Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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Record load for Jonick Dock, Lorain, OH

It was reported on Saturday that CSL's Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin took a record load out of Jonick Dock, Lorain, Ohio, of well over 32,000 net tons of mill scale. Loading started around noon on May 27th and completed the afternoon of the 28th. Congratulations to the officers and crew of the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin as well as Bill Morog and other members of the Jonick Team.



Tours to begin again at Marblehead Lighthouse

The Marblehead Lighthouse will be open for tours beginning Wednesday and continuing through Sept. 2. The lighthouse is off State Rt. 163 on Ottawa County’s Marblehead Peninsula. The tours are from 1 to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday, and on the second Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

At 183 years old, the 67-foot-tall limestone landmark is the oldest lighthouse in continuous operation on the Great Lakes.


Port Reports

Saginaw River:
Reported by Todd Shorkey
The Memorial Day weekend saw numerous vessels call on Saginaw River ports.  Early Saturday morning brought the tug Rebecca Lynn & her tank barge to the Bit-Mat Asphalt dock in Bay City to unload.  She completed her unload and was outbound early Sunday morning. Also inbound on Saturday was the Mississagi carrying a split load.  She stopped at the Bay City Wirt dock to lighter before continuing upriver to finish unloading at the Wirt dock in Saginaw. Mississagi was outbound Saturday night. The Adam E. Cornelius was also inbound Saturday night, passing the outbound Mississagi at the Consumers Energy dock.  She was also carrying a split load, lightering at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City before going up to the Buena Vista dock to finish unloading.  The Cornelius was outbound Sunday afternoon.

Inbound early Sunday morning was the tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons.  The pair called on the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee to unload.  They had finished by late morning and were outbound for the lake Sunday afternoon after turning at Sixth Street. The Algoway was inbound late Sunday morning, traveling upriver to unload at the Buena Vista dock just vacated by the Adam E. Cornelius.  She completed her unload and was downbound for the lake, passing through Bay City around 10pm Sunday night.The tug Donald C. Hannah and her tank barge were inbound Sunday afternoon calling on the Dow Chemical dock to unload.  They were expected to be outbound Monday morning. The Algorail was inbound the Saginaw River late Sunday night headed for the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee.  She will be unloading salt from Goderich, Ont.  It is expected she will be outbound Monday afternoon.

Reported by Dale Baechler
The Algorail was first in on a bright Sunday morning, followed closely by the Canadian Transfer. Both are loading at Sifto Salt. The tug Mark Hanna/Barge E63 were in the new harbour Sunday discharging a load of liquid calcium. The Algolake entered port early Monday morning to load at Sifto Salt. The Canadian Transfer made a return appearance to load salt on Tuesday morning after loading on Sunday afternoon.

Menominee - Marinette:
Reported by Dick Lund
This past week saw two ships in the Port of Menominee & Marinette. First was the Vlieborg, which arrived on May 21 with a load of wood pulp for a local warehouse, leaving the next day. The other ship was the Catherine Desgagnes, which arrived at Marinette Fuel & Dock late on the evening of May 26, and departed early on the afternoon of the 27th. The port's next visitor is scheduled to be the Kwintebank.

Reported by Lee Rowe
The James R. Barker continued unloading coal at Marquette's upper harbor on Monday.  Fleetmate Lee A. Tregurtha came in for a load of ore.

Reported by Ben & Chanda McClain
The Steamer Alpena made its way to Lafarge across a calm bay on Saturday night.  The Alpena was in port on Thursday and had delivered to Detroit on its last trip.  The J.A.W Iglehart took on cement at Lafarge on Wednesday and has made stops to Milwaukee and Muskegon.  The G.L Ostrander /barge Integrity was at the silos on Tuesday evening, with the Paul H. Townsend waiting out in the bay. The Townsend loaded cargo Tuesday night and  then sailed to Muskegon for temporary lay-up. The Denis Sullivan also spent a few days tied up in the Thunder Bay River this past week.

Reported by Jim Gallacher
Federal Schelde assisted by the tug Atomic started to leave Oshawa around 4.00pm on May 30th but encountered strong winds blowing west to east that started to increase in strength just as she left the dock. Subsequently the Atomic was struggling to get her lined up for leaving and, after several attempts without success, returned the ship to the dock.

Port Huron - Sarnia:
Reported by Jeffery Gushman
Sunday's traffic in Port Huron/Sarnia included the John J. Boland and saltie Staris downbound in the afternoon. Later on the American Mariner followed closely behind by the American Republic were upbound. Other upbound traffic included the Olympic Merit and Indiana Harbor in the late afternoon, and Charles M. Beeghly and Cuyahoga around 8 pm. The Wilfred Sykes came upbound followed by the Thecla downbound. On Monday the barge St. Marys Cement II was up with a tug. The Joseph H. Thompson tug and barge were followed directly behind by the Algocape and Arthur M. Anderson downbound around noon. Later on the H. Lee White followed.


Boatnerd Heading for 7 Million

The counter on the main page is expected to top 7,000,000 visitors sometime late this week. (the counter is located at the bottom of the main page at This counter was started as the page was launched in 1995 and topped one million visits in October 2000, two million in November 2001, three million in September, 2002, four million in June, 2003, five million in February, 2004 and six million in October, 2004.

Please email if you are the 7 millionth visitor. Please do not reload the page repeatedly,  server logs will be used to confirm who the visitor was.

Reported by Bob Hessler


Saturday, June 4 - Port Huron Marine Mart - 9:00 AM To 2:00 PM

Buy and sell books and other Great Lakes shipping memorabilia at this show, sponsored by the Port Huron Museum. 9:00 am - 2:00 pm. Note the location is the Seaway Terminal on the Port Huron waterfront. Admission to the show is free. Also on display will be ex-USCG Buoy Tender Bramble. Boatnerds are joining the fun and calling it the Port Huron Gathering.

The Marine Mart, will feature dealers selling a variety of nautical items, from books and photos to life rings, flags and other memorabilia. The SeawayTerminal is a great place to hang out and take pictures of the passing traffic.

Special Boatnerd Cruise Following Marine Mart

There will also be a special 2-hour tour of the St. Clair River aboard the Huron Lady II, beginning at 3:30 p.m. and returning at 5:30 p.m. Costs are Adults & Seniors-$12.00 (discount from last year), Child (5-12)-$7. Pay as you board with cash or check, but you must make reservations by calling 810-984-1500 or 888-873-6726.

The Huron Lady II departs from the southeast corner of Military Street and the Black River, next to the Standard Federal bank. Parking is available at the bank lot on Water Street just east of the Standard Federal Bank along the river. Additional parking is available in public lots at Fourth and Pine streets, and on the north side of the river at Quay and Michigan streets, and Quay Street west of the bridge.

Reported by Dave Wobser


Today in Great Lakes History: May 31

The CITY OF SAGINAW 31 cleared Manitowoc in 1973 in tow of the tug HELEN M McALLISTER, this was the first leg of her tow to the cutters torch which ended at Castellon, Spain.

The wooden barge FANNY NEIL was launched at the Muir, Livingstone & Co. yard in Port Huron, Michigan on 31 May 1870. As was usual in those days, her name was not made public until the streamer bearing her name was unfurled at the launch.

May 31, 1924 -- The PERE MARQUETTE 21 arrived Ludington, Michigan on her maiden voyage. Captain Charles E. Robertson in command.

The wooden tug MOCKING BIRD was launched at 7:00 PM on 31 May 1873 (12 days late) at the Port Huron Dry Dock Company yard. Her master builder was Alex "Sandy" Stewart. Her dimensions were 123' x 23' x 8.4', 142 gt. The engine (26.5" x 30") was at the Cuyahoga Works in Cleveland, Ohio at the time of launch, ready to be installed. Although this launch was twelve days late, it still did not go smoothly since MOCKING BIRD got stuck in the river. However, with some assistance from another tug, she was pulled free and was afloat at the dock by midnight. She lasted until abandoned at Marquette, Michigan in 1918.

May 30
On 30 May 1896, ALGERIA (3-mast wooden schooner-barge, 285 foot, 2038 gross tons) was launched by J. Davidson (Hull #75) at West Bay City, Michigan.  She lasted until 1906 when she foundered near Cleveland, Ohio.

The COLUMBIA STAR began her maiden voyage in 1981 from Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin to load iron ore pellets at Silver Bay, Minnesota for Lorain, Ohio. She was the last of the 1000 footers to enter service and, excluding tug-barge units or conversions, was the last new Great Lakes vessel on the American side.

During the economic depression known as the "Panic of '73", shipbuilding came to a stand still. Orders for new vessels were cancelled and worked was stopped on hulls that were on the ways. On 30 May 1874, the Port Huron Times reported that a recovery from the "Panic of '73" resulted in a surge of shipyard work at Marine City. "Shipyards are getting ready to start business again with full force. Mr. Fin Kenyon has begun building a steam barge for Kenyon Bros. [the PORTER CHAMBERLAIN]; Mr. George King is going to build a steam barge for Mr. Henry Buttironi [the GERMANIA]; Messrs. Hill and Wescott are going to build a side wheel passenger boat for Mr. Eber Ward [the NORTHERNER]; Mr. David Lester will build another steam barge [the CITY OF DULUTH]. There is one barge on the stocks built by Mr. Hill for Mr. Morley, that will soon be ready to launch [the N K FAIRBANK]."

At about 1:00 AM on 30 May 1882, the lumber hooker ROCKET, carrying shingles from Manistee to Charlevoix, capsized about four miles abreast of Frankfort, Michigan on Lake Michigan. The tug HALL found the vessel and towed her inside the harbor. The crew were saved, but the vessel was split open and was a total wreck.

May 29
The 71 foot tug and patrol boat CARTER H HARRISON was launched at Chicago, Illinois on 29 May 1901, for the City of Chicago Police Department.

The STADACONA (1) (Hull#66) was launched in 1909 at Ecorse, Michigan by Great Lakes Engineering Works for the Stadacona Steamship Co. (James Playfair, mgr.).  Renamed b.) W H MC GEAN in 1920 and c.) ROBERT S McC NAMARA in 1962.

JAMES R BARKER (Hull#905) was float launched in 1976 at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. for the Interlake Steamship Co.

Canada Steamship Lines Ltd.’s TADOUSSAC (2) (Hull#192) prematurely launched herself on this day in 1969 at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd.

May 29, 1905 -- The PERE MARQUETTE 20, while leaving Milwaukee in a heavy fog struck the scow HIRAM R BOND of the Milwaukee Sand Gravel Company. The scow sank.

In 1909 the ANN ARBOR NO 4 capsized at Manistique, Michigan as a result of an error in loading a heavy load of iron ore.

On 29 May 1889, BAVARIA (3-mast wooden schooner-barge, 145 foot, 376 gross tons, built in 1873 at Garden Island, Ontario) was carrying squared timber when she broke from the tow of the steamer D D CALVIN and began to founder near Long Point in Lake Erie. Her crew abandoned her, but all eight were lost. The abandoned vessel washed ashore with little damage and lasted until 1898 when she was destroyed in a storm.

PLEASURE (wooden passenger ferry, 128 foot, 489 gross tons) (Hull#104) was launched at West Bay City, Michigan by F.W. Wheeler & Co. on 29 May 1894. She was a small but powerful ferry, equipped with a 1600 HP engine. She operated on the Detroit River year round as a ferry and small ice breaker for the Detroit, Belle Isle and Windsor Ferry Company. She was broken up at Detroit in 1940.

May 28
THOMAS W LAMONT departed Toledo on her maiden voyage for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co. on May 28, 1930 bound for Duluth, Minnesota where she loaded iron ore.

May 28, 1900 -- The PERE MARQUETTE 15 cut down the scow SILVER LAKE, sinking her with the loss of one life.

On 28 May 1902, WINONA (wooden propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 100 foot, 231 gross tons) was launched at Port Stanley, Ontario for the Port Stanley Navigation Company.  She lasted until 1931 when she burned to a total loss.

On 28 May 1860, ARCTIC (wooden side-wheeler, 237 foot, 861 tons, built in 1851 at Marine City, Michigan) drove ashore on the east side of Lighthouse Island in Lake Superior in a dense fog. The passengers and crew were able to make it to shore before a storm arose and pounded the ARCTIC to pieces. The passengers and crew were later picked up by the steamer FOUNTAIN CITY.

The ferry SARNIA made her first trip as a carferry between Port Huron and Sarnia on 27 May 1879. She had burned in January 1879, then was converted to a carferry and served in that capacity during the summer. In September 1879, she was converted to a barge.

Lake Street Bridge seem to be a particular mark for the steamers of the Western Transit Line.  Since the boats began to run about the Chicago river without tugs, collisions with this bridge have been numerous, owing to its location on the bend of the south branch.  To-day the steamer SYRACUSE ran into the west approach, doing $500 damage.  The BOSTON recently struck in the same place.  The steamer NIKO fouled the North Halsted Street Bridge and carried away her pilot house and texas.

Detroit, Mich., May 28. - Fog and smoke in the St. Clair River and the narrow channels of the flats are once more troubling vesselmen and every morning when the atmosphere is clouded the reports come down to Detroit of numerous groundings and mixups and some of them smack of seriousness and narrow escapes from disastrous collisions.  On Thursday morning the rivers were overhung with mist and fully half a dozen craft struck on the mud banks, but only one of them, the CITY OF ROME, ran out any and had to be assisted by a wrecking tug.  Captains are well aware of the tortuous course of the flats channel and take no chances, but slow down on the coming of the fog and crawl along.  If they happen to keep their course so much the better and if the channel bank is run into the engines are reversed and the boat lies to for the blowing away of the curtain.  There is no help for this obstacle, lights, fog whistles and all other signals would serve but to confuse the mariners and so long as the narrow channels remain the lake boats will be in constant danger of hitting the channel sides in a fog.

Good Harbor, Michigan, May 31. - The steamer OWEGO of the Erie Railway line went ashore at the head of North Manitou Island at 8 o’clock yesterday.  Her forward compartment is full of water. The OWEGO left Chicago Tuesday bound for Buffalo.  Her cargo consists of grain and merchandise.

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



Front Range Light opens for tours Saturday

A Cheboygan area lighthouse will be open to the public for weekend tours beginning Saturday. The Cheboygan River Front Range Lighthouse, located off North Main Street at the West Second Street dock, will be open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays this summer through Labor Day weekend. Tours of the lighthouse will be given by members of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association, according to Terry Pepper, the organization's director.

The cost for admission will be $5 for adults and $3 for children. Pepper said that all proceeds from entry donations and gift shop sales will be applied directly to the restoration of the lighthouse to its 1920 appearance.

Reported by Mike Fornes, Cheboygan Daily Tribune


Port Reports

Saginaw River:
Reported by Gordy Garris
The Canadian Transfer was inbound the Saginaw River late Wednesday night with a load of Potash. She lightered at the North Star dock before continuing upriver to complete their unload at the Sargent Dock in Zilwaukee. The Transfer was the 4th vessel to unload at the Sargent Dock in Zilwaukee in the past 2 days. The Transfer arrived at the Sargent Dock in Zilwaukee at 8:30am Thursday morning She departed the Sargent Dock and headed upriver to turn in the Sixth Street Basin and head outbound for the lake. The Transfer was outbound the Saginaw River  passing through the Bay City bridges at 8pm. The Joyce L. Van Enkevort / Great Lakes Trader were inbound the Saginaw River Thursday afternoon lightering at the Bay Wirt dock before continuing upriver to complete unloading at the Saginaw Wirt dock. The pair were outbound the Saginaw River late Thursday evening.

Reported by Dale Baechler
The Algomarine came in to load at the Sifto Salt dock on Thursday evening. This was the first vessel in after a three day break, an unusual occurrence this very busy spring season. The Peter R. Cresswell entered the harbour Friday morning under a very bright sunny sky, for a load of salt.

Sturgeon Bay:
Reported by Wendell Wilke
The "in yard" inventory at Bay Shipbuilding was as follows: the tug / barge Michigan / Great Lakes were d/s as of early morning and the tug went into the small graving dock during the morning. Also "in-house" are the the Toledo barge Hull 401, future Energy 11103 u.c., and the future petroleum barge Georgia for Moran Towing u.c. in the large graving dock. Also in the yard are the Washington Island Ferry Line car ferry Eyrabakki, the former Washington Island Ferry Line car ferry Voyageur now owned by Shoreline Marine from Chicago and the Edward L. Ryerson in indefinite lay-up status.

Reported by Charlie Gibbons
The charter vessel Wayward Princess went to Port Credit for a "Charitabilty" cruise Thursday - a fund raising cruise for handicapped sailors -  and returned in the wee hours Friday. Shooting for "The Sentinel" movie with Kiefer Sutherland and Michael Douglas has been switched from Sunday to Monday at Toronto Drydock. Capt. Dick Stam's tug Emerald Bay will be on the drydock for this shoot. Pyrotechnics are expected.


News Photo Gallery Updated


News Photo Gallery updated. 

Note:  This page will generally be used only for photos related to recent news or port/area reports.  Photos of your visits to the various ship watching locations, trips etc. can now be posted in your own albums created in the Public Gallery.  Just click on the Public Photo Gallery link and follow the instructions.


Public Photo Gallery Updated


New albums in the Shipping, Lighthouses, Model Building and Post Cards/Collectables/Artwork Galleries
Public Photo Gallery


Obituary: Patrice J. Byrne

Patrice J. Byrne, 49, a Coast Guard-licensed captain who skippered Maumee River excursion boats and water taxis and a long-term substitute teacher who aimed to become a permanent special-education teacher, died Tuesday in Hospice of Northwest Ohio, South Detroit Avenue, from complications of cancer.

Her condition was diagnosed in 2002, but she was able to begin the school year at Woodward High School, where she was a long-term special education substitute. She was two classes shy of a master's degree from Bowling Green State University. "She was so excited last fall," said Barb Ulrich, a learning disabilities teacher at Byrnedale Junior High School. "She had gotten her [teaching] license and wanted to use it so badly."

Mrs. Byrne, of Point Place, was a substitute at Woodward about four years and at Byrnedale for more than five years before that. "She had such enthusiasm for what she did," Mrs. Ulrich said.

Mrs. Byrne had a passion for local history and social studies, her husband, Jim, said. "She loved to teach. She loved to watch the light bulbs come on," he said.

Her husband also is a licensed captain. He operated charter fishing boats out of Port Clinton in the early years of their marriage, and she went along. She liked being on the water and used her experience aboard the fishing boat to qualify for her Coast Guard captain's license. After passing an exam, she became Capt. Pat Byrne in 1985.

From the mid to the late 1980s, she was at the helm of the dinner excursion vessels that plied the Maumee, most notably the Arawanna II. Much of the time, a mate actually ran the boat because "she was doing a narration on the history of Toledo and the sights people would see on the river," her husband said. "She did a lot of research to perfect that."

From the late 1990s to about 2001, she worked for the firm that operates the downtown water taxi and took passengers across the Maumee between downtown and International Park.

Mrs. Byrne grew up in West Toledo and was a graduate of Start High School. She received a bachelor's degree from the University of Toledo.

She liked to tend her garden of roses and perennials and looked forward to family summer vacations spent near Harrisville, Mich. She traveled the country aboard Amtrak. "It fascinated her to be on the rails and watch the world go by," her husband said. "She was a very outgoing and a very friendly person. She had a lot of friends and made friends very easily."

She was a past president of the International Ship Masters' Association, Toledo Lodge 9.

Surviving are her husband, Jim, whom she married March 23, 1978; son, Ian Byrne; daughter, Erin Byrne, and sisters Laurel Cossitt and Madonna Anderson.

The body will be in the David R. Jasin Funeral Home after 5 p.m. today. Services will be at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in St. John the Baptist Church, of which she was a member. The family suggests tributes to the Hospice of Northwest Ohio.

Reported by the Toledo Blade


Today in Great Lakes History: May 27

CANADIAN PIONEER (Hull#67) was launched May 27, 1981 at St. Catharines, Ontario by Port Weller Dry Docks Ltd. for Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd.

NANTICOKE was christened in 1980 for Canada Steamship Lines Ltd..

CHARLES DICK (Hull#71) was launched in 1922 at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. for National Sand & Material Co. Ltd.

The PETER REISS left Duluth, Minnesota May 27, 1910 on her maiden voyage with iron ore for Ashtabula, Ohio.

HENRY STEINBRENNER (4) was towed from Toledo's Lakefront Dock in 1994 for the scrap yard at Port Maitland, Ontario.

The tug SMITH burned near Bay City, Michigan on 27 May 1872. Her loss was valued at $7,000 but there was no insurance on her.

The ferry SARNIA made her first trip as a carferry between Port Huron and Sarnia on 27 May 1879. She had burned in January 1879, then was converted to a carferry and served in that capacity during the summer. In September, 1879, she was converted to a barge.

The tug GORMAN, sunk by the steamer CITY OF BUFFALO was raised.  She is not much injured.  The local steamboat inspectors have taken up the case of the collision.  The crew of the tug claim that their boat was run over by the CITY OF BUFFALO and the appearance of the wreck carries out their declaration, for the tug shows that the steamer struck her straight aft.

27 May 1898  - The tug WINSLOW arrived in Bay City, Michigan to-night from Georgian Bay with a raft of logs for Eddy Bros. & Co.  The tug NIAGARA arrived this morning from the same bay with a raft for Pitts & Co. The saw mills along the Saginaw river are now nearly all in operation.

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


Roger Blough enters shipyard for repairs

Roger Blough entered Fraser Shipyards in Superior on Wednesday to undergo repairs to a leaking stern seal. The vessel was expected leave the shipyard Thursday and load taconite pellets at the DMIR dock in Duluth.

Reported by Al Miller


Toledo Lighthouse 101 Year Festival

The Toledo Lighthouse Preservation Society is sponsoring the 101 Year Festival of the Toledo Harbor Light at Maumee Bay State Park, in Oregon Ohio, on July 8-10. Events include free concerts Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:00 PM, nautical arts & crafts, Lyman boats, lighthouse sand sculpting, boat rides around the Toledo Harbor Light and more. Additional information is available at the Toledo Harbor Light website.

The Toledo Harbor Light Preservation Society has received final approval to operate as a state and Federal 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization. Donations to the group may be tax deductible. The organization has filed a preliminary notice to file an application to own the lighthouse with the U.S. Department of the Interior. A team of experts have been hired to work on the application and begin preliminary planning for restoration of the light station. The USCG will maintain and operate the light as an aid to navigation.

Reported by Dave Wobser


Shepler's ferry hits rough waves; four are Injured

Four passengers were injured on the 83 foot Shepler's ferry, Wyandot, May 13th when she ran into heavy seas between Mackinaw City and the mainland. Three were taken via ambulance to the Medical Center, one was treated and released at the dock. Wave heights were around 3 to 5 feet, with wind at the bridge at 47 miles per hour. Shepler's, nor the Medical Center will comment on the extent of the injuries, nor their cause.

Reported by Jeffery C. Gushman


Marquette II arrives at Mackinac Island

On May 16, the new hydro-plane ferry Marquette II arrived at her new home, Mackinac Island where she will run passengers from the mainland to the Island for Star Line Ferry Company. She is 80 feet long with a 24 foot breadth and draws six and a half feet of water. She has 3 passenger decks, the third was removed for a low bridge on her journey from where she was built at GulfCraft in Louisiana. Marquette II, as the name suggests, replaces Star Line's oldest boat, the 1979 built Marquette.

Reported by Jeffery C. Gushman


Port Reports

Saginaw River:
Reported by Todd Shorkey
he Algorail was inbound the Saginaw River Wednesday afternoon calling on the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee to unload.  She finished and departed for the Sixth Street turning basin around 11pm, turned and was outbound for the lake. Inbound late Wednesday night was the Canadian Transfer back again with another cargo for the North Star dock in Essexville.  She was inbound past Lights 1 & 2 of the Saginaw River Entrance Channel around 11:30pm.

Reported by Lee Rowe
Thursday the American Mariner loaded ore and departed.  The Lee A. Tregurtha was expected Thursday night with the Charles M. Beeghly, John J. Boland, and Earl Oglebay due on Friday.  Work on the dock done this spring continues.


Today in Great Lakes History: May 26

On 26 May 1888, BLANCHE (2-mast wooden schooner, 95 foot, 92 gross tons, built in 1874 at Mill Point, Ontario) was carrying coal with a crew of five on Lake Ontario.  She was lost in a squall somewhere between Oswego, New York and Brighton, Ontario.

In 1979 the FRED R WHITE JR. departed the shipyard on her maiden voyage to load iron ore pellets at Escanaba, Michigan for Cleveland, Ohio.

The J A W IGLEHART began its maiden Great Lakes voyage in 1965 for the Huron Portland Cement Co.

The straight deck bulk freighter FRANKCLIFFE HALL (2) began its maiden voyage in 1963.  Deepened and converted to a self-unloader in 1980.  Renamed b.) HALIFAX in 1988.

SCOTT MISENER (3) (Hull#14) was launched in 1954 at St. Catharines, Ontario by Port Weller Drydocks Ltd. for Colonial Steamships Ltd.

 n 1923 the ANN ARBOR NO 4 was towed to the shipyard in Manitowoc, Wisconsin by the ANN ARBOR NO. 5 with the assistance of the tug ARTIC. The NO 4 was completely overhauled and had all new cabins built on her main deck.

QUEEN OF THE LAKES was launched at the Kirby & Ward yard in Wyandotte, Michigan on 26 May 1872. She was the first iron hulled vessel built in Michigan.

On 26 May 1873, the iron propeller revenue cutter GEO S BOUTWELL (Hull#15) was launched at D. Bell Steam Engine Works in Buffalo, New York. Her dimensions were 140' x 22' x 17.5', 151 gt. She served out of Savannah, Georgia (1874-1899) and Newbern, North Carolina (1899-1907).

The tug GORMAN, which was sunk by the steamer CITY OF BUFFALO was raised today.  She is not much injured.  The local steamboat inspectors have taken up the case of the collision.  The crew of the tug claim that their boat was run over by the CITY OF BUFFALO and the appearance of the wreck carries out their declaration, for the tug shows that the steamer struck her straight aft.

Data from: Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series, the Detroit Free Press and the Duluth Evening Herald. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.


Tests show taconite tailings filter mercury

Developers of an iron nugget plant on Minnesota's Iron Range are seeking a patent for a filtering process that could lead to an important breakthrough in the removal of mercury from water. Laboratory tests show that the Mesabi Nugget Mercury Filter removes more than 90 percent of mercury from water, Larry Lehtinen, president of Mesabi Nugget, said Monday.

If proven on a larger pilot scale, the filter could help municipal water treatment plants and industries throughout the Great Lakes region meet a federal Great Lakes Water Quality Initiative, or GLI, emission standard of 1.3 nanograms of mercury per liter of water, Lehtinen said. ``Our tests show the ability to reach the GLI and below that,'' Lehtinen said. ``It's new technology and it has to be scaled up yet, but it seems to work quite nicely and the fact that it meets the GLI is really something.''

The proprietary filter -- which uses taconite tailings as a filtering agent -- would be used to filter water from a $130 million iron nugget plant proposed on about 6,000 acres of Cliffs-Erie mining property near Aurora. Within the taconite industry, it has been known for some time that taconite tailings, a waste product of taconite pellet production, are effective in containing mercury. However, no one really knows why.

``Nobody is quite sure how it works, but tailing basins seem to do that,'' said Ann Foss, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency major facilities section manager. ``The tailing basins somehow remove mercury. If this (filter) works, it will certainly be wonderful for facilities in the Great Lakes basin to meet the standard.''

Billions of tons of taconite tailings are stored in basins or dikes of Northeastern Minnesota's six taconite producers. Some of the tailings have been used in road construction or as fill. But until now, none has been used to help clean the environment. ``It's unique because it opens up a new use for the billions of tons of taconite tailings that we have out there,'' Lehtinen said.

Jane Reyer, a Grand Marais attorney and National Wildlife Federation member, said the federation doesn't support construction of the nugget plant. But the federation is pleased with Mesabi Nugget's environmental control efforts, she said. ``We are very excited if they have technology that controls mercury emissions from water,'' Reyer said. ``If it's really true, then we're very excited about that.''

Officials of Mesabi Nugget, Northshore Mining Co. and Northeastern Technical Services, a private environmental laboratory in Virginia, partnered to develop the filter, Lehtinen said. Research and tests have taken about a year. A patent is pending.

Mesabi Nugget will by the end of July have a pilot plant operating at Northshore Mining Co. in Silver Bay to demonstrate the filter, Lehtinen said. The nugget facility, which would be called Erie Nugget, would produce nuggets containing about 96 percent to98 percent iron. The high-value nuggets would primarily be used by electric arc minimills to make steel. It would be the world's first commercial iron nugget plant.

Water from the 500,000 metric-ton-per-year plant would first be treated in a conventional water treatment process. It would then pass through a mercury filter and into an abandoned mine pit. The water would then be filtered through a second ``polishing'' stage in the Mesabi Nugget Mercury Filter before being discharged through a creek into the Partridge River and the St. Louis River. Rainwater, which falls into the pit and other bodies of water in Northeastern Minnesota, can contain about 12 nanograms per liter of mercury, Lehtinen said.

Under an agreement with the MPCA, construction on the nugget plant could not begin until the water filter is proven on a pilot scale. Plans are to have the plant operating by early 2007. Three technologies -- and a fourth based on the mercury water filter -- are being studied to control air mercury emissions at the plant, Lehtinen said.

``There's mercury in everything,'' Lehtinen said. ``It's in your bones, it's in the trees. ``Achieving the GLI for water is critical, but the real issue is airborne deposits of mercury coming from places like China. What we're doing here is a far cleaner way to make iron and steel, and it's something I'd like to see used in places like China and India."

Reported by Lee Bloomquist, Duluth News Tribune


Port Reports

Duluth - Superior:
Reported by Al Miller
The Superior side of St. Louis Bay was busy about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, with four vessels loading virtually side by side. Oglebay Norton was loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal. Next door, Courtney Burton was loading grain at the General Mills elevator. Close by, CHS elevator had another two-fer this season, loading Federal Fuji at the gallery and Mandarin in berth 2. Not far away in Duluth, Michipicoten was just pulling into the Murphy Oil fuel dock to fuel before proceeding down the front channel to load at BNSF ore dock. While all this was going on, Mesabi Miner was just clearing the Duluth ship canal loaded with coal bound for St. Clair.

The St. Clair is scheduled to make one of the port's more unusual calls on May 27. It's due to load coal at Midwest Energy Terminal, then carry it about 1.5 miles to unload it at the CLM dock in Superior. CLM needs an occasional coal cargo and, as they say, it's cheaper to ship by boat.

Saginaw River:
Reported by Todd Shorkey
On Monday, the Algoway was inbound the Saginaw River to unload at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee.  She had completed her unload and was outbound for the lake Tuesday morning.

Inbound early Tuesday morning was the tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader carrying a split load.  The pair stopped at the Sargent dock in Essexville lighter before continuing upriver to finish at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee.  The big tug and barge waited briefly at the old Bay Aggregates dock in downtown Bay City for the downbound Algoway to clear before continuing up to Saginaw.  They were expected to be outbound Tuesday evening.Also inbound Tuesday morning was the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. who called on the Consumers Energy dock to unload coal.  She completed her unload by early afternoon and was backing out to Light 12 of the Entrance Channel to turn and head to the lake.

Reported by Lee Rowe
The Michipicoten and Charles M. Beeghly loaded ore at Marquette on Monday.  The Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder was expected Tuesday night.

Monday amidst dreary weather, the Cuyahoga on-loaded at ADM Elevators. The Champ of Toledo Streets, Bridges and Harbor was near the salt piles as docks were lowered in to float up to Promenade Park. The Champ is painted in Ohio State colours. The rapid rescue boat was launched for STAR training just below Cherry St. Bridge. Kapitonas A. Lucka off-loaded at Midwest Terminals of Toledo. Arthur M. Anderson on-loaded at CSX RR Docks. Buckeye still lies in lay-up at TORCO Docks.

Tuesday, on another grey day, the tug Sandusky appeared from the short drydock at Toledo Shipyard. Tradewind Service (tug) and Energy 5501 (tanker-barge) were moored just below the shipyard with work going on aboard the tanker-barge. Crow, a dredge of George Gradel Co. was moored near the N&S (north) RR Bridge. ICHx



Obituary: Doug St. Amand

Long time Welland Canal boat watcher Doug St. Amand passed away Monday, May 23rd in St. Catharines, Ontario. Doug was one of the founding members of the Welland Canal Ship Society. Doug and his late wife Margaret lived for a number of years along the Canal, just above Lock 1 and often welcomed visiting boat watchers into their house. Their house was easily identified as Doug would fly the fleet house flags of approaching vessels on a flag pole in his backyard and received many appreciative salutes from passing vessels. In honor of Doug's passion for the Welland Canal, donations to purchase a park bench to be placed along the Canal exercise/bike path in his honor would be appreciated by his family. Please make checks payable to the City of St. Catharines and send donations to: Hulse & English Funeral Home & Chapel, 75 Church Street, St. Catharines, ONT. L2R 3C7. Attention: Doug St Amand Memorial Bench Program.

Reported by Jim Bearman


News Photo Gallery Updated


News Photo Gallery updated. 

Note:  This page will generally be used only for photos related to recent news or port/area reports.  Photos of your visits to the various ship watching locations, trips etc. can now be posted in your own albums created in the Public Gallery.  Just click on the Public Photo Gallery link and follow the instructions.


Public Photo Gallery Updated


New albums in the Shipping, Lighthouses, Model Building and Post Cards/Collectables/Artwork Galleries
Public Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History: May 25

On 25 May 1889, JAMES GARRETT (3-mast wooden schooner, 138 foot, 266 gross tons, built in 1868 at Sheboygan, Wisconsin) was driven ashore at Whitefish Bay near Sheboygan, Wisconsin on Lake Michigan in a gale.  She was pounded to pieces by the end of the month.  No lives were lost.

On May 25, 1898, the PRESQUE ISLE (Hull#30) was launched at the Cleveland Shipbuilding Company in Cleveland, Ohio. The vessel is much better known as the cement carrier E M FORD, celebrating her 103rd birthday.

May 25, 1941 -- The former Pere Marquette carferry PERE MARQUETTE 17 was re-christened CITY OF PETOSKEY.

The wooden schooner J C DAUN was in her first year of service when she encountered a squall in Lake Erie on 25 May 1847 and she capsized five miles off Conneaut, Ohio. Four of the eleven on board were able to make it to her upturned keel, but one of them died of exposure during the night. In the morning, the schooner UNCLE SAM rescued the three remaining survivors. Later the steamer SARATOGA found the DAUN floating upside down, fully rigged with the bodies of some of the crew still lashed to the rigging. The DAUN was righted a few days later and towed in by the schooner D SMART.

On 25 May 1854, DETROIT (wooden side-wheeler, 157 foot, 354 tons, built in 1846 at Newport, Michigan) was sailing from Detroit to Chicago with two lumber scows in tow. On Lake Huron, she collided with the bark NUCLEUS in heavy fog and sank. The exact location (15 miles off Pointe aux Barques) was not known until the wreck was discovered in 200' of water on 5 June 1994 by Dave Trotter and his determined divers.

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


Jacquez is resolute in support of Bush toll bill

If the opposition from stakeholders to the plan by the US Seaway Development Corporation to re-introduce tolls is concerted and resolute, it seems the agency’s determination to push ahead with its plans are just as unshakeable. The bill, first announced at the beginning of the year is due to hit Congress any time now and US administrator Albert Jacquez has no doubt of the cause’s rightness.

“This is part of the 2006 federal budget and something the [Bush] administration wants to see happen. Of course Congress has to adopt it and at this point there is significant opposition in the House of Representatives and Senate,” he says.

This has included letters of opposition signed by 32 members of Congress and from 14 of the 16 senators representing Great Lakes states but Mr. Jacquez says as a member of the administration he will testify in support of the bill.

“I have not ignored the criticisms and I will answer fully. In fact a few months ago I testified that our response to any new cost was that it should be viewed as a concern. Both agencies and the industry have taken steps to be responsive and will continue to do that.”

And if that conflicts with the US proposals, then Mr. Jacquez dismisses the contradiction, saying that taking into account overall voyage costs through the system, the raising tolls on the two US-controlled locks represents an increase of less than 2% in total voyage costs. “It is not a big number, at least not in comparison to the total costs through the system.”

As evidence, he points to the periods before and after the abolition of US tolls in 1986. In the five years following abolition, he says traffic was actually lower than in the preceding five, “so there are a number of micro-economic factors at work here.

“In general terms, tonnage has moved in relation to the strength of the North American economy,” he continues. “World freight rates have an impact, as do the value of the Canadian and US dollar but the system has a significant role in the demand for goods and services.”

He also believes the system is a leading indicator; with changes in local business conditions often presaging the wider picture by as much as six months. As such he sees a slight softening of the economy but equally seems to be suggesting that the new taxes are needed to make the US authority self-funding.

But doesn’t this posture seem counter-intuitive at a time when both agencies are trying to promote the Seaway and attract the much-vaunted new cargoes? “I guess my response to that is that levying tolls on two of the 15 locks doesn’t represent a tremendous increase. The two corporations are aware of the need to seek out new cargoes and ways of moving them because as a whole the trend is for a slight increase but stability overall,” he adds.

He says the US is looking at ways to do this in other parts of the system, which are not affected by the fees, attracting new business to cross-lake ferries and more short sea shipping. “That’s where the future lies,” he says.

One senses more of an inward-facing outlook here, one which might place less emphasis on international trade while answering domestic concerns. “We have the problem that as the larger ports and transport modes are reaching or are already at overcapacity, the Seaway is still at 50%.”

But Jacquez might also be seen to be encouraging US stakeholders to match his agency’s efforts at attracting new business. “There are some new cargoes already but there is a need for investment in the infrastructure,” he explains. “There are already a number of cross-Lakes initiatives and probably a half dozen more looking at the feasibility of cargo moves. But it needs docks and ships and I think we’re seeing the maritime community beginning to commit resources to that.”

And in terms of resources, the bi-national study of the Great Lakes and Seaway infrastructure is just about as big as they come. Both nations have committed to funding a reconnaissance study which is expected to be a pre-cursor to a longer term period of evaluation.

Mr Jacquez says the first results are “about a year away”, but agrees “there has been a lot of speculation on what it is and isn’t about”. What we should expect, he says is “a baseline study. The port infrastructure is getting on in age but before we make investment decisions we need that baseline — what are the conditions now and how we maintain them for another 50 years.”

And he says that how the concept of Highway H20 and how the Seaway can attract new cargoes is a component that will be examined specifically. “That is important and it has not been done before. We’re looking for completion in the fall of 2006. I’ve been working on this since 1999 so we are looking to get a result”.

Reported by Lloyd's List, courtesy of George Haynes


U.S.-Flag Great Lakes Cargos Increase Slightly In April

Shipments of dry-bulk cargo on the Great Lakes in U.S.-Flag vessels totaled 10.4 million net tons in April, a slight increase compared to a year ago. However, compared to the month’s 5-year average, this April’s float represents a gain of nearly 9 percent. The years 2002 and 2003 were particularly depressed by the impacts of unfair trade on American steel mills.

April iron ore shipments totaled 4.6 million net tons, essentially unchanged from a year ago, but some 7.6 percent below the month’s 5-year average. The comparisons confirm both that America’s steel industry is healthier, but also smaller.

The U.S.-Flag coal trade on the Lakes in April recorded one of its strongest months in recent years. The 2.7 million net tons hauled in U.S. bottoms represent increases of 26 and 48 percent respectively. Loadings of western, low sulfur coal at Superior, Wisconsin, soared to 1.7 million net tons, an increase of 43 percent compared to a year ago, and 52 percent better than the month’s 5-year average.

Low inventories at some quarries impacted the limestone trade in April. Shipments in U.S.-Flag Lakers – 2.8 million net tons - slipped 8.3 percent compared to a year ago, yet represent an increase of 19 percent compared to the month’s 5-year average.

For the year, the U.S.-Flag Great Lakes fleet has moved 17.5 million net tons of cargo, a decrease of 4 percent compared to the same point in 2004, but 17 percent ahead of the 5-year average for the January-April timeframe.

Lake Carriers’ Association represents 13 American corporations that operate 55 U.S.-Flag vessels on the Great Lakes. These vessels carry the raw materials that drive the nation’s economy: Iron ore and fluxstone for the steel industry, limestone and cement for the construction industry, coal for power generation.... Collectively, these vessels transport as much as 125 million tons of cargo a year.

Reported by the Lake Carriers' Association


Canadian Provider

Two McKeil tugs (one of which was Atomic the other thought to be Doug McKeil) took the last of Toronto's winter lay-up fleet - Canadian Provider - over to Hamilton for fit out last Friday morning. The large piece of Redpath dock in her bow had been removed previously and the hole repaired. Canadian Provider will be returning to active duty shortly.

Reported by Charlie Gibbons


Obituary: Capt. Michael V. Rochette

On May 18th, Captain Michael V Rochette passed away at the age of 49. He was a sailor for 34 years. In those years he worked for Canada Steamship Lines aboard the Louis R. Desmarais, Nanticoke as well as many of their ships. He worked as Captain aboard the M.V. Pelee Islander for 10 years. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Judy Rochette, his two daughters, Summer Rochette and Vanessa Reed, and his mother, Lucia Rochette. A memorial is to take place Wednesday May 25th, 2005 at 10:30 a.m.

C.S. Sykes Funeral Home,
91 Division St. S,
Kingsville, Ontario
N9Y 1P5

With the recent loss of his best friend and fellow sailor and son-in-law, David Reed, Michael will now be sailing calm seas with his best friend at his side.

Vanessa Reed
(519) 733-3094


Port Reports

Sault Ste. Marie:
Reported by Jon Paul Michaels
Monday started off with the Tug Jane Ann IV/Sarah Spencer locking down at 2:45am followed by the Atlantic Erie down at 6:50am. The Kaye E Barker reported out Detour at 10:15am. The saltie Vlieborg was up the MacArthur at 10:20am with the Cedarglen up the Poe at 10:45am. The Burns Harbor locked down at 12:15pm and the Canadian Transport was up through the MacArthur at 1:30pm. The Phillip R Clarke came down the Poe at 2:30pm and the Middletown locked up the MacArthur at 2:45pm. The Edwin H Gott passed up through the Poe at 6:00pm.  The following weekend transit summary from Sault Ste. Marie's The Evening News (to supplement the Vessel Passage page):

Saturday May 21;
Upbound- Saginaw 02:37; St. Clair 03:42; Mesabi Miner 04:19; Algolake 06:40; Herbert C Jackson 14:16; Algontario 16:15; Ziemia Cieszynska 16:38; Federal Fugi 17:32; Tug Anglican Lady & tank barge PML 2501 17:58; Paul Tregurtha 18:29.
Downbound Algowood 02:01; Lee A Tregurtha 03:05; CCGS Samuel Risley 07:36; Seneca 09:50; Columbia Star 19:05; Frontenac 20:00; David Z Norton 22:11; Kolguev 22:40.

Sunday May 22;
Upbound Edgar B Speer 05:11; Alpena 05:43; Wolverine 06:24; Menominee 09:44; Charles M Beeghly 10:25; Tug Avenger IV & barge PML 9000 13:32; Presque Isle 14:49; H Lee White 15:45; Armco 19:27; Indiana Harbor 20:34.
Downbound Canadian Ranger 01:38; Walter J McCarthy, Jr. 07:42; Toro 11:07; American Mariner 22:32; Saginaw 23:2

Reported by Dale Baechler
The Sifto Salt dock saw a flurry of action  on this past long Canadian holiday weekend with visits from the Canadian Navigator, Algoway and the Capt. Henry Jackman.


Today in Great Lakes History: May 24

On 24 May 1872, the wooden schooner SAM ROBINSON was carrying corn from Chicago, Illinois to Kingston, Ontario in dense fog on Lake Michigan.  At 7:30 AM, the propeller MANISTEE collided with the schooner and almost cut her in two amidships.  When the MANISTEE backed away, the schooner went over on its starboard side and its masts smashed the MANISTEE’s pilothouse and cabins.  Luckily the ROBINSON’s crew launched their lifeboat before the schooner sank and they were picked up by the MANISTEE and taken to Milwaukee.

In 1980 the M/V BURNS HARBOR was christened for the Wilmington Trust Co., (Bethlehem Steel Co., Mgr.) Wilmington, DE.

The CANADIAN OLYMPIC (Hull#60) was launched in 1976 at St. Catharines, Ontario by Port Weller Dry Docks Ltd. for Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd.

CHICAGO TRADER arrived at Ashtabula, Ohio on May 24, 1977 for scrapping (scrapping did not begin until May 1, 1978 by Triad Salvage Inc.)

The CLIFFS VICTORY set a record (by 2 minutes) for the fastest time from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan to Duluth, Minnesota in 1953. She logged a time of 17 hours and 50 minutes. The CHARLES M WHITE had been declared the fastest earlier that year by the Cleveland papers.

ALEXANDER B MOORE was launched at Bangor, Michigan on 24 May 1873. She was built by Theophilus Boston at a cost of $85,000. She was 247 foot overall, 223 foot keel and could carry 70,000 bushels of grain. Although designed as a 4-mast schooner, she was built as a 3-master. The fourth mast was added two years later.

On 24 May 1875, the schooner NINA was bound from Michael's Bay to Goderich, Ontario, when she sprang a leak and went down in mid-lake. Her crew escaped in the yawl, but were adrift on Lake Huron for two days and two nights with only one loaf of bread to divide among themselves.

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


Le Levant, Orion to skip Great Lakes this season

Le Levant and Orion, the blue-hulled French cruise ships that plied the Great Lakes last year, will not be back on the lakes this summer. Orion, new to Great Lakes cruising last year, has been chartered by an Australian company and will sail Tasmania, the Barrier Reef and East Timor instead of Lake Superior and the Straits of Mackinac this year, according to a recent story in the Detroit Free Press.

"They took the money and ran," said Christopher Wright, director of Cruising the Great Lakes, an Ontario-based coordinating agency for Great Lakes cruises. Le Levant, which has new owners, will cruise the Baltic Sea this summer. The loss of the two ships means only 3,400 passengers are expected on Great Lakes cruises this summer instead of last year's 7,360.

On the Detroit River, meanwhile, the Detroit Princess, a replica riverboat, is expected to start service on the Detroit River this summer. It used to be a Harrah's casino boat on the Mississippi. The plan is to offer lunch, dinner and moonlight cruises. It will dock near the Renaissance Center.

In addition, the  Diamond Jack River Tours boats start up again June 9 from both Detroit and Wyandotte. For $14, you can spend a few hours on the Detroit River, which on a sunny summer day, is as blue as Georgian Bay.

Reported by the Detroit Free Press


Community gathers for remembrance

It was standing room only at Great Lakes Lore Maritime Museum in Rogers City Saturday as many people gathered to remember and honor the crew of the U.S. Steel Corp. carrier Cedarville on the 40th anniversary of the day it sank, May 7, 1965, in the Straits of Mackinac.

"It's high time we understand it and recognize it and honor them for it," said museum Director Ed Brklacich at Saturday's ceremony. Bells tolled for each of the 10 crewmen of the Cedarville who were lost, as well as for those who have since passed away. The names of the crew members who are still alive also were read.

Dave Erickson, Cedarville survivor, constructed a model of the Cedarville in honor and remembrance and presented it to the museum on Saturday. "Someday I knew I was going to do it," Erickson said. "I thought I better not wait too long." He originally planned to rough in the model of the Cedarville this winter and  finish it next winter, but then sped things up to present it in honor of the 40th anniversary. It took him four months to construct the model.

Brklacich said the model was one of the most wonderful gifts the museum could ask for and have. "It certainly complements this museum's local flavor, and we're very happy to receive it," he said.

The Cedarville started out as the Harvey, built for Pittsburgh Steel Company and hauled iron and ore until 1955, when it was sold to U.S. Steel. In the winter of 1955-56, the Cedarville was converted with belts and loaders and added to the Bradley fleet.The Topdalsfjord, the Norwegian merchant ship that collided with the Cedarville on the foggy morning of May 7, 1965, had an ice-breaker bow since it frequently traversed the North Atlantic and encountered a lot of ice, Erickson said. "It was a reinforced ice-breaker bow, and when she hit the Cedarville it drove that bow back 11 feet," he said. The Cedarville sank within 21 minutes of the collision and now sits upside-down on the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac, broken in half. Zebra mussels cover the mast of the pilot house, which is located in 104 feet of water, as well as much of the rest of the ship."You can't make out anything hardly anymore on account of zebra mussels," Erickson said.

Brklacich said the museum plans to have a ceremony similar to Saturday's for the Bradley. A current project at the Great Lakes Lore Maritime Museum is the creation of a memorial hall, which will honor the crew of the Cedarville and the crew of the Bradley.

"These little things take time," Brklacich said. "We're proud of what we do here. We're proud of you." Erickson said the increasing educational opportunities in the area regarding Great Lakes shipwrecks, including the museum and the National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve, are coming together and are great for the area.

Reported by Holly Mace, The Alpena News


Governor's Award for Historic Preservation presented to the Detour Reef Light Preservation Society

Governor Jennifer Granholm recently announced the 2005 recipients of the Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation recognizing outstanding historic preservation projects throughout the state. Department of History, Arts and Libraries Director Dr. William Anderson presented the awards during a ceremony on May 19 at the State Capitol rotunda. The DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society (DRLPS) is proudly one of the recipients of this prestigious award for their efforts in restoring and preserving the DeTour Reef Light.

“Historic structures across Michigan play an important role in making our communities vibrant, interesting places to live and work,” Governor Granholm said. “This year’s winners have demonstrated commitment, collaboration, cooperation and the highest degree of excellence in preserving these important parts of Michigan history.”

Created in 2003, the Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation recognizes individuals, developers, corporations, academic institutions, and units of government that have undertaken rehabilitation of historic resources or archaeological excavations, or implemented sound public policy to promote preservation. Through these awards, the governor seeks to draw attention to historic resources’ unique potential for economic development as well as to the important role these resources play in defining our communities. Nominations for these awards are made to the governor by the State Historic Preservation Review Board in consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office, Michigan Historical Center ( For more information on the award program, please see,1607,7-160--117949--,00.html.

The DRLPS team has worked diligently since 1998 to restore and preserve the DeTour Reef Light located a mile offshore in northern Lake Huron at the far eastern end of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula between DeTour Village and Drummond Island. Built in 1931, the 83-foot lighthouse is a strategic and historic landmark that marks a dangerous reef to help guide ship traffic from and to Lake Huron and Lake Superior via the strategic St. Mary’s River. The DRLPS completed major restoration of the structure in 2004, and public tours to this unique lighthouse will begin in July.

DRLPS founding Director Jeri Baron Feltner accepted the award on behalf of the DRLPS along with Chuck Feltner- Restoration Chairman, Clif Haley-Grants Chairman, Dave Bardsley-President, and Paula Bardsley-Assistant Secretary. Jeri stated “I am honored to accept this prestigious award on behalf of the committed and talented DRLPS team, and would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all of the loyal volunteers, members, donors, private and government agencies especially the State Historic Preservation Office, who have unfailingly supported us with this worthwhile endeavor of preserving the DeTour Reef Light as a magnificent monument to Michigan’s maritime history. The DRLPS plans to continue to restore the lighthouse to its 1931 as built condition, and to educate the public on the rich maritime history of the area for generations to come.”

To learn more about the organization, the lighthouse, and public tour programs, please visit, email, or call 906-493-6609.

Reported by Jeri Baron Feltner


Man rescued after falling into abandoned ore dock pocket

A man who fell into a pocket on an unused Duluth ore dock during an early morning stroll was rescued by firefighters May 21. The Duluth News Tribune reported that two men who had been drinking scaled a barbed-wire fence blocking entrance of the DM&IR's Dock 5, which has been idle for many years. While walking along the dock in the dark, one of the men climbed down a ladder into an ore pocket, then lost his balance and fell into the pocket. He dropped about 15 feet and then slid another 15 feet until he was stopped by the chute's loading door.

The other man, the victim's brother, sought help from DM&IR employees. Duluth firefighters and the St. Louis County Rescue Squad pulled the man from the pocket after about an hour. Firefighters said the man was fortunate to have a companion. If he had been alone, he probably never would have been found and would have died in the pocket. He also was fortunate the pocket's loading door was closed or he would have fallen into the water. Police cited both men for trespassing.

Reported by Al Miller


Port Reports

Saginaw River:
Reported by Todd Shorkey
The H. Lee White finally made the Bay Aggregates dock late Friday nights after the Fred R. White cleared just after 11pm.  She finished her unload early Saturday morning and was outbound around 8am.Arriving on the Saginaw River early Saturday morning was the Manistee, making her first visit with her new colors and name.  She traveled upriver to lighter at the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee before going a little farther upriver to finish unloading at the Buena Vista Dock.  Manistee was outbound for the lake Saturday afternoon. The tug Rebecca Lynn and her tank barge were inbound Saturday night passing the Front Range shortly after 9pm.  The pair were traveling to the Bit-Mat dock to unload. The CSL Tadoussac was inbound about a half hour behind the Rebecca Lynn.  She was inbound for the Essroc Terminal in Essexville to unload clinker.

Sunday morning saw the arrival of two vessels to the Saginaw River.  First in was the tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort & barge Great Lakes Trader carrying a split load.  The pair stopped at the Wirt Stone Dock in Bay City to lighter before continuing upriver around 4am to finish unloading at the Wirt Stone Dock in Saginaw. Inbound behind the Trader was the Canadian Transfer.  She called on the North Star Dock in Essexville to unload another cargo of Potash.  Both vessels are expected to be outbound later in the day Sunday. The CSL Tadoussac, which arrived Saturday night to unload at the Essroc dock in Essexville, was backing out of the river around 9am Sunday to turn at Light 12 of the Entrance Channel and head for the lake. 

Reported by Lee Rowe
Friday was a hazy and busy day in Marquette.  The American Mariner brought stone to the lower harbor but did not take on ore.  The Lee  A. Tregurtha and Michipicoten both came in for ore while the James R. Barker waited in the harbor with a load of coal.  When the Lee A. Tregurtha left the harbor she and the Barker exchanged salutes.

Reported by Brian Wroblewski
The Karen Andrie departed Noco at 8am Sunday morning. It took about an hour and a half to clear the Niagara River & Black Rock Canal. A CN train was switching Fort Erie Yard and tied up Harbor Draw for a few minutes causing a slight delay after locking upbound through the Black Rock Lock around 9:15am. The Captain gave the destination as Cleveland and said they would be abeam of Long Point Bay at 1:30pm.

Reported by Ben & Chanda McClain
The  J.A.W Iglehart arrived in port Sunday morning to load cement. The Iglehart departed by early afternoon to head for Milwaukee. The Steamer Alpena was at Lafarge on a beautiful Saturday, taking on cargo for Superior, WI. The Paul H. Townsend came into port early Friday morning and is expected to return on Monday evening after delivering to Green Bay, WI over the weekend. The G.L Ostrander/barge Integrity is also on its way back to Alpena to load on Monday. The Joseph H. Thompson was at Stoneport on Sunday, followed by the Great Lakes Trader on the schedule for Monday. 


Today in Great Lakes History: May 23

UNIQUE (wooden propeller passenger steamer, 163 foot, 381 gross tons, built in 1894 at Marine City, Michigan) was sold to Philadelphia parties for service on the Delaware River.  She left Ogdensburg, New York on 23 May 1901 for Philadelphia.  Her name was changed to DIAMOND STATE.  In 1904, she was rebuilt as a yacht and lasted until 1915 when she burned in New York harbor.

The WILLIAM J DE LANCEY was re-christened on May 23,1990 as b) PAUL R TREGURTHA. She is the largest ship on the Great Lakes and also the last Great Lakes ship built at American Ship Building Co., Lorain, Ohio.

H LEE WHITE completed sea trials on May 23, 1974

The FRED R WHITE Jr. completed her two day sea trials in 1979.

The steel freighter SONOMA (Hull#610) was launched at West Bay City, Michigan by West Bay City Ship Building Co. on 23 May 1903. She was 416 feet long, 4539 gross tons. Through her career she had various names: DAVID S TROXEL in 1924, SONOMA in1927 and finally FRED L HEWITT in 1950. She was built for the Tomlinson fleet. She was converted to an automobile carrier in 1928, converted back to a bulk carrier in 1942 and then converted to a barge for grain storage in 1955. She was finally scrapped in 1962 at Steel Co. of Canada Ltd. at Hamilton, Ontario.

On 23 May 1889, the wooden steam barge OSCAR T FLINT (218 foot, 824 gross tons) was launched at the Simon Langell & Sons yard in St. Clair, Michigan. She lasted until 25 November 1909, when she burned and sank off Thunder Bay Island in Lake Huron.

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. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.


Today in Great Lakes History: May 22

On 22 May 1901, FRANK H PEAVEY (steel propeller bulk freighter, 430 foot, 5002 gross tons) was launched at the American Ship Building Company (Hull #309) in Lorain, Ohio for the Peavey Syndicate.  She lasted until 1934 when she struck the south pier while entering Sheboygan, Wisconsin and was declared a constructive total loss and scrapped the following year.

The A.H. FERBERT (2) (Hull#289) was launched this day in 1942 at River Rouge, Michigan by Great Lakes Engineering Works for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.  May 22nd was the tenth National Maritime Day and on that day 21 other ships were launched nationwide to celebrate the occasion. The "super" IRVING S OLDS was launched the same day at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co.. This marked the last of the "Super Carrier" build program. The others were the BENJAMIN F FAIRLESS, LEON FRASER and ENDERS M VOORHEES.

The SIR THOMAS SHAUGHNESSY sailed under her own power down the Seaway on May 22, 1969 for the last time and arrived at Quebec City.

BAYFAIR was launched as the a) COALHAVEN  (Hull#134) at Haverton-Hill-on-Tees, U.K. by Furness Shipbuilding 1928.

While bound for Escanaba, MI to load ore, the JOSEPH BLOCK grounded at Porte des Morts Passage, on Green Bay, May 22, 1968 and was released the same day by the Roen tug ARROW. The BLOCK's hull damage extended to 100 bottom plates. Surrendered to the under-writers and sold in June that year to Lake Shipping Inc.

The 143 foot wooden brig JOSEPH was launched at Bay City, Michigan on 21 May 1867. She was built for Alexander Tromley & Company.

CITY OF NEW BALTIMORE was launched at David Lester's yard in Marine City, Michigan on 22 May 1875. Her master carpenter was John J. Hill. She was a wooden propeller passenger/package freight vessel built for the Detroit-New Baltimore route. Her dimensions were 96' keel, 101' overall x 20' x 6'6", 130 tons. Her boiler was made by J. & T. McGregor of Detroit. Her engine was built by Morton Hamblin & Company of St. Clair, Michigan. She was rebuilt as a tug in 1910 and lasted until abandoned in 1916.

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


Port Reports

Saginaw River:
Reported by Todd Shorkey
The Bay Aggregates Dock was busy on Friday with visits from two vessels.  First in was the Fred R. White, Jr., arriving during the morning hours.  She unloaded well into the evening, having problems with a sticky cargo.  As of 10:30pm she was still unloading and was expected to be outbound late in the evening or early Saturday morning. Next in, and patiently waiting for the Fred R. White to finish unloading and clear the dock, was a rare visitor to the Saginaw River.  The H. Lee White was inbound Friday evening with a cargo for Bay Aggregates.  She was holding off the dock and was expected to back into the slip as soon as it is clear.  The H. Lee White was expected to be outbound Saturday morning.

Sault Ste. Marie:
Reported by Jon Paul Michaels
Friday morning with clear skies and calm winds found a log jam of 1000 footers at the Soo Locks. As the Edwin H Gott locked down at 8:00am the Oglebay Norton waited on the west pier and the Burns Harbor on the east pier. It wasn’t until 10:30am that the Burns Harbor cleared upbound showing another good example of why a new lock is needed. The Edwin H Gott after clearing down the Poe tied up at the Carbide Dock at 9:15am with engine troubles again and reported that they anticipated an 8-10 hour delay. The Atlantic Erie was up through the Poe at 11:15am and the Middletown locked down at 1:15pm. The CSL Niagara passed down at 2:15pm and was followed later down the MacArthur Lock by the Canadian Transport at 4:00pm. The Adam E Cornelius locked through at 6:45pm downbound and the Reserve was up at 7:15pm.


Today in Great Lakes History: May 21

On 21 May 1883, SAILOR BOY (2-mast wooden scow-schooner, 75 foot, 76 net tons, built in 1866 at Algonac, Michigan) was carrying wood from Pierport, Michigan to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  She anchored outside Milwaukee harbor waiting for a gale to abate but she broke her anchor chains and was driven aground.  Her crew of three made it to shore on a line with help from bystanders on the beach.

The AMERICAN REPUBLIC’s maiden voyage was on May 21, 1981 from Sturgeon Bay light to Escanaba, Michigan to load ore pellets for Cleveland, Ohio.

HENRY G DALTON's maiden voyage was on May 21, 1916.

UNITED STATES GYPSUM (2) in tow of the German tug FAIRPLAY X was lost in heavy weather on May 21, 1973 near Syndey, Nova Scotia.

The G A TOMLINSON (2) stranded near Buffalo, New York on Lake Erie  on May 21, 1974 suffering an estimated $150,000 in damage.

The 143' wooden brig JOSEPH was launched at Bay City, Michigan on by Alexander Tromley & Company. She was built by the owner.

On 21 May 1864, the NILE (wooden passenger/package freight vessel, 190 foot, 650 tons, built in 1852 at Ohio City, Ohio) was sitting at her dock in Detroit, Michigan with passengers, household goods, and horses and wagons aboard when her boiler exploded, destroying the ship and killing eight of the crew. Large pieces of her boiler flew as far as 300 feet while other pieces damaged houses across the Detroit River in Windsor, Ontario. A large timber was thrown through the brick wall of a nearby shoe store, striking the cobbler in the back of the head and killing him. At least 13 other crew members and passengers were injured. The wreck was moved to the foot of Clark Street in Detroit in July 1864, where it remained until it was finally dynamited in August 1882.

May 21, 1923 -- The ANN ARBOR NO 4 was refloated after sinking at Frankfort, Michigan the previous February.

After spending three weeks in quarantine at Buffalo, New York, because of the discovery of smallpox on board, the steamer JOHN OADES has been released and has started on her way to Duluth.

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


Port Reports

Saginaw River:
Reported by Todd Shorkey
Late Wednesday morning, the tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons were outbound the Saginaw River after delivering a split load to the Bay City and Saginaw Wirt Stone Docks. Inbound Wednesday was the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr., calling on the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville early in the afternoon to unload coal.  She was outbound early in the evening, backing out of the river to light 12 of the Entrance Channel to turn around and head for the lake. Also inbound was the Paul H. Townsend making her first visit to the Saginaw River this season.  The Townsend headed upriver to unload at the LaFarge dock in Carrollton.  She was expected to be outbound during the day on Thursday. Finally, the Canadian Transfer called on the North Star dock in Essexville to unload Potash late Wednesday.  She should be outbound early Thursday morning.

The Paul H. Townsend was outbound the Saginaw River on a rainy Thursday afternoon.  She had unloaded overnight at the LaFarge Terminal in Carrollton.

Reported by Dale Baechler
The Algowood paid a visit on Tuesday evening and the Agawa Canyon arrived very early on Thursday morning. Both are taking loads out of Sifto Salt. The Algomarine came into port under sunny skies and a stiff easterly breeze on Friday morning. She will be loading at Sifto Salt as well.

Duluth - Superior:
Reported by Al Miller
David Z. Norton was at the CLM dock in Superior on May 20 to unload stone. It then proceeded to Silver Bay to load pellets. Canadian Ranger was loading grain at AGP elevator in Duluth while the saltie Kolguev was loading at the CHS gallery. Columbia Star was loading coal in the morning at Midwest Energy Terminal while Walter J. McCarthy Jr. was due there later in the afternoon. Frontenac loaded pellets at BNSF in Superior


News Photo Gallery Updated


News Photo Gallery updated. 

Note:  This page will generally be used only for photos related to recent news or port/area reports.  Photos of your visits to the various ship watching locations, trips etc. can now be posted in your own albums created in the Public Gallery.  Just click on the Public Photo Gallery link and follow the instructions.


Public Photo Gallery Updated


New albums in the Shipping, Lighthouses, Model Building and Post Cards/Collectables/Artwork Galleries
Public Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History: May 20

On 20 May 1872, the iron-clad passenger/package freight steamer MERCHANT struck a rock and sank at the mouth of the Detroit River.  No one was injured.  The wrecking tugs MAGNET and HERCULES took off the cargo of railroad iron and general merchandise, then attached two pontoons, but the vessel would not budge.  On 26 May, the steamers MACKINAW and SWEEPSTAKES joined the scene and added two more pontoons.  With all the steam pumps working, the MERCHANT still would not budge.  Two days later, two more pontoons were added and the MERCHANT finally floated free and was towed to Detroit for repairs.  She had two holes in her hull, one of which was a gash 23 feet long.

On May 20, 1909 while lying at the Lackawanna Coal Dock at Buffalo, New York, the LeGRAND S DEGRAFF was struck by the SONORA which caused $4,000 in damage to the DEGRAFF.

The STANDARD PORTLAND CEMENT sank on Lake Huron two miles above Port Huron, Michigan in a collision with the steamer AUGUST ZIESING on May 20, 1960 with no loss of life.

On May 20, 1967 during docking maneuvers in the Trenton Channel of the Detroit River, the W W HOLLOWAY's KaMeWa propeller shaft sheared off and the propeller reportedly sank to the bottom.

The RENOWN (Hull#396) was launched May 20, 1912 at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. for the Standard Oil Co.  Renamed b.) BEAUMONT PARKS in 1930 and c.) MERCURY (2) in 1957.

WILLIAM A McGONAGLE (2) (Hull#154) was launched May 20, 1916 at Ecorse, Michigan by Great Lakes Engineering Works for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co. Renamed b.) HENRY STEINBRENNER (4) in 1986.

On 20 May 1862, BAY CITY (wooden propeller tug, 199 foot, 480 tons, built in 1852 at Trenton, Michigan) sprang a leak in a storm and sank near Port Burwell, Ontario. She then washed in to shallow water. Her crew was rescued by the tug WINSLOW. Her engine and boiler were removed in June and July of that year.

On 20 May 1875, the passenger package freight vessel GLADYS was launched at D. Lestor's yard in Marine City, Michigan for the Toledo & Saginaw Transportation Company. Her dimensions were 135' overall x 26' x 10'. She had twelve staterooms and along with ample cargo space. The pilot house was forward, 8 feet square and 11 feet high. The engines, from the old ESTABROOK and, previous to that, from DAN RHODES, were two high pressure double engines acting on one shaft with an 8 foot propeller. She also had a pony engine to feed water to the boilers and wash the decks. She was sold Canadian in 1877 and renamed NORTHERN BELLE and lasted until November 1898 when she burned on Georgian Bay.

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.  This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.


Today in Great Lakes History May 19

On 19 May 1894, LORETTA (wooden propeller freighter, 140 foot, 395 gross tons, built in 1892 at Sebewaing, Michigan as a schooner) was driven ashore near the mouth of the AuSable River at Oscoda, Michigan in a terrible gale.  She was heavily damaged but the crew was rescued.  She was salvaged and put back in service but only lasted for two more years when she burned. 

SIR THOMAS SHAUGHNESSY (Hull#164) was launched May 19, 1906 at Wyandotte, Michigan by Detroit Ship Building Co. for the National Steamship Co. 

On May 19, 1973 the METEOR (2) was moved from the Pipeline Tankers dock to a permanent berth on Barkers Island at Superior, Wisconsin to serve as a museum ship. 

B F JONES (2) and EDWARD S KENDRICK towed by the Polish tug KORAL and arrived for scrapping at Castellon, Spain, near Barcelona on the Mediterranean Sea, on May 19, 1973, a trip of over 4,000 miles.  

The LAKE WINNIPEG in tow of the tug IRVING CEDAR arrived in Sacavém, North of Lisbon, Portugal on May 19, 1985. She was the largest Canadian laker and the first Seaway sized ship, as of that date, to be scrapped. 

On 19 May 1835, PARROTT (wooden 2-mast schooner, 43 foot, 20 tons, built in 1834 at Ashtabula, Ohio) sailed for Detroit, Michigan carrying iron, glass, whiskey, and hogs on deck. She never made it. The following day, west of Ashtabula, many of the hogs swam ashore and later a lot of gear from the boat drifted to the beach. No storm is mentioned and all six onboard lost their lives. She had been enrolled to a new owner the day before she set sail. 

On 19 May 1876, the Port Huron Times reported that Capt. Alexander Mc Dougall, formerly master of the steamer JAPAN, had built a large steam fish boat named SASKIWIT at Buffalo during the winter and was then sailing from there to Marquette, Michigan.  

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


Spirit of Ontario has slip and fall accident in drydock

Crews who planned to spruce up Rochester's high-speed ferry expect to examine the ship today after it slipped off wooden blocks intended to support it in a dry dock Monday.

The Spirit of Ontario traveled Monday to the Port Weller Dry Docks, near St. Catharines, Ontario, where it was expected to undergo routine maintenance, minor repairs and a new paint job. The ship, now nicknamed The Cat, was piloted into a dock, where wooden blocks were stacked underneath to support it. As the water level was slowly lowered, The Cat slipped off the blocks and fell inches into the water.

"She just slid down," said Doug Stones, vice president of the Port Weller Dry Docks. "I don't expect there to be any severe damage." An inspection will be needed to see whether any damage was done, but there was no sign of water coming into the ship, he said. He said the boat fell "a matter of inches, a foot at the most" off the dock blocks. The Cat's bottom is angled, and its front is about three feet higher than its aft section, Stones said.

"We knew what it was coming in," Stones said. "It is quite an unusual vessel." Stones said the ship would have to be refloated and a day's work was lost. But he wouldn't characterize the mishap as an accident.

Reported by the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle


Cliffs plans to boost production at Silver Bay plant

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. plans to increase pellet production at Northshore Mining Co. in Silver Bay, Minn., according to a story in the Duluth News Tribune.

Cliffs wants to boost production at the plant by 800,000 tons a year by restarting an idle furnace and two concentrating lines. The work, expected to cost about $24 million, would produce 2.4 million tons of concentrate each year. That material would either be turned into pellets or sold to other producers, including a possible iron nugget plant proposed for construction nearby. Cliffs is seeking environmental approval from the state to begin the work.

Increasing production in Silver Bay would enable Cliffs to meet increased world demand for iron ore pellets and supply concentrate to the iron nugget plant if it's built in Minnesota. It also would be a hedge for the future because Northshore Mining Co. has 315 million tons of reserves and could operate for an estimated 50 years. Cliffs' Empire Mine in Michigan's Upper Pennisula has only 23 million tons of reserves and could run out of taconite within 10 years.

Northshore Mining Co. ships its pellets through its own loading dock in Silver Bay.

Reported by Al Miller


Miller Boat Line Celebrates 100 Years of Service to
Lake Erie Islands


The year 2005 marks the 100th anniversary of the Miller Boat Line on Lake Erie – an important milestone for the region on the northern shores of Ohio. What began as a humble fishing charter and ice-harvesting business, Miller Boat Line has evolved into not only a ferry line for passengers, cars and freight, but also a way of life for anyone who chooses island living. 


Today, Miller Boat Line is the main artery connecting mainland Ohio to two of the Lake Erie Islands, Put-in-Bay and Middle Bass Island, known for scenic beauty and casual charm. Not only does the boat line provide a critical link to islanders, but it also offers a unique and leisurely form of transportation for tourists and area visitors. 


Miller Boat Line will celebrate 100 years of service to the Lake Erie Islands with a public Open House on Saturday, June 11, 2005 from 1 – 4 p.m. The open house will be held at the Put-in-Bay Yacht Club and Miller Ferry office (535 Bayview Ave., Put-in-Bay, Ohio).


"The centennial celebration will be a reunion of friends and neighbors who love the Lake Erie Island area," according to boat line owner William E. (Bill) Market.


To celebrate "An Island Tradition", the open house will be attended by island residents, local officials, business owners, and honored past and present employees. Miller Boat Line will share the history of this family owned and operated company through photographs, memorabilia, a newly released art work and a historic video. More information about the open house can be accessed by calling 1-800-500-2421 or visiting


Additional Lake Erie organizations have been invited to assist in telling the region's story through display tables. Those organizations include: Lake Erie Islands Historical Society, Perry Group,   Ford Tri-Motor "Tin Goose" Port Clinton Chapter, Lake Erie Islands Black Swamp Observatory, winning photos from "Life on Lake Erie" contest, Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce, Ottawa County Visitors Bureau, and Carl Rees with his model of the Miller Ferry "Put-in-Bay" (original built in 1959).



For additional information, contact:

Marty Hatfield                                            Julene Market

Fahlgren Mortine Public Relations               Miller Boat Line

614-888-1381                                             419-285-2421 Ext. 23              


Schooner Red Witch arrives in Chicago

The Schooner Red Witch arrived in Chicago late Friday afternoon following a six day passage from Port Clinton, OH. She is laying at Burnham Park Marina opposite Soldier's Field.

Interrupted by an unplanned Monday afternoon visit to Harrisville, MI., to replace belts driving the vessel's alternator, and a weather related lay over at Milwaukee, the Red Witch will be used by Lakeshore Sail Charters for group charters and walk-on excursions.

The six man delivery crew pulled into Milwaukee at 0500 CDT Thursday after a rollercoaster 12-hour run across Lake Michigan from Pointe Betsie. Seas encountered during the cross lake passage ran 10 to 12 feet with periodic waves of 14 to 16 feet in Northerly winds of 25 to 35 miles an hour. The stout, John Alden designed vessel, resumed her passage at  mid-morning Friday.

Visit or details on the schooner and her itinerary. 

Reported by Jim Spencer



"Great Lakes - Great Photos" Photography Contest and Exhibit

The Inland Seas Maritime Museum in Vermilion, Ohio has announced their "Great Lakes- Great Photos" Photography Contest and Exhibit that will run through August 25, 2005. However, submissions are due no later than June 15, 2005.
Applicants may submit up to three (3) photographs related to the Great Lakes or their tributaries. Submissions will be unveiled, and winners announced, during a reception on the evening of June 24th. Cash prizes for winning submissions. Winning submissions will be displayed at the museum.

For more information or to request an application form, contact Ann Micheals at 440-967-3467, Ext. 5.

DVD Shows Inside of Soo Locks
Two Corps of Engineers employee at the Soo have produced a DVD that contains videos and music that are a tribute to the Soo Locks. Terry Lovegrove and Tom Maleport previewed their music at last year's Engineer's Day, and have expanded the material to include videos of the MacArthur Lock during the dewatering process. The videos and music can be previewed and ordered at Proceeds are benefiting the Soo Locks Visitors Center Association.

Reported by Dave Wobser


Port Reports

Duluth - Superior:
Reported by Al Miller
Boatwatchers in the Tiwn Ports on May 17 were treated to the rare sight of the Courtney Burton backed into the old General Mills elevator in Superior loading grain. This very old elevator has gotten a fair amount of use in recent years loading boats for the Kinsman fleet.

Another welcome sight May 17 was a straightdecker in port; in this case the Montrealais loading grain at CHS. Other vessels in port included the Paul R. Tregurtha, loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal and tug W.N. Twolan, which arrived Sunday pushing a barge of lumber bound for Hallett 8 in Superior.

In the long list of vessels loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal in May are a few bound for some unusual ports. Columbia Star is due to load May 20 for Nanticoke; Atlantic Erie is scheduled to load May 21 with a rare load destined for New Brunswick; American Mariner is to load May 21 with what appears to be a split cargo for Muskegon and Grand Haven; and John G. Munson is due to load May 25 with coal for the Pinney Dock in Ashtabula.

Sturgeon Bay:
Reported by Wendell Wilke
The Maumee arrived at Bay Ship Building, Sturgeon Bay, WI the eve of 4/15. She has since gone thru "an extreme makeover" as she was dry docked for her (5) year, structural repairs and renewals, maintenance upgrades and hull repainting. She departed the yard bound for Lake Michigan early evening 5/16/05 "looking great".

Saginaw River:
Reported by Todd Shorkey
On Sunday, the Calumet was outbound from Saginaw as was the tug Joe Thompson & barge Joesph H. Thompson.  Both had unloaded overnight. The tug Rebecca Lynn and her tank barge were inbound Sunday afternoon for the Bit-Mat dock in Bay City to unload.  The pair was outbound Monday morning. Also inbound Sunday was the tug Gregory J. Busch and her barge.  They called on the Carrollton bar to unload rocks for BMT Rock Sales in Carrollton.

Inbound on Monday was the tug G.L. Ostrander and barge Integrity.  The pair traveled upriver to unload at the LaFarge Terminal in Carrollton. Also inbound was the tug Donald C. Hannah and her tank barge. The Donald C. Hannah and her barge departed the Dow Chemical dock around 11:30pm Monday night.

Reported by Lee Rowe
The Cedarglen was an unusual visitor to the Marquette ore dock on  Monday.   The straight-decker came in about noon for a load of ore.   The Michipicoten followed later in the afternoon.

Reported by Ben & Chanda McClain
The Paul H. Townsend arrived at Lafarge around noon on a foggy and rainy Saturday. This was its first visit of the year to Alpena to load cement after departing lay-up in Muskegon on Thursday. The Townsend left before 4pm to head for Green Bay, WI. The Steamer Alpena was in port on Thursday taking on cargo for delivery to Superior and Duluth. Also later that evening, the G.L Ostrander/ barge Integrity came in to load. The J.A.W Iglehart was under the silos on last Wednesday afternoon and has since made its way to Buffalo, NY and Bath, ON.

The Earl W. Oglebay was loading at Stoneport on Saturday, with the Calumet and Joseph H. Thompson on the schedule for Sunday.


News Photo Gallery Updated


News Photo Gallery updated. 

Note:  This page will generally be used only for photos related to recent news or port/area reports.  Photos of your visits to the various ship watching locations, trips etc. can now be posted in your own albums created in the Public Gallery.  Just click on the Public Photo Gallery link and follow the instructions.


Public Photo Gallery Updated


New albums in the Shipping, Lighthouses, Model Building and Post Cards/Collectables/Artwork Galleries
Public Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History

May 16

On 16 May 1894, the SHENANDOAH (wooden propeller freighter, 308 foot, 2251 gross tons) was launched by J. Davidson (Hull #60) in West Bay City, Michigan.  She lasted until 1924 when she was abandoned.

The CANADIAN PROSPECTOR passed upbound in the Welland Canal May 16, 1979, on her first trip after reconstruction, with Labrador ore bound for Ashtabula, Ohio.  

W R WOODFORD (Hull#626) was launched May 16, 1908 at West Bay City, Michigan by West Bay City Ship Building Co. for W.A. & M.A. Hawgood.  Renamed b.) N F LEOPOLD 1911 and c.) E J BLOCK in 1943. 

IRVIN L CLYMER departed Superior, Wisconsin on May 15, 1981 and went to Duluth, Minnesota to load 11,154 tons of taconite ore for Lorain. On May 16, 1981, having departed Duluth in 35 mph winds and ten foot seas, the CLYMER began taking on water in her ballast tanks. She returned to Duluth, and was quickly repaired.  

On May 16, 1972, in dense fog, the ROBERT HOBSON struck the Peerless Cement dock at Port Huron, Michigan when her bow was caught by the strong current at the mouth of the St. Clair River. Damage to the hull was estimated at to $100,000.  

In 1985 PONTIAC (2) was towed down the Welland Canal by the Mc Keil tugs GLENEVIS, ARGUE MARTIN and STORMONT bound for Quebec City. She would later be scrapped in Spain. 

The tug B W ALDRICH burned at Ludington, Michigan on 16 May 1874. The damage was estimated at $5,000 and she was rebuilt.  

May 16, 1997 - The BADGER's planned first voyage of 1997 was delayed for one day because of a faulty boiler tube. 

E W OGLEBAY (steel propeller bulk freighter, 375 foot. 3666 gross tons) was launched at F. W. Wheeler's yard (Hull #114) at West Bay City, Michigan on 16 May 1896. She lasted until she stranded on Shot Point, ten miles east of Marquette, Michigan on Lake Superior, during a heavy northeast gale and blizzard, on December 8, 1927. Shortly afterwards the hull was gutted by fire and declared a constructive total loss. The hull was removed, partially scrapped, and used as dock at Drummond Island, Michigan. 

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

May 17 

On 17 May 1887, the WILLIAM RUDOLPH (wooden propeller "rabbit", 145 foot, 267 gross tons. built in 1880 at Mount Clemens, Michigan) was raised from Lake St. Clair.  She sank in the Fall of 1886.  She was towed to the Wolverine Drydock in Port Huron, Michigan where she was repaired.  She lasted until 1913 when she was beached as shore protection near Racine, Wisconsin. 

ALTON C DUSTIN (Hull#708) was launched May 17, 1913, at Lorain, Ohio by the American Ship Building Co. for Cleveland Steamship Co. (John Mitchell, mgr.) Renamed b.) J A CAMPBELL in 1915 and c.) BUCKEYE MONITOR in 1965.  

NORTHCLIFFE HALL (2) collided with the Cuban salty CARLOS MANUEL DE CESPEDES in the St. Lawrence River above the Eisenhower Lock on May 17, 1980. 

The E G GRACE arrived at Ramey's Bend May 17, 1984 in tow of the tugs GLENEVIS and GLENSIDE for scrapping. 

May 17, 1941 -- The Ludington Daily News reported that the former carferry PERE MARQUETTE 17, which had been purchased by the state department for use at the Straits of Mackinac, was to be renamed CITY OF PETOSKEY. 

The schooner ST ANDREWS was launched at A. Muir's shipyard on the Black River in Port Huron, Michigan on 17 May 1875. This was a rebuild job, but Mr. Muir stated that it was the most complete rebuild he ever undertook since there was only a portion of the keel and bottom left from the old hull. Her new dimensions were 135' keel x 30' x 14', 425 tons (an increase of 102 tons). 

At about 9:00 AM, 17 May 1885, the tug E T CARRINGTON (wooden side-wheel tug, 76 foot, 57 gross tons, built in 1876 at Bangor, Michigan) was towing a raft of logs from L'Anse to Baraga, Michigan when she caught fire and burned to the water's edge. The crew was rescued by the steam yacht EVA WADSWORTH. The CARRINGTON was later rebuilt and lasted until 1907. 

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

May 18 

On 18 May 1872, the 3-mast wooden schooner MARQUETTE was holed in northern Lake Huron by a floating log. The crew manned the hand-operated bilge pumps but could not keep up with the incoming water. The steamer ANNIE YOUNG took the MARQUETTE in tow even though she was sinking and headed for Cheboygan, Michigan.  During the tow, the schooner stopped sinking and arrived in port no lower in the water than she had been earlier.  An investigation revealed that a large fish got caught in the hole and plugged it! 

The WILLIAM C ATWATER departed Sandusky, Ohio May 18, 1925 on her maiden voyage loaded with coal bound for Duluth, Minnesota. She was the first freighter on the Great Lakes equipped with a gyro compass. 

The JOHNSTOWN (2) cleared Erie May 18, 1985 for Quebec City under tow bound for Spain for scrapping. This vessel was the first post-war built U.S. laker to be scrapped. 

On May 18, 1903 the MAUNALOA hit and sank the 69 foot wooden tug EDWARD GILLEN at Superior, Wisconsin. 

May 18, 1992 -- The BADGER made her maiden voyage for the newly formed Lake Michigan Carferry Service. 

On 18 May 1853, CITIZEN (wooden schooner, 54 tons, built in 1847 at Manitowoc, Wisconsin) was driven aground 6 miles north of Chicago. The U. S. Navy steamer MICHIGAN tried in vain to pull her off, breaking a 14" hawser in the process. She was reportedly the first vessel built at Manitowoc, Wisconsin. 

On 18 May 1882, AMERICAN EAGLE (wooden propeller, passenger packet & tug, 105 foot, 161 gross tons, built in 1880 at Sandusky, Ohio) was racing off Kelley's Island on Lake Erie when her boiler exploded. Six lives were lost. She was later raised and repaired and lasted until 1908. 

18 May 1894: A big storm swept the Lakes on 18 May 1894. The next day, the Port Huron Times gave the following account of the ship wrecks in that storm: "The big storm on Lake Michigan has cost the lives of many men. Only 2 men were saved from the schooner M J CUMMINGS, 6 lost. The C C BARNES is ashore at Milwaukee but the crew were saved. The schooner MYRTLE was wrecked just outside the government pier within a half mile of Michigan Blvd. in Chicago with 6 lost. The schooner LINCOLN DALL went to pieces at Glencoe, 8 miles north of Chicago. She was 196 tons. The schooner JACK THOMPSON, 199 tons, wrecked off 25th Street. The schooner EVENING STAR, 203 tons, wrecked off 27th Street but her crew was saved. The schooner MERCURY of Grand Haven, 278 tons, wrecked off 27th Street and her crew rescued. The schooner J LOOMIS McLAREN, 272 tons, wrecked off 27th Street. The schooner RAINBOW of Milwaukee, 243 tons, wrecked off 100th Street; the crew was rescued. The schooner C J MIXER, 279 tons, wrecked off 100th Street; crew rescued. The schooner WM SHUPE waterlogged and ashore at Lexington, Michigan on Lake Huron. Four were drowned in an attempted rescue. The scow ST CATHARINES is ashore at Rock Falls near Sand Beach. The crew reached shore safely but the boat will fare badly."

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



Boatnerd Updates

June 4th Port Huron Gathering & Cruise:
Space is still available for the Port Huron Boatnerd Gathering cruise aboard the Huron Lady II on June 4, following the Port Huron Marine Mart at the Seaway Terminal. The two-hour cruise will leave at 3:30 PM. Details are available on the Boatnerd Gathering  page. Make your reservations today.

July 16th Fawn Island Gathering Schedule Change:
The 2005 Fawn Island Boatnerd Gathering has been changed to a three-hour luncheon cruise aboard the Hammond Bay. The cruise will leave the Lee Marine dock at 11:00 AM and cruise the St. Clair River up bound as far as the lower end of Stag Island before returning. Reservations are limited to 40 persons and need to be made by July 1. See the Boatnerd Gathering  page for more details.

Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Logos Available:
The summer shipping and boat watching season is getting under way. Let your fellow boat watchers know you are one of us by showing your colors with  a Boatnerd logo sticker. Exterior bumper stickers and interior window clingers are available for a small charge at Boatnerd Logos . The multi-color logos are 4" square. Order yours today. Immediate shipping. Logos will also be available the Port Huron Marine Mart on June 4.

Reported by Dave Wobser


Today in Great Lakes History - May 15

On 15 May, 1901, the GILCHRIST (Hull # 603) (steel propeller freighter, 356 foot. 3871 gross tons) was launched at the West Bay City Ship Building Co. in West Bay City, Michigan for the Gilchrist Transportation Company of Cleveland, Ohio.  She lasted until 1943 when she was sunk in a collision on Lake Superior.  

On May 15, 1997, the "This Day in History" feature started on this web site. 

The PHILIP R CLARKE, first of the AAA class of vessel, began her maiden voyage from Lorain, Ohio on this date in 1952. 

After extensive renovation at Fraser Shipyard, the IRVIN L CLYMER departed Superior, Wisconsin on May 15, 1981 and went to Duluth, Minnesota to load 11,154 tons of taconite ore for Lorain, Ohio.  

On May 15, 1971 STONEFAX was sold for scrap. STONEFAX was scrapped at Santander, Spain. 

The HOMER D WILLIAMS collided with the Canadian steamer WHEAT KING in fog on the St. Marys River May 15, 1968 with no reported significant damage.  

On 15 May 1854, GARDEN CITY (wooden passenger/package side-wheeler, 218 foot, 657 tons, built in 1853 at Buffalo, New York) was sailing from Chicago to the Soo in a storm when she went on Martin Reef, west of Detour, Michigan and was wrecked. Her passengers were picked up by the steamer QUEEN CITY. On 24 May, she was stripped by a schooner and in July her anchor and chains were salvaged by the schooner MONTEATH. Later still, her machinery was recovered. 

May 15, 1992 -- The str. BADGER was rededicated and began a new career as a non-railroad carferry. 

At 3:30 AM, 15 May 1874, the tug TAWAS came along side of the schooner ZACH CHANDLER several miles off shore from Sand Beach, Michigan on Lake Huron. The boiler of the TAWAS exploded and she sank. Capt. Robinson, 2nd Engineer Dyson, Firemen Thomas Conners and James McIntyre, and Lookout Dennis Burrow were all on the tug and died in the explosion. The blast tore the CHANDLER's sails and rigging, and caused the death of one of her officers when he was struck on the head by a flying piece of debris. The CHANDLER drifted away in the heavy seas, but returned to pick up five survivors from the water. The TAWAS was built at Vicksburg, Michigan by Myron Williams in 1864. Her dimensions were 95’ x 18'6" x 8'6". She carried the two old engines from the tug BLISH, which when new were 11 1/2" x 20", but having been bored out several times, were 15' x 20" at the time of the explosion. Her boiler was built by Mr. Turnbull of Corunna, Ontario.  

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


Port Reports

Sault Ste. Marie:
Reported by Jon Paul Michaels
Friday at the Sault was a rainy blustery day with limited traffic to report. The American Mariner was down the Poe Lock at 5:30 a.m. followed by the Federal Weser down at 6:00 a.m. and the Birchglen at 6:15 a.m. The Herbert C Jackson departed Algoma Steel after unloading their coal cargo at 11:30 a.m., entered the upper St. Marys River via the Canadian Channel at 12:10 p.m. and continued upbound for Marquette and a load of pellets. The Paul R Tregurtha came down the Poe at 3:30 p.m. and the Walter J McCarthy became the first upbound vessel of the day by taking the lowered lock up at 4:15 p.m. The Lee A Tregurtha was down with pellets from Marquette at 4:45 p.m. The next two ships were up with the H. Lee White being followed by the Montrealais.

Menominee & Marinette:
Reported by Dick Lund
Menominee and Marinette just finished a busy week. It began with the Catherine Desgagnes arriving with a load of pig iron on Sunday May 8. She was followed by the Virginiaborg (also on May 8) and the Vechtborg on Monday May 9, both with a load of pulp for a local warehouse. The Vechtborg remained in port loading pulp until departing early on May 12. Meanwhile, the Algoway arrived at Marinette Fuel & Dock with a load of salt on May 9. The Algorail brought more salt to MF&D on Thursday May 12, and the Agawa Canyon did likewise on Friday May 13. Marinette Marine also had some small Navy landing-type craft out in a very rough bay of Green Bay on Wednesday and Thursday. Also of note: the Great Lakes Maritime Academy ship "State of Michigan" is scheduled to leave Marinette Marine after a fairly major interior re-fit on-or-about June 1.

Saginaw River:
By Todd Shorkey
On a very windy Thursday, the Saginaw River saw two vessels transiting the waterway.  The Fred R. White, Jr. arrived with a split load, lightering at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City.  She then continued upriver to finish unloading at the GM Dock in Saginaw.  The Fred R. White was expected to be outbound early Friday morning. The Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. called on the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville to unload coal.  She had arrived early in the afternoon and was outbound early Thursday evening.

Reported by Herm Phillips
On Thursday, the M/V Paul H, Townsend started her 2005 season as she departed the Mart dock in Muskegon and shifted to the LaFarge dock to unload her storage cargo of cement. She departed the next day bound for Alpena.

Reported by Brian Wroblewski
The 690-foot steamer Courtney Burton arrived this evening under a brilliant sunset at 7 p.m. The ship was attracting a crowd as  Boatnerds with cameras and camcorders were popping up all over the place and I noticed license plates from Canada and Pennsylvania. She came in through the North Entrance Channel and slowly made her way up the Buffalo River without tugs. The ship maneuvered at the Inner Harbor Turning Basin to line up for the City Ship Canal and then proceeded in slow and steady. She then bumped up against the Frontier Elevator dock with her Port bow and slid along the wall as her boom was positioned for unloading tonight. She will begin discharging grain around midnight with a roughly 18 hour unload.

This was her first trip into Buffalo, and also the first grain cargo brought in by an Oglebay boat since their straight decker days 30 years ago. She is the largest boat to unload on the City Ship Canal and she is the first Oglebay boat to travel up the Buffalo River since the early 1980's when Republic Steel was still operating.

On Friday, the Burton was still unloading at 1 p.m. Her draft marks at mid-ship were at 19 feet. Last night she came in at 22 feet so it seems like the unload is going slowly. The JAW Iglehart was crossing Long Point and Eastbound on the lake for Buffalo at 2 p.m.

On Thursday, the self-unloading barge/tug combo, Joseph H. Thompson and Joseph H. Thompson Jr. of Upper Lakes Towing Inc. off-loaded sand at Midwest Terminals of Toledo, International. They left before 5:00 p.m. from Toledo. Detroit Princess remains in the slip at Toledo Shipyard. ICHx.



Today in Great Lakes History - May 14

On 14 May 1881, CITY OF ROME (wooden propeller freighter, 268 foot, 1908 gross tons) was launched by Thomas Quayle & Sons in Cleveland, Ohio.  She was the largest vessel on the Lakes when she was launched.  She lasted until 1914 when she burned near Ripley, New York on Lake Erie in 1914.  

On May 14, 1959, the CHARLES M BEEGHLY and the HERBERT C JACKSON both entered service. While the vessels have been fleet mates since 1967, the BEEGHLY got her start as the SHENANGO II for the Shenango Furnace Company.  

On May 14, 1943, the THOMAS WILSON entered service as the first of the sixteen vessels in the "Maritime" class. 

The HOCHELAGA's self-unloading boom was installed on the RICHARD REISS, which had lost her boom April 13, 1994 when it collapsed at Fairport, Ohio. The REISS cleared the Port Weller Dry Docks, replacement boom was installed, on May 14, 1994.  

BLACK HAWK (wooden schooner, 98 foot, 178 gross tons) was launched in East Saginaw, Michigan on 14 May 1861. Thomas A. Estes was her builder. She was active until abandoned in the Kinnickinnic River at Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1908. On 13 October 1913, she was filled with flammable material and burned off Milwaukee as a public spectacle for the Perry Centennial Celebration.  

On May 14, 1905, the new Anchor Line passenger steamer JUNIATA made her maiden voyage from the yards of the American Shipbuilding Company in Cleveland, Ohio to Detroit, Michigan. Sailing under the command of Capt. Edward J. Martin she left Cleveland at 7:05 in the morning and arrived at Detroit shortly before 4. On board, in addition to several officials of the line was her designer, Frank E. Kirby. 

Detroiters were treated to the sight of seeing both the JUNIATA and TIONESTA together for the first time as TIONESTA was loading for Duluth, Minnesota when the JUNIATA arrived from Cleveland and JUNIATA tied up alongside her older sister. The JUNIATA later departed for Chicago where her furnishings were installed.  

On 14 May 1861, COMET (wooden side-wheeler, 174 foot. 337 gross tons, built in 1848 at Portsmouth, Ontario) collided with the 2-mast wooden schooner EXCHANGE, ten miles off Nine-Mile Point on Lake Ontario. Then an explosion rocked the COMET and she was destroyed by fire 2 or 3 lives were lost, but the survivors reached Simcoe Island in a lifeboat.  

Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., May 14, 1900. - The W A ROOTH of the Great Lakes Towing company fleet was caught between the barge JOHN A ROEBLING and the steamer HENRY C FRICK in the American canal last night and sunk.  The crew escaped without injury.  The tug was towing the barge ROEBLING out of the canal and in some manner got between the the ROEBLING and the big steamer FRICK.  Her sides were crushed in and she went down immediately in twenty feet of water. 

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


Superior's level remains low

Lake Superior water levels continued to track below the long-term average for April. Currently, Lake Superior's level is two inches below its long-term average beginning of May level, according the International Lake Superior Board of Control. But the current level is three inches above the level recorded a year ago. This past month, Lake Superior rose by about two inches, while it usually rises three inches during April.

The level of lakes Michigan and Huron rose by about three inches, while the average April rise is four inches. The level of lake Michigan and Huron is now about 11 inches below its long-term average beginning of May level, but is six inches higher than a year ago.

Reported by The Mining Journal


Legal fight over shipwreck rests with the French

A man who believes he may have discovered the wreck of the first European trade ship on Lake Michigan is getting support from France as he seeks salvage rights to the Griffin, a vessel that disappeared in 1679, a lawyer said. Steve Libert's Great Lakes Exploration Group is engaged in what could be a long legal fight with the state of Michigan over possession of the site. But he likely will get a boost with France's interest in the case.

"If it's a French vessel, the French have a right to determine the recovery. France wants us to go forward," Great Lakes Exploration attorney Richard Robol told a federal judge Tuesday. Robol presented an e-mail from the U.S. State Department. It quoted a French diplomat as saying there was an "unequivocal naval connection" between the explorer, Robert de La Salle, and King Louis XIV, and France retains ownership to the Griffin.

Michigan typically has authority over abandoned ships at the bottom of the Great Lakes on its borders. But under law, France's rights could trump all. No one is touching the site yet. Great Lakes Exploration is not even certain about the ship's identity, but the probability it is the Griffin is "higher than 50 percent," Robol said. Fearing the site could be looted, the group only says the wreck is between Escanaba and the St. Martin Islands, near Wisconsin.

U.S. Chief District Judge Robert Holmes Bell told Robol to get more details to state scientists within two weeks. The state then will check the site and report back in July. Bell did not rule on Great Lakes Exploration's request to become custodian of the site. Michigan Assistant Attorney General James Piggush said a piece of wood at the bottom of the lake is "more likely a barn timber," not part of a ship.

Robol said identification would be "difficult" and would occur only if the judge granted access to the site, less than 150 feet deep. "Everything points to the Griffin, based on the location and markings," he said. "If it isn't, France isn't interested. My client isn't interested."

The Griffin was believed to have carried furs. "The only riches on it would be riches of the mind," Robol said outside court. "I don't believe anyone believes there's treasure."

LaSalle's other ship, La Belle, was discovered off the Texas coast in the mid-1990s. With approval from France, state archaeologists recovered nearly 1 million artifacts, from human bones to muskets.

Reported by Ed White, The Grand Rapids Press


Port Reports

Saginaw River:
Reported by Todd Shorkey
Wednesday saw a number of vessels transiting the Saginaw River.  First, the CSL Tadoussac, who had unloaded overnight at the Essroc Terminal in Essexville, was outbound backing out of the river to Light 12 before turning around and heading for the lake.  Also outbound a few hours later was the Agawa Canyon who had unloaded overnight at the GM dock in Saginaw. Inbound Wednesday was the Buffalo.  She was inbound during the early evening and called on the Bay Aggregates dock to unload.  Buffalo is expected to be outbound early Thursday morning.

Reported by Dale Baechler
The BBC Finland entered the harbor before noon on Wednesday. The Capt. Henry Jackman followed after lunch, and was assisted to the Sifto Salt dock by the MacDonald Marine tugs. The Agawa Canyon arrived early Thursday to take on a load at Sifto Salt. It's been a good year for boat watching in Goderich as we have been averaging one ship per day entering the harbor.

Reported by Charlie Gibbons
The salty Toro departed early Thursday morning for the Welland Canal. The charter vessel Wayward Princess went through it's annual Coast Guard inspection this morning. Algoma's Peter R. Cresswell arrived in port Wednesday afternoon and cleared down the St. Lawrence later that evening after dumping a load of salt at the Turning Basin.

Trillium's steam whistle sounded for the first time Wednesday as she got underway for a shakedown cruise and inspection. Trillium is now in it's 94th season. The movie "Cinderella Man" starring Russel Crowe, which was filmed onboard Trillium last summer, will be released theatrically at the end of May. Michael Douglas and Keifer Sutherland visited Toronto Drydock Wednesday afternoon to check it out as a location for the film "The Sentinel", which they are in town filming. Shooting at the drydock will take place later this summer.

The tug Janice C. No. 1 was refloated at the drydock Wednesday afternoon and she departed for Port Weller. The tug Diver III and barge Y & F No. 1 completed work at the Island Yacht Club (their clubhouse burned to the ground last summer) which they began Tuesday, and they returned to Harbourfront.

The Port Authority ferry Maple City is in their Keating Channel yard undergoing repairs. The back up ferry Windmill point was pressed into service last week. Also in the Keating Channel, the derrick barge T.H.C. 50 is loading spar buoys for placement around the harbor. Tuesday afternoon the Port Authority tug William Rest was out with a small barge placing buoys in the island lagoons. Work continues further up the channel on the new charter vessel Yankee Lady IV. The tugs Vac and Lac Como are still engaged in hauling sand barges from the east end waterworks plant into the Turning Basin. The advertising on the ferry Sam McBride was removed on Tuesday. CCGS Griffon was in port overnight for a couple of days and the cement ships have made trips in and out.The tug Wendy B., which departed the lakes last week, was reported as being in New York City at the Southport Museum on Wednesday.


Today in Great Lakes History - May 13

GEMINI (Hull#746) was launched at Grange, Texas by Levingston Ship Building Co. in 1978 for Cleveland Tankers Inc., a subsidiary of Ashland Oil. 

The JUPITER made her maiden voyage May 13, 1976 from Smith's Bluff, Texas loaded with lube oil bound for Marcus Hooks, Pennsylvania.  

On May 13, 1913 the THOMAS F COLE collided with the barge IRON CITY on Lake St. Clair. The barge was cut in two.  

Delivered May 13, 1943, the THOMAS WILSON departed under the command of Captain Henry Borgen on her maiden voyage from Lorain, Ohio light bound for Duluth, Minnesota to load iron ore.  

The green-hulled schooner EMMA C HUTCHINSON was launched at 4:00 PM on 13 May 1873 at the E. Fitzgerald yard in Port Huron. She was the largest vessel built at that yard up to that time. She was named for the wife of Mr. J. T. Hutchinson of Cleveland. Her dimensions were 195' keel, 215' overall, 35' beam, 14' depth, 736 tons. She cost $55,000. Frank Leighton was her builder and Matthew Finn the master fitter. She was outfitted by Swan's Sons of Cleveland. Her painting was done by Ross & Doty of Port Huron.

On 13 May 1874, the Port Huron Times reported that someone had stolen the schooner ANNIE FAUGHT and that John Hoskins, the owner, was offering a reward for her recovery.

May 13, 1898   - The steamer JOHN ERICSSON, having in tow the barge ALEXANDER HOLLEY, bound down with ore, went aground while making the turn at the dark hole in little Mud Lake,  She is on a sand bottom.  Tugs and lighters have gone to release her.  When the steamer grounded the barge ran into her, damaging the latters bow and causing a large hole above the water line on the starboard side of the ERICSSON.  Both can be repaired temporarily.

On 13 May 1871, NORTHERNER (wooden barge, 220 foot, 1391 gross tons) was launched by Capt. Wescott at Marine City, Michigan.  Her master builder was John J. Hill.  She was towed to Detroit to be fitted out and there was talk of eventually converting her to a passenger steamer.  She remained a barge until 1880 when she was converted to a propeller freighter in Detroit.  She lasted until 1892 when she burned at L'anse, Michigan.

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


Boating Web site drops anchor in Port Huron

An online staple for freighter fans has jumped off cyberspace and set up shop along the Black and St. Clair rivers. Web site, also called Great Lakes and Seaway Shipping, has opened a satellite center on Acheson Venture's Desmond Landing development site in Port Huron.

Online since 1995, the site offers current and historical information on Great Lakes freighters. Viewers can use message boards, view thousands of photographs and find out where ships are located on the Great Lakes. has received about 7 million hits since it started, and about 45,000 daily hits.

The satellite center is open seven days a week and offers six computer terminals for the freighter novice or expert to look up maritime information. It also offers wireless Internet connections for boaters and visitors. It's located off Water Street, past Desmond Marine, where the Black and St. Clair rivers meet.

Former freighter crewman and avid ship watcher Frank Frisk of Marysville now manages the office. "This is a fantastic facility for the general public to come in and do any type of marine research," he said.

The site's computer servers still are in Albion. Site operators still will post information from a variety of locations on the Great Lakes. Frisk said the online content will improve because of feedback to the Port Huron office. viewers for several months have responded to an online survey asking what Port Huron would need for a ship-watching facility. Acheson Ventures spokesman Paul Maxwell said it was visitors who provided valuable tips and advice to the development company.

Local ship watchers now will have some advance notice of when freighters will pass Port Huron, Frisk said. By monitoring VHF radio traffic, staff members will post online about an hour ahead of time when a ship is expected to pass Desmond Landing upbound or downbound.

Reported by Chris Sebastian, Port Huron Times-Herald

Boatnerd office in Port Huron
Recent visitors to the new center

Related Articles:  Vantage Point will enhance the waterfront
                            Survey: Users want restrooms, french fries
                            Ship watchers get new vantage point


Pilot training blamed in 2002 Seaway accident

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada released its final report Wednesday into a collision on the St. Lawrence Seaway between the Dutch heavy lift ship Stellanova and the Canadian bulk carrier Canadian Prospector.

At approximately 7 p.m. on Oct. 12 2002, the Stellanova was travelling west through the South Shore Canal on the St. Lawrence Seaway near Montréal, Quebec, while the Canadian Prospector was entering the South Shore Canal eastbound for Port-Cartier, Quebec. The Stellanova was on the south side of the channel. The pilot aboard the Stellanova called the Canadian Prospector and arranged a starboard-to-starboard passing. The Stellanova was manoeuvred in order to keep it on the south side of the channel, but it sheered towards the centre of the channel and the ships collided. Both vessels sustained significant damage. The Stellanova struck the bank, causing minor pollution, which was eventually brought under control by St. Lawrence Seaway authorities. One member of the Stellanova crew received minor injuries as a result of the impact.

In its investigation, the TSB found that, although mariners and pilots were trained in managing their bridge personnel, the principles learned were not fully put into practice. The investigation also found that the Stellanova sheered towards the south side of the South Shore Canal possibly due to a reduction in thrust, to the propeller control lever design, and to the visibility from the bridge. As well, the pilot had not received hands-on training on similar vessels or on simulators re-enacting emergency situations.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

Reported by Canadian Press


Vista Queen to arrive in Duluth by truck this week

The Vista Fleet, the Twin Ports' 46-year-old marine excursion service, expects to take delivery of a new 66-foot vessel this Friday or Saturday, but it won't arrive by water. Instead, the new 110-passenger boat, to be christened the Vista Queen, will arrive by truck in two parts. Moving it by road was the quickest delivery option from La Crosse, Wis., where SkipperLiner, its builder, is based. The boat could have motored down the Mississippi, up the Illinois River to Chicago, across Lake Michigan, into Lake Huron, through the Soo Locks and clear across Lake Superior. During such a lengthy trip, weather delays were possible.

The Vista Queen's pilot house and part of its top deck are being shipped separately from the main hull unit. The parts will be reassembled at Fraser Shipyard in Superior. The finished boat, worth about $500,000, is expected to be launched early next week. The Vista Fleet's last purchase was the 91-foot Vista Star in 1987. The excursion service also operates the 78-foot Vista King.

Reported by the Duluth News Tribune


Spirit of Ontario to go to St. Catharines for repairs

Work on Rochester's fast ferry is moving forward as the start up date draws closer. The company that will operate the service says everything is on schedule for the boat to hit the water June 17. Crews are still working on repairing the ferry's engines. That work will be done June 12, just a few days before service starts up again. Bay Ferries, the company that will operate the service, says the ferry will go to St. Catharine's Ont., Canada on Sunday for other repairs. That work will take about a week to 10 days.

Bay Ferries also say the ticket system is being tested this week at the terminal in Charlotte. The company expects the system to be up and running by next week, and start selling tickets as early as next week. Also, the company says it is still working on hiring the necessary people for the operation, including the terminal supervisors and engineers. It is confident everyone and everything will be in place in time for June 17. As for ticket prices, Bay Ferries says it is still working on that. The company says prices should be comparable to what they were for the first ferry operation.

Reported by Jason Leslie


News Photo Gallery Updated


News Photo Gallery updated. 

Note:  This page will generally be used only for photos related to recent news or port/area reports.  Photos of your visits to the various ship watching locations, trips etc. can now be posted in your own albums created in the Public Gallery.  Just click on the Public Photo Gallery link and follow the instructions.


Public Photo Gallery Updated


New albums in the Shipping, Lighthouses, Model Building and Post Cards/Collectables/Artwork Galleries
Public Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History - May 12

The CABOT (Hull#649) was launched May 12, 1965 at Lauzon, Quebec by Davie Shipbuilding Ltd., for Gulf Ports Steamship Co. Ltd. (Clarke Steamship Co. Ltd., mgr.). In 1983 the CABOT’s stern was attached to the bow section of the NORTHERN VENTURE to create the CANADIAN EXPLORER.

The THOMAS WALTERS entered service on May 12, 1911 with coal from Sandusky, Ohio to Duluth, Minnesota.

The carferry GRAND HAVEN was sold to the West India Fruit & Steamship Co., Norfolk, Virginia on May 12, 1946 and was brought down the Mississippi River to New Orleans, Louisiana for reconditioning before reaching Port Everglades and the Port of Palm Beach, Florida.

On 12 May 1875, the scow-schooner SEA BIRD of Chicago was driven onto the beach a half mile south of the harbor at Holland, Michigan by a Northeaster. After the storm, she was high and dry on the beach.

The wooden J S SEAVERNS ran aground and stranded near Michipicoten Island on Lake Superior on 12 May 1884. She had been carrying passengers from Chicago to Port Arthur. She was pulled free by a tug, but then sank. She was formerly a steam barge, being built on the bottom of the side-wheel tug JOHN P WARD in Saugatuck, Michigan in 1880. The WARD dated back to 1857, had burned in 1865, was then rebuilt as a schooner, and in 1880 was finally rebuilt as the SEAVERNS.

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

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Seaway ads aim to build bridges

A St. Lawrence Seaway marketing program, which, in its first incarnation, drew the ire of some members of the Canadian trucking industry, is moving into its next phase as the corporation that runs the seaway looks to increase cargo on the waterway after an improved 2004 season. Seaway management believes it scored a hit with its multi-media campaign on billboards, radio and television that branded the waterway Hwy. H2O and took shots at the trucking industry as being a less efficient and less environmentally sound way to move goods when compared with shipping.

"Given the response we had, we decided we wanted to keep the momentum going," said Aldert van Nieuwkoop, director of market development for the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. Tonnage traveling the seaway has declined over the past 10 to 15 years. In the 1960s and 1970s, 70 million tonnes of commodities moved each year.

As recently as three years ago, that number dipped to 40 million tonnes. But last year was "a good year," according to Mr. van Nieuwkoop, with 43 million tonnes transported. Supporting that has been foreign use, which was up by about 6.5% in volume in 2004. "It looks like we're going to have a good year this year," he said.

In order to take advantage of that momentum, 18 main ports in the seaway system have contributed to the Hwy. H2O campaign and are promoting the brand and its message. "The system as a whole has a much more marketable story as compared with the sum of its parts," Mr. van Nieuwkoop said.

As a further step, international agents will be hired to pitch the Hwy. H2O concept domestically and internationally. "We're a nation of truckers and rail people and so the marine side has been underdeveloped. There's a great opportunity here," Mr. van Nieuwkoop said.

On the trucking side, he acknowledges that the campaign in its initial incarnation was "a bit confrontational" but noted the seaway is now looking to build bridges. There are some ruffled feathers among truckers.

Last summer, David Bradley, chief executive officer of the Canadian Trucking Alliance, came out swinging at the Hwy. H2O ad campaign. In a press release, he said different transportation modes should pull together "rather than throwing money at public relations campaigns bashing other modes, particularly trucking, which has the lion's share of the the freight." Mr. Bradley was not available for an interview about phase two, however, Elly Meister, vice-president of public affairs, said that "[Mr. Bradley] would stand by his quote he made in August [2004]."

Shippers defend the marketing program and want it to continue. "We support the program," said Shane Foreman, policy and research manager for the Canadian Shipowners Association. Its members transport dry and liquid bulk on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway and saw an increase in their cargo last year.

Now the seaway is striking a conciliatory note as it looks for new traffic, and not just ways to recoup a piece of the pie. "Our distinct message is 'truck it or rail it, but truck it-rail it to the nearest port," Mr. van Nieuwkoop said.

Reported by Gigi Suhanic, Financial Post / National Post


Historic lighthouse for sale

The 177-year-old Barcelona Lighthouse has been called one of America's most romantic - and historic - lighthouses. But the romance of ownership has faded for Bruce and Ann Mulkin, who bought the landmark on Route 5 in western Chautauqua County seven years ago.

Last month, the Fredonia business owners put the long-inactive facility up for sale in thoroughly modern fashion, on the eBay auction Web site. The asking price for the 40-foot-tall flagstone tower, adjacent stone lighthouse keeper's cottage and garage: $999,000. So far, the Internet listing has registered nearly 2,000 hits and a handful of offers, including one from a man who wanted to trade his 114-foot motor yacht for the property. Bruce Mulkins was intrigued until he learned the boat takes 2,000 gallons of fuel.

Keeping up a store and two other homes, including a second property on the Lake Erie shoreline, takes too much time and money, said Mulkin, whose real estate agent, Al Shaw of Chautauqua Realty, first advertised the lighthouse online April 2. The ad includes several color pictures. "It's a lot of work to maintain," Mulkin said. "Friends and family stay there more than I do."

Built by the U.S. Lighthouse Service and first lighted in 1829, the Barcelona Lighthouse is believed to be the oldest such structure on the Great Lakes and was the first navigational light in the world fueled by natural gas. Hollow wooden piping from a nearby "burning spring" fed the lamp from 1831 to 1838. The Barcelona light also had one of the shortest working lives - 30 years. It was decommissioned in 1859, when the government that had commissioned it found out Barcelona didn't really have a natural harbor. Today, the lighthouse overlooks what piers and breakwaters have shaped into a small-boat haven along the lakeshore just down the slope from Thruway Exit 60, 10 miles east of the Pennsylvania line.

The lighthouse was owned by another Chautauqua County family for 126 years before the Mulkinses acquired it. Mulkins declined to say what he and his wife paid for the lighthouse or how much money they would accept for it. "We really don't know what it's worth," he said. "There's no way to appraise it. It is truly a unique piece of property."

They are unfazed by the lack of solid bids thus far. They put it up for auction on the Internet, instead of advertising it locally, as a way of distancing themselves and the property from curiosity-seekers, Mulkins said. "Are we working hard at selling it? No. But we're trying a little bit," he said.

If no deal is struck, the Mulkinses will continue to be responsible stewards of the historic lighthouse, he added. A decorative light fueled by natural gas will be kept on during navigation season in the open wood structure that long ago replaced the lantern room atop the cone-shaped tower.

Reported by Tom Buckham, The Buffalo News


Port Reports

Saginaw River:
Reported by Todd Shorkey
The tug Barbara Andrie and tank barge A-390 were unloading at the Triple Clean dock in Essexville on Monday.  The pair arrived during the afternoon and were expected to be outbound Tuesday afternoon.

The CSL Tadoussac was inbound the Saginaw River Tuesday evening, calling on the Essroc Terminal in Essexville to unload clinker.  She is expected to depart early Wednesday morning. Also inbound late Tuesday evening was the Agawa Canyon.  She was expected to be traveling all the way up to Saginaw to unload at the GM dock.  The Agawa Canyon is expected to be outbound Wednesday afternoon. The tug Gregory J. Busch and her barge STC 2004 were also moving in the river on Tuesday. 

Reported by Dale Baechler
The Canadian Navigator was loading at the Sifto Salt dock Tuesday morning after entering port late Monday night. The Algorail is due late Tuesday night.


Today in Great Lakes History - May 11

On May 11, 1953, the HENRY STEINBRENNER went down in Lake Superior near Isle Royale with 17 of her 31 crewmembers. The storm followed an unseasonably warm and humid stretch of weather in northern Minnesota for that time of year which fueled the storm's fast growth. The high temperature of 87 degrees set in Grand Marais, Minnesota on May 8, 1953, still stands as that town's all-time record high for the month of May, and it is just eight degrees shy of the town's all-time record for any month.

 The 144 foot, 3-mast, wooden bark JESSE HOYT was launched at East Saginaw, Michigan by Smith & Whitney on 11 May 1854. Later in her career, she was converted to a schooner and lasted until 1896 when she sank in Lake Michigan in a collision.

 The A WESTON (wooden steam barge, 164 foot, 511 gross tons) left Mount Clemens, Michigan on her maiden voyage on 11 May 1882. She was built by William Dulac. Her hull was painted black. She was powered by a single 28" x 32" engine and she was designed for the lumber trade. She was sold Canadian in 1909 and was renamed CONGERCOAL. She lasted until she burned to a total loss at Fair Haven, New York on 10 May 1917.  

On 11 May 1886, OSSIFRAGE (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 123 foot, 383 gross tons) was launched by F. W. Wheeler & Co. (Hull #26) at West Bay City, Michigan.  She was rebuilt a number of times and ended her days on salt water.  While being towed in the Northumberland Strait in the Atlantic Ocean, she struck a shoal and foundered in September 1919. 

Data from: Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. The Detroit Free Press and the Duluth Evening Herald.

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Coast Guard looks to stop pests from sneaking into Great Lakes

The U.S. Coast Guard wants to control oceangoing freighters entering the Great Lakes that declare they have empty ballast tanks. Their concern is that the ballast tanks are not really empty but hold dangerous, foreign pests that threaten the future of the Great Lakes.

More than 180 non-native aquatic species - such as zebra mussels, round goby and sea lamprey - already call the Great Lakes home. About three-quarters of those pests have arrived since the St. Lawrence Seaway opened in 1959, said Jeff Reutter, director of the Ohio Sea Grant College Program. Lake Erie has more aquatic invaders than any other Great Lake. Many of the invaders arrive here in ballast water, which is carried by ships to ensure they are steady. The water often holds soil and organisms.

The Coast Guard will hold an all-day public meeting Monday in Cleveland to hear ideas about how to deal with these freighters and to get feedback on developing a No Ballast on Board, or NOBOB, policy. "When it comes to controlling aquatic species, the most important [issue] we face is how we deal with ballast water," Reutter said.

Since 1993, the Coast Guard has required that ships dump their ballast water 200 miles offshore and take in seawater before entering the St. Lawrence Seaway. But nearly nine out of 10 oceangoing ships are fully loaded with cargo when they enter the Seaway and thus have no need for stabilizing ballast on board. A five-year study by the University of Michigan and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that their tanks, while declared empty, actually hold residual water and mud and thousands of organisms. As freighters load and unload cargo at Great Lakes ports, they pump water in and out of the ballast tanks, which releases any organisms into the local harbor.

For some, the Coast Guard is moving too slow. "We need immediate action," said Jennifer Nalbone, habitat and biodiversity coordinator for Great Lakes United, an international coalition dedicated to preserving and restoring the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River. "The shipping season opened in March. It's critical we stop the next invader from coming in."

Last year, New York's attorney general and six other Great Lakes states, including Ohio, petitioned the Coast Guard to take immediate action to close the NOBOB loophole. In a letter dated April 11, the states said the Coast Guard's proposal to hold a meeting and request comments was "too little, too late, and simply insufficient to resolve the NOBOB problem." The letter said the states are considering other options.

Monday's meeting in Cleveland will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Anthony J. Celebreeze Federal Building, 1240 East 9th St. For more information, go to: .

Reported by John C. Kuehner, Cleveland Plain Dealer


Reconstruction of the Sloop Welcome close to launching

The Maritime Heritage Alliance of Traverse City, MI opened their reconstruction of His Majesty's Armed Sloop Welcome for public tours at their Heritage Harbor dock in Traverse City on Saturday. The event drew the attention of local residents and media to the soon to be completed reconstruction of a Revolutionary War era Great Lakes warship. Several members of the re-enacted King's or 8th Regiment of Foot from Detroit were present, along with some local Traverse City re-enactors to demonstrate and speak on the ship's original role in the 1770s and 80s.

The original HMAS Welcome was constructed by Michilimackinac based trader John Askin in 1775 to carry cargo on the Great Lakes. Later that year with the advent of the American War of Independence martial law was declared on the lakes and all ship's cargos were now assigned in order of importance by the various British officers commanding the Great Lakes posts. In 1777 the Welcome was purchased by the British Government and commissioned into the Royal Navy and was Headquartered at Detroit. She acted as a transport ship for the men of the King's or 8th Regiment of Foot who garrisoned the Lakes posts at the time. The Welcome was one of several British vessels that helped move Fort Michilimackinac to Mackinac Island from present day Mackinaw City. The ship was badly damaged in the winter of 1780-81 by ice at her dock on Mackinac Island. She was declared a total loss and was abandoned. The final resting place of the original Welcome is not known.

At present the Hull of the Welcome is all but complete sitting on blocks at the Heritage Harbor dock in Traverse City. On June 25th the Welcome is scheduled to hit the water. Her mast will be put in place shortly after and the process of rigging her will begin. By next spring the ship will be fully operational and sailing the Lakes on a regular basis once more.

Related Link: The Maritime Heritage Alliance

Reported by: The King's or 8th Regiment of Foot, , submitted by Scott Tomlinson


Michigan acts on Great Lakes ballast threat

The U.S. government wants to improve homeland security by cracking down on illegal aliens. But its inability to keep a different type of intruder - freshwater exotics from Europe, Asia, and other continents - from slipping into the Great Lakes is one of North America's biggest environmental headaches.

Now, to the Coast Guard's dismay, the Michigan Legislature appears to be on the verge of enacting its own permitting system for ships using Michigan ports.

A bill passed 38-0 by the Michigan Senate in late April would require ships to prove they have no zebra mussels, exotic fish, or other unwanted organisms in their ballast tanks. Or, they could show how they killed off anything that was in there. The Michigan House of Representatives passed a similar bill 109-1 Wednesday. Gov. Jennifer Granholm is expected to sign a combined bill into law.

Michigan officials are encouraging other states to follow suit, even though the Coast Guard believes doing so could undercut federal regulations and add to the shipping industry's bureaucracy.

Ohio, for the moment, is in a wait-and-see mode. No bills have been introduced. But Joe Koncelik, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency director, recently was briefed about Michigan's plan by Steve Chester, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality director, said Dina Pierce, Ohio EPA spokesman.

Michigan Sen. Patricia Birkholz (R., Saugatuck) told The Blade she proposed the Michigan Senate bill out of frustration over the federal government's ineffectiveness. "Obviously, the feds should be enforcing the [National Invasive Species Act of 1990] and are not doing it," she said. The federal act was passed by Congress in 1990 to turn away such pests.

Sponsored by former U.S. Sen. John Glenn (D., Ohio), it gives the Coast Guard authority to board foreign vessels along the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes to check the saline level of their ballast water. Vessels typically draw thousands of gallons of water into their ballast tanks to help balance their cargo. In so doing, they invariably draw in a number of aquatic organisms, many in the larval form and hard to see.

The National Invasive Species Act, reauthorized in 1996 and expanded to other parts of the country, was passed to cut off the biggest pathway for exotics by requiring that ships exchange their freshwater ballast at sea. That, in theory, kills anything in the ballast tank with saltwater. But it's a costly, time-consuming endeavor.

The New York state attorney general's office in January claimed the National Invasive Species Act has been watered down by exemptions. Ships can avoid inspections when they are so loaded down with cargo that their ballast tanks are virtually empty. Jolie Shifflet, Coast Guard spokesman, said 80 percent or more of the ships entering the St. Lawrence Seaway are exempt. Although she said exempted vessels haul only a fraction of the water drawn in from other continents, she conceded that it "only takes one" new exotic to cause havoc.

The Coast Guard said it has been handcuffed by regulations. It is holding public meetings today in Cleveland to gather comments from the public about seeking authorization from Congress for more aggressive action. It hasn't specified what, but has said the possibilities could include chemical, thermal, or ultraviolet treatment. Comments will be taken from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. at the Anthony J. Celebrezze Federal Building, 1240 East 9th St.

Ms. Shifflet said the Coast Guard does not want states enacting a hodgepodge of regulations. It believes it can more effectively communicate a single, federal law to foreign vessel operators - and is receptive to working under a tighter, more effective regulation itself. "When there are a lot of regulations, it makes it hard for ships to comply," she said. "The Coast Guard is very committed to doing something on this within the range of existing laws."

At last count, there were 162 exotic species in the Great Lakes, with a new one entering the lake system every eight months. Each causes different problems, from clogged water intake pipes to loss of habitat for native fish. The problem of exotics in general has been "horrendously expensive," Ms. Birkholz said. "It's damaging our ecosystem and it's threatening our ecosystem. We can't afford it," she said.

The Great Lakes region has recreational and commercial fishing industries with a combined value of $4.5 billion that supports 81,000 jobs, while infusing the region's tourism industry with revenue for motels, restaurants, and bait shops.

Reported by Tom Henry, Toledo Blade


Volunteers needed aboard former USCG Bramble

Volunteers are being sought for a variety of duties aboard the former USCG cutter Bramble, now docked in Port Huron. Volunteers are needed to give tours, perform maintenance or help handle administrative duties.

Please call (810) 434-8193, or attend an orientation meeting scheduled for 10 a.m. May 14 or 7 p.m. June 3 on board the Bramble. The Bramble is moored at the Port Huron Seaway Terminal, 2336 Military St., Port Huron, Mich.


Soo Locks photo and art contest announced

Shutterbugs and artists will have a chance to take their place in Soo Locks history. The Soo Locks 150th Anniversary Committee has announced a photo/art
contest in conjunction with the locks' 150th anniversary this season.

Three categories of entries will be considered in the contest ­ single photo, multi-print panoramic and hand-drawn/sketched art. Each entry must contain at least two of the following three elements: lake or river, Soo Locks, and boat(s).

Submissions should be made in the form of 5 x 7 prints for photographs. Drawing and sketch sizes are left to the discretion of the artist.

Entries must be submitted to the Downtown Development Authority office at 105 Arlington Street. They may be mailed or delivered. Upon completion of the contest period, entries must be picked up Sept. 6-9 from the same office or they become the property of the Soo Locks Visitor Center Association. Entries will not be returned by mail.

Selected entries will be displayed during the month of August at the Soo Locks Visitors Center. Prizes will be awarded in each category according to age group ­ Children (up to 11 years), Junior (12-17), and Adult (18 +).

For more information about the Soo Locks Sesquicentennial, call 906-632-6361 or log on to

Reported by Jim Carrick


Noted historian experiencing health problems

Long time marine photographer and historian Fr. Peter J. Vander Linden has been experiencing some health problems and is presently residing in a nursing care facility in St. Clair, Michigan. Father Pete is recovering and regaining his strength, and would welcome a card from his many friends along the waterfront. Send cards to: Fr. Peter J. Vander Linden-Room 322, Medilodge, 4220 South Hospital Drive, St. Clair MI 48079. Visitor are welcome if you are in the area.

Reported by Dave Wobser


Public Photo Gallery Updated


New albums in the Shipping, Lighthouses, Model Building and Post Cards/Collectables/Artwork Galleries
Public Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History - May 10

101 Years ago today the steamer COLUMBIA (Hull#148) was launched by the Detroit Ship Building Co., Wyandotte, Michigan. The steamer was built for day excursions between Detroit and Bob-Lo Island. The vessel has been in lay-up since September 2, 1991 at Nicholson’s Terminal.

On May 10, 1981, the  WILLIAM J DELANCEY entered service for Interlake Steamship Co.. She became the largest vessel on the Great Lakes at that time, and at least in the last 130 years, she has held the honor of being the largest vessel on the Great Lakes longer than any other vessel.  Renamed b.) PAUL R TREGURTHA in 1990.

On 10 May 1858, LEMUEL CRAWFORD (3 mast wooden bark, 135 foot, 450 tons, built in 1855 at Black River, Ohio) was carrying wheat from Chicago to Buffalo. She ran into a heavy gale and went out of control near Pelee Passage and struck a reef 1 1/2 miles off East Sister Island in Lake Erie. She began to sink immediately and the 13 onboard scrambled up her masts and lashed themselves to her rigging. After two days, they were finally rescued by the tug R R ELIOTT out of Detroit.

May 10, 1922 -- The ANN ARBOR NO 4 ran aground at Green Isle. She was released with no damage.

The first Welland Canal was opened between St. Catharine's and Lake Ontario on 10 May 1828. The first vessel to navigate this route was the schooner WELLAND CANAL. This was a new vessel having been launched at St. Catharines, Ontario on 24 April 1828.

On 10 May 1898, ISAAC LINCOLN (wooden propeller freighter, 134 foot, 376 gross tons) was launched at Anderson’s yard in Marine City, Michigan for A. F. Price of Freemont, MI and Capt. Egbert of Port Huron, MI.  She cost $40,000.  She lasted until 1931 when she was abandoned.


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

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Port Reports

Soo Locks:
By Rod Burdick
Traffic was brisk at the locks on Saturday after a slow morning.  Canadian Transfer was upbound in the morning, but after noon, traffic picked up.  First after noon was the upbound saltie Chios Sailor, which was assisted into the MacArthur Lock by G-Tug Florida.  Around 2 p.m., saltie Orna was downbound in the MacArthur Lock, with G-Tug Missouri, as Courteny Burton was being lifted in Poe.  The Burton was on her first trip to Lake Superior for 2005. Footer Burns Harbor was upbound next.  As the Burns Harbor departed the Poe, Canadian Ranger entered the MacArthur Lock downbound after her first visit to Lake Superior for 2005.  Tug/Barge Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder, downbound with ore from Marquette, took an exchange from the Burns Harbor. Traffic after the Pathfinder included the upbound Michipicoten, Cedarglen, and Walter J. McCarthy Jr. and downbound Stewart J. Cort.

By Dale Baechler
The Algosteel arrived early Saturday morning to take on a load at Sifto Salt. The Thunder Cape is now stationed at the Canadian Coast Guard base in Goderich, replacing the CCGS Cape Hurd which has been reassigned. The Algoway arrived in port early Sunday morning with the assistance of the MacDonald Marine tugs. She is taking on a cargo of salt at the Sifto Salt dock on a very bright Mothers Day.

Saginaw River:
Reported by Todd Shorkey
Saturday saw two tug-barge combos unload at the same dock along the Saginaw River.  First, the tug Karen Andrie and her tank barge unloaded overnight at the Triple Clean Liquifuels dock in Essexville.  Once finished she departed early in the afternoon and made room for the tug John Spence and barge McAsphalt 401 who were inbound at the time.  The pair made the dock and began unloading.  They were expected to be outbound Sunday morning. The tug Barbara Andrie and her tank barge also unloaded at the Triple Clean dock on Friday.  Around 9pm the pair departed and headed outbound stopping at the Consumers Energy dock, turned around again, and traveled upriver to the Bit-Mat dock in Bay City.  It is not known why the unusual moves were made.

The tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader arrived on the Saginaw River late Saturday night with a split load.  The pair lightered at the Sargent dock in Essexville before continuing upriver to finish unloading at the Saginaw Rock Products dock in Saginaw.  They were outbound for the lake Sunday afternoon.

By Chris Franckowiak
Manistee residents were left seeing double on Mother's Day as both the Buffalo and David Z. Norton called on the Victorian Port City to unload.  The Buffalo was the first to arrive, passing the pierheads inbound at 10am.  The vessel was headed to the Seng #2 dock to unload a cargo of coal from South Chicago's KCBX dock.  The coal will be trucked to the Martin Marietta plant across Manistee lake. 

The David Z. Norton arrived at 1:30pm bound for the Seng #1 dock with a load of limestone from Stoneport, Michigan.  The Buffalo departed its dock at 5:15pm  and made its way through Manistee lake, passing the David Z. Norton, which had shifted to allow the Buffalo adequate passage.  The Buffalo cleared the piers outbound at 6:15pm headed upbound.  The Norton was expected to depart at 9pm heading outbound for the lake.  Two vessels in port in Manistee at the same time has been a common occasion, and usually happens once or twice a year.

By Tom Miller
The Manistee opened the Port of Dunkirk, NY on Saturday May 7, 2005 at 7:30pm. It was her first trip in Lower Lakes colors and possibly her first trip ever to Dunkirk. She returned again on Sunday May 8, 2005 at approximately 6:15pm with another load of coal for NRG.

By Paul Erspamer
Milwaukee's harbor entrance was a busy place Friday evening as a Gillen Company tug/barge, Algoma's Captain Henry Jackman, and the federal EPA's Lake Guardian all arrived between 8:00 and 9:00.  The Jackman arrived to deliver a load of cement clinker in a driving rain.  On Sunday, Integrity/G.L. Ostrander were unloading at LaFarge, and barge A-410 and tug Rebecca Lynn were unloading at the inner harbor tank farm near the U.W. Sea Grant.  Boatwatcher favorite cement boat Southdown Challenger has moved to the Heavy Lift dock where it remained Sunday, painting nearly completed, but pilothouse still shuttered and both anchors down. 


Today in Great Lakes History

May 08
COLUMBIA STAR was christened May 8, 1981 at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin for Columbia Transportation Div., Oglebay Norton Co..

EDGAR B. SPEER (Hull#908) was launched May 8, 1980 at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. for Connecticut Bank & Trust Co. (U.S. Steel Corp., mgr.) , after long delay because of labor strife.

The FRED R. WHITE, JR. was christened May 8, 1979 and was named for Oglebay Norton's then vice-chairman of the board.

On May 8, 1979 the ASHLAND struck the north entry pier of the Duluth Ship Canal while outbound loaded. Thick ice blowing in from Lake Superior had interfered with her maneuverability. She dropped her anchor to lessen the impact but drifted over the flukes ripping a two by five foot hole in her bottom port side forward. She was inspected and repaired at the Duluth Port Terminal. One anchor was lost.

The CHAMPLAIN's starboard side was damaged when she sideswiped the Swedish steamer BROLAND near the lower end of the St. Clair River cut-off, May 8, 1963.

May 8. 1936 -- The Pere Marquette Railway Co. announced plans to construct a new million dollar ferry dock at Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The 3 mast wooden schooner FRANK C LEIGHTON was launched at 10:30 a.m. on 8 May 1875 at Dunford & Leighton's yard in Port Huron, eight months after work on her began. She was launched complete except for her mizzen mast which was just about ready to go in position. She was named for Capt. Leighton's son. Her dimensions were 138' keel, 145' overall, 26' beam and 12' depth. She cost $20,000 and was owned by Dunford & Leighton.

The 254' wooden freighter AMAZON was launched at A. A. Turner's yard at Trenton, Michigan on 8 May 1873.

On 08 May 1929, GEORGE W PARKER wooden propeller sandsucker, 105 foot, 143 gross tons, built in 1903 at Marine City, Michigan by A. Anderson for Fishback Plaster Co., formerly a.) L G POWELL) was destroyed by fire and sank in the channel 6 miles south of Algonac, Michigan.  Her crew escaped in the yawl.

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

May 09

The JOHN J BOLAND (Hull#417) was launched May 9, 1953 at Manitowoc, Wisconsin by Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co. for the American Steamship Co. making way for the keel of the DETROIT EDISON (2) to be laid.  The BOLAND was renamed b.) SAGINAW in 1999.

On May 9, 1951 the CLIFFS VICTORY arrived at the South Chicago yard of the American Ship Building Co. completing her 37 day, 3,000 mile journey from Baltimore, Maryland. There her deck houses, stack, masts, deck machinery, rudder and propeller were installed and the floatation pontoons removed.

The ROBERT C. NORTON (2) was laid up on May 9, 1980 for the last time at the Hans Hansen Dock at Toledo, Ohio.

PETER REISS (Hull#522) was launched at Superior, Wisconsin by Superior Ship Building Co., on May 9, 1910 for the North American Steamship Co. (Reiss Coal Co.). 

On 9 May 1864, AMAZON (2-mast wooden brig, 93 foot, 172 tons, built in 1837 at Port Huron, Michigan as a schooner) was carrying coal from Cleveland for Lake Superior when she went out of control in a storm just as she was leaving the St. Clair River for Lake Huron. She was driven ashore near Point Edward, Ontario and was broken up by the wave action. At the time of her loss, she was considered the oldest working schooner on the Lakes.

May 9, 1900 -- The carferry PERE MARQUETTE (15) began carferry service to Milwaukee for the Pere Marquette Railway.

On Friday night, 9 May 1873, the schooner CAPE HORN collided with the new iron propeller JAVA off Long Point on Lake Erie. The schooner sank quickly. The only life lost was that of the cook.

On 09 May 1872, the CUBA (iron propeller bulk freighter, 231 foot, 1526 gross tons) was launched at King Iron Works in Buffalo, New York for the Holt and Ensign Commercial Line.  Innovations in her design included water-tight compartments for water ballast, 4 water-tight bulkheads that could be closed if the hull were damaged, and a new fluted signal lamp that could be seen for 13 miles.  She was powered by two 350 HP engines.  She was a very successful vessel and lasted until 1947 when she was scrapped.  She was renamed b.) IONIC in 1906 and c.) MAPLEBRANCH in 1920.  Converted to a tanker in 1935.  Scrapped at Sorel, Quebec in 1946-7.

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


Detroit port could soon be bustling

The defunct Detroit Marine Terminal that was headed for the auction block for defaulting on its bond debt will soon be resurrected as a modern port complex with 200 new employees handling boat, rail and truck traffic, says Curtis Hertel, executive director of the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority.

Step 1, pending approval by Detroit City Council, is the proposed transfer of 35 acres of land at the foot of Clark Street on the Detroit River -- between the Ambassador Bridge and Historic Ft. Wayne -- to city ownership. It would later be placed under control of the Port Authority as part of a deal with Ambassador Port Corp. and Nicholson Terminal & Dock Co. of Ecorse to reopen and expand the facility.

Ambassador Port, owned by the Moroun family that operates the Ambassador Bridge and the Centra Inc. trucking firm, would pay off $2 million in outstanding bond debt unpaid by the former Detroit Marine Terminal, a private firm. Nicholson will provide the stevedoring, or loading and unloading services.

"We think we can be operating again and hiring new workers in 30 days," Hertel told me Thursday. "We're excited about having an active port facility again inside the city of Detroit. We'll be handling steel shipments, of course, but we also want to explore exporting agricultural commodities. And we think we can begin talking to the Big Three auto companies about shipping components over water, since we'll be able to transfer directly to rail or truck from this site."

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has been agitating to revive commercial shipping along the Detroit waterfront ever since he visited Dubai, the bustling Persian Gulf city, in May 2002. During his visit to Detroit's sister city in the United Arab Emirates, the mayor toured its massive modern port complex, the world's 10th largest, and the Jebel Ali free trade zone, where hundreds of global companies have operations, including DaimlerChrysler, Honda and Nissan.

On a follow-up visit to Dubai, Derrick Miller, Detroit's chief administrative officer, brought Arthur Blackwell II, the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority chairman, along for a look at the Dubai port and Jebel Ali.

When Detroit Marine Terminal suspended operations in September 2003, ultimately shutting down a year ago, Kilpatrick and the port authority leaders saw an opportunity. While the defunct terminal had handled chiefly steel imports, which declined in the wake of President George W. Bush's steel tariffs in 2002, proponents of reviving it see a much broader array of services.

"This will be the first time in southeast Michigan that we'll be able to bring water-borne cargo, rail and trucks altogether. In the transportation industry today, that's where it's at," Hertel said.

The port authority has about $250,000 in grant money available for maintenance work on existing buildings at the site, along with the seawall. A rail spur on the property could also be restored in order to link water-borne shipping directly to existing rail lines near a switching point at the north end of the property.

In the future, if the resurrected port complex shows it can generate more commercial traffic, the port authority has bonding capability to raise money for further expansion. "Eventually, we could see hundreds of million of dollars of trade flowing through there," said Miller.

If that seems a tad optimistic, well, it's more promising than a bunch of vultures picking over the carcass of the shuttered terminal at a property auction.

Reported by Tom Walsh, Detroit Free Press


Coast Guard: Proposed budget cuts would jeopardize mission

Coast Guard planners were thrown off course Wednesday by a House Appropriations Committee move to halve the agency's fiscal 2006 budget request for its long-term modernization program, known as Deepwater.

The Bush administration requested $966 million for Deepwater in 2006. During a budget markup session Wednesday afternoon, House appropriators, led by Rep. Harold Rogers, R-KY., chairman of the Appropriations Committee's Homeland Security Subcommittee, cut $466 million from the program and pledged to withhold $50 million until the Coast Guard provides the panel with a detailed account of how the plan would be funded over the next 20 years.

Since January, the Coast Guard has provided reports to Congress outlining the agency's homeland security modernization requirements, its asset acquisition plans with timelines and cost estimates through 2010, and cost estimates for the maintenance of legacy assets. What the agency, which is part of the Homeland Security Department, has not done is provide Congress with a detailed plan that projects costs over the entire life of the program.

Rogers' spokeswoman, Leslie Cupp, said Congress repeatedly has asked the Coast Guard for a 20-year capital acquisition strategy. In March, the Coast Guard provided a revised implementation plan for Deepwater, which included cost projections over the next five years, but that plan was derided as inadequate by members of both the House and Senate. "That was basically a preliminary report," Cupp said.

In the Senate, key members have called for accelerating the Deepwater program to complete modernization in 10 years--as opposed to 25 years, which is projected in the revised implementation plan--something that would be impossible under the administration's current budget plans. The House cuts, if they stand, would further hamper modernization.

In a statement, Commandant of the Coast Guard Adm. Thomas Collins said, "To say the Coast Guard is disappointed in the subcommittee's cut of the president's funding request for Deepwater would be a gross understatement. The Deepwater program is a cornerstone of the Department of Homeland Security and the Coast Guard's ability to fulfill their responsibilities to the national homeland security strategy." Collins pledged to "work very closely with the administration and Congress" to obtain full funding.

The Coast Guard's spending plan for 2006 includes continued funding for a number of programs already under way, including $133 million to upgrade engines on the HH-65 helicopter fleet, $368 million to finish building the first national security cutter and begin building a second, and $38 million to sustain existing 210-foot and 270-foot cutters. It's not clear how funding cuts would affect those programs.

"We really do hope we can find a way to resolve all this," said Coast Guard spokeswoman Jolie Shifflet, "so we can equip our people as best we can to protect our country."

Reported by Katherine McIntire Peters


Port Reports

Sault Ste. Marie:
Reported by Jon Paul Michaels
Sunrise on Friday found the Herbert C Jackson downbound and fleetmate Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder upbound at 6:30am in the Soo Locks. The Roger Blough was not far behind the tug/barge combo locking up the Poe at 6:50am and the Columbia Star filing in after the Blough and locking down at 8:00am. The Fred R White locked down at 9:50am and the Edgar Speer was down through at 10:15am. The Algonova was down loaded in the Poe at 11:30am headed for Nanticoke.  Next up was the Middletown exiting the upper pool at 12:30pm. There was a lull in traffic and a steady rain started as the Armco came up at Mission Point at 2:30pm and locked through at 3:10pm. The Presque Isle was down the Poe at 5:00pm followed in the MacArthur Lock shortly after by the saltie Varnebank. The Indiana Harbor called in at Whitefish Point at 5:15pm downbound from Superior WI with coal for St. Clair MI. The Birchglen was in at Detour at 5:20pm and the Algolake followed them by 30 minutes.

Saginaw River:
Reported by Todd Shorkey & Gordy Garris
The Mississagi was inbound the Saginaw River early Thursday morning with a load for the Buena Vista Stone Dock. This was the Mississagi's first visit to the Saginaw River this season. The Mississagi was outbound the Saginaw River early Thursday afternoon. The Liberty Bridge in Downtown Bay City is and has been closed since Monday undergoing repairs. The bridge is closed for 3 weeks. Although the bridge is only closed to car traffic. This will not damage any visits for Zilwaukee and Carrollton because the spans are up. The Earl W. Oglebay was outbound the Saginaw River Wednesday after unloading overnight at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City.


Public Photo Gallery Updated


New albums in the Shipping, Lighthouses, Model Building and Post Cards/Collectables/Artwork Galleries
Public Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History - May 07

On May 7, 1965, the CEDARVILLE was struck by the ocean vessel TOPDALSFJORD in the Straits of Mackinac during dense fog. The CEDARVILLE sank about forty minutes after the collision with the loss of ten crewmembers.

ALGOPORT (Hull#217) was launched at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., May 7, 1979 for Algoma Central Railway.

The HUTCHCLIFFE HALL entered service on May 7, 1954.

A.M. BYERS (Hull#448) was launched May 7, 1910 at Cleveland, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. for the North American Steamship Co. (R.A. Williams, mgr.). Renamed b.) CLEMENS A REISS in 1959 and c.) JACK WIRT in 1970. 

May 7, 1903 - The Benton Harbor, Coloma & Paw Paw Lake Railway was purchased by the Pere Marquette Railroad. 

May 7, 1929 - The Pere Marquette notified Ludington it was interested in buying the frontage on Pere Marquette Lake that had been used by the Monroe Body Company. The city council asked $25,000 for the property, and the railroad agreed. Work on the No. 3 slip began a few months later.

On 7 May 1874, the schooner JENNIE MATHEWS was launched at Hardison's yard in Port Huron, Michigan. The launch started very slowly but with the help of men pulling on ropes, the vessel slid into the Black River nicely. Her first skipper was Capt. McGifford and her owner was Mr. Hardison.

On 07 May 1954, official ground breaking ceremonies were held for the Mackinac Bridge.  It was completed three and a half years later.

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


Port Reports

Sault Ste. Marie:
Reported by Jon Paul Michaels
It was a quiet morning on Wednesday at the Sault as only Burns Harbor passed through the locks at 6:00am on its way down to its namesake port. The next ship to enter the locks wasn’t until Mesabi Miner came up at 10:00am. Algosar started off the afternoon going down the Poe at noon followed an hour later by Joseph L Block.  Lee A Tregurtha was upbound at Mission Point at 1:00pm passing by Edwin H Gott which was at the carbide dock with engine troubles. Canadian Ranger came up at the Mission at 1:30pm and locked through an hour later. Spar Jade continued the upbound trend of the afternoon as the G-Tug Missouri assisted her in locking through at 2:30pm. Frontenac was up clear of the locks at 6:00pm. Edwin H Gott departed the carbide dock after repairs were completed at 6:00pm continuing down river. James R Barker locked through at 7:30pm and met the downbound Canadian Olympic at Point Louise. Herbert C Jackson which had spent most of the day unloading coal at Algoma Steel departed at 9:30pm and headed out into Whitefish Bay meeting in order downbound St. Clair, John G Munson and Reserve. Stewart J Cort was up the Poe at 10:30pm.

Reported by Dale Baechler
The Algorail came into port for a load at the Sifto Salt dock early Thursday afternoon. This is her second load out of here in as many days. The Agawa Canyon arrived at the Sifto Salt dock on Wednesday morning under sunny skies. She was assisted into port by the MacDonald Marine tugs.

Reported by Lee Rowe
The Sarah Spencer / Jane Ann IV made a rare trip to Marquette on May 4th for ore.  The Herbert C. Jackson came in on May 5th.  The Saginaw, Pathfinder, and Mesabi Miner are all expected on Friday, with the Saginaw making another return trip on the weekend. The Michipicoten will resume her runs on Sunday.

Owen Sound:
Reported by Ed Saliwonchyk
Chi-Cheemaun departed winter lay up in Owen Sound at 10:30 this morning to resume seasonal ferry service between South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island and Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula. She will not return to Owen Sound for a couple of years because she will be undergoing engine upgrades during the next two off seasons.

Saginaw River:
Reported by Todd Shorkey
On Tuesday, the Indiana Harbor, and Fred R. White, Jr. were outbound after unloading at the Consumer Energy and Bay Aggregates Dock respectfully. Inbound were the tug Invincible & barge McKee Sons who stopped at the Essexville Sargent dock to lighter early Tuesday morning.  The pair then continued upriver to the Saginaw Rock Products dock to finish unloading.  They were outbound for the lake late in the afternoon. Also inbound was the Algoway.  She traveled upriver to unload at the GM dock in Saginaw and was expected to be outbound Wednesday morning. The Earl W. Oglebay was scheduled to be back to the Bay Aggregates dock to unload early Wednesday morning.



Today in Great Lakes History - May 06

On May 6, 1984 the CANADIAN RANGER sailed from Port Weller on her maiden voyage to load coal at Toledo, Ohio. 

In 1944 the HILDA (2) and the barge MAITLAND NO.1 started the rescue operation of freighter GEORGE M HUMPHREY (1) which sank in a collision with the D M CLEMSON (2) in the Straits of Mackinac. This day in 1923 the EDWIN E SLICK was struck by the steamer J. LEONARD REPLOGLE in the ice on Whitefish Bay, Lake Superior.

The HARVEY D GOULDER entered service on May 6, 1906.  

On May 6, 1934 the ROYALTON (1) helped rescue the steamer TEN which had lost power in a Lake Superior ice field and required a tow to safety.

On May 6, 1975 while unloading iron ore at Conneaut, Ohio, a leg and bucket from No.2 Hulett gave way and fell into the RALPH H WATSON's cargo hold. A crane was rigged to remove the wreckage. A nine by twelve foot patch was required on her port side tank which was holed in the accident.  

On 6 May 1847, CUBA (wooden schooner, 89 foot, 139 tons, built in 1844 at Peninsula, New York as a brig) was carrying wheat near Point Breeze, New York in Lake Ontario when she was run down and sunk in a collision with the steamer GENESEE CHIEF. No lives were lost. 

On 6 May 1858, the barkentine E S ADAMS began her voyage from Amherstburg, Ontario to London, England with a load of walnut timber. The transatlantic portion of the voyage took only 26 days and the vessel was back on the Lakes in September 1858.

EASTLAND was launched on 06 May 1903 at the Jenks Ship Building Company (Hull #25) at Port Huron, Michigan for the Michigan Steamship Company.  She was christened by Mrs. Frances E. Perene. 

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


News Photo Gallery Updated


News Photo Gallery updated. 

Note:  This page will generally be used only for photos related to recent news or port/area reports.  Photos of your visits to the various ship watching locations, trips etc. can now be posted in your own albums created in the Public Gallery.  Just click on the Public Photo Gallery link and follow the instructions.


Public Photo Gallery Updated


New albums in the Shipping, Lighthouses, Model Building and Post Cards/Collectables/Artwork Galleries
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Today in Great Lakes History - May 05


WILLIAM CLAY FORD (1) (Hull#300) was launched at River Rouge, Michigan by Great Lakes Engineering Works, May 5, 1953 for the Ford Motor Co..

The MERCURY (2) collided with the bulker ERNEST T WEIR on May 5, 1964 near the mouth of the St. Clair River. The tanker suffered severe bow damage, the result of her faulty steering gear.

On May 5, 1980 the SHARON grounded in the Trenton Channel of the Detroit River. She was freed on May 7th and proceeded to Monroe, Michigan and was laid up there on May 8, 1980. No repairs were made and she never sailed again.

On May 5, 1914 the GEORGE F BAKER was traveling downbound in Lake Superior in dense fog with 10,500 tons of iron ore from Ashland, Wisconsin. She ran hard aground on Sawtooth Reef off Eagle River, on Upper Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula.

May 5, 1914 - An unusual cargo, two "Jack Johnsons" (Navy guns) were hauled by the PERE MARQUETTE 17.

The small schooner ST PETER was loaded with grain when she sank 35 miles from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on 5 May 1874. The crew reached shore in the yawl.

The steam barge KITTIE M FORBES was launched in Bay City, Michigan on 5 May 1883. She was owned by Capt. William Forbes and named for his daughter. Her keel was laid on 1 December 1882. Her dimensions were 195' keel, 209' overall, 35' beam and 14' depth. Her engine was built by Samuel F. Hodge.

On 05 May 1902, MILWAUKEE (steel propeller freighter, 325 foot, 3327 gross tons) was launched at the Chicago Ship Building Company (Hull #55) at South Chicago, Illinois for the Western Transit Co.  She lasted until 1940 when she was scrapped at Hamilton, Ontario.

Data from: Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Minnesota remains top pick for nugget plant

With permits issued by mid-July, Minnesota would become home of the world's first commercial-size iron nugget plant, Mesabi Nugget president Larry Lehtinen said Monday. "We are proceeding forward on the basis of the plant being built at the (Cliffs) Erie plant," Lehtinen said. "We are bullish about it happening here. We are doing Minnesota until proven otherwise."

Partners in the project are spending $3 million on engineering studies for a Minnesota plant. Company officials said last year they were looking at Indiana.

Construction of an iron nugget plant would mean development of a new taconite-based industry on the Iron Range, where the production of iron ore pellets decades ago revolutionized the depleting natural iron ore industry. As proposed, the $130 million, 500,000 metric ton-per-year iron nugget plant would be built on about 6,000 acres at the northwest corner of Cliffs-Erie. The facility would include six buildings.

Building the plant would take more than a year and require 400 to 500 construction workers. About 100 permanent workers would be needed to operate the plant, including 50 hired by Mesabi Nugget and 50 at Northshore Mining Co. Salaries for Mesabi Nugget employees would average $60,000 a year.

The natural-gas fired plant would produce nuggets containing about 96 percent iron, a new, high-value product made from taconite concentrate. Iron nuggets can be fed into the electric arc furnaces of minimills, a rapidly growing segment of steelmaking.

Lehtinen walked Monday atop a jagged, brush-covered former mining site with building contractors to look at a potential location for administrative offices. "What a beautiful site," he said as he looked south toward Aurora and Palo from Cliffs-Erie property. "You can see the whole Iron Range from here."

But a gold ground-breaking shovel still isn't in the dirt. Permitting timelines will determine whether the plant is built in Minnesota or near Steel Dynamics Inc., a Butler, Ind.-based minimill, Lehtinen said. "We are giving Minnesota every chance to succeed," he said. "But if the permits fail, it could flip back to Indiana."

Environmentalists have criticized the Mesabi Nugget project for pushing for rapid permitting at the expense of a careful environmental review. A 30-day public comment period runs from May 13 through June 12, said Ann Foss, a Minnesota Pollution Control Agency section manager. The MPCA would then take 30 days to respond to comments.

About July 12, the board could take action on the permits -- though the process could take longer depending on public comment and board action, she said. "Our goal is to get it to the board as quick as we can," Foss said. "But it (the permit process) could take longer depending on the amount of public comment and the kinds of requests we may get."

Despite competition from Indiana, Minnesota remains the preferred location for the plant, Lehtinen said. "If the permits are delivered by mid-July, we are going to do the Minnesota plant," Lehtinen said. In that case, construction would start in mid-August and run into 2006. Equipment within the plant would be fine-tuned over a four- to six-month period before an early December 2007 startup.

If permits aren't issued by mid-July, "the plant will go to Indiana," Lehtinen said. The $3 million in engineering studies would be transferred to plans for an Indiana plant, he said.

The plant would use the best available technology for air and water pollution controls, he said. Air emissions would produce about 75 pounds of mercury per year, compared to the 84 pounds of mercury produced when the former LTV Steel Mining Co. produced 6 million to 7 million tons of taconite pellets annually. LTV Steel operated at the site from the 1950s until 2001.

Over its first few years of operation, Mesabi Nugget would pay for and test three new technologies to reduce airborne mercury emissions, Lehtinen said. Permits would also require Mesabi Nugget to use substances in its nugget-formation process that could reduce airborne mercury emissions, Foss said. Ingestion of mercury can cause severe developmental and neurological problems, especially in fetuses and children, and other health problems in adults.

Water from the plant would be treated in a proprietary technology developed by Mesabi Nugget designed to reduce mercury. The process, which may be patented by Mesabi Nugget, is being developed on a pilot scale to showcase within in a trailer, Lehtinen said. "It looks as though it has the capability to perform beyond anything we have seen in the world," Lehtinen said of the water technology. Water used in the plant would be required to flow through taconite tailings, which has shown the ability to retain mercury, Foss said.

Ferrometrics Inc. of Two Harbors, Mesabi Nugget, Cleveland-Cliffs, Steel Dynamics and Kobe Steel are partners in the project. All four partners must approve the choice of where to build the plant, Lehtinen said. With iron in high demand, iron nuggets would sell for about $325 a ton, he said.

Reported by Lee Bloomquist, News Tribune (courtesy of Frank Frisk)


Federal counter sculpture recalls shipbuilding history

Call it "installation art" or "counter sculpture," the sweeping curve of the counter to be used by shipping agents and others doing business at the new U.S. Border Station will be confronting more than one slice of Michigan history.

Commissioned to design the long curving counter in 1999, Chicago sculptor Terry Karpowicz said he traveled to Sault Ste. Marie to glean a flavor of the place to serve as inspiration. He settled on a shipbuilding motif, using a series of curved upright timbers spaced with stainless steel screens, arranged in a long, 75-foot arc across the second-floor gallery of the new building for his work.

In town last week to supervise installation of the massive curving structure, Karpowicz' work is one of two major design elements built into the Border Station meant to tie the structure to its locale. Earlier, the border station's shell was sided with expensive copper plate to tie the building to the Upper Peninsula's past in copper mining.

While it resembles the early stage in framing a wooden ship, Karpowicz' sculpture contains more than a suggestion of Michigan history. The curved six-inch-by-six-inch timbers he joined to form the structure's "frames" have a history of their own. He said the timbers were sawn from massive 24-inch square framing in a 155-year-old barn in Berrien County. Arrayed in a long gentle curve to suggest a ship's hull, the timbers Karpowicz sawed, joined and assembled include beams of five or six species native to the old barnyard where they were found.

"There's white oak, red oak, white ash, tulip poplar and beach in there," Karpowicz said of the curved timbers. While not all are shipbuilding species, every last one can be found growing around the original 1850 barn site. "It was pretty gnarly stuff," the sculpture recalled from his weeks of sawing and joining timbers.

Made up of several pieces (or "futtocks" in the shipbuilder's tongue), the curving frame sections are joined by "butterfly" splines hand crafted by the sculptor from another relevant source. Though he couldn't use much of the ancient ship's timber supplied by Tom Farnquist of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society, Karpowicz said the wreck of the steamer Independence yielded the oak for his precisely fit butterfly splines. The splines hold the futtocks tightly together, using a joinery technique hundreds of years old. Each of the splines was carefully shaped by the sculptor, including similar "butterflies" used to bridge checks in the ancient timbers here and there.

Extending the marine theme a step farther, Karpowicz said the perforated stainless steel screens joining the curved upright "frames" was meant to suggest the glare of sunlight off rippled waters as the sun moves through the day. "As you move the light moves with you," he said.

Karpowicz said he had a free hand in coming up with the long, curving counter with only one constraint. He had to fit the 75-foot counter into the space made available by the building's architects. Karpowicz was not aware that as his sculpture was bolted to the concrete floor of the new border station, shipwrights were shaping, scribing and placing real ship's timbers in the traditional way a few miles away. He was surprised to learn that the wooden schooner Highlander Sea was being re-framed and re-planked literally as his installation was going in.

"When we're done here, I'm going down there to see," he said with some enthusiasm.

On hand to observe the installation, Caroline Sachay of the Chicago region Government Services Administration (GSA) office said the Karpowicz sculpture is the first such creation to be installed in the region's many buildings. She said the long counter has not gone without notice at other border stations along the northern tier of states. The word is, she said, that the Sault is getting a "million dollar counter," she said with a wink.

Karpowicz said that figure is high but acknowledged that when the structure is fully equipped, $100,000 would be in range of the actual costs. He said from the original date of the commission in 1999, the border station has undergone several delays, the longest of which was a design pause in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001. "When you figure out the time I've spent," he said, "I'm making about $2.50 an hour."

The counter sculpture is perhaps most visible today, before the gaps between frames are filled with tabletops joining island storage cabinets along its 75-foot length. When completed, every other frame will be a "window" manned by a border agent with a computer work station installed alongside. The steel-framed work stations will eventually be covered by countertops, computers and the tons of federal paperwork that goes with any busy border station.

Future border officers may not comprehend details of Karpowicz' inspiration but with a look up from every work station along the long curved line of the counter, they'll be within arms length of 19th Century barn-builders joined for good with a small piece of the Independence.

"It's been a very successful job, in my opinion," the sculptor said before he headed for the shipyard. Sachay and a clutch of federal officials on hand for the installation appeared to agree.

Reported by Jack Storey, The Evening Post (courtesy of Frank Frisk)


Diver claims to have found missing plane in Lake MIchigan

A private dive company operator said on Friday that he located a single-engine plane that crashed in Lake Michigan on Monday night. He did not find pilot Jonathan Leber's body, he said, but did see the cell phone on which he made his final call for help.

Jerry Guyer, owner of Pirate's Cove dive company, said he used coordinates of where Leber's plane went off the radar - eight miles straight out from the center of the Hoan Bridge - and searched using advanced sonar equipment on his boat Thursday. At noon, the sonar revealed what appeared to be the plane, and he marked the spot, planning to return Friday to search.

On Friday, Guyer said, he dived alone into the 41-degree water and could see the plane beginning at 80 feet below the surface. Guyer said he dived to the bottom - about 160 feet - to find the plane nose-down on the lakebed. The plane's door was open and a cell phone was next to the plane in the sand, Guyer said.

Leber's rented single-engine Piper Archer went into Lake Michigan about 11:40 p.m. Monday after he ran out of fuel on his way back from visiting a friend in Hamilton, N.Y. He sat on top of the plane while making a 911 call for help as the aircraft sank into the water. U.S. Coast Guard officials searched immediately for Leber after receiving a call from Mitchell International Airport, which had tracked his aircraft on radar. A 15-hour rescue effort found no sign of Leber or the plane.

Guyer, who often looks for wreckage and assisted authorities last year when two girls drowned in the Milwaukee River, said there was no way Leber could have swum to shore, given the water's temperature. "After 17 minutes in the water with the best wetsuit and underwear money can buy, I was already shivering cold myself," he said.

Altogether Guyer said he was in the water for 30 minutes. He brought a video camera but said he didn't have time to use it because he spent time searching for Leber's body because he wanted to give the family closure.

Jeff Baum, president of the Wisconsin Aviation Program, which owned the plane, said it's now the insurance company's call on whether to recover the wreckage. "We're obviously much more interested in recovering the body than the airplane," he said.

Matt Teeuwen, an insurance adjuster with Phoenix Aviation Managers, the Minneapolis-based insurance company for Wisconsin Aviation Program, declined to comment Friday, citing a pending investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Leber's parents, John and Kathy Leber of Springfield, Va., said they received word from the U.S. Coast Guard that the plane had been found by Guyer. "The body wasn't found, so he used the last resource, which was to swim," said Kathy Leber. "He used every means that he had to survive, which is what he was used to doing. He's a fighter. He wanted to survive."

A memorial service for Leber is planned for 10:10a.m. Monday in the gymnasium at Maranatha Baptist Bible College in Watertown, where he was a junior majoring in biblical studies with an emphasis on missions. He planned to become a mission aviator and start churches along the Amazon River, his family said. He had been a licensed pilot since 2002. Leber's family plans to meet with U.S. Coast Guard officials Monday to thank them for their rescue efforts, and visit the crash site.

A scholarship fund has been established in memory of Jonathan Leber. Contributions may be made payable to Maranatha Baptist Bible College and mailed to 745 W. Main St., Watertown, Wis., 53094.

Reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (courtesy of Paul M. Erspamer)


Groups seek wreckage of 1950 plane crash in Lake Michigan

Nearly 55 years after a passenger airplane with 58 people aboard disappeared over Lake Michigan, a local and an international group are teaming up to search for the wreckage. For two weeks after the June 23, 1950, disappearance of Northwest Airlines Flight 2501, human remains, clothing, personal effects and debris washed ashore all along Allegan County's coastline.

But the wreckage wasn't found, and the cause of the crash remains a mystery. The local group, Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates, and an international organization, National Underwater and Marine Agency, which is underwriting the project, have renewed interest in finding the wreckage of the DC-4.

Adventure author Clive Cussler, who has helped find dozens shipwrecks and founded the Marine Agency, got interested in helping Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates find the wreckage, The Grand Rapids Press reported Sunday. Cussler is offering to bankroll the project by providing the assistance of Ralph Wilbanks, the same sonar expert who helped him discover the Confederate submarine C.S.S. Hunley off the coast of South Carolina.

Outfitting a boat with equipment for the search Saturday, Wilbanks says this is his second visit to Holland to look for Flight 2501. He went out on Lake Michigan for five days in the fall. Since then, the local group of explorers has done more research. "I was really impressed with the research. I think we have a good chance of finding it this year," Wilbanks said.

A documentary about the flight, which was believed to have crashed during a storm, and the search for the lost plane will debut during the annual Mysteries & Histories Beneath the Inland Seas shipwreck film festival.

South Haven officials closed the popular South Beach for nine days following the crash. John Fleming, who was a Van Buren County health inspector in 1950 and involved in the recovery, recalled the search. "We never found any whole bodies," Fleming, who now is 86 and lives in Big Rapids, told the Holland Sentinel for a Sunday story. "And we never found any large pieces of the plane."

Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates is a Holland-based non-profit working to preserve Michigan's submerged maritime history. The local group is hoping to go deeper than the 1950 search for the wreckage. "Our goal is to determine what happened to the plane and offer closure to the families," said Valerie van Heest, a member of the group.

Reported by the Detroit Free Press

Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates
National Underwater and Marine Agency


Corps may cut back on harbor dredging projects

Some of the nation’s ports could be unusable for transporting commerce if a presidential budget proposal goes through. President Bush has suggested cutting about half a billion dollars from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ budget. If that happens, the Corps says it might cut dredging projects for the nation’s smaller ports. Dredging removes sediments that naturally collect in waterways.

The process makes them safe for cargo-carrying ships to pass through. Wayne Schloop is the Corps’ chief of operations in Detroit. He says economies in this region depend upon healthy ports.

"I believe it would have a negative effect on the economies because there’s a lot of harbors along the Great Lakes whose local economies are sort of tied into the marine industry and shipping and navigation."

Schloop says ports that transport less than a million tons of goods a year could be affected. He says that includes about half of the more than 60 commercial ports in the Great Lakes.

Reported by Christina Shockley, Great Lakes Radio Consortium


Port Reports

Duluth / Superior:
Reported by Al Miller
John G. Munson left Fraser Shipyards' large drydock on the morning of May 3 after entering there over the weekend for unspecified repairs. The vessel backed up St. Louis Bay to the Midwest Energy Terminal.

John G. Munson was in drydock at Fraser Shipyards in Superior on Sunday. No word on the problem. It's due next to load coal at Midwest Energy Terminal. After being stranded in Duluth for about two weeks while undergoing hatch cover repairs, the BBC Ontario finally got away over the weekend. Algontario was unloading cement Sunday afternoon at St. Lawrence Cement in Duluth.

Reported by Jim Hoffman
As of noon Saturday the Courtney Burton was docked at the shipyard, she was moved recently from her temporary berth at the old Interlake Dock, news has it that she is receiving equipment to handle grain cargoes. (She departed Toledo early Monday morning bound for Calcite, MI to load for Erie, PA.) She remains completely painted up in the Oglebay Norton color scheme. The riverboat Detroit Princess remains in the small slip by the shipyard and is expected to sail soon. The tug Anglian Lady with her barge was at the B-P Dock loading cargo. The H. Lee White remains at the CSX#1 Dock undergoing repairs. There were no other vessels in port at the time of this report.

The next scheduled coal boats due into the CSX Docks will be the Cason J Callaway on Sunday, the Canadian Progress, Buffalo and a return visit by the Cason J. Callaway on Monday, the Lee A. Tregurtha on Tuesday, the Michipicoten on Friday, followed by the John G. Munson and Herbert C. Jackson on Saturday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Ore Docks will be the Atlantic Superior on Saturday (7 May). The CSL Laurentien on Tuesday (10 May), followed by the Rt. Hon. Paul Martin and Algowood on Thursday (12 May).

Saginaw River:
Reported by Todd Shorkey
The steamer Alpena was outbound the Saginaw River late Sunday night after unloading at the Lafarge Terminal in Carrollton Saturday night and into the day Sunday. Inbound early Monday morning was the Earl W. Oglebay who called on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City.  She completed her unload by early afternoon, backed from the slip and was outbound for the lake. Also inbound on Monday was the Indiana Harbor who arrived at the Consumers Energy dock late in the evening to unload coal.  She was expected to be outbound Tuesday morning. The Fred R. White, Jr. was scheduled to unload at the Bay Aggregates dock around 2am Tuesday morning.

Reported by Gordy Garris
The Alpena was inbound the Saginaw River late Saturday night with a load of cement for the Carrollton Lafarge Terminal. The Canadian Transfer tied up at the Sargent Dock in Zilwaukee waiting for the Alpena to pass her inbound. The Alpena was outbound the Saginaw River late Sunday afternoon passing through Downtown Bay City headed for the lake. The Buffalo was inbound the Saginaw River early Saturday evening with a load of stone for the Bay Aggregate dock. This was the Buffalo's first visit to the Saginaw River this season. The Buffalo was outbound the Saginaw River late Saturday night and proceeded to back out of the Bay Aggregate Slip just after the inbound Alpena had passed and headed out for the lake.

Sault Ste. Marie:
Reported by Jon Paul Michaels
Amid snow squalls and blustery winds vessel traffic on the St. Marys River remained steady on Monday. The St. Clair was up in the Poe at 9:50am and met the Charles M Beeghly just off the West Piers. The Beeghly locked down at 11:00am and was replaced in the Poe by the Walter J McCarthy going up at noon. The American Spirit was down the locks at 1:30pm and was replaced by the CSL Niagara which locked up at 2:15pm. The Armco filed in behind the Niagara exiting the lower pool at 3:00pm. The tanker barge McCleary's Spirit and tug William J Moore departed Purvis Marine in Sault, Ontario at 5:00pm heading down river meeting the upbound Reserve just below Mission Point. The Paul Tregurtha reported inbound Detour at 5:30pm.The saltie Dobrush was down at Point Louise at 5:50pm locking down the Poe at 6:30pm.

Reported by Lee Rowe
Marquette's harbors have been busy these past few days.   The USCG Alder has been putting out summer navigational aids.  While in port, the Michigan State Police divers did a hull check with pictures of the Alder.  The Saginaw and Frontenac came in for ore on Saturday, while the Charles M. Beeghly waited in the harbor.  The Great Lakes Trader/Joyce VanEnkevort brought stone to the lower harbor and then moved to the upper harbor for ore.

Reported by Dale Baechler
The port of Goderich had yet another busy weekend with the Kapitonas Andzejauskas, Algolake and Algomarine picking up various cargos.

Reported by Ben & Chanda McClain
The J.A.W Iglehart, (which returned to service earlier this past week after a brief lay-up) arrived at Lafarge Sunday morning to load cement. The Iglehart departed before 8am to head for Whitefish, ON. The G.L Ostrander/ barge Integrity also came into port Sunday evening to take on cargo under the silos. The Alpena was in on Saturday loading product that was delivered to Saginaw. The Alpena is expected to return on Monday morning. The Canadian Transfer and the McKee Sons took on stone Sunday at Stoneport.

Reported by Brian Wroblewski
The John J Boland came in for the Gateway Trade Center in Lackawanna at 11 a.m. Sunday morning. She departed around 7 p.m. The US Coast Guard Cutter Hollyhock arrived at the Visiting Ship's Berth on the Buffalo River Suneay morning at 10 a.m.. She was here to celebrate Armed Forces Day and was open for public tours.

Reported by Paul M. Erspamer
On a chilly spring Monday evening, the cross-lake catamaran ferry "Lake Express" was seen cruising back and forth off Milwaukee's south breakwater.  Regular ferry service between Milwaukee and Muskegon, Michigan begins May 14. The CSL Birchglen, showing its Barbados flag and Bridgetown homeport, was unloading at the northernmost outer pier. The veteran cement carrier Southdown Challenger remained at the wall in the inner harbor turning basin, near Nidera Grain, still showing its "Southdown Challenger" name.  Its pilothouse is still buttoned up, but the presence of several vehicles hints of preparations to come out of lay-up.

Reported by Scott Best
Thursday evening April 28 the McKee Sons and Invincible delivered a cargo of coal to Menominee Paper Co Dock in Menominee. This was a split unload for the McKee Son's with the first part of the cargo being unloaded in Green Bay, WI earlier in the day. The McKee Sons arrived just after 7PM and departed for
the lake by 11PM, bound for Stoneport, MI to load.

Reported Apr. 30 by Charlie Gibbons
Nadro/McKeil have a contract for 3 months moving excavated earth from the water plant to the end of the Turning channel (Leslie Street).  Nadro's tug Vac and McKeil's Lac Como are both pushing the barges La Malbaie and V/MS 86 around.

The salty Pintail arrived at the Redpath Sugar plant on Monday (Apr. 25) and it was turned by McKeil's tugs  on Wednesday. Hamilton Energy came into port Wednesday afternoon to bunker Pintail. It is expected to depart shortly. The veteran Royal Canadian Yacht Club tender Hiawatha, now in its 109th season, has returned to service.

The McKeil tug Glenevis was spotted Monday (Apr. 25) with the Port authority derrick barge T.H.C. 50 placing "Keep out" buoys in the inner harbor, off the island airport. The Outer Harbour Marina tender Jimmy C. was assisting in this operation. 

The CCGS Griffon was in port last Sunday (Apr. 24) and departed Monday morning, as did the Stephen B. Roman. Cuyahoga was in and out on Tuesday (Apr. 26) with another cargo of rock.


Today in Great Lakes History

May 1
The EDMUND FITZGERALD collided with the Canadian steamer HOCHELAGA at the mouth of the Detroit River, May 1, 1970, suffering slight damage at hatches 18 and 19.

The STEWART J CORT departed Erie on her maiden voyage at 0400 May 1, 1972. She was delayed by fog in western Lake Erie and then created a sensation as she passed Detroit/Windsor mid-day on May 2nd amid throngs of people lining both sides of the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers, whistling acknowledging salutes on her upbound maiden run.

The steel-hulled bulk carrier SHENANGO (Hull#) was launched on May 1, 1909.

Scrapping began on the CHICAGO TRADER at Ashtabula, Ohio on May 1, 1978.

JOHN T. HUTCHINSON (Hull#1010) was launched at Cleveland, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. on May 1, 1943.

The IRVING S. OLDS sustained an eight foot long crack across her spar deck and eight inches down one side in a storm on Lake Huron May 1, 1963.

LIGHTSHIP 103 (HURON) was launched at Morris Heights, New York by Consolidated Shipbuilding Corp. on May 1, 1920, for the U.S. Lighthouse Service.

SOO RIVER TRADER brought the first shipment of bulk cement to open the $18 million St. Lawrence Cement distribution dock at Duluth on May 1, 1982.

May 1, 1903 -- The ANN ARBOR NO. 1 sighted a burning vessel about 15 miles out of Sturgeon Bay Ship canal, the Str. JOHN EMERY OWEN. The crew had already been picked off after the fire started, so the ANN ARBOR NO. 1 put out the fire with her fire hoses. The NO.1 then towed the abandoned steamer to Sturgeon Bay and tied her up at the west end of the canal.

On 1 May 1875, CONSUELLO (wooden schooner, 103 foot, 142 gross tons., built in 1851 at Cleveland, Ohio) left Cleveland with a load of black stone for Toledo. Near Kelly's Island, a storm caused the cargo to shift and the ship capsized and sank. When she hit bottom, she jerked upright so the tops of her masts were above the water. Two of the crew, Fred Donahue and James King, were able to cling to the masts and they were rescued after about an hour and a half. Five others, including the captain and his wife, were drowned.

On 1 May 1876, the little steamer W. D. MORTON, which for two years had run as a ferry between Port Huron's Black River and Sarnia, left her dock for the Delaware River where she ran on a centennial excursion route for the exposition held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania She left the Lakes via the Erie Canal.

On 01 May 1858, OGONTZ (wooden propeller steamer, 343 tons, built in 1848 at Ohio City, Ohio) was purchased by Capt. A. E. Goodrich and George C. Drew for $5,600.  This was the second vessel in the Goodrich Line.  Just two years later, Capt. Goodrich had her machinery removed and she was sold to W. Crostin for $500.  He converted her to a sailing vessel and she operated for two more years before she foundered in a storm.

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

Today in Great Lakes History - May 02

The STEWART J CORT created a sensation as she passed Detroit/Windsor on mid-day on May 2, 1972 amid throngs of people lining both sides of the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers, whistling acknowledging salutes on her upbound maiden run.

ADAM E. CORNELIUS (1) (Hull#53) was launched at St. Clair, Michigan by Great Lakes Engineering Works, May 2, 1908.

On 2 May 1874, the steamer 8TH OHIO was chartered by Magner & Company to carry their circus to various Great Lake ports throughout that season.

The 3-mast schooner EDWARD KELLEY was launched at Dunford & Leighton's yard in Port Huron on 2 May 1874. She was built for the Lake Superior Transportation Company of Cleveland, Ohio. A. O. Miller's coronet band played at the launching.

On 02 May 1903, ACADIA (wooden schooner-barge, 102 foot, 188 tons, built in 1873 at Smith’s Falls, Ontario) was carrying coal from Oswego, New York to Kingston, Ontario when she went aground in a storm near the Duck Islands on Lake Ontario.  She was later recovered, but foundered again in July 1908.  Again she was recovered and this time rebuilt as a barge.

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

Today in Great Lakes History - May 03

On May 3, 1959, the first large saltwater vessel to transit the new St. Lawrence Seaway arrived at Duluth. The RAMON DE LARINAGA took the honors as the first saltiy, passing under Duluth's Aerial Bridge at 1:16 p.m., followed by a salty named the HERALD sixteen minutes later.

In 1922 the PERE MARQUETTE 16, as the barge HARRIET B. collided with the steamer QUINCY A SHAW, and sank off Two Harbors, Minnesota.

On 3 May 1840, CHAMPLAIN (wooden side-wheeler, 225 t, built in 1832 at Chippawa, Ontario) was carrying general merchandise when a storm drove her ashore four miles south of St. Joseph, Michigan. Although abandoned, she was later recovered and rebuilt.

On 03 May 1883, lightning struck and set fire to the barge C F ALLEN while she was loading at North Muskegon, Michigan.  She burned to the water’s edge.  Her loss was valued at $6,000, but she was not insured.

On 3 May 1840, CHAMPLAIN (wooden side-wheeler, 225 tons, built in 1832 at Chippawa, Ontario) was carrying general merchandise when a storm drove her ashore four miles south of St. Joseph, Michigan. Although abandoned, she was later recovered and rebuilt.

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

Today in Great Lakes History - May 04

On May 4, 1958, the JOHN SHERWIN entered service. If the SHERWIN remains laid up until May 28, 2005, not counting the winter lay-ups the vessel has experienced, she will have been in lay-up for half of her life on the Great Lakes. She last sailed on November 16, 1981.

On her maiden voyage May 4, 1976, the ST. CLAIR (2) departed Sturgeon Bay for Escanaba, MI to load 39,803 gross tons of iron ore pellets for Indiana Harbor, Indiana arriving there on May 5th.

The OREFAX ran aground on May 4, 1963 way off course near Manistique, Michigan. She was lightered and pulled off by the Roen Salvage Co. and made her way to Toronto, Ontario where she discharged her cargo and left for repairs.

The tanker VENUS (2) suffered an explosion on May 4, 1972 when the crew were cleaning tanks while at anchor waiting for the fog to lift about seven miles west of the Eisenhower Lock in the Seaway. Two explosions rocked the ship killing her skipper, Captain Stanley, and injuring three crewmen.

On 04 May 1839, ATLAS (wooden schooner, built in 1836 at Dexter, New York) was carrying building stone from Chaumont Bay to Oswego, New York when she foundered 6 miles from Oswego.  The steamer TELEGRAPH rushed out of Oswego to assist her but only found a little flotsam.  All five on board were lost:  Capt. Asahel Wescott, Ortha Little, William Ackerman, John Lee and Asa Davis (a passenger).

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


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