Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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Port Reports - April 30

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Calumet arrived at the Upper Harbor just after sunrise Thursday to load ore. She has been an uncommon visitor since changing ownership and renaming in early 2008.

Escanaba, Mich. – Lee Rowe
Wilfred Sykes was loading ore at Escanaba on Thursday.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
The tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity returned to service and arrived Thursday morning to load at Lafarge. Fleetmate Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation are due in Friday morning.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The tug Olive L. Moore, with the Lewis J Kuber, arrived on the Saginaw River Wednesday with a split cargo. The pair lightered at the Bay City Wirt Stone dock and then continued upriver to finish unloading at the Saginaw Wirt dock. Moore and Kuber were outbound for the lake early Thursday morning.

Goderich, Ont. - Bruce Douglas
Canadian Enterprise loaded salt on Wednesday.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Grand River Navigation’s Manistee was in town with a load of sand for the City Ship Canal on Wednesday. She arrived at 10 a.m., unloaded all day and then departed around 5:30 p.m. that evening with the assistance of a G-tug for the stern-first tow to the lake. Closing out April was the CSL Laurentien at the Gateway Metroport Terminal on Thursday. She backed up the Lackawanna Slip around 5 p.m. to take on a mixed load of coal for Hamilton. The unloading rig was raised high above the centerline of the ship about 6 p.m. while the loading conveyers were being positioned on the dock.

Hamilton, Ont. - Eric Holmes
Thursday the tug John Spence, pushing the barge Niagara Spirit, arrived at 5:30 a.m. The tug LaPrairie arrived at 7:30 p.m.

 

April last month to buy BoatNerd raffle tickets through PayPal

4/30 - BoatNerd is offering the chance to win a trip for four aboard the legendary Great Lakes steamboat St. Marys Challenger during the 2010 sailing season. This once-in-a-lifetime trip is the Grand Prize for BoatNerd's 2010 raffle and fundraising event.

However, due to changes at PayPal, BoatNerd is switching to Google Check out: April is the last month to order raffle tickets online through PayPal, if you wish to support the site and buy tickets online please order in the next 5 days. Tickets will be available through the mail into June.

All proceeds from the raffle will benefit Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online Inc., the non-profit 501(C)(3) support organization for 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 5, 2010 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. Winners need not be present at the drawing to win, and will be notified by mail and/or phone. Mail orders must be received no later than June 1. In-person purchases will be accepted until 1 p.m. the day of the drawing. Other prizes will be announced as they become available.

Click here for more information

 

Updates - April 30

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

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.

 

Port Reports - April 29

Twin Ports – Al Miller
American Integrity departed its winter layup berth in Duluth late Tuesday afternoon and proceeded to Two Harbors, where it loaded taconite pellets on Wednesday. Also Wednesday, Mesabi Miner arrived in Duluth to load coal at Midwest Energy Terminal. The shroud covering the after end of Kaye E. Barker’s hull has been removed following blasting and painting. The vessel remained in the drydock at Fraser Shipyards on Wednesday morning.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Dorothy Ann and Pathfinder arrived Wednesday morning at the Upper Harbor to load ore. LS&I railroad has different locomotives pushing and pulling ore cars on and off the ore dock.

Hamilton, Ont. - Eric Holmes
Wednesday Algocape departed from Dofasco at 7:30 a.m. The Ocean Group tug La Prairie departed at 6:30 p.m. The tug Salvor and an unknown barge arrived at 9:30 p.m.

Oswego, N.Y. - Ned Goebricher
US Coast Guard cutter Hollyhock was setting buoys in Lake Ontario off Oswego Wednesday.

 

U.S. Steel to restart Lake Erie blast furnace by June

4/29 - Nanticoke, Ont. – The U.S. Steel Lake Erie Works blast furnace and other steelmaking facilities will be restarting during the 2nd quarter 2010 according to comments made by the company during its earnings conference call with steel analysts on Tuesday. The Lake Erie plant has the ability to make 2,400,000 short tons of raw steel per year or, about 6,600 tons of melt per day from its furnace, according to the Association for Iron and Steel Technology.

During the call John Surma, CEO of U.S. Steel, told the analysts the Lake Erie blast furnace would take some time to get back up. He reported that there are contractors inside the furnace now checking to see what needs to be repaired and what is necessary to bring the furnace back to life. Surma felt it would be the latter part of June before the hot end of the mill was up and running.

With the restart of the Lake Erie facility, U.S. Steel will have all of its North American operations up and running – including all of their steelmaking operations (blast furnaces/BOFs).

Steel Market update

 

Updates - April 29

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

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 under the name K.A. Powell. 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.

 

Port Reports - April 28

Marquette, Mich. – Lee Rowe
The Mesabi Miner unloaded coal at the WE Power Plant hopper in Marquette's upper harbor on a bright and windy Tuesday and departed in the afternoon.

Menominee, Mich. – Dick Lund
BBC Rio Grande arrived in the bay of Green Bay off Menominee, Mich., in the wee hours of Monday, April 26. An attempt was made to bring the ship into port around 6:30 a.m., but was soon aborted as the wind was just too strong, and from the wrong direction, to attempt passing through the Ogden Street (Menekaunee) Bridge. So, they sat at anchor until 11:30 a.m. Tuesday when the winds, although still strong enough to raise whitecaps on the bay, swung around to a direction which was favorable for passing through the bridge. The passing went off without a hitch, and the BBC Rio Grande was tied up at the KK Integrated Logistics East Dock slightly before 2 p.m. The ship is carrying wind turbine towers. This is the first such load into Menominee since the BBC Elbe dropped off a similar load on Oct. 24, 2008.

Holland, Mich. Bob VandeVusse
The tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 opened the navigation season at Holland on Tuesday April 27. The pair approached the channel at 10 a.m. and found a sand bar. They backed off without incident and made a more southerly approach to enter Lake Macatawa. They proceeded to the Verplank dock to unload a cargo of trap rock and asphalt sand from Canada. Following tradition in the Tulip City, the captain was presented with a pair of wooden shoes in honor of being the first commercial vessel of the season. Upon completion of the unload, the pair will move to the Padnos dock to take on a cargo of scrap steel for recycling.

Southern Lake Michigan - Steve B.
Tuesday morning saw five vessels around South Chicago and Indiana Harbor. The tug Prentiss Brown and barge St. Marys Conquest were unloading at St. Marys Cement on Lake Calumet. Catherine Desgagnes was spotted at the NASCO dock on the Calumet River at Iroquois Landing. About 8:30 a.m., Maumee departed the Chicago Fuel Terminals dock and headed to the lake with a load of coal. She passed the Burns Harbor shortly after entering Lake Michigan, with the Burns Harbor headed to Mittal Steel at Indiana Harbor. At around 11 a.m., Burns Harbor appeared to anchor about a mile or two out in the lake, possibly due to weather issues. Over at Buffington Harbor, Cason J. Callaway was unloading stone around 7:30 a.m., and was still there around noon.

Hamilton, Ont. - Eric Holmes
Tuesday, the tug Vigilant 1 and work barge departed at 5:30 p.m. Federal Kushiro departed at 6:30 p.m. from Pier 14W for the canal.

Toronto, Ont. - Charlie Gibbons and Frank Hood
Sunday saw English River and Stephen B. Roman in port. Roman departed early Monday morning for Picton, and the River departed Monday afternoon for Bath. Canadian Enterprise departed Redpath Sugar Sunday night for Goderich. The tugs Omni Richelieu and Laprairie came over from Hamilton Sunday evening to assist the Maltese saltie Mottler into the Redpath Sugar slip. The tugs returned to Hamilton when they were done. Unloading of the Mottler began Monday.

 

ASC fleet may return to profitability this year

4/28 - In recent years, 25 percent of GATX revenue came from bulk shipments on the Great Lakes moving in their American Steamship Company carriers. In 2009, those revenues fell to just 14 percent of total income. The 400 percent gain in bulk shipping during March, the start of the Great Lakes cargo season, suggests that revenues may rebound strongly in 2010 and that this division may return to profitability.

Although GATX is primarily a leasing company, with most of it’s owned assets in railroad equipment, the company’s bulk carriers on the Great Lakes have contributed handsomely to the company’s bottom line in the years preceding the financial collapse in 2008. During 2009, however, revenues plunged as shipments of iron ore and other bulk commodities associated with the steel industry fell. Revenues declined by more than 50 percent in 2009 in this division and pulled down company profits more than the decline in lease revenue. The recovery of this traffic sector should have a correspondingly greater impact on GATX earnings than the improvements expected in the leasing sector.

During the first 15 weeks of 2010, U.S. railroad shipments of iron ore were up 49 percent and Canadian shipments were up 36 percent. While high production costs in the U.S. generally preclude a booming export business, steel production in the U.S. has greatly increased the need for domestic and regionally- produced iron ore. Year-to-date steel output in the U.S. was recently estimated at to be 27 million tons versus 16.5 million tons for the same period in 2009. Railroad shipments of metal products are also running 50 percent ahead of last year.

Fox 21

 

NOAA invests $130 million in research vessel, Coast Guard

4/28 - Marinette, Wis. – Marinette Marine Corporation (MMC) has been awarded two orders worth over $130 million.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has commissioned the company to build a $73 million Fisheries Survey Vessel (FSV) and a $63 million fleet of 30 boats for the U.S. Coast Guard.

The research vessel is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as part of a program to substitute obsolete vessels with modernized ones.

Construction of the FSV will be at Marinette shipyard in Wisconsin and will be delivered to the ship’s home base in San Diego, Calif., in 2013. The ship will serve NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC).

The vessel will measure 63.5 m long and 15.2 m wide and will contain a full suite of modern instrumentation for sampling and sophisticated navigation systems with multi-frequency acoustic sensors and large laboratories, Defenseworld.net reports.

It will be able to conduct surveys on marine animals including mammals, turtles and fish, and carry out studies on the impact of climate change on the ecosystems off North America’s west coast and in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.

The boats for the US Coast Guard (USCG) will be constructed at the Aluminum Center of Excellence (ACE Marine) at Green Bay, Wis. They are part of a multi-year Coast Guard program costing $600 million called “Response Boats-Medium (RB-Ms),” for which MMC is the prime contractor and program manager.

Delivery of the first boats is planned for the third quarter of 2011. Out of a total of 250 boats, this order brings the number of vessels ordered to MMC to 97.

Seattle-based Kvichak Marine Industries will collaborate in the construction with its yard in Kent, Wash.

The boats have a draft of almost 1m, measuring 13.5m long and just over 4m wide. They can reach a maximum speed of 42 knots and operate 250 nautical miles from the coast with a pull capacity of 100 tons.

“We are proud to continue to serve the U.S. market,” said Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri. “These orders are both further recognition of our capabilities and confirm we chose the right strategy, business diversification as a way of stimulating demand in a market which continues to stagnate.”

Marinette shipyard is also involved in the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program for the US Navy, an innovative technology vessel for coastal patrols, and in an oceanographic research ship for Fairbanks University. It is also part of a team with Boeing with the object of the future tender for the 10-year “Sea Base-to-Shore Connector” (SSC) program, which provides for the production of 80 hovercraft for the U.S. Navy.

Fish Information & Services

 

USS reports smaller net loss in first quarter, expects profitability in second

4/28 - Chesterton, Ind. – U.S. Steel Corporation (USS) is reporting a net loss of $157 million or $1.10 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2010, compared to a loss of $267 million or $1.86 million in the fourth quarter of 2009 and a loss of $439 million or $3.78 per diluted share in the year-ago period.

“We reported a significantly reduced overall loss from operations in the first quarter 2010 as compared to the fourth quarter 2009, mainly due to improving business conditions and a strong operating performance for our flat-rolled segment,” USS Chair and CEO John Surma said in a statement. “In Europe, we returned to profitability and our tubular segment has another strong quarter.

“We anticipate being profitable in all three of our operating segments in the second quarter of 2010 as gradually improving business conditions should be reflected in our operating results, most notably for our flat-rolled segment,” Surma said. “We continue to experience healthy order rates from most of our markets, resulting in increased production levels.

“In North America, reported inventories in key end markets, such as automotive and service centers, remain below historical averages, as do flat-rolled product imports,” Surma added. “In Europe, imports have also remained below historical averages and reported inventories remain low across our end markets.

“Our tubular segment is also benefiting from both increased order rates, particularly for small diameter alloy oil country tubular goods (OCTG), and a continuing steady decline in reported U.S. OCTG inventory levels from the record highs of early 2009,” Surma noted.

“In summary, we remain cautiously optimistic in our outlook for end user demand for all three of our operating segments in line with a gradual and continuing economic recovery,” Surma said.

USS is also anticipating flat-rolled results specifically to improve in the second quarter.

“The benefits of increases in average realized prices, higher trade and intersegment shipments, and lower energy costs are expected to be only partially offset by higher raw material costs (mainly scrap and coke) and increased facility repair and maintenance costs, including facility restart costs at Lake Erie Works,” the statement said.

“Average realized prices are expected to benefit from increases in both spot- and index-based contract prices, which now reflect higher published market-price assessments. We expect to complete the restart at Lake Erie Works late in the second quarter. Our remaining steelmaking facilities are expected to operate for the entire quarter.

Chesterton Tribune

 

Lake Superior Marine Museum Association to host "Picture Duluth" book release, fundraiser

4/28 - The Lake Superior Marine Museum Association (LSMMA), in conjunction with the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center, will host "Picture Duluth," a book release and museum fundraiser, Friday, May 14. The event will run from 7 p.m.- 9 p.m. at the Visitor Center, 600 South Lake Ave., in Duluth’s Canal Park.

Guest speaker, Minnesota native, photographer and author Dennis O’Hara will take visitors on a tour of his hometown through his latest publication, “Picture Duluth: Photographs of the Zenith City.” Through more than 200 images, the book features parks, landmarks, historic buildings and homes as well as the working waterfront of the world’s most inland seaport.

A portion of the evening’s book sales proceeds will benefit the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center. The event, which is open to the general public and free, will include a brief author presentation, book signing and tour of the Visitor Center.

For more information visit www.lsmma.com

 

Updates - April 28

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

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 and c.) AMERICAN INTEGRITY in 2006.

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.

 

Salvage operations complete on Coast Guard helicopter lost near Port Huron

4/27 - Cleveland, Ohio – The U.S. Coast Guard has concluded the salvage operation to recover a Coast Guard Air Station Detroit HH-65C rescue helicopter in the waters of Lake Huron offshore Port Huron, Mich.

All three aviators aboard the helicopter were rescued safely by a boat crew from Coast Guard Station Port Huron following the nighttime crash April 20.

Salvage divers and crewmembers of the Coast Guard cutter Bristol Bay hoisted the airframe and brought it aboard the ship's 120-foot barge platform last Friday. There was no pollution or evidence of leakage of any of the estimated 140 gallons of aviation-grade fuel that remained aboard the aircraft. After transport to a secure hangar at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Detroit, mishap investigators conducted an assessment of the airframe.

Following the mishap board's analysis, the helicopter was loaded aboard a tractor trailer and is currently enroute to the U.S. Coast Guard Aviation Logistics Center in Elizabeth City, N.C., for further review of the damage to the airframe.

The cause of the incident is still under investigation.

 

Port Reports - April 27

Marquette , Mich. - Rod Burdick
Monday at the Upper Harbor, as the sun was setting, Michipicoten departed after loading ore, and Mesabi Miner arrived to unload coal.

Houghton, Mich. - Jamey Anderson
USCGC Alder sailed through the Keweenaw Waterway en route to buoys overwintered at the Lily Pond harbor of refuge.

Sault Ste. Marie – Jerry Masson
It was an exceptionally quiet day for upbound traffic at the Soo today. Late afternoon downbound traffic included Birchglen, Edgar B. Speer, Herbert C. Jackson and John G. Munson. The Corps of Engineers barge Nicolet, continues dredging at Johnson’s Point this week.

Port Huron, Mich. - Ed Schuyler
Tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder were upbound around 4:10 p.m. Monday, and 10 minutes later Lee A. Tregurtha was upbound, heading to Marquette, Mich.

Hamilton, Ont. - Eric Holmes
On Monday, CSL Laurentien arrived at 10 a.m. with iron ore pellets from Duluth for US Steel. The Laurentien departed at 5 p.m. for Toledo. Stefania 1 departed at 10:30 a.m. from Pier 25 in ballast for Thunder Bay. The CCG ship Kelso departed at 10:15 a.m. and the CCG ship Shark departed at 11:15 a.m. from the Canada Centre for Inland Waters in Burlington. Federal Pendant departed at 5:30 p.m. from Pier 25 (JRI Elevators). Maria Desganges departed at 7 p.m.

 

Great Lakes Shipyard completes reconstruction of Put-In-Bay

4/27 - Cleveland, Ohio - Great Lakes Shipyard, a division of The Great Lakes Group, has completed all work required under contract with Miller Boat Line, Put-in-Bay, Ohio, to fabricate and install a new 40-foot mid-body extension in the passenger/vehicle ferry Put-in-Bay.

The contract was awarded on August 17, 2009, and all work was completed at Great Lakes Shipyard's facilities on the South Bank of the Old River Channel, on Cleveland's Cuyahoga River.

What started out as a straightforward mid-body extension project grew into a complete rebuild, including replacement of the main engines with new CAT C18 diesels.

The mid-body extension of the Put-in-Bay increased the length of the vessel from 96 feet to 136 feet overall and nearly doubled its carrying capacity.

The project also included the installation of new rudders, a new steering system, new main engine keel cooling system, generator overhauls, and new propellers.

Miller Boat Line’s fleet includes three additional all-steel passenger/vehicle ferries, each approximately 96-feet in length, which run on Lake Erie from Catawba to the islands of Put-in-Bay (South Bass Island) and Middle Bass Island, Ohio.

"Great Lakes Shipyard did an outstanding job,” said Miller Boat Line principal Scott Market. “Their work was completed in an orderly sequence, and was to the highest quality. The shipyard personnel kept us informed of their progress, and made certain that work was completed in time to return the vessel to service for the 2010 season. We are especially pleased to work with an Ohio-based company, and look forward to working with Great Lakes Shipyard for many years to come."

The Great Lakes Group has been in Cleveland since 1899. In 2007, the company built a new fabrication and repair facility on the Cuyahoga River for the construction of unique custom designed marine products, such as the mid-body section, and for tug and barge construction.

Information about The Great Lakes Group can be found online at www.thegreatlakesgroup.com Miller Boat Line operates the only scheduled ferry services for transportation of passengers, freight, vehicles and commercial vehicles to the Lake Erie islands of Put-in-Bay and Middle Bass Island, Ohio. More information about Miller Boat Line can be found online at www.millerferry.com

 

Seafarer trainer wins marine safety award

4/27 - Ottawa, Ont. - Archie Dickson received Transport Canada's Marine Safety Award Monday in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Canadian marine safety. The award was presented at a ceremony held in Ottawa at the biannual meeting of the Canadian Marine Advisory Council.

"I am pleased to recognize Mr. Dickson as this year's award recipient," said Canada's Transport Minister John Baird. "His vision, accomplishments and exceptional dedication to seafarer training make him very deserving of this prestigious award."

For over two decades, Dickson was instrumental in developing and delivering high-quality training for seafarers at Georgian College's Great Lakes and International Marine Training Centre in Owen Sound, Ontario, where he provided students with the best possible tools for their careers.

In response to the challenges of changing technology, Dickson led an ambitious and unprecedented move to state-of-the-art marine simulator training. As a result, the college now has the most technologically advanced marine simulator training centre in North America. Graduates of the centre are equipped to meet the demand for seafarers with the highest qualifications, which contributes to the safety of marine operations in the Great Lakes shipping industry and beyond.

The Canadian Marine Advisory Council is Transport Canada's national consultative body that represents individuals and parties with a recognized interest in boating and shipping concerning safety, navigation, recreational matters, marine pollution and response, and marine security. Meetings are generally held twice a year in the spring and fall, both nationally in Ottawa and in each region.

The Transport Canada Marine Safety Award was established in 1997 to promote awareness of marine safety in Canada and to recognize people, groups, companies, organizations, agencies or departments that have contributed, in an exceptional way, to this objective.

 

Holland shipwreck researchers identify two sunken schooners

4/27 - Holland, Mich. - The mysteries of two cargo schooners lost in the 1860s to the depths of Lake Michigan have been solved, thanks to a little detective work.

Members of the Holland-based Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates told a crowd of 500 maritime enthusiasts Saturday the story of tracking down and identifying the schooners William Tell and A.P. Dutton.

"I was the first diver down to the William Tell, which is in about 200 feet of water off the South Haven coast," MSRA director Valerie van Heest told the Knickerbocker Theatre audience.

She said it took some research after the boat's discovery to prove it was the William Tell because the boat burned to the waterline before it sank in 1869 leaving few clues for the discovery team.

Speaking at the 12th annual "Mysteries & Histories Beneath the Inland Seas" program, van Heest said the dive team found mounds of a white substance at what was believed to be William Tell shipwreck. All they had to go on was the cargo of quick lime the ship was carrying when it sank.

They took a bucket sample and turned it over to Hope College Chemistry professor and department chairman Graham Peaslee who, through chemical analysis, determined it was lime.

"Lime is a very explosive and flammable substance when it gets wet and the cargo likely got wet and set the two-masted schooner on fire," said MSRA researcher Craig Rich, who is the author of the new book "For Those In Peril: Shipwrecks of Ottawa County Michigan" published by In-depth Editions.

By determining the cargo was lime, they were able to positively identify the ship as the William Tell. And, through the process of elimination, they determined the shipwreck discovered in 2004 was the A.P. Dutton.

"The A.P. Dutton sank in 1868 with a cargo of school furniture destined for a new one-room school house in Berrien County. They had to hold the school dedication without furniture after the A.P. Dutton went down," van Heest said.

The two ships and their discoveries were featured in March at the Ghost Ships Festival in Milwaukee. The discoveries will be added to the list of 14 known shipwreck sites along the shoreline between Grand Haven and South Haven. The area is part of the South West Michigan Underwater Preserve, which attracts scuba divers from around the world.

The William Tell and a lumber ship the Hattie Wells, which sank in 1912, were discovered last year by members of Clive Cussler's National Underwater Marine Agency that has been searching Lake Michigan for Northwest Airlines Flight 2501, which disappeared on June 23, 1950, with 55 passengers and three crew members.

The MSRA, which has about 100 members, charted, videotaped and photographed the wreckage of the two ships during the past year, and that footage was shown during the program.

The group has not revealed the exact locations of the William Tell and Hattie Wells.

She and members of the MRSA search team in 2006 discovered the S.S. Hennepin, the first cargo conveyor ship on the great lakes that sank in 1927.

"The amount of interest in Lake Michigan shipwrecks has grown dramatically since we started doing the "Mysteries & Histories" series," said Van Heest

The Grand Rapids Press

 

Oswego Festival of Sail June 25-27

4/27 - Oswego, N.Y. - The west pier of Oswego Harbor will be transformed to the days of the early 1800s when three tall ships come to the city for the first-ever Oswego Festival of Sail.

The Pride of Baltimore II, the Lynx and the Roseway will sail into Oswego June 24 and the festival runs from June 25-27. Not only will the ships be open for tours, but seafaring visitors will be able to take a 90-minute sail in the harbor aboard the Lynx and Roseway.

And each day, there will be a simulated cannon firefight between one of the ships and Fort Ontario. “They are pumped up,” Shane Broadwell, general manager of the Best Western Captain’s Quarters Hotel, said of the tall ships’ crews. He said they often fire their own cannons when visiting cities and festivals, but rarely if ever do they get return fire from a nearby fort.

During a news briefing Monday morning, Broadwell said the whole idea for the Festival of Sail began when he got a call in the fall from a woman with Great Lakes Marketing Group of Toledo, Ohio. She told him some tall ships were going to be in Toronto during Fourth of July weekend.

“We knew there were a whole lot of tall ships coming through the Great Lakes,” said Broadwell, who had helped bring the tall ship U.S. Brig Niagara to the city’s Harborfest last summer.

From there, Broadwell, the chamber, the Port of Oswego Authority, city and county government and others have been planning the event and picked the last weekend in June so the ships could stop in Oswego on their way to Toronto.

Those attending the Festival of Sail also will learn all about the maritime history of Oswego by listening to the tales of roving pirates, ships mates and other period folk. There also will be speakers, free admission to the H. Lee White Marine Museum at the pier, tours of the tall ships and the LT-5 tug, refreshments and entertainment.

Jonathan Daniels, executive director of the Port of Oswego Authority, said everyone involved hopes to make this an annual event. This year’s festival will kick off a heritage week in Oswego, with events throughout the week leading up to the city’s Fourth of July parade with its theme “Honoring Our Heritage.“

Festival cost is $10 for adults, $5 for children. The maximum family cost is $30. Additional costs of $45 or $60 will be charged for the 90-minute ship excursions.

The Post-Standard

 

Six more tall ships will sail to Green Bay festival

4/27 - Officials announced six additional ships that will set sail for the Baylake Bank Tall Ship Festival scheduled for Aug. 13 to 15 in Green Bay. They are:

Roald Amundsen — A sail training vessel from Germany originally built as one of a series of deep-sea fish luggers.
Europa — Launched in Germany in 1911 as a lightship, it now sails for the Netherlands. Its motto is "anything you may, nothing you must."
Niagara — This ship was built in 1988 as a reconstruction of the warship used in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812.
Lynx — Lynx is a square topsail schooner designed to interpret the general configuration of a privateer or naval schooner from the War of 1812.
Appledore IV — This schooner's mission is to foster environmental stewardship of the Great Lakes ecosystem and to educate learners of all ages.
Friends Good Will — This square topsail sloop serves as a historic flagship for the preservation of traditional maritime skills.

The six ships join six that previously were announced: Unicorn, Denis Sullivan, Pride of Baltimore II, Roseway, Amistad and H.M.S. Bounty.

Tickets for the festival and ships tour are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and children older than age 4. Kids ages 4 and younger are free. Tickets for a 75- to 90-minute sail on one of the sail away ships are $40 and include festival admission. Tickets go on sale May 10.

For information, visit www.tallshipgreenbay.com

Green Bay Press Gazette

 

Dinner program May 15 at the St. Clair Inn

4/27 - The Marine Historical Society of Detroit has announced that the Annual Dinner and Program has been opened to non-members and potential members. The dinner will be held at the St. Clair Inn, St. Clair, Mich. on Saturday, May 15. The featured speaker is Pat Labadie, who will offer the program “The Technical Evolution of Great Lakes Ships.”

Click here for more information

 

Updates - April 27

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 27

27 April 1889 - 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.

 

Great Lakes Feeder Lines adds to fleet

4/26 - Great Lakes Feeder Lines has become a two-ship fleet with the addition of the vessel Arctic Sea. The 3988 gross-ton ship was built in 1991 in Tuzla, Turkey, as a general cargo vessel with bulk and container capability.

The ship can carry 270 20-foot equivalent containers, and has reefer sockets for 21 containers. It is also fitted with two 25-tonne capacity cranes that can be combined for a lift of 45 tonnes.

The ship has carried several names in its career. Built as Okhotskoe, it became Zim Venezuela in 1996, Alrai in 1998 and Torm Senegal in 1998, Jogaila in 2000 and received its present name in 2005. The ship sailed from Malta on April 21, 2010 under Great Lakes Feeder Line ownership.

For more detailed information on the ship, and its fleet mate Dutch Runner, visit www.glfl.ca

Mac Mackay

 

Port Reports - April 26

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The tug Joseph H. Thompson, Jr., and its barge, Joseph H. Thompson, were outbound from the Saginaw River on Sunday morning, after unloading overnight at the Wirt Stone dock in Saginaw.

Hamilton, Ont. - Eric Holmes
Sunday, Canadian Navigator departed Dofasco at 6:30 a.m. for the canal. John B. Aird arrived at 3:45 p.m. with coal for Dofasco.

 

 

May 2010 lighthouse and freighter cruise

4/26 - BoatNerd and the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association have joined with Keweenaw Excursions to organize the first lighthouse/freighter chasing event of 2010. This unusual trip will take place from May 19 to May 21.

The fun will begin and end in Sault Ste. Marie, and features a two-day cruise aboard the Keweenaw Star which will travel from Marquette across Lake Superior, down the St. Marys River, overnight in the Soo, continue down thru the Rock Cut, DeTour, and across the top of Lake Huron. The cruise will pass under the Mackinac Bridge and sail down Lake Michigan to Charlevoix. The boat will provide photo opportunities at 20 lighthouses and all the vessels in the busy shipping lanes along the way.

Due to bus availability, this event is limited to the first 46 people who make reservations. Make yours today. Click here for details.

 

Updates - April 26

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 26

26 April 1891 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 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.

 

Port Reports - April 25

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
After placing buoys Saturday afternoon at the Upper and Lower Harbors, USCGC Alder docked at Mattson Lower Harbor Park Saturday evening.

Green Bay, Wis. - Wendell Wilke
Saturday morning, Manistee was inbound Green Bay with coal for Georgia Pacific. She is looking sharp after her repainting this past layup season at Bay Shipbuilding.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Saturday morning on the Saginaw River saw the arrival of the Ryba Marine tug Kathy Lynn and a number of barges for the upper river dredging project. Kathy Lynn made two trips upriver on Saturday, taking equipment up to the Sargent dock in Saginaw to prepare for the start of dredging in early May. Later in the evening, the tug Joe Thompson and her barge Joseph H. Thompson called on the Saginaw River carrying a split load. The pair was lightering at the Bay City Wirt dock around 9 p.m., and was expected to be upbound for Saginaw to finish a few hours later. The tug Barbara Andrie and barge A-390 remained at the Dow chemical dock. The pair had arrived on April 18 and unloaded at the Bit-Mat dock.

Port Huron, Mich.
Traffic was sparse Saturday at Port Huron, with Indiana Harbor upbound in the early afternoon, followed later by Quebecois and Salarium. Downbounders includes CSL Tadoussac and CSL Laurentien.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Algoma Centrals' John B. Aird slipped into Sandusky Bay Friday as dusk settled over Western Lake Erie. The Aird was loading at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock Saturday morning. She is slated to deliver the load to Hamilton.

Cleveland, Ohio – Bill Kloss
Indiana Harbor was unloading at Cleveland Bulk Terminal Friday. Isa was at the Port of Cleveland unloading as well.

Hamilton, Ont. - Eric Holmes
Saturday, Jette Theresa departed at 5:30 a.m. The CCGC Griffon departed Burlington at 10 a.m. The Algosoo departed Dofasco at 3:30 p.m. with slag for Detroit. Maria Desgagnges departed at 4 p.m. and anchored in Burlington Bay. Hamilton Energy arrived at 6:30 p.m. Canadian Navigator arrived at 7 p.m. with iron ore pellets from Duluth for Dofasco.

Toronto, Ont. - Charlie Gibbons
The USCG. cutter Hollyhock arrived in port Friday afternoon. Canadian Enterprise was at Redpath sugar. Marinelink Explorer (on its first visit to Toronto) and Commodore Straits were at Pier 35 rafted to Canadian Ranger.

 

Competition for cargo brings new opportunity

4/25 - Brockville, Ont. – Opportunity. That word kept coming up at the United Counties economic development panel on transportation and logistics Friday.

The event included several speakers who are leaders in the industry -including the Port of Prescott, Thousand Islands Bridge Authority, St. Lawrence Seaway and Kriska Holdings -and wrapped up with a break-out session.

"We are together in a very competitive business," said St. Lawrence Seaway director of market development Bruce Hodgson. "We are trying to position ourselves globally to compete for the traffic."

As cargo levels for steel and other commodities continue to decrease, "the world has changed. We need to be consistent and reliable. The Seaway is a "marine highway" in a region which is home to 100 million people. "We call it the gateway to the heartland of North America."

Hodgson suggested the industry work together to increase traffic, noting China represents an opportunity. "We really won't succeed if we do it on our own."

While the Port of Prescott is a bright spot in the industry, minimally affected by the recent recession, officials there are also looking for growth opportunities.

"The Port of Prescott is the good news in the last few years," said general manager Robert Dalley. "We haven't really felt the economic downturn."

"We believe that there's fantastic potential for additional cargo in the future," added port management committee member and Edwards-burgh- Cardinal Councillor Pat Sayeau.

Dalley said shipping remains one of the "greenest" modes of transport.

More than 460,000 metric tonnes of salt were shipped into the port in 2009 -which means there were 11,600 fewer trucks on Highway 401, Dalley said. "Anyone who has travelled on the 401 can appreciate that."

Sayeau noted that one litre of fuel moves one ton of cargo 240 kilometres by ship, compared with only 100 kilometres by rail or 25 kilometres by truck.

Despite the inefficiency, more than 70 per cent of Canada-U. S. trade goods are transported by truck, said Howard Kelly, Capital Corridor director for the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority.

Kelly noted the "dramatic decrease" in exports from New York State to Canada since 2008 -likely about 30 per cent in one year. "It's no wonder so many of our transportation companies are struggling."

In 2008, there was $12.4 billion in two-way trade at the Thousand Islands Bridge near Ivy Lea, while trade in Windsor-Detroit was eight times higher at $101.1 billion.

In 2004, 8.5 million trucks crossed the Ontario-U. S. border; last year, there were fewer than six million, he said. Truck traffic on the Thousand Islands Bridge dropped by one-third between 2008 and 2009, he said.

There's a good side: "We have seen border delays decrease markedly," Kelly added.

The other good news is that "capacity will not hinder future growth" at the Prescott and Ivy Lea bridges, he noted.

Because the extended region is heavily populated, including large Canadian and northern U.S. cities, there are plenty of opportunities ahead, he said. "The Capital Corridor is anchored by the power centers of the world."

"Location, location, location" is how counties economic development manager Ann Weir described it. "We're well-positioned."

Weir said the main challenges facing the transportation and logistics industry are the current economic state and the "extremely competitive pricing in the industry."

"There are lots of players in the field right now," she said in an interview after listening to the presentations. The industry is a significant portion of the Leeds-Grenville economy, she added.

The session, which attracted about 80 local business leaders and politicians to the Brockville Country Club, was valuable for "getting to know what we have to offer in the LeedsGrenville area," she said. "We'll engage in further discussions."

"This is a potential growth area for us," added Weir.

Brockville Recorder and Times

 

Bay Shipbuilding tours will be held May 1

4/25 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – The Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay will host the 18th annual Sturgeon Bay Shipyard Tours from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 1.

Palmer Johnson Yachts, Bay Shipbuilding and Great Lakes Yacht Services will open their doors to the public for the event organized by the Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay. Participants can start the tour at any one of the facilities. Tickets will be available at all three shipyard entry gates on the day of the event.

All proceeds from the event benefit local youth programs, projects and activities. For information please contact Ben Rikkola at (920) 743-4949

 

Updates - April 25

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

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. MC LAGAN 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.

 

Coast Guard pulls crashed copter from Lake Huron

4/24 - A U. S Coast Guard helicopter that crashed Tuesday during night training in southern Lake Huron has been pulled from the water, loaded on a platform and taken to a hangar, a Coast Guard spokesman said Friday.

Investigators expect to analyze the airframe in a secure hangar at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township.

Divers said the helicopter showed no signs of polluting the lake. About 140 gallons of aviation-grade fuel were still in the HH65C rescue helicopter, which had been sitting in 50 feet of water at the bottom of the lake, Coast Guard officials said today.

The black box and main rotor blades have been recovered and investigators will try to determine why the craft crashed at 9:45 p.m. Tuesday while practicing rescue hoists with a 41-foot Coast Guard boat about nine miles north of Port Huron.

Three aviators onboard when the helicopter crashed escaped unharmed.

Detroit Free Press

 

Port Reports - April 24

Soo, Mich. – Scott Best
Friday traffic at the Soo included the downbound Philip R Clarke, CSL Tadoussac, CSL Laurentien all right behind each other Friday evening. The Manitowoc unloaded a partial cargo of coal at Essar Algoma, before continuing upbound to finish unloading in Duluth.

Detour, Mich. – T. Parker and J. Masson
The Corps of Engineers derrick barge Nicolet worked in the lower St Marys River Wednesday at Johnsons Point, dredging in the channel due to the Algobay grounding. Also working in the lower river was USCG Buckthorn and USCG Alder.

Muskegon, Mich. - Herm Phillips and Jeff Barber
The American Mariner was inbound through the Muskegon piers about 10:15 a.m. Friday with the season's first load of coal for the Cobb power plant. The steamer Alpena has entered lay up at the West Michigan Mart Dock for at least a month. Fleet mate Paul H, Townsend remains in long term at the Mart Dock as well.

Sandusky, Ohio - Don Lee
Algosteel, which had just been in Marblehead, Ohio, on Monday, was in Sandusky, Ohio, Thursday with a load of Goderich salt for the Geo. Gradel Co. dock and, eventually, Erie County roads and streets.

Hamilton, Ont. - Eric Holmes
Friday the Salarium departed US Steel at 9:15 a.m. for Superior. Federal Kushiro arrived at 10 a.m. with steel for Pier 14W. She went to anchor until the Federal Hunter vacants Pier 14W. Algosoo departed Dofasco at 10:15 a.m. to clean holds in the lake then returned at 4 p.m. to load slag for Detroit. Algowood arrived at 3 p.m. with iron ore pellets from Port Cartier for Dofasco. Maria Desgagnes arrived at 8:30 p.m. from Montreal and went to Pier 11.

 

Soo Locks Construction

4/24 - Paschke Drilling and Blasting will conduct test blasting in the downstream approach of the Sabin Lock between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. April 23 – 30.

Production blasting activities will continue between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., May 1 – July 10. These activities are part of the channel deepening project for the Army Corps of Engineers.

Five minutes prior to the blasting signal, a series of long horn blasts for one minute will serve as a blast warning. A series of three short horn blasts one minute prior to the start of blasting will serve as the blast signal. Following blasting, a prolonged horn blast will serve as the all-clear signal.

 

Updates - April 24

News Photo Gallery
New Discussion Boards updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 24

24 April 1882 - 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.

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.

 

Salvage operations underway

4/23 - Port Huron, Mich. - Salvage operations to recover a U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Detroit HH-65C helicopter which sank in Lake Huron following a crash Tuesday, are underway aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay. The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley is also assisting.

Divers completed an assessment of the crash site and found no evidence of pollution or leakage of any of the estimated 140 gallons of aviation-grade fuel still aboard the aircraft. Salvage operators were also able to remove and recover the main rotor blades and the aircraft's black box. The airframe is on the bottom of Lake Huron in approximately 50 feet of water.

Lifting operations aboard the Bristol Bay are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Friday. Once the airframe has been recovered, it will be taken to a secure hangar at Selfridge Air National Guard Base for investigators to continue their work. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

 

Port Reports - April 23

Green Bay, Wis. - Jeff Goodlet
Arthur M. Anderson delivered coal to the Reiss dock in Green Bay Wednesday.

South Chicago, Ill. - Brian Z.
Lower Lakes' Manistee arrived at the Bielman Dock to discharge road salt Thursday early evening. After unloading, she was scheduled at KCBX to load coal for Green Bay.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
After lightering, the tug Olive L. Moore and her barge, Lewis J. Kuber, departed the Bay Aggregates slip in Bay City on Wednesday morning and headed upriver to finish unloading at the Saginaw Wirt Stone dock. The pair was outbound for the lake late Wednesday night. Barbara Andrie and barge A-390 remain tied up at the Dow Chemical dock in Bay City.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
The USCG Hollyhock was working off Buffalo Thursday, replacing the Seneca Shoal buoy along with some others in the North Entrance Channel. Thursday night she was located about 6 miles west of Buffalo Harbor doing a training exercise.

Hamilton, Ont. - Eric Holmes
Thursday, the tug Everlast and barge Norman McLeod departed at 6 a.m. for Sarnia in ballast. CSL Niagara departed at 10:30 a.m. from US Steel for Duluth. Federal Hunter arrived at 2:30 p.m. for Pier 14 with a cargo of steel and two yachts strapped to the deck. John B. Aird departed at 3 p.m. from Dofasco for Sandusky. Algosoo arrived at 4 p.m. with iron ore pellets for Dofasco from Duluth. Once the cargo has been discharged she will clean holds and then load slag for Detroit. Hamilton Energy arrived at 6:30 pm. from Port Weller.

Rochester, N.Y. - Tom Brewer
Stephen B. Roman arrived at the Essroc Terminal in Rochester on Thursday morning.

 

Gala helps keep Dossin Great Lakes Museum afloat

4/23 - Detroit, Mich. – For lots of metro Detroiters, the rivers and lakes symbolize recreation. But their role in establishing Detroit as a major commercial hub was — and continues to be — imperative.

That’s one of the reasons the Dossin Great Lakes Museum is so crucial, too. It shares that maritime legacy with visitors and preserves it for future generations.

“Before there were cars, before there were roads … there was the river,” said Bob Bury of Grosse Pointe Park, executive director and CEO of the Detroit Historical Society. “What we call the Detroit River today was an important part of developing (the significance) of our city.”

That’s why the DHS — which runs the Dossin, as well as the Detroit Historical Museum — places such emphasis on its major annual fundraiser. The sixth annual Dossin Great Lakes Museum Gala takes place from 6-10 p.m. April 30 at the museum and is co-presented with the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority.

Because it was such a hit last year, Bury said, they’re again using a riverboat gambling/casino theme for the party. Patrons will be able to use fake money to gamble on poker, roulette, blackjack and other games, he said. There will also be a strolling dinner, music and a silent auction, as well as free valet parking. Patrons are asked to wear cocktail attire.

“It’s going to be a great night,” said Bury, adding they hope to attract about 150 visitors this year — up from an average of 100 in previous years. “It’s one of our largest sources of funding for the Dossin Great Lakes Museum. … It’s also a great opportunity for people who’ve never been to the Dossin Great Lakes Museum to (see it).”

Funds raised by the gala will be used to support educational programs and exhibits that celebrate the region’s maritime history, Bury said.

Bury said the museum’s “extremely extensive” collection boasts more than 200,000 artifacts, including costumes, furniture, ammunition, boats and even a scoreboard from old Tiger Stadium. The Dossin Museum is home to a number of rotating and permanent exhibits. Among the latter are the vintage 1950s hydroplane Miss Pepsi, the pilothouse from the freighter S.S. William Clay Ford, a bow anchor from the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald, and one of the world’s biggest collections of scale model ships. In honor of the museum’s 50th anniversary, two new exhibits are opening to the public April 24: “Life on a Long Ship: Great Lakes Sailors” and “Dossin Great Lakes Museum: Celebrating 50 Years.” The museum will host special programs and a scholar series featuring noted maritime authors and enthusiasts, as well, Bury said.

For Doug Dossin, a DHS trustee and a member of the Dossin Marine Group Board, supporting the museum is carrying on the legacy established by his family. In the 1950s, the Dossins — including his father, uncle, great- uncle and cousins — were asked to help build a new museum, after the Dossin Great Lakes Museum’s first home — the wooden schooner J.T. Wing, the Great Lakes’ last commercial sailing ship — became too fragile for visitors. The Dossin family had found success in wholesale food and soft drink distribution — including Pepsi — and felt a need to give back, Dossin said. The museum that bears their name opened on July 24, 1960.

Not surprisingly, the Miss Pepsi is one of Dossin’s favorite items in the collection, along with the pilothouse, Edmund Fitzgerald anchor and a periscope from a submarine.

“It continues to change and grow,” said Dossin of the museum he’s been visiting since he was a young boy.

Grosse Pointe Park resident Richard Manoogian, executive chair of Masco Corp., is loaning the museum five scale model ships to display until the end of the year. The models were formerly on display at Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel, Bury said.

The Dossin Great Lakes Museum is located at 100 Strand Drive on Belle Isle. Gala tickets are $200 per person for the High Roller level, $150 per person for the Shark level and $100 per person for the Snapper level, which is for Detroit Historical Society friends ages 35 and under. For tickets or more information, call (313) 833-4143.

The museum itself is open free of charge from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays this year, thanks to a contribution from Masco Corp. For more about the museum, call (313) 833-5538 or visit www.detroithistorical.org.

C & G Newspapers

 

Updates - April 23

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
Historic Galleries updated - Black River and Lemoyne
New Discussion Boards updated

 

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 sprang 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.

 

Helicopter recover continues Friday at Port Huron

4/22 - Port Huron, Mich. – Crews are scheduled to pull the remains of a helicopter from Lake Huron on Thursday.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Bill Colclough said dive teams found the remains of the helicopter upside down Wednesday evening in about 50 feet of water. Crews will attempt to extract the wreckage around 11 a.m. Thursday as the Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay and a commercial barge will be used in the salvage operation, Colclough said.

He said the operation could take anywhere from a several hours to a few days.

The helicopter and its three person crew crashed the water about 9:45 p.m. Tuesday about 9 miles north of Port Huron. The cause of the crash is under investigation, no pollution has been reported as a result of the crash.

 

Port Reports - April 22

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Philip R. Clarke made its first visit of the season to the Twin Ports on Wednesday, arriving in mid-morning with brisk following wind and sea. The vessel was bound for the CN/DMIR ore dock, apparently to unload stone before proceeding to Two Harbors to load taconite pellets on Thursday. The CSL Laurentien followed a short time later and anchored on the lake to await a turn at the CN/DMIR dock. Great Lakes Trader was due later in the day to unload stone before loading pellets at the CN/DMIR dock on Thursday.

Soo, Ont. Jerry Masson
The Corps of Engineers’ derrick barge Nicolet worked in the lower St Marys River Wednesday at Johnson’s Point, dredging in the channel due to the Algobay grounding. Also working in the lower river was USCG Buckthorn and USCG Alder.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Wednesday morning the USCG Cutter Hollyhock was at anchor in Buffalo Harbor. She arrived overnight and was expected to work aids to navigation Wednesday.

Hamilton / Bronte, Ont. - Eric Holmes
Wednesday, Stefania 1 arrived at 9:30 a.m. Hamilton Energy departed at 11:45 a.m. to refuel Futura, which left the Petro Canada Piers in Bronte and anchored offshore. Hamilton Energy returned to port at 4 p.m. and Futura departed at 4 p.m. for Quebec City. The saltie Barnacle arrived at 2:30 p.m. for Pier 12E. The Canadian Coast Guard ship Shark arrived at 2:30 p.m. for the Canada Centre for Inland Waters in Burlington. Capt. Henry Jackman departed at 4:30 p.m. for Meldrum Bay, Ont. Quebecois arrived at 7 p.m. with iron ore pellets for Dofasco. CSL Niagara arrived at 9 p.m. with coal for US Steel. Federal Pendant arrived from Detroit in ballast at 10 p.m. to load grain at Pier 25 for Rotterdam, Holland.

Halifax, N.S. - Mac Mackay
Oakglen is due to sail early Thursday morning. While in drydock, she received new hull paint in CSL red, but her superstructure remains in Fednav tan.

 

Split Rock Lighthouse celebrates 100 years on Lake Superior

4/22 - Two Harbors, Minn. – A torrential storm on Nov. 28, 1905, hit western Lake Superior hard.

At a time when the growth of Great Lakes navigation was paramount to Midwestern economy, this storm crippled steel freighters, damaging a total of 29 ships. After the storm, Congress allocated $75,000 for the construction of a lighthouse and fog signal on western Lake Superior: the Split Rock Lighthouse.

This year marks the centennial anniversary of the lighthouse, 100 years after the first beam's powerful glow shot out over the lake.

"We have lots of exciting events going on this summer to celebrate the lighthouse," said Jessica Kohen, public relations manager for the Minnesota Historical Society.

The lighthouse, an undisputed local icon of northern Minnesota and Lake Superior, will be hosting concerts featuring regional artists like Bill and Kate Isles, Charlie Maguire and Lee Murdock the first Friday of every month starting in May and running until November.

At the concerts, the lighthouse will be lit for one hour starting at Sundown. Admission ranges from $6 to $10.

According to the historical society, more than 120,000 visitors make the trip to Split Rock to see the lighthouse and keeper's home each year.

"For many who visit Split Rock Lighthouse this is their first view of Lake Superior," said Lee Radzak, the historic site's manager and modern-day keeper. It's, "an experience many people never forget."

At the site, according to Kohen, the keeper's home is not something to be missed. Historically, the keepers of the lighthouse lived with their families, and were on duty every night. "There is a lot of really great history that is interpreted there, and it's just really beautiful," Kohen said.

Also on the docket this year is a memorial for the 1975 capsizing of Lake Superior freighter the Edmund Fitzgerald. The lighthouse and fog signal building will be open all afternoon except for a brief closing at 4:30 p.m. while the 29 names of the lost crew members are read to the tolling of a ship's bell.

This is an annual program at the lighthouse, and the only time all year that park patrons can climb the tower at night to see the beacon lit and revolving. The signal was turned off in 1969 after running for nearly 60 years.

Currently the site is partially open. The visitor center and museum store are open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Monday, but the lighthouse is closed until May 15.

Those who are interested in getting up to see the lighthouse before it is open may, but only to walk around and explore the grounds. The good news is that it's free to walk around. And when the seasons are in transition like this, especially this time of year from late April to early May, budding wildlife surrounds the park. "It could make a great daytrip for students, especially after a long week of class," Kohen said.

Photography is another great reason to get out and see the lighthouse. As one of the most recognizable symbols in the state, a trip to Split Rock could be worth it just for the pictures.

University of Minnesota Duluth Statesman

 

Reserve now for annual Engineers Day freighter-chasing cruise

4/22 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Arrangements for BoatNerd.com’s annual freighter-chasing on the St. Marys River, as part of the annual Engineers’ Day BoatNerd Gathering in Sault Ste. Marie, Friday June 25, have been completed.

The cruise will be aboard one of the American Soo Locks Tours boats, departing from Dock #2 (next to the Valley Camp) at 6 p.m. (boarding begins at 5:30 p.m.) No passports are required. The cruise will be 3 hours; we will travel through the Soo Locks and do our best to find photo opportunities for any traffic in the river.

A buffet dinner is included in the $35 per person cost (same price as last year). Dinner will consist of Salisbury steak, baked chicken, mashed potatoes, vegetables, homemade bread, tossed salad and dessert. There will be a cash bar on board.

Reservations are a must as we are limiting the group to 100 persons. This will afford everyone enough space to take photos and enjoy themselves. Mail-in reservations must be received no later than Monday, June 21 (mail, with payment made out to Great Lakes/Seaway Shipping On-Line Inc., to Dave Wobser, 1110 S. Main St., Findlay, OH 45840). If space is available, reservations will also be taken at the Soo BoatNerd Picnic before noon on Thursday, June 24.

Click here for reservation form

 

‘Know Your Ships’ book-signing in Port Huron Saturday

4/22 - Port Huron, Mich. Editor and publisher Roger LeLievre, as well as other members of the KYS crew, will be on hand to sign copies of the 2010 edition of "Know Your Ships" from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Great Lakes Maritime Center in Port Huron. Admission is free; books and other items will be available for purchase at the signing.

Others at the Maritime Center that day will be Dennis Hale (only survivor of the Daniel J. Morrell that sank in 1966 in Lake Huron) to take pre-orders for his new book, “Shipwrecked: Reflections of the Sole Survivor”; Skip Kadar, Harbor Beach author, who will sell and sign his new book, “Great Lakes Serial Killers;” and producer Ric Mixter, who will offer his video “Deep Six, Titanics of the Great Lakes.”

Click here for more information

 

Updates - April 22

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 22

22 April 1873 - The ST JOSEPH (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 150 feet, 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 10 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-masted wooden schooner JAMES COUCH was launched at Port Huron, Michigan. She was named for a prominent Chicago businessman of the time.

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.

 

Port Reports - April 21

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick and Lee Rowe
Tuesday was a busy day in Marquette. H Lee White brought coal to the Shiras dock and then moved to the ore dock, where the Herbert C. Jackson was loading. Dorothy Ann and Pathfinder arrived at the Shiras dock after the White departed, and unloaded stone. She is expected at the ore dock once she finishes unloading.

DeTour, Mich.
Joseph L. Block was outbound at DeTour around 1 p.m. Tuesday, headed to Indiana Harbor to unload, prior to proceeding to a shipyard for repairs. She damaged her bottom Sunday near the DeTour Reef Light.

South Chicago, Ill. - Steve B.
Arthur M. Anderson arrived at Calumet Harbor around 7 a.m. Tuesday, where she spun and backed stern first down the Calumet River, arriving at KCBX around 8:45 to take on a load of coal.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The tug Barbara Andrie and barge A-390 departed the Bit-Mat Dock Tuesday afternoon after arriving on Sunday to unload. The pair moved a short distance upriver and tied up at the Dow Chemical dock. This move was most likely to make room for the tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber, which arrived Tuesday evening, to have access to the Bay Aggregates dock. The pair were unloading there late Tuesday night.

Hamilton / Bronte - Eric Holmes
The tanker Futura arrived at the Petro Canada Piers in Bronte at 5:30 a.m. Tug Omni Richelieu arrived back in Hamilton from Bronte at 6 a.m. Frontenac arrived at 5 p.m. with iron ore pellets for US Steel. The Canadian Coast Guard ship Kelso arrived in Burlington at 5:15 p.m. and went to the Canada Centre for Inland Waters. The tug Evans McKeil and barge arrived at 8 p.m.

 

U.S. Coast Guard air crew safe following helicopter crash

4/21 - Cleveland, Ohio Three U.S. Coast Guardsmen aboard a U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Detroit HH-65C rescue helicopter are safe after their helicopter crashed during a nighttime training session in southern Lake Huron, Tuesday, at approximately 9:45 p.m.

All three aviators were able to safely exit the helicopter before it sank, and were recovered by the crew of a U.S. Coast Guard Station Port Huron 41-foot utility boat. No injuries were reported, but they were taken to a local hospital as a safety precaution where they were later released.

The three air crew members are: Lt. Vincent Bukowski, 39, HH-65C pilot, from Chicago, Ill.; Lt. Tasha Hood, 27, HH-65C co-pilot, from Bell County, Texas ; Aviation Electronics Technician 3rd Class Samuel Downie, 24, flight mechanic, from Tyler, Texas.

The helicopter crew was conducting nighttime hoist training with Station Port Huron when the aircraft crashed into the water.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Coast Guard Sector Detroit has established a safety zone around the location of the helicopter in preparation for the investigation and salvage operations, which are scheduled to begin Wednesday. The safety zone is approximately nine miles north of Port Huron and encompasses an area of three nautical miles.

 

Lake levels expected to be down as much as 10 inches

4/21 - Detroit, Mich. – After a dry winter, Michigan boaters can expect levels of most Great Lakes to be 5 to 8 inches lower this summer than last year. Some lakes were already lower last year than their long-term averages.

For boat owners, that means more shallow spots and docks further from the water, but for lakefront cottage owners, it means slightly bigger beaches.

The reason for expected lower levels on the lakes is a very dry winter and early spring, said Bill Deedler, weather historian for the National Weather Service in White Lake Township. While southeast Michigan was among the wettest areas, places to the north were much drier. Northern Michigan had one of its driest winters since 1893, said Jim Keysor, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Gaylord.

During the next six months, Lakes Michigan, Huron, Erie, Ontario and St. Clair are expected to be 5 to 10 inches below last year's levels, while Lake Superior will be at almost the same level as last year, according to the Army Corps of Engineers' Detroit office.

Lake St. Clair was hit hard by ice jams on the St. Clair River that dropped the level of the lake nearly 2 feet in February, but it's rebounding. Still, it's 9 inches below its level last April and will gain only about an inch through the summer.

The predictions are based on expected weather, but heavy rains or drought can alter the levels.

Detroit Free Press

 

Boat trip raffle in Avon Lake to benefit cancer patient

4/21 - On Sunday, April 25, Johnny Malloy's Pub in Avon Lake Ohio will hold a benefit for a 24-year-old cancer patient. The main raffle prize will be a trip on a freighter, donated by Grand River Navigation of Avon Lake Ohio. Raffle tickets will be available at $10 for one or 3 for $25. Winner need not be present. The benefit runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with the drawing cutoff at 5 p.m. An all-you-can-eat meal will be available. Inflatable bounce houses for the kids and three bands providing live music will be featured. Johnny Malloy's phone number is 440-933-7000.

Glenn Bender

 

Updates - April 21

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 21

21 April 1907 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.

 

Cuyahoga grounds near Courtright, Ont.

4/20 - Sarnia, Ont. - A Great Lakes freighter that ran aground in the St. Clair River near Courtright has been freed and stopped at a nearby dock. The Cuyahoga was released at 11:20 a.m. Monday, Coast Guard officials said, after it ran aground at around 2 a.m. Monday morning.

The tug Manitou and a barge worked at the scene earlier Monday, unloading gravel from the 189-metre ship.

Cuyahoga was backing to the Courtright stone dock when she went aground. The Manitou attempted to push her off with no success. At 6 a.m. the Manitou left to get a barge to off-load some of the Cuyahoga's cargo. The ship is now under inspection at the dock by Transport Canada officials.

 

Block strikes bottom near DeTour

4/20 - DeTour, Mich. - Joseph L. Block remained anchored in the lower St. Marys River Monday night while inspectors assessed damage caused Sunday when the vessel struck bottom near DeTour.

"They incurred some damage by touching the bottom by DeTour Reef Light (and) they are anchored in Maude Bay. Inspectors are on board and they are conducting an investigation," a spokesman for Soo Traffic said Monday afternoon. "We're still waiting for the results from that.”

The weather was clear at the time and no reason was given for the incident. The Block was bound for the western end of Lake Superior at the time, with a cargo of stone.

 

Senate introduces bill aimed at spending Harbor Maintenance funds

4/20 - Duluth, Minn. - No more will ships leave Minnesota’s Great Lakes ports with less than full loads once Congress passes legislation introduced last week. Senate Bill 3213 requires the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) to spend what it takes in each year rather than amass a surplus that is used to paper balance the federal budget.

The bill comes not a minute too soon for Minnesota Congressman James L. Oberstar (D), calling this misuse of funds intolerable.

While the Port of Duluth/Superior generally is dredged to its designed width and depth, lack of adequate dredging at ports that receive cargo from Duluth/Superior ultimately negates the efficiencies of waterborne commerce. Just last month a U.S.-flag laker with a rated capacity of 68,757 tons left the port bound for Detroit with only 62,710 tons on board. The 6,047 tons left behind represent enough iron ore to make the steel for roughly 5,000 automobiles.

Six thousand tons of iron ore represent nearly a day’s production at a large mine on the Mesabi Range.

Adolph Ojard, Executive Director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, welcomed the legislation, sponsored by Senator Carl Levin (D-MI). Putting a fence around the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund is the only way the Great Lakes navigation system will be dredged to project dimensions. Years of inadequate funding have left the system clogged with an estimated 15 million cubic yards of sediment. Every time a ship leaves Duluth/Superior harbor with a less than full load, it jeopardizes jobs in the port, on the ships, and at the steel mills and power plants that receive cargo from us.

Starting in 1987, the United States has levied a tax on cargo moving through deep-draft ports to pay for dredging nationwide. Prior to that, operation and maintenance dredging was paid for from the general fund.

The tax generates significant funds, as much as $1.6 billion per year. However, annual expenditures are less than $800 million. As a result, the fund has a surplus of nearly $5 billion.

“Congressman Oberstar is right,” declared Ojard. “The HMTF is hoarding money that should be spent on dredging. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates it needs $180 million to clear the backlog at Great Lakes ports. The money is there; lets do it and create jobs rather than risk them.”

Duluth Seaway Port Authority

 

Coast Guard evacuates crewmember

4/20 - Cleveland, Ohio - U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Detroit evacuated a 53-year-old crewmember from the Ojibway located in southern Lake Huron north of Harbor Beach, Mich., Monday, at approximately 3 p.m.

"He was conscious and experiencing pain throughout the day with a low heart rate," said Operations Specialist 1st Class Gabriel Settel, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Detroit, Situation Controller. "Toronto Medical Center recommended a medevac."

An Air Station Detroit HH-65C rescue helicopter crew deployed a rescue swimmer to hoist the man from the Canadian-flagged Ojibway. He was administered oxygen during the medical transfer to Huron Medical Center in Bad Axe, Mich.

The U.S. Coast Guard was notified by the Canadian Coast Guard, based in Sarnia, after the captain of the Ojibway told them he had a crewmember experiencing chest pains since 6 a.m. Monday. The U.S. Coast Guard worked closely with the Canadian Coast Guard to provide safe transport of the crewman.

 

Port Reports - April 20

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Vessels in the Twin Ports Monday morning included H. Lee White loading at Midwest Energy Terminal, Federal St. Laurent ready to load at the CHS 1 berth and Salarium at the CN/DMIR ore docks. Cason J. Callaway was due in at midday to unload at the C. Reiss Inland dock. From there it will proceed to Two Harbors to load taconite pellets for Conneaut. Philip R. Clarke is expected in Duluth on Wednesday. In the Fraser Shipyards large drydock, workers over the weekend removed the shroud covering the forward half of Kaye E. Barkers hull to reveal a gleaming new paint job. The shroud was moved to cover the after half of the hull so it can be blasted and repainted. Ojibway

Hamilton, Ont. - Eric Holmes
Sunday the Hamilton Energy departed at 8 a.m. for bunkering duties in Port Weller, and then returned to port at 6:30 p.m. The tugs Vigilant 1 and Wyatt M arrived at 7 p.m., returning from Port Weller after presumably assisting Algobay into the Seaway Marine Drydocks at Lock 1. Michipicoten departed at 7:30 p.m. from US Steel. On Monday, Maria Desganges departed at 1:30 p.m. and headed down the lake. The CCGC Griffon departed Burlington's Centre for Inland Waters at 2:30 p.m. The tug Everlast and barge Norman Mcleod arrived at 8 p.m., going to Pier 26 for the next three days before departing for Sarnia. Ojibway

Toronto, Ont. - Frank Hood
Stephen B. Roman departed Toronto Monday morning. Ojibway

 

Former Rigel tankers to be renamed

4/20 - It appears that the three former Rigel tankers will be renamed by Desgagnes in the upcoming days. After having the traditional yellow stripe painted over last year, they will now sport new names shortly: Jade Star will become Jana Desgagnes, Diamond Star will become Dara Desgagnes and Emerald Star will be the Esta Desgagnes. Ojibway Bruno Boissonneault

 

Ninth Coast Guard District transfers command

4/20 - Cleveland, Ohio - Rear Adm. Michael N. Parks will relieve Rear Adm. Peter V. Neffenger as Commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District in an official change-of-command ceremony, Monday, April 26 at 1 p.m. Ojibway The ceremony will be held at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center.

Rear Adm. Neffenger assumed command of the Ninth Coast Guard District in May 2008, and will depart the Ninth District to assume duties as Director, Enterprise Strategy, Management and Doctrine at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. As District Commander, Neffenger was in charge of more than 6,000 active duty, reserve duty, civilian and Auxiliary men and women; whom conducted more than 8,700 search-and-rescue missions, executed more than 25,400 law enforcement boardings and inspected more than 6,650 vessels.

Rear Adm. Parks is coming from Headquarters United States Northern Command, where he was the Deputy Director of Operations. He served as the principal advisor to the NORTHCOM Commander on all operational matters, providing strategic guidance to plan and execute NORTHCOM missions within the area of responsibility, including land, maritime, and Homeland Defense air operations as well as Defense Support to Civil Authorities. Prior to that assignment, he served as the Chief of Staff for the United States Coast Guard Atlantic Area, an area that encompasses the eastern half of the world from the Rocky Mountains to the Arabian Gulf.

Parks is a 1982 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Government. In 2004, Parks attended the National War College in Washington, D.C., where he received a Master of Science in National Security Strategy and Policy.

Vice Adm. Robert J. Papp, Jr., Commander, Coast Guard Atlantic Area, is scheduled to preside over the ceremony. Vice Adm. Papp is the prospective Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.

The change of command is a time-honored tradition and deeply rooted in Coast Guard and Naval history. The event signifies a total transfer of responsibility, authority and accountability for the command. The ceremony is witnessed by all members so that they all know exactly when the transfer of leadership takes place.

 

Museum ship William G. Mather opens May 1

4/20 - Cleveland, Ohio - The Steamship William G. Mather will be open for the season starting May 1. The facility has an all-new line-up of events this year, including watching the Parade of Sail from the decks of the Mather to welcome the Tall Ships in July.

Workers have also recently completed construction of a 400 all-weather connector to link the Science Center and the Mather.

 

Updates - April 20

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

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.

 

Port Reports - April 19

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Sunday morning at the Upper Harbor, Mesabi Miner, sporting fresh paint, unloaded coal, and fleetmate Charles M. Beeghly loaded ore.

St. Joseph, Mich. - Lou Gerard
Alpena arrived in St. Joseph early Sunday morning from South Chicago, where she discharged the remainder of her cargo at the LaFarge terminal. She departed around 2 p.m., backing out into Lake Michigan, turning and heading for Alpena. Many boatwatchers were present for the event.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
Sunday saw two tug/barge units call on the Saginaw River. First in was Barbara Andrie and her tank barge, calling on the Bit-Mat Asphalt dock in Bay City to unload. They were expected to be outbound early Monday morning. Following inbound a few hours behind the Andrie was Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber, which made a rare delivery to the Essexville Wirt Sand and Stone dock. The pair finished unloading and were outbound Sunday night.

Algoway arrived in the Saginaw Bay on Friday and went to anchor, waiting for the winds to subside before making her trip into the river. With more favorable conditions Saturday afternoon, Algoway entered the river and called on the North Star dock in Essexville to unload potash. Once finished, she turned off the dock in the Essexville basin and was outbound for the lake on Sunday morning.

Toronto, Ont. - Charlie Gibbons
Stephen B. Roman arrived in at the Essroc dock Sunday morning.

Oswego, N.Y. - Ned Goebricher
Thalassa Desgagnes was unloading in Oswego Sunday.

 

Canadian Wheat Board expects slower shipping season through St. Lawrence

4/19 - Grain began moving out of the port of Thunder Bay last week, as the St. Lawrence Seaway opened for its 52nd season of navigation. But that good news was tempered by forecasts that shipments of Canadian Wheat Board grain through the eastern export system will be down this year.

“I don’t expect our Eastern program to be as busy as last year,” said David Przednowek, manager of logistics for the board.

Last year, the shipping season got off to a roaring start, with 850,000 tonnes of CWB grain being shipped out of Thunder Bay in April. That’s more than twice the typical April tonnage and shipments this year are expected to return to more normal levels.

The CWB shipped 5.2 million tonnes through the St. Lawrence Seaway in 2009.

Przednowek cited a number of reasons for the expected downturn in eastern shipments in 2010.

Demand for durum wheat in overseas markets, in particular North Africa, has slowed, exchange rates have increased the costs of using the Seaway relative to alternatives like the West Coast and the availability of shipping has been limited by a reduction in inbound vessels due to problems in the steel industry.

A lot of factors influence where grain moves and this year more of those are working against the St. Lawrence, said Przednowek.

He said the board analyzes every sale in terms of what shipping arrangements will provide the greatest value to farmers. That can sometimes lead to a surprising result.

“There may be a product you’d think would naturally trade off the East Coast, but when you look at the return to producers, it makes more sense to ship West Coast when you take into account the domestic transportation costs of the Seaway,” he said.

Tim Heney, chief executive officer of the Thunder Bay Port Authority, said his biggest concern is the amount of grain the CWB is shipping by rail directly from the Prairies to St. Lawrence ports.

The board has shipped about 1.3 million tonnes in each of the past two winters, compared with the longer-term average of about one million tonnes.

There are indications those shipments could continue into the spring if rail rates are competitive with lake freight costs.

“That’s grain that could be going through the Seaway,” said Heney. “All we want is our fair share.”

He said that while grain shipments out of Thunder Bay have remained in the range of 5.5 to 6.5 million tonnes annually over the past decade, the board’s share of that has been going down.

It’s still the majority at around 4.2 million tonnes, but it’s on a decline, and is being made up to some extent by non-boards.

Heney said that regardless of whether there is a good or bad harvest in Western Canada, the amount of grain that gets shipped through the eastern export system remains fairly constant.

“The conclusion I would draw is that someone is rationing grain to the Seaway and the rest gets railed,” he said.

The Western Producer

 

Raffle for trip on St. Marys Challenger supports the BoatNerd Web site

4/19 - Through the generosity of Port City Marine Services, BoatNerd is offering the chance to win a trip for four aboard the legendary Great Lakes steamboat St. Marys Challenger during the 2010 sailing season. This once-in-a-lifetime trip is the Grand Prize for BoatNerd's 2010 raffle and fundraising event.

The Challenger was built in 1906 and is the oldest operating steam-powered cargo vessel in the U.S. She is engaged in the transport of powdered cement from Charlevoix, Mich., to several Lake Michigan ports.

All proceeds from the raffle will benefit Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online Inc., the non-profit 501(C)(3) support organization for 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 5, 2010 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. Winners need not be present at the drawing to win, and will be notified by mail and/or phone. Mail orders must be received no later than June 1. In-person purchases will be accepted until 1 p.m. the day of the drawing.

Other prizes will be announced as they become available.

 Click here to order, or for more information Note: if you had trouble with ordering Online we have corrected the link. Please report any problems. Tickets are also available by mail.

State of Michigan Raffle License R06195

 

Help Wanted at Interlake Steamship Co.

4/19 - Interlake Steamship is now accepting applications for mates with First Class Pilots (Great Lakes Endorsement). Please email resumes to GKolke@interlake-steamship.com

 

Updates - April 19

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

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 20. 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.

 

Port Reports - April 18

St. Marys River
The saltwater vessel Iryda departed the Nine Mile anchorage around 1:30 p.m. bound for the lower lakes. She had been at anchor for inspection after grounding above the locks Friday afternoon.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. - Wendell Wilke
Saturday the Saginaw arrived at Bay Shipbuilding at 1:45 p.m. for boom repairs, coming down the bay of Green Bay. Little assistance was needed at the yard, as the tug William C. Selvick was on her stern as she entered Berth 8. Philip R. Clarke was ballasted and smoking, all indications she would be departing soon.

South Chicago, Ill. - Lou Gerard
Alpena arrived at the LaFarge terminal at 130th Street early Saturday morning and spent all day unloading. She departed early evening bound for St. Joseph, Mich.

Detroit, Mich. - Mike Nicholls
Fairload (Netherlands) arrived at Nicholson's Ecorse Saturday morning with five components for the Marathon Refinery in Detroit. Kindra Lake’s tug Donald C (formerly Donald C. Hannah) was also at Nicholson's Ecorse. She brought a barge from Chicago to be used to transport components to the old Detroit Lime Dock in the Rouge River.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
The first vessel of the year for Lackawanna arrived Thursday when CSL Laurentian was backed into the Bethlehem Slip and began unloading coal at 11 a.m. Also, a set of large steel rollers or wheels as big as a family car are on the dock at the Cargill Pool Elevator Pier next to the #16 Leudtke dredger. Perhaps some sort of large-scale repairs are being made there.

 

Davie halts work on supply ship, lays off 100 more workers

4/18 - Montreal, QC – Davie Yards Inc. has halted work on the first and most advanced of five offshore oil supply ships ordered by international customers, and on Monday a further 100 workers will be laid off at its Lévis facilities opposite Quebec City.

Davie was given protection from creditors under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act on Feb. 24 after it ran out of cash and began a second restructuring program. It said almost 1,600 employees would be laid off, leaving about 160 working to complete the first vessel and on engineering and planning.

Creditor protection has been extended to May 25 and the company said yesterday the layoff of 100 employees on Monday is required "to preserve working capital."

The layoffs will save $1 million a month.

Gustav Johan Nydal, CEO of Norwegian-controlled Davie, said in a statement he is "still confident Davie will resume normal activities."

He said the company is in talks with "customers and stakeholders to secure new financing to complete the five vessels under contract ... we've been approached by potential investors interested in participating in the restructuring."

The five offshore service and supply ships were ordered by Cecon ASA of Norway and Cypress-based Ocean Hotels PLC.

Earlier, Davie's financial and cost-overrun problems were eased by a $380-million loan guarantee from Export Development Canada.

In February, lawyer Donald Campbell, former Canadian ambassador to Japan, was named Davie's chairman. He is a former deputy minister of foreign trade in Ottawa.

The Montreal Gazette

 

Boat builder Kanter Marine moving to Wallaceburg

4/18 - Wallaceburg, Ont. – Kanter Marine is relocating to a new facility along the Sydenham River in Wallaceburg, Ontario. The company currently operates in St. Thomas, Ont., 17 kilometers from Port Stanley on Lake Erie, the closest launching port.

Manfred Kanter Jr., president of Kanter Marine, said the company is building in Wallaceburg because they wanted to move closer to the water to transport large vessels.

Kanter Marine, founded in 1977 builds custom yachts as well as work boats for Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Wallaceburg and the Municipality of Chatham-Kent are pleased with the announcement which will bring dozens of jobs to the town of 12,000, hit hard by the economic downturn in the past few years. Wallaceburg, which once had the title of Canada's deep-water inland port has had a resurgence of sorts recently with the movement of corn and fertilizer by Mississippi-style barges.

Wallaceburg Courier Press and George Lee

 

Coast Guard rescues two from breakwall

4/18 - Cleveland, Ohio - U.S. Coast Guard Station Oswego, N.Y. rescued a male and a female from the west breakwall in Oswego Harbor, N.Y., Saturday, at approximately 9:45 a.m.

"They were walking along the breakwall when they fell in the water from six-foot waves," said Machinery Technician 2nd Class Jason Furman, Station Oswego, Officer-of-the-day. "They were able to climb up the rocks and cling to the wall until we arrived."

A 25-foot small response boat (RB-S) crew arrived on scene within a few minutes to bring the pair back to the station safely.

Emergency Medical Services took both of them to Oswego Hospital, where they were treated for mild hypothermia.

A fisherman from the vessel Lucky Dutchman contacted the Coast Guard on channel 16 when he observed two people stranded on the breakwall.

The man and the woman, who are both students at State University of New York Oswego, planned to visit the Oswego Lighthouse.

 

Raffle for trip on St. Marys Challenger supports the BoatNerd Web site

4/18 - Through the generosity of Port City Marine Services, BoatNerd is offering the chance to win a trip for four aboard the legendary Great Lakes steamboat St. Marys Challenger during the 2010 sailing season. This once-in-a-lifetime trip is the Grand Prize for BoatNerd's 2010 raffle and fundraising event.

The Challenger was built in 1906 and is the oldest operating steam-powered cargo vessel in the U.S. She is engaged in the transport of powdered cement from Charlevoix, Mich., to several Lake Michigan ports.

All proceeds from the raffle will benefit Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online Inc., the non-profit 501(C)(3) support organization for 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 5, 2010 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. Winners need not be present at the drawing to win, and will be notified by mail and/or phone. Mail orders must be received no later than June 1. In-person purchases will be accepted until 1 p.m. the day of the drawing.

Other prizes will be announced as they become available.

 Click here to order, or for more information Note: if you had trouble with ordering Online we have corrected the link. Please report any problems. Tickets are also available by mail.

State of Michigan Raffle License R06185

 

May 2010 lighthouse and freighter cruise

4/18 - BoatNerd and the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association have joined with Keweenaw Excursions to organize the first lighthouse/freighter chasing event of 2010. This unusual trip will take place from May 19 to May 21.

The fun will begin and end in Sault Ste. Marie, and features a two-day cruise aboard the Keweenaw Star which will travel from Marquette across Lake Superior, down the St. Marys River, overnight in the Soo, continue down thru the Rock Cut, DeTour, and across the top of Lake Huron. The cruise will pass under the Mackinac Bridge and sail down Lake Michigan to Charlevoix. The boat will provide photo opportunities at 20 lighthouses and all the vessels in the busy shipping lanes along the way.

Due to bus availability, this event is limited to the first 46 people who make reservations. Make yours today. Click here for details.

 

Updates - April 18

Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

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 break up. 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.

 

Saltie Iryda grounds in upper St. Marys River Friday

4/17 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – The saltwater vessel Iryda grounded above the Soo Locks about 3:30 a.m. Friday morning off Brush Point on the U.S. side. She was downbound with wheat loaded in Superior, Wis. at Harvest States 2.

She was pulled free shortly after noon with help from the tug Missouri; they were downbound in the Poe Lock at 1:30 p.m. After locking through, she proceeded to the Nine Mile anchorage to undergo inspection, and was still there late Friday night.

There was no reported damage and no reason for the grounding.

Soo Today and Ian Wellesley

 

Lakes iron ore trade off to fast start this spring

4/17 - Cleveland, Ohio – With steel production steadily on the rise in the first quarter, the iron ore trade on the Great Lakes resumed with renewed vigor in March. The 2,167,040 tons shipped in March represent an increase of 342 percent compared to a year ago.

The iron ore trade kicked off on March 1 in Cleveland, Ohio, when the integrated tug/barge Dorothy Ann / Pathfinder began shuttling taconite pellets that had been stockpiled at various terminals to the ArcelorMittal steel mill at the end of the navigable portion of the Cuyahoga River.

Escanaba, Mich., resumed shipping on March 5 with the loading of 39,168 tons of iron ore into the integrated tug/barge Joyce VanEnkevort / Great Lakes Trader for delivery to ArcelorMittal’s mill in Indiana Harbor, Ind.

In an unusual move, on March 10 the Arthur M. Anderson started hauling iron ore from Lorain, Ohio, to Zug Island, Mich., to resupply U.S. Steel’s mill in Detroit.

So great was the need for iron ore that the locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., that connect Lake Superior to the lower Great Lakes, opened on March 21, four days ahead of schedule. The first iron ore cargo in the Head-of-the-Lakes trade was 32,844 tons hauled by the Charles M. Beeghly to the Severstal mill in Dearborn, Mich.

Year-to-date the iron ore trade stands at 4.1 million tons, an increase of more than 300 percent compared to a year ago. The trade is, however, 13 percent off the 5-year average for the first quarter.

Lake Carriers' Association

 

Port Reports - April 17

Silver Bay and Two Harbors, Minn. - Benjamin Larson
Thursday was a slow day in Silver Bay, with no boats loading through late Saturday when the Rt. Hon Paul J. Martin is due for a load of taconite destined for Hamilton. On Sunday, sisterships / fleet mates Manitowoc and Calumet are expected in the morning, both loading for Cleveland. In Two Harbors, Burns Harbor was loading taconite Thursday and American Mariner and Edwin H. Gott were due Friday morning. Sunday, Roger Blough and American Century are expected.

Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. – Jerry Masson
It has been a bad-luck week at the Soo. On Tuesday, Algobay grounded at Johnson’s Point in the lower St Marys River, followed by the saltie Iryda grounding in the upper river Friday morning at Big Point. Then Saginaw's boom collapsed on her deck while unloading at Essar Steel Friday afternoon after a boom hoist failed. Once the boom was secured, Saginaw departed and was underway late afternoon, heading to Bay Shipbuilding for repairs. Local temperatures Friday were hovering around freezing, with winds out of the northwest at 18 mph. The upbound research vessel Lake Guardian tied up in the harbor at the Carbide Dock Friday.

South Chicago, Ill. - Lou Gerard
Lower Lakes Towing's Ojibway entered the Calumet river around 9 a.m. headed for the Nidera elevator to take on a load of grain. She proceeded up the river and turned around near 127th Street and docked at Nidera. While transiting the river she encountered several pleasure craft causing her to sound her whistle numerous times.

Alpena, Mich - Ben & Chanda McClain
Alpena was in port loading at Lafarge on Thursday and is heading to South Chicago. Friday evening Canadian Transfer anchored out in the bay to wait out the strong winds. The Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation were expected to arrive sometime overnight and will likely anchor in the bay also until the weather improves.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Calumet was back again with another split load, this time for the Bay City and Saginaw Wirt Stone docks. She lightered at the Bay City Wirt dock early Friday morning, then continued upriver to finish her unload at Saginaw Wirt. Calumet was headed back out of the Saginaw River, passing through Essexville, shortly before 2 p.m.

Toledo, Ohio - Jim Hoffman
Salarium was at the Torco Ore Dock Friday unloading ore. Peter R. Creswell was at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock unloading stone. Federal Kumano was at the Midwest Terminal Dock unloading cargo. She is the first salt water vessel of the season for the Port of Toledo. The next scheduled coal boats for the CSX Docks will be the Mckee Sons and Herbert C. Jackson on Saturday, followed by Lee A. Tregurtha on Wednesday. The next scheduled ore boats for the Torco Ore Dock will be the CSL Tadoussac and CSL Niagara on Sunday, Atlantic Erie on Tuesday and Lee A. Tregurtha on Wednesday, followed by Canadian Progress on Thursday. The next stone boat for the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock will be Algoway on Monday.

Lorain, Ohio - Jim Bobel and Phil Leon
Early Friday morning Arthur M. Anderson was backing down the Black River in Lorain to pick up a load of taconite iron ore.

Fairport Harbor, Ohio - Bob Hunter
Manistee unloaded stone and then pulled under the Morton salt loader later Thursday. The loading continued through Friday afternoon.

Hamilton, Ont. - Eric Holmes
Thursday the fueling tanker Hamilton Energy departed at 10 a.m. to bunker Clipper Legend at Port Weller. She returned to Hamilton at 6 p.m. Canadian Provider arrived at 7 p.m. with iron ore pellets for Dofasco. Friday the LS Christine departed Pier 23 at 8:30 a.m. with a cargo of coal tar for Sweden. Canadian Provider departed Dofasco at 2 p.m. Tug John Spence departed at 2:30 p.m. for sea trails and returned at 5:15 p.m. Canadian Olympic arrived at 5 p.m. with coal for Dofasco.

 

U.S Steel strike, lockout over at Nanticoke, Ont.

4/17 - Hamilton, Ont. – Members of the United Steel Workers have voted overwhelmingly to accept a no-raise, no-concessions contract with the company eight months after being locked out.

"This is a good deal and we're going to make a bit of money on it," said Bill Ferguson, president of Local 8782. "For people to be out this long and to hold together is extremely positive."

The final vote was 88.5 per cent for the deal with 81.5 per cent of the members voting.

U. S. Steel locked workers out of the Lake Erie plant in August after contract talks hit an impasse over what the union called "legendary" demands for concessions.

In the end, the dispute was settled for a deal that traded no concessions for no wage hike.

"On that basis I think we did pretty well," Ferguson said. "We've got a good crew here."

Among the critical issues in the dispute was a company demand to shift from a defined benefit pension plan to a defined contribution system. Defined benefits pension plans guarantee retirees a certain amount, usually based on length of service. A defined contribution plan, like a registered retirement savings plan, pays a pension based on how much has been contributed.

In the end, the dispute was settled with a deal that means new employees will not be allowed to join the existing defined benefit pension plan -- that's being turned over to the union to be administered. New workers will join a separate defined contribution plan to which the company will contribute $2.50 per hour worked. The plan will be portable, but workers shouldn't withdraw the company portion of the plan unless they leave U. S. Steel. A retirement fund board will be established to oversee the fund management and returns.

Workers waiting for the final tally behind the union hall said they were pleased with the package.

"I think our negotiating committee did an awesome job," said stationary engineer Donna Wingrove. "Their mandate was no concessions and that's what they delivered."

Others praised the fact nothing was lost in the talks, but regretted not getting a wage increase -- something they haven't seen since the former Stelco went into bankruptcy protection in 2004.

Instead of a raise, each worker who stays with the company for 60 days after the settlement will get a $3,000 signing bonus, up to $3,500 in profit sharing if the plant earns more than $45 million in before taxes and other deductions and a cost of living allowance that could add up to $1.63 an hour to their paychecks over the deal's three-year life.

Other highlights of the deal:

-- No changes to the basic or supplemental pension plan payments; workers will get credit toward retirement for the time they were locked out. If there are future layoffs because of a lack of work, affected employees will get retirement credit for up to one year while they're laid off;

-- On May 1 retirees and their survivors will get lump sum cash payments equal to 12 times 1.5 per cent of their basic pension; 12 times three per cent on July 1, 2011 and 12 times 4.5 per cent on Aug. 1, 2012;

-- Up to 50 workers who are 55 years old with 10 years' service will be given the chance at early retirement, with conditions;

-- No changes to the group benefits plans for retirees or active workers.

-- A $2-million company-sponsored supplementary unemployment fund will be established to pay workers $200 a week when they're laid off.

Plans to call the workers back are still being developed, but Ferguson said it could be up to two weeks to get the idle plant back to full production. U.S. Steel Canada laid off about 800 workers from Lake Erie Works in March 2009, citing the recession as reducing demand for steel. It locked out the 200 remaining workers in August after contract negotiations collapsed. The talks resumed March 29 after the company approached the union's international office in Pittsburgh.

The Hamilton Spectator

 

Updates - April 17

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

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.

 

Saltie grounds in upper river

4/16 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – The Iryda grounded above the Soo Locks about 3:30 a.m. Friday morning off Brush Point on the U.S. side.  She was downbound with wheat loaded in Superior, Wis. at Harvest States 2.

She was pulled free shortly after noon with help from the tug Missouri, they were downbound in the Poe Lock at 1:30 p.m. and stopped in 6 Mile Anchorage below the locks.

Soo Today and Ian Wellesley

 

Saginaw has boom trouble

4/16 - Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. – Saginaw's boom fell on her deck when a boom hoist failed while unloading at Essar Steel Friday. The Saginaw departed and was underway late afternoon, downbound in the river heading to Bay Shipbuilding for repairs.

 

Algobay departs Soo

4/16 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – Algobay departed the Soo Locks pier Thursday afternoon, heading downbound for a lower lakes port for repairs to damage suffered in a Tuesday grounding at Johnson’s Point while upbound in the St. Marys River. The Algoma Central vessel was at the Rock Cut junction buoy at 15:45 Thursday. Although there was no official word on her destination, she is likely headed to Port Weller, Ont., for drydocking and repairs. It was earlier announced that the vessel would head for repairs at Thunder Bay.

 

Toledo Port Authority welcomes first overseas freighter of the season

4/16 - Toledo, Ohio - Friday afternoon the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority will welcome the first overseas freighter of the season with a traditional celebration that kicks off the 2010-shipping season for the region. The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority and Midwest Terminals of Toledo will present the captain and crew of the Federal Kumano with welcoming gifts during the on-board ceremony. The vessel is carrying a cargo of fertilizer from Norway and its arrival regionally signifies the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway System. The freighter is expected to arrive about 11 a.m at Midwest Terminals of Toledo

 

Lake coal trade picks up steam in March

4/16 - The pace of coal shipments on the Great Lakes in March point to a strengthening economy. Coal loadings at U.S. and Canadian ports approached 500,000 tons, more than triple the volume moved a year ago.

Loadings at Superior, Wis., quadrupled their level of a year ago. Shipments from Toledo, Ohio, were triple that of a year ago. Sandusky, Ohio, loaded no coal in March 2009, but shipped almost 150,000 tons this March.

Comparisons with previous years make clear the recession is not over. However, it is reported that coal shipments on most major railroads are below a year ago, so the marine mode is outperforming a land-based mode of transportation.

As is typical, no coal was loaded in February, but through the first quarter, the Lakes coal trade stands at 1.1 million tons, an increase of 19.6 percent compared to a year ago. The trade is down 57.7 percent when compared to the 5-year average for the January-March timeframe.

Lake Carriers' Association

 

Port Reports - April 16

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick and Lee Rowe
On a Thursday afternoon filled with spring showers, Lee A. Tregurtha loaded ore and departed the Upper Harbor.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. - Jeff Birch
Cason J. Callaway sailed from Bayship in the early Thursday evening. Phillip R. Clarke was ballasted down and expected to sail in the next few days.

Owen Sound, Ont. - Erich Zuschlag and Jonathan Coote
The Lower Lakes Towing vessel Robert S. Pierson made her first-ever visit to Owen Sound, bringing wheat and barley from Thunder Bay.

Toronto, Ont. - Charlie Gibbons
The saltie Brant departed Redpath early Thursday, bound for the Welland canal.

 

Coast Guard searches for overdue kayaker in Saginaw Bay

4/16 - Cleveland, Ohio - The U.S. Coast Guard commenced a search for an overdue 27-year-old male kayaker along the eastern shoreline of Saginaw Bay, Mich., near Fish Point, Wednesday at approximately 11 p.m.

Coast Guard Station Saginaw River, Mich., small boat crews and an aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit are searching for Nathan Southgate, whose kayak was located overturned approximately one-and-a-half miles northwest of the ramp where he launched at Sunset Marina.

"The 41-foot utility boat and the helo (HH-65C rescue helicopter) searched throughout the night, and local law enforcement, friends and his family searched wooded, swampy areas on the shoreline as well," said Cmdr. David Beck, Chief of Response, Coast Guard Sector Detroit.

A Station Saginaw River 41-foot utility boat (UTB) crew and an HH-65C crew conducted search patterns over the water and shoreline, while the Saginaw River 25-foot small response boat crew (RB-S) conducted a search of the bay and shallow shoreline.

Apparently, Southgate launched his kayak from a ramp near the marina Wednesday at approximately 6 p.m., and his family expected him back by 9 p.m. When he did not return at the prescribed time, his family contacted 911 and the the Coast Guard to report him overdue. It is not known if he wore his life jacket.

The Coast Guard advises everyone to file a float plan, which should be completed and left with someone who is not going with the recreational boater. A float plan is a lifesaving device on paper and provides emergency responders with valuable information of they need to search for a distressed boater.

 

Updates - April 16

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 16

16 April 1907 - 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., manager, 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.

 

Algobay, damaged in grounding near the Soo, will head to shipyard

4/15 - Algobay, upbound on her first trip after receiving a new forebody in China late last year, ran aground at 2:40 p.m. Tuesday at Johnson's Point in the lower St. Marys River.

According to a spokesman for Soo Traffic, Algobay sustained unspecified damage to her hull. She has been tied at the southeast pier of the Soo Locks while temporary repairs are made. When that work is completed the vessel will head upbound for a shipyard in Thunder Bay.

There was no fog at the time of the incident, the Soo Traffic spokesman said. The vessel, which had unloaded a cargo of ore at Toledo on Sunday, is owned by the Algoma Central Corp.

 

Port Reports - April 15

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic early Wednesday included Indiana Harbor departing with taconite pellets, Michipicoten moving into the CN/DMIR ore dock, Iryda loading at HSC grain terminal and Quebecois unloading at St. Lawrence Cement. Joseph H. Thompson and Capt. Henry Jackman were both due later in the day to load pellets at CN/DMIR ore dock, and Federal Polaris was expected to arrive for HSC.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Continuing the streak of daily traffic on the Saginaw River, Calumet was inbound Wednesday morning with a split load. She stopped at the Lafarge stone dock in Essexville to lighter, before heading upriver to finish at the Lafarge stone dock in Saginaw. These were the first cargos delivered to the Lafarge docks under the new ownership. Last season, these docks were the Essexville Sargent dock and Saginaw Rock Products. Calumet was expected to be outbound late in the day on Wednesday.

Hamilton, Ont. - Eric Holmes
James Norris departed lay up at 8 p.m. April 14. She was heading to Colborne to load stone.

 

DEC seeks explanation for Seaway opening date

4/15 - Clayton, N.Y. — The state Department of Environmental Conservation wants the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. to publicly explain how it determines an opening date for the shipping season, which the state now contends is beginning too early.

In a letter to Seaway Administrator Collister W. "Terry" Johnson Jr. dated March 31, DEC Commissioner Alexander B. "Pete" Grannis said he supports a local environmental group's petition demanding the corporation disclose its criteria used to set the annual opening date for the St. Lawrence Seaway, and then involve the public in the process.

"The opening date has been creeping earlier and earlier over the past decade," said Jennifer J. Caddick, executive director of Save the River, Clayton. "For years we've been asking Seaway officials how they set these dates but they have simply refused to disclose how the opening dates are determined."

Save the River filed the petition with the Seaway Corp. in February. It has not yet received a formal response from the corporation but Mr. Johnson had said last month that the group's request likely will be denied.

Judy Drabicki, regional DEC director, said the Seaway should be mandated to involve the public in the process for determining the navigation season.

"We believe that an open, public process is always better," she said.

Ms. Drabicki said DEC is concerned that icebreaking activities and winter navigation on the shipping channel might disturb the river's natural habitats.

In his letter to Mr. Johnson, Commissioner Grannis urged the Seaway to push its March opening date back to early April.

"The Department of Environmental Conservation has historically advocated for an April 1 opening date for the Seaway," Mr. Grannis said, adding that historical data show that ice on the river breaks up naturally and shipping interferes the least with spawning success for various fish species along the shoreline around that date.

Also, Mr. Grannis said, the DEC is "greatly concerned" that ice cover will hinder oil spill clean ups.

A three-year joint observational study — which was released last week by the U.S. Department of Transportation — concluded that icebreaking activities had "no adverse impact on the shoreline." However, members of Save the River and DEC officials argue that the study was "limited in scope" and does not address many questions raised by the river communities.

Ms. Caddick said the study looks at only "a small 60-mile stretch of the river," from the Snell Locks to Lake St. Francis, and focuses on the physical shoreline impacts of icebreaking, while overlooking its biological impact.

Kenneth L. Kogut, natural resource supervisor of DEC Region 6, said the study does not answer how the use of icebreakers to clear the shipping channel and early shipping impact wetlands, aquatic vegetation, fisheries and other wildlife habitats along the river.

"We don't know how ice breaking impacts our natural habitats and that's the problem," he said. "More studies need to be done to put a lot of these issues to bed."

Watertown Daily Times

 

New leader sought for Great Lakes Maritime Academy

4/15 - Applications are being sought for the position of superintendent of the Great Lakes Maritime Academy at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, Mich.

The superintendent serves as the administrative leader and chief academic officer of Northwestern Michigan College's Maritime Academy, with responsibility for the facilitation of all services to students pursuing credit and continuing education instruction, and certificate or degree programs. This individual will passionately promote the mission, vision, identity, and values of Northwestern Michigan College.

Click here for details

 

Updates - April 15

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 15

15 April 1907 - 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.

 

U.S.- Flag cargos on lakes more than quadruple in March

4/14 - Cleveland, Ohio - With America’s steel industry on the mend, U.S.-flag lakers charged back to work in March. The fleet hauled 2,551,166 tons of cargo, more than four times the volume moved a year ago when the nation’s economic pulse was weak.

Coal loadings showed a marked improvement over a year ago, increasing almost six-fold.

Another factor in the March upturn was the sterling performance of the U.S. Coast Guard’s icebreaking resources. All eight vessels stationed on the Great Lakes aided in the resumption of navigation. The U.S. Coast Guard also transferred an East Coast icebreaker, the Penobscot Bay, to the Lakes for the ice season, and that vessel was actively engaged in facilitating commerce in March.

Canada’s two icebreakers also made significant contributions to the flow of vital cargos in March.

The importance of both Coast Guard’s icebreaking missions cannot be overstated. Although some freighters have ice-strengthened hulls, icebreakers must open and maintain the shipping lanes. In a strong economy, 15 to 20 percent of all lakes commerce can move during the December 16 - April 15 ice season.

The 32 U.S.-flag lakers in service on April 1 is another indication of a strengthening economy. Only 17 U.S. hulls were in operation a year ago, and a 1,000-foot-long vessel would be forced to lay-up after carrying only four cargos and remain idle until September.

Through March U.S.-flag cargos total 4.9 million tons, more than triple the amount floated a year ago. However, shipments are 15 percent off the 5-year average for the January-March timeframe.

Lake Carriers’ Association

 

Top hat ceremony launches season at Oshawa’s port

4/14 - Oshawa, Ont. – Captain Vladyslav Shchebetkov smiled like a young boy as a top hat was placed on his head aboard his ship, the Antikeri, signifying the official opening of the 2010 season for the Port of Oshawa.

But some wonder if the annual tradition’s days are numbered as the city pushes for re-development of its portlands.

“The port is a very important part of our community, of the region really,” Oshawa Harbour Commission Chairman Gary Valcour said after Monday’s top hat ceremony.

He said the port is one of about only 18 across the country that can handle deep water ships such as the Antikeri, adding it provides job opportunities and pumps money into the local economy.

“It’s really an economic engine,” Valcour said.

The port allows ships from around the world to bring in a vast array of goods such as potash, fertilizer and salt.

The Antikeri arrived over the weekend with 13,900 tonnes of steel from Turkey.

After a stop in Montreal, the vessel made its way along the St. Lawrence to Oshawa. Dock workers will unload the ship over the next several days and then the Antikeri will head to Thunder Bay.

The federally-owned port has been “a major part of Oshawa’s commerce since the 1800s,” Valcour said.

But in recent years, city officials have talked about re-developing the waterfront for residential and recreational usage.

Plans call for the clean-up of contaminated land surrounding the harbour to clear the way for condo construction. The federal government has committed $9.2 million to the plan.

The city also wants to open up the west side of the port for sailboats and other pleasure craft.

The idea makes those involved in commercial shipping nervous.

“If the push got to the point where you’re squeezing out the commercial and industrial side, that would be a real problem,” Valcour said, adding many jobs would be lost.

Mayor John Gray insisted he has no plans to infringe on the commercial side of the “very active port.”

“At the end of the day we can have a happy marriage of mixed usage,” Gray said.

He said people would enjoy looking out over Lake Ontario from their home and watching huge ships being loaded and unloaded.

However, Oshawa Councillor Robert Lutczyk is not convinced, adding there are some councillors who would like to see the port’s shipping industry shut down all together.

“That would be absolutely foolhardy,” Ltczyk said. “This is a multi-million dollar operation.”

Toronto Sun

 

Port Reports - April 14

Twin Ports – Al Miller
The Twin Ports began looking busy Tuesday, with American Century loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal and Iryda ready to load grain at the HSC terminal. Michipicoten was anchored in the Duluth Harbor anchorage area, apparently waiting for the CN/DMIR ore dock. Due later in the day were Quebecois, with the season’s first load of cement for St. Lawrence Cement, and Algolake for Midwest Energy Terminal. The only remaining layup vessel outside of Fraser Shipyards is American Integrity, which remains at Duluth’s Garfield D dock with a couple of wheeled cranes alongside. No word on its departure date, but it is on the Midwest Energy Terminal schedule to load April 28.

Saginaw River – Stephen Hause and Todd Shorkey
Shipping traffic has picked up on the Saginaw River with a return visit on Tuesday by the Olive L. Moore-Lewis J. Kuber and the first visit since 2008 by the Cuyahoga.
The Moore-Kuber arrived during the night and was docked at the Saginaw Wirt Stone Dock Tuesday morning. It lightered in Bay City during the night at the Bay City Wirt Dock before going up to Saginaw. The tug-barge dock departed the dock during the afternoon, shortly before the Cuyahoga arrived at the adjacent Buena Vista Dock. Once a frequent visitor, the Cuyahoga has visited the river only a half-dozen times over the past four seasons. Cuyahoga was outbound Tuesday evening, leaving the Sixth Street Basin shortly before 9 p.m. After turning at Sixth Street, the Moore-Kuber passed the Cuyahoga on its outbound transit.

Huron, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Arthur M. Anderson delivered stone to the Huron Lime plant on Tuesday, making her the first freighter to visit the southernmost Lake Erie port since the disappearance of the ice pack. She loaded in Stoneport, Mich. Anderson is due in Sandusky to load at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock on Friday. She is currently enroute to Meldrum Bay, Ont., to load stone for Ecorse, Mich.

Hamilton, Ont. - Eric Holmes
Monday, the Ocean Groupe tug Gerry G departed at 1 p.m. The Canadian Coast Guard ship Kelso departed at 1:30 p.m. from Burlington's Canada Centre for Inland Waters. Montrealais arrived at 6 p.m. with iron ore pellets from Port Cartier for Dofasco. On Tuesday, Canadian Olympic departed at 10:15 a.m. after discharging coal at Dofasco. Montrealais departed Dofasco at 10:30 a.m. for Thunder Bay. The bunkering ship Hamilton Energy departed at 11 a.m. for Port Weller. The Canadian Coast Guard Cutter Griffon arrived at 5:30 p.m., going to Burlington's CCIW.

 

Fewer ups and downs ahead for Duluth’s lift bridge

4/14 - Duluth, Minn. – The U.S. Coast Guard has approved a plan to keep Duluth’s Aerial Lift Bridge from going up and down so often during busy summer months.

City officials on Monday said they have received preliminary approval from the U.S. Coast Guard to raise the bridge twice an hour for smaller vessels during summer months rather than on demand as the bridge has done for decades.

The change should help alleviate traffic snarls for drivers at peak periods, but could mean longer waits for fishing, charter and other pleasure boats to get out of and back into the harbor.

“This is like Christmas for us. It’s a huge deal,’’ said Walt Pietrowski, longtime Park Point resident. “Now you can plan a little on when you can come and go. … I know people who have moved off the point because it gets so bad.’’

The new system could cut the number of lifts on a busy summer day in half. Motorboats, sailboats and Vista Fleet tour boats make up 83 percent of the water traffic under the bridge.

Salties and lakers — vessels more than 300 tons — still will get lifts on demand.

If the new system works this summer, it may be adopted permanently.

“We’re going to be flexible and give boaters the benefit of the doubt if they are a minute or two late. But we felt we had to do something. We were just making too many lifts on busy days,’’ said Ryan Beamer, Aerial Lift Bridge supervisor for the city. “We had one day when we averaged a lift every 10 minutes over a 24-hour period. … The traffic backups in recent years have become so bad that we were in danger of not being able to get [emergency] services to people on the point in a timely manner.’’

Fewer lifts and lowerings will also reduce the “wear and tear on the mechanics of the bridge,” Duluth Mayor Don Ness said.

The new schedule will run from May 3 to Oct. 31, when the bridge will go up on the hour and half-hour, if needed, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and then on demand after 9 p.m. Exceptions will be made in times of severe weather or for vessels in peril and for emergency and other government vessels.

Arnie Marten, general manager of the Vista Fleet tour boats, the most frequent user of the Duluth ship canal under the bridge, said the changes won’t be a problem for his business.

“We have had to tweak our schedule and routines a bit, but it’s not a major issue for us,’’ he said. “We were well aware of the impact our tours have on the bridge operation… and we were already working to try to reduce [bridge lifts] as much as we could.’’

The city and Coast Guard will collect public comments before and during the summer-long test period. The City Council is expected to vote on the new schedule at its April 26 meeting.

About 15,000 vehicles cross the bridge during a busy summer day with an average of 60 bridge openings under the old schedule.

Boat operators who don’t want to wait also have the option of entering and leaving the harbor through the Superior Entry.

Efforts to reduce lifts and lowerings have occurred in years past, including a trial run in 2003, Beamer said. But the Coast Guard nixed a permanent change at that time.

“Our reasoning at that point was more to reduce wear and tear on the bridge,” Beamer said. “This time, with the traffic jams getting so much worse, we really stressed the situation with emergency vehicles as the reason.”‘

Duluth News Tribune

 

Toronto Marine Historical Society annual silent auction underway

4/14 - The 13th Annual Silent Auction for the Toronto Marine Historical Society is now taking place. This auction is open to all, not just members of the society. TMHS is a volunteer organization dedicated to recording and presenting the history of Great Lakes vessels. The proceeds of the auction are used to further the activities of the society. There is an interesting collection of artifacts, books, photos etc for sale. Many of the items listed have been donated by regular Boatnerd site participants. Full details of the auction click here

 

Updates - April 14

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 14

14 April 1965 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 OJIBWAY) 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.

 

Port Reports - April 13

Alpena and Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
Two vessels visited Lafarge on Monday. Manistee unloaded coal in the morning and Alpena arrived during the evening to load cement for Green Bay, Wis. Frontenac took on cargo at Stoneport on Monday and Calumet is due on Tuesday.

Owen Sound, Ont. - Jonathan Coote
Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley was briefly in Owen Sound Sunday, docked on the east wall.

Port Huron, Mich. - Ed Schuyler
Algobay was upbound under the Blue Water bridge at 5:30 p.m. on Monday for the first time since she was rebuilt, heading for Silver Bay, Minn. Algosteel was downbound at the Black River at 6:35 p.m., heading for Toledo, Ohio, and Algocape was upbound at the Black River a few minutes later for Thunder Bay, Ont.

 

Lake Huron levels likely to drop this summer

4/13 - Port Huron, Mich. – While the level of Lake St. Clair dropped dramatically this spring, the depth of local waterways is on par with past years.

But experts said the dry winter will come back to bite boaters this summer.

"We didn't see the snowfall we normally do," said Keith Kompolpowicz, a meteorologist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "Snowfall contributes a large supply of water to the lakes."

The water levels in local waterways are at the norm right now. Despite having fallen as much as 2 feet when ice clogged the St. Clair River at the end of March, Lake St. Clair has rebounded. The lake stood at 574 feet -- its long-term average -- last week. The level is expected to be 5 to 6 inches below normal this summer, Kompolpowicz said.

The water level in Lake Huron is 577 feet -- the same as it was in April 2009. Kompolpowicz expects it to be 4 to 5 inches below normal when summer rolls around.

Kompolpowicz said the recent rain could help Lake Huron water levels, but it would take a lot more to make a major difference.

"It would take some pretty wet weather for an extended period of time," he said. "It would take a few months. It wouldn't happen quickly."

Port Huron Times Herald

 

Hamilton Port Authority says bye, bye birdies

4/13 - Hamilton, Ont. – Hundreds of double-crested cormorants will have to find a new nesting place when the Hamilton Port Authority turns an artificial island into an underwater shoal next fall.

Plans are to make the 30-by-35-metre Farr Island disappear by spreading out the crushed rock with which it was built until it disappears beneath the waves. More stone will then be added to expand the resulting shoal to create a spawning bed for lake herring, whitefish, smallmouth bass, walleye and other warm-water fish species.

The cost of the expansion will be covered by a $150,000 grant announced yesterday by the U.S.-based Sustain Our Great Lakes Program, financed by ArcelorMittal, parent of Hamilton steelmaker ArcelorMittal Dofasco.

John Hall, co-ordinator of the Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan (RAP), applauded the multinational company for its grant, saying, "This money coming out of the U.S. recognizes on an international level that our harbour has a role to play in the fishery of all western Lake Ontario."

Jim Bowlby, a biologist working for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, says it's estimated the harbour once had 3.5 square kilometres of shoals. Those on the south shore were lost to filling while 19th-century stone-hooking vessels are thought to have hauled up shale along the Aldershot shore for building material.

A new fisheries management plan says harbour cleanup is bringing back a healthy sport fish population, but that will increase angling pressure.

It also says fish spawned in the harbour will contribute to the health of the fishery around the whole west end of the lake.

Farr Island was created as a platform for a long-gone hydro tower about 250 metres out from the mouth of Burlington's Indian Creek in the northeast corner of the harbour.

Shoreline residents won't miss the cormorants, whose smelly waste prompted a vigilante to trap and kill several with a grid of fine fishing line strung across the island in 2008.

Bowlby and other members of the fish and habitat steering committee of the RAP say they considered keeping a portion of the island for terns, another water bird, but determined that fish habitat was needed more. Besides, young fish will have a better chance of survival away from hungry predators.

Marilyn Baxter, environmental manager for the port authority, said only one tender was submitted for demolition of the island last fall, but expects more interest in the larger project this year.

Money from the Sustain Our Great Lakes Program is also going this year to the Credit River Anglers Association to build a fish ladder at the Norval Dam to allow passage of American eel, Atlantic salmon and other fish.

The Hamilton Spectator

 

Historic lighthouse on Lake Huron to receive repairs

4/13 - Point Clark, Ont. — The historic Point Clark lighthouse on Lake Huron - a 150-year-old tower with a design rarely seen elsewhere in Canada - will receive repairs worth up to $495,000, says Parks Canada.

The 26.5-metre tower, built in the late 1850s to warn sailors of a shoal three kilometres offshore, was made of large limestone blocks, "a feature which contributes greatly to its unique character," the federal agency says.

Topped by a 12-sided lantern and a domed roof, with bronze lions' heads in the eaves directing rainwater away from the tower, the lighthouse was designated as a National Historic site in 1967. It is located 35 kilometres north of Goderich.

Huron Township operates the lightkeeper's house as a museum.

The investment will be used to repair masonry and mortar, says Parks Canada. It's part of $374 million set aside for improvements at national parks and national historic sites under Ottawa's economic action plan.

The Canadian Press

 

Raffle for trip on St. Marys Challenger supports the BoatNerd Web site

4/13 - Through the generosity of Port City Marine Services, BoatNerd is offering the chance to win a trip for four aboard the legendary Great Lakes steamboat St. Marys Challenger during the 2010 sailing season. This once-in-a-lifetime trip is the Grand Prize for BoatNerd's 2010 raffle and fundraising event.

The Challenger was built in 1906 and is the oldest operating steam-powered cargo vessel in the U.S. She is engaged in the transport of powdered cement from Charlevoix, Mich., to several Lake Michigan ports.

All proceeds from the raffle will benefit Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online Inc., the non-profit 501(C)(3) support organization for 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 5, 2010 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. Winners need not be present at the drawing to win, and will be notified by mail and/or phone. Mail orders must be received no later than June 1. In-person purchases will be accepted until 1 p.m. the day of the drawing.

Other prizes will be announced as they become available.

 Click here to order, or for more information Note: if you had trouble with ordering Online we have corrected the link. Please report any problems. Tickets are also available by mail.

State of Michigan Raffle License R06185

 

Updates - April 13

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

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.

 

Port Reports - April 12

Twin Ports – Al Miller
The forward half of Kaye E. Barker is shrouded in plastic as the vessel undergoes sandblasting while sitting in drydock at Fraser Shipyards in Superior. Roger Blough was fueling in Duluth late Sunday afternoon with all hatches open, apparently en route to the CN/DMIR ore dock to load. St. Clair departed layup in Fraser Shipyards late last week.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick and Lee Rowe
Lee A. Tregurtha spent Sunday at the Upper Harbor. She unloaded coal first and then quickly loaded ore with an early evening departure.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. - Jeff Birch
Sunday morning saw smoke from the stacks of the Cason J. Callaway and Philip R. Clarke. When these two sail, it will leave just Walter J. McCarthy, Buffalo, American Courage and barge Great Lakes in the yard.

Waukegan, Ill. - Lou Gerard
Alpena arrived at the LaFarge terminal from Milwaukee after midnight Sunday morning, and spent the morning unloading. She also drew considerable attention from people driving past as several stopped to take a look and take pictures. At about 12:30 p.m. she backed out of the harbor and into Lake Michigan where she turned and headed for Alpena.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Overnight, the Olive L. Moore, with the barge Lewis J. Kuber, made the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City for a partial unload. The pair then continued upriver to the Buena Vista dock in Saginaw to finish unloading. The Moore-Kuber turned at Sixth Street and were outbound for the lake, passing through Bay City mid-morning on Sunday. The tug Barbara Andrie and her tank barge were inbound Sunday morning, calling on the Bit-Mat Asphalt dock. This is already the third delivery of the season to Bit-Mat this season, which was the total number of deliveries there for the entire 2009 season. Barbara Andrie and her barge are expected to be outbound early Monday morning.

Sarnia, Ont. – Barry Hiscocks
Algolake has departed lay up in Sarnia and backing downriver to fuel at Imperial Oil.

Toledo, Ohio - Jim Hoffman
The newly rebuilt Algobay, on her maiden voyage into the Great Lakes, arrived at the Torco Ore Dock to unload ore at approximately 11:30 a.m. Sunday. Canadian Olympic was at the CSX Coal Docks loading coal. Cuyahoga finished unloading grain at the Kraft Elevator and was outbound from Toledo mid Sunday morning. Saginaw remained at the CSX# 2 Dock undergoing repairs. The tug Karen Andrie with the barge Endeavor, were at the B-P Dock. American Fortitude, American Valor, American Republic and John J. Boland remain in layup. The next boats due into the CSX Coal Docks will be Catherine Desgagnes, Canadian Olympic and the McKee Sons, due in Wednesday. H. Lee White will follow on Thursday followed by Pathfinder on Friday. The next scheduled ore boats for the Torco Ore Docks will be H. Lee White on Thursday, followed by Salarium and CSL Tadoussac on Friday. The next stone boat due into the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock will be Algosteel on Tuesday.

Cleveland, Ohio – Mark Demaline
St. Clair arrived at Cleveland about 10:30 a.m. Sunday with ore for CBT's C&P Dock.

Hamilton, Ont. - Eric Holmes
Saturday Federal Patroller arrived at 6 a.m. with steel products. The tug Reliance and barge departed at 7:30 a.m. for the canal. Algocape arrived at 2:30 p.m. with iron ore pellets from Port Cartier for Dofasco. Hamilton Energy departed at 4 p.m. for Port Weller. Sunday Algocape departed at 7 a.m. for Thunder Bay in ballast. Canadian Navigator departed at 7:30 p.m. after discharging iron ore pellets at Dofasco.

Oswego, N.Y. - Ned Goebricher
English River unloading cement in Oswego Sunday under sunny skies.

Gulf of Oman - William Boyd
The cruise ship C. Columbus, a visitor to the lakes, was heading northwest early Sunday morning in the Gulf of Oman with a destination of Kish Island, Iran.

 

Steel demand spurred labor settlement at Nanticoke

4/12 - Hamilton, Ont. – A "back door" approach to the national office of the United Steelworkers was the move that reignited contract talks to end an eight-month lockout of workers at the Lake Erie plant of U.S. Steel.

The approach by the company that, like the union, is headquartered in Pittsburgh, came as a reviving economy is demanding more and more steel.

"We started talking again because I got a call from Pittsburgh," said Bill Ferguson, president of USW Local 8782. "After eight months of lockout the company didn't want to come right to me so they went to the national. That's usual down there."

However the approach was made, it led to a tentative agreement late Thursday afternoon.

Details are being withheld until a membership meeting next week, but Ferguson said he's pleased with the package.

"When we started there were huge concessions on the table, as much as $12 an hour," he said. "The concessions the company wanted were just huge."

Issues in the dispute included pensions, benefits, plant work rules, seniority and overtime.

"I think we're going to have a good discussion with the members about this," he added. "I'm not going to raise or lower expectations, but I think we did the best we could."

Erin Weir, economist with the United Steelworkers' Canadian arm, said there are clear signs the industry is picking up.

"The steel industry and steel markets are very healthy right now," he said. "Eight months ago it was easy for the company to leave that facility closed, but the markets are improving so that was an incentive to get the company back to the negotiating table."

Steel industry analyst Chuck Bradford, of New York-based Affiliated Research Group, said it's likely an improving economy was the chief force pushing the company to seek a settlement.

"Orders for steel have definitely improved and the Lake Erie plant is one of the better plants that company has," he said. "The auto part of the market is definitely improving and that's important for Lake Erie."

At the recession's lowest point, Bradford said North America's steel industry was using only 40 per cent of its production capacity. Today about 70 per cent of that capacity is being used.

As demand for its steel rises, Bradford added, the company has been faced with production problems at other plants, increasing the need to get the Nanticoke facility back in service. One such issue is the blast furnace at U.S. Steel's Gary, Ind., plant which is out of commission for three months.

Idled production capacity, he added, also meant steel producers have been late in making deliveries to customers. That's a critical issue for automakers, whose "just in time" production systems mean they keep only one or two days' worth of inventory on hand.

"There's been a lot of talk about large U.S. steel companies being behind in deliveries," Bradford said. "That causes some customers to have to double-order and they don't like doing that."

Weir agreed the accelerating auto industry has brought a major boost for steel production, especially in Hamilton where both steel mills rely on auto customers.

"Not that long ago it looked like Chrysler and GM would disappear, but now GM is on a stable footing and Ford is doing very well again," he said. "Everyone is still below their peaks, but we have come back from the depths."

Nanticoke steelworkers will get details of the tentative agreement Monday at 6 p.m. at the Port Dover Community Centre. After a 48-hour cool down period, the ratification vote will be held Thursday.

The Hamilton Spectator

 

Corps warns Cleveland harbor could close in five years without dredge dump site

4/12 - Cleveland, Ohio – A money crisis threatens to close Cleveland's port to millions of dollars of commercial shipping by 2015, a top administrator with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers warned in a recent letter to Gov. Ted Strickland.

Lt. Col. Daniel Snead wrote that his Buffalo office will be forced to stop dredging the harbor in five years unless the state and local port authority finds $133 million to build a new facility to store tons of contaminated muck.

Even if the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority gets the money today, the earliest a new containment dike could open would be 2017, the letter states. That is three years after existing containment facilities will be filled.

"It's kind of a risk," Snead said Friday in a telephone interview. "It could definitely shut down the shipping channel..."

 Strickland spokeswoman Amanda Wurst said the governor has not responded to the colonel yet, but expects cabinet members and senior-level administration officials to meet with him soon.

"The governor is aware and concerned about these issues and he believes it is imperative to keep the port actively contributing to the Greater Cleveland economy," Wurst said.

Snead said in his letter that once dredging stops in 2014, even one major storm could dump so much sediment that large ships could no longer navigate the upper reaches of the Cuyahoga River, "effectively halting commerce by current means of transport."

The Army Corps hires crews to dredge the harbor and river every year because sediment piles up by as much six feet in that time.

Minimum water depths now range from 27 feet at the mouth of the river to 23 feet upriver at the ArcelorMittal steel plant, which receives 4 million tons of iron ore and limestone a year by large transport ships.

A reduction of depth of one to two feet would force shippers to lighten their loads and increase their trips, resulting in $2.6 million to $6.7 million in additional transportation costs a year, Snead said.

Snead asked Strickland to help pay the local share needed to build a new dredge containment facility -- about $133 million, or roughly a third of the $302 million total cost. The federal government would pay the rest.

He also asked for help finding alternative uses and disposal methods for the dredged muck. Possibilities include building a recycling facility, or dumping sludge in abandoned mines, quarries and industrial sites.

The governor's spokeswoman said Strickland understands the problem.

"Of course, the governor respects that the ultimate responsibility for these matters rests with the Port Authority," Wurst said. "But he recognizes the state must and will play an integral role in working with our local partners on short term and long term solutions to the challenges before them."

Officials at the tax-supported port authority have said they don't have $133 million to spend on a new containment facility. But they warned Friday against taking a gloom-and-doom view of the situation described by Snead.

"The letter reflected the same issues that we've been discussing publicly for the past four months" said Brent Leslie, the authority's chief financial officer. "Beginning in 2015, there's not a known place to put dredge material. That's what we're working on now."

In February, the authority convened a Dredge Task Force with representatives from the governor, Northeast Ohio's congressional delegation, Cleveland's mayor, state agencies and local industry.

The panel is looking for ways to finance the port's dredging crisis. The task force has met twice, and has already located 24 potential dredge disposal sites, Leslie said.

Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

Mackinaw Maritime Festival in Mackinaw City May 7-8

4/12 - The Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association will host its first Mackinaw Maritime Festival, May 7 - 8 in Mackinaw City.

The two-day event will begin at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 7 on the fantail deck of the retired icebreaker Mackinaw. The memorial service will include a performance of music written for the occasion by Dan Hall, the reading of the names of those lost in the 1965 Cedarville tragedy, sequential tolling of the bells on the icebreaker and in Conkling Heritage Park, and a blessing of the fleet ceremony, for which all area vessels are cordially invited to attend. After lunch on the icebreaker, a wide range of activities are planned for Friday afternoon at various locales throughout the area.

Among these are tours of the Mackinaw, boat trips out to the Cedarville wreck site, a historical scavenger hunt, an open discussion panel with survivors of the Cedarville tragedy, free tours of Old Mackinac Point lighthouse and viewing of a video of shipwrecks of the Straits area. The first day’s events will conclude at the Headlands Beach House that evening with presentations on the lighthouses of the straits area by maritime historian and executive director of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association Terry Pepper, and a presentation on celestial maritime navigation by astronomer Mary Stewart Adams.

Saturday’s events include a free tour of the award-winning “green” state marina, a free tour of the Mackinaw Historic Village, a fish boil lunch at the Historic Village, announcement of the winners of the historic scavenger hunt and free tours of the McGulpin Point lighthouse, where local historian and author Sandra Planisek and Jim Tamlyn, chairman of the Emmet County Board of Commissioners, will interpret the history of the lighthouse and McGulpin Point itself.

For more festival information and an updated listing of events, visit the festival web site at www.mackinawmaritimefestival.org

The Holland Sentinel

 

May 2010 lighthouse and freighter cruise

4/12 - BoatNerd and the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association have joined with Keweenaw Excursions to organize the first lighthouse/freighter chasing event of 2010. This unusual trip will take place from May 19 to May 21.

The fun will begin and end in Sault Ste. Marie, and features a two-day cruise aboard the Keweenaw Star which will travel from Marquette across Lake Superior, down the St. Marys River, overnight in the Soo, continue down thru the Rock Cut, DeTour, and across the top of Lake Huron. The cruise will pass under the Mackinac Bridge and sail down Lake Michigan to Charlevoix. The boat will provide photo opportunities at 20 lighthouses and all the vessels in the busy shipping lanes along the way.

Due to bus availability, this event is limited to the first 46 people who make reservations. Make yours today. Click here for details.

 

Updates - April 12

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 12

12 April 1896 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, 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 (Hull #88).

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

 

Skipper gets tip of the top hat at Toronto

4/11 - Toronto, Ont – Mykhaylo Kuznetsov grinned when Harbourmaster Angus Armstrong let him briefly cover his clean-shaven head with a 182-year-old beaver top hat as the skipper of the first ocean-going ship into Toronto’s port this year.

Outside his green-hulled Montreal-based cargo ship, flakes of snow were whisping along the dock as Redpath Sugar crews unloaded just over 19,000 metric tonnes of golden cane sugar from Costa Rica.

Inside the warm bridge, where the ship’s chef had prepared a buffet of mostly Ukrainian dishes, Capt. Kuznetsov told Armstrong, “this is my first time here ... and the first time for the Brant.

“I am enjoying this very much,” he said.

The Toronto Port Authority’s beaver hat ceremony dates to 1861, when it was donated, Armstrong said.

“The captains used to keep it for a year but that changed after it came back too many times with beer stains.”

In addition to the harbour providing a destination for goods from around the world — about two million tonnes a year including asphalt, cement and steel, Armstrong said ships leave with a variety of heavy loads, including General Electric locomotives.

By using ships for transport “we keep from 600 to 1,000 big trucks off the road,” he said.

Next year is a major landmark, with the port marking its centennial.

Toronto Sun

 

Port Reports - April 11

Milwaukee, Wis. - Lou Gerard
Alpena arrived at LaFarge's Jones Island terminal early on Saturday morning and tied up to the Integrity and G.L. Ostrander. She spent all day unloading and was to depart around 5 p.m. for Waukegan, Ill.

Alpena and Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
Saturday night, the tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation arrived at Lafarge to load cement. Arthur M. Anderson was loading at Stoneport on Saturday. Mississagi was at anchor nearby and will tie up at the dock sometime on Sunday once the Anderson departs.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The tug Karen Andrie, with the tank barge Endeavour, departed the Bit-Mat dock early Saturday morning and was outbound for the lake. The pair passed the inbound tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber, which were headed for the Bay Aggregates dock to lighter before heading upriver to finish unloading. Strong currents in the river from recent rains and high winds prevented the Moore and Kuber from making the tricky turn into the Bay Aggregates slip, so the pair tied up at the Essroc dock across the river to wait for more favorable conditions. They remained there as of 6 p.m. Saturday.

Long Point, Lake Erie – Dave O.
Algobay was upbound at Long Point Saturday night with an ETA for Southeast Shoal at 7 a.m. Sunday. Algobay is headed to unload in Toledo, she will then load in Duluth for Quebec.

Toronto, Ont. - Charlie Gibbons
The first salty of the season, Brant, on her first voyage into the Great Lakes, arrived in port Friday morning with a cargo of raw sugar for Redpath. Stephen B. Roman returned to port Saturday morning.

 

Updates - April 11

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

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.

 

Burns Harbor port opens 40th international season

4/10 - Portage, Ind. – The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor opens its 40th shipping season Friday with the arrival of the first international vessel – the Iryda. For 40 years, this Great Lakes port has provided an international connection for local businesses to reach world markets. The first ship signifies the start of the shipping season, the arrival of vital materials for local business and the start of another work season for longshoremen, crane operators, truckers and businesses that depend on the port.

Iryda was built in 1999 in Chiba, Japan, located on Tokyo Bay. It brought roughly 9,000 tons of steel coils to the port from Ijmuiden, Holland. The ship made a stop in Cleveland on its way to Burns Harbor, will continue on to Milwaukee and will be reloaded in Duluth, Minn., before heading back across the Atlantic Ocean. Flagged for the Republic of Cyprus, the Iryda is manned by a crew from Poland and Capt. Andrzej Kazmierski. The ship visited the port twice during the 2009 season, in April and October.

Since 1970, the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor has grown from a single tenant to the 29 companies that call the port home today. The port now handles more ocean-going cargo than any other U.S. Great Lakes port and 15 percent of U.S. steel trade with Europe.

“These past 40 years have been a time of dynamic growth for the Ports of Indiana, and as the first of Indiana’s three ports, Burns Harbor is a shining example that our state is not landlocked,” said Ports of Indiana CEO Rich Cooper. “Indiana is just one of a few interior states that has direct connections to two global trade corridors via the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean, and those corridors play a vital role in our state’s economy.”

For more information visit www.portsofindiana.com

 

Port Reports - April 10

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
After waiting Thursday at the Upper Harbor ore dock for weather to improve, Joyce L. VanEnkevort and Great Lakes Trader backed away from the ore dock Friday at sunrise and opened the Lower Harbor for the season shortly after with a load of stone for the Shiras Dock.
While Joyce L. VanEnkevort unloaded stone at the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock Friday afternoon, USCGC Katmai Bay arrived at the Lower Harbor and docked at Mattson Park. The cutter is scheduled to remain in Marquette through the weekend.

Green Bay, Wis. -Wendell Wilke
ACE Marine, a division of Marinette Marine, was conducting trials of its newly-built 45-foot Coast Guard rescue craft Friday on the Fox River in Green Bay, Wis. The three new hulls were CG 45624, CG 45626 and CG 45628.

South Chicago - Brian Z.
The barge McKee Sons was loading petcoke at the Beemsterboer Dock Friday afternoon after discharging a stone cargo upriver. The petcoke is destined for Thorold, Ont. Manistee is expected at KCBX early on Saturday morning.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The tug Karen Andrie and tank barge Endeavour arrived on the Saginaw River Friday afternoon, calling on the Bit-Mat Asphalt dock in Bay City. The pair expected to be finished with unloading and clear of the dock early Saturday morning. Anchored out on the Saginaw Bay, and waiting for the Andrie and her barge to depart, was the tug barge combo Olive L. Moore/Lewis J. Kuber. The pair will be going to the Bay Aggregates dock, which shares the same slip with Bit-Mat.

Sarnia, Ont. – Marc Dease
Mississagi has shifted from her winter lay-up berth at the west end of the elevator to the south end of the north slip. The shift was made to allow her fleetmate Cuyahoga into the elevator to take on a load. Also in the north slip are the Algocanada at the north end and fleetmate Algosea astern.

 

Updates - April 10

News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspective Gallery Lemoyne gallery updated
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 10

10 April 1868 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. Marys River from Lake Huron or Michigan. President Dave Bows of the Kiwanis Club, pointed out the club’s $1,000 marine contest is based on the first such vessel though the Michigan Sault locks only. The U.S. Coast Guard reported six-inch ice in the lower St. Marys River.

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

 

Algobay upbound in Seaway, headed for Toledo

4/9 - Algobay departed Sept Iles, Que., after loading at 2:30 p.m. April 6. This is her first trip into the lakes since receiving a new forebody in China recently.

The latest Torco Dock update has her due in Toledo on Monday April 12 at 8:30 p.m., however according to the Welland Canal site she is due in at Lock One tonight at 6 p.m. If all the times hold true, she may be sitting in the Welland Canal for a day or two before continuing her voyage to Toledo. When she clears Lock Eight its about an 18 hour voyage from Port Colborne to Toledo.

Kent Malo and Jim Hoffman

 

Port Reports - April 9

Marquette, Mich. – Lee Rowe
Great Lakes Trader and Joyce Van Enkevort waited at the dock on a blustery Thursday. Whiteouts at times almost blocked the ship from view.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. - Paul R. Tregurtha departed Sturgeon Bay and Bay Shipbuilding Thursday evening bound for Superior, Wis. This is her first trip since receiving new engines over the winter. Her power plant now consists of two MAK 6M4C3 engines, generating a total installed horsepower of 16,080 bhp.

Owen Sound, Ont. - Jim Hoffman
Canadian Transfer was running her main engines Thursday afternoon and most lines were cast off. She was expected to depart Thursday or early Friday morning.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Alpena departed the Lafarge dock Wednesday night and did not seem to have any trouble turning in the Sixth Street basin. She was outbound at the Airport turning basin around 11:30 p.m., headed for the lake.

Toledo, Ohio – Jim Hoffman
Salarium , former Nanticoke, is due in at the Torco Ore Dock on April 16. This will be the first time she has traveled this far into the Great Lakes since being renamed a year ago. She took over the Magdalen Island salt run from the Sauniere and very rarely makes a trip into the Great Lakes.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Manitowoc loaded Wednesday at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock and was upbound on Lake Huron Thursday morning. No destination was specified.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Samuel deChamplain and barge Innovation departed from the LaFarge dock around 5:30 p.m. Thursday. After they left the wall, it took about 15 to 20 minutes of maneuvering back and forth a few times before they were able to center themselves in the river and begin backing down. Once in the clear they had no problems backing all the way down to the north entrance. The captain was probably hoping to beat it out of town before an oncoming squall set in, since the forecast was for more rough weather overnight.

Hamilton, Ont. - Eric Holmes
Thursday the John B Aird arrived at 10 a.m. with coal for Dofasco and departed at 8 p.m. Quebecois departed from Dofasco at 5:30 p.m. for Duluth. The Groupe Ocean tugs Gerry G and Omni Richelieu departed at 6:45 p.m. for Toronto. Amelia Desgagnes departed Pier 25 at 7 p.m.

 

St. Lawrence Seaway system unaffected by ice-breaking activity

4/9 - A three year Joint Operational Study that assessed the potential impact caused by ice breaking activities on the St. Lawrence Seaway has found that there was no adverse impact to the shoreline.

The study was launched by the US Department of Transportation's Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) together with Transport Canada, the Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC), the US St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, and the Canadian Mohawk Council of Akwesasne.

Using a baseline characterizing the impact of natural ice break-up and clear-out, the study revealed that the use of icebreakers to clear the shipping channel did not result in any measurable change to shoreline ice scour and/or land-fast ice breaking away from the shore, the group said in a prepared statement.

During the three-year study, landowners along the shoreline being studied, which extended from the US Snell Lock to the middle of Lake St. Francis, did not report any negative effects from the ice breaking activity.

Moreover, the study revealed that the forces imposed on the shoreline due to ice breaking activities were significantly less than the forces exhibited by ice floes driven onto the shoreline by high wind conditions.

Among the study's recommendations is that all parties continue to interact on a regular basis concerning the stewardship of the waterway.

 

Mock rescues on St. Marys River Thursday, Saturday

4/9 - Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. – Two rescue training sessions will be held near Bellevue Park in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Thursday and Sunday.

Sault Search and Rescue and personnel from Canadian Air Force 424 Squadron's first scenario involves a small, overturned boat with two unresponsive persons in the water in the St. Marys River east of Topsail Island.

A military helicopter will help in the rescue effort between 2:30 and 4 p.m., a release said.

On Sunday, training involves a power boat operator being badly burned in a fire. A helicopter will again take part in the rescue between 2 and 4 p.m.

Both scenarios are weather dependent.

Sault Star

 

Study: Closing Chicago locks would cost billions

4/9 - Traverse City, Mich. — Closing shipping locks in Chicago waterways to prevent Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes would cost the area economy about $4.7 billion over two decades, according to an analysis released Wednesday.

That report from the Illinois Chamber of Commerce envisions a far greater economic ripple than a February study commissioned by the state of Michigan, which is leading a legal campaign to close the locks temporarily while a long-term solution to the Asian carp threat is devised.

The new "study shows, through well-reasoned economics, that closing these locks will have a devastating effect on our local economy, resulting in the loss of potentially hundreds of area jobs and hurting a range of industries and services," said Jim Farrell, executive director of the Illinois chamber's Infrastructure Council.

Bighead and silver carp, both Asian natives, have infested Chicago-area rivers and canals that link Lake Michigan with the Illinois River and ultimately the Mississippi River. Biologists say the plankton-gobbling invaders, which eat up to 40 percent of their body weight daily, could enter the Great Lakes through the locks and disrupt the food chain, starving out valued species such as salmon and walleye.

The U.S. Supreme Court twice has rejected Michigan's request to order the locks closed.

In their February report, transportation specialist John Taylor of Wayne State University in Detroit and James Roach, a consultant, said Illinois was overstating the economic damage closing the locks could cause. They estimated it would boost the costs of transporting and hauling cargo by about $70 million annually — a fraction of Chicago's $521 billion economy.

That figure would remain constant as long as shipping traffic continued at current levels, Roach said — suggesting a total of about $1.4 billion over 20 years.

The Illinois chamber last week released reviews by three economists that criticized the methods and conclusions in the Michigan report, which the chamber described as "irresponsible and inaccurate."

Joseph Schwieterman of DePaul University, the author of the Illinois report, said in a phone interview that his analysis was not intended to refute Taylor and Roach, but to take a broader look at potential economic hardships from closing the locks.

In addition to shipping cost increases, which he calculated at $89 million, Schwieterman said shifting cargo to trucks would cost $27.5 million a year in highway wear and tear. He projected losses of $5.1 million for marinas and other boating facilities and $19.6 million for tour and cruise companies.

"The tourism role is a small part of the overall potential damage but it's a large and vibrant industry at risk," he said.

Stormwater and flood management would be the most expensive result of lock closure, he said. If the locks no longer could be used to regulate river levels and send excess flow into Lake Michigan, a $1.8 billion underground tunnel would have to be constructed.

Schwieterman estimated losses at $582 million the first year after lock closure, $531 annually over the next seven years, and $155 million annually thereafter. Over 20 years, he said, the total would reach $4.7 billion.

Taylor said Wednesday his study focused only on shipping costs at the request of Michigan officials who commissioned it. On that topic, his and Schwieterman's findings were not far apart, he said.

"This is not going to be an exact science," Taylor said.

Farrell said Michigan had used the Taylor-Roach study and DNA evidence of Asian carp's presence beyond an electronic barrier in the Chicago waterways to stir unjustified fears of an imminent invasion.

"We want to be positive contributors to solving this problem, but we want to do it without harming the economy," he said.

John Sellek, spokesman for Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, said the Illinois study exaggerated potential economic damages, but "even if you accepted their study, their 20-year loss pales in comparison to the $7 billion the Great Lakes fishing industry generates every year."

The Associated Press

 

Port Huron dredging Black River Canal

4/9 - Port Huron, Mich. – The city of Port Huron is dredging the Black River Canal for the first time in four years -- a move that pleases local boaters who use it as a shortcut from the river to Lake Huron.

The work started Wednesday at the headwaters of the canal -- where it meets Lake Huron just south of Krafft Road -- and will continue through the month.

Robin Berry, Port Huron's streets superintendent, said the work will cost between $40,000 and $80,000 -- $9.15 per cubic yard. The city's permit from the state allows for up to 9,000 cubic yards to be dredged.

"We are hoping it is not that much," she said.

While the canal often is used by boaters, recreation is not its primary purpose, and complaints from boaters about its shallow water and narrow passage didn't prompt the city's work.

Construction on the canal, which took 10 years, started in 1902 and cost $200,000. At the time, the Black River was an open sewer and the canal was designed to allow lake water to flow toward the river for flushing.

Berry said the river still needs to be flushed because it tends to be stagnant where it winds through the city. Silt and sand had built up, restricting much of the water flow, she said, prompting this year's work.

Regardless of the reason for dredging, some boat owners are excited. For people who launch in the Black River, using the canal to access Lake Huron instead of going down the Black River to the St. Clair River can save time -- sometimes hours.

Lewis Jones, 36, said he takes his 18-foot bass boat up the canal. Jones lives on Port Huron's Country Club Drive and launches his boat from a friend's place on Strawberry Lane in Port Huron Township.

He said the built-up sand "makes it very difficult to move through there."

"You have to navigate it very specifically or you are going to get stuck or your engine is going to drag," he said. "It is a great resource if it is dredged out for people who live out this way."

Mostly smaller vessels -- such as fishing boats, pontoons and personal watercraft -- use the canal.

Port Huron Time Herald

 

Admiral’s visit could boost Sheboygan museum ship effort

4/9 - Sheboygan, Wis. – The long-running fund-raising effort to permanently berth a U.S. Navy warship in Sheboygan will get a jumpstart in the next few weeks with the visit of a retired vice admiral who captained the Vietnam-era ship that organizers of the effort hope to bring here.

Retired Vice Admiral David Robinson will visit the Sheboygan area from April 12 to 25 and be the featured guest at several private receptions. Robinson's speaking engagements will also include a public dinner at the Sheboygan Yacht Club on April 22 to help raise an estimated $3 million, project spokeswoman Char Pachniak said.

The Wisconsin Naval Ship Association hopes to berth the 165-foot retired USS Canon in the Sheboygan River west of the Eighth Street Bridge. The patrol gunboat was decommissioned in 1977 and is currently stored in Philadelphia.

The U.S. Navy agreed late last year to donate the ship to the association, Pachniak said.

The ship would be paired with an onshore museum, the Sheboygan Naval Museum and Education Center, which does not yet have a location, Pachniak said.

The Canon is the third ship proposed by the group. In July 2005, they proposed bringing the 700-foot heavy cruiser USS Des Moines to the Sheboygan lakefront after a similar idea was rejected in Milwaukee. After there were protests here that the Des Moines was too large, the association instead proposed bringing the 418-foot destroyer USS Edson.

That idea was shelved after similar concerns – that the Edson would disrupt the lakefront view – causing the group to suggest the smaller USS Canon and that it be moved from the lakefront to the Sheboygan River site.

The Canon was commissioned in 1968 and is named after a Colorado mining town. It had a crew of 24, including three officers, and engaged in two major firefights in Vietnam. In one of those, half its crew suffered wounds.

It is made of aluminum, is 24 feet wide, weighs 55 tons and has a maximum navigational depth of five feet and requires only seven feet of water, according to the online Naval Service Register.

The shallow draft makes it ideal to be located in the Sheboygan River, which is scheduled to be dredged starting this spring to remove contaminants. Dredging of the river won't be required for the ship, but organizers say the ship won't be brought here until 2012 after the river dredging is completed.

Organizers also hope to raise money by granting naming rights to various aspects of the project and by getting donors to sponsor portions of the ship's trip through the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes when it is towed from Philadelphia to Sheboygan.

Donors can sponsor a mile of the 3,200-mile trip for $125, Pachniak said.

Pachniak said WINSA has so far raised nearly $500,000 toward the project.

"We're just kicking (the fund-raising effort) off right now," she said.

According to its Web site, the group says its "break-even visitor level" is about 40,000 visitors a year, although, "Our calculations show that the USS Canon in Sheboygan will easily draw more than 50,000 visitors annually."

The group says it will seek state and federal funding, but "we will not be asking the City of Sheboygan or Sheboygan County" for taxpayer support, according to its Web site.

If the Canon is brought here, it would be the first naval vessel in Sheboygan since the departure of the USS Ely. The training ship was moored immediately east of the Eighth Street bridge from 1951 to 1970 at what was then the U.S. Naval Reserve Center.

For more information visit www.usscanon.com

Sheboygan Press

 

Cruise will benefit Wisconsin Maritime Museum and air show

4/9 - Manitowoc, Wis. – Jim Ruffolo, president of Burger Boat Co., is organizing an outing Saturday on the luxury cruise ship Foxy Lady of Green Bay to benefit the Wisconsin Maritime Museum and 2010 Thunder on the Lakeshore air show.

The 2½- to 3-hour Lake Michigan cocktail cruise will begin with a gathering at 12:30 p.m. at the Burger Boat Co. shipyard, 1811 Spring St. The cruise will depart at 12:55 p.m.

The ship features two fully enclosed climate-controlled salons, two open-air decks, two full-service bars and complete restroom facilities.

Cost of $50 per person includes the cruise and hors d'oeuvres with a cash bar. There also will be an auction and raffle.

Tickets are available from Lakeshore Aviation at the Manitowoc County Airport or from the museum. For reservations or information, call (920) 682-0043.

 

Author Chris Winters to speak Saturday at Muskegon museum

4/9 - Christopher Winters, author of the book “Centennial: Steaming Through the American Century,” detailing the 100-plus year history of the steamer St. Marys Challenger, will offer a gallery talk Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m. at the Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum in Muskegon. His appearance kicks off a display of his photographs of the Challenger that will run through Oct. 1, 2010. The museum is located at 1346 Bluff St.

 

Updates - April 9

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 9

09 April 1890 - 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.

 

Ceremony marks first saltie arrival at Duluth-Superior

4/8 - Duluth, Minn. - The Duluth Seaway Port Authority hosted a First Ship Ceremony aboard the Federal Elbe Wednesday at 1 p.m. to welcome Captain Darius Malinowski and his crew to the Port of Duluth-Superior. The ship, the first saltie, of the 2010 navigation season to have transited the full Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System, is docked and loading grain at the CHS terminal in Superior, Wis.

The Cyprus-flagged Federal Elbe began her voyage in Italy and will be headed back loaded with nearly 23,700 short tons (21,500 mt) of durum wheat for pasta production. She made her way into the harbor at daybreak Wednesday morning, officially passing beneath the Aerial Bridge at 6:11 a.m. She had been at anchor outside the Duluth piers since Monday awaiting the departure of the J.W. Shelley from CHS. Loading began that morning and will continue Thursday, with an anticipated late afternoon/early evening departure Thursday. Local vessel agent for the Federal Elbe is Daniels Shipping Services.

Community leaders and representatives from the maritime industry who participated in Wednesday’s ceremony included: Superior Mayor Dave Ross; Adolph Ojard, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority; Michael Jaros with Twin Ports Ministry to Seafarers; and Gene Shaw, director of public relations for Visit Duluth, who announced the winner of this year’s First Ship Contest, Lindsey Loften of North Branch, Minn. (her winning entry of 6:12 a.m. was just 10 seconds off the vessel’s actual arrival time). The annual contest is co-sponsored by Visit Duluth and the Port Authority.

The J.W. Shelley departed at 5:08 p.m. Tuesday with the Port’s first grain shipment of season, approximately 28,200 short tons (25,600 mt) of spring wheat headed to Quebec.

Duluth Seaway Port Authority

 

Port Reports - April 8

Escanaba, Mich. – Lee Rowe
Joseph L. Block loaded ore in Escanaba on a cold and windy Wednesday.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
Wilfred Sykes arrived at Bay Shipbuilding Wednesday late morning for unspecified repairs. Paul R. Tregurtha returned to the yard Wednesday morning, she has been running sea trials on the bay, no word on when she will depart.

South Chicago, Ill. - Lou Gerard
Early Tuesday evening on the Calumet River found CSL's Birchglen, in fresh paint, loading at KCBX's south slip. Coming in from Lake Michigan,Upper Lakes Shipping's Canadian Progress was being towed backwards toward the salt dock at 100th Street.

Owen Sound, Ont. - Dave Carr
On Wednesday, Algoway departed her winter lay-up dock in Owen Sound, headed for Thunder Bay. Algoway is the first of three lakers wintering in Owen sound to depart. Algosteel is expected to depart around April 10; there is no estimated departure date for Canadian Transfer.

Saginaw, Mich. - Todd Shorkey
The steamer Alpena called on the Saginaw River on a wet and foggy Wednesday morning, passing the Front Range around 7:30. She slowly made her way up the river to the Lafarge Cement dock in Carrollton. Alpena is the first vessel of the 2010 season to travel all the way up the river, and it will be interesting to see how her turn goes in the Sixth Street basin when she departs, as silt from the spring runoff can cause shoaling, making it difficult to turn. Alpena should be outbound late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning. This is her first visit to the Saginaw River since the 2007 season when she made two visits.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
English River departed at 7:30 p.m. The Samuel deChamplain and barge Innovation departed Cleveland Wednesday evening headed East on Lake Erie for Buffalo. She was expected to arrive early Thursday morning.

Hamilton, Ont. - Eric Holmes
Wednesday, Quebcois arrived at 3 p.m. with iron ore pellets from Pointe Noir for Dofasco. The CSL Laurentian arrived at 3:30 p.m. with iron ore pellets from Duluth for U.S. Steel. The Groupe Ocean tug Omni Richileau arrived at 6 p.m. from Clarkson.

Halifax, N.S. - Mac Mackay
Oakglen officially became a Canadian ship on April 7 when she was registered in Montreal.

 

Desgagnes renames three former Rigel tankers

4/8 - Transport Desgagnes, through its subsidiary PetroNav, has renamed the three Rigel tankers they acquired last year. Thus, Diamond Star becomes Dara Desgagnes, Emerald Star becomes Esta Desgagnes and Jade Star becomes Jana Desgagnes. According to Transport Canada's web site, all three are owned through the Royal Bank of Canada.

Mac Mackay

 

Rescued boater joins Kirk's call to save Coast Guard unit

4/8 - A Lake Michigan boater rescued by a Waukegan-based Coast Guard helicopter in 2008 joined U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk, R-Highland Park, in making a public call to retain the Coast Guard helicopter unit at Waukegan Regional Airport.

Jim Emma, one of seven survivors of the Fin Seeker, a charter fishing boat that sank more than three miles east of Waukegan, joined Kirk in Chicago on Tuesday to emphasize the importance of the Waukegan Coast Guard unit.

Under a Coast Guard budget proposal, two crews operating during the summer at the Waukegan Coast Guard Air Facility, and crews based in Muskegon, Mich., would relocate to the station in Traverse City, Mich.

Kirk said that move would increase the response time to an emergency near Chicago from the current 17 minutes to one hour and 12 minutes.

"The third-largest city in the United States should not have to wait over an hour for a search-and-rescue helicopter. The Coast Guard should reconsider its plan, and keep the Waukegan facility open," Kirk said.

Kirk said Emma's appearance emphasized the importance of the local guard unit.

On May 30, 2008, Emma was one of seven people on board the Fin Seeker when it went down. All seven were safely rescued from the frigid water by a Coast Guard helicopter based at Waukegan Regional Airport.

"If not for the Coast Guard helicopter and boat, there would have been seven people lost in the lake today," Beach Park Fire Chief Paul Tierney said at the time.

When he was 16, Kirk himself nearly drowned in Lake Michigan when his sailboat tipped over near Wilmette. He said he owes his life to the rapid response of the Coast Guard.

Lake County News-Sun

 

Raffle for trip on St. Marys Challenger supports the BoatNerd Web site

4/8 - Through the generosity of Port City Marine Services, BoatNerd is offering the chance to win a trip for four aboard the legendary Great Lakes steamboat St. Marys Challenger during the 2010 sailing season. This once-in-a-lifetime trip is the Grand Prize for BoatNerd's 2010 raffle and fundraising event.

The Challenger was built in 1906 and is the oldest operating steam-powered cargo vessel in the U.S. She is engaged in the transport of powdered cement from Charlevoix, Mich., to several Lake Michigan ports.

All proceeds from the raffle will benefit Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online Inc., the non-profit 501(C)(3) support organization for 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 5, 2010 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. Winners need not be present at the drawing to win, and will be notified by mail and/or phone. Mail orders must be received no later than June 1. In-person purchases will be accepted until 1 p.m. the day of the drawing.

Other prizes will be announced as they become available.

 Click here to order, or for more information Note: if you had trouble with ordering Online we have corrected the link. Please report any problems. Tickets are also available by mail.

State of Michigan Raffle License R06185

 

Updates - April 8

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 8

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, Minn., on April 8, 1956.

In 1957 Great Lakes Steamship stockholders voted to sell the entire 16-ship fleet to four fleets.

In 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.

In 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.

April 8 , 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 Soo 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 Soo Locks had been ready for traffic since March 26, but the Canadian lock 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.

 

Duluth ceremony welcomes first saltie on Wednesday

4/7 - Duluth, Minn. – The Duluth Seaway Port Authority will host a first ship ceremony aboard the Federal Elbe Wednesday at 1 p.m. to welcome Captain Malinowski and his crew to the Port of Duluth-Superior. The ship, the first saltie of the 2010 navigation season to have transited the full Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway system, will be docked at the CHS terminal in Superior, Wis.

The Cyprus-flagged Federal Elbe began her voyage in Italy and will be headed back loaded with nearly 23,700 short tons (21,500 metric tons) of durum wheat for pasta production. On Tuesday night, Federal Elbe was still at anchor just outside the Duluth ship canal. It is anticipated that the vessel will dock at CHS in Superior upon the departure of the Canadian laker J.W. Shelley from that same berth.

Community leaders and representatives from the maritime industry invited to participate in the ceremony, include Superior Mayor Dave Ross; Duluth Mayor Don Ness; Adolph Ojard, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority; Rev. Tom Anderson, Twin Ports Ministry to Seafarers; and Gene Shaw, director of public relations for Visit Duluth, who will announce the winner of this year’s First Ship Contest, an annual contest co-sponsored by Visit Duluth and the Port Authority.

J.W. Shelley departs with the ports first grain shipment of season, approximately 28,200 short tons (25,600 mt) of spring wheat headed to Quebec.

Duluth Seaway Port Authority

 

Coast Guard begins 2010 Operation Spring Restore – 158 down, 1137 to go

4/7 - Cleveland, Ohio – The Ninth Coast Guard District began the restoration of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway aids to navigation system, March 17, 2010, following the re-opening of the Soo Locks and the resumption of the shipping season.

Operation Spring Restore, which is the largest domestic buoy operation, involves the re-installment of approximately 1, 284 navigational aids, including lighted, unlighted buoys and beacons, to be completed by approximately May 28, 2010. The aids, which are approximately half in the region, are taken out of service during the winter months due to decreased vessel traffic and to minimize damage from ice and inclement weather.

The Ninth District's aids to navigation system allows safe and efficient maritime activity on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway region by marking safe passage for domestic, international, commercial and recreational vessel traffic.

On the Great Lakes, the Coast Guard manages 2,628 federal aids in the region.

To date, Ninth District cutters and units have commissioned 158 of the 1,295 aids to navigation scheduled to be replaced this season.

To accomplish the mission, the Ninth District employs six U.S. Coast Guard cutters, five Aids to Navigation Teams and five small boat stations with aids to navigation duties. In addition, the Lamplighters (civilian employees who manage the inland waters of northern Minnesota) , the Canadian Coast Guard and the St. Lawrence Seaway Corporation assist the mission.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary also assists the district with verification of approximately 1,700 privately-owned aids to navigation in the region.

 

Port Reports - April 7

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Twin Ports boatwatchers Tuesday were treated to the luxury of seeing two straightdeckers loading at CHS elevator in Superior. J.W. Shelley was completing its load in berth 2 while Maritime Trader was backed into berth 1 to load. In recent years the CHS elevator has by far been the busiest Twin Ports grain terminal. The Shelley was expected to depart Tuesday afternoon with more than 28,000 tons of spring wheat destined for Quebec. It will be replaced at the elevator by Federal Elbe, which will load 23,000 tons of durum wheat destined for Italy. According to the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers, the ships cargo represents about 26,000 acres of wheat produced. Durum is grown in North Dakota and often shipped to the Mediterranean countries to make pasta. Elsewhere in port, American Century was expected at Midwest Energy Terminal to load coal for St. Clair and Monroe, and the Rt. Hon. Paul Martin was loading at CN/DMIR ore dock.

Green Bay -
John G. Munson was the first ship of the season to deliver coal at the Fox River Dock in Green Bay Tuesday. The Paul R. Tregurtha was out on Green Bay from Sturgeon Bay Tuesday afternoon and evening. She was likely undergoing sea trials after engine replacement at Bay Shipbuilding. Tregurtha's first trip is to Superior, Wis. to load coal.

Kingsville, Ont. - Erich Zuschlag
The first vessel of the year in the port of Kingsville was the ferry Pelee Islander on Saturday afternoon. It is now on the wall for repairs (see below). The first freighter of the year was Lower Lakes’ Cuyahoga, bringing crushed stone from Marblehead, Ohio.

Pelee Island -
Pelee Islander suffered a mechanical failure Sunday. As a result, Cameron Air has stepped in to provide air transportation to and from the island. Island Mayor Rick Moss says there's no word how long the repairs will take. The Jiiman should be operating in May. Later information brought word that Pelee Islander will need drydocking to fix the problem.

Buffalo, N.Y. -
English River arrived at 5:25 p.m. Tueday for the LaFarge Cement dock, opening Buffalo's 2010 shipping season.

Toronto, Ont. - Charlie Gibbons
The fleet of tour boats that winter on Toronto Drydock were refloated Tuesday afternoon.

 

Ann Arbor company plans test to generate power on St. Clair River

4/7 - Sarnia, Ont. – A Michigan company intends to test a device in the St. Clair River this summer that converts water current into electricity.

Ann Arbor-based Vortex Hydro Energy will place the hydrokinetic power generator in the river somewhere between the Blue Water Bridge and St. Clair, Mich.

Vortex CEO Gustavo Simiao said the generator will be in the water two to three months. "Essentially we're trying to test things that we can't test in a lab, which is putting it under a real marine condition," he said.

The device, known as a VIVACE converter, harnesses energy from water as it passes around cylinders in the device, which is about 10 feet by 10 feet and 15 feet long.

"The motion of the water across these horizontal cylinders induces the cylinders to vibrate up and down, and the vibration is transformed into electricity," Simiao said.

Energy can be extracted from currents as slow as two knots.

The device is made of aluminum and steel with a concrete base, and the company is using a marine diving company and crane barge operator from Port Huron for installation and maintenance.

The technology was developed at the University of Michigan and being tested in in cooperation with the Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County.

Two or three more prototypes will need to be tested before the technology is commercially ready, Simiao said.

The technology is unique because it doesn't use turbines or propellors, he said. "Ours is a completely novel method of harvesting power from river currents."

He expects one kilowatt to be produced by the prototype, about equal to the energy used by a single home.

An exact date for the installation has not been determined.

Sarnia Observer

 

Show your colors: BoatNerd logos for sale

4/7 - The boatwatching season is upon us. Are you able to be identified as a BoatNerd? For your vehicle, we have 4" x 4" bumper stickers and interior window clingers. For your jacket, cap or shirt, we have 3.25" x 3' sew-on cloth patches.

Let people know you are a BoatNerd. Look for other BoatNerds. All proceeds go to support this site.  To order these items, click here for order form and pricing.

 

Updates - April 7

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 7

April 7, 1997 LEE A. TREGURTHA 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 April 8, 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.

 

First saltie of the season arrives at Duluth-Superior

4/6 - Duluth, Minn. – The first oceangoing vessel of the 2010 navigation season – the Cyprus-flagged Federal Elbe – arrive Monday morning and anchored just outside the Duluth ship canal. It was anticipated that the vessel will make its way into the harbor beneath the Aerial Bridge late Tuesday (or early Wednesday morning) to begin loading grain at CHS in Superior.

Her arrival will mark the first full transit of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System this year – 2,342 miles from the Atlantic Ocean to the Port of Duluth-Superior. The Federal Elbe began her voyage in Italy and will be headed back to that country loaded with nearly 21,500 metric tons of durum wheat for pasta production.

She is arriving on the heels of the J.W. Shelley, a Canadian laker that docked at CHS Sunday evening to load the pport’s first grain shipment of the season – approximately 25,600 metric tons of spring wheat. An official welcoming ceremony for the captain of the Federal Elbe is being planned; details to follow once loading times have been finalized. This year’s first saltie will arrive just about a week earlier than the M/V Medemborg last year (April 12); the port’s earliest recorded arrival of an oceangoing vessel was April 1, 1995, the Indian ship LT Argosy.

Duluth Seaway Port Authority

 

Port Reports - April 6

Twin Ports – Al Miller
J.W. Shelley is the first laker to load grain in the Twin Ports this season. It was ready to start loading Monday morning at CHS elevator in Superior. St. Clair had her engines running Monday morning at its winter layup berth in Fraser Shipyards. She reportedly will load at Silver Bay this week.

Silver Bay, Minn. - Benjamin Larson
CSL Tadoussac arrived in Silver Bay at 11:30 a.m. and departed at 6 p.m. for Hamilton. Spruceglen arrived ahead of schedule at 3 p.m. and will load for either Hamilton or Quebec City. James R. Barker was due to arrive Monday evening, loading for Indiana Harbor. Barker was expected to load before the Spruceglen due to the grade of pellet being ship on the Barker.

Marquette, Mich. - Lee Rowe
Michipicoten arrived in Marquette early Monday, quickly loaded ore and departed.

Alpena and Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
The tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation arrived in port Monday afternoon to load cement at Lafarge. The research vessel Spencer F. Baird is tied up in the river. Alpena is expected to return Tuesday evening. Sam Laud loaded at Stoneport early Monday morning. Arthur M. Anderson is due in Tuesday morning.

Port Huron, Mich. - Edward Schuyler
Canadian Provider was downbound on Monday at the Black River at 6:45 p.m. and the Charles M. Beeghly was upbound under the Blue Water bridges at 7:35 p.m., sounding a master salute. She was heading to load taconite in Marquette, Mich.

St. Joseph, Mich. - Herm Phillips
The steamer Alpena arrived at the Lafarge dock in St Joseph, Mich., about daybreak on a pleasant Easter morning. At dusk, under showers, thunderstorms and a strong southerly wind, she finished unloading but remained at the dock awaiting weather. After the fog lifted, Alpena left around noon for Alpena.

 

Two new exhibits open Saturday at the Dossin Museum

4/6 - Detroit, Mich. – Two maritime exhibits opening Saturday, April 24, will celebrate a unique lifestyle and a special anniversary at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle.

Have you ever thought of running away to sea? The new exhibit “Life on a Long Ship: Great Lakes Sailors” might help satisfy that yearning. This exhibit takes visitors on a visual journey of a typical lake boat, looking into the lives of individuals who make their living on the Great Lakes. You will view a bridge deck and find out what a ships captain does, and how that job has changed over the years. Similarly, learn about wheelsmen, mates, porters, engineers, lookouts, oilers and deck hands. This exhibit will expose what life can be like on a ship, perhaps less romantic than expected, and a lot of hard work.

The other new exhibit, “Dossin Great Lakes Museum: Celebrating 50 Years!,” traces more than a half century of telling the region’s maritime history. Opened to the public in 1960, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum was the first facility built specifically to chronicle these stories. Since then it has focused on that mission and has successfully moved into the 21st century as one of the premier maritime museums on the Great Lakes.

In 1949, the Maritime Museum of Detroit was opened on Belle Isle aboard the landed wood schooner J. T. Wing, the last commercial sailing ship on the Great Lakes. Seven years later, this museum was closed due to the deteriorated condition of the J.T. Wing. The Dossin family, a well-known name in the wholesale food and soft drink businesses, provided the funds for a new maritime museum. The new facility, now named the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, opened on the Wing’s former Belle Isle site on July 24, 1960, the 259th anniversary of Detroit’s founding.

This exhibit will focus on the J.T. Wing days and feature individuals that made the Dossin Museum possible. Projects such as the recovery of the anchor from the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald and the installation of the pilot house from the S.S. William Clay Ford, as well as current projects that are underway, will also be recognized in this anniversary exhibit.

In celebration of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary and the opening of the new exhibits, the Detroit Historical Society and the Dossin Maritime Group will host John Polacsek, former curator of the Museum for 30 years, as he presents slides and stories showcasing the institution’s history. He will offer two 30-minute presentations at 1 and 2 p.m. There is no charge for the presentations, but donations will be accepted. Contact Rebecca McDonald for more information at rebeccam@detroithistorical.org.

Both exhibits will be open until April 2011.

Detroit Historical Society

 

Muskegon Lake shoreline restoration set to start

4/6 - Muskegon, Mich. - Marine construction crews will begin this month working on the $10 million waterfront restoration of the south shoreline of Muskegon Lake. A grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to improve the coastal habitat is being focused on approximately 10 sites.

Construction will begin within two weeks at the first site, the Grand Trunk Dock on Lakeshore Drive in the Lakeside business district. Work will begin shortly after that at the Muskegon Family YMCA and Muskegon County Heritage Landing sites, with the work being completed by the end of the year.

Community leaders and environmental activists, along with state and federal officials, will kick off the shoreline improvement program on Earth Day with a morning ceremony April 22 at the Grand Trunk dock site.

The federal "stimulus" money is designed to remove fill materials and other shoreline "hardening" features left over from the city's lumber and heavy industrial eras. The shoreline has huge chunks of concrete in some areas and steel sheeting in others that have altered the habitat for natural wildlife and plant species.

"We want to restore the land-water interface," said Brian Majka, a restoration ecologist from the JF New environmental engineering firm that is designing several of the restoration sites.

The shoreline restoration, in combination with the past environmental cleanup of Ruddiman Creek and a similar cleanup planned at the Division Street storm sewer outfall in Muskegon Lake, is intended to help remove the lake as a federally-designated "Area of Concern." Muskegon Lake is among 14 sites on the Great Lakes that have persistent pollution problems, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

"With the removal of the concrete and seawalls, there will be the ability for amphibians to pass between the water and the shoreline," Majka said at a public update meeting on the restoration project last week at Muskegon Community College. "We are trying to recreate the natural habitat, but keep the shoreline stabilized."

A privately-owned, residential lake property on Edgewater Street on the west end of the lake will have the concrete removed and replaced with clean fill and small cobblestones. The restoration design includes placing logs that will provide habitat for animals and plants, along with providing protection from ice surges on the lake, Majka said.

Those attending the update meeting not only heard about this summer's and fall's construction schedule but the various survey efforts to gauge the effects of the natural "softening" of the shoreline.

Grand Valley State University's Annis Water Resources Institute will conduct fish and plant surveys of the restoration areas before and after construction.

GVSU economics professor Paul Isely is conducting a socioeconomic monitoring program to see what changes in recreational, property and aesthetic values result from the shoreline restorations.

To get a handle on what the project will do for recreation, a survey began last summer and will continue this summer and into the future, Isely said. The object is to estimate the "recreational value" shoreline users find now and in the future. The survey will determine what people are doing -- such as fishing, boating and biking -- on the waterfront, along with how much time and money they spend recreating along the south shore of the lake.

Finally, a Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program is seeking new volunteers to make assessments in 10 locations along Muskegon Lake and its tributaries that will help in determining environmental improvements resulting from the restoration. Volunteer "citizen scientists" will be asked to help count and identify frogs and birds in wetlands along the lakeshore.

Muskegon Chronicle

 

Updates - April 6

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
New Discussion Boards updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 6

06 April 1880 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.

 

First saltie of the season headed to Duluth-Superior

4/5 - Duluth, Minn., USA ­ The first oceangoing vessel of the 2010 navigation season – the Cyprus-flagged Federal Elbe – is expected to arrive around 11 a.m. Monday and anchor just outside the Duluth ship canal. It is anticipated that the vessel will make its way into the harbor beneath the Aerial Bridge late Tuesday (or early Wed. morning) to begin loading grain at CHS in Superior.

Her arrival will mark the first full transit of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System this year – 2,342 miles from the Atlantic Ocean to the Port of Duluth-Superior. The Federal Elbe began her voyage in Italy and will be headed back to that country loaded with nearly 21,500 metric tons of durum wheat for pasta production.

She is arriving on the heels of the J.W. Shelley, a Canadian laker that docked at CHS Sunday evening to load the Port’s first grain shipment of the season – approximately 25,600 metric tons of spring wheat. An official welcoming ceremony for the captain of the Federal Elbe is being planned; details to follow once loading times have been finalized. This year’s “first saltie” will arrive just about a week earlier than the MV Medemborg last year (April 12); the Port’s earliest recorded arrival of an oceangoing vessel was April 1, 1995, the Indian ship LT Argosy.

Duluth Seaway Port Authority

 

Rebuilt Algobay headed for Toledo

4/5 - The newly-rebuilt Algobay is making her first trip into the Great Lakes. She is due in Sunday at 1:30 a.m. at the Torco dock to unload ore, however that time could change as the trip progesses. The cargo is being loaded at Sept Iles at the upper end of the Seaway. The sailing time from Sept Iles is about 4-5 days to Toledo. The vessel received a new forebody at a shipyard in China.

Jim Hoffman

 

Port Reports - April 5

Escanaba, Mich. – Rod Burdick
Joseph L. Block departed the CN ore dock Sunday afternoon after loading taconite.

Menominee and Marinette – Dick Lund
Menominee and Marinette's shipping season got off to a good start over the Easter weekend. First was the departure from winter lay-up of the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory around noon on Saturday. As they were departing, they passed the inbound Amelia Desgagnes, the port’s first commercial ship of the year, bound for Marinette Fuel & Dock with a load of pig iron. On Sunday, Desgagnes was outbound the Menominee River around 7 a.m. The barge Lewis J. Kuber and tug Olive L. Moore departed later in the morning.

Maintowoc, Wis. – Chris Wesendorf
Sunday morning, Robert S. Pierson was unloading at the Budweiser Malt Plant.

Green Bay, Wis. - Rod Burdick
Tug Samuel de Champlain and Innovation were unloading cement into S.T. Crapo at the LaFarge Dock Sunday afternoon. The pair was the first into Green Bay for the season.

South Chicago Ill. – Lou Gerard
Alpena arrived at the LaFarge dock at 130th Street early Saturday morning and spent the day unloading. She departed after midnight on Sunday, bound for St. Joseph, Mich.

Hamilton, Ont. – Eric Holmes
Sunday, Hamilton Energy departed at 7 a.m. to bunker Cedarglen at Port Weller. She returned to port at 3 p.m. John B Aird arrived at 9 a.m. with coal for Dofasco from Sandusky. After discharging her cargo she departed at 8 p.m. for Sandusky. Algowood departed at 6 p.m. from JRI Elevators ( Pier 25 ) with a cargo of corn. Frontenac arrived at 7:30 p.m. with iron ore pellets for U.S. Steel.

 

Welland Canal port poised for a lakes first

4/5 - Port Colborne, Ont. – A strategic alliance between two companies could lead to Port Colborne becoming the first multi-modal port on the Great Lakes.

Snider Dock Services and Quebec Stevedoring Company Ltd. are working together to ship goods through the Great Lakes, said Ken Snider.

Through that alliance, cargo is already piling up on the east pier of the Welland Canal in Port Colborne, said Snider, president of Snider Dock Services.

That cargo is giant wind turbine towers from Fort Erie-based DMI Industries.

"We'll have 45 sections here soon," said Snider.

He didn't know the final destination of the towers, but expected them to be sitting on the pier for a while before being shipped out.

In addition to the towers, three giant piles of trap rock are sitting on the pier across from West Street.

Snider said the trap rock is being used by Dufferin Construction Co. for reconstruction of the QEW. The material will be part of the top course of asphalt on the highway.

"You can't get it (trap rock) in this area and it's easier to ship it in (to Port Colborne) than truck it in," Snider said.

Snider Dock Services also ships in salt, which is stored on the west pier of the canal between the city yard and ADM Milling, and had been shipping in gypsum.

Snider said the gypsum probably won't be coming back this year. The gypsum sat on the east pier in the same area the wind turbine towers are now being stored.

Snider Dock Services and Quebec Stevedoring are also sharing an area at Port Weller. Snider said over-dimensional cargo — large cargo — such as boilers from a St. Catharines company, is being shipped out from the Port Weller location the two companies share.

"Quebec Stevedoring has 23 facilities on the Great Lakes and are a really good company to work with. We're expanding what we do with them and we're doing a lot more quoting on jobs," he said.

Snider said Trillium Railway Co. Ltd. is looking at putting a rail line back into the Port Colborne property. A rail line used to run into the property back when Canada Furnace Co. was in operation.

Snider said a new rail line would truly make Port Colborne a multi-modal port on the Great Lakes, with rail, road and water all coming together.

He said the city and Niagara Region are behind the idea.

Mayor Vance Badawey said having a multi-modal port would reinforce the recent decision by the province to make the region the location of the only Gateway Economic Zone and Gateway Economic Centre in the province.

A gateway is a geographic area through which significant incoming and outgoing transport/trade flows are distributed by means of transfer and transshipment.

"One of the reasons we were chosen is because of our port-related infrastructure. Water, rail and road are Port Colborne's strengths," said Badawey.

Making the area a gateway zone gives the city a competitive advantage over other jurisdictions and can help usher in a 'new economy' to the area.

"Niagara has been dependent on the manufacturing industry as its No. 1 industry and the 'new economy' suggests investments like this will help the area."

Badawey said the multi-modal port and gateway zone will fit in well with the city's new economic development strategy now in development. With a multi-modal port, there's more incentive and more advantages for new business to set up in Port Colborne or Niagara. Existing business can also take advantage of the port.

"Companies that have plants in other locations can look at consolidating in our area because of our transportation infrastructure. We have the means to move trade globally," the mayor said.

He said the partnership between Snider Dock Services and Quebec Stevedoring Company Ltd. is great news and is only the tip of the iceberg for Port Colborne.

Welland Tribune

 

Welland Canal ferry launch delayed

4/5 - Thorold, Ont. – The only ferry across the Welland Canal has been beached while the city of Thorold works out its differences with canal authorities.

The summer pontoon boat service, which ferries locals and touring cyclists across the industrial waterway at Port Robinson, is run by the city, but is mostly paid for by the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp.

The boat normally hits the water soon after shipping season begins. But this year, a notice posted at the empty dock says the opening launch is "delayed until further notice."

"The city has concerns it needs to address with the Seaway, and we're looking to do that as soon as possible," said Thorold Mayor Henry D'Angela, who noted a vehicle shuttle available to residents in winter will continue to run for the time being.

D'Angela wouldn't give many details about the specific nature of the city's concerns, but he did say one issue revolved around maintenance of the boat.

He also said the city's agreement with the Seaway to operate the pontoon boat is ending soon. The service costs around $80,000 a year, with the Seaway covering the lion's share.

Late last year, some ferry users complained the small pontoon boat wasn't accessible for the disabled.

The ferry service was created in the mid-1970s after an American ore carrier rammed into and destroyed the Port Robinson Road bridge.

Originally intended as a pedestrian service for Port Robinson residents, the service can now ferry more than 150 people a day during the busy summer tourism season.

St. Catharines Standard

 

May 2010 lighthouse and freighter cruise

4/5 - BoatNerd and the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association have joined with Keweenaw Excursions to organize the first lighthouse/freighter chasing event of 2010. This unusual trip will take place from May 19 to May 21.

The fun will begin and end in Sault Ste. Marie, and features a two-day cruise aboard the Keweenaw Star which will travel from Marquette across Lake Superior, down the St. Marys River, overnight in the Soo, continue down thru the Rock Cut, DeTour, and across the top of Lake Huron. The cruise will pass under the Mackinac Bridge and sail down Lake Michigan to Charlevoix. The boat will provide photo opportunities at 40 lighthouses and all the vessels in the busy shipping lanes along the way.

Due to bus availability, this event is limited to the first 46 people who make reservations. Make yours today. Click here for details.

 

Updates - April 5

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspective Gallery Lemoyne gallery updated
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 5

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 emerged from 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 on 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 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 a self - 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.

 

Port Reports - April 4

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
The St. Marys Conquest and tug Prentiss Brown delivered the first cargo of the season to the Lake Michigan port of Ferrysburg on Friday night, arriving at the St. Marys Cement terminal about 6:30. It unloaded and left Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

Goderich , Ont. - James Davidson
Objiway was in at the grain docks, loading Friday evening.

Detroit – Gary Oen
Federal Elbe passed Detroit upbound Saturday morning about 9:30 a.m. heading for Duluth to load grain. Federal Elbe is the first ocean going ship to pass Detroit for 2010 season. The J.W. Westcott II will return to service delivering mail and pilots on Wednesday.

Oswego, N.Y. - Ned Goebricher
Stephen B. Roman unloaded cement in Oswego harbor Friday afternoon under sunny skies and 79 degree temperatures.

 

Environmental 'blockade' threatens Seaway

4/4 - The legislation has clear intentions. Freshwater ballast that helps stabilize cargo ships should be free of invasive species.

For years, pests like the fish-killing lamprey eel and the pipe-clogging zebra mussel have harmed the St. Lawrence/Great Lakes basin. Marine and Seaway operators have boosted ballast practices and say no invasive creatures have been introduced since 2006.

But new New York state rules will further tighten the screws.

In 2012, it requires ballast-cleaning equipment in ships passing through its waters, including Canadian vessels.

Those cleaning standards would be 100 times better than International Maritime Organization requirements. The following year, it jumps to 1,000 times better, requiring distilled-like purity for ballast water.

"And essentially, it would act as a blockade," said Allister Paterson, head of Seaway Marine Transport.

Seaway Marine is based in St. Catharines and manages about 30 ships for the fleet of Algoma Central Corp. and Upper Lakes Group.

"They're saying you're not allowed to pass through New York Seaway waters unless you have a water treatment plant that operates to a standard that hasn't even been developed yet," said Paterson. "We think it will go away, because if it doesn't the Seaway will shut down. There has to be a political solution."

Meanwhile, the International Maritime Organization has adopted strict emission control standards as part of a new North American Emission Control Area.

The Canadian, U.S. and French control area doesn't include the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway.

However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has made it apply to those inland waterways.

Designed to dramatically reduce nitrogen and sulphur dioxide emissions, the EPA emission extension would affect all ships transiting U.S. Seaway waters and come into effect in 2012.

Ships must either burn clean diesel fuel or scrub dirtier fuel emissions in this control area.

Seaway officials and fleet mangers said these ultra-strict environmental rules -- New York's specifically -- could hammer Seaway shipping.

An older Canadian fleet and technology that doesn't even exist to ensure compliance makes the measures unworkable.

"No one is against continuous environmental improvement," Paterson stressed. "But how is the current shipping industry going to adapt to these very, very quick changes?

"A lot of our ships were built in the 1970s and to convert to a brand-new environmental footprint by 2012 is very difficult."

Paterson said to the best of his knowledge, there's currently no emissions-scrubber technology for fresh water vessels. Plus, there's an inadequate supply of cleaner marine diesel for Great Lakes ships.

Greg Wight of Algoma Central Corp., said there's no way an older Great Lakes fleet could comply with such stringent ballast rules.

"We're certainly working on getting (at least) some kind of grand-fathering with this legislation to manage our ballast water," said Wight, president and CEO of St. Catharines-based company that owns the largest fleet of dry bulk and petroleum carriers on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence.

Richard Corfe, president and CEO of the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp., echoes the alarm of his customers.

"Trying to change these environmental rules overnight really isn't tenable," said Corfe. "We need a resolution and we need a resolution quickly "The technology required for what New York is asking for doesn't exist now."

Corfe fears a situation where Ontario steel companies can't get Quebec iron ore because Canadian ships are forbidden to pass through New York waters.

The Seaway is big business for both countries, with billions of dollars of goods sailing through the system each year.

It also pumps more than $200 million into the Niagara economy each year.

Corfe said Seaway stakeholders, including the Canadian government, are working behind the scenes to prevent the blockade scenario.

A lawyer for the New York state department of environmental conservation doesn't buy the concerns about pending ballast water laws. Scott Crisafulli said the legislation allows people to seek a 2012 extension if they can make a case the technology's not available.

"Secondly ... California has a statute that's basically identical to our (ballast) treatment levels, requiring 1,000 times I.M.O.," Crisafulli said. "And they have approved nine systems they're saying meets 1,000 times the I.M.O. standard.

"So we're a little skeptical of people who say the technology doesn't exist."

Seaway and shipping officials say they're already very green-friendly. They also point to the irony of their situation.

Marine travel is the most fuel-efficient mode of transportation, with the lowest total greenhouse gas emissions per tonne-mile.

It also lessens congestion on overburdened highways.

Fleet owners want to update and add even cleaner carriers to their fleet, but a potential American blockade could cripple their business. Ottawa also continues to impose a 25% import duty on modern, greener ships that can now be built quickly in other countries, they say.

"The last thing we can afford coming out of a recession is vessel operators suddenly concerned about their future and not investing and modernizing their fleet," said Corfe.

He suggests more realistic U.S. rules to permit new technology implementation with manageable timelines and a gradual reduction in total fleet emissions.

Or, the Canadian and U.S. governments could agree to let their own environmental rules apply to their fleets. Canada's ballast standards are governed by the Seaway's practices.

The matter of shipping fuel selection in Canada is mostly governed by engine manufacturer's recommendations.

Without revising the pending U.S. laws, "the Seaway fleet is going to be reduced in size, which is the wrong thing to do," Corfe said. "What we want to do is try to move more cargo by water because of its environmental benefits."

Terry Johnson, administrator for the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. in the U.S., urges Canadians to act.

"We were not consulted," Johnson said. "For both the ballast and the emissions standards."

"And I'm very dismayed by the U.S. making unilateral decisions that affect Canadian sovereignty without adequate Canadian consultation.

"I have urged my Canadian friends to make themselves heard."

St. Catharines MP Rick Dykstra said the federal government is working with the industry and U.S. officials to find a solution.

"Seaway shipping is critical to the economies on both sides of the border," Dykstra said. "We are confident that a resolution will be found before the 2012 deadline."

Welland Tribune

 

Coast Guard rescues two boaters on Lake Erie

4/4 - Cleveland, Ohio – U.S. Coast Guard Station Marblehead evacuated a 27-year-old male experiencing a seizure while fishing on a 65-foot vessel on Locust Point Reef near the Davis Besse Power Plant, Saturday, at approximately 12:30 p.m

. "He was conscious but a little confused as to where he was," said Patti Baca, Controller, Coast Guard Sector Detroit. " Emergency Medical Services took him to Magruder Hospital in Port Clinton."

A 25-foot small response boat (RB-S) crew brought aboard the man safely to waiting EMS at a range dock near the plant.

One of the crewmembers of the 65-foot Sassy Sal contacted the Coast Guard by VHF radio on channel 16 when of the passengers fishing began to have a seizure.

The U.S. Coast Guard Station Cleveland Harbor also rescued a male and female from the west end of the Fairhope breakwall, Saturday, at approximately 8 p.m.

A 25-foot small boat response (RB-S) crew brought aboard the pair and had them don life jackets for the ride to shore.

"They couldn't fight the winds on their canoe, so they got on the breakwall," said Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Zach Whitely, Officer-of-the-day, Coast Guard Station Fairport.

Due to the winds, the pair was out in the water for approximately three to fours hours before the Coast Guard arrived.


 

Updates - April 4

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 4

04 April 1903 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.'s, 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.

 

 

Saginaw River shipping season kicks off, more dredging on tap

4/3 - Saginaw, Mich. – The Saginaw River shipping season got off to an early start this week, and two rounds of dredging planned for this year should allow ships to bring in heavier loads, dock owners say.

That’s a positive, because the price of goods shipped on the river will eventually decrease, meaning lower costs for everything from salt and stone for roads to fertilizer for crops, said William Webber, the owner of Sargent Docks, with locations in Essexville, Zilwaukee and Saginaw.

The river saw its first commercial delivery of the year on Wednesday night, when the tug Karen Andrie and a tank barge arrived at the Bit-Mat Asphalt dock in Bay County’s Bangor Township, according to Todd Shorkey with boatnerd.com, which tracks Great Lakes shipping. Last year, the first commercial cargo didn’t arrive until April 18.

Ships on the Saginaw have had to lighten their loads by at least 15 percent in recent years because of low water levels and silt that’s filled parts of the shipping channel. That’s due to change this year, Webber said.

“When the river filled in, the market radius that we could compete in really shrunk,” he said. “It’s going to grow back again.”

Maintenance dredging began on the Upper Saginaw River last year, from Bay City south to Saginaw, and spoils were piled at a newly constructed Dredged Material Disposal Facility on the Bay-Saginaw County line.

About $4.3 million of additional dredging is planned this year on the Upper Saginaw and at the entrance to the Saginaw Bay, said Lynn Duerod, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Detroit.

Ryba Marine Construction Co. of Cheboygan will be paid $1.3 million to take out about 100,000 cubic yards of spoils from the Upper Saginaw, and pile them at the DMDF in Frankenlust Township.

Luedtke Engineering Co. of Frankfort will receive about $3 million to take out up to 400,000 cubic yards of mud from the bay entrance. The spoils will be piled at a confined disposal facility in the bay known as Channel Island, said Wayne Schloop, chief of operations for the Corps in Detroit.

Both rounds should be finished by year’s end.

“What was done last year just helped clean the river out to maintain where we were at,” Webber said. The dredging this year, planned to begin in mid-May on the Upper River and in mid-August at the bay entrance, will allow ships to lower their drafts, or pile more goods in their bellies.

“It’s kind of like we were getting ready for a wedding, and last year we shaved,” Webber said.

“Now we’re going to get our hair trimmed and get dressed.”

He said dredging work on the river may mean fewer ships early in the year, because companies will wait until the fall, when the work is complete, to bring in heavier loads. Water levels on the Upper Great Lakes have rebounded in recent years.

Shorkey, with boatnerd.com, said there were 163 commercial vessel passages by 37 different boats in 2009. He expects an increase in traffic this year, with the higher water levels and an increased demand for materials carried by Great Lakes freighters.

Bay City Times

 

Penobscot Bay to depart Great Lakes after assisting with ice breaking

4/3 - Cleveland, Ohio - The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Penobscot Bay is scheduled to depart here after spending the winter breaking ice on the Great Lakes. Capt. Lorne Thomas, Chief of Staff of the Ninth Coast Guard District, oversaw a brief recognition ceremony Friday morning.

The 140-foot ice breaking cutter, whose original homeport is Bayonne, N.J., was temporarily assigned to the Great Lakes Region to augment the eight other Great Lakes-based ice breaking cutters with Operations Coal Shovel and Taconite, the Coast Guard's two major ice breaking operations here.

The United States Coast Guard provides support to USACE when requested and when a cutter is available. The 1917 Flood Control Act authorized USACE to have a significant federal role in flood control activities nationwide. Today, the USACE is responsible for all projects containing Federal flood control storage and is responsible for flood and storm damage reduction projects which are joint ventures between the Federal government and non-Federal sponsors.

 

Port Reports - April 3

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Making her first trip of the young season, Algoma Central's John B Aird slipped beneath the loader at Sandusky's NolfolkSouthern coal dock Thursday. Early Friday the Aird was downbound on Lake Erie with her next port of call believed to be Hamilton and the U.S. Steel works.
Upbound in the Welland Canal was Algoma fleetmate Capt. Henry Jackman, reportedly bound for the Marblehhead Stone at the LaFarge stone quarry. The Jackman was expected to begin loading on Friday.

 

Updates - April 3

News Photo Gallery
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 3

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.

 

Port Reports - April 2

Twin Ports – Al Miller
American Century departed its winter layup berth in Duluth late Wednesday afternoon and proceeded to Midwest Energy Terminal to load behind Atlantic Erie. American Century was expected to depart the coal dock Thursday. Also expected in Duluth on Thursday were American Mariner and Great Lakes Trader, both to load at CN/DMIR ore dock.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
On her first visit in a few seasons, Sam Laud arrived and loaded ore Thursday afternoon at the Upper Harbor. Fleetmate H. Lee White was due later in the evening.

Escanaba, Mich. – Dick Lund
The newly re-painted Wilfred Sykes arrived in Escanaba, Mich., around 6:15 p.m. (EDT) on Wednesday after departing winter lay-up in Sturgeon Bay, Wis. earlier in the day. Joseph L. Block was loading on the north side of the ore dock, and was sitting quite low in the water when the Sykes arrived. Instead of sliding into the south side of the ore dock, the Sykes passed the ore dock and went to anchor northeast of the dock. Later, after the Block departed, the Sykes took its place on the north side of the dock to begin loading.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Dan Beck
Paul R. Tregurtha is scheduled to load coal April 10 at Superior Midwest Energy Terminal for the St. Clair Edison Coal dock and Monroe, Mich. The Tregurtha has spent the winter at Bay Shipbuilding undergoing engine replacement.

Port Huron Mich. - Ed Schuyler
Lee A. Tregurtha was upbound Thursday afternoon, passing under the Blue Water Bridge at 1:50 p.m. heading to Two Harbors, Minn. Algocape was downbound under the Blue Water Bridge at 2:05 p.m. with a load of wheat for Baie Comeau, Que.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
CSL's Rt. Hon. Paul Martin loaded at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock Wednesday, marking the second early season visit of the vessel to Sandusky. The initial cargo of coal went to the U.S. Steel works at Hamilton, Ont.

Port Colborne - Steve Waller
John B. Aird departed Port Colborne Thursday, passing through the piers about 8:20 p.m.

Hamilton / Bronte - Eric Holmes
Maria Desgagnes departed the Bronte anchorage for Pier 26S in Hamilton at 7 a.m. Capt. Henry Jackman departed winter lay-up at 2 p.m. headed for Marblehead.

Vercheres, QC. – Rene Beauchamp
Harbour Clear, first new salty of the year in the Seaway, was upbound off Vercheres, QC, on March 31 destined for the Pointe-aux-Trembles anchorage and then Valleyfield.

 

Coast Guard rescues man after fall from cliff

4/2 - Cleveland, Ohio – U.S. Coast Guard Station Marquette, Mich., medically evacuated a 20-year-old male after he fell from a cliff at the Presque Isle Park near the upper breakwater northside, Thursday, at approximately 7 p.m.

"We arrived on scene and a paramedic had him in a stokes litter at the bottom of the 80-to-100 foot cliff; he apparently sustained an injury to his right leg," said Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Alexander Hill.

Hill and his 25-foot small response boat (RB-S) crew of Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Christopher Connolly and Machinery Technician 3rd Class Frederick Ruiz arrived on scene within 10 minutes.

Connolly deployed as a surface rescue swimmer to guide the 20-year-old, a student at Northern Michigan University from Indiana, safely on to the 25-footer's bow.

The crew transferred him to awaiting Emergency Medical Services at the Upper Harbor Presque Isle Marina, Mich., whereupon EMS transported him to Marquette General Hospital.

A passerby dialed 911 when he saw a person injured at the base of the cliff; Marquette County Dispatch then contacted Station Marquette for assistance.

 

Updates - April 2

News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspective Gallery New gallery for April featuring the Lemoyne
Public Gallery updated
New Discussion Boards updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 2

A total of 60 ore boats departed Cleveland between March 31 and April 2 to start the 1948 shipping season.

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

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

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

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

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

WHEAT KING was lengthened by an addition of a 172 foot 6 inch mid-section (Hull #61) and received a 1,000 h.p. bow thruster. This work reportedly cost $3.8 million Canadian and was completed on April 2, 1976.

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

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

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

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Jody Aho, Russ Plumb, Ahoy & Farewell II, Father Dowling Collection and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

 

Port Reports - April 1

Silver Bay, Minn. - Benjamin Larson
Kaministiqua arrived in Silver Bay at 6 a.m. and was due to depart around 8 p.m. for Hamilton, Ont. Manitowoc arrived at 7 p.m. and is expected to depart about 3 a.m. Thursday morning for Cleveland. Thursdays will see rare visitors arriving in port, the CSL Laurentien is due at 4:30 a.m. followed by the John D. Leitch at 10 p.m., both loading for Hamilton

Marquette, Mich. - Lee Rowe
Herbert C Jackson waited all day Wednesday at the ore dock in Marquette to begin loading.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
Waves pushed by strong winds crashed into the breakwall as the Alpena arrived in port around 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The 2010 shipping season got underway on Wednesday when the tug Karen Andrie and her tank barge arrived at the Bit-Mat Asphalt dock around 10 p.m. This is the first commercial delivery of the season. Last year, the first commercial cargo did not arrive until April 18 when Manitowoc called on the Saginaw Wirt Stone dock. It is expected Karen Andrie and her tank barge will be outbound for the lake on Thursday.

Hamilton / Bronte - Eric Holmes
CSL Tadoussac departed winter lay up at 7 p.m., headed to Silver Bay. Maria Desgagnges remains at anchor for the third day off of Bronte awaiting orders.

Prescott, Ont. - Joanne Crack
Quebecois was downbound under dark clouds through the St. Lawrence Seaway at Prescott, Ont., at 6:46 a.m.

 

Mackinaw prepping for spring buoy duty

4/1 - Cheboygan, Mich. – Back from its light icebreaking season, the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw is now involved in a week of preparing for spring buoy-tending duty.

Those preparations and maintenance are centered more on the buoys than on the ship itself, according to Ensign Shane Alexander, the Mackinaw’s public affairs officer.

“We are finishing work on the buoys, making sure they are prepped and ready to go,” Alexander said Tuesday. “That has involved putting fresh paint on them, and replacing or repairing the lights and checking to be sure they are the right ones. The buoys need to be exactly what is called for on the nautical charts.”

Cheboygan Daily Tribune

 

Lafarge to lay off 77 workers in Alpena

4/1 - Alpena, Mich. – It looks as if the current economic outlook for Lafarge is a little murky. The company is planning to cease operation of its kilns for the next two months and the fallout will result in the plant issuing layoffs to 77 of its staff.

In a prepared statement from Lafarge, Public Affairs Manager Craig Ryan said the halt in production is directly due to poor demand and a weak economy.

"Due to continuing difficult market conditions, the Lafarge Alpena Cement plant has implemented a temporary shutdown of its kiln operations, resulting in the reduction of its workforce," Ryan said. "During the shutdown grinding and shipping operations will continue."

The company made the decision of layoffs after it considered numerous options. Lafarge is now focused on employee needs and devising a plan that is least impactful to the employees, the release said.

"The company remains hopeful that the market conditions will return to former levels and positions can be reinstated in a timely fashion," Ryan said. "The company is exploring means to provide additional assistance to help the affected employees."

The plant had a similar layoff last April when it laid off 138 employees for two months due to similar circumstances. Lafarge moves its product to ports around the Great Lakes region by vessel.

The Alpena News

 

Icebreaking missions in Western Great Lakes over for season

4/1 - Ice throughout the Western Great Lakes is nearly all melted, so the Coast Guard is officially done with icebreaking operations for this season.

The Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie began Operation Taconite in December. It is the nation's largest ice breaking operation.

During the 109 days of the operation, the seven US and two Canadian Coast Guard ice breakers assigned spent more than 1581 hours in the ice. They also conducted 99 vessel assists.

Aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City also assisted, which greatly helped with the mission.

This major operation helped US and Canadian shipping companies move several million tons of iron ore, coal, limestone, road salt and petroleum cargoes.

9 & 10 News

 

With ice jam gone, Lake St. Clair levels to rise

4/1 - Windsor, Ont. – Lake St. Clair residents are worried that a two-foot drop in the lake level from last summer could make boat launching difficult this year.

But the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says boaters on both Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie can expect levels only slightly lower than long-term averages this summer.

The recent sudden drop on Lake St. Clair was largely caused by the ice jam in the St. Clair River, said John Allis, chief of watershed hydrology for the USACE, based in Detroit.

"Most of the river is now pretty clear," Allis added. He expects Lake St. Clair to rise about 15 inches over the next 30 days.

The ice jam also lowered levels of Lake Erie but by only about four inches. Lake Erie's level should go up about five inches over the next month.

Jeff Cada of Brighton Road said he could measure the drop in the lake level fairly accurately using the bottom edge of the line of new paint applied last August to his steel pilings on Pike Creek.

The lake level is down about two feet from that bottom edge of paint, Cada said Monday.

Elmgrove Road resident Roy Coutinho said he's amazed at the sudden drop of Lake St. Clair within the last week.

"There were all kinds of rocks exposed," Coutinho said.

He wouldn't be able to launch a boat from his dock if the lake levels don't go up significantly.

Coutinho said Monday he's noticed Lake St. Clair levels starting to rise from what he saw last week. A 10-year resident on the waterfront, he was surprised at the dramatic drop in lake levels attributed to the ice jam.

Levels on Lake St. Clair can fluctuate by as much as six feet from record lows to record highs, but recently have been tracking about midway between the extremes.

Allis expects both Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie to have levels this summer only a few inches below last year's levels and close to long-term averages.

The Windsor Star

 

Jet Express will offer trips to Cleveland from Lorain this summer

4/1 - Cleveland, Ohio – Cleveland Indians fans or those heading to other downtown attractions will be able to park their cars in Lorain and cruise to Cleveland on a high-speed ferry along the Lake Erie shore.

Those Friday evening trips -- beginning in late May -- are part of the expanded service to be offered by Jet Express, docked at the Black River Landing in Lorain. The service will include trips to the Lake Erie islands on Saturdays, wine-tasting cruises on Lake Erie on Wednesday nights and cruises on the Black River on Sundays.

Trips to Cleveland Browns games will be offered this fall.

"The Lorain boat is an excursion vessel and people should not think of it as a ferry boat like our boats out of Port Clinton and Sandusky that run back and forth to the islands all day," said Lance Woodworth, director of operations for Jet Express. "We wanted to come up with some fun, exciting cruises."

The role of the 147-passenger Lorain ferry has changed since it arrived last August. The Lorain Port Authority, which purchased the $1.66 million ferry with federal funds, originally planned to offer once-a-day round trips to Put-in-Bay and Kelleys Island on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

But the service attracted few passengers, perhaps because of cost, since a round-trip ticket cost more than twice the $28 round-trip to the islands from Port Clinton, an hour west of Lorain. The price was higher since the Lorain-based ferry had to travel a longer distance.

Jet Express and the port authority decided to expand offerings after three excursions to Cleveland Browns games last fall were successful. The ferry docked at Cleveland's North Coast Harbor after the one-hour trip. About 10 percent of the passengers went to other attractions in the city.

"The Browns games were a huge success and we wanted to build on that," said Richard Novak, executive director of the port authority. "We realize the Cleveland market is a great one and we also wanted to look at opportunities here in Lorain."

Surveys showed people wanted to go to Cleveland so the company will offer packages to Indians games, with Lolly the Trolley providing transportation from North Coast Harbor, Woodworth said.

He expects the ferry service to the islands to attract passengers who enjoy a longer, 90-minute trip on the lake instead of the 25-minutes it takes to get to the islands from Port Clinton. A Sunday afternoon departure from the islands will now be offered for those who want to spend the night there.

And cruises on the Black River, which cost $14, offer a less expensive option, Woodworth said.

"We wanted to offer some different packages, especially with the state of the economy," he said. "We want people to come and enjoy the water."

Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

State asks: Who wants the Harbor Beach Lighthouse?

4/1 - Harbor Beach, Mich. – The federal government no longer needs the Harbor Beach Lighthouse and wants to hear suggestions about what to do with it.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment says the U.S. General Services Administration has deemed the 1885 lighthouse on the Lake Huron shoreline "excess to the needs of the federal government."

The lighthouse could be transferred to a local government, nonprofit or educational organization that agrees to maintain the structure under the GSA's National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act program.

The city of Harbor Beach, located 110 miles north of Detroit in the Thumb region, proposes to be the steward of the lighthouse.

The DNRE has set an April 19 deadline for comments. A decision on the transfer is due by May 11.

Associated Press

 

Port authority launches name the cranes contest for area students

4/1 - Toledo, Ohio - The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority has purchased two new Liebherr Mobile Harbor Cranes for the Port of Toledo and is encouraging area students to name the cranes in anticipation of their arrival in May 2010.

The Name The Cranes contest will be held April 1 through April 30, 2010 and area students can submit their name choice via the website www.namethecranes.com. Contest details, grand prize and more information about the cranes and their impact on our region will be provided at the news conference.

While the existing cargo cranes at the Port of Toledo have been sufficient for handling "traditional" bulk and break bulk cargo since the 1950's, they are aging and will be enhanced by the addition of the new equipment suited for multiple purposes.

The Liebherr Mobile Harbor Cranes are twice as productive as the current cranes in the seaport and have the ability to move 20-35 containers per hour and up to forty swings per hour for bulk material handling. Mobile harbor cranes of this caliber are utilized at coastal ports but are rare at major ports on the Great Lakes and these cranes will be some of the first in a U.S. Great Lakes Port. The funding for the purchase of the cranes comes from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act resources.

 

Wisconsin marine museum offering Mystic Seaport tour

4/1 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Reservations are now being taken for a one-of-a-kind, eight-day tour being offered by the Door County Maritime Museum of significant East Coast historical maritime locations, including the renowned Mystic Seaport Museum.

The motor-coach tour will leave Sturgeon Bay on Thursday, Oct. 14, and travel to Cleveland for a tour of the Steamship William G. Mather Museum. The William G. Mather is a retired Great Lakes bulk carrier that spent 55 years on the lakes. The tour arrives on the East Coast Saturday and will first visit the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and its museum in New London, Conn. That’s followed by a full day at Mystic Seaport, considered the nation’s finest maritime museum. Succeeding days include a trip to Boston for a journey along the historic Freedom Trail and to the U.S.S. Constitution (Old Ironsides); and New York City for a day filled with stops at the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Twins Towers site as well as the Intrepid Sea & Air and Space Museum centered on the famous aircraft carrier for which the museum is named.

Bob Desh, executive director of the Door County Maritime Museum, will offer insight throughout the tour. After 36 years of service in the United States Coast Guard, Desh retired with the rank of captain. He is a maritime history buff who will offer unique perspective on a tour which touches a number of stops along his Coast Guard career.

The tour will return to Sturgeon Bay on Oct. 21 and includes all transportation, lodging, attractions admission, luggage handling, a tour director as well as 12 meals (7 breakfasts and 5 dinners).

Space is limited. For cost, other information and to make reservations contact Nationwide Travelers at 920-734-5620 or 800-236-5511. Please mention Tour 11483 when calling.

Door County Maritime Museum

 

Updates - April 1

News Photo Gallery
New Discussion Boards updated
New prizes on the BoatNerd fundraising raffle page

 

Today in Great Lakes History - April 1

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.

 

 



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