Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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Red Bull Air Races Safety Zones Established

5/31 - Detroit - The Captain of the Port of Detroit will establish a safety zone for the upcoming Red Bull Air Races over the Detroit River.

The established a safety zone is defined by the following: From the shore of the Detroit River on the U.S. side southwest of the Joe Louis Arena, northeast along the shoreline to Chene Park and extending across the Detroit River to the international boundary. The Windsor Port Authority and the Canadian Coast Guard will enforce an adjacent safety zone on the Canadian side of the river concurrent with the U.S. Coast Guard’s safety zone. These zones will be enforced per the following times and conditions:

On Thursday and Friday during practice from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., no recreational vessels will be allowed to enter the established safety zones. Aircraft practice will be coordinated to allow for commercial vessel transits only.

On Saturday qualifying race day from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., no vessel movement will be allowed in the established safety zones. On Sunday race day from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., no vessel movement will be allowed in the established safety zones.

U.S. Coast Guard Sector Detroit welcomes any questions or concerns as we prepare for the start of this unique event. Sector Detroit’s point of contact for questions regarding safety zone enforcement for recreational boats during the Red Bull Air Races is Station Belle Isle, 313-331-3119.

For questions regarding commercial vessel traffic, Sector Detroit’s point of contact is Commander Joe Snowden, 313-568-9491.

Coast Guard Sector Detroit directly oversees all Coast Guard missions on Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie from Alpena, Michigan to Vermilion, Ohio.

Reported by U.S. Coast Guard

 

Port Reports - May 31

Alpena / Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
Early Friday morning the Cuyahoga was unloading sand at the Alpena Oil Dock. Around 7 a.m. it was ready to depart and started to back out of the river into the bay.   The tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation was also in port on Friday, and is heading for Milwaukee next.

At Stoneport on Friday the tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder were loading cargo. The John G. Munson was expected to follow the Pathfinder and load at the dock during the evening.

Owen Sound - Ed Saliwonchyk
Mississagi arrived in Owen Sound mid-afternoon Friday.  Mississagi, like Cuyahoga is usually seen in Owen Sound unloading salt.  However, on each of their last visits, both were loading grain at the Great Lakes Elevators.

 

Updates - May 31

News Photo Gallery updated

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets. Only a few days remaining.

Public Photo Gallery temporarily offline due to technical difficulties.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 31

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

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

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

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

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, 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 30

Duluth / Superior - Al Miller
A rainy Friday morning in the Twin Ports found BBC Plata ready to load at CHS 2 grain elevator in Superior while Beluga Enterprise was at the port terminal to unload a hold and deck cargo of wind turbine assemblies.

Detroit - Mark Swarthout
The Red Bull Air Races will occur this weekend over the Detroit River in downtown Detroit.  A large number of buoys and platforms restrict the channel.  During the practice sessions and race the river is blocked to all traffic.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The Wilfred Sykes came in late this morning with a load for Verplank's in Ferrysburg. When it backed out at 4 pm it blew three or four salutes apparently for the people on the pierheads.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Calumet returned to the Saginaw River early Thursday morning, calling on the Sargent dock in Essexville to unload.  Inbound behind the Calumet was the Algoway, who stopped just above her at the North Star dock.  Calumet finished her unload and expertly turned in the Essexville basin just astern of the Algoway before heading for the lake around 4pm.  Algoway finished her unload, turned off the dock and was outbound during the early evening.

 

Updates - May 30

News Photo Gallery updated

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets. Only a few days remaining.

Public Photo Gallery temporarily offline due to technical difficulties.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 30

On 30 May 1896, ALGERIA (3-mast wooden schooner-barge, 285 foot, 2,038 gross tons) was launched by J. Davidson (Hull #75) at West Bay City, Michigan. She lasted until 1906, when she foundered near Cleveland, Ohio.

The COLUMBIA STAR began her maiden voyage in 1981, from Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin to load iron ore pellets at Silver Bay, Minnesota for Lorain, Ohio. She was the last of the 1,000 footers to enter service and, excluding tug-barge units or conversions, was the last new Great Lakes vessel on the American side.

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

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

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

 

 

Barge Laviolette sold

5/29 - The barge Laviolette (Ex-Canadian Explorer) has been sold to foreign operators in South America. She left Trois-Rivières under tow of Commodore Straits and Radium Yellowknife on Wednesday for a final destination Puerto Limon in Costa Rica.

The Radium Yellowknife is used as a break tug only as far as Escoumins pilot Station. The barge is reported to be slated for conversion into a spoil dump barge to be used in the Panama Canal enlargement project. The trio had to pull up to Quebec City for repairs to one of the engines on Commodore Straits and will resume their long voyage once repairs have been made.

Commodore Straits will then head for Port Austin, Texas to pick up a laid up freighter recently purchased by a new subdivision of ULS. The vessel is a Sturgeon Bay built heavy lift ship. It is unclear at this point if its the Ex-John Henry or its sister ship Paul Bunyan.

The plan is to tow the vessel back to Canada and refit it for Great Lakes service in the carriage of Steel products. Allegedly, the intended name of the new vessel would be Marine Link Atlas.

Reported by Bruno Boissonneault

 

Port Reports - May 29

Montreal - Rene Beauchamp
The Barge Laviolette tow departed Trois-Rivières early Wednesday morning for Les Escoumins pilot station. It is unknown which tug will take over the tow from Radium Yellowknife and Commodore Straits.
BBC Korea has been renamed Federal Pendant at Windsor. Around midnight Tuesday night, she departed for the Soo.
Algoma Discovery will arrive at the Sorel-Tracy anchorage tomorrow morning.
The new tanker Sarah Desgagnés in the Desgagnés fleet will arrive in Montreal Wednesday night. From Montreal, she will go to Quebec City.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
Lee A. Tregurtha finished loading coal at the CSX Docks and departed in the mid morning Wednesday.
Shortly afterwards the Algosteel finished unloading ore at the Torco Ore Dock and was also out bound mid morning.
CSL Tadoussac was loading ore at the Midwest Terminal Dock.
The tug Sea Service and barge Energy 6506 was loading cargo at the B-P Dock. Tug Samuel De Champlain with the barge Innovation was unloading cement at the Lafarge Dock and is expected to leave early Thursday morning.
The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Docks has the CSL Laurentien and Robert S. Pierson due in on Friday, followed by the H. Lee White on Saturday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock has the CSL Laurentien due in on Thursday, John G. Munson is due into the Midwest Terminal Dock Thursday morning. She is bringing in an ore cargo that was loaded at Marquette, Michigan.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
Karen Andrie departed Buffalo Harbor with her barge behind her on the wire Wednesday evening. She had arrived around 10 p.m. on Tuesday.
Adam E Cornelius was unloading at the Gateway Metroport on Tuesday with stone out of Calcite
.

 

Tern puts twist in bridge plan

5/29 - Buffalo - A local bird expert is hoping political pressure won't take precedence over a threatened species as posturing continues over the ultimate design of the Peace Bridge Authority's proposed new span.

The PBA recently decided to ditch a 170-metre-high signature bridge design linking Fort Erie and Buffalo to embrace a smaller, three-arched span following concerns raised by federal and state environmental agencies about the danger the soaring structure would pose to birds along a busy migration route.

But now, some politicians across the Niagara River are calling for reconsideration. "The last thing I want to see or hear is some politicians trying to convince the public that the economic benefits of a tall bridge outweigh the environmental consequences," said Ralph Morris, a professor of emeritus at Brock University and a common tern expert with more than 30 years experience studying the species. "That would be a tragedy."

A two-tower, cable-stay bridge designed by Swiss bridge architect Christian Menn, was selected in late 2005 after a 32-panel jury spent three months mulling over 33 designs as part of a draft environmental impact assessment study. But more recently, the PBA learned the height of the bridge has "unacceptable impacts on migratory birds and the protected common tern," an authority media release stated.

Along with concerns the bridge could lessen the chances of survival for the common tern, a threatened species that nests in Buffalo Harbor and feeds downriver near Grand Island, it could also adversely impact the emerald shiner, the tern's primary food source, several federal and state agencies fear. The New York State Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Environmental Agency and Environment Canada have all expressed concern with the design, as have Audubon New York, the Baird Foundation and members of the public.

However, Rep. Brian Higgins is urging federal officials in the United States to reconsider their objections to the design, arguing environmental concerns have been overstated and the bridge would not harm birds traversing the corridor. Higgins points to a six-year-old review of scientific literature that found bird crashes into tall structures, including bridges, accounted for less than 0.02 per cent of all bird deaths.

Sen. Chuck Schumer and Gov. David Paterson joined congressional representatives recently in Washington, D.C., to urge top federal officials to back away from a move to embrace a smaller span instead of the mammoth bridge, which would stand taller than the Washington Monument. Paterson said he supports the larger design because he believes it will be important for the region - economically as well as symbolically.

Morris said whatever politicians and agencies decide, he hopes it ends up being in the best interest of the species in question. "Obviously, some credible agencies have come forward with data ... based on radar studies and movement observations ... that a specific bridge design would harm certain species in a large way," said Morris, adding common terns fly over bridges and not under.

"It would be an absolute shame if political pressure, for whatever reason, takes precedence over a threatened species, especially seeing that 1,500 pairs of common terns last year nested along Buffalo Harbor, making it the largest common tern colony on the lower Great Lakes. In the last 25 to 30 years, there has been a 30 per cent decline in the number of nesting pairs throughout the Great Lakes."

Stateside, the Federal Highway Administration is financing an environmental review of the PBA's plans and must approve the plan before construction can start. Six designs were short-listed from the list of 33 and while the Menn design - with its tall spires, clean lines and linear cables - made its way to the top of the list, only one bridge - a lower-profile, three-span arch - takes the concerns expressed about the preferred choice out of the equation.

"The common tern is threatened in the U.S. If common tern habitat or common tern activity is disturbed by development activity, then development should always take second place to the protection of endangered species - it's that simple," said Morris.

Ron Rienas, general manager of the PBA, said the authority is paying close attention to the scrutiny being levied against its plans for a new bridge. "At the end of the day, we can only do what is able to be permitted," said Rienas. "It's key to remember this is not solely a U.S. bridge. It's crossing an international river and ... it's fine for the U.S. politicians and agencies ... to demand this or that bridge design, but Canada has a say in this too, so we'll see."

In letters to the federal highway administration, a vast array of interest groups, government agencies and citizens have raised questions that go beyond whether the soaring, cable-stay bridge design would mean death to the birds that fly near it. Many are also concerned the PBA's plan for a vastly expanded truck plaza on Buffalo's west side would mean death to a neighbourhood and its historic tradition.

From the Welland Tribune

 

Lake Superior Board to meet

5/29 - Detroit – The International Lake Superior Board of Control invites the public to participate in a meeting/teleconference on June 12. The purpose of the  meeting is to provide information on the operations of the Board, current and forecasted water levels, and to receive public input about local concerns related to water levels and flows of Lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron.

The meeting will be held at Sault College, Banquet Room L1120, 443 Northern Ave., Sault Ste. Marie, ON.

For more information call (312) 353-4333 or email: John.W.Kangas@usace.army.mil

 

Updates - May 29

News Photo Gallery updated

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets. Only a few days remaining.

Public Photo Gallery temporarily offline due to technical difficulties.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 29

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

New ships arriving

5/28 - Montreal - New Canadian tanker Sarah Desgagnes will be upbound for Montreal on May 28 as well as Algoma Discovery (ex.Daviken) for Contrecoeur.

On an "older" note, Barge Laviolette is scheduled to depart Trois-Rivières under tow of Commodore Straits and Radium Yellowknife on the same date. Her destination in unknown at this time.

Reported by Bruno Boissonneault

 

Port Reports - May 28

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Tuesday morning at the Upper Harbor the John G. Munson loaded ore and Paul R. Tregurtha arrived to unload western coal. Tregurtha anchored off the Upper Harbor breakwall waiting for the Munson to depart.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
CSL Assiniboine finished unloading ore at the Torco Dock and departed Tuesday morning. Shortly after the Herbert C. Jackson arrived at the Torco Dock to unload ore and was expected to depart mid afternoon. Philip R. Clarke finished unloading cargo at the Midwest Terminal Dock and departed in the early afternoon.
CSL Tadoussac was at the Midwest Terminal Dock loading ore. The tug Sea Service with her barge Energy 6506 was at the B-P Dock loading cargo.
The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Dock has the American Mariner due in Tuesday evening, Lee A. Tregurtha on Wednesday, CSL Laurentien and Robert S. Pierson on Friday, followed by the H. Lee White on Saturday. The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Docks has the Algosteel due in Tuesday evening, followed by the CSL Laurentien on Thursday.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
Early Tuesday morning the tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation was in port tied up under the silos. During the afternoon the tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons brought a load of coal to Lafarge. By nightfall it departed the dock and backed out into the bay.  The Alpena was expected to return Wednesday morning with the G. L Ostrander and barge Integrity later in the evening.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Calumet, who arrived on the Saginaw River early Saturday, was finally able to head out bound for the lake on Tuesday. She departed from the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee around 4 p.m. The reason for the lengthy stay is unknown.

Hamilton - John McCreery
The Robert S. Pierson arrived at Hamilton Tuesday with a load of canola from Thunder Bay.
Also in port the tug Vigilant I is being fitted with a new elevated pilot house

 

Annual BoatNerd Cruise aboard the Huron Lady II

The annual trip on the St. Clair River aboard the Huron Lady II is scheduled for Saturday, June 7, following the Port Huron Marine Mart.

The boat leaves at 5 p.m. from her dock next to the bridge in Port Huron. BoatNerd price is just $13.00, but reservations are required.

Call 810-984-1500 for reservations. Parking and other information is available at www.HuronLady.com

 

Annual Boatnerd Freighter Chasing Cruise aboard the Chief Shingwauk

The annual trip aboard the Chief Shingwauk for a full three (3) hours leaving from Roberta Bondar Pavilion in Soo, Ontario at 6 p.m., Saturday, June 28.

We will go where the boats are! Lock up and down through the American and Canadian Locks. The cruise will return at 9:00 p.m. Cost is $30.00 per adults and $20.00 for children 12 and under. Price includes dinner. Cash bar on board.

Make reservations by calling (705) 253-9850, or 1-877-226-3665. Space is limited.

 

BoatNerd Freighter Trip Raffle nearing the drawing

A trip for four aboard the legendary Great Lakes steamboat Edward L. Ryerson is the top prize in this year's BoatNerd Raffle.

Other prizes include: a port hole from the Calumet courtesy International Marine Salvage, a cruise aboard the Huron Lady II, sightseeing cruises of Duluth-Superior aboard the Vista Fleet, tickets for Diamond Jack's River Tours on the Detroit River, passes aboard the Keweenaw Star for a sunset cruise, and round trip tickets to Beaver Island, four prizes of passes for two on a Diamond Jack cruise on the Detroit River, a round trip for two including auto aboard the carferry Badger donated by the Lake Michigan Carferry and two Tours of the DeTour Reef Lighthouse courtesy the Detour Reef Light Preservation Society.

All proceeds from the raffle will benefit the BoatNerd.Com Web site. Funds raised will be used to pay the charges associated with running such a busy site. Fund-raising raffles are our only method of support; without the raffle BoatNerd.Com would be forced to discontinue this free web site.

The drawing will take place at 2 p.m. on June 7, 2008 at the BoatNerd.Com World Headquarters at Vantage Point, in Port Huron, Mich. Donation: $10 per ticket, 3 for $25, 6 for $50 or 14 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.

Deadlines - Ticket orders by mail must be received no later than June 4. Ticket orders online via PayPal must be received no later than 7 p.m. June 5. Tickets may be purchased until 1 p.m. at Port Huron on the day of the drawing, June 7.

State of Michigan Raffle License # R95375

 

Updates - May 28

News Photo Gallery updated

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets. Only a few days remaining.

Public Photo Gallery temporarily offline due to technical difficulties.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 28

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports - May 27

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
Cuyahoga came in for the salt dock around 11:30 a.m., followed about an hour later by English River for the LaFarge dock.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
The Upper Harbor was busy Memorial Day morning. Charles M. Beeghly and Michipicoten were at the ore dock, and John G. Munson, a rare visitor, was anchored off the Upper Harbor waiting for a clear dock.

South Chicago - Brian Z.
LLT's Manitowoc loaded coal on Sunday at KCBX Terminals in South Chicago. The Manitowoc arrived at 1 p.m. with assistance from the "G" tug South Carolina. Loading for the power plant in Holland MI was completed at 9:15 pm.
The Yankcanuck was spotted outbound at 6 p.m. in ballast. Manitowoc's fleetmate Manistee was dock at 103rd and the Calumet River undergoing some repairs.

Sandusky - Kevin Davis
Saturday night the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin came into Sandusky around 6 p.m. On Sunday the Maumee was unloading salt, Martin was loading coal and Algomarine was waiting to load at the coal dock.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey

The tug Olive L. Moore & barge Lewis J. Kuber were out bound from the Wirt Stone dock in Saginaw Monday afternoon after unloading there overnight.
The CSL Tadoussac followed them out bound close behind after unloading at the Essroc Cement dock in Essexville. The Tadoussac had arrived early Monday morning.
The Calumet continued to sit at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee on Monday. This is the second day she has been there. It is unknown why they are there or what the issue is at this time.

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
The Manitowoc arrived at the James DeYoung power plant to make a coal delivery Memorial Day morning. They departed mid-afternoon.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
The tug Sea Service and barge Energy 6506 were at the Midwest Terminal Dock.
Atlantic Huron was at the Torco Ore Dock unloading ore.
The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Docks has American Mariner due in Tuesday, Lee A. Tregurtha on Wednesday, CSL Laurentien and Robert S. Pierson on Friday, followed by the H. Lee White on Saturday.
The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Ore Docks has the CSL Assiniboine late Monday evening, Herbert C. Jackson on Tuesday followed by the CSL Laurentien on Thursday.

 

Updates - May 27

News Photo Gallery updated

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets. Only a few days remaining.

Public Photo Gallery temporarily offline due to technical difficulties.

 

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.

 

Boat Accident Kills 3

5/26 - Harrison Township - Three people were killed Saturday night in a boating accident on Lake St. Clair.

According to the Macomb County Sheriff's department, a 38-foot power boat carrying five people crashed into a 120-foot barge in Belvidere Bay just off of Lake St. Clair. Two others were being treated at a local hospital. The barge was reported to have lights onboard.

Macomb County Sheriff said the crash happened around 11 p.m. Saturday and that the vessel's operator may not have seen the barge in the dark. We're not really sure whether they didn't see it," Hackel said

Hackel said the barge had been anchored in the water for some time as part of a dredging operation. The 38-foot PowerQuest boat was pulled from the water by crews early Sunday morning. Names of those involved weren't immediately released. An investigation is underway.

From WDIV-TV4 Detroit

 

Port Reports - May 26

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Calumet, who had arrived early on Saturday was still at the Saginaw Wirt dock late into Sunday. Sunday, had turned and was sitting at the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee, possibly waiting for the upbound Olive L. Moore & Lewis J. Kuber to pass before heading out for the lake. The Moore-Kuber arrived Sunday morning with a split load. The pair lightered at Bay City Wirt before continuing up river to finish unloading at the Saginaw Wirt dock. Also arriving Sunday morning was the tug Donald C. Hannah and tank barge Robert F. Deegan, calling on the Dow Chemical dock in Bay City.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Sunday evening, fleet mates Lee A. Tregurtha and Charles M. Beeghly were at the Upper Harbor ore dock. Tregurtha loaded taconite, and Beeghly unloaded coal.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Canadian Enterprise, loading at the Sifto Salt dock on a damp, mild Monday morning, arrived through the night.

 

For friends of the Boyer, it's pancakes first, then it's work

5/26 - Toledo - One small piece at a time - polishing brass here, removing accumulated rust there - a crew of volunteers is working to restore the Great Lakes freighter-turned-museum ship S.S. Willis B. Boyer.

The Boyer, located at International Park in Toledo, has been a museum since it was acquired by the city in the 1980s. Every fourth Saturday of the month, the ship's volunteers have a pancake breakfast cooked in the ship's galley, then tackle various chores around the Boyer. Yesterday's was the second such breakfast and work day of the year.

"It has proven to be a great camaraderie-builder, as well as getting much-needed projects done," said Paul LaMarre III, the executive director of the ship and manager of maritime affairs for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. There are now about 25 regular volunteers, the most the ship has ever had, Mr. LaMarre said.

About 15 of them Saturday tackled general housekeeping and cleaning tasks such as polishing brass, cleaning woodwork, and removing trash. They also worked on longer-term projects such as refurbishing the lifeboat deck, painstakingly scraping off old paint and rust. "It is priceless to have them here as a group, collectively, because that is how projects get accomplished," Mr. LaMarre said.

Many volunteers, such as Stan Kerbel, are former Great Lakes sailors. "It's shipboard work," he said of volunteering. "I just love it."

Yesterday's volunteer day was part of the ongoing rebirth and revival of the ship, Mr. LaMarre said. The Boyer has received increased attendance, donations, and support in the last two years, he said, in part because of a community campaign to save the ship. About 5,300 people visited the Boyer during 2007.

Toledoan Sam Snyder, a regular volunteer, said he enjoys spending time on the Boyer because of its significance. "This is a historic ship," he said. "It is an important part of Toledo maritime history."

Luke Archer, another volunteer, said he feels the same way. "It allows me to be a part of the Great Lakes shipping industry; being a part of the past and preserving it for the future," said the Findlay resident.

In April, the ship was nominated for the National Register of Historic Places because of its importance to transportation, maritime, and industrial history, according to the Ohio Historical Society. The 617-foot freighter was originally named for Col. James M. Schoonmaker, and was renamed the Willis B. Boyer to honor a president of Republic Steel Corp., according to the history of the ship on the museum's Web site.

When it was launched in 1911, it was the largest ship on the Great Lakes. It carried cargo such as coal for power plants, iron ore for steel mills, limestone for cement products, and grains for food. "This represented an entire fleet, which served to fuel the industrial revolution in America," Mr. LaMarre said.

Though the ship was part of heavy industry, he said those who sailed on the Boyer - the friends, customers, and corporate guests of the ship's owner - would have experienced a luxurious ride. Standing in an area where passengers would have enjoyed cigars and cocktails, Mr. LaMarre said the guests on this ship enjoyed the finest the Great Lakes had to offer. The Boyer sailed until 1980, when its owner, Cleveland-Cliffs Steamship Co., laid it up on a Toledo wharf. It opened as a museum in 1987.

"It takes you back to the old days," said Al Slater, the chief of operations and volunteer coordinator for the Boyer. "It provides a link to the past that shouldn't be forgotten."

For more information, visit www.willisbboyer.org.

From the Toledo Blade

 

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Today in Great Lakes History - May 26

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

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

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

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

SCOTT MISENER (Hull#14) was launched in 1954, at St. Catharines, Ontario by Port Weller Drydocks Ltd. for Colonial Steamships Ltd. She was scrapped at Alang, India in 1990.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports - May 25

Rochester - Tom Brewer
The tug Evans McKeil pushing the barge Metis departed Rochester, NY about 8 a.m. Saturday, in ballast, bound for Picton, Ontario.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey and Lon Morgan
The Adam E. Cornelius called on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City Saturday morning. She completed her unload and was out bound later in the day.
The Calumet was in bound Saturday afternoon with a split load. She stopped at the Wirt dock in Bay City to lighter and then proceeded up river to finish unloading at the Wirt dock in Saginaw. Calumet was expected to be outbound late Saturday or early Sunday morning.

Welland Canal - Rob Wolcott
It was a busy Saturday afternoon in the Welland Canal. The Salty Utviken was down bound with Blue Wing passing up bound between Locks 6 and 7. Algoville was also heading for Lock 3 with Salty BBC Korea up bound with wind mill parts. The BBC Elba, also loaded with windmill parts was close behind heading towards Lock 3 from Lock 2.

Goderich - Wayne Brown
Algorail arrived in Goderich at 5 p.m. on Saturday and commenced loading at 5:10 p.m.

Toronto - Frank Hood
Stephen B. Roman arrived back in Toronto on Saturday.

 

Updates - May 25

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Today in Great Lakes History - May 25

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Wind turbines turn $2.3 million in profits for Duluth Seaway Port Authority

5/24 - Duluth - Fiscal year 2007 will go down as the most profitable ever for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. The authority closed its fiscal books March 31 this year, more than $2.3 million in the black, according to Chief Financial Officer John Kubow.

The port authority’s previous financial best had been fiscal year 2001, when it reported a net profit of $837,000.

So what made fiscal year 2007 so special? Kubow’s simple explanation: “Sales of wind turbine components.” The port authority gets a cut of all revenues generated by the Clure Marine Terminal’s operator, Lake Superior Warehousing Co. Inc. And the company handled lots of wind power equipment last shipping season, both inbound from overseas and outbound to destinations on the East Coast and Europe.

In 2007, the American Wind Energy Association estimated between $8 billion and $10 billion was being invested in wind power annually, much of it in the nation’s heartland, including North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa.

Initially, the port was seeing large shipments of wind farm equipment imported from Germany, Denmark and Spain. As wind farms proliferate, domestic production of wind turbine and tower equipment has been climbing, expanding the outbound component of the port’s business. Duluth also has become a conduit for North Dakota-built wind power equipment bound for domestic and export markets.

This rapidly changing scene is fraught with opportunities and challenges, according to Ron Johnson, the port authority’s trade development director. “It’s more than a moving target,” he said. “Right now, it’s a blurred target.”

Jonathan Lamb, general manager of Lake Superior Warehousing, said the current shipping season is off to a more modest start, but based on recent inquiries and several large wind power projects in the works, including Minnesota Power’s plans to bring 500 to 700 megawatts of wind power online in North Dakota in the next few years, he believes the port may be able to equal the volume of equipment it handled last year.

To handle the massive wind turbines, blades, nacelles and towers the port has been receiving, the lay down area around the terminal has been greatly expanded. The port authority invested about $400,000 last year to ready more than six acres of land for the equipment. Lake Superior Warehousing also prepared an additional 25 acres of land at the Garfield C and D docks to use as a lay down area.

Kubow said those types of investments wouldn’t be made if the port authority and Lake Superior Warehousing weren’t confident about the future.

Part of that confidence is inspired by government mandates, such as Minnesota’s requirement that utilities in the state derive 25 percent of their power from renewable resources by 2025. “That’s what I call government-impelled cargo,” Kubow said.

From the Duluth News Tribune

 

Port Reports - May 24

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The St. Mary's Challenger came in at 9:30 a.m. today with a load for the St. Mary's Terminal in Ferrysburg. This was its second visit for the season.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin came into the Metroport Friday around 2 p.m. She came from the Welland Canal after delivering coal to Hamilton. She departed later Friday.
The English River came through the North Entrance at 6:45 a.m., pivoted around with the assistance of the "G" tug Washington and went stern-first up the Crick.
Grande Mariner is docked in the Basin, just down from the gas pumps.

South Chicago -Steve B.
The Virginaborg was at Iroquois Landing on the Calumet River unloading on Friday. Charles M. Beeghly arrived in Calumet Harbor about 11 a.m. and headed down to KCBX, arriving there at noon.  American Mariner was heard making her arrival at Mittal Steel at Indiana Harbor about 1130 a.m.

 

Detroit River Ferry complex upgrade on hold

5/24 - Windsor - A $5-million project to improve the the terminal area, access road and dock of the Detroit-Windsor truck ferry is on hold after it was learned a small road section in front of the operation's only access point is privately owned.

Ferry operator Gregg Ward is concerned what the sudden revelation -- after 18 years of being in business -- will mean for the project and the ferry's future. "All the permits are in, everything is ready to go. The outstanding issue is this little roadway," he said.

The ferry is the only approved border local crossing for trucks carrying hazardous goods and helps several dozen big rigs daily across the Detroit River. It is also the main crossing alternative to get trucks across the border should there be a major incident or customs lockdown at the Ambassador Bridge.

"This crossing is very critical for Windsor manufacturing and auto industry. If there is a failure at the bridge, this is it," Ward said. "To put this crossing at risk for 30 metres of pavement doesn't make sense."

Ward has asked Windsor city council to help expedite necessary approvals and paperwork that would allow Ontario's transportation ministry to buy a 30-metre stretch of Maplewood Drive. During site plan preparation for the project, the ministry discovered it is owned by Morterm Ltd. shipping dock -- located next door to the ferry operation.

The improvement project is being done by MTO as part of the Windsor border improvement initiative and is being paid for out of $300-million government allocation. For 18 months the city, province and feds have been working with the truck ferry to complete engineering plans. All design work is complete and permits are in hand.

The original date to put out tenders was April 23. The project was on a strict timeline due to environmental restrictions on when dredging work can be done in the Detroit River -- between July 1 and Oct. 30. But the project did not go to tender because of the property dispute.

Rakesh Shreewastav, senior project engineer for MTO overseeing the ferry project, said it has been delayed indefinitely until the property issue can be resolved. MTO is willing to buy the sliver of road if the price is "fair market value."

"We'd like to move forward on this and get it done," he said. "At this time we are waiting for property clearance." He couldn't predict on how long the project might be delayed.

Morterm's president Brian McKeown, who is handling negotiations on the roadway for the company, was unavailable on Thursday. But vice-president Terry Berthiaume indicated the company is willing to work out a resolution. "Brian is negotiating with the parties and trying to come up with a solution for everybody involved.

"There are a lot of parties involved -- Morterm, the ferry, MTO and the city. As you can imagine the more parties that are involved, the more complicated it becomes." Chief building inspector Mario Sonego is handling the file for the city, but could not be reached.

As it stands, Ward fears Morterm could play the bad guy "and say 'you can't use our property anymore and we would be forced to close that day."

"If this project doesn't go through, this has been a horrible experience," he said. "This should be resolved. It's for the betterment of the city."

From the Windsor Star

 

Experts urge action on intermodal

5/24 - Toledo - Local experts say now is the time for Northwest Ohio to capitalize on its geographic location through the creation of intermodal centers that could lead to thousands of new jobs and millions of dollars in economic development.

By creating a district to spur creation of intermodal centers, Toledo and its surrounding areas can take advantage of marketplace conditions in the transportation and logistics industries to shape Northwest Ohio's economic future. “We can't just move along at our own pace,” said Richard Martinko, director of the UT Intermodal Institute. “If we don't expedite, we're going to lose the opportunity.”

Because of an estimated growth in the next 20 years of 186 percent in the number of cargo containers shipped to the United States, Martinko said, other geographic areas such as Toledo will be needed to “pick up the slack” in handling overflow from the country's coastal ports, which are already exceeding capacity. Development of intermodal terminals — shipping facilities designed to handle multiple forms of carriers — could help Northwest Ohio become a prime destination for cargo entering the United States and shipped throughout the country, he said.

But for the intermodal business to take off in the region, Martinko said, the area's government officials, business leaders and residents need to be in agreement to have sites ready to entice companies to locate here or expand. Northwest Ohio's geography presents an opportunity because it encompasses ideal spots for land, air and sea shipping, he said. “We need to take more advantage of the assets that we have because the opportunity is there,” Martinko said.

James Hartung, president and CEO of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, agreed. A specific project in Canada currently in the works could serve as the catalyst for transforming the region into one of the country's intermodal centers, he said. The Melford International Terminal Inc. project in Nova Scotia could allow the transfer of cargo containers from mega-container ships to trains, which would then travel Canadian National Railway lines to destinations in Canada and the United States.

The facility, according to a company document, will serve as a transfer point for containers coming from Asia and the Indian sub-continent that are shipped to North America via the Suez Canal. Melford is a privately funded endeavor. Canadian National already has a terminal in Toledo at a facility known as Lang Yard, but the site is landlocked by Interstate 75 and the Hoffman Road landfill, Hartung said. Despite having an intermodal facility in Detroit, he said, Canadian National could look to Toledo because of the congestion around the Detroit metropolitan area.

Canadian National could use the city as a west terminal to trans-ship goods to ports throughout the Great Lakes, a process known as short-sea shipping, because of the amount of cargo Toledo's sea port can handle, Hartung said.

But for Canadian National to develop an intermodal facility in Northwest Ohio to meet its needs, Hartung said, the infrastructure needs to exist to maximize the company's ability to move containers inland throughout the United States. He said Melford Terminal is expected to open in 2011 with the first phase in the development at full capacity by 2015.

Creating the needed infrastructure to entice Canadian National to develop an intermodal terminal in Toledo needs to come through a partnership between government and the private sector, Hartung said. “We want to have the improvements in place when that first ship comes in,” he said. “We need sites where we can move in and start to develop.”

Such sites do not exist in the area, Martinko said. Having them could be the difference when companies looking to develop an intermodal facility select a site, he said. “We're not the only place in the world that has strategic geography,” Martinko said.

One local developer believes he has the perfect site for an intermodal center near Toledo Express Airport. However, a lack of cooperation from the City of Toledo is preventing the land in question from being utilized, he said.

Brian McMahon, whose Danberry National Ltd. is a partner in a group that owns land north of Toledo Express along Airport Highway, said he has been asking Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner for two years to sign an easement agreement that would allow water lines to be extended to the property McMahon said he believes would serve as the perfect location of an intermodal terminal. With a green light from Finkbeiner, McMahon said, a developer could be secured “literally overnight” to take advantage of the strategic location of the airport and the land surrounding it.

“In almost any other community, this property would've been developed years ago,” he said. “It's been 15 years of one obstacle after another. “Leadership in any other community would've figured out how to turn this property into jobs.”

But until McMahon presents an end user for the property, the mayor doesn't see an immediate need to sign off on the easement, said Brian Schwartz, Finkbeiner's spokesman. The water deal, he said, is also contingent upon the city entering into a joint economic development district (JEDD) with Swanton and Monclova townships. As part of such an agreement, Toledo would provide infrastructure such as water and sewer lines to designated land within the townships in exchange for a portion of income tax revenue and net business profits from developments within the JEDD.

Talks between Toledo and the townships remain ongoing, Schwartz said, but no deadline has been set on when a JEDD agreement needs to be reached. In fact, he said, McMahon has not contacted the mayor in more than two years about the water easement. “He hasn't been particularly aggressive in pressing the issue with the mayor,” Schwartz said, noting the city was “eager” to enter into the JEDD with Swanton and Monclova townships.

Alan Mikesell, an attorney hired to represent Monclova Township in economic development and special projects, said the municipality is excited to enter a JEDD and help in the efforts to make the region friendly to intermodal developments. Though government backing is a must for intermodal development to happen in the region, Hartung said, others need to step up and help in the effort.

“It's not just government. It's institutional will,” he said. “It's the businesses that are going to make money that are going to have to invest money. “You just can't lay it off on the government,” he said. “At some time, you're going to have to dip into your own pocket and invest in a project you believe in. “There are too many people out there that want to invest other people's money.”

From the Toledo Free Press

 

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Today in Great Lakes History - May 24

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

In 1980, the 1,000 foot m/v BURNS HARBOR was christened for the Wilmington Trust Co., (Bethlehem Steel Co., Mgr.) Wilmington, DE.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports - May 23

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Mesabi Miner was docked at Garfield C in Duluth on Thursday morning, ballasted down by the bow while a wheeled crane stood by the vessel’s stern. By late afternoon the Miner had departed from Garfield C, and American Republic was maneuvering into Fraser Shipyards for repairs.
Not far away, American Century was fueling at the Murphy Oil depot.
Stewart J. Cort was loading at BNSF ore dock.
American Republic was in drydock at Fraser Shipyards in Superior on Friday morning undergoing unspecified repairs. Elsewhere in port, Beluga Federation was loading at General Mills S elevator in Superior, Canadian Olympic was loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal while Gordon C. Leitch was anchored out on the lake waiting for its turn at the dock.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Cason J. Callaway made a rare trip to the Upper Harbor ore dock Thursday morning and loaded taconite.
Michipicoten was finishing her ore load as the Callaway arrived.

Cleveland -
The USCGC Mackinaw arrived in Cleveland on Wednesday and was docked at Pier 32 for the change-of-command ceremony for Rear Adm. John E. Crowley, Jr., who was relieved by Rear Adm. Peter V. Neffenger Thursday. Mackinaw was reported to have left Cleveland around 8 p.m. Thursday headed back to Cheboygan.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Calumet was inbound the Saginaw River Thursday morning going up to the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee to unload.
She was followed closely by the tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber, who called on the Bay Aggregates dock to lighter before continuing upriver to finish unloading at the Valley Asphalt dock in Carrollton.
Calumet was outbound Thursday evening and the Moore and Kuber were expected to be outbound late Thursday or early Friday morning.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Canadian Transfer, an overnight arrival, picked up a load at Sifto Salt and departed at 7 a.m. on a bright Friday morning. She headed up the lake.

 

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Today in Great Lakes History - May 23

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

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

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

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

The Tomlinson Fleet Corp.'s steel freighter SONOMA (Hull#610) was launched at West Bay City, Michigan by West Bay City Ship Building Co. on 23 May 1903. She was 416 feet long, 4,539 gross tons. Through her career she had various names: DAVID S TROXEL in 1924, SONOMA in 1927 and finally FRED L HEWITT in 1950. She was converted to an automobile carrier in 1928, converted back to a bulk carrier in 1942 and then converted to a barge for grain storage in 1955. She was finally scrapped in 1962, at Steel Co. of Canada Ltd. at Hamilton, Ontario.

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

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

 

Port Reports - May 22

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
The Rt. Hon. Paul J Martin departed Gateway Tuesday afternoon.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Algoway got underway early Wednesday morning from the Essroc dock after spending the night due to wind. She called on the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee, unloaded and was outbound for the lake Wednesday evening, passing through Bay City after 11pm.

 

Updates - May 22

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Today in Great Lakes History - May 22

On 22 May 1901, FRANK H PEAVEY (steel propeller bulk freighter, 430 foot, 5,002 gross tons) was launched at the American Ship Building Company (Hull #309) in Lorain, Ohio for the Peavey Syndicate. She lasted until 1934, when she struck the south pier while entering Sheboygan, Wisconsin and was declared a constructive total loss and scrapped the following year.

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

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

BAYFAIR was launched as the a.) COALHAVEN (Hull#134) at Haverton-Hill-on-Tees, U.K. by Furness Shipbuilding 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 Rameys Bend in 1979.

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

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

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

 

Port Reports - May 21

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
Adam E Cornelius was at the General Mills Docks around 1 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Tuesday afternoon, American Victory made a second straight trip to the Upper Harbor ore dock and loaded taconite. Michipicoten was due later in the evening.

Toronto - Clive Reddin
The saltie Bluewing was unloading sugar at the Redpath plant.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Calumet was out bound from the Burroughs dock early Tuesday morning after unloading overnight. She passed her inbound fleetmate, Manitowoc, out in the Saginaw Bay near Light1 around 10 a.m. Manitowoc was inbound with a split load, lightering at the Bay City Wirt dock before continuing upriver to finish at Saginaw Wirt. She was outbound passing the I-75 bridge around 11pm.
The Algoway was inbound, headed for the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee, but due to very strong winds, decided to tie up at the Essroc dock in Essexville to wait for the outbound Manitowoc and better weather conditions before making the trip up the river.

Grand Haven - Herm Phillips
The Robert S, Pierson ( ex Wolverine )arrived Tuesday afternoon in Grand Haven, Michigan for the first time in her new name. She unloaded stone at the Meekhof dock on Harbor Island and was outbound about 7 p.m.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Peter R. Cresswell is loading at the Sifto Salt dock on a cool, cloudy Wednesday morning, after arriving through the night.

 

Lake St. Clair and River Cruise and BoatNerd Gathering
Second boat added

On Sunday, May 25, an all day cruise leaving Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit and traveling above the Blue Water Bridges, to Fort Gratiot Light and return aboard the Diamond Belle. This 120 mile cruise following the shipping channel is co-sponsored by the Marine Historical Society of Detroit and BoatNerd.com.

The number of reservations has caused the Diamond Queen to be added for this cruise. Both boats will follow the same route.

The trip includes a continental breakfast and deli lunch on board, and a buffet dinner at the historic St. Clair Inn. This is a great opportunity to see all the sights and ships along the waterway between Detroit and Port Huron.

Tickets are $90.00 per person and reservations are required. Click here for details. Space is limited.

Don't be left out. Call today 313-843-9376 and tell them you are with the Boatnerds!

 

'Outstanding witnesses' of a shared past

5/21 - St. Catharines - The images are crisp and clear, free of the dense murk you'd expect to see at the bottom of Lake Ontario.

There's the side of the wooden ship. There's an anchor still in its raised position. Next on the screen is an eerily quiet carronade that blasted heavy balls of lead at enemy ships 200 years ago. And then the image that has become synonymous with the pair of so-called ghost ships. Diana the Huntress, the female figurehead carved onto the prow of one of the schooners, somehow manages to retain her grace 100 metres beneath the lake's surface.

Ian Kerr-Wilson had been waiting more than a decade to get a fresh look at two doomed American warships that sunk about 10 kilometres off the shore of Port Dalhousie in a violent storm in the summer of 1813. He wasn't disappointed by the advances in technology served up in the latest underwater pictures of the Hamilton and the Scourge.

"I get tingly," said Kerr-Wilson, manager of museums and heritage presentation for the City of Hamilton, which owns the historic shipwrecks. "Obviously, I'm a history wonk and a history geek, but you can't help but be affected when you look at that and see that's something that has been sitting under water for 200 years."

Kerr-Wilson was speaking Thursday from the deck of the Canadian Coast Guard vessel Griffon as it idled a couple hundred metres away from buoys marking where the American schooners sank in the midst of the War of 1812. Canadian and American dignitaries aboard the ship held a memorial service to honour 53 U.S. sailors who were killed when the Hamilton and the Scourge sank on Aug. 8, 1813.

The group also got to see some of the images collected over the past five days in the first underwater survey of the ships in 17 years. St. Catharines-based ASI Group Ltd. and Parks Canada conducted the investigation for the City of Hamilton using robotic underwater equipment to capture images and sonar readings of the wrecks. The survey was conducted from the Canadian navy ship HMCS Kingston. It will take a couple of years to pore over all of the data and fully understand what they mean, Kerr-Wilson said.

"We're not really in the stage where we are giving answers. We're still at the stage of asking questions." But it's already clear that the ships remain remarkably well preserved in the cold, oxygen-depleted waters. "These vessels have been in the water for nearly 200 years and they certainly don't look it," Kerr-Wilson said.

The ships were discovered in 1973 by St. Catharines dentist and part-time marine archeologist Dan Nelson after a search of more than a decade. The U.S. Navy transferred ownership of the ships to the Royal Ontario Museum in 1980. Hamilton later acquired the ships from the museum.

Nelson, 76, said he has confidence in the partners involved in the survey of the vessels. "I'm very hopeful they will do the right thing and preserve the historical contents of them," he said in an interview from his cottage. Nelson said he's curious to learn more about the group's findings. "I'll always be interested to see it, but I'm not involved in the project anymore."

Kerr-Wilson said findings from this week's detailed survey will help the city forge a long-term management plan for the national historic site. The city once had thoughts of raising the ships and displaying them for tourists in a waterfront park. But that prospect has been all but discounted, Kerr-Wilson said.

Marine archaeologists generally agree it's too difficult and too expensive to preserve wooden ships when they are removed from water and exposed to air, he said. "When you disturb sites like this, first off you disturb a watery grave and you destroy the site by moving stuff." "In general, it's not something we're thinking of because it's not in the interest of the site."

It's possible the city would consider building replicas of the ships to help people learn about this important chapter of history, Kerr-Wilson said. "That's a real option. It's a very appealing option in many ways."

ASI Group president Carmen Sferrazza said he was thrilled to see his company's remotely operated imaging equipment put to work on the exploration. Typically, the high-tech robots are used on structural inspections of pieces of underwater equipment, pipelines and tunnels. Helping out on an archeological survey of shipwrecks was a welcome change of pace, Sferrazza said. "It's what we all live for. It's very exciting. As marine people, this is what you dream you can get to do some day."

ASI Group worked closely with Hamilton over the past decade preparing for the survey. "I'm just hoping we can continue to come back and gather more data on these ships in the years to come," he said. Robert Grenier, chief marine archeologist for Parks Canada, calls the ships "outstanding witnesses" of a past shared by two countries. "What we are sharing today is a tragic history, obviously, but it's our history," he said.

From the St. Catharines Standard

 

Port Huron Marine Mart

5/21 - The Port Huron Museum has announced June 7 as the date for this years' Marine Memorabilia Flea Market.

The mart will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Port Huron Seaway Terminal, 2633 Military Street, and there is no admission charge.

The mart is co-sponsored by the Lake Huron Lore Society. Acheson Ventures and Great Lakes Nautical Society. The Great Lakes Nautical Society will have their 4th annual Port Huron Great Lakes Regatta displaying over 50 model boats.

The winners of the Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, Inc. freighter trip raffle will be drawn at 2 p.m., the same day, at the Great Lakes Maritime Center, a short distance from the Seaway Terminal. Edward L. Ryerson Capt. Eric Treece will be drawing the winning ticket.

 

Lake Superior Lighthouse and Shipwatching Cruise

5/21 - Houghton - The Keweenaw Star in Houghton Michigan is going on a 3-day lighthouse cruise on July 15, 16 and 17. This trip will include the lights of the Apostle Islands, Split Rock, and the Keweenaw Peninsula, as well as the ports of Superior, Duluth, Two Harbors, Silver Bay, and Ontonagon. A great opportunity to see ships, and lighthouses up close.

The trip will include lodging in Duluth on Canal Park, Lodging in Silver Bay, Bus Trip to Split Rock State Park, and all meals served on the boat. Reservations are required by June 1st. Please contact Joyce Holland at (410) 548-1783 Visit
www.keweenawexcursions.com for pictures and more information.

 

Updates - May 21

News Photo Gallery updated, and more News Photo Gallery

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 21

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

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

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

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

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

The 14 foot' wooden brig JOSEPH was launched at Bay City, Michigan on by Alexander Tromley & Company. She was built by the owner.

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

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

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

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

 

USCG rescues family from sinking boat

5/20 - Ludington - A three-man crew from Coast Guard Station Ludington rescued a family of four and another man from a 28-foot boat being piloted from Wisconsin to Ludington Friday night. The station received a radio distress call about 5:30 Friday night.

“One of his engines quit on him to start with,” said Boatswain’s Mate Third Class Tim Evans. “He said he was about 8 miles west of the Ludington pierheads. He gave us his position, it wasn’t long after that that the other engine quit on him. “When the second engine quit on him, he reported he was taking on water.”

The crew aboard Ludington’s 30-foot Utility Trailerable Medium boat reached the family about 5:50 p.m.

“The boat was listing to port,” Evans said. “We could see water up to the decks. We went around to portside, I had one of my crewmembers go forward and assist everyone onto our boat. Another crewmember got a pump out. One of the crewmembers got on their boat, had the pump running. It was pumping water out of the boat and it took about a six foot swell over the back of the boat and swamped it. Two more followed after that and that’s when it was going down. I told my crewmembers to get back on our boat and we backed away.”

Evans said the occupants of the boat, which included a 12-year-old girl and 15-year-old boy, their parents and another man, were OK. “They were a little shaken, but everyone was medically OK,” Evans said. He noted the water temperature was 46 degrees.

According to a press release from the USCG District 9 office, the boat will not be salvaged due to the depth of water it sank in. Evans said it was about 320 feet of water and he watched the boat until it was entirely submerged. Evans said the boat was not a new purchase for the family, but it was the first time it had been in the water this year.

“They were coming across from Wisconsin,” Evans said. “They had taken the ferry across there and were bringing the boat into Ludington. He had a mechanic check it out before he had it put in the water.”

Evans said he was not aware of any penalties or fines for the family and said he could not provide names.

Courtesy of the Ludington Daily News

 

Ice Helps Chill U.S.-Flag Float on Great Lakes in April

5/20 - Cleveland — Significant ice coverage played a role in the 7-percent decrease in cargo movement by U.S.-Flag vessels on the Great Lakes in April.

With the thickest ice seen in years, delays and slower transit times helped limit shipments to 9.2 million net tons.

The dredging crisis remained a millstone around the industry’s neck in April. The largest iron ore cargo totaled 62,823 tons, which meant the vessel left port only 88 percent full. The largest coal cargo was even less – 62,503 tons. An increase in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Great Lakes dredging budget this year will only scratch the surface of the dredging crisis. The backlog of dredging projects totals 18 million cubic yards of sediment. The Corps anticipates removing 1 million yards of backlog this year.

However, the Administration’s proposed budget for FY09 slashes nearly $50 million from the Corps’ Lakes’ appropriation. If Congress does not increase funding for next year, it is doubtful any backlog will be removed in 2009 and America’s iron, steel, power generation, and construction industries will continue to suffer from vessels having to leave cargo behind.

For the year, U.S.-Flag carriage is down by 110,000 tons, but compared to the 5-year average for the January-April time frame, shipments are off by 3 percent. More information is available at www.lcaship.co

Source: Lake Carriers’ Association.

 

Port Reports - May 20

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Early morning action in the Twin Ports on Monday included Burns Harbor loading at BNSF, Canadian Enterprise loading at Midwest Energy Terminal and Joe Block outbound in Duluth harbor after unloading limestone at the CN/DMIR ore dock. John B. Aird was expected to follow the Enterprise at Midwest Energy Terminal while American Fortitude and James R. Barker were scheduled to load at the CN/DMIR ore dock later in the day.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Manitowoc was outbound from the GM dock early Monday morning after unloading overnight.
Inbound Monday afternoon was her fleetmate, Calumet, who called on the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee to unload. She was expected to be outbound early Tuesday morning.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Algoway was an early Tuesday morning arrival and is now loading at the Sifto Salt dock.

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Early morning activity in the Twin Ports on Tuesday included American Spirit loading taconite pellets at BNSF, Paul R. Tregurtha loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal, and Sam Laud up the St. Louis River to unload at the Reiss Inland dock.

 

Port of Toledo considers 'short-sea' trips

5/20 - Toledo - The Port of Toledo ships out grain and ships in iron ore, but it is not, and never has been, anything more than a bit player in the containerized shipping industry that dominates the U.S. and world economies. Nor has any other Great Lakes port except Toronto.

But ever-growing demand for container shipping, resulting in bigger ships and port congestion, could breathe new life into Great Lakes ports like Toledo, with what is now being called ''short-sea'' shipping.

No massive, costly enlargement of locks and channels on either the St. Lawrence River or the Welland Canal linking lakes Ontario and Erie is planned. Instead, short-sea shipping proponents advocate the use of seaway-sized vessels between Great Lakes ports and larger coastal harbors where freight containers would be transferred to or from ocean-going container ships.

For now, at least, the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority's attention is focused on Melford International Terminal, a proposed deepwater port on the Strait of Canso in Nova Scotia that could accommodate the largest container ships now envisioned - ships so big they wouldn't even fit into many existing coastal ports.

While Melford's planners expect that a vast majority of cargo handled there will make its inland journey by train, the potential exists for Toledo and other Great Lakes ports to carve out a share of the business, especially as fuel costs rise, said Richie Mann, Melford's vice president for marketing. "Our location is attractive. We're right at the mouth of the seaway," he said. "The longer you keep cargo on the water, the cheaper it is to move." "Is it futuristic? It is until it happens," said Warren McCrimmon, seaport director for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.

Melford planners believe their port could handle 500,000 annual container units to and from Ohio once they reach full operation in 2015. Even if only 5 percent to 7 percent of that travels inland by water, Mr. McCrimmon said, that could be enough to sustain a weekly ship service. "Once container traffic is coming to Ohio," he continued, "economics will dictate the mode. Rising fuel prices give the advantage to ships. We have the same advantage over rail that they have over trucks."

"This is all about Toledo's taking advantage of its position at a crossroads," said Steve Fought, a spokesman for U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) after the congressman and state officials met last month with Melford representatives. "It's been talked about for decades. It's time that we acted on it. Creative minds in economic development have to scramble now and put together a package that meets their [Melford's] needs."

If short-sea shipping comes to pass, the port authority has the site for a local terminal: the former Gulf Oil refinery site on Front Street in East Toledo. The port authority has scheduled a news conference today to announce the purchase of 181 acres of the former refinery property, now belonging to Chevron Corp., to expand the Port of Toledo's wharf and warehouse operations. The port authority's board of directors already had approved bond issues of up to $4.75 million to finance the purchase. The agency plans to lease the site to Midwest Terminals of Toledo International, the authority's stevedore at its existing International Cargo Dock, for development.

Cleared long ago of any refinery remnants, the vacant tract could be redeveloped easily for container handling, said James Hartung, the port authority's president.

And besides being a few miles down Front Street from I-280, he said, it is accessible by at least two, if not three, railroads: CSX and Norfolk Southern, which both have adjoining tracks, and Wheeling & Lake Erie, which has operating rights on the Norfolk Southern line. Wheeling's operating rights don't include the right to make any customer-service stops along the way, Mr. Hartung conceded, but there's always the potential of a deal being struck with Norfolk Southern.

Toledo could become a gateway for Norfolk Southern to transfer containers to its Rickenbacker Intermodal Terminal in Columbus, Mr. Hartung said, and could also feed freight into the network CSX is basing on its planned container terminal in North Baltimore, Ohio.

Though she wouldn't rule it out, Lisa Mancini, CSX's vice president for infrastructure development, said her railroad has no current plan to involve inland water transportation with the North Baltimore terminal. "We don't think of that as a large potential development," she said following a May 7 project briefing for local officials in Bowling Green.

Rudy Husband, a Norfolk Southern spokesman, called short-sea shipping "an interesting concept" but was similarly noncommittal about whether Norfolk Southern would transfer any containers through Toledo's port. "If there's business out there, I'm sure we would take a look at it," he said.

From the Toledo Blade

 

Captain Little steps down from USCG Cutter Mackinaw

5/20 Cheboygan - After one of the hardest winters in a decade, Captain John Little stepped down from his command of the USCG Cutter Mackinaw the preeminent ice cutter on the Great Lakes.

During Friday’s Change of Command Ceremony, the outgoing Captain Little, incoming Commander Scott Smith, and Rear Admiral John Crowley all praised the crew’s hard work, as well as their dedication and pride to their mission to keep shipping lanes open in the coldest and harshest conditions.

“With all of the eyes on her last winter, the crew was out day after day,” said Rear Admiral Crowley. “The Mackinaw was always in the middle of the ice providing leadership for the whole fleet.”

Captain Little led the 240-foot Mackinaw, the USGC’s largest asset on the Great Lakes, during its first commissioned year, and in addition to logging over 1,000 hours of ice-breaking, he also oversaw the ship’s first search and rescue saving a pair of canoers who had plunged into the icy waters of Lake Huron’s South Channel in 2007.

From the Petoskey News-Review

 

Lake Erie shipwrecks found

5/20 - Lorain -- Shipwrecks litter the bottom of Lake Erie. For those curious about those hundreds of vessels -- many yet to be found -- there's a new resource to quench that interest.

The Ohio Sea Grant has launched a new interactive Web site, Shipwrecks and Maritime Tales of the Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Trail, at www.ohioshipwrecks.org. The site was designed to promote protection of Lake Erie's shipwrecks and increase awareness of its rich maritime history. With the help of Sea Grant Extension, divers now have the information necessary to explore shipwrecks in Lake Erie.

"There was a pressing need for a Web site such as this," said Joe Lucente, Ohio Sea Grant Extension educator. "Now an online database of Lake Erie shipwrecks exists for people to access and learn about Lake Erie's maritime history or find a wreck." The site provides access to details of wrecks in a convenient location. The hope is that people will be inspired to go out and explore the shipwrecks and enjoy the history and opportunities Lake Erie has to offer. "Ohio Sea Grant has been around for a long time, and is a very reputable, scientifically oriented organization," said News Journal outdoor writer Dick Martin.

The site features the locations of many of the 277 known wrecks and more detailed information on 28 specific wrecks, including GPS coordinates and the history of each ship, plus photographs. The interactive map allows users to browse and discover the locations of every known wreck, including the Morning Star, whose remains lie 70 feet under water after a collision with another ship in 1868. Some of the shipwreck listings feature underwater videos, so a Web site visitor can get a glimpse at the sites beneath the surface.

"Whether you are a seasoned scuba diver or a maritime history aficionado, we believe you will not only learn more about Lake Erie's maritime heritage but will also gain an increased respect for the need to preserve and protect Ohio's historic shipwrecks," said Dave Kelch, Ohio Sea Grant Extension specialist.

The project is linked to the Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Trail, one of 126 national scenic byways designated by the Federal Highway Administration. This signed route travels from Conneaut to Toledo and celebrates natural resources and historic treasures. Lake Erie claims more shipwrecks than any other Great Lake , with more than 1,700. To date only 277 have been found or salvaged. The remains of these wrecks lay scattered across the Lake's floor and provide an exciting opportunity for outdoors people, tourists and scholars. This project was jointly funded by the Ohio Lake Erie Commission and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Office of Coastal Management.

Kelch and Lucente are two of 11 Ohio Sea Grant Extension agents located across Ohio's Lake Erie counties. Ohio Sea Grant Extension is part of The Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Sea Grant College Program, one of 32 NOAA Sea Grant programs dedicated to the protection and sustainable use of marine and Great Lakes resources.

From the Mansfield News Journal

 

Buck Longhurst Marine Historical Society of Detroit's Historian of the Year

The Marine Historical Society Detroit has honored G. I. "Buck" Longhurst as its 208 Historian of the Year. The honor was conferred at the MHSD's 64th annual dinner meeting Saturday night in Port Huron.

Longhurst is author / co-author (with previous Historian of the Year winner Skip Gillham) of several Canadian Great Lakes fleet histories, among them the histories of the Yankcanuck Steamship Co. and Purvis Marine Limited. He also co-authored a history of Algoma Central (with Rod Cunningham). A frequent contributor to The Scanner (the monthly publication of the Toronto Marine Historical Society), Longhurst is also co-author of the recent "The Last Boats on the Turkey Trail".

He was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and sailed for both the Yankcanuck and Purvis Marine fleets, and retired from Algoma Steel in 2004. Longhurst lives in Gore Bay, Ont., with his wife, Eldene, where he is presently working on a volume tracing the history of the Abitibi Paper Co. fleet of tugs.

Speaker at the MHSD event was Paul Beesley, who told the audience about his experiences in the Canadian Coast Guard, from which he recently retired. Beesley had served as captain of the icebreaker Samuel Risley among other vessels in a career that covered 36 years.

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

 

Updates - May 20

News Photo Gallery updated

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 20

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

On May 20, 1909, while lying at the Lackawanna Coal Dock at Buffalo, New York, the LeGRAND S DEGRAFF was struck by the SONORA which caused $4,000 in damage to the DEGRAFF. Later renamed b.) GEORGE G CRAWFORD in 1911. She was scrapped at Duluth, Minnesota in 1976.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Coast Guard Medivacs Freighter Crewmember

5/19 - Harbor Beach - The Coast Guard evacuated a crewmember off a freighter in Lake Huron, Sunday.  The Canadian Transfer called the Coast Guard to help get a sick crewmember off the ship and to a hospital on land.

U.S. Coast Guard Station Harbor Beach was deployed and arrived along side the Canadian Transfer at approximately 2 p.m. in their 27 foot Utility Boat Medium.

The 48-year-old crewmember was experiencing stomach pains since early this morning.

He was brought back to Station Harbor Beach to awaiting Emergency Medical Services at approximately 2:10 p.m. who took him to Harbor Beach Community Hospital.

From U.S. Coast Guard

 

Port Reports - May 18 and 19

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Saturday evening at the Upper Harbor, James R. Barker unloaded western coal.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Sam Laud called on the Saginaw River Saturday morning, unloading at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City. She completed her unload and was outbound for the lake Saturday afternoon.
Manitowoc called on the Saginaw River Sunday evening, making her first trip upriver under her new name. She traveled up to the GM Dock in Saginaw to unload. Manitowoc is expected to be outbound early Monday morning.

Twin Ports - Travis Chadwick
Edgar B. Speer was at CN/DMIR loading taconite on Sunday.
Joseph L. Block joined her there to unload limestone.
The Great Lakes Maritime Academy training vessel State of Michigan arrived Sunday for a few days stay.
James R. Barker to arrive late evening for CN/DMIR and Burns Harbor also late for Burlington Northern in Superior.

Traverse City - James Shannahan
Once again the St Mary's Challenger is waiting out rough weather in Suttons Bay on Sunday evening.

Southern Lake Michigan - Steve B.
The afternoon hours on Sunday were quite active on the south end of Lake Michigan. The Arthur M. Anderson was loading coal at the KCBX south dock at noon.
Maumee, destined for KCBX also, was inbound off the lake at Calumet Harbor at 2:30 p.m. She passed the outbound Lee A. Tregurtha, which had departed Indiana Harbor at 2:15 p.m.
A few miles up the lake was the inbound St. Clair, which was destined for Indiana Harbor, while the Edwin H. Gott could be seen on the horizon after departing Gary about 3 p.m.
The Maumee spun in Calumet Harbor and backed down the Calumet River, arriving about 4:30 p.m., tying up at the KCBX north dock until the Arthur M. Anderson departed at about 5:30pm.
The Roger Blough was heard making its security call inbound for Gary about 4:45pm.

 

Wood salvaged From Grain Elevator

5/19 - Superior - The Globe grain elevator stands 15 stories over St. Louis Bay in Superior. Decommissioned in 1989, it still carries the pungent scent of its forgotten cargo. Inside, the wooden boards that make up 133 grain bins bear corrugated grooves born of a century of grain cascading down them.

This structure, the biggest grain elevator in the world when it was built in the late 1880s, contains the equivalent of an entire forest of antique, old-growth white pine in its walls. Now, 120 years after it rose over the bay, the building is being deconstructed as carefully and slowly as it was built. Instead of its parts going into a landfill, Wisconsin Woodchuck LLC, which salvages old-growth lumber, will recycle 6 million board feet from the Globe elevator and two neighboring structures for use in new homes and other buildings.

Employees of the Superior-based business are about halfway done with the painstaking process of dismantling the main building, which they started in July 2006. Woodchuck CEO David Hozza said he originally estimated the takedown of the main building would take a year. He didn’t account for how difficult it would be to remove the metal superstructure and 4,400-pound metal pulley wheels, nor for the vast amount of wood inside the building. The template for the building showed fewer inside walls than there were, Hozza said. “There was much more wood than we anticipated,” he said. “We’re finding bins within bins.”

Before taking on this project, Hozza, a former investment banker, said everything he knew about wood came from what he learned in an eighth-grade shop class. In 2004, Gordy Oftedahl, who owns the property, enlisted Hozza to help him find a bank to finance his proposed conversion of the land on which the Globe elevator sits into an RV park and marina; the plan is still in the works. “They all said the same thing — we will not touch the project until the buildings come down,” Hozza said.

Sure the wood would have resale value, Hozza jumped into the architectural salvage industry and created Wisconsin Woodchuck. He contracted to do the work with Oftedahl, who still owns the land. The company closed on the main building in April 2007. It purchased one of the two neighboring structures, used for passive grain storage, in December, and will close on the third building soon.

On a sunny morning earlier this month, a crew perched on top of the building used chainsaws to cut through 8-by-12 and 8-by-24 slabs of nailed-together boards. A crane carried the slabs to the ground, where another crew separated and pulled nails from the boards, using metal detectors to ensure they found as many as possible.

All the wood is kiln-dried to kill any critters that may have made their home in the lumber. Some of the wood is sold as-is, but much of it is hand-sanded and oiled before it goes to customers. It’s a huge task — one that has Woodchuck’s competitors applauding them for taking it on. “They’re very brave,” said Peter Krieger of Duluth Timber Co., which does similar work salvaging industrial wood across North America. “It’s a lot of work. It makes me tired just thinking about it.”

On top of Woodchuck’s challenge of disassembling the building is the challenge of unloading their product onto a shaky housing market. Woodchuck President Judy Peres said the timbers — the long beams that supported the structure — have sold themselves due to their scarcity. Tall specimens of white pine just don’t exist anymore after massive deforestation of the area, she said.

But the dimension lumber — boards pancaked and nailed one on top of another to create the bin walls — has been tougher both to get out of the building and to sell. “It’s staggered parts,” crane operator Butch Zillmer said. “You have to take one part off, then the other.”

Because the wood is largely being sold to people with expendable income who are building second homes in places such as the Canadian Rockies, though, Peres is confident the housing slowdown won’t affect the company too badly.

Phil Bjork, owner of Cambridge, Minn.-based Great Northern Woodworks, used Woodchuck wood — he estimated about 40,000 board feet — to build a large timber-frame home for clients from Colorado. “The nature that it is antique and it’s from a timber supply [that] perhaps the world will never see again — the historical impact of what the building was and being able to make it live again is very appealing to people,” he said.

Byron G. Ellingson of Minneapolis is using the dimension lumber to remodel the floors of a bedroom and living room in his cabin on Bone Lake, about 7 miles east of Forest Lake, Minn. He also is using slabs of grain-eroded wood as accent pieces around his fireplace. “I took wood from the old grain chutes so it’s sandblasted across 100 years. I’ve never seen anything quite like it,” he said.

Antique wood may be more expensive, he said, but it’s of a much higher quality than what comes out of today’s tree farms. “The grain is much denser in older wood,” Ellingson said. “You don’t get grain structure in a tree that’s fully grown in 20 years.”

Woodchuck has formed a subsidiary called Old Globe Wood, which is processing the dimension lumber into planks for flooring and paneling. Old Globe uses penetrating oils and beeswax to finish the wood, which helps to bring out the antique appearance, Peres said. If it gets marred in some way, you can just rub some vegetable oil into it to restore—and possibly enhance—the wood’s finish, she said.

“It makes you realize how alive the wood is,” Peres said. “It’s very different from taking a stick of wood and covering it with polyurethane. Then it’s like dead wood, covered with plastic. This is live wood. It’s breathing. You can feel the pores and you can smell it.”

From the Duluth News Tribune

 

BoatNerd Freighter Trip Raffle underway

A trip for four aboard the legendary Great Lakes steamboat Edward L. Ryerson is the top prize in this year's BoatNerd Raffle.

Other prizes include: A weekend stay for two at the Inn at Lock 7 on the Welland Canal, your Choice of Print from the Digital Shipyard and Two V.I.P. Passes for a Sunset Dinner Cruise aboard the Soo Locks Boat Tours., a port hole from the Calumet courtesy International Marine Salvage, a cruise aboard the Huron Lady II, sightseeing cruises of Duluth-Superior aboard the Vista Fleet, tickets for Diamond Jack's River Tours on the Detroit River, passes aboard the Keweenaw Star for a sunset cruise, and round trip tickets to Beaver Island, four prizes of passes for two on a Diamond Jack cruise on the Detroit River, a round trip for two including auto aboard the carferry Badger donated by the Lake Michigan Carferry and two Tours of the DeTour Reef Lighthouse courtesy the Detour Reef Light Preservation Society.

All proceeds from the raffle will benefit the BoatNerd.Com Web site. Funds raised will be used to pay the charges associated with running such a busy site. Fund-raising raffles are our only method of support; without the raffle BoatNerd.Com would be forced to discontinue this free web site.

The drawing will take place at 2 p.m. on June 7, 2008 at the BoatNerd.Com World Headquarters at Vantage Point, in Port Huron, Mich. Donation: $10 per ticket, 3 for $25, 6 for $50 or 14 for $100.

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

State of Michigan Raffle License # R95375

 

BoatNerd News Photo Submission Guidelines Revised

The Photo Submission Guidelines for photographs sent in for the BoatNerd News Photo Gallery have been revised and updated.

In preparation for the coming boat watching season, please visit News Photo Submission Guidelines and review the updates to the guidelines. This will be a big help to the all-volunteer editorial staff who spend a lot of time keeping the site current.

Looking forward to the 2008-09 season, we want to say thanks to all who donated their time and photos to share with other viewers through the News Channel and News Photo Gallery. Keep them coming.

 

Updates - May 18

News Photo Gallery updated and more News Photo Gallery

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 18

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

The WILLIAM C ATWATER departed Sandusky, Ohio May 18, 1925, on her maiden voyage loaded with coal bound for Duluth, Minnesota. She was the first freighter on the Great Lakes equipped with a gyro compass. She was renamed b.) E J KULAS in 1936, c.) BEN MOREELL in 1953, d.) THOMAS E MILLSOP in 1955, e.) E J NEWBERRY in 1976, and f.) CEDARGLEN in 1982. She was scrapped at Port Maitland, Ontario in 1994.

Bethlehem Steel's steamer JOHNSTOWN cleared Erie May 18, 1985, for Quebec City under tow bound for Spain for scrapping. This vessel was the first post-war built U.S. laker to be scrapped.

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

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

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

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

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

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

__________________________________________________________________

Today in Great Lakes History - May 19

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

SIR THOMAS SHAUGHNESSY (Hull#164) was launched May 19, 1906. at Wyandotte, Michigan by Detroit Ship Building Co. for the National Steamship Co. She was scrapped at Castellon, Spain in 1969.

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

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

The LAKE WINNIPEG in tow of the tug IRVING CEDAR arrived in 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 Mc Dougall, formerly master of the steamer JAPAN, had built a large steam fish boat named SASKIWIT at Buffalo during the winter and was then sailing from there to Marquette, Michigan.

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

 

Port Reports - May 17

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
Mary E. Hannah with her barge was at the Hocking Valley Dock. Algosar was in drydock and the tug Demolen with her barge Lever was tied up at the riverfront dock area at the Ironhead Marine Shipyard.
The tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes was at the B-P Dock. Kaministiqua arrived mid Friday morning at the Midwest Terminal Dock and started to load ore. Cuyahoga finished loading coal and departed from the CSX Docks late Friday morning. Atlantic Erie finished unloading ore at the Torco Dock and departed late Friday afternoon.
The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Docks has the Herbert C. Jackson and Manitowoc due in Saturday, H. Lee White and John G. Munson on Sunday, followed by the Nanticoke on Monday. The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Dock has the CSL Laurentien due in late Friday evening, American Victory on Sunday, followed by the tug Dorothy Ann with her barge Pathfinder on Monday. The tug Jane Ann IV with her barge Sarah Spencer are due in to the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock on Sunday.

Goderich Dale Baechler
Algosteel arrived on Thursday morning, Canadian Navigator at 7 a.m. Friday morning. Both were picking up loads at Sifto Salt. The mine seems to have returned to normal shipping after the maintenance slowdown.

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Superior Midwest Energy Terminal continued to churn through the boats Friday. James R. Barker was there Friday morning, loading for the power plant at Presque Isle.
Mesabi Miner was due in next to load for St. Clair and Algolake was to follow to load for Nanticoke.
Also Friday morning, Adam E. Cornelius was unloading limestone at the CLM dock in Superior. This business added another large lime kiln last year and it has been noticeably busy this season, receiving limestone cargoes from a variety of vessels.
Cason J. Callaway completed unloading stone at CN/DMIR ore dock, then shifted to the nearby Hallett 5 dock to load, most likely sinter for Gary.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Friday afternoon, American Victory and Michipicoten arrived at the Upper Harbor ore dock to load taconite. American Victory's visit to Marquette was only her third since being renamed in 2006.

 

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

Montreal - René Beauchamp
Expected in Montreal on May 20 is the deep sea tug Hellas. She will take the Algobay under tow for delivery to China.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Thursday evening the tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder unloaded coal into the Upper Harbor hopper. This visit was the first to Marquette for the pair since losing a propulsion unit at the Lower Harbor on April 21.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Saginaw River had an unusual visitor Thursday morning as the Great Lakes Maritime Academy training vessel, State of Michigan, called on Bay City, docking at Wenonah Park downtown. She departed around 6pm headed outbound for the lake.
The CSL Tadoussac was also inbound on Thursday, calling on the Essroc dock in Essexville. She departed Thursday evening, backing out to Light 12 to turn and head for the lake.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
The tug Sea Service and barge Energy 6506 finished loading cargo and departed from the B-P Dock late Thursday Morning. Canadian Navigator finished unloading ore at the Torco Dock and departed early Thursday afternoon. The Cuyahoga was at the ADM Elevator unloading grain from Owen Sound, Ontario.
The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Docks has the Cuyahoga due in Friday, Manitowoc and Herbert C. Jackson on Saturday, followed by the John G. Munson and John J. Boland on Sunday.
The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock has the Atlantic Erie and CSL Laurentien on Friday, followed by the John J. Boland on Sunday.

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Midwest Energy Terminal was busy all day Thursday, finishing loading Paul R. Tregurtha in the morning, then loading John D. Leitch and then loading the Walter J. McCarthy Jr., which arrived in port early in the evening. Roger Blough was loading at the ship loader at CN/DMIR ore dock late in the afternoon. Cason J. Callaway arrived in early evening and waited out on the lake for the Blough to clear so it could come in to unload limestone at the CN/DMIR ore dock.

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
The Yankcanuck arrived in Holland Thursday morning and spent the day loading metal at the Padnos dock. It is expected to leave at first light on Friday.

 

BoatNerd Requests Hardware Donations

BoatNerd is requesting donations of used computer hardware and LCD monitors. This is a good opportunity for a corporation, or individual, to recycle equipment while receiving a tax credit by donating to our 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization.

We would be happy to pick up and wipe the data on any donated machines to DOD standards and we have our own licensed software. We would like any equipment starting with a Pentium 4 level processor or higher and any size LCD monitor. This equipment is used to support various features of the site and also placed in regional museums as kiosk type displays.

If you have equipment to donate or if your company has a recycling program please click here

 

Updates - May 16

News Photo Gallery updated

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets.

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 16

On 16 May 1894, the SHENANDOAH (wooden propeller freighter, 308 foot, 2,251 gross tons) was launched by J. Davidson (Hull #60) in West Bay City, Michigan. She lasted until 1924, when she was abandoned.

The CANADIAN PROSPECTOR passed up bound in the Welland Canal May 16, 1979, with Labrador ore bound for Ashtabula, Ohio. This was her first trip after being reconstructed.

W R WOODFORD (Hull#626) was launched May 16, 1908, at West Bay City, Michigan by West Bay City Ship Building Co. for W. A. & M.A. Hawgood. Renamed b.) N F LEOPOLD 1911, and c.) E J BLOCK in 1943. She was scrapped at Port Colborne, Ontario, arriving in 1998.

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

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

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

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

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

E W OGLEBAY (steel propeller bulk freighter, 375 foot. 3,666 gross tons) was launched at F. W. Wheeler's yard (Hull #114) at West Bay City, Michigan on 16 May 1896. She lasted until she stranded on Shot Point, ten miles east of Marquette, Michigan on Lake Superior, during a heavy northeast gale and blizzard, on December 8, 1927. Shortly afterwards the hull was gutted by fire and declared a constructive total loss. The hull was removed, partially scrapped, and used as dock at Drummond Island, Michigan.

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

 

Ship breakers desert Alang yard

5/15 - India - The hands that used to work on mammoth ocean liners and crude carriers in one of the largest ship-breaking yards, have deserted it. Alang Ship Breaking Yard, on Gujarat’s Bhavnagar coast, which until 2004 could boast of being one of the biggest employers of migrant labour, has lost its men to other clusters as it lost business to Bangladesh. Over a period of four years, numbers have dwindled from 40,000 to about 5,000 migrant laborers.

Ever since Alang breached its first vessel — MV Kota Tenjong — in 1983, it drew migrant labourers from Mumbai, Orissa, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh. Alang beached 4,539 ships between 1983 and 2008 and handled tonnage to the tune of 3,19,89400 LDT (light displacement tonnage).

Between 1996 and 2004, whenever large supertankers, container ships or passenger carriers were beached at Alang, it used to resemble a honeycomb with hundreds of manual laborers buzzing around the ships; dismantling them, salvaging what they could and reducing the rest to scrap. During its prime in 1998-99, Alang handled a record 361 ships with 30,37,882 LDT.

“We had close to 40,000 labourers during those days when business was profitable. Now, we are left with hardly 5,000 of them,” says vice-president of the Ship Recycling Industries Association (SRIA) at Alang, Vippin Aggarwal. Close to 95% of the labourers at Alang have been migrants, he points out.

A steady source of income drew laborers to Bhavnagar during its heyday. This happened while they were oblivious of having entered a death trap, points out Dwarikanath Rath of Socialist Unity Centre of India. In 2003, he had visited Alang and noted that there were no trade unions to guard workers interest.

Registering any protest against the contractor meant risking one’s job. So, migrants were earning as long as they were working. “Even their deaths almost go unnoticed,” noted Mr Rath. His concern stemmed from the fact that hundreds of deaths at Alang hardly stirred proceedings at the Gujarat Legislative Assembly.

The Gujarat High Court had directed the state government in 1997 to regulate ship-breaking. The ‘ship recycling yard regulation’ — popularly known as Alang regulation — was never implemented.

Gopal Krishna of Ban Asbestos Network of India, who is also a Greenpeace coordinator, says: “The migrant laborers are treated as second class citizens and in the event of casualty, ship-breakers destroy their identity to avoid paying compensation. Although the Gujarat Maritime Board that oversees the running of Alang claims only 372 workers have died there since the ship-breaking industry was first developed, the International Federation of Human Rights, a member of the platform on ship-breaking, points to 50-60 deaths a year based on interviews with workers.”

The Supreme Court-appointed technical committee of experts said every sixth worker handling asbestos in the ship-breaking industry has shown signs of asbestosis from chest X-rays. Mr Krishna turns to the 200-page report of Technical Experts Committee on Hazardous Wastes relating to Ship-breaking which puts the figure of asbestosis affected workers in Alang at around 16% which could further lead to lung cancer.

Nonetheless, “handsome” wages ranging between Rs 100-300 per shift is what made Alang lucrative to the illiterate migrants from other states. “With one ship ‘lasting’ for four months, the workers are assured of their wages. While they keep migrating between 173 plots at Alang for work, long-lasting lull in business volumes drove them to quit Alang and shift to Gandhidham (Kandla port) and Surat (powerloom mills),” says Mr Aggarwal.

Almost all labourers present at Alang are second-generation of migrants and even hold ration cards, adds SRIA’s joint secretary Nitin Kanakiya who owns Triveni Ship Breakers. Mr Kanakiya said the wages have shot up from Rs 95 per shift to a minimum Rs 100 per shift due to shortage of labourers. Lack of regular income because and court litigation on ship-breaking have forced labourers to shift to greener pastures.

From the Economic Times

 

Port Report - May 15

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
English River arrived during the wee hours and departed at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

 

BoatNerd Freighter Trip Raffle underway

A trip for four aboard the legendary Great Lakes steamboat Edward L. Ryerson is the top prize in this year's BoatNerd Raffle.

Other prizes include: a port hole from the Calumet courtesy International Marine Salvage, a cruise aboard the Huron Lady II, sightseeing cruises of Duluth-Superior aboard the Vista Fleet, tickets for Diamond Jack's River Tours on the Detroit River, passes aboard the Keweenaw Star for a sunset cruise, and round trip tickets to Beaver Island, four prizes of passes for two on a Diamond Jack cruise on the Detroit River, a round trip for two including auto aboard the carferry Badger donated by the Lake Michigan Carferry and two Tours of the DeTour Reef Lighthouse courtesy the Detour Reef Light Preservation Society.

All proceeds from the raffle will benefit the BoatNerd.Com Web site. Funds raised will be used to pay the charges associated with running such a busy site. Fund-raising raffles are our only method of support; without the raffle BoatNerd.Com would be forced to discontinue this free web site.

The drawing will take place at 2 p.m. on June 7, 2008 at the BoatNerd.Com World Headquarters at Vantage Point, in Port Huron, Mich. Donation: $10 per ticket, 3 for $25, 6 for $50 or 14 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.

State of Michigan Raffle License # R95375

 

Updates - May 15

News Photo Gallery updated

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets.

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 15

On 15 May, 1901, the GILCHRIST (Hull #603) (steel propeller freighter, 356 foot. 3,871 gross tons) was launched at the West Bay City Ship Building Co. in West Bay City, Michigan for the Gilchrist Transportation Company of Cleveland, Ohio. She lasted until 1943, when she was sunk in a collision on Lake Superior.

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

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

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

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

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

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

On 24 May, she was stripped by a schooner and in July her anchor and chains were salvaged by the schooner MONTEATH. Later still, her machinery was recovered.

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

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

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

 

Algobay Departs for China

5/14 - Hamilton - The Algobay departed Hamilton under tow on Tuesday on a trip down the Seaway and conversion in China. The unloading boom was removed in Hamilton.

Algobay will be converted to a maximum Seaway size self-unloader with a new forebody constructed at Chengxi Shipyard Co. Ltd. in Jiangyin, China. The aft end will also be refurbished and the vessel is expected to return to service in December 2009.

Fleetmate Algoport will undergo the same transformation returning to service September 2010.

The Algobay entered long term lay-up at Toronto in December 2002.

Reported by Mark Ruh

 

Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw transfers command

5/14 - Cleveland - Cmdr. Scott J. Smith will relieve Capt. John K. Little of command of the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw (WLBB-30) in a change-of-command ceremony at its homeport in Cheboygan on Friday at 10 a.m. Little was commanding officer of the flagship 240-foot icebreaker and buoy tender of the Ninth Coast Guard District since April 2006, and he will assume duties of the Regional Director Office of International Affairs at Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

Smith is coming from Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., where he was the Division Chief for Medium Endurance Cutters and Patrol Boats in the Officer of Cutter Forces. Smith served on three cutters on the Great Lakes, twice in command. He was the operations officer for the 180-foot buoy tender Bramble, the executive officer of the Sundew and the commanding officer of the 140-foot icebreaking tug Bristol Bay. Smith graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1990, earning a Bachelor's of Science degree in electrical engineering.

The change of command is a time-honored tradition and deeply rooted in Coast Guard and Naval history. The event signifies a total transfer of responsibility, authority and accountability for the command. The ceremony is witnessed by all members so that they all know exactly when the transfer of leadership takes place.

USCG News Release

 

Port Reports - May 14

Owen Sound - Ed. Saliwonchyk
Cuyahoga arrived in Owen Sound Monday evening. Usually, she is here to unload salt but this time she is loading at the Great Lakes Grain Elevators.

South Chicago - Brian Z.
American Steamship's John J. Boland was loading coal at KCBX Terminals on Tuesday. John G. Munson was scheduled to load after the Boland. The Munson discharged stone at Carmeuse Lime and is destined with its coal cargo for Green Bay.

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
The Wilfred Sykes came through the Holland channel at 8:30 Tuesday morning and proceeded to the east end of Lake Macatawa, tying up at Verplank's at about 10 a.m.. It discharged a cargo of Port Inland limestone products and departed at 2 p.m. in the afternoon.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Algobay departed on it's long journey to China from Hamilton at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
H. Lee White was loading coal at the CSX Docks. The tug Sea Service and barge Energy 6506 was at the Midwest Terminal Dock.
The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Docks has the Cuyahoga due in Thursday, followed by the John G. Munson on Friday. The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Docks has the Canadian Navigator on Thursday, Atlantic Erie on Friday, followed by CSL Laurentien and American Mariner on Saturday.

Alpena and Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Monday, the schooner Appledore V was sailing out in the bay and later tied up in the river.
Local media reported the U. S Fish & Wildlife research vessel Togue has been sold to Basic Towing in Escanaba and may depart this week. The Togue has been tied up in the river and inactive since the Spencer F. Baird took its place in 2006.
Two tugs and barges called at Stoneport a foggy and windy Tuesday. Tug Invincible and  barge McKee Sons loaded at the dock first followed by the Joseph H. Thompson and barge Jr. later in the day.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
Evans McKeil and cement barge Metis returned to Toronto early Tuesday morning and will be in port for several maintenance days, as there is a backlog of vessels loading in Picton.

 

Late Start Affects Lakes Limestone Trade in April

5/14 - Cleveland - With harsh, winter-like weather extending into April, the Great Lakes limestone trade got off to a slow start. Shipments during the month totaled 3 million net tons, a decrease of 3 percent compared to a year ago, and 11 percent below the month’s 5-year average. Since much limestone is rinsed prior to loading, the trade must await warmer temperatures before resuming full-scale.

The dredging crisis continued to impact the trade in April. One U.S.-Flag Laker carried three limestone loads from a quarry in Michigan during the month, but the loads varied noticeably because of lack of dredging in the connecting channels and at discharge ports. The vessel’s top cargo was 24,615 tons, yet her subsequent loads slipped first to 22,163 tons, and then 20,371 tons. Had the vessel been able to match its first load, another 6,700 tons of stone would have moved, enough product to provide the stone required to build 16 typical homes.

For the year, the Lakes limestone trade stands at 3.2 million net tons, a decrease of nearly 11 percent compared to the same point in 2007. However, shipments are nearly 20 percent behind the 5-year average for the January-

April timeframe. That downturn also reflects continued sluggishness in the construction industry.

Source: Lake Carriers’ Association

 

Coast Guard Station Marquette ground breaking

5/14 - Marquette - Coast Guard Station Marquette is scheduled to host a groundbreaking ceremony at 11 a.m. on Wednesday. The ceremony will take place at the Coast Guard station.

In April 1891 the U.S. Lifesaving Service established a station in Marquette just west of the lighthouse. Today’s crew still uses the original station building.

Captain Mark Huebschman, commander of Sector Sault Sainte Marie, stated: “The Coast Guard has a proud history of service in Marquette. After many years of planning we are fortunate that a new building has finally been funded to replace the station that has served us so well for 120 years."

"The crew of the station is looking forward to the prospect of having a new building to work from as they continue to serve the citizens of Marquette,” Huebschman said.

USCG News Release

 

Rising Water Level on Lake Superior Helps Offset

5/14 - Cleveland - A rising water level on Lake Superior translated into bigger loads at iron ore ports in April and helped to somewhat offset the impacts of the dredging crisis. Shipments Lakes-wide totaled 6 million net tons, an increase of 6.2 percent compared to a year ago, and 3.8 percent better than the month’s 5-year average.

Five of the six U.S. Great Lakes iron ore loading ports are located on Lake Superior. The 10-inch rise in the Lake’s water level in April allowed one of the U.S.-Flag 1,000-footers to increase its top cargo by nearly 1,800 tons compared to a year ago. Even a smaller U.S.-Flag Laker was able to carry an additional 950 tons each trip.

However, a rising water level has not erased the dredging crisis. Even the ship that was carrying an additional 1,800 tons was still light loading by more than 8,300 tons. Realistically speaking, water levels cannot rise enough to overcome the 18 million cubic yards of sediment that are clogging the system.

The Administration and Congress must provide adequate funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Lakes dredging efforts, or light loading will continue to sap the efficiency of Great Lakes shipping. The Corps estimates it needs $230 million to restore the Great Lakes navigation system to project dimensions.

For the year, the Lakes iron ore trade stands at 11.3 million tons, an increase of 9.2 percent compared to a year ago. Compared to the 5-year average for the January-April timeframe, 2008 loadings are up by 5.4 percent.

Lake Carriers’ Association represents 16 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 more than 115 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 Huron Marine Mart

5/14 - The Port Huron Museum has announced June 7 as the date for this years' Marine Memorabilia Flea Market.

The mart will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Port Huron Seaway Terminal, 2633 Military Street, and there is no admission charge.

The mart is co-sponsored by the Lake Huron Lore Society. Acheson Ventures and Great Lakes Nautical Society. The Great Lakes Nautical Society will have their 4th annual Port Huron Great Lakes Regetta displaying over 50 model boats.

The winners of the Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online, Inc. freighter trip raffle will be drawn at 2 p.m., the same day, at the Great Lakes Maritime Center, a short distance from the Seaway Terminal. Edward L. Ryerson Capt. Eric Treece will be drawing the winning ticket.

 

Updates - May 14

News Photo Gallery updated

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets.

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 14

On 14 May 1881, CITY OF ROME (wooden propeller freighter, 268 foot, 1,908 gross tons) was launched by Thomas Quayle & Sons in Cleveland, Ohio. She was the largest vessel on the Lakes when she was launched. She lasted until 1914, when she burned near Ripley, New York on Lake Erie.

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

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

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

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

On May 14, 1905, the new Anchor Line passenger steamer JUNIATA made her maiden voyage from the yards of the American Shipbuilding Company in Cleveland, Ohio to Detroit, Michigan. Sailing under the command of Capt. Edward J. Martin she left Cleveland at 7:05 in the morning and arrived at Detroit shortly before 4. On board, in addition to several officials of the line was her designer, Frank E. Kirby. Detroiters were treated to the sight of seeing both the JUNIATA and TIONESTA together for the first time as TIONESTA was loading for Duluth, Minnesota when the JUNIATA arrived from Cleveland and tied up alongside her older sister. The JUNIATA later departed for Chicago where her furnishings were installed.

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

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

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

 

Port Reports - May 13

Saginaw River - Stephen Hause and Todd Shorkey
The Calumet arrived Monday afternoon at the GM dock in Saginaw to deliver coal loaded in Toledo. The vessel completed unloading early in the evening and was outbound at dusk after turning at the Sixth Street turning basin.
The tug Donald C. Hannah and her tank barge returned to the Saginaw River Monday afternoon, calling on the Dow Chemical dock for the second time in a week.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
St. Mary's Challenger was at the Ferrysburg St. Mary's Cement Terminal at 6 p.m. Monday evening and the Lewis Kuber at Verplank's Dock in Ferrysburg at 8 p.m.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Due to high winds, the tug Victory and barge James L. Kuber anchored off the Lower Harbor breakwall Sunday night and remained at anchor early Monday morning. The pair finally made the Shiras Dock later Monday morning to unload stone.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Canadian Transport arrived through the night and is loading on a bright, cool Tuesday morning at the Sifto Salt dock

 

Updates - May 13

News Photo Gallery updated

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets.

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On 13 May 1871, NORTHERNER (wooden barge, 220 foot, 1,391 gross tons) was launched by Capt. Wescott at Marine City, Michigan. Her master builder was John J. Hill. She was towed to Detroit to be fitted out and there was talk of eventually converting her to a passenger steamer. She remained a barge until 1880, when she was converted to a propeller freighter in Detroit. She lasted until 1892, when she burned at L'anse, Michigan.

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

 

Mesabi Nugget plant is on target

5/12 - Duluth - Cement trucks rumbled down Minnesota Highway 135 all winter, delivering the nearly 5,000 yards of concrete needed to support Mesabi Nugget’s giant rotary hearth. When completed, the 180-foot diameter hearth will convert relatively low-grade taconite ore into nuggets with an iron content of 96 percent.

“It’s like a big lazy susan with three drives,” Steve Rutherford, project manager for Mesabi Nugget, said in describing the hearth.

Steel Dynamics Inc., based in Fort Wayne, Ind., and its partner, Kobe Steel Ltd. of Japan, expect to invest $235 million in the nugget plant. The project has been taking shape quietly near Embarrass on former LTV Steel Mining Co. land. It would have been easier and less expensive to tackle the concrete work in warm weather, but Jeff Hansen, Mesabi Nugget’s engineering manager, said crews worked through the winter, using heaters and tarps, to keep the project on track. Mesabi Nugget aims to begin full production by the second quarter of 2009.

The project remains on schedule and on budget, Rutherford said. Crews are beginning to assemble the steel skeleton of the plant.

Despite the substantial progress, many Northland residents seem to be unaware of it, said Adam Thompson, a lead man, taking bids and ordering equipment for Mesabi Nugget. “I don’t think many people realize we’re already building this plant,” he said. Conrad Schumacher, an electrical engineer from Embarrass, viewed Mesabi Nugget with a healthy dose of skepticism before he came to work on the project. “My attitude was that I’ll believe it’s going to happen when they start handing out applications,” he said.

Thompson, a Virginia resident, said fellow Rangers know better than to count on projects coming to pass. “I think most everyone is hesitant, because we’ve all seen so many ups and downs,” he said. “We’ve seen projects fall through.”

In fact, that nearly happened to Mesabi Nugget in 2006, when Cleveland-Cliffs Corp., then a partner in the project, withdrew its support. With environmental permits for the plant about to expire in January 2007, Steel Dynamics and Kobe Steel decided to push the project forward themselves.

The plant being built is expected to produce 500,000 metric tons of iron nuggets annually. Initially, the processing operation would employ 50 to 65 people and an adjacent mine another 50 people. But if the facility performs as anticipated, Steel Dynamics will seek permits to expand the operation, Rutherford said. Based on current demand, he believes Mesabi Nugget could triple its original size in short order.

An expanded operation probably would employ 250 to 300 people between the plant and mill, Hansen said.

Schumacher said he wouldn’t be surprised to see six solid years of construction on the site if Mesabi Nugget grows as expected. With detailed design work already in hand and the benefit of experience, Rutherford is optimistic Mesabi Nugget could build another unit for 10 percent to 20 percent less than what it will spend on its first rotary hearth. That would drop the cost of the next unit to between $188 million and $212 million, unadjusted for inflation.

The economic model for the project was built around an assumption that nuggets from the plant would sell for $350 per ton. However, Rutherford said the nuggets, which are akin to pig iron, would fetch more than $650 per ton today, making for a much more profitable operation.

Thompson enjoys having a front-row seat as the first major new mining development on the Range in years takes shape. “This will be the first large-scale nugget plant of its kind in the world, so in a way, we’re watching history being made,” he said.

Taconite pellets are fed into blast furnaces to produce steel, but the nuggets, which are nearly pure steel, can go directly into electric arc furnaces. Hence, nuggets will open a new market for low-grade Minnesota iron ore.

Rutherford said the nugget operation offers environmental advantages, as well. Kobe Steel reports its nugget system has been shown to produce 23 percent less carbon dioxide than a conventional blast furnace setup. Because the nugget plant does not require a coke oven or a sintering plant, it also produces less nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and fewer particulates.

The nugget-making process begins with the formation of what are called “carbonaceous green balls.” These are formed by molding iron concentrate from taconite together with pulverized coal. The coal accounts for about 50 percent of the green balls’ volume and 20 percent of their weight. The green balls then are fed into a rotary hearth that turns and heats them to 2,600 to 2,700 degrees.

The carbon in the coal reacts with iron oxide in the green balls, and after six minutes in the rotary hearth, the iron melts, and slag separates from the molten metal. The slag removal and reduction is completed within about eight to 10 minutes of a green ball’s introduction to the hearth.

The process is energy intensive. Mesabi Nugget expects to buy 25 megawatts of electricity from Minnesota Power when it begins production, and that consumption could grow to 75 megawatts if the plant is built out to 1.5 million metric tons. “It’s sort of like baking cookies,” Rutherford said. “As you bake them [the green balls], they begin to flatten out and become plastic. The slag runs off, and you have a nugget.”

Although Mesabi Nugget already holds the permits it needs to build a nugget plant, it still needs permission from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to begin extracting ore from the former LTV property, last active as a mine about seven years ago. The company will need to prepare an environmental impact statement and undergo a thorough review before it can mine the site.

From the Duluth News Tribune

 

Port Reports - May 12

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Federal Danube was at the Duluth port terminal late Sunday afternoon completing its unloading of steel coils. Indiana Harbor was loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal and Arthur M. Anderson was loading taconite pellets under the gravity chutes at CN/DMIR ore dock.

Suttons Bay - Jim Shannahan
St. Marys Challenger sought shelter from the strong winds Saturday off the village of Suttons Bay, in Grand Traverse Bay.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons and Dave Robinson
Algosteel arrived in port Saturday morning with sugar for Redpath. Algowood departed Clarkson Sunday afternoon.  Manistee arrived in port Sunday around 4:30 p.m. and went into the Turning Basin to unload.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
Calumet finished loading coal at the CSX Dock and departed late Sunday morning.  Tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes finished loading cargo and moved over to the Midwest Terminal Dock, they maybe waiting for better weather conditions to develop before sailing on lake Erie. The tug Anglian Lady and barge were at the B-P Dock.
The revised schedule for coal boats due in at the CSX Docks has the H. Lee White on Tuesday, Cuyahoga on Thursday, followed by the John G. Munson on Friday. The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Dock has the Canadian Navigator due on Thursday followed by the Atlantic Erie and CSL Laurentien on Friday.
Algosar is in drydock at the Ironhead Shipyard.

Alpena - Ben & Chanda McClain
The tug G. L Ostrander and barge Integrity made its way into Lafarge and tied up under the silos on a pleasant Saturday afternoon. Sunday morning the Alpena returned and was taking on cement bound for Milwaukee.
Tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation is expected back in port on Monday.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
On a windy, rainy Sunday evening the tug Victory and barge James L. Kuber arrived off the Lower Harbor and began to back toward the Shiras Dock to unload stone. Winds made docking challenging as more than one attempt was made to dock. This visit was a first to Marquette for the pair.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The tug Barbara Andrie and her tank barge were inbound the Saginaw River on Saturday, calling on the Bit-Mat dock in Bay City. The pair completed their unload and were outbound for the lake Sunday morning.
Also outbound were the Maumee, who had unloaded at the Burroughs dock, closely followed by the tug G. L. Ostrander and barge Integrity, who had unloaded at the LaFarge dock. Both were outbound Saturday morning.

 

A busy world pivots around the Port of Milwaukee

5/12 - Some of the most sought-after products in the region and the world are stacked on the Port of Milwaukee docks: mining equipment, wind turbines, coils of steel and tons of grain.

There's a brand new Bucyrus International mining shovel being shipped in pieces to Quebec, Canada. Some of the pieces weigh more than 125,000 pounds. When fully assembled, the shovel will weigh about 1,500 tons.

A short distance from the shovel, there's an assortment of components that have come from Asia for the WE Energies power plant under construction in Oak Creek. Not far from those are steel beams for a Chicago skyscraper and coils of steel for area manufacturing plants.

The port has some of the biggest cranes on the Great Lakes, allowing it to move large, heavy items that other ports can't accommodate. In the past two years, the cranes have more than doubled their average annual work hours.

This year, the port expects to handle cargo for about 280 ships and barges - which could be a record if there's a bountiful corn harvest that drives overseas grain shipments.

Export markets for grain are booming as developing nations demand more food and take advantage of a weak U.S. dollar. For other products, the weak dollar also has turned the United States into an export machine. Wisconsin-made goods have become more affordable in countries seeking everything from livestock feed to industrial machines.

Five of the past six years have been record years for the port, reminiscent of the 1970s, when Milwaukee exported large amounts of grain to the former Soviet Union. In 2006, the port recorded the second-highest increase in international tonnage of any U.S. location on the St. Lawrence Seaway System, which connects the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean.

Some of the barges in Milwaukee now are 300 feet in length, almost as large as ocean-going ships. "I don't see any dominating dark cloud that's going to interfere with our growth," said port director Eric Reinelt.

But a shortage of shipping containers has frustrated U.S. companies wanting to cash in on exports. The large metal boxes are barely available some places in the Midwest. Companies wanting to send goods overseas on short notice have lost business because they couldn't get shipping containers.

They've been snapped up by East and West Coast ports and overseas destinations. It's created a serious problem for the Great Lakes, Reinelt said. "Exporters are grabbing every box they can find. For a while, we lost some business because we couldn't get containers," he said.

Shipping rates have soared, as some companies that hadn't raised rates in years have cashed in on booming international trade. The loss of water depth in the Great Lakes, measured in feet rather than inches, also has created problems for Milwaukee and other ports.

Three of every four ships leave the docks "light loaded" because ports and connecting channels are not dredged to proper depths and widths, according to the Lake Carriers Association, based in Cleveland. Ships that normally carry 70,000 tons of cargo are traveling about 12,000 tons short of their capacity - resulting in lost revenue at a time when shippers are paying record amounts for diesel fuel.

Heavy winter snowfall raised Lake Superior's water level about 10 inches, but the rest of the Great Lakes didn't see as much of a benefit, said Glen Nekvasil, a vice president with the Lake Carriers Association. "The Great Lakes have to be looked at as an entire system. And things don't happen quickly in such a gigantic system," he said.

The Port of Milwaukee's water depth is about 27 feet, which is better than some other Great Lakes destinations. But sections of the Lake Michigan breakwater in Milwaukee are deteriorating, raising concerns about its abilities to protect the docks and lakefront developments - including the Milwaukee Art Museum and Summerfest property.

The breakwater isn't in danger of collapsing, but some sections are in poor shape, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. The corps estimates it would cost $12 million to rebuild Milwaukee's breakwater over an eight-year period. It would cost about $800,000 for minimal repairs.

"We are still fighting for that seawall. It's work that has to be done," Reinelt said. "Underwater photographs show that the steel structure holding the breakwater rocks in place is rusted terribly."

As early as this summer, construction of a biodiesel refinery could begin at the port. The refinery would turn soybean oil into fuel suitable for diesel engines. Producing about 20 million gallons of fuel a year, it would be built on Jones Island near the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District's wastewater treatment plant.

The port could benefit from leasing land to the refinery and handling fuel, as liquid cargo, from a storage-tank facility.  "It will be the biggest thing to happen to this port in decades," Reinelt said.

In 2007, the port handled 3.9 million tons of cargo - a record year and up 2.5% from 2006. Seven ships carried 130 wind turbines to the port, from the United Kingdom, Spain and Denmark, destined for two wind farms in Illinois and Minnesota. The port unloaded more than a million tons of road salt - and still ran out in March because of the harsh winter.

Nearly every ship that arrived at the port carrying steel left with grain, typically destined for North Africa.

Anchored by booming industries, such as power-generation equipment and locally made mining machines, port officials estimate this year's tonnage could match 2007. "There are enough new things going on along Lake Michigan to keep us busy for 10 to 15 years," Reinelt said. "It used to be that 3 million tons of cargo a year was a record for us. But we have done that six of the last seven years."

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 

Canadian warship on the trail of 1813 wrecks

5/12 - Hamilton – One of Canada's newest warships is going to help scientists and marine archeologists conduct the most detailed survey so far on two War of 1812 ships sunk in Lake Ontario.

HMCS Kingston will slip out of Hamilton tonight to support a five-day expedition to map and survey with remote vehicles the wrecks of the 25-metre Hamilton and the 20-metre Scourge, which sank in a storm on Aug. 8, 1813. The two ships, both merchant schooners commandeered and armed by the American navy, are believed to have participated in the bombardment of Toronto, then known as York, prior to the storm.

The survey expedition headed by the City of Hamilton, which owns the ships, features participation of the Canadian Forces, Parks Canada, the coast guard, private archeologists and provincial, municipal and U.S. government officials.

If all goes well and there is time, Ian Kerr-Wilson, Hamilton's manager of museums and heritage, said the scientists might be able to lower a remote camera into the hold of one of the vessels for the first time. "I'd love to if it's possible," said Kerr-Wilson, adding technological advancements in digital mapping mean this survey will provide pinpoint co-ordinates to monitor changes in the wrecks.

There are no plans at the moment to raise the vessels. The two ships were located at a depth of about 100 metres by St. Catharines dentist Dr. Dan Nelson in 1973.

One of the reported 16 survivors was Ned Myers, a sailor aboard the Scourge whose recollections of the sinkings would later serve as some of the material for the book Ned Myers; or A Life Before the Mast, by James Fenimore Cooper.

Kerr-Wilson said the survey trip has been planned for nearly 10 years because it is difficult to get all the agencies and expertise available at the same time. "We are so fortunate the Kingston is available and it's a great platform for this work," he said. The Kingston, crewed mainly by reservists, is in Hamilton on a Great Lakes training cruise.

The survey will help the city plan long-term presentation and on-site preservation of the vessels, Kerr-Wilson said. "This is a very important site to both Canada and the United States," he said. "This trip is vital to our obligation of stewardship of those ships."

From the Toronto Star

 

Lake St. Clair and River Cruise and BoatNerd Gathering

On Sunday, May 25, an all day cruise leaving Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit and traveling above the Blue Water Bridges, to Fort Gratiot Light and return aboard the Diamond Belle. This 120 mile cruise following the shipping channel is co-sponsored by the Marine Historical Society of Detroit and BoatNerd.com.

The trip includes a continental breakfast and deli lunch on board, and a buffet dinner at the historic St. Clair Inn. This is a great opportunity to see all the sights and ships along the waterway between Detroit and Port Huron.

Tickets are $90.00 per person and reservations are required. Click here for details and a reservation form.

Space is limited. Don't be left out. Print out and return the reservation form with your check today.

 

Updates - May 12

News Photo Gallery updated

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets.

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 12

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports - May 11

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Saturday morning at the Upper Harbor ore dock, Herbert C. Jackson departed after loading taconite and Manitowoc arrived to load taconite, which was her fourth visit of the week.
Saturday evening, Lee A. Tregurtha was unloading coal into the Upper Harbor hopper.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Friday evening the saltie Antikeri departed Pier 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday the tug Sea Service and barge arrived at 8 a.m. with from Toledo. After discharging her cargo they will head back to Toledo. Tug Salvor departed at 8:15 a.m. heading down the lake. The CCGC Cape Storm arrived at 9 a.m. going to the Canada Centre for Inland Waters in Burlington. Saltie Thekla arrived at 10 a.m. with manganese for Pier 12 .Her last port was Quebec City and next port will be Burns Harbour.
Nanticoke followed the Thekla into the harbour and went to US Steel with iron ore pellets from Point Noire. Her next port is Superior.
The tug Omni Richelieu departed at 12 p.m. for Clarkson and returned at 8 p.m. The saltie Victoria departed Pier 14 at 1 p.m.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Agawa Canyon arrived on a bright Saturday morning and went to the Sifto Salt dock to load.

 

Updates - May 11

News Photo Gallery updated

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Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 11

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports - May 10

Saginaw River - Stephen Hause
Tug G. L. Ostrander with barge Integrity delivered the first load of cement this season on Friday to the LaFarge cement terminal in Saginaw. The vessel was inbound early in the morning and unloaded during the day.
Also visiting the Saginaw River on Friday was the Maumee, which arrived during the afternoon at the Burroughs dock near the I-75 bridge in Zilwaukee. Both vessels expected to depart Friday evening.
Earlier this week, American Republic which called at the Bay Aggregates dock on Tuesday.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons delivered a load of stone to Meekhof's D & M dock next to the BLP Sims plant on Harbor Island at 10 p.m. Thursday and was gone by early Friday morning.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Friday evening at the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock, Herbert C. Jackson unloaded western coal from Superior, Wisconsin.

 

Lake St. Clair and River Cruise and BoatNerd Gathering planned

On May 25, an all day cruise leaving Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit and traveling up to the Blue Water Bridges, aboard the Diamond Belle, will be co-sponsored by the Marine Historical Society of Detroit and BoatNerd.com.

The trip includes a continental breakfast and deli lunch on board, and a buffet dinner at the historic St. Clair Inn. This is a great opportunity to see all the sights along the waterway between Detroit and Port Huron.

Tickets are $90.00 per person and reservations are required. Click here for details and a reservation form.

Space is limited. Don't be left out. Print out and return the reservation form with your check today

 

Updates - May 10

News Photo Gallery updated

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets.

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Badger prepares to launch season

5/9 - Ludington - A pile of wood resembling a large bonfire, a 3-foot torch with a handle, shovels full of coal and a little bit of courage -- that's what it takes to light the first boiler of the season on the SS Badger.

Ludington Mayor John Henderson's thoughts while waiting for the lighting were, "I hope I light it. If I don't, it will be kind of embarrassing." The wood ignited in flames, just as intended, in a job typically done by a Lake Michigan Carferry employee or guests of the employees. This was the first year there has been a public celebration of the lighting.

Lake Michigan Carferry decided to make a ceremony of the lighting of the boilers of the Great Lakes coal-fired steamship as a way to highlight the 2008 season and the history of the ship. Henderson lit the boiler April 28 -- the first time any of the ship's four boilers had been lit since Oct. 14, when the Badger was docked after the last sailing and the boilers were shut down.

"I was so excited," Henderson said of being offered the chance to light the boiler. "I wasn't having such a great week, but that put a big smile on my face. ... The significance of the carferry is decades old -- people associate the carferry with Ludington.

"It is an event each year in Ludington and it also signifies the beginning of spring."

Chief Engineer Chuck Cart said after the first boiler of the four is lit, coal is gradually added and the other boilers are ignited, one by one. "You can't light them too fast or things will warp," Cart said.

And the SS Badger gets an inspection from the U.S. Coast Guard. It includes making sure there are no leaks, that valves and bolts are properly in place and that the Badger is ready to sail. The Coast Guard also checks lifeboats, life jackets and other safety equipment. The inspection "is a little more involved than a freighter because we have passengers," Cart said.

Bill Kulka, junior chief engineer, said it takes about 12 to 24 hours to get the boilers up to full pressure. Only three of the four boilers run at any time, leaving the fourth to give the others a break as they are switched out.

Kulka said the boilers use 50 tons of coal a day on the 120-mile trips back and forth to Manitowoc, Wis. The SS Badger will make its first trip of the year across Lake Michigan on Friday.

From the Ludington Daily News

 

Port Reports - May 9

Duluth/Superior - Al Miller
Mesabi Miner departed Duluth bound for Taconite Harbor at midday Thursday after loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal in Superior.
The Miner’s spot at the dock was quickly taken by Capt. Henry Jackman, which was loading for Nanticoke.
The saltie Asiaborg was at the Duluth port terminal unloading wind turbine towers, which were being shuttled to the adjacent Garfield Dock for storage.

Cheboygan - Jon Paul Michaels
It has been a busy couple of days in Cheboygan, MI. The tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes arrived from Whiting, IN with a load for the BP Tank Facility on Tuesday. Wednesday saw the U.S.C.G.C. Mackinaw depart with a load of buoys to place on station in the Straits of Mackinaw. Wednesday morning Maumee arrive with a load of aggregates to be unloaded at the old coal dock on the Cheboygan River.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Canadian Transfer arrived at 6:30 a.m. on a cool Thursday morning and went to the Sifto Salt dock to load.

Toronto and Hamilton - Charlie Gibbons
Groupe Ocean's tugs came over from Hamilton to release Olympic Mentor at Redpath, and they remained in port until 10 a.m.
A tentative date of May 11th has been set for Algobay to begin her overseas journey to China. Nadro Marine tugs will be taking her down the river.

South Chicago and Indiana Harbor - Brian Z. and Steve B.
Mid-day Thursday found four vessels in South Chicago. The Joseph L. Block was anchored into the wind at Calumet Harbor waiting for dock space at KCBX, which was occupied by the Lee A. Tregurtha taking on a load of coal.
The CSL Niagara was outbound stern first at 95th Street, at noon, with an assist from the G tugs Colorado and Arizona. The tugs took the Niagara out to Calumet Harbor where she was spun, and then headed back down the river stern first at 1 p.m. with assistance again from the Colorado and Arizona. Destination was Beemsterboer at 106th St to load coke.
CSL Niagara had arrived in the predawn hours and unloaded a cargo before loading at Beemsterboer.
The St. Marys Challenger showed inbound on the Calumet River at about 1:30 a.m. Thursday morning.

Indiana Harbor - Brian Z.
The Wilfred Sykes unloaded pellets at Arcelor Mittal's East plant on Wednesday. The Sykes arrived at 7 a.m. and was finished discharging around noon. CSL's Spruceglen was being unloaded by bridge crane at Mittal's East plant on Wednesday also. The Spruceglen arrived at 9 a.m.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
Tug Sea Service and barge Energy 6506 departed from the B-P Dock Thursday afternoon. The tug Wilf Seymour and barge Alouette Spirit were at the Midwest Terminals Dock. Canadian Progress was loading ore at the Midwest Terminals Dock. Philip R. Clarke was anchored off the entrance to the Toledo Ship Channel. She has an ore cargo onboard bound for the Midwest Terminals Dock. When the Canadian Progress finishes loading ore and departs, the Clarke will then arrive at this dock site to unload the ore.
The tug Petite Forte and barge St. Marys Cement was at the St. Marys Cement Dock unloading cement. Jane Ann IV and barge Sarah Spencer were at the Midwest Terminals Stone Dock unloading stone.
The revised schedule for coal boats due in at the CSX Dock has the Robert S. Pierson due in late Thursday evening, followed by the Kaye E. Barker and Calumet on Saturday. The revised schedule for ore boats due in at the Torco Dock has the Canadian Navigator due in on Tuesday.

 

Updates - May 9

News Photo Gallery updated

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets.

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 09

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Lake levels updated

5/8 - Duluth - The level of Lake Superior rose 6 inches in April, double the usual increase for the month, and is closest to its monthly average than any time since July 2006. The Superior is now 8 inches below normal but is 10 inches above the level on May 1 last year. Over the past two years the lake had been as much as 22 inches below long-term monthly averages.

While Superior appears to be recovering, Huron and Michigan still might have issues. The monthly report noted that lakes Huron and Michigan rose 8 inches in April, when they usually rise 11 inches. Those lakes now sit 2 inches lower than May 1, 2007, and are 18 inches below their long-term average.

The International Lake Superior Board of Control reports that rain and snowfall over the Lake Superior basin were well above normal in April, continuing a general upswing in water levels that started last fall. April was unusually wet across the western portion of Lake Superior after three straight dry months. At the Brule River State Forest in Wisconsin, for example, 24 inches of snow fell in April more than the 22 inches that fell in January, February and March combined. Duluth received 3.8 inches of liquid equivalent precipitation in April, much of it snow, which was 1.7 inches more than normal.

Lake Superior is expected to continue to rise each month into autumn, when it begins a cyclical downturn through April, said Carl Woodruff, hydraulic engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Detroit District. It’s unclear whether the current increase is part of a long-term trend back toward normal water levels or a hitch before low water levels of the past few years continue.

Experts believe that unusually dry weather and increased evaporation from more ice-free months have contributed to Lake Superior’s recent dip. But some people believe at least some of the Great Lakes may have more problems than just climate variations. A $15 million study by the International Joint Commission is examining whether human actions are needed to help stabilize water levels in lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron. Problems could include increased outflow because of past dredging.

Though Superior isn’t affected by lower levels on Huron and Michigan, dams on the St. Marys River can be regulated to allow more or less water to leave Lake Superior to feed the lower lakes, which can tie the big lake to problems of the other lakes.

While Superior appears to be recovering, Huron and Michigan still might have issues. The monthly report noted that lakes Huron and Michigan rose 8 inches in April, when they usually rise 11 inches. Those lakes now sit 2 inches lower than May 1, 2007, and are 18 inches below their long-term average.

From the Duluth News Tribune

 

Port Reports - May 8

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Wednesday at the Upper Harbor, Manitowoc loaded ore and departed mid-afternoon. Kaye E. Barker made an unusual visit to the Upper Harbor hopper with stone. Stone is normally discharged at the Lower Harbor.
Barker was scheduled to load ore later in the evening.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
CSL Laurentien finished loading ore at the Midwest Terminal Dock and departed during the mid morning, meanwhile the Canadian Progress moved into position and started to load ore at the dock site.
American Mariner finished loading coal at the CSX Dock and departed in the early afternoon bound for Monroe, Michigan. Tug Wilf Seymour and barge Alouette Spirit were at the Midwest Terminal Dock. Algowood was unloading ore at the Torco Ore Dock. The tug Sea Service and barge Energy 6506 were at the B-P Dock loading cargo.
The revised schedule for coal boats at the CSX Docks has the Robert S. Pierson due in late Thursday evening, followed by the Kaye E. Barker and Calumet on Saturday.
Ore boats scheduled into the Torco Ore Dock will be the Halifax late Wednesday evening and Canadian Navigator on Tuesday. Tug Jane Ann IV and barge Sarah Spencer are due into the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock on Thursday.

Toronto - Clive Reddin
The saltie Olympic Mentor left Toronto Harbour after unloading raw sugar at the Redpath plant over the past few days.

 

Ryerson's Capt. Treece Will Draw Winning Raffle Ticket

Eric Treece, Captain of the steamer Edward L. Ryerson, will be on hand to draw the lucky winning ticket for a trip on the Ryerson, which is being raffled off to benefit the BoatNerd Web site.

The drawing will take place at 2 p.m. at BoatNerd World Headquarters in Port Huron, on Saturday, June 7. The trip on the Ryerson is first prize; many other prizes will also be raffled off.

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets.

Capt. Treece will also be on hand at the Port Huron Marine Mart the same day. Look for him at the Know Your Ships table. The Marine Mart runs from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Port Huron Seaway Terminal. Browse artifacts, pictures, books, postcards, marine art and more.

 

Mandatory tests of ships' ballast aim to flush out invasive pests

5/8 - Strict new rules have closed a loophole that allowed invasive species like zebra mussels to invade North America's waterways.

The Canadian and U.S. seaway corporations that oversee ship traffic through the St. Lawrence Seaway, all of which passes through Montreal, have declared that ballast water of all ocean-going ships entering the 3,700-kilometre seaway will be tested.

The tests will ensure the ship has been flushed with seawater, killing any potential marine stowaways that could prosper in fresh water.

Officials from Transport Canada, the U.S. Coast Guard and the seaway corporations will board all ships, most of which dock in Montreal on their way to ports in the Great Lakes, to ensure all ballast tanks have been properly flushed. The treatment has been mandatory on all ships travelling to Canadian ports on the seaway since 2006, but was voluntary for most ships headed for U.S. ports.

It's believed ballast water has been the main conduit for the more than 185 foreign species that have been identified in the Great Lakes. Some, like the zebra mussel, first discovered in the Great Lakes in the late 1980s, have become major environmental and economic nuisances. They can travel throughout North America, as evidenced by the appearance of zebra mussels last year near Las Vegas, 2,000 kilometres from the Great Lakes.

Environmental groups have proposed the approximately 500 ocean-going ships that enter the seaway each year be banned. They applaud the new measures but say more needs to be done. "We're very pleased the seaway has taken action," said Jennifer Nalbone of Great Lakes United, an environmental group based in Montreal and Buffalo, N.Y. "However, we do not believe efforts should stop there. We need to use new technology to clean ballast water before it is flushed" to ensure no organisms or can be transmitted, she said.

Tests were done on board the M/V Federal Kivalina at St Lambert lock by Terry Jordan of the SLSDC, with the media in attendance.

From The Montreal Gazette

 

Manmade cures may not fix Great Lakes

5/8 - Ann Arbor - Rain can change the debate on Great Lakes water levels. But after about an inch of rain was expected to have fallen on the lake system's basin over the weekend and into this week, drier conditions are forecast.

Such weather watching may intrude on the discussion over whether engineering or other actions are needed to stabilize water levels in lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron. At any rate, don't look for a manmade cure for plunging lake levels. There may not be a simple fix.

To be sure, water trends have been mixed. Lakes Michigan, Huron and Erie have lost 1 inch over their respective 2007 levels, and Lake St. Clair is 3 inches lower. But Lakes Superior and Ontario are 9 and 10 inches higher, respectively, than they were at this time last year, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The apparent drain to Ontario may support the argument of proponents of a water control structure in the St. Clair River, where dredging over the years has been blamed for lowering water levels by about 15 inches in lakes Michigan and Huron, according to the Ann Arbor News Bureau. Lake Michigan's level stands at about 21 inches below its long-term average, and less than a foot above its historic low recorded in 1964.

However, the mood of most of an estimated 75 people at a meeting Saturday in Muskegon to gather public input for an International Upper Great Lakes Study was cautious. Some Michigan residents have witnessed ups and downs in the lakes over generations.

Meanwhile, scientists from both sides of the U.S.-Canada border are studying whether climate or manmade changes are mainly responsible for the decline in lake levels over the past decade. In June 2009, the International Joint Commission is expected to issue a report on calls by some boaters and property owners to slow the outflow by installing a device in the St. Clair River.

Trouble is, erosion and evaporation may be much larger factors than dredging. An IJC study official at the Grand Valley State University meeting Saturday had little enthusiasm for engineering proposals to try to maintain water levels on the massive lake system, because weather is beyond human control.

But the water level debate is likely to go on. Especially when it doesn't rain.

From the Ann Arbor News

 

Alliance details plans for river turbines

5/8 - Ogdensburg Alliance Energy is proposing to generate up to 110 megawatts of electricity using underwater currents from the St. Lawrence River. The company proposes to place up to 11 arrays, with each array using 10 underwater turbines, in the river. Each turbine can generate up to one megawatt of electricity.

On Friday, the company amended the application for a preliminary permit to study the currents of the river around Ogdensburg. No timetable was available on when a permit could be issued to study the river's energy-producing potential using one array.

Alliance will employ technology developed by UEK Corp. of Annapolis, Md., for the proposed project. The project area initially focused on the American side of the river five miles upstream and downstream of the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge. The company now has narrowed its boundary area to four primary locations.

Each array would take up to 10,000 square feet of space in the river an area 400 feet by 25 feet. The locations include three arrays each to be placed in the St. Lawrence just west of the city of Ogdensburg, in Wheathouse Bay and just west of Gallop Island. The final two arrays could be stationed near the eastern tip of Gallop Island. Alliance officials said previously that commercial shipping traffic on the St. Lawrence would not be affected by the project.

An underwater turbine would capture the flowing water to rotate the turbine blades and produce electricity. The power is then transmitted by underwater cable to shore and to the power grid for distribution.

The turbines, each about 17 feet wide and 10 feet tall, would be anchored to the riverbed and marked with surface buoys to warn boaters, UEK officials said. The depth of the turbines can be controlled by computer to capture the fastest current. The underwater turbines also have screens in front of them to prevent fish and diving birds from going through them.

From the Watertown NY Daily Times

 

Ballast water regulations may get more stringent

5/8 - Lansing - A move to weaken Michigan's standards for treating ballast water, a primary vector of invasive species in the Great Lakes, has been plugged by U.S. Rep. Dale E. Kildee. Kildee helped change the measure, part of a U.S. Coast Guard reauthorization bill, to make it more protective. The legislation is now before the Senate.

Some in the shipping industry hope to see the stricter standards become law, despite the added costs for installing on-board treatment systems under the bill. "We're very tired of being the whipping boy for invasive species," said Stuart H. Theis, executive director of the U.S. Great Lakes Shipping Association.

The measure, as passed late last month by the House, would create more stringent federal standards for ballast water treatment beginning in 2009. Ballast water is used by ships to stabilize their loads. But it's also blamed for spreading nonnative species like zebra and quagga mussels throughout the lakes. The mollusks have, among other things, increased the intensity of beach muck in Lake Huron, state officials say.

"We all really need to do something about the invasive species," Theis said. "This is not one of those things where industry and environmentalists are facing off."

The ballast water bill changes would begin in 2009 by requiring that vessels have ballast water treatment systems that meet International Maritime Organization standards. Beginning in 2012, the treatment standards required would be 100 times higher than the IMO standard, based on volume measurements of organisms in ballast water.

Ships would be required to be fitted with on-board treatment systems, seen as a more stringent and effective method for control than flushing ballasts with salt water before entering freshwater ports. Some ships also are exempted under current rules. Under Michigan's program, there are four authorized treatment technologies to eliminate the threat of invasives: sodium hypochlorite, chlorine dioxide, ultra violet light or deoxygenation. It's expected the federal regulations would be similar, said Alec Gerlach, a Kildee spokesman.

Kildee worked on the House legislation with its author, Rep. Jim Oberstar, a Minnesota Democrat. Oberstar was originally proposing to enact federal standards that would have pre-empted more stringent state standards in Michigan and California.

The standards passed by the House would require all states to come under the same degree of protection that exists in Michigan, and eventually raise those standards to an even higher degree of protection, Kildee said. "It will be helpful because we can't perceive what other invasive species may come in," he said. "What we want to have as the goal for the entire country is a zero discharge of invasive species in all U.S. waters by Jan. 1, 2015."

Kildee said he hopes to see the new standards become law, despite a veto threat from President Bush due to part of the bill that regulates liquefied natural gas terminals and vessels. "Those of us who border the Great Lakes are leading the battle on this, but we find allies," Kildee said. "There's invasive species in other bodies of water in the country also, but the St. Lawrence Seaway has provided a real highway for invasive species and we have to really make sure we check those ships."

The cost to meet the new standards is expected to be up to $1 million per ship, Gerlach said. Theis said he's not sure the costs will be that high for the more than 400 foreign flag vessels that traverse the lakes. But his association supports setting federal standards as an alternative to a patchwork of state-by-state standards now being developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Theis said the U.S. Coast Guard and its counterparts in Canada have already done a lot of work to close the door on invasive species, inspecting ships that enter the lakes to make sure the salinity in their ballast tanks is high. "We're interested in running ships and conducting commerce, but doing it in a responsible way," Theis said.

From the The Bay City Times

 

Marine Historical Society of Detroit
2008 Annual Dinner and Program Open to Non-Members

5/8 - 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 17. The featured speaker is Captain Paul Beesley who will present a program based on his career in the Canadian Coast Guard titled "36 Years in Her Majesty's Service".

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 12. You may reserve Online at www.MHSD.org/Dinner

 

Badger BoatNerd Gathering to go as planned

5/8 - The BoatNerd gathering aboard the S. S. Badger will take place as planned on May 30-31.

Nearly 20 staterooms will be filled on Friday night with Boatnerds who will be treated to tours of the pilothouse and engine room of the historic vessel. A continental breakfast will be served on Saturday morning before departure. More people will join the group for a round trip to Manitowoc and return.

While on the Wisconsin side of lake Michigan, travelers will have a choice of visiting the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, or re-boarding the Badger for a two-hour shoreline cruise.

A few staterooms are still available for the Friday night, and there is space on the Wisconsin Shoreline Cruise and museum visit.

Click here for all the details and reservation form.

 

Lake Superior Lighthouse and Shipwatching Cruise

5/8 - Houghton - The Keweenaw Star in Houghton Michigan is going on a 3-day lighthouse cruise on July 15, 16 and 17. This trip will include the lights of the Apostle Islands, Split Rock, and the Keweenaw Peninsula, as well as the ports of Superior, Duluth, Two Harbors, Silver Bay, and Ontonagon. A great opportunity to see ships, and lighthouses up close.

The trip will include lodging in Duluth on Canal Park, Lodging in Silver Bay, Bus Trip to Split Rock State Park, and all meals served on the boat. Reservations are required by June 1st. Please contact Joyce Holland at (410) 548-1783  Visit www.keweenawexcursions.com for pictures and more information. 

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 08

The 1,000 foot COLUMBIA STAR was christened May 8, 1981, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin for Columbia Transportation Div., Oglebay Norton Co.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Crew accuse container ship of dumping tonnes of waste off Newfoundland

5/7 - Montreal - Transport Canada has detained a container ship in Montreal after several of its crew accused the vessel of intentionally dumping up to 30 tonnes of dirty bilge waste off Newfoundland.

Officials said Friday that they were holding the MSC Trinidad after five engineers came forward earlier in the week, claiming that oily sludge was discharged over a six-hour period as the vessel passed through waters near Newfoundland. "Right now we're focusing on investigating the allegations," spokesman Patrick Charette said in Ottawa. "We're reviewing aerial surveillance footage to see if we can gather further evidence."

It's not clear exactly where the alleged discharge took place or if Transport aircraft would have captured any images of the spill that's alleged to have occurred at around 8 p.m. on April 24. Transport Canada was interviewing the captain of the vessel and the five crew members who came forward with the accusations after the vessel pulled into the port of Montreal on Monday.

Patrice Caron of the International Transport Federation said he had been contacted late Monday by one of the Filipino crewmen who claimed to witness the sludge pouring from the ship. Caron, whose union represents seafarers around the world, said third engineer Domingo Silva told him he had just come on shift when he saw tonnes of ballast water mixed with oil being piped into the ocean. Silva said the up to five tonnes an hour were being released over a six-hour span, amounting to up to 30 tonnes of waste oil that formed a long slick behind the ship.

No one from the Mediterranean Shipping Company or Technomar Shipping Inc., which Caron said owns the vessel, was available for comment.

The Filipino crew - engineers and oilers - allege that the vessel had been outfitted with a so-called "magic pump" that diverts the waste material away from the bilge tank and directly out to sea. Caron said vessels sometimes try to illegally dump their waste water at sea to avoid costly fees associated with disposing of it properly.

He said he's never seen crew members come forward with allegations about their vessels, since they can lose their jobs or face repercussions from their employers. "I told him he was brave," he said from Montreal. "This guy might never sail again because he complained."

Caron said they were going to be flown home to the Philippines on Friday night following their interviews with authorities. Charette said the vessel will be detained unless the company pays a $500,000 bond. He said federal prosecutors will review any evidence to determine if there are grounds to lay charges. If charged and found guilty, the company could face a fine of up to $1 million under the Canada Shipping Act and the Migratory Birds Act.

From The Canadian Press

 

Port Reports - May 7

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Walter J. McCarthy Jr. was motoring back into Duluth late Tuesday afternoon, bound for Midwest Energy Terminal after a day of sea trials following its winter repairs for a holed bottom.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
CSL Laurentien finished unloading ore at the Torco Dock Tuesday morning, she then proceeded over to the Midwest Terminals Dock to load ore.
Canadian Progress was in bound Toledo Ship Channel during the afternoon bound for the Midwest Terminal Dock, she will follow the Laurentien loading ore at this dock site.
Mississagi finished loading grain at the ADM Elevator and departed late morning.
The tug Sea Service and barge Energy 6501 were at the B-P dock loading cargo.
The revised schedule for coal boats loading at the CSX Dock has the American Mariner due in Wednesday, Robert S. Pierson on Thursday, Calumet on Friday, Kaye E. Barker on Saturday, followed by the H. Lee White on Sunday.
The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock has the Algowood and Halifax due in Wednesday, followed by the Canadian Navigator on Monday.
The tug Jane Ann IV and barge Sarah Spencer were due in at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock late Wednesday evening.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
Stephen B. Roman unloaded cement at Essroc Tuesday afternoon and departed at 6 p.m. in ballast for Picton.
The Port Authority's crane barge T.H.C. 50 and tug William Rest have been busy the past few days laying Keep-Out buoys for the Island Airport.

 

Updates - May 7

News Photo Gallery updated

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets.

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 07

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

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

The HUTCHCLIFFE HALL entered service on May 7, 1954.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

U.S.-Flag Great Lakes Fleet Cargo Total in March Even with a Year Ago
Dredging Crisis Means No Growth

5/6 - Cleveland — The U.S.-Flag Great Lakes fleet hauled 2.5 million net tons of cargo in March, essentially a tie with a year ago. March is not a full month of navigation. The vessels fit-out at various times during the month, with the majority getting underway around the time the locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan open on March 25.

Although the cargo total was basically unchanged from a year ago, the fleet was again vastly underutilized because of a lack of adequate dredging. The largest iron ore cargo loaded in March was 59,930 tons. The vessel has a rated capacity of nearly 70,000 tons, so it left port with 14 percent of its hauling power negated by the dredging crisis.

The top coal load – 58,994 tons – also represented only 86 percent of the vessel’s rated capacity.

When these cargos are compared to the record cargos established during a period of high water in 1997, the dredging crisis is slashing vessels’ payloads by as much as 17 percent. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must remove 18 million cubic yards of sediment to the restore the Great Lakes navigation system to project dimensions, at an estimated cost of $230 million.

Last December, Congress increased the Corps’ Lakes dredging budget for FY08 to $138 million, which should allow the Corps to remove about 1 million cubic yards of backlog. However, the Administration’s proposed budget for FY09 cuts the Lakes dredging budget to less than $90 million. Congress must boost the Lakes dredging budget for the next several years or the fleet will remain underutilized and industries dependent on raw materials disadvantaged in the global economy.

More information is available at www.lcaship.com

Source: Lake Carriers’ Association

 

Walter J. McCarthy returning to service

5/6 - Duluth - The Walter J. McCarthy Jr. is schedule to resume service Tuesday. The ship was damaged in January while moving into winter quarters in Superior.

The McCarthy is scheduled to begin taking on coal at Midwest Energy Resources at 8 p.m. Tuesday. It will take on about 62,000 tons of coal for Ontario Power Generation’s Nanticoke Station on Lake Erie.

The McCarthy’s return to service was much anticipated, said Fred Shusterich, president of Midwest Energy Resources Company.

“We’re thankful to have it back at this date — it could have been out most of the summer,” he said. “That boat is worth 350,000 to 400,000 tons a month to us. There is not a replacement vessel for that boat, being that everything is so tight. It’s a welcome sight to get it back.”

A submerged object punched a 7 feet by 4 feet hole in the ship’s bottom Jan. 14 as the McCarthy backed into a slip at Superior's Hallett No. 8 Dock. The McCarthy’s crew closed the engine rooms’ watertight doors and evacuated the flooding rooms as the ship's stern settled to the bottom in 20 feet of water. The water covered the ship’s four 3,500-horsepower General Motors Electro Motive Division diesel engines.

Salvage efforts began that week, with workers pumping water from the ship’s ballast tanks. That brought the ship’s stern up in the water, until only about 5 feet of water remained in the engine rooms. Workers later installed a coffer dam over the hole, and the two engine rooms were pumped dry, allowing repair work to begin.

The McCarthy is 1,000 feet long, 105 feet wide and has a deadweight capacity of 62,100 gross tons at a draft of 27.5 feet. Built as the Belle River by the Bay Shipbuilding Corp at Sturgeon Bay, Wis., the ship entered service in 1977. It was renamed the McCarthy in 1990 to honor the former chairman of the Detroit Edison Co.

From the Duluth News Tribune

 

S.S. Badger opens season

5/6 - Ludington - The historic S.S. Badger car ferry begins its 2008 sailing season May 9 between Ludington, Michigan and Manitowoc, Wisconsin, combining a unique vacation experience on an authentic steamship with the lowest fares on Lake Michigan.

“Despite significantly increased fuel costs, we are working very hard to reduce our operating expenses so we can keep fares as low as possible for our passengers,” said Magee Johnson, Director of Media Relations. “2008 prices will be implemented starting May 9, and will reflect a comparatively minimal increase with no added fuel surcharge, or other fees.”

The largest car ferry on the Great Lakes, the 410-foot Badger holds 620 passengers, 180 autos, RVs, buses and commercial trucks, and is part of a century-old maritime tradition.

The SS Badger features a variety of amenities, including Badger Bingo, two food service areas, children’s activities, expansive outside decks, free TV and movies, private staterooms, and gift shop. Carferry history is integrated into the onboard experience to educate and entertain passengers, providing a unique travel adventure the company calls “Big Ship, More Fun!”

The largest car ferry ever to sail on Lake Michigan, the S.S. Badger has established an outstanding record for safety and reliability. The ship is a registered state historic site in both Michigan and Wisconsin. The ship’s coal-powered Skinner Unaflow Steam Engines, operating on domestic fuel, have been designated a national engineering landmark.

Lake Michigan Carferry has invested heavily over the past 15 years to maintain the Badger’s historic steam engines. During the past winter, the ship’s two steam condensers were re-tubed for the first time since the ship was built. According to Chief Engineer Chuck Cart, “The Badger is in the best mechanical condition she has been in for more than thirty years.”

For more information www.ssbadger.com

 

Port Reports - May 6

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
Herbert C. Jackson was loading coal at the CSX Docks.  Mississagi was at the ADM Elevator loading grain. The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Docks has American Mariner due in on Wednesday, Robert S. Pierson rescheduled to Thursday, and Calumet on Friday, followed by the Kaye E. Barker on Saturday. The revised schedule for ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock has the CSL Laurentien due in late Monday evening, followed by the Algowood and Halifax on Wednesday. Tug Jane Ann IV with the barge Sarah Spencer are due in to the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock to unload stone late Wednesday evening.

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons
English River in at Lafarge Monday with cement and out at 10:30 p.m. in ballast for Bath.

Kingsville - Erich Zuschlag
Robert S Pierson made her first ever visit to Kingsville Monday. She was unloading gravel to be used for the windmill project outside of Port Alma, Ontario. This is the first time in at least 20 years that a ship with all cabins at the stern has entered Kingsville harbour.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
Adam E Cornelius backing down the crick from General Mills late Monday morning.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Agawa Canyon passed through the breakwalls at 4 p.m. Monday and headed into the inner harbour to turn. She then went to load at Sifto Salt.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Monday was one of the busiest days of the season so far on the Saginaw River. The Mainstee arrived Monday afternoon with a split load. She lightered at the Sargent dock in Essexville before going all of the way upriver to finish at the Saginaw Rock Products dock. The tug Donald C. Hannah and her tank barge, Robert F. Deegan were inbound later in the afternoon, calling on the Dow Chemical Dock in Bay City. Finally, the Olive L. Moore-Lewis J. Kuber were inbound calling on the Bay Aggregates dock Monday evening. All of the vessels listed are expected to be outbound Tuesday morning.

Marinette - Dick Lund
The barge Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted arrived at Marinette Fuel & Dock around 3 a.m. on Monday with a load of pig iron. The tug was disengaged from the barge, the stern of the barge was heavily ballasted down, and a containment boom was placed around it (as a precautionary measure) as they prepared to do some unspecified maintenance to the barge. All of the deck equipment (unloading conveyor, front end loader, etc.) had also been moved far astern on the barge. They are doing some work on the bow thruster.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
The St. Mary's Challenger arrived in the inner harbor at 8:00 Monday morning and proceeded to the St. Mary's terminal on the Kinnickinnic River. The Challenger departed at 7:30 in the evening. The Samuel de Champlain and its barge Innovation left the LaFarge Terminal at 9:15 Monday morning.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Tuesday morning, Manitowoc departed the Upper Harbor ore dock after loading taconite during the night. At the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock, Tug/Barge Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader unloaded limestone.

 

Updates - May 6

News Photo Gallery updated

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Port Reports - May 5

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Sunday the Algonorth arrived at 6 a.m. with iron ore pellets for Dofasco.  Mississagi departed at 9 a.m. for the canal. Canadian Miner departed Dofasco at 6 p.m. for Thunder Bay in ballast. The saltie Carola arrived at 9:30 p.m.

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Superior's CLM dock was a busy spot late Sunday afternoon with barge James L. Kuber unloading stone while the Cason J. Callaway came down the front channel and stood by to unload its stone cargo at the same dock. The Kuber was expected to load at BNSF ore dock for the downbound trip.
The Walter J. McCarthy Jr. remained at the Lakehead Pipeline dock late Sunday afternoon, but a wheeled crane had a line attached to the engine room gangway and a tug was spotted near the vessel's stern. It wasn't clear whether the activity indicated that the McCarthy's departure was imminent but it is due to load at Midwest Energy Terminal on Tuesday

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons and Dave Robinson
Peter R. Creswell arrived in port Sunday afternoon with a cargo of stone.
The salty Olympic Mentor arrived in port early Saturday morning and began unloading raw sugar at the Redpath terminal on Sunday morning.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Agawa Canyon was inbound the Saginaw River Sunday afternoon calling on the Buena Vista dock in Saginaw to unload. She was expected to be outbound early Monday morning.

Alpena and Stoneport - Ben & Chanda McClain
Over the weekend three vessels called at Lafarge. On Saturday both tug and barges returned to load again with the tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation arriving early in the morning and the G. L. Ostrander and barge Integrity tying up come afternoon.
On Sunday around 5 p.m., the Manitowoc pulled into the slip at Lafarge and swung out the boom to unload a cargo of coal.
At Stoneport on Sunday the tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder was taking on cargo, with the Manistee following by early evening.

Menominee - Dick Lund
The USCG Alder was working far away from its home base of Duluth on Sunday afternoon. They were working ATON off the shores of Menominee, MI where they replaced a winter buoy with the traditional, shipping season bell buoy. Last year that task was handled by the USCG Hollyhock. Usually that job is taken care of by the USCG Mobile Bay and its barge out of Sturgeon Bay, WI.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Algoway arrived early Sunday evening to load at Sifto Salt. Boat arrivals are still being spread out as maintenance work continues at the mine.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
The Samuel de Champlain and its barge Innovation arrived in the inner harbor about 2:15 Sunday afternoon for the purpose of delivering cement to the LaFarge elevator.

 

Updates - May 5

News Photo Gallery updated

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets.

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 05

May 5, 1904 - Crisp Point Light, on Lake Superior, goes into service.

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

The MERCURY, a.) RENOWN of 1912, collided with the bulker ERNEST T WEIR on May 5, 1964, near the mouth of the St. Clair River. The tanker suffered severe bow damage, the result of her faulty steering gear.

On May 5, 1980, the SHARON, a.) ARCHERS HOPE of 1945, grounded in the Trenton Channel of the Detroit River. She was freed on May 7th and proceeded to Monroe, Michigan and was laid up there on May 8, 1980. No repairs were made and she never sailed again.

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

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

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

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

On 05 May 1902, MILWAUKEE (steel propeller freighter, 325 foot, 3,327 gross tons) was launched at the Chicago Ship Building Company (Hull #55) at South Chicago, Illinois for the Western Transit Co. She lasted until 1940, when she was scrapped at Hamilton, Ontario.

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

 

City could benefit if shipping project sails in Nova Scotia

5/4 - Toledo - A proposed container port on the Nova Scotia coast could hold a key to Toledo's future as a potential ocean-container distribution center.

Representatives of Melford International Terminal Inc., a Canadian company that has obtained 315 waterfront acres along the Strait of Canso, met last week with Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland to outline their proposal for a deepwater container port that is intended to capitalize on North America's growing trade with Asia, which is resulting in congestion at existing ports on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

While the Melford proposal anticipates that a majority of the freight handled there would make the inland portion of its journey by rail, Terry Johnson, Jr., administrator of the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp., said the port could become a relay point for smaller container vessels that would transport freight between Nova Scotia and Ohio via the St. Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes.

"There is the potential for waterborne inland distribution," Mr. Johnson, who accompanied the Melford delegation to Columbus, said. Ohio is "a natural distribution point," with about one-third of the cargo Melford anticipates handling destined to points within a one-day truck haul from northern Ohio. "It almost seems tailored for Toledo to become a major stakeholder and beneficiary," said James Hartung, president of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.

"There's the potential for a very direct, real application of the short-sea shipping concept," Mr. Hartung said, referring to the notion of using smaller ships or tug-barge combinations to link inland and coastal ports. It's far from a certainty, though.

Container-hauling capability into the Great Lakes is generally confined to deck placement on bulk-cargo freighters. Mega-ships that dominate the trans-ocean container trade are far too large for the St. Lawrence Seaway and are growing even larger.

Even without those obstacles, the seaway's wintertime shutdown, which typically runs from Christmas until late March, discourages potential shippers who prefer to avoid making seasonal supply-chain adjustments. Consequently, container activity at Great Lakes ports is "very limited," meaning that containerized consumer goods, imported auto parts, and other high-value cargo to or from the Midwest must ride trucks or trains from or to coastal ports.

But ships of sizes suitable for seaway navigation currently haul containerized freight on European rivers and could be built for North American operations if the economics worked out, Mr. Johnson said.

Melford officials could not be reached for comment after the meeting Wednesday with Governor Strickland, other state officials, and U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo).

But information the company has prepared about its project describes a $300 million facility, intended to be funded entirely by private investment, that will be capable of handling not only the largest container ships now in use but even bigger vessels designed but not yet built. Project planners hope to be in operation by 2010 and have an initial capacity to handle 1.5 million TEUs - an industry measurement of container capacity - annually. The largest container ships now in use have capacities of between 10,000 and 12,000 TEUs.

"Once unloaded at the Melford Terminal, the containers will be transshipped principally by rail," the company's summary states. "Over time, short sea shipping opportunities will be created whereby smaller feeder vessels will be used to serve ports in Canada and the eastern United States."

Mr. Johnson said costs for developing container-handling port facilities in Ohio should be minimal since Melford International Terminal plans to screen all containers upon arrival. According to its plan, Melford would provide on-site security suitable for U.S. Department of Homeland Security preclearance for connecting shipments, whether by ship or rail.

While acknowledging rail's primacy for handling inland transport from Melford, Mr. Hartung said that if even 20 percent of the freight went through the seaway, it could be a "wonderful opportunity" for Toledo. A seaway-size vessel probably could carry between 700 and 800 TEUs - less than a tenth the capacity of ocean-going ships, Mr. Hartung said. But those would be "boxes now targeted to specific markets" and potentially enough to allow Cleveland and Toledo to pursue such shipments cooperatively, rather than trying to compete with each other for it, he said.

Keith Dailey, a spokesman for Mr. Strickland, said the governor was impressed by the Melford presentation. "Several Ohio ports have the potential to benefit from this," Mr. Dailey said. "The governor is always interested in efforts to improve Ohio's economy, especially if they're in logistics and distribution."

"This is all about Toledo's taking advantage of its position at a crossroads," agreed Steve Fought, a spokesman for Miss Kaptur. "It's been talked about for decades. It's time that we acted on it. Creative minds in economic development have to scramble now and put together a package that meets their [Melford's] needs." Mr. Hartung added that even if no short-sea shipping aspect to the Melford terminal developed, Toledo is well-positioned to capture rail shipments from the Nova Scotia port.

Rail service to the Melford area is provided by a local railroad company that links directly to the Canadian National Railway, whose network includes a line into Toledo. No other southern Lake Erie city has single-carrier rail service from eastern Canada.

Access to Canadian National rails was a cornerstone of a rail container terminal proposed in Monroe County two years ago that was dropped after local landowner opposition arose and a rift developed between the terminal's proposed operator and developers working on the project.

Canadian National's direct access to the Pacific was touted at the time as a key reason for siting that project in Monroe County, but its eastern Canada access could be just as advantageous, Mr. Hartung said. Efforts to identify a potential site for such a rail terminal continue, he said.

From the Toledo Blade

 

Port Reports - May 4

Menominee - Dick Lund
The BBC Elbe arrived at KK Integrated Logistics East Dock early Saturday morning with another load of wind turbine parts. It looks like the Marlene Green and BBC Elbe will be two of the ships to make the shuttle run between Becancour and Menominee with these loads.

Hamilton - Eric Holmes
Friday afternoon the tug Sea Eagle II arrived at 3 p.m. for an extended stay presumably at the Heddle Marine Drydock.
The Captain Henry Jackman arrived at 7:30 p.m. going to Pier 26. The tugs Gerry G and Omni Richelieu departed at 8:30 p.m. for Toronto. The Canadian Miner arrived at 10:30 p.m. with iron ore pellets for Dofasco from Port Cartier.
Saturday morning had the Canadian Provider departing from Dofasco at 6:45 a.m. for Thunder Bay. The CSL Tadoussac departed at 8 a.m. from US Steel.
The Robert S Pierson departed from Dofasco at 9:30 a.m. The tugs Gerry G and Omni Richelieu stopped on there way back from Toronto to assist the Turid Knutson leave the Petro Canada Pier in Bronte at 12:30 p.m. The Knutson then met the Hamilton Energy at 1:30 p.m. in the Burlington Bay anchorage for bunkering.
The saltie Antikeri arrived at 1:30 p.m. with phosphates from Egypt for Pier 25. After unloading she will head to Sault Ste. Marie. Maritime Trader departed Pier 25 (JRI Elevators) at 3 p.m. with soya beans for Windsor. Tug Sea Service and barge arrived at 3:15 p.m. for Pier 11 from Toledo.

Toronto - Frank Hood and Clive Reddin
Olympic Mentor arrived at Redpath Sugar early Saturday.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Saturday at sunset, Michipicoten was loading taconite at the Upper Harbor ore dock. Charles M. Beeghly loaded taconite at the Upper Harbor ore dock Sunday morning.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
Atlantic Erie was at the Torco Ore Dock unloading ore. Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin was at the Midwest Terminals Overseas Dock loading ore.
The revised schedule for coal boats due into the CSX Docks has the John J. Boland due in Sunday, Robert S. Pierson and Herbert C. Jackson due on Monday, followed by the American Mariner on Tuesday.
The revised schedule for the ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock has the CSL Laurentien due in on Monday, followed by the Algowood and Halifax on Wednesday.
Tug Jane Ann IV and barge Sarah Spencer due in to the Midwest Terminals Stone Dock on Wednesday. The Algomarine is bound for Toledo within the next several days, she is bringing in an oats cargo that was loaded at Thunder Bay, Ontario recently.

Rochester - Tom Brewer
The tug Evans McKeil pushing the barge Metis departed Rochester Saturday morning bound for Picton, Ontario.

 

Boaters rescued

5/4 - Put-In-Bay, Ohio -- The Coast Guard said four people whose boat capsized on Lake Erie were rescued by a nearby boater.

Coast Guard spokesman William Mitchell said the 16-foot pleasure craft capsized Friday after leaving Detroit. He said the nearby boater sent an emergency signal to the Coast Guard and then pulled all four people from the water and took them to Put-in-Bay.

Mitchell said one passenger was unconscious, but was revived by emergency crews. That person was taken to a hospital in Port Clinton.

From WEWS TV5 Cleveland

 

Updates - May 4

News Photo Gallery updated

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets.

Public Photo Gallery updated

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 04

On May 4, 1958, the JOHN SHERWIN entered service. The SHERWIN has been in lay-up for half of her life on the Great Lakes. She last sailed on November 16, 1981.

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

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

The tanker VENUS, a.) MARTHA E ALLEN of 1928, suffered an explosion on May 4, 1972, when the crew were cleaning tanks while at anchor waiting for the fog to lift about seven miles west of the Eisenhower Lock in the Seaway. Two explosions rocked the ship killing her skipper, Captain Stanley, and injuring three crewmen.

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

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

 

Rain and snow spell relief for Great Lakes

5/3 - Twice as much autumn rain and early winter ice helped Lake Superior bounce back from record low water levels reached last year.

Superior, the largest freshwater body of water in the world by surface area, rose about 1 foot in seven months, with half of that in April alone as the spring thaw melted heavy winter snowfall that arrived late in the season. The turnaround in the uppermost of the Great Lakes could literally trickle down to its four lower cousins, spelling relief for shippers who use the major waterway and residents concerned over shallow channels and receding shorelines.

"The spring runoff was much anticipated, and conditions have appeared to return to normal," said Melissa Kropfreiter, a hydraulic engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which studies the water levels.

In the last 30 years, precipitation has decreased while evaporation has increased. That led to higher water temperatures and, in recent years, lower water levels in the three upper Great Lakes -- Superior, Huron and Michigan.

With the inland waterway a key route for shipping bulk commodities like grain, steel or coal, the low water forced ships to lighten their loads. Last summer, some of the shallows and riverbeds used by fish for spawning dried up. But that pattern, seen by many as a mark of global climate change, appears to have reversed at least over the last half year.

Lake Huron and Lake Michigan also rose through the winter and spring as 50 percent more snow fell in a region that includes the U.S. states of Wisconsin and Michigan, and parts of the Canadian province of Ontario. Ice on the water curbs winter evaporation, helping to maintain levels. But much of the snowpack evaporates before the spring thaw and never reaches the lakes, which may explain why Huron and Michigan are still slightly lower than last year, experts say.

"If there are a lot of cool, sunny days, the snow goes straight into water vapor," said Ralph Moulton, a senior engineer at Environment Canada who studies Canada-U.S. boundary waters.

The new data on water levels comes as the International Joint Commission, an independent body formed by the U.S. and Canadian governments, studies whether dredging on the St. Clair River has contributed to declining levels on the upper lakes. The St. Clair River is a major shipping route near Detroit that connects the lower lakes of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario with the upper trio. While the upper lakes remain below their long-term averages, water levels in the smaller, lower lakes are above average.

The massive waterway connects to the Atlantic Ocean through the St. Lawrence Seaway, a system of locks and canals that opened in 1959, allowing ocean-going vessels into the industrial heartland of North America. The largest ships on the Great Lakes forfeit some 267 tonnes of cargo for every inch of water level lost, said Stuart Theis, executive director of the United States Great Lakes Shipping Association. "Every inch lost is revenue the shipping companies can't get out of a trip, and can't get back."

From Reuters News

 

Port Reports - May 3

Ludington - Shawn Keith
Wednesday at Noon the downtown area of Ludington was engulfed in thick black smoke as the historic carferry S.S. Badger returned to her dock as preparations for the new sailing season continue. Wind conditions were just right to carry the smoke through the downtown area and keep it low to the ground, much to the delight of those who appreciate the Badger in all her glory.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
English River was unloading at the LaFarge plant Friday morning.

Saginaw River - Stephen Hause
Olive L. Moore with barge Lewis J. Kuber delivered a split load Friday to docks at Essexville and Saginaw, on the pair's third visit to the Saginaw River since last Friday. The tug and barge were inbound about 8 a.m. and lightered during the morning at the Wirt dock in Essexville. They continued up the river to Saginaw in the afternoon, departing the Valley Asphalt dock about 8:30 p.m. to turn and start outbound.

Lorain -
The Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay entered the Black River at Lorain, Ohio harbor where the crew complete buoy work about 5:30 p.m. The cutter departed by 6 p.m. and headed west.

Grand Haven - Dick Fox
The barge St. Mary's Conquest and tug Susan W. Hannah came in at 2 a.m. on Thursday with a load for the St. Mary's Cement terminal in Ferrysburg. It left over night.
At 10 p.m. the same day, Manitowoc delivered the first load of coal for the season to the Grand Haven Board of Light and Power's Sims Plant on Harbor Island and left early on Friday morning.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
John J. Boland was at the CSX Coal Dock loading coal. Tug Jane Ann IV and barge Sarah Spencer was at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock unloading stone and was expected to depart Friday evening.  The tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes was at the B-P Dock loading cargo. The revised listing for the next scheduled coal boats due into the CSX Docks will be the John J. Boland and Robert S. Pierson on Sunday, Herbert C. Jackson on Monday, followed by the American Mariner on Tuesday. The revised listing for the next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Dock will be the Atlantic Erie on Saturday, CSL Laurentien on Monday, followed by the Algowood and Halifax on Wednesday.

Chicago - Matt Monahan
At 2:30 p.m. Friday, LLT's Manitowoc was being towed stern first down the Calumet river by a "G" tug. It looked to be headed to Beemsterboer at 106th street. The tow passed by the Atlantic Huron which was still under the loader at KCBX, and Dintelborg was still loading at the Iroquois Landing dock near 92nd st.

 

Update on Lake Superior Outflow

5/3 - Detroit - The International Lake Superior Board of Control, under authority granted to it by the International Joint Commission, has set the Lake Superior outflow to 1,720 cubic metres per second (m3/s) (60.7 thousand cubic feet per second (tcfs)) for the month of May. This is the outflow recommended by the regulation plan for the month of May and is an increase from the April outflow, which was 1,590 m3/s (56.2 tcfs).

The May outflow will be released by discharging about 1,602 m3/s (56.6 tcfs) through the three hydropower plants and passing most of the remaining flow through the control structure at the head of the St. Marys rapids. The gate setting of the control structure will be maintained at the existing setting equivalent to one-half gate open (four gates open 20 cm, or about 8 inches each). There will be no change to the setting of Gate #1 that supplies the Fishery Remedial Works.

This past month the water supplies to the lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron basins were well above their long-term averages for April. Lake Superior is currently 8 cm (3 inches) below its chart datum level. The level of Lake Superior is expected to rise in May. Currently, the Lake Superior level is about 20 cm (8 inches) below its long-term average beginning-of-May level, but is 26 cm (10 inches) above the level recorded a year ago.

This past month the level of Lake Superior rose 16 cm (6 inches), while on average the level rises by 8 cm (3 inches) in April. The level of Lakes Michigan-Huron rose by 20 cm (8 inches) this April, while on average these lakes rise by 11 cm (4 inches) in April.

The level of Lakes Michigan-Huron is now about 45 cm (18 inches) below its long-term average beginning-of-May level, and is 4 cm (2 inches) lower than it was a year ago, and at chart datum. The level of Lakes Michigan-Huron is also expected to rise in May.

The Board continues to monitor conditions both on Lake Superior and downstream and will advise the International Joint Commission accordingly on those conditions. For additional information click here

US Army Corps of Engineers News Release

 

Learn about the Detroit River's unique "Mail by the Pail" service

5/3 - Detroit – The Dossin Museum on Belle Isle will present a program about Detroit's unique mail delivery system for Great Lakes freighters. The free “Mail by the Pail” Family Day is on Saturday, May 10 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The J. W. Westcott Company operates the mailboat for the U.S. Postal Service marine post office in Detroit, ­the only mailboat that delivers mail to freighters while they are moving. This unique story is told in the children's book “Mail by the Pail” by Colin Bergel, published by Wayne State University Press. A special quantity of these books will be available for purchase at this event in the Dossin Great Lakes Museum Store.

After visiting the Museum, drop by the neighboring dock at Pavilion #9 and visit with the crew of the J.W. Westcott mail boat and Captain Sam Buchanan to experience the operation firsthand!

For more information visit www.detroithistorical.org.

 

Correction

5/3 - A recent News article indicated that Canada Steamship Lines delivers more than 30 million tons of dry bulk cargo annually to customers in key industries domestically and internationally.

In fact, CSL delivers more than 70 million tons of dry bulk cargo annually.

For more information visit www.csl.ca

 

Badger Gathering Reservations Due

5/3 - Saturday is the last to get your reservations in the mail for the Badger Gathering. Reservations must be received no later than Monday, May 5.

Don't miss out on this fun trip aboard the last coal-fired boat on the Great Lakes.

Click here for all the details and reservation form.

 

Updates - May 3

News Photo Gallery updated

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 03

On May 3, 1959, the first large saltwater vessel to transit the new St. Lawrence Seaway arrived at Duluth. The RAMON DE LARINAGA of 1954, took the honors as the first salty, passing under Duluth's Aerial Bridge at 1:16 p.m., followed by a salty named the HERALD of 1943, sixteen minutes later.

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

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

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

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

 

Great Lakes Coal Trade Up 27 Percent in March

5/2 - Cleveland—Coal shipments on the Great Lakes in March totaled 1.6 million net tons, an increase of 27 percent compared to a year ago.

The trade outperformed its 5-year average for March by 34 percent. Strong demand for coal loaded at Lake Erie ports destined for Canadian customers spurred the surge.

Despite the increase, light loading was rampant again. The largest coal cargo loaded in March totaled only 58,944 net tons. The cargo was carried by a 1,000-foot-long ship and vessels this size have carried nearly 71,000 tons in a single trip when high water levels offset lack of adequate dredging.

With the dredging crisis still gripping Great Lakes shipping, it is all the more important that Congress reject the Administration’s proposed $49 million cut in dredging funds in FY09.

Source: Lake Carriers’ Association

 

Lt. Gov. clears way for Saginaw River dredging spoils site

5/2 - Lansing - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has won the battle over a dredging site to hold 20 years worth of spoils from the Upper Saginaw River.

Under a compromise worked out in a private meeting with Lt. Gov. John Cherry, the state Department of Environmental Quality won't require a slurry wall or groundwater permit for the site, a $5 million clay pit built on the Bay-Saginaw county line in Frankenlust and Zilwaukee townships.

DEQ staffers who reviewed the Corps plans said a slurry wall and permit were needed to keep contaminated groundwater from migrating off the site and back into the Saginaw River. "The Army Corps has committed they are responsible and if there are any leaks, they need to address them," said Robert McCann, a DEQ spokesman. "This allows the project to go forward."

The Corps has said it plans to begin dredging this summer to clear out the navigational channel from Bay City south to Saginaw. Businesses along the river say the dredging is needed to sustain more than 100 jobs tied to shipping along the river.

Environmental groups are crying foul, and considering a lawsuit. "I think it's a very sad day for the Saginaw Bay watershed," said Michelle Hurd Riddick, a spokesman for the Bay City area Lone Tree Council. "I think it's a sad day for the residents being forced to live next to this slurry pit. I think it's a sad day for environmental protection in this state."

 

Port Reports - May 2

South Chicago - Brian Z.
The Manistee returned to KCBX Terminals on Wednesday night to load another cargo of blended coal for Holland, MI. The Manistee departed the dock at 3 am after a brisk loading.

Owen Sound - Ed. Saliwonchyk
Chi Cheemaun departed winter lay up in Owen Sound for Tobermory about 10:30 a.m. Thursday. The carferry begins scheduled service between Tobermory at the northern tip of the Bruce Peninsula and South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island Friday.

Duluth/Superior - Al Miller
BBC Zarate arrived in Duluth on Thursday with the season’s first load of wind mill tower assemblies. It was being unloaded at the Duluth port terminal’s berth 1.
Elsewhere in port Thursday morning, American Integrity was loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal while Algolake was docked at the port terminal waiting its turn for the dock.
Joe Block was due in the evening to unload limestone.

Buffalo - Brian Wroblewski
Samuel D Champlain and barge Innovation arrived for LaFarge Cement Thursday morning around 10 a.m. This is the pair's third trip to Buffalo this season.

South Chicago - Steve B.
Noon hour on Thursday found the Atlantic Huron backing down the Calumet River at 92nd St, with assistance from the G tugs Colorado and Arizona. The boat was headed for KCBX. Also inbound at the same time was the Dintelborg, which docked at Iroquois Landing.

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
For the second time in two days, the Manistee delivered coal loaded at KCBX in Chicago to the James DeYoung power plant in Holland. It arrived at about 3:00 in the afternoon and departed around 8:30 in the evening.

 

Lake Michigan ferry services Prepare for new Season

5/2 - Ferry service between Milwaukee and Muskegon resumes on Thursday.

Milwaukee's Lake Express will arrive in Muskegon on Thursday around noon. It marks the start of the 5th season for the high speed catamaran. The Lake Express crosses Lake Michigan in 2 1/2 hours.

To the north in Ludington, the SS Badger went for a short shakedown cruise Wednesday. The annual trip is to work out the bugs with the ship before passengers arrive. The Badger crosses to Manitowoc, Wisconsin in four hours.

This year, on-board activities will center on the ship's history. It's the 55th season for the Badger. The Badger will start its season on May 9.

From WZZM TV13 Grand Rapids

 

Coast Guard: Be vigilant on water

5/2 - The U.S. government is asking boaters to keep their eyes peeled for suspicious activity on area waterways.

America's Waterways Watch program is in its fourth year. The U.S. Department of State, U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadrons work together to distribute information on the campaign. The program's goal is to include civilians in an effort to keep waterways safe. Locally, that includes the cross-border areas of Lake Huron, the St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair.

The program was launched in local areas after Sept. 11 by the U.S. Coast Guard and then expanded to a national basis in 2005. It is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Coast Guard. Information on the campaign is available at local Secretary of State offices.

The program asks recreational boaters and other local residents to report suspicious people who misuse boats and seem strangely unfamiliar with them; any person or watercraft that appears to be loitering or has no specific reason to be in the area; anyone trying to access a boat by force; unattended vessels in odd locations; unusual night operations; light-flashing between boats; and anyone recovering or tossing items into waterways or onto shorelines.

Concerns should be directed to the National Response Center, (877) 24-WATCH (249-2834). Emergencies and threats to property should be reported to 911 or called into the Coast Guard on Marine Channel VHF 16. For details, visit www.americaswaterwaywatch.org .

From the Port Huron Times Herald

 

Badger Gathering Reservations Due

5/2 - Only two (2) days left to get your reservations in the mail for the Badger Gathering. Reservations must be received no later than Monday, May 5.

Don't miss out on this fun trip aboard the last coal-fired boat on the Great Lakes.

Click here for all the details and reservation form.

 

Lake St. Clair and River Cruise and BoatNerd Gathering planned

On May 25, an all day cruise leaving Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit and traveling up to the Blue Water Bridges, aboard the Diamond Belle, will be co-sponsored by the Marine Historical Society of Detroit and BoatNerd.com.

The trip includes a continental breakfast and deli lunch on board, and a buffet dinner at the historic St. Clair Inn. This is a great opportunity to see all the sights along the waterway between Detroit and Port Huron.

Tickets are $90.00 per person and reservations are required. Click here for details and a reservation form.

Space is limited. Don't be left out. Print out and return the reservation form with your check today

 

Updates - May 2

News Photo Gallery updated

Click here to order BoatNerd Freighter trip raffle tickets.

Have you made your Badger BoatNerd reservations yet?

 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 02

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Short Sea Shipping to Cleveland

5/1 - Halifax, NS - The Port of Halifax, as a centre for short sea shipping, may play a future role in the development of Cleveland, Ohio, as a cargo gateway to the U.S. Midwest.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson recently signed an agreement with the Costa Rica government to be a distribution centre for a variety of Costa Rican products and Halifax could eventually be part of the supply chain. The agreement will see products, mainly agricultural goods, heading toward Cleveland later this year. The cargo will come into the U.S. via a southern port, most likely Miami, and then be either railed or trucked to Ohio.

But as cargo volumes grow, that could all very well change, says Adam Wasserman, president and CEO of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority. "In the future we would hope volumes would build and the opportunity would be there to take most of the product via water all the way in (to Cleveland), and ports like Halifax, we hope, would play a significant role," he said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

Some vessels could sail all the way up the St. Lawrence and into the Great Lakes, "but if (cargo) is on a larger vessel, it would have to transfer at a port somewhere and Halifax would be an example," he said. "Halifax is well situated." Hapag-Lloyd, a major cargo line that calls at Halifax regularly, also calls at Puerto Limo, Costa Rica’s main port.

Another piece of the logistics chain is a short sea service, which might happen within the next few months. Great Lakes Feeder Lines of Burlington, Ont., has taken ownership of a small container vessel it plans to use to start a short sea service. That service would operate in the winter from Halifax to Montreal, with a seasonal extension to Toronto and Hamilton if there is demand. The Port of Cleveland is on Lake Erie.

Mr. Wasserman said his focus is building demand for the short sea service. "We are talking to customers in Ohio and the Midwest, and we are also coordinating with some folks in Ontario," he said. "That middle market, as you come down the St. Lawrence Seaway, represents a huge market and we would hope to bring more product in and more product out via the efficient means of water, and if that is the case, short sea shipping starts to have a chance."

Winter operations on the seaway would be hindered, but Mr. Wasserman said that may be overcome through inventory management control. He said Ohio sees Canada "as a partner for the middle of North America for our logistics and distributions operations."

The Cleveland authority is working closely with Great Lakes Feeder Lines and others in the industry. Mr. Wasserman said short sea shipping is being taken very seriously. The Cleveland authority has had some previous discussions with the Halifax Port Authority but hopes there will be more in the future

From the Halifax Herald

 

Port Reports - May 1

Toronto - Charlie Gibbons and Frank Hood
The tug Evans McKeil with the barge Metis departed in the early Wednesday morning followed by Stephen B. Roman a short time later.

Holland - Bob VandeVusse
The Manistee delivered coal to the James DeYoung power plant in Holland Wednesday morning. It departed before noon to pick up another load at KCBX and return to Holland Thursday.

Goderich - Dale Baechler
Algosteel arrived early Wednesday morning to load at the Sifto Salt dock. The mine had been on a slow down for almost two weeks due to some scheduled maintenance work. No vessels were loaded during that time.

Duluth-Superior - Al Miller
Walter J. McCarthy Jr. is now on the schedule of Midwest Energy Terminal to load a coal cargo on May 6 for Nanticoke, with additional loads scheduled on May 14 and 21. On Wednesday, the vessel remained at the Lakehead Pipeline dock in Superior undergoing repairs. Its boom is swung out to starboard and a wheeled crane is alongside aft. Numerous trucks and cars are parked on the dock as repairs continue.
Despite high commodity prices, the grain shipping season in the Twin Ports has been off to a slow start. It enjoyed an uptick on Wednesday, however, as Adam E. Cornelius took another load from General Mills S in Superior while saltie Rebecca loaded at the Peavey elevator, which is under new ownership but apparently still run by or for Peavey.

Milwaukee - John N. Vogel
The Canadian Navigator, which had been loading at the Nidera Elevator in the inner harbor, departed Tuesday at about 11:50 a.m.

South Chicago - Brian Z.
Lower Lakes' Manistee was in town on Monday to load coal for Holland, MI. She was due back late on Tuesday to load another cargo for the power plant in Holland.

Rochester - Tom Brewer
The tug Evans McKeil and barge Metis arrived in Rochester on Wednesday, with a load of bulk cement for Essroc.

Marquette - Rod Burdick
Lee A. Tregurtha loaded taconite at the Upper Harbor ore dock on a crystal clear Wednesday evening.

Toledo - Jim Hoffman
The American Mariner was at the CSX Dock loading coal and departed during the late afternoon Wednesday. Presque Isle was unloading ore at the Midwest Terminals Dock and departed during the late afternoon following the American Mariner outbound from Toledo.
Tug Petite Forte and barge St. Marys Cement were at the St. Marys Cement Dock unloading cement. The tug Sea Service and barge Energy 6506 were at the B-P Dock loading cargo.
The next scheduled coal boats due into the CSX Docks will be the H. Lee White on Thursday, Lee A. Tregurtha on Friday, followed by the Robert S. Pierson on Sunday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock will be the Atlantic Erie on Saturday, CSL Laurentien on Monday, followed by the Algowood on Tuesday.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The tug Joe Thompson, Jr. with her barge Joseph H. Thompson were inbound the Saginaw River Wednesday evening carrying a split load. The pair lightered at the Sargent dock in Essexville before heading all the way upriver to finish unloading at the Saginaw Rock Products dock in Saginaw. The Thompson's were upbound through Bay City around 11:30 p.m. and are expected to be outbound later on Tuesday morning.

 

New research unravels some mysteries of McDougall’s ship

5/1 - Superior, WI - Research into the illustrious — and sometimes less-than-illustrious — past of the SS Meteor has unraveled some of the mysteries of the world’s last whaleback ship. However, it has created more questions than it has answered, said Roger Pellett, a member of the Meteor Advisory Committee working to research the ship’s history.

He and Jim Sharrow of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, another member of the committee, presented their findings to volunteers working to stabilize the ship. Sharrow got involved in efforts to restore the Meteor about six years ago, when he conducted a structural analysis and found it was in better-than-expected condition in 2002 after being birthed in the sand for nearly 30 years.

The research is part of ongoing efforts to write a Historic Structures Report that could help gain needed recognition as a national landmark, and garner national funding for the ship’s restoration. The report also serves as a guide for restoration. “It’s clear that it’s going to cost more than a buck-three-80 and we’re going to have to go well outside Superior in order to fund it,” said Susan Anderson, Superior Public Museums director.

Originally commissioned as an iron ore carrier christened the Frank Rockefeller, the ship served many purposes over its 60-plus years of service. But, it’s the ship’s history as a ore carrier that stands out as the SS Meteor’s most significant, Pellett said. While he encountered skepticism about that conclusion among maritime historians, he said “no one’s told me I’m nuts.”

And, it is that period — about 1925 — that will be recommended as the standard to which the ship be restored. By then, modifications to the ship had already been made, however, it still served as an ore carrier named the Frank Rockefeller, and had not been converted to serve for hauling dredge or cars under the name South Park, or to serve as a petroleum tanker as the SS Meteor — its last use before becoming a museum.

The 36th of 44 whaleback ships built by the American Steel Barge Co. based on Capt. Alexander McDougall’s fish-like design, the SS Meteor is the only ship of the fleet that hadn’t sunk, or been scrapped by the late 1960s. It remained in service until November 1969 — when Coast Guard officials said a major overhaul was needed after the ship ran aground near Marquette, Mich. It was retired and later towed to Barker’s Island, where it opened as a museum in 1973.

“We thought this was going to be a pretty simple task when we got started,” Pellett said. “And, the more we learn, the more we don’t know, which I guess is true of almost anything you do. One of the real mysteries is to try to figure out what the ship looked like at different times in her life.”

With a combination of drawings gathered from Bowling Green University, a one-inch stack of photographs depicting the ship in various times and information about the ship’s history, George Netzel, a draftsman with BenTec in Duluth, created drawings of the ship in its various forms. “We were actually able to determine the approximate time that all of the major modifications to the ship occurred,” Sharrow said. “Before we had the photo records in our hands, we really didn’t know.”

Among the first modifications was the addition of deck winches, which replaced capstans and ropes use to moor the ship. Raised hatches replaced the flush models designed by McDougall, and transverse hold beams and transients were replaced to ease the removal of iron ore by 1915. It was then that three boilers were replaced with two larger ones. A rectangular bunker was also added and remains today.

In 1925, the ship was rebuilt, with the addition of a smooth box to keep ore from getting behind the beams, replacement of the turret and changes to the pilothouse and quarters. Shortly thereafter, Pellett said, the ship fell on hard times. Pittsburgh Steamship Co., which owned it since 1900, sold it to the Central Dredging Co. for use as a sand hauler.

“Then the ship underwent a bunch of different owners, including apparently, a bankruptcy because the ship was owned by the U.S. Marshals for awhile,” Pellett said. “Ultimately, the ship fell into the hands of the Nicholson Transportation Co., which is a Detroit-based maritime company. … The ship was used to haul automobiles during that period of time.”

With World War II, it was put back in the iron ore hauling trade, Pellett said. However, it was the war that likely saved the ship after it struck a break wall at Manistique, Mich. Badly damaged, the ship was abandoned by its underwriters and lay at Manitowoc for six months when the war shipping administration ordered it repaired. It was then sold to Cleveland Tanker, and the company converted it to a petroleum tanker in 1943. That is largely how the ship appears today, Pellett said.

“There’s no question in my mind that if the war hadn’t come on, the ship would have been scrapped,” Pellett said. “Even with the war, it took them six months to make that decision.”

From the Superior Daily Telegram

 

Port Washington 1860 Lighthouse Open House and Dedication planned

5/1 - Port Washington, WI - Port Washington Historical Society will we throw open our doors and celebrate and dedicate the installation of the 1860 Light House's new acrylic 4th Order Fresnel Lens on May 16-18.

The 1860 Light House and Light Station site will be open to the public free of charge during special hours; Friday, May 16th: 1 p.m. - 4 p.m., Saturday, May 17th: 9:30 a.m. - 10:50 a.m. and Sunday, May 18th: noon to 4 p.m. The dedication ceremony begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Light Station tours resume following the ceremony.

The Restoration of the 1860 Light Station is a project of the Port Washington Historical Society, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Donations to the Light Station Restoration are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Additional information is available by calling 1-262-284-7240.

 

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Today in Great Lakes History - May 1

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

The STEWART J CORT departed Erie on her maiden voyage at 0400 May 1, 1972. She was delayed by fog in Western Lake Erie.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data from: Jody Aho, Joe Barr, 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. Compiled by Mike Nicholls

 



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