Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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CSL applies for coasting license for cement carrier Cembay

4/30 - Montreal, Que. – CSL has applied to the Canadian Transportation Agency for a coasting license to run the Bahamas flag cement carrier Cembay. The ship will transport up to 11,000 tonnes of cement per trip to move a total of 60,000 tonnes of cement from Halifax to Montreal between May 20 and October 10.

The ship will load cement manufactured by Lafarge in Brookfield, Nova Scotia. The cement will be transported by truck and loaded in Halifax and delivered into trucks in Montreal. It is expected to make between 5 and 10 trips.

In their application CSL states that all its cement carriers are fully booked and not licensed for deep sea and no other Canadian ships can unload pneumatically. Cembay was built in 1997 as Bay Bonanza. Current owners, Daiichi Kisen Co of Japan renamed the ship Cembay in 2003. It is managed by KGJ Cement Fleet Management of Norway and is currently operating in the Mediterranean.

Given such short notice it is unlikely that any other Canadian shipowners will be able to provide a suitable ship. CSL apparently approached Desgagnés, but their ships could not unload pneumatically.

Mac Mackay


Port Reports -  April 30

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann arrived on Thursday at 11 a.m. and loaded. Arriving Thursday in the early evening were the barge Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort, which got the dock upon the Pathfinder's departure. There is no other vessel activity due until May 4, when the Joseph H. Thompson is expected.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
There were no vessel arrivals Friday and none are scheduled until May 4, with two arrivals. Due first will be the John J. Boland in the early morning followed by the Cason J. Callaway in the late evening.

Grand Haven, Mich.
Wilfred Sykes was in port unloading on Friday.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Great Republic loaded on Friday and was expected to depart at around 10 a.m. Due Saturday in the early evening will be the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann. For Sunday, due in at noon will be the Joseph H. Thompson and the barge Lewis J. Kuber and tug Olive L. Moore in the mid-afternoon.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Arthur M. Anderson loaded at the South Dock on Friday and was due to depart around 3 p.m. There are no vessels scheduled for Saturday, Expected on Sunday is the Cason J. Callaway in the early afternoon for the North Dock.

Sarnia, Ont. – Denny Dushane
Algoma Transport departed from winter lay-up at the Government Dock on Friday in the mid-afternoon and headed to Bruce Mines to load stone. This leaves the Algorail as the last member of Sarnia's winter lay-up fleet. Mississagi, which is laid-up at the North Slip, was originally laid-up in Hamilton, Ont.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Hon. James L. Oberstar was expected to arrive at the CSX coal dock to load on Friday during the late morning. Also due at CSX will be the CSL Laurentien on Saturday in the early evening to load. Due at the Midwest Terminal stone dock is the Algoma Transport on Sunday during the late afternoon. They will be the first arrival at this dock for the 2016 shipping season. Expected at the Torco Dock is the James L. Kuber, with two trips presently scheduled. The tug Olive L. Moore and the barge Lewis J. Kuber departed their winter lay-up berth at Torco during the late evening on Thursday. Vessels in port included the tug G.L. Ostrander and barge Integrity at the Lafarge cement dock unloading. The tug Prentiss Brown and the barge St. Marys Challenger were making their first appearance in Toledo since the St. Marys Challenger was converted from a steam-powered vessel to a barge a few years ago. They unloaded at the St. Marys cement dock. The tugs New Jersey and Paul L. Luedtke were also in port, as was the John J. Boland.


Updates -  April 30

News Photo Gallery

We are working on our AIS server, the maps and automated vessel passage will be down temporarily.


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, six miles west of Kingston when the dredge started listing then suddenly tipped over and sank. No lives were lost.

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.

1909: RUSSIA foundered in heavy weather in Lake Huron not far from Detour, MI. The ship was en route from Duluth to Alpena and ran into a heavy gale. Sources vary on the loss to life.

1929: D.M. PHILBIN ran aground in a high winds and snow 6 miles west of Conneaut after mistaking the airport beacon for the Conneaut Light and stranding on a sandbar off Whitman's Creek. The hold was flooded to keep the hull safe and it was released with the aid of tugs on May 7. The vessel was renamed c) SYLVANIA prior to returning to service

1984: The fish tug STANLEY CLIPPER sank in a storm on Lake Erie southeast of Port Dover, near Ryerson Island and all three men on board were lost. The hull was located, refloated and rebuilt as the tug NADRO CLIPPER. It currently operates as c) A.I.S. CLIPPER and is often moored below Lock 1 of the Welland Canal when not in service.

1991: The hull of BEECHGLEN buckled while unloading corn at Cardinal, ON, with the bow and stern settling on the bottom. The ship was strapped together, refloated and towed to Port Weller Dry Docks for repairs arriving at the shipyard on May 26.

1999: GLORY MAKOTOH, a Panamanian general cargo carrier, sank in the South China Sea off Hainan Island as d) FELIZ TRADER on this date in 1999. The vessel had been a Seaway trader in 1983 under the original name. Eight crewmembers were rescued from the lifeboats but 13 sailors were lost.

2000: The small passenger ship WORLD DISCOVERER visited the Great Lakes in 1975. It hit a reef or large rock off the Solomon Islands on April 30, 2000, and had to be beached on the island of Ngella. The 127 passengers and 80 crew were saved, but the ship was a total loss and potential salvors were driven off by a hostile local population.

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


Haimark Line cancels all remaining Saint Laurent cruises

4/29 - The bankrupt cruise operator Haimark Line has canceled its final remaining cruises, the Federal Maritime Commission announced on Monday.

The line's escrow agent will be processing refund payments for passengers who had paid for travel on the firm's sole vessel, the Saint Laurent, which it chartered from Clipper Group.

Haimark Line offered trips on the eastern seaboard and the Great Lakes last summer, but the Saint Laurent struck a lock wall in the St. Lawrence Seaway just weeks after her inaugural trip. The incident took her out of service for a month, forcing the company to cancel a series of remaining cruises. Haimark Line filed for bankruptcy at the end of October, blaming the locks accident.

In early December, Haimark Line won a bankruptcy court decision permitting it to transfer $300,000 from a deposit account to the Federal Maritime Commission’s required escrow account for customer reimbursement – the escrow service that will now pay out customer refunds for the canceled trips. As of December, affected customers had filed for nearly $800,000 in canceled bookings.

The company had intended to operate the Saint Laurent on cruises to Cuba, sailing from Miami beginning in February. The inaugural trip would have been the first from the U.S. to Cuba in 50 years, an honor that now appears set to go to Carnival’s Fathom brand, which has scheduled its first departure for May 1.

In late January, private equity firm VC2 Capital bought Haimark Line and affiliated firms Haimark Ltd., an operator of river cruises in Asia, and Haimark Affinity Travel Ltd. "The luxury small-ship concept is one of the fastest-growing segments within the travel sector," VC2 director Adam Levin said.

At the time, Haimark president Hans Rood said that "this transaction and funding allows us to launch our previously announced sailings to Cuba from Miami and to continue our best-in-class travel experience."

As of Wednesday, Haimark Line and Haimark Travel's websites had been taken down. Phone calls to the firm's administrative offices and customer service line were directed to voicemail.

Maritime Executive


Latest Welland Canal fencing called an eyesore

4/29 - Port Colborne, Ont. – The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. is nearing completion of fence installation along the Welland Canal in Port Colborne. The installation began in March and is about 90 per cent complete.

For Port Colborne residents and city council, the fencing is seen as an eyesore. During Monday night’s city council meeting Ward 4 Coun. Barbara Butters brought up the issue and said the canal is a tourist sight and a “must-see attraction.”

She referred to a staff report that indicated tourism contributes more than $2.5 billion to Niagara’s overall economy annually. Staff compiled the report because council is concerned how the fencing will impact tourism in Port Colborne.

Council members agreed at the meeting there needed to be a change to the fencing. The city will ask the Seaway and Transport Canada to make adjustments to any fencing or other non-operational or non-mandated structures.

Port Colborne would like to see the fencing “replaced with great thought and attention to aesthetic detail,” municipal staff said in the report.

“Anyone who drives along Welland Street can see it is kind of like being fenced in and reminds you of a prison yard. We shouldn’t have to see that,” Ward 2 Coun. Angie Desmarais said.

The Seaway has to follow guidelines to ensure marine safety, Andrew Bogora, Seaway communications officer, said in an interview Wednesday. He said the fencing is related to the marine security. Bogora said after 9/11 federal safety legislation evolved over the years and it continues to evolve. The Seaway must comply with regulations.

“We understand that these changes can be disconcerting after many years of witnessing relatively ‘open access’ to some areas of the Welland Canal,” the Seaway said in a news release.

The Seaway said the security is a reflection of the “difficult times” after 9/11, adding this is just one of many security measures being taken by Transport Canada to ensure public safety.

Welland Tribune


Essar Steel Algoma settles contract dispute

4/29 - On Monday, April 25, Essar Steel Algoma settled its contract dispute with Cliffs Natural Resources, in principle. The settlement, which resolves all claims between the parties, is subject to documentation and requisite court approval.

Pursuant to the settlement, the parties have agreed to re-instate the contract. Cliffs will resume supply of iron ore pellets to Essar Steel Algoma for a portion of the company's remaining 2016 requirements and then return to the contract's existing terms in 2017 and beyond.

Essar Steel Algoma Chief Executive Officer Kalyan Ghosh commented on the settlement. "We are very pleased to have this litigation behind us, and are grateful for the focused efforts of all involved in facilitating a speedy resolution,” he said.

“In light of the current Sale and Investment Solicitation Process, this agreement provides interested parties with assurance of supply of quality iron ore, and ensures Algoma can remain a low cost producer."

Essar Steel Algoma Inc.


Port Reports -  April 29

Alpena, Mich. – Ben & Chanda McClain
Early Monday morning the G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity came into port to load at Lafarge. Once they finished loading they departed and anchored out in the bay for weather until Tuesday afternoon. The tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41arrived at Lafarge Tuesday night to unload cargo. On Wednesday morning the Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation tied up at Lafarge to load cement. The Coast Guard vessel Hollyhock was out in the bay Thursday morning, possibly doing buoy work.


Lake Express ferry features upgrades to bridge, more crossings in 2016

4/29 - Muskegon, Mich. – Management at the Lake Express have high hopes that this season will be lucky No. 13.

The high-speed car ferry that operates between Milwaukee and Muskegon will make its first trip of the 2016 season on Friday, April 29.

It's been a busy offseason for the 192-foot-long ship highlighted by a complete overhaul of its bridge or command center. Features to improve radar and navigation are among the upgrades.

"The bridge really is the brains of the ship," said vice president of Sales and Marketing Aaron Schultz. "We replaced everything and so far it's checking out aye OK. This is the stuff that the ship handlers rely on. It's a 12-year-old ship but in a lot of ways its state-of-the-art.

Read more and view photos at this link


Submissions welcome in 2016 G-tug photo contest

4/29 - Harness the power of photography and share your stunning photos of tugboats from The Great Lakes Towing Company fleet – the largest and most experienced U.S.-flag tugboat fleet on the Great Lakes. Gather your best photos of G-Tugs and join the competition.

The 2016 G-Tug Photo Contest runs now through the end of the 2016 Great Lakes Navigation Season when the Soo Locks close.

The names of winners will be announced online at after January 1, 2017. Think you have the winning picture? Show us your best and submit your photos at

Great Lakes Towing


Updates -  April 29

News Photo Gallery
Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the Chem Norma, Chestnut, Federal Bering, Federal Kivalina, Federal Mayumi, Federal Nakagawa, Finnborg, Havelstern, Isolda, Jan van Gent, Mottler, Orsula, and Palau.

We are working on our AIS server, the maps and automated vessel passage will be down temporarily.


Today in Great Lakes History -  April 29

29 April 1896 - 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 pilothouse 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.

1909: AURANIA was the only steel hulled ship sunk by ice on the Great Lakes. The vessel was lost in Whitefish Bay after being holed and then squeezed by the pressure of the ice pack near Parisienne Island. The crew escaped onto the ice and pulled a yawl boat to the J.H. BARTOW.

1952: W.E. FITZGERALD hit the Burlington Lift Bridge at the entrance to Hamilton Bay after a mechanical problem resulted in the structure not being raised. The north span of the bridge was knocked into the water, resulting in traffic chaos on land and on the water.

1959: PRESCOTT went aground near Valleyfield, Quebec, while downbound in the Seaway only four days after the waterway had been opened. It got stuck trying to avoid a bridge that had failed to open and navigation was blocked until the CSL bulk carrier was refloated the next day.

1969: HOWARD HINDMAN ran aground at the Little Rapids Cut in the St. Marys River after the steering cables parted. The ship was released and temporarily returned to service but the vessel was badly damaged and soon sold for scrap. It came down the Welland Canal with a cargo of road salt on June 6, 1969, and was towed to Bilbao, Spain, with the HUMBERDOC, arriving on September 6, 1969.

1976: The British freighter GLENPARK was three years old when it first came through the Seaway in 1959. It was sailing as c) GOLDEN LEADER when it ran aground off Goto Island, southwest Japan while on a long voyage from Chungjin, China, to Constanza, Romania. The hull broke in two and was a total loss.

1998: The Panamanian freighter DENEBOLA first visited the Seaway in 1973. The ship was sailing as d) TAE CHON, under the flag of North Korea, when it was in a collision with the YANG LIN in thick fog on the Yellow Sea and sank. The vessel was enroute from Yantai, China, to Chittagong, Bangladesh, when the accident occurred and one life was lost.

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


Former crew, avid boat watchers tracking Algomarine's final journey

4/28 - Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. – After more than four decades traversing the Great Lakes, the Algomarine has embarked on one last voyage. Dana Andrews, the vessel’s chief engineer, has been using his Facebook account to document the trip, which began on Monday.

“Very emotional for me and all the hundreds of good men and women that have sailed on her,” writes Andrews, a St. Joseph Island resident, in a post.

The Algomarine, a 730-foot self-unloading lake freighter owned by Algoma Central Corp., left Goderich Monday morning with its final load of salt. It will make its way to Montreal, to be towed overseas and scrapped in Turkey.

Boat watchers have been tracking the voyage and posting photos on Facebook.

“When I found out the Algomarine was going to be scrapped, I thought 'That’s one of the most beautiful boats that’s on the seaway, and if we’re going to see it, we’ve got to go,'” said Darryn Shabley, of Ridgetown, Ontario.

Shabley made the nearly three-hour journey with his wife, Melissa, and two sons, Owen, 5, and Cameron, 10, to the Welland Canal to see the Algomarine pass through on Tuesday. Cameron held up a banner reading 'Farewell Algomarine. Best Wishes' for crew aboard the boat.

Shabley, a farm equipment mechanic, said he and his sons have recently taken up boat watching. “1000 footers are cool, but there’s nothing that looks as nice as a classy lake freighter,” said the father.

Brett Massender now works aboard the Algoma Discovery, but spent three seasons on the Algomarine, which he managed to photograph as the two vessels passed in the Welland Canal on Tuesday.

"It was great to see her pass by one last time. It’s amazing it worked out the way it did. Almost a shot in the dark to be able to pass by so close," said Massender. "I spent three great seasons on her which kind of started my career with Algoma. So It even though it wasn't my first ship it was definitely the most memorable."

The Algomarine was originally launched in 1968 as the Lake Manitoba. It was purchased by Algoma Central Corp. 1986, and shortly thereafter renamed. Until recently, the bulk carrier was a regular visitor to Essar Steel Algoma and Ontario Trap Rock in Bruce Mines.

Soo Today


Split Rock Lighthouse gets preservation grant

4/28 - Silver Bay, Minn. – The state's federal lawmakers have announced a $68,000 preservation grant for Split Rock Lighthouse -- money that will help outline long-term management and preservation efforts of the iconic North Shore lighthouse.

U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, along with U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, announced the financial support from the National Park Service, in partnership with the Maritime Administration. The grant was awarded to the Minnesota Historical Society, which operates Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, and will be used toward a $136,000 cultural landscape report.

The cultural landscape report will provide guidance on potential preservation activities and will serve as a tool for long-term management of the historic site.

"Preserving this monument is critical not only to our local economy, but also to future generations who will continue to marvel at its beauty and historical importance," Nolan said in the news release.

Split Rock Lighthouse is located on the North Shore of Lake Superior, southwest of Silver Bay. The lighthouse was first built in 1910 by the United States Lighthouse Service as a response to the famous Mataafa Storm of 1905 where 29 ships were damaged or destroyed on Lake Superior. It has been restored to replicate what it looked like in the 1920s, including the original tower, lens, fog signal building, oil house, and the three keepers' houses. The light in Split Rock Lighthouse was retired in 1969 by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Superior Telegram


Historic Dodge yacht Delphine, built in Michigan, for sale at $22 million

4/28 - Detroit, Mich. – A Michigan-built ship launched nearly 100 years ago before burning, sinking, being restored, serving as a flagship in WWII and, decades later, being restored again, is back to its original state as a luxury yacht.

And it's for sale.

The SS Delphine was built in 1921 for Horace Dodge, co-founder of the Dodge Brothers Motor Car Company. The 257-foot yacht is for sale at €19.7, or about $22.4 million.

Currently in Portugal, the SS Delphine is the largest U.S.-built steam yacht from the 1920s that's still in existence, according to its owner.

The yacht was built by Great Lakes Engineering in River Rouge, a city just southwest of Detroit, and named after Horace Dodge's daughter Delphine.

Read more and see photos at this link


Port Reports -  April 28

Toledo, Ohio – Jim Hoffman
At approximately 3 p.m. Wednesday, the Prentiss Brown and barge St Marys Challenger departed Charlevoix, Mich., with a load of cement bound for the St. Marys Cement Dock. This will be her first trip to Toledo as a tug/barge unit.

Grand Haven, Mich. – Sam Hankinson
The Dorothy Ann and Pathfinder came in to port around 10 a.m. with a load of stone for Verplanks. The pair departed around 3:45 p.m. This is the first Interlake ship to visit Grand Haven in many years.

Johnstown (Prescott), Ont.
Algomarine stopped Wednesday to unload a portion of her salt cargo as her final voyage to retirement continues. Valleyfield and Cote Ste. Catherine are expected to be the recipients of the rest of her cargo as she heads to Montreal and eventual overseas scrapping.


U.S. Steel losses bigger than expected

4/28 - Duluth, Minn. – U.S. Steel suffered larger-than-expected losses in the first quarter of 2016 — some $340 million for the three months, or $2.32 per share.

The company, in a conference call with industry analysts, reported Wednesday that it was hurt by continued low prices and decreased demand as well as a continued stream of foreign steel imports. Industry analysts had expected a smaller loss per share.

The loss is up from $75 million in the first quarter of 2015. Revenues were down 28 percent from last year and total steel shipments were down 12 percent over last year.

The company lost a stunning $1.5 billion in 2015, but company leaders say they are poised to return to profitability as the U.S. government continues to take action to slap tariffs on unfairly traded foreign steel.

While conditions improved in recent months, with more steel mills producing more domestic steel, U.S. Steel joined most other domestic producers in saying the depressed oil industry coupled with cheap steel from abroad continues to eat into their business.

Company officials Wednesday said they don't have any plans for reopening their Keetac taconite iron ore mining and processing facility in Keewatin, which has been idled for a year with some 400 people on layoff. They said Keetac's future is tied to the future of oil industry steel pipe demand — or possibly sales to other steel companies.

Prospects look better for continued production at the company's Minntac operations in Mountain Iron, which is supplying the raw material for most of the company's still-operating steel mills.

"Our Keetac facility remains idled and the increased efficiencies at Minntac provide the lowest pellet costs for our current steelmaking requirements. Minntac can support the steelmaking facilities we are currently operating," the company said in a written report. "We would not expect to restart Keetac unless we restarted the steelmaking operations at Granite City Works or entered into long-term pellet supply agreements with third-party customers."

The Granite City, Ill. steel mill has been idle since December, with some 2,000 workers on layoff. Most of the steel produced at the mill goes to Texas, where it's made into steel pipe used in the oil industry — a market that has gone flat as oil prices have plummeted.

U.S. Steel officials said they may also seek to sell taconite iron ore pellets from Minnesota to other steelmakers, such as ArcelorMittal. That could help spur the reopening of Keetac, but it also could have a domino effect on other producers, such as Cliffs Natural Resources.

Selling ore to other steelmakers is "something we'd certainly be open to," U.S. Steel President Mario Longhi said in Wednesday's conference call. The company declined to say if it was involved in any negotiations for such sales.

Longhi said his company is the lowest-cost producer of taconite pellets in the U.S and that it could restart Keetac quickly if a contract is signed to sell ore.

Domestic steel production up

The American Iron and Steel Institute this week reported a little good news. Total steel production in the U.S. hit 1,684,000 tons in the week ending April 23, up more than 2 percent from the same week in 2015. Steel mill utilization hit 72 percent last week, up from 69.8 percent for the same week last year.

Duluth News Tribune


Coast Guard uses skiff ice boat to rescue injured man in Lake Erie

4/28 - Marblehead, Ohio – The U.S> Coast Guard medically evacuated a man off of a dredging barge in Lake Erie near Sandusky, Ohio, Wednesday evening. The man's name and home town are not being released.

At approximately 5:45 p.m., a caller to the Coast Guard Station Marblehead, Ohio, reported two men on a dredging barge who needed help due to injuries.

The barge was 50 yards off shore in water too shallow for a Coast Guard response boat to get to come alongside, so a rescue team traveled to the location by truck. The rescue team launched from the shore in a skiff ice inflatable boat, normally used for ice rescue, and brought one man back to awaiting emergency medical services.

The other man said he wished to stay aboard the barge and waited for a commercial salvage company, which towed the barge to Johnson Island in Lake Erie.



Updates -  April 28

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  April 28

28 April 1856 - 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-foot-long 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.

1971 ZENAVA, the former REDFERN, ran aground, caught fire and sank off Burin, NF while under tow from Rose Blanche, NF to Marystown, NF. The former bulk canaller was being used to transport, freeze and store fish.

1976 The first ALGOSEA was inbound on its first trip to the Great Lakes when it hit the wall below Lock 1 of the Welland Canal and then, below Lock 2, the ship was blown sideways across the canal after problems with the cables. The ship was enroute to Port Colborne for conversion to a self-unloader; it was scrapped at Aliaga, Turkey, in 2011 as SAUNIERE.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


Kingston marine museum gets eviction notice, plans to move

4/27 - Kingston, Ont. – The Marine Museum of the Great Lakes has been given notice to move by its new landlord, developer Jay Patry. “It’s incredibly unfortunate. We tried working with them diligently for four months,” Patry told the Whig-Standard. “Our first priority was to keep them in the space.”

Patry purchased the lakefront property, including the building housing the museum, the historic drydock and an adjacent piece of development property, from the federal government in January. According to the terms of the deal with federal officials, the new owner has to give the marine museum 120 days notice to terminate the lease. Patry did that on Friday.

The developer said he has been meeting with both museum and city officials to find a way to share the cost of renting the space. He also asked the museum to come back with a plan to reduce the amount of space they use in the building.

He said the museum has not paid any rent to Patry Inc. since his company bought the property for $3.2 million.

“I can’t be the only person who pays the rent. After seven or eight meetings, every time, they showed up with no work done,” Patry said. “They said repeatedly they wanted to stay in the space and they couldn’t pay rent.”

According to Patry, museum officials told him they would prefer to buy the museum building but that they needed another 18 months to raise the money.

“We gave them until April 24 to come to us with a full purchase plan. I will continue to negotiate with them, but I have to put a timeline on them — 120 days — it started on Friday,” he said. “After four months they hadn’t done anything. I did exactly what I said I would do.”

Patry said he’s also allowed the museum to collect revenues off about 25 parking spaces. He said he wasn’t evicting the marine museum but asking its officials to come up with a cost-sharing arrangement before the lease runs out.

“We’ve done a lot to try to keep them there. The city’s doing a lot to keep them there. And they’re doing nothing,” Patry said. “They feel they’re too busy to deal with this. I’m saying this has to be your No. 1 priority. It’s not my goal to throw them out.”

The marine museum must now find a new location.

“We are moving,” said Christopher West, the chairman of the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes board of directors. “The museum has to pack up and find a new home.” West said the outcome was a “huge missed opportunity for the city. It’s history now. It’s really a tragedy for Kingston and, I would say, for Canada.”

He said the 120-day deadline from Patry came as a surprise. “We were in difficult but constructive discussions and I don’t know why Mr. Patry has ended them, but we are now in Plan B.” That Plan B includes “some very preliminary discussions with the city of Hamilton.”

“We are just floating the idea of moving our museum, lock, stock and barrel, to the port of Hamilton where they have a lot of waterfront land that they are redeveloping,” he said. “We are looking at any and all possibilities now. That’s just one on a long list of possibilities. Of course we would prefer to stay in Kingston, but it’s not easy finding a space.”

West said the museum has a lease with Patry’s company for $2 a year. “We don’t owe him any rent. That’s a complete misstatement of the facts. We have not reneged on any rent. We are fully paid up on rent for the year 2016 until Dec. 31, 2016,” he stated.

“Mr. Patry’s requirements for rent are far beyond anything that would be sustainable for the museum. Far beyond what would be sustainable for any museum in Kingston of our size. We are a roughly $300,000-a-year operation. You can’t add, let us say, another $200,000 a year in rent on top of that and be viable.”

He said the actual rent Patry wanted was “even more than that.”

“Typically, Class A types of museums such as ours operate on a rent-free basis where it is subsidized or absorbed by some level of government.” Other museums don’t have to pay that kind of money, so it would put the marine museum at a financial disadvantage, he said.

“It is just not on that we could be the exception that has an extraordinary rent bill on top of everything else we do. That’s the real sticking point here. We understand Mr. Patry is running a business. He is not in the museum business. He is in the real estate business and he is looking for what he describes as commercial rent. Well, no museum of the caliber of ours would operate on the basis of paying commercial rent. None.”

Cynthia Beach, Kingston’s commissioner for corporate and strategic initiatives, said the city is not an immediate party between the negotiations between Patry and the museum but has offered assistance to the museum in case it does have to move.

“We have had some discussions with them in terms of what their plans are to do next, but obviously we just received the notice the same time that they did last Friday, so we are not sure just what choice they are going to do with moving ahead,” she said.

“If they have decided that their only path is to move, then council has already given them some funds to help with their moving plans and we still have some of those funds available that we can help them get a plan to move. But, again, we are going to wait and see how best that can assist them.”

Kingston Whig-Standard


MacGregor self-unloading systems selected for Algoma’s fleet modernization program

4/27 - MacGregor, part of Cargotec, has received an order for gravity self-unloading systems for two 29,800 dwt bulk carriers (lakers) from the Yangzijiang shipyard, in China. The vessels will be delivered late 2017 / early 2018 to Canadian Great Lakes operator, Algoma. The order was booked into the first quarter 2016 order intake.

“MacGregor enjoys a good, long-term relationship with the Yangzijiang shipyard and we are happy to see our position in the self-unloading market strengthened through this order,” says Mikael Hägglund, Sales Manager, Selfunloaders.

The contract will see MacGregor deliver a highly-automated, efficient self-unloading system to each of the new vessels. The system is designed for a maximum unloading rate of 5,450t/h for stone or iron ore and 4,360t/h for coal. MacGregor is responsible for the design of the complete self-unloading system, which includes a discharge boom, full flow cargo gates, conveyor belts, cross conveyors, and a C-loop.

“MacGregor thoroughly discussed Algoma’s technical requirements during the pre-contract phase and was able to offer the most efficient solution that best suited the operator’s needs,” said Mr Hägglund. “Meeting the tight delivery schedule and the coordinated teamwork with the shipyard was also an important factor in securing the order.”

The new bulkers will join Algoma’s fleet of 13 domestic self-unloading vessels operating on the Great Lakes and the St Lawrence Seaway, all of which have to comply with extremely strict environmental protection legislation.



Port Reports -  April 27

Escanaba, Mich. – Raymond H.
On Tuesday, the John J. Boland arrived at CN to load iron ore.

Port Weller, Ont. – Barry A.
Algolake departed her PWDD fitout berth Monday evening headed upbound after being delayed for a good part of the day for traffic and winds. Tugs Molly M1 and Jarrett M assisted with the move. She had been tied at this wall since April 3rd when sailed over from Hamilton.

Toronto, Ont.
Spruceglen was guided into the Redpath slip by the tugs Radium Yellowknife, MR Kane and Ocean Golf on Monday to unload her winter storage cargo of sugar.

Montreal, Que.
The tanker Algoscotia is returning to the Great Lakes. She has an ETA for Montreal for Friday April 29. Eventually she will be bound for Sarnia.


New USS Little Rock to be commissioned in Buffalo

4/27 - Buffalo, N.Y. – Buffalo is going to be part of U.S. Navy history. A new combat vessel will officially join the Navy’s fleet during ceremonies on the city’s waterfront later this year or early next year.

The new USS Little Rock, a Littoral Combat Ship, will be commissioned at Canalside next to the decommissioned ship of the same name, the first time an event will have happened with the vessels in such proximity in the Navy’s history.

The new Little Rock will enter active duty next to the former cruiser, now a floating museum in the Buffalo & Erie County Naval and Military Park. The event also will mark the first time in the city’s modern history that a ship entered the Navy’s fleet here.

The man in charge of the ship will be Commander Paul Burkart, who graduated from high school outside Rochester, N.Y., in 1985.

Littoral Combat Ships get their name because they operate in waters close to shore. The new Little Rock will be 378 feet long and 56 feet wide and will weigh about 3,000 tons. That’s shorter and lighter than ships in the destroyer class.

“We’re going to be fast and agile. We’ll go above 40 knots – other Navy ships don’t quite make it that fast,” Burkart said.

The ship will be able to undertake three types of combat missions: anti-submarine, anti-mine and surface warfare. Because of its abilities, the ship also will be well suited to take on illicit-trafficking operations in places like the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, as well as counter-piracy operations like around the Horn of Africa, Burkart said.

The ship will have a helicopter launch pad, a ramp for small boats and will have new water jet-propulsion.

A core crew of 50 will operate the ship, plus 20 to 23 more sailors depending on the mission-specific equipment brought aboard. That means the total size of the crew will peak at fewer than 100, far fewer than the 250 to 350 sailors aboard a destroyer, Burkart said.

“It takes fewer people because it’s more automated,” the graduate of Churchville-Chili High School said. In his 30-plus year career in the Navy, this will be Burkart’s 10th ship.

A core crew of 50 will operate the ship, plus 20 to 23 more sailors depending on the mission-specific equipment brought aboard. That means the total size of the crew will peak at fewer than 100, far fewer than the 250 to 350 sailors aboard a destroyer, Burkart said.

“It takes fewer people because it’s more automated,” the graduate of Churchville-Chili High School said. In his 30-plus year career in the Navy, this will be Burkart’s 10th ship.

He enlisted in the Navy in Buffalo in 1984, before his senior year in high school. He eventually took part in an enlisted commissioning program, which allowed him to rise through the ranks as an officer.

The new Little Rock, named after the capital of Arkansas as was its namesake, will be the ninth ship of the LCS class. It was christened last July 18 at Marinette Marine Corp.’s shipyard in Marinette, Wis., with an estimated cost of $360 million. There are two variants within the LCS class – the Freedom variant, which has a conventional hull; and the Independence variant, which is a trimaran, or multi-hull boat. The Little Rock is a Freedom variant.

Once the ship is commissioned, it will undergo several months of tests of its combat systems and then mission-specific testing before it is ready to be deployed.

The decommissioned Little Rock was put into service as a light cruiser in 1945 and decommissioned in 1949. It was recommissioned as a guided missile cruiser in 1960 and decommissioned in 1976. It opened to the public in the naval park in 1979.

When the new Little Rock arrives in Buffalo from the Menominee River north of Green Bay for its commissioning event at Canalside, members of the public will be able to tour the ship as part of weeklong festivities.

Buffalo News


Pearl Mist cruise ship will make several stops in Muskegon this summer

4/27 - Muskegon, Mich. – A cruise ship is coming to Muskegon. And this time it won't be a surprise. The Pearl Mist, a 100-stateroom vessel that made an unexpected stop in Muskegon in September 2015, will make 10 planned stops from June to August this summer.

The ship is expected to arrive for the first time at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 9. The Great Lakes cruise ship is operated by Pearl Sea Cruises, which takes passengers on a seven-day adventure from Chicago to Toronto.

Passengers will board the ship in Chicago before traveling to a different port each day. Holland and Muskegon kick off the day-long excursions before the ship takes guests to Mackinac Island and several locations in Ontario including Sault Ste. Marie, Little Current, Parry Sound and Midland.

 Read more and view photos at this link


World's largest Viking ship sets sail for Minnesota

4/27 - Duluth, Minn. – The world's largest Viking ship is on its way from Norway to America. The Draken Harald Hårfagre set sail Saturday and will dock in Duluth as part of the Tall Ships Duluth 2016 festival in August.

Along the way, the re-creation of what the Vikings would call a "Great Ship" will sail to Iceland, Greenland, Canada and through the Great Lakes, simulating the Vikings' challenge of crossing the North Atlantic Ocean to explore the world 1,000 years ago.

The ship is named after Harald Fairhair, the king who unified Norway into one kingdom. It is 115 feet long and 27 feet wide, and construction began in 2010. Built with techniques from archaeological findings, using old boatbuilding traditions and the legends of Viking ships from the Norse saga, the Draken Harald Hårfagre is believed to be the largest Viking ship built in modern times, according to the ship's website. The Draken Harald Hårfagre features an oak hull and a 3,200-square-foot sail. It carries a crew of 32 men and women under the command of Captain Björn Ahlander.

In Duluth, the Draken Harald Hårfagre will be one of several tall ships from around the world on display, along with the World's Largest Rubber Duck. The festival dubbed "The Greatest Spectacle on Lake Superior" runs Aug. 18-21.

Besides Tall Ships Duluth, the Draken Harald Hårfagre will make ports of call in Quebec City and Toronto, Bay City, Mich., Chicago, Green Bay, New York City and ports in Ohio and Connecticut.

Minneapolis Star Tribune


Researchers discover 'tsunamis' on Great Lakes

4/27 - Duluth, Minn. – They may not wipe out entire cities or occur after earthquakes, but two University of Wisconsin researchers say the Great Lakes have tsunamis that can wreak havoc of their own.

The freshwater phenomena have been dubbed meteotsunamis — short for meteorological, or caused by weather — and are different from rip currents, seiches or storm surge floods.

Meteotsunamis are a rapid rise in water level formed by strong storms that move from land over water. The rise in water level often occurs under any visible waves on the surface.

Once that push in water level hits shallow water near shore, the research shows, they can peak up to 18 feet tall on the Great Lakes, although most are much smaller.

Seiches, by comparison, are slower-building changes in water level often spurred by varying barometric pressure differences over the same lake, with water levels sloshing back and forth across the lake. Storm surges push water up onto land during prolonged wind events, literally pushing water from one end of the lake to the other.

With a meteotsunami, the increase in water level usually passes quickly, researcher Adam Bechle told the News Tribune. The events seem to be spurred by both the storm intensity and rapid change in barometric pressure.

Bechle and co-University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher Chin Wu now believe that several historical disasters on the Great Lakes previously attributed to seiches were actually caused by meteotsunamis. Their results were published in a recent edition of the "Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans" and released Monday by University of Wisconsin Sea Grant.

It's the first study to link Great Lakes wave events to meteotsunamis.

Bechle told the News Tribune Monday that the scientists applied their hunch to wave-related disasters and incidents on the Great Lakes and compared historical water level data with historical radar data showing when storms hit.

"The meteotsunami may only produce a couple of feet difference in water level. But pair that with a 2-foot wave on top and suddenly there's 4 feet of water coming at you when you only expected 2-foot waves. That can be a problem,'' Bechle said.

In one case in 1954 in Montrose Harbor in Chicago, people along the waterfront who were fishing took cover during a storm, only to return to piers on the waterfront when the storm passed. That's when a single wall of water hit, knocking people into the lake and causing seven drownings.

"We think that's a classic case of a Great Lakes meteotsunami and not a seiche,'' Bechle said. "We've seen the same sort of pattern in events on all of the Great Lakes at various times."

Wu, a professor with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, estimates that on average, about 80 meteotsunamis occur in the Great Lakes every year. Most are small, only five or so are larger than 2 feet.

Wu happened to witness a meteotsunami on the St. Louis River estuary while he was working on an unrelated project on June 29, 2015. As a storm front passed overhead, Wu photographed what he estimated was a 2-foot high meteotsunami rise in water level beyond the smaller waves on the surface. Wu said he was in a boat just off Duluth's Raleigh Street.

"The water was calm at 11 a.m. Around 11:20 a.m. a squall line storm with wind of approximately 31 mph and a rapid jump in atmospheric pressure'' hit the area, Wu told the News Tribune. The boat he was in was pushed toward the Wisconsin shore and "within two minutes the water levels'' went up about 2 feet in addition to the choppy waves spurred by the wind.

The researchers found that spring is the most likely season for the mini-tsunamis and the pair are working to forecast what type of storm events are mostly likely to cause them to give people a heads-up before they occur.

Joined by David Kristovich from the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Wu and Bechle analyzed 20 years of water level records from Lake Michigan. They compared possible meteotsunami events with historical radar imagery showing when storms occured to find the link.

Other Great Lakes events attributed to seiches but which the researchers say most likely were caused by meteotsunamis include:

• Sept. 5, 2014: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Lake Superior experienced shoreline flooding from a single water-level surge.

• July 13, 1995: Large waves were reported on lakes Superior, Huron and Erie, but no deaths.

• July 4, 1929: A 20-foot wave surged over the pier in Grand Haven State Park, Grand Haven, Mich., killing 10 people.

• July 13, 1938: A 10-foot wave struck Holland State Park in Holland, Mich., drowning five people.

• May 27, 2012: Three swimmers were rescued after a meteotsunami swept them a half-mile into Lake Erie near Madison, Ohio.

Bechle said most meteotsunamis happen during April through June, the beginning of the season for convective thunderstorms. "There's a strong association between convective thunderstorms and meteotsunamis," Bechle said. "It's not a definitive cause, but they occur very close in time to each other."

The researchers found the largest meteotsunamis in southern Lake Michigan, near Chicago, where the shallow depth and concave floor of Lake Michigan appear to play a role in storm-spurred water levels.

The researchers have developed a mathematical formula that can be used to forecast meteotsunamis and they are working with Eric Anderson at NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab in Ann Arbor, Mich., to establish a forecasting method to provide meteotsunami warnings.

Meteotsunamis also are known to occur on oceans where they have caused considerable damage with waves up to 40 feet high, the researchers note in their report. Regular ocean tsunamis, often called tidal waves, are spurred by underwater earthquakes and are not weather related.

Duluth News Tribune


Updates -  April 27

News Photo Gallery


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. Later that morning on Lake Erie fog still prevailed and the PHILIP MINCH of the Kinsman fleet collided with and sank the crane ship FRANK E. VIGOR. This collision occurred at 0850 hours and the ship, loaded with sulphur, sank in the Pelee Passage in 75 feet of water. All on board were saved.

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 landfilled 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.

1914 - The BENJAMIN NOBLE disappeared with all hands in Lake Superior. The wreck was finally located in 2004 and it lies 10 miles off Two Harbors, MN. The discovery was confirmed in July 2005.

1915 The COLLINGWOOD stranded near Corsica Shoal while downbound in Lake Huron with a load of grain.

1965 After being forced to spend the winter at Toronto when an early build up of ice prevented it from leaving the Great Lakes, the Greek freighter ORIENT MERCHANT ran aground near Port Colborne and required repairs at Port Weller Dry Docks. The ship had begun Seaway trading in 1960 and was scrapped at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, arriving on November 17, 1967, as ZAMBEZI.

1970 The Israeli freighter ESHKOL began Great Lakes trading right after being built in 1964. The ship was in a collision with the fishing boat MELISSA JEAN II in the Cabot Strait on this date in 1970. It arrived at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, for scrapping as ESKAT on September 29, 1982.

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


Algomarine on last trip

4/26 - Algoma Central Corp.’s Algomarine was downbound in the St. Clair and Detroit rivers during the day Monday headed for Montreal to unload salt. This is reported to be her final voyage, as the company has announced she will be retired. The 730-foot-long vessel was built in 1968 at Davie Shipbuilding Co. at Lauzon, Que., as Lake Manitoba. She was converted to a self-unloader in 1989.


Aging Soo Locks set to get tech upgrade

4/26 - Detroit, Mich. – The Soo Locks are getting a technological upgrade this summer with the replacement of a half-century-old master control system that opens and closes the waterway passage for Great Lakes freighters and leisure boats.

The new computer system meets the demands of an increasingly high-tech maritime transportation industry, even while the two functional shipping lanes show signs of aging.

“It’s just part of the general direction of the industry — everything is getting more digital and automated,” said Jim Peach, assistant area engineer at the Soo Locks.

The automation upgrades come as Michigan’s congressional delegation continues to lobby colleagues in Washington, D.C., for the more than $500 million needed to build a new 1,200-foot-long lock to mirror the Poe Lock, which handles the largest freighters carrying iron ore.

“We’re starting to make some traction with this, but it’s a lot of conversations,” said U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, R-Harrison Township, and vice chair of the Homeland Security Committee.

Last fall, President Barack Obama’s administration authorized the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a $1.35 million cost-benefit study of an additional shipping lock that would take more than two years to complete, corps spokesman Jeff Hawk said.

While the planning and lobbying for a new lock continue, the Army Corps is trying to keep up with rapidly changing technology in the shipping industry and head off a failure of a lock system that sees nearly 80 million tons of goods and raw materials pass through each year.

The new control panels being installed in the lockmaster’s tower and a pier-side shelter are funded within the Army Corps of Engineers’ $31 million annual operating budget for the Soo Locks.

The Detroit News


Port Reports -  April 26

Grand Haven, Mich. – Sam Hankinson
Prentiss Brown and barge St. Marys Challenger docked at the St. Marys Cement terminal in Ferrysburg around 4:30 a.m on Monday. They were expected to depart overnight, weather permitting.

Sarnia, Ont.
Robert S. Pierson left temporary layup on Monday and headed up into Lake Huron.

Hamilton, Ont. – Denny Dushane
Ojibway departed lay-up late Sunday evening and headed upbound in the Welland Canal for Windsor. They are due on Tuesday at 9 a.m. It is unknown whether she will load or go back into layup. They were the last vessel from the Port of Hamilton's winter lay-up fleet to depart.


Maritime memorial planned

4/26 - Owen Sound, Ont. – Owen Sound and Georgian Bluffs have joined forces in a plan to recognize the area's rich maritime heritage. The two municipalities have agreed to work together in an attempt to secure funding for a Maritime Memorial of the Upper Lakes to be located near the Owen Sound harbor and supported by interpretive plaques at numerous sites in Georgian Bluffs, Owen Sound and even Meaford.

"It is a rather fascinating history and it is the reason we are," said Owen Sound Coun. Peter Lemon, chair of the Maritime Memorial of the Upper Lakes Committee. "It is going to be a wonderful project because it will tie a whole bunch of our history together."

The project would include a memorial located in the city, likely near the Marine and Rail Museum at the harbor, with interpretive plaques situated at a number of locations along the coastline detailing the maritime history of each site.

"Basically there will be a tour that starts at Big Bay, down to Presqu'ile, to Cobble, to Balmy Beach, to many spots in Owen Sound, and then around the bay out of Owen Sound to Hibou and on to Leith," said Lemon. "It is about 40 miles of coastline." Lemon said the project was conceived three or four years ago and brought before council at that time, but the timing wasn't right and it was rejected. The current city council has now endorsed the plan providing funding is secured. Georgian Bluffs has been asked and has agreed to come onboard partly because of its own marine heritage that is closely tied into Owen Sound's.

"In order to interpret Owen Sound's history, you also have to interpret Georgian Bluff's," said Lemon. "As a case in point, (Captain William Fitzwilliam) Owen's first landing point was at Cobble Beach."

Owen named the bay after his brother during his preliminary survey of Lake Huron on 1815.

Other areas that could be highlighted with plaques in Georgian Bluffs include Big Bay and Presqu'ile Point, where the wood that powered the steamships in Owen Sound was loaded to be brought down to Owen Sound.

Areas in Owen Sound that would be highlighted include the east bluff overlooking the bay where large cannons were situated. The plaques would also highlight Owen Sound's contribution to local marine history including the first dry dock of the upper lakes, the first iron ship of the upper lakes and the huge number of ships that sailed out of the city, including those of the Owen Sound Transportation Company.

"Much of Western Canada was settled out of the port of Owen Sound," said Lemon. "The people came north to Owen Sound by train, got on ships and sailed to the lakehead and then went by wagon out west."

In Meaford, locations could include Hibou Point and the location of the docks at Leith.

Lemon said the research being conducted for the project has turned up "treasure troves" of historical photographs that local officials didn't even know existed of Owen Sound from around 1900 and before. Many were found in the archives of the Metropolitan Toronto Reference Library.

"There is a bunch of them that haven't seen the light of day around here in a really long time," Lemon said.

Georgian Bluffs has also been asked to participate by the city because the provincial funding they hope to secure has to be applied for by municipalities with a population under 20,000.

Lemon said the intent is for the project to be part of Canada's 150th and Owen Sound's 160th celebrations in 2017.

Lemon said he expects the total cost of the project to surpass $100,000, and along with funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, there are also plans to seek out some local and corporate donations and hopes to attract some community partners. The Owen Sound legion branch has already joined on as a partner.

Lemon said he expects a design for the memorial to be chosen much like how the design of the Black History Cairn at Harrison Park was. Lemon, who also chaired the committee for that project, said he would like to see artists submit their concepts for the project.

"We will be shortly seeking artists and it will be an open competition and then we will narrow it down until we have selected someone," said Lemon. "Hopefully they will come up with something that is meaningful and representational."

Georgian Bluffs Mayor Al Barfoot said the partnership makes sense because the marine heritage of the two municipalities is so intertwined.

"It really shows good co-operation between the municipalities to have a joint project that benefits both of us," said Barfoot.

Owen Sound Sun Times


Great Lakes Shipyard hires shipyard manager with global experience

4/26 - Cleveland, Ohio – The Great Lakes Towing Company announces the addition of Nikita Skeeter, a maritime professional with over 25 years of experience in shipbuilding and production management, as General Manager of Great Lakes Shipyard.

Skeeter’s management experience includes multiple, simultaneous shipyard projects with budgets up to $1 billion, as well as responsibilities for more than 400 maritime professionals and production tradesmen including: Design, engineering, welding and pipefitting, electrical, painting, carpentry and more. The breadth of Skeeter’s management experience ranges from design to development, commercial to government vessels, diesel to LNG and LPG, domestic to foreign cargo vessels, and special projects such as offshore structures and jackup drilling rigs.

Prior to joining Great Lakes Shipyard, Skeeter spent seven years working at shipyards in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and previously worked for Newport News Shipbuilding and NORSHIPCO (Norfolk Shipbuilding & Drydock Corporation), a subsidiary of BAE Systems Ship Repair. Skeeter holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Florida International University and a Master of Science in Electromechanical Engineering Technology from University of Miami.

The addition of Skeeter takes place as the shipyard continues work on the construction of the new 3,400 H.P. tugboat for Regimen de Pensiones y Jubilaciones del Personal de la Empresa Portuaria Quetzal, Guatemala, Central America (Regimen). Plans are also in place to proceed with construction of a second tug for NYPA’s Niagara Power Plant operation in Buffalo, New York, as well as five (5) new Damen Stan Tugs 1907 ICE for The Towing Company’s harbor towing operations.

Great Lakes Towing Company


Updates -  April 26

News Photo Gallery


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.

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.

1902 The wooden schooner barge GRACE B. GRIBBLE was holed by ice and sank in Lake Erie off Point Pelee after the hull was punctured by an ice flow. Three sailors were lost.

1958 CIANDRA, a Great Lakes visitor from West Germany as early as 1953, ran aground in the St. Clair River at the south end of Stag Island on this date in 1958. Due to a dispute, there was no pilot on board at the time. The ship was stuck for about 3 hours. It later burned and capsized at Singapore as e) MESONGO on September 9, 1977, and was refloated and then scrapped in 1979.

1981 The Norwegian freighter ASKOT visited the Great Lakes from 1959 to 1962 and returned under the flag of Greece as DIAKAN MASCOT in 1972. It was observed lying off Aden, as c) TYHI with the engine room flooded on this date in 1981. The hull was later refloated and arrived at Gadani Beach, Pakstan, for scrapping on April 28, 1982.

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


Great Lakes Towing, shipyard could expand onto 10 acres of Cleveland waterfront land

4/25 - Cleveland, Ohio – The city of Cleveland could sell roughly 10 acres of waterfront land to a 116-year-old maritime business, for a shipyard expansion a decade in the making.

The Great Lakes Towing Co. operates a fleet of tugboats and oversees the Great Lakes Shipyard, which runs along an old shipping channel that juts west near the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. Through land deals with the city, that shipyard could more than double its footprint, turning overgrown, long-contaminated property into a year-round boat-building site.

Founded in July 1899, Great Lakes charted a course that speaks to Cleveland's onetime affluence, its industrial growth, its protracted struggles - and its recent attempts at reinvention.

The company's roster of founding shareholders includes industrialist John D. Rockefeller; Jeptha Wade, a telegraph pioneer who helped establish Lake View Cemetery and donated land to the city for Wade Park; and members of the Hanna, Mather and Steinbrenner families.

Great Lakes Towing went gangbusters for decades but flagged in the 1960s, as the steel business declined and Cleveland's economy softened. For more than 80 years, the shipyard – first on Jefferson Road in the Flats and, since the 1950s, on Division Avenue near the waterfront – focused on repairs and maintenance of the company's own tugboats, which traverse the Great Lakes to provide towing services, cargo hauling, ice-breaking and emergency assistance.

In the early 1980s, Great Lakes expanded into repair work for other people's boats. The company's welders and other employees now fix at least 30 vessels each year, from ferries to freighters. The towing operation serves more than 40 ports stretching from Duluth, Minnesota, to Buffalo, New York.

A decade ago, the shipyard got into the fabrication business.

Workers there produce 1.5 boats per year. Company president Joe Starck hopes that annual tally will increase to 5.5 boats after the land acquisitions from the city and a $10 million expansion project.

"We decided that we would take this old tugboat company and invest," said Ronald Rasmus, the towing company's chairman and one of two primary owners of the Great Lakes Group, Inc. family of businesses. The majority shareholder is Sheldon Guren, an attorney and real estate investor who now lives in Florida.

The proposed land deals with Cleveland would cap off a run of investments that started in 2006, when Great Lakes left its longtime corporate offices at Terminal Tower and moved to a new headquarters complex at the shipyard.

In 2011, the company acquired a massive lift – the third-largest such contraption in the world – that pulls boats out of the water in a sling, of sorts, and trundles them across the shipyard to be set on blocks. The lift, made in Wisconsin and sent here in 25 truckloads, can tote boats weighing up to 770 tons. Great Lakes had to reinforce the ground beneath it to support the lift's weight.

With more land, the shipyard can prop up more boats, adding to its capacity for repairs and construction. Great Lakes plans to build a manufacturing facility large enough to accommodate its lift, to shield ships from rough winter weather and make the shipyard's work – and its workforce – less subject to seasonal shrinkage.

This week, the towing operation and shipyard had about 70 workers on site, plus 35 to 40 out on tugboats or in other locations. At its busiest times, the business might have 120 workers in Cleveland.

Starck and Rasmus want to provide steadier employment for their welders, who are in high demand and who can be hard to track down or rehire if there's a gap between jobs.

Those welders repair marine research vessels, work on government and U.S. Coast Guard ships and build boats for clients as far away as Honduras and Guatemala. Over the next few years, the towing operation itself will become a bigger shipyard client, since the company plans to gradually phase out its older tugboats and replace them with newly built models. Some of the Great Lakes tugboats have hulls that date to the 1930s.

"Replacing our own fleet would be an excellent way to keep workers between projects," Rasmus said, adding "we could not do that without more land."

Potential shipyard site has a checkered past

The land Great Lakes wants to buy sits at West 53rd Street and Crescent Avenue, west of the shipyard and the city's red-roofed Garrett A. Morgan Water Treatment Plant. The towing company would pay a market price for the real estate, and the money would flow into the city's industrial and commercial land bank, which puts together sites for clean-up and development.

The most recent appraisal, which is several years old, placed the value of the land near $35,000 an acre. So Great Lakes might be looking at a $350,000 acquisition, though a firm price hasn't been established. The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District needs to buy a slice of land at the westernmost end of the site for a pump station tied to a tunnel project that will start in 2018.

If Cleveland City Council signs off on legislation introduced this month, Great Lakes could buy roughly half of the site this year, making way for its new building - the first phase of expansion.

Another piece of property, near the western end of the old river channel, is contaminated and needs to be cleaned up before a sale.

Land along the south side of the old shipping channel once was labeled as a polluted, high-priority site by the Environmental Protection Agency. Old city maps show a ship-building operation of some sort, including the once-dominant American Ship Building Co., on the property for more than a century.

In the 1960s, The Plain Dealer bought 15 acres there as the potential site for a new building, which the newspaper never constructed. In 1980, a fire broke out in a building where a tenant was keeping paints and solvents. The EPA and the Coast Guard cleaned up the site and later recouped most of the cost from The Plain Dealer and other companies.

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority acquired the property in 1998 and gradually sold off land to the city and Great Lakes, which was renting its aging shipyard. The towing company considered leaving Ohio for Illinois or Indiana but opted, after discussions with the port, the city and Cuyahoga County, to stay and build its current complex.

The Great Lakes Shipyard site isn't an environmental problem. Neither is one piece of city land, controlled by the water department and set back from the channel. And the Ohio EPA is reviewing documents about the history and clean-up work performed on a second piece of city property, just southwest of the shipyard.

The lingering challenge is the western portion of the site, which includes a long boat slip where dirt laced with an industrial legacy swirls into the Cuyahoga River. Contaminated sediments at the far end of the old channel cause tumors in fish.

The city and the port authority hope to use money from the EPA's Great Lakes Legacy Act to drain that slip, fill it with clean dirt and cut the land off from the channel using bulkheads. That project is being designed and priced out.

"It's a way to get more property to the shipyard and also cure a lingering environmental problem," said Jim White, the port's director of sustainable infrastructure programs. "The city doesn't want to own a piece of property that has no economic value. And by getting it cleaned up, they can get it into the hands of a taxpayer and employer."

David Ebersole, the city's assistant director of economic development, hopes the property clean-up will be done next year, making a land sale to Great Lakes possible before 2018.

"This is a critical property for the growth of their company," Ebersole said of Great Lakes, which has been talking to the city for years. "If they cannot expand onto this property, it's a severe crimp on their growth."

The city predicts that the shipyard expansion could yield 10 new jobs and $500,000 in new payroll. Great Lakes works with Max S. Hayes High School, part of the Cleveland public school system, and Cuyahoga Community College to train and hire welders and mechanics.

At a recent Cleveland City Planning Commission meeting, Rasmus said that at least half of every dollar of revenue that Great Lakes brings in flows out to suppliers and vendors in Ohio, including companies located in Cleveland.

"We always look at jobs," he told the commission. "Job creation, it's a big thing for us. We know that that's a big problem in our city."

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Tours resume on tug John Purves; volunteer docents needed

4/25 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – The Door County Maritime Museum will resume tours of the Tug John Purves in Sturgeon Bay on Sunday, May 1, while facing a continuing problem with securing enough volunteer guides for the famed vessel.

The immaculately restored 149-foot tugboat has proven to be an extremely popular attraction since opening to the public in August of 2008 following a remarkable five-year restoration project. Many of those same volunteers now are members of the docent team that conducts the 45-minute tours.

Talk to the volunteer guides and you find that they enjoy traversing aboard one of the largest and most powerful tugs on the Great Lakes as much as those who visit. Anyone of any age interested in becoming a tug guide and sharing this significant piece of Door County history is asked to contact the museum at (920) 743-5958 or emailing Jon Gast at Weekend tug guides are especially needed this summer. Everything will be provided to start this rewarding experience, including opportunities to shadow existing guides to aid the learning process.

Built in 1919 and christened the Butterfield, the John Purves has a colorful past that even included World War II duty in the Aleutian Islands. The tug made its way to Sturgeon Bay in 1956 when purchased by Roen Steamship Company. It was eventually sold, but the tug now again carries the Roen colors and has been outfitted to appear much as it did while operated by Roen in the 1950’s and ‘60s. Capt. John Roen, company owner, renamed the tug in honor of his long-time employee and business manager.

The cost of the tour is included in the museum’s $13 admission fee ($10 for youth ages 5-17) or is also offered separately for $6. Tours begin at 10:30 am and generally go until 3:30 pm. Due to the current shortage of guides it is recommended to contact the museum at (920) 743-5958 for a status of the tours. The museum is located at 120 N. Madison Ave. between the two downtown bridges.

The Door County Maritime Museum


Port Reports -  April 25

Port Inland, Mich.
The barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann were expected to arrive at noon on Sunday. Also due Sunday was the Philip R. Clarke during the early evening, getting the dock after the Pathfinder's departure. There are no vessels scheduled Monday. Due in Tuesday in the early morning is Calumet. Wilfred Sykes is scheduled in the early afternoon. The barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann return on Tuesday in the late evening.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
There were no vessels loading on Sunday and none were due Monday. Due Tuesday in the early morning will be the Arthur M. Anderson. There is nothing else due until Saturday, April 30, when the Wilfred Sykes is expected during the early morning.

Muskegon, Mich.
Algoway head out into Lake Michigan at 8 p.m. Sunday after unloading salt from Goderich.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
No vessels loaded Saturday or Sunday. Due to arrive on Monday during the late morning will be the American Mariner for the South Dock. Due in Tuesday in the early morning is the Joseph H. Thompson for the North Dock. For Wednesday, two vessels, both morning arrivals, are due, with the Philip R. Clarke arriving first for the South Dock followed by the H. Lee White in the late morning. Their dock is unknown. Due in Thursday will be Arthur M. Anderson in the early morning for the South Dock.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Hon. James L. Oberstar, making a rare appearance and loading on Sunday, was expected to depart around 4:30 p.m. Also due Sunday was the H. Lee White in the early evening. There are no vessels scheduled for Monday. For Tuesday, the barge Ashtabula and tug Defiance are due in the late morning. Due on Wednesday will be the Great Republic in the late evening.

Goderich, Ont.
Algomarine spent Sunday loading salt. The cargo is expected to be her last, as she is scheduled to be retired.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
The 1,000 footer Mesabi Miner, making a rare appearance, arrived at the Torco Dock on Sunday in the late morning to unload iron ore pellets from Escanaba. The barge James L. Kuber / tug Victory are due at Torco to unload pellets Tuesday late morning. They are due back at Torco on May 1 in the early morning. Algoma Transport is due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock on May 1 in the early afternoon. They will be the first arrival of the 2016 shipping season for that dock. Vessels loading at the CSX Coal Dock include the John D. Leitch on Monday in the early morning followed by the CSL Laurentien on Wednesday just after midnight. Also due at CSX is the Hon. James L. Oberstar on Thursday in the early evening. CSL Laurentien will return to CSX to load coal on May 1 in the early morning. The tug Olive L. Moore and the barge Lewis J. Kuber remain in lay-up at the Torco Dock.


Updates -  April 25

News Photo Gallery


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.

1941 The CANADIAN SIGNALLER was built at Collingwood as Hull 63 in 1919. It was torpedoed and sunk as d) POLYANA by U-103 en route from from Sunderland, UK to Freetown, Sierre Leone, with a cargo of coal. It was attacked just before midnight April 24 and sank in the early hours on this date with all 25 on board being lost.

1968 The Misener steamer EVERETTON ran aground in the St. Lawrence on this date in 1968. Although the damage was considered minor, the ship was sold to Marine Salvage for scrap, resold to Spanish shipbrakers and arrived under tow at Bilbao, on September 23, 1968, for dismantling.

1998 The wooden goelettes MONT NOTRE DAME and MONT ROYAL were destroyed by a fire at St. Joseph-de-la-Rive, Quebec, where they were being preserved ashore as museum ships. MONT NOTRE DAME was one of the first units in the Transport Desgagnes fleet while MONT ROYAL was known to have been a Great Lakes visitor.

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


First international ship arrives at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor

4/24 - Portage — Two gangs of stevedores — about 50 workers — were out Friday at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor, unloading the first international vessel of the shipping season to arrive in Northwest Indiana.

Port Director Rick Heimann presented the ceremonial "Steel Stein" to Captain Jacek Kurpiel, whose 21 Polish sailors voyaged for weeks in the Lubie from Holland to several Great Lakes ports, including the deepwater port that's in Portage and Burns Harbor.

The 623-foot Bahamas-flagged bulk carrier dropped off 6,600 tons of steel at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor.

"Receiving the first international shipment reminds us that we're connected to the world," Heimann said. "We're just a short sail away from the global markets. ... We're reminded we're just six or seven days from the Atlantic Ocean and just a couple of weeks from Europe even through we're in the Midwest. We're in the middle of everything with goods and shipments going in all different directions."

The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor handled record cargo two years ago, and saw shipping volumes barely taper off to 2.8 million tons last year. Tonnage seems to be off to another strong start with 20 more vessels slated to arrive by the end of May.

"We're cautiously optimistic," he said.

International ships are expected to bring in steel, transformers, cranes, organic grain, coal that will be burned as coke at local steel mills, and European-made brewery tanks for local craft breweries.

About 130 longshoremen and crane operators will unload the cargo throughout the year.

"The significance of the first ship arriving at the port at the start of the new shipping season is threefold," said Brian LaRue, general manager for Federal Marine Terminals/Burns Harbor. "It represents the positive economic impact on our community, it symbolizes the enduring role of the industry and it demonstrates the commitment and collaboration of all those involved in the shipping trade. Our staff and the local longshoremen workforce are both excited about the first ship of the season and what will hopefully be a strong 2016 shipping season."

On Monday, the Lubie sets sail to Milwaukee where it will unload the rest of its steel cargo before it heads to Thunder Bay in Ontario to pick up grain bound for Europe. While the port handles a lot of domestic cargo, most of the international shipments are inbound, Heimann said.

"It's a consuming area," he said. "We have the steel mills and NIPSCO with the limestone scrubbers for its electric power plants."

 The Northwest Indiana Times


Port Reports -  April 24

Thunder Bay, Ont. – Denny Dushane
CSL Assiniboine departed winter lay-up on Saturday in the morning for Superior, Wis., to load iron ore pellets at the BNSF #5 ore dock. With their departure, only three vessels remain in lay-up. Algoma Spirit is at the Keefer Terminal, Pineglen at the Pierre Gagne Dock and CSL Tadoussac – which is not expected to sail in 2016 – is at the Inter City Dock.

Marquette, Mich. – Denny Dushane
American Steamship Company's 1,000-footer Walter J. McCarthy Jr. arrived in Marquette late on Friday evening for its second visit of 2016 to unload coal at the upper harbor. They were still unloading on Saturday, and are expected to arrive back in Marquette with another load of coal for the upper harbor on May 23 at noon. Two other ASC 1,000 footers are also due to arrive at the upper harbor with coal loads. American Century, which has unloaded coal at least once under that name in the past at the upper harbor, is due on May 2 during the early morning. American Integrity will also make a first-ever visit to the upper harbor with coal on May 13 in the morning.

Midland, Ont. – Denny Dushane
The CSL Trillium-class self-unloading vessel Whitefish Bay made her first-ever visit to Midland, arriving Friday during the early afternoon delivering a cargo of wheat for the ADM Grain Elevator loaded at Thunder Bay, Ont. This is the second of the four new Trillium-class self-unloading vessels built in China to visit Midland with grain. Baie Comeau delivered a load of wheat to Midland in late December 2015 and also spent the winter laid-up in Midland, a first for them. Thus far Baie St. Paul and Thunder Bay have yet to visit Midland from the Trillium-class series.


Three Seaway salties renamed

4/24 - Three saltwater vessels have been renamed, with each having made visits to the Great Lakes/Seaway system. Apollon, which first came inland with that name in 2006 and last came inland as recent in 2015, is now Bos Angel of St. Vincent & Grenadines registry. This vessel also was known as the Spring Laker from 1996 to 2006 and it first came inland as such in 1997. Serena, which first came inland with that name in 2007 and last visited as such in 2010, is now the Marmolokai of Antigua and Barbuda registration. Finally, Fossnes, the third vessel to carry that name, is now Tailwind of Liberian flag. Fossnes carried that name from 1995 to 2002 and first came inland as such in 1996. It was later renamed Rega of Bahamas registry and held that name from 2002 to 2013. It first came inland in 2002 as Rega and last visited as such in 2010. The ship was later renamed Regal of Belize registry and carried this name from 2013 to 2016 and has not returned inland since.

Denny Dushane


Updates -  April 24

News Photo Gallery


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 crewmembers were trapped below decks and died. Captain Duncan Graham was washed away and drowned. The remaining seven crewmembers 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.

1948 A collision between the HARRY L. FINDLAY and the Canadian tanker JOHN IRWIN occurred in the St. Clair River, near Recors Point on this date. The stem bar was twisted and plates set back on the American bulk carrier and these were repaired at Lorain. It later sailed as c) PAUL L. TIETJEN. The tanker saw further service as c) WHITE ROSE II, d) WHITE ROSE and e) FUEL MARKETER (ii).

1975 The Canadian self-unloader SAGUENAY sustained minor damage in a collision in Lake St. Clair with the Panamanian freighter FESTIVITY on this date. The latter had begun coming to the Great Lakes in 1966. It had been damaged in a grounding on July 18, 1977, and arrived at Bilbao, Spain, for scrapping on November 9, 1977.

1989 GENERAL VARGAS arrived at Green Bay and was being towed by the tug MINNIE SELVICK when the latter was crushed against pilings around a railway bridge and sank. All on board were rescued but the tug was a total loss. The Philippine registered freighter had begun Great Lakes trading as a) BRUNTO in 1977 and reacquired that name in 1994. It was scrapped at Aliaga, Turkey, as f) LINDEN after arriving on July 19, 2011.

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



Port Reports -  April 23

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
Wilfred Sykes arrived at Bay Ship on Thursday night and tied outboard of the barge Ashtabula.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
American Mariner was unloading at General Mills Friday. The fire tug Cotter was tied up out at the Buffalo Intake Crib in the Niagara River, presumably on an inspection visit by the city engineering department.

Sydney, N.S.
Catherine III (ex-Catharine Desgagnes) has departed Sydney for Izmir, Turkey. .


Committee recommends support of application for National Marine Sanctuary

4/23 - Oswego, N.Y. – Last September, representatives of four Lake Ontario counties announced they are pursuing a nomination to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to nominate southeastern Lake Ontario as a National Marine Sanctuary. Representatives of Oswego, Jefferson, Cayuga and Wayne counties made the joint announcement.

National marine sanctuaries are designated by the federal government and are intended to increase responsible visitation and use of unique resources by visitors, anglers, divers, scientists, researchers, historians and educators. They are administered by the NOAA.

Since the announcement, several groups and agencies have pledged their support to the project. On Monday night, the Planning and Development Committee recommended the Port City join them.

“For the first time in nearly 20 years, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is accepting nominations to add new National Marine Sanctuaries to the 15 already established regions in the world,” said Phil Church, Oswego County Administrator and chair of the Nomination Task Force.

Southeastern Lake Ontario is eligible for consideration due to the age, type and preserved state of numerous historic shipwrecks and many other features.

“We are nearing the end of our almost two-year project. For our nomination to succeed, the process begins with community support,” Church said. “The city of Oswego is an important stakeholder in this undertaking. So, I am asking you to lend your voice to the project by providing a resolution of support that will be included in the nomination documents. If we are successful, we’ll be considered on par with the rest of the sites in the world.”

Among those sites are the Olympic Coast of Washington State, American Samoa in the Hawaiian Islands, the Florida Keys, the Civil War’s ironclad USS Monitor and Thunder Bay.

The joint application is based on the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Alpena, Michigan, where there have been significant economic benefits to the region. Alpena is a city of only 11,000 people and isn’t as centrally located as Oswego.

It’s estimated that Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary on Lake Huron annually generates in excess of $100 million to the regional economy and supports more than 1,500 jobs. The visitor center for Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary is a major tourism destination for the region, hosting approximately 60,000 visitors annually.

Church said last fall that he sees the NMS impact on this region being similar – if not greater.

The goal in seeking an NMS designation is to establish international recognition for the unique features of the region and increase economic, recreational, scientific research and educational activities.

This proposal would focus on submerged artifacts, such as shipwrecks and aircraft, Church explained.

“It doesn’t regulate commercial shipping or fishing or development along the shore. It is solely based on the artifacts on the bottom,” he said. “We see nothing but a win for this. Letters of support are starting to come in from around the region. We are at the phase where we are doing the final writing and editing on the nomination.”

They hope to submit the application by the end of May.

There will then be a 30-day review by NOAA, which may request additional information. If not, there will be a full 90-day review, Church said. And then NOAA would announce whether the application was accepted.

Church emphasized that “the term ‘sanctuary’ does not mean an off-limits preserve. In this case, it means just the opposite – to promote and increase responsible visitation, understanding and appreciation of this unique area without interfering with the lake’s commercial and recreational activities.

The sanctuary could include Lake Ontario waters from the western boundary of Wayne County to the international border in Lake Ontario and east to Cape Vincent in Jefferson County. NOAA would determine the boundaries during the review process, which will involve extensive public participation.

If approved by NOAA, the Great Lake Ontario NMS would be part of a collection of a very few spectacular natural settings in the U.S. stretching from the Olympic Coast of Washington State, to Lake Huron, Stellwagen Bank in Maine, the Florida Keys, and American Samoa in Hawaii.

Information about National Marine Sanctuaries is available at

Oswego County Today


Ohio seeks ideas for using dredged materials

4/23 - Lorain, Ohio – State officials are looking for ideas on how to use material dredged from the bottoms of Ohio’s commercial and industrial ports. Lorain County Community College will host “Dredged Material: Make It Your Business – Digging Up Ideas Workshop” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 11.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is convening the meeting to discuss future uses for about 1.5 million tons of sand and dirt scooped out of Ohio ports each year. Historically, the material was dumped offshore in the open waters of Lake Erie.

Rather than dumping it, state officials hope to find ways to reuse the material to protect the environment, create jobs and benefit Ohio’s economy, said Pamela Allen of the Lake Erie Dredged Material Program of the Ohio EPA Director’s Office.

The conference is the first of its kind in Ohio and is open to “anyone with ideas,” according to Ohio EPA. “The more people that are there, the better ideas we’re going to have,” Allen said.

The material is removed to maintain appropriate depth for freighters going in and out of harbors, including Lorain.

The other cities include Sandusky, Huron, Cleveland, Fairport Harbor, Ashtabula and Conneaut. Toledo is responsible for about 55 percent of the dredged material, with the other ports having less, according to state figures.

By July 2020, no dredged material may be disposed of in the lake, according to Ohio EPA.This year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans dredging for the shipping channel in the port of Lorain.

The Corps proposed dumping the material at sea about 3.5 miles north of the city. On April 18, Lorain City Council and Mayor Chase Ritenauer voiced concerns about that plan. Ritenauer said that could impair water quality and pose a risk for the city’s raw water intake.

Councilman Dennis Flores also asked whether Lorain’s confined disposal facility could hold more material. Lorain’s existing confined disposal facility, which also is called a diked disposal site, was built in 1978 to hold 1.8 million cubic yards of material, said Rick Novak, executive director of the Lorain Port Authority.

It sits at the mouth of the Black River and has become a waterfront attraction with the city’s East Pier, which also is known as the Mile Long Pier. After years of contractors dredging the Black River, the Lorain diked disposal site is just about full, he said.

In theory, the ports could get new confined disposal facilities similar to Lorain’s, but Novak predicted new diked disposal sites are unlikely. Lorain’s confined disposal facility cost about $7 million when it was new, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers waived the city’s local match to cover the cost, Novak said.

The facilities take years of planning and regulatory approvals. The Corps would need local matching money from the coastal cities – likely into the millions of dollars, Novak said.

The amount of material can add up quickly. For example, the Corps notice for dredging Lorain states up to 225,000 cubic yards of material would be dug up from underwater in 2016.

Converting that volume to tonnage, it would take about 15,188 20-ton tractor-trailers to haul the sediment over land, Allen said. She based the calculation on a ratio of one cubic yard of river sediment weighing 1.35 tons.

Based on the material and size of the particles, officials may determine if it can be used for other purposes, Novak said.

“The issue becomes one of what is beneficial reuse and what is the market for it?” Novak said. Allen noted any sediment contaminated with oil, chemicals or other substances, would not be reused in a way harmful to people.

Lorain Morning Journal


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.

1916 The grain laden COLLINGWOOD stranded in Whitefish Bay due to ice and fog and was not released until April 27.

1929 The canaller IMARI was on its delivery trip from Port Talbot, Wales, to Canada when it lost the propeller blades, due to ice, off Scaterie Island, Nova Scotia. The vessel later sailed the Great Lakes as b) DELAWARE, d) MANICOUAGAN, e) WASHINGTON TIMES HERALD and f) MANITOULIN.

1945 EFTYCHIA, a Greek freighter, came to the Great Lakes for one trip in 1961. Earlier, as the British freighter RIVERTON, it had been torpedoed by U-1023 off southwest England on April 23, 1945, and three lives were lost. The vessel arrived at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, as c) BOAZ ESPERANZA for scrapping on March 20, 1969.

1975 WESTDALE (ii) ran aground at the entrance to Goderich harbour while inbound with grain and was stuck for 15 hours before being pulled free.

1988 QUEDOC (iii) was upbound in the Seaway when it was in a collision with the BIRCHGLEN (I) under tow for scrap, and went aground in Lake St. Louis near Buoy 2A. Four tugs were needed to pull the ship free and it went to Port Weller Dry Docks for repairs.

1991 MARINE TRANSPORT operated around Maritime Canada but had come to the Great Lakes as c) C. OMER MARIE. It ran into ice and sank on April 23, 1991, about 10 miles off Cape Race, NF. The vessel was under R.C.M.P. surveillance when it was lost and all on board were rescued only to be arrested.

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



Port Reports -  April 22

Escanaba, Mich. – Raymond H.
On Thursday, the Mesabi Miner arrived at CN to load iron ore

Grand Haven, Mich. – Sam Hankinson
Wilfred Sykes came in to port around 8:15 pm Wednesday with a load of slag for Verplanks. It was her second visit of the season after making her first over the weekend.

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Joseph L. Block is due on Friday during the morning, followed by the Wilfred Sykes, due in on Friday just before midnight. There are no vessels scheduled to load Saturday. For Sunday, three vessels are scheduled, with the H. Lee White due in the early morning followed by the Pathfinder, due in during the late morning. Philip R. Clarke is also due on Sunday in the late afternoon.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted arrived on Thursday in the early afternoon. Due on Friday during the late evening are the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann. Due in for Friday are Cason J. Callaway in the early afternoon and Joseph L. Block in the late evening.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
There are no vessels scheduled until Monday, when the Joseph H. Thompson is expected to arrive in the morning to load at the North Dock.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Philip R. Clarke was expected to arrive on Thursday in the early evening to load. Due on Friday in the early morning hours is the John J. Boland. Saturday two vessels are due to load, with the Arthur M. Anderson due in first in the early morning followed by the Hon. James L. Oberstar in the mid-afternoon. There are no vessels due for Sunday. Due on Monday in the early morning is the Michipicoten.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
CSL Laurentien is expected to arrive on Saturday in the early morning for the CSX coal dock to load. Due on Monday at CSX to load will be the John D. Leitch in the morning. Algoma Transport is expected to arrive at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock May 1 in the early afternoon, making them the first arrival for that dock for the 2016 season. The 1,000 footer Mesabi Miner is expected to make a rare visit to the Torco Dock Sunday morning. James L. Kuber is due at Torco on Tuesday during the early morning. Last Sunday both Manistee and American Valor were both moved slightly to different lay-up locations. Manistee was moved further up the dock to where the Great Republic was laid-up at during its winter stay. American Valor was moved astern of the Manistee and is now laid-up in the area that once was occupied by the American Fortitude. It is very likely that both vessels have now reached the end of their careers.

Lorain, Ohio – Phil Leon
Great Lakes Trader arrived Wednesday night and left about 8:30 a.m. Thursday. Algoway got into Lorain at 9:26 Wednesday night and departed at 10 a.m. Thursday from the concrete plant.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
American Mariner was expected Thursday night for General Mills.


Updates -  April 22

News Photo Gallery

Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the Ardita, Chemtrans Elbe, Eeborg, Eemsborg, Exeborg, Federal Bering, Federal Caribou, Federal Elbe, Federal Katsura, Harbour Fountain, Jan van Gent, Minervagracht, Puffin, SCT Monte Rosa, Sichem Challenge and Swan Baltic.


Today in Great Lakes History -  April 22

22 April 1873 - 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.

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

CSL's HOCHELAGA 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.

1917: NEEPAWAH, formerly part of Canada Steamship Lines, was captured by U53 a German submarine and sunk by timed bombs. The vessel had been carrying pyrites from Huelva, Spain, to Rouen, France, and went down about 120 miles west of Bishop's Rock.

1924: BROOKTON lost her way in heavy snow and ran aground on Russell Island Shoal near Owen Sound. The vessel was released the next day with the help of a tug. Her career ended with scrapping at Hamilton as g) BROOKDALE (i) in 1966-1967.

1947: HARRY YATES (ii) stranded on Tecumseh Reef, Lake Erie, but was soon released. The vessel became c) BLANCHE HINDMAN (ii) in 1960 and was scrapped at Santander, Spain, in 1968.

1955: Fire destroyed the historic wooden passenger steamers MAID OF THE MIST and MAID OF THE MIST II at their winter quarters in Niagara Falls, ON. The blaze broke out due to an errant welding spark during the annual fit-out and the Niagara Falls Fire Chief suffered a heart attack and died at the scene.

1968: ALHELI, a Lebanese registered Liberty ship, made three trips to the Great Lakes in 1964. The vessel began leaking 900 miles east of Bermuda while en route from Almeria, Spain, to Wilminton, DE, with fluorspar on this date and was abandoned by the crew. The ship went down April 24.

1972: CHAMPLAIN arrived in Canada from overseas in 1959 and saw occasional Great Lakes service. It became f) GILANI in 1970 and toppled on her side at Vercheres due to the swell from a passing ship on April 22, 1972. The ship was refloated several days later.

1973: An explosion in the engine room of the C.P. AMBASSADOR blew a six-foot-hole in the side of the hull during a storm about 420 miles east of Newfoundland. The ship was abandoned, save for the captain and chief engineer, and was towed into St. John's, NF on May 4. It had been a Great Lakes visitor as a) BEAVEROAK beginning when new in 1965. The damage was repaired and the vessel resumed service on July 14, 1973. It was eventually scrapped as f) FLAMINGO at Gadani Beach, Pakistan, following arrival on April 30, 1984.

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


Thunder Bay should be proud of port

4/21 - Thunder Bay, Ont. – Thunder Bay’s port is the envy of top ports in Canada, according Blair McKeil, the head of McKeil Marine Limited.

The chief executive officer from the Hamilton-based marine transportation company was the keynote speaker Wednesday at a Thunder Bay Port Authority luncheon to mark the opening of navigation season.

McKeil told the audience at the Victoria Inn Embassy Room that the Port of Thunder Bay is moving millions of tonnes, has a tremendous beautiful landscape, and a large infrastructure that many ports just don’t have.

“You are already in an enviable position in what you’re doing,” he said. “You can be proud of what you are doing and, whether you realize it or not, you are the envy already in many top ports.”

McKeil said his company has just acquired a couple of ships, one of which has come from Europe and through the St. Lawrence Seaway System this past weekend. That ship will make its way to the Thunder Bay port to load agricultural products.

“We're excited about that and it’s a big step for us in our progression,” he said. This is the first time that McKeil’s vessels have come into the Thunder Bay Port.

Tim Heney, the CEO of the Thunder Bay Port Authority says the new shipping season has got off to a great start with “more traditional” ice conditions. He said the last two years have seen late openings because of the thicker ice.

“We have seen 28 vessels depart this year compared to the 16 vessels that departed at the same time last year,” he said.



Port Reports -  April 21

Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Joseph L. Block is expected to arrive during the early morning on Friday. Also due Friday is the Wilfred Sykes in the mid-afternoon. Due on Sunday during the early morning are the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann. Also due in on Sunday in the early morning is the H. Lee White. Due on Sunday during the early evening will be the Philip R. Clarke.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Joseph H. Thompson arrived at noon Wednesday and was expected to be tied-up by 1 p.m. Expected on Thursday morning will be the barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted. The barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann are expected Thursday in the early evening. There are two vessels due on Friday, with the Cason J. Callaway due in first during the mid-afternoon and the Joseph L. Block due during the early evening.

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
H. Lee White arrived to load on Monday and was expected to depart around 2 a.m. on Tuesday. Arriving on Wednesday morning was the Great Republic for the South Dock. There are no vessels scheduled from Thursday, April 21 through Monday, April 25.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The barge Pathfinder and the tug Dorothy Ann loaded on Monday with an ETD of 11 p.m. that evening. Making a possible first-ever visit was the Algoma Enterprise, which had gone to anchor and was awaiting the departure of the Pathfinder. The Manitowoc arrived on Tuesday in the evening to load. On Wednesday around noon the Arthur M. Anderson tied up and gave an ETD of 1 a.m. on Thursday. Due next will be the Philip R. Clarke on Thursday in the early evening. For Friday, two vessels are expected, with the John J. Boland arriving in the late morning, followed by a return of the Arthur M. Anderson in the early evening. Due on Saturday in the early afternoon is the Hon. James L. Oberstar. There are no vessels scheduled for Sunday. Due in on Monday, April 25 in the early morning will be the Michipicoten.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
CSL Laurentien arrived at the CSX coal dock #4 machine on Tuesday in the late afternoon and was expected to begin loading at 6 p.m. They were still loading at CSX on Wednesday. Also due at CSX will be the H. Lee White on Thursday during the early morning. CSL Laurentien returns to load at CSX on Friday during the early evening. John D. Leitch is also due at CSX on Monday in the early morning to load. There is nothing scheduled at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. Vessels arriving at the Torco ore dock to unload include a rare visit by the Mesabi Miner, due Sunday in the late evening. The barge James L. Kuber and the tug Victory have three trips scheduled for the Torco Dock. Their first trip is on April 26 in the early morning, followed up by a return visit on April 30 in the late evening. They expected to return on May 6 in the early morning. Vessels in port included the barge Innovation and tug Samuel de Champlain unloading a cement cargo at the Lafarge Dock. The tug New Jersey was also in port, tied up along the Maumee River. The saltie Federal Rhine was unloading cargo at the Midwest Terminal Overseas Dock. Ken Boothe Sr. and the barge Lakes Contender both remain in port for repair work after arriving from Cleveland on April 8. Both St. Clair and Manistee remain in lay-up, with neither expected to sail in 2016. In long-term lay up are the American Valor and the tug Jane Ann IV / barge Sarah Spencer. Also in lay up are the barge Lewis J. Kuber and tug Olive L. Moore at the Torco Dock.

Lorain, Ohio – Drew Leonard
Joyce L. Van Enkevort and her barge passed under the Charles Berry bridge at 8:10 p.m. She was headed towards The Lafarge stone dock, while the Algoway was anchored and waiting to head up river as well.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W
Tug Calusa Coast and barge Delaware departed around 1 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, bound for Detroit.


Fednav adds Federal Champlain, takes delivery of Federal Cedar

4/21 - Fednav recently added another new vessel to its growing fleet of ships, the Federal Champlain (IMO 96710558) from the Oshima Shipyard in Oshima, Japan. Federal Champlain is the third vessel in the new "C-series" built for Fednav. The other two ships in the C-series are Federal Caribou and Federal Cedar. The new ships are designed to work in the St. Lawrence, Baltic Sea and the Arctic regions. Fednav also took delivery on March 3 of Federal Cedar, the eighth vessel in a series of 16 built by Oshima.

Denny Dushane


Port Clinton conservancy has a 'lot of work' to place lighthouse

4/21 - Port Clinton, Ohio – The Port Clinton Lighthouse Conservancy members didn't take much time to congratulate one another on receiving the deed to the light from Brands' Marina last week. There's too much work to do.

Last week, Dalton Brand of Brands' Marina signed over ownership of the 119-year old wooden pier light that members of the Conservancy worked for years to painstakingly restore.

The city's Safety-Service Director Tracy Colston and Conservancy President Rich Norgard signed a license agreement that authorizes the placement of the lighthouse to a parcel north of the Derby Pond in Waterworks Park.

"We don't have a lot of time for back-slapping and congratulating each other," Norgard said. "We've got a lot of work to do."

Work includes securing a building permit with Ottawa County, as well as approval from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to dig into the soil to place the light.

Then comes groundbreaking, which Norgard says they are aiming to do in mid-May. Preparing the grounds for the light includes a concrete pad or foundation and then four concrete piers that the light will rest on top of. "We'll be doing landscaping with stone so it will look like it did when it was one the west pier," Norgard said.

Electric wiring will be added as well as re-routing the pathway so visitors will have and ADA accessible way to get to the light.

The Conservancy will also be creating a system for docents, people who will help bring visitors to and from the light, and setting up a schedule for when the light will be open for tours. The city is designating parking space at Waterworks Park for visitors to park their vehicles and walk over, he said.

Then comes moving the estimated 12,000 pound, 26-foot tall wooden lighthouse - a feat which Norgard expects will draw national attention. The light will be loaded onto a barge and floated down the Portage River to its new home on the shoreline. "It's going to be a major coordination effort between us and the city, the police and fire departments and the Coast Guard," Norgard said. "It's a pretty big deal."

Norgard said there was no firm date on placement for the light but they hope to have it in place by mid-July, close to the lighthouse's 120th birthday.

The wooden lighthouse went into service on July 15, 1896, on the pier. Norgard believes the structure was likely built in Detroit and brought here on a barge.

The structure is about 26 feet tall, and pier lights like it were common on the Great Lakes at that time, Norgard said. Few remain, however, because they were made of wood that often did not survive the elements.

The Port Clinton Lighthouse keeper had a home that was the former Garden at the Lighthouse restaurant on Perry Street, Norgard said. A branch of Croghan Colonial Bank was recently built on the site.

Each day, the keeper would go to the lighthouse and light the oil lamp. The interior of the lighthouse still has the original cabinets he used to store the oil and other items, and the cleaning station where he worked with those materials.

"The craftsmanship is wonderful," Norgard said. "It pretty much looks the same as when they put it on the pier in 1896."

The lighthouse remained in service until 1952, when it was replaced by a metal pole with a blinking light. It survived the elements because of its copper roof, which is a good protector of wood, and maintenance work its owners over the years completed to help save it, Norgard said.

Dave Jeremy, owner of the former Jeremy's Marina, which today is Brands' Marina, took the lighthouse and moved it to his marina in order to preserve it. He and Darrell Brand, owner of Brands' Marina, painted it and kept it in good shape, Norgard said.

Norgard believes the light may be one of the oldest remaining pier lights on the Great Lakes and could be placed on the National Register, which the Conservancy is researching.

"It's definitely unique," he said. "There's not another light like it."

Port Clinton News Herald


Updates -  April 21

News Photo Gallery


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.

EDWIN H. GOTT cleared Two Harbors, Minn., 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 - 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.

1963: The hull of the Swedish freighter HELGA SMITH cracked en route from Montreal to Kristiansand, Norway, and the crew abandoned the ship. The vessel was taken in tow but sank April 23 while ten miles off Cape Broyle, Newfoundland. The ship had been completed in December 1944 and had been a Seaway trader since 1960.

1981: The Italian freighter DONATELLA PARODI first came inland in 1965 at the age of 8. It was sailing as f) MARIKA K. when a fire broke out in the engineroom on this day in 1981. The vessel was en route from Varna, Bulgaria, to Karachi, Pakistan, when the blaze erupted on the Mediterranean some 60 miles east of Crete. The ship was abandoned by the crew but towed to Eleusis, Greece. It was laid up, later put under arrest and was partially sunk. Following an auction, the hull was pumped out, towed into Aliaga, Turkey, on May 18, 1987, and broken up.

1986: ALGOPORT was inbound at Grand Haven, MI with a cargo of salt when it hit the seawall.

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


Coast Guard, agencies to conduct security exercise in Cleveland area Wednesday

4/20 - Cleveland, Ohio – Members of the U.S. Coast Guard and about two dozen other response agencies will come together in the greater Cleveland area Wednesday to participate in a full-scale exercise designed to enhance federal, state, and local coordination in conducting preventative radiological nuclear detection in the eastern Great Lakes.

Boaters may notice increased law enforcement activity near ports in Cleveland; Lorain, Ohio; and Fairport Harbor, Ohio, but should be aware there are no known threats in the area and the exercise is being conducted to meet a triennial training requirement.

Exercise activities will be limited to specific areas and should not significantly impact marine traffic.

The primary focus of the exercise is to practice, evaluate, and make recommendations for enhancing radiological nuclear detection capabilities.

The homeland security exercise is based on the Area Maritime Security Training and Exercise Program. The AMSTEP is focused on building relationships within the federal maritime security domain to write, review and update the area maritime security plan, in addition to supporting other transportation entities that rely upon secure ports. As the federal maritime security coordinator, the Coast Guard has the lead in coordinating such exercises.



Shipwreck seminar tonight aims to educate locals

4/20 - Traverse City, Mich. – Maritime archaeology will meet environmental stewardship in Suttons Bay when the Inland Seas Education Association hosts a seminar about Lake Huron shipwrecks.

Stephanie Gandulla, a maritime archaeologist with the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, in Alpena, will lead the seminar Tuesday night. ISEA Executive Director Fred Sitkins said the sanctuary’s overarching work — even though it’s focused on shipwrecks off the Lower Peninsula’s northeast shores — dovetails with the his group’s mission of fostering connections between the Great Lakes and the region’s residents.

“We want them to develop a passion, and a sense and a level of care for this resource so they make decisions to protect it in the future,” Sitkins said. “We both do a really good job of that; of helping to build a connection to the Great Lakes.”

The waters in and around Thunder Bay have claimed more than 200 vessels, while researchers have discovered nearly 100 shipwrecks in the area.

Similar shipwrecks — along with long-defunct piers and docks — dot the sandy bottom of Grand Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan, too. Last summer a group of Northwestern Michigan College-affiliated researchers located three underwater archeology sites near Northport harbor, about a dozen miles from ISEA’s Education Center in Suttons Bay where Tuesday night’s seminar will take place.

Mark Holley, an NMC adjunct professor and leader of the Nautical Archaeology Society’s International Training Program, said the field school is scheduled to start again this summer. Researchers will spend about two weeks in mid-June looking for six more wrecks supposedly resting on the bottom of Northport Bay.

The ships in question, mostly three-masted schooners, largely operated — and sank — in the area between 1880 and 1910, Holley said.

“These are further out in the bay,” he said of the wrecks. “They’re noted in the historical records, but nobody has found them yet.”

Gandulla’s seminar will also explore the sanctuary’s history, from its controversial inception in 2000 to its acceptance as a valuable community asset in the Alpena area less than 15 years later, according the ISEA written statement.

ISEA and sanctuary officials plan to partner again in July, when the ISEA’s Inland Seas schooner will visit Alpena and take local students on an overnight sailing trip, Sitkins said. Students will also have a chance to work with archaeologists and get an in-depth, educational look at the work they do in the sanctuary while staying aboard the ship.

Tuesday’s seminar is free and scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

Record Eagle


Thunder Bay lighthouse group seeks first artist in residence

4/20 - Thunder Bay, Ont. – A Thunder Bay, Ont. group dedicated to the restoration of lighthouses along the north shore of Lake Superior is seeking its first artist in residence.

Canadian Lighthouses of Lake Superior is looking for an artist to spend some time this summer living at Porphyry Island Lighthouse, which is located near Thunder Bay, about 15 kilometres east of Silver Islet, on Black Bay.

It's part of ongoing efforts to make the recently restored lighthouse a destination for summer vacationers, said Paul Capon, the chair of Canadian Lighthouses of Lake Superior, adding that he hopes the chosen artist will be influenced by the site, and its natural surroundings.

"We would hope ... that the scenery and the location would inspire them to write about it or sculpt about it or paint about it," he said.

The successful applicant could be any type of artist, said Capon, as long as they're ready for a true wilderness experience. The lighthouse can only be accessed by air, or water.

"They would have to be willing to accept a certain amount of silence," said Capon. "Because other than the crashing waves – sometimes if there [aren't] any people around – that's all you'll hear."

The artist in residence will be provided with a studio and gallery space, and will be asked to share their work with visitors, and perhaps do some art workshops.

Applications are being accepted until May 20, 2016.



Updates -  April 20

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  April 20

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

The sidewheeler NEW YORK was sold Canadian in 1877, hopefully at a bargain price, because when she was hauled out on the ways on 20 March 1878, at Rathburn's yard in Kingston, Ontario, to have her boiler removed, her decayed hull fell apart and could not be repaired. Her remains were burned to clear the ways.

On 20 March 1883, the E. H. MILLER of Alpena, Michigan (wooden propeller tug, 62 foot, 30 gross tons, built in 1874, at East Saginaw, Michigan) was renamed RALPH. She was abandoned in 1920.

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

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

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


Higher Lake Michigan water level means less beach

4/19 - Ottawa County, Mich. – Lake Michigan’s water level is nearly an inch above where it was this time last year. For boats and those in the shipping industry, higher levels mean easier access for all.

But for beachgoers and residents with homes along the shoreline, the beach is disappearing.

"The last time I saw the lake levels as high as this was 1997-1998," said Bob Reichel, the Ottawa County parks operations manager. "Since then, the lake levels have receded quite a bit, but just in the past year and a half to two years they’ve started to come back up again. And now they’re at the highest that I’ve seen them since 1997."

The current water level is about 579.94 feet, with an average level at 578.67 feet, according to the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Reichel adds that with less dry space to use, the beaches and parks will not be able to accommodate as many visitors. To guarantee maximum Michigan enjoyment, he says you should call ahead.



Port Reports -  April 19

Escanaba, Mich. – Raymond H.
On Monday, Joseph L Block arrived at CN to load iron ore

Muskegon, Mich.
Barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted came in with a load of stone April 17.

Detroit, Mich. – Jon-Paul Kubala
Dann Marine Towing’s saltwater tug Calusa Coast and barge Delaware are now delivering loads of asphalt from Marathon in the Rouge River.

Montreal, Que. – Ron Beaupre
Manitoba has arrived at the Port of Montreal and gone into layup at Section 26 (which was also the final resting place of Algoma Montrealais before her overseas scrap tow).


Lake Michigan beaches are getting more sand, thanks to dredging

4/19 - West Michigan – Beaches south of the channels in Holland and St. Joseph will get some extra sand this spring. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will dredge more than 110,000 cubic yards from those two Lake Michigan harbors.

Dredging also is planned this year in Lake Michigan harbors in Grand Haven, Ludington, Manistee and Muskegon, said Melissa Bosman, a project manager in the Corps' Detroit District.

MCM Marine, Inc. in Sault Ste. Marie has been contracted to do the dredging in Holland and St. Joseph for $621,000. Plans call for 65,000 cubic yards to be dredged out of the Holland harbor this month and deposited along a 2,000-foot stretch south of the breakwater. Next month, the contractor will dredge 52,000 cubic yards out of the St. Joseph harbor and deposit it along a 1,400-foot stretch south of the breakwater there.

Contracts for dredging of the harbors to the north are expected later this year.



Updates -  April 19

News Photo Gallery


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 - 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.

1915: PALIKI of the Algoma Central Railway fleet was carrying steel rails to Chicago when it ran aground on Simmons Reef near the Straits of Mackinac.

1922: LAMBTON, a steel lighthouse tender, was last seen on the date by the MIDLAND PRINCE. It was lost with all hands on Lake Superior somewhere south of Michipicoten Island while delivering lighthouse keepers to their stations. Wreckage was later located but no bodies were ever found.

1927: DAVID S. TROXEL was damaged in a storm on Lake Superior. Plates and rivets worked loose and there were problems with the rudder. The ship was renamed c) SONOMA later in 1927 and was scrapped by Stelco in Hamilton as d) FRED L. HEWITT in 1962.

1938: REDRIVER had loaded coal at Charlotte, NY and was crossing Lake Ontario when it ran aground, due to fog, near Point Petre.

1939: VALLEY CAMP ran aground on Cole's Shoal, near Brockville, due to fog and part of the cargo of coal had to be lightered before the ship was refloated with the help of the tug SALVAGE PRINCE on April 24.

1940: SANDLAND battled through heavy ice to open the port of Port Colborne on this date in 1940. The ship had a cargo of scrap steel from Detroit for the Algoma Steel mill.

1956: A.M. BYERS was loaded with limestone and bound from Drummond Island to Buffalo when it sank in the St. Clair River following a collision with the E.M. FORD on this date in 1956. The ship was hit on the port side abreast of the pilothouse but all on board were rescued. The ship was later salvaged and repaired becoming b) CLEMENS A. REISS (ii) in 1959 and c) JACK WIRT in 1970.

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


Marquette County mine prepares to close

 Layoff notices are being sent to employees at an iron ore mine in the Upper Peninsula before it shuts down for good later this year. More than 300 workers are affected at the Empire Mine in Marquette County.

 Fifty will be laid off in May, close to another 50 in July and the rest by August.

 The Tilden Mine, which is also in Marquette County, is expected to stay open and continue producing iron ore pellets.

9 & 10 News


Updates – April 18

News Photo Gallery Updated


 Today in Great Lakes History – April 18

 18 April 1907 - At least 20 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.

 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 10 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.

 1945 The steel barge GEORGE T. DAVIE, en route from Oswego to Kingston with 1,100 tons of coal and under tow of the SALVAGE PRINCE, began leaking and sank off Nine Mile Point, Lake Ontario, in 85 feet of water. The hull was located by divers in 1999. The ship had once been part of Canada Steamship Lines.

1989 ENERCHEM AVANCE spent 7 hours aground in the St. Marys River below the Soo Locks on this day in 1989. At last report the ship was under Nigerian registry as e) ERINGA.

 Data from: Skip Gillham, 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 17

Grand Haven, Mich.
Friday night the Manitowoc arrived Grand Haven from Toledo. Also during the night Wilfred Sykes went to anchor coming from Indiana Harbor, likely with slag.

Goderich, Ont.
John B. Aird arrived on Saturday to load.

Port Huron, Mich.
Saginaw was upbound in the late afternoon Saturday on her first trip after drydocking on Toledo. She was looking sharp with a fresh coat of paint. Arthur M. Anderson, Vancouverborg and Cason J. Callaway were also upbound.

Hamilton, Ont.
Manitoba departed light ship headed down the Seaway.

Seaway– Mac Mackay
Transport Desgagnes has chartered the general cargo ship Vectis Castle and brought it under the Canadian flag. The 7,227-gross-ton ship was built in 2011 by Jiangsu Yangzijian Shipyard in China.


 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 - 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.

 1961: FREEMAN HATCH was built at Sturgeon Bay and completed in December 1942. It left the Great Lakes the following spring for service for the British Ministry of War Transport. It was sold and renamed b) CHARLES M. in 1950 and became c) HOUSTON in 1953. The vessel was sunk on this date in 1962 during the attempted, anti-Castro, Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

1982: CHEMICAL TRANSPORT ran aground in the St. Lawrence near Dark Island as channel markers were out of position due to the wind and ice conditions. The vessel lightered some cargo to fleetmate JAMES TRANSPORT and then went to Sorel for repairs. In 2009, the ship was reported as lying burned out and derelict near Lagos, Nigeria, after an explosion and fire as c) REAL PROGRESS on June 1, 2001.

 1990: RESERVE ran aground in the St. Marys River while downbound with a load of iron ore for Toledo on this date in 1990. The ship stranded in a snowstorm and had to be lightered to the WILLIAM R. ROESCH before going to Fraser Shipyard for repairs.

 1997: ALGOLAKE got stuck on Vidal Shoal, St. Marys River while bound for Algoma Steel with a cargo of iron ore. The ship was lightered and released. After unloading, the vessel went to Thunder Bay for repairs.

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


Republican Convention causes Tall Ships event to move from Cleveland to Fairport

 4/16 – Fairport, Ohio – The Tall Ships Challenge, a popular summertime event in Cleveland since 2001, will move east this year to Fairport Harbor, because of scheduling conflicts with the Republican National Convention in July.

 The event, hosted every three years in the Great Lakes, typically brings up to a dozen or so gorgeous schooners into harbor for visitors to tour and sail. The festival in Cleveland in 2013 drew an estimated 100,000 people downtown during the three-day event.

 "We do have a long history in Cleveland," said Erin Short, manager of the Tall Ships Challenge, based in Newport, Rhode Island. "It's a real bummer."

 On the other hand, she said, she's excited that Fairport Harbor, 30 miles east of Cleveland in Lake County, gets a chance to showcase its waterfront during the popular event.

 Fairport Harbor's first Tall Ships Challenge will run Thursday, July 7, through Sunday, July 10.

 The four-day Republican National Convention, meanwhile, gets under way in downtown Cleveland on Monday, July 18. Daniel Ball, a spokesman for Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, said hosting both events so close together would present too many security challenges.

 Last summer, after Fairport Harbor hosted the schooner Madeline at its annual Harbor Fest event, village leaders decided they'd like to try something a little more ambitious, according to Mayor Tim Manross. When they found out that Cleveland had opted out of the Tall Ships Festival, they got their wish.

 "We're all very excited about it," said Pam Morse, a local business owner who is helping to organize the event. They are also a little intimidated.

 Fairport Harbor, population 3,000, will be by far the smallest U.S. town hosting this international event in 2016. Bay City, Michigan, a long-time host of the festival, is next smallest – with a population of 34,000.

 Other festival hosts this year include Toronto, Chicago, Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Erie, Pennsylvania.

 The Great Lakes challenge alternates with events along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. (And new in 2018: the first Tall Ships Festival on the Gulf Coast, said Short.) As many as 20 ships will participate this year, but not every ship comes to every port.

 Fairport Harbor is expected to host about six ships – invitees include El Galeon Andalucia, the U.S. Brig Niagara, the Mist of Avalon and the Pride of Baltimore II.

 This year's event launches on July 1 in Toronto and ends in mid-September in Brockville, Ontario. In between: port calls in at least seven additional communities, plus races on all five Great Lakes. The Lake Erie race is scheduled for July 11, from Fairport Harbor to Pelee Passage.

 Morse anticipates as many as 70,000 to 100,000 visitors will attend the festival, which will stretch along downtown's Water Street. The ships will be docked along the Grand River.

 Signature activities include a Parade of Sail, ship tours, day sails and other activities. Fairport Harbor also is planning live music, entertainment, food vendors and other activities during the event. The town typically hosts as many as 50,000 for its annual one-day Mardi Gras event in July, so Manross said he's sure the streets can handle the crowds.

 The cost of hosting the event is another challenge. Short said the cost varies from about $200,000 to $1 million per community, depending on how many ships are involved, security needs and other factors.

 Fairport Harbor's event carries a price tag of about $200,000, according to Manross. The Lake County Visitors Bureau has contributed $50,000, and Manross is confident that through corporate sponsors, ticket sales and other revenue sources, the money can be raised.

 Tickets went on sale in February, and already about half of the day-sail spots are reserved, said Morse. (For ticket information:

This should be a wonderful event," said Manross. "It's all about showcasing Lake County, and making this area a destination."


Rand Logistics announces Captain Scott F. Bravener to pursue other interests

 4/16 - Jersey City, N.J. – Rand Logistics, Inc., a provider of bulk freight shipping services through the Great Lakes region, has announced that the company and Captain Scott F. Bravener have elected not to renew his employment agreement as president of Rand’s subsidiaries, Lower Lakes Towing Ltd. and Grand River Navigation Company, effective April 14, 2016.

 “After more than 22 years with the company, it was decided that Scott’s employment agreement would not be renewed and instead he has elected to pursue other interests,” said Ed Levy, Rand’s President and CEO. 

 “Scott has helped this organization grow from a small tug and barge operator to become one of the largest marine transportation service providers operating on the Great Lakes today and the leader of the River-class market segment.

 “On behalf of the entire company, I wish to thank Scott for his contributions over the years and wish him well in his future endeavors,” concluded Levy.

 Rand Logistics


Port Reports – April 16

 Seaway – Mac Mackay
Transport Desgagnes has chartered the general cargo ship Vectis Castle and brought it under the Canadian flag. The 7227 gross tons ship was built in 2011 by Jiangsu Yangzijian Shipyard in China.

 Alpena, Mich. – Ben & Chanda McClain
On Friday evening the tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 arrived at Lafarge. This is the second visit of the week for the combo, as they were in port early Tuesday morning. The tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity took on cement at Lafarge on Wednesday. The research vessel Spencer F. Baird is tied up in the river as is the Ryba Marine tug Rochelle Kaye and its barge.

 Escanaba, Mich. – Raymond H.
On Friday, Joseph L. Block arrived at CN to load iron ore.

 Manistee Mich.
Great Republic is due back in Manistee for the second time this week with coal. She departed S. Chicago mid-afternoon Friday from KCBX.

Goderich, Ont.
Algoway was loading salt on Friday on her first trip of the season.

 Port Huron, Mich. – Roger LeLievre
In the early afternoon Friday, G3 Marquis and Manitoulin were downbound, while Joseph H. Thompson and Capt. Henry Jackman were upbound. Thalassa Desgagnes was upbound in the later afternoon. Algosea was docked in Sarnia. Kaministiqua, Cason J. Callaway, Arthur M. Anderson and Robert S. Pierson were downbound in the early evening. The Pierson joined Mississagi for possible layup in the North slip.

 Toledo, Ohio
Federal Rhine is due into Toledo on Sunday and will be the season’s first saltie.


Today in Great Lakes History - April 16

 16 April 1907 - In a blinding snowstorm, 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.

 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.

 1897: The wooden schooner INGEBORG FORREST was a total loss in a spring gale near the entrance to Pentwater, Michigan, on this date in 1897.

 1906: EUGENE ZIMMERMAN was upbound with coal on its maiden voyage when it collided with the SAXONA in the Mud Lake section of the St. Marys River on this day in 1906. The new bulk carrier was hit on the port bow and sank. The hull was raised on May 20, repaired and returned to service. It was renamed b) GRAND ISLAND in 1916 and last operated in 1960. After work as a grain storage hull named c) POWEREAUX CHRIS, the vessel was towed to Hamburg, West Germany, for scrapping in 1964.

 1959: T.R. McLAGAN of Canada Steamship Lines ran aground on a shoal off Amherst Island, Lake Ontario, and was released on April 18.

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


Port Reports – April 15, 2016

Milwaukee has started to see traffic. Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 were in port on the 13th but did not stay long. They moored at what was once the container dock. USACE tug Racine and crane barge Manitowoc have been in and out of the port and another visitor has been the USCG Mackinaw. Currently in port is the first saltie, Federal Danube, which is moored at the Nidera elevators. Heading south in Lake Michigan for Milwaukee is GL Ostrander/Integrity combination presumably for the LaFarge (US) wharf.

Rochester, N.Y. – Thomas Brewer
Stephen B. Roman departed Thursday morning after unloading bulk cement at Essroc's terminal.


Essar Steel could lose mineral leases

4/15 – Duluth, Minn. – Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton says Essar Steel could lose its mineral leases if the company doesn't fulfill its commitment to the state and vendors in the next two months.

 Dayton's office says state mineral leases are subject to termination on July 1. If Essar wants them extended, Dayton says the company needs to pay its debts and demonstrate that it has all of the necessary financing.

 "I remain determined that the stalled Essar project be constructed, begin operations, and create new jobs on the Iron Range. My administration and I are currently working closely with the members of the Range legislative delegation to assess all possible options to achieve those objectives," Dayton said in a statement Thursday.

 Essar responded by saying it remains committed to completing the project.

 "The company is progressing in its efforts to bring a new equity partner and substantial new capital into the project. Essar Steel Minnesota is confident that, in the near term, the necessary funding will be in place to resume construction and complete the project," said Mitch Brunfelt, Essar Steel Minnesota's Assistant General Counsel and Director for Government and Public Relations, said in a statement.

 Essar said earlier this week that it has hired a global investment bank to raise capital for the project. The project estimate, according to past reports from Essar, is $1.9 billion dollars.



Canada’s shipwrecks must be better protected, says archaeologist

 4/15 - A leading marine archaeologist says Canada needs a national strategy to protect underwater wrecks, reports Canadian Press. Rob Rondeau told CP shipwrecks are “kind of the poor cousin to on-land archaeological sites.”

 As an example, he says the wreck of the Empress of Ireland is easily accessible to divers in the St. Lawrence River in eastern Canada. The ship collided with a Norway-flagged coal ship near Quebec City on May 19, 1914.

 Rondeau has studied the wreck and says it sits 40 metres and that makes it a prime target for amateur treasure seekers.

 CP reports that this site was declared an underwater heritage site by the province of Quebec, where it is situated. But, unlike the U.S., Canada does not have national legislation protecting all archaeological sites in the three seas that border it—the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Arctic.

 And where there are rules, Rondeau says there needs to be better enforcement.

Radio Canada International


Cleveland port accepts $1 million in funds to support expansion of sediment facility

 4/15 – Cleveland, Ohio – The Board of Directors of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County  Port Authority has approved acceptance of a $1 million Ohio Healthy Lake Erie Fund (OHLEF) grant. The Board also approved use of those funds for capital improvements at the Confined Disposal Facility (“CDF”) 12 that will increase Port efforts to maximize its useful lifespan and provide a viable alternative to open lake dumping of Cuyahoga River dredge sediment.

 In 2015, the Port began implementing its “Plan B” for extending the useful life of CDF 12. The plan consists of using water flow to sort and then vertically stacking sediment onsite, enabling “harvest” of the useful and non-harmful material. These efforts and other Port innovations will result in decades of additional space at the CDF to store sediment that can’t be safely used, while keeping it out of the open waters of Lake Erie.

 During initial operation in 2015, Plan B processed 62,000 cubic yards of sediment that will be put to use in construction projects. The goal this year is to raise that figure threefold to 205,000 cubic yards. To pay for additional infrastructure to meet this goal, the Port sought and was awarded the OHLEF funds, which promote innovative initiatives to reduce sediments and nutrients from entering Lake Erie.

 The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) administers the grant. The board also awarded a contract to Mark Hayes Construction, Inc. to make the necessary capital improvements to the sediment management facility.

Port of Cleveland


Updates – April 15

News Photo Gallery 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.

 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 lakes ports throughout the summer.

 1967: MAPLE HILL began visiting the Great Lakes in 1959. The British-flag freighter had been built at Montreal in 1943 as a) FORT VERCHERES and was renamed c) DIOPSIDE in 1966. It collided with and sank the Swedish freighter IREVIK in the Baltic Sea on this day in 1967. MAPLE HILL was renamed d) ENTAN in 1969 and arrived at Hirao, Japan, for scrapping on June 30, 1970.

 1987: An attempt to steal navigation equipment using a cutting torch resulted in a fire that caused major damage to the upper deck of the GRAND RAPIDS. The retired Lake Michigan carferry had been idle at Muskegon since 1971. It was eventually sold for scrap in 1989 and broken up at Port Maitland, ON in 1994.

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


Lake Huron water levels rise steadily to 1998 mark

 4/14 – There’s good news for Lake Huron this spring, with numbers that continue to buck the trend.

 According to this month’s installment of Environment Canada’s Level News, all of the Great Lakes received “relatively high” water supplies during the month of February, keeping levels above average or higher than the same time last year.

 In February, Lake Michigan-Huron’s mean level was 29 centimetres above the 100-year average and six centimetres higher than that of February 2015. The lake also rose two centimetres during February.

 As of the beginning of March, Lake Michigan-Huron’s level was 29 centimetres above the 100-year average and seven centimetres higher than the same time last year. This is also the highest the lake has been since 1998 for this time of year.

 “Relative to their beginning-of-March levels, and assuming average water supply conditions, all of the Great Lakes are expected to continue their seasonal rises during March, except for Lake Superior, which is expected to continue its seasonal decline,” writes editor Derrick Beach “All lakes are forecasted to remain above average through the spring.”

 Manitoulin Expositor


Coast Guard to shift Lorain operations to Cleveland

 4/14 – Lorain, Ohio – Marine safety in and around Lorain will evolve in coming years as the U.S. Coast Guard shifts weekday operations from the Black River to Cleveland harbor. Meanwhile, the marine patrol units of Lorain and Vermilion also scored grant money to pay for on-water duties in spring, summer and fall 2016.

 The developments were announced this week as U.S. Coast Guard commanders from Cleveland and Buffalo visited Lorain on April 12 to meet with city officials and staff from Lorain’s congressional senators and representatives.  There are no changes planned for Coast Guard operations in Lorain for 2016.

 Starting about 2018, in the summer months, the Coast Guard plans to keep Station Lorain staffed with response crews Friday through Sunday. The other days of the week, Coast Guard crews will respond from Cleveland, according to plans.

 The Coast Guard also will be in Lorain for special events.

 “It is important for people to remember that even with these changes, our boat crews will still be on the water in Lorain ready to respond to emergencies and enforce federal laws and regulations,” said Chief Petty Officer Tim Crochet, officer in charge of Station Lorain. “Response crews will continue to serve the boating community in Lorain even though they will not be operating from Lorain year round.

 “We’re also deeply appreciative of the relationships we have with our partners here, who we will continue to work alongside to ensure the public’s safety and security.”

 These changes allow the Coast Guard to better staff, train and equip the boats and crews continuing to serve the Lorain area, according to a statement from the agency.

 “These operational improvements are long overdue and will help us better serve the community by reducing redundancies that have arisen as technology has evolved during the past century,” said Capt. Brian Roche, commander of Coast Guard Sector Buffalo. “This is not a cost-saving initiative; we are just moving our resources and people to the locations that make the most sense with the technology we have today.”

 The news was better than city officials expected, said Lorain police Chief Cel Rivera and fire Chief Tom Brown. The safety forces and administration were prepared for an announcement that Coast Guard Station Lorain was closing in June, they said.

 Instead, the changes will take place starting in 2018, so the local safety forces have two years to plan for it, Rivera said.

 The plans are based largely on calls for service received by the Coast Guard; if Lorain boat traffic increases, the Coast Guard presence could grow again in the city as needed, Brown said.

 The changes may require Lorain to devote more officers or resources to weekday rescue calls, but it is not clear yet exactly how that will happen. It could mean more training and supplies for current marine patrol officers, or possibly another boat devoted to on-water law enforcement, Rivera said.

 For years, the Lorain Marine Patrol has been a partnership with the Lorain Police Department and Lorain Port Authority.

 On April 11, the Ohio Division of Watercraft announced Lorain will receive $32,000 to pay for officers for waterway patrols and emergency response. The city of Vermilion also will receive $29,571.99 for that city’s marine patrol this summer.

 In 2015, Ohio had a record 474,601 registered recreational watercraft, a growth of almost 40,000 boats in three years, according to state figures. The watercraft include an increase of 138 percent in kayak and canoe registrations.

 However, boating-related deaths have declined by 12 percent, from 179 during the period from 1996 to 2005, to 159 during the time from 2006 to 2015, according to state figures.

 Lorain and Vermilion were among 24 agencies to get a total of $576,152 in marine patrol grants from the state. The money comes from the state’s Waterways Safety Fund, which is comprised of the state motor fuel tax, watercraft registration and titling fees, as well as funds provided by the U.S. Coast Guard.

 Morning Journal


Port Reports - April 14

 Marquette, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Walter J. McCarthy Jr. departed the upper harbor early on Wednesday morning after arriving on Monday afternoon with a cargo of coal from Superior. This was believed to her first-ever visit to the port. The McCarthy Jr. is expected in Marquette again to unload coal at the upper harbor April 21 just after noon. Arriving at the LS&I Ore Dock on its first visit of the 2016 shipping season was the Sam Laud. It will be loading a cargo of taconite pellets for Cleveland, Ohio.

Brevort, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Robert S. Pierson arrived Wednesday afternoon. She is the first boat of the season to load sand.

Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Capt. Henry Jackman of Algoma Central Corporation became the first vessel arrival for the 2016 shipping season at the stone dock during the early morning on Wednesday.

Owen Sound, Ont. – Denny Dushane
The harbor at Owen Sound got a little less crowded on Wednesday morning as the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin departed winter lay-up. It is expected to arrive in Stoneport to load late in the evening on Wednesday. This leaves Algoway, which is expected to depart lay-up sometime on Thursday, Algoma Olympic and the ferry Chi-Cheemaun in lay-up. Algoma Olympic arrived in Owen Sound in late March where it had sailed from its original lay-up in Port Colborne, Ont.

 Monroe, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The ASC 1,000-footer American Century became the first vessel to unload coal at the Monroe Power Plant for the 2016 shipping season. It arrived early in the morning on Monday and departed in the late evening to load in Superior at the Midwest Energy Terminal. American Century's trip to Monroe was a split load, with the first half of that cargo unloaded in St. Clair, Mich., at the St. Clair Power Plant. It was also the first split load for both plants for 2016.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
American Mariner departed its lay-up berth in Toledo on Wednesday in the late morning, sailing to Calcite to load limestone. Other vessels in port included the tug Petite Forte and the barge St. Marys Cement, unloading cement at the St. Marys Cement Dock. Calumet is tied up at one of the docks along the Maumee River while fleetmate Manitowoc departed from the Ironhead Marine Drydock and shifted over to the CSX coal dock to load. The tug Ken Boothe Sr. is at one of the CSX docks, while the barge Lakes Contender is at the Midwest Terminal Overseas Dock.

 Oswego, N.Y. – Ned Goebricher
Stephen B. Roman delivered cement Wednesday, while the McKeil Marine tug Wilf Seymour and barge Lambert Spirit delivered aluminum bars to the Port Authority.


Updates – April 14

News Photo Gallery Updated

Saltie Gallery has been updated with photos of Adfines Sea, Amazoneborg, Arubaborg, Federal Biscay, Federal Katsura, Federal Rhine, Harbour Fountain, Lubie, Minervagracht, Swan Baltic, Three Rivers and Vectis Falcon.

 Lay-up list 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 (now MISSISSAGI) 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 flagpole 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, 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 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.

 1965: Fire broke out in the #2 hold of the CAPETAN VASSILIS en route from Madras, India, to Rotterdam with a cargo of sunflower seeds while 60 miles off the Mediterranean island of Crete. The crew abandoned the vessel and it sank on April 16. The ship had been built at Superior, Wisconsin, as TULLY CROSBY in 1944 and returned to the lakes as c) SPIND in 1952-1953, as d) HEILO in 1953 and e) CAPETAN VASSILIS in 1956.

 1977: CANADIAN OLYMPIC ran aground in the St. Lawrence off Heather Point near Brockville. The ship was loaded with ore and en route from Sept Iles to Ashtabula. The navigation channel was blocked. The vessel was lightered to MAPLEHEATH and released at 1057 hours on April 16. The ULS self-unloader spent three weeks at Port Weller Dry Docks undergoing repairs to the damage.

 Data from: Skip Gillham, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, “Ahoy and Farewell”.


Green Bay sees cargo increase in 2015 despite declining coal shipments

4/13 - Green Bay, Wis. More than 2 million metric tons of freight moved through the Port of Green Bay in 2015, up slightly over the previous year, according to the port's director. Delivering a report to stakeholders at a symposium Monday, Director Dean Haen said the increase was mostly due to a mild winter and extended season.

"We actually were able to run our 2015 season well into January, and then we started the 2016 season in March, which if you look at last year we didn't start until the middle of April," he said. Haen said 2015 was the third-longest season in the port's history.

Coal, cement and a dozen other commodities regularly come through Green Bay. It's Wisconsin's third-largest port behind Duluth-Superior and Milwaukee. Despite the favorable conditions and heavy freight levels, however, less coal is being shipped overall through Green Bay and other Great Lakes ports than in previous years.

According to St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation administrator Betty Sutton, some of that decline in coal shipments can be replaced by a growing amount of cargo related to green energy: "Things like windmill turbines and blades moving on the system."

Sutton said lake shipments will change along with the energy grid, "so it's important that as we look at changing times, that we look for other ways to make sure that the port and the activity on the Great Lakes seaways system remain very relevant. That is something this port does very, very well."

Sutton was in Green Bay to give the port a "pacesetter" award that goes to ports that increase international shipping.

Wisconsin Public Radio’


Coast Guard icebreaking scheduled for northern Lake Huron (North Channel)

4/13 - Sarnia, Ont. – The Canadian Coast Guard is advising the public of potentially unsafe ice conditions in the vicinity of icebreaking operations and shipping routes in the Great Lakes. Milder temperatures this winter significantly reduced ice cover on the Great Lakes. However, icebreaking operations to assist commercial shipping will take place soon in certain areas of the Great Lakes.

The following area will see icebreaking activity this week: The North Channel of Lake Huron including all shipping routes to and from the Serpent River area on Tuesday April 12, and Fisher Harbour on Wednesday April 13. The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley will be icebreaking to ensure scheduled vessel traffic can move into and out of these harbors safely and efficiently.

Dates and routes are subject to change with little or no notice, due to weather, ice conditions, shipping schedules or other unexpected situations.

Broken and fragmented icy tracks left behind by icebreaking operations and other ship traffic may not freeze over immediately. In addition, newly fallen snow may obscure icebreaker and ship tracks and changes in weather contribute to unsafe ice conditions that may remain long after the ships have left the area. All ice on or near the planned shipping routes and icebreaking operations should be considered unsafe during and after ship transits through these routes. The Canadian Coast Guard and the Ontario Provincial Police are advising everyone to stay clear of these areas.

Manitoulin Expositor


Coast Guard, City of Lorain discuss changes to local Coast Guard operations

4/13 - Lorain, Ohio – Representatives with the U.S. Coast Guard, City of Lorain, and Lorain area response agencies met in Lorain Tuesday morning to discuss a Coast Guard proposal to optimize its response capabilities by adjusting how it operates Coast Guard Station Lorain in the future.

Under the proposed plan, Station Lorain will remain staffed with response crews Friday through Sunday during the summer months, and will operate and respond from its parent unit in Cleveland on other days. Built into the plan is flexibility for the seasonal station to begin operating on weekends in early spring or into late fall when necessary, and to resume operations if needed during special events.

These changes allow the Coast Guard to better staff, train and equip the boats and crews continuing to serve the Lorain area.

Station Lorain’s search and rescue operations will be fully staffed during the summer of 2016, and if no new information arises that wasn’t previously considered, the proposed changes will be phased in over the next several years as personnel transfer from the region. There are no plans to permanently close Station Lorain.

“It is important for people to remember that even with these changes our boat crews will still on the water in Lorain ready to respond to emergencies and enforce federal laws and regulations,” said Chief Petty Officer Tim Crochet, officer in charge of Station Lorain. “Response crews will continue to serve the boating community in Lorain even though they will not be operating from Lorain year round. We’re also deeply appreciative of the relationships we have with our partners here, who we will continue to work alongside to ensure the public’s safety and security.”

“These operational improvements are long overdue and will help us better serve the community by reducing redundancies that have arisen as technology has evolved during the past century,” said Capt. Brian Roche, commander of Coast Guard Sector Buffalo. “This is not a cost-saving initiative; we are just moving our resources and people to the locations that make the most sense with the technology we have today.”



Little has been done with Milwaukee light since nonprofit acquired it

4/13 - Milwaukee, Wis. – When a Brookfield-based nonprofit acquired the Milwaukee breakwater light for free in 2013, it pledged to open the white lighthouse that graces the city's lakefront by 2015.

Optima Enrichment announced plans to raise $2.5 million for the major restoration and cleanup of the Art Deco keeper's quarters and turn the facility into a museum. But since the government awarded Optima the lighthouse — with the provision that it be maintained as a public space and used for recreation and education — almost nothing has been done.

The group, founded in 2003 by Brookfield optometrist Randall Melchert, has raised less than $20,000 since it received the deed, and more than half of that sum has been spent on insurance — $2,500 per year. Another $1,000 was spent for a 39-foot boat to take people out to the breakwater light.

"We're a little bit behind schedule I guess. We were a little optimistic," Melchert said in a phone interview. "We're not disappointed. We're just anxious for it to go faster."

The group has held fundraisers and is planning an event this summer, probably a dinner with speakers, and an auction of donated items. But Melchert said details haven't been finalized. He also said the group has sought a professional fundraiser who "we think will help us to be a little more aggressive in soliciting donations."

A bronze-colored plaque was affixed to the building, and the Milwaukee Breakwater Light restoration group has gotten estimates from an environmental organization for some of the work, said Dick Melzer, the group's secretary. The restoration group of eight or nine people meets monthly, he said.

When it was awarded the breakwater light, Optima Enrichment's past philanthropy included paying for low-income students to visit college campuses and sending needy children to camp. Historic lighthouse preservation was something the group had never done, nor had it been affiliated with any historic building preservation.

Restoring a lighthouse is not cheap or easy. And Milwaukee's breakwater light is accessible only by water, and there's no pier or jetty for a boat to dock at the site.

"It takes a lot of work to do this and coordinate volunteers and contractors," said Terry Pepper, a lighthouse historian and executive director of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association.

Pepper was part of a group that renovated the lighthouse on St. Helena Island on Lake Michigan near the Mackinac Bridge. That project took 25 years and $1.5 million. Like Milwaukee's breakwater light, St. Helena's lighthouse is accessible only by water.

The North Point Lighthouse in Milwaukee took about 10 years and $1.6 million to restore. And that's on land. The North Point Lighthouse Friends continue to raise money by renting the building for special events and selling tickets for tours to pay for the annual budget of just under $100,000.

The difficult part is creating a vision for restoring a historic lighthouse that will interest enough people to commit their money. If there's little progress, then it becomes a more difficult task to raise funds, said John Scripp, North Point Lighthouse Friends board president. "I respect that this will be a difficult project, but I don't discount anybody's ability to carry it out. It's a challenge. If they're competent, I think they can do it," Scripp said.

One of the last lighthouses constructed on the Great Lakes, the Milwaukee breakwater light is known as a crib light because it was built away from land on a timber crib to make it easy to see by passing ships. It was built in 1926 and features a two-story keeper's quarters that has been empty since the Coast Guard stopped sending crews to it in 1966. The fourth order Fresnel lens that once graced the lighthouse is on loan to the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc.

Optima Enrichment was one of three entities that expressed interest in acquiring the breakwater light when the Coast Guard no longer wanted it in 2011. The Coast Guard has been shedding lighthouses for several years, first opening the process to local governments and nonprofits and if none step forward or qualify, then auctioning them to the highest bidder.

In addition to seeking large donors and stepping up fundraising efforts, the Milwaukee Breakwater Light restoration group plans to build a removable pier so boats carrying volunteers and contractors can access the site more easily.

"We're still very excited about it because we want to restore this community treasure so people can visit it safely and see a working lighthouse where a beacon shines every night and a foghorn sounds for vessels in distress," Melchert said.

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel


6 Great Lakes ports win Pacesetter Award for 2015 navigation season

4/13 - Washington D.C. – The U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) has announced that six U.S. ports in the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System received its Robert J. Lewis Pacesetter Award for registering increases in international cargo tonnage shipped through their ports during the 2015 navigation season compared to the previous year.

“Maritime transportation is often the most fuel-efficient, cost effective and environmentally friendly way to move goods,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The impressive performance of these ports highlights the importance of marine transportation to their local economies, the Great Lakes region, and the nation.”

The six winners of the Pacesetter Award for 2015 are: the Port of Green Bay (Wis.), the Port of Oswego Authority (N.Y.), the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority (Ohio), the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority (Mich.), the Port of Monroe (Mich.), and the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority (N.Y.).

“The Great Lakes region, North America’s ‘Opportunity Belt,’ is a thriving and influential destination, and the Seaway System connects this region to the world,” said SLSDC’s Administrator Betty Sutton.

“Businesses are choosing to move their cargo through the Seaway System because of the economic benefits, safety, and reliability of our waterway, and its direct access to the heartland of North America.”

In 2015, U.S. ports in the Great Lakes Seaway System recorded increased international shipments of high-value cargoes including windmill components, refinery equipment, generators, machinery, and containerized goods.

U.S. Department of Transportation


Rep. David Joyce named 2016 Great Lakes Legislator of the Year

4/13 - Toledo, Ohio – Ohio Congressman David Joyce (R) has been named a 2016 Great Lakes Legislator of the Year by the largest labor/management coalition representing shipping on America’s Fourth Sea Coast. Great Lakes Maritime Task Force (GLMTF) annually presents the award to legislators who have promoted shipping on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. Rep. Joyce received his award at a ceremony in Washington on April 12.

“Rep. Joyce’s deep appreciation for Great Lakes shipping stems from having two major ports in his district, Ashtabula and Conneaut,” said Thomas Curelli, President of GLMTF in 2016. “Countless family sustaining jobs are created by the cargo that moves across the docks in Ashtabula and Conneaut.’

“Rep. Joyce has also been a tireless advocate for adequate icebreaking resources,” added Brian D. Krus, 1st Vice President of GLMTF and Senior National Assistance Vice President of American Maritime Officers.

“Back in February 2015 a U.S.-flag laker bound for Conneaut became icebound for 5 days and the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker dispatched to free it was unable to get the vessel moving. Its last cargo of the season had to be cancelled. Rep. Joyce knows jobs hang in the balance when cargo can’t move during the ice season.”

The dredging crisis has also had Congressman Joyce’s full attention.

“The largest vessels calling on Ashtabula and Conneaut forfeit about 270 tons of cargo for each inch of loaded draft lost to inadequate dredging,” said James H.I. Weakley, 2nd Vice President of GLMTF and President of Lake Carriers’ Association. “The efficiencies of Great Lakes shipping are the foundation of the Midwest economy and Congressman Joyce has been laser-focused on bringing more dredging dollars back to the lakes.”

The award also recognizes Rep. Joyce’s commitment to international shipping via the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Lake Carriers’ Association


Great Shipwrecks of NY’s ‘Great’ Lakes exhibit to visit Albany May 4-27

4/13 - Albany, N.Y. The Great Shipwrecks of NY’s ‘Great’ Lakes Traveling Exhibit developed by New York Sea Grant will be installed at The State University of New York at Albany Gallery, 353 Broadway, Albany, N.Y., from May 4 to May 27. Admission to the exhibit from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday is free.

The Great Shipwrecks exhibit features shipwrecks spanning more than 200 years across New York state. Ten interpretive panels highlight fascinating details about the historic underwater wrecks and landscapes in Lake Erie, Ontario, Lake Champlain, the Finger Lakes, Lake George and the St. Lawrence River. A miniature replica of the ‘turtle ship’ Radeau, North America’s oldest warship purposely sunk by the British in Lake Champlain in 1758, was made specifically for this exhibit.

The exhibit also includes an aquatic ROV, remotely operated vehicle, provided by the Great Lakes Research Consortium, and one of the New York Sea Grant Discover Clean and Safe Boating campaign educational vessels for 2016.

New York Sea Grant first developed the Great Shipwrecks exhibit to be the 2014 Great New York State Fair Signature Exhibit in the New York State mini-park at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, N.Y. Among the hosts for exhibit to date are Tyler Art Gallery, a teaching gallery regularly used by art classes and museum studies students at SUNY Oswego, and the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Basin Harbor, Vermont.

Pennsylvania Sea Grant is hosting the exhibit at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center at Presque Isle, Pa., through April 24, 2016. Pennsylvania Sea Grant Maritime Education Manager David Boughton estimates that 18,000 viewers will have seen the exhibit there.

New York Sea Grant Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist David G. White estimates the Great Shipwrecks of NY’s ‘Great’ Lakes Traveling Exhibit was seen by more than 40,000 people in its inaugural travel year of 2015. Learn more at


Fednav's Federal Biscay makes first Great Lakes and Seaway visit

4/13 - Federal Biscay (IMO 9697856) entered the St. Lawrence Seaway Locks at Montreal Monday, making its first visit into the Great Lakes, with Oshawa, Ont., as its destination. She is due to arrive on April 13. It is the last of the new "B-series" of ships built for Fednav at the Oshima Shipbuilding Ltd. Shipyard in Oshima, Japan that until now, have visited the Great Lakes. Others in the B-series the Federal Baltic, Federal Barents, Federal Beaufort, Federal Bering and Federal Bristol all made visits to the Great Lakes during the 2015 season. Also, Federal Caribou, one of two new "C-series" of vessels built for Fednav in 2016, made its first official visit to the Great Lakes earlier this month, while its fleetmate Federal Cedar has yet to visit the Great Lakes.

Denny Dushane


Port Reports April 13

Port Inland, Mich. Denny Dushane
There were no vessel loadings for Tuesday and none are due until Saturday. The first vessel expected to arrive and load for the 2016 season will be the barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted, due to arrive Saturday in the early evening.

Calcite, Mich. Denny Dushane
Joseph H. Thompson loaded on Tuesday and was due to depart around 10 a.m. Scheduled in for Tuesday were the barge Ashtabula and the tug Defiance in the morning for the North Dock. Expected to arrive Wednesday is the Philip R. Clarke in the morning for the South Dock.

Stoneport, Mich. Denny Dushane
Stoneport was expected to see two evening arrivals on Tuesday. The first was the John J. Boland, followed an hour later by the barge Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort. Due on Wednesday is the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin, making a possibly first-ever visit to Stoneport. They are expected during the late evening. Due to arrive on Thursday is the Cason J. Callaway at noon. There are no vessels scheduled for Friday. Cason J. Callaway is due to return to load on Saturday in the early evening.

Toledo, Ohio Denny Dushane
Algoma Enterprise was still in Toledo on Tuesday loading coal at the CSX #4 coal dock machine. They were the first arrival at the dock for the 2016 shipping season. Also due to load at CSX is the H. Lee White on Wednesday in the early morning. The Manitowoc is due at CSX on Wednesday in the early evening. Due at CSX on Thursday to load is the CSL Laurentien in the early afternoon, and they are also due back at CSX to load again on Sunday, April 17 in the morning. There is nothing due at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. The only vessel thus far due at the Torco Dock with iron ore pellets is the James L. Kuber, with four trips currently scheduled. Vessels in port included the Cuyahoga, which was still unloading a grain cargo from Owen Sound. Manitowoc appears to have entered the drydock at Ironhead Marine for possible repairs. The tug Ken Boothe Sr. and its barge Lakes Contender remain in port at one of the CSX docks. American Mariner is still in lay-up, however they are expected to depart any day. Other vessels still in lay-up include the Saginaw, which was to have been removed from the Ironhead Drydock last week. Both St. Clair and the Manistee, which are not expected to sail in 2016, are still in lay-up, while the tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber, along with the tug Victory and barge James L. Kuber, remain in lay-up at the Torco dock, however they should be leaving soon as they have their AIS signals on.

Cleveland, Ohio
On Tuesday, H. Lee White, Hon. James L. Oberstar and Calumet all arrived in the late morning/early afternoon. Minervagracht arrived at 8 a.m.

Otsego, N.Y. Ned Goebricher
On Tuesday, the CCG ship Griffon set buoys in the harbor.


Updates – April 13

News Photo Gallery 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.

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

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.

1917: The steel canaller STRATHCONA was built at Dundee, Scotland, in 1900 and came to the Great Lakes that summer. The ship had several owners before being requisitioned for war service in 1915. It was stopped by U-78 near Ronaldshay, England, while traveling from Tyne, England, to Marseilles, France, with a cargo of coal on this date in 1917. Enemy bombers attacked sinking the ship. Nine crew members were lost while another 3 were taken prisoner.

1937: The Norwegian freighter REIN was a frequent pre-Seaway caller to the Great Lakes. It had been built in 1900 and was inland as early as 1908. The ship was carrying wood pulp when it was wrecked off Helman Island, 2 miles south of Wick, Scotland, while traveling from Lyngor, Norway, to Preston, UK on this date in 1937. REIN was a total loss.

1956 Winds and ice pushed the ore laden GEORGE M. HUMPHREY on a shoal in Whitefish Bay en route from Superior to Zug Island. The vessel was salvaged and taken to Lorain for repairs.

1959: GLENEAGLES was proceeding through ice in Lake Erie when it abruptly stopped. The trailing WESTMOUNT could not stop as quickly and rammed the stern of its CSL fleetmate. GLENEAGLES had to be towed to Lorain for repairs that included a new rudder.

2010: The rebuilt ALGOBAY went aground while upbound in the St. Marys River on its first trip to the upper lakes. The vessel had to go to Port Weller Dry Docks for repairs.

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


Some steamed over St. Joseph lighthouse smokestack

4/13 - St. Joseph, Mich. – Observers of the restoration project on the St. Joseph lighthouses have noticed that a feature has been added to the red-roofed inner light that hasn’t been seen for almost 70 years – a smokestack that was removed in 1949.

The reviews, according to comments on the Herald-Palladium’s Facebook page, are mixed.

“I think the smokestack is ugly and detracts from the beautiful lines of the Lighthouse!” Evelyn Marbut wrote. “Very disappointing. Local citizens & contributors should have been able to have a voice in whether the smokestack was to be added or not.”

“I love it. We can be so proud of this restoration. Hats off to St. Joseph and its beautiful lighthouse!” Sharon Gillespie offered.

“It’s not like it’s ever going to be used ... what’s the point of it?” Lauren Gast asked.

St. Joseph City Manager John Hodgson, who has guided the project from the time the lighthouses were made available from the federal government in 2007, explained that there are legal and historic, as well as practical reasons, why the smokestack was re-introduced.

The original smokestack served as the exhaust for the coal-fired boilers that powered the steam fog signal, Hodgson said. It was present from 1907 until 1949, when a fog signal powered by air compressors was installed, and the original smokestack was replaced with a different smokestack.

As a federally designated historic structure, St. Joseph has to follow certain guidelines in its restoration. Hodgson said.

“The restoration work has to satisfy federal standards for the treatment of historic properties,” Hodgson said. “The project isn’t only repairing rust and painting, it’s about being authentic to the historic structure. Our historic architect (Michelle Smay) performed a tremendous amount of research to document the construction of the lights and catwalk and the changes over time, using original blueprints, keeper’s logs and photographs. This research was needed to demonstrate to both the state and federal review agencies that each element of the project was documented and correct for the time, and to receive approval for the work.”

The lighthouses are being restored to their appearance circa 1932.

“There was an overhaul of the pier in 1931, which resulted in significant changes to the pier, lights and catwalk that would be impractical or unwise to reverse,” Hodgson said. “Most significant, the outer lighthouse was set on a concrete pedestal instead of directly on the pier, and the catwalk supports were protected by concrete-filled pipes. Reversing those alterations would be expensive and make the outer light and the catwalk more vulnerable to damage from waves and ice.”

Hodgson added that the exterior changes to the inner light include revealing and replacing windows and doors that had been covered up or removed; repairing openings cut in the structure in more recent times; and installing a replica fog whistle and replica smokestack.

“All this work is a single package to return the lighthouse to its historic appearance,” he said.

The smokestack also will serve a practical purpose.

“Although the lighthouse no longer has coal-fired boilers, the smokestack will still serve an important purpose. A ventilation system is being installed to improve air circulation, which will help prevent rust inside the structure and reduce future maintenance, and the smokestack is being used as part of that system,” Hodgson said.

Hodgson admitted to some initial ambivalence to the changes to the appearance of the lighthouse, but has come to realize it was the right decision.

“I was born here and grew up here and in my memory the lighthouse has always looked the same. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about seeing changes to something that had seemed constant throughout my life,” Hodgson said. “Over the course of the project I was surprised to learn how much the inner light had been altered over the years, with the smokestack and fog signal changing and finally vanishing completely, and closing up doors and windows. The shell of the structure was still there but so much of the detail had been lost. I’d never realized that. The lighthouse I grew up seeing was only part of the lighthouse that had been built.”

Herald Palladium


Essar Steel Algoma reviews bids for strapped operation

 4/12 – Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. – Essar Steel Algoma in Sault Ste. Marie is beginning a chapter that will ultimately determine whether the company is re-structured or sold.  The company, which employs 2,700 people, has been under protection from creditors since Nov 2015, in part due to slumping steel prices.

 Spokesperson Brenda Stenta said several bids for the operation have been received, although she wouldn't say how many. Stenta said the next few weeks will be spent reviewing the offers.

"At the close of phase two [in this process], the objective would be to have a successful bidder who will then enter into final negotiations with various stakeholder groups."  Those stakeholders include the unions representing the workers.

 As for how long it will take to pick an offer, Stenta said, "we're working through this process in an expedited and constructive manner so [are] certainly cognizant of all those stakeholder concerns."

 Stenta said the hope is to have the entire process wrapped up by Sept. 1. The final deal will have to be court approved.



Essar Steel comments about Nashwauk project's future

 4/12 – Essar Steel Minnesota issued a statement on Monday about its financial situation. It said that the company has appointed Guggenheim Securities, LLC, a global investment bank, as its financial advisor. The goal is to raise the capital required for completing the iron ore project in Nashwauk, Minn. The project estimate, according to past reports from Essar, is $1.9 billion.

 While working on a creating a framework for the capital, the company has received a proposal from its parent company for interim financing. That money, according to the statement, would be made available over time to meet some of the company's critical requirements for the coming months.

 CEO and President of Essar Steel Minnesota Madhu Vuppuluri said, "All stakeholders associated with the project support the expeditious completion of the project and, in this regard, we are optimistic that, in the near term, we will identify potential new equity partners and raise the funding necessary to move forward with completing the project. The strong project fundamentals put the company in a favorable position to access the required capital."

 Financial media have reported that Essar was restructuring its debt.

 Minnesota Governor Dayton told the Pioneer Press last week that he's concerned because Essar still owes tens of millions to contractors. Also, Essar has not made a loan payment to the state of Minnesota yet, which is owed $66 million for infrastructure the county put in for the project.



Port Reports April 12

 Marquette, Mich. – Denny Dushane
The American Steamship Co. 1,000-footer Walter J. McCarthy Jr. made possibly her first-ever appearance Monday during the early evening with a cargo of coal, which was unloaded at the Upper Harbor. This run has in the past been handled the Interlake Steamship Co. 1,000-footers James R. Barker, Mesabi Miner and Paul R. Tregurtha. The McCarthy is tentatively scheduled to return to Marquette on April 20 to unload at the same location in the late afternoon.

 Escanaba, Mich. – Raymond H
Joseph L Block arrived at CN to load ore. Later in the evening, fleetmate Wilfred Sykes arrived at CN and waited for the Block to finish loading.

Grand Haven, Mich. – Sam Hankinson
St. Marys Challenger/Prentiss Brown was inbound to Grand Haven Monday evening. It was their first visit of the season. Grand Haven thus far has only received cargoes from tug/barges.

Toledo, Ohio
Algoma Enterprise arrived at the CSX coal docks around 4:30 p.m. Monday, making her the first boat to load there for the season.


 “Know Your Ships” author to sign copies of 2016 edition Saturday in Port Huron

 4/12 – Port Huron, Mich. – On Saturday, in what has become an unofficial kick-off to the end of winter, Roger LeLievre, cataloguer of freighters on the Great Lakes, will be on hand at the Great Lakes Maritime Center at Vantage Point, signing copies of the 2016 edition of “Know Your Ships.”

 "We bring Roger in every year to sign the new edition of his book," said the Maritime Center’s “Freighter” Frank Frisk. "It's the 10th year. Roger brings in some of his crew of researchers and photographers and it's an excellent day."

 The event runs from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Tickets for an Interlake Steamship Co. freighter raffle trip will also be available at the book signing, sponsored by International Ship Masters Association, Port Huron Lodge # 2.

 The Voice


Badger Gathering staterooms sold out; cruise space still available

 4/12 – All available staterooms for the overnight stay aboard the S.S. Badger, as part of the annual Boatnerd Badger Gathering, have been sold. However, reservations for the June 4 round-trip, and optional Wisconsin Shoreline Cruise, are still available. See the Gathering page for complete details.


Two temporary exhibits opening at Door County Maritime Museum

4/12 – Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – The Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay will open a pair of new exhibits on Friday, April 22.

 “From Inside the Collections,” is a unique offering in that it will be a recurring exhibit, with museum curator Adam Gronke promising to periodically launch different versions of the series at future dates. This first offering will concentrate on shipwreck items within the museum’s collection.

 “Have you ever visited a museum and wondered what amazing artifacts they have in their collections but weren’t on display for you to see?” asked Gronke. “This exhibit gives the visitor a rare opportunity to explore these treasures. We have decided they are just too fascinating to keep hidden!”

 With the close of the well-received Edmund Fitzgerald tribute exhibit on April 17, “An Architect and His Art” moves into the museum’s Reddin Bridge Room.

 “Ben Shenkelberg is the architect who designed the Sturgeon Bay museum and is currently the architect for the proposed Maritime Tower project,” said Gronke. “Besides being a talented and successful architect, he is a gifted artist. He creates amazing works in his free time and some of his maritime-related art will be displayed at the museum. What makes this temporary art exhibition more special is that Ben is selling the mounted prints to the public with proceeds from the sales going to be donated to the museum.”

 The new exhibits compliment the wide assortment of exhibits at the museum, ranging from the family-oriented “Sea Dogs” exhibit to the galleries dedicated to shipbuilding, lighthouses, maritime innovation as well as the nuclear submarine periscope and the Elba (old freighter) pilothouse.

 For more information contact the museum at (920)743-5958 or visit

 Door County Maritime Museum


Updates – April 12

News Photo Gallery

 Lay-up list updated


Today in Great Lakes History - April 12

 On 12 April 1896, 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 upbound from Monroe, Michigan to load iron ore at Duluth, the ENDERS M. VOORHEES had the honor of opening the second century of navigation through the St. Marys Falls Ship Canal, 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).

 1949: The corvette H.M.C.S. BATTLEFORD was Hull 95 from the Collingwood Shipyard and it was commissioned at Montreal on July 31, 1941. The ship was sold to the Venezuelan Navy becoming b) LIBERTAD in 1946 and was wrecked on this date in 1949.

 1991: CHANDA hailed from India and first came to the Great Lakes in 1978. The ship was laid up Bombay, India, on May 5, 1988, after 20 years of service. It was moved to the scrapyard on April 11, 1991, but a major fire erupted in the engine room April 12 during dismantling operations.

 1993: MELISSA DESGAGNES ran aground in the St. Lawrence, two miles east of the Eisenhower Lock, at 2352 hours. The ship was en route from Windsor to Newfoundland with wheat and floated free, after being lightered, on April 15.

 2009: SCARAB was 16 years old when it first came through the Seaway in 1999. The ship was sold and renamed JASPER in 2002 and never returned to our shores. It was anchored off Fatsa, Turkey, when it got blown aground on this date in 2009. Some 2000 tons of fertilizer had to be removed for the ship to float free and it went to Tuzla, Turkey, for repairs.

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


Cuyahoga captain welcomed with top hat ceremony

 4-11 - Owen Sound, Ont. – Cuyahoga ship Capt. John Campbell was sporting the ceremonial top hat, presented Saturday to the captain of the first working ship to enter Owen Sound harbor for the new shipping season.

 The Cuyahoga arrived by 4 a.m. and was expected to take 24 hours to fill its hold with grain bound for Toledo, Ohio.

 The hat was presented to Campbell by Peter Reesor, chief executive officer of the Owen Sound and District Chamber of Commerce. Deputy-Mayor Arlene Wright also welcomed him to the city.

 Cuyahoga, Campbell's grey-hulled self-unloading vessel, was built in 1943 in Lorain, Ohio, as a steamship, the J. Burton Ayers. The current owner, Lower Lakes Towing, of Port Dover, Ont., converted the vessel to diesel propulsion. It's 184 meters long and 18 metres wide.

 Its crew of 18 had just dropped off a load of coke from Detroit in Sault Ste. Marie before making the trip to Owen Sound. Campbell reported the sailing was characterized by high winds and freezing spray. “There was no ice out there but it feels like November,” said Campbell, who attended the Owen Sound campus of Georgian College's marine navigation program in the mid 1990s.

 There are a number of lake freighters and a ferry in the harbor, including the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin, owned by Canada Steamship Lines, which was laid up in Owen Sound for winter along the east harbor wall. It leaves Wednesday, said Archie Dickson, the harbormaster and wharfinger of the port of Owen Sound, who also welcomed Campbell to the city.

Farther south along the east wall, the Algoma Olympic, owned by Algoma Central Corp., arrived in the harbor March 22 without cargo and is currently laid up. It wasnot on a working trip and so it was not part of the ceremonial top hat presentation, Dickson and Reesor said. Farther south on the west side of the harbor sits the Chi-Cheemaun ferry, which spent the winter there and leaves May 4 for Tobermory to begin its service between Tobermory and South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island. Lastly, the Algoway, another Algoma Central ship, on the west side of the harbor by the grain elevators just north of the Cuyahoga, will be leaving Thursday, Dickson said.

Owen Sound Sun Times


 Seaway salties sold for scrapping

4-11 – The following three saltwater vessels have been sold for scrap, with each having made visits to the Great Lakes/Seaway system.

 Ak Abba, more familiar to many as the Greek salty Olympic Merit, which carried that name from 1985 until 2011 and first visited in 1985, was beached at Alang, India, on March 23, 2016. Its last visit came in 2008.

 Agios Nikolas has had a long career with many names and renames, all of which made appearances in the Great Lakes/Seaway system. This vessel carried the name High Light from 1984 to until February 1990, and first came inland in 1985. It was then renamed Scan Trader, and carried this name from 1990 to 1995 and first came inland with this name in 1990. The ship was then renamed Asia Trader, and carried this name from 1995 to September 1996 and first came inland in 1995. Later the ship was renamed again to NST Challenge, and held this name from 1996 until June 2003 and first came inland as such in 1997. The ship was renamed Woody, it carried this name from 2003 until January 2009 and first came inland as such in 2003 and last visited with that name in 2008. Its last rename was to Agios Nikolas. The ship first came inland with that name in 2010 and had not returned since.

Finally, the Orna had a long and interesting career, and also made the headlines in a not so pleasant way. The ship was known as St. Catharines from 1984 to May 1990, and first came inland as such in 1986. Later the ship was Asian Erie from 1990 to March 1992, and first came inland as such in 1990. It was the Handy Laker from 1992 until June 1998, and first came inland as such in 1992. In June 1998 the ship was renamed in the Great Lakes to Moor Laker, and carried that name from 1998 until January 2003. In January 2003, it became the Orna and first came inland as such in 2003 and last visited with that name in 2008. On December 20, 2010, the ship was hijacked by Somali pirates 400 miles northeast of Seychelles while it was coming from Durban, South Africa, with a cargo of coal. The ship was held for nearly two years for ransom before finally being released on October 20, 2012. Thirteen of the 19 crewmen were let go and in April 2012 the pilothouse and accommodation area was burned. The ship was declared a total loss. It was later reported that it was beached at Gadani in June 2011, but this may have been later since the fire occurred in April 2012 and the ship was released by the pirates in 2012.

 Denny Dushane


Port Reports – April 10

 Detroit – Ken Borg
Kaye E. Barker was upbound the Rouge River on April 10 with taconite for AK Steel, Dearborn Works. She had a little load of ice along her port side. Robert S. Pierson came into the Rouge River to load coke at Zug Island in River Rouge, Mich.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Jim Conlon
On Friday the big bridge crane over the graving dock lowered the big new diesel engine down into the engine room of the John G. Munson. Saturday morning three Selvick Towing tugs moved the Munson out of the graving dock to a slip in the south yard. The ATB Defiance/Ashtabula arrived at Bayship on April 3. The tug Defiance and the tanker barge Great Lakes are now on the floating drydock for work. The Interlake boats James R. Barker and Lee A. Tregurtha are having exhaust gas scrubbers installed. The tug Michigan is in the small graving dock for repair work and the American Courage, which is not expected to sail this year, is at a slip in the south yard.

 Stoneport, Mich. – Denny DushaneThere were no vessels loading on Saturday and none were expected to arrive and load for Sunday and Monday. Two vessels are due for Tuesday, with the barge Great Lakes Trader expected to arrive during the late morning, followed at noon by the John J. Boland. All times are estimates and can change due to weather.

 Calcite, Mich. – Denny DushanePhilip R. Clarke was loading on Sunday and was due to depart around 2:30 p.m. Set to arrive on Monday are the barge Ashtabula and the tug Defiance in the morning for the North Dock. Philip R. Clarke returns on Tuesday in the early evening for the South Dock. Due in Wednesday in the late morning is the Joseph H. Thompson for the North Dock. American Mariner is due in for Thursday at noon for the South Dock.

 Sarnia, Ont. – Denny DushaneTwo vessels departed winter lay-up this past weekend. First to leave was the Calumet on Saturday just after midnight, sailing to Marblehead to load. Departing early on Sunday morning was Lower Lakes Towing's Manitoulin, headed upbound into Lake Huron. With these two departures, this leaves Algoma Transport, in lay-up at the Government Dock, and Algorail at the Sidney E. Smith Dock, as the last two vessels in Sarnia laid-up for the winter. Mississagi, which departed Hamilton, Ont., and lay-up on Saturday, is expected to arrive in Sarnia in the next few days.

 Toledo, Ohio – Denny DushaneAlgoma Enterprise is expected to be the first vessel to load coal at the CSX Dock for the 2016 shipping season. They are due to arrive at CSX on Monday in the morning. Also due at CSX is the H. Lee White on Tuesday in the morning. Manitowoc is due at CSX on Wednesday during the early evening, and CSL Laurentien is due at CSX on Thursday in the late morning. There is nothing scheduled yet for the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. The barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory are thus far the only arrivals scheduled at the Torco Dock with iron ore pellets, and they currently have four trips scheduled. They are due in at the Torco Dock on April 17 in the late afternoon, April 22 in the early morning, April 26 in the late evening and on May 1 during the early afternoon. Two vessels, both from American Steamship Co., departed from their winter lay-up berths on Saturday. First to leave was the Sam Laud in the early morning, followed in the afternoon by the American Integrity. American Mariner is expected to depart lay-up sometime this week, while both St. Clair and Manistee remain in lay-up and are not expected to sail in 2016. The barge Lakes Contender and tug Ken Boothe Sr. arrived in Toledo sometime on Saturday and were at one of the CSX docks.

 Port Colborne, Ont. – Denny Dushane
Algoma Enterprise departed winter lay-up in Port Colborne at the Wharf 16 R&P Coal Dock on Sunday and sailed for Toledo, Ohio, to load coal. They were also the last vessel from the Port Colborne lay-up fleet to start the 2016 shipping season. 

Toronto, Ont.
Federal Rideau arrived Saturday about 7 p.m. and docked at the sugar plant.


Toronto Marine Historical Society annual auction under way, luncheon in May

4-11 – The Toronto Marine Historical Society announces two important annual events. The annual auction has now started with a wide assortment of items of interest to collectors of Great Lakes shipping memorabilia. The annual luncheon meeting will take place Sunday May 29 at the Boulevard Club on Toronto's lakefront.  The speaker will be Ted Rafuse, who will present an illustrated history of the two car ferries Ontario No. 1 and Ontario No. 2.

Full details for both events can be found at and at


Today in Great Lakes History - April 11

 In 2015, 18 vessels that had been stuck in 35 square miles of crushed ice up to eight feet thick on Eastern Lake Superior were moving again with the Wednesday arrival of the heavy Canadian icebreaker Pierre Radisson.

 11 April 1890 - 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, running 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 upbound on Whitefish Bay, Lake Superior, a boiler burst on board the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.'s WILLIAM A. IRVIN, killing one of the crew and injuring two others.  

April 11, 1948 - 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.

1964: NORCO had been used to carry pulpwood from Michipicoten to Green Bay from about 1938 to 1957. The vessel had been built at Ecorse, Michigan, for deep-sea service as INCA in 1915, and returned inland in the 1920s. It went back to the sea in 1959 and stranded at Little Corn Island, Nicaragua, on this date in 1964 while en route from Tampa to Puerto Limon, Costa Rica, with a cargo of phosphate.  

1994: AMERICAN MARINER was downbound in the St. Marys River when it struck a rock above the Soo Locks and had to go to the shipyard in Erie to repair the damage.  

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


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. She was sold Panamanian in 2007 and renamed PACIFICO TRADER.

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 saltie 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.

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 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.

1905: The 400-foot steel-hulled bulk carrier GEORGE B. LEONARD arrived in Cleveland with ice damage and leaking bow seams.

1941: The first CEDARBRANCH ran aground at the mouth of the Etobicoke Creek, west of Toronto and had to be lightered to float free.

1949: The former J.H. PLUMMER, once part of Canada Steamship Lines, was reported wrecked, due to stranding in fog, while six miles southwest of Shaweishan on this date in 1949. The vessel was sailing as f) TUNG AN, and was en route from Tsingtao to Shanghai, with scrap steel.

1953: The Finnish freighter ANGELA came to the Great Lakes in 1952 and was wrecked on April 10, 1953, at Frisland, Isle of Coll, due to heavy weather. The vessel was travelling in ballast from Larne, Northern Ireland, to Goole, UK, and was a total loss.

1965: A collision in the Lake St. Peter section of the St. Lawrence involved the TRANSATLANTIC and HERMES. The former, a West German freighter, caught fire and capsized with the loss of three lives. The vessel was salvaged in August and eventually scrapped at Sorel. It had been coming to the Great Lakes for the Poseidon Line since 1961. The latter, a Dutch carrier, never came through the Seaway and was scrapped at Calcutta, India, as NIKI R. in 1985-1986.

1977: HILDA MARJANNE ran aground on a sandbar at Sarnia after leaving the Government Dock with a cargo of corn. It was released the next day with the help of the tug DARYL C. HANNAH.

1989: The canal-sized bulk carrier IROQUOIS, b) TROISDOC (ii), was built in 1955 but left the Seaway as c) KOBA in 1983. That vessel foundered in the Gulf of Mexico, near Isla de Lobos, on this date in 1989 while en route from Tampico to Progresso, Mexico.

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


Coast Guard wants to discuss future in Harbor Beach

4/9 - Harbor Beach, Mich. – Following plans for seasonal closings at U.S. Coast Guard stations in Frankfort, Ludington and Muskegon, the Coast Guard has scheduled a meeting in Harbor Beach to “discuss how we can optimize response to the region,” a public affairs officer says.

“There are no plans to close any Coast Guard stations. That’s off the table,” said Lauren Jorgensen, a public affairs officer for the Coast Guard’s 9th District in Cleveland.

However, Jorgensen says an April 14 meeting in Harbor Beach with city officials and station commands will be similar to the Tuesday meeting in Frankfort, on the west side of the state. Coast Guard Capt. Amy Cocanour said crews in Frankfort “would be here every day, definitely Memorial Day through Labor Day.” She says the station also would have staffing during some other periods, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

Some area officials want the station to stay staffed year-round, since local rescuers get Coast Guard help. The Coast Guard says staffing would increase in Manistee, according to the Associated Press.

The meeting in Harbor Beach, which Jorgensen says won’t be open to the public, will include discussion about how the Coast Guard allocates resources in the region.

“We prefer to have those discussions with them first before we talk about them publicly or with the media,” she said. reported Wednesday one major concern of local first responders is what happens during the off-season, when local fire departments count on help from the Coast Guard during ice rescues.

Since 2005, Coast Guard search and rescue cases have decreased 47 percent nationwide and 63 percent across the Great Lakes, Jorgensen said.

Huron Daily Tribune


Port of Monroe one of 3 new Marine Highway Projects in U.S.

4/9 - Washington, D.C. – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has designated three new Marine Highway Projects.

The Mississippi River, previously designated as the M-55, will serve as the primary route for the Baton Rouge-New Orleans Shuttle project. Sponsored by the Port of New Orleans in partnership with the Port of Greater Baton Rouge and SEACOR AMH, LLC, the proposed container-on-barge service will operate between the Ports of Greater Baton Rouge and New Orleans, reducing congestion and bridge traffic on Louisiana’s Interstate 10.

Also operating along the M-55 from Chicago, IL to New Orleans, La., the proposed Illinois Intrastate Shuttle project is structured to shift about 5,500 containers in its first year of operation from congested north-south Interstate 55 to the Mississippi River. Sponsored by America’s Central Port located in Granite City, Ill., the container on barge service will provide soybean and grain shippers a new routing option.

The third service, the Lake Erie Shuttle, is a proposed route that will carry cargo for shippers between the ports of Monroe, Mich., Cleveland, Ohio and Detroit, Mich. The service is sponsored by the Port of Monroe.


Port Reports -  April 9

Hamilton, Ont.
G3 Marquis (the former CWB Marquis) departed her layup berth in Hamilton about 2 p.m. on Friday. This her first trip under her new name. She is headed for Superior to load and is due there April 11.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
The USCGC Hollyhock was working aids to navigation off Buffalo Friday afternoon.


Updates -  April 9

Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the Albanyborg, Andesborg, Cape, Fairlift, Federal Baltic, Federal Elbe, Federal Rideau, Floretgracht, Jan van Gent, Patras, Strandja and Vectis Castle.


Today in Great Lakes History -  April 9

09 April 1890 - 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 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.

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.

On 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 a.m. to get away from the lumberyard blaze. However, as the crew watched the shore fire, sparks smoldered in the ship's cargo. At 2 p.m., she burst into flame. Four tugs and a steam-powered fire engine brought alongside 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, the 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.

1913: Ice sliced through the wooden hull of the steamer UGANDA in the Straits of Mackinac and the vessel sank near White Shoal. The crew was rescued by the JOHN A. DONALDSON, and there was no loss of life.

1962: On November 28, 1961, fire had broken out aboard the IQUITOS off the coast of Mexico while the ship was en route from Callao, Peru, to Manzanillo, Mexico, with a cargo of fishmeal. The vessel had been a pre-Seaway trader as RUTENFJELL beginning in 1936 and as POLYRIVER beginning in 1951. The blazing freighter was abandoned by the crew. The ship did not sink and drifted for weeks before being spotted February 2, 1962. The hull was considered a hazard to navigation and was sunk on this date, southeast of the Christmas Islands by a U.S. destroyer, in 1962.

1968: MENIHEK LAKE was in a minor collision with the anchored PETITE HERMINE in the Lake St. Francis section of the St. Lawrence, and the latter's anchor chain damaged the propeller of MENIHEK LAKE.

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


Rand Logistics’ plans for 2016 season includes 3 inactive vessels

4/8 - Jersey City, N.J. – Rand Logistics, Inc., parent company of Grand River Navigation and Lower Lakes Towing, has announced the company’s plans for operation in the 2016 sailing season, which includes running 13 of its 16 vessels.

“The company is projecting to sail approximately 3,405 days and operate 13 vessels in the 2016 season, including all six of our Canadian flagged self-unloaders and five of our six US flagged self-unloaders,” said Ed Levy, Rand’s president and CEO. “At such time as we believe we can generate a consistently appropriate return on invested capital on our sixth U.S.-flagged self-unloader (Editor’s note: Believed to be Manistee, laid up in Toledo) we will reintroduce it back into service. In addition, we presently do not expect to utilize any third party vessels to haul our customer tonnage in the 2016 sailing season.”

“During the quarter ended March 31, 2016, we agreed to a favorable buyout of a customer time charter contract on one of our bulk carriers. We have begun to remarket this vessel but are assuming that it, as well as a second of our four bulk carriers (Editor’s note: Believed to be Manitoba and Ojibway), will not sail in the 2016 season. We believe that market conditions, including the size of the Canadian grain harvest, will dictate if either of these two vessels operate in 2016. The two bulk carriers that we currently project will not operate in the 2016 sailing season are amongst the lowest vessel margin per day contributors in our fleet,” Levy continued.

During our fiscal fourth quarter ended March 31, 2016, the Company’s performance exceeded expectations. “We were pleased with our vessel operating performance in our fiscal fourth quarter ended March 31, 2016. While we operated for 113 days in the quarter versus 248 in the same quarter in the prior year period, as a result of weather conditions and a more disciplined operating approach, we are expecting that both our vessel margin and vessel margin per day will be improved as compared to the quarter ended March 31, 2015,” said Mark Hiltwein, Rand’s Chief Financial Officer.

“We have identified between $2 million and $4 million of annual cost savings which we hope to realize over the next 12 months. These cost reduction opportunities include savings in a number of areas including insurance, provisions, spare parts, and general and administration expenses. Our cost savings program is part of our initiative to improve return on invested capital,” stated Hiltwein.

“Our 2016 initiatives, which include the introduction of our newest vessel (Manitoulin), rationalizing our cost structure, managing capital expenses, improving operational efficiencies and achieving higher value added revenue will position us continue to repay debt and increase our return on capital as we operate through the 2016 sailing season,” Hiltwein concluded.

Rand Logistics Inc.


Port Reports -  April 8

Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
There are no vessels scheduled for Friday, however the first vessel for the 2016 season at Calcite is expected to be the Philip R. Clarke, due to arrive for the South Dock on Saturday in the morning. Of note: the Philip R. Clarke also opened up Stoneport for the 2016 season. Also due Sunday around midnight will be the Cason J. Callaway for the South Dock. From there, the next scheduled vessel is not due until Thursday, April 14. All times though are estimates and can change due to weather conditions.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Calumet was expected to arrive late in the evening on Thursday to load coming from winter lay-up in Sarnia. Also expected to arrive at Stoneport were the barge Lakes Contender and tug Ken Boothe Sr. at midnight on Thursday to load. Due to arrive on Friday during the late afternoon will be the Cason J. Callaway. There are no vessels due in for Saturday and Sunday. Rounding out the schedule are two arrivals for Monday, with the Kaye E. Barker due in the morning, followed late in the late afternoon by the John J. Boland.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Hon. James L. Oberstar became the Port of Toledo's first arrival for the 2016 shipping season early on Thursday morning. They arrived at the Torco Dock with a shipment of iron ore pellets. Also expected to arrive at Torco to unload will be the barge James L. Kuber and tug Victory on Thursday, April 14, in the late afternoon. There is nothing due yet for the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. Vessels due to load coal at the CSX Dock will be the Algoma Enterprise on Monday, April 11 in the morning, and they are expected to be the first arrival for CSX for the 2016 season. Also due at CSX to load is the H. Lee White on Tuesday, April 12 in the early morning. Manitowoc is due at CSX on Wednesday, April 13 in the early evening and the CSL Laurentien is due at CSX on Thursday, April 14 during the early morning. Departing lay-up on Thursday morning from Toledo was the 1,000-footer Walter J. McCarthy Jr. from the Midwest Terminal Overseas Dock. American Integrity and Sam Laud are expected to depart lay-up this weekend. American Mariner is expected to sail sometime next week as well. Also in lay-up but not expected to sail in 2016 are the St. Clair and the Manistee. The tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber along with the tug Victory and barge James L. Kuber are still in lay-up at the Torco Dock. The Saginaw was expected to depart Toledo on Thursday after arriving on March 10 to receive a five-year Coast Guard dry-docking. Also in port on Thursday was the Manitowoc, which had arrived from Cleveland.

Lorain, Ohio – Drew Leonard
The Joseph H. Thompson passed under the Charles Berry bridge at 5:06 a.m. Thursday headed for Lafarge stone dock.


High Lake Ontario level worries some

4/8 - Ogdensburg, N.Y. – Water watchers are casting a wary eye toward Lake Ontario, where the level is nearly a foot above normal and two feet higher than a year ago.

“It’s getting to be the spring period and that’s when we get the storms out of the northeast that push the lake another foot higher,” said Dan Barletta, a dentist who lives along the shore on Edgemere Drive. “And then we get the storm surge and waves on top of it.”

The water levels in Lake Ontario and the four other Great Lakes are all well above normal this spring due to unusually moist conditions this winter throughout the Great Lakes basin. As of Friday, Lake Erie was about 14 inches above the long-term normal for that date; lakes Huron and Michigan were about 13 inches above the daily norm, Lake Ontario was about 10 inches above and Superior was eight inches above.

Alone among the five lakes, Ontario’s level can be adjusted somewhat by manipulation of the amount of water that’s allowed through a gigantic hydroelectric dam on the St. Lawrence River, into which the lake flows.

But there are limits to what the regulatory effort can accomplish. Eighty percent of the water in Lake Ontario comes via the uncontrolled flow from the four other Great Lakes. When water in those lakes is high, it will inevitably be high here as well.

Two words help explain the high water: Moisture and warmth.

The western part of the Great Lakes basin — Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota — had very heavy precipitation in December. The eastern portion, including Ohio and upstate New York, had heavy precipitation in February. Nearly everyone experienced heavy precipitation in March. That pushed levels upward in all five Great Lakes.

Moreover, it pushed them up more quickly than would normally be the case because so much of the precipitation fell as rain, not snow. That’s because the entire basin experienced a very mild winter, due largely to the influence of the powerful El Niño in the Pacific Ocean.

Normally, much of the basin is draped in snow as spring begins. The snow melts slowly, meaning its moisture is fed into the lakes over a period of many weeks.

But this year, the snow that did fall melted quickly and much more of the precipitation came in the form of rain, which went unchecked into waterways.

“It was getting into the lakes quicker. It’s more of a change of timing,” said Lauren Fry, a hydraulic engineer and lead water-level forecaster for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Detroit.

Democrat Chronicle


Volunteers needed to repair warship museum in Muskegon

4/8 - Muskegon, Mich. – Volunteers are needed to help spruce up the LST 393 Veterans Museum in Muskegon County.

In December, strong winds pushed the ship from its dock, snapping mooring cables and dragging the anchor of the 330-foot ship. Most of the damage from storm has been repaired but there are projects that still need to be taken care of, "We have a lot of projects we need help with," said museum board President Scott Grant. "If you're handy with tools or even if you've never had one in your hands, we could use your help."

The storm caused damage to the ship's new "D-Day Gray" paint job. Grant says there are other projects as well and include landscaping and building. All of the tools for the work will be provided.

The clean-up weekend is scheduled for the weekend of April 15- 17. Anyone interested in helping for any part of the weekend or with questions can call Grant at (231) 740-3503.



Great Lakes ports open their docks for cruise lines

4/8 - Lansing, Mich. - A cruise on the Great Lakes is comparable to, if not better than, a tour of the Galapagos Islands. That’s the assessment of one seasoned cruise couple arriving in Duluth, Minnesota, after an excursion through the Great Lakes.

“They said the quality of the lectures, to the amount of time at each stop and the fact that every coastline was completely different made it better than any cruise they had been on,” said Adele Yorde, public relations director at the Duluth Seaway Port Authority.

More cruise-savvy travelers may have that Great Lakes option this summer.

Cindy Larsen, president of the Muskegon (Michigan) Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce, is planning for a boost in cruise line tourism in her city. The Pearl Mist cruise ship will stop in Muskegon 10 times this summer. The Pearl Mist is a small ship for 210 passengers operated by Pearl Seas Cruises. Its seven-night Great Lakes cruise stops in Chicago, Muskegon, Mackinac Island, Sault Ste. Marie (Ontario), Little Current (Ontario), Parry Sound (Ontario), and Midland (Ontario).

“Simultaneously, we saw the cruise industry starting to grow while our downtown was experiencing a lot of development,” she said. “We thought it was the perfect time to start reaching out to cruise lines.”

Great Lakes cruise lines have been around since the 1800s. Prior to highway systems and cheap airline travel, they offered luxurious trips close to home. In the spring of 1907, more than 16 million people travelled as passengers on Great Lakes vessels, according to a report by the National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education.

The industry declined in the 1930s but saw an upswing starting in the 1990s, the report said. Only 9/11 security restrictions have limited industry growth since then.

Yorde said, “There was a time when everyone wasn’t on the same page. It was very strict.”

Because of the Great Lakes’ proximity to Canada, federal security requirements meant each port needed proper screening facilities for international travelers, according to the report. That often required pricey investments that weren’t cost effective. It also deterred passengers.

“The best thing about a cruise is that you only have to unpack once,” Yorde said.

Today the Department of Homeland Security, the St. Lawrence Seaway Corp. and the U. S. Coast Guard have smoothed out the process. “They’ve had really good luck,” Yorde said. “They can clear passengers on board now.”

The cruise line industry in the Great Lakes provides the opportunity to engage in “soft footprint tourism and a cooperative exchange between visitors and the port cities,” said Stephen Burnett, the executive director of the Great Lakes Cruising Coalition based in Ontario.

“We encourage ports to build modest facilities, and many times existing buildings are perfect for welcoming visitors,” he said.

Muskegon, historically a port city, will start making room for cruise ships rather than freighters. “We’ve always had the infrastructure that supported the shipping industry,” Larsen said.

The coalition ran a study in 2004 that followed nine vessels over five months. It found that the industry generated $36.8 million in the Great Lakes region, according to its website.

According to Yorde, one of the main deterrents for cruise tourism in Duluth is that few cruise ships are small enough to fit through the St. Lawrence Seaway locks – the route between the lakes and the Atlantic Ocean.

Many cruise ships used in the Great Lakes also sail internationally. The high demand for the smaller cruise ships, coupled with the large number of potential destinations, means many Great Lakes ports wait for years before they see another cruise.

Burnett often takes cruise company directors on a tour of Great Lakes port cities to give them a taste of what their passengers will see. Selecting cruise ship destination is a matter of timing and where the potential customers are, Yorde said.

“There’s so many beautiful coastlines here,” said Yorde, whose port authority is a member of the coalition. “It’s like being a kid in a candy store for cruise lines. There’s a huge market for the Great Lakes.”

Bennett said that ports that can provide a rich cultural history, including the opportunity for eco-tourism, are perfect for cruise tourism.

Both Muskegon and Duluth are good examples. Muskegon has traditionally seen bus tourism and will rework some of its existing WWII-themed tours for cruise passengers, Larsen said. Many of the tours visit the USS LST 393, a decommissioned warship that sits in Muskegon’s harbor. The ship is open to the public and has been converted into a museum.

And in Duluth, “people can get off their cruise ship and kayak right next to these huge, magnificent ships, and then catch a bite at the eateries and shops that line the harbor,” Yorde said.

Great Lakes Echo


Help wanted: Fettes Shipping Inc.

4/8 - Fettes Shipping Inc. is seeking candidates for the position of Marine Superintendent at Fettes Shipping Inc. with our office located in Burlington, Ont. Ideally the successful candidate should have Chief Engineer's experience, or at least work experience in the marine industry in the position of Engineering Officer or Managing Superintendent. All interested candidates may fax, email or mail their resumes to:

Fettes Shipping Inc.
3385 Harvester Rd. Suite 250
Burlington, ON L7N 3N2
Fax: 905 333-6588
Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.


Obituary: Richard McNeil

4/8 - Richard McNeil, a long time Boatnerd from Saginaw, passed away Sunday April 3. He is predeceased by his parents Dick and Shirley McNeil and survived by his brother Mark McNeil of Saginaw Michigan.


Today in Great Lakes History -  April 8

08 April 1871, 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.

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 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, G.A. TOMLINSON required an estimated $235,000 to outfit her machinery for the upcoming 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 riverbank. 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.

1941: The newly-built PRINS WILLEM II first came to the Great Lakes in May 1939. There was a mutiny on board at Sandusky, Ohio, in June 1940, as the crew did not want to return to their now-occupied homeland. The ship was torpedoed off Cape Farewell, Greenland, on April 8, 1941, while travelling from Halifax to London. An estimated 10-12 members of the crew perished.

1942: The first NOVADOC was sailing as g) ARA when it hit a mine and sank off Borkum, Germany, while en route from Gothenburg, Sweden, to Rotterdam, Holland in 1942. The ship had been built as CANADIAN PATHFINDER and was listed as Hull 69 of the Collingwood shipyard. It had also sailed the Great Lakes as b) NORMAN M. PATERSON and c) NOVADOC (i) before being sold to British interests in 1927.

1982: The Canadian-owned QUEBEC came through the Seaway in 1969. It had been built in 1959 as ALICE BOWATER but never came inland under that name. It was sailing as d) BLUE SEA when there was an engine room explosion and fire on April 8, 1982, in the Mediterranean near the Kerkennah Islands in the Gulf of Gabes off Tunisia. The gutted hull was towed to Sfax, Tunisia, on April 12. It was sold for scrap and arrived at Bizerta, Tunisia, for dismantling on July 7, 1984.

2001: The CHERYL C., the fifth name for the ship, was carrying a cargo of steel when it sank on April 8, 2001. The vessel ran aground near Peniche, Portugal, north of Lisbon, due to a navigational error. The 1597 gross ton ship had been built in 1983 and came through the Seaway, under Barbados registry, for the first time on April 22, 1998, with clay for Ashtabula. It made its last inland voyage in November 1999.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


U.S.-flag cargo movement on lakes more than doubles in March

4/7 - Cleveland, Ohio – U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters moved 1,747,111 tons of cargo in March, more than double their total of a year ago. The March float was also on pace with the month’s 5-year average.

Iron ore cargos totaled 1,362,768 tons, again more than double the volume of a year ago. Coal cargos totaled 133,155 tons, basically a repeat of a year ago. Limestone cargos dipped slightly to 68,275 tons, but shipments of cement more than tripled the volume of a year ago, rising to 182,913 tons.

Year-to-date U.S.-flag carriage stands at 4,068,869 tons, an increase of 8 percent compared to the same point in 2015. Iron ore cargos are up 16 percent, but coal cargo have dipped 56 percent. Limestone cargos have increased 26 percent and cement shipments are up 71 percent.

Lake Carriers’ Association


Goderich welcomes Amstelborg as first ship

4/7 - Goderich, Ont. – It has come a bit later than in past years, but the 2016 Great Lakes shipping season is officially under way in the Port of Goderich. For the first time, the inaugural arrival at the harbor in Canada's Prettiest Town is not specifically designed for shipping on the lakes only.

The oceangoing Dutch-registered Amstelborg tied up in Goderich late Sunday, and her captain was treated to the traditional Top Hat ceremony at Town Hall on Monday. Captain Huib van der Mijle says his vessel is loading 10,000 metric tons of corn, to be shipped to Cork, Ireland.

Amstelborg arrived at Trois Rivieres, Quebec, last week, just as the St. Lawrence Seaway was set to open for the season. He says he and his crew are used to winter-like conditions in April. Van der Mijle says the adverse weather we've experienced in the past few days is similar to conditions in many parts of Europe at this time of year, especially in Sweden and Finland.

The Top Hat was presented by Goderich Mayor Kevin Morrison in a ceremony that dates back to the early part of the 20th century.

Bayshore Broadcasting


Lake Superior water levels holding relatively steady

4/7 - Marquette, Mich. – Lake Superior is approaching levels not seen since the 1980s according to the National Weather Service in Marquette County. They say there's currently no ice on Lake Superior.

Data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shows Lake Superior is at the same level it was a month ago. It's two inches higher from this same time last year.

Lake Superior water levels are expected to rise two inches over the next 30 days. Matt Zika with the National Weather Service says, "Really the lake levels are not that far off from where they were this time last year. Our precipitation has been pretty stable for the last year or so unless the overall lake levels haven't fluctuated a whole lot other than their typical seasonal decline and then their increases like we usually see throughout the winter season and now as we're headed into spring."

Lake Superior's outflow through the St. Marys River is projected to be above average for the month of April.


Port Reports -  April 7

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
H. Lee White became the Port of Toledo's fourth vessel to depart from winter lay-up on Wednesday morning. With the White's departure, this now leaves 10 vessels still in winter quarters at Toledo. That includes American Integrity and the Walter J. McCarthy Jr., American Mariner, Sam Laud, St. Clair (not expected to sail in 2016), Manistee (also not expected to sail in 2016), tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber, the tug Victory and barge James L. Kuber. Two vessels are in long-term lay-up, the American Valor and the tug Jane Ann IV/barge Sarah Spencer, both are near the Frog Pond area. The Saginaw arrived on March 10 for a five-year Coast Guard Survey, and re-paint at the Ironhead Shipyard also in Toledo. She is expected to leave on Thursday morning. The port's first vessel with iron ore pellets, the Hon. James L. Oberstar, should be arriving sometime on Thursday to unload at the Torco dock.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
The first boat of the year for Buffalo was the English River Tuesday morning for LaFarge cement. The USCGC Hollyhock was headed for Buffalo at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.


Lakes Pilots Association getting more pilots, new boat

4/7 - Port Huron, Mich. – A 12 percent increase in the rates Great Lakes pilots can charge foreign flag vessels means an additional three pilots for the Lakes Pilots Association in Port Huron.

The U.S. Coast Guard-approved increase went into effect Wednesday. The increase will allow for more American pilots across the Great Lakes, and possibly fewer ships waiting just north of the Blue Water Bridge for an American pilot.

“The Coast Guard realized finally that we need to be compensated fairly to attract new people,” said George Haynes, a pilot and vice president of the Lakes Pilots Association.

Haynes said Great Lakes pilots — based on the difficulty of their work and skill level required — have been the lowest paid in the country for his entire career.

The Lakes Pilots Association out of Port Huron is a private company that provides piloting services to foreign vessels entering the lakes from the ocean. Foreign vessels are required by both the U.S. and Canada to have an American or Canadian pilot on board since the foreign ship officers aren’t licensed in the U.S.

The American or Canadian pilot helps handle communication with other vessels and ports, or give ship crews advice on how to safely navigate the rivers and waterways.

The rate increase would mean those foreign vessels pay more to have an American pilot on board.

The rate increase applies to all Great Lakes pilotage rates, allowing for the hire of a total of nine additional pilots among the three companies that pilot foreign flag vessels on the Great Lakes. Lakes Pilots Association provides pilots on Lake Erie, the Detroit River, the St. Clair River and all the ports in between.

The rate increases and the change in the methodology to tally that rate would set each pilot’s target compensation at $326,114, according to a March 7 report from the U.S. Coast Guard.

It would increase the rates for about 126 foreign flag vessels by 12 percent – an about $1.86 million increase from 2015. The Coast Guard also authorized a temporary surcharge of $1.65 million to cover the costs of hiring and training additional pilots. The rates will be reviewed again next year.

The rate changes were prompted by complaints from the pilots and industry officials regarding revenue shortfalls that impeded “safe, efficient and reliable pilotage service,” according to the report from the U.S. Coast Guard.

“They said these shortfalls are the primary reason that the associations could not provide sufficient pilot compensations to attract, hire, and retain qualified pilots,” the Coast Guard report said.

“… Industry has agreed that there is a shortage of qualified pilots and said that the decay of association infrastructure jeopardized the pilots’ ability to ensure vessel safety and provide efficient, reliable service.”

Foreign flag vessels aren’t happy with the increase, which they feel will far exceed the Coast Guard’s 12 percent estimate.

Michael Broad, president for the Shipping Federation of Canada, estimates the new increase will be closer to 46 percent more than the foreign flag vessels paid in 2015. The Shipping Federation of Canada represents all of the foreign flag shipping lines entering the Great Lakes.

Broad said the Coast Guard’s final rule was dismissive of industry comments and relied on anecdotal evidence rather than hard facts.

“We tried to appeal to the Coast Guard’s sense of accountability but that doesn’t seem to have worked so I guess we’ll have to decide what to do moving forward,” Broad said. “We’re looking at all options, including legal action.”

Haynes said the additional pilots are sorely needed. In 2014, the Lakes Pilots Association employed 10 pilots, its lowest number of pilots since 1960.

He said the low rates authorized by the Coast Guard have not been enough to attract qualified and experienced pilots. The new pilots in Port Huron will increase the association’s numbers from 11 to 14, and total pilot numbers across the Great Lakes from 41 to 50.

“They would not have come here if we didn’t have that rate increase,” Haynes said. “Now, we’ll be able to service the ships without delays.”

The Lakes Pilots Association also is in the midst of building a new pilot boat used to transport pilots to and from freighters.

Haynes said, in 2013, the Great Lakes Pilotage Authority of Canada asked Lakes Pilots to provide a more reliable pilot boat in Detroit. Haynes said both pilot agencies and foreign flag vessels have pitched in to pay for the $1.6 million cost of the new pilot boat.

The 53-foot boat is being built by Gladding-Hearn in Somerset, Massachusetts, and should be ready by September.

The new boat will replace the Huron Belle in Port Huron, which was built in 1979. The Huron Belle will be moved to Detroit and replace the Huron Maid, which was not built for heavy seas, Haynes said.

The new boat will be called the Huron Mist. Haynes said the pilots association asked the Jim Acheson foundation to name the boat in honor of Acheson’s contributions to the community.

Haynes said the increase in pilots and investment in infrastructure are a relief for Great Lakes pilots.

“We’ll look back on this year as the Great Expansion,” Haynes said. “We’ve never hired this many people in one year and our last boat was built in 1979.”

Port Huron Time Herald


Huron/Georgian Bay at 1998 levels and rising

4/7 - Owen Sound, Ont. – If the lakes look higher, they are. Georgian Bay and Lake Huron are 32 centimetres about the long-term average for this time of year and 13 cm higher than this time last year, lake level expert Frank Seglenieks said Wednesday.

Levels are the highest for this time of year in those connected bodies of water since 1998, the year which roughly marked the tail end of a period of high lake levels. A slow decline in levels followed over the next 15 years, when lake levels were trending below the average.

All the Great Lakes have risen over the past two years and are “definitely above average,” Seglenieks said. Longterm averages stretch back to measurements taken since 1918.

“So we've kind of gone back to the levels . . . at the end of the high water periods back in the '90s,” Seglenieks said.

What stands out for Seglenieks, a water resources engineer with the boundary water issues unit of Environment and Climate Change Canada, is the level rose 14 centimetres in February and March in Huron and Georgian Bay, when on average it rises 4 cm in that period.

That's mostly because March's spring-like temperatures sped up the snowmelt and there was lots of rain too – it was almost twice as wet as the longterm average in the basin, which includes Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, Seglenieks said.

That may mean less of a rise in the weeks ahead due to spring rain and melting but Seglenieks said even if there were average conditions, the lakes' seasonal rise will add 25 cm more by the middle of summer.

And even if spring and summer are dry, local lake levels “will still more than likely be above average.”

Seglenieks attributes the rising lake levels to weather pattern changes that brought more precipitation. And it's not all attributable to the El Nino effect, which is often cited for extreme weather changes, he said.

That effect refers to the influence of warmer waters in the Pacific Ocean off South America on the jet stream and on weather patterns.

“Because it's been going on for a couple of years now, the higher water levels have started before the El Nino started. And El Nino peaked last November and it affects more the temperature,” as reflected in the mild winter we just experienced, he said.

But El Nino's influence on precipitation is less one-sided; sometimes it's higher and sometimes it's lower, Seglenieks said.

“So it's a general pattern also for the last couple of years of higher precipitation. And that's just something that has happened and maybe in 10, 15 years they might be able to look back and relate it to something else. But right now, that's just the way it is.”

Owen Sound Sun Times


Ogdensburg receives $10,000 to create docking area for cruise ships

4/7 - Ogdensburg, N.Y. – The city has received a $10,000 grant that will help created a secure facility along the municipal dock that would meet federal requirements for allowing international passengers to debark from cruise ships.

The grant was announced by Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell, D-Theresa, on Tuesday. In a press release Mrs. Russell said the $10,000 grant is aimed at enhancing tourism efforts in Ogdensburg.

The funding is aimed at assisting in the establishment of a secure docking facility at the city’s municipal dock. The improvement will allow cruise ships to make stops in Ogdensburg.

The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority is assisting in the effort by providing $5,000 to amend the United States Coast Guard’s facilities security plan to include the city’s municipal dock, according to the press release.

Mrs. Russell said she was pleased to secure the funding for the city of Ogdensburg, and predicted a secure docking facility along the municipal greenbelt will bolster the potential for economic development.

“It can only benefit the local economy if cruise ships have an option to stop in Ogdensburg, so their passengers can visit the internationally renowned Remington Museum, interact with local residents and businesses, spend money at local stores and restaurants and have the opportunity to purchase items from our local artisans,” Mrs. Russell said. “It’s a win every time one of the cruise ships stops in our river communities rather than simply passing by on the river.”

Mrs. Russell said giving cruise ship operators the option of making a stop in Ogdensburg could potentially make the Maple City a first stop for ships leaving Montreal and headed for the Great Lakes region.

“I think that initial exposure to our communities could draw some of those tourists back for longer stays to explore our region,” she said.

The money will be used to purchase fencing, and signage required by the U.S. Coast Guard, according to Mrs. Russell.

The issue of a lack of a secure docking area arose last year when the cruise ship M.S. St. Laurent had planned to dock in Ogdensburg but was forced to reroute to Clayton after being told by federal officials that Ogdensburg’s riverfront did not meet safety protocols regarding international passengers.

Ogdensburg Journal


Welland Canal Notice to Shipping #5 has been issued

4/7 -


Reservations going fast for 2016 S.S. Badger Gathering; 4 staterooms left

4/7 - Plans have been completed for the annual Boatnerd Gathering aboard the S.S. Badger for a round trip from Ludington, MI to Manitowoc, WI and return on Saturday, June 4. While in Manitowoc, Boatnerds will have an option to reboard the Badger for a Wisconsin Shoreline Cruise or visit the Wisconsin Maritime Museum.

Staying on board the Badger on Friday night, June 3, is also an option. Friday night guests will be treated to guided tours of the pilothouse and possibly the engine room, plus a buffet breakfast on Saturday morning.

Only four staterooms are still available. Last year we sold out the available staterooms. Make your reservation today.

See the Gathering Page for all the details.


Today in Great Lakes History -  April 7

On April 7, 1997, LEE A. TREGURTHA suffered an 18-foot hull fracture in her port bow near the bowthruster 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 Russell 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.

1941: The PORTADOC had been requisitioned by the British Ministry of War Transport and was en route from Saint John, NB, to Sierra Leone with a cargo of coal when it was torpedoed by U-124 off the coast of Africa. The crew spent six days on the open sea before landing at French Guinea. They were taken prisoner by the Vichy French forces and the Chief Engineer died before there was a prisoner of war exchange. The vessel, part of the Paterson fleet, had also sailed on the Great Lakes as a) EUGENE C. ROBERTS and b) JAMES B. FOOTE.

1968: CAPTAIN LEONIDIS ran aground in the Messier Channel, Chile, while travelling from Santos, Brazil, to Valparaiso, Chile. The vessel stranded April 7, 1968, and became a total loss. It had first come to the Great Lakes as the Norwegian freighter d) FANA in 1964 and returned as e) CAPTAIN LEONIDIS in 1966. The hull remains aground and appears to have been used by the Chilean Navy for target practice.

1979: GEHEIMRAT SARTORI dated from 1951 and had been a pre-Seaway caller to the Great Lakes. It returned through the new waterway for three trips in 1959 and was sailing as c) SEA ROVER when it was lost on this date in 1979. The cargo shifted in heavy weather on the Mediterranean while the ship was en route from Civitavecchia, Italy, to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It sank about eight miles off Punta Cornacchia.

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


Twin Ports delegation greets season's first saltie

4/6 - Duluth, Minn. – Duluth greeted its first oceangoing vessel of the season Sunday, as the Dutch-flagged Albanyborg passed beneath the Aerial Lift Bridge at 7:41 p.m.

In a ceremony Monday afternoon to mark the event, local dignitaries gathered on the ship's bridge, where they presented its captain, Igor Bunenkov, with gifts.

Vanta Coda, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, welcomed the vessel, praising Bunenkov and his crew for piloting the first oceangoing vessel of the season to enter the St. Lawrence Seaway as well as the first to arrive in the Twin Ports. The 472-foot-long Albanyborg began its journey through the seaway on March 23.

"I'm not sure that we can promise this type of reception every time you come here," Coda joked.

The ship brought wind turbine components from Emden, Germany, to Port Colborne, Ontario. After making the delivery, the Albanyborg continued westward to Duluth to receive a load of grain.

Bunenkov reported smooth sailing on the Great Lakes and sparse ice — not that more wintry conditions would have stopped the Albanyborg.

"This vessel is ice class A1. She is small, but she is like an icebreaker," Bunenkov said.

He said the Albanyborg encountered about four days of challenging weather during its two-week crossing of the Atlantic, but added that such conditions are to be expected at this time of year.

The ship is operated by a multi-national team. Bunenkov hails from Ukraine. One of his officers is Vietnamese. And the ship draws its 12-man crew from the Philippines.

"The flag is the only thing on this vessel that is Dutch," joked Bunenkov, noting as well that the ship was built in China.

Adele Yorde, public relations director for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, spoke to the significance of the Albanyborg's arrival, telling Bunenkov: "This is the start of international commerce for the Twin Ports. We've had our lakers — our freighters that are on the Great Lakes — running for a couple of weeks, but you really signal the start of global commerce."

Yorde said the Port Authority values its relationship with the fleet of which the Albanyborg is a member.

"We have a long-standing relationship in this port with Royal Wagenborg. You'll see a lot of these red and gray vessels coming to get grain and bringing in wind turbine components. We really appreciate the fact that they've made a commitment to the Great Lakes/Seaway sailing," she said.

In response, Bunenkov said: "On behalf of my crew and our company, thank you very much. We are the first vessel this year but not the last."

Thanks in part to a mild spring and an early opening of the seaway, the Albanyborg arrived on the early side, historically. Yorde noted that the earliest recorded arrival of a saltie in Duluth was March 30, and the slowest start to oceangoing traffic was May 7.

On Monday, the Albanyborg was fitted with bulkheads and inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard. Bunenkov expected to begin loading spring wheat at the CHS terminal in Superior on Tuesday and then set out out by Wednesday on a three-week journey to Italy.

Although the vessel can carry up 15,000 metric tons of grain, Bunenkov said it would load only to two-thirds its capacity, due to draft limitations en route.

Duluth News Tribune


Icebreaking today in Keweenaw Waterway

4/6 - At the request of local officials, the United States Coast Guard cutter Alder will conduct icebreaking operations in the Keweenaw Waterway. On Wednesday April 6.

Alder will make their approach to the waterway from the east and enter at Keweenaw Bay. The cutter will transit west through Portage Lake ending at the upper entry and the open waters of Lake Superior. All recreational users of the Keweenaw Waterway should plan their activities carefully, and use caution near the ice.



Port Reports -  April 6

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
The tug Spartan, and her tank barge, Spartan II, called on the Port Fisher Dock in Bay City early Tuesday morning, unloading at the Dow Chemical/Oxy connection. The pair was expected to be outbound later in the day.

While the commercial shipping season started early in 2016, beginning with the arrival of the Samuel de Champlain - Innovation on March 19th, no other vessels visited the Saginaw River in March.


Port of Ogdensburg to get $2.6 million upgrade a year ahead of schedule

4/6 - Ogdensburg, N.Y. – A $2.6 million project aimed at expanding the Port of Ogdensburg and growing its agriculture import-export business will start a year ahead of schedule, according to Sen. Patty Ritchie, R-Heuvelton.

The project, which includes the addition of two grain storage bins, a new conveyor system and the rehabilitation of two rail bridges, was set to begin next year.

Ritchie says the state has moved its timetable at her request.

That new law will also allow improvements to proceed on the OBPA-owned Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge, ensuring the link to Ottawa and northeastern Canada can continue for at least another 50 years. In addition, Ritchie says she secured $200,000 to fund a dredging project at the port to remove 30 years of silt buildup that had made docking more difficult, dangerous and costly.

“With its proximity to Canada, and its location as the last deepwater port for outward bound shipping from the Great Lakes, the Port of Ogdensburg can play a key role in growing our economy, and helping to create new jobs,” Ritchie said. “This project especially positions the port to better serve the needs of North Country farmers and agribusinesses by making it easier to move products to newer and bigger markets by both rail and water. I’m grateful to the governor and the state DOT for moving this project forward on a faster pace.”

North Country Now


Coast Guard, city of Two Rivers discuss changes to local Coast Guard operations

4/6 - Two Rivers, Wis. – Representatives with the U.S. Coast Guard, City of Two Rivers, and Two Rivers area response agencies met in Two Rivers recently to discuss a Coast Guard proposal to optimize its response capabilities by adjusting how it operates Coast Guard Station Two Rivers, starting in the fall of 2016.

Under the proposed plan, Station Two Rivers will remain staffed with response crews Friday through Sunday during the summer months, and will operate and respond from its parent unit in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, on other days. Built into the plan is flexibility for the seasonal station to begin operating in early spring or into late fall when necessary, and to resume operations if needed during special events.

The Two Rivers facility will continue to be occupied year round by 10 Coast Guard members responsible for maintaining aids-to-navigation in the region. Separating the search-and-rescue and aids-to-navigation functions and personnel allows more specialization and proficiency and is the method used by the Coast Guard in most areas of the country. It is similar to having separate police and fire departments. These changes allow the Coast Guard to better staff, train and equip the boats and crews continuing to serve the Two Rivers area.

Station Two Rivers’ search and rescue operations will be fully staffed during the summer of 2016, and the proposed changes will be put into effect in the fall of 2016.

“We want the community to know that our crews will still be on the water in Two Rivers ready to respond to emergencies and enforce federal laws and regulations,” said Chief Petty Officer Christopher Zahn, officer in charge of Station Two Rivers. “Although response crews may not be operating from Two Rivers year round, they will continue to serve this area. We’re also very grateful for the relationships we have with our partners here, who we will continue to work alongside to ensure the public’s safety and security.”



Updates -  April 6

Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the Cape, Federal Caribou, Patras, Sichem Challenge, Vancouverborg, and Wigeon.


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 mizzenmast. 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.

1942: The CANADIAN FARMER was Hull 65 of the Collingwood shipyard and it was launched there on December 27, 1919. The vessel was sailing as c) SHIN KUANG when it was sunk by Japanese surface naval forces on the Bay of Bengal.

1949: FORT WILLDOC of the Paterson fleet and the JAMES E. McALPINE of the Brown Steamship Co. collided in Lake Superior, above Whitefish Point, on this date. Both ships were damaged and needed repairs.

1972: The freighter STAR OF REWIAH had been built at Collingwood as Hull 105 and launched as the corvette H.M.S. COMFREY on July 28, 1942. The ship was later converted to a cargo carrier and was sailing under this sixth name when it ran aground off the Ashrafi Lighthouse in the Gulf of Suez and declared a total loss on this date in 1972. It was traveling in ballast from Suez, Egypt, to Safaga, Egypt, at the time.

1978: The self-unloader TARANTAU was blown aground due to the wind and shifting ice pack in Lake Huron above Port Huron and had to be freed by the tug BARBARA ANN.

1979: A violent spring storm found LABRADOC (ii) on Lake Erie where the cargo shifted and the vessel took on a precarious list. All on board were removed fearing the ship would roll over and sink. But it survived and was towed to safety eventually undergoing repairs at Port Weller Dry Docks. The vessel left Great Lakes service in 1988 and operated on deep sea runs as b) FALCON CREST until scrapping at Gadani Beach, Pakistan, in 1994.

1992: An explosion and fire in the tunnel of HALIFAX occurred while the CSL ship was upbound in the St. Marys River. One sailor was killed and two more injured while the ship sustained internal damage. It went to Thunder Bay for repairs.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


Port Reports -  April 5

Duluth, Minn. - Daniel Lindner
The Albanyborg arrived in Duluth on Sunday evening, becoming the port's first saltie of the year. The Wagenborg-owned vessel was also the first vessel to transit the St. Lawrence Seaway when it opened on March 23. The ship is making her first visit to the Great Lakes.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
There were no vessel loadings Monday. Due in Tuesday is the Joseph H. Thompson in the early morning. For Wednesday, expected to arrive in the early morning will be the barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann. Due on Thursday in the early evening will be the Calumet. Rounding out the schedule Friday at noon will be the Cason J. Callaway. All times are estimates and can change due to weather conditions.


Harsens Island drawbridge under review

4/5 - Clay Township, Mich. – Officials are reviewing a proposal for a drawbridge connecting the St. Clair County mainland to Harsens Island, northeast of Detroit. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has received about 280 written comments on the Detroit International Bridge Co.'s proposal. A permit application shows the 1,750-foot bridge would cross the St. Clair River's north channel.

Access is currently only possible via boat, ferry or small plane.

Katie Fairchild, an environmental quality analyst with the DEQ's water resource division, told the Times Herald of Port Huron that a "review of the proposed impacts, including consideration of the comments received" is next in the process. A public hearing was held in March and the exact timing of a decision hasn't been announced.

The bridge company operates the Ambassador Bridge connecting Detroit with Windsor, Ontario. It first proposed the Harsens Island project in 2001. In 2005, the U.S. Coast Guard denied permit requests because that proposal, which included a fixed bridge, would have interfered with clearance requirements.

The DEQ denied a permit request from the bridge company in 2007, saying in part it could impact lake sturgeon habitat and spawning.

Bourke Thomas, a natural resources team leader at engineering firm Atwell, said the state has 150 days from the time it has accepted the complete project application to make a decision. Atwell is working with the DEQ on behalf of the bridge company.

The proposed bridge would stretch between the Riverview Campground Marina on the mainland and just west of the Sunset Harbor Marina on Harsens Island.

The Republic


Coast Guard making some Muskegon operations seasonal

4/5 - Muskegon, Mich. – The U.S. Coast Guard plans to shift some operations from its Station Muskegon in West Michigan. Search and rescue operations from the station will switch to summer only after the end of this summer, reported Friday.

Operations currently are year-round. Response crews will staff the station Friday through Sunday each week starting in summer 2017.

Some Muskegon staff will be moved to Grand Haven. Coast Guard members still will be in the Muskegon building year-round to maintain aids to navigation along Lake Michigan's eastern shore.

Search and rescue operations at the Muskegon Station could start in early spring or extend into late fall when necessary.

"It's important to keep in mind that Muskegon is not losing people or boats, and this is not a cost-saving initiative," Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan Capt. Amy Cocanour said. "We're planning to make a few adjustments that make the most sense so we can provide an even higher level of response than we have right now. Our crews will still be on the water in Muskegon ready to respond to emergencies and enforce laws and regulations."

Separating functions is the method used in other parts of the country and allows more specialization and proficiency, according to the Coast Guard.

Local authorities in the Muskegon area will continue to work year-round with the Coast Guard.

Crain’s Detroit Business


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.

1921: The Imperial Oil tanker IMPOCO (ii) had combined Great Lakes and coastal trading and had gone as far afield as the Mediterranean Sea and the Falkland Islands during World War One. The 8-year old vessel stranded at Blonde Rock, Cape Sable, Nova Scotia, on this date in 1921 while en route from Halifax to Saint John with a cargo of gasoline. The ship was lightered, salvaged on May 4, and beached at Charles Harbour and then at Halifax as not worth repair. The hull was apparently not scrapped until 1953.

1983: The small Finnish freighter KENITRA visited the Great Lakes in 1957. It was abandoned by her crew in the Red Sea while sailing as d) ALASKA on this date in 1983. It had developed a severe list while traveling from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to Mersin, Turkey, and sank the same day.

1996: The Liberian freighter STEEL FLOWER ran aground in the St. Lawrence near Wellesley Island while upbound on this date in 1996 and was stuck for two days. The ship had also been a Seaway trader as a) FEDERAL RHINE (i) from 1978 to 1992, as STEEL FLOWER from 1994 to 1996 and as c) NARRAGANSETT from 1997 to 1999 before going to Alang, India, for scrap later in 1999.

1999: The PATERSON (ii) ran aground in Lake St. Francis and was stuck for two days. The ship went to Les Mechins, QC for repairs and returned to work on May 13. The vessel now sails for Canada Steamship Lines as b) PINEGLEN (ii).

1999: ALGONTARIO ran aground at Johnsons Point in the St. Mary's River while upbound with a load of cement from Clarkson to Duluth. The ship was released April 7 and, after unloading, was laid up at Thunder Bay until eventual repairs and a return to service on October 10, 2004. The vessel was towed to Aliaga, Turkey, for scrapping in 2011.

Data from: Skip Gilham, 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

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Baie Comeau made her first-ever visit to Stoneport on Saturday. They loaded a cargo of limestone and were expected to depart at 3 a.m. on Sunday for Windsor, Ont. There was nothing scheduled on Sunday. Due in Monday at noon is the Joseph H. Thompson. Expected to arrive Tuesday are the tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder in the early morning. There are no vessels scheduled for Wednesday. On the schedule for Thursday are the barge Lakes Contender and tug Ken Boothe Sr., due in during the early morning, followed during the late evening by the Calumet.

Port Weller, Ont.
Sunday the tugs Molly M1 and Jarrett M docked the Algolake at the east wall of the Welland Canal beside Port Weller drydock. She had been laid up for the winter at Hamilton.

Oswego, N.Y. – Ned Goebricher
On Sunday, Robert S. Pierson unloaded a cargo of corn.


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 pilothouse 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 and renamed c.) SHUKHEIR. Scrapped in Egypt in 1989.

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

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

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

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 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.

1969: The Liberty ship CORINTHIAKOS made three trips to the Great Lakes beginning in 1960. It had been built as a tanker but rebuilt as a bulk carrier in 1955. The ship was sailing under Liberian registry as h) PACSTAR when it ran aground in a storm on the north shore of Toshima, Tokyo Bay en route from Kure, Japan, to Portland, Oregon, in ballast. The bottom was opened to the sea and the engine room was flooded. Salvage efforts were unsuccessful and the ship was abandoned as a total loss and sold for scrap.

1969: The self-unloader HOCHELAGA of Canada Steamship Lines hit the breakwall stern first while turning with the help of tugs at Conneaut, Ohio. The cargo of coal was lightered to MANITOULIN and HOCHELAGA had to go to Port Colborne for repairs.

1997: ELIJIANNI, a Greek bulk carrier, had visited the Great Lakes in 1979. It was sailing as d) KEKOVA when it was in a collision with the VASILIOS III, a Greek tanker, in the Sea of Marmora on this date in 1997. There were temporary repairs to the port bow but the 27-year-old vessel was sold for scrap and arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, for dismantling on June 2, 1997.

Data from: Skip Gillham, 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.


Ex-Canadian Miner scrap deal leads to court battle

4/3 - Antigonish, N.S. – Antigonish marine building and demolition company R.J. MacIsaac Construction is suing Inmarca Holdings for breach of contract, according to a lawsuit filed in Supreme Court of Nova Scotia this week.

R.J. MacIsaac was contracted to remove the wreck of bulk carrier Canadian Miner off Cape Breton’s Scaterie Island for $11.9 million after the ship ran aground in 2011. The lawsuit alleges that Ontario-based Inmarca failed to pay an agreed $230 per metric tonne for 8,000 tonnes of scrap metal resulting from the ship’s scrapping.

R.J. MacIsaac, headed by Boyd MacIsaac, is seeking damages for alleged breach of contract, interference with contractual and economic relations and bad faith.

The company further alleges that Inmarca agreed the demolition company would buy a ship called the Catherine Desgagnes, deliver it to Louisbourg then sell it to Inmarca, to transport the metal. This part of the deal was valued at $500,000, the suit said. The ship was delivered to Sydney Harbour in January but Inmarca did not pay for or take the ship, the lawsuit said.

The company also alleges it then tried to mitigate losses by selling the ship and the metal to India-based Aim Recycling Group, but that Inmarca then called Aim and interfered with that deal by claiming to own both, resulting in R.J. MacIsaac getting a lower price for the ship and the scrap.

Inmarca has not filed a defense.

The Chronicle Herald


Port Reports -  April 3

Huron, Ohio – Steven Myers
The John J. Boland left lay-up at Huron, Ohio Friday night, April 1. Adam Cornelius remains in lay-up at Huron.


Michigan Coast Guard station gets helicopter with 'throwback' design

4/3 - Traverse City, Mich. – A life-saving piece of history touched down in Northern Michigan on Friday when the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station in Traverse City took delivery of its new MH-65D helicopter.

The helicopter, which will be used for search-and-rescue missions among other work, is one of just eight helicopters nationwide that the military has adorned with its centennial "throwback" paint design, according to the station's Facebook page.

It brings the number of helicopters based at the Traverse City station to four. With her tail number as a moniker, she's known as "Coast Guard 6517"

"Look for her over the skies of the Great Lakes as she is a permanent addition to our other 3 MH-65Ds based in Traverse City!" Coast Guard staff said on social media.

Its retro look is part of the U.S. Coast Guard's Aviation Centennial, which this year is celebrating 100 years of Coast Guard aviators.

Read more and see a video at this link


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 went overseas for scrap in 2012 as b.) GORDON C. LEITCH (ii).

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 pilothouse.

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.

1942: The second TABORFJELL to visit the Great Lakes for the Fjell Line was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic east of New Jersey on this date by U-576. The vessel was en route from Matanzas, Cuba, to New York and Montreal with sugar. The three survivors waited for 20 hours before being rescued. Another 17 crewmates perished. The 1339 gross ton vessel first came inland shortly after being delivered in August 1938.

1975: The self-unloader J.W. McGIFFIN of Canada Steamship Lines was blown aground in the Welland Canal near Thorold. Two holes were punched in the hull and they were repaired at Port Weller Dry Docks. The ship was rebuilt as CSL NIAGARA in 1999.

Data from: Skip GIllham, 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.


Lead concerns halt work on Herbert C. Jackson

4/2 - Superior, Wis. – The presence of lead paint has halted work on a project at Fraser Shipyards in Superior. According to an email from Fraser President James Farkas, the company "has confirmed the existence of lead paint on some recent work areas and surfaces."

Work on the affected areas stopped Tuesday and a certified remediation organization has been contracted to remove paint in all areas that will be disturbed, Farkas said. The shipyard also will provide free lead level screening for all team members through Essentia Health.

When work resumes on the project, additional safety precautions will be used, including air monitoring testing, HEPA vacuums for spot cleanups and improved ventilation.

"Fraser takes the health and safety of our team members very seriously," Farkas wrote in the email. "Our team is committed to work to ensure a safe and hazard-free workplace."

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) began investigating Fraser Shipyards in February in response to a complaint. In addition to lead, the OSHA website indicates that the investigation also is looking into levels of chrome 6, also known as hexavalent chromium, which may be generated during welding on stainless steel or metal coated with chromate paint. The OSHA investigation remains open.

Officials with Boilermakers Local 647 told WDIO-TV that the lead paint was found on the 57-year-old freighter Herbert C. Jackson, which is being converted to a diesel-propulsion system.

Duluth News Tribune


First saltie of the 2016 season due into Duluth-Superior Sunday

4/2 - Duluth, Minn. – The first saltie of the 2016 season, the Albanyborg, is underway and expected to sail into the port of Duluth-Superior this weekend. Her ETA is approximately 5 p.m. Sunday, April 3. The ship will pass through the Duluth Ship Canal and beneath the Aerial Bridge before making its way to the Clure Public Marine Terminal to dock overnight.

The 472-foot Albanyborg, which flies the flag of The Netherlands, will be the first oceangoing vessel to arrive in the Twin Ports this year after transiting the full length of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway system. It also was the first foreign-flag vessel to enter the Seaway after it opened on March 23. The multipurpose carrier, part of the Royal Wagenborg fleet, made one stop along the way to deliver a cargo of wind turbine components from Germany to Port Colborne, Ont.

Built in 2010, the Albanyborg has 12 crewmembers onboard and is under the command of Captain Igor Bunenkov. Local vessel agent is Guthrie Hubner.

The vessel is scheduled to spend Monday docked at the Port Terminal while bulkheads are erected inside its cargo hold to prepare for loading grain, then proceed to the CHS terminal on the Superior side of the harbor to load 10,000 metric tons of spring wheat for Italy. If all goes according to schedule, departure is set for late Tuesday/early Wednesday.

An invitation-only First Ship Ceremony is being planned for Monday afternoon on the Clure Terminal for community leaders and representatives from the maritime industry to welcome the captain and crew. Invited guests include representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard, mayor’s office, Twin Ports Ministry to Seafarers, Duluth Seaway Port Authority and other civic leaders. Bob Gustafson from Visit Duluth will be on hand to announce the winner of the 2016 First Ship Contest. Over 2,100 entries were received in this year’s contest, cosponsored by Visit Duluth and the Port Authority. Due to Homeland Security regulations, the ceremony is an invitation-only event.

Historical Note: Latest arrival of this port’s first saltie was the Diana on May 7, 2014, while the earliest on record was the Federal Hunter on March 30, 2013.

Duluth Seaway Port Authority


Thunder Bay greets first saltie

4/2 - Thunder Bay, Ont. – Thursday morning was overcast, trying to decide whether it should snow or rain, as the red-hulled MV Federal Barents tied up at the Richardson Grain Terminal two days after arriving in the Lake Superior harbor. Flying under the Marshall Islands flag, she became the first saltie of the 2016 season to arrive in Thunder Bay, becoming only the second ship in the port’s history to start the shipping season prior to April 1.

While the Federal Barents took on a bulk cargo of lentils for delivery to Mersin, Turkey, she was celebrated in the city’s second “Top Hat” ceremony of the season on Friday morning, this time in the midst of snowstorm that hid Lake Superior, Richardson Terminal, and the Federal Barents from view. The award conferred upon the first ocean-going vessel of the season followed one for the motor vessel Tecumseh as the first laker earlier in the week.

The 200-metre Federal Barents, with a holding capacity of 20600 tonnes, was built for Fednav in 2015. Fednav is the largest ocean-going dry-bulk shipping company in Canada. They have a 70-year-history of international shipping on the Great Lakes as well as the Canadian Arctic. The Federal Barents is under charter by Tyraki Agro, Turkey’s largest producer and exporter of organic foods.

With the annual ceremonies completed, the port of Thunder Bay has settled into its regular spring regimen delighting fans of the big ships who regularly wait for the next arrival.

Beverly Soloway


Cleveland welcomes arrival of first ship of the 2016 season

4/2 - Cleveland, Ohio – Thursday the Port of Cleveland welcomed the arrival of the Floretgracht, the first vessel to arrive on dock for the 2016 shipping season. The Floretgracht is owned by Spliethoff Transport of the Netherlands, which operates the Port’s Cleveland-Europe Express (CEE) – the port’s liner service between the Midwest, Europe, and connecting points worldwide.

Port President and CEO Will Friedman was on hand to welcome and present a gift to Captain Joel S. Vistro and the crew of Floretgracht. The vessel was also carrying two new cranes that will service the port’s docks and increase speed and efficiency for its clients.

Due to a mild winter and limited ice, the 2016 shipping season began two weeks early as compared to 2015, when the first freighter did not arrive in Cleveland until the second week of April.

“The port’s is excited to kick off the 2016 shipping season, and it is fitting that the first ship in our docks is the Floretgracht, part of the Cleveland Europe Express, ” said Will Friedman, port president and CEO. “We expect 2016 to be another year of growth for our port, and the Express is the linchpin of our strategy to provide global maritime and logistics connections through Cleveland.”

Port of Cleveland


USCG seeks help, offers reward for information on laser incident in Grand Haven

4/2 - Milwaukee, Wis. – The Coast Guard announced Friday a monetary reward for validated information leading to the individual or individuals responsible for the illumination by green laser of a Coast Guard boat in Lake Michigan near Grand Haven, Mich., Saturday.

This incident follows eight others on the western shoreline of Michigan over the past year, during which a Coast Guard search and rescue vessel or aircraft was deliberately illuminated by a laser.

About 11:30 p.m. Saturday a boat crew from Coast Guard Station Grand Haven was conducting a routine patrol when the side of the vessel was illuminated with a high-intensity green laser. The Coast Guard members immediately noticed the green laser, originating from either the north or south pier head entrance light, and quickly turned away. The laser hit the side of the vessel and did not injure any of the crewmembers' eyes.

Green lasers present a significant risk to boat crews operating at night, and a delay during a search could result in the death of the person or people the Coast Guard is attempting to rescue.

Anyone who witnesses someone committing this federal crime should immediately call 911 to report the incident. Anyone with information about this or any previous case should contact the Coast Guard Investigative Service at 216-902-6140 or the Ottawa County Dispatch at 1-800-249-0911. Callers can remain anonymous and may receive a cash reward for validated information.



Marine News Casualties & Demolitions April 2016

4/2 - Marine News, the monthly journal of the World Ship Society, reports the following ships with Great Lakes connections as casualties or going for scrap in the April 2016 issue.

Seaway Salties:
Ismail Deer was a Seaway caller as a) Goldean Alliance beginning in 1987, b) Atlantic in 1988 and was back as c) Alam Senang with steel for Burns Harbor, Ind., on Sept. 6, 1994. The vessel was built at Innoshima, Japan, in 1984 and was sold to Pakistani shipbreakers last December. The bulk carrier arrived at Gadani Beach, on Dec. 12, 2015, and scrapping got underway on Dec. 22.

Sea Breeze dated from 1976 and was a Great Lakes caller as a) Nordholm as early as 1982. Over the years it was registered in Singapore, Cyprus, Syria and Tanzania as it sailed also as b) SAMALI S. c) ARADOS H. and finally d) Sea Breeze. The ship arrived Gadani Beach, Pakistan, for scrapping on Dec. 15, 2015, and work got underway on Dec.29.

The self-discharging cement carrier Alpena, a) Leon Fraser of 1942, of Inland Lakes Management Inc., caught fire in the accommodation area while under repair at the Bay Shipbuilding Co yard at Sturgeon Bay, Wis., on Nov. 12, 2015. The blaze was brought under control after five hours but with extensive damage to the accommodation area. The historic ship is being repaired and will resume service in 2016.

Great Lakes Related:
American Fortitude arrived at Port Colborne under tow on May 14, 2015, and was expected to be scrapped by I.M.S. in the outer harbor at the south end of the Welland Canal. The ship was built as a) Ernest T. Weir (i) in 1953 and later sailed b) Courtney Burton and c) American Fortitude. It had been laid up at a variety of locations since 1998 and was last owed by the American Steamship Co. This seems like too good a boat to be finished.

After years of waiting to see if the J. B. Ford could be preserved as a museum ship, the hull was towed to the Azcon scrap dock at Duluth on Oct. 8, 2015, and is likely to be broken up there. The 440-foot-long former bulk, and then cement, carrier dates from 1904 and last worked as a floating cement storage barge. It was built at Lorain, Ohio, as a) Edwin F. Holmes, became b) E.C. Collins in 1916 and J.B. Ford in 1959. It was last owned by Lafarge North America Inc (Inland Lakes Management Inc), before being sold to Azcon Corp. The ship was moved the short distance to face dismantling on Oct. 8, 2015.

Compiled by Rene Beauchamp, Barry Andersen and Skip Gillham


Updates -  April 2

Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the Amstelborg, Federal Baltic, Federal Danube, Federal Margaree, Floretgracht, and Stella Polaris.


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, a 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. bowthruster. 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.

1976: WHEAT KING was refloated at Port Weller Dry Docks. It had arrived on December 12, 1975, and was lengthened to 730 feet over the winter. The ship would only sail six years with the new dimensions and was retired at the end of the 1981 season.

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


Abandoned U.S. Coast Guard Station will live again

4/1 - Cleveland, Ohio – Every urban spelunker knows the site – the abandoned and shuttered U.S. Coast Guard Station that has stood sentry off the shores of Cleveland's Whiskey Island for decades.

But this spring, the historic structure will begin its new life. Thanks to a partnership between the city, Cleveland Metroparks, the Cleveland Foundation, PNC Bank and the Burning River Foundation, the station's crumbling concrete façade and the grounds upon which it sits will be refurbished, repainted, planted and restored.

And one day, in the not-too-distant future, the facility could become home to a youth rowing program, a kayak or standup paddleboard rental operation or agencies focused on conservation, said Sean McDermott, chief planning and design officer for the Metroparks.

"Those will come with time," McDermott said in a recent interview on the steps of the old station. "But we need to take this first step to clean and green the property to show the public just the potential that the property does have."

Earlier this month, City Council approved legislation permitting the Metroparks to adopt the city-owned station for three years, during which the Metroparks will maintain the facility and oversee $500,000 worth of improvements funded by the other project partners. The upgrades will include repairs to the concrete on and around the structure, fresh white paint on the exterior, grass and landscaping and new windows with the historic look and feel of the originals.

McDermott said the public might eventually be able to access the lookout tower, too. The inside of the facility will be designed based on how it will be used, he said.

City Councilman Matt Zone, who sponsored the legislation and represents the ward that includes Whiskey Island, said during a recent council Finance Committee meeting that he had been searching for the perfect operator for the old station for years.

It was built in 1938 – designed by J. Milton Dyer, the same architect who designed Cleveland City Hall. It was abandoned in 1976, when the U.S. Coast Guard moved its base to East 9th Street. And two years later, ownership was transferred to the city, which initially planned to use it as a water quality station. Those plans never panned out, and the property eventually ended up in the hands of the Jacobs Investments Management Co., which attempted to operate it as a bar and disco for one season in the early 1990s. A vestige of that failed venture -- a decrepit wooden deck -- hangs off the station's boathouse today.

The city acquired the station again in 2003 -- buying it from Jacobs for $1 -- and since then has invested in a new roof, has pumped water from the flooded basement and has kept it relatively secure from vagrants and vandals, Zone said. Beyond that, the city just hasn't had the money to do much else with it.

When the Metroparks took over management of Whiskey Island last year, Zone said, it just made sense to make the coast guard station -- located on the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, at the end of a 1,000-foot pier -- a part of that arrangement. Metroparks conducted a feasibility study on the project and presented the city with a list of potential partners.

The rest, as they say, is history – and hopefully, a future for a long-abandoned Cleveland landmark.


American Great Lakes Pilots increase ranks by 22 percent

4/1 - All three of the American Great Lakes Pilotage Districts added three pilots each to their ranks to start out the 2016 shipping season, bringing the total number of pilots from 41 to 50. The U.S. Coast Guard’s 2016 Pilotage Rate Methodology has increased funding to provide for 48 pilots.

The U.S. Coast Guard increased the funding of pilotage based on complaints and comments from shipping industry users in 2014 and 2015 to reduce delays and the costs associated.

In July 2014, the Shipping Federation of Canada wrote to the U.S. Coast Guard, “We therefore respectfully request the U.S. Coast Guard take prompt action to correct the untenable situation that exists today, including moving forward on the recommendations noted and any other changes required to improve the pilotage system in the Great Lakes.”

The Federal Great Lakes Pilotage Advisory Committee (GLPAC) also made recommendations to increase the amount of pilots. Recommendations by the National Transportation Safety Board were made in 2013 to maintain adequate levels of pilots in the United States to reduce fatigue levels. For many years, U.S. Great Lakes pilots have been the lowest paid pilots in the country considering the difficulty of routes, hours and conditions. Therefore, they have been unable to attract qualified and experienced pilots. Their numbers have dropped to the lowest levels since the St. Lawrence Seaway opened in 1959. The Coast Guard is now getting criticism for bringing the number of pilots, and their compensation level, to a fair and comparable rate to other United States coastal ports and waterways.

Since 2007, nine ocean shipping companies that provide frequent service to the Great Lakes have built 117 Seaway size bulk and general cargo vessels that have traded on the Great Lakes. Total U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes pilotage costs account for 2% of total voyage costs for foreign flag shippers. In 2014, Canadian pilotage charges were $111.7 million and U.S. pilotage charges were $13.0 million, or 90% and 10% respectively. The Canadian portion of the Seaway charged lockage fees of $76.2 million while the U.S. portion, which includes the Soo Locks, was free. Icebreaking fees to shippers for the Canadian Coast Guard are estimated to be between $6 and $21 million depending on the severity of the season. Icebreaking service provided by the U.S. Coast Guard is free to shippers.

American pilots work for the interests of the United States people in protecting the U.S. Great Lakes environment, ports and waterways infrastructure and security. Since 1959, they have provided safe, reliable and efficient service to the users of the Great Lakes/Seaway System.

Lakes Pilots Association, Port Huron, Michigan


Coast Guard seeks comment on demolition of keeper’s dwelling at Sturgeon Bay

4/1 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – The U.S. Coast Guard is proposing to demolish a housing unit located on federal property at Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay.

Originally built in 1896 as a lightkeeper's dwelling, the building has undergone numerous interior and exterior renovations over its history and is no longer used for housing personnel.

It was first altered in 1904 when an extension was added, more than doubling its original size. It was later converted into a carpentry shop, then back to housing for Coast Guard personnel.

The building is currently unoccupied and is deemed substandard and unlivable because it is no longer structurally sound. It has potential health and safety hazards to would-be residents because of asbestos in the plaster and prior use of lead-based paint. The Coast Guard has made a determination that the proposed demolition will not adversely affect the nearby historic structure, the Sturgeon Bay Canal Lighthouse.

The public is invited to send comments or input regarding this proposed undertaking to Wayne Kean at or 216-902-6258 by April 8.



Study: 700 miles of coastline in Straits oil spill danger zone

4/1 - Detroit, Mich. – If Canadian oil transport giant Enbridge's twin, 62-year-old underwater pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac were to burst, areas from Harbor Springs on the Lake Michigan side down to Saginaw Bay and the Thumb area on the Lake Huron side could be affected by the escaping oil, the latest computer modeling research shows.

All told, under all of the 840 different time-of-year and weather scenarios, a total of more than 700 miles of Great Lakes shoreline could be vulnerable to a Line 5 leak, in both the U.S. and Canada. That's about the distance between Detroit and Omaha, Neb. And up to 152 miles of coastline could face an onslaught of oil under one particular, worst-case-scenario spill.

Under almost all of the spill possibilities considered in the modeling, Mackinac Island, Bois Blanc Island, and the coastline around Mackinac City face oil landing on shorelines, the study shows.

Read more, and view charts at


Army Corps threatens to cut Lake Erie projects if blocked from open-lake dumping

4/1 - Cleveland, Ohio – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has threatened to cut Lake Erie projects to fight algae blooms and Asian carp if the agency is prevented from dumping dredged sediment into the open lake, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman said today.

"They haven't said this publicly yet, but I just did," Portman told a meeting of officials from the Port of Cleveland, the Ohio EPA, the Greater Cleveland Partnership and reporters Thursday morning.

An Army Corps spokesman said no determination has been made on which projects or regions would be impacted by the Cleveland Harbor dredge-disposal decision if additional funds are required.

Portman came to Cleveland to discuss the ongoing conflict over open-lake dumping between the Army Corps, the Port Authority and the EPA, and to provide an update on an investigation underway by a Senate subcommittee he chairs.

The Army Corps maintains that the dredged sediment is clean enough for open-lake dumping. Port and EPA officials disagree, contending the sediment is too contaminated with PCBs and other pollutants to dump untreated into the lake about nine miles from shore.

The Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations is reviewing allegations that the Army Corps deliberately cut more than $3 million budgeted for dredging the Cuyahoga River, then claimed it didn't have enough money to dispose of the sediment in containment dikes.

Portman has asked Defense Secretary Ashton Carter for all documents related to the Corps' 2016 federal appropriation. Carter was given an April 7 deadline for providing the documents.

Port officials told Portman that the Cleveland Harbor dredging project was the only example where the Army Corps asked Congress for a cut in funding in the Lower 48 states last year.

With a week left until the deadline, Portman said he had no indication that Carter would attempt to block or delay turning over the requested documents. But he said he would be prepared to act if problems arise.

"We have subpoena power and we intend to use it if necessary," Portman said.

Meanwhile, Port President and CEO Will Friedman said he is "very likely" to file motions in federal court for an injunction and temporary restraining order if the Army Corps fails to comply with a 2015 court order to dredge the shipping channel and dispose of the sediment in a containment dike.

"This bureaucratic gamesmanship won't work," Portman said. "I want to be darn sure that dredging occurs and that we have predictability get the iron ore shipments up the Cuyahoga River."

Last week, the EPA certified the Army Corps' request to dredge the six-miles of Cleveland's shipping channel, but denied permission to dump the sediment in the open lake.

The Army Corps' Lt. Col. Karl Jansen responded with a letter asking the agency to reconsider its decision, said Kurt Princic, chief of the EPA's Northeast District Office.

"We are currently analyzing Ohio EPA's Section 401 water quality certification, and seeking to understand the scientific basis of the director's decision," Jansen said today.

The Army Corps maintains that its open-lake disposal plan "would comply with applicable water quality standards, would not pose an unacceptable risk to Lake Erie, and would not result in a measurable increase of PCB bio-accumulation in fish populations," Jansen said.

By capturing much of the river sediment before it reaches the shipping channel, and recycling and selling a large quantity for construction purposes, the Port Authority has greatly reduced the need for lakefront storage facilities, Friedman said.

The current storage dike being used has a life of at least 20 years, and as much as 80 years, before it is filled, Friedman said.


Reservations going fast for 2016 S.S. Badger Gathering

4/1 - Plans have been completed for the annual Boatnerd Gathering aboard the S.S. Badger for a round trip from Ludington, MI to Manitowoc, WI and return on Saturday, June 4. While in Manitowoc, Boatnerds will have an option to reboard the Badger for a Wisconsin Shoreline Cruise or visit the Wisconsin Maritime Museum.

Staying on board the Badger on Friday night, June 3, is also an option. Friday night guests will be treated to guided tours of the pilothouse and possibly the engine room, plus a buffet breakfast on Saturday morning.

Only nine staterooms are still available. Last year we sold out the available staterooms. Make your reservation today.

See the Gathering Page for all the details.  


Lookback #793 – Baie St. Paul (ii) crew pulled up a surprise below Lock 1 on April 1, 2013

Three years ago today the newly built Baie St. Paul (ii), first of the new Trillium Class self-unloaders to the Great Lakes for Canada Steamship Lines, got a surprise when the crew pulled up the anchor below Lock 1 of the Welland Canal. Attached to the hook was a well-rusted old car that was well “past peak” for service.

Baie St. Paul had already been acknowledged as “Bulk Ship of the Year" by the International Bulk Journal recognizing it efficiency, innovative design, superior safety and environmental features. The 740 meter long vessel had cleared Jiangyin, China, for Canada on Oct. 4, 2012, and had arrived at Montreal on Dec. 1.

The vessel came up the Welland Canal for the first time on Dec. 17, 2012, and unloaded ballast stone at Windsor before taking on the first cargo. The ship spent the winter at Montreal and then began the 2013 navigation season opening the St. Lambert Lock, for the 100th Year of Canada Steamship Lines, on March 22, 2013.

Skip Gillham


Updates -  April 1

Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the Amstelborg, Federal Baltic, Federal Danube, Federal Margaree, Floretgracht and Stella Polaris.


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.

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.

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.

1941: ROBERT W. POMEROY had served the Eastern Steamship Co. as well as Upper Lakes & St. Lawrence Transportation Co. while on the Great Lakes from 1923 to 1940. It went overseas and worked for the British Ministry of War Transport hauling coal on coastal routes. While north bound on April 1, 1942, the ship hit a mine and, four minutes later, a second mine and went down in the North Sea off Norfolk, U.K. Twenty-two survived although two were injured when the boiler exploded.

1942: The Norwegian salty GUDVANG came to the Great Lakes in 1939. It was intercepted by a German patrol boat between Denmark and Norway, while trying to escape to England, on this date in 1942. The ship was sunk by gunfire and the crew became prisoners of war.

1968: GHISLAIN was more at home on the St. Lawrence, but had delivered pulpwood to the Great Lakes in the late 1960s. It had several escapades during these years including a grounding while entering Yarmouth, NS with 1400 tons of herring on this date in 1968. The vessel was repaired at Liverpool, NS. It was listed as g) ANIK in 1974 and in need of repairs. While it was not deleted from LR until 1986, the ship was likely broken up in the mid-1970s.

1983: REGENT MARIGOLD visited the Great Lakes in 1975 under Panamanian registry. It was sailing as d) LEXINGTON when the hull fractured in a storm while en route from Bukpyong, South Korea, to Bangladesh. It went down on this date about 200 miles northwest of Penang, Malaysia.

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


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