Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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Mining History on Display
Cliffs Shaft offers new, expanded exhibits

5/31 - Ishpeming - Visitors to the Cliffs Shaft Museum will find several new exhibits when the facility begins its summer hours on Thursday.

Included in new and updated displays this year are: historical viewing of miners and mines past and present, headgear and other safety equipment available to miners of the past, blasting and diamond drilling equipment, a communications display of the various types of communication equipment available to miners, and a laboratory with various equipment used to test iron ore samples. Also new to the museum is a 170-ton iron ore truck that was donated by Cleveland Cliffs Inc. in August.

Visitors can also take a guided tour of the tunnels that the miners used to get to the base of the C-shaft and listen to the history of mining from those that worked the mines. Visitors will also be able to view underground iron ore cars, visit a working blacksmith shop, view headframes that tower from 97-174 feet high and visit the Ishpeming Rock and Mineral Club’s room featuring more than 500 minerals from around the world.

The museum is the site of the longest running iron ore mine shaft in the United States, operating nearly 100 years from 1868-1967. The museum is located at 501 W. Euclid St. and will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Cost of admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children. For more information, call 485-1882, or visit

From the Marquette Mining Journal


New Mariner Document Service,
Transportation Worker Card Announced

5/31 - Sault Ste. Marie - Two changes in the way merchant mariner documents, licenses and certificates are handled and standardize identification documents required on ships and at US port facilities were unveiled recently. In a separate announcement, the Coast Guard said that merchant mariners can take required oaths and be fingerprinted for certain mariner documents at Sector Sault (or Group Sault) without traveling to a Regional Exam Center. The nearest Regional Exam Center is in Toledo, Ohio.

Separately, The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Coast Guard jointly announced a proposed new rule that would require a common personal identification card, (called a Transportation Worker Identification Card or TWIC) for transportation workers, longshoremen, mariners and others who desire unescorted access to secure port facilities and vessels. The new card would be required of about 750,000 workers nationwide and will include electronically embedded personal information and fingerprints.

If approved as proposed, the new card system will not be inexpensive. As proposed in the Federal Register, the new cards would cost each person $149 and be good for five years. Workers with separate approved background checks would be charged $95 for the new card and $36 for replacements. The new cards would contain certain “biometric” information as a check on fraud.

Meanwhile at Sault Ste. Marie, local fingerprinting and swearing of oaths for mariner's documents comes with several important limitations. (1) Applicants must have an application on file at a Regional Exam Center to qualify for the local service. (2) Applicants must also make an appointment with the Sector Sault Inspections-Investigations Department on Water Street at least two weeks in advance of fingerprinting and oath taking. (3) Also required at the local visit are at least two forms of personal identification, one of which must be an approved photo identification. The Coast Guard set eight forms of acceptable photo identification and 10 forms of secondary identification that will be accepted for identification purposes.

A Michigan driver license, US Passport, Merchant Mariner's Document or three other forms of photo identification are accepted for the primary photo identification requirement. A wide variety of non-photo personal documents are accepted for the secondary identification requirement, a Coast Guard statement says. Documents presented for identification purposes must be originals or copies certified by the issuing agency.

For more information on mariner document services locally, contact the Inspections-Investigations Department at Base Sault in Sault Ste. Marie.

From the Soo Evening News


Port Reports - May 31

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Early Tuesday morning boat watchers in the Twin Ports saw Algolake unloading salt at the Cutler Magner dock in Duluth, Indiana Harbor loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal, and American Spirit loading taconite pellets at the DMIR ore dock.
Later in the day, CSL Laurentien was scheduled to load at Midwest Energy Terminal with a cargo destined for New Brunswick.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The American Republic loaded at the NS coal dock early Monday and departed up bound.
Also loading Monday was the Philip R. Clark, of the Great Lakes Fleet.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
The Joyce VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader brought stone to Marquette's Shiras dock on Tuesday. The Saginaw is expected at the ore dock later.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The tug Vigilant 1 came into port with a crane barge Tuesday afternoon and deposited it at the foot of Rees Street, where construction of the new HTO project (a concrete beach/park on the water front)is ongoing. Vigilant departed port after dropping off the barge.
The salty Kom is still unloading sugar at Redpath.

South Chicago - Tom Milton
At 1:10 pm the G. L. Ostrander/Integrity were heard calling for a bridge lift on the Calumet River, probably headed to LaFarge cement near Lake Calumet.


Updates - May 31

News Photo Gallery updated                                

Public Photo Gallery updated


Tours of DeTour Reef Lighthouse Announced

5/31 - DeTour, MI - The DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society is conducting tours of the Lighthouse on weekends from late June until mid-August. Tours will be filled consecutively at 8:30, 10:30, 1:30, and 3:30 on the following dates: Saturdays: June 24, July 1, 15, 22, 29, Aug 5; and Sundays: July 9, Aug 13. With sufficient demand, tours may also be scheduled for Saturdays, June 17 and August 19.

Each tour is restricted to six individuals, assuring personal attention by a Society-trained tour guide and the resident volunteer lighthouse keepers. Tours are approximately two hours long and include light refreshments at the lighthouse. All areas of this active U.S. Coast Guard lighthouse are included on the tour.

Tours originate from the DeTour Harbor Marina, which is located about 3-tenths of a mile north of the Ferry Dock. Transportation to and from the lighthouse, which is located in Lake Huron 3 miles south of DeTour Village, will be aboard the charter boat Dream Seaker, piloted by U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain Jim Shutt.

Cost for the tour is $75 for Society members and $95 for non-members. Individual memberships cost $20 and family memberships cost $30. Reservations for the tours are required. A tour brochure and reservation form can be downloaded from the Society’s website

While access to the lighthouse from the tour boat involves climbing a twenty-foot vertical ladder, visitors have commented that the full body safety harness and fall protection system (designed by DBI/SALA & Protecta, a world leader in fall protection systems) gave them great comfort and confidence as they ascended and descended the ladder. The system includes a self-retracting safety life line that acts like a long seat belt retractor and would catch a climber within a few feet should they slip or let go of the ladder. DRLPS has four sizes (S, M, L, and XL) of adjustable harnesses that can accommodate visitors from 12 years old to 300 lbs.

DeTour Reef Lighthouse Ornament Available

5/31 - DeTour, MI - The DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society (DRLPS) announced that their 2006 Lighthouse Ornament is now available for purchase. Collectors will enjoy this year’s limited-edition which is number nine of the annual DRLPS ornament.

The ornament is clover-shaped, 3x5 inch, clear bevel-edged glass, etched with a photo of the restored Lantern and Watchroom on the DeTour Reef Light taken by photographer Mike Hershberger  when he was a weekend Keeper on the lighthouse in 2005.

Cost is $14 plus tax and shipping and includes a hanging ribbon, gift box and description card. All proceeds go to the DRLPS. Download an order form from


Today in Great Lakes History - May 31

The CITY OF SAGINAW 31 cleared Manitowoc in 1973, in tow of the tug HELEN M MC ALLISTER, 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 p.m. 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 foot x 23 feet x 8.4 feet, 142 gross tons. The engine (26.5 inches x 30 inches) 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.

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


Will They Build It?
The federal government says land expropriated 40 years ago might still be needed some day

5/30 - St,. Catharines - There are a lot of rumours about when the St. Lawrence Seaway has to give up the land it took in 1966 to build the fifth Welland Canal. A popular one says that after 50 years, they have to either build or sell. Another says they can't give up the property until everyone whose land was expropriated has died. Neither is true. Not only does Canadian expropriation law give governments the extraordinary power to take any land they want for any reason, it also puts very few restrictions on them.

The only control over the legislation is an unspoken one, which kind of hovers over any law -- if the public doesn't like it, they can vote out the government. A government ministry or Crown corporation can hold on to expropriated property as long as it wants. If it decides to sell off the land, there are no guidelines as to how or to whom.

There is also nothing that says the land must be used for its original purpose. The Seaway could build a 14-kilometre-long shopping mall on that property if it wanted.

But at this time, the federal government has no plans for the 2,000 acres stretching from Thorold to Lake Ontario. The land is owned by Transport Canada but managed by the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. The Seaway referred questions about the future of the property to Transport Canada. "The land itself has not been deemed necessary for any future expansion plans, but before we sell it, we want to make sure it wouldn't be part of any plans," said Transport Canada spokeswoman Anne-Marie Bouchard.

While some Seaway lands, most notably in east St. Catharines, have been declared surplus in recent years and sold off, Bouchard said the property expropriated for the fifth canal might still be needed some day. She explained that these lands would likely only be declared surplus if there was no possibility of expanding the Welland Canal. That doesn't seem likely. Most canals around the world have two channels, easing traffic flow and, in the case of northern shipping routes, allowing the system to stay partially open during winter maintenance.

Currently, the Welland Canal is closed for three months of the year. And while its customers do adjust their shipments around the short season, the idea of year-round shipping has been dreamed about since the St. Lawrence Seaway opened in 1959.

When it was just seven years old, the amount of cargo being carried through the Seaway had doubled, hitting 53.7 million tonnes in 1966. It was close to capacity. It was common to see long lineups of ships in Lake Ontario waiting to enter the canal. At the time, the Seaway was planning for the future with a $180-million twinning project, doubling up the locks to get ships through the system faster. But some officials decided to look even further into the future. It was thought larger, so-called "super locks" were needed to accommodate larger ocean-going vessels.

Announced in May 1966, the plan called for four 300-metre-long locks in the new channel covering the same territory served by seven 222-metre locks in the existing canal, built in 1932. The new channel would run about one kilometre east of the current canal and connect with the existing waterway just south of Lock 7 in Thorold. The project was conservatively priced at $250 million, but many thought $450 million was more accurate. "It would have been a deal," said Ray Johnston, president of the Maritime Chamber of Commerce. But by 1973, the cabinet had yet to greenlight the scheme. The following year, the Seaway scrapped its construction branch.

Use of the Seaway peaked in 1979, when 66 million tonnes passed through. In the 1980s, a deep recession, dropping mineral prices and the closing of Soviet markets to Canadian grain saw business take a dive. Last year, the Seaway moved about 43 million tonnes of cargo. It is operating at about 60 per cent capacity.

Still, optimism is running high. Johnston, whose group represents all aspects of the shipping industry, believes efforts to brand water as the environmentally friendly transportation option could boost tonnage numbers. And he also sees renewed interest among governments in filling Canada's so-called "infrastructure gap" by investing in sewers, water mains, roads and, yes, canals. At the end of this year, a government report detailing the entire Seaway system and laying out a strategic plan for the future of the waterway will be released. Johnston expects the answers on canal expansion will be in there.

Robin Brock hopes so. The Thorold mayor would like to see Old Lakeview Cemetery, expropriated for the project, officially returned to the city, but believes the drive headed by former mayor Bill Longo in the early 1990s was their best shot. "I think they've exhausted every avenue and it's continued to fall on deaf ears," she said. Brock said that unlike in past years, Thorold and the Seaway have a "good relationship," citing their co-operation on the proposed Lake Gibson park, a pet project of hers. She said if this report doesn't mention Welland Canal expansion or these lands, then it will be time to go back to Ottawa with questions at the ready.

Almost all of the expropriated territory is in Niagara-on-the-Lake, but Lord Mayor Gary Burroughs said it rarely comes up. A few times a year, a developer will ask about some apparently available property, but that's about it. He said he would like to have the situation resolved, but isn't too concerned about how long the Seaway takes to decide what to do.

One politician who has raised the issue is Niagara Falls MP Rob Nicholson. When some expropriated farmers around Montreal's Mirabel Airport were sold back their land in 1991 during his first stint as a Tory MP, he asked about the fifth canal in the House of Commons. And again as a regional councillor in 2000, Nicholson said: "The St. Lawrence Seaway has known for 30 years that they are not going to build that canal."

Now, on the 40th anniversary of the expropriation, Nicholson, the government House leader, said he will be asking the transport minister to look into the matter. "If they continue to claim they may need that land, then where are the plans?" he said. "I didn't buy it in the early '90s and I'm still not convinced they need the land."

From the St. Catharines Standard


Port Reports - May 30

Marquette - Rod Burdick
On Memorial Day in Marquette, James R. Barker unloaded western coal and Armco loaded ore.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
It has been a busy holiday weekend at the Norfolk Southern coal dock on the city's westside.
The CSL Niagara and the John G. Munson loaded Saturday. The later is due in Green Bay late Monday or Tuesday, while the Niagara was entering the Seaway at Kingston late Monday.
Sunday the Nanticoke, also Canada Steamship Lines, loaded.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
Cuyahoga was an early afternoon arrival today at the aggregates dock in the Turning Basin. CCG Thunder Cape cruised through port again Sunday afternoon. It seems Thunder Cape, normally stationed at Meaford, on Georgian Bay, has replaced the catamaran Simmonds on border patrol duties on Lake Ontario.
Tuesday, afternoon, after the firetug Wm. Lyon Mackenzie is refloated; it's place on the drydock will be taken by the tour boat Yankee Lady III. That drydocking, when finished, will be followed by drydocking the tug M. R. Kane.
On Monday, June 12, at 7:00 a.m. the "Four Sisters" - the tall smokestacks at the defunct Lakeview Generating Station in Clarkson, Ontario, just west of Toronto, will be imploded. The Four Sisters have been landfall markers for boaters since they were built in the late 1960's.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
The Calumet was loading at Stoneport on a warm and hazy Memorial Day. The Calumet departed by early afternoon. Arriving later on was the Arthur M. Anderson.
Also on Monday the J.A.W Iglehart returned from delivering to Green Bay, WI. The Iglehart tied up around 4:00 pm under the silos. The Steamer Alpena is expected to be in port Tuesday evening to load at Lafarge.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Algosteel backed into the Sifto Salt dock at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday on a calm, muggy morning.


Updates - May 30

News Photo Gallery updated                                 Public Photo Gallery updated

Gathering Page updated.                                      Calendar of Events updated.


Today in Great Lakes History - May 30

On 30 May 1896, ALGERIA (3-mast wooden schooner-barge, 285 foot, 2,038 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 1,000 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 a.m. 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.

Data from: Jody Aho, Joe Barr, 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.


New Mackinaw Returns to Wisconsin for Maintenance

5/29 - MARINETTE, Wis. - It's time for an oil change and a tune-up. That's the feeling for members of the crew of the new U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw, undergoing warranty repairs and other service work here at the Marinette Marine Corporation dock on the Menominee River.

“We're having a lot of things taken care of, just getting through a work list we've had for some time,” explained Cmdr. John Little. “These are jobs that are best handled by the shipyard. We have a lot of manufacturers reps who have come in to see how their equipment is functioning for us and how they can better adapt some things to conditions and situations we've encountered.”

It's a normal visit to the shop for a ship like the Mac, which has returned to its birthplace. The Mackinaw was launched here on April 2, 2005. “We still have a few crewmembers who are commuting between Cheboygan and here to see their families, plus now a lot of people are getting back to Cheboygan when they can to visit families who are there,” Little continued. “We're looking forward to getting back and preparing for our big day.”

The “big day” would be June 10, when the new Mackinaw will be commissioned and the original Mackinaw decommissioned at the Millard D. Olds Memorial Moorings in Cheboygan. It will be a unique set of ceremonies featuring two ships that are the pride of the Great Lakes. Invitations have been sent out by the original Mackinaw's crew to former crewmembers to attend the ceremony. Family members and friends of the ship will also be coming to town along with political allies, manufacturers representatives and ship's sponsors.

The new Mackinaw will have somewhat of a new look topside when it returns to Cheboygan. A new smokestack muffler covering has been built, slightly changing the ship's lines and profile. When the Mackinaw was undergoing sea trials a year ago, it was discovered that the vessel was quite noisy because of a lack of sound insulation around the stack. A temporary muffler covering was installed, but is being replaced while the icebreaker is here for repairs.

One repair that will not be addressed yet is the dent on the starboard bow picked up when it hit a breakwall during the cutter's initial cruise last December in Grand Haven. That will be repaired this fall when the ship returns to Wisconsin for a stay in dry-dock.

From the Cheboygan Daily Tribune


Port Reports - May 29

Calumet River / So. Chicago - Tom Milton
An unidentified salty docked at Iroquois Landing. The Maumee and the Buffalo were both loading coal at KCBX on Sunday.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Saturday the saltie Spar Opal arrived at 8:00 a.m. going to Pier 14 with steel. The refuelling ship Hamilton Energy arrived at 9:00 a.m. going to the Provmar Terminal at Pier 24.
Sunday the Quebecois departed from Dofasco at 4:00 p.m. The Maritime Trader arrived at 4:30 p.m .The Spar Opal departed Pier 14 at 5:30 p.m. heading to Detroit. The CSL Niagara arrived at 6:30 p.m. going to the Stelco coal dock.

Saginaw River - Eric Jylha
The three men tossed into Saginaw River Saturday morning while in a small craft lowered from the Manistee are employees of Grand River Navigation in Cleveland. 22 year old Craig Bisson of Rogers City was given stitches from a cut to his forehead. The other crewman treated and released is identified as 31 year old Jason Schoen of Croswell. They, along with 32 year old Mike Kortman of Rogers City, were carrying mooring lines to Wirt Stone’s dock in Buena Vista Township just after 7:00 am when they capsized. They clung to the overturned hull for approximately 15 minutes in 49 degree water until rescued. They were ashore by the time emergency crews arrived from the Buena Vista and Zilwaukee Fire Departments, and the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Department.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Marquette's Upper Harbor ore dock loaded the Michipicoten on Saturday and the Sam Laud on Sunday.

Fairport Harbor - Bob Hunter
McKee Sons arrived in Fairport Harbor Sunday evening to unload limestone at Carmeuse.

Grand Haven Dick Fox
At 3:30 pm on Sunday, Lower Lakes Towing/Grand River Navigation’s self-unloading motor vessel Mississagi came through the pier heads bow first and sounded the traditional salute. Shortly thereafter it reportedly sounded the danger signal which is 5 rapid short blasts. It was a warning as there was a lot of traffic in the river at that time.

The Mississagi brought in a cargo of various types of stone which it delivered at both Meekhof’s D&M dock on Harbor Island, and to the dock in Ferrysburg by the railroad swing bridge.

River Rouge - Nathan Nietering
After unloading their cargo of stone at the Ajax Stone Dock in the Rouge on Saturday, the Adam E. Cornelius bolted south for Toledo where the picked up a cargo of coal. Sunday, they were unloading this coal through the afternoon and well into the night in the Rouge Shortcut at the National Steel dock.

Toledo -
Orsula remains at The Andersons Kuhlman Facility. She is high in the water.
Rebecca Lynn and tanker-barge A410 lie alongside Toledo Shipyard.
Algosar is on-loading at BP Riverfront Terminal in the company of tugs; Susan Hoey, Josephine, and Mighty Jake nearby at Geo. Gradel Docks.
Lambert Spirit and Salvor are at Midwest Terminals of Toledo, International.
Kaye E. Barker loaded coal at CSX RR Docks and got underway around 5:00 pm.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
CCG Thunder cape was in port briefly Sunday. The Maltese salty Kom arrived at Redpath Sugar early Saturday morning following the departure of the salty Scoter from that slip.
It is expected that the fire tug Wm. Lyon Mackenzie will be refloated at Toronto Drydock on Tuesday.
Niagara College is again offered a Welland Canal lock tour and Niagara River cruise aboard the tall ship Empire Sandy. Details can be found at


Updates - May 29

News Photo Gallery updated                                 Public Photo Gallery updated

Gathering Page updated.                                      Calendar of Events updated.


Today in Great Lakes History - 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 (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 (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 h.p. 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.

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


Saginaw River Mishap Involving Manistee

5/28 - Update - Two crewmen from the Manistee were transported to the hospital on Saturday after the work boat they were in capsized while handling lines. Both men were treated and released after a precautionary exam including x-rays and stitches for one of the men who sustained a cut over his eye.

Reported by Todd Shorkey

Original Article - 5/27 - 8:00 p.m. - There was an incident involving the Manistee Saturday morning at the Wirt Stone dock near the Zilwaukee Bridge on the Saginaw river.

A boat with two of the crew was lowered to the water to help with docking and it was reported to be swamped by prop wash. Another boat was lowered to pick them up, they were clinging to the overturned craft. Water temp 49, they were in the water 15 minutes according to the scanner traffic.

Reported by Eric Jylha, WNEM TV-5, Saginaw.


Toledo Plans Terminal to Receive Great Lakes Cruise Ships

5/28 - Toledo -- City officials are hoping to lure more tourist dollars with a terminal that will receive Great Lakes cruise ship passengers. The terminal, which officials plan to begin designing and building this summer, will feature shops and a restaurant. It's been in the works for nine years. The go-ahead came last week when the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority's board of directors approved spending the $611,000 required to match federal grants worth $2.45 million.

The board has hired Poggemeyer Design Group to oversee the design and construction of the terminal, which also will have a U.S. Customs office and boater amenities such as showers and restrooms. The city will pay $3 million for a 180-slip marina as part of the project, with help from a $226,500 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The port authority risked losing the federal money it has been receiving since 1997 if the project did not move forward, said Jim Mettler, the port authority's vice president for new projects. The project originally was conceived as a ferry service to transport passengers to and from a casino in Windsor, Ontario, but that concept was changed when Detroit began offering casino gambling.

Mettler said the Great Lakes cruise ship industry is not well known in the region because it lacks a port of call. "It's very popular with Europeans for similar reasons Americans like the Caribbean: You can see a lot on one vacation without having to pack or unpack your bags," he said. One company offering cruises, American Canadian Caribbean Line, runs ships from Chicago through Michigan's Mackinac Island to Cleveland.

Development along the Maumee River has delayed construction of the Toledo terminal, Mettler said. Once it is built, Mettler said he believes the city could attract six to eight cruise ships each year.

From the Detroit Free Press


Port Reports - May 28

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris & Todd Shorkey
The Saginaw River was very busy Saturday, with two inbound vessels and two outbound vessels. First, was the inbound Manistee calling on the Bay City Wirt dock to unload, she finished there by 5:30 a.m. and headed up river to complete their cargo at the Saginaw Wirt dock. Once at the Saginaw Wirt dock, one of Manistee's line boats capsized, putting two crew members in the water. The freighter Manistee got both crew members safely aboard the ship. Then other crew members aboard lines boat #2 went around the ship to tie the lines to the Saginaw Wirt dock, so that the ship could unload its stone cargo.

The captain kept in contact with the outbound tug/barge G.L. Ostrander and Integrity and asked for them to slow as they approached the scene so that the rest of the crew could get the other two crew members on lines boat #2 and aboard the ship and also so that the ship could move closer to the dock to tie the lines for an easier pass. Once the G.L. Ostrander/Integrity passed the Manistee, the two crew members involved in the line boat #1 capsizing from the Manistee's prop wash were rushed to the Hospital for a precautionary exam. Both men were treated and released.

The Manistee finished unloading her cargo at the Saginaw Wirt dock by 11 a.m. and tied her stern lines to the tug Gregory J. Busch for the tow down river to the Airport turning basin to turn. This is not an unusual process, as now the Sixth Street turning basin North of the I-675 Henry Marsh bridge in Saginaw is now as shallow 14 ft. in some areas which is too shallow to accommodate ships with a draft as deep as the Manistee's. Only some ships attempt to turn in the Sixth Street turning basin with or without the assistance of the tug Gregory J. Busch. She finished the turn at the Airport turning basin by 1:30 p.m., and headed out bound for the lake.

Next, was the tug G.L. Ostrander and her cement barge Integrity out bound from the Lafarge Cement Terminal in Carrollton early Saturday morning headed up stream to the Sixth Street turning basin to turn around. She finished her turn by 7:15 a.m. headed down bound for the lake. She stayed in contact with the Manistee who was still docking at the Saginaw Wirt dock at the time, and were getting crew members aboard after the line boat incident. She was clear of the Manistee and out bound past the I-75 bridge in Zilwaukee by 8:15 a.m., outbound for the lake. She also passed the Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader and the CSL Tadoussac at their unloading docks on her way out bound to the lake. The G.L. Ostrander/Integrity had arrived early Friday morning.

The CSL Tadoussac was out bound from the Essorc Cement Terminal in Essexville after unloading cement Clinker. The Tadoussac waited for the out bound Manistee to clear before departing. Once the Manistee was clear, the Tadoussac backed from the dock, turned around at Light 12 in the Saginaw Bay Entrance Channel, and was out bound for the lake early Saturday afternoon.

Finally, the tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and the barge Great Lakes Trader were in bound early Saturday morning, with a split load for the Bay City and Saginaw Wirt docks to unload. She made the Bay City Wirt dock about 15 minutes after the Manistee had cleared the dock up river to Saginaw. The tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and the barge Great Lakes Trader finished unloading at the Bay Wirt dock just before the noon hour, and waited at the dock for 2 hours and 30 minutes for the out bound Manistee to clear. Once Manistee was clear, the pair continued up river to finish their unload at the Saginaw Wirt dock. The tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and the barge Great Lakes Trader finished unloading their cargo at the Saginaw Wirt dock by 9:30 p.m. and tied her stern lines to the tug Gregory J. Busch for the tow down river to the Airport turning basin to turn. She finished the turn at the Airport turning basin by midnight, headed out bound for the lake. This was tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and the barge Great Lakes Trader's second visit to the Saginaw River within the past 45 hours.

Rouge River - Nathan Nietering
The Adam E. Cornelius was unloading a cargo of stone through the morning and afternoon hours Saturday at the Ajax Stone dock near the Conrail Bridge. American Spirit was unloading ore on the face of Zug Island, and departed around 5:30pm. Meanwhile, the steamer Kaye E. Barker was waiting in the Belle Isle Anchorage for the Cornelius to finish unloading and depart so they could proceed up the Rouge River for Severstal with their cargo of taconite. The Diamond Queen followed the Barker up the Rouge from the Shortcut between 10:00 p.m. and midnight.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
With the strike at Sifto Salt into its seventh week, Algolake entered the harbour Saturday morning and was at the dock loading salt.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The Algoway came in through the pier heads bow first at 2 p.m. on Saturday. It sounded the traditional one long and two short salute on its horn, undoubtedly for the benefit of all the people on the piers and in boats in the river that beautiful afternoon. It docked at Meekhof’s dock near the railroad swing bridge at about 2:45 p.m. to unload the balance of its cargo.


Updates - May 28

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

Gathering Page updated.

Calendar of Events updated.


Today in Great Lakes History - 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 deck.

Detroit, Michigan, 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.


Ryerson May Return to Service

5/27 - Duluth - A long-idled freighter soon may return to service on the Great Lakes. A crew in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., is assessing the Edward L. Ryerson to determine whether the 730-foot vessel might sail again after more than a seven-year lay up. Lee Barr, vice president of Central Marine Logistics Inc., said the evaluation is ongoing and no determination has been made about the laker's future.

The Ryerson is owned by Mittal Steel but has been operated by Central Marine, based in Griffith, Ind. The straight-deck steamer was built in 1960 and lacks self-unloading equipment. Most lakers in service are self-unloaders, which use an adjustable boom and conveyor belt system to independently discharge cargo.

Barr said there are no plans to convert the Ryerson into a self-unloader because of cost, but there still could be a future for the ship as demand for freighters on the Great Lakes increases. Barr declined to discuss any specifics, but Boatnerd, a Web site catering to Great Lakes boat watchers, says reports indicate the vessel would likely make regular calls on Duluth, Escanaba and Indiana Harbor if it resumes activity -- possibly as early as June or July.

The Ryerson isn't the only laker that could come out of retirement. Last month, Interlake Steamship Co. of Richfield, Ohio, put the 806-foot John Sherwin into drydock at Fraser Shipyards in Superior. The Sherwin, too, lacks self-unloading equipment and has sat idle for more than 20 years in the Twin Ports. Interlake is considering whether to refit the laker with self-unloading equipment. That could cost more than $15 million.

Interlake has not disclosed its plans for the Sherwin.

From the Duluth News-Tribune


Seaway Traffic Up 30%

5/27 - The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation estimates traffic on the seaway is up 30 per cent so far this year, as of the end of April. The seaway opened for shipping vessels in late March.

Increases were noted in shipments of steel, grain, iron ore and coal. Iron ore and coal shipments were cited as being related to increased steel production in Canada and the U.S. But a significant amount of steel imports from overseas is also a factor in the increased seaway traffic.

Seaway officials say increased use of the system is a testament to the economic feasibility of using marine shipping. "If you want to consider the cost of shipping a tonne of cargo, marine transportation is by far the cheapest mode available," said Andrew Bogora, spokesman for the seaway management agency. "That not only extends when comparing marine to air travel, but also when comparing marine to rail or truck modes."

Bogora said shipping between points within North America accounts for most of the seaway's activity. Even for time-sensitive shipments, Bogora said the seaway is a reliable option, particularly because it seldom faces border bottlenecks.

Richard Corfe, CEO of the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, was recently on a trade mission to China encouraging use of the seaway to Chinese firms. Bogora said, to bypass congestion at Pacific ports in places such as Vancouver and Los Angeles, many shipments from Asia are going through the Suez Canal toward ports on the east coast, as far north as Halifax.

If the seaway were to become widely used for shipments coming from Asia, Bogora said seaway traffic could be doubled with no needed infrastructure upgrades or hiring for his agency. However, he said some ports may have to enhance their facilities to take advantage of such opportunities.

Bob Hennessy, general manager for the Port of Prescott, said there has been some increase in shipments there, but not with the types of products seaway management has cited as being significant for the whole system. Hennessy said his port isn't involved in transferring coal, steel or iron ore. While grain is moved at the Port of Prescott, Hennessy said none has gone out so far this year.

He said the increases he's seen are for road salt being shipped out. However, he said it's too early in the season to assume it will be like this for the rest of the year. "We're up for this time of year, but we may be getting the ships now instead of later in the season," he said. "I'm not counting my chickens before the end of the year."
Dan McDermott, Ontario director of the Sierra Club of Canada, an environmental lobby group, said marine transport has less of an environmental impact than land or air travel. "Air is about the worst," he said. "There's some horrific figures out there in terms of (carbon pollutants) from one normal airplane flight."

However, he said there are environmental hazards associated with shipping by water, such as the transportation of marine wildlife to areas where they are not native. He used the example of zebra mussels, native to the Caspian Sea but widely found in the St. Lawrence River and associated bodies of water in recent decades. Zebra mussels have no natural predators in this area and multiply rapidly, causing problems such as clogging water-intake pipes and destroying plant life, McDermott said.

McDermott also noted the environmental threat posed by the risk of cargo spills in the water. As well, he said that fact that coal shipments are up is a concern for the Sierra Club. "Coal is about the most environmentally damaging of the fossil fuels in terms of what it emits when you burn it," he said. "You hear about clean-coal technology, but at this point there aren't commercial applications for that; it's still largely a theory."

From the Brockville Recorder & Times


Team Resumes Search for Plane Lost in 1950
58 people died in what was at the time the worst U.S. commercial air disaster ever

5/27 - South Haven, Mich. -- When search crews cast off from Chicago shores 56 years ago to find a Northwest Airlines DC-4 that had seemingly vanished over Lake Michigan, they believed it would be a rescue mission. No one could have imagined that the lake would keep the fate and location of Flight 2501 a secret for more than half a century.

That's long enough, said underwater archeologists and amateur historians who have spent the last month trying to locate the airplane. At the time, the crash was the deadliest American commercial airline disaster in history. On Wednesday, the team finished hunting with high-tech equipment. And divers hope to go back this weekend and examine spots that sonar and a magnetometer indicated as possible wreckage.

"It seems like it's certainly findable," said Ralph Wilbanks of Younges Island, S.C., whose team is being financed by Clive Cussler, the author of underwater adventure fiction that has sold more than 100 million copies. "It's just a mystery what happened to this plane."

This much is known: At 7:30 p.m. on June 23, 1950, 55 passengers and a crew of three took off from New York's LaGuardia Airport toward Seattle. The flight was uneventful as it made its way toward its first scheduled stopover in Minneapolis. But then, Capt. Robert Lind requested a lower altitude, from 3,500 feet to 2,500 feet when flying in the vicinity of Benton Harbor, Mich., presumably because of worsening area storms.

That request, which was denied because of other air traffic at that altitude, was the last communication from Flight 2501. Within 30 minutes, airline officials realized the plane had not passed over Milwaukee, as planned, and a search was launched. Chicago Air Route Traffic Control soon mustered an impressive response--mobilizing not only the Air Force, Coast Guard and the Navy but police in every state that borders Lake Michigan. Many, unfortunately, headed toward Milwaukee because of reports of what turned out to be an unrelated oil slick and flash in the sky.

It's doubtful though the squads could have saved anyone, even if they had gone directly to where most of the scant debris was eventually recovered, about 18 miles northwest of Benton Harbor. A fuel tank float, blankets, shredded arm rests and small wooden pieces were about all that was recovered from a plane that flight records indicate weighed 71,342 pounds upon takeoff.

Horrific discoveries of body parts followed along Lake Michigan beaches for the next several days, but the search was called off within a week without the plane, or a complete body, ever being found. A two-day public hearing in Chicago the next month and another one months later failed to determine the cause of the crash or its exact location. There was no "black box."

"It is known that the flight entered an area where there was severe turbulence and that it crashed shortly afterward," read the government's final report. "This fact in itself indicates that the accident probably resulted from either a structural failure caused by the turbulence, or because control of the airplane was lost. However, there is no evidence upon which a determination can be made as to which of these two possibilities actually caused the accident."

Just the same, by the time both inquiries had begun, America had already turned its eyes elsewhere: One day after the crash, the United States entered the Korean conflict. The crash would make little news again until 2004, when Cussler read an article by a member of the Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates, a non-for-profit group whose mission is to "Preserve Michigan's submerged maritime history."

For 26 years, Cussler's team, headed by Wilbanks, has searched the globe for shipwrecks, most famously finding in 1995 the Hunley, a Confederate submarine buried in sediment off the coast of Charleston, S.C. Cussler had never searched for a plane before, but he asked the shipwreck group if it would like to combine local knowledge with the expertise of his crew. The group enthusiastically agreed, and the new team went on to do a brief search in 2004 and another last May, which turned up two forgotten boats on the lakebed.

"We're finding everything there is to find, but no airplane," said Valerie Olson VanHeest, shipwreck group director who also co-founded the Underwater Archaeological Society of Chicago in 1988.
The group also located relatives of three people who died in the crash and held a memorial service earlier this month for them. William Kaufmann's mother died on Flight 2501, and for decades he considered Lake Michigan a "big black graveyard." The 62-year-old California attorney said that since the service, he's looked at the lake differently. "Going out there helped a lot," he said. "Now it just feels like a regular lake."

But it's a deep regular lake, which has not helped the crew in the search. "We don't generally look this deep," Wilbanks said, The team is searching in about 200-feet-deep water. The lake depth is just one factor that has slowed the search. "If it was a 1,000-foot ship, this would be a lot easier," Wilbanks said. A DC-4 is only 95 feet long. If anything is found, it's likely to be a portion of the plane, like a tail section or one of its four Pratt & Whitney engines, which each weighed nearly 1,600 lbs.

"I'd hate to not find this airplane," Wilbanks said. He's not giving up hope. He and the others plan to come back next year, too, if 2006 is not their year. The world might have to wait one more spring, at least, to put to rest one of aviation's most mysterious--and forgotten--tragedies.

From the Chicago Tribune

Note: More about Flight 2501 and the DC-4 can be found at


American Niagara Falls to Dwindle to a Trickle

5/27 - It's North America's most spectacular expression of nature's power, and a symbol of the enduring friendship between two nations that share a border, a history and one thunderingly awesome tourist attraction. But the United States, according to an innovative new study in futuristic geology, is going to lose its side of Niagara Falls, giving Canada -- if it still exists, that is -- a rock-solid hold on the honeymoon market -- of the next millennium.

The predicted demise of the American Falls in about 1,000 years is just one of the intriguing forecasts highlighted by University of Wisconsin scientist Steven Dutch in a paper titled The Earth Has a Future, published in the latest edition of the academic journal Geosphere.

Other predictions with a Canadian connection include:
- The disintegration a few centuries from now of the Titanic wreck off the coast of Newfoundland;
- A 14.7-kilometre northward shift of the Arctic Circle, due to Earth's changing tilt over the next millennium;
- A dramatic shrinking of the country's most identifying physical feature, Hudson Bay, as its shallow seabottom continues rebounding from the last Ice Age -- at a glacial pace to untrained eyes, but with the speed of a trampoline in geological terms.

"A futurist approach can serve to correct some common misconceptions," writes Dutch, who is urging fellow researchers to adopt a new way of "visualizing geologic time" to broaden a branch of science now focused squarely on the planet's past. "We can fail to realize that geologic features are a snapshot of processes that were highly dynamic and changeable," Dutch argues. "Our inability to see ourselves as part of a continuum of processes that will continue into the future is also directly linked to our shortsightedness in managing our environment."

He adds that contrary to the view that "all geologic changes are slow and imperceptible," many observable changes "take place even on the scale of a human lifetime, and even more significant changes have occurred during the span of recorded history." In another 50,000 years or so, Dutch says, the Falls will have retreated all the way back to Buffalo, causing Lake Erie to drain rapidly down a freshly cut gorge and into Lake Ontario.

It's a spectacle that people on both sides of the border -- assuming certain nations and species are still around -- will be able to enjoy equally.

From The Saskatoon StarPhoenix


Port Reports - May 27

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
At 6:30 am Friday, the Calumet backed herself out of the Buffalo River, pivoted and departed through the North entrance.

Alpena - Ben& Chanda McClain
On Thursday afternoon the G.L Ostrander/barge Integrity was in port loading under the silos for delivery to Saginaw. Early Friday morning among foggy conditions, the Alpena took on cargo and departed for Superior, WI. Later on during a beautiful evening the J.A.W Iglehart arrived at Lafarge.

The John G. Munson, Great Lakes Trader, and McKee Sons have been visitors at Stoneport lately.

Fairport Harbor - Bob Hunter
At 5:00 pm Friday, the fog was rolling in as well as the Calumet. The loud blasts of her horn alerted us to her arrival. Unusual, she turned about in the outer basin and then backed up the Grand River to the Morton Salt dock. She has no stern thrusters to assist in this move.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Friday saw the harbor shrouded in fog .The Canadian Provider departed Dofasco Dock 1 at 4:00 p.m on it's way to Thunder Bay in ballast. The Montrealais arrived at 9:00 p.m. going to Dofasco with iron ore pellets from Port Cartier Quebec. Next port of call after unloading is Clarkson in ballast. The Canadian Transfer arrived at 9:30 p.m. also heading to Dofasco with coal from Sandusky.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Both Marquette harbors were busy on Friday evening. After unloading a cargo of western coal at the Lower Harbor, Herbert C. Jackson moved to the Upper Harbor to load ore. She joined the Earl W. Oglebay, which was already loading ore. John J. Boland took the Jackson's place at the Lower Harbor and unloaded limestone.

Milwaukee - John Vogel
The Island Gem, a 1984 Bulker registered to Siomar Enterprises, Greece, was loading at the Nidera Elevator mid-morning Friday. It appeared to be the only ship in the harbor at the time.

Rouge River - Nathan Nietering
The steamer Charles M. Beeghly was inbound the Rouge River between 8:00 and 9:00 am Friday, with a full cargo of taconite ore from Marquette, bound for the Severstal steel mill. While at Severstal, they would be refueled by one of the Gaelic Tugboat Company's barges, with a tug. Algoma Central's Algolake spent much of the day unloading coal in the Rouge Shortcut, at the National Steel dock on Zug Island.

Toledo -
On Friday, James A. Hannah and a tanker barge are on-loading at the Sunoco Riverfront Terminal (old Hocking Valley Docks) below the I-280 Bridge. Orsula is at The Andersons Kuhlman Facility.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey & Gordy Garris
The tug G.L. Ostrander and barge Integrity were inbound early Friday morning calling on the LaFarge Terminal in Carrollton to unload. Following closely behind the duo was the Mississagi who traveled upriver to unload at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee. The Mississagi completed her unload and was outbound for the lake Friday afternoon. The Ostrander & Integrity turned in the Sixth Street Turning basin and were outbound for the lake Saturday morning.

Inbound late Friday night was the Manistee, giving a security call for Light 1 at 11:00 pm. She was inbound with a split load for the Bay City and Saginaw Wirt docks. After lightering in Bay City, the Manistee made the Saginaw Wirt dock around 7:30 am Saturday morning. She was expected to be outbound early in the afternoon.

The CSL Tadoussac was inbound the Saginaw River around 3:00 am, Saturday morning, for the Essroc dock in Essexville to unload clinker. She was expected to be outbound early in the afternoon.

The tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader arrived at the Bay City Wirt dock to lighter around 6:30 am Saturday morning. This is the third trip for the pair to the Saginaw River since Monday. They were expected to call on the Saginaw Wirt Dock to finish unloading once the Manistee clears the dock.


Updates - May 27

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

Gathering Page updated.

Calendar of Events updated.


Today in Great Lakes History - May 27

CANADIAN PIONEER (Hull#67) was launched May 27, 1981, at St. Catharines, Ontario by Port Weller Drydocks Ltd. for Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd. She was renamed b.) PIONEER in 1987.

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. She was converted to a self-unloader in 1949, and scrapped at Rameys Bend in 1973.

HENRY STEINBRENNER 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.

On 31 May 1900, the KEWAUNEE (wooden propeller steamer, 106 foot, 143 gross tons) was launched at Kewaunee, Wisconsin for James Smith, Ben Kuhlman & William Keeper. In 1902, she was rebuilt as a lightship and in 1913, she was converted to a sand dredge. She lasted until 1935, when she was abandoned.

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.


Sale of Rochester Fast Ferry Going Slowly

5/26 - Rochester, N.Y. - The city of Rochester had hoped the Fast Ferry would be gone by now. But the sale is being held up over several issues. The city announced three weeks ago that Euroferries plans to buy the ship for about 30 million dollars. But Mayor Bob Duffy says the deal still hasn't been finalized. That's a problem, because it's costing the city $200,000 a month to have the ferry sit in port.

Duffy says the buyer has given no indication it's not going to go through with the deal. There have just been several sticking points, such as a problem with the engine warranty. The engines have been plagued by problems since the ferry arrived in Rochester in 2004. The city has spent more than a million dollars on repairs and upgrades.

The high-speed ferry service operated for two years on Lake Ontario between Rochester and Toronto before Rochester officials pulled the plug on the operation because it was losing millions of dollars. Rochester is left with a 19 million dollar debt from last year's 40 million dollar purchase of the ferry.



Port Reports - May 26

Kingston - Ron Walsh
Thursday, the Algoport was heading up the Seaway for Bath. ETA of 1:30 p.m. for East Charity Shoal and 4:00 p.m. for Bath The Stephen B. Roman had departed Picton with cement for Oswego. She had an ETA of 1:40 p.m. for psyche Shoal and 4:00 p.m. for Oswego Piers.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
Hamilton Energy was in on Wednesday to bunker the salty Scoter, which is still unloading sugar at Redpath. The salty Kom is anchored off Port Weller at present, and is expected to take Scoter's place soon.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
Marquette saw the David Z. Norton and Michipicoten in on Tuesday while the tug BeeJay worked dredging. Wednesday the James R. Barker brought in coal while the Charles M. Beeghly took on ore.
The Kaye E. Barker arrived in Marquette on Thursday for a load of ore.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
Calumet is coming through the north entrance at 10 a.m. Thursday. She was followed by Maumee about 15 minutes later.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Thursday, the Canadian Provider arrived at 6:30 p.m. with iron ore pellets for Dofasco from Port Cartier Quebec. Her next port will be Thunder Bay in ballast.
Traffic has been very light in the harbor the last couple of days.

Toledo -
Canadian Transfer off-loaded at the Andersons Kuhlman Facility and left today with Federal Miramichi following along not far astern of her. Federal Miramichi picked up grain at ADM Elevators. Saginaw took on coal at CSX RR Docks. The tug Bessie B. brought the Wohlleb Socie crane barge downriver from above the I-75 Bridge.

South Chicago - Steve B.
Noon hour on Thursday found the CSL vessel Atlantic Huron at 95th St. headed outbound in the Calumet River for Lake Michigan. She was being assisted by "G" tugs Colorado on the bow, and the South Carolina on the starboard stern side.
Waiting in Calumet Harbor for the Atlantic Huron to clear was the St. Marys Challenger, with her destination being Lake Calumet.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
The tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and her barge Great Lakes Trader were inbound the Saginaw River early Thursday morning with a split load for the Sargent dock in Essexville and the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee. The pair finished their unload at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee by 2:15pm, and waited at the dock while the tug Gregory J. Busch headed downriver from her dock in Carrollton. Once lines were tied between the Busch and the tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort the two began the tow downriver to the Airport turning basin to turn around. The two finished the turn around at the Airport turning basin by 4:45pm and the Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader were outbound for the lake. Although the Joyce L. VanEnkevort have made many visits up the river to Saginaw this season, surprisingly this was not only their first cargo for the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee this season, it was also the first cargo for the Sargent dock in Zilwuakee this season.
The Buffalo was also back again on Thursday calling on the Bay Aggregates dock in Essexville to unload. She backed out of the slip, turned and was outbound for the lake by 9pm Thursday evening.

Detroit - Nathan Nietering
The tug Karen barge A-397 spent the entire day at the Michigan Marine Terminals in the Rouge. Algomarine unloaded a partial cargo during the morning at the stone dock in Windsor and then moved across the river into the old Rouge riverbed to unload the rest of their cargo at the Jefferson Marine Terminals near Clawson Concrete. The Charles M. Beeghly is expected into Severstal sometime Friday.


Updates - May 26

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

Gathering Page updated.


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 began its maiden voyage in 1963. Deepened and converted to a self-unloader in 1980. She was renamed b.) HALIFAX in 1988.SCOTT MISENER (Hull#14) was launched in 1954, at St. Catharines, Ontario by Port Weller Drydocks Ltd. for Colonial Steamships Ltd. She was scrapped at Alang, India in 1990.

In 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 feet x 22 feet x 17.5 feet, 151 gross tons. 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.


Activity on Edward L. Ryerson; May Sail This Season

5/25 -  The Edward L. Ryerson may sail again, and soon. Workers were busy earlier this week running various tests as well as conducting an inventory of equipment needed before the idle vessel can sail, according to waterfront observers in Sturgeon Bay. Reports also indicate the handsome vessel will be placed in the drydock for hull evaluation sometime next week.

The Ryerson is in need of a five-year Coast Guard inspection before she will be allowed to sail. Radars, removed for use on other vessels, will have to be replaced and AIS will need to be installed.

There has been no official announcement from Central Marine Logistics, which would operate the vessel for owner Mittal Steel.

In lay up since the end of the 1998 shipping season at Sturgeon Bay, it had been widely believed that the career of classic, 730-foot, straight-deck steamer was over, doomed by her lack of self-unloading equipment, high crew size and expensive steam power plant. Improved demand for ore may be behind this renewed interest in the Ryerson.

If plans to refit the vessel go ahead, it is hoped she would be ready to sail by the end of June or early July. Reports indicate her runs would include trips from Escanaba and Duluth to Indiana Harbor.


Maritime Academy, SC4 Joining Forces

5/25 - Port Huron - Many Blue Water Area students grow up watching freighters travel up and down the St. Clair River. But as the vessels move swiftly and distantly, few students have the opportunity to see or think of the people working aboard them. "It is a silent industry," said Capt. Mike Surgalski of the State of Michigan, a 225-foot training ship used by the Great Lakes Maritime Academy in Traverse City. St. Clair County Community College (SC4) is hoping to change that.

College President Rose Bellanca on Tuesday signed a partnership agreement with the maritime academy that will allow students to begin their studies at the local college and then transfer 45 core credits to the academy, where they will learn to work on the freighters. Bellanca and other officials gathered Tuesday evening to celebrate the partnership aboard the State of Michigan, which was docked at the Seaway Terminal.

The academy, which is affiliated with Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, trains students either to be deck officers, who are responsible for navigation and overseeing the loading and unloading of cargoes, or engineers, who are responsible for engine operation and maintenance. The programs take about two years to complete. It is an excellent partnership for SC4 students, Bellanca said. "If you grow up on the water, you might want to work on the water," she said.

The agreement allows SC4 students to pursue the high-paying jobs that are virtually guaranteed upon graduation from the academy, she said. Surgalski said 100% of the students who graduated in the past 10 years were given jobs on Great Lakes or ocean-bound vessels and he is confident that trend will continue. The average age now of a merchant marine officer is 56. As they retire, there will be many openings for the next generation, Surgalski said.

Jason Dominiak, 27, of Chicago, said he enrolled in the academy because of the promise of high pay. "Eventually I will be making good money," he said Tuesday while sitting with a group of other first-year students. Dominiak said he spent eight years in the Navy and figured it was a good fit. But it isn't easy, he said. Many students drop out of the program before they finish, Dominiak said.

"It's a hard lifestyle," said Dan Luglio, 19 of Muskego, Wis.

From the Port Huron Times Herald


TSA, Coast Guard to Release Proposed TWIC Rules

5/25 - The Transportation Security Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard have approved Notices of Proposed Rule-Making that would make port workers and merchant mariners the first to use a new biometric security credential program for transportation workers, according to an advance copy of the TSA notice.
The notice for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) is expected soon in the Federal Register, the notice states.

The Coast Guard is expected to release its own proposed regulation the same day. It would streamline the current credentialing process for merchant mariners and make that process coordinate better with the one for TWIC. The maritime implementation of TWIC will build on the Coast Guard¹s current credentialing programs, the notice states. The Coast Guard must change its regulations to require merchant mariners to have TWIC cards.

TSA would apply the same security threat assessment standards to merchant mariners and workers that it currently does to commercial drivers who transport hazardous materials, the notice states. Merchant mariners and workers who want unescorted access to secure areas of port facilities and vessels regulated under the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 must have a TWIC card, the notice states. The requirement would apply to longshoremen, employees of port operators, truck drivers, rail workers and others.

Owners and operators of ports and vessels must integrate TWIC into their current access control systems, according to the notice. To participate, facilities and ships must buy card readers and update their approved security plans to include TWIC. The proposed rules also detail how employers would be notified if a TWIC holder is found to be a security threat.

TWIC will apply to 750,000 workers, who would pay for the program through fees, the notice states. Most workers would pay $149 each, while those with current, applicable background checks would pay about $95. A replacement card would cost $36. TSA would collect workers¹ personal and employee information, photos and 10 fingerprints, the notice states. The agency will screen applicants through criminal background checks and terrorist watch lists, and check their immigration status.

The TWIC document would be a smart card that presents the worker¹s name and photo and includes biometric information and numerous means to prevent fraud, the notice states. The cards would follow Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12, which requires federal workers and contractors to have secure credentials to access federal buildings and information technology networks. The cards would also adhere to Federal Information Processing Standard 201-1, which outlines technical requirements for the credentials.

TWIC cards would be interoperable with other federal credentials that follow those standards. The cards would be valid for five years. Each card would contain two electronic chips that hold the user¹s encrypted data, the notice states. The data would include minutiae templates of two fingers, a personal identification number and a federal smart card number.



Metroparks Acquire 28 Acres that Overlook Maumee River in Toledo

5/25 - Toledo - Toledo Area Metroparks officials have eyed the banks of the Maumee River for years, looking for a place to turn vacant space into recreational land. Yesterday the Metroparks board agreed to purchase 28 acres of land just south of the Anthony Wayne Bridge and east of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Plaza with hopes of turning it into Toledo's first riverfront Metropark.

Using a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the parks bought the land from the Samuel Geraldo Trust for $1.25 million. "We're very fortunate to have the resources to get this waterfront property that has been unused and abused all these years," said Jack Gallon, president of the Metroparks' board of commissioners. "We would want to make that area grow again with trees and a place for the public to walk on trails."

The purchase ends a several-month process that included environmental testing. The tests showed that no soil removal or remediation was necessary, although the site will have to undergo a significant surface cleanup. An upriver area that is a part of what is known locally as the Middlegrounds, the project includes 2,300 feet of frontage along the Maumee River. The site consists of a mixture of old fields, young wooded areas, and open water.

Park officials hope to one day create a natural oasis near downtown, which would also be the only Metroparks presence in urban portions of Toledo. But that transformation will have to wait a while. It will probably wait at least likely until the next vote on an operating levy, because officials estimate it will cost about $80,000 to clean up the site and about $1.5 million to develop a park.

Tim Schetter, land acquisition agent for the parks, said the land has long been identified by Metroparks officials, who have been on the lookout for riverfront property after voters identified it as a high priority. Currently, the parks own four riverfront parks, but none is located in Toledo. The park would join Side Cut Metropark in Maumee and a string of parks from Waterville to Grand Rapids, including Farnsworth, Bend View, and Providence metroparks.

The project would join Swan Creek Preserve Metropark and the Toledo Botanical Garden as the only Metroparks properties located within the city of Toledo. The project area was at one time a railroad yard, which was very active in the late 1800s, said John Jaeger, director of natural resources. In fact, Norfolk Southern Railroad still owns a half-interest in portions of the land that the parks recently purchased, meaning that the railroad would be required to sign off on any proposed plans for the 9.5 acres fronting the river.

According to information given to the board of commissioners, the railroad could "prohibit public access on the portion of the property for which they share one-half interest" but they could not build anything on it that the Metroparks considers harmful to its interests. "It is a significant chunk of land," Mr. Jaeger said. "This project offers accessibility for people in the urban centers of Toledo."

Mr. Schetter said that the money to buy the property was secured with the help of Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo). In February, 2005, the Metroparks were designated by Miss Kaptur to receive nearly $1.5 million through NOAA's Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program. The purchase is even more welcome because the trans-action does not involve funds from local taxpayers. Lucas County voters approved a land acquisition levy in 2003 that has allowed the Metroparks to purchase more than 1,500 acres for preservation and recreation.

From the Toledo Blade


Port Reports - May 25

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
At sunrise Wednesday, J.A.W. Iglehart made an attractive picture approaching Milwaukee southbound on Lake Michigan off the city's north shore suburbs. Iglehart docked at LaFarge on Jones Island and began off-loading cement powder.
Also Wednesday, ocean vessel Island Gem (reg. Piraeus, Greece) was backed into the dock at Nidera grain in the inner harbor, awaiting a cargo as semi-trailers scurried to the elevator.
Tug Barbara Andrie and its fuel barge A-390 were backed into the Jacobus liquid cargo slip in the outer harbor, delivering fuel oil.
Ocean vessel Federal Schelde (reg. Bridgetown, Barbados) was backed into the slip at General Cargo terminal 2 in the outer harbor, unloading coiled steel.

Rouge River - Nathan Nietering
John J Boland was unloading their coal load from Toledo today in the Rouge River Shortcut throughout the day. This is the dock for the US Steel, National Steel Division of Detroit. Meanwhile, McAsphalt 401 and the tug John Spence were unloading at the Marathon Terminal below the Fort Street Drawbridge.

Toledo -
Federal Miramichi has been loading at ADM Elevators. This ship is another Fednav vessel with a blue hull. Heavy rain is coming to Toledo this evening. This will effect her loading. Petite Forte and St. Marys Cement are off-loading at their silo storage on Front St. by the Toledo Shipyard.

Oshawa - Jim Gallacher
The salt water bulker Ypermachos arrived at Oshawa early Wednesday morning and proceeded to discharge what appeared to be steel rods.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris & Todd Shorkey
The Buffalo finished her unload at the Bay Aggrates dock in Essexville, backed out of the slip, turned, and was outbound for the lake early Wednesday morning.
The tug Invincible and the barge McKee Sons finished their cargo at the Wirt Stone dock in Bay City around 7:00am Wednesday morning and headed up the river to finish their cargo at the Wirt Stone dock in Saginaw. The pair had arrived in the Saginaw River late Tuesday night. The pair finished their unload in Saginaw by 2:30 pm and backed out to the Airport turning basin with the assistance of the tug Gregory J. Busch. The McKee Sons had to tie up at the old Bay Aggregates dock in Downtown Bay City for about an hour due to "Bridge Hours" in which the Bay City drawbridges are closed to down bound commercial traffic between 3:30 and 4:30 for rush hour. At 4:30 the pair were on their way to the lake without further delay.
The tug Gregory J. Busch has made almost $75,000 from towing vessels downriver to the Airport turning basin and from assisting other vessels in the Sixth Street turning basin.


Updates - May 25

News Photo Gallery updated, and more News Photo Gallery updates.

Public Photo Gallery updated

Gathering Page updated.


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 feet 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.


Port Reports - May 24

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The John J. Boland loaded Tuesday at the NS coal dock. The vessel which loaded Monday was the Herbert C. Jackson.

The Sam Laud, originally believed to have loaded in Sandusky on Sunday will load Wednesday, after delivering stone to Lorain, according the the current posting of arrivals. Also slated to slide under the coal dumper on Wednesday is the Canadian Transport, which was said to be steaming across Lake Erie on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, at neighboring Huron, the Reserve was discharging limestone Tuesday evening at Huron Lime Co.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The St. Mary’s Challenger came in at 10:30 pm on Monday and docked at the St. Mary’s Cement Terminal in Ferrysburg. She left after noon on the Tuesday.

South End Lake Michigan - Tom Milton
A salty, Toro, a salty tied up at Global Stone (Oglebay-Norton). About the only activity, except barges, at any of the ports.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Tuesday morning on the Saginaw River saw the tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader outbound from the upper river with assistance from the tug Gregory J. Busch. They turned at the Airport Turning Basin and were outbound for the lake early in the morning.

The tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons were back for their second visit in three days, this time with a split load for the Wirt Stone docks in Bay City and Saginaw. Inbound right behind the McKee Sons was the Buffalo, arriving Tuesday evening to unload at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City. Both vessels should be outbound Wednesday morning.


Updates - May 23

News Photo Gallery updated.

Public Photo Gallery updated

Gathering Page updated.


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 a.m. 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 1,000 foot 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 Drydocks 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.


SLVCA Announces Engineer's Day Open House

The Soo Locks Visitors Center Association will have a special meeting on Friday, June 30, 2006, from 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm, at the Soo Locks Visitors Center.

The Center will remain open two extra hours to meet and greet Boatnerds. Bring your pictures to share, talk about displays, and spend a pleasant 2 hours inside.

We will have tables set up for use, the theater is available, and we will have some free snacks available.


Boatnerd Cruise aboard Hammond Bay on July 15

The St. Clair River Boatnerd Cruise will be held July 15. A 3-hour narrated St. Clair River cruise on board the HAMMOND BAY passing Algonac, Harsens Island, Walpole Island, Seaway Island and the St. Clair Flats.

Departure at 11:00. Cost: $30.00 Can., $25.00 US. including lunch. Free parking at dock. Alcohol not permitted on board or in dock area. Maximum 40 persons. Complete details on the Boatnerd Gathering page.


Port Reports - May 23

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Maumee arrived for NRG Huntley Plant at 2:30 p.m. Monday afternoon. She was sporting a go Sabre's banner starboard side below the pilot house. She should be out bound about 8:30 Monday night.

St. Lawrence River - René Beauchamp
Entering the St.Lawrence Seaway this afternoon for Oshawa is the bulk carrier Ypermachos. She is well known to most shipwatchers under her original name of Socrates. In November 1985, Socrates went aground on Park Point, Duluth. Ypermachos is the second ship with that name to transit the Seaway. The first one transited in 1966.

Fairport Harbor - Herb Hubbel
Monday morning the Capt Henry Jackman was in unloading a load of limestone. Adding its load to the huge pile at the lime company dock. After unloading a load of limestone, the Capt Henry Jackman moved downriver a little to start taking on a load of salt at Morton Salt Monday evening.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
On Saturday, ocean vessel Toro was alongside terminal 2 in Milwaukee's outer harbor, unloading steel.
Also Saturday, Calumet delivered salt to the bulk cargo dock on Jones Island in the inner harbor.
Sunday evening, self-unloader Algorail from the Algoma Central line visited slip 1 in Milwaukee's outer harbor, delivering salt.
Sunday night, St. Mary's Challenger arrived, delivering powdered cement to the St. Mary's terminal on Kinnickinnic Avenue. Challenger departed early Monday afternoon.
On Monday, saltwater vessel Isadora docked at the General Cargo terminal in the outer harbor, bringing steel.
Looking ahead, Federal Schelde is anticipated in Milwaukee on Tuesday, bringing general cargo and steel.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The Sam Laud visited Sandusky Bay on Sunday, loading coal for an unknown port.
An unknown vessel - possibly the John J. Boland - was loading Monday at the NS coal dock.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Late Sunday night saw the Canadian Olympic depart Pier 26 at 10:45 p.m.
Monday had the tug John Spence and barge McAsphalt 401 depart at 10:00 a.m. followed by the Halifax at 12 noon heading to Sept.Ille Quebec. The CCGC Thunder Cape arrived at 5:00 p.m. going to the Canada Centre for Inland Waters in Burlington.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
The H. Lee White brought stone to the coal hopper at Marquette's upper harbor Monday.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Algoway and the tug Invincible & Barge McKee Sons were both outbound Monday morning. Both backed down from the upper river and were assisted in turning at the Airport Turning Basin by the tug Gregory J. Busch.
Inbound on Monday was the tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader with a split cargo. The pair lightered at the Sargent dock in Essexville before heading upriver to the Burroughs dock. Radio traffic indicated they would be unloading at three docks, but at this time the third dock is not known.


Updates - May 23

News Photo Gallery updated.

Public Photo Gallery updated

Gathering Page updated.


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.

American Steamship's H LEE WHITE completed sea trials on May 23, 1974.

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

The Tomlinson Fleet Corp.'s 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, 4,539 gross tons. Through her career she had various names: DAVID S TROXEL in 1924, SONOMA in 1927 and finally FRED L HEWITT in 1950. 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.


Latest Engine Trouble Spells Lay Up for Algoville

5/22 - Algoville's recent engine failure on Lake Huron left the vessel with only 5 cylinders running on its main engine. Cylinder #3 is now out of commission which gives the vessel the speed of 9 knots at best. Sources close to the action report that the ship is heading for lay up in Hamilton following discharge in Quebec City.

It is reported that the company would then decide on the remedy for the ageing vessel either to repair the old engine or to re-power the vessel. Depending on the alternative chosen, the lay up could be as short as two months or as long as two years.

This added to last week's news of Algonorth running again this year on only one engine also comes at a very bad time as straight deckers are in demand this season.


Help Wanted

5/22 - Upgrade your maritime career now with an exciting opportunity to apply your Great Lakes skills.

Central Marine Logistics seeks responsible, self-motivated and independent person for shore-based MARINE OPERATIONS.

Qualifications include strong engineering background, working knowledge of large vessel operations, good communication skills and ability to travel the Great Lakes area. Although computer and word processing skills are important, this is not a desk job; you will need a hard hat, you will be in charge of a variety of types of vessels, working at all hours and you will get dirty.

Ample opportunity for advancement with addition of more responsibility. Attractive compensation package and flexible hours are just part of the benefits. Salaried position to start immediately. Interested applicants should email resume in Word to Tom at  No telephone inquires please.


St. Clair Power Plant Announces 20th Annual Old Timers Day and Open House

5/22 - Recors Point - The 20th annual Old Timers Day, and Antique Car & Rod Show is schedule for Friday, June 2, 2006.

Events for the day include the antique car show, power plant tours and clubhouse social all starting at 1:00 pm. At 2:00 pm there will be a 50/50 raffle, followed by a dinner at 3:00 and presentations at 4:00 pm.

The cost for the event is $1.00 for retirees and $6.00 for all other. The general public is invited.


Engineer's Day Coming Soon

Only 39 days until Engineers Day at the Soo Locks!!(6/30/06)

Only 238 days more until the Soo Locks are closed for the winter (1/15/07), and only307 days until the Soo Locks are open for the 2007 shipping season (3/25/07).

Reservations Needed for Soo Boatnerd Cruise

The Annual Boatnerd Engineer's Weekend Freighter Chasing Cruise. This annual trip aboard the Chief Shingwauk for a full three (3) hours leaving from Roberta Bondar Pavilion in Soo Ontario at 6:00 pm. Cruise will return at 9:00 p.m. Cost is C$30.00 per person. Price includes dinner. Cash bar on board. Make reservations by calling (705) 253-9850, or 1-877-226-3665.

9:30 p.m. - Special add-on Firework Cruise - July 1 is Canada's Birthday and the Chief Shingwauk is offering a special 1-1/2 hour fireworks cruise leaving a 9:30 p.m. The cost is C$10.00. Boatnerds who wish to stay aboard for the Fireworks Cruise must make reservations prior to June 15, 2006.

Have you made your reservations?

Complete details on the Boatnerd Gatherings Page.


Huron Lady Cruise Scheduled for June 3

There will be a special 2-hour tour of the St. Clair River aboard the Huron Lady II, beginning at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday June 3.

Cost is $12.00. 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 LaSalle Bank (formerly Standard Federal Bank) and the bridge.

Complete details on the Boatnerd Gathering Page.


Port Reports - May 22

Soo - Lee Rowe
The Algolake had a pitch control problem and tied up at the Carbide dock in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan Sunday with the assistance of GL tugs Missouri and Florida.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
At 4:00 am on Saturday morning May 20, the Oglebay Norton‘s M/V Earl W. Oglebay paid its first visit of this season, and its first since September 2003. It unloaded and departed about 9:00 am.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Sunday had the Ocean tugs Omni Richileau and Omni St.Laurent arrive at 6:30 a.m. The Federal Miramichie departed at 1:00 p.m. followed by the the tug Michigan and barge at 2:00 p.m. The Birchglen arrived at 3:00 p.m. going to Pier 12 with gypsum from Point Tupper Nova Scotia. The Halifax arrived at 6:00 p.m. going to the Stelco coal dock. The Algocape departed at 8:00 p.m.

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
After spending several hours in Lake Michigan waiting for winds to die down, the Wilfred Sykes entered Holland harbor with a load of coal for the power plant Sunday evening. It tied up at about 8:00 p.m.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
Northwest gales on Sunday kept the G. L. Ostrander/barge Integrity anchored offshore all day. Also on the hook nearby was the Purvis Marine tug Anglian Lady and its barge. It was unknown when the Integrity would enter port.
The Steamer Alpena is due into Lafarge on Monday morning and the J.A.W Iglehart is expected to return on Tuesday.
The Reserve remained at Stoneport on Sunday, unable to complete loading until the weather improved.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
With strong winds in the area finally calming down, vessel traffic resumed on Sunday with the arrival of two vessels late in the evening.
The tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons were in bound first. The pair was to call on the International Materials Dock in Carrollton. Following close behind was the Algoway who was making her first trip up the Saginaw River for 2006. The Algoway had actually arrived in the Saginaw Bay late Saturday evening, but went to anchor for 24 hours until the winds had subsided enough for safe passage. She headed to the upper river for the Buena Vista dock to unload.
Both vessels are expected to be outbound during the day Monday.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The salty Scoter arrived at 2:00 a.m. Sunday and was assisted into the slip at Redpath Sugar by the Groupe Ocean tugs.


Updates - May 22

News Photo Gallery updated.

Public Photo Gallery updated

Gathering Page updated.

Calendar of Events updated


Today in Great Lakes History - May 22

On 22 May 1901, FRANK H PEAVEY (steel propeller bulk freighter, 430 foot, 5,002 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 (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, Michigan 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. Built as the a.) ARTHUR H HAWGOOD in 1907, She was renamed c.) GEORGE M STEINBRENNER in 1969, she was scrapped at Rameys Bend in 1979.

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 foot keel, 101 feet overall x 20 feet x 6 foot 6 inches, 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.


John B. Aird Involved in Accident
Traffic Resuming

5/21 - 9:45 p.m. Update - The Aird is still at Wharf 16. At this time, Pochard and Algowood have passed the Aird and are heading across Lake Erie.
English River is now in Lock 8. Petite Forte is still at the Stone Dock and Cedarglen lifted her anchor and is heading for the Port Colborne piers.

5/21 - 4:00 pm. Update - The Aird and Pochard remain in place. Traffic starting to back up at the south end of the canal. The down bound Cedarglen has gone to anchor off Port Colborne, and the up bound Petite Fort has tied up at the Stone Dock at Ramey's Bend. Algowood is up bound and due at Lock 8 at 4:40 pm.

Updates will be posted as they are received.

5/21 - Original Story - 1:30 p.m. - Port Colborne - Word has been received that the John B. Aird was "caught by the wind, spun around and suffered damage to the hull when she hit a wall" at Port Colborne.

She is presently docked at Wharf 16 with no estimated departure time. The up bound saltie Pochard is being held in Lock 8.


Port Reports - May 21

Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Saturday the Cason J. Calloway was at Stoneport taking on cargo. The Calloway departed around 2:00 pm, headed for Duluth, MN. Waiting nearby was the Reserve which approached the dock once the other vessel cleared. The Reserve tied up and started loading around 3:30 pm. Many other vessels were seen passing by such as the Pere Marquette 41, two Oglebay Norton vessels, and an Algoma Central Marine self unloader.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Saturday saw the CSL Laurentian depart at 5:00 a.m. followed by the Algoisle at 6:00 a.m. The Algonorth arrived at 1:30 p.m. followed by the Algowood at 5:00 p.m. and the tug Michigan and barge at 8:00 p.m.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Sunrise on Saturday found the Kaye E. Barker loading taconite on the south side of the ore dock and Michipicoten waiting to load on the north side. Tug Dorothy Ann/Barge Pathfinder was waiting off the Upper Harbor light for a clear dock.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The Maumee loaded early Saturday at Sandusky's NS coal dock. She was reported up bound, but her next port of call was uncertain.

Saturday afternoon Algomarine put her lines on the dock. She is expected to clear Sandusky Bay before daybreak Sunday.


Updates - May 21

News Photo Gallery updated.

Public Photo Gallery updated

Gathering Page updated.

Calendar of Events updated


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.

Interlake Steamship Co.'s HENRY G DALTON's maiden voyage was on May 21, 1916. She was scrapped at Vado, Italy in 1973.

UNITED STATES GYPSUM 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, a.) D O MILLS, stranded near Buffalo, New York on Lake Erie on May 21, 1974, suffering an estimated $150,000 in damage.

The 14 foot' 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.


Boatnerd Detroit River Cruise Announced

A 3-hour freighter chasing cruise on the lower Detroit River aboard the luxurious Friendship, driven by Capt. Sam Buchanan. Cruise leaves the Portofino's On The River restaurant at 10:00 am. on Saturday, August 12, 2006.

We'll go where the boats are. Maybe up the Rouge River, maybe down the Detroit River. Bring your camera.

To make the trip even more interesting, a pizza buffet will be delivered by the mail boat J. W. Westcott.

For all the details and to make reservation go to the Boatnerd Gathering Page.


Truck abandoned on bridge, Shipping Delayed

5/20 - Burlington, Ontario - On Friday a stolen truck was abandoned on the Burlington lift bridge, the entrance to Hamilton Harbor. Concerned that the driver might have connected explosives to the truck, Halton Police shut down the structure and called in the bomb squad. By 10: 30 a.m., police had determined there were no explosives inside the small salting truck that had been stolen about 2:45 a.m. from a nearby yard and reopened the bridge and surrounding roads.

The lift bridged was closed for about nine hours delaying four ships waiting to enter the harbor. The Algoisle was first to anchor about five miles out. The CSL Assiniboine, Federal Miramache went to anchor and the Senica from Japan with steel- did not anchor. The bridge tender had to leave his post for several hours when the police evacuated the area.

The truck was cleared and shipping resumed with the vessels entering in the order they went to anchor.

From the Toronto Star


Effects Of Light Loading Evident Again
Great Lakes Coal Trade Down 7 Percent In April

5/20 - Cleveland - Shipments of coal on the Great Lakes slipped below 4 million net tons in April, a decrease of 7 percent compared to a year ago. The monthly total was slightly above the 5-year average for the period, but only because April 2003 shipments were slowed by extreme ice conditions.

The dredging crisis again took its toll on the coal trade. The largest coal cargo carried in the Head-of-the-Lakes trade (Lake Superior ports to Lower Lakes ports) in April totaled only 64,218 net tons. The next largest cargo was less than 63,800 net tons. These cargos were carried in 1,000-foot-long U.S.-Flag Lakers, and ships this size have hauled nearly 71,000 tons of coal in a single trip.

The peak cargos came during a period of high water which masked the effects of inadequate dredging. In 2006, however, water levels are down, so there is nothing to offset decades of shortfalls in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ budget for dredging Great Lakes ports and waterways.

For the year, the Lakes coal trade stands at 7.7 million net tons, an increase of 9 percent compared to the same point in 2005. The 21 percent increase over the 5-year average for the January-April time frame is again somewhat distorted by the thick ice fields that formed on the Great Lakes during the winter of 2002/2003 and significantly slowed waterborne commerce.

Lake Carriers’ Association represents 14 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 can transport as much as 125 million tons of cargo a year when high water levels offset the lack of adequate dredging of Great Lakes ports and waterways.

From the Lakes Carriers' Association


Port Reports - May 20

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The 100 year old steamship St. Mary's Challenger came in thru the pier heads at 7:45 Friday morning. It headed up river to dock at the St. Mary's Terminal in Ferrysburg.
The Corps of Engineers indicated that the Inner Harbor will be dredged this summer sometime after July 1. 60,000 cubic yards of material will be removed and trucked to a land disposal site. There it will be mixed with compost from local leaf collections and recycled into a form of topsoil.
Dredging of the Outer Harbor was completed earlier this spring.

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Friday morning boat watchers saw several vessels in some of the smaller and less-frequented docks. Canadian Transport was unloading salt at the relatively new Hallett Dock 8 in Superior (just west/upriver of Midwest Energy Terminal and the old Standard Oil dock.) and Drechtborg was loading at General Mills Elevator S in Superior. At busier docks, American Mariner was unloading sand at Hallett 6 and Sealink was loading grain at CHS berth 2.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Herbert C. Jackson arrived during the afternoon and was finishing up her taconite load at sunset on Friday.

South Chicago - Steve B.
Friday afternoon found the Philip R. Clarke finishing up its unloading of stone at Carmeuse Lime at 106th St. on the Calumet River. She departed stern first, backing out to Calumet Harbor where she spun and headed toward Lake Michigan.
Waiting in the harbor for the Clarke to depart was the John D. Leitch. The Leitch did the opposite of the Clarke, spinning in the harbor and going downriver stern first headed for Beemsterboer at 106th St. on the opposite side of Carmeuse. The Leitch was assisted by the "G" Tug Colorado for its move down the river.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Friday morning had the Algoisle arrive off the Burlington Piers to find the lift bridge out of operation as someone had left their truck on the lift bridge span at 3:00 a.m.. The police called in the bomb squad as a precaution but this would tie shipping traffic up till the noon hour. The Algoisle finally entered the harbour at 12:45 p.m. going to Dofasco.
She was followed in by the CSL Assiniboine who was heading to Stelco.
The saltie Seneca followed the Assiniboine into the harbour and went to the anchorage.
The Canadian Leader departed Dofasco at 4:15 p.m. going to Thunder Bay in ballast. The tug William J. Moore and barge McLeary's Spirit arrived at 7:30 p.m. with jet fuel. The CSL Laurentian arrived at 10:00 p.m.

Two Harbors - Kent Rengo
Friday morning the American Spirit was loading taconite pellets at the CN's former Missabe dock in Two Harbors Minnesota. Later in the afternoon the Edgar Speer was pulled into the slip between Dock 5 and 6 possibly waiting for the the Spirit to finish loading out. Otherwise a quiet day at this small harbor.


Fitzgerald Met Fate in a Perfect Storm

5/20 - A group of meteorologists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday that they have solved at least part of the mystery of the Edmund Fitzgerald, the Great Lakes legend that sank Nov. 10, 1975, in a Lake Superior storm. The study shows that the Fitzgerald was in the worst possible location, during the worst weather of the storm -- in 69 m.p.h. winds carrying hurricane-force gusts and waves more than 25 feet high.

To compound the problems, the study confirmed the wind and waves from the west hammered the 729-foot ore carrier broadside as it tried to run south to safety in Whitefish Bay. All 29 men aboard were lost. "Six hours later or six hours earlier, conditions would still have been very bad but it would have made a huge difference," said Thomas Hultquist, lead author and a science and operations officer in NOAA's forecast office in Negaunee. The storm was already brewing when the Fitzgerald left Duluth, Minn., on Nov. 9, bound for Zug Island in Detroit.

The findings scientifically fill in the gaps between the few and sporadic weather observations of the storm, and took the NOAA computer a full week to tally. The results are published in the May issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. "It adds further credence, I think, to the importance of the storm in the loss," said Thom Holden, director of the Lake Superior Maritime Visitors Center in Duluth.

"These results are very interesting. It doesn't set new results, but it certainly confirmed them from a scientific standpoint, and I think people will be interested." No wonder Fitzgerald Capt. Ernest McSorley, in one of his last radio signals, called the storm "the worst seas I've ever been in."

Visit to learn more about the study.

From the Detroit Free Press


Laker Music Concert at Welland Canals Centre

5/20 - St. Catharines - On Saturday, May 27th, at 2:00 p.m., David Francey and Mike Ford of the Laker Music Project are performing new Lake Boat songs at the Welland Canals Centre! Their special guests are students from Mackay Public School in Port Colborne, who took part in the Laker Project.

In May of 2005, David and Mike traveled on the Algoville - a 730ft. Algoma Central Freighter. They got to live aboard while her Captain and Crew brought 27,000 tons of Iron Ore from Sept-Isles to Hamilton and then sailed to Thunder Bay to load up with Durum Wheat. Please come to hear their singing documentary of their journey through the lakes.

The St. Catharines Museum is happy to host this concert in the Welland Canals Centre at Lock 3. Tickets are $5.00. Please call the Museum at (905) 984-8880 for tickets or more information.


Updates - May 20

News Photo Gallery updated.

Public Photo Gallery updated

Gathering Page updated.

Calendar of Events updated


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. Later renamed b.) GEORGE G CRAWFORD in 1911. She was scrapped at Duluth, Minnesota in 1976.

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 in 1957.

WILLIAM A McGONAGLE (Hull#154) was launched May 20, 1916, at Ecorse, Michigan by Great Lakes Engineering Works for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co. Renamed b.) HENRY STEINBRENNER 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 feet overall x 26 feet x 10 feet. 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.


USCGC Acacia Prepping for Last Days of Official Service

5/19 - Charlevoix - Commander Keith Bills will retire with the classic World War II era ship, the Acacia.
“This will be a tough act to follow,” Bills, 50, the last commander of the Coast Guard Cutter Acacia, said of his 29 years of service and the Acacia's presence in Charlevoix. “Charlevoix is the best kept secret. “Charlevoix is a great community to the Coast Guard and always treated us as a family.”

A Coast Guard era will end with the decommissioning of the Acacia, 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 7.

The Acacia is the last black-hulled 180-foot seagoing buoy tender built during World War II to be decommissioned. The ship, which has made its home in Charlevoix since 1990, represents a staple of the community's maritime history and Coast Guard connection. The Acacia pulled into port June 15, 1990. The ship was greeted by “music from the petunia truck, screaming fire sirens and applause.” Then mayor Gary Probert presented Lt. Commander James Dwyer with a Charlevoix flag, the News-Review reported in its Monday, June 18, edition. The Acacia moved from Grand Haven, where it was based for 11 years, to Charlevoix to replace the Mesquite.

The Acacia will fittingly leave with similar fanfare. The decommission ceremony is at 10 a.m., reunions will be held throughout the day and the United States Coast Guard Band will travel to Charlevoix to perform a public concert 6:30 p.m. at the Clarence Odmark Pavilion in East Park.

For Charlevoix residents, it's the end of an era. Steven Dean's family home is full of old pictures, memorabilia from the Acacia and maritime lore. Jennifer Dean, 23 , is a “Coast Guard baby,” born in Charlevoix, when her father served on the Mesquite. After moving with her parents, Steven and Janet, they made a permanent home in Charlevoix. For the Deans, the Acacia was like a second home.

Growing up as a Coast Guard kid, Jennifer remembers the family tours and the ghost ship. She was never scared because she knew the guys dressed as ghouls. “They made an effort to know the families,” Jennifer said. “Out of all the boats, this one is home. It's home, it's our hometown boat and I'm proud my dad served on it.”

Steven, who retired from the Acacia in 1998, remembers the camaraderie of service. “Everyone was quite professional and family-oriented, a lot of people had kids and we did everything together, and some of us retires still do,” he said. “The friends you acquire in the Coast Guard you never forget,” Steven said. “It's a small ship, you get to know everybody.” He still has connection to his close friends and crew members, the Travers and Torres families, who made their home in Charlevoix.

For generations, Coast Guard members have been known to settle down with Charlevoix natives. The Travers family has their own “Officer and a Gentleman story.” Michelle Travers remembers the “coasties,” the dreamy guys in uniform. “It's funny, when I was a teenager my dad told me to ‘Stay away from the coasties,' and I did until I was 23,” Travers said. Michelle met her future husband at a Coast Guard party. “I saw him that night and I told my mom, ‘I met the man I am going to marry,'” Michelle said.

Michelle and Joe were engaged three weeks later and married within three months. The vows meant a commitment to the Coast Guard way of life. She remembers the most difficult stint, when the men served in Haiti. In 1994, the Acacia and the crew were selected to patrol Haiti's coastline. The ship responded to search and rescue missions supporting the Department of Defense. The mission, operation “Uphold Democracy,” was to protect the various ports of the multi-national force and its cargo.

Jesus Torres (known as Chuy), 49, was among the Acacia crew, and he remembers the presence of coasties in the villages. “It was interesting. When we put the buoys in, they touched the buoys and looked at them, they were awed by the appearance,” Torres said. “It makes you appreciate what you have here when you're anchored off an island.”

Back home the wives kept each other company and in contact with family members through a phone tree. Michelle served as an ombudsman between the ship and the wives. She quickly discovered how much she needed their support. “I was sick in the hospital and all the wives ended up taking care of my kids,” Michelle said.
The crew was gone for close to three months, arriving home before Thanksgiving. Torres remembers the citywide homecoming when the high school band and fire trucks greeted the crew. Coming home was always marked with crowds of family members before the boat ported.

Next month, retirees and crew members will celebrate the last homecoming. Bills, who was aboard the ship with families this past weekend, knows the decommission date will be a sad day. “It's going to be a good time to see old friends, renew friendships and make new ones,” Bills said.

Like many retirees, he will make his home in Charlevoix with his wife, Becky, and daughters Haillie,13, and Jessica, 15. Both daughters are active in sports. “We'll still be labeled as implants,” he said with a laugh. “It's time. Time for me to move on, do something else and give the kids stability,” Bills said.

An end of an era. The Acacia is the last of a fleet of 37 similar vessels built during World War II. The Acacia was named after the U.S. Lighthouse Service Acacia, the only Lighthouse Service vessel sunk during World War II, The Acacia Web site notes. The Acacia is a buoy tender equipped with equipment and capabilities for search and rescue, ice breaking, logistics and other tasks. Over time the Coast Guard developed more efficient vessels, leaving its golden girl on the lakes.

For decades, Charlevoix has served as a homeport to a U.S. Coast Guard cutter/buoy tender. Currently, the Acacia maintains more than 167 buoys, lighthouses and other navigational aids extending from Chicago to Alpena with a crew of 52 men. The Coast Guard reorganized with ships that are smaller and handle both buoy tending and ice breaking.

“We are moving forward with the decommissioning ceremony,” said Lt. Ryan Barone, the external affairs public officer of the Ninth District in Cleveland. When the old Mackinaw and the Acacia are decommissioned in June there will be nine Coast Guard ships on the Great Lakes, Barone said. The district addressed concerns about ice breaking, and homeland security issues. Barone did not comment on the future of the ship, and Bills did not comment on plans for the ship. “The Coast Guard is more than confident that the new Mackinaw is a very capable vessel, and will be able to take care of the Acacia territory,” Barone said.

Despite legislative efforts the ship is set for decommissioning. “The official news is the same, nothing has changed we're going to proceed with the original plans,” Bills said. Bills said his crew has orders and many have been to training, some have purchased new homes in their next stations and some are moving up the command chain. “The wheels are in motion for all of the crew to go to their next duty station,” Bills said.

As the crew begins to pack, for sale signs are placed in front of houses and kids prepare to leave for the next port, a generation of service is over. “There is going to be a big hole downtown,” Torres said. Soon retirees, service men and “coastie” families will pour into East Park for one last celebration.

“Certainly it will be a sad day,” Bills said. “You just can't beat this town.”

From the Petoskey News


Quagga mussels take over Lake Michigan In just a few years

5/19 - Milwaukee - When the Army Corps of Engineers explored the potential benefits of expanding the St. Lawrence Seaway a few years back, the agency pooh-poohed worries that more overseas ships carrying more unwanted hitchhiking organisms would, logically, lead to more ecological trouble for the Great Lakes. The Corps did acknowledge that opening the once-isolated lakes to overseas ships already had resulted in the arrival of some troublesome species. But it told the public not to fret the environmental consequences of a Seaway expansion.

"The most dramatic impacts to the ecosystem have likely already occurred," the Corps concluded in a more than 400-page report, released in June 2002. What, after all, could cause more havoc than the zebra mussel? Meet the quagga mussel.

Less than four years after that reassuring report, quagga mussels have gone from a rare find on the bottom of Lake Michigan to its dominant invasive mussel. Along the way, they have done what many invasion biologists thought would be impossible: They have nearly annihilated Lake Michigan's zebra mussel population. That is not necessarily a good thing.

Five months after the Corps report surfaced, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee brought back a fistful of suspicious mollusks found during a fish survey on a mid-lake reef that lies about 20 miles northeast of downtown Milwaukee. The fingernail-size shells looked much like those of the zebra mussel, a native of the Caspian and Black Sea region first found in the Great Lakes in the late 1980s. But they were found in an area of the lake typically too deep for zebras. Further analysis revealed that they were quagga mussels, a close cousin to the zebra, and a species that scientists also believe invaded the Great Lakes from the Caspian and Black Sea region via contaminated ballast water discharged from overseas freighters.

That cluster of mussels brought to the UWM labs in November 2002 turned out to be a harbinger of a stunningly rapid ecological revolution. "Right now, if you go out and suck up 1,000 mussels, you're lucky to find a couple of zebra mussels," says Russell Cuhel, a senior scientist at the UWM Great Lakes WATER Institute.

Quaggas have not just out-competed zebra mussels for food everywhere their ranges overlap - Quaggas also are blanketing the lake bottom in many of the deep, cold places that the more delicate zebras could not. "Everybody used to say, 'Oh no - zebra mussels!' " Cuhel says. "Well, zebras don't hold a candle to what these guys are going to do to Lake Michigan."

Like zebras, only worse
The ecological troubles associated with zebra mussels are widely known. The prolific filter feeders are a pox on industries dependent on Great Lakes water. They clog industrial water intake pipes and have cost utilities and other water-dependent businesses billions of dollars in maintenance over the past two decades. At the same time, they have turned Lake Michigan's delicate food chain upside down by hogging the plankton upon which so many fish species directly or indirectly depend. They have also sucked the near shore waters unnaturally clear, leading to algae outbreaks on the lake bottom. This material washes ashore and rots in a noxious sludge that renders once-popular Lake Michigan beaches at times unusable.

Quaggas, which were first documented in Lake Michigan in 1997, are doing the same thing, but on a super-sized scale. The reason: Zebra mussels depend on relatively warm water and must attach themselves to hard surfaces. That typically limits their range in Lake Michigan to the rocky nearshore areas, and they do most of their filtering work during the warm summer months. But quaggas can thrive in both warm water and near-freezing conditions. They are flourishing at depths of 300 feet and have been found at depths as deep as 540 feet in the lake, and filtering year-round. They can also colonize sand, clay, pebbles - anything but soft mud.

Cuhel points to a map of Lake Michigan and traces the zebra mussel's range. It is basically a necklace ringing the U-shaped lake. Then he points to areas where the quaggas are being found - most everywhere but the patches of soft bottom in a body of water that is 307 miles long and 118 miles wide. If zebra mussels have added an ugly border to the lake's ecological tapestry, quaggas are giving it a whitewash. "I knew right from the beginning this was going to be huge, way huge, in comparison to the zebra mussel, in terms of change in the ecosystem structure of Lake Michigan," Cuhel says.

University of Michigan researcher David Jude says a research expedition netting fish off Lake Michigan's eastern shore last month yielded a surprise catch. "We probably had a half-pound of fish and 600 or 700 pounds of quaggas. . . . I could barely get it in the boat," Jude says. That came after dragging a net for 10 minutes across the bottom of the lake at a depth of about 300 feet - too deep for other invasive mussels.

About the same time on the other side of the lake, UWM's Cuhel was taking his own survey on water clarity, a key indicator of the amount of plankton hanging in the water. Water clarity is measured by lowering a saucer-sized disc into the water, and measuring how far down it can be seen from the surface. Cuhel says a couple of decades ago, that disc would have disappeared at about 15 feet this time of year. His test, taken a few weeks ago, showed it was still visible at a depth of 74.5 feet - an appropriate clarity for the waters off the Virgin Islands' St. Croix, perhaps, but not Milwaukee County's St. Francis.

That reading is about 15 feet deeper than just a few years ago, when zebra mussels dominated. Light, however, penetrates well beyond 74.5 feet. John Janssen, another senior scientist at the UWM water institute, says he can operate a remote video camera at a depth of 200 feet using only the ambient light pouring down from the lake surface.

Other species on the way.
Anthony Ricciardi, a professor at Montreal's McGill University, calls the Corps' assessment that the worst is over "naïve." He has his eye on 30 species from the Caspian and Black Sea region that have invaded the waters of western Europe and that are likely candidates to invade the Great Lakes. "There are other (invaders) coming. Just because they haven't made a name for themselves here doesn't mean they won't be high-impact," he says.

Ricciardi particularly has his eye on two species of shrimp. One grows to almost an inch long and can have a profound impact on an ecosystem because it kills far more than it eats. The other blankets lake bottoms at densities up to 700,000 per square meter and builds wasp-like honeycombed homes that smother fish spawning beds. Both have exceptionally long names that are hard to remember. At least for now. "How many people today have heard about the quagga mussel?" he asks. "Well, they're going to."

Condensed from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Port Reports - May 19

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
On Thursday, ocean vessel Iryda (reg. Limassol, Cyprus) from the Polsteam line was backed into the slip at General Cargo Terminal 2 in Milwaukee's outer harbor, unloading coiled steel.
Just to the south at terminal 3, the BBC line's Santiago was loading mining equipment from P & H for shipment to St. Petersburg, Russia.
In a rare visit to this port, H. Lee White from American Steamship was docked at the Greenfield Avenue yard of WE Energies in Milwaukee's inner harbor Thursday evening, delivering coal.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The CSL Assiniboine cleared Sandusky Bay early Thursday, having loaded at the NS coal dock. Departing the dock with coal for Ontonagon, MI. later Thursday was the Adam E. Cornelius.
Friday promises to be another busy day at the dock, with the Canadian Olympic due at dawn and the American Republic expected to ease up under the coal loader about mid-afternoon.

Alpena & Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
The J.A.W Iglehart arrived in port around 4:30 pm on a rainy Thursday to take on cargo under the silos. Waiting out in the bay, hiding like a ghost among the gray skies and rain was fleetmate Alpena. By 9:30 pm the Iglehart was out bound in the bay heading for Superior, WI. Salutes were heard between the two vessels while passing each other, despite the local train blaring his horn.
At Stoneport the Earl W. Oglebay was due sometime Thursday night, with fleetmate Wolverine expected on Friday morning.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Canadian Navigator came into the harbour Thursday evening to load at Sifto Salt.


Sault Native (and Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Inc. Vice President) Honored by Detroit Marine Society

5/19 - DETROIT - Best known as author, researcher and publisher of the popular Great Lakes shipping directory "Know Your Ships", Sault Ste. Marie native Roger LeLievre was recently honored as "Marine Historian of the Year" by the Marine Historical Society of Detroit. LeLievre, a current resident of Ann Arbor, was also a founder of Great Laker magazine and a key figure in the Internet-based “Boatnerd” boat watchers' network.

One of the ever-growing legion of boat watchers around the Great Lakes, LeLievre and his mother Audrey LeLievre, of the Sault, have published yearly volumes of the Know Your Ships guide since 1994. A lifelong follower of trends in Great Lakes shipping, he was recently named to the Board of Directors of Great Lakes and Seaway Shipping Online Inc., the non-profit parent entity for the “Boatnerd” Web site.

In his day job, LeLievre is a music and entertainment reporter for the Ann Arbor News in Ann Arbor. He is a 1973 graduate of Sault High and is currently 51. LeLievre is also a former columnist for The Evening News, where he briefly wrote this newspaper's weekly marine column.

As a recipient of the Marine Historian of the Year award, LeLievre is in distinguished company. First awarded in 1969, other recipients have included noted Detroit marine historian Fr. Edward J. Dowling, author Dana Thomas Bowen, George W. Hilton, marine historian and shipping executive John O. Greenwood and marine artist Robert McGreevy.

LeLievre received his award at the recent 62nd Annual Dinner held by the Detroit society. Speaker for that dinner was Buck Longhurst of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. His presentation was a sketch of the history of the tiny Yankcanuck Steamship Co. of Sault, Ont. and its founder, Capt. Frank Manzzutti.

Self-effacing to a fault, LeLievre said he was “surprised” to be named as the Detroit society's award winner and agreed to a brief interview only if the news story announcing his selection and his photo would be suitably small.

The Evening News obliged his desire for brevity.

From the Soo Evening News


St. Mary’s River Fest Marine Mart Seeks Vendors

5/19 - The Soo Locks Visitor Center Association is seeking vendors for a maritime market to be held 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 19 in Sault Ste. Marie. The event, which will be outdoors on Water Street adjacent to the locks, is part of the 2006 St. Marys River Fest. For more information, contact the Soo Locks Visitors Association, Box 366, Sault Ste Marie, MI 49783.

The St. Mary’s River Fest is expected to include musical entertainment t, a canoe race, a Voyageur encampment, a Mariner of the Year Banquet and open houses on various small craft.


Coast Guard Band to give Concerts in Cheboygan, Traverse City, Charlevoix

5/19 - New London - One of our nation's premier military bands, the United States Coast Guard Band, Lieutenant Kenneth W. Megan, director, travels to Cheboygan, Michigan, to decommission and commission the USCGC MACKINAW and perform a concert on Friday, June 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Opera House.

The program includes an extended set performed by the United States Coast Guard Dixieland Jazz Band. The group formed over thirty-five years ago to perform classic New Orleans style jazz, blues and rags. The Dixieland Jazz Band has entertained audiences across America, in the former Soviet Union, and in England. Notable venues include the open-air theater at Disney World, the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, the Embarcadero in San Francisco, the John F. Kennedy Center Millennium Stage in Washington, D.C., at the Galaxy Jazz Festival in Milwaukee, and at Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The members of the Dixieland Jazz Band are Chief Musician Andrew Sherwood, leader and clarinet; Musician 1st Class Thomas Brown, trumpet; Musician 1st Class Benjamin Griffin, trombone; Chief Musician Mark E. McCormick, bass; Chief Musician Ian Frenkel, keyboards; and Musician 1st Class Christopher Smith, drums.

Also on the program, soprano Musician 1st Class Lisa Taylor performs a medley of patriotic tunes in "America, Of Thee I Sing."

This concert is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. For more information call 231-627-5432. For more information on the Coast Guard Band, visit

The band will appear in Charlevoix on Wednesday, June 7 at 6:30 p.m. at the Clarence Odmark Pavillion in East Park. For more information call 1-800-951-2101.

The band will also give a free concert on Thursday, June 8 at 7:00 p.m. at Traverse City Central High School. This concert is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. For more information call 231-922-8273.

USCG News Release


Coast Guard Families Host Yard Sale Before Departure

5/19 - Cheboygan - It could be the highlight of the yard sale season. That's what Coast Guard families are saying as crewmembers of the original U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw prepare for their moves to other stations after the ship is decommissioned June 10. In all the years that the Coast Guard has had personnel stationed here, never has there been such a large departure of crewmembers at once.

“It's easier to sell things and move on than to transport a truckload of stuff halfway across the country,” said Information Tech. 1st Class Mike Locke, one of the Mackinaw crewmembers headed elsewhere. “Over time you figure it just costs less to buy the items new when you get to the next place.”

Barbara Locke, Mike's wife, said the one-of-a-kind Coast Guard Housing Yard Sale will be held from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Friday and from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday. “There will be about 25 families participating,” Barbara Locke said. “We won't allow any early-bird sales.”

She said that Blackthorn Drive will be closed off to traffic during the event to allow for a pedestrian atmosphere where people can stroll along both sides of the street in the Coast Guard Housing complex off Loomis Street near Cheboygan Area High School to see what families have to offer. “If they buy a large or heavy item, they can bring their vehicle in to load it up,” she explained.

Among the items offered for sale will be baby furniture and accessories, house wares and sports equipment. “I know we have two high chairs, a bassinet, changing table, an abundance of baby girl clothes, a double stroller, walker and baby swing,” Barbara Locke noted.

Standard furniture items include four twin mattresses, three bar stools, a queen-size headboard, two kitchen tables - one with chairs, a roll-top desk, computer hutch, microwave cart, futon with mattress, wall unit and entertainment center.

“Among the house wares items are a microwave oven, three coffee pots, four window air conditioners, two space heaters, two sets of dishes, pots and pans, a television set, plus miscellaneous kitchen appliances and dishes,” she added. “There are also three bikes, a weight set, ping-pong table and a punching bag. I'm sure there will be more in the days to come.”

From the Cheboygan Daily Tribune


Restored beacons are guiding tourists around the Bruce Peninsula

5/19 - Tobermory, Ontario - Holly Dunham's love affair with the Flowerpot Island lighthouse began when she was just 2 1/2 years old. She was sent to stay with her great uncle, Audrey Coultis, who was the lightkeeper on the remote island off Tobermory from 1950 to 1982. For Coultis and his wife, Noriene, life was tough and often lonely. The oil that burned in the lamp that alerted boaters about the treacherous rocky headland had to be hauled by hand up a steep cliff and then up to the top of the lighthouse. Ensuring the light never went out was a matter of life and death for sailors, so the wick had to be constantly tended.

But Dunham, 51, adored the place. "When I die I want my ashes scattered there" she says. The lighthouse is now so much a part of her that she couldn't bear to see the buildings falling into ruin, the roofs caving and paint peeling after the light was automated in 1987. "It was terrible to see," she says.

Ten years ago, Dunham and a group of other volunteers joined the Friends of Bruce District Parks and got together to restore the 104-year-old keepers' house on the island. They toiled away painting and repairing, gardening and cleaning and eventually opened the site to visitors. With a dispute that developed last year with the federal government over public liability now resolved, the Friends are busy preparing for the more than 7,000 visitors who are expected to take the boat trip out to tour the site this summer.

Similar groups are primping and painting "their" lighthouses all around the Bruce Peninsula as another lighthouse touring season gets underway. Weather-beaten, grey-bearded Mike Sterling once worked out complex design formulas for General Motors; now he has a love affair with lighthouses. He is one of the dedicated volunteers who put in more than 25,000 hours and raised $500,000 to restore the keeper's house and Imperial tower on Southampton's Chantry Island a 16-hectare moraine home to 11,000 pairs of mating birds, which is a 20-minute boat ride from shore in Southampton.

His blue eyes sparkle as he talks about the community's effort to restore the tower to its former glory and how the two-metre thick walls at its base make it stable enough to withstand Lake Huron winter gales. "It was built to last 500 years,'' he says, his voice full of admiration for builder John Brown. The volunteers, including Sterling, now run guided boat tours to the island and restored buildings for $20 a person.

Southampton is also home to two range lights. One stands at the end of a pier jutting out into the lake, while the other is further up the Saugeen River by the road bridge. (Range lights are a pair of unmanned lights, the rear one higher than the front one. When the two are in line, the sailor knows he is on a specific course. Built in 1903, the front and back range lights on the Saugeen River in Southampton are lined up by sailors entering the harbour.)
A few years ago tourism officials realized they were onto something big when 400,000 paper place mats giving details of a self-guided tour of Bruce Peninsula lighthouses were snatched up and taken home by diners. This June, Bruce County will host the 2006 International Lighthouse Conference with delegates coming from all over the world.

The 15 lighthouses dotted around the peninsula range from the noble-looking imperial towers dominating the landscape to squat wooden buildings. It can take up to six days to complete the self-guided tour, but it's possible to see half a dozen lighthouses in one day by starting on the east side of the peninsula at Cabot Head near Dyer's Bay. Rebuilt by volunteers, the wooden home of the lighthouse keeper and its attached square tower, are now a gift store and museum that gives a glimpse of life as a "keeper of the flame" a century ago.

About a 45-minute drive south is Lion's Head where the harbour lighthouse is a symbol of a community's determination. A square frame tower added to the harbour light in 1911 was destroyed by fire and storms and rebuilt numerous times until 1969 when the Canadian Coast Guard replaced it with a metal post with a flashing light. In 1983, a group of local high-school students built a white clapboard replica of the original lighthouse. It was not a working lighthouse, but in the spring of 2000, a severe storm bent the pole. Faced with a costly repair bill, the coast guard opted to wire the students' replica and it now guides boaters into the harbour.

Crossing the base of the peninsula on Highway 21 to Southampton, there are great views of the range light at the mouth of the Saugeen River from the road bridge on the north side of town. The town's sandy beaches are perfect for viewing the imperial tower on Chantry Island. At Point Clark, a 15-minute drive south of Kincardine on Highway 21, there is a majestic limestone lighthouse that towers 26.5 metres into the sky. Replacing a lantern hung in a pine tree, the Point Clark lighthouse was one of the first six Imperial towers built on Lake Huron and Georgian Bay in the 1850s. There is a museum or visitors can climb the 114 steps to the light room where the views across the seemingly endless waters of Lake Huron are spectacular.

The lighthouse in Kincardine was built in 1881 to serve a busy fishing industry and local salt mine. The eight-sided tower is right downtown, built into the harbour hillside, on top of a two-storey keeper's house. In summer, visitors enjoying a take-out whitefish supper from one of the excellent restaurants in town serving just-caught fish, gaze out over the harbour as the sun sets and listen to a bagpiper from the Kincardine Scottish band playing pipes on top of the lighthouse.

A perfect way to end a day.

From the Toronto Star


Updates - May 19

News Photo Gallery updated.

Public Photo Gallery updated

Calendar of Events up dated


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 Au Sable 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. She was scrapped at Castellon, Spain in 1969.

On May 19, 1973, the whaleback tanker METEOR 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 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.


Great Lakes Dredging Crisis Highlighted

5/18 - Toledo - A new publication is focusing attention on the dredging crisis on the Great Lakes. A handout issued by Great Lakes Maritime Task Force (GLMTF) illustrates how lack of adequate dredging of Great Lakes ports and waterways is affecting cargo movement on the Great Lakes.

"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' budget for dredging Great Lakes ports and waterways has been inadequate for decades," said James H. I. Weakley, President of GLMTF. "As a result, U.S.-Flag vessel operators on the Great Lakes estimate that three of every four cargos they've carried in the past five years represented less than full loads. This inability to fully maximize the efficiencies of waterborne commerce is affecting every customer of Great Lakes shipping."

"It borders on scandalous that such major ports as Duluth/Superior (Minnesota/Wisconsin), Indiana Harbor (Indiana Harbor) and Cleveland (Ohio) cannot ship or receive full loads in Lakers," declared Weakley. "Duluth/Superior is the largest coal-shipping port on the Lakes, yet 1 ,000-foot-long vessels are light loading by as much as 4,500 tons each trip. Indiana Harbor and Cleveland are major steel-producing centers. With domestic steelmakers constantly battling for market share in the global economy, every ton of iron ore that's left behind on the loading dock and delivered on another trip is a cost they cannot bear."

Weakley, who is also President of Lake Carriers' Association, the organization that represents U.S.-Flag vessel operators on the Great Lakes, noted the 1,000-foot-long U.S.-Flag super carriers forfeit nearly 270 tons when forced to trim loaded draft by just one inch. The mid-sized ships that serve customers along rivers such as the
Saginaw River in Michigan surrender 100 tons or so. Ocean-going vessels trading to the Great Lakes also suffer the consequences of reduced draft.

"A Seaway-sized 'saltie' sacrifices 115 tons of cargo for each inch of lost draft," said John D. Baker, 2nd Vice President of GLMTF. "With East Coast ports struggling to handle ever-growing volumes, the Lakes could increase their share of overseas commerce, but light loading is offsetting the advantages our ports offer by being in close proximity to major population centers."

Baker, who is also President of the International Longshoremen's Association's Great Lakes District Council, joined Weakley in urging Congress to increase funding for dredging Great Lakes ports and waterways. "Waterborne commerce on the Great Lakes can top 200 million tons a year," said Baker. "Tens of thousands of family-sustaining jobs depend on the efficient movement of cargo on the Lakes. Even more jobs could be created if the dredging crisis was resolved." Weakley also called for reforming the way the Corps allocates its dredging budget. "It is not fair that a river system receives the equivalent of $1.10 for each ton of cargo handled while the Lakes get half a dollar or so. We need a more equitable funding formula."

The Great Lakes Maritime Task Force was founded in Toledo, Ohio, in 1992 to promote domestic and international shipping on the Great Lakes. It is the largest coalition to ever speak for the Great Lakes shipping community and draws its membership from both labor and management representing U.S.-Flag vessel operators, shipboard and longshore unions, port authorities, terminal operators, cargo shippers, shipyards and other Great Lakes interests. In addition to restoring adequate funding for dredging of Great Lakes deep-draft ports and waterways, its goals include construction of a second Poe-sized lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan; preserving the domestic steelmaking infrastructure; protecting the nation's cabotage laws; maximizing the Lakes overseas trade; and opposing exports and increased diversions of Great Lakes water.

Great Lakes Maritime Task Force news release


Port Reports - May 18

Fairport Harbor - Herb Hubbel
Thursday morning the Grand river was totally blocked with two vessels. The Manistee was taking on a load of salt at Morton Salt. And right next to it the barge Cleveland Rocks was unloading gravel at the Osborne dock on the east side of the river. The self unloading boom of the Manistee, swung out over the Cleveland Rocks, made for an interesting sight.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Wednesday had the saltie Pochard arrive at 5:30 p.m going to Pier 12E. The Peter R.Cresswell arrived at 6:00 p.m. going to Pier 23 with sand from Beauport. Her next port will be Sept.Ille ( Seven Islands ) Quebec.
The Vega Desgagnes arrived at the Petro Canada Pier in Oakville ( Bronte ) at 5:00 p.m.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
The WE Power Plant got another load of coal from the parade of thousand footers that have been arriving since March. The Mesabi Miner arrived on a wet Wednesday.
Flash flood warnings were issued today for the Dead River area, which includes the power plant. This is the same area that received so much damage when a dam was lost in 2002.
The Michipicoten continues her runs.
The search for the missing person washed of Black Rocks during the recent storm has been called off.

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
The David Z. Norton arrived at the Verplank dock in Holland at 1:00 a.m. Wednesday morning to deliver a load of stone from Port Inland. As it was completing the unload, Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 slid by at 6:30 to deliver ag lime to the Brewer dock. The Norton was turned and heading for Lake Michigan at 7:00. Undaunted/PM 41 headed out at around 2:00 pm. This was the first "doubleheader" of the season for Holland.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey & Gordy Garris
The Agawa Canyon was inbound the Saginaw River early Wednesday morning with a split load for the Buena Vista Stone dock and the Valley Asphalt dock. This was her first appearance of the 2006 season in the Saginaw River. She finished her unload at the Valley Asphalt dock by 4:00 pm and pulled across into the Sixth Street turning basin to turn with the assistance of the tug Gregory J. Busch. The Canyon had finished her turn by 4:30 pm and headed out bound for the lake.
The Maumee was inbound the Saginaw River late Wednesday afternoon calling on the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee to unload. She continued to unload into the evening as the outbound Agawa Canyon passed her. The Maumee finished her unload by 9:00 pm and tied her stern lines to the tug Gregory J. Busch to begin towing downriver to turn around in the Airport turning basin. The Maumee finished her turn by 11:00 pm and headed out bound for the lake.
This has been a good season for the tug Gregory J. Busch with earnings close to $50,000 from towing vessels down river to the Airport turning basin to turn, vessels such as the Maumee, and earning close to $30,000 from assisting vessels in turning in the Sixth Street turning basin in Saginaw.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
Hydro-Air Components Corp. has announced plans to build a $7.5 Million, 160,000 square foot manufacturing facility on the site of the former Republic Steel Plant along the Buffalo River.
The property was recently cleaned up and readied for new construction after sitting abandoned since the steel mill was demolished in the late 1980's. This new project represents the first parcel sold in what is planned as a major brown fields redevelopment effort. Republic once operated a large Ore Dock, two Blast Furnaces, an Open Hearth Furnace, a Basic Oxygen Furnace, and various structural mills at their plant six miles up the Buffalo River.

Buffalo is home to hundreds of acres of old industrial sites and local governments are doing everything they can to get these parcels remediated for new development projects to put abandoned property back on the tax rolls. Brownfields take a lot of money and effort to clean up since contaminated soil and derelict buildings are almost always present on site. Suburban green field locations are often seen as more desirable but incentive packages to build on brownfields can be very attractive to start up companies.

The Lakeside Commerce Park along the Union Ship Canal and the Republic Steel Site on the Buffalo River are getting the biggest push with a combination of public and private investment. These funds cover the clean up phase along with the initial installation of infrastructure improvements including water, gas, electricity, and roadways. Empire Zone incentives from the state offer benefits to companies for locating on these properties including tax breaks, power allocations, and money for training new hire workers. After twenty years of abandonment, decay, and demolition, the waterfront manufacturing sites of the past are suddenly starting to transform into a new use with the look of a modern, suburban industrial park.


Updates - May 18

News Photo Gallery updated.

Public Photo Gallery updated

Calendar of Events up dated


Today in Great Lakes 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. She was renamed b.) E J KULAS in 1936, c.) BEN MOREELL in 1953, d.) THOMAS E MILLSOP in 1955, e.) E J NEWBERRY in 1976, and f.) CEDARGLEN in 1982. She was scrapped at Port Maitland, Ontario in 1994.

Bethlehem Steel's steamer JOHNSTOWN 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.

Mackinaw City May Get Cutter Museum

5/17 - Cheboygan - Plans for a Coast Guard cutter museum may be steaming to Mackinaw City.

Citing a shortage of funds and time to put together a plan to keep the U.S. Coast Guard cutter in Cheboygan after its June 10 decommissioning, the Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum, Inc., now wants to move the ship to Mackinaw City. The museum group has applied for a Department of Natural Resources permit to use a dock site in Mackinaw City that is currently under repair to display the icebreaker as a museum.

According to a letter from the museum committee dated May 12 and written to Cheboygan Mayor James Muschell, the group has abandoned plans to purchase property along the Cheboygan River. “At this time we regret to inform you that for the present we don't see the chance of purchasing the property due to monetary constraints,” stated the letter, signed by Michelle Hill, president; Roger Schwartz, vice-president and Joanne Harrison, treasurer of the museum group.

“We have looked at our budget between Cheboygan and Mackinaw City and see Mackinaw as a more viable site monetarily. The tourist base is already established and the cost to moor the ship is considerably less. There is a building, parking and a mooring site and we would not have to pay for the land.” Hill took over as president recently when Sam Bohl resigned the position after less than seven months in office.

Legislation is still pending in the U.S. Senate as part of a Coast Guard appropriations bill to convey the ship to the group. A recent change in wording would give the ship directly to the museum if approved rather than to the city of Cheboygan and Cheboygan County. Application has also been made to obtain the ship through the General Services Administration process for dealing with surplus property should the legislation fail, the letter states.

“Our mission is for the ship to remain in Chebogan County,” the correspondence adds. “The city of Cheboygan has always been her homeport and we would love to have kept her here, should circumstances change so could our decision.”

From the Cheboygan Daily Tribune

Icebreaker Mackinaw Museum Plan to Locate in Mackinaw City

5/17 - Cheboygan – The Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum, Inc. has submitted a request to the DNR to lease a portion of the State Ferry Dock in Mackinaw City as the permanent home of the Icebreaker Mackinaw.

“This was a very difficult decision to make. We always wanted the ship to stay in its historic home port and continue contributing to the community. We worked really hard to keep it here,” Michelle Hill, spokesperson for the group explained. “Having the ship in Cheboygan would have been great for the city, but in the long run we began to see it might not be in the best interests of the ship.”

She explained that the only available land on the banks of the Cheboygan River, a parcel known as “The Point,” will require costly construction to install a permanent mooring, parking lot and restrooms. “When we added all the costs, we realized it was beyond our budget.”

Locating the Icebreaker at the State Ferry Dock in Mackinaw City will save the organization over $2 million and still keep it within Cheboygan County. Hill commented “This site already has parking, restrooms and a mooring site. We will still have to dredge and potentially replace some bollards on the dock, but this will be minor compared with the expense of purchasing the land and building everything from the ground up.”

The group also considered the existing tourist base in Mackinaw City. “We ran the numbers through our business plan comparing both sites considering our anticipated overhead and visitation,” Hill said. “It became pretty clear that locating the boat in Mackinaw City made the most sense.”

Captain of the Icebreaker Mackinaw, Commander Joseph McGuiness expressed his support of the group. “Cheboygan has been the Mackinaw’s homeport its whole life and we recognize that the decision may be difficult for some people to understand and it was a hard decision for the board to make. After looking over their numbers we understand how this decision was reached.”

Stephenie Jacobson, chair of the group’s fundraising committee said, "Individuals and businesses in the Cheboygan area have been crucial to our successes so far. We are grateful for their support and hope they will see that our new mooring site will help us to spend their money in the way that is most beneficial to the ship".

Hill went on to report that the group is currently waiting on final approval from the DNR for use of the dock site, preparing for the decommissioning and actively fundraising. “We are on our way, but we still need financial support to make the museum a reality,” Jacobson said. Donations can be sent to the group at PO Box 8, Cheboygan, Michigan 49721.

More information about the project can be found on the group’s website,

News Release from the Ice Breaker Mackinaw Museum


Lee Murdock Sunday Concert Part of Grand Opening at Maritime Center

5/17 - Port Huron - A performance by Great Lakes balladeer Lee Murdock will be among the highlights of the Grand Opening Weekend at the new Great Lakes Maritime Center in Port Huron. Murdock will perform from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, and admission is free.

The Great Lakes Maritime Center is at Vantage Point, 51 Water St., on the South side of the St. Clair River.

While there, watch ships pass by less than a quarter mile away from the sun-soaked deck or enjoy the warm and dry viewing room. Have a fresh cup of coffee or hot chocolate with a fresh-baked donut, cup of soup, or sandwich at the Coffee Harbor bistro or bring your laptop and surf the ´Net on the free WiFi.

While there, visit the adjacent World Headquarters of, view webcams from all over the Great Lakes and use the free research stations to learn more about your favorite ships.


Light Loading Hampers Lakes Limestone Trade In April

5/17 - Cleveland---Shipments of limestone from U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes ports totaled 3.8 million net tons in April, virtually the same volume that moved a year ago. However, the total again was reduced significantly because of inadequate dredging of Great Lakes ports and waterways.

Representative of the problem is the port of Erie, Pennsylvania. Vessels discharging limestone in that port in April were forfeiting as much as one foot of loaded draft. By reducing loaded draft by 12 inches, the vessels were leaving as much as 1,400 tons of limestone at the docks where they had loaded on Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. While water levels are down on the Lakes this year, adequate dredging of ports and waterways would help offset fluctuations in water levels.

For the year, the Lakes limestone trade stands at 4.4 million net tons, a slight decrease from a year ago. However, reflective of the strengthening economy in the past few years, the trade is 18 percent ahead of the 5-year average for the January-April timeframe.

This survey represents shipments from the following Great Lakes ports: United States - Calcite, MI, Cedarville, MI, Drummond Island, MI, Kellys Island, OH, Marblehead, OH, Port Inland, MI and Presque Isle, MI. Canada - Bruce Mines, Manitoulin Island, Port Colborne and Smelter Bay (all Ontario). Lake Carriers’ Association represents 14 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 can transport as much as 125 million tons of cargo a year when high water levels offset the lack of adequate dredging of Great Lakes ports and waterways.

Lake Carriers Association news release


Port Reports - May 17

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Traffic in the Twin Ports on Tuesday was fairly light. During the morning, Federal Sakura remained at CHS to load following several days of rain and Indiana Harbor was fueling at the port terminal before proceeding to DMIR to load taconite pellets.
St. Clair apparently is back on the coal run from Midwest Energy Terminal; it was due in later Tuesday to load the first of three May cargoes destined for Nanticoke. It also is scheduled to make a short, cross-harbor run to the CLM dock on May 29.
American Mariner, which seldom calls at Midwest Energy Terminal, is scheduled to load two cargoes there in May destined for Milwaukee.
Midwest Energy Terminal will be busy Friday when Walter J. McCarthy Jr., Columbia Star, Paul R. Tregurtha, Canadian Transport and Canadian Enterprise are all scheduled to load.
In addition to Indiana Harbor, the DMIR dock in Duluth is scheduled to load American Spirit on May 18 and to likely receive stone from Arthur M. Anderson on May 20.
The Two Harbors dock is much busier this week, with Presque Isle due May 17; Mesabi Miner and Edgar B. Speer on May 18; Charles M. Beeghly and Edwin H. Gott on May 19; Arthur M. Anderson on May 20; and Roger Blough and H. Lee White on May 21.

Menominee, MI - Dick Lund
Wagenborg Shipping's vessel, Drechtborg, made its first trip to the Great Lakes with a load of wood pulp for a Menominee warehouse on Tuesday. The vessel arrived early in the morning, anchoring out in the bay of Green Bay until it entered port at daybreak. After unloading, the ship will head to Duluth for a load of grain.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
After eight weeks of side tank and double bottom repair, Sarah Spencer/Jane Anne IV departed the NE wall of the inner harbour at 9:00 p.m. Monday evening and headed down the lake, destination unknown.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Monday evening had the Canadian Miner departing at 8:00 p.m. going to Thunder Bay in ballast.
Tuesday saw the saltie Spar Jade depart at 3:00 p.m. and the saltie Federal Manitou arrive at 5:30 p.m. going to Pier 14.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
The Sam Laud, a rare visitor to Marquette, took on a load of ore on a beautiful (and finally dry!) Tuesday. The new pocket doors on the south side of the dock do appear to speed up loading.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The current high demand for coal continues to impact Sandusky's NS coal dock.
The American Mariner and Herbert C. Jackson loaded Monday afternoon and overnight.
The American Republic was still posted Tuesday for an early morning arrival on Wednesday, but it appears likely another vessel will take that load. American Republic was reported up bound for Meldrum Bay, Ont. Tuesday afternoon. She was expected to make a fuel stop in Detroit.
CSL Assiniboine is scheduled to put lines on the dock Wednesday, however the anticipated 4 p.m. arrival may occur earlier in the day. Activity at the coal dock Tuesday afternoon suggested an imminent arrival.
Several vessels have been posted for arrival at the NS dock in recent weeks, only to be re-routed and replaced by other freighters. The increased demand for vessels, which has been widely reported, is generally pointed to as the reason for changes.
It is the type of problem shipping companies love and boatnerds accept with equanimity.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The CSL Tadoussac backed away from the Essroc dock in Essexville Tuesday morning, backing out to Light 12 of the Entrance Channel before turning and heading for the lake.
Also outbound was the Calumet who departed the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee, traveling up to the Sixth Street Turning Basin to turn with the assistance of the tug Gregory J. Busch. Once turned, the Calumet was outbound through Bay City shortly before noon.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
Steamer Alpena arrived, backing upriver into Milwaukee's inner harbor, at about 5:30 AM Tuesday, and delivered cement to LaFarge.
In the meantime, St. Mary's Challenger, which arrived in the wee hours, backed downriver to the outer harbor before departing onto Lake Michigan during the noon hour.
Ocean ship Santiago from the BBC line waited at pierside with hatches open at Terminal 3 in the outer harbor Tuesday evening.


Updates - May 17

News Photo Gallery updated and more News Photo Gallery

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes 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. She was scrapped at Santander, Spain in 1974.

NORTHCLIFFE HALL collided with the Cuban salty CARLOS MANUEL DE CESPEDES in the St. Lawrence River above the Eisenhower Lock on May 17, 1980. Built in 1952, by Canadian Vickers as a,) FRANKCLIFFE HALL (Hull#255), renamed b.) NORTHCLIFFE HALL in 1959, and c.) ROLAND DESGAGNES in 1976. She sank after running aground on May 26, 1982, near Pointe aux Pic, Quebec.

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 of Michigan for use at the Straits of Mackinac, was to be renamed b.) CITY OF PETOSKEY. She was scrapped at Ashtabula, Ohio in 1961.

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 foot keel x 30 feet x 14 feet, 425 tons (an increase of 102 tons).

At about 9:00 a.m., 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.


State of Michigan Due in Duluth

5/16 - Duluth, MN, and Superior, WI - The Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute (GLMRI), a consortium of The University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) and the University of Wisconsin-Superior (UW-Superior), along with the Great Lakes Maritime Academy invite members of the community to tour the The T/S State of Michigan. The training vessel will make its first ever visit to the Twin Ports, arriving under the Duluth lift bridge at approximately 4:00PM on Wednesday, May 17th. The ship will dock at the Duluth Arena Dock, located behind the DECC, next to the Vista, and expected to be open for tours at 5:00 – 6:00 PM Wednesday, and 10:00 AM – noon and 1:00 – 3:00 on Thursday.

The Great Lakes Maritime Academy trains men and women to serve as business professionals and Merchant Marine officers aboard Great Lakes and ocean ships. Located in Traverse City, MI, the school is designated as a regional maritime academy and the nations only freshwater academy. Upon graduation, our mariners are qualified to sail the Great Lakes or Oceans and are awarded both a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and an Associate's in Maritime Technology. This dual degree combination offers employers the finest maritime personnel who are also fully compliant with STCW 95 standards.

GLMRI is a joint project between UW-Superior and UMD, established to pursue research efforts in marine transportation, logistics, economics, engineering, environmental planning and port management. The Great Lakes Maritime Academy is a research affiliate university of the GLMRI.

Reported by Al Miller


Port Reports - May 16

Fairport Harbor - Herb Hubbel
At Monday mid day the Algosteel was taking on a load of salt at Morton Salt.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
Late Sunday night the Steamer Alpena was in port, and is headed back to Milwaukee. On Monday three vessels called at Lafarge. The Sam Laud was the first to be seen leaving out into the bay, while the inbound Earl W. Oglebay and J.A.W Iglehart appeared on the horizon not long after.
The Earl W. Oglebay arrived at the coal dock around 5:30 p.m. with the Iglehart tying up under the silos a half hour later.
At Stoneport on Monday afternoon the Kaye E. Barker was loading with the Wolverine waiting nearby.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Sunday evening saw the Goviken depart at 7 p.m. minus its cargo of two sailboats that were on deck.
The Canadian Miner arrived at 10 p.m. going to Dofasco.
Monday had the NFL ferry Holiday House arrive at 5:30 p.m.
The refueling ship Hamilton Energy arrived back in port from Clarkson at 7:30 p.m. going to Pier 24.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
A very rainy, windy, stormy Friday saw the Kaye Barker tied up at the ore dock and the Charles M. Beeghly anchored in Whitefish Bay. The storm also washed two observers into the lake at Black Rocks area off Presque Isle. Only one was rescued. Waves were reported to be 18 feet high.

St. Lawrence Seaway - Kent Malo
The Panamanian registered Federal Katsura was making her maiden voyage up the Seaway Monday. The vessel arrived here in Montreal today from Campana Argentina and after seaway Inspection the 19,175 GRT vessel was allowed to proceed up the Seaway to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Federal Katsura made a couple of trips to Montreal, and Sorel, previously.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
Tug/barge G.L. Ostrander and Integrity arrived in Milwaukee's inner harbor after 7:30 am Monday, pivoted in the turning basin, and prepared to unload at LaFarge cement. Integrity left at about 5:00 pm.
Small ocean vessel Santiago was backed into the slip at General Cargo Terminal 3 in the outer harbor late Monday evening, waiting to unload.
Steamer and boat watcher favorite St. Mary's Challenger entered the Milwaukee breakwater just after 1:00 AM Tuesday, proceeding steadily through the inner harbor and up the narrow Kinnickinnic River to deliver at the St. Mary's cement silo.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
Petite Forte departed Monday morning. Correction in yesterday's report - it was Algosteel which departed Redpath, not Algocape.
The tug Wm. Lyon Mackenzie went on Toronto Drydock for it's 5 year inspection Monday afternoon.
The Trillium tow from Port Weller is expected to resume early this morning.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
On Monday, the tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons was finally able to leave the Saginaw River after some problems getting its cargo unloaded at the GM Dock. They backed down river from GM and then were assisted at the Airport Turning Basin by the tug Gregory J. Busch before heading outbound for the lake. The pair had arrived on Saturday. Also outbound on Monday was the tug Mary E. Hannah and her tank barge. The pair departed the Dow Chemical dock after the inbound CSL Tadoussac had made the dock across the river.
The CSL Tadoussac was inbound Monday afternoon calling on the Essroc dock in Essexville to unload clinker. Following behind the Tadoussac was the Calumet making her first appearance on the Saginaw river this season. She traveled upriver to the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee to unload. Both vessels were expected to be outbound early Tuesday.


The Great Lakes Maritime Center and the
Great Lakes DeepQuest Organization, Ltd. Educational Outreach present
 “So You Want to be an Explorer”.

5/16 - Port Huron - Join Frederick J. Shannon, Friday, May 19 at 7 pm, for a personal look into the many facets of Great Lakes exploration, at the Great Lakes Maritime Center at Vantage Point in Port Huron, Michigan.

Shannon has led major Shallow and deep-water research projects to the shipwrecks of the Cedarville, Carl D. Bradley and Edmund Fitzgerald. He has explored glacier gorges under the Mackinac Bridge and surveyed the bottomlands of all five Great Lakes.

Tickets: $10.00 each and are available at The Coffee Harbor in the Great Lakes Maritime Center at Vantage Point, Port Huron, MI.


Huron Lady Cruise Scheduled for June 3

There will be a special 2-hour tour of the St. Clair River aboard the Huron Lady II, beginning at 4:00 p.m. Cost is $12.00. 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 LaSalle Bank (formerly Standard Federal Bank) and the bridge.

Complete details on the Boatnerd Gathering Page.

Reservations Needed for Soo Boatnerd Cruise

The Annual Boatnerd Engineer's Weekend Freighter Chasing Cruise. This annual trip aboard the Chief Shingwauk for a full three (3) hours leaving from Roberta Bondar Pavilion in Soo Ontario at 6:00 pm. Cruise will return at 9:00 p.m. Cost is C$30.00 per person. Price includes dinner. Cash bar on board. Make reservations by calling (705) 253-9850, or 1-877-226-3665.

9:30 p.m. - Special add-on Firework Cruise - July 1 is Canada's Birthday and the Chief Shingwauk is offering a special 1-1/2 hour fireworks cruise leaving a 9:30 p.m. The cost is C$10.00. Boatnerds who wish to stay aboard for the Fireworks Cruise must make reservations prior to June 15, 2006.

Have you made your reservations?

Complete details on the Boatnerd Gatherings Page.


History Channel presents
"Deep Sea Detectives - Underwater Train Wreck"

 5/16 - On Monday May 22, 10:00-11:00 pm, our shipwreck hunters become railroad experts when they find two ghostly locomotives, upright and intact, just a few miles off the coast of New Jersey.

How did these massive land vehicles end up 90 feet below the Atlantic in the first place? With no shipwreck nearby to explain their existence, we launch an investigation to find out how these locomotives wound up in deep water seven miles from land. Maybe the locomotives slid off a vessel during a storm? Perhaps they were jettisoned to save a ship?

Our investigators are going to have to narrow down the time frame of when these trains were built to find out how they sank. To help solve the mystery, we bring in experts to analyze the evidence. But can we piece together this puzzling problem before time and/or some unscrupulous diver removes the evidence forever?


Updates - May 16

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - May 16

On 16 May 1894, the SHENANDOAH (wooden propeller freighter, 308 foot, 2,251 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 up bound in the Welland Canal May 16, 1979, with Labrador ore bound for Ashtabula, Ohio. This was her first trip after being reconstructed.

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. She was scrapped at Port Colborne, Ontario, arriving in 1998.

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, the steamer PONTIAC 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. 3,666 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.


Great Lakes and Seaway Shipping Online Inc. Granted Non-Profit Status by IRS

5/15 - Great Lakes and Seaway Shipping Online Inc. (GLSS) was recently designated a 501 (c)(3)non-profit organization by the Internal Revenue Service.
GLSS was organized to support the efforts of the BoatNerd website while operations will continue to be managed by the group of volunteers currently running the site.

The corporation will be run by a Board of Directors. At a meeting recently at Boatnerd World Headquarters at Vantage Point in Port Huron, the following directors were established: Neil Schultheiss, President; Roger LeLievre, Vice-President; Dave Wobser, Secretary-Treasurer; George Wharton, Publications Editor. Bill Hoey and Jim Hoffman were also appointed to the Board.

The establishment of non-profit status means BoatNerd will be able to accept tax-deductible contributions for site operations, and conduct fund-raising raffles. A trip on a Great Lakes freighter is expected to be offered soon.

Funding raised by GLSS will allow the web site to become self-sufficient and guarantee the longevity of BoatNerd.Com by paying the $1,000 month data connection charges and replacing the aging computer hardware that runs the site.


Port Reports - May 15

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Sunday had the Spar Jade arrive at 7:30 a.m. going to the anchorage. The Federal Seto went from Pier 23 to Pier 12 at 4:00 p.m.
The Emerald Star departed the Petro Canada Pier in Oakville (Bronte) at 6:30 p.m.

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
The Maumee made its third visit of the season to Holland, bringing a load of coal to the James DeYoung power plant Sunday.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
After being towed into port for repairs, Algoville departed Sunday morning at 8 a.m. after twelve days on the dock. Work had been ongoing by Fraser's and Shelley Marine and after some lake trials was given the clearance to proceed down bound to a St. Lawrence port.

Soo - Vic Trombley
The training vessel, State of Michigan was seen in Soo harbour at approximately 12:30 p.m. in front of the Elk's Club Sunday. To bad it was not going to be here for a open house.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
On Sunday Agawa Canyon entered Milwaukee's inner harbor at 8:00 AM to deliver salt at the bulk cargo dock on Jones Island. Agawa Canyon backed away from the dock at 1:30 PM, turning and proceeding onto Lake Michigan.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
Algocape departed during the night and Petite Forte with her barge came in and went to anchor in the inner harbor, waiting for the wind to die down. Stephen B. Roman came in around 7:00 p.m. for the Essroc dock. The salty Daniella is still awaiting cargo at Pier 51. The Trillium return tow to Toronto is wind bound at Port Weller.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Traffic on the Saginaw River has remained steady as of late. Saturday saw the tug Invincible and Barge McKee Sons inbound with a split load. The pair stopped to lighter at the Wirt dock in Bay City before continuing upriver to the GM dock in Saginaw to finish unloading. Also inbound Saturday was the J.A.W. Iglehart who arrived with a cargo of cement powder for the LaFarge Terminal in Carrollton. She made the dock across the river from the unloading McKee Sons late in the evening.
Early Sunday saw the tug Mary E. Hannah and her tank barge inbound for the Dow Chemical dock in Bay City to unload. Also inbound was the Indiana Harbor who called on the Consumers Energy dock to unload coal. She backed from the dock mid-morning, backing out to Light 12 to turn and head for the lake.

South Chicago -Tom Milton
Sunday, Iroquois landing at the mouth of the Calumet River had a visit from the salty "Puffin". Further up the river, the Philip R. Clarke was seen loading at KCBX. Even further up the river, about as far as a ship can go, the Barge Integrity and the tug Ostrander were alongside LaFarge Cement.


Updates - May 15

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - May 15

On 15 May, 1901, the GILCHRIST (Hull #603) (steel propeller freighter, 356 foot. 3,871 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, the STONEFAX was sold for scrap and 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 a.m., 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-foot x 18-foot, 6-inches x 8-foot, 6-inches. She carried the two old engines from the tug BLISH, which when new were 11-1/2 inches x 20 inches, but having been bored out several times, were 15 inches x 20 inches 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.


Lansdowne to Leave Erie

5/14 - Plans to move the Lansdowne out of Presque Isle Bay are finally in the works. The bay front eyesore will soon be tug-boated through the channel and up to Buffalo.

Specialty Restaurants and the Erie Western Pennsylvania Port Authority have reached all the necessary accords.

The Lansdowne will make the trip as soon as there is a stretch of calm weather.

From WJET-TV, Erie PA


Maritime Ship Makes First Training Voyage
Former spy ship now teaching merchant sailors

5/14 - Traverse City — The Great Lakes Maritime Academy's ship State of Michigan is embarking on its first training tour, she shipped out Saturday morning with 50 cadets and a crew of 14. Its 1,801-mile voyage is expected to cost $52,300 for food and fuel alone, including $35,000 for diesel fuel, officials said. The academy is part of Northwestern Michigan College. The trip is funded through the academy's $977,000 budget.

Joshua Tamasovich looked forward to launching the ship as he and others on Friday helped load groceries, remove scaffolding used to paint the deck, and make other preparations. "It's what I'm going to be doing for the rest of my life, so I'd better like it," said Tamasovich, 25, a first-year cadet from Asheville, N.C. "It beats being in an office all day, sitting in a cubicle."

During its first stop in Sault Ste. Marie, those on board will participate in a security drill with local and federal agencies. Open house tours are scheduled during stops in Marquette, Houghton, Port Huron and Duluth, Minn.

The ship will not carry cargo, though the cadets likely will work on Great Lakes cargo ships after graduating, said Mike Surgalski, captain of the ship for the voyage. This particular tour will provide training in navigation and maintaining the ship's complex mechanical functions. The academy hopes to continue using the vessel for first-year cadets' initial lakes training. That will help prepare them for stints on commercial vessels later in their schooling.

The 225-foot-long, four-deck vessel formerly was deployed around the world by the U.S. Navy for submarine surveillance under the name Persistent. After the Cold War, it became a Coast Guard drug ship. All spy equipment has been removed, Surgalski said. What used to be the "spook room," rife with surveillance equipment, is now a classroom. A mast that supported surveillance radar has been removed and stands on the dock behind NMC's Great Lakes Campus, which houses the academy.

When the ship is docked, the academy uses it almost daily, said Dave Sobolewski, chief of the voyage. The dock behind the Great Lake Campus on West Bay is a secure facility, as deemed by the Department of Homeland Security, officials said. Cruise ships dock there a few times a year and their crews must uphold federal security requirements.

Since it's a federally owned ship — the Maritime Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, oversees the academy and owns the vessel — the crew has access to handcuffs and leg irons, and restricts entry to the engine room and other areas while giving tours. The weapons locker from the ship's Navy days is now empty.

The academy currently has 108 students and expects about 130 students next fall, said John Tanner, superintendent of the maritime program. The goal is to increase enrollment to 200 students, and he said tours help recruit students.

The ship on this trip was scheduled to drop a weather buoy for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Michigan, but the buoy is not ready. Tanner said they plan to complete that task in July, possibly during the National Cherry Festival. The ship went on two-week cruises with about 35 cadets in 2003 and 2004, but those trips helped determine necessary upgrades before the ship received $3.9 million in mostly federally funded improvements.

Tanner said the trip helps meet the nine months of sea time cadets must fulfill as part of the internationally certified program. Before NMC's maritime academy received the training ship in 2002, cadets received all training on commercial ships. Maritime academy students don't currently pay extra to cover the tour, but Tanner said that will change once the school has firm cost figures for such trips. Faculty costs for the voyage are included in contracts for maritime academy instructors.

Tanner said NMC's typical faculty contract runs nine months and the academy's faculty works 10 months. Cadets start two weeks before other students, in addition to the two-week training trip aboard ship. This is the first year maritime academy faculty have worked under the 10-month contract. The extra month totals about $30,000 in maritime academy faculty costs.

From the Traverse City Record Eagle

Public tours of the vessel are planned for Marquette, Houghton, and Duluth/Superior.

The complete schedule follows:
Sat., May 13th Great Lakes Maritime Academy Depart — Traverse City to Sault Ste. Marie 0600
Sun., May 14th Sault Ste. Marie, MI Arrive — Lock thru bound 1:00 (security drill) 1000 Carbide Dock Depart — Sault Ste. Marie to Marquette 1400
Mon., May 15th Marquette, MI Arrive — Public Tour: 1400-1530 0900 Cinder Pond Marina Dock Depart — Marquette to Houghton 2000
Tue., May 16th Houghton, MI Arrive — Public Tour: 1400-1530 0900 West Municipal Dock Depart — Houghton to Duluth 1900
Wed., May 17th Duluth/Superior Arrive — Public Group: 1700-1800 1600 Dee CC Dock
Thu., May 18th Duluth/Superior Public Group: 1400-1530 Depart — Duluth to Sault Ste. Marie 1900
Sat., May 20th Sault Ste. Marie, MI Arrive — Lock thru down bound 1300 Depart — Sault Ste. Marie to Port Huron 1500
Mon., May 22nd Port Huron, MI Pass 0600 Anchor Lake Erie Arrive 2130
Tue., May 23rd Anchorage in Lake Erie Depart 0600 Port Huron, MI Arrive 1630 Seaway Terminal Dock
Wed., May 24th Port Huron, MI Depart — Port Huron to Traverse City 1200
Fri., May 26th Great Lakes Maritime Academy Arrive 1600


Port Reports - May 14

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The Grand River Navigation Manistee came into Grand Haven early Saturday afternoon. WGHN reported it off the foot of Washington Street at 12:40 p.m. At 3 p.m. it was still unloading at Meekhof’s D & M dock next to the Board of Light and Power Sims Power Plant on Harbor Island. This was its fourth visit of the season.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
Inland Lakes' steamer Alpena backed upriver into Milwaukee's inner harbor just before 6 p.m. Friday, using thrusters to dock at LaFarge and line up with the unloading gear to deliver powdered cement.

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
The Earl W. Oglebay made a Tulip Time visit to Holland Saturday morning, arriving at the Brewer dock with a load of stone from Cedarville around 8 a.m.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
ASC's American Republic made another appearance in Marquette on Saturday, May 13. She unloaded stone at the Lower Harbor early in the day and loaded ore at the Upper Harbor in the evening.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
On Saturday afternoon the Calumet was delivering salt at the bulk cargo dock at Jones Island in Milwaukee's inner harbor. Calumet was at the wall just south of the Alpena, which was unloading at LaFarge.

Cote Ste. Catherine Kent Malo
The Ferry Holiday Island was up bound in the St Lawrence Seaway at Cote Ste. Catherine, Quebec, on Saturday, destination Hamilton, Ontario. The 324-foot ferry built in 1971 at Port Weller, Ontario, will spend the Night at Beauharnois lock 4. The twin engine, 7250 brake horsepower, 1593 net tons, will continue her voyage at 10:00 am Monday, the Charlottetown, P. E. I.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Friday evening had the Federal Seto arriving at 8:30 p.m. going to Pier 23. The Cedarglen arrived at 9:30 p.m.
Saturday the refueling ship Hamilton Energy departed at 7:30 a.m. going to Clarkson. She returned to Pier 24 at 4 p.m.
The Goviken and its strange cargo ( see the News Photo Gallery ) arrived at 11 a.m. The Ocean tug Omni Richelieu came through on the same lift .
The Cedarglen departed at 3:30 p.m. The Omni Richelieu then departed at 7 p.m.
The Emerald Star arrived at the Petro Canada Piers in Oakville ( Bronte ) at 4 p.m.

Detroit - Ken Borg
On Saturday, Federal Kumano was in the Ojibway anchorage and the tug/barge Avenger IV/Chief Wawatam were unloading coiled steel at Morterm. They departed upbound at 1 p.m., and the Federal Kumano took their place at the Morterm Dock.
H. Lee White was in the Rouge River Short Cut Canal unloading coal onto Zug Island.
Early morning, CSL Laurentien came up the Detroit River and backed into the Rouge River, Short Cut Canal with help from the G tugs Vermont and Wyoming. She was out bound by 6 p.m.
Algoway was loading salt at Windsor Salt in Ojibway.


Updates - May 14

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - May 14

On 14 May 1881, CITY OF ROME (wooden propeller freighter, 268 foot, 1,908 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.

On May 14, 1959, the SHENANGO II and the HERBERT C JACKSON both entered service. While the vessels have been fleet mates since 1967, the SHENANGO II was built by the Shenango Furnace Company. She operates today as the b.) CHARLES M BEEGHLY, renamed in 1967.

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 replacement boom was installed, on May 14, 1994 by Port Weller Drydocks Ltd..

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 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 tug 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.


Oglebay Norton Company Signs Definitive Agreement To Sell Six of Its Nine Vessels

5/13 - Cleveland - Oglebay Norton Company today announced that it has signed a definitive purchase agreement to sell six of its nine marine vessels. The agreement includes long- term contracts for transporting limestone from the company's Michigan quarries. Closing of the sale is subject to regulatory clearance; therefore, terms of the agreement have not been disclosed. In addition, the company stated that it intends to sell its remaining three vessels and is in negotiations with a potential buyer.

The company also announced an agreement with Wolverine Power Cooperative. The company has granted Wolverine Power with an option to purchase approximately 440 acres of previously mined property at its Calcite quarry in Rogers City, Michigan. Over the next two years, Wolverine Power will explore the feasibility of a base load plant using Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB) technology, a clean coal technology as defined by the U.S. Department of Energy at the Calcite site. In addition to the sale of the property to Wolverine Power, the company would provide high quality chemical limestone to support the CFB technology along with the infrastructure to receive / handle waterborne solid fuel. Additional terms of the agreement have not been disclosed. Wolverine Power Cooperative is a not-for-profit generation and transmission electric cooperative headquartered in Cadillac, Michigan.

Michael Lundin, President and CEO, Oglebay Norton Company stated, "We continue to execute our strategy of expanding on our current markets and developing new markets for our limestone and limestone fillers businesses, while maximizing the profitability of our sand and lime businesses. The sale of the vessels will enable us to pay down our debt which will further strengthen our balance sheet. Upon the closing of the sale, we will be well positioned to refinance our existing debt. We also remain committed to redeeming the convertible preferred stock in the near future."

Michael Lundin also stated, "We are excited about the relationship that we have developed with Wolverine Power and look forward to assisting them in the evaluation of a base load power plant on our Calcite property. We believe that this project will provide many opportunities for Wolverine, for the Rogers City community and for us."

Oglebay Norton News Release


Buffalo has Mechanical Problem in Bay City

5/13 - Bay City - The Buffalo was inbound the Saginaw Bay about 8 a.m. Friday morning passing Light 1 in the Entrance Channel. She arrived in the Saginaw River at 9 a.m. calling on the Bay Aggregates dock in Essexville to unload.

The Buffalo backed out of the slip later in the day and had some mechanical problems turning. So the Buffalo decided to pull over at the Essroc Terminal to fix these problems. Once these problems are fixed the Buffalo will be outbound for the lake. (Pictures in the News Photo Gallery).

Reported by Gordy Garris


Light May Help Stop Breakwall Accidents
Green lens could be easier for boaters to see in Ludington

5/13 - Ludington - The U.S. Coast Guard has installed a green lens at the Ludington lighthouse to prevent boat collisions with the adjacent breakwall, but the plan is getting mixed reviews from boaters. Nine boats have hit the harbor's north and south piers since 2004. Some captains say the green light - which was installed this week - will be easier to distinguish from other background lighting near the Lake Michigan waterfront.

"I think it's a good idea," George Freeman, captain of charter boat Free Style, told the Ludington Daily News. "When you approach from the south, the white light has a tendency to blend in with the lights" elsewhere, he said. Mike Gnatkowski, captain of the Equalizer, agreed the green light was a good idea but said it might confuse some boaters. Either way, he said, charts make clear that boats entering Ludington harbor should be on a 90-degree course - which wasn't the case for the boats that have struck the breakwall.

Craig Coleman of Captain Chuck's Great Outdoors, a local sporting goods store, said the change probably wouldn't help. "Green means go - go right to the breakwall," Coleman said. "Right on top of it. I don't like it. It's going to be dimmer. I like the old strobe." The light was dimmed in recent years when it was switched to solar power. Many boaters have said the change made the light harder to see.

Tom Rau, a retired Coast Guard senior chief, said the biggest culprit in the collisions isn't poor vision, but excessive speed. "The only thing that will stop those collisions is people bringing back the throttles," Rau said.

From the Lansing State Journal


Corps Names New Sault Area Engineer

5/13 - Sault Ste. Marie - Ten months after Stan Jacek retired as area engineer at the Corps of Engineers Sault Ste. Marie operation, the Corps on Wednesday named Al Klein as his permanent replacement.

No stranger to the Soo Locks or Sault Ste. Marie, Klein was acting area engineer for four months during the long hiatus in the Corps' top local job and was assigned to the Locks earlier in his career with the Corps. He takes over at the Locks after a 15-year stint as area engineer in the smaller Duluth Area Office.

In a statement confirming Klein's choice, the Corps said he has extensive experience with Great Lakes navigation issues and the various stakeholders with an interest in the Lakes and shipping. In the same announcement, the Corps designated current staffer Steve Rose as assistant area engineer. Rose, who heads hydroelectric operations at the Locks, also pinch hit as acting area engineer during the lengthy interregnum.

As area engineer, Klein assumes responsibility for operation and repair of the Corps' extensive holdings in the Sault area, including the four-lock Soo Locks facility, two hydroelectric plants and other related maintenance and operational structures associated with both. The area engineer also supervises channel surveying and maintenance on shipping channels leading to and from the Locks, as well as a chain of waterfront parks in Sault Ste. Marie.

He will head a staff of about 100 Corps employees assigned to the Sault Area office and administers an annual budget of about $16 million annually. “Klein and Rose form a notably strong management team for the Soo Area Office and will provide excellent leadership to address challenges at the Soo currently and in the future,” said Mike O'Bryan, Detroit District chief of engineering and technical services.

The Soo Area engineer is one of four area engineers assigned to the Corps' Detroit District. The Detroit District covers the Great Lakes for all of Michigan and parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Indiana. Klein assumes his new permanent position next week.

From the Soo Evening News


Port Reports - May 13

Detroit - Ken Borg
On Friday, Federal Kushiro was in the Ojibway anchorage and Sealink was at the Morterm dock. John J. Boland was unloading at Zug Island and departed up bound after 11 a.m.

Toledo -
On Friday, Federal Saguenay remains at The Andersons Kuhlman Facility and Federal Leda at ADM Elevators. Both are on-loading and have been delayed by rain. J.A.W. Iglehart made her trip upriver stern-first to Lafarge Cement Corp. on Water St. to off-load. Federal Mackinac is off-loading, and Catherine Desgagnes on-loading (steel ingots) at Midwest Terminals of Toledo, International. Algoway is at the CSX Stone Dock.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The new City of Toronto Fire Department back-up vessel Sora arrived in Toronto by flatbed truck from Amherstburg, Ontario on April 24th. It was offloaded and placed on the dock in the Port Authority's yard alongside the Keating Channel, where it underwent repainting. The city got a real deal with this vessel as Coast Guard Canada sold it to them for $2.00. There are no plans, as yet, to rename the vessel. Eventually it will be fitted with water cannons and will be used when the Wm. Lyon Mackenzie is out of service for repairs. The new vessel was lowered into the Keating Channel Thursday afternoon by the Port Authority's heavy lift derrick barge T.H.C. 50, after which the vessel made its way to the fire station under its own power.

The Wm. Lyon Mackenzie was out Friday along with several police craft, to participate in an Emergency Disaster Exercise, in which the island ferry Thomas Rennie substituted for a freighter, while emergency response teams did their drills.

The Port Authority's workboats Osprey and Brutus 1 dropped the seasonal channel markers for the three entrances to Toronto's Island lagoons today.

The Soderholm tug Diver III and barge Y & F No. 1 have been busy the past few days bringing construction equipment and builder's supplies to Mugg's Island, where rebuilding of the Island Yacht Club clubhouse is still underway after 2004's disastrous fire.

The venerable steam side-paddlewheel ferry Trillium was refloated at the Ramey's Bend drydock in Port Colborne Friday afternoon. The ferry will be towed down the Welland Canal Saturday afternoon, and will continue on to Toronto if the weather permits. The Toronto excursion vessel Jaguar II is slated to go on the Ramey's Bend drydock next.

Algosteel continued unloading raw sugar at the Redpath dock today and the salty Daniella remains at Pier 52.

Saturday is Safety Day. Charter boat crews are invited to participate in safety drills conducted along with the marine police, EMS and fire departments, Transport Canada, Toronto Port Authority, and reps from King Fire & Safety Equipment, and Inland Life Raft & Marine, in a day long training program hosted aboard the vessels River Gambler and Obsession III.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
With the strike at Sifto Salt entering its fifth week, Agawa Canyon entered the outer harbour and backed into the dock at 7:30 a.m. Friday. She is loading salt under a cloudy, windy morning.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin came through the South Entrance at 10 a.m. She turned to port and came to a stop off the St. Lawrence Cement Plant before backing into the Bethlehem Slip at 10:30. The ship was to take on coal at the Gateway Trade Terminal bound for Hamilton.
Courtney Burton arrived around 9 p.m. Friday and headed for General Mills.

Welland Canal - Michael Gosselin
The tugboat Evans McKeil is towing the barge OC181 with unknown objects onboard while the tug Glenevis is bringing up the rear. Destination is unknown.
CCG Gull Isle is doing some work on the buoy in the Welland Canal above Lock 1.


Updates - May 13

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - May 13

The tanker GEMINI (Hull#746) was launched at Orange, Texas by Levingston Ship Building Co. in 1978, for Cleveland Tankers Inc., a subsidiary of Ashland Oil. Renamed b.) ALGOSAR in 2005.

The tanker JUPITER made her maiden voyage May 13, 1976 from Smith's Bluff, Texas loaded with lube oil bound for Marcus Hooks, Pennsylvania. She was destroyed after exploding in the Saginaw River on September 16, 1990.

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

Delivered May 13, 1943, the str. 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 p.m. 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 195foot keel, 215 feet overall, 35 foot beam, 14 foot 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 latter's 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, 1,391 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.


USCG Sector Sault now does Mariner Fingerprinting and Oaths

5/12 - Sault Ste. Marie, MI – Beginning Monday, May 15, 2006, USCG Sector Sault Ste Marie will expand its services to enable applicants to complete fingerprinting and take oaths before a designated Coast Guard Official for merchant mariner's documents, Coast Guard licenses, and/or certificates of registry, without having to travel to a regional exam center.

Sector Sault Ste Marie has established guidelines for any merchant mariner interested in acquiring or renewing their license or document. The following guidelines will apply to both oaths and fingerprinting:

(a.) Starting May 15, applicants may contact Sector Sault Ste Marie Investigations Department at (906) 635-3223 to set up an appointment. Appointments must be scheduled with the office at least two weeks in advance. No walk-ins will be accepted.
(b.) Prior to scheduling an appointment, mariners must have a valid application on file at REC Toledo and shall have paid the appropriate application fee.
(c.) Prior to administering the oath or fingerprinting, the Coast Guard Official will verify the identity and citizenship of mariners and potential mariners. Applicants should bring at least two acceptable forms of identification as evidence of citizenship. Acceptable forms of identification and citizenship are described in Enclosure (1). These documents must be original, or copies certified as true by the agency responsible for issuing the document. Applicants who fail to provide two forms of identification as stated above will have to reschedule their appointment.
(d.) All oaths and fingerprinting will take place at Sector Sault Ste Marie, Inspections/Investigations Department, 337 Water Street, Sault Ste Marie, Michigan 49783.

Acceptable Documents for Identification/Citizenship
Two forms of identification are now required to process Merchant Mariner Documents (all MMDs). These two forms of identification must be presented before you will be fingerprinted. Above is a list of acceptable identifications for proof of identity and citizenships. At least one of the documents provided must be from the upper portion "Photo ID" section. These documents must be originals or copies certified as true by the agency responsible for issuing the document.

Original MMDs are additionally required to show to their original social security card prior to issuance. Certified Copy is not notarized, it is "Certified" by the originating agency)

USCG News Release


Nugent can Mine Sand until 2011

5/12 - Muskegon - Nugent Sand Co. will be allowed to continue mining sand near the Lake Michigan coast through 2011 under a state-approved permit. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has issued the company a permit to mine another 2.1 million cubic yards of sand from its longtime mining site at 2925 Lincoln in Norton Shores.

The permit derails efforts by environmentalists to shut down the controversial sand-mining operation, which has been in business since 1912. Under terms of the permit, Nugent will be allowed to expand one of its manmade lakes, known as North Lake, by 19 acres by dredging sand to a depth below the water table. "We're happy to receive the permit," said Bob Chandonnet, president of Nugent Sand.

Environmentalists criticized the DEQ for issuing the permit when the agency is involved in a court fight with Nugent over the company's bid to build a wastewater discharge pipeline through the Lake Michigan dunes. Nugent wants to discharge 8 million gallons of treated process wastewater from its sand-mining operation into the lake each day. "Nugent and the state are currently engaged in a lawsuit that impacts this site. It is inappropriate to grant Nugent a permit to continue to expand mining operations when decisions (about the pipeline) have not been made," said Jamie Morton, outreach manager for the Great Lakes Alliance, a Chicago-based environmental group with a Grand Haven office.

DEQ Director Steven Chester last year refused to grant Nugent a construction permit to build its proposed pipeline, even though the state issued a permit to discharge its process wastewater into Lake Michigan. Nugent subsequently sued the DEQ in Ingham County Circuit Court. The case has not yet gone to trial. Nugent officials have said they need to lower water levels on the company's property to permit construction of 65 homes around two man-made lakes created by decades of mining sand from below the water table.

At a public hearing last November on the proposed mining expansion, several residents who live near Nugent Sand said they feared more mining would lower the water table and draw contaminated groundwater from other nearby pollution sites onto Nugent's property. Critics said they fear those contaminants could then migrate into Lake Michigan via the groundwater and endanger the source of drinking water for the greater Muskegon area.

A geologist hired by Nugent said the expanded mining would lower groundwater levels at the site by about six inches. But state officials have dismissed as unfounded claims that contaminated groundwater beneath factories near Nugent would migrate onto the sand-mining site and, ultimately, into Lake Michigan.

Nugent critics said the state's assurances did not alleviate their concerns. "I find it incomprehensible to further degrade the groundwater for one man's profit at the expense of public health," said Darlene DeHudy, vice president of Muskegon Save Our Shoreline. Chandonnet said Nugent will continue mining sand at the Norton Shores site while its dispute with the DEQ over the proposed pipeline winds its way through the courts.

The recently approved permit will not allow the company to dredge a channel between the two man-made lakes on its property. DEQ officials said they would not consider that proposal until Nugent Sand has a plan to replace Winnetaska Road, the only road that leads from Lincoln Avenue to several homes along Lake Michigan.

Chandonnet said Nugent will continue mining sand from the north portion of its property after 2011 if the DEQ extends the necessary permits at that time. Nugent also mines sand from a site on Russell Road in Dalton Township. Nugent's sales have slipped recently because automotive sales are down. Automakers use sand from the Lake Michigan dunes to make molds for engine blocks and other auto parts.

"If they're not selling cars, we're not selling sand," Chandonnet said. "Overall business volume is down, but it's cyclic."

From the Muskegon Chronicle


New Stack Scrubbers for DTE Monroe

The Purves tug Reliance with the barge PML 9000 has completed a lengthy trip from Hailfax, Nova Scotia with a deck load of scrubbers for the DTE coal fired power plant in Monroe, Michigan.

The huge scrubbers were built by Irving Shipbuilding at their Woodside fabrication plant in Halifax, and loaded aboard PML 9000 with shore cranes. The tow left Halifax April 30.

Reported by Mac Mackay


Port Reports - May 12

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
Algosteel arrived after noon today and back itself into the Redpath Sugar slip to begin unloading. The salty Daniella remains at Pier 51 awaiting the railway locomotives she is loading for shipment to Great Britain.

Conneaut - Philip Smothers
The Marshall Islands registered ship Lake Michigan loaded coal at The Pittsburgh and Conneaut coal dock on Wednesday and Thursday. This is the first non-Canadian true saltie that I can ever remember loading coal at Conneaut.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The John D. Leitch followed the H. Lee White into Sandusky Bay overnight Wednesday. Both loaded and departed the NS coal dock.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
At 3:45 p.m. on Wednesday, the Lower Lakes Towing’s Saginaw came in to Meekhof’s dock by the railroad swing bridge for its first visit of this season. The Lake was extremely foggy that afternoon. Horizontal visibility on the lake was about 400 feet. You could hear it blowing the required one long blast at 2 minute intervals for a vessel moving in restricted visibility long before you could see it. Saginaw unloaded and departed about 1:00 am on Thursday.

Detroit - Ken Borg
Federal Mackinac and Federal Yoshino were in the Ojibway anchorage on Thursday. Algolake was unloading coal at Zug Island on the Short Cut Canal side.


Updates - May 12

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


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, American Shipbuilding, Lorain (Hull#390) entered service on May 12, 1911, with coal from Sandusky, Ohio to Duluth, Minnesota. Renamed b.) FRANK R DENTON in 1952, she was scrapped at Ashtabula, Ohio in 1984.

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.


Cleveland-Cliffs Chief Exec to Retire

5/11 - Cleveland - John Brinzo, chief executive officer of iron ore supplier Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. and the man who has presided over its phenomenal performance the last couple of years, will retire Sept. 1, the company announced Tuesday. Joseph Carrabba, president and chief operating officer, has been tapped to replace Brinzo as CEO. Brinzo, 64, will remain as chairman until the company's annual meeting in 2007.

Carrabba, 53, joined Cleveland-Cliffs in May 2005, from Rio Tinto PLC of London, where he was chief operating officer of a diamond mine in the Northwest Territory of Canada. "While I will miss my day-to-day dealings with all Cliffs' people, I couldn't be more pleased with the choice of Joe Carrabba to lead our company to even greater success," Brinzo staid in a written statement released by the company. "I look forward to working with him in the transition of the new leadership team."

Brinzo has been with Cleveland-Cliffs for more than 37 years, the last nine as CEO. He started out as a financial analyst in 1969. Cleveland-Cliffs also said it has created an office of the chairman to assist in Carrabba's transition to CEO. Brinzo, Carrabba and the company's vice chairman, David Gunning, will make up that team.

Brinzo led Cleveland-Cliffs through a difficult downturn in the steel industry that pushed many steel producers into bankruptcy earlier this decade. Rather than hunker down, the company took advantage of a buyer's market to acquire more iron ore holdings from its steel company partners. When the steel industry recovered, Cleveland-Cliffs was in an even stronger position to supply steel makers with iron ore.

The company under Brinzo also acquired an iron ore producer in Australia that supplies China's fast-growing steel industry. The stock market rewarded Cleveland-Cliffs shareholders with a substantial return over the last three years. The stock closed at a split-adjusted $7.50 per share on June 3, 2003. It closed Tuesday at $99.38.

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer


Minor Fire Aboard Cornelius in Lake Superior

5/11 - USCG Sector Sault Ste. Marie received a report Tuesday from the Adam E. Cornelius of a minor fire on board in the incinerator room caused by unattended trash burning. The fire was extinguished immediately using a portable dry chemical extinguisher. The damage was limited to paint and wiring in the incinerator room. The incinerator, the light and the blower vent in the incinerator room were all rendered inoperable. The vessel was not diverted or detained, since it was in Lake Superior en route to Duluth, MN. Marine Safety Unit Duluth investigators will board the vessel in Duluth to take statements and photograph/survey the damage.

USCG Operational Summary


Port Reports - May 11

Sturgeon Bay - Wendell Wilke
The St. Marys Challenger made her first trip of the year into Manitowoc late evening Tuesday arriving at the dock around 10:00 pm. She departed Wednesday morning at 8:30 am.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
Early Tuesday morning the Maumee arrived in the Thunder Bay River to unload stone that was ordered by L&S Transit Mix Concrete Co. The cargo didn't have far to travel being it was loaded the night before at Stoneport. The Maumee departed around 10 a.m., backing into the bright sunshine and a strong lake breeze.
The research vessel Grayling was tied up in the river on Tuesday.
On Wednesday morning the J.A.W Iglehart arrived in port after delivering to Superior, WI. It took on cement for Detroit and was outbound in the bay by 1 p.m.
The Steamer Alpena is due at Lafarge Wednesday night and the G.L Ostrander/barge Integrity is expected sometime on Thursday, weather permitting.
The Arthur M. Anderson was loading at Stoneport on Wednesday. The Great Lakes Trader was the next vessel on the schedule.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
The David Z. Norton arrived in Marquette on a rainy Tuesday for a load of ore.

Detroit - Ken Borg
On Tuesday, St. Marys Cement/Sea Eagle II were unloading at St. Marys Cement in Detroit.
On Wednesday, Canadian Progress was loading at Windsor Salt in Ojibway, while the Federal Mackinac was anchored in the Ojibway anchorage.
Middletown was at Sterling Fuel at 7 p.m.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
The Maumee was inbound the Saginaw River early Wednesday afternoon headed all the way up the river to the GM dock in Saginaw. The Maumee departed from the GM dock and headed up to the Sixth Street turning basin to turn at 5:45 p.m., with the tug Gregory J. Busch following close behind. As the Maumee moved into the Sixth Street turning basin she had trouble turning her bow, so the tug Gregory J. Busch moved in quickly. After about 45 minutes, the Busch had finally muscled the Maumee out of the basin. Once the Gregory J. Busch had sped past the Maumee back to her dock, the Maumee was headed outbound to Lake Huron by 6:50 p.m.


Updates - May 11

News Photo Gallery updated, and more News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

Calendar of Events has been updated.


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 inch x 32 inch 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 include many other vessels with a much more detailed history.


New Mackinaw's Duties Expanded
Cutter trains to contain oil spills as supplemental mission

5/10 - Cheboygan - The crew of the new U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw recently got a taste of one of the supplemental missions the new ship will handle. In addition to icebreaking, search-and-rescue, buoy-tending and public relations duties, the 240-foot cutter will also respond to emergency situations on the Great Lakes involving spills of oil or hazardous wastes.

The ship's crew drilled in the Straits of Mackinaw's South Channel using a high-tech portable method of cleaning up a spill - called the Vessel of Opportunity Skimming System, or VOSS. “It arrives here by truck, or wherever it is needed,” said Cmdr. John Little, the Mac's new skipper. “The VOSS system is based in Detroit, but can be delivered wherever we go to handle an emergency spill. It's quite a sophisticated set-up of equipment.”

In response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska, and other oil spills in the United States, Congress enacted the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. The Act required both industry and government to improve oil spill prevention and response. $21 million dollars was appropriated to the Coast Guard to purchase state-of-the-art oil containment and recovery equipment for 19 Coast Guard pre-positioned response sites throughout the United States. Detroit is one of them.

The Coast Guard selected the sites for equipment based on locale and risk. The locations provide logical hubs for storing equipment for rapid deployment within the region because large amounts of petroleum are shipped into these ports or in shipping channels near these ports. The sites selected also include some on the east coast, in California, Alaska and even Hawaii.

The Ninth District Commander has both administrative and operational control over the VOSS unit, and the Marine Safety Division at Coast Guard headquarters provides funding and program direction. The Coast Guard's National Strike Force maintains the national maintenance contract and national equipment coordination. “There's so much gear that we're better off not having to carry it on board,” Little said. “They will bring the gear to us if it's needed.”

The Vessel of Opportunity Skimming System is designed to be transported to an oil spill site and convert the Mackinaw into a single-ship oil-recovery platform. The VOSS package is pre-staged on a 48-foot low-bed tractor trailer for fast response. It consists of two 14-foot long by eight-foot wide by seven-foot high watertight containers each weighing close to 13,000 pounds. Two collapsible inflatable barges are also staged on the trailer in their own containers.

The VOSS is designed to operate on a vessel 60 feet to 400 feet long. The vessel must possess the following characteristics in order to skim oil and accommodate the installation of equipment. It must be capable of operating at a sustained speed of one-half to one knot. Oil begins to entrain under the boom when skimming faster than three-quarters of a knot. Vessels with variable pitch propellers, diesel electric propulsion plants or trawling clutches are ideal.
It must have strong ship rails, bollards or chocks which can accommodate universal clamps to rig the outriggers. Rails at least two feet high are needed to attach the outrigger clamps. A shipboard weight-handling boom or crane is required with a 2,000-pound capacity to facilitate installation and lowering of a 400-pound oil skimmer into the water.
It must have approximately a 300 square foot deck space for equipment layout, rigging and storage. Vessel stability shall allow deployment of VOSS equipment weighing 10,000 pounds to 20,000 pounds depending upon the how the VOSS is rigged onboard the vessel. “Obviously, we're an ideal ship for this system,” Little said with pride. “We'll see how it all fits onboard.”

Much of the training the Mackinaw's crew endured dealt with propeller-cavitation tests to see how the equipment worked at various speeds with the ship's highly sensitive propeller pods. Most of the crewmembers said they had never seen such equipment as the VOSS before.

From the Cheboygan Daily Tribune


Tunnel under the Saginaw River?

5/10 - When the state looks at options this week for a new ramp from Interstate 675 to Washington, one Saginawian hopes officials will dig a little deeper. Really. Annette M. Rummel, president and chief executive officer of the Saginaw County Convention & Visitors Bureau, has proposed an I-675 tunnel under the Saginaw River.

The idea, she says, is to allow boats passage into downtown. "If you look at the positive progress that's being made on the river and the additional use, we need to look at it as an asset to the city of Saginaw," Rummel said. "It's another way of accessing the businesses and the arts and culture. One nice mechanism to do that is through recreational boating."

The state will hear more ideas and suggestions in a meeting this week with residents and business representatives whom the new ramp will impact. Transportation officials set the meeting from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday in Conference Room HEC-7 on the second floor of St. Mary's of Michigan hospital, 800 S. Washington. "(The tunnel) was the most innovative (idea) that I have heard," said Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce President Bob Van Deventer.

I-675 is not the only barrier tall sailboats and other watercraft face. Train bridges cross the river both north and south of the interstate, and bridges from Johnson, Genesee, Holland, Court, M-46 and Center connect Saginaw's east and west sides. A tunnel would at least open up possibilities, Rummel said. "I was looking at the long term at what Saginaw could become," she said. "What we need to do is come up with a concept of where we want to see the city of Saginaw go, and keep the vision in the back of our minds in order to eventually arrive there."

For now, federal funding covers only the proposed ramp, state officials say. Tunnels also require a lot of environmental planning because of how they impact water flow, and some trucks, such as those carrying petroleum products, cannot pass through tunnels. "As a general rule, it's much more expensive," said Bill L. Shreck, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.

From the Saginaw News


Port Reports - May 10

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
Friday, Grand River Navigation's self-unloading motor vessel Maumee delivered a load to Verplank's Dock in Ferrysburg.
Monday, Grand River Navigation's self-unloading barge McKee Sons, with tug Invincible in the notch, delivered a load of coal to the Grand Haven Board of Light and Power's Sims Plant on Harbor Island at 8:30 pm. It was gone by daylight.
On Tuesday, Central Marine Logistic's self unloading steam turbine powered Wilfred Sykes backed in to deliver a load to Meekhof's upper dock by the railroad swing bridge in Ferrysburg at 5:30 am. It departed the pierheads at 11:00 am blowing the traditional one long and one short salute.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey & Gordy Garris
The Saginaw River has been busy the past few days with 5 different vessels calling on various docks along it banks. Monday saw the Mississagi outbound from the Sargent Dock in Zilwaukee and the Maumee outbound from the Sargent dock in Essexville after unloading.
The Indiana Harbor was also outbound Monday from the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville after arriving during the morning hours with coal. She backed from the dock out to Light 12 of the Entrance Channel to turn and head for the lake. This was her first visit of the season.
Inbound Monday was the Manistee who called on the Bay City Wirt dock to unload. Once finished, she turned off the dock and was outbound for the lake Monday night.
Tuesday morning saw the Canadian Transfer inbound for the North Star dock in Essexville to unload Potash. She turned at the foot of the dock and was outbound for the lake early Tuesday afternoon. This was her first visit to the Saginaw River this season.
The Buffalo was inbound the Saginaw River late Tuesday evening, calling on the Bay Aggregates dock in Essexville to unload. She is expected to be outbound for the lake Wednesday morning.

Toledo -
Eider has been loading at the Andersons Kuhlman Facility and as of 8:00 p.m. will be getting underway after loading with the help of Great Lakes Towing Co. tugs Nebraska and Illinois.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The English River is presently coming into the harbor with the assistance of one of the "G" tugs. I also saw the tug Wisconsin, which is new in Buffalo.

Kingsville - Erich Zuschlag
The Cuyahoga entered Kingsville harbour at 4:30 pm to unload 8,000 tons of stone from Marblehead, Ohio which she had loaded earlier that day. Captain Mike Killpatrick said that after unloading they were going to Windsor to fuel and then on to Toledo to load coal for The Soo. She departed at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday night.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
Very early Tuesday the American Mariner backed into Milwaukee's inner harbor and docked at the WE Energies Greenfield Avenue site to unload coal. Mariner proceeded on its way onto Lake Michigan at about noon. Meanwhile, G.L. Ostrander/Integrity departed at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday.


Updates - May 10

News Photo Gallery updated, and more News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated

Calendar of Events has been updated.


Today in Great Lakes History - May 10

104 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, Michigan and Capt. Egbert of Port Huron, Michigan. 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 - May 9

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
Monday Algoma Central's Algorail came into Milwaukee's Inner Harbor at first light, unloading salt at the bulk cargo dock on Jones Island. Algorail backed downriver and turned onto Lake Michigan during the noon hour.
Tug Barbara Andrie and its fuel barge A-390 were backed into the Jacobus liquid cargo terminal in the outer harbor, delivering fuel Monday evening.
At about 8:00 p.m. tug/barge G. L. Ostrander/Integrity arrived in the inner harbor, turned in the basin, and docked at LaFarge where it unloaded powdered cement.

Southern Lake Michigan - Tom Milton
On Monday, the Burns Harbor was in Burns Harbor, and the American Mariner was loading coal at KCBX in South Chicago.

South Chicago - Steve B.
Monday morning found the salty Antikeri unloading steel at Iroquois Landing on the Calumet River. A POLSTEAM vessel was seen just off the entrance to Calumet Harbor in Lake Michigan, appeared to be headed to Indiana Harbor.

Saginaw River - Gordy Garris
The Saginaw River was busy on Monday with 4 vessels, three being fleet mates from Lower Lakes Towing company. First was the Maumee calling on the Sargent dock in Essexville to unload. She turned just off the dock and was outbound for the lake early Monday afternoon.
Next inbound was the Mississagi, this was her first appearance of the 2006 season, calling on the Saginaw Rock Products dock in Carrollton to unload stone. She successfully turned in the shallow waters of the Sixth Street turning basin and was outbound for the lake Monday afternoon.
Next inbound was the Manistee, calling on the Bay City Wirt Stone dock to unload at 5:30 p.m. Monday evening. She turned at the foot of the dock and was outbound for the lake by 10:30 p.m. Monday night.
Finally, the Indiana Harbor was on schedule to unload a cargo of coal at the Consumers Power plant in Essexville Monday morning, and back out to Light 12 to turn around later in the morning.


Updates - May 9

News Photo Gallery updated, and more News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Cruise Ship Heads South
Niagara Clipper is on its way to Florida

5/8 - Buffalo - After plying the waters of the Niagara River and Lake Erie for nearly 20 years, the Niagara Clipper cruise ship is on its way to Florida. Buffalo Charters Inc., which has operated the 275-passenger boat since the late 1980s, sold the vessel to Expoships LLLP, which plans to use it as part of a "floating art and antique gallery" venture. The Niagara Clipper, which has served as a venue for hundreds of wedding receptions, corporate parties and other celebrations, sailed off to its new home Wednesday.

Michael R. Hayhurst, president of Buffalo Charters, said the sale was prompted by a combination of uncertainty about the charter service's long-term location on the Buffalo waterfront, as well as a decline in bookings over the past several years. "It was sad watching her leave, but we knew it was the right thing to do," Hayhurst said. "There's a lot of factors involved, but the crux of it is we've been waiting six years to get a permanent site on the waterfront and we still don't know if that will ever happen."

Buffalo Charters, which began its seasonal cruise business from the Erie Basin Marina in the 1970s, relocated to a spot adjacent to the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Servicemen's Park on the Buffalo River in 1981. The company offered a public sightseeing tours and chartered cruises on its Miss Buffalo and Miss Buffalo II ships.

In 2000, the $46 million overhaul of the Erie Canal Harbor and naval park necessitated a temporary return of Buffalo Charters to the Erie Basin Marina on the river side of the complex. In 2001, the company brought the Niagara Clipper to Buffalo from its North Tonawanda base, in anticipation of a permanent berth on the harbor front. But what was originally expected to be a one- or two-year relocation has become a six-year stint as the complex harbor project, which became bogged down in historic preservation issues, is now aiming for a late-2007 completion.

A recently unveiled plan for redevelopment of Lower Main Street, which includes a proposal to bring the Buffalo River up to Main Street, will leave the charter business without a berth to call its own for an as-yet-undetermined period of time. "In the original waterfront master plan, we had a spot in the redone South Basin. Then we had a spot in the redesigned South Basin. Now we don't know if the South Basin will even exist," Hayhurst said. In its current "temporary" site, Buffalo Charters also faces increasingly tight parking for its patrons, as it vies with Shanghai Red's restaurant and the Waterfront Village office park for spaces. Cruise-goers are discouraged from parking in the marina lot, which serves marina visitors and slip-holders.

Charles Rosenow, president of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp., which is coordinating Buffalo waterfront projects, including the proposed conversion of Memorial Auditorium into a Bass Pro Outdoor World store, acknowledged that final design of the South Basin is a "work in progress." But Rosenow said ultimately Buffalo Charters will end up with a prime site. "With our goal of tying the waterfront to other visitor attractions, it's going to be a much more attractive area than first envisioned. There will be a bunch of activities, an enlarged market for tour boats like the Miss Buffalo II," Rosenow said. While actual construction of that section of the harbor is likely two or more years away, it is expected that a development blueprint with many specifics for Lower Main Street and the South Basin will be complete by the end of June.

The Niagara Clipper is the second vessel Buffalo Charters has sold in recent years. In 2003, the original Miss Buffalo left the fleet for a new role as a lake cruiser in Ontario's Georgian Bay region. At its peak in the early 1990s, with three boats in the water, the charter firm carried about 55,000 passengers each season. Last year, with the Miss Buffalo II and Niagara Clipper in service, the passenger count was around 25,000. Hayhurst expects 15,000 to 20,000 will come aboard the Miss Buffalo II during the upcoming season, which launches May 18 and will continue through mid-September. The company's seasonal employee roster will dip from 45 last year to fewer than 25 in 2006. "Our goal is to have the Miss Buffalo II out as many nights a week as possible. We'll have less capacity, but will make up for that in volume," he said.

The Niagara Clipper was much more upscale than the Miss Buffalo II. Its parquet floors, wallpaper and fine china made it perfect for formal and corporate events. Hayhurst described the Miss Buffalo II as a "jeans-and-beer" boat, but off-season upgrades will make it more conducive to sophisticated outings. The cruiser's recent makeover includes remodeled bathrooms, upgraded dining seating and an overall spiffing up.

When the Niagara Clipper completes its nearly month-long journey to Florida, it will get a complete overhaul. The boat will be converted to a floating home for staff of the luxury yacht "Grand Luxe." That $60 million, 228-foot yacht, now under construction in Whitby Island, Wash., was designed as a first-of-it-kind floating emporium of paintings, sculpture, antique jewelry, rare coins and books. Starting in 2007, it will travel along the East Coast from Miami Beach, Fla, to Martha's Vineyard, Mass., stopping at exclusive ports of call.

The Niagara Clipper, to be renamed the Expo Clipper, will accompany the Grand Luxe, housing its staff in 45 state rooms.


USCG Mackinaw (WLBB-30) Returns to Ship Yard

5/8 - The new Mackinaw returned to Marinette Marine for final work on Sunday. The Selvick tugs Jimmy L and William C. Selvick were on hand to assist. The ship is expected to spend about three weeks at the Marinette, WI shipyard.


Port Reports - May 8

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Mary E. Hannah and her barge came through the breakwalls at 8 a.m. Monday and proceeded to the new harbour to discharge her cargo of calcium. Vessel traffic into Goderich has been slow for the past four weeks. Algoville and Sarah Spencer/ Jane Anne IV are still in the inner harbour.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
Steamer St. Mary's Challenger was admired by many recreational boaters as it both arrived at and left Milwaukee during daylight hours on a beautiful spring Sunday. Challenger entered the harbor just before 9 a.m., negotiated the narrow Kinnickinnic River to deliver at the St. Mary's cement silo, and departed downriver to Lake Michigan at 5 p.m.

Thunder Bay - Robert B. Farrow
Traffic has been steady around the Port of Thunder Bay this Spring. It was reported that traffic was up in April compared to last year, as well as cargoes. Sunday saw several vessels in Port. The Voyageur Independent was out of Pascol Dry Dock, it is unknown if the work on her is finished but the dry dock was drained after her departure dockside. She has the gangway attached again dockside and work may be continuing.
The Canadian Leader was in at Agricore United "A" before moving over to Richardson Elevator in the afternoon. The Algocape was tied up at the Mission Elevator, while the Canadian Transfer loaded at the Valley Camp Terminal. Algolake arrived past the Welcome Islands early afternoon and turned into the wind to anchor out from Thunder Bay Coal Terminals. The Coal Terminal dock space was occupied by CSL Niagara who was in the process of taking on cargo.
There were two Salties in the Port Sunday. Bluewing was anchored out in the Bay after loading some cargo at Agricore United "A" the day before and the Federal Welland was taking a load at Saskatchewan Pool "A" after loading at Pool "B" the day before.
The Coast Guard Cutter Samuel Risley was also in Port and apparently doing some Spring maintenance on the buoy markers in the Bay.
All the Fish tugs are in at the Current River Slips and have been making regular trips out in the mornings and coming back loaded with fish early afternoon.

Detroit - Ken Borg
Maritime Trader was at ADM in Ojibway on Sunday.
Herbert C. Jackson came out of the Rouge River and turned down bound in the Detroit River.
Armco was taking on fuel at Sterling Fuel in Windsor.
The tug John Spence and barge McAsphalt 401 were anchored in the Ojibway anchorage while the up bound Earl W. Oglebay was stopped at Sterling for fuel. After the Oglebay departed the tug/barge took her place.
Kaye E. Barker came down bound and turned into the Short Cut Canal of the Rouge River headed to Servstal Steel.


Updates - May 8

News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - May 08

The 1,000 foot 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 foot keel, 145 foot overall, 26 foot beam and 12 foot depth. She cost $20,000 and was owned by Dunford & Leighton.

The 254 foot 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.


Port Reports - May 7

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
Buffalo's cruise and sight seeing ship the Niagara Clipper has been sold off lakes. A sharp decline in bookings has led Buffalo Charters to sell the 112 foot passenger vessel to a Florida firm. She left Saturday for the two week trip to her new owners.
Reasons sighted for the drop in cruise patronage mainly surrounded the lack of a long term dock space on the Buffalo waterfront due to the lengthy delays taking place at the Erie Canal Harbor Development Project. Parking has also been a problem since Buffalo Charter's temporary dock was moved closer to the Erie Basin Marina and Shanghai Red's restaurant. This was supposed to be a two year relocation until new facilities were to be built but has now dragged on nearly seven years because of constant design and construction changes at the Erie Canal Harbor.
The Armco was backing out of the Bethlehem Slip at 6 p.m. on the 6th. She had just spent the afternoon unloading stone at the Gateway Trade Terminal in Lackawanna.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
The barge G.L. Ostrander and tug Integrity arrived in Milwaukee's inner harbor, pivoted and docked at LaFarge at 10 a.m. Thursday. Unloading cement throughout the day, Integrity departed onto Lake Michigan at 9 p.m.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer & Dawn
The John J. Boland completed loading and cleared Sandusky Bay Friday afternoon, making room for the McKee Sons, which was due early Saturday at the NS coal dock.
Expected Saturday night was the CSL Atlantic Huron which will be making her second trip of the week into Sandusky for coal. The Atlantic Huron also loaded and departed the coal dock on Thursday.
The Herbert C. Jackson was expected to arrive and load at the NS coal dock late Sunday afternoon and was reportedly to be followed around midnight by the American Republic.
The H. Lee White is currently posted for arrival at the coal dock late Tuesday afternoon.
Sandusky offered a variety of activities on Saturday. Jim Semon presented his slideshow, "A Trip on the Charles M. Beeghly," to a nearly full auditorium at the Maritime Museum of Sandusky. Afterward, in a perfectly-timed arrival, Atlantic Huron approached the Sandusky Coal Dock and cameras clicked along the Jackson Street Pier.
David Z. Norton loaded and left the LaFarge stone dock on Saturday.

Sturgeon Bay - Wendell Wilke
The barge G.L. Ostrander and tug Integrity arrived early Saturday morning and went alongside the new cement barge Innovation to discharge cement for testing the new cement barge. Within the same slip that morning were three cement barges, which included the St. Marys Conquest in for renovation. Just to the stern of the new Innovation is the Samuel de Champlain which will mate-up with the new barge. At the end of the slip is the former Washington Island Ferry Line's carferry Voyageur, which now is owned by Shoreline Marine, Chicago. She underwent renovation to a cruise/dinner vessel over the Winter for the Chicago River system. She now is looking pretty sharp after rebuild in her new colors and supports the name Voyageur again.

Toledo -
Thursday Elikon off-loaded and left and Lake Michigan remains off-loading at Midwest Terminals of Toledo, International. John G. Munson loaded coal at the CSX RR Docks and is gone. Tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes came upriver to BP Riverfront Terminal astern with the help of Great Lakes tugs; Nebraska on the bow and Louisiana on the stern around 3 p.m. They passed Susan Hoey, John Francis, Josephine, and Mighty Jake at the Geo. Gradel docks. They are fabricating bascules for the Martin Luther King, Jr. (Cherry Street) Bridge at their docks to replace the worn ones currently in service.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Saturday saw the Canadian Enterprise departing at 6 a.m. from Dofasco. The Federal Leda arrived at 8 a.m. going to Pier 12E. The Olympic Melody arrived at 2 p.m. Her next port will be Montreal.

Oshawa - Jim Gallacher
The bulker Persenk left Oshawa around 3.30 p.m. Friday . The Federal Saguenay left several hours later.
Arabian Wind arrived on Saturday probably to Discharge Magnesium Chloride and or Calcium Chloride. She was assisted by the Ocean tugs Jerry G and Omni-Richelieu.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The Manistee came into Grand Haven bow first early Saturday afternoon. It proceeded up river and docked at Verplank’s dock in Ferrysburg. It unloaded and backed out early that evening.


Updates - May 5

 News Photo Gallery updated, and more News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


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, Roen's HILDA and MAITLAND No. 1 started the rescue operation of freighter GEORGE M HUMPHREY of 1927, which sank in a collision with the D M CLEMSON in the Straits of Mackinac on June 15, 1943.

This day in 1923, the EDWIN E SLICK was struck by the steamer J. LEONARD REPLOGLE in the ice on Whitefish Bay, Lake Superior.

Hawgood Transit's HARVEY D GOULDER entered service on May 6, 1906. Renamed b.) J CLARE MILLER in 1937, she was scrapped at Santander, Spain in 1973.

On May 6, 1934. the ROYALTON 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 the 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.

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 for the Hall Corporation of Canada on May 7, 1954.

The 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. The WIRT was scrapped at Valencia, Spain in 1974.

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. Mc Gifford 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: Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, 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 of Oswego Abuzz with Commercial Activity

5/5 - The Port of Oswego Authority is picking up where it left off in 2005. Last year was the best financially for the port, according to director Tom McAuslan. The reason centers around the Tug Hill windmill project. Components for the windmills are being shipped through the port, resulting in a boost to the local economy.

There were 120 units delivered at the port in 2005. This year, another 75 units are expected to be unloaded at the eastside dock. “This will make for another excellent year for the port,” McAuslan said.

The Tug Hill project, in Lewis County, includes the towns of Harrisburg, Martinsburg and Lowville. The goal of the project is to establish 195 wind turbines, making the project the largest wind farm east of the Mississippi River. These types of project are being blessed in Albany. Gov. George Pataki is aiming for 25 percent of all power generated in New York state to be renewable by 2013.

Two shiploads of parts have already been unloaded at the port. The BBC Russia and the Marinus Green have already been in and out of port. The Marinus Green loaded turbines in Spain, traveled to Denmark where it loaded hubs, and then trekked to Southampton, England, to take on blades before it embarked for the U.S.

The BBC Russia delivered wind turbine parts from Phu My, Vietnam. Four more multipurpose tweendeckers are due in over the course of the summer, McAuslan said. The next ship due is the BBC England on May 16 or 17. “The port is just about loaded with parts,” McAuslan said. The process of trucking parts to Lewis County began earlier today. When the ships are in port, about 30 workers are engaged in the project, McAuslan said.

Wind turbines are not inexpensive. A completely assembled unit costs about $2 million, and that’s not factoring in cost of transportation. A windmill unit consists of nine pieces: four tower pieces, a hub, turbine and three blades.

McAuslan said the windmill project is a tremendous boost to the local economy. Last year, the payroll for stevedores was close to $1 million. “That is all plus money for these people,” McAuslan said. He said most of the stevedores have other jobs in the daytime, and work the night shift at the port for extra cash. Truckers, meanwhile, buy fuel in Oswego County, which helps enhance sales tax coffers. They also purchase food and use lodging in the county, McAuslan added, further aiding the local service sector.

Several years ago, plans were in place to build power-generating wind turbines off the shore of Oswego in Lake Ontario. Those plans disintegrated after local industry and wind power developers balked on a deal.

From Oswego


State of Michigan Vessel Planning Training Tour

5/5 - The State of Michigan, the training vessel of the Great Lakes Maritime Academy will be making a training trip and public relations tour from May 13 to 26th.

The boat is scheduled to arrive at the Soo Locks on Sunday, May 14th at 10:00 a.m. and lock up bound at 1:00 p.m. Their next scheduled stop is in Marquette arriving at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, May 15 and departing at 9:00 p.m. Public tours are planned during the day.

The next stop will be in Houghton, Michigan arriving at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 16 and departing at 8:00 p.m. Public tours of the vessel are also planned for this stop.

After departing Houghton, they will head for Duluth and arrival is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 17. Tours are planned for Thursday before departure at 6:00 p.m. and returning to the Soo, where they plan to lock down bound at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday the 20th. No public access is planned at the Soo as the vessel with take part in a security training exercise. Departure from the Soo is scheduled for 5:00 p.m.

The next stop is Port Huron with arrival planned for 11:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 21st, departing at 1:00 p.m. the next day for a trip to Lake Erie. The vessel will be training in Lake Erie before returning to Port Huron at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 23rd. Public tours should be available during her stays in Port Huron. Departure from Port Huron is at Noon on Wednesday, the 24th, and the vessel will return to her home port of Traverse City.


Rochester Ferry Sold to British firm
Deal leaves taxpayers with debt of about $20 million

5/5 - Rochester's high-speed ferry is soon heading for the English Channel, with City Council expected to sign off on a $29.8 million deal today. The buyer, Euroferries Ltd., should take possession of the Spirit of Ontario and sail it away from Rochester in seven to 10 days, Mayor Robert Duffy said Wednesday. City taxpayers would be left with a debt of almost $20 million.

Euroferries, a British firm, would operate the ferry between Dover, England, and Boulogne, France. "It's been a lot of work for a long period of time," Duffy said during a news conference at City Hall. "Now, it's over." The mayor was referring to intensive negotiations to sell the ship since he announced Jan. 10 that the city was getting out of the ferry business. But he also could have been referring to city staffers' efforts to sustain the Rochester-to-Toronto service during a failed 2005 season that struggled with low ridership and a loss of $10 million in 10 months.

Once the sale closes next week, the city will take the money and repay $7.5 million borrowed from city insurance reserves for shut-down expenses. The remainder, less a brokerage fee, will be applied to a $40 million debt owed to Australian lender Export Finance and Insurance Corp. The city borrowed from EFIC to buy the ship for $32 million in February 2005 and restart the Rochester-to-Toronto service last June.

Thomas Richards, the city's corporation counsel who negotiated the sale, said the remaining debt of slightly less than $20 million will become a taxpayer obligation. "This is a fixed number now," he said. "It may be painful, but we can plan for it and manage it." By selling the ship and reducing the debt, Richards said the city would pay, on average, $2.3 million less per year in debt service for the remaining 15 years of the loan.

Euroferries was one of seven bidders, with initial offerings from $16 million to $27 million. A different bidder that garnered media attention, an upstart British firm called Navmed, was among those seven, Richards said, but Navmed's claims of $30 million-plus bids for the ship were made only to the media.

'Best Ship' for Channel Run Hailed
Owner must now get ferry to Dover to cash in on its motor-coach capacity

Rochester's high-speed ferry — sold Wednesday to a British company for $29.8 million — is being heralded as a perfect fit for its future home on the English Channel. The deal is being cheered here as well, with one losing bidder calling the city's handling of the sale "well run." The buyer, Euroferries Ltd., will operate the ship between Dover, England, one of the busiest passenger ports in the United Kingdom, and Boulogne, France.

"Honestly, that will be the best ship for this line, for doing what they want to do," said Alain Rousseau, port development manager for the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer. He said the size and characteristics of the ship, specifically its ability to carry motor coaches, would complement a pedestrian-only service already traversing the route.

Mayor Robert Duffy said that Bay Ferries Great Lakes, which showed the ship to prospective buyers, likely would deliver it to England. Once there, the ship would be inspected in dry dock and repainted. There is urgency. "We have the season coming," Rousseau said, referring to June to mid-September. Euroferries is pushing to start up this month.

Duffy drew applause from city workers gathered at City Hall for a late-afternoon news conference Wednesday when he declared: "The ferry is sold." The ferry board and City Council are expected to vote on the sale today in meetings at City Hall. The city, which lauded the ship's arrival two years ago, would be left with nearly $20 million in debt and no plan for ferry service to resume.

Duffy announced Jan. 10 that there would be no third season for the Spirit of Ontario. The ship struggled through abbreviated seasons in 2004 and 2005, hindered by late start-ups, minimal marketing and low ridership. The first year it was a private operation, run by Canadian American Transportation Systems, and the second it was a city operation, after Rochester acquired the ship at auction.

City Corporation Counsel Thomas Richards, who negotiated the sale via phone and e-mail, said the city had about 25 people express interest and received seven bids, ranging from $16 million to $27 million. The city looked at the bidders' ability to pay and whether they had an existing operation, and negotiated with the three "most responsible" bidders.

Richards said he would detail the negotiating process during today's meetings. He also said he would explain an estimated $2.8 million settlement resolving a long-term management contract with Bay Ferries, which operated the ferry for the city last year. A 14-year pact with the Toronto Port Authority has yet to be resolved.

On the ferry sale, Richards said the city's cash-only, no-warranty, take-possession-at-the-pier terms put a lot of pressure on any potential buyer. He said the city spent the past week or so just waiting for Euroferries to finalize its arrangements.

Thomas Roberts, a broker with New Jersey-based Compass Maritime Services LLC, represented one of the final bidders but said his client wasn't willing to raise its bid. He described the negotiating process as "well run ... and extremely professional."

From the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle


Shipwreck Show Saturday Night in Holland

5/5 - If you are in the Holland area this weekend, Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates is holding their annual show at 7:00 p.m. Saturday evening at the Knickerbocker Theatre in downtown Holland. They will present underwater video of two of their discoveries from last summer.

The long-sought S.S. Michigan went down in 1885 after a long battle trapped in the ice and the surprise of the summer, the previously unknown stern section of the Ann Arbor No. 5.

They will also give an update on their ongoing search for the Northwest Airlines Flight 2501, which crashed int Lake Michigan more than 50 years ago. Honored guests at the event will include family members of some of the victims.

Well known wreck diver Dave Trotter will show some of his recent discoveries in Lake Huron. For more information check the MSRA web site Tickets will be available at the door.


Port Reports - May 5

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey & Gordy Garris
The tug Barbara Andrie and her tank barge were inbound the Saginaw River Thursday morning calling on the Bit-Mat dock in Bay City to unload.
Also inbound later in the afternoon was the J.A.W. Iglehart who traveled to the upper river to unload at the LaFarge Terminal in Carrollton. Both vessels are expected to be outbound on Friday. This was the Iglehart's first visit to the Saginaw River for the 2006 season. The Sixth Street turning basin in Saginaw is still awaiting dredging later this month by the Corp of Engineers
Because of this the tug Gregory J. Busch will tow the Iglehart out to the Airport turning basin Friday afternoon to turn around, as she had done previously with the tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort/barge Great Lakes Trader, Maumee, and the Alpena.

Milwaukee -Paul Erspamer
Articulated tug/barge G.L. Ostrander/Integrity arrived in Milwaukee's inner harbor, pivoted and docked at LaFarge at 10:00 a.m. Thursday. Unloading cement throughout the day, Integrity departed onto Lake Michigan at 9:00 p.m.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The Canadian Steamship Lines MV Atlantic Huron was loading Thursday at the NS coal dock.
Due to arrive at the loading dock on Friday is the John J. Boland.


Updates - May 5

 News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - May 05

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

The MERCURY, a.) RENOWN of 1912, 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, a.) ARCHERS HOPE of 1945, 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 down bound 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 feet keel, 209 foot overall, 35 foot beam and 14 foot depth. Her engine was built by Samuel F. Hodge.

On 05 May 1902, MILWAUKEE (steel propeller freighter, 325 foot, 3,327 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.


Lack of Adequate Dredging
Jeopardizing Ability to Move Coal on the Great Lakes

5/4 - Toledo, OH--- The continuing inability to maximize vessel carrying capacity is jeopardizing the Lakes' largest coal shipper's ability to keep pace with demand for coal- coal-generated energy in the future warned Fred L. Shusterich, President of Midwest Energy Resource Company in Superior, Wisconsin. "In order to keep pace with the coal-generated energy demands of the Great Lakes basin, Congress must fund a comprehensive plan to restore the Great Lakes system to its project depth as quickly as possible and subsequently maintain the project depth into the future."

Speaking before the 11th Annual Informational Breakfast for the Great Lakes Delegation hosted by the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force in Washington, DC on Wednesday, Shusterich noted Midwest Energy Resources Company (MERC) has the capacity to annually ship 25 million tons of low sulfur western coal to Great Lakes power plants and projects loading 22 million tons in 2006.

"The majority of coal shipped from the MERC terminal transits the St. Marys River enroute to our customers. 1,000-foot-long vessels are losing as much as 18 inches of loaded draft when the St. Marys River is the controlling depth on a voyage. When these vessels forfeit 18 inches of draft, they are leaving approximately 4,500 tons of coal at our dock, or as much as 6.5 percent of their carrying capacity on each and every trip.

Put into perspective, MERC loaded 412 total vessels in 2005. 333 vessels, or 81 percent, were 1,000-foot-long vessels. At 4,500 tons lost per loading, that amounted to almost 1.5 million tons lost, or the equivalent of one 1,000-foot-long vessel in service to the MERC terminal for six months." "The continuing growth of low sulfur coal in satisfying our nation's energy needs can be attributed to both its economics of use and its natural application in environmental compliance strategies," said Shusterich. "I do not see this trend changing appreciably going forward.

"What I do see changing going forward is the degree to which we and others will be successful in keeping pace with the coal-generated energy needs of the Great Lakes basin. The continuing inability to maximize vessel loadings, particularly 1,000-foot-long vessels, due to the lack of a reliably funded dredging program, continues to put in jeopardy our ability to keep pace with coal-generated energy demands in the future."

The problem of underutilizing vessel carrying capacity is wide-spread on the Great Lakes. Shusterich noted a recent survey by the U.S. Maritime Administration found U.S.-Flag vessel operators estimate 75 percent of cargos they carried in the past five years have been reduced in volume due to inadequate water depth at either the loading or discharge port or in the connecting channels (St. Marys, St. Clair and Detroit Rivers). The reason dredging on the Great Lakes is inadequate to meet the needs of commerce is one of funding.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' budget has been declining or static for decades. It is estimated that it will cost more than $200 million just to restore the Great Lakes navigation system to project depth. The Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, which funds the Corps' dredging budget with revenues generated by a tax on cargo movement, has a surplus of $1.8 billion. Further compounding the problem is the way in which the Corps' dredging budget is allocated. Inequities in the funding formula channel more money to the inland rivers than the Great Lakes, even though total waterborne commerce on the Great Lakes often tops 200 million tons a year.

Midwest Energy Resources Company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Detroit Edison Company and is primarily responsible for managing Detroit Edison's low sulfur western coal movements from the mines to its power plants, along with the management of coal deliveries for at present 16 third-party utility and industrial customers in the Great Lakes basin and Canadian Maritimes.

The Great Lakes Maritime Task Force was founded in Toledo, Ohio, in 1992 to promote domestic and international Great Lakes shipping. It is the largest coalition to ever speak for the Great Lakes shipping community and draws its membership from both labor and management representing U.S.-Flag vessel operators, shipboard and longshore unions, port authorities, terminal operators, cargo shippers, shipyards and other Great Lakes interests. In addition to restoring adequate funding for dredging of Great Lakes ports and waterways, its goals include construction of a second Poe-sized lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan; preserving the domestic steelmaking infrastructure; protecting the nation's cabotage laws; maximizing the Lakes overseas trade; and opposing exports and increased diversions of Great Lakes water.

For more information, contact Fred L. Shusterich, President, Midwest Energy Resources Company, (715) 392-9807 or Glen G. Nekvasil, Secretary, Great Lakes Maritime Task Force, (216) 861-0592/ E-mail:


New Mac is Back in Cheboygan with a Deck Full of Buoys

5/4 - Cheboygan - Its deck packed with 45 tons of buoys, cast-concrete sinkers and heavy chain, the new U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw arrived home to Cheboygan Friday a day earlier than planned from a training trip to Milwaukee. The Mac was gone for a week and visited other ports while collecting hardware to be used at the new buoy-servicing station at the Millard D. Olds Memorial Moorings.

“We had a great trip,” declared Cmdr. John Little of his longest time together so far with his crew as new skipper. “We transited some areas the ship hasn't gone yet. We'll be breaking ice someday in those places and Milwaukee will likely be a staging area for our runs in Lake Michigan.” The new icebreaker left April 21 and sailed to Milwaukee, then worked buoys and conducted training drills in Green Bay before continuing on to Escanaba, the Manitou Island Passage and Gray's Reef Passage.

Much of the return trip and training was conducted while the ship had 11 buoys of various sizes and shapes chained to the forward buoy deck. The vessel is designed to hold 80 tons of materials in that area of the vessel and reports were that there was little effect on the boat's trim. Some of the sinkers weigh in excess of 8,500 pounds and the largest buoy brought back measures eight feet in diameter and weighs more than four tons.

“We have all types here,” Little explained. “These are spares that we'll use in our servicing of the lakes. Our new facility here is designed to handle these and this is where we'll repair, paint and store them. One thing about this ship - when it ties up the work is just beginning.” The whole concept of buoy work is new to Cheboygan. The original Mackinaw cut ice, and while the new Mac will do that too, it will also spend a lot of time handling buoys and working other aids to navigation such as lighthouses.

“We needed to train with a big load like this and we were busy - dawn-to-dark busy,” Little continued. “Our crew is learning to not only place and retrieve buoys but it's also important to learn to do this work while we've got ten of them already chained to the deck. It's dangerous and we are learning to follow procedures, you know, figure out how we'll store all these buoys.”

This week the Mackinaw will begin training with the Vessel of Opportunity Skimming System, a portable oil spill containment system that arrives by tractor-trailer truck and is then taken by the cutter to the scene of a hazardous waste or oil spill scene for response.

From the Cheboygan Daily Tribune


Tall Ship Plans to Sloop into Muskegon

5/4 - Muskegon - There will be sails on the horizon again this June as Muskegon hosts a tall ship at Heritage Landing. The Muskegon County Museum will bring in the War of 1812 replica "Friends Good Will," a South Haven-based square topsail sloop. The Michigan Maritime Museum centerpiece exhibit will be at Heritage Landing for on-deck tours and daily sailing excursions the weekend of June 9-11. "Muskegon has a rich maritime history and has a fascination with tall ships," said John McGarry, director of the Muskegon County Museum. "The county museum is pleased to provide the community with this educational opportunity."

Muskegon was host to the Tall Ships Challenge Muskegon, which attracted 112,000 people and 20 ships to Heritage Landing in 2001, and the 2003 Huntington Harborfest Tall Ships Challenge Muskegon, which drew 60,000 visitors and 11 ships. The Good Will is scheduled to set sail for Muskegon June 8. It should arrive at Heritage Landing on Muskegon Lake's south shore by the next afternoon. Volunteers from the Muskegon County Museum will have a special event on board the ship 5-7 p.m. June 9 , McGarry said.

When not out on Muskegon Lake or Lake Michigan, the Good Will is scheduled to be open to the public for free on-deck and below-deck tours at Heritage Landing June 9-11. The 28-passenger ship will be available for a two-hour sunset cruise June 9-10 for $40 per passenger. On June 10 at noon and 3 p.m. and June 11 at noon there will be 90-minute day cruises for $30. Tickets are sold only the day of the sailing, and weather is a determining factor. "It's a tall ship. If there is no wind or too much wind, they might not go out," McGarry said.

McGarry has established a relationship with South Haven's Michigan Maritime Museum, which had a $2 million fund-raising campaign to build a replica of the Good Will. The Scarano Boat Builders of Albany, N.Y., delivered the modern version of the Good Will in September 2004. That was one year after Muskegon's second Tall Ship festival, so the June visit will be the first time Good Will has been in Muskegon. The visit is made possible through a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs; that funding also will allow the ship to visit Ludington in early September.

From the Muskegon Chronicle


Port Reports - May 4

Saginaw Rover - Gordy Garris & Todd Shorkey
The tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and the barge Great Lakes Trader returned to the Saginaw River early Wednesday morning for her third visit since Saturday. The pair lightered at the Bay City Wirt dock early Wednesday morning before going upriver to Saginaw. The pair then headed upriver again to unload their cargo at the Saginaw Wirt dock. The pair finished by 2:00 p.m. and backed up to the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee to pump-out ballast water, and by 2:30 p.m. the tug Gregory J. Busch had arrived and began towing the pair out to the Airport. By 4:00 p.m., the tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader had completed their turn around at the Airport turning basin. The pair were outbound passing through the Downtown Bay City bridges by 4:30 p.m., headed for the lake.

Detroit - Ken Borg
On Tuesday, Arthur M. Anderson was unloading stone at Zug Island, Federal Yohinoe was docked at Morterm in Ojibway, and H. Lee White was unloading at Zug Island in the Short Cut Canal. Algocape was up bound, as was American Republic.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The Grand River Navigation/Lower Lakes Towing self unloading motor vessel Manistee came into our port on Wednesday afternoon and docked bow first at Verplank’s at about 2:30 pm. This is her second visit of the season.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Tuesday saw the Federal Hunter depart Hamilton at 3:00 p.m. The tanker Arabian Wind arrived at 7:30 p.m. going to the anchorage. Her cargo is magnesium calcium and calcium chloride .Last port was Sydney Nova Scotia and her next port is Oshawa Ontario.

Milwaukee - Bill Bedell & Paul Erspamer
On Monday morning at 9:00 AM, Maumee from the Grand River/Lower Lakes line proceeded into Milwaukee's inner harbor, where it unloaded salt at the bulk cargo dock on Jones Island. At about 4:00 PM, Maumee backed downriver to the outer harbor, where it turned and departed onto Lake Michigan.

Overnight Monday night ASC's American Mariner visited Milwaukee, backing into the inner harbor to deliver a load of coal to the WE Energies Greenfield Avenue dock. Having completed its delivery, Mariner was on its way at 7:30 AM Tuesday.

Very early Tuesday St. Mary's Challenger extended a string of recent visits to Milwaukee. After unloading at its berth on the Kinnickinnic River, Challenger backed down through the inner harbor, turned and departed onto Lake Michigan at about 1:30 PM.

Early Wednesday afternoon the Middletown made her appearance at the transient dock on the east side of Jones Island unloading a load of limestone. It's been a long time since she has been in Milwaukee with any thing other then coal. She was backed into the slip and angled across it to get her boom positioned right.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
With the strike at Sifto Salt almost three weeks old, Canadian Navigator entered the harbour late Tuesday night and is still loading Wednesday morning. Sarah Spencer/Jane Ann IV and Algoville are still on the wall undergoing repairs.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Monday the J.A.W Iglehart was in port and is expected back early Thursday morning after delivering to Whitefish, ON. The Steamer Alpena arrived around 5pm on Tuesday and tied up under the silos to load. The Alpena was outbound in the bay before 10pm heading for South Chicago.

At Stoneport Tuesday night the Buffalo was taking on stone with Reserve anchored nearby, waiting to load next.

The McKee Sons/tug Invincible was at Lafarge on Wednesday unloading product into the storage hopper.

Detroit - Ken Borg
Wednesday, Federal Yoshina was at Morterm in Ojibway, Armco was up bound at 10:38 a.m.
Kaye E. Barker came down and entered the Rouge River for at 11:27 a.m.
Arthur M. Anderson up the Detroit River, turning on left wheel into the Rouge River with coal for Carmuse Lime in River Rouge at 11:38 a.m.
The Algoway turned in the Detroit River and backed down to Windsor Salt.
Olympic Merit was down bound at 6:20 p.m.

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
The Maumee delivered a load of stone products to the Verplank dock at Holland early Thursday morning, arriving at 1:30 and preparing to depart at about 7:00. They will head to Chicago to pick up a load of slag for delivery here on Friday.


Updates - May 4

News Photo Gallery updated and more News Photo Gallery updated

Public Photo Gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History - May 04

On May 4, 1958, the JOHN SHERWIN entered service. The SHERWIN has 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 departed Sturgeon Bay for Escanaba, Michigan 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, a.) MARTHA E ALLEN of 1928, 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.


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 of 1954, took the honors as the first salty, passing under Duluth's Aerial Bridge at 1:16 p.m., followed by a salty named the HERALD of 1943, 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 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.

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


International vessel with prototype ballast system calls on Port of Indiana

5/2 - Portage, Ind. – The Federal Welland brought 20,467 metric tons of steel coils to the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor - but that's not all it is carrying. The 656-foot long ship also contains a prototype ballast water treatment system designed to eliminate nuisance species and microscopic organisms that may come aboard at foreign ports.

The Ports of Indiana is partnering in this initiative by waiving the standard dockage fees for the ship every time it visits the port. The ship is owned by Fednav Limited, the largest ship operator on the Great Lakes and sister company to Federal Marine Terminals, general cargo stevedore at Burns Harbor. The OceanSaver® system applies three different technologies in the treatment of ballast water, including filtration, super-saturation with nitrogen and hydrodynamic cavitation.

The new ballast treatment system is part of a proactive effort by Fednav and Great Lakes ports to develop new technologies for combating nuisance organisms that can cause damage to native environments all around the world. Ships that are not fully loaded with cargo take on ballast water for stability and to keep from tipping over. Sometimes non-indigenous organisms are transferred around the globe in ballast tanks.

Ballast water treatment is a hotly debated topic all over the world. Currently, ships entering the Great Lakes are required to flush their ballast tanks 200 miles from U.S. waters, but even this is not 100 percent effective. A major challenge within this issue is that there are no federally approved standards or technologies for treating ballast water. As a result, companies have been reluctant to make significant investments in testing because there is not yet an established target nor any approved method for attacking the problem.

The Indiana legislature recently passed a concurrent resolution authored by Rep. Mary Kay Budak urging the U.S. Congress to act quickly to establish federal ballast water standards. The resolution was supported by industry, environmental groups and the ports. Weeks later, the issue was brought before the U.S. Senate and is still under consideration.

Reported by Peter Zagorac


Port Reports - May 2

Marquette - Rod Burdick
American Republic made a rare visit to Marquette's Lower Harbor last week to unload stone.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Algoville entered the harbour Monday afternoon about 3 p.m. but not under her own power. After developing engine problems in the mid Lake Huron area, she sent out a call for Malcolm Marines tug Manitou out of Port Huron. With the Manitou riding her shoulder coming into port, MacDonald Marine tugs Dover, Debbie Lynn and Donald Bert provided additional assistance. She is expected to be laying on the elevator dock for 7-10 days undergoing repairs.

Saginaw River - Stephan Hause
The tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader paid its third visit in less than a week to the Saginaw River, arriving late Sunday evening at the Wirt Stone Dock in Bay City. After lightering at that dock, the vessel continued up to the Wirt dock at Saginaw during the night. With the assistance of the tug Gregory J. Busch, the Trader backed down the river to the airport turning basin on Monday morning to turn for its outbound passage.
The Buffalo was inbound for the Saginaw River late Monday afternoon.

Detroit - Ken Borg
On Sunday, Agawa Canyon was loading at Windsor Salt at Ojibway, Earl W. Oglebay was unloading in Windsor near Sterling Fuel and departed up bound before noon.  The St. Clair was unloading taconite on the Detroit River side of Zug Island. John G. Munson came down river and entered the Rouge River with stone for Carmuse Lime.
Reserve was down bound at 3:45 p.m. with the O/N logo painted over on her stack and bow.
Algontario was down bound at 5:35 p.m.

Huron and Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The Cuyahoga was nestled under the loading shoot at the Con-Agra dock in Huron Monday afternoon.

Posted for arrival at the NS coal dock in Sandusky are the Herbert C. Jackson on Tuesday and the Arthur M. Anderson on Wednesday.

Oshawa - Jim Gallacher
Two bulkers arrived in Oshawa Monday, the Federal Saguenay and the Persenk. Both ships grounded at the Port entrance and had to be assisted by 4 Tugs. The Ocean Tugs Omni Richelieu and Jerry G and the McKeil Tugs Glenevis and Vigilant I. It took a bit longer but both ships were docked successfully.

South End of Lake Michigan - Tom Milton
Burns Harbor - Salties, Daviken and Federal Welland at Fednav terminals.

Calumet River - About 3:30 p.m. the American Mariner entered Lake Michigan, followed a few minutes later by the Algorail. The Algorail appears to have unloaded salt across the river from KCBX coal.


The International Lake Superior Board of Control Public Meeting Announced

5/2 - The International Lake Superior Board of Control is inviting the public to participate in a three-city meeting during the evening of May 24, 2006. The purpose of the meeting is to provide information on: the operations of the Board; current and forecasted water levels; and, to receive public input about local concerns related to water levels and flows of Lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron (including Georgian Bay). The three sites will be linked by conference phone for a portion of the meeting to encourage participants to share their questions and concerns.

You may participate from either of these local meeting sites:
Duluth, Minnesota: Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center, 600 Lake Ave South, Duluth, MN
Parry Sound, Ontario: West Parry Sound District Museum, 17 George St., Parry Sound ON
Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan: US Army Corps of Engineers, Maintenance Support Building - Office, 119 E. Water Street, Sault Ste. Marie, MI

Program -  7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. EDT / 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. CDT, A Board representative will facilitate each local meeting and provide information on current conditions and the water level outlook. Public participants will determine the information to be conveyed during the conference call.

8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. EDT / 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. CDT The three meeting sites will be linked by conference phone. The chair will request one specific comment from each site, alternating between the sites in order to elicit as much information as possible about local conditions and impacts of concern.

9:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. EDT / 8:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. CDT Participants will be asked to evaluate the meeting. Board members or staff will remain available for wrap-up and informal discussion.

RSVP In order to facilitate logistical arrangements, please RSVP to one of the secretaries below by May 12th. Please indicate which local meeting you plan to attend. Those who have replied will be notified in advance of any updates or changes. Updates will also be posted at . Please follow the links to the Board’s web pages on the IJC site.

David Fay, Secretary, Canadian Section , Int’l Lake Superior Board of Control, 111 Water Street, Cornwall, Ontario K6H 6S2, Tel (613) 938-5725, E-Mail:

John Kangas, Secretary, United States Section Int’l Lake Superior Board of Control, 111 North Canal Street, Chicago, Illinois 60606-7205, Tel (312) 353-4333 E-Mail

USACE News Release


Updates - May 2

News Photo Gallery updated.

Public Photo Gallery updated

Calendar of Events has been updated.


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 up bound maiden run.

ADAM E CORNELIUS (Hull#53) was launched at St. Clair, Michigan by Great Lakes Engineering Works on May 2, 1908. Renamed b.) DETROIT EDISON in 1948, c.) GEORGE F RAND in 1954. Sold Canadian in 1962, renamed d.) AVONDALE. She was scrapped at Castellon, Spain in 1979.

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


Port Reports - May 1

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The US Coast Guard cutter Hollyhock was out on the lake pulling the winter buoy at Waverly Shoal on Saturday evening. She came into Buffalo Harbor Saturday night and tied up at the Seaway Pier #1. The ship departed around 10:00 a.m. on Sunday to work the Entrance Channel buoys off Buffalo. The captain made arrangements with the inbound Herbert C. Jackson to pass on the "One Whistle" out near the Traffic Buoy at 11:00 a.m. The Jackson met the tug Washington at the North Entrance and proceeded up the Buffalo River to the ADM Standard Elevator, docking there around 1 p.m. They were expected to depart some time on Tuesday afternoon or evening.

Milwaukee - Dick Fox
The St. Mary’s Challenger came in from a partial unload at Milwaukee late Saturday night. At 11:15 p.m., it had just cast off from the St. Mary’s Terminal in Ferrysburg. It backed out through the pier heads, passing the MCM dredge still at work clearing the harbor entrance around noon, swung around and headed north to Charlevoix to reload at the cement plant there.


Maritime Music Sought for Vantage Point, BoatNerd.Com Radio

5/1 - Calling all maritime musicians. Boatnerd.Com is seeking the donation of CDs or MP3 files from musicians or groups that perform maritime-themed music. Initially the music will be played throughout the new Vantage Point development at Port Huron on outdoor speakers, and in the new Maritime Center on the St. Clair River.

Long-term the music will be streamed over the Internet (in a secure format that can be listened to live but not saved) as part of “BoatNerd.Com Radio.” Artists will be given full credit with a description of the music and link to any applicable websites. This credit will appear on a page on the BoatNerd.Com site and in printed form distributed at Vantage Point.

Please include a paragraph about the artist or group, cover art or similar picture to be included with your listing. Lyrics or information about individual songs can also be included if desired. This information can be sent by e-mail to

Please send to:
Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping
P.O. Box 244
Troy, MI 48099-0244

Electronic files can be uploaded, please e-mail for details.
*artist retains all rights to music submitted, the work submitted will not be distributed beyond playing through Vantage Point and eventual secure format streamed over the Internet.


Trip Winners Announced

The winners of the United Way of St. Clair County Great Lakes Freighter Raffle are Ann Beedon of Port Huron, MI & Christian Kamm of Rocky River, OH.

The drawing was held April 27.


Updates - May 1

News Photo Gallery updated.

Public Photo Gallery updated

Calendar of Events has been updated.


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.

The steel-hulled bulk carrier SHENANGO (Hull#62) was launched on May 1, 1909, by Great Lakes Engineering Works, Ecorse, Michigan.

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

The 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.

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

May 1, 1903 - The ANN ARBOR NO 1 sighted a burning vessel about 15 miles out of the Sturgeon Bay Ship canal, the steamer 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 Kelley'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. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.


Ship Chandler Thomas P. Tucker Passes

4/30 - Thomas P. Tucker, dear husband of Mary Ann, beloved father of Peter Tucker, Mary Bieniasz ,Josephine (Tom) Heidtke, Bill (Laura) Tucker, Patricia (Mark) Grab, Thomas Mark Tucker, and James (Kelly)Tucker. Loving grandfather of Deanna, Tyler, Alexander, Spencer, Britni, Brendon, Bradlee, and Bryan. Dearest brother of Cyril (Rosalie) Tucker.

Funeral Saturday 9:30 a.m. at St. Alphonsus Church until Mass 10 am. Visitation Thursday 5-9 p.m. and Friday 2-9 p.m. at the Lesney & Son Funeral Home, 13201 W. Warren, Dearborn. with a Parish Rosary Friday 6:30 p.m.

 Tucker was a member of the International Ship Masters Organization, and was a Ship Chandler at the Detroit Marine Supply.

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