Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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* Report News

Thunder Bay busy with ocean vessels

4/30 - Thunder Bay, ON – The port of Thunder Bay has seen a noticeable uptick in ocean-going vessel traffic this season so far. “Lake vessels, you don’t notice as much because they go right in to elevators. You see the ocean-going vessels because they are at anchor,” Tim Heney, chief executive officer for the Port of Thunder Bay, told The Chronicle-Journal on Wednesday.

Heney said that restrictions around the COVID-19 pandemic are not really slowing things down. “It is kind of rough on the crews of these ships because they can’t get off the vessel,” said Heney. “But, other than that, it hasn’t affected loading at this point.”

Most of the vessels at anchor are from Europe with crews having to spend their entire time on board the ship. “The shipping industry is in quite a upheaval around the world, so the lakes are looking like an attractive place to do business right now,” said Heney.

These factors are good for the Port of Thunder Bay adding more cargo to the port. Much of the traffic is direct, with grain from the port bound to places like Italy, South Africa and the Middle East.

Heney said the season is off to a good start with double the amount of ocean-going vessels over the over last year, but it is hard to predict what is to come for the season. He added it could even out if they are not bringing in steel. The steel industry is challenged due to vehicle production being shut down in North America.

The laker traffic has been strong as well so far this season.

The first ocean-going vessel arrived April 10 after the shipping season opened on March 26.The average ship turnaround time in the Port of Thunder Bay with ocean vessels a little longer. In coastal ports like Vancouver, the average anchorage time is 21 days and up.

Chronicle-Journal

 

Hapag Lloyd cancels Hanseatic Inspiration’s 2020 Great Lakes cruise

4/30 - Sault Ste. Marie, ON – A cruise ship visit to Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie and Little Current scheduled for early June has been scrubbed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hapag Lloyd Cruises has cancelled the sailing of its 175-passenger Hanseatic Inspiration as part of a global fleet recall by the German-based international cruise ship company.

“’Stay at home’ is the global message of the moment,” said the company in an April 17 news release. The Hamburg-based operator announced that it was bringing its fleet back to its home waters in Germany with four of its five ships headed for the berth. The Hanseatic Inspiration was scheduled to arrive in Hamburg on May 2 after the last of its on-board guests were returned to port on March 21.

It was no big surprise to Tourism Thunder Bay manager Paul Pepe, who got word of the cancellation on April 17 but had known, unofficially, a few weeks back.

The ship’s port of embarkation was to be in Toronto on June 3, followed by stops in Windsor, Tobermory, Parry Sound, Little Current (June 8), the Sault (June 9), and Thunder Bay (June 10) for shore excursions before transitioning to U.S. ports of calls, finally ending in Chicago on June 17.

“It’s unfortunate that we will not be welcoming the Hanseatic Inspiration in 2020,” said Pepe in an email, “but given the severity of the global COVID health crisis, the decision to close the Seaway to passenger vessels until at least June 30, and Hapag Lloyd cancelling their 2020 summer season are difficult, but are the right decisions to save lives and ensure, globally, we come through this sooner than later.

“We’re working to welcome them in 2021 as well as with other operators future plans. The industry will recover. It may take several years for this and other segments to recover in whole or in part, but long-range planning is a critical part of everyone’s recovery strategy.”

Two more visits from Hapag Lloyd were scheduled for Thunder Bay in 2021. In 2022, Viking Expeditions will make their debut on the lakes and plan to use Thunder Bay as the port of embarkation.

This spring, Transport Canada introduced measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the marine industry that’s effectively banned cruise ships from Canadian waters. In early April, the department issued orders prohibiting all commercial vessels with a capacity of more than 12 passengers from engaging in non-essential activities, such as tourism or recreation. That was a follow-up to a March ban on cruise ships with more than 500 passengers from visiting at Canadian ports. These measures are in place until at least June 30.

SooToday

 

Port Reports -  April 30

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Philip R. Clarke finished unloading her stone cargo at Hallett #5 and departed Duluth at 01:20 Wednesday morning, bound for Two Harbors to load. Her sister Arthur M. Anderson, which had also unloaded at Hallett #5 and then shifted to CN on Tuesday evening, departed at 04:20 with a full load of iron ore pellets for Conneaut. Joseph L. Block was inbound at 11:48 carrying limestone to unload into the hopper at CN, however she moored at berth 6 to wait for the Maumee/tug Victory to finish loading. That pair was expected to depart from CN at some point Wednesday evening. American Mariner shifted to General Mills from Lakehead Pipeline mid-day Wednesday to load wheat, and Federal Asahi and Federal Oshima both continued loading grain at Riverland Ag and CHS 2, respectively. The only traffic through the Superior entry on Wednesday was Baie Comeau, which departed at 04:24 for Nanticoke with iron ore from Burlington Northern.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Philip R. Clarke arrived Two Harbors for South of #2 on April 29th at 03:21. She departed on the 29th at 10:41 for Gary. Due Two Harbors on April 29th at approx. 21:00 is the Roger Blough. Due Two Harbors on April 30th is the Edgar B. Speer. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay has no traffic scheduled on April 30th.

Thunder Bay, ON
Tuesday; 22:34 Tim S Dool departed for Baie Comeau. Wednesday; 15:50 Ojibway departed for Windsor. 19:10 The saltie Mamry weighed anchor and proceeded to the Richardson Main Terminal to load grain. 19:21 Federal Bering departed for Sorel. 19:21 Algoma Spirit departed for Port Cartier.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on a rainy Wednesday included Kaministiqua, Saginaw (to Algoma Steel), Burns Harbor and Edgar B Speer. Downbounders included Paul R. Tregurtha, Algoma Strongfield and Tim S. Dool.

Norhern Lake Huron
Drummond Island: Wednesday; 1:35 Laura L Van Enkevort arrived to finish loading and departed at 4:46 for Cleveland. 8:29 John G Munson arrived to load. Port Dolomite: Tuesday; 21:13 Undaunted and Pere Marquette 41 arrived to load limestone.

Calcite: Tuesday: 15:32 Laura Van Enkevort arrived to take on a partial load and departed at 22:09 for Drummond Island. Wednesday; 5:05 Great Republic departed for Marine City.

Alpena: Wednesday; 8:44 Cuyahoga departed for Goderich.

Port Inland: Wednesday; 15:31 Calumet arrived to load limestone.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
Herbert C. Jackson arrived on the Saginaw River late Tuesday night, with a split cargo for the Wirt Stone Docks in Bay City and Saginaw. The Jackson finished unloading Wednesday morning, turned in the Sixth Street Turning Basin, and was outbound for the lake on a rainy afternoon. Olive L. Moore - Menominee arrived back on the Saginaw River Wednesday afternoon, passing the outbound Herbert C. Jackson in Essexville, near the Wirt Sand & Stone dock. The Moore/Menominee called on the ACE Saginaw Paving/Buena Vista Dock in Saginaw to unload.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
At 7:15 am Manitoulin was downbound mid Lake St Clair, Hon. James L Oberstar was upbound off Harsens Island, Algosea was approaching Algonac upbound, American Spirit was downbound near Roberts Landing, CSL Assiniboine was upbound at St Clair, Algoma Niagara was downbound approaching Marysville, and Edwin Gott was upbound at the Blue water Bridge. Algoma Innovator downbound passed MC at 12:15pm. Amoenitas passed MC at 1:30pm upbound. Mia Desgagnes passed downbound at 2:30pm. Federal Hunter was passing downbound at 4pm. CSL Laurentien passed MC at 5pm. Rain all day, 56degrees F, winds stiff from the east-southeast.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H.
John J Boland shifted to the face of Zug Island to load slag for Gary on Wednesday

Lake Erie Ports – Bill Kloss
Marblehead: American Courage departed at 10:32 for Cleveland and Mississagi arrived at 14:05.

Lorain: Clyde S. VanEnkevort left at 08:27 and fleetmate Joyce L. VanEnkevort arrived at 08:30.

Cleveland: American Courage arrived at 15:00 from Marblehead.

Ashtabula: Cason J. Callaway arrived from Port Inland at 11:52.

Conneaut: Spruceglen was still in port and Algoma Conveyor left at 13:02 for Quebec.

Nanticoke: Frontenac departed at 00:59 for Thunder Bay.

Hamilton, ON – Tristin Woolf
At 9:44 EST the Blair McKeil arrived from Long Pond, Newfoundland with a load of quartz. At 17:10 EST the tug Jarrett M departed with a listed destination of Port Dover. Shortly after, at 17:19 EST the Federal Dart arrived to unload steel from Brazil. At 18:51 the tug Ocean A. Gauthier departed towards Toronto. At 19:40 EST the saltie Narie arrived to unload urea from Ust-Luga, Russia. The saltie Janet C picked up anchor this morning and has been loading grain for most of the day, while Rodopi and Federal Clyde remain at anchor for another day.

 

Boatnerds track Great Lakes and Seaway shipping

4/30 - Buffalo, NY – As the Buffalo River and the Outer Harbor are changing from industrial to more recreation use, there is a growing group of people who come to Buffalo’s waterfront to see the large lake freighters that still make deliveries of wheat and other bulk commodities.

They call themselves “Boatnerds.” They are armed with an App on their phones to track the ships headed to Buffalo and a radio to listen to the chatter as an approaching ship calls for a tug or to have a bridge raised. They listen to the deck crew calling the bridge to report the location of the kayakers that are approaching the ship. They have even heard the ship’s crew laughing at all the folks taking pictures of them.

The Boatnerds know the regular visitors to Buffalo, but still come out to take pictures of the American Mariner and H. Lee White as they bring grain from Duluth to General Mills. The Manitoulin comes with wheat from Thunder Bay to the Standard Elevator to support ADM’s milling operation. The NACC Argonaut brings cement products to Lafarge’s elevator by the Ohio Street bridge. The Boatnerds come to see the Calusa Coast and her barge Dauntless pass through the Black Rock Lock on its way to deliver asphalt product to the Suite Coat dock by the Grand Island Bridge. They watch the ships throw sand up on the sand docks along the city ship canal.

Always mindful not to trespass on private property, the Boatnerds strain to get pictures of the ships that come into the Gateway Metroport (the old Bethlehem Steel docks in Lackawanna). The ships come in the south entrance of the harbor and head into the Metroport. There is only a small window to get a good picture. The ships bring loads of road salt or come to pick up loads of coal from the mines in Pennsylvania. This year the first “saltie” to visit Buffalo in a few years brought a load of sugar. The Federal Oshima came to Buffalo with a load of 22 thousand tons of sugar. The Federal Rhine is on its way from Brazil with another load of sugar, and the BBC Russia is currently passing north of Scotland with a load of goods from Germany.

If there is a ship coming in, you can be sure that the Boatnerds will be out in the rain or snow searching the bits of public spaces where they can get a good shot of the day’s welcome guest ship!

View images at this link: https://www.buffalorising.com/2020/04/boatnerds-track-great-lakes-and-seaway-shipping

 

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.

 

Cruise ship calls in Cleveland will be way down in 2020, as Victory cuts back

4/29 - Cleveland, OH – Victory Cruise Lines, the predominant operator in the Great Lakes cruise market, has canceled more than half its sailings this summer, and pulled one of its ships from the region. There may be more cancellations, depending on whether U.S. and Canadian coronavirus-related cruise restrictions are lifted in time for a planned resumption of sailing in July.

The decision means that Cleveland, an increasingly popular port stop on Great Lakes itineraries, will see far fewer cruise ship visitors this year.

The Port of Cleveland currently is scheduled to welcome passengers from 12 sailings this year, down from 41 stops originally planned for 2020. All of those reductions are due to a major scaling back by Victory, which typically operates two ships in the Great Lakes, May through October.

In recent months, the cruise industry has seen numerous COVID-19 cases among passengers and crew. Cruise lines worldwide have canceled itineraries, and demand for cruising, at least in the short-term, has dropped dramatically.

Victory announced last week that it was pulling one ship from the Great Lakes region and reducing the sailings on its remaining vessel. The company, a division of American Queen Steamboat Company, sails two nearly identical ships, the 202-passenger Victory I and Victory II, on several Great Lakes itineraries, many of which stop in Cleveland.

David Gutheil, chief maritime officer for the Port of Cleveland, said the port will take its lead from Victory. “We’re ready to do whatever they decide is best,” he said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently has a no-sail order in place, which prohibits most cruise ships from stopping in U.S. ports for an undetermined length of time (100 days from its issue in early April, or until rescinded). Canada has a similar order.

Victory I is scheduled to sail its first itinerary starting July 5, a nine-day cruise from Toronto to Chicago with a daylong stop in Cleveland.

John Waggoner, CEO of the American Queen Steamboat Co., said additional cancellations might be necessary. “We are closely monitoring updates from the U.S. and Canadian governments and the Centers for Disease Control, as well as the destinations we visit and will adjust polices as appropriate,” he said.

Gutheil said it’s unclear whether attractions in Cleveland and elsewhere will be open to accommodate and welcome cruise passengers in July. Typically, Victory passengers are given a tour of the city on Lolly the Trolley, then spend time at the Rock Hall, Cleveland Museum of Art, West Side Market or other attractions. Though the West Side Market is open, both the Rock Hall and art museum remain closed indefinitely.

Gutheil said the average cruise passenger in Cleveland typically spends about $150 a day. If the entire cruise season is canceled, that would be equate to a loss of about $1.2 million in economic impact.

Waggoner said the company’s priority is the health and safety of guests, crew and partners. The company has and will continue to implement new sanitation and health protocols recommended by the CDC and others.

“Our boats are never out of sight of land and with port stops every day, we have the ability to transport a guest to a U.S. health care facility immediately, if needed,” said Waggoner. “We will continue to communicate with our travel partners in the Great Lakes, as we monitor and follow the recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and other government agencies involved in the response, as appropriate.”

Despite this year’s cutbacks, Gutheil remains optimistic about Great Lakes cruising generally and Cleveland’s emergence as a popular port of call. The port expects more than 50 passenger ships to stop in the city in 2021, and more in subsequent years.

Gutheil acknowledged that the pandemic, and accompanying economic slowdown, may slow growth in upcoming years. “But we’re optimistic about the long term,” he said.

Early this year, Viking Cruises announced plans to start sailing in the Great Lakes in 2022; other companies are expanding in the region, as well.

The Plain Dealer

 

Great Lakes freighter crews lose 'sacred right' to shore leave, for now

4/29 - Windsor, ON – It's easier to maintain physical distance in some workplaces than others – like on a 300-metre-long freighter that plys the Great Lakes. Big as they are, their crews sometimes have to work in tight quarters.

That's why some of the big players in the marine shipping industry have now agreed to something called a COVID-19 Trusted Partners Initiative, created by the Chamber of Marine Commerce.

One of the biggest changes for crew members who stop in Windsor is they will be unable to leave the port. "It is difficult. This isn't exactly what they signed up for," said Gregg Ruhl, president of Algoma Central, one of the largest shipping lines on the Great Lakes.

Ruhl explained that many crew members have family or friends they may stop and see when visiting ports. Or at least take a break and stretch their legs. "I don't like the fact that our seafarers are kind of held on the ship," he said. "Almost a sacred right to have shore leave."

Normally, volunteers would pick the ship workers up and take them to pick up food and personal supplies, but that service is suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, Ruhl's company is providing toiletries and taking special orders for its employees. They've also began a nightly tradition you might hear if you're down by the waterfront. Vessels with Algoma Central are blowing their horns each night to pay tribute to "front-line workers."

For its part, the Windsor Port Authority has handed out 800 cotton masks to employees at the ports, just as a precaution.

"When you're operating a piece of heavy equipment, you're in equipment by yourself, or you're an operator in a control room, you're [now] by yourself ... it's not normal or usual for a port worker to be in groups less than six feet, so it's almost a natural separation," said Steve Salmons, president of the Windsor Port Authority.

But for crew members aboard the freighters there are times when they have to work closely, so Algoma Central is making sure they take other precautions.

"Prescreening crew members, reducing contact with the shore, trying to create a bit of a bubble on the ship, a COVID-19-free bubble, almost like your family at your home," said Ruhl. "Once they've sort of been on there for 14 days, they kind of trust each other more than anyone else."

Ruhl said the amount of iron ore moving on the lakes is way down because of the slowdown in steel and auto production, but that is being made up for by grain shipments.

CBC

 

Valley Camp moving due to high water and freighters from locks

4/29 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – The Valley Camp ship in the Sault has been swaying back and forth, which is the first movement of the freighter in 50 years. Rich Brawley, general manager of Sault Historic Sites, said the movement of the 550-foot-long freighter is because of high water and freighters moving in and out of the Soo Locks.

″(The Valley Camp has) been completely floating for the last two years,” Brawley explained. “Before that, 20% of it was sitting on the ground... It started last fall with freighters coming out of the MacArthur Lock. They’re not going over the speed limit, but if you’ve ever been down in a river when a freighter goes by and the water goes out and comes rushing back in, that’s what has been happening to the Valley Camp.”

Inside of the ship, there is a 20,000 square foot museum with over 100 exhibits. Thankfully, nothing inside has been damaged or knocked over due to the movement.

“Once you get a 600-ton freighter moving, it can put an awful strain on it,” Brawley continued. “In fact, we just had Sault Welding here... after a couple of the welds broke. We got those redone and we’re adding more cables. We also have to dig up the other anchors that are down there, which hasn’t been done since 1970.”

“In the summer, we have four 1,200-gallon tanks filled with fish from the Great Lakes, so that extra weight gives it a little list when we empty those out,” Brawley said. “A ship that’s old has leaks and we go down there and patch them up but it’s hard to get them all... We have pumps down there that we run in the summer to keep it pumped out and we shut them off in November. We had to go down there recently and we’ve had to break up the ice, which is at least six to seven inches thick, to pump it out and leveled it out almost all the way.”

He said he has been working with the Coast Guard and keeping them updated on this situation since the boat is technically floating in their water. He collaborated with them last fall and worked with them to slow the vessels down coming out of the MacArthur Lock.

“What we’re doing (to solve this problem) is we’re adding more cables. Some of the ones that broke off the existing anchors we got to dig up. They used to take the cable and put it down there to drown but what happens over a number of years is that the cable will deteriorate and rust. So we’re putting a heavier chain around it, which will last four times longer than the cable and refastening them on.”

Lieutenant Sean Murphy of the Coast Guard added, “Mr. Brawley has communicated with us regarding his efforts to ensure the mooring cables of the permanently moored craft are sufficiently attached, so that the craft will not become a hazard to navigation. Last fall, we asked shipping traffic in the St. Marys River to be mindful of their wake near the Valley Camp so that workers could safely reattach mooring cables. We have not discussed efforts to ensure the stability of the Valley Camp, as we do not have inspection jurisdiction over permanently moored crafts.”

A recent post on the Valley Camp’s Facebook page indicates the Valley Camp and Tower of History will tentatively open on June 1, with the River of History museum TBD.

Soo News

 

Port Reports -  April 29

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Philip R. Clarke arrived Duluth at 08:39 Tuesday morning to discharge limestone at Hallett #5. She was followed into port by her sister Arthur M. Anderson, which came in under the same bridge lift ten minutes later and was also carrying limestone for Hallett #5. The Clarke was expected to depart Tuesday evening for Two Harbors to load, while the Anderson will shift to Canadian National to load iron ore pellets after discharging. Maumee/tug Victory was inbound at 17:20 to load at CN. Federal Asahi, which had arrived on Monday evening after the departure of Lake St. Clair, spent Tuesday loading wheat at Riverland Ag, and her fleetmate Federal Oshima continued loading at CHS 2. At the Superior entry, American Mariner arrived at 01:06 Tuesday and tied up at Lakehead Pipeline for a delay. She is expected to shift to General Mills to load grain, however when that shift will happen (or if she has gone into layup) is unknown. Baie Comeau arrived in Superior at 09:43 to load ore at Burlington Northern, and was expected to depart around 20:00.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Presque Isle shifted from North of #2 to South of #2 from 19:44 to 20:09 on April 27th. She departed Two Harbors on April 28th at 06:47 for Conneaut. Due Two Harbors on April 29th is the Roger Blough. Philip R. Clarke after it finishes unloading limestone at CN Hallett #5 is scheduled to go to Two Harbors to load pellets. At 18:45 on April 28th she was still at the unloading berth. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay has no traffic scheduled on April 29th.

Thunder Bay, ON
Monday; 18:38 Algoma Innovator departed for Toledo. 22:25 Federal Rideau weighed anchor and proceeded to the Superior Elevator to load grain. 22:28 Federal Hunter departed for Montreal. Tuesday; 10:43 Ojibway arrived at Viterra A to load grain. 12:15 Algoma Spirit arrived at the Richardson Main Terminal to load wheat. 16:11 The saltie Lake Ontario arrived and went to anchor. 17:31 Algoma Strongfield departed and is down bound on Lake Superior. 18:11 The saltie Amurborg arrived at Keefer Terminal to unload windmill parts. 19:29 Federal Bering weighed anchor and proceeded back to the Richardson Main Terminal to finish loading.

Alpena, MI – Ben and Chanda McClain
The tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 unloaded at Lafarge on Tuesday. Also arriving in port on Tuesday was the Cuyahoga. It tied up at the Alpena Oil Dock before 3 pm. It started unloading salt for about an hour then was unable to continue for an unknown reason.

Northern Lake Huron
Thessalon: Monday; 12:38 Joyce L Van Enkevort arrived to load gravel and departed at 19:19 for Lorain.

Meldrum Bay: Tuesday; 3:51 Manitoulin departed for Sarnia. 3:51 Michipicoten weighed anchor and proceeded to the loading dock. She departed at 16:16 for Muskegon.

Port Dolomite: Monday; 22:50 Joseph L Block departed for Duluth Superior. Tuesday; 0:43 Olive L Moore arrived to load and departed at 13:57 for Stoneport.

Calcite: Monday; 1:57 Great Republic arrived to load limestone.

Stoneport: Tuesday: 1:30 Herbert C Jackson arrived to load and departed at 12:51 for Bay City.

Alpena: Tuesday: Undaunted arrived at the Lafarge cement plant to unload and departed at 12:17 for Port Dolomite. 14:19 Cuyahoga arrived in the Thunder Bay River to unload salt.

Port Inland: Monday 20:42 Cason J Callaway departed for Ashtabula.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Cuyahoga cleared Goderich 5.13 am upbound with salt for Alpena. Algoma Niagara arrived 10.12 pm Monday loading salt at Compass Minerals, destined for Becancour QC. Algoma Transport is expected next.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
The tug Sharon M I, pushing the barge Huron Spirit, arrived on the Saginaw River early Tuesday morning. The pair called on the Port Fisher/Bay Aggregates Dock in Bay City to unload.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
Tug Everlast and barge Norman McLeod moved from the East China anchorage on Sunday and was still tied up at Corunna at 5 pm. Tuesday. John G. Munson upbound was followed closely by Sarah Desgagnes and were mid Lake St Clair at 5:30am. CSL St Laurent passed MC upbound at 11am. Hon. James L. Oberstar passed mid-morning and was downbound in Lake St Clair at noon. Kamiinistiqua was upbound at 2:30pm. tug Joyce L. Vanenkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader followed closely by T/B Michigan/Great Lakes passed downbound at 3pm. Tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula passed upbound at 3:30pm. Saginaw was upbound at 5pm followed by Algoma Transport at 5:45pm. Johanna G should pass downbound at 7pm and Cason J Callaway should pass downbound at 8pm. Mostly sunny all day, 65 degrees F. with light breezes from the west.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H.
Tuesday Arrivals: Sea Eagle 2/St. Marys Cement 2 arrived at the St. Marys Cement dock to unload cement. John J Boland arrived at Zug Island to unload coal. Hon. James L Oberstar arrived at AK Steel to unload ore.

Monroe, MI – Raymond H.
Manitowoc arrived on Tuesday to unload stone at the DTE power plant

Lake Erie Ports – Bill Kloss
Marblehead: Clyde S. VanEnkevort left at 14:08 for Lorain. American Courage arrived at 15:11.

Sandusky: John J. Boland departed at 02:14 for Detroit.

Lorain: Clyde S. VanEnkevort arrived at 17:00 from Marblehead.

Cleveland: American Courage left at 07:38 for Marblehead, and Petite Forte arrived at 05:46 for St. Mary's Cement.

Ashtabula: Algoma Conveyor departed at 17:05 on 4/27 for Conneaut after unloading.

Conneaut: Edwin H. Gott left at 12:24 for Two Harbors. Algoma Conveyor arrived at 23:18 on 4/27 and Spruceglen arrived at 01:28.

Nanticoke: Frontenac arrived at 12:57 and Algoma Sault left at 14:42.

Hamilton, ON – Tristin Woolf
At 11:55 EST on Tuesday Algoma Equinox departed after unloading ore and headed towards Thunder Bay. At 13:58 EST the tanker Sterling Energy departed for Port Weller. At 14:11 EST the saltie Rodopi arrived and joined Janet C and Federal Clyde at anchor. The tanker Sterling Energy is expected to return from Port Weller at 21:30 EST.

 

Historic WWII tug from Normandy invasion saved from storm damage at Oswego

4/29 - Oswego, NY - The LT-5, an historic tugboat used in the Normandy Invasion during World War II and docked at H. Lee White Maritime Museum in Oswego, had a close call last week. The boat, a National Historic Landmark, is docked at the west pier near the museum,

Despite being secured with numerous lines, high winds and waves from on Lake Ontario resulted in the boat losing a fender. In addition, one of the lines securing it to the pier had broken loose. The vessel was banging into the dock wall hard enough to damage both the vessel and the dock.

Museum volunteers Mike Brown and Don Smith, who regularly check on the vessels docked at the museum, spotted the problem Wednesday morning and immediately called Mercedes Niess, the museum’s executive director. Niess called the Oswego Port Authority, which sent a front loader and port staff to help out.

Brown said the tug has had problems with waves and wind from the lake for the past three years due to the lake’s high water level and waves coming in over the breakwall and into the harbor. This isn’t the first time the boat’s fenders and the pier have taken a beating, he said. He said he decided to check out the boat’s status Wednesday morning following a bad storm and 50- to 60-mile per hour winds from the night before.

Assisted by Brown, the Port Authority workers used a front loader and placed two huge tires between the LT-5 and the dock to prevent any further damage. The tires, about 5 feet in diameter and 2 ½ feet thick, are secured to the pier with chains and rope. “It doesn’t look pretty, but it works,” Brown said.

Staff from the Oswego Port Authority came with a front loader to help put in big tires which prevented the LT-5 from smashing against the pier at the H. Lee White Maritime Museum in Oswego.

The LT-5 is one of the few remaining vessels from the WWII invasion of Normandy. It sailed to Great Britain in February 1944 in anticipation of Operation Overlord, the planned Allied invasion of Europe, Niesss said.

The LT-5 has now been largely restored to its original configuration by the museum where it continues to welcome visitors, normally from May through October.mThanks to the teamwork of the Port of Oswego Authority and the H. Lee White Maritime Museum volunteers, the LT-5 will continue to offer tours once the museum re-opens, Niess said.

The H. Lee White Maritime Museum, like other museums and businesses, has been closed since Gove. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order directing all non-essential businesses to close statewide on March 22. That order continues in effect until at least May 15.

Syracuse Now

 

Viking announces Great Lakes cruises for 2022; won’t stop in Cleveland

4/29 - Cleveland, OH – Viking Cruises, best known for its high-end European river cruises, will start sailing in the Great Lakes in 2022, offering several itineraries that crisscross the freshwater bodies of water. Absent from those itineraries: any stops in Cleveland or the Ohio shore of Lake Erie.

Viking executives announced the expansion Wednesday night in Los Angeles, where the company is based. A spokesperson declined to explain why Cleveland was left off the inaugural list.

William Friedman, president and CEO of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, said he was disappointed Cleveland wasn’t chosen as a stop on Viking’s new itineraries, but believes the city will continue to grow as a cruise port.

“This is a big announcement, from a very well established, global cruise line,” he said. “These companies tend to look at what the competition is doing. The rest of the industry will take notice. We’ll get our fair share down the road, I’m sure of that.”

The company will sail its new 378-passenger Viking Octantis ship in the Great Lakes, starting in April 2022. Itineraries include:

• Undiscovered Great Lakes, an eight-day cruise from Thunder Bay, Ontario, to Milwaukee, with stops in Duluth, the Apostle Islands, Soo Locks, Mackinac Island and more.

• Great Lakes Explorer, also an eight-day cruise, from Milwaukee to Thunder Bay, with three days exploring Georgian Bay, plus stops in Mackinac Island and the Soo Locks.

• Niagara and the Great Lakes, an eight-day cruise from Toronto to Milwaukee, with stops at the Welland Canal and Niagara Falls, Point Pelee on the Ontario side of Lake Erie, Detroit, Alpena, Mackinac Island and Traverse City, Michigan.

There’s also a 13-day Canadian Discovery itinerary, which travels from New York City to Toronto. These are not budget voyages. Prices start at about $6,700 for an eight-day trip. According to Friedman, Viking representatives initially visited Cleveland and considered adding it to its new itineraries.

Friedman speculated that scheduling and logistics may have contributed more to Viking’s decision than anything related to Cleveland itself — perhaps the need to travel a greater distance from Niagara Falls and the Welland Canal.

“I’m sure there will be revisions to their itineraries, and while it’s disappointing to not be in their first itinerary for 2022, I am optimistic we’ll see their ships in the future,” Friedman said.

Viking’s expansion into the Great Lakes comes during a time of substantial growth in Great Lakes cruising. In Cleveland alone, the number of cruise passengers disembarking for daylong tours of the city has tripled in recent years. Last year, the Port of Cleveland welcomed 4,542 cruise passengers to the city; in 2020, that number could grow to 6,500, according to Friedman.

Much of the traffic in the Great Lakes comes from two 202-passenger ships with Victory Cruise Lines, which sail all summer. Both Victory ships stop in Cleveland, which is one of the line’s most popular ports of call, according to the company. Visitors can tour the Rock Hall or the Cleveland Museum of Art, or explore the city on their own.

Friedman said Viking’s entrance into the market should draw even more interest to the Great Lakes as a cruising destination.

“If Viking fills up these ships, which I think they’re going to, that will cause a lot of cruise lines to look at this market,” he said. “These cruise ships are running out of places to go — they’re looking for growth.”

Travel + Leisure magazine last month named the Great Lakes, and Great Lakes cruising, as one of its 50 best places to travel in 2020.

Viking will use its new Octantis ship, currently under construction in Europe, on its new sailings. In addition to cruising in the Great Lakes, Octantis also will sail to Antarctica. A sister ship, the Viking Polaris, will debut in August 2022, sailing in the Arctic and to Antarctica.

Viking describes these new expedition ships as “small enough to navigate remote polar regions and the St. Lawrence River, while large enough to provide superior handling and stability in the roughest seas.”

Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking, said the Viking Octantis was purposely designed narrow enough to fit through the Welland Canal that connects lakes Ontario and Erie. “I think the Great Lakes has been underserved by expedition ships,” said Hagen, adding: “Should the Great Lakes be as popular as we expect, they will become permanent itineraries.”

Jorn Henriksen, director of Expedition Operations for Viking, said that the two six-passenger yellow submarines (Hagen is a Beatles fan) carried on Viking Octanis will be used for exploring on the Great Lakes. Where, he said, depended on government approval. He said he expects to be able to use them on the Canadian side of the lakes.

The Plain Dealer

 

As energy use changes in the Great Lakes, so too does the Port of Duluth-Superior

4/29 - Duluth-Superior – For decades since the 1970s, the port has been a juggernaut of the fuel, shipping it primarily around the Great Lakes region. Roughly 20 million tons of coal moved through the twin ports at its peak, in 2008, a year in which only 16 million tons of iron ore did.

“The Port of Duluth-Superior has always been, at its core, a natural resources port, beginning with lumber in the 1800s and then in the later 1800s branching out into additionally iron ore and coal,” said Jayson Hron, a spokesman for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. “Coal continues to be one of the primary commodities.”

But while iron ore has been on an upswing lately, the story is very different for coal. Shipments have declined since 2008. Steadily. And though coal remains the second largest commodity at the port, shippers moved more of it 1987 than they did in 2018.

From Rust to ResilienceThe twin ports are now facing a future with far less coal. And while that might be celebrated by environmentalists, it will also create an economic “ripple” across the region, said Richard Stewart, Ph.D., director of the Transportation and Logistics Research Center at the University of Wisconsin, Superior.

“It has an economic impact on the shipping company, it has an economic impact on the mariners who operate the ships, on the shipyards in the Great Lakes, on the ship supply companies on the Great Lakes,” Stewart said. “A decline in the movement of coal has an economic impact on the City of Superior because taxes are collected from this.”

Read more and view images at this link: https://www.minnpost.com/environment/2020/04/as-energy-use-changes-in-the-great-lakes-so-too-does-the-port-of-duluth-superior

 

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.

 

No cruise stops this year for Duluth due to COVID-19

4/28 - Duluth, MN – After much hubbub in recent years about cruise ships returning to dock in Duluth, the COVID-19 pandemic has wiped out the first scheduled visits. A pair of expeditions to Duluth scheduled in June have been canceled.

Both Hapag-Lloyd Cruises carried sold-out manifests of 230 passengers with an itinerary of local shore excursions. The visits would have been the first cruise ship arrivals in Duluth since 2013.

Cruise companies hope to revisit Great Lakes cruising voyages in 2021 and beyond, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority said Friday. “The Port Authority, Visit Duluth, the DECC and the City of Duluth look forward to when cruise ships can once again ply the Great Lakes safely and enjoy America’s ‘Fresh Coast,’” Deb DeLuca, executive director, said. “But the top priority is passenger and community safety, so postponing these visits for now is clearly prudent.”

The Port Authority would continue to develop future plans, she said.

Duluth News Tribune

 

Port Reports -  April 28

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
The only traffic through the Duluth entry on Monday was Paul R. Tregurtha, which arrived at 07:03 to load iron ore pellets at CN. She was expected to complete loading around 23:00. Also in port were Lake St. Clair, loading wheat at Riverland Ag; Federal Oshima, loading wheat at CHS 2; and Federal Asahi, at anchor waiting to load at Riverland. In Superior, CSL Laurentien finished loading at BN and departed at 04:25 Monday morning for Nanticoke with iron ore pellets. There were no other vessels due on Monday, however Baie Comeau is due on Tuesday to load.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Walter J. McCarthy Jr. departed Two Harbors on April 26th at 22:34 for Gary. Arriving Two Harbors on April 27th at 18:17 was the Presque Isle. She went to North of #2 gravity dock. There is no inbound traffic scheduled for Two Harbors on April 28th. The Anderson is heading to the Twin Ports with stone and she isn't showing up on Harbor Lookout. Possibility she could end up in Two Harbors. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay had no traffic on April 27th and none scheduled on the 28th.

Thunder Bay, ON
Sunday; 19:51 Johanna G departed for Detroit. Monday; 11:13 Algoma Strongfield arrived at the Richardson main Terminal to load wheat. 11:25 Tim S Dool arrived at the Superior Elevator to load wheat.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
St. Marys Conquest, now pushed by tug Bradshaw McKee, arrived Sunday (4/26) from Charlevoix with cement for the Kinnickinnic River cement terminal. The pair headed back to Charlevoix Monday morning (4/27). Polsteam’s Isadora was still at the Federal Marine Terminals dock. Samuel de Champlain/Innovation is due late Monday night.

Northern Lake Huron
McGregor Bay: Sunday; 20:06 Algoma Niagara arrived to unload salt at Fisher Harbour and departed Monday at 11:12 for Goderich.

Thessalon: Monday; 12:38 Joyce L Van Enkevort arrived to load gravel.

Meldrum Bay; 9:58 Manitoulin arrived to load dolomite. 11:04 Michipicoten arrived and went to anchor.

Drummond Island: Monday; 4:39 Mississagi departed and was downbound on Lake Huron.

Port Dolomite: Sunday; 22:08 Philip R Clarke departed for Duluth Superior.21:40 Kaye E Barker weighed anchor and proceeded to the loading dock. She departed Monday at 11:41 for Buffington. 12:41 Joseph L Block arrived to finish loading.

Calcite: Sunday; 19:58 Arthur M Anderson departed for Duluth Superior. Stoneport: Monday; 4:52 Manitowoc departed for Monroe.

Port Inland: Sunday; 20:48 Wilfred Sykes departed for Indiana Harbor. Joseph L Block weighed anchor and proceeded to the loading dock to take on a partial load, departing at 4:09 for Port Dolomite. 6:07 Cason J Callaway arrived to load.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey Herbert C. Jackson arrived on the Saginaw River on a sunny Monday morning, calling on the Wirt Sand and Stone dock in Essexville to unload. Once finished, the Jackson backed down to the Port Fisher/Bay Aggregates slip to turn and head for the lake on a cloudy, rain threatening afternoon.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Cuyahoga was expected Monday. It is unknown which dock she will use.

Lake Erie Ports – Bill Kloss
Marblehead: Clyde S. VanEnkevort arrived from Cleveland at 14:36.

Sandusky: John J. Boland arrived at 02:13 from Detroit for the NS coal dock.

Lorain: Laura L. VanEnkevort/Joseph H. Thompson arrived at 23:10 on 4/26 for LaFarge, and she left at 08:01 for Drummond Island. Saginaw arrived at 08:16 with potash for Amcor, she left at 14:56 for Detroit.

Cleveland: Clyde S. VanEnkevort arrived at 00:47 for the Bulk Terminal, departing at 10:28 for Marblehead. Calusa Coast arrived at 15:00,assisted by the G tug Michigan for the Marathon Terminal and Defiance/Ashtabula arrived at 17:00 assisted by the G tug New York.

Fairport Harbor: John G. Munson arrived at 07:27 with stone for Osborne.

Ashtabula: Algoma Conveyor arrived at 06:41.

Conneaut: Atlantic Huron left for Quebec, Algoma Guardian is in the port and Edwin H. Gott is due in app. 19:30

Nanticoke: Algoma Sault arrived at 08:20.

Lorain, OH – Ken Krol
Saginaw arrived at 0800 Monday. It proceeded to AMCOR Dock and unloaded salt into the two silos on site. It departed from Lorain at 14:45.

Hamilton, ON – Tristin Woolf
Monday's traffic began with the tug Ocean A. Gauthier departing at 4:10 EST followed by the tanker Northern Spirit at 4:36 EST; both vessels bound for Clarkson together. Algoma Equinox arrived at 8:44 EST with a load of ore from Port Cartier, and was followed immediately after by Ocean A. Gauthier returning from Clarkson. At 11:23 EST, the tug Wyatt M departed for Port Weller. At 16:24 EST the saltie Janet C arrived from Thorold and joined Federal Clyde at anchor. The Federal Clyde is waiting to unload fertilizer, and the Janet C will load grain.

Toronto, ON – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit was at Lehigh Cement Dock on Monday afternoon.

 

Coast Guard Station Duluth conducts rescue of boat taking on water in Duluth

4/28 - Duluth, MN - Monday afternoon, Coast Guard Station Duluth rescued two adults, a child, and a dog from a pleasure craft taking on water near the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge.

At approximately 3 p.m. CST, Sector Sault Ste Marie Command Center received a distress radio call from a disabled vessel that was taking on water. Coast Guard Station Duluth dispatched to the scene within five minutes with a 45-foot response boat. Upon arrival, they discovered that the vessel’s engine was leaking water. They assisted with restarting the engine, securing the leak, and towing the vessel to safety.

“As the boating season begins, it is important to ensure your vessel is ready to safely get underway,” said Boatswain’s Mate Second Class Taylor J. Barnes, the boarding officer during today’s rescue. “Conduct a check of your engine, make sure you have the proper safety gear including life jackets, and ensure you have an operable VHF radio. In this case, the mariner was able to use a VHF radio to communicate to us that they needed help.”

USCG

 

Corrected: List of vessels that have yet to fit out and those returned to layup

4/28 - Have Yet to Fit Out: Algoma Compass and Algoma Buffalo (Owen Sound, not Goderich as previously reported), Algoma Discovery (Montreal), Algoma Transport (Port Colborne), American Century (Toledo), American Integrity (Sturgeon Bay), Rt Hon Paul Martin (in dry dock at Port Weller for repairs), Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder (Erie) and NACC Capri (Hamilton).

Returned to Lay Up: Alpena (Superior), James R. Barker (Superior), Sam Laud (Toledo), H. Lee White (Sturgeon Bay), Lee A. Tregurtha (Superior).

 

Winter lay-up list now includes temporary layups

4/28 - Update: We are now logging temporary layups. Please send reports of vessel sailing dates from winter layup or new layups to news@boatnerd.net.

 

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.

 

1903 shipwreck emerges from sand near Manistique

4/27 - Garden Peninsula, MI – A spring storm along northern Lake Michigan has revealed remnants of a shipwreck long buried along the Upper Peninsula shoreline. The wreck was discovered by a local homeowner who stumbled upon remains of the ship’s frame on the Garden Peninsula’s eastern side.

The homeowner contacted experts at the Michigan Shipwreck Research Association, who used photos and historic records to identify the ship as the R. Kanters, a double-masted wooden schooner that blew ashore and became stranded south of Manistique in a gale on September 7, 1903.

According to details on the Michigan Shipwreck Research Association’s website, the 1873-built R. Kanters was named after Rokus Kanters, a marine contractor and former mayor of Holland, Mich. who was part-owner of the ship. The ship operated for many years out of Holland and Grand Haven before its sailing days ended in that September gale. No loss of life was reported as a result of the wreck, and the ship was left to break apart in the elements -- only to be discovered emerging from storm-blown sand this week, more than a century later.

More on the wreck and the R. Kanters’ history can be found on the Michigan Shipwreck Research Association’s website, michiganshipwrecks.org. View an image at this MLive link: https://www.mlive.com/life/2020/04/1903-shipwreck-emerges-from-sand-on-up-peninsula.html

 

Port Reports -  April 27

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
After anchoring early and undergoing inspections all day, Federal Oshima arrived Duluth at 16:31 Sunday afternoon and headed to CHS 2 to load wheat. American Spirit was in port at CN loading ore and had been expected to depart at 19:00 but was still at the dock at that time. Lake St. Clair continued loading wheat at Riverland Ag, and Federal Asahi remained anchored offshore waiting for her turn at the elevator. In Superior, CSL Laurentien arrived at 00:03 Sunday to load ore pellets at Burlington Northern. She was still loading as of 19:00 and did not have a departure time posted.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Walter J. McCarthy Jr. departed Two Harbors from South of #2 at 01:44 for Gary on April 26th. Arriving Two Harbors at 03:52 on April 26th was the Indiana Harbor. As of 20:00 on the 26th she was still at the loading dock. Due Two Harbors on April 27th is the Presque Isle. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay had no traffic on April 26th and none scheduled on April 27th.

Thunder Bay, ON
Saturday; 19:45 Federal Bering weighed anchor and proceeded to the Richardson Main Terminal to load grain. 18:57 Federal Columbia departed for Montreal. Sunday; 1:33 The saltie Labrador departed for Montreal. 6:37 Algoma Innovator arrived at Viterra A to load grain. 17:52 Federal Bering departed the Richardson Main Terminal and shifted to the main anchorage. 17:57 Federal Rideau arrived and went to anchor. 18:32 The saltie Federal Beaufort (showing on AIS as Chun He 195) arrived and went to anchor.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic Sunday included Presque Isle, Tim S. Dool, Algoma Strongfied Victory/Maumee and American Mariner. Downbound traffic included Mesabi Miner, Matt Allen with dredge Buxton III and towing 1,000 feet of dredging pipe (tied up at MCM Marine dock), CSL Welland, Frontenac, Sharon M 1 and barge, Federal Mayumi, Federal Columbia, Michipicoten (to Algoma) and, late, Labrador. Federal Beaufort was at anchor off Bay Mills, possibly awaiting a pilot.


Green Bay, WI
At 7:08 p.m. Sunday the tug Undaunted/ barge Pere Marquette 41 departed.

Northern Lake Huron
McGregor Bay: Sunday; Algoma Niagara is expected to arrive tonight at Fisher Harbour to unload road salt. |Drummond Island: Sunday; 5:39 Herbert C Jackson arrived to load limestone and departed at 18:38 and is down bound on Lake Huron. 18:49 Mississagi arrived to load.

Port Dolomite: Sunday; 5:35 The tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula departed for Cleveland. 7:31 Philip R Clarke arrived to load dolomite. 12:21 Kaye E Barker arrived and went to anchor.

Calcite: Saturday; 20:08 Arthur M Anderson arrived to load. Two vessels are due Monday with the first being the tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader, expected to arrive in the late morning for the South Dock. Also due in Monday is the Great Republic in the late evening to load at the South Dock. Due in for Tuesday are the tug Laura L. VanEnkevort and barge Joseph H. Thompson in the late morning for the South Dock.

Stoneport: Sunday; 1:26 Olive L Moore departed for the Saginaw River. 18:29 Manitowoc arrived to load.

Alpena: Sunday; 15:10 Samuel De Champlain departed for Milwaukee.

Saginaw River: Sunday; 3:30 American Mariner departed for Duluth Superior. Olive L Moore and her barge Menominee arrived to unload limestone

Port Inland: Sunday; 9:28 Wilfred Sykes arrived to load limestone. 14:48 Joseph L Block arrived and went to anchor. Cason J. Callaway was also due on Sunday in the early afternoon to load.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
Olive L. Moore / Menominee were back on the Saginaw River on Sunday, this time with a split cargo. The pair stopped at the Wirt Stone dock in Bay City to offload a partial cargo, then departed for the Wirt Stone Dock in Saginaw to finish unloading, heading upriver around 6:30 pm.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
April 25 and 26 were busy on the St Clair river stretch of the seaway as at least 20 vessels Saturday and 10 Sunday were using the passage. Baie Comeau passed upbound at 7:30am. T/B Joyce Vanenkevort/Great Lakes Trader followed at 7:45am. Paul A Desgagnes departed Sarnia and passed MC at 9:30am. Manitoulin arrived at Sombra stoneyard in the early morning to unload and was upbound north of St Clair by 1:30pm. Ojibway passed upbound at 1:15pm. Great Republic passed downbound at 3:30pm. T/B Everlast/Norman Mcleod passed at 4pm then anchored south of the Powerplant. Whitefish Bay was upbound at 5pm. Algoma Spirit should pass upbound in the late evening. Stiff gusty winds all day created surface chop on the river, from the north-northwest, mix of sun and clouds and 58 degrees F.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H.
Sunday Arrivals: John J Boland-arrived at Zug Island to unload coal. Calumet arrived at the Revere dock to unload stone. Great Republic arrived at the McCoig Concrete dock to unload stone.

Toledo, OH – Denny Dushane
Evans Spirit arrived in Toledo on April 23 in the evening for the CSX Coal Dock to load. They departed on Saturday in the late evening. Also arriving in Toledo was the saltwater vessel Federal Seto on Saturday in the late morning. The tug Joyce L.VanEnkevort and the barge Great Lakes Trader arrived at the Torco Dock on Saturday at noon. They departed in the evening on Saturday. Cuyahoga arrived during the late evening on Saturday to unload a grain cargo from Sarnia and the tug Albert and barge Margaret arrived early on Sunday morning to load a cargo. Due at the CSX Coal Dock is the Saginaw on April 28 arriving in the early morning to load. The tug Victory and barge Maumee are due at CSX to load on May 2 in the late morning. At the Torco Dock, due there is the Mesabi Miner arriving on May 5 in the early morning. The tug Victory and their barge the Maumee are due at Torco on May 8 in the early afternoon.

Lake Erie Ports – Bill Kloss
John G. Munson (to Conneaut), Clyde S. VanEnkevort (to Cleveland) and Laura L. VanEnkevort (to Lorain) were all anchored off of Leamington Sunday due to high winds and currents.

Cleveland: American Courage is running shuttles.

Ashtabula: Algoma Conveyor was at anchor arriving from Goderich.

Conneaut: Atlantic Huron was in the harbor and Algoma Guardian is at anchor waiting out currents.

Nanticoke: Algoma Sault was at anchor, arriving at 16:02.

Hamilton, ON – Tristin Woolf
Late on Saturday night, at 22:49 EST, Argentia Desgagnes departed with a full load of grain bound for Cote-Ste-Catharine. At exactly 00:00 Sunday morning, the tugs Ocean A. Gauthier and Ocean A. Simard departed together towards Toronto. At 13:02 EST, the tanker Northern Spirit arrived from Clarkson. She is taking a delay. Shortly after, at 13:19 EST the tanker Sterling Energy departed for Toronto. At 13:46 the tug Salvage Monarch arrived from Toronto, and stayed in port until 15:03, when she headed back to Toronto. At 18:24, the tug Ocean A. Gauthier returned from Toronto. Sterling Energy is expected to return from Toronto at 22:30 EST. Federal Clyde, who had previously anchored outside of Hamilton for a short period of time, is now anchored inside the harbor.

Toronto, ON – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit arrived at Lehigh Cement Dock Sunday evening.

Picton, ON – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit departed and bound for Toronto on Sunday afternoon at mid-lake.

 

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.

 

Port Reports -  April 26

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Edwin H. Gott departed Two Harbors from South of #2 at 03:32 on April 25th for Conneaut. The Walter J. McCarthy Jr. arrived Two Harbors on April 25th at 03:52 for South of #2. As of 19:30 on April 25th she was still at the dock. Due Two Harbors on April 26th is the Indiana Harbor. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay had no traffic on April 25th and none scheduled on April 26th

Thunder Bay, ON
Thursday: 8:35 The saltie Labrador arrived and went to anchor. 18:35 CSL Welland arrived and went to anchor. 20:49 The saltie Wigeon departed for Sorel. 21:12 Federal Columbia weighed anchor and proceeded to the Richardson Main Terminal to load wheat. 23:00 Federal Mayumi shifted to Viterra B to finish loading. 23:32 CSL Welland weighed anchor and proceeded Viterra A to load grain. Friday; 1:25 The saltie Muntgracht departed for Ravenna Italy. 5:02 The saltie Torrent departed the Superior Elevator and shifted to the main anchorage. 7:52 Labrador weighed anchor and proceeded to the Superior Elevator to load grain. 9:11The saltie Wicko arrived and went to anchor. 14:36 Johanna G weighed anchor and proceeded to the Richardson Current River Terminal. Saturday; 1:02 Torrent weighed anchor and departed for Montreal. 3:29 CSL Niagara departed for Quebec City. 6:49 Federal Hunter arrived at the G3 elevator to load grain. 16:00 CSL Welland departed and is down bound on Lake Superior. 16:50 Federal Mayumi departed for Montreal.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic Saturday included Muntgrach early, followed by Burns Harbor, Edgar B. Speer, Torrent and, late, CSL Niagara. Upbounders included Algoma Innovator early, followed by Paul R. Tregurtha, Federal Beaufort (went to anchor off Bay Mills) and Federal Rideau.

Cedarville, MI – Denny Dushane
The tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula were loading evening. Due Monday is the Joseph L. Block in the early morning to load. Also due Monday is the Arthur M. Anderson in the late evening.

Sturgeon Bay, WI
On Friday, yard crews at BayShip floated the new Washington Island ferry Madonna and towed it to berth 9. Later that afternoon, SMT tugs towed the unfinished barge Michigan Trader into the graving dock. H. Lee White is tied up on the new dock face just south of berth 1.

Northern Lake Huron
Bruce Mines: Friday; 10:29 Saginaw arrived to load trap rock and departed at 20:43

Port Dolomite: Saturday; The tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula arrive to load limestone.

Cheboygan: Friday; 11:40 The tug Albert and tanker barge Margaret arrived at the US Oil Co dock to unload petroleum products and departed at 20:26 for Toledo.

Calcite: Friday; 2:04 Cason J Callaway departed for Buffington. 8:09 American Mariner arrived to load limestone and departed Saturday at 4:51 for Bay City. Arthur M. Anderson was expected Saturday in the mid-afternoon to load at the South and the North Docks. Due Sunday is the Philip R. Clarke in the early morning for the South Dock to load.

Stoneport: Friday;11:30 Kaye E Barker departed for Detroit. 12:13 John G Munson arrived to load limestone and departed Saturday at 0:02 for Fairport. 12:38 Olive L Moore / barge Menominee arrived to load.

Alpena: Friday; 10:55 G L Ostrander arrived to load cement products and departed at 18:20 for Green Bay. Saturday; 7:29 Samuel De Champlain arrived to load cement products.

Saginaw River: Friday; 14:37 Olive L Moore and her barge Menominee arrived at the R&R Ready-mix dock to unload limestone and departed at 18:22 for Stoneport. Saturday; 16:15 American Mariner arrived in Essexville to unload.

Port Inland: Saturday; 2:03 Great Republic arrived to load and departed at 15:47 for Detroit. Joseph L. Block is expected Sunday in the late morning, followed by the Cason J. Callaway on Sunday in the early afternoon.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor cleared Goderich 3:03 pm Saturday down bound with salt for Ashtabula, Ohio. Algoma Niagara eased up to Compass Minerals at 3:27 pm Saturday.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
American Mariner arrived on the Saginaw River late Saturday afternoon, backing into the Port Fisher/Bay Aggregates slip in Bay City to unload.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
Algoma Niagara was upbound at 8 am near Marysville. Tug Kimberly Anne was upbound entering the cut-off channel at 8:15am. Herbert C. Jackson passed MC at 11:30 AM, followed by Algoma Strongfield at noon. John D. Leitch, Maccoa passed downbound stern to bow at noon downbound. At 1:30pm in quick succession passed John G. Munson, Cuyahoga and Saginaw. Presque Isle was upbound followed in quick succession by Tim S. Dool and Iver Bright between 3:45pm and 4:15pm. Algoma Hansa passed MC downbound at 5:15pm and Fure Ven passed at 5:30pm upbound. Wigeon was downbound at 5:45pm. T/B Victory/Maumee was followed upbound in quick succession by Kaye E. Barker and Hinch Spirit between 6:15pm and 6:45pm. T/B Albert/Margaret should pass MC downbound around 7:30pm, while T/B Spartan/Spartan II should pass around 8pm upbound. Mix of clouds and sun all day with very light winds from the north-north west, temp at 50 degrees F.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H.
Saturday Arrivals: Herbert C Jackson-arrived at Zug Island to unload coal. Kaye E Barker arrived with a split load of stone for the St. Clair Aggregates and Prairie Materials docks. Spartan/Spartan 2, Everlast/Norman McLeod-arrived at the Waterfront Petroleum Terminal. Saginaw-arrived at the St. Clair Aggregates dock to unload stone.

Toledo, OH – Denny Dushane
Herbert C. Jackson arrived about noon on Friday at the CSX Coal Dock to load. They departed on Friday in the early evening hours. Also due at the CSX Coal Dock was the Evans Spirit on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and they would be pumping water for 6 hours before loading. The Evans Spirit was expected to begin loading at 6 P.M. on Saturday evening. Also due at the CSX Coal Dock to load is the Saginaw on Monday in the late afternoon to load. At the Torco Dock, the tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and their barge the Great Lakes Trader were expected on Saturday in the early afternoon hours. Also due at Torco on May 7 in the early afternoon hours is the Mesabi Miner. The saltwater vessel Federal Seto was due to arrive on Saturday in morning hours. The Cuyahoga was also expected to arrive on Saturday in the late evening hours to deliver a grain cargo from Sarnia. The tug Albert and barge Margaret are also due to arrive early in the morning on Sunday.

Lake Erie Ports– Bill Kloss
Marblehead: American Courage departed for Lorain and Manitoulin left at 18:46 for Sombra.

Lorain: Algoma Mariner departed at 12:09 for Toronto. American Courage arrived this morning with stone from Marblehead for LaFarge and left at 19:21. She is headed to Cleveland for shuttles.

Fairport Harbor: Calumet left for Erie, PA.

Conneaut: Atlantic Huron arrived at 11:09 and Algoma Guardian at 14:34.

Hamilton, ON – Tristin Woolf
The tug Ocean A. Gauthier departed late Friday night at 23:57 EST towards Clarkson. Beginning Friday's traffic was the tanker Sterling Energy, returning at 00:06 EST from Port Weller. at 2:52 EST the Algoma Sault arrived with a load of coal from Toledo. At 4:00 EST the tug Ocean A. Gauthier returned from Clarkson. At 7:43 EST the saltie Amurborg arrived with a load of steel from Antwerp, Belgium. at 11:00 EST the Algoma Spirit departed after having unloaded ore, and she was destined for Thunder Bay. at 13:48 EST the Algoma Sault departed from the coal dock, bound for Nanticoke. At 17:57 EST the saltie Lake Ontario departed after unloading steel, and was followed out by Amurborg at 18:25 EST Both vessels are headed to Thunder Bay. At 19:15 EST the Federal Clyde dropped anchor outside of Hamilton with a load of fertilizer. She is expected to arrive 20:15 EST.

Picton, ON – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit at Lehigh Cement Dock on Saturday afternoon.

 

List of vessels that have yet to fit out and those returned to layup

4/26 - Have Yet to Fit Out: Algoma Compass and Algoma Buffalo (Goderich), Algoma Discovery (Montreal), Algoma Transport (Port Colborne), American Century (Toledo), American Integrity (Sturgeon Bay), Rt Hon Paul Martin (in dry dock at Port Weller for repairs), Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder (Erie) and NACC Capri (Hamilton).

Returned to Lay Up: Alpena (Superior), James R. Barker (Superior), Sam Laud (Toledo), H. Lee White (Sturgeon Bay), Lee A. Tregurtha (Superior).

 

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.

 

Ashton Marine welcomes new tug Meredith Ashton

4/25 - Ashton Marine would like to welcome their newest tug to their fleet, the Meredith Ashton. Named after the daughter of Phil and Candace Andrie, she is the second tug to join the fleet. She is currently making her way to her homeport in Muskegon, MI after departing Fall River, MA, on April 19th.

Ashton Marine acquired the Meredith Ashton – formerly known as the C. Angelo – from Gateway Towing Co. Inc. of New Haven, Connecticut. Meredith Ashton is equipped with twin Caterpillar 3516 Tier 2 main engines, along with a 43’ upper house. She measures in at 95' long and 32' wide, with a hull depth of 13.7'.

Built by Thoma-Sea Ship Builders circa 1999, the Meredith Ashton will be one of the newest tugs to service the Great Lakes market. A previous tug named Meredith Ashton was sold to Great Lakes Dock and Materials and renamed George F. Bailey.

For further information, visit ashtontugs.com

Jenson Wetenkamp

 

Port Reports -  April 25

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Lee A. Tregurtha arrived Duluth at 06:09 Friday morning and laid up at Fraser Shipyards due to the poor economic conditions, joining James R. Barker and Alpena that are already sitting idle in the harbor. Mesabi Miner spent the day taking on iron ore pellets at CN; she departed at 17:43 for Indiana Harbor. Lake St. Clair was in port loading wheat at Riverland Ag, and Federal Asahi was anchored waiting for her turn to load. Of note, American Spirit is due in Duluth on Saturday and is rumored to be laying up as well. At the Superior entry on Friday, Burns Harbor finished loading and departed at 06:45 carrying iron ore from BN. Frontenac was due Friday evening to load.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Roger Blough departed Two Harbors on April 23rd at 21:40 for Gary. Edgar B. Speer arrived Two Harbors for South of #2 at 22:08. She had been anchored off Sand Island and got underway on the 23rd at 18:20 for Gary. Edwin H. Gott arrived Two Harbors Two Harbors on April 24th at 13:40 for South of #2. She had anchored off Sand Island on the 23rd at 21:00 and got underway on the 24th at approx. 11:00 for Two Harbors. Due Two Harbors, probably after the Gott departs, is the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay had no traffic on April 24th and none scheduled on April 25th.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on Friday included Federal Hunter, Federal Oshima, and American Spirit. Downbound traffic included Maccoa, Cape, John D. Leitch, Wigeon and, late, CSL Tadoussac. Sharon M 1 and barge were at the Bondar Dock in Sault, ON, for repairs.

Cedarville, MI
Expected to arrive Saturday is the tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula in the early morning hours to load. There are no vessels due Sunday. Due in for Monday is the Joseph L. Block in the early morning to load.

Port Inland, MI
Expected Saturday is the Great Republic in the early morning to load. Following them will be the Wilfred Sykes in the early evening to load. Mississagi is due in on Sunday evening at midnight to load.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
Algoma Innovator arrived from Goderich at 02:47 Friday (4/24) with deicing salt for Compass Minerals. After dropping approximately 25,500 metric tons on the open dock, she cleared for Thunder Bay at 09:50. Taking her place in slip one was Polsteam’s Isadora. She arrived at Milwaukee from Burns Harbor just before 06:00 and waited beyond the breakwater until Innovator vacated the slip. Isadora tied up at the Federal Marine Terminals dock about 10:30. She brought tin plate from IJmuiden, Netherlands. Tug Anglian Lady with barge PML 9000 arrived from Sault Ste. Marie at 10:27 and proceeded to the city’s heavy lift dock. PML 9000 carried coil steel from Canada. Tug Bradshaw McKee arrived from Calumet Harbor Friday evening. She joined with barge St. Marys Conquest, which has spent the past three weeks at the Kinnickinnic River cement terminal.

Stoneport, MI – Denny Dushane
Due Saturday is the tug Olive L. Moore and barge Menominee in the late morning to load. Expected on Sunday is the Manitowoc in the late morning to load.

Calcite, MI – Denny Dushane
Expected Saturday is Arthur M. Anderson in the mid-afternoon loading at the South and North Docks. Philip R. Clarke is due to arrive on Sunday in the early morning for the South Dock to load.

Owen Sound, ON – Paul Martin
Saginaw arrived early on Oct. 23rd and began unloading grain at the main elevator. The shop had to move around the Algoma Buffalo still tied up at the north end of the main west harbor wall. The ship departed on Thursday evening in ballast.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
The tug Olive L. Moore, with her self-unloading barge, Menominee, arrived on the Saginaw River on Friday, marking their first visit of the season. The pair headed upriver, stopping at both the Burroughs/Levy dock in Zilwaukee and the Lafarge Stone Dock in Saginaw.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
Federal Kushiro passed MC during the nite and at 8am was downbound off Belle Isle. T/B Victory/Maumee arrived at MC stoneyard at 10:30pm on the 23rd and after unloading was downbound entering Lake St Clair at 8am this Morning. Hon. James l. Oberstar was downbound north of Marysville at 8am. Iver Bright passed MC downbound at 10:15am. T/B Samuel de Champlain/Innovation was upbound at 11:15am. John J. Boland passed downbound at 11:45am, foll.owed closely by Ojibway at noon also downbound. Algonorth passed downbound at 1:45pm. Federal Beaufort was upbound at 2:15pm. Paul R. Tregurtha was heading upbound at 5pm and passed Algoma Enterprise heading down bound just north of St Clair power plant. Algoma Conveyor was passing upbound at 7:30pm. Mix of clouds and sun with light winds from the north-northeast, temp around 50 degrees F.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H.
Friday Arrivals: Algoma Conveyor-arrived at the Motor City Materials dock to unload salt. Hon. James L Oberstar-arrived at AK Steel to unload ore. Iver Bright-arrived at the Waterfront Petroleum Terminal to unload.

Lake Erie Ports – Bill Kloss
Marblehead: American Courage was loading Driday, and Manitoulin arrived at 08:37 and was waiting to load.

Lorain: Algoma Mariner arrived at 07:05 to load salt at the Jonick Dock.

Cleveland: The salty Fuldaborg arrived at 18:00.

Fairport Harbor: Calumet arrived from Toledo at 10:35.

Conneaut: Arthur M. Anderson left at 10:38 for Calcite.

Nanticoke: Paul R. Tregurtha departed for Duluth/Superior.

Hamilton, ON – Tristin Woolf
Algoma Spirit arrived at 8:40 EST Friday with a load of ore from Superior. The tanker Sterling Energy departed at 16:03 EST for Port Weller, and the Argentia Desgagnés arrived at 20:26 EST from Windsor to load grain. The saltie Lake Ontario continues to unload steel.

Buffalo, NY – Craig E. Speers
Manitoulin departed the ADM docks on the Buffalo River at 1704 hours Friday, with assistance from the tugs Vermont and Washington. That section of the river cannot be commercially navigated without tug assistance.

Toronto, ON – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit departed Friday evening bound for Picton, ON.

 

List of vessels that have yet to fit out and those returned to layup

4/25 - Have Yet to Fit Out: Algoma Compass and Algoma Buffalo (Goderich), Algoma Discovery (Montreal), Algoma Transport (Port Colborne), American Century (Toledo), American Integrity (Sturgeon Bay), Rt Hon Paul Martin (in dry dock at Port Weller for repairs), Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder (Erie) and NACC Capri (Hamilton).

Returned to Lay Up: Alpena (Superior), James R. Barker (Superior), Sam Laud (Toledo), H. Lee White (Sturgeon Bay), Lee A. Tregurtha (Superior).

 

COVID-19 devastating commercial fishing industry

4/25 - Chatham, ON – Lifelong commercial fisherman Mark Weaver had anticipated a bumper season for his family-run commercial fishery before the COVID-19 pandemic left the industry almost dead in the water. Now, he and the rest of Ontario’s commercial fishing industry are facing a bleak future that could leave them struggling just to survive.

“I don’t know how we’re going to pay the bills,” Weaver said.

While Lake Erie would normally be dotted with commercial fishing vessels at this time of year, their boats aren’t leaving the docks in Port Stanley, Wheatley and other Southwestern Ontario ports this spring since there’s nowhere to sell their catch. The restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic – the closures of restaurants, bars and fresh-fish counters in grocery stores across North America – have effectively brought Ontario’s freshwater commercial fisheries to a standstill.

“It’s a total supply chain challenge and crisis that we’re in,” said Jane Graham, executive director of the Ontario Commercial Fisheries’ Association.

Roughly 80 per cent of commercial fishing in Ontario takes place on Lake Erie and, traditionally, April has been one of the “most productive fishing months of the year,” Graham said. And it looked like this April would have been just as productive, Weaver said.

Weaver, 62, who operates three fishing vessels out of Port Stanley with his son, Derek Weaver, said prices had been good before the pandemic. His company, Glen Weaver Fisheries, had been enjoying substantial catches in late February and early March. “The market was wide open,” Weaver said. “It would have been one of the best springs we would have ever had before this, the way it started out.”

Now, the company has zero income and a few extra bills after buying part of another commercial fishery last June for $2 million. Weaver said there’s been some talk of the industry starting up again in May – a late start to partially salvage the season – but he’s not optimistic. “If it’s only in bits and pieces … I doubt it,” he said.

The docked industry is also another huge blow to the Southwestern Ontario economy during the pandemic.

The commercial fishers and fish processors in the province, including the few who fish on lakes Superior, Huron and Ontario, represent more than 1,100 jobs and contribute roughly $234 million to the Canadian economy, according to association figures. “They’re big employers and that industry is important to the overall economy,” said Stuart McFadden, the director of economic development for Chatham-Kent. “This COVID is devastating so many different sectors.”

A just-released Ontario Commercial Fisheries’ Association member engagement survey highlighted the crippling effects faced by operators, showing most fisheries have suffered a near 100 percent loss of revenue.

While nearly all of Ontario’s fishing fleet remains at dock, and with the strong possibility the season will be entirely lost, the association’s survey predicts at least 80 per cent of employees have – or will be – laid off.

Graham said the three-month wage subsidy support being provided by the federal government will only extend operations by a few months. Without additional supports, more layoffs will follow, leading to business closures and bankruptcies, she added. The economic impact on commercial fishers and processors has the potential to lead to disastrous social consequences for many small towns in Southwestern Ontario, Graham said. “This is about survival,” she said.

Chatham Daily News

 

Take a closer look at Bay City’s future salt brine mining operation

4/25 - Bay City, MI – Nestled far below the ground in Bay City is a giant reservoir of salt brine that will soon be tapped by a new industry moving into town. Wilkinson Minerals will soon drill 4,000 feet below Bay City into a giant reservoir to pump out 450 gallons a minute of salt brine. The brine will be turned into a variety of products for applications such as winter road maintenance, agricultural and industrial food, some of which will be shipped out on the Saginaw River using lake freighters.

Bay City City Manager Dana Muscott announced in February that Bay City will be the new home to the company during the Feb. 18 State of Community address. The company purchased property at 101 Picard St. in Bay City, east of Independence Bridge along the Saginaw River, for a planned $50-60 million investment.

Junction Capital representative Bill Sonnier said, “We’re enthusiastic about the opportunity, the need for the products their in the market. It’s an old industry really, and over the years there’s been a reduction in supply due to old facilities being shut down."

One of the main reasons Wilkinson Minerals selected the Bay City site is its proximity to the Saginaw River and the resulting easy access to the Great Lakes for shipping their products. Sonnier said that the company will produce both liquid and dry salt products, with the liquid products primarily shipped out on the river.

“That being the Saginaw River going right into the Great Lakes, it was a good location logistically," said Sonnier.

Wilkinson Minerals also selected the Bay City property because of its location over a large deposit of calcium chloride brine in what is called the Sylvania sandstone formation. “This ocean of brine really spans from all the way from eastern to western Michigan," Sonnier said.

Wilkinson Minerals is a subsidy of Houston, Texas based private equity firm Junction Capital. Wilkinson Minerals is one of two sister mineral companies under Junction Capital’s wings. According to Sonnier, the company also recently bought similarly named Wilkinson’s Solutions, a Mayville-based company. Wilkinson Minerals will be involved with the Bay City project while Wilkinson Solutions is a separate entity.

Wilkinson Minerals is also currently in the permitting and engineering stage, with Sonnier explaining that the company needs to apply for drilling and operation permits from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and a building permit from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers due to the facility’s proximity to the Saginaw River. Sonnier said that the coronavirus pandemic has not caused significant delay for the project overall and that construction is expected to start on the facility in 2021.

“The main uses for the product are fairly simple, it’s used for ice melt on roads. That’s the biggest market by far is for winter use," said Sonnier. "Calcium chloride is preferred over sodium chloride on roads just because it’s not as corrosive. It’s more effective at lower temperatures.”

“The other use in the area is dust control on county roads," he added. "Liquid calcium chloride is applied on the road for dust control and it’s becoming more and more important issue for agriculture, dust on crops really affects yields. More and more areas are using dust-control mechanism.”

As for the food industry, the brine can be used in applications like pickling processes. Sonnier said, “There’s a good market and a lot of pent-up demand in the market, so we feel that it’s a good opportunity.”

Bay City Times

 

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 te 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.

 

Virus-downed economy takes its toll on Great Lakes freighters

4/24 - Alpena, MI – The shipping industry is beginning to feel the effects of the economic downturn brought about by the coronavirus, with many ships starting to lay up until there is more demand for cargo. Lake Carriers’ Association President Jim Weakley said companies still have ships sailing but are reducing the number of boats because of a decrease in demand.

“We’re a service industry, and we need a cargo in order to keep the ships moving, and we are hopeful the cargo will be there to bounce back, soon,” Weakley said.

He said steel companies, such as U.S. Steel and Cleveland-Cliffs, and mining companies are starting to idle temporarily. There still may be a little time for freighters to move some of the inventory built up over the winter, he said. Carmeuse Lime and Stone spokesman Kevin Whyte said the shipping season was slightly behind schedule this year, but his firm is shipping.

“We expect that the COVID-19 crisis will negatively impact the business for 2020, resulting in lower shipments,” he said. However, “at this time, the overall impact remains unknown.”

Whyte said Carmeuse remains committed to meet all customer demand for aggregate and for chemical limestone. There are several challenges associated with boats laying up this early in the shipping season — not only to the shipping industry but to the sailors whose livelihoods depend on that industry.

The unknowns are the biggest challenge, according to Weakley, because no one knows when the boats will next be able to fit out.

In the fall and winter, he said, boats will have to resupply the steel mills so they have enough cargo to get through the winter. In the winter, Weakley said, freighters become dependent on the U.S. Coast Guard to break ice. “The challenge will be, are we going to have enough time and capacity?” he said.

Those unknowns also impact sailors. Weakley said the decrease in demand the industry is seeing now is similar to what happened in 2008, during the Great Recession, although he said some could argue this is worse.

“There is and there always will be a demand for moving raw materials efficiently on the Great Lakes and the best way to do that is by water,” he said. He said it’s just a matter of the steel mills coming back online and power plants having an increased electrical demand.

The Alpena News

 

Seaway News: Tug heads for lakes; Atlantic Huron sails

4/24 - A tug, the Meredith Ashton, IMO No. 8964460, is enroute to Buffalo from Brayton Point, MA, where it departed on April 19. It is the ex C. Angelo and is on its delivery trip to Great Lakes Dock & Materials of Muskegon, MI, which acquired it from Gateway Towing Co. Inc. of New Haven, Connecticut. Built in 1999 under the name of Nutmeg State, renamed C. Angelo the same year.

For some time, there have been rumors that the Canada Steamship Lines’ vessel Atlantic Huron would not be reactivated. Those rumors were unfounded. She left Montreal overnight for Superior, WI.

René Beauchamp

 

Port Reports -  April 24

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Maccoa topped off with wheat at Riverland Ag and departed Duluth fourteen minutes after midnight Thursday morning. She was followed out of port by Cape, which had loaded at CHS 1 and departed at 01:40. Lake St. Clair picked up her anchor and arrived at 07:45, taking Maccoa's place at Riverland to load wheat. During the evening, Federal Asahi arrived offshore and anchored to wait for her turn at the popular Riverland elevator. Mesabi Miner was due at 22:45 to load iron ore pellets at CN. In Superior, John D. Leitch departed at 01:49 with iron ore pellets for Quebec City. CSL Tadoussac was inbound at 02:32, loaded, and departed at 16:56, bound for the same destination. Next to arrive was Burns Harbor, which came in at 17:25 to load at BN. She should depart mid-day Friday.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Roger Blough arrived Two Harbors on April 23rd at 04:49 for North of #2 gravity dock. She then shifted to South of #2 between 11:28 and 12:22. As of 19:30 she was still at the dock. The Edgar B. Speer went to anchor on April 23rd off Sand Island at 07:55. She got underway on the 23rd at 18:20 for Two Harbors. At 18:30 on the 23rd the Edwin H. Gott was North of Sand Island. She is also due Two Harbors. Due Two Harbors on April 24th is the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay saw the Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader arrive at 16:00 on the 23rd. She is loading for Cleveland. There is no inbound traffic due Silver Bay on April 24th.

Thunder Bay, ON
Wednesday; 20:59 The saltie Torrent weighed anchor and proceeded to the Superior Elevator to load grain. 22:41 The saltie Lyulin departed for Baie Comeau. Thursday; 1:52 The saltie Muntgracht weighed anchor and proceeded to the Richardson Current River Terminal to load grain. 11:14 Federal Mayumi arrived at Viterra A to load wheat. 17:35 CSL Niagara arrived at the G3 elevator to load grain.

Green Bay, WI
Thursday morning at 8:32 a.m. the combo G.L Ostrander/Integrity departed for Alpena, MI, American Mariner departed for Calcite, MI at 8:38 a.m. At 2:12 p.m. the combo Albert/Margaret departed Green Bay. At 3:06 p.m. the combo Michigan/Great Lakes arrived for the U.S. Oil/Venture Terminal.

S. Lake Michigan ports
Saltie Isadora was at Burns Harbor Thursday night. Wilfred Sykes is due Friday. Great Republic was at Gary.

Northern Lake Huron
Meldrum Bay: Thursday; 0:13 Cuyahoga departed for Sarnia.

Port Dolomite: Thursday; 15:13 Undaunted and her barge Pere Marquette 41 arrived to load dolomite and departed at 19:05 for Grand Haven.

Calcite: Wednesday; 20:26 John J Boland departed for Bay City. Thursday; 8:57 Cason J Callaway arrived to load.

Alpena: Thursday; 6:04 Undaunted and her barge Pere Marquette 41 departed for Port Dolomite.

Stoneport: Thursday; 5:08 Victory and her barge Maumee departed down bound on Lake Huron. 5:09 Olive L Moore and her barge Menominee weighed anchor and proceeded to the loading dock. 19:12 They finished loading and departed down bound on Lake Huron. 19:27 Kaye E Barker arrived to load.

Bay City: Thursday; 7:44 John J Boland arrived to unload limestone and departed at 20:24 for Calcite.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Innovator cleared Goderich 6.55 pm Wednesday with salt, upbound for Milwaukee. Algoma Conveyor cleared Goderich about 2 pm Thursday with salt, downbound for Rouge River, Detroit. She travelled as far as Sarnia, at 5 pm tied up Government Dock for repairs.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
The John J. Boland arrived on the Saginaw River early Thursday morning, backing into the Port Fisher/Bay Aggregates slip to unload. This is the first cargo to the Bay Aggregates dock this season.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
Mississagi finished unloading at the Sombra stoneyard and was downbound to a berth in Windsor by 4:30am. CSL Laurentien passed MC at 5am. Federal Biscay was downbound at Port Huron at 4:30am. Federal Oshima passed upbound at 7am. Arthur M. Anderson passed downbound at 6:30am. Presque Isle was downbound passing at 2pm, followed at 2:30pm by Algoscotia also downbound. American Spirit passed upbound at 3:45pm. Herbert C. Jackson should pass MC downbound around 7:30pm. John G. Munson was upbound on Lake St. Clair at 6pm and should pass MC in the 9-10pm hour. Overcast with intermittent rain all day, winds from the east-northeast and steady, temp 38 degrees F.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H.
Thursday Arrivals: Calusa Coast and Delaware arrived at the Marathon Asphalt Terminal to load. Samuel De Champlain/Innovation arrived at Lafarge to unload cement. Herbert C Jackson arrived at AK Steel to unload ore.

Lake Erie Ports for 4-23-20 – Bill Kloss
Marblehead: Laura L. VanEnkevort left at 19:56 on the 22nd for Detroit. American Courage arrived at 10:05.

Cleveland: American Spirit departed at 00:14. No destination given.

Fairport Harbor: Calumet left at 09:32. No destination given.

Conneaut: John G. Munson left for Stoneport at 03:05. Arthur M. Anderson arrived at 19:30.

Nanticoke: Paul R. Tregurtha remains in Nanticoke. Algoterra arrived at 22:16 on 4/22.

Lorain, OH – Ken Krol
Salt from Cleveland continues to be hauled by truck and stockpiled at the Jonick Dock until future shipment by boat.

Hamilton, ON for 4-23-20 – Tristin Woolf
The saltie Lake Ontario was the first to arrive on Thursday, coming in at 1:26 EST with a load of steel from Brazil. Following closely behind was the Tim S. Dool, who arrived at 1:39 EST with a load of ore from Port Cartier. At 6:21 EST the Algoma Mariner departed for Lorain after unloading salt. At 11:44 EST the tanker Sterling Energy returned from Port Weller, and at 13:43 EST the tug Ocean A. Simard arrived from Thorold. The saltie Federal Rideau departed at 19:06 EST after 3 days of unloading steel slabs and is now headed to Thunder Bay. The Tim S. Dool is expected to depart late this evening.

Buffalo, NY – Craig E. Speers
Manitoulin arrived Wednesday with a load of wheat for the ADM elevators on the Buffalo River at South Street. She was towed aft first by the Tug Vermont, assisted by the Tug Washington. Federal Oshima departed the Lackawanna/Bethlehem Steel bulk docks also on Wednesday. She was in that port for 10 days.

Toronto, ON – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit arrived at the Lehigh Cement Dock Thursday morning.

 

Canada’s shipping sector protects front-line workers with Trusted Partners Initiative

4/24 - - The marine industry is rising to meet the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic by banding together to create a mutually-agreed-upon standard of protocols to protect marine workers.

The Chamber of Marine Commerce has developed the Marine Industry Trusted Partners for COVID-19 initiative with its Canadian ship operator members to help assure ship owners, governments and other stakeholders (including the public) that a mutually-agreed standard of protection, with supporting protocols, is being followed by each Partner during ship-shore interactions.

The initiative is open to any company or organization to join that may be involved with ship-shore interactions in the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence, East Coast and Arctic – and has already attracted the participation of ship inspectors, tug operators, and Canadian pilotage authorities and received a supportive message from The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation.

The initiative will help to facilitate essential ship-shore interactions, which are required for safe operations, by minimizing the need for additional screening between Trusted Partners. However, it does not prevent any organization from taking further measures to protect their employees where the need arises.

“Marine shipping is recognized by governments as an essential service that is vital to keeping supply chains operating in Canada and the United States,” says Bruce Burrows, President and CEO of the Chamber of Marine Commerce. “Everyone wants to get home safely and be confident their job does not put their families and loved ones at risk. While firms are taking steps to protect their employees, not all organizations are aware of each other’s measures. This initiative opens up the channels of communication and helps reassure participating partners and the public that we’re all on the same page when it comes to COVID-19 safety.”

Ship-shore interactions are currently minimized and shore leave for crews is restricted. CMC shipowner members have also collaborated and implemented an extensive set of Best Practices for protecting their own employees. But to maintain safe operations, ship owners still need to have workers come on and off their ships for critical tasks that cannot be done remotely. These personnel include inspectors, marine pilots, equipment and maintenance specialists. Ship crews also need to safely interact with ports and terminals during loading and unloading, and crew changes.

Each Trusted Partner must state and provide documentation that their organization has implemented measures that meet the Trusted Partners criteria.

Chamber of Marine Commerce

 

Port authority keeps goods moving during COVID-19 crisis

4/24 - Windsor, ON – The shipping season on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway opened on April 1, so the Windsor Port Authority issued a message Wednesday that it remains fully open for business and fulfilling its vital role during ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

“Despite the closure of many businesses in the community, the port is going full tilt,” said Steve Salmons, CEO for the Windsor Port Authority. “We recognize the port is an essential part of rail, shipping and trucking sectors that is keeping our economy afloat with access to goods and products throughout this crisis. “There is a general sentiment that everyone is home and not working, but that’s far from the truth for the Port of Windsor.”

He listed Windsor Salt, ADM Agri-Industries and area aggregate companies as all operating at close to full capacity despite the pandemic and each heavily using local shipping ports since the season opened a few weeks ago.

Salmons said roughly 846 full-time workers are employed at Windsor’s 14 port terminals. Aside from a handful of administrative positions, most workers have remained on the job daily despite the crisis and business shutdowns. “These people are working every day to help ensure products we need are getting to where they need to be,” he said.

Fortunately, for the stevedores, heavy equipment operators and truck drivers involved in transporting goods off and on ships at local ports, physical distancing for the most part can be accomplished due to the nature of their port jobs which under normal circumstances remains spread out at each terminal.

There initially were fears that crews arriving from international destinations — primarily Europe — entering the St. Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes threatened to bring COVID-19 with them. But Salmons indicated high pressure on each ship’s employees and self-policing within the industry itself has emerged since the shipping industry cannot afford an outbreak.

Workers after boarding at an original port are essentially being self-quarantined among themselves for weeks at a time on each ship with constant checks to quickly remove or isolate any worker should symptoms emerge.

“The (international) ships have to report (to Canadian authorities) before being allowed to enter Canadian waters that all crew members are healthy,” he said. “Owners are also desperately afraid of crew getting COVID from our communities. So, a lot of precautions are being taken because any outbreak would be devastating to a company.”

Canadian shipping companies travelling from port to port within our borders also have similar concerns because there is a constant shortage of workers on freighters even during normal economic times, Salmons said.

“These companies have business and economic consequences, so everyone is doing their best right now to keep staff healthy,” he said.

The Windsor Star

 

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.

 

American Steamship Co. furloughs 175

4/23 - Buffalo, NY – A Great Lakes shipping company with more than a century of transportation history in Buffalo has become the latest victim of financial struggles prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, temporarily laying off 175 workers as it seeks to keep its operation afloat.

American Steamship Co. said in a WARN notice filed with the state Labor Department that the layoffs were effective as of April 20. It cited the business disruptions caused by Covid-19 as the reason.

Founded in Buffalo in 1907 by John J. Boland and Adam E. Cornelius, the firm operates a fleet of 12 self-unloading vessels ranging in length from 635 feet to 1,000 feet, with capacity ranging from 24,000 to 81,000 gross tons.

Its vessels operate every day during the navigation season and serve nearly 60 ports along the five lakes and connecting canals, using a system of on-board conveyor belts and a crane to unload without onshore assistance at any time of day or night.

The Buffalo News

 

MacArthur Lock reopens

4/23 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – The MacArthur Lock in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan opened, as scheduled, Tuesday for the 2020 navigation season following the Poe Lock that opened on March 25.

During winter maintenance, the Mac Lock received critical repairs, including replacing gears that operate the lower gates and performing electrical system upgrades. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, continues to maintain operations at the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan while dealing with the impacts of COVID-19.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District

 

Port Reports -  April 23

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
There was no traffic through either the Duluth or Superior entries on Wednesday. In port were John D. Leitch, which unloaded salt at Hallett #8 and then shifted to Burlington Northern to load iron ore pellets; Maccoa, loading wheat at Riverland Ag; Cape, loading wheat at CHS 1; and Lake St. Clair, at anchor outside the harbor. Cape was expected to depart at 20:00, and John D. Leitch was tentatively expected to depart from Superior before midnight.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Philip R. Clarke arrived Two Harbors on April 21st at 20:43 for South of #2 after unloading stone in Duluth. She departed on April 22nd at 03:40 for Gary. Tentatively due Two Harbors on April 23rd are the Roger Blough, Edgar B. Speer, and the Edwin H. Gott. When the Great Republic departed Two Harbors her AIS was showing Conneaut. She is now heading for Gary. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay had no traffic on April 22nd. Due Silver Bay on April 23rd is the Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader.

Thunder Bay, ON
Tuesday; 17:33 The saltie Wigeon weighed anchor and proceeded to the Richardson Main Terminal to load grain. 21:47 Federal Columbia arrived and went to anchor. Wednesday; 14:33 Ojibway departed for Windsor.

St. Marys River
Wednesday’s upbound traffic included Burns Harbor and Edgar B. Speer early, followed by Mesabi Miner, Labrador, Federal Mayumi, Federal Asahi, CSL Welland, CSL Niagara and, late, Edwin H. Gott and Lee A. Tregurtha. Downbounders included Federal Biscay, Arthur M Anderson Great Republic, Presque Isle, Joseph L. Block, Federal Kushiro and, late, Herbert C. Jackson. Algoma Enterprise remained at the Algoma Export dock.

Green Bay, WI
The H. Lee White departed for Sturgeon Bay at 7:50 a.m. American Mariner arrived from Calcite, MI, at 7:20 p.m. The tug Michigan/barge Great Lakes went to anchor in the bay of Green Bay to wait for the Albert/Margaret to finish unloading her cargo.

Sturgeon Bay, WI – Daniel Lindner
H. Lee White arrived in Sturgeon Bay via the ship canal on Wednesday evening. Waterfront reports indicate she is laying up due to economic conditions.

Port Inland, MI – Denny Dushane
There were no vessels loading on Tuesday there are none scheduled until Saturday when four vessels are expected. Due first are Wilfred Sykes and Joseph L. Block during the morning. Also due in on Saturday in the late morning is the Great Republic. Rounding out the lineup and schedule for Saturday is the Mississagi, due Saturday in the early evening to load.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 arrived early Monday evening (4/20) to load coal ash from WE Energies for Lafarge’s cement plant in Alpena. Tug/barge departed at 01:18 Tuesday (4/21). Tug John Marshall brought three river barges up from Calumet Harbor arriving at 04:14 Wednesday (4/22). After loading grain at the COFCO elevator, tug and barges will head back to Calumet Harbor. This makes 30 barges loaded at Milwaukee this year. Barge St. Marys Conquest remains at the Kinnickinnic River terminal without its tug. Algoma Innovator is due in with salt from Goderich for Compass Minerals early Friday (4/24).

S. Lake Michigan ports
Stewart J. Cory was departing Burns Harbor Wednesday evening. Salties Happy River and Isadora remained in port. Indiana Harbor was due at her namesake port Thursday.

Northern Lake Huron
Owen Sound: Wednesday;19:36 Despite her AIS still showing Toledo, Saginaw arrived at the P&H elevator to unload grain.

Meldrum Bay: Wednesday; 15:55 Cuyahoga arrived to load dolomite.

Port Dolomite: Tuesday; 21:43 Mississagi departed for Sombra.

Calcite: Wednesday; 1:03 Wilfred Sykes departed for Burns Harbor. Cason J. Callaway is due Thursday, along with American Mariner.

Alpena: Tuesday; 22:32 American Mariner weighed anchor and departed for Green Bay. Wednesday; Undaunted and her barge Pere Marquette 41 are due to arrive later tonight to unload at the Lafarge plant.

Stoneport: 10:19 Victory and her barge Maumee arrived to load lime stone. 14:43 Olive L Moore and her barge Menominee arrived and went to anchor.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Innovator departed Wednesday afternoon with salt for Milwaukee. Algoma Conveyor took her place at the loading dock.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
Lee A. Tregurtha passed MC upbound at aprox 3:30am Wednesday. T/B Sharon M I/Alouette Spirit passed upbound at 5:45am. Wicko was just south of Algonac @ 5:45am and Kaye E. Barker was nearing the fork of the south channel/cutoff channel at the same time both upbound. Florence Spirit was downbound at 10:00am while Algonorth was passing upbound at 10:45am. Mississagi arrived at Sombra stoneyard at 7:30pm to unload. Federal Hunter was upbound and should pass MC in the 8-9:00 hour. Overcast most of the day with light winds from the west-northwest, temp 38 degrees F.

Toledo, OH – Denny Dushane
Algoma Sault was expected at the CSX Coal Dock to load on Wednesday in the early evening. Also due at CSX to load is the Manitowoc on Thursday in the early morning. Due at the Torco Dock is the tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader expected to arrive on Saturday in the early morning. Due to arrive on May 7 is the Mesabi Miner in the morning.

Lake Erie Ports for 4-22-20 – Bill Kloss
Marblehead: Laura VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader still in Marblehead.

Cleveland: Samuel deChamplain/Innovation delivered to LaFarge and left for Toledo at 07:48. American Spirit arrived at 12:58 with ore from Silver Bay for the Bulk Terminal.

Fairport Harbor: Calumet arrived at 16:00 from Toledo. She will load at Morton Salt. Conneaut: John G. Munson arrived at 17:00.

Nanticoke: Dara Desgagnes arrived at 08:00 and Paul R. Tregurtha arrived at 11:15.

Hamilton, ON for 4-22-20 – Tristin Woolf
On Tuesday night, at 22:06 EST the tug Leo A. McArthur and barge John J. Carrick departed after spending a couple days unloading asphalt. The combo is bound for Halifax. Wednesday traffic started at 9:11 EST when the tug Ocean A. Gauthier departed towards Clarkson to assist another vessel. At 11:46 EST the CSL St-Laurent picked up anchor outside Hamilton and continued towards Montreal. The Ocean A. Gauthier returned from Clarkson at 14:14 EST. Sterling Energy departed at 19:38 EST, headed towards Port Weller. The Algoma Mariner arrived with a load of salt from Goderich at 20:22 EST. The Federal Rideau continues to unload steel slabs.

Picton, ON – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit departed Lehigh Cement Plant Wednesday afternoon bound for Toronto.

 

Lay-up list now includes temporary layups due to the economy

4/23 - The Winter lay-up list has been updated. Please send reports of vessel sailing dates to news@boatnerd.net.

 

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.

 

NTSB uncertain on cause of St. Clair fire during layup

4/22 - The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has released a Marine Accident Brief on the fire that occurred on a laid-up bulk carrier in February 2019.

About 2010 local time on February 16, 2019, a fire was reported on the bulk carrier St. Clair while the vessel was laid-up for the winter at the CSX TORCO Iron Ore Terminal at the mouth of the Maumee River in Toledo, Ohio. No one was on board. The fire was extinguished approximately 36 hours later by shoreside firefighters. No pollution or injuries were reported. The estimated property damage exceeded $150 million.

The NTSB determined that the probable cause of the fire was the ignition of combustible material in the vicinity of an engine room workshop likely due to the use of portable space heaters or smoldering smoking materials, which spread to other areas of the vessel. Contributing to the extent of the fire damage was the lack of operating procedures for continuous active monitoring of the vessel while in layup status.

Although a contractor that had been working on the vessel had identified smoke in the engine room, he assumed it was residual smoke from the hot work that occurred in the no. 6 port ballast tank and therefore did not investigate it further. The NTSB says the smoke was most likely coming from a smoldering hotspot, possibly from a burning piece of wood or trash, which eventually developed into the fire. By turning on the starboard exhaust fan in an effort to remove the smoke, and leaving it on when he departed, the movement of air within the engine room may have accelerated the growth of the smoldering hotspot into a fire.

NTSB analysis indicated that the fire appeared to have originated just outside the workshop on the third deck on the starboard side of the engine room where the contractors regularly took their breaks. While numerous possible sources of ignition were identified in this area - including a propane heater, permanent and portable electric heaters and heat lamps, as well as cigarette smoking in the break area - the exact source could not be determined.

Download the full report at this link: https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Reports/MAB2015.pdf

 

Victory Cruise Lines suspends service through June 30 for Victory I, cancels itineraries for Victory II

4/22 - New Albany, IN – Victory Cruise Lines (VCL), operated by American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC), a Hornblower Family Company, announced that it will extend its temporary suspension for all operations on board the Victory I through June 30, 2020 and cancel all planned itineraries for the Victory II for the remainder of the 2020 season. The Victory I will resume service on July 5, 2020. The decision was made following continued, wide-spread governmental restrictions across ports, cities and public institutions and an extended no sail order through Canadian waters through June 30.

VCL thanks its guests, travel agent partners, vendors and team members for their patience and understanding during this rapidly evolving situation. The decision to suspend service was a difficult choice but necessary in response to Canadian mandates.

“Our top priority remains the health and safety of our guests, team members and crew,” shares John Waggoner, founder and CEO of American Queen Steamboat Company. “We came to the difficult decision to consolidate the Victory II itineraries with Victory I due to the shortened nature of our 2020 season, as a result of the ongoing travel restrictions and port closures. It is our hope that in doing so, we can prioritize delivering the extraordinary Great Lakes sailing experience that our loyal guests have come to expect from the VCL brand.

For guests that are booked to depart on the Victory I before June 30, 2020 and those booked onboard the Victory II, no action is necessary at this time. The VCL customer service team will reach out directly to guests and travel agents in the coming days to answer any questions and advise on their available options, which include the opportunity to rebook on a later date, a 125 percent cruise credit or a full refund.

Victory Cruise Lines

 

Port Reports -  April 22

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Michipicoten arrived Duluth at 05:49 Tuesday morning to fuel at Husky Energy, and Presque Isle left port at 06:00 loaded with iron ore pellets for Conneaut. After fueling, Michipicoten was outbound at 08:37 and headed to Two Harbors to load. John D. Leitch was inbound at 14:33 to discharge stone at Hallett #8. Philip R. Clarke departed at 18:46 light for Two Harbors after unloading limestone at Hallett #5. Maccoa and Cape both continued loading wheat at Riverland Ag and CHS 1, respectively, on Tuesday. The saltie Lake St. Clair was due at 22:15 Tuesday night but will likely anchor to wait for Maccoa to finish loading at the Riverland elevator. There was no traffic through the Superior entry on Tuesday, however Burns Harbor and CSL Tadoussac are expected on Wednesday to load at BN.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Joseph L. Block departed Two Harbors on April 21st at 07:47 for Indiana Harbor. A rare visitor to Two Harbors was the Michipicoten that arrived on the 21st at 10:20 for North of #2 gravity dock. She had gone to Duluth to fuel first. The last time she was in Two Harbors was July 31, 2018. She also loaded at the gravity dock on that trip. She departed Two Harbors on the 21st at 16:30 for the Soo. Due Two Harbors around 21:00 will be the Philip R. Clarke arriving from Duluth. A possibility the Roger Blough will arrive Two Harbors on the 22nd, but more than likely it will be early on April 23rd. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay had no traffic on April 21st and none scheduled for April 22nd.

Thunder Bay, ON
Tuesday; 5:45 Saginaw departed for Toledo. 8:01 The saltie Wigeon arrived and went to anchor. 13:03 the saltie Mamry arrived and went to anchor. 13:08 Federal Biscay departed and is down bound on Lake Superior. 14:08 Ojibway weighed anchor and proceeded to the Superior elevator to load grain. 15:48 Federal Kushiro departed for Montreal.

St. Marys River
Several vessels were delayed Tuesday by high winds. At 10 p.m. Tuesday, Burns Harbor, Roger Blough and Edgar B. Speer were underway, all below the locks. Indiana Harbor was downbound early in the day, followed by Florence Spirit, with Algoma Spirit at the locks. CSL Tadoussac, which had been anchored in Goulais Bay, was underway for Superior. Hon. James L. Obertstar was still anchored off Bay Mills. Federal Mayumi and Federal Asahi were on the hook above DeTour. The MacArthur Lock has opened for the season.

Cedarville, MI
Mississagi was departing for Soo, ON, with stone Tuesday night.

S. Lake Michigan ports
Stewart J. Cort, Isadora and Happy River were in Burns Harbor Tuesday. Cason J. Callaway was at Gary. Walter J. McCarthy Jr was at Indiana Harbor.

Calcite, MI
John J Boland and Wilfred Sykes remained in port Tuesday for weather.

Northern Lake Huron
Port Dolomite: Tuesday 8:56 Mississagi arrived to load limestone.

Calcite: Monday; 22:01 H Lee White departed for Green Bay. 22:06 John J Boland weighed anchor and proceeded to the loading dock.

Alpena: 15:33 American Mariner arrived and went to anchor to wait out weather.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
Baie Comeau passed MC downbound at 4am, followed by Algoma Mariner also downbound off St. Clair at 5am. T/B Clyde Vanenkovort/Erie Trader was upbound at 9am. Thunder Bay passed downbound @ 11:30am, followed by Manitoulin @ noon. T/b Victory/James L. Kuber was passing upbound at 11:45am. In quick succession starting at 2:15pm and all upbound off Algonac State Park came T/B Olive L. Moore/Menominee, then Algoma Hansa, and then Algoma Conveyor at 2:45pm. Downbound at 2:15 pm T/B Wilf Seymour/Alouette Spirit off ASPark. Federal Sakura passed MC at 4:45pm downbound. Also downbound at 6:15pm came Algosea. CSL Niagara passed around 7:30pm upbound. Mostly cloudy with strong, gusty winds from the west-northwest, temp in the low 40s.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H.
Kaye E Barker was unloading ore at AK Steel on Tuesday.

Lake Erie Ports for 4-21-20 – Bill Kloss and Ken Krol
Marblehead: Cuyahoga left at 02:18 for Windsor and Laura VanEnkevort/Joseph H. Thompson arrived at 07:15 from Fairport Harbor.

Cleveland: American Courage is running a couple shuttles and then will go to Marblehead.American Spirit is due to arrive on 4/22 at 11:20.

Conneaut: Edwin H. Gott departed for Two Harbors and John G. Munson is expected to arrive at 17:00 on 4/22.

Lorain: Salt is being stockpiled at the Jonick Dock. The salt is being hauled by truck from Cleveland to the Lorain dock for future lake shipment.

Hamilton, ON for 4-21-20 – Tristin Woolf
The day started out with the tanker Sterling Energy returning from Port Weller Anchorage at 2:59 EST. Then, at 8:48 EST, the CSL Laurentien departed for Superior after unloading coal. Onego Rio departed next at 9:50 EST with a load of grain after 4 days of loading. She is bound for Puerto Rico. The Leo A. McArthur and barge John J. Carrick remained in port unloading asphalt, and the Federal Rideau continued to unload steel slabs. The CSL St-Laurent dropped anchor outside of Hamilton at 13:40 and remained there for the afternoon. She has a listed destination of Montreal.

Rochester, NY – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit departed at about 08:00 Tuesday bound for Picton, ON, in ballast.

 

St. Ignace shipyard receives U.S. Transportation grant for improvements

4/22 - Mackinac County, MI - An Upper Peninsula shipyard will be receiving federal help. The U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration (MARAD) awarded $752,933 in funding to Mackinac Island Ferry Company in St. Ignace.

The shipyard is one of 24 U.S. small shipyards receiving part of a $19.6 million in grants through the Small Shipyard Grant Program. The funding will help modernize America’s small shipyards, making them more efficient in constructing commercial vessels.

“This $19.6 million federal government investment in the nation’s small shipyards will help maintain the U. S. shipyard infrastructure of our country,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.

Mackinac Island Ferry Company will be using its part of the grant for a Travelift and welding equipment.

In 2013, Michigan shipyards supported more than 4,000 direct, indirect, and induced jobs and contributed more than $263 million in direct, indirect, and induced labor income to the Nation’s economy. “Small shipyard grants play a significant role in supporting local communities by creating jobs for working families,” said Maritime Administrator Mark H. Buzby. “These shipyards are a tangible investment in our nation’s maritime infrastructure and the future of our maritime workforce.”

Up North Live

 

Report: As EPA pulls back under Trump, serious pollution rises on Great Lakes

4/22 - Detroit, MI – President Donald Trump’s administration has scaled back enforcement of environmental regulations in the Great Lakes region — and it’s having a noticeable, negative impact, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s own data. So states a new report from the Chicago-based nonprofit Environmental Law and Policy Center.

The data comes from multiple EPA databases and websites. It’s all there for the public to access, but usually in complex charts heavy with bureaucratic, regulatory language, said ELPC executive director Howard Learner. “You can take the individual data points, and they don’t tell you a lot,” he said. “But when you put them together, you then see what the overall picture looks like. And it’s disturbing.”

The ELPC is a leading advocate in the Midwest for improving environmental quality and protecting natural resources. Though Learner has stated, “Protecting the Great Lakes is bipartisan and nonpartisan,” the group have been sharp critics of Trump’s environmental policies and priorities since he took office in 2017.

The ELPC report looked at activity in EPA’s Region 5, which covers Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Among its findings:

That significant noncompliance data excludes Michigan cases, because of a data communication problem between the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy’s data reporting system and the EPA’s Enforcement Compliance History Online (ECHO) database, said ELPC staff attorney Jeffrey Hammons, a co-author of the report. The data-sharing problem has since been resolved by the two agencies, but it made some past years’ data from Michigan potentially unreliable, he said.

Data from the other five Great Lakes states provides strong evidence of declining Clean Water Act compliance in the region, however, that probably rings true in Michigan as well, Hammons said.

“The only way Michigan’s data could change the regional trend is if they had a bunch of noncompliance four years ago and then it sharply went down. But that’s probably not the case,” he said.

EPA Region 5, in an emailed statement to the Free Press, said it hadn’t been provided with a copy of ELPC’s report, so it couldn’t comment on its data or the methodology the nonprofit used to arrive at its conclusions. “EPA Region 5 maintains a robust compliance assurance and enforcement program,” the agency stated. “EPA’s enforcement program is concerned with outcomes, not outputs. We don’t set quotas for enforcement cases.”

The agency cited progress in reductions of significant noncompliance with pollution discharge requirements from the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 to the first quarter of this fiscal year. It also cited data reporting issues with “certain states” that the agency did not specify, as “a key reason for recent increases in reported rates of significant noncompliance in Region 5.”

Hammons, however, said ELPC did a data quality control check on other Region 5 states, “and they were not having the same problem” as Michigan with that data.

In his 2016 campaign, Trump frequently pledged to scale back environmental regulations toughened during President Barack Obama’s tenure, and to take an approach more accommodating to business and industry.

That’s come to fruition in EPA’s Region 5. The ELPC report notes February 2020 staffing at the regional office at 940 people, a more than 8% reduction from two years earlier. Actual spending by the EPA nationwide on enforcement and compliance monitoring has dropped more than 18% from fiscal year 2011 levels.

The ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic further led the Trump administration late last month to waive enforcement on a range of legally mandated public health and environmental protections, saying industries could have trouble complying with them amid COVID-19. The Trump administration on Thursday scaled back an Obama-era rule that compelled reductions in emissions of mercury and other human health hazards, a move designed to limit future regulation of air pollutants from coal and oil-fired power plants.

EPA chief Andrew Wheeler said the rollback was reversing what he depicted as regulatory overreach by the Obama administration. “We have put in place an honest accounting method that balances” the cost to utilities with public safety, he said.

That’s the wrong approach in a public health crisis, Learner said. “The public expects, amid a pandemic, the president to step up with actions to help solve the problem, instead of making bad environmental problems worse,” he said.

Read more at this link: https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2020/04/20/epa-back-under-trump-causes-spike-great-lakes-pollution/5155411002

 

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.

 

Hibbing Taconite Latest Mine to be Idled

4/21 - Duluth, MN – ArcelorMittal announced Monday evening that it will temporally idle its taconite mine at Hibbing, MN.  650 employees will be laid off.  The mine is expected to be idled by May 3rd and hopes to re-open July 6th.  More details can be found at this link:  Hibbing Taconite to be Idled

WDIO-Duluth

 

Lake Michigan continues to rise, up another inch

4/21 - Detroit, MI – Lake Michigan is up another inch in the past week as it pushes toward another monthly record. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ weekly report released Friday shows Lake Michigan is four inches above the April record set in 1986.

The report forecasts the lake will rise another four inches by May 17, meaning it will almost certainly break the April record. Records are set by taking the monthly average level at the end of the month. Lake Michigan already broke high-water records in each of the first three months of the year. Lake Michigan has risen four inches since March 17 and 14 inches since April 2019.

The Great Lakes remain near monthly records. Lake Erie is four inches above the April record, Lake Superior is two inches below the April record, and Lake Ontario is 12 inches below the April record. Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are treated as one lake by the Army Corps.

Holland Sentinel

 

Port Reports -  April 21

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Presque Isle kicked off a busy Monday in Duluth, arriving at 00:48 to load iron ore pellets at Canadian National. She moored at CN's berth 6 to wait for Arthur M. Anderson to finish loading. After arriving late Sunday night and discharging limestone at Hallett #5, Herbert C. Jackson departed light at 05:42 with a destination of Marquette but dropped anchor outside the harbor. Joseph L. Block was inbound at 06:54 with limestone for the Graymont Superior plant. The Anderson topped off her holds and departed at 07:09 with a full load of iron ore for Conneaut, however she also dropped her anchor off the Duluth piers after departing. Her sister Philip R. Clarke rounded out Monday morning's traffic, arriving at 07:34 to unload stone at Hallett #5. Joseph L. Block finished her unload and departed light at 17:31 for Two Harbors to load. Both Philip R. Clarke and Presque Isle were expected to depart at 20:00 Monday evening, and Maccoa was due at 23:00 to load wheat at Riverland Ag. Cape spent the day loading wheat at CHS 1, and both the Anderson and Jackson remained on the hook Monday night. In Superior on Monday, Algoma Spirit arrived at 04:02, loaded iron ore pellets at BN, and was outbound at 16:45 for Hamilton.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Indiana Harbor departed Two Harbors on April 19th at 22:58 for Indiana Harbor. The Great Republic shifted from North of #2 to South of #2 from 00:21 to 00:37 on April 20th. She then departed on the 20th at 17:43 for Conneaut. She sat for several hours after completion due to weather. Joseph L. Block arrived Two Harbors at 19:43. She had unloaded stone at Graymont in Superior. Tentatively due Two Harbors is the Philip R. Clarke that is at Hallett #5 at 18:30. There is no other traffic due Two Harbors on April 21st. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay had no traffic on April 20th and none scheduled on the 21st.

Thunder Bay, ON
Monday; 0:27 The saltie Lyulin arrived at the Richardson Main Terminal to load wheat. 11:32 The saltie Johanna G arrived and went to anchor. 14:00 Florence Spirit departed for Sorel. 19:30 Ojibway arrived and went to anchor south of the Welcome Islands.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on a busy Monday included Mamry, Wigeon, Lake St Clair, CSL Tadoussac (went to anchor in Goulais Bay for weather), Hon James L. Oberstar, Federal Columbia and Algoma Enterprise. Downbound traffic included Cason J. Callaway early, followed by Stewart J. Cort, Thunder Bay, Manitoulin, Kaye E. Barker, Federal Sakura and American Spirit. Federal Mayumi was anchored above DeTour in the evening for pilot rest.

S. Lake Michigan ports
Happy River and Isadora were in Burns Harbor Monday night.

Northern Lake Huron
Thessalon: Monday; 9:05 Baie Comeau departed for Windsor.

Port Dolomite: Sunday 20:53 After taking on a partial load Wilfred Sykes departed for Calcite.

Calcite: Monday; 0:23 Wilfred Sykes arrived and went to anchor.10:26 Defiance departed for Buffington. 19:12 Wilfred Sykes weighed anchor and proceeded to the dock to finish loading

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Mariner arrived at 11.24 am Monday loading salt at Compass Minerals. Algoma Innovator cleared St Clair River at 4 pm Monday destination as Goderich. Algoma Conveyor cleared Welland Canal about 4 pm Monday destination Goderich.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson Federal Asahi moving upbound passed T/B Samuel de Champlain/Innovation downbound @ Marysville @2am Monday. Federal Asahi a/o 6:30pm was anchored in southern Lake Huron. Algoma Mariner was entering the south channel upbound @ 3am. G3Marquis passed MC @ 7am followed by Manitowoc @ 7:30am both downbound. T/B Victory/James L. Kuber passed downbound at 9:45am. Lee A. Tregurtha was downbound @11:30am. CSL Assiniboine was downbound @ 1215pm. T/B Wilf Seymour/Alouette Spirit passed upbound @ 2:30pmand was tied up on the Canadian side just north of the power plant. T/B Joyce Vanenkevort/Great Lakes Trader passed MC upbound at 4:15pm. American Mariner upbound and Algoma Niagara downbound will pass around 7pm near MC. Sunny and windy from the south-southeast, temp in the upper 40's. plenty of white caps and rolling waves on the river.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H.
Monday Arrivals: Samuel De Champlain/ Innovation-arrived at Lafarge to unload cement. Lee A Tregurtha arrived at AK Steel to unload ore. Sea Eagle 2/St. Marys Cement 2 arrived at the St. Marys Cement dock to unload cement.

Lake Erie Ports for 4-20-20 – Bill Kloss
Marblehead: Cuyahoga arrived at 12:54 from Kingsville, American Courage left for Cleveland at 13:30.

Sandusky: American Mariner departed for Green Bay.

Cleveland: Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader departed for Marquette, fleetmate Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader arrived at 08:31 for the Bulk Terminal. Samuel de Champlain was due in at 22:00 for LaFarge.

Fairport Harbor: Calumet is loading at Morton Salt for Toledo, Laura L. VanEnkevort/Joseph H. Thompson arrived at from Drummond Island.

Conneaut: Edwin H. Gott arrived at 06:41.

Nanticoke: Algonova left for Halifax.

Hamilton, ON for 4-20-20 – Tristin Woolf
At 5:17 EST, the Algoma Sault arrived to unload coal from Toledo. at 8:13 EST the Federal Rideau arrived with a load of steel slabs from Brazil. At 11:22 EST the tug Vigilant 1 came in with barge MM 220 from Courtright. Algoma Sault departed for Toledo after unloading at 16:07 EST and was followed by the tanker Sterling Energy at 16:24 who headed towards the Welland Canal. The CSL Laurentien is due at 21:00 from Toledo. the Leo A. McArthur and barge John J. Carrick continue to unload asphalt, and the Onego Rio continues to load grain.

Rochester, NY – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit unloading at Lehigh Cement on Monday afternoon.

 

Q&A session Sunday with Know Your Ships publisher on Facebook

4/21 - Facebook live chat with Know Your Ships publisher now available for viewing In case you missed it, here's the link to the video chat with Mr. KYS. Thanks everyone who participated. We already have ideas for future sessions. https://www.facebook.com/Boatnerd/videos/225718078497715

 

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.

 

Freighters set sail amid coronavirus pandemic, unpredictable economy

4/20 - Now that winter is over, freighters are fanning out around the Great Lakes. But much has changed since the Soo Locks closed.

The coronavirus pandemic has led to sweeping changes across the United States. Many states have gone into lockdown, and a record 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment insurance over the past four weeks.

This year's Great Lakes shipping season got fully underway on March 25 when the locks opened back up. Shipping companies are discouraging or prohibiting their sailors from taking shore leave, said James Weakley, Lake Carriers' Association president.

This content is being provided for free as a public service to our readers during the coronavirus outbreak. Please support local journalism by subscribing to the Times Herald at thetimesherald.com/subscribe.

"If they do leave the boat, they are screened when they come back on board," Weakley said. "When you think about it, after a laker has been underway for 14 days, it's probably one of the safest places in America because they're not having interaction with outsiders. So there's good reason to limit interaction between sailors and dockside personnel."

This situation has changed on the business side as well, Weakley said. The iron frequently shipped around the Great Lakes has dropped off somewhat. The week ending April 11, U.S. raw steel production capacity was at 56.1 percent, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. Year-to-date production through April 11 was down by 4.9 percent from the same period last year, the AISI said. Mine idling has been announced in Michigan and Minnesota, Weakley said.

Weakly said it's hard to tell what the state of the shipping industry will be as the crisis unfolds.

"It's a really uncertain time," Weakley said. "I haven't seen anything like this since 2008 and you could make the argument that this may be as big an impact if not more than 2008. You might have to go back to '82 to see a precipitous drop in the steel industry like this."

Weakley said the amount of boats sailing will adjust based on the cargo demand, and boats may lay up for a while if the cargo demand comes back. Springs sees the building up of stockpiles at processing plants, he said.

"We'll have to have stockpiles again next fall and winter so they get through the next winter," Weakley said. "The question is, are they going to need much cargo between then."

Times Herald

 

Mill workers at Zug Island steel themselves for the end

4/20 - River Rouge, MI – There were three blast furnaces roaring when Milio Rinna started at the steel mill, and when he blew his nose, his handkerchief would turn black. He was 18 years old, a star high school athlete only weeks before, and now he was on Zug Island and he couldn't stop hacking.

"All you did was cough, cough, cough," he says, "until your lungs got used to it," and then all you had to worry about was explosions, accidents and spattering molten metal. As Rinna turns 90 on Monday, his memory a cast iron link to the past, layoff notices are going out at Great Lakes Works. Ultimately, a thousand union steelworkers will lose their jobs and the fires will bank, probably forever.

The hope was tariffs would keep the plant alive, but a 25% surcharge on Chinese steel can't turn an aging, sprawling, coal-fired work of industrial art into a slick, sleek, modern electric mini-mill.

"It's sad," Rinna says. He can tell harrowing stories about toxins and the days when the company wouldn't even supply work gloves. He knew people who died in the mill. But there was a bond among those who shaped the metal into a livelihood.

Iron ore has been set aglow on Zug Island since 1902. The iron became steel and the steel became the foundation for families, communities and even a region. No more. U.S. Steel, owner of the steelmaking and finishing plants that make up Great Lakes Works, announced just before Christmas that reductions were coming. The last cast was March 30, and the first 300 notices went out April 1. More came last week and the rest are looming, mixed with offers of buyouts.

The company says the workers and the mill will be "indefinitely idled," a phrase that can't help but sound like "permanently abandoned" to the membership at United Steelworkers Local 1299 on West Jefferson Avenue.

"We're all trying to decipher that," Local 1299 president Andrea Hunter says. "The company's response is, 'We have no idea.'"

Off the island in River Rouge, a hot strip mill that thins steel slabs is scheduled to close by the end of the year. At what's known as the main plant for Great Lakes Works in Ecorse, the finishing facility that receives 2,700-degree molten iron by rail in bottle cars will remain open, the company says, "in line with customer demand." Ultimately, the union and non-union toll could reach 1,545 paychecks.

The steelworkers are going quietly, but not meekly. On Tuesday, in a show of pride, defiance and whimsy, a platoon of them hoisted a pirate flag atop the 220-foot D furnace, and trained a spotlight on it so it's visible from I-75.

Read more and see photos from the Detroit News at this link: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/2020/04/19/mill-workers-zug-island-steel-themselves-end/2957131001/

 

Port Reports -  April 20

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Arthur M. Anderson arrived Duluth at 09:29 Sunday morning with a load of limestone from Cedarville and tied up at Hallett #5 to unload. After sitting at anchor most of the day for inspections, Cape was inbound at 17:33 and headed to CHS 1 to load wheat. Herbert C. Jackson was due at 22:30, also with limestone for Hallett #5. The Anderson was expected to shift over to CN once she finished her unload. Both James R. Barker and Alpena remain laid up in port. The only traffic through Superior on Sunday was Stewart J. Cort, which departed at 01:27 loaded with ore from Burlington Northern and bound for Burns Harbor.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Cason J. Callaway departed Two Harbors from North of #2 lay-by at 23:40 on April 18th for Gary. John G. Munson departed Two Harbors on April 19th at 0032 for Conneaut. In my April 19th post I said the Munson arrived at 12:25. It was 17:25. The Indiana Harbor arrived Two Harbors on April 19th at 06:30 for South of #2. As of 17:00 she was still at the dock. Also arriving Two Harbors on the 19th at 15:46 for North of #2 lay-by was the Great Republic. Tentatively due Two Harbors on April 20th are the Joseph L. Block and the Philip R. Clarke. Both will be arriving from the Twin Ports after unloading stone. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay saw the American Spirit depart on April 19th at approx. 14:58. No updated AIS destination. I'll speculate either Cleveland or Ashtabula. There is no scheduled traffic for Silver Bay on April 20th, but the Herbert C. Jackson is due Hallett #5 late on the 19th with stone. She probably will end up in Silver Bay after discharge.

Thunder Bay, ON
Saturday; 22:17 The CSL self unloader Thunder Bay weighed anchor and proceeded to Thunder Bay Terminals to load coal. 22:43 Saginaw went to anchor south of the Welcome Islands. 23:17 Manitoulin arrived at the Richardson Main Terminal to load grain. Sunday; 7:14 The saltie Muntgracht arrived at the Mid Continent Terminal ( The former CN Ore Dock). 7:41 Florence Spirit arrived at the Richardson Current River Terminal to load grain. 16:27 The CSL self unloader Thunder Bay departed and is down bound. 17:22 Federal Biscay weighed anchor and proceeded to Thunder Bay Terminals to load potash. 17:29 Manitoulin departed for Buffalo. 19:06 Federal Sakura departed and is down bound. 19:14 Saginaw weighed anchor and proceeded to the Superior Elevator to load grain.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic Sunday included Johanna G, Ojibway, Maccoa and, late, John D Leitch. Saltie Wideon was at anchor above DeTour. Downbounders included Victory/Maumee, G3 Marquis, Isolda, CSL Assiniboine, Lee A. Tregurtha, Paul R. Tregurtha and Walter J. McCarthy Jr.

Cedarville, MI – Denny Dushane
Wilfred Sykes left for Calcite in the early evening.

Menominee, MI – Korey Garceau
Saltwater vessel Caroline arrived Saturday to unload windmill blades.

Sturgeon Bay, WI – Daniel Lindner
Edgar B. Speer got underway from Bay Shipbuilding on Sunday morning, destined for Two Harbors to load her first cargo of the season. Her departure leaves only one vessel, American Integrity, remaining in layup at the shipyard. Unless economic conditions warrant her return to service, she will stay at the wall for most, if not all, of the 2020 season. Meanwhile, construction work continues on the barge Michigan Trader, the new Interlake vessel, and the new ferry being built for Washington Island service.

S. Lake Michigan ports
Happy River, Isadora and Burns Harbor were in Burns Harbor Sunday night. Mesabi Miner was at Indiana Harbor. Roger Blough is due at Gary Monday morning.

Stoneport, MI – Denny Dushane
There were no vessels due in or scheduled for both Sunday and also for Monday. Due in for Tuesday is the tug Victory and barge Maumee during the early evening to load. Also due in for Tuesday is the tug Olive L. Moore and barge Menominee in the late evening hours to load.

Calcite, MI – Denny Dushane
The H. Lee White loaded at the North Dock on Sunday and they did not give or have any departure time listed. At anchor was the John J. Boland who was waiting for the H. Lee White to depart before they would load from the North Dock. Also expected for Sunday was the tug Defiance and their barge Ashtabula. They were due to arrive in the early evening for the South Dock to load. Rounding out the schedule is the Wilfred Sykes due in on Monday in the early morning hours for the South Dock to load.

Northern Lake Huron
Saginaw: Saturday; 1:15 Mississagi departed for Bruce Mines.

Alpena: Saturday 19:36 departed for Green Bay.21:50 Samuel De Champlain arrived to load cement products and departed Sunday at 12:42 for Detroit.

Stoneport: Saturday; 11:16 Herbert C Jackson departed for Duluth Superior.11:20 Manitowoc arrived to load and departed at 22:42 for Marysville.

Calcite: Friday; 23:15 Philip R Clarke arrived to load limestone. Saturday; 8:00 H Lee White arrived to load. 12:03 John J Boland arrived and went to anchor. 20:33 Philip R Clarke departed for Duluth Superior. Sunday; 16:49 Defiance arrived to load limestone.

Thessalon: Sunday; 19:20 Baie Comeau arrived to load gravel.

Bruce Mines: Saturday; 20:36 Mississagi arrived to load trap rock and departed Sunday at 5:58 for Grand Haven

Drummond Island: Saturday; 20:18 Laura L Van Enkevort arrived to load limestone and departed Sunday at 3:13 for Fairport.

Port Dolomite: Friday; 22:56 Arthur M Anderson departed for Duluth Superior. Saturday; 11:56 Joseph L Block arrived to finish loading and departed at 18:53 for Duluth Superior. Sunday 13:45 Wilfred Sykes arrived to load lime stone.

Northern Lake Michigan
Port Inland: Friday; 22;54 Joseph L Block after taking on a partial load departed for Port Dolomite.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
John D Leitch cleared Goderich 4.40 am Sunday upbound with salt for Superior, WI.

Toledo, OH – Denny Dushane
CSL Laurentien arrived at the CSX Coal to load on Saturday in the evening hours. They were still loading on Sunday morning and they had 140 cars left to load as of 4:30 a.m. Also due at the CSX Coal Dock to load is the Algoma Sault on Wednesday in the early morning hours. This will make three consecutive visits to the CSX Coal Dock for them. Also due in for Wednesday at CSX is the Manitowoc in the late evening hours to load. At the Torco Dock, the tug Victory and barge Maumee are expected there on Monday at noon. Also due at Torco on Friday, April 24 is the Joyce L. VanEnkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader. Sam Laud arrived in Toledo on Saturday in the late evening hours and proceed to the Torco/Lakefront Docks, where she went into layup. Departing on Saturday in the early evening was the saltwater ship Wigeon from the Midwest Terminal International Dock where they arrived on April 4 to unload. They were headed to Thunder Bay next to load. The Hon. James L. Oberstar arrived at the Torco Dock on Saturday late in the evening and they departed on Sunday morning. Tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes arrived in Toledo on Saturday in the early morning hours. The Algoma Sault arrived at CSX to load coal on Saturday morning and departed in the early evening hours. Tug Wilf Seymour and barge Alouette Spirit arrived on Thursday and they departed on Saturday in the early evening. Finally, the tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula arrived at Torco on Saturday in the early morning and they departed in the mid-afternoon.

Lake Erie Ports for 4-19-20 – Bill Kloss
Marblehead: Calumet left at 02:54 for Ashtabula, and Cuyahoga left at 15:00 for Kingsville.

Sandusky: American Mariner arrived at 13:27 for the Norfolk Southern coal dock.

Cleveland: Joyce VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader arrived at the Bulk Terminal at 17:37. Sharon M1 left for Detroit.

Fairport: American Mariner departed at 07:23 for Sandusky.

Ashtabula: Calumet arrived at 10:28 from Marblehead, unloaded and left at 16:50 for Fairport Harbor.

Conneaut: Edwin H. Gott due in at 07:00 on 4/20.

Nanticoke: Algonova and Algoma Hansa are both in Nanticoke.

Kingsville: Cuyahoga arrived at 18:00 from Marblehead.

Hamilton, ON for 4-19-20 – Tristin Woolf
At 1:02 EST the Leo A. McArthur arrived to unload asphalt. At 7:22 EST the tug Ocean Gulf departed to assist a vessel to the dock in Clarkson. She returned 11:50 EST. The Onego Rio continues to load grain at Richardson Port Terminal.

Rochester, NY – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit arrived at about 07:30 Sunday morning at the Lehigh Cement Dock.

 

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.

 

Port Reports -  April 19

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Kaye E. Barker arrived Duluth at 04:24 Saturday morning carrying limestone for Graymont Superior. She unloaded and was outbound via the Superior entry at 11:42 with a destination of Marquette. Walter J. McCarthy Jr. departed Duluth from CN at 13:45 after loading iron ore pellets for Indiana Harbor. The saltie Cape was due around midnight to load wheat at CHS 1, however she will more than likely go to anchor for inspections. At Burlington Northern in Superior, Paul R. Tregurtha departed at 01:40 for Nanticoke with iron ore and her fleetmate Stewart J. Cort arrived 09:53 to load. She was expected to complete loading at 22:00 Saturday night.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Cason J. Callaway arrived Two Harbors on April 18th for South of #2 at 09:20. Upon departure she shifted over to North of #2, where, as of 19:30 Saturday, she still sat. Arriving Two Harbors on April 18th for South of #2 was the John G. Munson. She arrived at 12:25. Due Two Harbors on April 19th are the Indiana Harbor and the Great Republic. As of 19:30 on April 18th the American Spirit is still loading at Northshore Mining in Silver Bay. There is no traffic scheduled for Silver Bay on April 19th. An update on the Edwin H. Gott. She is headed for Conneaut.

Thunder Bay, ON
Friday; 19:22 CSL Assiniboine departed for Becancour. Saturday: 11:48 Federal Kushiro arrived at Viterra A to load grain. 14:43 G3 Marquis departed and was downbound 15:50 The CSL self-unloader Thunder Bay arrived and made an attempt to dock at Thunder Bay Terminals but due to unfavorable winds came about and proceeded to the main anchorage.16:49 she went to anchor.

Cedarville, MI – Denny Dushane
Joseph L. Block arrived early on Saturday morning to load a stone cargo. Due in for Sunday is the Wilfred Sykes in the late afternoon to load. There are no vessels due Monday. Due in for Tuesday is the Mississagi in the late morning to load.

Straits
Roger Blough was anchored Saturday west of the bridge for weather.

Port Inland, MI – Denny Dushane
There were no vessels due Saturday or Sunday. The next vessel will be the Joseph L. Block due in on Friday, April 24 in the early morning to load.

S. Lake Michigan ports
Federal Columbia and Happy River were at Burns Harbor Saturday night, with Burns Harbor and Isadora due Sunday. Algoma Niagara was at Indiana Harbor.

Stoneport, MI – Denny Dushane
The Manitowoc was expected to arrive in the late morning on Saturday to load a stone cargo. There are no vessels scheduled for both Sunday and on Monday. Two vessels are due in for Tuesday with the tug Victory and their barge Maumee arriving first in the early afternoon to load. Also due in for Tuesday in the late evening is the tug Olive L. Moore and their barge Menominee to load.

Calcite, MI – Denny Dushane
Philip R. Clarke loaded at the South Dock on Saturday and they were expected to depart the dock around 4 P.M. on Saturday. The H. Lee White loaded at the North Dock and Saturday and they were not giving any type of ETDs. Due in for Sunday is the John J. Boland in the early morning for the North Dock to load. Also due in for Sunday in the mid-afternoon is the tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula for the South Dock to load.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
John D. Leitch was at the salt dock Saturday night.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
Calumet finished unload at MC and was out into Lake St Clair at 4am, followed by American Mariner, both downbound. Tug Karl R. Luedtke passed upbound at 5am. Algoma Conveyor downbound passed John D. Leitch upbound at 4:30am north of MC. Algoma Spirit passed T/B Albert/Margaret both upbound at 4:30 am just south of Stag Island. Sam Laud passed MC downbound at 7:45am, followed by Ocean A. Simard and Federal Nagara at 9am. both downbound. Johanna G passed upbound at 9:15am. Ojibway passed upbound at 2:30pm. Kaministiqua should pass around 6:15pm downbound and Maccoa should pass upbound around 7:30pm. Sunny and winds stiff from the south-southwest producing white caps and rolling waves on the river, temp in the low 50s.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H.
CSL Tadoussac was unloading clinker at the St. Mary's Cement dock on Saturday

Toledo, OH – Denny Dushane
The Algoma Sault arrived in Toledo on Saturday morning to load another coal cargo from the CSX Coal Dock. This makes her second visit to the dock in less than a week. The CSL Laurentien was also expected to arrive at the CSX Coal Dock on Saturday in the early afternoon hours to load. Due at the Torco Dock, the tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula arrived in the morning hours on Saturday to unload ore pellets. Also due at Torco is the Hon. James L. Oberstar just after midnight on Sunday. The saltwater vessel Wigeon remains in port unloading cargo at the Midwest Terminal International Dock where it had arrived on April 4. They will head to Thunder Bay next once they complete unloading. The tug Sharon M I and their barge arrived in Toledo in the evening of April 17 and departed early in the morning hours on April 18.

Lake Erie Ports for 4-18-20 – Bill Kloss
Marblehead: Cuyahoga arrived at 07:00, Calumet arrived at 12:20 and will load for Ashtabula.

Cleveland: Sharon M1 arrived at 11:51, American Courage is running shuttles. Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader has departed from Silver Bay for the Bulk Terminal.

Fairport Harbor: American Mariner arrived from Calcite at 16:19 for Osborne Stone.

Conneaut: Algoma Guardian arrived at 01:51.

Nanticoke: Algoma Hansa arrived at 02:54.

Hamilton, Ont. – Tristin Woolf
Algoma Enterprise arrived in the late hours on Friday night at 23:37 EST with a load of iron ore. The tug Wyatt M departed early Saturday morning at 4:09 EST bound for St. Catharines and was followed at 4:54 EST by the tug Ocean Gulf who was on her way to Toronto. At 7:11 EST the tug Everlast and her barge Norman McLeod departed from layup and headed towards Montreal. At 9:03 EST the Algoma Innovator arrived with a load of sand from Brevort, MI. Shortly after, at 9:28 EST, the Algoma Enterprise departed after unloading ore with a destination of Sault Ste. Marie. At 11:30 EST the tug Ocean Gulf returned from Toronto, and at 12:48 EST, the tug Wyatt M returned from St. Catharines. At 17:50 EST the Algoma Innovator departed for Goderich after unloading sand. The Leo A. McArthur and barge John J. Carrick are due at 23:00 EST with a load of asphalt. The Onego Rio continues to load grain, and the NACC Capri remains at the dock in lay-up.

Buffalo, NY – Craig E. Speers
Federal Oshima remains at the Lackawanna/Bethlehem Steel bulk docks. This is her sixth day in port. This is the longest port stay in Buffalo/Lackawanna port areas in many years.

Oswego, NY – Ned Goebricher
McKeil Spirit departed late afternoon bound for Rochester, NY.

 

Pearl Mist Cruises delays 2020 port calls in Milwaukee due to COVID-19

4/19 - Milwaukee, WI – What had been tapped to be a momentous summer for Port Milwaukee’s cruise ship traffic has taken a slight turn due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Guilford, Connecticut-based Pearl Seas Cruises has delayed the start of its 2020 Great Lakes cruise season until July, Port Milwaukee director Adam Schlicht announced on Friday.

The company’s 210-passenger Pearl Mist was originally slated to make its first port call of the season in Milwaukee in mid-June. The delay is in accordance with current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance and no sail order, which was renewed April 9.

Schlicht said that no other cruise partners of Port Milwaukee have made changes to their summer schedule as of Friday. But considering the impact COVID-19 has already made on the cruise industry, that could change. “The port and its cruise operator partners place the highest priority on passenger safety,” he said. “Understandably, the ongoing pandemic may necessitate further rescheduling of other passenger cruises.”

Pearl Seas last year selected Port Milwaukee as a turnaround port for its 8- and- 12-day cruises between Milwaukee and Toronto. During the next two cruise seasons, 20 Pearl Mist trips are expected to begin or end in Milwaukee.

Prior to the pandemic, the Great Lakes cruise industry was about to hit its stride, and Milwaukee was positioned to capitalize on the growth. In 2019, cruise ships made a total of 10 port calls in Milwaukee, bringing 3,214 visitors to the city. That was up from four port calls in 2017 and in 2018. This year, the port is expecting 14 vessel visits to bring more than 4,000 passengers to the area.

“Port Milwaukee has seen significant increases in cruise passenger visits over the past year, and I remain optimistic that additional cruises companies and itineraries will include Port Milwaukee in the future,” said Schlicht. “The Port and its tourism partners in the Milwaukee Cruise Collaborative will continue to promote Milwaukee as an attractive destination for American and international cruise lines.”

Milwaukee Business News

 

Former Fednav vessel and lakes visitor renamed

4/19 - Federal Adi. IMO 8321931. a former Fednav laker and lakes visitor for many years as the Federal Fuji has recently been renamed Polina of Sierra Leone registration. This vessel was once known as the Federal Fuji and it first came inland and visited as such in 1986 the year it was built. It last visited as such in 2013 and was also renamed in 2013 to the Federal Adi of Belize registration and flag and it never returned inland as such. In early March 2020 the vessel was renamed Polina. It is interesting to note that the ship was built in 1986, 34 years ago, and it is still sailing.

Denny Dushane

 

Boatnerd Badger cruise canceled

4/19 - Word has been received that the S.S. Badger will delay its sailing season until June 12 due to the current COVID-19 situation. The annual Boatnerd Badger Cruise, which had been scheduled for June 5-6, has also been canceled. Persons who had made reservations will have their deposits returned via USPS. We will try to reactive this event for the 2021 season. See the other 2020 Boatnerd Gatherings at www.boatnerd.com/gathering/default.htm

 

Obituary: Capt. Kenneth “Skip” Hindman

4/19 - Capt. Kenneth “Skip” Hindman of Owen Sound, ON, passed away at home on Thursday, April 16. He spent is life involved with the maritime community and was a descendent of the founders of Owen Sound’s Hindman Transportation Co. His Facebook page lists him as having been a captain at Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd. and Diamond Steamship Co., a forerunner of the Hindman fleet. He also worked at Canada Steamship Lines and Algoma Central Corp., and studied marine navigation at Owen Sound, ON.

He is predeceased by his dad Howard, his mom Ruth and his sister Lynda. He is survived by his wife Karen (Trepanier), children Christine (Chad), Jason (Deanna), Kendra, Scott, Jill, Kass (Rok), and Nick (Olivia); and his sisters Liz (Dave) and Susan (Paul). Loved dearly by Norman and Harriet, Brad, Scott (Kelly Ann), Mar, and Cathy (Mike). He was a very special man to Sherrie Vickers Clark (Stacey), Jessie, Caleigh, Cody and Sean. He loved spending time with his grandchildren Mark (Kayla) Justen (Devanne) Justin, Cara, Aiden H., Aiden G., Kaylynn, and Aubree. His great grandchildren Channing and Delilah were very special to him.

Skip had a huge heart, a gentle soul and was loved by many during his sailing career and his life ashore. His wishes were that any donations be made to Safe and Sound, 310 8th Street East, Owen Sound, ON, N4K 1L4.

 

Q&A session Sunday with Know Your Ships publisher on Facebook

4/19 - Roger LeLievre, Know Your Ships editor and publisher, will take your questions about the annual publication Sunday at 1 p.m. The link is https://www.facebook.com/Boatnerd/live

 

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.

 

Barge Margaret freed after 3 days stuck in Lake St. Clair

4/18 - Detroit, MI – A barge has been freed three days after becoming stuck in Lake St. Clair, U.S. Coast Guard officials said Thursday.

The tank barge Margaret ran aground about 2 a.m. Monday on a soft mud bottom in American waters near Peche Island, the Coast Guard said in a statement. It was with a tugboat and carrying 3.9 million gallons of diesel fuel, the maximum amount, according to the release.

A preliminary survey found no hazardous substance entering the water or major damage to the vessel, which did not impede commercial marine traffic, the Coast Guard said. Salvage personnel worked with the crew and others to refloat it. The U.S. Coast Guard also coordinated response efforts with Canadian maritime officials to monitor the operations.

Approximately 936,600 gallons of fuel were transferred from the barge to another barge before it was freed late Thursday, the Coast Guard said in a statement on Twitter. The vessel then was moored at the Nicholson Terminal on the Detroit River, a representative said.

The Detroit News

 

Coronavirus delays Shepler's ferry season but not construction of new ship

4/18 - Mackinaw City, MI – The 2020 season for Shepler's ferry may not be starting on time due to coronavirus but that doesn't mean the construction on their newest ferry, the 210-passenger ferry William Richard, has to stop. The company building the new ferry, Moran Iron Works, has been deemed essential during the stay-at-home order for Michigan.

The ship was expected to be in service by May 2020. Shepler's season was supposed to begin on April 21 but officials said they are standing by and will be ready whenever it is safe to resume

WPBN/WGTU

 

Port Reports -  April 18

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Walter J. McCarthy Jr. arrived Duluth at 18:19 Friday evening to load iron ore at CN. Isolda was still in port on Friday loading wheat at CHS 1 and was tentatively expected to depart before the day was out. Both James R. Barker and Alpena remain sidelined in port waiting on improved economic conditions to warrant their return to service. On the south end of the harbor, Paul R. Tregurtha paid her second visit to the Burlington Northern dock this season, arriving at 07:46 Friday morning. She was expected to depart at midnight with iron ore pellets.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Spruceglen departed Two Harbors from South of #2 at 01:20 on April 17th for Quebec City. The Edwin H. Gott stopped off Two Harbors on April 16th at approx. 21:30. She got underway at approx. 01:42 and arrived Two Harbors at approx. 02:07 for South of #2 on April 17th. She departed Two Harbors on the 17th at 12:30. Due Two Harbors on April 18th are the Cason J. Callaway, John G. Munson, and the Indiana Harbor. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay saw the departure of the Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader at 00:45 on April 17th for Cleveland. The Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader also departed on April 17th and also for Cleveland at approx. 16:32. Arriving Silver Bay on April 17th at 18:45 was the American Spirit. There is no inbound traffic scheduled for Silver Bay on April 18th. The Kaye E. Barker is due the Twin Ports with stone, so always the possibility she could end up in Silver Bay.

Thunder Bay, ON
Thursday; 21:46 CSL St Laurent departed for Montreal. CSL Assiniboine shifted to Viterra A to finish loading. 13:57 Algoma Harvester departed for Sorel. 15:26 Federal Sakura arrived at the Superior Elevator to load wheat.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on an unusually busy Friday included Cason J. Callaway (early), Stewart J. Cort, Victory/Maumee, Federal Kushiro, Thunder Bay, Cape and Indiana Harbor. Lee A. Tregurtha was upbound in the lower river late Friday, with Muntgracht due. Downbound traffic included Federal Nagara, Burns Harbor, Hon. James L. Oberstar, Kaministiqua, Mesabi Miner, Manitowoc, Roger Blough and, late, CSL St-Laurent and Manitoulin. Some of the vessels had to go to anchor to wait their turn for lockage. Saginaw was at Algoma Steel. John G. Munson, which had been at anchor off Bay Mills awaiting parts for a fuel line repair, departed upbound Friday evening after the tug Kentucky delivered the new parts. The ice boom at Mission Point was removed on Thursday.

Green Bay, WI
Great Republic arrived Friday morning from KCBX/Chicago with high fusion coal to the Georgia Pacific Terminal. She departed at 2:30 p.m. for Two Harbors. The USCG Mobile Bay 103/Barge 12002 arrived from Sturgeon Bay, WI to Green Bay to perform buoy tending. The tug Ann Marie arrived also from Sturgeon Bay to Green Bay in the late afternoon.

S. Lake Michigan ports
Federal Columbia was at Burns Harbor Friday night. Algoma Niagara was at Indiana Harbor, with Wilfred Sykes due Saturday with stone.

Northern Lake Huron
Saginaw: 18:28 Mississagi arrived to unload.

Stoneport: Friday; 5:21 Calumet departed and is down bound on Lake Huron. 17:46 Herbert C Jackson arrived to load lime stone.

Calcite: Friday; 10:41 American Mariner departed for Fairport. Also due in for Friday was the Philip R. Clarke in the evening for the South Dock to load. The H. Lee White is due to arrive on Saturday in the early morning for the North Dock to load.

Drummond Island: Thursday; 22:23 Manitowoc departed for Algoma Steel, Sault Ste Marie ON.

Port Dolomite: Thursday; 23:01 Wilfred Sykes departed for Indiana Harbor. Arthur M Anderson weighed anchor and proceeded to the loading dock.

Northern Lake Michigan
Port Inland: Friday; 15:37 Joseph L Block arrived to load limestone.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor arrived 6.55am Friday and was loading salt at Compass Minerals.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
Mississagi was back on the Saginaw River on Friday, traveling upriver to unload at the International Materials/GM Dock in Saginaw. This is the second visit in a week for Mississagi.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
Lee A. Tregurtha, Isadora and Caroline passed before dawn and all were upbound and out in Lake Huron by 5am. Herbert C. Jackson followed by Champion passed before dawn and were near Marysville by 5am. Eeborg was downbound at 7:15am as was Tufty at 8am. Algocanada followed at 8:15 am also downbound. Florence Spirit passed at 1:45pm upbound. USCGC Hollyhock was upbound at 2:45pm Completing a 360 degree turn, Calumet arrived at the stone yard for a nighttime unload at 8:15pm. Snow showers late morning till late afternoon, temp in the mid 30s with slight winds from the west-northwest.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H.
Sharon M 1/Huron Spirit unloaded steel coils at Nicholson's Ecorse Terminal on Friday.

Toledo, OH – Denny Dushane
The tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula are due to arrive at the Torco Dock on Saturday in the early morning. Also due at Torco on Saturday is the Hon. James L. Oberstar in the early afternoon. At the CSX Coal Dock, the Algoma Sault is scheduled to arrive there on Saturday during the morning to load. Also due at CSX on Saturday is the CSL Laurentien to load. Philip R. Clarke departed from their Winter Lay-Up berth on Thursday in the evening headed to Calcite to load stone for Duluth.

Lake Erie Ports, Friday 4-17 – Bill Kloss
Lorain: Algoma Mariner left at 19:00 Thursday for Hamilton with salt.

Cleveland: American Courage on the shuttles, Federal Hunter was still at the Port, and Cuyahoga arrived at 18:30.

Fairport Harbor: Frontenac departed with salt for Johnstown.

Conneaut: Presque Isle departed at 02:14 this morning.

Nanticoke: CSL Laurentian arrived at 09:51.

Hamilton, ON for 4-17-20 – Tristin Woolf
Algoma Sault was the first to depart at 3:06 EST with a destination set as Toledo. The saltie Onego Rio arrived at 10:35 EST from Montreal to load grain. Lake St. Clair departed at 15:36 EST after unloading, and she will now head to Duluth to load. Mamry departed shortly after at 16:13 EST bound for Thunder Bay. The tug Ecosse ten departed on her way to Toronto at 16:45 EST. The last departure for the evening took place at 20:12 when the saltie Oborishte left with a full load of grain destined for Belgium.

Picton, ON – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit departed Friday evening for Oswego, NY.

 

Check the operational status of mines, mills at new BoatNerd link

4/18 - New Boatnerd chart shows status of mines, mills during economic shutdown. View the chart at this link: http://www.boatnerd.com/layup/ironorestatus.htm

Tom Hynes

 

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.

 

S.S. Badger pushes back first sailing of the 2020 season until May 29

4/17 - Ludington, MI – The 2020 sailing season for the SS Badger won't start on May 8 as originally planned, instead May 29 is the carferry's target date to resume service between Ludington and Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

According to a notice posted on the Lake Michigan Carferry website, reservations may be changed without any penalties or fees, and any fare from cancelled reservations will be available as a credit for travel through the end of the 2021 sailing season. The posted notice states when service does resume the SS Badger will make one sailing each day from both Ludington and Manitowoc.

The notice goes on to say, "As we all face the realities of how the coronavirus is impacting our lives, the employees of the SS Badger share your frustration of not knowing exactly when things will return to normal. We all must do our part to help defeat this enemy. Therefore, the start of our sailing season will be delayed until the state and federal authorities lift the ban on travel."

Ferry service on the Lake Express between Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Muskegon is scheduled to resume May 1 according to the ship's website.

Possible extensions of stay-at-home orders in Michigan and Wisconsin may determine if both ships begin crossing Lake Michigan with passengers and vehicles in May.

WZZM

 

Port Reports -  April 17

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner.
Michipicoten departed Duluth ten minutes past midnight Thursday morning with her usual load of ore for Sault Ste. Marie. Great Lakes Trader/tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort departed at 09:59 light for Silver Bay after unloading limestone at Graymont. Isolda was still in port Thursday taking on wheat at CHS 1, and was tentatively expected to complete loading around 22:45. Manitoulin arrived via the Superior entry at 04:49 Thursday and took a short delay at Lakehead Pipeline before shifting over to Canadian National in Duluth at 07:30 to load iron ore. She loaded throughout the day and was outbound via the Duluth entry at 18:08, also for the Soo. Burns Harbor departed via Superior at 05:50 carrying iron ore from the BN dock destined for her namesake port.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Mesabi Miner departed Two Harbors from South of #2 at 03:50 on April 16th for Indiana Harbor. Shifting from North of #2 to South of #2 was the Roger Blough between 06:00 to 06:30 on the 16th. She took on a partial load at North of #2. The Blough departed Two Harbors on the 16th at 15:20 for Gary. The Spruceglen anchored off Duluth on April 15th at approx. 22:00. She got underway at approx. 15:40 and arrived Two Harbors at 15:52 on April 16th for South of #2. She's probably loading for Quebec City. Due Two Harbors on April 16th is the Edwin H. Gott. As of 19:30 she was North of Sand Island. The John G. Munson is due Two Harbors, but as of 19:30 on the 16th she is anchored above the Soo. The Joyce L VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader arrived Silver Bay on the 16th at 13:50 after unloading stone at Graymont in Superior. Also arriving Silver Bay on the 16th was the Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader at 15:23 arriving from Marquette. Due Silver Bay on April 17th is the American Spirit.

Thunder Bay, ON
Wednesday; 23:18 CSL Assiniboine arrived at Viterra B to load grain. Thursday; 8:41 The saltie Torrent arrived and went to anchor. 10:25 G3 Marquis arrived and went to anchor. 16:48 Kaministiqua departed and was down bound on Lake Superior. 17:55 G3 Marquis weighed anchor and proceeded to the Richardson Main Terminal to load wheat.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on Thursday included John G. Munson (went to anchor off Bay Mills for unspecified repairs), American Spirt, Walter J. McCarthy Jr., Federal Sakura and, late, Kaye E, Barker and Saginaw. Downbound traffic included Tufty, Mississagi (from Algoma) Ashtabula/Defiance and, late, Federal Nagara.

Escanaba, MI
John J. Boland remained in port on Thursday, possibly waiting for orders.

Sturgeon Bay, WI – Daniel Lindner, Jim Stiefvater
CSL's Thunder Bay was pulled from drydock at Bay Shipbuilding on Thursday, and by evening the ship was underway to begin her 2020 season. Although she was not painted as had been expected, she did receive a 5-year survey and her spar deck appears to have had some hull reinforcement work done, possibly to prepare her for increased Seaway/East Coast trading. Thunder Bay's departure leaves only two vessels left in layup at the shipyard – Edgar B. Speer, which is expected to depart on Friday or Saturday, and American Integrity, which will sit the season out at Bay Shipbuilding unless economic conditions improve. With the drydock now unoccupied, the nearly completed hull of VanEnkevort's new barge Michigan Trader will be put back on the blocks for final work and painting. Work continues on the new Interlake vessel as well, with multiple hull sections being painted and laid out across the shipyard.

S. Lake Michigan ports
Federal Columbia was at Burns Harbor Thursday night. H Lee White was at Buffington. Algoma Niagara was arriving at Indiana Harbor.

Northern Lake Huron
Alpena: Thursday; 8:49 GL Ostrander arrived to load cement products.

Stoneport: Thursday; 15:10 Calumet arrived to load.

Calcite: Thursday; 8:05 American Mariner weighed anchor and proceeded to the loading dock. 18:25 Kaye E Barker departed and is up bound to the St Marys River.

Drummond Island: Thursday; 4:26 Manitowoc arrived to load limestone.

Port Dolomite: Thursday; 9:44 Wilfred Sykes arrived to load.17:51 Arthur M Anderson arrived and went to anchor.

Northern Lake Michigan
Brevort: Wednesday; 23:04 Algoma Innovator departed for Hamilton. Port Inland: Thursday; The tug Undaunted and the barge Pere Marquette 41 arrived to load limestone. 16:46 They departed and are down bound on Lake Michigan. Joseph L. Block is due to arrive on Friday in the early morning to load.

Calcite, MI – Denny Dushane
The Kaye E. Barker remained at Calcite on Thursday and loading at the South Dock. They did not give or have any ETDs from the loading dock. Also in port was the American Mariner at the North Dock. They will then take the South Dock to load once the Kaye E. Barker has completed loading and departs. The Philip R. Clarke is due on Friday in the early evening for the South Dock to load. Due on Saturday is the H. Lee White during the early morning hours for the North Dock to load.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
Iver Bright was inbound on the Saginaw River, just after sunrise on Thursday morning. She was assisted by the tug Manitou, calling on the Bit-Mat dock in Bay City.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
Saginaw was upbound at approx. 3:30am Thursday, passing Algoma Enterprise near Stag Island at 5am. Federal Kushiro passed upbound at 5:15am. T/B Victory/James Kuber arrived at the stoneyard before dawn for a quick unload and was then upbound by 10am. Baie Comeau passed upbound at 9am followed closely by Cason J. Callaway at 9:15am also upbound. Tug Vigilant I passed at 11am and berthed at Courtright with a barge loaded with what appears to be the turbine sections for wind power towers. As of 7 pm unloading had not begun. CSL Laurentien passed downbound at 11:15am as did Herbert C. Jackson also downbound at 12:30pm. The heavy lifter Cape passed upbound at 1:30pm. Algoma Equinox passed downbound at 2pm. Hinch Spirit was upbound passing at 3pm. Happy River passed upbound at 6pm with her deck full of wind turbine blades. Algoma Innovator followed by T/B Sharon M I/Huron Spirit should pass MC in the late evening. Overcast with widely scattered snow showers today with temp in the low 40's with winds from the west- southwest.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H.
Herbert C Jackson was unloading stone at the St. Clair Aggregates dock on Wednesday

Toledo, OH – Denny Dushane
The Lee A. Tregurtha unloaded iron ore pellets at the Torco Dock on Thursday. Also due at Torco are the tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula on Saturday in the early morning hours. At the CSX Coal Dock, due to load there is the Algoma Sault on Saturday in the morning. Also due at CSX to load is the CSL Laurentien on Saturday in the late morning. Thursday evening the Philip R. Clarke left her layup berth and was sailing outbound from Toledo.

Lake Erie Ports – Bill Kloss
Lorain: Algoma Mariner was still at Jonick Dock on Thursday. AIS shows a destination of Thunder Bay. G tug Michigan waas headed there to assist the Mariner.

Cleveland: Isadora departed at 13:22 for Burns Harbor.

Fairport Harbor: Frontenac was still loading at Morton Salt.

Conneaut: Presque Isle arrived at 16:30

Port Colborne, ON – Nathan Attard
Algoma Central’s Radcliffe R. Latimer was towed to Port Colborne by the McKeil tug Leonard M on Thursday and moored at the Snider dock by bridge 21 for engine repairs. Tugs Vac and John L assisted in the move.

Buffalo, NY – Craig E. Speers
Federal Oshima was still at the Lackawanna/Bethlehem Steel bulk cargo docks Thursday unloading raw sugar. These docks are now off limits to observers. Compass Materials has greatly expanded its bulk storage and transfer area at the Lackawanna site. NACC Argonaut departed at noon Wednesday from the LaFarge Docks on the Buffalo River.

Rochester, NY – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit departed early Thursday afternoon, in ballast, for Picton, ON.

 

Demise of coal-burning power means toxic ash landfills forever on Great Lakes shores

4/17 - Bay City, MI – When a pile of toxic coal ash tumbled into the clear, blue waters of Lake Michigan nine years ago in Wisconsin, it was called a “freak accident” and a “preventable mess.” It’s exactly what the state of Michigan and power companies that are closing their coal-burning plants want to avoid.

After several decades of burning coal to meet Michiganders' electricity needs, Consumers Energy is retiring its coal plants near the Saginaw Bay shoreline and elsewhere, but its coal ash, a form of industrial waste known to contain toxins, will linger there indefinitely.

The landfill of toxic ash at Consumers Energy’s Bay County site, which state permits say can be up to 6 stories tall, will be a lasting legacy of burning coal at electrical generating plants there for decades. In fact, as the state’s power generators move away from burning coal to cleaner alternatives, they are leaving behind similar dumps across Michigan, either on the shores of the Great Lakes or on waters connected to them.

The ash landfills and ponds have been at the power plants for years, for disposal of burned coal residue. The ash will remain in the landfills at the old power plant sites where it is finally piled for years and years.

State and local officials consider the dumps a safe solution to deal with the waste. Others aren’t so sure. “The bottom line is there’s a pretty considerable concentration of toxic chemicals and heavy metals in coal ash,” said Terry Miller, a Bay County resident who is chairman of the environmental group The Lone Tree Council. “Some of them, people have heard about: mercury, lead and arsenic; they’re all in coal ash.”

Read more at this link: https://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw-bay-city/2020/04/demise-of-coal-burning-power-means-toxic-ash-landfills-forever-on-great-lakes-state-shores.html

 

Seaway Notice to Shipping #10

4/17 - Niagara Region Welland Canal - Restricted Interfaces for Limited Supplies At Lock 7
At the request of mariners, interfaces for transferring small items to vessels will be allowed if conditions permit.

The following limitations will apply:
• Size limit on item(s) (carried by hand) - no dollies/trollies/carts etc.
• Interfaces are to occur for R1 personnel only
• SLSMC will not entertain any escorting of non-R1 persons or monitoring product exchanges
• No delay to be incurred by a vessel – exchange must be executed prior to vessel departure from the lock
• SLSMC will not provide assistance handling the gangway

Personnel delivering the item(s) will be subject to SLSMC screening measures for gaining access to the locks. Access may be refused should they not meet the screening criteria. Personnel delivering the item(s) must do so safely by maintaining a minimum 1m distance from the coping at all times and wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment (safety shoes, hard hat).

 

St. Clair Marine Mart canceled due to pandemic

4/17 - St. Clair, MI - Due to ongoing concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lake Huron Lore Board of Directors has voted to cancel the St. Clair Marine Mart for this year. Those vendors who have already sent in their registrations and payments will have them returned by U.S. mail. Hopefully, we can return to normal next year and plan to have the event again under better circumstances.

Lake Huron Lore Marine Society

 

Obituary: Mary “Belle River” Ledbetter

4/17 - Mary M. Ledbetter, 76, succumbed to complications of Interstitial Lung Disease on April 6 at her home in Midland, MI. She was well-known and much-loved in boatwatching circles and could often be found at Port Huron or the Soo chasing freighters. Because of her fondness for the 1,000-footer Belle River, that became her nickname.

After the birth of her children, Mary returned to Delta College and earned her certification as a Licensed Practical Nurse. She began her 30+ year career at the (then) Midland Hospital on the Pediatrics unit. She worked in many areas of the hospital including Obstetrics, Labor and Delivery, Quality Resource Management, and spent the last two years before her retirement as the afternoon-shift supervisor in Medical Records.

She was a keen genealogist for all of her adult life, being a founding member of the Bay County Genealogical Society in 1968, and actively pursuing new relatives through DNA testing until her death. She was a lover of music, participating in the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church Choir for many years, and also active in the Folk Music Society of Midland, where she played autoharp with the Jolly Hammers and Strings, and scheduled the workshop calendar for the Midland Folk Music Festival. She loved the freighters of the Great Lakes and camping at the two places she was likely to see as many as possible, Sault Ste. Marie and Port Huron, was the highlight of many of her summers.

In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband, Arthur A. Ledbetter, Sr.; an infant daughter, Mary Regina Barnt; brother-in-law Tom Johnson; and her cousin and childhood best friend Margaret (Peg) Elowski. As per her wishes, Mary has been cremated, and will be interred in the family plot at the Old Calvary Cemetery. A celebration of Mary’s life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider the Pinconning Area Emergency Food Pantry or the Folk Music Society of Midland. Cremation arrangements have been entrusted to the care of the Ware Smith Woolever Funeral Directors.

 

Updates

4/17 - The saltie gallery has been updated with the following images: Adfines Sun, Atlantic Spirit, Cape, Caroline, Eeborg, Federal Bering, Federal Biscay, Federal Cedar, Federal Churchill, Federal Columbia, Federal Hunter, Federal Kushiro, Federal Nagara, Federal Oshima, Federal Sakura, Happy River, Isadora, Isolda, Iver Bright, Johanna G, Labrador, Lake St Clair, Lyulin, Mamry, Muntgracht, Oborishte, Sloman Hermes, Torrent, Tufty and Wigeon.

 

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.

 

Coast Guard confirms no damage or leaks after barge runs aground in Lake St. Clair

4/16 - Windsor, ON – The U.S. Coast Guard said Wednesday there were no injuries, no damage and no hazardous chemical leaks after a barge full of diesel fuel ran aground in American waters near Peche Island.

The tank barge Margaret ran aground on a soft mud bottom in Lake St. Clair at about 2 a.m. on April 13. The barge was loaded with 3,990,000 gallons of diesel fuel.

Salvage personnel are working with the crew and company representatives to refloat the boat, and the Port Huron-based tug Manitou was on the scene Wednesday as were the tank barge Great Lakes and her tug Michigan. The U.S Coast Guard said it is coordinating with Canadian maritime officials to monitor salvage operations. The cause of the grounding is still under investigation.

The coast guard said a preliminary survey of the area and regular measurements of cargo fuel levels have confirmed there were no leaks or damage. The vessel is not impeding normal commercial marine traffic.

Windsor Star and Isaac Pischer

 

Layoffs announced at US Steel’s Keetac mine

4/16 - Keewatin, MN – COVID-19 slowdowns are impacting another mine. This time, it's Keetac, which is owned by U.S. Steel. According to a letter from the United Steelworkers Local 2660, the company and union met on Wednesday, and that there will be layoffs that go into effect on Sunday the 19th.

The letter said that all operations people with three years or less will be affected that day. Maintenance employees with 3 three years or less will continue working until the current outage is complete.

Local 2660 leaders continue to negotiate a layoff minimization plan daily with the company. The tentative plan is to have the plant shutdown by the end of May, according to the letter.

U.S. Steel also owns Minntac, the region's largest mine. Union leaders said they have not been notified of any layoffs there yet. Northshore Mining, which is owned by Cleveland-Cliffs, is being temporarily idled this week. About 470 of its employees are being laid off

WDIO

 

First ocean-going ship of season arrives at Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor

4/16 - Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor – The first ocean-going ship arrived Monday at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor, kicking off the international shipping season during which Northwest Indiana trades goods with the world.

The M/V Muntgracht, a 466-foot general cargo carrier, brought a cargo of 1,650 tons of wind turbine hubs and nacelles from Bilbao, Spain, after a five-day passage through the St. Lawrence Seaway. The deepwater port on Lake Michigan skipped the traditional ceremony, in which a Steel Stein symbolizing Northwest Indiana's place as "steel capital of North America" is presented to the first ship's captain, because of the ongoing coronavirus public health crisis.

“The arrival of the first international ship of the year is always an exciting time as it signifies the prosperity the vessels help deliver to our region,” Port Director Ian Hirt said. “While we can’t celebrate in our traditional way, we are grateful for the commitment of our international partners to help deliver important cargo and products to global markets.”

Captain Folkert Pans and a crew of 16 sailors guided the Netherlands-flagged M/V Muntgracht vessel to the Port of Burns Harbor in Porter County. The stevedore Federal Marine Terminals unloaded the ship.

About 75 international vessels are expected to come to the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor this year, many carrying cargo for the energy sector.

“Many of the components for the natural gas-powered electrical plants and the wind turbines are made internationally,” Hirt said. “As the Midwest pivots from coal to natural gas and renewable energy sources, it makes sense for our port to handle the large-dimensional cargo and transload to the nearby final destination.”

Last year, the post handled about 1.6 million tons of cargo. That was about 6% down from the previous year because of tariffs, trade disputes, and higher water levels than normal through the St. Lawrence Seaway.

NWI Times

 

Port Reports -  April 16

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Michipicoten arrived Duluth at 15:27 Wednesday afternoon to load iron ore pellets at Canadian National. Federal Nagara topped off her holds with wheat at Riverland Ag and was being pulled from the slip for departure as of 19:30. Great Lakes Trader/tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort was due at 22:00 to unload limestone at Graymont, and Michipicoten was due to depart from CN before midnight. Isolda continued loading wheat at CHS 1 on Wednesday. In Superior, Burns Harbor arrived at 14:22 to load ore at Burlington Northern. She is expected to depart Thursday morning.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Mesabi Miner arrived Two Harbors on April 15th for South of #2 at 14:52. Roger Blough also arrived on the 15th for North of #2 at 16:25. Due Two Harbors on the 15th is the Spruceglen. She'll probably anchor out. Due Two Harbors on April 16th is the Edwin H. Gott. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay had no traffic on April 15th. Due on the 16th is the Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader after she unloads stone at Graymont in Superior. She due at Graymont late on the 15th.

Thunder Bay, ON
Tuesday; 21:33 Algoma Equinox departed and is down bound in the St Marys River. 22:04 The saltie Tufty departed for Sorel. Wednesday; 6:28 Kaministiqua shifted from Keefer Terminal to the Richardson Main Terminal. 12:55 CSL St Laurent weighed anchor and proceeded to Viterra A to load grain. 14:35 Algoma Harvester arrived at the Richardson Current River Terminal to load wheat. 19:44 The saltie Lyulin arrived and went to anchor.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on Wednesday included Torrent, G3 Marquis, Paul R. Tregurtha, Edwin H. Gott and Hon. James L. Oberstar. Downbounders included Algoma Enterprise early, Ojibway, Algoma Strongfield, CSL Laurentien, Federal Cedar, Sharon M 1 and barge and Algoma Equinox. Mississagi was at the Algoma Export Dock and Tufty was at anchor in the evening off Paradise.

Cedarville, MI – Denny Dushane
Wilfred Sykes was expected Wednesday during the late evening to load. Due in Thursday is the tug Undaunted and the barge Pere Marquette 41 in the early morning to load. Also due in for Thursday in the early morning to load is the Arthur M. Anderson.

Port Inland, MI – Denny Dushane
Calumet arrived and loaded on Tuesday. There are no vessels due Wednesday and Thursday. Due Friday is the Joseph L. Block, expected in the early morning to load.

Brevort, MI
Tuesday, Algoma Innovator arrived and went to anchor. At 7:57she proceeded to the loading dock

Escanaba, MI
John J. Boland arrived from South Chicago’s KCBX terminal on Wednesday, likely to unload coal.

Grand Haven, MI – Bill Van Lopik, Erik Hill
The port of Grand Haven has seen a lot of activity over the last 24 hours. At about sunset on Tuesday (4/14), the Manitowoc arrived through lake effect snow with a load of slag for the D+M Meekhoff dock. She departed before sunrise on Wednesday (4/15) morning. After the Manitowoc’s departure, Wilfred Sykes arrived from Burns Harbor with a load of slag for Verplank’s dock. The Sykes was closely followed by the Calumet which arrived from Port Inland with a load of stone for Verplank’s. Both the Sykes and Calumet departed Grand Haven around mid-afternoon Wednesday headed northbound.

S. Lake Michigan ports
S. Chicago played host to Great Republic, which arrived from Buffington Wednesday. Stewart J. Cort, Algoma Niagara, Federal Columbia and Muntracht were at Burns Harbor.

Northern Lake Huron
Calcite: Wednesday; 7:16 H Lee White departed and was down bound on Lake Michigan. 7:24 Kaye E Barker weighed anchor and proceeded to the dock to load. Alpena: Wednesday; 10:56 Undaunted and Pere Marquette 41 arrive at the Lafarge plant to unload and departed at 1:53 for Port Inland.

Calcite, MI – Denny Dushane
The Kaye E. Barker loaded on Wednesday from the South Dock however they did not give any ETD's probably due to weather. At anchor and waiting for the Kaye E. Barker to depart was the American Mariner. They would then take the South Dock to load once the Kaye E. Barker departs. Also due in for Wednesday was the John J. Boland in the early evening to load at the South Dock and the Manitowoc in the late evening also on Wednesday for the South Dock. Rounding out the schedule are two more vessels both due in for Thursday. Expected first is the Philip R. Clarke in the early morning for the South Dock to load and the Cason J. Callaway also due in for Thursday in the late afternoon for the South Dock to load.

Stoneport, MI – Denny Dushane
The Herbert C. Jackson loaded on Wednesday however they were having difficulty due to dock delays. They were expected to be back loading by noon and had an ETD for 8 p.m. on Wednesday. Due in for Thursday is the Calumet in the early afternoon to load. The Herbert C. Jackson is due to return on Friday in the early morning hours to load. There is nothing due in or scheduled for both Saturday and Sunday.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Tuesday; Robert S Pierson departed for Valleyfield Quebec. Wednesday; 0:16 Algoma Conveyor weighed anchor and proceeded to the Compass Salt dock to load. She departed at 18:25.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
T/B Michigan/Great Lakes passed downbound at approx. 2:30am Wednesday and appears to be assisting with T/B Albert/Margaret aground near the mouth of the Detroit River. T/B Laura VanEnkevort/Joseph Thompson passed upbound at 5am. Robert S. Pierson passed downbound at 7am. American Spirit passed upbound at 1pm. Federal Sakura passed upbound at 6:45pm followed closely by tug Manitou at 7pm. Algocanada is expected to pass in the late evening. Weather: overcast most of the day with scattered snow showers in the afternoon, temp in the mid 30's, light winds from the west/northwest slackening towards evening, river calm.

Toledo, OH – Denny Dushane
The Saginaw loaded at the CSX Coal Dock on Wednesday. Also due at CSX to load is the Algoma Sault on Friday in the mid-afternoon. At the Torco Dock, due to arrive there is the Lee A. Tregurtha on Thursday in the morning. Also due at Torco are the tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula, due in on Saturday in the early morning. Arthur M. Anderson left winter layup on Wednesday at noon, headed to Cedarville to load stone for Duluth. The updated list of vessels still in winter layup in Toledo includes Philip R. Clarke at the Old Interlake Iron Co. Dock near the shipyard, and American Century at CSX #3 Dock. A correction on two vessel arrivals this week: Edwin H. Gott and tug Laura L. VanEnkevort / barge Joseph H. Thompson did not go into temporary lay-up. Both vessels are back out and have since departed Toledo. The saltwater ship Wigeon remained in port on Wednesday still unloading a cargo at the Midwest International Dock where they had arrived on April 4. They are due next up to Thunder Bay after they complete unloading in Toledo. Hon. James L. Oberstar arrived at the Torco Dock to unload on Tuesday in the early morning and later departed in the afternoon. American Valor and Manistee remain in long-term lay-up at the Hocking Valley Dock.

Lake Erie Ports – Bill Kloss and Drew Leonard

Lorain: Algoma Mariner arrived at 10:10 Wednesday for the Jonick dock. She is filling in for Radcliffe R. Latimer, as the Latimer is off of Girard, PA, with mechanical issues.

Cleveland: American Spirit departed for Silver Bay.

Fairport Harbor: Frontenac was at anchor Wednesday waiting to enter Grand River to load at Morton Salt.

Ashtabula: G tug New York departed at 08:26 Wednesday for Cleveland, arriving at 13:20 for the Great Lakes Shipyard.

Erie, PA: Cason J. Callaway departed at 11:41 a.m. Wednesday for Calcite.

Nanticoke: Algonorth and Algosea have departed for Sorel-Tracy. Algoterra remains in Nanticoke.

Rochester, NY – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit arrived at Lehigh Cement Dock at about 08:00 Wednesday morning.

Erie, PA – Denny Dushane
Cason J. Callaway departed winter layup on Wednesday just before noon. They are headed to Calcite to load and are expected to arrive on Thursday late in the afternoon. This leaves only the tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder in winter layup.

 

Oshawa sees first ship of season

4/16 - Oshawa, ON - The Oshawa port has seen its first visitor of the season. Domestic cement carrier NACC Quebec arrived at the Oshawa pier over the weekend, officially kicking off the 2020 marine shipping season.

Sailing from Port-Daniel-Gascon, along the southern shore of the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec, the NovaAlgoma laker pulled into dock 3 with a load of cement for McInnis, which was unloaded by local stevedore QSL, states a press release.

Captain Harold Ouellon was presented with a ceremonial top hat and gift by the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority’s Harbour Master, Vicki Gruber, on the pier beside the ship’s stern. Due to the threat of COVID-19, this was a very different and distanced take on the traditional top hat ceremony. Normally, the Harbour Master would come aboard the first vessel to congratulate the captain and crew, the release states.

Captain Ouellon has been sailing for 35 years and has been adapting to the new processes, just like everyone else who works on the water. “Like most people working in essential services, we are at work to keep the goods moving and keep the Canadian economy flowing, but certain measures are being taken on board which did not ever exist before,” says the captain in the release.

After setting sail from Oshawa, the ship was heading back up the St Lawrence Seaway to Port Daniel-Gascon up at the McInnis cement plant.

This is the port authority’s first top hat ceremony in Oshawa since the amalgamation of Oshawa and Hamilton’s ports last June. HOPA Ports President & CEO Ian Hamilton was also on hand to welcome the ship and celebrate Oshawa’s season start.

Despite the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Hamilton is confident heading into the season, as maintaining the integrity of supply chains is now more important than ever. “We are doing things differently to prevent the spread COVID-19, but we will ensure Canadian goods continue to move throughout the Great Lakes, and into international markets. Our planned new investments at the Port of Oshawa will help stimulate an economic restart once the crisis subsides,” says Hamilton.

Designated as an essential service by federal and provincial governments, Canadian ports and the businesses that underpin the movement of goods are operational in spite of COVID-19.

Oshawa Express

 

Coast Guard increases Great Lakes pilots’ rates by 1%

4/16 - The Coast Guard has set Great Lakes pilots’ rates for the 2020 shipping season about 1% higher than last year due to increased operating expenses, an additional pilot and anticipated inflation.

The rates that are up in five of the six service areas and down in one differ from the proposed rule which would have slightly lowered shippers’ costs for the first time in several years.

Beginning May 11, hourly pay per pilot which varies by district will range from $337 to $758, compared to $306 to $733 in 2019. Total target pilot compensation rises to $367,085 from $359,887.

The rule affects 52 U.S. pilots, three associations, as well as the owners and operators of about 266 oceangoing vessels. The Coast Guard estimates shippers’ payments would increase $279,845 from the 2019 season to $28.3 million in revenue.

“The Coast Guard believes that the new rates will continue to promote pilot retention, ensure safe, efficient, and reliable pilotage services on the Great Lakes, and provide adequate funds to upgrade and maintain infrastructure,” the agency said in the final rule published Thursday.

The Coast Guard establishes rates for Great Lakes pilots while pilot rates elsewhere in the U.S. are set at the local level. The number of lakes pilots has grown from 36 in 2014 to the current total of 52. The Coast Guard has said its goal is 54 “to help reduce fatigue and ensure safety on the waterways.”

The agency, shippers and associations have been battling for years over the rates.

Pilotage revenue rose 72% from 2014 to 2018, the American Great Lakes Ports Association, the U.S. Great Lakes Shipping Association, and the Shipping Federation of Canada said in comments on the proposed rates. In earlier remarks the groups asked why Canadian pilots can often provide the same services at about half the cost of their U.S. counterparts.

The rate setting process is “highly dependent on imaginary numbers that arbitrarily over-generate revenues” and pilot compensation, they said.

The rates are derived from a 10-step process outlined in federal law, the Coast Guard said. It also cited a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that said the agency used “a fairly transparent system of pilotage ratesetting as compared to the process used by some coastal states.”

The rates have risen because of a billing error from the mid-1990s to 2016 that gave shippers a 20% to 40% discount that kept pilots from collecting the money needed “to provide safe, efficient, and reliable pilotage service,” the agency said.

As for Canada, the Coast Guard said the U.S. has three different self-supporting districts and Canadian pilots operate as one entity so there may be cross-subsidization. “Taken as a whole, the revenues earned by the U.S. system of pilotage across the Great Lakes are comparable to the revenues earned by the Canadian system,” the Coast Guard said.

Pilots have said that the target compensation rate is too low, especially when compared to other U.S. pilots. They earlier pointed out that “average 2014 compensation set by the Louisiana Public Rate Commission for the Associated Branch Pilots for the Port of New Orleans was $459,051, a total that does not include medical or pension benefits for which those pilots are compensated separately,” according to comments by the St. Lawrence Seaway Pilots Association, the Lakes Pilots Association, and the Western Great Lakes Pilots Association.

Work Boat

 

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.

 

Weather causes issues for Soo’s Museum Ship Valley Camp

4/15 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – Shifting water levels in the St. Marys River have taken a toll on the Museum Ship Valley Camp in Sault Ste. Marie. The freighter became a museum back in 1968. While the ship moves a bit every year, this past year was no match for what Mother Nature threw at her. Several cables recently snapped and there is damage to the entrance of the museum due to the ship moving.

To help out, the Coast Guard limits the speed of vessels near the museum. “The Coast Guard has been good,” Richard Brawley, board member of the Sault Historic Sites, said. “Last fall they had the boats coming out of the MacArthur check-down in speed. And we are going to have to have them do that again this year as soon as the MacArthur opens. We are bringing in another guy who is going to as much as he can to get it secured … today.”

Brawley says they hope to open the museum by the end of May, but that is dependent on the stay-at-home order.

9 & 10 News

 

Port Reports -  April 15

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
The only traffic through the Duluth entry on Tuesday was Isolda, which picked up her anchor and arrived at 17:25 to load wheat at CHS 1. Federal Nagara continued loading wheat at Riverland Ag and is currently expected to finish loading on Wednesday. No traffic is expected in Superior until Wednesday night, when Burns Harbor is due to load at BN.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Neither the CN docks in Two Harbors nor Northshore Mining in Silver Bay had traffic on April 14th. Tentatively due Two Harbors on April 15th are the Mesabi Miner, Roger Blough, and Spruceglen. The Miner had been anchored in the lower St. Mary's River for 2 days waiting on weather. Update on the Indiana Harbor. She is not headed for Indiana Harbor. Her AIS is now showing Gary. There is no traffic scheduled for Silver Bay on April 15.

Thunder Bay, ON
Monday; 16:12 CSL Laurentien went to anchor to wait out weather. Tuesday; 0:58 Federal Cedar departed for Montreal. 3:44 Kaministiqua weighed anchor and proceeded to Keefer Terminal, possibly for repairs. 7:02 Ojibway departed for Windsor. 9:05 CSL Laurentien weighed anchor and departed for Nanticoke. 10:04 Algoma Strongfield weighed anchor and departed for Quebec City.

Michipicoten ON
Tuesday; 1:34 Joseph L Block weighed anchor and departed for Indiana Harbor.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on a wintry Tuesday included Burns Harbor, Mesabi Miner, Roger Blough, Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader, Algoma Harvester, Spruceglen, Lyulin, CSL Assinibone and, late Mississagi. Downbounders included Indiana Harbor, Joseph L. Block, Anglian Lady/barge, Presque Isle and Manitoulin

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
At Port Milwaukee Tuesday (4/14), Federal Columbia was still at the Federal Marine Terminals dock. She should be leaving for Burns Harbor shortly. Samuel de Champlain/Innovation finished unloading at Lafarge and cleared for Calumet Harbor at 15:09. Late Monday night (4/13), fleetmate G.L. Ostrander/Integrity left winter lay-up at the former Gillen dock and headed for Chicago. Barge St. Marys Conquest remains at the Kinnickinnic River terminal without its tug.

Northern Lake Michigan Ports
Port Inland: Tuesday; 6:50 Calumet weighed anchor and proceeded to the loading dock to load. 18:14 she departed and is down bound on Lake Michigan. Manistique: Tuesday; 9:19 American Mariner weighed anchor and departed for Calcit

S. Lake Michigan ports
Wilfred Sykes, Stewart J. Cort and Muntgracht were at Burns Harbor Tuesday night. Algoma Niagara was waiting for dock space. Walter J. McCarthy was unloading at Gary. Great Republic was at Buffington. Eeborg was at S. Chicago.

Northern Lake Huron
Alpena: Tuesday; 8:16 Mississagi weighed anchor and proceeded to the Thunder Bay River to unload road salt. She departed at 13:15 and was upbound on the St Marys River for Algoma Steel.

Stoneport: Tuesday; 14:52 Clyde S VanEnkevort departed for Marquette. 16:30 Herbert C Jackson arrived to load.

Calcite: 8:44 H Lee White arrived to load limestone. 9:07 Joyce L Van Enkevort departed and is up bound on Lake Superior.12:07 Kaye E barker arrived and went to anchor. 18:00 American Mariner arrived and went to anchor.

Cheboygan: Tuesday the tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes departed for Toledo.

Lake Huron: Tuesday; 3:57 Robert S Pierson departed for Goderich arriving there at 6:50 to load salt.5:25 CSL Assiniboine weighed anchor and departed for Thunder Bay On. 8:05 Algoma Conveyor departed for Goderich and went anchor there at 11:25.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor arrived 11.25am Tuesday and was on the hook just outside Goderich.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
Herbert C. Jackson finished unloading at the stone dock and was upbound approx. 1am. T/B Spartan/Spartan II passed downbound before dawn. G3Marquis passed upbound @ 10 am followed closely by Torrent @10:30 also upbound. Iver Bright passed at 1:30 pm heading to her berth at Sarnia. Gaia Desgagnes passed upbound at 4:45pm. The Hon. James L. Oberstar is expected to pass in the late evening or early morning on the 15th. Mostly cloudy all day, temps in the mid 40s with gusty winds from the west, which have been producing rolling waves on the river.

Toledo, OH
Edwin H. Gott departed layup Tuesday morning after undergoing mechanical repairs. It was incorrectly reported earlier that she was docked due to the economy.

Lake Erie Ports – Bill Kloss
Marblehead: Victory/Maumee arrived at 13:45 Tuesday afternoon.

Lorain: Radcliffe R. Latimer was at anchor off of Girard, PA. She is destined to the Jonick dock.

Cleveland: American Spirit finally made the dock at the Bulk Terminal Tuesday after spending the previous night at anchor. American Courage is running the shuttles. Federal Hunter arrived at the Port at 06:02. She was assisted into Dock 24E by the G tug Michigan. Polsteam's Isadora was at Dock 24W.

Nanticoke: Algoterra arrived at 08:52. Algonorth was at anchor waiting for a berth.

Buffalo, NY – Craig E. Speers
Federal Oshima still at the Lackawanna/Bethlehem Steel bulk docks, apparently offloading bulk cargo, not loading coal as originally thought. NACC Argonaut back at the Lafarge docks on the Buffalo River with a second load of cement this season.

Toronto, ON – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit departed Tuesday afternoon showing Rochester, NY as the destination.

Oswego, NY – Ned Goebricher
Tuesday the coast guard cutter Hollyhock was setting buoys.

 

St. Lawrence River water levels look promising: IJC

4/15 - Brockville, ON - Water levels on the St. Lawrence River may already be above average for this time of year, but the International Joint Commission says it is optimistic it won’t be as bad as it previously thought.

“While it is still early, at this point in the season, there are positive signs beginning to emerge that suggest more favorable conditions this spring than during the high water years of 2017 and 2019,” the agency said in a press release last week.

“The worst-case scenarios are starting to look less likely.”

The cautiously optimistic forecast is the result of a few different factors that worked in the board’s favor this winter. The IJC reported recently it was able to let a record amount of water out of Lake Ontario three months in a row, which helped to keep the water down, though still above average.

The delayed opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, in combination with relatively mild weather over the winter and favorable conditions in the Ottawa River basin (which peripherally affects St. Lawrence River levels) allowed the board to remove an extra 3.46 cm from Lake Ontario in March.

Also, the mild weather this spring, combined with cooler nighttime temperatures, have allowed for a slow, gradual melt throughout the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River system, and also in the Ottawa River. But it’s not smooth sailing quite yet.

Recent conditions and the forecasted outlook across the basin suggest that the Lake Ontario water level will remain well above average, but below what was seen in 2017 and 2019, for this time of year. Locally, Lake Ontario had been rising gradually for the past couple of weeks, but very slowly recently.

While things look promising, inflows from Lake Erie, precipitation, runoff, snow pack, along with the snowmelt in the Ottawa River basin are the primary drivers of water level fluctuations this time of year.

“These conditions are different each year, made more challenging by dynamic spring weather, making it difficult to accurately forecast water levels,” the IJC said. “It is likely that both Lake Erie and Lake Ontario will continue their seasonal rises in the coming days and weeks, as is typical for this time of year.”

Cooler temperatures are currently forecast for the next two weeks – which, along with the potential for “several precipitation events,” should allow the slow melt of existing snow to continue.

There is still a lot of snow to melt throughout the Great Lakes basin, officials added, with the possibility of active and wet spring weather in the coming weeks.

“Even at the current levels, storms and strong winds can also cause severe damages, and it is always good to have a coastal resiliency plan in place.”

Recorder & Times

 

Funding Boost: EPA gives Great Lakes extra $20 million but state funding at risk

4/15 - Even as the federal government is spending trillions of dollars to boost the economy shut down by the COVID-19 virus, Congress has moved to increase funding for the Great Lakes.

The U.S. EPA announced last week that an additional $20 million has been allocated to restore the lakes. The money is targeted at accelerating cleanup of toxic hotspots known as Areas of Concern and to fund research to improve ballast water treatment on lake freighters.

Since the Areas of Concern list was developed in 1987, only four of the 31 U.S. sites have been removed from the toxic list. Among the sites yet to be removed includes the Detroit and Rouge rivers.

Ballast water discharges to the Great Lakes have led to the introduction of approximately 185 aquatic invasive species, many from overseas locations. The funding announced for ballast water research will focus on vessels that operate primarily in the Great Lakes and was welcomed by the shipping industry’s trade group.

“Lake Carriers’ Association welcomes the additional funding to ballast water research and system development,” said James Weakley, president of the association.

The group submitted a specific ballast water proposal months ago and has other projects that could use funding, according to Weakley.

“We are hopeful that if the goal is to eventually install treatment systems on lakers, it is time to fund projects with practical implications,” Weakley said.

The Great Lakes Trash-Free Waters program announced earlier this year will receive $2 million and will focus on removing trash in Great Lakes communities, harbors and the mouths of rivers that flow to the lakes.

Money is also included for prevention of invasive species like Asian carp and to reduce nutrient runoff from farms that cause harmful algal blooms.

Great Lakes Now

 

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.

 

Tanker stuck in the Detroit River near Peche Island

4/14 - Detroit, MI. – The tug Albert pushing the tanker barge Margret ran aground near Peche Island in the Detroit River Monday. They are destined for Green Bay with 82,000 gallons of diesel fuel. No leaks have been detected. Erwin Utilities is working with local officials to monitor reports from the Coast Guard. The grounding isn't impending shipping traffic.

Isaac Pischer

 

Tilden Mine to shut down temporarily due to virus outbreak

4/14 - Cleveland, OH – Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. announced Monday that based on current market conditions, the company will be temporarily idling production at two of its iron ore mining operations, Northshore Mining in Minnesota and Tilden Mine in National Mine, a company press release notes.

Cleveland-Cliffs stated that it will work down current inventory levels from these two operations and will continue to ship iron ore to fulfill its commercial agreements with steel customers.

Lourenco Goncalves, chairman, president and chief executive officer said, “We have evaluated market conditions and the extraordinary disruptions in manufacturing and steel production in North America due to the impact of the COVID-19 market shock. As our steel customers rationalize their operations’ capacities, we made the decision to adjust our iron ore production during the first half of the year and not continue to build additional iron ore inventory until market conditions improve. Once the North American steel market improves, Cleveland-Cliffs will be able to quickly restart and ramp up production.”

The company stated that unless business circumstances change, it plans to temporarily idle production at Northshore mine by mid-April with a planned restart by August and Tilden Mine will be temporarily idled by the end of April with a planned restart in July.

Mining Journal

 

Hallett Dock Co. sells assets in three transactions

4/14 - Duluth, MN – Hallett Dock Co., a fixture on the Twin Ports waterfront since 1961, has sold its three bulk commodity facilities along the St. Louis River.

Most recently, the employee-owned firm, which had seven shareholders, sold Dock 5, adjacent to the CN ore dock in Duluth’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. The 100-acre facility was purchased this month by Wisconsin Central Ltd., a division of CN, for $4.6 million, according to State of Minnesota records. It primarily handled limestone and a mix of some other commodities including bentonite clay, sinter feed and petroleum coke.

During the past year, Hallett also sold Dock 6 in West Duluth. It was purchased by a group of Hallett partners. Dock 8 in Superior was sold to EnviroTech Services of Greeley, Colo. It primarily has been used for the transloading of salt and calcium chloride.

All three properties will continue to operate and retain Hallett as part of their company names. Existing employees are being retained.

“For Hallett, the time was right. Our leadership team was getting up in years,” said Mike McCoshen, who was president and a Hallett partner. He is staying on at Dock 5 during a transition expected to last about two months and at Dock 8, formerly a coal dock, for a longer period.

Jerry Fryberger, who was board chair of Hallett Dock Co., received the United Way’s 2019 “Live United” award. He was an original board member of the Iron Mining Association of Minnesota.

Business North

 

Port Reports -  April 14

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Michipicoten departed Duluth at 02:35 Monday morning with a load of iron ore pellets from CN. Her fleetmate Manitoulin arrived at 04:38 to load the same cargo, and Federal Nagara arrived from anchor at 06:27 to load wheat at Riverland Ag. Manitoulin was outbound at 16:11 for Sault Ste. Marie. Isolda was at anchor offshore waiting to load wheat at CHS 1, and both James R. Barker and Alpena are laid up in port. The only traffic in Superior on Monday was Algoma Enterprise, which was outbound at 12:18 for Hamilton with iron ore pellets. She had arrived from anchor late Sunday night to load at Burlington Northern.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Indiana Harbor departed Two Harbors on April 12th at 21:09. Her AIS destination is showing her namesake port. Presque Isle arrived Two Harbors for South of #2 on April 12th at 22:25. She departed on April 13th at 13:48 for Conneaut. There is no scheduled traffic for Two Harbors on April 14th. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay had no traffic on April 13th and none scheduled for April 14th.

Thunder Bay, ON
Sunday; 21:48 Ojibway arrived at Viterra B to load grain. 23:30 Algoma Equinox arrived at the Superior Elevator to load wheat. Monday; 7:56 Federal Biscay arrived and went to anchor. 14:51 Federal Bering arrived and went to anchor.18:40 Kaministiqua arrived and went to anchor.

Michipicoten ON
Monday; 10:58 Joseph L Block went to anchor approximately 40 miles west of Michipicoten Harbor along the north shore of Lake Superior to wait out the weather.

St. Marys River
There were no vessels moving in the river Monday due to high winds. Burns Harbor and Mesabi Miner were anchored in Pot Bay above DeTour.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
At Port Milwaukee Monday (4/13), Federal Columbia was still at the Federal Marine Terminals dock unloading steel from Europe. Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 arrived Saturday (4/11) from Grand Haven and was at the heavy lift dock loaded with coal ash for kilns in Alpena. Samuel de Champlain/Innovation arrived Sunday (4/12) from Alpena and was unloading cement at the Lafarge terminal. Barge St. Marys Conquest remained tied up at the Kinnickinnic River terminal without its tug. G.L. Ostrander/Integrity was at the former Gillen dock where she spent the winter. Research Vessel Lake Guardian is still at her berth in the Greenfield slip near UWM’s School of Freshwater Sciences. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, her 2020 spring survey of all five Great Lakes has been canceled. Surveys done in spring and fall monitor the status and trends of the Great Lakes ecosystem.

Northern Lake Michigan
Monday;14:19 American Mariner went to anchor at off of Manistique MI to wait out the weather. 20:24 Calumet anchored off of Port Inland to wait for calmer winds to proceed to the loading dock.

S. Lake Michigan ports
Wilfred Sykes, Stewart J. Cort and Muntgracht were at Burns Harbor Monday night. Paul R. Tregurtha was unloading at Indiana Harbor. Eeborg was at S. Chicago.

Stoneport, MI – Denny Dushane
The tug Clyde S. VanEnkevort and barge Erie Trader were due to arrive on Monday in the early evening hours to load. Two vessels are expected for Tuesday with the Herbert C. Jackson due first in the early morning hours followed later in the morning by the tug Victory and barge Maumee also. All times listed are estimates and may change due to weather and winds.

Northern Lake Huron
Calcite: Monday:9:59 Great Republic departed for Buffington. 12:49 Joyce Van Enkevort arrived to load limestone.

Stoneport: Monday; 19:20 Clyde S Van Enkevort arrived to load limestone.

Due to gale force winds on Monday several boats went to anchor to wait out the weather. Lake Huron; 8:45 CSL Assiniboine anchored off of Tawas Bay. 14:35 Mississagi anchored at the Alpena anchorage.14:35 Algoma Conveyor anchored at the Sarnia anchorage.14:50 Robert S Pierson anchored off of White Rock MI.

Calcite, MI – Denny Dushane
The tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader continued to load at Calcite on Monday and they were expected to depart from the South Dock on Tuesday in the early morning hours. Two vessels are expected to arrive for Tuesday with the H. Lee White due in first during the early morning hours for the South Dock to load. Also due in for Tuesday is the Kaye E. Barker in the early afternoon for the South Dock to load. Due in for Wednesday are two more arrivals with the Manitowoc expected first in the early morning hours for the South Dock. The John J. Boland is also due in for Wednesday in the late evening for the North Dock to load also. All times are estimates and may change due to the weather and high winds.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
At 9:15 am CSL Welland was downbound. H. ee White was upbound at 9am. Federal Churchill at noon was followed closely by Saginaw at 12:30pm both downbound. Spruceglen passed at6:30 pm upbound. Herbert C. Jackson arrived and tied up at the stoneyard with the first load of the season at 7pm. weather quite chilly at 37 degrees F with stiff steady winds from the west, mostly cloudy.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H.
Monday Arrivals: Leo A MacArthur/John J Carrick-arrived at the Marathon Asphalt Terminal to load. Kaye E Barker-arrived at AK Steel to unload ore.

Toledo, OH – Denny Dshane
The Algoma Sault arrived at the CSX Coal Dock on Monday in the morning hours to load. As of 12:20 p.m. on Monday they still had 147 cars left to load. Also due at CSX to load is the Saginaw on Tuesday during the late evening hours. They will be arriving at the Coal Dock after they unload a grain cargo from Thunder Bay. At the Torco Dock the tug Victory and their barge Maumee were expected to arrive on Monday in the evening to unload. Also due at Torco is the Hon. James L. Oberstar on Tuesday in the early morning hours. Two vessels arrived in port for "temporary lay-up" the first to arrive was the tug Laura L. VanEnkevort along with their barge Joseph H. Thompson. They arrived at the Torco/Lakefront Docks in the late evening hours on Sunday. Arriving for "temporary lay-up" in the early morning hours on Monday was the Edwin H. Gott. They proceeded to the CSX #2 Dock. Also in port on Monday was the saltwater vessel Wigeon which arrived on April 4 and continued to unload cargo at the Midwest International Dock. Upon departure they are headed to Thunder Bay next. The Cuyahoga also arrived in port early on Monday morning with a grain cargo from Thunder Bay for one of the grain elevators. The tug Margaret and barge Albert departed Toledo during the day on Sunday and headed to Detroit to fuel and later on to Green Bay.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Federal Hunter due at the port docks at 19:30 Monday. American Spirit is due to arrive to the Bulk Terminal but looks to be waiting out weather off of Pelee Island. Calusa Coast was still at the Marathon dock, American Courage is running the shuttles and Isadora was at Dock 24E at the Port.

Lorain, OH –Bill Kloss
Radcliffe R. Latimer due in to the Jonick dock at 03:00 to load salt.

Buffalo, NY – Craig E. Speers
Federal Oshima is docked at the Lackawanna Bethlehem Steel bulk port apparently loading coal. Destination unknown. USCG Hollyhock made a brief venture into the harbor on Sunday.

Toronto, ON – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit was at Lehigh Cement Dock on Monday afternoon.

Seaway – René Beauchamp
Happy River will leave Montreal Monday night for Burns Harbor. Caroline will follow later on. Due to very strong winds forecasted for Monday night, it is possible that the departures may be postponed until Tuesday.

 

Time-lapse video shows U.S. Coast Guard ship cruising through Soo Locks

4/14 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – Seemingly everything is closed amid the outbreak of COVID-19 in Michigan. But not the Soo Locks. Shipping continues to be a vital part of America’s supply chain and as the gateway between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes, the locks in Sault Ste. Marie are more important now than ever.

The crew shared a time-lapse video of the 225-foot vessel traveling through the Soo Locks on Wednesday, April 8. View it at this link: https://www.mlive.com/news/2020/04/time-lapse-video-shows-us-coast-guard-ship-cruising-through-soo-locks.html

 

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”.

 

Significant Great Lakes beach, dune erosion expected with Monday’s high winds

4/13 - Homeowners along Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are being warned to brace for a day of high winds, shoreline erosion and possible flooding problems Monday as a strong low pressure system takes aim at the Great Lakes.

Heavy snow is forecast for the Upper Peninsula starting Sunday night. By Monday, a long-duration high wind event packing gusts as high as 60 mph will create problems up and down the shoreline of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. These dune-eating conditions are expected to target stretches where high water and beach erosion have already sent some lakeshore homes tumbling down bluffs toward the water.

Gale Warnings have been issued for both lakes ahead of the storm, which is also expected to bring down tree limbs, causing power outages across the state.

“The erosion ... is looking to be significant, given the 12-24 hours of gale force winds,” meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids said in their recent forecast update. “Roughly 12 hours of the 24 (Monday during the day) look to be high-end gale. So serious erosion will take place on Monday and continue into Monday night with a loss of property as the toe of the dune is eroded by large waves and high water levels, allowing for property on the top of the dune to fall down the bluff.”

“Property owners on the lakeshore should take precautions as much as they can today and prepare for a rough 24 hours beginning early Monday morning.”

According to the NWS, most of us in Michigan should feel the winds ramp up between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Monday. In port towns, along Lake Michigan, sustained west-northwest winds of around 30 mph will likely push waters back into channels and cause localized flooding. Waves along Lake Michigan could reach 14 feet.

“We are expecting high-end gale force winds of 45 knots (52 mph). We cannot rule out a few storm-force gusts to around 50 knots (57 mph), especially downwind of the longer fetch from Muskegon to South Haven ... .” NWS said.

Read more at this M Live link: https://www.mlive.com/weather/2020/04/significant-great-lakes-beach-dune-erosion-expected-with-mondays-high-winds.html

 

Port Reports -  April 13

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Alpena arrived Duluth at 17:27 on Easter Sunday and moored at the Lafarge terminal, where she went into temporary layup. She has a storage cargo of cement on board from her namesake port which will eventually be unloaded. Algoma Enterprise finished unloading her salt cargo at Compass Minerals, departed light at 17:59, and anchored off Superior to clean her holds. Michipicoten was inbound at 19:04 to load iron ore pellets at Canadian National. Isolda was due at 21:30 to load wheat at CHS, however it was unknown whether she would be arriving right away or anchoring for inspections first. Also in port on Sunday were James R. Barker, laid up at SMET, and Federal Nagara, at anchor waiting to load at Riverland Ag. In Superior, CSL Laurentien arrived at 11:59 to load iron ore at BN. She is expected to depart early Monday morning, at which time Algoma Enterprise should arrive to load.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Joseph L. Block departed Two Harbors on April 12th at 05:20 for Indiana Harbor. Arriving Two Harbors on April 12th at 06:46 for South of #2 was the Indiana Harbor. As of 19:30 she was still at the ore dock. The Presque Isle is due Two Harbors on the 12th around 22:00-22:30. As of 19:30 she was North of Devil's Island. Two Harbors has no inbound traffic scheduled for April 13th. There's a possibility the Mesabi Miner could arrive late on the 13th, but probably early on the 14th. Northshore Mining had no traffic on April 12th and none scheduled for April 13th.

Thunder Bay, ON
Saturday 21:40 Saginaw departed Toledo. Sunday; 7:58 CSL St Laurent arrived and went to anchor north of the Current River entrance. 15:18 Algoma Strongfield shifted from the G3 elevator to the main anchorage.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic Sunday included CSL Welland, Federal Churchill, Saginaw and, after dark, Hon. James L. Oberstar and Walter J. McCarthy Jr. Upbounders included Federal Biscay, Kaministiqua and, late, Mesabi Miner.

Grand Haven, MI
Calumet was in port unloading on Easter Sunday.

S. Lake Michigan ports
Roger Blough was unloading at Gary Sunday night. Manitowoc was at Indiana Harbor. Eeborg was at S. Chicago. Wilfred Sykes is due at Burns Harbor Monday.

Stoneport, MI – Denny Dushane
There were no vessels loading on Sunday and none were expected until Monday when the tug Clyde S. VanEnkevort along with their barge Erie Trader is due to arrive in the late afternoon to load. Two vessels are expected for Tuesday with the Herbert C. Jackson due in during the early morning hours to be followed later in the morning by the tug Victory and barge Maumee. All times listed are estimates and may change due to the weather and high winds forecasted for Monday.

Northern Lake Huron
Alpena: Sunday; 2:35 Great Republic departed for Calcite.

Calcite: Saturday; 10:55 Wilfred Sykes arrived to load limestone and departed at 20:13 for Burns Harbor. Sunday; 18:25 Great Republic arrived to load.

Calcite, MI – Denny Dushane
The Great Republic was expected to arrive on Sunday during the early afternoon hours to load at the South Dock. Two vessels are expected for Monday with the tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader due in first in the morning hours for the South Dock to load. Also due in for Monday is the H. Lee White in the late evening for the South Dock to load. All times listed are estimates and may change due to the weather and high winds forecasted for Monday.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Mississagi was expected early Monday.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
A gloomy Easter Sunday saw the arrival of the Robert S. Pierson to the Saginaw River. Traveling upriver to unload at the Sargent Dock in Zilwaukee, this was the Pierson's first visit to the Saginaw River since October 10, 2016, when they unloaded at the same dock.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Sunday Arrivals: Florence Spirit-arrived at Zug Island to load coke. Sam Laud-arrived at Zug Island to load steel byproducts. Iver Bright-arrived at the Buckeye Terminal to unload.

Toledo, OH
The Algoma Sault is now due at the CSX Coal Dock to load on Monday in the early morning hours. Also due at CSX to load is the Saginaw. They are due in on Tuesday in the evening hours. At the Torco Dock, the tug Victory and barge Maumee are expected to arrive on Monday in the early morning hours. Also due at Torco is the Hon. James L. Oberstar on Monday in the mid-afternoon hours. All times listed are estimates only and may change due to the weather and high winds forecasted for Monday.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Herbert C. Jackson departed 09:52 for Marblehead, arriving at 14:55. American Courage is delivering a shuttle to ArcelorMittal Steel. Sam Laud departed at 16:53 on Saturday and arrived in Detroit at 01:05 on the 12th.

Lorain, OH – Bill Kloss
John D. Leitch departed Lorain at 02:09 for Sandusky, arriving at 06:52, where she will load coal at Norfolk Southern for Hamilton.

Fairport, OH – Bill Kloss, Ken Krol
Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader arrived from Calcite at 04:24 Sunday with stone for the Osborne dock. They departed at 14:02. Algoma Innovator arrived at 15.40 and started unloading at the AMCOR dock silos at approximately18.30.

Toronto, ON – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit arrived early Sunday afternoon at the Lehigh Cement Dock.

 

Volunteers needed for many roles in support of the BoatNerd site

4/13 -  Please e-mail help@boatnerd.com if you are interested in volunteering. Here are some of the areas that need to be covered.

 News Page Port Reports
We are seeking reporters to send in daily activity summaries from the following ports: Lake Erie ports (Cleveland, Ashtabula, Sandusky, Toledo)

Automated Vessel Passage Fact Checker  BoatNerd.Com/Passage
Because this is an automated system we need volunteers to help with verifying data and entering cargo information. You could help out once a week or once a day, our hope is to get a strong group of volunteers to help keep the additional information accurate and up to date.
When: Now
How often: As much as you like

AIS receivers http://ais.boatnerd.com
When: ongoing:
How often: One time install, with occasional reboots

We would like to expand the AIS receivers to better fill some of the gaps in the system. If you have an existing system (HAMS) or are sharing with a service like Marinetraffic.com you can share your data with us. If you would like to host a receiver please e-mail, all that is needed is a location close to the water with an always on Internet connection and area to mount a small antenna externally or in an attic.

These areas have the largest gaps:

Lake Erie:
North shore, Port Stanley to Port Burwell and Long Point Bay: Nanticoke / Port Dover
Fairport, Ohio
Conneaut, Ohio

Lake Huron:
Bruce Peninsula
Tobermory, Georgian Bay and Manitoulin Island/ North Channel

Lake Michigan
Port Inland

Lake Superior
Anywhere on the North and East Shores
Grand Marais North Shore
Munising to Grand Marais South Shore
Ashland to Copper Harbor

Lake Ontario
Most, Port Weller to Cape Vincent
Oshawa
Colbourg

BoatNerd Site Content
When: Starting Summer?
How often: As much as you like

We will be updating the site and asking for volunteers to help move, create and maintain content. This is across the site including photo galleries, News Page and Facts & Figures section. Knowledge of Wordpress or Photoshop would be helpful.

BoatNerd News Photo Gallery
When: Summer?
How often: as much as you like
This would involve processing user-submitted photos and posting them to a Wordpress photo gallery. Knowledge of Wordpress or Photoshop would be helpful.

 We’d like to thank everyone for responding. We will do our best to keep all volunteers up to date on the redesign process.

 

Capt. Eric Treece shares drone freighter footage from 2019 season

4/13 - Footage shot when killing time in port of a few Great Lakes ships as they transited through DeTour, MI and near Sault Ste. Marie, MI. View at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMkbHIRTyH

 

 

Cliffs Victory video available on YouTube

4/13 - If you missed the recent Boatnerd presentation on the conversion and delivery voyage of the Cliffs Victory, you can view it on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PODoyrcjMOc

 

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

 

Port Reports -  April 12

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
After spending the last few weeks working aids to navigation in the Straits of Mackinac, the USCG cutter Alder returned to her home port at 09:00 Saturday morning. Algoma Enterprise arrived at 13:23 with a load of salt for Compass Minerals. Federal Nagara arrived offshore and put her anchor down at 14:30 for inspections. She is expected to arrive on Monday to load wheat at Riverland Ag. There was no traffic in Superior on Saturday, however the Enterprise will shift down to BN to load iron ore once she finishes unloading.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
CSL Welland departed Two Harbors on April 11th at 02:25 for Quebec City. The Walter J. McCarthy Jr. got underway off Duluth on April 10th at 23:20 and arrived Two Harbors at 03:00 on the 11th for South of #2. She departed Two Harbors on April 11th at 17:34 for Gary. Arriving Two Harbors on the 11th was the Joseph L. Block at 11:48 for North of #2 lay-by. She shifted to South of #2 between 18:00 and 18:18. Due Two Harbors on April 12th are the Indiana Harbor and the Presque Isle. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay had no traffic on April 11th and none scheduled for April 12th.

Thunder Bay, ON
Saturday: Destination updates; Blair McNeil is bound for Baie Comeau, Baie St Paul for Montreal and Cuyahoga for Toledo. 2:59 Algoma Strongfield arrived at the G3 elevator to load wheat. 6:16 Saginaw arrived at the Superior Elevator to load grain. 10:22 Federal Cedar arrived at Viterra A to load wheat. 14:51 Federal Bering arrived and went to anchor.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on a busy Saturday included CSL St-Laurent, Alpena (headed to Superior for temporary layup), Isolda, Ojibway, Presque Isle, Michipicoten (from Algoma) and Lee A. Tregurtha. Downbounders included CSL Niagara, American Spirit, Blair McKeil, Baie St. Paul, Cuyahoga and, late, Paul R. Tregurtha. Manitoulin was at Algoma Steel. At 11 p.m., Federal Churchill was anchored in the upper river, while Algoma Equinox was on the hook off Lime Island.

Manistee, MI – Michael Smith
Manitowoc was the first vessel of the season on Saturday, arriving at the TES Filer City station to unload coal.

S. Lake Michigan ports
Burns Harbor remained at her namesake port unloading Saturday night. Calumet was at Indiana Harbor. John J. Boland was at S. Chicago.

Cedarville, MI – Denny Dushane
There were no vessels scheduled Saturday and none are due in for Sunday. Due to arrive on Monday is a return visit from the American Mariner. They are expected to arrive in the early evening hours to load. Due in for Tuesday is the tug Undaunted along with their barge Pere Marquette 41. They are expected to arrive during the early evening hours to load. Rounding out the schedule and due to arrive on Wednesday is the Wilfred Sykes in the late morning hours to load.

Port Inland, MI – Denny Dushane
There were no vessels due in or expected on Saturday and none are due in for Sunday. Due to arrive on Monday is the Calumet in the late morning hours to load. There are no vessels scheduled for Tuesday and also for Wednesday. Rounding out the schedule is the Joseph L. Block which is due in on Thursday in the early morning hours to load.

Northern Lake Huron
Port Dolomite: Friday; 22:39 Wilfred Sykes departed for Calcite.

Calcite: Friday; 21:56 Clyde S Van Enkevort departed for Fairport.10:55 arrived to load limestone.

Alpena: Saturday 0:14 The cement carrier Alpena departed for Superior and temporary la up. 2:11 Samuel De Champlain arrived to load cement products and departed at 13:31 for Milwaukee. 16:35 Great Republic arrived to unload slag.

Essexville: Saturday 7:30 Algoma Innovator arrived to unload potash and departed at 16:05 for Lorain.

Port Inland: Saturday; Mississagi departed for Sombra.

Calcite, MI – Denny Dushane
A busy Easter weekend at Calcite's Docks had the Wilfred Sykes due in on Saturday at noon for the South Dock to load. Also expected in for Sunday is the Great Republic in the late morning hours to load at the South Dock. The tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader are also due in for Sunday in the early evening for the South Dock to load. Rounding out the schedule is the H. Lee White. They are due to arrive on Monday in the early evening hours for the South Dock to load.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
At 2:30am Saturday Algoma Equinox was upbound north of St. Clair approaching Stag Island, Lee A. Tregurtha was passing the Pine River in St. Clair upbound and Great Republic was in the south channel nearing Russell Island also upbound. Laura Vanenkevort/Joseph Thompson passed MC @8:30am downbound. Muntgracht passed @10:45am upbound. Federal Biscay was upbound @11:30am. Tim S. Dool was downbound @ 1:30pm as was Clyde Vanenkevort/Erie Trader @2:15. KAministiqua was upbound @ 4:30pm. Sunny today, light winds from the south-southwest, temp in the mid 50s.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
Algoma Innovator was inbound on the Saginaw River just after sunrise on Saturday morning. She was headed upriver to the North Star Fertilizer Dock in Essexville to unload.

Toledo, OH
Algoma Sault is expected to arrive at the CSX Coal Dock to load on Sunday in the late morning hours. Also due at CSX to load is the Saginaw on Wednesday in the early morning hours. At the Torco Dock, expected to arrive there is the tug Victory and barge Maumee on Monday during the early morning hours. Also due at Torco is the Hon. James L. Oberstar on Monday in the morning hours. The Great Republic departed from Toledo on Friday after loading a cargo at the Midwest International Terminal Dock. They were headed to Alpena next to unload. Vessels that remain laid-up now include the American Valor and Manistee at the Hocking Valley Dock both of which are in long term-lay-up, Philip R. Clarke laid-up at the Old Interlake Iron Co. Dock near the shipyard and drydock, also laid-up is the American Century at the CSX #3 Dock, Arthur M. Anderson at the CSX #1 Dock and the St. Clair is also laid-up at the Torco/Lakefront Dock from its fire in February 2019.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Mesabi Miner departed at 12:50 Saturday for Two Harbors after delivering to the Bulk Terminal. Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader arrived at 14:29 for the Bulk Terminal. Herbert C. Jackson arrived from Marblehead at 14:45 for Ontario Stone's lower dock. Polsteam' Isadora was at the Port at Dock24W, arriving at 11:53.

Lorain, OH – Ken Krol & Bill Kloss
After spending the night anchored offshore due to rough lake conditions, the John G. Leitch was able to enter the Black River in Lorain at 0800. Shortly thereafter they arrived at the Jonick Dock and Terminal and began unloading a cargo of coke breeze.

Picton, ON – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit at Lehigh Cement on Saturday afternoon.

 

COVID ‘I-don’t-knows’ concern freighter crews on Great Lakes

4/12 - Alpena, MI - Uncertainty is the worst part. Thomas Flanner, wheelsman on the Philip R. Clarke, will leave home Sunday, headed by bus to Toledo to prepare for his freighter’s first outing of the season. He’s not sure what to expect when he gets there.

Rumor has it that, once they get on, crew members might not be able to get off the boat for 30 days. “That would suck,” Flanner said. “I’m not going to beat around the bush.”

The coronavirus pandemic keeping millions of Americans in their homes may keep Great Lakes freighter crews from setting foot on land for weeks at a time, all in an effort to promote safety through social distancing.

Two people in Presque Isle County, an Onaway paramedic and her husband, have been infected with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. No cases have been reported in Alpena, Montmorency, or Alcona counties. Statewide, nearly 23,000 cases and nearly 1,300 deaths have been reported.

Though there have been signs of hope, restrictions meant to prevent the spread of the disease continue to be announced. On Friday, the U.S. Forest Service said recreation facilities and restrooms are shut down and trash service is suspended in the Huron-Manistee National Forest, which encompasses a portion of Alcona County.

Meanwhile, the people who run the big boats on the big lakes are facing the same safety decisions as the rest of the country.

‘PUT YOU IN PRISON’
In a normal year, “fit out” — when ships are prepared for sailing after a winter at port — happens mid-March, Flanner, the Clarke wheelsman, said. This year, his ship’s shove-off date got later and later, whether because of the coronavirus or an unsteady economy caused by coronavirus-related shutdowns, he’s not sure.

The crew, anxious to hear how the virus that’s so drastically changed so many lives will affect them, is talking a lot, wondering, surmising. In the confined space of even a big boat, crew members can’t get away from each other, Flanner said. “We can only go 770-some feet each way,” Flanner said.

With tiny sleeping quarters, limited dining spaces usually packed shoulder-to-shoulder, and miles of water their only neighbor, the six-foot separation health officials want only goes so far in stopping the spread of sickness, said Flanner, recalling bouts of the flu shared among everyone onboard.

The thought of not being allowed off when their ship comes to port is disheartening, said Flanner, an Alpena resident who wants to stretch his legs in familiar territory when his freighter stops in Rogers City for a load of limestone. “It’s like, ‘Hey, we’re going to put you in prison 30 days, and you’ve done nothing wrong,'” Flanner said.

The company that owns his freighter has its hands full making decisions to keep its crews safe, Flanner said, and has promised it would fill them all in on the details when they get to their ship. In the meantime, the tight-knit crew that meets for wintertime steak-fries and is like a family continue to wonder what to expect. “Our main concern is the I-don’t-knows,” Flanner said.

‘COULD BE THE SAFEST PLACE IN AMERICA’
The answers are coming, said James Weakley, president of the Lake Carriers Association, an organization that advocates for and provides guidance to 13 companies operating 46 Great Lakes vessels.

The owners of the freighters and tug barges that deliver the iron ore, stone, and other materials that keep many of America’s businesses running have been scrambling to implement safety measures to make sure their boats can keep sailing and their sailors can stay healthy, Weakley said.

Some may think being trapped onboard a vessel during a pandemic is scary, he conceded. “It could be,” Weakley said. “Or, it could be the safest place to be in America.”

Sailors will be vetted for symptoms before getting onboard, those with symptoms sent away to self-quarantine for 14 days. At port, human interaction will be severely limited.

Food and mail deliveries will be accomplished by way of cranes and baskets lowered by a hoist. The steel cables that secure a freighter to the dock will be handled by someone on shore, not by a crew member hopping off the ship to help. Ladders usually used to board the boats may not be lowered, discouraging human contact as much as possible.

Ship-to-shore communications usually handled by a friendly face-to-face chat on the dock will be accomplished by email or cell phone or a holler over the rails of the boat. Some crew members may, indeed, be asked to stay onboard when ships come to port, Weakley said, but that decision is up to the individual company. Anyone who does go onshore would need to be rescreened before being allowed onboard.

If a sailor were to develop COVID-19 symptoms, they would be quarantined onboard, their condition reported to the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Great Lakes freighters are never more than 24 hours from the nearest port, should a crew member need to be taken to medical help. In an emergency, someone could be removed from a ship by helicopter or small boat.

No confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been found on Great Lakes vessels, Weakley said. A few suspected cases have led to crew members being dropped off when their ships docked. Afterward, work spaces were cleaned, the vessels were sterilized, “and then we keep sailing,” Weakley said.

‘YOU KIND OF HAVE TO’
Aboard an 845-foot tug barge loaded with stone, First Mate Jeffrey Idalski had just gotten a letter with the news: no crew changes for the next four to six weeks. “We’re kind of told we have to stay on the boat,” Idalski explained. “You don’t really have to, but, you kind of have to.”

Half a mile from the home he left behind almost a month ago when his ship fitted out for the season, Idalski couldn’t hop off and visit family, though he had been docked at Carmeuse Lime and Stone in Rogers City for two days. That’s OK, Idalski said: “I don’t want to bring anything back to the boat.”

His company is taking safety seriously, Idalski said, implementing numerous precautions to help crew members socially distance even in a small space. Mealtimes in the galley are staggered, with no more than four people allowed to eat at one time, each provided individually wrapped utensils. Rooms are cleaned meticulously, more so if anyone leaves or someone new comes onboard. Hand sanitizer, which he called liquid gold, is kept handy and used often.

He’s heard rumors some companies are having to lay up their ships and send crews home, not because of illness onboard but because there isn’t enough work to keep the freighters running.

With America’s industry throttled by drastic measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus, companies like the Big Three car manufacturers in Detroit halting production, the steel and concrete made with the raw materials carried by the big ships isn’t needed in the same quantities as in recent years.

Blast furnaces that turn iron ore pellets to steel are shutting down all over, from Toledo to Cleveland to Gary, Indiana, Idalski said.

Originally scheduled to haul iron ore early in the season, Idalski’s ship now has almost entirely rock deliveries on its schedule — including the limestone plentiful at Carmeuse, the Lafarge North America plant in Alpena, and the Lafarge Presque Isle Quarry near Grand Lake.

The need for stone — used in creating roads, laying sidewalks, or building new hospital wings — keeps it a viable commodity even in a tough economic market, Idalski said, recalling a recession in 2009 when the freighter industry was kept afloat by an economic stimulus that called for the building of new roads.

A little worried he won’t be working long, wondering when he’ll be able to get off his ship, Idalski continues to keep his distance from his crewmates, wash his hands, and do his work in good spirits. “I know we’re all in the boat together,” Idalski said. “But we’re all doing what we can.”

View images at this link: https://www.thealpenanews.com/news/local-news/2020/04/covid-i-dont-knows-concern-freighter-crews-on-great-lakes

 

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.

 

ArcelorMittal laying off new hires at Burns Harbor; Gary Works idling blast furnace

4/11 - NW Indiana – The Region's steel industry woes are escalating as ArcelorMittal is laying off new hires at Burns Harbor and U.S. Steel is idling another blast furnace at Gary Works. Steel mills have been suffering after the coronavirus pandemic has shuttered auto plants, which account for much of their business, and caused orders to decline.

"At Gary Works, we are temporarily idling blast furnace #8 in line with current conditions. We will resume blast furnace production when market conditions improve," U.S. Steel spokeswoman Meghan Cox said. "We are not in a position to speculate about the length of the idling. There are no immediate impacts to employees, but we will continue to evaluate in line with future conditions."

Late last month, U.S. Steel indefinitely idled blast furnace #4 at Gary Works in response to the escalating public health crisis.

ArcelorMittal is idling the Indiana Harbor #3 blast furnace and the Indiana Harbor #4 blast furnace in East Chicago, as well as the Cleveland #6 blast furnace, leaving it with just four blast furnaces running in the United States during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Luxembourg-based steelmaker, which employs about 10,000 workers in Northwest Indiana, notified the United Steelworkers union that it is laying off probationary employees with fewer than two years at both the ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor steel mill in East Chicago and the ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor steel mill in Porter County, United Steelworkers District 7 Director Mike Millsap said.

"I don’t know how many members are getting laid off, as the company just told us," he said.

The USW said in a message to members that all probationary employees at Burns Harbor would be terminated as of April 12. The union local at ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor also was told the company planned to lay off all employees with less than two years on the job at the steel mill on Lake Michigan in East Chicago.

Steelworkers across the South Shore also have been losing out on overtime that many have come to expect and rely on for household income.

"The devastation of COVID-19 has altered our lives and our industry. Steel orders are decreasing and some delivery dates are being pushed back or canceled. In response to this, the company has informed us of their intention to change or modify schedules based on business and production needs," USW Local 6787 President Pete Trinidad Sr. said in an update to members. "They also will be closely monitoring and restricting overtime, where necessary, in an effort to further reduce their operating costs. We are not in agreement with these decisions. We contend, the company’s most valuable asset is the people. Adding additional crews and work days in a challenging climate will only add further hazards to our jobs. We will continue to encourage the company to do what is best for the people during this global crisis."

 

Tufty the first salty to arrive at Thunder Bay in 2020

4/11 - Thunder Bay, ON – There wasn’t a top-hat ceremony to celebrate the milestone, but the first ocean-going vessel of the shipping season has arrived in Thunder Bay. The motor vesel Tufty, which arrived on Friday morning at the Richardson Main elevator, was the first salty in port for 2020.

Normally a ceremony is held to honor the ship's captain, in this case, Denys Bushuyev. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, strict measures have been put in place to prevent the spread of the infection in order to allow for the movement and supplies to consumers.

The Tufty is loading a shipment of amber durum grain, which is destined for Italy. Demand continues to grow as consumers stockpiling staple foods during lockdowns.

The ship is owned by Montreal-based Canfornav, one of the largest ocean-going companies sailing the Great Lakes.

TBNewswatch

 

Port Reports -  April 11

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Paul R. Tregurtha finished loading her ore cargo at Canadian National in Duluth early Friday morning and was outbound at 07:22 for Indiana Harbor, at which point Manitoulin shifted from CN's berth 6 to begin loading. Later in the day, Federal Churchill departed from Riverland Ag at 16:48 loaded with wheat, and Manitoulin was outbound from CN at 17:31. James R. Barker remains laid up at SMET. In Superior on Friday, CSL Niagara departed at 06:00 with a load of iron ore pellets from BN, and Stewart J. Cort arrived from anchor 45 minutes later to load. She was still at the dock as of Friday evening with an unknown departure time.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
CSL Welland arrived Two Harbors for South of #2 on April 10th at 08:50. As of 18:30 she is still at the dock. She is probably loading for Quebec City. Due Two Harbors on the 10th was the Walter J. McCarthy Jr., but instead she went to anchor off Duluth at 16:45 to await the Two Harbors dock. Due Two Harbors on April 11th is the Joseph L. Block. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay saw the American Spirit depart on the 10th at 09:20 for Cleveland. There is no inbound traffic scheduled for Northshore Mining on April 11th.

Thunder Bay, ON
Thursday: 19:52 Blair McKeil arrived at the Superior Elevator to load grain. Friday: 8:59 The first saltie of the year, Tufty, arrived at 8:59 at the Richardson Main Terminal to load wheat. 9:14 Cuyahoga arrived at Thunder Bay Terminals to load coal. 12:47 Evans Spirit departed for Quebec City. 19:20 Blair McKeil departed. 19:39 Cuyahoga departed 19:54 Baie St Paul departed. All three vessels are down bound on Lake Superior.

St. Marys River
At daylight Friday, several vessels that were anchored in the lee of Whitefish Point, including Joseph L. Block, Victory/Maumee, Roger Blough and Michipicoten, all resumed their trips. Upbound traffic Saturday included Algoma Strongfield, Kaye E Barker, Federal Nagara, Federal Cedar, Federal Bering and Hon James L Oberstar. Downbounders included Tim S. Dool, Roger Blough, CSL Tadoussac

S. Lake Michigan ports
Burns Harbor and John J. Boland were at Burns Harbor Friday night.

Cedarville, MI – Denny Dushane
The Calumet became the first vessel to arrive at Cedarville for the 2020 shipping season. They arrived on Thursday, April 9 at 0451. Also arriving on Thursday was the American Mariner at 1550 on April 9. They went to anchor to await the departure of the Calumet. Also arriving on Thursday and anchoring for a clear dock was the Wilfred Sykes. The Sykes though is now listed for arrival at Calcite on Friday in the early evening to load. The American Mariner is scheduled to return on Monday, April 13 with no estimates or times given.

Port Inland, MI – Denny Dushane
The tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 became the first vessel to arrive and open Port Inland for the 2020 shipping season. They arrived on Thursday at 0448 on April 9 and departed at 1301 on April 9 headed for Ludington to unload. Also due at Port Inland with no estimates or times given were the following vessels the Mississagi on Friday, April 10 and the Calumet on Monday, April 13 and the Kaye E. Barker on Tuesday, April 14.

Stoneport, MI – Denny Dushane
The tug Laura L. VanEnekvort and barge Joseph H. Thompson continued to load on Friday at Stoneport. They arrived on Thursday in the evening and were expected to depart on Friday at noon. There are no vessels due in or scheduled on Saturday. Due in for Sunday is the Herbert C. Jackson in the evening to load. No vessels are due or scheduled on Monday. Two vessels are due on Tuesday, April 14 both early morning arrivals. Due first is the tug Joyce L. VanEnekvort and barge Great Lakes Trader followed later by the tug Victory and barge Maumee.

Northern Lake Huron

Alpena: Thursday; 19:57 Robert S Pierson departed for Windsor. Friday; 7:11 CSL St Laurent went to anchor in Thunder Bay MI probably to wait out weather.

Stoneport: Thursday; 21:57 Laura L Van Enkevort arrived to load lime stone and departed Friday at 16:34 for Ashtabula.

Meldrum Bay: Friday; 6:09 Kay E Barker departed for Marquette.

Port Dolomite: Thursday; 19:51 Calumet departed for Burns Harbor. 20:11 American Mariner weighed anchor and proceeded to the loading dock. Correction; Wilfred Sykes is at anchor waiting to load.

Port Inland: Friday; 19:10 Mississagi arrived to load lime stone.

Calcite, MI – Denny Dushane
The tug Clyde S. VanEnkevort and barge Erie Trader continued to load on Friday at the South Dock. They had arrived on Wednesday during the late afternoon hours and was the first arrival at Calcite for 2020. They were expected to depart on Friday at noon. Also expected to arrive on Friday was the Wilfred Sykes in the early evening hours for the South Dock to load.

Stoneport, MI – Denny Dushane
The tug Laura L. VanEnekvort and barge Joseph H. Thompson continued to load on Friday at Stoneport. They arrived on Thursday in the evening and were expected to depart on Friday at noon. There are no vessels due in or scheduled on Saturday. Due in for Sunday is the Herbert C. Jackson in the evening to load. No vessels are due or scheduled on Monday. Two vessels are due on Tuesday, April 14 both early morning arrivals. Due first is the tug Joyce L. VanEnekvort and barge Great Lakes Trader followed later by the tug Victory and barge Maumee.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
At 3:30 am Friday Gaia Desgagnes was downbound. CSL Laurentien was upbound at 4am. Lee Tregurtha was downbound at 6:15am. Robert S. Pierson was downbound at 8:15am. the salty EEborg was upbound at 9am and passed Mesabi Miner, downbound at 10:45 am, around Stag Island just north of St. Clair. Ojibway was upbound at 4:45pm, followed by the salty Isolda at 5:15pm. Isolda passed American Mariner off MC at 5:15pm. Mostly cloudy early with some sun off and on, high 30's, winds steady than gusty all day from the west-northwest.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Lee A Tregurtha unloaded ore at AK Steel on Friday

Toledo, OH
The Algoma Sault is expected to arrive at the CSX Coal Dock to load on Sunday in the late morning hours. Also due at CSX to load is the Saginaw on Tuesday, April 14 in the morning hours. At the Torco Dock, expected to arrive there is the tug Victory and barge Maumee on Sunday during the late evening hours. Also due at Torco is the Hon. James L. Oberstar on Monday in the morning hours. As was reported in Thursday's news reports, the Great Republic departed from their Winter Lay-Up berth at the Old Interlake Iron Company Dock. They then arrived at the Midwest Terminal Overseas Dock on Thursday to load a cargo where they continued loading on Friday. The updated list of vessels now wintering in Toledo include the following the American Valor and Manistee both of which are in long-term lay-up at the Hocking Valley Dock, Philip R. Clarke at the Old Interlake Iron Company Dock, American Century at the CSX #3 Dock, Arthur M. Anderson at CSX #1 Dock and the St. Clair is also at the Torco/Lakefront Docks where it remains from its fire in February 2019. The tug Albert and barge Margaret also remains laid-up. Two vessels that were in port on Friday included the Great Republic at the Midwest Terminal Overseas Dock loading a cargo. Also at the same dock was the saltwater vessel Wigeon unloading a cargo. They arrived in Toledo on April 4 and was the port's first Saltwater Vessel arrival.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
American Courage due in from lay up in Toledo at 18:00. Mesabi Miner and Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader are both due in tomorrow. Sam Laud remains on the shuttles.

Erie, PA – Jeff Benson
The Cason J. Callaway was raising steam Friday afternoon. The main boiler was up as well as the auxiliary boiler, generators were running too. CG Hollyhock was in Erie to set buoys, but due to high winds and waves they have been unable to do so. The Hollyhock was tied up at the South Pier practicing social distancing from the Erie Station.

Bay of Quinte, ON – Tom Brewer
The McKeil Spirit, on Friday night, was headed to Lehigh Cement at Picton, ON.

 

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.

 

Canadian crews agree to not go ashore due to coronavirus crisis

4/10 - Halifax, NS – Though international shipping lanes and Canada's major ports remain open for business, the COVID-19 pandemic is making life miserable for many seafarers. Under the latest rules, Canadian crews aboard most Canadian-flagged cargo vessels have agreed not to leave their ships when they arrive at their destinations, which means they can be restricted to their vessels for up to three months at a time.

The crews on some foreign-flagged ships, meanwhile, are being told they'll be stuck on their ships – without shore leave – for up to nine months. "It's a real stressful situation," Jim Given, president of the Seafarers' International Union of Canada, said in an interview Wednesday.

"That outside contact is being lost for those seafarers. As a maritime community, we're going to have to figure out how we handle this. Everybody is trying their best, but it's very difficult."

Helen Glenn, manager of the Mission of Seafarers, said her non-profit group is doing its best to help, even though the mission's building on the Halifax waterfront has been temporarily closed. Glenn said she has been making arrangements through shipping agents to contact each ship's captain via cellphone or email to determine what crew members need before their ship arrives at the Port of Halifax.

At the top of every shopping list is a request for cellphone SIM cards, which give users access to long-distance calling and the internet. "They would be unable to connect with their families without getting a data card or SIM card," Glenn said, adding that she and her volunteers no longer board the vessels. Instead, there's a brief exchange at the bottom of the gangway.

"It gives them the ability to make calls, send email, Skype and use FaceTime. Without these, they literally cannot reach their families."

Glenn said communication tools like Wi-Fi and satellite phones are often unavailable aboard cargo ships, which contributes to a sense of isolation. "Mental health during this tumultuous time is of the utmost importance, and these guys can't even get off the vessel," she said. "Shore leave is critical to their mental health. This situation is very sad."

However, Glenn said everyone in the shipping industry understands how important it is to keep commercial ships virus-free. Given, whose union represents about 90 per cent of the Canadian-flagged fleet of cargo vessels, said federal and provincial rules regarding shore leave has been changing in recent weeks.

"Right now, it's a bit all over the map, and we're trying to get it pinned down," said Given, whose organization speaks for about 6,000 non-officers working aboard bulk carriers, oil tankers, passenger ferries and other commercial cargo ships.

Given said Canada's shipping companies and their unions have agreed that crew members should not have shore leave to ensure they do not get infected with COVID-19. "We think that's the best way to keep our members safe and the economy rolling," he said in an interview from his home in St. Catharines, Ont. "Not all of our members are happy about being restricted on board the ship. Some of them still want to get off. Our job is to make sure they are safe."

However, Given agreed that mental health becomes a key concern when there are long stretches without shore leave. "We've given out numbers and our companies have employee-assistance programs set up so the members can call if they are feeling stressed or fatigued," he said, adding that talks are underway to determine if crews can work longer than three months at a time.

Some foreign shipping companies have already extended their crews' contracts by a month, and there are ongoing negotiations aimed at extending some contracts to a year.

"When you get to that length on board, it gets dangerous," Given says. "Fatigue sets in. There are stress factor that are enormous."

The Standard

 

Duluth’s first “saltie” of season arrives

4/10 - Duluth, MN – The first saltwater ship of the 2020 shipping season has made its way to Duluth. The Federal Churchill is a 656-foot ship from the Marshall Islands. The vessel is finishing up a full St. Lawrence Seaway transit for its first run of the year. The cargo ship is stopped at Duluth’s Riverland Ag to load up with wheat. It will start making its way across the ocean to Italy. View a video of the arrival here: https://www.fox21online.com/2020/04/08/first-saltie-of-season-arrives/

 

ArcelorMittal to lay off workers at Indiana Harbor steel mill in East Chicago

4/10 - East Chicago, IL – ArcelorMittal notified the United Steelworkers union that it plans to lay off steelworkers at the ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor steel mill in East Chicago. The Luxembourg-based steelmaker, which employs about 10,000 workers in Northwest Indiana, is idling the Indiana Harbor #3 blast furnace and the Indiana Harbor #4 blast furnace in East Chicago as well as the Cleveland #6 blast furnace, leaving it with just four blast furnaces running in the United States during the coronavirus pandemic.

The deadly viral outbreak has taken a major toll on the multinational steelmaker by shutting down auto plants across the country that account for roughly half the business at its integrated mills, including Indiana Harbor and Burns Harbor in Northwest Indiana.

"The company has mandated that all employees with less than two years be laid off. This is not in line with the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Our interpretation is that the company must offer voluntary layoffs before anybody is involuntarily laid off," United Steelworkers Local 1010 President Steve Wagner said in a letter to union members.

"The union has demanded a layoff minimization plan that is in line with the CBA. If the company imposes their own layoff plan unilaterally, we will fight to get employees back to work as soon as possible. Also, as in the past, we will be fighting to get all probationary employees call-back rights when business conditions improve. All nonprobationary employees that get laid off already have call-back rights."

Wagner and ArcelorMittal did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Multiple union members estimate the layoffs of those with fewer than two years potentially could affect hundreds of steelworkers at the mill in Indiana Harbor on the Lake Michigan shoreline.

The USW is objecting to the planned layoffs and also how the company has been handling its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

"The company is not following our Plan of Insurance & Benefits and recognizing employees quarantining at home as immediately disabling in regards to the 7-day waiting period," Wagner wrote in the letter to workers. "Under normal circumstances, the employees would be hospitalized and paid from day one.

"The company’s actions are encouraging sick employees to come to work and infect others. If the previous information isn’t upsetting enough, for laid off employees, the company also wants to take your weekly $600 Federal Stimulus unemployment insurance at a time when you and your family need money the most. We are disclosing this information to the membership after giving the company ample time to do the right thing. The process is ongoing and we will continue to communicate as information materializes."

Wagner urged the remaining workers at the steel mill to improve social distancing by keeping at least 6 feet apart and keeping groups to a minimum.

"We have been working to get the company to provide nonrespirator face masks/covers for several weeks. Now, there is an availability issue due to the lack of action on the company’s part," Wagner wrote.

"The company now states that masks are on order. In the interim, we recommend to provide and use your own face covers until supplies are available. Continue using social distancing, washing your hands, and cleaning your work and break areas. If we are not able to make the job safe, then we do not do the work. The right to refuse unsafe work has not changed."

NW Indiana Times

 

Port Reports -  April 10

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Manitoulin and Paul R. Tregurtha arrived Duluth under the same bridge lift Thursday afternoon; the former arrived at 12:38 and tied up at CN berth 6, while the latter followed at 12:57 and moored under the CN shiploader to take on iron ore pellets. The Tregurtha is expected to depart early Friday morning, at which point Manitoulin will begin loading. Also in port were Federal Churchill, loading wheat at Riverland Ag, and James R. Barker, sidelined at SMET. Reports indicate that the ship will remain laid up until the coal dock reopens, which may not happen for weeks. On the south side of the harbor, CSL Tadoussac arrived through Superior at 01:33 Thursday, loaded ore at BN, and was outbound at 10:53 for Nanticoke. Her fleetmate CSL Niagara entered port at 13:37 to load at Burlington Northern and is expected to depart early Friday morning. Stewart J. Cort was due Thursday evening but will more than likely go to anchor to wait for the Niagara.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
The Roger Blough departed Two Harbors on April 8th at 21:07 for Gary. Two Harbors had no traffic on April 9th. Due Two Harbors on April 10th are the CSL Welland and the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. An update on the Gott. She is heading for Nanticoke. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay saw the American Spirit arrive on April 9th at 13:51. There is no inbound traffic scheduled for Silver Bay on April 10th.

Thunder Bay, ON
Wednesday; 23:53 Tim S Dool finished loading and shifted to the anchorage. Thursday; 1:53 Algoma Innovator finished loading potash and shifted to the anchorage to wait out weather. 12:29 Algoma Innovator departed for Essexville. 12:35 Tim S Dool departed for Port Cartier. Both boats are following the north shore of Lake Superior due to the weather. 13:17 Evans Spirit arrived a the G3 elevator to load grain. 14:11 Baie St Paul arrived at Viterra A to load grain.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on a blustery Thursday included CSL Welland (early), Walter J. McCarthy Jr., Victory/Maumee (went to anchor for weather in the lee of Whitefish Point), Cuyahoga (from Algoma), Saginaw (to Algoma), Tufty, Anglian Lady and barge and Joseph L. Block. The upbound Federal Nagara was anchored off Lime Island and Algoma Strongfield was anchored above DeTour Thursday evening. Downbounders included Mesabi Miner early, Lee A. Tregurtha, Michipicoten (to Algoma), Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader, Edwin H Gott and Algoma Mariner. Algoma Enterprise remained anchored in Goulais Bay.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
Samuel de Champlain/Innovation was back at the Lafarge terminal in Milwaukee late Wednesday (4/8). After a nine-hour stay, the pair departed for Alpena at 07:23 Thursday (4/9). Federal Columbia arrived at 15:42 Thursday and headed for the Federal Marine Terminals dock on the outer harbor to unload steel. She departed Antwerp, Belgium, March 20, and is the first seaway vessel to visit the city in 2020. The first seaway vessel at Milwaukee last year was Polsteam's Irma. She arrived on April 12 and brought steel from IJmuiden, Netherlands. 24 foreign-flagged seaway vessels plus three cruise ships would call at Milwaukee in 2019. Also in port Thursday were G.L. Ostrander/Integrity, which has not yet left winter lay-up, and barge St. Marys Conquest, which is at the Kinnickinnic River terminal without her tug.

S. Lake Michigan ports
Indiana Harbor departed her namesake port on Thursday evening. Presque Isle was unloading at Gary.

Northern Lake Huron
Saginaw: Thursday; 3:43 Mississagi arrived to unload limestone and departed at 10:40

Alpena: Thursday; 3:15 The cement carrier Alpena arrived at the Lafarge plant to load. 12:07 Robert S Pierson arrived at the Thunder Bay River to unload road salt.

Meldrum Bay: Thursday 8:13 Kay E Barker arrived to load dolomite.

Port Dolomite: Thursday; 4:51 Calumet arrived to load. 15:30 American Mariner arrived and went to anchor. Wilfred Sykes arrived and went to anchor to wait out weather and for an open dock.

St Marys River: Thursday; Federal Nagara went to anchor off of Lime Island. Algoma Strongfield went anchor north of Detour to wait out weather.

Port Inland: Thursday 4:48 Undaunted arrived to load lime stone and departed at 13:01 for Ludington.

Alpena, MI – Ben & Chanda McClain
The Alpena arrived at Lafarge Thursday morning and loaded cement under the silos. It remained in port to wait out weather. Robert S. Pierson made a rare appearance at the Alpena Oil Dock on Thursday. It backed into the river around noon and unloaded road salt throughout the day, which was windy and snowy at times. The Pierson was outbound for the lake before 8 pm.

Calcite, MI – Denny Dushane
The tug Clyde S. VanEnkevort and barge Erie Trader arrived at Calcite on Wednesday in the late afternoon, thus becoming the first to load there for the 2020 shipping season. They were still loading on Thursday at the South Dock and was expected to depart at noon.

Stoneport, MI – Denny Dushane
The tug Laura L. VanEnkevort and barge Joseph H. Thompson were due to arrive on Thursday in the evening to load.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
Mississagi arrived on the Saginaw River late Wednesday night, traveling upriver to the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee to unload. She finished and was back outbound, headed for the lake by mid-morning on Thursday. Mississagi is the first vessel to travel up through the Bay City bridges and the first commercial delivery to the upper Saginaw River this season.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
T/B Laura L. Vanenkevort/Joseph Thompson was passing upbound in the early morning Thursday, followed by Federal Cedar also upbound. Algonova passed downbound @ 8am, while Algonorth was passing upbound in the early afternoon.CSL ST. Laurent was upbound at 3pm. Frontenac downbound passed Hon. James L. Oberstar upbound at 7:30pm just north of MC. Manitowoc was just entering the lower Detroit River at 7:30pm and should pass in the late evening or early morning hours of the 10th. Brief intermittent snow squalls all day, with a brief period of "thunder snow" around 1pm; temps in the low 40s, winds constant and stiff from the west producing heavy chop in the river.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Thursday Arrivals: Manitowoc arrived at Motor City Materials to unload slag. Hon. James L Oberstar arrived at AK Steel to unload ore.

Toledo, OH
Great Republic departed winter layup on Thursday. Manitowoc was expected to arrive at the CSX Coal Dock to load on Thursday in the late morning. Also due at CSX to load will be the Algoma Sault on Sunday in the morning. At the Torco Dock, due are the tug Victory and barge Maumee on Saturday during the late evening. Also due at Torco is the Hon. James L. Oberstar, expected to arrive on Monday in the morning hours. Algoma Strongfield departed layup on Wednesday morning from the Ironhead Marine Drydock after their 5-year survey was completed. AIS has them heading p to Thunder Bay to load. Also departing lay up on Wednesday in the morning was the American Courage. They anchored in the Toledo Anchorage for a time and departed late the in the evening. The updated list of vessels now wintering at Toledo include Philip R. Clarke at the Old Interlake Iron Company Dock, American Century at CSX #3 Dock, Arthur M. Anderson at the CSX #1 Dock and the St. Clair, which remains at the Torco/Lakefront Docks from its fire in February 2019. The tug Albert and barge Margaret also remain in lay-up.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Herbert C. Jackson unloaded at RiverDock and departed at 09:33 for Marblehead, arriving at 19:34. McKeil Spirit departed at 12:37 for Picton.

Lake Erie – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit down bound, in ballast, for the Welland Canal headed to Picton, Ont.

 

Soo Locks park closure continues due to COVID-19

4/10 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI - The park and observation platform at the Soo Locks has been closed to the public since mid-March. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers took that step to protect public safety and the essential employees that are keeping the locks and hydropower plants running. The Corps is working to comply with U.S. Army and local directives about social distancing and has implemented a telework policy for many of the 130 full time employees. Currently there is no estimated date when the park and Visitor Center may reopen. in Follow the SLVCA or U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District on Facebook to watch for news or updates on the situation.

Corps of Engineers

 

Expected saltwater vessels for Thunder Bay

4/10 - The following is a tentative list of expected saltwater vessel arrivals for the Port of Thunder Bay in the next week or so. All vessels are scheduled to be loading grain and wheat cargoes. The list is as follows:

April 10 - Tufty
April 11 - Federal Cedar
April 11 - Federal Bering
April 13 - Federal Nagara
April 14 - Wigeon
April 14 - Lyulin
April 14 - Federal Columbia
April 15 – Torrent

Denny Dushane

 

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.

 

Season’s first saltie scheduled to arrive in Duluth Wednesday night

4/9 - Duluth, MN – The first oceangoing vessel of 2020 was scheduled to arrive in the Port of Duluth-Superior Wednesday at approximately 8 p.m. Federal Churchill, a 656-foot ice-class bulk carrier owned by Montréal-based Fednav, will earn the First Ship distinction, completing the season’s first full transit of the St. Lawrence Seaway enroute to the Great Lakes’ westernmost port.

Upon arrival in Duluth, Federal Churchill will visit the Riverland Ag terminal to load approximately 23,000 short tons of durum wheat destined for Italy.

“Since the arrival of the first First Ship after the Seaway’s opening in 1959, generations of people in the Twin Ports have gathered to celebrate the first saltie sailing in, a true sign of spring and also of the prosperity these great ships help deliver to our region,” said Deb DeLuca, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. “This year, under the cloud of COVID-19, we can’t gather together in our usual ways, but we can still celebrate a sign of brighter days to come, and a cargo from our region that will help bring sustenance and hope to the people of Italy.”

Due to COVID-19 precautions, the annual First Ship celebration event will not be held this year, however, a fixture of the celebration – the First Ship contest, co-sponsored by Visit Duluth and the Duluth Seaway Port Authority – will crown a winner from more than 2,000 entries based on the official arrival time of Federal Churchill.

“Normally, this is the first sign of spring, and the excitement of the summer is right around the corner, unfortunately this year we are celebrating these signs in a different way,” said Duluth Mayor Emily Larson. “It’s amazing that even in an international pandemic, the Port Authority, and their partners are still hard at work helping to ship important products across the world.”

The first saltie’s arrival each season is a reminder that the Port of Duluth-Superior is truly Mid-America's gateway to the world. Situated 2,342 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean, Duluth-Superior is the Great Lakes' top tonnage port and one of the nation's top 20. It links North America’s heartland to regional and overseas markets, enabling producers and cargo owners to serve and compete in the global marketplace.

Riverland Ag, owned by Minnesota-based Ceres Global Ag Corp., is an agricultural grain storage and supply business. The company operates 14 grain storage facilities in Minnesota, North Dakota, Wyoming, New York, Wisconsin and Ontario. Founded more than 75 years ago, Fednav Limited is Canada’s largest oceangoing bulk shipping company. Fednav’s fleet consists of more than 120 bulk carriers. Fednav also operates 11 marine terminals in North America.

Federal Churchill is flying under the flag of the Marshall Islands and is captained by Arnab Roy of India. The ship was built in 2016 by Oshima Shipbuilding in Japan.

The latest arrival of the Port's first saltie was May 7, 2014 (Diana). The earliest was March 30, 2013 (Federal Hunter).

 

Port Reports -  April 9

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Michipicoten departed Duluth at 07:50 Wednesday morning with iron ore pellets from CN. Federal Churchill, which will be the first saltwater arrival in Duluth for 2020, was due at 20:00 to load wheat at Riverland Ag. There was no traffic in Superior on Wednesday, however CSL Tadoussac is due early Thursday to load at Burlington Northern. James R. Barker has gone into temporary layup at the Midwest Energy dock.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Edwin H. Gott arrived Two Harbors on April 7th at 23:50 for South of #2. She departed Two Harbors on April 8th at 07:58 (that's one of the fastest loads I've seen a 1,000 footer receive in Two Harbors). As of 19:30 her AIS hadn't been updated. Roger Blough arrived Two Harbors for South of #2 at 09:13. As of 19:30 she was still at the loading dock. Due Two Harbors on April 9th is the CSL Welland. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay saw the Mesabi Miner depart on April 7th at 20:45 for Cleveland. Arriving Silver Bay on April 8th at 00:30 was the Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader. She departed on the 8th at approx. 09:50 for Cleveland. Due Silver Bay on April 9th is the American Spirit.

Thunder Bay, ON
Wednesday; 0:21 Frontenac departed for Port Colborne. 6:20 Algoma Innovator arrived at Thunder Bay Terminals to load.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on a busy Wednesday included CSL Niagara early, followed by Paul R. Tregurtha, Manitoulin (from Algoma for Duluth), American Spirit, Algoma Enterprise (went to anchor in Goulais Bay, liely for weather), Evans Spirit, Stewart J. Cort, Cuyahoga, CSL Welland and, late, Blair McKeil and Saginaw. Downbounders included Algonova (from Soo, ON), Presque Isle, Calumet and, after dark, Frontenac, Burns Harbor and Mesabi Miner.

Sturgeon Bay, WI
Wilfred Sykes departed winter lay up late Wednesday evening.

Milwaukee, WI
Federal Columbia was in the Mackinac Straits late Wednesday with a Milwaukee destination.

S. Lake Michigan ports
Indiana Harbor was leaving Gary around 9 p.m. Wednesday.

Northern Lake Huron
Alpena: Wednesday; 1:57 Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 arrived at the Lafarge plant to unload and departed at 11:28 for Port Inland.

Calcite:
Wednesday; 17:45 Clyde S Van Enkevort arrived to load limestone.

Stoneport, MI – Denny Dushane
The revised schedule now has only the Herbert C. Jackson due to arrive on Sunday in the early morning to load.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Robert S. Pierson arrived 3.24 pm Wednesday and was loading at Compass Minerals. Tug Spartan and barge Spartan II cleared at 4.02 pm upbound for Ludington MI.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
Saginaw, Federal Columbia, and Mississagi passed upbound in the early morning Wednesday. Algoma Sault passed downbound at 1:30 pm. The salty Tufty passed with cargo holds getting an airing out as all hatches were open to a degree, upbound @ 1:45 pm. Alpena, Kaye E. Barker and John J. Boland all passed upbound between 3pm and 4:15pm. Ojibway and Manitowoc passed downbound between 4:45pm and 5:30pm. American Mariner was closely followed by Algoma Strongfield, both upbound at 5:45pm. Federal Nagara was expected to pass upbound in the late evening. Mostly sunny and 65F,winds light from the north in the am and the west in the pm. River calm.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Wednesday Arrivals: Florence Spirit arrived at Zug Island to load coke. Kaye E Barker arrived at Zug Island to unload coal. Petite Forte/St. Mary's Cement arrived at the St. Mary's Cement dock to unload cement.

Toledo, OH
The tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula were expected to arrive at the Torco Dock on Wednesday in the late evening. Also due at the Torco Dock are the tug Victory and barge Maumee on Saturday in the late evening. Manitowoc is expected at the CSX Coal Dock to load on Thursday in the late morning. Also due at CSX to load is the Algoma Sault, which is expected Sunday in the early morning. The first saltwater vessel to arrive in Toledo for the 2020 shipping season was the Wigeon of Liberian registration on April 4. They proceeded to the Midwest Terminal Overseas Dock to unload.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss & Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit arrived at 13:31 on the Tuesday for Lehigh Cement. Muntgracht departed a few hours after arriving yesterday and is in Erie, PA. Herbert C. Jackson will be delivering stone from Marblehead to RiverDock. The G tug Ohio was in Cleveland, coming from Toledo. Sam Laud is still on the shuttles.

Ashtabula, OH – Denny Dushane
Robert S. Pierson became the fifth vessel to depart from their winter quarters Tuesday in the late afternoon. Their AIS was showing a Goderich destination. This leaves the tug Invincible and also the tug Olive L. Moore and the barge Menominee laid up. Also expected to arrive is the Tecumseh from Windsor, Ontario.

 

Mailboat J.W. Westcott II starts season; lists COVID-19 restrictions

4/9 - Detroit, MI - The Detroit mailboat J.W. Westcott II was back in service as of Wednesday morning. However, as we navigate these difficult times, we have a few guidelines in place until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

• Visitors are not allowed on station. If you have official business we are open.
• You can still drop off packages for your loved ones on the ships.
• You can still drop of or pick up mail.
• You can still use the mailboat to attach or detach a vessel you are employed on.

However you will have to fill out a short health questionnaire and have your temperature taken.

• We ask that all deliveries take place curbside, you can call ahead 313-496-0555 or simply ring the doorbell, we are on duty 24/7.

• Please, if you are sick, feel sick or been around someone who is infected with the COVID-19 virus, do not use our service at this time. We are doing our best to stay healthy and do our part to support the movement of ships here on the Great Lakes.

Once this horrible time is over, please come on down. As in the past our doors are always open and our friendly crew loves visitors.

Capt. Sam Buchannan, J.W. Westcott Co.

 

2020 Seaway salties update

4/9 - The first saltwater vessel to enter the Great Lakes/Seaway system for the 2020 shipping season was the Tufty of Cyprus registry, which departed from Montreal on April 1 headed to Toronto with a cargo of sugar for the Redpath Dock. The first new visitor to the Great Lakes/Seaway system also departed Montreal on April 1. The tanker Atlantic Spirit of Marshall Islands registry headed to Clarkson, ON. This vessel visited the Great Lakes/Seaway system as the Adfines Star, a name that it carried from 2011 until 2020, when McKeil Marine Ltd. purchased the ship. It last visited as the Adfines Star during the 2019 shipping season.

Denny Dushane

 

Port director shares passion with award-winning photographs

4/9 - Monroe, MI - Paul LaMarre III knows that a picture really is worth a thousand words. The director of the Port of Monroe has a passion for the freighters, tugboats and barges that traverse the unforgiving waters of the Great Lakes. It’s a love that he inherited from his father, Paul LaMarre Jr. It’s an affection that was fostered by a lifetime around the water.

Like his father, LaMarre also has a passion for sharing his love of these vessels through his artwork. The port director was honored recently by the Great Lakes Seaway Partnership, which awarded a package of his photos with the first- place prize in their second annual photo contest.

Two of the winning photos were of the Interlake Steamship Company’s M/ V. Hon. James L. Oberstar, while the third was a picture of the M/ V. Gagliarda unloading at the Port of Monroe on her maiden Seaway voyage. Several other photos taken by LaMarre received honorable mention recognition.

“Its a blessing to have the access that allows me the opportunity to try to bring people closer to the action, let’s say,” LaMarre said. “ Everybody has their own unique niche. My niche has been getting vessels underway, open lake, which nobody else has really been doing.”

LaMarre has been photographing ships since he was 5. His father is a renowned figure in the Great Lakes maritime industry and an accomplished painter and photographer of the lakes and the vessels that call them home.

“I always say to this day, even at the port, I just want to be like my dad when I grow up and make him proud,” LaMarre said. “ I can tell you that I am as excited to show my dad a good boat picture that I have captured today as I was when I was a little kid.”

The tools LaMarre uses today to capture his breathtaking images are a far cry from the clunky cameras of his childhood. LaMarre uses a drone- mounted camera to capture photos of vessels underway. “Right now there’s only myself and one other guy who are getting the pictures with the drone off of a moving platform,” he said. “I was the first one to do it, fly it off a moving ship or tug and then have to recover it when you’re still on your way.”

While LaMarre’s unique technique allows him the opportunity to obtain truly one-of- a- kind images, it’s not without risks. LaMarre said he’s on his fifth drone and he’s ruined countless sets of propeller blades as he’s worked to fine-tune the process.

“Some SD cards are at the bottom of Lake Erie and Lake Huron at this point,” he said. “It is nerve- wracking every time that you recover the drone when you’re in the middle of the lake and you just had it out hundreds, if not thousands of feet from the ship. To get it back aboard has not come without a very challenging learning curve, which could include almost taking your finger off or almost taking your head off and going through a lot of propeller blades. In the beginning, the best bet was to just get the drone above the vessel and drop it.”

The first time LaMarre successfully utilized his drone system was aboard the Oberstar in 2018. The ship holds a special place in his heart. He and his wife are good friends with not only its current owner, captain and crew, but also William P. Snyder III, the man who in 1959 was commissioned to build the vessel that was then known as the Shenango II.

LaMarre and his wife have taken two leisure trips on the Oberstar, which is when he took his award-winning photographs of the vessel.

“That boat is so special to me,” he said “It means a great deal, and I hope to capture the best images of her sailing career. She’s the only ship that I’d really take a trip on that was, quite frankly, for my own enjoyment because that connection to that vessel is so special. She’s the one.”

Through his photography, LaMarre hopes to share his passion for ships with people who are not able to have the intimate relationship with the Great Lakes that he has enjoyed his entire life. To that end, he posts at least one photo a day to his Facebook page to continue to engage residents interested in the Port of Monroe.

“We are very limited in our ability to grant access to interested and enthusiastic members of the community, because of security restrictions now more than ever,” he said. “Ultimately it’s Monroe’s port, and my goal is to consistently operate a purely public agency as a nonprofit, and to do it in a manner that we drive transportation- related cargo and commerce that creates jobs and generates tax revenue that will hopefully lead to a better quality of life for the citizens of Monroe.

“I’m very blessed to have the opportunity to lead this organization, ( and) to do something I feel is upholding family tradition and history and then at the same time serve (the) community. It’s a very humbling and fortunate position to be in,” he added.

Monroe Evening News View the award-winning images at this link: http://greatlakesseaway.org/great-lakes-seaway-partnership-2019-photo-contest-winners

 

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.

 

Lake Superior levels up again in March

4/8 - Lake Superior water levels went up by eight tenths of an inch in March, a month that normally sees a decline.

At 14 inches above the average, the International Lake Superior Board of Control, says the levels are just below the record high level for the beginning of April set in 1986. It is also 1.6 inches above the level recorded last year at this time.

Since an exceptional volume of water remains in the Great Lakes system, there will continue to be an increased risk of shoreline erosion, lakeshore flooding and coastal damage over the next several months especially during periods of strong winds and high waves.

 

NovaAlgoma Short Sea Carriers takes delivery of new mini-bulker

4/8 - Lugano, Switzerland – NovaAlgoma Short Sea Carriers, a joint venture of Algoma Central Corporationand Nova Marine Holdings SA, has announced they have taken delivery of the Sider Buffalo, a 6,800 deadweight (DWT) mini-bulker from the Ningbo Xinle Shipyard in China. Sider Buffalo is the first of six new-build mini-bulkers to be delivered and is expected to begin service in May 2020. She measures approximately 360 feet long and 54 feet wide. It is not known if she is intended for Seaway service.

The NASC new-build program will see three additional 6,800 dwt and two 8,800 dwt vessels added to the fleet with deliveries scheduled in 2020 and 2021 with the company holding options for a further six plus six additional units. Despite the economic uncertainty and challenges associated with COVID-19, NASC remains confident in its fleet expansion plan and with the long-term outlook of this business. NASC has committed financing in place to fund the delivery of the remaining firm orders.

“We are proud to have the first delivery completed in this program and thankful to everyone who made it possible during these challenging times. The delivery of a new vessel, particularly at times like these, is an important reminder that brighter times will return and this vessel will be ready to do her part carrying grains and other vital commodities” said Vincenzo Romeo, Chief Executive Officer of Nova Marine Carriers.

“The Sider Buffalo is truly a magnificent ship; no detail has been overlooked in developing a modern and highly efficient vessel design and in overseeing its quality construction with our longtime shipyard partners, Ningbo Xinle. The Sider Buffalo and its sister ships will be game-changing, segment leaders in the mini-bulk space,” added Mr. Romeo.

To commemorate the anniversary of Algoma and Nova’s four-year partnership and in anticipation of the delivery of the Sider Buffalo, Gregg Ruhl, President and CEO of Algoma Central Corporation presented Giovani Romeo, an Owner of Nova Marine Carriers, with a crystal buffalo during the Marine Club meetings in Toronto in January.

“I want to thank both Giovani and Vincenzo Romeo and their team for all of their hard work on this project. The addition of the Sider Buffalo to the NASC fleet of owned and commercially managed vessels will further distinguish NASC as the carrier of choice in the mini-bulk segment,” said Mr. Ruhl.

“The Sider Buffalo’s name has significance for me personally, having been born and raised in Buffalo, New York, but also for this partnership, with the buffalo symbolizing strength, stability and prosperity. Now more than ever our strength will help us overcome these unprecedented times we are all facing, and we will continue to uphold our commitment to delivering essential goods to the world,” continued Mr. Ruhl.

NovaAlgoma Short Sea Carriers

 

Port Reports -  April 8

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Manitoulin departed Duluth at 00:24 Tuesday morning with a load of iron ore pellets for Sault Ste. Marie, and James R. Barker arrived at 14:59 to take a delay at Midwest Energy. It is unclear if and when she will be loading coal at that dock, however unofficial waterfront reports indicate she may be going into temporary layup. Michipicoten was due at 23:00 Tuesday night to load at Canadian National. Duluth's first saltie of the season, Federal Churchill, is due on Wednesday evening. The only traffic in Superior on Tuesday was Burns Harbor, which departed at 14:11 for her namesake port with iron ore pellets from BN. CSL Tadoussac is due on Wednesday evening to load, and CSL Niagara and Stewart J. Cort are due on Thursday.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Presque Isle departed South of #2 in Two Harbors at 02:25 on April 7th for Gary. Due Two Harbors either late on the 7th or early on the 8th is the Edwin H. Gott. Also due on April 8th is the Roger Blough. The Mesabi Miner continues at the loading dock at Northshore Mining in Silver Bay. Due Silver Bay on April 8th is the Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader. An update. When the Indiana Harbor departed Two Harbors she didn't have an AIS destination. She is headed for her namesake port.

Thunder Bay, ON
Tuesday; 9:37 Frontenac arrived at Viterra A to load wheat. 15:59 Baie St Paul arrived and went to anchor in the main anchorage.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on a rainy Tuesday included Algoma Innovator, Victory/Maumee, Federal Churchill (first saltie of the season), Lee A. Tregurtha, CSL Tadoussac in the late evening followed by Calumet. Downbounders included Algoma Sault early, Ojibway in the late afternoon and Hon. James L. Oberstar near midnight. Tanker Algonova remained docked in Soo, ON, unloading.

Marinette, WI
Monday afternoon the tug Candace Elise and barge arrived on the Menominee River to deliver a module built in Sturgeon Bay to Marinette Marine. The tug and barge had to tie up at Fuel & Dock until an electrical contractor could make repairs to the Ogden Street bridge and allow them to pass upriver. This is the first ever visit for the Candace Elise to the Menominee River. The tug was built in 1981 and is 100 feet long. It is owned and operated by Ashton Marine of Muskegon, MI.

S. Lake Michigan ports
Walter J. McCarthy Jr was unloading at Gary Tuesday. Joseph L. Block was due at Indiana Harbor early Wednesday.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Enterprise was loading at the salt dock Tuesday. Tug Spartan and barge Spartan II arrived 6.30 pm and tied up at the North Pier.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
Paul R. Tregurtha passed up bound at 11am Tuesday, followed by American Spirit @1:45pm and Sharon M 1/Huron Spirit at 2:15pm all upbound. Algoma Hansa passed downbound @4:15pm. Paul A. Desgagnes was also downbound @7pm. In the early evening Evans Spirit followed by Cuyahoga should pass upbound, followed by CSL Welland and Saginaw, both upbound in the late evening or early morning. Overcast with light showers in the morning, temp in mid 40s no wind with river flat calm.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Alpena was unloading cement at Lafarge on Tuesday.

Windsor, ON – David Cozens
The fire-damaged Tecumseh was on the move Tuesday under tow of the Leonard M and Jarrett M. They were headed to Ashtabula, where owner Rand Logistics has a repair facility.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
The salty Muntgracht arrived in Cleveland at 05:56 as the first boat to dock at the Port for this season. She went to Dock 22E. Calusa Coast arrived at 03:04 with her barge Delaware for the Marathon dock. Alpena departed at 06:47 for Detroit. The NACC Argonaut went to the LaFarge dock at 06:52 after spending the previous day at anchor in Lake Erie. Sea Eagle II remains at St. Mary's Cement and Sam Laud is still on the shuttles to ArcelorMittal.

Lorain, OH – Ken Krol
At approximately 11 am Tuesday, a Coast Guard Boat CGB - 12001 pushing a Barge GB 102 entered the Black River. The barge was filled with red and green buoys. They began setting the weighted buoys at various locations in the harbor. At 5:30 pm I noticed a similar-looking boat heading west about a 1/4 mile west of the mouth of the Black River heading west toward Marblehead/Toledo.

Lake Erie – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit was headed to Cleveland on Tuesday afternoon.

 

Removal of Tug at Iroquois Lock

4/8 - Mariners are advised that navigation conditions were evaluated following the recent decrease in outflows from Lake Ontario and conditions are such that a tug is no longer deemed necessary at Iroquois Lock. Effective April 7, 2020 at 06h00, the tug will no longer be available to assist ships with their approach at Iroquois Lock. Conditions will be monitored closely. As outflows start to increase, the feedback from mariners will be sought in order to determine the need for tug assistance once again.

 

Officers elected at Duluth Seaway Port Authority annual meeting

4/8 - Duluth, MN – During its annual meeting held March 25, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority Board of Commissioners elected officers for the fiscal year beginning April 1, 2020.

The board re-elected Rick Revoir to serve his second year as president. Other appointments included Tony Sertich as vice president, Patrick Boyle as secretary, Norm Voorhees as treasurer and Mike Jugovich as assistant treasurer. Together with fellow board members Ray Klosowski and Yvonne Prettner Solon, this septet oversees the Port Authority’s financial and organizational affairs.

The Duluth Seaway Port Authority is governed by a seven-member board – two commissioners appointed by the state’s governor, two by the St. Louis County board, and three by the Duluth City Council. Each is appointed to a six-year term, yet terms have varied expiration dates. Commissioners meet monthly to set policy, approve contracts and determine budgets. Under the board’s governance in 2019, the Port Authority’s partnership with Lake Superior Warehousing earned international acclaim as the Heavy Lift Port/Terminal Operator of the Year.

The Port Authority is an independent public agency created by the Minnesota State Legislature in 1955 to foster domestic and international maritime commerce, promote trade development, facilitate industrial development and advance port interests. The Port Authority manages the Clure Public Marine Terminal on Rice’s Point, the Duluth Airpark, and in conjunction with the City of Duluth, Erie Pier.

 

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.

 

ArcelorMittal to idle Cleveland blast furnace

4/7 - Integrated steelmaker ArcelorMittal is expected to idle a blast furnace at its Cleveland flat-rolled steel mill as coronavirus-related shutdowns continue to ripple across the steel industry.

The blast furnace will be idled sometime this week, multiple market sources told Argus. One source said the blast furnace had just come back online after a maintenance outage, running only a couple of days before ArcelorMittal decided to idle it. The company did not immediately respond to requests for comment today.

The Cleveland mill has two blast furnaces with a combined 3.1mn short tons (st)/yr of steel capacity, according to data from the Association of Iron and Steel Technology. The smaller of the two blast furnaces, No 6, can produce 1.5mn st/yr of steel, while the No 5 blast furnace can produce 1.6mn st/yr.

ArcelorMittal's confirmation would bring the total amount of flat rolled steel production taken offline in the last two weeks to more than 5.5mn st/yr.

The idling is the latest for ArcelorMittal in the US after it announced two weeks ago that it would idle it's No 4 blast furnace at its Indiana Harbor West steel mill due to plant shutdowns in the US auto industry. It also idled a blast furnace at its Dofasco mill in Hamilton, Ontario.

Other integrated steelmakers recently shutting operations include AK Steel and US Steel.

Argus

 

Port of Goderich welcomes first vessel of the 2020 shipping season

4/7 - Goderich, ON – The Algoma Sault arrived at the Parrish and Heimbecker elevator March 30 to become the first vessel of the 2020 shipping season.

“Parrish and Heimbecker is proud to carry on the Top Hat tradition at Goderich Elevators starting the year off with 29K tonnes of western wheat from Thunder Bay to be unloaded at the two elevators in Goderich,” said Calvin Kerr, Manager of the Goderich Elevator. “This will provide a much needed cargo to various mills in Ontario.”

This is normally a time for celebration as the first vessel often herald’s the arrival of spring. Traditionally, Captain Raymond Schrempf would be welcomed with the Top Hat ceremony. This tradition dates back to the 1930s, and has its roots in early Great Lakes shipping, when it was often a race to get into Port first after the ice breaks up.

“Due to the extraordinary situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Town and Port have elected not to have any public gathering to mark this occasion,” said John C. Grace, Mayor of the Town of Goderich. “Nevertheless it is an honor to welcome the crew of the Algoma Sault to our Port.”

Great Lakes shipping provide enormous economic benefits for the region and make it accessible from anywhere on the globe. Marine transportation is a clean, efficient and economic option for transporting a wide range of cargo.

A recent study in 2017 carried out by respected economic consultants Martin Associates of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, highlighted that activity of the Port of Goderich supports 2,774 jobs.

In addition, the study found that maritime commerce on the waterway in 2017 supported $397.9 million in economic activity, $57.5 million in annual personal income, and $76.2 million in federal and province tax revenue.

In the same year ports and marine terminals on the Great Lakes Seaway System handled 285 million metric tons of cargo valued at $15.2 billion. This cargo included grain, iron ore, coal, manufactured iron and steel products, heavy lift/project cargoes, and salt.

“The Algoma Sault and its crew will be welcomed in a more traditional way on a future visit” said Rowland Howe, President of GPMC. GPMC is the company charged with managing the Port operations for the Town of Goderich.

“Recent new development in the Port of Goderich improves and diversifies cargo capabilities; this also positions us to move into future planned development once the value is realized and further investments are secured.”

Goderich Signal Star

 

Seaway bans most cruise ships until June 30

4/7 - Seaway Notice No. 13 – 2020 – Restriction on Passenger Vessels Please be advised that under restrictions set by Transport Canada to reduce the spread of COVID-19, cruise ships carrying more than 12 passengers are prohibited, effective April 6, 2020. These measures will remain in place until at least June 30, 2020. Please monitor Transport Canada communication channels for further updates as these stipulations may change in the future.

 

Port Reports -  April 7

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
After spending the last few days moored at Hallett #5, Presque Isle departed Duluth at 11:05 Monday and headed for Two Harbors to load. Manitoulin arrived at 13:00 and tied up at Canadian National to load iron ore. She was expected to depart late Monday night. In Superior, Burns Harbor was expected at 22:00 for Burlington Northern.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Indiana Harbor departed Two Harbors from South of #2 on April 6th at 03:56. As of 18:30 on the 6th there is no updated AIS. Arriving Two Harbors on April 6th was the Presque Isle for North of #2 at 14:41. She then shifted to South of #2 between 18:14 and 18:41. There is no scheduled traffic for Two Harbors on April 7th. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay saw the Mesabi Miner arrive on April 6th at 06:30. There is no scheduled inbound traffic for Silver Bay on April 7th.

Thunder Bay, ON
Monday: 8:12 Algoma Mariner returned to Thunder Bay and arrived at the Richardson Main Terminal to load grain. 18:09 Ojibway departed and is down bound. 19:35 Algoma Sault departed for Hamilton.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic om Monday included James R. Barker, Hon. James L. Oberstar and, late, Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader and Edwin H. Gott. Frontenac. Roger Blough was inbound at DeTour at 10 p.m. Downbound traffic included Joseph L. Block, Algonova (to Sault Ste Marie, ON) and Baie St. Paul.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
Samuel de Champlain/Innovation arrived from Alpena at 21:04 Sunday (4/5) with cement for the Lafarge terminal. The pair departed for Chicago Monday (4/6) at 15:47. Tug John Marshall brought three river barges up from Calumet Harbor arriving at 03:45 Monday. After loading grain at the COFCO elevator, tug and barges headed back to Calumet Harbor at 16:30. Still in the harbor are G.L. Ostrander/Integrity, which has not left winter lay-up, and barge St. Marys Conquest, which is at the Kinnickinnic River terminal. Her tug, Prentiss Brown, is in Chicago.

S. Lake Michigan ports
Stewart J. Cort was unloading Monday night at Burns Harbor.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor cleared at 4.09 pm Monday downbound with salt for Valleyfield QC. Algoma Enterprise is expected next.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
Monday’s traffic included the upbounders T/B Victory/James L. Kuber @1:15pm; Gaia Desgagnes @ 3:30pm; Sloman Hermes @ 5:15pm; CSL Tadoussac @ 6:15pm; Federal Churchill @ 6:30 pm. The CCG vessel Samuel Risley passed downbound at 9:30 am and appeared to have been working in the lower marshes south of Harsens Island till late afternoon, possibly at the fork of the south channel and the cutoff channel. Mostly sunny all day with clouds moving in for overnite, temp in the mid 50s, light winds from the south, river calm.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Monday Arrivals: Calumet-arrived at Zug Island to load coke. Lee A Tregurtha-arrived at AK Steel to unload ore. Kaye E Barker-arrived at Zug Island to unload coal. Herbert C Jackson-arrived at AK Steel to unload ore. John J Boland made a rare visit to AK Steel to load steel byproducts. Cuyahoga-arrived at Zug Island to load coke. Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
John J. Boland departed at 08:51 Monday for Dearborn. NACC Argonaut arrived at 06:44 and went to anchor in Lake Erie to wait for a berth at Lafarge. American Spirit arrived from Silver Bay at 10;05 for the Bulk Terminal. Sam Laud was running the shuttles to ArcelorMittal. Alpena arrived at 11:14 for LaFarge. Sea Eagle II/St. Mary's Cement II arrived at 16:00 for St. Marys lower dock.

Lorain, OH – Bill Kloss
Laura L. VanEnkevort/Joseph H. Thompson arrived in Lorain at 08:57 on Monday.

Conneaut, OH – Gary A. Putney
H. Lee White departed Conneaut today heading for Quebec City.

Lake Ontario – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit was upbound for the Welland Canal on Monday afternoon headed to Cleveland.

 

Remainder of Duluth's Great Lakes Fleet crewing up to start season

4/7 - Duluth, MN - Led by the Arthur M. Anderson, the rest of the Duluth-based fleet of lake freighters will come out of winter layup in the coming days – and enter into an uncertain time.

Close observers of Great Lakes shipping have noticed that not all of the Duluth-based Great Lakes Fleet has been in action since the March start to the shipping campaign. Online vessel trackers have noted the Presque Isle, Edwin H. Gott and Roger Blough hauling taconite iron ore on the lakes, but some observers have been asking why the popular Arthur M. Anderson was staying put in Toledo on Lake Erie.

Key Lakes Shipping, of Duluth, confirmed on Monday that the Anderson was doing the same thing as the Philip R. Clarke was doing in Toledo, and the John G. Munson and Edgar B. Speer in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, and the Cason J. Callaway in Erie, Pennsylvania – getting crewed up and ready to start their seasons. Some of the fleetmates were fitting out, or testing, their winter repairs on the water.

Key Lakes operates the Great Lakes Fleet for Canadian National Railway. General Manager Ken Gerasimos confirmed that the Anderson and the rest of the still-idled ore boats in the fleet would start their seasons in the coming days.

What happens after that is anybody's guess. In a plummeting economy, some steel mills are slowing down and blast furnaces being shut down. Mills that chewed up their ore stockpiles through winter layup need replenishing. But if the mines slow, then it will be time to watch which, if any, ore boats go back to being moored along a long dock or tucked into a slip somewhere to wait out the economic storm.

Jim Weakley, president of the Lake Carriers' Association, said most of the U.S.-flag ships have been operating since the Soo Locks opened in late March, and that there remains demand for iron ore, coal, stone and sand.

"This year, like every year, we have to replenish stockpiles, meet current demand and stockpile enough cargo to make it through next winter," Weakley said. "We adjust our ability to deliver cargo based on the demands of our customers. Hopefully, that means more boats will continue to sail and we will not see a need to lay up boats until next winter. Right now, we have no way of knowing how the season will develop."

As the leader atop a trade association, Weakley said he was sensitive to antitrust laws and reluctant to make predictive statements about market demands or vessel utilization.

"We can say, however, that we are a service industry and we strive to meet the demands of our customers," he said. "As long as our customers need our services, we will provide the boats to meet their demands."

Duluth News Tribune

 

Several Great Lakes may reach highest water levels ever experienced in modern records

4/7 - The six-month water level forecasts show a high-end forecast that could surpass all other modern water levels for some of the Great Lakes.

For the last three months, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron (which shares the same lake water level because they are linked) have set monthly record water levels. The monthly record water levels are expected to continue into summer. If we get significantly higher than usual precipitation, the water levels could slosh over the highest level ever recorded since good water level measurements began back in 1918.

Read more and view charts at this link: https://www.mlive.com/weather/2020/04/several-great-lakes-may-reach-highest-water-level-ever-experienced-in-modern-records.html

 

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.

 

Port Reports -  April 6

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
There was no traffic in the Twin Ports on Sunday, and the only vessel in port was Presque Isle which remained tied up at Hallett #5. Manitoulin is due at 13:00 Monday to load iron ore pellets at CN, and Burns Harbor is due in Superior Monday evening to load at Burlington Northern.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Joseph L. Block departed Two Harbors on April 5th at 05:35 for Indiana Harbor. Arriving Two Harbors on April 5th at 11:15 for South of #2 was the Indiana Harbor. There is no scheduled traffic for Two Harbors on April 6th, but the Presque Isle continue to lay-by at Hallett #5 and she's to load in Two Harbors. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay had no traffic on April 5th. Due Silver Bay on April 6th is the Mesabi Miner.

Thunder Bay, ON
Sunday: 0:00 Tim S Dool shifted to the Richardson Current River Terminal to finish loading grain.1:28 Algoma Sault completed unloading road salt and shifted to the Superior Elevator to load wheat. 7:45 Algoma Mariner arrived at the MobilEx Terminal, Valley Camp dock to unload salt and departed at 18:37 down bound on Lake Superior. 19:59 Ojibway arrived at Viterra A to load wheat.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on a sunny Sunday included Manitoulin and Michipicoten early, Burns Harbor in the early evening and tug Defiance/barge Ashtabula late. Downbound traffic included Walter J McCarthy Jr. in the late afternoon and, late, American Mariner.

Green Bay, WI
At 6:50 p.m. Algoma Innovator arrived from Goderich with salt to the Fox River Dock Terminal.

S. Lake Michigan ports
Roger Blough was unloading at Gary Sunday night. Manitowoc was at Indiana Harbor.

Northern Lake Huron
Midland: Sunday; 19:46 Frontenac departed for Thunder Bay.

Alpena: Sunday; 10:39 The cement carrier Alpena departed for Cleveland.

Stoneport: Saturday; 13:25 Kaye E Barker departed for Detroit.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor was loading salt on Sunday.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Sunday Arrivals: Calusa Coast and Delaware-arrived at the Marathon Asphalt Terminal to load. Kaye E Barker-arrived at the St. Clair Aggregates dock to unload stone. Evans Spirit-arrived at Nicholson's Ecorse Terminal to unload general cargo.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader delivered to the Bulk Terminal. John J. Boland and Sam Laud are both running shuttles from the Bulk Terminal. Calumet delivered stone from Marblehead to Ontario Stone. Herbert C. Jackson is in Ashtabula loading a shuttle as well.

Buffalo, NY – Craig E. Speers
H. Lee White departed the port on 4/4 at 14:27 after unloading wheat for 37 hours at the General Mills elevators on the Union Ship canal.

Picton, ON – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit was loading at the Lehigh Cement Plant on Sunday afternoon.

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  April 6

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

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
The only harbor traffic in the Twin Ports on Saturday was American Mariner, which departed Duluth at 18:34 carrying iron ore pellets from Canadian National. Presque Isle remained at Hallett #5 taking a delay. Manitoulin is due on Monday to load at CN, and for the BN dock in Superior, Burns Harbor is expected mid-day Monday.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Walter J. McCarthy Jr. arrived Two Harbors on April 3rd at 21:43 for South of #2. She departed Two Harbors on April 4th at 12:15 for Gary. Joseph L. Block arrived Two Harbors for South of #2 on April 4th at 15:20. Due Two Harbors on April 5th is the Indiana Harbor. The Presque Isle continues to sit at Hallett #5 in Duluth with no ETD for Two Harbors. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay had no traffic on April 4th and none scheduled for April 5th.

Thunder Bay, ON
Friday; 11:12 Tim S Dool arrived at the Richardson Main Terminal. 16:05 Saginaw departed for Toledo. 22:36 Algoma Sault arrived and went to anchor south of the Welcome Islands. 14:16 Algoma Sault weighed anchor and proceeded to the MobilEx Terminal, Valley Camp dock to unload salt.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic Saturday included Saginaw, Victory/Maumee, American Spirit and Stewart J. Cort. Upbound traffic included Algoma Mariner and Ojibway.

Green Bay, WI
At 5:30 a.m. Manitoulin arrived from Windsor with salt. At 1:10 p.m. the Manitoulin departed for Duluth/Superior.

Northern Lake Huron
Midland: Saturday; 7:12 CCGS Samuel Risley arrived to break out the harbor and departed at 7:57. 8:17 Frontenac arrived at the ADM elevator to unload wheat.

Alpena: Saturday; 6:10 Samuel De Champlain arrived to load cement products and departed at12:37 for Milwaukee. 17:15 The cement carrier Alpena arrived to load.

Stoneport: Friday; 0:32 Laura L Van Enkevort departed for Toledo. 0:55 Kaye E Barker weighed anchor and proceeded to the loading dock.

Calcite: Friday; 21:01 The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes arrived to unload fuel. Saturday; 9:35 The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes departed for Cheboygan.

Cheboygan: Saturday; 12:59 The tug Michigan and tanker barge Great Lakes arrived at the US Oil Co. dock.

Calcite, MI – Denny Dushane
A slight change and altercation now for the first vessel arrival at the docks in Calcite for next week. The first expected arrival will now be the tug Clyde S. VanEnkevort and barge Erie Trader. They are expected to arrive on April 8 in the morning for the South Dock to load. Also due in on April 8 is the American Mariner in the late afternoon hours to load at the South Dock.

Stoneport, MI – Denny Dushane
Kaye E. Barker continued to load on Saturday and they were expected to depart around 7:30 a.m. There is nothing else due until April 12 when the tug Olive L. Moore and the barge Menominee are expected to arrive in the late afternoon hours to load.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Conveyor was due in to load on Sunday.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
CSL Tadoussac and Edwin Gott were stern to bow as both were downbound around 6am. Paul R. Tregurtha followed them at 8 am also downbound. Joyce L. Vanenkevort / Great Lakes Trader passed downbound at 1:30 pm. Algoma Conveyor was upbound at 3:30 pm, followed by Michipicoten at 4:15 pm. Honorable James L. Oberstar passed downbound at 5:45 pm. Mississagi is expected to pass upbound at 8:30 pm. Mostly sunny with clouds moving in for overnite, temp near 60 with light winds from the south-southeast, river calm.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Hon. James L Oberstar was unloading ore at AK Steel Saturday evening

Windsor, ON – Bruce Douglas
Michipicoten departed from their lay-up berth in Windsor early on Saturday morning on their first trip for the 2020 season. This now leaves only the Tecumseh as the last remaining vessel laid up. Tecumseh was towed on Friday from the Morterm Dock where it had been since December 2019 when a fire occurred in its engine room. On Friday, with the help of the tug Leonard M, Tecumseh was moved to the ADM Dock to unload its cargo of canola from Thunder Bay.

Toledo, OH – Denny Dushane
John D. Leitch was expected to arrive at the CSX Coal Dock to load on Saturday in the evening hours. Also due at CSX to load is the Manitowoc on April 8 in the evening. The tug Victory and barge Maumee are due at the Torco Dock on Sunday in the mid-afternoon. Also due at Torco is the tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula on April 8 in the early afternoon hours. Vessels that remain in lay-up include the American Valor and Manistee both in long-term lay-up at the Hocking Valley Dock, Algoma Strongfield at the Ironhead Marine Drydock getting their 5-year survey completed, both the Great Republic and Philip R. Clarke at the Old Interlake Iron Company Dock near the Ironhead Shipyard, American Century at CSX #3 Dock, Arthur M. Anderson at CSX #1 Dock, American Courage at the Torco Dock near the Lakefront. The St. Clair also is still at the Torco Dock near the Lakefront from its fire in February 2019. The tug Albert and barge Margaret also remain in lay-up.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Herbert C. Jackson ran a shuttle from Ashtabula and was loading from the Bulk Terminal on Saturday. Sam Laud is running a shuttle from Ashtabula. John J. Boland arrived at 16:43 after lightering in Ashtabula.

Toronto, ON – Tom Brewer
At noon on Saturday the McKeil Spirit was at the Lehigh Cement Dock.

 

Boating allowed in Michigan, governor's office clarifies

4/5 - Lansing, MI - Boating and kayaking are allowed under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stay-at-home order, officials with the governor's office said Friday, overruling a state police lieutenant's earlier statement that launching watercraft was barred under the governor's edict.

Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw told The News Friday that the governor's March 24 "Stay Home. Stay Safe. Save Lives" order prohibited recreational use of the state's waterways. Hours later, John Pepin, a spokesman with the state's Department of Natural Resources, said boating was allowed under the governor's order.

In the wake of the confusion, the governor's office Friday updated the state website's "Frequently Asked Questions" associated with Whitmer's executive order.

"Boating falls within the outdoor activities permitted under the order," the website says. "Any outdoor activity, including boating, must be done in a manner consistent with social distancing, and individuals should use only their own equipment to prevent the transmission of the virus through the touching of shared surfaces. Additionally, in accordance with section 2 of the order, persons not part of a single household may not boat together.

"While boating is permitted under the order, the provision of boating services or supplies does not itself constitute critical infrastructure work," the state site says. "Accordingly, marinas, canoe liveries, and other similar businesses and operations may not designate workers to come to work for that purpose. As needed, however, these businesses and operations may designate workers to leave their home for work if their in-person presence is strictly necessary to conduct the minimum basic operations listed in section 4(b) of the order.

"Minimum basic operations do not include serving members of the public, but do permit work necessary to maintain the safety and sanitation of sites otherwise open to the public for outdoor recreation," the website says.

Prior to Friday's revisions, Whitmer's order specifically mentioned walking, hiking, running and biking as allowable activities, but not boating.

Meanwhile, U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Friday announced it would close small boat reporting locations across the state to comply with President Donald Trump's orders limiting travel across borders to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

 

Word Ship Society news

4/5 - Vessels with Great Lakes / Seaway connections reported as a casualty or sold for demolition taken from April 2020 issue of Marine News Journal of the World Ship Society:

Casualties: None

Demolitions: ENRY - (8006323; Sierra Leone) (Captain Henry Jackman-19, Lake Wabush-87) 19,698 / 1981 - bulk carrier, self-discharging laker. By Algoma Central Corp (ACC), Canada, to Leyal Demtas Sokum, Turkey and arrived Aliaga 25.06.2019 - commenced 25.06.2019

GOWO - (7910216; Sierra Leone) (Algowood-19 -) 21,998 / 1981 - bulk carrier, self-discharging laker. By Algoma Central Corp (ACC), Canada, to Avsar Gemi Sokum Ltd, Turkey and arrived Aliaga 2.06.2019 - commenced 2.06.2019

ZOLOTO KOLYMY - 8212099; Russia) (Utviken-12 - 1st trip into Seaway 1995, C Blanco-95, Bijelo Polje-92 - 1st trip into the Seaway 1987) 17,191 / 1985 - bulk carrier - By North Eastern Shipping Co Ltd (NESCO Ltd) (OOO 'Severo-Vostochnoye Morskoye Parokhodstvo'), Russia, to Bangladesh breakers and arrived Chittagong 2.05.2019 - commenced 7.05.2019

Report prepared by Barry Andersen and René Beauchamp

 

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.

 

Mariners take extra precautions as Great Lakes shipping season gets underway

4/4 - Chicago, IL – As the coronavirus pandemic locked down countries and disrupted global supply chains, the Great Lakes shipping season got underway last week. American and foreign freighters are expected to transport cargo throughout the more than 100 ports of call in the region, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection and industry leaders.

But the sailors aboard these fleets are adhering to new protocols and precautionary measures to prevent contraction and spread of the virus.

The Coast Guard will be checking for cargo vessels — whether American or foreign — that have recently traveled to an area impacted by a coronavirus outbreak within the last 14 days.

These ships will be allowed to enter U.S. ports so long as they do not have a sick crew member, according to Petty Officer Brian McCrum, spokesman for the Coast Guard’s 9th District, which oversees the Great Lakes region. Once docked, crew members will be required to stay aboard these vessels, except for essential activities such as loading or unloading cargo and gathering provisions.

Chicago is a hub for national and international freight. More tonnage of cargo moves through the Illinois International Port District than any other port in the Great Lakes. Based at Calumet Harbor, the port district handles goods hauled by ocean-faring freighters through the St. Lawrence Seaway and also ships traveling through the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico.

The shipping industry is implementing a number of safeguards, according to James Weakley, president of the Lake Carriers Association, an organization that represents 46 American vessels that move 90 million tons of cargo annually across the Great Lakes.

Companies are screening sailors before they report to work, inquiring about recent travel and contact with others. Many crews have been ordered to sanitize work stations with bleach solution and even stagger times to eat meals to maintain distance from fellow crew members. Sailors have been warned to limit physical contact with dockworkers and other personnel onshore as much as possible.

“We’re enforcing hygiene guidelines and social distancing aboard the ships as if it was a safety rule,” Weakley said. “So anybody who violates some of those guidelines is violating a safety rule. Not only are there formal ramifications, but there is a very informal peer pressure among our sailors that will keep people from doing anything that is unsafe and potentially cause spread.

“The upside is, once we’re underway and sailing, and everyone is healthy, these ships could be potentially the safest places in the world.”

While U.S. and Canadian ships began hauling materials through Great Lakes locks on Wednesday, the international shipping season has been delayed due to flooding on Lake Ontario. Officials who regulate the dam are releasing as much water as possible through the St. Lawrence River to alleviate flooding, which will make for potentially perilous currents for incoming ships.

The outbreak will also require adjustments by international fleets, according to Stuart Theis, executive director of the United States Great Lakes Shipping Association, a group representing foreign vessels. Not only have infections been reported in at least 175 countries and territories, but the virus has gripped many Great Lakes states, including New York, Illinois and Michigan.

“You’ve got guys from Poland or wherever, who, as soon as they get to a U.S. port, they want to go to Kmart or Walmart to buy jeans and do all kinds of touristy stuff,” Theis said. “And there’s got to be a lot of limitations put on these guys — and maybe for their own good — in terms of exposure to the virus.”

But supplies carried by fleets are essential to economies and daily life, including iron ore for steelmaking, cement for construction, coal for power plants, among many other raw materials.

Many companies that rely on Great Lakes shipping typically receive stockpiles before ice forms in the winter. By the spring, these businesses need to replenish supplies. Transportation of these commodities is considered essential travel and allowed. However, some shipping experts worry that an economic downturn could lead to less shipping this season. So far, it’s too early to tell.

“The cargoes that are coming in have been booked for so long that, they’ve decided to run the ships and see what happens. Then, the answers will come later in the season, when the realities are what they are, in terms of how much they can keep the crews healthy and keep them on the boat, and keep them away from the domestic problem, here.”

In the meantime, industry leaders such as Weakley, of the Lake Carriers Association, have consulted with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Coast Guard for best practices and guidance.

With no epidemic in recent memory to compare this to, Weakley found himself browsing through documents providing guidance during the H1N1 flu from more than a decade ago.

But even then, there wasn’t the type of impact on businesses, travel and everyday life like there is now. “This is unprecedented during my lifetime,” Weakley said.

Chicago Tribune

 

Port Reports -  April 4

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Presque Isle arrived Duluth at 01:52 Friday morning and moored at Hallett #5 for a delay. Erie Trader/tug Clyde S. VanEnkevort arrived at 05:12 to load iron ore pellets at CN. The pair was still at the dock Friday evening with no departure time available. American Mariner was on the hook off Duluth waiting to load at CN. In Superior, Stewart J. Cort arrived at 03:32, loaded at BN, and departed at 15:52 bound for Burns Harbor with her iron ore cargo.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Walter J. McCarthy Jr. should arrive Two Harbors on April 3rd between 21:00 and 22:00 for South of #2. Due Two Harbors on April 4th are the Joseph L. Block and the Presque Isle. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay saw the arrival of the American Spirit on April 2nd at approx. 21:45. She departed Silver Bay on April 3rd at approx. 15:55. She had no AIS destination, but I will speculate she's headed for Cleveland. Silver Bay has no scheduled traffic for April 4th. Two updates. When the Gott departed Two Harbors she had no AIS destination. She is headed for Conneaut. And when the Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader departed Silver Bay she had no destination. She is headed for Cleveland.

St. Marys River
Downbound traffic included Frontenac, Great Lakes Trader, Hon James L Oberstar and Roger Blough. The only upbounder was Lee A. Tregurtha.

Muskegon, MI – Brendan Falkowski
Today the cement carrier Alpena was in port unloading a cargo of powdered cement from Alpena at the Lafarge silos. She arrived a bit after 6 this morning and departed at around 16:40. The Alpena is currently in her 78th season of sailing the Great Lakes.

S. Lake Michigan ports
Burns Harbor was in her namesake port Friday night. Manitowoc was at Indiana Harbor.

Calcite, MI – Denny Dushane
The American Mariner is expected to be the first arrival for the 2020 shipping season at Calcite's Docks. They are due to arrive on April 8th at noon for the South Dock to load. Two vessels presently are expected to arrive on April 10th the tug Clyde S. VanEnkevort and barge Erie Trader in the early morning hours for the South Dock and the John J. Boland also on April 10th in the evening hours for the South Dock to load.

Stoneport, MI – Denny Dushane
Kaye E. Barker loaded at Stoneport on Friday and they were due to depart around 6 P.M. There were no other vessels expected to arrive for Friday and the next reported vessel arrival is not due until April 12th when the tug Olive L. Moore and barge Menominee are due during the late afternoon hours.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
No vessels in port Friday.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
Mississagi passed downbound before dawn Friday morning. T/B Spartan/Spartan II was upbound at 6am, followed by Indiana Harbor at 8:45am. Oakglen passed downbound at 1pm, followed by Algosea at 2pm. T/B Laura L. Vanenkevort/Joseph Thompson was downbound 4:45pm. Alognort was expected to pass near:45pm followed by Ojibway at 7:30pm. Sunny skies, steady winds from the northeast-north, upper 40's, river light chop on top.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Florence Spirit was loading coke at Zug Island on Friday.

Windsor, ON
The fire-damaged Tecumseh was towed from the Morterm dock to the ADM bock Friday by the McKeil tug Leonard M. Tecumseh’s engine room caught on fire in December while in the Detroit River bound for ADM. The move was made so her grain cargo can be unloaded.

Toledo, OH – Denny Dushane
John D. Leitch is expected to arrive at the CSX Coal Dock to load on Saturday in the early morning. Also due at CSX to load will be the Manitowoc on April 8 in the late evening. At the Torco Dock expected is the tug Victory and barge Maumee on Sunday during the late morning. Also due at Torco is the tug Defiance and their barge Ashtabula on April 8 in the early morning. Indiana Harbor departed their Winter Lay-Up berth in Toledo on Thursday during the early evening. They briefly stopped in Detroit to fuel before continuing on their first trip of the 2020 shipping season. Their AIS is showing a Two Harbors destination. This leaves the following vessels still remaining in lay-up the American Valor and also the Manistee in long-term lay-up at the Hocking Valley Dock. The Algoma Strongfield at the Ironhead Marine Drydock getting their 5-year survey done, both Great Republic and Philip R. Clarke at the Old Interlake Iron Co. Dock near the Ironhead Shipyard and Drydock, American Century at the CSX #3 Dock and the American Courage at the Torco/Lakefront Docks. The St. Clair also remains in lay-up at the Torco/Lakefront Docks from its fire in February 2019

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Herbert C. Jackson departed at 03:06 Friday for Ashtabula, arriving at 09:02. She will load a shuttle for Cleveland. Calumet departed at 02:45 for Fairport, arriving at 05:42. She will load salt for Sandusky. Sam Laud is on the shuttles from the Bulk Terminal.

Buffalo, NY – Craig E. Speers
H. Lee White became the first grain boat of the season to deliver wheat, approx 20,000 tons to the General Mills elevators on the Union Ship canal off the Buffalo River. She arrived at 0146 on Friday.

Toronto, ON – Tom Brewer
At noon on Friday the McKeil Spirit was at the Lehigh Cement Dock and the NACC Argonaut was at the LaFarge Dock.

 

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.

 

AK Steel idles Dearborn works temporarily

4/3 - Detroit, MI – Steelmaker AK Steel has shut down its Dearborn Works in Detroit as steel mills that supply the automotive market are hammered by sudden coronavirus outbreak-related shutdowns.

The 2.2mn short ton (st)/yr blast furnace stopped running Tuesday for an undetermined length of time, according to a letter from the mill's local union president posted online. The mill makes flat rolled products for the US automotive industry and was recently acquired by Cleveland-Cliffs in its purchase of integrated steelmaker AK Steel. It receives raw materials by Great Lakes freighter.

All automakers in the US have announced some level of closures in the last week. The earliest possible restart for automakers are by Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and General Motors (GM), who could reopen plants as early as next week. Ford recently announced a plan to restart a plant in Mexico on a limited shift on 6 April while restarting some of its US plants on 14 April.

The idling is the latest in the US. Integrated steelmaker US Steel recently announced that it was idling a blast furnace each at its Gary Works in Indiana and Granite City Works near St Louis, Missouri. ArcelorMittal has said that it would idle two blast furnaces, one each in Canada and the US.

 

Port of Thunder Bay expects to ship one million tons of grain this month

4/3 - Thunder Bay, ON – The Port of Thunder Bay is anticipating a very strong month with increasing demand and a backlog of grain waiting to be shipped.

“We have a pretty good lineup,” said Thunder Bay Port Authority CEO Tim Heney. “I could see this month in April probably one million tons go through the port if everything works out well. It’s certainly stronger than previous years.”

There is currently more than 650,000 metric tons of grain in storage at the Port waiting to be loaded and shipped across the Great Lakes and more rail deliveries are expected. “I think there is a large backlog of grain this year left over from last year’s crop. A lot of that is due to the rail issues we had in the fall and that leaves a lot more to move,” Heney said.

“The port can store more than a million metric tons of grain at a time and has the fastest rail turn-around times, so we are well-positioned to help Canadian farmers supply their markets.”

According to the Marine Chamber of Commerce, more than 200,000 metric tons of grain has been loaded onto Canadian vessels in the past week, which is more than twice the average volume for the month of March.

This increase in demand is due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic according to Carsten Bredin, vice-president of grain merchandising for Richardson International Limited.

“We are seeing strong demand for food staples like Canadian wheat and durum with production up at flour mills and pasta plants around the world. Demand was already up in countries like Italy which had a smaller crop last year but with the COVID-19 pandemic, some countries are ordering extra wheat and durum to increase their reserves and satisfy this new demand,” Bredin said in a release issued by the Marine Chamber of Commerce.

“Great Lakes-St. Lawrence shipping is going to be a critical part of the supply chain to move grain to markets in Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East.”

Wade Sobkowich, the executive director of the Western Grain Elevator Association, said the grain sector has been struggling due to a late harvest and variable quality, as well as railway labour actions and blockades.

“Now we are in the midst of trying to move grains, oilseeds and pulse crops to our customers in the midst of a global pandemic,” he said. “The silver lining is that strong demand exists with our trading partners over the Atlantic in Europe and Africa, and the recognition by governments that it is essential for the grain supply chain to continue to function. The re-opening of Thunder Bay and the St. Lawrence Seaway is critical in order to supply food to the world, and to keep as many people employed as possible during this difficult time.”

The St. Lawrence Seaway opened on Wednesday and Heney said he is anticipating the first ocean going vessel to arrive in the coming weeks.

The Port has already had eight lake-going vessels arrive and three vessels that were wintering in the port have already been loaded with grain and have since departed.

Grain makes up 80 per cent of shipments through the Port of Thunder Bay, but it is difficult to predict if the same volumes anticipated this month will be seen throughout the remainder of the year.

“It’s hard to predict because the second half of the season is based on the harvest,” Heney said. “Certainly for the first half it will be strong.”

TBNewswatch

 

Muskegon tourism hit by coronavirus ‘uncertainty’ amid cruise ship cancellations

4/3 - Muskegon, MI – The cruise ships that typically dock in Muskegon each summer have postponed some of their visits due to coronavirus COVID-19, a sign that the region’s tourism industry may take a hard hit this summer.

Four Great Lakes cruise ship lines scheduled to make stops in Muskegon this summer have canceled their May itineraries, Cindy Larsen, the president of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce, told MLive. The rest of the season is still planned for now, but the cruise ship companies are “taking it one day at a time,” Larsen said.

The virus’ effect on local cruise lines illustrates a larger issue for Muskegon’s economy: how tourism, a critical leg of the Lakeshore economy, will be able to withstand a disease forcing people to stay in their homes, closing restaurants and group attractions, and putting many people out of work, with less disposable income to spend on leisure activities.

“It’s going to have a huge impact on tourism. It already has,” said Bob Lukens, the county’s community development director, citing a reduction in local hotel bookings and the cancellation of a large bowling tournament that typically brings visitors to the area in early spring. “It’s a very difficult time for tourism, hospitality and travel, in not only Muskegon but in America,” said Lukens. “It’s devastating.”

Last month, the city of Holland announced it was canceling the popular Tulip Time festival, scheduled for early May, out of concerns about COVID-19. That festival typically attracts 500,000 visitors.

The four ships due to dock in Muskegon this summer were the Victory I and II, owned by Victory Cruise Lines, Pearl Mist, owned by Pearl Seas Cruises, and Le Champlain, owned by Ponant Cruises. Each ship carries about 200 passengers.

They were scheduled to tour Lake Michigan, with 35 stops at the Port of Muskegon, between May 13 and October 16. Although COVID-19 outbreaks elsewhere in the country have been traced back to cruise ships, smaller cruise ships, of the type that tour Lake Michigan, are less vulnerable, Larsen said.

The rest of the season will be determined based on “best health conditions,” she added.

But that ongoing uncertainty is the problem, because nobody knows what to plan for, Lukens said. Although Muskegon’s many summer festivals have not yet been canceled, there is an open question of whether people will be ready to gather together, even after the emergency has passed and the state “stay-at-home” order is lifted, he said.

“Here in Michigan, we haven’t reached the apex of the virus, so there’s so much uncertainty that that’s what’s affecting the industry so much – the uncertainty,” he said.

View a photo gallery at this link: https://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/2020/04/muskegon-tourism-hit-by-coronavirus-uncertainty-amid-cruise-ship-cancellations.html

 

Port Reports -  April 3

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
There was no traffic in either Duluth or Superior on Thursday. Presque Isle is due in Duluth early Friday morning, likely for unspecified repair work, then she is scheduled to load in Two Harbors. Erie Trader/tug Clyde S. VanEnkevort and American Mariner are due Friday to load iron ore pellets at the CN dock. Stewart J. Cort is expected in Superior Friday to load at BN.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
Edwin H. Gott departed Two Harbors on April 2nd at 06:04 from South of #2. As of 18:00 she had no unload destination. Roger Blough arrived Two Harbors on April 2nd at 01:02 for North of #2 where she took on a partial cargo from the gravity dock. She shifted to South of #2 between 10:48 to 11:09 on the 2nd and departed from Two Harbors on the 2nd at 17:54 for Gary. Scheduled for Two Harbors on April 3rd is the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay saw the arrival of Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader on April 1st at 23:27 and she departed on the 2nd at 10:16 with no updated AIS. American Spirit will arrive either late on April 2nd or early on April 3rd. There is no other traffic scheduled for Silver Bay on the 3rd.

Thunder Bay, ON
Thursday; 14:15 Frontenac departed downbound on Lake Superior.15:46 Saginaw arrived at the Richardson Current River Terminal to load grain.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic Thursday included American Mariner early, Hon. James L. Oberstar, Tim S. Dool and Walter J. McCarthy Jr. Downbounders included James R. Barker and Oakglen.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
Prentiss Brown/St. Marys Conquest arrived from Charlevoix Thursday (4/2) at 16:06 with cement for the Kinnickinnic River terminal. If it seems the tug/barge unit was just in town, you would be correct. The pair left Milwaukee on Tuesday (3/31) at 19:08 for a quick run to the St. Marys plant in Charlevoix. No additional vessel traffic is currently expected.

S. Lake Michigan ports
Mesabi Miner was unloading at Indiana Harbor Thursday evening. Alpena was departing S. Chicago upbound.

Northern Lake Huron
Stoneport:
Thursday; 6:36 Mississagi departed for Sarnia. 7:02 Laura L Van Enkevort arrived and went to anchor. 18:30 Kay E Barker arrived and went to anchor. 20:24 Laura L Van Enkevort weighed anchor and proceeded to the loading dock.

Cheboygan: Thursday; 8:33 USCG Mackinaw arrived at the coast guard station and departed at 1
5:28 for St Ignace.

St Ignace:
Thursday; 17:50 USCG Mackinaw arrived.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Sault cleared at 11.05 am Thursday, upbound with salt for Thunder Bay.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Samuel De Champlain/Innovation were unloading cement at Lafarge on Thursday.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Lee A. Tregurtha arrived on the 30th with ore for the Bulk Terminal and departed at 09:46 Thursday for Marquette. Calumet arrived from Marblehead at 15:22 with stone for RiverDock. Herbert C. Jackson finally loaded a shuttle for ArcelorMittal. Sam Laud is at the Bulk Terminal and will head to Arcelor once the Jackson leaves.

Picton, Ont. – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit was loading at Lehigh Cement Plant on Thursday.

Buffalo, NY – Craig E. Speers
NACC Argonaut departed the LaFarge docks on the Buffalo River after 12 hours of discharging cement. Tugs Vermont and Washington assisted with the departure.

 

Michigan's record-high water levels are beginning to collide with coronavirus

4/3 - Detroit, MI - Two different crises are beginning to collide: the continuing coronavirus pandemic and record-high water levels expected to cause even worse flooding, shoreline erosion, road and infrastructure damage than occurred last spring.

Every Great Lake except Lake Ontario set its new record-high water level in February, with connected lakes Michigan and Huron 17 inches above their levels at the same time last year. As of March 27, Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, and Erie are 2 to 5 inches above their record-high monthly average March level.

As communities brace for an even worse flooding season than last year, it has the Red Cross rethinking evacuations — for flooding or any other reason — in a time when sheltering people together can potentially expose them to the COVID-19 virus.

Spring flooding has already begun in Michigan, with places like Ford Field Park in Dearborn inundated. Repairs and mitigation efforts can occur even amid social distancing and a need to protect workers from contracting COVID-19, state officials said.

Absent some injection of federal disaster relief funds, the regular state road budget, used to fix roads and bridges crumbling from age and wear, would have to bear those huge additional costs, he said. The federal relief could only come if Michigan and then the federal government declared portions of the state as disaster zones because of flooding and erosion damage, something that has not occurred to date.

The possibility of emergency appropriations for record-high water level-related road repairs may become further challenged as agencies like EGLE and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services may soon need their own emergency outlays as part of the COVID-19 response.

Detroit Free Press

 

Seaway Notice to Shipping # 18: Restrictions for pilots

4/3 - Maisonneuve Region – Montreal / Lake Ontario Section
Restrictions for Pilots Boarding Ships at Iroquois Lock
In order to minimize the risk to exposure of COVID-19, pilots will be granted access to Iroquois lock only once the ship is fully secured in the lock. Taxi drivers and pilots will be subject to the SLSMC screening measures before being allowed onto the lock. They may be refused access to the lock should they not meet the screening criteria. Taxi drivers are not permitted to exit their vehicles. Waiting room and washroom facilities at the lock will be unavailable until further notice.

 

BoatNerd to share Cliffs Victory conversion, delivery film on tonight

4/3 - The 1952 film “Inland Voyage: Conversion and Delivery of the Cliffs Victory,” documenting the delivery and conversion of the much-loved Cleveland-Cliffs steamer Cliffs Victory, will be shared online at 8 p.m. Friday.

The unique Cliffs Victory’s history follows: Built in 1945 by Oregon Shipbuilding Co., Portland, OR as hull # 1229. Keel laid Jan. 26, 1945 and launched March 9, 1945 as the Victory ship NOTRE DAME VICTORY for the U.S. Maritime Commission.

Purchased by Cleveland-Cliffs Steamship Co. in December 1950, the hull was lengthened to 619 feet and her capacity was increased to 14,500 DWT at Baltimore, MD. Renamed CLIFFS VICTORY on Mar. 21, 1951, she was towed up the Mississippi River to S. Chicago, arriving there May 9, 1951 to complete the lake boat conversion at American Ship Building's yard. She entered service on June 4, 1951 and was known for her distinctive profile and high-speed runs and was given informal title "Speed Queen of the Lakes.” Lengthened in 1957 to 716' 03" at S. Chicago with a new capacity of 17,600 DWT. She was laid up at end of the 1981 season at S. Chicago and sold Oct. 12, 1985 for scrap for $235,000. The vessel was reflagged Panamanian and renamed SAVIC by painting out the letters CLIFF and ORY and adding an A in the middle. She left S. Chicago Dec. 17, 1985 under own power and, after many delays, arrived at Masan, S. Korea on Dec. 22, 1986 for scrapping.

Watch the video at this link: https://www.facebook.com/Boatnerd/posts/3913805875297965

 

Today in Great Lakes History -  April 3

In 1969 the 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.

 

Baie St. Paul opens Seaway’s Montreal / Lake Ontario section

4/2 - St. Lambert, QC – The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) marked the opening of its Montreal / Lake Ontario Wednesday, with the transit of the Canada Steamship Lines vessel Baie St. Paul through the St. Lambert Lock.

“With the COVID-19 outbreak, we are living in exceptional times. As the 2020 navigation season gathers momentum, we continue to witness a tremendous response by our employees and members of the broader marine community in overcoming a range of challenges” said Terence Bowles, President and CEO of the SLSMC. “The St. Lawrence Seaway provides an essential transportation service that literally feeds nations around the world, including Canada and the U.S., and supplies the inputs which keep many of our industries operating. We will strive to do our part during this difficult period.”

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation continues to work closely with Transport Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), and many other authorities. A series of comprehensive practices and procedures are in place to manage risk and minimize all non-essential interactions between personnel in view of COVID-19.

The Seaway’s Welland Canal section opened on March 24th this year, eight days before the opening of the Montreal / Lake Ontario section. This hybrid approach respected the desire of the International Joint Commission to move record volumes of water out of Lake Ontario in order to provide relief to lakeshore communities battered by high water levels.

SLSMC

 

Steel production plunges 9.8% nationally as coronavirus crisis intensifies

4/2 - As the coronavirus crisis intensified and auto plants shut down, Great Lakes steel production plummeted by 69,000 tons last week, a 10.19% drop.

Steel mills in the Great Lakes region, clustered mainly in Northwest Indiana, made 608,000 tons of metal, down from 677,000 tons the previous week, according to the Washington, D.C.-based American Iron and Steel Institute.

Overall, domestic steel mills in the United States made 1.67 million tons of steel last week, down 9.8% from 1.852 million tons the previous week. Automakers like Ford, General Motors and Honda, some of the largest consumers of North American steel, have temporarily ceased production to sanitize plants and limit the spread of COVID-19.

So far this year, domestic steel mills in the United States have made 23.65 million tons of steel, a 1% decrease compared to the 23.88 million tons made during the same period in 2019.

U.S. steel mills have run at a capacity utilization rate of 80.7% through March 28, down from 81.6% at the same point in 2019, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.

Steel capacity utilization nationwide was 71.6% last week, which was down from 79.4% the previous week and down from 82.2% at the same time a year ago.

A steel capacity utilization rate of 83.4% last year was the highest level reached in the U.S. since September 2008, according to the trade publication Platts.

Steel production in the Southern region, a wide geographic swath that encompasses many mini-mills and rivals the Great Lakes region in output, produced 645,000 tons of steel in the week that ended Saturday, down from 718,000 tons the week before. Production in the rest of the Midwest plunged to 155,000 tons last week, down from 184,000 tons the week prior.

NW Indiana Times

 

U.S. Steel to idle Lorain tubular plant, lay off 250 workers by May 24

4/2 - Lorain, OH – U.S. Steel has notified the state of Ohio and city of Lorain it plans to indefinitely idle all operations at its Seamless Tubular Operations plant in Lorain.

The closing will affect 250 workers, who will be laid off as soon as May 24, U.S. Steel told the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services in a letter on Monday.

"This action is a result of weak tubular market conditions, including continued high levels of imported tubular products, which are impacting demand for the facility's products," Timothy Mosby, senior director for employee relations with U.S. Steel, wrote in a Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification, or WARN Act notice, sent to the state.

Workers in Texas also are affected, U.S. Steel spokeswoman Meghan Cox said in an emailed statement. This decision is largely related to market conditions, including oil pricing, imports, and demand, Cox said — not to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

A message seeking comment on the layoffs was left for Onika Rivera, president of United Steelworkers Local 1104, which represents many of the workers at the plant.

The mill manufactures 380,000 tons of seamless pipe used in oil and gas exploration and construction, according to the U.S. Steel website. All departments at the plant will be affected by the layoffs, U.S. Steel said.

Copies of the Ohio WARN notice also were sent to United Steelworkers headquarters in Pittsburgh and to Lorain Mayor Jack Bradley.

Bradley said Monday that producers and purchasers of foreign steel are continuing to "game the system" and affect production in the U.S. He said it will be that way until Congress acts and imposes more permanent tariffs on foreign steel.

 

Port Reports -  April 2

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
CSL Tadoussac arrived Duluth at 02:34 Wednesday morning to load at Canadian National, and her fleetmate Oakglen was outbound at 08:32 for Quebec City with iron ore pellets. The Tadoussac was expected to depart at 23:00. In Superior, Paul R. Tregurtha departed at 08:51 Wednesday with a load of ore for Nanticoke.

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
James R. Barker departed Two Harbors on April 1st at 06:57 for Indiana Harbor. Arriving Two Harbors on April 1st was the Edwin H. Gott at 17:41 for South of #2. The Barker departed from South of #2. The Roger Blough will arrive Two Harbors early on April 2nd. Northshore Mining should see the Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader late on April 1st or early on April 2nd. Due Silver Bay on April 2nd is the American Spirit.

Thunder Bay, ON
Wednesday; 16:47 Frontenac arrived at Viterra A to load wheat.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic on a sunny Wednesday included Presque Isle, followed by tug Anglian Lady and her barge, American Spirt and, late, Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader and Stewart J. Cort. Downbounders included Algoma Enterprise and Burns Harbor.

Grand Haven, MI – Bill Van Lopik
The articulated tug barge Undaunted/PM 41 made its first visit of the season to Grand Haven. She arrived in early afternoon, traveling from Burns Harbor, IN and unloaded at the Verplank Dock in Ferrysburg, MI.

Indiana Harbor, IN
Joseph L. Block was unloading on Wednesday afternoon.

Northern Lake Huron
Parry Sound: Wednesday; 10:13 CCGS Samuel Risley arrived at the coast guard station.

Stoneport: Wednesday; 15:19 Mississagi arrived to load limestone.

Calcite, MI – Denny Dushane
American Mariner is expected to arrive on April 7 in the late evening for the South Dock to load. They will then be the first vessel arrival to load at Calcite’s Docks for the 2020 shipping season. Also expected is the tug Clyde S. VanEnkevort and barge Erie Trader on April 9 in the early evening also for the South Dock to load.

Stoneport, MI
Mississagi was expected to arrive on Wednesday during the mid-afternoon thus becoming the first vessel arrival for the 2020 shipping season. Also due on Wednesday were the tug Laura L. VanEnkevort and barge Joseph H. Thompson in the early evening. Due to arrive on Thursday is the Kaye E. Barker in the late afternoon.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Sault finished unloading grain at elevators Wednesday and nudged across Goderich basin to Compass Minerals to load salt.

Sarnia, ON – Denny Dushane
Manitowoc departed from their lay-up berth in the North Slip on Wednesday during the late afternoon. This leaves Algoma Innovator at the Government Dock, where it had arrived on March 13th, and the Algoma Hansa at the Sidney E. Smith Dock, where it had arrived on March 6th.

Marine City, MI – Rich Larson
Vessel passages Wednesday: noon Kaye E. Barker downbound, 12:30 pm Tim S. Dool upbound, 1 pm Florence Spirit downbound, 1:30 pm T/B Sharon M 1/Huron Spirit downbound, 1:45 pm Algoma Spirit downbound, 2 p m Hon. James L. Oberstar upbound, 4 pm Algocanada upbound. Temps in the low 50s, partly sunny, light breeze from the south-southwest, river calm. The DNR has pulled the boat docks for use and set the channel marker buoys at the public access south of Marine City for boaters and fishermen.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Wednesday Arrivals: Iver Bright arrived at the Marathon Asphalt Terminal to load. Kaye E Barker arrived at AK Steel to unload ore. Sharon MI/Huron Spirit arrived at Nicholson's Ecorse Terminal to unload steel coils.

Toledo, OH – Denny Dushane
The tug Victory and barge Maumee are due at the Torco Dock on April 5 in the morning. Also due at Torco is the tug Defiance and barge Ashtabula on April 5 in the early evening. Due at the CSX Coal Dock to load is the John D. Leitch on Friday in the late afternoon. Also due at CSX to load is the Manitowoc on April 7 in the early afternoon. Walter J. McCarthy Jr. departed from Winter Lay-Up berthin Toledo on Wednesday. They are heading to Two Harbors on their first trip out for the 2020 shipping season. Their ASC fleemate the Sam Laud departed from their Winter Lay-Up berth on March 30th and sailed to Cleveland to load a shuttle. Vessels that remain in lay-up in Toledo now include the following: American Valor and Manistee both in long-term lay-up at the Hocking Valley Dock, Algoma Strongfield at the Ironhead Marine Drydock getting their 5-year survey done. Both the Great Republic and Philip R. Clarke at the Old Interlake Iron Co. Dock near the Ironhead Marine Shipyard, American Century at CSX #3 Dock, Indiana Harbor at the CSX #2 Dock, Arthur M. Anderson at the CSX #1 Dock, American Courage at the Torco/Lakefront Docks and the St. Clair also at the Torco/Lakefront Docks. St. Clair still remains at the Torco/Lakefront Docks from its fire in February 2019.

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
Sam Laud is on the shuttles for ArcelorMittal Steel. Herbert C. Jackson is still at the wall at the Bulk Terminal. Calumet arrived Wednesday from Marblehead for Ontario Stone's lower dock and has departed at 14:04 to return to Marblehead.

Lorain, OH – Bill Kloss, Ken Krol
After loading salt at the Jonick dock, the Algoma Conveyor departed at 08:56 for Toronto.

Ashtabula, OH – Denny Dushane
Cuyahoga became the fourth vessel to depart from winter lay-up in Ashtabula on Wednesday. This leaves Defiance and barge Ashtabula, tug Invincible and Ojibway, which is showing a Thunder Bay destination on AIS with an expected arrival there on April 5 in the early morning. Also remaining in lay-up are the tug Olive L. Moore and barge Menominee and Robert S. Pierson.

Port Colborne, ON – Denny Dushane
Tim S. Dool departed from winter lay-up at wharf 12 on Tuesday. This leaves only two vessels left in lay-up, Algoma Mariner at wharf 16 and Algoma Transport at wharf 17. Algoma Mariner was getting new scrubbers installed this while in lay-up.

Rochester, NY – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit departed Wednesday afternoon, in ballast, for Picton, Ont.

 

Pleasure craft traffic suspended in St. Lawrence Seaway locks

4/2 - Port Colborne, ON - Pleasure craft traffic on the St. Lawrence Seaway has been suspended on the eight-lock Welland Canal and Lake Ontario-Montreal section. The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. issued the notice Thursday and said the restrictions will be in place until further notice. Seaway spokesman Andrew Bogora said the suspension applies to all pleasure craft 300 tons or less.

More than 2,000 pleasure craft transit the locks in the seaway system each year and must be motor-powered, six metres in length and weigh at least 900 kilograms.

In Port Colborne, pleasure craft travelling the 43-kilometre long canal can be found along West Street at the city docks at the end of Charlotte Street. There are also docks on the north end of the canal in St. Catharines.

The seaway launched its 62nd navigation season with the opening of the canal on Tuesday as the NACC Argonaut made its way to Lake Erie from Lake Ontario. The Lake Ontario-Montreal section of the waterway opens April 1.

The pleasure craft notice is just one of the measures the seaway has put in place to minimize non-essential interaction between seaway personnel and the general public during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other measures taken include only allowing domestic fleet crews to embark and disembark from vessels at locks 1, 2, 5 and 7, and the loading of stores and supplies at wharves in St. Catharines and Port Colborne. Pilots that guide ocean-going vessels through the canal and lakes will now board vessels at Lock 7 or wharves as necessary instead of boarding via pilot boats at either end of the canal.

Bogora said the seaway is intent on providing a level of operational stability so it stays open during the pandemic and continues to be a vital link in Canada's transportation system.

Cargo imported, exported and shipped internally between Canada and the U.S. on the seaway includes things like wind turbine parts, grain, salt to ports across the Great Lakes before and during winter, iron ore for steel mills, cement, coal and fuel.

He said the seaway is in contact daily with the shipping industry, its American counterpart — the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. — Canadian and American coast guards and other partners. "There are multiple calls every single day."

The Welland Tribune

 

Uncertainty due to COVID-19 clouds Great Lakes cruises

4/2 - When the coronavirus reached the African continent, it was Egypt that was one of the first victims. The country’s health officials acted quickly to impose World Health Organization recommended guidelines while also shutting down public spaces such as schools and restaurants, imposing an 11-hour curfew and using state media to encourage social distancing. What Egypt failed to consider among their many precautions is that cruise ships were still traveling up and down the Nile River. A sudden spike in cases was detected after Gate 1 travel agency’s MS Asara docked in the ancient Egyptian city of Luxor on March 10.

In response, countries around the world have begun imposing restrictions for cruise ships to dock in their ports to slow the spread of COVID-19. Canada, for example, recently imposed a docking ban for any cruise ships or ferries carrying more than 500 people.

“Just about most of the Great Lakes fleet is under 500 passengers and crew,” said Stephen Burnett, director of the Great Lakes Cruising Coalition. “In theory, that means that they are admissible. However, since then there have been a number of things that have happened.”

Among these, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau closed off the Canadian border to everyone except Canadian and American citizens, with exceptions made for cargo and medical personnel in an effort to slow the virus’ spread. Provincial premiers have closed off bars, restaurants and public facilities, and similar restrictions have been implemented on the American side.

“We can see that it’s a moving target, and again I can only say that we don’t know what’s going to happen simply because the cruise lines are digesting the maze of information that’s coming at them and trying to figure out what might work, if anything might work,” Burnett said.

Great Lakes cruises have a slight advantage over their larger competitors, as their cruising seasons start much later in the summer. Pearl Seas Cruises has one of the earliest departure dates, April 23, and according to their public relations manager, Alexa Paolella, tickets are still being sold for their cruises and no changes to the itinerary have been made at time of writing.

“As of now we are on schedule, but again we have been given a grace period that other lines have not because our cruises don’t begin until late April,” she said. “We’re monitoring the situation and if there are any changes we will announce them certainly.”

Great Lakes Now

 

Demand for wheat increases amid COVID-19

4/2 - Thunder Bay, ON - Dozens of ships are expected to arrive at the Port of Thunder Bay over the next few weeks as demand for food staples like wheat and durum increases around the world.

Canadian vessels have already loaded 200,000 metric tons of grain in the last week, twice the average volume in March. The Montreal to Lake Ontario section of the St. Lawrence Seaway opens today allowing Canadian vessels to travel the entire Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River waterway to deliver Prairie grain from the Port of Thunder Bay to Quebec where it will be transloaded onto ocean-going vessels destined for overseas markets. International vessels will also start arriving mid-April in Thunder Bay to pick up grain.

“Right now, we expect April grain volumes to be above normal. We currently have 650,000 metric tons of grain in storage ready to go out and we are receiving more rail deliveries. The port can store more than a million metric tons of grain at a time and has the fastest rail turn-around times, so we are well-positioned to help Canadian farmers supply their markets,” says Tim Heney, CEO of the Thunder Bay Port Authority. Recent consumer and government demand has increased production of bread and pasta around the world.

“We are seeing strong demand for food staples like Canadian wheat and durum with production up at flour mills and pasta plants around the world. Demand was already up in countries like Italy which had a smaller crop last year but with the COVID-19 pandemic, some countries are ordering extra wheat and durum to increase their reserves and satisfy this new demand,” says Carsten Bredin, Vice-president of Grain Merchandising for Richardson International Limited, “Great Lakes-St. Lawrence shipping is going to be a critical part of the supply chain to move grain to markets in Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East. “

The marine sector has adopted stringent protective measures over the past few weeks to keep workers and the public safe including screening and reporting requirements for ship crews, extra cleaning procedures, hand washing, sanitizing frequently touched surfaces, limiting shore side interactions, keeping physical distancing in the workplace and using protective gear.

 

Seaway issues new notices to shipping due to COVID-19

4/2 - 2020 – Notice to Shipping #17
MAISONNEUVE REGION MONTREAL / LAKE ONTARIO SECTION
Preventive Measures for COVID-19 – Revised 1 April 2020 This notice supersedes Notice to Shipping No.10. Revisions include changes to the reporting requirement. The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation has put a series of measures in place to ensure the continuity of operations in the Montreal – Lake Ontario (MLO) section for both domestic and ocean vessels. These measures are designed to maintain an efficient transportation system while safeguarding the welfare of all personnel.

For ocean vessels coming into the St. Lawrence Seaway, adherence to the 96 hour advance notice of arrival to the Government of Canada is essential. In addition, all crew members of domestic and ocean vessels must be monitored for symptoms of the virus. For any confirmed or suspected cases of the virus on board, ships must notify the appropriate Traffic Control Center by telephone as described below:

• Ships between CIP2 and mid-Lake Ontario must call St. Lambert Traffic Control at: 450-672-4110 ext. 2232

• Ships between mid-Lake Ontario and CIP16 must call Niagara Traffic Control at: 905-641-1932 ext. 5370

New restrictions on transportation mean that all cruise ships carrying 500 or more people will be prohibited from entering Canadian waters. Consequently, cruise ships should monitor Transport Canada communication channels for further updates, as these stipulations may change in the future.

Please note that there may be limited capacity to assist ships requiring mooring lines for a lockage at a lock equipped with Hands-Free mooring. Operators of such ships requiring the use of mooring lines are required to contact the St. Lambert Traffic Control Center. The Traffic Control Center will advise on the order of turn and estimated schedule for lockage.

In addition, in order to protect our employees, limitations to interfaces are in effect as described in Seaway Notice No. 10 - 2020.

Please be assured, the current health crisis related to COVID-19 has our full attention and the situation is being constantly monitored. We will keep you informed of any changes.

2020 – Notice to Shipping #9

NIAGARA REGION – WELLAND CANAL
This notice supersedes Notice to Shipping No. 2. Revisions include changes to the reporting requirement.

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation has put a series of measures in place to ensure the continuity of operations in the Welland Canal section of the St. Lawrence Seaway for both domestic and ocean vessels. These measures are designed to maintain an efficient transportation system while safeguarding the welfare of all personnel.

For ocean vessels coming into the St. Lawrence Seaway, adherence to the 96-hour advance notice of arrival to the Government of Canada is essential. In addition, all crew members of domestic and ocean vessels must be monitored for symptoms of the virus. For any confirmed or suspected cases of the virus on board, ships must notify the appropriate Traffic Control Center by telephone as described below:

• Ships between CIP2 and mid-Lake Ontario must call St. Lambert Traffic Control at: 450-672-4110 ext. 2232

• Ships between mid-Lake Ontario and CIP16 must call Niagara Traffic Control at:: 905-641-1932 ext.5370

SLMC

 

Seaway saltwater visitors go to scrap

4/2 - The following saltwater vessels have been scrapped, with each having made to the Great Lakes/Seaway system during their careers.

The tanker Alykon IMO 8025472 which first came inland as such with that name in 2005 has been scrapped. This vessel had many names throughout its career among them it was known as Rich Arrow from 1981-89 and also Pisagua from 1989-95. It never came inland under those names. As the Alkyon however, it carried and held this name from 1995-08 before it was then renamed Musa Bashar a name it held from 2008 until 2010 when it reverted back to the name Alkyon.

Mia IMO 8418746 may be familiar to some as either the former Ziemia Lodzka or else the Lake Champlain. This vessel has an interesting history as it first came inland in 1992 as the Ziemia Lodzka and was renamed in Milwaukee on October 27, 1992 to the Lake Champlain. The vessel did return as the Lake Champlain and it carried this name from 1992 until 2003 when it reverted back to its original name of Ziemia Lodzka for a second time. It then returned inland again with this name and last visited as such in 2014. As the Ziemia Lodzka, it held this name for a second time from 2003 until 2015 when it renamed for a final time. As the Mia however, the ship did not return inland.

Raysut II IMO 8317332 is best remembered as the KCL Barracuda a former saltwater cement carrier which first came inland as such in 2007 on its only visit with that name. It was also known as Kiwi Star from 1984-93 and the Thai Ho from 1993-04. It did not come inland or visit with either name. As the KCL Barracuda, it held this name from 2004 until 2010 when it was renamed for a final time. As the Raysut II, the ship never returned inland as such.

The tanker Sea Adventurer IMO 8716863 is familiar to some as the former Hilda Knutsen with first came inland as such in 2009 on its only visit with that name. It held the name Hilda Knutsen from 1989 until 2011 when it was renamed then. The ship never returned inland.

Supertramp IMO 9216602 has visited the Great Lakes/Seaway under three of its four former names. This ship was known as the Cedar a name it held and carried from 2001 until 2003 and also came inland as such in 2001 also. It then was renamed to Atlantic Castle and it carried and held this name from 2003 until 2007. It returned as such on its only visit inland with this name in 2006. In 2007, the ship was renamed again to Ladytramp and it carried this name from 2007 to 2013 and did not return inland as such. In 2013, the ship was renamed Dimitrios K and it held this name from 2013 until 2018. As Dimitrios K. it first came inland as such in 2014 and last visited as such in 2017. It did not return inland after being renamed in 2018.

TK Rotterdam IMO 9045613 first came inland and visited the Great Lakes/Seaway system in 2003. This vessel also held and carried the names Gaiesti briefly in 2001 before being renamed TK Rotterdam. As the TK Rotterdam, it held this name from 2001 to 2005. It was then renamed in 2005 to Aras and it held this name from 2005 until 2012 before reverting back to the name TK Rotterdam for a second time.

Zoloto Kolymy IMO 8212099 visited the Great Lakes/Seaway under two of its three former names. This vessel was once known as the Bijelo Polje a name it carried from 1987 to 1992. It first came inland as such in 1987. The ship was then renamed C. blanco and it carried this name from 1992 to 1995 and did not return inland as such. In 1995, the ship was then renamed Utviken as was a frequent visitor as such and carried this name from 1995 to 2012. It first came inland as such in 1995. After its rename in 1995 to Zoloto Kolymy, the ship never returned inland.

Denny Dushane

 

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

 

First upbound vessel in Seaway will be Baie St. Paul

4/1 - The Baie Ste. Paul was at St. Lambert Lock Tuesday night, ready for Wednesday's opening. She is heading to Hamilton. Tug Ocean K. Rusby was westbound near Morrisburg, and she is to be stationed at the Iroquois lock to assist traffic due to heavy water flow in the Seaway. CSL Niagara and CSL Welland are anchored at Tibbet's Point for down bound transit Wednesday. The tug Spartan and barge has departed Milhaven for Ludington MI. At 1400, Seaway clayton and Seaway Sodus did radio checks with the CSL Niagara.

Ron Walsh

 

U.S. Coast Guard concludes ice breaking operations on the Western Great Lakes

4/1 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie concluded its domestic ice breaking operation, also known as Operation Taconite, on Tuesday.

As ice throughout the Western Great Lakes is nearly melted, icebreaking in support of maritime mobility is no longer required. During the 111 days of the 2020 domestic icebreaking season (11 December – 31 March), the nine U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard vessels assigned to Operation Taconite delivered 769 hours of icebreaking to the benefit of 250 vessel transits; 40 of these transits required direct ice breaking assistance. This work also served the needs of eight island communities and fulfilled 186 individual icebreaking service requests. These same icebreaking vessels put forth an additional 1,529 hours of preventative icebreaking to establish and maintain tracks in the ice choked waterways of Green Bay, the Straits of Mackinac, the St Marys River, Georgian Bay and western Lake Superior.

Industry officials estimate more than seven million tons of dry bulk and liquid cargoes were shipped during the 111 days of this operational period. This translates to $281 million dollars of commodities critical to power generation, industrial productivity and public safety, moved during the winter months of the 2020 domestic icebreaking season.

USCG

 

Vessels ready for Montreal- Lake Ontario section of Seaway opening

4/1 - Kingston, ON – At 0740 on the 31st, the CSL Niagara was anchored at Tibbett's Point with a destination of Montreal. CSL Welland was eastbound at Sodus Point heading for Beconcoeur. The tug Spartan was unloading Asphalt at Milhaven and the McKeil Spirit was unloading cement in Rochester. NACC Argonaut was approaching Buffalo after partially unloading cement in Oswego. The CCGS Griffon was in the Beauharnois canal working on aids to navigation, and the AIS is active on the tug Robinson Bay. Along with the tug Performance, she usually does the aids to navigation in the American section. This should be her last year to do that as she is supposed to be replaced with a new tug this year. The SAR cutter CCGC Cape Hearne has been on station in Kingston for about a week. The Salarium is still in layup in Toronto. The Seaway control radio stations are active for the season.

Work has started on fitting out the local Thousand Islands tour boats Island Queen, Island Belle and Island Star. When they will start their season, their schedule, passenger capacity etc. is all dependent on the Covid-19 virus situation. The small cruise ship, Canadian Empress will also have her schedule dependent on the virus situation. In Montreal, the Tufty is waiting with a load of sugar for Toronto. AIS shows the Evans Spirit waiting for the opening with a destination of Toledo. Whitefish Bay, Algoma Discovery,Federal Cedar, Baie Comeau,Widgeon, and several Desgagnes vessels are also in port.

Ron Walsh

 

Port Reports -  April 1

Port reports are compiled from volunteer reader observations and AIS transmissions. Please send information about vessel arrivals and departures from your port to news@boatnerd.net by 9 p.m. (Eastern) nightly for them to be included in the next day's news. Please include name of vessel, arrival time, day and dock it went to (if known). We welcome new reporters. If your port is not included, we would welcome your contributions.

Duluth-Superior – Daniel Lindner
Oakglen arrived Duluth at 14:22 Tuesday afternoon to load iron ore at Canadian National. She is expected to depart mid-morning Wednesday. CSL Tadoussac is due on Wednesday, also to load at CN. At the Superior entry on Tuesday, Burns Harbor departed at 12:57 with ore and Paul R. Tregurtha was inbound at 16:43 to load at BN. Her posted departure time is 10:00 Wednesday

Two Harbors-Silver Bay – Gary A. Putney
The James R. Barker arrived Two Harbors for South of #2 on March 31st at 15:42. Due Two Harbors on April 1st are the Edwin H. Gott and the Roger Blough. Northshore Mining in Silver Bay had no traffic on March 31st. There is no traffic scheduled on April 1st, but the Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader is upbound in the St. Mary's River on the 31st at 18:00. She is headed for Silver Bay.

Thunder Bay, ON
Tuesday; 15:18 Algoma Equinox departed for Sorel. 18:48 Algoma Enterprise departed and was downbound on Lake Superior.

Marquette, MI
Saginaw was loading pellets on Tuesday evening.

St. Marys River
Upbound traffic Tuesday included Edwin H. Gott, Roger Blough and Frontenac. Downbounders included CSL Laurentien early, followed by Lee A Tregurtha, CCGS Samuel Risley, Florence Spirit, Kaye E. Barker, Algoma Spirit, Mesabi Miner and, late, John J. Boland.

Green Bay, WI – Jon
At 9:25 a.m. Tuesday, Mississagi arrived from Sarnia with salt for the Fox River Dock Terminal. She departed in the late afternoon.

Milwaukee, WI – MKE Marine Reports
Calumet River Fleeting’s tug Nathan S returned to the city with three more river barges for loading at the COFCO elevator. She arrived at 01:32 Tuesday (3/31) and will return to Calumet Harbor when loading is complete. This is her fifth trip to Milwaukee in March. So far in 2020, COFCO has loaded 24 barges. This equates to roughly 33,000 metric tons of grain. A seaway vessel would typically load about 21,000 metric tons.

Still in port are Prentiss Brown/St. Marys Conquest at the Kinnickinnic River cement terminal and G.L. Ostrander/Integrity, which has not yet departed winter lay-up. No additional vessel traffic is currently expected.

Burns Harbor, IN
Stewart J. Cort unloaded her first cargo of the season and was headed back north at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Northern Lake Huron
Cheboygan: Tuesday 9:45 USCG Mackinaw departed for Grand Traverse.

Goderich, ON – Bruce Douglas
Algoma Sault was loading salt on Tuesday.

Detroit-Rouge River – Raymond H
Michigan/Great Lakes was at the Waterfront Petroleum Terminal on Tuesday

Cleveland, OH – Bill Kloss
American Spirit departed at 03:27 Tuesday. Sam Laud arrived at 02:43 and loaded a shuttle at the Bulk Terminal. Sea Eagle II departed for Toledo at 00:07 which made room for Petite Forte to head to St. Marys lower terminal. Herbert C. Jackson remained at the Bulk Terminal waiting for strong river currents to subside.

Lorain, OH – Bill Kloss
Algoma Conveyor arrived at 19:05 on the 30th for the Jonick Dock.

Sandusky, OH – Bill Kloss
John D. Leitch arrived at 21:47 on the 30th for the Norfolk Southern coal dock

Rochester, NY – Tom Brewer
McKeil Spirit was at the Lehigh Cement Dock Tuesday.

Buffalo, NY – Craig E. Speers
NACC Argonaut became the first lake freighter into the = Port of Buffalo at 0640 on Tuesday with a multi-thousand ton load of cement for the LaFarge docks on the Buffalo River. Congratulations to all including the tug crews that guided her into the berth near the Ohio Street lift bridge.

 

New York's last coal-burning power plant closes on Lake Ontario shore

4/1 - Buffalo, NY - New York State's coal-burning era will end Tuesday, when Somerset Operating Co. officially retires its power plant on the shore of Lake Ontario in Niagara County. It means the share of the state's power generation coming from coal will fall to zero.

"We were the last coal-fired plant in New York State," plant manager Brian Gregson said Monday. The 675-megawatt plant, opened by New York State Electric & Gas Corp. in 1983, last generated electricity on March 13, when it burned off the last of its coal. The process ended at 12:02 a.m. March 14.

The plant sat idle more than it ran in recent years. It has been at least five years since the plant operated without interruption for as long as a month, Gregson said. The plant's 613-foot smokestack can be seen from as far away as Buffalo on clear days. So could the emissions from the stack, although the plant won awards for emission control before the state imposed new regulations which in effect made it illegal to burn coal to generate electricity.

The business hasn't been healthy for years. In December 2011, AES Eastern Energy, which had bought the plant from NYSEG in May 1999, went bankrupt because it was unable to pay bondholders.

The creditors formed Upstate New York Power Producers and took over the plant. Beowulf Energy of New York formed Somerset Operating Co. and bought the plant in 2016. “Somerset as we have known it for so many years no longer exists," Gregson said in a company news release. "This is a sad day for all of us here, and the corona pandemic has made it an even more difficult one."

Plans are in the works for a town park on part of the 1,800-acre Lake Road parcel. A long-term plan, agreed to by NYSEG when it acquired the land in the late 1970s, envisioned a park in the northeast corner of the site.

Buffalo News

 

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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