) was renamed JAMES BEARD. She had received a thorough overhaul and was put in service between Port Huron, Michigan and Sarnia, Ontario on 25 April 1882. She lasted until 1927, when she was abandoned.

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.

 

Pathfinder remains in Marquette - Z-Drive missing

4/23 Marquette - The tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder remained in Marquette on Tuesday. The pair departed the ore dock Tuesday evening and appeared to be testing maneuverability off Marquette before returning to the ore dock. 

According to the Coast Guard, the Z-Drive, which is a multi-directional propeller unit, was torn from the vessel when it grounded. The search for it continues, making a hazard for navigation. The Coast Guard reports that the drive could still hold oil, despite having released 30 to 50 gallons of gear oil when it was torn from the Dorothy Ann.

The tug Dorothy Ann was leaving the Shiras Power Plant at about 6:30 Monday morning when it touched bottom.  The tug and barge Pathfinder had delivered a load of limestone to the plant, according to the Coast Guard. The Dorothy Ann responded by using an absorbent boom to contain and collect the spill, and the Coast Guard deployed about 500 feet of containment boom.

The city closed the harbor both for the safety of boaters and so the cleanup efforts would be undisturbed, said Capt. Mike Angeli, acting chief of the Marquette City Police Department, and also acting harbormaster. Chief Petty Officer Brad Adams, officer in charge of the Marquette Coast Guard station, said the boat notified the Coast Guard immediately of the spill and was not in any way at fault in the accident. "We also have hired an additional cleanup company which is now on the site for ongoing cleanup and recovery," Adams said.

Steve Casey of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality assisted the Coast Guard Monday, and said the oil leak poses no lasting danger to the environment of the harbor. "At this point, as it sits, there's no concern from the spill," Casey said. Although the city water intake is in the vicinity, Casey said since the oil was on the surface, and the intake is at the lake bottom, there was no risk to the water supply.

Cleanup was completed Monday evening, and today Coast Guard divers are scheduled to secure and mark the lost Z drive, which could pose a hazard to navigation, said Lt. Kurt Higginbotham of the Coast Guard Sault Ste. Marie Sector. The divers will use sonar to locate the drive, since its exact location is yet unknown. It will then be removed from the lake. "We¹ll be coming in with a crane on Thursday to lift it out of there," he said.

The divers also will seal off any lines on the drive to prevent any further leaks when it is lifted, he said. "Once that's out of the lake and they¹ve cleaned up the oil, that'll be the end of it," Casey said.

The Dorothy Ann belongs to Interlake Steamship Company of Ohio. Interlake contracted with Marine Pollution Control and Mackinac Environmental Technology of St. Ignace to help with containment and cleanup of the oil, Adams said.

Petty Officer Aaron Borg, a marine science technician, said good weather Monday helped the cleanup efforts and there should be no lasting effects to the harbor. "There shouldn't be much damage at all. People don't have to worry about catching fish out of here or eating it, ' Borg said, adding the spill was small. 'This is very minor; anything in the Great Lakes under 1,000 gallons is minor, so it's very small, ' he said.

Adams said although the spill was minor, it created a noticeable oil smell, and a large slick on the harbor's surface. "A little bit of oil goes a long, long way," he said. "It did require a substantial amount of effort to clean up our harbor."

The Coast Guard continues to investigate the grounding, and Adams said it's possible that the lake bottom around the plant had shifted, creating shallows or sandbars where the boat's captain did not expect them. "It's being investigated to see whether over the winter months, the bottom structure changed," he said.

The Dorothy Ann is likely to dock at the Upper Harbor ore dock until the company completes repairs and the Sault Ste. Marie Coast Guard captain of port allows it to get under way again, Coast Guard officers said. The harbor was still closed this morning and Angeli said the Coast Guard will determine when to open it.

"Once the Coast Guard gives me the OK that they're done, and no safety issues remain for boaters, then we¹ll be able to do that," he said.

From the Marquette Mining Journal and WLUC TV6

 

Port Reports - April 23

Stoneport - Dan McNeil
The Arthur M. Anderson was loading and due to depart at 1 p.m. Tuesday. Also due to arrive Tuesday was Joseph H. Thompson and Manitowoc, the former Earl W.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
The Herbert C. Jackson took a load of ore and left, while the Robert S. Pierson arrived and tied up at the south side of the dock to await the Jackson's departure. Once the Jackson left, the Pierson moved to the north side of the dock, as the south side was loaded for the Pathfinder.

South Chicago - Brian Z.
The Calumet River in South Chicago was busy on Monday with the Capt. Henry Jackman arriving at KCBX Terminal to load petroleum coke.  Lower Lakes' McKee Sons also was loading pet coke at Beemsterboer dock a little further up the river. Pere Marquette 41 was outbound around 7 p.m. heading to Lake Michigan in ballast.  Also outbound, the St. Mary's Conquest passed the 106th Street bridge at 8 p.m. after unloading up in Lake Calumet.

Muskegon - Herm Phillips
Monday morning, about 9 a.m. the Alpena arrived in Muskegon, Michigan and tied up at the West Michigan Mart Dock's eastern slip to start a temporary lay-up. Her fleet mate, the Paul H, Townsend, is still tied up on the western wall. With a slight list and riding high out of the water it doesn't look like she's going anywhere soon. Alpena should be back out in a few weeks.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
Tug Sea Service and barge Energy 6506 was at the B-P Dock. Michipicoten's trip into the CSX Coal Dock was cancelled, she remains at Erie, PA. The tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder were cancelled for the Torco Ore Dock. Herbert C. Jackson will replace her for this ore run.
The next scheduled coal boats due into the CSX Coal Docks will be the Halifax, Herbert C. Jackson, and Calumet for Wednesday. H. Lee White for Saturday, followed by the Mississagi on Sunday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock will be the American Fortitude for late Tuesday evening. Nanticoke and Herbert C. Jackson on Wednesday, followed by the Algosteel on Friday.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons and Clive Reddin
Canadian Ranger arrived Tuesday afternoon with raw sugar for Redpath. Hamilton Energy came in later in the evening to bunker the Ranger before returning to Hamilton.

South Chicago - Steve B.
Tuesday morning, the Joyce L. Van Enkevort/Great Lakes Trader were backing out toward Lake Michigan at 92nd Street at 10 a.m.
Over at KCBX, the Captain Henry Jackman was at the south dock loading.
The salty Whistler had arrived about 7:30 a.m. for the Reserve dock.

 

Lansdowne will make final voyage to scrap heap

4/23 - Buffalo - An old ferry, stripped down to its iron hull, will make one final voyage this week when tug boats guide it to the old Bethlehem Steel site.

After making the approximately 1mile trip, what’s remaining of the Lansdowne will be turned into scrap metal. Demolition crews have already dismantled the top sections of the 123-year-old vessel that has been moored at the South End Marina, along Fuhrmann Boulevard. The original plan was to perform all demolition at the current site. But John Wargo, president of Wargo Enterprises and Demolition Services, said the company decided to move the hull to a location that could more easily accommodate the massive equipment.

Akron-based Wargo Enterprises has been tearing apart the vessel the size of a football field for more than two weeks. Wargo recently bought the Lansdowne from Specialty Restaurants Corp., operator of Shanghai Red’s at Erie Basin Marina, for an undisclosed price. The vessel, which once ferried railroad cars and was later a floating restaurant, was brought here about two years ago with plans to salvage it.

But visions of turning the ferry’s skeletal remains into a functioning vessel never materialized.

Local officials grew weary of seeing the unsightly structure in Buffalo’s outer harbor. In February, Mayor Byron W. Brown and Rep. Brian Higgins, D-N. Y., told Specialty Restaurants the vessel’s dilapidated state broke numerous laws and insisted it be removed. So city officials said they were relieved when crews started demolishing the Lansdowne earlier this month.

The debris is being trucked to a mill and sold as scrap metal. Wargo said some items will be preserved, including the steam engine. Rail cars that some believe once served as dining rooms were recently removed from the Lansdowne and have been acquired by the Illinois Railroad Museum, Wargo said.

Two tugs owned by Great Lakes Towing Service of Cleveland are scheduled to tow the vessel to a site near the old Bethlehem Steel slag piles.

The final phase of the dismantling mission should take about two weeks, Wargo predicted. “By the end of April or early May, we should be all swept up and gone,” he said, adding that the company has all necessary approvals to proceed.

Meanwhile, The Common Council’s Legislation Committee has an item on today’s agenda that would tighten city regulations involving vessels that come into Buffalo. South Council Member Michael P. Kearns, whose district includes part of the waterfront, said the goal is to pass a law that would ban dilapidated or abandoned vessels from coming into the city.

The Lansdowne was an “eyesore” from the first day it arrived, Kearns lamented. “The Common Council is looking at an ordinance to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” he said.

From the Buffalo News

 

Shipwreck discovered in Lake Michigan identified

4/23 - Holland — A nonprofit shipwreck group based in Holland says it has located the Hamilton, a two-masted schooner that sank in Lake Michigan in 1873.

Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates says it worked for a year to identify the wreckage, which was found under 275 feet of water off Saugatuck.

The Hamilton was 113 feet long. It sank during a November gale while hauling 117,000 board feet of lumber from Muskegon toward Chicago, where rebuilding efforts were under way after the devastating fire of 1871. Captain Harvey Burch and his six-man crew escaped into a 17-foot yawl boat, which washed ashore near South Haven the next day.

The shipwreck group will make a presentation about the Hamilton at Holland’s Knickerbocker theater on May 3.

From the Detroit Free Press

 

Buoys wash ashore

4/23 - Leelanau - Buoys believed from Wisconsin found on shore Evidence of the second-toughest ice season in the last 11 years of the Great Lakes has been found along the shores of Leelanau County.

Volunteers at the Grand Traverse Lighthouse discovered a large “nun” buoy washed ashore at Leelanau State Park near Northport. “We’ve known it was there for some time — it was walled up in the ice,” said Al Ammons, chief of the State Park which includes the Grand Traverse Lighthouse at the tip of the peninsula.

Ammons said a red nun buoy and a green buoy were found this spring along the waterfront in Leelanau Township, near Gills Pier.

Each weighs and estimated 400 pounds and are believed to have broken away from their concrete moorings in Lake Michigan near Sturgeon Bay, Wis., about 30 miles west, and come to rest on the Leelanau Peninsula. “It’s got 40 to 50 feet of chain attached to it,” Ammons said.

The buoys are used in winter months to mark the shipping channel, which are identified by lighted buoys for the remainder of the year.

Occurrences such as this are not unusual, according to Doug Sharp, marine information specialist with the Ninth Coast Guard district in Cleveland. “Some break loose and end up somewhere else on the beach,” he said.

Retrieval of the buoys could prove challenging for a Coast Guard team based in Milwaukee. The buoys have been replaced with lighted markers. “If possible, they would use a tow truck and a winch,” Sharp said. “They may send a buoy tender and send a small boat in with a line to retrieve it.”

Whatever the scenario, it could be sometime for the work to be completed. The Ninth Coast Guard District, responsible for the U.S. Great lakes basin and St. Lawrence Seaway, has been busy breaking ice on the Great Lakes.

“We still have a lot of resources in the upper St. Mary’s River, breaking ice and keeping the shipping route open,” Sharp said.

The extensive ice season, second only to 2003, has created an addition challenge for the Ninth District's Operation Spring Restore. The largest U.S. domestic buoy operation restores nearly 1,300 navigational aids to their assigned position, including lighted an unlighted buoys and beacons.

Operation Spring Restore could be delayed significantly and will require increased cutter hours to meet the May 30 deadline.

From the Leelanau Enterprise

 

Updates - April 23

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Today in Great Lakes History - April 23

23 April 1907 - The SEARCHLIGHT (wooden propeller fish tug, 40 foot, built in 1899, at Saginaw, Michigan) capsized and sank while returning to Harbor Beach, Michigan with a load of fish. The vessel had been purchased by Captain Walter Brown and his son from the Robert Beutel Fish Company of Toledo, Ohio just ten days before. The sale agreement stated that the tug was to be paid for with fish, not cash. All six crew members drowned.

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

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

On April 23, 1966, the 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, 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.

 

Tug Damaged by Uncharted Object

4/21 - Marquette - Early Monday morning the tug Dorothy Ann pushing the barge Pathfinder had an incident in Marquette's Lower Harbor. Early reports state that the tug struck an unidentified object, resulting in the release of less than thirty gallons of lube oil through a seal into the water. The release was promptly contained.

The US Coast Guard, corporate representatives and a spill response contractor are on scene. An investigation is currently underway, and details will be released at some point in the next several days. Monday evening the tug and barge were at anchor off the lower break wall.

Interlake News Release

 

Port Reports - April 22

Twin Ports - Al Miller
The Twin Ports waterfront was busy Monday morning with Canadian Enterprise loading at Midwest Energy Terminal, Adam E. Cornelius loading grain at General Mills Elevator S in Superior, American Spirit loading at CN ore dock, and CSL Tadoussac loading at BNSF ore dock.
Kaye E. Barker was scheduled to arrive later in the day to load taconite pellets at CN ore dock.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Monday morning, Herbert C. Jackson was waiting to load taconite at the Upper Harbor ore dock, and the Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder were anchored off the Lower Harbor breakwall after unloading stone at the Shiras Dock.
Robert S. Pierson arrived at the Upper Harbor Monday afternoon and docked on the south side of the ore dock. Pierson waited for Herbert C. Jackson to finish her load on the north side of the dock. Pierson shifted to the north side when Jackson departed.
Tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder remained anchored off the Lower Harbor breakwall Monday evening.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Mississagi was inbound the Saginaw River late Monday afternoon, traveling all of the way upriver to unload at the Saginaw Rock Products dock in Saginaw. She is expected to be outbound early Tuesday morning. The Calumet was outbound early Monday morning after finishing her unload at the Saginaw Wirt dock overnight.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
The CSL Laurentien was at the Torco Ore Dock unloading ore. Frontenac was at the Midwest Terminal Overseas Dock loading ore that was brought in by the Burns Harbor recently. Tug Sea Service and barge Energy 6506 was also at the Midwest Terminals Overseas Dock.
The next scheduled coal boats due into the CSX Coal Docks will be the Halifax, Michipicoten, Calumet, and Herbert C. Jackson on Weds., followed by the H. Lee White on Saturday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock will be the American Fortitude on Tuesday. The Nanticoke and the tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder on Wednesday.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
The ocean going freighter Whistler was docked at the Municipal Pier in the outer harbor late Monday afternoon.

 

Ship lovers bonded by Internet

4/22 - Grosse Pointe Park - Max Mager had just settled into his morning English class at Pierce Middle School when he heard the low rumbling tones of a far-off horn through the open window -- three long blasts followed by two short blasts.

The sound barely registered with his fellow students, but the 13-year-old knew exactly what he was hearing and where it was coming from. "It was the (Edward L.) Ryerson," Max said, referring to the massive freighter that was cruising by a few weeks ago on Lake St. Clair. "It has a very distinctive horn and that was a formal salute." Amazing? Not necessarily. A Boatnerd knows these things.

Watching and appreciating the huge ships that cruise the Great Lakes has been a passion of many Michigan residents for generations. But what was once mostly a solitary pursuit has been revolutionized by Internet freighter-cams and Web sites such as the Port Huron-based Boatnerd.com., which allows enthusiasts to network and share their hobby. A repository for information and images concerning Great Lakes shipping, the site has helped foster a sense of community among those who affectionately refer to each other as "nerds."

Through the Web, enthusiasts share stories, information and photos generated by their shared interest. Want to know what ships passed west through the locks at Sault St. Marie last night? Want to see the newest photos of your favorite ship that's just come out of dry dock? Looking for the dimensions of your favorite bulk carrier? It's all there, and more and more people are finding it. Since its creation in the late 1990s, Boatnerd.com is up to 20 million hits -- requests for individual files -- each month, its organizers say.

And the Boatnerds have expanded beyond the Internet. In the summer of 2005, the group set up its headquarters in Port Huron in what is now the Great Lakes Maritime Center, and a future expansion is possible. Last year, the nonprofit Great Lakes and Seaway Shipping was formed in Port Huron to support the Web site's efforts. The site's popularity even extends to those onboard the giant freighters.

Capt. Eric Treece, who is something of a rock star in the Boatnerd community as the captain of the much-beloved 730-footer Edward L. Ryerson, says his crew checks the site almost daily to keep up on lakes gossip. And in his short career in the pilothouse, the 40-year-old has developed a reputation as someone who appreciates those who appreciate him. Those he sees waving from the shores of the lakes and rivers are treated to a salute more often than not.

"Dealing with them takes me back to my childhood," Treece said in an interview with The Detroit News while guiding the Ryerson through the Welland Canal, which connects lakes Ontario and Erie. "I swore then that if I ever got my own boat I wouldn't be one of those captains who was stingy with the whistle. Those salutes go a long way."

For those who don't quite understand the thrill of that salute, Max Mager puts it this way: "It makes me feel pretty special -- like that horn was just for me." Despite the wealth of technical information about freighters on the Web, it's the human connections made over the years that have proven most valuable to some.

The ship-watching season runs from March 25 through Jan. 15 and, if you're a fan, you're likely to be at one of Michigan's main popular viewing spots for Opening Day. Three years ago, Cathy Kohring marked the occasion with a trip from her DeTour Village home at the Upper Peninsula's east end to the locks at Sault Ste. Marie.

"At one point, a woman walked up to me and said, 'Your name wouldn't happen to be Cathy, would it?' " she recalled. The stranger turned out to be Lee Rowe, a retired schoolteacher and fellow Boatnerd, with whom Kohring had been in touch through the group's site. Another of Kohring's friendships that began online has morphed into an annual visit from a fellow enthusiast and her husband who live in Tennessee. "The site has extended my family," Kohring said. "Your flesh and blood family, well, you're stuck with them. But with boaters, I've chosen my family."

Roughly 200 miles west of Kohring's location, her friend Lee Rowe tried to describe what it is about the Great Lakes ships that so captivates her that she's pushing her husband to upgrade the family's digital camera for the fourth time in recent years.

"When you stand alongside the river and you see those ships coming in ... it's just impressive," said the 65-year-old Marquette resident. "They're surprisingly quiet. It's fascinating." Rowe regularly posts her photos of ships from her most recent trips to viewing points like Escanaba. And the vessels, some longer than three football fields, never fail to stir the imagination.

For Sterling Heights resident and Boatnerd John Belliveau, photos aren't enough. Belliveau pairs his appreciation of ships with his engineering expertise to create computer-generated renderings of Great Lakes vessels. He has painstakingly reproduced nearly 40 craft -- from ill-fated vessels like the Edmund Fitzgerald and the S.S. North American to current ships like the Ryerson and the massive Stewart J. Cort. What began as a personal hobby has turned into a mini-industry. He estimated he has sold "a few hundred" prints of his work.

Like others, the Internet has opened up a whole new world to Belliveau in terms of his passion for ships. "In the old days, the only way we knew other people were into it was if we were standing on the shore and saw someone else jumping around with a camera," Belliveau said. "With the expansion of the Internet, you start to realize, I'm not the only one who's a freak about these freighters."

Roger LeLievre, a member of the Boatnerds' board of directors, focuses his love for the ships of the Great Lakes into work on the book "Know Your Ships," a guide to boat watching that has been published annually since 1959. LeLievre traces his zeal for the work to his earliest days growing up in Sault Ste. Marie. His grandfather operated a coal crane on the docks and was allegedly capable of identifying incoming ships by the smoke coming out of their funnels.

In those days, he did most of his boat-watching alone. His involvement with Boatnerd has changed that. "This really has brought it all together," said LeLievre, who works as the music writer for the Ann Arbor News. "The site allows me and others to share our pictures with people of a like mind. "It has also given me chances to meet people of a like mind. I didn't know there were so many."

Click here to view Online

By Jim Lynch for the Detroit News

 

BoatNerd Tops 13 Million

4/22 - Sunday over 13,000,000 visits had been recorded to the main page of the Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping home page. The counter was started as the page was launched in 1995 and only counts visitors to the main page.

The thirteen millionth visitor passed without noticing the counter.

It is interesting to note that the first month the page was live in 1995, 590 visits were recorded.

This counter was started as the page was launched in 1995 and topped one million visits in October 2000, two million in November 2001, three million in September, 2002, four million in June, 2003, five million in February, 2004, six million in October, 2004, seven million in June, 2005, eight million in December, 2005, 9 million in June, 2006, 10 million in November 2006, 11 million in May 2007 and 12 million in November, 2008.

The site represents a huge time commitment by the staff of volunteers and we would like to thank to all the viewers and contributors for making the web site what it is today. BoatNerd continues to grown thanks to the site's 501(c)(3) non-profit status.

 

Updates - April 22

News Photo Gallery updated

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Today in Great Lakes History - April 22

22 April 1873 - The ST JOSEPH (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 150 fot, 473 gross tons, built in 18,67 at Buffalo, New York) was sold by the Goodrich Transportation Company to Charles Chamberlain and others of Detroit, Michigan for $30,000.

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, 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 21

Toronto - Frank Hood
Stephen B. Roman arrived back in Toronto late Friday night or early Saturday morning. By Saturday evening she was sitting high in water.

Duluth/Superior - Travis Chadwick
The only traffic at Duluth/Superior on Saturday was the Paul R. Tregurtha loading coal at Midwest Energy.
Sunday, American Integrity was loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal. Adam E. Cornelius arrived to load grain at General Mills in Superior.
Shortly after, Algoway arrived to load coal at Midwest after the American Integrity departs. Stewart J. Cort was loading taconite at Burlington Northern.

Saginaw River - Stephen Hause
The Calumet made its first visit Sunday to the Saginaw River under its new name. It was also the first visit by a vessel during the 2008 season up the river through Bay City to a Saginaw area dock. The Calumet arrived in Bay City on Sunday morning. After lightering at the Wirt Stone Dock there, the vessel continued up the river during the afternoon to the Wirt dock at Saginaw.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Sunday evening the American Fortitude loaded taconite at the Upper Harbor ore dock, she is an uncommon visitor.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
The Manistee tied up at the Alpena Oil Dock, Sunday morning, with a load of stone taken on at Stoneport. By noon unloading was completed and the Manistee was ready to depart. Backing out of the river proved to be difficult with the winds and current. The third try was the charm as it moved away from the breakwall and out into the bay.
Also in port on Sunday at Lafarge was the tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation

 

Updates - April 21

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Today in Great Lakes History - April 21

21 April 1907 Ð Peter West, a fireman on the JOHN C GAULT (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 218 foot, 519 gross tons, built in 1881, at Buffalo, New York, converted to a bulk freighter in 1906, at Detroit, Michigan) fell overboard and drowned in Lake Huron. The news was reported to Capt. J. W. Westcott when the GAULT sailed past Detroit,, Michigan on 23 April 1907.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports - April 20

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Friday night around 9 p.m., the Calumet arrived in the Thunder Bay River. It tied up and moved the boom out to unload coal for the DPI plant. The Calumet departed after 3 a.m. and backed out into the bay.
Saturday morning, Alpena was heading into Lafarge to take on cement. Also arriving that afternoon to tie up under the silos was the tug G. L Ostrander/barge Integrity.

Indiana Harbor - Brian Z.
The Joseph L. Block was discharging taconite pellets Saturday afternoon for Arcelor Mittal's #7 blast furnace. The Block is scheduled to load coal next in South Chicago.

Owen Sound - Ed Saliwonchyk
Ojibway departed Owen Sound shortly after 6 p.m. Saturday. She made her turn much further up the bay than most. Algomarine is getting into the final stages of departing after winter lay up. There was truck fuel tanker beside her Saturday and the bow anchor is up off the shore. The power supply; however, was still connected late this morning.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
The Samuel de Champlain and its barge Innovation departed the inner harbor at 2 p.m. on Friday morning. Wilfred Sykes, which had entered the harbor at about 7 p.m. Thursday evening and delivered clinkers to the St. Mary's terminal at the south end of the inner harbor, departed at 5:30 a.m. Friday morning.
The American Mariner came into port at 7 a.m. Friday morning and departed at about 8 p.m., having delivered coal to the WE Energies dock at the east end of Greenfield Avenue.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Friday was a busy day on the Saginaw River. With assistance from the tug Gregory J. Busch, the Adam E. Cornelius finally entered the slip at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City and discharged her cargo four days after arriving on the Saginaw River. It took a lot of pushing and pulling, but the skill of everyone involved put the Cornelius where she needed to be. She finished her unload and again with assistance from the Gregory J. Busch, cleared the dock and was outbound for the lake late Friday afternoon.
The tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons also had an interesting morning. The pair did not have time to turn in the Wirt basin and clear Independence Bridge before the morning "Bridge Hours" closure to downbound traffic, so they backed downriver to the turning basin in Essexville to turn. Just a few hundred yards from where the Busch and Cornelius were working, the Invincible and McKee Sons spun around with no difficulty and were outbound for the lake just after the Cornelius cleared the river into the Bay Aggregates Slip. The pair had unloaded overnight at the Bay City Wirt dock.

 

Updates - April 20

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Today in Great Lakes History - April 20

20 April 1874 - The Bailiff Smith boarded the little tug IDA SEARNS at Port Rowan, Ontario with orders to seize the vessel. However, the skipper, Captain Tregent, weighed anchor and gave the bailiff the opportunity of a free ride to Detroit. Bailiff Smith had been on such an excursion once before and hastily jumped onto the dock. The tug quickly steamed out of the harbor.

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.

 

Last icebreaking task of season

4/19 - Sault Ste. Marie - Nearly a month into the commercial shipping season, a small fleet of U.S. Coast Guard icebreakers continues working the upper approach to the Soo Locks.

The Mackinaw and three Bay Class icebreaking tugs, Katmia Bay, Biscayne Bay and Neah Bay, re-established commercial shipping tracks Wednesday on ice-clogged Whitefish Bay. Nine freighters, six downbound and three upbound, were delayed overnight Tuesday due to deteriorating conditions.

"Large ice floes of significant thickness broke loose from the western shore (of Lake Superior) earlier in the week and collapsed previously laid shipping tracks," said Mark Gill, operations manager of USCG Group Sault. Plate ice was up to 30 inches thick, he said, and the floes were several miles long.

The Mackinaw, which began icebreaking duties in the lower St. Mary's River more than five weeks ago, focused on breaking the floes into smaller chunks while the Bay-class tugs made the chunks even smaller for dispersal into open water. "Shifting winds (Wednesday) created more-favorable conditions to flush the ice jam and get commercial vessels back on the move," said Gill.

Usually, shore ice will "rot in place" under warming temperatures and rain. But this spring significant floes broke loose and were carried by prevailing winds into the shipping tracks. "Whitefish Bay is the last significant ice left to deal with on all of the Great Lakes, he said. "Our work, if all goes well, should be done for another season in a week to 10 days."

Lake Superior had the second-largest ice-cover accumulation in 12 years, according to the U.S. National Weather Service. The worst winter in the past dozen was 2002-2003, when Superior was frozen shore to shore, he said. This year's ice coverage was "less than 50 per cent."

From the Sault Star

 

Port Reports - April 19

Cheboygan - Brent Michaels
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw returned to Cheboygan at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Griffon arrived off Buffalo Harbor around 10 a.m. on the Friday morning. She proceeded inbound for the South Entrance Channel and cut a track through the ice in anticipation of the arrival of the Rt. Hon. Paul J Martin that afternoon. The Griffon arrived inside the Outer Harbor so that the Captain could assess the ice situation in the reach between the South Entrance and the Lackawanna Slip. Once satisfied, he turned the ship around and headed back out through the track he made on the way in so as to flush a clear path for the Martin. The Griffon then called in to Seaway Long Point to inform the dispatcher that they were done working in the ice off Buffalo and that they were heading to Port Colborne to pick up buoys. The Martin then arrived around 3 p.m. and came straight through the cut made earlier by the ice breaker. The ship then turned on the left wheel to face up the Outer Harbor and then she came to a stop off the St. Lawrence Cement Plant. The Martin then backed her engines and she headed into the Lackawanna Slip stern first to unload coal.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Agawa Canyon was finally able to get turned in the Essexville Turning Basin and depart for the lake Thursday morning. She had arrived on Monday to unload. The Adam E. Cornelius remains tied up at the Essroc Cement dock in Essexville. She has also been in the river system since Monday an has yet to unload.
The tug Invincible pushing the McKee Sons arrived late Thursday night calling on the Wirt Stone dock in Bay City to unload. The pair were expected to be outbound Friday morning.

South Chicago - Brian Z.
Canada Steamship's Spruceglen finished loading Friday morning and departed the dock with the help of two G-tugs. Spruceglen loaded 26,000 tons of petroleum coke at KCBX Terminals and was destined for New Brunswick Power. The Philip R. Clarke was inbound early afternoon, heading up the Calumet River to load at Chicago Fuels Terminal.

Menominee - Dick Lund
It was a busy day in Menominee Thursday afternoon. First, around 2:30 p.m. the Olive L. Moore made its long-awaited appearance to pick up its barge, James L. Kuber. Around 4 p.m., the Marlene Green became our first saltie of the season when it arrived at KK Integrated Logistics with our first load of wind turbine parts for the season. Finally, around 6 p.m., the James L. Kuber and tug Olive L. Moore departed Menominee.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
CSL Niagara arrived at the Midwest Terminal Overseas Dock to load ore Friday morning. Early Friday afternoon, the Kaye E. Barker finished loading coal at the CSX Coal Docks and departed for an upper lakes port.
Late Friday evening, the Cuyahoga was working her way into Toledo from Lake Erie. She has another load of oats onboard that was loaded at Thunder Bay, Ontario to be offloaded at one of the dock sites here.
Burns Harbor will arrived at the Midwest Terminals Overseas Dock early Thursday morning. She had another ore cargo that was loaded at Silver Bay, Minnesota recently.
The next scheduled coal boats due into the CSX Coal Docks will be the Cuyahoga on Saturday after she finishes unloading the oats cargo. The Herbert C. Jackson and Canadian Progress on Sunday. The Halifax on Monday. The Michipicoten on Tuesday. The new Calumet on Wednesday, followed by the H. Lee White on Friday.
The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock will be the CSL Laurentien on Monday. The American Fortitude on Tuesday. The Nanticoke and the tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder on Wednesday, followed by the Algosteel on Thursday.

Escanaba - Lee Rowe
The Joseph L. Block loaded ore at Escanaba Friday.

 

First ship of the season at Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor

4/19 - Portage, IN - The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor's 2008 international shipping season began Friday with the arrival of the Marine Vessel Isa. Built in Japan in 1999, the vessel brought 8,610 metric tons of steel coils that were loaded in Ijmuiden, Holland. The ship will departed Friday evening en route to Duluth.

From April to December, the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway offers a direct route for ships from world markets right into America's Heartland. Known as Highway H2O the Seaway provides companies in and around Indiana with the cheapest, most efficient and environmentally friendly mode of shipping products. One Seaway ship can haul the same amount of cargo as 870 trucks. The Port of Indiana has already handled cargoes for several barges and lake vessels loaded with minerals from other Great Lakes ports this season.

"The arrival of the first ocean-going vessel of the year is always a significant event for the port, said Peter Laman, port director at Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor. We are open year-round for barge and lake traffic but this signals the start of another international shipping season at the port. It brings much-needed goods from global markets to local companies and it means jobs for the longshoremen, truckers and many others involved in logistics associated with the shipping industry in our community.

The port provides tremendous logistical advantages for area companies and our labor force is second to none. These are the primary reasons this port handles more ocean-going cargo than any other U.S. port on the Great Lakes. The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor has handled more than $1.7 billion in steel shipments in the last four years.

 

Peavey Elevator to be sold

4/19 - Superior - When it comes to sales of grain elevators in the Twin Ports, 2008 probably will go down as a bumper year.

ConAgra announced plans to sell the Peavey Co. Elevator, including Elevator M and Daisy Mill in Superior, to a New York City investment group called Ospraie Management LLC. The elevator is just one of 144 facilities to be sold as part of a $2.1 billion transaction expected to close by June.

The latest elevator deal falls on the heels of another major sale. In January of this year, Cargill agreed to sell its Duluth elevator to a Minneapolis-based family of hedge funds called Whitebox Advisors LLC.

Assuming the ConAgra/Ospraie deal goes through, the elevator will operate as a subsidiary of the newly formed Gavilon LLC. But a spokesman for Ospraie, Gavilon’s parent company, said the Superior facility will continue to do business as the Peavey Co. Elevator. “After the sale, we believe it will be business as usual for all our elevators,” said Jeff Mochal, a ConAgra spokes-man. “They [Ospraie] have said they have no intention of doing anything differently.” In fact, Greg Heckman, president of ConAgra Foods, has been tapped to serve as Gavilon’s chief executive.

A news release regarding the deal said: “Virtually all of the approximately 950 employees of ConAgra Trade Group will become employees of Gavilon.” The Peavey Elevator and other ConAgra operations in Superior employ 25 people.

From the Duluth News Tribune

 

Port eyes 12-year expansion project, $2.5-billion investment.

4/19 - Montreal - The Port of Montreal unveiled an ambitious 12-year, four-phase strategic development plan yesterday that would triple its annual container handling capacity to 4.5 million units and more than double its impact on Greater Montreal's economy.

Port of Montreal CEO Patrice Pelletier estimates the total investment at $2.5 billion. "We must act now to ensure we get our full share of world container traffic, now growing at an annual rate of seven per cent," he told a 1,000-strong maritime industry audience at the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal yesterday. East Coast U.S. ports, from New York to Norfolk, Va., to Savannah, Ga., are spending billions of dollars on infrastructure and better rail links to grab more of the burgeoning container traffic moving between Asia and North America and Europe via the Panama and Suez canals, Pelletier said.

Montreal must build on its geographic location and needs a collective effort to hold its own, he said. More container-handling capacity is to be built in east-end Montreal, Pelletier said, and the port may well get the final increment in container-handling capacity by developing land it has owned for many years downriver, at Contrecoeur.

By 2020, Pelletier said, the port's annual impact on Greater Montreal's economy is expected to rise to almost $3.5 billion from $1.5 billion a year now, and the number of direct and indirect jobs it provides is predicted to jump to 41,400 from 18,000 at present.

The Port's "Vision 2020" plan would require investment of at least $2.5 billion, derived from its own funds and from the public and private sectors. That amount would include $150 million to redevelop Alexandra Pier into a tourism and cultural hub and to attract more cruise ship business.

After his address, Pelletier said a Contrecoeur container terminal would have to be served by Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. and Canadian National Railway Co. "It would need dual transportation to reach full efficiency ... and that's a subject for negotiation," he said. Montreal, because it is inland and is served by both railways, can save shippers one day's travel between Europe and the heart of industrial North America, compared with East Coast U.S. ports, Pelletier said. The port is reliable and secure, he said, noting containers make up almost half its total annual cargo of 26 million tonnes.

Pelletier predicts a total of $2.5 billion will be invested from 2008 through 2020 by all parties, including the port's private sector partners, to triple container capacity, improve port efficiency and redevelop Alexandra Pier. Changes in the Canada Marine Act are expected to open up new financing avenues for the Montreal Port Authority, which builds and maintains the infrastructure for lease to private-sector terminal operators.

Private-sector investors will step up - U.S. banker Morgan Stanley recently paid $456 million for Montreal Gateway Terminals - and governments will play their part, Pelletier said.

"We want the port to be closer to the community and more open," he said. "Every year, thousands of cruise line passengers come ashore at Alexandra Pier, and in its current state it hardly offers the best first impression of our city. We can and must do better and we want to develop it with partners such as the Société du Vieux Port."

The Montreal Port Authority is a semi-autonomous federal agency with 325 employees. Last year, it earned $8.4 million on revenue of $82 million. Thirteen international shipping firms use the port, and it handled a total of 26 million tonnes of cargo last year, up 3.6 per cent from 2006.

Petroleum products are the second-most-important cargo at the port, after containers.

Asked about the Bickerdike Basin's long-term future after current dock contracts run out in 2015, Pelletier said this remains another issue to be negotiated with the three levels of government. Several redevelopment plans for that area of the port have been shelved.

From the Montreal Gazette

 

Cutter Returns from Seaway Icebreaking

4/19 - Bayonne, NJ - The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Penobscot Bay returned to Bayonne, N.J. on Tuesday after conducting joint ice-breaking missions on the St. Lawrence Seaway with the Canadian Coast Guard since March 5.

"The Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway saw their worst ice season in over a decade," said Lt. j.g. Jamie Collins, the Executive Officer of the Cutter Penobscot Bay. "On the lakes themselves, the percentage of ice cover was the highest it's been this late in the season in 12-13 years."

The Canadian Coast Guard made a formal request for assistance from the United States, the first time such a request has been made in four to five years.

"For a crew of just 18 U.S. Coastguardsmen to spend 45 days hundreds of miles away from home engaged in this mission is incredibly impressive," said Lt. Michael Sarnowski, commanding officer of the Penobscot Bay. "Icebreaking on the St. Lawrence Seaway is one of those unique Coast Guard mission areas that require international teamwork - not just at the diplomatic level, but at the crew-to-crew level between two ships from the Coast Guards of two different countries."

The Penobscot Bay is the first cutter to be deployed to the Seaway. The last cutter from the east coast to deploy in support of operations on the Great Lakes was the Coast Guard Cutter Morro Bay in 2003.

The St. Lawrence Seaway crosses international boundaries and it is the only shipping link between the Atlantic Ocean, the American Midwest and the Canadian heartland, including Toronto.

 

 

New Cable to Wolf Island

4/19 - Kingston, ON - Contractor A/S has applied through its Canadian representative for a license to use the Henry P. Lading to transport a submarine cable and to install it between Kingston and Wolf Island, Ontario, Canada. , The cable laying ship from Denmark would complete the work between September 18 and October 17, 2008.

The Lading would be used because there is no Canadian ship capable of doing this work.

Reported by Mac Mackay

 

Updates - April 19

News Photo Gallery updated

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Today in Great Lakes History - April 19

19 April 1884 - The KASOTA (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 246 foot, 1660 gross tons, built in 1884 at Cleveland, Ohio) was launched by Thomas Quayles & Sons at Cleveland, Ohio for Capt. Thomas Wilson of Cleveland, Ohio. The hull was painted green with white bulwarks and upper works.

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: Jody Aho, 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.

 

Army Corps may change plans to dredge Saginaw River

4/18 - Bay City - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is "seriously considering" shifting more than $2 million slated for navigational dredging of the Upper Saginaw River to other parts of the state and country, said Mike O'Bryan, chief of engineering and technical services for the Corps in Detroit.

That's due to disagreements with state environmental regulators over a giant, $5 million clay pit built to hold river spoils on the Bay-Saginaw county line. The state Department of Environmental Quality says the site requires a slurry wall; the Army Corps says additional precautions aren't necessary. Earlier this month, DEQ Director Steven Chester said the case could end up in court.

But Corps officials say they aren't looking for a battle, and will instead consider sending the Saginaw River money elsewhere. "Our regulations ... prefer that we have an agreement with the states in which we do business," O'Bryan said.

If the money leaves, it could take up to two years for new federal dredging funds to be appropriated, said state Sen. Jim Barcia, D-Bay City, a former Congressman. By that time, the economy and 135 jobs that surround the Upper Saginaw River, from Bay City south to Saginaw, could be gone, said William G. Webber, president of the Saginaw River Alliance. "People are begging for it in Minnesota," Webber said of money for dredging. "People are begging for it in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and New York."

The alliance is a group of dock owners that has more than $3.3 million invested in the dredging site, located in Bay County's Frankenlust Township and Saginaw County's Zilwaukee Township, including a $1.3 million state grant that has to be paid back if the dredging isn't done. Other money for the project has come from the Corps and Dow Chemical Co. in Midland. The state DEQ has said the dredging spoils site must include a slurry wall and groundwater permit to ensure the pit doesn't leak contaminants back into the river, including toxic dioxins from Dow.

But Saginaw County has withdrawn an application for a groundwater permit because Corps studies say the wall and permit aren't needed. The spoils site is already the safest one the Corps has ever designed, agency officials say, and 14 monitoring wells are planned to make sure water doesn't migrate off site. "You can't ever be 100 percent, but I'm as close to 100 percent as you can get on my feeling that it is a totally safe site," O'Bryan said.

Plans to shift the dredging money still have to be vetted by high-level officials, but may be firmed up as soon as next week, O'Bryan said. "We haven't dredged (the Upper River) for 10-15 years," he said. Some maintenance dredging has been done in Bay City and Saginaw in the last two years, "but we didn't get near where it needed to be." Chester said Wednesday he wasn't aware of the Corps' possible plans to reprogram the money.

The dredging spoils site has been constructed on 500 acres of farmland. Saginaw County is taking bids to finish the project next week, shoring up a dike that was left open to put in a slurry wall before the Corps backed off from those plans.

Jim Koski, Saginaw County public works commissioner, has spent more than six years on the project. He said the latest hurdle is just another example that the DEQ "is totally out of control, and our elected people need to take over our government again. It has gone to the bureaucrats."

Barcia said lawmakers from the region planned to meet Wednesday with Chester to discuss a list of concerns on recent DEQ decisions. Barcia said legislators don't want to tell the DEQ what to do, but they also don't want to see the dredging money disappear. "To have it all derailed at this point would be a shame because of a disagreement between two agencies," Barcia said.

Chester declined to say if his agency is willing to bend on the need for the wall and permit. He plans to call Lt. Col. William Leady, at the Corps in Detroit, to try and smooth things over. "We want to work with the Corps," Chester said. Chester sent Leady a letter last month asking why the Corps has backed out of earlier commitments to include the wall and permit in the project. Chester said Wednesday he's still waiting for a response.

O'Bryan said a little over $2 million is set aside to clear out the Upper River this summer and more than a $1 million is to be spent to finish up a Saginaw Bay dredging project that wasn't finished last year. O'Bryan said the $2 million could go instead to dredging in St. Joseph, near Lake Michigan, in an area that's already closed due to dredging needs.

Webber, owner of Sargent Docks, with sites in Essexville and Saginaw, said the money is sorely needed here. Freighters that can hold 17,000 tons of material like road salt, fertilizer, limestone and coal, are only able to carry 13,000 tons due to the condition of the channel. That translates to about a loss of $20,000 per load, which is passed on to consumers, he said. The first freighter of the year is due in this week, he said, with materials for a construction project at Hemlock Semiconductor.

Webber, of Linwood, fears that if the Upper River isn't maintained, then the Lower Saginaw River and Bay will be the next to lose dredging funds. "If the Upper River were to close, it would not be good for the Lower River," he said.

From the Bay City Times

 

Port Reports - April 18

Twin Ports - Al Miller
The former steamer Reserve made its first trip to the Twin Ports as the barge James L. Kuber, arriving Thursday morning to unload stone at the CLM dock.
Elsewhere, Arthur M. Anderson was unloading at Hallett 5, American Century arrived at midday Thursday at BNSF ore dock in Superior

South Chicago - Brian Z.
Wednesday was a busy day on the Calumet River in South Chicago. The John G. Munson loaded coal at KCBX Terminals and then held the dock due to high winds. The Manitowoc was spotted outbound at 9 p.m. on her way out to Lake Michigan. The Munson departed the dock at 10 p.m. after winds subsided. The Spruceglen was inbound to load petroleum coke destined for New Brunswick Power. Loading of the Spruceglen is expected to be completed early on Friday morning.

Escanaba - Dick Lund
The port of Escanaba was somewhat busy on Wednesday afternoon. The Olive L. Moore was out on Sea Trials in front of the ore dock before tying up for the day around 6 p.m.
The Joseph L. Block arrived off Sand Point around 7 p.m. heading for the C. Reiss Dock. The Block was followed an hour later by the Canadian Prospector heading for the ore facility.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
The Robert S. Pierson arrived in Marquette on Thursday for ore. She is expected to return Friday late for another load for Algoma.

Alpena & Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
The McKee Sons and tug Invincible backed into the Lafarge slip on a warm and windy Wednesday. It unloaded a cargo of coal and departed by late afternoon.
At Stoneport, Thursday afternoon the Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann was taking on cargo.
The John G. Munson is expected at the dock on Friday.

 

Toronto and Rochester Officials Hopeful, Skeptical about Hovercraft Service

4/18 - Rochester - Financial issues are the primary issues concerning leaders on both sides of Lake Ontario about a proposed hovercraft service between Rochester and Toronto.

At this time, officials in Toronto and Rochester are reviewing the hovercraft proposal from Hover Transit Services (HTS), the only company that submitted a proposal for cross lake service. No others are expected. Both cities want a ferry service, but they don't want it to fail and they don’t want to use tax dollars.

Tom Richards, corporation counsel for the city of Rochester said, "A significant amount of upfront capital is going to have to go into this project to even get off the ground." Angus Armstrong, harbor master and chief of security at the Toronto Port Authority said, "No public money! And, that is, someone's going to have to come forward and run this as a private enterprise."

Dale Wilson, owner and founder of HTS thinks he can come up with the $10 million he needs to put a hovercraft on the lake. "Obviously, we're going to be running a little bit lean on this project, and certainly the budget doesn't permit many frills," he said. Wilson said his financial plan is much realistic than the fast ferry which relied on tens of millions of dollars in debt service.

There are also logistical questions about the service including noise issues, how well the hovercraft will navigate, and whether it can dock at the existing ports.

Wilson said, "The ports were originally designed with a specific vessel in mind, and that was to the detriment of the port. The port facility on both sides of the lake should've been accommodating to a variety of vessels." Richards said if there are doubts about the finances, then questions about noise, docking, and navigation don't matter.

However, leaders on both sides agree there is a market for the service. The proposal suggests a $30 ticket price, which many see as reasonable.

Shirley Munson of Greece hopes it will become a reality. She has already ridden on one of the two hovercrafts that may come here. "When we were in England maybe 10 years ago we rode one from England to France,” she said. "It was kind of noisy, maybe a bit bumpy, but the channel is kind of rough."

Businesses inside the Port of Rochester are rooting for the hovercraft. Al Accorso of Jams Nutty Bavarian said, "The reason we came up here is because there was going to be a boat, and 2,000 to 2,500 people a day were supposed to be walking through here."

From 13WHAM-TV Rochester

 

Centennial: Steaming through the American Century

4/18 - Milwaukee - Photographs of the S.S. St. Marys Challenger, by Christopher Winters, are presently on special display through May 19 at Discovery World Museum, Milwaukee's newest museum, on the lakeshore in Milwaukee.

Discovery World staff photographer, Chris Winters, spent five years creating a vivid record of life aboard S.S. St. Mary's Challenger as she approached the centennial anniversary of her maiden voyage in 2006. A frequent visitor to Milwaukee's harbor and reportedly the oldest operational freight ship in the world, the Challenger began her remarkable fresh water career on the Great Lakes on April 28, 1906-six years before the launch of the R.M.S. Titanic.

The display. which is on the Promenade, is free to the public. Click here for more information

 

Updates - April 18

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Today in Great Lakes History - April 18

18 April 1907 - At least twenty freighters were anchored at De Tour, Michigan, waiting for the frozen St. Marys River to breakup. The vessels found their provisions running low after waiting for about a week and they bought everything edible in De Tour. The U.S. Lighthouse Service Tender ASPEN (steel propeller tender, 117 foot, 277 gross tons, built in 1906, at Toledo, Ohio) was sent to Cheboygan, Michigan to get more provisions. De Tour did not have railroad facilities at this time and therefore was compelled to stretch the provisions from the last boat in the Fall through winter until a boatload of supplies was delivered in the Spring.

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. Built in 1959 in Germany as the a.) EMS ORE, she was purchased by Hall Corp. in 1977. Converted to a bulk carrier with the addition of a forward cargo section at Davie Shipbuilding in Lauzon, Quebec.

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 18, 1936 - Albert W. Ackerman, chief engineer of the Pere Marquette 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, 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.

 

Anti-terrorism measures mean expense, complications for Industry

4/17 - Superior - Homeland Security rules require ships traveling in the Great Lakes to sail through more hoops. But it doesn’t mean the threat of terrorism is denting the shipping industry.

United States ports fell under new port security rules in 2004 in the wake of 9/11 terrorism attacks. Duluth Seaway Port Authority Trade Development Director Ron Johnson says they’ve had to make adjustments. “They’ve been pretty much the same until now with the Transportation Worker Identification Card, and, if there’s a ship in, you have to go through their security. It’s the little things, but, you know just like going on an airplane, you adapt to the airport rules. Hopefully, it doesn’t get any stricter.”

International ships are facing increased scrutiny. Some operators hope security doesn’t get any more severe. Chief Mate Bin Li of the Hong-Kong flagged Gadwall says America has the strictest security he’s seen. “It most be done because now so many terrible things happen. So, my ship and every crew members should obey the rules. Now, the crew is not enough for do every jobso many job to do. So, for security, I think should change, uhjust change some ways I think.” And shipping agents say adding fences, guards and ID cards won’t stop terrorists bent on causing damage.

Daniel’s Shipping Services Operations Manager Stephen Sydow in Duluth says security hasn’t improved very much. “To be honest with you, deer get past the security fences and security guards quite often. I think, if a deer can do it, just about anyone can. There isn’t any increased layer of security that you could do that will make a port 100% safe. You know, the imagination of terrorists is unlimited, and there’s no way you can match that with security.”

Another Duluth shipping agent from Guthrie Hubner says the security should be focused on major ocean ports like New York. Charles Hilleren says the new regulations are overkill which adds to the cost of international shipping.

From KUWS radio Superior

 

Port Reports - April 17

Montreal - Kent Malo
The salty Thebaud Sea is in Montreal to receive pipe coils delivered by the tug Manitou and barge OB185 for delivery to Nigeria.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
The salt water vessel Tuscarora finished unloading her sugar cargo and departed from the Midwest Terminal Overseas Dock late Wednesday afternoon.
Manistee remained at the Midwest Terminal Overseas Dock unloading cargo. Tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes was at the B-P Dock.
The next schedule boats due into the CSX Coal Docks will be the Kaye E. Barker on Friday, Cuyahoga and Herbert C. Jackson on Saturday, Canadian Progress on Sunday, followed by the Mississagi and Halifax on Monday.
Next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock will be the Kaye E. Barker on Thursday. The CSL Laurentien on Monday, followed by the Nanticoke on Wednesday.
For Thursday, the tug G. L. Ostrander and barge Integrity are due at the Lafarge Cement Dock to unload cement.

Owen Sound - Ed. Saliwonchyk
Ojibway continued unloading in Owen Sound, and departure was expected sometime Thursday afternoon. In the meantime, painting also continued.

Holland - Joe Taylor
Monday afternoon, a USCG buoy tender was placing the floating navigational buoys in Holland harbor.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
The Alpena entered the inner harbor at about 10 p.m. Tuesday evening and docked at the LaFarge Silo. It continued unloading Wednesday morning.

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Canadian Provider was outbound in Duluth harbor Wednesday morning, passing the inbound Algosoo, which was bound for Midwest Energy Terminal in Superior. Elsewhere Wednesday, James R. Barker was loading taconite pellets at CN Duluth while Edward L. Ryerson arrived to fuel in Duluth and then load pellets at BNSF in Superior.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
On a bright Wednesday the Herbert C Jackson came in to Marquette for ore.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Wednesday afternoon the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Limnos arrived in Burlington at 4 p.m. and docked at the Canada Centre for Inland Waters.
Mississagi arrived in Hamilton at 4:45 p.m. in ballast from Toronto to load coke at Dofasco for Cleveland. CSL Niagara arrived at 5:30 p.m. with iron ore pellets from Superior for US Steel. After unloading she will head to Toledo.
The Algonorth arrived at 8 p.m. with iron ore pellets for Dofasco. Catherine Desgagnes arrived in the Burlington Bay anchorage at 8:15 for bunkering by the Hamilton Energy who arrived at 8:30 p.m.

South Chicago - Steve B.
Wednesday mid-day found the John G. Munson loading at the south dock at KCBX.
The Spruceglen was anchored in Lake Michigan just outside Calumet Harbor.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Agawa Canyon and the Adam E. Cornelius remained tied up along the banks of the Saginaw River on Wednesday. The Agawa Canyon made three attempts during the day to turn and head for the lake, but all three attempts failed due to a combination of strong river currents and the wind. She is planning on trying again at daybreak. The Agawa Canyon arrived Monday morning and unloaded at the North Star dock.
The Adam E. Cornelius also arrived on Monday bound for the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City, but the conditions have prevented her from making the turn into the narrow slip across the river from where she sits now at the Essroc Dock.

 

Updates - April 17

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Today in Great Lakes History - April 17

17 April 1871 - The wooden brig ST JOSEPH was carrying lumber from Ludington, Michigan to Chicago, Illinois. Her hold was filled and lumber was stacked on deck so she was indeed overloaded. A gale developed and the deck load shifted, then was lost. ST JOSEPH became waterlogged in mid-lake. Her crew remained with her until 19 April when the propeller ST LEWIS found them 35 miles southwest of Pentwater, Michigan and took them there. The tug ALDRICH towed the waterlogged brig in for repairs.

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.

 

Port Reports - April 16

Owen Sound - Ed. Saliwonchyk and Wayne Brown
Ojibway, the former Voyageur Independent, arrived in Owen Sound Tuesday afternoon.  She is the first ship of the 2008 season, delivering approx. 14,000 metric tonnes of western wheat from the Canadian Lakehead. Being a straight decker she has to be unloaded using the marine leg. She is believed to be the first straight decker to be unloaded in Owen Sound in about 8 years. While in port, the last of the blue was being covered by grey.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Algoway entered the channel at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon and with stiff southwesterly breezes blowing, went into the inner harbour to turn. She was on the Sifto Salt dock at 2:20 p.m.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
The Maumee arrived in the inner harbor about 8:30 p.m. Sunday evening, presumably with salt. She departed at about 6 a.m. Monday morning. About 2 p.m. Monday the American Victory arrived with coal for the WE Energies Greenfield Avenue dock. It sailed again at 11 p.m. Monday evening.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
On Tuesday evening the Manistee and salt water vessel Tuscarora were at the Midwest Terminals Overseas Dock unloading cargo. Canadian Leader finished loading grain at Andersons "E" Elevator and departed outbound the Maumee River headed for Lake Erie.
Tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes was headed inbound from Lake Erie for the Maumee River eventually bound for the B-P Dock.
The next scheduled coal boats due into the CSX Coal Docks will be Kaye E. Barker on Thursday, and the Cuyahoga on Friday, followed by the Canadian Progress and Halifax on Sunday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Ore Docks will be the Kaye E. Barker on Thursday, followed by the CSL Laurentien on Monday.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Adam E. Cornelius arrived on the Saginaw River Monday evening and tied up at the Essroc dock in Essexville. Strong currents in the river from heavy rains earlier in the week have prevented her from making the dock she is to unload at, most likely making the sharp turn into the Bay Aggregates dock across the river from where she is tied up.
The Agawa Canyon finished her unload at the North Star dock in Essexville and she is now sitting at the dock as well, most likely waiting for the current to subside so she can make the turn in the Essexville turning basin and head for the lake.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
The tug G. L. Ostrander and barge Integrity were under the silos at Lafarge Tuesday morning. The tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation was expected to return over night Tuesday.
The Cason J. Calloway was loading cargo at Stoneport on Tuesday, after being at the shipyard for repairs.

Erie - Jeff Benson
The tug Karen Andrie and her barge remain at Erie Marine. The newly constructed barges are also still in the slip and haven't moved yet.
Great Lakes Trader left Erie after being at Erie Marine and having her bow ballasted out of the water, perhaps for bow thruster work.
The Michipicoten is back on the blocks in the graving dock after being refloated and repositioned.
The sand dredge J. S. St. John is getting ready for another season and should be heading out soon.

South Chicago - Steve B.
The Joseph L. Block was loading coal at the south dock at KCBX during the mid-day hours on Tuesday.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
The Alpena entered the inner harbor at about 10 p.m. Tuesday evening and docked at the LaFarge Silo. She continued unloading Wednesday morning.

 

Know Your Ships 2008 Now Available
Book signing scheduled at Port Huron

4/16 - The 2008 edition of Know Your Ships 2008, the annual field guide to the vessels sailing the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway, is off the press and ready to ship.

The 152-page book, now in its 49th 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 M.V. Calumet, which ended her distinguished career late last season.

Editor and Publisher Roger LeLievre, as well as members of the Know Your Ships crew, will also be on hand at the Great Lakes Maritime Center /BoatNerd.Com World Headquarters in Port Huron from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Saturday, April 19 to sign copies of "Know Your Ships." Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the book signing.

Order Know Your Ships 2008 from www.knowyourships.com (secure via PayPal) 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 vessels that visit the Great Lakes each season.

Visit www.knowyourships.com for more information.

 

Updates - April 16

News Photo Gallery updated

Reserve Conversion Gallery updated

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Have you made your Badger BoatNerd reservations yet?

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 16

16 April 1907 Ð In a blinding snow storm, the LOUIS PAHLOW (wooden propeller package freighter, 155 foot, 366 gross tons, built in 1882, at Milwaukee, Wisconsin) was towing the DELTA (wooden schooner, 134 foot, 269 gross tons, built in 1890, at Algonac, Michigan) on Lake Michigan. She went off course and ran onto the rocks at the Clay Banks, six miles south of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. The DELTA made it to anchorage before she also grounded. The Lifesaving Service rescued both crews. Both vessels were eventually freed, repaired and put back in service.

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

 

Coast Guard Cutters help 150 Ships Through Ice

4/15 - Cleveland - The Coast Guard ice cutters have had a rough season on the Great Lakes, and faced the second toughest ice season in 11 years.

The Ninth Coast Guard District cutters are still breaking ice and trying to maintain navigable waterways during the second toughest ice season in 11 years, officials said.

The Ninth Coast Guard District, responsible for the U.S. Great Lakes basin and St. Lawrence Seaway, employs eight multi-mission cutters to break ice in the region. The Canadian Coast Guard provides an additional four ice-breaking capable ships. The cutters assisted nearly 150 vessels through ice more than 15 feet thick this season.

Five 140-foot Bay Class ice breaking tugs (Katmai Bay, Bristol Bay, Mobile Bay, Biscayne Bay and Neah Bay), are approaching 30 years of service. The extensive ice season, second only to 2003, creates an additional challenge for the Ninth District's Operation Spring Restore.

The district's buoy operation restores nearly 1,300 navigational aids to their assigned positions, including lighted and unlighted buoys and beacons. Operation Spring Restore has been delayed because of the ice season and will require increased cutter hours to meet the May 30 deadline.

"The Canadian Coast Guard assists with both operations, ice breaking and Spring Restore, but to complete Spring Restore in a safe and timely manner our (U.S. Coast Guard) cutters are going to have to work overtime," said Rear Adm. John E. Crowley, Jr., commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District.

From WEWS News Channel 5 Cleveland

 

Great Lakes Shipyard holds naming ceremony

4/15 - Cleveland - In a Naming Ceremony held at the entrance of the Cuyahoga River, The Great Lakes Towing Company celebrated the completion of construction and the naming of its first “Handysize” tugboat built at its new shipyard facility in the Old River Basin of the Cuyahoga River.

Arriving at Shooters’ Restaurant dock to a welcoming crowd of more than 200 people including her new owners, Tugz International L.L.C., the new Tug Handy-One was adorned with marine signal flags. She is the first new tug to be constructed in Cleveland since 1931.

Beth Ann Guren Burnes and Laura Guren Rodriguez, daughters of Sheldon B. Guren, Chairman of The Great Lakes Group, shared the honors as the tugboat’s Sponsors. Each Sponsor smashed the traditional red, white and blue beribboned bottles of Champagne on the tug’s bow ensuring double good luck. The Tug “Handy-One", is the first of a new “green” class tugboat constructed on the Great Lakes and at the new Great Lakes Shipyard..

More than 50 Shipyard employees, many hired and trained for these new manufacturing jobs were involved in the construction. The new state-of-the-art Cleveland shipyard facilities at Division Avenue, Cleveland, completed in late 2006, has allowed the Company to commence construction of new tugs and barges and to triple local employment

The Great Lakes Shipyard has a history of building tugboats. More than 50 tugs were constructed at its former shipyard on the Cuyahoga River at Jefferson Road, Cleveland. The last new tug, however, the Tug IDAHO was built by the Company in 1931. New Company tugboats since that time have been built in Gulf and West coast shipyards.

For more information visit www.thegreatlakesgroup.com

 

Port Reports - April 15

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
James Norris was in at Pier 51 Sunday afternoon.
CCG Limnos arrived in port Monday afternoon and tied up for the night at Pier 28.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
Canadian Leader arrived at Andersons "E" Elevator on Sunday afternoon to load grain. She was still loading grain on Monday and her expected departure would be late Tuesday or early Wednesday depending on the loading process.  The salt water vessel Tuscarora remained at the Midwest Terminal Overseas Dock unloading cargo.
Robert S. Pierson's trip to the CSX Coal Dock for Tuesday has been cancelled.
The next scheduled coal boats due into the CSX Coal Dock will be the Lee A. Tregurtha on Thursday. The Cuyahoga on Friday. Followed by the Canadian Progress and Herbert C. Jackson on Saturday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Ore Docks will be the Kaye E. Barker on Weds. followed by the CSL Laurentien on Monday.

Alpena - Tom Train
Alpena arrived at Alpena LaFarge at 1 p.m. Monday under sunny skies.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Algosteel departed at 10:30 a.m. on Monday morning, Canadian Navigator waiting outside the breakwalls in the lake, then backed in to the Sifto Salt dock to load. The Navigator was on the dock at 11:10 a.m., a fairly speedy turnaround.

Marquette - Lee Rowe and Rod Burdick
The Charles M Beeghly loaded ore at Marquette Sunday night. On a bright and sunny Monday morning, James R. Barker, sporting a fresh paint job, discharged coal at the Upper Harbor hopper, and Kaye E. Barker unloaded the first coal cargo of the new season at the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock.

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Algowood was loading at Midwest Energy Terminal on Monday morning.
Gadwell, the Twin Ports’ first saltie of the season, remained at CHS terminal in Superior, where it is loading wheat. The vessel sat out a blizzard on Friday. On Monday crews were loading the boat under sunny skies and enjoying temperatures above 50 degrees.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Agawa Canyon was inbound the Saginaw River Monday afternoon, calling on the North Star dock in Essexville. She was expected to be outbound early Tuesday morning.

 

Diving program at Maritime Center

4/15 - Port Huron - The Michigan Lake Divers Association will have an historical maritime presentation, “Great Lakes Shipwreck Pairs” on Sunday, April 20 at 4 p.m., at the Great Lakes Maritime Center at Vantage Point. The program will be given by Cris Kohl, Great Lakes Author and Historian. The program is open to the public. Call 810-987-0226 for more info.

 

Updates - April 15

News Photo Gallery updated

Reserve Conversion Gallery updated

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Today in Great Lakes History - April 15

15 April 1907 Ð The Rutland Line’s OGDENSBURG (steel propeller package freighter, 242-foot, 2329 gross tons, built in 1906, at Cleveland, Ohio) was carrying 50,000 bushels of corn, a big consignment of flour and general merchandise from Chicago to Ogdensburg when she stranded on Point aux Barques on Lake Huron in a storm. Although she was leaking in her forward compartment, she was freed after some cargo was jettisoned.

15 April 1907 - The Welland Canal opened for the season with the first vessel being the SAMUEL MATHER (steel propeller bulk freighter, 530 foot, 6,751 gross tons, built in 1906, at Wyandotte, Michigan) carrying coal from Cleveland, Ohio to Prescott, Ontario.

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, 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 14

Kingsville - Erich Zuschlag
Sunday was an average day for traffic. The Algosoo, Robert S Pierson, Sam Laud and Pineglen passed through the Pelee Passage in Western Lake Erie.
The Jiimaan slowly made her way from Leamington towards the passage. She is limping her way to Port Weller with one engine because one of them was damaged when it became entangled in a fishing net at the end of last season. Pelee Islander was making her daily runs between Pelee Island and Leamington. St. Mary's Cement and her tug Petite Forte came into the bay around 2:30 p.m. and have been waiting there for weather. She may pull up the hook and leave the area or she may come into Kingsville Harbour and unload.

Erie - Jeff Benson
Tug Karen Andrie and Barge A-397 arrived in Erie Sunday afternoon, the barge and tug are docked next to the old Marine Terminal next to the Border Patrol Building.
The new barges built in Erie are still in the same slip. Tugs from Erie Towing were removing the gates to the graving dock where the Michipicoten has been for the past 2-3 weeks. She is afloat again.
Barge Great Lakes Trader and her tug are in Erie and the bow is ballasted out of the water with a slight list to Port. It is unknown what exactly is going on.

Menominee - Dick Lund
The James L. Kuber and tug Victory departed Menominee, MI on its Maiden Voyage on Sunday, after being held in port for almost three days due to weather. The pair left their dock around 1:30 p.m. (CDT) and passed Menominee North Pier Lighthouse about a half hour later, with a three long and two short salute as they approached the crowd at the lighthouse. Their first load is scheduled to be limestone from Port Inland, MI.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Sunday the Algoport departed Pier 26 at 6 a.m. for Lorain after completing repairs. Canadian Provider arrived at 3 p.m. with iron ore pellets for Dofasco. CSL Laurentian departed Pier 26 at 12:30 p.m. with slag for Trois Riveres Quebec. Algoisle departed at 6:30 p.m. from Dofasco for the Welland Canal. The tug John Spence and barge McAsphalt 401 departed at 6:30 p.m. from the Heddle Marine Dry Dock .They are headed for Sarnia. Hamilton Energy arrived at 7 p.m. after bunkering the Canadian Prospector at Port Weller.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Algosteel was a late Sunday afternoon arrival is still at the Sifto Salt dock loading Monday morning.

Sturgeon Bay - Wendell Wilke
The Selvick tugs Jimmy L., William C. Selvick, Cameroon O. and Jacquelyn Nicole assisted Kaministiqua out of the graving dock Sunday evening. She was moved stern first, into Berth 8 across from Cason J. Callaway, for final fit out.

 

Storm pushes mysterious crib down the shore

4/14 - Duluth - Friday’s blizzard probably had a lot of people thinking about getting away and heading for a beach.

The crib that washed ashore near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in a December 2006 storm must’ve thought that would be a good idea, too. Fifteen-foot waves driven by the storm shifted the wooden structure down the shore to a stretch of beach in front of the former Edison Station in Canal Park.

No one has yet to come up with a definitive answer for where the 20-foot-wide, 50-foot-long crib came from. Some theories — that it was a Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad wharf that supported Elevator “A” in the 1870s or a railroad trestle from the Nemadji River — have been bandied about but remain unverified.

There was confusion about what should be done with the crib when it washed ashore. The Minnesota Department of Transportation, which took responsibility for the structure, wanted to scrap it, but several historical groups argued for its preservation, at least until its provenance could be determined.

From the Duluth News Tribune

 

BoatNerd Freighter Trip Raffle underway

A trip for four aboard the legendary Great Lakes steamboat Edward L. Ryerson is the top prize in this year's BoatNerd Raffle.

Other prizes include: a port hole from the Calumet courtesy International Marine Salvage, a cruise aboard the Huron Lady II, sightseeing cruises of Duluth-Superior aboard the Vista Fleet, tickets for Diamond Jack's River Tours on the Detroit River, passes aboard the Keweenaw Star for a sunset cruise, and round trip tickets to Beaver Island, four prizes of passes for two on a Diamond Jack cruise on the Detroit River, a round trip for two including auto aboard the carferry Badger donated by the Lake Michigan Carferry and two Tours of the DeTour Reef Lighthouse courtesy the Detour Reef Light Preservation Society.

All proceeds from the raffle will benefit the BoatNerd.Com Web site. Funds raised will be used to pay the charges associated with running such a busy site. Fund-raising raffles are our only method of support; without the raffle BoatNerd.Com would be forced to discontinue this free web site.

The drawing will take place at 2 p.m. on June 7, 2008 at the BoatNerd.Com World Headquarters at Vantage Point, in Port Huron, Mich. Donation: $10 per ticket, 3 for $25, 6 for $50 or 14 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.

State of Michigan Raffle License # R95375

 

2008 S/S Badger Boatnerd Gathering Cruise

On Saturday, May 31, 2008, we are once again pleased to offer the Boatnerd Badger Gathering. A round-trip crossing of Lake Michigan from Ludington, Michigan to Manitowoc, Wisconsin, aboard the Lake Michigan Carferry S/S Badger.

Join us in traveling on the only coal-fired steamer left on the Great Lakes. Visit the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc and see the operating restored forward engine from the legendary railroad ferry Chief Wawatam, and the WWII submarine Cobia, OR go on the optional Wisconsin Shoreline Cruise aboard the Badger.

Lee Murdoch will be on board to offer entertainment both ways across the lake.

On Friday night, May 30, we have arranged a special Badger Boatel B&B to stay aboard the steamer on the night prior to the cruise. Reservations for staterooms are limited. This optional part of the gathering may offer pilothouse and engine room tours.

See the Boatnerd Gathering Page for complete details and sign up form.

Reservations must be received no later than May 3. Don’t miss out on this fun Gathering.

 

Lake St. Clair & River Cruise & BoatNerd Gathering planned

On May 25, an all day cruise leaving Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit and traveling up to the Blue Water Bridges, aboard the Diamond Belle, will be co-sponsored by the Marine Historical Society of Detroit and BoatNerd.com.

The trip includes a continental breakfast and deli lunch on board, and a buffet dinner at the historic St. Clair Inn. This is a great opportunity to see all the sights along the waterway between Detroit and Port Huron.

Tickets are $90.00 per person and reservations are required. Click here for details and a reservation form.

Don't be left out, call today.

 

Updates - April 14

News Photo Gallery updated

Reserve Conversion Gallery updated

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets.

Have you made your Badger BoatNerd reservations yet?

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 14

14 April 1965 Ð The GEORGE A SLOAN (steel propeller bulk freighter, 603 foot, 9057 gross tons, built in 1943, at River Rouge, Michigan) was the first commercial vessel through the Soo Locks. The SLOAN received Sault Ste. Marie's official tri-centennial flag to fly all season. The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce in turn received the Pittsburgh Fleet flag and it flew below the United States flag on the flag pole on top of the Ojibway Motor Hotel all season.

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 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, 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.

 

Cleveland gets import deal

4/13 - Cleveland - The city and Costa Rica have struck a deal to use Cleveland’s Lake Erie port as an entry point for coffee, tea, pineapples and other imports from the central American nation.

Under the deal twelve Costa Rican companies will distribute their U.S. exports to the Midwest through the St. Lawrence Seaway and Cleveland.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s office said Friday that the deal was struck when Jackson visited Costa Rica this week as part of a three-day trip arranged by the Cleveland Foundation to promote business.

The mayor said Costa Rica will open a Midwest trade headquarters in Cleveland with the goal of moving 25 percent of its U.S. exports through Ohio.

 

Port Reports - April 13

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
Burns Harbor arrived at the Midwest Terminals Overseas Dock late Friday evening. She unloaded ore that was loaded at Silver Bay, Minnesota. During 2007, ore was brought in from Minnesota and unloaded at this dock, then was reloaded aboard various Canada Steamship Lines self unloaders and taken out to a Seaway port where the ore was unloaded and eventually loaded back onto saltwater ships bound for China. It appears that this ore trade has resumed for the 2008 season. The Burns Harbor finished unloading and was outbound Toledo mid-Saturday morning.
During the day Saturday, the Manitowoc and the salt water vessel Tuscarora were at the Midwest Terminals Overseas Dock.
Tug Petite Forte and barge St. Marys Cement was unloading cement at the St. Marys Cement Terminal located near the Ironhead Marine Shipyard.
The next scheduled vessels due into the CSX Coal Docks will be the Herbert C. Jackson on Sunday. The Robert S. Pierson on Tuesday, followed by the Lee A. Tregurtha on Thursday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Ore Docks will be the Herbert C. Jackson on Sunday followed by the Lee A. Tregurtha on Thursday.

Toronto - Frank Hood
Federal Rhine departed Toronto Friday night.

Welland Canal - Michel Gosselin
Canadian Prospector was towed out of the former Port Weller Drydock by the tug Radium Yellowknife on Saturday.

 

Updates - April 13

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets.

Have you made your Badger BoatNerd reservations yet?

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 13

13 April 1872 - The schooners MARY TAYLOR and ANTELOPE wooden were racing to Oswego, New York, trying to beat a large block of drifting ice. The ice won and blocked the harbor entrance. The ANTELOPE became icebound about a quarter of a mile from the piers and remained there for one day. The MARY TAYLOR got within 500 feet of the pier and remained there for five days until the tug MAJOR DANA broke through the ice.

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 feet x 32 feet x 12 feet, 626 gross tons.

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

 

High winds churn Lakes

4/12 - Duluth - Strong east winds were pushing Lake Superior's water toward the Twin Ports on Thursday, with harbor levels rising already and huge waves expected over the next 24 hours, the National Weather Service reported.

Wind gusts to 50 mph were expected as the storm hit late Thursday and early today.

The National Weather Service in Duluth issued a shoreline flood advisory for the North Shore from Grand Portage to Duluth and for the South Shore from Superior to Saxon Harbor. There could be some flooding in shoreline areas with gradual slopes to the lake.

Waves were expected to build to 15 feet at the head of the lake late Thursday.

From the Duluth News Tribune

 

Port Reports - April 12

DeTour/St. Marys River - Cathy Kohring
Six boats have chosen to go to anchor Friday in the St. Marys River above the Pipe Island/Squaw Island upper channel anchorage. The Herbert C Jackson, Lee A Tregurtha, American Republic, Joe Thompson, and Sam Laud are among those on the hook riding out the latest Spring Gales on the lakes. From scanner chatter most will be staying until conditions improve on Lake Huron and the lower Lakes.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Friday morning at 4:30 a.m. the Rt. Hon. Paul J Martin departed US Steel for Thunder Bay. The Canadian Leader arrived at 11:30 a.m. from Port Cartier with iron ore pellets for Dofasco. Next port for the Leader is Toledo.
The James Norris departed the dock in Clarkson due to the high winds and went to the Burlington Bay anchorage but found that unsuitable due to the wind direction. The Norris then headed to the Port Weller anchorage. She will return to Clarkson once the winds die down to finish unloading.
The Edward L Ryerson arrived at 6 p.m. with iron ore pellets for Dofasco from Superior. The Emerald Star departed Pier 26S at 6:30 p.m. for Montreal. The Algoport remains at Pier 26N while divers make repairs of some type. Then she will head to Lorain.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
American Mariner finished loading coal at the CSX Dock and departed during the mid afternoon Friday.  The tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder arrived at the Torco Ore Dock Friday afternoon to unload ore, she is expected to depart during the late evening. The salt water vessel Tuscarora was at the Midwest Terminals Overseas Dock unloading cargo.
The next scheduled vessels due into the CSX Coal Docks will be the Herbert C. Jackson on Sunday. The Robert S. Pierson on Monday evening, followed by the Lee A. Tregurtha on Thursday.  Next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock will be the Herbert C. Jackson on Sunday, followed by the Lee A. Tregurtha on Thursday.

 

1958 shipwreck survivor will retell story of SS Bradley disaster

4/12 - Holland -- Frank Mays can't -- and won't -- ever forget. His memories remain vivid and terrifying 50 years later.

For nearly 15 hours, he and another crewman from the 623-foot limestone cargo ship SS Bradley clung to life on a raft in Lake Michigan, tossed and turned by nearly 40-foot waves during a gale.

During the ordeal, the raft was flipped three times. Two of the four struggling aboard were lost, leaving only Mays, a deck watchman, and Elmer Flemming, a first mate. Desperate to stay alive with waves washing over, an anchor got tossed to stay afloat. "The sea anchor created a drag, and kept us from tipping over," Mays recalls. "I kept saying to Elmer, 'If we make it till daylight, we'll be picked up.'"

The ship sank about 5:30 p.m. Nov. 18, 1958, about 62 miles northwest of Charlevoix, between the Gull and Beaver islands. The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Sundew rescued the pair 8:25 a.m. the next day. Thirty-three crew members were lost when the Bradley sank into the 380-foot depths.

Flemming died in 1970. That left Mays, a 76-year-old retiree from Rogers City now living in Spring Hill, Fla., as the ship's sole survivor. Mays shares his story at a Southwest Michigan Underwater Preserve benefit, which is 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the West Ottawa Performing Arts Center in Holland Township.

Last August, two veteran Minnesota divers recovered the ship's bell, now on display at the Great Lakes Lore Maritime Museum in Rogers City. "I'm thinking, 'Forty-nine years it's been down there, and we got it,'" Mays said of the bell's recovery.

John Janzen, of Champlin, Minn., and John Scoles, of Farmington, Minn., got interested after meeting Mays at a 2004 diving and shipwreck show in Minneapolis.

"It became very personalized for us," Janzen said. The pair dove the Bradley that year and, kept returning until the recovering the bell, becoming the first divers to reach the submerged ship's stern.

The freighter's ill-fated voyage began after dropping cargo at U.S. Steel's Gary, Ind., docks, bound for its winter layover in Rogers City. On a Tuesday afternoon, the Bradley was in the middle of a storm packing 65 mph winds that whipped up large waves. The ship sagged in its middle, broke in two and sank.

The Coast Guard attributed the breakup to possible structural weakness, but ship owner U.S. Steel maintained the 31-year-old Bradley was seaworthy. The ship's two main sections now rest about 90 feet apart at the bottom of Lake Michigan.

An honorary bell with the names of the 33 crewmen who died was placed last summer at the ship's resting place.

Mays has continued sharing his experiences. Now retired, he documented his survival story in "If We Make It 'Til Daylight," a book published in 2003 by Out of the Blue Productions of Lexington.

While he's been back at the site for expeditions, he has no need to visit to refresh those details. Those, he said, are "burned" into his memory. "I'll never forget," he said.

From the Grand Rapids Press

 

Wind Turbines to Test Driver's Patience

4/12 - Windsor - Beginning April 21, Dutch Transportation giant Mammoet is planning to move the massive sections of 44 wind turbines to be erected at Kruger Energy's $200 million wind farm in Port Alma through the city's west end.

Initially arriving by freighter at Morterm terminal, each of the six ships will take three days to unload. It will take seven truckloads a day, five days a week for three months to do the job. That's about 420 truckloads into the beginning of August.

No trucks will leave Morterm before 9am or after 3:30pm to avoid rush hour traffic. Each flatbed truck, spaced about a half-hour apart, will be escorted to Port Alma by three police cruisers. The problem is not the weight, height, or width but the length. Police will have to stop other traffic at each of four intersections to ensure the trucks can complete the turns. There are no problems with bridge clearances or overhead wires. Once underway, the trucks will move at posted speeds and mix with other traffic.

Mammoet operates worldwide with a reputation for being able to move anything, anywhere. The company took part in raising the submarine Kursk, which sank after mysterious explosions in 2000. All 118 crew members died.

"We're very happy to see the business" said David Cree, CEO of Windsor Port Authority. Port Robinson, near Welland, would be the nearest port that could handle similar ships. However, the overland route would be longer, Cree noted. Because of the extra costs in transporting oversized loads by truck "you keep it on the water as long as possible," said Cree.

From the Windsor Star

 

Port of Montreal to explore boosting cruise traffic

4/12 -Montreal - The Port of Montreal is considering a large-scale infrastructure project to boost cruise ship traffic along the St. Lawrence River.

Patrice Pelletier, the port's new CEO, said developing the cruise ship industry around Montreal is a smart investment. "We are certain that we can profit from a cruise ship project on the St. Lawrence that would turn it into a unique destination and one very different from what we see today," Pelletier told reporters Thursday following the port's annual meeting.

More than 27,700 international cruise ship passengers passed through Montreal in 2007.

While addressing the annual meeting, Pelletier outlined a long-term plan for the port's future that included better serving the American Midwest. The port has spent several months studying its U.S. competition from ports in New York, Virginia, West Virginia and Georgia.

Pelletier also pledged to work on the port's environmental performance and improve its communication with Montrealers. He promised to deliver "an extremely concrete act of openness...to the population, especially that of Montreal East."

The port announced 2007 net earnings of $8.4 million, down 19.9 per cent from the $10.5 million reported a year earlier. Total revenues jumped 4.9 per cent to $81.7 million, up from $77.9 million in 2006.

Port traffic was up 3.6 per cent, with total volume reaching 26 million tonnes. Containerized cargo spiked 9.4 per cent, while non-containerized cargo dropped 37.1 per cent, largely due to a decline in steel imports.

"All indicators show that marine container traffic on the east coast of North America will grow annually by 7% till 2015," Pelletier said during the meeting. "The port must take the necessary measures to capture a good part of the container market growth," he added.

Pelletier will release details next week about his plan to significantly increase port activity by 2020.

From CBC News

 

Great Lakes ocean liner ban urged

4/12 - Sarnia -- The day may come when local residents will no longer by able to watch ocean-going ships slip silently up and down the St. Clair River.

There's been talk of banning such vessels from the Great Lakes for years, mainly because aquatic invaders such as the European zebra mussel often hitch rides on them. But critics of the idea argue such a move would cost jobs and increase truck traffic on North America's highways. Those extra trucks, they say, would add to the region's air pollution troubles.

However, researchers from a Michigan university have produced a report that claims keeping overseas shipping out of the system would cause little harm to the economy or environment.

The study, by Grand Valley State University in Allendale, also concludes such a ban would create 1,300 domestic jobs in Canada and the U.S. Most of those workers would be employed on lake vessels, barges, trains and trucks. Some jobs would relocate to Canadian ports on the St. Lawrence River, while others would end up on the east coast or the Gulf of Mexico.

"While we are not suggesting ocean ships be stopped to create domestic jobs, assertions that an end to ocean shipping on the Great Lakes would cost jobs are just plain wrong," said John Taylor, the report's lead author.

The study says truck traffic would increase less than one per cent and mostly would affect Highway 401 west of Montreal, where there would be an additional 89 trucks a day. The number of additional trucks would be far less on other routes.

Shipping interests have long maintained the use of trucks and trains to move cargo carried on ocean-going vessels would have a significant impact on air quality. But the study refutes that, saying rail transportation would grow by only 1.6 trains a day across the entire region. Rail congestion is not a problem on the routes in question.

"Because of the extremely low total tonnage of cargo moved on ocean-going vessels compared to the total volumes of goods moved every day on our region's highways, railways and waterway, congestion and air quality changes won't register," Taylor said.

The report claims there is adequate capacity in the Great Lakes transportation system to carry cargo shipped by ocean-going vessels. It also says the total volume of ocean vessel traffic is about the amount that would be carried by a medium-density single-track rail line or a single daily tug-barge on the lower Mississippi River.

From the London Free Press

 

Updates - April 12

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets.

Have you made your Badger BoatNerd reservations yet?

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 12

12 April 1896 Ð The PETER DALTON (propeller tug, 63 foot 49 gross tons, built in 1880, at Grand Haven, Michigan) caught fire off Grosse Pointe, Illinois while returning to Chicago with the salvaged schooner A J DEWEY in tow and the boiler of the JOHNSON. The fire burned her in two before she finally sank. The DALTON's crew and the DEWEY were rescued by the tug WELCOME.

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 Bilbao, Spain in 1969.

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

On April 12, 1955, while 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

 

First saltwater ship of 2008 season passes under Duluth lift bridge

4/11 - Duluth - There's a sign of spring even as a blizzard is forecast to hit Duluth — the first saltwater ship of the 2008 St. Lawrence Seaway navigation season arrived shortly after 2 p.m. Thursday.

The Hong Kong-flagged Gadwall headed to the CHS grain facility in Superior, Wis., to load about 23,000 short tons of wheat destined for Portugal. Just when that loading may begin is uncertain. Duluth and the surrounding area is under a blizzard warning from Thursday night until Saturday morning. A gale warning is in effect for western Lake Superior, with waves up to 15 feet and winds gusts to 50 mph expected before the storm passes.

The new, 607-foot bulk carrier was built in 2007 in China and is operated by Canfornav Limited, headquartered in Montreal.

The Welland Canal section of the St. Lawrence Seaway opened this year to vessel traffic on March 20. That tied a record set in 2007 as the earliest start of a regular shipping season since the seaway opened in 1959.

From the Duluth News Tribune and Al Miller

 

Port Reports - April 11

Seaway - René Beauchamp
Downbound at Côte Ste. Catherine on Wednesday was the tug Jarrett M was heading to Montreal to spend the night. On Thursday morning, she departed for Cap aux Meules, Magdalen Islands. She is still owned by McKeil Work Boats according to the Transport Canada website. However, her stack was painted all white. It is possible she has been sold and is on her delivery trip.
Leaving Halifax Thursday morning before daybreak was the supply ship Thebaud Sea bound for Montreal. She will load the cargo carried on the barge OB 185 towed to Montreal by Manitou and Vigilant I last week. The cargo is two rolls of plastic pipes.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
The Canadian Coast Guard's Cape Discovery returned to her base for the 2008 boating season, entering port at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday. She is standing by for Rescue Operations.

Toronto - Frank Hood
Federal Rhine arrived at Redpath Sugar Thursday morning.

Marquette - Lee Rowe and Rod Burdick
The Herbert C Jackson took a load of ore from Marquette on Thursday morning.
On Thursday afternoon the newly christened Robert S Pierson made her second trip to Marquette under her new name.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The tug Susan W. Hannah and barge St. Mary's Conquest came in over night on Wednesday. It was still unloading at the St. Mary's Cement Terminal in Ferrysburg at 9 p.m. on Thursday.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The CSL Tadoussac was inbound the Saginaw River Wednesday morning, but due to strong winds and low water levels, she went to anchor out in the Saginaw Bay to wait out the wind. The Tadoussac was passed by the tug Mark Hannah and her tank barge who were inbound for the Dow Chemical dock in Bay City. By late Wednesday afternoon, the Tadoussac was inbound and called on the Essroc dock in Essexville to unload clinker. She departed Thursday morning, backing from the dock and out to Light 12 to turn and head for the lake. The Mark Hannah was still at Dow as of late Thursday night.

South Chicago - Brian Z.
The Philip R. Clarke loaded coal on a rainy day at KCBX Terminals in Chicago. The Clarke was sporting a fresh paint job and was destined for Escanaba, MI.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Thursday afternoon the CCGC Limnos arrived in Burlington at 3:30 p.m. and docked at the Canada Centre for Inland Waters.
The Rt. Hon. Paul J Martin arrived at 5:30 p.m. with coal for US Steel. After discharging the Martin is headed to Thunder Bay. The Canadian Transport departed at 7:30 p.m. from Dofasco for Ashtabula.
The tanker Emerald Star arrived at 10 p.m. with bunker. She will go to Montreal next. The Algoport arrived at 10:30 p.m. in ballast for Pier 26 to load slag for Loren.

 

Can Fast Hovercraft Service Between U.S. And Toronto Stay Afloat?

4/11- Rochester - It didn't work once. It didn't work twice.

But is the third time the charm? A group known as HTS - or Hover Transit Services - is sure they have a plan to succeed where others have failed. Their goal: reintroduce the fast crossing service between Toronto and Rochester that proved such a dismal failure in both 2004 and 2006. That one used a multi-million dollar ferry with all the bells and whistles.

This one proposes to employ a simpler but still state-of-the-art hovercraft to glide along Lake Ontario taking you from here to there and back again.

The company is planning to buy an existing vessel that used to cross the English Channel over to France but has been sitting in a marine museum for the past eight years. Executives have apparently been in discussion with the Toronto Port Authority about what it would take to launch such a venture and are trying to get the cooperation of both Rochester politicians and officials here.

So what would this latest incarnation look like and how would it differ from the previous concept that sank twice in choppy financial waters? The hovercraft would hold 400-600 people, carry 55 cars or four tour buses, and make room for cargo to help bring in some extra revenue. It would cost a lot less than the old ferry service - only about $30 each way and touts the use of biodiesel fuel as being environmentally friendly. The entire trip would take just 75 minutes, but unlike the ferry, there won't be a movie theatre or fancy restaurants on board. This journey would simply be a means to an end - getting you where you're going.

"Passengers will be treated to spacious reclining chairs, with an option of business class service," reads the company's official plan. "The hovercraft will be equipped with Wi-Fi. Seat backs will be equipped with video monitors for passenger viewing and entertainment pleasure ... A simple selection of food and beverages will be available as a convenience to the customer aboard ship, although HTS anticipates little revenue from the onboard sales of such items, since due to the short trip the passenger will barely have time to enjoy their hot beverage once aboard."

Organizers think you'll like it, because cross border shopping opportunities have never been better thanks to the rise of the Canadian dollar. And it's interesting to hear their pitch for why U.S. residents will want to come here. "American shoppers will be drawn to the sophisticated shopping opportunities in downtown Toronto that would otherwise require a trip to Manhattan, including the Eaton Centre, the Bay, and an eclectic collection of specialty shops. Seniors will also be attracted to opportunities for low-cost pharmaceuticals that are available in Canada."

But it's not just the U.S. that's in their sights. Those behind the plan think they have a better way of getting to and from T.O. for commuters in outlying areas and it doesn't include either the TTC or GO. "If two hovercrafts are put into service, both Hamilton and Oshawa could be served," their outline states.

So will it work this time and will there be enough passengers to keep this service afloat? If it gets approved, the hovercraft could be gliding your way as soon as next March. But if not, HTS has another plan in mind and seems determined to take its business idea somewhere.

"If the ridership does not prove sufficient during the winter, HTS will investigate relocating the hovercraft to a winter home such as Key West, the Bahamas or the Caribbean," it concludes. "A repositioning cruise could be offered to "snowbirds" and their automobiles heading for Florida for wintertime. Stops at East Coast ports would be provided along the way."

But that journey of a thousand kilometres depends a lot on what officials here say. It will be another two to three months before we know if it's a cushion of air - or a lot of hot air.

From 680 News Rochester

 

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Today in Great Lakes History - April 11

11 April 1890 - The CHENANGO (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 176 foot, 696 gross tons, built in 1887, at Detroit, Michigan) was carrying 40,000 bushels of wheat from Toledo, Ohio to Buffalo, New York when she caught fire off Erie, Pennsylvania. She was partially consumed by the fire and sank in four fathoms of water with no loss of life. She was later raised at great expense and rebuilt as the steamer LIZZIE MADDEN.

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, 1,558 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, 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.

 

Republic Departs Shipyard

4/10 - Sturgeon Bay - Wednesday afternoon the American Republic departed Bayship Building after undergoing repairs to damage suffered in a late March accident in the Straits of Mackinac. The vessel arrived at the ship yard on March 30 with damage to its bow. The Cason J. Callaway, the other vessel involved in the incident, remained at the ship yard as crews replaced the last piece of steel to complete repairs to bow damage on that vessel.

 

Westcott Company Returns to Service

4/10 - Detroit - The J. W. Westcott Co. returned to 24 hour operations Wednesday morning with the arrival of the U.S. mail boat J. W. Westcott II at the company's dock below the Ambassador Bridge on the Detroit River. Capt. Sam Buchanan piloted the 50-foot work boat from the dock at Gregory's Marina for the short trip down river.

This marks the company's 113th season on the river. Winter work on the Westcott fleet included normal maintenance and painting.

The back up mail boat Joseph J. Hogan is expected to return to service later this month. The Pilot Boat Huron Maid is on station for pilot changes.

J. W. Westcott News Release

 

Port Reports - April 10

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
Presque Isle departed from Midwest Terminals Overseas Dock during the mid afternoon.
The salt water vessel Tuscarora arrived at the Midwest Terminals Overseas Dock early Tuesday morning.
On Wednesday afternoon, she was visited by Port Authority and local officials and welcomed into Toledo as the first overseas vessel to arrive for the 2008 shipping season. She has a load of sugar onboard to be offloaded at this port.  The tug Rebecca Lynn and barge were also at the Midwest Terminals Overseas Dock.
Cuyahoga's trip to the CSX Docks was cancelled out and re-scheduled to a later date.
The next scheduled vessels due into the CSX Coal Docks will be the American Mariner and Algolake on Friday. Cuyahoga on Saturday, followed by Herbert C. Jackson on Sunday.
The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock will be Atlantic Huron on Thursday. The tug/barge combo Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder on Friday, followed by Herbert C. Jackson on Saturday.

South Chicago - Brian Z.
Interlake's Charles M. Beeghly loaded coal Wednesday at KCBX Terminals in Chicago. Loading was completed early afternoon. The Beeghly was destined for Wisconsin Energies.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
The barge McKee Sons and tug Invincible arrived at Lafarge around 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday. It tied up at the dock and unloaded coal. It departed in the early morning hours of Wednesday to head for Calcite. Also calling at Lafarge on a windy Wednesday afternoon was the tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation, in for another load of cement.
The Alpena is expected to return to port on Thursday.

Twin Ports - Al Miller
The first saltie of the season for Duluth-Superior is expected to be the 607-foot Gadwell, arriving early Thursday afternoon. The vessel will load at the CHS grain terminal in Superior – the Twin Ports’ busiest elevator in recent years. The Gadwell will take on 23,000 tons of wheat destined for Portugal. The vessel is coming light from Montreal, where it unloaded a cargo from Chile.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Algorail arrived Wednesday night at 10:30 p.m., loaded at Sifto Salt and departed at 8 a.m. Thursday morning. It was a slow week at Sifto for ship loading.

 

Toronto Marine Historical Society Silent Auction

4/10 - Toronto - The Toronto Marine Historical Society has announced their 11th annual silent auction.

This year there are more than 160 items of interest to those who collect items connected with lakes shipping. Selections include many vessel technical drawings and plans, photographs, books and a the clock from a Great Lakes freighter.  For more information visit http://www.tmhs.ca

 

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Today in Great Lakes History - April 10

10 April 1868 Ð The ALPENA (wooden side-wheel passenger-package freight steamer, 653 tons, built in 1867, at Marine City, Michigan) was purchased by Capt. A. E. Goodrich from Gardner, Ward & Gardner for $80,000.

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. MaryÕs River from Lake Huron or Michigan. President Dave Bows of the Kiwanis Club, pointed out the clubÕs $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.

 

Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. Update

4/9 - Duluth - Tugs from Great Lakes Towing on Tuesday pulled the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. from its winter layup berth at Hallett 8 in Superior several miles to the Lakehead Pipeline dock in Superior.

The Lakehead dock is often used by American Steamship vessels for short-term lay bys and repairs. The McCarthy apparently will continue undergoing repairs for several more weeks before returning to service.

Reported by Al Miller

 

Port Reports - April 9

Kingsville - Erich Zuschlag
The Cuyahoga become Kingsville's first official ship of the year Tuesday. She was unloading stone from Marblehead, Ohio. She left at around 2:30 p.m. bound for Toledo. Last week the Mississagi ran aground outside of the harbour mouth.

South Chicago - Brian Z.
The Joe Block was reported to be experiencing electrical problems and remained at the dock in South Chicago until noon Tuesday. Repairs were made and the Block departed for Manitowoc, WI with a cargo of coal.

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Tuesday, Quebecois was unloading at St. Lawrence Cement in Duluth, Alpena was unloading at LaFarge Cement in Superior, and Algoway was loading at Midwest Energy Terminal.
The first saltie of the season is expected to be the Gadwell, arriving either Wednesday or Thursday to load grain.
Roger Blough was tied up at the Duluth port terminal Tuesday morning waiting for Edwin H. Gott to finish loading at CN Duluth ore dock. The Blough was expected to be at the dock later in the afternoon.
Indiana Harbor was loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal.
Elsewhere on the lakes, Great Lakes Fleet reported that Presque Isle is in Toledo for repairs.

 

Federal Patriot update

4/9 - Montreal - Federal Patriot is not coming to the Lakes after her call at Halifax. On Monday night, she departed Halifax for Philadelphia. According to the Fednav website, in June, she might be coming in the Seaway to deliver steel to Hamilton and Cleveland.

Reported by René Beauchamp

 

Lake levels discussed

4/9 - Harrison Township, MI - A century ago, Lake Huron was nearly ten feet higher than Lake Erie. Today that difference has fallen by almost half. What gives?

That was one of the many questions about the Great Lakes addressed by experts at the fourth Bi-national Lake St. Clair Conference held recently in Harrison Township, Michigan.

According to records kept by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the elevation difference between lakes Huron and Erie was nine feet in 1918, the earliest year for which comparable data are available. Today, the difference is five feet.

Rob Nairn, a principal with W.F. Baird and Associates of Oakville, Ontario, who authored a 2005 study on the elevation difference between lakes Michigan-Huron and St. Clair-Erie, told conference attendees the decline was due to sand mining, shipping canal dredging before 1960 and, more recently, erosion in the St. Clair River.

"Lake Michigan-Huron is lower than it would be due to what we did in the St. Clair River," he said. He said sand and gravel mining in the 1920s, of which little is known, affected elevation differences between the upper and lower lakes.

Another factor considered was post-glacial rebound, or tectonic lift. The rebound is due to the ground rising following the retreat of the glaciers 10,000 years ago. Nairn estimated the effects of the rebound on the head difference over the last 30 years amounts to little more than half an inch.

Net basin supply precipitation from out-of-basin sources as opposed to lake effect snow, for example amounts to another 1.6 inches in the head difference between Lakes Huron and Erie over the last 30 years.

Dredging of the shipping channels may be the most significant factor for the period before 1970. "If it hadn't been for navigation in the St. Clair River," Nairn said, "Lake Huron would be almost a metre higher than right now."

Lake Huron actually rose a bit between 1960 and 1971, Nairn said, due to a buildup of sand at a critical juncture in the St. Clair River. In this case, it was at the bend in the river just below the Blue Water Bridge. A huge accretion of sand had built up on the Port Huron side of the river, restricting flow and reducing conveyance, which is the water carrying capacity of the river.

Since 1971, however, the sand has washed downriver and left a huge cavity where the sand buildup once was.

Nairn said huge "sand waves" measuring 26 feet tall and 1,000 feet long are marching down the river. Like dunes in a desert, sand is lifted from the windward (upstream) side of the sand wave and deposited on the lee (downstream) side of the wave. "The recent riverbed erosion is unprecedented, even on a geologic time scale," said Nairn in his 2005 report. "It has led to a significant lowering of lakes Michigan and Huron with corresponding implications for the economy and environment."

As the sand is eroded out of the river and shipping channels, it is not being replaced from soil entering from Lake Huron, further aggravating the problem. This may be due, Nairn said, to increased armouring of the shoreline with seawalls, preventing erosion. Nairn said many of the changes in lakes Huron and Erie and the St. Clair River were masked in the 1980s, due to the unusually high water levels at the time.

Jim Nicholas, of the U.S. Geological Survey and co-chairperson of the St. Clair River Task Team, said conveyance, the carrying capacity of the river channel, is due to shape, width and depth and roughness (obstructions along the bottom). As the river and channels erode, water flow is increased, causing more erosion and lake level drops.

Lower lake levels reduce the amount of cargo that ships can transport through the lakes. Lower water levels also impede access to the lakes and lower property values along the shores and diminish the quantity and quality of wildlife habitat.

Jennifer Vincent of Environment Canada said 77 per cent of Lake St. Clair drainage comes from Ontario, where the lake's watershed extends as far east as London. "You're trying to convince people who may never see Lake St. Clair that it's important," she said. "Lake St. Clair, unfortunately, is the canary in the coal mine for a lot of these invasive species."

One such invasive species is phragmites, a perennial grass that grows to more than 15 feet tall. The non-native invasive species has spread from the Mississippi Delta to the Upper Peninsula, and can be found in roadside ditches and casual wetlands.

Phragmites (pronounced frag mighties) produce about 2,000 seeds annually and has a tremendous root system. The non-native variety displaces desirable native species, dries up wetlands and becomes a fire hazard.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has developed a long-term control for phragmites. It requires herbicide application in the fall, followed by burning, mowing and/or flooding. Following years require spot applications of herbicides.

From the Sarnia Observer

 

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Today in Great Lakes History - April 09

09 April 1890 Ð The W H SAWYER (wooden propeller freighter, 201 foot, 746 gross tons) was launched by F. W. Wheeler (Hull #66) at West Bay City, Michigan. She lasted until 1928, when she sank off Harbor Beach, Michigan.

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, 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 8

South Chicago - Brian Z.
The Joe Block was loading a cargo of coal Monday at KCBX Terminals in Chicago. The Block was sporting a newly painted stack with the Arcelor Mittal logo. Loading is expected to be complete late Monday evening.

Superior - Al Miller
After spending the weekend in Fraser Shipyards, the Edward L. Ryerson departed the yard Monday.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Tuesday morning, Tug/Barge Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader opened the Lower Harbor with a load of stone.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
On Monday the Cuyahoga was unloading a cargo of oats at the Midwest Terminal Overseas Dock. This cargo was loaded at Thunder Bay, Ontario. After unloading the Cuyahoga departed early in the afternoon and was bound for Marblehead, Ohio to load stone.
CSL Niagara finished unloading ore at the Torco Dock and departed during the mid afternoon. Kaye E. Barker arrived at the Torco Dock several hours later to unload ore.  Canadian Transport was loading coal at the CSX Docks with the tug Salvor and barge waiting to load. Mary E. Hannah and her barge were at the Hocking Valley Dock.  Tug Rebecca Lynn and barge were at the Midwest Terminals Overseas Dock.
The next scheduled coal boats due into the CSX Docks will be the Kaye E. Barker coming over from the Torco Dock late Monday evening. The Cuyahoga on Tuesday. American Mariner on Thursday, followed by Algolake on Friday.
The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock will be the American Valor late Monday evening, Atlantic Huron on Thursday, followed by the tug/barge combo Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder on Friday.
Presque Isle was inbound late Monday evening bound for the Midwest Terminal Overseas Dock. The salt water vessel Tuscarora is bound for Toledo and may spend the evening at the anchorage area in western Lake Erie and proceed inbound early Tuesday morning. It is unknown which dock she is bound for.

 

Fednav's newest acquisition

4/8 - Phased into the Fednav fleet recently is the Federal Patriot. The vessel arrived at Halifax late Sunday night. She is the former BBC Russia which transited the Seaway a few times between 2003, when built, and 2007.

In the Fednav fleet, the vessel has four sisterships which are regular callers in the Seaway since last year, Federal Patroller, Pioneer, Power and Pride. Her next destination after Halifax might be a Great Lakes port but it has not been confirmed.

Reported by René Beauchamp

 

Deer caught in ore dock chute

4/8 - Marquette - A wandering deer on the Presque Isle Ore dock, got more than it bargained for.

The 10-month-old fawn was walking out on the dock, when it fell into one of the chutes. The deer was about three-quarters of the way out on the dock, stuck on the north side. According to those with the DNR and CCI, this kind of thing is rare. And to complicate matters, the chute was full of iron ore pellets.

DNR officials corralled the fawn, immobilizing it with ropes and a harness. They also blindfolded the deer to keep it calm. Tranquilizers were not used, because they could have killed the deer, due to stress from the winter.

A small crane on the dock was used to hoist the deer out. It took about 15 minutes to get the animal to safety. They took it down the tracks to the rail yard, where they released the fawn. It met up with other deer in the yard and took off, running about 250 yards and cleared a fence.

From WLUC - TV6

 

Lake St. Clair & River Cruise & BoatNerd Gathering scheduled

On May 25, an all day cruise leaving Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit and traveling up to the Blue Water Bridges, aboard the Diamond Belle, will be co-sponsored by the Marine Historical Society of Detroit and BoatNerd.com.

The trip includes a continental breakfast and deli lunch on board, and a buffet dinner at the historic St. Clair Inn. This is a great opportunity to see all the sights along the waterway between Detroit and Port Huron.

Tickets are $90.00 per person and reservations are required. Click here for details and a reservation form. Don't be left out, call today.

 

Editor's note: Last year, the Door County Maritime Museum raffled off a trip on the classic steamer Edward L. Ryerson. In 2008, BoatNerd.com is offering a similar raffle. If you win, reporters could be writing about you! Order your raffle tickets here.

Winning raffle ticket means a dream-come-true cruise aboard a Great Lakes ore carrier

4/8 - Sheboygan, WI - The average vacationer normally wouldn't consider a weeklong voyage on a 730-foot straight-deck bulk carrier the ideal get-away. Yet Sheboygan native Jack Dahler calls it "a dream come true."

Having spent his entire life in Sheboygan, Dahler has been fascinated with freighters, mostly content to admire these massive vessels from the shoreline. "I've been watching the freighters go by for years and never thought I'd get the chance to set foot on one."

Last summer, when long-time friend Larry Tuzinkewich offered to sell Dahler a $20 raffle ticket from the Door County Maritime Museum that offered the prospect of a trip aboard the Edward L. Ryerson, Dahler jumped at the chance. Tuzinkewich's only request in return for the ticket was an invitation to join the Dahlers if they won. And they did.

The Ryerson was built in 1960, primarily with one type of cargo in mind - iron ore, and after a short hiatus beginning in 1994, the Ryerson returned to service in April of 1997. "Captain Eric Treece said that if given the opportunity, many people would stand in line to pay $10,000 for a chance at a trip on a ship like the Ryerson," Dahler said. The unique opportunity to be a guest on a working freighter, however, is usually only available to shipping companies' customers as a perk.

Holding up his end of the bargain, Dahler boarded the Ryerson with his wife, Carol, along with Tuzinkewich and his wife, Ann, on Aug. 7. "We were given a 24-hour window to drive to Lorain, Ohio, while the boat was unloading," Dahler said. The group then set sail with an empty cargo bay across Lake Erie, Lake Huron, through the Soo Locks to Lake Superior. "It was very relaxing, beautiful views of the lakes," Jack said. "Calm seas, sun and - no bugs!"

In just four hours, the ship was loaded in Superior, with 24,000 tons of iron ore, and then headed back to Ohio to arrive exactly one week later at 2:30 p.m. "Watching 24,000 tons of iron get loaded onto the boat was really something," Dahler said. Being well-acquainted with the history of the Ryerson and freighters in general, getting a glimpse of the boat in action was something he won't soon forget.

Dahler and company also were treated to an educational tour of the ship. "There was no cruise director, so we were basically on our own and had complete run of the ship." According to Ann Tuzinkewich, the group was given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. "In the wheel room we learned how to navigate the Ryerson, how to read all the instruments and follow along on the computer as to which vessel we were passing, where they came from and what they were transporting."

Along with a carpeted guest lounge looking over the stern, complete with comfortable couches, chairs, tables and even a television, the boat has "four individual state rooms with windows looking out over the front of the boat," Dahler said. "The rooms were great and the food was very good. For a working boat, it was exceptional!"

"Captain Treece and his crew were amazing. From the minute we arrived until we left we were certainly treated like royalty," Ann said. "Joey, who is second cook on the Ryerson, certainly aims to please and spoils you with all his excellent breads, pastries, etc. Before I left, he made sure I had my hot blueberry muffins to take along."

When asked if he'd enter the raffle again if given the opportunity, Dahler said, "Why not? I never thought I'd win. It was a once in a lifetime trip that you can't buy at any price."

From the Sheboygan Press

 

Updates - April 8

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets.

Have you made your Badger BoatNerd reservations yet?

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 08

08 April 1871, The NAVARINO (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 184 foot, 761 tons, built in 1871, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin) entered service for the Goodrich Transportation Company. She only lasted until 09 October 1871, since she burned in the Great Chicago Fire.

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.

 

 

Port Reports - April 7

Montreal - René Beauchamp
BBC Delaware arrived at one of the Montreal anchorages Sunday for Seaway inspections. She is loaded with windmill parts to be delivered in Windsor. When entering the Seaway, she will be the first new salty of the year to transit. Painted in large letters on her sides are the words BBC Chartering, the first BBC ship we've seen with this advertising.

Indiana Harbor - Brian Z.
The Wilfred Sykes was unloading taconite pellets for Arcelor Mittal's #5 & #6 blast furnaces on Saturday. The Sykes discharged the cargo at the East mill and departed late in the afternoon.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
American Steamship's John J. Boland backed out of the inner harbor on Saturday morning at 11:50. Soon thereafter, at 1:00 p.m. the Algorail arrived at the bulk pier on the east side of the inner harbor to deliver salt. She departed at 11:45 p.m.

Alpena and Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
Both cement carriers visited Lafarge over the weekend to take on product. The tug Samuel de Champlain/barge Innovation was in on Saturday morning and the Alpena was under the silos loading for Superior, WI on Sunday morning.
Saturday evening the Herbert C. Jackson was loading at Stoneport. The Great Lakes Trader followed on Sunday.

Toronto - Frank Hood
Stephen B. Roman left Toronto Harbour on Sunday.

 

BoatNerd Freighter Trip Raffle underway

A trip for four aboard the legendary Great Lakes steamboat Edward L. Ryerson is the top prize in this year's BoatNerd Raffle.

Other prizes include: a port hole from the Calumet courtesy International Marine Salvage, a cruise aboard the Huron Lady II, sightseeing cruises of Duluth-Superior aboard the Vista Fleet, tickets for Diamond Jack's River Tours on the Detroit River, passes aboard the Keweenaw Star for a sunset cruise, and round trip tickets to Beaver Island, four prizes of passes for two on a Diamond Jack cruise on the Detroit River, a round trip for two including auto aboard the carferry Badger donated by the Lake Michigan Carferry and two Tours of the DeTour Reef Lighthouse courtesy the Detour Reef Light Preservation Society.

All proceeds from the raffle will benefit the BoatNerd.Com Web site. Funds raised will be used to pay the charges associated with running such a busy site. Fund-raising raffles are our only method of support; without the raffle BoatNerd.Com would be forced to discontinue this free web site.

The drawing will take place at 2 p.m. on June 7, 2008 at the BoatNerd.Com World Headquarters at Vantage Point, in Port Huron, Mich. Donation: $10 per ticket, 3 for $25, 6 for $50 or 14 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.

State of Michigan Raffle License # R95375

 

2008 S/S Badger Boatnerd Gathering Cruise

On Saturday, May 31, 2008, we are once again pleased to offer the Boatnerd Badger Gathering. A round-trip crossing of Lake Michigan from Ludington, Michigan to Manitowoc, Wisconsin, aboard the Lake Michigan Carferry S/S Badger.

Join us in traveling on the only coal-fired steamer left on the Great Lakes. Visit the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc and see the operating restored forward engine from the legendary railroad ferry Chief Wawatam, and the WWII submarine Cobia, OR go on the optional Wisconsin Shoreline Cruise aboard the Badger.

Lee Murdoch will be on board to offer entertainment both ways across the lake.

On Friday night, May 30, we have arranged a special Badger Boatel B&B to stay aboard the steamer on the night prior to the cruise. Reservations for staterooms are limited. This optional part of the gathering may offer pilothouse and engine room tours.

See the Boatnerd Gathering Page for complete details and sign up form.

Reservations must be received no later than May 3. Don’t miss out on this fun Gathering.

 

Know Your Ships 2008 now taking orders
Book signing scheduled

4/6 - The 2008 edition of Know Your Ships 2008, the annual field guide to the vessels sailing the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway, will soon be off the press.
The 152-page book, now in its 49th 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 M/V Calumet, which ended her distinguished career late last season.

Editor and Publisher Roger LeLievre, as well as members of the Know Your Ships crew, will also be on hand at the Great Lakes Maritime Center / BoatNerd.Com World Headquarters in Port Huron from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Saturday, April 19 to sign copies of "Know Your Ships." Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the book signing.

Order Know Your Ships 2008 from www.knowyourships.com (secure via PayPal) 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 vessels that visit the Great Lakes each season.

Visit www.knowyourships.com for more information.

 

Updates - April 7

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets.

Have you made your Badger BoatNerd reservations yet?

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 07

07 April 1997 Ð The LEE A TREGURTHA (steel, propeller self-unloader bulk freighter, 716 foot, 14,671 gross tons, built in 1942, at Sparrows Point, Maryland) as a tanker, Lengthened 227 feet and converted to a dry bulk carrier in 1961, at Lorain, Ohio, lengthened 96 feet in 1976. Converted to a self-unloader in 1978. Laid down as a.) MOBIL OIL, completed as b.) SAMOSET, U.S.S. CHIWAWA from 1942-61, WALTER A STERLING 1961-85 & WILLIAM CLAY FORD 1985-1989, suffered an 18 foot hull fracture in her port bow near the bow thruster tunnel while downbound in the Upper St. Marys River due to heavy ice. She proceeded to the De Tour Coal Dock where repairs were made overnight and she continued on her trip on 08 April 1997.

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.

 

McCarthy Repairs Ahead of Schedule

4/6 - Duluth - It's been nearly three months since the Walter J. McCarthy hit a submerged object while backing into its slip at Hallett Dock Number eight.

After millions of dollars in repairs, and the teamwork of the American Steamship Company, Frasier Shipyards, and the U.S. Coast Guard, the ship's progress is running ahead of schedule.

An inspection was just conducted on Wednesday and officials were able to examine a completed welding job.

Although a protection box around the construction site, was removed Wednesday and the hull is back intact, there is still a lot of work to be done.

"Once you get the hull repaired, they have to go in and strip down all the machinery equipment in that space and basically start from new. You have to put everything back together, make sure it works right, put all the fluids back into it, operationally test it."

Coast Guard officials say a lot of the damage was minimized by diligent crew members who immediately shut down much of the onboard electronics when the breach occurred.

That has put them ahead of schedule with hopes to relaunch the thousandfooter by early or midMay.

From KBJR-TV Duluth

 

Canadian show to feature Great Lakes' largest ship

4/6 - Port Huron - A ship that supplies the Blue Water Area with coal will be featured on a Canadian TV series.

A TV crew from Exploration Production Inc. of Toronto is in the area today wrapping up filming of the Paul R. Tregurtha, the "Queen of the Lakes," for an episode of a new series, "Awesome Ships." The Tregurtha makes regular runs between Superior, Wis., and Detroit Edison's Saint Clair Power Plant in East China Township.

The television series is being produced for the Canadian division of the Discovery Channel, but could be aired internationally through the Discovery network, said Nick de Pencier, director of the Tregurtha episode. All of the show's episodes should be finished by mid-summer and will air next season, de Pencier said. Broadcast dates have not been determined.

Producers decided to feature the Tregurtha because of its size and design, de Pencier said. The ship, which is about 1,013½ feet long, is operated by Interlake Steamship Co. and is the largest freighter ever to work the Great Lakes, he said. According to the company's Web site, the freighter can carry up to 68,000 tons of taconite pellets or 71,000 tons of coal. It has a self-unloading mechanism, de Pencier said.

The ship was built by American Ship Building Company in Lorain, Ohio, in 1981. Formerly called the William J. DeLancey, the ship was renamed the Tregurtha in honor of one of Interlake Steamship Co.'s board members.

Two other ships to be featured on "Awesome Ships" include the Queen Mary 2, a passenger vessel that was filmed on a voyage between New York and London, and the Maersk Emma, the largest container ship in the world. Crews filmed that ship transporting 17,000 head of cattle between Australia and Indonesia, de Pencier said.

Crews hopped aboard the Tregurtha when the ship set sail from its berth in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., on March 23, said John Brian, a deck officer and pilot on the ship who accompanied the film crew. The journey included a four-day stay in Duluth, Minn., when the ship needed repair because of ice damage, de Pencier said. It was the first ship to sail through the ice breaks near northern Wisconsin in Lake Michigan, Brian said. Coast Guard cutters had to break the ship free for it to continue when it left Green Bay, Wis.

On Friday afternoon, de Pencier and his crew were looking forward to filming the ship when it docked at the St. Clair Power Plant on Friday night. "For us to unload, the ship has to do almost a complete turn so her bow is facing back upriver," he said. "There's very little room to spare on either side." He's enjoyed being able to capture the size of the ship in context, as it squeezes through tight spots such as the St. Mary's and St. Clair rivers. "It's pretty amazing to see a vessel of this size navigate," he said. "You're basically going through people's back yard in a ship of 1,000 feet."

The episode about the ship likely will feature images of the Blue Water Bridge and the St. Clair River, de Pencier said. A filmmaker also captured images of the vessel from a shore perspective, he said.

From the Port Huron Times Herald

 

Port Reports - April 6

Marquette - Rod Burdick and Lee Rowe
American Valor remained at the Upper Harbor ore dock on Saturday after undergoing boom repairs and waiting for ore. Loading was scheduled into the evening. Also on Saturday, Kaye E. Barker loaded ore. Calumet arrived later in the afternoon to load ore Saturday evening.

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Edward L. Ryerson was in Fraser Shipyards on late Saturday afternoon.
Edgar B. Speer was at the shiploader berth at CN Duluth, reportedly undergoing repairs before loading.
Algowood was loading at Midwest Energy Terminal. Much of Duluth harbor and St. Louis Bay is open water or broken ice. Large areas of open water also exist near the BNSF ore docks in Superior. Western Lake Superior is ice free.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
Shortly after midnight, early Saturday morning, the American Fortitude and Buffalo departed their respective layup berths and are now out sailing.
Canadian Miner finished loading grain and departed from Andersons "E" Elevator late Friday evening.
The next scheduled vessels due into the CSX Coal Docks will be the H. Lee White and Canadian Transport on Sunday. The tug Salvor and barge and the Kaye E.
Barker on Monday, followed by the Cuyahoga on Tuesday.
The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock will be the CSL Assiniboine on Sunday. The Kaye E. Barker and CSL Niagara on Monday, followed by the Atlantic Huron on Thursday.
American Valor was scheduled into the Torco Dock for Sunday still remained at Marquette, Michigan late Saturday afternoon, waiting for her load. Due to the delay it is unknown when her arrival time for this dock site will be or if her orders will change and the ore could be delivered to a different port.

Toronto - Frank Hood
Stephen B. Roman was back in Toronto Harbour Saturday.

 

New Exhibits at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum

4/5 - Detroit – Two new exhibits opening Saturday, April 12th at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle bring two very different aspects of the region’s maritime history to life.

The Great Lakes may not have had blood-thirsty pirates, but the Detroit River has been a Smuggler’s Paradise for centuries. Smugglers on the Straits, which replaces the Maritime Marvels exhibit in the Great Lakes Gallery, will be on display through April of 2009.

Since the founding of Detroit in 1701, French, English, Canadian and American administrations have attempted to stem the steady tide of contraband smuggled across the river coming from or going to Canada. Everything from furs to liquor have been the principle cargoes, but there have been many more. This exhibit uses artifacts, photographs, archaeological finds, artwork, and vignettes to tell the stories of these controversial and illegal endeavors.

In contrast, Fun, Fast and Fancy: Great Lakes Yachts, open through October 26th in DeRoy Hall, tells a much more whimsical story. Metro Detroit has been a national leader in the boating world for many decades with hundreds of firms and thousands of individuals involved in some aspect of Detroit’s yachting industry. The same spirit and resources that were shaping the automotive industry helped drive the development of sleek hulls and powerful engines.

Local designers and builders gave their names to companies that became legends in the yachting world and still have legacies that survive today. This exhibit uses artifacts, models, photographs, company brochures and histories, and newspaper and magazine ads to tell the story of the companies, builders and the individuals >who made waterborne entertainment great.

The Dossin Museum, located at 100 Strand Drive on Belle Isle, is open Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free at the Museum for the duration of 2008 through the support of the DeRoy Testamentary Foundation. Visit www.detroithistorical.org.

 

Updates - April 6

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets.

Have you made your Badger BoatNerd reservations yet?

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 06

06 April 1880 Ð The GOSHAWK (2-mast wooden schooner-barge, 180 foot, 501 gross tons, built in 1866, at Cleveland, Ohio) left Chicago, Illinois with a load of grain for Buffalo, New York on her first trip of the season. At dusk, sailor Frederick Cook fell overboard, off the boom of the mizzen mast. A plank was thrown to him and the anchor was dropped to stop the vessel. The lifeboat was launched with four men in it to rescue the sailor but they could not find him. The lifeboat got lost in the dark. The GOSHAWK waited through the night without any word of a rescue. At dawn, the captain decided to return to Chicago but the three men left onboard could not raise the anchor. Meanwhile, the lifeboat landed south of Chicago, flagged down a passing train and rode it to Chicago. The GOSHAWK flew the distress signal and a Chicago tug steamed out and towed her back into the harbor where the four rescuers got aboard. The GOSHAWK then resumed her journey. Sailor Cook was never found.

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, 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.

 

After Nearly a Month, MSC Sabrina Freed

4/5 - Trois Rivieres - The MSC Sabrina was pulled free Friday morning from the St. Lawrence River mud bank on which she stranded March 8.

The vessel was freed with the help of five Ocean Group tugs combined with lift from higher tides and freshets (run offs from the winter snow and spring rain from the swollen
rivers and streams that feed the St. Lawrence this time of year).

The vessel had sailed from Le Harve, France, with containers for Montreal, Quebec, when the mishap occurred. The MSC Sabrina had to be lightered some 5,000 tonnes of cargo last week before salvors could accomplish the task of pulling her off the mud bank opposite Trois Rivieres, Que.

The Groupe Ocean tugs Duga, Ocean Bravo, Ocean Delta, Ocean Jupiter and Ocean K. Rusby started the operation at 3 a.m. Friday. The stern of the MSC Sabrina was pushed off the mud bank, allowing the vessel to use her own engine. MSC Sabrina was released from her perch around noon Friday and was scheduled to go alongside at Trois Rivieres for a hull inspection before continuing on to Montreal to offload the remaining containers.

The vessel did not block the busy waterway and no pollution occurred. No one was injured in the grounding.

MSC Sabrina was built in South Korea in 1989 and registered in Panama. It is managed by Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A.

Reported by Kent Malo

 

St. Marys Challenger under CML management

4/5 - Central Marine Logistics is very pleased to announce that they are now the managing operators of the St. Marys Challenger, and are excited to be part of this vessels long career of Still Steamin' on behalf of St. Marys Cement.

The St. Marys Challenger holds the honors of being the oldest continually operating boat trading on the Great Lakes, powered by her Skinner Marine Unaflow 4 cylinder reciprocating steam engine.

Her new fleet mates will be the Wilfred Sykes (built in 1949), the Edward L. Ryerson (built in 1960) and Joseph L. Block (built in 1976).

Central Marine Logistics is based in Griffith, Indiana

 

Port Report - April 5

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
The John G. Munson was loading coal at the CSX Docks and departed early Friday evening.  Canadian Miner continued to load grain at Anderson's "E" Elevator.
The tug Petite Forte and barge St Marys Cement was unloading cement at the St. Marys Cement Dock by the Ironhead Marine Shipyard.
American Fortitude and Buffalo remained at Toledo at their respective dock sites and are fitting out. Both vessels should be out sailing soon.
The latest update for the CSX Coal Dock has the H. Lee White, tug Salvor and barge, and Canadian Transport due in Sunday. Kaye E. Barker on Monday, followed by the Cuyahoga on Tuesday.
The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock will be the CSL Assiniboine on Saturday, the American Valor and CSL Niagara on Sunday, followed by the Kaye E. Barker on Monday.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Friday was the busiest day of the new season at the Upper Harbor. Early in the day, Charles M. Beeghly unloaded coal, and Calumet loaded ore.
American Valor arrived to load ore after the Beeghly departed early in the afternoon. Loading of the Valor was delayed as it appeared her unloading boom would not lift and move side to side. Crew was working on the problem.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The last of Toronto's winter lay-up fleet, Canadian Ranger, departed port Friday morning and headed down the lake.

 

USCGC Mobile Bay commanding officer temporarily relieved of command

4/5 - Cleveland - Rear Admiral John E. Crowley, Jr., commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District, has temporarily relieved Lieutenant Commander Matthew J. Smith of command of the Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay.

Mobile Bay (WTGB 103) is a 140-foot ice breaking tug, based in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, whose missions also include law enforcement, maintenance of navigational aids, and search-and-rescue.

"After a series of discussions with Lieutenant Commander Smith, I have decided a change in leadership is necessary to ensure Mobile Bay is able to effectively meet future mission requirements," said Rear Admiral Crowley.

USCG News Release

 

Split Rock Light gets a shiny, new hue

4/5 - Duluth - LeRoy Landon slid the utility knife blade back and forth, up and down between the curved window pane and the frame. When the glass finally felt loose, Landon gently pushed it toward his co-worker, Tim Rooney, who stood on a narrow catwalk outside the Split Rock Lighthouse on Thursday morning.

Working with glass always requires a light touch. But prying off the 27 curved-glass windowpanes — about half of them originals — that enclose the lighthouse top demanded even more caution.

A comprehensive renovation project is under way at the historic lighthouse. When it’s finished by mid-summer, seven properties on the Split Rock site will have been spiffed up and stabilized, site manager Lee Radzak said. They include the fog signal building, the lightkeepers’ dwellings, two wooden storage barns and, most visibly, the top of the lighthouse.

It’s the first major project at the lighthouse site since 1991, and the work comes at a particularly good time, Radzak said. The lighthouse will see its 100th birthday in 2010, and it’s in consideration for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Good time to repaint the cast-iron lantern top that caps the lighthouse and remove the windows to take care of some leaking spots. The lighthouse has been shrouded in scaffolding and netting — Radzak said it looks like a lampshade — in preparation for the renovation. A $900,000 grant from the 2006 state bonding bill will pay for the work.

Landon, an employee with Superior Glass in Superior, was around for the 1991 renovation work, too. He helped replace some cracked windowpanes, a tricky job considering there were just two companies in the country that still manufactured curved glass. The new windows had to be shipped from California.

A brisk Lake Superior breeze whipped in through the empty window frames as Landon and Rooney loosened pane after pane. “This is one of the wilder places I’ve worked,” Rooney said. “You almost need a staple gun to keep your hat on.” And it’s one of the most scenic places to replace glass, Landon added as he glanced out over the shoreline.

The entire underside of the peaked lighthouse top will be blasted with dry ice to remove peeling paint. The exterior will also be blasted, and everything will get a fresh coat of paint. The original Fresnel lens must be carefully protected during the renovation. Workers built a sturdy plywood box around the lens so it won’t be damaged by flying debris.

Work on the lighthouse should be completed by May 15, Radzak said, and the rest of the work should wrap up by mid-July. The interior of the lighthouse remains open for tours.

From the Duluth News-Tribune

 

Cutter's costs add up;
Museum looks into reclassifying Bramble to save money

4/5 - The Port Huron Museum is considering having the Coast Guard cutter Bramble reclassified in an effort to reduce the cost of maintaining the 65-year-old ship.

Per a federal requirement, the Bramble had to adhere to rigorous Coast Guard specifications for five years after the boat was decommissioned in 2003. On May 22, that requirement will expire and the museum will be free to downgrade the ship's status as a fully-functioning Coast Guard vessel. Dennis Zembala, president of the Port Huron Museum, couldn't say Thursday when the reclassification may happen or how much money it could save.

Since 2003, Acheson Ventures has been paying to keep the cutter up to snuff with no help from the city of Port Huron, which helps fund the museum. Zembala said the Bramble operates on a $100,000 annual budget, taking into account maintenance, fuel, electricity, insurance and wages for its one paid employee, Mike Popelka, who gives tours of the ship and oversees maintenance. "Even though you don't see it moving up and down the river, (the Bramble) is procuring costs," Acheson spokesman Paul Maxwell said. "We're all looking forward to it be more self-supporting, self-sustaining."

While the Bramble isn't costing the museum any money now, the funding agreement with Acheson was only in place for five years. We'd like to make it at least pay for itself," Zembala said, although there's been no indication Acheson plans to back out of the deal. Aside from paying its operating budget, Acheson also supplies the ship with mooring space at the Seaway Terminal in Port Huron.

The Bramble is one of the museum's four sites and is open seasonally for tours. The first tours of the year were given Thursday.

If the ship's classification changed, the museum may be able to offer more programs, Zembala said. Although no specifics have been worked out, programs could include things such as having children sleep on board the Bramble for a weekend and live the life of an enlisted Coast Guardsman. "We're looking to reduce the costs of operation and insurance and raise the level of programs," Zembala said.

It took more than 60 years for the Bramble to end up where it is. In 1943, the Zenith Dredge Co. built the ship in Duluth, Minn., and it was commissioned by the Coast Guard on April 22, 1944. In the second half of the 20th century, the Bramble helped make history.

From July to October 1947, the ship participated in tests determining an atomic bomb's effect on ships. Called "Operation Crossroads," the Bramble sat 20 miles away from a detonation site and had to be extensively scrubbed after the tests because of the atomized steam that settled on the ship.

In 1957, the Bramble became one of the first surface ships to circumnavigate North America. On the trip, sailors lounged on Florida beaches; cut through the Panama Canal; coasted around Alaska; broke through Arctic Ice on the Beaufort Sea; and made it back home again within about four months.

The Bramble finally settled in Port Huron in Sept. 1975, after a major renovation involving rebuilding engines and modernization. Aside from its normal duties -- aiding navigation, search and rescue and icebreaking -- the ship enjoyed a settled life in the Great Lakes. It made one last hurrah when, for about five months in 1987, the ship performed law enforcement duties in the Caribbean, at one point seizing a vessel with three people and 50 tons of marijuana aboard.

As the ship aged, the Coast Guard began preparations to replace it with its current Port Huron ship, the Hollyhock. People fretted about the Bramble's future and U.S. Rep. Candice Miller made keeping the Bramble in the area her first shot at legislation.

Because the ship was federal property, the Coast Guard couldn't formally transfer ownership of the Bramble without Congress' permission. The ship was estimated to be worth $1.9 million at the time. Miller introduced the Bramble legislation in January 2003. Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan introduced a companion bill in the Senate in April 2003.

The bill finally was signed into law by President George W. Bush in late 2004. "It was handed over in pristine shape ... with all the bells and whistles," Maxwell said. "On the river, it's an asset."

From the Port Huron Times-Herald

 

Wisconsin regulators ponder Great Lakes windmills

4/5 - Madison — Wisconsin regulators want to study what it would take to implant giant wind turbines in Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, a move that might someday lead to new power for Wisconsin but cost millions of dollars and transform serene lake views.

The three-member Public Service Commission voted unanimously Thursday to begin assessing whether the concept can be executed, the power it could generate, the costs and public sentiment. “There’s enough unanswered questions that it’s a matter of public policy. We should explore it,” said Eric Callisto, commission Chairman Dan Ebert’s executive assistant. “The economics have to dictate this makes sense. But right now we’re in something of an information vacuum.”

Gov. Jim Doyle’s global warming task force recommended that the commission, the state Department of Natural Resources and the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands convene a study group on offshore generation in Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. The task force said Wisconsin doesn’t have the same wind quality as western states and should at least examine offshore prospects.

The study group should explore costs, issues related to lake bed development and impact on birds, the task force recommended. The group also should explore a partnership with the state of Michigan in offshore efforts. Callisto said the PSC hopes to complete the study by the end of the year.

Energy experts hail wind power as a cheap, clean renewable energy source. Land-based wind power is a growing industry in Wisconsin and across the country. Experts say offshore turbines could generate more power. Winds over water are typically stronger and steadier than over land. Drawbacks include multimillion dollar price tags and the potential for rows of windmills marring views.

Kevin Crawford, mayor of Manitowoc, Wis., on Lake Michigan, thinks wind turbines can be located far enough offshore so they don’t ruin the view or fishing trips. “I’d be very comfortable with the idea,” Crawford said. “We know that renewables are a very important part of our future if our children are to have grandchildren.”

Ed Monroe, mayor of Ashland, said a better plan would be to build windmills on the city’s unused docks. “I would not like to see them spring up the way they do with [offshore] oil platforms,” he said. “There might be some spots where it would be perfectly suitable. There are others where it would ruin the view that you had and the whole reason you like being on the lake.”

It doesn’t look like folks in Manitowoc, Ashland or anywhere else have to worry about gazing out their windows at windmills stretching across the water anytime soon. Wisconsin’s utilities aren’t seriously considering getting into the offshore business. Charlie Severance is the general manager of wholesale and renewable energy for Wisconsin Public Service Corp., which supplies energy for much of Wisconsin’s northern Lake Michigan shoreline. He said the utility has considered going offshore and supports the PSC study, but construction looks too expensive right now. “The economics of it make it a nonstarter,” Severance said.

Dave Donovan, manager of regulatory policy for Xcel Energy, which serves much of the Lake Superior shoreline, said his utility hasn’t considered offshore, either. He agreed such a venture would be costly, but the study would help quantify wind speeds and consistency. “We don’t know the potential out there,” he said.

From the Duluth News Tribune

 

Updates - April 5

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Today in Great Lakes History - April 05

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

April 5, 1977 - 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, d.) SOUTHDOWN CONQUEST, e.) CEMEX CONQUEST and f.) ST MARYS CONQUEST. She operates today as self Ð unloading cement barge.

Data from: Steve Haverty, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, 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.

 

Airboat service connects Neebish to mainland

4/4 - Barbeau - An Eastern Upper Peninsula Transportation Authority official said a repair plan for the leaking ferry Neebish Islander II was expected to be approved on Wednesday as the idled ferry remained at her mainland dock.

EUPTA Director Chuck Moser said he hoped to receive the green light from the Coast Guard to begin temporary hull repairs. Even if the ferry were repaired, however, it likely would not be running in any event as wind-driven ice continues to pack the West Neebish Channel.

Wednesday stranded Neebish Island residents were in their fifth day of isolation from the mainland, a normal state of affairs around breakout time in early spring. Cross-channel contact with the island was maintained by a Coast Guard airboat, pressed into service across the flowing ice for passenger emergencies on Tuesday.

The Coast Guard reported that one island resident was evacuated by airboat Tuesday and another resident was taken off to collect the mail.

Sector Sault Operations Manager Mark Gill said the 18-foot airboat and crew have been made available for emergency foot traffic between Barbeau and the island. Gill said arrangements for the airboat are being coordinated by ferry operator Rich Hill on a 15-minute notice basis.

In a statement, a marine inspector said the Coast Guard is working closely with EUPTA to make temporary hull repairs as soon as possible. He said the ferry will be allowed to operate as soon as it is safe. Later drydocking for full inspection and permanent hull repair is expected to follow, soon after the ice is out on the St. Marys River.

The ferry has not made a passenger crossing since Friday, March 28, in part because of the hull leak, in part due to heavy floes of broken ice filling the West Neebish Channel. Longtime island residents are accustomed to early spring isolation, generally for a period of several days to allow springtime ice to clear the channel.

After more severe winters, the isolation period can last as much as two weeks. Early indications are that temporary hull repairs will tie up the ferry for a few days before it is in condition to operate on a limited schedule. That leaves the channel ice as the remaining obstacle to resumed ferry operations.

Moser said on Tuesday that tentative plans are to operated the ferry on a limited basis until ice conditions allow for drydocking the ferry to make permanent repairs.

From the Soo Evening News

 

Lake Superior down more than usual in March

4/4 - Duluth - Lake Superior dropped one-half-inch more than usual in March, a sign that a dry winter is causing the big lake to decline again after several months of upswing.

The lake dropped an inch in March, a month when it usually drops about 0.4 inches, the International Lake Superior Board of Control reported Wednesday. The lake’s level is expected to rise in April as it always does, but probably not as fast as usual.

Though snowfall has been ample south of the region, snowfall is below normal across much of the Lake Superior basin. Duluth, for example, is a foot below normal for snowfall this winter and has been very dry — down 2.4 inches of rain equivalent from normal since Jan. 1, the National Weather Service in Duluth reports.

Lake Superior sits 11 inches below its long-term average for the beginning of April but is 6 inches above the level at this time last year. That extra 6 inches should make launching and docking boats easier for recreational boaters this year but won’t do much to alleviate draft problems for Great Lakes freighters in some port areas.

The lake hit a record low for the month of August last year but generally has been rising since then. This is the first larger-than-normal decline since August.

Despite a multitude of predictions, the lake won’t break its all-time low level set in April 1926. The lake’s annual cycle will see it increase into autumn before it begins its annual decrease. How fast and how much the lake level increases this year, and whether it will stay out of record-low territory, will depend on spring and summer rainfall.

The level of Lakes Huron and Michigan are 20 inches below average for April 1 and 7 inches lower than April 2007. Experts say long-term dry spells, more ice-free months and increased evaporation have helped keep Lake Superior low in recent years.

From the Duluth News Tribune

 

Former Oglebay Norton President and CEO Joins Rand

4/4 - New York - Rand Logistics, the parent company of Lower Lakes Towing, announced Wednesday the appointment of Michael D. Lundin as an independent member of its Board of Directors, effective April 1, 2008.

Lundin is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Oglebay Norton Company, a miner, processor, transporter and marketer of industrial minerals and aggregates. This latest appointment expands Rand's Board to six members, including four non-management directors.

Laurence Levy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Rand Logistics, stated, "Michael Lundin is a seasoned executive with a significant amount of experience in Great Lakes operations and extensive knowledge of the shipping business. We are pleased to welcome him as a valuable addition to our Board and believe he will provide the insight and support necessary to assist the Company in reaching its strategic goals and objectives."

Lundin joined Oglebay Norton as the President of Michigan Limestone Operations in April 2000. He quickly became President of the Great Lakes Minerals Division and was promoted shortly thereafter to the position of President and Chief Operating Officer. Lundin also served as a member of the Oglebay Norton Board of Directors for seven years and currently sits on the Boards of two private organizations.

Prior to Oglebay Norton, Lundin served as Vice President and then President of Michigan Limestone Operations, LP, where he negotiated the partnership's sale to Oglebay Norton for $100 million. Lundin earned a B.S. in Manufacturing Engineering and Product Development from the University of Wisconsin and an M.B.A. from Loyola Marymount University.

Rand News Release

 

Port Reports - April 4

Toronto - Frank Hood & Charlie Gibbons
English River was back in port Wednesday evening with her first load of cement from Bath and departed Thursday.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons came in light over night Wednesday night. It took on a load of sand from the Construction Aggregates dock in Ferrysburg and backed out through the pier heads about 10:30 am Thursday morning.

 

Flow of Lock 3 visitors to be diverted through canal centre

4/4 - St. Catharines - This summer, you won't be able to watch a boat rise or fall in Lock 3 without paying a visit to the Welland Canals Centre first. And if tourism officials have their way, visitors may one day also have to pay.

After 18 years of operating the viewing platform at Lock 3 as a free service, the city now wants canal visitors to first walk through the city-owned Welland Canals Centre, during museum hours, effective May 1. Anti-terrorism fencing requirements imposed by federal authorities are the impetus for the new traffic-flow patterns, said Kimberly Hundertmark, the city's manager of tourism and attractions.

But it's something the city has been talking about since 1999, when it paid a Toronto marketing firm $15,000 to recommend ways to boost the centre's revenue. The consultant recommended then that the centre could earn a profit of $200,000 a year if it charged $2 for parking, an idea that was never implemented.

Officially opened in 1991, the Welland Canals Centre is now home to the three-storey viewing platform, the St. Catharines Museum, the Lacrosse Hall of Fame and Museum, a gift shop, a snack bar, a tourist information centre and washrooms that serve hundreds of thousands of people a year.

But only a small fraction of those visitors shop in the gift shop or visit the museum - meaning they are missing an important part of the city's tourism experience and the city is missing out on their money, Hundertmark said. Only 10 per cent of the visitors to the centre are currently paying the $3 or $4 it costs to enter the museum, Hundertmark said.

"If we can increase that by only 15 per cent, that will increase our revenue." Hospitality staff will be strategically placed in the museum lobby, greeting visitors, providing information, conducting surveys "and telling them what we have here," Hundertmark said. "We'll be engaging them in conversation, making them want to see more."

It's a strategy that appeals to Coun. Peter Secord, a member of the museum advisory board. He has asked city staff to prepare a report on how the city could make even more money from the people who will be walking through the building.

Courtesy of the St. Catharines Standard

 

Sad day for Lansdowne

4/4 - Buffalo - A dilapidated, 123-year-old ferry is being dismantled, and not a moment too soon in the eyes of some who have complained about the vessel moored in the outer harbor.

Crews are starting to scrap the Lansdowne, a mission that should be finished within a month.

The iron-hull vessel the size of a football field will be turned into more than 1,000 tons of debris, trucked to a mill and sold as scrap metal. Some items will likely be preserved and sold, including the engine, rail cars that were once used as dining rooms on a floating restaurant, and a flagpole.

Akron-based Wargo Enterprises and Demolition Services bought the Lansdowne from Specialty Restaurants Corp. for an undisclosed price. Excavators with giant shears started tearing apart portions of the skeletal remains of the lake barge Wednesday. The massive shears cut steel beams like a pair of scissors slices paper.

“It’s going to be kind of fun,” said company President John Wargo, who once served in the Coast Guard Auxiliary. “I’ve always wanted to cut up a ship.”

Mayor Byron W. Brown praised Specialty Restaurants for complying with Buffalo’s request to remove the eyesore moored at South End Marina, along Fuhrmann Boulevard. Brown and Rep. Brian Higgins, D-N.Y., put the owner on notice in February that the vessel’s condition violates numerous laws. “I don’t care how they get rid of it, as long as it’s gone,” Brown said. “I’m pleased that they’re doing the right thing.”

The mayor stressed the importance of making sure the scrap metal is immediately removed from Buffalo’s outer harbor. “I certainly hope that as soon as the barge is reduced to rubble, the debris is removed as quickly as possible,” Brown said.

That’s exactly what the plan calls for, Wargo replied. He said the goal is to complete the dismantling and haul away the debris using about 40 large trucks by May 1.

Wargo’s company became involved after a winter wind storm caused part of the vessel to become landlocked on a pier. “It was literally at the brink of sinking. [Specialty Restaurants] asked us to assist them,” Wargo recalled.

During later discussions, Wargo Enterprises agreed to purchase the Lansdowne, rip it apart and sell it for scrap. The timing is excellent, said Wargo, given recent volatility in metals prices. “The market is going crazy, and that’s good for us,” he said. Because the site has been a recent target of vandals, Wargo has installed surveillance cameras and hired guards.

The vessel, which spent its working life ferrying railroad cars between Detroit/Windsor, Ont., and Port Huron, Mich./Sarnia, Ont., was later a floating restaurant.

It was brought to Buffalo about two years ago by Specialty Restaurants, operator of Shanghai Red’s at Erie Basin Marina. It was originally moored out of public view on the Buffalo River. When it lost its docking spot at the former Buffalo Industrial Diving Co. property near Ganson Street, it was towed to its current, highly visible site.

The tear-down task has been cleared with the U.S. Coast Guard, the Army Corps of Engineers and the state Department of Environmental Conservation, Wargo said. Steven J. Doleski, regional permit administrator for the DEC wrote a letter indicating that based on information Wargo Enterprises supplied, “there should not be any significant physical disturbance or adverse water quality issues” caused by the dismantling. But Doleski also recited a list of conditions, including a requirement that all debris be properly disposed of or recyled.

David C. Tallichet of Specialty Restaurants said it was never his company's intention to cause controversy. He said the vessel was brought here in hopes of salvaging it, but such a task couldn't be accomplished in a short time frame. There had been some talk of restoring it for use as a floating restaurant.

"Our goal was never to create any problems," Tallichet stressed Wednesday. "We want to make sure we're good citizens and a good partner with the city."

Courtesy of The Buffalo News

 

Welland Lock 7 to be 'lock of the future'

4/4 - Thorold - Amid the celebration, spectators who watched the first ship of the 2008 shipping season arrive at the Lock were also treated to an explanation of how a new mooring system would update the canal and improve safety.

Lock 7 was the first Welland canal structure to be fully converted to hydraulic operation, including gates, valves and ship arrestor. This improved system reliability, safety and operation of the lock, said St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation mechanical technical officer Dave Scullin.

New hands-free mooring equipment will include suction cups that prevent ships from moving forward or backward in the Lock chamber. Two hands-free mooring units will be installed and tested in Lock 7 this year. Equipment is expected to arrive this Spring and by mid-May, it will be operational and testing will begin.

Self-spotting equipment, another form of marine technology, will be installed this year to measure the distance between a ship's bow and what the final moored position will be within the Lock chamber, within an accuracy of plus or minus four inches.

All this will combine to make Lock 7 "the most modern, high tech Lock of the Welland Canal - a Lock of the future," said Scullin.

Courtesy of the Thorold News

 

Lake Ontario Hovercraft questioned

4/4 - Rochester, NY - The bid to run hovercraft service between Rochester and Toronto isn't likely to be economically viable, according to an expert unaffiliated with the proposal.

Chris Fitzgerald is president of Neoteric Hovercraft in Terre Haute, Indiana. He says supplanting land travel to Toronto with a hovercraft isn't likely to be the most economic solution, unless there's considerable political will to put the service in place.

But Alan Knauf, a Rochester lawyer who helped to write the proposal for Hover Transit Services, says the hovercraft service would bring huge economic benefits to the Rochester area, if the plan went forward. The company was the only one to respond to a "request for qualifications" issued by the City of Rochester and the Toronto Port Authority to see if there is any private industry interest in running a ferry service across Lake Ontario between the two cities.

Fitzgerald says the hovercraft is a better suited transportation mode for places where no other technology will work. He says he's just not sure the boat in this case could be used efficiently enough to make it viable, especially when carrying heavy American cars.

Knauf says the hovercraft would be purchased secondhand and refurbished, which will cost a fraction of what it cost to purchase the fast ferry Spirit of Ontario, and that the boat will be run on biodiesel from a plant in New York state. Fitzgerald says that would require a costly engine rebuild because the boats currently run on kerosene.

Fuel costs were one issue that scuttled the initial fast ferry plan, and the fuel efficiency of the hovercraft is one of the advantages being promoted by HTS. But Chris Fitzgerald says comparing a ferry boat to a hovercraft is comparing apples to oranges, when it comes to fuel use.

HTS has already negotiated with the owner of two hovercraft which used to travel between England and France, to buy the boats and bring them out of dry dock. Knauff says those boats were designed to stand up to the rigors of sailing on the North Sea, which is far rougher than Lake Ontario.

Fitzgerald of Neoteric Hovercraft says the craft is really a flying machine that hovers about 9 feet over the surface it's traveling over. Fitzgerald says hovercraft are very safe, and that there's nearly no chance of the craft sinking.

But Fitzgerald says old legislation in the U-S would place restrictions on the travel of the hovercraft, since it was built in England, forcing the boat to be based in Canada. He says that law has prevented successful hovercraft operations from getting up and running in the United States.

And Fitzgerald says HTS's claim that the hovercraft could carry 55 cars across Lake Ontario is likely an extreme upper limit, and is more realistically about half that number. He says that estimate is predicated on the smaller size of European cars, and he says adding that much weight would increase fuel usage and decrease the efficiency of the hovercraft.

Courtesy WXXI Public Broadcasting

 

Updates - April 4

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets.

Have you made your Badger BoatNerd reservations yet?

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 04

04 April 1903 Ð The first steamer to pass upbound through the Straits of Mackinac was the LUZON (steel propeller bulk freighter, 353 foot 3,582 gross tons, built in 1902 at Chicago, Illinois). She was heavily coated with ice, even to the top of the pilot house due to fighting a gale on Lake Huron.

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.). She lasted until 1962, when she was towed to Hamilton, Ontario for scrapping by Steel Co. of Canada, Ltd.

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

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 aquired by Marine Salvage on April 4, 1984.

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

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

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

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

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

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze , Jody Aho, 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 3

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
Stephen B. Roman was in and out again Monday.
The Royal Canadian Yacht Club splashed their workboat Elsie D. Monday afternoon and began limited service to the island clubhouse.
CCG Limnos came in around 8 p.m. Tuesday and anchored in the inner harbor for the night.
Algocape began her season early Wednesday morning, departing her Pier 52 lay-up berth in the wee hours, bound for the Welland Canal.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
American Valor departed from her layup berth at the CSX Docks early Wednesday morning and is now out sailing.
The American Fortitude and Buffalo remain at Toledo and are fitting out. Both vessels should be out sailing soon.
Canadian Provider finished loading grain and departed Anderson's "E" Elevator early Wednesday afternoon.
Several hours later the Canadian Miner arrived at Anderson's "E" Elevator to load grain.
The latest scheduled boats due into the CSX Coal Dock will be the John G. Munson on Friday. The H. Lee White on Saturday. The tug Salvor and barge, Canadian Transport and Cuyahoga on Sunday, followed by the Kaye E. Barker on Monday.
The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Dock will be the CSL Assiniboine on Saturday. The American Valor and CSL Niagara on Sunday. The Kaye E. Barker on Monday followed by the Atlantic Huron on Tuesday.

 

Update on Lake Superior outflow

4/2 - 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 1,590 cubic metres per second (m3/s) (56.2 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 a decrease from the March outflow, which was 1,620 m3/s (57.2 tcfs).

The April outflow will be released by discharging about 1,482 m3/s (52.3 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 20 cm, or about 8 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 lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron basins were below the long-term average for March. Lake Superior is currently 24 cm (9 inches) below its chart datum level. The level of Lake Superior is expected to rise slightly in April. Currently, the Lake Superior level is about 28 cm (11 inches) below its long-term average beginning-of-April level, but is 16 cm (6 inches) above the level recorded a year ago. This past month the level of Lake Superior fell 3 cm (1 inch), while on average the level falls by 1 cm (0.4 inches) in March.

The level of Lakes Michigan-Huron rose by 3 cm (1 inch) this March, while on average the level falls by 1 cm (0.4 inches) in March. The level of Lakes Michigan-Huron is now about 54 cm (20 inches) below its long-term average beginning-of-April level, and is 17 cm (7 inches) lower than it was a year ago, and 20 cm (8 inches) below chart datum. The level of Lakes Michigan-Huron is also expected to rise in April.

The Board continues to monitor conditions both on Lake Superior and downstream and will advise the International Joint Commission accordingly on those conditions.

Additional information can be found on the Internet at: http://www.ijc.org/conseil_board/superior_lake/en/superior_home_accueil.htm or, at http://www.lre.usace.army.mil/glhh

US Army Corps of Engineers News Release

 

Updates - April 3

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets.

Have you made your Badger BoatNerd reservations yet?

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 03

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

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, 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.

 

Mother Nature's April Fool's Day Joke
Winds causing havoc with the ice

4/2 - Sault Ste. Marie - A late winter weather system has caused havoc throughout the Upper St Mary's and Whitefish Bay areas. At 4:30 p.m. the Coast Guard Mackinaw reported 40 mph plus winds at Gros Cap and has advised all upbound vessels not to attempt passage. Along with the winds, the ice pack has shifted back into the shipping lanes.

At that time the Algonorth, Presque Isle, Alpena, Canadian Enterprise, Montrealais were tied up on the West Pier above the locks with the Algolake awaiting upbound lockage.

At 6:25 p.m. the Mackinaw reported that the winds had subsided and the vessels stopped at the locks began warming up their engine in preparation to run in a convoy through the ice.

The Algonorth lead the convoy pulling away from the locks about 6:45 p.m. The Algolake remained below the locks waiting to pass through upbound as the traffic jam above the locks started to move. Following behind the Algolake was the Cuyahoga, upbound for Algoma Steel. By 10:30 p.m. the convoy had cleared the ice into White Fish Bay and the Mackinaw remained in the area of Ile Parisienne for the night. The CSL Tadoussac spent the evening waiting off Ile Parisienne for the upbound convoy to clear, she proceeded downbound late Tuesday night.

American Mariner remains at the Carbide Dock making steering repairs.

Reported by Joe Wilmes

 

Port Reports - April 2

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
On a windy, cloudy and cold Tuesday, American Steamship's Adam E. Cornelius arrived in the inner harbor at 6:30 a.m. and proceeded to the WE Energies dock at the foot of Greenfield Avenue where it discharged coal. The Cornelius departed at about 4:30 p.m.

Duluth-Superior - Al Miller
At midday Tuesday, Paul R. Tregurtha remained at the Duluth port terminal undergoing repairs to its port side just aft of the bow. Elsewhere, American Spirit was loading at CN Duluth while Rt. Honorable Paul Martin waited at the port terminal after fueling at the Murphy Oil dock.
Earlier in the day, Indiana Harbor departed from Midwest Energy Terminal with coal destined for Nanticoke, Ontario.
Paul R. Tregurtha completed repairs Tuesday evening and loaded overnight at Midwest Energy Terminal. It departed through the Duluth ship canal about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday bound for St. Clair, Mich.
On its way through Duluth harbor, it passed the inbound Capt. Henry Jackman, which was bound for Midwest Energy Terminal to load for Nanticoke.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Tuesday the Edward L Ryerson departed at 5 a.m. for the canal. James Norris continues to be at anchor in the Burlington Bay anchorage.
The Norris was joined by the Quebecois ,both waiting for the gale force winds to subside.
Tug Omni Richelieu arrived at 5 p.m. and the Birchglen departed at 5:30 p.m. for Thunder Bay in ballast.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
Canadian Provider was loading grain at Anderson's "E" Elevator. Canadian Miner was anchored in western Lake Erie northwest of West Sister Island and will follow the Provider loading grain at the elevator.
Buffalo, American Fortitude, and American Valor remain at their respective dock sites and are in various stages of fitting out.
The next scheduled coal boats due into the CSX Docks will be the John G. Munson on Friday. the John J. Boland on Saturday. The tug Salvor and Barge, Kaye E. Barker, and Canadian Transport on Sunday. Followed by the Cuyahoga on Monday.
Next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock will be the John J. Boland, and CSL Assiniboine on Saturday. The CSL Niagara on Sunday, followed by the Atlantic Huron on Tuesday.

 

Callaway - Republic Recap

4/2 - Straits of Mackinaw - The U.S. Coast Guard continues to probe incident between the Cason J. Callaway and the American Republic on Friday. Both vessels were damaged , but neither took on water, Coast Guard Sector Sault Sainte Marie reported. Marine inspectors checked both ships, and they were allowed to continue their voyages Saturday morning.

Callaway unloaded its cargo of iron ore in Gary, Indiana before heading for repairs in Sturgeon Bay, it arrive at Bayship on Monday. The Republic headed to Sturgeon Bay for repairs after being cleared to sail from the site of the incident.

The collision occurred about 3:40 p.m. when the Callaway was trying to assist the Republic, which was caught in the ice, about 15 miles west of the Mackinac Bridge.
The Callaway attempted to clear the ice impeding the other vessel when it sheered in the ice and made contact with the Republic. Both freighters were damaged on the starboard side of their forward peaks. No pollution or spills were reported, West said on Sunday. A helicopter crew from Air Station Traverse City surveyed the collision site Friday and confirmed there was no sign of pollution.

Ice congestion in the Straits, which connects Lakes Huron and Michigan is heavy. "Depending where you are at, it's a couple of inches to 18 inches of ice,'' said West, who indicated there wasn't much shipping traffic in the Straits Sunday.

From The Sault Star

 

Hull leak sidelines Neebish Island ferry

4/2 - Neebish Island, MI - Isolated by seasonal St. Marys River ice conditions, Neebish Island may be cut off even longer this spring, after the discovery of a hull leak in the ferry Neebish Islander II.

Chuck Moser, director of the Eastern Upper Peninsula Transportation Authority, said the “pinhole leak” in the ferry's hull was discovered during a routine oil change. He said ferry operator Rich Hill and EUPTA's mechanic traced the leak down after noticing more than the usual amount of water in the ferry's bilge. The leak forced EUPTA to sideline the ferry indefinitely while the authority and Coast Guard marine inspectors determine how to repair the damaged hull and when.

The ferry is apparently in no danger of sinking with on-board pumps removing the water at regular intervals. Moser said the leak is a recent development. He could not tie the tiny hole to a particular incident. Moser said EUPTA is not allowing moss to grow underfoot when it comes to setting up a repair plan. He said EUPTA should have a repair proposal ready for Coast Guard analysis sometime today. As an inspected passenger vessel, any hull repair must be approved by the Coast Guard before work begins.

Moser said the ferry will be laid up for an indefinite time until it is seaworthy again. He did not estimate how long the ferry will be sidelined, but explained officials are doing all in their power to expedite a return to service. He said EUPTA and the Coast Guard will work together to provide emergency evacuation service to the handful of year-around island residents on Neebish Island. Coast Guard small boat crews have been training on the airboat maintained by Sector Sault for just such emergency operations.

Moser said the “pinhole” leak was discovered in a section of the hull about midway from the chine to the keel on the vessel's bottom. He said the leak appeared near an inspection cover but not directly around the sealed cover in hull plating.

He said the hole location is in a readily accessible location from the interior of the ferry's hull. He said hull thickness tests were either completed or in progress to determine the amount of steel remaining in plating on the 62-year-old Neebish Islander II. The ferry was built at Sault Ste. Marie in 1946 and served all her career but the last decade on the Sugar Island crossing.

Noting conditions on the West Neebish Channel and farther up the St. Marys, Moser said EUPTA would prefer a two-step process for repairing the old ferry. Depending entirely on Coast Guard approval, he said EUPTA would rather undertake temporary repairs on the ferry in place so that a limited number of daily runs to the mainland can be made until after ice out time, whenever that occurs.

Afterward, he said, the authority is fully aware that dry docking will be necessary for a more detailed hull inspection and whatever permanent hull repairs are necessary. He suggested that some form of re-plating the ferry's hull in the area of the leak is expected. Toward that end, Moser said initial discussion with officials at MCM Marine Inc., the nearest drydock to the Neebish ferry, indicated the drydock will be ready for an emergency job in short order.

At Sector Sault, a marine inspection spokesman today said inspectors are awaiting delivery of EUPTA's repair plan. Once that plan is approved by the Coast Guard, repair work can begin, Moser said.

The EUPTA director said the hull damage occurred at a somewhat fortuitous time. He noted that intermittent ice jams generally cut access to the island at this time of year and island residents stock up in anticipation of seasonal isolation.

By Jack Storey for the Soo Evening News

 

Hovercraft Service Proposed for Port of Rochester

4/2 - Rochester, NY - Two Canadian businessmen have submitted a proposal to city leaders to provide a new ferry service between Rochester and Toronto.

The Spirit of Ontario might soon be replaced with the Princess Anne or the Princess Margaret. The two hovercraft were used to cross the English Channel, but became obsolete when England and France completed The Chunnel, or channel tunnel. The Canadian businessmen making this proposal have an option to buy the hovercraft and they'd like to bring them to Lake Ontario.

While the Rochester’s previous ferry experience has left the city with a debt hangover, the new proposal is well-received by struggling businesses at the port. Tom Beaman of California Rollin' Sushi Bar said, "It's a struggle during the winter months to get by, it really is."

Customers, like Tim Shea, don't want to see the dormant port go to waste. "Look at all the work that's been done in this area, it's a shame to waste it. There would be a lot more people down here if the ferry was back,” he said.

The hovercraft proposal offers a 75 minute trip for about $30. The $10 million privately funded price tag seems within reason. Alan Knauf, a lawyer for Hover Transit Services said, "The reason it's viable is that it's used equipment, and it can be refurbished and put into action here on Lake Ontario."

However, there are still many questions and costs that would need to be worked out including who would maintain the port and security and signage issues.

These same men made a similar proposal about two years ago, but, at the time the city was still committed to making the last ferry work, and questions about their finances were raised. This time around these men say they have investors ready to go, but need the go-ahead and cooperation of Rochester and Toronto.

From the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

 

Shoaling reported in St. Clair River

4/2 - St. Clair River, St. Clair Cut Off Channel - In the vicinity of lighted buoy "X32" (LLNR 8600) severe shoaling has been reported and confirmed by soundings from the ACOE.

The shoaling appears to be reach about 200'inside the channel of lighted buoy "X32" and spreads downstream a few hundred yards.

The U.S. Coast Guard will mark the shoal with a lighted buoy when ice conditions subside.

USCG Report

 

Updates - April 2

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets.

Have you made your Badger BoatNerd reservations yet?

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 02

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.

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

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

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

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.

 

MSC Sabrina update

4/1 - Although reports indicated that an effort would be made to release the stuck container ship MSC Sabrina, which has been hard aground in the St. Lawrence River since March 8, this past weekend, no attempt was made. Instead, the transfer of her cargo of containers to the MSC Jasmine continued.

The MSC Jasmine was scheduled to sail to Montreal Tuesday to unload the containers that have already been removed from the MSC Sabrina.

The effort to pull the MSC Sabrina free with tugs may be made this coming weekend, when tides are at their highest. More than 400 containers have been removed from the ship so far.

Reported by Kent Malo

 

Lingering ice pack delays ships

4/1 - Port Huron/Sarnia - Wind from the south emptied the St. Clair River of any ice yesterday, but don't expect the water to remain clear and blue.

"This Lake Huron ice, it's going to be with us until the end of the first week in April," said Ron Morrow, an ice specialist with the Canadian Ice Service. "I'd say we have another week or ten days." Morrow, who works at the Canadian Coast Guard Station in Sarnia, said the ice flows this year aren't unusual, but are extraordinary.

"This is the second-highest ice coverage we've had in the last 11 years or so," he said. "In 2003, conditions were worse than they are now."

Despite this, the shipping season hasn't been affected -- much -- by the flows. "It got going at a pretty heavy clip in the last few days but not enough to disrupt the shipping," Lt. Jeff Ahlgren said. Ahlgren, with U.S. Coast Guard Sector Detroit, said the ice "broke off at a rate where the river was able to accept it."

As the water warms and the ice pack -- which stretches all the way to Goderich, Ontario, on the eastern shore of Lake Huron -- begins to break up, ships can expect to be delayed several hours, as a matter of course.

There was some trouble about a week ago when the freighter CSL Assiniboine, loaded in Windsor, Ontario, and headed for Chicago, got stuck for a few hours in an ice jam just north of the Blue Water Bridge. Wind was pushing too much ice into the river's mouth and plugging it up, Morrow said. An ice breaker finally freed the freighter.

With the beginning of April, Morrow expects things to go smoother with the "melt season," which brings more sunshine, more rain and milder temperatures. But until then, ships can expect delays, even if just for a few hours.

"If the ice is in your way and you need an ice breaker to come cut you out, you will be delayed," Morrow said. "It's just a fact of life when there's ice."

From the Port Huron Times Herald

 

Port Reports - April 1

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
English River left her lay-up berth Saturday, bound for Bath, and the start of her 2008 season.
Sunday, was a busy day for the bunkering tanker Hamilton Energy. She came in from Hamilton and gave Algocape a drink. While she was doing that Atlantic Huron came in and went to anchor. Hamilton Energy bunkered her at anchor, after which Atlantic Huron departed. The Energy then went over to Canadian Miner at the Redpath dock and fueled her before returning to Hamilton. Canadian Miner finished unloading her storage sugar cargo and departed Redpath for the Welland Canal on Monday morning.

Duluth-Superior - Al Miller
Great Lakes Fleet reported that Cason J. Callaway was due at Sturgeon Bay for repairs on Monday morning.
Also on Monday morning, Paul R. Tregurtha remained at the Duluth port terminal, where it docked last week for repairs to ice damage.
James R. Barker cleared port over the weekend.
Elsewhere, Mesabi Miner was loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal on Monday. Much of Duluth harbor and St. Louis Bay is open, including a broad track from the CN Duluth ore dock past Midwest Energy Terminal. Two Harbors is expecting an onslaught of vessels to load this week, with Edwin H. Gott and Roger Blough both due April 1 and Edgar B. Speer and Presque Isle due April 2.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Monday the Quebecois departed Dofasco at 3:30 p.m. for Clarkson. The Frontenac arrived at 6 p.m. with iron ore pellets from Superior for US Steel. The James Norris departed winter lay up at Pier 10 at 7:30 p.m. and went to the Burlington Bay anchorage due to fog and gale warnings.

Alpena/Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
Monday morning brought rain and fog to the area. The tug Samuel de Champlain/barge Innovation was in port loading cargo for Milwaukee.
The Alpena waited at anchor out in the bay until the Innovation departed early afternoon. Both vessels saluted each other as they passed. The Alpena took on cement bound for Superior, WI.
The John G. Munson loaded at Stoneport on Saturday. The next vessel expected is the American Courage on Tuesday.

Kingsville - Erich Zuschlag
The Mississagi was supposed to be the first ship into Kingsville harbour this year but while attempting to enter the small harbour she ran aground. After working for about two hours to free herself she turned around and headed for Windsor to unload instead of Kingsville. Very disappointing indeed.

Owen Sound - Ed Saliwonchyk
Agawa Canyon departed winter lay up in Owen Sound shortly after 8:00 a.m. Tuesday. A couple days of above 0 temperatures and a light rain reduced the ice pack in the bay enough that she could depart unassisted.

Sarnia - Fran Frisk
Robert S. Pierson notified Sarnia Traffic Tuesday morning she would be departing the Cargill dock, proceeding down to Imperial to fuel, then proceed to Meldrum Bay to load.

 

N. Y. opposes plan for Lake Ontario levels

4/1 - Albany, NY - In an unusual last-minute appeal, Gov. David Paterson has asked U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to urge reconsideration of a new plan to regulate Lake Ontario water levels.

The International Joint Commission, a U.S.-Canada treaty organization, is expected to release its proposed regulatory plan this morning. The panel has been deliberating behind closed doors for months on its new approach to the always-contentious subject of lake-level control. New York officials say they have learned details of the plan — and have expressed their displeasure in a letter that was faxed to Rice on Thursday.

The IJC proposal will damage Lake Ontario's ecosystem as much as or more than the current regulatory regime, state officials said Thursday. A top state Department of Environmental Conservation official recently called the current plan an "environmental disaster" that has severely degraded shoreline wetlands.

In their letter to Rice, Paterson and DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis argued in favor of another regulatory scheme that they say is much more environmentally beneficial. That protocol, known as Plan B+, was one of three options that emerged from a $20 million study commissioned by the IJC as it sought to update lake-level rules first crafted in the 1950s.

But the IJC commissioners set aside all three options last year. New York officials now want Rice's help in resurrecting Plan B+. "We request your assistance in convincing the IJC to place this highly beneficial alternative protocol before the public," the letter said. It was sent to Rice because the State Department administers international treaties. Though the IJC was set up to function independently, the State Department and its Canadian counterpart will sign off on changes to the water-level rules because they grew out of the treaty that created the commission.

The IJC's U.S. section spokesman, Frank Bevacqua, said late Thursday afternoon that he had heard of the Paterson letter but not yet seen it. He said he was not aware of any reaction from Rice's office. "We've not received any requests from the Department of State regarding our process," Bevacqua said. A State Department representative did not return a call for comment late Thursday.

Speaking in broad terms, Bevacqua said the plan that the IJC would put forth today was more environmentally sensitive than the current regulations, though just half as beneficial to wetlands as Plan B+. The IJC proposal — dubbed Plan 2007 — also would be slightly more beneficial than current rules for shoreline property owners, he said.

Property owners, including a large and often vocal contingent in the Rochester area, say the current rules result in erosion and occasional flooding. Many owners have expressed wariness of any new regulatory plan, especially Plan B+. According to the IJC study, that plan would be detrimental to landowners in that it would cause a relatively small increase in the cost of maintaining shoreline protective bulkheads and other barriers. Some critics have said the study underestimated the damage to shoreline property that would occur under the plan, however.

DEC officials and a number of environmental groups and agencies have argued that Plan B+ would make wetlands more vibrant and diverse by allowing the lake's levels to rise and fall in a more natural way. The current regulatory regime seeks to minimize year-to-year variation in levels. Commercial interests, including shipping, have lobbied to keep the lake level as stable as possible. Water levels are regulated by adjusting the amount of water passing through dams in the St. Lawrence River, into which Lake Ontario drains.

James Tierney, a DEC assistant commissioner, said Thursday that state officials do not understand the IJC's unwillingness to embrace Plan B+. "What's disheartening to us is we have this plan. It's an ingenious plan. It does a lot for the environment while doing very little that people have reason to be concerned about. And they're not even putting it out before the public," he said. "We're hopeful that Secretary of State Rice will somehow prevail on the IJC to at least get Plan B+ out there."

State officials also are miffed because the IJC commissioners would not discuss lake-level policy directly with them. Bevacqua said that the commissioners had been consulting with federal officials in both countries and that the DEC had been fully briefed several times on the new proposal.

From the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

 

BoatNerd Freighter Trip Raffle underway

A trip for four aboard the legendary Great Lakes steamboat Edward L. Ryerson is the top prize in this year's BoatNerd Raffle.

Other prizes include: a port hole from the Calumet courtesy International Marine Salvage, a cruise aboard the Huron Lady II, sightseeing cruises of Duluth-Superior aboard the Vista Fleet, tickets for Diamond Jack's River Tours on the Detroit River, passes aboard the Keweenaw Star for a sunset cruise, and round trip tickets to Beaver Island, four prizes of passes for two on a Diamond Jack cruise on the Detroit River, a round trip for two including auto aboard the carferry Badger donated by the Lake Michigan Carferry and two Tours of the DeTour Reef Lighthouse courtesy the Detour Reef Light Preservation Society.

All proceeds from the raffle will benefit the BoatNerd.Com Web site. Funds raised will be used to pay the charges associated with running such a busy site. Fund-raising raffles are our only method of support; without the raffle BoatNerd.Com would be forced to discontinue this free web site.

The drawing will take place at 2 p.m. on June 7, 2008 at the BoatNerd.Com World Headquarters at Vantage Point, in Port Huron, Mich. Donation: $10 per ticket, 3 for $25, 6 for $50 or 14 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.

State of Michigan Raffle License # R95375

 

2008 S/S Badger Boatnerd Gathering Cruise

On Saturday, May 31, 2008, we are once again pleased to offer the Boatnerd Badger Gathering. A round-trip crossing of Lake Michigan from Ludington, Michigan to Manitowoc, Wisconsin, aboard the Lake Michigan Carferry S/S Badger.

Join us in traveling on the only coal-fired steamer left on the Great Lakes. Visit the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc and see the operating restored forward engine from the legendary railroad ferry Chief Wawatam, and the WWII submarine Cobia, OR go on the optional Wisconsin Shoreline Cruise aboard the Badger.

Lee Murdoch will be on board to offer entertainment both ways across the lake.

On Friday night, May 30, we have arranged a special Badger Boatel B&B to stay aboard the steamer on the night prior to the cruise. Reservations for staterooms are limited. This optional part of the gathering may offer pilothouse and engine room tours.

See the Boatnerd Gathering Page for complete details and sign up form.

Reservations must be received no later than May 3. Don’t miss out on this fun Gathering.

 

SSHSA Steam and Diesel Tour in Sweden and Norway.

4/1 - The Steamship Historical Society of America is sponsoring a tour to Sweden and Norway to experience some of the very extensive maritime activity in those countries.

The tour is round trip from Newark, leaving July 25 and returning August 11, 2008. The price of $5570 (plus air taxes and surcharges) covers round trip transatlantic fare from Newark, all accommodations, and many meals.

The week in Stockholm includes lots of opportunities for travel on historic steamers and a round trip to Helsinki on super ferry Mariella with a day free in the Finnish capitol. Also included is a four-day trip through Sweden on the famous Gota Canal on board MV Juno of 1874, the oldest overnight vessel in the world.

After a day and a half in Gothenburg, the group flies to Stavanger, Norway for the 2008 NORDSTEAM festival, which will attract many historic vessels, both steamers and motorships.

Guide for this tour is third generation Great Lakes sailor, Bill Worden, steamship expert and world traveler. Bill sailed for both Cleveland Cliffs and Gaelic Tugboat Company in the 60s, but has travelled extensively in Europe over the past thirty years.

For further information including a detailed itinerary and the “official” list of included services, contact SSHSA tour leader William M. Worden at wordenw@hotmail.com; or call 313-824-9503. Photos taken by Mr. Worden at: www.travelwithkaty.com.

 

BoatNerd News Photo Submission Guidelines Revised

The Photo Submission Guidelines for photographs sent in for the BoatNerd News Photo Gallery have been revised and updated.

In preparation for the coming boat watching season, please visit News Photo Submission Guidelines and review the updates to the guidelines. This will be a big help to the editorial staff who spend a lot of time keeping the site current.

Looking forward to the 2008-09 season, we want to say thanks to all who donated their time and photos to share with other viewers through the News Channel and News Photo Gallery. Keep them coming.

 

Updates - April 1

News Photo Gallery updated

 

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.

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

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

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

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.

 

 



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