Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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Last Day to Order Your Tickets for the BoatNerd Freighter Trip raffle

5/31 - This is the last day to order your tickets for the BoatNerd Freighter Trip Raffle. If you are the lucky winner you could be cruising the Great Lakes later this summer on a working freighter, or enjoying one of the 11 other prizes. Online orders must be received by 7 p.m. May 31. Your ticket(s) will be promptly mailed to you. 

In person purchases will be accepted until 1:00 pm on the day of the drawing.

Drawing will take place at 2 p.m. on June 2 at the BoatNerd.Com World Headquarters in Port Huron, MI.

Winners need not be present at drawing to win and will be notified by mail and/or phone.

Click here for full details and tickets order form.

 

Port Reports - May 31

Marquette - Rod Burdick
On a hazy Wednesday morning, Buffalo arrived off the Upper Harbor Light and turned to back into the North Side of the ore dock to load taconite.
Buffalo is the third river class vessel to load ore in Marquette this past week.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey

The Cuyahoga was unloading Wednesday morning at the Sargent dock in Essexville.

Toledo Docks - Bob Vincent
Lee A. Tregurtha came in for a Algoma Steel coal load Wednesday at 1 p.m. and left Toledo around 5:30 p.m.
The tug Great Lakes and barge Michigan arrived about 2 p.m. Wednesday and tied up at the Midwest Terminal of Toledo International.
The next coal boat will be the Michipicoten due Friday, at noon. American Republic is due Saturday early morning.
On the ore side at the Torco Dock, the CSL Laurentien unloaded ore from Port Cartier Wednesday afternoon. The next ore boat will be the Canadian Transport due Thursday at mid afternoon. Atlantic Erie is due Saturday with a split load of ore from Port Cartier and Seven Island. The Midwest Terminal Stone Dock has the Mississagi due Thursday at 9 p.m.

 

June 2 is deadline to make reservations
for BoatNerd Detroit Up River Cruise

5/31 - 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, in Wyandotte, MI at 10:00 am on June 16. We'll go where the boats are, maybe up the Rouge River. Bring your camera.

To make the trip even more interesting, a pizza buffet will be delivered by the mail boat J. W. Westcott. Cash bar on board. Plenty of free, safe parking at Portofino's. Click here for directions.

All this for only $25.00. Limited to the first 100 reservations. We must have a minimum of 50 paid reservations, or the cruise will be canceled and checks returned. Checks and reservations must be received no later than June 2, 2007.

Click here for Reservations Form. Checks will not be cashed until the week before the cruise. No physical tickets will be issued. Your name will be on the Boarding List. Details on the Gatherings Page.

Mail your reservation and check today to:
Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, Inc.
Detroit Up River Cruise
1110 South Main Street
Findlay, OH 45840-2239.

 

Government wants new caretaker for light tower

5/31 - Duluth - Wanted: A new caretaker for one of Duluth’s most visible but often-overlooked landmarks, the light tower on Park Point.

In an age of global positioning systems and sophisticated radar, the 106-year-old black and white light tower on the south breakwater — right next to the Aerial Lift Bridge — has outlived its usefulness, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The tower’s fans say it provides ambience and has historical value. And while it can’t be moved or host a commercial enterprise, it will be made available at no cost to any qualifying government agency as well as a nonprofit, school or community development organization, according to an entry in the Federal Register. The group must use it for educational, recreational or historic preservation purposes.

“I just recently heard this was going to happen,” Duluth Mayor Herb Bergson wrote in an e-mail Wednesday to the News Tribune. “We should save it if we have the ability.” The government listed the 68-foot-tall light tower, which has a cylindrical staircase inside, as “excess to the needs of the U.S. government.”

But if a new caretaker isn’t found, the light won’t be going to the scrap heap, said Victor Kotwicki of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Detroit. It will be placed back into the federal government’s inventory until it tries to find another taker, he said. Despite a notice of the light tower’s availability in the News Tribune on May 16, Arthur Ullenberg of the U.S. General Services Administration in Chicago said his agency hasn’t received any applications. The deadline is July 2.

Ullenberg said a potential owner must fill out a comprehensive application that covers issues such as financial backing and historic preservation or restoration plans.

Dennis Gimmestad of the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul also is involved in finding a new owner. He said all the federal agencies are looking to unload property and cut their budgets. He noted a similar public/private partnership with the lighthouse in Two Harbors.

“If we don’t find anyone interested in it, then we look at alternative ways to preserve it,” Gimmestad said. “I hope they won’t tear it down. I haven’t heard that in any discussions.”

The tower is on the National Register of Historic Places and is protected by the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000.

Gimmestad said that means the protective rules are flexible enough that the light tower can be rehabilitated and not require more extensive and expensive restoration. A new owner would be responsible for maintaining its structural integrity and appearance. “We know from experience that there are people out there willing to do a lot to restore these structures,” Kotwicki said. “We normally receive two or three applicants.”

The tower’s flashing 35-watt halogen lamp can be seen from 17 miles away, according to the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center in Canal Park. The Duluth-based U.S. Coast Guard services the light once a year.

The structure has a pyramidal steel skeleton frame, with a round lantern room at the top. It was built before the days of welding, so its parts were joined entirely with rivets. The steel tower replaced a wooden lighthouse built in 1889, according to museum records.

There are lighthouses on both ends of the Lake Superior-side piers. The one on the Park Point side flashes green, and boat captains and pilots can line up the green light with the light tower to establish a route to the Duluth ship canal, said Thom Holden, director of the maritime museum. The lighthouse on the Canal Park side strobes both a white light to warn stray ships from the rocky shore and a red light to keep them from hitting the concrete pier, Holden said.

 Kotwicki said it became obsolete because the Coast Guard can just set a pole in the water with electronics to accomplish the same functions. He said the Coast Guard would be willing to maintain the light, but the new owner would be responsible for everything else. Holden said the light tower also has great value for the nautical ambience it brings to the area.

Duluth’s Carolyn Sundquist, who serves on the board of advisers for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, said there haven’t been any serious discussions in local preservation circles yet about the structure. “The shipping maritime history is so important to this area, we would hope that a group would step up and take care of the preservation of the lighthouse,” Sundquist said. “It will be interesting what will happen.”

To apply
Letters of interest can be sent to Arthur Ullenberg of the U.S. General Services Administration, Property Disposal Division, Public Buildings Service, 230 S. Dearborn St., Room 3774, Chicago, IL 60604.

From the Duluth News Tribune

 

Updates - May 31

News Photo Gallery updated.

A special Badger Boatnerd Gathering Photo Gallery.

Calendar of Events updated

Public Photo Gallery updated.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 31

On this day in 1950, the WILFRED SYKES arrived at Indiana Harbor at 4:20 p.m. with 17,655 tons of ore in her holds. The SYKES set a new speed record by traveling from Superior, Wisconsin to Indiana Harbor in 54 hours and 35 minutes.

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.

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, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, 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 Iron Ore Trade Skips a Beat in April
Falling Water Levels Trim Loads Too

5/30 - Cleveland---The Great Lakes iron ore trade totaled 5.7 million net tons in April, a decrease of 4 percent compared to a year ago.

The decrease reflects a combination of factors. Demand for iron ore is a bit sluggish, but a plunging water level on Lake Superior is also reducing the amount of iron ore vessels can load. A 1,000-foot-long U.S.-Flag Laker with a rated capacity of 71,120 net tons carried four iron ore cargos in April. If ports and waterways were maintained to project dimensions, the vessel would have carried 285,000 net tons of iron ore in April. However, the vessel was only able to deliver 238,000 net tons during the month.

More than 16 percent of the vessel’s carrying capacity was rendered useless in April because falling water levels are compounding the effects of decades of inadequate dredging.

For the year, the Great Lakes iron ore trade stands at 10.4 million net tons, a decrease of 11.3 percent compared to the same point in 2006, but on pace with the 5-year average for the January-April timeframe.

Lake Carriers’ Association represents 18 American corporations that operate 63 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.

More information is available at www.lcaships.com

Source: Lake Carriers’ Association

 

Port Reports - May 30

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Tuesday morning at the Upper Harbor, American Republic arrived to load ore, and Mesabi Miner was unloading western coal.

Goderich -
On Monday the Saginaw was in unloading at the elevators.
The Algomarine was at Sifto salt dock, and left at about 4:15 p.m.

Port Weller - Paul Beesley
Just before 1 p.m. on Thursday the James Norris started her move into Port Weller Shipyard. She was assisted by the McKeil tugs Wyatt M (formerly Progress) and Jarrett M. The Norris is the second ship in the drydock this year; the ferry Nindawayma spent a few days in the dock earlier this month. By 2 p.m. the Norris was secured in the dock. And both tugs proceeded downbound, the Wyatt M for Hamilton and the Jarrett M for Toronto.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The salty Pochard departed Redpath Sugar on Tuesday. The Algoma self-unloader Algosteel is the next vessel scheduled for Redpath.
Evans McKeil with the barge Metis returned to port late Monday and are in temporary lay-up. Stephen B. Roman departed the Essroc slip earlier in the day.
Canadian Ranger will move this season .. but not as a freighter. The Ranger will be used as a floating fireworks platform for the "Festival of Fire" fireworks display for four days off Ontario Place in Humber Bay. It will be towed into position.

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
The Maumee entered Holland harbor at about 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon on Tuesday and headed to the James DeYoung power plant with a load of coal. The museum ship Friends Goodwill came up from South Haven, arriving at about 5:30 p.m. and tying up at Boatwerks Restaurant. On Wednesday it will host several groups of schoolchildren who are studying Michigan's maritime past. It will return to South Haven on Thursday.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
The American Republic loaded ore at Marquette on Tuesday while the Mesabi Miner brought a load of coal.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
Overnight Monday night, St. Mary's Conquest and its tug Susan W. Hannah arrived and delivered cement to its Kinnickinnic River terminal. Conquest departed downriver onto the lake during the noon hour Tuesday.
Tuesday evening, ocean bulker Lake Michigan from the Federal line (reg. Majuro, Marshall Islands) was docked at terminal 2 in Milwaukee's outer harbor, waiting to discharge cargo.
Also Tuesday, Maritime Trader, in a rare visit to this port, was loading at the Nidera grain elevator in the inner harbor.
Tuesday afternoon at 3:30, cement carrier Integrity with its tug G. L. Ostrander departed onto Lake Michigan after unloading at the LaFarge silo on Jones Island.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Mississagi was inbound the Saginaw River early Tuesday morning calling on the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee. She was back outbound through Bay City late in the morning.
The CSL Tadoussac was inbound Saturday morning, calling on the Essroc dock in Essexville. She backed from the dock during the evening, turning in the Saginaw Bay at Light 12 and was outbound for the lake.

 

Fake Tug Captain Jailed for 30 Months

5/30 - South Bend, IL - The operator of a Great Lakes tug that sank in Lake Michigan has been sentenced to 30 months in prison on a variety of charges – including operating the vessel with a forged master’s license.

Gary Burnham of Indiana was also sentenced in federal court to pay $750,000 in restitution to his former employer Holly Marine Towing, owner of the tug Margaret Ann and was also convicted in federal court of neglect of duty by a seaman and negligently causing a diesel fuel spill.

“The privilege to operate and maintain a vessel, whether commercial or recreational, should be taken very seriously by the licensed mariner,” the USCG said in a statement. “The Coast Guard will continue to remain vigilant and ensure the safety of the general public and the environment.”

This case is one of several recent instances where a casualty had led to charges of using a forged license and the USCG told Fairplay it hopes that new credentialing rules, combined with background checks now being mandated for US licensed seafarers will end the practice of operating vessels without proper documentation.

From Lloyd's Register - Fairplay web links

 

DeTour Reef Light Station Crib Model will be on Display June 9-10

5/30 – DeTour Village - The DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society (DRLPS) has recently completed a wooden scale model of the historic DeTour Reef Light Station’s unique crib foundation and plans to display the model, in cooperation with the Eastern Upper Peninsula Fine Arts Council (EUPFAC) and the Drummond Island Historical Society (DIHS), at two locations at the eastern end of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

The lighthouse crib model will be on display Saturday, June 9, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in DeTour Village at the EUPFAC Arts & Cultural Community Center on Ontario Street located behind the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. The model will also be on display on Drummond Island on Sunday, June 10, from noon until 6:00 p.m. at the Drummond Island Historical Society’s Museum located on Water Street. John Covell, the DRLPS volunteer who built the exquisite model, will be on hand to answer questions and deliver a short talk hourly on the history of the crib and the building of the model. Everyone is invited to attend the informative event and admission is free.

Crib Model
Working on an idea conceived by DRLPS Historian Chuck Feltner of Drummond Island, Michigan, the DeTour Reef Light’s wooden crib model built in 1:12 scale (5’ wide by 5’ long by 2’ high) was painstakingly built by DRLPS volunteer John Covell of Belmont, Michigan, and Drummond Island, Michigan. Covell and Feltner, both longtime builders of models, have been working together for most of this winter to bring this display to the area.

Covell, a tour guide on the lighthouse tours, is especially pleased that we can at last show people what is holding the lighthouse up. He says “It’s the one thing we can’t show folks when they come out to visit the lighthouse. Now we can have an accurate model of the crib which was built using original U.S. Lighthouse Service drawings of 1930. We hope it’s the first in a series of models that will be on display in the lighthouse.” The model will be placed on permanent display at the Lighthouse in mid-June.

Crib at the DeTour Reef Light Station
DeTour Reef Light Station (DRL) is an offshore lighthouse located in Northern Lake Huron and is situated on a submerged rocky reef a mile off the southeastern tip of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Built by the U.S. Lighthouse Service in 1930-1931, it includes a light tower and keepers’ quarter’s superstructure on a concrete pier atop a crib foundation.

The DRL is a unique example of the crib foundation lighthouse type. It sits atop a 60’ by 60’ square by 22’ tall box-like wooden crib built with 180,000 board feet of lumber. This crib was assembled onshore at DeTour Village and towed to the lighthouse’s designated location. Once there, it was sunk onto a 75’ by 75’ square leveled bed of crushed rock. The crib’s interior compartments were filled with rock and the outer ones with concrete. Additional concrete was poured around its base forming an apron, and rock riprap was placed on top and beyond the concrete apron to further protect the structure.

 

Remembering the Escanaba

5/30 - Bay City - Her name was known in every port of the Great Lakes.

She was both a rescue ship and an ice breaker. She was born in peacetime in Bay City and died in war. And on Memorial Day, it's appropriate to remember the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba.

Hundreds of Bay City men worked for 11 months at the Defoe Boat and Motor Works to complete construction of the 165-foot cutter in September 1932, and she was commissioned a month later during festive ceremonies at the shipyard. It was the height of the Great Depression and the contract to construct the Escanaba and a sister ship was a boon to the area's economy, giving work to hundreds of men. The ship, though named for a town in the Upper Peninsula, became part of Bay City and part of its people.

So it was with great shock and sorrow that the news flashed to local residents in June 1943 that the Escanaba, transferred to the U.S. Navy as part of its Atlantic Fleet to screen convoys between the U.S. or Canada and Greenland, had gone down with all hands but two. ''I know it was sad when the Escanaba was lost,'' said Don Comtois, of the Saginaw River Marine Historical Society.

''She had a sister ship constructed here, launched in 1934, the Onondaga. That ship had the same dimensions as the Escanaba. She ended up in the war in the Pacific, primarily in the Seattle area.'' He said the Escanaba was one of many ships constructed by Defoe that saw duty during World War II.

The death of the Escanaba and her crew was a front-page banner headline in The Times, providing as much information about the ship's unfortunate end as could be pried from the War Department.

The death of the proud Coast Guard vessel affected many people across the state, especially those in Grand Haven where the Escanaba had been stationed prior to the war and would have returned once the war was concluded. Coast Guard reports show that a memorial service attended by 20,000 people was held in Grand Haven after the news of the sinking. To this day, the ship and crew are honored every year during a Coast Guard Festival in Grand Haven. Some artifacts from the ship are on display there.

According to Coast Guard reports, the Escanaba, which joined the Atlantic Fleet in January 1942, had encountered a number of German submarines during patrols and often used depth charges - large barrels of explosives that detonated under water at various depths - to damage or sink the subs. It is likely that the Escanaba scored two kills of submarines while protecting a convoy in June 1942, although no official confirmation was ever obtained from the German records.

The Escanaba crew of 103 men also went into action on several missions when ships were hit by torpedoes and sank, causing hundreds of crewmen to swim in frigid waters hoping to be rescued. On Feb. 3, 1943, the Escanaba rescued a number of crewmen from the SS Dorchester while on a run from St. Johns, Newfoundland, to Greenland.

The crew of the Escanaba discovered that the men in the water were either unconscious or suffering so badly from hypothermia that they could not even grab a rescue line. So men from the Escanaba developed a method used later in the war by others to climb down the side of the ships on rope ladders to latch onto floating bodies, secure lines to them and haul them aboard the ship.

Hundreds of lives were saved including 38 men out of 50 who were believed to be dead and floating in the water but were revived once aboard the Escanaba.

The luck of the Escanaba ran out in the early morning darkness of June 13, 1943, two days out from Greenland enroute to St. Johns, when crewmen from other ships saw a large cloud rise from the spot of the ship. There had been an explosion and it sank in 3 minutes.

When the rescue ships pulled within range, they found two men out of 103 still alive. Helmsman Raymond F. O'Malley of Chicago was one of the survivors and he reported hearing three or four bursts of what he thought were from a machine gun. No one ever knew for sure if a gun was fired or if what he heard was the amplified sound through loudspeakers of a torpedo in the water. The other man to survive the ordeal was Boatswain's Mate Melvin A. Baldwin of Staples, Minn. Both he and O'Malley now are deceased, with O'Malley passing away in March.

The Coast Guard reported later that if it was not a torpedo strike, it could have been a mine or even an accident internally that caused the ship's magazine to explode. The explosion tore the vessel apart, based on reports at the time. Commanding the ship was Lt. Cmdr. Carl U. Peterson of Newtonville, Mass., who went down with the ship. Three other sailors were from west Michigan. Another Bay City-built Coast Guard cutter, the Raritan, was close to the Escanaba and picked up the two survivors.

The German reports indicate there were at least six U-boats in the area at the time and it isn't known if one of them fired a torpedo. While four of the sub logs indicated no firings at that time, two other subs had been sunk and never reported back.

The Escanaba also plays a prominent role in the Grand Haven Coast Guard station, says Lt. Cmdr. Steve Lowe. The history of the Escanaba serves as inspiration for the young Coast Guard personnel on the Great Lakes, especially those in Grand Haven. ''In fact, the park across the street from the station is called Escanaba Park and that's where we hold a service each year in memory of the Escanaba and crew,'' Lowe said.

From the Bay City Times

 

Final week to Order Your Tickets for the BoatNerd Freighter Trip raffle

5/30 - This is the last week to order your tickets for the BoatNerd Freighter Trip Raffle. If you are the lucky winner you could be cruising the Great Lakes later this summer on a working freighter or enjoying one of the 11 other prizes. Drawing will take place at 2 p.m. on June 2 at the BoatNerd.Com World Headquarters in Port Huron, MI.

Online orders must be received by 7 p.m. May 31 and in person purchases will be accepted until 1:00 pm on the day of the drawing. Your ticket(s) will be promptly mailed to you. Winners need not be present at drawing to win and will be notified by mail and/or phone.

Click here for full details and tickets order form.

 

Updates - May 30

News Photo Gallery updated.

A special Badger Boatnerd Gathering Photo Gallery.

Calendar of Events updated

Public Photo Gallery 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. Renamed b.) AMERICAN CENTURY in 2006.

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.

 

Labor strike continues to idle freighters

5/29 - Sarnia - The three Great Lakes freighters that have been sitting idle since their crews went on a labor strike May 10 have racked up a $5,000 bill for the Wisconsin & Michigan Steamship Co.

Matt Burke, editor of the American Maritime Officers' newsletter, said contract negotiations between the union and the Lakewood, Ohio, steamship company have ceased. Burke said the crews won't go back to work without an agreement.

Until then, the Wolverine, the David Z and the Earl W, 630-feet long, self-unloading bulk carriers, will remain moored at the docks south of the Blue Water Bridge at a cost of $268 a day. The "river class" ships carry ore, stone and coal throughout the Great Lakes.

Chuck Canestraight, president of Wisconsin & Michigan Steamship Company, said it's logical to keep the freighters at the dock because they aren't interfering with commercial trade and are close to a marine service yard.  It's similar to having the vessels moored for the winter, he said, expect the company is supposed to be making money this time of year.
"Of course there's lost revenue associated with the lay up," Canestraight said. But "the (cost of docking is) a very small component of the lost opportunity right now."

Union members want the company to agree to the same contract other Great Lakes operators have signed. Canestraight has said those companies deal with larger-capacity vessels with which his company cannot compete.

In August 2006, the Wolverine, the David Z and the Earl W were sold from the Oglebay Norton Marine Services Co. to Wisconsin & Michigan Steamship Co. for $18.7 million. They're managed by Lower Lakes Transportation Co. of Williamsville, N.Y.

From the Port Huron Times-Herald

 

Port Reports - May 29

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
The Memorial Day weekend brought vessels each day beginning with the tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation on Saturday morning.
The tug G. L. Ostrander and barge Integrity arrived in port around 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon, with the Alpena following about an hour later. The Alpena was tied up at the coal dock until the Integrity left that evening.
On Memorial Day the American Republic pulled into the Lafarge dock around 2 a.m. to unload coal. The Republic departed at 10:30 a.m. and was out bound into the bay .
Other visitors tied up in the river included Denis Sullivan and the MCM Marine tug Mohawk.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
On a sunny Memorial Day morning the Lee A. Tregurtha loaded taconite at the Upper Harbor ore dock.

South Chicago- Brian Z.
Monday was a busy day on the Calumet River. The McKee Sons arrived to load petroleum coke at the Beemsterboer dock. Shortly thereafter, the St. Mary's Challenger passed on her way to Lake Calumet to discharge her cargo of cement.
Lower Lakes' Manistee arrived with a load of salt at 103rd Street. After discharging, the Manistee backed upriver to Chicago Fuels Terminal to load coal.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Karen Andrie came in through the breakwall in the notch of her barge A-397 at 2:25 p.m. on Monday afternoon. The pair then passed through the Black Rock Canal and were inside the lock chamber by 3:45 p.m.. They exited the locks and headed down bound in the Tonawanda Channel of the Niagara River on their way to the Marathon Asphalt Dock by 4:30 p.m.

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
The Calumet arrived Memorial Day morning with a load of slag, departing just after noon.
Around 7:00 p.m. the Wilfred Sykes arrived with the season's first delivery at the Verplank dock, stone from Port Inland.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Sam Laud unloaded coal at the Consumers Energy dock early Sunday morning, only hours after the Lee A. Tregurtha had departed.
The tug Gregory J. Busch was also outbound Sunday afternoon pushing a deck barge.

Saginaw Bay - Ross Ruehle
The Lee A. Tregurtha paid a rare visit to the Saginaw Bay on Saturday, passing by the Charity Islands just after noon. Meanwhile on Sunday, The Sam Laud was loading gypsum at National Gypsum near Tawas under bright blue skies.

 

Abino lighthouse in spotlight again with debate over access contract

5/29 - Buffalo - Some Canadians feel foreign guests are keeping them from a piece of their own history.

The Point Abino lighthouse in Fort Erie, Ont., erected in 1917, was declared a Canadian national historic site in 1998. The lighthouse sits at the tip of Point Abino on northeastern Lake Erie. The only access road is the private property of the Point Abino Association, a homeowners group that maintains a community of 58 residents, most of them Americans.

Renewal of a contract allowing public access was about to be a done deal, until Crystal Beach resident Harvey Glenn condemned the agreement at a Town Council meeting last Monday. “It is too restrictive and one-sided,” Glenn said.

The Council postponed its decision for a week and will meet again today to determine a new, four-year deal with the association. The proposed contract allowed individuals to visit the five-story lighthouse on foot or by bicycle on weekdays and weekends from June 21 until Labor Day between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. — if they sign a waiver promising to abide by rules drawn up by the association.

“You know the Golden Rule?” asked Glenn. “He who holds the gold makes the rules, and right now that’s the PAA. If no one said anything, that contract would have been signed, sealed and delivered.”

After reviewing the contract, Glenn felt the association was asking for too much. “I can’t see a lawyer in the world saying, ‘Go ahead; sign the waiver.’ I found a lot of holes in that agreement,” he said. He said the newly drafted contract frees the homeowners association of any possible liability that may ensue with public visits and even restricts how visitors can talk when making the walk from the front gate to the lighthouse.

The association also allows minibus and trolley vehicles to transport visitors to and from the lighthouse and keeper’s dwelling during visitation hours. The town also pays the association an annual fee of $4,000 for use of the private road that leads to the lighthouse.

Paul Kassay, also against the agreement, has no idea how the money is used. “I don’t know where it goes, but it is a way to control.” He doesn’t think the town should sign any agreement with the homeowners’ group. “They are telling Canadians what to do,” Kassay said. “These people certainly display no shortage of arrogance. Do they forget that they are guests in a foreign country?” “Personally, I am disappointed that the local or federal government has not designated that road a public road. It is a sore point for the local people. They just can’t get there.”

A spokesperson from the association who did not want identified said he doesn’t understand Glenn’s opposition to the contract. “Our objective is to be friendly to our neighbors,” he said. “Joggers often sign fulltime visiting agreements. All people have to do is ask. It is really a non-issue.”
Others feel differently. Janet Truckenbrodt is the co-founder of the Point Abino Light Station Preservation Society. Although no longer with the society, Truckenbrodt said she believes the community needs to “wake the politicians up.” She also agrees that a public road would be the best solution. Truckenbrodt says that the homeowners’ group is conflicting with the Road Access Act, which states that no person may construct, place or maintain a barrier or other obstacle over an access road.

“We don’t want to take anyone’s privacy away,” Truckenbrodt said. “But this negates our Charter of Rights and Freedom.” “It is really sad that is has come to this because [the lighthouse] has been an American and Canadian playground. We had such a wonderful rapport together.”

From the Buffalo News

 

June 2 is deadline to make reservations for BoatNerd Detroit Up River Cruise

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, in Wyandotte, MI at 10:00 am on June 16. We'll go where the boats are, maybe up the Rouge River. Bring your camera.

To make the trip even more interesting, a pizza buffet will be delivered by the mail boat J. W. Westcott. Cash bar on board. Plenty of free, safe parking at Portofino's. Click here for directions.

All this for only $25.00. Limited to the first 100 reservations. We must have a minimum of 50 paid reservations, or the cruise will be canceled and checks returned. Checks and reservations must be received no later than June 2, 2007.

Click here for Reservations Form. Checks will not be cashed until the week before the cruise. No physical tickets will be issued. Your name will be on the Boarding List.

Mail your reservation and check today to:
Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, Inc.
Detroit Up River Cruise
1110 South Main Street
Findlay, OH 45840-2239.

 

Updates - May 29

News Photo Gallery updated.

A special Badger Boatnerd Gathering Photo Gallery.

Public Photo Gallery 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
MC 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.Õs TADOUSSAC (Hull#192) prematurely launched herself on this day in 1969, at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. Reconstructed and renamed b.) CSL TADOUSSAC in 2001.

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.

 

Port Reports - May 28

Hamilton Eric Holmes
Late Saturday afternoon the CSL Assiniboine arrived at 4:30 p.m. going to the Stelco coal dock.
The tug Ecosse and barge arrived at 6:30p.m.
Sunday morning saw the CSL Assiniboine depart Stelco at 6a.m.for Superior.
The Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin arrived at 3:30 p.m. going to Stelco.
The Captain Henry Jackman arrived at 6 p.m. followed by the tug Anglian Lady and barge PML 2501 at 6:30 p.m.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The McKee Sons and tug Invincible came in at 7 a.m., Sunday, out of the fog with a load of stone for Verplank's in Ferrysburg. This was its second visit of the season. It brought a load of coal to the Board of Light and Power Sims plant on Harbor Island last Thursday night

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
Late Sunday morning, American Steamship's American Mariner was delivering coal to the WE Energies dock at the east end of Greenfield Avenue.

 

Port Authority board to take SS Boyer under its wing
Museum ship expected to draw visitors to Marina District area

5/28 - The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority's board of directors agreed yesterday to take responsibility from the city for the SS Willis B. Boyer museum ship.

The board voted to hire executive director Paul LaMarre III as a special assistant to Port Authority President James Hartung, and to negotiate for control of the ship with the city. Still unresolved, however, is whether the port would lease the ship from the city, or leave that to the nonprofit advisory board that was recently re-established to support the Boyer.

Board members hailed the move, saying it saves the floating freighter from the scrap yard. The city had notified Mr. LaMarre his contract would end June 30, leaving the Boyer with no caretaker. A. Bailey Stanbery, a member of the board, said the Boyer rep-resents the port authority's main business - shipping.

He said the museum ship would complement the new passenger terminal being built in the Marina District as an attraction for visitors coming to the terminal, once Great Lakes cruise ships start coming here. "It's a symbol of Toledo and we need to preserve that symbol," Mr. Stanbery said. Contractors have begun pouring the foundation of the $3.2 million passenger terminal, which is set to open in September.

Mr. Stanbery suggested eventually moving it into or closer to the Marina District. The 617-foot-long Boyer is tied up at the south end of International Park - in exactly the same place where it loaded its first cargo of coal in 1911, Mr. LaMarre said.

Under the board's action, Mr. LaMarre will move to the port board's payroll on June 1. The $50,000 salary, plus about $16,000 in benefits, will give Mr. LaMarre a wage increase. He was being paid by the city as a seasonal employee at a rate of about $29,700 a year. Mr. LaMarre, 26, is a Navy veteran and a maritime historian who started with the city as the Boyer's director last June.

"We have the keel laid of the museum ship program that we can build upon for many years to come," Mr. LaMarre said.

The ad hoc committee recommended hiring Mr. LaMarre to focus on funding, getting the ship listed as an historic landmark, reactivating a nonprofit organization to support the ship, and coordinating maintenance and repair. Mr. LaMarre said a recent survey of the ship found the hull basically sound. He said it needs "structural and aesthetic rejuvenation." The Boyer remains open for tours

From the Toledo Blade

 

Two Failures Do Not End Dreams of a Rochester-to-Toronto Ferry

5/28 - Rochester, NY - Two years ago, this city of 190,000 people — with more per-capita murders, high school dropouts and children living in poverty than any other in the state — paid $32 million for a high-speed ferry. It was considered a way to help revive the local economy by shuttling thousands of passengers a day to and from Canada, across Lake Ontario.

The idea was not a new one, and a recent, short-lived attempt gave cause for concern about the city’s venture. In the summer of 2004, two private investors had launched a ferry that took two and a half hours to journey between Rochester and Toronto. But they went out of business after just 11 weeks when low ridership, unexpected breakdowns and rising fuel prices left them unable to shoulder the costs of the operation.

The investors’ 770-passenger vessel, the Spirit of Ontario, was seized by creditors and remained moored in the ferry terminal here for months. After no one stepped forward to take over the service, the city bought the vessel in February 2005 and got into the ferry business itself, offering three round trips a day. But the city did no better than the investors, and by the end of 2005, the operation was $10 million in the red.

When a new mayor took office in January 2006, he put the boat on the market. “I had to stop the bleeding,” the mayor, Robert J. Duffy, said in an interview.

A German company whose fleet shuttles between Spain and Morocco bought the ferry last month, marking the end of a costly and contentious chapter in a city that has been beset by financial difficulties since the collapse of its manufacturing industry in the 1990s. During the past 14 years, Rochester has lost 41 percent of its manufacturing jobs. That puts it among the top three cities, with Detroit and Newark, N.J., to lose such a large proportion of its industrial work force.

Rochester is already facing a $30 million deficit in its next budget. After it pays its share of insurance and other fees related to the failed ferry operation, the city will be saddled with at least an additional $20 million in debt.

So as the Spirit of Ontario begins sailing the Strait of Gibraltar, the future of Rochester’s port remains in question. The ferry terminal, once promoted as a destination for tourists and locals alike, sits virtually empty. Most of the stores have closed, the ticket counter is sealed, and the second floor, proposed home to a nightclub that never opened, is out of bounds to visitors.

After dark, the parking lot, with room for nearly 800 vehicles, is deserted and eerily silent, save for the sound of a chain hitting a flagpole with no flag. The Nutty Bavarian, which sells cashews and almonds, is one of the holdouts, along with a hamburger restaurant and a custard shop. “We’re here only because we can’t afford to get out,” said Mike Manioci, 65, a retired city worker who in 2004 opened the Nutty Bavarian with a childhood friend. “The place was supposed to be a destination. But the crowds never came.”

Commercial boats have plied Lake Ontario between the Port of Rochester and Toronto since the 1800s. In the 19th century, they carried fur, timber and mail, and during Prohibition, in the 1920s and early ’30s, rum runners dodged federal patrols to deliver Canadian liquor that was sold at Rochester speakeasies.

The port, lined with warehouses and mills, hummed with activity back then. On weekends, thousands of people rode the trolley from downtown to a lakeshore amusement park that disappeared after the Depression, along with most of the nearby mills.

In the late 1990s, William A. Johnson Jr., who was then the mayor, came up with the idea of redeveloping the port, which sits on the eastern edge of Charlotte, a middle-class neighborhood. The city, state and federal governments together spent more than $150 million on the project.

At the time, Rochester was staggering from the losses of jobs and tax revenues brought by the downsizing of its largest employer, Eastman Kodak, which had reduced its 80,000-person work force by nearly 80 percent as the advent of digital cameras devastated its film business. At the same time, Xerox, founded here in 1906, was on its way to shrinking its local work force by about half, and Delphi Automotive Systems, a major producer of auto parts, with a plant here, was fighting its way through bankruptcy.

The city was desperate, Mr. Johnson said, and the ferry, even after it had failed in the hands of private investors, seemed like a possible way out. “The ferry was sitting here, and the city had already invested a lot of money, so essentially there was an opportunity that was presented to us,” said Mr. Johnson, who retired in 2005 after 12 years in office.

But a state audit requested by two state legislators and released last year said that there were “clear warnings that were known, or should have been known, by city officials” that should have alerted them to the “extremely risky nature of this venture.” The audit also pointed to flaws in the ferry’s private operation — from its business plan to a lack of capital and little customer enthusiasm in Toronto.

And to complicate matters, a proposal to allow gambling on board was rejected by the Legislature.

Robert Duffy, who succeeded Mr. Johnson as mayor, has adopted the slogan “One City” as the motto for his administration. It encapsulates what is perhaps Rochester’s greatest challenge: unifying a community where restored historic homes and cozy cafes sit a few blocks from boarded-up houses and streets where heroin is sold in broad daylight.

Mayor Duffy said he was open to the idea of giving the ferry another try, as long as it was privately financed. In the meantime, he said, he hoped to recruit a developer to build marinas on the Genesee River, near the port and condominiums at the ferry terminal.

“In some ways, the ferry gave us a little hope of what could have been, but then we had the rug pulled from under our feet,” said Brian Labigan, president of the neighborhood association in Charlotte. “We just hope the city won’t forget us. It would be nice to see what was started come to a happy end.”

From the New York Times

 

June 2 is deadline to make reservations for BoatNerd Detroit Up River Cruise
The second annual Boatnerd Detroit Up River Cruise
is scheduled for Saturday, June 16.

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, in Wyandotte, MI at 10:00 am on June 16.. We'll go where the boats are, maybe up the Rouge River. Bring your camera.

To make the trip even more interesting, a pizza buffet will be delivered by the mail boat J. W. Westcott. Cash bar on board. Plenty of free, safe parking at Portofino's. Click here for directions.

All this for only $25.00. Limited to the first 100 reservations. We must have a minimum of 50 paid reservations, or the cruise will be canceled and checks returned. Checks and reservations must be received no later than June 2, 2007.

Click here for Reservations Form. Checks will not be cashed until the week before the cruise. No physical tickets will be issued. Your name will be on the Boarding List.

Mail your reservation and check today to:
Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, Inc.
Detroit Up River Cruise
1110 South Main Street
Findlay, OH 45840-2239.

 

Port Huron Marine Mart and Gathering - June 2

Plenty of excitement is in store for BoatNerds, and other folks interested in the Maritime shipping industry, on June 2, in Port Huron, Michigan.

The annual Port Huron Marine Mart will be held from 9:00 am To 4:00 pm. This is your chance to buy and sell books and other Great Lakes shipping memorabilia at this show, sponsored by the Port Huron Museum. The location is the Seaway Terminal on the Port Huron waterfront. The mart will remain open until 4:00pm. Admission to the show is free. Also on display will be the ex-USCG Buoy Tender Bramble, and the Tall Ship Highlander Seas.

The Marine Mart, will feature dealers selling a variety of nautical items, from books and photos to life rings, flags and other memorabilia. The Seaway Terminal is a great place to hang out and take pictures of the passing traffic. Boatnerds are joining the fun and calling it the Port Huron Gathering.

At 2:00pm, the exciting conclusion to the Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping freighter trip raffle will take place at the Boatnerd World Headquarters in the Great Lakes Maritime Center in Port Huron. You do not have to be present to win, but must buy a ticket. Click here to purchase tickets. The deadline has passed to buy buy raffle tickets by mail. You may still buy ticket via PayPal or in person at the Great Lakes Maritime Center in Port Huron.

From 5:00pm to 7:00pm, there will be a special 2-hour tour of the St. Clair River aboard the Huron Lady II. Cost is $12.00. Pay as you board with cash or check, but you must make reservations by calling 810-984-1500.

 

Updates - May 28

News Photo Gallery updated.

A special Badger Boatnerd Gathering Photo Gallery.

Public Photo Gallery 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. She was built in Chester, Pennsylvania as the tanker PAN AMOCO in 1936.

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.

____________________________________________________________________________________

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 Ramey's 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.



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.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Today in Great Lakes History - May 28

The 621-foot RICHARD J REISS, Captain Ray O. Frankforther, delivered 14,000 tons of coal to Sheboygan to complete her maiden trip in 1943. The new vessel was officially christened later in the day.

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 oÕclock 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, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series, the Detroit Free Press and the Duluth Evening Herald. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.

 

Port Reports - May 27

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey

The Memorial Day Weekend got off to a very fitting start Saturday as the historic Lee A. Tregurtha passed the Saginaw River Front Range Saturday afternoon, with the decorated old veteran calling on the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville to unload coal.  This is very unusual as coal is usually delivered to Consumers by ASC thousand footers and in that the Lee A. Tregurtha is an extremely rare visitor to the Saginaw River.  She was expected to be outbound late Saturday evening.
 
The tug Rebecca Lynn and her tank barge were also inbound Saturday afternoon calling on the Bit-Mat dock in Bay City.  The pair was expected to be outbound early Sunday morning.

S. Chicago - Brian Z.
Late Friday evening the Calumet arrived at KCBX Terminals in South Chicago. The Calumet loaded a cargo of coal destined for Holland Michigan. Further up the Calumet River, Algoma's Algorail was loading a cargo of petroleum coke at the Beemsterboer dock.

Milwaukee, WI - Paul Erspamer
Alpena departed onto Lake Michigan northbound about 1 p.m. Saturday.  Wilfred Sykes was at the St. Mary's terminal at the south end of Jones Island in Milwaukee's inner harbor mid-afternoon Saturday, unloading cement clinker.

Marquette, MI - Rod Burdick
Friday morning the tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader unloaded limestone at the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock.  Saturday evening at sunset the American Courage arrived at the Upper Harbor Light and moved to the ore dock to load taconite.  Courage's visit was only her second to Marquette since renaming and change of ownership last season.

Holland, MI - Bob VandeVusse
The Calumet arrived in Holland Saturday afternoon with the season's first load of coal for the James DeYoung power plant.
 

 

Updates - May 27

News Photo Gallery updated, including pictures of the Edward L. Ryerson in the Welland Canal.

Public Photo Gallery updated.

 

Port Reports - May 26

Toledo, OH - Bob Vincent

The Detroit Princess came to Toledo Thursday night for the celebration of Toledo Veterans Glass City Skyway bridge ( I-280). On Friday evening,  attending the gala aboard the Detroit Princess where about 1200 people.  The guest had dinner while cruising the Maumee river.  At 10 pm a light show from bridge and fireworks lite up the sky.  The event on the Detroit Princess was to raise money for the memorial sculpture for the five workers who died while working on the bridge and celebrate the near completion of the Skyway bridge.  The Skyway will open for traffic on June 24.
 
On the coal side, Friday the CSX dock had the Lee A Tregurtha which finished loading around 7 pm.  Following the Tregurtha was the Sam Laud.  Both boats loaded for Essexville, Michigan.  The Consumer Power plant up there.  The Detroit Princess followed the Lee A. Tregurtha out of Toledo.  Next coal boat will be the Philip R. Clarke coming from Huron which is due Saturday about 6 pm.
On ore side at Torco,  the next ore boat will be the Atlantic Huron from Port Cartier due Saturday around 4 pm.     

Ludington, MI
The salt water vessel Clipper Karen, Clipper Wonsild AS, Copenhagen, Denmark, arrived at the Dow Chemical Plant in Ludington around 12:30 pm in Ludington on May 25.

Milwaukee, WI - Bill Bedell
The St Marys Challenger was at her dock in the Kinnicinnic river and the Alpena came in with a load of cement for their silo.
 

 

Updates - May 26

News Photo Gallery updated, including pictures of the Edward L. Ryerson in the Welland Canal.

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter

Public Photo Gallery updated.

Make reservations for one of the BoatNerd Gatherings

 

Fuel Oil Spill On The St Marys River

5/25 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – Thursday, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Ste. Marie was responding to a diesel fuel oil spill in the Middle Neebish channel of the St. Mary’s River.

Thursday morning, the Joyce L. VanEnkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader notified the Coast Guard of discharging an estimated 200-300 gallons of diesel fuel into the St. Marys River, during its upbound transit to Marquette to deliver a load of limestone.

The fuel spill is the result of an overflow that occurred after the 835-foot integrated tug and barge completed an internal fuel transfer, near Light 39 in the Middle Neebish channel. Shortly after the transfer, crewmembers noticed fuel on deck. After further investigation, they determined that there was a discharge into the waterway. The vessel had been anchored in the Lake Nicolet anchorage.

A Coast Guard pollution response trailer, 2 Station Sault small boats, 1 trailered skiff, and helicopter have been dispatched to the Neebish Island area, in response to the fuel oil spill.

The Coast Guard will coordinate with the responsible party, local and state entities and the Canadian authorities to mitigate any environmental concerns associated with the spill.
“Diesel fuel is most often a light, refined petroleum product. Small diesel spills will usually evaporate and disperse within a day or less. However, “marine diesel” is often a heavier intermediate fuel oil that will persist longer when spilled. When spilled on water, diesel oil spreads very quickly to a thin film of rainbow and silver sheens except for marine diesel, which may form a thicker film of dull or dark colors.”

Joyce L Van Enkevort was able to contain the spill and allowed to proceed upbound locking through the Poe Lock Thursday afternoon. Other traffic included American Spirit, Canadian Provider, Michipicoten from Algoma and Spruceglen.

 

Port Reports - May 25

Marquette - Lee Rowe
The Herbert C. Jackson loaded ore in Marquette on a very warm Thursday.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Indiana Harbor arrived on the Saginaw River early Wednesday morning to unload coal at the Consumers Energy dock. She finished her unload, backed out of the river to turn in the bay, then head outbound for the lake.
Also inbound on Wednesday was the tug Gregory J. Busch pushing her deck barge. Her security call indicated she was headed to her home dock, the Busch Marine Dock.

 

Lock the lakes, groups say
Environmentalists ask for moratorium on ocean vessels

5/25 - Milwaukee - A once-radical suggestion hit the mainstream Wednesday when a coalition of 90 environmental groups said it is time to lock saltwater vessels out of the Great Lakes until Congress requires the ships to sterilize their contaminated ballast water.

The proposal is tangled with legal and political questions, including whether the United States could make a unilateral management decision for the St. Lawrence Seaway, which it jointly owns and operates with Canada. But there is some serious ballast behind the push. Coalition members include the Nature Conservancy, the National Wildlife Federation, the National Audubon Society, the National Parks Conservation Association and Ducks Unlimited.

Coalition spokesman Jeff Skelding acknowledged during a teleconference Wednesday that the conservation community universally dismissed the idea as outlandish when it was broached a few years ago. The topic was explored in depth in 2004 and 2005 in two Journal Sentinel series on the ecological and economic issues plaguing the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway.

But after conservationists took a hard look at the costs and benefits of the current situation, Skelding said, a moratorium on overseas ships in the Great Lakes actually makes a lot of sense.

Money is a big reason.
Commercial navigation on the Great Lakes generates about $3.4 billion in business revenue a year in the U.S., according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. But often overlooked in that figure is the fact that most of that traffic is confined to the Great Lakes-specific fleet, called lakers. These ships do not pose a threat of introducing overseas species to the Great Lakes because they never leave the lakes.

The problem is oceangoing vessels, commonly called salties. But salties account for less than 7% of the cargo moved on the Great Lakes and Seaway, according to the Corps of Engineers.

The ships typically arrive with loads of foreign steel and depart with grain. It is a relatively small amount of both, largely because of the Seaway's outdated, undersized locks and the fact that they shut down each winter because of ice. One widely cited estimate of the annual transportation savings associated with overseas traffic in the Great Lakes is $55 million.

An estimate of the price to date just for dealing with zebra and quagga mussels since they were first discovered in North America: $2 billion.

"Advocating for a shipping moratorium may seem extreme to some," said Skelding, who represents the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition.

"To those I say: What is more extreme? Offering a solution to protect a resource that millions of people depend on for their jobs, drinking water, public health and quality of life? Or standing by complacently as wave after wave of new invaders enter the lakes, fouling drinking water, killing off fish, disrupting small businesses and costing citizens billions of dollars in damage and control the costs?"

'This is ridiculous'
Government ecologist Gary Fahnenstiel stuck his neck out in December 2004 when he called for kicking oceangoing vessels off the Great Lakes until the shipping industry could figure out how to stop spewing its biological pollution into the world's largest freshwater system.

"I'll be among the first scientists to say, 'Let's close the Welland Canal,' " Fahnenstiel, an employee of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said in a Journal Sentinel story. "Let's start there. This is ridiculous."

Since then, the normally outspoken Fahnenstiel hasn't said a word on the highly contentious issue, which surfaced again last month when a single conservation group, the U.S.-Canadian Great Lakes United, stepped forward with a similar proposal.

Shipping industry advocates bristled. "It's a nice political statement, but it's completely impractical and impossible," U.S. Seaway boss Terry Johnson said in April.

Aside from the international political considerations, Johnson said, it just doesn't make economic sense to close the Seaway to oceangoing vessels. "There are sets of assets here - the locks and the ships that ply the locks - that have billions of dollars' worth of investment in them, and the notion of a government and private sector stepping away from billions of dollars of investments is a non-starter," Johnson said.

Conservationists agree that billions of dollars are at stake in overseas shipping, but they say those dollars are tallying up on the wrong side of the ledger.

There are now more than 180 non-native species in the Great Lakes, and a new one is discovered, on average, about every six months. About 70% of the invasions since the Seaway opened in 1959 are blamed on ballast water discharges.

Some slip quietly into the ecosystem, some hit like Alka-Seltzer in a glass of water. Zebra and quagga mussels have rewired the way energy flows through the whole system, ravaging beaches with noxious algae and putting in jeopardy prized native species such as perch and whitefish. The recently discovered VHS virus, which many suspect was carried into the region by freighter, threatens to wipe out entire fish populations.

Industry wants ballast law
The shipping industry acknowledges the problem and says it is eager to see Congress pass a national ballast water law, but such legislation has been stalled for four years. The industry says it doesn't make sense to install ballast treatment systems on its own until a national law is passed that defines what standards must be met to certify ballast water as "clean."

The conservation groups agreed Wednesday that a federal law requiring ballast treatment systems on overseas ships is the best way to go. But absent that, they said, a moratorium on salties is needed to protect what's left of the lakes' ecological integrity. The concept has drawn attention from federal lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Minnesota Congressman Jim Oberstar, a Democrat who represents the port city of Duluth, said last month that the only real solution is a federal ballast discharge law, but he said it was "terrific" that people had begun to force the issue by proposing a moratorium. U.S. Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.) agreed with Oberstar that federal legislation was the best answer, but he said a moratorium "certainly is a serious proposal."

In December 2005, the Journal Sentinel published a series of reports detailing the costs and benefits of the St. Lawrence Seaway, and the paper editorialized that lawmakers should "give serious consideration to blocking" salties. The U.S. and Canadian Seaway managers called it crazy talk.

"The Seaway has acted as a vital economic gateway to the Great Lakes region for almost 50 years, moving more than 2 billion tons of goods since it first opened. Government, industry and environmentalists are working together to solve the ballast water challenge and are making real progress," former U.S. Seaway Administrator Albert Jacquez wrote in a letter with Canadian Seaway boss Richard Corfe.

"We may not agree on every point, but everyone, except for the Journal Sentinel, agrees that closing the door on the Seaway isn't an answer."

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 

Updates - May 25

News Photo Gallery updated, including pictures of the Edward L. Ryerson in the Welland Canal.

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter

Public Photo Gallery updated.

Make reservations for one of the BoatNerd Gatherings

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 25

After conversion to a self unloader, the former A F HARVEY was christened b.) CEDARVILLE during ceremonies at Cedarville, Michigan in 1957.

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 b,) E M FORD, currently serving as a cement storage barge in Carrollton, Michigan.

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, Russ Plumb, 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

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Wednesday evening, John J. Boland backed into the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock and unloaded limestone. For most of Wednesday, she was anchored off the Lower Harbor waiting for winds to calm. At the Upper Harbor, Michipicoten was loading ore.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
The Sam Laud arrived at Lafarge Wednesday morning. It unloaded coal and departed the dock before 1 p.m.
Waiting out in the gray & hazy bay was the Cuyahoga. It headed into Lafarge next once the Sam Laud passed. The Cuyahoga tied up at the dock and unloaded slag into the storage hopper.
The Steamer Alpena is due in around midnight on Thursday.

Lorain - C. Macklin
The Dorothy Ann and Pathfinder made a trip up the river with a load of stone to Terminal Ready Mix on Wednesday afternoon.
The American Victory passed through the Charles Berry Bridge at 8:15 a.m. on Thursday morning on its way to R.E.P.

 

Two "Know Your Ships" Book Signings Scheduled

5/24 - "Know Your Ships" Editor and Publisher Roger LeLievre will help The Book Blues, 102 Broadway St., Marine City, Mich., mark its one-year anniversary with a book-signing session from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. Saturday, June 9. The Book Blues is located right on Marine City¹s waterfront, on the corner of Broadway and Water Street.

Another book signing will take place from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, June 17 in Toledo aboard the museum ship Willis B. Boyer.

Anyone getting a book signed will be able to tour the Boyer for free; a portion of the book sales will go to benefit the Boyer museum.

For more information and directions to this historic laker: www.willisbboyer.org

Books will be available for purchase and signing at both locations.

 

Updates - May 24

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter

Public Photo Gallery updated.

Make reservations for one of the BoatNerd Gatherings

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 24

The WILFRED SYKES arrived at Indiana Harbor on this date in 1951, with 20,084 tons of iron ore in her holds. It was the first time in Great Lakes History that a Great Lakes vessel carried more than 20,000 tons of cargo on a single trip.

In 1974, the JOHN SHERWIN delivered an Interlake fleet record and a Cleveland C&P Dock record 31,770 tons of pellets from Escanaba, Michigan.

The third 1000-foot boat to join the Bethlehem fleet was christened BURNS HARBOR at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin in 1980. John O. Presley was appointed her first Captain.

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, Delaware.

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, Russ Plumb, 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.

 

Tug and Barge Stuck on Lake St. Clair

5/23 - While down bound on Lake St. Clair Tuesday afternoon the Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber became stuck just outside of the shipping channel below the Crib Light above Buoy 19. The tug and barge were unable to free themselves.

The upbound Kaye E. Barker passed the stranded tug and barge favoring the side of the channel where the pair were stuck, this pass was made in an attempt to help free the tug and barge. The suction from the passing vessel can sometimes help a stranded vessel break free.

The tug was able to back a short distance but remained stuck. Following a few minutes behind the Barker was the upbound Presque Isle, the Presque Isle also favored the side of the channel and passed by the Moore and Kuber. The 1000-foot tug and barge passed by at 11 knots and this was enough to break the Moore free from the shallows.

The Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber pushed ahead with their engines and re-entered the shipping channel underway about 7:20 p.m.

It is unknown what caused the tug and barge to leave the navigation channel but they later reported experiencing sluggish steering.

There was no damage reported, the bottom of the Lake in the area where the barge grounded is soft made up of gravel and clay.

The barge is loaded with stone for Windsor and the pair have stopped in the Belle Isle Anchorage.

Reported by Mike Jackson

 

Port Reports - May 23

South Chicago - Brian Z.
American Steamship's Buffalo was loading coal early Sunday at KCBX Terminals in Chicago. On Monday, fleetmate Sam Laud loaded a cargo of petroleum coke bound for Alpena, MI. Loading was completed at 10:30 p.m. with 15,000 tons being put aboard.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The John J. Boland made her first trip of the season to the Saginaw River, calling on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City early Monday morning. She was back out bound later in the day.
In bound Monday evening was the Algorail with salt for the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee. Algorail was outbound Tuesday morning.

Toledo -- Bob Vincent
The Presque Isle was observed inbound Toledo around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. She unloaded coke breeze at the Midwest Terminal of Toledo International. At about 1 p.m. Tuesday afternoon the Presque Isle turned around in front of the CSX Coal Dock and headed out.
The tanker Great Lakes and tug Michigan was heading out at 6:30 p.m.
The next coal boat will be the Lee A. Tregurtha due Friday afternoon.
At Torco, the Peter R. Cresswell was ready to head out after unloading ore from Seven Islands. She waiting for the Great Lakes/Michigan to clear the channel before heading out of Toledo. Next ore boat will be the Atlantic Huron coming from Port Cartier, due Saturday May 26, early afternoon.

 

Lack of Product Slows Lakes Stone Trade in April

5/23 - Cleveland - Low inventories of limestone slowed the resumption of the trade on the Great Lakes in April.

Shipments totaled 3.1 million net tons, a decrease of 19 percent compared to a year ago, and a drop of 14 percent compared to the month’s 5-year average.

Inventories were low because mild weather toward the end of 2006 allowed quarries to ship most of their production. Since much limestone is washed before being shipped, quarrying cannot resume until the weather warms.

For the year, the Lakes limestone trade stands at 3.5 million net tons, a decrease of nearly 1 million tons compared to the same point in 2006. However, shipments are only 330,000 net tons behind the 5-year average for the January-April timeframe.

Source - Lake Carriers' Association

 

June 2 is deadline to make reservations for BoatNerd Detroit Up River Cruise

The second annual Boatnerd Detroit Up River Cruise is scheduled for Saturday, June 16.

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, in Wyandotte, MI at 10:00 am on June 16.. We'll go where the boats are, maybe up the Rouge River. Bring your camera.

To make the trip even more interesting, a pizza buffet will be delivered by the mail boat J. W. Westcott. Cash bar on board. Plenty of free, safe parking at Portofino's.

All this for only $25.00. Limited to the first 100 reservations. We must have a minimum of 50 paid reservations. Checks and reservations must be received no later than June 2, 2007.

Click here for Reservations Form. Checks will not be cashed until the week before the cruise. No physical tickets will be issued. Your name will be on the Boarding List.

Mail your reservation and check today to:
Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, Inc.
Detroit Up River Cruise
1110 South Main Street
Findlay, OH 45840-2239.

 

Job Openings at American Steamship Company

5/23 - American Steamship Company has openings for the following positions:
- Marine Personnel Dispatcher
- Vessel Scheduler

Interested individuals may obtain additional information and apply online at the Company's web site: http://www.americansteamship.com/employ_office.html

 

Port Huron Marine Mart and Gathering - June 2

Plenty of excitement is in store for BoatNerds, and other folks interested in the Maritime shipping industry, on June 2, in Port Huron, Michigan.

The annual Port Huron Marine Mart will be held from 9:00 am To 4:00 pm. This is your chance to buy and sell books and other Great Lakes shipping memorabilia at this show, sponsored by the Port Huron Museum. The location is the Seaway Terminal on the Port Huron waterfront. The mart will remain open until 4:00pm. Admission to the show is free.

Also on display will be the ex-USCG Buoy Tender Bramble, and the Tall Ship Highlander Seas.

The Marine Mart, will feature dealers selling a variety of nautical items, from books and photos to life rings, flags and other memorabilia. The Seaway Terminal is a great place to hang out and take pictures of the passing traffic. Boatnerds are joining the fun and calling it the Port Huron Gathering.

At 2:00pm, the exciting conclusion to the Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping freighter trip raffle will take place at the Boatnerd World Headquarters in the Great Lakes Maritime Center in Port Huron. You do not have to be present to win, but must buy a ticket. Click here to purchase tickets.

From 5:00pm to 7:00pm, there will be a special 2-hour tour of the St. Clair River aboard the Huron Lady II. Cost is $12.00. Pay as you board with cash or check, but you must make reservations by calling 810-984-1500.

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

 

Updates - May 23

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter

Public Photo Gallery updated.

Make reservations for one of the BoatNerd Gatherings

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 23

The FRANK H GOODYEAR, Captain F. Russell Hemenger, sank off Point Aux Barques in 1910, after colliding with the JAMES WOOD. The GOODYEAR had an unusual deck doghouse that was the former Buffalo & Susquehanna Railroad Car No. 101 (named Sinneamahoning).

The ERNEST T WEIR delivered a record cargo of 22,209 tons of pellets to Huron, Ohio in 1969. Renamed b.) COURTNEY BURTON in 1978, and c.) AMERICAN FORTITUDE in 2006.

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, Russ Plumb, 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 22

Kingsville - Eric Zuschlag
The Saginaw paid her third visit Monday, with another load of stone from Marblehead, Ohio. After her unload she will be heading up to Goderich to load salt.

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
Undaunted/Pere Marquette 41 entered Holland early Monday morning with a load of agricultural lime for the Brewer dock. It departed mid-afternoon.

Lorain - C. Mackin
Lorain harbor was busy over the weekend as the Dorothy Ann and Pathfinder made two trips upriver to Terminal Ready Mix.
The American Mariner made a stop at R.E.P. early Sunday morning.
On Monday morning the Mississagi made a quick trip to Terminal Ready Mix.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Sunday morning saw the Algosoo depart Pier 26 at 5:30 a.m. with a load of slag for Detroit.
Maritime Trader departed at 6:30 a.m. from Pier 25 (JRI Elevators) for Sorel Quebec. The saltie Ziemia Zamojska departed at 9:30 a.m. for the Welland Canal.
Next the Algonorth departed Dofasco at 2:15 p.m. for Thunder Bay. Cuyahoga arrived at 3:30 p.m. going to Pier 26 with sand and then will load slag for Alpena.
The BBC Asia departed at 9:30 p.m. from Pier 12E. The tug La Prairie arrived at 10 p.m.

Alpena & Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
On a chilly Monday morning with strong east winds blowing, the Calumet carefully made its way into the Thunder Bay River. It tied up at the DPI factory dock and unloaded coal. The Calumet departed the river around 3pm and backed out into the bay to head for Calcite.
The tug Samuel de Champlainand barge Innovation is expected to return Tuesday morning with the tug G. L. Ostrander and barge Integrity arriving late Tuesday night.
At Stoneport on Monday the Cason J. Calloway took on cargo, followed by its fleetmate John G. Munson.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The barge St. Mary's Conquest with tug Susan W. Hannah in the notch came in early Monday morning for its fifth visit of the season.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
On a cold, blustery Monday evening, James R. Barker unloaded western coal at the Upper Harbor hopper.

Soo - Jerry Masson
The Reserve was down bound at the Soo late Monday and locked through into the lower river early Tuesday morning. Up bound river traffic included Spruceglen, the tug Tenacious to MCM Marine, Lee A. Tregurtha to Algoma, Rt. Hon. Paul Martin, Edgar B. Speer and Paul R Tregurtha.

 

Low Inventories at Stone Quarries Affect Fleet Total
Light Loading Continues to Hamper Trade

5/22 - Cleveland—U.S.-Flag Lakers moved 9.9 million net tons of dry-bulk cargo on the Great Lakes in April, a decrease of 3.8 percent compared to a year ago. While loadings of iron ore and coal were in line with a year ago, low inventories of limestone produced a 9-percent decrease in that commodity.

Falling water levels, in particular on Lake Superior, and inadequate dredging of ports and waterways system-wide, again limited the amount of cargo vessels could carry each trip. The largest iron ore cargo loaded in April – 62,325 net tons – represented only 89.4 percent of the vessel’s rated capacity.

April’s top coal load in the Head-of-the-Lakes trade – 62,666 net tons – was only a slight improvement: 91 percent of the vessel’s capacity.

While lack of adequate dredging has plagued Great Lakes shipping for decades, Lake Superior has fallen to its lowest level in more than 80 years. The Lake is 18 inches below its long term average and nearly 13 inches lower than it was just a year ago. With five of the six U.S. iron ore loading ports located on Lake Superior, as well as the largest coal-shipping facility, significant carrying capacity has been neutralized until water levels rise and ports are again dredged to project dimensions.

For the year, U.S.-Flag carriage stands at 15.9 million tons, a decrease of nearly 12 percent from the same point in 2006, but a slight increase over the 5-year average for the January-April timeframe.

Lake Carriers’ Association represents 18 American corporations that operate 63 U.S.-Flag vessels on the Great Lakes. These vessels carry the raw materials that drive the nation’s economy: Iron ore and fluxstone for the steel industry, limestone, and cement for the construction industry, coal for power
generation.... Collectively, these vessels transport as much as 125 million tons of cargo a year when high water levels offset lack of adequate dredging. More information is available at www.lcaship.com

Source: Lake Carriers’ Association.

 

The light is out, but somebody's home

5/22 - Lorain - Mickey Van Wagnen has heard the question more than once. "You've been working on the lighthouse for 18 years and it still isn't done?"

Van Wagnen, chairman of the restoration committee, can only laugh. The historic landmark will never be finished, he tells them. Once all the interior work is complete, volunteers will head back outside to do maintenance and repairs. In other words, a 58-foot-high, 90-year-old concrete building that sits nearly a mile offshore needs a lot of upkeep, and Lake Erie does not make it easy.

Still, "Mr. Lighthouse" and the dozens of other volunteers are celebrating a milestone. This summer the Lorain Port Authority will launch two shuttle boats and offer tours to the public. Executive director Rick Novak said the boats should arrive in early June and be operational in time for the city's International Festival, which begins June 22. The shuttle will pick up passengers on the east bank of the Black River by the Coast Guard station. Cost of the excursion has not been determined.

The Port of Lorain Foundation Inc., a nonprofit that bought the lighthouse in 1990, plans to begin a $3 million capital campaign this summer. Money is needed to improve the dock and finish the interior, including adding a restroom, said Steve Luca, chairman of the board.

The lure of lighthouses like Lorain's is strong, but living there was no picnic. "It was almost like a punishment to work here," said Van Wagnen, who has taken former keepers out to the lighthouse for reunions. He has also arranged boat trips for two engagements, a burial (the ashes were scattered in the water) and a high school graduation picture. Also, special tours for the public have been offered during Lorain Port festivals.

But over the years visitors have mainly been volunteer workers, who are shuttled by boat for the five- to 10-minute trip out to the lighthouse. Workers and contractors have replaced the 23 windows and metal shutters, sandblasted the interior, installed spotlights (which have been turned off because of cost) and replaced the roof.

The U.S. Corps of Engineers repaired the base, adding six feet of standing room, which makes for a roomy observation deck. But the best view, of course, is 58 feet up. The lighthouse is part of a navigational network and beams a red light. Van Wagnen estimates at least $2.5 million has been spent, a big chunk of that federal money.

But the restoration fund is running low, and volunteers are going to take a much-needed break this summer. "Tours are not the salvation of the lighthouse. Grants and businesses are," Van Wagnen said.

As he motors around the lighthouse in the late afternoon sun, the white concrete walls, gray shutters and maroon window sills cast a nostalgic spell. Van Wagnen feels proud of what he and his committee have accomplished, doesn't he? "When I look at it, I see what has to be done," he said, adding, "You got to admit it looks a lot better than it did."

From The Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

Fire Damages Cutty Sark

5/22 - London, England - British fire crews are battling a blaze on the Cutty Sark, the famous 19th-century tea clipper moored as a tourist attraction in south east London, a fire service spokesman said on Monday. "There is substantial damage," a London Fire Brigade spokesman said. "We've got eight fire engines and 40 firefighters there." There were no reports of any injuries.

Television pictures showed the ship well ablaze with flames leaping high into the air. Eyewitness Bruno Mahsoudi described seeing "massive flames" coming from the ship.

The ship, launched in 1869 on Scotland's river Clyde to make the run to China for the tea trade, was undergoing a $49.31 million refurbishment. Built by Scott & Linton, Dumbarton, the Cutty Sark was one of the world's only surviving fast tea clippers. The London landmark swapped the high seas for a concrete dry dock in Greenwich on the banks of the River Thames 50 years ago.

Richard Doughty, chief executive of the Cutty Sark Trust, the body overseeing the work, said the fire may have been started deliberately. "All I know is that it is being treated as a suspicious fire at the moment," he told BBC television. "It is just unbelievable. We are losing history."

He said half of the ship's timbers had been removed for renovation before the fire.

Reported by Bruce Wittkopp from CNN.com

 

Updates - May 22

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter

Public Photo Gallery updated.

Make reservations for one of the BoatNerd Gatherings

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 22

On this date in 1917, 38 vessels were trapped in an ice blockade estimated to be 30 feet thick off Duluth. The ice field broke up on May 25, returned on June 6,and finally dissipated on June 7.

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, United Kingdom by Furness Shipbuilding Co. in 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 Ramey's 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, Russ Plumb, 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.

 

Reserve departs Duluth

5/21 - Duluth - The steamer Reserve departed Duluth Sunday morning with a cargo of pellets from CN Dock 6 in West Duluth.

Reserve has spent several weeks in Fraser Shipyard for turbine repairs.

Reported by Kent Rengo & Al Miller

 

Port Reports - May 21

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
Late Sunday morning, the Canadian Navigator was loading at the Nidera Elevator. At the same time, Algoma Central's Agawa Canyon was anchored immediately beyond the breakwater facing a stiff breeze from the northeast.

Rochester - Tom Brewer
The Evans McKeil with the barge Metis left Rochester Sunday morning for another cargo of bulk cement from Picton, Ontario.

Goderich - Jacob Smith
On Sunday the Algoway was loading at Sifto salt dock. A unknown ship out in the lake, it was likely waiting for the Algoway to finish loading.

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
The Sam Laud entered Holland harbor shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday evening and proceeded to the Brewer dock with a load of stone.

 

Tug Seneca going to auction

5/21 - Chicago - The classic 1939 ship-docking tug Seneca is being offered at auction on June 7, by Marine Auction Exchange.

The 94-foot tug received much publicity when it sank in a violent storm while beng towed on Lake Superior in December,2006. She was salvaged and taken to Sault Ste. Marie, where it presently resides.

The auction will be carried live via streaming video.

Additional information is available Here

 

Big cargo ships sailing into sunset
Waukegan officials push harbor cleanup that could shut door to industrial shipping

5/21 - Chicago - For decades, big ships lumbered into Waukegan Harbor ferrying all kinds of cargo -- wheat, cattle, steel, even outboard motors -- to and from the city's waterfront, a hive of warehouses and factories.

Recently, though, city leaders passed a resolution that may sound the death knell for industrial shipping on the waterway, which has been a commercial port for more than 150 years and is one of just two left in Illinois. The resolution endorses a $35 million federal dredging project to rid the harbor of the last remnants of an industrial pollutant, but it also limits the depth of the dredging so the waterway won't be deep enough to allow large cargo ships to enter.

In addition, the resolution calls for building a "physical barrier to prevent the entry of deep draft vessels" into the harbor. It calls on U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) to introduce federal legislation to limit the maximum draft -- the depth of a vessel's keel below water -- to 10 feet and to de-federalize the harbor, which currently is maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers. The City Council approved the measure unanimously May 7.

"This means a new Waukegan can emerge on the lakefront," said Ray Vukovich, Waukegan's director of governmental services. "If we ended up with a deep harbor and industry remains there forevermore, is that the best thing for the community?" The move could mark a clear break from the past for Waukegan, which began as a small trading post and mushroomed during the 19th and early 20th Centuries into one of the state's most populous cities, largely on the strength of its harbor as a hub of shipping and manufacturing.

In recent decades, most of the factories have been shuttered, and the city now has designs to attract new residential and commercial development to the area, but not industrial. It's a shift that has played out in many Great Lakes cities, such as Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit, and it is a sign of how U.S. trade has changed in recent decades, said Ann Durkin Keating, a history professor at North Central College in Naperville. "It reflects that the imported goods that we're getting are no longer from Europe" and don't arrive via the Atlantic Ocean and the St. Lawrence Seaway, she said. "Now, much of the stuff we're getting is from China." Those products enter the country on the West Coast.

If Waukegan becomes an entirely recreational harbor, Calumet Harbor would be the only industrial port left in Illinois, she said.

Currently, between 90 and 100 industrial ships enter the Waukegan port every year. The city's decision to elbow out the big ships surprised Lafarge North America and National Gypsum Co., which bring raw materials to their harborfront manufacturing operations by water. Both had pledged to contribute money to a so-called "navigational dredge" of the harbor. "It really caught us by surprise," National Gypsum spokeswoman Nancy Spurlock said. "We were proceeding in good faith that it would be preserved for an industrial use."

She said that to bring in gypsum rock, used to make sheets of wall board, the company employs ships that have 16-foot drafts, deeper than the council's proposed limit. Spurlock said National Gypsum is evaluating what to do. She acknowledged, though, that without shipping, the facility would have a tough time. "We couldn't rail the rock in, and it would be too expensive to truck it in," she said, "but we're exploring our options."

Lafarge packages and distributes cement. Some cement arrives by truck or rail, but shipping is the most energy efficient transportation, spokeswoman Louise Muth said.

Just as the city's fortunes rose with industry, they also fell: A now-defunct factory put tons of polychlorinated biphenyl particles, or PCBs, on the harbor floor, leaving the waterway one of the nation's most polluted sites. First detected in the harbor in 1976, PCBs have been shown to cause illnesses in lab animals and are thought to be carcinogenic for humans. Outboard Marine Corp., a now-bankrupt boat-engine manufacturer, used a PCB-based lubricant that leaked into the water between 1948 and 1971. The factory site and the area known as Slip 3 were designated a Superfund site in 1981. In a federally mandated project completed in 1993, Outboard Marine paid $22 million to remove about 1 million pounds of PCBs from the harbor.

Though that project went a long way toward getting rid of PCBs, Waukegan Harbor remains an "area of concern," on a roster of Great Lakes sites identified by the United States and Canada as places where industrial pollution has caused the most severe environmental impact. If the Environmental Protection Agency succeeded in cleaning the harbor, it could be first U.S. industrial site crossed off its areas of concern to-do list.

In April 2006, Kirk introduced a plan to combine $12 million in local matching funds with $23 million in federal money to dredge about 280,000 cubic yards of PCB-contaminated sediment from the harbor. Waukegan officials immediately began securing commitments and a year later had lined up about $8 million in pledges; the city agreed to contribute $3 million, and Lake County committed $2.5 million. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources pledged about $4 million, but that amount was omitted by Gov. Rod Blagojevich's March budget proposal. City officials and legislators have said they expect the money to be in the final version of the budget.

National Gypsum and Lafarge committed a total of $3 million. In a Jan. 29 letter to Waukegan's city engineer, National Gypsum plant manager Steve Rogers pledged $2 million to dredging that would widen the harbor's outer navigation channel to 100 feet and deepen the channel's floor to 22.5 feet. Neither National Gypsum nor Lafarge has yet to withdraw its pledge. Vukovich said he is confident the city will be able to make up the difference in funding if that happens.

Waukegan officials now must devise a dredging plan and apply to the EPA for funding through the Great Lakes Legacy Act by July 27, said Scott Cieniawski, the EPA project manager working with the city. Cieniawski said he was surprised by the city's decision because officials previously appeared to be leaning toward two other options: capping the PCB-polluted areas of the harbor with non-contaminated sediment or a more industry-friendly plan involving navigational dredging. He said it's too early to tell whether the new plan is feasible.

In an interview Thursday, Kirk said he would not seek the de-federalizing of the harbor but instead came to an agreement with Waukegan officials to push for changes in dredging depths of the harbor, which are set by Congress. He also said he would push for the 10-foot maximum draft limit for entering ships. Jeff Jeep, the city's environmental attorney, said the city's primary motivation was setting the project on a path that is consistent with the city's master plan, the 2003 blueprint for revitalization that calls for residential and small-business development on the harborfront and for the phaseout of industry there.

Moreover, he added, at least one developer has voiced reservations about investing in the area if the harbor is dredged deep enough for large ships. "The City Council said it just doesn't make sense to participate in a project that's going to entrench industry," Jeep said.

Reported by Dan Vandenberg from the Chicago Tribune

 

Fire aboard Umiavut

5/21 - Brest (France) - On Friday a fire broke in the engine room of the saltie Umiavut. The crew stopped the fire. The ship was towed to the port of Brest (France) by the tug Abeille Bourbon.

Umiavut left Kalundborg (Denmark) and was on her way to La Corogne (Spain), with 8,600 tons of flour.

Umiavut is one of the two Inuit ships, with Avik, which are usually transporting goods between the Saint Laurent harbours and the Arctic Canadian area.

 

Author Fred Stonehouse Named Historian of the Year

5/1 - Port Huron - Great Lakes author and marine historian Frederick Stonehouse was named Historian of the Year at the Marine Historical Society of Detroit's 63rd annual spring dinner Saturday night held at the Seaway Terminal in Port Huron.

The Marquette-based Stonehouse has authored 30 books on maritime history, many of them focusing on the Great Lakes, and contributed to several others. "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" and "Great Lakes Lighthouse Tales" are regional best sellers. The award is the result of election by past MHSD historians and recognizes persons who have actively contributed to the study of Great Lakes history.

Harry Benford, professor emeritus in the school of Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering at the University of Michigan, was guest speaker at the event, held at the Seaway Terminal in Port Huron. Benford spoke about the two years he spent in his youth as a coalpasser aboard the William B. Schiller in 1936-1937.

Three MHSD members – Robert Pocotte, William Hoey and LeRoue Clayton – were awarded 50 year member pins.

For more information on the Marine Historical Society of Detroit: www.mhsd.org

 

Deadline Approaching for BoatNerd Freighter raffle

5/21 - The deadlines are rapidly approaching for the First Annual BoatNerd Freighter Trip Raffle.

Mail orders must be received no later than Friday, May 25. PayPal orders must be received by 7 p.m. June 1 and in person purchases will be accepted until 1:00 pm on the day of the drawing. Your ticket(s) will be promptly mailed to you. Winners need not be present at drawing to win and will be notified by mail and/or phone.

Donation is $10 (U.S.) per ticket - 3 for $25 - 6 for $50 - 12 for $100.

Drawing will take place at 2 p.m. on June 2, 2007 at the BoatNerd.Com World Headquarters in Port Huron, MI.

Click here for full details and tickets order form.

 

Updates - May 21

News Photo Gallery updated

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Public Photo Gallery updated.

Make reservations for one of the BoatNerd Gatherings

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 21

Captain Thor Nelson, Master of the ARTHUR M ANDERSON, was appointed the second Commodore of the Pittsburgh fleet in 1959. Captain Nelson replaced the retiring Captain Don E. Manuel.

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 re-floated 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, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series, the Detroit Free Press and the Duluth Evening Herald. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.

 

Port Reports - May 20

Kingsville - Eric Zuschlag
The Saginaw paid a visit to the small harbour town of Kingsville Saturday with Stone from Marblehead Ohio. She will be departing Saturday night for Marblehead for more stone, arriving Sunday, then back to Marblehead for more stone for arrival in Kingsville on Monday

Milwaukee - Bill Bedell
The St Marys Challenger arrived in Milwaukee Saturday morning a little after 6 a.m. and was assisted by Great Lakes Towing's Arkansas to her birth at the cement plant in the Kinicinic River.


Munising - Rod Burdick
Saturday morning, H. Lee White opened Munising for the 2007 season and unloaded eastern coal for the local paper mill.

Lake Michigan - Hanlet, Inc.
The tug Susan w. Hannah and barge St. Mary's Conquest is bound for Charlevoix and will arrive Saturday evening.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Saturday morning saw the Algosoo arrive at 7:30 a.m. from Bath Ontario in ballast. She went to Pier 26 to load slag for Detroit.
The saltie Beluga Constellation arrived from Toronto at 4 p.m. in ballast. Her next destination after loading project cargo will be Norway. The tug Sandra Mary arrived at 4:30p.m.

 

Wallaceburg Barge Service on hold

5/20 - Wallaceburg, Ont. - In late 2006 a new barge service began between Wallaceburg, Ont. and Toledo, Ohio with Canadian-produced corn transited to the U.S.

After some challenges, the service was deemed successful with the tug Radium Yellowknife utilized and new loading components at the Bruinsma Dock in Wallaceburg deemed effective.

According to Bruinsma officials, the company is anxious to continue the service. However, before this can happen in the 2007 season, some dredging of the Sydenham River is necessary. This brings up the issue of endangered marine species in the Sydenham River which will have to be addressed before service can be resumed.

Meanwhile Norlake Transportation's barge 546 which wintered at the Bruinsma Dock in Wallaceburg lies idle awaiting further developments. The other barge is tied up to the old railroad ferry dock in Sarnia, across from Vantage Point.

Reported by Al Mann

 

Updates - May 20

News Photo Gallery updated

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Public Photo Gallery updated.

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Today in Great Lakes History - May 20

The tug ATOMIC, Captain J. Earl McQueen, was the winner of the first International Tug Boat race on the Detroit River in 1950. The ATOMIC covered a distance of slightly more than 4 miles in a time of 18 minutes. Renamed b.) JARRETT M, in 2006.

On this date in 1980, Hull 909 was towed from Toledo to Lorain for final assembly. Hull 909 would eventually be named WILLIAM J DELANCEY.

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 LE GRAND 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 MC GONAGLE (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. She was scrapped at Port Maitland, Ontario in 1994.

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, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.

 

Seaway Trip Next Week for Edward L. Ryerson

5/19 - In a first for the 1960-built steamer, the Edward L. Ryerson will head east through the Welland Canal and the St. Lawrence Seaway next week. She is due at the port of Quebec May 25, according to the port of Quebec web site list of arrivals.

The Duluth Shipping News reports the vessel is currently en-route to Superior for taconite. Whether she will carry that cargo to Quebec or stop in Lorain to unload is unknown. It is also unknown what she will bring back up the Seaway but is expected to unload at sections 52-53.

This is a very unusual trip for a U.S.-flag laker, and especially the Ryerson, which was reactivated after an eight-year lay up in 2006.

Reported by Jeff Beauvais

 

Port Reports - May 19

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Duluth-Superior docks were busy again Thursday evening and Friday morning. On Thursday afternoon, Kaye E. Barker was winding in the turning basin off the Duluth port terminal before backing up St. Louis Bay to the Superior Midwest Energy Terminal, where it loaded for Marquette.
Voyageur Pioneer departed Duluth in late afternoon with grain.
Steam was up on the Reserve, which has spent several weeks in Fraser Shipyards undergoing turbine repairs.
On Friday morning, Paul R. Tregurtha was finishing a load at Midwest Energy Terminal. It’s due next at the St. Clair power plant.
Elsewhere, Tuscarora remained at CHS and Tatjana was at the Duluth port terminal to unload a wind turbine cargo.
Roger Blough and Joseph L. Block were both expected to load at BNSF ore dock.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The John G. Munson was back under the loading chute at Sandusky's NorfolkSouthern coal dock Friday morning. The Great Lakes Fleet vessel had loaded early Thursday at the dock and delivered coal to Wyandotte, Mi., late in the afternoon. The Munson's next port of call was unknown.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Late Friday afternoon the Michipicoten departed the Upper Harbor ore dock with a load of taconite, and Kaye E. Barker arrived at the Lower Harbor to unload western coal.
At sunset, Herbert C. Jackson arrived at the Upper Harbor to load ore.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons called on the Saginaw River with a split load Thursday night. The pair stopped at the Sargent dock in Essexville to lighter and then continued up river to finish her unload at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee. They turned at Sixth Street Friday morning and were out bound for the lake.

The Alpena was also out bound on Friday after unloading overnight at LaFarge. She was passing through Bay City mid-afternoon, meeting the in bound tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber at the Bay City Wirt dock in the process. The Kuber/Moore arrived with a split load, lightering at Bay City Wirt and then continuing up river Friday evening to finish her unload at the Wirt dock in Saginaw. They were expected to be out bound Saturday morning.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Friday afternoon had the Canadian Provider departing Dofasco at 1:30 p.m. after discharging iro ore pellets. The Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin arrived at 9 p.m. with iron ore for Stelco. The Maritime Trader arrived at 11p.m.in ballast and went to Pier 25( JRI Elevators ).

 

Ships idled in Sarnia

5/19 - Three Great Lakes freighters are sitting empty at a Sarnia dock after the crews left the ships last week because of a labor dispute. The Wolverine, the David Z and the Earl W are in the North Slip in Sarnia, south of the Blue Water Bridge Members of the American Maritime Officers, a marine officers and stewards union, left the vessels May 10.

The freighters are owned by the Wisconsin & Michigan Steamship Company of Lakewood, Ohio, a subsidiary of Sand Products Co. in Toledo.

A statement on the on the American Maritime Officers’ Web site says the company did not sign a contract agreed to by three other Great Lakes operators. The president of Wisconsin & Michigan Steamship Company said companies that have approved the new agreement deal with larger-capacity vessels. “Our vessels do not have the capacity to compete with larger vessels carrying two to four times the cargo with nearly identical crew costs,” he said in a statement.

In August 2006, the Wolverine, the David Z and the Earl W were sold from the Oglebay Norton Marine Services Co. to Wisconsin & Michigan Steamship Co.

Reported by Port Huron Times Herald

 

Carferry Reunion in Manistee

5/19 - Manistee - Visitors to the S.S. City of Milwaukee will enjoy stories, music, lectures and more at the Carferry Reunion, on Saturday, May 26, from 1 to 8pm.

Festivities will begin with the opening of the new boxcar museum, featuring photos of City of Milwaukee crew, artifacts and a display constructed by area students.

Carferry historian Art Chavez, shipwreck diver and filmmaker Valerie Olson van Heest, and car handler Pat Brandon will give talks on carferry accidents and working conditions.

A steam engine model on will be on display, along with personal carferry memorabilia and artifacts, plus video presentations will be shown throughout the day. At 6 p.m., musician H. B. Drake will round out the evening with songs of the sea.

The Carferry Reunion is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be available. For more information visit www.carferry.com

 

Batchewana eyes Sault canal;
Ottawa amenable to surrendering historic site: chief

5/19 - Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. - Batchewana First Nation will begin a process soon that could see it take possession of the Sault Canal National Historic Site, and the island it sits on, in less than two years, says Chief Dean Sayers. "The ball is rolling," toward Batchewana being given St. Mary's Island by the federal government and toward a "major tourist development," Sayers told the Sault Star on Thursday.

Sayers said discussions so far have been preliminary, but the federal government appears to be working with the First Nation toward a voluntary handover.

Calls to Parks Canada, which operates the historic site, were referred to Doug Stewart, director general of the National Parks Directorate. Stewart did not respond to the request for comment as of press time.

Sault Ste. Marie Mayor John Rowswell said he has no objection to the ownership of the site changing hands, as long as the site is improved to become "the tourist attraction it rightly is." The canal's recreational lock is operated by city staff.

Rowswell said he has long been unhappy with the state of the federally owned canal, pointing out that council recently asked Parks Canada to beef up its maintenance of the site. "If Batchewana First Nation has a plan to improve the area over what it is, then we'd be supportive of that plan," Rowswell said. "The present plan is allowing it to deteriorate beyond an acceptable level."

The transfer would occur through Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, under what Sayers hopes will be an expedited version of the additions-to-reserves process. He said a band council resolution to start the process should come soon.

An INAC spokesperson said he could not at this time comment on the situation.

While the concept for the planned development is still being hashed out, Sayers said it would mean an "enhancement" of existing facilities in the form of a tourist attraction, as well as possible recreations of pre- and post-European Ojibway settlements that existed at the Whitefish Island site. Sayers said federal funding has already been given to the band for its research into the concept, which he promised would be a "very shocking, brilliant attraction that will help to stimulate the economy in the area."

St. Mary's Island, the narrow strip of land through which the canal runs, would be used, along with Batchewana's existing Whitefish Island Reserve, to create the tourist development, Sayers said.

"From our perspective, it's a pretty sure thing," said Sayers. "We are going to be taking more responsibility with generating an opportunity for prosperity in our community." Sayers said the First Nation has had very preliminary discussions with stakeholders, including the city, Brookfield Power, the International Bridge Authority, the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians and CN Rail.

Ottawa settled a century-long land claim in 1998 when it turned over Whitefish Island to Batchewana, leaving the First Nation free to do what it wants with the 17.7-hectare parcel of land, including development. Since then, the area has continued to be open to the broader population for fishing and other activities.

The island, immediately south of the canal, was considered one of the largest native settlements on the upper Great Lakes and was occupied from 200 BC until the canal opened in 1895.

Reported by Jerry Masson from the Sault Star

 

Updates - May 19

News Photo Gallery updated

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Public Photo Gallery updated.

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Today in Great Lakes History - May 19

The Chief Engineer of the GEORGE B LEONARD, Charles A. Rose, was fatally injured following an on board explosion in 1923. He started sailing with Great Lakes Steamship Company in 1913 and had held the position of Chief Engineer since 1920.

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.

The steamer 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 SacavŽm, 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 McDougall, 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, Russ plumb, 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.

 

Welland Canal Traffic increased in 2006

5/18 - St. Catharines - Recently released figures show that 230 more vessels transited the Welland Canal in 2006 compared to 2005.

A total of 3,673 ships made the trip through the canal in 2006. 1,840 were up bound and 1,833 were down bound.
The recent record years are 1987 and 1988, when 3,914 and 3,909 vessels made the trip.

Cargo tonnage increased nearly 8% as 37,419,664 tons were carried through the canal. This compares to 34,149,554 tons in 2005. The recent record year for tonnage was 1988 when 43,536,317 ton made the trip.

Reported by The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation

 

Port Report - May 18

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The Steamer John G. Munson loaded Thursday at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock for Wyandotte, Mi.

 

Spirit of LaSalle Cruise Line kicks off inaugural season

5/18 - Menominee, MI - The Spirit of LaSalle Cruise Line officially opened for business in Sturgeon Bay, WI and Menominee, MI on Thursday.

A group of local dignitaries were among those aboard the cruise lines newest ship, Grampa Woo III, when it docked in Menominee arriving from Sturgeon Bay around 11:30 a.m. local time.

The new company will run daily ferry service between Menominee and Sturgeon Bay along with daily tours from Menominee, of Menominee & Marinette along the bay of Green Bay, and tours from Sturgeon Bay along each side of the Door Peninsula. Charters will also be available.

The cruise line has two ships - Grampa Woo III (soon to be renamed "Spirit of LaSalle") and Isle Royale Queen III, which will keep that name for now.

Additional information about the service is available at http://www.spiritoflasalle.com

Reported by Dick Lund

 

Updates - May 18

News Photo Gallery updated

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Public Photo Gallery updated.

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Today in Great Lakes History - May 18

On this day in 1961, Mrs. Vaugh P. Rubin, daughter of Walter A. Sterling, christened the steamer WALTER A STERLING during ceremonies at Lorain, Ohio. The STERLING was the converted WW II T-2 tanker a.) CHIWAWA. The vessel sails today as the self-unloading motor-ship f.) LEE A TREGURTHA of the Interlake fleet.

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. SOld into Canadian registry in1976, renamed e.) E J NEWBERRY, 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 inch 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, Russ Plumb, 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.

 

Man rescued from river as small boat takes on water

5/17 - Marine City, MI- A barge crewman was rescued Tuesday from the St. Clair River after he held onto a residential dock when the work boat started taking on water. Sgt. Ed Golden, with the St. Clair County Sheriff Department Marine Division, said the incident happened about 9:25 p.m. as McKee Sons, a self-unloading barge, was changing crews while docked at the gravel yard in Marine City.

Three crewmen left the barge in a steel boat, Golden said, but they did not insert the plugs in the bottom of the boat, he said. The person driving the boat, Jimmy Maldonado, 27, of Alpena, took two people to shore and was returning to the barge when the motor quit. Officials said the boat drifted between 300 and 400 yards downstream before authorities found Maldonado clinging to the dock at 1929 S. Parker St.

Maldonado was rescued and treated at the scene for mild hypothermia. He did not require treatment. The boat did not sink, though authorities said it was rapidly filling with water. Golden said when marine division deputies and Marine City police inspected the steel boat, the two plugs were "on a chain (and) neither one of them was put in the drain hole."

Frank Frisk, a research assistant at the BoatNerd.Com world headquarters at Vantage Point in Port Huron, said McKee Sons was docked in Marine City to deliver a load of stone.

The 597-foot barge is owned by Lakes Service Shipping Company of Grosse Pointe Farms. It is powered by the tug boat Invincible.

From the Port Huron Times-Herald

 

Port Reports - May 17

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Wednesday morning, Charles M. Beeghly was loading ore at the Upper Harbor.
Tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader, which unloaded stone at the Lower Harbor Tuesday evening, was waiting to load ore.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
The tug G. L. Ostrander and barge Integrity were at the LaFarge terminal in the inner harbor early Wednesday afternoon. No other activity was noted.

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Both sides of the Duluth-Superior harbor were busy Thursday morning. In Superior, Algomarine was unloading salt at Hallett 8.
American Integrity was loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal and Tuscarora was preparing to load at CHS elevator. In Duluth.
Algocape remained at St. Lawrence Cement and Voyageur Pioneer remained at Cargill B1.

 

Don't give up the ship

5/15 - Toledo's budget problems are about to sink one of the city's most unusual museums. The Willis B. Boyer is docked at International Park, but its future is now in doubt.

The Boyer is 96 years old and needs some work. But Toledo City leaders say they just don't have the money to keep the project afloat. The S.S. Willis B. Boyer opened its doors for tours this month, but this spring might be the last for the floating maritime museum.

S.S. Willis B. Boyer Executive Director Paul LaMarre says, "This is undoubtedly the most historic ship on the Great Lakes today and the most historic Great Lakes ship ever." LaMarre also says that it really is Toledo's flagship. "She loaded her first cargo in Toledo on October 9, 1911, at the exact location where she sits today. The Maritime Industry as well as the Rail Industry was the foundation of Toledo's economy nearly a century ago."

Lamarre acts as executive director, marketing director, tour leader, cleaner-upper and most recently, floor sander. He and a committed group of volunteers keep things ship-shape. But it has been a battle to keep his job. "The city of Toledo wanted to let me go as the ship's director late last year and it really has been a fight to keep on this long. I'm currently operating on funds that the ship brought in last year and that run out June 30."

When the funds run out, so does his job. Without a director, the museum will close. The city of Toledo says it just can't afford it right now. Mayor's spokesperson Brian Schwartz says, "The city has an ongoing budget problem and has made cuts, and as much as we treasure the Boyer, we simply can't afford to pay its curator nor can we afford the repairs that are necessary for the ship to stay there."

For now, the elaborate dining room and antique furniture remain, under a flag flying this season's motto, "Don't give up the ship."

The port authority is considering taking ownership of the Boyer and paying LaMarre's salary. Its board will decide late next week. Also, a $300,000 federal grant could fund repairs but that depends on whether the Boyer gets designated as a national historic landmark.

From WTVG-TV, 13abc Toledo

 

17th Annual Memorial Day Cruise to Port Huron Sold Out

We have been advised that the annual Marine Historical Society of Detroit, and BoatNerd.com sponsored the Memorial Day Lake St. Clair and River Cruise aboard the Diamond Belle has been sold out.

Everyone enjoy the trip.

 

More prizes added to BoatNerd Freighter raffle

5/17 - Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online is pleased to announce that more prizes have been added to the list for the First Annual BoatNerd Freighter Trip Raffle.

NEW - A 1-1/2 hour sightseeing cruise of Duluth-Superior for two aboard the Vista Fleet. (3 prizes)

NEW - A family pass (2 adults & 2 children) on board Lock Tours Canada's Chief Shingwauk (official BoatNerd Locks Tour boat) for a Sightseeing Soo Locks Cruise.

Donation is $10 (U.S.) per ticket - 3 for $25 - 6 for $50 - 12 for $100.

Drawing will take place at 2 p.m. on June 2, 2007 at the BoatNerd.Com World Headquarters in Port Huron, MI.

Deadline approaching - Mail orders must be received no later than Friday, May 25. PayPal orders must be received by 7 p.m. June 1 and in person purchases will be accepted until 1:00 pm on the day of the drawing. Your ticket(s) will be promptly mailed to you. Winners need not be present at drawing to win and will be notified by mail and/or phone.

Click here for full details and tickets order form.

 

Updates - May 17

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter

Public Photo Gallery updated.

Make reservations for one of the BoatNerd Gatherings

 

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.

 

Port Reports - May 16

Lorain - Jim Bobel
It was a busy evening on the Black River in Lorain, Monday. The Maumee departed the Black River after delivering a load of stone. About two hours later the Edward L. Ryerson entered the river headed to the Jonick Dock with a load of taconite.

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Boat watchers at the Duluth ship canal got a "two-fer" at midday Tuesday when the Voyageur Pioneer motored into port followed closely by Mesabi Miner. The Voyageur Pioneer slowed to a crawl inside the harbor and slid into the Cargill B1 slip to load.
The Mesabi Miner swung into port and proceeded to the Murphy Oil dock to fuel, arriving just a short time after the spot was vacated by Canadian Progress, which proceeded to the Superior Midwest Energy Terminal to load coal for Nanticoke. Once it’s done, Mesabi Miner will move in to load coal for delivery to Presque Isle.
At the DMIR/CN ore dock, Cason J. Callaway was unloading stone at the hopper.
St. Clair was docked ahead of the Callaway, waiting for it’s turn to move under the loading belts.
Down the bay, Burns Harbor was loading at BNSF ore dock.

Toledo - Bob Vincent
Saginaw came in to the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock, Tuesday, and unload stone and then shifted over to take on a load of coal for Algoma Steel plant at the Canadian Soo.
Barge A 390 and Tug Barbara Andrie was observed near the coal dock coming into the Port of Toledo around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The Mississagi came in early this morning after waiting for the winds to die down. It delivered a load to Meekhof's dock in Ferrysburg and departed shortly after lunch.

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
In one of the latest openers in memory, the Wilfred Sykes opened the shipping season at Holland, delivering two grades of stone from Port Inland to the Brewer dock. On arrival, Capt. Rick Olson received the traditional gift of a pair of inscribed wooden shoes.
The late start was a result of the development of a sizable sandbar that built up at the harbor entrance late last fall. Dredging by the King Company was completed last week. Capt. Olson reported that he had no trouble making the entry and water depths were adequate the entire 6 miles of Lake Macatawa. Several additional vessels are expected at Holland later this week.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The Steamer Herbert C. Jackson was loading early Tuesday at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock. A frequent sight at the dock, her latest arrival was the second trip into the port in three days. Early Monday the 690-footer sailed into her 52nd season on the Lakes as she slipped from Sandusky Bay, and leaving the venerable Marblehead Light to port, and sailed for Detroit to deliver a load of coal to the Rouge. The next to the last vessel built by the former Great Lakes Engineering Works, which  was located on the River Rouge, the same waterway the Jackson used to deliver the cargo taken aboard in Sandusky. It was not clear where the latest load of coal was destined to be delivered, but the Jackson's sailing orders might well call for another trip to the Rouge.

 

Badger missed Tuesday sailings

5/15 - Ludington - The Badger did not cross Lake Michigan Tuesday due to a mechanical problem with one of the engines.

Magee Johnson, Lake Michigan Carferry spokesperson, said one of the boiler valves malfunctioned. She said repairs will be completed today and the Badger will resume its normal sailing schedule on Wednesday.

Johnson stated in a news release that this is the only sailing missed for mechanical reasons in the last five years.

"We regret any inconvenience for our customers," Johnson said. "Complimentary passes are being provided for a future sailing for all passengers arriving at the dock prior to sailing."

 

Flower Market Saturday at Vantage Point

5/15 - Port Huron - Vantage Point will host an giant flower market, on Saturday, May 12, along the St. Clair River.

Local farmers will be offering trees, planting flats, potted plants, fruit trees, perennials, annuals ,herbs and more.

Watch the ships pass by while strolling along the boardwalk and shopping for your spring flowers.

 

Updates - May 16

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter

Public Photo Gallery updated.

Make reservations for one of the BoatNerd Gatherings

 

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.

Sandusky coal dock fire follow up report

5/15 - Sandusky - Firefighters said Monday that the Saturday night blaze at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock, on the city's west side, caused heavy damage to about 100 feet of rubberized conveyor belt and associated electrical wiring.

No damage estimate had been completed, a fire department spokesman said, adding that their investigation continues.

The two-alarm fire was discovered before midnight, a short time after the Arthur M. Anderson had cleared the dock bound for Detroit.

Operations at the dock resumed Sunday when the John B. Aird loaded.

Reported by Jim Spencer

 

Port Reports - May 15

South Chicago - Brian Z.
Lower Lakes' Manistee was loading a blended coal cargo late Sunday at DTE/Chicago Fuels Terminal on the Calumet River. Loading was completed at 8:30 a.m. Monday. The Manistee departed with the G-tug South Carolina on the bow bound for Filer City, Michigan.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Monday morning, John J. Boland and Michipicoten arrived at the Upper Harbor to load ore.

Goderich
On Monday morning the Algosteel was loading at Sifto salt and the Algomarine was at the grain elevators.

Alpena & Stoneport- Ben & Chanda McClain
As the sun was coming up on Sunday the Mississagi was backing out into the bay after unloading slag overnight at Lafarge.
On Monday afternoon the tug G. L. Ostrander and barge Integrity arrived in port to load cement. The Alpena is expected to return on Tuesday morning.
At Stoneport Monday evening, the Great Lakes Trader finished loading around 7 p.m. and departed.
Waiting nearby was the Philip R. Clarke which carefully approached the dock once both vessels passed each other. The Clarke tied up around 8 p.m. and began to take on cargo. A new ladder was delivered to the Clarke while it was there.

 

IJC embarks on $17.5-M study of water levels;
Study to prove - or discount - contentious theories

5/15 - Soo, Ont. - Are the upper Great Lakes shrinking because of dredging on the St. Clair River? That's one contentious theory the International Joint Commission (IJC) is trying to sort out.

The IJC, established by the Canada and U.S. governments in 1909 as an independent body to resolve and dispute issues that touch on our shared waters, has just embarked on a five-year, $17.5-million study meant to explore decreasing water levels on lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron. The most urgent priority is to look at the St. Clair.

In the 1920s and '30s and 1950s and '60s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredged deeper channels to accommodate increased commercial traffic through the St. Clair, which links the upper and lower lakes beginning at Sarnia. "There's been a lot of erosion on the St. Clair River. There's been a study saying . . . it's draining water three times faster," said Ted Yukyk, Canadian director of the International Upper Great Lakes Study.

The grassroots Georgian Bay Association commissioned a $200,000 report from Oakville-based W.F. Baird and Associates Coastal Engineers, that in 2005 found channel dredging, gravel mining and shoreline protection projects all contributed to permanently lowering lakes Huron and Michigan. Georgian Bay and those two lakes were as much as 45 cm below their long-term average last summer.

The International Upper Great Lakes Study group will use "the best science we have now" to objectively explore all possibilities, including flaws in earlier studies, Yukyk said. "This is speculation. Unfortunately, we have to take a look at that (theory), and we have to do that in a thorough manner," Yukyk said from Ottawa Friday. "A lot of people take information, they manipulate and then they come up with results. But then you go back and see they didn't use proper datums, this datum was questionable. Part of our legacy will be to clean up all that."

Other causes include climate change and/or the effects of the controversial Chicago diversion, which for the last century has siphoned into the drought-ridden Mississippi River more than two billions liters of Lake Michigan via the headwaters at Superior. One solution could be to look at controls on the St. Clair similar to the compensating gates on the St. Mary's River.

They'll look at Superior longer-term. The world's largest freshwater body of water has been on an unprecedented nine-year decline and hasn't been lower since 1926. It's 46 centimeters below its long-term average and 32 cm lower than just a year ago, according to the International Lake Superior Board of Control. Water flow regulations at the compensating gates on the St. Mary's River will also be updated for the first time in two decades.

The IJC set up the two-member, bi-national board of control in 1914 after granting permission for increased hydropower development on the St. Mary's, and the gates were completed five years later. Controlling flow from Superior into Michigan-Huron also allowed them to try to balance the upstream and downstream lakes.

So how much water is allowed through Superior is intimately linked to the "St. Clair River issue," acknowledged David Fay, Canadian member of the board of control. "If the level of Lake Huron has been artificially dropping, and the rules of this plan is to try to keep the lakes in relative balance, that means more and more water would have had to be let out from Lake Superior to keep them in balance," said Fay, who works out of the Environment Canada office in Cornwall. "If the St. Clair River really is eroding, we really have to take a look at the rules and say, OK, we can't just look at it in terms of balance anymore because we'd be draining Lake Superior."

Yukyk expects results from the first part of the study, along with recommendations, in two years. The study was delayed about six months as the U.S. team awaited 50-50 funding from Ottawa, which was finally confirmed in the recent federal budget.

From the Sault, Ontario Star

 

Training ship State of Michigan to visit the Twin Ports

5/15 - Duluth - The Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute (GLMRI), a consortium of the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) and the University of Wisconsin-Superior (UW-S), along with the Great Lakes Maritime Academy (GLMA) invite members of the community to tour the The T/S State of Michigan.

The GLMA training vessel will be arriving in the Twin Ports at approximately 6:00 a.m. on Monday, May 21. The ship will dock at the Duluth Arena Dock, located behind the DECC, next to the Vista, and is expected to be open for tours between 1:00–3:00 p.m. Monday.

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, GLMA 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-S 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.

GLMRI News Release

 

Boatnerd gear for sale

The boat watching season is upon us. Are you able to be identified as a BoatNerd?

For your vehicle we have 4" x 4" bumper stickers and interior window clingers.

For your jacket, cap or shirt we have 3.25" x 3' sew-on cloth patches.

Let people know you are a Boatnerd. Look for other Boatnerds. Make new friends.

To order these items, click here for order form and pricing.

 

Updates - May 15

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter

Public Photo Gallery updated.

Make reservations for one of the BoatNerd Gatherings

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 15

Between May 15 and June 22 in 1940, The COLONEL JAMES M SCHOONMAKER struck the dock at Superior, Wisconsin, struck the dock at Conneaut, Ohio, struck the piers at Sault Ste. Marie, and hit an obstruction in St. Louis Bay. Collectively, these accidents caused $22,015.93 in damage to the SCHOONMAKER. Renamed b.) WILLIS BOYER in 1969, and is in use as a museum ship in Toledo, Ohio.

On this date in 1942, the Office of Defense Transportation announced that 340 vessels on the Great Lakes would be prohibited from carrying grain except by special permit. The move was taken to ensure needed supplies of iron ore would be transported for the war effort.

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 steamer 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, Russ Plumb, 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 14

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
Operations resumed Sunday at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock in Sandusky following a midnight Saturday conveyor belt fire. The blaze was discovered shortly after the Steamer Arthur M. Anderson left the dock, bound for Detroit.
Early afternoon Sunday saw the John B. Aird was under the chute, loading for an unspecified port.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
American Steamship's American Mariner was loading coal at KCBX on the Calumet River (Chicago) Saturday. She was discharging that coal at the WE Energies dock at the east end of Greenfield Avenue late Sunday morning.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Sunday morning saw the Algoisle depart Dofasco at 6:30 a.m. for Thunder Bay.
Tug Anglian Lady and barge PML 2501 departed Pier 23 at 9:30 a.m. for the Welland Canal.  The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Simmonds departed Burlington at 9:30a.m.
BBC Asia arrived at 5 p.m. going to Pier 12E. Tug Omni Richelieu also arrived at 5 p.m. Maritime Trader departed Pier 25 (JRI Elevators) at 6:30p.m.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Adam E Cornelius was in bound for General Mills at 8 p.m. Sunday evening.
Herbert C Jackson gave her Security Call for departing the ADM Standard Elevator at 8:41 p.m. She will spend an hour and a half being towed stern first down the creek.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The tug Olive L. Moore & barge Lewis J. Kuber called on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City late Friday night. The pair completed their unload and were outbound Saturday morning.
Also outbound on Saturday was the Algoway, who had completed her unload at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee.
Sunday saw the arrival of the tug Invincible & barge McKee Sons with a split load. The pair lightered at the Essexville Wirt Sand & Stone dock before moving up to the Wirt Bay City dock to finish. They were expected to be outbound late Sunday night or early Monday morning.
The Calumet was also in bound, traveling upriver to unload at the Wirt dock in Saginaw. She was expected to be outbound Monday morning.
Finally the tug Gregory J. Busch made her first trip of the season down the Saginaw River on Sunday. She was outbound for the lake pushing a deck barge.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
Sunday afternoon the heavy lift salty Beluga Constellation arrived in port with a cargo of water intakes for the new electric generating station being built here. It was assisted into Pier 51 by Omni Richelieu, which departed for Hamilton shortly after the berthing was completed.

Soo - Jerry Masson
Vessel traffic at the Soo under sunny skies on Sunday included the upbound Canadian Olympic, Voyager Independent, Federal Kivalina, John J. Boland, Isadora, USCGC Alder and Michipicoten upbound from Algoma Steel to Marquette.
Downbound traffic was the Edward L. Ryerson, Montrealais, Paul R. Tregurtha, Lee A. Tregurtha, Virginiaborg, and Stewart J Cort.

Toledo - Bob Vincent
Early Monday morning the Kaye E. Barker was loading coal for the Canada Soo Algoma Steel plant. The coal load was a 2 by 2 coal car mix, through out the boat. The order was not to load coal against the bulk head.
Next coal boat will be the Saginaw due around 12 a.m. Tuesday. The Saginaw will be coming from the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock where she is due Monday afternoon.
Also due Monday at the stone dock is Algomarine.
Tentatively, the next coal boat will on Wednesday. Both H. Lee White and John J. Boland are tentatively due at 7 p.m.
Toledo Docks will be closed Wednesday, May 16 from 12:01 a.m. until 6 p.m. for Safety Certification. Both sides, Presque Isle and Torco will be closed.
The Torco Dock will see the John J. Boland coming from Marquette due Wednesday May 16th around 11 am. Also from Marquette will be the Charles M. Beeghly due Friday May 18. Both vessel will be unloading Tilden ore.
The bulk carrier Bluebill was entering the Port of Toledo around 6:30 a.m. Monday. She was taking on a Great Lakes tug for tow in front of the coal dock.

Lorain - C. Mackin
On Sunday evening the American Victory went upriver to R.E.P. After the American Victory cleared Lorain Harbor, the Maumee made its way to Terminal Ready Mix passing through the Berry Bridge at 8:20 a.m. Monday morning.

 

Freighter Trip Raffle to Benefit BoatNerd

Through the generosity of the Interlake Steamship Co., BoatNerd is offering the chance to win a four-six-day trip for four to take place during the 2007 sailing season (between the months of June and September) on the winner's choice of the classic Lee. A. Tregurtha or the Queen of the Lakes Paul R. Tregurtha.

The trip is the Grand Prize of BoatNerd¹s first ever raffle and fundraising event. Other prizes will also be given away.

All proceeds from this raffle will benefit Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, the non-profit support organization for the BoatNerd.Com Web site. Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, Inc. is a non-profit 501(C)(3) corporation. Funds raised will be used to upgrade our equipment, expand our services and pay monthly Internet connection charges.

The drawing will take place at 2 p.m. on June 2, 2007 at the BoatNerd.Com World Headquarters in Port Huron, Mich.

Donation: $10 per ticket, 3 for $25, 6 for $50 or 12 for $100.

Click here to order, or for more information. Tickets are also available by mail, or in person at BoatNerd World Headquarters in Port Huron, MI.

 

17th Annual Memorial Day Cruise to Port Huron

The Marine Historical Society of Detroit, and BoatNerd.com, are sponsoring the 17th Annual Memorial Day Lake St. Clair and River Cruise aboard the Diamond Belle .

The cruise departs from Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit, on Sunday, May 27, and cruises across Lake St. Clair, up the St. Clair River, and out into Lake Huron for a short distance, weather permitting.

There is a Continental breakfast and a buffet luncheon on board, and the trip includes a buffet dinner at the St. Clair Inn.

The cruise will follow the shipping channel upbound to meet all downbound ships, and only divert from the shipping channel down bound to visit the old St. Clair Flats area to see the Old Club and other interesting buildings and sites there.

Tickets are $85 by reservation only. Departs Hart Plaza at 8:00 am and returns at 9:15 pm. Call 313-843-9376 for information.

 

Port Huron Marine Mart and Gathering - June 2

Plenty of excitement is in store for BoatNerds, and other folks interested in the Maritime shipping industry, on June 2, in Port Huron, Michigan.

The annual Port Huron Marine Mart will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is your chance to buy and sell books and other Great Lakes shipping memorabilia at this show, sponsored by the Port Huron Museum. The location is the Seaway Terminal on the Port Huron waterfront. The mart will remain open until 4:00pm. Admission to the show is free. Also on display will be the ex-USCG Buoy Tender Bramble, and the Tall Ship Highlander Seas.

The Marine Mart, will feature dealers selling a variety of nautical items, from books and photos to life rings, flags and other memorabilia. The Seaway Terminal is a great place to hang out and take pictures of the passing traffic. Boatnerds are joining the fun and calling it the Port Huron Gathering.

At 2 p.m., the exciting conclusion to the Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping freighter trip raffle will take place at the Boatnerd World Headquarters in the Great Lakes Maritime Center in Port Huron. You do not have to be present to win, but must buy a ticket. Click here to purchase tickets.

From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., there will be a special 2-hour tour of the St. Clair River aboard the Huron Lady II. Cost is $12.00. Pay as you board with cash or check, but you must make reservations by calling 810-984-1500.

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

 

June 2 is deadline to make reservations for BoatNerd Detroit Up River Cruise

The second annual Boatnerd Detroit Up River Cruise is scheduled for Saturday, June 16.

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, in Wyandotte, MI at 10:00 am on June 16.. We'll go where the boats are, maybe up the Rouge River. Bring your camera.

To make the trip even more interesting, a pizza buffet will be delivered by the mail boat J. W. Westcott. Cash bar on board. Plenty of free, safe parking at Portofino's. Click here for directions.

All this for only $25.00. Limited to the first 100 reservations. We must have a minimum of 50 paid reservations. Checks and reservations must be received no later than June 2, 2007.

Click here for Reservations Form. Checks will not be cashed until the week before the cruise. No physical tickets will be issued. Your name will be on the Boarding List.

 

St. Marys River Fest 2007 Events Scheduled

5/14 - Soo, MI - The 2007 St. Marys River Fest, In Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, will coincide with Engineer's Day at the Soo Locks. Events have been planned beginning on Thursday, June 28 and running through Sunday, July 1.

On Thursday, at 6:30 p.m., a Mariner’ Banquet honoring Mariner of the Year and installation into the Hall of Fame will be held on the Museum Ship Valley Camp. Reservations are required and tickets are limited.

The annual Corps of Engineers Open House, from 10am to 4pm, will highlight events on Friday, June 29. There will also be performances at the locks by the Canadian Naval League Cadets and other events during the day. The evening will be capped off by the Tugboat Parade through the locks, at 6pm, an entertaining event that is hard to describe.

Saturday, June 30 will begin with the International Bridge Walk that beings at the Norris Center on the LSSU campus on Easterday Avenue. A Maritime Vendor's Expo will run from 10am to 4pm at Pullar Stadium, and will feature performances by Lee Murdock.

Saturday afternoon the fun starts at Noon with tugboat races in Soo Harbor. The tug will race in classes, beginning above Mission Point and ending near the City Hall in Soo, Ontario.

On Sunday, July 1, breakfast will be served on the Pancake Barge docked in Kemp Marina, from 7am to 11am. At 1pm, there will be a Memorial Service and Blessing of the Fleet scheduled to take place at the Museum Ship Valley Camp.
For additional information go to www.soolocksvisitorscenter.com

 

Lake Erie Lighthouse may be given away
Cleveland Harbor Lighthouses Opened In 1911

5/14 - Cleveland - The U.S. government is offering to give away one of two iconic lighthouses on Lake Erie that mark the opening to the city's harbor.

Both lighthouses, painted white with black lanterns, opened in 1911, when Cleveland's harbor was one of the busiest on the Great Lakes.

But for cost-cutting reasons, the government is divesting lighthouses across the country and has added the lighthouse on the eastern side of Cleveland harbor to its list of available sites.

Officials are hoping to transfer the property to a nonprofit caretaker -- free of charge -- that could use it for education or recreation purposes said Paula Santangelo, a spokesman with the federal General Services Administration.

The U.S. Coast Guard, which owns the lighthouse, would continue to maintain the structure's solar-powered beacons that mark harbor entrances at night. About 35 lighthouses in the U.S. have been conveyed to new owners so far.

Meanwhile, the western lighthouse in Cleveland harbor has a deteriorating foundation and is starting to tip. The Coast Guard and the Army Corps of Engineers hope to start work next year on a project to stabilize the foundation. Cost for the repair could reach as high as $3.5 million.

Both Cleveland lighthouses are on the National Register of Historic Places.

From NewsNet5.com

 

Updates - May 14

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter

Public Photo Gallery updated.

Make reservations for one of the BoatNerd Gatherings

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 14

The steamers PENTECOST MITCHELL of the Pittsburgh fleet and SAXONA of the Tomlinson fleet were involved in a head on collision on the St. Marys River in 1917. Both vessels sank in 40 feet of water at Watson’s Reef near Pipe Island. There were no casualties but the cost of raising the two boats was estimated at $150,000 - $200,000.

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.

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. Reconstructed and renamed b.) MILWAUKEE CLIPPER in 1941, she is in Muskegon, Michigan, as a museum ship.

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 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, Russ Plumb, 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.

 

Fire at Sandusky Coal Dock

5/13 - Sandusky - A fire broke out about midnight Saturday at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock. Sandusky firefighters reported a rubberized conveyor belt burning when they arrived.

Damage to the conveyor is unknown and the effect of the blaze on operations at the dock wasn't immediately known.

Shortly before the blaze was reported, the Steamer Arthur M. Anderson had completed loading and departed the dock enroute to Detroit.

Reported by Jim Spencer

 

Port Reports - May 13

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Friday evening at 5:30 p.m. the John B. Aird departed Dofasco and was headed to Sandusky.
Saturday the Algoisle arrived at 11:30 a.m. going to Dofasco with iron ore pellets.
The tug Glenevis arrived from Port Weller at 1 p.m. John D. Leitch departed from Pier 26 at 2:30 p.m. after being in port since the 5th. She was headed to Bath Ontario in ballast. The CSL Niagara departed at 3 p.m. from the Stelco coal dock and headed to Sandusky for more coal. Hamilton Energy departed at 4:15pm. The CCG ship Simmonds arrived at 5:00 p.m. and went to the Canada Centre for Inland Waters in Burlington. Maritime Trader arrived at 6 p.m. going to Pier 25. The tug Anglian Lady and barge PML 2501 arrived at 6:30 p.m. going to Pier 23.

Calumet River - Tom M.
The American Mariner was visiting KCBX Saturday evening and taking on coal.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Herbert C Jackson arrived at 7 p.m. on Saturday evening and again blew a nice salute to the Sabre's fans outside HSBC Arena on the way up the crick with the tug New Jersey. They arrived at the ADM Standard Elevator around 8:30 p.m.

 

Marine Historical Society of Detroit
2007 Annual Dinner and Program Open to Non-Members

5/13 - Detroit - The Marine Historical Society of Detroit has announced that the Annual Dinner and Program has been opened to non-members and potential members. The dinner will be held at the Seaway Terminal in Port Huron, on Saturday, May 19. The featured speaker is Harry Benford who will present the program "A Pictorial History of My Coal Passing Career."  It is based on notes, sketches, photos, and cartoons that Harry made in 1936 and 1937 while doing summer work on Great Lakes ships.

The pre-dinner reception is at 6:00 p.m. (BYOB, mixers will be provided), followed by a buffet dinner at 6:45 pm including Roast Beef, Fish, Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Garden tossed salad with a variety of dressings, Corn, Green Beans, Potatoes, Rice and Dessert. Wait staff will be standing by for those who need assistance with their plates.

The cost is $35.00 (U S Funds) per person. Reservations must be received by Monday, May 14. You may reserve Online at www.MHSD.org/Dinner

 

Updates - May 13

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter

Public Photo Gallery updated.

Make reservations for one of the BoatNerd Gatherings

 

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. Sold into Canadian registry and 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 steamer 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 WILSON was the first of the sixteen maritime class freighters built in 1943.

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 195 foot 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.

 

BoatNerd Tops 11Million

5/12 - Friday morning, over 11,000,000 visits had been recorded to the main page of the Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping home page. The counter was started as the page was launched in 1995.

It is interesting to note that the first month the page was live in 1995, 590 visits were recorded. Today the main page (not counting individual pages or users that enter by book mark) receives an average of 230,000 unique visitor sessions each month.

The site represents a huge time commitment by the staff of volunteers and we would like to thank to all the viewers and contributors for making the web site what it is today.

In 2006 BoatNerd was organized as a 501 (c) (3) non profit. The establishment of non-profit status will allow the web site to become self-sufficient and guarantee the longevity of BoatNerd.Com by paying the data connection charges and replacing the aging computer hardware that runs the site.

 

Port Reports - May 12

Marquette - Lee Rowe
The Kaye E Barker brought a load of coal Friday to Marquette's WE Power Plant, then moved to the north side of the dock to take on a load of ore.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Karen Andrie came through the Buffalo Breakwall around 11 a.m. Friday morning with her petroleum barge. Heavy fog along the Lakefront kept the pair from transiting the Black Rock Canal at that time due to reduced visibility. The pair were sitting on the hook off the Bell Slip in the Outer Harbor at 2 p.m. They hauled up the anchor and headed for Tonawanda at 3 p.m., as the bright sunlight burned off the fog to a light mist.
The Canadian Coast Guard vessel Gull Isle came in the North Entrance Friday morning and took on equipment at the Buffalo Coast Guard Base, before heading into the Upper Niagara River to do some buoy work.

Gary - Brian Z.
Upper Lakes' Canadian Transport arrived Thursday afternoon to load a cargo of coke breeze for Quebec. An expected cargo of 26,000 tons should be aboard by late Friday.
The Edwin H. Gott passed inbound at 5:30 a.m. to discharge taconite pellets for the #14 blast furnace Friday morning.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Agawa Canyon was outbound the Saginaw River on Friday morning after unloading overnight at Sargent Zilwaukee.
She passed the inbound tug Invincible & barge McKee Sons out in the Saginaw Bay Entrance Channel. The Invincible & McKee Sons called on the GM Dock in Saginaw to unload. The pair was outbound late Friday night.
On their trip out, the pair passed the Algoway, who had tied up at the North Star dock to allow them to pass. Algoway then continued upriver calling on the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee to unload.
Also heard coming into the Saginaw River system late Friday night was the tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber.

 

Updates - May 12

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter

Public Photo Gallery updated.

Make reservations for one of the BoatNerd Gatherings

 

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.

 

Port Reports - May 11

Menominee - Dick Lund
The Virginiaborg arrived in Menominee at dawn on Wednesday with a load of wood pulp for KK Integrated Logistics. After unloading throughout the day and night, they departed mid-morning on Thursday.

Soo - Bonnee Srigley
Just after midnight Thursday a heavy fog descended on the St. Mary's River. By 2 a.m. the fog was so thick that the river was shut down. Among those ships at anchor waiting for the fog to lift, was the HMCS Halifax. By 10 a.m. the fog had lifted sufficiently for the river to begin operating again. Soo Traffic officially opened the river at 10:30. There was a lengthy line-up waiting to go up and down. The Halifax called in at Detour at 10 a.m., reaching Mission Point at 4 and was entering the locks at 5 p.m.

Sarnia
The three small former Oglebay-Norton boats have tied up together in the North Slip in Sarnia, over what is an apparent labor dispute. The David Z. and Earl W. arrived on Tuesday, and the Wolverine joined them on Wednesday after being delayed by fog.

The vessels are owned by the Wisconsin and Michigan Steamship Company, Lakewood, Ohio and operated by Lower Lakes Transportation of Williamsville, NY. No official information about the reason for the vessels lay-up is available at the present time.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Agawa Canyon made her first appearance of the season on the Saginaw River Thursday evening. She called on the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee to unload and was expected to be outbound Friday morning.
The CSL Tadoussac was outbound Thursday morning, backing out to Light 12 of the Entrance Channel where she turned and headed outbound for the lake.

 

Town of La Pointe to receive emergency dredging funds

5/11 - Madison, Wis. -- State Sen. Robert Jauch, D-Poplar, said the state has approved a plan to provide emergency dredging funding for the Town of La Pointe.

"Low lake levels have put at risk the safe passage of residents and goods to Madeline Island," said Jauch. "The authorization of this emergency dredging appropriation will allow the community to address this growing safety concern."

The emergency appropriation is part of a package of $97 million in unanticipated federal transportation dollars. Jauch requested Gov. James Doyle's administration include $104,000 for emergency dredging as part of the state plan to expend the money. The Joint Committee on Finance, of which Jauch is a member, approved the plan, allowing the administration to release the dollars.

"Falling lake levels have now been cause for concern for two summers and are becoming a real threat to tourism expenditures, residential travel, as well as to the shipping industry," Jauch said. "This much needed funding will assist the community in making sure channels are safely passable throughout the year."

The federal Park Service has indicated while ferries and ships running to Madeline Island are still able to pass through the channel, they are only able to do so under optimal weather conditions. If Lake Superior were to drop just a few more inches, it would be nearly impossible for larger ships to reach the island under any circumstances without the emergency dredging.

Jauch said for port communities along Lake Superior's shore, the need for dredging has become critical. "Driving along Highway 13, I was able to see nearly a hundred feet of sand stretching out beyond the typical shoreline," he noted. "Sand dunes are popping up all along the south shore, and serve as a warning sign that lake levels are demonstrably low."

From the Ironwood Daily Globe

 

Detroit Free Press Editorial

Open the way for new Soo lock

5/11 - Detroit - Michigan has a big stake in legislation the U.S. Senate may take up as soon as today. Congress appears ready to renew the Water Resources Development Act, with a House-passed version already authorizing a second lock for 1,000-foot boats at Sault Ste. Marie.

Michigan's senators are working to include the language U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Menominee, put in the House bill to have the federal government build the lock without requiring further studies. The water bill, which Congress takes up only about once a decade, becomes the directory for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects. The bill contains no funding, but if a project isn't listed in this act, Congress isn't likely ever to budget it.

The plan for a second identical lock for the biggest boats has been around for years. Of the four Soo locks, only the Poe lock, opened in 1968, can handle the 1,000-footers. Damage to the Poe or a major maintenance problem would cripple the movement of iron ore and coal from Lake Superior ports to steel and power plants in the rest of the Great Lakes.

Getting the lock authorized in this bill is only a first step. Michigan and the other Great Lakes states -- and Canada -- then would have to press for project funding, now estimated at $342 million. Sadly, it may be a test of political clout that the region no longer can meet.

A surer bet, fortunately, is support for two electric barriers south of Chicago in an effort to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. The project appears in both House and Senate versions; passage should assure that the barriers become a routine annual budget item.

 

Job Posting - Pere Marquette Shipping Co.

5/11 - Ludington - Pere Marquette Shipping of Ludington, MI is looking for an experienced captain for their integrated tug-barge operation.

Interested parties should contact Chuck Leonard at (231)845-7846 or cleonard@pmship.com

Reported by Max Hanley

 

Boatnerd Heading for 11 Million

5/11 - The counter on the main page is expected to top 11,000,000 visitors sometime this weekend. (the counter is located at the bottom of the main page at www.BoatNerd.Com.

This counter was started as the page was launched in 1995 and topped one million visits in October 2000, two million in November 2001, three million in September, 2002, four million in June, 2003, five million in February, 2004, six million in October, 2004, seven million in June, 2005, eight million in December, 2005, 9 million in June, 2006, 10 million in November 2007.

 

Updates - May 11

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter

Public Photo Gallery updated.

Make reservations for one of the BoatNerd Gatherings

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 11

On this day in 1906, the keel was laid for the J Q RIDDLE at the American Shipbuilding Yard at Lorain. Fifty-one days later, the RIDDLE was launched. The boat was renamed b.) J J TURNER in 1915, c.) GEORGE R FINK in 1931, and c.) W WAYNE HANCOCK in 1955. The HANCOCK sank in the Atlantic on December 8, 1962, during a scrap tow to Italy.

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 b.) 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, Russ Plumb, 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.

 

Effects of low water levels being felt

5/10 - Mackinaw City - Docks along the Lake Huron shoreline of Mackinaw City again needed to be dredged this spring to accommodate ferryboats, and the same procedure was used to provide deep water last summer for access to a new marina being built here. More and more waterline paint has become visible on ships transiting the Straits of Mackinac under the Mackinac Bridge.

The effects of low water are being felt all across the Great Lakes, and a message delivered Wednesday in Washington, D.C., by the country's top iron ore producer, said that a dredging crisis is affecting the region's economy.

Joseph A Carrabba, president and chief executive officer of Cleveland-Cliffs, Inc., said the Bush administration must commit itself to restoring the Great Lakes navigation system to project dimensions. “The dredging crisis is directly affecting Cliffs' ability to meet its customers' requirements efficiently,” Carrabba said while speaking before the Great Lakes Task Force's 12th Annual Informational Briefing for the Great Lakes Delegation.

Carrabba emphasized that Cliffs' iron ore mines can annually produce more than 37 million long tons of iron ore pellets when the North American steel industry is operating at high levels. “Virtually all of those pellets are delivered to our steel mill customers in U.S. - and Canadian-flag Great Lakes vessels,” he said. According to Carrabba, lack of adequate dredging and low water levels have reduced the amount of iron ore Great Lakes freighters can deliver each trip.

“On April 6, a 1,000-foot U.S.-flag vessel with a rated capacity of 71,120 tons departed Superior, Wis., with less than 59,000 tons of Cliffs' pellets onboard,” Carrabba said. “Nearly 17 percent of the vessel's carrying capacity, or 12,000 tons, was negated by the dredging crisis and low water levels.”

Carrabba also warned that the dredging crisis is worsening.

“Budget shortfalls have canceled dredging in several ports this year, including Huron, Ohio,” he continued. “That port can receive more than 700,000 tons of iron ore in a given year, but the channel is so clogged that the first cargo of 2007 represented only 77 percent of the vessel's rated capacity. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers does not receive enough money to maintain the Great Lakes navigation system.”

By Mike Fornes for the Cheboygan Daily Tribune

 

Port Reports - May 10

Detroit River - Joe Provost
The HMCS Halifax passed the Detroit River Light at 8:20 a.m. Wednesday morning heading for Dieppe Park in Windsor.

Ludington - Bob Kalal
The Badger was warming up on Wednesday, getting ready for the season which begins on Friday.

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Duluth-Superior were relatively quiet on a warm Wednesday morning, with Herbert C. Jackson waiting to load grain at CHS in Superior and Adam E. Cornelius unloading stone at CLM dock in Superior.
Duluth’s port terminal already has handled one heavy lift cargo this season: More large reactors for Canada’s oil sands region. Several more of these cargoes are expected this season. In addition, the port is expecting to handle 15 windmill cargoes: two outbound loads of components to be shipped by barge and 13 inbound cargoes of giant power-generating windmills for wind farms in Minnesota and the Dakotas.

Port of Indiana - Brian Z.
Interlake's' Kaye E. Barker was loading a cargo of coke breeze at the East Dock on Tuesday. Loading was completed at 7 p.m., with 16,000 tons of cargo put aboard.
The Stewart J. Cort arrived at Mittal Steel to unload taconite pellets at 5:30 p.m.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The tug Olive L. Moore & barge Lewis J. Kuber arrived on the Saginaw River with a split load early Wednesday morning. They called on the Sargent dock in Essexville to lighter before heading upriver to finish her unload at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee. The pair were outbound Wednesday afternoon.
Late Wednesday night, the CSL Tadoussac was inbound for the Essroc Dock in Essexville to unload. She is expected to be outbound early Thursday morning.

Point Edward/Sarnia - Marc Dease
The Earl W arrived in the north slip at Point Edward early Wednesday evening tying up alongside fleetmate Davis Z. The David Z had arrived earlier in the afternoon.
Meanwhile fleetmate Wolverine went to anchor off of buoys 11 & 12 Tuesday evening due to fog. She will tie up alongside her two fleet mates sometime Wednesday. It will be a rare sight to see three abreast in the north slip.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
Saltwater bulk carrier Yarmouth was docked on a warm, foggy Wednesday night at terminal 3 in Milwaukee's outer harbor, unloading.
Meanwhile, in the inner harbor, cement carrier Innovation and its tug Samuel de Champlain made a delivery at the LaFarge silo on Jones Island.

 

HMCS Halifax Great Lakes Tour

5/10 - Detroit - The Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Halifax will be docked at the downtown Windsor waterfront from May 19 - 21 as one of the stops during it’s Great Lakes tour.

Public tours will be available between 1-4 p.m.

Reported by Joseph Woytta

 

Cleveland-Cliffs names new top officer

5/10 - Duluth - Iron ore supplier Cleveland-Cliffs, Inc. has a new chairman of the board. Joseph Carrabba, Cleveland-Cliffs president and chief executive officer, replaces John Brinzo.

Brinzo retired as chairman of the board Tuesday. “It has been my pleasure and privilege to be a part of the Cliffs family for the past 39 years,” said Brinzo, a former president and chief executive officer, said in a news release. “As I step down as chairman today, I do so with complete confidence that our company's assets and resources are in very capable hands.”

The company also announced that David Gunning retired as a director on the board.

Cleveland-Cliffs operates six iron ore mines in North America, including Hibbing Taconite, Northshore Mining Co., and United Taconite.

From the Duluth News-Tribune

 

Retired icebreaker inches closer to land;
Alexander Henry Bed and Breakfast must be moved
to protect it from wind and waves

5/10 - Kingston, Ontario - The season opening of the Alexander Henry Bed and Breakfast, prized artifact of the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes, will be delayed this year until July.

The retired icebreaker, which is permanently docked outside the museum at 55 Ontario St., won't be accepting guests for the next two months because museum officials hope to move the ship closer to shore. The B&B normally opens on the long weekend in May. This year, museum officials say it's necessary to delay the opening so the ship can be moved, to protect it from wind and waves that may push the boat away from an aging dock.

Mark Siemons, chairman of the museum board, said that though the ship isn't in any immediate danger, it makes sense to move it at the earliest available opportunity because of the potential for damage. "It doesn't need to happen this year, but the sooner the better," he said. "We feel it will be more [protected] if we move it where there's more shelter than in its current exposed position. We're just thinking it would be better if we moved it in.

"It's not a crisis. We're just trying to better manage the property and protect our artifact." The ship has been docked at its current location since it was moved to the site more than 20 years ago.

"The ship is our most significant artifact and it takes a lot of abuse where it is now," Siemons said. "With Block D development, there are worries that the wind dynamics are changing and it's getting more pressures from wind." Siemons also said the ship has to be moved when the water level of Lake Ontario is high. So, if the ship is going to be moved this year, it has to happen in June when the water is at its highest level.

Museum officials, he said, are stuck in bureaucratic red tape, awaiting approval from various levels of government. "You're moving a boat. It shouldn't be as difficult as it is," he said. "This is one of the reasons why the federal government and the City of Kingston have to get this land transfer done for this property because our hands are constantly tied to improve that site. We're caught between two government agencies."

The City of Kingston leases the museum property from the federal Public Works Department for $1 a year and then sublets it to the museum for the same price. The federal government has deemed the property surplus and wants to either sell it or lease it at market value. For months, the city has been in negotiations with Ottawa to come up with an agreement to extend the lease for five years.

In the meantime, the city is working on the board's behalf to get the vessel moved. "We've asked for comments on whether they would allow it," said Cynthia Beach, commissioner of sustainability and growth. Ottawa responded by asking for more information. The city is in the process of compiling that data.

"We also feel there needs to be some structural analysis ... before there are any changes to where the boat is moored," said Beach. "We want to make sure we're sure that where it's going to be moved is better than where it is right now and we understand that there needs to be some permits in place that the Marine Museum would have to get."

One such permit that may be necessary would have to go through the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, she said. "The dry dock is a heritage structure," she said. "It's a national historic site and we want to make sure that we comply with whatever the federal government wants us to do ."

From the Kingston Whig-Standard

 

Old barge target of beach dig;
Vessel to be moved away from shipwreck

5/10 - Southampton, Ontario - Volunteers have returned to what has become an annual archeological dig on the beach in Southampton.

The first dig began when ribs of a vessel began protruding through the sand. Ken Cassavoy, a marine archeologist who has worked on shipwrecks around the world and who now lives in Southampton, was quickly acknowledged as the man to head up what would become a major archeological dig. Although the name of the ship was not known that first summer, last year's work proved that it was a U.S. ship, the Hunter.

Artifacts such as military buttons and a restored cannon that is now housed at the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre, along with archival records uncovered by historian Patrick Folkes, confirmed the ship's identity. The ship, which had been involved in the war of 1812, was to be an unprecedented find on the Great Lakes.

"What we are attempting to do right now is uncover a barge that was also found nestled up against the Hunter," Cassavoy said. "Although we've seen pictures of this type of barge, we have never seen an actual one from that period in history. It will be useful to get a better knowledge of its simple detail because it really was the 'workhorse' of the time. Our primary goal now is to uncover it and then protect it by reburying it in the same environment but further from the lake. This will then open up the side of the Hunter that we were unable to excavate at the earlier digs."

The barge project is being completed by local volunteers and must be completed within the next two and a half weeks. A giant crane will come in on May 26 to carefully lift the barge out.

"We don't expect to find any artifacts of importance, but if we do, they go to Ottawa for examination and confirmation," Cassavoy said. The General Hunter was built in Amherstburg, south of Windsor, and launched in 1806. It saw action in the War of 1812 as a Royal Navy warship before being lost to the Americans in the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813. It was a U.S. ship when it was wrecked off the shore of Southampton.

"We are looking at the possibility of this becoming an International effort," said Cassavoy. "We would like to recover the Hunter, but that takes a huge amount of money, far more than a municipality could possibly afford and the Canadian government does little in the way of providing funding for this type of thing. So, perhaps, it could become a joint effort between two countries. Who knows what will happen?"

From the Owen Sound Sun Times

 

Updates - May 10

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter

Public Photo Gallery updated.

Make reservations for one of the BoatNerd Gatherings

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 10

Captain C. S. Montague died on board the steamer JOHN B COWLE of the Great Lakes Steamship Company while crossing Lake Superior on this date in 1923. He had sailed as Captain for 35 years and had been in command of the COWLE since 1917.

After departing Conneaut on this day in 1940, the steamer ELBERT H GARY, Captain A. J. Winkel, sighted the disabled fish tug 41-A-647 with Captain Seth Faulhaber and two crew members aboard. The GARY took the tug in tow and headed for Ashtabula where a Coast Guard launch took the tug. Captain Winkel reported that the GARY lost a total of 50 minutes.

105 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. Catharines 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, Russ Plumb, 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.

 

Lake Superior recedes to lowest level in 80 years

5/9 - Sault Ste. Marie, ON - Hey, who pulled the plug from Lake Superior?

That's just about the only explanation Marilyn Reed can come up with after watching her Goulais River shoreline, just upstream from Superior, drop two feet since last summer. "I think there's some kind of drain at the bottom of Lake Superior somewhere, spilling into the core of the Earth," said Reed, who installed a breakwall last July and "could actually see it going down, down, down" since then. "When you lose two feet and you have maybe five feet below the bottom of your ship in spots when you're coming through . . . isn't it odd? It's just odd that it's going so rapidly."

A group of University of Minnesota scientists last month confirmed global warming over the past three decades has brought change faster to Lake Superior than to its surroundings.

A trend toward warmer and shorter winters has a spiraling effect: less winter ice cover means Superior loses more water to evaporation and gets more sun, contributing to the overall warming of the lake. It hasn't been lower since 1926. It has fallen 46 centimetres (18 inches) below its long-term average and 32 cm (12.6 inches) lower than just a year ago, reports the International Lake Superior Board of Control.

Also significant is the length of time water levels have been below average, said David Fay, Canadian member of the board, which controls outflow from Superior into the lower lakes and to power the utilities on either side of the St. Marys River. "The levels have been below average now for almost nine years," Fay said from Cornwall. "This is the longest stretch below average on Lake Superior since we started keeping records in the early 1900s." The board of control continues to limit the flow into the St. Marys, cutting it from 1,500 cubic metres a second to 1,380 for May. That's 30 per cent less than the average flow for this time of year.

Superior likely will continue to rise from its typical yearly low, which occurs in March, although it has risen at a slower rate than normal: just seven cm in April compared to eight normally. Barring "phenomenal downpours," Fay doesn't expect it to get "anywhere near" its long-term average.

He can't say whether we're in the midst of a prolonged trend. "It's quite possible this is a natural variation, but it's also quite consistent - with all the modeling work we've done - with climate change. We're kind of suspicious, or concerned, we're starting to see the effects of climate change on Lake Superior, but we can't say we have conclusive proof."

The International Joint Commission, which oversees the board of control, continues its search for that proof. The IJC launched the Upper Great Lakes Study last year to take another look at issues such as the regulation of Lake Superior's outflow.

Sault Ste. Marie MP Tony Martin will meet next week with IJC members to voice his concern. Among the worries he hears from constituents is that the Americans are stealing water. More than two billion litres of water siphoned off by the controversial Chicago diversion from Lake Michigan into the drought-ridden Mississippi River flows originally from Lake Superior, the headwaters of the Great Lakes. "It's all connected," Martin said from Ottawa.

He also expressed alarm at secret Security and Prosperity Partnership talks between Canada, the United States and Mexico that took place in Calgary last month. The Council of Canadians recently received a leaked agenda from the meeting about "creative solutions beyond the current transboundary water arrangements" and "water consumption, water transfers and artificial diversions."

Martin said the IJC, set up by the Canadian and U.S. governments in 1909 as an independent body to resolve issues that touch on shared waters, should be part of the closed-door talks. "They, if anybody, should know what water is coming out of and going into Lake Superior, and I think they should also be very concerned if there are discussions going on (for) trade agreements that could threaten our sovereignty over water."

He added Parliament needs to clearly state that "water just isn't on" when it comes to free trade discussions. Only 18 months ago, eight states signed and two provinces supported in principle the Annex 2001 agreement, which banned bulk water exports from the Great Lakes. Martin questions whether the latest talks are a way around that.

"It's always ongoing. Just when you think you have it done, another flank opens up."

From the Sault Star

 

Port Reports - May 9

Marinette - Dick Lund
The Pere Marquette 41 was at Marinette Fuel & Dock Co. on Tuesday. They brought in a load of limestone and departed around 3 p.m. (CDT).

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Algosteel made an early Tuesday morning entry into port and was loading at the Sifto Salt dock with a stiff southerly breeze blowing.

 

Updates - May 9

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter

Public Photo Gallery updated.

Make reservations for one of the BoatNerd Gatherings

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 09

On this day in 1906, three schooners, the ALGERIA, IRON QUEEN, and M I WILCOX, sank in Lake Erie. The three boats were lost because a tug strike at Cleveland prevented them from entering the harbor during a storm. Martin Elnin, Captain of the ALGERIA, drowned in the tragedy. Captain Elnin had previously survived the sinking of the schooner DUNDEE on September 12, 1900.

In 1959, the JOHN SHERWIN, Captain Erling G. Jackson, completed her maiden trip by unloading 19,000 tons of Erie Mining pellets at Ashtabula, Ohio.

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

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

The ROBERT C NORTON was laid up on May 9, 1980, for the last time at the Hans Hansen Dock at Toledo, Ohio. A L6-S-B1 class bulk freighter built in 1943, by the Great Lakes Engineering Works, as a.) PILOT KNOB, completed as b.) STEELTON. She was traded to Pickands, Mather & Co., converted to a self-unloader, renamed c.) FRANK PURNELL, in 1966, and d.) ROBERT C NORTON in 1974. She was scrapped at Alang, India in 1994.

PETER REISS (Hull#522) was launched at Superior, Wisconsin by Superior Ship Building Co., on May 9, 1910 for the North American Steamship Co. (Reiss Coal Co.). She was scrapped at Rameys Bend in 1973.

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

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

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

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

Data from: Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, 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.

 

Dredging Work Begins at Holland

5/8- Holland - Late last Friday evening, the King Company's dredge Buxton II and all of its support equipment came into Holland harbor.

They set up immediately to begin working on the roughly nine-foot-high sandbar that had formed at the mouth of Holland harbor. The presence of the sandbar and current low water levels combined to create areas with depths of less than fourteen feet in a channel with a project depth of twenty-three feet.

The work is expected to take one to two weeks.

Reported by Bob VandeVusse

 

Port Reports - May 8

Rouge River - Mike Nicholls
The barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann unloaded at Severstal Steel in the Rouge River, on Saturday, and backed out of the slip past the waiting Herbert C Jackson.

Mackinaw Bridge - Rod Burdick
Sunday evening, the tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort passed northbound under the Mackinac Bridge heading toward Lake Huron. On a sunny Monday morning, American Spirit passed Mackinac Island and sailed southbound under the bridge.

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The CSL Niagara loaded early Monday at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock.
As the sun dipped beyond the loader, the Herbert C. Jackson was under the chute, taking cargo.

Kingsville - Eric Zuschlag
The Mississagi paid a visit to the small Ontario fishing harbour unloading stone after the dinner hour. Many of the towns residents were out to watch.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The barge St. Mary's Conquest and tug Susan W. Hannah came in at 8:30 p.m. Sunday night with cement for the St. Mary's terminal in Ferrysburg. It unloaded all night.
The Wilfred Sykes backed in Monday morning with a load of stone for Verplank's dock, also in Ferrysburg. At one point, the two vessels were tied up stern to stern. Both boats left some time on Monday.

South Chicago - Brian Z.
Canada Steamship's Atlantic Erie was loading a cargo of petroleum coke early Monday at KCBX Terminals on the Calumet River. After attempting to de-ballast the portside forward tank, water was discovered entering the ballast tank. A diver was called to find the source of the leak. The diver found a 3 to 5 foot crack in the outer shell plating. A temporary repair was underway early afternoon and loading was expected to resume later in the evening.
Lower Lakes' Calumet was outbound after discharging a cargo of salt at 103rd Street.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Wolverine was in bound the Saginaw River Monday morning carrying a split load. She stopped at the Bay City Wirt dock to lighter before continuing upriver during the afternoon to finish her unload at the Saginaw Wirt dock. Wolverine was expected to be outbound late Monday night or early Tuesday morning.

 

BoatNerd Headquarters Now Even Closer to the Action

5/8 - Port Huron - The BoatNerd.com World Headquarters in Port Huron has upped anchor and moved even closer to the St. Clair River.

It's now located in the 6,000-square foot Great Lakes Maritime Center building along the waterfront at Vantage Point. The new address is 51 Water Street.

The move allows the facility longer hours, increased visibility and an even better view of passing vessel traffic, it is open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. seven days a week.

The old stand-alone building opened in 2005, and more than 24,000 people visited the facility in 2006.

 

17th Annual Memorial Day Cruise to Port Huron

The Marine Historical Society of Detroit, and BoatNerd.com, are sponsoring the 17th Annual Memorial Day Lake St. Clair and River Cruise aboard the Diamond Belle .

The cruise departs from Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit, on Sunday, May 27, and cruises across Lake St. Clair, up the St. Clair River, and out into Lake Huron for a short distance, weather permitting.

There is a Continental breakfast and a buffet luncheon on board, and the trip includes a buffet dinner at the St. Clair Inn.

The cruise will follow the shipping channel upbound to meet all downbound ships, and only divert from the shipping channel down bound to visit the old St. Clair Flats area to see the Old Club and other interesting buildings and sites there.

Tickets are $85 by reservation only. Departs Hart Plaza at 8:00 am and returns at 9:15 pm. Call 313-843-9376 for information.

 

Time to make your BoatNerd Gathering Reservations

The annual series of BoatNerd Gatherings is rapidly approaching. Many of these events have limited space. Don't wait to make your reservation until it is too late.

Saturday, June 2 - Special Boatnerd Cruise - A special 2-hour tour of the St. Clair River aboard the Huron Lady II, beginning at 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 16 - Boatnerd Detroit Up River Cruise - A 3-hour freighter chasing cruise on the lower Detroit River aboard the luxurious Friendship, driven by Capt. Sam Buchanan.

Friday, June 29 - Annual Boatnerd Freighter Chasing Cruise at the Soo - The annual trip aboard the Chief Shingwauk for a full three (3) hours leaving from Roberta Bondar Pavilion in Soo, Ontario.

Saturday, July 14 - Annual St. Clair River Gathering aboard the Hammond Bay - The Hammond Bay will depart their dock 2 miles south of Sombra, Ontario at 11:00am for a 3-hour narrated cruise passing Fawn Island, Sombra, Courtright, St. Clair, and Marine City.

Saturday, August 11 - Boatnerd Detroit Down River Cruise - A 4-hour freighter chasing cruise on the lower Detroit River aboard the luxurious Friendship, driven by Capt. Sam Buchanan.

Go to the Boatnerd Gatherings page for all the details and reservation forms.

 

Updates - May 8

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter

Public Photo Gallery updated.

Make reservations for one of the BoatNerd Gatherings

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 08

In 1981, the newest 1000 footer to enter service on the Great Lakes was christened COLUMBIA STAR when Mrs. John J. Dwyer broke a bottle of champagne across the bow. The new boat was named to honor the Columbia Transportation Division of Oglebay Norton Company and the brig COLUMBIA that carried the first cargo of iron ore through the Soo Locks in 1855. She was renamed b.) AMERICAN CENTURY in 2006.

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, Russ Plumb, 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

Menominee - Dick Lund
The USCG Hollyhock arrived in the bay of Green Bay off Menominee, MI on Sunday, to work on Aids to Navigation. They replaced the winter buoys at the mouth of the Menominee River. That task is usually handled by the USCG Mobile Bay out of Sturgeon Bay, WI.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
After a number of quiet days on the Saginaw River, traffic resumed Sunday morning with the Indiana Harbor calling on the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville to unload coal. She arrived overnight and was then outbound for the lake just before 10 a.m.. This was the first delivery of coal to the Consumers dock this season.

Green Bay - Scott Best
Late Saturday afternoon the Buffalo arrived in Green Bay with load of stone from Port Inland for the Western Lime Co Dock. Behind the Buffalo was the Tug Olive L Moore and barge L J Kuber which went to anchor because they were also bound for Western Lime, and the John G Munson who had a load of stone for the Great Lakes Calcium Dock.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Opening Ceremony for Armed Forces Week took place at the Buffalo Naval Park on the bright and sunny Sunday afternoon at 12:45 p.m. Festivities included the American Legion Band of the Tonawandas playing patriotic music along with a color guard representing all five branches of U.S. military service with a Canadian Armed Forces contingent. A flyover was made by a vintage US Army Air Corps C-47 from the National Warbird Museum of Genesee followed by a low level, high speed, banking pass by a modern C-130 from the 914th Airlift Wing from Niagara Falls Air Force Base. A 21 gun salute was given by cannon shot along with a rifle firing squad. Tributes were made to US combat casualties, along with presentations to long serving veterans and a group of new recruits. A final high level, slow speed run by the C-130 closed out the day at about 2 p.m.
The English River was quietly unloading at the LaFarge Cement Dock on Sunday.

 

Dossin Great Lakes Museum’s Webcam Returns

Detroit - The Detroit River webcam is back up and running at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle. Now, visitors to the Museum and shipping enthusiasts anywhere in the world can access the webcam.

The Detroit River Webcam, a special project of the Detroit Historical Society and its Maritime Auxiliary Group, has returned thanks to the efforts of some persistent volunteers and a local business.

After three years of broadcasting views of the Detroit River, Belle Isle, the Ambassador Bridge and the downtown skyline over the worldwide web to viewers around the world via a camera mounted atop the S.S. William Clay Ford pilot house, the camera went off line in March 2006 when the wireless Internet service provider serving the Museum went out of business. "When our connection went down, the future of the camera looked bleak," said Webcam volunteer project manager. "When the camera went online in 2003, the only economically feasible solution was wireless as the museum's remote location made the cost of a wired connection out of reach.

"We looked at several providers -- including a signal from Canada – however, we were again faced with connection charges that far exceeded our budget," he added.

The solution was found courtesy of Paul Huxley with Strategic Staffing Solutions, a Detroit-based IT company known for its charitable work in the community. The company worked with AT&T to have a wired high speed internet connection run to the museum for free with monthly charges equal to the cost formerly paid for the wireless connection.

"Without the assistance of Strategic Staffing Solutions, the installation charges alone would have exceeded the annual budget for the camera," the project manager said. The company also donated equipment, and their staff helped install the Internet connection, he added.

The webcam offers a 340-degree view of the passing freighter traffic on the Detroit River and activity in Belle Isle Park. It can be controlled from any online personal computer, and is active 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The camera attracts a large audience, including many transplanted Detroiters who enjoy viewing Belle Isle and the Detroit River from locations in other states and countries. Visitors to the Dossin Great Lakes Museum can also enjoy the webcam views from a kiosk in the popular City on the Straits exhibit.

"It’s great to have the webcam back online, and we thank Strategic Staffing Solutions and our volunteers for their support” said Bob Bury, executive director of the Detroit Historical Society. “This is a great use of today’s available technologies to present the maritime story of the region, and we hope it encourages people to visit the newly renovated Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle.”

The Museum has enjoyed record attendance since reopening last month after a 12-week makeover of exhibits and facilities.

The Dossin Great Lakes Museum, located at 100 Strand Drive on Belle Isle, is open Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free at the Museum for the duration of 2007 through the generous support of Masco Corporation, however, donations are welcome. Permanent exhibits include the Miss Pepsi vintage 1950s championship hydroplane, a bow anchor from the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald, the pilothouse from the Great Lakes freighter S.S. William Clay Ford, and the largest known collection of scale model ships in the world. For more information visit www.detroithistorical.org

 

Trip Raffle to Benefit BoatNerd

Through the generosity of the Interlake Steamship Co., BoatNerd is offering the chance to win a four-six-day trip for four to take place during the 2007 sailing season (between the months of June and September) on the winner's choice of the classic Lee. A. Tregurtha or the Queen of the Lakes Paul R. Tregurtha.

The trip is the Grand Prize of BoatNerd¹s first ever raffle and fundraising event. Other prizes will also be given away.

All proceeds from this raffle will benefit Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, the non-profit support organization for the BoatNerd.Com Web site. Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, Inc. is a non-profit 501(C)(3) corporation. Funds raised will be used to upgrade our equipment, expand our services and pay monthly Internet connection charges.

The drawing will take place at 2 p.m. on June 2, 2007 at the BoatNerd.Com World Headquarters in Port Huron, Mich.
Donation: $10 per ticket, 3 for $25, 6 for $50 or 12 for $100.

Click here to order, or for more information. Tickets are also available by mail, or in person at BoatNerd World Headquarters in Port Huron, MI.

 

Updates - May 7

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter

Public Photo Gallery updated.

Make reservations for one of the BoatNerd Gatherings

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 07

The AMASA STONE, Captain George B. Mallory and Chief Engineer Alonzo Arnold, began her maiden trip in 1905. After a long career with Interlake Steamship Company, the AMASA STONE was sold to Medusa Portland Cement in 1965, for use as a dock at Charlevoix, Michigan.

The WILLIAM H DONNER (Hull#134), 524 x 54 x 21, was launched at Great Lakes Engineering Works, Ashtabula, Ohio in 1914. The DONNER was ordered by Hanna as a replacement for the CHARLES S PRICE that was lost with all hands on Lake Huron on November 9, 1913. Her hull is used as a crane barge in Marinette, Wisconsin.

The former RICHARD M MARSHALL was rechristened b.) JOSEPH H WOOD in 1957. Wilson Marine Transit purchased the MARSHALL and 15 other boats from the liquidated Great Lakes Steamship Company to become the fourth largest American fleet on the Great Lakes.

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

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

The HUTCHCLIFFE HALL entered service on May 7, 1954.

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

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

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

 

Port Reports - May 6

Straits Traffic 
A parade of boats past through the Straits of Mackinac on a sunny Saturday morning. Burns Harbor came through the Round Island Passage and passed west bound under the bridge at 10 a.m.
Atlantic Erie followed the same path, clearing the bridge 15 minutes behind Burns Harbor.  Kaye E. Barker came up the inside passage from Lake Huron and went under the bridge at 10:40 a.m.
Paul R. Tregurtha came from Lake Michigan, passing the Grand Hotel at 11:15 a.m. heading for DeTour.

Goderich - Wayne Brown 
Algomarine arrived in Goderich at 3 p.m. Saturday After turning in the inner harbour with the assistance of the Ian Mac and Debbie Lynn she was under the spout and loading at Sifto by 4:30 p.m.

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer
Late Saturday afternoon the Calliroe Patronicola was docked at the General Cargo Terminal 2 in the outer harbor.  It sails for Olympic Shipping and Management (Monaco) under charter to FedNav.  It is also reported that Algoma's Agawa Canyon is due in around 9 p.m. Saturday evening with a load of salt.
Saturday morning ocean bulker Calliroe Patronicola was backed into the slip and unloading at municipal terminal 2 in Milwaukee's outer harbor.  This dock is most frequently used for steel deliveries.

The barge St. Marys Conquest and tug Susan W. Hannah arrived in Milwaukee's inner harbor at about 11 a.m. Friday morning and proceeded up the Kinnickinnic River to their terminal to unload cement.  Conquest departed onto Lake Michigan at about 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

Also Friday, Federal EPA Research Vessel Lake Guardian arrived and docked at the Univ. of Wis. Sea Grant slip at about 8 p.m.

 

Boyer in the News

Editorial from the Toledo Blade - Keep Toledo history afloat
Toledo's ties to the Great Lakes and the maritime shipping industry are at the heart of what this region is about. Water defines us. The shipping season brings lake freighters and foreign vessels to our riverfront and Maumee Bay docks, to discharge or take on cargo and underscore this community's enduring status as an important American seaport. Those ties are evident every day at one of this country's most unusual "museums." This one floats.

It's the Willis B. Boyer, and it's tied up at a berth in International Park, almost in the shadow of the Anthony Wayne Bridge. Even though it was once one of the most important vessels on the Great Lakes, it's in danger of sinking. Not literally, of course. But figuratively, the Boyer's status as the centerpiece of the downtown riverfront is in jeopardy. The City has decided its financial crunch is too severe to continue supporting the Boyer financially, and Paul LaMarre III, executive director of the museum ship, will lose his City position at the end of June. Unless another funding source can be found, the Boyer quite likely will simply go away, sold by the City for scrap, bringing to an ignominious end the vessel's rich history.

Mr. LaMarre has proposed that the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority purchase the Boyer for a dollar and lease it back to a nonprofit board, which would operate it. It's a proposition that will come with costs. Mr. LaMarre's salary is $50,000 a year and he has suggested an annual budget of $100,000. In addition, the ship needs work. Despite Mr. LaMarre's labors to repair and maintain as best he can, the hull needs major attention. But federal money is available to help with that expense and a grant application for $300,000 has already been made.

As the port authority ponders a decision, it should keep in mind that other communities on the Great Lakes, including Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., which is certainly smaller than Toledo, operate ship museums. Maintained and aggressively promoted, the Boyer would become a significant tourism draw.

It has to be the most historic vessel still floating on the Great Lakes today. It was considered the world's largest bulk freighter when it was built in 1911. A Blade headline from Oct. 9, 1911, proclaimed the Boyer the "Queen of the Lakes." Sending it to the scrap yard as the boat's 100th anniversary approaches would be no way to treat a queen.

 

Updates - May 6

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, the Roen Salvage barges HILDA and the MAITLAND NO 1 started the rescue operation of freighter GEORGE M HUMPHREY which sank in a collision with the D M CLEMSON in the Straits of Mackinac.

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

The steamer 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, of 1924, helped rescue the steamer TEN which had lost power in a Lake Superior ice field and required a tow to safety.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports - May 5

Calcite - Dave Wobser
John G. Munson arrived at Calcite at 4:45 p.m. Friday.

Huron - Jim Spencer
The Philip R. Clarke discharged limestone loaded at Stoneport Friday at the Huron Lime Company dock.

Buffalo - Brian W.
The Gateway Metroport Terminal will be getting a rail improvement project underway within the next few months. Erie County has $3.8 million in had to swing the old South Buffalo RR Main Line away from it's current right of way along Rt. 5 and set it back inside the Mittal Steel property. The plan is to move the tracks and free up more real estate for development along the East side of the property facing Rt. 5. Access roads can then be built that will serve a new office park development in that section of the property. The South Buffalo Main (now owned by the Buffalo and Pittsburgh R.R.) passes over Rt.5 between the 13" Bar Mill and the Cold Strip Mill before heading North to access the Gateway Metroport Terminal via a loop track along the Lackawanna Ship Canal. This line once allowed the South Buffalo to access the many mill and shop buildings that occupied the North East part of the Bethlehem Steel Plant, the third largest integrated Steel Mill in the world at one point in time. The new trackage will allow trains to come into the port facilities from the area South of the canal since all the old mill buildings in that section have been torn down. A large amount of trackage remains in and around the old steel mill to support various businesses including Mittal's steel finishing operations, the Gateway Metroport, the B&P coal yards, a cement plant, a Canadian National R.R. lumber facility, and a scrap metal processing yard.
Some of the county's money is coming from a fund set up to install a rail station at Ralph Wilson Stadium along the B&P's main line that passes through Orchard Park. Interest and momentum on that project seem to have been lost for good. The county even fought the B&P's request for abandonment of the line at one point in time since they felt that rail passenger traffic to Buffalo Bill's games and other events was a real possibility. The Electro Abrasives Plant and the 84 Lumber Yard in Orchard Park are the only remaining customers that still receive rail car deliveries between Buffalo and Ashford Junction. The Southern section of this line has suffered washouts and other track bed problems due to lack of maintenance of the physical plant and is considered out of service past Orchard Park.

 

Help Wanted

The Great Lakes Towing Company is now accepting applications for both day and evening Operations Coordinators.  If interested, please download the standard application at their corporate website corporate web site attach a resume, and submit to:

Edward C. Hertz
Operations Manager
The Great Lakes Towing Company
4500 Division Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44102-2228
 
General Job Description:
Schedule and coordinate flow of work.  Notify tugboats to advise ships entering or leaving port of traffic and coordinate barge movements.   Select and schedule crews for tugboats and barges.  Maintanins records and prepares bills for services.  May notify captain of tugboat of order changes via telephone or radio.  May call out crews to tugboats to respond to emergency requests from captain.  Track company and crew performance activities, and safety statistics.
 
Representative Duties:
Schedules and coordinates flow of work based on customer orders, establishes priorities and availability of personnel, equipment, and resources.  Ensure tugs and barges are properly crewed and operated.  Maintain records and prepare bills for services.  Develop and monitor procedures and programs to track company and crew activities.
 
Email: ech@thegreatlakesgrop.com

 

Updates - May 5

News Photo Gallery updated

Win a Trip on  a Great Lakes Freighter

Public Photo Gallery updated.

Make reservations for one of the BoatNerd Gatherings

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 05

In 1957, the HARRY W CROFT, Captain Irving Hallberg, rescued three fishermen when their boat began sinking 20 miles north of Chicago in the choppy waters of Lake Michigan. Built as the FRED G HARTWELL in 1908, by the Toledo Ship Building Company (Hull#112), she was renamed b.) HARRY W CROFT in 1917. She was scrapped at Santander, Spain in 1969.

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, Russ Plumb, 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 4

Milwaukee - Paul Erspamer & John N. Vogel
On Wednesday morning, cement carrier Integrity and its tug G. L. Ostrander departed onto Lake Michigan at about 6:30 p.m. after unloading at the LaFarge silo on Jones Island.
Thursday morning, Peter R. Cresswell delivered salt onto the dock surface at slip 1 p.m. at the municipal piers in Milwaukee's outer harbor. The Cresswell had departed by late afternoon.

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Duluth-Superior was busy Thursday morning with Algosteel proceeding outbound under the Blatnik Bridge about 7:30 a.m. after loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal destined for Nanticoke.
It was passing the Canadian Provider, which was docked at CHS grain elevator waiting to begin loading.
St. Clair was loading at the CN/DMIR ore dock while H. Lee White was at the port terminal waiting for an opening at BNSF ore dock, where it appeared Voyageur Pioneer was still loading.
Later in the morning, Herbert C. Jackson backed under the Blatnik Bridge and into Midwest Energy Terminal to load coal for Marquette.

Alpena & Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
Thursday was a busy day at Lafarge. The American Courage arrived at the coal dock around 2 a.m. to unload coal.
Next in was the Alpena, who tied up under the silos before 8 a.m. to load product for St. Joseph, MI. The Alpena departed mid afternoon and met the tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation on their way into port.
The tug G. L Ostrander and barge Integrity are expected at Lafarge on Friday.
Great Lakes Trader was loading at Stoneport Thursday afternoon. The Joseph H. Thompson is due on Friday morning.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
Olympic Merit departed Redpath Sugar late Thursday bound for the Welland Canal.
The venerable side-wheel steam ferry Trillium, now in it's 97th season, was out on the bay for trials on Thursday afternoon. A few of the smaller charter vessels were launched at Pier 35 Thursday afternoon.

 

Michigan City landmark lighthouse looking for new owner

5/4 - Michigan City, Ind. — The federal government is looking to give away a century-old lighthouse on Lake Michigan.
The 55-foot tower on the east side of Michigan City’s breakwater will be offered at no cost to federal, state or local agencies and nonprofit corporations, the U.S. General Services Administration said Wednesday.

Fred DeVries, chairman of the Michigan City Historical Society, said he is sure some group will want the local landmark, which was built in 1904. “This is something we want to keep. It’s a symbol of Michigan City,” DeVries said.

Whoever accepts ownership must use the lighthouse for education, park, recreation, cultural or historic preservation purposes, GSA officials said. If there’s no response, the lighthouse will be made available for auction to the private sector, said GSA spokeswoman Paula Santangelo. That process could run through early 2008.

In recent years, lighthouses have been given away or sold because the Coast Guard no longer has the manpower or resources to maintain them, Santangelo said. Regardless of ownership, the lighthouse must function according to Coast Guard requirements and historic preservation guidelines.

If no one shows any interest, Santangelo said the Coast Guard likely would continue to operate it. The Coast Guard station in Muskegon, Mich., is in charge of the lighthouse

From the Indianapolis Star

 

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. She was towed from Superior, Wisconsin to Chicago in 2006, for use as a grain storage barge in Lake Calumet.

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.
 

 

Chi-Cheemaun set to sail home; Massive upgrading complete

5/3 - Sarnia - A local company has made Ontario's most famous car ferry shipshape for another three decades.

The Chi-Cheemaun the biggest passenger/vehicle ferry on the Great Lakes is slated to sail out of Sarnia Harbour this evening. The vessel, whose name means 'Big Canoe' in Ojibwe, spent the last two winters here undergoing a multimillion-dollar upgrade that included everything from new curtains to engines.

"We did two days of sea trials on Thursday and Friday and all went well," said Marten VandenBroek of Shelley Machine and Marine. "It's a finished project, on schedule and on budget. Everything has been inspected and passed. Its first trip (between Tobermory and South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island) is May 4." He added, "this was a large project the boat's really good for another 30 to 35 years, I would guess."

About a dozen Shelley workers carried out repairs, which included the replacement of two Ruston 3,500-horsepower diesel engines, each weighing about 28 tonnes, with four new Caterpillar diesel engines. Other local installers added finishing touches to passenger and other areas. In all, the cost of the upgrades totaled about $10 million, including roughly $6 million in the second phase.

The 365-foot vessel has been a fixture in Lake Huron for more than 30 years, sometimes carrying as many as 638 passengers and 113 vehicles per trip.

From the Sarnia Observer
 

 

Port Reports - May 3

Sandusky - Jim Spencer
The CSL Niagara loaded overnight Tuesday at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock. Initial reports have her bound for Hamilton, Ont.

Grand Haven - Dock Fox
The Earl W. delivered a load of stone to Meekhof's Upper dock by the railroad swing bridge in Ferrysburg on Tuesday.

Soo - Jerry Masson
US Coast Guard Cutter 216 Alder was in the Soo Tuesday for aids to navigation work. Now that the ice is gone from the local harbor, work crews will start removing the ice boom and allow two way traffic again at Mission Point.

Menominee - Scott Best
The Diezeborg departed Menominee late this afternoon bound for Duluth to load. The Diezeborg had unloaded a cargo of wood pulp in Menominee at the KK Integrated Logistics East Dock. After unloading the Diezeborg headed up river to the turning basin near the old Ansul Dock, backed into the basin and turned around to head out through the Ogden St. Bridge and through the piers.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Buffalo Common Council approved the River Wright Energy Ethanol Plant Project on Tuesday. As soon as the mayor signs off, construction can begin with a possible start in the summer of 2007, and a possible completion date some time around June of 2008.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
After lightering at two different docks, the tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber finally finished their unload at their third dock of the trip, Saginaw Wirt, and were outbound through Bay City around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. The pair had lightered at the Essexville and Bay City Wirt docks on Tuesday before heading upriver to finish.

Rochester - Tom Brewer
The Metis and Evans McKeil returned with a second load of bulk cement from Picton, Ontario on Wednesday.

Marquette - Lee Rowe
The John J. Boland brought stone to Marquette's Shiras dock on Wednesday evening.

 

Annual Shipwreck Show in Holland

5/3 - Holland, MI - On Saturday, May 5, at 7 p.m., Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates will present their annual "Beneath the Inland Seas" program at the Knickerbocker Theatre, 86 East 8th Street, in Holland Michigan.

The program will feature presentations by Dave Trotter and Ralph Willbanks.

Of particular interest to Boatnerds, MSRA will detail their discovery last summer of the Hennepin, the first self-unloading vessel on the Great Lakes. Video of the wreck, which lies 200 feet below the surface of Lake Michigan, shows the vessel with remarkable clarity.

For more information or to order advance tickets, check MSRA's website (www.michiganshipwrecks.org)

 

Updates - May 3

News Photo Gallery updated

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Today in Great Lakes History - May 03

The QUINCY A SHAW collided with the barge HARRIET B, a.) PERE MARQUETTE 16, in heavy fog off Two Harbors, Minnesota in 1922. The HARRIET B sank and the damage to the SHAW exceeded $64,000.

The CHARLES M BEEGHLY, Captain John Navarre, delivered her first cargo as a self unloader on this day in 1981. The BEEGHLY discharged 26,751 tons of pellets at Lackawanna, New York.

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.

On 3 May 1840, CHAMPLAIN (wooden side-wheeler, 225 tons, built in 1832, at Chippewa, 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.

Data from: Al Miller, Max Hanley, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, 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.
 

 

Yankcanuck returning to service

5/2 - Soo, Ontario - The Yankcanuck is being put back into service. She was on the St. Marys River Tuesday morning for trials.

She will be going to Algoma Steel Wednesday morning for a load.

The Purvis Marine Ltd. vessel will be going to the East Coast with her load on Wednesday. They have work there and needed a load to get her there.

Reported by Bonnee Srigley

 

Port Reports - May 2

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
After spending the night at the North Star dock in Essexville due to low water levels, the Algoway was able to head upriver Monday morning, calling on the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee to unload.
Also inbound on Monday was the David Z, who called on the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee and the American Mariner, who called on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City.
The tug Rebecca Lynn and her tank barge had to back out of the slip shared by Bay Aggregates and Bit-Mat to allow the American Mariner to enter. The pair crossed the river and waited for the Mariner at the Essroc dock. The Algoway, David Z and American Mariner were all outbound on Monday.
On Tuesday, the Maumee was inbound for the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee. This is the forth trip to the Saginaw River for the Maumee since April 26th. She was expected to be outbound late Tuesday night.
The Olive L. Moore & Lewis J. Kuber were also inbound Tuesday afternoon passing Light 1 of the Entrance Channel around 5 p.m.

South Chicago - Brian Z.
The John G. Munson was loading petroleum coke at the Beemsterboer dock on Monday. Loading was completed at 1:45 a.m. on Tuesday morning.
At Chicago Drydock, the four-masted tall ship Windy ll was receiving hull painting and final touches for her 2007 sailing season at Navy Pier.
At KCBX Terminals, the Wolverine was loading a coal cargo bound for Holland, MI. The Wolverine's hull is now Lower Lakes gray and the after cabins are being painted white over the O-N cream color. Her stacks have been painted black, awaiting the Lower Lakes markings. Loading of the Wolverine was completed at 12:30 a.m. on Tuesday and the Sam Laud arrived to take on a coal cargo at KCBX.

Port of Indiana - Brian Z.
On Monday, the Burns Harbor was unloading pellets at Mittal Steel (formerly Bethlehem Steel).
Lower Lakes' Calumet was departing the port after discharging her cargo. Outside the breakwall, the McKeesons was waiting for the Calumet to clear before entering.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Peter R. Cresswell began backing through the piers at 6 a.m. on Tuesday morning. She was on the Sifto Salt dock loading by 7 a.m. with a light rain falling.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
The Groupe Ocean tugs Jerry G. and Omni Richelieu arrived in port from Hamilton, just before 10 a.m. Tuesday and escorted H.M.C.S. Halifax out of port and over to Oshawa harbor.
The schooner Empire Sandy was dry docked Tuesday afternoon for her five-year inspection. The salties Olympic Merit (at Redpath) and Tuscarora (at Pier 51) remain in port unloading. Galcon Marine's tug Kenteau and their spud barge Pitts Carillon have ben working in the Turning Basin where a new natural gas-fired electric generating station is being built.

Lorain - C. Mackin
The Black River was busy on Tuesday as the Ryerson made a stop at the Jonick dock and the American Valor went upriver to R.E.P. Late Tuesday the Agawa Canyon stoped at Terminal Ready Mix.

 

Welland Lock spill washes out road;
Part of canal parkway likely to be closed until Friday

5/2 - St. Catharines - A stretch of road along the Welland Canal from Glendale Avenue and lock 7 will be closed for most of the week because of damage from a water leak in one of the locks.

On Sunday, while a ship was being raised in lock 6, a valve malfunctioned, causing extra water to be released in lock 5.

A St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. official said Monday the incident caused water to spill onto the Welland Canals Parkway. The rush of water damaged the asphalt and it is not safe for vehicle traffic.

"It will probably be closed until at least Friday," said Michel Drolet, the corporation's vice-president, Niagara region.

The accident resulted in officials shutting down the west lock at lock 6 while the cause of the valve malfunction is investigated and a repair completed.

Drolet said inbound and outbound traffic was directed through the east lock, but it did not cause any serious delays because traffic in the canal was light.

From the St. Catharines Standard

 

Coast Guard cutter back in service

5/2 - Duluth - Divers have apparently repaired an oil leak on the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Alder.

“Once we’ve gone through our final testing over the next couple of hours, and everything goes well, we will depart Duluth, head out and start getting some work done,” Lt. Kenny Pepper, the Alder’s spokesman, said this morning.

Drivers began repairing the Alder on Thursday, and “have been working every day since,” Pepper said. The cutter went for a brief cruise on Lake Superior this morning to help test the repairs.

The Coast Guard discovered hydraulic fluid leaking though a bad seal in the ship's controllable pitch propeller system during machinery trials on March 8. The Alder had remained at its dock at the Duluth Coast Guard station since, a boom floating behind its stern to contain any leaking oil.

Earlier this month the federal government awarded a contract to a Chesapeake, Va., diving company to repair the cutter in the water at its dock.

The 225-foot, 2,000-ton Alder was launched in 2004 in Marinette, Wis. It was stationed in Duluth to replace the World War II-era Sundew, and is responsible for icebreaking, search and rescue, and placing aids to navigation.

Reported by Al Miller from the Duluth News-Tribune

 

Port Huron Museum names new president

5/2 - Port Huron, MI - The Port Huron Museum Board of Trustees announced today Dennis Zembala has been named president of the museum.

Zembala previously worked at the Detroit Historical Museum and has more than 30 years experience in the museum field.

According to a statement from the board of trustees, Zembala also worked at the Baltimore Museum of Industry and was a historian with the National Park Service in Washington, D.C.

Zembala will resume his new position on May 21.

From the Port Huron Times Herald

 

Updates - May 2

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Today in Great Lakes History - May 02

In 1914, the MATTHEW ANDREWS of the Kinsman fleet establish a new record for oats by loading 606,000 bushels at Duluth. Renamed b.) HARRY L FINDLAY in 1933, c.) PAUL L TIETJEN in 1965. She was scrapped at Ashtabula, Ohio in 1979.

In 1980, the JAMER R BARKER delivered the first cargo of taconite pellets to the new Lorain Pellet Terminal. Beginning at 8:30 a.m, she unloaded 55,502 tons of pellets.

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 SmithÕs 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, Russ Plumb, 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 Report - May 1

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Twin Ports docks were busy Monday morning, with Presque Isle loading at CN/DMIR ore dock, Federal Patroller loading chromium ore at Hallett 5, Redhead finishing loading at CHS, and Canadian Enterprise loading at Midwest Energy Terminal. Joseph H. Thompson was about a mile off the Superior entry, heading down the lake with a load of taconite pellets from BNSF.

 

Updates - May 1

News Photo Gallery updated

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Public Photo Gallery updated.

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Today in Great Lakes History - May 1

n her first trip of the 1947 season, the DONNACONA passed downbound at the Soo with a cargo of 589,844 bushels of barley from Fort William-Port Arthur.

The WILLIAM G CLYDE of the Pittsburgh fleet was downbound at the Soo with a cargo of iron ore. Due to heavy ice conditions on Lake Superior, this was the first downbound passage of the 1950 shipping season. Converted to a self-unloader and renamed b.) CALCITE II in 1961, and c.) MAUMEE in 2001.

The JOHN SHERWIN was christened in 1958, by Mrs. John Sherwin during ceremonies at Cleveland’s East Ninth Street pier. The SHERWIN, built at Toledo, was 710 feet long, powered by an 8,500 hp turbine, had a carrying capacity of 25,000 gross tons, and a rated service speed of 16.5 mph (loaded). Due to economic conditions and changing technology, the SHERWIN spent more than half her life in long-term layup.

The H LEE WHITE was christened in 1974, during ceremonies at Bay Shipbuilding, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. The WHITE, with a length of 704 feet and a capacity of 30,900 tons of pellets or 25,450 tons of coal, was the third boat christened by American Steamship Company within a year.

The EDMUND FITZGERALD collided with the Canadian steamer HOCHLEGA 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. Renamed b.) B W DRUCKENMILLER in 1958, c.) A T LAWSON in 1964. Sold into Canadian registry in 1976, and renamed d.) GEORGE G HENDERSON, e.) HOWARD F ANDREWS in 1979, and f.) ELMGLEN in 1982. She was scrapped at Port Maitland, Ontario in 1984.

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, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.



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